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him to Oxford. And some one, whether from but she had scarce got through the first sentence, regard to him, or what other motive I know when the matter it contained rendered her voice not, informed his kinsman of what every one inarticulate. Her father took the letter out of but his kinsman suspected.
her hand, and, after perusing it, he put it in Upon this information, he gave the young his pocket, keeping up a look of composure man a lecture in the usual terms of admonition; amidst the anguish with which his heart was but an effort was always painful to him, even wrung. “Alas !” said Harriet, “what has my where the office was more agreeable than that brother done?" He pressed her involuntarily of reproof. He had recourse, therefore, to the to his bosom, and it was then that he could not assistance of his fellow-philosopher, Mr Lum- restrain his tears. " Your brother, my love, ley, whom he informed of the accounts he had has forgotten the purity which here is happireceived of Annesly's imprudence, and entreated ness, and I fear has ill exchanged it for what to take the proper measures, from his influence the world calls pleasure ; but this is the first of with the young gentleman, to make him sen- his wanderings, and we will endeavour to call sible of the impropriety of his past conduct, and him back into the path he has left. Reach me to prevent its continuance for the future. the pen, ink, and paper, my love."_“I will
Lumley expressed his surprise at this intelli go,” said she, sobbing, “and pray for him the gence with unparalleled command of features; while." Annesly sat down to write." My regretted the too prevailing dissipation of youth, dearest boy !"-'twas a movement grown meaffected to doubt the truth of the accusation, chanical to his pen. He dasht through the but promised, at the same time, to make the words, and a tear fell on the place. Ye know proper inquiries into the fact, and take the most not, ye who revel in the wantonness of dissipaprudent method of preventing a consequence so tion, and scoff at the solicitude of parental afdangerous, as that of drawing from the road of fection ! ye know not the agony of such a tear; his duty, one whom he believed to be possess- else ye are men, and it were beyond the deed of so many good qualities as Mr Annesly. pravity of nature.
Whether Mr Lumley employed his talents It was not till after more than one blotted towards his reformation or degeneration, it is scrawl, that he was able to write what the man certain that, Annesly's conduct betrayed many might claim, and the parent should approve. marks of the latter. At last, in an hour of in- The letter which he at last determined to send, toxication, having engaged in a quarrel with was of the following tenor: one of his companions, it produced consequences so notorious, that the proctor could not fail to take notice of it ; and that officer of the uni “ With anguish I write what I trust will be versity having interposed his authority in a read with contrition. I am not skilled iu the manner which the humour of Annesly, inflam. language of rebuke ; and it was once my pride mable as it then was, could not brook, he broke to have such a son, that I needed not to acquire forth into some extravagances so personally of- it. If he has not lost the feelings by which the fensive, that when the matter came to be can- silent sorrows of a father's heart are understood, vassed, nothing short of expulsion was talked of I shall have no need of words to recal him from as a punishment for the offence.
that conduct by which they are caused. In the It was then that Mr Jephson first informed midst of what he will now term pleasure, he his father of those irregularities which his son may have forgotten the father and the friend; had been guilty of. His father, indeed, from the let this tear, with which my paper is blotted, discontinuance of that gentleman's correspond. awaken his remembrance ; it is not the first 1 ence much beyond the usual time, had begun have shed, but it is the first which flowed from to make some unfavourable conjectures; but he my affliction mingled with disgrace. Had I been accounted for this neglect from many different only weeping for my son, I should have found causes ; and when once his ingenuity had taken some melancholy comfort to support me ; while that side of the argument, it quickly found I blush for him, I have no consolation. means to convince him that his kinsman's si “But the future is yet left to him and to me; lence could not be imputed to any fault of his let the reparation be immediate, as the wrong son.
was great ; that the tongue which speaks of . It was at the close of one of their solitary your shame may be stopt with the information meals, that this account of Jephson's happened of your amendment.” to reach Annesly and his daughter. Harriet never forgot her Billy's health ; and she had He had just finished this letter when Harnow filled her father's glass to the accustomed riet entered the room. “ Will my dear papa pledge, when the servant brought them a letter forgive me," said she, “ if I inclose a few lines with the Oxford mark on it. “ Read it, my under this cover?”_" Forgive you, my dear! love," said Annesly, with a smile, while he be- it cannot offend me." She laid her hand on his gan to blame his suspicions at the silence of his letter, and looked as if she would have said kinsman. Harriet began reading accordingly, something more ; he pressed her hand in his; a
« My Son,
tear which had just budded in her eye, now The earliest consolation which a man receives dropped to the ground. “ You have not been after any calamity, is hallowed for ever in his harsh to my Billy ?” She blushed as she spoke, regard, as a benighted traveller caresses the dog, and her father kissed her cheek as it blushed. whose barkings first announced him to be near She inclosed the following note to her brother: the habitations of men. It was so with Annesly;
“ Did my dearest Billy but know the sorrow his unsuspecting heart overflowed with grati. which he has given the most indulgent of fa- tude towards this friend of his son, and he now thers, he could not less than his Harriet regret grew lavish of his confidence towards him, in the occasion of it.
proportion as he recollected having once in his “ But things may be represented worse than present opinion unjustly) denied it. they really are. I am busy at framing excuses; He returned, therefore, an answer to Sir Thobut I will say nothing more on a subject which, mas, with all those genuine expressions of acby this time, my brother must have thought knowledgment, which the honest emotions of enough on.
his soul could dictate ; he accepted, as the great-
The Plan which Sindall forms for obliterating the
HARRIET.” dictated alike by friendship and prudence.
They were at this time, indeed, but little neAnnesly was just about to dispatch these let. cessary ; in the interval between the paroxysms' ters, when he received one expressed in the most of pleasure and dissipation, the genuine feelings sympathizing terms from Sir Thomas Sindall of his nature had time to arise; and, awakened That young gentleman, after touching in the as they now were by the letters of his father and tenderest manner on the pain which a father sister, their voice was irresistible: he kissed the must feel for the errors of his children, adıninis signature of their names a thousand times, and, tered the only comfort that was left to adminis- weeping on Sindall's neck, imprecated the wrath ter, by representing that young Annesly's fault of heaven on his own head, that could thus heap had been exaggerated much beyond the truth, affliction on the age of the best of parents. and that it was entirely owing to the effects of He expressed at the same time his intention a warm temper, accidentally inflamed with li- of leaving Oxford, and returning home, as an quor, and provoked by some degree of insolence immediate instance of his desire of reformation. in the officer to whom the outrage had been of- Sir Thomas, though he gave all the praise to fered : he particularly regretted, that his pre- this purpose which its filial piety deserved, yet sent disposition towards sobriety had prevented doubted the propriety of putting it in execution: himself from being present at that meeting, in he said, that in the little circles of ihe country, which case, he said, he was pretty certain this Aunesly's penitence would not so immediately unlucky affair had never happened ; that, as it blot out his offence, but that the weak and the was, the only thing left for his friendship to do, illiberal would shun the contagion, as it were, was to amend what it had not lain within his of his company, and that he would meet every power to prevent; and he begged, as a testi- day with affronts and neglects, which the sina mony of the old gentleman's regard, that he cerity of his repentance ill deserved, and his conmight honour him so far as to commit to him sciousness of that sincerity might not easily the care of setting matters to rights with regard brook. He told him, that a young gentleman, to the character of his son, which he hoped to a friend of his, who was just going to set out on be soon able effectually to restore.
a tour abroad, had but a few days before writVOL. v.
ten to him, desiring his recommendation of offence in the university was mitigated by the somebody, with the manners and education of interest of Sindall, and the intercession of Me a gentleman, to accompany him on his travels, Jephson. Expulsion, which had before been inand that he believed he could easily procure that sisted on, was changed into a sentence of less station for his friend; which would have the indignity, to wit, that of being publicly reprie double advantage, of removing him from the ob- manded by the head of the college to which he loquy to which the late accident had subjected belonged ; after submitting to which, he set him, and of improving him in every respect, by out, accompanied by Sir Thomas, to bid adieu the opportunity it would give, of observing the to his father's house, preparatory to his going laws, customs, and polity of our neighbours on abroad. the Continent.
