Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

rity; I answer, so much the worse : the transition is too rapid. That misfortune which is taken away all at once creates a levity that is ominous; but, if it is removed by degrees, the head and heart may possibly bear it decently. It is confessed, some of these persons have been ruined by their ill stars, others by their ill; or at least their imprudent conduct. I might even admit that not one of them is vicious; but I inust insist also, that every one is an human being, and, consequently, addicted to old habits, and not brought without difficulty to the adoption of new; nay, I myself fir, do not, nor cannot, feel myself at home in this same steward's lodge that you have built up for me. It is, to be sure, larger, finer, gayer,

grander;

N 2

grander ; but it has not, as I may say, the ease of the old Nipper about it. It wants a thousand little things that, in fact, may be of no figure, but in the estimation of fancy, who is the goddess of us all, more or less, they are of immeasurable magnitude. Perhaps, fir, you will laugh, when I tell you that, in my new lodge I miss the three wooden pegs—on which I was, for so many years, accustomed to hang my hat, my great coat, and my cane-string. It is true there are a dozen fine showy brass hooks, of which one might make the same use; but, if I tell you that, in my notion, they do not fit my purpose so well, or rather that they do not fit my fancy, you must blame human nature and not me, who am only a poor imper

feet with

[ocr errors]

fect atom from the dust of the earth.
Be assured, sir, nothing in the world,
but my loving your Honour's quiet
better than my own, could make me
spend the twilight of my day, when
all should go on ftill and softly,
amongst a set of idle creatures col-
lected into one little circle, where it
is as impossible they should subfift in
tranquillity as it is for yon steeple to
stand without a foundation. I beg
your pardon, dear and honoured fir,
I beg your pardon, but you will
find it as I say. I know the species
I know the species.

Oh! no, my good fellow, replyed 1, much softened by his conversation, that may be the case with societies in general, but Shenstone-Green is so picked, so guarded on the one hand N 3

by gratitude, and on the other by convenience, that, depend on it, you will find yourself agreeably mistaken.

I wish it heartily, answered the steward, for to keep your generous temper in the same golden dream, I could almost wish, for once, the order of nature inverted. But, I fir, am an old fellow that have looked quietly into the heart of man for many years; and I fear you have built up a village full of arguments against the possibility of your happiness. Men carry their natures and wonted dispositions wheresoever they go. But my duty calls me away, as I see by yonder clock at the side of the church, and therefore I humbly take my leave of your Honour,

С НАР. CHAP. XXIII. CONTAINING THREE GREAT SURPRIZES; ONE FOR THE READER, AND TWO

FOR CERTAIN CHARACTERS.

THE
THERE is a particular kind of

conversation which seizes upon all the faculties of the hearer, and leaves him in an anxious state betwixt doubt and conviction. Such was the emotion at this time wrought in my mind by the sentiments of the steward whom I never considered before as any thing beyond a shrewd sarcastic being; but in this last discourse, which, by the bye, he delivered in a tone unusually persuasive, there appeared to be a fagacity and knowledge of men, manners, and na

ture,

N 4

« НазадПродовжити »