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it, but was not allowed a clearer ex. foundation he might have had for amination, for the person, having, these fears. He told us of no dan. as it seemed, ascertained the nature ger that ought to deter us, but it is of the cavalcade, shot across the hard to conceive that he should road, and disappeared. The beha- have been thus vehement without viour of this unknown person fur cause. We know not what motives nished the travellers with a topic of might have induced him to conceal abundant speculation.
from us the sources of his terror. Few possessed a firmer mind than And since he could not obtain our Miss Davis; but whether she was consent to his attending us, he has assailed, on this occasion, with a taken these means, perhaps, of efmysterious foreboding of her destiny; fecting his purpose. The darkness whether the eloquence of my fears might easily conceal him from our had not, in spite of resolution, infect- observation. He might have passed ed her; or whether she imagined us without our noticing him, or he evils that my incautious temper might have made a circuit in the might draw upon me, and which woods we have just passed, and come might originate in our late inter- out before us.” view, certain it was that her spi. “That I own,' replied the daughrits were visibly depressed. This ter, “is not improbable. If it be accident made no sensible alteration true, I shall be sorry for his own in her. She was still disconsolate sake, but if there be any danger from and incommunicative. All the ef- which his attendance can secure us, forts of her father were insufficient I shall be well pleased for all our to inspire her with cheerfulness. sakes. He will reflect with some He repeatedly questioned her as to satisfaction, perhaps, that he has the cause of this unwonted despon- done or intended us a service. It dency. Her answer was, that her would be cruel to deny him a satisspirits were indeed depressed, but faction so innocent." she believed that the circumstance “ Pray, my dear, what think you was casual. She knew of nothing of this young man? Does his ardour that could justify despondency. But to serve us flow from a right such is humanity. Cheerfulness and source ?" dejection will take their turns in the “ It flows, I have no doubt, from best regulated bosoms, and come a double source. He has a kind and go when they will, and not at heart, and delights to oblige others: the command of reason. This ob. but this is not all. He is likewise servation was succeeded by a pause. in love, and imagines that he canAt length Mr. Davis said, " A not do too much for the object of his thought has just occurred to me. passion.” The person whom we just now saw “Indeed !” exclaimed Mr. Davis, is young Althorpe.”
in some surprise.“ You speak very Miss Davis was startled : “Why, positively. That is no more than I my dear father, should you think suspected; but how came you to so? It is too dark to judge, at this know it with so much certainty ?" distance, by resemblance of figure. “ The information came to me in Ardent and rash as he appears to the directest manner. He told me be, I should scarcely suspect him on so himself.” this occasion. With all the fiery “ So ho! why, the impertinent qualities of youth, unchastised by ex- young rogue !" Derience, untamed by adversity, he “ Nay, my dear father, his beha. is capable no doubt of extravagant viour did not merit that epithet. adventures, but what could induce He is rash and inconsiderate. That him to act in this manner?”
is the utmost amount of his guilt. “You know the fears that he ex- A short absence will show him the pressed concerning the issue of this true state of his feelings. It was night's journey. We know got what upavoidable, in one of his character, to fall in love with the first woman exclaimed Mr. Davis, “ that thing, whose appearance was in any de- whatever it be, haunts us. I do not gree specious. But attachments like like it. This is strange conduct for these will be extinguished as easily young Althorpe to adopt. Instead as they are formed. I do not fear of being our protector, the danger, for him on this account.”
against which he so pathetically " Have you reason to fear for warned us, may be, in some inscruhim on any account?”
