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exhibited : she treated me with gin- haviour at school now procured me gerbread and confectionaries; but so every possible indulgence, and I emstrong was my contempt for her, that braced every opportunity of being they never entered my lips, but were alone with the parrot, applying mytossed into the pig-stye when I went self most sedulously to teach it a home. However, not to be outdone language very different from the Liby her in finesse, I was equally trac- tany. I was a zealous teacher, and table and obedient; I fed her cat had an apt scholar; it spoke remarkwith delicacies, and even treated the ably plain, and could repeat many of old woman with tobacco, which, ale my choicest expressions with great though I would not have poisoned fluency; and my only fear now was, her, I most sincerely wished had lest it should betray me by a prebeen some drug that might bave in mature disclosure of its scholarship, flicted pains similar to those she had before my purpose was accomplishmade me feel; and while we seemed ed; however, fortune proved propia to be metamorphosed into the best tious, and I found my pupil so much friends in the world, not Iago him- of a proficient, that I longed for an self was a more consummate hypo- 'exhibition. crite than I, for not one moment One day two ladies, one of them did I cease to meditate on some a stranger, came to visit Marion; scheme of revenge. I am fully d. when the stranger said, she had heard ware that this rather detracts from such an account of the parrot, as my character, as it displays a dupli- made her wish for auricular demoncity very unbecoming in any human stration. Nothing could have been being, and almost disgusting at my more flattering to Marion, and they age; but I trust the reader will at proposed adjourning to Poll, after least give me credit for my sincerity, some girls had repeated their lessons. in thus frankly acknowledging my I stole to the apartment of my early depravity: I have already told feathered scholar, repeated what I where I was taught, both by precept thought necessary, and was highly and example.
pleased with the responses I received. I at last hit upon a strange plan 'The ladies came in, and I withdrew, for sating my resentment, and my but no farther than the door, with heart already chuckled in the demy ear to the key-hole. Poll was lightful anticipation. Mrs Skae was addressed by Marion, in the style a superstitious and bigotted member which generally called forth the Liof the Episcopal Church, and had tany as a reply. On the present ocvery improperly, not to say profanely, casion, the response was so different, taught her parrot to repeat several of that the poor woman stood in athe petitions and responses in the mazement; Poll continued with great Litany, which it would scream out on loquacity, and articulated so plainly, every occasion, always concluding as not to be misunderstood; the ladies with the Doxology; for which quali stared and blushed, while Marion fication the bird was held in high ese stood like Horror personified, ready timation by Marion, and some other to sink into the earth with shame devout females of her own class. One and vexation. The garrulous animal old-maiden lady had offered ten continued in the same strain, and guineas for this wonderful parrot; when no effort could induce it to but this Marion, although poor, had change the subject, the ladies left refused, declaring that death alone the room filled with astonishment. should divide her from pretty Poll. Marion, oyerpowered with confusion I have already mentioned my expert at the awkward exhibition of her ness in pronouncing certain words favourite, appealed to her friend, and phrases, which, when acquired, whether she had not heard Poll often were to me an unknown tongue; but repeat many parts of the Litany. This I had gradually come to comprehend was confirmed : “ But how could it their meaning; and as my knowledge learn what we have now heard ?." extended, my stock of expressions said the stranger. enlarged ; which will not be wondered The school-mistress recollected the at, when it is recollected with whom time I had lately spent with Poll, I associated at home. My good be- and I was instantly accused of having
corrupted the animal; complaint was closer contact than we had hitherto again made to my father, and I was done, and it did not lead to the hapconce more summoned for trial, with piness of either, for we lived in a Mrs Skae for my accuser. Suspicion state of open and avowed hostility and circumstantial evidence were to each other. At home, they had very much against me; but no die been taught, although not by precept, rect proof could be adduced, and I yet by parental example, to hate me; was dismissed from the bar, after a while 1, in return, lost no opportusevere reprimand, and a verdict of nity of shewing that I defied and “ Not Proven." The school-mis- despised them. They always called tress, however, now refused to receive me by the nickname of Gleyed Gibme back on any conditions ; but I bie ; and I distinguished them by had the satisfaction of hearing soon the appellations of Doofart Davie after, that the favourite parrot had and Peevish Patie. Seldom a day been sentenced to a capital punish- passed but David and I were at fistyment, for profaneness and immora cuffs; he had the advantage of me
