Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

me

from his neighbour, he conducted me collecting his strength for a desperate into a room fit for the residence of a man effort--"* This," said he, after a long who bated because he feared bis fellow- pause, “is another result of the cruel creatures. Evan now appeared in more prejudice against nie. That knife was than bis forlieth year ; and though his mive long before the wreck, and was person was growo broad and robust, in the hands of a magistrate on an occa. his height was greatly diminished by sion even more melancholy. I am innothe constant stoop of his head and the cent of both the crimes imputed to me.” contraction of his chest. The dark –This ready consciousness of suspicior brown acquired by labour in the sun inplied more than innocence, and I and wind, could not entirely cover a again offered a premium for the surgreenish sallowness in his complexion, render of the jewels, adding that I saw and his thick black hair was streaked the chest itself under the pannels of his with grey. Shunned by his few neigh bed. He rose, and advanced towards bours, he had adopted the clownish dress with a startling suddenness. and boarse accent of his dependents; Though you have entered my house and a kind of scornful fierceness min. to disturb my reputation, you will not gled with the anxiety which I could find it so easy to disturb my property. perceive in bis eyes when he viewed Chance threw that chest into my hands, me askance. My dog, who had fol. and I keep it by the right of a husband : lowed me reluctantly into this gloomy Ellen Maxwell was my wife." house, after scenting the wooden pan This unexpected confession deranged nels of its owner's close bed, and look all the gravity of my professional face, ing wistfully at the oat-cakes and fish and I shook him cordially by the band, hung over the smoked ingle, couched with a smile which, I suppose, recalled himself with great caution on the hearth. the youthful expression of my features. The Laird glauced at bis collar, and He gave a cry of transport, and emasked Icave to examine its inscrip. braced me. It was not easy for me tion—" Vec deficit aller,”—“. That, to recover voice enough to tell him, as you may perceive by the initials,” that when my stupor of intoxication said I, “is not the motto of my family; and epilepsy bad induced him to leave and if it was changed into

me in Glencraig, I had been found by deficit halter," it would be more appro two vagrant beggars, who probably priate, perhaps, to the real owner.”. destroyed the dog before they robbed The blue gloon of Evad's eyes threat. I recovered my senses in sufficieut ened lightning at this speeeh, but I time to see them hastening down the had considered my purpose and pur. glen ; but having no recollection of the sued it.-“ My business in Scotland place where iny horse had been left, or is lo enquire if any traces have been of any thing that had passed before my preserved of the wreck which occurred trance, I made haste to reach the town here more than sixteen years since. of K. where I found the vessel in which The daughter of a Northumbrian ba my passage to Liverpool was secured ronet is supposed to have perished on on the point of sailing. Her boat rethis coast, and her father before his ceived me before I entered the town, death assigned his estates to me in trust and I left Great Britain for the West for ber benefit, and for his distant Indies without leisure or inclination relatives in the event of her decease to enquire after the robbers, and witbwithout offspring. A provision is also out any menorial of the adventure allotted to her husband if he survives except the collar of the faithful dog her; but it seems most probable that who had died in my defence. “You he shared her fate in the foundered see,” concluded I, “ my old habit of sloop. I am authorized to give an discriminating remains; and as your ample recompense to any one who father-in-law died lately witboot recan trace or restore the chest which voking his assignment, it will enable me accompanied her.”—The Laird's com-' to shew my gratitude for the hazard plcxion changed, and his

agitation you incurred in Glencraig, which I strongly resembled guilt.--"Mr. M Que. never knew till to-day: and to prore rie,” I continued, in a stern tone, “this that a lawyer may love justice, though silver knife is Elieu Maxwell's-perhaps be may be found sometimes among you found it among the relics of the troubled waters." wreck ?"—He grew paler, but his eye Evan M‘Querie soon furnished me became more intrepid, and he scemed with documents sufficient to certifg bis

" Neck

me.

[ocr errors]

marriage with the lady I have named. endearments which are exclusively its He bad hired the small farm house of own, and those intellectual pleasures Glencraig for her reception when he which the indocility of infancy, the came incognito to Scotland, and ber immaturity of childhood, and the friuntimely death on the coast where she velity of youth, are unable to appre. had hoped to meet him, added to the cinte or enjoy. The infirmity of old disgraceful prejudice raised'against him, age is greatly alleviated by a calm occasioned the deep seclusion to which serenity which quells each turbulent he retired. He emerged from it with passion, a deadened sensibility which a retrieved name and an aniple com blunts the keenest edge of affliction, petence, which atoned for undeserved a venerable dignity which commands sufferings, and proved the fallibility of attention and excites respect, and in circumstantial evidence.

