Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

time of her false marriage was broke to her, as he was suddenly ordered away with some troops, and his uncle's letter, which gave an account of her reception of the news, had been unfortunately dispatched after another officer, also of the name of Vernon, but at length a careful soldier brought it right.-Vernon read it with some degree of compunction, yet continued to dress hiinself for the ball, given in honour of the approaching nuptials. He went to it, but the letter run in his head, and he quitted the assemblyroom and returned to his lodgings to re-peruse it, while a gloomy shade overspread the remembrance of the ball, and a darker still the transactions of the morning, which were inarriage-articles, and he exclaimed, “Why is accursed worldly luxury in such estimation that I must desert you for it? but to-morrow will I sce you, come of it what may!”.

With this resolution he set off the next morning for Fanny, and as he drew near the house, he experienced that sensation which ever attends a return home; and as he never had been received but with tears of joy by Fanny, he doubted not of a perfect reconciliation. But what forebodings struck him when, instead of her welcoine countenance, he saw the whole house shut up; he shook the gate, but it would not open.

He then had recourse to the staring neighbours, who directed him to the old woman who had the key.

She could not give any further account, than that madam came to her hut one day, looking piteously, with her two children, and gave in the key, saying, if ever Mr. Vernon came to enquire after her, they were to tell him there was a letter for him on her dressing-table. Vernon snatched the keys from her, and hastily rattled

open the doors ;--no one was by to observe or interrupt the grief that seized his heart on entering his empty dark abode.-By the light that shone through the creaks of the window shutter, he saw lying, as promised, the letter on the dressingtable. It ran thus:

“At length punishment hath overtaken the undutiful child, and vain is the belief of any who hope to escape it ;-but may their lots be less miserable than mine, more so it cannot be.—İ am going to England, and never more shall we meet, at least I hope so: it is my duty, and I will not be slack in that for the future, be it as painful as it will.

6 I have left in the drawer of the desk an account of what trilling debts you owe in this place, and an account of the sum you left me, as far as I spent. The remainder I am obliged to make use of to transport me and my little ones to England, and to maintain us at first, as I cannot immediately expect to meet with work, and home, you know, I have none to go to, having forfeited that, and unhappily lived to bid farewel to the very

person that led me from that home; yet I forgive you, and, oh! how earnestly I pray that heaven may forgive you too, for embittering all my future days! for never shall I cease to regret and to love you. You know not how forlorn I go to England. Unused to bustle in the world, and missing you, my heart and soul are dead within me, yet with honesty in our train, will little George and I and Polly try our fortunes. Work or starve I know it must be, if we weather it to England. Though I have not so much spirit and strength as your sister, you have so often told me of, I intend to work hard, and exert myself to my last breath to maintain the children. If I can but get work I care not what it is, whether field or household; and I promise you, they shall fare well, if my hands are not laid early useless in the grave. And when you, my James, come over, years hence, with your rich bride and in all your prosperity, if in the streets of London you chance to hear some melancholy winter-night's cry, that should strike your ear, as like mine or your miserable fatherless children's voice, send the poor wretches out a shilling for our lost sakes, It is all the tribute I claim to my memory

(To be continued.)

ANECDOTE OF A POOR WIDOW.

Some time after the earthquake at Lisbon, in the year 1755, a poor

widow went several times into the antichamber of the court, and, though frequently ordered to retire, she constantly returned the next day, saying, she must speak to the king. At length arrived the time when she saw the king passing by; on which she immediately advanced towards him, presented to him a casket, and spoke to him as follows:-“Sire, behold what I have discovered amongst the rubbish of some of the ruined edifices by the great earthquake. I am a poor widow, and have six children. That casket would relieve me from my present distresses, but I prefer my honour with a good conscience to all the treasures in the world. I deliver this to your majesty, as the most proper person to restore it to its lawful possessor, and to recompence me for my discovery.” The king iinmediately ordered the casket to be opened, and was struck with the beauty of the jewels which it contained ; after which, speaking in praise of the widow's honesty and disinterestedness, he assured her of his protection, and ordered 20,000 piastres (three shillings and seven pence cach) to be immediately given her. His majesty further ordered, that proper search should be made to discover the real possessor; and if their researches should prove fruitless, that thie jewels should be sold, and the produce appropriated to the use of the widow and her children.

ANECDOTE OF A TYRANT.

+ Christian, King of Denmark, threatened the conquered Swedish peasants, if they made the least comirotivn, to cause a foot and a hand of each rebel to be cut off ; observing,

so that one hand, with one real and one wooden leg, were sufficient to serve the purpose of those who are designed by nature for no other occupation than that of tilling the ground.

LORD BACON

Lord Bolingbroke tells us, in his Idea of a Patriot King, that there is not a more profound, nor a finer, observation in Lord Bacon's works than the following: -" We must choose betimes such virtuous objects as are proportioned to the means we have of pursuing them, and belong particularly to the stations we are in, and the duties of those stations. We must determine and fix our minds in such a manner upon them, that the pursuit of them may become the business, and the attainment of them the end, of our whole lives. Thus shall we imitate the great operations of nature ; and not the feeble, slow, and imperfect operations of art. We must not proceed in forming the moral character as a statuary proceeds in forming the statue, who works sometimes on the face, sometimes on one part, sometimes on another ; but we must proceed as nature does in forming a flower, or any other of her productions ; rudimenta partium omnium simul parit et producit; she throws out altogether, and at once, the whole system of every being, and the rudiments of all the parts.

WALLER, THE POET, AND KING JAMES II.

There is a story told of Mr. Waller, the poet, which does honour to his sincerity. King James II. having ordered Mr. Waller to attend him one afternoon; when he came, the king carried him into his closet, and asked him how he liked such a picture ?—“Sir,” said Mr. Waller, “my eyes are dim, and I know not whose it is.”—The King answered, “ It is the Princess of Orange.”—“I think,” says Waller, « she is like the greatest woman in the world.”.

.“ Whom do you call so ?” said the King. "Queen Elizabeth,” replied the other.-“ I wonder Mr. Waller,” says the King, “ that you should say so;" and added, “ she owed her greatness to her council, which was indeed a wise one.' "And, sir,” says Mr. Waller, “did you ever know a fool choose a wise one.'

[ocr errors]

A TRUE TALE.

(Concluded from p. 173.) But Galliárd, by the earnestness of his addresses, by his assiduities, and by excitiug pity, the common resource of artful men, had won over the mother of the lady to second his wishes. In her desire to forward his suit, she had taken an opportunity, during the night, to fix the trinket in question to her daughter's watch chain, and forbade her, on pain of maternal displeasure to remove this token of unaccepted affection.

The health of the lovely young mourner suffered in the conflict; and the mother of the murdered man, who had ever regarded her intended daughter-in-law with tenderness and affection, crossed the sea, which divides Jersey and Guernsey, to visit her, to offer every consolation in ber power; and wbat, in such cases, is always the most soothing consolation, to mingle tears with her's.

The sight of one so nearly related to her first, her only love, naturally called forth ten thousand melancholy ideas in her mind. She secmed to take pleasure in recounting to the old lady many little incidents which lovers only consider as important. Mrs. Gordier was also fond of enquiring into, and listening to every minute particular, wliich related to the last interview of her son with his mistress.

It was on one of these occasions, that their conversation reverted, as usualy to the melancholy topics and the sad retrospect so powerfully affected the young lady, whose health was already much impaireil, that she sunk, in convul-sions, on the floor. During the alarm of the unhappy family, who were conveying her to bed, their terror was considera bly increased, by observing that the eyes of Mrs. Gordier were instantaneously caught by the glittering appendage to the lady's watch ; that well-known token of her son's affeca. tion, which, with a loud voice, and altered countenance, she declared he had purchased as a gift for his mistress, previous to his leaving Guernsey:

With a dreadful look, in which horror, indignation, wonder, and suspicion, were mingled, she repeated the extraordinary circumstance, as well as the agitated state of her mind would permit, to the unhappy lady, during the interval of a short recovery

?

The moment the poor sufferer understood that the jewel, she had bitherto so much despised, was originally in the possession of Gordier, the intelligence seemed to pour a flood of new horror on her mind ; she made a last effort to press the appendage to her heart; her eyes, for a moment, exhibited the wild stare of madness, stung to its highest pitch by the invenomed dart of horrible conviction; and crying out, “Oh, murderous villain !” she expired in the arms of her attendants.

It is hardly necessary further to unfold the circumstances of this mysterious assassination. Gordier, in his way from the port to his mistress's house, had been clearly way-laid by Galliard, murdered, and plundered of the trinket; in the hope, that after his death, he might succeed to the possession of a jewel far more precious.

Galliard, on being charged with the crime, boldly denied it, but with evident confusion and equivocation; and while the injured family were sending for the officers of justice, he confirmed all their suspicions by suicide, and an impious letter left in his apartment, in which he imputed his abominable conduct to the fury of ungovernable passion : and concluded, with calling on the Almighty, who had implanted such strong desires in him; to forgive the rash, unwarrantable, and des. perate act he was about to commit.

PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FIRE.

We have before us a work upon this subject, written by the Right Hon. Warren Hastings. It commences with a just reproof of the indifference hitherto felt, as to one of the greatest dangers of civilized life.

It would naturally occur to a mind unbiased by the infatuation of fashion, that the first care of the builder should be to guard his work against every possibility, that could be obviated, of its destruction by fire; but so little has this precaution been observed in practice, that a declaimer against it might almost be excused, if he were to infer from it the contrary design of allowing that element a fair chance of exa ercising the functions assigned it by nature, on our habitations. A large portion of the fixed composition of these. 3).

« AnteriorContinuar »