« ПредишнаНапред »
“Shame I can bear," she cried, “ and want sus. Assured that law, with spell secure and tight, tain,
Had fix'd it as her own peculiar right. But will not see this guilty wretch again ;"
Now to her ancient residence removed, For all was last, and he, with many a tear, She lived as widow, well endow'd and loved, Confess d the fault-she turning scorn'd to hear. Decent her table was, and to her door To legal claim he yielded all his worth,
Came daily welcomed the neglected poor : But small the portion, and the wrong'd were wroth, | The absent sick were soothed by her relief, Nor to their debtor would a part allow;
As her free bounty sought the haunts of grief; And where to live he knew not-knew not how. A plain and homely charity had she,
The wise a cottage found, and thither went And loved the objects of her alms to see ; The suppliant man, but she would not relent: With her own hands she dress'd the savoury meat, Thenceforth she utter'd with indignant tone, With her own fingers wrote the choice receipt; “I feel the misery, and will feel alone."
She heard all tales that injured wives relate, He would turn servant for her sake, would keep And took a double interest in their fate; The poorest school; the very streets would sweep. But of all husbands not a wretch was known To show his love." It was already shown: So vile, so mean, so cruel as her own. And her affliction should be all her own.
This bounteous lady kept an active spy, His wants and weakness might have touch'd her To search th' abodes of want, and to supply ; heart,
The genile Susan served the liberal dameBut from his meanness she resolved to part." Unlike their notions, yet their deeds the same:
In a small alley was she lodged, beside No practised villain could a victim find Its humblest poor, and at the view she cried, Than this stern lady more completely blind ; * Welcome-yes! let me welcome, if I can, Nor (if detected in his fraud) could meet The fortune dealt me by this cruel man;
One less disposed to pardon a deceit; Welcome this low thatch'd roof, this shatter'd The wrong she treasured, and on no pretence door,
Received th' offender, or forgot th' offence : These walls of clay, this miserable floor;
But the kind servant, to the thrice-proved knave Welcome, my envied neighbours ; this, to you, A fourth time listen'd, and the past forgave. Is all familiar-all to me is new;
First in her youth, when she was blithe and gay, You have no hatred to the loathsome meal ; Came a smooth rogue, and stole her love away ; Your firmer nerves no trembling terrors feel, Then to another and another flew, Nor, what you must expose, desire you to conceal ; To boast the wanton mischief he could do : What your coarse feelings bear without offence, Yet she forgave him, though so great her pain, Disgusts my taste, and poisons every sense: That she was never blithe or gay again. Daily shall I your sad relations hear,
Then came a spoiler, who, with villain art, Of wanton women, and of men severe;
Implored her hand, and agonized her heart; ! There will dire curses, dreadful oaths abound, He seized her purse, in idle waste to spend And vile expressions shock me and confound; With a vile wanton, whom she call'd her friend; Noise of dull wheels, and songs with horrid words, Five years she sufferd-he had revell'd fiveWill be the music that this lane affords ;
Then came to show her he was just alive; Mirth that disgusts, and quarrels that degrade Alone he came, his vile companion dead; The human mind, must my retreat invade : And he, a wandering pauper, wanting bread; Hard is my fate! yet easier to sustain
His body wasted, wither'd life and limb, Than to abide with guilt and fraud again ; When this kind soul became a slave to him : A grave impostor! who expects to meet,
Nay, she was sure that, should he now survive, In such gray locks ravity, deceit ?
No better husband would be left alive ; Where the sea rages, and the billows roar,
For him she mourn'd, and then, alone and poor, Men know the danger, and they quit the shore ; Sought and found comfort at her lady's door: But, be there nothing in the way descried, Ten years she served, and, mercy her employ, When o'er the rocks smooth runs the wicked tide, Her tasks were pleasure, and her duty joy. Sinking unwarn'd, they execrate the shock,
Thus lived the mistress and the maid, desiga'd And the dread peril of the sunken rock."
Each other's aid-one cautious, and both kind : A frowning world had now the man to dread, Oft at their window, working, they would sigh Taught in no arts, to no profession bred ;
To see the aged and the sick go by; Pining in grief, beset with constant care,
Like wounded bees, that at their home arrive, Wandering he went, to rest he knew not where. Slowly and weak, but labouring for the hive.
