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descended the coronet which now adorns the brow of the eighteenth lord of that paradisiacal domain -George O'Brien Wyndham, Earl of Egremontwhen a gentle, but familiar rap at my study-door broke off my cogitations; and, permission being given, a beloved friend of the cacoëthes scribendi order, entered. Glancing over my manuscript, which lay before me, he exclaimed, “Seven hundred years ago! why, in the name of sober reason, wander so far for a subject, while facts,
• Thick as autumnal leaves, which strew the vales
crowd you round, as if to court attention, or solicit the exercise of your ready pen? An affected attachment for the antique is ridiculous, and if writing, not merely for the amusement, but the benefit of others, why not fix on themes best calculated to accomplish your object, both from their modern date, as well as their applicability to the present and common affairs of life ?"
There was a spice of raillerie in my friend's manner, of such original character as conveyed conviction, or something very like it, to my mind, of the folly of my original purpose, much more effectually than the most profound and logical disquisition could have done, although proceeding from a more serious mentor or pompous sage professor of casuistry. “Perhaps," he continued, your portfolio is exhausted; if so, for once stoop
to become my amanuensis, and, with your assistance, my rough tale may at least become passable. I admit, indeed, my statements will be secondhand. As, however, I received them from the mouth of the individual concerned, I can pledge myself for their correctness. Scarcely had the offer fallen from the lips of my friend, than, with as much expertness as an old drilled soldier would have followed the motion of a fugleman, or have pulled the trigger at the word "fire"—the point of my pen was immersed in sombre fluid, and “proceed,” put his eloquent tongue in motion, as follows.
A less number of years than that at which your tale commences, even after you have removed the ciphers from it, have passed, since my tour, with which you are acquainted, was performed. Leaving the place in which I had taken up my abode on the preceding night, at an early hour I embarked on board a steamer, one not inferior either in size or accommodation to many which the metropolis of our own country boasts. On entering the cabin, I found many, who, like myself, were bound across the mighty waters. There was, as is usual in such conveyances, a medley of passengers, whose countenances, costumes, and conversations, furnished ample material both for the pen of the satirist, and the pencil of the painter. I had not long been seated, before an addition was made to our 'company, by the entrance of a person, enveloped in a large travelling cloak. He bowed, and silently took his seat immediately opposite where I sat. I perceived on his countenance, evident traces of sorrow, which gave to his dark complexion a thoughtful cast that interested me. His eye was generally buried beneath a scowling brow; it was, however, occasionally lit up by a fire which circumstances struck out. A smile did but seldom illume his physiognomy; and when it did, it was neither of pleasure nor of scorn, but evidently of pity, occasioned by the engagements or conversation of his fellow-travellers.
“My curiosity was excited, to know who and what this singular being might be—for singular he appeared—and it was at length gratified. He remained not long below, but folding round him, his cloak, which he had partially thrown off, he ascended the ladder, and walked the deck. There I joined him, and soon found him to be a social and communicative person, above what his exterior would have indicated : nay there was a degree of vivacity about him; an elasticity of spirit, which, like some tuneful instrument, only required touching, to send forth cheerful notes.
“By the time we had reached the pier-head, where we were to disembark, we found ourselves old friends, having been school-fellows. We put up at the same inn, and, entering into free conversation, the way by which we had been led, and the providential interpositions we had experienced, in connection with our present views and future prospects, engaged us so fully that hours had passed away before we were aware of it. I had before learned, that he had entered the ministry; and, adverting to the pleasure which an individual must enjoy, of enlarged mind and devoted spirit, who is so engaged, when success attends his labours, he replied, with an animation I shall not soon forget, “ Yes, sir, the delight is heavenly! The exalted views, and holy triumph of the Apostle, in reference to his ministerial character, are strikingly beautiful, and strictly correct;-Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.' But he had also to suffer as well as to enjoy, and the greater part of his sufferings evidently arose from his official calling : hence, referring to other ministers, he inquires, 'Are they ministers of Christ ?I speak as a fool; I am more: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft,' &c.—2 Cor. xi. 23—28. And now, as then, a thorn is sometimes given in the flesh, lest pride should exalt, and the condemnation of the devil ensue. 'Yes, sir,' he continued, even to the present day, the fact is experienced, the servant is not greater than his lord.' If I am not wearying you, a few words relative to myself will exemplify the statement I have made, and serve to act as a beacon to others, while it tends
“Having assured him he would oblige me by the statement, he thus proceeded :
"The call of friendship induced me, a short time since, to take my place on board a packet boat, in which I proceeded to the Humber. The morning was raw and damp, affording strong indications that one of those depressing days would follow, which are not unfrequent in our country, in the month of February. Immediately on getting on board, I hasted below, to escape the chilling haze, which fell thickly, and a piercing wind, which blew from the coldest point of the compass. Neither the size, nor nature of the accommodations afforded, nor the number, or character of the passengers already on board, is necessary to be distinctly stated. It is sufficient to observe, that in reference to the former particular, they did not, in any sense, rise above mediocrity, but perhaps might fall some degrees below it; while as to the other, nearly every sitting place was occupied prior to my appearance. The greater part of the passengers were residents in the town we were leaving, and, as far as I can remember, were made up pretty equal proportion of the sexes: if, however, superiority in point of number could be claimed, it was, without question, found on the feminine side.
“I am an admirer of female eloquence, when properly managed, and, like those who profess an ear for music, without any knowledge of the science, am frequently pleased, where I do not