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And beaten prospect, for the wild and new.

Or, sitting, sang beneath the arbour's shade: His chosen friend his fiftieth year had seen,

Till rose the moon, and on each youthful face His fortune easy, and his air serene;

Shed a soft beauty, and a dangerous grace. Deist and atheist call’d; for few agreed

When the

young wife beheld in long debate What were his notions, principles, or creed;

The friends, all careless as she seeming sate; His mind reposed not, for he hated rest,

It soon appear'd, there was in one combined But all things made a query or a jest;

The nobler person and the richer mind: Perplex'd himself, he ever sought to prove

He wore no wig, no grisly beard was seen, That man is doom'd in endless doubt to rove;

And none beheld him careless or unclean; Himself in darkness he profess'd to be,

Or watch'd him sleeping:-we indeed have heard And would maintain that not a man could see. Of sleeping beauty, and it has appear'd;

The youthful friend, dissentient, reason'd still "Tis seen in infants- there indeed we find of the soul's prowess, and the subject will;

The features soften'd by the slumbering mind; Of virtue's beauty, and of honour's force,

But other beauties, when disposed to sleep, And a warm zeal gave life to his discourse: Should from the eye of keen inspector keep: Since from his feelings all his fire arose,

The lovely nymph who would her swain surprise, And he had interest in the themes he chose.

May close her mouth, but not conceal her eyes; The friend, indulging a sarcastic smile,

Sleep from the fairest face some beauty takes, Said—“Dear Enthusiast! thou wilt change thy style,

And all the homely features homelier makes; When man's delusions, errors, crimes, deceit, So thought our wife, beholding with a sigh No more distress thee, and no longer cheat.” Her sleeping spouse, and Edward smiling by. Yet lo! this cautious man, so coolly wise,

A sick relation for the husband sent, On a young beauty fixt unguarded eyes;

Without delay the friendly sceptic went; And her he married: Edward at the view

Nor fear'd the youthful pair, for he had seen Bade to his cheerful visits long adieu ;

The wife untroubled, and the friend serene: But haply err’d, for this engaging bride

No selfish purpose in his roving eyes, No mirth suppress'd, but rather cause supplied: No vile deception in her fond replies: And when she saw the friends, by reasoning long,

So judged the husband, and with judgment true, Confused if right, and positive if wrong,

For neither yet the guilt or danger knew. With playful speech and smile, that spoke delight, What now remain’d: but they again should play She made them careless both of wrong and right.

Th'accustom’d game, and walk th’accustom'd way; This gentle damsel gave consent to wed,

With careless freedom should converse or read, With school and school-day dinners in her head:

And the friend's absence neither fear nor need: She now was promised choice of daintiest food, But rather now they seem'd confused, constrain'd; And costly dress, that made her sovereign good;

Within their room still restless they remain'd, With walks on hilly heath to banish spleen,

And painfully they felt, and knew each other And summer-visits when the roads were clean.

pain'd. All these she loved, to these she gave consent,

Ah! foolish 'men! how could ye thus depend, And she was married to her heart's content.

One on himself, the other on his friend? Their manner this~the friends together read,

The youth with troubled eye the lady saw, Till books a cause for disputation bred;

Yet felt too brave, too daring to withdraw; Debate then follow'd, and the vapour'd child While she, with tuneless hand the jarring keys Declared they argued till her head was wild; Touching, was not one moment at her ease: And strange to her it was that mortal brain

Now would she walk, and call her friendly guide, Could seek the trial, or endure the pain.

Now speak of rain, and cast her cloke aside; Then as the friend reposed, the younger pair

Seize on a book, unconscious what she read,
Sat down to cards, and play'd beside his chair; And restless still, to new resources fled;
Till he awaking, to his books applied,

Then laugh'd aloud, then tried to look serene, Or heard the music of th' obedient bride:

And ever changed, and every change was seen. If mild the evening, in the fields they stray'd,

Painful it is to dwell on deeds of shameAnd their own flock with partial eye survey'd; The trying day was past, another came; But oft the husband, to indulgence prone,

The third was all remorsc, confusion, dread, Resumed his book, and bade them walk alone. And (all too late!) the fallen hero fled.

