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Though the world is but little concerned to containing earthworms, to be used as bait in know in what situation the author of any per- angling. On seeing me, Ryland dropped his formance, that is offered to its perusal, may be, moss on the ground, and ran with all the yet I believe it is generally solicitous to learn warmth of friendship to embrace me.“ My some circumstances relating to him: for my dear Tom,” said he,“ how happy I am to see own part, I have always experienced this desire you! you have travelled, no doubt, a woundy in myself; and read the advertisement at the long way since we parted.—You find me in beginning, and the postscript at the end, of a the old way here.-I believe they have but a book, if they contain any information of that sorry notion of sport in Italy.-While I think sort, with a kind of melancholy inquietude on't, look on this minnow ; I'll be hanged if about the fate of him, in whose company, as it the sharpest-eyed trout in the river can know it were, I have passed some harmless hours, and from the natural. It was but yesterday nowwhose sentiments have been unbosomed to me You remember the cross-tree pool, just below with the openness of a friend.
the parsonage--there I hooked him, played him The life of him who has had an opportunity half an hour by the clock, and landed' him at of presenting to the eye of the public the fol- last as far down as the churchway ford. As lowing tale, though sufficiently chequered with for his size--Lord ! how unlucky it is that I vicissitude, has been spent in a state of obscu- have not my landing-net here! for now I rerity, the recital of which could but little excite collect that I marked his length on the outadmiration, or gratify curiosity: the manner of side of the pole ; but you shall see it some other his procuring the story contained in the follow. time.” ing sheets, is all he thinks himself entitled to Let not my reader be impatient at my friend relate.
Ryland's harangue. I give it him, because I After some wanderings at that time of life would have characters develope themselves. which is most subject to wandering, I had found To throw, however, some farther light upon an opportunity of revisiting the scenes of my Ryland's: earlier attachments, and returned to my native He was first cousin to a gentleman who posspot with that tender emotion, which the heart, sessed a considerable estate in our county, born that can be moved at all, will naturally feel on to no fortune, and not much formed by nature approaching it. The remembrance of my in- for acquiring one. He found pretty early that fant days, like the fancied vibration of pleasant he should never be rich, but that he might sounds in the ear, was still alive in my mind; possibly be happy; and happiness to him was and I flew to find out the marks by which even obtained without effort, because it was drawn inanimate things were to be known, as the from sources which it required little exertion friends of my youth, not forgotten, though long to supply: trifles were the boundaries of his unseen, nor lessened in my estimation, from desire, and their attainment the goal of his fethe pride of refinement, or the comparison of licity. A certain neatness at all those little experience.
arts in which the soul has no share, an immoIn the shade of an ancient tree, that center- derate love of sport, and a still more immodeed a circle of elms, at the end of the village rate love of reciting its progress, with the addiwhere I was born, I found my old acquaint- tion of one faculty which has some small conance Jack Ryland: he was gathering moss with nection with letters, to wit, a remarkable meone hand, while the other held a flannel bag, mory for puzzles and enigmas, made up his VOL. V.
character; and he enjoyed a privilege uncom- tender solemnity of her look answered the very mon to the happy, that no one envied the means movement which the remembrance had awaked by which he attained what every one pursues. in my soul, and I made no other reply than by
I interrupted his narrative by some inquiries a tear. She seemed to take it in good part, about my former acquaintance in the village ; and we met on that ground like old friends, for Ryland was the recorder of the place, and who had much to ask, and much to be answercould have told the names, families, relations, ed. and intermarriages of the parish, with much When we were going away, she begged to more accuracy than the register.
have a moment's conversation with me alone; “ Alackaday!” said Jack, “ there have been Ryland left us together. many changes among us since you left this : « If I am not deceived, sir,” said she, “ in here has died the old gauger Wilson, as good a the opinion I have formed of you, your feelings cricket-player as ever handled a bat; Rooke, are very different from those of Mr Ryland, at the Salutation, is gone too ; and his wife has and indeed of most of my neighbours in the left the parish and settled in London, where village ; you seem to have had a peculiar inteI am told she keeps a gin-shop, in some street rest in the fate of that worthiest of men, Mr they call Southwark; and the poor parson, Annesly. The history of that life of purity whom you were so intimate with, the worthy which he led, of that calamity by which it was old Annesly”-He looked piteously towards shortened, might not be an unpleasing, though the church-yard, and a tear trickled down his a melancholy recital to you; but in this box, cheek.—“ I understand you," said I, “ the which stands on the table by me, is contained good man is dead !”_"Ah! there is more than a series of letters and papers, which, if you you think about his death,” answered Jack; will take the trouble of reading them, will « he died of a broken heart !” I could make no save me the task of recounting his sufferings. reply but by an ejaculation, and Ryland ac- You will find many passages which do not incompanied it with another tear; for, though he deed relate to it; but, as they are often the encommonly looked but on the surface of things, tertainment of my leisure hours, I have markyet Ryland had a heart to feel.
