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without a friend ; without the means where on the confines of Middlesex to procure the first ; almost without and Berkshire, than which the dethe wish to possess the second. From sarts of Arabia are hardly less prothe moment when Mr. Cranfield's ductive of the romantic in adventure, Spartan annunciation rung in his and he would fain have had his supastonished ears," I shall not want per and gone to bed, than which there you after next Friday ”-he had de- are no two conditions of existence termined in his own mind, that that less conducive to the romantic in “ next Friday" should be to him the feeling. hegira of his life—his point of de Again he seated himself by the parture in the world's voyage :—and road-side to rest, and sleep came though he knew he was to set sail over him. It was broad-day ere he without chart or compass, a sort of awoke. He found he had not been, reckless fascination, suited to his as he had imagined himself in his romantic spirit, seemed to dwell upon soliloquy on the top of the hill, his resolve. “I can live where “unseen of man,” or « unheeded " there are men to serve,” was his by him. His hat and bundle were frequent exclamation during the gone. interval : and with this feeling at its They would have taken my moclimax, he turned his back upon the ney too, I warrant, if it had not been door of Mr. Cranfield.

for the fear of disturbing me. But there is a difference, which There was this fear, and therefore only experience discovers, between due precaution had been employed romantic intentions, and romantic to do it without disturbing him. performances. When we revel in There was neither guinea por sixthe former, we are like the simple pence in his pocket! The then country wench, who reckoned up all possessor of both, as well as of his the things she would buy with the hat and bundle, was a Scotch pedproduce of her pail of milk; and lar; no thief by profession ; one when we begin the latter, we very who would not go out of his way to often give the untoward kick which pick a pocket ; but one who had no scatters our anticipated delights in virtue in his soul strong enough to the dust. Our hero was already resist picking up whatever came in approximating towards such a catas- his way. trophe. Tired, drowsy, with an Charles was confounded! The inconvenient appetite, (all of them color fled from his cheek, his lip mere common propensities of vulgar quivered, and tears of vexation, ramortality,) the poetical qualities of ther than of grief, stood in his eyes. his situation were fast losing their He who was light-hearted, and not hold upon his imagination. There without hope, with a fancied eighteen. was no picturesque bank of violets pence only, as his sum of worldly upon which he could repose ; no wealth, felt, for the moment, as if he woodbine bower, the haunt of Dryads had lost an inheritance, because now or of fairies, with a crystal stream he had not a farthing ; so little capurling through it, which invited him pable are we of putting their true to seek silvan slumbers in its cool re- value upon either the frowns or the cess; no cottage chimney sending up smiles of fortune. Despondency, its wreaths of pale-blue smoke, (the however, was as foreign to his chafragrant vapor of turf or green-racter, as it generally is to his time wood bough,) between two aged of life. As a matter of choice, he trees,

would rather have had his hat, his “Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,

wardrobe, and his money; as a Are at their savory dinner set,

matter of necessity, he submitted to or herbs, and other country messes, the privation with a very good grace, Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses."

after he had done what older and In short, he was wandering some- wiser heads are apt to do in like

on the

cases, adopted the prudent resolu- wanted a little more time for obsertion of never running the same risk vation at a distance. again.

But could he have seen “ Is it possible to get employment himself, he would, at least, have in this place ?" was his first quesconfessed there was now something tion. wild, romantic, and picturesque “ Yes, possible enough, I take it, enough in his appearance. Charles for we have plenty of idle poor Coventry was tall for his years, here, who will rather starve ihan perhaps about five feet nine ; slim, work." graceful in his carriage, and his “ I would work that I may not figure a perfect model of symmetry; starve," replied Charles. his hair, raven black, hanging in Aye,” responded the blackprofuse natural curls over his fore- smith, looking at him with a dubious head ; his features decidedly hand- eye, as though he thought he was some ; of a manly cast of beauty ; likely enough to starve, notwithand their general expression denot- standing, if he had nothing but his ing a haughty firmness of mind, work to trust to for a dinner. softened only by a bewitching smile, “I have been robbed that seemed to play perpetually road," continued Charles. round his mouth. In his gait he was “Indeed ! as how?” interrupted erect, carrying his head far back, the Cyclops. and stepping along with a bounding,

" While I slept." elastic tread, as if the earth yielded “While you slept ? Why, that's to its pressure, but returned again, a bad look-out, young fellow; but with force, to give it a more vigor- you might expect as much, I think, ous spring

