« AnteriorContinuar »
at the first place we baited, as magnificent a riding habit as could be made for a lady. This change, the Moor added, will be necessary, as we must ride for several days, after we quit the chair.
This discourse amazed me, and I fell into a profound reverie, which lasted till we arrived at a little blind public house, by the side of a wood, about break of day. Here we lay by till the next night, and met with provisions which did not belong to such a place. Every thing was of the best, and the servants attended me with an obedience and respect as if I had been their queen. As my dress was a very strange one to travel in, I was obliged to put on the rich riding habit the Moor at this houseproduced; and as soon as I had supped, he put me into the chair again. With fresh horses we travelled at a great rate, and at four in the morning, stopped at another little house. Two nights more this rout continued, and then we journeyed by day. June the 7th, at eight in the morning they brought me a beautiful milk-white mare to the door, and aster I had rested about three hours, and breakfasted, they seated me on a side-saddle quite new, that was crimson velvet embroidered with gold. The very stirrup was silver double gilt. The bit was of the fame kind. Three long summer days I rid this charming mare, without ever passing
U through through one town, or meeting a hitman creature, saving some poor laboring men. We went through a country the most romantic, engaging, and wild, where no travellers ever seemed to go j and yet in every cottage we rested at in those lone by-ways, the*© was entertainment fit for any one* Ffom hence it was visible and plane,' that Bo &xto\t power moved this wheel, and I flattered myself, as I drew towards the end of my way, that baseness and inhumanity could not be the last act of this play. Yet a horror fat upon my spirits, in the midst of aH the hopes my fancy could raise. I had a thousand torturing fears. ' .' '' ':' 7.• .' '• Adefcrip- The ninth of June, at-eight- m the evenBassora. ing, my journey was at an end,-and I soon saw the inside of the machine. We arrived at Basfora, the gentleman's country feat, situated upon the northern extremity of Westmorland, arid encompassed with rock, forest, and water, which form a n amber of the wildest, pleasing' views. • Hills and valleys, cataracts and groves, are mingled in the most beautiful, irregular ways. One can no where fee a finer variety of strikingi rural scenes.' 't
In the center of this spot, at a little distance from Milburn-wood, the mansion stands, and consists of several suits ofgroundrooms, disposed in the manner of Pouffin's
whims. The whole building is timber, put together in a masterly way, and decorated with all the beautys of carving, painting, andgildine;, that art and expence could lavishly bestow. There is. a magnificent chamber for music and dancing; arid a little theatre for comedy, that is extremely fine.' Gardens the most beautiful surround these rooms, and in the disposition of opening and shade, walks, and carpet-green, banks of flowers and falling streams, the whole looks like some piece of fairy-ground. Fancy might take this place for the habitation of pleasure. The goddess and her friends, to be sure, here live a life of perfect serenity.
The master of this fine romantic vill is a The gentleman remarkable for the beauty of his ^JJJ* person, and the income of a vast estate; for a fine genius, and a great share os learning j for a prodigious memory, and an eloquence that is not common. These blessings, Comus devotes to the worst of purposes, and employs them only for the ruin of womankind. "Immense treasures he lavishes to "benight the virgin in his woods, and secure "her in his wily trains. For this he hurls "his dazling spells into the spungy air, and "cheats the eye with blear illusion. He "under fair pretence of friendly ends, and "well-placed words of glozing curtefy, "baited with reasons not unpkusible, wins U 2 «* him
"him into the easy-hearted man, and hugs "him into snares." Licentious Gomus! Cruel man! to rest thy happyness on a woman's ruin. r.. . .
But there is nothing to restrain his lawless will. He lives in the strong hold of debauchery* and atheism, and from thence bids defyance to heaven. He has inculcated to himself, that God is nothing but a morrnœ, and there is no such thing as human foul or spirit. We are mere machines, and if pain can be avoided, pleasure established, it signifys nothing how matter and motion jumble. Therefore hell and torments are to him as Charon and Cerberus. All is Par sollicito fabula somnio. Upon these principles he is, in respect of women, the wickedest of men. He is restless in contrivance, and hardy in pursuit of his object. He is confident in attempts, and importunat in addresses. He looks upon the basest acts of dissimulation and fraud, as provident methods of attaining his end. . >;
addrese Xo this grand voluptuary I was introduced, 'and to do him all the justice in my power, was received with that politeness and civility which no man living knows how to practise better. He asked me a million of pardons for the violence he had offered me, and confessed, with tears in his eyes, that he could only plead in his defence the force of love. It was, by the immortal Gods, that principle of all-creating nature, which prompted him to proceed in the manner he had done; and as its sway is felt resistless through the wide fields of air, through earth, and the deep empire of the main, and as it is the sovereign joy of every finer breast, he hoped I would excuse what this almighty power had compelled him to do, and let the holy tye of wedlock legitimat an indissoluble flame. He would be the tender husband. He would settle half his fortune upon me. <
If I asked him, why then, since matrimony was his view, he did not come to Mrs. Compton's house, and, as he had so fair a right to any woman in a legal way, make his proposals in the face of day? To this he could only reply, that his life depended on the success of the affair, and not knowing but there might be some obstacle, or necessity to postpone the thing, he presumed to proceed in the manner he had done, and thought he might make full satisfaction for the irregularity used, by the greatness of his settlement, and an unalterable love. Faithfully I love (continued Comus). My bent of love is honourable. My purpose marriage: And all my fortunes at thy foot I lay. Let then the holy man joyn our hands together this night. There are two divines, my friends, in the house, who are come to pass some weeks U 3 with