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How sad to waken from the dream

Of tender pleasures that are flown.
Then 'twill unman my soul to spy
Thro' fancy's beams fair Ellen's eye!

In absence be the lovely maid

True to her Edmund's plighted vow,
And in the forest's peaceful shade

On him a daily thought bestow,
Till on his distant obsequy
Fall the blest tear from Ellen's eye!


Alas! and shall no shores remote

This sad yet kindling breast expire,
With none, to pour the funeral note,

Of those that rais'd it's former fire;
In savage lands his bones must lie,
Far from his long-lov'd Ellen's eye!"

I am sorry, Mr. Ruminator, after having gone thus far, to be necessitated to defer to another month the conclusion of my story; but the truth is that I have been most unexpectedly interrupted.

I remain, SIR,

June, 22, 1808.

Your constant Reader,

H. St. F.

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No. XL. Story of an eccentric Character, continued.

"Twas strange they said, a wonderful discovery,
And ever and anon they vow'd revenge."


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LONGFORD told me one day, with eyes of fiery agony, the scandalous rumours which were abroad regarding him. He possessed in the latter period of his residence among us a horse of uncommon power and beauty; and he rode him with admirable skill and boldness. He knew all the purlieus and intricacies of the forest; and was often seen glancing with rapidity along its bye-paths to the surprise and consternation of those inhabitants, to whose occupations, obscurity and concealment were necessary. The love of adventure, the movements of an active spirit, and a fondness for the wild scenery of Nature, were the probable causes of these excursions. Even the night did not restrain him; and moonlight rides were not unfrequent. Well aware that he might meet hardy vagabonds, on whose employments he might intrude unwelcomely, and whose resentment he might incur, he went armed with a sword and pistols, which he wielded with such a fearless dexterity, as overawed those who were otherwise inclined to disturb him.

Several daring robberies had been. at this time committed in the district by a person unknown. Vulgar report soon afterwards fixed them on Long


ford. He communicated the dreadful calumny to me with a degree of agitation which alarmed me for his intellects. To me assurances of his inno cence of crimes so shocking and degrading were utterly superfluous. Yet I could not conceal from him that his mysterious history would give colour to such an idea with others. Even this did not wring his secret from him. His bosom swelled; and the flame of indignation darted from his eyes. "Am I indeed sunk so low as this;" said he and a flood of tears relieved him. 66 My enemies," he continued, in a more plaintive tone, " may now triumph indeed! and as I have been long surrounded by spies; and have several times nearly fallen a sacrifice to their machinations, they may now perhaps succeed in getting possession of my person, and even taking my life. My father fell a victim to their contrivances; and nothing would gratify them like extinguishing me, the last remnant of a race, whose story is a blot upon the pages of history, and the just succession of lawful governments!"

I heard these indistinct allusions with interest and awe. They were strange and wonderful. But I will confess that with all my partiality for Longford there was one suspicion which I could not entirely subdue. I doubted whether there was not in his character a mixture of insanity; and whether this was not the prevalent topic on which it hinged. It is often on one single subject that this disorder betrays itself; and there is no fancy so common in . a disordered brain as its rights to a princely rank. His hints however were so rational, even on this

point, that on the whole my opinion preponderated in favour of his soundness of mind.

Great inquiries about him were now made by distant emissaries; and savage-looking runners evidently dogged his rides and walks. He saw them himself; and I saw them still oftener than he did. He felt the insult; but he was undaunted. His dauntless state of mind did not arise from ignorance of his danger: he knew it well; and was perfectly convinced that any slight colour for destroying his liberty or even his existence would be embraced. It was only when he looked on Ellen, that his heart was softened, and he wept. Neither Mr. M nor Ellen gave a moment's credit to the cruel attack on his character; but it materially aggravated the difficulty of a parent's determination; and wounded the delicate feelings of the daughter without diminishing her affection.

“The world,” said Longford," will smile at the assertion that there is a conspiracy carrying on against my person; and that my life is aimed at; they will consider it the whim of a heated head, or a perverse temper. I repeat the accusation; and can prove it by incontrovertible facts. You will too soon, I fear, have proofs before you, as I have had. But when I am seen here no more; when I fly from hence as the only mode of securing my freedom; and a painful existence which my duty rather than my inclination impels me to preserve, retain your confidence in me, protect my reputation, and be kind to my memory! Time will, I trust, unveil this melancholy mystery, and shew what I have been ; what I am; and what I ought to be!"


He left us on the evening on which this conversation happened with more than usual gloom. His eyes had been long fixed on Ellen while his lips refused to utter a word. When he rose to take leave, the agitations of his countenance were dreadful; he cast on Ellen a look almost of despair, he pressed my hand with a tremulous fervour which I shall never forget; and he tore himself away.

We heard nothing of him for three days; on the fourth we were all looking just before the commencement of twilight on the openings of the forest from the drawing-room window, when we saw a horseman at full speed, with his sword drawn, pursued by four others; and the instant he reached some high pales that separate two divisions, and seemed an insurmountable barrier to his escape, he spurred his horse, who with a tremendous spring cleared his leap, and escaped his pursuers. Our eyes were all fixed on him; and we could hardly breathe during the tremendous suspense. Ellen, who had been gazing without the utterance of a word, screamed and fainted. And in less than ten minutes Longford, in the very dress of the horseman whom we had seen, burst into the room, and fell almost senseless into my arms.

As soon as he breathed again, he cried wildly, "Am I safe? Where is Ellen? Protect me, till I have taken my last leave of her; Give me fair play: let me fight the assassins: but do not allow them to come four upon me at once!"-His countenance shot fire; and his teeth gnashed with agony. He relapsed for a few minutes into insensibility, but gradually recovered his composure.



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