« ElőzőTovább »
trod on a viper) has long had a criminal passion - Damn him, damn him !' said I : - let us for my wife; this her prudence had concealed leave Milan instantly; but softs will be from me ; but he had lately the boldness to de- calm ; Mountford, your pencil.' I wrote on a clare it to myself. He promised me affluence in slip of paper, exchange for honour; and threatened misery, as its attendant, if I kept it. I treated him with "To Signor RESPINO. the contempt he deserved : the consequence was, "When you receive this, I am at a distance that he hired a couple of bravoes, (for I am per from Milan. Accept of my thanks for the civil. suaded they acted under his direction,) who at- ities I have received from you and your family. tempted to assassinate me in the street ; but I As to the friendship with which you were pleased made such a defence as obliged them to fly, af- to honour me, the prison, which I have just left. ter having given me two or three stabs, none of has exhibited a scene to cancel it for ever. Yon which, however, were mortal. But his revenge may possibly be merry with your companions was not thus to be disappointed : in the little at my weakness, as I suppose you will term it. dealings of my trade I had contracted some debts, I give you leave for derision : you may affect a of which he had made himself master for my triumph ; I shall feel it. ruin. I was confined here at his suit, when not
EDWARD Sedley.' yet recovered from the wounds I had received ; this dear woman, and these two boys, followed "" You may send this if you will,' said me, that we might starve together; but Provi. Mountford, coolly ; but still Respino is a man dence interposed, and sent Mr Mountford to of honour; the world will continue to call him our support: he has relieved my family from so.'— It is probable,' I answered, they may; the gnawings of hunger, and rescued me from I envy not the appellation. If this is the world's death, to which a fever, consequent on my honour, if these men are the guides of its manwounds, and increased by the want of every ne- ners'— Tut !' said Mountford,' do you eat cessary, had almost reduced me.
macaroni ?'”« Inhuman villain !' I exclaimed, lifting up my eyes to heaven. Inhuman indeed !' said the lovely woman who stood at my side: 'Alas! [At this place had the greatest depredations sir, what had we done to offend him? what had of the Curate begun. There were so very few these little ones done, that they should perish connected passages of the subsequent chapters in the toils of his vengeance?'- I reached a pen remaining, that even the partiality of an editor which stood in the ink-standish at the bed-side could not offer them to the public. I discovered.
May I ask what is the amount of the sum from some scattered sentences, that they were of for which you are imprisoned?'-'I was able,' much the same tenor with the preceding; rehe replied, " to pay all but 500 crowns.'-1 citals of little adventures, in which the disposi. wrote a draught on the banker with whom I tions of a man, sensible to judge, and still more had a credit from my father for 2500, and pre- warm to feel, had room to unfold themselves. senting it to the stranger's wife, ‘You will re- Some instruction, and some example, I make no ceive, madam, on presenting this note, a sum doubt, they contained; but it is likely that many more than sufficient for your husband's dis- of those, whom chance has led to a perusal of charge ; the remainder I leave for his industry what I have already presented, may have read to improve. I would have left the room : each it with little pleasure, and will feel no disapof them laid hold of one of my hands; the pointment from the want of those parts which children clung to my coat :-Oh! Mr Harley, I have been unable to procure: to such as may methinks I feel their gentle violence at this have expected the intricacies of a novel, a few moment; it beats here with delight inexpres- incidents in a life undistinguished, except by sible !_ Stay, sir,' said he, I do not mean some features of the heart, cannot have afforded attempting to thank you ; (he took a pocket- much entertainment. book from under his pillow ;) let me but know Harley's own story, from the mutilated paswhat name I shall place here next to Mr Mount- sages I have mentioned, as well as from some ford ?'-Sedley' —he writ it down—'An Eng- inquiries I was at the trouble of making in the lishman too, I presume.'—'He shall go to country, I found to have been simple to excess. heaven notwithstanding,' said the boy who had His mistress, I could perceive, was not married been our guide. It began to be too much for to Sir Harry Benson : but it would seem, by me; I squeezed his hand that was clasped in one of the following chapters, which is still en. mine; his wife's I pressed to my lips, and burst tire, that Harley had not profited on the occa* from the place, to give vent to the feelings that sion by making any declaration of his own paslaboured within me.