ed the most interesting parts on the margin. “ In the middle of yon clump of alders," This deposit, sir, though its general importsaid he, “ you may remember a small house, ance be small, my affection for my departed that was once farmer Higgins's; it is now oc- friend makes me consider as a compliment; and cupied by a gentlewoman of the name of Wis- I commit it to you, as to one in whose favour tanly, who was formerly a sort of servant com- I have conceived a prepossession from that very panion to Sir Thomas Sindall's mother, the wi- cause." dow of Sir William ; her mistress, who died some Those letters and papers were the basis of years ago, left her an annuity, and that house what I now offer to the public. Had it been for life, where she has lived ever since. I am my intention to make a Book, I might have told that she knows more of Annesly's affairs published them entire; and I am persuaded, than any other body; but she is so silent and notwithstanding Mrs Wistanly's remark, that shy, that I could never get a word from her on no part of them would have been found more the subject : she is reckoned a wonderful scho- foreign to the general drift of this volume, than lar by the folks of the village ; and you, who many that have got admittance into similar are a man of reading, might perhaps be a great collections: but I have chosen rather to throw er favourite with her; if you choose it, I shall them into the form of a narrative, and contentintroduce you to her immediately.” I accept- ed myself with transcribing such reflections as ed his offer, and we went to her house toge- naturally arise from the events, and such senther.
timents as the situations alone appear to have We found her sitting in a little parlour, fit excited. There are indeed many suppletory ted up in a taste much superior to what might facts, which could not have been found in this have been expected from the appearance of the collection of Mrs Wistanly's; these I was at house, with some shelves, on which I observed some pains to procure through other channels. several of the most classical English and French How I was enabled to procure them the reader authors. She rose to receive us with something may conceive, if his patience can hold out to in her manner greatly above her seeming rank: the end of the story: to account for that now, Jack introduced me as an acquaintance of her would delay its commencent, and anticipate its deceased friend, Mr Annesly. “Then, sir,” conclusion; for both which effects this introsaid she, “ you knew a man who had few fel. ductory chapter may have already been subject lows !” lifting her eyes gently upwards. The to reprehension.
MAN OF THE WORLD.
With this view of things his father's ideas did
by no means coincide. His anger against his son CHAP. I.
continued till his death; and, when that event
happened, with the preposterous revenge of In which are some Particulars previous to the many a parent, he consigned him to misery, as Commencement of the main Story. he thought, because he would not be unhappy
in that way which he had insisted on his fol. RICHARD ANNESLY was the only child of a lowing, and cut him off from the inheritance of wealthy tradesman in London, who, from the his birth, because he had chosen a profession experience of that profit which his business af- which kept him in poverty without it. forded himself, was anxious it should descend Though Annesly could support the fear of to his son. Unfortunately, the young man had poverty, he could not easily bear the thought of acquired a certain train of ideas, which were to- a dying father's displeasure. On receiving intally averse to that line of life which his father telligence of his being in a dangerous situation, had marked out for him. There is a degree of he hastened to London, with the purpose of sentiment, which, in the bosom of a man des- wringing from him his forgiveness for the only tined to the drudgery of the world, is the source offence with which his son had ever been chargeof endless disgust: of this young Annesly was able ; but he arrived too late : his father had unluckily possessed ; and as he toresaw, or breathed his last on the evening of the day prethought he foresaw, that it would not only en- ceding that on which he reached the metropodanger his success, but take from the enjoyment lis, and his house was already in the possession of prosperity, suppose it attained, he declined of a nephew, to whom his son understood he following that road which his father had smoothed had left every shilling of his fortune. This man for his progress; and, at the risk of those tem- had been bred a haberdasher, at the express deporal advantages which the old gentleman's dis- sire of old Annesly, and had all that patient pleasure on this occasion might deny him, en- dulness which qualifies for getting rich; which, tered into the service of the church, and retired therefore, in the eyes of his uncle, was the most to the country on one of the smallest endown estimable of all qualities. He had seldom seen ments she has to bestow.
