« PředchozíPokračovat »
his moral neighbours, and the more so as cliect of noise and impertinence. I am bis understanding, though none of the too young for a nurse, and you will pardon best, was not obviously deficient.
me when I say it, you are too old for a His moral principles were such as might lover. I cannot persuade myself in any be expected from bis religious principles. ' way to conform myself to your humour Being of a cold calculating temper, in other and manners, and you must enter into an words most grossly selfish, he had contract- hopeless contention with your very nature ed an objection against matrimony, which to bring yourself to submit to mine. In he considered as a poiot of mutual sacrifice what way, therefore, are we adapted for on some points, for mutual satisfaction on each other? In what way have we any others. Instead of a wife, therefore, he bad thing to participate? Is it possible that taken a mistress; and, to the great scandal there should be any thing common between of the neighbourhood, brought her into
us except a mutual discontent? I am sure his house, and put her at the head of his
that these things need only be called up table. For some years he appeared very before your mind to have their due weight. well satisfied with this kivd of life, till he You are a calculating man, Sir Zachary, happened at length to discover that the, and will surely not expect that in the conmoral principles of his mistress were on a 'struction of a partnership all the sacrifices par with his own, that her connection with should be upon one side. Shew me any him was entirely selfish, and that in his thing in which you can indemnify me for absence she followed her inclinations with the sacrifice of youth to age, and my arguout controul. This discovery, added to ments will be shaken; shew me any thing the stałe of his health, which had become in which I can, on my part, indemnify you such as to require constant female attend for the complete misery which I shall cerauce, united with an affection which could tainly occasion you. From these consisupport his caprice and ill-humour, bederations I have to throw myself not on gan to turn the scale in his arguments pro your generosity but on your prudence; I and con, and after much wavering be de- have to require you to consider uot me but cided that he would take a wife.
yourself. I will not deceive you; if any In compliance with the commands of misfortune should render me your wife, I my father, I admitted for some time the should bave no satisfaction so complete visiis of Sir Zacliary, but I at length found
as the avenging myself on you as the ini. it necessary to come to some decision. I strument of my misery. I have only to was on the one side terrified by the violence add another word: you know my situation of my father's temper, but on the other I with respect to my father, and you are not was resolved not to sacrifice the happiness ignorant what I have to expect from this of my life by so unequal an union. I was
decided opposition to his will. Uoder resolved therefore to terminate at once the these circumstances it is unnecessary to expectations of sir Zachary; and giving say what I expect of you. Yours, bim credit for some gallantry and genero
HYMENÆA." sity, to interpose him between my father To this letter, on the next morning, I and myself. Under these circumstances I received the following answer:wrote him the following letter:
“ Madam,--I have received your letter, “Sir,-I am induced to take this mea and have only briefly to reply, that before sure by wbrat I think a very just notion of || I made proposals to your father I had taken your judgınent auá gallantry. It is impos- into consideration all the circumstances of sible that you can be persuaded that we the case, and had framed my resolution are in any way suited to each other. Con. accordingly. I can certainly perceive by sult your reason, and follow its dictates ; \ your letter that you have what is called by imagine that it is now addressing you young ladies an insurmountable objection, through me. Our ages are unequal, our and an invincible aversion to me; but in tempers still more so; you have a manly | the course of my life, Madam, I have seen gravity which to me has the effect of a most so many of these insurmountable objecunamiable dryness; I have a cheerfu'vesstions so easily surmounted, and so many and gaiety which to you must have the l of these invincible obstacles so casily over
come, that you must pardon me if these the goodness to make allowance for these considerations have not all the weight deficiencies. There is nothing incurable with me which you probably attach to in this wide world but poverty: so long as them.
you have money and youth, you have the " I must certainly regret that you have means of getting every thing; it is an no heart to give; but as I have pledged offence against the high supremacy of formyself to your father to deem myself ho- | tune under such circumstances to despair; noured with you in any way, you must it would be a bad world indeed if a young pardon me that I shall be happy to take | woman in possession of forty thousand jou as I find you.-I am, Madam, pounds should have to throw herself away Yours obediently,
upon an ancient husband." ZACHARY Wizen." “ I am willing," replied I, “ to undergo This letter defeated all my romantic | any thing to rid myself of him.” hopes, and from the avowed selfishness “ There are two ways,” replied she; of Sir Zachary I found myself reduced to “ either by the old way of downright rethe unhappy dilemma of either accepting | fusal, for no father can compel you to such him or of leaving my father's house. My a monstrous sacrifice; or by the one whici father continued to press me on, and Sir I have proposed, that is, to appeal to the Zachary, with a thorough contempt of my selfishness of your lover, and to buy him sentiments and affections, began to be eager | off by making it his advantage to refuse for my fortune, that he might rid himself || you." of the mortgage. So sure did he make of “Do you as you please," replied I; "only a successful event, that every thing on his rid me of him." part was already prepared for his mar “ If I have understood you right,” reriage, and wherever I appeared I became sumed my aunt, your ancient lover is the jeer of the company.
afraid of a foreclosure of his mortgage; To make short of the matter, the crisis and your father, on his marriage, was to of my fate was at hand, and in despite of l pay him down five thousand pounds in. iny resolution I know not but I should stantly to stop the gap." bave become the wife of Sir Zachary, “ You have stated the matter correctly upless for the occurrence of a very unex- enough." pected event.
“Why, then," resumed she, “by toThis occurrence was the arrival of the morrow's post you shall be for ever free of sister of my mother, the Lady Lovelace ; || Sir Zachary.” a lady at the head of the fashionable world, To make short of the matter, in three and who to great beauty added an un- 1 days after this conversation, my Lord wearjed gaiety, and all those charms which Lovelace's lawyer made his appearance at are improved, if not given, by elegant man- | the summons of my Lady; and all matters pers. My aunt, from the moment of her being arranged between us, the following arrival, conceived a lively aftection for me; note was dispatched to Sir Zachary:and as youth is naturally open and confi “ Sir,--As you have always been candid dential, she immediately became the depo-enough with my father and myself, I consitary of my secrets. I made no secret of || ceive it my duty to be equally candid with my aversion to Sir Zachary, and she en
you, and in a matter in which my happitered into my interest with as much zeal as ness is so inmediately concerned, to repeat I could wish.
in stronger terms my former assertions, “ This lover of yours," said she, “is so that I can never reconeile myself to pass decidedly selfish, that you have no hopes | my life with a man whom I can never even of ridding yourself of him but by appealing esteem. The importance of the occasion to his selfishness. Are you willing to risk | must be my excuse for this breach of the five thousand pounds of your fortune to be ordinary decorum of manners.
But to rid of him?"
come immediately to the point; I have no “I am not of age," replied I.
hopes, Sir Zachary, from your generosity, " That is a trifle," replied she; "there and therefore bave to appeal to your inare always to be found persons who have terest. You want five thousand pounds to
Prevent the foreclosure of your mertgage; My aunt again came to my assistance. the inclosed letter will better explain what “ My dear Hynienæa," said she, “ your remains. Yours,
HYMENÆA." father is possessed with the unhappy spirit
of matrimony, and if you remain in the In this letter was inclosed the following: country you may depend upon a new pro
“Messers. Sneak and Snivel, solicitors to posal from him every Justice meeting. It Lord Lovelace, present their compliments is truly absurd that a girl like you, my io Sir Zachary Wizen, and at the request, dear, and with such a fortune, should go of Lady Lovelace, are willing to advance | begging amongst country Squires, and a the sum of five thousand pounds to Sir few chance comers; I must rescue you Zachary, and to take the transfer of the from this situation. You are now in your mortgage for
time which may suit the twentieth year, and it is time that you convenience of Sir Zachary."
should be introduced, and take the station To this letter we received an immediate ; which belongs to you in the world. You
Suffice it to say, that Sir Zachary | shall accompany me to London. This accepted the terms, and that I was fortu- | proposal was accordingly made to my fanate enough to rid myself of him without ther, and as he had become much disgusted a breach with my father.
by his ill success, and my ill-luck, as be Nothing now remained but to take some called it, he very willingly assented. due precautions for the future, that my In my next, Sir, you shall be informed father's anxious ingenuity in finding a suit of my adventures in search of a husband in able match for me might not again involve || London. me iu still more unpleasant proposals.