in these parts, if you make the Such a rover, unbonneted, unat- highways your bed; for we find tended, wandering the highways, enough to do to keep ourselves like a denizen of their vagrant liber- from being robbed with our eyes ties, could not be expected to pass open." along and rouse no wonder ; fortu “I am pennyless, and in want of nately for him, he roused something food,” added Charles ; “but,” fixmore than wonder in one who saw ing his eyes earnestly on the man, him. He came to a small village, “I seek no charity-whatever hand after a walk of nearly fifteen miles, supplies my necessities shall be reso faint with hunger, that further he paid by my labor.” felt he could not go, and sat down “I daresay it's all very true what upon a large stone, which seemed you say ; however, as you are a the fragment of some ancient cross, stranger to me, you'll not take it just at the entrance of it. He had amiss if I don't interfere." wholly forgotten the singularity of With these words the blacksmith his appearance, till it was recalled hastened back to his forge, and to his recollection by observing a began to ply his anvil with redougroup of children gazing at him from bled diligence. Charles covered his behind a barn-door, and by noticing face with his hands, and felt at that the blacksmith, who had left his moment more anguish of mind than sorge, and now stood midway be- he had ever known. He remained tween it and the footpath, with a in this attitude, bitter forebodings horse-shoe, half red hot, in his pin- crowding fast upon him, until he cers ; the said horse-shoe therein was roused from it by a soft female not at all resembling the black- voice. smith's curiosity, which was at a “Young man! If you please, white heat, to make out Charles, my mistress wants to speak with and his business. Charles beckon- you. ed him to approach. He advanced He looked up. A rosy-cheeked with a lazy, loitering step, as if he lass, with dove-like eyes, ia a mob


cap, black stuff-gown, and a white this impression weakened by a peapron, tucked up sideways, stood culiar character of benignity and before him.

goodness which dwelt upon her still “And who is your mistress, pret- interesting countenance. ty one ? " said Charles, with that Benevolence and pity, when they indescribable smile of his, for there are of the right quality, (equally was a something in the girl's man- remote from the parade of doing ners and appearance which operat- good, and the impertinence of worthed like a charm—“Who is your less curiosity,) perform their task mistress, and where does she live ?with a gentle impatience to hasten

“Over the way, if you please, relief, by sparing the unfortunate sir. Her name is Mrs. Saville." every anxious feeling of suspense.

“I don't know her, my dear,” Mrs. Saville, in a few kind words, replied Charles.

informed Charles of her motive in “ I know that, sir,” and a sort of sending for him. He was touched awkward blush diffused itself over to the very heart. It seemed as if her countenance, called there as the years of his infancy and boymuch by the strange meaning of hood had returned ; for, never since Charles's

gaze, as by his flattering his mother's death, had the voice of epithets of “dear,” and “pretty man or woman reached his heart.

It seemed, too, as if here were Are you sure you are right ?", a being the heart might trust ; one he continued.

who would not fling upon its breath“Quite sure, sir,” she replied ; ings the churlish spirit of a selfish

my mistress said, “Mary, do you world, nor interpret its desires by see that poor young man sitting the cold cunning of sordid calculathere?--he seems ill-go and tell tion ; one whom even he, with all him I want to speak with him.'-So his proud scorn of unrequited beneI have come to tell you.”

fits, could be coutent to call and The innocence and simplicity of feel his benefactor. He related this mode of authenticating her em- what had befallen him on the road, bassy lest no doubt upon Charles's and how it had hence chanced that mind, that Mrs. Saville, whoever he was in his present plight. But she might be, did “want to speak this was only half the tale ; his exwith him ;” and he followed his pressive features, his natural grace, conductress to a large, old-fashion- and the simple eloquence of ingeed, but substantially-built mansion, nuous truth, told for him, while, as which stood back twelve or fifteen he partook of refreshments he so yards from the public road. He much needed, Mrs. Saville extractwas ushered into a spacious par- ed in detail the “story of his life.” lor, solidly rather than elegantly “You have spoken much of furnished, where he found Mrs. your mother," said Mrs. Saville ; Saville. She was considerably ad- "but nothing of your father." vanced in years, somewhat below “I never knew him ; he died the middle height, with flaxen hair, when I was in my cradle." and a remarkably pale, but delicate “ That was a sad mischance." ly-transparent complexion.

Her “My mother felt it so," replied air was courteous and refined, and Charles ; “ for as often

as she bespoke the gentlewoman of the talked to me of him, it was with a old school. There was a clear sil- grief

as fresh as when he died.” very tone in her voice, coupled with “ Then you know the manner of a certain emphatic precision in her his death ?" observed Mrs. Saville. mode of talking, and a quiet ease in In answer to this question, Charles her stately unembarrassed manner, related all the circumstances of that which forcibly reminded Charles of event, as he had heard them from his own beloved mother ; nor was his mother. Mrs. Saville appeared

41 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.

greatly interested with the narra- river, by the aid of stepping-stones, tive; for it partook of that deep- placed at irregular, and sometimes toned melancholy with which it was hazardous, distances. You are that ever invested by her from whose traveller ; you have arrived at the lips alone he had listened to its re- margin of this river ; you are concital.

sidering how you shall cross it ; “ I do think,” said she, when he let me place your foot on the first had concluded, “it were a thousand of these stepping-stones. How you pities you should not have a friend are to reach the next, and the next, at this critical moment of your life.” and the next, and whether you are

“ It is a wide world, madam,” to find them many or few, that so replied Charles, thoughtfully, “and your passage shall be easy or difithere are paths enough for all who cult, nor you nor I can tell ; but are in it: sooner or later, I shall Fortune, your chosen goddess, find my way into one of them.” offers you the first.