Meantime the wife-but she abjured the name The busy people of a mason's yard Endured her lot, and struggled with the shame; The curious lady view'd with much regard ; When lo! an uncle on the mother's side,
With steady motion she perceived them draw In nature something, as in blood allied,
Through blocks of stone the slowly-working saw; Admired her firmness, his protection gave, It gave her pleasure and surprise to see And show'd a kindness she disdain'd to crave. Among these men the signs of revelry :
Frugal and rich the man, and frugal grew Cold was the season, and confined their view, The sister mind, without a selfish view;
Tedious their tasks, but merry were the crew; And further still ; the temperate pair agreed There she beheld an aged pauper wait, With what they saved the patient poor to feed : Patient and still, to take an humble freight; His whole estate, when to the grave consign'd, Within the panniers on an ass he laid Left the good kinsman te the kindred mind; | The ponderous grit, and for the portion paid :
This he resold, and, with each trifling gift, “ "Tis weakness, child, for grieving guilt to feel.”—
Through his bare dress appears his shrivellid Who was this humble trader, poor and old.
skin. In vain an author would a name suppress, And ill he fares without, and worse within ! From the least hint a reader learns to guess ; With that weak body, lame, diseased, and slow, of children lost our novels sometimes treat, What cold, pain, peril, must the sufferer know!"We never care-assured again to meet :
“ Think on his crime.”—“Yes, sure, 'twas very In vain the writer for concealment tries,
wrong i We trace his purpose under all disguise ;
But look, (God bless him!) how he gropes along." Nay, though he tells us they are dead and gone, “ Brought me to shame."_"0! yes, I know it Of whom we wol-they will appear anon;
all; Our favourites fight, are wounded, hopeless lie, What cutting blast! and he can scarcely crawl; Survive they cannot--nay, they cannot die; He freezes as he moves; he dies! if he should fall Now, as these tricks and stratagems are known, With cruel fierceness drives this icy sleet, Tis best, at once, the simple truth to own.
And must a Christian perish in the street, This was the husband ; in an humble shed In sight of Christians - There ! at last, he lies; He nightly slept, and daily sought his bread : Nor unsupported can he ever rise : Once for relief the weary man applied ;
He cannot live." " But is he fit to die?" * Your wife is rich,” the angry vestry cried : Here Susan softly mutter'd a reply, Alas! he dared not to his wife complain,
Look'd round the room, said something of its Feeling her wrongs, and fearing her disdain :
state, By various methods he had tried to live,
Dives the rich, and Lazarus at his gate ;
The man affrighten'd, weeping, trembling, cold : Made him less able than the weaker boys ; 0! how those flakes of snow their entrance win On messages he went, till he in vain
Through the poor rags, and keep the frost within ; Strove names, or words, or meanings to retain ; His very heart seems frozen as he goes, Each small employment in each neighbouring town Leading that starved companion of his woes : By turn he took, to lay as quickly down :
He tried 10 pray-his lips, I saw them move,
At his old home, his motive half suppress'd, And, ere he spoke, the lips in misery closed :
" Peace! Susan, peace! Pain ever follows sin." • Had he a right with bolder hope l' apply?" -"Ah! then," thought Susan, “when will ours He ask d, was answer'd, and went groaning by :
begin? For some remains of spirit, temper, pride,
When reach'd his home, 10 what a cheerless fire Forbade a prayer he knew would be denied. And chilling hed will those cold limbs retire!
Thus was the grieving man, with burden'd ass, | Yet ragged, wretched as it is, that bed Seen day by day along the street to pass :
Takes hail the space of lus contracted shed ; * Who is he, Susan ? who the poor old man? I saw the thorns beside the narrow grate, He never calls; do make him, if you can." With straw collected in a putrid state : The conscious damsel still delay'd to speak, There will he, kneeling, strive the fire to raise, She stopp'd confused, and had her words to seek; And that will warı lum, rather than the blaze; From Susan's fears the fact her mistress knew, The sullen, smoky blaze, that cannot last And cried—“The wretch! whai scheme has he One moment after his allempi is past : in view ?
And I so warmly and so purely laid, Is this his lot ?--but let him, let him secl
To sink to resi-indeed. I am afraid." Who wants the courage, not the will to steal." " Know yon his conduct''_“Yes, indeed, I A dreadful winter came, each day severe,
knowMisty when mild, and icy cold when clear; And how he wanders in the wind and snow: And still the humble dealer took his load,
Safe in our rooms the threatening storm we hear, Retuming slow, and shivering on the road : But he feels strongly what we faintly fear."The lady, still relentless, saw him come,
“ Wilful was rich, and he the storm defied, And said, "I wonder, has the wretch a home?" Wilful is poor, and must the storm abide ;" * A hut! a hovel !!'_“ Then his fate appears said the stern lady-“ 'Tis in vain to feel; To suit his crime."-" Yes, lady, not his years ; Go and prepare the chicken for our meal." No! nor his sufferings, nor that form decay'd." Susan her task reluctantly began, * Well! let the parish give its paupers aid; And utter'd as she went—"The poor old man!" You must the vileness of his acts allow."
But while her soft and ever-yielding heart " And you, dear lady, that he feels it now." Made strong protest against her lady's part, " When such dissemblers on their deeds reflect, I The lady's self began to think it wrong Can they the pity they refused expect ?
To feel so wrathful and resent so long. He that doth evil, evil shall he dread."
“No more the wretch would she receive * The snow," quoth Susan, “ falls upon his bed
again, It blows beside the thatch-it melts upon his head." | No more behold him--but she would sustain ;
Great his offence, and evil was his mind, -
THE WAGER. within A fair acquittal from so foul a sin;
'Tis thought your deer doth hold you at a bay. Yet she too err'd, and must of Heaven expect
Taming of the Shrew, act v. sc. 2: To be rejected, him should she reject."
I choose her for myself: Susan was summond ; " I'm about to do
If she and I are pleased, what's that to you A foolish act, in part seduced by you ;
Ibid. Go to the creature, say that I intend,
Let's send each one to his wife, Foe to his sins, to be his sorrow's friend ;
And he whose wife is most obedient Take, for his present comforts, food and wine,
Shall win the wager. And mark his feelings at this act of mine :
Ibid. Observe if shame be o'er his features spread,
Now by the world it is a lusty wench, By his own victim to be soothed and sed;
I love her ten times more than e'er I did. But, this inform him, that it is not love
ib. act. ii. sc. I. That prompts my heart, that duties only move : COUNTER and CLUBE were men in trade, whose Say, that no merits in his favour plead,
pains, But miseries only, and his abject need;
Credit, and prudence, brought them constant gains ; Nor bring me grovelling thanks, nor high-flown Partners and punctual, every friend agreed praise ;
Counter and Clubb were men who must succeed. I would his spirits, not his fancy raise ;
When they had fix'd some little time in life, Give him no hope that I shall ever more
Each thought of taking to himself a wife ; A man so vile to my esteem restore ;
As men in trade alike, as men in love But warn him rather, that, in time of rest,
They seem'd with no according views to move ; His crimes be all remember'd and confess'd : As certain ores in outward view the same, I know not all that form the sinner's debt,
They show'd their difference when the magnet But there is one that he must not forget."
came. The mind of Susan prompted her with speed Counter was vain : with spirit strong and high, To act her part in every courteous deed :
"Twas not in him like suppliant swain to sigh: All that was kind she was prepared to say,
" His wife might o'er his men and maids preside, And keep the lecture for a future day;
| And in her province be a judge and guide ; When he had all life's comforts by his side, But what he thought, or did, or wish'd to do, Pity might sleep, and good advice be tried., She must not know, or censure if she knew;
This done, the mistress felt disposed to look, At home, abroad, by day, by night, if he As self-approving, on a pious book :
On aught determined, so it was to be : Yet, to her native bias still inclined,
How is a man," he ask'd, “ for business fit, She felt her act 100 merciful and kind ;
Who to a female can his will submit? But when, long musing on the chilling scene | Absent a while, let no inquiring eye So lately past--the front and sleet so keen
Or plainer speech presume to question why, The man's whole misery in a single view
But all be silent; and, when seen again, Yes ! she could think some pity was his due. Let all be cheerful ;-shall a wife complain ?
Thus fix’d, she heard not her attendant glide Friends I invite, and who shall dare l'object. With soft slow step-till, standing by her side, Or look on them with coolness or neglect? The trembling servant gasp'd for breath, and No! I must ever of my house be head, shed
And, thus obey'd, I condescend to wed." Relieving tears, then utter'd—" He is dead!" Clubb heard the speech--" My friend is nice, " Dead !” said the startled lady. “ Yes, he
said he; fell
" A wife with less respect will do for me : Close at the door where he was wont to dwell; How is he certain such a prize to gain ? There his sole friend, the ass, was standing by, | What he approves, a lass may learn to feign, Half dead himself, to see his master die."
| And so affect t' obey, till she begins to reign; "Expired he then, good Heaven! for want of A while complying, she may vary then, food ?"
And be as wives of more unwary men ; “No! crusts and water in a corner stood ;
Besides, to him who plays such lordly part To have this plenty, and to wait so long,
How shall a tender creature yield her heart ? And to be right too late, is doubly wrong: Should he the promised confidence resuse, Then, every day to see him totter by,
She may another more confiding choose ; And to forbear-0! what a heart had I !"
May show her anger, yet her purpose hide, "Blame me not, child ; I tremble at the news.”— And wake his jealousy, and wound his pride. “ 'Tis my own heart," said Susan, “ I accuse: In one so humbled, who can trace the friend ? To have this money in my purse-to know I on an equal, not a slave, depend ; What grief was his, and what to grief we owe: If true, my confidence is wisely placed, To see him often, always to conceive
And being false, she only is disgraced.” How he must pine and languish, groan and Clubb, with these notions, cast his eye around, grieve;
And one so easy soon a partner found. And every day in ease and peace to dine,
The lady chosen was of good repute; And rest in comfort !- what a heart is mine!" Meekness she had not, and was seldom mute ;
Thougn quick to anger, still she loved to smile ; Thus made suspicious, he observed and saw
liesUseful and civil, all her friends confess'd,
He laughs at me, yet hc with much complies, Give her her way, and she would choose the best ; | And all his vaunts of bliss are proud apologies." Though some, indeed, a sly remark would make, With such ideas treasured in his breast, Give it her not, and she would choose to take. He grew composed, and let his anger rest; All this, when Clubb some cheerful months had | Till Counter once (when wine so long went round spent,
That friendship and discretion both were drown'd! He saw, confess'd, and said he was content. Began in teasing and triumphant mood
Counter meantime selected, doubted, weigh'd, His evening banter.—" Of all earthly good,
Such as my friend's—that every one allows :
She knows that mischief may from travel come.
Have no such kind preventing checks as these ; Chide, and she melted into floods of tears ; But mine is double duty, first to guide Fondly she pleaded, and would gently sigh, Myself aright, then rule a house beside ; For very pity, or she knew not why;
While this our friend, more happy than the free, One whom to govern none could be afraid - Resigns all power, and laughs at liberty." Hold up the finger, this meek thing obey'd ; “By Heaven,” said Clubb, “excuse me if I Her happy husband had the easiest task
swear, Say but his will, no question would she ask ; I'll bet a hundred guineas, if he daro, She sought no roasons, no affairs she knew, That uncontroll'd I will such freedoms take Of business spoke not, and had naught to do. That he will fear to equal-there's my stake." Oft he exclaim'd, “How meek! how mild ! how “A match !” said Counter, much by wine inkind!
flamed ; With her 'twere cruel but 10 seem unkind ; " But we are friends ; let smaller stake be named : Though ever silent when I take my leave, Wine for our future meeting, that will I It pains my heart to think how hers will grieve; Take, and no more-what peril shall we try ?" Tis heaven on earth with such a wise to dwell, “ Let's to Newmarket,” Clubb replied ; " or choose I am in raptures to have sped so well;
Yourself the place, and what you like to lose ; But let me not, my friend, your envy raise,
And he who first returns, or fears to go, No! on my life, your patience has my praise."
Forfeits his cash-" Said Counter, “ Be it so." His friend, though silent, felt the scorn implied, The friends around them saw with much delight • What need of patience ?"' to himself he cried : The social war, and hail'd the pleasant night; * Better a woman o'er her house to rule,
Nor would they further hear the cause discussid, Than a poor child just hurried from her school; Afraid the recreant heart of Clubb 10 trust. Who has no care, yet never lives at ease :
Now sober thoughts return'd as each withdrew, Unfit to rule, and indisposed to please ;
And of the subject took a serious view : What if he govern ? there his boast should end, I“ 'Twas wrong," thought Counter, “and will No husband's power can make a slave his friend." grieve my love."
It was the custom of these friends to meet “ 'Twas wrong," thought Clubb, “my wife will With a few neighbours in a neighbouring street;
not approve : Where Counter oft times would occasion seize But friends were present; I must try the thing, To move his silent friend by words like these : Or with my folly half the town will ring." “ A man," said he, “ if govern'd by his wife, He sought his lady ; “ Madam, I'm to blame, Gives up his rank and dignity in life ;
But was reproach'd, and could not bear the shame,
The quiet partner, when he chose to speak, To that Newmarket-(though I hate the place,
And I must go : by Heaven, if you resist
Let me with grace before my friends appear, Of all that boasting ; " Wants my friend applause ? | You know the truth, and must not be severe ; This plainly proves him not at perfect ease, He too must go, but that he will of course ; For, felt he pleasure, he would wish to please. Do you consent ?-I never think of force." These triumphs here for some regrets atone
"You never need," the worthy dame replied Men who are blest let other men alone.". “The husband's honour is the woman's pride,
If I in trifies be the wilful wife,
The lady fainted, and the husband sent Still for your credit I would lose my life;
For every aid, for every comfort went; Go! and when fix'd the day of your return, Strong terror seized him ; "O! she loved on Stay longer yet, and let the blockheads learn,
well, That though a wife may sometimes wish to rule, And who th' effect of tenderness could tell 2* She would not make th’indulgent man a fool; She now recover'd, and again began I would at times advise-but idle they
With accent querulous—" Ah! cruel man" Who think th' assenting husband must obey." Till the sad husband, conscience struck, conThe happy man, who thought his lady right
fess'd, In other cases, was assured to-night;
'Twas very wicked with his friend to jest ; Then for the day with proud delight prepared, For now he saw that those who were obey'd, To show his doubting friends how much he could like the most subservient feel afraid : dared.
| And though a wife might not dispute the will Counter--who grieving sought his bed, his or her liege lord, she could prevent it still. rest
The morning came, and Clubb prepared to ride Broken by pictures of his love distress'd
With a smart boy, his servant and his guide ; With soft and winning speech the fair prepared ; When, ere he mounted on the ready steed, · She all his counsels comforts, pleasures Arrived a letter, and he stopp'd to read. shared :
"My friend," he read—“Our journey I decline, She was assured he loved her from his soul, A heart too tender for such strife is mine ; She never knew and need not fear control ; Yours is the triumph, be you so inclined, But so it happen'd he was grieved at heart But you are too considerate and kind. It happend so, that they a while must part In tender pity to my Juliet's fears A little time-the distance was but short,
I thus relent, o'ercome by love and tears ; And business call'd him-he despised the sport; She knows your kindness ; I have heard her say, But to Newmarket he engaged to ride,
A man like you 'tis pleasure to obey : With his friend Clubb," and there he stopp'd and Each faithful wife, like ours, must disapprove sigh'd.
Such dangerous trifling with connubial love; A while the tender creature look'd dismay'd, What has the idle world, my friend, to do Then foods of tears the call of grief obey'd. With our affairs ? they envy me and you : "She an objection! No!" she sobb’d, “not What if I could my gentle spouse commandone;
Is that a cause I should her tears withstand ? Her work was finish'd, and her race was run; And what if you, a friend of peace, submit For die she must, indeed she would not live To one you love is that a theme for wit? A week alone, for all the world could give ; 'Twas wrong, and I shall henceforth judge it weak He too must die in that same wicked place; Both of submission and control to speak : It always happen'd-was a common case ;
Be it agreed that all contention cease, Among those horrid horses, jockeys, crowds, And no such follies vex our future peace ; 'Twas certain death-they might bespeak their Let each keep guard against domestic strife, shrowds;
And find nor slave nor tyrant in his wife." He would attempt a race, be sure to fall
“Agreed,” said Clubb," with all my soul And she expire with terror—that was all;
agreed"With love like hers she was indeed unfit
And to the boy, delighted, gave his steed; To bear such horrors, but she must submit.” " I think my friend has well his mind express'd, “But for three days, my love! three days at And I assent; such things are not a jest.” most—"
" True," said the wife, “no longer he can hide “ Enough for me; I then shall be a ghost-" The truth that pains him by his wounded pride: My honour's pledged !"_"0! yes, my dearest Your friend has found it not an easy thing, life,
Beneath his yoke, this yielding soul 10 bring , I know your honour must outweigh your wise ; These weeping willows, though they seem inclined But ere this absence, have you sought a friend ? By every breeze, yet not the strongest wind I shall be dead-on whom can you depend ? Can from their bent divert this weak but stubborn Let me one favour of your kindness crave,
kind; Grant me the stone I mention'd for my grave.” Drooping they seek your pity to excite, “ Nay, love, attend-why, bless my soul-I But 'tis at once their nature and delight; say
Such women feel not; while they sigh and I will return-there--weep no longer--nay !"
weep, • Well! I obey, and to the last am true,
"Tis but their habit--their affections sleep; But spirits fail me ; I must die ; adieu !
They are like ice that in the hand we hold, “ What, madam! must?-'uis wrong--I'm angry So very melting, yet so very cold ; zounds!
On such affection let not man rely,
"Go then, my love! it is a monstrous sum, But your friend's offer let us kindly take,
More just when it resists, and, when it yields, moro Or wounds or fevers--this had done the deed.”