His father at meeting touched on his late irWhile the depression produced by Annesly's regularities with that delicacy, of which a good consciousness of his offences remained strong mind cannot divest itself, even amidst the purupon his mind, this proposal met with no very posed severity of reproof: and having thus far warm reception ; but, in proportion as the com- sacrificed to justice and parental authority, he fort and encouragement of his friend prevailed, opened his soul to all that warmth of affection the ambition which a man of his age naturally which his Billy had always experienced ; nor feels to see something of the world, began to was the mind of his son yet so perverted by his speak in its behalf; he mentioned, however, the former course of dissipation, as to be insensible consent of his father as an indispensable preli- to that sympathy of feelings which this indulminary. This Sir Thomas allowed to be just; gence should produce. The tear which he ofand shewing him that confidential letter which fered to it was the sacrifice of his heart ; wrung the old gentleman had written him, undertook by the recollection of the past, and swelling with to mention this scheme for his approbation in the purpose of the future. the answer he intended making to it. In this When the morning of his departure arrived, too was inclosed his young friend's return to the he stole softly into his father's chamber, meanletters of his father and sister, which were con- ing to take leave of him without being seen by tained in the preceding chapter ; full of that his sister, whose tenderness of soul could not contrition which, at the time, he really felt, and easily bear the pangs of a solemn farewell. He of those good resolutions which, at the time, he found his father on his knees.-The good man, sincerely formed. As to the matter of his going rising with that serene dignity of aspect which abroad, he only touched on it as a plan oť Sir those sacred duties ever conferred on him, turned Thomas Sindall's, whose friendship had dicta- to his son: “You go, my boy,” said he,“ to a dise ted the proposal, and whose judgment of its ex- tant land, far from the guidance or protection of pediency his own words were to contain. your earthly parent; I was recommending you
His father received it, not without those pangs to the care of Him who is at all times present which the thought of separation from a son, on with you: though I am not superstitious, yet, whom the peace of his soul rested, must cause; I confess, I feel something about me as if I should but he examined it with that impartiality which never see you more ; if these are my last words, his wisdom suggested in every thing that con- let them be treasured in your remembrancecerned his children: “My own satisfaction,” Live as becomes a man and a Christian ; live as he would often say, “has for its object only the becomes him who is to live for ever!" few years of a waning life; the situation of my A s he spoke, his daughter entered the room. children, my hopes would extend to the import. “Ah! my Billy,” said she, “ could you have ance of a much longer period.” He held the ba- been so cruel as to go without seeing your Harlance, therefore, in an even hand; the arguments riet? it would have broken my heart! Oh! I of Sindall had much of the specious, as his in- have much to say, and many farewells to take; ducement to use them had much of the friendly. yet now, methinks, I can say nothing, and scarce The young gentleman, whom Billy was to ac- dare bid you farewell !”—“My children," incompany, had connexions of such weight in the terrupted her father, “in this cabinet is a prestate, that the fairest prospects seemed to open sent I have always intended for each of you; from their patronage ; nor could the force of that and this, which is perhaps the last time we shall argument be denied, which supposed conve- meet together, I think the fittest to bestow them. niency in the change of place to Annesly at the Here, my Harriet, is`a minature of that angel present, and improvement for the future. There your mother; imitate her virtues, and be happy. were not, however, wanting some considerations Here, my Billy, is its counterpart, a picture of reason to side with a parent's tears against of your father; whatever he is, Heaven knows the journey; but Sindall had answers for them his affection to you ; let that endear the meall; and at last he wrung from him his slow morial, and recommend that conduct to his son leave, on condition that William should return which will make his father's grey hairs go down home, for a single day, to bid the last farewell to the grave in peace !” Tears were the only anto his father and his Harriet.
swer that either could give. Annesly embraced Meantime, the punishment of Annesly's late his son, and blessed him. Harriet blubbered op his neck! Twice he offered to go, and twice the ergy of his temper, yielded up his understande agony of his sister pulled him back; at last she ing to the company of fools, and his resolutions flung herself into the arms of her father, who of reformation to the society of the dissolute, beckoning to Sir Thomas Sindall, just then are because it caught the fervour of the present morived to carry off his companion, that young gen- ment, before reason could pause on the disposal tleman, who was himself not a little affected of the next; and by the industry of Sindall, he with the scene, took his friend by the hand, and found, every day, a set of friends, among whom led him to the carriage that waited them. the most engaging were always the most licen
tious, and joined to every thing which the good
detest, every thing which the unthinking ada CHAP. XIII.