Richard Annesly before ; for indeed this last was That feeling which prevents the acquisition not very solicitous of his acquaintance; he reof wealth, is formed for the support of poverty; collected his face, however, and, desiring him to the contentment of the poor, I had almost said sit down, informed him particularly of the sete their pride, buoys up the spirit against the de- tlement which his relentless father had made. pression of adversity, and gives to our very wants “ It was unlucky,” said the haberdasher, “ that the appearance of enjoyment.
you should have made choice of such a profesAnnesly looked on happiness as confined to sion; but a parson, of all trades in the world, the sphere of sequestered life. The pomp of he could never endure. It is possible you may greatness, the pleasures of the affluent, he con- be low in cash at this time: if you want a small sidered as only productive of turbulence, dis- matter to buy mournings, or so, I shall not scruquiet, and remorse ; and thanked heaven for ple to advance you the needful; and I wish you having placed him in his own little shed, which, would take them of neighbour Bullock, the in his opinion, was the residence of pure and woollen-draper, who is as honest a man as any lasting felicity.
of the trade, and would not impose on a child." Annesly's eyes had been hitherto fixed on the kins. There was a certain indefinable attraction ground; nor was there wanting a tear in each which linked him every day closer to her, and for his unnatural father; he turned them on this artlessness of manner had the effect (which, I cousin with as contemptuous a look as his na presume, from their practice, few young ladies ture allowed them to assume, and walked out believe it to have) of securing the conquest she of the house without uttering a word.
had gained. He was now thrown upon the world with the From the wealth which old Annesly was sentence of perpetual poverty for his inheritance. known to possess, his son was, doubtless, in the He found himself in the middle of a crowded phrase of the world, a very advantageous match street in London, surrounded by the buzzing for Miss Wilkins; but when her father discosons of industry, and shrunk back at the sense vered the young man to be serious in his attachof his own insignificance. In the faces of those ment to her, he frequently took occasion to sughe met he saw no acknowledgment of connexion, gest, how unequal the small fortune he could and felt himself, like Cain, after his brother's leave his daughter was to the expectations of murder, an unsheltered, unfriended outcast. the son of a man worth 30,0001., and with a He looked back to his father's door ; but his frankness peculiar to himself, gave the father to spirit was too mild for reproach-a tear dropped understand, that his son's visits were rather from his eye as he looked!
more frequent than was consistent with that There was in London one person, whose gen track of prudence which the old gentleman tle nature he knew would feel for his misfor. would probably mark out for him. The father, tunes; yet to that one, of all others, his pride however, took little notice of this intelligence; forbade him to resort.
the truth was, that, judging by himself, he gave Harriet Wilkins was the daughter of a neigh- very little credit to it, because it came from one, bour of his father's, who had for some time who, according to his conception of things, given up business, and lived on the interest of should, of all others, have concealed it from his 40001., which he had saved in the course of it. knowledge. From this circumstance, his acquaintance, old But though his son had the most sincere ato Annesly, entertained no very high opinion of tachment to Miss Wilkins, his present circumhis understanding; and did not cultivate much stances rendered it, in the language of prudence, understanding with a man whom he considered impossible for them to marry. They contented as a drone in the hive of society; but in this themselves, therefore, with the assurance of each opinion, as in many others, his son had the mis- other's constancy, and waited for some favourfortune to differ from him. He used frequently able change of condition which might allow to steal into Wilkins's house of an evening, to them to be happy. enjoy the conversation of one who had passed The first idea which struck Annesly's mind on through life with observation, and had known the disappointment he suffered from his father's the labour of business, without that contraction settlement, was the effect it would have on his of soul which it often occasions. Harriet was situation with regard to Harriet. There is percommonly of the party, listening with Annesly haps nothing more bitter in the lot of poverty, to her father's discourse, and with Annesly of than the distance to which it throws a man from fering her remarks on it. She was not handsome the woman he loves : that pride I have before enough to attract notice ; but her look was of taken notice of, which in every other circumthat complacent sort which gains on the be- stance tends to his support, serves but to wound holder, and pleases from the acknowledgment him the deeper in this. That feeling now turned that it is beneath admiration.
Annesly's feet from his Harriet's door; yet it Nor was her mind ill suited to this “ Index was now that his Harriet seemed the more worof the Soul.” Without that brilliancy which thy of his love, in proportion as his circumstanexcites the general applause, it possessed those ces rendered it hopeless. A train of soft refleca inferior sweetnesses which acquire the general tions at length banished this rugged guest from esteem ; sincere, benevolent, inoffensive, and his heart is 'Tis but taking a last farewell !" unassuming. Nobody talked of the sayings of said he to himself, and trod back the steps which Miss Wilkins; but every one heard her with he had made. pleasure, and her smile was the signal of uni- He entered the room where Harriet was sit. versal complacency.