sion, after those of the other had been unsuc“Oh! Mountford !' said I, when he had over cessful. The state of his health, for some part taken me at the door. It is time,' replied he, of this period, appears to have been such as to
that we should think of our appointment; forbid any thoughts of that kind : he had been young Respino and his friends are waiting us.' seized with a very dangerous fever, caught by at
tending old Edwards in one of an infectious kind. sciousness of few great offences to account for. From this he had recovered but imperfectly. There are blemishes, I confess, which deform and though he had no formed complaint, his in some degree the picture. But I know the health was manifestly on the decline.
benignity of the Supreme Being, and rejoice at It appears that the sagacity of some friend the thoughts of its exercise in my favour. My had at length pointed out to his aunt a cause mind expands at the thought that I shall enter from which this might be supposed to proceed, into the society of the blessed, wise as angels, to wit, his hopeless love for Miss Walton ; for, with the simplicity of children.” He had, by according to the conceptions of the world, the this time, clasped my hand, and found it wet love of a man of Harley's fortune for the heiress by a tear which had just fallen upon it. His of 40001. a-year, is indeed desperate. Whether eye began to moisten toowe sat for some time it was so in this case may be gathered from the silent. At last, with an attempt to a look of next chapter, which, with the two subsequent, more composure, “There are some remembranconcluding the performance, have escaped those ces,” said Harley, “which rise involuntarily on accidents that proved fatal to the rest.] my heart, and make me almost wish to live. I
have been blessed with a few friends, who re
deem my opinion of mankind. I recollect, with CHAP. LV.
the tenderest emotion, the scenes of pleasure I
have passed among them ; but we shall meet He sees Miss Walton, and is happy. again, my friend, never to be separated. There
are some feelings, which, perhaps, are too tender HARLEY was one of those few friends whom to be suffered by the world. The world is in the malevolence of fortune had yet left me: I general selfish, interested, and unthinking, and could not, therefore, but be sensibly concerned throws the imputation of romance, or melanfor his present indisposition; there seldom passed choly, on every temper more susceptible than a day on which I did not make inquiry about its own. I cannot think but in those regions him.
which I contemplate, if there is any thing of The physician who attended him had in- mortality left about us, that these feelings will formed me the evening before, that he thought subsist :--they are called, -perhaps they are him considerably better than he had been for weaknesses here ;-but there may be some betsome time past. I called next morning to be ter modifications of them in heaven, which may confirmed in a piece of intelligence so welcome deserve the name of virtues." He sighed as he to me.
spoke these last words. He had scarcely finished When I entered his apartment, I found him them, when the door opened, and his aunt apsitting on a couch, leaning on his hand, with peared, leading in Miss Walton. “My dear,” his eye turned upwards in the attitude of says she, “ here is Miss Walton, who has been thoughtful inspiration. His look had always so kind as to come and inquire for you herself.” an open benignity, which commanded esteem; I could observe a transient glow upon his face. there was now something more-a gentle tri. He rose from his seat_“If to know Miss Walumph in it.
ton's goodness,” said he, “be a title to deserve He rose, and met me with his usual kind- it, I have some claim." She begged him to reness. When I gave him the good accounts I sume his seat, and placed herself on the sofa had had from his physician, “I am foolish beside him. I took my leave. Mrs Margery enough,” said he, “ to rely but little, in this accompanied me to the door. He was left with instance, upon physic: my presentiment may Miss Walton alone. She inquired anxiously be false ; but I think I feel myself approaching about his health. “I believe," said he, “ from to my end, by steps so easy, that they woo me the accounts which my physicians unwillingly to approach it.
