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“ However," continued be, " though life, which was every day declining for want of you refuse to submit to the nephew, I hope you necessaries and wholesoine air. He added, that have no objection to laying your case before the it was now incumbent on me to sacrifice any uncle, who has the first character in the king- pride or resentment of my own to the welfare of dom for every thing that is just and good. I those who depended on me for support ; and that would advise you to send him a letter by the I was now, both by reason and justice, obliged, post, intimating all his nephew's ill usage, and to try to reconcile my landlord. my life for it, that, in three days, you shall have “ Heaven be praised," replied I," there is no an answer.” I thanked him for the hint, and pride left me now. Í should detest my own instantly set about complying; but I wanted heart, if I saw either pride or resentment lurkpaper, and unluckily all our money had been ing there. On the contrary, as my oppressor laid out that morning in provisions ; however, has been once my parishioner, I hope one day he supplied me.
to present him up an unpolluted soul at the For the three ensuing days I was in a state of eternal tribunal. No, sir, I have no resentment anxiety, to know what reception my letter might now: and though he has taken from me what meet with ; but in the meantime was frequent- I held dearer than all his treasures, though he ly solicited by my wife to submit to any condi- has wrung my heart, for I am sick almost to tions rather than remain here, and every hour fainting, very sick, my fellow-prisoner, yet that received repeated accounts of the decline of my shall never inspire me with vengeance. I am daughter's health. The third day and the fourth now willing to approve his marriage, and if this arrived, but I received no answer to my letter; submission can do him any pleasure, let him the complaints of a stranger against a favourite know, that if I have done him any injury, I am nephew, were noway likely to succeed ; so that sorry for it.” Mr Jenkinson took pen and ink, these hopes soon vanished, like all my former. and wrote down my submission nearly as I had My mind, however, still supported itself, though expressed it, to which I signed my name. My confinement and bad air began to make a visible son was employed to carry the letter to Mr alteration in my health, and my arm that had Thornhill, who was then at his seat in the counsuffered in the fire grew worse. My children, try. He went, and in about six hours returned however, sat by me, and, while I was stretched with a verbal answer. He had some difficulty, on my straw, reail to me by turns, or listened he said, to get a sight of his landlord, as the ser. and wept at my instructions. But my daughter's vants were insolent and suspicious ; but he achealth declined faster than mine, every message cidentally saw him as he was going out upon from her contributed to increase my apprehen- business, preparing for his marriage, which was sions and pain. The fifth morning after I had to be in three days. He continued to inform us, written the letter which was sent Sir William that he stept up in the humblest manner, and Thornhill, I was alarmed with an account that delivered the letter, which, when Mr Thornhill she was speechless. Now it was that confine had read, he said that all submission was now ment was truly painful to me; my soul was too late and unnecessary; that he had heard of bursting from its prison, to be near the pillow of our application to his uncle, which met with my child, to comfort, to strengthen her, to re- the contempt it deserved ; and as for the rest, ceive her last wishes, and teach her soul the way that all future applications should be directed to heaven. Another account came—she was ex- to his attorney, not to him. He observed, howpiring, and yet I was debarred the small com- ever, that as he had a very good opinion of the fort of weeping by her. My fellow-prisoner, discretion of the two young ladies, they might some time after, came with the last account. have been the most agreeable intercessors. He bade me be patient—she was deadl! The “ Well, sir,” said I to my fellow-prisoner, next morning he returned, and found me with you now discover the temper of the man who my two little ones, now my only companions, oppresses me. He can at once be facetious and who were using all their innocent efforts to com- cruel ; but let him use me as he will, I shall fort me. They entreated to read to me, and soon be free, in spite of all his bolts to restrain bade me not cry, for I was now too old to weep: me. I am now drawing towards an abode that “ And is not my sister an angel now, papa ?" looks brighter as I approach it, this expectation cried the eldest,“ and why then are you sorry cheers my afflictions, and though I leave a helpfor her? I wish I were an angel, out of this less family of orphans behind me, yet they will frightful place, if my papa were with me.”- not be utterly forsaken ; some friend, perhaps, “ Yes," added my youngest darling, “ heaven, will be found to assist them for the sake of their where my sister is, is a finer place than this, poor father, and some may charitably relieve and there are none but good people there, and them for the sake of their Heavenly Father." the people here are very bad.”