ISLE OF SKY, NORTH BRITAIN.
[Continued from Page 80.]
TO TILE LADY SYBILLA MACKEN.
they should not be entitled to an equal “Madam,—In pursuance of the ge- || portion of pity. beral inyitation which you have given, I “ You will better understand my actual deem it uonecessary to make any apology situation by a detailed narrative of its for this otherwise abrupt address. I am in origin; it is so intimately connected with a situation, Madam, which requires con- the history of my life, that you would unsolation and advice, and you have come derstand it very imperfectly unless by & forward in a character from which I may || full narrative. reasonably expect both. If there be a per “My father was a naval officer, who son whose situation is truly entitled to being wounded in the service, and having compassion, and in which that compassion very good interest, retired on a pension, cannot be obstructed by any rising envy, but with the privilege of progressive rank. it is mine. I have somewhere read that | Having been likewise successful in prizethe sorrows of the rich are seldom very money, and what is equally material, ob. pitiable, because they carry in themselves, tained it from the prize courts, he carried as it were, a very powerful alleviation; this with him into his retreat such a consideris not true, Madam, the rich may be as | able fortune as enabled him to purchase a completely miserable as the wretch who good estate, with a capital mansion. I was starves in a ditch; and where their misery nine years old when my father brought me is of a nature on which their wealth cannot to reside with him on his estate. I was his act as a palliative, I really can see no suf-only child; my mother had died some ficient reason why, under equal affliction, || years since.
“ In the same action in which my father || necessary to give you a more perfect idra had been wounded, an officer of the same of her character. She was about forty rank with himself, and one who had been || years of age, but having what is called a his shipmate almost during the whole of fine face, and a tall commanding figure, their naval course, was killed by his side. was still handsome, and had much the air He was enabled to articulate a few words, of a woman of quality. Her husband bad the substance of which was to recommend filled high commissions in the French serto his protection his son, a young midship- vice, and she was evidently a woman of mac on board the same vessel. In such birth and great connections; she had passed circumstances it is unnecessary to inform her youth in the court of Marie Antoinette; you that the recommendation of a friend she was gay, profligate, totally without mohas something sacred in it, and that the ac- || ral or religious principle; in short, had no ceptance of it is, as it were, sealed by the other rule of life but her will, and a kind act of nature itself. My father therefore of louse decorum, a vague honour which from this moment considered the boy as consulted appearances and the opinion of his own, and purchased his estate in the the world, with a perfect contempt for the neighbourhood of Plymouth, that he might | mere duty itself. in some degree be at hand to watch over “ Madame l'Astute, therefore, was no his charge. As some of the parties which sooner well settled in my father's house must be hereafter mentioned in my history than she began to look at the ground around are still living, you must permit me to em- her, and to deliberate to what advantage ploy the veil of fictitious names; I have she might turn it. To make short of the no wish unnecessarily to wound the feel. | matter, seeing my father a widower she reings of others.
solved that he should not long continue so. " The young Constant, therefore, for She studied his humour, his foibles, and thus I shall call him, being cousidered by his caprices; she exhibited herself exactly my father as his son, was in the habit of the kind of character which she discovered passing all that time at F— which he to be in his mind the inodel of female excould procure from his naval duties. My cellence, and she shortly reaped the fruits father, partly from the memory of his friend, of her efforts and her dexterity. Sbe and partly from a natural benevolence, be: had conciliated my affections as much as came gradually as attached to the youth as those of my father; to say all in a word, if he had been his parent; he took the same she became my father's wife and my steppains with his education as with my own; mother. and Constant had the good fortune of being “ This event had scarcely been con. in a ship where there was a learned and cluded when the peace of Versaiiles, which pious chaplain; under the instructions of terminated the American war, caused the this genileman, Constant was enabled to naval force to be reduced, and Constant, unite the knowledge of a gentleman with now a Lieutenant, came in consequence to his professional skill.
