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Title: George Crabbe Poems, Volume III (of 3)
Author: Crabbe, George
Language: English
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                      _CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH CLASSICS_


                                 Poems
                                   by
                             George Crabbe


                            In Three Volumes



                             GEORGE CRABBE

                               Born, 1754

                               Died, 1832



                            _GEORGE CRABBE_
                                 POEMS


                               EDITED BY

                         ADOLPHUS WILLIAM WARD,

                      Litt.D., Hon. LL.D., F.B.A.
                          Master of Peterhouse

[Illustration]

                               Volume III

                               CAMBRIDGE:
                        at the University Press
                                  1907



                  CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE
                          C. F. CLAY, MANAGER.
                      =London=: FETTER LANE, E.C.
                   =Glasgow=: 50, WELLINGTON STREET.

[Illustration]

                      =Leipzig=: F. A. BROCKHAUS.
                    =New York=: G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS.
             =Bombay and Calcutta=: MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD.


                        [_All Rights reserved_]

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                                PREFACE.


The very miscellaneous nature of the contents of this third and last
volume of the present edition of Crabbe’s _Poems_ obliges me to trouble
the reader with a rather lengthy series of prefatory remarks. Before,
however, entering on these, I should like to supplement what was said in
the Preface to Vol. 1 with regard to the source of the earliest among
the _Juvenilia_ there printed. Since writing that Preface I have at last
had an opportunity of examining the whole set of Vols. I-VI (for the
years 1770–5) of the elusive _Lady’s Magazine_, of which Vol. I was
published by Robinson and Roberts, and the remaining five volumes by
Robinson. Curiously enough, the 1773 volume of this _Magazine_ contains,
in the February number, a long piece of verse, apparently a prize poem,
entitled _An Essay on Hope_; but the six lines quoted by the younger
Crabbe are not to be found in this poem any more than in that printed in
the October number of the 1772 volume of the _Magazine_. By another
coincidence, a poem called _The Bee_, signed “Louisa Broughton,” appears
in the April number of the same _Magazine_ for 1774. I may add, that the
June number of the same volume contains a poem, in Shenstone’s manner,
addressed “To Miss E——r M——,” and signed “G. C., Cambridge, May 2,
1774.” It has an apologetic introductory note, which _might have been_
written by Crabbe.

To turn to the present volume. The _Tales of the Hall_ (Bks. XII-XXII),
which occupy its earlier pages are, like the previous _Tales_ contained
in Vol. II, printed from the edition of 1823; and the variants are taken
from the first edition (1819) and from the “Original MS.” readings given
as footnotes in the edition of 1834. The _Posthumous Tales_ are printed
from Vol. VIII of the _Poetical Works of Crabbe_ edited by his son
(1834). The sources of the variants in the _Posthumous Tales_ will be
indicated immediately.

With regard to the remaining contents of the present volume, it may be
convenient if I here, in accordance with a promise made in the Preface
to Vol. II of the present edition, furnish some account of the Crabbe
MSS. now in the possession of the Cambridge University Press, as well as
of certain other collections of MSS. of which I have been fortunate
enough to be allowed to make use. In each case, I have, for purposes of
reference, indicated the marks by which, in a list given at the end of
the Bibliography included in the present volume, the previously
unpublished pieces by Crabbe, here printed from transcripts of the
originals in the several collections, have been distinguished.

The MS. books acquired by the Cambridge University Press (U.P.) are five
in number. One of these, half-bound in red, is throughout in Crabbe’s
handwriting, and contains, together with fragments of the _Posthumous
Tales_ I, III, VI, VII and X, and a version of _Lines written at
Warwick_ (p. 428), in each case offering some variants which have been
duly noted, _Joseph’s Dream_ (p. 521) and some other pieces now printed
for the first time. The writing, partly in pen, partly in pencil, on the
first and the last four pages of this volume, has been disregarded, as
not sufficiently coherent to warrant an attempt at printing it. A note
superscribed “Duchess of Rutland, Oct. 11th, 1824” (perhaps the lines in
question were written in the Duchess’s album) states that the verses
here entitled _On a View of Barford_ (p. 505) refer to a picture drawn
by Miss Bagot of that house, when occupied by Mr and Mrs Mills. This
note further states that _An Inscription at Guy’s Cliff_ which Crabbe
has marked as “By ——,” and the verses added by him (p. 504) refer to a
picture of Guy’s Cliff near Leamington, the property of Mr Bertie
Greathead. Another note explains that the verses _On a Drawing of
Cadlands_ (p. 518) refer to a picture of Mr Drummond’s seat of that name
by Lady Elizabeth Drummond; and that the “drawing by the Hon. Mrs. Smith
(Eliza Forrester)” (p. 519) consisted of “a Landscape and other pieces.”
This MS. book also contains an earlier copy of the lines entitled _La
Femme Jalouse_ (p. 507). The last three stanzas of the poem on a drawing
of _Brompton Park Cottage_ (p. 506) are added from the version given in
this MS. book. From it are also taken a few readings in the stanzas _For
the Drawing of the Lady in the Green Mantle_ (p. 520). From it is also
printed the fragment _Joseph and Charles_ (p. 492), with which should be
compared Vol. VIII, pp. 63 sq. of the edition of 1834, and indeed the
whole tale of _The Family of Love_. It also contains a draft of _The
Equal Marriage_ (_Posthumous Tales_, III), with a few variants, noted
among those printed at the end of the present volume; also a draft of
_Silford Hall_ (_Posthumous Tales_, I), with a considerable number of
variants, of which the chief have been noted in the same place. There
are also to be found here drafts of _Lines written at Warwick_ (p. 428),
and of the lines _On a Drawing of the Elm Tree_ (p. 431), &c., there
stated to be by Miss Chilibeen(?), both with variants. Finally, the same
MS. book contains the lines which I have entitled _Rest in the Lord_ (p.
523) and the unfinished lines _And He said unto her, “Thy Sins are
forgiven”_ (p. 524).

On the fly-leaf of a second Crabbe MS. book in the possession of the
Cambridge University Press (U.P.) is written: “This MS. is by the Poet
Crabbe and in his autograph. It is one of his Memorandum Books.” This
book begins with three pages of almost illegible verse, which appear to
contain an earlier draft of a portion of what follows. Then ensues the
long MS. entitled _Tracy_, to which is prefixed, in Crabbe’s own
handwriting, the date “1 Jan. 1813,” and which is interrupted at
intervals by further illegible passages. On pp. “18–19” of this MS. book
there is an account, only in part legible, of the beginning of the
Lady’s Vision, which is continued in the portion printed in the present
volume (from p. 450). The lines beginning “The good are happy,” appear
to form no part of _Tracy_, though they have been inserted in the middle
of it, and are therefore here printed as a separate piece, to which I
have given the title _Conscious Guiltiness_ (p. 498). The verses
superscribed _Jane Adair_, which are similarly inserted in the text of
_Tracy_, are likewise printed separately (p. 512), as are also those
which I have respectively called _Horatio_ (p. 513), _Jacob and Rachel_
(p. 514), _David and Saul_ (p. 515), _Belief and Unbelief_ (p. 499), and
_The Task_ (p. 498). Then follows a version of the lines _On receiving
from a Lady a Present of a Ring_ (p. 432); then a version of _Villars_
(_Posthumous Tales_, V); then the fragment of a tale, which I have
entitled _Susan and her Lovers_ (p. 462), interspersed with some
illegible passages; then another fragment of a tale, _Captain Godfrey_
(p. 468); then a further fragment, _The Amours of G[eorge]_, which is
obviously an early draft, in a different metre, of a large portion of
_The Elder Brother_ (_Tales of the Hall_, Bk. VII); then the _Charade_
(_Modesty_) (p. 516); then a variant of the conclusion of the tale of
_Villars_ (see above); then the lines _Tragic Tales, Why?_ a fragment
(p. 474). Opening this volume at the other end, we find it to contain
prose-sketches of certain of the _Tales_; a criticism of Gibbon and
other miscellaneous matter; besides the verses on _Miss Waldron’s
Birthday_ (p. 502), and some partially illegible and quite incoherent
fragments.

A third, small, MS. book (U.P.), of which the writing is throughout
remarkably clear, and which has few variants from the text of the 1834
edition, contains, together with fifteen of the _Posthumous Tales_, _The
Funeral of the Squire_, obviously designed as one of this series, and
now printed for the first time (p. 489). There is nothing in this book
that has not been previously printed except _The Funeral_.

A fourth, small, MS. book (U.P.) contains, together with some fragments
of _Tales of the Hall_, Bks. VII and XI, of which the variants have been
noted in Vol. II of this edition, and a version of the lines _On the
Death of Sir Samuel Romilly_ (p. 439), the stanzas entitled _Matilda_
(p. 516). A number of pages in pencil have been unavoidably disregarded.
In the same little book are a few fragmentary lines, hitherto unprinted,
that must originally have been intended to form part of the _Tales of
the Hall_ (p. 473).

A fifth, also small, MS. book (U.P.) contains, besides a catalogue of
Crabbe’s library at Trowbridge, and a few accounts, the two short pieces
printed in the present volume under the titles _Momentary Grief_ (p.
507) and _Enigma_ (_Sovereign_) (p. 515). A number of pages at the end
of this volume have been cut out.

Through the kind offices of the Vice-Master of Trinity College,
Cambridge, Mr W. Aldis Wright, I was allowed to examine a MS. volume in
the Trinity Library (T.C.) which bears the following inscription: “This
volume, which formerly belonged to Crabbe the poet was given to the
Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, by Edward FitzGerald, M.A.,
April, 1871.” The obverse of the volume contains a list of Plants,
beginning with _Cryptogamia_. On a fly-leaf are written, in a tremulous
hand (probably Crabbe’s), the lines which I have entitled _A Fragment_
(p. 497). Then follow, in Crabbe’s ordinary writing, the lines printed
in the present volume under the title of _Poverty and Love_ (_ib._); and
towards the end of the book, are, in Crabbe’s handwriting, the lines
here called _The Curate’s Progress_ (_ib._). The reverse of this MS.
book, which is on the cover very neatly dated September 23, 1793,
contains, besides another shorter list of plants and much miscellaneous
matter, a scribbled page of verse, from which I was only able to extract
the following entire couplet:

             “The Sum on Dress by this fair Creature spent
             Would more than equal Colin’s yearly rent.”

Professor E. Dowden, LL.D., of Trinity College, Dublin, has added to
previous obligations conferred on me in connexion with the present
edition by allowing me the use of two small books belonging to him, in
Crabbe’s handwriting (D.). One of these supplies the complete Tale of
_The Deserted Family_, now for the first time printed (pp. 477–488). The
other contains drafts of _Posthumous Tales_ VI-XVI and XXII; the more
important variants offered by these are inserted in the list at the end
of the present volume. From this MS. book are also taken the verses
entitled _The Prodigal Going_ (p. 517).

The originals of certain pieces contained in the present volume are to
be found in a book belonging to Mrs Mackay, of Trowbridge, which she has
with the utmost liberality placed at my service. This interesting
portion of Mrs Mackay’s collection (M.) contains a series of
proof-engravings of Corbould’s, Westall’s and other illustrations of
certain among the earlier editions of Crabbe’s _Poems_. It also includes
a draft of a portion of _The Sisters_ (_Tales of the Hall_, Bk. VIII;
see Vol. II, and variants, _ib._), and the lines _To Lady Jersey_ (p.
435), in a version, of which the variants have been duly noted. From
this book are taken the following poems: the stanzas called by me _The
Flowers of the Spring_ (p. 508), of which I have ventured to transpose
the last two, and the fragment which I have named _La Belle Dame sans
Merci_ (p. 509). Both pieces are here printed for the first time. Mrs
Mackay’s collection also contains, written on separate leaves, the
blank-verse lines entitled by me _The Passionate Pilgrim_ (p. 496),
which are subscribed “Crabbe,” and of which the handwriting in several
respects resembles that in Crabbe’s autograph of _Midnight_ (see Vol.
I), though less flowing than this; the couplets called by me _Sorrow_
(p. 496), which are not in the handwriting of Crabbe; and, finally, the
lines _To the Hon. Mrs Spencer_ (p. 503), which are signed “Geo.
Crabbe.”

Mr Buxton-Forman has most generously allowed me to print a series of
pieces from his collection of MSS. (B.F.). It includes the verses which
are entirely in Crabbe’s handwriting, as is perhaps the signature
appended, and which I have called _Hopeless Love_ (p. 510); the fragment
_David Jones_ (p. 476) of which the text may be, the title is certainly
not, in Crabbe’s hand; and the fragment which I have called _Robert and
Catharine_ (p. 475), as to which it seems uncertain whether the text is
in Crabbe’s hand. It is manifestly an early draft of _The Cousins_
(_Posthumous Tales_, XXI); but the actual phraseology in the two
versions is very rarely the same. The following pieces are also derived
from the same collection: those called by me _Union_ (p. 511) and
_Revival_ (_ib._), of which latter the third stanza appears in a rather
different form on a separate leaf; _Metamorphosis_ (p. 512); and
_Contentment_ (p. 493), a fragment of a tale. Mr Buxton-Forman’s Crabbe
MSS. also include memoranda for Tales and drafts of parts of _The Will_
(_Posthumous Tales_, XX) and of _Belinda Waters_ (_ib._ XV). In neither
case are the variants offered by these drafts of importance.

Finally, the late Duke of Rutland was so kind as to allow several pieces
of verse in Crabbe’s own handwriting preserved at Belvoir to be
transcribed for insertion in the present edition (B). Some of these, I
cannot but think, were transcribed by the Duke’s own hand. Most of them
were exhibited at the Crabbe Celebration held at Aldborough in
September, 1905, and successfully arranged and organised by Mr Charles
Ganz. The _Verses to the Duke of Rutland_ dated Belvoir, August, 1784,
were most kindly transcribed for me after the death of the late Duke by
his Grace’s Chaplain and Librarian, the Rev. F. W. Knox. Of these
pieces, the _Verses written for the Duke of Rutland’s Birthday_
(_January 4, 1817_) (p. 499) and the lines entitled _La Femme Jalouse_
(_Teniers_) (p. 507) are here printed for the first time; to the latter
a few variants have been furnished from an earlier copy in one of the
MS. books in the possession of the University Press (U.P.). The stanzas
For _the Drawing of the Lady in the Green Mantle_ (p. 520), and
_Brompton Park Cottage_ (p. 506), are also printed for the first time,
from transcripts made by the late Duke of Rutland, or by his Grace’s
instructions, from the originals at Belvoir. In the former case the
original states the “Fair Artist” who drew the picture to have been Miss
Isabella Forrester. In the latter the drawing in question is stated to
have been made by Lady Sophia Norman, the cottage having been lent to
the Duke, when ill, by Mr Greenwood. In the former case the last three
stanzas, and in the latter a few various readings, have been supplied
from one of the Crabbe MS. books in the possession of the Cambridge
University Press (U.P.). To the lines _From Belvoir Castle_ (p. 389),
_Storm and Calm_ (p. 396), and _To Sarah, Countess of Jersey, on her
Birthday_ (p. 435), previously printed in the 1834 edition, variants
have been supplied from the Duke’s transcripts.

Of the _Miscellaneous Verses previously printed_ reprinted in the
present volume the two _Poetical Epistles_ (April, 1780) are, by the
kind permission of Mr Buxton-Forman, owner of the MSS., and of Dr W.
Robertson Nicoll and Mr T. J. Wise, editors of _Literary Anecdotes of
the Nineteenth Century_ (1896), and of Messrs Hodder and Stoughton,
reproduced at length from Vol. II of that work. Ten lines from the
_Epistle to Mira_ had already been printed in Vol. I (p. 67) from the
_Life_ (p. 58) in Vol. I of the 1834 edition.

From this edition also come, with the exception of the last but two and
the last, all the remaining shorter pieces already published (some with
variants, duly noted, from the University Press and Belvoir MSS., from
the MSS. of Mrs Mackay, and from an article entitled _Treasure Trove_
contributed by Miss M. Jourdain to _The Book Monthly_ for May, 1906).
This article, of which Miss Jourdain and her publishers (Messrs Simpkin,
Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.) kindly allowed me to make use, consists
of pieces printed from transcripts made at Belvoir Castle. In Miss
Jourdain’s article is included stanza v of _The Friend in Love_ (p.
437), which is missing in the stanzas given in the _Life_ (1834). A few
variants in this version have been duly noted. I may add that between
_The World of Dreams_ and _Sir Eustace Grey_ which in metre and
otherwise are so closely associated with one another, no actual
parallelisms either of sense or of form are noticeable. The exceptions
referred to are the following. _The Lines_ (_Edinburgh, August 15,
1822_) (p. 440) are printed, without variants, from a separately printed
leaflet in my possession: and the _Lines addressed to the Dowager
Duchess of Rutland_ (p. 441) from _The Casket_ (1829), with variants
from Miss Jourdain’s article in _The Book Monthly_.

_Of the Poems hitherto unpublished_ a list giving the source of each
will be found at the close of the Bibliography in this volume. In the
general sequence of these pieces I have so far as possible adopted a
chronological order; the whole body of previously unpublished verse has
however been divided into two groups—viz. tales and fragments of tales,
and lyrical pieces; and, where there was no indication of date, the
poems taken from the same collection of MSS. have been kept together.

It remains for me to return my sincere thanks to the possessors of
Crabbe MSS. already mentioned, and to others who have in various ways
aided me in making this concluding volume of Crabbe’s _Poems_, and
therewith the edition as a whole, as complete as possible. I should
like, in especial, to thank Professor MORFILL of Oxford for enriching
the Bibliography at the close of this volume by enabling us to refer to
two works which attest the very curious and significant fact of the
interest in Crabbe taken in Russia.

The Bibliography itself has been drawn up by Mr A. T. BARTHOLOMEW, of
Peterhouse and the University Library, who has again compiled the list
of Variants, and to whom the present volume of this edition, like its
predecessors, is throughout indebted for his continuous cooperation. It
is a true pleasure to me to have been so zealously and efficiently aided
in the performance of my task by a member of my own College.

                                                             A. W. WARD.

  PETERHOUSE LODGE, CAMBRIDGE.
          _December 10th, 1906._



                 CORRIGENDUM, CRABBE’S POEMS, VOL. III.


       p. xviii, l. 6 from bottom }
       p. 414, l. 1               } for _Mother’s_ read _Wife’s_.
       p. 567, last line          }



                               CONTENTS.


 TALES OF THE HALL:                                                 PAGE

   XII. SIR OWEN DALE                                                  1

  XIII. DELAY HAS DANGER                                              26

   XIV. THE NATURAL DEATH OF LOVE                                     48

    XV. GRETNA GREEN                                                  61

   XVI. LADY BARBARA; OR, THE GHOST                                   74

  XVII. THE WIDOW                                                    100

 XVIII. ELLEN                                                        115

   XIX. WILLIAM BAILEY                                               126

    XX. THE CATHEDRAL-WALK                                           147

   XXI. SMUGGLERS AND POACHERS                                       160

  XXII. THE VISIT CONCLUDED                                          178


 POSTHUMOUS TALES

     I. SILFORD HALL; OR, THE HAPPY DAY                              194

    II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE                                           213

   III. THE EQUAL MARRIAGE                                           241

    IV. RACHEL                                                       250

     V. VILLARS                                                      255


 THE FAREWELL AND RETURN

    VI. THE FAREWELL AND RETURN                                      269

   VII. THE SCHOOL-FELLOW                                            274

  VIII. BARNABY, THE SHOPMAN                                         277

    IX. JANE                                                         282

     X. THE ANCIENT MANSION                                          287

    XI. THE MERCHANT                                                 293

   XII. THE BROTHER BURGESSES                                        297

  XIII. THE DEAN’S LADY                                              301

   XIV. THE WIFE AND WIDOW                                           306

    XV. BELINDA WATERS                                               311

   XVI. THE DEALER AND CLERK                                         315

  XVII. DANVERS AND RAYNER                                           325

 XVIII. THE BOAT RACE                                                335

   XIX. MASTER WILLIAM; OR, LAD’S LOVE                               344

    XX. THE WILL                                                     351

   XXI. THE COUSINS                                                  358

  XXII. PREACHING AND PRACTICE                                       368


 MISCELLANEOUS VERSES PREVIOUSLY PRINTED

 Poetical Epistles                                                   376
     Epistle I                                                       378
     Epistle II. To Mira                                             387

 [From Belvoir Castle]                                               389

 The Ladies of the Lake                                              390

 Infancy—A Fragment                                                  391

 The Magnet                                                          395

 Storm and Calm                                                      396

 Satire                                                              398

 [The New Samaritan]                                                 399

 Belvoir Castle                                                      400

 The World of Dreams                                                 403

 [His Mother’s Wedding-Ring]                                         414

 [Parham Revisited]                                                  414

 Flirtation                                                          415

 Lines in Laura’s Album                                              426

 Lines written at Warwick                                            428

 On a drawing of the Elm Tree ...                                    431

 On receiving from a Lady a present of a Ring                        432

 To a Lady, with some Poetical Extracts                              433

 To a Lady, on leaving her at Sidmouth                               434

 To Sarah, Countess of Jersey, on her Birthday                       435

 To a Lady who desired some verses at parting                        436

 The Friend in Love                                                  437

 [Disillusioned]                                                     438

 [Lines] from a discarded Poem                                       438

 On the death of Sir Samuel Romilly                                  439

 Lines                                                               440

 [Lines]                                                             441

 Lines, addressed to the Dowager Duchess of Rutland                  441


 FRAGMENTS OF TALES AND MISCELLANEOUS VERSES NOT PREVIOUSLY PRINTED

 Tracy                                                               444

 [Susan and her Lovers]                                              462

 Captain Godfrey                                                     468

 The Amours of G[eorge]                                              471

 [Fragments of Tales of the Hall]                                    473

 Tragic Tales, Why?                                                  474

 [Robert and Catharine]                                              475

 David Jones                                                         476

 The Deserted Family                                                 477

 The Funeral of the Squire                                           489

 Joseph and Charles                                                  492

 [Contentment]                                                       493

 To His Grace the Duke of Rutland                                    493

 [The Passionate Pilgrim]                                            496

 [Sorrow]                                                            496

 [A Fragment]                                                        497

 [Poverty and Love]                                                  497

 [The Curate’s Progress]                                             497

 [The Task]                                                          498

 [Conscious Guiltiness]                                              498

 [Belief and Unbelief]                                               499

 Verses written for the Duke of Rutland’s Birthday                   499

 Miss Waldron’s Birthday                                             502

 To the Hon. Mrs. Spencer                                            503

 An Inscription at Guy’s Cliff                                       504

 [On a view of] Barford                                              505

 Brompton Park Cottage                                               506

 [Momentary Grief]                                                   507

 La Femme Jalouse (Teniers)                                          507

 [The Flowers of the Spring]                                         508

 [La Belle Dame Sans Merci]                                          509

 [Hopeless Love]                                                     510

 [Union]                                                             511

 [Revival]                                                           511

 [Metamorphosis]                                                     512

 Jane Adair                                                          512

 [Horatio]                                                           513

 [Jacob and Rachel]                                                  514

 [David and Saul]                                                    515

 Enigma                                                              515

 Charade                                                             516

 [Matilda]                                                           516

 The Prodigal Going                                                  517

 On a drawing of Cadlands                                            518

 [On] a drawing, by the Hon. Mrs. Smith (Eliza Forrester)            519

 For the drawing of the Lady in the Green Mantle                     520

 Joseph’s Dream                                                      521

 [Rest in the Lord!]                                                 523

 And He said unto her “Thy sins are forgiven”                        524

 ERRATA                                                              525

 VARIANTS                                                            526

 BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                        554



                           TALES OF THE HALL.


                               BOOK XII.

                            _SIR OWEN DALE._

  The Rector at the Hall—Why absent—He relates the Story of Sir Owen—His
    Marriage—Death of his Lady—His Mind acquires new Energy—His Passions
    awake—His Taste and Sensibility—Admires a Lady—Camilla—Her
    Purpose—Sir Owen’s Disappointment—His Spirit of Revenge—How
    gratified—The Dilemma of Love—An Example of Forgiveness—Its Effect.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XII.

                            _SIR OWEN DALE._

  Again the Brothers saw their friend the priest,
  Who shared the comforts he so much increased;
  Absent of late—and thus the squire address’d,
  With welcome smile, his ancient friend and guest.
    “What has detain’d thee? some parochial case?
  Some man’s desertion, or some maid’s disgrace?
  Or wert thou call’d, as parish priest, to give
  Name to a new-born thing that would not live,
  That its weak glance upon the world had thrown,
  And shrank in terror from the prospect shown?      10
  Or hast thou heard some dying wretch deplore,
  That of his pleasures he could taste no more,
  Who wish’d thy aid his spirits to sustain,
  And drive away the fears that gave him pain?
  For priests are thought to have a patent charm
  To ease the dying sinner of alarm.
  Or was thy business of the carnal sort,
  And thou wert gone a patron’s smile to court,
  And Croft or Cresswell would’st to Binning add,
  Or take, kind soul! whatever could be had?      20
  Once more I guess: th’ election now is near;
  My friend, perhaps, is sway’d, by hope or fear,
  And all a patriot’s wishes, forth to ride,
  And hunt for votes to prop the fav’rite side?”
    “More private duty call’d me hence, to pay
  My friends respect on a rejoicing day,”
  Replied the rector; “there is born a son,
  Pride of an ancient race, who pray’d for one,
  And long desponded. Would you hear the tale—
  Ask, and ’tis granted—of Sir Owen Dale?”      30
    “Grant,” said the Brothers, “for we humbly ask;
  Ours be the gratitude, and thine the task.
  Yet dine we first; then to this tale of thine,
  As to thy sermon, seriously incline;
  In neither case our rector shall complain
  Of this recited, that composed, in vain.
  Something we heard of vengeance, who appall’d,
  Like an infernal spirit, him who call’d,
  And, ere he vanished, would perform his part,
  Inflicting tortures on the wounded heart.      40
  Of this but little from report we know;
  If you the progress of revenge can show,
  Give it, and all its horrors, if you please;
  We hear our neighbour’s sufferings much at ease.
    “Is it not so? For do not men delight—      }
  We call them men—our bruisers to excite,      }
  And urge with bribing gold, and feed them for the fight?      }
  Men beyond common strength, of giant size,
  And threat’ning terrors in each other’s eyes;
  When in their naked, native force display’d,      50
  Look answers look, affrighting and afraid;
  While skill, like spurs and feeding, gives the arm
  The wicked power to do the greater harm.
  Maim’d in the strife, the falling man sustains
  Th’ insulting shout, that aggravates his pains—
  Man can bear this; and shall thy hearers heed
  A tale of human sufferings? Come! proceed.”
    Thus urged, the worthy rector thought it meet
  Some moral truth, as preface, to repeat;
  Reflection serious—common-place, ’tis true;      60}
  But he would act as he was wont to do,      }
  And bring his morals in his neighbour’s view.      }
    “O! how the passions, insolent and strong,
  Bear our weak minds their rapid course along;
  Make us the madness of their will obey;
  Then die, and leave us to our griefs a prey!”
    Sir Owen Dale his fortieth year had seen,
  With temper placid, and with mind serene;
  Rich, early married to an easy wife,
  They led in comfort a domestic life.      70
  He took of his affairs a prudent care,
  And was by early habit led to spare;
  Not as a miser, but in pure good taste,
  That scorn’d the idle wantonness of waste.
    In fact, the lessons he from prudence took
  Were written in his mind, as in a book:
  There what to do he read, and what to shun;
  And all commanded was with promptness done;
  He seem’d without a passion to proceed,
  Or one whose passions no correction need.      80
  Yet some believed those passions only slept,
  And were in bounds by early habits kept;
  Curb’d as they were by fetters worn so long,
  There were who judged them a rebellious throng.
    To these he stood, not as a hero true,
  Who fought his foes, and in the combat slew,
  But one who all those foes, when sleeping, found,
  And, unresisted, at his pleasure bound.
    We thought—for I was one—that we espied
  Some indications strong of dormant pride:      90
  It was his wish in peace with all to live;
  And he could pardon, but could not forgive;
  Nay, there were times when stern defiance shook
  The moral man, and threaten’d in his look.
    Should these fierce passions—so we reason’d—break
  Their long-worn chain, what ravage will they make!
  In vain will prudence then contend with pride,
  And reason vainly bid revenge subside;
  Anger will not to meek persuasion bend,
  Nor to the pleas of hope or fear attend;      100
  What curb shall, then, in their disorder’d race,      }
  Check the wild passions? what the calm replace?      }
  Virtue shall strive in vain; and has he help in grace?      }
    While yet the wife with pure discretion ruled,
  The man was guided, and the mind was school’d;
  But then that mind unaided ran to waste:
  He had some learning, but he wanted taste;
  Placid, not pleased—contented, not employ’d—
  He neither time improved, nor life enjoy’d.
    That wife expired, and great the loss sustain’d,      110
  Though much distress he neither felt nor feign’d:
  He loved not warmly; but the sudden stroke
  Deeply and strongly on his habits broke.
    He had no child to soothe him, and his farm,
  His sports, his speculations, lost their charm;
  Then would he read and travel, would frequent
  Life’s busy scenes; and forth Sir Owen went.
  The mind, that now was free, unfix’d, uncheck’d,
  Read and observed with wonderful effect;
  And still, the more he gain’d, the more he long’d      120
  To pay that mind his negligence had wrong’d;
  He felt his pleasures rise as he improved;
  And, first enduring, then the labour loved.
    But, by the light let in, Sir Owen found
  Some of those passions had their chain unbound;
  As from a trance they rose to act their part,
  And seize, as due to them, a feeling heart.
    His very person now appear’d refined,
  And took some graces from th’ improving mind;
  He grew polite without a fix’d intent,      130
  And to the world a willing pupil went.
    Restore him twenty years—restore him ten—
  And bright had been his earthly prospect then;
  But much refinement, when it late arrives,
  May be the grace, not comfort, of our lives.
    Now had Sir Owen feeling: things of late
  Indifferent he began to love or hate;
  What once could neither good nor ill impart
  Now pleased the senses, and now touch’d the heart;
  Prospects and pictures struck th’ awaken’d sight,      140
  And each new object gave a new delight.
  He, like th’ imperfect creature who had shaped
  A shroud to hide him, had at length escaped;
  Changed from his grub-like state, to crawl no more,
  But a wing’d being, pleased and form’d to soar.
    Now, said his friends, while thus his views improve,
  And his mind softens, what if he should love?
  True; life with him has yet serene appear’d,
  And therefore love in wisdom should be fear’d;
  Forty and five his years, and then to sigh      150
  For beauty’s favour!—Son of frailty, fly!
    Alas! he loved; it was our fear, but ours,
  His friends’, alone. He doubted not his pow’rs
  To win the prize, or to repel the charm,
  To gain the battle, or escape the harm;
  For he had never yet resistance proved,
  Nor fear’d that friends should say—“Alas! he loved.”
    Younger by twenty years, Camilla found
  Her face unrivall’d when she smiled or frown’d;
  Of all approved; in manner, form, and air,      160
  Made to attract; gay, elegant, and fair.
  She had, in beauty’s aid, a fair pretence
  To cultivated, strong intelligence;
  For she a clear and ready mind had fed
  With wholesome food; unhurt by what she read.
  She loved to please; but, like her dangerous sex,
  To please the more whom she design’d to vex.
    This heard Sir Owen, and he saw it true;      }
  It promised pleasure, promised danger too;      }
  But this he knew not then, or slighted if he knew.      170}
    Yet he delay’d, and would by trials prove
  That he was safe; would see the signs of love;
  Would not address her while a fear remain’d;
  But win his way, assured of what he gain’d.
    This saw the lady, not displeased to find
  A man at once so cautious and so blind;
  She saw his hopes that she would kindly show
  Proofs of her passion—then she his should know:
    “So, when my heart is bleeding in his sight,
  His love acknowledged will the pains requite;      180
  It is, when conquer’d, he the heart regards;
  Well, good Sir Owen! let us play our cards.”
    He spake her praise in terms that love affords,
  By words select, and looks surpassing words.
  Kindly she listen’d, and in turn essay’d
  To pay th’ applauses—and she amply paid,
  A beauty flattering!—beauteous flatterers feel
  The ill you cause, when thus in praise you deal;
  For surely he is more than man, or less,
  When praised by lips that he would die to press,      190
  And yet his senses undisturb’d can keep,
  Can calmly reason, or can soundly sleep.
    Not so Sir Owen; him Camilla praised,
  And lofty hopes and strong emotions raised;
  This had alone the strength of man subdued;
  But this enchantress various arts pursued.
    Let others pray for music—others pray’d
  In vain; Sir Owen ask’d, and was obey’d;
  Let others, walking, sue that arm to take—
  Unmoved she kept it for Sir Owen’s sake;      200
  Each small request she granted, and though small,
  He thought them pledges of her granting all.
    And now the lover, casting doubt aside,
  Urged the fond suit that—could not be denied;
  Joy more than reverence moved him when he said;
  “Now banish all my fears, angelic maid!”
  And, as she paused for words, he gaily cried,
  “I must not, cannot, will not be denied.”
    Ah! good Sir Owen, think not favours, such
  As artful maids allow, amount to much;      210
  The sweet, small, poison’d baits, that take the eye
  And win the soul of all who venture nigh.
    Camilla listen’d, paused, and look’d surprise,
  Fair witch! exulting in her witcheries!
  She turn’d aside her face, withdrew her hand,
  And softly said, “Sir, let me understand.”
    “Nay, my dear lady! what can words explain,
  If all my looks and actions plead in vain?
  I love”—She show’d a cool, respectful air;
  And he began to falter in his prayer,      220
  Yet urged her kindness—-Kindness she confess’d;
  It was esteem; she felt it, and express’d,
  For her dear father’s friend; and was it right
  That friend of his—she thought of hers—to slight?
    This to the wond’ring lover strange and new,
  And false appear’d—he would not think it true.
  Still he pursued the lovely prize, and still
  Heard the cold words, design’d his hopes to kill;
  He felt dismay’d, as he perceived success
  Had inverse ratio, more obtaining less;      230
  And still she grew more cool in her replies,
  And talk’d of age and improprieties.
    Then to his friends, although it hurt his pride,      }
  And to the lady’s, he for aid applied;      }
  Who kindly woo’d for him, but strongly were denied.      }
    And now it was those fiercer passions rose,
  Urged by his love to murder his repose;
  Shame shook his soul to be deceived so long,
  And fierce revenge for such contemptuous wrong;
  Jealous he grew, and jealousy supplied      240}
  His mind with rage, unsooth’d, unsatisfied;      }
  And grievous were the pangs of deeply wounded pride.      }
  His generous soul had not the grief sustain’d,
  Had he not thought, “revenge may be obtain’d.”
    Camilla grieved, but grief was now too late;
  She hush’d her fears, and left th’ event to fate.—
  Four years elapsed, nor knew Sir Owen yet
  How to repay the meditated debt;
  The lovely foe was in her thirtieth year,
  Nor saw the favourite of the heart appear;      250
  ’Tis sure, less sprightly the fair nymph became,
  And spoke of former levities with shame;
  But this, alas! was not in time confess’d,
  And vengeance waited in Sir Owen’s breast.
    But now the time arrives—the maid must feel
  And grieve for wounds that she refused to heal.
  Sir Owen, childless, in his love had rear’d
  A sister’s son; and now the youth appear’d
  In all the pride of manhood, and, beside,
  With all a soldier’s spirit and his pride;      260
  Valiant and poor, with all that arms bestow,
  And wants that captains in their quarters know;
  Yet to his uncle’s generous heart was due
  The praise, that wants of any kind were few.
    When he appear’d, Sir Owen felt a joy
  Unknown before, his vengeance bless’d the boy—
  “To him I dare confide a cause so just;
  Love him she may—O! could I say, she must!”
  Thus fix’d, he more than usual kindness show’d,
  Nor let the captain name the debt he owed;      270
  But when he spoke of gratitude, exclaim’d,
  “My dearest Morden! make me not ashamed;
  Each for a friend should do the best he can,
  The most obliged is the obliging man;
  But if you wish to give as well as take,
  You may a debtor of your uncle make.”
    Morden was earnest in his wish to know
  How he could best his grateful spirit show.
    Now the third dinner had their powers renew’d,
  And fruit and wine upon the table stood;      280
  The fire brought comfort, and the warmth it lent
  A cheerful spirit to the feelings sent;
  When thus the uncle—“Morden, I depend
  On you for aid—assist me as a friend:
  Full well I know that you would much forego,
  And much endure, to wreak me on my foe.
  Charles, I am wrong’d, insulted—nay, be still,
  Nor look so fiercely—there are none to kill.
    “I loved a lady, somewhat late in life,
  Perhaps too late, and would have made a wife;      290
  Nay, she consented; for consent I call
  The mark’d distinction that was seen of all,
  And long was seen; but when she knew my pain,
  Saw my first wish her favour to obtain,
  And ask her hand—no sooner was it ask’d,
  Than she the lovely Jezebel unmask’d;
  And by her haughty airs, and scornful pride,
  My peace was wounded—nay, my reason tried;
  I felt despised and fallen when we met,
  And she, O folly! looks too lovely yet;      300
  Yet love no longer in my bosom glows,
  But my heart warms at the revenge it owes.
    “O! that I saw her with her soul on fire,
  Desperate from love, and sickening with desire;
  While all beheld her just, unpitied pain,
  Grown in neglect, and sharpen’d by disdain!
  Let her be jealous of each maid she sees,      }
  Striving by every fruitless art to please,      }
  And when she fondly looks, let looks and fondness tease!      }
  So, lost on passion’s never resting sea,      310
  Hopeless and helpless, let her think of me!
  Charles, thou art handsome, nor canst want the art
  To warm a cold or win a wanton heart;
  Be my avenger”——
                        Charles, with smile, not vain,
  Nor quite unmix’d with pity and disdain,
  Sate mute in wonder; but he sate not long
  Without reflection:—“Was Sir Owen wrong?
  So must I think; for can I judge it right
  To treat a lovely lady with despite,
  Because she play’d too roughly with the love      320
  Of a fond man whom she could not approve?
  And yet, to vex him for the love he bore
  Is cause enough for his revenge, and more.
    “But, thoughts, to council!—Do I wear a charm
  That will preserve my citadel from harm?
  Like the good knight, I have a heart that feels
  The wounds that beauty makes and kindness heals:
  Beauty she has, it seems, but is not kind—
  So found Sir Owen, and so I may find.
    “Yet why, O! heart of tinder, why afraid?      330
  Comes so much danger from so fair a maid?
  Wilt thou be made a voluntary prize
  To the fierce firing of two wicked eyes?
  Think her a foe, and on the danger rush,
  Nor let thy kindred for a coward blush.
    “But how if this fair creature should incline
  To think too highly of this love of mine,
  And, taking all my counterfeit address
  For sterling passion, should the like profess?
    “Nay, this is folly; or, if I perceive      340
  Ought of the kind, I can but take my leave;
  And if the heart should feel a little sore,
  Contempt and anger will its ease restore.
    “Then, too, to his all-bounteous hand I owe
  All I possess, and almost all I know;
  And shall I for my friend no hazard run,
  Who seeks no more for all his love has done?
    “’Tis but to meet and bow, to talk and smile,
  To act a part, and put on love awhile;
  And the good knight shall see, this trial made,      350
  That I have just his talents to persuade;
  For why the lady should her heart bestow      }
  On me, or I of her enamour’d grow,      }
  There’s none can reason give, there’s none can danger show.”      }
    These were his rapid thoughts, and then he spoke.
  “I make a promise, and will not revoke;
  You are my judge in what is fit and right,
  And I obey you—bid me love or fight;
  Yet had I rather, so the act could meet
  With your concurrence, not to play the cheat;      360
  In a fair cause”——“Charles, fighting for your king,
  Did you e’er judge the merits of the thing?
  Show me a monarch who has cause like mine,
  And yet what soldier would his cause decline?”
    Poor Charles or saw not, or refused to see,
  How weak the reasoning of our hopes may be,
  And said—“Dear uncle, I my king obey’d,
  And for his glory’s sake the soldier play’d;
  Now a like duty shall your nephew rule,
  And for your vengeance I will play the fool.”      370
    ’Twas well; but ere they parted for repose,
  A solemn oath must the engagement close.
  “Swear to me, nephew, from the day you meet
  This cruel girl, there shall be no deceit;
  That by all means approved and used by man
  You win this dangerous woman, if you can;
  That, being won, you my commands obey,
  Leave her lamenting, and pursue your way;
  And that, as in my business, you will take
  My will as guide, and no resistance make:      380
  Take now an oath—within the volume look,
  There is the Gospel—swear, and kiss the book.”
    “It cannot be,” thought Charles, “he cannot rest
  In this strange humour—it is all a jest,
  All but dissimulation—Well, sir, there;
  Now I have sworn as you would have me swear.”
    “’Tis well,” the uncle said in solemn tone;
  “Now send me vengeance, Fate, and groan for groan!”
    The time is come: the soldier now must meet
  Th’ unconscious object of the sworn deceit.      390
  They meet; each other’s looks the pair explore,
  And, such their fortune, wish’d to part no more.
    Whether a man is thus disposed to break
  An evil compact he was forced to make,
  Or whether some contention in the breast
  Will not permit a feeling heart to rest;
  Or was it nature, who in every case
  Has made such mind subjected to such face:
  Whate’er the cause, no sooner met the pair
  Than both began to love, and one to feel despair.      400
    But the fair damsel saw with strong delight
  Th’ impression made, and gloried in the sight.
  No chilling doubt alarm’d her tender breast,
  But she rejoiced in all his looks profess’d;
  Long ere his words her lover’s hopes convey’d,
  They warm’d the bosom of the conscious maid;
  One spirit seem’d each nature to inspire,
  And the two hearts were fix’d in one desire.
    “Now,” thought the courteous maid, “my father’s friend
  Will ready pardon to my fault extend;      410
  He shall no longer lead that hermit’s life,
  But love his mistress in his nephew’s wife;
  My humble duty shall his anger kill,      }
  And I who fled his love will meet his will,      }
  Prevent his least desire, and every wish fulfil.”      }
    Hail, happy power! that to the present lends
  Such views; not all on Fortune’s wheel depends:
  Hope, fair enchantress, drives each cloud away,
  And now enjoys the glad, but distant, day.
    Still fears ensued; for love produces fear.—      420
  “To this dear maid can I indeed be dear?
  My fatal oath, alas! I now repent;
  Stern in his purpose, he will not relent;
  Would, ere that oath, I had Camilla seen!
  I had not then my honour’s victim been;
  I must be honest, yet I know not how,
  ’Tis crime to break, and death to keep my vow.”
    Sir Owen closely watch’d both maid and man,
  And saw with joy proceed his cruel plan;
  Then gave his praise—“She has it—has it deep      430}
  In her capricious heart—it murders sleep;      }
  You see the looks that grieve, you see the eyes that weep;      }
  Now breathe again, dear youth, the kindling fire,
  And let her feel what she could once inspire.”
    Alas! obedience was an easy task,
  So might he cherish what he meant to ask;
  He ventured soon, for Love prepared his way,
  He sought occasion, he forbad delay;
  In spite of vow foregone he taught the youth
  The looks of passion, and the words of truth;      440
  In spite of woman’s caution, doubt, and fear,
  He bade her credit all she wish’d to hear;
  An honest passion ruled in either breast,
  And both believed the truth that both profess’d.
    But now, ’mid all her new-born hopes, the eyes
  Of fair Camilla saw through all disguise,
  Reserve, and apprehension—Charles, who now
  Grieved for his duty, and abhorr’d his vow,
  Told the full fact, and it endear’d him more;
  She felt her power, and pardon’d all he swore,      450
  Since to his vow he could his wish prefer,
  And loved the man who gave his world for her.
    What must they do, and how their work begin,
  Can they that temper to their wishes win?
  They tried, they fail’d; and all they did t’ assuage
  The tempest of his soul provoked his rage;
  The uncle met the youth with angry look,
  And cried, “Remember, sir, the oath you took;
  You have my pity, Charles, but nothing more,
  Death, and death only, shall her peace restore;      460
  And am I dying?—I shall live to view
  The harlot’s sorrow, and enjoy it too.
    “How! Words offend you? I have borne for years
  Unheeded anguish, shed derided tears,
  Felt scorn in every look, endured the stare
  Of wondering fools, who never felt a care;
  On me all eyes were fix’d, and I the while
  Sustain’d the insult of a rival’s smile.
    “And shall I now—entangled thus my foe—
  My honest vengeance for a boy forego?      470
  A boy forewarn’d, forearm’d? Shall this be borne,
  And I be cheated, Charles, and thou forsworn?
  Hope not, I say, for thou mayst change as well      }
  The sentence graven on the gates of hell—      }
  Here bid adieu to hope—here hopeless beings dwell.      }
    “But does she love thee, Charles? I cannot live
  Dishonour’d, unrevenged—I may forgive,
  But to thy oath I bind thee; on thy soul
  Seek not my injured spirit to control;
  Seek not to soften; I am hard of heart,      480}
  Harden’d by insult:—leave her now, and part,      }
  And let me know she grieves while I enjoy her smart.”      }
    Charles first in anger to the knight replied,
  Then felt the clog upon his soul, and sigh’d:
  To his obedience made his wishes stoop,
  And now admitted, now excluded hope;
  As lovers do, he saw a prospect fair,
  And then so dark, he sank into despair.
    The uncle grieved; he even told the youth
  That he was sorry, and it seem’d a truth;      490
  But, though it vex’d, it varied not his mind;
  He bound himself, and would his nephew bind.
    “I told him this, placed danger in his view,
  Bade him be certain, bound him to be true;
  And shall I now my purposes reject,
  Because my warnings were of no effect?”
    Thus felt Sir Owen as a man whose cause
  Is very good—it had his own applause.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Our knight a tenant had in high esteem,
  His constant boast, when justice was his theme:      500
  He praised the farmer’s sense, his shrewd discourse,
  Free without rudeness, manly, and not coarse;
  As farmer, tenant, nay, as man, the knight
  Thought Ellis all that is approved and right.
  Then he was happy, and some envy drew,
  For knowing more than other farmers knew;
  They call’d him learned, and it sooth’d their pride,
  While he in his was pleased and gratified.
    Still more t’ offend, he to the altar led
  The vicar’s niece, to early reading bred;      510
  Who, though she freely ventured on the life,
  Could never fully be the farmer’s wife;
  She had a softness, gentleness, and ease,
  Sure a coarse mind to humble and displease.
  O! had she never known a fault beside,
  How vain their spite, how impotent their pride!
    Three darling girls the happy couple bless’d,
  Who now the sweetest lot of life possess’d;
  For what can more a grateful spirit move
  Than health, with competence, and peace, with love?      520
    Ellis would sometimes, thriving man! retire
  To the town inn, and quit the parlour fire;
  But he was ever kind where’er he went,      }
  And trifling sums in his amusements spent;      }
  He bought, he thought, for her—she should have been content.      }
  Oft, when he cash received at Smithfield mart,
  At Cranbourn-alley he would leave a part;
  And, if to town he follow’d what he sold,
  Sure was his wife a present to behold.
    Still, when his evenings at the inn were spent,      530
  She mused at home in sullen discontent;
  And, sighing, yielded to a wish that some
  With social spirit to the farm would come.
  There was a farmer in the place, whose name,
  And skill in rural arts, was known to fame;
  He had a pupil, by his landlord sent,
  On terms that gave the parties much content:
  The youth those arts, and those alone, should learn;
  With aught beside his guide had no concern.
  He might to neighb’ring towns or distant ride,      540
  And there amusements seek without a guide;
  With handsome prints his private room was graced,      }
  His music there, and there his books were placed;      }
  Men knew not if he farm’d, but they allow’d him taste.      }
    Books, prints, and music, cease, at times, to charm,
  And sometimes men can neither ride nor farm;
  They look for kindred minds, and Cecil found,
  In Farmer Ellis, one inform’d and sound;
  But in his wife—I hate the fact I tell—
  A lovely being, who could please too well;      550
  And he was one who never would deny
  Himself a pleasure, or indeed would try.
    Early and well the wife of Ellis knew
  Where danger was, and trembled at the view;
  So evil spirits tremble, but are still
  Evil, and lose not the rebellious will.
  She sought not safety from the fancied crime,
  “And why retreat before the dangerous time?”
    Oft came the student of the farm and read,
  And found his mind with more than reading fed:      560
  This Ellis seeing, left them, or he staid,
  As pleased him, not offended nor afraid:
  He came in spirits with his girls to play,
  Then ask excuse, and, laughing, walk away:
  When, as he entered, Cecil ceased to read,
  He would exclaim, “Proceed, my friend, proceed!”
  Or, sometimes weary, would to bed retire,
  And fear and anger by his ease inspire.
    “My conversation does he then despise?
  Leaves he this slighted face for other eyes?”      570
  So said Alicia; and she dwelt so long
  Upon that thought, to leave her was to wrong.
    Alas! the woman loved the soothing tongue,
  That yet pronounced her beautiful and young;
  The tongue that, seeming careless, ever praised;
  The eye that, roving, on her person gazed;
  The ready service, on the watch to please;
  And all such sweet, small courtesies as these.
    Still there was virtue, but a rolling stone
  On a hill’s brow is not more quickly gone;      580
  The slightest motion—ceasing from our care—
  A moment’s absence—when we’re not aware—
  When down it rolls, and at the bottom lies,
  Sunk, lost, degraded, never more to rise!
  Far off the glorious height from whence it fell,
  With all things base and infamous to dwell.
  Friendship with woman is a dangerous thing—
  Thence hopes avow’d and bold confessions spring;
  Frailties confess’d to other frailties lead,
  And new confessions new desires succeed;      590
  And, when the friends have thus their hearts disclosed,
  They find how little is to guilt opposed.
    The foe’s attack will on the fort begin,
  When he is certain of a friend within.
    When all was lost—or, in the lover’s sight,
  When all was won—the lady thought of flight.
    “What! sink a slave?” she said, “and with deceit
  The rigid virtue of a husband meet?
  No! arm’d with death, I would his fury brave,
  And own the justice of the blow he gave!      600
  But thus to see him easy, careless, cold,
  And his confiding folly to behold;
  To feel incessant fears that he should read,
  In looks assumed, the cause whence they proceed,
  I cannot brook; nor will I here abide
  Till chance betrays the crime that shame would hide.
  Fly with me, Henry!” Henry sought in vain
  To soothe her terrors and her griefs restrain;
  He saw the lengths that women dared to go,
  And fear’d the husband both as friend and foe.      610
  Of farming weary—for the guilty mind
  Can no resource in guiltless studies find—
  Left to himself, his mother all unknown,
  His titled father, loth the boy to own,
  Had him to decent expectations bred,
  A favour’d offspring of a lawless bed;
  And would he censure one who should pursue
  The way he took? Alicia yet was new;
  Her passion pleased him; he agreed on flight;
  They fix’d the method, and they chose the night.      620
    Then, while the farmer read of public crimes,
  Collating coolly [Chronicle] and Times,
  The flight was taken by the guilty pair,
  That made one passage in the columns there.
    The heart of Ellis bled; the comfort, pride,
  The hope and stay of his existence, died;
  Rage from the ruin of his peace arose,
  And he would follow and destroy his foes;
  Would with wild haste the guilty pair pursue,
  And when he found—Good heaven? what would he do?      630
    That wretched woman he would wildly seize,
  And agonize her heart, his own to ease;
  That guilty man would grasp, and in her sight
  Insult his pangs, and her despair excite;
  Bring death in view, and then the stroke suspend,
  And draw out tortures till his life should end;
  O! it should stand recorded in all time,
  How they transgress’d, and he avenged the crime!
    In this bad world should all his business cease,
  He would not seek—he would not taste of peace;      640
  But wrath should live till vengeance had her due,
  And with his wrath his life should perish too.
    His girls—not his—he would not be so weak—
  Child was a word he never more must speak!
  How did he know what villains had defiled
  His honest bed?—He spurn’d the name of child:
  Keep them he must; but he would coarsely hide
  Their forms, and nip the growth of woman’s pride;
  He would consume their flesh, abridge their food,
  And kill the mother-vices in their blood.      650

                  *       *       *       *       *

    All this Sir Owen heard, and grieved for all;
  He with the husband mourn’d Alicia’s fall;
  But urged the vengeance with a spirit strong,
  As one whose own rose high against the wrong.
  He saw his tenant by this passion moved,
  Shared in his wrath, and his revenge approved.
    Years now unseen, he mourn’d this tenant’s fate,
  And wonder’d how he bore his widow’d state;
  Still he would mention Ellis with the pride
  Of one who felt himself to worth allied.      660
  Such were his notions—had been long, but now
  He wish’d to see if vengeance lived, and how;
  He doubted not a mind so strong must feel
  Most righteously, and righteous measures deal.
    Then would he go, and haply he might find
  Some new excitement for a weary mind;
  Might learn the miseries of a pair undone,
  One scorn’d and hated, lost and perish’d one.
  Yes, he would praise to virtuous anger give,
  And so his vengeance should be nursed and live.      670
    Ellis was glad to see his landlord come,      }
  A transient joy broke in upon his gloom,      }
  And pleased he led the knight to the superior room;      }
  Where she was wont in happier days to sit,
  Who paid with smiles his condescending wit.
    There the sad husband, who had seldom been
  Where prints acquired in happier days were seen,
  Now struck by these, and carried to the past,
  A painful look on every object cast.
  Sir Owen saw his tenant’s troubled state,      680
  But still he wish’d to know the offenders’ fate.
    “Know you they suffer, Ellis?”—Ellis knew;
  “’Tis well! ’tis just! but have they all their due?
  Have they in mind and body, head and heart,
  Sustain’d the pangs of their accursed part!”—
    “They have!”—“’Tis well!”—“and wants enough to shake
  The firmest mind, the stoutest heart to break.”—
    “But have you seen them in such misery dwell?”—
  “In misery past description.”—“That is well.”
    “Alas! Sir Owen, it perhaps is just;      690
  Yet I began my purpose to distrust;
  For they to justice have discharged a debt,
  That vengeance surely may her claim forget.”—
    “Man, can you pity?”—
                          “As a man I feel
  Miseries like theirs.”—
                      “But never would you heal?”—
    “Hear me, Sir Owen:—I had sought them long,
  Urged by the pain of ever present wrong,
  Yet had not seen; and twice the year came round—
  Years hateful now—ere I my victims found.
  But I did find them, in the dungeon’s gloom      700
  Of a small garret—a precarious home;
  For that depended on the weekly pay,
  And they were sorely frighten’d on the day.
  But there they linger’d on from week to week,
  Haunted by ills of which ’tis hard to speak;
  For they are many and vexatious all,
  The very smallest—but they none were small.
    “The roof, unceil’d in patches, gave the snow
  Entrance within, and there were heaps below;
  I pass’d a narrow region dark and cold,      710
  The strait of stairs to that infectious hold;
  And, when I enter’d, misery met my view      }
  In every shape she wears, in every hue,      }
  And the bleak icy blast across the dungeon flew;      }
  There frown’d the ruin’d walls that once were white;
  There gleam’d the panes that once admitted light;
  There lay unsavoury scraps of wretched food;
  And there a measure, void of fuel, stood.
  But who shall part by part describe the state
  Of these, thus follow’d by relentless fate?      720
  All, too, in winter, when the icy air
  Breathed its bleak venom on the guilty pair.
    “That man, that Cecil!—he was left, it seems,
  Unnamed, unnoticed: farewell to his dreams!
  Heirs made by law rejected him of course,
  And left him neither refuge nor resource.—
  Their father’s? No; he was the harlot’s son      }
  Who wrong’d them, whom their duty bade them shun;      }
  And they were duteous all, and he was all undone.      }
    “Now the lost pair, whom better times had led      730
  To part disputing, shared their sorrow’s bed;
  Their bed!—I shudder as I speak—and shared
  Scraps to their hunger by the hungry spared.”—
    “Man! my good Ellis! can you sigh?”—“I can:
  In short, Sir Owen, I must feel as man;
  And could you know the miseries they endured,
  The poor, uncertain pittance they procured;
  When, laid aside the needle and the pen,
  Their sickness won the neighbours of their den,
  Poor as they are—and they are passing poor—      740
  To lend some aid to those who needed more;
  Then, too, an ague with the winter came;      }
  And, in this state—that wife I cannot name      }
  Brought forth a famish’d child of suffering and of shame.      }
    “This had you known, and traced them to this scene,
  Where all was desolate, defiled, unclean,
  A fireless room, and, where a fire had place,
  The blast loud howling down the empty space—
  You must have felt a part of the distress,
  Forgot your wrongs, and made their suffering less!”—      750
    “Sought you them, Ellis, from the mean intent
  To give them succour?”—
                          “What indeed I meant
  At first was vengeance; but I long pursued
  The pair, and I at last their misery view’d
  In that vile garret, which I cannot paint—
  The sight was loathsome, and the smell was faint;
  And there that wife, whom I had loved so well,
  And thought so happy, was condemn’d to dwell;
  The gay, the grateful wife, whom I was glad
  To see in dress beyond our station clad,      760
  And to behold among our neighbours fine,
  More than perhaps became a wife of mine:
  And now among her neighbours to explore,
  And see her poorest of the very poor!—
  I would describe it, but I bore a part,
  Nor can explain the feelings of the heart;
  Yet memory since has aided me to trace
  The horrid features of that dismal place.
  There she reclined unmoved, her bosom bare
  To her companion’s unimpassion’d stare,      770
  And my wild wonder—Seat of virtue! chaste,
  As lovely once! O! how wert thou disgraced!
  Upon that breast, by sordid rags defiled,
  Lay the wan features of a famish’d child;—
  That sin-born babe in utter misery laid,
  Too feebly wretched even to cry for aid;
  The ragged sheeting, o’er her person drawn,
  Served for the dress that hunger placed in pawn.
    “At the bed’s feet the man reclined his frame;
  Their chairs were perish’d to support the flame      780
  That warm’d his agued limbs, and, sad to see,
  That shook him fiercely as he gazed on me.
    “I was confused in this unhappy view:
  My wife! my friend! I could not think it true;
  My children’s mother—my Alicia—laid
  On such a bed! so wretched—so afraid!
  And her gay, young seducer, in the guise
  Of all we dread, abjure, defy, despise,
  And all the fear and terror in his look,
  Still more my mind to its foundation shook.      790
  At last he spoke:—‘Long since I would have died,      }
  But could not leave her, though for death I sigh’d,      }
  And tried the poison’d cup, and dropt it as I tried.      }
    “‘She is a woman, and that famish’d thing
  Makes her to life, with all its evils, cling;
  Feed her, and let her breathe her last in peace,
  And all my sufferings with your promise cease!’
    “Ghastly he smiled;—I knew not what I felt,
  But my heart melted—hearts of flint would melt,
  To see their anguish, penury, and shame,      800
  How base, how low, how groveling they became.
  I could not speak my purpose, but my eyes
  And my expression bade the creature rise.
    “Yet, O! that woman’s look! my words are vain
  Her mix’d and troubled feelings to explain;
  True, there was shame and consciousness of fall,      }
  But yet remembrance of my love withal,      }
  And knowledge of that power which she would now recal.      }
    “But still the more that she to memory brought,
  The greater anguish in my mind was wrought;      810
  The more she tried to bring the past in view,
  She greater horror on the present threw;
  So that, for love or pity, terror thrill’d
  My blood, and vile and odious thoughts instill’d.
    “This war within, these passions in their strife,
  If thus protracted, had exhausted life;
  But the strong view of these departed years
  Caused a full burst of salutary tears;
  And, as I wept at large, and thought alone,
  I felt my reason re-ascend her throne.”      820
    “My friend!” Sir Owen answer’d, “what became
  Of your just anger?—when you saw their shame,
  It was your triumph, and you should have shown
  Strength, if not joy—their sufferings were their own.”—
    “Alas, for them! their own in very deed!
  And they of mercy had the greater need;
  Their own by purchase, for their frailty paid—
  And wanted heaven’s own justice human aid?
  And seeing this, could I beseech my God
  For deeper misery, and a heavier rod?”      830
    “But could you help them?”—“Think, Sir Owen, how
  I saw them then—methinks I see them now!
  She had not food, nor aught a mother needs,
  Who for another life and dearer feeds.
  I saw her speechless; on her wither’d breast
  The wither’d child extended, but not prest,
  Who sought, with moving lip and feeble cry,
  Vain instinct! for the fount without supply.
    “Sure it was all a grievous, odious scene,      }
  Where all was dismal, melancholy, mean,      840}
  Foul with compell’d neglect, unwholesome, and unclean;      }
  That arm—that eye—the cold, the sunken cheek—
  Spoke all, Sir Owen—fiercely miseries speak!”—
    “And you relieved?”—
                          “If hell’s seducing crew
  Had seen that sight, they must have pitied too.”—
    “Revenge was thine—thou hadst the power, the right;
  To give it up was heaven’s own act to slight.”—
    “Tell me not, sir, of rights, and wrongs, or powers!
  I felt it written—Vengeance is not ours!”—
    “Well, Ellis, well!—I find these female foes,      850
  Or good or ill, will murder our repose;
  And we, when Satan tempts them, take the cup,
  The fruit of their foul sin, and drink it up;
  But shall our pity all our claims remit,
  And we the sinners of their guilt acquit?”—
    “And what, Sir Owen, will our vengeance do?      }
  It follows us when we our foe pursue,      }
  And, as we strike the blow, it smites the smiters too.”—      }
    “What didst thou, man?”—
                              “I brought them to a cot
  Behind your larches—a sequester’d spot,      860
  Where dwells the woman; I believe her mind
  Is now enlighten’d—I am sure, resign’d.
  She gave her infant, though with aching heart
  And faltering spirit, to be nursed apart.”—
    “And that vile scoundrel”——
                            “Nay, his name restore,
  And call him Cecil,—for he is no more.
  When my vain help was offer’d, he was past
  All human aid, and shortly breathed his last;
  But his heart open’d, and he lived to see
  Guilt in himself, and find a friend in me.      870
    “Strange was their parting—parting on the day
  I offer’d help, and took the man away,
  Sure not to meet again, and not to live
  And taste of joy—He feebly cried, ‘Forgive!
  I have thy guilt, thou mine, but now adieu!      }
  Tempters and tempted! what will thence ensue      }
  I know not, dare not think!’—He said, and he withdrew.”—      }
    “But, Ellis, tell me, didst thou thus desire
  To heap upon their heads those coals of fire?”—
    “If fire to melt, that feeling is confest,—      880
  If fire to shame, I let that question rest;
  But if aught more the sacred words imply,
  I know it not—no commentator I.”—
    “Then did you freely from your soul forgive?”—
    “Sure as I hope before my Judge to live,
  Sure as I trust his mercy to receive,
  Sure as his word I honour and believe,
  Sure as the Saviour died upon the tree      }
  For all who sin,—for that dear wretch and me,—      }
  Whom never more on earth will I forsake or see.”      890}

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Sir Owen softly to his bed adjourn’d,
  Sir Owen quickly to his home return’d;
  And all the way he meditating dwelt
  On what this man in his affliction felt:
  How he, resenting first, forbore, forgave,
  His passion’s lord, and not his anger’s slave;
  And as he rode he seem’d to fear the deed
  Should not be done, and urged unwonted speed.
    Arrived at home, he scorn’d the change to hide,
  Nor would indulge a mean and selfish pride,      900
  That would some little at a time recal
  Th’ avenging vow; he now was frankness all.
  He saw his nephew, and with kindness spoke—
  “Charles, I repent my purpose, and revoke;
  Take her—I’m taught, and would I could repay
  The generous teacher; hear me, and obey.
  Bring me the dear coquette, and let me vow
  On lips half perjured to be passive now:
  Take her, and let me thank the powers divine
  She was not stolen when her hand was mine,      910
  Or when her heart—Her smiles I must forget,
  She my revenge, and cancel either debt.”
    Here ends our tale, for who will doubt the bliss
  Of ardent lovers in a case like this?
  And if Sir Owen’s was not half so strong,
  It may, perchance, continue twice as long.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIII.

                          _DELAY HAS DANGER._

  Morning Excursion—Lady at Silford, who?—Reflections on Delay—Cecilia
    and Henry—The Lovers contracted—Visit to the Patron—Whom he finds
    there—Fanny described—The yielding of Vanity—Delay—Resentment—Want
    of Resolution—Further Entanglement—Danger—How met—Conclusion.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIII.

                          _DELAY HAS DANGER._

  Three weeks had past, and Richard rambles now
  Far as the dinners of the day allow;
  He rode to Farley Grange and Finley Mere,
  That house so ancient, and that lake so clear:
  He rode to Ripley through that river gay,
  Where in the shallow stream the loaches play,
  And stony fragments stay the winding stream,
  And gilded pebbles at the bottom gleam,
  Giving their yellow surface to the sun,
  And making proud the waters as they run.      10
  It is a lovely place, and at the side
  Rises a mountain-rock in rugged pride;
  And in that rock are shapes of shells, and forms
  Of creatures in old worlds, of nameless worms,
  Whole generations lived and died ere man,
  A worm of other class, to crawl began.
    There is a town call’d Silford, where his steed
  Our traveller rested—He the while would feed
  His mind by walking to and fro, to meet,
  He knew not what adventure, in the street—      20
  A stranger there; but yet a window-view
  Gave him a face that he conceived he knew;
  He saw a tall, fair, lovely lady, dress’d
  As one whom taste and wealth had jointly bless’d;
  He gazed, but soon a footman at the door
  Thundering, alarm’d her, who was seen no more.
    “This was the lady whom her lover bound
  In solemn contract, and then proved unsound:
  Of this affair I have a clouded view,
  And should be glad to have it clear’d by you.”      30
    So Richard spake, and instant George replied,
  I had the story from the injured side,
  But when resentment and regret were gone,
  And pity (shaded by contempt) came on.
  Frail was the hero of my tale, but still
  Was rather drawn by accident than will.
  Some without meaning into guilt advance,
  From want of guard, from vanity, from chance;
  Man’s weakness flies his more immediate pain,
  A little respite from his fears to gain,      40
  And takes the part that he would gladly fly,
  If he had strength and courage to deny.
    “But now my tale; and let the moral say,
  When hope can sleep, there’s danger in delay.
  Not that for rashness, Richard, I would plead,
  For unadvised alliance—No, indeed.
  Think ere the contract—but, contracted, stand
  No more debating, take the ready hand.
  When hearts are willing, and when fears subside,
  Trust not to time, but let the knot be tied;      50
  For when a lover has no more to do,      }
  He thinks in leisure, what shall I pursue?      }
  And then, who knows what objects come in view?      }
  For when, assured, the man has nought to keep
  His wishes warm and active, then they sleep;
  Hopes die with fears; and then a man must lose
  All the gay visions, and delicious views,
  Once his mind’s wealth! He travels at his ease,
  Nor horrors now nor fairy-beauty sees.
  When the kind goddess gives the wish’d assent,      60
  No mortal business should the deed prevent;
  But the blest youth should legal sanction seek
  Ere yet the assenting blush has fled the cheek.
    “And—hear me, Richard—man has reptile-pride
  That often rises when his fears subside;
  When, like a trader feeling rich, he now
  Neglects his former smile, his humble bow,
  And, conscious of his hoarded wealth, assumes
  New airs, nor thinks how odious he becomes.
    “There is a wandering, wavering train of thought      70
  That something seeks where nothing should be sought,
  And will a self-delighted spirit move
  To dare the danger of pernicious love.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    First, be it granted all was duly said
  By the fond youth to the believing maid;
  Let us suppose with many a sigh there came
  The declaration of the deathless flame;—
  And so her answer—“She was happy then,
  Blest in herself, and did not think of men;
  And, with such comforts in her present state,      80
  A wish to change it was to tempt her fate;
  That she would not; but yet she would confess      }
  With him, she thought, her hazard would be less;      }
  Nay more, she would esteem, she would regard express;      }
  But, to be brief—if he could wait and see
  In a few years what his desires would be.”—
    Henry for years read months, then weeks, nor found
  The lady thought his judgment was unsound;
  “For months read weeks,” she read it to his praise,
  And had some thoughts of changing it to _days_.      90
    And here a short excursion let me make,
  A lover tried, I think, for lovers’ sake;
  And teach the meaning in a lady’s mind,
  When you can none in her expressions find.
  Words are design’d that meaning to convey;      }
  But often _Yea_ is hidden in a _Nay_!      }
  And, what the charmer wills, some gentle hints betray.      }
  Then, too, when ladies mean to yield at length,
  They match their reasons with the lover’s strength,
  And, kindly cautious, will no force employ      100
  But such as he can baffle or destroy.
    As, when heroic lovers beauty woo’d,
  And were by magic’s mighty art withstood,
  The kind historian, for the dame afraid,
  Gave to the faithful knight the stronger aid.
    A downright “_No!_” would make a man despair,
  Or leave for kinder nymph the cruel fair;
  But “_No!_ because I’m very happy now;
  Because I dread th’ irrevocable vow;
  Because I fear papa will not approve;      110
  Because I love not—No, I cannot love;
  Because you men of Cupid make a jest;
  Because——in short, a single life is best.”
  A “_No!_” when back’d by reasons of such force,
  Invites approach, and will recede of course.
    Ladies, like towns besieged, for honour’s sake,
  Will some defence or its appearance make;
  On first approach there’s much resistance made,
  And conscious weakness hides in bold parade;
  With lofty looks, and threat’nings stern and proud,      120
  “Come, if you dare,” is said in language loud.
  But, if th’ attack be made with care and skill,
  “Come,” says the yielding party, “if you will;”
  Then each the other’s valiant acts approve,
  And twine their laurels in a wreath of love.—
    We now retrace our tale, and forward go,—
  Thus Henry rightly read Cecilia’s “No!”
  His prudent father, who had duly weigh’d,
  And well approved the fortune of the maid,
  Not much resisted—just enough to show      130
  He knew his power, and would his son should know.
    “Harry, I will, while I your bargain make,
  That you a journey to our patron take.
  I know her guardian; care will not become
  A lad when courting; as you must be dumb,
  You may be absent; I for you will speak,
  And ask what you are not supposed to seek.”
    Then came the parting hour—and what arise
  When lovers part! expressive looks and eyes,
  Tender and tear-full—many a fond adieu,      140
  And many a call the sorrow to renew;
  Sighs such as lovers only can explain,
  And words that they might undertake in vain.
    Cecilia liked it not; she had, in truth,
  No mind to part with her enamour’d youth;
  But thought it foolish thus themselves to cheat,
  And part for nothing but again to meet.
    Now Henry’s father was a man whose heart
  Took with his interest a decided part;
  He [knew] his lordship, and was known for acts      150
  That I omit—they were acknowledged facts;
  An interest somewhere—I the place forget,
  And the good deed—no matter—’twas a debt.
  Thither must Henry, and in vain the maid
  Express’d dissent—the father was obey’d.
    But, though the maid was by her fears assail’d,
  Her reason rose against them, and prevail’d;
  Fear saw him hunting, leaping, falling—led,      }
  Maim’d and disfigured, groaning to his bed;      }
  Saw him in perils, duels—dying—dead.      160}
    But Prudence answer’d, “Is not every maid
  With equal cause for him she loves afraid?”
  And from her guarded mind Cecilia threw
  The groundless terrors that will love pursue.
    She had no doubts, and her reliance strong
  Upon the honour that she would not wrong.
  Firm in herself, she doubted not the truth
  Of him, the chosen, the selected youth;
  Trust of herself a trust in him supplied;      }
  And she believed him faithful, though untried;      170}
  On her he might depend, in him she would confide.      }
    If some fond girl express’d a tender pain
  Lest some fair rival should allure her swain:
  To such she answer’d, with a look severe,
  “Can one you doubt be worthy of your fear?”
    My lord was kind—a month had pass’d away,      }
  And Henry stay’d—he sometimes named a day;      }
  But still my lord was kind, and Henry still must stay.      }
  His father’s words to him were words of fate—
  “Wait, ’tis your duty; ’tis my pleasure, wait!”      180
    In all his walks, in hilly heath or wood,
  Cecilia’s form the pensive youth pursued;
  In the gray morning, in the silent noon,      }
  In the soft twilight, by the sober moon,      }
  In those forsaken rooms, in that immense saloon;      }
  And he, now fond of that seclusion grown,
  There reads her letters, and there writes his own.
    “Here none approach,” said he, “to interfere,
  But I can think of my Cecilia here!”
    But there did come—and how it came to pass      190
  Who shall explain?—a mild and blue-eyed lass.—
  It was the work of accident, no doubt—      }
  The cause unknown—we say, “as things fall out”—      }
  The damsel enter’d there, in wand’ring round about.      }
  At first she saw not Henry; and she ran,
  As from a ghost, when she beheld a man.
    She was esteem’d a beauty through the hall,
  And so admitted, with consent of all;
  And, like a treasure, was her beauty kept
  From every guest who in the mansion slept;      200
  Whether as friends who join’d the noble pair,
  Or those invited by the steward there.
    She was the daughter of a priest, whose life
  Was brief and sad: he lost a darling wife,
  And Fanny then her father, who could save
  But a small portion; but his all he gave,
  With the fair orphan, to a sister’s care,
  And her good spouse; they were the ruling pair—
  Steward and steward’s lady—o’er a tribe,
  Each under each, whom I shall not describe.      210
    This grave old couple, childless and alone,
  Would, by their care, for Fanny’s loss atone:
  She had been taught in schools of honest fame;
  And to the hall, as to a home, she came,
  My lord assenting; yet, as meet and right,
  Fanny was held from every hero’s sight,
  Who might in youthful error cast his eyes
  On one so gentle as a lawful prize,
  On border land, whom, as their right or prey,
  A youth from either side might bear away.      220
  Some handsome lover of th’ inferior class
  Might as a wife approve the lovely lass;
  Or some invader from the class above,      }
  Who, more presuming, would his passion prove      }
  By asking less—love only for his love.      }
    This much experienced aunt her fear express’d,
  And dread of old and young, of host and guest.
    “Go not, my Fanny, in their way,” she cried;      }
  “It is not right that virtue should be tried;      }
  So, to be safe, be ever at my side.”      230}
    She was not ever at that side; but still
  Observed her precepts, and obey’d her will.
    But in the morning’s dawn and evening’s gloom
  She could not lock the damsel in her room;
  And Fanny thought, “I will ascend these stairs
  To see the chapel—there are none at prayers”;
  None, she believed, had yet to dress return’d,
  By whom a timid girl might be discern’d,
  In her slow motion, looking, as she glides,
  On pictures, busts, and what she met besides,      240
  And speaking softly to herself alone,
  Or singing low in melancholy tone;
  And thus she rambled through the still domain,
  Room after room, again, and yet again.
    But, to retrace our story, still we say,
  To this saloon the maiden took her way;
  Where she beheld our youth, and frighten’d ran,
  And so their friendship in her fear began.
    But dare she thither once again advance,
  And still suppose the man will think it chance?      250
  Nay, yet again; and what has chance to do
  With this?—I know not; doubtless Fanny knew.
    Now, of the meeting of a modest maid
  And sober youth why need we be afraid?
  And when a girl’s amusements are so few
  As Fanny’s were, what would you have her do?
  Reserved herself, a decent youth to find,
  And just be civil, sociable, and kind,
  And look together at the setting sun,
  Then at each other—What the evil done?      260
    Then Fanny took my little lord to play,
  And bade him not intrude on Henry’s way.
  “O, he intrudes not!” said the youth, and grew
  Fond of the child, and would amuse him too;
  Would make such faces, and assume such looks—
  He loved it better than his gayest books.
    When man with man would an acquaintance seek,
  He will his thoughts in chosen language speak;
  And they converse on divers themes, to find
  If they possess a corresponding mind;      270
  But man with woman has foundation laid,
  And built up friendship ere a word is said.
  ’Tis not with words that they their wishes tell,
  But with a language answering quite as well;
  And thus they find, when they begin t’explore
  Their way by speech, they knew it all before.
    And now it chanced again the pair, when dark,
  Met in their way, when wandering in the park;
  Not in the common path, for so they might,
  Without a wonder, wander day or night;      280
  But, when in pathless ways their chance will bring
  A musing pair, we do admire the thing.
    The youth in meeting read the damsel’s face,
  As if he meant her inmost thoughts to trace;
  On which her colour changed, as if she meant
  To give her aid, and help his kind intent.
    Both smiled and parted, but they did not speak—
  The smile implied, “Do tell me what you seek.”
  They took their different ways with erring feet,
  And met again, surprised that they could meet;      290
  Then must they speak—and something of the air
  Is always ready—“’Tis extremely fair!”
    “It was so pleasant!” Henry said; “the beam
  Of that sweet light so brilliant on the stream;
  And chiefly yonder, where that old cascade
  Has for an age its simple music made;
  All so delightful, soothing, and serene!
  Do you not feel it? not enjoy the scene?
  Something it has that words will not express,      }
  But rather hide, and make th’ enjoyment less:      300}
  ’Tis what our souls conceive, ’tis what our hearts confess.”      }
    Poor Fanny’s heart at these same words confess’d
  How well he painted, and how rightly guess’d;
  And, while they stood admiring their retreat,
  Henry found something like a mossy seat;
  But Fanny sat not; no, she rather pray’d
  That she might leave him, she was so afraid—
    “Not, sir, of you; your goodness I can trust;
  But folks are so censorious and unjust,
  They make no difference, they pay no regard      310
  To our true meaning, which is very hard
  And very cruel; great the pain it cost
  To lose such pleasure, but it must be lost.
  Did people know how free from thought of ill
  One’s meaning is, their malice would be still.”
    At this she wept; at least a glittering gem
  Shone in each eye, and there was fire in them,
  For, as they fell, the sparkles, at his feet,
  He felt emotions very warm and sweet.
    “A lovely creature! not more fair than good;      320
  By all admired, by some, it seems, pursued;
  Yet self-protected by her virtue’s force
  And conscious truth—What evil in discourse
  With one so guarded, who is pleased to trust
  Herself with me, reliance strong and just?”
    Our lover then believed he must not seem
  Cold to the maid who gave him her esteem;
  Not manly this; Cecilia had his heart,
  But it was lawful with his time to part.
  It would be wrong in her to take amiss      330
  A virtuous friendship for a girl like this;
  False or disloyal he would never prove,
  But kindness here took nothing from his love.
  Soldiers to serve a foreign prince are known,
  When not on present duty to their own;
  So, though our bosom’s queen we still prefer,
  We are not always on our knees to her.
  “Cecilia present, witness yon fair moon,
  And yon bright orbs, that fate would change as soon
  As my devotion; but the absent sun      340
  Cheers us no longer when his course is run;
  And then those starry twinklers may obtain
  A little worship till he shines again.”
    The father still commanded “Wait awhile;”
  And the son answer’d in submissive style,
  Grieved, but obedient; and obedience teased
  His lady’s spirit more than grieving pleased.
  That he should grieve in absence was most fit,
  But not that he to absence should submit;
  And in her letters might be traced reproof,      350
  Distant indeed, but visible enough;
  This should the wandering of his heart have stay’d;
  Alas! the wanderer was the vainer made.
    The parties daily met, as by consent,
  And yet it always seem’d by accident;
  Till in the nymph the shepherd had been blind
  If he had fail’d to see a manner kind,
  With that expressive look, that seem’d to say,
  “You do not speak, and yet you see you may.”
    O! yes, he saw, and he resolved to fly,      360
  And blamed his heart, unwilling to comply:
  He sometimes wonder’d how it came to pass,
  That he had all this freedom with the lass;
  Reserved herself, with strict attention kept,
  And care and vigilance that never slept:
  “How is it thus that they a beauty trust
  With me, who feel the confidence is just?
  And they, too, feel it; yes, they may confide;”—
  He said in folly, and he smiled in pride.
    ’Tis thus our secret passions work their way,      370
  And the poor victims know not they obey.
    Familiar now became the wandering pair,
  And there was pride and joy in Fanny’s air;
  For, though his silence did not please the maid,
  She judged him only modest and afraid.
  The gentle dames are ever pleased to find
  Their lovers dreading they should prove unkind;
  So, blind by hope, and pleased with prospects gay,      }
  The generous beauty gave her heart away      }
  Before he said, “I love!”—alas! he dared not say.      380}
    Cecilia yet was mistress of his mind,
  But oft he wish’d her, like his Fanny, kind;
  Her fondness sooth’d him, for the man was vain,
  And he perceived that he could give her pain;
  Cecilia liked not to profess her love,
  But Fanny ever was the yielding dove;
  Tender and trusting, waiting for the word,
  And then prepared to hail her bosom’s lord.
    Cecilia once her honest love avow’d,
  To make him happy, not to make him proud;      390
  But she would not, for every asking sigh,
  Confess the flame that waked his vanity;
  But this poor maiden, every day and hour,
  Would, by fresh kindness, feed the growing power;
  And he indulged, vain being! in the joy,
  That he alone could raise it, or destroy;
  A present good, from which he dared not fly,
  Cecilia absent, and his Fanny by.
    O! vain desire of youth, that in the hour
  Of strong temptation, when he feels the power,      400
  And knows how daily his desires increase,
  Yet will he wait, and sacrifice his peace;
  Will trust to chance to free him from the snare,
  Of which, long since, his conscience said, beware!
  Or look for strange deliverance from that ill,
  That he might fly, could he command the will!
  How can he freedom from the future seek,
  Who feels already that he grows too weak?
  And thus refuses to resist, till time
  Removes the power, and makes the way for crime.      410
  Yet thoughts he had, and he would think, “Forego
  My dear Cecilia? not for kingdoms! No!
  But may I, ought I, not the friend to be
  Of one who feels this fond regard for me?
  I wrong no creature by a kindness lent
  To one so gentle, mild, and innocent;
  And for that fair one, whom I still adore,
  By feeling thus I think of her the more”—
  And not unlikely, for our thoughts will tend
  To those whom we are conscious we offend.      420
    Had Reason whisper’d, “Has Cecilia leave
  Some gentle youth in friendship to receive,
  And be to him the friend that you appear      }
  To this soft girl?”—would not some jealous fear      }
  Proclaim your thoughts, that he approach’d too near?      }
    But Henry, blinded still, presumed to write
  Of one in whom Cecilia would delight:
  A mild and modest girl, a gentle friend,
  If, as he hoped, her kindness would descend—
  But what he fear’d to lose or hoped to gain      430
  By writing thus, he had been ask’d in vain.
    It was his purpose, every morn he rose,
  The dangerous friendship he had made to close;
  It was his torment nightly, ere he slept,
  To feel his prudent purpose was not kept.
    True, he has wonder’d why the timid maid
  Meets him so often, and is not afraid;
  And why that female dragon, fierce and keen,      }
  Has never in their private walks been seen;      }
  And often he has thought, “What can their silence mean?      440}
    “They can have no design, or plot, or plan,—
  In fact, I know not how the thing began,—
  ’Tis their dependence on my credit here,
  And fear not, nor, in fact, have cause to fear.”
    But did that pair, who seem’d to think that all
  Unwatch’d will wander and unguarded fall,
  Did they permit a youth and maid to meet
  Both unreproved? were they so indiscreet?
    This sometimes enter’d Henry’s mind, and then,
  “Who shall account for women or for men?”      450
  He said; “or who their secret thoughts explore?
  Why do I vex me? I will think no more.”
    My lord of late had said, in manner kind,
  “My good friend Harry, do not think us blind!”
  Letters had past, though he had nothing seen,
  His careful father and my lord between;
  But to what purpose was to him unknown—
  It might be borough business, or their own.
    Fanny, it seem’d, was now no more in dread;
  If one approach’d, she neither fear’d nor fled.      460
  He mused on this—“But wherefore her alarm?
  She knows me better, and she dreads no harm.”
    Something his father wrote that gave him pain:
  “I know not, son, if you should yet remain;—
  Be cautious, Harry; favours to procure
  We strain a point, but we must first be sure.
  Love is a folly—that, indeed, is true—      }
  But something still is to our honour due;      }
  So I must leave the thing to my good lord and you.”      }
    But from Cecilia came remonstrance strong:      470
  “You write too darkly, and you stay too long;
  We hear reports; and, Henry—mark me well—
  I heed not every tale that triflers tell;—
  Be you no trifler; dare not to believe
  That I am one whom words and vows deceive:
  You know your heart, your hazard you will learn,
  And this your trial——instantly return.”—
    “Unjust, injurious, jealous, cruel maid!      }
  Am I a slave, of haughty words afraid?      }
  Can she who thus commands expect to be obey’d?      480}
  O! how unlike this dear assenting soul,
  Whose heart a man might at his will control!”
    Uneasy, anxious, fill’d with self-reproof,
  He now resolved to quit his patron’s roof;
  And then again his vacillating mind
  To stay resolved, and that her pride should find.
  Debating thus, his pen the lover took,
  And chose the words of anger and rebuke.
    Again, yet once again, the conscious pair
  Met, and “O, speak!” was Fanny’s silent prayer;      490
  And, “I must speak,” said the embarrass’d youth,
  “Must save my honour, must confess the truth.
  Then, I must lose her; but, by slow degrees,
  She will regain her peace, and I my ease.”
    Ah! foolish man! to virtue true nor vice,
  He buys distress, and self-esteem the price;
  And what his gain?—a tender smile and sigh
  From a fond girl to feed his vanity.
    Thus, every day they lived, and every time
  They met, increased his anguish and his crime.      500
    Still in their meetings they were ofttimes nigh
  The darling theme, and then past trembling by;
  On those occasions Henry often tried
  For the sad truth—and then his heart denied
  The utterance due: thus daily he became
  The prey of weakness, vanity, and shame.
    But soon a day, that was their doubts to close,
  On the fond maid and thoughtless youth arose.
    Within the park, beside the bounding brook,
  The social pair their usual ramble took;      510
  And there the steward found them; they could trace
  News in his look, and gladness in his face.
    He was a man of riches, bluff and big,
  With clean brown broad-cloth, and with white cut wig:
  He bore a cane of price, with riband tied,
  And a fat spaniel waddled at his side.
  To every being whom he met he gave
  His looks expressive: civil, gay, or grave,
  But condescending all; and each declared
  How much he govern’d, and how well he fared.      520
    This great man bow’d, not humbly, but his bow
  Appear’d familiar converse to allow.
  The trembling Fanny, as he came in view,
  Within the chestnut grove in fear withdrew;
  While Henry wonder’d, not without a fear,
  Of that which brought th’ important man so near.
  Doubt was dispersed by—“My esteem’d young man!”
  As he with condescending grace began——
    “Though you with youthful frankness nobly trust
  Your Fanny’s friends, and doubtless think them just;      530
  Though you have not, with craving soul, applied
  To us, and ask’d the fortune of your bride:
  Be it our care that you shall not lament
  That love has made you so improvident.
    “An orphan maid——Your patience! you shall have
  Your time to speak, I now attention crave—
  Fanny, dear girl! has in my spouse and me
  Friends of a kind we wish our friends to be,
  None of the poorest——nay, sir, no reply;
  You shall not need——and we are born to die;      540
  And one yet crawls on earth, of whom I say
  That what he has he cannot take away—
  Her mother’s father, one who has a store
  Of this world’s good, and always looks for more;
  But, next his money, loves the girl at heart,
  And she will have it when they come to part.”
    “Sir,” said the youth, his terrors all awake,
  “Hear me, I pray, I beg—for mercy’s sake!
  Sir, were the secrets of my soul confess’d,
  Would you admit the truths that I protest      550
  Are such——your pardon”——
                          “Pardon! good, my friend,
  I not alone will pardon, I commend:
  Think you that I have no remembrance left
  Of youthful love, and Cupid’s cunning theft?
  How nymphs will listen when their swains persuade,
  How hearts are gain’d, and how exchange is made?—
  Come, sir, your hand”——
                         “In mercy, hear me now!”
  “I cannot hear you, time will not allow.
  You know my station, what on me depends,
  For ever needed—but we part as friends;      560
  And here comes one who will the whole explain,
  My better self—and we shall meet again.”
    “Sir, I entreat”——
                        “Then be entreaty made
  To her, a woman, one you may persuade;
  A little teasing, but she will comply,      }
  And loves her niece too fondly to deny.”      }
    “O! he is mad, and miserable I!”      }
  Exclaim’d the youth; “But let me now collect
  My scatter’d thoughts; I something must effect.”
    Hurrying she came—“Now, what has he confess’d,      570
  Ere I could come to set your heart at rest?
  What! he has grieved you! Yet he, too, approves
  The thing! but man will tease you, if he loves.
    “But now for business: tell me, did you think
  That we should always at your meetings wink?
  Think you, you walk’d unseen? There are who bring
  To me all secrets—O, you wicked thing!
  Poor Fanny! now I think I see her blush
  All red and rosy, when I beat the bush;
  And ‘hide your secret,’ said I, ‘if you dare!’      580
  So out it came, like an affrighten’d hare.
    “‘Miss!’ said I, gravely; and the trembling maid
  Pleased me at heart to see her so afraid;
  And then she wept;—now, do remember this,
  Never to chide her when she does amiss;
  For she is tender as the callow bird,
  And cannot bear to have her temper stirr’d;—
  ‘Fanny,’ I said, then whisper’d her the name,
  And caused such looks—Yes, yours are just the same;
  But hear my story—When your love was known      590
  For this our child—she is, in fact, our own—
  Then, first debating, we agreed at last
  To seek my lord, and tell him what had past.”
    “To tell the earl?”
                        “Yes, truly, and why not?
  And then together we contrived our plot.”
    “Eternal God!”
                  “Nay, be not so surprised,—
  In all the matter we were well advised;
  We saw my lord, and Lady Jane was there,
  And said to Johnson, ‘Johnson, take a chair.’
  True, we are servants in a certain way,      600}
  But in the higher places so are they;      }
  We are obey’d in ours, and they in theirs obey.—      }
  So Johnson bow’d, for that was right and fit,
  And had no scruple with the earl to sit—
  Why look you so impatient while I tell
  What they debated?—you must like it well.
    “‘Let them go on,’ our gracious earl began;
  ‘They will go off,’ said, joking, my good man:
  ‘Well!’ said the countess—she’s a lover’s friend—
  ‘What if they do? they make the speedier end.’——      610
  But be you more composed, for that dear child
  Is with her joy and apprehension wild:
  O! we have watch’d you on from day to day,
  ‘There go the lovers!’ we were wont to say—
  But why that look?”—
                        “Dear madam, I implore
  A single moment!”
                    “I can give no more:
  Here are your letters—‘that’s a female pen,’
  Said I to Fanny—‘’tis his sister’s, then,’
  Replied the maid.—No! never must you stray;
  Or hide your wanderings, if you should, I pray;      620
  I know, at least I fear, the best may err,
  But keep the by-walks of your life from her:
  That youth should stray is nothing to be told,
  When they have sanction in the grave and old,
  Who have no call to wander and transgress,
  But very love of change and wantonness.
    “I prattle idly, while your letters wait,
  And then my lord has much that he would state,
  All good to you—do clear that clouded face,
  And with good looks your lucky lot embrace.      630
    “Now, mind that none with her divide your heart,
  For she would die ere lose the smallest part;
  And I rejoice that all has gone so well,
  For who th’ effect of Johnson’s rage can tell?
  He had his fears when you began to meet,
  But I assured him there was no deceit.
  He is a man who kindness will requite,
  But, injured once, revenge is his delight;
  And he would spend the best of his estates
  To ruin, goods and body, them he hates;      640
  While he is kind enough when he approves
  A deed that’s done, and serves the man he loves.
  Come, read your letters—I must now be gone,
  And think of matters that are coming on.”
    Henry was lost—his brain confused, his soul
  Dismay’d and sunk, his thoughts beyond control;
  Borne on by terror, he foreboding read
  Cecilia’s letter! and his courage fled;
  All was a gloomy, dark, and dreadful view,
  He felt him guilty, but indignant too:—      650
  And as he read, he felt the high disdain
  Of injured men—“She may repent, in vain.”
    Cecilia much had heard, and told him all
  That scandal taught—“A servant at the hall,
  Or servant’s daughter, in the kitchen bred,
  Whose father would not with her mother wed,
  Was now his choice! a blushing fool, the toy,
  Or the attempted, both of man and boy;
  More than suspected, but without the wit
  Or the allurements for such creatures fit;      660
  Not virtuous, though unfeeling; cold as ice,
  And yet not chaste; the weeping fool of vice;
  Yielding, not tender; feeble, not refined;
  Her form insipid, and without a mind.
    “Rival! she spurn’d the word; but let him stay,
  Warn’d as he was, beyond the present day:
  Whate’er his patron might object to this,
  The uncle-butler, or the weeping miss—
  Let him from this one single day remain,
  And then return he would to her in vain!      670
  There let him then abide, to earn, or crave
  Food undeserved, and be with slaves a slave!”
    Had reason guided anger, govern’d zeal,
  Or chosen words to make a lover feel,
  She might have saved him—anger and abuse
  Will but defiance and revenge produce.
    “Unjust and cruel, insolent and proud!”
  He said, indignant; and he spoke aloud.
  “‘Butler’! and ‘servant’! Gentlest of thy sex,
  Thou wouldst not thus a man who loved thee vex;      680
  Thou wouldst not thus to vile report give ear,      }
  Nor thus enraged for fancied crimes appear—      }
  I know not what, dear maid!—if thy soft smiles were here.”      }
    And then, that instant, there appear’d the maid,
  By his sad looks in her approach dismay’d;
  Such timid sweetness, and so wrong’d, did more
  Than all her pleading tenderness before.
    In that weak moment, when disdain and pride,
  And fear and fondness, drew the man aside,
  In this weak moment—“Wilt thou,” he began,      690
  “Be mine?” and joy o’er all her features ran;
  “I will!” she softly whisper’d; but the roar
  Of cannon would not strike his spirit more;
  Ev’n as his lips the lawless contract seal’d
  He felt that conscience lost her seven-fold shield,
  And honour fled; but still he spoke of love,
  And all was joy in the consenting dove.
    That evening all in fond discourse was spent,      }
  When the sad lover to his chamber went,      }
  To think on what had past, to grieve and to repent.      700}
  Early he rose, and look’d with many a sigh
  On the red light that fill’d the eastern sky;
  Oft had he stood before, alert and gay,
  To hail the glories of the new-born day;
  But now dejected, languid, listless, low,
  He saw the wind upon the water blow,
  And the cold stream curl’d onward as the gale
  From the pine-hill blew harshly down the dale.
  On the right side the youth a wood survey’d,
  With all its dark intensity of shade;      710
  Where the rough wind alone was heard to move,
  In this, the pause of nature and of love,
  When now the young are rear’d, and when the old,
  Lost to the tie, grow negligent and cold—
  Far to the left he saw the huts of men,
  Half hid in mist, that hung upon the fen;
  Before him swallows, gathering for the sea,
  Took their short flights, and twitter’d on the lea;
  And near the bean-sheaf stood, the harvest done,
  And slowly blacken’d in the sickly sun;      720
  All these were sad in nature, or they took
  Sadness from him, the likeness of his look,
  And of his mind—he ponder’d for a while,
  Then met his Fanny with a borrow’d smile.
    Not much remain’d; for money and my lord
  Soon made the father of the youth accord;
  His prudence half resisted, half obey’d,
  And scorn kept still the guardians of the maid.
  Cecilia never on the subject spoke,
  She seem’d as one who from a dream awoke;      730
  So all was peace, and soon the married pair
  Fix’d with fair fortune in a mansion fair.
    Five years had past, and what was Henry then?
  The most repining of repenting men;
  With a fond, teasing, anxious wife, afraid
  Of all attention to another paid;
  Yet, powerless she her husband to amuse
  Lives but t’ entreat, implore, resent, accuse;
  Jealous and tender, conscious of defects,
  She merits little, and yet much expects;      740
  She looks for love that now she cannot see,
  And sighs for joy that never more can be;
  On his retirements her complaints intrude,
  And fond reproof endears his solitude;
  While he her weakness (once her kindness) sees,
  And his affections in her languor freeze;
  Regret, uncheck’d by hope, devours his mind,
  He feels unhappy, and he grows unkind.
    “Fool! to be taken by a rosy cheek,
  And eyes that cease to sparkle or to speak;      750
  Fool! for this child my freedom to resign,
  When one, the glory of her sex, was mine;
  While from this burthen to my soul I hide,
  To think what Fate has dealt, and what denied.
    “What fiend possess’d me when I tamely gave
  My forced assent to be an idiot’s slave?
  Her beauty vanish’d, what for me remains?
  Th’ eternal clicking of the galling chains.
  Her person truly I may think my own,
  Seen without pleasure, without triumph shown:      760
  Doleful she sits, her children at her knees,
  And gives up all her feeble powers to please;
  Whom I, unmoved, or moved with scorn, behold,
  Melting as ice, as vapid and as cold.”
    Such was his fate, and he must yet endure
  The self-contempt that no self-love can cure.
  Some business call’d him to a wealthy town
  When unprepared for more than Fortune’s frown;
  There at a house he gave his luckless name,
  The master absent, and Cecilia came.      770
  Unhappy man! he could not, dared not speak,
  But look’d around, as if retreat to seek;
  This she allow’d not; but, with brow severe,
  Ask’d him his business, sternly bent to hear.
  He had no courage, but he view’d that face      }
  As if he sought for sympathy and grace;      }
  As if some kind returning thought to trace—      }
  In vain; not long he waited, but, with air
  That of all grace compell’d him to despair,
  She rang the bell, and, when a servant came,      780
  Left the repentant traitor to his shame;
  But, going, spoke, “Attend this person out,
  And if he speaks, hear what he comes about!”
  Then, with cool curtesy, from the room withdrew,
  That seem’d to say, “Unhappy man, adieu!”
    Thus will it be when man permits a vice
  First to invade his heart, and then entice;
  When wishes vain and undefined arise,
  And that weak heart deceive, seduce, surprise;
  When evil Fortune works on Folly’s side,      790
  And rash Resentment adds a spur to Pride;
  Then life’s long troubles from these actions come,
  In which a moment may decide our doom.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIV.

                      _THE NATURAL DEATH OF LOVE._

  The Rector of the Parish—His Manner of teaching—Of living—Richard’s
    Correspondence—The Letters received—Love that survives Marriage—That
    dies in consequence—That is permitted to die for Want of Care—Henry
    and Emma, a Dialogue—Complaints on either Side—And Replies—Mutual
    Accusation—Defence of acknowledged Error—Means of restoring
    Happiness—The one to be adopted.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIV.

                      _THE NATURAL DEATH OF LOVE._

  Richard one month had with his brother been,
  And had his guests, his friends, his favourites seen;
  Had heard the rector, who with decent force,
  But not of action, aided his discourse:
  “A moral teacher!” some, contemptuous, cried;      }
  He smiled, but nothing of the fact denied,      }
  Nor, save by his fair life, to charge so strong replied.      }
  Still, though he bade them not on aught rely      }
  That was their own, but all their worth deny,      }
  They call’d his pure advice his cold morality;      10}
  And though he felt that earnestness and zeal,
  That made some portion of his hearers feel,
  Nay, though he loved the minds of men to lead
  To the great points that form the Christian’s creed,
  Still he offended; for he would discuss
  Points that to him seem’d requisite for us,
  And urge his flock to virtue, though he knew
  The very heathen taught the virtues too.
  Nor was this moral minister afraid
  To ask of inspiration’s self the aid      20
  Of truths by him so sturdily maintain’d,
  That some confusion in the parish reign’d.
  “Heathens,” they said, “can tell us right from wrong,
  But to a Christian higher points belong.”
  Yet Jacques proceeded, void of fear and shame,
  In his old method, and obtain’d the name
  Of _Moral Preacher_—yet they all agreed,
  Whatever error had defiled his creed,
  His life was pure, and him they could commend,
  Not as their guide, indeed, but as their friend;      30
  Truth, justice, pity, and a love of peace,
  Were his—but there must approbation cease;
  He either did not, or he would not see,
  That, if he meant a favourite priest to be,
  He must not show, but learn of them, the way
  To truth—he must not dictate, but obey.
  They wish’d him not to bring them further light,
  But to convince them that they now were right,
  And to assert that justice will condemn
  All who presumed to disagree with them.      40
  In this he fail’d; and his the greater blame,
  For he persisted, void of fear or shame.
    Him Richard heard, and by his friendly aid
  Were pleasant views observed and visits paid;
  He to peculiar people found his way,
  And had his question answer’d, “Who are they?”
    Twice in the week came letters, and delight
  Beam’d in the eye of Richard at the sight:
  Letters of love, all full and running o’er;
  The paper fill’d till it could hold no more;      50
  Cross’d with discolour’d ink, the doublings full—
  No fear that love should find abundance dull;
  Love reads unsated all that love inspires;
  When most indulged, indulgence still requires;
  Looks what the corners, what the crossings tell,
  And lifts each folding for a fond farewell.
    George saw and smiled—“To lovers we allow
  All this o’erflowing, but a husband thou!
  A father too; can time create no change?
  Married, and still so foolish?—very strange!      60
  What of this wife or mistress is the art?”—      }
  “The simple truth, my brother, to impart,      }
  Her heart, whene’er she writes, feels writing to a heart.”—      }
    “Fortune, dear Richard, is thy friend—a wife
  Like thine must soften every care of life,
  And all its woes—I know a pair, whose lives
  Run in the common track of men and wives;
  And half their worth, at least, this pair would give
  Could they like thee and thy Matilda live.
    “They were, as lovers, of the fondest kind,      70
  With no defects in manner or in mind;
  In habit, temper, prudence, they were those
  Whom, as examples, I could once propose;
  Now this, when married, you no longer trace,
  But discontent and sorrow in the place:
  Their pictures, taken as the pair I saw
  In a late contest, I have tried to draw:
  ’Tis but a sketch, and at my idle time
  I put my couple in the garb of rhyme.
  Thou art a critic of the milder sort,      80
  And thou wilt judge with favour my report.
    “Let me premise, twelve months have flown away,
  Swiftly or sadly, since the happy day.
    “Let us suppose the couple left to spend
  Some hours without engagement or a friend;
  And be it likewise on our mind impress’d,      }
  They pass for persons happy and at rest;      }
  Their love by Hymen crown’d, and all their prospects bless’d.      }

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “Love has slow death and sudden: wretches prove
  That fate severe—the sudden death of love;      90
  It is as if, on day serenely bright,
  Came with its horrors instantaneous night;
  Others there are with whom love dies away
  In gradual waste and unperceived decay.
  Such is that death of love that nature finds
  Most fitted for the use of common minds,
  The natural death; but doubtless there are some
  Who struggle hard when they perceive it come;
  Loth to be loved no longer, loth to prove
  To the once dear that they no longer love;      100
  And some with not successless arts will strive
  To keep the weak’ning, fluttering flame alive.
    “But see my verse; in this I try to paint
  The passion failing, fading to complaint;
  The gathering grief for joys remember’d yet;
  The vain remonstrance, and the weak regret.
  First speaks the wife in sorrow; she is grieved
  T’ admit the truth, and would be still deceived.”


                           _HENRY AND EMMA._

  _E._ Well, my good sir, I shall contend no more;
  But, O! the vows you made, the oaths you swore—      110
  _H._ To love you always—I confess it true;
  And do I not? If not, what can I do?
  Moreover think what you yourself profess’d,
  And then the subject may for ever rest.
  _E._ Yes, sir, obedience I profess’d; I know
  My debt, and wish to pay you all I owe—
  Pay without murmur; but that vow was made
  To you, who said it never should be paid.—
  Now truly tell me why you took such care
  To make me err? I ask’d you not to swear,      120
  But rather hoped you would my mind direct,
  And say, when married, what you would expect.
    You may remember—it is not so long
  Since you affirm’d that I could not be wrong;
  I told you then—you recollect, I told
  The very truth—that humour would not hold;
  Not that I thought, or ever could suppose,      }
  The mighty raptures were so soon to close—      }
  Poetic flights of love all sunk in sullen prose.      }
    Do you remember how you used to hang      130
  Upon my looks? your transports when I sang?
  I play’d—you melted into tears; I moved—      }
  Voice, words, and motion, how you all approved;      }
  A time when Emma reign’d, a time when Henry loved.      }
  You recollect?
  _H._            Yes, surely; and then why
  The needless truths? do I the facts deny?
  For this remonstrance I can see no need,
  Or this impatience—if you do, proceed.
  _E._ O! that is now so cool, and with a smile
  That sharpens insult—I detest the style;      140
  And, now I talk of styles, with what delight
  You read my lines—I then, it seems, could write.
  In short, when I was present you could see
  But one dear object, and you lived for me;
  And now, sir, what your pleasure? Let me dress,
  Sing, speak, or write, and you your sense express
  Of my poor taste—my words are not correct;      }
  In all I do is failing or defect—      }
  Some error you will seek, some blunder will detect;      }
  And what can such dissatisfaction prove?      150
  I tell you, Henry, you have ceased to love.
  _H._ I own it not; but if a truth it be,
  It is the fault of nature, not of me.
  Remember you, my love, the fairy tale,
  Where the young pairs were spell-bound in the vale?
  When all around them gay or glorious seem’d,
  And of bright views and ceaseless joys they dream’d;
  Young love and infant life no more could give—
  They said but half, when they exclaim’d, “We live!”
  All was so light, so lovely, so serene,      160
  And not a trouble to be heard or seen;
  Till, melting into truth, the vision fled,
  And there came miry roads and thorny ways instead.
    Such was our fate, my charmer! we were found
  A wandering pair, by roguish Cupid bound;
  All that I saw was gifted to inspire      }
  Grand views of bliss, and wake intense desire      }
  Of joys that never pall, of flights that never tire;      }
  There was that purple light of love, that bloom,
  That ardent passions in their growth assume,      170
  That pure enjoyment of the soul—O! weak
  Are words such loves and glowing thoughts to speak!
  I sought to praise thee, and I felt disdain
  Of my own effort; all attempts were vain.
    Nor they alone were charming; by that light
  All loved of thee grew lovely in my sight;
  Sweet influence not its own in every place
  Was found, and there was found in all things grace;
  Thy shrubs and plants were seen new bloom to bear;      }
  Not the Arabian sweets so fragrant were,      180}
  Nor Eden’s self, if aught with Eden might compare.      }
    You went the church-way walk, you reach’d the farm,
  And gave the grass and babbling springs a charm;
  Crop, whom you rode—sad rider though you be—
  Thenceforth was more than Pegasus to me.
  Have I not woo’d your snarling cur to bend
  To me the paw and greeting of a friend?
  And all his surly ugliness forgave,
  Because, like me, he was my Emma’s slave?
  Think you, thus charm’d, I would the spell revoke?      190
  Alas! my love, we married, and it broke!
    Yet no deceit or falsehood stain’d my breast,      }
  What I asserted might a saint attest;      }
  Fair, dear, and good thou wert, nay, fairest, dearest, best.      }
  Nor shame, nor guilt, nor falsehood I avow,
  But ’tis by heaven’s own light I see thee now;
  And if that light will all those glories chase,
  ’Tis not my wish that will the good replace.
  _E._ O! sir, this boyish tale is mighty well,
  But ’twas your falsehood that destroy’d the spell.      200
  Speak not of nature; ’tis an evil mind      }
  That makes you to accustom’d beauties blind;      }
  You seek the faults yourself, and then complain you find.      }
  _H._ I sought them not; but, madam, ’tis in vain
  The course of love and nature to restrain;
  Lo! when the buds expand the leaves are green,
  Then the first opening of the flower is seen;
  Then comes the honied breath and rosy smile,
  That with their sweets the willing sense beguile;
  But, as we look, and love, and taste, and praise,      210
  And the fruit grows, the charming flower decays;
  Till all is gather’d, and the wintry blast
  Moans o’er the place of love and pleasure past.
    So ’tis with beauty—such the opening grace
  And dawn of glory in the youthful face;
  Then are the charms unfolded to the sight,
  Then all is loveliness and all delight;
  The nuptial tie succeeds, the genial hour,
  And, lo! the falling off of beauty’s flower;
  So, through all nature is the progress made—      220
  The bud, the bloom, the fruit—and then we fade.
    Then sigh no more—we might as well retain
  The year’s gay prime as bid that love remain:
  That fond, delusive, happy, transient spell,
  That hides us from a world wherein we dwell,
  And forms and fits us for that fairy ground,
  Where charming dreams and gay conceits abound;
  Till comes at length th’ awakening strife and care,
  That we, as tried and toiling men, must share.
  _E._ O! sir, I must not think that heaven approves      230
  Ungrateful man or unrequited loves;
  Nor that we less are fitted for our parts
  By having tender souls and feeling hearts.
  _H._ Come, my dear friend, and let us not refuse
  The good we have, by grief for that we lose;
  But let us both the very truth confess;
  This must relieve the ill, and may redress.
  _E._ O! much I fear! I practised no deceit;
  Such as I am I saw you at my feet;
  If for a goddess you a girl would take,      240
  ’Tis you yourself the disappointment make.
  _H._ And I alone?—O! Emma, when I pray’d
  For grace from thee, transported and afraid,
  Now raised to rapture, now to terror doom’d—
  Was not the goddess by the girl assumed?
  Did not my Emma use her skill to hide—
  Let us be frank—her weakness and her pride?
  Did she not all her sex’s arts pursue,
  To bring the angel forward to my view?
  Was not the rising anger oft suppress’d?      250
  Was not the waking passion hush’d to rest?
  And, when so mildly sweet you look’d and spoke,
  Did not the woman deign to wear a cloak?
  A cloak she wore, or, though not clear my sight,
  I might have seen her—Think you not I might?
  _E._ O! this is glorious!—while your passion lives,
  To the loved maid a robe of grace it gives;
  And then, unjust! beholds her with surprise,
  Unrobed, ungracious, when the passion dies.
  _H._ For this, my Emma, I to Heaven appeal,      260
  I felt entirely what I seem’d to feel;
  Thou wert all precious in my sight, to me
  The being angels are supposed to be;
  And am I now of my deception told,
  Because I’m doom’d a woman to behold?
  _E._ Sir! in few words I would a question ask—
  Mean these reproaches that I wore a mask?
  Mean you that I by art or caution tried
  To show a virtue, or a fault to hide?
  _H._ I will obey you—When you seem’d to feel      270
  Those books we read, and praised them with such zeal,
  Approving all that certain friends approved,
  Was it the pages, or the praise you loved?
  Nay, do not frown—I much rejoiced to find
  Such early judgment in such gentle mind;
  But, since we married, have you deign’d to look
  On the grave subjects of one favourite book?
  Or have the once-applauded pages power
  T’ engage their warm approver for an hour?
    Nay, hear me further—When we view’d that dell,      280
  Where lie those ruins—you must know it well—
  When that worn pediment your walk delay’d,
  And the stream gushing through the arch decay’d;
  When at the venerable pile you stood,
  Till the does ventured on our solitude,
  We were so still! before the growing day
  Call’d us reluctant from our seat away—
  Tell me, was all the feeling you express’d
  The genuine feeling of my Emma’s breast?
  Or was it borrow’d, that her faithful slave      290
  The higher notion of her taste might have?
  So may I judge, for of that lovely scene
  The married Emma has no witness been;
  No more beheld that water, falling, flow
  Through the green fern that there delights to grow.
    Once more permit me——Well, I know, you feel
  For suffering men, and would their sufferings heal,
  But when at certain huts you chose to call,
  At certain seasons, was compassion all?
  I there beheld thee, to the wretched dear      300
  As angels to expiring saints appear
  When whispering hope—I saw an infant press’d
  And hush’d to slumber on my Emma’s breast!
  Hush’d be each rude suggestion!—Well I know,
  With a free hand your bounty you bestow,
  And to these objects frequent comforts send;
  But still they see not now their pitying friend.
    A merchant, Emma, when his wealth he states,
  Though rich, is faulty if he over-rates
  His real store; and, gaining greater trust      310
  For the deception, should we deem him just?
    If in your singleness of heart you hide
  No flaw or frailty, when your truth is tried,
  And time has drawn aside the veil of love—
  We may be sorry, but we must approve;
  The fancied charms no more our praise compel,
  But doubly shines the worth that stands so well.
  _E._ O! precious are you all, and prizes too,
  Or could we take such guilty pains for you?
  Believe it not—As long as passion lasts,      320
  A charm about the chosen maid it casts;
  And the poor girl has little more to do
  Than just to keep in sight as you pursue.
  Chance to a ruin leads her; you behold,
  And straight the angel of her taste is told;
  Chance to a cottage leads you, and you trace
  A virtuous pity in the angel’s face;
  She reads a work you chance to recommend,
  And likes it well—at least, she likes the friend;
  But, when it chances this no more is done,      330
  She has not left one virtue—No! not one!
    But be it said, good sir, we use such art,
  Is it not done to hold a fickle heart,
  And fix a roving eye?—Is that design
  Shameful or wicked that would keep you mine?
  If I confess the art, I would proceed
  To say of such that every maid has need.
    Then, when you flatter—in your language, praise—
  In our own view you must our value raise;
  And must we not, to this mistaken man,      340
  Appear as like his picture as we can?
  If you will call—nay, treat us as—divine,
  Must we not something to your thoughts incline?
  If men of sense will worship whom they love,
  Think you the idol will the error prove?
  What! show him all her glory is pretence,
  And make an idiot of this man of sense?
    Then, too, suppose we should his praise refuse,
  And clear his mind, we may our lover lose;
  In fact, you make us more than nature makes,      350
  And we, no doubt, consent to your mistakes;
  You will, we know, until the frenzy cools,
  Enjoy the transient paradise of fools;
  But, fancy fled, you quit the blissful state,
  And truth for ever bars the golden gate.
  _H._ True! but how ill each other to upbraid,
  ’Tis not our fault that we no longer staid;
  No sudden fate our lingering love supprest;
  It died an easy death, and calmly sank to rest.
  To either sex is the delusion lent;      360}
  And, when it fails us, we should rest content;      }
  ’Tis cruel to reproach, when bootless to repent.      }
  _E._ Then wise the lovers who consent to wait,
  And always lingering, never try the state;
  But hurried on, by what they call their pain
  And I their bliss, no longer they refrain;
  To ease that pain, to lose that bliss, they run
  To the church magi, and the thing is done;
  A spell is utter’d, and a ring applied,
  And forth they walk a bridegroom and a bride,      370
  To find this counter-charm, this marriage rite,
  Has put their pleasant fallacies to flight!
  But tell me, Henry, should we truly strive,
  May we not bid the happy dream revive?
  _H._ Alas! they say when weakness or when vice
  Expels a foolish pair from Paradise,
  The guardian power to prayer has no regard;
  The knowledge once obtain’d, the gate is barr’d;
  Or, could we enter, we should still repine,
  Unless we could the knowledge too resign.—      380
  Yet let us calmly view our present fate,
  And make a humbler Eden of our state;
  With this advantage, that what now we gain,
  Experience gives, and prudence will retain.
  _E._ Ah! much I doubt—when you in fury broke
  That lovely vase by one impassion’d stroke,
  And thousand china-fragments met my sight,
  Till rising anger put my grief to flight:
  As well might you the beauteous jar repiece,
  As joy renew and bid vexation cease.      390
  _H._ Why then ’tis wisdom, Emma, not to keep
  These griefs in memory; they had better sleep.
    There was a time when this heaven-guarded isle,
  Whose valleys flourish—nay, whose mountains smile—
  Was steril, wild, deform’d, and beings rude
  Creatures scarce wilder than themselves pursued.
  The sea was heard around a waste to howl;
  The night-wolf answer’d to the whooting owl;
  And all was wretched—Yet who now surveys
  The land, withholds his wonder and his praise?      400
  Come, let us try and make our moral view
  Improve like this—this have we power to do.
  _E._ O! I’ll be all forgetful, deaf and dumb,
  And all you wish, to have these changes come.
  _H._ And come they may; if not as heretofore,
  We cannot all the lovely vase restore;
  What we beheld in Love’s perspective glass
  Has pass’d away—one sigh! and let it pass.
  It was a blissful vision, and it fled,
  And we must get some actual good instead:      410
  Of good and evil that we daily find,
  _That_ we must hoard, _this_ banish from the mind;
  The food of Love, that food on which he thrives,
  To find must be the business of our lives;
  And when we know what Love delights to see,
  We must his guardians and providers be.
    As careful peasants, with incessant toil,
  Bring earth to vines in bare and rocky soil,
  And, as they raise with care each scanty heap,
  Think of the purple clusters they shall reap:      420
  So those accretions to the mind we’ll bring,
  Whence fond regard and just esteem will spring;
  Then, though we backward look with some regret
  On those first joys, we shall be happy yet.
    Each on the other must in all depend,
  The kind adviser, the unfailing friend;
  Through the rough world we must each other aid,
  Leading and led, obeying and obey’d;
  Favour’d and favouring, eager to believe
  What should be truth—unwilling to perceive      430
  What might offend—determined to remove      }
  What has offended, wisely to improve      }
  What pleases yet, and guard returning love.      }
    Nor doubt, my Emma, but in many an hour
  Fancy, who sleeps, shall wake with all her power;
  And we shall pass—though not perhaps remain—
  To fairy-land, and feel its charm again.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                                BOOK XV.

