Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

tinue to feel its torments. I am ra. The effort was successful : they pidly approaching the end of all my reached Goldney's inn just as he sorrows. Every hour brings me was going to mount his horse, and sensibly nearer to that grave where prevailed on him to return to the alone this harassed heart can hope earl's before his departure. Lord for rest. It was not in my nature to Villars had taken me into the apartrefuse the graceful offers of lord ment where his father sat. Villars. I could not but confess that The old earl of St. Albans, though he deserved to possess Matilda, and too much of a courtier to behave I strove to rejoice that she was se- with incivility to any one, had never cured from sharing the uncertain appeared pleased with me. His confortunes of such an outcast as my- duct had been marked with a cold self. But to live in the daily sight reserve, and yet a scrutinizing exaof their affectionate intercourse was mination, neither of them pieasing too much for my feelings, and the to such a temper as mine. He now agony of my soul first undermin- surveyed me with more attentive ed that best portion of my hopeless curiosity than ever, and attempted youth, health and exertion.

not to enter into conversation. Lord It was thought London did not Villars, indeed, endeavoured to enagree with me; and lord Ernolf, tertain me; but the earl pretended who would not have been sorry to to be engaged with a book, from have detached his two sons from which, however, I could perceive pleasures so enticing at their age, him perpetually raising his eyes, proposed my returning with them to and fixing theni on my face. At the country. But fate disposed other- length, a knock at the door gave me wise of me. I had been one morn reason to expect the return of Mr. ing out with lord Villars, and stop- Goldney. ped at his father's house in my way It was he, but I took care to be home, when, in the next room, I standing, so as that he should not heard a voice which instantly chased perceive me at his entrance. the colour from my cheeks. Lord “ I returned instantly,” said hie, Villars saw me change countenance, in a tone of servility, to receive and inquired the cause. I eagerly your lordship's further commands." asked who was in the next room. The earl expressed his surprise,

" I believe,” said lord Villars and I advanced immediately oppocarelessly, “ there is nobody there site to Goldney. but Goldney."

“ They were my commands, Mr. “ Goldney!” exclaimed I, “I am Goldney," said I, "I was unwilling then on the point of knowing all.... to lose this opportunity of thanking Lord Villars, indulge me with seeing you for past favours." Mr. Goldney."

“ I am happy to see you well, Mr. Lord Villars, astonished at my Dellwyn," replied he; “but it is too evident agitation, besought me rather inconvenient to me to be deto compose myself: but while he was tained at present." yet exhorting me to do so, Goldney “ Stay, sir," said I; departed. All composure vanished favour me with your company in before this disappointment; and lord another room?" Villars, terrified at the state I was The earl looked haughtily at me in, inquired of the servants when ....“ These are strange liberties in Mr. Goldney was likely to return. my house, Mr. Dellwyn.".

They replied that he was going im " I heartily beg your lordship's mediately into the country. With pardon, but if you knew........Lord the zeal of a true friend, he ordered Villars, will you indulge me with. them to pursue and bring him back the use of your apartment?" if possible, and I remained during Lord Villars was kindly leading their absence in a state of indescribe me thither. Goldney shewed great able emotion,

eagerness to be gone, and lord St.

66 will you

Albans, in a stern voice, said, “This deprived of it. The next day brought is a very singular scene; let it be me a letter from lord Villars. terminated here!"

« With all my heart, my lord,” " What can have incensed my replied I. “ Mr. Goldney, I wish father against you so cruelly, I canto have a categorical answer..... not imagine; but trust me, dear Who am I? Who were my parents? Dellwyn, the heart of your friend Why am I thus turned adrift on the will not change. Though I am at wide world?"

present forbidden all intercourse The earl started up in astonish- with you, depend upon the constant ment...." Frederick,"said he to lord and unalterable friendship of Villars,who stood wondering in what “ Your truly attached this would end, “ you have encou

“ YILLARS." raged this insolence: leave the room!”