ting by her father, with a sort of diffidence of · Annesly found himself insensibly attached to his reception that he was not able to hide; but her by a chain, which had been imposed with Wilkins welcomed him in such a manner, as out art, and suffered without consciousness. soon dissipated the restraint under which the During his acquaintance with Harriet, he had thoughts of his poverty had laid him. “ This come to that period of life when men are most visit, my dear Annesly,” said he, “ flatters me, apt to be impressed with appearances ; in fact, because it shews you leaning on my friendship: he had looked on many a beauty with rapture, I am not ignorant of your present situation, and which he thought sincere, till it was interrupted I know the effect which prudent men will say by the reflection that she was not Harriet Wil, it should have on myself; that I differ from
them, may be the consequence of spleen per. song in his turn, and be rewarded with a cup haps, rather than generosity; for I have been of that excellent liquor I mentioned. at war with the world from a boy.-Come hi. Their felicity was too perfect to be lasting, ther, Harriet ; this is Richard Annesly : his such is the proverbial opinion of mankind. The father, it is true, has left him 30,0001. poorer days of joy, however, are not more winged in than it was once expected he would ; but he is their course than the days of sorrow; but we Richard Annesly still ! you will therefore look count not the moments of their duration with upon him as you did before. I am not stoic so scrupulous an exactness. enough to deny, that riches afford numberless Three years after the birth of her first daughcomforts and conveniences which are denied to ter, Mrs Annesly was delivered of another: but the poor ; but that riches are not essential to the birth of the last was fatal to her mother, who happiness, I know, because I have never yet did not many days survive it. Annesly's grief found myself unhappy ;-nor shall I now sleep on this occasion was immoderate ; nor coulă all unsound, from the consciousness of having added the endeavours of his father-in-law, whose mind to the pressure of affliction, or wounded merit was able to preserve more composure, prevail afresh, because fortune had already wounded it.” upon him, for some days, to remember the com
Liberal minds will delight in extending the mon offices of life, or leave the room in which empire of virtue; for my own part, I am hap his Harriet had expired. Wilkins's grief, howpy to believe, that it is possible for an attorney ever, though of a more silent sort, was not less to be honest, and a tradesman to think like deep in its effects; and when the turbulence of Wilkins.
the other's sorrow had yielded to the soothings of time, the old man retained all that tender re
gret due to the death of a child, an only child, CHAP. II.
whose filial duty had led him down the slope of
life without suffering him to perceive the deMore introductory Matter.
scent. The infant she had left behind her was
now doubly endeared to his father and him, Wukins having thus overlooked the want of from being considered as the last memorial of fortune in his young friend, the lovers found its dying mother; but of this melancholy kind but little hinderance to the completion of their of comfort they were also deprived in a few wishes. Harriet became the wife of a poor man, months by the small-pox. Wilkins seemed by who returned the obligation he owed to her and this second blow to be loosened from the little her father's generosity, by a tenderness and af- hold he had struggled to keep of the world, and fection rarely found in wedlock; because there his resignation was now built upon the hopes, are few minds from whom, in reason, they can not of overcoming his affliction, but of escaping be expected.
from its pressure. The serenity wbich such an His father-in-law, to whom indeed the sacri- idea confers, possesses, beyond all others, the fice was but trifling, could not resist the joint greatest dignity, because it possesses, beyond all request of his daughter and her husband, to others, the best assured confidence, leaning on leave the town, and make one of their family in a basis that is fixed above the rotation of subluthe country. In somewhat less than a year he nary things. An old man, who has lived in the was the grandfather of a boy, and nearly at the exercise of virtue, looking back without a blush same distance of time after, of a girl, both of on the tenor of his past days, and pointing to whom, in his opinion, were cherubs ; but even that better state, where alone he can be perfectthe gossips around them owned they had never ly rewarded, is a figure the most venerable that seen more promising children. The felicity of can well be imagined ;-such did Wilkins now their little circle was now, perhaps, as perfect exhibit. as the lot of humanity admits; nor would it have “My son,” said he to Annesly, “ I feel that been easy to have found a group, whose minds I shall not be with you long; yet I leave not were better formed to deserve or attainit. Health, the world with that peevish disgust, which is innocence, and good-humour, were of their sometimes mistaken for the courage that overhousehold ; and many an honest neighbour, who comes the dread of death : I lay down my being never troubled himself to account for it, talked with gratitude, for having so long possessed it, of the goodness of Annesly's ale, and the cheer, without having disgraced it by any great violafulness of his fireside. I have been often ad. tion of the laws of Him by whom it was bemitted of the party, though I was too young for stowed. There is something we cannot help a companion to the seniors, and too old for a feeling, on the fall of those hopes we had been playfellow to the children; but no age, and often vainly diligent to rear. I had looked forward indeed no condition, excluded from a participa- to some happy days, amidst a race of my Hartion of their happiness; and I have seen little riet's and yours; but to the good, there can be Billy, before he could speak to be well under no reasonable regret from the disappointment stood, lead in a long-bearded beggar, to sing his of such expectations, because the futurity they