Page images





IT was on one of the mof t pleafing Mornings in the laft Summer, that Crito ftole from the Nolfe and Buftle of the Town, to enjoy an agreeable Day, or Two, with his Friend Timan* Thes in the Country. Timanthes received him with all that Joy and Pleafure, which is ufual between Friends, who love one another entirely; and whohave not met for a confiderable Time. He fhewed him his new Grove, and Gardens; and, as they were walking in the latter, "Since the Weather begins to be fo warm (fays he,) if you like it, we will dine under that open Tent. The Air there will be refrefhing to you; and will bring us the Smell of th6 Orange and Lemon-Trees which <furround it, without breaking that View of the Country, of which you ufed to be fo fond. When I placed them there, I had you in my Thoughts; and imagined it might B 2 :.-. te be a favourite Seat of yours, whenever you came hither; which I wifh your Affairs would fuffer to be ihudi oftener." Indeed the Spot was fo well chofen, that it made not only their Dinner, but even their Converfation together after it, the more agreeable; and as they were ftill fitting and enjoying themfelves there, for fome Time into the Afternoon; a Servant came to let Timanthes know, that Milesius was juft alighted; and was coming toward them. "Though in general I fliould not have chofen to be interrupted To-day (fays Timanthes,) I am not forry for Milesius's Vifit at prefent; becaufe his Gaiety may ferve a little to divert you." "And I, fays Crito, love every thing that you love; and fhall therefore go with Pleafure with you to meet him. Milesius came up to them with his ufual Vivacity in his Face, and Behaviour; and, after a fhort Compliment, or Two, they all fat down together again under the Tent.

They foon fell into a Converfation, which, though it might not be fo folid, was at leaft more lively and joyous than their former. Timanthes could not help obferving upon it. "You (fays he) Milesius give Life to the Company wherever you come ; but I am particularly glad of your coming hither To-day, becaufe my Friend Crito, on his Arrival this Morning, feemed to have the Remains of fomething of a Melancholy on his Face; but, fince your joining us, the Cloud has beeft gradually clearing up, and feems now quite driven away. I would not then take any Notice of it to him, for fear of oppreffing the Mind ••: •. .- . .: of of my Friend whilft too much afflicted ; but as 5t now appears to have been only a paffing Cloud, I could wifh to afk the Caufeof it; that I might endeavour to alleviate his Concern, if in my Power; and if not, that at leaft I might fhare it with him." "I am very much obliged to you (replied Crito, with a Caft of the fame Concern returning on his Face,) for your Tendernefs for me, on this, and all other Occafions: But if you obferved any thing of Sorrow about me on my Firft coming in, I can aflure you, that it was not for any Misfortune that has happined to myftlf; nor any new Misfortune to any of our Friends: Whatever you faw in me of that kind, muft have been occafioned by the Vifit I made this Morning. You both know the Beauty and Merits of Mrs. B * * *, as well as what a Brute of a Hufband fhe has the Misfortune to be married to. I juft called there, before I fet out; and, on the Servant's telling me, that his Lady had been up fome time, and was fitting in the Room next the Garden; as my near Relation to her gave me the Liberty of going on without fending in ~my Name, I walked toward the Room; and found the Door only juft open enough to let me fee her leaning on a Couch, with her head refted negligently on one Hand, whilft, with the other, fhe was wiping away a Tear, that ftole filently down her Cheek. The Diftrcfs in her Countenance, and the little Confufion that appeared about her Eyes, on her firft difcovering me (juft as I was doubting whether I fhould retire or not,) added fo much to the other Beauties of her Face, that I think I never faw her look fo charmB 3 in<*

ing in my Life. "Stay, Sir (fays fhe;) for you, I am fure, can excufe this little Overflow of Weaknefs in me. — My poor, dear, Jacky ! — If Heaven had fpared him to me, he would this very Day have been Seven Years old. What a pretty little Companion fhoukl I have had in him, to have diverted me in fome of the many Hours that I now pafs alone!" I diflembled my being but too well acquainted with the real Occafion of her Sorrows; joined with her in lamenting the Lofs fhe had mentioned; and, as foon as I could, led the Converfation into another Channel; and faid every thing 1 could think of, to divert her Mind from the Object that I knew afflicted her. By Degrees, fhe recovered her afnal Behaviour; but, through all the Calmnefs and Pleafingnefs of it, there was ftill a Cloud hanging about her Eyes, which betrayed Part of the Uneafinefs that ihe daily fuffers tinder in her Heart. Goad Heaven! how is it poffible that any human Creature ihould treat fo much Goodnefe, and fo many Charms, with fo much Barbarity of Behaviour !"—We all know the Vilenefo of the Man, cried Milesius, as well as the Beauty and good Qualities of his Lady; but, pray, how eome you to think, that her Sufferings fhould add to her Charms? or that a Diftrefs, like her's, could ever be pleafing to the Eye? Some People have got iuch ftrange, unintelligible Notions of Beauty!— «' Was I to let you into all my Thoughts about Beauty, replied Crito, what I happened to mention juft now would, perhaps, appear far from being unintelligible to you. To own the Truth, I have thought «m this Subjeft (which is ufually rather viewed with


« PreviousContinue »