                            _GRETNA GREEN._

  Richard meets an Acquaintance of his Youth—The Kind of Meeting—His
    School—The Doctor Sidmere and his Family—Belwood, a Pupil—The
    Doctor’s Opinion of him—The Opinion of his Wife—and of his
    Daughter—Consultation—The Lovers—Flight to Gretna Green—Return no
    more—The Doctor and his Lady—Belwood and his Wife—The Doctor
    reflects—Goes to his Son-in-law—His Reception and Return.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                                BOOK XV.

                            _GRETNA GREEN._

  “I met,” said Richard, when return’d to dine,
  “In my excursion, with a friend of mine;
  Friend! I mistake—but yet I knew him well,
  Ours was the village where he came to dwell;
  He was an orphan born to wealth, and then
  Placed in the guardian-care of cautious men;
  When our good parent, who was kindness all,
  Fed and caress’d him when he chose to call;
  And this he loved, for he was always one
  For whom some pleasant service must be done,      10
  Or he was sullen—He would come and play
  At his own time, and at his pleasure stay;
  But our kind parent soothed him as a boy      }
  Without a friend; she loved he should enjoy      }
  A day of ease, and strove to give his mind employ.      }
  She had but seldom the desired success,
  And therefore parting troubled her the less;
  Two years he there remain’d; then went his way—
  I think to school; and him I met to-day.
    “I heard his name, or he had past unknown;      20
  And, without scruple, I divulged my own.
  His words were civil, but not much express’d,
  ‘Yes! he had heard I was my brother’s guest’;
  Then would explain, what was not plain to me,
  Why he could not a social neighbour be.
  He envied you, he said, your quiet life,
  And me a loving and contented wife;
  You, as unfetter’d by domestic bond,
  Me, as a husband and a father fond.
  I was about to speak, when to the right      30
  The road then turn’d, and lo! his house in sight.
    “‘Adieu!’ he said, nor gave a word or sign
  Of invitation—‘Yonder house is mine;
  Your brother’s I prefer, if I might choose—
  But, my dear sir, you have no time to lose.’
    “Say, is he poor? or has he fits of spleen?
  Or is he melancholy, moped, or mean?
  So cold, so distant——I bestow’d some pains
  Upon the fever in my Irish veins.”—
    “Well, Richard, let your native wrath be tamed;      40
  The man has half the evils you have named:
  He is not poor, indeed, nor is he free
  From all the gloom and care of poverty.”—
    “But is he married?”—“Hush! the bell, my friend;
  That business done, we will to this attend;
  And, o’er our wine engaged, and at our ease,
  We may discourse of Belwood’s miseries;
  Not that his sufferings please me—No, indeed;
  But I from such am happy to be freed.”
    Their speech, of course, to this misfortune led      50
  A weak young man improvidently wed.
    “Weak,” answer’d Richard; “but we do him wrong
  To say that his affection was not strong.”
    “That we may doubt,” said George; “in men so weak
  You may in vain the strong affections seek;
  They have strong appetites; a fool will eat
  As long as food is to his palate sweet;
  His rule is not what sober nature needs,
  But what the palate covets as he feeds;
  He has the passions, anger, envy, fear,      60
  As storm is angry, and as frost severe;
  Uncheck’d, he still retains what nature gave,
  And has what creatures of the forest have.
    “Weak boys, indulged by parents just as weak,
  Will with much force of their affection speak;
  But let mamma th’ accustom’d sweets withhold,
  And the fond boys grow insolent and cold.
    “Weak men profess to love, and while untried
  May woo with warmth, and grieve to be denied;
  But this is selfish ardour—all the zeal      70
  Of their pursuit is from the wish they feel
  For self indulgence—When do they deny      }
  Themselves? and when the favourite object fly?      }
  Or, for that object’s sake, with her requests comply?      }
  Their sickly love is fed with hopes of joy,
  Repulses damp it, and delays destroy;
  Love, that to virtuous acts will some excite,
  In others but provokes an appetite.
  In better minds, when love possession takes
  And meets with peril, he the reason shakes;      80
  But these weak natures, when they love profess,
  Never regard their small concerns the less.
    “That true and genuine love has Quixote-flights
  May be allow’d—in vision it delights;
  But, in its loftiest flight, its wildest dream
  Has something in it that commands esteem.
  But this poor love to no such region soars,
  But, Sancho-like, its selfish loss deplores;
  Of its own merit and its service speaks,
  And full reward for all its duty seeks.”—      90
    “When a rich boy, with all the pride of youth,
  Weds a poor beauty, will you doubt his truth?
  Such love is tried—it indiscreet may be,
  But must be generous”—
                           “That I do not see.
  Just at this time the balance of the mind
  Is this or that way by the weights inclined;
  In this scale beauty, wealth in that abides,
  In dubious balance, till the last subsides;
  Things are not poised in just the equal state,
  That the ass stands stock-still in the debate;      100
  Though, when deciding, he may slowly pass
  And long for both—the nature of the ass;
  ’Tis but an impulse that he must obey,
  When he resigns one bundle of the hay.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Take your friend Belwood, whom his guardians sent
  To Doctor Sidmere—full of dread he went;
  Doctor they call’d him—he was not of us,
  And where he was—we need not now discuss.
  He kept a school; he had a daughter fair,
  He said, as angels—say, as women—are.      110
    Clara, this beauty, had a figure light;
  Her face was handsome, and her eyes were bright;
  Her voice was music, not by anger raised;
  And sweet her dimple, either pleased or praised;
  All round the village was her fame allow’d;
  She was its pride, and not a little proud.
    The ruling thought that sway’d her father’s mind
  Was this—I am for dignity design’d.
  Riches he rather as a mean approved,
  Yet sought them early, and in seeking loved;      120
  For this he early made the marriage vow,
  But fail’d to gain—I recollect not how;
  For this his lady had his wrath incurr’d,
  But that her feelings seldom could be stirr’d;
  To his fair daughter, famed as well as fair,
  He look’d, and found his consolation there.
    The Doctor taught of youth some half a score,
  Well-born and wealthy—He would take no more;
  His wife, when peevish, told him, “Yes! and glad”—
  It might be so—no more were to be had.      130
  Belwood, it seems, for college was design’d,
  But for more study he was not inclined;
  He thought of labouring there with much dismay,
  And motives mix’d here urged the long delay.
    He now on manhood verged, at least began
  To talk as he supposed became a man.
    “Whether he chose the college or the school
  Was his own act, and that should no man rule;
  He had his reasons for the step he took;
  Did they suppose he stay’d to read his book?”      140
    Hopeless, the Doctor said, “This boy is one
  With whom I fear there’s nothing to be done.”
  His wife replied, who more had guess’d or knew,
  “You only mean there’s nothing he can do;
  Ev’n there you err, unless you mean indeed
  That the poor lad can neither think nor read.”—
    “What credit can I by such dunce obtain?”—
  “Credit? I know not—you may something gain;
  ’Tis true he has no passion for his books,
  But none can closer study Clara’s looks;      150
  And who controls him? now his father’s gone,
  There’s not a creature cares about the son.
  If he be brought to ask your daughter’s hand,
  All that he has will be at her command;
  And who is she? and whom does she obey?
  Where is the wrong, and what the danger, pray?
  Becoming guide to one who guidance needs
  Is merit surely—If the thing succeeds,
  Cannot you always keep him at your side,
  And be his honour’d guardian and his guide?      160
  And cannot I my pretty Clara rule?
  Is not this better than a noisy school?”
    The Doctor thought and mused; he felt and fear’d;
  Wish’d it to be—then wish’d he had not heard;
  But he was angry—that at least was right,
  And gave him credit in his lady’s sight;—
  Then, milder grown, yet something still severe,
  He said, “Consider, Madam, think and fear;”
  But, ere they parted, softening to a smile,
  “Farewell!” said he—“I’ll think myself awhile.”      170
    James and his Clara had, with many a pause
  And many a doubt, infringed the Doctor’s laws;
  At first with terror, and with eyes turn’d round
  On every side for fear they should be found,
  In the long passage, and without the gate,
  They met, and talk’d of love and his estate;
  Sweet little notes, and full of hope, were laid
  Where they were found by the attentive maid;
  And these she answer’d kindly as she could,
  But still ‘I dare not’ waited on ‘I would;’      180
  Her fears and wishes she in part confess’d,
  Her thoughts and views she carefully suppress’d;
  Her Jemmy said at length, “He did not heed
  His guardian’s anger—What was he, indeed?
  A tradesman once, and had his fortune gain’d
  In that low way—such anger he disdain’d—
  He loved her pretty looks, her eyes of blue,
  Her auburn-braid, and lips that shone like dew;
  And did she think her Jemmy stay’d at school
  To study Greek?—What, take him for a fool?      190
  Not he, by Jove! for what he had to seek
  He would in English ask her, not in Greek;
  Will you be mine? are all your scruples gone?
  Then let’s be off—I’ve that will take us on.”
  ’Twas true; the clerk of an attorney there
  Had found a Jew—the Jew supplied the heir.
    Yet had he fears—“My guardians may condemn
  The choice I make—but what is that to them?
  The more they strive my pleasure to restrain,
  The less they’ll find they’re likely to obtain;      200
  For when they work one to a proper cue,
  What they forbid one takes delight to do.”
    Clara exulted—now the day would come
  Belwood must take her in her carriage home;
  “Then I shall hear what Envy will remark,
  When I shall sport the ponies in the park;
  When my friend Jane will meet me at the ball,
  And see me taken out the first of all;
  I see her looks when she beholds the men
  All crowd about me—she will simper then,      210
  And cry with her affected air and voice,
  ‘O! my sweet Clara, how do I rejoice
  At your good fortune!’—‘Thank you, dear,’ say I;
  ‘But some there are that could for envy die.’”
    Mamma look’d on with thoughts to these allied;
  She felt the pleasure of reflected pride;
  She should respect in Clara’s honour find—
  But she to Clara’s secret thoughts was blind;
  O! when we thus design we do but spread
  Nets for our feet, and to our toils are led;      220
  Those whom we think we rule their views attain,
  And we partake the guilt without the gain.
    The Doctor long had thought, till he became
  A victim both to avarice and shame;
  From his importance, every eye was placed
  On his designs—How dreadful if disgraced!
    “O! that unknown to him the pair had flown
  To that same Green, the project all their own!
  And, should they now be guilty of the act,
  Am not I free from knowledge of the fact?      230
  Will they not, if they will?”—’Tis thus we meet
  The check of conscience, and our guide defeat.
    This friend, this spy, this counsellor at rest,
  More pleasing views were to the mind address’d.
    The mischief done, he would be much displeased,
  For weeks, nay, months, and slowly be appeased—
  Yet of this anger if they felt the dread,
  Perhaps they dare not steal away to wed;
  And, if on hints of mercy they should go,
  He stood committed—it must not be so.      240
    In this dilemma either horn was hard—
  Best to seem careless, then, and off one’s guard;
  And, lest their terror should their flight prevent,
  His wife might argue—fathers will relent
  On such occasions—and that she should share
  The guilt and censure was her proper care.
    “Suppose them wed,” said he, “and at my feet,
  I must exclaim that instant—‘Vile deceit!’
  Then will my daughter, weeping while they kneel,
  For its own Clara beg my heart may feel:      250
  At last, but slowly, I may all forgive,
  And their adviser and director live.”
    When wishes only weak the heart surprise,
  Heaven, in its mercy, the fond prayer denies;
  But when our wishes are both base and weak,
  Heaven, in its justice, gives us what we seek.
    All pass’d that was expected; all prepared
  To share the comfort—What the comfort shared?
    The married pair, on their return, agreed
  That they from school were now completely freed;      260
  Were man and wife, and to their mansion now
  Should boldly drive, and their intents avow:
  The acting guardian in the mansion reign’d,
  And, thither driving, they their will explain’d.
  The man awhile discoursed in language high,
  The ward was sullen, and made brief reply;
  Till, when he saw th’ opposing strength decline,
  He bravely utter’d—“Sir, the house is mine!”
  And, like a lion, lash’d by self-rebuke,
  His own defence he bravely undertook.      270
    “Well! be it right or wrong, the thing is past;
  You cannot hinder what is tight and fast:
  The church has tied us; we are hither come
  To our own place, and you must make us room.”
    The man reflected—“You deserve, I know,
  Foolish young man! what fortune will bestow;
  No punishment from me your actions need,
  Whose pains will shortly to your fault succeed.”
    James was quite angry, wondering what was meant
  By such expressions—Why should he repent?      280
    New trial came—The wife conceived it right
  To see her parents; “So,” he said, “she might,
  If she had any fancy for a jail,
  But upon him no creature should prevail;
  No! he would never be again the fool
  To go and starve, or study at a school!”—
    “O! but to see her parents!”—“Well! the sight
  Might give her pleasure—very like it might,
  And she might go; but, to his house restored,
  He would not now be catechised and bored.”—      290
  “It was her duty”—“Well!” said he again,
  “There you may go—and there you may remain!”
    Already this?—Even so: he heard it said
  How rash and heedless was the part he play’d;
  For love of money in his spirit dwelt,
  And there repentance was intensely felt.
  His guardian told him he had bought a toy
  At tenfold price, and bargain’d like a boy;
  Angry at truth, and wrought to fierce disdain,
  He swore his loss should be no woman’s gain;      300
  His table she might share, his name she must;
  But if aught more—she gets it upon trust.
    For a few weeks his pride her face display’d—
  He then began to thwart her, and upbraid;
  He grew imperious, insolent, and loud—
  His blinded weakness made his folly proud;
  He would be master—she had no pretence
  To counsel him, as if he wanted sense;
  He must inform her, she already cost
  More than her worth, and more should not be lost;      310
  But still concluding, “if your will be so
  That you must see the old ones, do it—go!”
    Some weeks the Doctor waited, and the while
  His lady preach’d in no consoling style;
  At last she fear’d that rustic had convey’d
  Their child to prison—yes, she was afraid,—
  There to remain in that old hall alone
  With the vile heads of stags, and floors of stone.
    “Why did you, sir, who know such things so well,
  And teach us good, permit them to rebel?      320
  Had you o’erawed and check’d them when in sight,
  They would not then have ventured upon flight—
  Had you”——“Out, serpent! did not you begin?
  What! introduce, and then upbraid, the sin?
  For sin it is, as I too well perceive;
  But leave me, woman, to reflection leave;
  Then to your closet fly, and on your knees
  Beg for forgiveness for such sins as these.”
    “A moody morning!” with a careless air
  Replied the wife—“Why counsel me to prayer?      330
  I think the lord and teacher of a school
  Should pray himself, and keep his temper cool.”
    Calm grew the husband when the wife was gone—
  “The game,” said he, “is never lost till won.
  ’Tis true, the rebels fly their proper home,
  They come not nigh, because they fear to come;
  And for my purpose fear will doubtless prove
  Of more importance and effect than love.—
  Suppose me there—suppose the carriage stops:
  Down on her knees my trembling daughter drops;      340
  Slowly I raise her, in my arms to fall,
  And call for mercy as she used to call;
  And shall that boy, who dreaded to appear
  Before me, cast away at once his fear?
  ’Tis not in nature! He who once would cower
  Beneath my frown, and sob for half an hour;
  He who would kneel with motion prompt and quick
  If I but look’d—as dogs that do a trick;
  He still his knee-joints flexible must feel,
  And have a slavish promptitude to kneel;      350
  Soon as he sees me he will drop his lip,
  And bend like one made ready for the whip.
  O! come, I trifle, let me haste away—
  What! throw it up, when I have cards to play?”
    The Doctor went, a self-invited guest;
  He met his pupil, and his frown repress’d,
  For in those lowering looks he could discern
  Resistance sullen and defiance stern;
  Yet was it painful to put off his style
  Of awful distance, and assume a smile:      360
  So between these, the gracious and the grand,
  Succeeded nothing that the Doctor plann’d.
    The sullen youth, with some reviving dread,
  Bow’d and then hang’d disconsolate his head;
  And, muttering welcome in a muffled tone,
  Stalk’d cross the park to meditate alone,
  Saying, or rather seeming to have said,
  “Go! seek your daughter, and be there obey’d.”
    He went—The daughter her distresses told,
  But found her father to her interests cold;      370
  He kindness and complacency advised;
  She answer’d, “these were sure to be despised;
  That of the love her husband once possess’d
  Not the least spark was living in his breast;
  The boy repented, and grew savage soon;
  There never shone for her a honey-moon.
  Soon as he came, his cares all fix’d on one—
  Himself, and all his passion was a gun;
  And, though he shot as he did all beside,
  It still remained his only joy and pride.      380
  He left her there—she knew not where he went—
  But knew full well he should the slight repent;
  She was not one his daily taunts to bear,
  He made the house a hell that he should share;
  For, till he gave her power herself to please,
  Never for him should be a moment’s ease.”
    “He loves you, child!” the softening father cried.—
  He loves himself, and not a soul beside.
  Loves me!—why, yes, and so he did the pears
  You caught him stealing—would he had the fears!      390
  Would you could make him tremble for his life,
  And then to you return the stolen wife,
  Richly endow’d—but, O! the idiot knows
  The worth of every penny he bestows.
    “Were he but fool alone, I’d find a way
  To govern him, at least to have my day;
  Or were he only brute, I’d watch the hour,
  And make the brute-affection yield me power;
  But silly both and savage—O! my heart!
  It is too great a trial!—we must part.”—      400
    “Oblige the savage by some act!”—“The debt,
  You find, the fool will instantly forget;
  Oblige the fool with kindness or with praise,
  And you the passions of the savage raise.”—
    “Time will do much.”—“Can time my name restore?”—
  “Have patience, child.”—“I am a child no more,
  Nor more dependent; but, at woman’s age,
  I feel that wrongs provoke me and enrage.
  Sir, could you bring me comfort, I were cool;
  But keep your counsel for your boys at school.”      410
    The Doctor then departed—Why remain      }
  To hear complaints, who could himself complain,      }
  Who felt his actions wrong, and knew his efforts vain?      }
    The sullen youth, contending with his fate,
  Began the darling of his heart to hate;
  Her pretty looks, her auburn braid, her face,
  All now remain’d the proofs of his disgrace;
  While, more than hateful in his vixen’s eyes,
  He saw her comforts from his griefs arise;
  Who felt a joy she strove not to conceal,      420
  When their expenses made her miser feel.
    War was perpetual: on a first attack
  She gain’d advantage, he would turn his back;
  And, when her small-shot whistled in his ears,
  He felt a portion of his early fears;
  But, if he turn’d him in the battle’s heat,
  And fought in earnest, hers was then defeat;
  His strength of oath and curse brought little harm,
  But there was no resisting strength of arm.
    Yet wearied both with war, and vex’d at heart,      430
  The slaves of passion judged it best to part.
  Long they debated, nor could fix a rate
  For a man’s peace with his contending mate;
  But mutual hatred, scorn, and fear, assign’d
  That price—that peace it was not theirs to find.
    The watchful husband lived in constant hope
  To hear the wife had ventured to elope;
  But, though not virtuous, nor in much discreet,
  He found her coldness would such views defeat;
  And thus, by self-reproof and avarice scourged,      440
  He wore the galling chains his folly forged.
    The wife her pleasures, few and humble, sought,
  And with anticipated stipend bought;
  Without a home, at fashion’s call she fled
  To an hired lodging and a widow’d bed;
  Husband and parents banish’d from her mind,
  She seeks for pleasures that she cannot find;
  And grieves that so much treachery was employ’d
  To gain a man who has her peace destroy’d.
    Yet more the grieving father feels distress,      450
  His error greater, and his motives less;
  He finds too late, by stooping to deceit,
  It is ourselves and not the world we cheat;
  For, though we blind it, yet we can but feel
  That we have something evil to conceal;
  Nor can we by our utmost care be sure
  That we can hide the sufferings we endure.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XVI.

                     _LADY BARBARA; OR, THE GHOST._

  Introductory Discourse—For what Purpose would a Ghost appear?—How the
    Purpose would be answered—The Fact admitted, would not Doubts
    return?—Family Stories of Apparitions—Story of Lady Barbara—Her
    Widowhood—Resides with a Priest—His Family—A favourite Boy—His
    Education—His Fondness for the Lady—It becomes Love—His
    Reflections—His Declaration—Her Reply—Her Relation—Why she must not
    marry a second Time—How warned—Tokens of the Appearance—The Lover
    argues with the Lady—His Success—The Consequences of it.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XVI.

                     _LADY BARBARA; OR, THE GHOST._

  The Brothers spoke of Ghosts—a favourite theme
  With those who love to reason or to dream;
  And they, as greater men were wont to do,
  Felt strong desire to think the stories true:
  Stories of spirits freed, who came to prove
  To spirits bound in flesh that yet they love;
  To give them notice of the things below,
  Which we must wonder how they came to know,
  Or known, would think of coming to relate
  To creatures who are tried by unknown fate.      10
    “Warning,” said Richard, “seems the only thing
  That would a spirit on an errand bring;
  To turn a guilty mind from wrong to right
  A ghost might come; at least I think it might.”
    “But,” said the Brother, “if we here are tried,
  A spirit sent would put that law aside;
  It gives to some advantage others need,
  Or hurts the sinner, should it not succeed.
  ‘If from the dead,’ said Dives, ‘one were sent
  To warn my brethren, sure they would repent;’      20
  But Abraham answer’d, [‘If] they now reject
  The guides they have, no more would that effect;
  Their doubts too obstinate for grace would prove,
  For wonder hardens hearts it fails to move.’
    “Suppose a sinner in an hour of gloom,
  And let a ghost with all its horrors come;
  From lips unmoved let solemn accents flow,
  Solemn his gesture be, his motion slow;
  Let the waved hand and threatening look impart
  Truth to the mind and terror to the heart;      30
  And, when the form is fading to the view,
  Let the convicted man cry, ‘this is true!’
    “Alas! how soon would doubts again invade
  The willing mind, and sins again persuade!
  I saw it—What?—I was awake, but how?
  Not as I am, or I should see it now:
  It spoke, I think—I thought, at least, it spoke—
  And look’d alarming—yes, I felt the look.
    “But then in sleep those horrid forms arise,
  That the soul sees,—and, we suppose, the eyes—      40
  And the soul hears—the senses then thrown by,
  She is herself the ear, herself the eye;
  A mistress so will free her servile race
  For their own tasks, and take herself the place:
  In sleep what forms will ductile fancy take,
  And what so common as to dream awake?
  On others thus do ghostly guests intrude?
  Or why am I by such advice pursued?
  One out of millions who exist, and why
  They know not—cannot know—and such am I;      50
  And shall two beings of two worlds, to meet,
  The laws of one, perhaps of both, defeat?
  It cannot be—But, if some being lives
  Who such kind warning to a favourite gives,
  Let him these doubts from my dull spirit clear,
  And once again, expected guest! appear.
    “And if a second time the power complied,      }
  Why is a third, and why a fourth denied?      }
  Why not a warning ghost for ever at our side?      }
  Ah, foolish being! thou hast truth enough;      60
  Augmented guilt would rise on greater proof;
  Blind and imperious passion disbelieves,
  Or madly scorns the warning it receives,
  Or looks for pardon ere the ill be done,
  Because ’tis vain to strive our fate to shun;
  In spite of ghosts, predestined woes would come,
  And warning add new terrors to our doom.
    “Yet there are tales that would remove our doubt—
  The whisper’d tales that circulate about;
  That in some noble mansion take their rise,      70
  And told with secresy and awe, surprise.
  It seems not likely people should advance,
  For falsehood’s sake, such train of circumstance;
  Then the ghosts bear them with a ghost-like grace,
  That suits the person, character, and place.
    “But let us something of the kind recite:
  What think you, now, of Lady Barbara’s spright?”—
    “I know not what to think; but I have heard
  A ghost, to warn her or advise, appear’d;
  And that she sought a friend before she died      80
  To whom she might the awful fact confide;
  Who seal’d and secret should the story keep
  Till Lady Barbara slept her final sleep,
  In that close bed, that never spirit shakes,
  Nor ghostly visitor the sleeper wakes.”—
    “Yes, I can give that story, not so well
  As your old woman would the legend tell,
  But as the facts are stated; and now hear
  How ghosts advise, and widows persevere.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    When her lord died, who had so kind a heart,      90
  That any woman would have grieved to part,
  It had such influence on his widow’s mind,
  That she the pleasures of the world resign’d,
  Young as she was, and from the busy town
  Came to the quiet of a village down:
  Not as insensible to joys, but still
  With a subdued but half-rebellious will;
  For she had passions warm, and feeling strong,
  With a right mind, that dreaded to be wrong.—
  Yet she had wealth to tie her to the place      100
  Where it procures delight and veils disgrace;
  Yet she had beauty to engage the eye,
  A widow still in her minority;
  Yet she had merit worthy men to gain,
  And yet her hand no merit could obtain;
  For, though secluded, there were trials made,
  When he who soften’d most could not persuade;
  Awhile she hearken’d as her swain proposed,
  And then his suit with strong refusal closed.
    “Thanks, and farewell!—give credit to my word,      110
  That I shall die the widow of my lord;
  ’Tis my own will, I now prefer the state—
  If mine should change, it is the will of fate.”
    Such things were spoken, and the hearers cried,
  “’Tis very strange,—perhaps she may be tried.”
    The lady past her time in taking air,
  In working, reading, charities, and prayer;
  In the last duties she received the aid
  Of an old friend, a priest, with whom she pray’d;
  And to his mansion with a purpose went,      120
  That there should life be innocently spent;
  Yet no cold vot’ress of the cloister she:
  Warm her devotion, warm her charity;
  The face the index of a feeling mind,
  And her whole conduct rational and kind.
    Though rich and noble, she was pleased to slide
  Into the habits of her reverend guide,
  And so attended to his girls and boys,
  She seem’d a mother in her fears and joys;
  On her they look’d with fondness, something check’d      130
  By her appearance, that engaged respect;
  For still she dress’d as one of higher race,
  And her sweet smiles had dignity and grace.
    George was her favourite, and it gave her joy
  To indulge and to instruct the darling boy;
  To watch, to soothe, to check the forward child,
  Who was at once affectionate and wild;
  Happy and grateful for her tender care,
  And pleased her thoughts and company to share.
    George was a boy with spirit strong and high,      140
  With handsome face, and penetrating eye;
  O’er his broad forehead hung his locks of brown,
  That gave a spirit to his boyish frown;
  “My little man,” were words that she applied
  To him, and he received with growing pride;
  Her darling, even from his infant years,
  Had something touching in his smiles and tears;
  And in his boyish manners he began
  To show the pride that was not made for man;
  But it became the child, the mother cried,      150
  And the kind lady said it was not pride.
    George, to his cost, though sometimes to his praise,
  Was quite a hero in these early days,
  And would return from heroes just as stout,
  Blood in his crimson cheek, and blood without.
    “What! he submit to vulgar boys and low,
  He bear an insult, he forget a blow!
  They call’d him Parson—let his father bear
  His own reproach, it was his proper care;
  He was no parson, but he still would teach      160
  The boys their manners, and yet would not preach.”
    The father, thoughtful of the time foregone,      }
  Was loth to damp the spirit of his son;      }
  Rememb’ring he himself had early laurels won;      }
  The mother, frighten’d, begg’d him to refrain,
  And not his credit or his linen stain.
  While the kind friend so gently blamed the deed,
  He smiled in tears, and wish’d her to proceed;
  For the boy pleased her, and that roguish eye      }
  And daring look were cause of many a sigh,      170}
  When she had thought how much would such quick temper try;      }
  And oft she felt a kind of gathering gloom,
  Sad, and prophetic of the ills to come.
    Years fled unmark’d; the lady taught no more
  Th’ adopted tribe, as she was wont before;
  But by her help the school the lasses sought,
  And by the vicar’s self the boy was taught;
  Not unresisting when that cursed Greek
  Ask’d so much time for words that none will speak.
    “What can men worse for mortal brain contrive      180
  Than thus a hard dead language to revive!
  Heav’ns, if a language once be fairly dead,      }
  Let it be buried, not preserved and read,      }
  The bane of every boy to decent station bred.      }
  If any good these crabbed books contain,
  Translate them well, and let them then remain;
  To one huge vault convey the useless store,
  Then lose the key, and never find it more.”
    Something like this the lively boy express’d,
  When Homer was his torment and his jest.      190
    “George,” said the father, “can at pleasure seize
  The point he wishes, and with too much ease;
  And hence, depending on his powers and vain,
  He wastes the time that he will sigh to gain.”
    The partial widow thought the wasted days
  He would recover, urged by love and praise;
  And thus absolved, the boy, with grateful mind,
  Repaid a love so useful and so blind;
  Her angry words he loved, although he fear’d,
  And words not angry doubly kind appear’d.      200
    George, then on manhood verging, felt the charms
  Of war, and kindled at the world’s alarms;
  Yet war was then, though spreading wide and far,
  A state of peace to what has since been war:
  ’Twas then some dubious claim at sea or land,
  That placed a weapon in a warrior’s hand;
  But in these times the causes of our strife
  Are hearth and altar, liberty and life.
    George, when from college he return’d, and heard
  His father’s questions, cold and shy appear’d.      210
    “Who had the honours?”—“Honour!” said the youth,
  “Honour at college!—very good, in truth!”—
    “What hours to study did he give?”—“He gave
  Enough to feel they made him like a slave”—
  And the good vicar found, if George should rise,
  It would not be by college exercise.
    “At least the time for your degree abide,
  And be ordain’d,” the man of peace replied;
  “Then you may come and aid me while I keep,
  And watch, and shear, the hereditary sheep;      220
  Choose then your spouse.”—That heard the youth, and sigh’d,
  Nor to aught else attended or replied.
    George had of late indulged unusual fears
  And dangerous hopes; he wept unconscious tears;—
  Whether for camp or college, well he knew
  He must at present bid his friends adieu;
  His father, mother, sisters,—could he part
  With these, and feel no sorrow at his heart?
  But from that lovely lady could he go?
  That fonder, fairer, dearer mother?—No!      230
  For while his father spoke, he fix’d his eyes      }
  On that dear face, and felt a warmth arise,      }
  A trembling flush of joy, that he could ill disguise—      }
  Then ask’d himself from whence this growing bliss,
  This new-found joy, and all that waits on this?
  Why sinks that voice so sweetly in mine ear?
  What makes it now a livelier joy to hear?
  Why gives that touch—Still, still do I retain
  The fierce delight that tingled through each vein—
  Why at her presence with such quickness flows      240
  The vital current?—Well a lover knows.
    O! tell me not of years,—can she be old?      }
  Those eyes, those lips, can man unmoved behold?      }
  Has time that bosom chill’d? are cheeks so rosy cold?      }
  No, she is young, or I, her love t’ engage,
  Will grow discreet, and that will seem like age:
  But speak it not; Death’s equalizing arm
  Levels not surer than Love’s stronger charm,
  That bids all inequalities be gone,
  That laughs at rank, that mocks comparison.      250
    There is not young or old, if Love decrees;
  He levels orders, he confounds degrees;
  There is not fair, or dark, or short, or tall,
  Or grave, or sprightly—Love reduces all;
  From each, abundant good a portion takes,
  And for each want a compensation makes;
  Then tell me not of years—Love, power divine,
  Takes, as he wills, from hers, and gives to mine.
    And she, in truth, was lovely—Time had strown
  No snows on her, though he so long had flown;      260
  The purest damask blossom’d in her cheek;
  The eyes said all that eyes are wont to speak;
  Her pleasing person she with care adorn’d,
  Nor arts that stay the flying graces scorn’d;
  Nor held it wrong these graces to renew,
  Or give the fading rose its opening hue;
  Yet few there were who needed less the art
  To hide an error, or a grace impart.
    George, yet a child, her faultless form admired,
  And call’d his fondness love, as truth required;      270
  But now, when conscious of the secret flame,
  His bosom’s pain, he dared not give the name.
  In her the mother’s milder passion grew;
  Tender she was, but she was placid too;
  From him the mild and filial love was gone,
  And a strong passion came in triumph on.
    “Will she,” he cried, “this impious love allow?
  And, once my mother, be my mistress now?
  The parent-spouse? how far the thought from her,
  And how can I the daring wish aver?      280
  When first I speak it, how will those dear eyes
  Gleam with awaken’d horror and surprise;
  Will she not, angry and indignant, fly
  From my imploring call, and bid me die?
  Will she not shudder at the thought, and say,
  My son! and lift her eyes to heaven and pray?
  Alas! I fear—and yet my soul she won
  While she with fond endearments call’d me son!
  Then first I felt—yet knew that I was wrong—
  This hope, at once so guilty and so strong;      290
  She gave—I feel it now—a mother’s kiss,
  And quickly fancy took a bolder bliss;
  But hid the burning blush, for fear that eye
  Should see the transport, and the bliss deny.
  O! when she knows the purpose I conceal,      }
  When my fond wishes to her bosom steal,      }
  How will the angel fear? How will the woman feel?      }
    “And yet perhaps this instant, while I speak,
  She knows the pain I feel, the cure I seek;
  Better than I she may my feelings know,      300
  And nurse the passion that she dares not show.
  She reads the look,—and sure my eyes have shown
  To her the power and triumph of her own—
  And in maternal love she veils the flame
  That she will heal with joy, yet hear with shame.
    “Come, let me then—no more a son—reveal
  The daring hope, and for her favour kneel;
  Let me in ardent speech my meanings dress,
  And, while I mourn the fault, my love confess;
  And, once confess’d, no more that hope resign,      310
  For she or misery henceforth must be mine.
    “O! what confusion shall I see advance
  On that dear face, responsive to my glance!
  Sure she can love!”
                       In fact, the youth was right;
  She could, but love was dreadful in her sight;
  Love like a spectre in her view appear’d;
  The nearer he approach’d the more she fear’d.
    But knew she, then, this dreaded love? She guess’d
  That he had guilt—she knew he had not rest;
  She saw a fear that she could ill define,      320
  And nameless terrors in his looks combine.
  It is a state that cannot long endure,
  And yet both parties dreaded to be sure.
    All views were past of priesthood and a gown,
  George, fix’d on glory, now prepared for town;
  But first this mighty hazard must be run,
  And more than glory either lost or won:
  Yet, what was glory? Could he win that heart
  And gain that hand, what cause was there to part?
  Her love afforded all that life affords—      330
  Honour and fame were phantasies and words!
    But he must see her—She alone was seen
  In the still evening of a day serene;
  In the deep shade beyond the garden walk
  They met, and, talking, ceased and fear’d to talk.
  At length she spoke of parent’s love—and now
  He hazards all—“No parent, lady, thou!
  None, none to me! but looks so fond and mild
  Would well become the parent of my child.”
    She gasp’d for breath—then sat as one resolved      340
  On some high act, and then the means revolved.
    “It cannot be, my George, my child, my son!
  The thought is misery!—Guilt and misery shun:
  Far from us both be such design, O, far!
  Let it not pain us at the awful bar,
  Where souls are tried, where known the mother’s part
  That I sustain, and all of either heart.
    “To wed with thee I must all shame efface,
  And part with female dignity and grace:
  Was I not told, by one who knew so well      350
  This rebel heart, that it must not rebel?
  Were I not warn’d, yet Reason’s voice would cry,
  ‘Retreat, resolve, and from the danger fly!’
  If Reason spoke not, yet would woman’s pride
  A woman’s will by better counsel guide;
  And should both Pride and Prudence plead in vain,      }
  There is a warning that must still remain,      }
  And, though the heart rebelled, would ever cry ‘Refrain.’”      }
    He heard, he grieved—so checked, the eager youth
  Dared not again repeat th’ offensive truth,      360
  But stopp’d, and fix’d on that loved face an eye
  Of pleading passion, trembling to reply;
  And that reply was hurried, was express’d
  With bursts of sorrow from a troubled breast;
  He could not yet forbear the tender suit,
  Yet dared not speak—his eloquence was mute.
  But though awhile in silence he supprest
  The pleading voice, and bade his passion rest,
  Yet in each motion, in each varying look,
  In every tender glance, that passion spoke.—      370
  Words find, ere long, a passage; and once more
  He warmly urges what he urged before;
  He feels acutely, and he thinks, of course,
  That what he feels his language will enforce;
  Flame will to flame give birth, and fire to fire,
  And so from heart to heart is caught desire;
  He wonders how a gentle mind so long
  Resists the pleading of a love so strong—
  “And can that heart,” he cries, “that face belie,
  And know no softness? Will it yet deny?”—      380
    “I tell thee, George, as I have told before,
  I feel a mother’s love, and feel no more;
  A child I bore thee in my arms, and how
  Could I—did prudence yield—receive thee now?”
    At her remonstrance hope revived, for oft
  He found her words severe, her accents soft;
  In eyes that threaten’d tears of pity stood,
  And truth she made as gracious as she could.—
  But, when she found the dangerous youth would seek
  His peace alone, and still his wishes speak,      390
  Fearful she grew, that, opening thus his heart,
  He might to hers a dangerous warmth impart:
  All her objections slight to him appear’d—
  But one she had, and now it must be heard.
    “Yes, it must be! and he shall understand
  What powers, that are not of the world, command;
  So shall he cease, and I in peace shall live—”
  Sighing she spoke—“that widowhood can give!”
  Then to her lover turn’d, and gravely said,
  “Let due attention to my words be paid:      400
  Meet me to-morrow, and resolve t’ obey;”
  Then named the hour and place, and went her way.
    Before that hour, or moved by spirit vain
  Of woman’s wish to triumph and complain,
  She had his parents summon’d, and had shown
  Their son’s strong wishes, nor conceal’d her own:
  “And do you give,” she said, “a parent’s aid      }
  To make the youth of his strange love afraid;      }
  And, be it sin or not, be all the shame display’d.”      }
    The good old pastor wonder’d, seem’d to grieve,      410
  And look’d suspicious on this child of Eve.
  He judged his boy, though wild, had never dared
  To talk of love, had not rebuke been spared;
  But he replied, in mild and tender tone,
  “It is not sin, and therefore shame has none.”
    The different ages of the pair he knew,
  And quite as well their different fortunes too:
  A meek, just man; but difference in his sight
  That made the match unequal made it right.
  “His son, his friend united, and become      420
  Of his own hearth—the comforts of his home—
  Was it so wrong? Perhaps it was her pride
  That felt the distance, and the youth denied?”
    The blushing widow heard, and she retired,
  Musing on what her ancient friend desired;
  She could not, therefore, to the youth complain,
  That his good father wish’d him to refrain;
  She could not add, [‘Your] parents, George, obey,
  They will your absence’—no such will had they.
    Now, in th’ appointed minute met the pair,      430
  Foredoom’d to meet: George made the lover’s prayer—
  That was heard kindly; then the lady tried
  For a calm spirit, felt it, and replied.
    “George, that I love thee why should I suppress?
  For ’tis a love that virtue may profess—
  Parental—frown not—tender, fix’d, sincere;      }
  Thou art for dearer ties by much too dear,      }
  And nearer must not be, thou art so very near.      }
  Nay, do not reason, prudence, pride agree,
  Our very feelings, that it must not be?      440
  Nay, look not so, I shun the task no more,
  But will to thee thy better self restore.
    “Then hear, and hope not; to the tale I tell
  Attend! obey me, and let all be well.
  Love is forbad to me, and thou wilt find
  All thy too ardent views must be resign’d;
  Then from thy bosom all such thoughts remove,
  And spare the curse of interdicted love.
    “If doubts at first assail thee, wait awhile,
  Nor mock my sadness with satiric smile;      450
  For, if not much of other worlds we know,
  Nor how a spirit speaks in this below,
  Still there is speech and intercourse; and now      }
  The truth of what I tell I first avow:      }
  True will I be in all, and be attentive thou.      }

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “I was a Ratcliffe, taught and train’d to live
  In all the pride that ancestry can give;
  My only brother, when our mother died,
  Fill’d the dear offices of friend and guide;
  My father early taught us all he dared,      460
  And for his bolder flights our minds prepared:
  He read the works of deists, every book
  From crabbed Hobbes to courtly Bolingbroke;
  And when we understood not, he would cry,
  ‘Let the expressions in your memory lie,
  The light will soon break in, and you will find
  Rest for your spirits, and be strong of mind!’
    “Alas! however strong, however weak,
  The rest was something we had still to seek!
    “He taught us duties of no arduous kind,      470
  The easy morals of the doubtful mind;
  He bade us all our childish fears control,
  And drive the nurse and grandam from the soul;
  Told us the word of God was all we saw,
  And that the law of nature was his law;
  This law of nature we might find abstruse,
  But gain sufficient for our common use.
    “Thus, by persuasion, we our duties learn’d,
  And were but little in the cause concern’d.
  We lived in peace, in intellectual ease,      480
  And thought that virtue was the way to please,
  And pure morality the keeping free
  From all the stains of vulgar villany.
    “But Richard, dear enthusiast! shunn’d reproach;
  He let no stain upon his name encroach;
  But fled the hated vice, was kind and just,
  That all must love him, and that all might trust.
    “Free, sad discourse was ours; we often sigh’d
  To think we could not in some truths confide.
  Our father’s final words gave no content;      490
  We found not what his self-reliance meant.
  To fix our faith some grave relations sought,      }
  Doctrines and creeds of various kind they brought,      }
  And we as children heard what they as doctors taught.      }
    “Some to the priest referr’d us, in whose book
  No unbeliever could resisting look;
  Others to some great preacher’s, who could tame
  The fiercest mind, and set the cold on flame;
  For him no rival in dispute was found
  Whom he could not confute or not confound.      500
  Some mystics told us of the sign and seal,      }
  And what the spirit would in time reveal,      }
  If we had grace to wait, if we had hearts to feel:      }
  Others, to reason trusting, said, [‘Believe]
  As she directs, and what she proves receive;’
  While many told us, [‘It] is all but guess,
  Stick to your church, and calmly acquiesce.’
    “Thus, doubting, wearied, hurried, and perplex’d,
  This world was lost in thinking of the next;
  When spoke my brother—‘From my soul I hate      510
  This clash of thought, this ever doubting state;
  For ever seeking certainty, yet blind
  In our research, and puzzled when we find.
    “‘Could not some spirit, in its kindness, steal
  Back to our world, and some dear truth reveal?
  Say there is danger—if it could be done,
  Sure one would venture—I would be the one;
  And when a spirit—much as spirits might—
  I would to thee communicate my light!’
    “I sought my daring brother to oppose,      520
  But awful gladness in my bosom rose.
  I fear’d my wishes; but through all my frame
  A bold and elevating terror came;
  Yet with dissembling prudence I replied,
  ‘Know we the laws that may be thus defied?
  Should the free spirit to th’ embodied tell
  The precious secret, would it not rebel?’
  Yet, while I spoke, I felt a pleasing glow
  Suffuse my cheek at what I long’d to know;
  And I, like Eve transgressing, grew more bold,      530
  And wish’d to hear a spirit and behold.
    “‘I have no friend,’ said he, ‘to not one man
  Can I appear; but, love! to thee I can:
  Who first shall die’—I wept, but—‘I agree      }
  To all thou say’st, dear Richard! and would be      }
  The first to wing my way, and bring my news to thee.’      }
    “Long we conversed, but not till we perceived
  A gathering gloom—Our freedom gain’d, we grieved;
  Above the vulgar, as we judged, in mind,
  Below in peace, more sad as more refined;      540
  ’Twas joy, ’twas sin—Offenders at the time,
  We felt the hurried pleasure of our crime
  With pain that crime creates, and this in both—
  Our mind united as the strongest oath.
  O, my dear George! in ceasing to obey,
  Misery and trouble meet us in our way!
  I felt as one intruding in a scene
  Where none should be, where none had ever been;
  Like our first parent, I was new to sin,
  But plainly felt its sufferings begin;      550
  In nightly dreams I walk’d on soil unsound,
  And in my day-dreams endless error found.
    “With this dear brother I was doom’d to part,
  Who, with an husband, shared a troubled heart.
  My lord I honour’d; but I never proved
  The madd’ning joy, the boast of some who loved:
  It was a marriage that our friends profess’d
  Would be most happy, and I acquiesced;
  And we were happy, for our love was calm—
  Not life’s delicious essence, but its balm.      560
    “My brother left us—dear, unhappy boy!
  He never seem’d to taste of earthly joy,
  Never to live on earth, but ever strove
  To gain some tidings of a world above.
    “Parted from him, I found no more to please;
  Ease was my object, and I dwelt in ease;
  And thus in quiet, not perhaps content,
  A year in wedlock, lingering time! was spent.
    “One night I slept not, but I courted sleep,
  And forced my thoughts on tracks they could not keep;      570
  Till nature, wearied in the strife, reposed,
  And deep forgetfulness my wanderings closed.
    “My lord was absent—distant from the bed,
  A pendent lamp its soften’d lustre shed;
  But there was light that chased away the gloom,
  And brought to view each object in the room:
  These I observed ere yet I sunk in sleep,
  That, if disturb’d not, had been long and deep.
    “I was awaken’d by some being nigh,
  It seem’d some voice, and gave a timid cry—      580
  When sounds, that I describe not, slowly broke
  On my attention——‘Be composed, and look!’—
  I strove, and I succeeded; look’d with awe,
  But yet with firmness, and my brother saw.
    “George, why that smile?—By all that God has done,      }
  By the great Spirit, by the blessed Son,      }
  By the one holy Three, by the thrice holy One,      }
  I saw my brother—saw him by my bed,
  And every doubt in full conviction fled!—
  It was his own mild spirit—He awhile      590
  Waited my calmness with benignant smile;
  So softly shines the veiled sun, till past
  The cloud, and light upon the world is cast.
  That look composed and soften’d I survey’d,
  And met the glance fraternal less afraid;
  Though in those looks was something of command,
  And traits of what I fear’d to understand.
    “Then spoke the spirit—George, I pray, attend—
  ‘First let all doubts of thy religion end—
  The word reveal’d is true: inquire no more;      600
  Believe in meekness, and with thanks adore;
  Thy priest attend, but not in all rely,
  And to objectors seek for no reply:
  Truth, doubt, and error, will be mix’d below—
  Be thou content the greater truths to know,
  And in obedience rest thee—For thy life
  Thou needest counsel—now a happy wife,
  A widow soon! and then, my sister, then
  Think not of marriage, think no more of men;—
  Life will have comforts; thou wilt much enjoy      610
  Of moderate good, then do not this destroy;
  Fear much, and wed no more; by passion led,      }
  Shouldst thou again’—Art thou attending?—‘wed,      }
  Care in thy ways will growl, and anguish haunt thy bed.      }
  A brother’s warning on thy heart engrave:
  Thou art a mistress—then be not a slave!
  Shouldst thou again that hand in fondness give,
  What life of misery art thou doom’d to live!
  How wilt thou weep, lament, implore, complain!      }
  How wilt thou meet derision and disdain!      620}
  And pray to heaven in doubt, and kneel to man in vain!      }
  Thou read’st of woes to tender bosoms sent—
  Thine shall with tenfold agony be rent;
  Increase of anguish shall new years bestow,      }
  Pain shall on thought and grief on reason grow,      }
  And this, th’ advice I give, increase the ill I show.’      }
    “‘A second marriage!—No!—by all that’s dear!’
  I cried aloud—The spirit bade me hear.
    “‘There will be trial—how I must not say,
  Perhaps I cannot—listen, and obey!—      630
  Free is thy will—th’ event I cannot see,
  Distinctly cannot, but thy will is free.
  Come, weep not, sister—spirits can but guess,
  And not ordain—but do not wed distress;
  For who would rashly venture on a snare?’
  ‘I swear!’ I answer’d.—‘No, thou must not swear,’
  He said, or I had sworn; but still the vow
  Was past, was in my mind, and there is now:
  Never! O, never!—Why that sullen air?
  Think’st thou—ungenerous!—I would wed despair?      640
    “Was it not told me thus?—and then I cried,
  ‘Art thou in bliss?’—but nothing he replied,
  Save of my fate; for that he came to show,
  Nor of aught else permitted me to know.
    “‘Forewarn’d, forearm thee, and thy way pursue,
  Safe, if thou wilt, not flow’ry—now, adieu!’
    “‘Nay, go not thus,’ I cried, ‘for this will seem
  The work of sleep, a mere impressive dream;
  Give me some token, that I may indeed
  From the suggestions of my doubts be freed!’      650
    “‘Be this a token—ere the week be fled
  Shall tidings greet thee from the newly dead.’
    “‘Nay, but,’ I said, with courage not my own,
  ‘O! be some signal of thy presence shown;
  Let not this visit with the rising day
  Pass, and be melted like a dream away.’
    “‘O, woman! woman! ever anxious still
  To gain the knowledge, not to curb the will!
  Have I not promised?—Child of sin, attend—
  Make not a lying spirit of thy friend:      660
  Give me thy hand!’—I gave it, for my soul
  Was now grown ardent, and above control;
  Eager I stretch’d it forth, and felt the hold
  Of shadowy fingers, more than icy cold:
  A nameless pressure on my wrist was made,
  And instant vanish’d the beloved shade!
  Strange it will seem, but, ere the morning came,
  I slept, nor felt disorder in my frame;
  Then came a dream—I saw my father’s shade,
  But not with awe like that my brother’s made;      670
  And he began—‘What! made a convert, child?
  Have they my favourite by their creed beguiled?
  Thy brother’s weakness I could well foresee,
  But had, my girl, more confidence in thee.
  Art thou, indeed, before their ark to bow?
  I smiled before, but I am angry now.
  Thee will they bind by threats, and thou wilt shake
  At tales of terror that the miscreants make;
  Between the bigot and enthusiast led,
  Thou hast a world of miseries to dread:      680
  Think for thyself, nor let the knaves or fools
  Rob thee of reason, and prescribe thee rules.’
    “Soon as I woke, and could my thoughts collect,
  What can I think, I cried, or what reject?
  Was it my brother? Aid me, power divine!
  Have I not seen him, left he not a sign?
  Did I not then the placid features trace
  That now remain—the air, the eye, the face?
  And then my father—but how different seem
  These visitations—this, indeed, a dream!      690
    “Then for that token on my wrist—’tis here,
  And very slight to you it must appear;
  Here, I’ll withdraw the bracelet—’tis a speck!
  No more! but ’tis upon my life a check.”—
    “O! lovely all, and like its sister arm!
  Call this a check, dear lady? ’tis a charm—
  A slight, an accidental mark—no more”——
  Slight as it is, it was not there before;
  Then was there weakness, and I bound it——Nay!
  This is infringement—take those lips away!      700
    “On the fourth day came letters, and I cried,      }
  ‘Richard is dead,’ and named the day he died:      }
  A proof of knowledge, true! but one, alas! of pride.      }
  The signs to me were brought, and not my lord,
  But I impatient waited not the word;
  And much he marvell’d, reading of the night
  In which th’ immortal spirit took its flight.
    “Yes! I beheld my brother at my bed,      }
  The hour he died! the instant he was dead—      }
  His presence now I see! now trace him as he fled.      710}
    “Ah! fly me, George, in very pity, fly;
  Thee I reject, but yield thee reasons why;
  Our fate forbids—the counsel heaven has sent
  We must adopt, or grievously repent;
  And I adopt”——George humbly bow’d, and sigh’d,
  But, lost in thought, he look’d not nor replied;
  Yet feebly utter’d in his sad adieu,
  “I must not doubt thy truth, but perish if thou’rt true.”
    But when he thought alone, his terror gone
  Of the strange story, better views came on.      720
    “Nay, my enfeebled heart, be not dismay’d!
  A boy again, am I of ghosts afraid?
  Does she believe it? Say she does believe,      }
  Is she not born of error and of Eve?      }
  O! there is lively hope I may the cause retrieve.”      }
    “‘If you re-wed,’ exclaim’d the Ghost—For what
  Puts he the case, if marry she will not?
  He knows her fate—but what am I about?
  Do I believe?—’tis certain I have doubt,
  And so has she—what therefore will she do?                  730}
  She the predicted fortune will pursue,      }
  And by th’ event will judge if her strange dream was true;      }
  The strong temptation to her thought applied
  Will gain new strength, and will not be denied;
  The very threat against the thing we love
  Will the vex’d spirit to resistance move;
  With vows to virtue weakness will begin,
  And fears of sinning let in thoughts of sin.”
    Strong in her sense of weakness, now withdrew
  The cautious lady from the lover’s view;      740
  But she perceived the looks of all were changed—
  Her kind old friends grew peevish and estranged;
  A fretful spirit reign’d, and discontent
  From room to room in sullen silence went;
  And the kind widow was distress’d at heart
  To think that she no comfort could impart:
  “But he will go,” she said, “and he will strive
  In fields of glorious energy to drive
  Love from his bosom—Yes, I then may stay,
  And all will thank me on a future day.”      750
    So judged the lady, nor appear’d to grieve,
  Till the young soldier came to take his leave;
  But not of all assembled—No! he found
  His gentle sisters all in sorrow drown’d;
  With many a shaken hand, and many a kiss,
  He cried, “Farewell! a solemn business this;
  Nay, Susan, Sophy!—heaven and earth, my dears!
  I am a soldier—What do I with tears?”
    He sought his parents;—they together walk’d,
  And of their son, his views and dangers, talk’d;      760
  They knew not how to blame their friend, but still
  They murmur’d, “She may save us if she will;
  Were not these visions working in her mind
  Strange things—’tis in her nature to be kind.”
    Their son appear’d—He sooth’d them, and was bless’d,
  But still the fondness of his soul confess’d—
  And where the lady?—To her room retired!
  Now show, dear son, the courage she required.
    George bow’d in silence, trying for assent
  To his hard fate, and to his trial went:      770
  Fond, but yet fix’d, he found her in her room;      }
  Firm, and yet fearful, she beheld him come;      }
  Nor sought he favour now—No! he would meet his doom.      }
    “Farewell! and, Madam, I beseech you pray
  That this sad spirit soon may pass away;
  That sword or ball would to the dust restore
  This body, that the soul may grieve no more
  For love rejected——O! that I could quit
  The life I lothe, who am for nothing fit,
  No, not to die!”——“Unhappy, wilt thou make      780
  The house all wretched for thy passion’s sake?
  And most its grieving object?”—
                                “Grieving?—No!
  Or as a conqueror mourns a dying foe,
  That makes his triumph sure——Couldst thou deplore
  The evil done, the pain would be no more;
  But an accursed dream has steel’d thy breast,
  And all the woman in thy soul suppress’d.”—
    “O! it was vision, George; a vision true
  As ever seer or holy prophet knew.”—
    “Can spirits, lady, though they might alarm,      790
  Make an impression on that lovely arm?
  A little cold the cause, a little heat,
  Or vein minute, or artery’s morbid beat;
  Even beauty these [admits].”—
                              “I did behold
  My brother’s form.”—
                      “Yes, so thy Fancy told,
  When in the morning she her work survey’d,
  And call’d the doubtful memory to her aid.”—
    “Nay, think! the night he died—the very night!”—      }
  “’Tis very true, and so perchance he might;      }
  But in thy mind—not, lady, in thy sight!                  800}
  Thou wert not well; forms delicately made
  These dreams and fancies easily invade;
  The mind and body feel the slow disease,
  And dreams are what the troubled fancy sees.”—
    “O! but how strange that all should be combined!”—
  “True; but such combinations we may find;
  A dream’s predicted number gain’d a prize,      }
  Yet dreams make no impression on the wise,      }
  Though some chance good, some lucky gain may rise.”      }
    “O! but those words, that voice so truly known!”——      810
  “No doubt, dear lady, they were all thine own;
  Memory for thee thy brother’s form portray’d;
  It was thy fear the awful warning made:
  Thy former doubts of a religious kind
  Account for all these wanderings of the mind.”—
    “But then, how different when my father came,
  These could not in their nature be the same!”—
    “Yes, all are dreams; but some as we awake
  Fly off at once, and no impression make;
  Others are felt, and ere they quit the brain      820
  Make such impression that they come again,
  As half familiar thoughts, and half unknown,
  And scarcely recollected as our own.
  For half a day abide some vulgar dreams,
  And give our grandams and our nurses themes;
  Others, more strong, abiding figures draw
  Upon the brain, and we assert ‘I saw’;
  And then [will] fancy on the organs place
  A powerful likeness of a form and face.
    “Yet more—in some strong passion’s troubled reign,      830
  Or when the fever’d blood inflames the brain,
  At once the outward and the inward eye
  The real object and the fancied spy.
  The eye is open, and the sense is true,
  And therefore they the outward object view;
  But, while the real sense is fix’d on these,
  The power within its own creation sees;
  And these, when mingled in the mind, create
  Those striking visions which our dreamers state;
  For knowing that is true that met the sight,      840
  They think the judgment of the fancy right.——
  Your frequent talk of dreams has made me turn
  My mind on them, and these the facts I learn.
    “Or should you say, ’tis not in us to take
  Heed in both ways, to sleep and be awake:
  Perhaps the things by eye and mind survey’d
  Are in their quick alternate efforts made;
  For by this mixture of the truth, the dream
  Will in the morning fresh and vivid seem.
    “Dreams are like portraits, and we find they please      850
  Because they are confess’d resemblances;
  But those strange night-mare visions we compare
  To waxen figures—they too real are,
  Too much a very truth, and are so just
  To life and death, they pain us or disgust.
    “Hence, from your mind these idle visions shake,
  And O! my love, to happiness awake!”—
    “It _was_ a warning, tempter! from the dead;
  And, wedding thee, I should to misery wed!”—
    “False and injurious! What! unjust to thee?      860
  O! hear the vows of Love—it cannot be;
  What, I forbear to bless thee—I forego
  That first great blessing of existence? No!
  Did every ghost that terror saw arise
  With such prediction, I should say it lies;
  But none there are—a mighty gulf between
  Hides the ideal world from objects seen;
  We know not where unbodied spirits dwell,
  But this we know, they are invisible;—
  Yet I have one that fain would dwell with thee,      870
  And always with thy purer spirit be.”—
    “O! leave me, George!”—
                          “To take the field, and die:
  So leave thee, lady? Yes, I will comply;
  Thou art too far above me—Ghosts withstand
  My hopes in vain, but riches guard thy hand;
  For I am poor—affection and an heart
  To thee devoted, I but these impart:
  Then bid me go, I will thy words obey,
  But let not visions drive thy friend away.”—
    “Hear me, Oh! hear me—Shall I wed my son?”—      880
  “I am in fondness and obedience one;
  And I will reverence, honour, love, adore,
  Be all that fondest sons can be—and more;
  And shall thy son, if such he be, proceed
  To fierce encounters, and in battle bleed?
  No; thou canst weep!”—
                          “O! leave me, I entreat;      }
  Leave me a moment—we shall quickly meet.”—      }
    “No! here I kneel, a beggar at thy feet.”—      }
  He said, and knelt—with accents, softer still,
  He woo’d the weakness of a failing will,      890
  And erring judgment—took her hand, and cried,
  “Withdraw it not!—O! let it thus abide,
  Pledge of thy love—upon thy act depend
  My joy, my hope,—thus they begin or end!
  Withdraw it not!”——He saw her looks express’d
  Favour and grace—the hand was firmer press’d—
  Signs of opposing fear no more were shown;
  And, as he press’d, he felt it was his own.
    Soon through the house was known the glad assent;
  The night so dreaded was in comfort spent;      900
  War was no more, the destined knot was tied,
  And the fond widow made a fearful bride.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Let mortal frailty judge how mortals frail      }
  Thus in their strongest resolutions fail,      }
  And, though we blame, our pity will prevail.      }
    Yet, with that Ghost—for so she thought—in view,
  When she believed that all he told was true;
  When every threat was to her mind recall’d,
  Till it became affrighten’d and appall’d;
  When Reason pleaded, ‘think! forbear! refrain!’            910}
  And when, though trifling, stood that mystic stain,      }
  Predictions, warnings, threats, were present all in vain.      }
  Th’ exulting youth a mighty conqueror rose,
  And who hereafter shall his will oppose?—
    Such is our tale; but we must yet attend      }
  Our weak, kind widow to her journey’s end;      }
  Upon her death-bed laid, confessing to a friend      }
  Her full belief, for to the hour she died      }
  This she profess’d——“The truth I must not hide,      }
  It was my brother’s form, and in the night he died.      920}
  In sorrow and in shame has pass’d my time,
  All I have suffer’d [follow’d] from my crime;
  I sinn’d with warning—when I gave my hand,
  A power within said, urgently—Withstand!
  And I resisted—O! my God, what shame,
  What years of torment from that frailty came.
  That husband-son!—I will my fault review;
  What did he not that men or monsters do?
  His day of love, a brief autumnal day,
  Ev’n in its dawning hasten’d to decay;      930
  Doom’d from our odious union to behold
  How cold he grew, and then how worse than cold;
  Eager he sought me, eagerly to shun,
  Kneeling he woo’d me, but he scorn’d me won;
  The tears he caused served only to provoke
  His wicked insult o’er the heart he broke;
  My fond compliance served him for a jest,
  And sharpen’d scorn——‘I ought to be distress’d;
  Why did I not with my chaste ghost comply?’
  And with upbraiding scorn he told me why;—      940
  O! there was grossness in his soul; his mind
  Could not be raised, nor soften’d, nor refined.
    “Twice he departed in his rage, and went
  I know not where, nor how his days were spent;
  Twice he return’d a suppliant wretch, and craved,
  Mean as profuse, the trifle I had saved.
    “I have had wounds, and some that never heal,
  What bodies suffer, and what spirits feel;
  But he is gone who gave them, he is fled
  To his account! and my revenge is dead—      950
  Yet is it duty, though with shame, to give
  My sex a lesson—let my story live;
  For, if no ghost the promised visit paid,      }
  Still was a deep and strong impression made,      }
  That wisdom had approved, and prudence had obey’d;      }
  But from another world that warning came,
  And O! in this be ended all my shame!
    “Like the first being of my sex I fell,      }
  Tempted, and with the tempter doom’d to dwell—      }
  He was the master-fiend, and where he reign’d was hell.”      960}

                  *       *       *       *       *

    This was her last, for she described no more
  The rankling feelings of a mind so sore,
  But died in peace.—One moral let us draw,
  Be it a ghost or not the lady saw.
    If our discretion tells us how to live,
  We need no ghost a helping hand to give;
  But, if discretion cannot us restrain,
  It then appears a ghost would come in vain.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XVII.

                              _THE WIDOW._

  The Morning Walk—Village Scenery—The Widow’s Dwelling—Her Story
    related—The first Husband—His Indulgence—Its Consequence—Dies—The
    second—His Authority—Its Effects—His Death—A third
    Husband—Determinately indulgent—He dies also—The Widow’s Retirement.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XVII.

                              _THE WIDOW._

  Richard one morning—it was custom now—
  Walk’d and conversed with labourers at the plough;
  With thrashers hastening to their daily task;
  With woodmen resting o’er the enlivening flask;
  And with the shepherd, watchful of his fold
  Beneath the hill, and pacing in the cold.
  Further afield he sometimes would proceed,
  And take a path, wherever it might lead.
    It led him far about to Wickham Green,
  Where stood the mansion of the village queen;      10
  Her garden yet its wintry blossoms bore,
  And roses graced the windows and the door—
  That lasting kind, that through the varying year,
  Or in the bud or in the bloom, appear;
  All flowers that now the gloomy days adorn
  Rose on the view, and smiled upon that morn.
  Richard a damsel at the window spied,
  Who kindly drew a useless veil aside,
  And show’d a lady who was sitting by,
  So pensive, that he almost heard her sigh;      20
  Full many years she could, no question, tell,
  But in her mourning look’d extremely well.
    “In truth,” said Richard, when he told at night
  His tale to George, “it was a pleasant sight;
  She look’d like one who could, in tender tone,
  Say, ‘Will you let a lady sigh alone?
  See! Time has touch’d me gently in his race,
  And left no odious furrows in my face;
  See, too, this house and garden, neat and trim,
  Kept for its master——Will you stand for him?’      30
    “Say this is vain and foolish if you please,
  But I believe her thoughts resembled these.
  ‘Come!’ said her looks, ‘and we will kindly take
  The visit kindness prompted you to make.’
  And I was sorry that so much good play      }
  Of eye and attitude were thrown away      }
  On one who has his lot, on one who had his day.”      }
    “Your pity, brother,” George, with smile, replied,
  You may dismiss, and with it send your pride:
  No need of pity, when the gentle dame      40
  Has thrice resign’d and reassumed her name;
  And be not proud—for, though it might be thine,
  She would that hand to humbler men resign.
    “Young she is not,—it would be passing strange
  If a young beauty thrice her name should change.
  Yes! she has years beyond your reckoning seen—
  Smiles and a window years and wrinkles screen;
  But she, in fact, has that which may command
  The warm admirer and the willing hand:
  What is her fortune we are left to guess,      50
  But good the sign—she does not much profess.
  Poor she is not—and there is that in her
  That easy men to strength of mind prefer;
  She may be made, with little care and skill,
  Yielding her own, t’adopt an husband’s will.
  Women there are, who of a man will take
  The helm and steer—will no resistance make;
  Who, if neglected, will the power assume,
  And then what wonder if the shipwreck come?
    Queens they will be, if man allow the means,      60
  And give the power to these domestic queens;
  Whom, if he rightly trains, he may create
  And make obedient members of his state.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Harriet at school was very much the same
  As other misses; and so home she came,
  Like other ladies, there to live and learn,
  To wait her season, and to take her turn.
    Their husbands maids as priests their livings gain:
  The best, they find, are hardest to obtain.
  On those that offer both awhile debate—      70
  “I need not take it, it is not so late;
  Better will come if we will longer stay,
  And strive to put ourselves in fortune’s way:”
  And thus they wait, till many years are past,
  For what comes slowly—_but it comes at last_.
    Harriet was wedded,—but it must be said,
  The vow’d obedience was not duly paid.
  Hers was an easy man—it gave him pain
  To hear a lady murmur and complain;
  He was a merchant, whom his father made      80
  Rich in the gains of a successful trade;
  A lot more pleasant, or a view more fair,
  Has seldom fallen to a youthful pair.
    But what is faultless in a world like this?
  In every station something seems amiss.
  The lady, married, found the house too small—
  “Two shabby parlours, and that ugly hall!
  Had we a cottage somewhere, and could meet
  One’s friends and favourites in one’s snug retreat;
  Or only join a single room to these,      90}
  It would be living something at our ease,      }
  And have one’s self, at home, the comfort that one sees.”      }
    Such powers of reason, and of mind such strength,
  Fought with man’s fear, and they prevail’d at length.
  The room was built—and Harriet did not know
  A prettier dwelling, either high or low;
  But Harriet loved such conquests, loved to plead
  With her reluctant man, and to succeed;
  It was such pleasure to prevail o’er one      }
  Who would oppose the thing that still was done;      100}
  Who never gain’d the race, but yet would groan and run.      }
    But there were times when love and pity gave
  Whatever thoughtless vanity could crave.
  She now the carriage chose with freshest name,
  And was in quite a fever till it came;
  But can a carriage be alone enjoy’d?
  The pleasure not partaken is destroy’d;
  “I must have some good creature to attend
  On morning visits as a kind of friend.”
    A courteous maiden then was found to sit      110
  Beside the lady, for her purpose fit:
  Who had been train’d in all the soothing ways
  And servile duties from her early days;
  One who had never from her childhood known
  A wish fulfill’d, a purpose of her own.
  Her part it was to sit beside the dame,
  And give relief in every want that came;
  To soothe the pride, to watch the varying look,
  And bow in silence to the dumb rebuke.
    This supple being strove with all her skill      120
  To draw her master’s to her lady’s will;
  For they were like the magnet and the steel,
  At times so distant that they could not feel.
  Then would she gently move them, till she saw
  That to each other they began to draw;
  And then would leave them, sure on her return
  In Harriet’s joy her conquest to discern.
    She was a mother now, and grieved to find
  The nursery window caught the eastern wind;
  What could she do, with fears like these oppress’d?      130
  She built a room all window’d to the west;
  For sure in one so dull, so bleak, so old,
  She and her children must expire with cold.
  Meantime the husband murmur’d—“So he might;
  She would be judged by Cousins—Was it right?”
    Water was near them, and her mind afloat;
  The lady saw a cottage and a boat,
  And thought what sweet excursions they might make;      }
  How they might sail; what neighbours they might take;      }
  And nicely would she deck the lodge upon the lake.      140}
    She now prevail’d by habit; had her will,
  And found her patient husband sad and still.
  Yet this displeased; she gain’d, indeed, the prize,
  But not the pleasure of her victories;
  Was she a child to be indulged? He knew
  She would have right, but would have reason too.
    Now came the time, when in her husband’s face
  Care, and concern, and caution she could trace;
  His troubled features gloom and sadness bore;
  Less he resisted, but he suffer’d more;      150
  His nerves were shook like hers; in him her grief
  Had much of sympathy, but no relief.
    She could no longer read, and therefore kept
  A girl to give her stories while she wept;
  Better for Lady Julia’s woes to cry,
  Than have her own for ever in her eye.
  Her husband grieved; and o’er his spirits came
  Gloom, and disease attack’d his slender frame;
  He felt a loathing for the wretched state
  Of his concerns, so sad, so complicate;      160
  Grief and confusion seized him in the day,
  And the night pass’d in agony away.
  “My ruin comes!” was his awakening thought,
  And vainly through the day was comfort sought;
  “There, take my all!” he said, and in his dream
  Heard the door bolted, and his children scream.
  And he was right, for not a day arose
  That he exclaim’d not, “Will it never close?”
  “Would it were come!”—but still he shifted on,
  Till health, and hope, and life’s fair views were gone.      170
    Fretful herself, he of his wife in vain
  For comfort sought—“He would be well again;
  Time would disorders of such nature heal!
  O! if he felt what she was doom’d to feel,
  Such sleepless nights! such broken rest! her frame
  Rack’d with diseases that she could not name!
  With pangs like hers no other was oppress’d!”
  Weeping, she said, and sigh’d herself to rest.
    The suffering husband look’d the world around,
  And saw no friend: on him misfortune frown’d;      180
  Him self-reproach tormented; sorely tried
  By threats, he mourn’d, and by disease, he died.
    As weak as wailing infancy or age,
  How could the widow with the world engage?
  Fortune not now the means of comfort gave,
  Yet all her comforts Harriet wept to have.
    “My helpless babes,” she said, “will nothing know,”
  Yet not a single lesson would bestow;
  Her debts would overwhelm her, that was sure,
  But one privation would she not endure.      190
  “We shall want bread! the thing is past a doubt.”—
  “Then part with Cousins!”—“Can I do without?”—
  “Dismiss your servants!”—“Spare me them, I pray!”-
  “At least your carriage!”—“What will people say?”—
  “That useless boat, that folly on the lake!”—
  “O! but what cry and scandal will it make!”
  It was so hard on her, who not a thing
  Had done such mischief on their heads to bring;
  This was her comfort, this she would declare;
  And then slept soundly on her pillow’d chair.      200
  When not asleep, how restless was the soul
  Above advice, exempted from control;
  For ever begging all to be sincere,
  And never willing any truth to hear.
  A yellow paleness o’er her visage spread;
  Her fears augmented as her comforts fled;
  Views dark and dismal to her mind appear’d;
  And death she sometimes woo’d, and always fear’d.
    Among the clerks there was a thoughtful one,
  Who still believed that something might be done;      210
  All in his view was not so sunk and lost,
  But of a trial things would pay the cost.
  He judged the widow, and he saw the way
  In which her husband suffer’d her to stray;
  He saw entangled and perplex’d affairs,
  And Time’s sure hand at work on their repairs;
  Children he saw; but nothing could he see,
  Why he might not their careful father be;
  And, looking keenly round him, he believed
  That what was lost might quickly be retrieved.      220
    Now thought our clerk—“I must not mention love:
  That she at least must seem to disapprove;
  But I must fear of poverty enforce,
  And then consent will be a thing of course.”
    “Madam!” said he, “with sorrow I relate,
  That our affairs are in a dreadful state;
  I call’d on all our friends, and they declared
  They dared not meddle—not a creature dared;
  But still our perseverance chance may aid,
  And, though I’m puzzled, I am not afraid;      230
  If you, dear lady, will attention give
  To me, the credit of the house shall live;
  Do not, I pray you, my proposal blame;
  It is my wish to guard your husband’s fame,
  And ease your trouble: then, your cares resign
  To my discretion—and, in short, be mine.”—
     “Yours! O! my stars!—Your goodness, sir, deserves
  My grateful thanks—take pity on my nerves;
  I shake and tremble at a thing so new,
  And fear ’tis what a lady should not do;      240
  And then to marry upon ruin’s brink
  In all this hurry—What will people think?”—
     “Nay, there’s against us neither rule nor law,
  And people’s thinking is not worth a straw.
  Those who are prudent have too much to do
  With their own cares to think of me and you;
  And those who are not are so poor a race,
  That what they utter can be no disgrace.—
  Come! let us now embark; when time and tide
  Invite to sea, in happy hour decide;      250
  If yet we linger, both are sure to fail,
  The turning waters and the varying gale.
  Trust me, our vessel shall be ably steer’d;
  Nor will I quit her, till the rocks are clear’d.”
    Allured and frighten’d, soften’d and afraid,
  The widow doubted, ponder’d, and obey’d.
  So were they wedded, and the careful man
  His reformation instantly began;
  Began his state with vigour to reform,
  And made a calm by laughing at the storm.      260
     Th’ attendant-maiden he dismiss’d—for why?
  She might on him and love like his rely;
  She needed none to form her children’s mind—
  That duty nature to her care assign’d.
  In vain she mourn’d, it was her health he prized,
  And hence enforced the measures he advised;
  She wanted air; and walking, she was told,
  Was safe, was pleasant!—he the carriage sold;
  He found a tenant who agreed to take
  The boat and cottage on the useless lake;      270
  The house itself had now superfluous room,
  And a rich lodger was induced to come.
    The lady wonder’d at the sudden change,
  That yet was pleasant, that was very strange.
  When every deed by her desire was done.
  She had no day of comfort—no, not one;
  When nothing moved or stopp’d at her request,
  Her heart had comfort, and her temper rest;
  For all was done with kindness—most polite
  Was her new lord, and she confess’d it right;      280
  For now she found that she could gaily live
  On what the chance of common life could give:
  And her sick mind was cured of every ill,
  By finding no compliance with her will;
  For, when she saw that her desires were vain,
  She wisely thought it foolish to complain.
    Born for her man, she gave a gentle sigh
  To her lost power, and grieved not to comply;
  Within, without, the face of things improved,
  And all in order and subjection moved.      290
    As wealth increased, ambition now began
  To swell the soul of the aspiring man.
  In some few years he thought to purchase land,
  And build a seat that Hope and Fancy plann’d;
  To this a name his youthful bride should give!
  Harriet, of course, not many years would live;
  Then he would farm, and every soil should show
  The tree that best upon the place would grow:
  He would, moreover, on the Bench debate
  On sundry questions—when a magistrate;      300
  Would talk of all that to the state belongs,
  The rich man’s duties, and the poor man’s wrongs;
  He would with favourites of the people rank,
  And him the weak and the oppress’d should thank.
    ’Tis true those children, orphans then! would need
  Help, in a world of trouble to succeed!
  And they should have it—He should then possess
  All that man needs for earthly happiness.
    “Proud words, and vain!” said Doctor Young; and proud
  They are; and vain were by our clerk allow’d;      310
  For, while he dream’d, there came both pain and cough,
  And fever never tamed, and bore him off;
  Young as he was, and planning schemes to live
  With more delight than man’s success can give;
  Building a mansion in his fancy vast,
  Beyond the Gothic pride of ages past!
  While this was plann’d, but ere a place was sought,
  The timber season’d, or the quarry wrought,
  Came Death’s dread summons; and the man was laid
  In the poor house the simple sexton made.      320
    But he had time for thought when he was ill,
  And made his lady an indulgent will:
  ’Tis said he gave, in parting, his advice,
  “It is sufficient to be married twice;”
  To which she answer’d, as ’tis said, again,
  “There’s none will have you, if you’re poor and plain;
  And, if you’re rich and handsome, there is none
  Will take refusal—let the point alone.”
    Be this or true or false, it is her praise
  She mourn’d correctly all the mourning days;      330
  But grieve she did not, for the canker grief
  Soils the complexion, and is beauty’s thief.
  Nothing, indeed, so much will discompose
  Our public mourning as our private woes;
  When tender thoughts a widow’s bosom probe,
  She thinks not then how graceful sits the robe;
  But our nice widow look’d to every fold,
  And every eye its beauty might behold!
  It was becoming; she composed her face,
  She look’d serenely, and she mourn’d with grace.      340
    Some months were pass’d; but yet there wanted three
  Of the full time when widows wives may be—
  One trying year, and then the mind is freed,
  And man may to the vacant throne succeed.
    There was a tenant—he, to wit, who hired
  That cot and lake, that were so much admired;
  A man of spirit, one who doubtless meant,
  Though he delay’d awhile, to pay his rent;
  The widow’s riches gave her much delight,
  And some her claims; and she resolved to write.      350
    “He knew her grievous loss, how every care
  Devolved on her, who had indeed her share;
  She had no doubt of him—but was as sure
  As that she breathed her money was secure;
  But she had made a rash and idle vow
  To claim her dues, and she must keep it now.
  So, if it suited——”
                        And for this there came
  A civil answer to the gentle dame.
  Within the letter were excuses, thanks,
  And clean Bank paper from the best of banks;      360
  There were condolence, consolation, praise,
  With some slight hints of danger in delays.
  With these good things were others from the lake:      }
  Perch that were wish’d to salmon for her sake,      }
  And compliment as sweet as new-born hope could make.      }
    This led to friendly visits, social calls,
  And much discourse of races, rambles, balls;
  But all in proper bounds, and not a word
  Before its time—the man was not absurd,
  Nor was he cold; but, when she might expect,      370
  A letter came, and one to this effect:
    “That, if his eyes had not his love convey’d,
  They had their master shamefully betray’d;
  But she must know the flame, that he was sure,
  Nor she could doubt, would long as life endure.
  Both were in widow’d state, and both possess’d
  Of ample means to make their union bless’d;
  That she had been confined he knew for truth,
  And begg’d her to have pity on her youth;
  Youth, he would say, and he desired his wife      380
  To have the comforts of an easy life.
  She loved a carriage, loved a decent seat
  To which they might at certain times retreat;
  Servants indeed were sorrows—yet a few
  They still must add, and do as others do;
  She too would some attendant damsel need,
  To hear, to speak, to travel, or to read.”
  In short, the man his remedies assign’d
  For his foreknown diseases in the mind:—
  “First,” he presumed, “that in a nervous case      390
  Nothing was better than a change of place;”
  He added, too, “’Twas well that he could prove
  That his was pure, disinterested love;
  Not as when lawyers couple house and land
  In such a way as none can understand:
  No! thanks to Him that every good supplied,
  He had enough, and wanted nought beside!
  Merit was all.”
                  “Well! now, she would protest,
  This was a letter prettily express’d.”
  To every female friend away she flew      400
  To ask advice, and say, “What shall I do?”
  She kiss’d her children—and she said, with tears,
  “I wonder what is best for you, my dears?
  How can I, darlings, to your good attend      }
  Without the help of some experienced friend,      }
  Who will protect us all, or, injured, will defend?”      }
    The widow then ask’d counsel of her heart—
  In vain, for that had nothing to impart;
  But yet with that, or something, for her guide,
  She to her swain thus guardedly replied:      410
    “She must believe he was sincere, for why
  Should one who needed nothing deign to lie?
  But though she could and did his truth admit,
  She could not praise him for his taste a bit;
  And yet men’s tastes were various, she confess’d,
  And none could prove his own to be the best;
  It was a vast concern, including all
  That we can happiness or comfort call;
  And yet she found that those who waited long
  Before their choice, had often chosen wrong.      420
  Nothing, indeed, could for her loss atone,
  But ’twas the greater that she lived alone;
  She, too, had means, and therefore what the use
  Of more, that still more trouble would produce?
  And pleasure too she own’d, as well as care,
  Of which, at present, she had not her share.
    “The things he offer’d, she must needs confess,
  They were all women’s wishes, more or less;
  But were expensive—though a man of sense
  Would by his prudence lighten the expense.      430
  Prudent he was, but made a sad mistake
  When he proposed her faded face to take;
  And yet ’tis said there’s beauty that will last
  When the rose withers and the bloom be past.
    “One thing displeased her—that he could suppose
  He might so soon his purposes disclose;
  Yet had she hints of such intent before,
  And would excuse him if he wrote no more.
  What would the world—and yet she judged them fools
  Who let the world’s suggestions be their rules;      440
  What would her friends—Yet in her own affairs
  It was her business to decide, not theirs.—
  Adieu! then, sir,” she added; “thus you find      }
  The changeless purpose of a steady mind,      }
  In one now left alone, but to her fate resign’d.”      }
    The marriage follow’d; and th’ experienced dame
  Consider’d what the conduct that became
  A thrice-devoted lady—She confess’d
  That when indulged she was but more distress’d;
  And, by her second husband when controll’d,      450
  Her life was pleasant, though her love was cold;
  “Then let me yield,” she said, and with a sigh,
  “Let me to wrong submit, with right comply.”
    Alas! obedience may mistake, and they
  Who reason not will err when they obey;
  And fated was the gentle dame to find
  Her duty wrong, and her obedience blind.
  The man was kind, but would have no dispute,
  His love and kindness both were absolute.
  She needed not her wishes to express      460
  To one who urged her on to happiness;
  For this he took her to the lakes and seas,      }
  To mines and mountains, nor allow’d her ease;      }
  She must be pleased, he said, and he must live to please.      }
    He hurried north and south, and east and west,
  When age required they would have time to rest;
  He in the richest dress her form array’d,
  And cared not what he promised, what he paid;
  She should share all his pleasures as her own,
  And see whatever could be sought or shown.      470
    This run of pleasure for a time she bore,
  And then affirm’d that she could taste no more;
  She loved it while its nature it retain’d,
  But, made a duty, it displeased and pain’d.
  “Have we not means?” the joyous husband cried;
  “But I am wearied out,” the wife replied.
  “Wearied with pleasure! Thing till now unheard—
  Are all that sweeten trouble to be fear’d?
  ’Tis but the sameness tires you—cross the seas,
  And let us taste the world’s varieties.      480
    “’Tis said, in Paris that a man may live
  In all the luxuries a world can give;
  And in a space confined to narrow bound
  All the enjoyments of our life are found.
  There we may eat and drink, may dance and dress,
  And in its very essence joy possess;
  May see a moving crowd of lovely dames;
  May win a fortune at your favourite games;
  May hear the sounds that ravish human sense,
  And all without receding foot from thence.”      490
    The conquer’d wife, resistless and afraid,
  To the strong call a sad obedience paid.
    As we an infant in its pain with sweets,
  Loved once, now loath’d, torment him till he eats,
  Who on the authors of his new distress
  Looks trembling with disgusted weariness:
  So Harriet felt, so look’d, and seem’d to say,
  “O! for a day of rest, an holiday!”
    At length, her courage rising with her fear,
  She said, “Our pleasures may be bought too dear!”      500
    To this he answer’d—“Dearest! from thy heart
  Bid every fear of evil times depart;
  I ever trusted in the trying hour
  To my good stars, and felt the ruling power;
  When want drew nigh, his threat’ning speed was stopp’d,
  Some virgin aunt, some childless uncle dropped;
  In all his threats I sought expedients new,
  And my last, best resource was found in you.”
    Silent and sad the wife beheld her doom,
  And sat her down to see the ruin come,      510
  And meet the ills that rise where money fails—
  Debts, threats and duns, bills, bailiffs, writs and jails.
    These was she spared; ere yet by want oppress’d,
  Came one more fierce than bailiff in arrest:
  Amid a scene where Pleasure never came,
  Though never ceased the mention of his name,
  The husband’s heated blood received the breath
  Of strong disease, that bore him to his death.
    Her all collected,—whether great or small
  The sum, I know not, but collected all—      520
  The widow’d lady to her cot retired,
  And there she lives delighted and admired.
  Civil to all, compliant and polite,      }
  Disposed to think, “whatever is, is right,”      }
  She wears the widow’s weeds, she gives the widow’s mite.      }
  At home awhile, she in the autumn finds
  The sea an object for reflecting minds,
  And change for tender spirits; there she reads,
  And weeps in comfort in her graceful weeds.
    What gives our tale its moral? Here we find      530
  That wives like this are not for rule design’d
  Nor yet for blind submission: happy they,
  Who while they feel it pleasant to obey,
  Have yet a kind companion at their side      }
  Who in their journey will his power divide,      }
  Or yield the reins, and bid the lady guide;      }
  Then points the wonders of the way, and makes
  The duty pleasant that she undertakes;
  He shows her objects as they move along,
  And gently rules the movements that are wrong:      540
  He tells her all the skilful driver’s art,
  And smiles to see how well she acts her part;
  Nor praise denies to courage or to skill,
  In using power that he resumes at will.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                              BOOK XVIII.

                                _ELLEN._

  A Morning Ride—A Purchase of the Squire—The Way to it described—The
    former Proprietor—Richard’s Return—Inquiries respecting a Lady whom
    he had seen—Her History related—Her Attachment to a Tutor—They are
    parted—Impediments removed—How removed in vain—Fate of the Lover—Of
    Ellen.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                              BOOK XVIII.

                                _ELLEN._

  Bleak was the morn—Said Richard, with a sigh,      }
  “I must depart!”—“That, Brother, I deny,”      }
  Said George—“You may; but I perceive not why.”      }
    This point before had been discuss’d, but still
  The guest submitted to the ruling will;
  But every day gave rise to doubt and fear—
  He heard not now, as he was wont to hear,
  That all was well!—though little was cxpress’d,
  It seem’d to him the writer was distress’d;
  Restrain’d! there was attempt and strife to please,      10
  Pains and endeavour—not Matilda’s ease—
  Not the pure lines of love! the guileless friend
  In all her freedom—What could this portend?
  “Fancy!” said George, “the self-tormentor’s pain”;—
  And Richard still consented to remain.
    “Ride you this fair cool morning?” said the squire:      }
  Do—for a purchase I have made inquire,      }
  And with you take a will complacently t’admire:      }
  Southward at first, dear Richard, make your way;
  Cross Hilton Bridge; move on through Breken Clay;      20
  At Dunham Wood turn duly to the east,
  And there your eyes upon the ocean feast;
  Then ride above the cliff, or ride below,
  You’ll be enraptured, for your taste I know:
  It is a prospect that a man might stay,
  To his bride hastening on his wedding-day.
  At Tilburn Sluice once more ascend, and view      }
  A decent house; an ample garden too,      }
  And planted well behind—a lively scene, and new:      }
  A little taste, a little pomp, display’d      30
  By a dull man, who had retired from trade
  To enjoy his leisure—Here he came prepared
  To farm, nor cost in preparation spared;
  But many works he purchased, some he read,      }
  And often rose with projects in his head,      }
  Of crops in courses raised, of herds by matching bred.      }
  We had just found these little humours out;
  Just saw—he saw not—what he was about;
  Just met as neighbours, still disposed to meet;
  Just learn’d the current tales of Dowling Street;      40
  And were just thinking of our female friends,
  Saying—‘You know not what the man intends,
  A rich, kind, hearty’—and it might be true
  Something he wish’d, but had not time to do—
  A cold ere yet the falling leaf! of small
  Effect till then, was fatal in the fall;
  And of that house was his possession brief—
  Go; and guard well against the falling leaf.
    “But hear me, Richard: looking to my ease,
  Try if you can find something that will please.      50
  Faults if you see, and such as must abide,
  Say they are small, or say that I can hide;
  But faults that I can change, remove, or mend,
  These like a foe detect—or like a friend.
    “Mark well the rooms, and their proportions learn;
  In each some use, some elegance discern;
  Observe the garden, its productive wall,
  And find a something to commend in all.
  Then, should you praise them in a knowing way,
  I’ll take it kindly—that is well—be gay.      60
    “Nor pass the pebbled cottage as you rise
  Above the sluice, till you have fix’d your eyes
  On the low woodbined window, and have seen,
  So fortune favour you, the ghost within.
  Take but one look, and then your way pursue:
  It flies all strangers, and it knows not you.”
    Richard return’d, and by his Brother stood,
  Not in a pensive, not in pleasant mood;
  But by strong feeling into stillness wrought,
  As nothing thinking, or with too much thought;      70
  Or like a man who means indeed to speak,
  But would his hearer should his purpose seek.
    When George—“What is it, Brother, you would hide?      }
  Or what confess?”—“Who is she?” he replied,      }
  That angel whom I saw, to whom is she allied?      }
  Of this fair being let me understand,
  And I will praise your purchase, house and land.
    “Hers was that cottage on the rising ground,
  West of the waves, and just beyond their sound;
  ’Tis larger than the rest, and whence, indeed,      80
  You might expect a lady to proceed;
  But O! this creature, far as I could trace,
  Will soon be carried to another place.
    “‘Fair, fragile thing!’ I said, when first my eye
  Caught hers, ‘wilt thou expand thy wings and fly?
  Or wilt thou vanish? beauteous spirit, stay!—
  For will it not’ (I question’d) ‘melt away?’
  No! it was mortal—I unseen was near,
  And saw the bosom’s sigh, the standing tear!
  She thought profoundly, for I stay’d to look;      90
  And first she read, then laid aside her book;
  Then on her hand reclined her lovely head,
  And seem’d unconscious of the tear she shed.
    “‘Art thou so much,’ I said, ‘to grief a prey?’
  Till pity pain’d me, and I rode away.
    “Tell me, my Brother, is that sorrow dread
  For the great change that bears her to the dead?
  Has she connexions? does she love?—I feel
  Pity and grief; wilt thou her woes reveal?”—
  They are not lasting, Richard; they are woes      100
  Chastised and meek! she sings them to repose;
  If not, she reasons; if they still remain,
  She finds resource, that none shall find in vain.
    “Whether disease first grew upon regret,
  Or nature gave it, is uncertain yet,
  And must remain; the frame was slightly made,
  That grief assail’d, and all is now decay’d!
    “But though so willing from the world to part,
  I must not call her case a broken heart;
  Nor dare I take upon me to maintain      110
  That hearts once broken never heal again.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    She was an only daughter, one whose sire
  Loved not that girls to knowledge should aspire;
  But he had sons, and Ellen quickly caught
  Whatever they were by their masters taught;
  This when the father saw—“It is the turn
  Of her strange mind,” said he, “but let her learn;
  ’Tis almost pity with that shape and face—
  But is a fashion, and brings no disgrace;
  Women of old wrote verse, or for the stage      120}
  Brought forth their works! they now are reasoners sage,      }
  And with severe pursuits dare grapple and engage.      }
  If such her mind, I shall in vain oppose;
  If not, her labours of themselves will close.”
    Ellen, ’twas found, had skill without pretence,
  And silenced envy by her meek good sense;
  That Ellen learnt, her various knowledge proved;
  Soft words and tender looks, that Ellen loved;
  For he who taught her brothers found in her
  A constant, ready, eager auditor;      130
  This he perceived, nor could his joy disguise:
  It tuned his voice, it sparkled in his eyes.
    Not very young, nor very handsome he,
  But very fit an Abelard to be;
  His manner and his meekness hush’d alarm
  In all but Ellen—Ellen felt the charm.
  Hers was fond “filial love”; she found delight
  To have her mind’s dear father in her sight;
  But soon the borrow’d notion she resign’d!
  He was no father—even to the mind.      140
    But Ellen had her comforts—“He will speak,”
  She said, “for he beholds me fond and weak;
  Fond, and he therefore may securely plead—
  Weak, I have therefore of his firmness need;
  With whom my father will his Ellen trust,
  Because he knows him to be kind and just.”
    Alas! too well the conscious lover knew
  The parent’s mind, and well the daughter’s too;
  He felt of duty the imperious call,
  Beheld his danger, and must fly or fall.      150
  What would the parent, what his pupils think?
  O! he was standing on perdition’s brink:
  In his dilemma flight alone remain’d,
  And could he fly whose very soul was chain’d?
  He knew she loved; she tried not to conceal
  A hope she thought that virtue’s self might feel.
    Ever of her and her frank heart afraid,      }
  Doubting himself, he sought in absence aid,      }
  And had resolved on flight, but still the act delay’d;      }
  At last so high his apprehension rose,      160
  That he would both his love and labour close.
    “While undisclosed my fear each instant grows,
  And I lament the guilt that no one knows:
  Success undoes me, and the view, that cheers
  All other men, all dark to me appears!”
    Thus as he thought, his Ellen at his side
  Her soothing softness to his grief applied;
  With like effect as water cast on flame:
  For he more heated and confused became,
  And broke in sorrow from the wondering maid,      170}
  Who was at once offended and afraid;      }
  Yet “Do not go!” she cried, and was awhile obey’d.      }
    “Art thou then ill, dear friend?” she ask’d, and took
  His passive hand—“How very pale thy look!
  And thou art cold, and tremblest—pray thee tell
  Thy friend, thy Ellen, is her master well?
  And let her with her loving care attend
  To all that vexes and disturbs her friend.”—
    “Nay, my dear lady! we have all our cares,
  And I am troubled with my poor affairs:      180
  Thou canst not aid me, Ellen; could it be,
  And might it, doubtless I would fly to thee;
  But we have sundry duties, and must all,
  Hard as it may be, go where duties call—
  Suppose the trial were this instant thine,
  Couldst thou the happiest of thy views resign
  At duty’s strong command?”—“If thou wert by,”      }
  Said the unconscious maiden, “I would try!”—      }
  And as she sigh’d she heard the soft responsive sigh.      }
    And then, assuming steadiness, “Adieu!”      190
  He cried, and from the grieving Ellen flew;
  And to her father with a bleeding heart
  He went, his grief and purpose to impart;
  Told of his health, and did in part confess
  That he should love the noble maiden less.
    The parent’s pride to sudden rage gave way—
  “And the girl loves! that plainly you would say—
  And you with honour, in your pride, retire!—
  Sir, I your prudence envy and admire.”
  But here the father saw the rising frown,      200
  And quickly let his lofty spirit down.
    “Forgive a parent!—I may well excuse
  A girl who could perceive such worth and choose
  To make it hers; we must not look to meet      }
  All we might wish;—Is age itself discreet?      }
  Where conquest may not be, ’tis prudence to retreat.”      }
    Then, with the kindness worldly minds assume,
  He praised the self-pronounced and rigorous doom;
  He wonder’d not that one so young should love,
  And much he wish’d he could the choice approve;      210
  Much he lamented such a mind to lose,
  And begg’d to learn if he could aid his views,
  If such were form’d—then closed the short account,
  And to a shilling paid the full amount.—
    So Cecil left the mansion, and so flew      }
  To foreign shores, without an interview;      }
  He must not say, ‘I love’—he could not say, ‘Adieu!’      }
    Long was he absent—as a guide to youth,
  With grief contending, and in search of truth;
  In courting peace, and trying to forget      220
  What was so deeply interesting yet.
    A friend in England gave him all the news—
  sad indulgence that he would not lose.
  He told how Ellen suffer’d; how they sent
  The maid from home, in sullen discontent,
  With some relation on the Lakes to live,
  In all the sorrow such retirements give;
  And there she roved among the rocks, and took
  Moss from the stone, and pebbles from the brook;
  Gazed on the flies that settled on the flowers,      230
  And so consumed her melancholy hours.
    Again he wrote—The father then was dead;
  And Ellen to her native village fled,
  With native feeling—there she oped her door,
  Her heart, her purse, and comforted the poor,
  The sick, the sad—and there she pass’d her days,      }
  Deserving much, but never seeking praise:      }
  Her task to guide herself, her joy the fallen to raise.      }
  Nor would she nicely faults and merits weigh,
  But loved the impulse of her soul t’ obey;      240
  The prayers of all she heard, their sufferings view’d,
  Nor turn’d from any, save when Love pursued;
  For, though to love disposed, to kindness prone,
  She thought of Cecil, and she lived alone.
    Thus heard the lover of the life she past
  Till his return—and he return’d at last;
  For he had saved, and was a richer man
  Than when to teach and study he began;
  Something his father left, and he could fly
  To the loved country where he wish’d to die.      250
    “And now,” he said, “this maid with gentle mind
  May I not hope to meet, as good, as kind,
  As in the days when first her friend she knew
  And then could trust—and he indeed is true.
  She knew my motives, and she must approve
  The man who dared to sacrifice his love
  And fondest hopes to virtue: virtuous she,
  Nor can resent that sacrifice in me.”
    He reason’d thus, but fear’d, and sought the friend
  In his own country, where his doubts must end.      260
  They then together to her dwelling came,
  And by a servant sent her lover’s name—
  modest youth, whom she before had known,
  His favourite then, and doubtless _then_ her own.
    They in the carriage heard the servants speak
  At Ellen’s door—“A maid so heavenly meek,
  Who would all pain extinguish! Yet will she
  Pronounce my doom, I feel the certainty!”—
  “Courage!” the friend exclaim’d, “the lover’s fear
  Grows without ground;” but Cecil would not hear:      270
  He seem’d some dreadful object to explore,
  And fix’d his fearful eye upon the door,
  Intensely longing for reply—the thing
  That must to him his future fortune bring;
  And now it brought! like Death’s cold hand it came—
  “The lady was a stranger to the name!”
    Backward the lover in the carriage fell,
  Weak, but not fainting—“All,” said he, “is well!
  Return with me—I have no more to seek!”
  And this was all the woful man would speak.      280
    Quickly he settled all his worldly views,
  And sail’d from home, his fiercer pains to lose
  And nurse the milder—now with labour less      }
  He might his solitary world possess,      }
  And taste the bitter-sweet of love in idleness.      }
  Greece was the land he chose; a mind decay’d      }
  And ruin’d there through glorious ruin stray’d;      }
  There read, and walk’d, and mused—there loved, and wept, and pray’d.
     }
  Nor would he write, nor suffer hope to live,
  But gave to study all his mind could give;      290
  Till, with the dead conversing, he began
  To lose the habits of a living man,
  Save that he saw some wretched, them he tried
  To soothe—some doubtful, them he strove to guide;
  Nor did he lose the mind’s ennobling joy
  Of that new state that death must not destroy;
  What Time had done we know not—Death was nigh;      }
  To his first hopes the lover gave a sigh;      }
  But hopes more new and strong confirm’d his wish to die.      }
    Meantime poor Ellen in her cottage thought      300
  “That he would seek her—sure she should be sought
  She did not mean—It was an evil hour,
  Her thoughts were guardless, and beyond her power;
  And for one speech, and that in rashness made!
  Have I no friend to soothe him and persuade?
  He must not leave me—He again will come,
  And we shall have one hope, one heart, one home!”
    But when she heard that he on foreign ground
  Sought his lost peace, hers never more was found;
  But still she felt a varying hope that love      310
  Would all these slight impediments remove:—
  “Has he no friend to tell him that our pride
  Resents a moment and is satisfied?
  Soon as the hasty sacrifice is made,
  A look will soothe us, and a tear persuade;
  Have I no friend to say ‘Return again,
  Reveal your wishes, and relieve her pain?’”
    With suffering mind the maid her prospects view’d,
  That hourly varied with the varying mood;
  As past the day, the week, the month, the year,      320
  The faint hope sicken’d, and gave place to fear.
    No Cecil came!—“Come, peevish and unjust!”
  Sad Ellen cried, “why cherish this disgust?
  Thy Ellen’s voice could charm thee once; but thou
  Canst nothing see or hear of Ellen now!”
    Yes! she was right; the grave on him was closed,
  And there the lover and the friend reposed.
  The news soon reach’d her, and she then replied
  In his own manner—“I am satisfied!”
    To her a lover’s legacy is paid,      330
  The darling wealth of the devoted maid;
  From this her best and favourite books she buys,
  From this are doled the favourite charities;
  And when a tale or face affects her heart,
  This is the fund that must relief impart.
    Such have the ten last years of Ellen been!
  Her very last that sunken eye has seen!
  That half-angelic being still must fade
  Till all the angel in the mind be made;—
  And now the closing scene will shortly come—      340
  She cannot visit sorrow at her home;
  But still she feeds the hungry; still prepares
  The usual softeners of the peasant’s cares;
  And, though she prays not with the dying now,
  She teaches them to die, and shows them how.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “Such is my tale, dear Richard, but, that told,
  I must all comments on the text withhold;
  What is the sin of grief I cannot tell,
  Nor of the sinners who have loved too well;
  But to the cause of mercy I incline,      350
  Or, O! my Brother, what a fate is mine!”


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIX.

                           _WILLIAM BAILEY._

  Discourse on Jealousy—Of unsuspicious Men—Visit [to] William and his
    Wife—His Dwelling—Story of William and Fanny—Character of both—Their
    Contract—Fanny’s Visit to an Aunt—Its Consequences—Her Father’s
    Expectation—His Death—William a Wanderer—His Mode of Living—The
    Acquaintance he forms—Travels across the Kingdom—Whom he finds—The
    Event of their Meeting.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XIX.

