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much conscience-stricken, to reply; as he found that he had not only told a falsehood, but that, if he had had moral courage enough to tell the truth, the mischievous negligence, of which he had been guilty, could have been repaired; but now, as Lady Leslie said, it was too late' But, while Lady Leslie became talkative, and able to perform her duties to her friends, after she had thus unburthened her mind to Freeland, he grew every minute more absent, and more taciturn: and, though he could not eat with appetite, he threw down, rather than drank, repeated glasses of hock and champagne, to enable him to rally his spirits; but in vain.—A naturally ingenuous and generous nature cannot shake off the first compunctious visitings of conscience for having committed an unworthy action, and having also been the means of injury to another. All on a sudden, however, his countenance brightened: and as soon as the ladies left the table, he started up, left his compliments and excuses with Lady Leslie's nephew, who presided at dinner; said he had a pressing call to Worcester; and, when there, as the London mail was gone, he threw himself into a postchaise, and set off for Somerstown, which Lady Leslie had named as the residence of Mary Benson. "At least," said Freeland to himself with a lightened heart, " 1 shall now have the satisfaction of doing all I can to repair my fault." But, owing to the delay occasioned by want of horses and by finding the ostlers at the inns in bed, he did not reach London and the place of his destination till the wretched family had been dislodged; while the unhappy wife was weeping, not only over the disgrace of being so removed, and for her own and her husband's increased illness in consequence of it, but from the agonizing suspicion that the mistress and friend, whom she had so long loved, and relied upon, had disregarded the tale of her sorrows, and had refused to relieve her necessities! Freeland soon found a conductor to the mean lodging in which the Bensons had obtained shelter; for they were well known; and their hard fate was generally pitied :,—but it was some time before he could speak, as he stood by their bedside—he was choked with painful emotion at first; with pleasing emotions afterwards:—for his conscience smote him for the pain he had occasioned, and applauded him for the pleasure which he came to bestow.—"I come," said he, at length, while the sufferers waited in almost angry wonder, to hear his reason for thus intruding on them, " I come to tell you, from your kind friend, Lady Leslie"—" Then she has not forgotten me!" screamed out the poor woman, almost gasping for breath. "No, to be sure not :.—she could not forget you; she was incapable. ..." here his voice wholly failed him. "Thank Heaven!" cried she, tears trickling down her pale cheek. "I can bear any thing now; for that was the bitterest part of all!"—"My good woman," said Freeland, " it was owing to a mistake:—pshaw: no, it was owing to my fault, that you did not receive a £50 note by the post yesterday:".—" £50!" cried the poor man wringing his hands, "why that would have more than paid all we owed; and I could have goneonwithmy business, and our lives would not have been risked,nor disgraced!' Freeland now turned away, unable to say a word more; but, recovering himself, he again drew near them; and, throwing his purse to the agitated speaker, said, " there! get well! only get well! and whatever you want shall be yours! or I shall never lose this horrible choking again while I live!''
Freeland took a walk after this scene, and with hasty, rapid strides; the painful choking being his companion very often during the course of it,—for he was haunted by the image of those whom he had disgraced;—and he could not help remembering that, however blameable his negligence might be, it was nothing, either in sinfulness or mischief, to the lie told to conceal it; and that, but for that lie of fear, the effects of his negligence might have been repaired in time.
But he was resolved that he would not leave Somerstown till he had seen these poor people settled in a good lodging. He therefore hired a conveyance for them, and superintended their removal that evening to apartments full of every necessary comfort. "My good friends," said he, " I cannot recall the mortification and disgrace which you have endured through my fault; but I trust that you will have gained in the end, by leaving a cruel landlord, who had no pity for your unmerited poverty.—Lady Leslie's note will, I trust, reach you to-morrow;—but if not, I will make up the loss; therefore be easy! and when I go away, may I have the comfort of knowing that your removal has done you no harm!"
He then, but not till then, had courage to write to Lady Leslie, and tell her the whole truth; concluding his letter thus:
"If your interesting protegees have not suffered in their health, I shall not regret what has happened ; because I trust that it will be a lesson to me through life, and teach me never to tell even the most apparently trivial white lie again. How unimportant this violation of truth appeared to me at the moment! and how sufficiently motived! as it was to avoid falling in your estimation; but it was, you see, overruled for evil;—and agony of mind, disgrace, and perhaps risk of life, were the consequences of it to innocent individuals;—not to mention my own pangs;—the pangs of an upbraiding conscience. But forgive me, my dear Lady Leslie. Now, however, I trust that this evil, so deeply repented of, will be blessed to us all; but it will be long before I forgive myself."
Lady Leslie was delighted with this candid letter, though grieved by its painful details, while she viewed with approbation the amends which her young friend had made, and his modest disregard of his own exertions.
The note arrived in safety; and Freeland left the afflicted couple better in health, and quite happy in mind ; as his bounty and Lady Leslie's had left them nothing to desire in a pecuniary point of view.
When Lady Leslie and he met, she praised his virtue, while she blamed his fault; and they fortified each other in the wise and moral resolution, never to violate truth again, even on the slightest occasion: as a lie, when told, however unimportant it may at the time appear, is like an arrow shot over a house, whose course is unseen, and may be unintentionally the cause, to some one, of agony or death.
Warbles the merle!
Gallops the earl!
As it sinks on his ear,
Than its music more dear.
Through the wood, through the wood,
Once and away,
Aud the Lady is gay:
And her eyes become dim;
When she gazes on him!
Through the wood, through the wood,
Over the wold,
Of true warriors bold;
They halt not for water;
Is seeking his daughter.
Through the wood, through the wood,
Warbles the merle;
Prances the earl;
Comes pacing his bride;
In joy, by her side. Win Andeason.*
* " Poetical Aspirations. By William Anderson, Esq. Edin. 1830."
THB EIGHTH DAUGHTER OF J- LARKING* ESQ.
Ah! maycst thou ever be what now thou art,
Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring!—Loan Bvbon.
Full many a gloomy month hath past,
On flagging wing, regardless by,—
I gazed upon thy bright blue eye,
The hopes I most relied on, thwarted,—
With many a shade since last we parted:
There are who love to trace the smile
That dimples upon childhood's cheek,
The dictates of the bosom break ;—
And strange to every softer feeling-,
Cold and unmoved—without revealing
Sweet bud of beauty!—'Mid the thrill—
The anguish'd thrill of hope delay'd,—
That can the breast of man invade,—
*Till woe, awhile, gave place to gladness,
Almost to peace, my bosom's sadness ;—
O! might the fondest prayers prevail
To save thee from affliction's tears;
Thy guilelessness of soul revealing—
Beam ever thus, as beauteously,
Undimmed—save by those gems of feeling—
But vain the thought!—It may not be!—
Could prayers avert misfortune's blight,
Here hope for unalloy'd delight,
On guilty heads alone descended,
In whose pure bosoms, sweetly blended,
Then since upon this eatth, joy's beams
Are fading—frail, and few in number
That steal upon the mourner's slumber,—
And Time with woman's zone hath bound thee
The thorns of sorrow lurk, and wound thee,
And like the many-tinted Bow,
Which smiles the show'ry clouds away, May Hope—Grief's Iris here below—
Young Sister of a mortal Nine,
Farewell!—Perchance a long farewell
Woes, Hope may vainly strive to quell,—
Alahic A. Watts.* * " In most of the iournals," says Mr Watts, u daily, weekly, and monthly, for July, I81*, these verses (addressed to the eighth of nine sisters) were ascribed, with very flattering eulogium, to the pen of no less distinguished a poet than Lord Byron; although they had been published a month before, with the author's name, in the Edinburgh Magazine. Their extended circulation (for which they were, of course, entirely indebted to this circumstance) affords a striking proof of the omnipotence of a Name! The trifle, which with my undignified patronymic might have slumbered unmolested in the pages of a Scottish Magazine until doomsday aided by its factitious appendage, was forthwith ushered into life, light, and popularity. Well may we say with a slight variation of Pope's couplet: Ascribe but to a Lord the bappy lines. How th« wit bilgbient—how (h« lenie refinei 1"