Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Dear scenes of fweer content, and careless ease,

Where in unchanging bliss the seasons rollid, Where Winter's storm, or Summer's genial breeze,

Could some peculiar beauty still unfold.

The charmer Hope then perch'd on every bough,

And fung of Friendthip true, and Love sincere ; While Fancy twin'd her wreath round youth's fair

brou',

And Mem’ry's annals mark'd no transient tear.

But now-he charnier Hope is heard no more! Gone are my youth's lov'd friends ;--for ever

gone! The dear delusile dreams of blifs are o'er,

And all fair Fancy's airy train is flown!

Sąd Mem'ry now must these lov'd haunts invade

With the dark forms of many a heart-felt grief, With bosom’d forrow's, filent as this shade,

Sorrows from lenient Time that scorn relief.

As to each well known object Mem'ry clings,

She bids the tear of deep regret to flow; To every foriner scene of blits the brings

The throb of anguish, and the sigh of Woe.

As she retraces every blissful hour,

Here spent with cheerful Hope, and youthful joy, Hope loft! Joy gone for ever ;--

[ocr errors]

*

*

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

*

The tears which had fallen on the remaining lines had rendered them totally illegible. Those which suffused ihe blue eyes of the gentle Emma, stopt her utter

ance, she haftily put the tablets in her pocket-and we proce:ded in filence.

In a spot that was peculiarly feltered by a row of beeches, whose leaves hata now assumed the colour of the diied innamon, ftood the remains of an arbour, which had once been covered with the most beautiful creepers this ungenial climate can produce, but which unsuppoi!ed now fell upon the grourd: ro bad emblem of the mind of their former will trels, who fat at the entrance of the arbour, on the trunk of a fallen tree. Her countenance wore the traces of melar. choly, kut the manner in which she received the salatations of my friends, showed that her heart was still capable of the most animated affection. Me too she received with kindnefs, though the ideas affociated with my appearance gave a perceptible emotion to her already agitated spirits. She made an effort to banish the melancholy ideas whichliad of late been fo familiar to her mind; and having satisfied Emma as to the reasons that induced her 10 stop at Morley-farm, she cheerfully acquiefced in her proposal of returning with us to Violet-dale, where she was received with the cordial welcome of fincere affection; and where,

in the happiness of her friends, her own sorrows appear to be forgotten.

In this temple of domestic bliss, the fright of time has been so imperceptible, that a whole week, which has elapsed since I laid down my pen, appears but as a day.

We know that one of the fourteen precious things which were produced in the churning of the ocean, was a learned physician: but which of the sages of the tribe of Vaidya ever contrived a remedy of such approved efficacy, as the conversation of a faithful and judicious friend?

Such a one has Miss Percy experienced in the father of Denbeigh. He has alrea. dy convinced her that the indulgence of melancholy, instead of being an amiable weakness, rather deserving of admiration than censure, is, in reality, equally selfish and finful.-It is, he says, the height of ingratitude to the Giver of all good, peevilhly to refuse the enjoyment of the many blessings that are left us, because we are deprived of a few, which were in their very natures perishable.-“ But, alas!” replied Miss Percy, “ what is left to those whose earliest and dearest friends have been snatched from them by the hand of death?"

" Much is left to all,” replied Mr. Denbeigh. “ No one, who enjoys the

ather deservilis, equally.cht of

etorted the mill have no

blessings of health, and a peaceful conscience, can, without ingratitude repine. The proper discharge of the duties of life is a source of happiness to every well regulated mind.”

“ But how circumscribed are the limits of those duties to a female, who has no longer any parent to attend on : no family tì manage : no fortune to bestow in deeds of charity; and who has it little in her power to be useful, even to a friend?” .

« And is the gift of reason then nothing ?” retorted Mr. Denbeigh. “ And are the powers of the mind to lie dormant, because, forsooth, you have not now the management of a family: or the exercise of the benevolent affections to be given up, because you have not a fortune to build alms-houses? These are the meer subterfuges of indolence. Believe me, my dear Charlotte, that whoever feriously resolves not to suffer any opportunity of benefiting a fellow-creature to pass unemployed, will find, that the power of doing good is not circumscribed within very .parrow limits. .." Why, (let me ask you farther) should

your mind, cultivated as it has been by education, and improved by listening to the conversation of the enlightened and judicious; why should it not exert its

powers, not only for your own entertainment, but for the instruction, or innocent amusement of others ?”

« Ah! Sir," returned Charlotte, “ you know how female writers are looked down upon. The women fear, and bate; the men ridicule, and dislike them.”

" This may be the case with the mere mob, who receive every prejudice upon trust,” rejoined Mr. Denbeigh; « but if the simplicity of your character remains unchanged--if the virtues of your heart receive no alloy from the vanity of authorship; trust me, my dear Charlotte, you will not be the less dear to any friend that is deserving of your love, for having employed your leisure hours in a way that is both innocent and rational.”

Thus did this venerable old man persuade Miss Percy to reconcile her mind to the evils of her destiny, and, by the exertion of activity, to seek the road to contentment. Nor has his attention been confined to her. Me also, he has honoured with much of his jostructive conversation. He has been particularly folicitous to know my opinions concerning all that I have feen in England; and expecting to reap advantage from his observations, I have put into his hands a * copy of all my letters to you. These it

« EdellinenJatka »