« AnteriorContinuar »
» seems ,
» no means her match in fortune : but Love,
they say, is blind , and so she fancied him » as much as he did her. Her father , it
would not hear of their marriage, » and threatened to turn her out of doors, » if ever she saw him again. Upon this the >> young gentleman took a voyage to the » West Indies, in hopes of bettering his >> fortune , and obtaining his mistress; but » he was scarce landed, when he was seized » with one of the fevers which are common > in those islands, and died in a few days, » lamented by every one that knew him. » This news soon reached his mistress, who >> was at the same time pressed by her » father to marry a rich miserly fellow, >> who was old enough to be her grandfather. » The death of her lover had no effect on » her inhuman parent ; he was only the » more earnest fot her marriage with the » man he had provided for her; and what » between her despair at the death of the » one , and her aversion to the other, the » poor young lady was reduced to the con>> dition you see her in. But God would not » prosper such cruelty; her father's affairs » soon after went to wreck, and he died > almost a beggar. »
Though this story was told in very plain language, it had particularly attracted Harley's notice : he had given it the tribute of some tears. The unfortunate young lady had till now seemed entranced in thought, with her eyes fixed on a little garnet-ring she wore on her finger: she turned them now upon Harley. « My Billy is no more! said » she , do you weep for my Billy? Bless» ings on your tears ! I would weep too, » but my brain is dry; and it burns, it burns, » it burns ! - She drew nearer to Harley. -« Be comforted, young lady, said he, » your Billy is in heaven. Is he, indeed ? » and shall we meet again ? And shall that
frightful man (pointing to the keeper ) » not be there ?
Alas ! I am grown » naughty of late; I have almost forgotten » to think of heaven; yet I pray sometimes; » when I can ,
and sometimes I > sing; when I am saddest , I sing : - You v shall hear hush !
» Light be the earth on billy's breast ,
» And green the sod that wraps his grave!». There was a plaintive wildness in the air not to be withstood; and except the keeper's, there was not an unmoistened eye around her.
» Do you weep again? said she ; I would » not have you weep : you are like my
Billy; you are, believe me; just so he » looked when he gave me this ring ; poor
Billy ! 'twas the last time ever we met!
» 'Twas when the seas were roaring-» I love you for resembling my Billy; but » I shall never love any man like him. » She stretched out her hand to Harley; he pressed it between both of his, and bathed it with his tears. -- « Nay, that is Billy's » ring, said she , you cannot have it, in» deed ; but here is another, look here, which » I plaited to-day of some gold-thread from >> this bit of stuff; will you keep it for my » sake? I am a strange girl ; -- but my heart » is harmless : my poor heart; it will burst » some day; feel how it beats! She press'd his hand to her bosom; then holding her head in the attitude of listening « Hark! one, two, three! be quiet , thou » little trembler; my Billy's is cold! - but » I had forgotten the ring. » -- She put it on his finger.
« Farewell! I must leave you
She would have withdrawn her hand ; Harley held it to his lips. - «I » dare not stay longer ; my head throbs
sadly: farewell !. - She walked with a
» now. »
» hurried step to a little apartment at some » distance. Harley stood fixed in astonish» ment and pity; his Triend gave money to » the keeper. - Harley looked on his ring.
He put a couple of guineas into the man's hand : « Be kind to that unfortunate. » He burst into tears, and left them.
THE MAN OF FEELING.
Tue friend, who had conducted Harley to Moorfields , called upon him again the next evening. After some talk on the adventures of the preceding day ; «I carried you yesterday, said he to him , to visit the mad; let me introduce you to-night , at supper , to one of the vise :. but you must not look for any thing of the Socratic pleasantry about him ; on the contrary, I warn you to expect the spirit of a Diogenes. That you may be a little prepared for his extraordinary manner, I will let you into some particulars of his history.
» He is the elder of the two sons of a gentleman of considerable estate in the country,
Their father died when they were young: both were remarkable at school for quickness of parts , and extent of genius ; this had been bred to no profession , because his father's fortune, which descended to him , was thought sufficient to set him above it; the other was put apprentice to an eminent attorney. In this the expectations of his friends were more consulted than his own inclination; for both his brother and he had feelings of that warm kind, that could ill brook a study so dry as the law, especially in that department of it which was allotted to him. But the difference of their tempers made the characteristical distinction between them. The younger , from the gentleness of his nature , bore with patience a situation entirely discordant to his genius and disposition. At times, his pride would suggest, of how little importance those talents were, which the partiality of friends had often extolled: they were now incumbrances in a walk of life where the dull and the ignorant passed him at every turn; his fancy and his feeling were invincible ohstacles to eminence in a situation, where his fancy had no room for exertion , and his feeling experienced perpetual disgust. But