give me, that they have no great hopes of my “There is a certain dignity in retiring from recovery."—She started as he spoke; but, relife at a time when the infirmities of age have collecting herself immediately, endeavoured to not sapped our faculties. This world, my dear flatter him into a belief that his apprehensions Charles, was a scene in which I never much de- were groundless. “ I know,” said he,“ that lighted. I was not formed for the bustle of the it is usual with persons at my time of life to busy, nor the dissipation of the gay; a thou have these hopes, which your kindness sugsand things occurred, where I blushed for the gests; but I would not wish to be deceived. impropriety of my conduct when I thought on To meet death as becomes a man, is a privilege the world, though my reason told me I should bestowed on few.-I would endeavour to make have blushed to have done otherwise. It was a it mine ;-nor do I think that I can ever be scene of dissimulation, of restraint, of disap- better prepared for it than now :-It is that pointment. I leave it to enter on that state, which chiefly which determines the fitness of its apI have learned to believe is replete with the proach."-" Those sentiments,” answered Miss genuine happiness attendant upon virtue. 1 Walton, “ are just ; but your good sense, Mr look back on the tenor of my life, with the con- Harley, will own, that life has its proper value. As the province of virtue, life is ennobled: tionless. There is an enthusiasm in sorrow that as such, it is to be desired. To virtue has the forgets impossibility; I wondered that it was Supreme Director of all things assigned re- 80. The sight drew a prayer from my heart: wards enough even here to fix its attachment.” it was the voice of frailty and of man! the confu
The subject began to overpower her.-Har- sion of my mind began to subside into thought; ley lifted his eyes from the ground-" There I had time to weep. are,” said he, in a very low voice, “ there are I turned with the last farewell upon my lips, attachments, Miss Walton ” His glance met when I observed old Edwards standing behind hers—They both betrayed a confusion, and me. I looked him full in the face; but his were both instantly withdrawn.--He paused eye was fixed on another object: he pressed some moments—“I am in such a state as calls between me and the bed, and stood gazing on for sincerity, let that also excuse it-It is per the breathless remains of his benefactor. I haps the last time we shall ever meet. I feel spoke to him I know not what; but he took no something particularly solemn in the acknow- notice of what I said, and remained in the same ledgment, yet my heart swells to make it, awed attitude as before. He stood some minutes in as it is by a sense of my presumption, by a sense that posture, then turned and walked towards of your perfections"-He paused again—" Let the door. He paused as he went ;-he returnit not offend you, to know their power over one ed a second time: I could observe his lips move so unworthy-it will, I believe, soon cease to as he looked ; but the voice they would have beat, even with that feeling which it shall lose uttered was lost. He attempted going again; the latest. To love Miss Walton could not be and a third time he returned as before.— I saw a crime ;-if to declare it is one—the expiation him wipe his cheek; then, covering his face will be made."--Her tears were now flowing with his hands, his breast heaving with the without control.-“ Let me intreat you,” said most convulsive throbs, he flung out of the she, “ to have better hopes-Let not life be so room. indifferent to you; if my wishes can put any value on it-I will not pretend to misunderstand you I know your worth—I have known
THE CONCLUSION. it long I have esteemed it-What would you have me to say ?-I have loved it as it deser- He had hinted that he should like to be buved."-He seized her hand--a languid colour ried in a certain spot near the grave of his moreddened his cheek-a smile brightened faintly ther. This is a weakness; but it is universalin his eye. As he gazed on her, it grew dim, ly incident to humanity: 'tis at least a memoit fixed, it closed-He sighed and fell back on rial for those who survive: for some indeed his seat-Miss Walton screamed at the sight slender memorial will serve; and the soft afHis aunt and the servants rushed into the room fections, when they are busy that way, will
They found them lying motionless together. build their structures, were it but on the paring -His physician happened to call at that in- of a nail. stant. Every art was tried to recover them . He was buried in the place he had desired. With Miss Walton they succeededBut Har. It was shaded by an old tree, the only one in ley was gone for ever!
the church-yard, in which was a cavity worn by time. I have sat with him in it, and count
ed the tombs. The last time we passed there, CHAP. LVI.
methought he looked wistfully on the tree :
there was a branch of it, that bent towards us, The Emotions of the Heart.
waving in the wind; he waved his hand, as if
he mimicked its motion. There was something I ENTERED the room where his body lay ; I predictive in his look! perhaps it is foolish to approached it with reverence, not fear; I looked; remark it; but there are times and places when the recollection of the past crowded upon me. I am a child in those things. I saw that form which, but a little before, was I sometimes visit his grave; I sit in the holanimated with a soul which did honour to hu- low of the tree. It is worth a thousand homimanity, stretched without sense or feeling be- lies ; every noble feeling rises within me! every fore me. 'Tis a connexion we cannot easily for- beat of my heart awakens virtue!-but it will get :- I took his hand in mine; I repeated his make you hate the world- No: there is such name involuntarily ;-I felt a pulse in every an air of gentleness around, that I can hate novein at the sound. I looked earnestly in his thing; but, as to the world I pity the men face; his eye was closed, his lip pale and mo- of it.
THE END OF THE MAN OF FEELING.