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der her entertaining to her father and useful to her mother; but as these were endowments received in the way of chit-chat, it never entered the mind of Agnes to class them amongst her attainments. In the circle of her own parish there were a few young women similarly instructed by her father, or other friends ; so that her mind was neither left to the dangerous contemplation of its own superiority, which is often the case in secluded situations; nor, as she saw no one superior to her, was she led to repine at their advantages, or sink under the consciousness of humiliating inferiority. Hence arose a proper estimation of herself, a solidity of character, a temperance, propriety, and self-possession, which, combined with deep and fervent piety, unaffected sensibility, and true modesty, rendered her not less estimable than engaging, and promised that the virtuous woman would succeed to the duteous and tender daughter.

At the period we now speak of, it was not so much the fashion, as at present, to explore the beauties of the mountain scenery of Cumberland; and the remote village where Mr Rumney held the “noiseless tenor of his way" lay too far from the more striking objects sought in the tour of the lakes to have awakened curiosity, though it boasted many singular beauties.

The inhabitants of this part of England enjoy a degree of equality unknown to any other. The land is almost universally held by a kind of little gentry, who, being owners, not farmers, enjoy all the independence of country squires, though they are often nearly as poor as their cottagers; these call themselves statesmen—the eldest son is sole heir ; and it is by no means uncommon to find them residents on the very spot where their fathers have lived from before the Conquest: and it is their pride


to persist, as far as they are able, in all the customs which prevailed in the days of their forefathers. As the native good sense and vigorous intellect of men, soberly exercised, lead them to consider what is really good in that which increasing civilization offers to their attention, it may be fairly inferred that the Cumberland and Westmoreland little landholders do not reject many essential advantages, at this day, by adhering to the practice of their fathers, whilst they retain a considerable portion of that which is really good from their amiable partiality.

Amongst the principal blessings thus derived may be considered the universality of learning ; at least, such a portion of it as we have assigned to Agnes. In every family the Bible is read, and commented upon by the master or mistress of the house ; and as much of profane history understood as is connected with it, and tends to cast light upon it; and to this is usually added a knowledge of local history connected with that of the country. A taste for poetry is prevalent also, by a natural analogy with the minds of a people who inhabit a sublime and picturesque country, often the seat of border warfare, and still subject to feudal tenures ;-circumstances which all have a tendency to inspire the mind with images of beauty, terror, and interest, which constitute the very best essence of poetry, and give it the power of delighting the imagination without corrupting the heart.

To return from a digression which, we trust, was not useless, since it may serve to help many a wanderer from these sequestered glades to recall to their minds, and, I trust, their affections, the simple people they have left behind; and those who have not been acquainted with them, to contemplate a new order of society, which, how


ever remote from their own circle, can never be contemptible or unworthy their notice; we proceed to say that, during the autumn, when Agnes Rumney had completed her nineteenth year, the gentleman in question visited his seat, after an absence of four years, accompanied by several friends from the south, having, amongst other inmates, a young artist of great abilities, who came into this country for the purpose of taking sketches of the romantic scenery it so profusely exhibits.

Mr Rumney, on his visit to the great house, returned under the pleasing impression refined society never fails to give the mind calculated for enjoying it, when but rarely admitted to the intellectual feast; but he dwelt more on the pleasure the young artist's conversation had given him than on all the rest : his wit, his eloquence, the variety of his information, the versatility of his manners, the brilliancy of his imagination, the sublimity of his conceptions, -all were by turns the theme of the good man's praise ; and Agnes and her mother listened till they partook his enthusiasm, and ardently desired to become acquainted with this extraordinary stranger.

Their wishes were gratified much sooner than they expected, for Mr Lewis, the artist, having been much pleased with the simplicity, sanctity, and good sense of the Cumberland divine—and being accustomed to pursue with enthusiasm whatever had the power to attract him -and to admire or despise, love or hate, whatever lay in his path, paid Mr Rumney an early visit, desiring to be led by him into some of those scenes where he could pursue his delightful avocation; after spending some hours at which, he would return to partake of his dinner.

The master of the house heard this with pleasure ; the mistress, on "hospitable thoughts intent," ran to


apprise Agnes of the expected guest, and they united in straining every nerve to add to the comforts of their plain but hospitable table. Mr Lewis was charmed with all he saw, but especially with Agnes,-the delight he felt he communicated; for the brilliance of his conversation exceeded even what it had done in a higher circle ; and Mr Rumney, perhaps flattered by that circumstance, exclaimed, the moment after he had shaken hands at parting with him, “Well, what do you say to this wonderful young man ? Have you ever seen anything like him?"

Never," returned his wife; “but still I liked him best when he took the children on his knee, and told them about his pranks and misfortunes when he was a little one."

“That was natural enough for you, my love; but he has pleased me more than anything by explaining those peculiarities in perspective which have so often puzzled me when ascending the mountains."

“I admired him the most,” said Agnes, timidly," when at the very moment he was quoting that fine passage of poetry, at the name of mother, his own seemed to cross his mind, his eyes filled with tears, and he was unable to proceed for then I knew that, surprising and clever as he is, his heart felt just as my own would have done at such a sad remembrance.”

“Bless thee, my bonny bairn," said the mother, tenderly kissing her ; "his mother, with all the joy she must once have had in such a son, could not be happier than I am in my Aggy.”

Mr Lewis's visit was soon renewed, and in a short time he became almost a constant inmate in the family ; as the timidity of Agnes gave way, and he discovered the abilities she possessed, it was evident he became more

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pleased with her conversation than even her person, which was uncommonly attractive, though less striking to an inhabitant than a stranger, as in her neighbourhood almost every woman is delicately fair, and elegantly formed; but there was something in the unpretending good sense, the artless propriety, and dignified submission, which marked the manner of Agnes in every action of her life, added to the compassionate tenderness and lively devotion which were occasionally exhibited in her conduct, that struck the feelings and attached the heart of Mr Lewis. He had spent much time amongst the great, the gay, and the accomplished, where his various talents, elegant manners, and fine person, had attracted their attention, and induced them to call forth all their powers of pleasing, since every person is anxious to be appreciated by those they consider proficients or judges ; but he had never yet met with a young woman at once so simple and so wise as Agnes ; and he yielded with his accustomed submission to the prevailing impulse-to the passion she had inspired, which it was not difficult to render reciprocal in one already prepossessed in his favour.

With an open countenance and ingenuous heart, Lewis honourably confessed to his reverend friend that his paternal fortune was small, and nearly consumed by the unavoidable expenses contracted in pursuing his art; that he believed he had not, since the loss of his parents, conducted his affairs with all the prudence in the world ; and that he was subject to impetuosity of temper, which sometimes hurried him into extravagances he afterwards repented of, and follies he despised; "but,” he added,

' “I have a heart capable of unbounded tenderness, of sublime devotion, and deep contrition. Thank God, my

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