mire. I have often indeed been tempted to
imagine, that there is something unfortunate, He reaches London, where he remains longer if not blameable, in that harshness and austerity,
than was erpected. The effects of his stay which virtue too often assumes ; and have seen, there.
with regret, some excellent men, the authority
of whose understanding, and the attraction of In a few days Annesly, and his friend the whose wit, might have retained many a desertBaronet, arrived in the metropolis. His father er under the banners of goodness, lose all that had been informed, that the gentleman whom power of service, by the unbending distance he was to accompany in his travels was to meet which they kept from the little pleasantries and him in that city, where they proposed to remain sweetness of life. This conduct may be safe, only a week or two, for the purpose of seeing but there is something ungenerous and coward. any thing curious in town, and of settling some ly in it; to keep their forces, like an over-caupoints of accommodation on their route through tious commander, in fastnesses and fortified the countries they meant to visit ; an intelli towns, while they suffer the enemy to waste and gence, he confessed, very agreeable to him, be- ravage the champaign. Praise is indeed due to cause he knew the temptations to which a young him, who can any way preserve his integrity; man is exposed by a life of idleness in London. but surely the heart that can retain it, even while
But, in truth, the intention of Sir Thomas it opens to all the warmth of social feeling, will Sindall never was, that his present pupil (if we be an offering more acceptable in the eye of may so call him) should travel any farther. Heaven. The young gentleman, for whose companion he Annesly was distant from any counsel or ex. had pretended to engage Annesly, was indeed ample, that might counterbalance the contagi. to set out very soon after on the tour of Europe; ous influence of the dissolute society with which but he had already been provided with a tra- his time was now engrossed; but his seduction vclling governor, who was to meet him upon was not complete, till the better principles, which his arrival at Calais, (for the air of England his soul still retained, were made accessary to its agreed so ill with this gentleman's constitution, accomplishment that he never crossed the channel,) and who Sindall procured a woman infamous enough had made the same journey, several times be- for his purpose, the cast mistress of one of his fore, with some English young men of great former companions, whom he tutored to invent fortunes, whom he had the honour of returning a plausible story of distress and misfortune, to their native country, with the same sovereign which he contrived in a manner seemingly accicontempt for it that he himself entertained. dental, to have communicated to Annesly. His The purpose of Sindall was merely to remove native compassion, and his native warmth, were the son to a still greater distance from his fa interested in her sufferings and her wrongs; and ther, and to a scene where his own plan, of en he applauded himself for the protection which tire conversion, should meet with every aid he afforded her, while she was the abandoned which the society of the idle and the profligate instrument of his undoing. After having retaincould give it.