table way, connected with this per“ Yes. The period of youth will sonage. It is best to be upon our soon pass away. Overweening and guard.” fickle, he will go on committing one “Nay, my father," said the lady, inistake after another, incapable of “be not disturbed. What danger repairing his errors, or of profiting can be dreaded by two persons from by the daily lessons of experience, one? This thing, I dare say, means His genius will be merely an imple- us no harm. What is at present inment of mischief. His greater ca. explicable might be obvious enough pacity will be evinced merely by if we were better acquainted with the greater portion of unhappiness this neighbourhood. It is not worth that, by means of it, will accrue to a thought. You see it is now gone." others or rebound upon himself.” Mr. Davis looked again, but it was
“I see, my dear, that your spirits no longer discernible. are low. Nothing else, surely, could They were now approaching a suggest such melancholy presages. wood. Mr. Davis called to the guide For my part, I question not, but he to stop. His daughter enquired the will one day be a fine fellow and a reason of this command. She found happy one. I like him exceedingly. it arose from his uncertainty as to I shall take pains to be acquainted the propriety of proceeding. with his future adventures, and do “ I know not how it is," said he, him all the good that I can."
“but I begin to be affected with the “ That intention," said his daugh- fears of young Althorpe. I am half ter, “ is worthy of the goodness of resolved not to enter this wood. your heart. He is no less an object That light yonder informs that a of regard to me than to you. I trust house is near. It may not be unadI shall want neither the power nor visable to stop. I cannot think of inclination to contribute to his wel. delaying our journey till morning; fare. At present, however, his but, by stopping a few minutes, we welfare will be best promoted by may possibly collect some useful inforgetting me. · Hereafter, I shall formation. Perhaps it will be expesolicit a renewal of intercourse." dient and practicable to procure the
o Speak lower," said the father. attendance of another person. I am “If I mistake not, there is the same not well pleased with myself for deperson again.” He pointed to the cling our young friend's offer." field that skirted the road on the left To this proposal Miss Davis obhand. The young lady's better eyes jected the inconveniences that callenabled her to detect his mistake. ing at a farmer's house, at this time It was the trunk of a cherry-tree of night, when all were retired to that he had observed.
rest, would probably occasion. “BeThey proceeded in silence. Con- sides," continued she, “the light trary to custom, the lady was buried which you saw is gone : a sufficient in musing. Her father, whose tem- proof that it was nothing but a meper and inclinations were moulded teor." by those of his child, insensibly sub- At this moment they heard a sided into the same state.
noise, at a small distance behind The re-appearance of the same them, as of shutting a gate. They figure that had already excited their called. Speedily an answer was reattention diverted them anew from turned in a tone of mildness. The their contemplations. “As I live," person approached the chaise, and enquired who they were, whence were likely to encounter, we entirely they came, whither they were going, and unaccountably overlooked one and, lastly, what they wanted. circumstance, from which inquietude
Mr. Davis explained to this inquic night reasonably have been expectsitive person, in a few words, the ed. Near the spot where they now nature of their situation, mentioned were, lived a Mr. Handyside, whose the appearance on the road, and only son was an idiot. He also mequestioned him, in his turn, as to rited the name of monster, if a prowhat inconveniences were to be jecting breast, a mis-shapen head, feared from prosecuting his journey. features horrid and distorted, and a Satisfactory answers were returned voice that resembled nothing that to these enquiries.
was ever before heard, could entitle “ As to what you seed in the him to that appellation. This beroad," continued he, “I reckon it ing, besides the natural deformity of was nothing but a sheep or a cow. his frame, wore looks and practised I am not more scary than some gesticulations that were, in an infolks, but I never goes out a' nights conceivable degree, uncouth and without I sees some sich thing as hideous. He was mischievous, but that, that I takes for a man or won his freaks were subjects of little apman, and am scared a little often- prehension to those who were actimes, but not much. I'm sure after customed to them, though they were to find that it's not nothing but a cow, frequently occasions of alarm to or hog, or tree, or something. If it strangers. He particularly delight. wasn't some sich thing you seed, I ed in imposing on the ignorance of reckon it was Nick Handyside." strangers and the timidity of wo