                           _WILLIAM BAILEY._

  The letters Richard in a morning read
  To quiet and domestic comforts led;
  And George, who thought the world could not supply
  Comfort so pure, reflected with a sigh;
  Then would pursue the subject, half in play,
  Half earnest, till the sadness wore away.
    They spoke of Passion’s errors, Love’s disease,
  His pains, afflictions, wrongs, and jealousies;
  Of Herod’s vile commandment—that his wife
  Should live no more, when he no more had life;      10
  He could not bear that royal Herod’s spouse
  Should, as a widow, make her second vows;
  Or that a mortal with his queen should wed,
  Or be the rival of the mighty dead.
  “Herods,” said Richard, “doubtless may be found,
  But haply do not in the world abound;
  Ladies, indeed, a dreadful lot would have,
  If jealousy could act beyond the grave:
  No doubt Othellos every place supply,
  Though every Desdemona does not die;      20
  But there are lovers in the world, who live
  Slaves to the sex, and every fault forgive.”
    “I know,” said George, “a happy man and kind,
  Who finds his wife is all he wish’d to find:
  A mild, good man, who, if he nothing sees,
  Will suffer nothing to disturb his ease;
  Who, ever yielding both to smiles and sighs,      }
  Admits no story that a wife denies—      }
  She guides his mind, and she directs his eyes.      }
    “Richard, there dwells within a mile a pair      30
  Of good examples—I will guide you there:
  Such man is William Bailey—but his spouse
  Is virtue’s self since she had made her vows.
  I speak of ancient stories, long worn out,
  That honest William would not talk about;
  But he will sometimes check her starting tear,
  And call her self-correction too severe.
    “In their own inn the gentle pair are placed,
  Where you behold the marks of William’s taste.
  They dwell in plenty, in respect, and peace,      40
  Landlord and lady of the Golden Fleece;
  Public indeed their calling—but there come
  No brawl, no revel to that decent room;
  All there is still, and comely to behold,
  Mild as the fleece, and pleasant as the gold.
  But, mild and pleasant as they now appear,
  They first experienced many a troubled year;
  And that, if known, might not command our praise,
  Like the smooth tenor of their present days.
    “Our hostess, now so grave and steady grown,      50
  Has had some awkward trials of her own.
  She was not always so resign’d and meek—
  Yet can I little of her failings speak;
  Those she herself will her misfortunes deem,
  And slides discreetly from the dubious theme.
  But you shall hear the tale that I will tell,
  When we have seen the mansion where they dwell.”
    They saw the mansion,—and the couple made
  Obeisance due, and not without parade:
  “His honour, still obliging, took delight      60
  To make them pleasant in each other’s sight;
  It was their duty—they were very sure
  It was their pleasure.”
                          This they could endure,
  Nor turn’d impatient——In the room around
  Were care and neatness: instruments were found
  For sacred music, books with prints and notes
  By learned men and good, whom William quotes
  In mode familiar—Beveridge, [Doddridge,] Hall,
  Pyle, Whitby, Hammond—he refers to all.
    Next they beheld his garden, fruitful, nice,      70
  And, as he said, his little paradise.
    In man and wife appear’d some signs of pride,
  Which they perceived not, or they would not hide—
  “Their honest saving; their good name, their skill;      }
  His honour’s land, which they had grace to till;      }
  And more, his favour shown, with all their [friends’] good will.” }
    This past, the visit was with kindness closed,
  And George was ask’d to do as he proposed.
  “Richard,” said he, “though I myself explore
  With no distaste the annals of the poor,      80
  And may with safety to a brother show      }
  What of my humble friends I chance to know:      }
  Richard, there are who call the subjects low.      }
    “The host and hostess of the Fleece—’tis base—
  Would I could cast some glory round the place!
    “The lively heroine once adorn’d a farm—
  And William’s virtue has a kind of charm;
  Nor shall we, in our apprehension, need
  Riches or rank—I think I may proceed.
  Virtue and worth there are who will not see      90
  In humble dress; but low they cannot be.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    The youth’s addresses pleased his favourite maid—      }
  They wish’d for union, but were both afraid;      }
  They saw the wedded poor—and fear the bliss delay’d;      }
  Yet they appear’d a happier lass and swain
  Than those who will not reason or refrain.
    William was honest, simple, gentle, kind,
  Laborious, studious, and to thrift inclined;
  More neat than youthful peasant in his dress,
  And yet so careful that it cost him less.      100
  He kept from inns, though doomed an inn to keep,
  And all his pleasures and pursuits were cheap.
  Yet would the youth perform a generous deed,
  When reason saw or pity felt the need;
  He of his labour and his skill would lend,
  Nay, of his money, to a suffering friend.
    William had manual arts—his room was graced
  With carving quaint, that spoke the master’s taste;
  But if that taste admitted some dispute,
  He charm’d the nymphs with flageolet and flute.      110
    Constant at church, and there a little proud,
  He sang with boldness, and he read aloud;
  Self-taught to write, he his example took
  And form’d his letters from a printed book.
    I’ve heard of ladies who profess’d to see
  In a man’s writing what his mind must be;
  As Doctor Spurzheim’s pupils, when they look
  Upon a skull, will read it as a book—
  Our talents, tendencies, and likings trace,
  And find for all the measure and the place.      120
  Strange times! when thus we are completely read
  By man or woman, by the hand or head!
  Believe who can—but William’s even mind
  All who beheld might in his writing find;
  His not the scratches where we try in vain
  Meanings and words to construe or explain.
    But with our village hero to proceed—
  He read as learned clerks are wont to read;
  Solemn he was in tone, and slow in pace,
  By nature gifted both with strength and grace.      130
    Black parted locks his polish’d forehead press’d;
  His placid looks an easy mind confess’d;
  His smile content, and seldom more, convey’d—      }
  Not like the smile of fair illusive maid,      }
  When what she feels is hid, and what she wills betray’d.      }
    The lighter damsels call’d his manner prim,
  And laugh’d at virtue so array’d in him;
  But they were wanton, as he well replied,
  And hoped their own would not be strongly tried:
  Yet was he full of glee, and had his strokes      140
  Of rustic wit, his repartees and jokes;
  Nor was averse, ere yet he pledged his love,
  To stray with damsels in the shady grove;
  When he would tell them, as they walk’d along,
  How the birds sang, and imitate their song.
  In fact, our rustic had his proper taste;      }
  Was with peculiar arts and manners graced—      }
  And Absolon had been, had Absolon been chaste.      }
    Frances, like William, felt her heart incline
  To neat attire—but Frances would be fine.      150
  Though small the farm, the farmer’s daughter knew
  Her rank in life, and she would have it too:
  This, and this only, gave the lover pain,
  He thought it needless, and he judged it vain.
  Advice in hints he to the fault applied,
  And talk’d of sin, of vanity, and pride.
    “And what is proud,” said Frances, “but to stand
  Singing at church, and sawing thus your hand?
  Looking at heaven above, as if to bring
  The holy angels down to hear you sing?      160
  And, when you write, you try with all your skill,
  And cry, no wonder that you wrote so ill!
  For you were ever to yourself a rule,
  And humbly add, you never were at school—
  Is that not proud?—And I have heard beside,
  The proudest creatures have the humblest pride.
  If you had read the volumes I have hired,
  You’d see your fault, nor try to be admired;
  For they who read such books can always tell
  The fault within, and read the mind as well.”      170
    William had heard of hiring books before;
  He knew she read, and he inquired no more.
  On him the subject was completely lost;
  What he regarded was the time and cost;
  Yet that was trifling—just a present whim:
  “Novels and stories! what were they to him?”
    With such slight quarrels, or with those as slight,
  They lived in love, and dream’d of its delight.
  Her duties Fanny knew, both great and small,
  And she with diligence observed them all.      180
  If e’er she fail’d a duty to fulfil,
  ’Twas childish error, not rebellious will;
  For her much reading, though it touch’d her heart,
  Could neither vice nor indolence impart.
    Yet, when from William and her friends retired,
  She found her reading had her mind inspired
  With hopes and thoughts of high mysterious things,
  Such as the early dream of kindness brings;
  And then she wept, and wonder’d as she read,
  And new emotions in her heart were bred.      190
  She sometimes fancied that, when love was true,
  ’Twas more than she and William ever knew;
  More than the shady lane in summer-eve;
  More than the sighing when he took his leave;
  More than his preference when the lads advance
  And choose their partners for the evening dance;
  Nay, more than midnight thoughts and morning dreams,
  Or talk when love and marriage are the themes:
  In fact, a something not to be defined,      }
  Of all subduing, all commanding kind,      200}
  That fills the fondest heart, that rules the proudest mind.      }
    But on her lover Fanny still relied,      }
  Her best companion, her sincerest guide,      }
  On whom she could rely, in whom she would confide.      }
    All jealous fits were past; in either now
  Were tender wishes for the binding vow.
  There was no secret one alone possess’d;
  There was no hope that warm’d a single breast:
  Both felt the same concerns their thoughts employ,
  And neither knew one solitary joy.      210
    Then why so easy, William? why consent
  To wait so long? thou wilt at last repent;
  “Within a month,” does Care and Prudence say,
  If all be ready, linger not a day;
  Ere yet the choice be made, on choice debate;
  But, having chosen, dally not with fate.
    While yet to wait the pair were half content,
  And half disposed their purpose to repent,
  A spinster-aunt, in some great baron’s place,
  Would see a damsel, pride of all her race;      220
  And Fanny, flatter’d by the matron’s call,
  Obey’d her aunt, and long’d to see the Hall.
  For halls and castles in her fancy wrought,
  And she accounts of love and wonder sought;
  There she expected strange events to learn,
  And take in tender secrets fond concern;
  There she expected lovely nymphs to view,      }
  Perhaps to hear and meet their lovers too;      }
  The Julias, tender souls! the Henrys kind and true.      }
  There she expected plottings to detect,      230
  And—but I know not what she might expect—
  All she was taught in books to be her guide,
  And all that nature taught the nymph beside.
    Now that good dame had in the castle dwelt
  So long that she for all its people felt;
  She kept her sundry keys, and ruled o’er all,
  Female and male, domestics in the hall;
  By her lord trusted, worthy of her trust;
  Proud but obedient, bountiful but just.
    She praised her lucky stars, that in her place      240
  She never found neglect, nor felt disgrace;
  To do her duty was her soul’s delight,      }
  This her inferiors would to theirs excite,      }
  This her superiors notice and requite;      }
  To either class she gave the praises due,
  And still more grateful as more favour’d grew.
  Her lord and lady were of peerless worth,
  In power unmatch’d, in glory and in birth;
  And such the virtue of the noble race,
  It reach’d the meanest servant in the place.      250
  All, from the chief attendant on my lord
  To the groom’s helper, had her civil word;
  From Miss Montregor, who the ladies taught,
  To the rude lad who in the garden wrought;
  From the first favourite to the meanest drudge,
  Were no such women, heaven should be her judge;
  Whatever stains were theirs, let them reside
  In that pure place, and they were mundified;
  The sun of favour on their vileness shone,
  And all their faults like morning mists were gone.      260
    There was Lord Robert! could she have her choice,
  From the world’s masters he should have her voice;
  So kind and gracious in his noble ways,
  It was a pleasure speaking in his praise;
  And Lady Catharine—O! a prince’s pride
  Might by one smile of hers be gratified;
  With her would monarchs all their glory share,
  And in her presence banish all their care.
    Such was the matron, and to her the maid
  Was by her lover carefully convey’d.      270
    When William first the invitation read
  It some displeasure in his spirit bred;
  Not that one jealous thought the man possess’d:
  He was by fondness, not by fear, distress’d;
  But, when his Fanny to his mind convey’d
  The growing treasures of the ancient maid;
  The thirty years, come June, of service past;
  Her lasting love, her life that would not last;
  Her power! her place! what interest! what respect
  She had acquired—“and shall we her neglect?”—      280
    “No, Frances, no!” he answer’d, “you are right;
  But things appear in such a different light!”
    Her parents blest her, and as well became
  Their love advised her, that they might not blame;
  They said, “If she should earl or countess meet
  She should be humble, cautious, and discreet;
  Humble, but not abased, remembering all
  Are kindred sinners—children of the fall;
  That from the earth our being we receive,
  And are all equal when the earth we leave.”      290
    They then advised her in a modest way
  To make replies to what my lord might say;
  Her aunt would aid her, who was now become
  With nobles noble, and with lords at home.
    So went the pair; and William told at night
  Of a reception gracious and polite;
  He spake of galleries long and pictures tall;
  The handsome parlours, the prodigious hall;
  The busts, the statues, and the floors of stone;
  The storied arras, and the vast saloon,      300
  In which was placed an Indian chest and screen,
  With figures such as he had never seen:
  He told of these as men enraptured tell,
  And gave to all their praise, and all was well.
    Left by the lover, the desponding maid
  Was of the matron’s ridicule afraid;
  But, when she heard a welcome frank and kind,
  The wonted firmness repossess’d her mind;
  Pleased by the looks of love her aunt display’d,
  Her fond professions, and her kind parade.      310
    In her own room, and with her niece apart,
  She gave up all the secrets of her heart;
  And, grown familiar, bid her Fanny come,
  Partake her cheer, and make herself at home.
    Shut in that room, upon its cheerful board
  She laid the comforts of no vulgar hoard;
  Then press’d the damsel both with love and pride,
  For both she felt—and would not be denied.
    Grace she pronounced before and after meat,
  And bless’d her God that she could talk and eat;      320
  Then with new glee she sang her patron’s praise——
  “He had no paltry arts, no pimping ways;
  She had the roast and boil’d of every day,
  That sent the poor with grateful hearts away;
  And she was grateful——Come, my darling, think
  Of them you love the best, and let us drink.”
    And now she drank the healths of those above,
  Her noble friends, whom she must ever love;
  But not together, not the young and old,
  But one by one, the number duly told;      330
  And told their merits too—there was not one
  Who had not said a gracious thing or done;
  Nor could she praise alone, but she would take
  A cheerful glass for every favourite’s sake,
  And all were favourites—till the rosy cheek
  Spoke for the tongue that nearly ceased to speak;
  That rosy cheek that now began to shine,
  And show the progress of the rosy wine.
  But there she ended—felt the singing head,
  Then pray’d as custom will’d, and so to bed.      340
    The morn was pleasant, and the ancient maid
  With her fair niece about the mansion stray’d;
  There was no room without th’ appropriate tale
  Of blood and murder, female sprite or male;
  There was no picture that th’ historic dame
  Pass’d by and gave not its peculiar fame;
  The births, the visits, weddings, burials, all
  That chanced for ages at the noble Hall.
    These, and each revolution, she could state,
  And give strange anecdotes of love and hate;      350
  This was her first delight, her pride, her boast;      }
  She told of many an heiress, many a toast,      }
  Of Lady Ellen’s flight, of Lord Orlando’s ghost;      }
  The maid turn’d pale, and what should then ensue
  But wine and cake—the dame was frighten’d too.
    The aunt and niece now walk’d about the grounds,
  And sometimes met the gentry in their rounds;
  “Do let us turn!” the timid girl exclaim’d—
  “Turn!” said the aunt, “of what are you ashamed?
  What is there frightful in such looks as those?      360
  What is it, child, you fancy or suppose?
  Look at Lord Robert, see if you can trace
  More than true honour in that handsome face!
    What! you must think, by blushing in that way,
  My lord has something about love to say;
  But I assure you that he never spoke
  Such things to me in earnest or in joke;
  And yet I meet him in all sorts of times,
  When wicked men are thinking of their crimes.
    There! let them pass——Why, yes, indeed ’tis true      370}
  That was a look, and was design’d for you;      }
  But what the wonder when the sight is new?      }
  For my lord’s virtue you may take my word,
  He would not do a thing that was absurd.”
    A month had pass’d; “And when will Fanny come?”
  The lover ask’d, and found the parents dumb;
  They had not heard for more than half the space,
  And the poor maiden was in much disgrace.
  Silence so long they could not understand—
  And this of one who wrote so neat a hand;      380
  Their sister sure would send, were aught amiss;
  But youth is thoughtless—there is hope in this.
    As time elapsed, their wonder changed to wo:
  William would lose another day, and go.
  Yet, if she should be wilful and remain,
  He had no power to take her home again.
  But he would go.—He went, and he return’d—
  And in his look the pair his tale discern’d;
  Stupid in grief, it seem’d not that he knew
  How he came home, or what he should pursue.      390
  Fanny was gone!—her aunt was sick in bed,      }
  Dying, she said—none cared if she were dead;      }
  Her charge, his darling, was decoy’d, was fled!      }
  But at what time, and whither, and with whom,
  None seem’d to know—all surly, shy, or dumb.
    Each blamed himself, all blamed the erring maid;
  They vow’d revenge, they cursed their fate, and pray’d.
  Moved by his grief, the father sought the place,
  Ask’d for his girl, and talk’d of her disgrace;
  Spoke of the villain, on whose cursed head      400
  He pray’d that vengeance might be amply shed;
  Then sought his sister, and beheld her grief,
  Her pain, her danger,—this was no relief.
  “Where is my daughter? bring her to my sight!”—
  “Brother, I’m rack’d and tortured day and night.”—
  “Talk not to me! What grief have you to tell,
  Is your soul rack’d, or is your bosom hell?
  Where is my daughter?”—“She would take her oath
  For their right doing, for she knew them both,
  And my young lord was honour.”—“Woman, cease!      410}
  And give your guilty conscience no such peace—      }
  You’ve sold the wretched girl, you have betray’d your niece.”— }
  “The Lord be good! and O! the pains that come
  In limb and body—Brother, get you home!
  Your voice runs through me—every angry word,
  If he should hear it, would offend my lord.”—
    “Has he a daughter? let her run away
  With a poor dog, and hear what he will say!
  No matter what, I’ll ask him for his son”—
  “And so offend? Now, brother, pray be gone!”      420
    My lord appear’d, perhaps by pity moved,
  And kindly said he no such things approved;
  Nay, he was angry with the foolish boy,
  Who might his pleasures at his ease enjoy;
  The thing was wrong—he hoped the farm did well—
  The angry father doom’d the farm to hell;
  He then desired to see the villain-son,
  Though my lord warn’d him such excess to shun;
  Told him he pardon’d, though he blamed such rage,
  And bade him think upon his state and age.      430
    “Think! yes, my lord! but thinking drives me mad—
  Give me my child!—Where is she to be had?
  I’m old and poor, but I with both can feel,
  And so shall he that could a daughter steal!
  Think you, my lord, I can be so bereft
  And feel no vengeance for the villain’s theft?
  Old if I am, could I the robber meet
  I’d lay his breathless body at my feet—
  Was that a smile, my lord? think you your boy
  Will both the father and the child destroy?”      440
    My lord replied—“I’m sorry, from my soul!
  But boys are boys, and there is no control.”—
    “So, for your great ones Justice slumbers, then!
  If men are poor they must not feel as men—
  Will your son marry?”—“Marry!” said my lord,
  “Your daughter?—marry—no, upon my word!”
    “What then, our stations differ!—but your son
  Thought not of that—his crime has made them one,
  In guilt united—She shall be his wife,
  Or I th’ avenger that will take his life!”—      450
    “Old man, I pity and forgive you; rest      }
  In hope and comfort—be not so distress’d;      }
  Things that seem bad oft happen for the best.      }
  The girl has done no more than thousands do,
  Nor has the boy—they laugh at me and you.”—
  “And this my vengeance—curse him!”—“Nay, forbear;
  I spare your frenzy, in compassion spare.”—
    “Spare me, my lord! and what have I to dread?
  O! spare not, heaven, the thunder o’er his head—
  The bolt he merits!”——
                          Such was his redress;      460
  And he return’d to brood upon distress.
    And what of William?—William from the time
  Appear’d partaker both of grief and crime;
  He cared for nothing, nothing he pursued,
  But walk’d about in melancholy mood;
  He ceased to labour—all he loved before
  He now neglected, and would see no more;
  He said his flute brought only to his mind
  When he was happy, and his Fanny kind;
  And his loved walks, and every object near,      470
  And every evening-sound she loved to hear,
  The shady lane, broad heath, and starry sky,
  Brought home reflections, and he wish’d to die.
  Yet there he stray’d, because he wish’d to shun
  The world he hated, where his part was done;
  As if, though lingering on the earth, he there
  Had neither hope nor calling, tie nor care.
    At length a letter from the daughter came,
  ‘Frances’ subscribed, and that the only name;
  She “pitied much her parents, spoke of fate,      480
  And begg’d them to forget her, not to hate;
  Said she had with her all the world could give,
  And only pray’d that they in peace should live.
  That which is done is that we’re born to do—
  This she was taught, and she believed it true;
  True, that she lived in pleasure and delight,
  But often dream’d and saw the farm by night;
  The boarded room that she had kept so neat,
  And all her roses in the window-seat;
  The pear-tree shade, the jasmine’s lovely gloom,      490
  With its long twigs that blossom’d in the room;
  But she was happy, and the tears that fell      }
  As she was writing had no grief to tell;      }
  We weep when we are glad, we sigh when we are well.”      }
    A bill inclosed, that they beheld with pain
  And indignation, they return’d again;
  There was no mention made of William’s name,
  Check’d as she was by pity, love, and shame.
    William, who wrought for bread, and never sought
  More than the day demanded when he wrought,      500
  Was to a sister call’d, of all his race
  The last, and dying in a distant place.
  In tender terror he approach’d her bed,
  Beheld her sick, and buried her when dead;
  He was her heir, and what she left was more
  Than he required, who was content before.
    With their minds’ sufferings, age, and growing pain,
  That ancient couple could not long remain,
  Nor long remain’d; and in their dying groan
  The suffering youth perceived himself alone;      510
  For of his health or sickness, peace or care,
  He knew not one in all the world to share.
  Now every scene would sad reflections give,
  And most his home, and there he could not live;
  There every walk would now distressing prove,
  And of his loss remind him, and his love.
    With the small portion by his sister left
  He roved about as one of peace bereft;
  And by the body’s movements hoped to find
  A kind of wearied stillness in the mind,      520
  And sooner bring it to a sleepy state,
  As rocking infants will their pains abate.
    Thus careless, lost, unheeding where he went,
  Nine weary years the wandering lover spent.
    His sole employment, all that could amuse,
  Was his companions on the road to choose;
  With such he travell’d through the passing day,
  Friends of the hour, and walkers by the way;
  And from the sick, the poor, the halt, the blind,
  He learn’d the sorrows of his suffering kind.      530
    He learn’d of many how unjust their fate,
  For their connexions dwelt in better state;
  They had relations famous, great or rich,
  Learned or wise, they never scrupled which;
  But while they cursed these kindred churls, would try
  To build their fame, and for their glory lie.
    Others delighted in misfortunes strange,
  The sports of fortune in her love for change.
    Some spoke of wonders they before had seen,
  When on their travels they had wandering been:      540
  How they had sail’d the world about, and found
  The sailing plain, although the world was round;
  How they beheld for months th’ unsetting sun;      }
  What deeds they saw! what they themselves had done!—      }
  What leaps at Rhodes!—what glory then they won!      }
    There were who spoke in terms of high disdain
  Of their contending against power in vain;
  Suffering from tyranny of law long borne;
  And life’s best spirits in contentions worn.
  Happy in this, th’ oppressors soon will die,      550}
  Each with the vex’d and suffering man to lie—      }
  And thus consoled exclaim, ‘And is not sorrow dry?’      }
    But vice offended: when he met with those
  Who could a deed of violence propose,
  And cry, “Should they what we desire possess?      }
  Should they deprive us, and their laws oppress?”      }
  William would answer, “Ours is not redress.”—      }
  “Would you oppression, then, for ever feel?”—
  “’Tis not my choice; but yet I must not steal.”—
  “So, first they cheat us, and then make their laws      560
  To guard their treasures and to back their cause:
  What call you then, my friend, the rights of man?”—
  “To get his bread,” said William, “if he can;
  And if he cannot, he must then depend      }
  Upon a Being he may make his friend.”—      }
  “Make!” they replied; and conference had end.      }
    But female vagrants would at times express
  A new-born pleasure at the mild address;
  His modest wish, clothed in accent meek,
  That they would comfort in religion seek.      570
  “I am a sinful being!” William cried;
  “Then, what am I?” the conscious heart replied;
  And oft-times ponder’d in a pensive way,
  “He is not happy, yet he loves to pray.”
    But some would freely on his thoughts intrude,
  And thrust themselves ’twixt him and solitude;
  They would his faith and of its strength demand,
  And all his soul’s prime motions understand.
  “How!” they would say, “such we and such belief,
  Such trust in heaven, and yet on earth such grief!      580
  Thou art almost, my friend—thou art not all;
  Thou hast not yet the self-destroying call;
  Thou hast a carnal wish, perhaps a will
  Not yet subdued—the root is growing still.
  There is the strong man yet that keeps his own,
  Who by a stronger must be overthrown;
  There is the burden that must yet be gone,
  And then the pilgrim may go singing on.”
    William to this would seriously incline,
  And to their comforts would his heart resign;      590
  It soothed, it raised him—he began to feel
  Th’ enlivening warmth of methodistic zeal;
  He learn’d to know the brethren by their looks—
  He sought their meetings, he perused their books;
  But yet was not within the pale and yoke,
  And as a novice of experience spoke;
  But felt the comfort, and began to pray
  For such companions on the king’s highway.
    William had now across the kingdom sped,
  To th’ Eastern ocean from St. David’s head;      600
  And wandering late, with various thoughts oppress’d,
  ’Twas midnight ere he reach’d his place of rest—
  A village inn, that one way-faring friend
  Could from experience safely recommend:
  Where the kind hostess would be more intent
  On what he needed than on what he spent;
  Her husband, once a heathen, she subdued,
  And with religious fear his mind imbued;
  Though his conviction came too late to save
  An erring creature from an early grave.      610
    Since that event, the cheerful widow grew      }
  In size and substance—her the brethren knew—      }
  And many friends were hers, and lovers not a few;      }
  But either love no more could warm her heart,
  Or no man came who could the warmth impart.
    William drew near, and saw the comely look
  Of the good lady, bending o’er her book;
  Hymns it appear’d—for now a pleasing sound
  Seem’d as a welcome in his wanderings found.
  He enter’d softly, not as they who think      620
  That they may act the ruffian if they drink,
  And who conceive, that for their paltry pence
  They may with rules of decency dispense;
  Far unlike these was William—he was kind,
  Exacting nothing, and to all resign’d.
    He saw the hostess reading,—and their eyes
  Met in good will, and something like surprise.
  It was not beauty William saw, but more,
  Something like that which he had loved before—
  Something that brought his Fanny to his view,      630
  In the dear time when she was good and true;
  And his, it seem’d, were features that were seen      }
  With some emotion—she was not serene;      }
  And both were moved to ask what looks like those could mean.      }
  At first, she colour’d to the deepest red,
  That hurried off, till all the rose was fled;
  She call’d a servant, whom she sent to rest,
  Then made excuse to her attentive guest;
  She own’d the thoughts confused—’twas very true,
  He brought a dear departed friend in view;      640
  Then, as he listen’d, bade him welcome there      }
  With livelier looks and more engaging air,      }
  And stirr’d the fire of ling, and brush’d the wicker chair;      }
  Waiting his order, with the cheerful look
  That proved how pleasant were the pains she took.
    He was refresh’d——They spake on various themes—      }
  Our early pleasures, Reason’s first-drawn schemes,      }
  Youth’s strong illusions, Love’s delirious dreams;      }
  Then from her book he would presume to ask
  A song of praise, and she perform’d the task.      650
  The clock struck twelve—He started—‘Must I go?’
  His looks spoke plainly, and the lady’s, ‘No;’
  So down he sat—and, when the clock struck one,
  There was no start, no effort to be gone;
  Nor stay’d discourse——
                            “And so your loves were cross’d,
  And the loved object to your wishes lost?
  But was she faithless, or were you to blame?
  I wish I knew her—Will you tell her name?”—
    “Excuse me—that would hurt her if alive;
  And, if no more, why should her fault survive?”      660
  “But love you still?”—
                          “Alas! I feel I do,
  When I behold her very looks in you!”—
    “Yet, if the frail one’s name must not be known,
  My friendly guest may trust me with his own.”
    This done, the lady paused, and then replied—
  It grieves me much to see your spirit tried;—
  But she was like me—how I came to know
  The lamb that stray’d I will hereafter show.—
  We were indeed as sisters——Should I state
  Her quiet end, you would no longer hate;      670
  I see your heart—and I shall quickly prove,
  Though she deserved not, yet she priced your love:
  Long as she breathed was heard her William’s name—
  And such affection half absolves her shame.
    “Weep not, but hear me, how I came to know
  Thee and thy Frances—this to heaven I owe;
  And thou shalt view the pledge, the very ring,
  The birth-day token—well you know the thing;
  ‘This,’ if I ever—thus I was to speak,
  As she had spoken—but I see you weak:      680
  She was not worthy——”
                            “O! you cannot tell
  By what accursed means my Fanny fell!
  What bane, compulsion, threats—for she was pure;
  But from such toils what being is secure?
  Force, not persuasion, robb’d me——”
                                          “You are right;
  So has she told me, in her Maker’s sight:
  She loved not vice——”
                            “O! no—her heart approved
  All that her God commanded to be loved;
  And she is gone”——
                         “Consider! death alone
  Could for the errors of her life atone.”—      690
    “Speak not of them; I would she knew how dear
  I hold her yet!—But dost thou give the tear
  To my loved Frances?—No! I cannot part
  With one who has her face, who has her heart.
  With looks so pleasing, when I thee behold,
  She lives—that bosom is no longer cold—
  Then tell me—Art thou not—in pity speak—
  One whom I sought, while living meant to seek—
  Art thou my Fanny?—Let me not offend—
  Be something to me—be a sufferer’s friend—      700
  Be more—be all! ——The precious truth confess—      }
  Art thou not Frances?”——      }
                               “O, my William! yes!      }
  But spare me, spare thyself, and suffer less.      }
  In my best days, the spring-time of my life,
  I was not worthy to be William’s wife;
  A widow now—not poor, indeed—not cast
  In outer darkness—sorrowing for the past,
  And for the future hoping—but no more:
  Let me the pledges of thy love restore,
  And give the ring thou gavest—let it be      710
  A token still of my regard for thee—
  But only that—and to a worthier now
  Consign the gift.”——
                           “The only worthy thou!”
  Replied the lover; and what more express’d
  May be omitted—here our tale shall rest.
    This pair, our host and hostess of the Fleece,
  Command some wealth, and smile at its increase;
  Saving and civil, cautious and discreet,
  All sects and parties in their mansion meet;
  There from their chapels teachers go to share      720
  The creature-comforts—mockery grins not there;
  There meet the wardens at their annual feast,
  With annual pun—‘the parish must be fleeced’;
  There traders find a parlour cleanly swept
  For their reception, and in order kept;
  And there the sons of labour, poor, but free,
  Sit and enjoy their hour of liberty.
    So live the pair—and life’s disasters seem
  In their unruffled calm a troubled dream;
  In comfort runs the remnant of their life—      730
  He the fond husband, she the faithful wife.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                                BOOK XX.

                         _THE CATHEDRAL-WALK._

  George in his hypochondriac State—A Family Mansion now a Farmhouse—The
    Company there—Their Conversation—Subjects afforded by the
    Pictures—Doubts if Spirits can appear—Arguments—Facts—The Relation
    of an old Lady—Her Walks in a Cathedral—Appearance there.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                                BOOK XX.

                         _THE CATHEDRAL-WALK._

  In their discourse again the Brothers dwelt
  On early subjects—what they once had felt,
  Once thought, of things mysterious:—themes that all
  With some degree of reverence recall.
  George then reverted to the days of old,
  When his heart fainted, and his hope was cold;
  When by the power of fancy he was sway’d,
  And every impulse of the mind obey’d.
    “Then, my dear Richard,” said the ‘Squire, “my case
  Was call’d consumptive—I must seek a place      10
  And soil salubrious, thither must repair,
  And live on asses’ milk and milder air.
    “My uncle bought a farm, and on the land
  The fine old mansion yet was left to stand,
  Not in this state, but old and much decay’d;
  Of this a part was habitable made;
  The rest—who doubts?—was by the spirits seized,
  Ghosts of all kinds, who used it as they pleased.
    “The worthy farmer tenant yet remain’d,
  Of good report—he had a fortune gain’d;      20
  And his three daughters at their school acquired
  The air and manner that their swains admired;
  The mother-gossip and these daughters three
  Talk’d of genteel and social company,
  And, while the days were fine, and walks were clean,
  A fresh assemblage day by day were seen.
    “There were the curate’s gentle maids, and some
  From all the neighbouring villages would come;
  There, as I stole the yew-tree shades among,
  I saw the parties walking, old and young,      30
  Where I was nothing—if perceived, they said,
  ‘The man is harmless, be not you afraid;
  A poor young creature, who, they say, is cross’d
  In love, and has in part his senses lost—
  His health for certain, and he comes to spend
  His time with us; we hope our air will mend
  A frame so weaken’d, for the learned tribe
  A change of air for stubborn ills prescribe;
  And doing nothing often has prevail’d
  When ten physicians have prescribed and fail’d;      40
  Not that for air or change there’s much to say,
  But nature then has time to take her way;
  And so we hope our village will restore
  This man to health that he possess’d before.
  He loves the garden avenues, the gloom      }
  Of the old chambers, of the tap’stried room;      }
  And we no notice take, we let him go and come.’      }
    “So spake a gay young damsel; but she knew
  Not all the truth—in part her tale was true.
  Much it amused me in the place to be      50
  This harmless cypher, seeming not to see,
  Yet seeing all—unnoticed to appear,
  Yet noting all; and not disposed to hear,
  But to go forth—break in on no one’s plan,
  And hear them speak of the forsaken man.
    “In scenes like these, a mansion so decay’d,
  With blighted trees in hoary moss array’d,
  And ivy’d walls around, for many an hour
  I walk’d alone, and felt their witching power;
  So others felt;—the young of either sex      60
  Would in these walks their timid minds perplex
  By meeting terrors, and the old appear’d,
  Their fears upbraiding, like the young who fear’d.
  Among them all some sad discourse at night
  Was sure to breed a terrified delight:
  Some luckless one of the attentive dames
  Had figures seen like those within the frames,
  Figures of lords who once the land posses’d,
  And who could never in their coffins rest;
  Unhappy spirits! who could not abide      70}
  The loss of all their consequence and pride;      }
  ’Twas death in all his power, their very names had died.      }
    “These tales of terror views terrific bred,
  And sent the hearers trembling to their bed.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    In an autumnal evening, cool and still,
  The sun just dropp’d beneath a distant hill,
  The children gazing on the quiet scene,
  Then rose in glory Night’s majestic queen;
  And pleasant was the chequer’d light and shade
  Her golden beams and maple shadows made;      80
  An ancient tree that in the garden grew,
  And that fair picture on the gravel threw.
    Then all was silent, save the sounds that make
  Silence more awful, while they faintly break;
  The frighten’d bat’s low shriek, the beetle’s hum,
  With nameless sounds we know not whence they come.
    Such was the evening; and that ancient seat
  The scene where then some neighbours chanced to meet.
  Up to the door led broken steps of stone,
  Whose dewy surface in the moonlight shone;      90
  On vegetation, that with progress slow
  Where man forbears to fix his foot, will grow;
  The window’s depth and dust repell’d the ray
  Of the moon’s light and of the setting day;
  Pictures there were, and each display’d a face
  And form that gave their sadness to the place;
  The frame and canvas show’d that worms unseen,
  Save in their works, for years had working been;
  A fire of brushwood on the irons laid      }
  All the dull room in fitful views display’d,      100}
  And with its own wild light in fearful forms array’d.      }
  In this old Hall, in this departing day,
  Assembled friends and neighbours, grave and gay;
  When one good lady at a picture threw
  A glance that caused inquiry.—“Tell us who?”
    “That was a famous warrior; one, they said,
  That by a spirit was awhile obey’d;
  In all his dreadful battles he would say,
  ‘Or win or lose, I shall escape to-day’;
  And, though the shot as thick as hail came round,      110
  On no occasion he received a wound;
  He stood in safety, free from all alarm,
  Protected, heaven forgive him, by his charm.
  But he forgot the date, till came the hour
  When he no more had the protecting power;
  And then he bade his friends around farewell!
  ‘I fall!’ he cried, and in the instant fell.
    “Behold those infants in the frame beneath!
  A witch offended wrought their early death;
  She form’d an image, made as wax to melt,      120
  And each the wasting of the figure felt;
  The hag confess’d it when she came to die,
  And no one living can the truth deny.
    “But see a beauty in King William’s days,
  With that long waist, and those enormous stays;
  She had three lovers, and no creature knew
  The one preferr’d, or the discarded two;
  None could the secret of her bosom see;
  Loving, poor maid, th’ attention of the three,
  She kept such equal weight in either scale,      130
  ’Twas hard to say who would at last prevail.
  Thus, you may think, in either heart arose
  A jealous anger, and the men were foes;
  Each with himself concluded, two aside,
  The third may make the lovely maid his bride:
  This caused their fate—It was on Thursday night
  The deed was done, and bloody was the fight;
  Just as she went, poor thoughtless girl! to prayers,
  Ran wild the maid with horror up the stairs;
  Pale as a ghost, but not a word she said,      140
  And then the lady utter’d, ‘Coates is dead!’
    “Then the poor damsel found her voice and cried,      }
  ‘Ran through the body, and that instant died!      }
  But he pronounced your name, and so was satisfied.’      }
  A second fell, and he who did survive
  Was kept by skill and sovereign drugs alive;
  ‘O! would she see me!’ he was heard to say,
  ‘No! I’ll torment him to his dying day!’
  The maid exclaim’d; and every Thursday night
  Her spirit came his wretched soul to fright.      150
  Once, as she came, he cried aloud ‘Forgive!’
  ‘Never!’ she answer’d, ‘never while you live,
  Nor when you die, as long as time endures;
  You have my torment been, and I’ll be yours!’
  That is the lady, and the man confess’d
  Her vengeful spirit would not let him rest.”
    “But are there ghosts?” exclaim’d a timid maid;
  “My father tells me not to be afraid;
  He cries, when buried we are safe enough,
  And calls such stories execrable stuff.”      160
    “Your father, child,” the former lady cried,
  “Has learning much, but he has too much pride;
  It is impossible for him to tell
  What things in nature are impossible,
  Or out of nature, or to prove to whom
  Or for what purposes a ghost may come;
  It may not be intelligence to bring,
  But to keep up a notion of the thing;
  And though from one such fact there may arise
  An hundred wild improbabilities,      170
  Yet had there never been the truth, I say,
  The very lies themselves had died away.”
    “True,” said a friend; “Heaven doubtless may dispense
  A kind of dark and clouded evidence;
  God has not promised that he will not send
  A spirit freed to either foe or friend;
  He may such proof, and only such, bestow,
  Though we the certain truth can never know;
  And therefore, though such floating stories bring
  No strong or certain vouchers of the thing,      180
  Still would I not, presuming, pass my word
  That all such tales were groundless and absurd.”
    “But you will grant,” said one who sate beside,
  “That all appear so when with judgment tried?”
    “For that concession, madam, you may call,
  When we have sate in judgment upon all.”
    An ancient lady, who with pensive smile
  Had heard the stories, and been mute the while,
  Now said, “Our prudence had been better shown
  By leaving uncontested things unknown;      190
  Yet, if our children must such stories hear,
  Let us provide some antidotes to fear;
  For all such errors in the minds of youth,
  In any mind, the only cure is truth;
  And truths collected may in time decide
  Upon such facts, or prove, at least, a guide.
  If, then, permitted I will fairly state
  One fact, nor doubt the story I relate;
  I for your perfect acquiescence call,      }
  ’Tis of myself I tell.”——“O! tell us all!”      200}
  Said every being there; then silent was the Hall.      }

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “Early in life, beneath my parent’s roof,
  Of man’s true honour I had noble proof;
  A generous lover who was worthy found,
  Where half his sex are hollow and unsound.
    “My father fail’d in trade, and sorrowing died,
  When all our loss a generous youth supplied;
  And soon the time drew on when he could say,      }
  ‘O! fix the happy, fix the early day!’      }
  Nor meant I to oppose his wishes, or delay.      210}
  But then came fever, slight at first indeed,
  Then hastening on and threatening in its speed;
  It mock’d the powers of medicine; day by day
  I saw those helpers sadly walk away;
  So came the hand-like cloud, and with such power
  And with such speed, that brought the mighty shower.
    “Him nursed I dying, and we freely spoke
  Of what might follow the expected stroke;
  We talk’d of spirits, of their unknown powers,
  And dared to dwell on what the fate of ours;      220
  But the dread promise, to appear again,
  Could it be done, I sought not to obtain;
  But yet we were presuming—‘Could it be,’
  He said, ‘O Emma! I would come to thee!’
    “At his last hour his reason, late astray,
  Again return’d t’ illuminate his way.
    “In the last night my mother long had kept
  Unwearied watch, and now reclined and slept;
  The nurse was dreaming in a distant chair,
  And I had knelt to soothe him with a prayer;      230
  When, with a look of that peculiar kind
  That gives its purpose to the fellow mind,
  His manner spoke—‘Confide—be not afraid—
  I shall remember’—this was all convey’d—
  ‘I know not what awaits departed man;
  But this believe—I meet thee if I can.’

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “I wish’d to die—and grief, they say, will kill;
  But you perceive ’tis slowly, if it will.
  That I was wretched you may well believe—
  I judged it right, and was resolved to grieve.      240
  I lost my mother when there lived not one,
  Man, woman, child, whom I would seek or shun.
    “The Dean, my uncle, with congenial gloom,
  Said, ‘Will you share a melancholy home?’
  For he bewail’d a wife, as I deplored
  My fate, and bliss that could not be restored.
    “In his cathedral’s gloom I pass’d my time
  Much in devotion, much in thought sublime;
  There oft I paced the aisles, and watch’d the glow
  Of the sun setting on the stones below,      250
  And saw the failing light, that strove to pass
  Through the dim coating of the storied glass,
  Nor fell within, but till the day was gone
  The red faint fire upon the window shone.
  I took the key, and oft-times chose to stay
  Till all was vanish’d of the tedious day,
  Till I perceived no light, nor heard a sound,
  That gave me notice of a world around.
    “Then had I grief’s proud thoughts, and said, in tone
  Of exultation, ‘World, I am alone!      260
  I care not for thee, thou art vile and base,
  And I shall leave thee for a nobler place.’
    “So I the world abused—in fact, to me
  Urbane and civil as a world could be;
  Nor should romantic grievers thus complain,
  Although but little in the world they gain;
  But let them think if they have nothing done
  To make this odious world so sad a one;
  Or what their worth and virtue, that should make
  This graceless world so pleasant for their sake.      270
    “But to my tale:—Behold me as I tread
  The silent mansions of the favour’d dead,
  Who sleep in vaulted chambers, till their clay,      }
  In quiet dissolution, melts away      }
  In this their bodies’ home—The spirits, where are they?      }
  ‘And where _his_ spirit?—Doors and walls impede
  The embodied spirit, not the spirit freed’.
  And, saying this, I at the altar knelt,
  And painful joys and rapturous anguish felt;
  Till strong, bold hopes possess’d me, and I cried,      280
  ‘Even at this instant is he at my side;
  Yes, now, dear spirit! art thou by, to prove
  That mine is lasting, mine the loyal love!’
    “Thus have I thought, returning to the Dean,
  As one who had some glorious vision seen.
  He ask’d no question, but would sit and weep,
  And cry, in doleful tone, ‘I cannot sleep!’
    “In dreams the chosen of my heart I view’d,
  And thus th’ impression day by day renew’d;
  I saw him always, always loved to see,      290
  For, when alone, he was my company;
  In company, with him alone I seem’d,
  And, if not dreaming, was as one who dream’d.
    “Thus, robb’d of sleep, I found, when evening came,
  A pleasing torpor steal upon my frame;
  But still the habit drew my languid feet
  To the loved darkness of the favourite seat;
  And there, by silence and by sadness press’d,
  I felt a world my own, and was at rest.
    “One night, when urged with more than usual zeal,      300
  And feeling all that such enthusiasts feel,
  I paced the altar by, the pillars round,
  And knew no terror in the sacred ground;
  For mine were thoughts that banish’d all such fear—
  I wish’d, I long’d, to have that form appear;
  And, as I paced the sacred aisles, I cried,
  ‘Let not thy Emma’s spirit be denied
  The sight of thine; or if I may not see,
  Still by some token let her certain be!’
    “At length the anxious thoughts my strength subdued,      310
  And sleep o’erpower’d me in my solitude;
  Then was I dreaming of unearthly race,
  The glorious inmates of a blessed place;
  Where lofty minds celestial views explore,
  Heaven’s bliss enjoy, and heaven’s great King adore;
  Him there I sought whom I had loved so well—
  For sure he dwelt where happy spirits dwell!
    “While thus engaged, I started at a sound,
  Of what I knew not, but I look’d around;
  For I was borne on visionary wings,      320
  And felt no dread of sublunary things;
  But rising, walk’d.—A distant window threw
  A weak, soft light, that help’d me in my view;
  Something with anxious heart I hoped to see,
  And pray’d, ‘O! God of all things, let it be!
  For all are thine, were made by thee, and thou
  Canst both the meeting and the means allow;
  Thou canst make clear my sight, or thou canst make
  More gross the form that his loved mind shall take,
  Canst clothe his spirit for my fleshly sight,      330
  Or make my earthly sense more pure and bright.’
    “So was I speaking, when without a sound
  There was a movement in the sacred ground:
  I saw a figure rising, but could trace
  No certain features, no peculiar face;
  But I prepared my mind that form to view,
  Nor felt a doubt—he promised, and was true!
  I should embrace his angel, and my clay,
  And what was mortal in me, melt away.
    “O! that ecstatic horror in my frame,      340
  That o’er me thus, a favour’d mortal, came!
  Bless’d beyond mortals—and the body now
  I judged would perish, though I knew not how;
  The gracious power around me could translate
  And make me pass to that immortal state:
  Thus shall I pay the debt that must be paid,
  And dying live, nor be by death delay’d;
  And when so changed, I should with joy sustain
  The heavenly converse, and with him remain.
    “I saw the distant shade, and went with awe,      350
  But not with terror, to the form I saw;
  Yet slowly went, for he I did believe
  Would meet, and soul to soul his friend receive;
  So on I drew, concluding in my mind,
  I cannot judge what laws may spirits bind;
  Though I dissolve, and mingle with the blest,      }
  I am a new and uninstructed guest,      }
  And ere my love can speak, he should be first address’d.      }
    “Thus I began to speak—my new-born pride,
  My love, and daring hope, the words supplied.      360
    “‘Dear, happy shade! companion of the good,
  The just, the pure, do I on thee intrude?
  Art thou not come my spirit to improve,
  To form, instruct, and fit me for thy love,
  And, as in love we parted, to restore
  The blessing lost, and then to part no more?
  Let me with thee in thy pure essence dwell,
  Nor go to bid them of my house farewell,
  But thine be ever!’—How shall I relate
  Th’ event that finish’d this ecstatic state?      370
  Yet let me try.—It turn’d, and I beheld
  An hideous form, that hope and zeal expell’d:
  In a dim light the horrid shape appeared,
  That wisdom would have fled, and courage fear’d:
  Pale, and yet bloated, with distorted eyes      }
  Distant and deep, a mouth of monstrous size,      }
  That would in day’s broad glare a simple maid surprise.      }
  He heard my words, and cried, with savage shout,
  ‘Bah!—bother!—blarney!—What is this about?’
    “Love, lover, longing, in an instant fled,—      380
  Now I had vice and impudence to dread;
  And all my high-wrought fancies died away
  To woman’s trouble, terror, and dismay.
    “‘What,’ said the wretch, ‘what is it you would have?
  Would’st hang a man for peeping in a grave?
  Search me yourself, and try if you can feel
  Aught I have taken—there was nought to steal:
  ’Twas told they buried with the corpse enough
  To pay the hazard—I have made the proof,
  Nor gain’d a tester—What I tell is true;      390}
  But I’m no fool, to be betray’d by you—      }
  I’ll hazard nothing, curse me if I do!’      }
    “The light increased, and plainly now appear’d
  A knavish fool, whom I had often fear’d,
  But hid the dread; and I resolved at least
  Not to expose it to the powerful beast.
    “‘Come, John,’ I said, suppressing fear and doubt,
  ‘Walk on before, and let a lady out!’—
  ‘Lady!’ the wretch replied, with savage grin,
  ‘Apply to him that let the lady in:      400
  What! you would go, I take it, to the Dean,
  And tell him what your ladyship has seen’.
    “When thus the fool exposed the knave, I saw      }
  The means of holding such a mind in awe,      }
  And gain my safety by his dread of law.      }
    “‘Alas!’ I cried, ‘I fear the Dean like you,
  For I transgress, and am in trouble too.
  If it be known that we are here, as sure
  As here we are we must the law endure:
  Each other’s counsel therefore let us keep,      410
  And each steal homeward to our beds and sleep,’
    “‘Steal!’ said the ruffian’s conscience—‘Well, agreed;
  Steal on, and let us to the door proceed:’—
  Yet, ere he moved, he stood awhile, and took
  Of my poor form a most alarming look;
  ‘But, hark!’ I cried, and he to move began—
  Escape alone engaged the dreadful man;
  With eager hand I oped the ponderous door—
  The wretch rush’d by me, and was heard no more.
    “So I escaped,—and when my dreams came on,      420
  I check’d the madness by the thoughts of John;
  Yet say I not what can or cannot be,
  But give the story of my ghost and me.”


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XXI.

                       _SMUGGLERS AND POACHERS._

  A Widow at the Hall—Inquiry of Richard—Relation of two
    Brothers—Their different Character—Disposition—Modes of
    thinking—James a Servant—Robert joins the Smugglers—Rachel at the
    Hall—James attached to her—Trade fails—Robert a Poacher—Is in
    Danger—How released—James and Rachel—Revenge excited—Association
    formed—Attack resolved—Preparation made for Resistance—A Night
    Adventure—Reflections.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XXI.

                       _SMUGGLERS AND POACHERS._

  There was a widow in the village known
  To our good Squire, and he had favour shown
  By frequent bounty.—She as usual came;
  And Richard saw the worn and weary frame,
  Pale cheek, and eye subdued, of her whose mind      }
  Was grateful still, and glad a friend to find,      }
  Though to the world long since and all its hopes resign’d.      }
  Her easy form, in rustic neatness clad,
  Was pleasing still! but she for ever sad.
    “Deep is her grief?” said Richard—“Truly deep,      10
  And very still, and therefore seems to sleep.
  To borrow simile to paint her woes,
  Theirs, like the river’s, motion seems repose,
  Making no petty murmuring—settled, slow,
  They never waste, they never overflow.
  Rachel is one of those—for there are some
  Who look for nothing in their days to come,
  No good nor evil, neither hope nor fear;
  Nothing remains or cheerful or severe;
  One day is like the past, the year’s sweet prime      20
  Like the sad fall—for Rachel heeds not time.
  Nothing remains to agitate her breast;
  Spent is the tempest, and the sky at rest;
  But, while it raged, her peace its ruin met;
  And now the sun is on her prospects set.—
  Leave her, and let us her distress explore:
  She heeds it not—she has been left before.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    There were two lads, call’d Shelley, hither brought,
  But whence we know not—it was never sought;
  Their wandering mother left them, left her name,      30
  And the boys throve and valiant men became:
  Handsome, of more than common size, and tall,
  And, no one’s kindred, seem’d beloved of all;
  All seem’d alliance by their deeds to prove,
  And loved the youths who could not claim their love.
  One was call’d James, the more sedate and grave,
  The other Robert—names their neighbours gave;
  They both were brave, but Robert loved to run
  And meet his danger—James would rather shun
  The dangerous trial; but, whenever tried,      40
  He all his spirit to the act applied.
    Robert would aid on any man bestow,      }
  James would his man and the occasion know;      }
  For that was quick and prompt—this temperate and slow.      }
    Robert would all things he desired pursue,
  James would consider what was best to do;
  All spoke of Robert as a man they loved,
  And most of James as valued and approved.
    Both had some learning: Robert his acquired
  By quicker parts, and was by praise inspired;      50
  James, as he was in his acquirements slow,
  Would learn the worth of what he tried to know.
    In fact, this youth was generous—that was just;
  The one you loved, the other you would trust;
  Yet him you loved you would for truth approve,
  And him you trusted you would likewise love.
    Such were the brothers—James had found his way      }
  To Nether Hall, and there inclined to stay;      }
  He could himself command, and therefore could obey.      }
  He with the keeper took his daily round,      60
  A rival grew, and some unkindness found;
  But his superior farm’d! the place was void,
  And James guns, dogs, and dignity enjoy’d.
    Robert had scorn of service; he would be
  A slave to no man—happy were the free,
  And only they;—by such opinions led,
  Robert to sundry kinds of trade was bred.
  Nor let us wonder if he sometimes made
  An active partner in a lawless trade;
  Fond of adventure, wanton as the wave,      70
  He loved the danger and the law to brave;
  But these were chance-adventures, known to few—
  Not that the hero cared what people knew.
    The brothers met not often—When they met,
  James talk’d of honest gains and scorn of debt,
  Of virtuous labour, of a sober life,
  And what with credit would support a wife.
    But Robert answer’d—“How can men advise
  Who to a master let their tongue and eyes?
  Whose words are not their own? whose foot and hand      80
  Run at a nod, or act upon command?
  Who cannot eat or drink, discourse or play,
  Without requesting others that they may.
    “Debt you would shun; but what advice to give,
  Who owe your service every hour you live!
  Let a bell sound, and from your friends you run,
  Although the darling of your heart were one;
  But, if the bondage fits you, I resign
  You to your lot—I am content with mine!”
    Thus would the lads their sentiments express,      90
  And part in earnest, part in playfulness;
  Till Love, controller of all hearts and eyes,      }
  Breaker of bonds, of friendship’s holy ties,      }
  Awakener of new wills and slumbering sympathies,      }
  Began his reign—till Rachel, meek-eyed maid,
  That form, those cheeks, that faultless face display’d—
  That child of gracious nature, ever neat
  And never fine; a flowret simply sweet,
  Seeming at least unconscious she was fair;
  Meek in her spirit, timid in her air,      100
  And shrinking from his glance if one presumed
  To come too near the beauty as it bloom’d.
    Robert beheld her in her father’s cot
  Day after day, and blest his happy lot;
  He look’d indeed, but he could not offend
  By gentle looks—he was her father’s friend.
  She was accustom’d to that tender look,
  And frankly gave the hand he fondly took;
  She loved his stories, pleased she heard him play;      }
  Pensive herself, she loved to see him gay;      110}
  And, if they loved not yet, they were in Love’s highway.      }
    But Rachel now to womanhood was grown,
  And would no more her faith and fondness own;
  She called her latent prudence to her aid,
  And grew observant, cautious, and afraid;
  She heard relations of her lover’s guile,
  And could believe the danger of his smile.
  With art insidious rival damsels strove
  To show how false his speech, how feign’d his love;
  And, though her heart another story told,      120
  Her speech grew cautious, and her manner cold.
    Rachel had village fame, was fair and tall,
  And gain’d a place of credit at the Hall;
  Where James beheld her seated in that place,
  With a child’s meekness and an angel’s face;
  Her temper soft, her spirit firm, her words
  Simple and few as simple truth affords.
    James could but love her—he at church had seen
  The tall, fair maid; had met her on the green;
  Admiring always, nor surprised to find      130
  Her figure often present to his mind;
  But now he saw her daily, and the sight
  Gave him new pleasure and increased delight.
    But James, still prudent and reserved, though sure
  The love he felt was love that would endure,
  Would wait awhile, observing what was fit,
  And meet, and right, nor would himself commit.
  Then was he flatter’d—James in time became
  Rich, both as slayer of the Baron’s game,
  And as protector—not a female dwelt      140
  In that demesne who had not feign’d or felt
  Regard for James; and he from all had praise
  Enough a young man’s vanity to raise;
  With all these pleasures he of course must part
  When Rachel reign’d sole empress of his heart.
    Robert was now deprived of that delight
  He once experienced in his mistress’ sight;
  For, though he now his frequent visits paid,
  He saw but little of the cautious maid;
  The simple, common pleasures that he took      150
  Grew dull, and he the wonted haunts forsook;
  His flute and song he left, his book and pen,
  And sought the meetings of adventurous men.
  There was a love-born sadness in his breast,
  That wanted stimulus to bring on rest;
  These simple pleasures were no more of use,
  And danger only could repose produce;
  He join’d th’ associates in their lawless trade,
  And was at length of their profession made.
    He saw connected with th’ adventurous crew      160
  Those whom he judged were sober men and true;
  He found that some, who should the trade prevent,
  Gave it by purchase their encouragement;
  He found that contracts could be made with those
  Who had their pay these dealers to oppose;
  And the good ladies whom at church he saw,
  With looks devout, of reverence and awe,
  Could change their feelings as they change their place,
  And, whispering, deal for spicery and lace:
  And thus the craft and avarice of these      170
  Urged on the youth, and gave his conscience ease.
    Him loved the maiden Rachel, fondly loved,
  As many a sigh and tear in absence proved,
  And many a fear for dangers that she knew,
  And many a doubt what one so gay might do.
  Of guilt she thought not—she had often heard
  They bought and sold, and nothing wrong appear’d;
  Her father’s maxim this; she understood
  There was some ill—but he, she knew, was good;
  It was a traffic—but was done by night—      180
  If wrong, how trade? why secrecy, if right?
  But Robert’s conscience, she believed, was pure—
  And that he read his Bible she was sure.
    James, better taught, in confidence declared
  His grief for what his guilty brother dared:
  He sigh’d to think how near he was akin
  To one [seduced] by godless men to sin;
  Who, being always of the law in dread,
  To other crimes were by the danger led,
  And crimes with like excuse——The smuggler cries,      190
  “What guilt is his who pays for what he buys?”
  The poacher questions, with perverted mind,
  “Were not the gifts of heaven for all design’d?”
  _This_ cries, “I sin not—take not till I pay;”—
  _That_, “My own hand brought down my proper prey.”—
  And while to such fond arguments they cling,
  How fear they God? how honour they the king?
  Such men associate, and each other aid,
  Till all are guilty, rash, and desperate made;
  Till to some lawless deed the wretches fly,      200
  And in the act or for the acting, die.
    The maid was frighten’d—but, if this was true,
  Robert for certain no such danger knew;
  He always pray’d ere he a trip begun,
  And was too happy for a wicked man.
  How could a creature, who was always gay,      }
  So kind to all men, so disposed to pray,      }
  How could he give his heart to such an evil way?      }
  Yet she had fears—for she could not believe
  That James could lie, or purpose to deceive;      210
  But still she found, though not without respect
  For one so good, she must the man reject:
  For, simple though she was, full well she knew
  What this strong friendship led him to pursue;
  And, let the man be honest as the light,
  Love warps the mind a little from the right;
  And she proposed, against the trying day,
  What in the trial she should think and say.
    And now, their love avow’d, in both arose
  Fear and disdain—the orphan pair were foes.      220
    Robert, more generous of the two, avow’d
  His scorn, defiance, and contempt aloud.
    James talk’d of pity in a softer tone,
  To Rachel speaking, and with her alone:
  “He knew full well,” he said, “to what must come
  His wretched brother, what would be his doom.”
  Thus he her bosom fenced with dread about;
  But love he could not with his skill drive out.
  Still, he effected something—and that skill
  Made the love wretched, though it could not kill;      230
  And Robert fail’d, though much he tried, to prove
  He had no guilt—She granted he had love.
    Thus they proceeded, till a winter came,
  When the stern keeper told of stolen game.
  Throughout the woods the poaching dogs had been;
  And from him nothing should the robbers screen,
  From him and law—he would all hazards run,
  Nor spare a poacher, were his brother one—
  Love, favour, interest, tie of blood should fail,
  Till vengeance bore him bleeding to the jail.      240
    Poor Rachel shudder’d—smuggling she could name
  Without confusion, for she felt not shame;
  But poachers were her terror, and a wood
  Which they frequented had been mark’d by blood;
  And, though she thought her Robert was secure
  In better thoughts, yet could she not be sure.
    James now was urgent—it would break his heart
  With hope, with her, and with such views to part,
  When one so wicked would her hand possess,
  And he a brother!—that was his distress,      250
  And must be hers——She heard him, and she sigh’d,
  Looking in doubt—but nothing she replied.
  There was a generous feeling in her mind,
  That told her this was neither good nor kind.
  James caused her terror, but he did no more—
  Her love was now as it had been before.
    Their traffic fail’d—and the adventurous crew
  No more their profitless attempts renew.
  Dig they will not, and beg they might in vain—
  Had they not pride, and what can then remain?      260
    Now was the game destroy’d, and not an hare
  Escaped at least the danger of the snare;
  Woods of their feather’d beauty were bereft,
  The beauteous victims of the silent theft;
  The well-known shops received a large supply,
  That they who could not kill at least might buy.
    James was enraged, enraged his lord, and both
  Confirm’d their threatening with a vengeful oath;
  Fresh aid was sought,—and nightly on the lands
  Walk’d on their watch the strong determined bands:      270
  Pardon was offer’d, and a promised pay
  To him who would the desperate gang betray.
    Nor fail’d the measure—on a certain night
  A few were seized—the rest escaped by flight;
  Yet they resisted boldly ere they fled,
  And blows were dealt around, and blood was shed;
  Two groaning helpers on the earth were laid,
  When more arrived the lawful cause to aid;
  Then four determined men were seized and bound,
  And Robert in this desperate number found.      280
  In prison fetter’d, he deplored his fate,
  And cursed the folly he perceived too late.
    James was a favourite with his lord—the zeal
  He show’d was such as masters ever feel;
  If he for vengeance on a culprit cried,
  Or if for mercy, still his lord complied;
  And now, ’twas said, he will for mercy plead,
  For his own brother’s was the guilty deed;
  True, the hurt man is in a mending way,
  But must be crippled to his dying day.      290
    Now James had vow’d the law should take its course,
  He would not stay it, if he did not force;
  He could his witness, if he pleased, withdraw,
  Or he could arm with certain death the law.
  This he attested to the maid; and true,
  If this he could not, yet he much could do.
    How suffer’d then that maid—no thought she had,
  No view of days to come, that was not sad:
  As sad as life with all its hopes resign’d,
  As sad as ought but guilt can make mankind.      300
    With bitter grief the pleasures she review’d      }
  Of early hope, with innocence pursued,      }
  When she began to love, and he was fond and good.      }
  He now must die, she heard from every tongue—
  Die, and so thoughtless! perish, and so young!
  Brave, kind, and generous, tender, constant, true,
  And he must die—then will I perish too!
    A thousand acts in every age will prove
  Women are valiant in a cause they love;
  If fate the favour’d swain in danger place,      310}
  They heed not danger—perils they embrace;      }
  They dare the world’s contempt, they brave their name’s disgrace; }
  They on the ocean meet its wild alarms;
  They search the dungeon with extended arms;
  The utmost trial of their faith they prove,
  And yield the lover to assert their love.
    James knew his power—his feelings were not nice—
  Mercy he sold, and she must pay the price:
  If his good lord forbore to urge their fate,
  And he the utmost of their guilt to state,      320
  The felons might their forfeit lives redeem.
  And in their country’s cause regain esteem;
  But never more that man, whom he had shame
  To call his brother, must she see or name.
    Rachel was meek, but she had firmness too,
  And reason’d much on what she ought to do.
  In Robert’s place, she knew what she should choose—
  But life was not the thing she fear’d to lose.
  She knew that she could not their contract break,
  Nor for her life a new engagement make;      330
  But he was man, and guilty—death so near
  Might not to his as to her mind appear;
  And he might wish, to spare that forfeit life.
  The maid he loved might be his brother’s wife,
  Although that brother was his bitter foe,
  And he must all the sweets of life forego.
  This would she try—intent on this alone,
  She could assume a calm and settled tone;
  She spake with firmness—“I will Robert see,
  Know what he wishes, and what I must be;”      340
  For James had now discover’d to the maid
  His inmost heart, and how he must be paid,
  If he his lord would soften, and would hide
  The facts that must the culprit’s fate decide.
  “Go not,” he said—for she her full intent
  Proclaime’d——To go she purposed, and she went;
  She took a guide, and went with purpose stern
  The secret wishes of her friend to learn.
    She saw him fetter’d, full of grief, alone,
  Still as the dead, and he suppress’d a groan      350
  At her appearance——Now she pray’d for strength,
  And the sad couple could converse at length.
    It was a scene that shook her to repeat—
  Life fought with love, both powerful, and both sweet.
    “Wilt thou die, Robert, or preserve thy life?
  Shall I be thine own maid, or James’s wife?”—
  “His wife!—No!—Never will I thee resign—
  No, Rachel, no!”——“Then am I ever thine:
  I know thee rash and guilty—but to thee
  I pledged my vow, and thine will ever be.      360
  Yet think again—the life that God has lent
  Is thine, but not to cast away—Consent,
  If ’tis thy wish; for this I made my way
  To thy distress—Command, and I obey.”
    “Perhaps my brother may have gain’d thy heart?”—
  Then why this visit, if I wish’d to part?
  Was it, ah, man ungrateful! wise to make
  Effort like this, to hazard for thy sake
  A spotless reputation, and to be
  A suppliant to that stern man for thee?      370
  But I forgive—thy spirit has been tried,
  And thou art weak; but still thou must decide.
    “I ask’d thy brother, ‘James, would’st thou command,
  Without the loving heart, the obedient hand?’
  I ask thee, Robert, lover, canst thou part
  With this poor hand, when master of the heart?
  He answer’d, ‘Yes!’—I tarry thy reply,
  Resign’d with him to live, content with thee to die.”
    Assured of this, with spirits low and tame:
  Here, life so purchased—there, a death of shame;      380
  Death, once his merriment, but now his dread—
  And he with terror thought upon the dead:
  “[Oh]! sure ’tis better to endure the care
  And pain of life, than go we know not where!—
  And is there not the dreaded hell for sin,
  Or is it only this I feel within,
  That, if it lasted, no man would sustain,
  But would by any change relieve the pain?
  Forgive me, love! it is a loathsome thing      }
  To live not thine; but still this dreaded sting      390}
  Of death torments me—I to nature cling——      }
  Go, and be his—but love him not, be sure—
  Go, love him not—and I will life endure:
  He, too, is mortal!”——Rachel deeply sigh’d,      }
  But would no more converse: she had complied,      }
  And was no longer free—she was his brother’s bride.      }
    “Farewell!” she said, with kindness, but not fond,
  Feeling the pressure of the recent bond,
  And put her tenderness apart to give
  Advice to one who so desired to live.      400
  She then departed, join’d the attending guide,
  Reflected—wept—was sad—was satisfied.
    James on her worth and virtue could depend—
  He listen’d gladly to her story’s end;
  Again he promised Robert’s life to save,
  And claim’d the hand that she in payment gave.
    Robert, when death no longer was in view,
  Scorn’d what was done, but could not this undo.
  The day appointed for the trial near
  He view’d with shame, and not unmix’d with fear:—      410
  James might deceive him; and, if not, the schemes
  Of men may fail——“Can I depend on James?”
    He might; for now the grievous price was paid—
  James to the altar led the victim maid,
  And gave the trembling girl his faithful word
  For Robert’s safety; and so gave my lord.
    But this, and all the promise hope could give,
  Gilded not life—it was not joy to live;
  There was no smile in Rachel, nothing gay;
  The hours pass’d off, but never danced away.      420
    When drew the gloomy day for trial near
  There came a note to Robert—“Banish fear!”
  He knew whence safety came—his terror fled,
  But rage and vengeance fill’d his soul instead.
    A stronger fear in his companions rose—
  The day of trial on their hopes might close:
  They had no brothers, none to intercede
  For them, their friends suspected, and in need;
  Scatter’d, they judged, and could unite no more—
  Not so, they then were at the prison door.      430
    For some had met who sought the haunts they loved,
  And were to pity and to vengeance moved:
  Their fellows perish! and they see their fall—
  “Why not attempt the steep but guardless wall?”
    Attempt was made, his part assign’d each man,
  And they succeeded in the desperate plan;
  In truth, a purposed mercy smooth’d their way,
  But that they knew not—all triumphant they.
  Safe in their well-known haunts, they all prepared
  To plan anew, and show how much they dared.      440
    With joy the troubled heart of Robert beat,
  For life was his, and liberty was sweet;
  He look’d around in freedom——in delight?
  O! no—his Rachel was another’s right!
  “Right!—has he then preserved me in the day
  Of my distress?—He has the lovely pay,
  But I no freedom at the [slave’s] request!
  The price I paid shall then be repossess’d!
  Alas! her virtue and the law prevent,
  Force cannot be, and she will not consent;      450
  But were that brother gone!—A brother?  No!
  A circumventor!—and the wretch shall go!
  Yet not this hand—How shifts about my mind,
  Ungovern’d, guideless, drifting in the wind;
  And I am all a tempest, whirl’d around
  By dreadful thoughts, that fright me and confound!—
  I would I saw him on the earth laid low!
  I wish the fate, but must not give the blow!”
    So thinks a man when thoughtful; he prefers
  A life of peace till man his anger stirs;      460
  Then all the efforts of his reason cease,
  And he forgets how pleasant was that peace;
  Till the wild passions what they seek obtain,
  And then he sinks into his calm again.
    Now met the lawless clan—in secret met,
  And down at their convivial board were set;
  The plans in view to past adventures led,      }
  And the past conflicts present anger bred;      }
  They sigh’d for pleasures gone, they groan’d for heroes dead;      }
  Their ancient stores were rifled—strong desires      470
  Awaked, and wine rekindled latent fires.
    It was a night such bold desires to move:
  Strong winds and wintry torrents fill’d the grove;
  The crackling boughs that in the forest fell,
  The cawing rooks, the cur’s affrighten’d yell,
  The scenes above the wood, the floods below,      }
  Were mix’d, and none the single sound could know;      }
  “Loud blow the blasts,” they cried, “and call us as they blow. }
    “In such a night”—and then the heroes told
  What had been done in better times of old:      480
  How they had conquer’d all opposed to them,
  By force in part, in part by stratagem;
  And, as the tales inflamed the fiery crew,
  What had been done they then prepared to do;
  “’Tis a last night!” they said—the angry blast
  And roaring floods seem’d answering, “’tis a last!”
    James knew they met, for he had spies about,
  Grave, sober men, whom none presumed to doubt;
  For, if suspected, they had soon been tried
  Where fears are evidence, and doubts decide.      490
  But these escaped——Now James companions took,
  Sturdy and bold, with terror-stirring look;
  He had before, by informations led,
  Left the afflicted partner of his bed;
  Awaked his men, and through plantations wide,
  Deep woods, and trackless ling, had been their guide;
  And then return’d to wake the pitying wife,
  And hear her tender terrors for his life.
    But in this night a sure informer came:
  “They were assembled who attack’d his game;      500
  Who more than once had through the park made way,
  And slain the dappled breed, or vow’d to slay;”
  The trembling spy had heard the solemn vow,
  And need and vengeance both inspired them now.
    The keeper early had retired to rest
  For brief repose;—sad thoughts his mind possess’d;
  In his short sleep he started from his bed,
  And ask’d in fancy’s terror “Is he dead?”
    There was a call below, when James awoke,
  Rose from his bed, and arms to aid him took,      510
  Not all defensive!—there his helpers stood,
  Arm’d like himself, and hastening to the wood.
    “Why this?” he said, for Rachel pour’d her tears
  Profuse, that spoke involuntary fears:
  “Sleep, that so early thou for us may’st wake,
  And we our comforts in return may take;
  Sleep, and farewell!” he said, and took his way,
  And the sad wife in neither could obey.
  She slept not nor well fared, but restless dwelt
  On her past life, and past afflictions felt;      520
  The man she loved the brother and the foe
  Of him she married!—It had wrought her woe:
  Not that she loved, but pitied, and that now
  Was, so she fear’d, infringement of her vow.
  James too was civil, though she must confess
  That his was not her kind of happiness;
  That he would shoot the man who shot a hare
  Was what her timid conscience could not bear;
  But still she loved him—wonder’d where he stray’d
  In this loud night! and if he were afraid.      530
    More than one hour she thought, and, dropping then,
  In sudden sleep, cried loudly “Spare him, men!
  And do no murder!”—then, awaked, she rose,
  And thought no more of trying for repose.
    ’Twas past the dead of night; when every sound
  That nature mingles might be heard around;
  But none from man—man’s feeble voice was hush’d,
  Where rivers swelling roar’d, and woods were crush’d;
  Hurried by these, the wife could sit no more,
  But must the terrors of the night explore.      540
    Softly she left her door, her garden gate,
  And seem’d as then committed to her fate;
  To every horrid thought and doubt a prey,
  She hurried on, already lost her way;
  Oft as she glided on in that sad night,
  She stopp’d to listen, and she look’d for light.
  An hour she wander’d, and was still to learn
  Aught of her husband’s safety or return:
  A sudden break of heavy clouds could show
  A place she knew not, but she strove to know.      550
  Still further on she crept with trembling feet,
  With hope a friend, with fear a foe, to meet;
  And there was something fearful in the sight,
  And in the sound of what appear’d to-night;
  For now, of night and nervous terror bred,
  Arose a strong and superstitious dread;
  She heard strange noises, and the shapes she saw
  Of fancied beings bound her soul in awe.
    The moon was risen, and she sometimes shone
  Through thick white clouds, that flew tumultuous on,      560
  Passing beneath her with an eagle’s speed,
  That her soft light imprisoned and then freed;
  The fitful glimmering through the hedge-row green
  Gave a strange beauty to the changing scene;
  And roaring winds and rushing waters lent
  Their mingled voice that to the spirit went.
    To these she listen’d; but new sounds were heard,
  And sight more startling to her soul appear’d;
  There were low, lengthen’d tones with sobs between,
  And near at hand, but nothing yet was seen;      570
  She hurried on, and “Who is there?” she cried;
  “A dying wretch!”—was from the earth replied.
  It was her lover, was the man she gave—
  The price she paid, himself from death to save—
  With whom, expiring, she must kneel and pray,      }
  While the soul flitted from the shivering clay      }
  That press’d the dewy ground, and bled its life away!      }
    This was the part that duty bad her take,
  Instant and ere her feelings were awake;
  But now they waked to anguish; there came then,      580
  Hurrying with lights, loud-speaking, eager men.
    “And here, my lord, we met—And who is here?
  The keeper’s wife—Ah! woman, go not near!
  There lies the man that was the head of all—
  See, in his temples went the fatal ball!
  And James that instant, who was then our guide,
  Felt in his heart the adverse shot, and died!
  It was a sudden meeting, and the light
  Of a dull moon made indistinct our fight;
  He foremost fell!—But see, the woman creeps      590
  Like a lost thing, that wanders as she sleeps.
  See here, her husband’s body—but she knows
  That other dead! and that her action shows.
  Rachel! why look you at your mortal foe?—
  She does not hear us—Whither will she go?”
    Now, more attentive, on the dead they gazed,
  And they were brothers: sorrowing and amazed,
  On all a momentary silence came,
  A common softness, and a moral shame.
    “Seized you the poachers?” said my lord—“They fled,      600
  And we pursued not—one of them was dead,
  And one of us; they hurried through the wood,
  Two lives were gone, and we no more pursued.
  Two lives of men, of valiant brothers lost!
  Enough, my lord, do hares and pheasants cost!”
    So many thought, and there is found a heart
  To dwell upon the deaths on either part;
  Since this their morals have been more correct,
  The cruel spirit in the place is check’d;
  His lordship holds not in such sacred care,      610
  Nor takes such dreadful vengeance for a hare;
  The smugglers fear, the poacher stands in awe
  Of Heaven’s own act, and reverences the law;
  There was, there is a terror in the place
  That operates on man’s offending race;
  Such acts will stamp their moral on the soul,
  And while the bad they threaten and control,
  Will to the pious and the humble say,      }
  Yours is the right, the safe, the certain way,      }
  ’Tis wisdom to be good, ’tis virtue to obey.      620}
    So Rachel thinks, the pure, the good, the meek,
  Whose outward acts the inward purpose speak.
  As men will children at their sports behold,
  And smile to see them, though unmoved and cold;
  Smile at the recollected games, and then
  Depart and mix in the affairs of men:
  So Rachel looks upon the world, and sees
  It cannot longer pain her, longer please,
  But just detain the passing thought, or cause
  A gentle smile of pity or applause;      630
  And then the recollected soul repairs
  Her slumbering hope, and heeds her own affairs.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XXII.

                         _THE VISIT CONCLUDED._

  Richard prepares to depart—Visits the Rector—His Reception—Visit to
    the Sisters—Their present Situation—The Morning of the last Day—The
    Conference of the Brothers—Their Excursion—Richard dissatisfied—The
    Brother expostulates—The End of their Ride, and of the Day’s
    Business—Conclusion.


                           TALES OF THE HALL.

                               BOOK XXII.

                         _THE VISIT CONCLUDED._

  “No letters, Tom?” said Richard—“None to-day.”—
  “Excuse me, Brother, I must now away;
  Matilda never in her life so long
  Deferr’d—Alas! there must be something wrong!”
    “Comfort!” said George, and all he could he lent;      }
  Wait till your promised day, and I consent;      }
  Two days, and those of hope, may cheerfully [be] spent.      }
    “And keep your purpose, to review the place,
  My choice; and I beseech you do it grace:
  Mark each apartment, their proportions learn,      10
  And either use or elegance discern;
  Look o’er the land, the gardens, and their wall,
  Find out the something to admire in all;
  And, should you praise them in a knowing style,
  I’ll take it kindly—it is well—a smile.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    Richard must now his morning visits pay,
  And bid farewell! for he must go away.
    He sought the Rector first, not lately seen,
  For he had absent from his parish been;
  “Farewell!” the younger man with feeling cried,      20
  “Farewell!” the cold but worthy priest replied;
  “When do you leave us?”—“I have days but two.”—
  “’Tis a short time—but, well—Adieu, adieu!”
    “Now here is one,” said Richard, as he went
  To the next friend in pensive discontent,
  With whom I sate in social, friendly ease,
  Whom I respected, whom I wish’d to please;
  Whose love professed, I question’d not, was true—
  And now to hear his heartless, ‘Well! adieu!’
    “But ’tis not well—and he a man of sense,      30
  Grave, but yet looking strong benevolence;
  Whose slight acerbity and roughness told
  To his advantage; yet the man is cold;
  Nor will he know, when rising in the morn,
  That such a being to the world was born.
    “Are such the friendships we contract in life?
  O! give me then the friendship of a wife!
  Adieus, nay, parting-pains to us are sweet:
  They make so glad the moments when we meet.
    “For, though we look not for regard intense      40
  Or warm professions in a man of sense,
  Yet in the daily intercourse of mind
  I thought that found which I desired to find,
  Feeling and frankness—thus it seem’d to me,
  And such farewell!—Well, Rector, let it be!”
    Of the fair sisters then he took his leave,
  Forget he could not, he must think and grieve;
  Must the impression of their wrongs retain,
  Their very patience adding to his pain;
  And still, the better they their sorrows bore,      50
  His friendly nature made him feel them more.
    He judged they must have many a heavy hour
  When the mind suffers from a want of power;
  When, troubled long, we find our strength decay’d,
  And cannot then recal our better aid;
  For to the mind ere yet that aid has flown,
  Grief has possess’d, and made it all his own;
  And patience suffers, till, with gather’d might,
  The scatter’d forces of the soul unite.
    But few and short such times of suffering were      60
  In Lucy’s mind, and brief the reign of care.
    Jane had, indeed, her flights, but had in them
  What we could pity, but must not condemn;
  For they were always pure and oft sublime,
  And such as triumph’d over earth and time:
  Thoughts of eternal love that souls possess,
  Foretaste divine of Heaven’s own happiness.
    Oft had he seen them, and esteem had sprung
  In his free mind for maids so sad and young,
  So good and grieving, and his place was high      70
  In their esteem, his friendly brother’s nigh,
  But yet beneath; and when he said adieu!
  Their tone was kind, and was responsive too.
    Parting was painful; when adieu he cried,
  “You will return?” the gentle girls replied;
  “You must return! your Brother knows you now,
  But to exist without you knows not how;
  Has he not told us of the lively joy
  He takes—forgive us—in the Brother-boy?
  He is alone and pensive; you can give      80
  Pleasure to one by whom a number live
  In daily comfort—sure for this you met,
  That for his debtors you might pay a debt—
  The poor are call’d ungrateful, but you still
  Will have their thanks for this—indeed you will.”
    Richard but little said, for he of late
  Held with himself contention and debate.
    “My Brother loves me, his regard I know,
  But will not such affection weary grow?
  He kindly says, ‘defer the parting day,’      90
  But yet may wish me in his heart away;
  Nothing but kindness I in him perceive,
  In me ’tis kindness then to take my leave.
  Why should I grieve if he should weary be?
  There have been visitors who wearied me;
  He yet may love, and we may part in peace,
  Nay, in affection—novelty must cease—
  Man is but man; the thing he most desires
  Pleases awhile—then pleases not—then tires;
  George to his former habits and his friends      100
  Will now return, and so my visit ends.”
    Thus Richard communed with his heart; but still
  He found opposed his reason and his will;
  Found that his thoughts were busy in this train,
  And he was striving to be calm in vain.
    These thoughts were passing, while he yet forbore
  To leave the friends whom he might see no more.
    Then came a chubby child and sought relief,
  Sobbing in all the impotence of grief;
  A full-fed girl she was, with ruddy cheek,      110
  And features coarse, that grosser feelings speak,
  To whom another miss, with passions strong,
  And slender fist, had done some baby-wrong.
  On Lucy’s gentle mind had Barlow wrought
  To teach this child, whom she had labouring taught
  With unpaid love—this unproductive brain
  Would little comprehend, and less retain.
    A farmer’s daughter, with redundant health,
  And double Lucy’s weight and Lucy’s wealth,
  Had won the man’s regard, and he with her      120
  Possess’d the treasure vulgar minds prefer.
  A man of thrift, and thriving, he possess’d
  What he esteem’d of earthly good the best;
  And Lucy’s well-stored mind had not a charm
  For this true lover of the well-stock’d farm,
  This slave to petty wealth and rustic toil,
  This earth-devoted wooer of the soil.—
  But she with meekness took the wayward child,
  And sought to make the savage nature mild.
    But Jane her judgment with decision gave—      130
  “Train not an idiot to oblige a slave.”
    “And where is Bloomer?” Richard would have said,
  But he was cautious, feeling, and afraid;
  And little either of the hero knew,
  And little sought—he might be married too.
    Now to his home, the morning visits past,
  Return’d the guest—that evening was his last.
    He met his Brother, and they spoke of those
  From whom his comforts in the village rose;
  Spoke of the favourites, whom so good and kind      140
  It was peculiar happiness to find;
  Then for the sisters in their griefs they felt,
  And, sad themselves, on saddening subjects dwelt.
    But George was willing all this woe to spare,
  And let to-morrow be to-morrow’s care.
  He of his purchase talk’d—a thing of course,
  As men will boldly praise a new-bought horse.
    Richard was not to all its beauty blind,
  And promised still to seek, with hope to find:
  The price indeed——”
                    “Yes, that,” said George, “is high;      150
  But, if I bought not, one was sure to buy,
  Who might the social comforts we enjoy,
  And every comfort, lessen or destroy.
    “We must not always reckon what we give,
  But think how precious ’tis in peace to live;
  Some neighbour Nimrod might in very pride
  Have stirr’d my anger, and have then defied;
  Or worse, have loved, and teased me to excess
  By his kind care to give me happiness;
  Or might his lady and her daughters bring      160
  To raise my spirits, to converse, and sing.
  ’Twas not the benefit alone I view’d,
  But thought what horrid things I might exclude.
    “Some party man might here have sat him down,
  Some country champion, railing at the crown;
  Or some true courtier, both prepared to prove,
  Who loved not them, could not their country love:
  If we have value for our health and ease,
  Should we not buy off enemies like these?”
    So pass’d the evening in a quiet way,      170
  When, lo! the morning of the parting day.
    Each to the table went with clouded look,
  And George in silence gazed upon a book;
  Something that chance had offer’d to his view—
  He knew not what, or cared not, if he knew.
    Richard his hand upon a paper laid—
  His vacant eye upon the carpet stray’d;
  His tongue was talking something of the day,
  And his vex’d mind was wandering on his way.
    They spake by fits—but neither had concern      180
  In the replies—they nothing wish’d to learn,
  Nor to relate; each sat as one who tries
  To baffle sadnesses and sympathies.
  Each of his Brother took a steady view—
  As actor he, and as observer too.
    Richard, whose heart was ever free and frank,
  Had now a trial, and before it sank:
  He thought his Brother—parting now so near—
  Appear’d not as his Brother should appear;
  He could as much of tenderness remark      190
  When parting for a ramble in the park.
    “Yet, is it just?” he thought; “and would I see
  My Brother wretched but to part with me?
  What can he further in my mind explore?
  He saw enough, and he would see no more.
  Happy himself, he wishes now to slide      }
  Back to his habits——He is satisfied;      }
  But I am not—this cannot be denied.      }
    “He has been kind—so let me think him still;
  Yet he expresses not a wish, a will      200
  To meet again!”——And thus affection strove
  With pride, and petulance made war on love.
  He thought his Brother cool—he knew him kind—
  And there was sore division in his mind.
    “Hours yet remain—’tis misery to sit
  With minds for conversation all unfit;
  No evil can from change of place arise,
  And good will spring from air and exercise:
  Suppose I take the purposed ride with you,
  And guide your jaded praise to objects new,      210
  That buyers see?”——
                      And Richard gave assent      }
  Without resistance, and without intent;      }
  He liked not nor declined—and forth the Brothers went.      }
    “Come, my dear Richard! let us cast away      }
  All evil thoughts—let us forget the day,      }
  And fight like men with grief till we like boys are gay.”      }
    Thus George—and even this in Richard’s mind
  Was judged an effort rather wise than kind;
  This flow’d from something he observed of late,
  And he could feel it, but he could not state;      220
  He thought some change appear’d—yet fail’d to prove,
  Even as he tried, abatement in the love;
  But in his Brother’s manner was restraint
  That he could feel, and yet he could not paint.
    That they should part in peace full well he knew,
  But much he fear’d to part with coolness too.
  George had been peevish when the subject rose,
  And never fail’d the parting to oppose;
  Name it, and straight his features cloudy grew
  To stop the journey as the clouds will do;—      230
  And thus they rode along in pensive mood,
  Their thoughts pursuing, by their cares pursued.
    “Richard,” said George, “I see it is in vain
  By love or prayer my Brother to retain;
  And, truth to tell, it was a foolish thing
  A man like thee from thy repose to bring
  Ours to disturb——Say, how am I to live
  Without the comforts thou art wont to give?
  How will the heavy hours my mind afflict—
  No one t’ agree, no one to contradict;      240
  None to awake, excite me, or prevent;
  To hear a tale, or hold an argument;
  To help my worship in a case of doubt,
  And bring me in my blunders fairly out.
    “Who now by manners lively or serene
  Comes between me and sorrow like a screen,
  And giving, what I look’d not to have found,
  A care, an interest in the world around?”
    Silent was Richard, striving to adjust
  His thoughts for speech—for speak, he thought, he must.      250
  Something like war within his bosom strove—
  His mild, kind nature, and his proud self-love;
  Grateful he was, and with his courage meek—
  But he was hurt, and he resolved to speak.
    “Yes, my dear Brother! from my soul I grieve
  Thee and the proofs of thy regard to leave.
  Thou hast been all that I could wish—my pride
  Exults to find that I am thus allied;
  Yet, to express a feeling—how it came,
  The pain it gives, its nature and its name,      260
  I know not—but of late, I will confess,
  Not that thy love is little, but is less.
    “Hadst thou received me in thy present mood,
  Sure I had held thee to be kind and good;
  But thou wert all the warmest heart could state,
  Affection dream, or hope anticipate;
  I must have wearied thee yet day by day—
  ‘Stay!’ said my Brother, and ’twas good to stay;
  But now, forgive me, thinking I perceive
  Change undefined, and as I think I grieve.      270
    “Have I offended?—Proud although I be,
  I will be humble, and concede to thee.
  Have I intruded on thee when thy mind
  Was vex’d, and then to solitude inclined?
  O! there are times when all things will molest
  Minds so disposed, so heavy, so oppress’d;
  And thine, I know, is delicate and nice,
  Sickening at folly, and at war with vice:
  Then, at a time when thou wert vex’d with these,
  I have intruded, let affection tease,      280
  And so offended.”——
                      “Richard, if thou hast,
  ’Tis at this instant, nothing in the past.
  No, thou art all a Brother’s love would choose;
  And, having lost thee, I shall interest lose
  In all that I possess; I pray thee tell
  Wherein thy host has fail’d to please thee well—
  Do I neglect thy comforts?”—
                              “O! not thou,
  But art thyself uncomfortable now;
  And ’tis from thee and from thy looks I gain
  This painful knowledge—’tis my Brother’s pain;      290
  And yet, that something in my spirit lives,
  Something that spleen excites and sorrow gives,
  I may confess—for not in thee I trace
  Alone this change, it is in all the place.
  Smile if thou wilt in scorn, for I am glad
  A smile at any rate is to be had.
    “But there is Jacques, who ever seem’d to treat
  Thy Brother kindly as we chanced to meet;
  Nor with thee only pleased our worthy guide,
  But, in the hedge-row path and green-wood side,      300
  There he would speak with that familiar ease
  That makes a trifle, makes a nothing please.
    “But now to my farewell—and that I spoke
  With honest sorrow—with a careless look,
  Gazing unalter’d on some stupid prose—
  His sermon for the Sunday I suppose—
  ‘Going?’ said he: ‘why then the ’Squire and you
  Will part at last—You’re going?—Well, adieu!’
    “True, we were not in friendship bound like those
  Who will adopt each other’s friends and foes,      310
  Without esteem or hatred of their own—
  But still we were to intimacy grown;
  And, sure, of Jacques when I had taken leave
  It would have grieved me—and it ought to grieve;
  But I in him could not affection trace—      }
  Careless he put his sermons in their place,      }
  With no more feeling than his sermon-case.      }
    “Not so those generous girls beyond the brook—
  It quite unmann’d me as my leave I took.
    “But, my dear Brother! when I take at night,      320
  In my own home and in their mother’s sight,
  By turns my children, or together see
  A pair contending for the vacant knee;
  When to Matilda I begin to tell
  What in my visit first and last befell—
  Of this your village, of her tower and spire,
  And, above all, her Rector and her ‘Squire,
  How will the tale be marr’d when I shall end—
  I left displeased the Brother and the friend?”
    “Nay, Jacques is honest—Marry, he was then      330
  Engaged—What! part an author and his pen?
  Just in the fit, and when th’ inspiring ray
  Shot on his brain, t’ arrest it in its way!
  Come, thou shalt see him in an easier vein,
  Nor of his looks nor of his words complain;
  Art thou content?”—
                      If Richard had replied,
  “I am,” his manner had his words belied.
  Even from his Brother’s cheerfulness he drew
  Something to vex him—what, he scarcely knew;
  So he evading said, “My evil fate      340
  Upon my comforts throws a gloom of late:
  Matilda writes not; and, when last she wrote,
  I read no letter—’twas a trader’s note—
  ‘Yours I received,’ and all that formal prate
  That is so hateful, that she knows I hate.
    “Dejection reigns, I feel, but cannot tell
  Why upon me the dire infection fell.
  Madmen may say that they alone are sane,
  And all beside have a distemper’d brain;
  Something like this I feel—and I include      350
  Myself among the frantic multitude;
  But, come, Matilda writes, although but ill,
  And home has health, and that is comfort still.”
    George stopt his horse, and with the kindest look
  Spoke to his Brother—earnestly he spoke,
  As one who to his friend his heart reveals.
  And all the hazard with the comfort feels.
    “Soon as I loved thee, Richard—and I loved
  Before my reason had the will approved,
  Who yet right early had her sanction lent,      360
  And with affection in her verdict went—
  So soon I felt, that thus a friend to gain,
  And then to lose, is but to purchase pain.
  Daily the pleasure grew, then sad the day
  That takes it all in its increase away!
    “Patient thou wert, and kind—but well I knew      }
  The husband’s wishes, and the father’s too;      }
  I saw how check’d they were, and yet in secret grew.      }
  Once and again, I urged thee to delay
  Thy purposed journey, still deferr’d the day;      370
  And still on its approach the pain increased
  Till my request and thy compliance ceased.
  I could not further thy affection task,
  Nor more of one so self-resisting ask;
  But yet to lose thee, Richard, and with thee
  All hope of social joys—it cannot be.
  Nor could I bear to meet thee, as a boy      }
  From school his parents, to obtain a joy,      }
  That lessens day by day, and one will soon destroy.      }
    “No! I would have thee, Brother, all my own,      380
  To grow beside me as my trees have grown:
  For ever near me, pleasant in my sight,
  And, in my mind, my pride and my delight.
    “Yet will I tell thee, Richard: had I found
  Thy mind dependent and thy heart unsound;
  Hadst thou been poor, obsequious, and disposed
  With any wish or measure to have closed;
  Willing on me, and gladly, to attend,
  The younger brother, the convenient friend:
  Thy speculation its reward had made      390
  Like other ventures—thou hadst gain’d in trade.
  What reason urged, or Jacques esteem’d thy due,
  Thine had it been, and I, a trader too,
  Had paid my debt, and home my Brother sent,
  Nor glad nor sorry that he came or went;
  Who to his wife and children would have told,
  They had an uncle, and the man was old;
  Till every girl and boy had learn’d to prate
  Of uncle George, his gout, and his estate.
    “Thus had we parted; but as now thou art,      400
  I must not lose thee—No! I cannot part;
  Is it in human nature to consent,
  To give up all the good that heaven has lent,
  All social ease and comfort to forego,
  And live again the solitary? No!
    “We part no more, dear Richard! thou wilt need
  Thy Brother’s help to teach thy boys to read;
  And I should love to hear Matilda’s psalm,
  To keep my spirit in a morning calm,
  And feel the soft devotion that prepares      410
  The soul to rise above its earthly cares.
  Then thou and I, an independent two,
  May have our parties, and defend them too;
  Thy liberal notions, and my loyal fears,
  Will give us subjects for our future years;
  We will for truth alone contend and read,
  And our good Jacques shall oversee our creed.
    “Such were my views; and I had quickly made
  Some bold attempts my Brother to persuade
  To think as I did; but I knew too well      420
  Whose now thou wert, with whom thou wert to dwell;
  And why, I said, return him doubtful home,
  Six months to argue if he then would come
  Some six months after? and, beside, I know
  That all the happy are of course the slow;
  And thou at home art happy, there wilt stay,      }
  Dallying ’twixt will and will-not many a day,      }
  And fret the gloss of hope, and hope itself, away.      }
    “Jacques is my friend; to him I gave my heart:
  ‘You see my Brother, see I would not part;      430
  Wilt thou an embassy of love disdain?
  Go to this sister, and my views explain;
  Gloss o’er my failings; paint me with a grace
  That Love beholds; put meaning in my face;
  Describe that dwelling; talk how well we live,
  And all its glory to our village give;
  Praise the kind sisters whom we love so much,
  And thine own virtues like an artist touch.
    “‘Tell her, and here my secret purpose show,
  That no dependence shall my sister know;      440
  Hers all the freedom that she loves shall be,
  And mine the debt—then press her to agree;
  Say, that my Brother’s wishes wait on hers,
  And his affection what she wills prefers.’
    “Forgive me, Brother—these my words and more
  Our friendly Rector to Matilda bore;
  At large, at length, were all my views explain’d,
  And to my joy my wishes I obtain’d.
    “Dwell in that house, and we shall still be near,
  Absence and parting I no more shall fear;      450
  Dwell in thy home, and at thy will exclude
  All who shall dare upon thee to intrude.
    “Again thy pardon—’twas not my design
  To give surprise; a better view was mine;
  But let it pass—and yet I wish’d to see
  That meeting too; and happy may it be!”
    Thus George had spoken, and then look’d around,
  And smiled as one who then his road had found;
  “Follow!” he cried, and briskly urged his horse.
  Richard was puzzled, but obey’d of course;      460
  He was affected like a man astray,
  Lost, but yet knowing something of the way;
  Till, a wood clear’d, that still conceal’d the view,
  Richard the purchase of his Brother knew;
  And something flash’d upon his mind not clear,
  But much with pleasure mix’d, in part with fear.
  As one who, wandering through a stormy night,
  Sees his own home, and gladdens at the sight,
  Yet feels some doubt if fortune had decreed
  That lively pleasure in such time of need:      470
  So Richard felt—but now the mansion came
  In view direct—he knew it for the same;
  There too the garden walk, the elms design’d
  To guard the peaches from the eastern wind;
  And there the sloping glass, that when he shines
  Gives the sun’s vigour to the ripening vines.—
    “It is my Brother’s!”—
                          “No!” he answers, “No!
  ’Tis to thy own possession that we go;
  It is thy wife’s, and will thy children’s be,
  Earth, wood, and water!—all for thine and thee;      480
  Bought in thy name—Alight, my friend, and come,
  I do beseech thee, to thy proper home;
  There wilt thou soon thy own Matilda view;
  She knows our deed, and she approves it too;
  Before her all our views and plans were laid,
  And Jacques was there t’ explain and to persuade.
  Here, on this lawn, thy boys and girls shall run,
  And play their gambols when their tasks are done;
  There, from that window, shall their mother view
  The happy tribe, and smile at all they do;      490
  While thou, more gravely, hiding thy delight,
  Shalt cry ‘O! childish!’ and enjoy the sight.
    “Well, my dear Richard, there’s no more to say—
  Stay, as you will—do any thing—but stay;
  Be, I dispute not, steward—what you will,
  Take your own name, but be my Brother still.
    And hear me, Richard! if I should offend,
  Assume the patron, and forget the friend;
  If aught in word or manner I express
  That only touches on thy happiness;      500
  If I be peevish, humorsome, unkind,
  Spoil’d as I am by each subservient mind;
  For I am humour’d by a tribe who make
  Me more capricious for the pains they take
  To make me quiet; shouldst thou ever feel
  A wound from this, this leave not time to heal,
  But let thy wife her cheerful smile withhold,
  Let her be civil, distant, cautious, cold;
  Then shall I woo forgiveness, and repent,
  Nor bear to lose the blessings Heaven has lent.”      510
    But this was needless—there was joy of heart,
  All felt the good that all desired t’ impart;
  Respect, affection, and esteem combined,
  In sundry portions ruled in every mind;
  And o’er the whole an unobtrusive air
  Of pious joy, that urged the silent prayer,
  And bless’d the new-born feelings——Here we close
  Our Tale of Tales!—Health, reader, and repose!



                           POSTHUMOUS TALES.


                                TALE I.

                   _SILFORD HALL; OR, THE HAPPY DAY._

  Within a village, many a mile from town,
  A place of small resort and no renown—
  Save that it form’d a way, and gave a name
  To SILFORD HALL, it made no claim to fame—
  It was the gain of some, the pride of all,
  That travellers stopt to ask for SILFORD HALL.
    Small as it was, the place could boast a School,
  In which Nathaniel Perkin bore the rule.
  Not mark’d for learning deep, or talents rare,
  But for his varying tasks and ceaseless care,      10
  Some forty boys, the sons of thrifty men,
  He taught to read, and part to use the pen;
  While, by more studious care, a favourite few      }
  Increased his pride—for, if the Scholar knew      }
  Enough for praise, say what the Teacher’s due?—      }
  These to his presence, slates in hand, moved on,
  And a grim smile their feats in figures won.
    This Man of Letters woo’d in early life
  The Vicar’s maiden, whom he made his wife.
  She too can read, as by her song she proves—      20
  The song Nathaniel made about their loves.
  Five rosy girls, and one fair boy, increased
  The Father’s care, whose labours seldom ceased.
  No day of rest was his. If, now and then,
  His boys for play laid by the book and pen,
  For Lawyer Slow there was some deed to write,
  Or some young farmer’s letter to indite,
  Or land to measure, or, with legal skill,
  To frame some yeoman’s widow’s peevish will;
  And on the Sabbath—when his neighbours drest      30
  To hear their duties, and to take their rest—
  Then, when the Vicar’s periods ceased to flow,
  Was heard Nathaniel, in his seat below.
    Such were his labours; but the time is come
  When his son Peter clears the hours of gloom,
  And brings him aid: though yet a boy, he shares
  In staid Nathaniel’s multifarious cares.
  A king his father, he, a prince, has rule—
  The first of subjects, viceroy of the school;
  But, though a prince within that realm he reigns,      40
  Hard is the part his duteous soul sustains.
  He, with his Father, o’er the furrow’d land,      }
  Draws the long chain in his uneasy hand,      }
  And neatly forms at home, what there they rudely plann’d;      }
  Content, for all his labour if he gains
  Some words of praise, and sixpence for his pains.
  Thus many a hungry day the Boy has fared,
  And would have ask’d a dinner, had he dared.
  When boys are playing, he for hours of school
  Has sums to set, and copy-books to rule;      50
  When all are met, for some sad dunce afraid,
  He, by allowance, lends his timely aid—
  Taught at the student’s failings to connive,
  Yet keep his Father’s dignity alive;
  For ev’n Nathaniel fears, and might offend,
  If too severe, the farmer, now his friend;
  Or her, that farmer’s lady, who well knows
  Her boy is bright, and needs nor threats nor blows.
  This seem’d to Peter hard; and he was loth,
  T’ obey and rule, and have the cares of both—      60
  To miss the master’s dignity, and yet,
  No portion of the school-boy’s play to get.
  To him the Fiend, as once to Launcelot, cried,
  “Run from thy wrongs!”—“Run where?” his fear replied.
  “Run!”—said the Tempter; “if but hard thy fare,
  Hard is it now—it _may_ be mended there.”
    But still, though tempted, he refused to part,
  And felt the Mother clinging at his heart.
  Nor this alone—he, in that weight of care,
  Had help, and bore it as a man should bear.      70
  A drop of comfort in his cup was thrown;
  It was his treasure, and it was his own.
  His Father’s shelves contained a motley store
  Of letter’d wealth; and this he might explore.
  A part his mother in her youth had gain’d,      }
  A part Nathaniel from his club obtain’d,      }
  And part—a well-worn kind—from sire to son remain’d.      }
    He sought his Mother’s hoard, and there he found
  Romance in sheets, and poetry unbound;
  Soft Tales of Love, which never damsel read,      80
  But tears of pity stain’d her virgin bed.
  There were Jane Shore and Rosamond the Fair,
  And humbler heroines frail as these were there;
  There was a tale of one forsaken Maid,
  Who till her death the work of vengeance stay’d;
  Her Lover, then at sea, while round him stood
  A dauntless crew, the angry ghost pursued;
  In a small boat, without an oar or sail,
  She came to call him, nor would force avail,
  Nor prayer; but, conscience-stricken, down he leapt,      90
  And o’er his corse the closing billows slept;
  All vanish’d then! but of the crew were some
  Wondering whose ghost would on the morrow come.
    A learned Book was there, and in it schemes
  How to cast Fortunes and interpret Dreams;
  Ballads were there of Lover’s bliss or bale,
  The Kitchen Story, and the Nursery Tale.
  His hungry mind disdain’d not humble food,
  And read with relish keen of Robin Hood;
  Of him, all-powerful made by magic gift      100
  And Giants slain—of mighty Hickerthrift;
  Through Crusoe’s Isle delighted had he stray’d;      }
  Nocturnal visits had to witches paid,      }
  Gliding through haunted scenes, enraptured and afraid.      }
    A loftier shelf with real books was graced,
  Bound, or part bound, and ranged in comely taste:
  Books of high mark, the mind’s more solid food,
  Which some might think the owner understood;
  But Fluxions, Sections, Algebraic lore,
  Our Peter left for others to explore,      110
  And, quickly turning to a favourite kind,
  Found what rejoiced him at his heart to find.
    Sir Walter wrote not then, or He by whom
  Such gain and glory to Sir Walter come—
  That Fairy-Helper, by whose secret aid
  Such views of life are to the world convey’d—
  As inspiration known in after-times,
  The sole assistant in his prose or rhymes.
  But there were fictions wild that please the boy,
  Which men, too, read, condemn, reject, enjoy—      120
  Arabian Nights, and Persian Tales were there,
  One volume each, and both the worse for wear;
  There by Quarles’ Emblems Esop’s Fables stood,
  The coats in tatters, and the cuts in wood.
  There, too, “The English History,” by the pen
  Of Doctor Cooke, and other learned men,
  In numbers, sixpence each; by these was seen,
  And highly prized, the Monthly Magazine—
  Not such as now will men of taste engage,
  But the cold gleanings of a former age,      130
  Scraps cut from sermons, scenes removed from plays,
  With heads of heroes famed in Tyburn’s palmy days.
    The rest we pass—though Peter pass’d them not,
  But here his cares and labours all forgot.
  Stain’d, torn, and blotted every noble page,
  Stood the chief poets of a former age—
  And of the present; not their works complete,      }
  But in such portions as on bulks we meet,      }
  The refuse of the shops, thrown down upon the street.      }
  There Shakspeare, Spenser, Milton found a place,      140
  With some a nameless, some a shameless, race,
  Which many a weary walker resting reads,
  And, pondering o’er the short relief, proceeds,
  While others, lingering, pay the written sum,
  Half loth, but longing for delight to come.
    Of the Youth’s morals we would something speak,
  Taught by his Mother what to shun or seek.
  She show’d the heavenly way, and in his youth,
  Press’d on his yielding mind the Gospel truth,
  How weak is man, how much to ill inclined,      150
  And where his help is placed, and how to find.
  These words of weight sank deeply in his breast,
  And awful Fear and holy Hope imprest.
  He shrank from vice, and at the startling view,
  As from an adder in his path, withdrew.
  All else was cheerful. Peter’s easy mind
  To the gay scenes of village-life inclined.
  The lark that soaring sings his notes of joy,
  Was not more lively than th’ awaken’d boy.
  Yet oft with this a softening sadness dwelt,      160
  While, feeling thus, he marvell’d why he felt.
  “I am not sorry,” said the Boy, “but still,
  The tear will drop—I wonder why it will!”
    His books, his walks, his musing, morn and eve,
  Gave such impressions as such minds receive;
  And with his moral and religious views
  Wove the wild fancies of an Infant-Muse,
  Inspiring thoughts that he could not express,
  [Obscure-sublime]! his secret happiness.
  Oft would he strive for words, and oft begin      170
  To frame in verse the views he had within;
  But ever fail’d: for how can words explain
  The unform’d ideas of a teeming brain?
    Such was my Hero, whom I would portray
  In one exploit—the Hero of a Day.
    At six miles’ distance from his native town
  Stood Silford Hall, a seat of much renown—
  Computed miles such weary travellers ride,
  When they in chance wayfaring men confide.
  Beauty and grandeur were within; around,      180}
  Lawn, wood, and water; the delicious ground      }
  Had parks where deer disport, had fields where game abound.      }
  Fruits of all tastes in spacious gardens grew;
  And flowers of every scent and every hue,
  That native in more favour’d climes arise,
  Are here protected from th’ inclement skies.
    To this fair place, with mingled pride and shame
  This lad of learning without knowledge came—
  Shame for his conscious ignorance, and pride
  To this fair seat in this gay style to ride.      190
    The cause that brought him was a small account,
  His father’s due, and he must take the amount,
  And sign a stamp’d receipt! this done, he might
  Look all around him, and enjoy the sight.
    So far to walk was, in his mother’s view,
  More than her darling Peter ought to do;
  Peter indeed knew more, but he would hide
  His better knowledge, for he wish’d to ride;
  So had his father’s nag, a beast so small,
  That if he fell, he had not far to fall.      200
    His fond and anxious mother in his best
  Her darling child for the occasion drest;
  All in his coat of green she clothed her boy,
  And stood admiring with a mother’s joy;
  Large was it made and long, as meant to do      }
  For Sunday-service, when he older grew—      }
  Not brought in daily use in one year’s wear or two.      }
  White was his waistcoat, and what else he wore
  Had clothed the lamb or parent ewe before;
  In all the mother show’d her care or skill;      210
  A riband black she tied beneath his frill;
  Gave him his stockings, white as driven snow,
  And bad him heed the miry way below;
  On the black varnish of the comely shoe
  Shone the large buckle of a silvery hue;
  Boots he had worn, had he such things possest—
  But bootless grief!—he was full proudly drest,
  Full proudly look’d, and light he was of heart.
  When thus for Silford Hall prepared to start.
    Nathaniel’s self with joy the stripling eyed,      220
  And gave a shilling with a father’s pride;
  Rules of politeness too with pomp he gave,
  And show’d the lad how scholars should behave.
    Ere yet he left her home, the Mother told—
  For she had seen—what things he should behold.
  There, she related, her young eyes had view’d
  Stone figures shaped like naked flesh and blood,
  Which, in the hall and up the gallery placed,
  Were proofs, they told her, of a noble taste;
  Nor she denied—but, in a public hall,      230
  Her judgment taken, she had clothed them all.
  There, too, were station’d, each upon its seat,
  Half forms of men, without their hands and feet;
  These and what more within that hall might be
  She saw, and oh! how long’d her son to see!
  Yet could he hope to view that noble place,
  Who dared not look the porter in the face?
    Forth went the pony, and the rider’s knees
  Cleaved to her sides—he did not ride with ease;
  One hand a whip, and one a bridle, held,      240
  In case the pony falter’d or rebell’d.
    The village boys beheld him as he pass’d,
  And looks of envy on the hero cast;
  But he was meek, nor let his pride appear;
  Nay, truth to speak, he felt a sense of fear,
  Lest the rude beast, unmindful of the rein,
  Should take a fancy to turn back again.
    He found, and wonder ’tis he found, his way,
  The orders many that he must obey:
  “Now to the right, then left, and now again      250
  Directly onward, through the winding lane;
  Then, half way o’er the common, by the mill,
  Turn from the cottage and ascend the hill;
  Then—spare the pony, boy!—as you ascend,
  You see the Hall, and that’s your journey’s end.”
    Yes, he succeeded, not remembering aught
  Of this advice, but by his pony taught.
  Soon as he doubted he the bridle threw
  On the steed’s neck, and said—“Remember you!”
  For oft the creature had his father borne,      260
  Sound on his way, and safe on his return.
  So he succeeded, and the modest youth
  Gave praise, where praise had been assign’d by truth.
    His business done—for fortune led his way
  To him whose office was such debts to pay,
  The farmer-bailiff; but he saw no more      }
  Than a small room, with bare and oaken floor,      }
  A desk with books thereon—he’d seen such things before;      }
  “Good day!” he said, but linger’d as he spoke
  “Good day,” and gazed about with serious look;      270
  Then slowly moved, and then delay’d awhile,
  In dumb dismay which raised a lordly smile
  In those who eyed him—then again moved on,
  As all might see, unwilling to be gone.
    While puzzled thus, and puzzling all about,
  Involved, absorb’d, in some bewildering doubt,
  A lady enter’d, Madam Johnson call’d,
  Within whose presence stood the lad appall’d.
  A learned Lady this, who knew the names
  Of all the pictures in the golden frames;      280
  Could every subject, every painter, tell,
  And on their merits and their failures dwell;
  And if perchance there was a slight mistake—
  These the most knowing on such matters make.
    “And what dost mean, my pretty lad?” she cried,      }
  “Dost stay or go?”—He first for courage tried,      }
  Then for fit words—then boldly he replied,      }
  That he “would give a hundred pounds, if so
  He had them, all about that house to go;
  For he had heard that it contain’d such things      290
  As never house could boast, except the king’s.”
    The ruling Lady, smiling, said, “In truth
  Thou shalt behold them all, my pretty youth.
  Tom! first the creature to the stable lead,
  Let it be fed; and you, my child, must feed;
  For three good hours must pass e’er dinner come”—
  “Supper,” thought he, “she means, our time at home.”
    First was he feasted to his heart’s content;
  Then, all in rapture, with the Lady went;
  Through rooms immense, and galleries wide and tall,      300
  He walk’d entranced—he breathed in Silford Hall.
    Now could he look on that delightful place,
  The glorious dwelling of a princely race;
  His vast delight was mixed with equal awe,
  There was such magic in the things he saw;
  Oft standing still, with open mouth and eyes      }
  Turn’d here and there, alarm’d as one who tries      }
  T’ escape from something strange that would before him rise.      }
  The wall would part, and beings without name
  Would come—for such to his adventures came;      310
  Hence undefined and solemn terror press’d
  Upon his mind, and all his powers possess’d.
  All he had read of magic, every charm,
  Were he alone, might come and do him harm;
  But his gaze rested on his friendly guide—
  “I’m safe,” he thought, “so long as you abide.”
    In one large room was found a bed of state—
  “And can they soundly sleep beneath such weight,
  Where they may figures in the night explore,
  Form’d by the dim light dancing on the floor      320
  From the far window; mirrors broad and high
  Doubling each terror to the anxious eye?—
  ’Tis strange,” thought Peter, “that such things produce
  No fear in _her_; but there is much in use.”
    On that reflecting brightness, passing by,
  The Boy one instant fix’d his restless eye—
  And saw himself: he had before descried
  His face in one his mother’s store supplied;
  But here he could his whole dimensions view,
  From the pale forehead to the jet-black shoe.      330
  Passing, he look’d and, looking, grieved to pass
  From the fair figure smiling in the glass.
  ’Twas so Narcissus saw the boy advance
  In the dear fount, and met th’ admiring glance
  So loved—But no! our happier boy admired,
  Not the slim form, but what the form attired—
  The riband, shirt, and frill, all pure and clean,
  The white ribb’d stockings, and the coat of green.
    The Lady now appear’d to move away—
  And this was threat’ning; for he dared not stay,      340
  Lost and alone; but earnestly he pray’d—
  “Oh! do not leave me—I am not afraid,
  But ’tis so lonesome; I shall never find
  My way alone, no better than the blind.”
    The Matron kindly to the Boy replied,
  “Trust in my promise, I will be thy guide.”
  Then to the Chapel moved the friendly pair,
  And well for Peter that his guide was there!
  Dim, silent, solemn was the scene—he felt
  The cedar’s power, that so unearthly smelt;      350
  And then the stain’d, dark, narrow windows threw
  Strange, partial beams on pulpit, desk, and pew:
  Upon the altar, glorious to behold,
  Stood a vast pair of candlesticks in gold!
  With candles tall, and large, and firm, and white.
  Such as the halls of giant-kings would light.
  There was an organ, too, but now unseen;
  A long black curtain served it for a screen;
  Not so the clock that, both by night and day,
  Click’d the short moments as they pass’d away.      360
    “Is this a church? and does the parson read”—
  Said Peter—“here?—I mean, a church indeed?”—
  “Indeed it is, or as a church is used,”
  Was the reply—and Peter deeply mused,
  Not without awe. His sadness to dispel,
  They sought the gallery; and then all was well.
    Yet, enter’d there, although so clear his mind
  From every fear substantial and defined,
  Yet there remain’d some touch of native fear—      }
  Of something awful to the eye and ear—      370}
  A ghostly voice might sound—a ghost itself appear.      }
    There noble Pictures fill’d his mind with joy—
  He gazed and thought, and was no more the boy;
  And Madam heard him speak, with some surprise,
  Of heroes known to him from histories;
  He knew the actors in the deeds of old—
  He could the Roman marvels all unfold.
  He to his guide a theme for wonder grew,
  At once so little and so much he knew—
  Little of what was passing every day,      380
  And much of that which long had pass’d away;—
  So like a man, and yet so like a child,
  That his good friend stood wond’ring as she smiled.
    The Scripture Pieces caused a serious awe,
  And he with reverence look’d on all he saw;
  His pious wonder he express’d aloud,
  And at the Saviour Form devoutly bow’d.
    Portraits he pass’d, admiring; but with pain
  Turn’d from some objects, nor would look again.
  He seem’d to think that something wrong was done,      390
  When crimes were shown he blush’d to look upon.
  Not so his guide—“What youth is that?” she cried,
  “That handsome stripling at the lady’s side;
  Can you inform me how the youth is named?”
  He answer’d, “Joseph”; but he look’d ashamed.
  “Well, and what then? Had you been Joseph, boy!
  Would you have been so peevish and so coy?”
  Our hero answer’d, with a glowing face,
  “His mother told him he should pray for grace.”
  A transient cloud o’ercast the matron’s brow;      400
  She seem’d disposed to laugh——but knew not how;
  Silent awhile, then placid she appear’d—
  “’Tis but a child,” she thought, and all was clear’d.
    No—laugh she could not; still, the more she sought
  To hide her thoughts, the more of his she caught.
  A hundred times she had these pictures named,
  And never felt perplex’d, disturb’d, ashamed;
  Yet now the feelings of a lad so young
  Call’d home her thoughts and paralysed her tongue.
  She pass’d the offensive pictures silent by,      410
  With one reflecting, self-reproving sigh;
  Reasoning, how habit will the mind entice
  To approach and gaze upon the bounds of vice,
  As men, by custom, from some cliff’s vast height,
  Look pleased, and make their danger their delight.
    “Come, let us on!—see there a Flemish view,
  A Country Fair, and all as Nature true.
  See there the merry creatures, great and small,
  Engaged in drinking, gaming, dancing all,
  Fiddling or fighting—all in drunken joy!”—      420
  “But is this Nature?” said the wondering Boy.
    “Be sure it is! and those Banditti there—      }
  Observe the faces, forms, the eyes, the air;      }
  See rage, revenge, remorse, disdain, despair!”      }
    “And is that Nature, too?” the stripling cried.—
  “Corrupted Nature,” said the serious guide.
    She then displayed her knowledge.—“That, my dear,
  Is call’d a Titian, this a Guido here,
  And yon a Claude—you see that lovely light,
  So soft and solemn, neither day nor night.”      430
    “Yes!” quoth the Boy, “and there is just the breeze,
  That curls the water, and that fans the trees;
  The ships that anchor in that pleasant bay
  All look so safe and quiet—Claude, you say?”
    On a small picture Peter gazed and stood
  In admiration—“’twas so dearly good.”
  “For how much money think you, then, my Lad,
  Is such a ‘dear good picture’ to be had?
  ’Tis a famed master’s work—a Gerard Dow,
  At least the seller told the buyer so.”      440
    “I tell the price!” quoth Peter—“I as soon
  Could tell the price of pictures in the moon;
  But I have heard, when the great race was done,
  How much was offer’d for the horse that won.”—
    “A thousand pounds: but, look the country round,
  And, may be, ten such horses might be found;
  While, ride or run where’er you choose to go,
  You’ll nowhere find so fine a Gerard Dow.”
    “If this be true,” says Peter, “then, of course,
  You’d rate the picture higher than the horse.”      450
    “Why, thou’rt a reasoner, Boy!” the lady cried;
  “But see that Infant on the other side;
  ’Tis by Sir Joshua. Did you ever see
  A Babe so charming?”—“No, indeed,” said he;
  “I wonder how he could that look invent,
  That seems so sly, and yet so innocent.”
    In this long room were various Statues seen,
  And Peter gazed thereon with awe-struck mien.
    “Why look so earnest, Boy?”—“Because they bring
  To me a story of an awful thing.”—      460
  “Tell then thy story.”——He, who never stay’d
  For words or matter, instantly obey’d.—
    “A holy pilgrim to a city sail’d,
  Where every sin o’er sinful men prevail’d;
  Who, when he landed, look’d in every street,
  As he was wont, a busy crowd to meet;
  But now of living beings found he none;
  Death had been there, and turn’d them all to stone.
  All in an instant, as they were employ’d,
  Was life in every living man destroy’d—      470
  The rich, the poor, the timid, and the bold,
  Made in a moment such as we behold.”
    “Come, my good lad, you’ve yet a room to see.
  Are you awake?”—“I am amazed,” said he;
  I know they’re figures form’d by human skill,
  But ’tis so awful, and this place so still!
    “And what is this?” said Peter, who had seen
  A long wide table, with its cloth of green,
  Its net-work pockets, and its studs of gold—
  For such they seem’d, and precious to behold.      480
  There too were ivory balls, and one was red,
  Laid with long sticks upon the soft green bed,
  And printed tables on the wall beside—
  “Oh! what are these?” the wondering Peter cried.
    “This, my good lad, is call’d the Billiard-room,”
  Answer’d his guide; “and here the gentry come,
  And with these maces and these cues they play,
  At their spare time, or in a rainy day.”
    “And what this chequer’d box?—for play, I guess?”—
  “You judge it right; ’tis for the game of Chess.      490
  There! take your time, examine what you will,
  There’s King, Queen, Knight—it is a game of skill:
  And these are Bishops; you the difference see.”—
  “What! do they make a game of _them_?” quoth he.—
  “Bishops, like Kings,” she said, “are here but names;
  Not that I answer for their Honours’ games.”
    All round the house did Peter go, and found
  Food for his wonder all the house around.
  There guns of various bore, and rods, and lines,
  And all that man for deed of death designs,      500
  In beast, or bird, or fish, or worm, or fly—      }
  Life in these last must means of death supply;      }
  The living bait is gorged, and both the victims die.      }
  “God gives man leave his creatures to destroy.”—
  “What! for his sport?” replied the pitying Boy.—
  “Nay,” said the Lady, “why the sport condemn?
  As die they must, ’tis much the same to them.”
  Peter had doubts; but with so kind a friend
  He would not on a dubious point contend.
    Much had he seen, and every thing he saw      510
  Excited pleasure not unmix’d with awe.
  Leaving each room, he turn’d as if once more
  To enjoy the pleasure that he felt before—
  “What then must their possessors feel? how grand
  And happy they who can such joys command!
  For they may pleasures all their lives pursue,
  The winter pleasures, and the summer’s too—
  Pleasures for every hour in every day—
  Oh! how their time must pass in joy away!”
    So Peter said.—Replied the courteous Dame:      520
  “What you call pleasure scarcely owns the name.
  The very changes of amusement prove
  There’s nothing that deserves a lasting love.
  They hunt, they course, they shoot, they fish, they game;
  The objects vary, though the end the same—
  A search for that which flies them; no, my Boy!
  ’Tis not enjoyment, ’tis pursuit of joy.”
    Peter was thoughtful—thinking, What! not these,
  Who can command, or purchase, what they please—
  Whom many serve, who only speak the word,      530
  And they have all that earth or seas afford—
  All that can charm the mind and please the eye—
  And _they_ not happy!—but I’ll ask her why.
    So Peter ask’d.—“’Tis not,” she said, “for us,
  Their Honours’ inward feelings to discuss;
  But, if they’re happy, they would still confess
  ’Tis not these things that make their happiness.
    “Look from this window! at his work behold
  Yon gardener’s helper—he is poor and old,
  He not one thing of all you see can call      540
  His own; but, haply, he o’erlooks them all.
  Hear him! he whistles through his work, or stops
  But to admire his labours and his crops.
  To-day as every former day he fares,
  And for the morrow has nor doubts nor cares;
  Pious and cheerful, proud when he can please—
  Judge if Joe Tompkin wants such things as these.
    “Come, let us forward!” and she walk’d in haste
  To a large room, itself a work of taste,
  But chiefly valued for the works that drew      550
  The eyes of Peter—this indeed was new,
  Was most imposing—Books of every kind
  Were there disposed, the food for every mind.
  With joy perplex’d, round cast he wondering eyes,
  Still in his joy, and dumb in his surprise.
    Above, beneath, around, on every side,
  Of every form and size were Books descried;
  Like Bishop Hatto, when the rats drew near,
  And war’s new dangers waked his guilty fear,
  When thousands came beside, behind, before,      560
  And up and down came on ten thousand more,
  A tail’d and whisker’d army, each with claws
  As sharp as needles, and with teeth like saws—
  So fill’d with awe, and wonder in his looks,
  Stood Peter ‘midst this multitude of Books;
  But guiltless he and fearless; yet he sigh’d
  To think what treasures were to him denied.
    But wonder ceases on continued view;
  And the Boy sharp for close inspection grew.
  Prints on the table he at first survey’d,      570
  Then to the Books his full attention paid.
  At first, from tome to tome, as fancy led,
  He view’d the binding, and the titles read;
  Lost in delight, and with his freedom pleased,
  Then three huge folios from their shelf he seized;
  Fixing on one, with prints of every race,
  Of beast and bird most rare in every place—
  Serpents, the giants of their tribe, whose prey
  Are giants too—a wild ox once a day;
  Here the fierce tiger, and the desert’s kings,      580
  And all that move on feet, or fins, or wings—
  Most rare and strange; a second volume told
  Of battles dire, and dreadful to behold,
  On sea or land, and fleets dispersed in storms;
  A third has all creative fancy forms—
  Hydra and dire chimera, deserts rude,
  And ruins grand, enriching solitude:
  Whatever was, or was supposed to be,
  Saw Peter here, and still desired to see.
    Again he look’d, but happier had he been,      590
  That Book of Wonders he had never seen;
  For there were tales of men of wicked mind,
  And how the Foe of Man deludes mankind.
  Magic and murder every leaf bespread—      }
  Enchanted halls, and chambers of the dead,      }
  And ghosts that haunt the scenes where once the victims bled.      }
    Just at this time, when Peter’s heart began
  To admit the fear that shames the valiant man,
  He paused—but why? “Here’s one my guard to be;      }
  When thus protected, none can trouble me.”—      600}
  Then rising look’d he round, and lo! alone was he.      }
    Three ponderous doors, with locks of shining brass,
  Seem’d to invite the trembling Boy to pass;
  But fear forbad, till fear itself supplied
  The place of courage, and at length he tried.
  He grasp’d the key—Alas! though great his need,
  The key turn’d not, the bolt would not recede.
  Try then again; for what will not distress?
  Again he tried, and with the same success.
  Yet one remains, remains untried one door—      610
  A failing hope, for two had fail’d before;
  But a bold prince, with fifty doors in sight,
  Tried forty-nine before he found the right;
  Before he mounted on the brazen horse,
  And o’er the walls pursued his airy course.
  So his cold hand on this last key he laid:
  “Now turn,” said he; the treacherous bolt obey’d—
  The door receded—bringing full in view
  The dim, dull chapel, pulpit, desk, and pew.
    It was not right—it would have vex’d a saint;      620
  And Peter’s anger rose above restraint.
  “Was this her love,” he cried, “to bring me here,
  Among the dead, to die myself with fear!”—
  For Peter judged, with monuments around,
  The dead must surely in the place be found:—
  “With cold to shiver, and with hunger pine!
  ‘We’ll see the rooms,’ she said, ‘before we dine;’
  And spake so kind! That window gives no light:      }
  Here is enough the boldest man to fright;      }
  It hardly now is day, and soon it will be night.”      630}
    Deeply he sigh’d, nor from his heart could chase
  The dread of dying in that dismal place;
  Anger and sorrow in his bosom strove,
  And banish’d all that yet remain’d of love;
  When soon despair had seized the trembling Boy—
  But hark, a voice! the sound of peace and joy.
    “Where art thou, lad?”—“Oh! here am I, in doubt,
  And sorely frighten’d—can you let me out?”—
  “Oh! yes, my child; it was indeed a sin,
  Forgetful as I was, to bolt you in.      640
  I left you reading, and from habit lock’d
  The door behind me, but in truth am shock’d
  To serve you thus; but we will make amends
  For such mistake. Come, cheerly, we are friends.”
    “Oh! yes,” said Peter, quite alive to be
  So kindly used, and have so much to see,
  And having so much seen; his way he spied,
  Forgot his peril, and rejoin’d his guide.
    Now all beheld, his admiration raised,
  The lady thank’d, her condescension praised,      650
  And fix’d the hour for dinner, forth the Boy
  Went in a tumult of o’erpowering joy,
  To view the gardens, and what more was found
  In the wide circuit of that spacious ground;
  Till, with his thoughts bewilder’d, and oppress’d
  With too much feeling, he inclined to rest.
    Then in the park he sought its deepest shade,
  By trees more aged than the mansion made,
  That ages stood; and there unseen a brook
  Ran not unheard, and thus our traveller spoke—      660
  “I am so happy, and have such delight,
  I cannot bear to see another sight;
  It wearies one like work;” and so, with deep
  Unconscious sigh—he laid him down to sleep.
    Thus he reclining slept, and, oh! the joy
  That in his dreams possess’d the happy Boy—
  Composed of all he knew, and all he read,
  Heard, or conceived, the living and the dead.
    The Caliph Haroun, walking forth by night
  To see young David and Goliath fight,      670
  Rose on his passive fancy—then appear’d
  The fleshless forms of beings scorn’d or fear’d
  By just or evil men—the baneful race
  Of spirits restless, borne from place to place;
  Rivers of blood from conquer’d armies ran;
  The flying steed was by, the marble man;
  Then danced the fairies round their pygmy queen,
  And their feet twinkled on the dewy green,
  All in the moon-beams’ glory. As they fled,
  The mountain loadstone rear’d its fatal head,      680
  And drew the iron-bolted ships on shore,      }
  Where he distinctly heard the billows roar,      }
  Mix’d with a living voice of—“Youngster, sleep no more,      }
  But haste to dinner.” Starting from the ground,
  The waking boy obey’d that welcome sound.
    He went and sat, with equal shame and pride,
  A welcome guest at Madam Johnson’s side;
  At his right hand was Mistress Kitty placed,
  And Lucy, maiden sly, the stripling faced.
  Then each the proper seat at table took—      690
  Groom, butler, footman, laundress, coachman, cook;
  For all their station and their office knew,
  Nor sat as rustics or the rabble do.
    The Youth to each the due attention paid,
  And hob-or-nob’d with Lady Charlotte’s maid;
  With much respect each other they address’d,
  And all encouraged their enchanted guest.
  Wine, fruit, and sweetmeats closed repast so long,
  And Mistress Flora sang an opera song.
    Such was the Day the happy Boy had spent,      700
  And forth delighted from the Hall he went.
  Bowing his thanks, he mounted on his steed,
  More largely fed than he was wont to feed;
  And well for Peter that his pony knew
  From whence he came, the road he should pursue;
  For the young rider had his mind estranged
  From all around, disturb’d and disarranged,
  In pleasing tumult, in a dream of bliss,
  Enjoy’d but seldom in a world like this.
    But though the pleasures of the Day were past—      710
  For lively pleasures are not form’d to last—
  And though less vivid they became, less strong,
  Through life they lived, and were enjoy’d as long.
  So deep the impression of that happy Day,
  Not time nor cares could wear it all away;
  Ev’n to the last, in his declining years,
  He told of all his glories, all his fears:
    How blithely forward in that morn he went,
  How blest the hours in that fair palace spent,
  How vast that Mansion, sure for monarch plann’d,      720
  The rooms so many, and yet each so grand—
  Millions of books in one large hall were found,
  And glorious pictures every room around;
  Beside that strangest of the wonders there,
  That house itself contain’d a house of prayer.
    He told of park and wood, of sun and shade,
  And how the lake below the lawn was made;
  He spake of feasting such as never boy,
  Taught in his school, was fated to enjoy—
  Of ladies’ maids as ladies’ selves who dress’d,      730}
  And her, his friend, distinguish’d from the rest,      }
  By grandeur in her look, and state that she possess’d.      }
  He pass’d not one; his grateful mind o’erflow’d
  With sense of all he felt, and they bestow’d.
    He spake of every office, great or small,      }
  Within, without, and spake with praise of all—      }
  So pass’d the happy Boy that Day at Silford Hall.      }


                                TALE II.

