Page images

tion. Our bull, after killing the house-dog, and tossing William, has gone wild and had the madness to run away from his liveli. hood, and, what is worse, all the cows after him—except those that had burst themselves in the clover field, and a small divi. dend, as I may say, of one in the pound. Another item, the pigs, to save bread and milk, have been turned into the woods for acorns, and is an article producing no returns—as not one has yet come back. Poultry ditto. Sedulously cultivating an enlarged connexion in the Turkey line, such the antipathy to gypsies, the whole breed, geese and ducks inclusive, removed themselves from the premises by night, directly a strolling camp came and set up in the neighborhood. To avoid prolixity, when I came to take stock, there was no stock to take-namely, no eggs, no butter, no cheese, no corn, no hay, no bread, no beer-no water even--nothing but the mere commodious premises, and fixtures, and good will--and candor compels to add, a very small quantity on hand of the last-named particular.

To add to stagnation, neither of my two sons in the business nor the two apprentices have been so diligently punctual in executing country orders with despatch and fidelity, as laudable ambition desires, but have gone about fishing and shooting—and William has suffered a loss of three fingers, by his unvarying system of high charges. He and Richard are likewise both threatened with prosecution for trespassing on the Hares in the adjoining landed interest, and Nick is obliged to decline any active share, by dislocating his shoulder in climbing a tall tree for a tom-tit. As for George, tho' for the first time beyond the circumscribed limits of town custom, he indulges vanity in such unqualified pretensions to superiority of knowledge in farming, on the strength of his grandfather having belonged to the agricul. tural line of trade, as renders a wholesale stock of patience barely adequate to meet its demands. Thus stimulated to injudicious performance he is as injurious to the best interests of the country, as blight and mildew, and smut and rot, and glanders, and pip, all combined in one texture. Between ourselves, the objects of unceasing endeavors, united with uncompromising integrity, have been assailed with so much deterioration, as makes me humbly desirous of abridging sufferings, by resuming business as a Shoe

Marter at the old established House. If Clack & Son, therefore, have not already taken possession and respectfully informed the vicinity, will thankfully pay reasonable compensation for loss of time and expense incurred by the bargain being off. In case parties agree, I beg you will authorize Mr. Robins to have the honor to dispose of the whole Lincolnshire concern, tho' the knocking down of Middlefen Hall will be a severe blow on Mrs. P. and Family. Deprecating the deceitful stimulus of advertising arts, interest commands to mention,—desirable freehold estate and eligible investment—and sole reason for disposal, the proprietor going to the continent. Example suggests likewise, a good country for hunting for fox-hounds—and a prospect too extensive to put in a newspaper. Circumstances being rendered awkward by the untoward event of the running away of the cattle, &c., it will be best to say—“ The Stock to be taken as it stands;"—and an additional favor will be politely conferred, and the same thankfully acknowledged, if the auctioneer will be so kind as bring the next market town ten miles nearer, and carry the coach and the wagon once a day past the door. Earnestly requesting early attention to the above, and with sentiments of,


P. S. Richard is just come to hand dripping and half dead out of the Nene, and the two apprentices all but drowned each other in saving him. Hence occurs to add, fishing opportunities among the desirable items.


'Twas in the prime of summer time,

An evening calm and cool,
When four-and-twenty happy boys

Came bounding out of school ;
There were some that ran, and some that leapt,

Like troutlets in a pool.

Away they sped, with gamesome minds

And souls untouch'd by sin;
To a level mead they came, and there

They drave the wickets in:
Pleasantly shone the setting sun

Over the town of Lynn.

Like sportive deer they coursed about,

And shouted as they ran-
Turning to mirth all things of earth,

As only boyhood can :
But the usher sat remote from all,

A melancholy man!

* The late Admiral Burney went to school at an establishment where the unhappy Eugene Aram was usher, subsequent to his crime. The Admiral stated that Aram was generally liked by the boys; and that he used to discourse to them about murder, in somewhat of the spirit which is attributed to him in this poem.

His hat was off, his vest apart,

To catch Heaven's blessed breeze ; For a burning thought was on his brow,

And his bosom ill at ease : So he leaned his head on his hands, and read

The book between his knees.

Leaf after leaf he turn’d it o’er,

Nor ever glanced aside ;
For the peace of his soul he read that book,

In the golden eventide :
Much study had made him very lean

And pale and leaden-eyed.

At last he shut the ponderous tome;

With a fast and fervid graspHe strained the dusky covers close,

And fixed the brazen hasp; "O God! could I so close my mind,

And clasp it with a clasp.”

Then leaping on his feet upright,

Some moody turns he took-
Now up the mead, then down the mead,

And past a shady nook-
And, lo! he saw a little boy

That pored upon a book.

“My gentle lad, what is 't you read

Romance, or fairy fable !
Or is it some historic page,

Of kings and crowns unstable ?"
The young boy gave an upward glance-

“ It is the Death of Abel.”

The usher took six hasty strides,

As smit with sudden pain-
Six hasty strides beyond the place,

Then slowly back again; And down he sat beside the lad,

And talked with him of Cain.

And long since then, of bloody men,

Whose deeds tradition saves;
Of lonely folk, cut off unseen,

And hid in sudden graves ;
Of horrid stabs in groves forlorn,

And murders done in caves !

And how the sprites of injured men

Shriek upward from the sod-
And how the ghostly hand will point

To show the burial clod;
And unknown facts of guilty acts

Are seen in dreams from God!

He told how murderers walked the earth

Beneath the curse of Cain-
With crimson clouds before their eyes,

And flames about their brain;
For blood had left upon their souls

Its everlasting stain!

“And well," quoth he, “I know, for truth,

Their pangs must be extremeWo, wo, unutterable wo

Who spill life's sacred stream! Eor. why ? Methought, last night, I wrought

A murder in a dream!

“ One that had never done me wrong

A feeble man and old; I led him to a lonely field,

The moon shone clear and cold; Now here, said I, this man shall die,

And I will have his gold !

« PreviousContinue »