« ZurückWeiter »
tive, in the most civil and polite manner, concerning her country, birth, and connexions; and finding that she was betrothed to a Celtiberian prince, named Allucius, he or. dered both him and the captive's parents to be sent for
3. When the Spanish prince appeared in his presence, Scipio took him aside; and to remove the anxiety he might feel on account of the young lady, addressed him in these words : “ You and I are young, which admits of my speaking to you with freedom. They who brought me your future spouse, assured me at the same time, that you loved her with extreme tenderness; and her beauty and merit left me no room to doubt it. Upon which, I reflected, that if I were in your situation, I should hope to meet with favour: I therefore think myself happy in the present conjuncture to do you a service
4. “ Though the fortune of war has made me your master, I desire to be your friend. Here is your wife: take her, and may you be happy! You may rest assured, that she has been amongst us, as she would have been in the house of her father and mother. Far be it from Scipio to purchase any pleasure at the expense of virtúe, honour, and the happiness of an honest man! No; I have kept her for you, in order to make you a present worthy of you and of me. The only gratitude I require of you, for this inestimable gift, is, that you will be a friend to the Roman people.”
5. Allucius's heart was too full to make him any answer; but, thring himself at the general's feet, he wept aloud : the captudy fell down in the same posture, and remained so, till the aged láther, overwhelmed with transports of joy, burst into the following words : “ () excellent Scipio ! Heaven has given thee more than human virtue., O glorious leader! O wondrous youth! what pleasure can equal that which must now fill thy heart, on hearing the prayers of this grateful virgin, for thy health and prospe-,
6. Such was Scipio; a soldier, a youth, a heathen! nor was his virtue unrewarded. Allucius, charmed with such magnanimity, liberality, and politeness, returned to his own country, and published, on all occasions, the praises of his generous and humane victor; crying out," that there was come into Spain a young hero, who conquered all things
less by the force of his arms, than by the charms of his virtue and the greatness of his beneficence. DODD:
Virtue in humble life. 1. In the preceding section, we have seen an illustrious instance of virtue in a person of exalted rank. This section exhibits an equally striking example of uprigatness in humble life. Virtue and goodness are confined to no station : and wherever they are discovered, they command respect.
2. Perrin, the amiable subject of this narrative, lost both his parents before he could articulate their names, and was obliged to a charity school for his education. At the age of fifteen he was hired by a farmer to be a shepherd, in a neighbourhood where Lucetta kept her father's sheep. They often met, and were fond of being together. After an acquaintance of five years, in which they had many opportunities of becoming thoroughly known to each other, Perrin proposed to Lucetta to ask her father's consent to their marriage : she blushed, and did not refuse her approbation.
3. As she had an errand to the town next day, the opportunity of her absence was chosen for making the proposal. “ You wish to marry my daughter," said the old man : “ have you a house to cover her, or money to maintain her? Lucetta's fortune is not enough for both. It will not do, Perrin; it will not do.” “ But,” replied Perrin, “ I have hands to work : I have laid up twenty crowns of my wages, which will defray the expense of the wedding : I will work harder, and lay up more. “Well,” said the old man, “ you are young, and may wait a little : get rich and my daughter is at your service.” Perrin waited for Lucetta's return in the evening.
4. “Has my father given you a refusal ?” cried Lucetta. "Ah, Lucetta,” replied Perrin,“ how unhappy am I for being poor! But I have not lost all hopes: my circumstances may change for the better.” Asthey were never tired of conversing together, the night approached, and it became dark. Perrin, making a false step, fell on the ground. He found a bag, which was heavy. Drawing towards a light in the neighbourhood, he discovered that it was filled with gold,
• Introduction, &c. . Part. I. " I thank heaven,” cries Perrin, in a transport of joy, " for being favourable to our wishes. This will satisfy your faiher, and make us happy.". In their way to her father's house, a thought struck Perrin. « This money is not ours, it belongs to some stranger; and perhaps this moment he is lamenting the loss of it; let us go to the vicar. for advice : he has always been kind to me."
5. Perrin put the bag into the vicar's hand, saying, “that at first he looked on it as a providential present, to remove the only obstacle to their marriage; but that he now doubt. ed whether he could lawfully retain it.” The vicar eyed the young couple with attention : he admired their honesty, which appeared even to surpass their affection. “Perrin," said he, "cherish these sentiments: Heaven will bless you, We will endeavour to find out the owner: he will reward thy honesty, I will add what I can spare. You shall have Lucetta."
