Page images
[ocr errors]


Fulham e'en now disliked the heavy thrall, His thoughts were grievous : “ All that I possess And for her death would in his anguish call, From this vile bargain adds to my distress ; As Rome's mistaken friend exclaim'd, Let Carthage To pass a life with one who will not mend, fall!

Who cannot love, nor save, nor wisely spend, So felt our hero, so his wish express'd,

Is a vile prospect, and I see no end ;
Against this powerful sprite-delenda est ; For if we part, I must of course restore
Rome in her conquest saw not danger near, Much of her money, and must wed no more.
Freed from her rival, and without a fear;

“Is there no way ?”—here Conscience rose in So, Conscience conquer'd, men perceive how free, power, But not how fatal such a state must be.

“O! fly the danger of this fatal hour; Fatal, not free our hero's ; soe or friend

I am thy Conscience, faithful, fond, and true, Conscience on him was destined to attend : Ah, fly this thought, or evil must ensue; She dozed indeed, grew dull, nor seem'd to spy Fall on thy knees, and pray with all thy soul, Crime following crime, and each of deeper dye ; Thy purpose banish, thy design control; But all were noticed, and the reckoning time Let every hope of such advantage cease, With her account came on; crime following crime. Or never more expect a momenis peace.”

This, once a soe, now brother in the trust, Th' affrighten'd man a due attention paid, Whom Fulham late described as fair and just, Folt the rebuke, and the command obey'd. Was the sole guardian of a wealthy maid,

Again the wise rebell’d, again express’d Placed in his power, and of his frown afraid : A love for pleasure, a contempt of rest; Not quite an idiot, for her busy brain

"She, whom she pleased, would visit, would Sought, by poor cunning, trifling points to gain ;

receive Success in childish projects her delight,

Those who pleased her, nor deign to ask for leave." She took no heed of each important right.

One way there is," said he, “ I might contrive The friendly parties met: the guardian cried, Into a trap this foolish thing to drive : "I am too old ; my sons have each a bride : Who pleased her, said she ?—I'll be certain who—" Martha, my ward, would make an easy wife ; “ Take heed," said Conscience," what thou mean'st On easy terms I'll make her yours for life ;

to do: And then the creature is so weak and mild, Insnare thy wife ?”—“ Why, yes,” he must confess, She may be soothed and threaten'd as a child.” “It might be wrong, but there was no redress; * Yet not obey,” said Fulham, “ for your fools, Besides, to think,” said he, " is not to sin." Female and male, are obstinate as mules."

Mistaken man !" replied the power within. Some points adjusted, these new friends agreed, No guest unnoticed to the lady came, Proposed the day, and hurried on the deed. He judged th' event with mingled joy and shame; * "Tis a vile act," said Conscience. " It will Oft he withdrew, and seem'd to leave her free, prove,"

But still as watchful as a lynx was he ; Replied the bolder man,“ an act of love; Meanwhile the wife was thoughtless, cool, and gay, Her wicked guardian might the girl have sold And, without virtue, had no wish to stray. To endless misery for a tyrant's gold ;

Though thus opposed, his plans were not resign'd; Now may her life be happy, for I mean

“Revenge," said he, “will prompt that daring mind; To keep my temper even and serene."

Refused supplies, insulted and distressid, "I cannot thus compound," the spirit cried, Enraged with me, and near a favourite guest"Nor have my laws thus broken and defied : Then will her vengeance prompt the daring deed, This is a fraud, a bargain for a wise ;

And I shall watch, detect her, and be freed." Expect my vengeance, or amend your life.” There was a youth—but let me hide the name,

The wife was pretty, trifling, childish, weak; With all the progress of this deed of shame, She could not think, but would not cease to speak : He had his views on him the husband cast This he forbade ; she took the caution ill,

His net, and saw him in his trammels fast. And boldly rose against his sovereign will;

Pause but a moment, think what you intend," With idiot cunning she would watch the hour, Said the roused sleeper, “ I am yet a friend : When friends were present, to dispute his power : Must all our days in enmity be spent ?” With tyrant craft, he then was still and calm, “ No!” and he paused ;—“I surely shall repent." But raised in private terror and alarm :

Then hurried on-the evil plan was laid, By many trials, she perceived how far

The wife was guilty, and her friend betray'd, To vex and tease, without an open war ;

And Fulham gain'd his wish, and for his will was And he discover'd that so weak a mind

paid. No art could lead, and no compulsion bind ; Had crimes less weighty on the spirit pressid, The rudest force would fail such mind to tame, This troubled Conscience might have sunk to rest; And she was callous to rebuke and share : And, like a foolish guard, been bribed to peace, Proud of her wealth, the power of law she knew, By a false promise, that offence should cease ; And would assist him in the spending too : Past faults had seem'd familiar to the view, His threatening words with insult she defied, Confused if many, and obscure though true ; To all his reasoning with a stare replied ;

And Conscience, troubled with the dull account, And when he begg'd her to attend, would say, Had dropp'd her tale, and slumber'd o'er th'amount: * Attend I will, but let me have my way." But, struck by daring guilt, alert she rose, Nor rest had Conscience : “While you merit Disturbid, alarm'd, and could no more repose ; pain,

All hopes of friendship and of peace were past, From me," she cried, " you seek redress in vain." | And every view with gloom was overcast.

more :

Hence, from that day, that day of shame and sin, "O! Conscience! Conscience! man's most faithArose the restless enmity within ;

ful friend, On no resource could Fulham now rely,

Him canst thou comfort, ease, relieve, defend; Doom'd all expedients, and in vain, to try ; But if he will thy friendly checks forego, For Conscience, roused, sat boldly on her throne, Thou art, O! wo for me, his deadliest foe!" Watch'd every thought, attack'd the foe alone, And with envenom'd sting drew forth the inward

groan :
Expedients fail'd that brought relief before,

In vain his alms gave comfort to the poor,
Give what he would, to him the comfort came no

ADVICE; OR, THE 'SQUIRE AND THE PRIEST. Not prayer avail'd, and when (his crimes confess'd)

Ilis hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sportsHe felt some ease, she said, “ Are they redress’d?

And never noted him in any study, You still retain the profit, and be sure,

Any retireinent, any sequestration. Long as it lasts, this anguish shall endure."

Henry V. act i. sc. I. Fulham still tried to soothe her, cheat, mislead ;

I will converse with iron-witted fools, But Conscience laid her finger on the deed,

With unrespective boys; none are for me, And read the crime with power, and all that must Who look into me with considerate eyes. succeed :

Richard III. act iv. sc. 2 He tried t'expel her, but was sure to find

You cram these words into mine ears, against Her strength increased by all that he design'd;

The stomach of my sense. Nor ever was his groan more loud and deep,

Tempest, act ii. sc. I. Than when refresh'd she rose from momentary sleep.

Now desperate grown, weak, harass'd, and afraid, A WEALTHY lord of far-extended land, From new allies he sought for doubtful aid ; Had all that pleased him placed at his command; To thought itself he strove to bid adieu,

Widow'd of late, but finding much relief And from devotions to diversions flew;

In the world's comforts, he dismiss'd his gries; He took a poor domestic for a slave,

He was by marriage of his daughters eased, (Though Avarice grieved to see the price he gave ;) And knew his sons could marry if they pleased : Upon his board, once frugal, press'd a load Meantime in travel he indulged the boys, Of viands rich, the appetite to goad;

And kept no spy nor partner of his joys. The long-protracted meal, the sparkling cup, These joys, indeed, were of the grosser kind, Fought with his gloom, and kept his courage up: That fed the cravings of an earthly mind; Soon as the morning came, there met his eyes A mind that, conscious of its own excess, Accounts of wealth, that he might reading rise ; Felt the reproach his neighbours would express. To profit then he gave some active hours,

Long at th' indulgent board he loved to sit, Till food and wine again should renovate his Where joy was laughter, and profaneness wit; powers :

And such the guest and manners of the hall, Yet, spite of all defence, of every aid,

No wedded lady on the 'squire would call : The watchful foe her close attention paid ; Here reign'd a favourite, and her triumph gain'd In every thoughtful moment on she press'd, O'er other favourites who before had reign'd; And gave at once her dagger to his breast; Reserved and modest seem'd the nymph to be, He waked at midnight, and the fears of sin, Knowing her lord was charm’d with modesty ; As waters, through a bursten dam, broke in ; For he, a sportsman keen, the more enjoy'd, Nay, in the banquet, with his friends around, The greater value had the thing destroy’d. When all their cares and half their crimes were Our 'squire declared, that, from a wise released drown'd,

He would no more give trouble to a priest; Would some chance act awake the slumbering fear, Seem'd it not then ungrateful and unkind, And care and crime in all their strength appear: That he should trouble from the priesthood find ? The news is read, a guilty victim swings, The church he honour'd, and he gave the due And troubled looks proclaim the bosom-stings; And full respect to every son he knew : Some pair are wed; this brings the wife in view, But envied those who had the luck to meet And some divorced ; this shows the parting too ; A gentle pastor, civil and discreet; Nor can he hear of evil word or deed,

Who never bold and hostile sermon penn'd, But they to thought, and thought to sufferings lead. To wound a sinner, or to shame a friend ; Such was his life : no other changes came,

One whom no being either shunn'd or fear'd, The hurrying day, the conscious night the same;

Such must be loved wherever they appear'd The night of horror, when he starting cried, Not such the stern old rector of the time, To the poor startled sinner at his side,

Who soothed no culprit, and who spared no crime, “ Is it in law ? am I condemn'd to die?

Who would his fears and his contempt express Let me escape - I'll give-0! let me fly For irreligion and licentiousness ; How! but a dream-no judges! dungeon! chain! Of him our village lord, his guests among, Or these grim men !-I will not sleep again. By speech vindictive proved his feelings stung. Wilt thou, dread being ! thus thy promise keep ? “Were he a bigot," said the 'squire, “ whose zeal Day is thy time and wilt thou murder sleep? Condemn'd us all, I should disdain to feel; Sorrow and want repose, and wilt thou come, But when a man of parts, in college train'd, Nor give one hour of pure, untroubled gloom? Prates of our conduct, who would not be pain'd

While he declaims (where no one dares reply) He to his favourite preacher now withdrew, On men abandon’d, grovelling in the sty

Was taught to leach, instructed to subdue ; (Like beasts in human shape) of shameless luxury. And train'd for ghostly warfare, when the call Yel with a patriot's zeal I stand the shock Of his new duties reach'd him from the hall. Of vile rebuke, example to his flock :

Now to the 'squire, although alert and stout, But let this rector, thus severe and proud, Came unexpected an attack of gout; Change his wide surplice for a narrow shroud, And the grieved patron felt such serious pain, And I will place within his seat a youth,

He never thought to see a church again: Train'd by the Graces, to explain the truth ; Thrice had the youthful rector taught the crowd, Then shall the flock with gentle hand be led, Whose growing numbers spoke his powers aloud, By wisdom won, and by compassion fed.” Before the patron could himself rejoice

This purposed teacher was a sister's son, (His pain still lingering) in the general voice ; Who of her children gave the priesthood one ; For he imputed all this early fame And she had early train'd for this employ To graceful manner, and the well-known name ; The pliant talents of her college boy :

And to himself assumed a share of praise, At various times her letters painted all

For worth and talents he was pleased to raise. Her brother's views, the manners of the hall ; A month had flown, and with it fled disease ; The rector's harshness, and the mischief made What pleased before, began again to please ; By chiding those whom preachers should per Emerging daily from his chamber's gloom, suade:

He found his old sensations hurrying home ; This led the youth to views of easy life,

Then callid his nephew, and exclaim’d, “ My A friendly patron, an obliging wife ;

boy, His tithe, his glebe, the garden and the steed, Let us again the balm of life enjoy ; With books as many as he wish'd to read. The foe has left me, and I deem it right,

All this accorded with the uncle's will, Should he return, to arm me for the fight.' He loved a priest compliant, easy, still;

Thus spoke the 'squire, the favourite nymph Sums he had often to his favourite sent,

stood by, - To be," he wrote, “in manly freedom spent ; And view'd the priest with insult in her eye : For well it pleased his spirit to assist

She thrice had heard him when he boldly spoke An honest lad, who scorn'd a Methodist.” On dangerous points, and fear'd he would revoke : His mother, too, in her maternal care,

For James she loved not-and her manner told Bade him of canting hypocrites beware ;

“ This warm affection will be quickly cold." Who from his duties would his heart seduce, And still she fear'd impression might be made And make his talents of no earthly use.

Upon a subject nervous and decay'd ;
Soon must a trial of his worth be made, She knew her danger, and had no desire
The ancient priest is to the tomb convey'd ; Of reformation in the gallant 'squire ;
And the youth summon'd from a serious friend, And felt an envious pleasure in her breast
His guide and host, new duties to attend.

To see the rector daunted and distress'd.
Three months before, the nephew and the 'squire Again the uncle to the youth applied ;
Saw mutual worth to praise and to admire ; “ Cast, my dear lad, that cursed gloom aside :
And though the one too early left his wine, There are for all things time and place; appear
The other still exclaim'd—“ My boy will shine ; Grave in your pulpit, and be merry here :
Yes, I perceive that he will soon improve, Now take your wine ;-for woes a sure resource,
And I shall form the very guide I love;

And the best prelude to a long discourse." Decent abroad, he will my name defend,

James half obey'd, but cast an angry eye And, when at home, be social, and unbend.” On the fair lass, who still stood watchful by ;

The plan was specious, for the mind of James Resolving thus, “ I have my fears; but still Accorded duly with his uncle's schemes :

I must perform my duties, and I will:
He then aspired not to a higher name

No love, no interest, shall my mind control,
Than sober elerks of moderate talents claim; Better to lose my comforts than my soul ;
Gravely to pray, and reverently to preach, Better my uncle's favour to abjure,
Was all he saw, good youth! within his reach. Than the upbraidings of my heart endure.”
Thus may a mass of sulphur long abide

He took his glass, and then address’d the 'squire : Cold and inert, but to the flame applied,

"I feel not well, permit me to retire.” Kindling it blazes, and consuming turns

The 'squire conceived that the ensuing day
To smoke and poison, as it boils and burns. Gave him these terrors for the grand essay,

James, leaving college, to a preacher stray'd ; When he himself should this young preacher try,
What call'a, he knew not, but the call obey'd : And stand before him with observant eye ;
Mild, idle, pensive, ever led by those

This raised compassion in his manly breast,
Who could some specious novelty propose ; And he would send the rector to his rest:
Humbly he listen’d, while the preacher dwelt Yet first, in soothing voice—“A moment stay,
On touching themes, and strong emotions felt; And these suggestions of a friend obey :
And in this night was fix'd that pliant will Treasure these hints, if fame or peace you prizo,
To one sole point, and he retains it still.

The bottle emptied, I shall close my eyes. At first his care was to himself confined ; “On every priest a twofold care attends, Himself assured, he gave it to mankind : To prove his talents, and ensure his friends, His zeal grew active ; honest, earnest zeal, First, of the first-your stores at once produco, And comfort dealt to him, he long'd to deal ; And bring your reading to its proper use :

Vol. I.-17

[ocr errors]

On doctrines dwell, and every point enforce But name th' offence, and you absolve the rest,
By quoting much, the scholar's sure resource : And point the dagger at a single breast.
For he alone can show us on each head

Yet are there sinners of a class so low,
What ancient schoolmen and sage fathers said : That you with safety may the lash bestow;
No worth has knowledge, if you fail to show Poachers, and drunkards, idle rogues, who feed
How well you studied, and how much you know : At others' cost, a mark'd correction need :
Is faith your subject, and you judge it right And all the better sort, who see your zeal,
On theme so dark to cast a ray of light?

Will love and reverence for their pastor feel ; Be it that faith the orthodox maintain,

Reverence for one who can inflict the smart, Found in the rubric, what the creeds explain; And love, because he deals them not a part. Fail not to show us on this ancient faith

“ Remember well what love and age advise ; (And quote the passage) what some martyr saith : A quiet rector is a parish prize, Dwell not one moment on a faith that shocks Who in his learning has a decent pride ; The minds of men sincere and orthodox ;

Who to his people is a gentle guide ; That gloomy faith, that robs the wounded mind Who only hints at failings that he sees ; Of all the comfort it was wont to find

Who loves his glebe, his patron, and his ease, From virtuous acts, and to the soul denies And finds the way to fame and profit is to please." Iis proper due for alms and charities;

The nephew answer'd not, except a sigh That partial faith, that, weighing sins alone; And look of sorrow might be term'd reply ; Lets not a virtue for a fault atone ;

He saw the fearful hazard of his state, That starving faith, that would our tables clear, And held with truth and safety strong debate; And make one dreadful Lent of all the year; Nor long he reason'd, for the zealous youth And cruel too, for this is faith thai rends

Resolved, though timid, 10 profess the truth ; Confiding beauties from protecting friends; And though his friend should like a lion roar, A faith that all embracing, what a gloom

Truth would he preach, and neither less nor more. Deep and terrific o'er the land would come! The bells had tollid-arrived the time of prayer, What scenes of horror would that time disclose ! The flock assembled, and the 'squire was there: No sight but misery, and no sound but woes; And now can poet sing, or proseman say, Your nobler faith, in loftier style convey’d, The disappointment of that trying day? Shall be with praise and admiration paid :

As he who long had train’d a favourite steed, Ou points like these your hearers all admire (Whose blood and bone gave promise of his A preacher's depth, and nothing more require ;

speed,) Shall we a studious youth to college send, Sanguine with hope, he runs with partial eye That every clown his words may comprehend ? O'er every feature, and his bets are high; 'Tis for your glory, when your hearers own Of triumph sure, he sees the rivals start, Your learning matchless, but the sense unknown. And waits their coming with exulting heart;

“ Thus honour gain'd, learn now to gain a friend, Forestalling glory, with impatient glance, And the sure way is—never to offend ;

And sure to see his conquering steed advance; For, James, consider-what your neighbours do The conquering steed advances-luckless day! Is their own business, and concerns not you : A rival's Herod bears the prize away. Shun all resemblance to that forward race Nor second his, nor third, but lagging last, Who preach of sins before a sinner's face; With hanging head he comes, by all surpass'd; And seem as if they overlook'd a pew,

Surprise and wrath the owner's mind inflame, Only to drag a failing man in view:

Love turns to scorn, and glory ends in shame ;Much should I feel, when groaning in disease, Thus waited, high in hope, the partial 'squire, If a rough hand upon my limb should seize ; Eager to hear, impatient to admire : But great my anger, if this hand were found When the young preacher in the tones that find The very doctor's, who should make it sound : A certain passage to the kindling mind, So feel our minds, young priest, so doubly feel, With air and accent strange, impressive, sad, When hurt by those whose office is to heal. Alarm’d the judge—he trembled for the lad;

“ Yet of our duties you must something tell, But when the text announced the power of grace, And must at times on sin and frailty dwell ; Amazement scowld upon his clouded face, Here you may preach in easy, flowing style, At this degenerate son of his illustrious race How errors cloud us, and how sins defile: Staring he stood, till hope again arose, Here bring persuasive tropes and figures forth, That James might well define the words he chose : To show the poor that wealth is nothing worth ; For this he listen'd ; but, alas ! he found That they, in fact, possess an ampie share

The preacher always on forbidden ground. of the world's good, and feel not half its care; And now the uncle left the hated pew, Give them this comfort, and, indeed, my gout With James, and James's conduct in his view : In its full vigour causes me some doubt ;

A long farewell to all his favourite schemes ! And let it always, for your zeal, suffice,

For now no crazed fanatic's frantic dreams That vice you combat, in the abstract-vice: Seem'd vile as James's conduct, or as James : The very captious will be quiet then;

All he had long derided, hated, fear'd, We all confess we are offending men:

This from the chosen youth the uncle heard ;In lashing sin, of every stroke beware,

The needless pause, the fierce disorder'd air, For sinners feel, and sinners you must spare ; The groan for sin, the vehemence of prayer, In general satire, every man perceives

Gave birth to wrath, that, in a long discourse A slight attack, yet neither fears nor grieves ; of grace, triumphant rose to fourfold furce:

He found his thoughts despised, his rules trans- | And when the spirits of her lord were low, gress'd,

The lass presumed the wicked cause to show : And while the anger kindled in his breast, (press'd : " It was the wretched life his honour led, The pain must be endured that could not be ex. And would draw vengeance on his guilty head; Each new idea more inflamed his ire,

Their loves (Heaven knew how dreadfully disAs fuel thrown upon a rising fire :

tress'd A hearer yet, he sought by threatening sign The thought had made her !) were as yet unbless'd : To ease his heart, and awe the young divine ; And till the church had sanction'd"-Here she saw But James refused those angry looks to meet, The wrath that forced her trembling to withdraw. Till he dismiss d his flock, and left his seat:

Add to these outward ills, some inward light, Exhausted then he felt his trembling frame, That show'd him all was not correct and right: But fix'd his soul-his sentiments the same; Though now he less indulged-and to the poor, And therefore wise it seem'd to fly from rage, From day to day, sent alms from door to door; And seek for shelter in his parsonage:

Though he some ease from easy virtues found, There, if forsaken, yet consoled to find

Yet conscience told him he could not compound; Some comforts left, though not a few resign'd ; But must himself the darling sin deny, There, if he lost an erring parent's love,

Change the whole heart; but here a heavy sigh An honest conscience must the cause approve; Proclaim'd, * How vast the toil! and ah! how If the nice palate were no longer sed,

weak am I !"
The mind enjoy'd delicious thoughts instead; James too has tronble-he divided sees
And if some part of earthly good was flown, A parish, once har ious and at ease:
Still was the tithe of ten good farms his own. With him united are the simply meek,

Fear now, and discord, in the village reign, The warm, the sad, the nervous, and the weak ;
The cool remonstrate, and the meek complain ; The rest his uncle's, save the few beside
But there is war within, and wisdom pleads in vain : Who own no doctrine, and obey no guide ;
Now dreads the uncle, and proclaims his dread, With stragglers of each adverse camp, who lend
Lest the boy-priest should turn each rustic head; Their aid to both, but each in turn offend.
The certain converts cost him certain wo,

Though zealous still, yet he begins to feel The doubtful fear lest they should join the foe: The heat too fierce, that glows in vulgar zeal ; Matrons of old, with whom he nsed to joke, With pain he hears his simple friends relate Vow pass his honour with a pious look ;

Their week's experience, and their woful state : Lasses, who met him once with lively airs, With small temptation struggling every hour, Now cross his way, and gravely alk to prayers : And bravely battling with the tempting power; An old companion, whom he long has loved, His native sense is hurt by strange complaints By coward fears confess'd his conscience moved ; Of inward motions in these warring saints ; As the third bottle gave its spirit forth,

Who never cast on sinful bait a look And they bore witness to departed worth, But they perceive the devil at the hook : The friend arose, and he too would depart : Grieved, yet compell’d to smile, he finds it hard ** Man," said the 'squire, “ thou wert not wont to Against the blunders of conceit to guard ; Hast thon attended to that foolish boy, [start; He sighs to hear the jests his converts cause, Who would abridge all comforts, or destroy ?" Ile cannot give their erring zeal applause ;

Yes, he had lisien'd, who had slumber'd long, But finds it inconsistent to condemn And was convinced that something must be wrong: The flights and follies he has nursed in them : But, though affected, still his yielding heart, These, in opposing minds, contempt produce, And craving palate, took the uncle's part ;

Or mirth occasion, or provoke abuse : Wine now oppress'd him, who, when free from On each momentous theme disgrace they bring, wine,

And give to Scorn her poison and her sting.
Could seldom clearly utter his design;
But though by nature and indulgence weak,
Yet, half converted, he resolved to speak;
And, speaking, own'd, “ that in his mind the youth

Had gifts and learning, and that truth was truth :
The 'squire he honour'd, and, for his poor part,
He hated nothing like a hollow heart :
But 'twas a maxim he had often tried,

Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy,

To follow still the changes of the moon, That right was right, and there he would abide ;

With fresh suspicion ? He honour'd learning, and he would confess

Othello, act iii. sc. 3. The preacher had his talents-more or less : Why not agree? he thought the young divine

Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks, Had no such strictness—they might drink and dine;

And given my treasure and my rights in thee

To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy For them sufficient-but he said before,

Henry IV. Part I. act ii. sc. 3. That truth was truth, and he would drink no more.”

It is excellent This heard the 'squire with mix'd contempt and

To have a giant's strength, but tyrannous pain ;

To use it as a giant. He feard the priest this recreant sot would gain.

Measure for Measure, act ii. sc. 2. The favourite nymph, though not a convert made, Conceived the man she scorn'd her cause would Anna was young and lovely-in her eye aid ;

The glance of beauty, in her cheek the dye ;


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »