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A very father, till his art was gain'd,
And then a friend unwearied he remain'd:
He saw his brother was of spirit low,
His temper peevish, and his motions slow;
Not fit to bustle in a world, or make
Friends to his fortune for his merit's sake:
But the kind sailor could not boast the art
Of looking deeply in the human heart;
Else had he seen that this weak brother knew
What men to court, what objects to pursue;
That he to distant gain the way discern'd,
And none so crooked but his genius learn'd.
Isaac was poor, and this the brother felt;
He hired a house, and there the landsman dwelt;
Wrought at his trade, and had an easy home,
For there would George with cash and comforts
And when they parted, Isaac look'd around,
Where other friends and helpers might be found.
He wish'd for some port-place, and one might fall,
He wisely thought, if he should try for all;
He had a vote-and, were it well applied,
Might have its worth-and he had views beside;
Old Burgess Steel was able to promote
An humble man who served him with a vote;
For Isaac felt not what some tempers feel,
But bow'd and bent the neck to Burgess Steel;
And great attention to a lady gave,
His ancient friend, a maiden spare and grave:
One whom the visage long and look demure
Of Isaac pleased-he seem'd sedate and pure;
And his soft heart conceived a gentle flame
For her who waited on this virtuous dame :
Not an outrageous love, a scorching fire,
But friendly liking and chastised desire;
And thus he waited, patient in delay,
In present favour and in fortune's way.
George then was coasting-war was yet delay'd,
And what he gain'd was to his brother paid;
Nor ask'd the seaman what he saved or spent:
But took his grog, wrought hard, and was
Till war awaked the land, and George began
To think what part became a useful man:
Press'd, I must go; why then, 'tis better far
At once to enter like a British tar,
Than a brave captain and the foe to shun,
As if I fear'd the music of a gun."
“Go not!” said Isaac—“ You shall wear disguise."
"What!" said the seaman, clothe myself with
And hear me, brother, whether pay or prize,
One-half to thee I give and I devise;
For thou hast oft occasion for the aid
Of learn'd physicians, and they will be paid:
Their wives and children men support, at sea,
And thou, my lad, art wife and child to me:
Farewell!-I go where hope and honour call,
Nor does it follow that who fights must fall."
Isaac here made a poor attempt to speak,
And a huge tear moved slowly down his cheek;
Like Pluto's iron drop, hard sign of grace,
It slowly roll'd upon the rueful face,
Forced by the striving will alone its way to trace.
Years fled-war lasted-George at sea remain'd,
While the slow landsman still his profits gain'd:
An humble place was vacant; he besought
His patron's interest, and the office caught;
For still the virgin was his faithful friend,
And one so sober could with truth commend,
Who of his own defects most humbly thought,
And their advice with zeal and reverence sought:
Whom thus the mistress praised, the maid approved,
And her he wedded whom he wisely loved.
No more he needs assistance-but, alas!
He fears the money will for liquor pass;
Or that the seaman might to flatterers lend,
Or give support to some pretended friend :
Still he must write-he wrote, and he confess'd
That, till absolved, he should be sore distress'd;
But one so friendly would, he thought, forgive
The hasty deed-heaven knew how he should live;
But you," he added, “as a man of sense,
Have well consider'd danger and expense:
I ran, alas! into the fatal snare,
And now for trouble must my mind prepare ;
And how, with children, I shall pick my way,
Through a hard world, is more than I can say:
Then change not, brother, your more happy state,
Or on the hazard long deliberate."
George answer'd gravely, "It is right and fit,
In all our crosses, humbly to submit:
Your apprehensions are unwise, unjust;
Forbear repining, and expel distrust."
He added, "Marriage was the joy of life,"
And gave his service to his brother's wife;
Then vow'd to bear in all expense a part,
And thus concluded, "Have a cheerful heart."
Had the glad Isaac been his brother's guide, In these same terms the seaman had replied; At such reproofs the crafty landsman smiled, And softly said, "This creature is a child."
Twice had the gallant ship a capture made,
And when in port the happy crew were paid,
Home went the sailor, with his pocket stored,
Ease to enjoy, and pleasure to afford;
His time was short, joy shone in every face,
Isaac half fainted in the fond embrace :
lies?" "O! but there's danger."-" Danger in the fleet? You cannot mean, good brother, of defeat; And other dangers I at land must share-So now adieu! and trust a brother's care."