Just as I spoke, my wife, whom I had not Mr Jenkinson interrupted their harmless seen that day before, appeared with looks of terprattle, by observing, that, now my daughter ror, and making efforts, but unable, to speak. was no more, I should seriously think of the “Why, my love," cried I, why will you thus rest of my family, and attempt to save iny own increase my afflictions by your own What
though no submission can turn our severe mas
that will.” “ But are you sure,” still repeated ter, though he has doomed me to die in this she, “ that the letter is from himself, and that place of wretchedness, and though we have lost he is really so happy ?”—“ Yes, madam,” rea darling child, yet still you will find comfort plied he, “ it is certainly his, and he will one in your other children, when I shall be no day be the credit and the support of our famimore.”-“We have indeed lost,” returned she, ly.”—“ Then, I thank Providence,” cried she, a darling child !-My Sophia, my dearest, is
last letter to him has miscarried. gone-snatched from us, carried off by ruffi- Yes, my dear,” continued she, turning to me,
“ I will now confess, that though the hand of “ How, madam!” cried my fellow-prisoner. Heaven is sore upon us in other instances, it “ Miss Sophia carried off by villains ! Sure it has been favourable here. By the last letter I cannot be ?”
wrote my son, which was in the bitterness of She could only answer with a fixed look, and anger, I desired him, upon his mother's blessa flood of tears. But one of the prisoners' wives, ing, and if he had the heart of a man, to see who was present, and came in with her, gave us justice done his father and sister, and avenge a more distinct account. She informed us, that
But thanks be to Him who directs as my wife, my daughter, and herself, were ta- all things,—it has miscarried, and I am at rest.” king a walk together, on the great road, a little “ Woman,” cried I, “ thou hast done very way out of the village, a post-chaise and pair ill, and at another time my reproaches might drove up to them, and instantly stopt ; upon have been more severe. Oh! what a tremendous which a well-drest man, but not Mr Thorn- gulph hast thou escaped, that would have buhill, stepping out, clasped my daughter round ried both thee and him in endless ruin ! Provithe waist, and forcing her in, bid the postillion dence, indeed, has here been kinder to us than drive on, so that they were out of sight in a we to ourselves. It has reserved that son to be moment.
the father and protector of my children, when I “Now,” cried I," the sum of my miseries is shall be away. How unjustly did I complain made up, nor is it in the power of any thing on of being stript of every comfort, when still I carth to give me another pang. What! not one hear that he is happy and insensible of our afleft! not leave me one! the monster ! The child flictions; still kept in reserve to support his that was next my heart ! she had the beauty of widowed mother, and to protect his brothers an angel, and almost the wisdom of an angel. and sisters !—But what sisters has he left? he But support that woman, nor let her fall- Not has no sisters now! they are all gone, robbed to leave me one !”—“ Alas, my husband !” said from me, and I am undone !"_" Father,” inmy wife," you seem to want comfort even more terrupted my son, I beg you will give me than 1. Our distresses are great ; but I could leave to read this letter; I know it will please bear this and more, if I saw you but easy. They you." Upon which, with my permission, he may take away my children, and all the world, read as follows: if they leave me but you."
My son, who was present, endeavoured to “ Honoured Sir, moderate her grief; he bade us take comfort, “I have called off my imagination a few mofor he hoped that we might still have reason to ments from the pleasures that surround me, to be thankful.-My child,” cried I," look round fix it upon objects that are still more pleasing, the world, and see if there be any happiness left the dear little fire-side at home. My fancy draws me now. Is not every ray of comfort shut out, that harmless group as listening to every line of while all our bright prospects only lie beyond this with great composure. I view those faces the grave?"_" My dear father,” returned he, with delight, which never felt the deforming “ I hope there is still something that will give hand of ambition or distress. But, whatever you an interval of satisfaction ; for I have a let- your happiness may be at home, I am sure it ter from my brother George.” “What of him, will be some addition to it, to hear that I am my child?" interrupted I ; “ does he know our perfectly pleased with my situation, and every misery? I hope my boy is exempt from any part way happy here. of what his wretched family suffers.”
“ Our regiment is countermanded, and is not sir," returned he," he is perfectly gay, cheer- to leave the kingdom; the colonel, who proful, and happy. His letter brings nothing but fesses himself my friend, takes me with him to good news; he is the favourite of his colonel, all companies where he is acquainted, and, after who promises to procure him the very next lieu- my first visit, I generally find myself received tenancy that becomes vacant."
with increased respect upon repeating it. I “ But are you sure of all this?” cried my danced last night with Lady G-, and, could wife, are you sure that nothing ill has be- I forget you know whom, I might be, perhaps, fallen my boy?”_"Nothing, indeed, madain,” successful. But it is my fate still to remember returned my son ; “ you shall see the letter, others, while I am myself forgotten by most of which will give you the highest pleasure ; and my absent friends; and in this number, I fear, if any thing can procure you comfort, I am sure sir, that I must consider you, for I have long
expected the pleasure of a letter from home to offence of thinc can deserve so vile a punishno purpose. Olivia and Sophia, too, promised ment. My George could never be guilty of any to write, but seem to have forgotten me. Tell crime to make his ancestors ashamed of him.” them that they are two arrant little baggages, “ Mine, sir," returned my son, “ is, I fear, and that I am at this moment in a most violent an unpardonable one. When I received my mopassion with them; yet still, I know not how, ther's letter from home, I immediately came though I want to bluster a little, my heart is down, determined to punish the betrayer of our respondent only to softer emotions. Then tell honour, and sent him an order to meet me, them, sir, that after all, I love them affection- which he answered, not in person, but by disately; and be assured of my ever remaining your patching four of his domestics to seize me. I dutiful son.
wounded one who first assaulted me, and I fear
desperately; but the rest made me their prisonIn all our miseries,” cried I, “ what thanks er." The coward is determined to put the law have we not to return, that one at least of our in execution against me; the proofs are unfamily is exempted from what we suffer! Hea- deniable: I have sent a challenge, and as I am ven be his guard, and keep my boy thus happy the first aggressor upon the statute, I see no to be the support of his widowed mother, and hopes of pardon. But you have often charmed the father of these two babes, which is all the me with your lessons of fortitude; let me now, patrimony I can now bequeath him! May he sir, find them in your example." keep their innocence from the temptations of “ And, my son, you shall find them. I am want, and be their conductor in the paths of now raised above this world, and all the pleahonour !" I had scarcely said these words, when sures it can produce. From this moment I break a noise like that of a tumult seemed to proceed from my heart all the ties that held it down to from the prison below; it died away soon after, earth, and will prepare to fit us both for eternity. and a clanking of fetters was heard along the Yes, my son, I will point out the way, and my pussage that led to my apartment. The keeper soul shall guide your's in the ascent, for we will of the prison entered, holding a man all bloody, take our flight together. I now see and am conwounded, and fettered with the heaviest irons. vinced, you can expect no pardon here, and I I looked with compassion upon the wretch as he can only exhort you to seek it at that greatest approached me, but with horror when I found tribunal, where we both shall shortly answer. it was my own son ! “My George! my George! But let us not be niggardly in our exhortations, and do I behold thee thus ? wounded ! fetter- but let all our fellow-prisoners have a share. ed! Is this thy happiness ? Is this the man- Good gaoler, let them be permitted to stand ner you return to me? O that this sight would here, while I attempt to improve them.”—Thus break my heart at once, and let me die !" saying, I made an effort to rise from the straw,
Where, sir, is your fortitude ?" returned but wanted strength, and was able only to remy son, with an intrepid voice ; " I must suf- cline against the wall. The prisoners assembled fer, my life is forfeited, and let them take it.” according to my directions, for they loved to
I tried to restrain my passion for a few mi- hear my counsel ; my son and his mother supnutes in silence, but I thought I should have ported me on either side ; I looked and saw that died with the effort.-"0, my boy, my heart none were wanting, and then addressed them weeps to behold thee thus, and I cannot, cannot with the following exhortation. help it ! In the moment that I thought thee blest, and prayed for thy safety, to behold thee thus again, chained, wounded! And yet, the death
CHAP. XXIX. of the youthful is happy. But I am old, a very old man, and have lived to see this day; to see The equal dealings of Providence demonstrated my children all untimely falling about me, while with regard to the Happy and the Miserable I continue a wretched survivor in the midst of here below. That, from the nature of Pleasure ruin ! May all the curses that ever sunk a soul, and Pain, the wretched must be repaid the bufall heavy upon the murderer of my children! lance of their sufferings in the life hereafter. May he live like me to see « Hold, sir," replied my son,
or I shall
“My friends, my children, and fellow-sufblush for thee. How, sir! forgetful of your age, ferers, when I reflect on the distribution of good your holy calling, thus to arrogate the justice and evil here below, I find that much has been of Heaven, and fling those curses upward, that given man to enjoy, yet still more to suffer. must soon descend to crush thy own grey head Though we should examine the whole world, with destruction ! No, sir, let it be your care we shall not find one man so bappy as to have now to fit me for that vile death I must shortly nothing left to wish for; but daily see thousuffer, to arm me with hope and resolution, to sands who by suicide shew us they have nothing give me courage to drink of that bitterness which left to hope. In this life, then, it appears that must shortly be my portion.”
we cannot be entirely blest; but yet we may be “My child, you must not die ! I am sure no completely miserable.
“ Why man should thus feel pain; why our to the poor than to the rich; for as it thus wretchedness should be requisite in the forma- makes the life after death more desirable, so it tion of universal felicity; why, when all other smooths the passage there. The wretched have systems are made perfect by the perfection of had a long fainiliarity with every face of terror. their subordinate parts, the great system should The man of sorrow lays himself quietly down, require for its perfection, parts that are not only with no possessions to regret, and but few ties subordinate to others, but imperfect in them- to stop his departure ; he feels only nature's selves—these are questions that never can be pang in the final separation, and this is no way explained, and might be useless if known. On greater than he has often fainted under before; this subject Providence has thought fit to elude for after a certain degree of pain, every new our curiosity, satisfied with granting us motives breach that death opens in the constitution, nato consolation.
ture kindly covers with insensibility. “ In this situation, man has called in the “ Thus Providence'has given to the wretched friendly assistance of philosophy; and Heaven, two advantages over the happy in this life seeing the incapacity of that to console him, has greater felicity in dying, and in Heaven all that given him the aid of religion. The consolations superiority of pleasure which arises from conof philosophy are very amusing, but often falla- trasted enjoyment. And this superiority, my cious. It tells us that life is filled with com- friends, is no small advantage, and seems to be forts, if we will but enjoy them; and on the one of the pleasures of the poor man in the paother hand, that though we unavoidably have rable ; for though he was already in heaven, and miseries here, life is short, and they will soon felt all the raptures it could give, yet it was menbe over. Thus do these consolations destroy tioned, as an addition to his happiness, that he each other ; for if life is a place of comfort, its had once been wretched, and now was comfortshortness must be misery; and if it be long, ed ; that he had known what it was to be miserour griefs are protracted. Thus philosophy is able, and now felt what it was to be happy. weak; but religion comforts in a higher strain. “ Thus, my friends, you see religion does Man is here, it tells us, fitting up his mind, what philosophy could never do: it shews the and preparing it for another abode. When the equal dealings of Heaven to the happy and the good man leaves the body and is all a glorious unhappy, and levels all human enjoyments to mind, he will find he has been making himself nearly the same standard. It gives to both rich a heaven of happiness here, while the wretch and poor the same happiness hereafter, and equal that has been maimed and contaminated by his hopes to aspire after it; but if the rich have the vices, shrinks from his body with terror, and advantages of enjoying pleasure here, the poor finds that he has anticipated the vengeance of have the endless satisfaction of knowing what it Heaven. To religion, then, we must hold in was once to be miserable, when crowned with every circumstance of life, for our truest com- endless felicity hereafter ; and even though this fort; for if already we are happy, it is a plea- should be called a small advantage, yet, being an sure to think that we can make that happiness eternal one, it must make up, by duration, what unending; and if we are miserable, it is very the temporal happiness of the great may have exconsoling to think that there is a place of rest. ceeded by intenseness. Thus, to the fortunate, religion holds out a “These are, therefore, the consolations which continuance of bliss; to the wretched a change the wretched have peculiar to themselves, and from pain.
in which they are above the rest of mankind ; in “But though religion is very kind to all men, other respects they are below them. They who it has promised peculiar rewards to the unhap- would know the miseries of the poor, must see py; the sick, the naked, the houseless, the heavy- life and endure' it. To declaim on the temporal laden, and the prisoner, have ever most frequent advantages they enjoy, is only repeating what promises in our sacred law. The Author of none either believe or practise. The men who our religion every where professes himself the have the necessaries of living, are not poor; and wretch's friend; and, unlike the false ones of this they who want, must be miserable. Yes, my world, bestows all his caresses upon the forlorn. friends, we must be miserable. No vain efforts The unthinking have censured this as partiality, of a refined imagination can sooth the wants of as a preference without merit to deserve it. But nature, can give elastic sweetness to the dank they never reflect, that it is not in the power vapour of a dungeon, or ease the throbbings of even of Heaven itself to make the offer of un- a broken heart. Let the philosopher, from his ceasing felicity as great a gift to the happy as to couch of softness, tell us we can resist all these. the miserable. To the first, eternity is but a Alas ! the effort by which we resist them is still single blessing, since, at most, it but increases the greatest pain. Death is slight, and any man what they already possess. To the latter, it is may sustain it; but torments are dreadful, and a double advantage; for it diminishes their pain these no man can endure. here, and rewards them with heavenly bliss “ To us then, my friends, the promises of haphereafter.
