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Harley sets out on his Journey—The Beggar and his Dog. He had taken leave of his aunt on the eve of his intended departure; but the good lacly's affection for her nephew iuterrupted her sleep, and early as it was, next morning when Harley came down-stairs to set out, he found her in the parlour with a tear on her cheek, and her caudle-cup in her hand. She knew enough of physic to prefcribe against going abroad of a morning with an empty stomach. She gave her blessing with the draught; her instructions she had delivered the night before. They consisted mostiy of negatives; for London, in her idea, was so replete with temptations, that it needed the whole armour of her friendly cautions to repel their attacks.
Peter stood at the door. We have mentioned this faithful follow formerly. Harlay's father had takın him up an orphan, and saved him from being cast on the parich; and he had ever since remained in the service of him and of his son. Harley shook him by the hand as he passed, smiling, as if he had said: “I will not weep.' Hu sprung hastily into the chaise that waited for him; Peter folded up the step. 'My dear master,' said he, shaking the solitary lock that huug on either side of his head, • I have been told as how London is a sad place.' He was choked with the thought, and his benediction could not be heard. But it shall be heard, honest Peter! where these tears will add to its energy.
In a few hours Harley reached the inn where he proposed breakfasting; but the fulness of his heart would not suffer him to eat a morsel. He walked out on the road, and gaining a little height, stood gazing on the quarter he had left. He looked for his wonted prospect, his fields, his woods, and his hills; they were lost in the distant clouds ! He pencilled them on the clouds, and bade them farewell with a sigh!
He sat down on a large stone to take out a little pebble from his shoe, when he saw, at some distance, a beggar approaching him. He had ou a loose sort of coat, mended with different-coloured rags, amongst which the blue and the russet weré the predominant. He had a short knotty stick in his hand, and on the top of it was stuck a ram's horn; his knees—thongh he was no pilgrim-had worn the stuff of his breeches; he wore no shoes, and his stockings had entirely lost that part of them which should have covered his feet and ankles. In his face, however, was the plump app-arance of good-humour: he walked a good round pace, and a crook-legged dog trotted at his heels.
Our delicacies,' said Harley to himself, are fantastic: they are not in nature ! that beggar walks over the sharpest of these stones barefooted, while I have lost the most delightful dream in the world from the sinallest of them happening to get into
The beggar had by this time come up, and, pulling off a piece of hat, asked charity of Harley ; the dog began to beg too. It was impossible to resist both; and, in truth, the want of shoes and stockings had made both unnecessary, for Harluy had destined sixpence for him before. The beggar, on receiving it, poured forth blessings without number; and, with a sort of smile on his countenunce, said to Harley, - that if he wanted'his fortune told ? Harley turned his eye bri kly on the beggar: it was an unproinising look for the subject of a prediction, and silenced the prophet immediately. I would much rather learn,' said Harley, what it is in your power to tell me: your trade must be an entertaining one. sit down on this stone, and let me know something of your profession; I have often thought of turiing fortune-teller for a week or two myself.'
“Master,' replied the beggar, 'I like your frankness mucb; God knows I had the humour of plain-dealing in me from a child; but there is no doing with it in this word; we must live as we can, and lying is, as you call it, my profession: but I was in some sort forced to the trade, for I dealt once in telling truth. I was a labourer, sir, and gained as much as to make me live: I never laid by, indeed; for I was reckoned a piece of a way, and your wags, I take it, are seldoin rich, Mr. Harley? “So,' said Harley, ' you seem to know me.' Ay, there are few folks in the country that I don't know something of; how should I tell fortunes else?' “Truc; but to go on with your story: you were a labourer, you say, and a wag; your indinstry, I suppose, you left with your old trade; but your humour you preserve to be of use to you in your now.'