                         _THE FAMILY OF LOVE._

  In a large town, a wealthy, thriving place,
  Where hopes of gain excite an anxious race;
  Which dark, dense wreaths of cloudy volumes cloak,
  And mark, for leagues around, the place of smoke;
  Where fire to water lends its powerful aid,
  And steam produces—strong ally to trade—
  Arrived a Stranger, whom no merchant knew,
  Nor could conjecture what he came to do.
  He came not there his fortune to amend;
  He came not there a fortune made to spend;      10
  His age not that which men in trade employ;
  The place not that where men their wealth enjoy;
  Yet there was something in his air that told
  Of competency gain’d, before the man was old.
  He brought no servants with him; those he sought
  Were soon his habits and his manners taught—
  His manners easy, civil, kind, and free;
  His habits such as aged men’s will be,
  To self indulgent; wealthy men like him
  Plead for these failings—’tis their way, their whim.      20
    His frank good-humour, his untroubled air,
  His free address, and language bold but fair,
  Soon made him friends—such friends as all may make,
  Who take the way that he was pleased to take.
  He gave his dinners in a handsome style,
  And met his neighbours with a social smile;
  The wealthy all their easy friend approved,
  Whom the more liberal for his bounty loved;
  And ev’n the cautious and reserved began
  To speak with kindness of the frank old man,      30
  Who, though associate with the rich and grave,
  Laugh’d with the gay, and to the needy gave
  What need requires. At church a seat was shown,
  That he was kindly ask’d to think his own.
  Thither he went, and neither cold nor heat,
  Pains or pretences, kept him from his seat.
  This to his credit in the town was told,
  And ladies said, “’Tis pity he is old;
  Yet, for his years, the Stranger moves like one
  Who, of his race, has no small part to run.”      40
  No envy he by ostentation raised,
  And all his hospitable table praised.
  His quiet life censorious talk suppress’d,
  And numbers hail’d him as their welcome guest.
    ’Twas thought a man so mild, and bounteous too,
  A world of good within the town might do;
  To vote him honours, therefore, they inclined;
  But these he sought not, and with thanks resign’d;
  His days of business, he declared, were past,
  And he would wait in quiet for the last;      50
  But for a dinner and a day of mirth
  He was the readiest being upon earth.
    Men call’d him Captain, and they found the name
  By him accepted without pride or shame.
  Not in the Navy—that did not appear:
  Not in the Army—that at least was clear—
  “But as he speaks of sea-affairs, he made,
  No doubt, his fortune in the way of trade;
  He might, perhaps, an India-ship command—
  We’ll call him Captain now he comes to land.”      60
    The Stranger much of various life had seen,
  Been poor, been rich, and in the state between;
  Had much of kindness met, and much deceit,
  And all that man who deals with men must meet.
  Not much he read; but from his youth had thought,
  And been by care and observation taught:
  ’Tis thus a man his own opinions makes;
  He holds that fast, which he with trouble takes;
  While one whose notions all from books arise,      }
  Upon his authors, not himself, relies—      70}
  A borrow’d wisdom this, that does not make us wise.      }
    Inured to scenes, where wealth and place command
  Th’ observant eye, and the obedient hand,
  A Tory-spírit his—he ever paid
  Obedience due, and look’d to be obey’d.
  “Man upon man depends, and, break the chain,
  He soon returns to savage life again;
  As of fair virgins dancing in a round
  Each binds another, and herself is bound,
  On either hand a social tribe he sees,      80
  By those assisted, and assisting these;
  While to the general welfare all belong,
  The high in power, the low in number strong.”
    Such was the Stranger’s creed—if not profound,
  He judg’d it useful, and proclaimed it sound;
  And many liked it; invitations went
  To Captain Elliot, and from him were sent—
  These last so often, that his friends confess’d,
  The Captain’s cook had not a place of rest.
  Still were they something at a loss to guess      90
  What his profession was from his address;
  For much he knew, and too correct was he
  For a man train’d and nurtured on the sea;
  Yet well he knew the seaman’s words and ways—
  Seaman’s his look, and nautical his phrase:
  In fact, all ended, just where they began,
  With many a doubt of this amphibious man.
    Though kind to all, he look’d with special grace      }
  On a few members of an ancient race,      }
  Long known, and well respected in the place—      100}
  Dyson their name; but how regard for these
  Rose in his mind, or why they seem’d to please,
  Or by what ways, what virtues—not a cause
  Can we assign, for Fancy has no laws;
  But, as the Captain show’d them such respect,
  We will not treat the Dysons with neglect.
    Their Father died, while yet engaged by trade
  To make a fortune that was never made,
  But to his children taught; for he would say
  “I place them—all I can—in Fortune’s way.”      110
    James was his first-born; when his father died,
  He, in their large domain, the place supplied,
  And found, as to the Dysons all appear’d,
  Affairs less gloomy than their sire had fear’d;
  But then, if rich or poor, all now agree,
  Frugal and careful James must wealthy be:
  And, wealth in wedlock sought, he married soon,
  And ruled his Lady from the honey-moon.
  Nor shall we wonder; for, his house beside,      }
  He had a sturdy multitude to guide,      120}
  Who now his spirit vex’d, and now his temper tried:      }
  Men who by labours live, and, day by day,
  Work, weave, and spin their active lives away;
  Like bees industrious, they for others strive,
  With, now and then, some murmuring in the hive.
    James was a churchman—’twas his pride and boast;
  Loyal his heart, and “Church and King” his toast;
  He for Religion might not warmly feel,
  But for the Church he had abounding zeal.
    Yet no dissenting sect would he condemn,      130
  “They’re nought to us,” said he, “nor we to them;
  ’Tis innovation of our own I hate,
  Whims and inventions of a modern date.
    “Why send you Bibles all the world about,
  That men may read amiss, and learn to doubt?
  Why teach the children of the poor to read,
  That a new race of doubters may succeed?
  Now can you scarcely rule the stubborn crew,
  And what if they should know as much as you?
  Will a man labour when to learning bred,      140
  Or use his hands who can employ his head?
  Will he a clerk or master’s self obey,
  Who thinks himself as well-inform’d as they?”
    These were his favourite subjects—these he chose,
  And where he ruled no creature durst oppose.
    “[We’re] rich,” quoth James; “but if we thus proceed,
  And give to all, we shall be poor indeed:
  In war we subsidise the world—in peace
  We christianise—our bounties never cease;
  We learn each stranger’s tongue, that they with ease      150
  May read translated Scriptures, if they please;
  We buy them presses, print them books, and then
  Pay and export poor learned, pious men;
  Vainly we strive a fortune now to get,
  So tax’d by private claims, and public debt.”
    Still he proceeds—“You make your prisons light,
  Airy and clean, your robbers to invite;
  And in such ways your pity show to vice,
  That you the rogues encourage, and entice.”
    For lenient measures James had no regard—      160
  “Hardship,” he said, “must work upon the hard;
  Labour and chains such desperate men require;
  To soften iron you must use the fire.”
    Active himself, he labour’d to express,
  In his strong words, his scorn of idleness;
  From him in vain the beggar sought relief—
  “Who will not labour is an idle thief,
  Stealing from those who will;” he knew not how
  For the untaught and ill-taught to allow,
  Children of want and vice, inured to ill,      170
  Unchain’d the passions, and uncurb’d the will.
    Alas! he look’d but to his own affairs,
  Or to the rivals in his trade, and theirs;
  Knew not the thousands who must all be fed,
  Yet ne’er were taught to earn their daily bread;
  Whom crimes, misfortunes, errors only teach
  To seek their food where’er within their reach;
  Who for their parents’ sins, or for their own,
  Are now as vagrants, wanderers, beggars known,
  Hunted and hunting through the world, to share      180
  Alms and contempt, and shame and scorn to bear;
  Whom Law condemns, and Justice, with a sigh,
  Pursuing, shakes her sword and passes by.—
  If to the prison we should these commit,
  They for the gallows will be render’d fit.
    But James had virtues—was esteem’d as one
  Whom men look’d up to, and relied upon.
  Kind to his equals, social when they met—
  If out of spirits, always out of debt;
  True to his promise, he a lie disdain’d,      190
  And e’en when tempted in his trade, refrain’d;
  Frugal he was, and loved the cash to spare,
  Gain’d by much skill, and nursed by constant care;
  Yet liked the social board, and when he spoke,
  Some hail’d his wisdom, some enjoy’d his joke.
  To him a Brother look’d as one to whom,
  If fortune frown’d, he might in trouble come;
  His Sisters view’d the important man with awe,
  As if a parent in his place they saw:
  All lived in Love; none sought their private ends:      200
  The Dysons were a Family of Friends.
    His brother David was a studious boy,
  Yet could his sports as well as books enjoy.
  E’en when a boy, he was not quickly read,
  If by the heart you judged him, or the head.
  His father thought he was decreed to shine,
  And be in time an eminent Divine;
  But if he ever to the Church inclined,
  It is too certain that he changed his mind.
  He spoke of scruples; but who knew him best      210
  Affirm’d, no scruples broke on David’s rest.
  Physic and Law were each in turn proposed,
  He weigh’d them nicely, and with Physic closed.
    He had a serious air, a smooth address,
  And a firm spirit that ensured success.
  He watched his brethren of the time, how they
  Rose into fame, that he might choose his way.
    Some, he observed, a kind of roughness used,
  And now their patients banter’d, now abused:
  The awe-struck people were at once dismay’d,      220
  As if they begg’d the advice for which they paid.
    There are who hold that no disease is slight,
  Who magnify the foe with whom they fight.
  The sick was told that his was that disease
  But rarely known on mortal frame to seize;
  Which only skill profound, and full command
  Of all the powers in nature could withstand.
  Then, if he lived, what fame the conquest gave!
  And if he died—“No human power could save!”
    Mere fortune sometimes, and a lucky case,      230
  Will make a man the idol of a place—
  Who last, advice to some fair duchess gave,
  Or snatch’d a widow’s darling from the grave,
  Him first she honours of the lucky tribe,
  Fills him with praise, and woos him to prescribe.
  In his own chariot soon he rattles on,
  And half believes the lies that built him one.
    But not of these was David: care and pain,
  And studious toil prepar’d his way to gain.
  At first observed, then trusted, he became      240
  At length respected, and acquired a name.
  Keen, close, attentive, he could read mankind,
  The feeble body, and the failing mind;
  And if his heart remain’d untouch’d, his eyes,
  His air, and tone, with all could sympathise.
    This brought him fees, and not a man was he
  In weak compassion to refuse a fee.
  Yet though the Doctor’s purse was well supplied,
  Though patients came, and fees were multiplied,
  Some secret drain, that none presumed to know,      250
  And few e’en guess’d, for ever kept it low.
  Some of a patient spake, a tender fair,
  Of whom the doctor took peculiar care,
  But not a fee; he, rather, largely gave,
  Nor spared himself, ’twas said, this gentle friend to save.
  Her case consumptive, with perpetual need
  Still to be fed, and still desire to feed;
  An eager craving, seldom known to cease,
  And gold alone brought temporary peace.—
    So, rich he was not; James some fear express’d,      260
  Dear Doctor David would be yet distress’d;
  For if now poor, when so repaid his skill,
  What fate were his, if he himself were ill!
    In his religion, Doctor Dyson sought
  To teach himself—“A man should not be taught,
  Should not, by forms or creeds, his mind debase,
  That keep in awe an unreflecting race.”
  He heeded not what Clarke and Paley say,
  But thought himself as good a judge as they;
  Yet to the Church profess’d himself a friend,      270}
  And would the rector for his hour attend;      }
  Nay, praise the learn’d discourse, and learnedly defend.      }
  For, since the common herd of men are blind,
  He judged it right that guides should be assign’d;
  And that the few who could themselves direct
  Should treat those guides with honour and respect.
  He was from all contracted notions freed,
  But gave his Brother credit for his creed;
  And, if in smaller matters he indulged,
  ’Twas well, so long as they were not divulged.      280
    Oft was the spirit of the Doctor tried,
  When his grave Sister wish’d to be his guide.
  She told him, “all his real friends were grieved
  To hear it said, how little he believed:
  Of all who bore the name she never knew
  One to his pastor or his church untrue;
  All have the truth with mutual zeal profess’d,
  And why, dear Doctor, differ from the rest?”
    “’Tis my hard fate,” with serious looks replied
  The man of doubt, “to err with such a guide.”—      290
  “Then why not turn from such a painful state?”—
  The doubting man replied, “It is my fate.”
    Strong in her zeal, by texts and reasons back’d,
  In his grave mood the Doctor she attack’d;
  Cull’d words from Scripture to announce his doom,
  And bade him “think of dreadful things to come.”
    “If such,” he answer’d, “be that state untried,
  In peace, dear Martha, let me here abide;
  Forbear to insult a man whose fate is known,
  And leave to Heaven a matter all its own.”      300
    In the same cause the Merchant, too, would strive;
  He ask’d, “Did ever unbeliever thrive?
  Had he respect? could he a fortune make?
  And why not then such impious men forsake?”
    “Thanks, my dear James, and be assured I feel,
  If not your reason, yet at least your zeal;
  And when those wicked thoughts, that keep me poor,
  And bar respect, assail me as before
  With force combin’d, you’ll drive the fiend away;
  For you shall reason, James, and Martha pray.”      310
    But though the Doctor could reply with ease
  To all such trivial arguments as these—
  Though he could reason, or at least deride,
  There was a power that would not be defied;
  A closer reasoner, whom he could not shun,
  Could not refute, from whom he could not run:
  For Conscience lived within; she slept, ’tis true,
  But when she waked, her pangs awaken’d too.
  She bade him think; and, as he thought, a sigh
  Of deep remorse precluded all reply.      320
  No soft insulting smile, no bitter jest,      }
  Could this commanding power of strength divest,      }
  But with reluctant fear her terrors he confess’d.      }
  His weak advisers he could scorn or slight,      }
  But not their cause; for, in their folly’s spite,      }
  They took the wiser part, and chose their way aright.      }
    Such was the Doctor, upon whom for aid
  Had some good ladies call’d, but were afraid—
  Afraid of one who, if report were just,
  The arm of flesh, and that alone, would trust.      330
  But these were few—the many took no care
  Of what they judged to be his own affair;
  And if he them from their diseases freed,
  They neither cared nor thought about his creed;
  They said his merits would for much atone,
  And only wonder’d that he lived alone.
    The widow’d Sister near the Merchant dwelt,
  And her late loss with lingering sorrow felt.
  Small was her jointure, and o’er this she sigh’d,      }
  That to her heart its bounteous wish denied,      340}
  Which yet all common wants, but not her all, supplied.      }
  Sorrows like showers descend, and as the heart
  For them prepares, they good or ill impart;
  Some on the mind, as on the ocean rain,
  Fall and disturb, but soon are lost again;
  Some, as to fertile lands, a boon bestow,
  And [seeds], that else had perish’d, live and grow;
  Some fall on barren soil, and thence proceed
  The idle blossom, and the useless weed.
  But how her griefs the Widow’s heart impress’d      350
  Must from the tenor of her life be guess’d.
    Rigid she was, persisting in her grief,
  Fond of complaint, and adverse to relief.
  In her religion she was all severe,
  And as she was, was anxious to appear.
  When sorrow died restraint usurp’d the place,
  And sate in solemn state upon her face.
  Reading she loved not, nor would deign to waste
  Her precious time on trifling works of taste;
  Though what she did with all that precious time      360
  We know not, but to waste it was a crime—
  As oft she said, when with a serious friend
  She spent the hours as duty bids us spend;
  To read a novel was a kind of sin—
  Albeit once Clarissa took her in;
  And now of late, she heard with much surprise,
  Novels there were that made a compromise
  Betwixt amusement and religion: these
  Might charm the worldly, whom the stories please,
  And please the serious, whom the sense would charm,      370
  And thus, indulging, be secured from harm—
  A happy thought, when from the foe we take
  His arms, and use them for religion’s sake.
    Her Bible she perused by day, by night;
  It was her task—she said ’twas her delight;
  Found in her room, her chamber, and her pew,
  For ever studied, yet for ever new—
  All must be new that we cannot retain,
  And new we find it when we read again.
    The hardest texts she could with ease expound,      380
  And meaning for the most mysterious found,
  Knew which of dubious senses to prefer.
  The want of Greek was not a want in her;—
  Instinctive light no aid from Hebrew needs—
  But full conviction without study breeds;
  O’er mortal powers by inborn strength prevails,
  Where Reason trembles, and where Learning fails.
    To the church strictly from her childhood bred,
  She now her zeal with party-spirit fed:
  For brother James she lively hopes express’d,      390
  But for the Doctor’s safety felt distress’d;
  And her light Sister, poor, and deaf, and blind,
  Fill’d her with fears of most tremendous kind.
  But David mocked her for the pains she took,
  And Fanny gave resentment for rebuke;
  While James approved the zeal, and praised the call,
  “That brought,” he said, “a blessing on them all:
  Goodness like this to all the House extends,
  For were they not a Family of Friends?”
    Their sister Frances, though her prime was past,      400
  Had beauty still—nay, beauty form’d to last;
  ’Twas not the lily and the rose combined,
  Nor must we say the beauty of the mind;
  But feature, form, and that engaging air,
  That lives when ladies are no longer fair.
  Lovers she had, as she remember’d yet,
  For who the glories of their reign forget?
  Some she rejected in her maiden pride      }
  And some in maiden hesitation tried—      }
  Unwilling to renounce, unable to decide.      410}
  One lost, another would her grace implore,
  Till all were lost, and lovers came no more.
  Nor had she that, in beauty’s failing state,
  Which will recall a lover, or create;
  Hers was the slender portion, that supplied
  Her real wants, but all beyond denied.
    When Fanny Dyson reach’d her fortieth year,
  She would no more of love or lovers hear;
  But one dear Friend she chose, her guide, her stay
  And to each other all the world were they;      420
  For all the world had grown to them unkind,
  One sex censorious, and the other blind.
  The Friend of Frances longer time had known
  The world’s deceits, and from its follies flown.
  With her dear Friend life’s sober joys to share
  Was all that now became her wish and care.
  They walk’d together, they conversed and read,
  And tender tears for well-feign’d sorrows shed:
  And were so happy in their quiet lives,
  They pitied sighing maids, and weeping wives.      430
    But Fortune to our state such change imparts,
  That Pity stays not long in human hearts;
  When sad for others’ woes our hearts are grown,
  This soon gives place to sorrows of our own.
    There was among our guardian Volunteers
  A Major Bright—he reckoned fifty years:
  A reading man of peace, but call’d to take
  His sword and musket for his country’s sake;
  Not to go forth and fight, but here to stay,
  Invaders, should they come, to chase or slay.      440
    Him had the elder Lady long admired,
  As one from vain and trivial things retired;
  With him conversed; but to a Friend so dear
  Gave not that pleasure—Why? is not so clear.
  But chance effected this; the Major now
  Gave both the time his duties would allow;
  In walks, in visits, when abroad, at home,
  The friendly Major would to either come.
  He never spoke—for he was not a boy—
  Of ladies’ charms, or lovers’ grief and joy.      450
  All his discourses were of serious kind,
  The heart they touch’d not, but they fill’d the mind.
  Yet—oh, the pity! from this grave good man
  The cause of coolness in the Friends began.
  The sage Sophronia—that the chosen name—
  Now more polite, and more estranged became.
  She could but feel that she had longer known
  This valued friend—he was indeed her own;
  But Frances Dyson, to confess the truth,
  Had more of softness—yes, and more of youth;      460
  And, though he said such things had ceased to please,
  The worthy Major was not blind to these:
  So without thought, without intent, he paid
  More frequent visits to the younger Maid.
    Such the offence; and, though the Major tried
  To tie again the knot he thus untied,
  His utmost efforts no kind looks repaid—
  He moved no more the inexorable maid.
  The Friends too parted, and the elder told
  Tales of false hearts, and friendships waxing cold;      470
  And wonder’d what a man of sense could see
  In the light airs of wither’d vanity.
    ’Tis said that Frances now the world reviews,
  Unwilling all the little left to lose;
  She and the Major on the walks are seen,
  And all the world is wondering what they mean.
    Such were the four whom Captain Elliot drew
  To his own board, as the selected few.
  For why? they seem’d each other to approve,
  And called themselves a Family of Love.      480
    These were not all: there was a Youth beside,
  Left to his uncles when his parents died;
  A Girl, their sister, by a Boy was led      }
  To Scotland, where a boy and girl may wed—      }
  And they return’d to seek for pardon, pence, and bread.      }
  Five years they lived to labour, weep, and pray,
  When Death, in mercy, took them both away.
    Uncles and aunts received this lively child,
  Grieved at his fate, and at his follies smiled;
  But, when the child to boy’s estate grew on,      490
  The smile was vanish’d, and the pity gone.
  Slight was the burden, but in time increased,
  Until at length both love and pity ceased.
  Then Tom was idle; he would find his way
  To his aunt’s stores, and make her sweets his prey;
  By uncle Doctor on a message sent,
  He stopp’d to play, and lost it as he went.
  His grave aunt Martha, with a frown austere
  And a rough hand, produced a transient fear;
  But Tom, to whom his rude companions taught      500
  Language as rude, vindictive measures sought;
  He used such words that, when she wish’d to speak
  Of his offence, she had her words to seek.
  The little wretch had call’d her—’twas a shame
  To think such thought, and more to name such name.
    Thus fed and beaten, Tom was taught to pray
  For his true friends; “but who,” said he, “are they?”
  By nature kind, when kindly used, the Boy
  Hail’d the strange good with tears of love and joy;
  But, roughly used, he felt his bosom burn      510
  With wrath he dared not on his uncles turn;
  So with indignant spirit, still and strong,
  He nursed the vengeance, and endured the wrong.
  To a cheap school, far north, the boy was sent:
  Without a tear of love or grief he went;
  Where, doom’d to fast and study, fight and play,
  He staid five years, and wish’d five more to stay.
  He loved o’er plains to run, up hills to climb,
  Without a thought of kindred, home, or time;
  Till from the cabin of a coasting hoy,      520
  Landed at last the thin and freckled boy,
  With sharp keen eye, but pale and hollow cheek,
  All made more sad from sickness of a week.
  His aunts and uncles felt—nor strove to hide
  From the poor boy, their pity and their pride;
  He had been taught that he had not a friend
  Save these on earth, on whom he might depend;
  And such dependence upon these he had
  As made him sometimes desperate, always sad.
    “Awkward and weak, where can the lad be placed,      530
  And we not troubled, censured, or disgraced?
  Do, Brother James, th’ unhappy boy enrol
  Among your set; you only can control.”
  James sigh’d, and Thomas to the Factory went,
  Who there his days in sundry duties spent.
  He ran, he wrought, he wrote—to read or play
  He had no time, nor much to feed or pray.
  What pass’d without he heard not—or he heard
  Without concern, what he nor wish’d nor fear’d;
  Told of the Captain and his wealth, he sigh’d,      540
  And said, “how well his table is supplied!”
  But with the sigh it caused the sorrow fled;      }
  He was not feasted, but he must be fed;      }
  And he could sleep full sound, though not full soft his bed.      }
    But still, ambitious thoughts his mind possess’d,
  And dreams of joy broke in upon his rest.
  Improved in person, and enlarged in mind,
  The good he found not he could hope to find;
  Though now enslaved, he hail’d the approaching day,
  When he should break his chains and flee away.      550
    Such were the Dysons: they were first of those
  Whom Captain Elliot as companions chose;
  Them he invited, and the more approved,
  As it appear’d that each the other loved.
  Proud of their brothers were the sister pair;
  And, if not proud, yet kind the brothers were.
  This pleased the Captain, who had never known,
  Or he had loved, such kindred of his own;
  Them he invited, save the Orphan lad,
  Whose name was not the one his Uncles had;      560
  No Dyson he, nor with the party came—
  The worthy Captain never heard his name;
  Uncles and Aunts forbore to name the boy,
  For then, of course, must follow his employ.
  Though all were silent, as with one consent,
  None told another what his silence meant,
  What hers; but each suppress’d the useless truth,
  And not a word was mentioned of the youth.
    Familiar grown, the Dysons saw their host,
  With none beside them; it became their boast,      570
  Their pride, their pleasure; but to some it seem’d
  Beyond the worth their talents were esteem’d.
  This wrought no change within the Captain’s mind;
  To all men courteous, he to them was kind.
    One day with these he sat, and only these,
  In a light humour, talking at his ease.
  Familiar grown, he was disposed to tell
  Of times long past, and what in them befell—
  Not of his life their wonder to attract,
  But the choice tale, or insulated fact.      580
  Then, as it seem’d, he had acquired a right
  To hear what they could from their stores recite.
  Their lives, they said, were all of common kind;
  He could no pleasure in such trifles find.
    They had an Uncle—’tis their father’s tale—
  Who in all seas had gone where ship can sail;
  Who in all lands had been, where men can live;
  “He could indeed some strange relations give,
  And many a bold adventure; but in vain
  We look for him; he comes not home again.”      590
    “And is it so? why then, if so it be,”
  Said Captain Elliot, “you must look to me:
  I knew John Dyson”——Instant every one
  Was moved to wonder—“Knew my Uncle John!
  Can he be rich? be childless? he is old,
  That is most certain—What! can more be told?
  Will he return, who has so long been gone,
  And lost to us? Oh! what of Uncle John?”
    This was aside: their unobservant friend
  Seem’d on their thoughts but little to attend;      600
  A traveller speaking, he was more inclined
  To tell his story than their thoughts to find.
    “Although, my Friends, I love you well, ’tis true,      }
  ’Twas your relation turn’d my mind to you;      }
  For we were friends of old, and friends like us are few;      }
  And, though from dearest friends a man will hide
  His private vices in his native pride,
  Yet such our friendship from its early rise,
  We no reserve admitted, no disguise;
  But ’tis the story of my friend I tell,      610
  And to all others let me bid farewell.
    “Take each your glass, and you shall hear how John,
  My old companion, through the world has gone;
  I can describe him to the very life,
  Him and his ways, his ventures, and his wife.”
    “Wife!” whisper’d all; “then what his life to us,
  His ways and ventures, if he ventured thus?”
  This, too, apart; yet were they all intent,
  And, gravely listening, sigh’d with one consent.
    “My friend, your Uncle, was design’d for trade,      620
  To make a fortune as his father made;
  But early he perceived the house declined,
  And his domestic views at once resign’d;
  While stout of heart, with life in every limb,
  He would to sea, and either sink or swim.
  No one forbad; his father shook his hand,
  Within it leaving what he could command.
    “He left his home, but I will not relate
  What storms he braved, and how he bore his fate,
  Till his brave frigate was a Spanish prize,      630
  And prison-walls received his first-born sighs—
  Sighs for the freedom that an English boy,
  Or English man, is eager to enjoy.
    “Exchanged, he breathed in freedom, and aboard
  An English ship, he found his peace restored;
  War raged around, each British tar was press’d
  To serve his king, and John among the rest;
  Oft had he fought and bled, and ’twas his fate
  In that same ship to grow to man’s estate.
  Again ’twas war: of France a ship appear’d      640
  Of greater force, but neither shunn’d nor fear’d;
  ’Twas in the Indian Sea, the land was nigh,
  When all prepared to fight, and some to die;
  Man after man was in the ocean thrown,      }
  Limb after limb was to the surgeon shown,      }
  And John at length, poor John! held forth his own.—      }
    “A tedious case—the battle ceased with day,
  And in the night the foe had slipp’d away.
  Of many wounded were a part convey’d
  To land, and he among the number laid.      650
  Poor, suffering, friendless—who shall now impart
  Life to his hope, or comfort to his heart?
  A kind good priest among the English there
  Selected him as his peculiar care;
  And, when recover’d, to a powerful friend
  Was pleased the lad he loved to recommend;
  Who read your Uncle’s mind, and, pleased to read,
  Placed him where talents will in time succeed.
    “I will not tease you with details of trade,
  But say he there a decent fortune made—      660
  Not such as gave him, if return’d, to buy
  A duke’s estate, or principality,
  But a fair fortune; years of peace he knew,
  That were so happy, and that seem’d so few.
    “Then came a cloud; for who on earth has seen
  A changeless fortune, and a life serene?
  Ah! then how joyous were the hours we spent!
  But joy is restless, joy is not content.
    “There one resided, who, to serve his friend,
  Was pleased a gay fair lady to commend;      670
  Was pleased t’ invite the happy man to dine,
  And introduced the subject o’er their wine;
  Was pleased the lady his good friend should know,
  And as a secret his regard would show.
    “A modest man lacks courage; but, thus train’d,
  Your Uncle sought her favour and obtain’d.
  To me he spake, enraptured with her face,
  Her angel smile, her unaffected grace;
  Her fortune small indeed; but, ‘curse the pelf,
  She is a glorious fortune in herself!’      680
  ‘John!’ answer’d I, ‘friend John, to be sincere,
  These are fine things, but may be bought too dear.
  You are no stripling, and, it must be said,
  Have not the form that charms a youthful maid.
  What you possess, and what you leave behind,
  When you depart, may captivate her mind;
  And I suspect she will rejoice at heart,
  Your will once made, if you should soon depart.’
    “Long our debate, and much we disagreed;
  ‘You need no wife,’ I said—said he, ‘I need;      690
  I want a house, I want in all I see
  To take an interest; what is mine to me?’
  So spake the man, who to his word was just,
  And took the words of others upon trust.
  He could not think that friend in power so high,
  So much esteem’d, could like a villain lie;
  Nor, till the knot, the fatal knot, was tied,
  Had urged his wedding a dishonour’d bride.
  The man he challenged, for his heart was rent
  With rage and grief, and was to prison sent;      700
  For men in power—and this, alas! was one—
  Revenge on all the wrongs themselves have done;
  And he whose spirit bends not to the blow      }
  The tyrants strike shall no forgiveness know;      }
  For ’tis to slaves alone that tyrants favour show.      }
    “This cost him much; but that he did not heed;
  The lady died, and my poor friend was freed.
  ‘Enough of ladies!’ then said he, and smiled;
  ‘I’ve now no longings for a neighbour’s child.’
  So patient he return’d, and not in vain,      710
  To his late duties, and grew rich again.
  He was no miser; but the man who takes
  Care to be rich will love the gain he makes;
  Pursuing wealth, he soon forgot his woes;
  No acts of his were bars to his repose.
    “Now John was rich, and, old and weary grown,
  Talk’d of the country that he calls his own—
  And talk’d to me; for now, in fact, began
  My better knowledge of the real man.
  Though long estranged, he felt a strong desire,      720
  That made him for his former friends enquire;
  What Dysons yet remain’d, he long’d to know,
  And doubtless meant some proofs of love to show.
  His purpose known, our native land I sought,
  And with the wishes of my Friend am fraught.”
    Fix’d were all eyes, suspense each bosom shook,
  And expectation hung on every look.
    “‘Go to my kindred, seek them all around,
  Find all you can, and tell me all that’s found;
  Seek them if prosperous, seek them in distress,      730
  Hear what they need, know what they all possess;
  What minds, what hearts they have, how good they are,
  How far from goodness—speak, and no one spare,
  And no one slander: let me clearly see
  What is in them, and what remains for me.’
    “Such is my charge, and haply I shall send
  Tidings of joy and comfort to my Friend.
  Oft would he say, ‘If of our race survive
  Some two or three, to keep the name alive—
  I will not ask if rich or great they be,      740
  But if they live in love, like you and me.’
    “’Twas not my purpose yet awhile to speak
  As I have spoken; but why further seek?
  All that I heard I in my heart approve;
  You are indeed a Family of Love;
  And my old friend were happy in the sight
  Of those of whom I shall such tidings write.”
    The Captain wrote not: he perhaps was slow;
  Perhaps he wish’d a little more to know.
  He wrote not yet; and, while he thus delay’d,      750
  Frances alone an early visit paid.
  The maiden Lady braved the morning cold,
  To tell her Friend what duty bade be told,
  Yet not abruptly—she has first to say,
  “How cold the morning, but how fine the day!—
  I fear you slept but ill, we kept you long,
  You made us all so happy, but ’twas wrong—
  So entertain’d, no wonder we forgot
  How the time pass’d; I fear me you did not.”
    In this fair way the Lady seldom fail’d      760
  To steer her course, still sounding as she sail’d.
    “Dear Captain Elliot, how your Friends you read!
  We are a loving Family indeed;
  Left in the world each other’s aid to be,
  And join to raise a fallen family.
  Oh! little thought we there was one so near,
  And one so distant, to us all so dear—
  All, all alike; he cannot know, dear man!
  Who needs him most, as one among us can:
  One who can all our wants distinctly view,      770
  And tell him fairly what were just to do.
  But you, dear Captain Elliot, as his friend,
  As ours, no doubt, will your assistance lend.
  Not for the world would I my Brothers blame;
  Good men they are: ’twas not for that I came.
  No! did they guess what shifts I make, the grief
  That I sustain, they’d fly to my relief;
  But I am proud as poor; I cannot plead
  My cause with them, nor show how much I need.
  But to my Uncle’s Friend it is no shame,      780
  Nor have I fear, to seem the thing I am;
  My humble pittance life’s mere need supplies,
  But all indulgence, all beyond denies.
  I aid no pauper, I myself am poor;
  I cannot help the beggar at my door;
  I from my scanty table send no meat;
  Cook’d and recook’d is every joint I eat.
  At Church a sermon begs our help—I stop
  And drop a tear; nought else have I to drop;
  But pass the out-stretch’d plate with sorrow by,      790
  And my sad heart this kind relief deny.
  My dress—I strive with all my maiden skill
  To make it pass, but ’tis disgraceful still;
  Yet from all others I my wants conceal—
  Oh! Captain Elliot, there are few that feel!
  But did that rich and worthy Uncle know      }
  What you, dear Sir, will in your kindness show,      }
  He would his friendly aid with generous hand bestow.      }
    “Good men my Brothers both, and both are raised
  Far above want—the Power that gave be praised!      800
  My Sister’s jointure, if not ample, gives
  All she can need, who as a lady lives;
  But I, unaided, may through all my years
  Endure these ills—forgive these foolish tears.
    “Once, my dear Sir—I then was young and gay,
  And men would talk—but I have had my day:
  Now all I wish is so to live, that men
  May not despise me whom they flatter’d then.
  If you, kind Sir——
                    Thus far the Captain heard,
  Nor save by sign or look had interfered;      810
  But now he spoke; to all she said agreed,
  And she conceived it useless to proceed.
  Something he promised, and the Lady went
  Half-pleased away, yet wondering what he meant;
  Polite he was and kind, but she could trace
  A smile, or something like it, in his face;
  ’Twas not a look that gave her joy or pain—
  She tried to read it, but she tried in vain.
    Then call’d the Doctor—’twas his usual way—
  To ask “How fares my worthy friend to-day?”      820
  To feel his pulse, and as a friend to give
  Unfee’d advice, how such a man should live;
  And thus, digressing, he could soon contrive,
  At his own purpose smoothly to arrive.
    “My Brother? yes, he lives without a care,
  And, though he needs not, yet he loves to spare.
  James I respect; and yet it must be told,
  His speech is friendly, but his heart is cold.
  His smile assumed has not the real glow
  Of love!—a sunbeam shining on the snow.      830
  Children he has; but are they causes why
  He should our pleas resist, our claims deny?
  Our father left the means by which he thrives,
  While we are labouring to support our lives—
  _We_, need I say? my widow’d Sister lives
  On a large jointure; nay, she largely gives;—
  And Fanny sighs—for gold does Fanny sigh?
  Or wants she that which money cannot buy—
  Youth and young hopes?—Ah! could my kindred share
  The liberal mind’s distress, and daily care,      840
  The painful toil to gain the petty fee—
  They’d bless their stars, and join to pity me.
  Hard is his fate, who would, with eager joy,
  To save mankind, his every power employ;
  Yet in his walk unnumber’d insults meets
  And gains ‘mid scorn the food that chokes him as he eats.
    “Oh, Captain Elliot! you who know mankind,
  With all the anguish of the feeling mind,
  Bear to our kind relation these the woes
  That e’en to you ’tis misery to disclose.      850
  You can describe what I but faintly trace—
  A man of learning cannot bear disgrace;
  Refinement sharpens woes that wants create,
  And ’tis fresh grief such grievous things to state;
  Yet those so near me let me not reprove—
  I love them well, and they deserve my love;
  But want they know not—Oh! that I could say
  I am in this as ignorant as they.”
    The Doctor thus.—The Captain grave and kind,      }
  To the sad tale with serious looks inclined,      860}
  And promise made to keep th’ important speech in mind.      }
    James and the Widow, how is yet unknown,
  Heard of these visits, and would make their own.
  All was not fair, they judged, and both agreed
  To their good Friend together to proceed.
  Forth then they went to see him, and persuade—
  As warm a pair as ever Anger made.
  The Widow lady must the speaker be:
  So James agreed; for words at will had she;
  And then her Brother, if she needed proof,      870
  Should add, “’Tis truth;”—it was for him enough.
    “Oh, sir! it grieves me”—for we need not dwell
  On introduction: all was kind and well—
  Oh, sir! it grieves, it shocks us both to hear      }
  What has, with selfish purpose, gain’d your ear—      }
  Our very flesh and blood, and, as you know, how dear.      }
  Doubtless they came your noble mind t’ impress
  With strange descriptions of their own distress;
  But I would to the Doctor’s face declare,      }
  That he has more to spend and more to spare,      880}
  With all his craft, than we with all our care.      }
    “And for our Sister, all she has she spends
  Upon herself; herself alone befriends.
  She has the portion that our father left,
  While me of mine a careless wretch bereft,
  Save a small part; yet I could joyful live,
  Had I my mite—the widow’s mite—to give.
  For this she cares not; Frances does not know
  Their heartfelt joy who largely can bestow.
  You, Captain Elliot, feel the pure delight,      890
  That our kind acts in tender hearts excite,
  When to the poor we can our alms extend,
  And make the Father of all Good our friend;
  And, I repeat, I could with pleasure live,
  Had I my mite—the widow’s mite—to give.
    “We speak not thus, dear Sir, with vile intent,
  Our nearest friends to wrong or circumvent;
  But that our Uncle, worthy man! should know
  How best his wealth, Heaven’s blessing, to bestow:
  What widows need, and chiefly those who feel      900
  For all the sufferings which they cannot heal;
  And men in trade, with numbers in their pay,
  Who must be ready for the reckoning-day,
  Or gain or lose!”—
                —“Thank Heaven,” said James, “as yet
  I’ve not been troubled by a dun or debt.”
  —The Widow sigh’d, convinced that men so weak
  Will ever hurt the cause for which they speak;
  However tempted to deceive, still they
  Are ever blundering to the broad high-way
  Of very truth.—But Martha pass’d it by      910
  With a slight frown, and half-distinguish’d sigh.—
    “Say to our Uncle, sir, how much I long
  To see him sit his kindred race among;
  To hear his brave exploits, to nurse his age,
  And cheer him in his evening’s pilgrimage.
  How were I blest to guide him in the way
  Where the religious poor in secret pray;
  To be the humble means by which his heart
  And liberal hand might peace and joy impart!
  But now, farewell!”—and slowly, softly fell      920
  The tender accents as she said “farewell!”
    The Merchant stretch’d his hand, his leave to take,
  And gave the Captain’s a familiar shake;
  Yet seem’d to doubt if this was not too free;
  But, gaining courage, said, “Remember me.”
    Some days elaps’d; the Captain did not write,
  But still was pleased the party to invite;
  And, as he walk’d, his custom every day,
  A tall pale stripling met him on his way,
  Who made some efforts, but they proved too weak,      930
  And only show’d he was inclined to speak.
  “What would’st thou, lad?” the Captain ask’d, and gave
  The youth a power his purposed boon to crave,
  Yet not in terms direct—“My name,” quoth he,
  “Is Thomas Bethel; you have heard of me”—
  “Not good nor evil, Thomas—had I need
  Of so much knowledge;—but pray now proceed.”—
    “Dyson’s my mother’s name; but I have not
  That interest with you, and the worse my lot.
  I serve my Uncle James, and run and write,      940
  And watch and work from morning until night;
  Confined among the looms, and webs, and wheels,
  You cannot think how like a slave one feels.
  ’Tis said you have a ship at your command—
  An’ please you, sir, I’m weary of the land,
  And I have read of foreign parts such things
  As make me sick of Uncle’s wheels and springs.”
    “But, Thomas, why to sea? you look too slim
  For that rough work—and, Thomas, can you swim?”
  That he could not, but still he scorn’d a lie,      950
  And boldly answer’d, “No, but I can try.”—
  “Well, my good lad, but tell me, can you read?”
  Now, with some pride he answer’d, “Yes, indeed!
  I construe Virgil, and our usher said,
  I might have been in Homer had I staid;
  And he was sorry when I came away,
  And so was I, but Uncle would not pay;
  He told the master I had read enough,
  And Greek was all unprofitable stuff;
  So all my learning now is thrown away,      960
  And I’ve no time for study or for play;
  I’m ordered here and there, above, below,
  And call’d a dunce for what I cannot know;
  Oh, that I were but from this bondage free!
  Do, please your honour, let me go to sea.”—
    “But why to sea? they want no Latin there;
  Hard is their work, and very hard their fare.”
    “But then,” said Thomas, “if on land, I doubt
  My Uncle Dyson soon would find me out;
  And, though he tells me what I yearly cost,      970
  ’Tis my belief he’d miss me were I lost.
  For he has said, that I can act as well
  As he himself—but this you must not tell.”—
    “Tell, Thomas! no, I scorn the base design,
  Give me your hand, I pledge my word with mine;
  And, if I cannot do thee good, my friend,
  Thou may’st at least upon that word depend.
  And hark ye, lad, thy worthy name retain
  To the last hour, or I shall help in vain;
  And then the more severe and hard thy part,      980
  Thine the more praise, and thine the happier art.
  We meet again—farewell!”—and Thomas went
  Forth to his tasks, half angry, half content.
    “I never ask’d for help,” thought he, “but twice,
  And all they then would give me was advice;
  My Uncle Doctor, when I begg’d his aid,
  Bade me work on, and never be afraid,
  But still be good; and I’ve been good so long,
  I’m half persuaded that they tell me wrong.
  And now this Captain still repeats the same;      990
  But who can live upon a virtuous name,
  Starving and praised?—‘have patience—patience still!’
  He said, and smiled; and, if I can, I will.”
    So Thomas rested with a mind intent
  On what the Captain by his kindness meant.
    Again the invited party all attend,
  These dear relations, on this generous Friend.
  They ate, they drank, each striving to appear
  Fond, frank, forgiving—above all, sincere.
  Such kindred souls could not admit disguise,      1000
  Or envious fears, or painful jealousies;
  So each declared, and all in turn replied,
  “’Tis just indeed, and cannot be denied.”
    Now various subjects rose—the country’s cause,
  The war, the allies, the lottery, and the laws.
  The widow’d Sister then advantage took
  Of a short pause, and, smiling softly, spoke:
  She judged what subject would his mind excite—
  “Tell us, dear Captain, of that bloody fight,
  When our brave Uncle, bleeding at his gun,      1010
  Gave a loud shout to see the Frenchmen run.”
    “Another day”—replied the modest host;
  “One cannot always of one’s battles boast.
  Look not surprise—behold the man in me!
  Another Uncle shall you never see.
  No other Dyson to this place shall come;
  Here end my travels, here I place my home;
  Here to repose my shatter’d frame I mean,
  Until the last long journey close the scene.”
    The Ladies softly brush’d the tear away;      1020
  James look’d surprise, but knew not what to say;
  But Doctor Dyson lifted up his voice,
  And said, “Dear Uncle, how we all rejoice!”
    “No question, Friends! and I your joy approve,
  We are, you know, a Family of Love.”
    So said the wary Uncle, but the while      }
  Wore on his face a questionable smile,      }
  That vanish’d, as he spake in grave and solemn style—      }
    “Friends and relations! let us henceforth seem
  Just as we are, nor of our virtues dream,      1030
  That with our waking vanish.—What we are
  Full well we know—t’ improve it be our care.
  Forgive the trial I have made: ’tis one
  That has no more than I expected done.
  If as frail mortals you, my Friends, appear,
  I look’d for no angelic beings here,
  For none that riches spurn’d as idle pelf,
  Or served another as he served himself.
  Deceived no longer, let us all forgive;
  I’m old, but yet a tedious time may live.      1040
  This dark complexion India’s suns bestow,
  These shrivell’d looks to years of care I owe;
  But no disease ensures my early doom—
  And I may live—forgive me—years to come.
  But, while I live, there may some good be done,
  Perchance to many, but at least to One.”—
    Here he arose, retired, return’d, and brought
  The Orphan boy, whom he had train’d and taught
  For this his purpose; and the happy boy,
  Though bade to hide, could ill suppress, his joy.—      1050
    “This young relation, with your leave, I take,
  That he his progress in the world may make—
  Not in my house a slave or spy to be,
  And first to flatter, then to govern me;—
  He shall not nurse me when my senses sleep,
  Nor shall the key of all my secrets keep,
  And be so useful that a dread to part
  Shall make him master of my easy heart;—
  But to be placed where merit may be proved,
  And all that now impedes his way removed.      1060
    “And now no more on these affairs I dwell;      }
  What I possess that I alone can tell,      }
  And to that subject we will bid farewell.      }
  As go I must, when Heaven is pleased to call,
  What I shall leave will seem or large or small,
  As you shall view it. When this pulse is still,
  You may behold my wealth, and read my will.
    “And now, as Captain Elliot much has known,
  That to your Uncle never had been shown,
  From him one word of honest counsel hear—      1070
  _And think it always gain to be sincere_.”


                               TALE III.

                         _THE EQUAL MARRIAGE._

  There are gay nymphs whom serious matrons blame,
  And men adventurous treat as lawful game—
  Misses, who strive, with deep and practised arts,
  To gain and torture inexperienced hearts.
  The hearts entangled they in pride retain,
  And at their pleasure make them feel their chain;
  For this they learn to manage air and face,
  To look a virtue, and to act a grace,
  To be whatever men with warmth pursue—      }
  Chaste, gay, retiring, tender, timid, true,      10}
  To-day approaching near, to-morrow just in view.      }
    Maria Glossip was a thing like this—
  A much observing, much experienced Miss;
  Who on a stranger-youth would first decide
  Th’ important question—“Shall I be his bride?”
  But, if unworthy of a lot so bless’d,
  ’Twas something yet to rob the man of rest;
  The heart, when stricken, she with hope could feed,
  Could court pursuit, and, when pursued, recede.
  Hearts she had won, and with delusion fed,      20
  With doubt bewilder’d, and with hope misled;
  Mothers and rivals she had made afraid,
  And wrung the breast of many a jealous maid;
  Friendship, the snare of lovers, she profess’d,
  And turn’d the heart’s best feelings to a jest.
    Yet seem’d the Nymph as gentle as a dove,
  Like one all guiltless of the game of love—
  Whose guileless innocence might well be gay;      }
  Who had no selfish secrets to betray;      }
  Sure, if she play’d, she knew not how to play.      30}
  Oh! she had looks so placid and demure,
  Not Eve, ere fallen, seem’d more meek or pure;
  And yet the Tempter of the falling Eve
  Could not with deeper subtilty deceive.
    A Sailor’s heart the Lady’s kindness moved,
  And winning looks, to say how well he loved;
  Then left her hopeful for the stormy main,
  Assured of love when he return’d again.
  Alas! the gay Lieutenant reach’d the shore,
  To be rejected, and was gay no more;      40
  Wine and strong drink the bosom’s pain suppress’d,
  Till Death procured, what Love denied him—rest.
  But men of more experience learn to treat
  These fair enslavers with their own deceit.
    Finch was a younger brother’s youngest son,
  Who pleased an Uncle with his song and gun;
  Who call’d him ‘Bob,’ and ‘Captain,’ by that name
  Anticipating future rank and fame;
  Not but there was for this some fair pretence—
  He was a cornet in the Home Defence.      50
  The Youth was ever drest in dapper style,
  Wore spotless linen, and a ceaseless smile;
  His step was measured, and his air was nice—
  They bought him high, who had him at the price
  That his own judgment and becoming pride,
  And all the merit he assumed, implied.
  A life he loved of liberty and ease,
  And all his pleasant labour was to please;
  Not call’d at present hostile men to slay,
  He made the hearts of gentle dames his prey.      60
    Hence tales arose, and one of sad report:
  A fond, fair girl became his folly’s sport—
  A cottage lass, who “knew the youth would prove
  For ever true, and give her love for love;
  Sure when he could, and that would soon be known,
  He would be proud to show her as his own.”
    But still she felt the village damsels’ sneer,
  And her sad soul was fill’d with secret fear;
  His love excepted, earth was all a void,
  And he, the excepted man, her peace destroy’d.      70
  When the poor Jane was buried, we could hear
  The threat of rustics whisper’d round her bier.
    Stories like this were told, but yet, in time
  Fair ladies lost their horror at the crime.
  They knew that cottage girls were forward things,
  Who never heed a nettle till it stings;
  Then, too, the Captain had his fault confess’d,
  And scorn’d to turn a murder to a jest.
    Away with murder!—This accomplish’d swain
  Beheld Maria, and confess’d her reign—      80
  She came, invited by the rector’s wife,
  Who “never saw such sweetness in her life.”
  Now, as the rector was the Uncle’s friend,
  It pleased the Nephew there his steps to bend,
  Where the fair damsel then her visit paid,
  And seem’d an unassuming rustic maid.
  A face so fair, a look so meek, he found
  Had pierced that heart no other nymph could wound.
    “Oh, sweet Maria”—so began the Youth
  His meditations—“thine the simple truth!      90
  Thou hast no wicked wisdom of thy sex,
  No wish to gain a subject-heart—then vex.
  That heavenly bosom no proud passion swells;
  No serpent’s wisdom with thy meekness dwells.
  Oh! could I bind thee to my heart, and live
  In love with thee, on what our fortunes give!
  Far from the busy world, in some dear spot,
  Where Love reigns king, we’d find some peaceful cot.
  To wed, indeed, no prudent man would choose;
  But such a maid will lighter bonds refuse!”      100
    And was this youth a rake?—In very truth;
  Yet, feeling love, he felt it as a youth;
  If he had vices, they were laid aside;
  He quite forgot the simple girl who died;
  With dear Maria he in peace would live,
  And what had pass’d—Maria would forgive.
    The fair Coquette at first was pleased to find
  A swain so knowing had become so blind;
  And she determined, with her utmost skill,
  To bind the rebel to her sovereign will.      110
  She heard the story of the old deceit,
  And now resolved he should with justice meet;—
  “Soon as she saw him on her hook secure,
  He should the pangs of perjured man endure.”
    These her first thoughts—but as, from time to time,
  The Lover came, she dwelt not on his crime—
  “Crime could she call it? prudes, indeed, condemn
  These slips of youth—but she was not of them.”
  So gentler thoughts arose as, day by day,
  The Captain came his passion to display.      120
  When he display’d his passion, and she felt,
  Not without fear, her heart begin to melt—
  Joy came with terror at a state so new;
  Glad of his truth; if he indeed were true!
    This she decided as the heart decides,
  Resolved to be the happiest of brides.
  “Not great my fortune—hence,” said she, “’tis plain,
  Me, and not mine, dear Youth! he hopes to gain;
  Nor has he much; but, as he sweetly talks,
  We from our cot shall have delightful walks,      130
  Love, lord within it! I shall smile to see
  My little cherubs on the father’s knee.”
  Then sigh’d the nymph, and in her fancied lot,
  She all the mischiefs of the past forgot.
    Such were their tender meditations; thus
  Would they the visions of the day discuss:
  Each, too, the old sad habits would no more
  Indulge; both dare be virtuous and be poor.
    They both had past the year when law allows
  Free-will to lover who would fain be spouse:      140
  Yet the good youth his Uncle’s sanction sought—
  “Marry her, Bob! and are you really caught?
  Then you’ve exchanged, I warrant, heart for heart—
  ’Tis well! I meant to warn her of your art;
  This Parson’s Babe has made you quite a fool—
  But are you sure your ardour will not cool?
  Have you not habits, Boy? but take your chance!
  How will you live? I cannot much advance.
  But hear you not what through the village flies
  That this your dove is famed for her disguise?      150
  Yet, say they not, she leads a gayish life?
  Art sure she’ll show the virtues of a wife?”—
    “Oh, Sir, she’s all that mortal man can love!”—
  “Then marry, Bob! and that the fact will prove—
  Yet, in a kind of lightness, folk agree.”—      }
  “Lightness in her! indeed, it cannot be—      }
  ’Tis Innocence alone that makes her manners free.”—      }
    “Well, my good friend! then Innocence alone
  Is to a something like Flirtation prone;
  And I advise—but let me not offend—      160
  That Prudence should on Innocence attend,
  Lest some her sportive purity mistake,
  And term your angel more than half a rake.”
    The Nymph, now sure, could not entirely curb
  The native wish her lover to disturb.
  Oft he observed her, and could ill endure
  The gentle coquetry of maid so pure:
  Men he beheld press round her, and the Fair
  Caught every sigh, and smiled at every prayer;
  And grieved he was with jealous pains to see      170
  The effects of all her wit and pleasantry.
    “Yet why alarm’d?”—he said; “with so much sense,
  She has no freedom, dashing, or pretence:
  ’Tis her gay mind, and I should feel a pride
  In her chaste levities”—he said, and sigh’d.
  Yet, when apart from company, he chose
  To talk a little of his bosom’s woes—
  But one sweet smile, and one soft speech, suppress’d
  All pain, and set his feeling heart at rest.
  Nay, in return, she felt, or feign’d, a fear:      180
  “He was too lively to be quite sincere—
  She knew a certain lady, and could name      }
  A certain time”—So, even was the blame,      }
  And thus the loving pair more deep in love became.      }
    They married soon—for why delay the thing      }
  That such amazing happiness would bring?—      }
  Now of that blissful state, O Muse of Hymen! sing.      }
    Love dies all kinds of death: in some so quick
  It comes—he is not previously sick;
  But ere the sun has on the couple shed      190
  The morning rays, the smile of Love is fled.
    And what the cause? for Love should not expire,
  And none the reason of such fate require.
  Both had a mask, that with such pains they wore;
  Each took it off when it avail’d no more.
  They had no feeling of each other’s pain;
  To wear it longer had been crime in vain.
    As in some pleasant eve we view the scene,
  Though cool yet calm, if joyless yet serene—
  Who has not felt a quiet still delight      200
  In the clear, silent, love-befriending night?
  The moon so sweetly bright, so softly fair,
  That all but happy lovers would be there—
  Thinking there must be in her still domain
  Something that soothes the sting of mortal pain;
  While earth itself is dress’d in light so clear,
  That they might rest contented to be here!
    Such is the night; but, when the morn awakes,
  The storm arises, and the forest shakes;
  This mighty change the grieving travellers find,      210
  The freezing snows fast drifting in the wind;
  Firs deeply laden shake the snowy top,
  Streams slowly freezing, fretting till they stop;
  And void of stars the angry clouds look down
  On the cold earth, exchanging frown with frown.
    Such seem’d, at first, the cottage of our pair—
  Fix’d in their fondness, in their prospects fair;
  Youth, health, affection, all that life supplies,
  Bright as the stars that gild the cloudless skies—
  Were theirs—or seem’d to be; but soon the scene      220
  Was black as if its light had never been.
  Weary full soon, and restless then, they grew;      }
  Then off the painful mask of prudence threw;      }
  For Time has told them all, and taught them what to rue.      }
  They long again to tread the former round
  Of dissipation—“Why should he be bound,
  While his sweet inmate of the cottage sighs
  For adulation, rout, and rhapsodies?
  Not Love himself, did love exist, could lead
  A heart like hers, that flutter’d to be freed.”      230
    But Love, or what seem’d like him, quickly died;
  Nor Prudence, nor Esteem, his place supplied.
  Disguise thrown off, each reads the other’s heart,
  And feels with horror that they cannot part.
    Still they can speak—and ’tis some comfort still,
  That each can vex the other when they will:
  Words half in jest to words in earnest led,      }
  And these the earnest angry passions fed,      }
  Till all was fierce reproach, and peace for ever fled.      }
    “And so you own it! own it to my face,      240
  Your love is vanish’d—infamous and base!”—
    “Madam, I loved you truly, while I deem’d
  You were the truthful being that you seem’d;
  But, when I see your native temper rise
  Above control, and break through all disguise,
  Casting it off, as serpents do their skin,      }
  And showing all the folds of vice within—      }
  What see I then to love? was I in love with Sin?”—      }
    “So may I think, and you may feel it too;
  A loving couple, Sir, were Sin and you!      250
  Whence all this anger? is it that you find
  You cannot always make a woman blind?
  You talk of falsehood and disguise—talk on!
  But all my trust and confidence are gone;
  Remember you, with what a serious air
  You talk’d of love, as if you were at prayer?
  You spoke of home-born comforts, quiet, ease,
  And the pure pleasure, that must always please,
  With an assumed and sentimental air,
  Smiting your breast, and acting like a player.      260
  Then your life’s comfort! and your holy joys!
  Holy, forsooth! and your sweet girls and boys,
  How you would train them!—All this farce review,
  And then, Sir, talk of being just and true!”—
    “Madam! your sex expects that ours should lie.
  The simple creatures know it, and comply—
  You hate the truth; there’s nothing you despise
  Like a plain man, who spurns your vanities.
  Are you not early taught your prey to catch?
  When your mammas pronounce—‘A proper match!’      270
  What said your own?—‘Do, daughter! curb your tongue,
  And you may win him, for the man is young;
  But if he views you as ourselves, good-by
  To speculation!—He will never try.’
    “Then is the mask assumed, and then you bait
  Your hook with kindness! and as anglers wait,
  Now here, now there, with keen and eager glance,
  Marking your victims as the shoals advance;
  When, if the gaping wretch should make a snap,
  You jerk him up, and have him in your trap:      280
  Who gasping, panting, in your presence lies,
  And you exulting view the imprison’d prize.
    “Such are your arts! while he did but intend
  In harmless play an idle hour to spend,
  Lightly to talk of love! your fix’d intent      }
  Is on to lure him, where he never meant      }
  To go, but, going, must his speed repent.      }
  If he of Cupid speaks, you watch your man,
  And make a change for Hymen, if you can;
  Thus he, ingenuous, easy, fond, and weak,      290
  Speaks the rash words he has been led to speak;
  Puts the dire question that he meant to shun,
  And by a moment’s frenzy is undone.”—
    “Well!” said the Wife, “admit this nonsense true—
  A mighty prize she gains in catching you!
  For my part, Sir, I most sincerely wish
  My landing-net had miss’d my precious fish!”—
    “Would that it had! or I had wisely lent
  An ear to those who said I should repent.”—
    “Hold, Sir! at least my reputation spare,      300
  And add another falsehood if you dare.”—
    “Your reputation, Madam!—rest secure:
  That will all scandal and reproach endure,
  And be the same in worth; it is like him
  Who floats, but finds he cannot sink or swim;
  Half raised above the storm, half sunk below,
  It just exists, and that is all we know.
  Such the good name that you so much regard,
  And yet to keep afloat find somewhat hard.
  Nay, no reply! in future I decline      310
  Dispute, and take my way.”—
                        “And I, Sir, mine.”
    Oh! happy, happy, happy pair! both sought,
  Both seeking—catching both [—], and caught!


                                TALE IV.

                               _RACHEL._

  It chanced we walk’d upon the heath, and met
  A wandering woman; her thin clothing wet
  With morning fog; the little care she took
  Of things like these was written in her look.
  Not pain from pinching cold was in her face,
  But hurrying grief, that knows no resting place—
  Appearing ever as on business sent,
  The wandering victim of a fix’d intent;
  Yet in her fancied consequence and speed,
  Impell’d to beg assistance for her need.      10
    When she beheld my friend and me, with eye
  And pleading hand she sought our charity;
  More to engage our friendly thoughts the while,
  She threw upon her miseries a smile,
  That, like a varnish on a picture laid,
  More prominent and bold the figures made;
  Yet was there sign of joy that we complied,
  The moment’s wish indulged and gratified.
    “Where art thou wandering, Rachel? whither stray,
  From thy poor heath in such unwholesome day?”      20
  Ask’d my kind friend, who had familiar grown
  With Rachel’s grief, and oft compassion shown;
  Oft to her hovel had in winter sent
  The means of comfort—oft with comforts went.
  Him well she knew, and with requests pursued,
  Though too much lost and spent for gratitude.
    “Where art thou wandering, Rachel? let me hear?”—
  “The fleet! the fleet!” she answer’d, “will appear
  Within the bay, and I shall surely know
  The news to-night!—turn tide, and breezes blow!      30
  For if I lose my time, I must remain
  Till the next year before they come again!”
    “What can they tell thee, Rachel?”—
                                “Should I say,
  I must repent me to my dying day.
  Then I should lose the pension that they give;
  For who would trust their secrets to a sieve?
  I must be gone!”—And with her wild, but keen
  And crafty look, that would appear to mean,
  She hurried on; but turn’d again to say,
  “All will be known; they anchor in the bay;      40
  Adieu! be secret!—sailors have no home;
  Blow wind, turn tide!—Be sure the fleet will come.”
    Grown wilder still, the frantic creature strode
  With hurried feet upon the flinty road.
  On her departing form I gazed with pain—
  “And should you not,” I cried, “her ways restrain?
  What hopes the wild deluded wretch to meet?
  And means she aught by this expected fleet?
  Knows she her purpose? has she hope to see
  Some friend to aid her in her poverty?      50
  Why leave her thus bewilder’d to pursue
  The fancy’s good, that never comes in view?”—
    “Nay! she is harmless, and, if more confined,
  Would more distress in the coercion find.
  Save at the times when to the coast she flies,
  She rests, nor shows her mind’s obliquities;
  But ever talks she of the sea, and shows
  Her sympathy with every wind that blows.
  We think it, therefore, useless to restrain
  A creature of whose conduct none complain;      60
  Whose age and looks protect her—should they fail,
  Her craft and wild demeanour will prevail.
  A soldier once attack’d her on her way—
  She spared him not, but bade him kneel and pray—
  Praying herself aloud—th’ astonish’d man
  Was so confounded, that away he ran.
    “Her sailor left her, with, perhaps, intent
  To make her his—’tis doubtful what he meant:
  But he was captured, and the life he led
  Drove all such young engagements from his head.      70
  On him she ever thought, and none beside,
  Seeking her love, were favour’d or denied;
  On her dear David she had fix’d her view,
  And fancy judged him ever fond and true.
  Nay, young and handsome—Time could not destroy—
  No—he was still the same—her gallant boy!
  Labour had made her coarse, and her attire
  Show’d that she wanted no one to admire;
  None to commend her; but she could conceive
  The same of him, as when he took his leave,      80
  And gaily told what riches he would bring,
  And grace her hand with the symbolic ring.
    “With want and labour was her mind subdued;
  She lived in sorrow and in solitude.
  Religious neighbours, kindly calling, found
  Her thoughts unsettled, anxious, and unsound;
  Low, superstitious, querulous, and weak,
  She sought for rest, but knew not how to seek;
  And their instructions, though in kindness meant
  Were far from yielding the desired content.      90
  They hoped to give her notions of their own,
  And talk’d of ‘feelings’ she had never known;
  They ask’d of her ‘experience,’ and they bred
  In her weak mind a melancholy dread
  Of something wanting in her faith, of some—
  She knew not what—‘acceptance,’ that should come;
  And, as it came not, she was much afraid
  That she in vain had served her God and pray’d.
    “She thought her Lover dead. In prayer she named
  The erring Youth, and hoped he was reclaim’d.      100
  This she confess’d; and trembling, heard them say,
  ‘Her prayers were sinful—So the papists pray.
  Her David’s fate had been decided long,
  And prayers and wishes for his state were wrong.’
    “Had these her guides united love and skill,
  They might have ruled and rectified her will;
  But they perceived not the bewilder’d mind,
  And show’d her paths that she could never find.
  The weakness that was Nature’s, they reproved,
  And all its comforts from the Heart removed.      110
    “Ev’n in this state, she loved the winds that sweep
  O’er the wild heath, and curl the restless deep;
  A turf-built hut beneath a hill she chose,
  And oft at night in winter storms arose,
  Hearing, or dreaming, the distracted cry
  Of drowning seamen on the breakers by;
  For there were rocks, that when the tides were low
  Appear’d, and vanish’d when the waters flow;
  And there she stood, all patient to behold
  Some seaman’s body on the billows roll’d.      120
    “One calm, cold evening, when the moon was high,
  And rode sublime within the cloudless sky,
  She sat within her hut, nor seem’d to feel
  Or cold or want, but turn’d her idle wheel,
  And with sad song its melancholy tone
  Mix’d, all unconscious that she dwelt alone.
    “But none will harm her—Or who, willing can?
  She is too wretched to have fear of man—
  Not man! but something—if it should appear,
  That once was man—that something did she fear.      130
    “No causeless terror!—In that moon’s clear light
  It came, and seem’d a parley to invite;
  It was no hollow voice—no brushing by
  Of a strange being, who escapes the eye—
  No cold or thrilling touch, that will but last
  While we can think, and then for ever past.
  But this sad face—though not the same she knew,
  Enough the same to prove the vision true—
  Look’d full upon her!—starting in affright
  She fled, her wildness doubling at the sight;      140
  With shrieks of terror, and emotion strong,
  She pass’d it by, and madly rush’d along
  To the bare rocks—While David, who, that day,
  Had left his ship at anchor in the bay,
  Had seen his friends who yet survived, and heard
  Of her who loved him—and who thus appear’d—
  He tried to soothe her, but retired afraid
  T’ approach, and left her to return for aid.
    “None came! and Rachel in the morn was found      }
  Turning her wheel, without its spindles, round,      150}
  With household look of care, low singing to the sound.      }
    “Since that event, she is what you have seen;
  But time and habit make her more serene,
  The edge of anguish blunted—yet, it seems,
  Sea, ships, and sailors’ miseries are her dreams.”


                                TALE V.

                               _VILLARS._

  _Poet._ Know you the fate of Villars?—
                                _Friend._ What! the lad
  At school so fond of solitude, and sad;
  Who broke our bounds because he scorn’d a guide,
  And would walk lonely by the river’s side?—
    _P._ The same!—who rose at midnight to behold
  The moonbeams shedding their ethereal gold;
  Who held our sports and pleasures in disgrace,
  For Guy of Warwick, and old Chevy Chase.—
    _F._ Who sought for friendships, gave his generous heart
  To every boy who chose to act the part,      10
  Or judged he felt it—not aware that boys
  Have poor conceit of intellectual joys.
  Theirs is no season for superfluous friends,
  And none they need—but those whom Nature lends.—
    _P._ But he, too, loved?—
                          _F._ Oh, yes! his friend betray’d
  The tender passion for the angel-maid.
  Some child, whose features he at church had seen,
  Became his bosom’s and his fancy’s queen;
  Some favourite look was on his mind impress’d—
  His warm and fruitful fondness gave the rest.—      20
    _P._ He left his father?—
                        _F._ Yes! and rambled round
  The land on foot—I know not what he found.
  Early he came to his paternal land,
  And took the course he had in rambling plann’d.
  Ten years we lost him: he was then employ’d
  In the wild schemes that he, perhaps, enjoy’d.
  His mode of life, when he to manhood grew,
  Was all his own—its shape disclosed to few.
    Our grave, stern dames, who know the deeds of all,
  Say that some damsels owe to him their fall;      30
  And, though a Christian in his creed profess’d,
  He had some heathen notions in his breast.
  Yet we may doubt; for women, in his eyes,
  Were high and glorious, queens and deities;
  But he, perhaps, adorer and yet man,
  Transgress’d, yet worshipp’d. There are those who can.
    Near him a Widow’s mansion he survey’d—
  The lovely mother of a lovelier Maid;
  Not great their wealth, though they were proud to claim
  Alliance with a house of noblest name.      40
    Now, had I skill, I would right fain devise
  To bring the highborn spinster to your eyes.
  I could discourse of lip, and chin, and cheek;
  But you would see no picture as I speak.
  Such colours cannot—mix them as I may—
  Paint you this nymph—We’ll try a different way.
    First take Calista in her glowing charms,
  Ere yet she sank within Lothario’s arms—
  Endued with beauties ripe, and large desires,
  And all that feels delight, and that inspires.      50
  Add Cleopatra’s great, yet tender, soul,
  Her boundless pride, her fondness of control,
  Her daring spirit, and her wily art,
  That, though it tortures, yet commands the heart;
  Add woman’s anger for a lover’s slight,
  And the revenge, that insult will excite;
  Add looks for veils, that she at will could wear,
  As Juliet fond, as Imogen sincere—
  Like Portia grave, sententious, and design’d
  For high affairs, or gay as Rosalind—      60
  Catch, if you can, some notion of the dame,
  And let Matilda serve her for a name.
    Think next how Villars saw th’ enchanting maid,
  And how he loved, pursued, adored, obey’d—
  Obey’d in all, except the dire command,
  No more to dream of that bewitching hand.
  His love provoked her scorn, his wealth she spurn’d,
  And frowns for praise, contempt for prayer return’d;
  But, proud yet shrewd, the wily sex despise
  The would-be husband—yet the votary prize.      70
  As Roman conquerors, of their triumph vain,
  Saw humbled monarchs in their pompous train,
  Who, when no more they swell’d the show of pride,
  In secret sorrow’d, or in silence died:
  So, when our friend adored the Beauty’s shrine,
  She mark’d the act, and gave the nod divine;
  And strove with scatter’d smiles, yet scarcely strove,
  To keep the lover, while she scorn’d his love.
    These, and his hope, the doubtful man sustain’d;
  For who that loves believes himself disdain’d?—      80
  Each look, each motion, by his fondness read,
  Became Love’s food, and greater fondness bred;
  The pettiest favour was to him the sign,
  Of secret love, and said, “I’ll yet be thine!”
  One doleful year she held the captive swain,
  Who felt and cursed, and wore and bless’d, the chain;
  Who pass’d a thousand galling insults by,
  For one kind glance of that ambiguous eye.
    _P._ Well! time, perhaps, might to the coldest heart
  Some gentle thought of one so fond impart;      90
  And pride itself has often favour shown
  To what it governs, and can call its own.
    _F._ Thus were they placed, when to the village came
  That lordly stranger, whom I need not name;
  Known since too well, but then as rich and young,
  Untried his prowess, and his crimes unsung.
  Smooth was his speech, and show’d a gentle mind,      }
  Deaf to his praise, and to his merits blind,      }
  But raised by woman’s smile, and pleased with all mankind.      }
    At humble distance he this fair survey’d,      100
  Read her high temper, yet adored the Maid;
  Far off he gazed, as if afraid to meet,
  Or show the hope her anger would defeat.
  Awful his love, and kept a guarded way,
  Afraid to venture, till it finds it may.
  And soon it found! nor could the Lady’s pride
  Her triumph bury, or her pleasure hide.
    And jealous Love, that ever looks to spy
  The dreaded wandering of a lady’s eye,
  Perceived with anguish, that the prize long sought      110
  A sudden rival from his hopes had caught.
  Still Villars loved; at length, in strong despair,
  O’er-tortured passion thus preferr’d its prayer:—
  “Life of my life! at once my fate decree—
  I wait my death, or more than life, from thee.
  I have no arts, nor powers, thy soul to move,
  But doting constancy, and boundless love;
  This is my all: had I the world to give,
  Thine were its throne—now bid me die or live!”
    “Or die or live”—the gentle Lady cried—      120
  “As suits thee best; that point thyself decide!
  But, if to death thou hast thyself decreed,
  Then like a man perform the manly deed;
  The well-charged pistol to the ear apply,
  Make loud report, and like a hero die!
  Let rogues and rats on ropes and poison seize—
  Shame not thy friends by petty death like these;
  Sure we must grieve at what thou think’st to do,
  But spare us blushes for the manner too!”
    Then with inviting smiles she turn’d aside,      130
  Allay’d his anger, and consoled his pride.
    Oft had the fickle fair beheld with scorn
  The unhappy man bewilder’d and forlorn;
  Then with one softening glance of those bright eyes
  Restored his spirit, and dispersed his sighs.
  Oft had I seen him on the lea below,
  As feelings moved him, walking quick or slow:
  Now a glad thought, and now a doleful came,
  And he adored or cursed the changeful dame,
  Who was to him as cause is to effect—      140
  Poor tool of pride, perverseness, and neglect!
  Upon thy rival were her thoughts bestow’d;
  Ambitious love within her bosom glow’d;
  And oft she wish’d, and strong was her desire,
  The Lord could love her like the faithful Squire.
  But she was rivall’d in that noble breast—
  He loved her passing well, but not the best;
  For self reign’d there; but still he call’d her fair,
  And woo’d the Muse, his passion to declare.
  His verses all were flaming, all were fine,      150
  With sweetness, nay with sense, in every line—
  Not as Lord Byron would have done the thing,
  But better far than lords are used to sing.
  It pleased the Maid, and she, in very truth,
  Loved, in Calista’s love, the noble youth;
  Not, like sweet Juliet, with that pure delight,
  Fond and yet chaste, enraptur’d and yet right;
  Not like the tender Imogen, confined
  To one, but one! the true, the wedded mind;
  True, one preferr’d our sighing nymph as these,      160
  But thought not, like them, one alone could please.
    Time pass’d, nor yet the youthful peer proposed
  To end his suit, nor his had Villars closed;
  Fond hints the one, the other cruel, bore;
  That was more cautious, this was kind the more:
  Both for soft moments waited—that, to take
  Of these advantage; fairly, this, to make.
  These moments came—or so my Lord believed—
  He dropp’d his mask; and both were undeceived.
  She saw the vice that would no longer feign,      170
  And he an angry beauty’s pure disdain.
    Villars that night had in my ear confess’d,
  He thought himself her spaniel and her jest.
  He saw his rival of his goddess sure;
  “But then,” he cried, “her virtue is secure.
  Should he offend, I haply may obtain
  The high reward of vigilance and pain;
  Till then I take, and on my bended knee,
  Scraps from the banquet, gleanings of the tree.”
    Pitying, I smiled; for I had known the time      180
  Of Love insulted—constancy my crime.
  Not thus our friend: for him the morning shone
  In tenfold glory, as for him alone;
  He wept, expecting still reproof to meet,
  And all that was not cruel count as sweet.
  Back he return’d, all eagerness and joy;
  Proud as a prince, and restless as a boy.
  He sought to speak, but could not aptly find
  Words for his use, they enter’d not his mind;
  So full of bliss, that wonder and delight      190
  Seem’d in those happy moments to unite.
  He was like one who gains, but dreads to lose,
  A prize that seems to vanish as he views;
  And in his look was wildness and alarm—
  Like a sad conjuror, who forgets his charm
  And, when the demon at the call appears,
  Cannot command the spirit for his fears:
  So Villars seem’d by his own bliss perplex’d,
  And scarcely knowing what would happen next.
    But soon, a witness to their vows, I saw      200
  The maiden his, if not by love, by law;
  The bells proclaim’d it—merry call’d by those
  Who have no foresight of their neighbours’ woes.
  How proudly show’d the man his lovely bride,
  Demurely pacing, pondering, at his side!
  While all the loving maids around declared,
  That faith and constancy deserved reward!
  The baffled Lord retreated from the scene
  Of so much gladness, with a world of spleen;
  And left the wedded couple, to protest,      210}
  That he no fear, that she no love, possess’d;      }
  That all his vows were scorn’d, and all his hope a jest.      }
    Then fell the oaks, to let in light of day;
  Then rose the mansion that we now survey;
  Then all the world flock’d gaily to the scene
  Of so much splendour, and its splendid queen.
  But, whether all within the gentle breast
  Of him, of her, was happy or at rest;
  Whether no lonely sigh confess’d regret—
  Was then unknown, and is a secret yet;      220
  And we may think, in common duty bound,
  That no complaint is made where none is found.
    Then came the Rival to his villa down,
  Lost to the pleasures of the heartless town;
  Famous he grew, and he invited all
  Whom he had known to banquet at the Hall;
  Talk’d of his love, and said, with many a sigh,
  “’Tis death to lose her, and I wish to die.”
    Twice met the parties; but with cool disdain
  In her, in him with looks of awe and pain.      230
  Villars had pity, and conceived it hard
  That true regret should meet with no regard—
  “Smile, my Matilda! virtue should inflict
  No needless pain, nor be so sternly strict.”
    The Hall was furnish’d in superior style,
  And money wanted from our sister isle;
  The lady-mother to the husband sued—
  “Alas! that care should on our bliss intrude!
  You must to Ireland; our possessions there
  Require your presence, nay, demand your care.      240
  My pensive daughter begs with you to sail;
  But spare your wife, nor let the wish prevail!”
    He went, and found upon his Irish land
  Cases and griefs he could not understand.
  Some glimmering light at first his prospect cheer’d—
  Clear it was not, but would in time be clear’d;
  But, when his lawyers had their efforts made,
  No mind in man the darkness could pervade;
  ’Twas palpably obscure: week after week
  He sought for comfort, but was still to seek.      250
  At length, impatient to return, he strove
  No more with law, but gave the rein to love;
  And to his Lady and their native shore
  Vow’d to return, and thence to turn no more.
    While yet on Irish ground in trouble kept,
  The Husband’s terrors in his toils had slept;
  But he no sooner touch’d the British soil,
  Than jealous terrors took the place of toil—
  Where has she been? and how attended? Who
  Has watch’d her conduct, and will vouch her true?      260
  She sigh’d at parting; but methought her sighs
  Were more profound than would from nature rise;
  And, though she wept as never wife before,
  Yet were her eyelids neither swell’d nor sore.
  Her lady-mother has a good repute
  As watchful dragon of forbidden fruit;
  Yet dragons sleep, and mothers have been known
  To guard a daughter’s secret as their own;
  Nor can the absent in their travel see
  How a fond wife and mother may agree.      270
    “Suppose the lady is most virtuous!—then,
  What can she know of the deceits of men?
  Of all they plan she neither thinks nor cares,
  But keeps, good lady! at her books and prayers.
    “In all her letters there are love, respect,      }
  Esteem, regret, affection, all correct—      }
  Too much—she fears that I should see neglect;      }
  And there are fond expressions, but unlike
  The rest, as meant to be observed and strike;
  Like quoted words, they have the show of art,      280
  And come not freely from the gentle heart—
  Adopted words, and brought from memory’s store,
  When the chill faltering heart supplies no more:
  ’Tis so the hypocrite pretends to feel,
  And speaks the words of earnestness and zeal,
    “Hers was a sudden, though a sweet consent;
  May she not now as suddenly repent?
  My rival’s vices drove him from her door;
  But hates she vice as truly as before?
  How do I know, if he should plead again,      290
  That all her scorn and anger would remain?
    “Oh, words of folly!—is it thus I deem
  Of the chaste object of my fond esteem?
  Away with doubt! to jealousy adieu!
  I know her fondness, and believe her true.—
    “Yet why that haste to furnish every need,
  And send me forth with comfort, and with speed?
  Yes; for she dreaded that the winter’s rage
  And our frail hoy should on the seas engage.
    “But that vile girl! I saw a treacherous eye      300
  Glance on her mistress! so demure and sly,
  So forward too—and would Matilda’s pride
  Admit of that, if there was nought beside?”
    Such, as he told me, were the doubt, the dread,
  By jealous fears on observations fed.
    Home he proceeded: there remain’d to him
  But a few miles—the night was wet and dim;
  Thick, heavy dews descended on the ground,
  And all was sad and melancholy round.
    While thinking thus, an inn’s far gleaming fire      310
  Caused new emotions in the pensive Squire:
  Here I may learn, and seeming careless too,
  If all is well, ere I my way pursue.—
  How fare you, landlord?—how, my friend, are all—
  Have you not seen—my people at the Hall?
  Well, I may judge?——”
                    “Oh! yes, your Honour, well,
  As Joseph knows; and he was sent to tell.”—
  “How? sent?—I miss’d him—Joseph, do you say?
  Why sent, if well?—I miss’d him on the way.”
    There was a poacher on the chimney-seat,      320
  A gipsy, conjuror, smuggler, stroller, cheat.
  The Squire had fined him for a captured hare,
  Whipp’d and imprison’d—he had felt the fare,
  And he remember’d: “Will your Honour know
  How does my Lady? that myself can show.
  On Monday early—for your Honour sees
  The poor man must not slumber at his ease,
  Nor must he into woods and coverts lurk,
  Nor work alone, but must be seen to work:
  ’Tis not, your Honour knows, sufficient now      330
  For us to live, but we must prove it—how.
  Stay, please your Honour—I was early up,
  And forth without a morsel or a sup.
  There was my Lady’s carriage—Whew! it drove
  As if the horses had been spurr’d by Love.”
    “A poet, John!” said Villars—feebly said,
  Confused with fear, and humbled and dismay’d—
  “And where this carriage?—but, my heart! enough—
  Why do I listen to the villain’s stuff?—
  And where wert thou? and what the spur of thine      340
  That led thee forth?—we surely may divine!”
    “Hunger, your Honour! I and my poor wife
  Have now no other in our wane of life.
  Were Phœbe handsome, and were I a Squire,
  I might suspect her, and young Lords admire.”—
  What, rascal!——”—“Nay, your Honour, on my word,
  I should be jealous of that fine young Lord;
  Yet him my Lady in the carriage took,
  But innocent—I’d swear it on the book.”—
    “You villain, swear!”—for still he wish’d to stay,      350
  And hear what more the fellow had to say.—
  “‘Phœbe,’ said I, ‘a rogue that had a heart
  To do the deed would make his Honour smart.’—
  Says Phœbe, wisely, ‘Think you, would he go,
  If he were jealous, from my Lady?—No.’”
    This was too much! poor Villars left the inn,
  To end the grief that did but then begin.
  “With my Matilda in the coach!—what lies
  Will the vile rascal in his spleen devise?
  Yet this is true, that on some vile pretence      360
  Men may entrap the purest innocence.
  He saw my fears—alas! I am not free
  From every doubt—but, no! it cannot be!”
    Villars moved slow, moved quick, as check’d by fear
  Or urged by Love, and drew his mansion near.
  Light burst upon him, yet he fancied gloom,
  Nor came a twinkling from Matilda’s room.—
  What then? ’tis idle to expect that all
  Should be produced at jealous fancy’s call;
  How! the park-gate wide open! who would dare      370
  Do this, if her presiding glance were there?
  But yet, by chance—I know not what to think,
  For thought is hell, and I’m upon the brink!
  Not for a thousand worlds, ten thousand lives,
  Would I——Oh! what depends upon our wives!
  Pains, labours, terrors, all would I endure,
  Yes, all but this—and this, could I be sure——”
    Just then a light within the window shone,
  And show’d a lady, weeping and alone.
  His heart beat fondly—on another view,      380
  It beat more strongly, and in terror too—
  It was his Sister!—and there now appear’d
  A servant, creeping like a man that fear’d.
  He spoke with terror—“Sir, did Joseph tell?
  Have you not met him?”—
                          “Is your Lady well?”
  Well? Sir—your Honour——”
                          “Heaven and earth! what mean
  Your stupid questions? I have nothing seen,
  Nor heard, nor know, nor—Do, good Thomas, speak!
  Your mistress——”
                “Sir, has gone from home a week—
  My Lady, Sir, your sister”—— But, too late      390
  Was this—my Friend had yielded to his fate.
  He heard the truth, became serene and mild,
  Patient and still, as a corrected child;
  At once his spirit with his fortune fell
  To the last ebb, and whisper’d—‘It is well.’
    Such was his fall; and grievous the effect!      }
  From henceforth all things fell into neglect—      }
  The mind no more alert, the form no more erect.      }
    Villars long since, as he indulged his spleen
  By lonely travel on the coast, had seen      400
  A large old mansion suffer’d to decay
  In some law-strife, and slowly drop away.
  Dark elms around the constant herons bred;
  Those the marsh dykes, the neighbouring ocean, fed;
  Rocks near the coast no shipping would allow,
  And stubborn heath around forbad the plough;
  Dull must the scene have been in years of old,
  But now was wildly dismal to behold—
  One level sadness! marsh, and heath, and sea,
  And, save these high dark elms, nor plant nor tree.      410
    In this bleak ruin Villars found a room,
  Square, small, and lofty—seat of grief and gloom.
  A sloping skylight on the white wall threw,
  When the sun set, a melancholy hue;
  The Hall of Vathek has a room so bare,
  So small, so sad, so form’d to nourish care.
  “Here,” said the Traveller, “all so dark within,
  And dull without, a man might mourn for sin,
  Or punish sinners—here a wanton wife
  And vengeful husband might be cursed for life.”      420
    His mind was now in just that wretched state
  That deems Revenge our right, and crime our fate.
  All other views he banish’d from his soul,
  And let this tyrant vex him and control;
  Life he despised, and had that Lord defied,
  But that he long’d for Vengeance e’er he died.
  The law he spurn’d, the combat he declined,
  And to his purpose all his soul resign’d.
    Full fifteen months had pass’d, and we began
  To have some hope of the returning man;      430
  Now to his steward of his small affairs
  He wrote, and mention’d leases and repairs;
  But yet his soul was on its scheme intent,
  And but a moment to his interest lent.
    His faithless wife and her triumphant peer
  Despised his vengeance, and disdained to fear;
  In splendid lodgings near the town they dwelt,
  Nor fears from wrath, nor threats from conscience, felt.
    Long time our friend had watch’d, and much had paid
  For vulgar minds, who lent his vengeance aid.      440
  At length one evening, late returning home,
  Thoughtless and fearless of the ills to come,
  The Wife was seized, when void of all alarm
  And vainly trusting to a footman’s arm.
  Death in his hand, the Husband stood in view,
  Commanding silence, and obedience too;
  Forced to his carriage, sinking at his side,
  Madly he drove her—Vengeance was his guide.
    All in that ruin Villars had prepared,
  And meant her fate and sorrow to have shared;      450
  There he design’d they should for ever dwell,
  The weeping pair of a monastic cell.
    An ancient couple from their cottage went,
  Won by his pay, to this imprisonment;
  And all was order’d in his mind—the pain
  He must inflict, the shame she must sustain;
  But such his gentle spirit, such his love,
  The proof might fail of all he meant to prove.
    Features so dear had still maintain’d their sway,
  And looks so loved had taught him to obey;      460
  Rage and Revenge had yielded to the sight
  Of charms that waken wonder and delight;
  The harsher passions from the heart had flown,
  And LOVE regain’d his Subject and his Throne.



                        THE FAREWELL AND RETURN


[The next Tale, and a number of others, were originally designed for a
separate volume, to be entitled “The Farewell and Return.” In a letter
to Mrs. Leadbetter, written in 1823, the poet says—“In my ‘Farewell and
Return’ I suppose a young man to take leave of his native place, and to
exchange _farewells_ with his friends and acquaintance there—in short,
with as many characters as I have fancied I could manage. These, and
their several situations and prospects, being briefly sketched, an
interval is supposed to elapse; and our youth, a youth no more,
_returns_ to the scene of his early days. Twenty years have passed; and
the interest, if there be any, consists in the completion, more or less
unexpected, of the history of each person to whom he had originally
bidden farewell.”

The reader will find the Tales written on this plan divided each into
two or more sections, and will easily perceive where the _farewell_
terminates and the _return_ begins.]


                                TALE VI.

                       _THE FAREWELL AND RETURN._


                                   I.

  I am of age, and, now no more the Boy,
  Am ready Fortune’s favours to enjoy,
  Were they, too, ready; but, with grief I speak,
  Mine is the fortune that I yet must seek.
  And let me seek it; there’s the world around—
  And if not sought it never can be found.
  It will not come, if I the chase decline;
  Wishes and wants will never make it mine.
  Then let me shake these lingering fears away;
  What one day must be, let it be to-day;      10
  Lest courage fail ere I the search commence,
  And resolution pall upon suspense.
    Yet, while amid these well-known scenes I dwell,
  Let me to friends and neighbours bid Farewell.
    First to our men of wealth—these are but few—
  In duty bound I humbly bid adieu.
  This is not painful, for they know me not,
  Fortune in different states has placed our lot;
  It is not pleasant, for full well I know
  The lordly pity that the rich bestow—      20
  A proud contemptuous pity, by whose aid
  Their own triumphant virtues are display’d.—
  “Going, you say? and what intends the Lad?
  ‘To seek his fortune?’ ‘Fortune!’ is he mad?
  Has he the knowledge? is he duly taught?
  I think we know how Fortune should be sought.
  Perhaps he takes his chance to sink or swim;
  Perhaps he dreams of Fortune’s seeking him?
  Life is his lottery, and away he flies,
  Without a ticket to obtain his prize;      30
  But never man acquired a weighty sum,
  Without foreseeing whence it was to come.”
    Fortunes are made, if I the facts may state—
  Though poor myself, I know the fortunate—
  First, there’s a knowledge of the way from whence
  Good fortune comes—and that is sterling sense;
  Then perseverance, never to decline
  The chase of riches till the prey is thine;
  And firmness, never to be drawn away
  By any passion from that noble prey—      40
  By love, ambition, study, travel, fame,
  Or the vain hope that lives upon a name.

                  *       *       *       *       *

        The whistling Boy that holds the plough,
          Lured by the tale that soldiers tell,
        Resolves to part, yet knows not how
          To leave the land he loves so well.
        He now rejects the thought, and now
          Looks o’er the lea, and sighs “Farewell!”

        “Farewell!” the pensive Maiden cries,
          Who dreams of London, dreams awake—      50
        But, when her favourite Lad she spies,
          With whom she loved her way to take:
        Then Doubts within her soul arise,
          And equal Hopes her bosom shake!

        Thus, like the Boy, and like the Maid,
          I wish to go, yet tarry here;
        And, now resolved, and now afraid,
          To minds disturb’d old views appear
        In melancholy charms array’d,
          And, once indifferent, now are dear.      60
        How shall I go, my fate to learn—
        And, oh! how taught shall I return?


                                  II.

    Yes!—twenty years have pass’d, and I am come,
  Unknown, unwelcomed, to my early home;
  A stranger, striving in my walks to trace
  The youthful features in some aged face.
  On as I move, some curious looks I read;
  We pause a moment, doubt, and then proceed.
  They’re like what once I saw, but not the same;
  I lose the air, the features, and the name.      70
  Yet something seems like knowledge, but the change
  Confuses me, and all in him is strange.
  That bronzed old Sailor, with his wig awry—
  Sure he will know me! No, he passes by.
  They seem like me in doubt; but they can call
  Their friends around them—I am lost to all.
    The very place is alter’d. What I left
  Seems of its space and dignity bereft:
  The streets are narrow, and the buildings mean;
  Did I, or Fancy, leave them broad and clean?      80
  The ancient church, in which I felt a pride,
  As struck by magic, is but half as wide;
  The tower is shorter, the sonorous bell
  Tells not the hour as it was wont to tell;
  The market dwindles, every shop and stall
  Sinks in my view; there’s littleness in all.
  Mine is the error; prepossess’d I see;
  And all the change I mourn is change in me.
    One object only is the same; the sight
  Of the wide Ocean by the moon’s pale light,      90
  With her long ray of glory, that we mark
  On the wild waves when all beside is dark.
  This is the work of Nature, and the eye
  In vain the boundless prospect would descry:
  What mocks our view cannot contracted be;
  We cannot lessen what we cannot see.
    Would I could now a single Friend behold,
  Who would the yet mysterious facts unfold,
  That Time yet spares, and to a stranger show
  Th’ events he wishes, and yet fears to know!      100
    Much by myself I might in listening glean,
  Mix’d with the crowd, unmark’d if not unseen;
  Uninterrupted, I might ramble on,
  Nor cause an interest, nor a thought, in one.
  For who looks backward to a being tost
  About the world, forgotten long, and lost;
  For whom, departing, not a tear was shed,
  Who disappear’d, was missing, and was dead—
  Save that he left no grave, where some might pass,
  And ask each other who that being was!      110
    I, as a ghost invisible, can stray
  Among the crowd, and cannot lose my way;
  My ways are where the voice of man is known,
  Though no occasion offers for my own;
  My eager mind to fill with food I seek,
  And, like the ghost, await for one to speak.
    See I not One whom I before have seen?
  That face, though now untroubled and serene,
  That air, though steady now, that look, though tame,
  Pertain to one, whom, though I doubt to name,      120
  Yet was he not a dashing youth and wild,
  Proud as a man, and haughty when a child?
  Talents were his; he was in nature kind,
  With lofty, strong, and independent mind;
  His father wealthy, but, in very truth,
  He was a rash, untamed, expensive youth;
  And, as I now remember the report,
  Told how his father’s money he would sport.
  Yet in his dress and manner now appears
  No sign of faults that stain’d his earlier years;      130
  Mildness there seems, and marks of sober sense,
  That bear no token of that wild expense
  Such as to ruin leads!—I may mistake,
  Yet may, perchance, a useful friendship make.
  He looks as one whom I should not offend,
  Address’d as him whom I would make a friend.
    Men with respect attend him.—He proceeds
  To yonder public room—why, then he reads!
    Suppose me right—a mighty change is wrought;
  But Time ere now has care and caution taught.      140
  May I address him? And yet, why afraid?      }
  Deny he may, but he will not upbraid;      }
  Nor must I lose him, for I want his aid.      }
    Propitious fate! beyond my hope I find      }
  A being well-inform’d, and much inclined      }
  To solve my many doubts, and ease my anxious mind.      }
    Now shall we meet, and he will give reply
  To all I ask!—How full of fears am I;
  Poor, nervous, trembling! what have I to fear?      }
  Have I a wife, a child, one creature here,      150}
  Whose health would bring me joy, whose death would claim a tear? }
    This is the time appointed, this the place:
  Now shall I learn, how some have run their race
  With honour, some with shame; and I shall know
  How man behaves in Fortune’s ebb and flow;—
  What wealth or want, what trouble, sorrow, joy,
  Have been allotted to the [girl] and boy
  Whom I left laughing at the ills of life—
  Now the grave father, or the awful wife.
  Then shall I hear, how tried the wise and good!      160}
  How fall’n the house that once in honour stood!      }
  And moving accidents, from war and fire and flood!      }
    These shall I hear, if to his promise true;
  His word is pledged to tell me all he knew
  Of living men; and memory then will trace
  Those who no more with living men have place,
  As they were borne to their last quiet homes—
  This shall I learn!—And lo! my Teacher comes.


                               TALE VII.

                          _THE SCHOOL-FELLOW._


                                   I.

  Yes! I must leave thee, brother of my heart,
  The world demands us, and at length we part;
  Thou whom that heart, since first it felt, approved—
  I thought not why, nor question’d how I loved;
  In my first thoughts, first notions, and first cares,
  Associate; partner in my mind’s affairs,
  In my young dreams, my fancies ill-express’d
  But well conceived, and to the heart address’d—
  A fellow-reader in the books I read;
  A fellow-mourner in the tears I shed;      10
  A friend, partaking every grief and joy;
  A lively, frank, engaging, generous boy.
    At school each other’s prompters, day by day
  Companions in the frolic or the fray;
  Prompt in disputes—we never sought the cause;
  The laws of friendship were our only laws:
  We ask’d not how or why the strife began,
  But David’s foe was foe to Jonathan.
    In after-years my Friend, the elder boy,
  Would speak of Love, its tumult and its joy;      20
  A new and strong emotion, thus imprest,
  Prepared for pain to come the yielding breast;
  For, though no object then the fancy found,
  She dreamt of darts, and gloried at the wound;
  Smooth verse and tender tales the spirit moved,
  And ere the Chloes came the Strephons loved.
    This is the Friend I leave; for he remains
  Bound to his home by strong but viewless chains:
  Nor need I fear that his aspiring soul
  Will fail his adverse fortunes to controul,      30
  Or lose the fame he merits; yet awhile
  The clouds may lour—but then his sun will smile.
  O Time, thou teller of men’s fortunes, lend
  Thy aid, and be propitious to my Friend!
  Let me behold him prosperous, and his name
  Enroll’d among the darling sons of Fame;
  In love befriend him, and be his the bride,
  Proud of her choice, and of her lord the pride!
  “So shall my little bark attendant sail”—
  (As Pope has sung)—and prosperous be the gale!      40


                                  II.

    He is not here: the Youth I loved so well
  Dwells in some place where kindred spirits dwell;
  But I shall learn. Oh! tell me of my Friend,
  With whom I hoped life’s evening-calm to spend;
  With whom was spent the morn, the happy morn,
  When gay conceits and glorious views are born;
  With whom conversing I began to find
  The early stirrings of an active mind,
  That, done the tasks and lessons of the day,      }
  Sought for new pleasures in our untried way,      50}
  And stray’d in fairy land, where much we long’d to stray.      }
    Here he abides not; could not surely fix
  In this dull place, with these dull souls to mix;
  He finds his place where lively spirits meet,
  And loftier souls from baser kind retreat.
    First, of my early Friend I gave the name,
  Well known to me, and, as I judged, to Fame;
  My grave informer doubted, then replied,
  “That Lad!—why, yes!—some ten years since he died.”
    _P._ Died! and unknown! the man I loved so well!      60
  But is this all? the whole that you can tell
  Of one so gifted?—
                  _F._ Gifted! why, in truth,
  You puzzle me; how gifted was the Youth?
  I recollect him, now—his long, pale face—
  He dress’d in drab, and walk’d as in a race.
    _P._ Good Heaven! what did I not of him expect!
  And is this all indeed you recollect—
  Of wit that charm’d me, with delightful ease—      }
  And gay good-humour that must ever please—      }
  His taste, his genius! know you nought of these?      70}
    _F._ No, not of these:—but stop! in passing near,
  I’ve heard his flute—it was not much to hear.
  As for his genius—let me not offend;
  I never had a genius for a friend,
  And doubt of yours; but still, he did his best,
  And was a decent Lad—there let him rest!
    He lies in peace, with all his humble race,
  And has no stone to mark his burial place;
  Nor left he that which to the world might show
  That he was one that world was bound to know,      80
  For aught he gave it.—Here his story ends!
    _P._ And is this all? This character my Friend’s!
  That may, alas! be mine——“_a decent Lad!_”—
  The very phrase would make a Poet mad!
  And he is gone!—Oh! proudly did I think
  That we together at that fount should drink;
  Together climb the steep ascent of Fame;
  Together gain an ever-during name,
  And give due credit to our native home—
  Yet here he lies, without a name or tomb;      90
  Perhaps not honour’d by a single tear;
  Just enter’d in a parish-register,
  With common dust, forgotten to remain—
  And shall I seek, what thou could’st not obtain—
  A name for men when I am dead to speak?—
  Oh! let me something more substantial seek;
  Let me no more on man’s poor praise depend,
  But learn one lesson from my buried Friend!