no small degree by that characteristic For myself, I must confess, that on egotism which increases self-imporlance the eventful morning which began this at a time when the least interest is taken narrative, my imagination was bewile in the concerns of others. Those agreedered by the splendid profits derivable able and unpalatable ingredients, which from the assigoment. My narrow escape are thus equably incorporated in the from death arrested and chastised my composition of human life, preserve a wandering thoughts with a force which due equilibrium in the mind, preventing would have been doubly awful bad I the dangerous repose of uninterrupted then discovered that I owed it to the ease on ihe one hand, and the gloomy man whose property I was tempted depression of desponding melancholy to infringe. Since that period, though on the other. the law has guarded the instrument But it is only when we disencumber called an assigninent with infinite for ourselves of present impressions, and malities and precautions, I have never rising superior to the contracted prosconsidered it in the course of my pro. pect of the passing hour, we take a fessional career, without wishing that comprehensive survey of the whole exsuch a warning may befall every man tent of human existence from the cradle who executes or receives a deed of to the grave-it is only at such a time trust.

V. that we can view with unbiassed feelings (To be continued.)

the smiling and frowning aspect which each of the seasons of revolving life

alternately presents. Men in general THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.

are so perversely opposed to their own No. II.

happiness, that, disregarding the enAnd then the schoolboy with his satchel joyments which every day confers, or And sbining moroing face, creeping like might be made to contribute, they waste snail

the former part of their lives in san. Unwillingly to school."

guine expectations of future good, and TACH of the stages of buman life is consume the latler in fruitless sorrow EACE

accompanied by its peculiar and for disappointed hopes and blasted com: appropriate pleasures and pains, which forts. Present pains and anticipated happily counterbalance each other, and pleasures are seen through an equally render it difficult to determine what magnifying medium, while pleasure in part of our journey is the most agrec. possession and pain in retrospect are able or the most irksome. The imbe- viewed through a proportionably dimi. cility of infancy is altended by an inca- nishing one. The child looks forward pacity for reflection, which makes it with eager emulation, and longs to unconscious of its pitiable conditios. assume all the fancied honours of manThe numerous little troubles and dis- hood ; the man looks back with wislio appointinents of childhood are amply ful regret, and sighs for the happy compensated by that gaiety of disposi- unimportance of childhood. He who tion which derives amusement from bas a mind too indolent for exercise, every trifle. The impetuous ardour of or too impure to derive satisfaction youth meets a salutary check in the from its own operations, loathes his necessary, though galling, subjection existence, and 'falsely ascribing the to the parent's, the tutor's, and the effects of his own weak ness or depramaster's authority. The oppressive cares vity to a combination of untoward cir. and burdensome anxieties of inanhood cumstauces, he imagines every situaare delightfully relieved by those social tion and every period jü life to be

[ocr errors]

more eligible than his own. But this numerous family by the labour of bis sentiment is in some measure apparent hands, or sceing that family suddenly in those also who can be suspected of ruined by his misfortune ; may sar. no such failing : good men and great castically smile at the mention of scho: men, the philosopher and the divine, lastic toils, or the sorrows of the burobserving the giddy sports and un sery. But their industry is not to be meaning merriment of cbildhood, put despised whose limited faculties are as on the same serious countenance, and yet' incapable of persevering and viexclaim together--" Delightful days gorous application; nor is their grief of innocence and peace! when the soul to be derided, though excited by the is in fiamed by no unhallowed passion, most trivial accident. We should not and the beart tormeated by no cor estimate the difficulty of a task, por roding care"-But would they divest measure the severity of distress, by the their minds of all those pleasing asso ease with which we ourselves could ciations which Poetry, more fruitful perform the one, or sustain the other ; io fancy than experience, has con. but by the capacity of bim to whom nected with the very name of child. that task is allotted, or upon whom hood, and merely recollect what were that distress has fallen. It must be a their own feelings at this envied age, more laborious exercise for the child their estimate of its comparative charins to learn its alphabet, or the schoolwould not only be lowered, but would boy his accidence, than for the matheprobably be altogether different. Did iatician to solve an intricate problem, they ever credit the assertion, whco the lawyer to decide a moot-case, or their fathers gravely told them, “ that the linguist to acquire a foreign tongue. those were their happiest hours ?" And It must be as painful a disappoiotmeat would they not, in spite of this fore. for the child to be deprived of its bawboding, bave gladly emerged from the ble, or the school-boy to lose his sta. insiguificance of boys to the conse tion in the class, as for the avaricious quence of men? Was not the controul man to be robbed of a part of his to which they were obnoxious a coo. hoarded treasure, or the ambitious man tinual source of vexation? And did to see an office or an honour transthey not aspire after that independence ferred from himself to another. which should emancipate them from its The inimitable Bard whose words we restraints ?

