Page images

narration of Careless, to whom he warmed as to a brother. Squeezing him therefore by the hand, he begged, if that were all, that he would give up his visit to Lord Bellenden, as he would himself cheerfully pay the balance of the farmer's debt.

66 And if the oppressor put his threat into execution, I shall think myself honoured,” added Tremaine, “ in attending you to the field.”

Why, as to the first, I will take twenty guineas, if you please,” said Jack; “ and as to the last, I am for ever bound to you, and it is spoke like true Yorkshire. But I fancy Squire Brown (who, by the way, I am glad to find has nothing of Yorkshire in him, but springs from a stocking-maker at Nottingham), will never court another meeting: the rascal has tasted a little crab-stick already, and as it is four days ago, I fancy he is in no humour to covet any thing else.”

“ But my Lord Bellenden," said Tremaine.

“ My dear friend,” returned Jack, “ the lad will never hook a pike as long as he lives, unless I go over to him : so thank you a thousand times, and pray give me leave to order Lightfoot.”

The bell rang; the horse was brought; and Tremaine was left alone, thoughtful, occupied, and affected: and let us add, less displeased than usual with himself, and with all the world.

[blocks in formation]



“ Pacing the forest
of Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy."


“ It is certain," said he, as he walked through the garden door towards the terrace, “ that useful lessons may be gathered from small things. Who would have thought that this uninformed, untravelled, rough diamond, would furnish food even for Socrates!”

It was not that Tremaine thought himself So crates; but he wished that Socrates could have had a Careless for a subject, in his reasoning upon human nature.

“ He would have given a rare lecture upon it,” said Tremaine, pacing the terrace.

The meditation continued some time, when he began to be clouded, by asking himself the important question, whether, with all his attainments, riches, and personal consequence, Jack was not the happier being of the two..

“ And yet,” continued he, advancing quicker along the terrace, as he advanced with his soliloquy, " and yet as happiness must be in the mind, and must therefore exist in proportion to the mind's cultivation, how is it possible? To dig in a garden, weave a net, or rub down a horse, is surely a very common affair, and not calculated to produce what all of us are courting with such eagerness, and none of us ever attain. He is indeed a benevolent, and kind-hearted creature," proceeded Tremaine, “and that does much ;-but so are many: I cannot tax myself with any deficiency in this respect.'

“ I will consult Dr. Evelyn about him," concluded Tremaine. “He will dogmatize a little, and we shall have a dispute. No matter--the truth may be struck out between us."

Now it may have occurred to the reader, that whatever good sense may have appeared in Evelyn, any thing but the truth had been infused by him into the mind of Tremaine. Yet that is not exactly

Two rough stones of equal hardness, continually in collision, may leave it doubtful in which the grain and solidity are firmest. Yet if one of them has a few incrustations or asperities not naturally belonging to it, ten to one, by continual rubbing against the other, they are insensibly softened down, without the real solid block knowing any thing about the matter.

[ocr errors]

Just so was it with Tremaine. To have yielded his theories to Evelyn, would never have entered his contemplation ; but as truth is the fairest flower of history, our duty requires that we should confess, he was at least sometimes in the situation of that illustrious fellow-theorist, who, inculcating the sublime doctrine that pain was no evil, and, seized with the gout in the midst of it, though he would not give up his theory, was forced to allow it an inconvenience. Now, as seclusion to the one philosopher was as incontestably an inconvenience as the pangs of the gout to the other, the pride of opinion had insensibly, and just so far yielded in Tremaine, that he thought Evelyn seemed the happier man of the two; and though it was still a problem in his mind, whether his happiness was on account, or in spite of his way of life, yet he was forced to own that the pursuits and tastes of such a man' must at least bé very bearable things.

The perpetual droppings, therefore, of Evelyn's maxims, began to be a little like the perpetual droppings of water upon marble; and obstinate as the mind of Tremaine may appear, it could not, any more than the marble, be exposed to these un ceasing efforts, without insensibly giving way.

« There must be more in my friend's notions of life, than I am aware of,” said the man of refinement, canvassing the point; and yet I think I

have had as many occasions of judging as he. I will certainly probe the matter the first opportunity.”

When that first opportunity happened does not appear, but the next meeting upon record will be found in the next chapter.



“Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and * like enough to consent.”


6 It is all owing to our departing from nature, or being what you call refined,” said the Doctor. .

As this was round a table covered with wine, and fruit, and biscuits, perhaps the reader will imagine, that Tremaine had again condescended to leave his own company and rich repast, for the society and plain but excellent board at Evelyn Hall; or, perhaps, that the chimnies of Woodington had begun to smoke for others as well as for their solitary master. But it was none of these; for the party were now all assembled under a large mulberrytree in Jack Careless's garden. How they came there the Doctor can best explain. It is certain he

« PreviousContinue »