« PreviousContinue »
where I presented Dr. Johnson to he), your own relation, Mr. Arthe duke of Argyle. We were chibald Campbell, can tell you betMewn through the house ; and I ter about it than I can.
He was a never fall forget the impression bishop of the nonjuring commumade upon my fancy by some of the nion, and wrote a book upon the ladies' maids tripping about in neat subject." He engaged to get it for morning dresses. After seeing for her grace. He afterwards gave å a long time little but rufticity, their full history of Mr. Archibald Camplively manner, and gay inviting ap- bell, which I am forry I do not repearance, pleased me so much, that collect particularly. He said, Mr. I thought, for the moment, I could Campbell had been bred a violent have been a knight-crrant for them. Whig, but afterwards “ kept bet
“ We then got into a low one- ter company, and became a Tory." horse chair, ordered for us by the He said this with a smile, in pleaduke, in which we drove about the fant allusion, as I thought, to the place. Dr. Johnson was much opposition between his own political Itruck by the grandeur and elegance principles, and those of the duke's of this princely feat. He said, clan. He added, that Mr. Camp" What I admire here, is the total bell, after the Revolution, was defiance of expence.” I had a par- thrown into jail on account of his ticular pride in thewing him a great tenets ; but, on application by letnumber of time old trees, to com. ter to the old lord Townshend, was pensate for the nakedness which had released : that he always spoke of made fuch an impreffion on him on his lordship with great gratitude, the eailern coast of Scotland. He fying, “though a Whig, he had thought the castle too low, and humanity.” wished it had been a story higher. • The subject of luxury was in.
" When we came in, before din- troduced. Dr. Johnson defended ner, we found the duke and some it. 6. We have now (faid he), a gentlemen in the hall. Dr. John- splendid dinner before us; which son took much notice of the large of all these dishes is unwholesome ?" collection of arms, which are ex- The duke asserted, that he had obcellently disposed there. I told what served the grandees of Spain dimitie had laid to fir Alexander M•Do- nished in their size by luxury. Dr. nakt, of his ancestors not suffering Johnson politely refrained from optheir arms to ruít. " Well (faid poling directly an observation which the doctor), but let us be glad we the duke himself had made ; but live in times when arms may rult.” said, “ Man must be very different We can fit to-day at his grace's ta- from other animals, if he is dimi. ble, without any risk of being at. nished by good living; for the fize tacked, and perhaps sitting down of all other animals is increased by again wounded or inaimed.” The it. I made some remark that seemduke placed Dr. Johnson next hiin- ed to imply a belief in second light. self at table.
The duchefs said, “I fancy you “ The duchess was very atten- will be a Methodist.” This was the tive to Dr. Johnfon. I know pot only sentence her grace deigned to how a middle state came to be men- utter to me; and I take it for grant. sioned. Her grace wished to hear ed, me thought it a good hic on him on that point. “Madam (faid my credulity in the Douglas cause,
« A gen. tion she received, but which made the began to penetrate all the artful her severely feel all the miseries of disguise, and to gain a perfect and dependence. Her beauty attracted very painful insight into the real a multitude of admirers, many of character of her present hokefs. whom, presuming on her poverty, This lady had remarked, that when trcated her with a licentious levity, Miss Nevil resided with her, her which always wounded her inge- house was much more frequented nuous pride. Her perfon, her by gentlemen than at any other mind, her manners, were univer- season. This indeed was true ; sally commended by the men ; but and it unluckily happened thai no one thought of making her his these visitors often forgot to apwife. 66 Amelia, they cried, is plaud the smart sayings of Mrs. an enchanting creature; but who, ll'ormwood, in contemplating the in these times, can afford to marry sweet countenance of Amelia ; a a pretty, proud girl, fupported by circumstance full sufficient to awak charity". Though this pruden- en, in the neglected wit, the most zial question was never uttered in bitter envy, hatred, and malice. the presence of Amelia, she began in truth, Mrs. Wormwood detested to perceive its influcnee, and fuf- her lovely guet with the most imfered the painful dread of proving a placable virulence ; but she had perpetual burden to those friends, the fingular art of disguiling her by whose generofity she subfifted : detestation in the language of flatthe wished a thousand times that tery: the understood the truth of her affectionate aunt, instead of Pope's maxim, cultivating her mind with such dan- " He hurts me most who lavishly comgerous refinement, had placed her niends;" in