“ Do, my kind Edward ! I must take mine ease, Then felt the youth, in that seducing time, Name the dear girl the planets and the trees; How feebly honour guards the heart from crime: Tell her what warblers pour their evening song,

Small is his native strength; man needs the stay, What insects flutter, as you walk along;

The strength imparted in the trying day; Teach her to fix the roving thoughts, to bind For all that honour brings against the force The wandering sense, and methodize the mind." Of headlong passion, aids its rapid course;

This was obey'd; and oft when this was done, Its slight resistance but provokes the fire, [higher. They calmly gazed on the declining sun;

As wood-work stops the fame, and then conveys it In silence saw the glowing landscape fade,

The husband came; a wife by guilt made bold

Had, meeting, sooth'd him, as in days of old;
But soon this fact transpir'd; her strong distress,
And his friend's absence, left him nought to guess.
Still cool, though grieved, thus prudence bade
him write-

"I cannot pardon, and I will not fight;
Thou art too poor a culprit for the laws,
And I too faulty to support my cause:
All must be punish'd; I must sigh alone,
At home thy victim for her guilt atone;
And thou, unhappy! virtuous now no more,
Must loss of fame, peace, purity deplore;
Sinners with praise will pierce thee to the heart,
And saints deriding, tell thee what thou art."

Such was his fall; and Edward, from that time,
Felt in full force the censure and the crime-
Despised, ashamed; his noble views before,
And his proud thoughts, degraded him the more:
Should he repent-would that conceal his shame ?
Could peace be his? It perish'd with his fame:
Himself he scorn'd, nor could his crime forgive;
He fear'd to die, yet felt ashamed to live:
Grieved, but not contrite was his heart; oppress'd,
Not broken; not converted, but distress'd;
He wanted will to bend the stubborn knee,
He wanted light the cause of ill to see,

To learn how frail is man, how humble then should
For faith he had not, or a faith too weak [be;
To gain the help that humbled sinners seek;
Else had he pray'd-to an offended God
His tears had flown a penitential flood;
Though far astray, he would have heard the call
Of mercy-" Come! return, thou prodigal;"
Then, though confused, distress'd, ashamed, afraid,
Still had the trembling penitent obey'd;
Though faith had fainted, when assail'd by fear,
Hope to the soul had whisper'd," Persevere !"
Till in his father's house an humbled guest,
He would have found forgiveness, comfort, rest.

But all this joy was to our youth denied
By his fierce passions and his daring pride;
And shame and doubt impell'd him in a course,
Once so abhorr'd, with unresisted force.
Proud minds and guilty, whom their crimes oppress,
Fly to new crimes for comfort and redress;
So found our fallen youth a short relief
In wine, the opiate guilt applies to grief,—
From fleeting mirth that o'er the bottle lives,
From the false joy its inspiration gives;
And from associates pleased to find a friend,
With powers to lead them, gladden, and defend,
In all those scenes where transient ease is found,
For minds whom sins oppress, and sorrows wound.

Wine is like anger; for it makes us strong, Blind and impatient, and it leads us wrong; The strength is quickly lost, we feel the error long: Thus led, thus strengthen'd in an evil cause, For folly pleading, sought the youth applause; Sad for a time, then eloquently wild, He gaily spoke as his companions smiled; Lightly he rose, and with his former grace Proposed some doubt, and argued on the case;

Fate and fore-knowledgewere his favourite themes-
How vain man's purpose, how absurd his schemes:
"Whatever is, was ere our birth decreed;
We think our actions from ourselves proceed,
And idly we lament th' inevitable deed;
It seems our own, but there's a power above
Directs the motion, nay, that makes us move;
Nor good nor evil can you beings name,
Who are but rooks and castles in the game;
Superior natures with their puppets play,
Till, bagg'd or buried, all are swept away."

