صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


diately turned her back, and again evident dissatisfaction of Manfredo. began to descend. The youth fol. The way, too became particularly lowed, imploring her to stop. In- laborious and disagreeable. Matena, nocence turned her head, and, pleased wholly occupied in admiring the with the beauty of her pursuer, did elegance of her appearance, and as she was desired. Now whether watching the admiration it excited, it was owing to the impetuosity of heeded 'not her footsteps, but frethe youth or to the slippery ground quently stumbled, and received serious on which she stood I know not, bat hurt by her falls, yet acquired no poor Innocence fell! The beautiful caution by her misfortunes, though robe, which had been preserved with hundreds who walked by her side, so much care spotless, was with their eyes fixed on distant taminated by the filth of the place objects, suddenly fell into some small (for it happened on a very dirty chasms in the earth, were covered spot). Her exertions joined to those up, and seep no more. Manfredo of her companions were ineffectual and Matena appeared totally unconto remove the stains; they remained scious of their fate, though they indelible. From that time, she ap knew not but the next stip might peared more anxious to conceal the participate them also in one of those spots already acquired than careful unobserved pits. They were enof adding more.

tirely occupied in devising means to The youth, whose name was Man- lengthen the golden link which fredo, led Innocence to a neat hand. bound them, that they might roam some building by the road side, where at greater distance from each other. they were joined together by a small They had collected a quantity of gilt but very strong link of gold. In- copper, and formed a kind of chain; nocence here lost her name, and was and as it allowed a greater latitude afterwards distinguished by that of for their several fancies, and as they Matena.

had contrived to cover the copper One thing surprised me much. with a few sickly howers, they were Manfredo, though he had been very satisfied, and imagined that the cheat assiduous to repair the soiled robe of would pass on others. Thus they Innocence, and had seemed much proceeded till they had reached about distressed at her misfortune, now, the middle of the descent, when the as they journeyed together, would whole attention of Manfredo became frequently hold up the spots to Ma- riveted on a number of beautiful tena's view, when nobody was near. nymphs dancing in the shade to the This I thought very ungenerous, as most delightful airs, with matchless it was entirely his fault that it be grace and spirit. His heart panted came soiled ; and it so much in. to be with them : he cast a look on censed Matena, that she rushed to Matena —she observed him, and the house of Vanity, which stood with one bound he sprang over the a little on the left-hand out of the hedge, and was received in the arms way, and there purchased a change. of the smiling nymphs. Matena,

again received in large basons of into all their diversions. Yet
virgin marble. Bowers of full-blown often would her mind wander back
roses, myrtle, and jasmine elegantly to the path of duty she had quitted ;
entwined, invited the feet of the ofien would the sigh of regret agi-
weary traveller to rest, while the luxu- tate her bosom, on recollecting that
rious grape, the bloshing orange, the rugged path must yet le redden,
the fragrant musk-melon, which in spite of delays and proc.,. nation;
hung on all sides, promised a re and that the time sht %ad then so
freshing and delicious repast. The ily wasting, so fou bly misapply-
doors of this enchanting palace were ing, would one day be required at
of massy silver, and stood wide open. her hands with a terrible exactitude ;
The softest niusic, accompanied by when no excuses would be accepted,
the most exquisite voices, was heard; no palliations allowed. She would
and between every house the gay often rise to depart, but as instantly
laugh of mirth resounded through reseat herself. The pleasures which
the high-arched roof, Matena turned surrounded her appeared too great,
round, intending to consult with too various, to quit suddenly and
Manfredo whether they should enter voluntarily, and she promised that
thischarming place, as the open door the morrow should witness her dt-
seemed to invite. She was surprised parture. To-morrow came and went,
at his absence, but the grief she yet Matena still lingered in the shades
would have experienced at his desers of pleasure.
zion at any other time was now su One evening, after a dar spent
perseded by her curiosity; and she in voluptuous gratification, Matena
determined to enter, not doubting retired with a youth who had been
but when Manfredo should arrive her partner in the festive dance to a
there he also would enter, and find close arbour ofeglantine and tube-
ber in the charming palace.

