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Wish sunken eye, slow pace, and pallid cheek, History or tale—all heard him with delight,
All this the friend beheld, for, quick of sight, The listening friend bestow'd a flattering smile;
And ere she fondly bore him to his bed,
" Is short and sad, short may our sadness be !" Mast bid to friendship’s feebler ties adieu,
The Caliph Harun,* as historians tell,
Meantime the anxious wife, from pure distress Harun was fond of fruits, and gardens fair,
Offended, grieved, impatient, Stafford bore His feelings vivid, and his fancy strong,
And oft alone he ventured to behold
Rich hanging fruits with rind of glowing gold; One day the friends were seated in that room Too long he stayed forbidden bliss to view, The guest with care adorn'd, and named her home : His virtue failing, as his longings grew; To please the eye, there curious prints were Athirst and wearied with the noontide heat, placed,
Fate to the garden led his luckless feet ; And some light volumes to amuse the taste; With eager eyes and open mouth he stood, Letters and music, on a table laid,
Smelt the sweet breath, and touch'd the fragrant The favourite studies of the fair betray'd ;
food ; Beneath the window was the toilet spread, The tempting beauty sparkling in the sun And the fire gleam'd upon a crimson bed.
Charm'd his young sense—he ate, and was undone : In Anna's looks and falling tears were seen When the fond glutton paused, his eyes around How interesting had their subjects been:
He turn'd, and eyes upon him turning found; "O! then, “ resumed the friend, “ I plainly find Pleased he beheld the spy, a brother page, That you
and Stafford know each other's mind; A friend allied in office and in age ;
"• Were you suspected, my unhappy friend, A painful secret in my bosom? No!
Began the boy, ` where would your sorrows end? Think not your friend a reptile you may tread In all the palace there is not a page Beneath your feet, and say, the worm is dead; The caliph would not torture in his rage : I have some feeling, and will not be made
I think I see thee now impaled alive, The scorn of her whom love cannot persuade : Writhing in pangs—but come, my friend! revive ; Would not your word, your slightest wish, effect Had some beheld you, all your purse contains All that I hope, petition, or expect?
Could not have saved you from terrific paius; The power you have, but you the use decline I scorn such meanness ; and, if not in debt, Proof that you feel not, or you fear not mine. Would not an asper on your folly set.' There was a time, when I, a tender maid,
“The hint was strong ; young Osmyn search'd Flew at a call, and your desires obey'd ;
his store A very mother to the child became,
For bribes, and found he soon could bribe no more ; Consoled your sorrow, and conceal'd your shame; That time arrived, for Osmyn's stock was small, But now, grown rich and happy, from the door And the young tyrant now possess'd it all ; You thrust a bosom friend, despised and poor ; The cruel youth, with his companions near, That child alive, its mother might have known Gave the broad hint that raised the sudden fear; The hard ungrateful spirit she has shown.” Th' ungenerous insult now was daily shown, Here paused the guest, and Anna cried at And Osmyn's peace and honest pride were flown ; length
Then came augmenting woes, and fancy strong. " You try me, cruel friend! beyond my strength ; Drew forms of suffering, a tormenting throng ; Would I had been beside my infant laid,
He felt degraded, and the struggling mind Where none would vex me, threaten, or upbraid.” Dared not be free, and could not be resign'd ;
In Anna's looks the friend beheld despair ; And all his pains and fervent prayers obtain'd Her speech she soften'd, and composed her air; Was truce from insult, while the fears remain'd. Yet
, while professing love, she answered still"You can befriend me, but you want the will." They parted thus, and Anna went her way, • The sovereign here meant is the Haroun Alraschid, To shed her secret sorrows, and to pray.
or Harun al Rashid, who died early in tbe ninth century ; Stafford, amused with books, and fond of home, he is often the hearer, and sometimes the hero, of a tale By reading oft dispell’d the evening gloom ; in the Arabian Nights' Entertaininents.
“One day it chanced that this degraded boy Quick she retired, and all the dismal night And tyrant friend were fix'd at their employ: Thought of her guilt, her folly, and her flight; Who now had thrown restraint and form aside, Then sought unseen her miserable home, And for his bribe in plainer speech applied : To think of comforts lost, and brood on wants to • Long have I waited, and the last supply
come. Was but a pittance, yet how patient I! But give me now what thy first terrors gave, My speech shall praise thee, and my silence save.'
She hath a tear for pity, and a hand 0! had that stolen fruit the power possess'd
Open as day for melting charity ;
Yet, notwithstanding, being incensed, is flintTo war with life, I now had been at rest."
Her temper, therefore, must be well obserr'd. “« So fond of death,' replied the boy, ''tis plain
Henry IV. Part. i. act iv. sc. f. Thou hast no certain notion of the pain;
-Three or four wenches where I stood criedBut to the caliph were a secret shown,
“Alas! good soul!" and forgave him with all their Death has no pain that would be then unknown.' hearts : but there is no heed to be taken of them; if Now, says the story, in a closet near,
Cæsar had stabb'd their mothers, they would have done The monarch, seated, chanced the boys to hear;
Julius Casar, act i. sc. 2. There oft he came, when wearied on his throne, To read, sleep, listen, pray, or be alone.
How dost? Art cold ? “ The tale proceeds, when first the caliph
I'm cold myself-Where is the straw, my fellow?
The art of our necessities is strange, found
That can make vile things precious. That he was robb’d, although alone, he frown'd :
King Lear, act iii. sc. 2
FEMALES there are of unsuspicious mind,
“ Relenting thoughts then painted Osmyn young, Will hear th' offender and forgive the crime : His passion urgent, and temptation strong;
And there are others whom like these to cheat, And that he suffer'd from that villain spy
Asks but the humblest effort of deceit ; Pains worse than death till he desired to die; But they, once injured, feel a strong disdain, Then if his morals had received a stain,
And, seldom pardoning, never trust again ; His bitter sorrows made him pure again :
Urged by religion, they forgive-but yet To Reason, Pity lent her generous aid,
Guard the warm heart, and never more forget : For one so tempted, troubled, and betray'd; Those are like war-apply them to the fire, And a free pardon the glad boy restored
Melting, they take th' impressions you desire; To the kind presence of a gentle lord;
Easy to mould, and fashion as you please, Who from his office and his country drove And again moulded with an equal ease :That traitor friend, whom pains nor prayers could Like smelted iron these the forms retain, move ;
But once impress'd will never melt again. Who raised the fears no mortal could endure, A busy port a serious merchant made And then with cruel avarice sold the cure. His chosen place to recommence his trade; “ My tale is ended ; but, to be applied,
And brought his lady, who, their children dead, I must describe the place where caliphs hide.” Their native seat of recent sorrow fled : Here both the females look'd alarm'd, dis- The husband duly on the quay was seen, tress'd,
The wife at home became at length serene; With hurried passions hard to be express’d. There in short time the social couple grew “ It was a closet by a chamber placed,
With all acquainted, friendly with a few: Where slept a lady of no vulgar tasle ;
When the good lady, by disease assail'd, Her friend attended in that chosen room
In vain resisted-hope and science failid: That she had honour'd and proclaim'd her home : Then spake the female friends, by pity led, To please the eye were chosen pictures placed, Poor merchant Paul! what think ye? will he And some light volumes to amuse the taste ;
wed? Letters and music on a table laid,
A quiet, easy, kind, religious man,
He too, as grief subsided in his mind,
Gave place to notions of congenial kind : He paused, he rose; with troubled joy the wife Grave was the man, as we have told before ; Felt the new era of her changeful life ;
His years were forty—he might pass for more ; Frankness and love appear’d in Stafford's face, Composed his features were, his stature low, And all her trouble to delight give place.
His air important, and his motion slow; Twice made the guest an effort to sustain His dress became him, it was neat and plain, Her feelings, twice resumed her seat in vain, The colour purple, and without a stain ; Nor could suppress her shame, nor could support His words were few, and special was his care her pain :
In simplest terms his purpose to declare ;
A man more civil, sober, and discreet,
His worldly wealth she sought, and quickly
As if to prove how much he could afford; of vessels freighted with abundant stores,
A little army, on a public day. for this observant friends their reasons gave Was this a man like needy bard to speak - Concerns so vast would make the idlest grave : Of balmy lip, bright eye, or rosy cheek? And for such man to be of language free,
The sum appointed for her widow'd state,
In the same town it was his chance to meet On him in all occasions she relied,
His word her surety, and his worth her pride. Neither in life's decline, nor bloom of youth, When ship was launch'd, and merchant Paul had One famed for maiden modesty and truth :
share, By nature cool, in pious habits bred,
A bounteous feast became the lady's care ;
And robed to grace it in a rich array,
came, At once she fled to her defensive arms;
Proud of th' event, and stately look'd the dame : Conn'd o'er the tales her maiden aunt had told, The husband met her at his study-doorAnd statue-like, was motionlike and cold ; * This way, my love--one moment and no more : From prayer of love, like that Pygmalion pray'd, A trifling business--you will understand, Ere the hard stone became the yielding maid The law requires that you affix your hand ; A different change in this chaste nymph ensued, But first attend, and you shall learn the cause And turn'd to stone the breathing flesh and blood : Why forms like these have been prescribed by Whatever youth described his wounded heart,
laws." * He came to rob her, and she scorn'd his art ; Then from his chair a man in black arose, And who of raptures once presumed to speak, And with much quickness hurried off his prose : Told listening maids he thought them fond and That “ Ellen Paul the wife, and so forth, freed weak :
From all control, her own the act and deed, Bat should a worthy man his hopes display And forasmuch"-said she, “ I've no distrust, In few plain words, and beg a yes or nay, For he that asks it is discreet and just ; He would deserve an answer just and plain, Our friends are waiting—where am I to sign ? Since adulation only moved disdain
There !--Now be ready when we meet to Sir, if my friends object not, come again."
dine." Hence our brave lover, though he liked the face, This said, she hurried off in great delight, Praised not a feature-dwelt not on a grace; The ship was launch'd, and joyful was the night. But in the simplest terms declared his state, Now, says the reader, and in much disdain, "A widow'd man, who wish'd a virtuous male ; This serious merchant was a rogue in grain; Who fear'd neglect, and was compell’d to trust A treacherous wretch, an artful, sober knave, Dependants wasteful, idle, or unjust;
And ten times worse for manners cool and grave, Or should they not the trusted stores destroy, And she devoid of sense, to set her hand Ai best, they could not help him to enjoy, To scoundrel deeds she could not understand. Bat with her person and her prudence blest, Alas! 'tis true; and I in vain had tried His acts would prosper, and his soul have rest : To soften crime, that cannot be denied ; Would she be his !"" Why that was much to say; And might have labour'd many a tedious verse She would consider : he a while might stay; The latent cause of mischief to rehearse : She liked his manners, and believed his word; Be it confess'd, that long, with troubled look, He did not flatter, flattery she abhorr'd :
This trader view'd a huge accompting book It was her happy lot in peace to dwell
(Ilis former marriage for a time delay'd Would change make better what was now so well? The dreaded hour, the present lent its aid ;) But she would ponder."—" This," he said, “was But he too clearly saw the evil day, kind,”
And put the terror, by deceit, away ; And beggʻd to know " when she had fix'd her Thus by connecting with his sorrows crime, mind."
He gain'd a portion of uneasy time.Romantic maidens would have scorn'd the air, All this too late the injured lady saw, And the cool prudence of a mind so fair ; What love had given, again she gave to law; But well it pleased this wiser maid to find His guilt, her folly—these at once impressid Her own mild virtues in her lover's mind. Their lasting feelings on her guileless breast.
"Shame I can bear," she cried, " and want sus. Assured that law, with spell secure and tight, tain,
Had fix'd it as her own peculiar right. But will not see this guilty wretch again;"
Now to her ancient residence removed, For all was lost, and he, with many a tear, She lived as widow, well endow'd and loved, Confess'd the fault-she turning scorn'd to hear. Decent her table was, and to her door To legal claim he yielded all his worth,
Came daily welcomed the neglected poor : But small the portion, and the wrong'd were wroth, The absent sick were soothed by her relief, Nor to their debtor would a part allow;
As her free bounty sought the haunts of grief; And where to live he knew not-knew not how. A plain and homely charity had she,
The wife a cottage found, and thither went And loved the objects of her alms to see ; The suppliant man, but she would not relent: With her own hands she dress'd the savoury meat, Thenceforth she utter'd with indignant tone, With her own fingers wrote the choice receipt; “I feel the misery, and will feel alone.”
She heard all tales that injured wives relate, He would turn servant for her sake, would keep And took a double interest in their fate ; The poorest school; the very streets would sweep, But of all husbands not a wretch was known To show his love." It was already shown: So vile, so mean, so cruel as her own. And her affliction should be all her own.
This bounteous lady kept an active spy, His wants and weakness might have touch'd her To search th' abodes of want, and to supply i heart,
The gentle Susan served the liberal dame-
No practised villain could a victim find
One less disposed to pardon a deceit; Welcome this low thatch'd roof, this shatter'd The wrong she treasured, and on no pretence door,
Received th' offender, or forgot th' offence : These walls of clay, this miserable floor;
But the kind servant, to the thrice-proved knave Welcome, my envied neighbours ; this, to you, A fourth time listen'd, and the past forgave. Is all familiar-all to me is new;
First in her youth, when she was blithe and gay, You have no hatred to the loathsome meal; Came a smooth rogue, and stole her love away i Your firmer nerves no trembling terrors feel, Then to another and another flew, Nor, what you must expose, desire you to conceal ; To boast the wanton mischief he could do : What your coarse feelings bear without offence, Yet she forgave him, though so great her pain, Disgusts my taste, and poisons every sense: That she was never blithe or gay again. Daily shall I your sad relations hear,
Then came a spoiler, who, with villain art, Of wanton women, and of men severe ;
Implored her hand, and agonized her heart; There will dire curses, dreadful oaths abound, He seized her purse, in idle waste to spend And vile expressions shock me and confound ; With a vile wanton, whom she call'd her friend; Noise of dull wheels, and songs with horrid words, Five years she suffer'd-he had revell’d fiveWill be the music that this lane affords;
Then came to show her he was just alive; Mirih that disgusts, and quarrels that degrado Alone he came, his vile companion dead; The human mind, must my retreat invade : And he, a wandering pauper, wanting bread; Hard is my fate! yet easier to sustain
His body wasted, wither'd life and limb, Than to abide with guilt and fraud again ;
this kind soul became a slave to him : A grave impostor! who expects to meet,
Nay, she was sure that, should he now survive, In such gray locks and gravity, deceit?
No better husband would be left alive; Where the sea rages, and the billows roar, For him she mourn’d, and then, alone and poor, Men know the danger, and they quit the shore ; Sought and found comfort at her lady's door : But, be there nothing in the way descried, Ten years she served, and, mercy her employ, When o'er the rocks smooth runs the wicked tide, Her tasks were pleasure, and her duty joy. Sinking unwarn'd, they execrate the shock,
Thus lived the mistress and the maid, design'd And the dread peril of the sunken rock.”
Each other's aid-one cautious, and both kind : A frowning world had now the man to dread, Oft at their window, working, they would sigh Taught in no arts, to no profession bred ;
To see the aged and the sick go by ; Pining in grief, beset with constant care,
Like wounded bees, that at their home arrive, Wandering he went, to rest he knew not where. Slowly and weak, but labouring for the hive.
Meantime the wife--but she abjured the name The busy people of a mason's yard Endured her lot, and struggled with the shame; The curious lady view'd with much regard ; When lo! an uncle on the mother's side,
With steady motion she perceived them draw In nature something, as in blood allied,
Through blocks of stone the slowly-working saw ; Admired her firmness, his protection gave, It gave her pleasure and surprise to see And show'd a kindness she disdain'd to crave. Among these men the signs of revelry :
Frugal and rich the man, and frugal grew Cold was the season, and confined their view, The sister mind, without a selfish view;
Tedious their tasks, but merry were the crew; And further still ; the temperate pair agreed There she beheld an aged pauper wait, With what they saved the patient poor to feed : Patient and still, to take an humble freight; His whole estate, when to the grave consign'd, Within the panniers on an ass he laid Left the good kinsman to the kindred mind i The ponderous grit, and for the portion paid ;
This he resold, and, with each trifling gift, “ 'Tis weakness, child, for grieving guilt to feel."Made shift to live, and wretched was the shift. Yes, but he never sees a wholesome meal ; Nor will it be by every reader told
Through his bare dress appears his shrivell’d Who was this humble trader, poor and old.
skin, In vain an author would a name suppress,
And ill he fares without, and worse within ! From the least hint a reader learns to guess ; With that weak body, lame, diseased, and slow, Of children lost our novels sometimes treat, What cold, pain, peril, must the sufferer know!"We never care-assured again to meet :
Think on his crime.”—“Yes, sure, 'twas very In vain the writer for concealment tries,
wrong ; We trace his purpose under all disguise ;
But look, (God bless him!) how he gropes along." — Nay, though he tells us they are dead and gone, “ Brought me to shame."-"0! yes, I know it Of whom we wot—they will appear anon; Our favourites fight, are wounded, hopeless lie, What cutting blast! and he can scarcely crawl ; Survive they cannot-nay, they cannot die ; He freezes as he moves; he dies ! if he should fall. Now, as these tricks and stratagems are known, With cruel fierceness drives this icy sleet, "Tis best, at once, the simple truth to own. And must a Christian perish in the street,
This was the husband ; in an humble shed In sight of Christians ?-There ! at last, he lies ;He nightly slept, and daily sought his bread : Nor unsupported can he ever rise : Once for relief the weary man applied ;
He cannot live.”-“But is he fit to die?"** Your wife is rich,” the angry vestry cried : Here Susan softly mutter'd a reply, Alas! he dared not to his wife complain,
Look'd round the room, said something of its Feeling her wrongs, and fearing her disdain ;
state, By various methods he had tried to live,
Dives the rich, and Lazarus at his gate ;
The man affrighten'd, weeping, trembling, cold : Made him less able than the weaker boys ; 0! how those flakes of snow their entrance win On messages he went, till he in vain
Through the poor rags, and keep the frost within; Strove names, or words, or meanings to retain ; His very heart seems frozen as he goes, Each small employment in each neighbouring town Leading that starved companion of his woes : By turn he took, to lay as quickly down:
He tried to pray-his lips, I saw them move, For, such his fate, he fail'd in all he plann'd, And he so turn'd his piteous looks above; And nothing prosper'd in his luckless hand. But the fierce wind the willing heart opposed,
At his old home, his motive half suppress'd, And, ere he spoke, the lips in misery closed : He sought no more for riches, but for rest : Poor suffering objeci! yes, for ease you pray'd, There lived the bounteous wife, and at her gate And God will hear-he only, I'm afraid." He saw in cheerful groups the needy wait;
Peace! Susan, peace! Pain ever follows sin." “ Had he a right with bolder hope t'apply ?" -"Ah! then," thought Susan, “when will ours He ask'd, was answer’d, and went groaning by : begin? For some remains of spirit, temper, pride,
When reach'd his home, to what a cheerless fire Forbade a prayer he knew would be denied. And chilling bed will those cold limbs retire !
Thus was the grieving man, with burden'd ass, Yet ragged, wretched as it is, that bed
Who is he, Susan? who the poor old man? I saw the thorns beside the narrow grate,
And I so warmly and so purely laid,
knowMisty when mild, and icy cold when clear ; And how he wanders in the wind and snow: And still the humble dealer took his load, Safe in our rooms the threatening storm we hear, Returning slow, and shivering on the road : But he feels strongly what we faintly fear."The lady, still relentless, saw him come,
“ Wilful was rich, and he the storm defied, And said, “I wonder, has the wretch a home ?”- Wilful is poor, and must the storm abide;" “ A hut! a hovel !"_" Then his fate appears Said the stern lady—“'Tis in vain to feel; To suit his crime.”—“Yes, lady, not his years ;- Go and prepare the chicken for our meal." No! nor his sufferings, nor that form decay’d."- Susan her task reluctantly began, * Well! let the parish give its paupers aid ;
And utter'd as she went—"The poor old man !" You must the vileness of his acts allow."
But while her soft and ever-yielding heart " And you, dear lady, that he feels it now.' Made strong protest against her lady's part, “ When such dissemblers on their deeds reflect, The lady's self began to think it wrong Can they the pity they refused expect ?
To feel so wrathful and resent so long. He that doth evil, evil shall he dread.”
“No more the wretch would she receive "The snow," quoth Susan, “ falls upon his bed
again, It blows beside the thatch it melts upon his head." | No more behold him--but she would sustain ;