Isaac awhile demurr'd-but, in his heart,
So might he share, he was disposed to part:
The better mind will sometimes feel the pain
Of benefactions-favour is a chain ;
The wife resolved her honour'd guest to please,
The children clung upon their uncle's knees;
But they the feeling scorn, and what they wish The grog went round, the neighbours drank his
And George exclaim'd, "Ah! what to this is wealth?
Better," said he, "to bear a loving heart,
Thon roll in riches- -but we now must part!"
While beings form'd in coarser mould will hate
The helping hand they ought to venerate;
No wonder George should in this cause prevail,
With one contending who was glad to fail :
"Isaac, farewell! do wipe that doleful eye;
Crying we came, and groaning we may
Let us do something 'twixt the groan and cry:
All yet is still-but hark! the winds o'ersweep The rising waves, and howl upon the deep; Ships late becalm'd on mountain-billows rideSo life is threaten'd, and so man is tried.
Ill were the tidings that arrived from sea,
The worthy George must now a cripple be;
His leg was lopp'd; and though his heart was sound,
Though his brave captain was with glory crown'd,
Yet much it vex'd him to repose on shore,
An idle log, and be of use no more:
True, he was sure that Isaac would receive
All of his brother that the foe might leave;
To whom the seaman his design had sent,
Ere from the port the wounded hero went :
His wealth and expectations told, he "knew
Wherein they fail'd, what Isaac's love would do;
That he the grog and cabin would supply,
Where George at anchor during life would lie."
The landsman read-and, reading, grew dis-
'Could he resolve t' admit so poor a guest?
Better at Greenwich might the sailor stay,
Unless his purse could for his comforts pay;"
So Isaac judged, and to his wife appeal'd,
But yet acknowledged it was best to yield:
Perhaps his pension, with what sums remain
Due or unsquander'd, may the man maintain;
Refuse we must not."-With a heavy sigh
The lady heard, and made her kind reply:
"Nor would I wish it, Isaac, were we sure
How long his crazy building will endure;
Like an old house, that every day appears
About to fall-he may be propp'd for years;
For a few months, indeed, we might comply,
But these old batter'd fellows never die."
The hand of Isaac, George on entering took,
With love and resignation in his look;
Declared his comfort in the fortune past,
And joy to find his anchor safely cast;
"Call then my nephews, let the grog be brought,
And I will tell them how the ship was fought."
Alas! our simple seaman should have known, That all the care, the kindness, he had shown, Were from his brother's heart, if not his memory, flown :
All swept away to be perceived no more,
Like idle structures on the sandy shore;
The chance amusement of the playful boy,
That the rude billows in their rage destroy.
That Isaac seem'd concern'd by his distress
Gave to his injured feelings some redress;
But none he found disposed to lend an ear
To stories, all were once intent to hear:
Except his nephew, seated on his knee,
He found no creature cared about the sea;
But George indeed-for George they call'd the
When his good uncle was their boast and joy-
Would listen long, and would contend with sleep,
To hear the woes and wonders of the deep;
Till the fond mother cried-"That man will
find His brother wishing to be reckon'd kind:
The foolish boy his loud and boisterous speech."
So judged the father-and the boy was taught
To shun the uncle, whom his love had sought.
The mask of kindness now but seldom worn,
George felt each evil harder to be borne;
And cried, (vexation growing day by day,)
Ah! brother Isaac !-What! I'm in the way!"
"No! on my credit, look ye, No! but I
Am fond of peace, and my repose would buy
On any terms-in short, we must comply:
My spouse had money-she must have her will-
Ah! brother-marriage is a bitter pill."
George tried the lady-" Sister, I offend."
Me?" she replied-"O no!-you may depend On my regard-but watch your brother's way, Whom I, like you, must study and obey."
"Ah!" thought the seaman, "what a head was
That easy birth at Greenwich to resign!
I'll to the parish"--but a little pride,
And some affection, put the thought aside.
Now gross neglect and open scorn he bore
In silent sorrow-but he felt the more:
The odious pipe he to the kitchen took,
Or strove to profit by some pious book.
When the mind stoops to this degraded state,
New griefs will darken the dependant's fate;
"Brother!" said Isaac, "you will sure excuse
The little freedom I'm compell'd to use:
My wife's relations-(curse the haughty crew)-
Affect such niceness, and such dread of you:
You speak so loud-and they have natures soft-
Poor George confess'd, though loath the truth to Brother--I wish--do go upon the loft!"
Poor George obey'd, and to the garret filed,
Where not a being saw the tears he shed:
But more was yet required, for guests were come,
Who could not dine if he disgraced the room.
find, Slight was his knowledge of a brother's mind: The vulgar pipe was to the wife offence,
The frequent grog to Isaac an expense;
Would friends like hers, she question'd, "choose to It shock'd his spirit to be esteem'd unfit
With an own brother and his wife to sit;
He grew rebellious-at the vestry spoke
For weekly aid---they heard it as a joke:
Where clouds of poison'd fume defiled a room?
This could their lady friend, and Burgess Steel,
(Teased with his worship's asthma,) bear to feel?
Could they associate or converse with him-
A loud rough sailor with a timber limb?"
So kind a brother, and so wealthy--you
Apply to us?--No! this will never do :
Good neighbour Fletcher," said the overseer,
"We are engaged-you can have nothing here!"
Cold as he grew, still Isaac strove to show,
By well-feign'd care, that cold he could not grow;
And when he saw his brother look distress'd,
He strove some petty comforts to suggest;
On his wife solely their neglect to lay,
And then t' excuse it, is a woman's way;
He too was chidden when her rules he broke,
And then she sicken'd at the scent of smoke.
George, though in doubt, was still consoled to And he was soothed by the attentive boy.
George mutter'd something in despairing tone,
Then sought his loft, to think and grieve alone;
Neglected, slighted, restless on his bed,
With heart half broken, and with scraps ill fed;
Yet was he pleased, that hours for play design'd
Were given to ease his ever-troubled mind;
The child still listen'd with increasing joy,
At length he sicken'd, and this duteous child Watch'd o'er his sickness, and his pains beguiled;
The mother bade him from the loft refrain,
But, though with caution, yet he went again;
And now his tales the sailor feebly told,
His heart was heavy, and his limbs were cold:
The tender boy came often to entreat
His good kind friend would of his presents eat;
Purloin'd or purchased, for he saw, with shame,
The food untouch'd that to his uncle came;
Who, sick in body and in mind, received
The boy's indulgence, gratified and grieved.
"Uncle will die!" said George-the piteous
Exclaim'd, "She saw no value in his life;
But sick or well, to my commands attend,
And go no more to your complaining friend."
The boy was vex'd; he felt his heart reprove
The stern decree.-What! punish'd for his love!
No! he would go, but softly to the room,
Stealing in silence-for he knew his doom.
Once in a week the father came to say,
"George, are you ill?"-and hurried him away;
Yet to his wife would on their duties dwell,
And often cry," Do use my brother well:"
And something kind, no question, Isaac meant,
Who took vast credit for the vague intent.
But truly kind, the gentle boy essay'd
To cheer his uncle, firm, although afraid;
But now the father caught him at the door,
And, swearing-yes, the man in office swore,
And cried, "Away! How! brother, I'm surprised,
That one so old can be so ill advised:
Let him not dare to visit you again,
Your cursed stories will disturb his brain;
Is it not vile to court a foolish boy,
Your own absurd narrations to enjoy ?
What! sullen!-ha! George Fletcher! you shall
George, are you dumb? do learn to know your friends,
And think a while on whom your bread depends:
What! not a word? be thankful I am cool-
But, sir, beware, no longer play the fool;
Come! brother, come! what is that you seek
By this rebellion ?-Speak, you villain, speak!-
Weeping! I warrant-sorrow makes you dumb:
I'll ope your mouth, impostor! if I come :
Let me approach-I'll shake you from the bed,
You stubborn dog-O God! my brother's dead!"
Timid was Isaac, and in all the past
He felt a purpose to be kind at last;
Nor did he mean his brother to depart.
Till he had shown this kindness of his heart:
But day by day he put the cause aside,
Induced by avarice, peevishness, or pride.
But now awaken'd, from this fatal time
His conscience Isaac felt, and found his crime:
He raised to George a monumental stone,
And there retired to sigh and think alone;
An ague seized him, he grew pale, and shook-
"So," said his son, "would my poor uncle look."-
And so, my child, shall I like him expire."-
No! you have physic and a cheerful fire."
Unhappy sinner! yes, I'm well supplied
With every comfort my cold heart denied."
He view'd his brother now, but not as one
Who vex'd his wife by fondness for her son;
Not as with wooden limb, and seaman's tale,
The odious pipe, vile grog, or humbler ale:
He now the worth and grief alone can view
Of one so mild, so generous, and so true;
"The frank, kind brother, with such open heart,
And I to break it-'twas a demon's part!"
Proud as you are, your bread depends on me!"
So Isaac now, as led by conscience, feels,
Nor his unkindness palliates or conceals.
"This is your folly," said his heartless wife.
Alas! my folly cost my brother's life;
It suffer'd him to languish and decay,
My gentle brother, whom I could not pay,
And therefore left to pine, and fret his life away."
He spoke, and, frowning, to his dinner went,
Then cool'd and felt some qualms of discontent;
And thought on times when he compell'd his son
To hear these stories, nay, to beg for one :
But the wife's wrath o'ercame the brother's pain,
And shame was felt, and conscience rose in vain.
George yet stole up, he saw his uncle lie
Sick on the bed, and heard his heavy sigh:
So he resolved, before he went to rest,
To comfort one so dear and so distress'd;
Then watch'd his time, but with a childlike art,
Betray'd a something treasured at his heart:
He takes his son, and bids the boy unfold
All the good uncle of his feelings told,
All he lamented-and the ready tear
Falls as he listens, soothed, and grieved to hear.
"Did he not curse me, child?"-" He never
But could not breathe, and said his heart would
Th' observant wife remark'd, "The boy is" And so will mine."-" Then, father, you must
My uncle said it took his pains away."
Repeating thus his sorrows, Isaac shows
So like your brother, that he seems his own;
So close and sullen! and I still suspect
They often meet-do watch them and detect."
George now remark'd that all was still
That he, repenting, feels the debt he owes,
And from this source alone his every comfort flows.
He takes no joy in office, honours, gain;
They make him humble, nay, they give him pain;
"These from my heart," he cries, all feeling
And hasten'd up with terror and delight;
"Uncle" he cried, and softly tapp'd the door;
"Do let me in"--but he could add no more;
The careful father caught him in the fact,
And cried,-" You serpent! is it thus you act?
Back to your mother!"-and with hasty blow,
He sent th' indignant boy to grieve below;
Then at the door an angry speech began-
"Is this your conduct?-is it thus you plan?
Seduce my child, and make my house a scene
Of vile dispute--What is it that you mean?-
They made me cold to nature, dead to love:"
He takes no joy in home, but sighing, sees
A son in sorrow, and a wife at ease:
He takes no joy in office-see him now,
And Burgess Steel has but a passing bow;
Of one sad train of gloomy thoughts possess'd,
He takes no joy in friends, in food, in rest-
Dark are the evil days, and void of peace the best,
He is a better scholar than I thought he was
He has a good sprag memory.
AN honest man was Farmer Jones, and true,
He did by all as all by him should do;
Grave, cautious, careful, fond of gain was he,
Yet famed for rustic hospitality:
Left with his children in a widow'd state,
The quiet man submitted to his fate;
Though prudent matrons waited for his call,
With cool forbearance he avoided all;
Though each profess'd a pure maternal joy,
By kind attention to his feeble boy :
And though a friendly widow knew no rest,
Whilst neighbour Jones was lonely and distress'd:
Nay, though the maidens spoke in tender tone
Their hearts' concern to see him left alone-
Jones still persisted in that cheerless life,
As if 'twere sin to take a second wife.
"Yes," he replied," it calls for pains and care;
But I must bear it."-" Sir, you cannot bear;
Your son is weak, and asks a mother's eye."—
That, my kind friend, a father's may supply."-
"Such growing griefs your very soul will tease."
"To grieve another would not give me ease-
I have mother"-" She, poor ancient soul!
Can she the spirits of the young control?
Can she thy peace promote, partake thy care,
Procure thy comforts, and thy sorrows share?
Age is itself impatient, uncontroll'd."-
But wives like mothers must at length be old."—
Thou hast shrewd servants-they are evils sore."
Engage he dared not, and he could not fly,
But saw his hope in gentle parley lie;
Merry Wives of Windsor, act iv. sc. 1. That in his pride the hero might pursue;
One that feeds
"Yet a shrewd mistress might afflict me more."—
"Wilt thou not be a weary wailing man ?"—
"Alas! and I must bear it as I can."
Resisted thus, the widow soon withdrew,
And off his wonted guard, in some retreat,
Find from a foe prepared entire defeat:
But he was prudent, for he knew in flight
These Parthian warriors turn again and fight:
He but at freedom, not at glory aim'd,
And only safety by his caution claim'd.
Thus, when a great and powerful state decrees,
Upon a small one, in its love, to seize-
It vows in kindness to protect, defend,
And be the fond ally, the faithful friend;
It therefore wills that humbler state to place
Its hopes of safety in a fond embrace;
Then must that humbler state its wisdom prove,
By kind rejection of such pressing love;
Must dread such dangerous friendship to com-
And stand collected in its own defence:-
Our farmer thus the proffer'd kindness fled,
And shunn'd the love that into bondage led.
The widow failing, fresh besiegers came,
To share the fate of this retiring dame :
And each foresaw a thousand ills attend
The man that fled from so discreet a friend;
And pray'd, kind soul! that no event might make
The harden'd heart of Farmer Jones to ache.
O! 'tis a precious thing, when wives are dead, To find such numbers who will serve instead: And in whatever state a man be thrown, "Tis that precisely they would wish their own; Left the departed infants-then their joy Is to sustain each lovely girl and boy : Whatever calling his, whatever trade, To that their chief attention has been paid; His happy taste in all things they approve, His friends they honour, and his food they love; His wish for order, prudence in affairs, And equal temper, (thank their stars!) are theirs; Companions dear, with speech and spirits mild, In fact, it seem'd to be a thing decreed,
The boy indeed was, at the grandam's side,
Humour'd and train'd, her trouble and her pride:
And fix'd as fate, that marriage must succeed;
Yet some like Jones, with stubborn hearts and hard,
Can hear such claims, and show them no regard.
The childish widow and the vapourish child;
This nature prompts; minds uninform'd and weak,
In such alliance ease and comfort seek;
Push'd by the levity of youth aside,
Soon as our farmer, like a general, found
The cares of man, his humour, or his pride,
By what strong foes he was encompass'd round-They feel, in their defenceless state, allied:
The child is pleased to meet regard from age,
The old are pleased e'en children to engage;
But still govern'd with resistless hand,
And where he could not guide, he would command:
With steady view in course direct he steer'd,
And his fair daughters loved him, though they
Each had her school, and, as his wealth was known,
Each had in time a household of her own.
With looks of kindness then, and trembling heart, And all their wisdom, scorn'd by proud mankind, He met the foe, and art opposed to art.
Now spoke that foe insidious-gentle tones,
And gentle looks, assumed for Farmer Jones :
They love to pour into the ductile mind;
By its own weakness into error led,
And by fond age with prejudices fed.
Three girls," the widow cried, "a lively three
To govern well-indeed it cannot be."-
The father, thankful for the good he had,
Yet saw with pain a whining, timid lad ;
Whom he, instructing, led through cultured fields,
To show what man performs, what nature yields:
But Stephen, listless, wander'd from the view,
From beasts he fled, for butterflies he flew,
And idly gazed about, in search of something new.
The lambs indeed he loved, and wish'd to play
With things so mild, so harmless, and so gay;
Best pleased the weakest of the flock to see,
With whom he felt a sickly sympathy.
Meantime, the dame was anxious, day and night,
To guide the notions of her babe aright,
And on the favourite mind to throw her glimmering
Her Bible stories she impress'd betimes,
And fill'd his head with hymns and holy rhymes;
On powers unseen, the good and ill, she dwelt,
And the poor boy mysterious terrors felt;
From frightful dreams, he waking sobb'd in dread,
Till the good lady came to guard his bed.
The father wish'd such errors to correct,
But let them pass in duty and respect:
But more it grieved his worthy mind to see
That Stephen never would a farmer be;
In vain he tried the shiftless lad to guide,
And yet 'twas time that something should be tried:
He at the village school perchance might gain
All that such mind could gather and retain;
Yet the good dame affirm'd her favourite child
Was apt and studious, though sedate and mild;
"That he on many a learned point could speak,
And that his body, not his mind, was weak."
The father doubted-but to school was sent
The timid Stephen, weeping as he went:
There the rude lads compell'd the child to fight,
And sent him bleeding to his home at night;
At this the grandam more indulgent grew,
And bade her darling "Shun the beastly crew;
Whom Satan ruled, and who were sure to lie,
Howling in torments, when they came to die."
This was such comfort, that in high disdain
He told their fate, and felt their blows again :
Yet if the boy had not a hero's heart,
Within the school he play'd a better part;
He wrote a clean, fine hand, and at his slate,
With more success than many a hero, sate;
He thought not much indeed—but what depends
On pains and care, was at his fingers' ends.
This had his father's praise, who now espied
A spark of merit, with a blaze of pride :
And though a farmer he would never make,
He might a pen with some advantage take;
And as a clerk that instrument employ,
So well adapted to a timid boy.
A London cousin soon a place obtain'd,
Easy, but humble-little could be gain'd:
The time arrived when youth and age must part,
Tears in each eye, and sorrow in each heart;
The careful father bade his son attend
To all his duties, and obey his friend;
To keep his church and there behave aright,
As one existing in his Maker's sight,
Till acts to habits led, and duty to delight:
Then try, my boy, as quickly as you can, Tassume the looks and spirit of a man ; I say, be honest, faithful, civil, true, And this you may, and yet have courage too : Heroic men, their country's boast and pride, Have fear'd their God, and nothing fear'd beside :
While others daring, yet imbecile, fly
The power of man, and that of God defy :
Be manly then, though mild, for sure as fate,
Thou art, my Stephen, too effeminate;
Here, take my purse, and make a worthy use
("Tis fairly stock'd) of what it will produce:
And now my blessing, not as any charm
Or conjuration, but 'twill do no harm."
Stephen, whose thoughts were wandering up and down,
Now charm'd with promised sights in London town,
Now loath to leave his grandam-lost the force,
The drift, and tenor of this grave discourse;
But, in a general way, he understood
'Twas good advice, and meant, “My son, be good;"
And Stephen knew that all such precepts mean,
That lads should read their Bible, and be clean.
The good old lady, though in some distress, Begg'd her dear Stephen would his grief suppress; "Nay, dry those eyes, my child-and, first of all, Hold fast thy faith, whatever may befall: Hear the best preacher, and preserve the text For meditation, till you hear the next; Within your Bible night and morning look; There is your duty, read no other book; Be not in crowds, in broils, in riots seen, And keep your conscience and your linen clean: Be you a Joseph, and the time may be, When kings and rulers will be ruled by thee.'
Nay," said the father-" Hush, my son," replied The dame; "The Scriptures must not be denied." The lad, still weeping, heard the wheels approach,
And took his place within the evening coach,
With heart quite rent asunder. On one side
Was love, and grief, and fear, for scenes untried ;
Wild beasts and wax-work fill'd the happier part
Of Stephen's varying and divided heart:
This he betray'd by sighs and questions strange,
of famous shows, the Tower, and the Exchange.
Soon at his desk was placed the curious boy,
Demure and silent at his new employ :
Yet as he could, he much attention paid
To all around him, cautious and afraid;
On older clerks his eager eyes were fix'd,
But Stephen never in their council mix'd:
Much their contempt he fear'd, for if like them,
He felt assured he should himself contemn;
O! they were all so eloquent, so free,
No! he was nothing-nothing could he be :
They dress so smartly, and so boldly look,
And talk as if they read it from a book;
But I," said Stephen, "will forbear to speak, And they will think me prudent and not weak. They talk, the instant they have dropp'd the pen, Of singing women, and of acting men;
Of plays and places where at night they walk
Beneath the lamps, and with the ladies talk;
While other ladies for their pleasure sing,
O! 'tis a glorious and a happy thing:
They would despise me, did they understand
I dare not look upon a scene so grand;
Or see the plays when critics rise and roar,
And hiss and groan, and cry-Encore! encore !-
There's one among them looks a little kind;
If more encouraged, I would ope my mind."
Alas! poor Stephen, happier had he kept
His purpose secret, while his envy slept;