Such were the notions of a mind to ill
Now prone, but ardent, and determined still:
Of joy now eager, as before of fame,

And screen'd by folly when assail'd by shame,
Deeply he sank; obey'd each passion's call,
And used his reason to defend them all.

Shall I proceed, and step by step relate
The odious progress of a sinner's fate?
No-let me rather hasten to the time
(Sure to arrive) when misery waits on crime.

With virtue, prudence fled; what Shore possess'd
Was sold, was spent, and he was now distress'd:
And want, unwelcome stranger, pale and wan,
Met with her haggard looks the hurried man;
His pride felt keenly what he must expect,
From useless pity and from cold neglect.

Struck by new terrors, from his friends he fled, And wept his woes upon a restless bed; Retiring late, at early hour to rise, With shrunken features, and with bloodshot eyes: If sleep one moment closed the dismal view, Fancy her terrors built upon the true; And night and day had their alternate woes, That baffled pleasure, and that mock'd repose; Till to despair and anguish was consign'd The wreck and ruin of a noble mind.

Now seized for debt, and lodged within a jail, He tried his friendships, and he found them fail; Then fail'd his spirits, and his thoughts were all Fix'd on his sins, his sufferings, and his fall: His ruffled mind was pictured in his face, Once the fair seat of dignity and grace: Great was the danger of a man so prone To think of madness, and to think alone; Yet pride still liv'd, and struggled to sustain The drooping spirit and the roving brain; But this too fail'd: a friend his freedom gave, And sent him help the threat'ning world to brave; Gave solid counsel what to seek or flee, But still would stranger to his person be: In vain! the truth determined to explore, He traced the friend whom he had wrong'd before. This was too much; both aided and advised By one who shunn'd him, pitied, and despised: He bore it not; 'twas a deciding stroke, And on his reason like a torrent broke: In dreadful stillness he appear'd awhile, With vacant horror and a ghastly smile; Then rose at once into the frantic rage, That force controll'd not, nor could love assuage. Friends now appear'd, but in the man was seen,

'The angry manjac, with vindictive mien;

There beauty sparkled, and there health reposed; Too late their pity gave to care and skill

For the pure blood that flush'd that rosy cheek The hurried mind and ever-wandering will; Spoke what the heart forbad the tongue to speak; Unnoticed pass'd all time, and not a ray

And told the feelings of that heart as well, Of reason broke on his benighted way;

Nay, with more candour than the tongue could tell: But now he spurn'd the straw in pure disdain, Though this fair lass had with the wealthy dwelt, And now laugh'd loudly at the clinking chain. Yet like the damsel of the cot she felt; Then as its wrath subsided, by degrees

And, at the distant hint or dark surmise, The mind sank slowly to infantine ease;

The blood into the mantling cheek would rise. To playful folly, and to causeless joy,

Now Anna's station frequent terrors wrought Speech without aim, and without end, employ; In one whose looks were with such meaning fraught; He drew fantastic figures on the wall,

For on a lady, as an humble friend, And gave some wild relation of them all;

It was her painful office to attend. With brutal sliape he join'd the human face,

Her duties here were of the usual kindAnd idiot smiles approved the motley race.

And some the body harass'd, some the mind: Harmless at length th' unhappy man was found, Billets she wrote, and tender stories read, The spirit settled, but the reason drown'd;

To make the lady sleepy in her bed; And all the dreadful tempest died away,

She play'd at whist, but with inferior skill, To the dull stillness of the misty day.

And heard the summons as a call to drill; And now his freedom he attain'd-if free,

Music was ever pleasant till she play'd The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be;

At a request that no request convey'd; His friends, or wearied with the charge, or sure The lady's tales with anxious looks she heard, The harmless wretch was now beyond a cure, For she must witness what her friend averr'd; Gave him to wander where he pleased, and find The lady's taste she must in all approve, His own resources for the eager mind;

Hate whom she hated, whom she loved must love; The playful children of the place he meets,

These, with the various duties of her place, Playful with them he rambles through the streets; With care she studied, and perform'd with grace; In all they need, his stronger arm he lends,

She veil'd her troubles in a mask of ease, And his lost mind to these approving friends. And show'd her pleasure was a power to please.

That gentle maid, whom once the youth had loved, Such were the damsel's duties; she was poorIs now with mild religious pity moved;

Above a servant, but with service more: Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Men on her face with careless freedom gazed, Will for a moment fixʼd and pensive be;

Nor thought how painful was the glow they rais'd; And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes A wealthy few to gain her favour tried, Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs;

But not the favour of a grateful bride; Charm'd by her voice, th' harmonious sounds invade They spoke their purpose with an easy air, His clouded mind, and for a time persuade:

That shamed and frighten'd the dependent fair: Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught Past time she view'd, the passing time to cheat, From the maternal glance a gleam of thought; But nothing found to make the present sweet; He stands enrapt, the half-known voice to hear, With pensive soul she read life's future page, And starts, half-conscious, at the falling tear. And saw dependent, poor, repining age.

Rarely from town, nor then unwatch'd, he goes, But who shall dare t'assert what years may bring, In darker mood, as if to hide his woes;

When wonders from the passing hour may spring :Returning soon, he with impatience seeks

There dwelt a yeoman in the place, whose mind His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and Was gentle, generous, cultivated, kind; speaks;

For thirty years he labour'd; fortune then Speaks a wild speech with action all as wild- Placed the mild rustic with superior men: The children's leader, and himself a child;

A richer Stafford who had lived to save, He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends What he had treasured to the poorer gave; His back, while o'er it leap his laughing friends ; Who with a sober mind that treasure view'd, Simple and weak, he acts the boy once more, And the slight studies of his youth renew'di And heedless children call him Silly Shore. He not profoundly, but discreetly read,

And a fair mind with useful culture fed ;

Then thought of marriage“But the great," said he, TALE XVI.

“ I shall not suit, nor will the meaner me:"

Anna he saw,
THE CONFIDANT.

admired her modest air;

He thought her virtuous, and he knew her fair; Anna was young and lovely-in her eye

Love raised his pity for her humble state, The glance of beauty, in her cheek the dye; And prompted wishes for her happier fate; Her shape was slender, and her features small,

No pride in money would his feelings wound, Put graceful, easy, unaffected all:

Nor vulgar manners hurt him and confound: The liveliest tints her youthful face disclosed, He then the lady at the hall address'd,

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"Then is she rich!" he cried, with lively air; "But whence, so please you, came a lass so fair?" "A placeman's child was Anna, one who died And left a widow by afflictions tried; She to support her infant daughter strove, But early left the object of her love; Her youth, her beauty, and her orphan-state, Gave a kind countess interest in her fate; With her she dwelt, and still might dwelling be, When the earl's folly caused the lass to flee; A second friend was she compell'd to shun, By the rude offers of an uncheck'd son; I found her then, and with a mother's love Regard the gentle girl whom you approve; Yet, e'en with me protection is not peace, Nor man's designs, nor beauty's trial, cease; Like sordid boys by costly fruit they feel, They will not purchase, but they try to steal." Now this good lady, like a witness true, Told but the truth, and all the truth she knew; And 'tis our duty and our pain to show Truth, this good lady had not means to know. Yes, there was lock'd within the damsel's breast A fact important to be now confess'd; Gently, my Muse, th' afflicting tale relate, And have some feeling for a sister's fate.

Where Anna dwelt, a conquering hero came,An Irish captain, Sedley was his name; And he too had that same prevailing art, That gave soft wishes to the virgin's heart: In years they differ'd; he had thirty seen, When this young beauty counted just fifteen; But still they were a lovely lively pair, And trod on earth as if they trod on air.

On love, delightful theme! the captain dwelt With force still growing with the hopes he felt; But with some caution and reluctance told, He had a father crafty, harsh, and old; Who, as possessing much, would much expect, Or both, for ever, from his love reject: Why then offence to one so powerful give, Who (for their comfort) had not long to live?

With this poor prospect the deluded maid, In words confiding, was indeed betray'd; And, soon as terrors in her bosom rose, The hero fled; they hinder'd his repose. Deprived of him, she to a parent's breast Her secret trusted, and her pains impress'd: Let her to town (so prudence urged) repair, To shun disgrace, at least to hide it there; But ere she went, the luckless damsel pray'd A chosen friend might lend her timely aid: "Yes! my soul's sister, my Eliza, come, Hear her last sigh, and ease thy Anna's doom:" ""Tis a fool's wish," the angry father cried,

But, lost in troubles of his own, complied;
And dear Eliza to her friend was sent,
T' indulge that wish, and be her punishment:
The time arrived, and brought a tenfold dread;
The time was past, and all the terror fled;
The infant died; the face resumed each charm,
And reason now brought trouble and alarm:
"Should her Eliza-no! she was too just,
Too good and kind-but ah! too young to trust."
Anna return'd, her former place resumed,
And faded beauty with new grace re-bloom'd;
And if some whispers of the past were heard,
They died innoxious, as no cause appear'd;
But other cares on Anna's bosom press'd,
She saw her father gloomy and distress'd;
He died o'erwhelm'd with debt, and soon was shed
The filial sorrow o'er a mother dead:

She sought Eliza's arms, that faithful friend was wed;
Then was compassion by the countess shown,
And all th' adventures of her life are known.

And now beyond her hopes-no longer tried By slavish awe-she lived a yeoman's bride; Then bless'd her lot, and with a grateful mind Was careful, cheerful, vigilant, and kind: The gentle husband felt supreme delight, Bless'd by her joy, and happy in her sight; He saw with pride in every friend and guest High admiration and regard express'd: With greater pride, and with superior joy, He look'd exulting on his first-born boy; To her fond breast the wife her infant strain'd, Some feelings utter'd, some were not explain'd; And she enraptured with her treasure grew, The sight familiar, but the pleasure new.

Yet there appear'd within that tranquil state Some threat'ning prospect of uncertain fate; Between the married when a secret lies, It wakes suspicion from enforc'd disguise: Still thought the wife upon her absent friend, With all that must upon her truth depend; "There is no being in the world beside, Who can discover what that friend will hide; Who knew the fact, knew not my name or state, Who these can tell cannot the fact relate; But thou, Eliza, canst the whole impart, And all my safety is thy generous heart." [theseMix'd with these fears-but light and transient Fled years of peace, prosperity, and ease; So tranquil all that scarce a gloomy day For days of gloom unmix'd prepared the way: One eve, the wife, still happy in her state, Sang gaily, thoughtless of approaching fate; Then came a letter, that (received in dread Not unobserved) she in confusion read; The substance this-" Her friend rejoiced to find That she had riches with a grateful mind; While poor Eliza had from place to place Been lured by hope to labour for disgrace; That every scheme her wandering husband tried Pain'd while he liv'd, and perish'd when he died." She then of want in angry style complain'd, Her child a burthen to her life remain'd,

Her kindred shunn'd her prayers, no friend her soul With too much force she wrote of jealous men, sustain'd.

And her tears falling spoke beyond the pen; “Yet why neglected ? Dearest Anna knew Eliza's silence she again implored, Her worth once tried, her friendship ever true; And promised all that prudence could afford. She hoped, she trusted, though by wants oppressid, For looks composed and careless Anna tried; To lock the treasured secret in her breast;

She seem'd in trouble, and unconscious sigh’d. Yet, vex'd by trouble, must apply to one,

The faithful husband, who devoutly loved For kindness due to her for kindness done."

His silent partner, with concern reproved: In Anna's mind was tumult, in her face

“ What secret sorrows on my Anna press, Flushings of dread had momentary place:

That love may not partake, nor care redress?" “ [ must,” she judged, “ these cruel lines expose, “ None, none,” she answer'd, with a look so kind, Or fears, or worse than fears, my crime disclose.” That the fond man determined to be blind.