bave adopted for our motto, and whose One of the greatest impediments to acquaintance with character is uodis. happiness is that of possessing the power puied and unrivalled, in some measure of volition, and at the same time to be supports the preceding remarks by the denied the privilege of free:agency. epithet and ibe simile be has introBut such is necessarily the condition duced in his concise description of lbat of childhood : for ils perverse incli- seasou of life to which we now more nations are constantly desiring what particularly allude; and he has disis either improper or impossible; and played his accustoined discrimination what discreet parent would not rather in selecting the principal source of tbe disappoint the wishes of his son by a evils which usually allend it. It is prudent denial, than injure his health melancholy to observe how consider. or bis morals by an indulgent and silly ably the improvement of yooth is recompliance? What though our plea tarded by a slothfulness of dispositioo, sures are at this age the least tarnished an aversion to mental application, a by care ! our troubles are also the least preference of idle pastimes, and an mitigated by soothing reflection. “ The indifference to its own advancement. joy of grief” may attach to manly sor. Entreaty or correction is constantly row, but this beautiful allusion would demanded to excite or accelerate its appear ridiculous when applied to the progress, for an impulse is almost as sobbings of a fretful cbild.

necessary to give notion to mind as The statesman, full of anxiety for matter. The attainments of a schoolthe success of bis plans, or piving with boy are generally forced upon bim by remorse at their frustration : the au the infliction of pupishinent, or relucthor, poring over the midnight lamp tantly acquired through the dread of till his spirits and bis thoughts are both it, rather than from any urgent desire exhausted, or smarting uoder the cruel after intellectual endowments, or from lash of malicious criticism ; the trades- any congeniality, between sucb puri man, eserling all Liis efforts to support a suits and his babits or his feelings bas

[ocr errors]

But as certain natural productions judgment can be less accurate in the which are at first extremely nauseous intricate science of mind. The corpo. to the sensual taste, become agreeable real, the moral, and the intellectual by repeated use : so the fruits of science temperasnent, are all greatly affected and the productions of genius, which by circumstances ; but still it is evi. are at first insipid or disgusting to the dent, that there is by nature no small mental taste, are esteemed as luxuries disparity in the powers of the body, when it is sufficiently refined to dis the dispositions of the heart, and the cover and to relish their sweets. There energies of the miud. The robust are indeed a

few extraordinary in- frame, which a little attention might stances where this capacity of enjoy- have preserved in health, may through ment appears to be invate, but these negligence languish with disease till it are only exceptions to the rule, and baffle all medical aid. Brilliant talents, do pot invalidate its general applica- which education would have given a tion. There is here and there a mighty brighter Instre, may be corroded by miud, which quickly disencumbers it the rust of indolence-and virtuous self from the impediments with which principles, which good instruction Nature usually obstructs the march of might have ripened into Christian intellect, and impatient of a gradual graces, may be so contaminated by bad developement, displays at once its ca example, as to lose all their benign pacious powers, seizing upon every influence. Happy are those parents thing within its reach, and retaining who see health, talents, and virtue, whatever it grasps. While men of hum. enliven the countenances, illuminate bler abilities, the growth of whose ta- the understandings, and soften the manJents is more tardy and less vigorous, ners of their children; and wise are they deplore the many hours they have if their efforts are directed to establish, squandered, and the favourable oppor. to cultivate, and to secure, these essentunities they have neglected in these tial ingredients of temporal bappiness. their most leisurable days, a genius

WILLIAM HENRY.
of so superior an order can exultingly
exclaim,

THE WANDERER.
“ When I was yet a child, no childish play
To nie was pleasing; all my mind was set

