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Still cool, though grieved, thus prudence bade Superior natures with their puppets play, him write
Till, bagg’d or buried, all are swept away." “ I cannot pardon, and I will not fight;
Such were the notions of a mind to ill Thou art too poor a culprit for the laws,
Now prone, but ardent and determined still. And I too faulty to support my cause ;
Of joy now eager, as before of fame, All must be punish'd ; I must sigh alone,
And screen'd by folly when assail'd by shame, At home thy victim for her guilt atone ;
Deeply he sank; obey'd each passion's call, And thou, unhappy! virtuous now no more, And used his reason to defend them all. Must loss of fame, peace, purity deplore ;
Shall I proceed, and step by step relate Sinners with praise will pierce thee to the heart, The odious progress of a sinner's fate? And saints, deriding, tell thee what thou art. No-let me rather hasten to the time
Such was his fall ; and Edward, from that time, (Sure to arrive) when misery waits on crime. Felt in full force the censure and the crime ; With virtue, prudence fled ; what Shore possess d Despised, ashamed ; his noble views before, Was sold, was spent, and he was now distress'd : And his proud thoughts, degraded him the more ; And Want, unwelcome stranger, pale and wan, Should he repent--would that conceal his shame? Met with her haggard looks the hurried man ; Could peace be his? It perish'd with his fame : His pride felt keenly what he must expect Himself he scorn'd, nor could his crime forgive ; From useless pity and from cold neglect. He fear'd to die, yet felt ashamed to live :
Struck by new terrors, from his friends he fled, Grieved, but not contrite, was his heart; oppress’d, And wept his woes upon a restless bed; Not broken; not converted, but distress'd ; Retiring late, at early hour to rise, He wanted will to bend the stubborn knee, With shrunken features, and with bloodshot eyes: He wanted light the cause of ill to see, [be: If sleep one moment closed the dismal view, To learn how frail is man, how humble then should Fancy her terrors built upon the true; For faith he had not, or a faith too weak
And night and day had their alternate woes, To gain the help that humbled sinners seek ; That baffled pleasure, and that mock'd repose ; Else had he pray'd—to an offended God
Till to despair and anguish was consign'd His tears had flown a penitential flood;
The wreck and ruin of a noble mind. Though far astray, he would have heard the call Now seized for debt, and lodged within a jail, Of mercy—“Come! return, thou prodigal ;" He tried his friendships, and he found them fail, Then, though confused, distress'd, ashamed, afraid, Then fail'd his spirits, and his thoughts were all Still had the trembling penitent obey'd ;
Fix'd on his sins, his sufferings, and his fall : Though faith have fainted, when assail'd by fear, His ruffled mind was pictured in his face, Hope to the soul had whisper'd, “ Persevere!" Once the fair seat of dignity and grace : Till in his Father's house an humbled guest, Great was the danger of a man so prone He would have found forgiveness, comfort, rest.
To think of madness, and to think alone; But all this joy was to our youth denied Yet pride still lived, and struggled to sustain By his fierce passions and his daring pride, The drooping spirit and the roving brain ; And shame and doubt impell’d him in a course,
But this too fail'd : a friend his freedom gave, Once so abhorr'd, with unresisted force.