ed, for some time, the purity of her guardian For some time, however, he found the dispo- and protector, in an hour of intoxication, he vensition of Annesly averse to his designs. The fi- tured to approach her on a looser footing; and gure of his father venerable in virtue, of his sis she had afterwards the address to make him beter lovely in innocence, were imprinted on his lieve, that the weakness of her gratitude had mind; and the variety of public places of enter- granted to him, what to any other her virtue tainment, to which Sir Thomas conducted him, would have refused; and during the criminal could not immediately efface the impression. intercourse in which he lived with her, she con
But as their novelty at first delighted, their tinued to maintain a character of affection and frequency at last subdued him ; his mind began tenderness, which might excuse the guilt of her to accustom itself to the hurry of thoughtless own conduct, and account for the infatuation of amusement, and to feel a painful vacancy, when his. the bustle of the scene was at any time changed In this fatal connexion every remembrance of for solitude. The unrestrained warmth and en, that weeping home which he had so lately left, with the resolutions of penitence and reforma- as prevented him from much society with his tion, was erased from his mind; or, if at times neighbours ; a slow aguish disorder, which folit intruded, it came not that gentle guest, at lowed those symptoms his daughter's letter to whose approach his bosom used to be thrilled her brother had described, having confined him with reverence and love, but approached in the to his chamber almost constantly from the time form of some ungracious monitor, whose busi- of his son's departure. ness was to banish pleasure and awaken re- Annesly had still some blushes left; and when morse ; and, therefore, the next amusement, he had pushed his father's indulgence, in the folly, or vice, was called in to his aid to banish article of supply, as far as shame would allow and expel it. As it was sometimes necessary to him, he looked round for some other source write to his father, he fell upon an expedient, whence present relief might be drawn, without even to save himself the pain of thinking so long daring to consider how the arrearages of the fu. as that purpose required, on a subject now grown ture should be cancelled. Sindall for some time so irksome to him, and employed that woman, answered his exigencies without reluctance; but in whose toils he was thus shamefully entange at last he informed him, as he said with regret, led, to read the letters he received, and dictate that he could not, from particular circumstances, such answers as her cunning could suggest, to afford him, at that immediate juncture, any fare mislead the judgment of his unsuspecting parent. ther assistance than a small suin, which he then
All this while Sindall artfully kept so much put into Annesly's hands, and which the very aloof, as to preserve, even with the son, some next day was squandered by the prodigality of thing of that character which he had acquired his mistress. with the father; he was often absent from par.. The next morning he rose without knowing ties of remarkable irregularity, and sometimes how the wants of the day were to be provide ventured a gentle censure on his friend for ha- ed for; and strolling out into one of his accusving been led into them. But while he seemed tomed walks, gave himself up to all the pangs to check their continuance under this cloak of which the retrospect of the past, and the idea of prudence, he encouraged it in the report he made the present, suggested. But he felt not that conof the voice of others; for while the scale of cha- trition which results from ingenious sorrow of racter, for temperance, sobriety, and morals, our offences; his soul was ruled by that gloomy sinks on one side, there is a balance of fame in demon, who looks only to the anguish of their the mouths of part of the world rising on the punishment, and accuses the hand of Proviother-Annesly could bear to be told of his spi- dence, for calamity which himself has occasionrit, his generosity, and his honour.
In this situation he was met by one of his
new-acquired friends, who was walking off the CHAP. XIV.
oppression of last night's riot. The melancholy
of his countenance was so easily observable, that He feels the distresses of Poverty. He is put on it could not escape the notice of his companion,
a method of relieving them. An account of its who rallied him on the seriousness of his assuccess.
pect, in the cant-phrase of those brutes of our
species, who are professed enemies to the facul. The manner of life which Annesly now pur- ty of thinking. Though Annesly's pride for a sued, without restraint, was necessarily produce while kept him silent, it was at last overcome tive of such expence as he could very ill afford. by the other's importunity, and he confessed the But the craft of his female associate was not desperation of his circumstances to be the cause much at a loss for pretences, to make frequent of his present depression. His companion, whose demands on the generosity of his father. The purse, as himself informed Annesly, had been same excuses which served to account for his flushed by the success of the preceding night, stay in London, in some measure apologized for animated by the liberality which attends sudthe largeness of the sums he drew for ; if it was den good fortune, freely offered him the use of necessary for him to remain there, expence, if twenty pieces, till better times should enable not unavoidable, was at least difficult to be avoid him to repay them. “But,” said he, gaily, “it ed ; and for the causes of his stay in that city, is a shame for a fellow of your parts to want he had only to repeat the accounts which he daily money, when fortune has provided so many rich received from Sindall, of various accidents which fools for the harvest of the wise and the indusobliged his young friend to postpone his intende trious. If you'll allow me to be your conducted tour.
or this evening, I will shew you where, by the Though in the country there was little oppor, traffic of your wits, in a very short time you may tunity of knowing the town irregularities of An- convert these twenty guineas into fifty.”—“At nesly, yet there were not wanting surmises of it play,” replied Annesly, coolly. “Ay, at play," among some, of which it is likely his father returned the other, “and fair play too ; 'tis the might have heard enough to alarm him, had he only profession left for a man of spirit and honot been at this time in such a state of health nour to pursue ; to cheat as a merchant, to quibe