The letter shown, he said, with sober smile A few succeeding weeks of brief repose “ Anna, your friend has not a friendly style: In Anna's cheek revived the faded rose; Say, where could you with this fair lady dwell, A hue like this the western sky displays, Who boasts of secrets that she scorns to tell ?" That glows awhile, and withers as we gaze. “At school,” she answer'd: he“ at school!" replied; Again the friend's tormenting letter came “ Nay, then I know the secrets you would hide; “ The wants she suffer'd were affection's shame; Some early longings these, without dispute, She with her child a life of terrors led, Some youthful gaspings for forbidden fruit:

Unhappy fruit! but of a lawful bed: Why so disorder'd, love? are such the crimes Her friend was tasting every bliss in life, That give us sorrow in our graver times?

The joyful mother, and the wealthy wife; Come, take a present for your friend, and rest While she was placed in doubt, in fear, in want, In perfect peace-you find you are confess’d.” To starve on trifles that the happy grant;

This cloud, though past, alarm’d the conscious Poorly for all her faithful silence paid, Presaging gloom and sorrow for her life; [wife, And tantalized by ineffectual aid: Who to her answer join'd a fervent prayer,

She could not thus a beggar's lot endure; That her Eliza would a sister spare:

She wanted something permanent and sure: If she again—but was there cause 3-should send, If they were friends, then equal be their lot, Let her direct-and then she named a friend: And she was free to speak if they were not." A sad expedient untried friends to trust,

Despair and terror seized the wife, to find And still to fear the tried may be unjust:

The artful workings of a vulgar mind: Such is his pain, who, by his debt oppress’d, Money she had not, but the hint of dress Seeks by new bonds a temporary rest.

Taught her new bribes, new terrors to redress: Few were her peaceful days till Anna read She with such feelings then described her woes, The words she dreaded, and had cause to dread :- That envy's self might on the view repose;

“ Did she believe, did she, unkind, suppose Then to a mother's pains she made appeal, That thus Eliza's friendship was to close?

And painted grief like one compellid to feel.
No! though she tried, and her desire was plain, Yes! so she felt, that in her air, her face,
To break the friendly bond, she strove in vain: In every purpose, and in every place;
Ask'd she for silence? why so loud the call, In her slow motion, in her languid mien,
And yet the token of her love so small?

The grief, the sickness of her soul, were seen. By means like these will you attempt to bind

Of some mysterious ill the husband sure, Aud check the movements of an injured mind? Desired to trace it, for he hoped to cure; Poor as I am, I shall be proud to show

Something he knew obscurely, and had seen What dangerous secrets I may safely know: His wife attend a cottage on the green ; Secrets to inen of jealous minds convey'd,

Love, loth to wound, endured conjecture long, Have many a noble house in ruins laid:

Till fear would speak, and spoke in language strong. Anna, I trust, although with wrongs beset,

All I must know, my Anna-truly know And urged by want, I shall be faithful yet; Whence these emotions, terrors, troubles flow; But what temptation may from these arise,

Give me thy grief, and I will fairly prove To take a slighted woman by surprise,

Mine is no selfish, no ungenerous love." Becomes a subject for your serious care

Now Anna's soul the seat of strife became, For who offends, must for offence prepare.”

Fear with respect contended, love with shame; Perplex’d, dismay'd, the wife foresaw her doom; But fear prevailing was the ruling guide, A day deferr'd was yet a day to come;

Prescribing what to show and what to hide. But still, though painful her suspended state, “ It is my friend,” she said—“but why disclose

" She dreaded more the crisis of her fate;

A woman's weakness struggling with her woes? Better to die than Stafford's scorn to meet,

Yes, she has grieved me by her fond complaints, And her strange friend perhaps would be discreet: The wrongs she suffers, the distress she paints: Presents she sent, and made a strong appeal Something we do-but she afflicts me still, To woman's feelings, begging her to feel;

And says, with power to help, I want the will;

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