TCSPS, The moon cast a soft light
The resolution was

on the surrounding orang ty; the formed than adopted; but in her dashing of a distant water-fall soothhaste to enter, she dropped the vo ed the car of night; while Matena, lume given her by Religion, which her soul enervated hy tumultuous hitherto she had preserved with so pleasurés, sat leaning her head on much care, and which had formerly the treacherous bosom of her com. been such a confort to her. Uncon- panion, listening with guilty atten. scious of her loss, she eagerly pressed tion to his false blandishments ; forward to view the interior of a

when suddenly Manfredo stood bepalace, of which the smallest ap- fore them, his face inflamed with pendage denoted splendour and cle- passion. With oue strong etfort he gance beyond imagination. In a broke the chain which united them, magnificent saloon, she beheld a and tauntingly throwing the gilt part sparkling company of youth of both at the weeping Matena, himself resexer. Some were dancing, others taining the golden, departed from were singing the songs of mirin, her for ever. Poor Matena, left and all were amusing themselves alone (for her gay companions had in whatever took their fancy, ard all fled on the first appearance of indulging the whim of the moment, danger), was wholly absorpt in the bowever absurd. They received Ala- deepest melancholy. She shed the biitena with shouts of welcoine, in ter tears of poignant regret, and gave viting her to partake of their amuse way to the torturing sighs of deDant. The unthinking Niatena spair. The moon became obscured complied, and tritered with spirit by biack clouds, the thunder roared,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

the lightning quivered on the ground, the fainting spirit of Matena, who and the heavens poured down rivers at her command cheerfully approachon the weeping, the exposed, the ed the brink of the blacji river, and, miserable, despairing Matena. while she fixed her eyes on her be

At last, morning appeared. Ma- loved monitor, the river suddenly tena arose from the ground, and, cast rose, and its oblivious waters closed ing a fearful glance around, beheld ing over her, she was lost to my the late beautiful prospect laid waste sight!

Alas! child of sorrow,' I -the blooming honours of the grove exclaimed aloud, “is this the end of scattered, and the lofty pine of the thy painful journey, and that horrid forest laid low. With a hurried river the termination of thy troubles ? trembling step she left the bowers of Surely, in spite of thine errors, thy pleasure, nor stopped till she had repentence deserved a better fate.' gained the straight-forward path of Religion turned on me a reprove duty.

ing eye.

Forbear, rash mortal,' But, alas! the cheerful alacrity said she, 'to measure infinite wisdom with which she had once trod this by finite. The child of sin and path was gone for ever! Sell-up- sorrow is at rest.' But Matena had braidings and conscious guilt cora been taught that the first false step roded her inmost soul, and embitter can never be retrieved. Yet she ed every moment of her existence. turned aside to contemplate forDid a shady bower invite her to rest bidden pleasures; and though she her weary feet, she entered it but to regained the path of duty, and set weep, and was soon obliged to hurry her hand to the plough, yet she onwards, to regain the time wasted in looked back with a desiring eye. the palace of dissipation. The book She stopped when she ought to have given her by Religion would on run, and suffered the destroyer to those occasions have been a season overtake her. She selected a partable relief, but that she had lost. ner from the sons of disobedience. Affliction presented her a black She became enamoured of Vanity, robe; and clothed in this, without and allied herself to perdition. She a single companion but her own sad forsook the paths of wisdom, and thoughts, she descended the remainder forgot the law of her God. But she of the hill. Her feet became weak, and was not permitted to perish, as many often lacerated by the rugged way do, in the palace of pleasure, or when she suddenly arrived at a black bowers of dissipation. The thunder river, whose sullen waves laved the mercifully awoke her from her dream bottom of the hill. Over this river was of fancied happiness, and warned her no bridge-and Matena sat down on of the danger of procrastination. The it; glodmy banks, patiently to await rest of the way was watered by the the hour when the waves should rise tears of repentance; but happy was and sweep her from the land of sor Matena that she had time allowed row. While she sat weeping, a

her to repent.

Her errors were bright cloud descended, and Religion many, her sins flagrant; but Heaven again stood before her pupil. She was merciful, and she is now enjoylooked with compassion on the mi- ing that pure felicity which kingserable Matena : her eye beained doms cannot purchase nor mortals pity, and in her hand she bore the merit, but which is freely given to volume formerly disregarded by Ma the child of repentance. Religion tena,

From its sacred page she re then touched my eyes with her proved, she exhorted, she comforted finger, and the thick mist which VOL. XXXVIII.


of her ways.

enveloped the river cleared up. I Yet, when she turned her eyes on the saw Matena rising from its black palo corse, and thought on the home waves, renovated in youth and beauó that mother's presence used to irty. The robe of innocence again radiate, remembrance swelled her covered her shoulders, and Hoated in breast, and tears would force their many a graceful fold around her way. feet. On her head was a crown of In conformity to Mrs. Gayton's gold, sparkling as the morning star. desire, her morial part was interred A thousand harmonious voices hailed in N-church-yard, being the her arrival; a thousand bright forms parish in which she died. Sabina with golden harpy rejoiced over her and Mrs. Smith attended as true and bore her with songs of triumph mourners on the melancholy occato the throne of the Most High, as a sion, and saw her hallowed remains sinner who had repented of the errors peaceably laid under the wide-spread

ing branches of a weeping willow. The glory was too strong for my The deep, the tender sorrow, yet weak sight: I awoke, and found my- pious resignation, of the interesting self sitting in my arm-chair by a orphan, affected the matronal bosom cheerful blazing fire.

of the friendly Mrs. Smith, She SOPHIA TROUGATON. gympathised with her in her sorrows, January 8, 1807.

and fondly loved her, from a knowHomerlon.

ledge of her many amiable qualities as a daughter.

