« ZurückWeiter »
to guess the cause of it may be removed. I am not, by any means, a wealthy man, but I have had my share of evils sufficiently to make me feel for the unfortunate, and I have always, thank God, a something to spare for the mitigation of honest distress, in whatever country it is presented to my view. I beg you will present this trifle, (giving her a bank bill) with compliments, begging the favour of his making use of it, till it may suit his circumstances to return it. I have no manner of occasion for it till about this time next year, when I will call to ask after his health, which, I hope, will long ere that be reestablished ; and if it should not at that time be convenient to make restitution of the loan, we will put it off till the year after, when I will pay a second visit to you, as I purpose passing through this country into Ireland, where I bave concerns annually. I am now going to London.": • The last sentence seemed to annihilate the rest. The very name of London had, at that instant, more charms for AMELIA than it could ever boast of creating in the head of 'any Miss in her teens, who had her manima's promise to pass a winter among the fine folks, and fine sights, with which it abounds. But it drew the attention of AMELIA, from superior motives. It was the residence of her poor father's physician, on whose heart she now resolved to make an attempt, by the mediúm of the generous stranger, who she rightly judged would suffer his bounty to take any direction she might wish, and to whom she stated the merchant's anxious, but hopeless desires. ? .' to by l o
You have just the soul, my dear friend, to suggest the ecstasy of AMELIA's, on hearing that this much-wished-for physician, was an intimate acquaintance of the traveller ; "and all the interest of an old affection shall be tried with the doctor," exclaimed the stranger, “as soon as I get to town, on condition that you will now go home to your father
with this purse; and as an assurance, that although I am an usurer, I will receive neither principal nor interest, till he is very able to pay both.”
He did not give the astonislied AMELIÀ time to refuse, but seeing the weather inclined to remit its rigours, he put half-a-crown into the hands of the peasants to drink the young lady, and her sick father's health ; and ordering his horse to the door-mounted and proceeded on his journey. : Does not your bounding heart assure you his feelings would bave defended him from bestowing a thought on the "peltings of the pitiless storin," had they continued to rage And does it not also inform you, that this fair pattern of filial piety was proof against the war of elements ? the sunshine of benevolence, had, indeed, so animated her, that its sudden and intense rays, might have been too strong for her tender frame, had they not been moderated by.a shower of tears. She had scarcely regained her cottage, indeed, when, overcome by her sensations, she fainted in the arms of her aged nurse, who had been mourning her delay. ' -Alas, my friend, what fragile creatures -we are ! How "much at the disposal of contrary events! How totally the vassals of sorrow, and of joy! How little able to encounter the extremes of either! But you will not easily forgive exclamations that detain you from poor AMELIA, whom I left in distress, to indulge them. My heart is but too often the master of my pen, and guides it as it listeth. Let me hasten to make atonement, by informing you, that our lovely sufferer on her recovery, had the pleasure to find her father had dozed best part of the morning, and though he missed. her from his apartment, when he awoke, he told the nurse, that he hoped she was taking a little necessary rest, in her own room, where he desired she might remain undisturbed. . .
As, however, the visit of Dr. ****** was a point more “ devoutly to be wished” than expected, it being the middle of a very hard winter, AMELIA thought it prudent to con ceal the little adventure at the public-house from her father, whose malady, nevertheless, rather increased than abated; and his love of life being in effect his love for his daughter, he could not help occasionally regretting his impassable distance from the only man by whose aid there might be a chance of resisting his disease. There is, you know, a sort of superstition which often runs through a family in favour of its family physician. Nor is it altogether without support from reason; since the person who has long been in the secrets of our constitution, and familiar with our habits of living, must, in all general cases, be better able to apply the proper remedies, than he who is called into our bedchambers, when there is a disease in it, and when he sees us for the first time under its influence : besides which, an old physician is commonly an old friend, and unites the lenitives of affection to the cathartics of science : no wonder, then, that we have faith in him ; and faith, you know, is a great doctor in itself, performing a thousand cures, which the highest professional skill has not been able to accomplish . without it. :. You will readily believe, that the bountiful stranger did not break his promise to AMEĻIA. He kept it indeed so religiously holy, that in less than ten days from the date of his departure, our pious daughter received a message, purporting that a person at the public house begged to speak with her. You, my friend, whose fancy is ever. warmed by your affectionate heart, will immediately conclude what was concluded by AMELIA, that it could be only the much-desired Doctor, who had thus delicately, to
prevent the ill effect of surprise on the sick merchant, an· nounced his arrival. If so, you are in the right. How
ever inconsistent with the spirit of business such a long journey might be, it was perfectly in unison with the spirit of benevolence by which Dr. ****** was moved, to determine upon it the instant the case was stated to him, and execute what he had so determined with all the dispatch' necessary to an affair of life and death, and the life and death, moreover, of an old and unfortunaté friend. “My good little girl," said he, on the entrance of AMELIA,
who gliding from her father's bedside, ran with duteous haste to the village inn=“My good little girl, I am come from ? “Heaven !” interrupted AMELIA, falling on her knees, " you are come from heaven to make my father well.” __“Under the auspices of that heaven, I trust I am," resumed the Doctor. “Let us fly this instant,” exclaimed AMELTA, 'in the animated accents of nature. “Let us do all things in order," replied the Doctor, in the language of friendly discretion, otherwise we shall do more harm than good. I přesame I am not expected? AMELIA bowed a negative. Then my sudden appearance would make thy father worse, child,” continued the Doctor: "No; go back to him, and tell him that an old friend of his from London, and who has particular business in this part of Wales, means to pay him a visit on the score of ancient amity, and will take cottage fåre with him in his chamber. - The name of this old London friend will then be a matter of amusing conjecture, in the midst of which thou, child, may'st suggest that thou shouldst not wonder if it were I, telling him as much of the adventure that I find happened at this inn, between thee and the gentleman who brought me thy message, and with it the story of thy virtues and misfortunes, to support and relieve which would have brought me ten times as far: but we 'have no time for profession; I am come here to practise ; so fare thee well, my good little maid. All
that I have premised will be the work only of an hour, at the end of which I will be with thee." . .
She kissed his hand fervently, and without speaking a single word, sprung up, and might rather be said to fly | than to run to the cottage, though the paths thereto were lost in snow. Her father was sitting up in his bed, supported by pillows, which the aged adherent had made shift to place in the absence of bis filial nurse, who gently chid the old woman for taking her proper business out of her hands; but that, if her father had found a moment's ease : by this usurpation of her natural rights, she would forgive
the usurper...She then entered on her errand, which she managed so well.as to make the old friend's name, after much pleasant conjecture on both sides, the subject of a wager ; the father observing, that if it should prove to belong to the Doctor, Providence had sent him to reward the virtue of his daughter, who, on her part, maintained that it would be chiefly owing to the value which heaven itself would set on her parent's life. This amicable strife had put the invalid into unwonted spirits, and thereby, perhaps, not only prepared the way for the cure of a fever on the nerves, but laid the best foundation of it. The poor gentleman did not dare to lay any stress on the possibility of a visit from the physician, and yet a faint blush of hope denoted that he should think himself most happy to lose his ivager.
At this auspicious crisis it was, that our Doctor made his entre saying, as he advanced to the bed-side, “ My esteemed friend, I am come to return my personal thanks to thee, for having me in thy thoughts when thou wert too sick to remember any but those who are dear to thee, and of whom thou hast a good opinion. Give me thy hand, and, without entering into long histories, let us see if in return for thy kindness I can make thee well again. Yes,
thy kinering into lon100. Given