Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

Thougn quick to anger, still she loved to smile; Thus made suspicious, he observed and saw And would be calm if men would wait a while. His friend each night at early hour withdraw; She knew her duty, and she loved her way,

He sometimes mention'd Juliet's tender nerves, More pleased in truth to govern than obey ; And what attention such a wise deserves : She heard her priest with reverence, and her spouse In this," thought Clubb, “ full sure some mystery As one who felt the pressure of her vows;

liesUseful and civil, all her friends confessid, He laughs at me, yet he with much complies, Give her her way, and she would choose the best ; And all his vaunts of bliss are proud apologies." Though some, indeed, a sly remark would make, With such ideas treasured in his breast, Give it her not, and she would choose to take. He grew composed, and let his anger rest; All this, when Clubb some cheerful months had Till Counter once (when wine so long went mund spent,

That friendship and discretion both were drown'd) He saw, consess'd, and said he was content. Began in teasing and triumphant mood

Counter meantime selected, doubted, weigh'd, His evening banter.—“Of all earthly good, And then brought home a young complying maid ; | The best,” he said, “ was an obedient spouse, A tender creature, full of fears as charms,

Such as my friend's--that every one allows : A beauteous nursling from its mother's arms; What if she wishes his designs to know? A soft, sweet blossom, such as men must love, It is because she would her praise bestow ; But to preserve must keep it in the stove : What if she wills that he remains at home ? She had a mild, subdued, expiring look

She knows that mischief may from travel come. Raise but the voice, and this fair creature shook; I, who am free to venture where I please, Leave her alone, she felt a thousand fears Have no such kind preventing checks as these; Chide, and she melted into floods of tears ; But mine is double duty, first to guide Fondly she pleaded, and would gently sigh, Myself aright, then rule a house beside ; For very pity, or she knew not why;

While this our friend, more happy than the free, One whom to govern none could be afraid - Resigns all power, and laughs at liberty.” Hold up the finger, this meek thing obey'd ;

“ By Heaven,” said Clubb, “excuse me if I Her happy husband had the easiest task

swear, Say bui his will, no question would she ask; I'll bet a hundred guineas, if he daro, She sought no rcasons, no affairs she knew, That uncontrollid I will such freedoms take, Of business spoke not, and had naught to do. That he will fear to equal-there's my stake.” Oft he exclaim'd, “How meek! how mild ! how “A match !” said Counter, much by wine in. kind!

flamed ; With her 'twere cruel but to seem unkind ;

But we are friends ; let smaller stake be named: Though ever silent when I take my leave, Wine for our future meeting, that will I It pains my heart to think how hers will grieve; Take, and no more-what peril shall we try ?" "Tis heaven on earth with such a wise to dwell, " Let's to Newmarket,” Clubb replied ; " or choose I arn in raptures to have sped so well;

Yourself the place, and what you like to lose ; But let me not, my friend, your envy raise,

And he who first returns, or fears to go, No! on my life, your patience has my praise.”

Forfeits his cash_" Said Counter, Be it so." His friend, though silent, felt the scorn implied,

The friends around them saw with much delight ** What need of patience ?” to himself he cried : The social war, and hail'd the pleasant night ; “ Better a woman o'er her house to rule,

Nor would they further hear the cause discuss'd, Than a poor child just hurried from her school; Afraid the recreant heart of Clubb to trust. Who has no care, yet never lives at ease ;

Now sober thoughts return'd as each withdrew, Unfit to rule, and indisposed to please ;

And of the subject took a serious view : What if he govern? there his boast should end, “ 'Twas wrong," thought Counter, “and will No husband's power can make a slave his friend." grieve my love."