                               TALE VIII.

                        _BARNABY, THE SHOPMAN._


                                   I.

  Farewell! to _him_ whom, just across my way,
  I see his shop attending day by day;
  Save on the Sunday, when he duly goes
  To his own church, in his own Sunday clothes.
  Young though he is, yet careful there he stands,
  Opening his shop with his own ready hands;
  Nor scorns the broom that to and fro he moves,
  Cleaning his way, for cleanliness he loves—
  But yet preserves not: in his zeal for trade
  He has his shop an ark for all things made;      10
  And there, in spite of his all-guarding eye,
  His sundry wares in strange confusion lie—
  Delightful token of the haste that keeps
  Those mingled matters in their shapeless heaps;
  Yet ere he rests, he takes them all away,
  And order smiles on the returning day.
    Most ready tradesman he of men! alive
  To all that turns to money—he must thrive.
  Obsequious, civil, loath t’ offend or trust,
  And full of awe for greatness—thrive he must:      20
  For well he knows to creep; and he in time,
  By wealth assisted, will aspire to climb.
    Pains-taking lad he was, and with his slate
  For hours in useful meditation sate;
  Puzzled, and seizing every boy at hand,
  To make him—hard the labour!—understand.
  But, when of learning he enough possess’d
  For his affairs, who would might learn the rest;
  All else was useless, when he had obtain’d
  Knowledge that told him what he lost or gain’d.      30
  He envied no man for his learning: he
  Who was not rich, was poor with BARNABY;
  But he for envy has no thought to spare,
  Nor love nor hate—his heart is in his ware.
    Happy the man whose greatest pleasure lies
  In the fair trade by which he hopes to rise!
  To him how bright the opening day, how blest
  The busy noon, how sweet the evening rest!
  To him the nation’s state is all unknown,
  Whose watchful eye is ever on his own.      40
  You talk of patriots, men who give up all,
  Yea, life itself, at their dear country’s call:
  He look’d on such as men of other date—
  Men to admire, and not to imitate;
  They as his Bible-Saints to him appear’d:
  Lost to the world, but still to be revered.
    Yet there’s a Widow, in a neighbouring street,
  Whom he contrives in Sunday-dress to meet;
  Her’s house and land; and these are more delight
  To him than learning, in the proverb’s spite.      50
    The Widow sees at once the Trader’s views,
  And means to soothe him, flatter, and refuse.
  Yet there are moments when a woman fails
  In such design, and so the man prevails.
  Love she has not; but, in a guardless hour,
  May lose her purpose, and resign her power;
  Yet all such hazard she resolves to run,
  Pleased to be woo’d, and fearless to be won.
    Lovers like these, as dresses thrown aside,
  Are kept and shown to feed a woman’s pride:      60
  Old-fashion’d, ugly, call them what she will,
  They serve as signs of her importance still.
  She thinks they might inferior forms adorn
  And does not love to hear them used with scorn;
  Till, on some day when she has need of dress,
  And none at hand to serve her in distress,
  She takes th’ insulted robe, and turns about;
  Long-hidden beauties one by one peer out.
  “’Tis not so bad! see, Jenny—I declare,
  ’Tis pretty well, and then ’tis lasting wear;      70
  And what is fashion?—if a woman’s wise,
  She will the substance, not the shadow, prize;
  ’Tis a choice silk; and, if I put it on,
  Off go these ugly trappings every one.”
  The dress is worn; a friendly smile is raised,
  But the good lady for her courage praised—
  Till wonder dies.—The dress is worn with pride,
  And not one trapping yet is cast aside.
    Meanwhile the man his six-day toil renews;
  And on the seventh he worships Heav’n, and woos,      80
    I leave thee, Barnaby; and if I see
  Thee once again, a Burgess thou wilt be.


                                  II.

    But how is this? I left a thriving man,
  Hight BARNABY, when he to trade began—
  Trade his delight and hope; and, if alive,
  Doubt I had none that Barnaby would thrive.
  Yet here I see him, sweeping as before
  The very dust from forth the very door.
  So would a miser! but, methinks, the shop
  Itself is meaner—has he made a stop?      90
    I thought I should at least a burgess see,
  And lo! ’tis but an older Barnaby;
  With face more wrinkled, with a coat as bare
  As coats of his once begging kindred were;
  Brush’d to the thread that is distinctly seen,
  And beggarly would be, but that ’tis clean.
    Why, how is this? Upon a closer view,
  The shop is narrow’d; it is cut in two.
  Is all that business from its station fled?
  Why, Barnaby! thy very shop is dead!      100
  Now, what the cause my Friend will soon relate—
  And what the fall from that predicted fate.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    _F._ A common cause: it seems his lawful gains
  Came slowly forth, and came with care and pains.
  These he, indeed, was willing to bestow;
  But still his progress to his point was slow,
  And might be quicken’d, “could he cheat the eyes      }
  Of all those rascal officers and spies,      }
  The Customs’ greedy tribe, the wolves of the Excise.”      }
    Tea, coffee, spirits, laces, silks, and spice,      110
  And sundry drugs that bear a noble price,
  Are bought for little, but, ere sold, the things
  Are deeply charged for duty of the king’s.
  Now, if the servants of this king would keep
  At a kind distance, or would wink or sleep,
  Just till the goods in safety were disposed,
  Why then his labours would be quickly closed.
  True! some have thriven—but they the laws defied,
  And shunn’d the powers they should have satisfied.
    Their way he tried, and, finding some success,      120
  His heart grew stouter, and his caution less;
  Then—for why doubt, when placed in Fortune’s way?—
  There was a bank, and that was sure to pay.
  Yes, every partner in that thriving bank
  He judged a man of a superior rank.
  Were _he_ but one in a concern so grand—
  Why, he might build a house, and buy him land;
  Then, too, the Widow, whom he loved so well,
  Would not refuse with such a man to dwell;
  And, to complete his views, he might be made      130
  A Borough-Justice, when he ceased to trade;
  For he had known—well pleased to know—a mayor
  Who once had dealt in cheese and vinegar.
    Who hastens to be rich, resembles him
  Who is resolved that he will quickly swim,
  And trusts his full-blown bladders! He, indeed,
  With these supported, moves along with speed;
  He laughs at those whom untried depths alarm,
  By caution led, and moved by strength of arm;
  Till in mid-way, the way his folly chose,      140
  His full-blown bladder bursts, and down he goes!
  Or, if preserved, ’tis by their friendly aid
  Whom he despised as cautious and afraid.
    Who could resist? Not Barnaby. Success
  Awhile his pride exalted—to depress.
  Three years he pass’d in feverish hopes and fears,
  When fled the profits of the former years;
  Shook by the Law’s strong arm, all he had gain’d
  He dropp’d—and hopeless, pennyless remain’d.
    The cruel Widow, whom he yet pursued,      150
  Was kind but cautious, then was stern and rude.
  “Should wealth, now hers, from that dear man which came,
  Be thrown away to prop a smuggler’s fame?”
  She spake, insulting; and, with many a sigh,
  The fallen Trader passed her mansion by.
    Fear, shame, and sorrow, for a time endured,
  Th’ adventurous man was ruin’d, but was cured—
  His weakness pitied, and his once-good name
  The means of his returning peace became.
    He was assisted, to his shop withdrew,      160
  Half let, half rented, and began anew
  To smile on custom, that in part return’d,
  With the small gains that he no longer spurn’d.
  Warn’d by the past, he rises with the day,
  And tries to sweep off sorrow.——_Sweep away!_


                                TALE IX.

                                _JANE._


                                   I.

  Known but of late, I yet am loth to leave
  The gentle JANE, and wonder why I grieve—
  Not for her wants, for she has no distress,
  She has no suffering that her looks express,
  Her air or manner—hers the mild good sense
  That wins its way by making no pretence.
    When yet a child, her dying mother knew
  What, left by her, the widow’d man would do,
  And gave her Jane, for she had power, enough
  To live in ease—of love and care a proof.      10
  Enabled thus, the maid is kind to all—
  Is pious too, and that without a call.
  Not that she doubts of calls that Heav’n has sent—
  Calls to believe, or warnings to repent:
  But that she rests upon the Word divine,
  Without presuming on a dubious sign—
  A sudden light, the momentary zeal
  Of those who rashly hope, and warmly feel;
  These she rejects not, nor on these relies,
  And neither feels the influence nor denies.      20
  Upon the sure and written Word she trusts,
  And by the Law Divine her life adjusts;
  She blames not her who other creed prefers,
  And all she asks is charity for hers.
  Her great example is her gracious Lord,
  Her hope his promise, and her guide his Word;
  Her quiet alms are known to God alone,
  Her left hand knows not what her right has done;
  Her talents, not the few, she well improves,
  And puts to use in labour that she loves.      30
    Pensive, though good, I leave thee, gentle maid,
  In thee confiding, of thy peace afraid,
  In a strange world to act a trying part,
  With a soft temper, and a yielding heart!


                                  II.

    _P._ How fares my gentle Jane, with spirit meek,
  Whose fate with some foreboding care I seek:
  Her whom I pitied in my pride, while she,
  For many a cause more weighty, pitied me;
  For she has wonder’d how the idle boy
  His head or hands would usefully employ—      40
  At least for thee his grateful spirit pray’d,
  And now to ask thy fortune is afraid.—
  ——How fares ‘the gentle Jane?—
                        _F._ Know first, she fares
  As one who bade adieu to earthly cares;
  As one by virtue guided, and who, tried
  By man’s deceit, has never lost her guide.
    Her age I knew not, but it seem’d the age
  When Love is wont a serious war to wage
  In female hearts,—when hopes and fears are strong,
  And ’tis a fatal step to place them wrong;      50
  For childish fancies now have ta’en their flight,
  And love’s impressions are no longer light.
    Just at this time—what time I do not tell—
  There came a Stranger in the place to dwell;
  He seem’d as one who sacred truth reveres,
  And like her own his sentiments and years;
  His person manly, with engaging mien;
  His spirit quiet, and his looks serene.
  He kept from all disgraceful deeds aloof,
  Severely tried, and found temptation-proof:      60
  This was by most unquestioned, and the few
  Who made inquiry said report was true.
    His very choice of our neglected place
  Endear’d him to us—’twas an act of grace;
  And soon to Jane, our unobtrusive maid,
  In still respect was his attention paid;
  Each in the other found what both approved,
  Good sense and quiet manners: these they loved.
    So came regard, and then esteem, and then
  The kind of friendship women have with men:      70
  At length t’was love, but candid, open, fair,
  Such as became their years and character.
    In their discourse religion had its place,
  When he of doctrines talk’d, and she of grace:
  He knew the different sects, the varying creeds,
  While she, less learned, spake of virtuous deeds;
  He dwelt on errors into which we fall,
  She on the gracious remedy for all;
  So between both, his knowledge and her own,
  Was the whole Christian to perfection shown.      80
  Though neither quite approved the other’s part—
  Hers without learning, his without a heart—
  Still to each other they were dear, were good,
  And all these matters kindly understood;
  For Jane was liberal, and her friend could trust,—
  “He thinks not with me! but is fair and just.”
    Her prudent lover to her man of law      }
  Show’d how he lived: it seem’d without a flaw;      }
  She saw their moderate means—content with what she saw.      }
    Jane had no doubts—with so much to admire,      90
  She judged it insult farther to inquire.
  The lover sought—what lover brooks delay?—      }
  For full assent, and for an early day—      }
  And he would construe well the soft consenting Nay!      }
    The day was near, and Jane, with book in hand,
  Sat down to read—perhaps might understand;
  For what prevented?—say, she seem’d to read;
  When one there came, her own sad cause to plead;
  A stranger she, who fearless named that cause,
  A breach in love’s and honour’s sacred laws.      100
    “In a far country, Lady, bleak and wild,
  Report has reach’d me: how art thou beguiled!
  Or dared he tell thee, that for ten sad years
  He saw me struggling with fond hopes and fears?
    “From my dear home he won me, blest and free,
  To be his victim.”——“Madam, who is _he_?”
  “Not yet thy husband, Lady; no! not yet;
  For he has first to pay a mighty debt.”
    “Speaks he not of religion?”—“So he speaks,
  When he the ruin of his victim seeks.      110
  How smooth and gracious were his words, how sweet—
  The fiend his master prompting his deceit!
  Me he with kind instruction led to trust
  In one who seem’d so grave, so kind, so just.
  Books to amuse me, and inform, he brought,
  Like that old serpent with temptation fraught;
  His like the precepts of the wise appear’d,
  Till I imbibed the vice I had not fear’d.
  By pleasant tales and dissertations gay,
  He wiled the lessons of my youth away.      120
    “Of moral duties he would talk, and prove
  They gave a sanction, and commanded love;
  His sober smile at forms and rites was shown,
  To make my mind depraved, and like his own.
    “But wilt thou take him? wilt thou ruin take,
  With a grave robber, a religious rake?
  ’Tis not to serve thee, Lady, that I came—
  ’Tis not to claim him, ’tis not to reclaim—
  But ’tis that he may for my wrongs be paid,
  And feel the vengeance of the wretch he made.      130
    “Not for myself I thy attention claim      }
  My children dare not take their father’s name;      }
  They know no parent’s love—love will not dwell with shame.      }
  What law would force, he not without it gives,
  And hates each living wretch, because it lives!
  Yet, with these sinful stains, the man is mine:      }
  How will he curse me for this rash design!      }
  Yes—I will bear his curse, but him will not resign.      }
    “I see thee grieved; but, Lady, what thy grief?
  It may be pungent, but it must be brief.      140
  Pious thou art; but what will profit thee,
  Match’d with a demon, woman’s piety?
  Not for thy sake my wrongs and wrath I tell,
  Revenge I seek! but yet, I wish thee well.
  And now I leave thee! Thou art warn’d by one,
  The rock on which her peace was wreck’d to shun.”
    The Lover heard; but not in time to stay
  A woman’s vengeance in its headlong way.
  Yet he essay’d, with no unpractised skill,
  To warp the judgment, or at least the will;      150
  To raise such tumults in the poor weak heart,
  That Jane, believing all—yet should not dare to part.
    But there was Virtue in her mind that strove
  With all his eloquence, and all her love;
  He told what hope and frailty dared to tell,
  And all was answered by a stern _Farewell_!
    Home with his consort he returned once more;
  And they resumed the life they led before.
  Not so our maiden. She, before resign’d,      }
  Had now the anguish of a wounded mind—      160}
  And felt the languid grief that the deserted find.      }
  On him she had reposed each worldly view,
  And when he fail’d, the world itself withdrew,
  With all its prospects. Nothing could restore
  To life its value; hope would live no more:
  Pensive by nature, she can not sustain
  The sneer of pity that the heartless feign;
  But to the pressure of her griefs gives way,
  A quiet victim, and a patient prey;
  The one bright view that she had cherish’d dies,      170
  And other hope must from the future rise.
    She still extends to grief and want her aid,
  And by the comfort she imparts, is paid.
  Death is her soul’s relief; to him she flies
  For consolation that this world denies.
  No more to life’s false promises she clings,      }
  She longs to change this troubled state of things,      }
  Till every rising morn the happier prospect brings.      }


                                TALE X.

                         _THE ANCIENT MANSION._

                                   I.

  To part is painful; nay, to bid adieu
  Ev’n to a favourite spot is painful too.
  That fine old Seat, with all those oaks around,      }
  Oft have I view’d with reverence so profound,      }
  As something sacred dwelt in that delicious ground.      }
    There, with its tenantry about, reside
  A genuine English race, the country’s pride;
  And now a Lady, last of all that race,
  Is the departing spirit of the place.
  Hers is the last of all that noble blood,      10
  That flow’d through generations brave and good;
  And, if there dwells a native pride in her,
  It is the pride of name and character.
    True, she will speak, in her abundant zeal,
  Of stainless honour; that she needs must feel;
  She must lament, that she is now the last
  Of all who gave such splendour to the past.
    Still are her habits of the ancient kind;
  She knows the poor, the sick, the lame, the blind.
  She holds, so she believes, her wealth in trust;      20
  And being kind, with her, is being just.
  Though soul and body she delights to aid,
  Yet of her skill she’s prudently afraid;
  So to her chaplain’s care she _this_ commends,
  And, when _that_ craves, the village doctor sends.
    At church attendance she requires of all
  Who would be held in credit at the Hall;
  A due respect to each degree she shows,
  And pays the debt that every mortal owes;
  ’Tis by opinion that respect is led:      30
  The rich esteem because the poor are fed.
    Her servants all, if so we may describe
  That ancient, grave, observant, decent tribe,
  Who with her share the blessings of the Hall,
  Are kind but grave, are proud but courteous all—
  Proud of their lucky lot! behold, how stands
  That grey-haired butler, waiting her commands;
  The Lady dines, and every day he feels
  That his good mistress falters in her meals.
  With what respectful manners he entreats      40
  That she would eat—yet Jacob little eats;
  When she forbears, his supplicating eye
  Intreats the noble dame once more to try.
  Their years the same; and he has never known
  Another place; and this he deems his own—
  All appertains to him. Whate’er he sees
  Is _ours_!—“our house, our land, our walks, our trees!”
    But still he fears the time is just at hand,
  When he no more shall in that presence stand;
  And he resolves with mingled grief and pride,      50
  To serve no being in the world beside.
  “He has enough,” he says, with many a sigh,
  “For him to serve his God, and learn to die:
  He and his lady shall have heard their call,
  And the new folk, the strangers, may have all.”
    But, leaving these to their accustom’d way,
  The Seat itself demands a short delay.
  We all have interest there—the trees that grow      }
  Near to that seat, to that their grandeur owe;      }
  They take, but largely pay, and equal grace bestow.      60}
  They hide a part, but still, the part they shade
  Is more inviting to our fancy made;
  And, if the eye be robb’d of half its sight,
  Th’ imagination feels the more delight.
  These giant oaks by no man’s order stand;
  Heaven did the work, by no man was it plann’d.
    Here I behold no puny works of art;      }
  None give me reasons why these views impart      }
  Such charm to fill the mind, such joy to swell the heart.      }
  These very pinnacles, and turrets small,      70
  And windows dim, have beauty in them all.
  How stately stand yon pines upon the hill;
  How soft the murmurs of that living rill;
  And o’er the park’s tall paling, scarcely higher,
  Peeps the low Church and shows the modest spire.
  Unnumber’d violets on those banks appear,
  And all the first-born beauties of the year;
  The grey-green blossoms of the willows bring
  The large wild bees upon the labouring wing.
  Then comes the Summer with augmented pride,      80
  Whose pure small streams along the valleys glide;
  Her richer Flora their brief charms display,
  And, as the fruit advances, fall away.
  Then shall th’ autumnal yellow clothe the leaf,
  What time the reaper binds the burden’d sheaf;
  Then silent groves denote the dying year,
  The morning frost, and noon-tide gossamer;
  And all be silent in the scene around—
  All, save the distant sea’s uncertain sound,
  Or here and there the gun, whose loud report      90
  Proclaims to man that Death is but his sport.
  And then the wintry winds begin to blow;
  Then fall the flaky stars of gathering snow;
  When on the thorn the ripening sloe, yet blue,
  Takes the bright varnish of the morning dew;
  The aged moss grows brittle on the pale;
  The dry boughs splinter in the windy gale;
  And every changing season of the year
  Stamps on the scene its English character.
    Farewell! a prouder Mansion I may see,      100
  But much must meet in that which equals thee!


                                  II.

    I leave the town, and take a well-known way
  To that old Mansion in the closing day,
  When beams of golden light are shed around,
  And sweet is every night and every sound.
  Pass but this hill, and I shall then behold
  The Seat so honour’d, no admired of old,
  And yet admired——
                      Alas! I see a change,
  Of odious kind, and lamentably strange.
  Who had done this? The good old Lady lies      110
  Within her tomb; but, who could this advise?
  What barbarous hand could all this mischief do,
  And spoil a noble house, to make it new?
  Who had done this? Some genuine Son of Trade
  Has all this dreadful devastation made;
  Some man with line and rule, and evil eye,
  Who could no beauty in a tree descry,
  Save in a clump, when stationed by his hand,
  And standing where his genius bade them stand;
  Some true admirer of the time’s reform,      120
  Who strips an ancient dwelling like a storm;
  Strips it of all its dignity and grace,
  To put his own dear fancies in their place.
  He hates concealment: all that was enclosed
  By venerable wood is now exposed,
  And a few stripling elms all oaks appear,
  Fenced round by boards, to keep them from the deer.
    I miss the grandeur of the rich old scene,
  And see not what these clumps and patches mean!
  This shrubby belt that runs the land around      130
  Shuts freedom out! what being likes a bound?
  The shrubs indeed, and ill-placed flowers, are gay,      }
  And some would praise; I wish they were away,      }
  That in the wild-wood maze I as of old might stray.      }
  The things themselves are pleasant to behold,
  But not like those which we beheld of old—
  That half-hid mansion, with its wide domain,      }
  Unbound and unsubdued!—but sighs are vain;      }
  It is the rage of Taste—the rule and compass reign.      }
    As thus my spleen upon the view I fed,      140
  A man approach’d me, by his grandchild led—
  A blind old man, and she a fair young maid,
  Listening in love to what her grandsire said.

    And thus with gentle voice he spoke—
      “Come lead me, lassie, to the shade,
    Where willows grow beside the brook;
      For well I know the sound it made,
    When, dashing o’er the stony rill,
    It murmur’d to St. Osyth’s Mill.”

    The Lass replied—“The trees are fled,      150
      They’ve cut the brook a straighter bed:
    No shades the present lords allow,
      The miller only murmurs now;
    The waters now his mill forsake,
    And form a pond they call a lake.”—

    “Then, lassie, lead thy grandsire on,
      And to the holy water bring;
    A cup is fasten’d to the stone,
      And I would taste the healing spring,
    That soon its rocky cist forsakes,      160
    And green its mossy passage makes.”—

      “The holy spring is turn’d aside,
    The rock is gone, the stream is dried;
    The plough has levell’d all around,
    And here is now no holy ground.”—

    “Then, lass, thy grandsire’s footsteps guide
      To Bulmer’s Tree, the giant oak,
    Whose boughs the keeper’s cottage hide,
      And part the church-way lane o’erlook;
    A boy, I climb’d the topmost bough,      170
    And I would feel its shadow now!

    “Or, lassie, lead me to the west,
      Where grew the elm-trees thick and tall,
    Where rooks unnumber’d build their nest—
      Deliberate birds, and prudent all:
    Their notes, indeed, are harsh and rude,
    But they’re a social multitude.”

      “The rooks are shot, the trees are fell’d,
    And nest and nursery all expell’d;
    With better fate the giant-tree,      180
    Old Bulmer’s Oak, is gone to sea.
    The church-way walk is now no more,
    And men must other ways explore;
    Though this indeed promotion gains,
    For this the park’s new wall contains;
    And here I fear we shall not meet
    A shade—although, perchance, a seat.”
    “O then, my lassie, lead the way
      To Comfort’s Home, the ancient inn:
    That something holds, if we can pay—      190
      Old David is our living kin;
    A servant once, he still preserves
    His name, and in his office serves.”

      “Alas! that mine should be the fate
    Old David’s sorrows to relate!
    But they were brief; not long before
    He died, his office was no more.
    The kennel stands upon the ground,
    With something of the former sound.”

    “O then,” the grieving Man replied,      200
      “No further, lassie, let me stray;
    Here’s nothing left of ancient pride,
      Of what was grand, of what was gay;
    But all is chang’d, is lost, is sold—
    All, all that’s left is chilling cold.
    I seek for comfort here in vain;
    Then lead me to my cot again!”


                                TALE XI.

                            _THE MERCHANT._


                                   I.

  Lo! one appears, to whom if I should dare
  To say _farewell_, the lordly man would stare,
  Would stretch his goodly form some inches higher,
  And then, without a single word, retire;
  Or from his state might haply condescend
  To doubt his memory—“Ha! your name, my friend?”
    He is the master of these things we see:
  Those vessels proudly riding by the quay;
  With all those mountain heaps of coal that lie,
  For half a county’s wonder and supply.      10
  Boats, cables, anchors, all to him pertain—
  A swimming fortune, all his father’s gain.
  He was a porter on the quay, and one
  Proud of his fortune, prouder of his son—
  Who was ashamed of him, and much distress’d
  To see his father was no better dress’d.
  Yet for this parent did the son erect
  A tomb—’tis whisper’d, he must not expect
  The like for him, when he shall near it sleep—
  Where we behold the marble cherubs weep.      20
    There are no merchants who with us reside
  In half his state—no wonder he has pride;
  Then he parades around that vast estate,
  As if he spurn’d the slaves that make him great;
  Speaking in tone so high, as if the ware
  Was nothing worth—at least not worth his care;
  Yet should he not these bulky stores contemn,
  For all his glory he derives from them;
  And, were it not for that neglected store,
  This great rich man would be extremely poor.      30
    Generous men call him, for he deigns to give;
  He condescends to say the poor must live.
  Yet in his seamen not a sign appears
  That they have much respect, or many fears;
  With inattention they their patron meet,
  As if they thought his dignity a cheat;
  Or of himself as, having much to do
  With their affairs, he very little knew;
  As if his ways to them so well were known
  That they might hear, and bow, and take their own.      40
    He might contempt for men so humble feel,
  But this experience taught him to conceal;
  For sailors do not to a lord at land
  As to their captain in submission stand;
  Nor have mere pomp and pride, of look or speech,
  Been able yet respect or awe to teach.
    Guns, when with powder charged, will make a noise,
  To frighten babes, and be the sport of boys;
  But, when within men find there’s nothing more,
  They shout contemptuous at the idle roar.      50
  Thus will our lofty man to all appear,
  With nothing charged that they respect or fear.
    His Lady, too, to her large purse applies,
  And all she fancies at the instant buys.
  How bows the market, when from stall to stall
  She walks, attended! how respectful all!
  To her free orders every maid attends,
  And strangers wonder what the woman spends.
    There is an auction, and the people, shy,
  Are loth to bid, and yet desire to buy.      60
  Jealous they gaze with mingled hope and fear,
  Of buying cheaply, and of paying dear.
  They see the hammer with determined air
  Seized for despatch, and bid in pure despair!
  They bid—the hand is quiet as before—
  Still stands old Puff till one advances more.—
  Behold great madam, gliding through the crowd;
  Hear her too bid—decisive tone and loud!
  “Going! ’tis gone!” the hammer-holder cries—
  “Joy to you, Lady! you have gain’d a prize.”      70
    Thus comes and goes the wealth, that, saved or spent,
  Buys not a moment’s credit or content.
    _Farewell!_ your fortune I forbear to guess;
  For chance, as well as sense, may give success.


                                  II.

    _P._ Say, what yon buildings, neat indeed, but low,
  So much alike, in one commodious row?
    _F._ You see our Alms-house: ancient men, decay’d,
  Are here sustain’d, who lost their way in trade;
  Here they have all that sober men require—
  So thought the Poet—“meat, and clothes, and fire”;      80
  A little garden to each house pertains,
  Convenient each, and kept with little pains.
  Here for the sick are nurse and medicine found;
  Here walks and shaded alleys for the sound;
  Books of devotion on the shelves are placed,
  And not forbidden are the books of taste.
  The Church is near them—in a common seat
  The pious men with grateful spirit meet;
  Thus from the world, which they no more admire,
  They all in silent gratitude retire.      90
    _P._ And is it so? Have all, with grateful mind,
  The world relinquish’d, and its ways resign’d?
  Look they not back with lingering love and slow,
  And fain would once again the oft-tried follies know?
    _F._ Too surely some! We must not think that all,
  Call’d to be hermits, would obey the call;
  We must not think that all forget the state
  In which they moved, and bless their humbler fate;
  But all may here the waste of life retrieve,
  And, ere they leave the world, its vices leave.      100
    See yonder man, who walks apart, and seems
  Wrapt in some fond and visionary schemes;
  Who looks uneasy, as a man oppress’d
  By that large copper badge upon his breast.
  His painful shame, his self-tormenting pride,
  Would all that’s visible in bounty hide;
  And much his anxious breast is swell’d with woe,
  That where he goes his badge must with him go.
    _P._ Who then is he? Do I behold aright?
  My lofty Merchant in this humble plight!      110
  Still has he pride?
              _F._ If common fame be just,
  He yet has pride—the pride that licks the dust;
  Pride that can stoop, and feed upon the base
  And wretched flattery of this humbling place;
  Nay, feeds himself! his failing is avow’d:
  He of the cause that made him poor is proud;
  Proud of his greatness, of the sums he spent,
  And honours shown him wheresoe’er he went.
    Yes! there he walks, that lofty man is he,
  Who was so rich; but great he could not be.      120
  Now to the paupers who about him stand
  He tells of wonders, by his bounty plann’d;
  Tells of his traffic, where his vessels sail’d,
  And what a trade he drove—before he fail’d;
  Then what a failure, not a paltry sum,
  Like a mean trader, but for half a plum;
  His Lady’s wardrobe was apprised so high
  At his own sale, that nobody would buy!—
  “But she is gone,” he cries, “and never saw
  The spoil and havoc of our cruel law;      130
  My steeds, our chariot that so roll’d along,
  Admired of all! they sold them for a song.
  You all can witness what my purse could do;
  And now I wear a badge like one of you,
  Who in my service had been proud to live—
  And this is all a thankless town will give.
  I, who have raised the credit of that town,
  And gave it, thankless as it is, renown—
  Who’ve done, what no man there had done before,
  Now hide my head within an Alms-house door—      140
  Deprived of all—my wife, my wealth, my vote,
  And in this blue defilement——_Curse the Coat!_”


                               TALE XII.

                        _THE BROTHER BURGESSES._


                                   I.

  Two busy BROTHERS in our place reside,
  And wealthy each, his party’s boast and pride;
  Sons of one father, of two mothers born,
  They hold each other in true party-scorn.
    JAMES is the one who for the people fights,
  The sturdy champion of their dubious rights;
  Merchant and seaman rough, but not the less
  Keen in pursuit of his own happiness;
  And what his happiness?—To see his store
  Of wealth increase, till Mammon groans, “No more!”      10
    JAMES goes to church—because his father went,
  But does not hide his leaning to dissent;
  Reasons for this, whoe’er may frown, he’ll speak—
  Yet the old pew receives him once a week.
    CHARLES is a churchman, and has all the zeal
  That a strong member of his church can feel;
  A loyal subject is the name he seeks;
  He of “his King and Country” proudly speaks:
  He says, his brother and a rebel-crew,
  Minded like him, the nation would undo,      20
  If they had power, or were esteem’d enough
  Of those who had, to bring their plans to proof.
    JAMES answers sharply—“I will never place
  My hopes upon a Lordship or a Grace!
  To some great man you bow, to greater he,
  Who to the greatest bends his supple knee,
  That so the manna from the head may drop,
  And at the lowest of the kneelers stop.
  Lords call you loyal, and on them you call
  To spare you something from our plunder’d all:      30
  If tricks like these to slaves can treasure bring,
  Slaves well may shout them hoarse for ‘Church and King!’”
    “Brother!” says Charles,—“yet ‘brother’ is a name
  I own with pity, and I speak with shame—
  One of these days you’ll surely lead a mob,
  And then the hangman will conclude the job.”
    “And would you, Charles, in that unlucky case,      }
  Beg for his life whose death would bring disgrace      }
  On you, and all the loyal of our race?      }
  Your worth would surely from the halter bring      40}
  One neck, and I, a patriot, then might sing—      }
  A brother patriot I—‘God save our noble King!’”      }
    “James!” said the graver man, in manner grave—
  “Your neck I could not, I your soul would save;
  Oh! ere that day, alas, too likely! come,
  I would prepare your mind to meet your doom,
  That then the priest, who prays with that bad race
  Of men, may find you not devoid of grace.”
    These are the men who, from their seats above,
  Hear frequent sermons on fraternal love;      50
  Nay, each approves, and answers—“Very true!
  Brother would heed it, were he not a Jew.”


                                  II.

    _P._ Read I aright? beneath this stately stone
  THE BROTHERS rest in peace, their grave is one!
  What friend, what fortune interfered, that they
  Take their long sleep together, clay with clay?
  How came it thus?—
                    _F._ It was their own request,
  By both repeated, that they thus might rest.
    _P._ ’Tis well! Did friends at length the pair unite?
  Or was it done because the deed was right?      60
  Did the cool spirit of enfeebling age
  Chill the warm blood, and calm the party rage,
  And kindly lead them, in their closing day,
  To put their animosity away,
  Incline their hearts to live in love and peace,
  And bid the ferment in each bosom cease?
    _F._ Rich men have runners, who will to and fro
  In search of food for their amusement go;
  Who watch their spirits, and with tales of grief
  Yield to their melancholy minds relief;      70
  Who of their foes will each mishap relate,
  And of their friends the fall or failings state.
    One of this breed—the Jackall who supplied
  Our Burgess Charles with food for spleen and pride—
  Before he utter’d what his memory brought,
  On its effect, in doubtful matters, thought,
  Lest he, perchance, in his intent might trip,
  Or a strange fact might indiscreetly slip.—
  But he, one morning, had a tale to bring,
  And felt full sure he need not weigh the thing;      80
  _That_ must be welcome! With a smiling face
  He watch’d th’ accustom’d nod, and took his place.
    “Well! you have news—I see it—Good, my friend,
  No preface, Peter! Speak, man; I attend.”
    “Then, sir, I’m told—nay, ’tis beyond dispute—
  Our Burgess James is routed horse and foot;
  He’ll not be seen; a clerk for him appears,
  And their precautions testify their fears;
  Before the week be ended you shall see,
  That our famed patriot will a bankrupt be.”—      90
    “Will he, by——! No, I will not be profane,
  But _James_ a bankrupt! Boy, my hat and cane!
  No! he’ll refuse my offers—Let me think!
  So would I his; here, give me pen and ink!
  There! that will do.—What! let my father’s son,
  My brother, want, and I—away! and run;
  Run, as for life, and then return—but stay
  To take his message—now, away, away!”
    The pride of James was shaken as he read—
  The Brothers met—the angry spirit fled.      100
  Few words were needed—in the look of each
  There was a language words can never reach;
  But, when they took each other’s hand, and press’d,
  Subsiding tumult sank to endless rest;
  Nor party wrath with quick affection strove,
  Drown’d in the tears of reconciling love.
    Affairs confused, and business at a stand,
  Were soon set right by Charles’s powerful hand;
  The rudest mind in this rude place enjoy’d
  The pleasing thought of enmity destroy’d,      110
  And so destroy’d, that neither spite nor spleen,
  Nor peevish look from that blest hour were seen;
  Yet each his party and his spirit kept,
  Though all the harsh and angry passions slept.
    _P._ And they too sleep! and, at their joint request,
  Within one tomb, beneath one stone, they rest!


                               TALE XIII.

                           _THE DEAN’S LADY._


                                   I.

  Next, to a LADY I must bid adieu—
  Whom some in mirth or malice call a “_Blue_.”
  There needs no more—when that same word is said,
  The men grow shy, respectful, and afraid;
  Save the choice friends who in her colour dress,
  And all her praise in words like hers express.
    Why should proud man in man that knowledge prize,
  Which he affects in woman to despise?
  Is he not envious when a lady gains,      }
  In hours of leisure, and with little pains,      10}
  What he in many a year with painful toil obtains?      }
  For surely knowledge should not odious grow,
  Nor ladies be despised for what they know;
  Truth, to no sex confined, her friends invites,
  And woman, long restrain’d, demands her rights.
  Nor should a light and odious name be thrown
  On the fair dame who makes that knowledge known—
  Who bravely dares the world’s sarcastic sneer,
  And what she is, is willing to appear.
    “And what she is not!” peevish man replies,      20
  His envy owning what his pride denies.
  But let him, envious as he is, repair
  To this sage Dame, and meet conviction there!
    MIRANDA sees her morning levee fill’d
  With men, in every art and science skill’d—
  Men who have gain’d a name, whom she invites,
  Because in men of genius she delights.
  To these she puts her questions, that produce
  Discussion vivid, and discourse abstruse;
  She no opinion for its boldness spares,      30
  But loves to show her audience what she dares;
  The creeds of all men she takes leave to sift,
  And, quite impartial, turns her own adrift.
    Her noble mind, with independent force,
  Her Rector questions on his late discourse;
  Perplex’d and pain’d, he wishes to retire
  From one whom critics, nay, whom crowds, admire—
  From her whose faith on no man’s dictate leans;
  Who her large creed from many a teacher gleans;
  Who for herself will judge, debate, decide,      40
  And be her own “philosopher and guide.”
    Why call a lady _Blue_? It is because
  She reads, converses, studies for applause;
  And therefore all that she desires to know
  Is just as much as she can fairly show.
  The real knowledge we in secret hide;
  It is the counterfeit that makes our pride.
  “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”—
  So sings the Poet, and so let him sing;
  But, if from little learning danger rose,      50
  I know not who in safety could repose.
  The evil rises from our own mistake,
  When we our ignorance for knowledge take;
  Or when the little that we have, through pride
  And vain poor self-love view’d, is magnified.
  Nor is your deepest Azure always free
  From these same dangerous calls of vanity.
    Yet of the sex are those who never show,
  By way of exhibition, what they know.
  Their books are read and praised, and so are they,      60
  But all without design, without display.
  Is there not One who reads the hearts of men,
  And paints them strongly with unrivall’d pen?
  All their fierce Passions in her scenes appear;
  Terror she bids arise, bids fall the tear;
  Looks in the close recesses of the mind,
  And gives the finish’d portraits to mankind,
  By skill conducted, and to Nature true—
  And yet no man on earth would call JOANNA _Blue_!
    Not so MIRANDA! She is ever prest      70
  To give opinions, and she gives her best.
  To these with gentle smile her guests incline,
  Who come to hear, improve, applaud—and dine.
    Her hungry mind on every subject feeds;
  She Adam Smith and Dugald Stewart reads;
  Locke entertains her, and she wonders why
  His famous Essay is consider’d dry.
  For her amusement in her vacant hours
  Are earths and rocks, and animals and flowers;
  She could the farmer at his work assist,      80
  A systematic agriculturist.
  Some men, indeed, would curb the female mind,
  Nor let us see that they themselves are blind;
  But—thank our stars!—the liberal times allow,
  That all may think, and men have rivals now.
    Miranda deems all knowledge might be gain’d—
  “But she is idle, nor has much attain’d;
  Men are in her deceived: she knows at most
  A few light matters, for she scorns to boast.
  Her mathematic studies she resign’d—      90
  They did not suit the genius of her mind.
  She thought indeed the higher parts sublime,
  But then they took a monstrous deal of time!”
    Frequent and full the letters she delights
  To read in part; she names not him who writes—
  But here and there a precious sentence shows,
  Telling what literary debts she owes.
  Works, yet unprinted, for her judgment come,
  “Alas!” she cries, “and I must seal their doom.
  Sworn to be just, the judgment gives me pain—      100
  Ah! why must truth be told, or man be vain?”
    Much she has written, and still deigns to write,
  But not an effort yet must see the light.
  “Cruel!” her friends exclaim; “unkind, unjust!”
  But, no! the envious mass she will not trust;
  Content to hear that fame is due to her,
  Which on her works the world might not confer—
  Content with loud applauses while she lives;
  Unfelt the pain the cruel critic gives.


                                  II.

    _P._ Now where the Learned Lady? Doth she live,      110
  Her dinners yet and sentiments to give—
  The Dean’s wise consort, with the many friends,
  From whom she borrows, and to whom she lends
  Her precious maxims?
                      _F._ Yes, she lives to shed
  Her light around her; but her Dean is dead.
  Seen her I have, but seldom could I see;
  Borrow she could not, could not lend to me.
  Yet I attended, and beheld the tribe
  Attending too, whom I will not describe—
  Miranda Thomson! Yes, I sometimes found      120
  A seat among a circle so profound;
  When all the science of the age combined
  Was in that room, and hers the master-mind.
  Well I remember the admiring crowd,
  Who spoke their wonder and applause aloud;
  They strove who highest should her glory raise,
  And cramm’d the hungry mind with honied praise—
  While she, with grateful hand, a table spread,
  The Dean assenting—but the Dean is dead;
  And, though her sentiments are still divine,
  She asks no more her auditors to dine.      130
    Once from her lips came wisdom; when she spoke,
  Her friends in transport or amazement broke.
  Now to her dictates there attend but few,
  And they expect to meet attention too;
  Respect she finds is purchased at some cost,
  And deference is withheld, when dinner’s lost.
    She, once the guide and glory of the place
  Exists between oblivion and disgrace;
  Praise, once afforded, now—they say not why,      140
  They dare not say it—fickle men deny;
  That buzz of fame a new Minerva cheers,
  Which our deserted queen no longer hears.
  Old, but not wise, forsaken, not resign’d,
  She gives to honours past her feeble mind;
  Back to her former state her fancy moves,
  And lives on past applause, that still she loves;
  Yet holds in scorn the fame no more in view,      }
  And flies the glory that would not pursue      }
  To yon small cot a poorly jointured _Blue_.      150}


                               TALE XIV.

                         _THE WIFE AND WIDOW._


                                   I.

  I leave SOPHIA; it would please me well,
  Before we part, on so much worth to dwell.
  ’Tis said of one who lived in times of strife,
  There was no boyhood in his busy life;
  Born to do all that mortal being can,
  The thinking child became at once the man;
  So this fair girl in early youth was led,
  By reasons strong in early youth, to wed.
    In her new state her prudence was her guide,
  And of experience well the place supplied;      10
  With life’s important business full in view,
  She had no time for its amusements too;
  She had no practised look man’s heart t’ allure,
  No frown to kill him, and no smile to cure;
  No art coquettish, nothing of the prude;
  She was with strong yet simple sense endued,
  Intent on duties, and resolved to shun
  Nothing that ought to be, and could be, done.
    A Captain’s wife, with him she long sustain’d
  The toil of war, and in a camp remain’d;      20
  Her husband wounded, with a child in arms,
  She nurst them both, unheeded all alarms;
  All useless terror in her soul supprest—
  None could discern in hers a troubled breast.
    Her wounded soldier is a prisoner made—
  She hears, prepares, and is at once convey’d
  Through hostile ranks; with air sedate she goes,
  And makes admiring friends of wondering foes.
  Her dying husband to her care confides      }
  Affairs perplex’d; she reasons, she decides;      30}
  If intricate her way, her walk discretion guides.      }
    Home to her country she returns alone,
  Her health decay’d, her child, her husband, gone;
  There she in peace reposes, there resumes
  Her female duties, and in rest reblooms;
  She is not one at common ills to droop,
  Nor to vain murmuring will her spirit stoop.
    I leave her thus: her fortieth year is nigh,
  She will not for another captain sigh;
  Will not a young and gay lieutenant take,      40
  Because ’tis pretty to reform a rake;
  Yet she again may plight her widow’d hand,
  Should love invite, or charity demand,
  And make her days, although for duty’s sake,
  As sad as folly and mischance can make.


                                  II.

    _P._ Lives yet the WIDOW, whose firm spirit bore
  Ills unrepining?—
              _F._ Here she lives no more;
  But where—I speak with some good people’s leave—
  Where all good works their due reward receive;
  Though, what reward to our best works is due,      50
  I leave to them—and will my tale pursue.
    Again she married, to her husband’s friend,
  Whose wife was hers; whom going to attend,
  As on her death-bed she, yet young, was laid,
  The anxious parent took her hand and said:
  “Prove _now_ your love; let these poor infants be
  As thine, and find a mother’s love in thee!”—
    “And must I woo their father?”—“Nay, indeed;      }
  He no encouragement but hope will need;      }
  In hope too let me die, and think my wish decreed!”      60}
    The wife expires; the widow’d pair unite;
  Their love was sober, and their prospect bright.
  She train’d the children with a studious love,
  That knew full well t’ encourage and reprove;
  Nicely she dealt her praise and her disgrace;
  Not harsh and not indulgent out of place;
  Not to the forward partial—to the slow      }
  All patient, waiting for the time to sow      }
  The seeds that, suited to the soil, would grow.      }
    Nor watch’d she less the Husband’s weaker soul,      70
  But learn’d to lead him who abhorr’d control;
  Who thought a nursery, next a kitchen, best
  To women suited—and she acquiesced;
  She only begg’d to rule in small affairs,
  And ease her wedded lord of common cares;
  Till he at length thought every care was small,
  Beneath his notice, and she had them all.
  He on his throne the lawful monarch sate,
  And she was by—the minister of state;
  He gave assent, and he required no more,      80
  But sign’d the act that she decreed before.
    Again, her fates in other work decree
  A mind so active should experienced be.
    One of the name, who roved the world around,
  At length had something of its treasures found,
  And childless died, amid his goods and gain,
  In far Barbadoes on the western main.
  His kinsman heard, and wish’d the wealth to share,
  But had no mind to be transported there:
  “His Wife could sail—her courage who could doubt?—      90
  And she was not tormented with the gout.”
    She liked it not; but for his children’s sake,
  And for their father’s, would the duty take.
  Storms she encounter’d, ere she reach’d the shore,
  And other storms when these were heard no more—
  The rage of lawyers forced to drop their prey—
  And once again to England made her way.
    She found her Husband with his gout removed,
  And a young nurse, most skilful and approved;
  Whom—for he yet was weak—he urged to stay,      100
  And nurse him while his consort was away:—
  “She was so handy, so discreet, so nice,
  As kind as comfort, though as cold as ice!
  Else,” he assured his lady, “in no case,
  So young a creature should have fill’d the place.”
    It has been held—indeed, the point is clear—
  “None are so deaf as those who will not hear;”
  And, by the same good logic, we shall find,
  “As those who will not see, are none so blind.”
  The thankful Wife repaid th’ attention shown,      110
  But now would make the duty all her own.
    Again the gout return’d; but, seizing now
  A vital part, would no relief allow.
    The Husband died, but left a will that proved
  He much respected whom he coolly loved.
  All power was hers; nor yet was such her age
  But rivals strove her favour to engage.
  They talk’d of love with so much warmth and zeal,
  That they believed the woman’s heart must feel;
  Adding such praises of her worth beside,      120
  As vanquish prudence oft by help of pride.
    In vain! her heart was by discretion led—
  She to the children of her Friend was wed;
  These she establish’d in the world, and died,
  In ease and hope, serene and satisfied.
    And loves not man that woman who can charm
  Life’s grievous ills, and grief itself disarm;
  Who in his fears and troubles brings him aid,
  And seldom is, and never seems, afraid?
    No! ask of man the fair one whom he loves:      130
  You’ll find her one of the desponding doves,
  Who tender troubles as her portion brings,
  And with them fondly to a husband clings—
  Who never moves abroad, nor sits at home,
  Without distress, past, present, or to come—
  Who never walks the unfrequented street,
  Without a dread that death and she shall meet:
  At land, on water, she must guarded be,
  Who sees the danger none besides her see,
  And is determined by her cries to call      140
  All men around her: she will have them all.
    Man loves to think the tender being lives
  But by the power that his protection gives:
  He loves the feeble step, the plaintive tone,
  And flies to help who cannot stand alone;
  He thinks of propping elms and clasping vines,
  And in her weakness thinks her virtue shines;
  On him not one of her desires is lost,
  And he admires her for this care and cost.
    But, when afflictions come, when beauty dies,      150
  Or sorrows vex the heart, or danger tries—
  When time of trouble brings the daily care,
  And gives of pain as much as he can bear:
  ’Tis then he wants, if not the helping hand,
  At least a soothing temper, meek and bland;
  He wants the heart that shares in his distress—
  At least, the kindness that would make it less;
  And when, instead, he hears th’ eternal grief
  For some light want, and not for his relief—
  And when he hears the tender trembler sigh      160
  For some indulgence he cannot supply—
  When, in the midst of many a care, his “dear”
  Would like a duchess at a ball appear,
  And, while he feels a weight that wears him down,
  Would see the prettiest sight in all the town—
  Love then departs; and, if some Pity lives,
  That Pity half despises, half forgives;
  ’Tis join’d with grief, is not from shame exempt,
  And has a plenteous mixture of contempt.


                                TALE XV.

                           _BELINDA WATERS._


                                   I.

  Of all the beauties in our favour’d place,
  BELINDA WATERS was the pride and grace.
  Say ye, who sagely can our fortunes read,
  Shall this fair damsel in the world succeed?
    A rosy beauty she, and fresh and fair,
  Who never felt a caution or a care;
  Gentle by nature, ever fond of ease,
  And more consenting than inclined to please.
  A tame good nature in her spirit lives—
  She hates refusal for the pain it gives:      10
  From opposition arguments arise,
  And, to prevent the trouble, she complies.
  She, if in Scotland, would be _fash’d_ all day,
  If call’d to any work or any play;
  She lets no busy, idle wish intrude,
  But is by nature negatively good.
    In marriage hers will be a dubious fate:
  She is not fitted for a high estate—
  There wants the grace, the polish, and the pride;      }
  Less is she fitted for a humble bride:      20}
  Whom fair Belinda weds—let chance decide!      }
    She sees her father oft engross’d by cares,
  And therefore hates to hear of men’s affairs.
  An active mother in the household reigns,
  And spares Belinda all domestic pains;
  Of food she knows but this, that we are fed;
  Though, duly taught, she prays for daily bread,
  Yet, whence it comes, of hers is no concern—
  It comes; and more she never wants to learn.
    She on the table sees the common fare,      30
  But, how provided, is beneath her care.
  Lovely and useless, she has no concern
  About the things that aunts and mothers learn;
  But thinks, when married—if she thinks at all—
  That what she needs will answer to her call.
    To write is business, and, though taught to write,
  She keeps the pen and paper out of sight;
  What once was painful she cannot allow
  To be enjoyment or amusement now.
  She wonders why the ladies are so fond      40
  Of such long letters, when they correspond;
  Crowded and cross’d by ink of different stain,
  She thinks to read them would confuse her brain;
  Nor much mistakes; but still has no pretence
  To praise for this, her critic’s indolence.
    Behold her now! she on her sofa looks
  O’er half a shelf of circulating books.
  This she admired, but she forgets the name,
  And reads again another, or the same.
  She likes to read of strange and bold escapes,      50}
  Of plans and plottings, murders and mishaps,      }
  Love in all hearts, and lovers in all shapes.      }
  She sighs for pity, and her sorrows flow
  From the dark eyelash on the page below;
  And is so glad when, all the misery past,
  The dear adventurous lovers meet at last—
  Meet and are happy; and she thinks it hard,
  When thus an author might a pair reward—
  When they, the troubles all dispersed, might wed—
  He makes them part, and die of grief instead!      60
    Yet tales of terror are her dear delight,
  All in the wintry storm to read at night;
  And to her maid she turns in all her doubt,—
  “This shall I like? and what is that about?”
    She had “Clarissa” for her heart’s dear friend—
  Was pleased each well-tried virtue to commend.
  And praised the scenes that one might fairly doubt
  If one so young could know so much about.
  Pious and pure, th’ heroic beauty strove
  Against the lover and against the love;      70
  But strange that maid so young should know the strife,
  In all its views, was painted to the life!
  Belinda knew not—nor a tale would read,
  That could so slowly on its way proceed;
  And, ere Clarissa reach’d the wicked town,
  The weary damsel threw the volume down.
  “Give me,” she said, “for I would laugh or cry,
  ‘Scenes from the Life,’ and ‘Sensibility;’
  ‘Winters at Bath,’—I would that I had one!      }
  ‘The Constant Lover,’ the ‘Discarded Son,’      80}
  ‘The Rose of Raby,’ ‘Delmore,’ or ‘The Nun.’      }
  These promise something, and may please, perhaps,
  Like ‘Ethelinda,’ and the dear ‘Relapse.’”
  To these her heart the gentle maid resign’d,
  And such the food that fed the gentle mind.


                                  II.

    _P._ Knew you the fair BELINDA, once the boast
  Of a vain mother, and a favourite toast
  Of clerks and young lieutenants, a gay set
  Of light admirers?—Is she married yet?
    _F._ Yes! she is married; though she waited long,      90
  Not from a prudent fear of choosing wrong,
  But want of choice.—She took a surgeon’s mate,
  With his half-pay, that was his whole estate.
    Fled is the charming bloom that nature spread      }
  Upon her cheek, the pure, the rosy red—      }
  This, and the look serene, the calm, kind look, are fled.      }
  Sorrow and sadness now the place possess,
  And the pale cast of anxious fretfulness.
    She _wonders_ much—as, why they live so ill;
  Why the rude butcher brings his weekly bill;      100
  She wonders why that baker will not trust,
  And says, most truly says,—“Indeed, he must.”
  She wonders where her former friends are gone—
  And thus, from day to day, she wonders on.
    Howe’er she can—she dresses gaily yet,
  And then she wonders how they came in debt.
  Her husband loves her, and in accent mild
  Answers, and treats her like a fretted child;
  But when he, ruffled, makes severe replies,      }
  And seems unhappy—then she pouts, and cries      110}
  “She wonders when she’ll die!”—She faints, but never dies.      }
    “How well my father lived!” she says.—“How well,
  My dear, your father’s creditors could tell!”
  And then she weeps, till comfort is applied,
  That soothes her spleen or gratifies her pride:
  Her dress and novels, visits and success
  In a chance-game, are soft’ners of distress.
    So life goes on!—But who, that loved his life,
  Would take a fair Belinda for his wife!
  Who thinks that all are for their stations born,      120
  Some to indulge themselves, and to adorn;
  And some, a useful people, to prepare,
  Not being rich, good things for those who are,
  And who are born, it cannot be denied,
  To have their wants and their demands supplied.
    She knows that money is a needful thing,
  That fathers first, and then that husbands bring;
  Or, if those persons should the aid deny,
  Daughters and wives have but to faint and die,
  Till flesh and blood cannot endure the pain;      130
  And then the lady lives and laughs again.
    To wed an ague, and to feel, for life,
  Hot fits and cold succeeding in a wife;
  To take the pestilence with poison’d breath,
  And wed some potent minister of death,
  Is cruel fate—yet death is then relief;
  But thus to wed is ever-during grief.
    Oft have I heard, how blest the youth who weds
  Belinda Waters!—rather he who dreads
  That fate—a truth her husband well approves,      140
  Who blames and fondles, humours, chides, and loves.


                               TALE XVI.

                        _THE DEALER AND CLERK._


                                   I.

  Bad men are seldom cheerful; but we see
  That, when successful, they can merry be.
  ONE, whom I leave, his darling money lends,
  On terms well known, to his unhappy friends;
  He farms and trades, and in his method treats
  His guests, whom first he comforts, then he cheats.
  He knows their private griefs, their inward groans,
  And then applies his leeches and his loans
  To failing, falling families—and gets,
  I know not how, with large increase, their debts.      10
    He early married, and the woman made
  A losing bargain; she with scorn was paid
  For no small fortune. On this slave he vents
  His peevish slights, his moody discontents.
  Her he neglects, indulging, in her stead,
  One whom he bribed to leave a husband’s bed—
  A young fair mother too, the pride and joy
  Of him whom her desertion will destroy.
    The poor man walks by the adulterer’s door,
  To see the wife, whom he must meet no more;      20
  She will not look upon the face of one
  Whom she has blighted, ruined, and undone.
  He feels the shame; his heart with grief is rent;
  Hers is the guilt, and his the punishment.
    The cruel spoiler to his need would lend
  Unsought relief—his need will soon have end.
  Let a few wint’ry months in sorrow pass,
  And on his corse shall grow the vernal grass.
  Neighbours, indignant, of his griefs partake,
  And hate the villain for the victim’s sake;      30
  Wond’ring what bolt within the stores of heaven
  Shall on that bold, offending wretch be driven.
    Alas! my grieving friends, we cannot know
  Why Heaven inflicts, and why suspends, the blow.
  Meanwhile the godless man, who thus destroys
  Another’s peace, in peace his wealth enjoys,
  And, every law evaded or defied,
  Is with long life and prosperous fortune tried.
  “How long?” the Prophet cried, and we, “how long?”      }
  But think how quick that Eye, that Arm how strong,      40}
  And bear what seems not right, and trust it is not wrong!      }
    Does Heaven forbear? then sinners mercy find—
  Do sinners fall? ’tis mercy to mankind.
  ADIEU! can one so miserable be,
  Rich, wretched man, to barter fates with thee?


                                  II.

    Yet, ere I go, some notice must be paid
  To JOHN, his Clerk, a man full sore afraid
  Of his own frailty—many a troubled day
  Has he walk’d doubtful in some close by-way,
  Beseeching Conscience on her watch to keep,      50
  Afraid that she one day should fall asleep.
    A quiet man was John; his mind was slow;
  Little he knew, and little sought to know.
  He gave respect to worth, to riches more,
  And had instinctive dread of being poor.
  Humble and careful, diligent and neat,
  He in the Dealer’s office found a seat;
  Happy in all things, till a fear began
  To break his rest—He served a wicked man,
  Who spurn’d the way direct of honest trade,      60
  But praised the laws his cunning could evade.
    This crafty Dealer of religion spoke,
  As if design’d to be the wise man’s cloak,
  And the weak man’s encumbrance, whom it awes,
  And keeps in dread of conscience and the laws.
  Yet, for himself, he loved not to appear
  In her grave dress; ’twas troublesome to wear.
    This Dealer played at games of skill, and won
  Sums that surprised the simple mind of John;
  Nor trusted skill alone; for well he knew,      70
  What a sharp eye and dext’rous hand could do;
  When, if suspected, he had always by
  The daring oath to back the cunning lie.
    John was distress’d, and said, with aching heart,
  “I from the vile, usurious man must part;
  For, if I go not—yet I mean to go—
  This friend to me will to my soul be foe.
  I serve my master: there is nought to blame;
  But, whom he serves, I tremble but to name.”
    From such reflections sprung the painful fear—      80
  “The Foe of Souls is too familiar here;
  My master stands between: so far, so good;
  But ’tis at best a dangerous neighbourhood.”
    Then livelier thoughts began this fear to chase—
  “It is a gainful, a convenient place.
  If I should quit—another takes the pen,
  And what a chance for my preferment then?
  Religion nothing by my going gains;
  If I depart, my master still remains.
  True, I record the deeds that I abhor,      90
  But these that master has to answer for.
  Then say, I leave the office: his success,
  And his injustice, will not be the less;
  Nay, would be greater—I am right to stay;
  It checks him, doubtless, in his fearful way.
  Fain would I stay, and yet be not beguiled;
  But pitch is near, and man is soon defiled.”


                                  III.

    _P._ Such were the MAN and MASTER—and I now
  Would know if they together live, and how.
    To such enquiries, thus my Friend replied:—      100
  _F._ The Wife was slain—or, say at least, she died.
  But there are murders that the human eye
  Cannot detect—which human laws defy.
  There are the wrongs insulted fondness feels,
  In many a secret wound that never heals;
  The Savage murders with a single blow;
  Murders like this are secret and are slow.
    Yet, when his victim lay upon her bier,
  There were who witness’d that he dropt a tear;
  Nay, more, he praised the woman he had lost,      110
  And undisputed paid the funeral cost.
    The Favourite now, her lord and master freed,
  Prepared to wed, and be a wife indeed.
  The day, ’twas said, was fix’d, the robes were bought,
  A feast was order’d; but a cold was caught,
  And pain ensued, with fever—grievous pain,
  With the mind’s anguish that disturb’d the brain—
  Till nature ceased to struggle, and the mind
  Saw clearly death before, and sin behind.
  Priests and physicians gave what they could give;      120
  She turn’d away, and, shuddering, ceased to live.
    The Dealer now appeared awhile as one
  Lost, with but little of his race to run,
  And that in sorrow; men with one consent,
  And one kind hope, said, “Bonner will repent.”
  Alas! we saw not what his fate would be,
  But this we fear’d—no penitence had he;
  Nor time for penitence, nor any time,
  So quick the summons, to look back on crime.
    When he the partner of his sin entomb’d,      130
  He paused awhile, and then the way resumed,
  Ev’n as before; yet was he not the same:
  The tempter once, he now the dupe became.
  John long had left him, nor did one remain
  Who would his harlot in her course refrain;
  Obsequious, humble, studious of his ease,
  The present Phœbe only sought to please.
  “With one so artless, what,” said he, “to fear,
  Or what to doubt, in one who holds me dear?
  Friends she may have, but me she will not wrong;      140
  If weak her judgment, yet her love is strong;
  And I am lucky now in age to find
  A friend so trusty, and a nurse so kind.”
    Yet neither party was in peace; the man
  Had restless nights, and in the morn began
  To cough and tremble; he was hot and cold—
  He had a nervous fever, he was told.
  His dreams—’twas strange, for none reflected less
  On his past life—were frightful to excess;
  His favourite dinners were no more enjoy’d,      150
  And, in a word, his spirits were destroy’d.
    And what of Phœbe? She her measures plann’d;
  All but his money was at her command;
  All would be hers, when Heav’n her Friend should call;
  But Heav’n was slow, and much she long’d for all:—
  “Mine when he dies, mean wretch! and why not mine,
  When it would prove him generous to resign
  What he enjoys not!”—Phœbe, at command,
  Gave him his brandy with a liberal hand.
  A way more quick and safe she did not know,      160
  And brandy, though it might be sure, was slow.
  But more she dared not; for she felt a dread
  Of being tried, and only wish’d him dead.
  Such was her restless strife of hope and fear—
  He might cough on for many a weary year;
  Nay, his poor mind was changing, and, when ill,      }
  Some foe to her may wicked thoughts instil!      }
  Oh! ’tis a trial sore to watch a Miser’s will!      }
  Thus, though the pair appear’d in peace to live,
  They felt that vice has not that peace to give.      170
    There watch’d a cur before the Miser’s gate—
  A very cur, whom all men seem’d to hate;
  Gaunt, savage, shaggy, with an eye that shone
  Like a live coal, and he possess’d but one;
  His bark was wild and eager, and became      }
  That meagre body and that eye of flame;      }
  His master prized him much, and _Fang_ his name.      }
  His master fed him largely; but not that,
  Nor aught of kindness, made the snarler fat.
  Flesh he devoured, but not a bit would stay;      180
  He bark’d, and snarl’d, and growl’d it all away.
  His ribs were seen extended like a rack,
  And coarse red hair hung roughly o’er his back.
  Lamed in one leg, and bruised in wars of yore,
  Now his sore body made his temper sore.
  Such was the friend of him, who could not find,
  Nor make him one, ‘mong creatures of his kind.
  Brave deeds of Fang his master often told,
  The son of Fury, famed in days of old,
  From Snatch and Rabid sprung; and noted they      190
  In earlier times—each dog will have his day.
    The notes of Fang were to his master known,
  And dear—they bore some likeness to his own;
  For both convey’d to the experienced ear,
  “I snarl and bite, because I hate and fear.”
  None pass’d ungreeted by the master’s door;
  Fang rail’d at all, but chiefly at the poor;
  And, when the nights were stormy, cold, and dark,
  The act of Fang was a perpetual bark;
  But though the master loved the growl of Fang,      200
  There were who vow’d the ugly cur to hang;
  Whose angry master, watchful for his friend,
  As strongly vow’d his servant to defend.
    In one dark night, and such as Fang before
  Was ever known its tempests to outroar,
  To his protector’s wonder now express’d
  No angry notes—his anger was at rest.
  The wond’ring master sought the silent yard,
  Left Phœbe sleeping, and his door unbarr’d;
  Nor more returned to that forsaken bed—      210
  But lo! the morning came, and he was dead.
  Fang and his master side by side were laid
  In grim repose—their debt of nature paid!
  The master’s hand upon the cur’s cold chest
  Was now reclined, and had before been press’d,
  As if he search’d how deep and wide the wound
  That laid such spirit in a sleep so sound;
  And, when he found it was the sleep of death,
  A sympathising sorrow stopp’d his breath.
  Close to his trusty servant he was found,      220
  As cold his body, and his sleep as sound.
    We know no more; but who on horrors dwell
  Of that same night have dreadful things to tell.
  Of outward force, they say, was not a sign—
  The hand that struck him was the Hand Divine;
  And then the Fiend, in that same stormy night,
  Was heard—as many thought—to claim his right;
  While grinning imps the body danced about,
  And then they vanish’d with triumphant shout.
    So think the crowd, and well it seems in them,      230
  That ev’n their dreams and fancies vice condemn;
  That not alone for virtue Reason pleads,
  But Nature shudders at unholy deeds;
  While our strong fancy lists in her defence,
  And takes the side of Truth and Innocence.


                                  IV.

    _P._ But, what the fortune of the MAN, whose fear
  Inform’d his Conscience that the foe was near;
  But yet whose interest to his desk confined
  That sober CLERK of indecisive mind?
    _F._ JOHN served his master, with himself at strife,      240
  For he with Conscience lived like man and wife;
  Now jarring, now at peace,—the life they led
  Was all contention, both at board and bed:
  His meals were troubled by his scruples all,
  And in his dreams he was about to fall
  Into some strong temptation—for it seems
  He never could resist it in his dreams.
    At length his MASTER, dealer, smuggler, cheat,
  As John would call him in his temper’s heat,
  Proposed a something—what, is dubious still—      230
  That John resisted with a stout good-will.
  Scruples like his were treated with disdain,
  Whose waking conscience spurn’d the offer’d gain.
  “Quit then my office, scoundrel, and begone!”
  “I dare not do it,” said the affrighten’d John.
  “What fear’st thou, driveller! can thy fancy tell?”
  “I doubt,” said John—“I’m sure, there is a hell.”
  “No question, wretch! thy foot is on the door;
  To be in hell, thou fool! is to be poor.
  Wilt thou consent?”—But John, with many a sigh,      260
  Refused, then sank beneath his stronger eye,
  Who with a curse dismiss’d the fool that dared
  Not join a venture which he might have shared.
    The worthy Clerk then served a man in trade,
  And was his friend and his companion made—
  A sickly man, who sundry wares retail’d,
  Till, while his trade increased, his spirit fail’d.
  John was to him a treasure, whom he proved,
  And, finding faithful, as a brother loved.
  To John his views and business he consign’d,      270
  And forward look’d with a contented mind;
  As sickness bore him onward to the grave,
  A charge of all things to his friend he gave.
    But neighbours talk’d—’twas idle—of the day
  When Richard Shale should walk the dark highway—
  And whisper’d—tatlers!—that the wife received
  Such hints with anger, but she nothing grieved.
    These whispers reach’d the man, who weak, and ill
  In mind and body, had to make his will;
  And, though he died in peace, and all resign’d,      280
  ’Twas plain he harbour’d fancies in his mind.
  With jealous foresight, all that he had gain’d
  His widow’s was, while widow she remain’d;
  But, if another should the dame persuade
  To wed again, farewell the gains of trade:
  For if the widow’d dove could not refrain,
  She must return to poverty again.
    The man was buried, and the will was read,
  And censure spared them not, alive or dead!
  At first the Widow and the Clerk, her friend,      290
  Spent their free days as prudence bade them spend.
  At the same table they would dine, ’tis true,
  And they would worship in the self-same pew:
  Each had the common interest so at heart,
  It would have griev’d them terribly to part;
  And as they both were serious and sedate,
  ’Twas long before the world began to prate.
  But when it prated—though without a cause,—
  It put the pair in mind of breaking laws,
  Led them to reason what it was that gave      300
  A husband power, when quiet in his grave.
  The marriage contract they had now by heart—
  “Till death!”—you see, no longer—“do us part.”
  “Well! death has loosed us from the tie, but still
  The loosen’d husband makes a binding will;
  Unjust and cruel are the acts of men.”
  “Thus they—and then they sigh’d—and then—and then,
  ’Twas snaring souls,” they said; and how he dared
  They did not know—they wonder’d—and were snared.
    “It is a marriage, surely! Conscience might      310
  Allow an act so very nearly right;
  Was it not witness to our solemn vow,
  As man and wife? it must the act allow.”
  But Conscience, stubborn to the last, replied,
  “It cannot be! I am not satisfied;
  ’Tis not a marriage: either dare be poor,
  Or dare be virtuous—part, and sin no more!”
    Alas! they many a fond evasion made;
  They could relinquish neither love nor trade.
  They went to church, but, thinking, fail’d to pray;      320
  They felt not ease or comfort at a play.
  If times were good—“We merit not such times;”
  If ill—“Is this the produce of our crimes?”
  When sick—“’Tis thus forbidden pleasures cease;”
  When well—they both demand, “Had Zimri peace?
  For though our worthy master was not slain,
  His injured ghost has reason to complain.”
    Ah, John! bethink thee of thy generous joy,
  When Conscience drove thee from thy late employ;
  When thou wert poor, and knew not where to run,      330
  But then could say, “The will of God be done!”
  When thou that will, and not thine own, obey’d—
  Of Him alone, and not of man afraid.
  Thou then hadst pity on that wretch, and, free
  Thyself, couldst pray for him who injured thee;
  Then how alert thy step, thyself how light
  All the day long! thy sleep how sound at night!
    But now, though plenty on thy board be found,
  And thou hast credit with thy neighbours round,
  Yet there is something in thy looks that tells,      340
  An odious secret in thy bosom dwells.
  Thy form is not erect, thy neighbours trace
  A coward spirit in thy shifting pace.
  Thou goest to meeting, not from any call,
  But just to hear, that we are sinners all—
  And equal sinners, or the difference made
  ’Twixt man and man has but the slightest shade;
  That reformation asks a world of pains,
  And, after all, must leave a thousand stains;
  And, worst of all, we must the work begin      350
  By first attacking the prevailing sin!—
    These thoughts the feeble mind of John assail,
  And o’er his reason and his fears prevail;
  They fill his mind with hopes of gifts and grace,      }
  Faith, feelings!—something that supplies the place      }
  Of true conversion—this will he embrace;      }
  For John perceives that he was scarcely tried
  By the first conquest, that increased his pride,
  When he refused his master’s crime to aid,
  And by his self-applause was amply paid.      360
  But now he feels the difference—feels it hard
  Against his will and favourite wish to guard;
  He mourns his weakness, hopes he shall prevail
  Against his frailty, and yet still is frail.
    Such is his life! and such the life must be
  Of all who will be bound, yet would be free;
  Who would unite what God to part decrees—
  The offended conscience, and the mind at ease:
  Who think, but vainly think, to sin and pray,
  And God and Mammon in their turn obey.      370
  Such is his life!—and so I would not live
  For all that wealthy widows have to give.


                               TALE XVII.

                         _DANVERS AND RAYNER._


                                   I.

  The purest Friendship, like the finest ware,
  Deserves our praises, but demands our care.
  For admiration we the things produce,
  But they are not design’d for common use;
  Flaws the most trifling from their virtue take,
  And lamentation for their loss we make;
  While common Friendships, like the wares of clay,
  Are a cheap kind, but useful every day.
  Though crack’d and damaged, still we make them do;
  And, when they’re broken, they’re forgotten too.      10
    There is within the world in which we dwell
  A Friendship, answering to that world full well:
  An interchange of looks and actions kind,
  And, in some sense, an intercourse of mind;
  A useful commerce, a convenient trade,
  By which both parties are the happier made;
  And, when the thing is rightly understood,
  And justly valued, it is wise and good.
    I speak not here of Friendships that excite
  In boys at school such wonder and delight—      20
  Of high, heroic Friends, in serious strife
  Contending which should yield a forfeit life—
  Such wondrous love, in their maturer days,
  Men, if they credit, are content to praise.
    I speak not here of Friendships true and just,
  When friend can friend with life and honour trust;
  Where mind to mind has long familiar grown,
  And every failing, every virtue known.
  Of these I speak not—things so rich and rare,
  That we degrade with jewels to compare,      30
  Or bullion pure and massy.—I intend
  To treat of one whose Neighbour called him Friend,
  Or called him Neighbour; and with reason good—
  The friendship rising from the neighbourhood:
  A sober kind, in common service known,
  Not such as is in death and peril shown;
  Such as will give or ask a helping hand,
  But no important sacrifice demand;
  In fact, a friendship that will long abide,
  If seldom rashly, never strongly, tried.      40
  Yes! these are sober friendships, made for use,
  And much convenience they in life produce:
  Like a good coat, that keeps us from the cold,
  The cloth of frieze is not a cloth of gold;
  But neither is it pyebald, pieced, and poor;
  ’Tis a good useful coat, and nothing more.
    Such is the Friendship of the world approved,
  And here the Friends so loving and so loved.—
  DANVERS and RAYNER, equals, who had made
  Each decent fortune, both were yet in trade;      50
  While sons and daughters, with a youthful zeal,
  Seem’d the hereditary love to feel;
  And ev’n their wives, though either might pretend
  To claim some notice, call’d each other friend.
    While yet their offspring boys and girls appear’d,
  The fathers ask’d, “What evil could be fear’d?”
  Nor is it easy to assign the year,
  When cautious parents should begin to fear.
  The boys must leave their schools, and, by and by,
  The girls are sure to grow reserved and shy;      60
  And then, suppose a real love should rise,
  It but unites the equal families.
    Love does not always from such freedom spring;
  Distrust, perhaps, would sooner cause the thing.
  “We will not check it, neither will we force”—
  Thus said the fathers—“Let it take its course.”
    It took its course:—young Richard Danvers’ mind
  In Phœbe Rayner found what lovers find—
  Sense, beauty, sweetness; all that mortal eyes
  Can see, or heart conceive, or thought devise.      70
  And Phœbe’s eye, and thought, and heart could trace
  In Richard Danvers every manly grace—
  All that e’er maiden wish’d, or matron prized—
  So well these good young people sympathised.
    All their relations, neighbours, and allies,
  All their dependants, visitors, and spies,
  Such as a wealthy family caress,
  Said here was love, and drank to love’s success.
    ’Tis thus I leave the parties, young and old,
  Lovers and Friends. Will Love and Friendship hold?      80
  Will Prudence with the children’s wish comply,
  And Friendship strengthen with that new ally?


                                  II.

    _P._ I see no more within our borough’s bound
  The name of DANVERS! Is it to be found?
  Were the young pair in Hymen’s fetters tied,
  Or did succeeding years the Friends divide?
    _F._ Nay! take the story, as by time brought forth,
  And of such Love and Friendship judge the worth.
  While the lad’s love—his parents call’d it so—
  Was going on, as well as love could go,      90
  A wealthy Danvers, in a distant place,
  Left a large fortune to this favour’d race.
  To that same place the father quickly went,
  And Richard only murmur’d weak dissent.
    Of Richard’s heart the parent truly guess’d:—
  “Well, my good lad! then do what suits thee best;
  No doubt thy brothers will do all they can
  T’ obey the orders of the good old man.
  Well, I would not thy free-born spirit bind;
  Take, Dick, the way to which thou’rt most inclined.”      100
    No answer gave the youth; nor did he swear
  The old man’s riches were beneath his care;
  Nor that he would with his dear Phœbe stay,
  And let his heartless father move away.
  No! kind and constant, tender, faithful, fond—
  Thus far he’d go—but not one step beyond!
  Not disobedient to a parent’s will—
  A lover constant—but dependent still.
    Letters, at first, between the constant swain
  And the kind damsel banish’d all their pain.      110
  Both full and quick they were; for lovers write
  With vast despatch, and read with vast delight—
  So quick they were—for Love is never slow—
  So full, they ever seem’d to overflow.
  Their hearts are ever fill’d with grief or joy,
  And these to paint is every hour’s employ;
  Joy they would not retain, and, for their grief,
  To read such letters is a sure relief.
    But, in due time, both joy and grief supprest,
  They found their comfort in a little rest.      120
  Mails went and came without the accustom’d freight,
  For Love grew patient, and content to wait—
  Yet was not dead, nor yet afraid to die;
  For, though he wrote not, Richard wonder’d why.
  He could not justly tell how letters pass’d,
  But, as to him appear’d, he wrote the last;
  In this he meant not to accuse the maid—
  Love, in some cases, ceases to upbraid.
    Yet not indifferent was our Lover grown,
  Although the ardour of the flame was flown;      130
  He still of Phœbe thought, her lip, her smile—
  But grew contented with his fate the while.
  Thus, not inconstant were the youthful pair—
  The Lad remembered still the Lass was fair;
  And Phœbe still, with half-affected sigh,
  Thought it a pity that such love should die;
  And had they then, with this persuasion, met,
  Love had rekindled, and been glowing yet.
    But times were changed; no mention now was made
  By the old Squire, or by the young, of trade.      140
  The worthy Lady, and her children all,
  Had due respect—The People at the Hall.
  His Worship now read Burn, and talk’d with skill
  About the poor-house, and the turnpike-bill;
  Lord of a manor, he had serious claims,
  And knew the poaching rascals by their names.
  And, if the father thus improved his mind,
  Be sure the children were not far behind:
  To rank and riches what respect was due,
  To them and theirs what deference, well they knew,      150
  And, from the greatest to the least, could show
  What to the favouring few the favour’d many owe.
    The mind of man must have whereon to work,
  Or it will rust—we see it in the Turk;
  And Justice Danvers, though he read the news,
  And all of law that magistrates peruse—
  Bills about roads and charities—yet still
  Wanted employ his vacant mind to fill;
  These were not like the shipping, once his pride,
  Now, with his blue surtout, laid all aside.      160
    No doubt, his spirits in their ebb to raise,
  He found some help in men’s respect and praise—
  Praise of his house, his land, his lawn, his trees—
  He cared not what—to praise him was to please:
  Yet, though his rural neighbours called to dine,
  And some might kindly praise his food and wine,
  This was not certain, and, another day,
  He must the visit and the praise repay.
    By better motives urged—we will suppose—
  He thus began his purpose to disclose      170
  To his good lady:—“We have lived a year,
  And never ask’d our friends the Rayners here.
  Do let us ask them—as for Richard’s flame,
  It went, we see, as idly as it came—
  Invite them kindly—here’s a power of room,
  And the poor people will be glad to come.
  Outside and in, the coach will hold them all,
  And set them down beside the garden wall.”
    The Lady wrote, for that was all he meant,
  Kind soul! by asking for his wife’s assent;      180
  And every Rayner was besought to come
  To dine in Hulver Hall’s grand dining-room.
    About this time old Rayner, who had lost
  His Friend’s advice, was by misfortune cross’d:
  Some debtors fail’d, when large amounts were due,
  So large, that he was nearly failing too;
  But he, grown wary, that he might not fail,
  Brought to in adverse gales, and shorten’d sail;
  This done, he rested, and could now attend
  The invitation of his distant Friend.      190
    “Well! he would go; but not, indeed, t’ admire
  The state and grandeur of the new-made Squire;
  Danvers, belike, now wealthy, might impart
  Some of his gold; for Danvers had a heart,
  And may have heard, though guarded so around,
  That I have lost the fortune he has found.
  Yes! Dick is kind, or he and his fine seat
  Might go to——where we never more should meet.”
    Now, lo! the Rayners all at Hulver Place—
  Or Hulver Hall—’tis not a certain case;      200
  ’Tis only known that Ladies’ notes were sent
  Directed both ways, and they always went.
    We pass the greetings, and the dinner pass,
  All the male gossip o’er the sparkling glass,
  And female, when retired.—The Squire invites
  His Friend, by sleep refresh’d, to see his sights—
  His land and lions, granary, barns, and crops,      }
  His dairy, piggery, pinery, apples, hops;—      }
  But here a hill appears, and Peter Rayner stops.      }
    “Ah! my old Friend, I give you joy,” he cries;      210
  “But some are born to fall, and some to rise;
  You’re better many a thousand, I the worse—
  Dick, there’s no dealing with a failing purse;
  Nor does it shame me (mine is all mischance)
  To wish some friendly neighbour would advance”—
  ——But here the guest on such a theme was low.
  His host, meantime, intent upon the show,
  In hearing heard not—they came out to see—
  And, pushing forward, “There’s a view,” quoth he;
  “Observe that ruin, built, you see, to catch      220
  The gazer’s eye; that cottage with the thatch—
  It cost me—guess you what?”—that sound of _cost_
  Was accidental, but it was not lost.
    “Ah! my good Friend, be sure such things as these
  Suit well enough a man who lives at ease.
  Think what ‘The Betsy’ _cost_, and think the shock
  Of losing her upon the Dodder-Rock!
  The tidings reach’d me on the very day
  That villain robb’d us, and then ran away.
  Loss upon loss! now if”——
                                “Do stay a bit;”      230
  Exclaim’d the Squire, “these matters hardly fit
  A morning ramble—let me show you now
  My team of oxen, and my patent plough.
  Talk of your horses! I the plan condemn—
  They eat us up—but oxen! we eat them;
  For first they plough and bring us bread to eat,
  And then we fat and kill them—there’s the meat.
  What’s your opinion?”—
                      —“I am poorly fed,
  And much afraid to want both meat and bread,”
  Said Rayner, half indignant; and the Squire      240}
  Sigh’d, as he felt he must no more require      }
  A man, whose prospects fail’d, his prospects to admire.      }
    Homeward they moved, and met a gentle pair,
  The poor man’s daughter, and the rich man’s heir.
  This caused some thought; but on the couple went,
  And a soft hour in tender converse spent.
  This pair, in fact, their passion roused anew,
  Alone much comfort from the visit drew.
    At home the Ladies were engaged, and all
  Show’d or were shown the wonders of the Hall;      250
  From room to room the weary guests went on,
  Till every Rayner wish’d the show was done.
    Home they return’d; the Father deeply sigh’d      }
  To find he vainly had for aid applied;      }
  It hurt him much to ask—and more to be denied.      }
    The younger Richard, who alone sustain’d
  The dying Friendship, true to Love remain’d.
  His Phœbe’s smiles, although he did not yet
  Fly to behold, he could not long forget;
  Nor durst he visit, nor was love so strong,      260
  That he could more than think his Father wrong;
  For, wrong or right, that father still profess’d
  The most obedient son should fare the best.
    So time pass’d on; the second spring appear’d,
  Ere Richard ventured on the deed he fear’d.—
  He dared at length; and not so much for love,
  I grieve to add, but that he meant to prove
  He had a will.—His father, in reply,
  This known, had answer’d, “So, my son, have I.”
  But Richard’s courage was by prudence taught,      270
  And he his nymph in secret service sought.
  Some days of absence—not with full consent,      }
  But with slow leave—were to entreaty lent;      }
  And forth the Lover rode, uncertain what he meant.      }
    He reached the dwelling he had known so long,
  When a pert damsel told him, “he was wrong;
  Their house she did not just precisely know,
  But he would find it somewhere in _the Row_;
  The Rayners now were come a little down,
  Nor more the topmost people in the town.”      280
  She might have added, they their life enjoy’d,
  Although on things less hazardous employ’d.
    This was not much; but yet the damsel’s sneer,
  And the Row-dwelling of a lass so dear,
  Were somewhat startling. He had heard, indeed,
  That Rayner’s business did not well succeed:
  “But what of that? They lived in decent style,
  No doubt, and Phœbe still retain’d her smile;
  And why,” he asked, “should all men choose to dwell
  In broad cold streets?—the Row does just as well,      290
  Quiet and snug;” and then the favourite maid
  Rose in his fancy, tastefully array’d,
  Looking with grateful joy upon the swain,
  Who could his love in trying times retain.
    Soothed by such thoughts, to the new house he came,
  Surveyed its aspect, sigh’d, and gave his name.
  But ere they opened, he had waited long,
  And heard a movement—Was there somewhat wrong?
  Nay, but a friendly party, he was told;      }
  And look’d around, as wishing to behold      300}
  Some friends—but these were not the friends of old.      }
    Old Peter Rayner, in his own old mode,
  Bade the Squire welcome to his new abode,
  For Richard had been kind, and doubtless meant
  To make proposals now, and ask consent.
  Mamma and misses, too, were civil all;
  But what their awkward courtesy to call,
  He knew not; neither could he well express
  His sad sensations at their strange address.
  And then their laughter loud, their story-telling,      310
  All seem’d befitting to that Row and dwelling;
  The hearty welcome to the various treat
  Was lost on him—he could nor laugh nor eat.
    But one thing pleased him, when he look’d around,
  His clearest Phœbe could not there be found:
  “Wise and discreet,” he says, “she shuns the crew
  Of vulgar neighbours, some kind act to do;
  In some fair house, some female friend to meet,
  Or take at evening prayer in church her seat.”
    Meantime there rose, amid the ceaseless din,      320}
  A mingled scent, that crowded room within,      }
  Rum and red-herring, Cheshire cheese and gin;      }
  Pipes, too, and punch, and sausages, with tea,
  Were things that Richard was disturbed to see.
  Impatient now, he left them in disdain,
  To call on Phœbe, when he call’d again;
  To walk with her, the morning fair and bright,
  And lose the painful feelings of the night.
    All in the Row, and tripping at the side
  Of a young Sailor, he the nymph espied,      330
  As, homeward hastening with her happy boy,
  She went to join the party, and enjoy.
  “Fie!” Phœbe cried, as her companion spoke,
  Yet laugh’d to hear the fie-compelling joke;—
  Then ’twas her chance to meet, her shame to know,      }
  Her tender Richard, moving sad and slow,      }
  Musing on things full strange, the manners of the Row.      }
    At first amazed, and then alarm’d, the fair
  Late-laughing maid now stood in dumb despair.
  As when a debtor meets in human shape      340
  The foe of debtors, and cannot escape,
  He stands in terror, nor can longer aim
  To keep his credit, or preserve his name,
  Stood Phœbe fix’d! “Unlucky time and place!
  An earlier hour had kept me from disgrace!”
  She thought—but now the sailor, undismay’d,
  Said, “My dear Phœbe, why are you afraid?
  The man seems civil, or he soon should prove
  That I can well defend the girl I love.
  Are you not mine?” She utter’d no reply:—      350}
  “Thine I must be,” she thought; “more foolish I!”      }
  While Richard at the scene stood mute and wondering by.      }
    His spirits hurried, but his bosom light,
  He left his Phœbe with a calm “good night!”
  So Love like Friendship fell! The youth awhile
  Dreamt, sorely moved, of Phœbe’s witching smile—
  But learned in daylight visions to forego
  The Sailor’s laughing Lass, the Phœbe of the Row.
    Home turn’d young Richard, in due time to turn,
  With all old Richard’s zeal, the leaves of Burn;      360
  And home turned Phœbe—in due time to grace
  A tottering cabin with a tattered race.


                              TALE XVIII.

                            _THE BOAT RACE._


                                   I.

  The man who dwells where party-spirit reigns,
  May feel its triumphs, but must wear its chains;
  He must the friends and foes of party take
  For his, and suffer for his honour’s sake;
  When once enlisted upon either side,
  He must the rude septennial storm abide—
  A storm that when its utmost rage is gone,
  In cold and angry mutterings murmurs on;
  A slow unbending scorn, a cold disdain—
  Till years bring the full tempest back again.      10
    Within our Borough two stiff sailors dwelt,
  Who both this party storm and triumph felt;
  Men who had talents, and were both design’d
  For better things, but anger made them blind.
    In the same year they married, and their wives
  Had pass’d in friendship their yet peaceful lives,
  And, as they married in a time of peace,
  Had no suspicion that their love must cease.
  In fact it did not; but they met by stealth,
  And that perhaps might keep their love in health;      20
  Like children watch’d, desirous yet afraid,
  Their visits all were with discretion paid.
    One Captain, so by courtesy we call
  Our [hoys’] commanders—they are captains all—
  Had sons and daughters many; while but one
  The rival Captain bless’d—a darling son.
  Each was a burgess to his party tied,
  And each was fix’d, but on a different side;
  And he who sought his son’s pure mind to fill
  With wholesome food, would evil too instil.      30
  The last in part succeeded—but in part—
  For Charles had sense, had virtue, had a heart;
  And he had soon the cause of Nature tried
  With the stern father, but this father died;
  Who on his death-bed thus his son address’d:—
  “Swear to me, Charles, and let my spirit rest—
  Swear to our party to be ever true,
  And let me die in peace—I pray thee, do.”
    With some reluctance, but obedience more,
  The weeping youth reflected, sigh’d, and swore;      40
  Trembling, he swore for ever to be true,
  And wear no colour but the untainted Blue.
  This done, the Captain died in so much joy,
  As if he’d wrought salvation for his boy.
    The female friends their wishes yet retain’d,
  But seldom met, by female fears restrain’d;
  Yet in such town, where girls and boys must meet,
  And every house is known in every street,
  Charles had before, nay since his father’s death,
  Met, say by chance, the young Elizabeth;      50
  Who was both good and graceful, and in truth
  Was but too pleasing to th’ observing youth;
  And why I know not, but the youth to her
  Seem’d just that being that she could prefer.
  Both were disposed to think that party-strife
  Destroy’d the happiest intercourse of life;
  Charles, too, his growing passion could defend—
  His father’s foe he call’d his mother’s friend.
  Mothers, indeed, he knew were ever kind;
  But in the Captain should he favour find?      60
  He doubted this—yet could he that command
  Which fathers love, and few its power withstand.
    The mothers both agreed their joint request
  Should to the Captain jointly be address’d;
  And first the lover should his heart assail,      }
  And then the ladies, and, if all should fail,      }
  They’d singly watch the hour, and jointly might prevail.      }
    The Captain’s heart, although unused to melt,
  A strong impression from persuasion felt;
  His pride was soften’d by the prayers he heard,      70
  And then advantage in the match appear’d.
   At length he answer’d—“Let the lad enlist
  In our good cause, and I no more resist;
  For I have sworn, and to my oath am true,
  To hate that colour, that rebellious Blue.
  His father once, ere master of the brig,
  For that advantage turn’d a rascal Whig;
  Now let the son—a wife’s a better thing—
  A Tory turn, and say, God save the King!
  For I am pledged to serve that sacred cause,      80
  And love my country, while I keep her laws.”
    The women trembled, for they knew full well
  The fact they dare not to the Captain tell;
  And the poor youth declared, with tears and sighs,
  “My oath was pass’d; I dare not compromise.”
    But Charles to reason made his strong appeal,
  And to the heart—he bade him think and feel:
  The Captain answering, with reply as strong—
  “If you be right, then how can I be wrong?
  You to your father swore to take his part;      90
  I to oppose it ever, head and heart;
  You to a parent made your oath, and I
  To God! and can I to my Maker lie?
  Much, my dear lad, I for your sake would do,
  But I have sworn, and to my oath am true.”
    Thus stood the parties, when my fortunes bore
  Me far away from this my native shore;
  And who prevail’d, I know not—Young or Old;
  But, I beseech you, let the tale be told.


                                  II.

    _P._ How fared these lovers? Many a time I thought      100
  How with their ill-starr’d passion Time had wrought.
  Did either party from his oath recede,
  Or were they never from the bondage freed?
    _F._ Alas! replied my Friend—the tale I tell
  With some reluctance, nor can do it well.
  There are three females in the place, and they,
  Like skilful painters, could the facts portray
  In their strong colours—all that I can do      }
  Is to present a weak imperfect view;      }
  The colours I must leave—the outlines shall be true.      110}
    Soon did each party see the other’s mind,
  What bound them both, and what was like to bind;
  Oaths deeply taken in such time and place,
  To break them now was dreadful—was disgrace!
    “That oath a dying father bade me take,
  Can I—yourself a father—can I break?
    “That oath which I, a living sinner, took
  Shall I make void, and yet for mercy look?”
    The women wept; the men, themselves distress’d,
  The cruel rage of party zeal confess’d;      120
  But solemn oaths, though sprung from party zeal,
  Feel them we must, as Christians ought to feel.
    Yet shall a youth so good, a girl so fair,
  From their obedience only draw despair?
  Must they be parted? Is there not a way
  For them both love and duty to obey?
  Strongly they hoped; and by their friends around
  A way, at least a lover’s way, was found.
    “Give up your vote; you’ll then no longer be
  Free in one sense, but in the better free.”      130
  Such was of reasoning friends the kind advice,
  And how could lovers in such case be nice?
  A man may swear to walk directly on,
  While sight remains; but how, if sight be gone?
  “Oaths are not binding when the party’s dead,
  Or when the power to keep the oath is fled;
  If I’ve no vote, I’ve neither friend nor foe,
  Nor can be said on either side to go.”
  They were no casuists:—“Well!” the Captain cried,
  “Give up your vote, man, and behold your bride!”      140
    Thus was it fix’d, and fix’d the day for both
  To take the vow, and set aside the oath.
  It gave some pain; but all agreed to say,
  “You’re now absolved, and have no other way.
  ’Tis not expected you should love resign
  At man’s commands, for love’s are all divine.”
    When all is quiet and the mind at rest,
  All in the calm of innocence are blest;
  But when some scruple mixes with our joy,
  We love to give the anxious mind employ.      150
    In autumn late, when evening suns were bright,
  The day was fix’d the lovers to unite;
  But one before the eager Captain chose
  To break, with jocund act, his girl’s repose,
  And, sailor-like, said, “Hear how I intend
  One day, before the day of days, to spend!
  All round the quay, and by the river’s side,
  Shall be a scene of glory for the bride.
  We’ll have a RACE, and colours will devise
  For every boat, for every man, a prize;      160
  But that which first returns shall bear away
  The proudest pendant—Let us name the day!”
    They named the day; and never morn more bright
  Rose on the river, nor so proud a sight;
  Or, if too calm appear’d the cloudless skies,
  Experienced seamen said the wind would rise.
  To that full quay from this then vacant place
  Thronged a vast crowd to see the promised Race.
  Mid boats new painted, all with streamers fair,
  That flagg’d or flutter’d in that quiet air—      170
  The Captain’s boat that was so gay and trim,
  That made his pride, and seem’d as proud of him—
  Her, in her beauty, we might all discern,
  Her rigging new, and painted on the stern,
  As one who could not in the contest fail,
  “Learn of _the little Nautilus_ to sail.”
    So forth they started at the signal gun,
  And down the river had three leagues to run;
  This sail’d, they then their watery way retrace,
  And the first landed conquers in the race.      180
  The crowd await, till they no more discern;
  Then, parting, say, “At evening we return.”
    I could proceed; but you will guess the fate,
  And but too well my tale anticipate.
    _P._ True! yet proceed—
                        _F._ The lovers had some grief
  In this day’s parting, but the time was brief;
  And the poor girl, between his smiles and sighs,
  Ask’d, “Do you wish to gain so poor a prize?”
    “But that your father wishes,” he replied,
  “I would the honour had been still denied:      190
  It makes me gloomy, though I would be gay,
  And oh! it seems an everlasting day.”
  So thought the lass, and as she said, “Farewell!”
  Soft sighs arose, and tears unbidden fell.
    The morn was calm, and ev’n till noon the strong
  Unruffled flood moved quietly along;
  In the dead calm the billows softly fell,
  And mock’d the whistling sea-boy’s favourite spell:
  So rests at noon the reaper, but to rise
  With mightier force and twofold energies.      200
  The deep, broad stream moved softly, all was hush’d,
  When o’er the flood the breeze awakening brush’d;
  A sullen sound was heard along the deep,
  The stormy spirit rousing from his sleep;
  The porpoise rolling on the troubled wave,
  Unwieldy tokens of his pleasure gave;
  Dark, chilling clouds the troubled deep deform,
  And, led by terror downward, rush’d the storm.
    As evening came, along the river’s side,
  Or on the quay, impatient crowds divide,      210
  And then collect; some whispering, as afraid
  Of what they saw, and more of what they said,
  And yet must speak: how sudden and how great
  The danger seem’d, and what might be the fate
  Of men so toss’d about in craft so small,
  Lost in the dark, and subject to the squall.
  Then sounds are so appalling in the night,
  And, could we see, how terrible the sight;
  None knew the evils that they all suspect,
  And Hope at once they covet and reject.      220
    But where the wife, her friend, her daughter, where?
  Alas! in grief, in terror, in despair—
  At home, abroad, upon the quay. No rest
  In any place, but where they are not, best.
  Fearful they ask, but dread the sad reply,
  And many a sailor tells the friendly lie—
  “There is no danger—that is, we believe,
  And think—and hope”—but this does not deceive,
  Although it soothes them; while they look around,
  Trembling at every sight and every sound.      230
    Let me not dwell on terrors——It is dark,
  And lights are carried to and fro, and hark!
  There is a cry—“a boat, a boat at hand!”      }
  What a still terror is there now on land!      }
  “Whose, whose?” they all enquire, and none can understand.      }
    At length they come—and oh! how then rejoice
  A wife and children at that welcome voice!
  It is not theirs—but what have these to tell?
  “Where did you leave the Captain—were they well?”
  Alas! they know not, they had felt an awe      240
  In dread of death, and knew not what they saw.
  Thus they depart—The evening darker grows,
  The lights shake wildly, and as wildly blows
  The stormy night-wind; fear possesses all,
  The hardest hearts, in this sad interval.
    But hark again to voices loud and high!
  Once more that hope, that dread, that agony,
  That panting expectation! “Oh! reveal
  What must be known, and think what pangs we feel!”
    In vain they ask! The men now landed speak      250
  Confused and quick, and to escape them seek.
  Our female party on a sailor press,      }
  But nothing learn that makes their terror less;      }
  Nothing the man can show, or nothing will confess.      }
  To some, indeed, they whisper, bringing news
  For them alone, but others they refuse;
  And steal away, as if they could not bear
  The griefs they cause and, if they cause, must share.
    They too are gone! and our unhappy Three,
  Half wild with fear, are trembling on the quay.      260
  They can no ease, no peace, no quiet find,
  The storm is gathering in the troubled mind;
  Thoughts after thoughts in wild succession rise,
  And all within is changing like the skies.
  Their friends persuade them, “Do depart, we pray!”      }
  They will not, must not, cannot go away,      }
  But chill’d with icy fear, for certain tidings stay.      }
    And now again there must a boat be seen—
  Men run together! It must something mean!
  Some figure moves upon the [oozy] bound,      270
  Where flows the tide—Oh! what can he have found—
  What lost? And who is he?—The only one
  Of the loved three—the Captain’s younger son.
  Their boat was fill’d and sank—He knows no more,
  But that he only hardly reach’d the shore.
  He saw them swimming—for he once was near—
  But he was sinking, and he could not hear;
  And then the waves curl’d round him, but, at length,
  He struck upon the boat with dying strength,
  And that preserved him; when he turn’d around,      280}
  Nought but the dark, wild, billowy flood was found—      }
  That flood was all he saw, that flood’s the only sound—      }
  Save that the angry wind, with ceaseless roar,
  Dash’d the wild waves upon the rocky shore.
    The Widows dwell together—so we call
  The younger woman; widow’d are they all;
  But she, the poor Elizabeth, it seems
  Not life in her—she lives not, but she dreams;
  She looks on Philip, and in him can find
  Not much to mark in body or in mind—      290
  He who was saved; and then her very soul
  Is in that scene—her thoughts, beyond control,
  Fix’d on that night, and bearing her along,
  Amid the waters terrible and strong;
  Till there she sees within the troubled waves
  The bodies sinking in their wat’ry graves,
  When from her lover, yielding up his breath,
  There comes a voice,—“Farewell, Elizabeth!”
    Yet Resignation in the house is seen,
  Subdued Affliction, Piety serene,      300
  And Hope, for ever striving to instil
  The balm for grief—“It is the Heavenly will.”
  And in that will our duty bids us rest,
  For all that Heaven ordains is good, is best;
  We sin and suffer—this alone we know,
  Grief is our portion, is our part below;
  But we shall rise, that world of bliss to see,
  Where sin and suffering never more shall be.


                               TALE XIX.

                   _MASTER WILLIAM; OR, LAD’S LOVE._


                                   I.

  I have remembrance of a BOY, whose mind
  Was weak: he seem’d not for the world design’d;
  Seem’d not as one who in that world could strive,
  And keep his spirits even and alive—
  A feeling BOY, and happy, though the less,
  From that fine feeling, form’d for happiness.
  His mother left him to his favourite ways,
  And what he made his pleasure brought him praise.
    Romantic, tender, visionary, mild,
  Affectionate, reflecting when a child,      10
  With fear instinctive he from harshness fled,
  And gentle tears for all who suffer’d shed;
  Tales of misfortune touch’d his generous heart,
  Of maidens left, and lovers forced to part.
    In spite of all that weak indulgence wrought,
  That love permitted, or that flattery taught;
  In spite of teachers who no fault would find,
  The Boy was neither selfish nor unkind.
  Justice and truth his honest heart approved,
  And all things lovely he admired and loved.      20
  Arabian Nights, and Persian Tales, he read,
  And his pure mind with brilliant wonders fed.
  The long Romances, wild Adventures fired
  His stirring thoughts: he felt like Boy inspired.
  The cruel fight, the constant love, the art
  Of vile magicians, thrill’d his inmost heart:
  An early Quixote, dreaming dreadful sights
  Of warring dragons, and victorious knights—
  In every dream some beauteous Princess shone,
  The pride of thousands, and the prize of one.      30
    Not yet he read, nor, reading, would approve
  The Novel’s hero, or its ladies’ love.
  He would Sophia for a wanton take,
  Jones for a wicked, nay a vulgar rake.
  He would no time on Smollett’s page bestow;
  Such men he knew not, would disdain to know:
  And if he read, he travell’d slowly on,
  Teazed by the tame and faultless Grandison.
  He in that hero’s deeds could not delight—
  “He loved two ladies, and he would not fight.”      40
  The minor works of this prolific kind
  Presented beings he could never find:
  Beings, he thought, that no man should describe,
  A vile, intriguing, lying, perjured tribe,
  With impious habits, and dishonest views;
  The men he knew, had souls they feared to lose;
  These had no views that could their sins controul,
  With them nor fears nor hopes disturb’d the soul.
    To dear Romance with fresh delight he turn’d,
  And vicious men, like recreant cowards, spurn’d.      50
    The Scripture Stories he with reverence read,
  And duly took his Bible to his bed.
  Yet Joshua, Samson, David, were a race
  He dared not with his favourite heroes place.
  Young as he was, the difference well he knew
  Between the Truth, and what we fancy true:
  He was with these entranced, of those afraid,
  With Guy he triumph’d, but with David pray’d.


                                  II.

    _P._ Such was the Boy, and what the man would be,
  I might conjecture, but could not foresee.      60
    _F._ He has his trials met, his troubles seen,
  And now deluded, now deserted, been.
  His easy nature has been oft assail’d
  By grief assumed, scorn hid, and flattery veil’d.
    _P._ But has he, safe and cautious, shunn’d the snares
  That life presents?—I ask not of its cares.
    _F._ Your gentle Boy a course of life began
  That made him, what he is, the gentle-man,
  A man of business. He in courts presides
  Among their Worships, whom his judgment guides.      70
  He in the Temple studied, and came down
  A very lawyer, though without a gown;
  Still he is kind, but prudent, steady, just,
  And takes but little that he hears on trust.
  He has no visions now, no boyish plans;
  All his designs and prospects are the man’s,
  The man of sound discretion—
                          _P._ How so made?
  What could his mind to change like this persuade—
  What first awaken’d our romantic friend—
  For such he is—
              _F._ If you would know, attend.      80
    In those gay years, when boys their manhood prove,
  Because they talk of girls, and dream of love,
  In William’s way there came a maiden fair,
  With soft, meek look, and sweet, retiring air;
  With just the rosy tint upon her cheek,
  With sparkling eye, and tongue unused to speak;
  With manner decent, quiet, chaste, that one,
  Modest himself, might love to look upon.
  As William look’d; and thus the gentle Squire
  Began the Nymph, albeit poor, t’admire.      90
  She was, to wit, the gardener’s niece; her place
  Gave to her care the Lady’s silks and lace;
  With other duties of an easy kind,      }
  And left her time, as much she felt inclined,      }
  T’adorn her graceful form, and fill her craving mind;      }
  Nay, left her leisure to employ some hours
  Of the long day, among her uncle’s flowers—
  Myrtle and rose, of which she took the care,
  And was as sweet as pinks and lilies are.
    Such was the damsel whom our Youth beheld      100
  With passion unencouraged, unrepell’d;
  For how encourage what was not in view,
  Or how repel what strove not to pursue?
    What books inspired, or glowing fancy wrought;
  What dreams suggested, or reflection taught;
  Whate’er of love was to the mind convey’d—
  Was all directed to his darling maid.
  He saw his damsel with a lover’s eyes,
  As pliant fancy wove the fair disguise;
  A Quixote he, who in his nymph could trace      110
  The high-born beauty, changed and—out of place,
  That William loved, mamma, with easy smile,
  Would jesting say; but love _might_ grow the while;
  The damsel’s self, with unassuming pride,
  With love so led by fear was gratified.
    What cause for censure? Could a man reprove
  A child for fondness, or miscall it love?
  Not William’s self; yet well inform’d was he,
  That love it was, and endless love would be.
  Month after month the sweet delusion bred      120
  Wild, feverish hopes, that flourish’d, and then fled,
  Like Fanny’s sweetest flower—and that was lost
  In one cold hour, by one harsh morning frost.
    In some soft evenings, mid the garden’s bloom,
  Would William wait, till Fanny chanced to come;
  And Fanny came, by chance it may be; still,
  There was a gentle bias of the will,
  Such as the soundest minds may act upon,
  When motives of superior kind are gone.
  There then they met, and Master William’s look      130
  Was the less timid, for he held a book;
  And when the sweetness of the evening hours,
  The fresh soft air, the beauty of the flowers,
  The night-bird’s note, the gently falling dew,
  Were all discuss’d, and silence would ensue,
  There were some lovely Lines—if she could stay—
  And Fanny rises not to go away.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “Young Paris was the shepherd’s pride,
      As well the fair Œnone knew;
    They sat the mountain stream beside,      140
      And o’er the bank a poplar grew.

    “Upon its bark this verse he traced:
      ‘Bear witness to the vow I make;
    Thou, Xanthus, to thy source shalt haste,
      E’er I my matchless maid forsake.

    “‘No prince or peasant lad am I,
      Nor crown nor crook to me belong;
    But I will love thee till I die,
      And die before I do thee wrong.’

    “Back to thy source now, Xanthus, run,      150
      Paris is now a prince of Troy;
    He leaves the Fair his flattery won,
      Himself and country to destroy.

    “He seizes on a sovereign’s wife,
      The pride of Greece, and with her flies;
    He causes thus a ten years’ strife,
      And with his dying parent dies.

    “Oh! think me not this Shepherd’s Boy,
      Who from the Maid he loves would run:
    Oh! think me not a Prince of Troy,      160
      By whom such treacherous deeds are done.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    The Lines were read, and many an idle word
  Pronounced with emphasis, and underscored,
  As if the writer had resolved that all
  His nouns and verbs should be emphatical
  But what they were the damsel little thought;
  The sense escaped her, but the voice she caught,
  Soft, tender, trembling; and the gipsy felt
  As if by listening she unfairly dealt;
  For she, if not mamma, had rightly guess’d,      170
  That William’s bosom was no seat of rest.
    But Love’s young hope must die.—There was a day
  When nature smiled, and all around was gay;
  The Boy o’ertook the damsel, as she went
  The village road—unknown was her intent;
  He, happy hour, when lock’d in Fanny’s arm,
  Walk’d on enamour’d, every look a charm!
  Yet her soft looks were but her heart’s disguise,
  There was no answering love in Fanny’s eyes;
  But, or by prudence or by pity moved,      180
  She thought it time his folly was reproved;
  Then took her measures, not perchance without
  Some conscious pride in what she was about.
    Along the brook with gentle pace they go,
  The Youth unconscious of th’ impending woe;
  And oft he urged the absent Maid to talk,
  As she was wont in many a former walk;
  And still she slowly walk’d beside the brook,
  Or look’d around—for what could Fanny look?
  Something there must be! What, did not appear;      190
  But William’s eye betray’d the anxious fear,
  The cause unseen!——
                    But who, with giant-stride,
  Bounds o’er the brook, and is at Fanny’s side?
  Who takes her arm? and oh! what villain dares
  To press those lips? Not even her lips he spares!
  Nay, she herself, the Fanny, the divine,
  Lip to his lip can wickedly incline!
  The lad, unnerved by horror, with an air
  Of wonder quits her arm and looks despair;
  Nor will proceed. Oh no! he must return,      200
  Though his drown’d sight cannot the path discern.
    “Come, Master William! come, Sir, let us on.
  What can you fear? You’re not afraid of John?”
    “What ails our youngster?” quoth the burly swain,
  Six feet in height—but he inquires in vain.
  William, in deep resentment, scans the frame
  Of the fond giant, and abhors his name;
  Thinks him a demon of th’ infernal brood,
  And longs to shed his most pernicious blood.
    Again the monster spake in thoughtless joy,—      210
  “We shall be married soon, my pretty Boy!
  And dwell in Madam’s cottage, where you’ll see
  The strawberry-beds, and cherries on the tree.”
    Back to his home in silent scorn return’d
  Th’ indignant Boy, and all endearment spurn’d.
  Fanny perforce with Master takes her way,
  But finds him to th’ o’erwhelming grief a prey,
  Wrapt in resentful silence, till he came
  Where he might vent his woes, and hide his shame.
    Fierce was his strife, but with success he strove,      220
  And freed his troubled breast from fruitless love;
  Or what of love his reason fail’d to cool
  Was lost and perish’d in a public school—
  Those seats and sources both of good and ill,
  By what they cure in Boys, and what they kill.


                                TALE XX.

                              _THE WILL._


                                   I.

  Thus to his Friend an angry Father spoke—
  Nay, do not think that I the WILL revoke.
  My cruel Son in every way I’ve tried,      }
  And every vice have found in him but pride;      }
  For he, of pride possess’d, would meaner vices hide.      }
  Money he wastes, I will not say he spends;      }
  He neither makes the poor nor rich his friends—      }
  To those he nothing gives, to these he never lends.      }
    “’Tis for himself each legal pale he breaks;
  He joins the miser’s spirit to the rake’s.      10
  Like the worst Roman in the worst of times,
  He can be guilty of conflicting crimes;
  Greedy of others’ wealth, unknown the use,
  And of his own contemptuously profuse.
    “To such a mind shall I my wealth confide,
  That you to nobler, worthier ends, may guide?
  No! let my Will my scorn of vice express,
  And let him learn repentance from distress.”
    So said the Father; and the Friend, who spurn’d
  Wealth ill-acquired, his sober speech return’d—      20
  “The youth is faulty, but his faults are weigh’d
  With a strong bias, and by wrath repaid;
  Pleasure deludes him, not the vain design
  Of making vices unallied combine.
  He wastes your wealth, for he is yet a boy;
  He covets more, for he would more enjoy.
  For, my good friend, believe me, very few,      }
  At once are prodigals and misers too—      }
  The spendthrift vice engrafted on the Jew.      }
  Leave me one thousand pounds; for I confess      30
  I have my wants, and will not tax you less.
  But your estate let this young man enjoy:
  If he reforms, you’ve saved a grateful boy;
  If not, a father’s cares and troubles cease,
  You’ve done your duty, and may rest in peace.”
    The Will in hand, the Father musing stood,
  Then gravely answered, “Your advice is good;
  Yet take the paper, and in safety keep;
  I’ll make another Will before I sleep;
  But, if I hear of some atrocious deed,      40
  That deed I’ll burn, and yours will then succeed.
  Two thousand I bequeath you. No reproof!
  And there are small bequests—he’ll have enough;
  For, if he wastes, he would with all be poor;
  And, if he wastes not, he will need no more.”
    The Friends then parted; this the Will possess’d,
  And that another made—so things had rest.
    George, who was conscious that his Father grew
  Sick and infirm, engaged in nothing new.
  No letters came from injured man or maid;      50
  No bills from wearied duns, that must be paid;
  No fierce reproaches from deserted fair,
  Mixed with wild tenderness of desperate prayer;
  So hope rose softly in the parent’s breast;      }
  He, dying, called his son and fondly blest,      }
  Hailed the propitious tear, and mildly sunk to rest.      }
    Unhappy Youth! e’er yet the tomb was closed,
  And dust to dust convey’d in peace repos’d,
  He sought his father’s closet, search’d around,
  To find a Will: the important Will was found.      60
    Well pleased he read, “These lands, this manor, all,
  Now call me master!—I obey the call.”
  Then from the window look’d the valley o’er,
  And never saw it look so rich before.
  He viewed the dairy, view’d the men at plough,      }
  With other eyes, with other feelings now,      }
  And with a new-formed taste found beauty in a cow.      }
  The distant swain who drove the plough along
  Was a good useful slave, and passing strong!
  In short, the view was pleasing, nay, was fine:      70
  “Good as my father’s, excellent as mine!”
    Again he reads—but he had read enough;
  What followed put his virtue to a proof.
  [How’s] this? to David Wright two thousand pounds!      }
  A monstrous sum! beyond all reason!—zounds!      }
  This is your friendship running out of bounds!      }
    “Then here are cousins Susan, Robert, Joe—      }
  Five hundred each. Do they deserve it? No!      }
  Claim they have none—I wonder if they know      }
  What the good man intended to bestow!      80}
  This might be paid—but Wright’s enormous sum
  Is—I’m alone—there’s nobody can come—
  ’Tis all his hand, no lawyer was employ’d
  To write this prose, that ought to be destroy’d!
  To no attorney would my father trust:
  He wished his son to judge of what was just;
  As if he said, ‘My boy will find the Will,
  And, as he likes, destroy it or fulfil.’
  This now is reason, this I understand—
  What was at his, is now at my, command.      90
  As for this paper, with these cousiny names,
  I—’tis _my_ Will—commit it to the flames.
  Hence! disappear! now am I lord alone:
  They’ll groan, I know; but, curse them, let them groan.
  Who wants his money like a new made heir,
  To put all things in order and repair?
  I need the whole the worthy man could save,
  To do my father credit in his grave:
  It takes no trifle to have squires convey’d
  To their last house with honour and parade.      100
  All this, attended by a world of cost,
  Requires, demands, that nothing should be lost.
  These fond bequests cannot demanded be—
  Where no Will is, can be no legacy;
  And none is here! I safely swear it—none!—
  The very ashes are dispersed and gone.
  All would be well, would that same sober Friend,      }
  That Wright, my father on his way attend;      }
  My fears—but why afraid?—my troubles then would end.”      }
    In triumph, yet in trouble, meets our Squire      110}
  The friends assembled, who a Will require.      }
  “There is no Will,” he said.—They murmur and retire.      }
    Days pass away, while yet the Heir is blest
  By pleasant cares, and thoughts that banish rest;
  When comes the Friend, and asks, in solemn tone,
  If he may see the busy Squire alone.
    They are in private—all about is still—
  When thus the Guest:—“Your father left a Will,
  And I would see it.”—Rising in reply,
  The youth beheld a fix’d and piercing eye,      120
  From which his own receded; and the sound
  Of his own words was in disorder drown’d.
  He answered softly—“I in vain have spent
  Days in the search; I pray you be content;
  And, if a Will”—— The pertinacious Man,      }
  At ‘if’ displeased, with steady tone began—      }
  “There _is_ a Will—produce it, for you can.”—      }
    “Sir, I have sought in vain, and what the use?
  What has no being, how can I produce?”—
    “Two days I give you; to my words attend,”      130
  Was the reply, “and let the business end.”
    Two days were past, and still the same reply
  To the same question—“Not a Will have I.”
  More grave, more earnest, then the Friend appear’d;
  He spoke with power, as one who would be heard—
  “A Will your father made! I witness’d one.”
  The Heir arose in anger—“Sir, begone!
  Think you my spirit by your looks to awe?
  Go to your lodgings, friend, or to your law.
  To what would you our easy souls persuade?      140
  Once more I tell you, not a Will was made;
  There’s none with me, I swear it—now, deny
  This if you can!”—
                    “That, surely, cannot I;
  Nay, I believe you, and, as no such deed
  Is found with you, _this_ surely will succeed!”—
    He said, and from his pocket slowly drew      }
  Of the first testament a copy true,      }
  And held it spread abroad, that he might see it too.      }
  “Read, and be sure; your parent’s pleasure see—
  Then leave this mansion and these lands to me.”      150
    He said, and terror seized the guilty youth;
  He saw his misery, meanness, and the truth;
  Could not before his stern accuser stand,
  Yet could not quit that hall, that park, that land;
  But, when surprise had pass’d away, his grief
  Began to think in law to find relief.
    “While courts are open, why should I despair?
  Juries will feel for an abandon’d heir.
  I will resist,” he said, impell’d by pride—
  “I must submit,” recurring fear replied.      160
  As wheels the vane when winds around it play,
  So his strong passions turn’d him every way;
  But growing terrors seized th’ unhappy youth:
  He knew the Man, and more, he knew—the Truth;
  When, stung by all he fear’d, and all he felt,
  He sought for mercy, and in terror knelt.
    Grieved, but indignant—“Let me not despise
  Thy father’s son,” replied the Friend; “arise!
  To my fix’d purpose your attention lend,
  And know, your fate will on yourself depend.      170
    “Thou shalt not want, young man! nor yet abound,
  And time shall try thee, if thy heart be sound;
  Thou shalt be watch’d till thou hast learn’d to know
  Th’ All-seeing Watcher of the world below,
  And worlds above, and thoughts within; from Whom
  Must be thy certain, just, and final doom.
  Thy doors all closely barr’d, thy windows blind,
  Before all silent, silent all behind—
  Thy hand was stretch’d to do whate’er thy soul
  In secret would—no mortal could—controul.      180
  Oh, fool! to think that thou thy act could’st keep
  From that All-piercing Eye, which cannot sleep!
    “Go to thy trial! and may I—with thee
  A fellow-sinner, who to mercy flee—
  That mercy find, as justly I dispense
  Between thy frailty and thy penitence!
    “Go to thy trial! and be wise in time,
  And know that no man can conceal a crime.
  God and his Conscience witness all that’s done,
  And these he cannot cheat, he cannot shun.      190
  What, then, could fortune, what could safety, give,
  If [he] with these at enmity must live?
    “Go!”—and the young man from his presence went,      }
  Confused, uncertain of his own intent—      }
  To sin, if pride prevail’d; if soften’d, to repent.      }


                                  II.

    _P._ Lives yet the Friend of that unhappy Boy,
  Who could the WILL that made him rich destroy,
  And made him poor? And what the after-plan,
  For one so selfish, of that stern, good man?
    _F._ “Choose,” said this Friend, “thy way in life, and I 200
  Will means to aid thee in thy work supply.”
  He will the army, thought this guardian, choose,
  And there the sense of his dishonour lose.
    Humbly he answer’d—“With your kind consent,
  Of your estate I would a portion rent,
  And farm with care”——
                    “Alas! the wretched fruit
  Of evil habit! he will hunt and shoot!”
    So judged the Friend, but soon perceived a change,
  To him important, and to all men strange.
  Industrious, temperate, with the sun he rose,      210
  And of his time gave little to repose:
  Nor to the labour only bent his will,
  But sought experience, and improved with skill;
  With cautious prudence placed his gains to use,
  Inquiring always, “What will this produce?”
    The Friend, not long suspicious, now began
  To think more kindly of the alter’d man—
  In his opinion alter’d; but, in truth,
  The same the spirit that still ruled the youth.
  That dwelt within, where other demons dwell,      220
  Avarice unsated and insatiable.
    But this Wright saw not; he was more inclined
  To trace the way of a repenting mind;
  And he was now by strong disease assail’d,
  That quickly o’er the vital powers prevail’d:
  And now the son had all, was rich beyond
  His fondest hope, and he, indeed, was fond.
    His life’s great care has been his zeal to prove,
  And time to dotage has increased his love.
  A Miser now, the one strong passion guides      230
  The heart and soul; there’s not a love besides.
  Where’er he comes, he sees in every face
  A look that tells him of his own disgrace.
  Men’s features vary, but the mildest show—
  “It is a tale of infamy we know.”
  Some with contempt the wealthy miser view,
  Some with disgust, yet mix’d with pity too;
  A part the looks of wrath and hatred wear,
  And some, less happy, lose their scorn in fear.
    Meanwhile, devoid of kindness, comfort, friends,      240
  On his possessions solely he depends.
    Yet is he wretched; for his fate decrees
  That his own feelings should deny him ease.
  With talents gifted, he himself reproves,
  And can but scorn the vile pursuit he loves;
  He can but feel that there abides within
  The secret shame, the unrepented sin,
  And the strong sense, that bids him to confess
  He has not found the way to happiness.
    But ’tis the way where he has travell’d long—      250
  And turn he will not, though he feels it wrong;
  Like a sad traveller, who, at closing day,
  Finds he has wander’d widely from his way,
  Yet wanders on, nor will new paths explore,
  Till the night falls, and he can walk no more.


                               TALE XXI.

                             _THE COUSINS._


                                   I.

  _P._ I left a frugal Merchant, who began
  Early to thrive, and grew a wealthy man;
  Retired from business with a favourite Niece,
  He lived in plenty, or, if not—in peace.
  Their small affairs, conforming to his will,
  The maiden managed with superior skill.
  He had a Nephew too, a brother’s child—
  But James offended, for the lad was wild:
  And Patty’s tender soul was vex’d to hear,
  “Your Cousin James will rot in gaol, my dear;      10
  And now, I charge you, by no kind of gift
  Show him that folly may be help’d by thrift.”
  This Patty heard, but in her generous mind
  Precept so harsh could no admission find.
    Her Cousin James, too sure in prison laid,
  With strong petitions plied the gentle maid,
  That she would humbly on their Uncle press
  His deep repentance, and his sore distress;
  How that he mourn’d in durance, night and day,
  And, which removed, he would for ever pray.      20
    “Nought will I give, his worthless life to save,”
  The Uncle said; and nought in fact he gave.
  But the kind maiden from her pittance took
  All that she could, and gave with pitying look;
  For soft compassion in her bosom reign’d,
  And her heart melted when the Youth complain’d.
  Of his complaints the Uncle loved to hear,
  As Patty told them, shedding many a tear;
  While he would wonder how the girl could pray
  For a young rake, to place him in her way,      30
  Or once admit him in his Uncle’s view;
  “But these,” said he, “are things that women do.”
    Thus were the Cousins, young, unguarded, fond,
  Bound in true friendship—so they named the bond—
  Nor call’d it love—and James resolved, when free,
  A most correct and frugal man to be.
  He sought her prayers, but not for heavenly aid:
  “Pray to my Uncle,” and she kindly pray’d—
  “James will be careful,” said the Niece; “and I
  Will be as careful,” was the stern reply.      40
    Thus he resisted, and I know not how
  He could be soften’d—Is he kinder now?
  Hard was his heart; but yet a heart of steel
  May melt in dying, and dissolving feel.


                                  II.

    _F._ What were his feelings I cannot explain,
  His actions only on my mind remain.
  He never married, that indeed we know,
  But childless was not, as his foes could show—
  Perhaps his friends—for friends, as well as foes,
  Will the infirmities of man disclose.      50
    When young, our Merchant, though of sober fame,
  Had a rude passion that he could not tame;
  And, not to dwell upon the passion’s strife,
  He had a Son, who never had a wife;
  The father paid just what the law required,
  Nor saw the infant, nor to see desired.
  That infant, thriving on the parish fare,
  Without a parent’s love, consent, or care,
  Became a sailor, and sustain’d his part
  So like a man, it touch’d his father’s heart.—      60
  He for protection gave the ready pay,
  And placed the seaman in preferment’s way;
  Who doubted not, with sanguine heart, to rise,
  And bring home riches, gain’d from many a prize.
  But Jack—for so we call’d him—Jack once more,
  And never after, touch’d his native shore;
  Nor was it known if he in battle fell,
  Or sickening died—we sought, but none could tell.
  The father sigh’d—as some report, he wept;
  And then his sorrow with the Sailor slept;      70
  Then age came on; he found his spirits droop,
  And his kind Niece remain’d the only hope.
    Premising this, our story then proceeds—
  Our gentle Patty for her Cousin pleads;
  And now her Uncle, to his room confined,
  And kindly nursed, was soften’d and was kind.
  James, whom the law had from his prison sent,      }
  With much contrition to his Uncle went,      }
  And, humbly kneeling, said, “Forgive me, I repent.”      }
  Reproach, of course, his humbled spirit bore;      80
  He knew for pardon anger opes the door;
  The man, whom we with too much warmth reprove,
  Has the best chance our softening hearts to move;
  And this he had—“Why, Patty, love! it seems,”
  Said the old man, “there’s something good in James;
  I must forgive; but you my child, are yet
  My stay and prop; I cannot this forget.
  Still, my dear Niece, as a reforming man,
  I mean to aid your Cousin, if I can.”
  Then Patty smiled; for James and she had now      90
  Time for their loves, and pledged the constant vow.
    James the fair way to favouring thoughts discern’d—
  He learn’d the news, and told of all he learn’d;
  Read all the papers in an easy style,
  And knew the bits would raise his Uncle’s smile;
  Then would refrain, to hear the good man say,
  “You did not come as usual yesterday;
  I must not take you from your duties, lad,
  But of your daily visits should be glad!”
    Patty was certain that their Uncle now      100
  Would their affection all it ask’d allow;
  She was convinced her lover now would find
  The past forgotten and old Uncle kind.
  “It matters not,” she added, “who receives
  The larger portion; what to one he leaves
  We both inherit! let us nothing hide,
  Dear James, from him in whom we both confide.”
    “Not for your life!” quoth James. “Let Uncle choose
  Our ways for us—or we the way shall lose.
  For know you, Cousin, all these miser men”——      110
  “Nay, my dear James!”—
                        “Our worthy Uncle, then,
  And all, like Uncle, like to be obey’d
  By their dependants, who must seem afraid
  Of their own will.—If we to wed incline,
  You’ll quickly hear him peevishly repine,
  Object, dispute, and sundry reasons give,
  To prove we ne’er could find the means to live;
  And then, due credit for his speech to gain,
  He’ll leave us poor—lest wealth should prove it vain.
  Let him propose the measure, and then we      120
  May for his pleasure to his plan agree.
  I, when at last assenting, shall be still
  But giving way to a kind Uncle’s will;
  Then will he deem it just, amends to make
  To one who ventures all things for his sake;
  So, should you deign to take this worthless hand,
  Be sure, dear Patty, ’tis at his command!”
    But Patty questioned—“Is it, let me ask,
  The will of God that we should wear a mask?”
  This startled James: he lifted up his eyes,      130
  And said with some contempt, besides surprise,
  “Patty, my love! the will of God, ’tis plain,
  Is that we live by what we can obtain;
  Shall we a weak and foolish man offend,
  And when our trial is so near our end?”
    This hurt the maiden, and she said, “’Tis well!
  Unask’d I will not of your purpose tell,
  But will not lie.”—
                      “Lie! Patty, no, indeed;
  Your downright lying never will succeed!
  A better way our prudence may devise      140
  Than such unprofitable things as lies.
  Yet, a dependant, if he would not starve,
  The way through life must with discretion carve,
  And, though a lie he may with pride disdain,
  He must not every useless truth maintain.
  If one respect to these fond men would show,
  Conceal the facts that give them pain to know;
  While all that pleases may be placed in view,
  And, if it be not, they will think it true.”
    The humble Patty dropp’d a silent tear,      150
  And said, “Indeed, ’tis best to be sincere.”
  James answer’d not—there could be no reply
  To what he would not grant nor could deny;
  But from that time he in the maiden saw
  What he condemn’d; yet James was kept in awe.
  He felt her virtue, but was sore afraid
  For the frank blunders of the virtuous maid.
    Meantime he daily to his Uncle read
  The news, and to his favourite subjects led:
  If closely press’d, he sometimes staid to dine,      160
  Eat of one dish, and drank one glass of wine;
  For James was crafty grown, and felt his way
  To favour, step by step, and day by day;
  He talk’d of business, till the Uncle prized
  The lad’s opinion, whom he once despised,
  And, glad to see him thus his faults survive,
  “This Boy,” quoth he, “will keep our name alive.
  Women are weak, and Patty, though the best
  Of her weak sex, is woman like the rest:
  An idle husband will her money spend,      170
  And bring my hard-earn’d savings to an end.”
    Far as he dared, his Nephew this way led,
  And told his tales of lasses rashly wed,
  Told them as matters that “He heard, he knew
  Not where,” he said—“they might be false or true:
  One must confess that girls are apt to dote
  On the bright scarlet of a coxcomb’s coat;
  And that with ease a woman they beguile
  With a fool’s flattery, or a rascal’s smile;—
  But then,” he added, fearing to displease,      180
  “Our Patty never saw such men as these.”
    “True! but she may—some scoundrel may command
  The girl’s whole store, if he can gain her hand.
  Her very goodness will itself deceive,
  And her weak virtue help her to believe;
  Yet she is kind; and, Nephew! go, and say,
  I need her now—You’ll come another day.”
    In such discourses, while the maiden went
  About her household, many an hour was spent,
  Till James was sure that when his Uncle died,      190}
  He should at least the property divide;      }
  Nor long had he to wait—the fact was quickly tried.      }
    The Uncle now, to his last bed confined,
  To James and Patty his affairs resign’d;
  The doctor took his final fee in hand;
  The man of law received his last command;
  The silent priest sat watching in his chair,
  If he might wake the dying man to prayer—
  When the last groan was heard; then all was still,
  And James indulged his musings—on the Will.      200
    This in due time was read, and Patty saw
  Her own dear Cousin made the heir-by-law.
  Something indeed was hers, but yet she felt
  As if her Uncle had not kindly dealt;
  And but that James was one whom she could trust,
  She would have thought it cruel and unjust.
  Ev’n as it was, it gave her some surprise,
  And tears unbidden started in her eyes;
  Yet she confess’d it was the same to her,
  And it was likely men would men prefer.      210
  Loth was the Niece to think her Uncle wrong;
  And other thoughts engaged her—“Is it long
  That custom bids us tarry ere we wed,
  When a kind Uncle is so lately dead?
  At any rate,” the maiden judged, “’tis he
  That first will speak—it does not rest with me.”
    James to the Will his every thought confined,
  And found some parts that vex’d his sober mind.
  He, getting much, to angry thoughts gave way,
  For the poor pittance that he had to pay,      220
  With Patty’s larger claim. Save these alone,
  The weeping heir beheld the whole his own;
  Yet something painful in his mind would dwell—
  It was not likely, but was possible—”
  No—Fortune lately was to James so kind,
  He was determined not to think her blind:
  She saw his merit, and would never throw
  His prospects down by such malicious blow.”
    Patty, meanwhile, had quite enough betray’d
  Of her own mind to make her James afraid      230
  Of one so simply pure: his hardening heart
  Inclined to anger—he resolved to part.
  Why marry Patty?—if he look’d around,
  More advantageous matches might be found;
  But, though he might a richer wife command,
  He first must break her hold upon his hand.
    She with a spinster-friend retired awhile—
  “Not long,” she said—and said it with a smile.
  Not so had James determined.—He essay’d
  To move suspicion in the gentle maid.      240
  Words not succeeding, he design’d to pass
  The spinster’s window with some forward lass.
  If in her heart so pure no pang was known,
  At least he might affect it in his own.
  There was a brother of her friend, and he,
  Though poor and rude, might serve for jealousy.
  If all should fail, he, though of schemes bereft,
  Might leave her yet!—They fail’d, and she was left.
    Poor Patty bore it with a woman’s mind,
  And with an angel’s, sorrowing and resign’d.      250
  Ere this in secret long she wept and pray’d,
  Long tried to think her lover but delay’d
  The union, once his hope, his prayer, his pride;—
  She could in James as in herself confide:
  Was he not bound by all that man can bind,
  In love, in honour, to be just and kind?
  Large was his debt, and, when their debts are large,
  The ungrateful cancel what the just discharge;
  Nor payment only in their pride refuse,
  But first they wrong their friend, and then accuse.      260
  Thus Patty finds her bosom’s claims denied,
  Her love insulted, and her right defied.
  She urged it not; her claim the maid withdrew,      }
  For maiden pride would not the wretch pursue;      }
  She sigh’d to find him false, herself so good and true.      }
    Now all his fears, at least the present, still—
  He talk’d, good man! about his uncle’s will—
  “All unexpected,” he declared—“surprised
  Was he—and his good uncle ill-advised.
  He no such luck had look’d for, he was sure,      270
  Nor such deserved,” he said, with look demure;
  “He did not merit such exceeding love;
  But his, he meant, so help him God, to prove.”
  And he has proved it! all his cares and schemes
  Have proved the exceeding love James bears to James.
    But to proceed—for we have yet the facts
  That show how Justice looks on wicked acts;
  For, though not always, she at times appears—
  To wake in man her salutary fears.
    James, restless grown—for no such mind can rest—      280
  Would build a house, that should his wealth attest;
  In fact, he saw, in many a clouded face,      }
  A certain token of his own disgrace,      }
  And wish’d to overawe the murmurs of the place.      }
    The finish’d building show’d the master’s wealth,
  And noisy workmen drank his Honour’s health—
  “His and his heirs”—and at the thoughtless word
  A strange commotion in his bosom stirr’d.
  “‘Heirs!’ said the idiots?”—and again that clause
  In the strange Will corrected their applause.      290
    Prophetic fears! for now reports arose
  That spoil’d “his Honour’s” comforts and repose.
  A stout young Sailor, though in battle maim’d,
  Arrived in port, and his possessions claim’d.
  The Will he read: he stated his demand,
  And his attorney grasp’d at house and land.
  The Will provided—“If my son survive,
  He shall inherit;” and lo! Jack’s alive!
  Yes! he was that lost lad, preserved by fate,
  And now was bent on finding his estate.      300
  But claim like this the angry James denied,
  And to the law the sturdy heir applied.
  James did what men when placed like him would do—
  Avow’d his right, and fee’d his lawyer too:
  The Will, indeed, provided for a son;
  But was this Sailor youth the very one?
    Ere Jack’s strong proofs in all their strength were shown,      }
  To gain a part James used a milder tone;      }
  But the instructed tar would reign alone.      }
    At last he reign’d: to James a large bequest      310
  Was frankly dealt; the Seaman had the rest—
  Save a like portion to the gentle Niece,
  Who lived in comfort, and regain’d her peace.
  In her neat room her talent she employ’d,
  With more true peace than ever James enjoy’d.
  The young, the aged, in her praise agreed—
  Meek in her manner, bounteous in her deed;
  The very children their respect avow’d:
  “’Twas the good lady,” they were told, and bow’d.
    The merry Seaman much the maid approv’d—      320
  Nor that alone—he like a seaman loved;
  Loved as a man who did not much complain;
  Loved like a sailor, not a sighing swain;
  Had heard of wooing maids, but knew not how—
  “Lass, if you love me, prithee tell me now,”
  Was his address—but this was nothing cold—
  “Tell if you love me;” and she smiled and told.
    He brought her presents, such as sailors buy,      }
  Glittering like gold, to please a maiden’s eye,      }
  All silk and silver, fringe and finery;      330}
  These she accepted in respect to him,
  And thought but little of the missing limb.
  Of this he told her, for he loved to tell
  A warlike tale, and judged he told it well:—
  “You mark me, love! the French were two to one,
  And so, you see, they were ashamed to run;
  We fought an hour; and then there came the shot
  That struck me here—a man must take his lot;—
  A minute after, and the Frenchman struck:
  One minute sooner had been better luck;      340
  But, if you can a crippled cousin like,
  You ne’er shall see him for a trifle strike.”
    Patty, whose gentle heart was not so nice
  As to reject the thought of loving twice,
  Judged her new Cousin was by nature kind,
  With no suspicions in his honest mind,
  Such as our virtuous ladies now and then
  Find strongly floating in the minds of men.
  So they were married, and the lasses vow’d
  That Patty’s luck would make an angel proud:      350
  “Not but that time would come when she must prove
  That men are men, no matter how they love!”—
  And she has prov’d it; for she finds her man
  As kind and true as when their loves began.
    James is unhappy; not that he is poor,
  But, having much, because he has no more;
  Because a rival’s pleasure gives him pain;
  Because his vices work’d their way in vain;
  And, more than these, because he sees the smile
  Of a wrong’d woman pitying man so vile.      360
    He sought an office, serves in the excise,      }
  And every wish, but that for wealth, denies;      }
  Wealth is the world to him, and he is worldly wise.      }
  But disappointment in his face appears;      }
  Care and vexation, sad regret and fears      }
  Have fix’d on him their fangs, and done the work of years.      }
    Yet grows he wealthy in a strange degree,
  And neighbours wonder how the fact can be.
  He lives alone, contracts a sordid air,
  And sees with sullen grief the cheerful pair;      370
  Feels a keen pang, as he beholds the door
  Where peace abides, and mutters—“_I am poor!_”


                               TALE XXII.

                       _PREACHING AND PRACTICE._


                                   I.

  _P._ What I have ask’d are questions that relate
  To those once known, that I might learn their fate.
  But there was ONE, whom though I scarcely knew,
  Much do I wish to learn his fortunes too.
  Yet what expect?—He was a rich man’s Heir,
  His conduct doubtful, but his prospects fair;
  Thoughtless and brave, extravagant and gay,
  Wild as the wind, and open as the day;
  His freaks and follies were a thousand times
  Brought full in view; I heard not of his crimes.      10
  Like our Prince Hal, his company he chose
  Among the lawless, of restraint the foes;
  But, though to their poor pleasures he could stoop,
  He was not, rumour said, their victim-dupe.
    His mother’s Sister was a maiden prim,
  Pious and poor, and much in debt to him.
  This she repaid with volumes of reproof,
  And sage advice, till he would cry “Enough!”
    His father’s Brother no such hints allow’d—
  Peevish and rich, and insolent and proud,      20
  Of stern, strong spirit. Him the Youth withstood,
  At length; “Presume not” (said he) “on our blood!
  Treat with politeness him whom you advise,
  Nor think I fear your doting prophecies!”
  And fame has told of many an angry word,
  When anger this, and that contempt had stirr’d.
    “Boy! thou wilt beg thy bread, I plainly see.”—
  “Upbraid not, Uncle! till I beg of thee.”—
    “Oh! thou wilt run to ruin and disgrace.”—
  “What! and so kind an Uncle in the place?”—      30
    “Nay, for I hold thee stranger to my blood.”—
  “Then must I treat thee as a stranger would;
  For, if you throw the tie of blood aside,
  You must the roughness of your speech abide.”—
    “What! to your father’s Brother do you give
  A challenge?—Mercy! in what times we live!”
    Now, I confess, the youth who could supply
  Thus that poor Spinster, and could thus defy
  This wealthy Uncle;—who could mix with them
  Whom his strong sense and feeling must condemn,      40
  And in their follies his amusement find,
  Yet never lose the vigour of his mind—
  A youth like this, with much we must reprove,
  Had something still to win esteem and love.
  Perhaps he lives not; but he seem’d not made
  To pass through life entirely in the shade.
    _F._ Suppose you saw him—does your mind retain
  So much, that you would know the man again?
  Yet hold in mind, he may have felt the press
  Of grief or guilt, the withering of distress;      50
  He now may show the stamp of woe and pain,
  And nothing of his lively cast remain.
    Survey these features—see if nothing there
  May old impressions on your mind repair!
  Is there not something in this shattered frame
  Like to that—
            _P._ No! not like it, but the same;
  That eye so brilliant, and that smile so gay,
  Are lighted up, and sparkle through decay.
    But may I question? Will you that allow?
  There was a difference, and there must be now;      60
  And yet, permitted, I would gladly hear
  What must have pass’d in many a troubled year.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    _F._ Then hear my tale; but I the price demand:      }
  That understood, I too must understand      }
  Thy wanderings through, or sufferings in, the land;      }
  And, if our virtues cannot much produce,
  Perhaps our errors may be found of use.
    To all the wealth my Father’s care laid by,
  I added wings, and taught it how to fly.
  To him that act had been of grievous sight;      70
  But he survived not to behold the flight.
  Strange doth it seem to grave and sober minds,
  How the dear vice the simple votary blinds,
  So that he goes to ruin smoothly on,
  And scarcely feels he’s going, till he’s gone.
    I had made over, in a lucky hour,
  Funds for my Aunt, and placed beyond my power:
  The rest was flown, I speak it with remorse,
  And now a pistol seem’d a thing in course.
    But, though its precepts I had not obey’d,      80
  Thoughts of my Bible made me much afraid
  Of such rebellion, and, though not content,
  I must live on when life’s supports were spent;
  Nay, I must eat, and of my frugal Aunt
  Must grateful take what gracious she would grant;
  And true, she granted, but with much discourse—
  Oh! with what words did she her sense enforce!
  Great was her wonder, in my need that I
  Should on the prop myself had raised rely—
  I, who provided for her in my care,      90
  “Must be assured how little she could spare!”
    I stood confounded, and with angry tone,
  With rage and grief, that blended oath and groan,
  I fled her presence—yet I saw her air
  Of resignation, and I heard her prayer;
  “Now Heaven,” she utter’d, “make his burden light!”
  And I, in parting, cried, “Thou hypocrite!”
    But I was wrong—she might have meant to pray;
  Though not to give her soul—her cash—away.
    Of course, my Uncle would the spendthrift shun;      100
  So friends on earth I now could reckon none.
    One morn I rambled, thinking of the past,
  Far in the country—Did you ever fast
  Through a long summer’s day? or, sturdy, go
  To pluck the crab, the bramble, and the sloe,
  The hyp, the cornel, and the beech, the food
  And the wild solace of the gypsy brood?
  To pick the cress, embrown’d by summer sun,
  From the dry bed where streams no longer run?
  Have you, like school-boy, mingling play and toil,      110
  Dug for the ground-nut, and enjoy’d the spoil?
  Or chafed with feverish hand the ripening wheat,
  Resolved to fast, and yet compell’d to eat?
    Say, did you this, and drink the crystal spring,
  And think yourself an abdicated king,
  Driv’n from your state by a rebellious race?
  And, in your pride contending with disgrace,
  Could you your hunger in your anger lose,
  And call the ills you bear the ways you choose?
    Thus, on myself depending, I began      120
  To feel the pride of a neglected man;
  Not yet correct, but still I could command
  Unshaken nerves, and a determined hand.
    “Lo! men at work!” I said, “and I, a man,
  Can work! I feel it is my pride, I can.”
  This said, I wander’d on, and join’d the poor,
  Assumed a labourer’s dress, and was no more
  Than labour made—Upon the road I broke
  Stones for my bread, and startled at the stroke;
  But every day the labour seem’d more light,      130
  And sounder, sweeter still the sleep of every night.
    “Thus will I live,” I cried, “nor more return
  To herd with men, whose love and hate I spurn.
  All creatures toil; the beast, if tamed or free,
  Must toil for daily sustenance like me;
  The feather’d people hunt as well as sing,
  And catch their flying food upon the wing.
  The fish, the insect, all who live, employ
  Their powers to keep on life, or to enjoy,
  Their life th’ enjoyment; thus will I proceed,      140
  A man from man’s detested favours freed.”
    Thus was I reasoning, when at length there came
  A gift, a present, but without a name.
  “That Spinster-witch, has she then found a way
  To cure her conscience, and her Nephew pay,
  And sends her pittance? Well, and let it buy
  What sweetens labour; need I this deny?
  I thank her not; it is as if I found
  The fairy-gift upon this stony ground.”
    Still I wrought on; again occurred the day,      150
  And then the same addition to my pay.
    Then, lo! another Friend, if not the same,
  For that I knew not, with a message came—
  “Canst keep accounts?” the man was pleased to ask—
  “I could not cash!—but that the harder task.”
  “Yet try,” he said; and I was quickly brought
  To Lawyer Snell, and in his office taught.
  Not much my pay, but my desires were less,
  And I for evil days reserved th’ excess.
    Such day occurr’d not: quickly came there one,      160
  When I was told my present work was done.
  My Friend then brought me to a building large,
  And gave far weightier business to my charge.
  There I was told I had accounts to keep
  Of those vast Works, where wonders never sleep,
  Where spindles, bobbins, rovings, threads, and pins,
  [Make] up the complex mass that ever spins.
    There, at my desk, in my six feet of room,
  I noted every power of every loom;
  Sounds of all kinds I heard from mortal lungs—      170
  Eternal battle of unwearied tongues,
  The jar of men and women, girls and boys,
  And the huge Babel’s own dull whirring, grinding noise.
    My care was mark’d, and I had soon in charge
  Important matters, and my pay was large.
  I at my fortune marvell’d; it was strange,
  And so the outward and the inward change,
  Till to the Power who “gives and takes away”
  I turn’d in praise, and taught my soul to pray.
    Another came! “I come,” he said, “to show,      180
  Your unknown Friend—have you a wish to know?”
  Much I desired, and forth we rode, and found
  My Uncle dying, but his judgment sound.
  The good old man, whom I abused, had been
  The guardian power, directing but unseen;
  And thus the wild but grateful boy he led
  To take new motives at his dying bed.
    The rest you judge—I now have all I need—
  And now the tale you promised!—Come, proceed.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    _P._ ’Tis due, I own, but yet in mercy spare!      190}
  Alas! no Uncle was my guide—my care      }
  Was all my own; no guardian took a share.      }
  I, like Columbus, for a world unknown—
  ’Twas no great effort—sacrificed my own—
  My own sad world, where I had never seen
  The earth productive, or the sky serene.
    But this is past—and I at length am come
  To see what changes have been wrought at home;
  Happy in this, that I can set me down
  At worst a stranger in my native town.      200
    _F._ Then be it so! but mean you not to show
  How time has pass’d? for we expect to know;
  And, if you tell not, know you we shall trace
  Your movements for ourselves from place to place!
  Your wants, your wishes, all you’ve sought or seen,
  Shall be the food for our remark and spleen.
  So, warn’d in time, the real page unfold,
  And let the Truth, before the Lie, be told.
    _P._ This might be done; but wonders I have none;
  All my adventures are of Self alone.      210
    _F._ What then? I grant you, if your way was clear,
  All smooth and right—we’ve no desire to hear;
  But, if you’ve lewd and wicked things to tell,      }
  Low passions, cruel deeds, nay crimes—’tis well:      }
  Who would not listen?——      }
                    _P._ Hark! I hear the bell.      }
  It calls to dinner with inviting sound,
  For now we know where dinners may be found,
  And can behold and share the glad repast,
  Without a dread that we behold our last.
    _F._ Come then, shy friend, let doleful subjects cease,      220
  And thank our God that we can dine in peace.



                          MISCELLANEOUS VERSES

                              (1780—1829)

  PREVIOUSLY PRINTED AND NOW FIRST ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE.


                           POETICAL EPISTLES.

                             [April, 1780.]

                (1.) FROM THE DEVIL. AN EPISTLE GENERAL.

                         (2.) FROM THE AUTHOR.

    _An Introduction to the former of these, by the learned Martinus
                              Scriblerus._

Peradventure it may surprize thee, Reader, that an Author of our Dignity
and Importance should stoop to the servile employment of introducing to
the World the flimsy Production of an anonymous Scribler; unless thou
art indeed persuaded that the great Personage above mentioned should
have prevailed upon us to recommend his Labours to an Age not extremely
partial to poetical Composition.

But, whatever Intimacy we may be favoured with in either “Profound,” we
are in this Case totally innocent of any Intention to deceive thee; for,
we apprehend, did the Genius aforesaid think proper to add the Sin of
Rhyme to his other Failings, he has too great a Correspondence and
Reputation among Mankind to need our Solicitations in his Favour, were
we ever so well disposed to grant them; but, knowing of no due Authority
which any man hath to accuse Satan of this Infirmity, we judge it both
Cruel and unnecessary to load him with so heavy a Charge, as would in
all probability render him more odious to Company in general than any
other Accusation he now labours under.

We are however aware of this Objection, that, as the Devil is “_ab
Origine_” the Author of Evil, so Poetry, as one Species of it, may
properly be placed to his Account; but, as our argument principally
relates to the Piece before us, we shall waive all general Discourse,
and observe only that our Reasoning went no farther than to show
(whatever may be his Talent for Poetry,) that we have no right to affix
his Name in a particular Manner to any one Publication.

The very title of the Work we have thought proper to introduce to our
Acquaintance; for, besides that it is an Approved Custom amongst
Editors, we did not choose our honest and venerated Name should appear
to countenance a Falsity.

As pure Compassion is our motive for recommending this little Work to
our learned Friends, so would we have its real Author sensible of the
Honour we do him, and not, with an Author-like spirit, carp at our
Emendations, at the Time we are studiously aiming at his Benefit. Nor
could we allow the Title he has chosen to pass at any rate, did he not
assure us he can think of no other so likely to take with the humour of
the Town.

It having occurred to us, that the judicious Authors of a periodical
Publication, called “The World,” did, in their first Paper, counsel
their Readers against being witty—purely for the Wit’s sake—at their
Expence, and more particularly did guard them against such Expressions
of pretended Disapprobation as these, “’tis a vile World,” “a sad
World,” &c.: so, gentle Friends, we would borrow a Thought from the
excellent Mr Fitz-Adam, and advise ye, not to abuse our Author with the
Terms “poor Devil,” “dull Devil,” “stupid Devil,” and so forth,
notwithstanding we do agree that it shall be imputed unto ye for wit
when ye shall say of the ensueing Poem, “it is devilish good,” “devilish
clever,” and such-like.

And to all our Brethren, the real Critics and Judges of Literary
productions, we would towards that before us recommend Lenity; it is a
first performance and of a young Author; and, albeit there shall be
found blemishes and Failings therein, we do in a certain Degree perceive
Beauties not altogether unworthy our Approbation, the which if ye
likewise behold, and point out to the Public after a friendly Sort, ye
shall do well.


                               EPISTLE I.

  Ye Mortals, whom Poets with Verses perplex,
  Whom Churchmen misguide, and Philosophers vex,
  Whose Heads are disturbed with the Tenets of Schools,
  Whom Terror betrays, and whom Conscience befools—
  From the Regions below, with a Heart full of Love,
  I send to my excellent Subjects above,
  And, tho’ ’tis Advice that now dictates my Strain,
  I must freely confess I’ve no Cause to complain.
    With Pleasure I hear, how the Demon of War
  Is hurling his blessed Confusion from far,      10
  Has bade the slow Spaniard to Battle advance
  And has got a good Footing in England and France.
  It delights me to find, the Designs of the Dutch
  Are to move for a Peace, but to hinder it much;
  For my trusty Disciples of Holland are known
  To have no kind of Feeling for aught but their own;
  And the Kingdoms around are, as far as I see,
  Just acting the Part they have borrow’d from me.
    Nor is it without a great Share of Delight
  I find so much wrong is confounded with Right.      20
  Where Justice alone on one Party is clear,
  Why, Truth may prevail and a Peace may be near;
  But, where Good and Evil are properly mixed,
  The Cause is obscure, and Destruction more fix’d;
  Since each on the first will rest all their Pretensions,
  The latter to stretch to its utmost Dimensions.
    With much Satisfaction, I likewise confess,
  I behold so much Deviltry drop from the Press;
  But this is a Subject I will not say much on,
  Because what hereafter I purpose to touch on.      30
  At present to all, in their several Degrees,
  I pay my Respect in such Verses as these;
  And, my rough-moving Lines should your Critics condemn,
  I shall talk in a much rougher Language to them.
    Ye Monarchs! Ye Rulers of Nations! attend
  To a Ruler, your Equal! the first Monarch’s Friend!
  Whose Empire at least is as large as your own,
  As crowded his Army, as splendid his Throne;
  His Spirit as great, and, whatever his Cause,
  A greater Obedience is paid to his Laws!      40
  Attend and receive your Instructions from me;
  Though a Counsellor famous, I covet no fee;
  Prefer me before all your ignoble Tribe—
  What Mortal in Black ever acts without Bribe?
    Let Empire unbounded your Bosoms possess;
  You’re as noble as Cæsar, and scorn to be less.
  Be your Counsellors such as may aid your Designs—
  Good Jockeys, great Gamblers, rare Judges of Wines!
  And then, should you happen to fail in your Ends,
  Your People may lay all the Blame on your Friends,      50
  And say, “’tis a pity a Monarch so just
  Such a pack of damn’d Villainous Fellows should trust.”
    Nor judge in this Case my Advice is confin’d:
  Be it common as Air, and as free as the Wind;
  Obey’d in the Climes which Sol scarce can appear in,
  Caress’d in the Countries he passes the year in!
  Nor would I like him from my Friends fly away:
  Wherever I’m courted I constantly stay,
  To Spain, France, or Flanders extending my Care,
  And England! in spite of my Enemies there.      60
  With its monarch of old I was social and free,
  And the Present must die—that’s some Comfort to me.
    Believe me, my Brethren—for when I advise
  I always speak Truth, tho’ the Father of Lies—
  ’Tis a foolish Mistake to imagine Mankind
  Were not for their Monarch’s good Pleasure design’d.
  We know and believe they’re as truly his own
  As the Farmer’s his Beast, or the wheat he has sown;
  And he’s a most stupid and scandalous Block
  Who would not be part of so noble a Stock,      70
  To fetch and to carry, be curried and fed,
  As his Master has Work, or his Master has Bread.
    Ye Statesmen, I next to your Honours apply:
  Ye know the old Subject; ye ken who am I!
  I would give each Advice how to act in his Station;
  But most have without it entire Approbation.
  Nay, let us confess, and give Mortals their due,
  We borrow a great many Maxims from you!
  And would ne’er have you heed what your Satirists say,
  Who expose to the World all your pensions and pay.      80
  Such Wretches, by jealous Emotions betray’d,
  Are as knavish as you, and yet never get paid.
    Sejanus politely his Compliments sends,
  To show he remembers his very good Friends,
  And tells you, with Grief which his Feelings betray,
  He hears ye are some of ye veering away.
  If this—and there’s Reason to fear it—be true,
  I’d have ye consider what end ye pursue;
  You’ll find you’ve a very bad bargain at last,
  Despis’d for the present and damn’d for the past.      90
    Ye Commons, your Nation’s most able Protectors,
  Ye generous Elected, ye well-paid Electors,
  Your Patron here greets you, and, though but in Song,
  He praises the Path ye have mov’d in so long—
  A Path he has form’d with such exquisite Care
  That it leads you directly, he need not say where.
    At a Crisis important to Europe and us,
  It becomes us, my Friends, to act constantly thus:
  To stick to our Cause with a strong perseverance,
  Else Nobody knows what may happen a year hence;      100
  For in Times of Disturbance ’tis frequently seen,
  That Virtue’s more busy than when they’re serene;
  And, from a good Spirit in brisk fermentation,
  A Clear-settled Habit may reign in each Nation;
  The which to prevent ’tis my serious Command
  You carefully lend each his Heart and his Hand.
    In England I’ve studied that People’s Condition,
  And seen the Contents of each County’s petition;
  By which I collect, with a Logic my own,
  The Seeds of Dissension are properly sown;      110
  And I’m not without Hope but, if suffer’d to grow,
  I may reap in due Time what I taught you to sow.
  But I’m sorry to find that, in spite of my Care
  For that Country’s Estate, I’ve my Enemies there,
  Whom though I’ve attended with studious Skill,
  I don’t know a people have us’d me so ill.
    Go, Wretches ingrate; see my Subjects in France,
  With what excellent skill they my Business advance!
  Do they stick to Agreements, or such Kind of Things?
  Is there Truth in their Courtiers, or Faith in their Kings?
  Their Notions of Honour, or keeping of Treaties,      121
  Are govern’d by that kind of Body their Fleet is;
  While you of a Nation I take such Delight in
  Are inferior in Fraud, tho’ you beat them at fighting.
    Ye Spirits uncurb’d by the Dictates of Schools,
  The Lectures of Priests, or Morality’s Rules,
  Or the pitifull Dreams of the Herd we dispise—
  The Puritan dull, and the Prelate precise;
  Ye learned Philosophers, Deists devout,
  Who know not the Depth of the Thing you’re about—      130
  But, I’m willing to own it, ’tis proper you should
  And Satan here thanks you: ye’ve done him much Good.
    Before ye began to reform Men’s Opinions,
  How bounded my Realm, how restrain’d my Dominions!
  But now, since ’tis clear that there’s no Revelation,      }
  I’ve a pretty good Footing, my Friends, in the Nation;      }
  And I’d have you go on with each learn’d Dissertation.      }
  For our firmest Adherents we commonly call
  The Man who believes there’s no Devil at all;
  And, as you so clearly convince your attendants      140
  We’re nothing, and all our good Company send hence,
  Your learned Opinion, I find as I read it,
  Advances my Gain, whilst it shatters my Credit,
  As Bankrupts who wilfully plunge into Shame,
  To gain in their purse what they lose in their Fame.
    For the learned, the wise, and the deep-sighted Few,
  I’ve an excellent Work which I’d have ye pursue!
  Your Genius may mend a dull Devil’s Designs,
  May alter my Manner, and polish my Lines.
  The Scheme is exalted! is quite in your walk;      150
  And I care not in what kind of Language I talk.
  ’Tis to prove to Mankind, to whom pleasures belong,
  Your Moralists, too, as your Pastors, are wrong;
  That not to Religion alone is confin’d
  Our work, but a full Reformation’s design’d;
  Till your Country all Kinds of Enjoyment excell in,
  And [become] much the Kind of a Place which we dwell in.
    But first you’ll my Congratulations receive
  For the exquisite Pleasure your arguments give,
  Which we hear with a vast deal of Joy and Delight      160
  At Coachmakers’ Hall, almost every Night,
  And are so entertain’d with the things in that Style
  That we’d thoughts of erecting our Houses-Carlisle.
  But the Motion was quash’d on a due recollection—
  Our good Subjects here ev’ry Party and Sect shun—
  That we have the same Constant Business in View,
  And can never dissent in opinion like you;
  Nor suffer we here any Authors to write;
  And to talk of the State, why, ’tis deemed impolite;
  And the Point Revelation, that’s banish’d your Creed,      170
  Would not move a Debate where we all are agreed;
  Nor have we a Subject which Satan can reckon
  Is fit for a Genius among us to speak on.
    But, by Way of Digression, we can but admire
  That your Ladies to argue should cooly desire,
  Should one at a Time any Subject discuss:
  They ne’er could be brought to that Order with us.
  But they still altogether their Subjects pursue
  With the Knack which they formerly had among you;
  And we marvel that Men of Discretion can teach      180
  To such Lips the all-conquering Graces of Speech!
    But my Plan to return to, ye Sages, assist;
  Let’s our Heads lay together, our Arguments twist,
  And prove by the Light we thought proper to kindle
  In our dearly beloved, our Toland and Tindal!
  With Arguments all unresisted as these,
  That men have a right to do just what they please;
  And, because I shall chance my own Worth to proclaim,
  My Actions, my Spirit, my Merit and Fame,
  With Modesty such as you can but approve      190
  I shall speak in the Words of my Vot’ries above.
    Yet, again to digress: you must never suppose
  But even the learned are sometimes my Foes;
  Nor is it a volatile Genius alone,
  Or eccentric Attempt, that proclaims you my own,
  There was Priestley, they told me, had wrote in my Cause,
  And publish’d good Things with a deal of Applause;
  But ’tis mere Imposition—he scribble for me!
  He scrawl in my Favour! No, damn him, not he!
  Yet ’tis some Consolation that Blunderers make      200
  His meanings so strange, that they’re ours by Mistake.
    And now, having settled the principal Points,
  Your Master the Head of his Prophet anoints,
  And, judging all Conscience no more in the Way,
  Thus bids you to sing, or thus bids you to say.
    “What pictures of Life do the Dogmatists paint!
  What a dull Dissertation comes forth from the Saint!
  How they roar against Sin and contribute to drub
  Every Demon from Earth, both in Pulpit and Tub;
  Enjoyment how plaguily low do they rate it,      210
  How rail at all Pleasure, and tell you they hate it;
  As Jockeys, designing to purchase your Horse,
  Will assure you no Mortal on Earth has a worse,
  Display ev’ry Failing with exquisite Skill,
  Yet bestride him themselves with a hearty good Will!
    “’Twere well if the Earth had their Censure engross’d;
  But the Devil engages their Spleen to his Cost!
  Poor Devil! from whom half our Blessings accrue,—
  But the Saints give to no one the Qualities due.
  Else, how might they praise without Flatt’ry’s Appearance      220
  His Honour, his Spirit, his known Perseverance;
  How seldom his Friendship’s remember’d to alter;
  How he smiles on the Block, and how softens the Halter!
  The Friends to his Cause he with Spirit supports,
  Attends them at Tyburn, conveys them to Courts;
  With noble Profusion gives all he can give,
  And scorns to forsake them, so long as they live;
  In mystery deep, a great Metaphysician;
  In history known, and a rare Politician;
  A merry Companion, yet sage in due Places,      230
  He knows good Behaviour and studies the Graces;
  Can the Springs of good Humour and Harmony feel—
  Not Stanhope himself could be half so genteel;
  Is the last to disturb them where people are gay,
  And the first to drive stupid Reflection away.
  Then spare him, ye Preachers, without whose assistance
  Your dull Congregations as well were at Distance;
  Retract your Abuse, wheresoever you’ve spread it,
  And lament your Attack on a Gentleman’s Credit.
    “Would you know the vile Sources of Sorrow and Grief,      240
  We’re fully persuaded We’ll tell you the Chief.
  But, first, ’tis but right we our Talents should use
  To take from the Guiltless a Load of abuse.
    “Our Moralists tell us, indulg’d Inclinations
  Breed all our Disasters, and nurse our Vexations;
  That Sin, Satan’s Daughter, as Milton has told us,
  Has dealt to Mankind all the Plagues which enfold us.
  ’Tis false—I acquit her with lenient Sentence;
  The Plagues they describe are the Plagues of Repentance;
  And surely ’tis hard we should blame her for Woes      250
  She strives to keep from us wherever she goes.
  To bully Devotion and banter her Laws,
  To seduce a Weak Mind, and to plead in the Cause,
  A Friend to betray, or a Father to wound,
  And revel in Folly’s fantastical round,
  Are Vices, they cry—but they make a Man known,
  Give Honour, give Pleasure, and Fame and Renown,
  Are Gentlemen’s Actions, and Joy must accrue
  From Actions which Gentlemen so often do;
  And, in spite of what Moralists tell us, I find      260
  The antient Philosophers were of our Mind:
  Who, each in his Way, though to wisdom akin,
  Have labour’d to beautify some kind of Sin.
  Then why should we fear on dull Morals to trample,
  Who’re blest with the Boon of such noble Example?
    “To Sickness and cruel Disease are assign’d
  A part of the Sorrows which trouble Mankind;
  But do we not see how Mankind are agreed
  To be sick unto Death when there can be no Need?
  Why faints the soft Nymph? Why the Vapours and Spleen?
  What can Nameless Complaints and Infirmities mean—      271
  The pain of a Moment, the Headache at will,
  Or the languor that’s cur’d without Julep or Pill?
  Why riots the Youth, so unhappily sleek?
  Why poisons the Maid the pure Blood in her Cheek?
  How happens it, Mortals are jumbled together
  Without Care in Crowds and in all kinds of Weather?
  Or why press the Throng at Assemblies so thick,
  If people had not a Delight to be sick?
    “What then are the Causes of human Distress?      280
  Let Pedants and Preachers have Grace to confess:
  There’s nothing such varied Disasters can hit
  Like Religion and Virtue, Good Nature and Wit.
    “Religion, what horrid Opinions it starts,
  How it cramps our Ambition, and deadens our Hearts;
  Continually plagues us with Lectures from Heaven,
  And robs us the Year round of one Day in seven;
  Denies to the Passions the Flowers in their Road,
  And carps at the varying Designs of the Mode!
  It teaches few Fashions but such as, we find,      290
  Have been hiss’d from good Company, Time out of Mind;
  Affords us no rule for the Cut of a Coat,
  Nor winks at the Science of cutting a Throat;
  A tenth of each Man’s Cultivation commands,
  And threatens us all in Return for our Lands;
  Still presses the More like a Dun for Neglect,
  And is never contented with civil Respect;
  Intrudes in the Dance, and grows grave in the Song,
  And conjures up Conscience with all her dull Throng.
    “And Virtue—what’s Virtue? an obstinate Cur,      300
  Who clings to a Rock and refuses to stir;
  Whose Lectures on Life are a plague beyond bearing;
  So he snaps at your Heels, till you’re quite out of hearing.
  But hearken to him, and he’ll tell you the Fancies
  Which please the poor School-Boy in Tales and Romances:
  How he and his Friends have defeated the Crimes
  Of voluptuous Aspirers in horrible Times;
  By Patience and Prating done wonderfull Things
  To Women consumptive, and Death-alarm’d Kings.
  But tell me when Virtue got any Man Pension’d,      310
  Or procur’d him a Title that’s fit to be mention’d,
  Or taught him to talk for the Praise of the Nation,
  Or dictated Themes for a publick Oration?
  Did it ever a Brilliant Assembly advance,
  Or import sound Politeness and Claret from France?
  Not this; but it hobbles in Gait and in speech
  And, laught at by all, is still aiming to teach;
  From the gentle ‘_in modo_’ will angrily flee,
  But sternly adhere to the hatefull ‘_in re_.’
    “And what is a properer Object of Satire      320
  Than that most ridiculous Failing, Good-nature?
  Do you know a Man laugh’d at by all his Acquaintance,
  Despis’d and disdain’d by the People he maintains;
  Too grave for a Wit, and too mean for a Beau;
  A Clown who does nothing as other Men do;
  An Awkwardly-generous, blundering Thing,
  Who stoops to a Beggar and stares on a King;
  A Creature who makes no Distinction at all      }
  ’Twixt a Speech in the Vestry and one in the Hall—      }
  Leoni who warbles, or Porters who bawl;             330}
  His Heart without Judgment, his Head without Rule
  And, merely for want of Discretion, a Fool;
  Whose Mind with a pitiful Tale is possess’d;
  Who is every one’s Friend, yet is every one’s Jest;
  Who blunders thro’ Life without forming a Plan,
  Is that poor stupid Mortal—a good-natur’d Man.
    “But of all the vile Things which torment or molest us
  Wit a thousand times worse than the worst of the rest is:
  The Poison [that’s] banish’d from every Table,      }
  As far as the People of Fashion are able,      340}
  To the Bookworms in Schools, and the Grooms of the Stable.      }
  A Man who has Wit is more proud than the Devil;
  Is never so welcome, is never so civil;
  With Absolute Tenets as stern as the Church’s,
  He lashes the failings his wealth can not purchase;
  Is ever awakening his Enemies’ Slumber,
  Lamenting his Foes, yet increasing their Number.
  So dirty, no Gentleman cares to go near him,
  And sensible Women don’t know how to bear him.
  His Wit is rebellious, and, as a Man’s Wife,      350
  If it conquers him once, ’tis his Master for Life;
  And, though there are things it may chance to produce
  If it takes the right turn of an excellent use,
  Yet, ’tis plain to be seen, it extinguishes Merit
  And dashes the Efforts of Genius and Spirit.”
    But, not to perplex you with tedious Instruction,
  I hope this may serve for a good Introduction;
  And, leaving the rest of the Business to you,
  Beloved and Trusty, I bid you adieu!


                              EPISTLE II.

                                TO MIRA.

  ’Tis by Contrast we shine; without Withers and Prynne,
  What had Butler or Wits of that Century been?
  Or how, without Dunces, had Dryden or Pope
  The strength of their great Reputation kept up?
  The Pleasures we share from the Dawning of Light
  Are doubled by Thoughts of its following Night;
  And Virtue and Sweetness like yours shall repay us
  For poring so long over Satan’s Affairs.
  At your Company then do not think to repine:
  You the fairer appear—for by Contrast we shine.      10
    What a Life, my dear Maid, do the Heavens decree
  For the Dreamers of Dreams, for the Learned—for me:
  Where pale Disappointment awakes to molest
  The Study-vex’d Head, and the Sorrow-torn Breast.
  Pity much, though you blame, the dull Spleen of your Swain,
  Who has Cause to deplore and, he thinks, to complain:
  That Fortune has soil’d the gay Dress of each Dream;
  That Time has o’erthrown every fairy-built Scheme;
  That thinking has slacken’d the Force of his Nerves,
  And his Study has met with——the Fate it deserves.      20
    What a Plague was my Meaning to add to my own
  The Cares of a Kind which I need not have known!
  When Nature and Fortune had given their Part,
  ’Twas stupid to borrow Dejection from Art,
  And, with Trouble a pretty large Portion before,
  To pilfer Perplexities out of her Store.
    See the Fate of Ambition—contented with Rhyme,
  I had softened the Features of Sorrow and Time;
  Had play’d with the Evils I might not refuse,
  And soften’d their Frowns with the Tears of the Muse;      30
  Had mov’d in Life’s Path with a Sigh and a Song,
  And laugh’d at her Rubs as I stumbled along.
  But, smitten with Science, I’ve laboured to lay
  A thousand impediments more in my way;
  And, because my poor Muse was too gentle a Guide
  To smooth the rough Way, and to sing by my Side,
  I’ve coveted Learning, a dangerous Thing
  To drag through the Road, and who never could sing.
    Of Substance I’ve thought, and the various Disputes
  On the Nature of Man, and the Notions of Brutes;      40
  Of simple and complex Ideas I’ve read,
  How they rose into Life and spring up in my Head;
  That the Frolicks I love, and the Fashions I hate,
  Are from Causes without, and they rule not innate;
  I’ve studied with stupid Attention and Skill
  The Destiny’s Law, and the Bounds of the Will;
    Of Systems confuted, and Systems explain’d;
  Of Science disputed, and Tenets maintain’d;
  How Matter and Spirit dissent or unite;
  How vary the Natures of Fire and of Light;      50
  How Bodies excentric, concentric shall be;
  How Authors divide where they seem to agree;
  How dissenting unite, by a Touch of the Quill
  Which bodies a Meaning, in what Form they will:
  These and such Speculations, on these Kind of Things,
  Have robb’d my poor Muse of her Plume and her Wings;
  Consum’d the Phlogiston you us’d to admire;
  The Spirit extracted, extinguished the Fire;
  Let out all the Aether so pure and refin’d,
  And left but a mere Caput-Mortuum behind.      60
    Ah, Priestley! thou Foe to my Numbers, what need
  To shock my poor Muses? Thou dost not my Creed,
  With Schemes, Dissertations, and Arguments strong
  Which I know not how right, and I care not how wrong.
  Thou great Necessarian, must I suppose
  The Flight of my Verse is o’er rul’d by thy prose;
  And that Matters have been unavoidably led,
  That thou must have written, and I must have read?
  ’Tis certain—for what but a Bias of Fate
  Could have tied me so long to the Subjects I hate?      70
    O! blest be the Time, when, my Mira, we stray’d
  Where the Nightingale perch’d, and the wanton winds play’d;
  Where these were the Secrets of Nature we knew,
  That her Roses were red, and her Vi’lets were blue;
  That soft was the Gloom of the Summer-swell’d shade,
  And melting the Fall of the dying Cascade.
    Blest, the Song shall repeat, be the Pleasures that reign
  In the plenty-prest Vale, on the green-vested Plain!
  Give Locke to the Winds, and lay Hume on the Fire;
  Let Metaphysicians in Darkness expire,      80
  And Fatalists, Fabulists, Logicians fall by
  The Laws which Necessity modulates all by;
  Let the Slumber of Sense, and the Silence of Spleen,
  Lay hold upon Priestley, that learned Machine;
  Or, what will to us, my dear Maid, be the same,
  May we cease to admire each ostensible Name,
  And, blest with those Pleasures the Muses desire,
  See Learning, unenvied, to Students retire!


                         [FROM BELVOIR CASTLE.]

                            [About 1782–3.]

  Oh! had I but a little hut
    That I might hide my head in;
  Where never guest might dare molest,
    Unwelcome or unbidden.

  I’d take the jokes of other folks
    And mine should then succeed ’em;
  Nor would I chide a little pride,
    Or heed a little freedom.


                        THE LADIES OF THE LAKE.

                          [Normanston, 1785.]

  Shall I, who oft have woo’d the Muse
    For gentle Ladies’ sake,
  So fair a theme as this refuse—
    The Ladies of the Lake?

  Hail, happy pair! ’tis yours to share
    Life’s elegance and ease:
  The bliss of wealth without the care,
    The will and power to please—

  To please, but not alone our eyes,
    Nor yet alone our mind;      10
  Your taste, your goodness, charm the wise—
    Your manners all mankind.

  The pleasant scenes that round you glow,
    Like caskets fraught with gold,
  Though beauteous in themselves, yet owe
    Their worth to what they hold.

  Trees may be found, and lakes, as fair;
    Fresh lawns, and gardens green;
  But where again the Sister-pair
    Who animate the scene?      20

  Where sense of that superior kind,
    Without man’s haughty air?
  And where, without the trifling mind,
    The softness of the fair?

  Folly, with wealth, may idly raise
    Her hopes to shine like you,
  And humble flattery sound her praise,
    Till she believes it true;

  But wealth no more can give that grace
    To souls of meaner kind,      30
  Than summer’s fiery sun can chase
    Their darkness from the blind.

  But drop, you’ll say, the useless pen!
    Reluctant, I obey;
  Yet let me take it once again,
    If not to praise, to pray:

  That you, with partial grace, may deign
    This poor attempt to take,
  And I may oft behold again
    The Ladies of the Lake.      40


                          INFANCY—A FRAGMENT.

  Who on the new-born light can back return,
  And the first efforts of the soul discern—
  Waked by some sweet maternal smile, no more
  To sleep so long or fondly as before?
  No! Memory cannot reach, with all her power,
  To that new birth, that life-awakening hour.
  No! all the traces of her first employ
  Are keen perceptions of the senses’ joy,
  And their distaste—what then could they impart?—
  That figs were luscious, and that rods had smart.      10
    But, though the Memory in that dubious way
  Recalls the dawn and twilight of her day,
  And thus encounters, in the doubtful view,
  With imperfection and distortion too:
  Can she not tell us, as she looks around,
  Of good and evil, which the most abound?
    Alas! and what is earthly good? ’tis lent
  Evil to hide, to soften, to prevent,
  By scenes and shows that cheat the wandering eye,
  While the more pompous misery passes by—      20
  Shifts and amusements that awhile succeed;
  And heads are turn’d, that bosoms may not bleed.
  For what is Pleasure, that we toil to gain?
  ’Tis but the slow or rapid flight of Pain.
  Set Pleasure by, and there would yet remain,
  For every nerve and sense the sting of Pain:
  Set Pain aside, and fear no more the sting,
  And whence your hopes and pleasures can ye bring?
  No! there is not a joy beneath the skies,
  That from no grief nor trouble shall arise.      30
    Why does the Lover with such rapture fly
  To his dear mistress?—He shall show us why:—
  Because her absence is such cause of grief
  That her sweet smile alone can yield relief.—
  Why, then, that smile is Pleasure!—True, yet still
  ’Tis but the absence of the former ill:
  For, married, soon at will he comes and goes;      }
  Then pleasures die, and pains become repose,      }
  And he has none of these, and therefore none of those.      }
    Yes! looking back as early as I can,      40}
  I see the griefs that seize their subject Man;      }
  That in the weeping Child their early reign began.      }
  Yes! though Pain softens, and is absent since,
  He still controls me like my lawful prince.
  Joys I remember, like phosphoric light
  Or squibs and crackers on a gala night.
  Joys are like oil: if thrown upon the tide
  Of flowing life, they mix not, nor subside.
  Griefs are like waters on the river thrown:
  They mix entirely, and become its own.      50
  Of all the good that grew of early date,
  I can but parts and incidents relate:
  A guest arriving, or a borrow’d day
  From school, or schoolboy triumph at some play:
  And these from Pain may be deduced; for these
  Removed some ill—and hence their power to please.
    But it was Misery stung me in the day
  Death of an infant sister made a prey;
  For then first met and moved my early fears,
  A father’s terrors, and a mother’s tears.      60
  Though greater anguish I have since endured—
  Some heal’d in part, some never to be cured:
  Yet was there something in that first-born ill,
  So new, so strange, that memory feels it still!
    _That_ my first grief: but, oh! in after-years
  Were other deaths, that call’d for other tears.
  No! that I cannot, that I dare not, paint—      }
  That patient sufferer, that enduring saint,      }
  Holy and lovely—but all words are faint.      }
  But here I dwell not—let me, while I can,      70
  Go to the Child, and lose the suffering Man!
    Sweet was the morning’s breath, the inland tide,      }
  And our boat gliding, where alone could glide      }
  Small craft—and they oft touch’d on either side.      }
  It was my first-born joy. I heard them say,
  “Let the child go; he will enjoy the day.”
  For children ever feel delighted when
  They take their portion, and enjoy with men.
  Give him the pastime that the old partake,
  And he will quickly top and taw forsake.      80
    The linnet chirp’d upon the furze as well,
  To my young sense, as sings the nightingale.
  Without was paradise—because within
  Was a keen relish, without taint of sin.
    A town appear’d—and, where an infant went,
  Could they determine, on themselves intent?
  I lost my way, and my companions me,
  And all, their comforts and tranquillity.
  Mid-day it was, and, as the sun declined,
  The good, found early, I no more could find      90
  The men drank much, to whet the appetite;      }
  And, growing heavy, drank to make them light;      }
  Then drank to relish joy, then further to excite.      }
  Their cheerfulness did but a moment last;
  Something fell short, or something overpast.
  The lads play’d idly with the helm and oar,      }
  And nervous women would be set on shore,      }
  Till “civil dudgeon” grew, and peace would smile no more.      }
    Now on the colder water faintly shone
  The sloping light—the cheerful day was gone;      100
  Frown’d every cloud, and from the gather’d frown
  The thunder burst, and rain came pattering down.
  My torpid senses now my fears obey’d,
  When the fierce lightning on the eye-balls play’d.
  Now, all the freshness of the morning fled,
  My spirits burden’d, and my heart was dead;
  The female servants show’d a child their fear,
  And men, full wearied, wanted strength to cheer;
  And when, at length, the dreaded storm went past,
  And there was peace and quietness at last,      110
  ’Twas not the morning’s quiet—it was not
  Pleasure revived, but Misery forgot;
  It was not Joy that now commenced her reign,
  But mere relief from wretchedness and Pain.
    So many a day, in life’s advance, I knew;
  So they commenced, and so they ended too.
  All Promise they—all Joy as they began!
  But Joy grew less, and vanish’d as they ran!
  Errors and evils came in many a form—
  The mind’s delusion, and the passions’ storm.      120
    The promised joy, that like this morning rose,
  Broke on my view, then clouded at its close;
  E’en Love himself, that promiser of bliss,
  Made his best days of pleasure end like this:
  He mix’d his bitters in the cup of joy
  Nor gave a bliss uninjured by alloy.


                              THE MAGNET.

  Why force the backward heart on love,
    That of itself the flame might feel?
  When you the Magnet’s power would prove,
    Say, would you strike it on the Steel?

  From common flints you may by force
    Excite some transient sparks of fire;
  And so, in natures rude and coarse,
    Compulsion may provoke desire.

  But when, approaching by degrees,
    The Magnet to the Steel draws nigh,      10
  At once they feel, each other seize,
    And rest in mutual sympathy.

  So must the Lover find his way
    To move the heart he hopes to win—
  Must not in distant forms delay—
    Must not in rude assaults begin.

  For such attractive power has Love,
    We justly each extreme may fear:
  ’Tis lost when we too distant prove,
    And when we rashly press too near.      20


                            STORM AND CALM.

              (From the Album of the Duchess of Rutland.)

  At sea when threatening tempests rise,
    When angry winds the waves deform,
  The seaman lifts to Heaven his eyes,
    And deprecates the dreaded storm:
  “Ye furious powers, no more contend;
  Ye winds and seas, your conflict end;
  And on the mild subsiding deep,
  Let Fear repose and Terror sleep!”

  At length the waves are hush’d in peace,
    O’er flying clouds the sun prevails;      10
  The weary winds their efforts cease,
    And fill no more the flagging sails;
  Fix’d to the deep the vessel rides
  Obedient to the changing tides;
  No helm she feels, no course she keeps,
  But on the liquid marble sleeps.

  Sick of a Calm the sailor lies,
    And views the still, reflecting seas;
  Or, whistling to the burning skies,
    He hopes to wake the slumbering breeze.      20
  The silent noon, the solemn night,
  The same dull round of thoughts excite;
  Till, tired of the revolving train,
  He wishes for the Storm again.

  Thus, when I felt the force of Love,
    When all the passion fill’d my breast—
  When, trembling, with the storm I strove,
    And pray’d, but vainly pray’d, for rest:
  ’Twas tempest all, a dreadful strife
  For ease, for joy, for more than life:      30
  ’Twas every hour to groan and sigh
  In grief, in fear, in jealousy.

  I suffer’d much, but found at length
    Composure in my wounded heart;
  The mind attain’d its former strength,
    And bade the lingering hopes depart;
  Then Beauty smiled, and I was gay,
  I view’d her as the cheerful day;
  And, if she frown’d, the clouded sky
  Had greater terrors for mine eye.      40

  I slept, I waked, and, morn and eve,
    The noon, the night appear’d the same;
  No thought arose the soul to grieve,
    To me no thought of pleasure came;
  Doom’d the dull comforts to receive
    Of wearied passions still and tame.—
  “Alas!” I cried, when years had flown—
  “Must no awakening joy be known?
  Must never Hope’s inspiring breeze
  Sweep off this dull and torpid ease—      50
  Must never Love’s all-cheering ray
  Upon the frozen fancy play—
  Unless they seize the passive soul,
  And with resistless power control?
  Then let me all their force sustain,
  And bring me back the Storm again!”


                                SATIRE.

  I love not the satiric Muse:
  No man on earth would I abuse;
  Nor with empoison’d verses grieve
  The most offending son of Eve.
  Leave him to law, if he have done
  What injures any other son!
  It hardens man to see his name
  Exposed to public mirth or shame;
  And rouses, as it spoils his rest,
  The baser passions of his breast.      10

  Attack a book—attack a song—
  You will not do essential wrong;
  You may their blemishes expose,
  And yet not be the writer’s foes.
  But, when the man you thus attack,
    And him expose with critic art,
  You put a creature to the rack—
    You wring, you agonise, his heart.
  No farther honest Satire can
    In all her enmity proceed,      20
  Than, passing by the wicked Man,
    To execrate the wicked Deed.

  If so much virtue yet remain
  That he would feel the sting and pain,
  That virtue is a reason why
  The Muse her sting should not apply.
  If no such Virtue yet survive,
    What is your angry Satire worth,
  But to arouse the sleeping hive,
    And send the raging Passions forth,      30
  In bold, vindictive, angry flight,
  To sting wherever they alight?


                          [THE NEW SAMARITAN.]

  A weary Traveller walk’d his way,
    With grief and want and pain opprest.
  His looks were sad, his locks were grey;
    He sought for food, he sigh’d for rest.

  A wealthy grazier pass’d—“Attend,”
    The sufferer cried—“some aid allow!”—
  “Thou art not of my parish, Friend;
    Nor am I in mine office now.”

  He dropt, and more impatient pray’d—
    A mild adviser heard the word:      10
  “Be patient, Friend!” he kindly said,
    “And wait the leisure of the Lord.”

  Another comes!—“Turn, stranger, turn!”
    “Not so!” replied a voice: “I mean
  “The candle of the Lord to burn
    With mine own flock on Save-all Green;

  “To war with Satan, thrust for thrust;
    To gain my lamb he led astray;
  The Spirit drives me: on I must—
    Yea, woe is me, if I delay!”      20

  But WOMAN came! by Heaven design’d
    To ease the heart that throbs with pain—
  She gave relief—abundant—kind—
    And bade him go in peace again.


                            BELVOIR CASTLE.

 (Written at the request of the Duchess Dowager of Rutland, and inscribed
                           in her Album, 1812.)

  When native Britons British lands possess’d—
  Their glory freedom, and their blessing rest—
  A powerful chief this lofty Seat survey’d,
  And here his mansion’s strong foundation laid.
  In his own ground the massy stone he sought,
  From his own woods the rugged timbers brought,
  Rudeness and greatness in his work combined—
  An humble taste with an aspiring mind.
  His herds the vale, his flocks the hills, o’erspread;
  Warriors and vassals at his table fed;      10
  Sons, kindred, servants, waited on his will,
  And hail’d his mansion on the mighty hill.
    In a new age a Saxon Lord appear’d,
  And on the lofty base his dwelling rear’d.
  Then first the grand but threatening form was known,
  And to the subject-vale a Castle shown,
  Where strength alone appear’d—the gloomy wall
  Enclosed the dark recess, the frowning hall;
  In chilling rooms the sudden fagot gleam’d;
  On the rude board the common banquet steam’d.      20
  Astonish’d peasants fear’d the dreadful skill
  That placed such wonders on their favourite hill;
  The soldier praised it as he march’d around,
  And the dark building o’er the valley frown’d.
    A Norman Baron, in succeeding times,
  Here, while the minstrel sang heroic rhymes,
  In feudal pomp appear’d. It was his praise
  A loftier dome with happier skill to raise;
  His halls, still gloomy, yet with grandeur rose;
  Here friends were feasted—here confined were foes.      30
  In distant chambers, with her female train,
  Dwelt the fair partner of his awful reign.
  Curb’d by no laws, his vassal-tribe he sway’d—
  The Lord commanded, and the slave obey’d.
  No soft’ning arts in those fierce times were found,
  But rival Barons spread their terrors round;
  Each, in the fortress of his power, secure,
  Of foes was fearless, and of soldiers sure;
  And here the chieftain, for his prowess praised,
  Long held the Castle that his might had raised.      40
    Came gentler times—the Barons ceased to strive
  With kingly power, yet felt their pomp survive;
  Impell’d by softening arts, by honour charm’d,
  Fair ladies studied and brave heroes arm’d.
  The Lord of Belvoir then his Castle view’d,
  Strong without form, and dignified but rude;
  The dark long passage, and the chambers small,
  Recess and secret hold, he banish’d all;
  Took the rude gloom and terror from the place,
  And bade it shine with majesty and grace.      50
    Then arras first o’er rugged walls appear’d;
  Bright lamps at eve the vast apartment cheer’d;
  In each superior room were polish’d floors,
  Tall ponderous beds, and vast cathedral doors.
  All was improved within, and then below
  Fruits of the hardier climes were taught to grow;
  The silver flagon on the table stood,
  And to the vassal left the horn and wood.
  Dress’d in his liveries, of his honours vain,
  Came at the Baron’s call a menial train—      60
  Proud of their arms, his strength and their delight;
  Loud in the feast, and fearless in the fight.
    Then every eye the stately fabric drew
  To every part; for all were fair to view.
  The powerful chief the far-famed work descried,
  And heard the public voice that waked his pride.
  Pleased he began—“About, above, below,
  What more can wealth command, or science show?
  Here taste and grandeur join with massy strength;
  Slow comes perfection, but it comes at length.      70
  Still must I grieve: these halls and towers sublime,
  Like vulgar domes, must feel the force of time;
  And, when decay’d, can future days repair
  What I in these have made so strong and fair?
  My future heirs shall want of power deplore,
  When Time destroys what Time cannot restore.”
    Sad in his glory, serious in his pride,
  At once the chief exulted and he sigh’d;
  Dreaming he sigh’d, and still, in sleep profound,
  His thoughts were fix’d within the favourite bound:      80
  When lo! another Castle rose in view,
  That in an instant all his pride o’erthrew.
  In that he saw what massy strength bestows,
  And what from grace and lighter beauty flows—
  Yet all harmonious; what was light and free,
  Robb’d not the weightier parts of dignity;
  Nor what was ponderous hid the work of grace,
  But all were just, and all in proper place.
  Terrace on terrace rose, and there was seen
  Adorn’d with flowery knolls the sloping green,      90
  Bounded by balmy shrubs from climes unknown,
  And all the nobler trees that grace our own.
    Above, he saw a giant-tower ascend,
  That seem’d the neighbouring beauty to defend
  Of some light graceful dome—“And this,” he cried,
  “Awakes my pleasure, though it wounds my pride.”
  He saw apartments where appear’d to rise
  What seem’d as men, and fix’d on him their eyes—
  Pictures that spoke; and there were mirrors tall,
  Doubling each wonder by reflecting all.      100
  He saw the genial board, the massy plate,
  Grace unaffected, unencumber’d state;
  And something reach’d him of the social arts,
  That soften manners, and that conquer hearts.
    Wrapt in amazement, as he gazed he saw
  A form of heav’nly kind, and bow’d in awe:
  The spirit view’d him with benignant grace,
  And styled himself the Genius of the Place.
  “Gaze, and be glad!” he cried, “for this, indeed,
  Is the fair Seat that shall to thine succeed,      110
  When these famed kingdoms shall as sisters be,
  And one great sovereign rule the powerful three.
  Then yon rich Vale, far stretching to the west,
  Beyond thy bound, shall be by _one_ possess’d;
  Then shall true grace and dignity accord—
  With splendour, ease—the Castle with its Lord.”
    The Baron waked—“It was,” he cried, “a view
  Lively as truth, and I will think it true.
  Some gentle spirit to my mind has brought
  Forms of fair works to be hereafter wrought;      120
  But yet of mine a part will then remain,
  Nor will that Lord its humbler worth disdain;
  Mix’d with his mightier pile shall mine be found,
  By him protected, and with his renown’d;
  He who its full destruction could command,      }
  A part shall save from the destroying hand,      }
  And say, ‘It long has stood—still honour’d let it stand!’”      }


                          THE WORLD OF DREAMS.


                                   I.

  And is thy soul so wrapt in sleep?
    Thy senses, thy affections, fled?
  No play of fancy thine, to keep
    Oblivion from that grave, thy bed?
  Then art thou but the breathing dead;
    I envy, but I pity too:
  The bravest may _my_ terrors dread,
    The happiest fain _my_ joys pursue.


                                  II.

  Soon as the real World I lose,
    Quick Fancy takes her wonted way,      10
  Or Baxter’s sprites my soul abuse—
    For how it is I cannot say,
  Nor, to what powers a passive prey,
    I feel such bliss, I fear such pain;
  But all is gloom, or all is gay,
    Soon as th’ ideal World I gain.


                                  III.

  Come, then, I woo thee, sacred Sleep!
    Vain troubles of the world, farewell!
  Spirits of Ill! your distance keep—
    And in your own dominions dwell,      20
  Ye, the sad emigrants from hell!
    Watch, dear seraphic beings, round,
  And these black Enemies repel;
    Safe be my soul, my slumbers sound!


                                  IV.

  In vain I pray! It is my sin
    That thus admits the shadowy throng.
  Oh! now they break tumultuous in—
    Angels of darkness fierce and strong!
  Oh! I am borne of fate along;
    My soul, subdued, admits the foe,      30
  Perceives and yet endures the wrong,
    Resists, and yet prepares to go.


                                   V.

  Where am I now? and what to meet?
    Where I have been entrapt before:
  The wicked city’s vilest street—
    I know what I must now explore.
  The dark-brow’d throng, more near and more,
    With murderous looks are on me thrust;
  And lo! they ope the accursed door,
    And I must go—I know I must!      40


                                  VI.

  That female fiend!—Why is she there?
    Alas! I know her.—Oh, begone!
  Why is that tainted bosom bare?
    Why fix’d on me that eye of stone?
  Why have they left us thus alone?
    I saw the deed—why then appear?
  Thou art not form’d of blood and bone!
    Come not, dread being, come not near!


                                  VII.

  So! all is quiet, calm, serene;
    I walk a noble mansion round—      50
  From room to room, from scene to scene,
    I breathless pass, in gloom profound;
  No human shape, no mortal sound—
    I feel an awe, I own a dread,
  And still proceed—nor stop nor bound—
    And all is silent, all is dead.


                                 VIII.

  Now I’m hurried, borne along,
    All is business! all alive!
  Heavens! how mighty is the throng,
    Voices humming like a hive!      60
  Through the swelling crowd I strive,
    Bustling forth, my way to trace;
  Never fated to arrive
    At the still-expected place.


                                  IX.

  Ah me! how sweet the morning sun
    Deigns on yon sleepy town to shine!
  How soft those far-off rivers run—
    Those trees their leafy heads decline!
  Balm-breathing zephyrs, all divine,
    Their health-imparting influence give:      70
  Now, all that earth allows is mine—
    Now, now I dream not, but I live.


                                   X.

  My friend, my brother, lost in youth,
    I meet in doubtful, glad surprise;
  In conscious love, in fearless truth;
    What pleasures in the meeting rise!
  Ah! brief enjoyment!—Pleasure dies
    E’en in its birth, and turns to pain:
  He meets me with hard glazèd eyes!
    He quits me—spurns me—with disdain!      80


                                  XI.

  I sail the sea, I walk the land;
    In all the world am I alone:
  Silent I pace the sea-worn sand,
    Silent I view the princely throne;
  I listen heartless for the tone
    Of winds and waters, but in vain;
  Creation dies without a groan;
    And I without a hope remain!


                                  XII.

  Unnumber’d riches I behold;
    Glories untasted I survey—      90
  My heart is sick, my bosom cold,
    Friends! neighbours! kindred! where are they,
  In the sad, last, long, endless day:
    When I can neither pray nor weep,
  Doom’d o’er the sleeping world to stray,
    And not to die, and not to sleep?


                                 XIII.

  Beside the summer sea I stand,
    Where the slow billows swelling shine.
  How beautiful this pearly sand,
    That waves, and winds, and years refine!      100
  Be this delicious quiet mine—
    The joy of youth, so sweet before,
  When I could thus my frame recline,
    And watch th’ entangled weeds ashore!


                                  XIV.

  Yet, I remember not that sea,
    That other shore on yonder side:
  Between them narrow bound must be,
    If equal rise th’ opposing tide—
  Lo! lo! they rise—and I abide
    The peril of the meeting flood:      110
  Away, away, my footsteps slide—
    I pant upon the clinging mud!


                                  XV.

  Oh, let me now possession take
    Of this—it cannot be a dream.
  Yes! now the soul must be awake—
    These pleasures are—they do not seem.
  And is it true? Oh joy extreme!
    All whom I loved, and thought them dead,
  Far down in Lethe’s flowing stream,
    And, with them, life’s best pleasures fled:      120


                                  XVI.

  Yes, many a tear for them I shed—
    Tears that relieve the anxious breast;
  And now, by heavenly favour led,
    We meet—and One, the fairest, best,
  Among them—ever-welcome guest,
    Within the room, that seem’d destroy’d—
  This room endear’d, and still possess’d,
    By this dear party still enjoy’d!


                                 XVII.

  Speak to me! speak! that I may know
    I am thus happy!—dearest, speak!      130
  Those smiles that haunt fond memory show!
    Joy makes us doubtful, wavering, weak;
  But yet ’tis joy—And all I seek
    Is mine! What glorious day is this!
  Now let me bear with spirit meek
    An hour of pure and perfect bliss.


                                 XVIII.

  But do ye look indeed as friends?
    Is there no change? Are [ye not] cold?
  Oh! I do dread that Fortune lends
    Fictitious good!—that I behold,      140
  To lose, these treasures, which of old
    Were all my glory, all my pride:
  May not these arms that form infold?
    Is all affection asks denied?


                                  XIX.

  Say, what is this?—How are we tried
    In this sad world!—I know not these—
  All strangers, none to me allied—
    Those aspects blood and spirit freeze:
  Dear forms, my wandering judgment spare;
    And thou, most dear, these fiends disarm,      150
  Resume thy wonted looks and air,
    And break this melancholy charm!


                                  XX.

  And are they vanish’d? Is she lost?
    Shall never day that form restore?
  Oh! I am all by fears engross’d;
    Sad truth has broken in once more,
  And I the brief delight deplore.
    How durst they such resemblance take?
  Heavens! with what grace the mask they wore!
    Oh, from what visions I awake!      160


                                  XXI.

  Once more, once more upon the shore!
    Now back the rolling ocean flows:
  The rocky bed now far before
    On the receding water grows—
  The treasures and the wealth it owes
    To human misery—all in view;
  Fate all on me at once bestows,
    From thousands robb’d and murder’d too.


                                 XXII.

  But, lo! whatever I can find
    Grows mean and worthless as I view:      170
  They promise, but they cheat the mind,
    As promises are born to do.
  How lovely every form and hue,
    Till seized and master’d—Then arise,
  For all that admiration drew,
    All that our senses can despise!


                                 XXIII.

  Within the basis of a tower,
    I saw a plant—it graced the spot;
  There was within nor wind nor shower,
    And this had life that flowers have not.      180
  I drew it forth—Ah, luckless lot!
    It was the mandrake; and the sound
  Of anguish deeply smother’d shot
    Into my breast with pang profound.


                                 XXIV.

  “I would I were a soaring bird,”
    Said Folly, “and I then would fly.”
  Some mocking Muse or Fairy heard—
    “You can but fall—suppose you try!
  And, though you may not mount the sky,
    You will not grovel in the mire.”      190
  Hail, words of comfort! Now can I
    Spurn earth, and to the air aspire.


                                  XXV.

  And this, before, might I have done
    If I had courage—that is all.
  ’Tis easier now to soar than run;
    Up! up!—we neither tire nor fall.
  Children of dust, be yours to crawl
    On the vile earth!—while, happier, I
  Must listen to an inward call,
    That bids me mount, that makes me fly.      200


                                 XXVI.

  I tumble from the loftiest tower,
    Yet evil have I never found;
  Supported by some favouring power,
    I come in safety to the ground.
  I rest upon the sea, the sound
    Of many waters in mine ear;
  Yet have no dread of being drown’d,
    But see my way, and cease to fear.


                                 XXVII.

  Awake, there is no living man
    Who may my fixed spirit shake;      210
  But, sleeping, there is one who can,
    And oft does he the trial make.
  Against his might resolves I take,
    And him oppose with high disdain;
  But quickly all my powers forsake
    My mind, and I resume my chain.


                                XXVIII.

  I know not how, but I am brought
    Into a large and Gothic hall,
  Seated with those I never sought—
    Kings, Caliphs, Kaisers—silent all;      220
  Pale as the dead; enrobed and tall,
    Majestic, frozen, solemn, still;
  They wake my fears, my wits appal,
    And with both scorn and terror fill.


                                 XXIX.

  Now are they seated at a board
    In that cold grandeur—I am there.
  But what can mummied kings afford?
    This is their meagre ghostly fare,
  And proves what fleshless things they stare!
    Yes! I am seated with the dead:      230
  How great, and yet how mean they are!
    Yes! I can scorn them while I dread?


                                  XXX.

  They’re gone!—and in their room I see
    A fairy being, form and dress
  Brilliant as light; nor can there be
    On earth that heavenly loveliness;
  Nor words can that sweet look express,
    Or tell what living gems adorn
  That wond’rous beauty: who can guess
    Where such celestial charms were born?      240


                                 XXXI.

  Yet, as I wonder and admire,
    The grace is gone, the glory dead;
  And now it is but mean attire
    Upon a shrivel’d beldame spread;
  Laid loathsome on a pauper’s bed,
    Where wretchedness and woe are found,
  And the faint putrid odour shed
    By all that’s foul and base around!


                                 XXXII.

  A garden this? oh, lovely breeze!
    Oh, flowers that with such freshness bloom!—      250
  Flowers shall I call such forms as these,
    Or this delicious air perfume?
  Oh! this from better worlds must come;
    On earth such beauty who can meet?
  No! this is not the native home
    Of things so pure, so bright, so sweet!


                                XXXIII.

  Where? where?—am I reduced to this—
    Thus sunk in poverty extreme?
  Can I not these vile things dismiss?
    No! they are things that more than seem:      260
  This room with that cross-parting beam
    Holds yonder squalid tribe and me—
  But they were ever thus, nor dream
    Of being wealthy, favour’d, free!—


                                 XXXIV.

  Shall I a coat and badge receive,
    And sit among these crippled men,
  And not go forth without the leave
    Of him—and ask it humbly then—
  Who reigns in this infernal den—
    Where all beside in woe repine?      270
  Yes, yes, I must: nor tongue nor pen
    Can paint such misery as mine!


                                 XXXV.

  Wretches! if ye were only poor,
    You would my sympathy engage;
  Or, were ye vicious, and no more,
    I might be fill’d with manly rage;
  Or had ye patience, wise and sage
    We might such worthy sufferers call;
  But ye are birds that suit your cage—
    Poor, vile, impatient, worthless all!      280


                                 XXXVI.

  How came I hither? Oh, that Hag!
    ’Tis she the enchanting spell prepares;
  By cruel witchcraft she can drag
    My struggling being in her snares:
  Oh, how triumphantly she glares;
    But yet would leave me, could I make
  Strong effort to subdue my cares!—
    ’TIS MADE!—and I to Freedom wake!


                      [HIS MOTHER’S WEDDING-RING.]

                            [About 1813–4.]

  The ring so worn, as you behold,
  So thin, so pale, is yet of gold.
  The passion such it was to prove:
  Worn with life’s cares, love yet was love.


                          [PARHAM REVISITED.]

                                [1814.]

  Yes, I behold again the place,
    The seat of joy, the source of pain;
  It brings in view the form and face
    That I must never see again.

  The night-bird’s song that sweetly floats
    On this soft gloom—this balmy air,
  Brings to the mind her sweeter notes
    That I again must never hear.

  Lo! yonder shines that window’s light,
    My guide, my token, heretofore;      10
  And now again it shines as bright,
    When those dear eyes can shine no more.

  Then hurry from this place away!
    It gives not now the bliss it gave;
  For Death has made its charm his prey,
    And joy is buried in her grave.


                              FLIRTATION.

                              A Dialogue.

                              (May, 1816.)

  From her own room, in summer’s softest eve,
  Stept _Celia_ forth, her _Delia_ to receive—
  Joy in her looks, that half her tale declared:
    _C._ War and the waves my fav’rite Youth have spared;
  Faithful and fond, through many a painful year,
  My Charles will come——Do give me joy, my dear!
    _D._ I give you joy, and so may he; but still,
  ’Tis right to question, if ’tis sure he will;
  A sailor’s open honest heart we prize;
  But honest sailors have their ears and eyes.      10
    _C._ Oh! but he surely will on me depend,
  Nor dare to doubt the firmness of his friend.
    _D._ Be not secure; the very best have foes,      }
  And facts they would not to the world expose;      }
  And these he may be told, if he converse with those.      }
    _C._ Speak you in friendship?—let it be sincere
  And naked truth—and what have I to fear?
    _D._ I speak in friendship; and I do confess
  If I were you, the Truth should wear a dress:
  If Charles should doubt, as lovers do, though blind,      20
  Would you to him present the naked mind?
  If it were clear as crystal, yet it checks
  One’s joy to think that he may fancy specks;
  And now, in five long years, we scarcely know
  How the mind gets them, and how large they grow.
  Let woman be as rigid as a nun,
  She cannot censures and surmises shun.
  Wonder not, then, at tales that Scandal tells—
  Your father’s rooms were not like sisters’ cells;
  Nor pious monks came there, nor prosing friars,      30
  But well-dress’d captains, and approving squires.
    _C._ What these to me, admit th’ account be true?
    _D._ Nay, that yourself describe—they came to you!
    _C._ Well! to my friend I may the truth confess,
  Poor Captain Glimmer loved me to excess;
  Flintham, the young solicitor, that wrote
  Those pretty verses, he began to dote;
  That Youth from Oxford, when I used to stop
  A moment with him, at my feet would drop;
  Nor less your Brother, whom, for your dear sake,      40}
  I to my favour often used to take—      }
  And was, vile world! my character at stake?      }
  If such reports my Sailor’s ear should reach,
  What jealous thoughts and fancies may they teach;
  If without cause ill-judging men suspect,
  What may not all these harmless Truths effect?
  And what, my Delia, if our virtues fail,
  What must we fear if conscious we are frail?
  And well you know, my friend, nor fear t’ impart,
  The tender frailties of the yielding heart.      50
    _D._ Speak for yourself, fair lady! speak with care;
  I not your frailties, but your suffering, share.
  You may my counsel, if you will, refuse;
  But, pray, beware how you my name accuse!
    _C._ Accuse you! No! there is no need of One,
  To do what long the public voice has done.
  What misses, then at school, forget the fall      }
  Of Ensign Bloomer, when he leapt the wall?      }
  That was a first exploit, and we were witness all;      }
  And that sad night, upon my faithful breast,      60
  We wept together, till we sank to rest.
  You own’d your love——
                    _D._ A girl, a chit, a child!
  Am I for this, and by a friend, reviled?
    _C._ Then lay your hand, fair creature! on your heart,
  And say how many there have had a part!
  Six I remember; and, if Fame be true,
  The handsome Serjeant had his portion too.
    _D._ A Serjeant! Madam, if I might advise,
  Do use some small discretion in such lies!
  A Serjeant, Celia?——
                    _C._ Handsome, smart, and clean.      70
  Yes! and the fellow had a noble mien,
  That might excuse you, had you giv’n your hand—
  But this your father could not understand.
    _D._ Mercy! how pert and flippant are you grown,
  As if you’d not a secret of your own!
  Yet would you tremble, should your Sailor know
  What I, or my small cabinet, could show:
  He might suspect a heart with many a wound,
  Shallow and deep, could never more be sound;
  That of one pierced so oft, so largely bled,      80}
  The feeling ceases, and the love is dead;      }
  But sense exists, and passion serves instead.      }
    _C._ Injurious Delia! cold, reproachful maid!
  Is thus my confidential faith repaid?
  Is this the counsel that we two have held,
  When duty trembled, and desire rebell’d;
  The sister-vows we made, through many a night,
  To aid each other in the arduous fight
  With the harsh-minded powers who never think
  What nature needs, nor will at weakness wink?      90
  And now, thou cruel girl! is all forgot,      }
  The wish oft whisper’d, the imagined lot,      }
  The secret Hymen, the sequester’d cot?      }
  And will you thus our bond of friendship rend,
  And join the world in censure of your friend?
  Oh! ’tis not right! as all with scorn must see,
  Although the certain mischief falls on me.
    _D._ Nay, never weep! but let this kiss restore
  And make our friendship perfect as before;
  Do not our wiser selves ourselves condemn,      100
  And yet we dearly love their faults and them?
  So our reproofs to tender minds are shown:
  We treat their wanderings as we treat our own;
  We are each other’s conscience, and we tell
  Our friend her fault, because we wish her well;
  We judge, nay prejudge, what may be her case,
  Fore-arm the soul, and shield her from disgrace.
  Creatures in prison, ere the trying day,
  Their answers practise, and their powers essay.
  By means like these they guard against surprise,      110
  And all the puzzling questions that may rise.
    “Guilty or not?” His lawyer thus address’d
  A wealthy rogue—“Not guilty, I protest.”—
  “Why, then, my friend, we’ve nothing here to say,
  But you’re in danger! prithee heed your way!
  _You_ know your truth, _I_ where your error lies:
  From your ‘_Not_ guilty’ will your danger rise.”—
  “Oh! but I _am_, and I have here the gain
  Of wicked craft”—“Then let it _here_ remain;
  For we must guard it by a sure defence,      120
  And not professions of your innocence;
  For that’s the way, whatever you suppose,
  To slip your neck within the ready noose.”
    Thus, my beloved friend, a girl, if wise,
  Upon her Prudence, not her Truth, relies;
  It is confess’d, that not the good and pure
  Are in this world of calumny secure—
  And therefore never let a lass rely
  Upon her goodness and her chastity!
  Her very virtue makes her heedless: youth      130
  Reveals imprudent, nay injurious, truth;
  Whereas, if conscious that she merit blame,
  She grows discreet, and well defends her fame,
  And thus, offending, better makes her way—
  As Joseph Surface argues in the play—
  Than when in virtue’s strength she proudly stood,
  So wrongly right, and so absurdly good.
    Now, when your Charles shall be your judge, and try      }
  His own dear damsel—questioning how and why—      }
  Let her be ready, arm’d with prompt reply;      140}
  No hesitation let the man discern,
  But answer boldly, then accuse in turn:
  Some trifling points with candid speech confess’d,
  You gain a monstrous credit for the rest.
  Then may you wear the Injured Lady frown,
  And with your anger keep his malice down;
  Accuse, condemn, and make him glad at heart
  To sue for pardon, when you come to part.
  But let him have it; let him go in peace,
  And all inquiries of themselves will cease;      150
  To touch him nearer, and to hold him fast,
  Have a few tears _in petto_ at the last—
  But this with care! for ’tis a point of doubt,
  If you should end with weeping or without.
  ’Tis true you much affect him by your pain,
  But he may want to prove his power again;
  And, then, it spoils the look, and hurts the eyes—
  A girl is never handsome when she cries.
  Take it for granted, in a general way,
  The more you weep for men, the more you may.      160
  Save your resources; for, though now you cry
  With good effect, you may not by and by.
  It is a knack; and there are those that weep
  Without emotion, that a man may sleep;
  Others disgust—’tis genius, not advice,
  That will avail us in a thing so nice.
  If you should love him, you have greater need
  Of all your care, and may not then succeed.
  For that’s our bane—we should be conquerors all
  With hearts untouch’d—our feelings cause our fall.      170
  But your experience aids you: you can hide
  Your real weakness in your borrow’d pride.
    But to the point—should so the Charge be laid,
  That nought against it fairly can be said—
  How would you act? You would not then confess?—
    _C._ Oh! never! no!—nor even my Truth profess!
  To mute contempt I would alone resort
  For the Reporters, and for their Report.
  If he profess’d forgiveness, I would cry—
  “Forgive such faithlessness! so would not I!      180
  Such errors pardon! he that so would act
  Would, I am sure, be guilty of the fact.
  Charles, if I thought your spirit was so mean,
  I would not longer in your walks be seen;
  Could you such woman for a moment prize?
  You might forgive her, but you must despise.”
    _D._ Bravo, my girl! ’tis then our sex command,
  When we can seize the weapon in their hand;
  When we their charge so manage, that ’tis found
  To save the credit it was meant to wound.      190
  Those who by reasons their acquittal seek,
  Make the whole sex contemptible and weak;
  This, too, observe—that men of sense in love
  Dupes more complete than fools and blockheads prove;
  For all that knowledge lent them as a guide,
  Goes off entirely to the lady’s side;
  Whereas the blockhead rather sees the more,
  And gains perception that he lack’d before.
  His honest passion blinds the man of sense.
  While want of feeling is the fool’s defence;      200
  Arm’d with insensibility he comes;
  When more repell’d, he but the more assumes,
  And thus succeeds where fails the man of wit;
  For, where we cannot conquer, we submit.
    But come, my love! let us examine now,      }
  These Charges all—say, what shall we avow,      }
  Admit, deny; and which defend, and how?      }
  That old affair between your friend and you,
  When your fond Sailor bade his home adieu,
  May be forgotten; yet we should prepare      210
  For all events—and are you guarded there?
    _C._ Oh! ’tis long since—I might the whole deny—
  “So poor, and so contemptible a lie!
  Charles, if ’tis pleasant to abuse your friend,
  Let there be something that she may defend;
  This is too silly—”
                  _D._ Well you may appear
  With so much spirit—not a witness near;
  Time puzzles judgment; and, when none explain,
  You may assume the airs of high disdain.
  But, for my Brother—night and morn were you      220
  Together found, th’ inseparable two,
  Far from the haunts of vulgar prying men—
  In the old abbey—in the lonely glen—
  In the beech-wood—within the quarry made
  By hands long dead—within the silent glade,
  Where the moon gleams upon the spring that flows
  By the grey willows as they stand in rows—
  Shall I proceed? there’s not a quiet spot
  In all the parish where the pair were not
  Oft watch’d, oft seen. You must not so despise      230
  This weighty charge—Now, what will you devise?
    _C._ “Her brother! What, Sir? jealous of a child!
  A friend’s relation! Why, the man is wild—
  A boy not yet at college! Come, this proves
  Some truth in you! This is a freak of Love’s:
  I must forgive it, though I know not how
  A thing so very simple to allow.
  Pray, if I meet my cousin’s little boy,
  And take a kiss, would that your peace annoy?
  But I remember Delia—yet, to give      240
  A thought to this is folly, as I live—
  But I remember Delia made her prayer
  That I would try and give the Boy an air;
  Yet awkward he, for all the pains we took—
  A bookish boy, his pleasure is his book;
  And since the lad is grown to man’s estate,
  We never speak—Your bookish youth I hate.”
    _D._ Right! and he cannot tell, with all his art,
  Our father’s will compelled you both to part.
    _C._ Nay, this is needless—
                                   _D._ Oh! when you are tried, 250
  And taught for trial, must I feed your pride?
  Oh! that’s the vice of which I still complain:
  Men could not triumph were not women vain.
  But now proceed—say _boyhood_ in this case
  (The last obscure one) shields you from disgrace.
  But what of Shelley? all your foes can prove,
  And all your friends, that here indeed was love.
  For three long months you met as lovers meet,
  And half the town has seen him at your feet;
  Then, on the evil day that saw you part,      260
  Your ashy looks betray’d your aching heart.
  With this against you——
                         _C._ This, my watchful friend,
  Confess I cannot, therefore must defend.
  “Shelley! dear Charles, how enter’d he your mind?
  Well may they say that jealousy is blind!
  Of all the men who talk’d with me of love,
  His were the offers I could least approve;
  My father’s choice—and, Charles, you must agree      }
  That my good father seldom thinks with me—      }
  Or his had been the grief, while thou wert tost at sea!      }
  It was so odious—when that man was near,      271
  My father never could himself appear;
  Had I received his fav’rite with a frown,
  Upon my word he would have knock’d me down.”
    _D._ Well! grant you durst not frown—but people say
  That you were dying when he went away.
  Yes! you were ill! of that no doubts remain;
  And how explain it?—
                     _C._ Oh! I’ll soon explain.
  “I sicken’d, say you, when the man was gone—
  Could I be well, if sickness would come on?      280
  Fact follows fact; but is ‘t of Nature’s laws
  That one of course must be the other’s cause?
  Just as her husband tried his fav’rite gun,
  My cousin brought him forth his first-born son—
  The birth might either flash or fright succeed,
  But neither, sure, were causes of the deed.
  That Shelley left us, it is very true—
  That sickness found me, I confess it too;
  But that the one was cause, and one effect,
  Is a conceit I utterly reject.      290
  You may, my Friend, demonstrate, if you please,
  That disappointment will bring on disease;
  But, if it should, I would be glad to know
  If ’tis a quinsy that such griefs bestow?
  A heart may suffer, if a lady doat;
  But will she feel her anguish in the throat?
  I’ve heard of pangs that tender folks endure,
  But not that linctuses and blisters cure.”—
  Your thoughts, my Delia?
                         _D._ What I think of this?
  Why! if he smile, it is not much amiss.      300
  But there are humours; and, by them possess’d,
  A lover will not hearken to a jest.
    Well, let this pass!—but, for the next affair,
  We know your father was indignant there:
  He hated Miller. Say! if Charles should press
  For explanation, what would you confess?
  You cannot there on his commands presume;
  Besides, you fainted in a public room;
  There own’d your flame, and, like heroic maid,
  The sovereign impulse of your will obey’d.      310
  What, to your thinking, was the world’s disdain?
  You could retort its insolence again.
  Your boundless passion boldly you avow’d,
  And spoke the purpose of your soul aloud;
  Associates, servants, friends, alike can prove
  The world-defying force of Celia’s love.
  Did she not wish, nay vow, to poison her
  Whom, some durst whisper, Damon could prefer?
  And then that frantic quarrel at the ball—
  It must be known, and he will hear it all.      320
  Nay! never frown, but cast about, in time,
  How best to answer what he thinks a crime;
  For what he thinks might have but little weight,
  If you could answer—
                     _C._ Then I’ll answer straight—
  Not without Truth; for who would vainly tell
  A wretched lie, when Truth might serve as well?
  Had I not Fever? is not that the bane
  Of human wisdom? was I not insane?
    “Oh! Charles, no more! would you recall the day
  When it pleased Fate to take my wits away?      330
  How can I answer for a thousand things
  That this disorder to the sufferer brings?
  Is it not known, the men whom you dislike
  Are those who now the erring fancy strike?
  Nor would it much surprise me, if ’twere true,
  That in those days of dread I slighted you.
  When the poor mind, illumined by no spark
  Of reason’s light, was wandering in the dark,
  You must not wonder, if the vilest train
  Of evil thoughts were printed on the brain;      340
  Nor, if the loyal and the faithful prove
  False to their king, and faithless to their love.”—
  Your thoughts on this?
                       _D._ With some you may succeed
  By such bold strokes; but they must love indeed.
    _C._ Doubt you his passion?—
                                    _D._ But in five long years
  The passion settles—then the reason clears.
  Turbid is love, and to ferment inclined,
  But by and by grows sober and refined,
  And peers for facts; but, if one can’t rely
  On truth, one takes one’s chance—you can but try.      350
    Yet once again I must attention ask
  To a new Charge, and then resign my task.
  I would not hurt you; but confess at least
  That you were partial to that handsome Priest;
  Say what they will of his religious mind,
  He was warm-hearted, and to ladies kind.
  Now, with his reverence you were daily seen,
  When it was winter and the weather keen,
  Traced to the mountains when the winds were strong,
  And roughly bore you, arm in arm, along—      360
  That wintry wind, inspired by love or zeal,
  You were too faithful or too fond to feel,
  Shielded from inward and from outward harm
  By the strong spirit, and the fleshly arm—
  The winter-garden you could both admire,
  And leave his sisters at the parlour fire;
  You trusted not your speech these dames among—
  Better the teeth should chatter, than the tongue!
  Did not your father stop the pure delight
  Of this perambulating Love at night?      370
  It is reported, that his craft contrived
  To get the Priest with expedition wived,
  And sent away; for fathers will suspect
  Her inward worth, whose ways are incorrect—
  Patience, my dear! your Lover _will_ appear;
  At this new tale, then, what will be your cheer?
    “I hear,” says he—and he will look as grim
  As if he heard his lass accusing him—
  “I hear, my Celia, your alluring looks
  Kept the young Curate from his holy books.      380
  Parsons, we know, advise their flocks to pray;      }
  But ’tis their duty—not the better they;      }
  ’Tis done for policy, for praise, for pay—      }
  Or, let the very best be understood,
  They’re men, you know, and men are flesh and blood.
  Now, they do say—but let me not offend—      }
  You were too often with this pious friend,      }
  And spent your time”——      }
                          _C._ “As people ought to spend.      }
  And, sir, if you of some divine would ask
  Aid in your doubts, it were a happy task.      390
  But you, alas! the while, are not perplex’d
  By the dark meaning of a threat’ning text;
  You rather censure her who spends her time
  In search of Truth, as if it were a crime!
  Could I your dread of vulgar scandal feel,
  To whom should I, in my distress, appeal?
  A time there may be, Charles, indeed there must,      }
  When you will need a faithful Priest to trust,      }
  In conscience tender, but in counsel just.      }
  Charles, for my Fame I would in prudence strive,      400
  And, if I could, would keep your Love alive;
  But there are things that our attention claim,
  More near than Love, and more desired than Fame!”
    _D._ “But why in secret?” he will ask you—
                                                  _C._ “Why?
  Oh, Charles! could you the doubting spirit spy,
  Had you such fears, all hearers you would shun;
  What one confesses should be heard by one.
  Your mind is gross, and you have dwelt so long
  With such companions, that you will be wrong.
  We fill our minds from those with whom we live,      410
  And, as your fears are Nature’s, I forgive;
  But learn your peace and my good name to prize,
  And fears of fancy let us both despise!”
    _D._ Enough, my friend! Now let the man advance—
  You are prepared, and nothing leave to chance.
  ’Tis not sufficient that we’re pure and just;
  The wise to nothing but their wisdom trust—
    Will he himself appear, or will he send,
  Duteous as warm, and not alarm my friend?
    We need not ask—behold! his servant comes:      420
  His father’s livery! no fond heart presumes.
  Thus he prepares you—kindly gives you space
  To arm your mind, and rectify your face.
  Now, read your Letter—while my faithful heart
  Feels all that his can dictate or impart.
    Nay! bless you, love! what melancholy tale
  Conveys that paper? Why so deadly pale?
  It is his sister’s writing, but the seal
  Is red: he lives. What is it that you feel?
    _C._ Oh, my dear friend! let us from man retreat,      430
  Or never trust him if we chance to meet—
  The fickle wretch! that from our presence flies
  To any flirt that any place supplies,
  And laughs at vows!—but see the Letter!—here—
  “_Married at Guernsey!!!_”—Oh! the Villain, dear!


                        LINES IN LAURA’S ALBUM.

 (These lines, were written at the desire of a young lady, who requested
                some verses on a cameo in her possession.)

  See with what ease the child-like god
  Assumes his reins, and shakes his rod;
  How gaily, like a smiling boy,
  He seems his triumphs to enjoy,
  And looks as innocently mild
  As if he were indeed a child!
  But in that meekness who shall tell
  What vengeance sleeps, what terrors dwell?
    By him are tamed the fierce—the bold
  And haughty are by him controll’d;      10
  The hero of th’ ensanguined field
  Finds there is neither sword nor shield
  Availing here. Amid his books
  The student thinks how Laura looks;
  The miser’s self, with heart of lead,
  With all the nobler feelings fled,
  Has thrown his darling treasures by,
  And sigh’d for something worth a sigh.
    Love over gentle natures reigns,
  A gentle master; yet his pains      20
  Are felt by them, are felt by all,
  The bitter sweet, the honied gall,
  Soft pleasing tears, heart-soothing sighs,
  Sweet pain, and joys that agonise.
  Against a power like this, what arts,
  What virtues, can secure our hearts?
  In vain are both—the good, the wise,
  Have tender thoughts and wandering eyes;
  And then, to banish Virtue’s fear,
  Like Virtue’s self will Love appear;      30
  Bid every anxious feeling cease,
  And all be confidence and peace.
    He such insidious method takes,
  He seems to heal the wound he makes;
  Till, master of the human breast,
  He shows himself the foe of rest,
  Pours in his doubts, his dread, his pains,
  And now a very tyrant reigns.
    If, then, his power we cannot shun,
  And must endure—what can be done?      40
  To whom, thus bound, can we apply?—
  To Prudence, as our best ally:
  For she, like Pallas, for the fight
  Can arm our eye with clearer sight;
  Can teach the happy art that gains
  A captive who will grace our chains,
  And, as we must the dart endure,
  To bear the wound we cannot cure.


                       LINES WRITTEN AT WARWICK.

            “You that in warlike stories take delight,” &c.

  Hail, centre-county of our land, and known
  For matchless worth and valour all thine own—
  Warwick! renown’d for him who best could write,
  Shakspeare the Bard, and him so fierce in fight,
  Guy, thy brave Earl, who made whole armies fly,
  And giants fall—who has not heard of Guy?
    Him sent his Lady, matchless in her charms,
  To gain immortal glory by his arms—
  Felice the fair, who, as her bard maintain’d,
  The prize of beauty over Venus gain’d;      10
  For she, the goddess, had some trivial blot
  That marr’d some beauty, which our nymph had not:
  But, this apart—for in a fav’rite theme
  Poets and lovers are allow’d to dream—
  Still we believe the lady and her knight      }
  Were matchless both: he in the glorious fight,      }
  She in the bower by day, and festive hall by night.      }
    Urged by his love, th’ adventurous Guy proceeds,
  And Europe wonders at his warlike deeds.
  Whatever prince his potent arm sustains,      20
  However weak, the certain conquest gains;
  On every side the routed legions fly,
  Numbers are nothing in the sight of Guy.
  To him the injured made their sufferings known,
  And he relieved all sorrows but his own;
  Ladies who owed their freedom to his might
  Were grieved to find his heart another’s right.
    The brood of giants, famous in those times,
  Fell by his arm, and perish’d for their crimes.
  Colbrand the strong, who by the Dane was brought,      30
  When he the crown of good Athelstan sought,
  Fell by the prowess of our champion brave,
  And his huge body found an English grave.
    But what to Guy were men, or great or small,
  Or one or many?—he despatch’d them all;
  A huge dun Cow, the dread of all around,
  A master-spirit in our hero found:
  ’Twas desolation all about her den—
  Her sport was murder, and her meals were men.
  At Dunmore Heath the monster he assail’d,      40
  And o’er the fiercest of his foes prevail’d.
    Nor fear’d he lions more than lions fear
  Poor trembling shepherds, or the sheep they shear.
  A fiery dragon, whether green or red
  The story tells not, by his valour bled;
  What more I know not, but by these ’tis plain
  That Guy of Warwick never fought in vain.
    When much of life in martial deeds was spent,
  His sovereign lady found her heart relent,
  And gave her hand. Then all was joy around,      50
  And valiant Guy with love and glory crown’d;
  Then Warwick Castle wide its gate display’d,
  And peace and pleasure this their dwelling made.
    Alas! not long—a hero knows not rest;
  A new sensation fill’d his anxious breast.
  His fancy brought before his eyes a train
  Of pensive shades, the ghosts of mortals slain;
  His dreams presented what his sword had done;
  He saw the blood from wounded soldiers run,
  And dying men, with every ghastly wound,      60
  Breathed forth their souls upon the sanguine ground.
    Alarm’d at this, he dared no longer stay,      }
  But left his bride, and as a pilgrim gray,      }
  With staff and beads, went forth to weep and fast and pray.      }
  In vain his Felice sigh’d—nay, smiled in vain;      }
  With all he loved he [dared] not long remain,      }
  But roved he knew not where, nor said, “I come again.”      }
    The widow’d countess pass’d her years in grief,
  But sought in alms and holy deeds relief;
  And many a pilgrim ask’d, with many a sigh,      70
  To give her tidings of the wandering Guy.
    Perverse and cruel! could it conscience ease,
  A wife so lovely and so fond to tease?
  Or could he not with her a saint become,
  And, like a quiet man, repent at home?
    How different those who now this seat possess!
  No idle dreams disturb their happiness.
  The Lord who now presides o’er Warwick’s towers
  To nobler purpose dedicates his powers;
  No deeds of horror fill his soul with fear,      80
  Nor conscience drives him from a home so dear.
  The lovely Felice of the present day
  Dreads not her lord should from her presence stray;
  He feels the charm that binds him to a seat
  Where love and honour, joy and duty, meet.
    But forty days could Guy his fair afford;
  Not forty years would weary Warwick’s lord.
  He better knows, how charms like hers control
  All vagrant thoughts, and fill with her the soul;
  He better knows, that not on mortal strife,      90
  Or deeds of blood, depend the bliss of life—
  But on the ties that first the heart enchain,
  And every grace that bids the charm remain.
  Time will, we know, to beauty work despite,
  And youthful bloom will take with him its flight;
  But Love shall still subsist, and, undecay’d,
  Feel not one change of all that Time has made.


 ON A DRAWING OF THE ELM TREE, UNDER WHICH THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON STOOD
              SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.

  Is there one heart that beats on English ground,
  One grateful spirit in the kingdoms round—
  One who had traced the progress of the foe,
  And does not hail the field of Waterloo;
  Who o’er that field, if but in thought, has gone,
  Without a grateful wish for Wellington?
    Within that field of glory rose a Tree
  (Which a fair hand has given us here to see),
  A noble tree that, pierced by many a ball,
  Fell not—decreed in time of peace to fall.      10
  Nor shall it die unsung; for there shall be      }
  In many a noble verse the praise of thee,      }
  With that heroic chief—renown’d and glorious tree!—      }
    Men shall divide thee, and thy smallest part
  Shall be to warm and stir the English heart;
  Form’d into shapes as fancy may design,
  In all, fair fame and honour shall be thine.
  The noblest ladies in the land with joy
  Shall own thy value in the slightest toy;
  Preserved through life, it shall a treasure prove,      20
  And left to friends, a legacy of love.
    And thou, fair semblance of that tree sublime,
  Shalt a memorial be to distant time;
  Shalt wake a grateful sense in every heart,
  And noble thoughts to opening minds impart:
  Who shall hereafter learn what deeds were done,
  What nations freed, by Heaven and Wellington.
    Heroic tree we surely this may call—      }
  Wounded it fell, and numbers mourn’d its fall;      }
  It fell for many here, but there it stood for all.      30}


             ON RECEIVING FROM A LADY A PRESENT OF A RING.

  A ring to me Cecilia sends—
  And what to show?—that we are friends;
  That she with favour reads my lays,
  And sends a token of her praise:
  Such as the nun, with heart of snow,
  Might on her confessor bestow;
  Or which some favourite nymph would pay,
  Upon her grandsire’s natal day,
  And to his trembling hand impart
  The offering of a feeling heart.      10
    And what shall I return the fair
  And flattering nymph?—A verse?—a prayer?
  For, were a Ring my present too,
  I see the smile that must ensue—
  The smile that pleases, though it stings,
  And says—“No more of giving rings:
  Remember, thirty years are gone,
  Old friend, since you presented one!”
    Well! one there is, or one shall be,
  To give a ring instead of me;      20
  And with it sacred vows for life
  To love the fair—the angel-wife.
  In that one act may every grace,
  And every blessing have their place—
  And give to future hours the bliss,
  The charm of life, derived from this;
  And—when even love no more supplies;
    When weary nature sinks to rest—
  May brighter, steadier light arise,
    And make the parting moment blest!      30


                TO A LADY, WITH SOME POETICAL EXTRACTS.

  Say, shall thine eye, and with the eye the mind,
  Dwell on a work for thee alone design’d?
  Traced by my hand, selected by my heart,
  Will it not pleasure to a friend impart,
  And her dear smile an ample payment prove
  For this light labour of aspiring love?
    Read, but with partial mind, the themes I choose;
  A friend transcribes, and let a friend peruse!
  This shall a charm to every verse impart,
  And the cold line shall reach the willing heart;      10
  For willing hearts the tamest song approve,
  All read with pleasure, when they read with love.
    There are no passions to the Muse unknown—
  Fear, sorrow, hope, joy, pity are her own.
  She gives to each the strength, the tone, the power,
  By varying moods to suit the varying hour;
  She plays with each, and veils in changing robes
  The grief she pities, and the love she probes.
  ’Tis hers for we the sullen smile to feign,      }
  And Laughter lend to Envy’s rankling pain,      20}
  Soft Pity’s look to Scorn, mild Friendship’s to Disdain.      }
  Joy inexpressive with her tear she veils,
  And weeps her transport, where expression fails.


                 TO A LADY, ON LEAVING HER AT SIDMOUTH.

  Yes! I must go—it is a part
    That cruel Fortune has assign’d me—
  Must go, and leave, with aching heart,
    What most that heart adores, behind me.

  Still I shall see thee on the sand
    Till o’er the space the water rises;
  Still shall in thought behind thee stand,
    And watch the look affection prizes.

  But ah! what youth attends thy side,
    With eyes that speak his soul’s devotion—      10
  To thee as constant as the tide
    That gives the restless wave its motion?

  Still in thy train must he appear,
    For ever gazing, smiling, talking?
  Ah! would that he were sighing here,
    And I were there beside thee walking!

  Wilt thou to him that arm resign,
    Who is to that dear heart a stranger,
  And with those matchless looks of thine
    The peace of this poor youth endanger?      20

  Away this fear that fancy makes,
    When night and death’s dull image hide thee!
  In sleep, to thee my mind awakes;
    Awake, it sleeps to all beside thee.

  Who could in absence bear the pain
    Of all this fierce and jealous feeling,
  But for the hope to meet again,
    And see those smiles all sorrow healing!

  Then shall we meet, and, heart to heart,
    Lament that fate such friends should sever;      30
  And I shall say—“We must not part;”
    And thou wilt answer—“Never, never!”


             TO SARAH, COUNTESS OF JERSEY, ON HER BIRTHDAY.

  Of all the subjects poetry commands
    Praise is the hardest nicely to bestow;
  ’Tis like the streams in Afric’s burning sands,
    Exhausted now, and now they overflow.
  As heaping fuel on a kindling fire,
    So deals a thoughtless poet with his praise;
  For, when he would the cheerful warmth inspire,
    He chokes the very thing he hopes to raise.

  How shall I, then, the happy medium hit,
    And give the just proportion to my song?      10
  How speak of beauty, elegance, and wit,
    Yet fear at once t’offend thee and to wrong?
  Sure to offend, if far the Muse should soar,
    And sure to wrong thee if her strength I spare:
  Still, in my doubts, this comfort I explore—
    That all confess what I must not declare.

  Yet on this day, in every passing year,
    Poets the tribute of their praise may bring;
  Nor should thy virtues then be so severe,
    As to forbid us of thy worth to sing.      20
  Still I forbear; for why should I portray
    Those looks that seize—that mind that wins the heart—
  Since all the world, on this propitious day,
    Will tell how lovely and how good thou art?


             TO A LADY WHO DESIRED SOME VERSES AT PARTING.

  Oh! do not ask the Muse to show
    Or how we met, or how we part:
  The bliss, the pain, too well I know,
    That seize in turn this faithful heart.
  That meeting—it was tumult all—
    The eye was pleased, the soul was glad;
  But thus to memory I recall,
    And feel the parting doubly sad.

  Yes, it was pleasant so to meet
    For us, who fear’d to meet no more,      10
  When every passing hour was sweet—
    Sweeter, we thought, than all before.
  When eye from eye new meanings steal,
    When hearts approach, and thoughts unite—
  Then is, indeed, the time to feel,
    But, Laura! not a time to write.

  And when at length compell’d to part,
    When fear is strong, and fancy weak;
  When in some distant good the heart
    For present ease is forced to seek;      20
  When hurried spirits fall and rise,
    As on the changing views we dwell—
  How vainly then the sufferer tries
    In studied verse his pains to tell!

  Time brings, indeed, his slow relief,
    In whom the passions live and die;
  He gives the bright’ning smile to grief,
    And his the soft consoling sigh.
  Till then, we vainly wish the power
    To paint the grief, or use the pen;      30
  But distant far that quiet hour—
    And I must feel and grieve till then.


                          THE FRIEND IN LOVE.

                             [About 1816.]

  Unhappy is the wretch who feels
    The trembling lover’s ardent flame,
  And yet the treacherous hope conceals
    By using Friendship’s colder name.

  He must the lover’s pangs endure,
    And still the outward sign suppress;
  Nor may expect the smiles that cure
    The wounded heart’s conceal’d distress.

  When her soft looks on others bend,
    By him discern’d, to him denied,      10
  He must be then the silent friend,
    And all his jealous torments hide.

  When she shall one blest youth select,
    His bleeding heart must still approve;
  Must every angry thought correct,
    And strive to like, where she can love.

  Yet must he all his Pains conceal
    From her whom his fond Thoughts adore,
  In Fear of these which he must feel,
    If she that soothed them smiled no more.      20

  Heaven from my heart such pangs remove,
    And let these feverish sufferings cease—
  These pains without the hope of love,
    These cares of friendship, not its peace!


                            [DISILLUSIONED.]

  And wilt thou never smile again,
    Thy cruel purpose never shaken?
  Hast thou no feeling for my pain,
    Refused, disdain’d, despised, forsaken?

  Thy uncle crafty, careful, cold,
    His wealth upon my mind imprinted;
  His fields described, and praised his fold,
    And jested, boasted, promised, hinted.

  Thy aunt—I scorn’d the omen—spoke
    Of lovers by thy scorn rejected;      10
  But I the warning never took,
    When chosen, cheer’d, received, rejected.

  Thy brother, too—but all was plann’d
    To murder peace, all freely granted;
  And then I lived in fairy land,
    Transported, bless’d, enrapt, enchanted.

  Oh, what a dream of happy love,
    From which the wise in time awaken;
  While I must all its anguish prove,
    Deceived, despised, abused, forsaken!      20


                     [LINES] FROM A DISCARDED POEM,
ENCLOSED, AT MRS LEADBEATER’S REQUEST, FOR THOMAS WILKINSON’S COLLECTION
                            OF HANDWRITINGS.

  One calm, cold evening, when the moon was high,
  And rode sublime within the cloudy sky,
  She sat within her hut, nor seem’d to feel
  Or cold, or want, but turn’d her idle wheel;
  And with sad song its melancholy tone
  Mix’d—all unconscious that she dwelt alone.


                  ON THE DEATH OF SIR SAMUEL ROMILLY.

                     (Hampstead, November 6, 1818.)

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Thus had I written—so a friend advised,
  Whom as the first of counsellors I prized;
  The best of guides to my assuming pen,
  The best of fathers, husbands, judges, men.
  ‘This will he read,’ I said, ‘and I shall hear      }
  Opinion wise, instructive, mild, sincere;      }
  For I that mind respect, for I the man revere.’      }
    “I had no boding fear, but thought to see
  Those who were thine, who look’d for all to thee;
  And thou wert all! there was, when thou wert by,      10
  Diffused around the rare felicity
  That wisdom, worth, and kindness can impart,
  To form the mind and gratify the heart.
    “Yes! I was proud to speak of thee as one
  Who had approved the little I had done,
  And taught me what I should do!—Thou wouldst raise
  My doubting spirit by a smile of praise
  And words of comfort! great was thy delight      }
  Fear to expel, and ardour to excite,      }
  To wrest th’ oppressor’s arm, and do the injured right.      20}
    “Thou hadst the tear for pity, and thy breast
  Felt for the sad, the weary, the oppress’d!
  And now, afflicting change! all join with me,
  And feel, lamented ROMILLY, for thee.”


                                 LINES.

                     (Edinburgh, August 15, 1822.)

  Of old, when a Monarch of England appear’d
    In Scotland, he came as a foe;
  There was war in the land, and around it were heard
    Lamentation, and mourning and woe.

  In the bordering land, which the Muses love best,
    Was one whom they favour’d of old;
  With a view of the future his mind they impressed,
    And gave him the power to unfold.

  “Come, strike me the harp, and my spirit sustain,
    That these visions of glory annoy;      10
  While I to the Chieftains of Scotland explain
    What their Sons shall hereafter enjoy!

  “I see, but from far—I behold, but not near—
    When war on the Border shall cease,
  New cities will rise, and the triumphs appear
    Of Riches, and Science, and Peace.

  “O give me to breathe, while this scene I describe:
    A Monarch in Scotland I see,
  When she pours from her Highlands and Lowlands each tribe,
    Who are loyal, and happy, and free.      20

  “The Islands at rest in their Sovereign rejoice;
    Lo, the power and the wealth they display!
  And there comes from the lands and the waters a voice,
    From the Shannon, the Thames, and the Tay.

  “‘All hail to our King!’ is the shout of the crowd;
    I see them, a shadowy throng;
  They are loyally free, are respectfully proud,
    And Joy to their King is their song.

  “Yet bear up, my soul, ’tis a theme of delight,
    That thousands hereafter shall sing;      30
  How Scotland, and England, and Ireland unite
    In their Glory, their Might, and their King.

  “Aloud strike the harp, for my bosom is cold
    And the sound has a charm on my fears—
  A City new-clothed as a Bride I behold,
    And her King as her Bridegroom appears.

  “’Tis he whom they love, and who loves them again,
    Who partakes of the joy he imparts;
  Who over three nations shall happily reign,
    And establish his throne in their hearts.”      40


                                [LINES.]

                      (Aldborough, October, 1823.)

  Thus once again, my native place, I come
  Thee to salute—my earliest, latest home.
  Much are we alter’d both, but I behold
  In thee a youth renew’d—whilst I am old.
  The works of man from dying we may save;
  But man himself moves onward to the grave.


          LINES, ADDRESSED TO THE DOWAGER DUCHESS OF RUTLAND.

  When she—I will not tell her name—
    Was in her early beauty laid,
  Reposing—Time in person came.
    And looked delighted at the maid.

  Such charms, unmov’d, he could not pass,
    They were to him unusual things,
  He gazed till he had dropp’d his glass,
    And, sighing, closed his mighty wings.

  “Awake!” in tender tone he cried,
    “Nor be of my stern look afraid;      10
  For never yet has Time espied
    Three graces in one form display’d.”

  The nymph awoke; and, when she saw
    Old Time was falling fast in love,
  She thought she might advantage draw
    From one who friend or foe must prove.—

  “And dost thou love me, Time,” she cried,
    “With passion ardent, temper true?”
  “Let me,” he cried, “by test be tried,
    And tell to Time what he shall do!”      20

  “Old Time,” said she, “thy hand is hard,
    And thou on beauty lov’st to prey:
  Do, prithee, Time show some regard,
    And touch me gently in thy way!”

  “Then smile upon me, lady, so—
    That look again, oh! where are such!
  I must not pass thee as I go,
    But I will softly, gently touch.

  “So gently by thee will I steal
    That none the steps of Time shall see;      30
  This withering scythe thou shalt not feel,
    Nor injured by its stroke shalt be.—

  “But still I must my prowess prove,
    Be not displeased—indeed I must;
  Or men will say that Time, in love,
    Is blinded, partial, and unjust.—

  “Yet fear not thou: that form, that face
    Shall still from me forbearance find;
  But all the love of Time shall trace,
    And see his progress in thy mind.”      40



                           FRAGMENTS OF TALES

                                  AND

                          MISCELLANEOUS VERSES
 NOT PREVIOUSLY PRINTED, ARRANGED (SO FAR AS POSSIBLE) IN CHRONOLOGICAL
                                SEQUENCE


                                 TRACY.

                             (1 Jan. 1813.)

  The House of Tracy was of all belov’d:
    A generous, gentle, valiant, virtuous Race,
  Admir’d for Courage and for Arts approv’d,
    They shun’d Dishonour and they spurn’d Disgrace.
    The Village Mansion was a noble Place,
  Whose strong Foundations down a Vale were laid;
    Pride of its Lords and of the Country Grace,
  Its Towers were o’er the western hill display’d,
  And on an Eastern Stream broad cast their Evening Shade.

  Twice twenty Steps of Stone, now mossy all,      10
    Led wandering Strangers to the central Door
  Of a vast Room, by name the marble Hall,
    Whose squares discolour’d form’d the polish’d floor.
    Broad were the Stairs and black that rose before
  And led to Chambers fair and Galleries wide;
    Here Tracys stood, Men fam’d in days of yore;
  These Pictures rare, by Taste and Wealth, supply’d
  The Pride of Tracy these, and worthy praise the pride.

  Th’ Improver’s Hand was seen in all the place;
    But Mercy still was a Companion found,      20
  And spar’d the Statues fair, the Wood to grace,
    And Waters clear that fell with murmuring sound
    From the green Terrace on the higher Ground,
  With Flowers in Knolls on many a sunny Bank,
    Where the white flocks o’er velvet Pasture bound;
  Where Gold-fish long possess’d their marble Tank,
  And steeds with silky Sides the living Water drank.

  It was a lovely and a rich domain,
    Vex’d by no Debt, no Mortgage, no Decrease;
  No Tenant came with unredress’d Complaint      30
    Of Churlish Steward or of rigorous Lease;
    In the fair Village dwelt perpetual Peace,
  Far as a Patron could his power extend,
    Hail’d at his birth and mourn’d at his discease;
  Where all, where each, was pleas’d his help to lend
  To each, where all might seeking find a friend.

  Two furlongs distant from that seat, its Pride,
    Was the fair Village plac’d upon a Green,
  By wood surrounded save the Eastern Side,
    Where the broad, silent, silvery flood was seen.      40
    There stood the peasants’ cots, a view serene
  On either side a small and central Lake,
    That long the scene of rustic Sports had been.
  Unenvied People! may ye still partake
  Life’s honest Joys and pure, and late may ye forsake!

  The whiten’d Church and Vicar’s low Abode
    Are near each other and these Dwellings near;
  But, far from Town and from the public Road,
    Few Travellers stray, few Strangers travel here;
    Where yet an Inn, “The Tracy’s Arms,” appear,      50
  The Mill, the Shop, and Trades that Peasants need,
    But Farmers all; the Soil to all so dear
  Gives to the Peasant’s Cow a space to feed;
  Such was the Tracys’ will, and Heav’n approves the Deed.

  A numerous Race were these, and Sons were lent
    To England’s Honour and were great in Arms;
  But now the generous Blood seems nearly spent.
    One Son one only Son had raised Alarms
    For Generations three! nor female Charms
  As heretofore had done their Parents Grace;      60
    These Lords had dwelt amid their flocks and farms,
  A mild benevolent and virtuous Race,
  Whose Lives accorded well with this their favourite Place.

    Sir Edward Tracy was a valiant Man,
  Who served in Flanders under Good Queen Anne;
  Was wounded there, and in his pleasant seat
  Found a fair Dame that made Retirement sweet.
  There he enjoy’d a life of social Ease,
  And died before its vital Spirits freeze.
  He left a pensive, mild, domestic heir,      70
  Pleas’d to improve his Mansion and repair;
  The small Improvements in his farms to make,
  And rustic bliss to foster and partake.
  He was a man who never in his Life,
  For Joy or Business, left his charming wife;
  To all her failings, if she had them, blind,
  He saw her faultless, and he felt her kind.
  With undirected, unaspiring Views,
  He scorn’d Oppression, but he took his Dues;
  For rural Works he shew’d some trifling Skill,      80}
  And little prone to either Good or ill.      }
  His Heart was kind, but cool; his Passions right, but still.      }
  He, with a feeble spark of Glory warm’d,
  Wish’d his sole Boy to be with Study charm’d;
  Wish’d him that Honour he had fail’d to gain,
  And hail’d the Labour that was not in vain.
  He liv’d, the Honour of his spotless Line,
  Fram’d in the Senate and the Bar to shine;
  But, unambitious at an early Age,
  He buried all the Patriot in the Sage;      90
  And with his Lady, by her worth endear’d,
  Read what was spoken when he, once, was heard.
  She, form’d in Courts to shine, was pleas’d to shun
  A thousand Lovers, to be blest with one;
  And bade adieu without a single Sigh
  To Passion’s Language and to Flattery’s Eye.
  He, like his Fathers, left an only Boy,
  Ere dawning Reason spurn’d the childish Toy;
  Pleas’d to reflect [the] Mother’s years were few,
  Her Temper perfect, and her Judgment true;      100
  That she would train him, good herself and wise,
  All that was base and wicked to despise;
  The Strength of Rebell Passions to defeat,      }
  Life’s Cares and Sorrows with firm Soul to meet,      }
  And from the Flatterer’s Voice indignant to retreat.      }
    She train’d him thus, and early was he known
  To seek her pleasure and disguise his own;
  Yet, if her fondness could a failing spy,
  His youthful Spirits were too strong and high.
  She found, or fear’d, intemperate Love of Joy      110
  And would correct what else might Time destroy.
  Yet hard the Task, to Mothers doubly hard,
  O’er the light Heart to keep incessant Guard;
  Still she against his buoyant Spirit strove,
  Who smil’d at Duty, but bow’d down to Love.
    This is our Hero, a fond Widow’s Son,
  Rich, of high spirits, and just twenty-one;
  Yet [most] for Learning fam’d, and, tho’ untried,
  His native Courage not a Soul denied.
  For, tho’ the Tracys were so well belov’d,      120
  Their real Courage was but seldom prov’d;
  Yet never Tracy was by Honour call’d
  Who fled the Summons or who look’d appall’d.
  The timid parent, when the Son would cry
  “To breathe is Joy, to live is Extacy;
  To feel this pleasure ever strong and new,
  And wish that every being felt it too”—
  “Beware, my Tracy! let these Spirits sleep
  And for the days of certain sorrow keep!
  Kind [are] thy wishes, but are all in vain:      130
  There will be Griefs, Sighs, Sufferings and pain!
  Waste not the strength that [a] Kind Heaven affords
  In a vain flourish of Exulting Words;
  But train thyself for the uncertain task—
  I ask it fondly and ’tis all I ask!”—
    “Friend of my Soul,” replied the youth, “suppress
  These fearful Precepts and their fond Distress!
  If Time indeed must all my Joys expell,
  Oh, let me feel them when at ease and well!
  I war with Care; it is my wish to go      140
  Where he resides and treat him as a foe.
  When in the Cot the ugly fiend I trace,
  I ask his business in that favour’d place;
  A Golden Shield I cast before his Eyes
  And never leave him till away he flies.
  Tho’ stubborn oft, his utmost Wrath I dare
  And sing exulting, Now begone, old Care!
  This Villain Care had pinch’d a modest Cheek,
  And so opprest her that she fear’d to speak.
  Her Lover’s father, of her Charms afraid,      150
  Forc’d [her] fond Lover from the pining Maid.
  Poor Ellen’s Mother shar’d her Daughter’s Pain,
  And her best offer met the Earl’s disdain.
  Grief held them all, when like an Hero true
  I freed the Captives and the Giant slew;
  Held a fair Prospect in the father’s Eye
  And saw resistance in an instant die.
  Oh, take my Horses, and my Hounds dismiss,
  But [give] Thy Tracy such delight as this!
          *      *      *      *      War      160
  With grief and wish him from thy bosom far!
  I for this cause      *      *     * strive,
  And am content to seem but half alive;
  Yet can I never from myself conceal
  That giving Pleasure is the way to feel.
    “Can I be sad, when I behold her mine,
  A beauteous maiden with a Soul divine?
  Did ever beauty meet the wond’ring Eye,
  Perfect as that which shines in Emely?
  Does not her Father to our Love consent?      170
  Then what [can] damp our joys, or what prevent?
  And is she not belov’d, esteem’d of thee?
  Oh I am happy,—happy let me be!
    “Want I a kindred mind, my Julian? Shame
  Be to the Man who gave th’ Apostate’s Name
  To one whose Virtues all who know must Prize,
  And who from Truth will ne’er apostatize!
  Guide of my Life, Companion of my Youth,
  Thy modest Manners and thy love of Truth
  Cheer, aid and sooth me in my earthly race;      180
  And Want of Joy would [thus] be Want of Grace.”—
  “All, all are thine,” the gentle Lady cried;
  “Wealth, Health and Friends has bounteous Heaven supply’d;
  The happiest Spirits and the loveliest Maid
  That ever smil’d; and yet am I afraid.
  For Friends have fallen off, and Love grown cold,
  And failing Health sigh’d over useless Gold;
  While the strong Spirits, once to Error led,
  Have flam’d to Madness or in Anguish fled.
  Nay, look not thus; against myself I plead;      190
  Bid thee be grave, and yet would not succeed.
  No, let me think my Tracy, when away—
  For thou must go—still innocent and Gay.
  Short is the Time; yet for a Month to part
  Shakes the faint Courage of a Mother’s Heart;
  But to her aid thy Emely will come
  And think thee happy while she prays thee home.
  Our distant friends this Sacrifice demand,
  E’er the lov’d Maid bestows her promis’d Hand.
  Court the good Dean! nor be with Ease denied,      200
  To come and bless thee with thy matchless Bride!
  Invite each friend to view thy happy Choice,
  Nor doubt the favouring Eye, th’approving Voice;
  For not an Ear will hear, and not an Eye
  Will see a Charmer like our Emely!
  But tak’st thou Julian?”
                        “Can I leave behind
  The only Comfort I can hope to find.
  Friends thou wilt see; yet them I may mistake,
  And I am certain of the Friend I take.”
    “Yet this, my Son, and I will cease to plead:      210
  ’Tis not in Youth the secret Soul to read;
  ’Tis not in Age! for who can hope to scan
  Man’s latent Thoughts, oft hidden from the Man?
  ’Tis surely dangerous for the best below
  A Brother’s Secrets like his own to know;
  Thy failings, follies, weakness, all to learn
  And half form’d wishes in their birth discern.
  [Loves] not thy friend—ah! let me judge him wrong—
  O’er Wine to sit—nay why that look?—too long?
  Have I not seen the bright’ning Eye, the Cheek      220
  With pleasure fever’d, paint the Judgment weak;
  And hast not thou, all joyful as thou art,
  Yet pour’d new spirit on the [bounding] Heart;
  And art thou, Tracy—I will add no more—
  Alone, in thought, as happy as before?
  Is all within so pure, so gay, so bright
  In thine own feelings and thy Maker’s Sight,
  As I have known thee? is my Tracy sure?”

                  *       *       *       *       *

    As Water pour’d on Spirits pure and bright
  Will a faint Heat and turbid Look excite,      230
  But, both in Quiet suffer’d to remain,
  The Heat will fly, and all be pure again:
  So the cool Speech [in] Tracy’s ardent Mind
  Rais’d sudden Heat, with turbid thought combin’d.
  But this not long the filial duty prest
  On the warm Heart, and gave the Spirit rest.
  Yet the good Lady in the friend beheld
  A flaw she fear’d, and had the thought repell’d.
  So forth they go, with Spirits light and gay,      }
  Friends to invite and favours to convey      240}
  Against the Gladness of a nuptial day;      }
  To see the Elders of their wealthy race,
  And all the kindred Tracy to embrace;

                  *       *       *       *       *

  He had been [climbing] all his life, and now
  Stopt to behold what Life would still allow;
  But all he then could from his Height explore
  Prov’d to his Heart he should have stopt before.
  Long at his College he was much approv’d;
  The more admir’d were not so well belov’d:
  Theirs deeper learning—his the mild address;      250
  Theirs loftier Honour—and his sure success.
  While yet a Fellow, for an office high
  Two, far superior, were resolv’d to try;
  And the kind Vincent wish’d with all his heart
  He could the office to them both impart.
  Not so [his] Brethren: they had all the Zeal
  That rival voters for their favourites feel.
  For Dr A. his Friends in varying Style
  Were pleas’d by turns to flatter and revile:
  Famous for all that Newton’s self had known,      260
  All that by Signs and Symbols can be shewn;
  A man whose fame to distant times would live,
  And tenfold pay the little boon they give—
  And what his Rival? stealing all his days
  Poor Scraps of Learning from dull Grecian Plays;
  Restoring Meanings where, when all is done,
  One is not found or a contested one;
  From elder Critics pilfering half they write,      }
  Who from reflectors steal reflected Light      }
  An helper’s help, Assistant’s Satellite.      270}
    The friends of Dr B., with Wrath inflam’d,
  Aloud the Learning of their Friend proclaim’d;
  Nor in their rage retorting Scorn forbore:
  That Dr A. had but a useless Store;
  ’Twas false that he could dare with Newton’s vie;
  Let him not dare, ’twas foolishness to try;
  And, if he reach’d not what was done before,
  What was the profit? he should try no more.
  Such was their war, each Combination room
  Lost its old peace and its harmonious Gloom.      280
  Whist was no more, or, if again they play’d
  Their want of Skill th’ingrossing thoughts betray’d.
  While this was passing, a Report was spread—
  But those who rais’d were secret as the dead—
  That, as the contest caus’d such dire Debate,
  To no small scandall of the learned State,
  Unlike to end; for losers by their heat
  Would keep Resentment to console Defeat—
  Then was it best to set them both aside
  And choose a friend to either part allied.      290
  Then who but Vincent had a chance remote,
  For all to him would give a second Vote;
  Then for their Peace they would their first resign,
  And give the Station to the good Divine.
  From Ear to Ear it went, from Tongue to Tongue,
  These Sons of Science and of Peace among;
  Both rivals cry’d aloud, they’d rather see
  Such Man elected than that A. or B.
  None ask’d who first the peaceful thought began
  But made it theirs and chose the modest Man.      300
    Thrice in his Life, by Merit and by ways
  That please the powers who merit love to raise,
  Rose the mild Doctor, and was now a Dean,
  With grateful Spirit and a Conscience clean.
  Some who behold him in his Weakness now,
  By Pain and Time despoil’d of smile and bow,
  When Observation finds his shrewd good sense
  But prattling Love and tame benevolence,
  Presum’d to wonder at Success so strange,
  Thoughtless how Time had wrought the mighty Change.      310

                  *       *       *       *       *

  The Good Man promis’d, so would Heaven afford,
  To join the favourite Pair and bless the nuptial Board.

    As forth they rode, the Heir address’d his friend:
  “Now to an antient Maid our course we bend;
  Suppress thy smile, nor by a Glance deride
  The Virgin’s Spirit or the Tracy’s Pride!”

                  *       *       *       *       *

 [_Here follow some forty lines, partly illegible, relating a dream of
          Emely during the absence of Tracy, and concluding:_]

  Bound and yet free, they hasten’d to the Shore,
    And found their Tent, and all they wish’d to find;
  Much was of Bliss without, within was more—
    Food for each Sense; amusement for the Mind;      320
    Pictures of pleasant, Books of lively, kind;
  And Notes and Instruments, for Music meet;
    For one Delight another they resign’d.
  Were ever pair transfer’d to happier Seat;
  Was ever Youth so blest, was ever Maid so sweet?

  Yet, but a moment—and the bliss was lost;
    Tents, Treasures, Tracy, and Companions gone;
  In black, vile boat, on dreadfull billow tost
    On salt-sea Lake, sat Emely alone.
    On the dark waters melancholy shone      330
  The clouded Regent of the wintry Sky;
    The muddy Shore no feet might rest upon;
  Beyond, with haggard Looks and threat’ning Eye,
  Walk’d Man she fear’d to see, yet fear’d, unseen, to die.

  And, while she fear’d to die and, living, fear’d,
    A peril worse than Death she now espied.
  On the wild Waves the ruffian men appear’d,
    And now approach’d, and now were at her Side;
    Her tears they see not and her Cries deride.
  Seaz’d in rude Arm, the trembling maid they take;      340
    “Mercy!” her Cry; and, as aloud she cried,
  Some unseen form in pitying accents spake:
  “Choose first or last thy bliss! now wake, fond maid, awake!”

  She woke and wonder’d; then again she slept
    And was with Tracy in the meanest Cot,
  Wherever Poverty and Terror crept.
    Such now appear’d their lamentable Lot;
    Dread was on both, as some accursed Plot
  Had Cecil for Contriver! and now fled
    To the detested and deserted Spot.      350
  With his sad wife! and now in constant dread
  And wanting Hope and Health, and needing Peace and Bread.

  She wept and, weeping, wonder’d at her Tears;
    For every woe and care was put to flight.
  Lord of his Land her Cecil now appears,
    And She the Lady dearest in his Sight.
    Her Views are pleasant and her prospect bright;
  And then again the warning Spirit spake:
    “Grief follow[s] Joy, succeeds to Woe Delight—
  Both thine; which first, fair Dreamer, wilt thou take?      360
  Choose either, but take both! now, Emely awake!”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “So ends the Vision and the Sens[e]!” she cry’d.
  The Matron smil’d, was thoughtful, and reply’d:
  “Thy previous fears to these suggestions led;
  Ah, tell me all that Emely can dread!
  Suspect’st thou Tracy’s Virtue, Love or Truth?
  What is thy Trouble?”—“Inexperienc’d Youth.
  Scarcely is Cecil from his Tutor free,      }
  And my poor Nurse emancipated me,      }
  When Love our Union plans, and all with Love agree.      370}
  But a few days, and thou wilt see thy Son
  Lord of his land, an Heir at twenty-one!
  And, agèd just nineteen, with purchas’d Aid
  Of special guides, I stand—a wond’rous Maid.
  To grace my Person some their arts combin’d,
  With varied Learning some to cram the Mind;
  But all I know of Letters, Form and Life
  Seems ill to fit me for your Tracy’s Wife.
  What are these girlish works, these quivering Notes,
  With which we pain our fingers and our throats,      380
  What graceful Manners, and an Air of Ease,      }
  A power of pleasing, a Desire to please,      }
  A Temper mildly sweet, and gay good things like these?      }
  Let them be seen, and they engage the while
  The approving Eye and the assenting Smile—
  Nay, join’d with Beauty and display’d with art,
  To one directed, they have gain’d the Heart—
  But will not Tracy ask substantial things;
  Will he be happy with a bride who sings;
  Who, when her Husband would her Virtue trace,      390
  Will entertain him with each Girlish Grace?
  Will he the partner of his thoughts admire
  For Arts and forms her teachers can inspire,
  And give to her the Secrets of his Heart,
  Whose own has nought but trifles to impart?
  I, too, with him upon the Lake could be,
  Sing in the Tent and dance upon the Lea;
  I in the House of Harmony might raise
  Th’approving Look in him who loves to praise.
  But on that Sea—and now, methinks, I sip      400
  The salt Sea-brine that dash’d upon my Lip
  In that old Boat, so shocking to each Sense,
  And all the Horror I espied from thence;
  And, more than these, in that vile hovel, den
  Of need and Guilt, that was so dreadful then!
  In Scenes like these, or what these Scenes portend,      }
  How could I cheer my Partner, how defend,      }
  Or be th’ Adviser, Comforter or friend?      }
  Should I not then—but let me not appear
  A Vision’s Victim, Misery’s Volunteer—      410
  But should I not—at least, till I attain
  Maturer years—in maiden State remain?”
    “Appeal to Cecil,” said the Matron; “say,
  ‘Thou hadst my promise for th’ important Day;
  The Mother’s Wishes, and the full Consent
  Of all were thine, nor yet do I repent;
  But a dark dream of mingled good and ill
  Affects my Bosom and contracts my Will;
  And these, it tells me, as I cannot shun,
  I fly to Sorrow, to make sure of one.’      420
  Child of my Heart! these boding fears suppress;
  They often make, they ever point, Distress.
  Tho’ young, yet Heav’n has to [thy] charge confin’d
  [The] noble Treasure of a powerful Mind.
  These lighter Graces seek not to condemn;      }
  ’Tis they were made for thee, not [thou] for them;      }
  They are the polished Cut, and thy fair Soul the Gem.      }
  Say, should my Tracy be unvex’d with Care,
  Why not his Pleasures as their Mistress share?
  And, in Distress and Sorrow should he pine,      430
  Unview’d and absent, would they not be thine?
  Then, to thy Promise and thy Cecil true,      }
  The Path direct that Reason points pursue;      }
  Love chooses well his Way, when Reason enters too.”      }

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Near to this Mansion was an antient Hall      }
  Of Veres; still standing, but inclined to fall.      }
  Grey frown’d the massy towers, green shook the ivy’d Wall.      }
  These were, it seemed, a Race from first to last,
  A strange, unsocial, mark’d, peculiar Cast[e].
  They lov’d all common Manners to defy      440
  And chose a wayward Singularity.
  In times of trouble they oppos’d the State—
  Of Peace, the Church—and gloried in Debate.
  It was their Humour and their boast to be
  From all the shackles of the Vulgar free;
  All common rules they doubted or denied;      }
  Each for himself determined to decide,      }
  And to himself be Law, rule, Governor and Guide.      }
    Old as it was, its Lords were much afraid
  T’inspect the Mansion in the part decay’d,      450
  For twofold Reasons: first, that from the part
  Contiguous Ruin into View would start;
  And next, they found, so many a Call had shar’d
  The Current Cash, that nothing could be spar’d.
    In the huge Hall, high hung in gilded frames,
  Heroic Shreeves and venerable Dames,
  With forms majestic and commanding Look,
  And smoak-dried all with equalizing smoak;
  Yet Kneller’s Wigs still curl’d, a comely Sight,
  And Lely’s Bosoms, tho’ in clouded White;      460
  These, with the taper Hand and naked Arms,
  In Time’s dark veil hid once obtrusive Charms.
  The last Esquire, who liv’d himself to please,
  Felt through his Life this family disease;
  Foe to his Church, it pleas’d him to the heart,
  When he could Anger to her friends impart;
  And by his own, or by a borrow’d, Jest
  See the sad Vicar troubled and distress’d—
  The modest Vicar, who with meek good Sense
  Fear’d the vain laugh of heartless Insolence.      470
  No Student he; yet, what our Squire had read
  Cool’d his Affections and disturb’d his head;
  Made him his Neighbours and his friends dispise,
  And class himself among the learnt and wise.
  To his Dependents he was pleas’d to say:      }
  “Go where you will to hearken or to pray;      }
  Choose your own Guide, or Guideless take your Way!      }
  I rest in Church, ’tis decent, what the State
  In Life requires from every Magistrate;
  While you, my friends, unheeded as you pass,      480
  May sleep at Church, at Meeting, or at Mass;
  Or, placed at Ease beneath the Summer Sky,
  In his own Temple serve the Deity.”
    None comprehend, but all are pleas’d to find
  That each may act as he is most inclin’d;
  That, as so little it concerns us where
  We pray, of what Importance is our Prayer?
  Maxims like these, that lead to free Discourse,
  The Master furnish’d and the Grooms enforce.
  He wed a Cousin, to the worthy End      490
  That none should spoil a breed that none could mend;
  For his Opinions she had not a Care,
  Nor meant his fancies or his faith to share;
  Him she would wed, but was not so refin’d
  Or so romantic as to wed his Mind.
  She had been told, that her admiring Swain
  Had impious notions she could not restrain,
  And that he spoke with Insult and Delight
  What only sin and Satan could indite.
  To this she answer’d, that her husband’s Soul      500
  Was not design’d to be at her Controul;
  That, if he kept the Vow between them made,
  She should no Secrets of [his] Heart invade;
  These points concern’d not a reflecting Wife,
  Whose Contract ended with the present Life;
  She could no Evil in such points discern,
  And, if [’twere] there, it was his own Concern.
    She in their Bargain took especial Care,
  With prudent forsight of the Widow’s Share;
  Nor was she in her wedded State so fond      510
  As not to look upon the State beyond.
  So Swimmers, plunging in the river’s tide,
  Look to the Landing on the farther Side;
  And some on purpose, doubtless, to command
  An easy Station where again they land.
  This Man and Wife had nature well allied;
  For both were positive, and both had pride;
  And all the Love that in the bosom glow’d
  Was on the person tenderly bestow’d;
  As weeds, cut down and burn’d upon the field,      520
  To their own place their little value yield.
  Both lov’d a Life expensive, but they still
  A something found to counteract the Will:
  He was by press of Indolence restrain’d,
  And she from knowledge of the Cost refrain’d.
  They were not wealthy, and they needed Care
  To keep Affairs as buoyant as they were.
  In this good Lady it was strange to see
  How ignorant a knowing Wife can be.
  Learning she held, if not a very Crime,      530
  A needless burden and a Loss of Time.
  Of all the world above and this below
  She knew as much as she desir’d to know;
  And that is more, with all their Search and Care,
  Than Locke and Newton fairly could declare.
  That the Moon shone on the Assembly night,
  Was all she thought or car’d about her Light.
  The Seasons came, and she explain’d with Ease
  What was in Season both on Land and Seas;
  She play’d at Whist with such surprising Skill,      540
  That many censur’d her for playing ill;
  But this was error; she disdain’d to cheat,
  When she could lawfully and fairly beat;
  Beside, she felt a Scruple to the Deed,
  Except in Times of the extremest Need.
    Rebells she scorn’d, and wish’d, with all her Soul,
  That Ropes might choak whom Laws could not controul,
  And a Staunch Patriot was to her a word
  For factious wretches, impious and absurd.
  Yet to the Cause she lov’d with so much Zeal      550
  She could no more than Approbation deal,
  And had her Schemes to lessen or evade
  The fairest Tax that could on Man be laid;
  Thinking that one so loyal should requite
  Her Self for shewing what was just and right.
  She kept her Church, and often would exclaim
  To her unwilling Partner, “What a Shame!
  Is it so much, a quiet hour to pass
  And give Example to the lower Class!”
    She heard of Battles, where ten thousand fell,      560
  And beg’d that none would on the Subject dwell:
  “Such Wounds and Carnage, fire, blood, and Smoke!
  Good God! it poison’d every Meal she took!”
    Active and able to contend, she still      }
  Found in her Lord a Stubbornness of Will;      }
  A dull resisting Strength, that baffled all her Skill;      }
  A _Vis inertiæ_—and, in fact, no stone
  Could be more stubborn to be wrought upon—
  A Mind at rest, that she could neither please      }
  By any Effort, nor by any teize;      570}
  A Soul envelop’d deep in intellectual Ease—      }
  But this not always; favourite points to gain,
  He would a Warfare valiantly maintain;
  And then her Prudence taught the Dame to yield,
  That she with double strength might take the field;
  And, when victorious in some grand affair,
  She [yielded] others as beneath her Care.
    The first-born Child had every dawning Grace
  And promis’d Beauty in her form and face.
  “We’ll call her Julie, if you please, my dear,”      580
  The Mother cry’d, “I doat on Julie Vere.”—
  “What! no Remembrance of her Aunt! for shame!
  You doat indeed! be Barbara her name!”—
  “Oh! never, never”—and a storm began
  That quite o’erpower’d the Spirit of the Man.
  The Babe was Julie, nor a Word was heard
  That spoke his Wishes to have interfer’d.
    Succeeding Daughters came with feeble Cry
  Who caus’d few Cares, and only liv’d to die;
  But ten years past, when, to the Father’s Joy      590
  And Mother’s Glory, she produc’d a Boy.
  Now said the Lady, “If you would consent
  To call him Frederick, I should be content.”
  “Be [sure],” he answer’d with a Sneer, “my Love,
  I’ll give the Boy a Name you must approve:
  He shall be Julian!” “An heroic Name
  Of some old fool!” said the indignant Dame.
  “Fool!” said the Husband; “nay, a glorious Prince;
  Nor have Mankind beheld his equal since.
  He the whole World from Superstition free’d,      600
  A[nd] left the Bigots neither Cross nor Creed.”
  “Well,” said the Wife, with infinite Disdain,
  “Could not the Bigots get a Creed again?
  And ’tis your Maxim that all Crimes are bred
  By Men with new Opinions in their Head;
  Was it not foolish in your Prince to force
  These quiet Bigots from their antient Course?”—
  “Nay, you mistake; he wanted to restore
  Things as they had been in the Times of yore.”
  “What!” quoth the Lady; “both a foe and friend      610
  To Superstition! this can you defend?
  I knew him not; but I suppose, if known,
  He wish’d his people’s folly like his own;
  He whom he could of his Religion made,
  And punish’d those whom he could not persuade.—
  But let your favourite Prince his name afford;
  I will not quarrel with you for a Word.”
  The Name she thought would not ungraceful be,
  And nothing knew of the Apostacy.
  The Priest objected, but the Squire maintain’d      620
  The Point with Vigor, and his purpose gain’d.
    Thus liv’d the Couple, daily to contend,
  And never wish’d their Quarrels at an End.
  They felt no fondness, and no more of hate
  Than gave an Edge and pleasure to debate.
  Contentions sprang from themes of every kind
  And wak’d from Sloth to Energy the Mind;
  Quarrels they took, like Bitters, to excite
  And give Exertion to the Appetite.
    For twice ten years the sprightly Course they try’d;      630
  When the Strife ended, and the Husband died.
  But first he thought that she who had been long
  A Plague to him would lead his Julian wrong;
  Nor would she fail to soothe and to decoy
  To her own Will th’affection of the boy.
  Therefore a Friend and Neighbour he besought
  That no such Evil on the Child be wrought;
  And, tho’ the friend was Christian, all was well.
  This rather pleas’d the dying Infidel;
  For he confess’d he had among them seen,      640
  As spake their Actions, some with Conscience clean;
  And not Philosophers themselves were found
  Above all seeming and within all sound.
  Julian was thus in purest knowledge train’d,
  In all the Father slighted or disdain’d:
  Honour to value at the noblest price;
  To hold no parly with a pleading Vice;
  And true Religion to defend in Times
  When Truth and faith were heresies and Crimes.
    The Man whom Vere judg’d fittest to protect      650
  His Boy, when young, and into Life direct
  Was one who made of Talents no display:      }
  A mild good Man, of whom his friends could say      }
  That Foes in vain might blame the Lord of Etheringay—      }
  The “virtuous Boyle,” a Name that he sustain’d,
  And well preserv’d the fame that others gain’d.
  He with a widow’d Father past his Time
  In aiding Merit and suppressing Crime;
  Nor till his fortieth year had found the fair
  For whom he sigh’d, and sigh’d not in Despair.      660
  Happy with her he seem’d as Man could be—
  Still happier with the Infant Emely.
  In her fifth year, she saw with childish Joy,
  Then in his tenth, her Sire’s adopted boy.
  Tall, handsome, unabash’d, in Spirit gay
  She found a friend in study and in play.
  But brief the happy Season; Summons stern
  Call’d Julian hence in other place to learn,
  For other Studies of severer kind,
  And by harsh Contest form the manly Mind.      670
  But, in the time when youthful bosoms beat
  Twice in each year for the paternal Seat,
  A few Dull Days he with his Mother past,
  But gave to Emely the best and last.
  Young as he was, he found himself too old
  This youthful beauty coolly to behold.
  Domestics idly talk’d of future Tyes,
  And Julian’s Mother of her new Allies.
  She pleas’d her boy by praises of his choice,
  Before he chose, and gave, unask’d, her voice;      680
  Bade him by Care assiduous to retain
  The Influence that his Sex and age must gain;
  He was no Child, and, if he were, ’twas just
  For him to look to what he had to trust.
  His Father left him with involv’d Affairs,
  Who had no Mercy on his Wife and Heirs;
  He must take heed to what he was about,
  Nor fill a Parent’s mind with foolish Doubt.
  His Person, Mind, Connection, and Degree
  Might win a wealthier Maid than Emely;      690
  But still, as providence had seem’d to knit
  The destin’d knot, she deem’d it right and fit,
  And charged him, on her blessing, well to play
  His Cards, and never throw his Luck away!
    Young as he was, the Boy was not at ease.
  He now had Motives [and] designs to please;
  They hurt his feelings, and he seem’d to trace
  Something unpleasant in his Guardian’s face.
  He now had thoughts that he could not express,
  And fear’d that Guardian more and lov’d him less.      700
  But still, to please his Emely, he strove
  With all the eager Haste of boyish Love.
  She, pure and thoughtless, of all meaning void,
  Their walks, their Sports, their Liberty enjoy’d,
  But was at times offended by the Care
  And strange politeness she disdain’d to share.
  When with his Mother Tracy chanc’d to come,
  Who had no Care, no Manhood, to assume,
  The happy Damsel join’d the laughing boy,
  And all was careless Ecstacy and Joy.      710
  He had no Love, no Hate, nor Fear nor Hope,
  But gave [his] Humour and his passions Scope;
  And oft, when Julian warn’d the nymph to shun
  The Rain and Cold, the Shadow and the Sun,
  Her favourite Cecil to the roughest Play
  Would call, and quarrel if she dar’d delay.
  Yet she perversely from the Kindness fled,
  And follow’d Cecil wheresoe’er he led;
  Nor had the Garden or the Lawn a spot
  Where they could venture and they ventur’d not.      720
    Now from domestic Joy and Youthful Love
  To woes domestic we awhile remove.
  [Ere] the Good Man his fiftieth year had seen,
  With those he number’d who had living been.
  Slight was the Warning, and as slight the Need,
  When the pure Soul was from the Body freed;
  When the griev’d Wife and antient Parent shed
  Their Tears of envying Anguish o’er the Dead.
  They saw before them but a length of Woes,
  And long’d for Death, and languish’d for repose.      730
  But the fair Child, their pity and their pride,
  Their sad affections to the World allied,
  And on their natures’ Tenderness she wrought;      }
  Till they some transient fits of Pleasure caught      }
  And, first forbidding, next received them sought.      }
    Seldom the Boys their fairy Mistress met;
  The Mother sigh’d and lov’d retirement yet;
  Nor could she part with the consoling Aid,
  But purchas’d Help to teach the willing Maid.
  Joy of her House, the Child sustained her part,      740
  And won from woe severe the wounded Heart.
    The good old Man, to Heav’n’s will resign’d,
  With Faith and Hope sustain’d his modest Mind.
  Time and Reflection had their sure Success,
  And soft’ned Sorrow rose from deep distress.
  To this Religion added thoughts that force
  The keenest Anguish from its wasteful Course.
    Oft would the Widow, oft the Sire, relate
  Their lofty Hopes of an eternal State;
  Of Souls that meet in regions where they dwell      750
  In bliss untold and indescribable.
  Then, when unceasing Love had brought in View
  A Form so graceful and an Heart so true,
  And every Action painted to the Life
  For the fond father and deserted wife,
  Hope stronger still before the Image cast
  A veil oblivious, to conceal the past;
  Then on the future threw so bright a ray
  That Sorrow smil’d in Tears and softly died away.
  So, when the heavy Rain[s] more gentle grow      760}
  O’er the soft Shower bright gleams the colour’d bow,      }
  That never shines abroad till first the Waters flow;      }
  But on the Eye no cheerful Colours fall,
  When not a Cloud appears, or when ’tis cloudy all.
    Now for the World their Emely they train’d,
  Who in that World their only good remain’d;
  For her they read, and, to enlarge her Views,      }
  Gave Books t’ instruct her, to inform, amuse,      }
  And [chose] the best of each; and well they knew to choose.      }
    Some were forbid, and these they laid aside      770
  Nor [raised] a Wish that was not gratified;
  Nor were these Parents so extremely nice
  That their fair Charge must not be told of Vice.
  They better knew the texture of the Mind;
  Nor kept a lively Lass, and curious, blind;
  But of the useful and the good supplied
  A copious Store, and she was satisfied.
    The kind old Student, to oblige the Maid,
  The Tricks of Science with its pride display’d:
  The Captive Mouse, half-dead for want of Air,      780
  Had Freedom granted at the Virgin’s prayer,
  Who had no pleasure in th’ exhausted House
  To view the panting of the captive Mouse.
  [For her] Electric fire illum’d the Gloom,
  And mimic Lightning flash’d along the room;
  Maidens and men, the nymph to entertain,
  With rueful Wonder felt the numbing pain;
  Amaz’d to think what Creature could bestow
  Strokes without force and pain without a blow.
  All on a Stool, high raised on feet of Glass,      790
  She saw the fiery Sparks her fingers pass;
  All who approached the pungent Spark sustain’d;
  They felt alike who gave it and who gain’d;
  No Arrows Cupid sent from Heart to Heart
  Were so alike or gave such equal Smart.
    A Pleasant Sight it was the Sire to view,
  In loose, long gown, that brush’d the morning Dew,
  With feeble Call the lively Girl delay,
  And his light Learning mid her flowers display;
  Then show the Species, Genus, Order, Class      800
  To the half-wond’ring and half-laughing Lass.
    With Care parental he the learned Swede
  From all his folly and Allusion freed;
  And, when they spake of Stamina and threads,      }
  Nor Wives nor Husbands floated in their Heads;      }
  And flowers were flowers alone, and were not bridal beds.      }
  Polygamy in all its various kind
  Was never suffer’d to disturb the Mind;
  Nor could she in a simple Daisy see
  (Ah, Crime!) superfluous polygamy;      810
  In a bright Sunflower she had not the pain
  To find this same polygamy again;
  Nor could a Marigold the more approve
  To find it there was necessary Love.
    As up the hill and o’er the heath they stray’d,
  A curious form beside the hawthorn laid.
  A silvery white its outer surface shone;
  Its bottom ended in a pointed Cone,
  One inch in length; and in the broader Space
  Was the faint picture of an human face—      820
  Dead to the Eye, but in the hand a Strife
  Of waking Nature shew’d the latent Life.
  “Now tell me, Maiden, from that silver shape,
  What prison’d Beauty shall from hence escape?
  Shall a slow Moth the silvery Prison leave,
  That, when a Worm, she left her food to weave,
  And slowly flutter in the dying day—
  The Schoolboy’s Pleasure and the Swallow’s prey?
  Or shall, with broader Wing and brighter dyes,
  A soaring Creature from her Coffin rise,      830
  Spread to the Morning Sun her glowing Hue
  Hang o’er the honey’d flower and drink the nectar dew?”
    Young Emely the pencil’d figure view’d,      }
  And knew the Image that would soon [protrude],      }
  That she with rapture o’er the Hills pursu’d.      }
  “I know her well,” the infant Beauty cried:
  “The Woodland Glory and the Garden’s pride;
  I see the Colours o’er her form bespread,
  The softned brown, faint green and dusky red,
  And [glowing] eye of [a] bright azure blue      840
  On either [angle] of the Wings I view.
  Beneath, her shading puts all art to Shame;
  Queen of her race she reigns, and Io is her Name.”
    Sometimes the Rock within the Quarry gave
  The Shell that roll’d beneath the Ocean’s wave—
  Shell now no more: a gradual Change came on,
  And the thin Shell became the Solid Stone.
  Yet Shape and Size and Hue and Hinge remain’d,
  And a Stone-fish the rocky Valves contain’d.
  This led to Questions from the curious Mind;      850
  But who shall Answers to these Questions find?
  “Such Wonders are,” replied the Sire; “no more
  I know, my Child; be silent and adore!”
    Oft would the Lass with either Parent go
  And hear the wonted Tales of village woe.
  She saw their bounteous Hand the bliss impart,
  And they the Gladness of her feeling Heart;
  Yet Prudence here the various Tale explain’d,
  The Signs of Grief sincere and Sorrow feign’d.
  Yet here they own’d how much our rules deceive,      860
  And, e’en when wrong, ’tis Kindness to believe.
    By Preachers guided, by her Parents train’d
  The favour’d Beauty Grace and Knowledge gain’d;
  A happy Temper and a Soul sincere,
  A lively Spirit and a Conscience clear,
  A Taste that seem’d instinctively to fly
  The base and mean, were found in Emely.
  Hers was a Beauty every Eye approv’d,
  Hers the meek sweetness that all tempers mov’d.
  The Grave esteem’d her, and the gay and light      870
  Affected Prudence in the Virgin’s sight.
    Thus Good and happy, of her Friends the pride,
  No Wishes hidden and no Wants denied,
  She liv’d serenely, honour’d and belov’d,
  Meek tho’ indulged, and modest tho’ approv’d,
    The Sick, the Poor, the suffering and oppress’d
  Could all the Grandsire’s liberal Soul attest;
  While the more griev’d, disturb[‘d] and doubtful sought
  The Widow’s Aid, a Mind with Wisdom fraught,
  And from the Sister-Spirit found relief      880
  In all the various pangs of mental Grief.
  All this the Virgin saw, and she became
  Kind as the father, prudent as the dame;
  Pleas’d with the Life she liv’d, the Joy she felt,
  The Love she shar’d, and the Delight she dealt.
    Such were the three by liberal fortune plac’d
  Mid all the Good of Life they wish’d to taste;
  And, guarded well by Griefs correcting touch,
  They tasted not too often or too much.

  His Guardian lost, young Julian and his friend      890
    Their rural Sports for graver tasks forsook,
  Pleas’d the same Years in the same place to spend,
    In the same Seat the Students of one book.
    Their tastes alike, like Pleasures they partook;
  For some Events had Julian’s studies stay’d
  And of his younger friend an Equal made.

  There was no bitter Rivalship at heart,
    No Emulation that like Envy burns;
  But what they gain’d they hasten’d to impart,
    The Pupil and the Teacher each in turns;      900
    And each a Wish for selfish Pleasure spurns.
  A bond so strong the youthful friendship tied
  That all but Death to break it they defied.

  When ceas’d the gentle bondage of the Schools,
    To the same College the Companions went;
  Theirs was no Friendship that Experience cools;
    But still together was the Season spent;
    Whether on Study or on Sports intent,
  Each on the other happy to attend,
  He found an Home where’er he found his friend.      910

  Cecil was happy in a taste refin’d,
    Julian in points abstruse his knowledge sought;
  Cecil to classic beauty most inclin’d,
    The Mind of Julian was with Science fraught;
    But each so much from his Companion caught
  That none could here a want of taste detect,
  Nor there of points abstruse appear’d Neglect.


                        [SUSAN AND HER LOVERS.]

  The Miller’s Son, a foolish Boy who ran
  From his dull home, returned a favourite Man;
  And not a Daughter of the Village view’d
  The Handsome Youth, but Wishes would intrude.
  His person all that charms a vacant Eye;
  His Air what vacant Minds are fetter’d by;
  His Song enchanting, and his manners free;
  A dangerous youth in Village Wakes was he!
  To all that Nature gave in form or face
  He added all that Heroes gain of Grace—      10
  Not all that Grace for Stanhope’s self had done,
  But what suffic’d to raise the Miller’s Son;
  To make him first, where many a Youth was seen,
  Th’ accomplish’d Chesterfield of Stanton Green.
    The good old Father blest his lucky Lot
  And all his Darling’s early Sins forgot;
  These “youthful Follies” he was pleas’d to call,
  And fondly prais’d the feasted prodigal.
  He ask’d no Questions: where the youth had gain’d      }
  What pleas’d so many and what some had pain’d;      20}
  He saw not—thought not—if the Soul were stain’d;      }
  Vice was not written on the front, nor where
  Those Locks appeared so carelessly with Care.
  He saw him sprightly, active, ardent, brave,
  Nor found in one so free his passions’ Slave;
  Knew not the daring Wishes he obey’d,
  The Friend deluded and the ruin’d Maid;
  Knew not the Sums the absent Hero spent,
  What means acquir’d them, or for what they went;
  None saw in him, so form’d [midst men] to shine,      30
  The Wretch whom Sin compell’d to herd with Swine.
    Yet in that Person there were some who found
  The hidden Scars of many a former Wound—
  Not gain’d by Valour’s Chance in noble Wars,
  But vulgar Signs and ignominious Scars.
  And there were some, whose hint of grosser kind,
  Or true or false, betray’d the Envious Mind.
    It could not be but Youth so gay and vain
  Should strive the loveliest of her Sex to gain;
  And sure it added Spur to the pursuit,      40
  When the fair prize was called forbidden fruit.
  There are who feel a triumph with the Joy,
  When their Success another’s peace destroy;
  When they Contrition with Desire impart
  And break a Contract, while they win a heart.
  The greatest pleasures that the Vicious know
  From a large mixture of Injustice flow;
  Before the jaded Sinner drinks it up,
  There must be fire and poison in the Cup.
  A mutual pleasure lulls the Wretch to sleep;      50
  He loves th’ Enjoyment, where his Victims weep;
  Who, fond yet wretched, with indignant Eyes
  Spell Rage with Love, and when they bless, despise;
  Who both their Weakness and their Virtue prove,
  And scorn the Lover, while they yield to Love.
    Our Hero in the Army learn’d some Skill,
  Where he had past a kind of twofold Drill:
  First, in the Field, where he for War was train’d,
  And in the Tent, where he Assurance gain’d;
  Knowledge of Life, and Life’s superior Bliss,      60
  And Soldiers’ Comforts in a World like this.
    When first the Youth address’d the Village Maid,
  He but the Impulse of his pride obey’d;
  But when he knew her an affianc’d Bride,
  A rival’s Grief increas’d th’ heroic Pride.

              [_Susan’s first lover Joseph expostulates._]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Then, dear my Susan, let me now advise,      }
  Upon this handsome Soldier shut your eyes!      }
  Nay, shed no more these tears, nay, now suppress these Sighs!      }
  Think not a Tyrant in your Joseph lives;
  More than his Life in giving you he gives,      70
  And yet will give; but oh! let me enquire;
  If he deserve you, he must needs admire.”
  Susan agree’d, but not without a fear;
  And his report was prudent and sincere.
  He could assure her that he would not lie
  To gain the Hand for which he dar’d to die;
  And he was sorry to report the Truth,
  For that was not in Favour of the Youth.
  First, that he drank and lov’d to sit and prate
  At the new Inn upon his Chair of State,      80
  Making the Clowns about him in Surprise
  Stare at improbable and boasting Lies.
  He no Religion in the World profest,
  But made the parson and the Church his jest.
  He talk’d of Women with unworthy Mind,
  As if they all were wickedly inclin’d;
  Spinster or married, he declar’d, not one
  Could his Addresses and Advances shun,
  And all the difference he could ever trace
  Between the Girls in Credit and Disgrace      90
  Was, that the former were demure and tried,
  What their free Sisters never fear’d, to hide.
  “Such are his Manners; such I fear his Life—
  And can he merit Virtue for a Wife?”
    Poor Susan sigh’d; she cried; she did not think
  That Mr Frank was so dispos’d to drink;
  He was intic’d, and that she knew full well,
  By them that lov’d the Stories he could tell—
  Things strange to us indeed upon the Green;
  But they that travel have such wonders seen!      100
  ’Twas very wicked, that must be confest,
  To make Religion and the Church a Jest;
  But wicked Masters, she had heard, discours’d
  Before their Servants and such things enforc’d.
  Young, and in Camp, and looking up to them,
  He might be pardon’d—tho’ she must condemn.
  ’Tis true his vile Opinion of her Sex
  Vex’d her at Heart, but was not [meant] to vex;
  There were such Women, that was true enough,
  And that provok’d the Men to talk such Stuff;      110
  Still, there is too much Licence in his Tongue
  And in his Conduct—but he now is young.

                  *       *       *       *       *

 [_A long passage follows, only very partially legible, ending with the
                           following lines:_]

  ’Tis hard to say what fears and troubles rose
  In Susan’s breast, each other to oppose!
  Absent the Father, Lover, Friend, she fear’d
  For each in turn, and all were more endear’d;
  And much she griev’d, that Men she lov’d so well
  Could not in Comfort with each other dwell.
  Poor Susan then forth hurried, with a Dread
  Of Unknown Evil pending o’er her Head!      120
  ’Twas in a luckless Hour, when Joseph’s Mind
  Was full of Care, he anything but kind;
  When he look’d back upon the Days serene
  That he and Susan had together seen,
  [Ere] this free Soldier his fair Maid address’d
  And broke with Dreams of Bliss the [wonted] rest.
    Yet had he past the Sign, nor turn’d again
  For Speech insulting nor for threat’ning vain,
  Had not the Youth, contemptuous, from the Inn
  Reach’d him, resolv’d a Quarrel to begin:      130
  “Come, stay, my Hero, and determine now
  To whom fair Susan shall engage her Vow!
  Win her and wear her; fight for or decline;
  Begin the battle, or the Bride is mine!”
  “Coxcomb!” said Joseph; and by force he free’d
  His captive Arm and hasten’d to proceed.
  “‘Coxcomb!’” said Francis; “you shall quickly know
  The force and Value of a ‘Coxcomb’s’ blow!”
  “A Ring! a Ring!” for now a gathering Crowd
  Had vulgar and tumultuous Joy avow’d.      140
  “If the Great Cesar had presum’d to Call,
  Him and his Mirmidons—I’d face them all!
  But first I will wipe off this foul Disgrace,
  And bring the Blush of shame upon thy face.”
  And [on] the Instant, as he ceas’d to speak,
  He struck th’ insulted Joseph on the Cheek.
    For Frank was one who Lectures never mist
  On all the glorious Science of the fist,
  Nor wanted Courage for the noble Strife,
  And would have fought for Glory or a Wife.      150
  Here too he saw a Foe who could not boast
  Of more than Courage and plain strength at most;
  “And this,” said he, “the Maiden’s Heart must gain:
  Success and Courage never plead in vain.”
  With open palm he struck, and hasten’d then
  To the warm Conflict of experienc’d Men;
  For he was train’d in both the useful Arts
  Of breaking Heroes’ Ribs and Women’s Hearts.
    Joseph tho’ patient, [now] the blow was dealt
  [Both] coming Shame and rising Vengeance felt.      160
  “Scoundrel!” he cried, and yet for patience strove,
  By Nature form’d for Harmony and Love;
  But, urg’d by Insult of the grossest kind,
  He gave to Vengeance and to War his Mind.
  He knew his Rival’s Strength, his boasted art,
  And saw the soulless Crowd upon his part;
  He wanted Skill, he car’d not for Applause;
  But he had Courage and the better Cause.
    There was one friend of Joseph, one indeed
  Almost unknown and now a friend in need,      170
  With whom nor Time nor Cash he deign’d to spend—
  The Landlord of the Bell was Joseph’s friend.
  But why this Love? for Francis was in Truth,
  His Father witness’d, [an] expensive Youth;
  And all he spent, as all the Green could tell,
  Save short Excursions, all was at the Bell.
  But, when the Landlord would at Night repair
  To the fair Wife and to the favourite Chair,
  He found the Chair wherein he sang and drank
  Still near[er] plac’d, and fill’d by Mr Frank;      180
  And from such Trifle—strange as it appears—
  Harry was harried by an Husband’s fears.
  He wish’d that Joseph by some lucky blow
  Might lay the Hero of the people low;
  It would have pleas’d him to have told his Wife
  How the poor youth had struggled for his life.
  For Harry’s Malice was of fatal kind;
  He had no milky Softness in his Mind;
  His Love and Favour from his Hatred rose;
  His Friend was help’d, his Rival to oppose.      190
    Muse of my Choice and Mistress of my Time,
  Who leav’st the gay, the grand, and the sublime—
  These who without an Atmosphere are known,
  And paintest Creatures just as they are shown:
  Say, can’st thou ken the Science of the Fist
  And know the Language of the Pugilist?
  Not so, alas! What Glory had we found,
  Could’st thou have sweetly sung of every Round?
  Well! but we saw, and briefly can declare,
  The Blows’ Effect, if not what Blows they were.      200
  First, strong in Ale and Anger Frank appear’d,
  Already Conqueror by the Rabble cheer’d;
  Who, when the weaker Man is driv’n about
  And Soul and Body hurt, insulting shout;
  When the elated Victor stares around,
  His Ears are tickled with th’ applauding sound;
  [While] the poor Wretch who sobs upon the Earth
  Hears the unfeeling Rabble’s mad’ning Mirth.
    But Joseph, patient and with patience strong,
  Felt not the Insult, nor perceiv’d it long.      210
  Warm’d in the war, the clamour he disdain’d,
  And half the Victory by his Temper gain’d.
  He saw the rage of youth; he saw the pride,
  And felt that both would lessen or subside;
  His Tendons stiff grew pliant by the use
  That relaxation in the young produce;
  And, when he grew more eager for the fight,
  It did not yield his Rival such delight.
  When he could bravely in the Action mix,
  He backward drew with scientific Tricks,      220
  And watched and waited, till in Harry’s face
  He saw a Smile betok’ning his Disgrace.
    And now had Victory crown’d the juster Cause,
  And patient Virtue gain’d the fond Applause—
  For even Virtue when it meets Success
  Will Crowds Applaud, altho’ they love it less.
  A Round was over, and our Soldier found
  No Inclination for another Round;
  But Shame compell’d and Hatred, and he flew
  To end his work, and was successful too.      230
  By one dread blow on his unguarded Side
  Poor Joseph fell, and, “he is gone,” they cry’d.
  “Foul and dishonest!” said the Friends of Truth;
  “Lawful and fair!” th’ Abettors of the Youth.
  Or fair or foul, the now unhappy Man
  Was lost, and the victorious Champion ran,
  He knew not where, the army in his Sight,
  And Susan fond companion of his flight.
    Just to his Wish and in his Way, the Maid
  Was with her friend dejected and afraid;      240
  Sad her Conjectures, and she hasten’d on
  Till Strength and Life and Thought and Hope were gone.
  A fallen Tree receiv’d her, and she wept,
  Till Nature fainted and Sensation slept.—
  “Arise, my Charmer, Mistress of my Heart;
  Share in my Joy, and never will we part!
  Thine old pretender has presum’d to try
  Our right in Battle—we awhile must fly.
  Come then, my Beauty; and to-morrow’s Sun,
  That shews thee lovely, shall behold us one.”      250
    Affrighted Susan heard th’ imperfect boast;
  “And Joseph dead?”—“Disabled, love, at most.
  But, tho’ no Laws could my fair Deeds condemn,
  Their Laws have agents, and I fly from them.
  The Man will live, but he demands his Bed,
  And thy kind Father will support his Head;
  [Meanwhile], sweet Susan, shall thy Charms repose
  In Arms destructive only to our foes.”
    “Injur’d and dying!” said the Maid, “and I
  Th’ accursed Cause! Go, Man of Terror, fly!      260
  I dream’d of one like thee, but he was kind
  And did no Murder! Go, thy Safety find!
  Where is my Father?” and, of Soul bereft,
  She rose and sought the Cottage she had left.
  In vain the Youth intreated—vainly tried
  Alarm; his Words rejected or despised.
  Yet still he follow’d, but at Distance saw
  The Father’s Cot that forc’d him to withdraw.
    Borne to his Bed, th’ unhappy Joseph found
  The wounded Mind inflam’d his Body’s wound;      270
  Deeply he griev’d to think a Youth so vile
  And so deprav’d must win his Susan’s smile;
  [That] this vindictive Stroke should Victory gain
  And all his Hope and Courage be in vain!
  “And is it then a World where none can trust
  On Truth and Virtue—’tis a World unjust!”
  Sorely he griev’d, till Sleep a short suspense
  Gave to his Sorrow and overcame the Sense.
  E’en in his Dream he saw his Rival blest
  With the false Maid, and anguish broke his rest—      280
  Anguish no more, for watchful at his bed
  He saw the Maid, by genuine pity led.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  ’Twas fond Esteem! and that immoral boy
  She now despis’d and his accursed Joy.
  [Ere] yet the wicked Vengeance she was told,
  The vile Avenger she could ill behold,
  And, as he urg’d his prayer, indignant grew,
  And all her fondness [and her faith] withdrew.
  Joseph she saw, his Virtues and his Worth,
  And Love from grateful Sorrow took his Birth.      290
  He had her pity, her Esteem, before,
  When he was glad—he suffer’d, and had more;
  Nor Groan escap’d him, but it touch’d the Maid,
  Who, as he did not, would herself upbraid.
  Advis’d, the Father, when he saw her Care,
  Forbore to urge her and agreed to spare;
  And the sick-room was made a mild retreat
  For rising Hope and opening Love to meet.
  Then Joseph told her he could yet forgive,
  Would Frank reform, and they in joy might live;      300
  While he—“Oh! speak not!” [quickly] she replied,
  “Thine will I be, and that will be my pride!
  It was a foolish Thought, a Fancy fled,
  A Dream dissolv’d—the very wish is dead.
  I thought that all things yielded to my Youth,
  And follow’d Fancy till she fled from Truth;
  Now I behold thee virtuous, as thou art,
  Nor yield Esteem more freely than my Heart,
  And him the worthless being he appears,
  Taught to create our Terrors and our tears.”      310


                            CAPTAIN GODFREY.

  Musing, he said—“So rich, and so addressed,
  What can I hope? be, foolish heart, at rest!
  Here fate has brought me—now, suppose I write,
  If but my Name, and leave it for her sight?”
  That instant sank the moon, and Godfrey cried:
  “So perish all my Views!” and deeply sighed;
  Then, with heroic Motion striding far
  And Voice of Valour—“Let us to the War!”
  But, as he sighed, he heard approaching feet
  Behind those trees so shady and so sweet;      10
  Then, dimly seen, came on with Motion slow
  That pair whose Hearts he most desired to know.
  The Lady’s Accent he remembered well;
  The Lover’s Name his Rival’s fears could spell.
  He shrank, disordered, to his hiding place;
  To be detected was for life disgrace.
  The best, the wisest, method he could take
  Was, undisguised, a safe retreat to make;
  But some mix’d Motives, not defin’d with Ease,
  Led [him] behind the Phalanx of the trees.—      20
  But who will pardon to an act extend
  So full of Fear, so doubtful in the End?—
  Cautious he stood, this Hand upon the Sword
  That on his Heart, and listened to each Word.
  Yes, you are good, and have in this complied;
  Be kinder yet, and now my Fate decide!
  Thought I, that months, nay years, attending still
  Could soften that dear Heart or lead that will,
  Thro’ many an arduous Month and many a year
  I would attend, adore, and persevere;      30
  But thou, tho’ gentlest of the gentle Kind,
  Hast with the frankest heart the firmest Mind;
  Tho’ with that firmness true Compassion lives,
  And thy Heart murmurs at the Grief it gives.
  Then, when I view thee so unmov’d tho’ mild,
  Gentle yet just, my Judgment is beguil’d.
  Oh! could I see thee angry and, when teiz’d,
  Mov’d to resent—now sooth’d, and now displeas’d—
  I should have hope; for, as thy Anger rose,
  The Grief it caused thy Pity would compose.      40
  Could I a weakness in thy Heart discern,
  Love there might enter and enjoy his turn;
  But, tho’ I seek thee early, leave thee late,      }
  And all day long upon thy pleasure wait,      }
  I find thee firm as Truth and fixed as Fate.      }
  Yet, what forbids? my years beyond thy own      }
  Are few, nor these in peevish Manners shewn;      }
  My Title, fortune, friends and family are known.      }
  These are not much; but I have more than these;
  Sure, love like mine and faithfulness might please.      50
  Our Thoughts in all their Views appear to strike
  On the same Chords, and we have tastes alike—
  And shall we here alone the difference prove,
  And there be no Similitude in Love?
    “Would’st thou thy Sister call to Life, O take
  My Heart instead and what shall please thee make!
  If Time, Entreaty and thy friends, incline
  That Heart to love, I could insure thee mine;
  But, if that Heart have purpose fix’d and sure,
  And I must Coldness tho’ not scorn endure;      60
  If something tell thee, ‘Heed not Fancy’s tale
  Nor let her Visions o’er my Truth prevail’;
  If that dread something, call it what you will,
  Oppose me strongly and oppose me still:
  Be like thyself, be candid, and impart
  Thyself the Tidings to a doubtful Heart;
  If Bliss await him, make thy Lover blest;
  If not, oh, give these doubts and Terrors rest!”
    “It grieves me much,” replied the gentle Maid,
  While Godfrey listened, of each Word afraid,      70
  That I am urged those Motives to explain
  Which safe Experience bids the Sex retain.
  What would my Friend? hast thou a Right to see
  The Heart’s fond folly, scarcely known to me?
  Say, is it friendly, is it kind to trace      }
  The tender failings of an erring race,      }
  In whom the faintest Speck is held Disgrace?      }
  ’Tis true I cannot with thy wish comply;
  But is it right that I should tell thee why,
  And to thy harder Sex make failings known      80
  That I conceal with Caution from my own?
    “Then [hear]—and know I own thee for a friend;
  And my Confession thy Suspense shall end.
  Know then, I cannot from my breast expel
  A strong Impression fated there to dwell;
  Time but confirms it, and the pain it brings
  Proves that it lives, for it has life that stings.
  Ere yet my Father knew this Load of Wealth,
  And my lov’d Sisters shar’d my Views in Health,
  A Youth addressed me—I prefer’d him then;      90
  But I was warn’d of the Designs of Men.
  His Views in Life were humble, he confest;
  But this * * *, nor could it be suppress’d.
  In him ’twas policy to win the Truth;
  And then I fear’d the fickle Soul of Youth.
  Yet, [though] rejected, he was ever near,
  And uninvited—let me own it, dear!
  My parents doubted; I was urged to prove
  The Heart I valued, [ere] I own’d the love.
  My Sister only was his friend; she knew—      100
  So love persuades—that one so brave was true;
  For he was brave and had in battle shown
  That War and Danger had familiar grown.
  An Hero’s favourite Nymph the poet sings,
  But Heroes’ Widows are neglected Things.—
  Thus, while Affection shone with Fear, an Hour
  Arrived to prove his patience and my power.
  For an offence so trifling, that one day
  Had swept the memory of the Crime away,
  In spleen, in spite, in folly I reprov’d      110
  And banish’d from my Sight the Man I lov’d!
  [His] purpos’d visit in the morn I knew,
  And bore in mind my purpos’d pardon too.
  ‘’Tis a last trial,’ to my Heart I said;
  ‘When [he returns], thy Will shall be obey’d.’
  Ah! my kind Friend, remember, in thy Woes,
  No Self-reproach forbids thy Soul repose!
  But I detain thee; would I had detain’d
  The Man my Folly, but not solely, pain’d!
  Ere that return a sudden order bore      120
  My Godfrey hence, and he return’d no more.
  Dear Suffering Youth, forgive me; I lament      }
  A Man to Misery by my Humour sent;      }
  Doomed to rude War, sore Wounds, and long Imprisonment!      }
  How has he curs’d the fickle Mind! how long
  Brooded in Anguish o’er the causeless Wrong!
  * * *—or now perhaps a foreign Grave
  Holds one so dear, so tender and so brave!
  Nay, give thy Pardon; did’st thou not implore
  The frank Confession? I will add no more.      130
  Choose thou a virgin Heart, nor now behold
  This face of Calmness with a bosom cold—
  Cold to new Love and, while my Life shall last,
  Hopeless of Joy and dwelling in the past!
  Tho’ he returns not, justice bids me fly
  Thy prayer; thy Hand ’tis Honour to deny;
  And oh! if yet I might my Visions trust,
  And he returns, Love, tell me to be just!”


                        THE AMOURS OF G[EORGE].

  “Brother, what tho’ thy mind is strong,
  And thou art classed the wise among,
  Yet in thy earlier Life did’st thou
  To Love’s imperious Godhead bow,
  And [worshipp’dst] ardently in Truth
  The Idol of thy giddy youth.”
    _G._ “I read Romances, Joseph, then,
  And wrote with a poetic Pen;
  I chose in lonely walks to tread,
  And held my Converse with the Dead.      10
  I built me Castles rich and fair,
  And shut in Wealth and Virtue there,
  With Bliss that nowhere else will grow,
  And Fame not realized below,
  And power that none should dare contest,
  And Beauty none beside possess’d;
  With all that Fancy ever gave
  To Man who would his Miseries brave.
  My Form was slender; I was tall,
  And awkward were my Motions all;      20
  Nor was a Form indebted less
  To Fashion, Manner, Grace or Dress.
  This Form was not for Love designed,
  But he intirely ruled the Mind;
  And, as I felt that I should prove
  A most obedient Slave to Love,
  So did I judge that he should be
  A most propitious God to me:
  To give to me the gentlest Heart
  That ever felt his keenest Dart,      30
  Or that inspired the sweetest Look,
  Or kindly in the features spoke.
    “Possessed of Fancies vain and proud
  I spurned the male and female Crowd,
  And hoped in some auspicious Hour
  In some May Morn, in some green Bower,
  Where I should soothe my dream of Grief,
  To meet the Lady of the Leaf;
  Her Love and Favour to implore
  And be her Knight for evermore.      40
  But let me raise my Style, and tell
  What in my Vision me befell.
    “One day I mus’d beside a Wood,
  As I had often done before,
  And [seemed] so rich and brave and good
  As never Man was made before.
  A green Inclosure was beside,
  And, not far distant on the Hill,
  A noble Seat, our County’s Pride,
  Built with abundant Care and Skill;      50
  And thence had issued Ladies fair
  And walked within the Place below,
  But the green Wood conceal’d the pair
  From me, who walking felt the Glow
  Of all the Vanity and pride
  That push’d the intruding World aside.
  And now, while thus enwrap’d and fed
  With thoughts that self indulgence bred,
  I heard a Shriek so long and loud
  That prov’d the Shriekers were not proud,      60
  But would accept the meanest Aid
  That ever succour’d folk afraid.
    “For so it was: that pair divine
  Were met by some rebellious Kine,
  Who, in their stubborn Pride and Scorn,
  With surly Hoof and threat’ning Horn
  Usurp’d the Path, and, as the Maids
  Drew near, and [would have] sought its Shades,
  [Ere] they could reach the guarding Wood,
  Some surly Beast their Way withstood.      70
  And hence the dismal Shriek that drew
  My Eyes, and asked my Action too;
  As Justness prompted, forth I ran
  Resolv’d to show myself a Man;
  And, plucking forth an oaken Bough,
  I ran like Guy to fight the Cow,
  And, like a valiant Champion, fixed
  Myself the Maids and Cows betwixt.
  And, tho’ I had not breath to say,
  ‘Run, Ladies, for the Stile away!’      80
  Yet doubtless, with a warlike Grace,
  My hand was pointed to the Place.
    “The Ladies took me at my Word,
  And each flew lightly like a Bird.
  I now had time my thoughts t’ arrange
  And should have liked my place to change;
  For now the Creatures seemed disposed
  For Battle, and in Order closed;
  And, tho’ they halted, yet I found
  My feet upon precarious Ground;      90
  And yet, to turn me and retreat
  Was not alone to own Defeat,
  But to invite th’ encouraged Foe
  To fell pursuit and overthrow.
    “The Ladies, who had pass’d the Stile,
  Looked on impatiently the while;
  And were amazed, for so they said,
  To see the horrid Cows afraid,
  And kept in coward fear by one
  Who had for them such Service done.      100
    “Which had the Victory, Man or Cow,
  Can never be determined now.
  For lo! some amazons appear’d,
  Resolv’d to milk the stubborn Herd;
  Who, as they now obedient grew,
  Left me my purpose to pursue—
  A purpose that I could not well
  Distinguish, nor can fairly tell.
    “The [quicker] Nymph with gracious Smile
  Received me safe beyond the Stile;      110
  Where I had time to feast my Eyes
  On paradise and prodigies—
  Charms, such as Nature once creates,
  Then breaks the Mould (the Lover states).
  But this, dear Joseph, was a Face
  I could not from my fancy chase,
  Was more than I had dreamed, was more      }
  Than Fancy drew for me before,      }
  And bade me my own Work adore.      }
  But let me not on Beauty dwell:      120
  The trace became indelible.”


                   [FRAGMENTS OF TALES OF THE HALL.]

  “Are there not some things, B[rother], that will seem
  Like very Truth and yet like very dream;
  That we are ever at a Loss to find,
  Are they of fact or are they of the mind?”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Again a walk, dear R[ichard,] and so long?
  Would not M[atilda] tell you, it is wrong,
  That she so little of the Man behold,
  The Slave rebellious or the Lover cold?
  Where hast thou wandered?”—
                          “I describe but ill.
  When past the Park, I made for Depford Mill.      10
  Stopt by the Brook, I turned and slowly went
  One Mile, I think, upon a smooth Ascent.
  There, on that Hill, where clumps of Fir and pine
  So bound the Land that they may pass for thine,
  As Thy Plantations on the other Side
  Give to the Neighbours something of their Pride—
  There, as I stood and viewed the empty Hall
  And the small Church, remarked as very small,
  A sound, not ringing, but from bells a pair,
  Hanged between Turrets in the open Air,      20
  Called my Attention to the House; and then
  I saw there passing and thence coming Men.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Then first that Village wore a cheerful Air,
  Not like the noisy Concourse of its Fair;
  But I distinguished plainly, with my Glass,
  Another people thro’ the Gardens pass.
  In fact, there seemed a joy diffused around,
  As if some long-lost blessing had been found;
  And I could judge by both their dress and air
  There went some pains to form that gentle pair.      30
  You will have Neighbours; nay, perhaps you know
  To whom that—Blessing, shall I say?—you owe.—

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    “Nay, B[rother], I must leave      }
  The Place I love; but, going, I must grieve.”—      }
  “True, my dear R[ichard]—but I ask reprieve;      }
  Speak gentle words, and you shall hear a Tale
  Of the new pair who came to Ashford Dale.”

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Small was their Garden, and they wished to grow
  All that a Gardening Swain could set or sow;
  And in that Soil the produce grew so tall      40
  About the Path and Porch, the Door and Wall;
  The Children crept the stately plants between,
  And only Mary’s snow-white Cap was seen—
  When the low door was opened, and the Dame
  From her small Parlor to her Garden came,
  To see if John was coming from the Farm;      }
  To hear the Village Scholars’ glad Alarm,      }
  And to behold the Bees, if clustering for the Swarm.      }
  Such were the daily Cares in Mary’s life,
  The easiest Mother and the happiest Wife.      50


                           TRAGIC TALES, WHY?

  “I have observed,” said Richard, “when I ask
  Of those around us, and your memory task
  For their Adventures and their Lives, what fate,
  How tragic most the Stories you relate.
  Is it that most are wretched, or have we
  The evil fate to live with Misery?”—
    “Not so perhaps, but Men of common Lives,
  Who live contented with themselves and Wives,
  Afford no Subject for the Muse than Mirth.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  “Their [lowly] comforts, or a day’s delight,      10
  Do not afford [us] matter when we write;
  [Though] all the strange prodigious things they do
  Are such as move them and are tragic too.
  Amusements, pleasures, comforts, days of Joy,
  May a Man’s Mind, but not his Muse, employ;
  Marriage and Births of Heirs are pleasant things,
  But seldom help a poet when he sings.
  A Day of Hunting, fishing, shooting, these—
  Music and Dancing, Cards and fiddles—please;
  And wealth acquired or wealth bequeathed impart,      20
  More than they ought, rejoicing to the Heart.
  But these, though Man might for his Comforts choose,
  Can give no Inspiration to his Muse.
  But, my dear Richard, when this transient Joy
  Some sudden Ills and dire Events destroy;
  When the fond wife [or] faithful husband [dies]—
  Fate unforseen!—when Wealth takes wings and [flies];
  When by Deceit a Maiden’s peace is lost;
  When tender Love by cruel fate is crost;
  When groaning Poverty and fell Disease      30
  Upon the happy and the wealthy seize,
  And when on Man’s soft Heart these Evils press:
  The awakened Poet paints the due Distress;
  Tells how it came, and presses on the Mind
  That we are Men, and of the suffering Kind.
  We own the grieving and opprest as Friends;      }
  The Mind enlarges as its Grief extends;      }
  And Grief that’s painted true improves the Heart it rends.”      }

                  *       *       *       *       *


                        [ROBERT AND CATHARINE.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Time and mild Laws to Robert freedom gave;
  And now the Man resolv’d his Cash to save,
  If Cash were his; and Catharine felt delight
  To see her Cousin in a decent plight;
  And now, contracted, they resolved for Life
  To join their Fortune to be Man and Wife.
  With more than wonted Courage Catharine sought
  For Robert’s Pardon, and at length she brought.
  Henceforth a mighty Change in him began:
  He was [a] sober, saving, serious Man;      10
  He lived to save, and had a friend to prove
  What pains he took to win his Uncle’s Love;
  Till the old Man for Fact the Tales received,
  And all that once opposed Belief believed.
  The Nephew now increased his humble Store,
  And saved as fondly as he spent before;
  Yet would he purchase [savoury] things and sweet
  That his dear Uncle would vouchsafe to eat.
  “Some seaman gave them”—that was what he told,
  And not that some confectioner had sold.      20
  No doubt the fact had caused his Uncle pain,
  And he perhaps had sold the Sweets again.
  But he was grateful, and began to speak
  Of Women harshly: they were vain and weak,
  Not skill’d to manage in the great Concern
  Of saving Cash, and not disposed to learn.
  This Catharine heard not or, if aught she heard,
  Of Man’s superior Mind she nothing feared;
  But to her Uncle paid the Service due,
  Nor thought of Giving, but was kind and true.      30
  She now conceived their wish they might declare,
  But Robert dared not, begg’d her not to dare!
  She saw their dear good Kinsman every day      }
  Wasting in Flesh, and soon must waste away;      }
  And then would all be Well! well paid for their Delay!      }
  She, gentle Girl, though loth, yet acquiesc’d;
  It pleased her Cousin, and it might be best.
  Yet, as he often came and talk’d at Ease,
  She judged it right; but, “Cousin, as you please!”
  And now between them and their Wishes rose      40
  The old Man’s Life—that only—to oppose
  The purposed Union; and that Bar between      }
  Was now removed, as we remove a Screen      }
  From what we would not see, or would should not be seen.      }
  Death was announced; and buried was the Dead,
  Relations summon’d, and the Will was read—
  Brief but yet clear—Some trifles to some few;
  To the dear Niece—in fact, a Trifle too.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Look at that Cottage and its only door:
  ’Tis poor without, within exceeding poor.      50
  Now cast your Eye to yonder splendid scene;
  Contrasted see the Prospects proud and mean!
  In that proud Seat dwells Robert; in yon Cot
  Catharine sits, knitting.—Such the Cousins’ lot.


                              DAVID JONES.

  Shall I not bid to David Jones adieu—
  He who had sail’d with [Anson’s] hardy Crew;
  He who had been about the world and found,
  On his [protested] word, it was not round!
  “’Tis all like England, every earthly Spot;
  The Days are short and long, and cold and hot.
  So they are here! Of all that I could trace
  Are, just like us, a little darker race;
  But striving all, by measures foul and fair,
  To get our Nails, for Nails are many there.      10
  They tipple grog; they love their dance and feasts,
  And are taboo’d and terrified by priests.
  Civil enough, when nothing thwarts their Will,
  But very Devils when you use them ill;
  Vain like ourselves and very fond of praise,
  Proud of their lands, and [their peculiar ways].
  They have no money, but they change their Hams
  And the whole Pig for * * * and yams;
  There are some honest, as I may believe;
  But all I saw have a delight to thieve.      20
  So should we feel—at least ’tis my Belief—
  If we had not our Law to hang a Thief.
  They go to War like us, their Queens and Kings—
  And, just like us, for mighty trivial things.
  There is a difference in our Ways[, ’tis true];
  But Men are Men and Women Women too.
  As far as I could see into their Hearts,
  They act, as we do, well and ill their parts;
  And we must think, the more of [man] we see,
  That he is not the thing he ought to be;      30
  But, go where’er you will, you’ll ever find
  Man is a selfish and a sinful kind.”

  So David thought, when he was stout and stern
  And had his Pittance by his toil to earn.
  On my return a pensioned man I found,
  For a [lost leg] and many a grievous Wound.
  Grateful he was and good, and loved to sing,
  “Rule, Rule Brittania!” and “God save the King!”

                  *       *       *       *       *


                          THE DESERTED FAMILY.

  It is the Evening of the brightest Day
  The Year can boast; it is the last of May.
  On my right Hand the Ocean fills the Eye,
  Far on the East there, till it meets the Sky;
  Westward, a Range of lofty Hills is seen;
  A Farm’s large Lands and Mansion lie between—
  A lonely Mansion. From the nearest Town
  The Evening Bell comes faintly floating down;
  While the vast Ocean rolls its Waves so near,
  The fallen Billow strikes the listless Ear.      10
  Before the Mansion, and extended wide,
  A level Green appears on either Side;
  Which, though so lovely it must seem to all,
  Some would a Lawn and some a Meadow call:
    On that same Green and gazing at the tide
  A Lady stands, her Children at her Side;
  Save yon light Boy, who tries with restless Zeal      }
  His Mother’s Spirit of its Wounds to heal,      }
  And make her love that life which ’tis his Joy to feel;      }
  When the sad Lady some poor Effort makes,      20
  And a faint Smile repays the Pains he takes.
    To these comes One, and see! he comes with speed
  And cries, “No further on your Way proceed!
  No further, dear Matilda, must you go,
  To muse in secret and indulge your Woe.
  Pride of my Life, but Grief as well as Pride,
  Why will you thus in Wretchedness abide?
  Why in these Scenes of Solitude delight?
  It may be soothing, but cannot be right.”
    Thus spake the Squire; for he was vext to find      30
  His Sister sad; for all he meant was kind.
  Yet this he added—“I will not believe
  In thy Religion, if I see thee grieve.
  Of that Religion hast thou not enough
  To baffle Grief and make thee Sorrow-Proof?
  Hast thou not said, that all Mankind endure
  Finds in their Faith a Comfort or a Cure?
  I know thy Prayers are offered day by day,
  And yet thy Griefs will obstinately stay,
  To war with Grace—Come, take a chearful View      40
  Of Life, and think its Pleasures are thy due!
    “Why mourn an Husband, were he good, so long?
  But One like thine! ’Tis desperately wrong!
  One who deceived thee, whom we should despise
  A Wretch, all Falsehood, Treachery and Disguise!
    “Nay, my Matilda, let me not offend:
  Would’st have thy Brother be a Villain’s Friend?
  A vile, false, flattering Scoundrel—nay, but how
  Can you thus grieve? I’m speaking kindly now—
  A base deceiver, studied to betray;      50
  But, come! he’s gone, and I’ve no more to say.”
    Pensive and silent, passive in her Woe,
  She went with him, though indisposed to go;
  And to the loud Reproof and threat’ning tone
  She school’d her Heart, and said, “I’ll grieve alone.”
    When near their Home, again the Brother cried:
  “Come let thy Griefs be still, thine Eyes be dried!
  Here Captain Gale, the May’r too from the Town,
  And both their Wives and Children, are come down;
  Do let them see, an English Woman’s heart      60
  Forbears to take a foreign Scoundrel’s Part!”
    Patient and firm, the gentle Dame obey’d.
  “He was not foreign,” that alone she said,
  And that he heard not.—Then the hours were spent
  In small discourse and petty merriment—
  Such as the Men with little Minds admire;
  Such as became the May’r and pleased the Squire;
  Such as the Mayor’s and the Captain’s Wife
  Could best display and picture to the Life—
  All the small Scandal of a Place so small      70
  That we might wonder whence arose it all;
  With Borough-Business of such high Concern,
  That poor Matilda was compell’d to learn
  What Honours fell upon their Heads, and how
  The worthy Burgess took the Member’s Bow,
  And how returned, and what a joyous Look
  His face discover’d, when their hands they shook.
    The Brother, grieving for the patient Grief
  Of the fair Mourner, strove for her Relief;
  And, finding Wrath disturbed her gentle Breast,      80
  In gentler Tone his Love and Care exprest.
    “’Tis now five Years, and this about the day,
  Since the Bellair was wreckt in Liddel-Bay;
  When Fredrick came a Sufferer to our Home,
  As for our Sins destroying Angels come.
  He came alone, in Misery, to our Care;
  Then fled the Home and left the Misery there.
    “Nay, Sister, be not thus to Anguish wrought;
  I only try to think—what can be thought.
    “All seemed so fair: he no Pretences made,      90
  Was poor, and owned it—that could not persuade;
  His Temper gay, his Mind without a Cloud,      }
  Of Honour and his Country justly proud.      }
  No Fear, no Mask—this all must be allow’d;      }
  And yet, he left us.—Sister, I must go,
  To seek this Angel-Dæmon, Friend and Foe.”
    The gentle Mourner for a while appeared
  Absorbed in thought; her Brother’s Words she feared,
  His Love she owned; she thanked him from her Soul,
  But begged he would these angry thoughts controul.      100
  “You must not meet,” she said, with deep-drawn Sigh
  And flowing Tears—“you must not, nor must I.”
    There was a Pause; but Richard could not hide
  The rising Anger or the wounded Pride.
    “Ask me not, Sister, while Your Wrong is mine,
  To bear a Blow and like a Dog to whine!
  But, if I could my Sense of Wrong subdue,
  I must revenge an Insult offered you.
  Let him for all account, for all repent,
  For all atone; and then I may relent.      110
  Him I must seek; for never Man of Sense
  Can live in all this horrible Suspense.
  Him must I seek.”—
                  “Nay Richard, Brother, Friend!
  Grieve not thy Sister, whom thou wouldst defend!
  War not with Death or Sorrow; what I crave
  Is Peace on Earth. O war not with the Grave!
  Let all that Death can touch untroubled lie,
  And who would strive with that which cannot die!”—
    “Is he no more?”—
                  “’Tis painful to reply.
  To us he is; and let the Subject die!      120
  For, if he lives, he suffers, and he feels
  The Pangs that Death concludes—at least conceals.”
    “I know not this; or, grant repentance true,
  I still am wronged[, and] Vengeance is my due.
  You may forgive your Husband, if you can;
  But I must wreak my Vengeance on the Man.
  You had refused him; but for my Request
  That thought disturbs me. Hence I cannot rest.
  True, he was handsome; all that Women love
  In Air and Manner, all that Men approve      130
  In Sense and Courage; yet, before he fled,
  The better Spirit of the Man was dead.
  You saw he grieved and moped alone about;
  The Date of Virtue, Love and Peace was out;
  He for a Man of Worth awhile was known,
  And then the Devil came to claim his own.”—
  “No more, my Brother! I must now prepare
  The one sad Secret of my Soul to share;
  To make my mystic Fortune understood,
  And keep thee free from peril and from blood.—      140
  But I must bind thee, Richard; thou must keep
  The Peace, and let thy strong Resentment sleep!”
  He gave Assent.
                “To know my present State,
  I must a Portion of the past relate.
  Remember you, before my Fred’rick’s flight,
  How anxious grew that Spirit once so light?
  You laught at this—”
                    “’Tis true; for I supposed
  The Man was hypped, and Wine and Mirth proposed;
  For I had some Misgiving, and could trace
  The Marks that Mystics term the Signs of Grace.      150
  Then, was it so? Alas! ere yet he fled,
  I saw that something in his Mind had bred.
  But yet I spoke not, thinking every Day
  Life’s common Cares would wear the gloom away;
  Indeed, I jested; for your Husband’s Style
  And his sad look would often cause a smile.
  But now proceed!”—
                  “You recollect the Praise
  You gave that Spirit in our early Days.
  From a light Heart we said those Spirits rise;
  ’Tis Virtue sparkles in those brilliant Eyes;      160
  That Mirth arises from the Soul’s Content,
  And all is Gay, for all is innocent.
  But oh, my Brother! I had Cause to fear      }
  That all within that Heart did not appear;      }
  Frank as he ever seemed, he was not now sincere.      }
  His Sleep was troubled; in the solemn Night
  He woke in Terror and demanded Light.
  He then some Guilt with fearful Haste Avow’d,
  And bade his Silent Wife not speak so loud.
  Yet was he cautious, and his Words were weighed      170}
  With fretful Care, like One who seems afraid      }
  By his own speech his Crime should be betrayed.      }
  Temperate before, he now would often fly      }
  To Wine for Aid, that treacherous Ally      }
  That undermines the Strength it should supply;      }
  That, like to Money borrowed in Distress,
  Seems to increase our Power, but makes it less.—
  All this I saw, not hopeless; I believed
  A Man, awakened, for his Error grieved;
  His seemed to me the Salutary Storm      180
  That shakes the Soul it will at Length reform.
    “I spoke in Love and Pity, ‘Let us Pray!’
  Wherefore he cried, and turned Alarmed away.
  This I had known: the new Awaken’d hide
  Their Fears from Man—it is false Nature’s Pride—
  But Hope still whispered, ‘Ease will follow Pain;
  The broken Heart will soon be healed again.’
  Nor knew I yet there was the Part unsound;
  Untouched, unseen, the ever rankling Wound!
    “Yet more distressed he grew; and then I cried,      190
  ‘Go to the Priest and take him for thy Guide!’
  But Frederick’s Grief was not the transient Rage
  Of Clouds that Winds collect and Rains asswage;
  But still more Dark the mental Prospect grew,
  And weary Hope could not her smile renew.
    “Alas! I erred; I knew not that the Sin
  Of my poor Frederick rankled yet within,
  Nor granted Rest; but all his Crime had gained,
  What Sin had purchased, that with him remained.
  I saw his Self-reproach, and I could View      200
  Through all his Care his Self-denial too.
  He wants, I said, some meek religious Guide,
  And is forbid to seek him by his Pride.
  In fact, my Husband had ere this address’d      }
  A meek good priest; he had in part confest      }
  His bosom’s wound, but had in part supprest.      }
    “I urged my Love.—‘Thy Love shall I requite
  With endless Suffering?’ I maintain’d my Right
  To what he said—the Right that Martyrs have
  To lingering Torture and an early Grave.      210
    “‘Would I had yet,’ he said, ‘myself restrained,
  And not this knowledge with this Evil gained!
  Go to the Priest, thou said’st; and I receive
  My Sight of Sin; I tremble and believe.
  Why should I go to hear that warning Voice?
  Let them attend who hearing can rejoice;
  Let them exult who feel that all is well!
  Why talk of Heavens to a Child of Hell?
  Thy tender Sins are nipt and gently die
  Without a Pang, like Girls in Infancy;      220
  My Crimes are strong, and ’tis a dreadful Part
  At once to tear them from the wounded heart.
  Nor that the worst! I know the mighty Cost
  Of my dear Sin: or that or Heav’n is lost—
  And Heav’n is lost. That Sin, if Sin it be,      }
  Clings to the Soul, that never can be free;      }
  I cannot lose thee, Love, and thou art Sin to me.’”      }
    “Oh, my poor Sister,” Richard said, in Haste;
  “What a strange Fancy has the Man embraced!
  He wished to please thee and thy Way to take,      230
  And lost his Reason for Matilda’s sake.
  Puzzled and vext, he heard, he pray’d, he read,
  Love in his Heart and Frenzy in his Head;
  Led, as I doubt not Mystics always lead,
  Their Flocks; no Wonder Frenzy should succeed!
  But, when so sound a Mind is wrecked, we feel
  Pity and Wrath and Curse the mad’ning Zeal.
  Strange that a Man, from all Delusion free
  And all Conceit, should not the Folly see!”—
    “No, my dear Richard; Facts I now must state      240
  A different Cause assign and different Fate
  Describe: ’tis true that he was sore afraid
  And, pierced by Sorrows, to his Maker prayed;
  True that, by Guilt as well as Grief oppressed,
  He asked for Mercy as he longed for Rest;
  But his true Reason was an inward Sense
  And a deep feeling of his own Offence.
    “See, my dear Brother, when his restless Mind
  Urged him to leave us, what he left behind.
  Thus wrote th’ unhappy Man before he fled;      250
  Read thou, and judge my feelings as I read!
  Then will you learn why thus, from day to day,
  Hopeless I grieve and weep my Hours away.
  My Boy afflicts me, when he dares not ask,
  Where is he gone, and sees I wear a Mask.
  He reads my Looks; he saddens at my Sigh,
  And fears alike my Silence and Reply.
  My Girl, yet younger, wonders at my Woes
  And seems to question whence the Grief arose.
  The very Infant takes a solemn tone      260
  Of silent woe [nor] lets me grieve alone.
  But why is Sorrow wordy? Now receive
  What he relates, nor wonder that I grieve.”—

  “Bear Witness, Heav’n and all the Powers above,
    Ye who in boundless, endless Glory dwell:
  It is with breaking Heart I speak of Love,
    For I must bid to Love and Hope farewell.

  “I came to thee, when thou wert all content,
    Loving and loved, a Creature half-divine;
  I came, a Robber for thy Misery sent,      270
    Whilst thou wert anxious in removing mine.

  “On a Sick-bed, attended, soothed, caressed,
    Healed of my Wounds, but smitten in my heart—
  ‘And must we part?’ were Words my Love exprest;
    Some listening Daemon eccho’d: ‘Must you part?

  “‘Art thou not dead to all the World beside,
    Save these, the kind Preservers of thy Life?
  Can’st thou not ask that Angel for thy Bride,
    And quit the Woman who is now thy Wife?

  “‘’Tis a sad Truth; but Truth may be denied.      280
    Who would not Strive this matchless Maid to Win?
  Is it a Sin to be to Truth allied;
    Or, if it be, who could escape the sin?’

  “Wretch that I am, to wear a vile disguise
    With Virtue, Truth and Piety in View!
  My Words, my Thoughts, my very looks were Lyes;
    My Vow alone and my fond Love were true.

  “Why hast thou shown me that I went astray;
    Why tell What Sin the World’s Redeemer Cost?
  I heard and trembled, forced myself to pray,      290
    Pray’d for Conviction, was convinced—and lost.

  “Chearful and Gay my Years of Unbelief;
    They fled, and now a sad Reverse I see:
  Like Judas I, or like the dying Thief,
    But not the One who said, ‘Remember Me!’

  “I go, Matilda, for my Peace is gone;
    Nor would thy Heart a Lawless Love allow.
  I dare not die; but must a Wretch live on,
    And Life once blest must be my Torment now.

  “Oh! when convinced that Jesus died for man,      300
    For Sinners Suffered on th’ accursed Tree,
  A dreadful Choice to shake my Soul began—
    Loss of the Soul’s best Hope or loss of thee.

  “I said, as Cain when Banished said before:
    ’Tis more than I can bear, for what can I?
  From thee ’tis Death to part, from Heav’n is more;
    ’Tis worse than Death to that which cannot die.

  “A vain, weak Boy, I took the offered Hand
    Of One who with it her poor Pittance gave;
  Then fled to Sea, and wrecked upon your Land,      310
    To live their Bane who snatch’d me from the Grave.

  “And yet, to leave thee! leave that rosy Boy,
    A Life of Toil and Penury to share!
  To quit all worldly Good, all earthly Joy—
    It is too hard, and more than I can bear.

  “For none beside thee will I ever live—
    For thee I must not, though so fond and true;
  But must to Heav’ns high Will my Being Give,
    And pray for Strength to bid the World adieu.”

  The Brother read; it grieved him at his heart,      320
  And Pity softly questioned, “Must they part?”
  “They must,” more calm in reasoning, he replied,
  “And I remain her sole Support and Guide.
  I loved to hear him, nay I loved to speak
  Of Men religious as the Crazed and Weak;
  And weak they were, but foolish Men will bring
  When Sinners judge, Disgrace on everything.
  Religion’s Self our Rashness dar’d condemn,
  Because like Folly it appeared in them.
  But, if an Actor plays the King amiss,      330
  Shall I the Monarch in the Mimic hiss?
  The thing itself is holy just and good,
  When duly sought and justly understood;
  But, when such weak and vain Expounders try
  To force my Faith, the more resisting I.
  And many a Laugh had we, not all confined
  To those Expounders, though for them designed;
  Cool and contemptuous we the Man survey’d,
  And smil’d at Prayer, because a Bigot prayed.
  I see it now—and he, unhappy! saw      340
  The Aweful Truth, and he abides in Awe!—
  Me too this Lesson shall to thought restore;
  I may offend, but will deride no more.
  Yet hope, Matilda! thy pure Bosom feels
  No Pains but those which thy Devotion heals;
  Time and thy Duties will their Balm afford,
  The Works of God His Wonders and His Word.
  If thou thy Peace, and I my Pardon, gain,
  Then shall this Suffering not be lent in vain.”