“So I doubt not you will," an This unexpected and irresistible swered Mrs. Saville ; “but it is appeal, urged with such singular because the world is wide, because adroitness and delicacy, urged, there are many paths, and because too, in tones, and with a persuasive of those many, there be some that gentleness, that strangely recalled are very bad, that they who are thrilling remembrances of his moentering upon it, and have their ther, overpowered the feclings of path to choose, stand in need of Charles. A thousand emotions ihose who have gone before them struggled for utterance ; but all be to direct their steps.”

could say, or rather atiempt to say, “ I have been the child of mis- was a stamp:ering acknowledgment fortune hitherto by decree,” said of gratitude, without accepting or Charles ; "henceforth, I elect my- refusing the kindness that excited self the child of fortune by choice, it. and bind myself upon her wheel, “Your agitation, "continued Mrs. the seeker of all its giddy turns." Saville, after a short pause,

His features brightened, and a vinces me I have struck tlie chord bold daring flashed from his eyes, whose vibrations are in unison wih as the still fascinating vision of a my desires. I take your answer troubled destiny dimly floated be- from the unerring oracle of awakfore his fancy.

ened feelings which have no words, “ I will not seek to turn you from but express themselves in the your choice," continued Mrs. Sa- trembling language of the eye, or ville, with the same unperturbed the burning of the flushed cheek. and mild tone of expostulation she You are my guest to-day. Tohad all along maintained ; “I would morrow, you shall depart upon an only ask to be permitted to give, errand that I dare promise myself myself

, one of those turns of fortune's will not disappoint mine or your wheel, of which you are so en- hopes. Remain here,” she added, amored."

rising from her chair, “I will reCharles was silent.

turn directly.With these words • Come, young man,” added she left the room. Mrs. Saville, “let me have power

Before Charles could recover to persuade you, there is an over- from the spell-trance into which ruling Providence that guides (and this address had thrown him, Mrs. to fulfil its own inscrutable pur- Saville re-entered the apartment, poses) all the seeming chances of with an open letter in her hand. this life. Compare our journey “I feel assured," said she, “I through it, from the time when we am only fulfilling an appointed duty commence it alone, to a traveller in what I have done, for these having to cross a broad and rapid things are not the work of chance.


This is a letter to my brother. He the table, sealed and directed ; and is an excellent man, and has the beside it a neat silken purse containpower, where he sees the propriety, ing twenty guineas. of befriending the friendless. " If be Charles sat down to think ; to take you by the hand, it must be live over again the extraordinary your own fault should you not ade- day he had passed. He was too quately benefit by the introduction. young and inexperienced to read You shall hear what I have said, its eventful history, by the sober that you may know precisely the light of reason. The world and its circumstances under wbich you will concerns, the human heart and its present yourself to him."

mysteries, the holy deeds of unobMrs. Saville then read the letter. trusive virtue, were to him all unIt was little more than a statement known. What had happened, thereof the manner in which she had fore, seemed more like a tale of become acquainted with Charles fairy-land, than that thing merely and his history, and a simple, but which men call good fortune ; of earnest entreaty, that he would en- which the instances are so many, deavor to complete what she had that were they all recorded, we begun.

should cease to write romance, as “Now," continued Mrs. Saville, less romantic than truth. Thought "you shall depart with this early could not help him out of his perto-morrow. If you are at the first plexity. “ View it how I will,” he mile-stone, beyond the turnpike exclaimed, at the close of his mediwhere the two roads meet, a little tations, “it is a miracle ; but at all before five o'clock, the stage will events I will see the end of it.” pass in which you may proceed to With this declaration he retired to London."

bed. In the morning he awoke re“I am utterly unable, madam” freshed and cheerful. When he -exclaimed Charles, with an agi- descended from his room, the only tated voice

person he saw was the pretty dove"Spare yourself and me,” inter- eyed lass, who had been the ambasrupted Mrs. Saville. "I should be sadress of Mrs. Saville the precedsorry if you were able to say what ing day. She looked as if she knew it is natural you should feel, on an all that had happened, and rejoiced occasion like this. So here let us in her knowledge. A passing word dismiss the subject. We shall not of gallantry escaped his lips, as she be at a loss, I dare say,” she added, opened the door for him ; and hassmiling, “ for others; and imme- tening to the “first 'mile-stone bediately led the conversation into yond the turnpike-gate," the stage various channels, till the excite- soon arrived in which he was conment of Charles's mind gradually veyed to London. subsided. He then entered with It should be here mentioned, that animated freedom into discourse ; when Charles entered the village, and it was easy to perceive how her and seated himself upon the old first favorable impressions were stone, in the way already described, deepened, as she insensibly drew Julia Montague, a young lady in from him the authentic transcript of her eighteeth year, and the niece of his mind.

Mrs. Saville, was standing at the When night came, he took leave parlor window, while her aunt was of Mrs. Saville. His farewell was busy settling the accounts of the. imprinted on the hand extended to- week in another part of the room. wards hiin, with a silent fervor that It is not meant to be insinuated, would have satisfied the excellent that if, instead of Charles Coventry,

Mr. Cranfield his heart was indeed (and the reader remembers what e “in the right place.” In his bed- sort of a looking person Charles

room he found the letter lying on Coventry was,) a poor, decrepid,

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