It was the custom of these friends to meet 'Twas wrong," thought Clubb, “my wise will With a few neighbours in a neighbouring street;

not approve : Where Counter oft times would occasion seize But friends were present; I must try the thing, To move his silent friend by words like these : Or with my folly half the town will ring." “ A man,” said he, “ if govern'd by his wife, He sought his lady ; “ Madam, I'm to blame, Gives up his rank and dignity in life ;

But was reproach'd, and could not bear the shame,
Now better fate befalls my friend and me"- Herein my folly—for 'tis best to say
He spoke, and look'd th' approving smile to see. The very truth-I've sworn to have my way :

The quiet partner, when he chose to speak, To that Newmarket-(though I hate the place,
Desired his friend, “another theme to seek ; And have no taste or talents for a race,
When thus they met, he judged that state affairs Yet so it is-well, now prepare to chide)
And such important subjects should be theirs." I laid a wager that I dared to ride ;
But still the partner, in his lighter vein,

And I must go : by Heaven, if you resist
Would cause in Clubb affliction or disdain ; I shall be scorn'd, and ridiculed, and hiss'd ;
It made him anxious to detect the cause

Let me with grace before my friends appear, Of all that boasting ; “Wants my friend applause ? You know the truth, and must not be severe; This plainly proves him not at perfect ease, He too must go, but that he will of course ; For, felt he pleasure, he would wish to please. Do you consent ?-I never think of force." These triumphs here for some regrets atone- “ You never need,” the worthy dame replied • Men who are blest let other men alone.”

“The husband's honour is the woman's pride ;


[ocr errors]

If I in trifles be the wilful wife,

The lady fainted, and the husband sent Still for your credit I would lose my life; For every aid, for every comfort went; Go! and when fix'd the day of your return, Strong terror seized him; “O! she loved so Stay longer yet, and let the blockheads learn,

well, That though a wise may sometimes wish to rule, And who th' effect of tenderness could tell ?" She would not make th' indulgent man a fool ; She now recover'd, and again began I would at times advise—but idle they

With accent querulous—“Ah! cruel manWho think th' assenting husband must obey." Till the sad husband, conscience struck, conThe happy man, who thought his lady right

fess'd, In other cases, was assured to-night;

'Twas very wicked with his friend to jest ; Then for the day with proud delight prepared, For now he saw that those who were obey'd, To show his doubling friends how much he could like the most subservient feel afraid ; dared.

And though a wife might not dispute the will Counter-who grieving sought his bed, his or her liege lord, she could prevent it still. rest

The morning came, and Clubb prepared to ride Broken by pictures of his love distress'd

With a smart boy, his servant and his guide ; With soft and winning speech the fair prepared ; When, ere he mounted on the ready steed, “She all his counsels comforts, pleasures Arrived a letter, and he stopp'd to read. shared :

“My friend," he read—“Our journey I decline, She was assured he loved her from his soul, A heart too tender for such strife is mine; She never knew and need not fear control ; Yours is the triumph, be you so inclined, But so it happen'd he was grieved at heart But you are too considerate and kind. It happen'd so, that they a while must part- In tender pity to my Juliet's fears A little time-the distance was but short,

I thus relent, o'ercome by love and tears ; And business callid him-he despised the sport ; She knows your kindness; I have heard her say, But to Newmarket he engaged to ride,

A man like you 'tis pleasure to obey : With his friend Clubb," and there he stopp'd and Each faithful wife, like ours, must disapprove sigh’d.

Such dangerous trifling with connubial love; A while the tender creature look'd dismay'd, What has the idle world, my friend, to do Then floods of tears the call of grief obey'd. With our affairs ? they envy me and you : “She an objection! No!" she sobb’d, “not What if I could my gentle spouse commandone ;

Is that a cause I should her tears withstand ? Her work was finish'd, and her race was run; And what if you, a friend of peace, submit For die she must, indeed she would not live To one you love-is that a theme for wit? A week alone, for all the world could give; 'Twas wrong, and I shall henceforth judge it weak He too must die in that same wicked place; Both of submission and control to speak : It always happen'd-was a common case ; Be it agreed that all contention cease, Among those horrid horses, jockeys, crowds,

And no such follies vex our future peace ; 'Twas certain death-they might bespeak their Let each keep guard against domestic strife, shrowds ;

And find nor slave nor tyrant in his wife." He would attempt a race, be sure to fall

Agreed,” said Clubb,“ with all my soul And she expire with terror—that was all;

agreed” With love like hers she was indeed unfit

And to the boy, delighted, gave his steed; To bear such horrors, but she must submit." “I think my friend has well his mind expressid, “ But for three days, my love! three days at And I assent; such things are not a jest." most"