live with my father. Constant was now in “My father had taken a governess into his twentieth year; I was in my eighteentli. the house to instruct me in what he deemned I have hitherto omitted to mention that necessary for a female. He had chosen my father never made a secret from either this lady upon a very erroneous principle. of us that he had intended us for each other. She was a French woman, the wife of an On the other hand, with that plaioness and efficer who had been taken prisoner by the directness which characterised all his proEnglish; the officer had died at Plymouth, ceedings, he had even instructed us to corand his widow being in distress, was recom- || respond with each other, and took peculiar mended to my father as a governess. With delight in reading the letters of Constant. out any other consideration than this cir- | . This young boy is like myself,' said he; sumstance of her distress, my father innme. I was just like him at his age; I was afraid diately took her into his house, and gave of no enemy, and I loved as warmly as I me into her exclusive charge.
fought. " This woman had so large a share in “ The age of cighteen is fully susceptible my subsequent misfortunes, that I deem it crough without any such extraordinary
encouragement. It will be no reasonable : Constant; and having been in England subject of surprise, therefore, that with the in early life he speaks English like a united addresses of the young inan himself, | native. I must confess that I wish you to added to the persuasions of my father, give him sometbing beyond an ordinary became ienderly attached to Constant, al. welcome; I wish you to do this from remost before I knew the very nature of the spect to my wife.' sentiment. Constant, in the intervals of “ Witla these words my father led us to Jeave of absence, had improved this affec- the Count. He precisely answered his tion; he was naturally, as it were, formed description of him; he was a tall, elegant for a lover; ardent, extravagant, and with man, about thirty-five, with a countenance that mixture of romantic absurdity which
at once gay and intelligent. I must do in a man of acknowledged sense is all him the justice to acknowledge, that I powerful with the women. I will not weary never beheld a more prepossessing figure you by unnecessary circumstances; to cut or countenance. the matter short, therefore, when Constant
“ His manners corresponded with the returned to my father's house ou the con elegance of his personal figure. He had clusion of the American war, I loved bin been brought up at the old court of France as affectionately as was consistent with under the Duke de Choiseul, and having modesty ; Constant was equally enamoured recommended uimself to the sovereign ard upon his part, and the neighbourhood the minister, had been successively made were in impatient expectation that our Colonel of a regiment at twenty-five, and wedding would revive the en:e: tainments a peer of France at thi'ty. ' Some part in. and hospitalities which had been lately deed of his speedy advancement had been given on account of my father's marriage. imputed to the favour of the Qucen, and
“ I need not observe to you, Madam, this favour itself was in no inconsiderable that the highest point of happiness is degree attributed to his handsome person naturally too adjacent to the lowest depth : and his elegant manners. Be this as it of misery; that the one is, as it were, may, he was sent on a special commission but too frequently a precisice, upon to the court of the Empress of Russia, and guining the summit of which we almost thence, as it was supposed in progress of necessa: ily fall into the other. Alas! how the same affair, to England. -Such was soon was this verified with respect to me the cause of his arrival amongst us. and Constant.
“ His disposition, his gaiety, his appa“ Constaut and myself had one day been 'rent goodness of intention, rendered bin walking in my father's park, and as the
our inseparable companion; and the Com. day of our union was now fixed to take modore, my father, became as attached to place on ny father's birth-day (an interval i him as Constant and myself. Indeed I of about a month from the time of which know not how it was that he grew so ia. I am now speaking), under these circumsensibly into our general esteem and af. stauces, I say, we were settling the future fection, that even when an occurrence plan of our life, and weaving those scenes took place, which should totally have of imaginary liappiness which were natural changed my opinion, it seemed as it were to our age
and situation. To you, Madam, to lose its very nature, and what would I need not say that the tenderness of my have been a crime and a breach of bospi. lover produced an impression which notality in another, seemed in the count but time will ease, and that in the full con
an act of thoughtless gaiety, an imprudence viction of his love and honour I had no resulting from the carelessness, or the softother restraints than those which belong to ness of his nature. a virturus atfection. On our return home " That I may not weary you, Madam, 1 my father met us.-Alicia and Con-tanit,' | will endeavour to abridge my narrative. said be, addressing us, 'theie is a new vi- even at the expence of perspicuity; sur. sitor come to grace your union; my wife fice it therefore to say, that a short period has found her younger brother. The Count after the arrival of the Count bad elapsed, de la Plaisance, a peer of France, has just beforc I thought I discovered something arrived; lie very strongly reseubes you, i particular in bis attentions to niyself.