This heart-breaking blow was Lord Villars obeyed the tyrannic speedily followed by another. Lord mandate of his father, who now Ernolf desired to speak with me. ordered me to proceed.

He began a long harangue, parading “ Let Mr. Goldney answer those his gratitude, his esteem, his affecquestions,” said I; “ and say why tion. I would have disclaimed his I have hitherto been denied the praises; they soon ended of them. knowledge of my parents?" selves with a qualifying but...........

“ Is it your lordship's pleasure I was aware, he knew of the inti. that I answer these questions?” de- mate connection between his family manding the fawning Goldncy. and lord St. Albans. I had offend.

“I will answer them myself,” ed the earl ; he could not imagine said the earl. “ I doubt, not young how a man of my gentle manners man, that this is a predetermined could have given so irreparable of. scheme to affront me ; yet I cannot fence; but in short.... imagine from the events that have “ In short, my lord,” replied I, taken place, that Mr. Goldney has “the earl requires you to dismiss betrayed his trust. Your conduct, me: he has made a similar request however, evidently proves that you to his son: the earl is extremely deserved not the intended bounty of obliging; he is determined to teach your father. But go....you have no me to feel the natural independency father! Return to your original no of man. My lord, our obligations thingness ; leave my house, and if have been mutual. If I had the good you dare to publish what you think fortune to render you a piece of seryou know, be assured no one will vice, you have, in return, treated credit you."

me with delicacy and kindness ; “ I know nothing, my lord,” nay, my obligations to you are of a said I.

superior kind: your lordship will “ 'Tis well then,” replied the accept my best thanks....you will earl; on this head you ought to know allow me to bid your sons adieu." nothing. Leave my house!"

Nay, so not so," Mr. Dellwyn; " Mr. Goldney, said I, “ I require let me give you some more substanyour company.

tial mark of my gratitude." " You will excuse me,” Mr. “Pardon me, my lord, there is no Deilwyn," answered he; it is at contract between us. I return to the present impossible.”

world richer than when I entered It was impossible now to repose your lordship's mansion: I have acconfidence in the bosom of Matilda. quired more knowledge of man!" I had not courage to enter into an Again lord Ernolf would have interesting conversation with a being pressed some pecuniary reward uptoo fatally dear to my heart; but on me; but I spurned the idea of even, could I in time have sought receiving assistance from a being that resource, I was soon utterly who could so far adopt the prejudices

9

VOL. I....NO, Y.

me.

of another, as to abandon a man from myself, and my pen at times gained whom he had received an important me a decent subsistence; but this personal service, and who had un- subsistence was precarious, and I dertaken for him the dignified task was sometimes in a state almost of leading the mind of youth through amounting to starving! the toilsome paths of learning and I disdained, however, to let either virtue. Lord Ernolf was offended lord Villars or the lady Matilda know at my resolution: he called it pride, where I had hidden my wretched and left me with less complacency head; but I found all my fond dreams in his manner than when he first of fame and grandeur gradually fade addressed me.

away, and I could not help wishing, My farewel to the two boys was at some impious moments, to exshort, but friendly : they loved and change situations with any poor respected their tutor, and the prin- mechanic, whose labour secured to ciples he taught them will never him a decent and permanent subdisgrace themselves orhim. I wished sistence. Then again, when I had to have avoided the saying “adieu!" obtained a fresh supply of that neto the lady Matilda; but she sought cessary yellow dirt, which serves in

She spoke in the voice of the civilized nations as the medium of tenderest friendship; she entreated life, I would wander forth amid me to let her know what became of fields and woods,and feel triumphant me; she referred me to the stability at my own independency. I would of her Henry's friendship, to my feel too the morsel more sweet, for own merits, and to the power of being gained by mental talents.....I time for raising me to happiness. would feel it almost sacrilege to wish I thanked her for her consolations, to exchange the luxury of internal affected to believe them sufficient, refinement and cultivation for any and departed.