" True," said the wise, “no longer he can hide “ Enough for me; I then shall be a ghost" The truth that pains him by his wounded pride : “ My honour's pledged !"—“O! yes, my dearest Your friend has found it not an easy thing, life,

Beneath his yoke, this yielding soul to bring ; I know your honour must outweigh your wise ; These weeping willows, though they seem inclined But ere this absence, have you sought a friend ? By every breeze, yet not the strongest wind I shall be dead-on whom can you depend ? Can from their bent divert this weak but stubborn Let me one favour of your kindness crave,

kind ; Grant me the stone mention'd for my grave." Drooping they seek your pity to excite, • Nay, love, attend-why, bless my soul-I But 'tis at once their nature and delight; say

Such women feel not; while they sigh and I will return-there-weep no longer-nay !"

weep, Well! I obey, and to the last am true,

'Tis but their habit-their affections sleep; But spirits fail me; I must die ; adieu !

They are like ice that in the hand we hold,
" What, madam! must ?—'lis wrong—I'm angry, So very melting, yet so very cold;

On such affection let not man rely,
Can I remain and lose a thousand pounds ?" The husbands suffer, and the ladies sigh :

“Go then, my love! it is a monstrous sum, But your friend's offer let us kindly take,
Worth twenty wives-go, love! and I am dumb And spare his pride for his vexation's sake;
Nor be displeased—had I the power to live, For he has found, and through his life will find,
You might be angry, now you must forgive; 'Tis easiest dealing with the firmest mind-
Alas! I faint-ah! cruel-there's no need More just when it resists, and, when it yields, more
Of wounds or fevers--this had done the deed.”


[ocr errors]

To all in turn full he allegiance swore,

And in his hat the various badges bore :

His liberal soul with every sect agreed,

Unheard their reasons, he received their creed ; -A tapster is a good trade, and an old cloak makes At church he deign'd the organ pipes to fill, a new jerkin; a wither'd serving-man, a fresh tapster. And at the meeting sang both loud and shrill :

Merry Wives of Windsor, act i. 8c. 3. But the full purse these different merits gain'd, A fellow, sir, that I have known go about with my By strong demands his lively passions drain'd; troll-my-dameg.

Liquors he loved of each inflaming kind,
Winter's Tale, act iv. sc. 2.

To midnight revels flew with ardent mind ;
-I myself, sometimes leaving the fear of Heaven on Too warm at cards, a losing game he play'd,
the left hand, and holding mine honour in my necessity, To fleecing beauty his attention paid ;
am forced to shuffle, lo hedge, and to lurch.

His boiling passions were by oaths express’d,
Merry Wives of Windsor, act ii. sc. 2.

And lies he made his profit and his jest.
Yea, and at that very moment,

Such was the boy, and such the man had been,
Consideration like an angel came,

But fate or happier fortune changed the scene; And whipp'd th’ offending Adam out of him.

A fever seized him, “ He should surely die_"
Henry V. act i. sc. 1.

He fear'd, and lo! a friend was praying by ;
I have lived long enough: My May of life

With terror moved, this teacher he address'd,
Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf;

And all the errors of his youth confess'd:
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,

The good man kindly clear'd the sinner's way
I must not look to have.

To lively hope, and counsell’d him to pray ;
Macbeth, act v. sc. 3.

Who then resolved, should he from sickness rise,

To quit cards, liquors, poaching, oaths, and lies : SOME to our hero have a hero's name

His health restored, he vet resolved, and grew Denied, because no father's he could claim; True to his masters, to their meeting true : Nor could his mother with precision state His old companions at his sober face A full fair claim to her certificate;

Laugh'd loud, while he, attesting it was grace, On her own word the marriage must depend - With tears besought them all his calling to emA point she was not eager to defend :

brace :
But who, without a father's name, can raise To his new friends such converts gave applause,
His own so high, deserves the greater praise : Life to their zeal, and glory to their cause :
The less advantage to the strife he brought, Though terror wrought the mighty change, yet
The greater wonders has his prowess wrought;

He who depends upon his wind and limbs, Was the impression, and it lasted long;
Needs neither cork nor bladder when he swims; John at the lectures due attendance paid,
Nor will by empty breath be puft'd along,

A convert meek, obedient, and afraid.
As not himself-but in his helpers-strong. His manners strict, though form'd on fear alone,