• What siguifies sadness, sir ? a man grows lean out: but I was brought to my idleness by degrees; first I could not work, and it went against my stomach to work ever after. I was scized with a jail-fever at the time of the ussizes being in the
county where I lived; for I was always curious to get acquainted with the felons, because they are commonly fellows of much mirth and little thought, qualities I had ever an esteem for. In the height of this fever, Mr. Harley, the house where I lay took fire, and burnt to the ground; I was carried out in that condition, and lay all the rest of my illness in a barn. I got the better of my disease, however, but I was so weak that I spat blood whenever I attempted to work. I had no relation living that I knew of, and I never kept a friend above a week when I was able to joke; I seldom remained above six months in a parish, so that I might have died before I had found a settlement in any: thus I was forced to big my bread, and a sorry trade I found it. Mr. Harley. I told all my misfortunes truly, but they were seldom believed ; and the few who gave me a halfpenvy as they passed, did it with a shake of the head, and an injunction not to trouble them with a long story. In short, I found that people do not care to give alms without some security for their money; a wooden leg or a withered arm is a sort of draft upon Haven for those who choose to have their money placed to account there; so I changed my plan, and, instead of telling my own misfortun:s, began to prophesy happiness to others. This I found by much the better way: folks will always listen when the tale is their own; and of many who say they do not believe in fortune-telling, I have known few on whom it had not a very sensible effect. I pick up the names of their acquaintance; amours and little squabbles are easily gleaned among servants and neighbours; and indeed people themselves are the best intelJigencers in the world for our purpose; they dare not puzzle us for their own sakes, for every one is anxious to hear what they wish to believe; and they who repeat it, to langh at it when they have done, are generally inore serious than their hearers are apt to imagine. With a tolerable good memory and some share of curning, with the help of walking a-nights over heaths and churchyards, with this, and shewing the tricks of that there dog, whom I stole from the sergeant of a marching regiment -and, by the way, he can steal too upon occasion-I made shift to pick up a livelihood.' My trade, indeed, is none of the honestest; yet people are not much chcated neither, who give a few halfpence for a prospect of happiness, which I have heard some persons say is all a man can arrive at in this world. But I must bid you a good-day, sir, for I have three iniles to walk before noon, to inform some boardingschool young ladies whether their husbands are to be peers of the realm or captains in the army; a question which I promised to answer them by that time.'
Harley had drawn a shilling from his pocket; but Virtue made him consider on whom he was going to bestow it. Virtue held back liis arm; but a milder form, younger sister of Virtue's, uot so severe as Virtue, nor so serious as Pity, smiled upon him: his fingers lost their compression ; nor did Virtue offer to catch the money as it fell. It had no sooner reached the ground than the watchful cur-a trick he had been taught-spapped it up; and, contrary to the most approved method of stewardship, delivered it immediately into the hands of his master.
The Death of Harley. Harley was one of those few friends whom the malevolence of fortune had yet left me; I could not, therefore, but be sensibly concerned for his present indisposition; there seldom passed a day on which I did not make inquiry about him.
The plıysician who attended him had inforined me the evening before, that he thought him considerably better than he had been for some time past. I called uext morning to be confirmed in a piece of intelligence so welcome to me.
When I entered liis apartment, I found him sitting on a couch, leaning on his hand, with his eye turned upwards in the attitude of thoughtful inspiration. His look had always an open benignity, which commauded esteem; there was now something more---a gentle triumph in it.
* There are some remembrances,' said Harley, which rise invoinntarily on my heart, and make me almost wish to live. I have been blessed with a few friends who redeem my opinion of mankind. I recollect with the tenderest emotion the scencs of pleasure I have passed among them; but we shall ineet agaiu, my friend, never to be separated. There are some icelings which perhaps are too tender to be suffered by the world. The world is in genera! geltislı, interested, and unthinking, and throws the imputation of romance or melancholy on every temper more susceptible than its own, 'I cannot think but in those regions which I contemplate, if there is anything of mortality left about us, that these feelings will subsist; they are called - perhaps they are--weaknesses here; but there may be some better modifications of them in heaven, which may deserve the name of virtues.' He sighed as he spoke these last words. He had scarcely finished them when the door opened, and his aunt appeared leading in Miss Walton. My dear,' says she, “here is Miss Walion, who has been so kind as to come and inquire for you herself. I could observe a transient glow upon his face. He rose from his seat. . If to know Miss Waltou's goodness,' said he, b; atilto deserve it, I have some claim.: She begged lang to resume his seat, and placed herself on the sofil beside him. I took my leave. Nils Margery accompanied me to the door. He was left with Miss Walton alonc. She inquired anxiously about his health.