any station of lite where she and the therefore made use of lavish might have maintained herself by commendation as an instrument of her own manual labour: The fome. malevolence towards Amelia ; the times entertained a project of mak- infulted the talle, and ridiculed the ing some attempt for this purpose; choice, of every new-married man, and the once thought of changing and deciared herself convinced, her name, and of trying to support that hç was a fool, because he had herself as an actress on one of the not not chosen that most lovely public theatres ; but this idea, young woman. To more than one which her honest pride had fug- gentleman she said, you must marry gested, was effectuaily fupprefied Amelia ; and, as few men chute to by her modesty; and the continued be driven into wedlock, fome of. to walte the most precious time offers were possibly prevented by the her youth, under the mortification treacherous vehemence of her praise. of perpetually wishing to change Her malice, however, was not sufher mode of life, and of not know. ficiently gratified by observing that ing how to effect it. Almost two Amelia had no prospect of maryears had now elapsed fince the riage. To indulge her malignity, death of her aunt; and, without fe resolved to amuse this unhappy any prospect of marriage, she was girl with the hopes of such a joyous in her second period of retidence event, and then to turn, on a sudwith Mrs. Wormwood. Ainelia's den, all these fplendid hopes iuto understunding was by no means mockery and delusion. Accident inferior to her other endowments i led her to pitch on Mr. Nelson, as
a person whose name she might with There was also, in the same town, the greatest safety employ as the an amiable elderly widow, for instrument of her insidious design, whom he had a particular esteein. and with the greater chance of suc- This lady, whose name was Melcess, as she oblerved that Amelia ford, had been left in very scanty had conceived for him a particular circumstances on the death of her regard. Mr. Nelson was a gen- husband, and, residing at that time tleman, who, having met with in London, the had been involved very singular events, had contract- in additional distress by that calaed a great but very amiable fingu- mity to which the attentive charity larity of character. He was placed, of Mr. Nelson was for ever directearly in life, in a very lucrative ed: he more than repaired the loss commercial fituation, and was on which the suitained by fire, and the point of settling happily in assisted in settling her in the neighmarriage with a very beautiful bourhood of his liter. Mrs. Mcl. young lady, when the house in ford had been intimate with the which the resided was consumed by aunt of Amelia, and was fill the fire. Great part of her family, moit valuable friend of that lovely and among them the destined bride, orphan, who paid her frequent viwas buried in the ruins. Mr. Nel. lits, though she never relided under fon, in losing the object of his ar- her roof. Mr. Nelson had often dent affection by so fudden a cala- seen Amelia at the house of Mrs. mity, loft for some time the use of Melford, which led him to treat her his reason; and when his health with particular politeness whenever and senses returned, he fiill conti- he vilited Mrs. Worinwood; a cir. nued under the oppression of the cumstance which the latter profoundest melancholy, till his founded her ungenerous project. fond devotion to the memory of She perfectly knew all the fingular her, whom he had lost in fo fevere private hiltory of Mr. Nelson, and a manner, suggested to his fancy a firmly believed, like all the rest of fingular plan of benevolence, in his acquaintance, that no attracthe prosecution of which he reco- tions could ever tempt him to mar. vered a great portion of his former ry; but the thought it possible to fpirits. This plan consisted in make Amelia conceive the hope searching for female objects of cha- that her beauty had melted his rerity, whose distresses had been oc- solution; and nothing, the supcalioned by fire. As his fortune posed, could more effectually mor.. was very ample, and his own pri- tify her guest than to find herself vate expences very moderate, he derided for so vain an expectation, was able to relieve many unfortu- " Mrs. Wormwood began, therenate persons in this condition; and fore, to infinuate, in the most art. his affectionate imagination delight- ful manner, that Mr. Nelson was ed itself with the idea, that in these very particular in his civilities to uncommon acts of beneficence he Amelia; magnificd all his amiable was guided by the influence of that qualities, and expressed the greateft lovely angel, whose mortal beauty pleasure in the prospect of fo dehad perished in the flames. Mr. lightful a match. Thete perty arNelson frequently visited a married tifices, however, had no effect on fitter, who was settled in the town the natural modesty and diffidence where Mrs. Wormwood refided. of Ainelia. She law nothing that 1785.
authorised such an idea in the usual down to dinner, but poor Amelia politeness of a well-bred man of could hardly swallow a morsel ; thirty-seven ; she pitied the misfor. her mind was in a tumultuous agitune, the admired the elegant and tation of pleasure and amazement. engaging, though serious manners, The malicious impostor, enjoying and he revered the virtues, of Mr. her confufion, allowed her no time Nelson ; but, fuppofing his mind to to compose her hurried fpirits in be entirely engrotled, as it really was, the folitude of her chamber. Some by his fingular charitable pursuits, female visitors arrived to tea; and, The entertained not a thought of en. at length, Mr. Nelson entered the gaging his affection. Mrs. Worm. room. Amelia trembled and bluthwood was determined to play off ed as he approached her; but the her favourite engine of malignity, was a little relieved from her ema counterfeited letter. She had ac. barrassment by the business of the quired, in her youth, the very tca-cable, over which the presided. dangerous talent of forging any Amelia was naturally graceful in hand that she pleased; and her pai- every thing Nie did, but the present fion for mischief had afforded her agitation of her mind gave a temmuch practice in this treacherous porary aukwardness to all her moart. Having previously, and fe- tions: the committed many little cretly, engaged Mr. Nelíon to drink blunders in the management of the tea with her, she wrote a billet to tea-table; a cup fell from her Amelia, in the name of that gen- trembling hand, and was broken; tleman, and with the most perfect but the politeness of Mr. Nelson imitation of his hand. The billet led him to say so many kind and said, that he designed himself the graceful things to her on these petty pleasure of passing that afternoon incidents, that, instead of increasat the house of Mrs. Wormwood, ing her distress, they produced an and requested the favour of a pri- oppolite effect, and the tumult of vate corference with Miss Nevil in her bosom gradually subsided into the course of the evening, inti- a calm and composed delight. She mating, in the most delicate and ventured to meet the eyes of Mr. doubtful terms, an ardent desire of Nelson, and thought them exprefbecoming her husband. Mrs. Worm- five of that tenderness which prowood contrived that Amelia fhould mised a happy end to all her misnot receive this billet till just before fortunes. At the idea of exchange dinner time, that fie might not ing misery and dependence for com. shew it to her friend and confidant, fort and honour, as the wife of so Mrs. Melford, and, by her means, amiable a man, her heart expanded detect its fallacy before the hour of with the most innocent and grateher intended humiliation arrived. ful joy. This appeared in her
** Amelia blushed in reading the countenance, and gave such an exnote, and, in the first surprise of quisite radiance to all her features, unsuspecting innocence, gave it to that she looked a thousand times the vigilant Mrs. Wormwood, who more beautiful than ever.
Mrs. burst into vehement expressions of Wormwood saw this improvement delight, congratulated her blushing of her charms, and, fickening at guest on the full success of her the light, determined to reduce the charms, and triumphed in her own fplendor of such insufferable beauprophetic discernment. They fat ty, and hastily terminate the tri
umph of her deluded guest. She own credulity, which she con began with a few malicious and far- demned with that excess of severity caltic remarks on the vanity of so natural to a delicate mind in ara beautiful young women, and the raigning itself. She would have hopes which they frequently en. down for immediate confolation to tertain of an imaginary lover; her friend, Mis. Melford, but she but, finding these remarks produce had reason to believe that lady ened not the effe& lhe intended, the gaged on a visit, and the therefore took an opportunity of whispering resolved to take a solitary walk for in the ear of Amelia, and begged the purpose of composing her fpi« her not to harbour any vain ex• rits : but neither folitude nor exerpectations, for the billet the had cife could restore her tranquillity; received was a counterfeit, and a and, as it grew late in the evening, mere piece of pleasantry. Amelia she hastened to Mrs. Melford's, in fhuddered, and turned pale : sure hopes of now finding her returned. prise, disappointment, and indigna. Her worthy old confidant was intion, conspired to overwhelm her. deed in her little parlour alone, She exerted her utmost power to when Amelia entered the room. conceal her emotions ; but the con- The eyes of this lovely girl imfia in her bofom was too violent to mediately betrayed her distress ; be disguised. The tears, which she and the old lady, with her usual vainly endeavoured to suppress, tenderness, exclaimed, “Good hea. burit forth, and the was obliged to ven! my dear child, for what have quit the room in very visible di you been crying ?” “ Because, order. Mr. Nelson expressed his replied Amelia, in a broken voice, concern; but he was checked in and bursting into a fresh shower of his benevolent enquiries by the cau- tears, because I am a fool.” Mrs. tion of Mrs. Wormwood, who faid, Melford began to be most seriously on the occasion, that Miss Nevil alarmed, and, expressing her mawas a very amiable girl, but the ternal solicitude in the kindeít manhad some peculiarities of temper, ner, Amelia produced the fatal paand was apt to put a wrong con. per—" There, says she, is a letter itruction on the innocent pleasantry in the name of your excellent of her friends. Mr. Nelson ob- friend, Mr. Nelson; it is a forgery ferving that Amelia did not return, of Mrs. Wormwood's, and I have and hoping that his departure might been such an ideot as to believe it contribute to restore the interrupted real.” The affectionate Mrs. Melharmony of the house, took an ford, who, in her first alarm, had early leave of Mrs. Wormwood, apprehended a much heavier calawho immediately flew to the cham- mity, was herself greatly comfort. ber of Amelia, to exult, like a ed in discovering the truth, and fiend, over that lovely victim of said many kind things to console her successful malignity. She found her young friend. “Do not fan. not the person whom she was so cy, replied Amelia, that I am fool. eager to insult. Amelia had indeed inly in love with Mr. Nelson, retired to her chamber, and paffed though I think him the most pleafthere a very miserable half hour, ing as well as the moit excellent of much hurt by the treacherous cru. men ; and though I confess to you, elry of Mrs. Wormwood, and fill that I should certainly think it a more wounded by reflections on her blessed lot to find a refuge from the