תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

THE HISTORY OF THE OLDCASTLE FAMILY.

AN ORIGINAL NOVEL.

(Continued from Vol. VII. First Series, Page 220.]

The departure of Edward hung heavily | The disappointed pride of her father venton Agnes Lady Priscilla neglected no ed itself in the most bitter insprecations." means to amuse her mind. One day Pushing her out of the house he locked: when she went to call on the Captain aud the door with his own hand behind her. Azues accoinpanied her, she demanded of Overwhelmed in tears, she was compelled her young pupil wheiher she had ever to seek refuge from her inhuman father heard the history of the mother of her in the arms of her husband. lover. Agnes replied in the negative. “I “ Lionel and Lucilia had now no other will relate it, therefore,” said Lady Pris- hopes but that they should find the uncle cilla, and she thus commenced :

of Lionel more favourable; but their ex. “The father of Lucilia, and grandfather | pectations were completely blasted by a of your Edward, lived in a country town letter from bim, expressing the most pasin Devonshire, where Lionel, the father of sionate resentment, and forbidding them Edward, happened to be stationed with ever to appear in his presence, or presume his regiment. Lionel was as yet but an to write to bim; adding, that he had forEnsign. He saw Lucilia at an assembly, bidden bis banker to accept in future the and becaine enamoured of her. Her fa- l drafts of Lionel. Thus were this amiable ther, a rigid Presbyterian, and one who pair cast upon the world without any hated the military, no sooner discovered other support than the slender income of their mutual regard than he forbad Lionel an Evsizncy. his house. Lionel, being an orphan under At this time, however, fortune ap. the protection of a wealthy uncle, wrote to peared to.smile upon them, by raising this uncle, and requested his interposition them a friend where they had but little in his favour. The uncle, on his part, had cause to expect one. A company in the an abhorrence of Presbyterians, and no regiment became vacant, and being resooner understood the father of Lucilia jected by the Lieutenants, agreeable to to belong to that sect, than he gave a posi- the rules of the army, the parchase was tiye command that Lionel, as he valued offered to Lionel for the regulation price. his favour, should think no more of her; | Lionel was cursing his fortune that his adding that he had other views for him, narrow finances prevented him from availa and would never throw his fortune awaying himself of this advantage, when he on a canting Presbyterian. Thus, unfor. I received a letter from the Colonel of his tunately, were these two lovers situated.

| regiment, intreating him to purchase the “ It would be tedious to recount the va vacant company, and offering tlie loan of rious circumstances of the addresses of the necessary sum, Lionel eagerly emLionel to Lucilia, which they were com- braced this friendly offer, and on the folpelled to conduct with as much privacy as lowing day received the commission. possible; suffice it to say, that unable to “ The Colonel was one of those tyrants obtain the consent of either the father of who abuse the extensive power of military Lucilia or his own unele, both strenuously authority to the gratification of an arbiattached to their own prejudices, they trary temper; he was in consequence formed the resolution of privately uniting hated by the Officers of his regiment, and themselves, in the expectation that the il it was the effect of a conspiracy against natural affection of their relatives would him that his Lieutenants had refused to soon overcome their transient anger. purchase the vacant company; to defeat

“This hope, however, soon failed; their which conspiracy, and not from any friendmarriage was discovered, and Lucilia wasly regard to Lionel, he had advanced bing driven in disgrace from her father's house. the necessary sum upon his bond, and No. I. Vol. I.--N. S.

с

with the condition that he should not leave the virtue of his wife, Lionel might have the kingdum til the re-paymient.

led a life of some disquietude. In a word, “ Within a short time afterwards the the Colonel was passionately enamoured segiment of Lionel was ordered to Dublin. of Lucilia. Lionel therefore no sooner Rejoiced to leave the neighbourhood of solicited the indulgence of his creditor his revengeful father-in-law, Lionel, ac than the Colonel offered readily to grant companied by his wife, rendered doubly | it, but under a condition which caused dcar to him by their narrow circumstances, Lionel not only to reject it with horror, repaired to that city, where for some but produced a challenge. In the event months they lived in a state of perfect feli. Lionel was wounded, and the Colonel city, and by a prudent economy had a fair rendered his most bitter enemy. He iu. prospect of discharging his debt before the formed him, upon the following day, that time expired. One afternoon they were having occasion to make up a sum for a sitting together in the utmost harmony | purchase, he had deposited the boud of of their mutual love, when Luciiia receiv- || Lionel in the hands of the agent; and that, ed a letter from a distant relation filled with | if his circumstances required any indul. the most bitter expressions, accusing her gence, he must apply to him. of the murder of her father, whose death “ Lionel now seemed to have no resource was occasioned by grief for ber conduct, but in his uncle; reflecting on his former and annexing the part of his will respect. | fondness for him, Lionel fattered himself ing her; in which, after giving the whole that his affection was not yel so wholly of his estate to this relation, he bequeathed (stranged as to see him reduced to such an Lucilia his eternal curse. The shock of extremity of distress. Filled with these such a letter was too much for the sensi-pleasing hopes, Lionel embraced his Lubility of the amiable Lucilia; it occasion. I cilia with renovated spirits, and wrote a ed emotions which were followed by an letter to his uncle, imploring his forgive. illness of three months, during which she ness in the most submissivc terms, and was confined to a bed from which she was stating his present situation; he conjured never expected to rise with life. Youth, him by all the tender ties of nature, by however, at length prevailed over the the fond regard he had once expressed for strength of the disease, and Lionel had him, and by the beloved memory of his the double happiness of her being pro- deceased brother, not to suffer the son of nounced out of danger and the birth of a that brother to perish in a prison, as if boy, who was shortly afterwards christen- guilty of a crime which merited eternal ed after the name of the happy father. execration. There, my Lucilia,' said be,

“ Alas! this bappiness was of short du. smiling with hope as he concluded the ration. An order arrived from the Secre. letter; I am persuaded that my uncle tary of War for the regiment immediately will relent, and that we shall be again to march for Cork, and from thence to happy.' embark for America.

“ Lionel waited impatiently for an an“This at once put a period to their hap-swer, and at length received a most insult. piness; the additional expences occasioned ing letter, not from his uncle, but a by the long sickness of Lucilia had com cousin, who had lived with him from the pelled Lionel not only to expend what time of Lionel's marriage; in which he nioney he had preserved towards the pay- | exulted in his misery, and informed him ment of his bond, but had much involved that his uncle had thrown his letter une him in other debts. The discharge of the opened into the flames. bond being the most essential point, and “ Having now no further prospect of the condition of it that it should be paid preserving his company, Lionel endea. before he left the kingdom, Lionel waited voured to secure his liberty, at least, by : upon the Colonel to solicit his indulgence. the disposal of it, and if possible procure : From the day on which he had conferred a subaltern commission in another regi, the obligation on Lionel, the Colonel had ment. His evil genius, however, still fotbeen su constant a visitor in his family that lowed him. Unwilling to go upon sucha wad is not been for his just confidence in dangerous Rervice several Officers had ap...;

1

plied for leare to sell their c«mmissions, length satisfied; we have ran the course which had produced a peremptory order of misfortune, and may now hope to comthal no Officer in any regiment ordered for mence that of peace and happiness. In distant service should be permitted either the society of each other we shall spend to sell or exchange. On the application the calmn evening of our lives, and ly the of Lionel, therefore, lic received no other happiness of our future sys be repaid for answer, than that he must either wholly | the sufferings of the past.' With these sesign or embark with his regiment. words he again embraced his Lucilia, who,

“ Lionel still made another effort. The with tears of conjugal love, and maternal Marquis óf B-was at that time Lord. pride, put his boy, the infant Lionel, in his Lieutenant of Ireland, and enjoyed a repu. arms, adding, --- Yes, my dear, we shall be tation for liberality, and every noble vir. happy; yet my heart is heavy. Oh my tue, which has never been since rivalled; | father! my dear, my beloved father' why Lionel endeavoured to engage his huma did you so cruelly curse me? why did you nity iu his favour, and obtain froin him consign to misery a daughter who would that permission which could not be granted have died a thousand times to add to your by any of inferior rank. He accordingly happiness ?' This was a thought that aldrew up a petition, in which he represent ways agonized the heart of Lucilia when. ed with all the eloquence of real feeling | ever it occurred to her, and Lionel had the true state of his case, and intreating somewhat rashly recalled it to her remein.' him that he would permit him either brance; his affectionate consolation, how. wholly to sell bis commission, or exchange ever, soon banished from her memory the it for that of a subaltern in another regi- paternal curse, and in the contemplation ment.

of their new hopes, their returning bap“ This letter produced an immediate piness, they seated themselves by a cheer.” answer from the Lord-Lieutenant himself, ful fire, and partook of a supper with more in which he expressed the utmost compas. appetite than they had long experienced. sion for the situation of Lionel, but in “ Alas! by what fatal necessity is it that formed him that the circumstances of the the curse of a parent is always effectual, time, and the jealousy of other Officers, and that misery, uninterrupted misery, would not permit him to comply with his should ever be the lot of the innocent ob.' request, as so many Officers had made the lject of this unnatural execration. Yet let same demand, that to comply with one and us not reproach the justice of Heaven; to reject the others, would cause general can the cruelty of the inhuman parent be offence; but with that poble beneficence more severely punished than in the misery which had ever marked the character of of his child ? and if there is a state of sepa. the Marquis, the letter inclosed an order rate souls, as most assuredly there is, what on his banker for two hundred pounds.

inust be the feelings of a father like that “Transported at this unexpected supply, of Lucilia, who looks down on the misery Lionel hastened home to gladilen the beait of a beloved, and now forgiven child, and of his wife with the joyful tidings; and

has to reproach himself with beitg its cause? having offered up a fervent prayer for his The ways of Heaven are just; remember generous benefactor, he repaired to his this truth, Agnes, and let nothing ever creditor, and having paid that sum in part erase it from your mind. of his debt, offered to make over half of his

“ Alas! the misery of Lionel and Lu. pay till the remainder should be discharg.

cilia was not yet at an end. Whether ed. As this pay constantly came through that the agent of the regiment was a creahis hands as agent to the regiment, Lionel ture of the Colonel's, as some subsequent had but little doubt of his compliance. | events seem to prove, or that he was one He fattered him with hopes that he would

of those hardened usurers whom no tears accept his proposal, and Lionel departed can soften from the prosecution of what from him in a state of greater felicity than they think their right, whatever might be he had long enjoyed. My sweetest Lu. the cause, Lionel was seized the same cilia,' said he, embracing his wife with evening, and hurried to a spunging-house fervour, the curse of your father is at at the suit of this merciless harpy. Luci.

lia clung to him in tears; and as the finan- | which the Captain liad furnished after his çes of Lionel were not at that moment own peculiar taste. It was not without equal to pay even the first demand of the reluctance that she returned to the carbailiff, the fellow, worthy of bis einploy-riage. Edward all this time never entered ment, hurried him away to prison the same her thougbts. night, Lucilia still following him, till the Being re-seated in their coach, and gates of the prison were closed behind him. commencing their return home, Lady In the madness of her despair Lucilia re Priscilla, at the request of Agnes, thus mained unmoved knocking at the pityless | proceeded to the conclusion of her nargates which had closed on her husband, rative:till her shrieks had collected a mob around Upon her return to life and sensibi. her, when, exbausted by her grief, she sunk | lity, Lucilia found berself upon a bed, in jusensible on the stones, and was borne a strange but splendid apartment. Two -away she knew not whither.”

females were jo attendance, and appeared Lady Priscilla was compelled to inter- || watching impatiently her return to sensa. rupt her narrative of the unfortunate Li- tionLucilia again demanded her hus. opel and Lucilia in this place, as they bad band in accents of despair ; the women now reached the gate by which the coach in vain endeavoured to console her, entered the road to the house. It was scarcely could their utmost efforts confine seated in the midst of a spacious lawn, and her to the bed, and prevent her from rush. in its beauty and decorations bore testj. ing forth in search of the unfortunate mony at once to the taste and wealth of its | Lionel. Her agitation was too much owner. The lawn was encircled by a for the weakness of her franie to support; shrubbery as thick as verdant. The situa- | again she suuk into insensibility, the duration was not indeed so beautiful as that of tion of which terrified her attendants lest Lady Priscilla, but the most was made of her spirit had taken its flight to the last and it, and it was reckoned one of the most sure refuge of the miserable. She rebeautiful spois in the county of Corn. ll covered, however, but lier emotions had wall.

caused the premature birth of a dead inAs lfrs. Beliasis was from home, Agnes | fant; and a physician being summoned he had an opportunity of seeing the house ; || pronounced her recovery to be very doubt. the spaciousness of the apartnients, and ful, and not at all to be expected too sud. the substance of the walls, recalled power- | denly. fully to her imagination what she had read “ What in the meantime was become in her favourite romances. One of the of the unfortunate Lionel ? His situation apartments more particularly pleased her, was indeed a disgrace to the laws of his it was a room of the whole breadth of the country; a mau of birth and refined edumansion, and immediately fronted the sea. carion, he was now the companion of fe. The wainscot was oaken, and appeared to lons, and compelled through the fear of have outlasted more than one century: ill treatment to hail the most base of man.' The general style of architecture was that kind as his counrades. Being without moof the reign of Henry VIII, and of the ney he had no other bed than the foor of beginning of that of Elizabeth, before the his chamber, if the wretched hole so deItalian orders had supplanted the Gothic. nominated merited that name. Agnes had so little of the cognoscenti in and ears were assailed by the infernal exeher taste, that she preferred this style, crations, and abandoned profligacy, of his heavy as it was, to the Grecian elegance; fellow-prisoners; who, having nothing furshe knew that the Greeks studied nature ther to fear, and thus released from all terand propriety, and inferred from thence rör of punishment as well as from all re. that however suitable their orders to the straint of conscience, put off all humanity, elimate of Asia, they would doubtless have ard dared the utmost wrath of Heaven. It governed themselves by other rules bad would have been some consolation to his their country been any of the kingdoms hours of bitter péss could he have learned of Europe.

any thing of the situation of his wife, but She was equally pleased with the library his surly gaoler, knowing him to be without

His eyes

money, replied to his questions only in the table tempers destroys the whole enjoynegative. Such was the situation of the ment of expected but delayed satisfaction. unfortunate Lionel,-in one moment de- : Patience and a contented spirit carry us. prived of bis beloved Lucilia, bis child, through many a misfortune, which at à and all his former respectability; for such, distance we might have feared would ceris the injustice of the world that, con tainly overcome our utmost endeavours; founding misfortune with guilt, the in-, but patient resolution, determination to famy of a prison is a stain never to be be satisfied, and, in short, whatever state erased.

we are in therewjih to be content, is so sure " As this arrest of Lionel vccurred in a way of passing happily through this what the lawyers call the long vacation, world, that it is mortifying to find how that is to say, in the longest of the inter- often people of the greatest merit, froin vals between the sitting of the Courts, he their uncomplaining conduct, are stigmahad been already in his prison three tized as cold-hearted characters, with months, and was to continue two more neither feeling nor understanding enougla before his cause could come to a hearing to be sensible of what curages the angry In this interval, as if to aggravate the bit- 1 declaimer; who, proud of his passionate terness of his sufferings, an act of insol. || temper thinks it a proof of refined sensibi. vency was passed by the legislature, from lities to be too easily irritated to endure the benefit of wbich Lionel was exempted what those of a different disposition have only because his case had not as yet been submitted to with calmness. Patience heard.

shews itself not only in sickness but in “Lionel bad now reached the extremity health; for the patient healthy person enof misery; the feelings of his mind preyed | joying his own comfort is ready to assist upon his body, and bis health sunk under a sufferer to obtain relief, and kindly to his atfliciion. Ilis grief bad now rendered | bear with the fretting, so commonly the him stupid; be shed no more tears, he companion of illness, in those who do not looked no longer up to heaven, he appeared possess the happy talent of endurance:eveu to forget his wife and child; a fellow not only in poverty, but in riches; 1:00 prisover seeing him sest against the wall, only in sorrow, but in happiness; for the and thinking his posture that of a man as patient spirit is never hurried into that exill in body as in mind, went up to his cess of delight which occasions wild de. assistance, but found him-dead!"

monstrations of pleasure, more like thic. “ Merciful Ileaven forgive his perse expressions of drunkenness or insanity thancutor!" exclaimed Agnes, in tears. “My the composed enjoyment of a reasonable dear madamn, can such wretches exist?" being: not only in ill usage, but iu good

“ Yes, my Agnes, there are indeed in usage; for a patient temper piesumes not the world wretches who would lead one upon kindness, so as to become a burtben into the opinion of a learned divine, that upon the person who has contributed to Heaven sometimes permitted devils to be comforts which cannot be received with come incarnate in the bodies of men, to 100 much gratitude, but are not to be instruct the world how horrible is the na. made a plea for still farther indulgence. ture of pure and unmixed vice. But pa. Of the powers of patience under affic:in tience is required in every possible situa- no explanation is required; but under tion of life, and at every age. The infant blessings where it is full as necessary a may exercise it as soon as it is old enough virtue, it is perhaps more difficult to exerto feel disappointments; and the older we cise it with the force which it is our duty grow the inore will every hour of our ex to exert, which of ourselves we cannot fully istence teach us the value, as well as ne. attain to, but which with divine assistance cessity, of tbat which soothes every suffer we need not despair of. Both sorrow and ing, and consoles under every sorrow. ll joy are such evident trials of the person to Patience, whether in trifles or things of whom they are sent, that although most consequence, puts a stop to the anxious assuredly no one can be absurd enough uncertainty which so frequently in irri- to pretend that there is positive pleasure.

« הקודםהמשך »