66 Nick Handyside! who was men. He was a perpetual rover. he?”
Entirely bereft of reason, his sole “ It was a fellow that went about employment consisted in sleeping, the country a' nights. A shocking and eating, and roaming. He would fool to be sure, that loved to plague frequently escape at night, and a and frighten people. Yes. Yes. thousand anecdotes could have been It couldn't be nobody, he reckoned, detailed respecting the tricks which but Nick. Nick was a droll thing. Nick Handyside had played upon He wondered they'd never heard of way-farers. Nick. He reckoned they were Other considerations, however, strangers in these here parts." had, in this instance, so much en
" Very true, my friend. But who grossed our minds, that Nick Handyis Nick? Is he a reptile to be side had never been once thought of shunned, or trampled on?
or mentioned. This was the more “ Why I don't know how as that. remarkable, as there had very lateNick is an odd soul to be sure ; but ly happened an adventure, in which he don't do nobody no harm, as ever this person had acted a principal I heard, except by scaring them. part. He had wandered from home, He is easily skeart though, for that and got bewildered in a desolate matter, himself. He loves to fright- tract, known by the name of Noren folks, but he's shocking apt to be wood. It was a region, rude, sterile, frightened himself. I reckon you and lonely, bestrewn with rocks, and took Nick for a ghost. That's a embarrassed with bushes. shocking good story, I declare. Yet He had remained for some days it's happened hundreds and hundreds in this wilderness. Unable to exof times, I guess, and more."
tricate himself, and, at length, torWhen this circumstance was men- mented with hunger, he manifested tioned, my uncle, as well as myself, his distress by the most doleful was astonished at our own negli- shrieks. These were uttered with gence. While enumerating, on the most vehemence, and heard at greatpreceding evening, the obstacles and est distance, by night. At first, inconveniences which the travellers those who heard them were panicstruck ; but, at length, they furnish- cies of dexterity. His talents, dif. ed a clue by which those who were ferently applied, would have excited in search of him were guided to the rational admiration. He was fleet spot. Notwithstanding the recent as a deer. He was patient, to an ness and singularity of this adven- incredible degree, of watchfulness, ture, and the probability that our and cold, and hunger. He had imguests would suffer molestation from proved the flexibility of his voice, this cause, so strangely forgetful had till his cries, always loud and rueful, we been, that no caution on this were capable of being diversified head had been given. This caution, without end. Instances had been indeed, as the event testified, would known, in which the stoutest heart have been superfluous, and yet I was appalled by them; and some, cannot enough wonder that in hunts particularly in the case of women, ing for some reason, by which I in which they had been productive might justify my fears to them or to of consequences truly deplorable. myself, I had totally overlooked this When the travellers had arrived mischief-loving idiot.
at that part of the wood where, as After listening to an ample de. they had been informed, it was need. scription of Nick, being warned to ful to be particularly cautious, Mr. proceed with particular caution in a Davis, for their greater security, part of the road that was near at proposed to bis daughter to alight. hand, and being assured that they The exercise of walking, he thought, had nothing to dread from human after so much time spent in a close interference, they resumed their carriage, would be salutary and journey with new confidence. pleasant. The young lady readily
Their attention was frequently embraced the proposal. They forthexcited by rustling leaves or stum- with alighted, and walked at a small bling footsteps, and the figure which distance before the chaise, which they doubted not to belong to Nick was now conducted by the servant. Handyside, occasionally hovered in From this moment the spectre, their sight. This appearance no which, till now, had been occasionlonger inspired them with appre- ally visible, entirely disappeared. hension. They had been assured This incident naturally led the conthat a stern voice was sufficient to versation to this topic. So singular repulse him, when most importu- a specimen of the forms which hu. nate. This antic being treated all man nature is found to assume could others as children. He took plea- not fail of suggesting a variety of resure in the effects which the sight marks, of his own deformity produced, and They pictured to themselves mabetokened his satisfaction by a laugh, ny combinations of circumstances which might have served as a mo- in which Handyside might be the del to the poet who has