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mind of the reader by imposing upon him the labour of long attention to one subject. The world must be tricked into the perusal of a volume; it must swallow instruction, as children do medicine, in a sweetmeat.
But whither am I straying? If I do thus, I shall be accused of imitating Colly Cibber, and making this an “ Apology for a Life" instead of a Life itself. I will then, hasten to return to the point from which I have digressed, and to the scenes of days that have flown from me for ever, yet not without leaving upon me and within me deep and indelible traces of their presence.
There is something very pleasing in such a survey of the past as I have now undertaken. In the evening of life, before the dim twilight of existence has yet commenced, or is at least not so far advanced as to make dim the objects around us, who is there, in whom memory is not the parent of his chiefest delights? For then, the present is fading rapidly from his view; the world as it is exists not for him-he ponders therefore on the world as it was and dwells in the country of the past. How, at such a moment, do the scenes and images of perished years burry upon his soul clothed not only in their real hues of brightness, but arrayed in the added splendor with which imagination hath decked them. Thoughts which have slumbered for years again awake and come with a throng of fancies in their train, which are instantly recognized as the friends of former days: the dreams of our youth, wearing, now in their resurrection, all the gladness and gorgeousness that attended them at their first birth : Shut out, as we are by the infirmities of nature, from the pleasures of the passing time, surely it will be forgiven an old man if he linger a little too long about the most pleasant scenes of the past, and dwells with a delight that others can scarcely conceive with the friends and companions over whom the stone has been raised and the green grass scattered for many a year.
My youth has nothing remarkable to make it worthy of a very lengthened notice.-Its incidents are common place-its characters ordinary. To avoid monotony, I have, therefore, rather sought to record the fugitive traits of well-known personages with whom that youth was made acquainted, than to dwell on my own less interesting history. Shall I err if I make the story of my life the thread with which I bind together brief remembrances of others more worthy of note, in the society of whom that life has been spent.
About this time, or soon after, I lost my father, My mother continued a widow for somewhat more than two years, when she received the addresses of, and eventually married a Mr. John Timm : she bore him one child, and died herself soon afterwards. This child, a daughter, was carefully and tenderly brought up, became an amiable, interesting young woman, and before she was well out of her teens, married a Captain Eminson, of the 15th. Light Dragoons. But it was thought that her father's over-indulgence had somewhat weakened her constitution, and she did not long survive her marriage. Her father, Mr. John Timm, was an industrious shrewd man, and in a few years
apiassed a handsome fortune for this his only daughter, my sisterin-law. But his shrewdness was of no avail; he was greatly disappointed when she died, and her husband the Captain, marched off with the money given her as a marriage portion. Mr. Timm was a true father-inlaw: he made us (myself and brother) work pretty handsomely, for which I remain grateful, and so I believe my brother thinks and feels. We are both of us still alive, and generally speaking, strong and healthy, while my poor sister the indulged child, has been dead for more than twenty years.
Such is too often the fatal consequence of over attention bestowed upon youth. I am convinced that were nature more studied by those to whom the care of children has fallen, we should keep at bay many of those diseases which are at present such fearful scourges of the human race. It is my maxim to obey Nature in all things; and what more pleasant guide could we make choice of ? If we reflect for a single moment on the artificial state of society as now constituted and if we remember that terrible decree by which Nature punishes every deviation from her wholesome laws, shall we wonder that so many ills attend upon our hot-house existence !--or shall we not rather feel astonishment that we live even for a single year? Look at the child nursed in the lap of luxury-plied with meats and unwholesome spices, enveloped in the warmest clothing, lest the breath of heaven should visit it too roughly; confined in close apartments - the limbs deprived of their free play and thus wearing out the first lours of existence (which ought to be dedicated to the strengthening and improvement of the fragile frame,) in appalling indulgences and destructive habits.
Mark her again in the first blush of womanhood, -pale and pining-a blighted bud-a plant of a forced and unnatural growth. She shows not the light and laughing spirits that are the true sun-beams of youth ;-she has not the fresh bloom of the morning on her cheek nor the strength of the young day in her limbs. She is wearied with a walk thrice round the garden, and is laid up for a month from the effects of an evening ramble to the cliffs some two or three miles from the spot in which she was reared. The wind verges toward the North West ;-she cannot venture a foot from the door lest a cold prove the precursor of a consumption. What matters it that the sun is high and bright and the birds singing merrily and the village children, yet more blythe than they, dancing on the green to the unconcerted music of their own sweet voices;-- the wind veers toward the North, and therefore the young lady cannot venture forth. The next morning perhaps it inclines toward the South-she is then emancipated from the fearful restraint of a close room and permitted to inhale the fresh breath of the spring: but she cannot enjoy it, for the warmest zephyr blows cold upon her, and the animal spirits once checked, are not, like a closed flowret, to be awakened by the first kiss of the sun. Again the vagrant wind whistles from the East; - then what a closing of doors and barring of windows ! fires blaze-screens unfold their dusty wings-Fahrenheit rises ten degrees in estimation and takes his station in the parlour where the yonng lady herself lolls upon a sleep invoking sofa, her tender feet encased in lambs' wool stockings and a Turkey carpet,- her hands enfolded in cuffs.and mittens, and as many handkerchiefs about her neck as must have demanded the summer labour of ten thousand silk worms. Should she chance to escape from this ordeal, with sound lungs, she marries-bears a few sickly children-becomes a nervous subject, as it is emphatically termed, and at length dies of absolute exhaustion, at an age when others, more hardily educated, have not yet bidden farewell to the pleasures of youth,
I remember that at Guernsey, during a very severe winter, I saw the children of the principal inhabitants of the Island, running about the streets without shoes or stockings. When youths attained the age of ten, they were indulged with the former but not the latter, yet these children were seldom or never annoyed by chilblains, nor half so liable to colds as those who, in this country, are so sedulously preserved from wet feet and chilly fingers. But alas ! imperious fashion has usurped the throne of reason and, what custom prescribes, example and argument may in vain endeavour to confute.
But to my story. My father-in-law rented a large farm of his brother at Normanton, about seven miles from Bingham, and over this farm I was made superintendant, though I was at the time scarcely able to take care of myself. During the first year of this duty, I resided with Mr. William Timm, who was accustomed to receive a great deal of company, and that the most respectable in the neighbourhood : sporting gentlemen of every description; clergymen, lawyers, doctors, and not unfrequently officers of the army, whose par