pecuniary advantages the world can I felt that, if I could depend on lord offer. Villars's friendship, he was at least My mind sometimes dwelt on the too much under the controul of a strange conduct of lord St. Albans: domineering father, to have it in his an idea that I was his son haunted power to serve me. My merits, I me. How else could he so readily found, were insufficient to support have conceived the meaning of my me against calumny and unfounded questions to Goldney? Why else enmity; and time......yes, I felt al- should he have answered them as he ready that a very short time would did? This persuasion became daily indeed put an end to my sorrows. stronger and stronger, and I deterI was now, with respect to my future mined to stand once more before prospects, precisely in the situation lord St. Albans. I had nothing to I was on quitting Goldney's house. detain me in one place more than I had still my pen to depend on, and another. I loitered therefore near I had improved my stock of expe- his house, till I was convinced that rience; but other circumstances cast neither lord Villars nor lady Matil. a shade over every effort: health da were at home, and the door being was hourly eluding my grasp, nor opened to me by a servant, to whom had the fatal passion for Matilda I was unknown, I was introduced at undermined that alone....it had also once to the earl. robbed me of the power of exertion. He knew me instantly, and order. Yet that ardent passion preserved ed the man to turn me out. I calmly me from ever committing a mean turned round to the man, and as or a vicious action; it ennobled all sured him I was no ruffian, but had my views, and rectified my notions, particular and private business with Of the enmity of lord St. Albans, I lord St. Albans. The man, as was thought little....that of lord Ernolf his duty, was preparing to obey his was cepicable! I now lived for my- master. I was, however, at that self alone! It was necessary to exert moment nerved by resolution, and

seizing him, forcibly pushed him you are my father....and can proudout of the room; then calmly secur- ly say, I was not unworthy of your ing the door, I advanced to the intended bounty....I am not unwor. earl.

thy of your regard and affection; " My lord,” said I, “you would but think not, my lord, that I would not be so eager to dismiss me, were now accept either: your bounty I you not conscious I have a claim to should despise, and your affection I be heard. I am your son, lord St. could not return.” Albans!” His teeth gnashed with « This insolence is past bearing,” rage...his cheeks lost every parti- said the earl. cle of colour....I repeated aloud, “I am not insolent, my lord,” said * I am your son!”

'I; “I am only resolute. Declare “Where did you.... who has dar- once upon your honour that I am ed...."

not your son, and I will make any His words were now not more in- apology for my conduct, and quit coherent than unintelligible. your presence directly."

“ My lord,” resumed I, “ you " Are you to dictate to me,” said yourself have been my informer. lord St. Albans, " the conditions on Your emissary, Goldney, has been which you will leave me at peace?” true to his trust. Your own unjus “ I have a right to insist on an tifiable rage, your present agitation answer to this question,” said I; all confirm it. I am your son!” you have raised this idea in my

“ I defy you,” said he, "to prove heart, and I am entitled to have it your words.”

confirmed or destroyed by a posi“ I am perfectly indifferent,” re- tive answer!” turned I, " whether they are ever proved or not. I mean not to assume any splendor in consequence of knowing myself to be the offspring Here a leaf of the manuscript is of an earl; but suffer me to ask, why

wanting. was I brought into the world, why was I taught all kinds of learning, and then left to chance, to misery, to ruin ?"

LordVillars was kind, affectionate, “ Let me ask you two questions, and generous, but his endeavours Mr. Dellwyn," said the earl sternly, came too late; the incurable blow but calmly. “If you are not my son, was struck, and I laboured under the in what light can you justify this con- slow but sure disease of a broken duct? And if you are such, how dare heart. In vain he spoke to me in you question your father?” the voice of the most soothing

“ If the name of father gives you friendship; in vain he dwelt upon any rights, my lord,” replied I, the name of brother: I could not

the name of son gives me no fewer! reflect without horror that I owed The sort of protection hitherto be. my birth to a man who had disstowed, the education I have receiv- graced humanity by his treatment ed, perhaps call upon you for still of my mother. Too feeble now to more than the mere paternal rela- record the dreadful tissue of villany tion. If, on the contrary, I am not by which she was deceived, I can your son, I may demand, in my turn, only say, it ought to stamp the name what meant your vehemence when of St. Albans with eternal infamy. I met Mr. Goldney here?" The amiable lady Villars tooexerted

“ Learn all you wish to know of all her powers to console me. She Goldncy," retorted the earl....... spoke to me of my unfortunate mo. “He can explain the mystery to ther; she recollected every little you."

incident that she thought would “He cannot root from my bosom, prove to me her superiority to her returned I, “ the conviction tha

As she described her, I

sorrows.

thought of my dear Miss Goldney, shed a melancholy tear over my now dear to me in the sad light of early grave! sister to my mother.

Had I been left in utter ignorance, Lord Villars was pleased to see I might have been contented and the power the soothings of his Ma- happy. No dreams of perfection, tilda had over my mind. He besought no visions of felicity would have disme to reside wholly with them; but turbed my quiet ease; but ah, ever though the love I bore to the lovely dear Miss Goldney! you opened to lady Villars was no longer impe- my view a species of happiness, to tuous, it was still too tender to allow which my soul was congenial ; nor me to see her daily. The tones of could mere vulgar comforts lave her voice, the touch of her hand, satisfied a being who had been formthe glance of her eye quickened myed by your converse! Not long will pulses, and agonized my feelings. it be ere I join your pure spirit and I became convinced that I should my blessed mother's in those realms only linger on in irremediable weak. whence we shall view with pity the ness, while I continued to behold her errors of misguided man! I feel so frequently. I determined to re- daily the approaches of the deliver. move to a distance from those, whose er, Death! I welcome those sympfriendship, more than any earthly toms which tell me I have not long blessing, would have soothed me, to groan under the sense of hopeless but for the nature of my feelings for misery: even now I can rejoice in the lady Matilda.

the continued happiness of lord Vil. I resolved to bend my course into lars and Matilda. Dear to my soul Wales. I passed through the vil- as she will ever be, while it retains lage where mine infant years had its consciousness, my love is purified been spent. I wept over the grave from every selfish emotion, and exof my dear Miss Goldney; and as I ults in her felicity. To that love I gazed on the records of frail morta- have owed much....... lity which surrounded me, I perceived in an obscure corner, a plain There abruptly ends this little black tablet, which I approached.... history. Whether thus suddenly

left by the increasing weakness of MARIA GOLDNEY,

its hapless writer, or whether anoAGED 25.

ther leaf has been lost, I cannot de.

termine: such as it is, however, it is Oh, what bitter tears did I shed sufficiently connected to create inover the tomb of my mother! Iknew terest; and the gentle spirit of Phinot how to tear myself thence! lip Dellwyn will be gratified with the

At length I reached this romantic sympathy his fate will have excited. country; but its pure air, its salubrious whey cannot restore a constitution brokenby incurable sorrow. I have found here hospitality unbounded, sympathy sincere, and genuine affection. Yes, worthy and virtuous people, your generous sim CONCERNINC this far-celebrated plicity has soothed a broken heart, man, whose death we had the painand calmed the jarring irritated ful task of announcing in our last passions of an injured man. And number, we have collected the thou, lovely flower, whose mild eyes following particulars...... Erasmus beam the sweetest pity for sorrows Darwin, the seventh child and no human aid can relieve, Oh may and fourth son of Robert Darwin, thy lot through life be happy! May Esq. was born at Elston, near Newno artful villain lay snares for thy ark, in Nottinghamshire, on the unsuspecting innocence; but happy 12th of December, 1731; he reinmutual love, mayst thou sometimes ceived his early education at Ches.

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF THE

LATE DR. DARWIN.

« ZurückWeiter »