    Years pass’d; the School-days of the Boy were come,      350
  And now the happier Girls are schooled at Home.
  The Widowed Mother her sad Part sustained;      }
  She still a Widow in her Heart remained;      }
  Nor in her State repined nor of her State complain’d.      }
  Sometimes her pensive Spirit took the Way
  To the lone Beach, where best she loved to stray.
  There was a chosen Place that she would seek—
  A rare Indulgence not of ev’ry Week;
  But, at some Seasons, she, with Heart oppressed,
  Prayed Grief away and then returned at rest.      360
  This Place she loved, where, far as Eye could reach,
  There seemed a boundless Length of peb’ly beach.
  She loved the deep green hollow Lane, where grow
  The Ferns that flourish o’er the Rill below;
  In the small Course the limpid Waters run
  And feed the Herbs that never feel the Sun.
  She loved the still broad Lake, that in the Night
  Of the full Moon reflected glorious light;
  And every brilliant Star appeared to glow
  With softened Lustre in the Lake below.      370
  Nor less she loved the deep and solemn Shade,
  By Antient Oaks of mighty Stature made;
  Yet in their Strength and Glory that had Cast
  Their welcome Shade on Generations past,
  And to the aged and to the Young shall prove
  The Ease of Labour and the Walk of Love.
  Such Scenes had Beauty; but, when none appeared
  Some accidental Good the Place endeared.
  There Love had led them in some chearful Day,
  That past in Ease and blameless Mirth away;      380
  When, as their Children gambol’d in their View,
  Some happy Presage from their Sport they drew.
  Still to these Scenes, by fond Remembrance led,
  She turn’d, and there her softest Tears were shed.
  There heavenly Hope her cheering Visit paid,
  And there with Faith and fervent Zeal she prayed.
    Thus, Summer past, Autumnal Scenes came on,
  And Winter’s Frost; and so the Year was gone.
  Then other Seasons came, and other Years
  Brought the same Comforts, Tenderness and Tears.      390
  Year after year thus stole in Quiet by,
  Sure, but unmarked, as Cranes and Swallows fly;
  And now was One that with its Record fled:
  No News of Frederick; but the Wife was dead!
  A Crimson flush then marked Matilda’s Cheek,
  This spoke; this only she allowed to speak.
    Within the neighbouring Town were some whose Cares
  Were kindly given to their Friends’ Affairs;
  “And why,” they said, “should Richard Vernon live
  Without a Wife, when we have Girls to give?”      400
  But Richard had it not in Mind to wed;
  He had the daily Cares that served instead—
  His land, his Books, and the Attention shown
  To Children now become by Choice his own;
  And, if he thought of Marriage, ’twas as one
  Who dreams of something that cannot be done!
    Speak of the Sex, he prais’d them o’er and o’er;
  Speak of the Woman, and he said no more;
  And Women therefore, on their Part, began
  To speak less kindly of so cool a Man.      410
    But, when his Sister sighed, or when she wore
  A look of Suffering, he was cool no more.
  Then would he say, “My Sister, you are ill,
  And need th’ Assistance of a Man of Skill.
  Your Walk fatigues you, and the Cool Sea Breeze,
  To Health so grateful, but augments Disease.
  Do look, Matilda, in your Mother’s face;
  Is she not paler? ’Tis a serious Case.”—
  All this was Kindness; but the time was near
  When Fear was just, when there was cause for Fear.      420
  To her who panted, in her Breath opprest,
  Food gave not Strength, Sleep brought uncertain Rest.
  The troubled Children, as at Something strange,
  Looked their distress and trembled at the Change.
  Who goes in Search of Health may be supplied
  In Every Way he travels with a Guide.
    One of these Guides, long taught the way to please
  And put a doubtful Traveller at his Ease,
  Advised a Warmer Sun and clearer Sky:      }
  “It may be useful, and you can but try;      430}
  Here you can scarsely live, and there you can but die.”      }
    This was not said, but something not so rude—
  And this was meant, and this was understood.
    Against Advice the placid Mother strove;
  She fought with Learning, but complied with Love.
  The Coast of France appear’d new Strength to give
  And Hope, exulting, told that she would live.
  “But she must move; must ever be employed;
  See what is seen; enjoy what is enjoyed,
  And through the Coast must at her Pleasure ride,      440
  And never think!” for so advised the Guide.
    “Now where, Matilda, shall we go to-day?”
  So Richard said, as he was wont to say;
  “Where bend our Steps?” He took his Glass in Hand:
  “Here comes a Boat; suppose we see it land?”
  They saw it land—“And, Boatmen, who are these?”—
  “A Priest they say, and from beyond the Seas.
  But he who leans upon the Friend beside
  Is going fast; we judged he must have died—
  Coming for Health; and, if he means to stay      450
  Till it arrives, he’ll never go away.”
    So spake the Seamen; when, approaching nigh,
  Matilda stopt and, with an heavy sigh,
  Dropt on the Shore. Her Brother, frightened, flew
  To give her Aid—she breathed, and, “Is it true?”
  She said; “I saw him—I my Frederick see;
  Brother, forgive! he comes to die with me.
  What Heaven decrees is done.”—And now began
  The same strong feeling in the fainting Man.
  What past so near him his Attention drew;      460
  The Voice alarmed him, and the Wife he knew.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Here then they dwelt; the dying Man and Wife
  Together past this Fragment of their Life.
  Daily they bade to earthly things Adieu,
  Their Moments numbered and the Number few.
  The softened Brother let his Anger sleep,
  With the fond Pair to sympathise and weep.
  Then Frederick told, how on that dreadful Night,
  When urged by Conscience he resolved on Flight,
  To lose all Comfort in this World and live      470
  Without one Joy that Life or Love can give;
  To meet no more the Forms he loved, no more
  The playful Smiles of Fondness to explore;
  But to bid all, and Hope with all, farewell—
  What to such Evil can a Soul compell?
    He told, how then he went from place to place
  In fact a Beggar, more than Beggary base;
  How, grieved at length and humbled in the Dust,      }
  He then began the Sacred Word to trust;      }
  To feel that God was Love, but yet with Love was just;      480}
  A Saviour’s Sufferings to his Heart he laid,
  And felt the Balm of Mercy as he prayed.
  How then he dared his past offences view,
  And the first dawn of Hope’s soft Comfort knew;
  But never more must Home’s soft Comfort see,
  But a lone Wanderer in the World must be.
  Filled with such thoughts, he join’d a serious few      }
  Who showed the Way that he must then pursue,      }
  The Aid he was to yield, the Work he was to do.      }
  He told what Hovels then he sought, and where      490
  He heard the Tale of Woe and taught the Prayer.
  He sought the Mine, and in that World below
  Had seen the Tears of strong Contrition flow;
  Now near the Pole, and now beneath the Line,
  To Suffering Man he bore the Word divine;
  Where’er the Brethren bade him go he went—
  So the first Years of Penitence were spent.
    Dispute with them was none, was no delay;
  To give Command was theirs, and his t’ obey.
  What, if the Climate should your frame offend—      500
  Can Health be wasted to a better end?
  What, if Death meets you on a foreign Shore—
  He met the Martyrs at the Work before;
  And what is all we fear or all we feel      }
  But Proofs of Favour and Rewards of Zeal;      }
  Acceptance of your Love and Suffering is the seal.      }
    He spoke of Years that fled, while thus employed,
  Of Dangers conquered and of Health destroyed;
  “And then,” he said, “I felt my Heart incline
  To its loved Scenes, to [feel] for thee and thine.”      510

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Thus they communed, and holy thoughts and Prayers
  Of Souls devoted to their God were theirs.
  Yet would they sometimes Earthly Comfort seek,
  And of Enjoyments, nay Amusements, speak.
    The deep green Lane, the golden-sanded Lake
  That would a thousand soft Emotions wake;
  The bare old Oaks who with their dismal tone
  Seemed at the Music of the Grove to groan—
  These and the Scenes of many a pleasant Thought
  Were from that Distance to their fancy brought;      520
  And they would smile at many an idle thing
  Or chearful Fact that to the Mind would cling;
  And the fond Pair, although oppress’d and pained,
  Their mutual Fate with brightest Hope sustained.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Life ebbed apace; the Brother’s Hope and Fear
  Led him to speak of—yet another Year;
  And then of Season: “’tis the Chill of Spring,
  But Summer’s Breath will balmy Influence bring.”
  As Billows beat upon the peb’ly Shore,
  Nor reach the Place which Others past before;      530
  Yet in short Time the bolder Waves press on,
  And the faint marks of humbler kind are gone;
  Till at the highest Mark the Waves ascend
  And there their Prowess and the Progress end—
  So in departing Life our days appear:
  One, fiercely threatening speaks, the Period near;
  A fairer Kind succeed, so soft and mild
  That Love is soothed and Hope again beguil’d;
  Then comes the last—that must our Fate decide,
  And there’s no Turning in this mortal Tide!      540
  It’s come, is gone; nor is there much of strife—
  Consenting nature yields the weary life.
    Placed on his pillowed Chair Matilda by,
  The Husband saw the dim and speechless Eye;
  Felt the cold Hand, and said, “’Tis now a last;
  This One dear Look and all will then be past;
  She will precede me.”—Yet he wrongly guess’d:
  Ev’n as he spake, he sank himself to rest.
  She knew th’ Event, but knew not long; her sight,
  Her Hearing fails; ’twas Dimness, and ’twas Night!      550
  They sleep together, and our Record ends;
  But first a Priest his Application lends.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Pains, Troubles, Sorrows, Life’s more grievous cares,
    All from our ill, or for our Good arise;
  For all correction thank the Hand that spares,
    For all Affliction bless the Power that tries!


                       THE FUNERAL OF THE SQUIRE.

  I left my Friend, and at the Closing day
  Took to the Church-Yard walk my evening way.
  ’Twas there, invited by th’unusual Sound,
  The Good old Sexton in the Church I found;
  He from a Vault had thrown the Earth aside—
  Proof that some Person of Respect had died;
  And now was coming to that vaulted Home
  To which—but not in Churches—we must come.
  There the old Sexton, on the Heap he made,
  Looked at his Work and leaned upon his Spade;      10
  As if with some Complacency he dwelt
  Upon his Task and its Importance felt.
    “Stranger,” said Good-man Sexton—I was strange
  To my old Neighbour—“here’s an awful change!”
  This provoked Question; Question to such Man
  Provoked Reply; and thus his Tale began.
    “In yonder Place—for so our People call
  That large new House; the other is the Hall;
  ’Tis the more Antient—yet, for many a Year,
  The Squire and his Forefathers flourished here.      20
  Long had the last with his good Lady kept
  Their Wedding-vow, together walked and slept,
  And were a loving, grave, Church-going Pair;
  Howbeit, Heaven vouchsafed them not an Heir.
    “But Oh! the sad Events of Mortal Life!
  The Squire in ripe old age forgot his Wife;
  Forgot the Sayings of the Law divine,
  And took an Harlot for his Concubine.
  From thence, O stranger! we may date his Fall;
  In fact it was the Ruin of them all.      30
  For my good Lady grieved to think how Sin
  His Heart, by Prayer unguarded, entered in;
  For, though the Squire observed the Sabbath Day,
  It was forsooth to shew the Poor the Way.
  ’Twas not to have his Conscience clean and swept;
  For, though he listened for a while, he slept.—
  But, not to tarry in the tale I tell,
  He sought not Grace to stand; and so he fell.
    “Some two Years since, he walked his Fields to see;      }
  Saw them at Distance, and his Mind was free;      40}
  Approaching near, a bounden slave was he.      }
  Like the rich Boaz, he his People saw
  In his own Land, and where his Word was Law;
  And he, poor Mortal, was rejoicing then
  Among his laughing Maids and labouring Men.
    “So the great King of Babylon was glad
  In his proud Heart, and in a Moment mad.
    “For there the Squire beheld a dangerous Face,
  Alluring, lovely, but with Lack of Grace,
  And not of Craft; for then the Squire, betray’d      50
  By lawless Love, his wild Behests obeyed.
  The artful Damsel could her Way discern,
  And had not much of this bad World to learn
  Or its Deceits, but made her Will her Way;      }
  Could look as pure as on her Wedding-day      }
  The Maiden-Bride, and be in Heart as gay.      }
    “Then, as a simple Child, whene’er he spoke,
  She laughed, delighted at his Honour’s Joke;
  And thus the Frailty in his Heart began—
  Frailty the same that bound the wisest man;      60
  And far into that foul Reproach was gone,
  Although our Squire was not a Solomon.
  I knew the Damsel; she was not a Ruth,
  And had been wild and wanton all her Youth.
  She from her Bible no Instruction took,
  But studied like a Dalilah to look;
  Till Grace forsook her, left to the Controul
  Of Evil Things that War against the Soul.—
    “But I am wandering. When a Man is old,
  His Words come slowly, for his Blood is cold;      70
  And, the less time he has his Tale to tell,
  The longer he on every part will dwell.
  Alas! I’m like an old and crippled Steed,
  Slow but not sure—yet now I will proceed.
    “The tempted Man was Mad and deaf and blind,
  And sold his Peace to make an Harlot kind.
  He bought what he called Virtue at a Price
  She dared not ask, and then he found it Vice.
  Her purchased Smiles were as the changeful Ray
  Of April Suns—a Glimmer, and away!      80
    “He who loved Gold, and all that Gold could win,
  Gave all a Costly Sacrifice to Sin;
  Wife, Friends and his good Name were but as Dust
  In his Mind’s Ballance, that was now unjust.
  His Lady wept, but was no longer dear;
  His Friends admonished, Friends he would not hear;
  His Preacher threaten’d, he despised the Threat;
  Told of his Sin, he grew more sinful yet.
  Warnings were sent, at first the slight and slow,
  Then more Awakening; and then came the Blow.      90
  Fever and Pain confined him to his Bed,
  And Hope smiled faintly; but she quickly fled.
  Lost and bewildered, he repeats the Name
  That none can hear without Disgust or Shame.
  ‘Bring her,’ he cried, ‘and place her on a Throne;
  For she is worthy, and shall reign alone!’
  Alas! his Queen was, like himself, attacked
  By that same Fever and with Terror racked;
  And now a Message to the Vicar sent,
  [Told that] his dying Honour would repent.      100
    “The Vicar came [at once, with] Christian speed;
  The Doctor bade him, if he dared, proceed;
  For he was watching how his drugs would back
  The struggling Nature in this strong Attack:
  Such Thoughts at best would Nature’s force impair
  And stop his Progress; ’twas not fighting fair.
  ‘If I succeed, there’s nothing more to do;
  And, if I fail, you’ll have a Day or two;
  When Hope is over, and a Man prepares
  Body and Soul to settle his Affairs.’      110
  The Doctor fought, no doubt, with all his Might,
  But Nature yielded in the Doctor’s Spite;
  And the good Vicar had his leave to try
  All he could offer; for the Man must die.
  But there was no repose; the troubled Brain
  Could little bear and nothing could retain.
    “In the same Night his troubled Spirit past
  That object of his Frailty breathed her last.
  Her we have buried in an earlier Day,
  And laid her where our parish poor we lay;      120
  It took not long that Business to adjust—
  When common Folk are carried Dust to Dust.
  A few kind Neighbours, by the setting Sun,
  Bear the light Burden when their Work is done,
  And there’s an End.—But, when the Wealthy sleep,
  We keep the Body long as we can keep,
  And seek for help of those who will contrive
  To make things seem as all were yet alive.
  He lies in state, his Visits duly paid,
  And is—or he appears to be—obeyed.      130
  An intermediate State, when stopt the Breath,
  We make a kind of Compromise with Death:
  His is the Body, that he needs must have;
  But all is Life on this side of the Grave—
  As if alive, with Care we tend his Bed
  And bear him off, as if he felt us tread.
  With sad slow Pomp the Crowd behold him come      }
  And laid discreetly in his vaulted Home,      }
  O’er which, his Worth inscribed, shall rise the stately Tomb.      }
  Thus, when a Town has yielded, ’tis agreed—      140
  So have I heard—some Favour shall succeed;
  For, though the conquered Army must obey
  The Conqueror’s Will and sadly walk away,
  Yet ’tis allowed to valiant Men and stout
  With War’s proud Honours to march proudly out.”


                          JOSEPH AND CHARLES.

  To an old Friend with friendly Spirit came
  A brave old Seaman, Fletcher was his Name;
  Late from Madras, and eager to behold
  The Place he knew, the Scenes he loved of old.
  Two days had past, since he that friend had seen,
  And heard and told of what had acted been,
  Or what befallen, in that favourite Town
  Which the sea washed, in fact had half-washed down.
  When all pertaining to themselves had End,
  The Captain spake of what concerned a Friend—      10
  A wealthy Man, whom he had left behind,
  And hoped again an healthy Man to find.
    “Well, my dear Jonas, you have heard of all
  That you or I concern of Ours can call;
  Now for my Friend! ’Tis thirty years at least
  Since he began adventuring in the East;
  And, after labouring much with much Success,
  He now is worth—but think a bit and guess!
  He married early, but his Wife was weak;
  And his Boys died before they learn’d to speak.      20
  Still he went on, though free from all the Itch
  Of living grandly or of dying rich.
  Parting, he said—for our Concerns in Trade
  Had us fast Friend of slight Acquaintance made—
  ‘Fletcher, there are, not distant from the Place
  Which you will visit, Remnants of our Race.
  I left an elder Brother, only one
  Of all our Kin, and he an only Son.
  Ben had small sense, but yet had, [as] they tell—
  For I have made Enquiry—acted well;      30
  Married a Dame with Money, and began,
  As Burgess told, to be a noted Man.
  But the Wife died, who was his Stay and Prop;
  Then Fortune varied, and he made a stop.
  She left one Boy—and never Boy betrayed
  Less Wit than Ben; who married with his Maid,
  A close young Shrew—yet, do her right, she kept
  Together closely all that could be swept
  From his half-wasted Substance. Children more
  Than I can name she to the Blockhead bore,      40
  To share his Pittance with the former Son;
  And he survived not long, when this was done.
  Years pass’d with them, I need not tell you how,
  For they are gone and are forgotten now;
  But [how] the Children, Men and Women, they,
  Were placed, how fed, is more than I can say.
  Yet near the Place I may suppose they dwell,
  And some the state in which they live may tell;
  When your Report shall be to me a Guide
  How I my little scraping may divide.’”      50

                  *       *       *       *       *


                             [CONTENTMENT.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Not so our Manor[‘s] Lord; no part hath he
  Within our Borough, therefore may be free;
  In his own Mansion he resides, with all,
  That Man requires attending on his Call.
  He loves his Ease, but yet has ofttimes proved
  That, Minds assenting, Bodies may be moved.
  He loves his own good Lady, and her Word
  Is Law to all—except her own good Lord.
  He takes Life’s Comforts for a general Good,
  But does not take her Cordials for his Food.      10
  Nor thinks, because the Vine grew [juice] for Man,
  That he may take what Quantity he can—
  So that our worthy Squire is one who tries
  To be as merry as becomes the Wise;
  And, tho’ for Wisdom he was not renowned,
  He answered Questions puzzling or profound.

  He loved his Daughters, but did not believe
  They were the fairest ever sprung from Eve.

                  *       *       *       *       *


                   TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF RUTLAND.

                        (Belvoir, August, 1784.)

  From your own Belvoir, ‘mid your flow’ring Lymes
  And loftier Oaks, accept these feeble rhymes—
  Feeble, and far unlike this beauteous scene
  Of Woods and Turrets grey and vallies green!—

  To Rutland Health! Where’er his way he takes—
  By Ireland’s frowning Hills or simple Lakes;
  By Shannon’s spacious current, spreading wide
  His aged Banks, or Allo’s tumbling Tide;
  By Barrow’s Deeps, where Silver Salmon play;
  Or where stout Nore winds on his waters grey;      10
  By sedgy Lee, and Bandon’s Woods among,
  Or Spenser’s Mulla, where he wept and sung—
  Health to the Muses’ Judge, the Muses’ friend,
  The last and meanest of her vot’ries send.

  Health to her Grace; both ours and Dublin’s pride—
  Yet chiefly ours, nor we the boast divide!
  Tho’ like the Sun she quits her favourite Line
  And deigns awhile in colder climes to shine:
  Let not the children of the pole aver
  Theirs is that sun, nor Ireland boast of her!      20
  Ye nymphs of Leicester, famed for Maidens fair!
  When now your poets paint the fairest there,
  No luckless Lucy yields the favourite theme,
  But Rutland, bright as Liffey’s limpid stream—
  Liffey, that rolls with prouder current on
  And bear[s] our sighs, who mourn, now she is gone!—

  Health to the future glories of that race,
  In whom the likeness of the past we trace;
  Who live to add new honours to their name,
  Their Uncle’s blooming praise and their brave grandsire’s fame! 30
  And that sweet pair, whose milder prowess lies
  Not in their conquering arms, but in their eyes—
  Health to that pair, these sister charms that show
  To whom the world their varying beauties owe;
  Varying but as the sun’s bright rays that shine
  With separate hues, which in their source combine!—

  So glow my wishes; and, my Lord, you know
  They flow sincere, howe’er my numbers flow;
  These are the tribute I can better pay,
  Who have forgot to write, but not to pray.—      40

  Think you, my Lord; your Belvoir heights infuse
  Vigor, like old Parnassus, to the Muse?
  Not so; Parnassus was a dismal scene,
  And hunger made the wretched Tenants keen;
  Still the same kinds of Inspiration last:
  A London garret and a long day’s fast.—

  I—and I thank your Grace—have ceased to strive
  In niggard rhymes to keep us just alive,
  And little can, if now it pleased the State
  To tax your poets as they tax your plate.      50
  Exempt from both, my useless life I’d close,
  Use humbler ware, and correspond in prose.—

  Yet, if it pleased your Grace, I’d now and then
  Employ a grateful, but a lazy, pen,
  To paint these laughing scenes that round me shine—
  Scenes worthy thee, and then to call them thine;
  Nor vainly then the Village Squire should charm,
  The buried Cottage [or] the busy Farm;
  Nor then unpaid the blooming banks should die,
  Nor Wood-shop’s little rill run vainly by.—      60

  Then, Granby, humble village of the Vale
  How should thy name inspire the glorious tale!
  Like Beth’lem thou, the least of all thy race;
  Yet the Redeemer chose that humble place
  To give Him birth, and thou hast lent a name
  To Him who pays thee with eternal fame.—

  [Bottesford] should then the rising song bring on,
  And the great dead, to their last Mansion gone;
  Where, like the Hero’s and the Statesman’s Dust,
  Crown’d with the fretted scroll, and sleeping bust,      70
  And guiltless trappings, which poor wits deride
  With little spite and moralising pride,
  The grateful tribute[’s] paid the glorious dead—
  The wise who governed and the brave who bled.

  Long, long, ye sacred dead, in peace remain,
  Ere yet your hallowed home resounds again,
  With groans resound[s] and the loud sighs which tell,
  Another Rutland bids the sun farewell;
  Ere yet the mourning crowd’s slow steps attend
  The friend to merit and the poor man’s friend,      80
  Or read with weeping eyes the finished sum
  Of all his days—blest days, and yet to come!

  Belvoir should then the closing stanzas fill,      }
  This sacred dome that crowns the lordly Hill,      }
  Rever’d through rolling times and venerable still:      }
  She that looks down o’er the rich Vale and sees
  Trees at her feet and hills adorned with Trees;
  She that contains within her stately towers
  The works of ages past and the delight of ours!—

  Here might the poet chuse the noblest themes,      90
  Indulge his vein and dream enchanting dreams;
  Might trace the relics of the days of old,
  When Kings’ [Impeachment] warned our Barons bold,
  Whose arms the love of Sovereign Pride withstood,
  And veiled the freedom of their sons with blood.

  Here doubtless, long before the Romans came,
  Dwelt Glorious Lords in now forgotten fame,
  Who met the world’s proud victors on the shore,
  And drove them back who drove the world before.
  The Saxon then a [subject] race appear,      100
  What time bold William reigned the Sovereign here.
  Let Leland tell how their fair damsels stood,
  Like beauty’s Goddess, as she left the wood;
  When one to wife an amorous Monarch chose;
  For these are tales that suit with solemn prose.
  The giddy Muses must forbear to touch
  On themes, when poets always tell too much.
  Too much has West—but let his beauties die,
  For there are those who Time and Death defy;
  Guido and rich Salvator’s offspring wild,      110
  And meek Murillo, holy, modest, mild;
  Rubens, whose matchless tints as sunbeams strike;
  Claud[e]’s woodland glories and the strong Vandyke;
  Painstaking Flemings here display their art
  And charm the eye, although they miss the heart;
  Numbers beside, the rich, the grave, the free—
  Names known to glory but unknown to me:
  These in their turns all tastes and Judgments please,
  And Reynolds last, not least, nor less than these.

  Pardon, my Lord, these idle fits of rhyme      120
  That flow from too much ease and too much time!
  You bade th’ inspiring Days of Gloom depart
  And spoiled the poet when you eas’d his heart:
  Take then such feeble thanks as he can pay,      }
  Who feels more grateful as his powers decay,      }
  And finds the will to sing, but cannot find the way!      }


                       [THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM.]

  This is my Place of pilgrimage: a Vale
  Where piety oft slumbers, while Desire,
  Like one new waken’d, snatches up in haste,
  With Grasp insane, Light Joys, fantastic Hopes,
  Remnants of Motley Bliss, confus’dly join’d
  To woes alternate, sure of something ill,
  Where the Good lies beneath——


                               [SORROW.]

  O Sacred Sorrow, by whom Souls are tried,
  Sent not to punish Mortals, but to guide:
  If Thou art mine (and who shall proudly dare
  To tell his Maker, he has had his share?)—
  Still let me feel for what thy pangs are sent,
  And be my Guide, and not my punishment!


                             [A FRAGMENT.]

  What, though the Horse I hired, the villain Hack,
  Meek as I [am], would throw me on my Back;
  Tho’ musing much—in slow and solemn pace,
  The Urchin Crew would laugh me to my face!
  I woo’d the Muses, meditating Song,

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Some Sideway ditch would woo my feet, half Mud,
  Half Ink, and plunge me in the sombre flood.

                  *       *       *       *       *


                          [POVERTY AND LOVE.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  These little Evils, and a thousand such,      }
  Which the proud poor will ever feel too much,      }
  Touch not the heart, or transient is the Touch.      }
  Fly Reason’s Voice; but, oh! the pain to prove
  That dreadful Union, Poverty and Love;
  To dream of mutual Joy and raise the Mind
  To all things noble, generous and refin’d;
  Above the low-born Cares of Life to dwell;
  To be more blest than human tongue can tell;
  With golden Hope, that soothes all Care the while,      10
  And construes every Look and every Smile—
  And all at once the golden Vision fled,
  To find cold Truth and feel the want of Bread!


                        [THE CURATE’S PROGRESS.]

  Near forty years with all my Care and Skill,
  Dear Flock, I fed you, as I feed you still.
  Tho’ mine at first was but the Curate’s fare—
  Half full the Belly, and the Back half bare—
  Yet, freed from College Rules and classic Song,
  The light Heart laugh’d and the young hope rose strong,
  And (wrapt in visions of preferment) found
  No Grief in Want and from Contempt no wound.
  In pride and pity when the Farmer gave
  A Sunday’s Dinner to the Vicar’s slave,      10
  And more than hinted from my languid Looks,
  I fed the Six remaining Days on Books:
  Patient I [star’d], and saw thro’ rolling years
  His tith’d Sheaf humble thro’ its golden Ears;
  Saw the proud Man of Land his Joke resign,
  And labour for a Laugh to flatter mine.


                              [THE TASK.]

                           (Jan. 20) [1813?]

  The Task is dull; but I was taught
    Myself, and ’tis a debt I owe
  To those who [seek the] truths I sought,
    The Knowledge I have gain’d to shew.

  In many a dull and drowsy lad
    I strove to wake the slumbering Soul,
  And raise what faculties he had
    By patient Care and mild Controul.

  And, when there came a sprightly boy,
    As ardent was the Task; for still      10
  He relished not the grave Employ,
    Nor to his duty bent his Will.

                  *       *       *       *       *


                        [CONSCIOUS GUILTINESS.]

                            (Jan. 23, 1813.)

  The Good are happy—in the joyful hour
  No inward fears the present peace o’erpower,
  And in the Evil time the pleasant force
  Of conscious Virtue checks it in its Course.
  Men all Abandon’d, Desperation all,
  Feel not their Guilt nor tremble at their fall;
  Vice for herself has found the desperate Cure
  And banished thoughts no bosom could endure.
  But the most wretched of the Guilty train
  Are they who Virtue love and prize in vain;      10
  Griev’d by the Life they yet resolve to lead,
  Bound by the Ill, yet panting to be freed—
  To them the Ways of Sacred Truth are known,
  Yet they proceed and suffer in their Own.
  Onward they go, still sighing to retrieve
  Their Steps, and longing for the Good they leave.


                         [BELIEF AND UNBELIEF.]

                           (March 7) [1813?]

  “Dost thou believe,” the Saviour said;
    The trembling parent look’d around;
  A thousand Wonders he survey’d,
    And Hope and kindling faith he found.
  The Sick, the blind, the Deaf, and Lame,
  All whole and sound and light became;
  He knew such power could not deceive
  And answer’d, joyful, “I believe.”

  But, when he look’d his Heart within,
    And saw the Darkness, felt the Shame,      10
  The fear, the Dread, the Doubt, the Sin—
    How cold and humble he became!
  The former Joy was now suppress’d,
  And grieving, guilty, and distress’d,
  He added, in despairing Grief:
  “Help thou, O Lord, mine Unbelief!”


           VERSES WRITTEN FOR THE DUKE OF RUTLAND’S BIRTHDAY.

                           (January 4, 1814.)

  When Poets kindle at some noble View,
    The Muse is said t’ inspire the ardent Mind;
  The Muse is feign’d, the Inspiration true;
    Poets their Ardours in their Subjects find.
    Yet he to whom the Noblest is assign’d
  Must feel what much alarms him, yet delights:
    His Views indeed are of a glorious Kind;
  But there is danger in those lofty Flights,
  And Hope and Fear at once each bold attempt excites.

  Be honour freely paid, where justly due;      10
    And where is Honour due if here denied?
  What happy Place can yield a nobler View?
    In what fair Seat can nobler Race abide,
    And o’er what happier Act can Man preside?
    Place! Persons! Action! All engage the Mind,
  And all the Heart with glad Emotions fill;
    Where shall I Language for my Subject find;
  Where glowing Thoughts, apt Words and curious Skill?
  Oh[, that] the humble Verse could match th’ inspiring Will!
  Great Lady! Fair as great, and good as fair,      20
  Receive a People’s Praise, their Love, their Prayer;
  Blest Parent to thy Granby, born to Shine
  An Honour to thy Rutland’s House and thine!
  Accept the Homage grateful Numbers pay,
  Exulting all in this triumphant Day;
    When all in one event rejoice,
    And mine is as the public Voice—
    An Echo to the general Joy
    That thanks thee for the noble Boy!
  All join in Wishes for the generous Race,      30
    That through revolving Ages it may run—
  Blest each lov’d Daughter with the Mother’s Grace
    And with the Father’s Virtue every Son;
  Whilst [you, the] happy Parents, look around,
  With love rewarded and with Honour crown’d.

  Who has not heard of [Howard’s] noble Blood:
   Which, tho’ it cannot, as the Poet tells,
  Ennoble Sots and Cowards, is a Flood
    That Vice and Folly from the Soul repels;
  And that which cannot the Disease endure      40
  Is nobler still than if it wrought the Cure.

  Howards were seen in Times of civil strife
    In Honor’s Cause to hazard all and bleed;
  May Peace in England spare thy Granby’s Life,
    Since the same Cause would prompt the kindred Deed!
  The Virtue still will in his Breast abide;
  But Heaven forefend it be so harshly tried!

  Great Prince, the Ruler of a People free,
  While bound in Duty and in love to Thee;
    Supreme in Britain’s happy Days;      50
    Endued with Princely Grace and Power,
    To win by Worth the Meed of Praise,
    To share with Ease the festive Hour!
  The Infant Granby thy Attention sees,
    And smiles, the Tokens of his feeling shows,
  As conscious of thy boundless Power to please,
    And happy in the pleasing Debt he owes.

  Soon shall his opening Mind for Knowledge seek,
    When Time his Prince’s Favours shall reveal;
  And, what the infant Tongue wants Power to speak,      60
    The grateful Man will never cease to feel.
    The Royal Brother too appears
    And to the Scene new Pleasure gives,
  Past in One Day, but in successive Years
    To be recorded long as Memory lives.
  Belvoir! This Day shall be thy Boast and Pride,
  While o’er the Subject Vale thy lofty Towers preside!

  And thou, the Father of a Noble Race,
  In whom we now thy Form and Features trace,
  But in succeeding years whose Worth shall shine      70
  A just and fair Epitome of thine:
    Behold thy Granby! His a Name
    Already in the Rolls of Fame,
    Not Plac’d amid a dubious Class—
    Names heard but for the fleeting Day,
    Who then to dark Oblivion pass.
  This will no Time nor Accident decay,
  Nor Envy blot, nor Malice tear away.
  Such are the Men to whom, when troubles rise,
  A prudent People turn their anxious Eyes;      80
  Who love their Prince, and whom their Princes love;
  The Wise and Virtuous ever but approve—
  They who are stedfast in their Country’s Cause,
  The Sovereign’s Power respect, nor less the Guarding Laws.

  Fresh as the Showers of Eden and as fair,
    Thy lovely Daughters wake a Father’s Pride.
  Great were such gifts; and, if thou wish’d an Heir,
    It was with Hope that still on Heaven relied—
    Thankful if blest, and patient if denied.
  Vast the Reward; for thee thy Granby lives,      90
  And noble Promise of the future gives;
  Strength, Health and Beauty in his Form combine,
    And all the Grace that grows with ripening years;
  The best Affections in his features shine,
    And all that love could ask for he appears.

  Be this blest Day in future Years renown’d,
    Mark’d as the chosen, the auspicious One;
  In this thy Birth the fondest Wishes crown’d—
    And thou wert hail’d with joy th’ expected Son;
  Thou too wert Granby; but thy Fate      100
    Soon gave thee Title to a greater Name.
  Not so thy Granby—may his Change be late,
    Differing in this, in all beside the same!
  Let the same Honours on the Name attend;
    As Life advances, may its Joys increase;
  Upon its Progress may no cloud descend,
    But, ris’n in glory, may it set in Peace;
  And still another and another Race
  Preserve the Honours of the Name and Place!

  See a third Parent Granby at thy Side,      110}
  Thy present Pleasure and thy future Pride,      }
  Thy never failing Friend, thine ever watchful Guide!      }
  The same her Title—Rutland’s Princely Name,
  That Sons of Kings alone with Manners claim.
  Smile, Granby, now; thus only can’st thou prove
  For her unwearied care awakening Love!
    But, when succeeding Years impart
  Strength to thy Form and Feeling to thy Heart,
  Then shall her Value to the View arise,
  That thou shalt dearly love and richly prize.      120
    Nor shalt thou need a Verse to show
    The Truths admiring Numbers know;
    For, when the willing Muse is weak,
    Then shall a thousand Voices speak.
  Go, ask where Virtue, Beauty, Merit, dwell—
    All that Mankind approve, applaud, revere—
  And hear what Numbers shall delighted tell
    Their Pride, Their Glory in a Name so dear!

  Heir to thy noble House, this Day to thee
    Shall be, while Memory lives, a joyful Date;      130
  Thou wilt look backward on the time, and see
    The First, the Greatest, in the Church and State.
    All take an Interest in their Granby’s Fate:
  What happy Infant in the World is found,
  Whom so much Grace and Dignity surround?
  What favour’d Being through his Life shall say:
  “I had like Honours and as great a Day?”

  Smile, Son of Rutland, in a Day of Bliss;
    While Praise and grateful Thanks to Heaven arise,
  And happy Nations for a Time like this      140
    Make public Joy and private [sympathies].
  As thou art nam’d, and each glad Voice repeats,
    “Granby, the Heir of his Forefather’s Fame!”
  ’Tis then the troubler of the World retreats
    From his lost Kingdoms, fill’d with Rage and Shame;
  Foil’d and disgrac’d, he to his People goes,
  To veil his Loss and aggravate their Woes.

  What Happy Language shall describe the Times,
    When British Virtue bade the World be free,
  Mark’d with a Tyrant’s Fall, his Flight, his Crimes,      150
    And with our Hope, Heaven-favour’d Boy, in thee?
    Thus all Things happy in the Date agree,
  When Charms that grace the Land, and Powers that sway,
  Give Triumph to the Deed and Pleasure to the Day.


                        MISS WALDRON’S BIRTHDAY.

                            (Dec. 18, 1815.)

  How, my Marie, on this Day
  Shall I my best good wishes pay?—
  By asking of the Power above
  All happiness for her I love.
  The best of earthly Things would be
  The Things that are denied to me:
  Established Health and Spirits pure,
  That in each worldly Change endure;
  The Competence that not on Friends,
  But on a certainty, depends;      10
  The Love for one in whom thy Choice
  But ratifies the general Voice;
  One who[se] Esteem will grow and last,
  When passion’s warmer Day is past—
  And you have past more years than he
  Who prays for all this good to thee—
  He who will then have ceas’d to share
  The common Lot of Grief and Care;
  Whose Love will then be such as thou
  Wilt not refuse—nor need’st thou now;      20
  Though not perhaps to that dear Mind
  Alone devoted and confined;
  For, while this fleshly veil endure,
  The best are but the least impure.
  Yet, tho’ not free from earthly Stain[s],
  From Daily Jealousies and pains,
  Still, before all itself approves,
  Thy Happiness it seeks and loves.
  It prays [for thee]: may every Day,
  That takes some part of Life away,      30
  To that immortal part supply
  Some Virtue that will never die!


                        TO THE HON. MRS SPENCER.

          (Written July 12, 1817, after a Visit to Petersham.)

  That new-made Honour doth forget Men’s Names,
    Engrossed and happy in itself—is true;
  But still my Want of Memory Pardon claims;
    For mine is Honour great as well as new—
    Honour to know, and to be known by, you.
  Wonder not, then, that I should cast away
    The common Stores that in the Memory grew;
  That, GEORGE appearing, I should RICHARD say
  Or tell the Moon’s pale Light, “lo! thine the glorious Day!”

  But her best Treasures Memory still retains;      10
    The Power of Beauty I remember yet;
  Thy Smile for ever in the Soul remains,
    And, though the Sun upon that Joy hath set,
    Remembrance lives—it is my Pride, we met.
  Oh! could I give that Day its proper Fame,
    Not distant Ages should those Hours forget,
  When I thy Friend—allow the Word—became;
  And Honours new or old shall not efface that Name.


                     AN INSCRIPTION AT GUY’S CLIFF.

                          (October 11, 1824.)

  Ye who come with hallowed Feet
  To this grave, Time-honoured Seat,
  Sit [ye] down in Passion’s Rest:
  ’Tis Peace who bids You here be bless’d!
  Here is Silence and a Grove
  That the pensive pleasures love:
  Here are Meads and limpid Springs,
  Where sportive Fancy strays and sings.
  In living Rock the mossy Cave,
  Silver Avon’s sleeping Wave,      10
  Solitude and Conscience clear,
  And Quiet and the Muse, are here.
  Then sit ye down, and know my Rest:
  ’Tis Peace who bids you here be bless’d!
                          (By——)


                   ADDITION TO THE FOREGOING VERSES.

  Gentle Peace, Commands like thine
  Every feeling Heart incline
  To sit and to enjoy the Good
  Of thy delicious Solitude;
  Within thy favourite Scene to dwell
  Thy Poet has described so well;      20
  And feel how sweet it is to dream
  By silver Avon’s sober Stream,
  While yet with silent Pace it moves
  And prompts the Flight that Fancy loves.

  Here we survey each lovely Place;
    The Rock, the Stream, the Mead admire;
  Dwell on each unobtrusive Grace;
    Then to the mossy Cave retire;
  And sit us down at thy Request,
  O gentle Power, and feel us blest.      30
  But No! we own there is a Debt
  We ought to pay and rest not yet;
  Before thy Call can be obeyed,
  That sacred Debt must first be paid;
  For can we all these Blessings share
  And not enquire—how came they there?
  [Ere] Peace upon the Bosom steals,
  It would express the Joy it feels;
  Although the Eye delights to rove
  In Scenes that all the Muses love.      40
  Though much of Good these Views impart,
  ’Tis other Good that fills the Heart:
  ’Tis inbred Worth and feelings Kind,      }
  With Manners that bespeak the Mind      }
  Enriched, informed, replete, refined;      }
  And Hospitality, that lives
  Delighted with the Joy it gives;
  And native Ease, and pure good Sense,
  And unalloyed Benevolence.
  To him, to her, who kindly press      50
  Each Friend to share what they possess,
  To them be all the Good each Heart
  Desires so largely to impart;
  And ever to their Hearts may flow
  The Tide of Blessings they bestow!
  With them may Peace, who loves to dwell
  In mossy Cave and lonely Cell—
  The Peace of Nature, she who loves
  The quiet Streams and shady Groves—
  May she within her Entrance find,      60
  And there be lasting Peace of Mind!


                        [ON A VIEW OF] BARFORD.

                          (October 11, 1824.)

  When we the pictured Forms survey
  Of Moated Hall or Castle grey,
  Where ruined Walls and Towers declare
  What once their noble Masters were—
  Barons and Earls who, far from Court,
    Prepared to meet their Country’s Foes,
  Her lawful Sovereigns to support,
    And lawless Tyrants to oppose—

  Or when, presented to the Eye,
  The antient Abbey we discry,      10
  Whose sacred walls with awe profound
  Possessed th’ admiring people round:
  There Fancy holy Men perceive[s],
    Who slowly pace the Choir alone,
  Or there the pensive Spirit leave,
    To chaunt the Grace and dine at Noon.

  So this fair Artist, who has plan’d
  This lovely Place with skilful Hand,
  Has given us, by this outward Shew,
  The sterling Worth within to know,      20
  Here Memory dwells with vast Delight
    On many an hospitable Deed;
  While grateful Minds with Joy recite
    From whom the bounteous Acts proceed.

  A View, with so much Skill designed,
  Shall through the Eye inform the Mind:
  That BARFORD is the happy Seat
  To which the Virtues all retreat,
  And there, to every Grace allied,
  With Peace and Elegance abide.      30


                         BROMPTON PARK COTTAGE.

                                (1824.)

  Fair Cottage—if indeed that Name
    To so much Beauty may belong—
  Would I could give thee lasting Fame
    And pay thee with a grateful Song!

  Here Health, the Grace of Life, abides;
    In every Walk and View is found;
  O’er every Tree and Shrub presides,
    And Breathes her Animation round.

  Languid I came, as One who feels
    Oppressed by long and slow Disease,      10
  Which neither Time nor Medicine heals,
    When Hope and Fancy fail to please.

  “When shall these clouded Spirits rise,
    And all their Native Force impart?
  When shall gay Objects greet the Eyes,
    And a light Spirit fill the Heart?”

  I said, and heard or seemed to hear
    In gentle Sounds a soft Reply:
  “To Brompton Park,” it said, “repair;
    And We shall meet, for there am I.      20

  “The Lord of that fair Scene for Thee
    Shall with delight the Way prepare,
  All at thy sole Command to be,
    Till I be thy Attendant there.

  “For all in that pure Air is mine.
    Go then, and there my Blessing seek!
  My Spirit in Thine Eye shall shine,
    My Roses blossom on Thy Cheek.”

  Thus Health on slumbering Fancy wrought;
    Thus promised We should quickly meet;      30
  I came, as She required, and sought
    And found Her in Her Favourite Seat.

  This Scene Sophia’s Pencil drew,
    Not for its many Charms Alone;
  But much She felt, and well She knew,
    What good this favourite Spot had done.

  Say Ye, who see Her gently move,
    Who know Her many Powers to please,
  Who hear the general Voice approve:
    What need of adding Arts like These?      40

  Yet these She has, and adds to these
    Much that can win the Heart and bind;
  Much that has power t’ attract and please,
    To charm the Sense and rule the Mind.

  Graceful in all she does, as they
    Who round the Queen of Beauty move;
  And, cautious, those should keep away
    Who know and fear the Power of Love;

  Who cannot in that Form and Face,
    Where all is graceful, all is fair,      50
  The noble Stem of Granby trace,
    And see the Worth of Manners there!

  ’Tis her fair hand these forms bestow,
    These flowing Lines to Nature true;
  But who in equal Verse can shew
    The Wonders that her Eyes can do?


                           [MOMENTARY GRIEF.]

                          (Aldborough, 1825.)

  Creator, Father, Lord, it is Thy Will,
  It is Thy Act; and Thou canst do [no ill;]
  The time may come when [things] that [grievous seem]
  Will be the Trouble of a feverish Dream;
  And that which now such Grief and Sorrow brings
  Shall be the Solace of the Heart it wrings.
  We our Impressions from the Moment take,
  And know not why we grieve, till we Awake.


                      LA FEMME JALOUSE (TENIERS).

                              (Nov. 1826.)

  Who shall describe what Pains they share,
    Whom Doubts and jealous Terrors prove;
  Who in their every Look declare
    How much they feel, how much they love!

  Thy Pencil here, fair Artist, shews
    One Form the Tyrant-Passion wears;
  But sure thy happier Bosom knows
    No jealous Pangs, no trying Fears!

  But, [though] thy Work demands our Praise,
    Yet why thine own the Subject make?      10
  Thou may’st indeed the Spirit raise,
    But not thyself th’ Infection take.

  Those Looks so pure, so bright, so clear,
    Those ruby Lips and Eyes of Light,
  Will many an anxious Hope and Fear
    And many a jealous Pang excite.

  Those Pangs which none can long conceal,
    Disguise in Smiles or rule by Laws—
  Some cause Them, but They cannot feel;      20
    Some feel Them, but they cannot cause.

  Thou from such cruel Pains art free,
    By which the Heart of Man is tried;
  For that which may be won by thee
    [With] thee will, while it beats, abide.


                      [THE FLOWERS OF THE SPRING.]

  The Crocus, new expanded, mourns
    Her Fate, and many a tear is shed;
  Lest, when Maria home returns,
    Her transient Sweets should all be [sped].

  The Vi’let yet remains unclos’d,
    Nor gives her fragrance to the Gale;
  But soon, to every Eye expos’d,
    She must her balmy breath exhale.

  Then come, ere yet the wandering Bee,
    Has all her hoarded wealth possess’d;      10
  While yet she holds her Sweets for thee
    Enfolded in her Azure Vest!

  For, tho’ we cannot yet describe
    The Bloom that warmer Scenes unfold,
  We now can boast a lovely Tribe
    That bare their bosoms to the Cold.

  These Children of the early Year
    Must soon their rip’ning Charm[s] disclose;
  Then, while they live, do thou appear;
    In mercy, wait not for the rose!      20


                      [LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI.]

                  *       *       *       *       *

  And prophecied of years to come,
  Whence hapless youth would date their Doom:
  Is this her praise, is this her Due,
    “Whom all admire, esteem, approve?
  And, if you say the Charge is true,
    “Is it her Crime, if Men will love?
  If they will gaze where Bullets fly,
  No wonder they are struck and die.”

  Not so the Muse the Murd’ress reads;
  Alas! she glories in her Deeds.      10
  Observe her Looks, remark her Air:
  Lo! all is wicked Triumph there.

  Could I but think, on this same day,
  She would with some Contrition pray,
  That never she again would take
  A Captive Heart or Conquest make;
  But would with penitential Sighs
  Veil that fair face, hide those bright Eyes;
  Command that Wit, and try her best
  To let poor gazing Mortals rest—      20
  Then would I all these Charges blot,
  And all the past should be forgot!

  Alas! I see no Signs of Grace:
  Still there is Triumph in her face;
  And on this very Day we find
  The same her Form, the same her Mind!

  Then, since the Fair affects her Reign,
  ’Tis bootless that her Slaves complain.
  At once, then, let them own her power,
  And hail the Day and bless the Hour,      30
  That to the World a Sovereign gave,
  Who, though she will mankind enslave,
  Yet rules she with so sweet a Sway,
  ’Tis Pride, ’tis pleasure to obey!—


                            [HOPELESS LOVE.]

  Why wilt thou thus our Hopes defeat,
    My too impatient, pleading heart?
  Why shew in us such Joy to meet,
    Yet fear in her ’tis Joy to part?

  For what has our Impatience gain’d,
    But more to fear the fate to come;
  While, half-respected, half-disdain’d,
    We trembling wait the dreaded Doom?

  Can’st thou support that grievous State
    That Hearts like thee too often prove,      10
  The darkest, the severest Fate—
    An endless, joyless, hopeless Love?—

  She may indeed with pitying Smile
    The pain she causes kindly meet;
  May sweetly soothe our Woes awhile,
    And hold us fast in Bondage sweet.

  May yield the Hand, may drop the Tear,
    And with Reproof Compassion blend—
  Then, with harsh Looks and Words severe,
    May drop into the distant Friend.      20

  For then some happier Man may wake
    The slumbering Wish, the new Desire;
  When she the offer’d Hand may take
    And give the Heart his prayers require.

  And then what Pangs wilt thou endure,
    When all the Friendship she can spare
  Will grieve the Wound it cannot cure,
    And mock the Love it will not share;

  While his triumphant Looks convey
    The proud Delight that fills his breast,      30
  And those dear Eyes themselves betray
    The Thoughts not yet by Words confest.

  O Jealousy, severest Ill
    That suffering Man is doom’d to know,
  That so the Root of Joy can kill
    The fruit again can never Grow!

  Yet still there is a Way to heal
    [All that] I suffer, dread, deplore;
  Since, what is worse than Death to feel,
    In Death will soon be felt no more.      40


                                [UNION.]

  Say, when I leave thee, Love, wilt thou
  Some moments to my Love allow,
  And his in this fond Absence be
  Who lives and who would die for thee?
  And, when thy Friends adjure thee, “Come,
  And leave thy pensive thoughts at home”—
  Wilt thou reply, in that sweet tone:
  “The Man who loves me thinks alone,
  And thinks of me with many a sigh;
  In all his Visions there am I;      10
  For me one constant wish he forms,
  To shield me from Life’s Cares and Storms;
  Still Watchful at my Side to stand
  And still present the guarding Hand.
  For I can feel no Grief nor Care
  But he would heal or he would share;
  And never Joy could touch an Heart
  That he would not to mine impart.
  Then say, tho’ I confess not Love,
  If this should not my Bosom move?      20
  Shall I not his one Instant be,
  Who lives and who would die for me?”


                               [REVIVAL.]

                             (Sept. 29–30.)

  Say, can there be a second Spring
    Thus fair and frail, so gay and brief;
  Will Time the autumnal Blossom bring
    To glow beside the withering Leaf?
  No, no! the Voice of Nature cries:
  “The Flower that’s dead for ever dies.”

  Say, can a second Youth be felt
    Again its freshness to impart;
  To bid Life’s freezing Current melt;
    To thrill with Joy the languid Heart?      10
  No, no! Youth’s Warmth and rosy Hue
  Shall Time no more in Life renew.

  Yet Love shall have another Spring
    And, more than Nature’s, fair and gay;
  A second Hope of Blessing bring
    That seemed with Youth to fly away:
  It is the Mind that makes the Truth,
  And feels again the Spring of Youth!

  Love can awaken all the Fires
    That dormant in the Bosom lie;      20
  Love every sleeping Sense inspires
    To feel new Charms when Nature’s die;
  He all around his Magic throws
  And all that he [can give] bestows.


                            [METAMORPHOSIS.]

  When Damon woo’d the growing Charms
  Of lovely Celi[a] to his Arms,
      He lived in Dread the While;
  He trembled at a Rival’s Name
  And felt Distress, if any came
      To catch a transient Smile.

  The gentle Maid at Length complied;
  And “why is Damon hurt?” she cry’d,
      “That I his Rivals see?”
  “Because I dread,” [said he, “my Dear,]      10
  [Thy Person] should to them appear
      “As it appears to me.”—

  They married, and their Love decay’d;
  For then the Slattern Wife repaid
      The Husband’s Scorn and Slight;
  While he to other Scenes retir’d,
  And kept her whom he once admir’d
      From every Stranger’s Sight.

  But “why,” the Wife indignant cry’d,
  “Am I insulted and denied      20
      Our Friends or Foes to see?”—
  “Because I feel a prudent fear
  [Thy] Person should to all appear
      As it appears to me.”


                              JANE ADAIR.

  Wert thou, my Love, some Vagrant Maid
    Who beg’d from Door to Door,
  And wert thou then of Vice afraid,
    And good as well as poor:
  I still would true and faithful prove
    And Fortune’s Wrongs repair;
  I’d lead thee to the Altar, Love,
    And wed with Jane Adair.

  Wert thou a Lady of the Land,
    Thy Charm should be my theme;      10
  Still would I ask that lovely Hand,
    Still woo thy fond Esteem;
  Thro’ Rivals I would win my Way
    To one so good and fair;
  And do the Deeds I dare not say,
    To wed with Jane Adair.

  The Treasures that in Mountains hide
    Adventurous Men explore;
  Or deep in cavern’d Mines abide,
    And dig the glittering ore;      20
  And shall the Wretch who toils for gain
    More persevering be
  Than I, who labour to obtain
    Love, Happiness, and thee?


                               [HORATIO.]

  Might I from all Mankind select
    The Friend, I would Horatio take.
  What gentler Mind could I expect?
    What nobler Conquest could I make?

  Was he not One who, suffering all
    Yet kept his rising Anger down;
  Nor felt his Spirits rise or fall,
    As Fortune pleas’d to smile or frown?

  He was no Pipe on which she play’d,
    As her capricious Hand inclin’d;      10
  But that sweet Music that he made
    Rose from his own harmonious Mind.

  Aspiring, yet he never gave
    Himself to watch a Patron’s Will;
  Tender, but yet no Beauty’s Slave,
    Nor Victim to coquettish Skill.

  Humble, and with high Talents born;
    Prepar’d alternate Fates to try;
  A Roman holding Death in Scorn;
    A Chieftain learning how to die.      20

  “Something too much of this!” Yet, then
    How shall I thoughts like mine explain?
  How inexpert a Maiden’s pen,
    Since more than this I write in vain!

  “But can the Friend of Denmark’s Prince
    Such fond and strange Emotions give;
  Whose Death or happen’d Ages since,
    Or who was never known to live?”

  Yes, Souls alike in Times appear
    Far distant, minds of mould divine:      30
  The Friend whom Hamlet priz’d so dear,
    [Horatio—is a friend of mine.]


                          [JACOB AND RACHEL.]

  When Jacob with his Rachel fed
    The flock from year to year,
  To him how sweet the Seasons fled;
    And so it seem’d to her.

  But wretched was the Shepherd’s fate,
    And sorely was he tried,
  When he beheld, in sober state,
    That Leah was his Bride.

  But Leah, who to Jacob seem’d
    A Wife he could not prize,      10
  Had yet the Virtues that redeem’d
    The weakness of her Eyes.

  But Jacob’s love, and Laban’s flock,
    And Labours for their Sake,
  Took all the Terror from the Shock
    That Care and Time could take.

  It was poor Rachel’s harder part
    Her Love, her Lord to [lose],
  And in an Instant rob her Heart
    Of Life’s delicious Views.      20

  She ofttimes up the mountain went,
    With bitter thoughts opprest,
  And weeping saw the Shepherd’s Tent
    Her Sister now possess’d.

  Leah, she knew, would faithful prove,
    And Jacob would give Truth applause;
  And, when he once had vow’d to love,
    He for his vow would find a Cause.—

  Thou too art wed to Duty stern,
    And to thy Vow wilt prove sincere;      30
  And I, like Rachel, doom’d to [yearn],
    Victim to Virtues I revere.

  But she had Hope the Time would come,
    And Jacob would for her be free;
  Mine is an ever-during Doom,
    And not a Hope remains for me.


                           [DAVID AND SAUL.]

  When David fled from Saul oppress’d,
    Who should have held the Shepherd dear,
  He carried Patience in his breast,
  And Conscience light, a heavenly Guest;
    He fear’d not, nor had Cause of fear.

  But, when he fled the holy Place
    In horror from his rebel Son,
  He carried Terror and Disgrace;
  Nor could a gleam of Comfort trace
    In all the battles he had won.      10

  But, as upon his Throne he shook,
    With present Love and Glory crown’d,
  The one stern word the Prophet spoke
  At once into his Bosom broke
    To fright, alarm him, and confound.

  Thus injur’d, I my Peace retain
    And feel from Guilt and Terror free;
  But, should I injure Man again,
  I should in fear and Dread remain,
    Tho’ cheer’d with wealth and blest by thee.      20


                                ENIGMA.

                             (_Sovereign._)

  I was known in old Time; and yet, strange to [relate],
  ’Tis a very few years from my very first [state].
  When I travel—’tis seldom—my Way you may trace;
  Yet I’m constantly secretly changing my Place;
  I’m weak, and I’m wise; I have Praise and have Blame;
  Yet at all times my Value and Worth is the same.
  I Nobles create; and yet any of these
  May consume and abuse me as much as they please.
  Though I Millions command, yet the Poorest may gain
  And possess me awhile, though they seldom retain.      10
  Tho’ I’ve Equals ten thousand, all over the Land,
  Yet One Crown I possess and have four at Command.
  One part of my Character All Men may read,      }
  And that only from such Contradictions is freed:      }
  Who counterfeits me, stakes his Life on the Deed.      }


                                CHARADE.

                              (_Modesty._)

  My first, a fashion; next, a place
  That fashion never came to grace;
  But few who dwell in Houses fair
  Thrive like the well-fed Beings there.
  My whole, a Virtue and a Grace
  Adorns the Mind, [adorns] the face.


                               [MATILDA.]

  I tell you chearful Tales, with all my Heart—
    Tales meet for Feasts, with idle Mirth and Glee;
  But Woes come in, and they will claim a part—
    A woeful part—with my sad muse and me.

  Matilda was sitting at Brandon-Hall,
    And gazed on a River that rolled in its pride,
  Like an Arm of the Sea—if aloud you would call,
    You could not be heard to the farthermost side.
  She there saw the Ships in their Majesty glide,
    And Boats born along by the Sail and the Oar;      10
  And her Colin was there, and the boy she denied;
    But he said, “Let him come—on my Life, I restore.

  “Do give me the Boy, and no longer reprove;
    And, if I return him not safe to your Arms,
  The Blame shall be mine; and the penalty, love,
    For giving that Bosom such painful Alarms,
  Shall be to be banished and torn from your Charms;
    Nor think of [the] Danger, or aught that affright;
  But, assured that my Love shall protect him from Harms,
    Give place for the Day—we’ll be happy at Night.”      20

  She again took her Glass; and the Boat she could trace,
    For the Gunwale was painted in white and in blue;
  She distinguished the pair whom she longed to embrace,
    And the Features of Colin were full in her View.
  Then awhile from the Pleasure she sadly withdrew,
    And forc’d her Attention on trifles that past;
  “Oh, harder it blows!” she exclaim’d—it was true,
    And Clouds roll’d on Clouds by the Strength of the Blast.

  She gazes intensely; “[’Tis] danger,” she cried;
    And a Youth who had been a whole Summer at sea      30
  Repeats the word “Danger!” in wonderful Pride,
    And asks her what manner of “Danger” could be.
  She knew not, but doubted; the Shore on the Lea
    Was lost in her troubles—she wished them on shore:
  There in Cold they would rest, but in safety would be,
    And the Tide would her Treasures in safety restore.

  I dwell on the Confines of Anguish, but still
    Must plunge in the Midst; for the wife has again
  The Tube in her Hand! ’Tis her Dread, but her Will,
    To fix on the Object that gives her such pain.      40
  She finds to relinquish the Sight is in vain,
    And this moment she gazes; but, what to behold,
  It pierces her Soul, it unsettles her Brain—
    The Boat is o’erset!—and her Story is told.

  She saw both the Husband and Child in the boat;
    She saw the effect of the Blast as it blew;
  And she sees in her Sorrow their Bodies [afloat],
    And she draws in her Madness the Boat and its Crew.
  ’Tis a Grief to behold her so calmly pursue
    Her Tale that she tells, and is eager to tell;      50
  And she says, when she tells it—“Indeed, it is true—
    And I wonder I bear it so calmly and well!”


                          THE PRODIGAL GOING.

  What! live for ever buried thus,
    Thus all the Hope of Youth destroy—
  Here the poor Business to discuss
    Of a poor Farm! a Slave’s Employ!
    For ever to be held a Boy
  And leave to live of Man implore—
  No! let me Life’s delights enjoy,
    And be a Man, or be no more
      A Wretch to wail in Woe!
  My Spirit prompts, my Heart desires,      10
  My Will consents, my Youth requires
      And I will go—

  Will go where happy beings dwell,
    Unchain’d, unawed, and uncontrolled;
  Where no harsh, rigid Minds repell,
    With Tempers stern and Bosoms cold,
    The Light, the Gay, the Warm, the Bold,
  But Love meets Love, Desire Success;
    Where none are frigid Maxims told;
  Th’ aspiring Spirit to depress      20
    By Prudence, Pleasure’s Foe;
  And Mary too, capricious Maid,
    With Smiles alone invites my stay;
  But Timid, cautious, cold, afraid,
    For more than Smiles I vainly pray.
    Fond, Teizing, trilling Love, away!
  No longer will I sigh and whine;
    No longer doat from day to day;
  Henceforth the genuine Love be mine,
      That spurns and dreads Delay!      30
  ’Tis Nature’s strong, prevailing Call
  That pleads within, that pleads with all,
      That I obey!

  So thought the Youth who from his home retired,      }
  Because it gave not all his Soul required;      }
  For strong his Passions were, and quickly were they fired.      }
  Affection reasoned; but the Youth replied
  To reasoning Love, “I will not be denied!”


                       ON A DRAWING OF CADLANDS.

  Oft as the Eye on this fair View
    Shall gaze, on every part intent,
  Shall Memory, to Affection true,
    Her Object to the Mind present.

  These Lights and Shades, with Skill combin’d,
    Aid us to see the real Place;
  And, pleased with her Employ, the Mind
    That Scene of Joy delights to trace.

  Daughter of Rutland, ’twas thy Hand
    Gave us this lovely Place to see;      10
  But who shall Grace and Skill command
    To give as just a View of thee?

  To paint thee fair is not enough,
    With every pleasing Grace endued;
  But he must give of Genius proof,
    And shew thee gracious, kind and good.

  I saw thee in thy Infant Days,
    When every Charm a promise made,
  That thou wouldst merit lasting Praise—
    And lo! the Promise more than paid.      20

  I saw thee in thy youthful Bloom
    With much delight, but no Surprise;
  It was another Rutland come
    To cheer our hearts and charm our Eyes.

  Fairest among the Fair was she;
    And ardent is my Hope that thou
  In thy maternal years [may’st] be
    What she, her Sex’s Pride, is now.


        [ON] A DRAWING, BY THE HON. MRS SMITH (ELIZA FORRESTER).

  When we behold a Landscape well designed,
    Our praise at once we on the Work bestow;
  We see the image of so just a Mind,
    And ’tis the Merit, not the Man, we know.

  But when we learn from where our Pleasure springs,
    And whose the Skill that here the Proof has placed:
  This to our Mind a double Pleasure brings,
    For ’tis Affection looks as well as Taste.

  They who have Wealth may hire an Artist’s Hand.
    And may the Gallery and the Hall supply;      10
  But Love alone can Views like this command:
    Affection gives what Wealth can never buy.

  Pictures and Prints the Wealthy may obtain
    And, as their Pleasure dictates, may remove;
  But these fair Views for ever shall remain,
    The rich Memorials of Taste and Love.

  These flowing lines confess Eliza’s Hand;
    She formed the Wood, the Water, and the Sky;
  For she can all the pleasing arts command
    That soothe the Fancy and that charm the Eye.      20

  All the fair Arts that give a Grace to Life
    Are hers: she sings, she speaks, she moves with Grace;
  Nor charms she less, the Mother and the Wife,
    And still maintains the Virtues of her Race.

  Happy the fair Possessor of that Skill—
    When Life’s Endowment, but not Life’s Employ;
  When used for Pleasure and resigned at Will,
    The aid of Home-felt and domestic Joy!


            FOR THE DRAWING OF THE LADY IN THE GREEN MANTLE.

               (_See_ Sir Walter Scott’s _Redgauntlet_.)

  A lady who concealed her Name,
    Nor let her Face be fully seen,
  To her admiring [Counsel] came,
    Veil’d in an Hood and Mantle green.

  All that he saw, the Youth approved;
    But much there was he could not trace:
  He wished the Envious Veil removed
    That hid the Beauties of that Face.

  All that Sir Walter’s page has told—
    The Air, the lovely Form—are here;
  But still we covet to behold
    Those Features that do not appear.

  To that fair form belongs a face,
    Could we behold it, just as fair;
  But how shall we those Features trace,
    Conceal’d from View with so much Care?

  How shall we match that Air and Grace,
    And just the lovely features find:
  That all shall say, that beauteous Face
    To just that Form should be assigned?

  Yes! I can certain Means devise,
    To make the face and form agree;
  A Mirror place before thine Eyes,
    And draw the face that looks on thee.

  Be there those Locks of waving Gold;
    Be there those Eyes so clear and bright;
  That Smile which all with joy behold,
    Those Cheerful Looks that all delight—

  Then, though the Form and Air were such
    As would our highest Praise exceed,
  We should admire the Face as much,
    [And] say how well the whole agreed.


                            JOSEPH’S DREAM.

  When Joseph, by his Brethren sold,
    Was with his Masters on their Way,
  Prest by sad thoughts and dreading to behold
    The rising Light of each succeeding Day:
  A Night there came when, burdened with his Woes,
    His Fears and Wrongs, he felt inclined to rest;
  When Sleeping Visions on his Fancy rose,
    And Wonders on his troubled Spirit prest.

  At first his Thoughts were all confused:
    A fair young Slave was in his dream,      10
    Who like himself did seem,
  But whom he saw, now trusted, then accused—
  One often tried and ever faithful found;
    But still in Prison bound.
  Anon, a City to his View arose;
    Then a fair Dame, and then a Clank of Chains;
  Alternate Smiles and Frowns of Friends and Foes;
    Temptations, Trials, Favours, Perils, Pains;
    But in each shifting Scene
  Was he, that self-same Youth, still virtuous, still serene.      20

  All else past off like Summer Clouds;
    And that fair Youth, a Slave no more,
  Was now attended by applauding Crowds,
    And Robes of royal State he wore;
  And ever, as this Youth the Dreamer viewed,
    He seemed his very Self to [see];
  Save that this other Self was new indued
    With Power that his must never be;
  For how could one be great, who felt he was not free!

  He saw that other self beside a Throne,      30
    Ennobled and admired of noble Men;
  He saw him too, retired, alone,
    Virtuous, and still more happy, then.
  He seemed as fitted for his State,
    And not by Love of Greatness led;
  But as a Man advanced by Fate
    To be a mighty People’s Head;
    For, though so high, so near a Throne,
  He served his God aright and worshipped Him alone.

    Then he again beheld that Youth      40
    With Wonder and increased delight!
  For the young Dreamer saw the inward Truth,
    And saw that all he did was just and right,
    Acting as ever in his Mother’s sight;
  And much he loved, but knew not why,
    As Hearts are drawn by secret Chain;
  When soon he heard a Voice that said, “Draw nigh,
    And see what Truth and Piety obtain!”

  While yet the Voice was heard, behold, there came
    A Princess fair, or one in princely Guise;      50
  The sleeping Shepherd feels a sudden flame,
    And in his Slumber sighs.
  Yet, when he saw that noble Youth address
    The royal Maiden in a lover’s Style,
  He felt no jealous Pangs his Heart oppress,
    But joyful saw the soft, assenting Smile.

  Scenes change.—The Pair are wedded and are blest;
    He ruled the Land, but sterile was the Earth—
  Dry as the parchèd Rock, yet not distress’d—
    An unseen Plenty came upon the Dearth,      60
  Like a full Stream; and lo! as Merchants came
    A mingled race, to buy their Households food,
  All praise his foresight; all revere his Name—
    The Great, the Wise, the Bountiful and Good!
  Then by that noble Youth, behold, there stood—
    Strange Fate!—his Brothers, trembling at their Lot.
  The Lordly Man them question’d; they replied:
  “Our Father lives; One Brother, and beside
  That one”—they looked abashed—“one more, my Lord, is not.”

  He then beheld his Father and his Race,      70
    Who found Protection from that bounteous hand.
  Jacob had Honour, and his Brethren Grace,
    And Joseph saw them in that Presence stand.
      Strange joy he felt; for in his Dream
      He as that princely Youth did seem;
  And felt that Glory new of all the Scene.
  But, as the Tidings of that Glory rose,
  The gorgeous Scene appeared about to close;
  For all the People shout, and all the Host
  Of Egypt join’d, along the Red-Sea Coast,      80
  In one loud peal of Praise; and was it joy?
    Oh, no! it was the call his Masters gave,
  That from his Vision drew the Hebrew Boy
      To know himself a Slave!
  While on his Ear that Shout of Triumph broke,
  Joseph unwilling to the Call awoke;
  He saw far off the Egyptian Turrets gleam,
  And wept his cruel Fate, and longed again to dream.


                          [REST IN THE LORD!]

  Ye blessed of your gracious Lord,
    Felt you not, in that glorious Day,
  By Force of that all-powerful Word
    Your Nature’s Evil die away?
  Ye must your Saviour’s Mercy feel,
  Who came the World’s Disease to heal.

  Felt ye not, at the powerful word,
  The Innocence of Man restored;
  Was it not to your Souls revealed,
  The fountain of your Sin was healed?      10

  Did ye not feel the Saviour’s Love,
    With such peculiar Favour graced;
  Lifted the World of Sin above;
    In Mercy’s Ark securely placed;
  From all that vexes, wounds and harms,
  Protected in your Saviour’s Arms?

  Felt you, as Life advanced, the Sin
    That to our better Nature cleaves;
  Or was there not the Guard within,
    His Strength who in his Lord believes;      20
  Did not that healing Touch controul
  The Evil that assaults the Soul?

  Knew ye not, as your Race ye ran,
    And felt the Passions’ strong alarms,
  That He who came and died for Man
    Had blest and held you in His Arms?

  Ye were a favour’d few; but all
    By Frailty griev’d, by Sin opprest,
  Who hear and who obey the Call—
    “Come unto me”—shall find their Rest.      30

  But Sinners who that Mercy seek
    As little Children must appear;
  Their Misery must their Wishes speak—
    Repentant, humble, meek, sincere.
  Let such appear with faithful Hearts
  And feel the Hope that Faith imparts,
  And they shall find that holy Rest
  In their Redeemer’s mercy blest.


             AND HE SAID UNTO HER “THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN.”

                         _St Luke_, vii. [48.]

  Man may the Body’s Pains remove;
    May soothe the Mind’s inferior Pain;
  May the sad Spirit’s sighs reprove,
    And bid the wretched smile again:
  But, who the Soul of Sin would free,
  Must be commissioned, Lord, from Thee!

  Kings of the Earth have touched the Frame
    Of Men diseased, and they have thought
  By calling on Thy gracious Name
    That they the Body’s Cure have wrought:      10
  But ’tis Thy Word alone that brings
  Health to the Soul, O King of Kings!

  “Let there be Light!” th’ Almighty said,
    And o’er the World came flashing Light.
  “Let there be Light!” the Saviour [said],
    And straight the Blind received his Sight.
  At Jesus’ Word the Darkness fled

                  *       *       *       *       *



                                ERRATA.

                               VOL. III.


  [_The lines cited are those of the several poems, not of the pages,
           except where a page contains more than one poem._]

  PAGE 18 l. 622 for _Chronicles_ read _Chronicle_.

  p. 31 l. 150 for _know_ read _knew_.

  p. 75 l. 21 for _if_ read _‘If_.

  _ib._ and 76 ll. 22–4 in double inverted commas only.

  p. 86 l. 428 for _your_ read _‘Your_.

  _ib._ l. 429 _They will your absence_ not in inverted commas.

  p. 87 ll. 465–7 not in inverted commas.

  p. 88 l. 504 for _believe_ read _‘Believe._

  _ib._ l. 505 not in inverted commas.

  _ib._ l. 506 for _it_ read _‘It_.

  _ib._ l. 507 not in treble inverted commas.

  p. 95 l. 794 for _admit_ read _admits_.

  p. 96 l. 828 for _the_ read _will_.

  p. 98 l. 910 no inverted commas.

  _ib._ l. 922 for _follow_ read _follow’d_.

  p. 118 ll. 84–7 no single inverted comma before and after _fair
  fragile thing_; before _wilt thou expand_; before _or wilt_; before
  and after _for will it not_; before and after _melt away_.

  p. 121 l. 217 no single inverted comma before and after _I love_ and
  _Adieu!_

  p. 126 l. 4 for _Visit William_ read _Visit to William_.

  p. 129 l. 68 for _Dodderidge_ read _Doddridge_.

  _ib._ l. 76 for _friends_ read _friends’_.

  p. 134 l. 280 no inverted commas before and after _and shall we her
  neglect?_

  p. 142 l. 579 no inverted commas before and after _How_ and before
  _such wo_.

  _ib._ ll. 580–8 no inverted commas before lines and at end of l.
  588.

  p. 145 l. 702 no inverted commas after _Frances_.

  p. 155 l. 281 an inverted comma after _side_.

  _ib._ ll. 282–3 no third inverted comma at beginning and end of this
  couplet.

  p. 166 l. 187 for _reduced_ read _seduced_.

  p. 167 l. 225 no inverted commas before and after _He knew full
  well_; before _to what_.

  _ib._ l. 226 no inverted commas at beginning and end of line.

  p. 170 l. 373 no third inverted comma before _James_.

  _ib._ l. 374 no inverted commas at beginning or end of line.

  _ib._ ll. 376–7 inverted commas after _the heart_ and before _I
  tarry_.

  p. 171 l. 383 for _O_ read _Oh_.

  _ib._ l. 412 no inverted commas before and after _Can I depend on
  James_.

  p. 172 ll. 433–4 no inverted commas before each of these lines and
  at the end of l. 434.

  _ib._ l. 447 for _slaves_ read _slave’s_.

  p. 173 l. 478 inverted commas at end of line.

  _ib._ l. 479 no inverted commas before and after _In such a night_.

  p. 174 ll. 500–2 no inverted commas before each of these lines and
  at the end of l. 502.

  p. 179 l. 7 for _he_ read _be_.

  p. 182 l. 132 no inverted commas before and after _And where is
  Bloomer_.

  p. 190 ll. 430–44 no third inverted commas at the beginning of each
  of these lines and at the end of l. 444.

  p. 198 l. 169 for _obscure sublime_ read _obscure-sublime_.

  p. 201 ll. 289–91 no inverted commas at the beginnings of these
  lines and at the end of l. 291.

  p. 215 l. 83 no inverted commas at the end of this line.

  p. 216 l. 146 for _we are_ read _we’re_.

  p. 221 l. 347 for _seed_ read _seeds_.

  p. 232 l. 759 no inverted commas at end of line.

  p. 249 l. 314 a foot wanting here.

  p. 273 l. 157 for _girls_ read _girl_.

  p. 336 l. 24 for _hoy’s_ read _hoys’_.

  p. 342 l. 270 for _ousy_ read _oozy_.

  p. 353 l. 74 for _How_ read _How’s_.

  p. 356 l. 192 for _He_ read _he_.

  p. 372 l. 167 for _Made_ read _Make_.

  p. 382 l. 157 for _becomes_ read _become_.

  p. 408 l. 138 for _not ye_ read _ye not_.

  p. 429 l. 66 for _dare_ read _dared_.



                               VARIANTS.


TALES OF THE HALL. Variants in edition of 1819 (first edition).

‘Original MS.’ readings given as footnotes in Life and Poems (1834).
These are distinguished as ‘O.M.’


                               Book XII.

_The Book opens:_

            Bleak was the morn: said Richard, with a sigh,      }
            “I must depart.”—“That, Brother, I deny,”      }
            Said George, “you may; but prithee tell me why.”      }
            This point before had been discuss’d, but still
            Richard submitted to his Brother’s will;
            But every day gave birth to doubt and fear;
            He heard not now, as he was wont to hear.
            George had discover’d such regret and pain,
            That Richard still consented to remain.
              Silence ensued—when, from the village bell
            Came sound for one who bade the world farewell.
            Enquiry made, and it was quickly found
            Sir Owen Dale had caused the doleful sound,
            Lord of a distant village, and his clay
            Was borne through Binning on its homeward way.
            “Knew you the Knight? Our Rector knew him well,
            And he’ll the story of his feelings tell,
            That show at least he had them.—Let us dine,
            I’ll introduce the subject with the wine.
            It is a compound story, if he paints
            The whole—and we must ply him, if he faints.
            The tale foreshorten’d, nothing is descried,
            But certain persons, that they lived and died;
            But let him fill the canvas, and he brings      }
            In view the several passions and their springs,      }
            And we have then more perfect view of things.”      }
              The Vicar came; he dined; and they began
            Freely to speak of the departed man;
            Then ask’d the Vicar to repeat the tale
            That he could give them of Sir Owen Dale.      (O.M.)

l. 19. Creswell.

_instead of_ ll. 243–4:

            Scarcely his generous heart the ills sustain’d,
            And vows of vengeance for his ease remain’d:
            The shapeless purpose of a soul that feels,
            And half suppresses rage, and half reveals.      (O.M.)


                               Book XIII.

_Variant of_ ll. 43–77:

            “Is there not Danger when a lover gains
            His lady’s heart, and her consent obtains?
            (Suppose their union for a while delay’d,
            As when a flinching father is afraid.)
            Now, when the youth upon his labours past
            Delighted looks, and is in peace at last,
            Is there not Danger in those days of peace,
            When troubles lessen, and when terrors cease,
            Lest, from the love of novelty, the sin,
            Of changeful man, some wandering should begin?
            Lest a successful spirit, in its pride,
            Should not contented with its peace abide?
              “Not Troilus more true or fond could be,
            Not Orpheus to his lost Eurydice,
            Than to his Harriet Henry—all was done
            On either part, and either heart was won.
            For there had pass’d the lady’s wish to charm
            With due success; the lover felt th’ alarm;
            Then, more emotion in the man t’ excite,
            There pass’d in her the momentary slight;
            Then, after many a tender fear, there came
            A declaration of the deathless flame.”      (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 188–9:

            “Here none approach to laugh, to sing, to prate;
            Here I can mourn, and muse, and meditate.”      (O.M.)

_after_ l. 648:

            Her quill was one not pluck’d from Venus’ dove,
            And her smart language proved her wounded love. (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 786–93:

            And thus for ever shall it be, when vice
            Shall the weak heart from rectitude entice,
            Or fear, with some poor passion, shall unite
            To make that timid turning from the right,
            Unerring Justice shall her pains decree,
            And man shall own that thus it ought to be.      (O.M.)


                               Book XIV.

_After_ l. 372:

            Well, then, it seems from fairy land we come
            To this of truth! and this must be our home.
            What can we do? the air is bleak and cold,
            And all is dark and dull that we behold.
            In that dear land, what views about us rose!      }
            Views dull and tedious our sad scenes disclose;      }
            How cold and languid these! how warm and sprightly those!
               }
            There were Love’s friends—hope, joy, and generous trust:
            Here are his foes—care, caution, and disgust.
            There was the warm, confiding soul of youth,
            Here doubt and care, and cold assent to truth.
            Oh, ’tis beyond repair, beyond dispute,
            That flower of promise has this bitter fruit!
            Oh, ’tis a dismal fruit! I prithee strive
            For the old prospect—bid the dream revive.      (O.M.)


                               Book XVI.

_The Book opens_:

            The Brothers dwelt upon their favourite themes
            Of ghosts, and spectres, demons, devils, dreams;
            These to all kinds of ghostly subjects led,      }
            Things we believe not, yet we ever dread,      }
            At which our reason halts, by which our fears are led. }
            “Sometimes,” said George, “the ghost and dream unite,
            As was the case with Lady Barbara’s spright.”      (O.M.)

_after_ l. 305:

            “Yet when I look upon that face divine,
            Say, can I wish the goddess-mother mine?
            She who, like Venus, should provide me arms
            Against my foe—not bring me greater harms.”      (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 443–8:

            “Hear, then, and hope not! to the tale I tell
            Belongs the warning on the gate of hell:
            ‘This is no place for hope!’ the guilt above      }
            Excludes it here. Oh! now the guilt remove,      }
            And fear the curse of interdicted love.” (O.M.)}

_variant of_ ll. 495–8:

            “Some to the dean referred us, who had made
            An atheist mad, so well could he persuade:
            Others to Doctor Bowles’s powerful art,
            Who found an entrance in the hardest heart.”      (O.M.)

_variant of_ ll. 915–16:

            Such is our tale, and all that now remain
            Are sad varieties of grief and pain.

_variant of_ ll. 929–37:

            The day of love, like an autumnal day,
            Ev’n in its morning hastened to decay.
            Who gave her hand, determined not to give,
            Was doom’d in anguish and regret to live;
            For he who woo’d so warmly scorn’d her won,
            Eager he sought her, eagerly to shun.
            He laugh’d at tears he caused himself to start,
            And mock’d the sorrows of a breaking heart,
            While she a sad and sighing slave remain’d,
            And to the dregs the cup of sorrow drain’d.      (O.M.)


                               Book XVII.

_Variant of_ ll. 38–63:

            “Would you believe it, Richard, that fair she
            Has had three husbands? I repeat it, _three_!
            True, she has years beyond your reckoning seen,
            With distance and a window for their screen.
            But she has something that may still command
            The warm admirer, and the ready hand.
            Her fortune, too; yet there indeed I doubt;
            Since so much money has run in and out,
            ’Tis hard to guess.—But there is this in her,
            That I to minds of stronger cast prefer.
            She may be made, with certainty and ease,
            To take what habits shall a husband please.
            Women will give up all their love of rule,
            Great as it is, if man be not a fool;
            They’re out of place, when they assume the sway,
            But feel it safe and easy to obey.
            Queens they have been, when men supply the means—
            But Heaven defend us from domestic queens!
            Now hear me, Richard; fairly I relate,
            The thrice devoted wife’s and widow’s fate;
            And you shall own, for I will fairly show,
            That men their misery to supineness owe,
            And that they could not of their fate complain,
            But that they govern with a slackened rein.”      (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 249–50:

            “But, to prevent all babbling, there may be
            A bond and contract betwixt you and me.”      (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 255–6:

            The bond was made; but he appear’d so fond,
            So kind and good, that she destroy’d the bond. (O.M.)

_instead of_ ll. 261–4:

            The reading girl dismissed, the books she read
            No longer visions caused, or fancies bred:
            The teacher gone, the lady took her place,
            And found she could instruct the infant race.      (O.M.)

_variant of_ ll. 297–308:

            He then would take a farm, and he would keep,
            As monied men are wont, a breed of sheep;
            He would attend at meetings and debate,      }
            Would be a serious, useful magistrate,      }
            Talk of his country’s rights, and think about the state. }
            Him should the poor esteem, his equals thank,      }
            And he would class with men of certain rank,      }
            Join in some firm, a partner in some bank—      }
            He and his partner, Ronaldson and Co.—
            All this ambition saw: it must be so.
              Perhaps these children would require a lift,
            It was not right to turn them quite adrift.
            Of that hereafter—and he thought beside
            About the face and fortune of his bride.      (O.M.)

_variant of_ ll. 313–20:

            Young as he was, and planning favourite schemes
            For future grandeur, wealth’s delirious dreams!
            He built a mansion in his mind, and one
            The country round should gaze with pride upon;
            But ere a stone was laid, or timber sawn,
            He to the narrow House of Death was drawn.      (O.M.)

_variant of_ ll. 411–26:

            “It was a vast concern, and, when to think
            She forced herself, she could not sleep a wink.
            ‘Nothing,’ she wrote, ‘could for her loss atone;
            It was a wretched life to live alone:
            Yet, to be used unkindly, that was worse
            Than any evil, but an empty purse;
            And, as her own was not so poor a kind,
            What, in a change, could she expect to find?
            Not but a double fortune would produce
            A double pleasure—she confess’d the use.
            Yet at her time of life, what she desired
            Were humble comforts—little she required.
            And yet ’twas true as any truth could be,
            None had less pleasure in the world than she.
            And then her children! he must surely know
            What prudent mothers to their offspring owe;
            Not but a parent may restrain a child,
            Nay, may reject him, if he will be wild;
            But hers were good, and so they would remain;
            If not, alas! who should their wills restrain?’” (O.M.)

_variant of_ ll. 499–508:

            “Oh!” she cried, “stop, our means will never last;”
            For she had sad remembrance of the past.
              “Hence with all care!” the husband cried, “away!
            Him have I shunned, and hated day by day;
            Never would I his saucy frown allow,
            And shall I turn and meet the villain now?
            In all my wants, I found expedients new,
            And my last, best resource, my dear, in you.”      (O.M.)

_after_ l. 529:

            These graceful weeds will soon be laid aside;
            Exchanged for all the glories of a bride.
            There all is chance! for she is form’d to take
            The guiding hand, but not a guide to make.
              As men of skill the ductile clay command,
            And warm and soften for the plastic hand,
            Till, in each well-form’d feature of the face,
            He can the work of his creation trace,
            So may the future husband here survey
            The mind he models—if he wills, he may.
              Women, dear Richard, born to be controlled,
            Yet love the ensign of the power to hold,
            And would the power itself—but, this deny,
            And they with meek, well-order’d minds comply;
            Tyrants, no doubt, if you resign the sway—
            If you retain it, willing to obey.      (O.M.)


                              Book XVIII.

_For a variant of_ ll. 1–15, _see_ Variants, Book XII. ll. 1–9.


                               Book XIX.

l. 265. Catharine.

_after_ l. 294:

            The mother’s whisper cannot here have place;
            The words distinguish’d were but caps and lace,
            With something lying in a cedar chest,
            And a shrewd smile that further thoughts express’d.
               (O.M.)


                                Book XX.

_Instead of_ ll. 54–5:

            “To take my way, break in on no one’s plan,
            Filling a pause—‘the poor disorder’d man!’”      (O.M.)


=POSTHUMOUS TALES. Variants in Crabbe MSS. in the possession of the
Cambridge University Press.=

=Variants in Crabbe MSS. in the possession of Professor Edward Dowden.=
These are distinguished as ‘D.’

=‘Original MS.’ readings given as footnotes in Life and Poems (1834).=
These are distinguished as ‘O.M.’


                                Tale I.

_The Tale opens:_

            There was a Youth, and we would call him poor,
            Save that he wished not for one Shilling more—
            No, not one Shilling; but th’ ambitious Boy
            Wished for more Wealth than Mortals can enjoy:
            Unbounded Treasure, such as Fancy sees
            In morning Dreams and musing Reveries;
            Such as in Eastern Tales Magicians hide
            For their Unhappy Favourites to provide.
            Such Tales our Boy from Infancy had read
            With Faith enough to turn a stronger head.

_variant of_ ll. 73–4:

            His Father’s Club supplied a Matchless Store
            Of mental Wealth that Minds like his explore.
            He did as Misers yet as Spendthrifts do:
            Long to possess, and to Enjoy them too.

_variant of_ ll. 98–104:

            Yet would his Mind descend to humble food:
            He had a favourite Friend in Robin Hood;
            Knew Philip Quarle; in Crusoe’s Isle had strayed;      }
            Nocturnal Visits had to Witches paid,      }
            And gone through haunted Halls, delighted and afraid }

_after_ l. 104:

            Nor fail’d Arabian Tales his mind to please,
            Peruvian, Persian, Turkish, and Chinese;
            And his chief Reading both in Prose and Rhyme
            He found amusing and he thought sublime.
            And better these, I can but think, than some
            Which now are found in Miss and Master’s room.
            There lie the Moral Story—every age
            From six years upwards has th’ appropriate page—
            And Tales to win Attention, till the Mind
            Is train’d for Novels of superior Kind.
            The Heart is led on fancied Views to dote,
            To live in Error and to live by rote.
              But say that Love and all his naughty deeds
            Are not presented to the Child that reads—
            Still there’s Deception: Charles and Harry here
            Are not such boys as in the World appear:
            They are too good, too bad, too weak, too wise;
            Children at once admire them or despise;
            And, thus instructed, they’re prepared to find
            Their Heroes or their Villains in Mankind,
            Such Baby Wisdom in the Nursery thrives
            And does small Service in their after lives.

              His Father kept an humble School, and Men
            Professing Law employed his ready Pen.
            He measured Land, and his poor Boy with Pain
            Drew o’er the stubbled Glebe a length of Chain.
            He many an hungry day his Fancy fed,
            And not till these his fairy Visions fled,
            That so much Honour, Wealth and Glory gave,
            Felt he for humble Food his fainting Nature crave.

_instead of_ ll. 183–6:

            Mirrors of mighty Size and Pictures Rare,
            Statues and Busts and Tap’stried Walls were there;
            There Art and Nature were, ’twas said, at Strife;
            Views looked like Pictures, Figures looked as Life;
            And Men disputed where the Charms abide
            Most worthy Praise; but no man could decide.

_after_ l. 387:

            “You read your Bible?” He assenting smil’d
            And grew in Favour—an improving Child.

_after_ l. 668:

            Figures that Fancy or the Painter drew,
            Profane and sacred, mingled in his View.

_variant of_ ll. 671–682:

            The Prophet sitting in the Lions’ Den,
            The Mountain Loadstone, and the marble Men—
            Whatever yet to dreaming Man appear’d,
            And all that Fancy ever form’d or fear’d,
            And all that Reading could supply, and all
            The Wonders he had view’d at Silford Hall.

_after_ l. 699:

            At length our Traveller found, tho’ hard to find,
            His Home, and boasted how he fared and dined.
            Six Days the Lad enjoyed the Pleasures past,
            And slowly settled to his Work at last.
            His Tasks were heavy, and his Food was mean,
            But O! the Glories he had lately seen!
            Like a wild Dream upon his Mind they dwelt,
            And still he prayed to feel what he had felt:
            How blest, supremely blest, the favoured Race
            Who lived and feasted in that glorious place.
            Where all were rich and splendid, fine and gay;      }
            They had no Wants to fear, no Cost to pay,      }
            But all day long were pleased and feasted every day. }
            But what, he thought with fresh Surprise, are they
            Whom even these with all their Pride obey;
            Whoso greater Pleasures to themselves are known,
            And who can call what they behold their own?
            He had no Words such pleasures to express;
            ’Twas not enough to call it Happiness.

_the Tale closes_:

            Dream on, dear Boy! let pass a few brief years,
            Replete with troubles, comforts, hopes, and fears,
            Bold expectations, efforts wild and strong,
            And thou shalt find thy fond conjectures wrong.
            Imagination rules thee: thine are dreams,
            And every thing to thee is what it seems:
            Thou seest the surfaces of things, that pass
            Before thee, colour’d by thy fancy’s glass.
            The fact below is hidden! What is true
            In that fair mansion comes not in thy view;
            And thou would’st feel a new and strange surprise,
            Should all within upon thy mind arise.
            Thou think’st the lords of all these glorious things
            Are blest supremely! so they are—like kings!
            Envy them not their lofty state, my boy;
            They but possess the things that you enjoy.
              “Nay, but they’re lords of all you see around—
            Ring but a bell, and men obey the sound;
            Make but a motion, with the hand or eye,
            And their attendants at the signal fly.”
              True, my fair lad! but this is contract all,
            For James is paid to heed his Honour’s call.
            Let wages cease, and lay the livery by,
            And James will heed no more than you or I.
            Service has lawful bound, and that beyond
            Is no obedience—’tis not in the bond.
            Footman, or groom, or butler, still he knows,
            So does his lord, the duty that he owes.
              Labourers, you say, are grieved with daily toil—
            True—but the sweater goes not with the soil;
            He can change places, change his way of life,
            Take new employments—nay, can take a wife;
            If he offend, he knows the law’s decree,
            Nor can his judge in his accuser see;
            And, more than all the rest—or young or old,
            Useful or useless, he cannot be sold:
            Sorrow and want may in his cot be found,
            But not a Slave can live on British ground.
              Nor have the lords of all this wealth you see,
            Their perfect freedom; few are truly free;
            Who rank the highest find the check of fate,
            And kings themselves are subject to their state.
              Riches, and all that we desire to gain,      }
            Bind their possessors in a golden chain—      }
            ’Tis kept in peril, and ’tis lost with pain.      }
              And thou too, Boy! wilt pass unheeding by
            The scenes that now delight thine eager eye.
            Dream on awhile! and there shall come a strange,
            And, couldst thou see it, an amazing change.
            Thou who wert late so happy, and so proud,
            To be a seat with liveried men allow’d,
            And would not, dared not, in thy very shame,
            The titles of their noble masters name—
            Titles that, scarcely known, upon thy tongue
            With tremulous and erring accent hung—
            Now, when accustomed to the splendid Place
            And known to all of that illustrious Race;
            His Senses all, and most of all his Sight,
            Indulged with all that can a Sense delight;
            His partial Friends, to humble Merits kind,
            And to his Failings heedless if not blind;
            Bound to no Duty but a wish to please,
            And living like a Beggar at his ease—
            Now do these Scenes delight him, doth he gaze
            On objects that enchant him and amaze
            In mute Surprise? oh, no! the Time is past;
            Raptures and Wonders are not formed to last.
            Pensive, alone, he walks the Rooms around
            And seeks for Pleasure; but it is not found.
            All he can see he many times has seen,
            And round and round the Maze of Pleasure been.
            The Pictures, now familiar to the Eye,
            He owns their beauty, but he passes by;
            These stately Rooms—that Park so fenced about,
            Where he was free, now shut his Freedom out,
            And keeps, he feels—yet fears it as a Sin,
            And he ungrateful—Lassitude within.
            Himself discerning, he has learned to trace
            The Signs of Languor in the loveliest face.
            The great, the wealthy, who cannot enjoy
            What Time brings forth, would Time himself destroy;
            But that a Lad from life laborious freed
            Should sigh for Action, this is strange indeed;
            And yet no Labours in the years gone by
            Cost him the feeling witnessed in that Sigh.
              Lo! now they meet and greeting seem to say,
            “How dealt you, Friends, with Father Time to-day?”
            When each his warfare has with Time confest,
            Then all acknowledge they are yet opprest.
              Our Youth has wandered in his Way and sees
            The Village tribe, as he conceives, at ease;
            All seeming well their Lot in Life to bear,
            Because they know not his peculiar Care.
            The very Beggar moves, as if he knew
            That he was free his Duties to pursue;
            Men, Women, Children, all appear’d to say,
            “I know the Part that I must take to-day.”
            All this our Youth beheld, and, with a sigh
            Reflected, “Not a care in Life have I.”
              Then why not seek it? Ask the man who dines
            Daily on costly food and generous Wines,
            Who feels no Pain, who no Complaint can make,
            But only feels he can no Pleasure take—
            And he will answer, that ’tis Fortune’s Will;
            He may be weary, but he must be still.
              Oh! had they told thee, when thou sat’st with pride,
            And grateful joy, at Madam Johnson’s side,
            And heard the lisping Flora, blue-eyed maid,
            Bid thee be neither bashful nor afraid,
            When Mrs. Jane thy burning blush had raised,
            Because thy modesty and sense she praised—
            Could’st thou have seen that in that place a room
            Should be thine own, thy house, thy hall, thy home;
            With leave to wander as thou would’st, to read
            Just as thy fancy was disposed to feed,
            To live with those who were so far above
            Thy reach, it seem’d to thee a crime to love,
            Or even admire, them!—Little didst thou know
            How near approach the lofty and the low!
            In all we dare, and all we dare not name,
            How much the great and little are the same!
              Well, thou hast tried it—thou hast closely seen
            What greatness has without it, and within;
            Where now the joyful expectation?—fled!
            The strong anticipating spirit?—dead!


                               Tale III.

_Variant of title_:

                         THE RAKE AND COQUETTE.

_variant of_ ll. 149–50:

            “Have you not heard—for though I do not mean
            To start an ill opinion of your Queen—

_variant of_ ll. 220–4:

            But these pass off and oh! what tempests shake
            The moral view, what dire change they make!
            Temper not hidden, vice no more supprest—
            What stores of Discord swell in either breast.

_the Tale concludes_:

            The Authors both, both Victims [of] Deceit,
            Each feels the Craft that Each was doom’d to meet—
            Time past in Folly or in Mischief spent,
            Time present to regret and Suffering lent;
            While feeble Hopes in either Bosom reign,      }
            That Death in time to come would snap their Chain      }
            And free from Thraldom one, and one release from Pain. }


                                Tale V.

l. 1. Withers.

_after_ l. 44:

            But Flesh and Blood are only white and red,
            And brown or auburn hairs adorn the head,
            And the dear Creatures are but large and small—
            The gay, the grave, the dwarfish or the tall.

l. 63. Vickars.

_after_ l. 121:

            “But, if I must more certain Verdict give,
            My Friend and Neighbour, I will bid thee live;
            For Friends one would not in such times forgo,
            And ’tis Revenge to sacrifice a Foe.

l. 172. Vickars.

_after_ l. 291:

            “We know of Ladies who refuse to sip
            The rosy Wine, nor wet the courted Lip,
            Yet drink at last; and Lovers, tho’ disgraced,
            At length may relish on the varying Taste.

_variant of_ ll. 449 _to end_:

            But Fate more grievous than her fears could draw,
            Or his Revenge forepurposed or foresaw,
            Was theirs: the Carriage was with speed borne on,
            And had in safety thro’ the by-way gone,
            Avoiding face of Man; and now [it] sped
            To the wild Heath that to the Ocean led.
            Their Minds, ev’n his who drove them with such speed,
            Were mov’d and troubled by the lawless Deed,
            And the Way plain, for so it seem’d; their Haste
            Was doubly urgent o’er the level Waste.
            None saw beside them, half o’ergrown, a Cave
            That sometimes Shelter to the Shepherd gave—
            To them, alarm—alarming Fate to one.
            The Driver saw it, but he could not shun;
            His Cry awaked the Terrors, but too late;
            It just preceded the unhappy fate.
            Villars escaped; the youth with heavy Groan
            Proclaimed abroad unheard the fractured bone.
            But poor Calista fell upon the Rock,
            The Cave’s foundation, nor survived the Shock.
            The dying Look, that Villars thought exprest
            Hope and Contrition, Fancy might suggest;
            But, while he stood in Horror at the Sight,
            Those brilliant Eyes were set in endless night.
              A Fate like this, you may conceive, to paint
            Language and Colours are too weak and faint:
            The Lad in Agony with Grief and pain,
            The hurried Man too wretched to complain;
            But o’er the Body of the dead, her Guilt
            Forgotten, and her blood by Vengeance spilt,
            The very Beasts stood trembling, and the day
            In cloudy Stillness slowly past away.
              A Gipsy [Horde]—what time could intervene
            None knows, for Darkness then had veil’d the Scene—
            Led by the cry of pain, the idle Crew
            Approach, and pity touch’d them at the View.
            What they could do and what the Law decreed
            I need not tell—what further can we need?
            But from the Sense of Guilt or [Thought] of Grief
            Nor Law nor Truth can yield the [Soul] Relief.
            The man is old, and feeble lives retired;
            Gives much, takes little—little has transpired
            Of his Employments, Studies or Intent;
            Thankful, ’tis said, when every Day is spent.
            A Priest is with him; he has built his Tomb,
            And walks and muses by the purpos’d home—
            The Tomb of him who thought with too much Zeal
            Of Joy on Earth; whose Curse it was to feel
            And love intensely—may his Spirit know
            The Joys this World could not on him bestow;
            And for that world may he depart from this,
            Where Zeal is Duty and where Love is bliss!


                                Tale VI.

_Instead of_ ll. 1–4:

            I’m now of Age and, if I be in fact
            Heir to a Fortune, it is mine to act.
            Alas! I am no Heir, with Grief I speak
            Mine is the Fortune that is yet to seek.      (D.)

l. 5 _for_ And _read_ Come. (D.)

_after_ l. 6:

            Yet, ere I venture on the bold design,
            And one by fate, not Inclination, mine,
            In a rough World ‘mid Friends and foes to dwell,
            Let me to mine own Neighbours bid farewell!      (D.)

_after_ l. 84:

            But feebly gives the Time; the very Shore,
            Methinks, resounds not as it did before;
            The Market dwindles, and each humble Stall
            Confounds my Sight—there’s Littleness in all.
            Yet is the Shore the same, the same the Sea,
            And every Change I mourn is Change in me.      (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 97–100:

            Would I could one, a single, friend behold
            Who will to me the hidden facts unfold,
            One who will kindly to the Stranger show
            What much he wishes and yet fears to know!      (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 105–6:

            For who looks backward to the Season fled,
            The Man departed is the Mortal dead.      (D.)

_instead of_ l. 115–6:

            My hungry Mind may by Attention fill,
            And like the Ghost glide softly where I will.      (D.)

l. 146: To solve my Doubts: how affable and kind! (D.)

l. 148: To all my Questions, and not few have I. (D.)

_after_ l. 152:

            Here, as along the sandy Shore we pace,
            Shall I hear Tidings of the young and old
            Of whom I took my leave—my Friend behold!      (D.)


                               Tale VII.

_instead of_ ll. 1–4:

            Farewell, my Friend, the Brother of my Heart;
            With whom ’tis new, ’tis difficult, to part;
            Whom I from very Infancy approved,
            And never asked the Question why I loved!      (D.)

l. 10. _for_ mourner _read_ Weeper. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 11–5:

            My faults forgiving, sharing in my Joy,
            A frank, sincere, engaging, generous Boy!
            My Friend in pleasures of the passing Day,
            Mine in Disputes as transient as they,
            Each other’s Champion, never sought the Cause.      (D.)

l. 13: At School each other’s prompter, and at play.

_instead of_ ll. 21–2:

            And made that first Impression on my breast
            That rested not—perchance will never rest.      (D.)

l. 23. _for_ fancy _read_ Passion. (D.)

_instead of_ l. 24:

            I heard and shudder’d at th’ expected Wound.      (D.)

_after_ l. 24:

            And thus we parted, with the same design:
            He had his Care in View, and I had mine.
            We wrote not, could not write; nor had we Woes
            In sentimental Sadness to disclose.
            Ours were the daily Troubles, such as Men
            Feel, keenly feel, but give not to the pen—
            Wounds that in after time may heal indeed,
            But pain us sorely while they’re fresh and bleed;
            Cares of the World and of the troubled Day,
            That in new Troubles die and pass away.
            But I must cease; or, speaking of my Friend,
            The Pain and Pleasure would not quickly end.      (D.)


                               Tale VIII.

l. 24. rueful meditation.

_instead of_ ll. 24–32:

            Hour after Hour in rueful Dulness sate,
            Puzzled and teizing every Boy at Hand;
            But, having all at last in his Command,
            All that he needed, and of that possessed—
            Who would, might think and labour for the rest.
            Knowledge to win was useless when obtained,
            As much as told him what he lost or gained;
            If he had envied Newton, it had been
            But for the Mint of Money he had seen.      (D.)

l. 109: The Vermin of the Customs and Excise. (D.)

l. 118: some have failed.

l. 119: And neither fled the Power nor—satisfied. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 126–7:

            And to be One in a Concern so Grand      }
            Was a rare Prospect—if it could be planned:      }
            Why, he might build an House, and round it buy him Land! }

l. 129: Might condescend in such Abode to dwell. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 132–3:

            For he had heard in former Days the Chair      }
            Was filled with Honour by a worthy Mayor,      }
            Who had sold Cheese and Vinegar—so there! (D.)}

l. 159: Join’d with his Sorrow, Penitence, and Shame. (D.)

l. 163: And courts with patient Care the Gains he spurn’d. (D.)


                                Tale IX.

_Instead of_ ll. 7–10:

            Jane, a sick Mother’s Child who dying knew
            What, when alone, her widow’d Man would do,
            And, having power, left Jane enough to live
            A Life of Ease, which none, she judged, would give. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 29–30:

            Her Talents thus improv’d and thus employ’d,
            Her Cares are Comforts and her Hours enjoyed.      (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 39–41:

            And often said, “What means the idle Boy;
            Will none his Talents and his Hands employ?”
            Alas! my Friend, thy Care was all in vain:
            That Boy had got the Bee within his Brain;
            But for thy Peace with grateful Heart he pray’d. (D.)

l. 51: For then all childish Fancies take their Flight.

l. 96. _for_ Sat down _read_ Appear’d. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 97–9:

            The Thoughts I guess not she appear’d to read,
            When there came one a Stranger’s Cause to plead—
            A Stranger she, and enter’d in that Cause.

l. 106: “True I’m his Mistress, am”—— “But what is he?” (D.)

l. 106: but then what is he?

l. 112: The Fiend he served, then prompting his Deceit.

_after_ l. 130:

            Reproach and Shame the peaceful Muse offend,
            And Tales of Vice and Error soon should end.      (D.)

l. 148: The Lover sought with all a Lover’s Skill. (D.)

l. 158: Who were as happy as they were before. (D.)

_after_ l. 158:

            Yet such his Influence that his Victim found
            Her Bosom wounded with a hopeless Wound.      (D.)

l. 159: Not so his Victim.

l. 167: The open Insult or the secret Pain. (D.)


                                Tale X.

l. 5: Adieu, thou noble Pile, I kiss the sacred Ground. (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 24–5:

            So to her Chaplain she the one commends,
            And to the sick the village doctor sends.

_instead of_ l. 27:

            And keeps the antient Credit of the Hall.

_after_ l. 64:

            And loves the Part unseen from what is now in sight. (D.)

_after_ l. 66:

            Is not the idle Scheme of a projecting Hand.      (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 80–4:

            This is the Spring; then Summer comes in pride,      }
            Pure, silent streams, here hid and there discried,      }
            Feed the unnumbered fry, that there glide;      }
            Then steals th’ Autumnal Prospect o’er the Leaf. (D.)

_instead of_ l. 84:

            Then steals th’ Autumnal Prospect o’er the Leaf.

l. 105. _for_ behold _read_ survey. (D.)

l. 106: That Seat so honour’d, honour’d in decay. (D.)


                                Tale XI.

_After_ l. 10:

            Here some for Cinders are in Ovens made,
            There Iron bars by Stacks of Deal are laid.

_instead of_ ll. 21–2:

            There is no Merchant, far or near, supplied
            With so much Store: no wonder he has Pride!      (D.)

_after_ l. 58:

            But I must leave this lofty Man of Trade
            To make my Fortune—his is ready made.      (D.)

_variant of_ ll. 66–8:

            And the Man waits till One advances more;
            What time the Lady, gliding through the Crowd,
            Makes her advance as she proceeds, aloud.

_instead of_ ll. 77–8:

            It is our Alms-house: men in years decay’d
            Are here sustain’d, once flourishing in Trade.      (D.)

l. 106: Would fain the Kindness that supports him hide. (D.)

_after_ l. 140:

            And, when I Male or female have addrest,
            I see them count the Buttons on my breast.


                               Tale XII.

_Instead of_ ll. 9–14:

            Office and Wealth, and with disdain he sees
            His Brother Burgess in pursuit of these.
            He goes to Church and he is so content,
            Because his Father and his kindred went;
            But still some Reasons for Dissent he states,
            And on this point, at least, prevaricates.      (D.)

_variant of_ l. 10:

            Of Wealth increasing, till he said “No more.”

_after_ l. 10:

            Office he hates, and with Disdain he sees
            His Brother seeking or possessing these.

_variant of_ ll. 11–4:

            He goes to Church, but is not quite content;      }
            He goes indeed, because his Father went;      }
            But he has Bias leaning to Dissent.      }
            Reasons for this and all Dissent be gives,
            And thus at Variance with himself he lives.

_variant of_ ll. 23–4:

            James then retorts, “’Tis better this than place
            Your Hopes upon his Lordship or his Grace.”

_variant of_ ll. 29–32:

            “They call you loyal, and you use your Call
            To gain a Something by attempting all;
            And, if this Treasure to your Coffer bring,
            The Slave no wonder cries, ‘God save the King.’”

_after_ l. 36

            “Do change your Name, and let our Father’s live
            In all the Credit Loyalty will give.”

_after_ l. 66:

            Hear then, while I the pleasing fact reveal      }
            And prove that Men, nay Men of Party, feel,      }
            And Love, when nicely moved, Conflicting Tempers heal. }


                               Tale XIII.

 l. 2:      Whom, would a man describe he calls her Blue. (D.)

            Whom when a Man describes, he calls her Blue.

 l. 4:      The Men grew shy, and Women grew afraid. (D.)

 l. 6:      And the same Love for learned Lore profess. (D.)

            And all her Love for learned Lore profess.

_after_ l. 13:

            Men toil for Learning half their younger Days,
            Yet fail to give it in their Ladies Praise.      (D.)

_instead of_ ll. 24–5:

            Miranda loves about her Chair to see
            As many Men as can collected be.      (D.)

l. 24. Diana.

l. 27: And passes thus her Mornings and her Nights. (D.)

_after_ l. 33:

            For its own Life with other Creeds to shift.      (D.)

            For its own Life with other Creeds to shift.

_after_ l. 41:

            In all political Concerns at Home
            She tells us what they did in Greece and Rome;
            Of their Intrigues and Actions takes a View,
            And knows as well what we ourselves should do.      (D.)

l. 69. _for_ Joanna _read_ her. l. 70. Diana.

_instead of_ l. 77:

            He should be thought or difficult or dry.

            He should be thought or difficult or dry.      (D.)

_after_ l. 85:

            As Critic she each Author’s Merit weighs
            And doles them out the due return of Praise;
            With equal Weight her many Censures fall,
            She knows the Merit and the Faults of all.
            Long are the Letters she receives, and fond
            She seems of Authors who will correspond.
            These to her humbler friends she proudly shows,
            And tells what literary Debts she owes;
            How many send her Works that give her Pain;
            She will be just! and they, alas! are vain,
            The foolish Creatures will her Judgment ask,
            And then they blame her Sentence—such her Task!
            Though she herself a ready Mistress makes
            Of every Science that she undertakes,
            Yet four or five are all she knows at most
            All she has mustered and can truly boast.      (D.)

l. 105. _for_ the envious mass _read_ capricious man.

l. 107. _for_ the world _read_ proud man.

_after_ l. 109:

            “But where the learned Lady?” “Who, Sir, who?”      }
            “She, my good Friend, who every Science knew;      }
            The Triflers of her sex and ours pronounced her Blue.
               (D.)}

l. 120. Diana Tompson.

_after_ l. 129:

            And those who once around her Table drew
            Are now diminished to an humble Few.

_after_ l. 131:

            Not that such Guests were by the palate led,
            Or would have aught except the Spirit fed;
            Yet, while the food of minds the men pursue,
            They judge it well to feed the Body too.
            The Frame’s supporters without that supply,      }
            The Nerves, become unstrung; the Spirits fly,      }
            And e’en the Tongue itself grows weary, faint, and dry; }
            And, like a noble but neglected Steed,
            Drops in the Race and falters in his speed.
            Diana’s Care displeased the selfish Crew,
            And all forsook her but a generous few.
            With these was Michael Sprat—let none deride
            A learned Sadler, or a Sadler’s pride!
            Him the wise Lady to her Friendship took,      }
            And chose a Man as she would choose a Book—      }
            For the intrinsic Worth, and not the outward Look.      }
              Beside the Lady Michael took his chair,
            And people talked about the learned Pair;
            And vulgar Tongues, alas! a numerous Kind,
            Who cannot feel how Mind is mixed with Mind,
            Began the subject in such way to treat
            As if such Lady could be indiscreet;
            And, that the venom of such tongues might cease,
            They chose to marry and to live in peace.
              Now mark their Malice: when the learned Maid
            Had such a price for Reputation paid,
            The Guest at once the wedded friends forsook
            And left the Lady to her Spouse and Book.
            Still worse, the man ungratefully denied
            T’ assist the studies of his Friend and Bride;
            Retracted all that he had said before,
            And would be saddled with such Tasks no more!
            And, how they liv’d and lov’d from year to year,
            Or how they studied, does not yet appear.
            At length the Sadler died; but yet not now
            Would Men the Honour of the Past allow.      (D.)

_after_ l. 149:

            Now had this Lady with a common View
            Married, and done as other Ladies do;
            Attended only to the poor Concerns
            Which any Woman without Genius learns;
            Govern’d her Household in a decent Way,
            And taught her Nurslings how to read and pray.
            Had she, the Mistress of a mighty Mind,
            Her Pride to this and to her House confined,
            Known Pig from Veal, consulted with her Cook,
            And only read, not criticised, a Book—
            Such is the World, it had the Life approv’d,
            And ten to one the Husband’s self had lov’d.      (D.)


                               Tale XIV.

_Variant of Title:_

                           THE WIDOW SOPHIA.

_the Tale opens:_

            Some female Minds are with such Strength endued,
            Man they excell in genuine Fortitude.
            A Widow now, Sophia once sustained
            The Toils of War and in a Camp remained.      (D.)

_instead of_ l. 8:

            By Reasons powerful at such time, to wed.

_instead of_ ll. 36–7:

            She is not one at tales of Woe to faint,
            Or weep at Sorrows dreaming Poets paint.      (D.)

_variant of_ ll. 46–7:

            “Where now the Lady, with that mental strength
            And even Temper, does she rest at length?
            Weds she again, and does her second Choice
            In all her strength and Energies rejoice?      (D.)

l. 54: _for_ yet young was _read_ expiring.

l. 93: Nay, and for his, the Voyage would undertake. (D.)

l. 96: The Rage of Men who could not hold their Prey. (D.)

_instea