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To the Editor of the Bee.
Edmund, a Tale.
HAIL native ftream, faid EDMUND, fetting himself down on a graffy plot; thy flowery banks invite me here to rest my weary limbs.-Thy gentle murmurs cannot however foothe my forrow.-Oh! fcenes of my juvenile amusements, you bring not along with you your former endearments.-An old man approached him-He leaned on his ftaff-His filvered locks waved to the gentle breeze-Experience and benignity marked his venerable countenance. You seem to be faint with travel, faid Mr. TOUNSHEND, for that was the name of the old gentleman. "I am very much fo," replied EDMUND' If you please to retire to my house, which is just at hand, a little reft and refreshment will enable more agreeably to pursue your journey'-" I intended to have gone a few miles farther before I had ftopt; but, as I find myfelf exceedingly fatigued, I cheerfully accept of your friendly invitation."So faying, he rose up, and followed MR. TOUNSHEND to his villa.
You are a stranger, I fuppofe, in this part of the country,' faid MR. TOUNSHFND.. "I was born in a village at no great distance from this; I believe however, very few here will now know me; I am much altered: befides, I am poor. I have brought nothing home with me but a few fcars received in the fervice of my country;" looking at a ftump, the remains of his left arm, which MR. TOUNSHEND had not before obferved. Oh! thefe are marks of glory, exclaimed the old gentleman; infinitely more valuable than riches-May I be allowed to afk your name." My name is ROBERTS; if you have refided here any confiderable time, you are perhaps not a stranger to my family-Do you know my father?" I have often heard of him, but never had the pleasure of his acquaintance.' "From your par. lour window, I can fee the gently floping hills where roam his fnowy flocks, and the fpreading groves which shelter his Hittle farm.-Oh! delightful fpot-refidence of exalted virtue-Place of my nativity, inexpreffibly endeared to me by the indulgence of the best of parents-A parent, perhaps
e'er now intombed in earth-Dreadful thought!-Oh! why was I torn from him in his old age?" Torn from him, did you fay'—" Yes, in, the cruelleft and basest man"I feel myfelf interested in your concerns; do favour me with your company till to-morrow, and a recital of your ftory.'-EDMUND having yielded to the intreaties of MR. TOUNSHEND, he accofted him as follows.
My mother died when I was but a boy; my father remained a widower. Though but little acquainted with the world or the fciences, by a clofe attention to nature, he acquired fome of the most important principles of useful knowledge. The cultivation of his little farm afforded him an agreeable exercife; the enjoyment of a felect circle of friends fufficiently occupied his leifure hours. He early impreffed me with the principles of virtue; my mind, náturally fufceptible, from his example, acquired a relish for focial endearments. As he intended me to fucceed him in his property and profeffion, he took care to give me an education fuitable to fuch a flation. At the grammer fchool of our parish, I contracted an intimacy with a lad about my own age, the fon of a gentleman in our neighbourhood; this connection in time, advanced to a moft perfect friendship.
"Having one day taken the diverfion of hunting, the purfuit of our game carried us farther from home than we intended. Hunger reminded us that it was dinner time. I carried MR. WILLIAMS, which is the name of my friend, to the house of a widow lady in that neighbourhood, where I had before once vifited; we were received in the politeft manner. It was then I was firft bleffed with a fight of my MARIA;-bleffed did I fay? no furely, it deferves another appellation, fince it proved the commencement of my miffortunes. I will not attempt to defcribe this lovely maid; any reprefentation I could delineate, would fall infinitely fhort of the original. Her charms infpired me with the fincereft paffion; and I had every reafon to think it mutual. Oh! I was mistaken; fhe was not fincere; at least fhe was not proof against the folicitations of another. By permiffion of my father, whom I had made acquainted with the whole matter, I went one day to vifit her. At my arrival I found the family in the utmost diforder;-MARIA was miffing. She had gone the day before on a vifit to a lady
who refided at a little distance, and had not from that time been heard of. I was fo ftruck with this intelligence, that I remained for fome time in a manner infenfible; I foon however recollected myfelf: concluding the must have been forced away, I refolved not to lofe a moment in attempting her recovery. I difpatched a fhort note to my father, and one to my friend, briefly acquainting him with what had happened, directing him to take a different route from that which I intended, and appointing a place where we should meet. This done, I took leave of the family.
Having spent the day in fruitlefs inquiries, I arrived late at night at the place of rendezvous. MR. WILLIAMS was not come; I waited with impatience till next morning. "Have you heard any thing of MARIA? cried I, as foon as he appeared" I have'" Where is the"- At MR. OSBURN's'-I ftretched forth my arms to embrace him.— Reprefs your joy, my EDMUND, faid he ; this discovery only adds to your misfortunes." What do you mean ?" She is there by her own choice'" Impoffible". That will but too well convince you of its reality,' faid he, putting a letter into my hand, which he faid, he received from herfelf. I tore it open :-Its contents informed me, that she had particular reafons for difcontinuing her correfpondence with me, and at the fame time advising me to think no more of her. The letter dropped from my hand. I ftood for some time motionlefs with furprife.-I had, it is true, never before feen any of her hand-writing; but I had the utmost confidence in my friend. "Come, MR. WILLIAMS, faid I, I must fee the faithlefs MARIA once more; I fhall at least have the pleasure of punishing her seducer." Take care faid he, that instead of chaftening your rival, you do not receive from him an additional injury. You know he is a profeffed libertine: A man who can commit a crime like this, will not hesitate to crown it with another, perhaps of a worse nature.' I remained firm to my purpose. Having found I was determined, he agreed to accompany me. When we were within a little of MR. OSBURN's, my friend told me, that it was through one of the domeftics of the family, with whom he had a flight acquaintance, he had got access to MARIA; and if I pleased, he would go a little before, and endeavour to procure me an interview by
the fame method. I approved of his propofal. He was hard-, ly out of fight, when several men rushed fuddenly from a concealment; one of them feized my horfe by the bridle; while I ftruck at him with the butt end of my whip, I received a blow on my head, which brought me fenfeless to the ground. When I recovered, I found myself in a pal try looking apartment, furrounded by a number of fellows, whofe countenances told me I had no good to expect from them. I asked them the meaning of all this, and was an fwered I should know that in proper time. I was immediately forced into a carriage, one of the fellows placed on each fide of me,-carried to PORTSMOUTH, and put on board a tranfport, which failed next day with troops for Germany.
"Time will not permit me to relate particularly the various circumstances which happened during the different campaigns in which I have ferved. As a reward for my fobriety and attention to duty, I was foon raised to the rank of ferjeant. At the battle of Ramalies, my behaviour was esteemed brave; it was mentioned in very high terms to the DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH, who foon after presented me with an enfign's commiffion. In this new fphere, I formed an intimacy with a number of the officers, particularly a young gentleman of the name of DOUGLASS, a native of SCOTLAND, whofe life I had the happiness to preferve from the fword of a base affaffin. From that moment we were united in the indiffoluble ties of friendship. At the attack of the French lines of MALPLAQUET, I had my left arm shot away, befide a ball lodged in one of my thighs. Surrounded by the enemy, I fhould certainly have fallen a victim to their ferocity, had not MR. DOUGLASS, who perceived my fituation, come to my relief. The victory was glorious: it was decifive; but I loft my friend. He was certainly killed, or at least taken prisoner; for from that day till this, I could never learn what became of him. The lofs of fo much blood, and a long and tedious recovery, made a return to my native country neceflary, in order to recruit my debilitated constitution. In the boom of a parent, in the company of my friend MR. WILLIAMS, I now expect to find a folace to my affliction. This remaining happiness, how is it embittered by the recollection of MARIA, once the fum VOL. III. +