Page images


man gave

sparkled in his eyes, and he seemed to renew his life, in breathing, for the last time, the invigorating and pure air of the mountain.

At last we arrived at the end of our journey : they set the old man on a rock; he rose, and, supporting himself on the spade which he had not quitted, he contemplated with delight the immense countries that he commanded. At this instant Tobie came, and threw himself at his father's feet; and the old man, embracing him with tenderness, Here, my son, (said he,) take this spade, which has served me half a century; may you keep it as long! To resign it myself into your hands, I have prolonged, beyond the ordinary terin, the labour which is painful at my age : I quit to-day our fields, and our vineyards; but you are going to re-place me." Saying these words, the old

Tobie the spade, and asked his crook in exchange. “Oh, my father!" said the young man, "receive again this faithful dog, who has obeyed me seven years, and for the future will follow and defend you; he will never more usefully serve me.” At these words the old man could not refrain a few tears, which gently rolled down his venerable cheeks; he caressed the dog his son presented to him; the animal struggled in Tobie's arms, and seemed to express, by his lamentations, his fear of changing his master. We all took the road to the valley, where we found all the villagers, and the festival was ended by a rustic ball; when I had the pleasure of seeing Tobie dance with Lina.

The following day I returned into the meadow, where I found my two good old friends, seated by the side of one another, entertaining themselves with an account of their youth, but mostly of their children. Lina brought them, punctually at the accustomed hour, fruits and milk. Tobie was not there, but Lina threw her eyes on the rock; she saw with quick delight the mutual friendship of the old men; it was

for her a tender presage. In short, I have since heard, that the old men enjoyed the happiness of celebrating the nuptials of Lina and Tobie; and that Lina is now one of the tenderest and happiest wives and mothers.


Miss Gunning.

[ocr errors]

that I do know who you are, my

fine .lads, by my shoul the last drop of my blood shall be spilt to do your little honours service, and that without the hope of any fee or reward, but what I shall feel in assisting the children of that sweet creature, who once took my part when I was in LondonGod bless her! it was before she married the old gentleman, your papa. I am sure I shall never forget her words, and will repate them to you for the honour of her worthy ladyship. You must know, some plate had been lost in the house of my lady's father, during the time we were on a visit there, and so all the servants cried out-"it must be me who was the thaif," as the butler told his honour, he would take upon himself to answer for the honesty of all his servants, (who were all English), and that he had every reason to believe it was the Irish rascal who had stolen the candlesticks; for which reason he insisted on my going before the old gentleman, “who,” he said, “ would force me to confess the fact, or hand me off to Bowstreet.” I am sure I shall never forget the time when, though as bold as a lion, from the innocence I felt, yet my knees did knock together as I followed Mr. Brown into the drawing-room, where his master and your sweet mother were sitting--I assured them on the honour of a Connaught man, that I was as innocent, or more so, than the child unborn, and would scorn to take the value of a glass of whisky which did not belong to me-and I almost cried at the affront offered to my country in the person of Patrick O'Riley, who is as noble a spirited fellow as any of the county of Roscommon.The dear creature looked at me as if she could have eat me; then turning to his honour, (your papa,) she said, “ It appears to me, indeed, Sir Owen, this poor fellow is perfectly innocent of the alledged crime--and merely from his being a native of another country, has raised a sort of jealousy in the breasts of the other servants, who are too apt to imbibe any national prejudice without justly reflecting, that it is not this or that nation, or people, that stamps a character--nature will not change for climate, custom, or complexion---the villain, black or white, is of one nation, and the benevolent are fellow-countrymen, though born at the extremity of the globe!" This was the very speech she made ; for, the minute I went out of the room, I wrote it down, word by word, and have since repeated it night and morning after my prayers.--Mr. Brown looked very angry at the interference of the dear shoul, well knowing, that if I gained her on my side, I had nothing to fear, as, at that time, Sir Owen doated on her, and no wonder, for she was the greatest beauty I ever saw out of my own country, and as sweet-tempered and good as she Wiis pretty: well, and to be sure, she no sooner said the word, than his honour gave me two guineas, to reward me, (as he said), for the trouble I had had in being suspected as a thief, and to remove all thoughts from the servants, that the honest Irishman bad disgraced his country, by turning out a rogue on his first Visit to little England.....




ISTORY preserves the memory of empires and

of states, with which it necessarily interweaves that of heroes, kings, and statesmen. Biography affords a place to the remarkable characters of private

There are likewise other subordinate testimonies, which serve to perpetuate, at least prolong, the memories of men, whose characters and stations give them no claim to a place in story. For instance, when a person fails of making that figure in the world which he makes in the eyes of his own relations or himself, he is rarely dignified any farther than with his picture whilst he is living, or with an inscription upon his monument after his decease. Inscriptions have been so fallacious, that we begin to expect little from them beside elegance of style. To inveigh against the writers, for their manifest want of truth, were as absurd as to censure Homer for the beauties of an imaginary character.—But even paintings, in order to gratify the vanity of the person who bespeaks them, are taught now-a-days, to flatter, like epitaphs.

Falsehoods upon a tomb or monument may be intitled to some excuse in the affection, the gratitude, and piety of surviving friends. Even grief itself disposes us to magnify the virtues of a relation, as visible objects also appear larger through tears.

But the man who through an idle vanity suffers his features to be belied or exchanged for others of a more agreeable make, may with great truth be said to lose his property in the portrait. In like manner, if he encourage the painter to belie his dress, he seems to transfer his claim to the man with whose station his assumed trappings are connected,

I remember a bag-piper, whose physiognomy was so remarkable and familiar to a club he attended, that it was agreed to have his picture placed over their chimney-piece. There was this remarkable in the fellow, that he chose always to go barefoot, though he was daily offered a pair of shoes. However, when the painter had been so exact as to omit this little piece of dress, the fellow offered all he had in the world, the whole produce of three nights' harmony, to have those feet covered in the effigy, which he so much scorned to cover in the original. Perhaps he thought it a disgrace to his instrument to be eternized in the hands of so much apparent poverty.

However, when a person of low station adorns himself with trophies to which he has no pretensions to aspire, he should consider the picture as actually telling a lie to posterity.

The absurdity of this is evident, if a person assume to himself a mitre, a blue garter, or å coronet improperly; but station may be falsified by other decorations, as well as these.

But I am driven into this grave discourse, on a subject perhaps not very important, by a real fit of spleen. I this morning saw a fellow drawn in a night-gown of so rich a stuff, that the expence, had he purchased such a one, would more than half have ruined him; and another coxcomb, seated by his painter in a velvet chair, who would have been surprised at the deference paid him, had he been offered a cushion.


HE sun appearing above the horizon, Solyman


When he arose from his devotions, he advanced to

« PreviousContinue »