And sent him help the threatening world to brave , Proud minds and guilty, whom their crimes oppress, Gave solid counsel what to seek or flee, Fly to new crimes for comfort and redress ; But still would stranger to his person be : So found our fallen youth a short relief
In vain! the truth determined to explore, In wine, the opiate guilt applies to grief, He traced the friend whom he had wrong'd before From Aeeting mirth that o'er the bottle lives, This was too much ; both aided and advised From the false joy its inspiration gives ;
By one who shunn'd him, pitied, and despised : And from associates pleased to find a friend, He bore it not; 'twas a deciding stroke, With powers to lead them, gladden, and defend, And on his reason like a torrent broke : In all those scenes where transient ease is found, In dreadful stillness he appear'd a while, For minds whom sins oppress, and sorrows wound. With vacant horror and a ghastly smile ;
Wine is like anger; for it makes us strong, Then rose at once into the frantic rage, Blind, and impatient, and it leads us wrong ; That force controll'd not, nor could love assuage. The strength is quickly lost, we feel the error long : Friends now appear’d, but in the man was seen Thus led, thus strengthen'd in an evil cause, The angry maniac, with vindictive mien ; For folly pleading, sought the youth applause ; Too late their pity gave to care and skill Sad for a time, then eloquently wild,
The hurried mind and ever-wandering will; He gayly spoke as his companions smiled ; Unnoticed pass'd all time, and not a ray Lightly he rose, and with his former grace Of reason broke on his benighted way; Proposed some doubt, and argued on the case; But now he spurn’d the straw in pure disdain, Fate and foreknowledge were his favourite themes, And now laugh'd loudly at the clinking chain. How vain man's purpose, how absurd his schemes ; Then as ils wrath subsided, by degrees “ Whatever is, was ere our birth decreed ; The mind sank slowly to infantine ease; We think our actions from ourselves proceed, To playful folly, and to causeless joy, And idly we lament th' inevitable deed ;
Speech without aim, and without end, employ, It seems our own, but there's a power above He drew fantastic figures on the wall, Directs the motion, nay, that makes us move ; And gave some wild relation of them all ; Nor good nor evil can you beings name,
With brutal shape he join'd the human face Who are but rooks and castles in the game; And idiot smiles approved the motley race
Harmless at length th' unhappy man was found, Ten years enduring at her board to sit, The spirit settled, but the reason drown'd; He meekly listen'd to her tales and wit; And all the dreadful tempest died away.
He took the meanest office man can take, To the dull stillness of the misty day.
And his aunt's vices for her money's sake : And now his freedom he attain'd-if free, By many a threatening hint she waked his fear, The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be ; And he was pain’d to see a rival near; His friends, or wearied with the charge, or sure Yet all the taunts of her contemptuous pride The harmless wretch was now beyond a cure, He bore, nor found his grovelling spirit tried : Gave him to wander where he pleased, and find Nay, when she wish'd his parents to traduce, His own resources for the eager mind;
Fawning he smiled, and justice call'd th' abuse; The playful children of the place he meets,
" They taught you nothing; are you not, at best,' Playful with them he rambles through the streets; Said the proud dame, “ a trifler, and a jest? In all they need, his stronger arm he lends, Confess you are a fool!"--he bow'd and he conAnd his lost mind to these approving friends.
fess'd. That gentle maid, whom once the youth had This vex'd him much, but could not always last : loved,
The dame is buried, and the trial past. Is now with mild religious pity moved ;
There was a female, who had courted long Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Her cousin's gifts, and deeply felt the wrong ; Will for a moment fix'd and pensive be ;
By a vain boy forbidden to attend And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes The private councils of her wealthy friend, Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs ; She vow'd revenge, nor should that crafty boy Charm'd by her voice, th' harmonious sounds invade In triumph undisturb’d his spoils enjoy ; His eloaded mind, and for a time persuade : He heard, he smiled, and when the will was read, Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught Kindly dismiss”d the kindred of the dead ; From the maternal glance a gleam of thought; “The dear deceased,” he callid her, and the crowd He stands enrapt, the half-known voice to hear,
Moved off with curses deep and threatenings loud And starts, half-conscious, at the falling tear.
The youth retired, and, with a mind at ease, Rarely from town, nor then unwatch’d, he goes, Found he was rich, and fancied he must please : In darker mood, as if to hide his woes ;
He might have pleased, and to his comfort found Returning soon, he with impatience seeks
The wise he wish'd, if he had sought around; His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and For there were lasses of his own degree, speaks ;
With no more hatred to the state than he : Speaks a wild speech with action all as wild
But he had courted spleen and age so long, The children's leader, and himself a child ; His heart refused to woo the fair and young ; He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends
So long attended on caprice and whim
And as his flattery pleased the wealthy dame, And heedlese children call him Silly Shore. Heir to the wealth he might the flattery claim;
But this the fair, with one accord, denied,
There is a season when to them is due
Worship and awe, and they will claim it too. SQUIRE THOMAS; OR, THE PRECIPITATE CHOICE.
“Fathers,” they cry, “ long hold us in their chain,
Nay, tyrant brothers claim a right to reign ;
Uncles and guardians we in turn obey,
And husbands rule with ever-during sway ; Too intrinsicate t' unloose
Lear, act 1. sc. 2. Short is the time when lovers at the feet
Of beauty kneel, and own the slavery sweet;
And shall we this our triumph, this the aim
And boast of female power, forbear to claim ?
Or the proud rebel punish and rejert." love her, I am a Jew.
Our hero, still 100 indolens, too nice
No lege forbore t'address the humbler maid,
Who might have yielded with the price unpaid;
To count luis money, and enjoy his ease. Becomes a woman best; I'll take it upon me ;
It pleased a neighbouring 'quire to recommend II prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister. A faithful youth, as servant to his friend ;
Winter's Tale, act ii. sc. 2. Nay, more than servant, whom he praised for parts Disguise—I see thou art a wickedness.
Ductile yet strong, and for the best of hearts
With tenants, tradesmen, taxes, and repairs ;
And entertain him with discourse and news. Ten years he tried, with all his craft and skill, The 'squire believed, and found the trusted youth To fix the sovereign lady's varying will ;
A very pattern for his care and truth;
Not for his virtues to be praised alone,
Let us this night, as one of pleasure date, But for a modest mien and humble tone ;
And of surprise : it is an act of fate." Assenting always, but as if he meant
'Go on," the 'squire in happy temper cried ; Only to strength of reasons to assent :
“I like such blunder! I approve such guide." For was he stubborn, and retain'd his doubt, They ride, they halt, the farmer comes in haste, Till the more subtle 'squire had forced it out; Then tells his wife how much their house is graced; “ Nay, still was right, but he perceived, that strong They bless the chance, they praise the lucky son And powerful minds could make the right the That caused the error-Nay! it was not one ; wrong,"
But their good fortune--Cheerful grew the 'squire, When the 'squire's thoughts on some fair damsel Who found dependants, flattery, wine, and fire ; dwelt,
He heard the jack turn round, the busy dame The faithful friend his apprehensions felt ;
Produced her damask; and with supper came It would rejoice his faithful heart to find
The daughter, dress’d with care, and full of maid. A lady suited to his master's mind ;
en shame. But who deserved that master ? who would prove Surprised, our hero saw the air and dress, That hers was pure, uninterested love?
And strove his admiration to express ; Although a servant, he would scorn to take Nay! felt it too--for Harriet was, in truth, A countess, till she suffer'd for his sake;
A tall fair beauty in the bloom of youth ; Some tender spirit, humble, faithful, true,
And from the pleasure and surprise, a grace Such, my dear master! must be sought for you. Adorn'd the blooming damsel's form and face;
Six months had pass'd, and not a lady seen Then too, such high respect and duty paid With just this love, 'twixt fifty and fifteen ; By all—such silent reverence in the maid ; All seem'd his doctrine or his pride to shun, Venturing with caution, yet with haste, a glance; All would be wooed, before they would be won; Loath to retire, yet trembling to advance, When the chance naming of a race and fair, Appear'd the nymph, and in her gentle guest Our 'squire disposed to take his pleasure there : Stirr'd soft emotions till the hour of rest : The friend profess'd, “ Although he first began Sweet was his sleep, and in the morn again To hint the thing, it seem'd a thoughtless plan : He felt a mixture of delight and pain. The roads, he fear'd, were foul, the days were short, How fair, how gentle," said the 'squire, “ how The village far, and yet there might be sport."
meek, “What! you of roads and starless nights afraid? And yet how sprightly, when disposed to speak! You think to govern! you to be obey'd !"
Nature has bless'd her form, and Heaven her mind, Smiling he spoke, the humble friend declared But in her favours Fortune is unkind ; His soul's obedience, and to go prepared.
Poor is the maid-nay, poor she cannot prove The place was distant, but with great delight Who is enrich'd with beauty, worth, and love." They saw a race, and hail'd the glorious sight: The 'squire arose, with no precise intent The 'squire exulted, and declared the ride To go or stay, uncertain what he meant : Had amply paid, and he was satisfied.
He moved to part; they begg'd him first to dine ; They gazed, they feasted, and, in happy mood, And who could then escape from love and wine i Homeward return'd, and hastening as they rode ; As came the night, more charming grew the fair For short the day, and sudden was the change And seem'd to watch him with a two-fold care : From light to darkness, and the way was strange; On the third morn, resolving not to stay, Our hero soon grew peevish, then distress'd ; Though urged by love, he bravely rode away. He dreaded darkness, and he sigh’d for rest :
Arrived at home, three pensive days ho gave Going, they pass'd a village, but, alas!