piness in heaven should be peculiarly dear, for “But Providence is in another respect kinder if our reward be in this life alone, we are, indeed, of all men the most miserable. When I him for his clemency, and grasping my boy's look round these gloomy walls, made to terrify, hand, bade him farewell, and be mindful of the as well as to confine us ; this light, that only great duty that was before him. serves to shew the horrors of the place; those I again, therefore, laid me down, and one of shackles, that tyranny has imposed, or crime my little ones sat by my bed-side reading, when made necessary; when I survey these emaciated Mr Jenkinson entering, informed me that there looks, and hear those groans,—0, my friends, was news of my daughter; for that she was seen what a glorious exchange would heaven be for by a person about two hours before in a strange these ! To fly through regions unconfined as air gentleman's company, and that they had stop-to bask in the sunshine of eternal bliss--to ped at a neighbouring village for refreshment, carol over endless hymns of praise_to have no and seemed as if returning to town. He had master to threaten or insult us, but the form of scarce delivered this news, when the jailor goodness himself for ever in our eyes; when I came with looks of haste and pleasure, to inform think of these things, death becomes the mes. me that my daughter was found ! Moses came senger of very glad tidings; when I think of running in a moment after, crying out that his these things, his sharpest arrow becomes the sister Sophy was below, and coming up with our staff of my support; when I think of these things, old friend Mír Burchell. what is there in life worth having? when I think Just as he delivered this news, my dearest of these things, what is there that should not be girl entered, and, with looks almost wild with spurned away ? Kings in their palaces should pleasure, ran to kiss me in a transport of affecgroan for such advantages, but we, humbled as tion. Her mother's tears and silence also shewwe are, should yearn for them.
ed her pleasure. “ And shall these things be ours ? Ours they “Here, papa," cried the charming girl, “ here will certainly be, if we but try for them; and what is the brave man to whom I owe my delivery ; is a comfort, we are shut out from many temp- to this gentleman's intrepidity I am indebted tations that would retard our pursuit. Only let for my happiness and safety.”—A kiss from Mr us try for them, and they will certainly be ours; Burchell, whose pleasure seemed even greater and what is still a comfort, shortly too; for if than hers, interrupted what she was going to we look back on past life, it appears but a very
add. short span, and whatever we may think of the. “ Ah, Mr Burchell !" cried I," this is but a rest of life, it will yet be found of less duration ; wretched habitation you find us in ; and we are as we grow older, the days seem to grow shorter, now very different from what you last saw us. and our intimacy with time ever lessens the per- You were ever our friend : we have long discoception of his stay. Then let us take comfort vered our errors with regard to you, and repentnow, for we shall soon be at our journey's end; ed of our ingratitude. After the vile usage you we shall soon lay down the heavy burden laid by then received, at my hands, I am almost ashaHeaven upon us; and though death, the only med to behold your face; yet I hope you'll forgive friend of the wretched, for a little while mocks me, as I was deceived by a base ungenerous the weary traveller with the view, and, like the wretch, who, under the mask of friendship, has horizon, still flies before him; yet the time will undone me.' certainly and shortly come, when we shall cease "It is impossible," replied Mr Burchell, “that from our toil ; when the luxurious great ones of I should forgive you, as you never deserved my the world shall no more tread us to the earth; resentment. I partly saw your delusion then, when we shall think with pleasure on our suffer- and as it was out of my power to restrain, I ings below ; when we shall be surrounded with could only pity it.” all our friends, or such as deserved our friend- “ It was ever my conjecture,” cried I, “ that ship; when our bliss shall be unutterable, and your mind was noble ; but now I find it so.still, to crown all, unending.”
But tell me, my dear child, how thou hast been relieved, or who the ruffians were that carried
thee away?" CHAP. XXX.
“ Indeed, sir,” replied she, “ as to the villain
who carried me off, I am yet ignorant. For as Happier Prospects begin to appear. Let us be my mamma and I were walking out, he came
inflexible, and Fortune will at last change in our behind us, and, almost before I could call for favour.
help, forced me into the post-chaise, and in an
instant the horses drove away. I met several on When I had thus finished, and my audience the road, to whom I cried out for assistance ; was retired, the jailor, who was cne of the most but they disregarded my entreaties. In the meanhumane of his profession, hoped I would not be time, the ruffian himself used every art to hindispleased, as what he did was but his duty ; ob- der me from crying out : he flattered and threatserving, that he must be obliged to remove my ened me by turns, and swore that if I continucd son into a stronger cell, but he should be per- but silent he intended no harm. In the meanmitted to visit me every morning. I thanked time I had broken the canvas that he had drawn