• I believe,' said he, 'from the accounts which my physicians unwillingly give me, that they have no great hopes of my recovery.' She started as he spoke; but recollecting herself immediately, endeavoured to fatter him into a belief that his apprehensions were groundless. I know,' said he, that it is usual with persons at my time of life to have these hopes which your kindnces suggests, but I would not wish to be deceived. To meet death as becomes a mau is a privilege bestowed on few. I would endeavour to make it mine; nor do I think that I can ever be better prepared for it than now; it is that chiefly which determinis the fitness of its approach.' • Those sentiments,' answered Miss Walton, are just; but your good sense, Mr. Harley, will own that life has its proper value. As thó province of virtue, life is ennobled; as such, it is to be c'esired. To virtue has the Supreme Director of all things assigned rewards enough even here to fix its attachiment.'
The subject began to overpower her. Harley lifted his eyes from the ground: There are,' said he, in a very low voice, “there are attachments, Miss Walton. His glance met hers. They both betrayed a confusion, and were both instantly wi ldrawn. He paused some inoments: I am in such a state as calls for sincerity, Ict that also excuse it-it is perhaps the last time we shall ever ineet. I feel something particularly solemn in the acknowledgment, yet my heart swells to make it, awed as it is by a sense of my presumption, by a sense of your perfections.' He paused again. "Let it not offend you to know their power over one so unworthy. It will, I believe, soon cease to heat, even with that feeling which it shall lose the latest. To love Miss Walton could not be a crime; if to declare it is one, the expiation will be made. Her tears were now flowing without control. • Let me entreat you,' said she, “to have better liopes. Let not life be po indifferent to you, if my wishes can put any value on it. I will not pretend to misunderstand you—I know your worth
have known it long--I have esteemed it. What would you have me say ? I have loved it as it deserved.' He seized her hand, a languid colour reddened his cheek, a smile brightened faintly in his eye. As he gazed on her it grew dim, it fixed, it closed. He sighed, and fell back on his seat. Miss Walton screamed at the sight. His aunt and the servants rushed into i he room. They found them lying motionless together. His physician happened to call at that instant. Every art was tried to recover them.
With Miss Walton they succeeded, but Harley was gone for ever! He had hinted that he sliould like to be buried in a certain spot near the grave of his mother. This is a weakness, but it is nniversally incident to humanity; it is at least a memorial for those who survive. For some, indeed, a slender memorial will serve; and the soft affections, when they are busy that way, will build their structures were it put on the paring of a nail.
He was buricd in the place he had desired. It was shaded by an old tree, the only one in the churchyard, in which was a cavity worn by time. I have sat with him in it, and counted the tombs. The last time we passed there, methought he looked wistfully on the tree; there was a branch of it that bent towards us, waving in the wind; he waved his hand, as if he mimicked its motion. There was somea thing predictive in his look! perhaps it is foolish to remark it, but there are times and places when I am a child at those things,
I sometimes visit his grave; I sit in the hollow of the tree. It is worth a thousand homilies; every noble feeling rises within mel Every beat of my heart awakens a virtue; but it will make you hate the world. No; there is such an air of gentlenesa around that I can hate nothing ; but as to the world, I pity the men of it.
HISTORIANS. A spirit of philosophical inquiry and reflection, united to the graces of literary composition, can hardly be said to have been presented by any English historian before the appearance of that illustrious triumvirate-Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon. The early annalists of Britain recorded mere fables and superstitions, with a slight admixture of truth. The classic pen of Buchanan was guided by party rancour, undignified by research. Even Milton, when he set himself to compose a history of his native country, included the fables of Geoffrey of Monmouth. The history of the Long Parliament by May is a val. uable fragment, and the works of Clarendon and Burnet are interesting though prejudiced pictures of the times. A taste for our national annals soon began to call
for more extensive compilations; and in 1706 a 'Complete History of England' was published, containing a collection of various works previous to the time of Charles I. and a continuation by White Kennet, bishop of Peterborough. M. Rapin, a French Protestant (1661–1725), who had come over to England with the Prince of Orange, and resided here several years, seems to have been interested in our affairs; for, on retiring to the Hague, he there composed a voluminous history of England, in French, which was speedily translated, and enjoyed great popularity. The work of Rapin is still considered valuable, and it possesses a property which no Eng: lish author has yet been able to confer on a similar narration, that of impartiality; but it wants literary attractions.