To feelings fond and meditations grave; Returning. saw no village to repass ;
Lovely she was, and, if he did not err,
As fond of him as his fond heart of her ;
Which was the master passion, love or pride :
Had she but fortune, “ Doubtless then,” he cried, And of his master's safety were he sure,
“Some happier man had won the wealthy bride." There was no grievance he would not endure.” While thus he hung in balance, now inclined This made his peace with the relenting 'squire, To change his state, and then to change his mind Whose thoughts yet dwelt on supper and a fire ; That careless George dropp'd idly on the ground When, as they reach'd a long and pleasant green, A letter, which his crafty master found ; Dwellings of men, and next a man were seen. The stupid youth confess’d his fault, and pray'd
My friend,” said George, “ to travellers astray The generous 'squire to spare a gentle maid ; Point out an inn, and guide us on the way." of whom her tender mother, full of fears,
The man look'd up; “ Surprising ! can it be Had written much; “ She caught her oft in tears, My master's son ? as I'm alive, 'tis he."
For ever thinking on a youth above “How! Robin,"George replied," and are we near Her humble fortune : still she own'd not love ; My father's house ? how strangely things appear! Nor can define, dear girl! the cherish'd pain, Dear sir, though wanderers, we at last are right : But would rejoice to see the cause again: Let us proceed, and glad my father's sight; That neighbouring youth, whom she endured be We shall at least be fairly lodged and fed,
fore, I can ensure a supper and a bed ;
She now rejects, and will behold no more :
Raised by her passion, she no longer stoops Well, sir, your answer.” Silent stood the 'squire,
Where all he deems is vanish'd in that flame,
Our 'squire stood gaping at his angry wife ;So mild, so good, so gracious, so genteel,
His fate, his ruin, where he saw it vain But spare your sister, and her love conceal ; To hope for peace, pray, threaten, or complain ; We must the fault forgive, since she the pain must And thus, betwixt his wonder at the ill feel."
And his despair, there stood he gaping still. * Fault !” said the 'squire, “ there's coarseness in “Your answer, sir ;-shall I depart a spot the mind
I thus detest ?"_“0, miserable lot!" That thus conceives of feelings so refined ; Exclaim'd the man. “Go, serpent! nor remain Here end my doubts, nor blame yourself, my friend, To sharpen wo by insult and disdain : Fate made you careless ;-here my doubts have a nest of harpies was I doom'd to meet; end."
What plots, what combinations of deceit! The way is plain before us—there is now I see it now; all plann'd, design'd, contrived ; The lover's visit first, and then the vow
Served by that villain-by this fury wived-
But in short time he saw with much surprise, And thou, deceiver! thou afraid to move,
Unheeding saw the fury in thy face ; "Is there in Harriet's humble mind this fire, And call'd it spirit;-0! I might have found This fierce impatience ! ask'd the puzzled 'squire : Fraud and imposture-all the kindred round! " Has marriage changed her ? or the mask she wore A nest of vipers' Has she thrown by, and is herself once more ?"
-“Sir, I'll not admit Hoar after hour, when clouds on clouds appear, These wild effusions of your angry wit : Dark and more dark, we know the tempest near; Have you that value, that we all should use And thus the frowning brow, the restless form, Such mighty arts for such important views ? And threatening glance, forerun domestic storm : Are you such prize, and is my state so fair So read the husband, and, with troubled mind, That they should sell their souls to get me there? Reveal'd his fears ;-" My love, I hope you find Think you that we alone our thoughts disguise ? All here is pleasant; but I must confess
When in pursuit of some contended prize, You seem offended, or in some distress :
Mask we alone the heart, and soothe whom we deExplain the grief you feel, and leave me to redress.” spise !
" Leave it to you ? replied the nymph,“ indeed! Speak you of craft and subtle schemes, who know
To worm yourself into a widow's heart?
Now, when you guarded, with superior skill, With the grim monsters of your ugly race, That lady's closet, and preserved her will, That from their canvass staring, make me dread Blind in your craft, you saw not one of those Through the dark chambers where they hang to Opposed by you might you in turn oppose ; tread!
Or watch your motions, and by art obtain No friend nor neighbour comes to give that joy, Share of that wealth you gave your peace to gain ! Which all things here must banish or destroy : Did conscience never.' Where is the promised coach? the pleasant ride?
“Cease, tormentor, cease0! what a fortune has a farmer's bride!
Or reach me poison—let me rest in peace!" Your sordid pride has placed me just above
Agreed—but hear me let the truth appear." Your hired domestics ; and what pays me? love! " Then state your purpose ; I'll be calm and hear." A selfish fondness I endure each hour,
“ Know then, this wealth, sole object of your care, And share unwitness'd pomp, unenvied power ; I had some right, without your hand, to share ; I hear your folly, smile at your parade,
My mother's claim was just ; but soon she saw
You should divide the fortune, or restore ;
Like Jephthah's daughter, but in different state,
For our revenge ;—but still we have our day;
All that you love you must with others share, And boasts a parent, who deserves to shine
Nor wants he will his station to improve,
A just ambition waked by faithful love :Our hero trembling heard-he sat—he rose- Still is he poor and here my father's friend Nor could his motions nor his mind compose ; Deigns for his daughter, as her own, to send ; He paced the room -and, stalking to her side, A worthy lady, who it seems has known Gazed on the face of his undaunted bride ; A world of griefs and troubles of her own : And nothing there but scorn and calm aversion I was an infant, when she came, a guest spied.
Beneath my father's humble roof to rest ; He would have vengeance, yet he feard the law : Her kindred all unfeeling, vast her woes, Her friends would threaten, and their power he saw; Such her complaint, and there she found repose ; “Then let her go :”- but O! a mighty sum Enrich'd by fortune, now she nobly lives, Would that demand, since he had let her come: And nobly, from the blest abundance, gives ; Nor from his sorrows could he find redress, The grief, the want of human life, she knows. Save that which led him to a like distress, And comfort there and here relief bestows ; And all his ease was in his wife to see
But are they not dependants !-Foolish pride A wretch as anxious and distress'd as he :
Am I not honour'd by such friend and guide ? Her strongest wish, the fortune to divide Have I a home," (here Jessy dropp'd a tear,) And part in peace, his avarice denied;
" Or friend beside ?”-A faithful friend was near. And thus it happen'd, as in all deceit,
Now Colin came, at length resolved to lay The cheater found the evil of the cheat;
His heart before her and to urge her stay ; The husband grieved-nor was the wife at rest; True, his own plough the gentle Colin drove, Him she could vex, and he could her molest; An humble farmer with aspiring love ; She could his passion into frenzy raise,
Who, urged by passion, never dared till now,
Such fond respect, such tried sincerity.
She more than grateful for his passion felt;
Yet fear’d to smile, and was unfix'd in mind;
But prudence placed the female friend in view-
So lately, too, the good old vicar died, Then she plots, then she ruminates, then she de. His faithful daughter must not cast aside vises ; and what they think in their hearts they may er. The signs of filial grief, and be a ready bride : fect, they will break their hearts but they will effect. Merry Wives of Windsor, act ii. sc. 2. Thus, led by prudence, to the lady's seat
The village beauty purposed to retreat ; She hath spoken that she should not, I am sure of But as in hard-fought fields the victor knows that; Heaven knows what she hath known.
What to the vanquish'd he in honour owes,
So in this conquest over powerful love,
Prudence resolved a generous foe to prove; Merchant of Venice, act ii. sc. 3. And Jessy felt a mingled fear and pain And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that surseit In her dismission of a faithful swain, of too much, as they that starve with nothing; it is no Gave her kind thanks, and when she saw his mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean.
Kindly betray'd that she was loath to go ;
A frowning world, she would remember yet
forget.” And found, with youth and beauty, hope and health, And thus they parted; but each faithful heart Two hundred guineas was her worldly wealth ; Felt the compulsion and refused to part. It then remain'd to choose her path in life,
Now by the morning mail the timid maid And first, said Jessy, “ Shall I be a wife ?- Was to that kind and wealthy dame convey'd ; Colin is mild and civil, kind and just,
Whose invitation, when her father died, I know his love, his temper I can trust;
Jessy as comfort to her heart applied ; But small his farm, it asks perpetual care, She knew the days her generous friend had seen And we must toil as well as trouble share: As wife and widow, evil days had been ; True, he was taught in all the gentle arts She married early, and for half her life That raise the soul, and soften human hearts ; Was an insulted and forsaken wife;
JESSY AND COLIN.