depicted agent, and in which the most mothe ghastly risibilitios of Death. mentous effects might flow from his On this occasion, however, the moue agency, without its being possible ster behaved with unusual moder- for others to conjecture the true naation. He never came near enough ture of the agent. The propensities for his peculiarities to be distin- of this being might contribute to reguished by star-light. There was alize, on an American road, many nothing fantastic in his motions, nor of those imaginary tokens and perils any thing surprising, but the cele- which abound in the wildest rority of his transitions. They were mance. He would be an admirable unaccompanied by those howls, machine, in a plan whose purpose which reminded you at one time of was to generate or foster, in a given a troop of hungry wolves, and had, subject, the frenzy of quixotism.at another, something in them No theatre was better adapted than inexpressibly wild and melancholy. Norwood to such an exhibition. This monster possessed a certain spe. This part of the country had long been deserted by beasts of prey. cingly shrill, was uttered by one at Bears might still, perhaps, be found less than twenty paces from them. during a very rigorous season, but The monster had shown some wolves which, when the country was skill in the choice of a spot suitable a desert, were extremely numerous, to his design. Neighbouring preci. had now, in consequence of increas- pices, and a thick umbrage of oaks, ing population, withdrawn to more on either side, contributed to prosavage haunts. Yet the voice of long and to heighten his terrible Handyside, varied with the force and notes. They were rendered more skill of which he was known to be awful by the profound stillness that capable, would fill these shades with preceded and followed them. They outcries as ferocious as those which were able speedily to quiet the tre. are to be heard in Siamese or Abys. pidations which this hideous outcry, sinian forests. The tale of his re- in spite of preparation and foresight, cent elopement had been told by the had produced, but they had not foreman with whom they had just part. seen one of its unhappy consequences. ed, in a rustic but picturesque style. In a moment Mr. Davis was
“ But why," said the lady, “ did alarmed by the rapid sound of footnot our kind host inform us of this steps behind him. His presence of circumstance? He must surely have mind, on this occasion, probably been well acquainted with the exis. saved himself and his daughter from tence and habits of this Handyside. instant destruction. He leaped out He must have perceived to how of the path, and, by a sudden exermany groundless alarms our igno- tion, at the same moment, threw the rance, in this respect, was likely to lady to some distance from the tract. expose us. It is strange that he did The horse that drew the chaise not afford us the slightest intimation rushed by them with the celerity of of it."
lightning. Affrighted at the sounds Mr. Davis was no less surprised which had been uttered at a still at this omission. He was at a loss less distance from the horse than to conceive how this should be for- from Mr. Davis, possibly with a gotten in the midst of those minute malicious design to produce this directions, in which every cause had very effect, he jerked the bridle been laboriously recollected from from the hands that held it, and which he might incur danger or suf- rushed forward with headlong speed. fer obstruction.
The man, before he could provide This person, being no longer an for his own safety, was beaten to object of terror, began to be regard the earth. He was considerably ed with a very lively curiosity. bruised by the fall, but presently re. They even wished for his appear covered his feet, and went in pur. ance and near approach, that they suit of the horse. might carry away with them more This accident happened at about definite conceptions of his figure. a hundred yards from the oak,
The lady declared she should be against which so many cautions had highly pleased by hearing his out- been given. It was not possible, at cries, and consoled herself with the any time, without considerable cau, belief, that he would not allow them tion, to avoid it. It was not to be to pass the limits which he had pre- wondered at, therefore, that, in a scribed to his wanderings, without few seconds, the carriage was shockgreeting them with a strain or two ed against the trunk, overturned, This wish had scarcely been uttered, and dashed into a thousand frage when it was completely gratified. ments. The noise of the crash sut.
The lady involuntarily started, ficiently informed them of this event. and caught hold of her father's arm. Had the horse been inclined to stop, Mr. Davis himself was disconcerted. a repetition, for the space of some A scream, dismally loud, and pier- minutes, of the same savage and ter