« السابقةمتابعة »
believe, can be found less inclined to be a convert to that groundless prejudice, which vain and shallow heads have been hatching for purposes no less fatal to the interests of the public than to the reputations of individuals.
To represent scenes of familiar life in an elegant and interesting manner, is one of the most difficult tasks an author can take in hand; for of these every man is a critic: Nature is in the first place to be attended to, and probability is not to be lost sight of; but it must be nature strongly featured, and probability closely bordering on the marvellous; the one must touch upon extravagance, and the other be highly seasoned with adventures --for who will thank us for a dull and lifeless journal of insipid facts ? Now every peculiarity of humour in the human character is a strain upon nature, and every surprizing incident is a degree of violence to probability: How far shall we go then for our reader's amusement, how soon shall we stop in consideration of ourselves ? There is undoubtedly a land-mark in the fields of fancy, funt certi denique fines, but it requires a nice discernment to find them out, and a cautious temper not to step beyond them.
Here, then, I will rest my cause, and conclude my chapter. My readers have my best endeavours to amuse them; I have devoted very many hours to the composition of these volumes, and I am beholden to them for beguiling me of many a care ; if they retain their property when they shall pass into the hands of those who peruse them, it will be every thing I can hope for from thein.
CHAPTER 11. Chamber Diclogues of different Scris. V HEN our hero arrived at Zachary's care
tle, he found a post-chaise in waiting at the gate: As he palled it to enter the court, he made a profound reverence to a lady, whom at first fight he supposed to be his noble benefactress and the owner of it. Upon the glass being let down, to return his civilicy, he perceived his mistake: It was Isabella Manstock: She had accompanied her cousin in her morning airing, and was now filling up the time with a book, whilst her ladyship was in private conference with Doctor Cawdle. That lady had imparted so much of her business to Miss
Manstock as sufficed to inform her she was upon a very interesting discovery as to the identity of a young man who had belonged to her deceased friend Ratcliffe, and whom she expected to meet that morning at the Doctor's. Of Henry's adventure with the Miller, and what had passed in consequence of it, that young lady was fully apprised; the story had been told to Sir Roger in her hearing over night, and more circumstantially detailed by Lady Crowbery as she came with her in the chaise. When she saw, therefore, a young man. in mourning, whose appearance answered to the description she had had of him, she was in no doubt of his being the person in question : Curiosity led her to survey him with some attention; and when she perceived him, after ftopping for some little time at the gate, turn back without entering it, (for the fight of Lady Crowbery's equipage made him doubt of the propriety of his visit) she took courage to accost him, saying_" If your name is Henry, Sir, I believe you are expected within doors.” - That is my name, Madam,” he replied very respectfully; " and I am much beholden to you;” upon this he turned back, and entered through the shop to the offices...
: B. S . In
In the kitchen he was encountered by old Bridget, who, after staring at him for some time with astonishment, no sooner recognized his person, thus newly habited, than she began a string of questions, huddled together with so little order, and so much eagerness, that he fairly excused himself the trouble of replying to any one of them, by desiring she would let her master know that he attended his pleasure.
" Hold there !” cried Bridget, “ master is engag’d.”_" I know how he is engag'd,” replied Henry, “ but I fancy he will see me.”-“ Say you fo ?” quoth the hag, “ then ’ris clear from what quarter your fortune comes: Ifackins! you're a rare one! Some folks have the luck of it, that's for certain : times are well chang'd with you, youngster, since you first enter'd thefe doors; no wonder you was in such hafte to leave us; fine cloaths and an easy service suit you better than hard work and a coarse jacket!”-She then ran on with more of the like trash, with several sy glances at Lady Crowbery, till Henry again reminded her of going up to her master " Well, well !” replied she, “ have a little patience, my fine fpark, and recollect it is not yet my place to go on
your errands at the word of command : though my lady has thought fit to dress you out like a gentleman, she has not hir'd me to be your messenger: However, I Thall tell my master you are here. Sit down upon that bench; time was when you would have thank'd me for the offer: when you are call's for I'll let you know.”
Thus inuttering to herself, the mounted the stairs; but instead of going into Zachary's room, went straic to her mistress, eager to broach the news she was charged with, and well prepared to set it off with every proper comment and illustration, suited to her own envious temper and the hearer's taste.
“ Here's news to tell the King !” cried the hag, as she hobbled into Jemima's chamber; “ As sure as you are in that place alive, Mistress, wou'd you think it ? there's Harry, our errand-boy, now in the house, spruc'd out as fine as any lord in the land, If he was heir to the greatest squire in the county he cou’dn't be in handsomer mourning; spick and span new from top to toe, and all of the best!"-" What do you tell me?” exclaim'd Jemima, - how has all this happen'd ? " How has it happen'd !" repeated
B 6 Bridgetj.