Mrs. Smith was a widow; her

only son had perished in the field of FAMILY ANECDOTES. balile, bravely fighting for his coun.

try. She possessed a small farm, By SOPHIA TROUGHTON. which, with the best management (Continued from p. 13.)

and strictest econoniy, hardly afford.

ed, ber the means of living. She CHAP. XVI.

had learned to pity the woes of her

fellow-creatures, for she had tasted Strange things, the neighbours say, have hap- sorrow herself. She advised Sabina

pened here; Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow to settle with the apothecary and tombs;

undertaker, if her purse would allow; Dead men have come again and walked about, to go to Crediton, and settle her And the greatbell has toll’dunrung, untouched. affairs there ; and then,' added the


worthy woman, ‘if no better a home POOR Sabina, left alone in the offers, my dear child, return to me ; wide world, without a single relation for while I have a roof that roof or friend to guide her inexperience, shall shelter you, that's all!' or from whom she could expect sup

Sabina thanked her for her kind. port, felt all the horror of her com ness, and followed her advice. The fortless situation. But she was assured apothecary's bill, for medicine and that her beloved suffering mother attendance, amounted to sixteen was at length happy; and that assure- pounds, and the undertaker's to ance was balm to her affectionate iwelve. The whole contents of heart. There were moments when Sabina's purse was thirty pounds.' her own forlorn state was forgotten, Of course, when those bills were paid, in the contemplation of the felicity there only remained two pounds; a her adored moiher was enjoying., sum very inadequate for a journey.

[merged small][ocr errors]

She therefore determined, after much tation of Sabina became excessive. irresolution, to sell the gold watch She paid the coachman, who, mountpresented to her by Gordon. Taking ing his box, was soon out of sight: it in her hand to her kind hostess, then seating herself on the stile, • I am sorry,' said she, but it with her little bundle in her hand, must be so: endeavour, my dear she gave ease to her oppressed heart Mrs. Smith, to find a purchaser for by a flood of tears.

The hour was this present of my brother's; he will eight; day's garish eye' was fast forgive me, when he shall hear how closing ; the yellow leaves were unhard run I was before I would part disturbed by the gentlest zephyr; with this token of his brotherly not a sound broke on her pensive affection.'

ear but the 'suilen roar' of a disYou shall not part with it, my tant waierfall. The desolate Sabina sweet child. I have not much money looked around : every object was myself, but I will carry it to my familiar to her eye, and forcibly reJandlord, who is a worthy man, and minded her of her beloved mother. I dare say will advance you what you She arose froin her humble seat, have need of on it, and when my and slowly proceeded towards that corn is sold, I will redeem it-that's home which she longed, yet dreaded, all.'

to behold. As she walked on, the The next morning the good crea heat became extreme, and the black ture brought Sabina ten guineas on gathering clouds denoted an apher walch, but held back both her proaching thunder-storin, so common hands when she was'offered a part, after a warm day in autumn. Sabina Sabina inherited the spirit of her redoubled her pace, and came in mother, and wrapping up five gui- sight of the white cottage as the first neas in a piece of white paper, left thunder-clap hurst over her head. them in the drawer of a litile table She passed through the little rustic wbich stood in her chamber, as some gate, which stood open, but the ina Tecompense for the kind attention of ner door and all the windows in front the good woman to herself and her were fast closed. Sabina was not mother.

surprised, as the hour was near ten; When she bade the worthy Smith and being unwilling to disturb old adieu, her sorrows seemed io accu- Marthit, she walked round to the mulate with fresh violence. With garden front. The little glass para heart overwhelmed with sorrow, Tour door was seldom fastened but a small parcel of her mother's clothes with a latch.

This' she found (which, being black, she wore), and unlocked; and entering the well-rea a green silk purse of her sister's knite membered parlour, threw herselt on ting, containing seven gaineas-she a chair. A vivid and continued flash stepped into the stage which passed of lightning discovered her mother's within four miles of Crediton. The frame and chair.

Sabina sighed. coach passed the church-yard of Another momentary illumination fill

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »