« PreviousContinue »
thing about an inn seems calcu- bustle was transient ; the coach lated to make a dull day ten times again whirled on its way; and duller. Old newspapers, smel. boy and dog, and hostler and ling of beer and tobacco-smoke, boots, all slunk back again to and which I had already read their holes ; the street again behalf a dozen times. Good for came silent, and the rain connothing books, that were worse tinued to rain on. In fact, there than rainy weather. I bored was no hope of its clearing up; myself to death with an old the barometer pointed to rainy volume of the Lady's Magazine. weather ; mine hostess's tortoiseI read all the common-place shell cat sat by the fire washing names of ambitious travellers her face, and rubbing her paws scrawled on the panes of glass; over her ear; and, on referring the eternal families of the Smiths to the almanack, I found a direand the Browns, and the Jack- ful prediction stretching the sons and the Johnsons, and all whole month expect-muchthe other sons; and I decypher- rain-about-this-time !' ed several scraps of fatiguing inn- I was dreadfully hipped. The window poetry such as I had met hours seemed as if they would with in all parts of the world. never creep by. The very tick
The day continued lowering ing of the clock became irkand gloomy; the slovenly ragged, some spongy clouds drifted heavily along ; there was no variety even in the rain ; it was one dull, con- In an early number of “ The tinued, monotonous patter- GLEANER,” we presented our readpatter-patter, excepting thaters with an account of the pecunow and then I was enlivened by liar circumstances attendant on the idea of a brisk shower, from the death of the celebrated lord the rattling of drops upon a pas- Littleton--we offered it to them sing umbrella.
as we had received it, supposing It was refreshing (if I may be it to be correct-but as the folallowed a hacknied phrase of lowing has been put into our the day) when, in the course of hands, as a literal copy of the the morning, a horn blew, and
original manuscript upon the suba stage coach whirled through iect, to be found at his lordthe street, with outside passen- ship's late residence at Pit-place, gers stuck all over it, cowered Epsom, we offer that also to their under cotton umbrellas, and
nbrellas, and notice, as more likely to be acseethed together, reeking with curate in the surprising detail, the steams of wet box coats and than the former, viz. upper benjamins.
The sound brought out from LORD LITTLETON'S DREAM AND their lurking places a crew of
DEATH. vagabond boys, and vagabond dogs, and the carroty-headed
(Vide Admiral Wolseley:) hostler, and that non-descript I was at Pit-place, Epsom, animal ycleped boots, and all the when lord Littleton died ; lord other vagabond race that infest Fortesque, lady Flood and the two the parlieus of an inn; but the miss Amphletts were also present. Lord Littleton had not been long but, on returning, found his lordreturned from Ireland, and fre- ship dead. quently had been seized with suf- In Boswell's Life of Dr. Johnfocating fits : he was attacked son, Vol. II. page 505, he says “it several times by them in the is the most extraordinary thing course of the preceding month that has happened in my days : while he was at his house in Hill. I heard it from lord Westcote, street, Berkeley-square. It hap- his uncle. I am glad to have pened that he dreamt three days evidence of the spiritual world, before his death, that he saw a that I am willing to believe it." fluttering bird, and afterwards Dr. Adams, replied," You have that a woman appeared to him in enough good of evidence, which white apparel, and said to him, needs no support.” “ prepare to die, you will not exist three days.” His lordship was
LORD LITTLETON's Vision. much alarmed, and called to his The remarkable circumstance servant, from a closet adjoining, attendant on the death of lord who found him much agitated, Littleton, having been so variand in a profuse perspiration. ously represented, a statement of This circumstance had a visible the realities may afford the pubeffect, all the next day, on his lic some degree of satisfaction, lordship's spirits. On the third and tend to prove that the interday, while his lordship was at vention of that divine providence breakfast with the above men- which governs the universe, is tioned personages, he said, “I not inconsistent with reason nor have jockied the ghost, for this truth. The authenticity of the is the third day.” The whole narrative may be depended upon. party presently set off to Pit- There was a gentleman of place, where they had not long much respectability, who had a arrived, before his lordship was residence at Clent, near Hagley visited by one of his accustomed park, the seat of lord Littleton. fits-after a short time he re- The family consisted of himself, covered. He dined at one wife, son, and four daughters : o'clock that day, and went to the eldest married, the others bed at eleven, when his servant living with their parents, at was about to give him rhubarb home. In June, 1778, the genand mint water ; but his lord- tleman died; previous to which ship perceiving the servant stir time, lord Littleton was in the the medicine with a toothpick, habit of visiting the family—but he called him a slovenly dog, and now appeared desirous of greater bade him go and fetch a spoon; intimacy; to accomplish which but, on the man's return, he he repeated his visits in the aufound his master in a fit; and tumn, and made the young lathe pillow being high, his chin dies a present of some elegant bore hard upon his neck, when paraphernalia on new-year's the servant, instead of relieving day, 1779, with a letter subjoinhis lordship, at the instant, from ed, written in the phraseology of his perilous situation, ran, in his scripture, of which the followfright, and called out for help; ing is a copy, probably with a view to ingratiate himself with daughters of the west, in the the mother, who was a lady of works of the needle : and thy exalted understanding, and great voice is sweet to the ear. dignity of manners.
“11 When thou singest, thy vi Behold, I will speak to the voice is like the voice of the daughters of Clent, in the lan- nightingale when she mourneth guage of wisdom : and give them for her mate by the river of Zilsa, understanding to guide them in in the shady groves of Jehosathe paths of peace.
phat. “2 Look not, Eliza, upon man, “ 12 Thy mother putteth her nor upon the sons of men, with trust in thee ; be thou a comfort an eye of concupiscence, saying, unto her when her heart is sad, am í not sported ? for, verily, that she may boast of thee, and the wicked will be aware of the say, “ I am the mother of Chrisintentions of thy heart.*
tiana.” “3 Take heed of thy ways, lest “13 As for thee, O Margaret! thou be like the foolish woman; thou rose-bud of sweetness! even like Mary, who will repent; peace be unto thee. even as a magdalen repented: “ 14 Verily, thou art fresh as
“4 Did she not turn away from the dew that hangs upon the her mother; even the mother lily in the morning, which is that brought her forth, to seek devoured by the greedy sun : new inventions !
15 Thy cheek is soft, even as - 5 But, be thou steady, like the down upon the plum, which the cedar of Mount Lebanon, the cursed wasp hath never inthat taketh its root in the earth, vaded ; and lifteth its tall head to the “16 Thy lips shed the perfumes skies.
of Arabia ; and the fountain of “6 As for thee, O Christiana, health is in thy mouth. remember by whom thou art “17 Thou art a daughter of the called, and seek not thy cloak in spring, for early dost thou put the dark : t
forth thy loveliness, and many “7 Trust not to thy cunning; are the days which thou shalt for that which appears to thee see. wisdom, is but folly to the “18 But, mind, thou blossom wise.
of youth, that the fairest bud is “8 Go to, thou art brown, but the soonest blighted ; and, bepleasant to look upon : and thy hold, the rushing wind preys ways are full of sweetness.
upon its sweets. “9 Thine eye is like the eye of “ 19 Avoid thou the tempter in the basilisk; and it burneth like the wilderness; and cast the the red star in the tail of the serpent under thy feet. sagittary.
a 20 For, although thy words “ 10 Thou dost excel all the are fierce and violent, thy heart
* The married sister, who had acted imprudently.
+ The circumstance of the cloak, refers to a reply that Miss Christiana made, when interrogated respecting her sister, “ That she was looking for her cloak.”
is soft as the plume on the breast young ladies' residence at Hagley of the swan.
park, quite contrary to the ex“21 Grow up, yet, but a little, press command of their worthy and the sons of men shall be mother, whose delicacy was captivated by thy comeliness; shocked at her daughters being and the great men of the land under the same roof with a man shall fight for thy beauty ! of lord Littleton's character. In
“ 22 Now for thee, mother of September, his lordship’s engageElizabeth, Christiana, and Mar ments requiring him to visit Iregaret, to thee be all honour and land, Miss Christiana, at his inpraise.
stigation, accompanied him, to“23 Thou dost hold up thyhead gether with a lady of Irish exin the temple, among the rulers traction. This indiscretion greatof the people ; and high is thy ly augmented the mother's affame in the land : thy words are flicted state. About a month weighty and full of truth, like after that period, the two sisunto the proverbs of the son of ters, who had remained at HagGirach.
ley park, during the absence of “ 24 Behold ! thou art a woman the party, went to meet them of an exceeding spirit ; and jus- at a place where they were extice, with temperance, enlighten pected to land, and all came up thy ways.
together to his lordship's town “ 25 Yet, thou art a lonely and residence, in Hill-street, Berkea widow woman, and the wicked- ley-square, where they continued ness of men is against thee. till November. On the twenty
“ 26 Trust not, therefore, to sixth of that month, about two thyself alone; but take unto in the morning, lord Littleton thee a helpmate, for so hath the was awakened by something like Lord appointed ;
the fluttering of a bird, among “27 Thus shalt thou be defend the curtains of his bed, which ed from the perils and dangers suddenly escaped, and the figure of widowhood, and shall answer of a woman, of majestic aspect, the purpose of thy creation. (the very image of the mother of : “28 Trust not to the honesty of the young ladies, as declared by a friend ; but believe in the coun- his lordship), made her appearsel of him that hath understand - ance, and told him to prepare for ing."
his departure to another world ; The poor mother, not appre- for that, within three days, he hending any disagreeable conse- should be with her in the state quences, read the letter to her of the dead. This most extraordaughters, who were then of dinary occurrence, making a deep tender age-the youngest fifteen, impression on the mind of lord the next seventeen, and the Littleton, he, early in the mornother nineteen ; which inadver- ing, communicated it to the tence (as the mother afterwards ladies, who ridiculed, what apthought it) rested very much peared to them the effect of a upon her mind. From repeated heated imagination; and to diattentions on the part of his lord- vert his gloom, proposed a visit ship, familiar intercourse ensued, to Epsom, where his lordship which terminated in the three had a seat that he won from lord Foley. Here they spent the shire ; and though she had been night, and the following day re- educated in the country, and turned to Hill-street, where a had never appeared at court, she party was invited to meet them. had filled all England with the Not all the jocularity exerted on reputation of her beauty. King the occasion could dissipate the Edgar, who was indifferent to no anxiety of his lordship, though accounts of this nature, found he affected to treat the circum- his curiosity excited by these stance with contempt; and ex- frequent panegyrics; and reclaimed, upon retiring, “ If I flecting on Elfrida’s noble birth, live over the night, I shall jockey he resolved, if he found her the ghost." The young ladies charms answerable to their fame, accompanied his lordship to his to obtain possession of her on room, to notice some paintings, honourable terms. He commuand presently retired; when, nicated his intentions to Athelbefore they were undressed, a wold, his favourite; but used servant ran hastily to their door, the precaution, before he made demanding admittance, and de- any advances to her parents, to clared that his lordship was order that nobleman, on some dying. Before the ladies could pretence, to pay them a visit, reach his room his lordship was and to bring him a certain acspeechless, and on their entry count of the beauty of the expired in great agony. What daughter. renders the circumstance still Athelwold, when introduced to more remarkable is, that the the young lady, found general next post brought the young report to have fallen short of the ladies an account of their mo- truth; and being actuated by the ther's death, who departed pre- most vehement love, he detercisely at the time when lord mined to sacrifice to this new Littleton saw the vision.
passion his fidelity to his master,
and the trust reposed in him. - X
He returned to Edgar, and told THE CRUEL STEP-MOTHER. him, that the riches alone, and
high quality of Elfrida, had been An Historical Narrative.
the ground of the admiration The character of Elfrida is paid her; and that her charms, very differently represented both far from being anywise extraorby our poets and historians. dinary, would have been overMason, in the dramatic poem looked in a woman of inferior that bears her name, represents station. When he had, by this her as a pattern of virtue and deceit, diverted the king from conjugal affection, while the au- his purpose, he took occasion, thor of the tragedy of Athelwold one day, to observe, that though paints her as the reverse of both. the fortune of the earl of DevonHer real character will best ap- shire's daughter was no temptapear from a faithful narration of tion for a monarch, it would be the most striking particulars in an immense sum to a needy subher life. ,
ject; and therefore he humbly Elfrida was the daughter and prayed leave to pay his addresses heir of Olgar, earl of Devon- to Elfrida, as her wealth, he said,