Suffice it then, our hero's name was clear, Pleased the grave friends, nor less his solemn For, call John Dighton, and he answer’d, “ Here!" tone, But who that name in early life assign'd

The lengthen'd face of care, the low and inward He never found, he never tried to find;

groan : Whether his kindred were to John disgrace, The stern good men exulted, when they saw Or John to them, is a disputed case ;

Those timid looks of penitence and awe; His infant state owed nothing to their care- Nor thought that one so passive, humble, meek, His mind neglected, and his body bare ;

Had yet a creed and principles to seek. All his success must on himself depend,

The faith that reason finds, confirms, avows, He had no money, counsel, guide, or friend; The hopes, the views, the comforts she allowsBut in a market town an active boy

These were not his, who by his feelings found, Appear’d, and sought in various ways employ ; And by them only, that his faith was sound; Who soon, thus cast upon the world, began Feelings of terror these, for evil past, To show the talents of a thriving man.

Feelings of hope, to be received at last; With spirit high John learn'd the world to Now weak, now lively, changing with the day, brave,

These were his feelings, and he felt his way. And in both senses was a ready knave:

Sprung from such sources, will this faith remain Knave as of old, obedient, keen, and quick, While these supporters can their strength retain : Knave as at present, skill’d to shift and trick; As heaviest weights the deepest rivers pass, Some humble part of many trades he taught, While icy chains fast bind the solid mass ; He for the builder and the painter wrought; So, born of feelings, faith remains secure, For serving maids on secret errands ran,

Long as their firmness and their strength endure :
The waiter's helper, and the hostler's man; But when the waters in their channel glide,
And when he chanced (oft chanced he) place to A bridge must bear us o'er the threatening tide :

Such bridge is reason, and there faith relies,
His varying genius shone in blacking shoes : Whether the varying spirits fall or rise.
A midnight fisher by the pond he stood,

His patrons, still disposed their aid to lend, Assistant poacher, he o'erlook'd the wood; Behind a counter placed their humble friend ; At an election John's impartial mind

Where pens and paper were on shelves display'd, Was to no cause nor oandidate confined ;

And pious pamphlets on the windows laid;

By nature active and from vice restrain'd, And growing pride in Dighton's mind was bred
Increasing trade his bolder views sustain'd; By the strange food on which it coarsely fed.
His friends and teachers, finding so much zeal 'Their brother's fall the grieving brethren heard,
In that young convert whom they taught to feel, The pride indeed to all around appear'd ;
His trade encouraged, and were pleased to find The world, his friends agreed, had won the soul
A hand so ready, with such humble mind. From its best hopes, the man from their control :

And now, his health restored, his spirits eased, To make him humble, and confine his views
He wish'd to marry, if the teachers pleased. Within their bounds, and books which they peruse ;
They, not unwilling, from the virgin class A deputation from these friends select,
Took him a comely and a courteous lass ;

Might reason with him to some good effect; Simple and civil, loving and beloved,

Arm'd with authority, and led by love,
She long a fond and faithful partner proved; They might those follies from his mind remove;
In every year the elders and the priest

Deciding thus, and with this kind intent,
Were duly summon’d to a christening feast ; A chosen body with its speaker went.
Nor came a babe, but by his growing trade,

John,” said the teacher, “ Jolin, with great John had provision for the coming made :

For friends and strangers all were pleased to deal We see thy frailty, and thy fate discern;
With one whose care was equal to his zeal. Satan with toils thy simple soul beset,
In human friendship, it compels a sigh,

And thou art careless, slumbering in the net; To think what trifles will dissolve the tie.

