« AnteriorContinuar »
FROM THE ADVENTURER.
FROM THE LIFE OF LIEUT. HEN. FOLEY.
THE BEGGAR AND HIS DOG. FROM THE FRENCH, BY F. ASHMORE, ESQ.
PRINTED BY G. NICHOLSON AND CO.
Palace-street, Manchester. Sold by T. KNOTT, No. Lombard-street; and CHAMPANTE & WHITROW, Jewry-street, London.
ated to no vice which he wished to countenance by infidelity, he began to believe as soon as he began to enquire : the evidence for Revelation at length appeared incontestible; and without busying himself with the cavils of subtilty against particular doctrines, he determined to adhere inviolably to the precepts as a rule of life, and to trust in the promises as the foun. dation of hope. The same ardour and firmness, the same generosity and honour, were now exercised with more exalted views, and upon a more perfect plan. He considered me as his preceptor, and I considered him as my example: our friendship increased every day; and I believe he had conceived a design to follow me into orders. But when he had continued at college about two years, he received a command from his father to come immediately to town: for that his earnest desire to place him in the army was now accomplished, and he had procured him a captain's commission. By the same post he received a letter from his uncle, in which he was strongly urged to continue at college, with promises of suceeding to his whole estate; his father's project was zealously condemned, and his neglect of a brother's concurrence resented. Eugenio, though it was greatly his desire to continue at college, and his interest to oblige his uncle, yet obeyed his father without the least hesita. tion.
When he came to town, he discovered that a warm altercation had been carried on between his uncle and his father upon this subject: his uncle, not being able to produce any effect upon the father, as a last effort had written to the son; and being e. qually offended with both, when his application to both had been equally ineffectual, he reproached him with folly and ingratitude; and dying soon after by a fall from his horse, it appeared, that in the height of his resentment he had left his whole fortune to a distant relation in Ireland whom he had never seen.
Under this misfortune Eugenio comforted himself by reflecting, that he incurred it by obedience to his father; and though it precluded hopes that were dearer than life, yet he never expressed his displeasure either by invective or complaint. Orgilio had very early in life contracted an intimacy with Agrestis, a gentleman whose character and principles were very different from his own. Agrestis had very just notions of right and wrong, by which he regulated his conduct, without any regard to the opinion of others: his integrity was universal and inflexible, and his temper ardent and open; he abhorred whatever had the appearance of disingenuity, he was extremely jealous of his authority, and there was a rough simplicity in his manner which many circumstances of his life had contributed to produce. His father left him a fortune of two hundred thousand pounds; but as the parsimony which enabled him to amass it, extended to the education of his son by whom it was to be possessed, he had been taught neither politeness nor literature. He married Amelia, a lady whose influence would, by degrees, have polished the rough diamond: but she died within the first year of her marriage, leaving him a daughter to whom he gave her name, and transfer. ed all his affection: he therefore, continued to live in great privacy; and being used to have only servants and dependants about him, he indulged the peculiarities of his humour without that complaisance which becomes insensibly habitual to those, who mix in the company of persons whom it is their apparent interest to please, and whose presence is a perpetual restraint upon such irregular starts of temper as would incurcontempt by arrogating a superiority which none would acknowledge. To this disposition his daughter accomodated herself as she grew up,
from motives both of affection and duty: as he knew and regretted the defect of his own education, he spared no cost to complete her's; and she is indeed the most accom. plished character I ever knew: her obedience is cheernot, however faulter in his resolution, nor did Amelia change her conduct. It happened that about this time she was addressed by Ventosus, the eldest son of a noble family; who, besides a large estate, had great expectations from his father's influence at court, Ventosus, though he was strongly recommended by Agrestis, and was remarkable for personal accomplishments, was yet received with great coldness by Amelia: he was surprised, mortified, and disappointed; yet he continued his visits and was very diligent to discover what had prevented his success. One evening, just as he was about to take his leave, after much ineffectual entreaty and complaint, Eugenio unexpectedly entered the room. Ventosus instantly remarked the embarrassment both of his mistress and the stranger, whom he therefore supposed to be a rival, and no longer wondered at his own disappointment: these suspicions were every moment confirmed and increased; for his presence produced emotions which could neither be concealed nor mistaken; though by a less penetrating eye than that of jealousy, they might have been overlooked. He was now fired with resentment and indignation; and having left the room somewhat abruptly, he was met upon the stairs by Agrestis, with whom he desired to speak a few words in private. Agrestis turned back into another apartment, and Ventosus told him, with some warmth, that he did not expect to have found his daughter pre-engaged; and that he could not help thinking himself ill treated. Agrestis, with equal warmth, required him to explain his meaning; and after some time had been spent in eager altercation, they parted in better temper; Agrestis persuaded that a clandestine love had been carried on between his daughterand Eugenio, and Ventosus convinced that Agrestis had never encouraged the pretensions of his rival. Agrestis immediately sent for Amelia, and sternly urged her with many questions, which she could only answer with
blushes and tears: her silence and confusion convinc. ed him that Ventosus was not mistaken; and, therefore, desisting from enquiry, he severely reprehended her for the past, and enjoined her never to converse with Eugenio again; to whom he also signified his displeasure, and requested that to prevent farther uneasiness he would come no more to his house till A. melia should be married.
Eugenio, though his love was almost hopeless before, was yet greatly afflicted by this message; because he feared that Amelia had fallen under her father's displeasure, and that now he was become jealous of his authority, he might be tempted to abuse it. As to secure her peace was the principal object of his wish, he concealed what had happened from his father, lest a quarrel should be produced between him and Agrestis, in which Amelia's delicacy and tenderness would be yet more deeply wounded. When a visit was intended to Agrestis, he always took care to have some engagement at another place: Agrestis, however, as he had no conception of the principles upon which Eugenio acted, did not doubt but that he had communicated the reason of his absence to his father, and that his father was secretly offended; but as he expressed no resentment, he believed that his ambition had for once restrained the petulance of his pride, that he dissembled to prevent an open rupture, and had still hopes of effecting the purpose which he had concerted with his son.
A suspicion of ill-will always produces it; but besides this cause of alienation, Agrestis had unjustly imputed a conduct to his friend, which rendered him the object of his contempt and aversion; he therefore, treated him with coldness and reserve, supposing that he well knew the cause, and neglected to return his visits without thinking it necessary to assign any rea
This conduct was at length remarked by Orgilio, who considered it as the caprice of a character which he always despised; he, therefore, retorted the