A more laborious, exact, and original historian appeared in THOMAS CARTE (1686–1754), who meditated a complete domestic or civil history of England, for which he had made large collections, encouraged by public subscriptions. His work was projected in 1743, and four years afterwards the first volume appeared. Unfortunately, Carte made allusion to a case, which he said had come under his own observation, of a person who had been cured of the king'sevil by the Pretender, then in exile in France; and this Jacobite sally proved the ruin of his work. Subscribers withdrew their names, and the historian was left forlorn and abandoned amid his extensive collections.' A second and third volume, however, were published by the indefatigable collector, and a fourth, which he left incomplete, was published after his death. Carte was author also of a 'Life of the Duke of Ormond,' remarkable for the fulness of its information, but disligured by his Jacobite predilections.
The 'Roman Ilistory' by NITHANIEL HOOKE (circa 1690–1763) also belongs to this period. It commences with the building of Rome, and is continued to the downfall of the commonwealth. Hooke was patronised by Pope—to whom he dedicated his first volume—and he produced a useful work, which still maintains its place. The first volume of this history was published in 1733, but the publication was pot completed till 1771. poke wrote an ‘Account of the Conduct of the Dowager Duchess of Marborough,' usually termed an 'Apology,' for which the Duchess is said to have given him £5000.
DR. CONYERS MIDDLETON. In 1741, DR. CONYERS MIDDLETON (1683–1750), an English clergy. man, and librarian of the public library at Cambridge, produced liis historical 'Life of Cicero,' in two volumes. Reviewing the whole of the celebrated orator's public career, and the principal transactions of his times-mixing up questions of philosophy, government, and politics with the details of biography, Middleton compiled a highly interesting work, full of varied and important information, and written with great care and taste. An admiration of the rounded style and flowing periods of Cicero seems to have produced in his biographer a desire to attain to similar excellence; and perhaps no author, prior to Johnson's great works, wrote English with the same careful finish and sustained dignity. The graces of Addison were wanting, but certainly no historical writings of the day were at all comparable to Middleton's memoir. One or two sentences from his summary of Cicero's character (of which Middleton was almost an idolater) will exemplify the author's style:
Character of Cicero. He (Cicero) made a just distinction between bearing what we cannot help, and approving what we ought to condemn; and submitted therefore, yet never consented to those usurpations; and when he was forced to comply with them, did it always with a reluctance that he expresses very keenly in his letters to his friends. But whenever that force was removed, and he was at liberty to pursue his principles and act without control, as in his consulship, in his province, and after Cæsar's deaththe only periods of his life in which he was truly master of himself-there we see him shining out in his genuine character of an excellent citizen, a great inagistrate, a glorious patriot; there he could see the man who could declare of himself with truth, in an appeal to Atticus as to the best witness of his conscience, that he had always done the greatest services to his country when it was in his power; or when it was not, had never harboured a thought of it but what was divine. If we must needs compare him, therefore, with Cato, as some writers affect to do, it is certain that if Cato's virtue seem more splendid in theory, Cicero's will be found superior in practice; the one was romantic, the other was natural; the one drawn from the refinements of the schools, the other from nature and social life; the one always unsuccessful, often hurtful; the other always beneficial, often salutary to the republic.
To conclude : Cicero's death, though 'violent, cannot be called untimely, but was the proper end of such a life; which inust also have been rendered less glorious if it had owed its preservation to Antony. It was, therefore. not only what he expected, but, in the circumstances to which he was reduced, what he seems even to have wished. For he, wh) before had been timid in dangers, and desponding in distress, yet, from the time of Cæsir's death, roused by the desperate state of the republic, assumed the fortitude of a hero ; discarded all fear; despised all danger; and when he could not free his country from a tyranny, provoked the tyrants to take that life which he no longer cared to preserve. Thus, like a great actor on the stage, he reserved himself, as it were, for the last act; and after he had played his part with dignity, resolved to finish it with glory.
So recently as 1848. appeared, edited from the original manuscript by Mr. John Wilson Croker, Memoirs of the Reign of George II. from his Accession to the Death of Queen Caroline - from 1727