Unmindful art thou of thy early vow? John, now become a master of his trade,

Who at the morning meeting sees thee now? Perceived how much improvement might be made; Who at the evening ? where is brother John ? And as this prospect open'd to his view,

We ask-are answer'd, To the tavern gone : A certain portion of his zeal withdrew;

Thee on the Sabbath seldom we behold ; His fear abated_“What had he to fear- Thou canst not sing, thou’rt nursing for a cold; His profits certain, and his conscience clear?" This from the churchmen thou hast learn'd, for they Above his door a board was placed by John, Have colds and fevers on the Sabbath day ; And, “ Dighton, stationer," was gilt thereon ; When in some snug warm room they sit, and pen His window next, enlarged to twice the size, Bills from their ledgers, (world entangled men!) Shone with such trinkets as the simple prize ; “See with what pride thou hast enlarged thy shop; While in the shop with pious works were seen To view thy tempting stores the heedless stop; The last new play, review, or magazine :

By what strange names dost thou these baubles In orders punctual, he observed—“ The books

He never read, and could he judge their looks ? Which wantons wear, to make a sinful show ?
Readers and crities should their merits try, Hast thou in view these idle volumes placed,
He had no office but to sell and buy ;

To be the pander of a vicious taste ?
Like other traders, profit was his care ;

What's here? a book of dances --you advance Of what they print, the authors must beware." In goodly knowledge—John, wilt learn to dance? He held his patrons and his teachers dear, How ! ‘Go!-' it says, and to the devil go! But with his trade-they must not interfere. And shake thyself! I tremble—but 'tis so

'Twas certain now that John had lost the dread Wretch as thou art, what answer canst thou make ? And pious thoughts that once such terrors bred; 0! without question thou wilt go and shake. His habits varied, and he more inclined

What's here? the School for Scandal-pretty To the vain world, which he had half resign'd :

schools! He had moreover in his brethren seen,

Well, and art thou proficient in the rules ? Or he imagined, craft, conceit, and spleen; Art thou a pupil, is it thy design “They are but men,” said John, “and shall I then To make our names contemptible as thine ? Fear man's control, or stand in awe of men? Old Nick, a novel " 0! 'tis mighty well; 'Tis their advice, (their convert's rule and law,) A fool has courage when he laughs at hell; And good it is—I will not stand in awe.”

* Frolic and Fun,' the humours of .Tim Grin;' Moreover Dighton, though he thought of books Why, John, thou grow'st facetious in thy sin ; As one who chiefly on the title looks,

And what? 'th' Archdeacon's Charge '-'tis Yet sometimes ponder'd o'er a page to find,

mighty well-
When ver’d with cares, amusement for his mind; If Satan publish'd, thou wouldst doubtless sell;
And by degrees that mind had treasured much Jests, novels, dances, and this precious stuff,
From works his teachers were afraid to touch : To crown thy folly we have seen enough ;
Satiric novels, poets bold and free,

We find thee fitted for each evil work-
And what their writers term philosophy ;

Do print the Koran, and become a Turk. All these were read, and he began to feel

“ John, thou art lost; success and worldly pride Some self-approval on his bosom steal.

O’er all thy thoughts and purposes preside, Wisdom creates humility, but he

Have bound thee fast, and drawn thee far aside : Who thus collects it will not humble be :

Yet turn; these sin-traps from thy shop expel, No longer John was filled with pure delight Repent and pray, and all may yet be well. And humble reverence in a pastor's sight;

“ And here thy wife, thy Dorothy, behold, Who, like a grateful zealot, listening stood, How fashion's wanton robes her form infold! To hear a man so friendly and so good ;

Can grace, can goodness with such trappings But felt the dignity of one who made

dwell ? Ilimself important by a thriving trade;

John, thou hast made thy wife a Jezebel :


See! on her bosom rests the sign of sin,

“Wretch that thou art," an elder cried, “and gone The glaring proof of naughty thoughts within; For everlasting."-"Go thyself,” said John; What! 'uis a cross; come hither-as a friend · Depart this instant, let me hear no more Thus from thy neck the shameful badge I rend." My house my castle is, and that my door.” “Rend, if you dare," said Dighton ; "you shall The hint they took, and from the door withdrew, find

And John to meeting bade a long adieu ; A man of spirit, though to peace inclined;

Attach'd to business, he in time became Call me ungrateful! have I not my pay

A wealthy man of no inserior name. At all times ready for th' expected day?

It seem'd, alas! in John's deluded sight, To share my plenteous board you deign to come, That all was wrong because not all was right; Myself your pupil, and my house your home; And when he found his teachers had their stains, And shall the persons who my meat enjoy

Resentment and not reason broke his chains : Talk of my faults, and treat me as a boy?