6. The bag was advertised in the newspapers, and cried in the neighbouring parishes. Some time having elapsed, and the money not having been demanded, the vicar carried it to Perrin. « These twelve thousand livres bear at present no profit: you may reap the interest at least. Lay them out in such a manner, as to ensure the sum itself to the owner, if he should ever appear.” A farm was purchased, and the consent of Lucetta's father to the marriage was obtained. Perrin was employed in husbandry, and Lucetta in family affairs. They lived in perfect cordiality; and two children endeared them still more to each other.
7. Perrin one evening, returning homeward from his work, saw a chaise overturned with two gentlemen in it, He ran to their assistance, and offered them every accommodation his small house could afford.. " This spot," cried one of the gentlemen, “is very fatal to me. Ten years ago, I lost here twelve thousand livres." Perrin listened with attention. «What search made you for them?” said he. “It was not in my power,” replied the stranger, « to make any search. I was hurrying to Port l'Orient to embark for the Indies, as the vessel was ready to sail.”
8. Next morning, Perrin showed to his guests his house, his garden, his cattle, and mentioned the produce of his fields. “ All these are your property,” said he, addressing the gentleman who had lost the bag: " the money fell into
my hands; I purchased this farm with it; the farm is yours. The vicar has an instrument which secures your property, though I had died without seeing you.
9. The stranger read the instrument with emotion : he looked on Perrin, Lucetta, and the children. «Where am I,” cried he, and what do I hear! What virtue in people of so low a condition ! Have you any other land but this farm ?” “ No," replied Perrin; “but you will have occasion for a tenant, and I hope you will allow me to remain here.” “Your honesty deserves a better recompense," answered the stranger. “My success in trade has been great, and I have forgotten iny loss. You are well entitled to this little fortune: keep it as your own. What man in the world could have acted more nobly than you have done?”
10. Perrin and Lucetta shed tears of affection and joy. “My dear children,” said Perrin, “ kiss the hand of your benefactor.-Lucetta, this farm now belongs to us, and we can enjoy it without any anxiety or remorse.” Thus was honesty rewarded. Let those who desire the reward, practise the virtue.
DODD. SECTION XV.
The female choice. 1. A young girl, having fatigued herself one hot day, with running about the garden, sat down in a pleasant arbour where she presently fell asleep. During her slumber, two female figures presented themselves before her. One was loosely habited in a thin robe of pink, with light green trimmings. Her sash of silver gauze flowed to the ground. Her fair hair fell in ringlets down her neck; and her head-dress consisted of artificial flowers interwoven with feathers. She held in one hand a ball ticket, and in the other a fancy-dress all covered with spangles and knots of gay riband.
2. She advanced smiling to the girl, and with a familiar air thus addressed her.
“My dearest Melissa, I am a kind genius who have watched you from your birth, and have joyfully beheld all your beauties expand, till at length they have rendered you
companion worthy of me. See what I have brought
you. This dress, and this ticket, will give you free access to all the ravishing delights of my palace. With me you will pass your days in a perpetual round of ever-varying amusements.
3. Like the gay butterfly, you will have no other business than to flutter from flower to flower, and spread your charms before admiring spectators. No restraints, no toils, no dull tasks, are to be found within my happy domains. All is pleasure, life, and good humour. Come then, my dear ! Let me put on you this dress, which will make you quite enchanting ; and away, away, with me!"
Melissa felt a strong inclination to comply with the call of this inviting nymph; but first she though it would be prudent at least to ask her name.' .6 My name," said she, “is DISSIPATION.”
in a close habit of brown stuff, simply relieved with white, She wore her smooth hair under a plain cap. Her whole person was perfectly neat and clean. Her look was serious, but satisfied; and her air was staid and composed. She held in one hand a distaff; on the opposite arm hung a work-basket: and the girdle round her waist was garnished with scissors, knitting-needles, reels, and other implements of female labour. A bunch of keys hung at her side. She thus accosted the sleeping girl.
5. “ Melissa, I am the genius who have ever been the friend and companion of your mother; and I now offer you my protection. I have no allurements to tempt you with, like those of my gay rival. Instead of spending all your time in amusements, if you enter yourself of my train, you must rise early, and pass the long day in a variety of employments, some of them difficult, some laborious, and all requiring exertion of body or of mind. You must dress plainly; live mostly at home; and aim at being useful rather than shining.
6. “ But in return, I will ensure you content, even spi. rits, self-approbation, and the esteem of all who thoroughly know you. If these offers appear to your young mind less inviting than those of my rival, be assured, however, that they are more real. She has promised much more than she can ever make good. Perpetual pleasures are no more in the power of Dissipation, than of Vice and Folly, to be