« السابقةمتابعة »
eager to place myself under the protection of a nation, whose generosity all Europe bears testimony to, I lost not a moment in embarking on board the British Lion (for so the ship was named), and in this asylum I for the first time found that repose of mind and body, which for more than two months I had been a stranger to.
• Here I fortunately made acquaintance with a very worthy and ingenious gentleman, who was going to settle at Smyrna as physician to the factory, and to the care and humanity of this excellent persón, under Providence, I am indebted for my recovery from a very dangerous fever, which seized me on the third day after my coming on board : this gentleman résided many years at Smyrna, and practised there with great success; he afterward went through a very curious course of travel, and is now happily returned to his native country.
* When we arrived at Smyrna. I was on my recovery, and yet under the care of my friendly physician; I lodged in the same house with him, and found great benefit from the air and exercise on shore : he advised me to remain there for a season, and at the same time an offer was made to me by the ship’s captain of acting for the merchants in place of their agent, who had died on the passage. The letters of credit given me at Barcelona, and the security entered into on my account with the house in London, warranted this proposal on his part, and there were many motives which prevailed with me for accepting it.
• In this station I had the good fortune to give such satisfaction to my principals, that during a residence of more than twenty years I negociated their business with uninterrupted success, and in the course of that time secured a competency for myself, and married a very worthy wife, with whom I have lived happily ever since.
Still my wishes pointed to this land of freedom and toleration, and here at last I hope I am set down for life : such was my prepossession for this country, that I may say, without boasting, during twenty years' residence in Smyrna, no Englishman ever left my door without the relief he solicited, or appeared to stand in need of. “I must not omit to tell
infinite comfort it turned out, that my precautions after the death of the monk were effectual for preventing any mischief to the head of my family, who still preserves his rank, title, and estate, unsuspected; and although I was outlawed by name, time hath now wrought such a change in my person, and the affair hath so died away in men's memories, that I trust I am in security from any future machinations in that quarter: still I hold it just to my family and prudent towards myself to continue my precautions. Upon the little fortune I raised in Smyrna, with some aids I have occasionally received from the head of our house, who is my nephew, and several profitable commissions for the sale of Spanish wool, I live contentedly, though humbly as you see, and I have besides wherewithal (blessed be God !) to be of some use and assistance to my fellow-creatures.
• Thus I have related to you my brief history, not concealing that bloody act which would subject me to death by the sentence of a human tribunal, but for which I hope my intercession and atonement have been accepted by the Supreme Judge of all hearts, with whom there is mercy and forgiveness. Refect, I pray you, upon my situation at that dreadful moment; enter into the feelings of a son; picture to yourselves the scene of horror before my eyes ; conceive a brutal zealot spurning the dead corpse of my father, and that father his most generous benefactor, honoured for his virtues and adored for his charities, the best of parents and the friend of man
kind; reflect, I say, upon these my agonies and provocations, make allowance for a distracted heart in such a crisis, and judge me with that charity, which takes the law of God, and not the law of man, for its direction.'
Here Abrahams concluded, and here also I shall adjourn to the succeeding number what remains to be related of the persons, whose adventures have already engrossed so large a portion of this miscellaneous work.
The reader will recollect that the worthy Hebrew, who assumes the name of Abrahams, had just concluded the narrative of his adventures, and that the next morning was appointed for a conciliatory interview between Mrs. Goodison and her father. Ned, whose natural indolence had now began to give place to the most active of all passions, had been so much agitated by the events of the day, that we had no sooner parted from honest Abrahams, than he began to comment upon the lucky incident of our rencontre with the old gentleman at the comedy; he seemed strongly inclined to deal with destiny. for some certain impulses, which he remembered to have felt, when he was so earnest to go to the play; and declared with much gravity, that he went thither fully prepossessed some good fortune would turn up.
Well, to be sure,' said he, ' I ought to rejoice in the happy turn affairs have now taken, and I do rejoice; but it would have given me infinite delight to have fulfilled the plan I had in design for Mrs. Goodison's accommodation ; she
will now want no assistance from me; my little cottage will never have the honour of receiving her: all those schemes are at an end : Constantia too will be a great fortune, she will have higher views in life, and think no more of me, or, if she did, it is not to be supposed her grandfather, who so bitterly resented his daughter's match, will suffer her to fall into the same offence.' I must confess I thought 80 entirely with my friend Ned in the concluding parts of those remarks, that I could only advise him to wait the event of time, and recommend himself in the mean while as well as he could to Mr. Somerville, the grandfather of Constantia. Art and education, it is true, had not contributed much to Ned's accomplishments, but nature had done great things in his favour; to a person admirably, though not finically, formed, she had given a most interesting set
res, with such a striking character of benevolence and open honesty, that he might be said to carry his heart in his countenance; though there was a kind of lassitude in his deportment, the effect of habits long indulged, yet his sensibility was ever ready to start forth upon the first call, and on those occasions no one would have regretted that he had not been trained in the school of the Graces; there was something then displayed which they cannot teach, and only nature in her happiest moments can bestow.
The next morning produced a letter from honest Abrahams, full of joy for the happy reconciliation now established, and inviting us to celebrate the day with Mr. Somerville and the ladies at his house. This was an anxious crisis for my friend Ned; and I perceived his mind in such a state of agitation, that I thought fit to stay with him for the rest of the forenoon : he began to form a variety of conjectures as to the reception he was likely to meet from the
old gentleman, with no less a variety of plans for his own behaviour, and even of speeches with which he was to usher in his first addresses; sometimes he sunk into melancholy and despair, at other times he would snatch a gleam of hope, and talk himself into transports: he was now, for the first time in his life, studiously contriving how to set off his person to the best advantage; his hair was fashionably dressed, and a handsome suit was tried on, during which he surveyed himself in the glass with some attention, and, as I thought, not entirely without a secret satisfaction, which, indeed, I have seen other gentlemen bestow upon their persons in a much greater degree, with much less reason for their excuse.
When he was completely equipped, and the time approached for our going, • Alas! he cried, ' what does all this signify? I am but a clown in better clothes. Why was my father so neglectful of my education, or rather why was I so negligent to avail myself of the little he allowed me? What would I not give to redeem the time I have thrown away, But 'tis in vain : I have neither wit to recommend myself, nor address to disguise my want of it; I have nothing to plead in my favour, but common honour and honesty: and what cares that old hardhearted fellow for qualities, which could not reconcile him to his own son-in-law ? he will certainly look upon me with contempt. As for Constantia, gratitude, perhaps, might in time have disposed her heart towards me, and my zealous services might have induced her mother to overlook my deficiencies, but there is an end of that only chance I had for happiness, and I am a fool to thrust myself into a society, where I am sure to heap fresh fuel on my passion, and fresh misfortunes on my head.'
With these impressions, which I could only sooth