by nearly three years of age, and a I was now sent to the parish-school proportionate superiority in size ; with my brothers. The schoolmaster but this was more than compensated was, I believe, a “ good easy man," by my innate courage and pugilistic but old, formal, and indolent, and, skill: Peter I despised, as too feeprovided his pupils were quiet and ble an antagonist to strike, and only orderly, they might be as lazy as laughed at, and mocked him, which himself. Either too ignorant to dis- kept him in a state of constant ircover, or too careless to pursue the ritation. Our warfare at length bemeans for treating different disposi- came so desperate, that daily comtions-to stimulate the indolent, enplaints were made to my father ; courage and assist the eager aspirant, and as I was always prejudged, I to cheer the timid, or invigorate the was punished without due investitorpid, was no part of his system; gation. On one occasion, David his daily progress was like that of a had really been the aggressor ; we blind horse in a mill; and he seemed had a pitched battle, and I sent him equally glad with his pupils when home with a bloody face and black the tasks of the day were finished. eyes; a severe whipping followed, An instance of his inattention will I not being permitted to plead the illustrate his character: I have seen provocation I had received: this inmy eldest brother, David, and some justice, instead of humbling, arousother dunderheads in the school, sited me to revenge ; and I became so for more than a week on an arith- formidable to David, that he refused metical question, which the master to attend the school, and, had he had written on their slates ; when understood the term, I am sure they were foiled in performing the would have sworn law-borrows against operation, they would blot out what me. My father, therefore, found it they had vainly endeavoured to solve, necessary to effect our separation, and walk boldly up for another, which and I was removed from school, alhe would write down, possibly to though my future destiny was unshare the same fate. He was peevish, determined. rather than stern ; a trifling fault I was now ten years of age, strong would have been punished with a and robust; in the fatiguing studies stroke of his palm on the cheek, but of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a severe flogging seldom took place; I had made no distinguished prohence I conclude, that, although ir- gress, but had improved remarkaritable, he was not vindictive. I con. bly in such exercises as were more tinued there for two years, during congenial to my disposition. I could which no incident occurred worth re- ride, not only at full gallop, but fearcording. Under such a teacher, my lessly leap a five-barred gate,--swim, progress in education, it will readily -climb trees,-shoot flying,-play be supposed, was not great, for all the games at cards known to my though naturally of an active dispo- older associates,-was a proficient in sition, I preferred sport to study. the slang of the stable,-and under My brothers and I now came in the tuition of my friends there, as well as in the kitchen and dairy, was mind, and pollute the imagination : making rapid progress in the verna- and although I have no wish to set cular idiom of vulgar gallantry, some myself up as a moral-monger, and a endeavours being also making to teacher of dry, didactic precepts, yet, initiate me in the practice.
should any one who is, or hopes to Some moralist (if I recollect right. be, a parent, glance at this page, I ly, Shenstone, in his Essays on Men would beg him or her seriously to and Manners) expresses his wonder reflect upon the consequences which that young people in low life pre- may, and generally do result from serve their chastity, considering their children having a familiar interincapacity for intellectual enjoyment, course with servants. This error is their high health, youth, the stimu- most general, in what are termed lus of strong passions, with the pro- the middle ranks in life ; and I shall vocations of unrestrained intercourse, conclude my moralizings by saying, and loose conversation. This remark, that however unfortunate in other although, perhaps, of less general ap- respects, it was certainly for the adplication than the writer imagined, vantage of my morals that I was is such as would naturally occur to now removed from those who had an accurate observer of low life; and been my associates and tutors, and when I reflect, as I have often since whom I still considered as my done, on what passed between the friends ; for I now began to take desexes with whom I daily associated, light in imitating the freedoms of the levities of conversation which I which I had so many examples; and heard, and that seemed to give equal the language which at first I uttered, pleasure to both parties, when I merely because I saw it gratified think on what I have witnessed, the others, I now repeated, because it wanton dalliance and romping free was beginning to afford pleasure to doms which were fondly taken, and myself. willingly allowed; I say, when I re- But my brothers and I continued flect on all these, I am inclined to to quarrel ; and as our warfare seemjoin in wonder with the moralist ed interminable, my father boarded above mentioned, at least in as farine with a clergyman, in a distant as respected the servants in my fa- part of the country. What followed, ther's family, where almost all the shall be related in the second part of senses united to contaminate the thiş history.
HARVEST-HOME. AFTER wandering about alone, plenty and security. Beneath the and without any direct purpose, du- hedge-rows, and in the lonings, the ring the greater part of one of those fallen leaves were beginning to fill days of uncommon calm and set the hollows, or gather into broad tled stillness, so fitted to inspire a rustling heaps, shifting and crackling pensive and pleasing melancholy, I beneath the foot, or dropping from recollected that I had been invited the branches with slow and waverby my friend, Mr W., to join the ing motion. Those that still clung mirth and festivity of his kirn, or with a mere tenacious closeness to harvest-home. It was almost the the boughs, displayed, in their paleend of autumn, and the harvest had ness, their faded and shrivelled apbeen abundant, and the weather pearance, evident marks that they favourable. Few remains of the too, linger as they would behind crops were to be seen, and those lin- their fellows, were chilled by the gering relics were thinly scattered breath of Time, and that age and over the colder and more backward decay were upon them. The sky was parts of the country. The bare and calm, breathlessly calm, but not clear. deserted fields, contrasted with the There was a kind of sober grayness well-stocked farm-yards, while they spread over the whole horizon; not suggested the approach of winter, dense enough to be called cloudy, disarmed it of all its terrors, by give yet too much so to be bright. The ing the comfortable assurance of earth seemed reposing after the busy toils of autumn, and the heavens surprise and joy, and grasping my regarding it with a peaceful smile; hand warmly and fondly, asked me, but in that smile there was some with all his customary kindness, con. thing of deep solemnity. It was like cerning my health and welfare. Af. the calm, thoughtful smile with ter the first moments of recognition which an aged, grey-beaded patriarch were over, I could not help observ. would regard his family, gathered ing how much he was changed from peacefully around him, and reaping the lively, thoughtless youth, the the fruits of his industry and care. gayest of the gay, with whom I had I gazed around me with a bosom spent many a day of boyish mirth and filled with indescribable emotions. frolic. His high, fair, and open foreI felt happy, too deeply happy for head, was marked with lines of mirth; joyous hilarity would at that thought, it might be of sorrow; his time have appeared rude and boister- light blue, laughing eyes, had lost ous, if not insulting"; but the slight, their former mirthful expression, and est symptom of fretfulness or discon- were become slightly hollow, darkentent would have appeared an un- ed by a gloomy drooping of his eyegrateful crime against the bounty of brows, and dimmed with a pensive benignant Nature. I paced, silently sadness ; his cheek had partly lost musing, along; often turning and its exuberant glow of health, and gazing around me, and at length seat, though still of a healthful appear. ed myself upon a grey stone in the ance, had something of a more delimidst of a heathy moor, and directed cate and thoughtful hue; upon the my view to the western skies, then whole, his looks and manner disa gleaming in all the glories of even- played a melancholy so deeply seting. They were lovely beyond de tled upon him, as to be beyond his scription, shining in all the various power to shake it off. I was anxious shades of crimson radiance, from the to discover the cause, and endeavour: faint and distant tinge, mingling ed to lead him to explain it to me, with the cerulean and stainless but he avoided it with such a tremdepths of ether, till where, in the bling sensibility, that I felt it would immediate vicinity of the setting orb, be cruelty to press upon that subject they shone with such brilliant and any farther, and accordingly restrain. dazzling intensity, as if they were ed my curiosity in the best manner I openings into the living fountains of could. heavenly light.
In the mean while, the mirth went How long I might have continued on, and increased; the glass went in rapturous contemplation of the merrily round, and songs were called beautiful scene I know not; but my for. One young man, who appeared reverie was suddenly disturbed by to possess a happy flow of light anithe barking of a shepherd's-dog, and mal spirits, which made him the very the cheerful and frank salutation of life of the meeting, when called upon his master, who was on his way to for his song, sung one which appearthe kirn; and speedily recollecting ed to have been made for the express myself, I arose and accompanied him. purpose, and of which the following After a hearty welcome from Mr W., is an exact copy: followed by a little good-humoured chiding, for my delay in coming, I Come, ye rantin' lads an' lasses ! joined the happy company; and in Cheerfu' wives an' husbands come ! the excitement of good cheer, and
Haste, gudeman! fill up our glasses, the sympathy of joyous faces around
es around Drink ! our toast is, Harvest-Home ! me, soon forgot, in a great measure,
Far be thoughts o' gloomy sadness, my former serious meditations, in
Blithely let us laugh and sing ; so far, at least, as to join their sports
Swell the shout o' joyfu' gladness, and mirth with sufficient glee and
Till the rafters echoing ring ! cordiality. Among the company, Troubles a' ha'e fled before us, several of whom were strangers to Days o'toil, an' nights o' care; me, I recognised my old friend and
Sleep may soundly now come o'er us, school-fellow, Henry M- I ac Storms can break our rest nae mair : costed him; he started, gazed in my Winter, threatening, dark an' dreary, face, uttered a short exclamation of Wrap'd in gloom an' tempost, come !
Blaw your warst, we dinna fear ye, Poor thoughtless mortals ! insects gay! Hark! our song is, Harvest-Home! Sporting while suony gleams are warm ;
Heedless how soon and darkly may Lang this night has been expected,
Roll o'er you, fierce, the ruthless Look'd for lang with anxious e'e ;
storm! Now it maunna be neglected, Let us spend it gladsomely !
Yet raise your merry shout again! Come, then, lads an' bonnie lasses,
I would not wish your joys were less, Wives an' drouthy husbands, come;
Though in my heart they wake the pain llere, gudeman, in brimming glasses,
Which words are feeble to express !
Alas! how soon will end your joy, Here's your health an' Harvest-Home!
Poor fleeting beings of a day! . At the commencement of this song,
A little time, and ye shall lie I had chanced to look towards Henry,
Unknown, and lifeless things of clay ! and I could not withdraw my eyes These melancholy lines, however, from the changing expression of his were not read aloud, lest they might, countenance. At first a gloomy smile in any degree, interrupt the mirth of overspread his face, and a gleam of the party; and in a short time some pleasure for a moment lighted up his of the younger of them proposed a ege ; but it quickly faded, and a dance, if music could be had. The darker and deeper sadness took pos- mention of such a thing seemed esession of his mournful looks. Se- nough: music was instantly procuveral times, with a strong effort, he red ; and in a shorter time than it roused himself, and attempted to takes to relate it, the young and the throw aside the sorrow which seem lively of both sexes were bounding ed to overpower him ; but it return through the simple evolutions of ed with stronger force, and deeper Scotch reels, in all the wildness of shade ; and when the song was end. unrestrained delight. The exhilaraed, he joined mechanically in the ting sound of the music,—the enliplaudits which followed, while his vening and spirited movements of the heart was evidently far otherwise em dance,-the joyous happy faces of ployed. Shortly after, while the my fellow beings around me,--the song, like the toast, was making a brilliant and sportive sallies of artregular round, he leant his head upon less wit and fancy, all conspired to his hand, so as partly to screen him. gladden the heart, and spread a self from observation, and began charm over me like a sweetly enwriting upon a slip of paper with his chanting spell of Elysian joy. Dupencil. Upon being called upon in ring an interval, I happened to cast his turn for a song, he handed the my eyes upon my poor friend Henry ; slip of paper to MrW- saying it and never shall I forget his looks! contained his excuse. Mr W There he stood) silent, alone, gazing perused it, and told the company that upon the mirthful scene around him, he would give them a song instead of his eye sickened with unutterable poor Henry, who, he said, was rather woe,--his lip quivering with sununwell. This was willingly accepted, pressed anguish,-his brow bent and and the mirth and hilarity went on. wet with the strong burst of awaI afterwards procured a copy of my kened agony,—and his bosom heavfriend's little note. It consisted of ing with the deep and suffocating the following verses :
sigh, that might not be heaved aloud,
and would not be supprest. I apYes! raise the song of joyous mirth! proached him,-I hesitated, yet I
Bid, unrestrain'd, your pleasures flow; ventured to break in upon the sancFor, ah! too rarely found on earth tity of his grief. “Good Heavens ! Is joy without the sting of woe !
Henry !” exclaimed I, softly, “what Alas! full short, and swiftly past,
is the matter with you? I cannot Our sunny hours of joy sweep on ; While dark and long the dreary blast
see you in such a state, without enOf sorrow howls with heavy moan!
deavouring to assist you, or, at least,
attempting to turn the current of Have ye forgot how many were
your thoughts from some secret Your days of toil, your anxious nights ? source of hidden misery. Tell me ! And is each scene of weary care
can I in any way be of service to Gone in a dream of vain delights?. you? At least let me know the