Chapter V.
Serious to learn and know."
Though education operates with a

OR the purpose of improving my-
FOR

self in my profession, and studying powerful and transforming energy upon that part of it which is not to be learut the juvenile understanding, eliciting from books, 1 placed myself under the rays of intelligence from the dullest instruction of a special pleader of noie. capacity, infusing knowledge into the He was one of the strangest geniuses most obluse comprehension, and pro ever known. A strong disposition for ducing a polished mind from the most the law had made it the object of his rugged materials ; yet its influence is earliest ambition; and he so com. gradual and progressive, and its effects pletely devoted himself to the study can seldom be mistaken for that patu of it, as to have neglected or forgotten ral, undefinable pre-emrinence which every other part of his education, with makes the child--a prodigy, and the only so much knowledge of ancient man-a genius. There is certainly a literature as enabled him to translale period of life at which the cultivated the law-latin of a record, and of mofaculties of the deep-read scholar aud dern, to decypher the botch-jot of bad the refined philosopher are alike bar Norman and French used in old legal ren and unproductive with those of the proceedings, he had managed, and very illiterate peasant and the rude barba. deservedly, to attain a great eminence as rian; but it would be precipitate to a special pleader. His figure was ludi. infer from hence, that no native in. crous in the extreme : be was little equality could possibly exist in their more than four feet high : his head respective mental capacities. We pre- enormously large ; two small grey eyes, sume it will not be disputed that there surmounted with shaggy black eyeis a considerable disproportion in the brows, twinkled over an enormous nose, bodily constitutious of different indivi. which his frequent indulgence in an induals; and if, at an early age, we are veterate babit of drinking brandy had únable to decide with any degree of cer- dyed of a rich purple bue, while the rest tainty on their comparative vigour, our of his face was of a deep crimson

[ocr errors]

his hair was a grizzled mixture of black and attacking the principles of religion and white, ard curled like the locks on and virlue under the colour of examina bullock's forehead. His tongae was ing philosophical truths. I had been ac• so large as to prevent him from speak- customed to regard every tbing relating ing fluently, or, when in an ireful mood, to religion with so much veneration, ibat oven intelligibly. He was a native of the astonishment I felt at these attacks Northumberland, and be spoke the on it at first created an anxiety in my broadest dialect of that county, as if his mind to refute thein; for this purpose, throat was bored like a rifle barrel, and l busied myself in endeavouring to ua: every word containing an R seemed to ravel the difficulties which presented cost him an extraordinary effort to utter. themselves to me, and had recourse to This circumstance, joined with his un- those writers who bad made those subcouth figure, had prevented him from jects the objects of their researches ; appearing at the Bar, and he had there but I found that all their arguments fore confined his practice to his cham- were built on foundations different bers, in which branch he shone most from the acknowledged and coufirmed conspicuously.

authorities by which other philosophical Under this worthy I became initiated maliers are io be determined, and that in all the technicalities of the English the veracity and credit of most of those common law, and learned to contem. principles on which I had relied as proofs plate the numerous chicaveries of a were impeached, and endeavoured to be system, the greater part of which was controverted by them. Not to trace the formed in an age when the clear light of tedious progress of my errors any furpbilosophy had not beamed on the ther, it is sufficient to say, that I was world, and when the laws and liberties perplexed with doubts, nothing appeared of the people were founded on and to me certain, and I no longer relied explained by fictions, as young children with a firm conviction on those princiare taught to contemplate trulbs which ples which had been the guide of my are too great for their comprehensions · youth, and the criteria by which I had by means of fables.

hitherto regulated all my actions. · How much the study of this system On an evening in the summer, I had might have pleased me was not then been walking out; and returning past a to he inquired - the die was cast --I Roman Catholic Chapel, curiosity isbad fixed on the profession, and it was duced me to enter. To the frame of too late to retract; and as the laws, mind which I was then in, and with although I conceived they might be the sentinnenls which bad been for improved, were those of my country, some time growing on me, the cereand were as well regulated, and an monies of this religion contributed only swered the purposes of civil liberty to strengthen my opinions. My attenbetter than any other existing system, tion was, however, soon attracted, by I determined to pursue the path I had a female kueeling in a retired part of chosen. Under this gentleman, there the chapel, which she seemed to have fore, I contivued for two years, when I chosen for the purpose of shunning entered into business for myself, and observation. I had never seen features in due course of time was called to the so beautiful : the feeling of devotion Bar.

which pervaded her feature was mixed As I was unused to speaking in public, with a deep sorrow, and frequent tears I much distrusted my powers of elocu. fell from her large dark eyes as they tion; and for the purpose of getting rid were upraised in prayer.

When she of a diffidence wbich I felt would be ex bad finished, she rose, and went out of tremely incoovenient and painful, I be the chapel. My curiosity was so strongly came a member of a public philosophie excited, that I followed her home. 1 cal society, where subjects of general found that she lived in a bouse occupied knowledge were discussed.—By The re- by French people. After I had seen her gulations of this Justitution, it was enler, I went into the shop, iv wbicb a strictly enjoined, that do questions French woman was engaged ; and unrelating to religion should be discussed; der the pretence of purchasing some of but in spite of this salutary restriction, her goods, I entered into conversation it was not unfrequently that some of the with her. I soon found she was quite persons speaking there took an oppor- willing to communicate ever thing she tunity of promulgating the sophistries of knew. I asked her who was the young modern free opinions, as they are called, lady I had seen eater. A Freoch woman

« AnteriorContinuar »