Thus on his feelings he again relied, Have you not told how Rome's insulting priests And never look'd to reason for his guide : Led their meek laymen like a herd of beasts ; Could he have wisely view'd the frailty shown, And by their fleecing and their forgery made And rightly weigh'd their wanderings and his Their holy calling an accursed trade?

own, Can you such acis and insolence condemn, He might have known that men may be sincere, Who 10 your utmost power resemble them? Though gay and feasting on the savoury cheer ;

"Concerns it you what books I set for sale ? That doctrines sound and sober they may teach, The tale perchance may be a virtuous tale ; Who love to eat with all the glee they preach; And for the rest, 'tis neither wise nor just,

Nay, who believe the duck, the grape, the pine, In you, who read not, to condemn on trust; Were not intended for the dog and swine; Why should th’ Archdeacon's Charge your spleen But Dighton's husty mind on every theme excite ?

Ran from the truth, and rested in th' extreme : le, or perchance th' archbishop, may be right. Flaws in his friends he found, and then withdrev

* That from your meetings I refrain, is true ; (Vain of his knowledge) from their virtues too.
meet with nothing pleasant-nothing new; Best of his books he loved the liberal kind,
Bat the same proofs, that not one text explain, That, if they improve not, siill enlarge the mind;
And the same lights, where all things dark remain; And found himself, with such advisers, free
I thought you saints on earth—but I have found From a fix'd creed, as mind enlarged could be.
Some sins among you, and the best unsound : His humble wise at these opinions sigh'd,
You have your failings, like the crowds below, But her he never hecded till she died :
And at your pleasure hot and cold can blow. He then assented to a last request,
When I at first your grave deportment saw, And by the meeting window let her rest;
(lown my folly,) I was fill'd with awe;

And on her stone the sacred text was seen,
You spoke so warmly, and it seems so well, Which had her comfort in departing been.
I should have thought it treason to rebel ;

Dighton with joy beheld his trade advance, Is it a wonder that a man like me

Yet seldom publish'd, loath to trust to chance; Should such perfection in such teachers see? Then wed a doctor's sister-poor indeed, Nay, should conceive you sent from heaven to brave But skill'd in works her husband could not read The host of sin, and sinful souls to save ?

Who, if he wish'd new ways of wealth to seek, But as our reason wakes, our prospects clear, Could make her half-crown pamphlet in a week; And failings, flaws, and blemishes appear.

This he rejected, though without disdain, "When you were mounted in your rostrum high, And chose the old and certain way to gain. We shrank beneath your tone, your frown, your eye ; | Thus he proceeded, trade increased the while, Then you beheld us abject, fallen, low,

And fortune woo'd him with perpetual smile : And felt your glory from our baseness grow; On early scenes he sometimes cast a thought, Touch'd by your words, I trembled like the rest, When on his heart the mighty change was wrought And my own vileness and your power confess'd : And all the ease and comfort converts find These, I exclaim'd, are men divine, and gazed Was magnified in his reflecting mind : On him who taught, delighted, and amazed; Then on the teacher's priestly pride he dwelt, Glad when he finish'd, if by chance he cast That caused his freedom, but with this he felt One look on such a sinner, as he pass’d.

The danger of the free-for since that day, But when I view'd you in a clearer light, No guide had shown, no brethren join'd his way And saw the frail and carnal appetite;

Forsaking one, he found no second creed, When, at his humble prayer, you deign'd to eat But reading doubted, doubting what to read. Saints as you are, a civil sinner's meat;

Suill, though reproof had brought some presen: When as you sat contented and at ease,

pain, ) Nibbling at leisure on the ducks and pease ; The gain he made was fair and honest gain;

And, pleased some comforts in such place to find, He laid his wares, indeed, in public view,
You could descend to be a little kind;

But that all traders claim a right to do:
And gave us hope, in heaven there might be room By means like these, he saw his wealth increase,
For a few souls besides your own to come ; And felt his consequence, and dwelt in peace.
While this world's good engaged your carnal view, Our hero's age was threescore years and five,
And like a sinner you enjoy’d it too ;

When he exclaim'd, “Why longer should I strive!
All this perceiving, can you think it strange Why more amass, who never must behold
That change in you should work an equal change?" | A young John Dighton, to make glad the old ?"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »