Графични страници
PDF файл

come in contact with them. Besides, it was beneath one of the Elect to descend to such an intercourse with a mere profane person. Hence, what he did, was always by deputy, in the person of Mr. Gamaliel, his butler, who gave


poor woman to understand, that from her too great anxiety in attending to her children, which interfered with her praying, she was, as Touchstone said to the Shepherd, in a parlous state, and would certainly be damned.' Indeed, his master says as much of me, because once, in an argument with him, I said I believed that Christ died for the whole world, if they obeyed his gospel, and not merely for half-adozen self-elect, who called themselves the godly.

“But let us leave such trumpery to themselves, and return to Whittington and his cat. I wrote to Fothergill last night to tell him you were here, and ask whether I was right in the opinion I had formed of you ; for, to tell you the truth, I have been frequently taken in, both by men and women, from a sort of headlong disposition to rush at once into liking or disliking a person from the impulse of the moment. I hated Sir William the first time I saw him, though I could not tell why; but I was not wrong there."

This account of himself did not too much delight me. I was afraid he might have repented, or would do so; or that, with all his seeming sobriety and judgment, he might be capricious. In short, I

felt alarmed, and by way of feeling the ground, ventured to ask if I might know how he, who appeared so judicious, could be so taken in; and whether most by men or women? In short, I wished him to develop himself, that I might better understand him.

“A very modest request," answered he, laughing; “yet, as you are a kinsman, and about to launch into the world, I should have no objection to give you a few cautions, the result of a pretty long experience."

“ I should desire nothing better,” said I; “ and it would crown the obligations I already feel to you.”

“ It however requires time," said he," for, from the nature of objects on which I have fixed my affections, I have passed my latter days with few disappointments; trees, and blossoms, and books deceive little, so that I have, in fact, had no enemy but winter and rough weather.' I have, therefore, been little out of humour in consequence, and have nearly forgotten the whips and scorns of earlier, and more active life. 66 But let me see.

Oh! there was the Duke of Brakenbury: I was one of his party in politics, and, he was pleased to say, a serviceable one. I helped him also in his county ; we were hand and glove; I dined with him every week in town, and staid sometimes a month with him in the country.

I attributed this at first to our political connection alone; but he swore that had I no seat in parliament, or thought differently from him on public questions, he would have singled me out as a private friend. Well, he changed his party, though there was no change of measures ; I refused to follow him; and he never spoke to me afterwards.

“ There was another great man—a very great man—whose county interests I espoused with effect when at Bolton-le-Moor; but I left the castle, and from that time to this we have been scarcely civil.

- What I think of, however, with most regret, is the separation from me by a man I really loved, from a low spirit of rivalry, and consequent ill usage, to which I thought him superior. We were college friends; had many tastes in common; and he was often my companion at the Warren-house, where we read together. Both were destined for public life, and embarked in it under the same leader—his Grace of Brakenbury; but, from being more highly connected, I was rather more among people of fashion. This was the first grievance; for Dalton's weakness was an ambition to have a high place in that class. He married early, and his wife, the daughter of a nabob, shared, or rather went beyond him in this ambition ; and my mother, Lady Elizabeth, living then in town, our families became intimate,

The jealousy I have mentioned soon shewed itself. The coronets, too often at our door, and too seldom at theirs, gave umbrage: wé were watched at public places, and quarrelled with for only being noticed by our titled friends and relations, while they had none of the same rank to notice them.

It absorbed us, they said, so much as to make us neglect them. This was sad nonsense. But I was in parliament-Dalton not. This was not so easily forgiven. I made a speech which got me some credit, but it was unfairly represented, and contemptuously criticized in one of the papers, with a laboured attempt to shew how much better it might have been, if certain omissions had not been made, and certain topics had been omitted. This was noted by the duke, and in discussing it with bim, I gathered that he knew the criticism was by Dalton.

But criticism did not stop here. I was romantic; and, to amuse myself, I wrote a romance ch had a run. My friend turned author too, and wrote a political pamphlet, which nobody read. My romance was cut all to pieces, or thought to be so, in one of the Reviews. The Review was laughed at, and the romance went through several editions. You will hardly believe that Dalton was the reviewer. Both he and his wife professed to admire my work ; but the lady, in her private circle, always thanked God that her husband did not write romances.

“Could our friendship continue ? No! we came

to no explanations ; but Dalton, knowing I had discovered him, saved me the trouble, by never coming near me, and we gradually cooled off without any eclat."

“ This is not much encouragement,” said I, seeing Mr. Manners had finished this part of his story, “ for a young gentleman beginning his progress in life. You said you had been taken in both by men and women. I trust you have no more cases against the men ?”

“ Few of any consequence, at least, to my happiness,” replied he; “ and as to the higher crimi. nals against the state or general morals, they belong to a higher class, and not to the category we are upon.”

“ I trust, then, you will come to the women, which, I own, I am curious to hear.”

“ If you expect a history of jilting and broken vows, you will be disappointed,” replied he ; " and you will recollect I only said I had been not unfrequently deceived in the expectations I had too hastily formed as to the characters of individual females.”

“ This will be quite interesting enough,” said I, “ if you will but proceed."

“ It will not be very easy,” returned he, “ if only from an embarras de richesses. For, though I do not agree with Pope, that

'Most women have no character at all,'

« ПредишнаНапред »