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# place : I have one to propose 'to readily suppose, that from that mos you. At no great distance from home, 'ment my resolution was taken. “ Yes, near Neufchatel, in the village of fir,” said I, " write to him, offer my Flamais, lives a respectable man, who services to the virtuous and solitary Tetired thither some time ago; and man; but do not tell him any thing who has chosen, I am told, the same you know respecting me.” occupation as myself. He is looking He wrote, spoke much in praise out for an able gardener ; and I think of my manners, and of my knowledge I am sufficiently known to him to re- of gardening and farming, and, with, commend you; it is the president de out giving any hint of my fireduca, Vaneville."

tion, made himself answerable for my “ You will easily conceive the emo- good behaviour. I was accepted, and tion I felt at the mention of this name. let off; but my impatience to see my I was fo struck with astonishment, that father did not make me insensible to I could hardly breathe, and I felt my the regret of leaving my dear Natalie, voice dying away upon my lips. He “ Adieu, mademoiselle,” said I ; « in faw me pale, deprived of speech, and bidding you farewell, I do not give motionless; but he attributed this up the hope of serving you. May the suspension of my faculties to my love young trees we have planted and for Natalie, and to the violence I did tended together, sometimes recall my heart. “Come, my friend, cou- Alexis to your remembrance. May rage,” said he, “it is no doubt a you, in gathering the apples and painful resolution we have taken to peaches that resemble you, defire that part; but our situation renders it in- Alexis were there to gather them with evitable.”

you." “I made no answer : my thoughts “ The dear girl let fall a tear; and were far different from what he lup- said to me, in a voice that touched posed. I was burning with the desire me to the heart, “ Farewell, Alexis of returning to my father : but I I should be very sorry if I were to see thought I should find him with my you no more. Do not forget Na mortal enemy and her two children. talie.” What kind of a reception was I about “I took the road to Flamais, with to meet with?”

a heart full of joy and hope, of un“ The man to whom I am going to easiness and fear. I was going to see propofe you,” added M. de Nelcour, my father, but I was going to see him

is probity itself; and every body weeping the loss of a woman I had agrees that he conceals a great deal offended, and of two children I had of goodness under an air of austerity. flighted. Had I been more submissive He is melancholy, but his melan- and more docile, I should have staid choly renders him interesting, for he with him; if I had governed my is much to be pitied ! He has lost his · temper, and suffered every thing, he wife and his two children, the only would have had a son in me to wipe hopes of his old age, and lives alone away his tears. But, wretch that I at Flamais, a prey to grief. I hope was, after my disobedience and my it will be a confolation to him to have flight, after my criminal desertion, 10 good, and so worthy a young man how appear before his eyes ? - Should 2.5 you in the house."

I remain long enough undiscovered so I was strongly affected by this to expiate my faults, soften his resencsudden news ; but instead of the joy ment, and incline his heart to cleit might have occasioned, the senti- mency ? Seven years absence and la. 'ment that seized me was a religious bour, my altered features, my hair one; for in such rapid misfortunes, I and complexion grown darker, my thought I saw, I must confess, a su- dress, and rustic air, might make me pernatural ch filement. You will a Itranger in any other eyes; but


fhould I be so in those of a father : bat little that night; but I felt inexWell, faid I, if nature fpeak and be preflible comfort on finding myself at tray me, I will take that moment to my father's, and in a situation where fall at his feet, and, instead of his in- I might merit his indulgence, and let dulgence, will implore his mercy - him fee how much I was changed. But then my pardon will be that of a Nothing will be more easy,' said criminal, to whom his judge remits I, 'than to fhew him an unalterable his punishment ; and who knows if he gentleness, a perfect docility; and an will not look upon M. de Nelcour as implicit obedience. · It shall be my his child's accomplice, and as the in- delight, rather than my duty, to anhuman favourer of my fight?-Ah! ticipate his wishes; and it shall be this if once that idea strikes him, there deep respect, this filial piety which, will no longer be any hope of con- in his gardener, shall at length make ciliating his good will for my charm- him discover and forgive his unfortuing Natalie. Such were the reflections nate child.' But I stood in need of that occupied my mind, in my journey courage to disguise and repress the from Fleury to Flamais, where I are workings of nature ; and I promised rived trembling, for fear my father myself that it hould not be wanting. should recollect me.

“ Next day the morning and I “ Alas! whether his eyes, weaken- found him among his trees. Our ed by weeping, could no longer per- work was Glent, and only interrupted ceive in me any thing but confused by a few words, with long intervals and uncertain features, or whether I between. He asked me, *s what was had really outgrown all recollection, I my native place." - I answered, know not, but he did not suspect that “ Anet;" and this was my only fichis son was standing before him. But tion.--" Is your father alive?" Yes, what a sudden and painful impression thank heaven!”—“And your modid the fight of him make on me! ther?” “No, I have lost her."--He Sorrow had wrinkled his forehead heaved a deep figh. « And what is more than age; the tears that I had your father's occupation ?” “ Garcoft him seemed to have furrowed his dening."-" Is he young?!! “ He cheek; and sadness had bowed him begins to grow cld.”_"Are you his toward the grave.

only child?” “ His only one."-And“ Impelled by grief and affection, I you have left him?” “He would have was going to throw myself proftrate it fo himself.”-"He is then in eafy at his feet. But I felt myself suddenly circumstances, and can do without held back by my remorse. I was you?” “ Yes; but if I please my struck by his look of austerity, and master, I hope he will permit us to by the deep gloom spread over his live together at his house."--"Alexis," countenance, which indicated a heart faid he, “ conduct yourself with me as long envenomed by its wounds. I you have done at M. de Nelcouros ; trembled when I begged leave to af. be sober, industrious, and honest; and fure him of my obedience, and of I promise you that you shall foon have my desire to be serviceable. He bade your father with you; it shall not be me follow him ; led me about his gar- 1 who will deprive you of him.” At den; pointed out my work; con- these words he turned aside, and I saw ducted me back to the dwelling that him wipe away his tears. was destined for me ; and while my I have since put him in mind of little habitation was fitting up, pro- our firit conversation. « Ah !” faidh vided for my wants. “ Farewell till he, “ if you had seen the impression to-morrow," said he, on leaving me; every word you answered, made upon At the dawn of day I shall be at my heart! It was more than a year work myself.”

fince the names of father and son had “ Aç you will easily believe, I sept pailid my lips. I had not fortitude



enough to pronounce them ; it was poslible it may.”-“Why does not he like a load upon my heart, and yet marry you?”_" Ah, fir, my father's with you, I felt relief in speaking and confent is necessary, and as yet I have hearing them.”

not dared to ask it.”. .“ Why not ?" • Satisfied at seeing me redouble -" The poor orphan has little or noevery day my diligence and activity, thing in the world.”_" She has her creating him as it were a new garden, gentleness, her virtue, and her happy and teaching him with due deference disposition, and let me tell you that a style of cultivation unknown to him is no bad portion.”—“Yes, fir, but before; my father had sometimes the my father --- I dread the speaking kindness to moderate the ardour with to him."-" Your father is then a which I worked ; an involuntary in- very severe one ?”—“He has been fo clination making him constantly attend sometimes, fir, but he is not the less my steps. “ Alexis,” said he, one affectionate for that; and if I durft day, “ how old are you?" "One and say it, his goodness is equal to yours.” twenty.”-He repeated one and twen- "In that case, I hope I, Ihall obtain ty with a deep figh, and remained a the consent to your happiness. If, long time silent.

however, he should perlift in a refusal, “ After taking a few turns in the I tell you beforehand, that I have no garden, to calm his agitation, he re- authority to oppose that of a father ; turned and asked me, if it were not and you yourself, Alexis, would be my intention to marry?"_“Yes, sir, obliged to obey."_“Yes, fir, yes, I I have been thinking about it,” said promise that I would, even if life 1, "and if you have no objection, and were at stake. Never did child remy father consent, I think I have spect and love his father better than I found a sweet girl at Fleury, who do mine. I will not deny that I find would make me happy."

“ How old in Natalie all that is desirable in wois the ?”Sixteen.” _ Are her man; that I love her with the greatest friends decent people ?"-" She is tenderness, and that I fall never be the daughter of a man who spilt his happy without her ; yet if my father blood in the service of the flate.” did but say, “ Alexis, you mult give " A good extraction?"-"Like me, up all thoughts of her, and never see she loit her mother when only seven her more, I would obey without muryears old.”_" Poor children! and muring.". Happy father !” expray who took care of her?”_"M. claimed mine. “ Alexis, go to-morde Nelcour." “ She is pretty, with row, and beg M. de Nelcour to do put doubt ?'

“ Even if ugly, she me the honour to come and see me at would still be amiable: she is as mild Flamais, and to bring his orphan with and gentle as a dove. M. de Nel- him. I will intercede with your facour is as fond of her as if she were ther for both of



thall -" This M. de Nelcour is give me your word that, while I live, then a very charitable, benevolent, you will not leave me. I am an old man?"_“Yes, sir, as his goodness and folitary man, and stand in need to Natalie and me sufficiently teftify.” of consolation ; in need of more than

“ He has committed a few follies,” you may perhaps imagine. You rejoined my father, “ bur they were and your wife at least will love me, the pardonable follies of a weak and and I will treat you both as if you eafy man; and it is very lucky for were my children." him, that this weakness has cost him “ At these affe&ting words, I fell at nothing but his fortune. It some- his feet, bathed them with my tears, times costs much dearer. Does he and was on the point of making myknow that you love Natalie ?"-"He self known. But if paft displeasure ju'pects it."-" That is perhaps the thus rekindled in his bofom, he fould Teason he has separated you."-'4t is no longer look upon Natalie with so

his own.

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favourable an eye; if he should even days at his house; and during all that refuse to see her ---- I trembled for time was entirely taken up with the fear of destroying all our hopes; and amiable orphan. At length, when my father considered my emotion, she was going to return to Fleury : merely as that of a young man trans- “My resolution is fixed,” said he, ported with love and gratitude. « and I am going to write to your fa

« The next day I arrived at M. de ther. You shall carry the letter Nelcour's, with a heart beating high yourself, and if, as I presume, he apwith joy. “You have,” said I, “ put prove of the match, bring him along the finishing hand to your favours, with you. Tell me his name, and and I am come to thank you. M. de tell me that of Natalie's father.” Vaneville, the virtuous old man,

who “ It was then I felt every fibre in was wasting away with sorrow, and my body tremble, and every pulse whom it was the will of heaven to beat high. console ---- Join me, fir, in adoring “ Sir," said I, “ you

fee the hand that directed us : M. de Va- trembling before you at the confession neville is my father. Yes, you are I am about to make. It does not the instrument that heaven has em- suffice to ask my father's consent ; ployed to restore me to my father : since you are so kind to me, my parit is to you, fir, that I am indebted don and forgiveness must first be imfor the hope of appealing him. Send plored.”—“ Your pardon," replied for Natalie. It depends on her to my father with astonishment ! " Are complete my happiness, and I hope you then guilty ?” -“Yes, fir, I am. to prevail on her to do so.

Yes, it is a guilty and penitent child, « She came; I related to them all that must be laid at his feet; if my that had passed between my father and tears touch you, it is by those means me; and in proportion as Natalie be- he must be moved; for that I may came acquainted with my secret, her hide nothing from my generous proemotion, her blushes, and her inno- tector, in my early youth I have percent and ingenuous joy let me into haps given him great cause of aMichers. She confessed that the had tion." “ How lo ?” said he, with a.. wept my absence ; that she had often look of disappointment and concern. lamented her not being my help-mate “ By my ungovernable violence, and in the garden ; that her good angel impetuous temper.” had foretold to her in a dream, that “ He listened to me with his eyes the should never have any husband fixed on mine, and I saw the trembbut Alexis ; and that she had vowed, ling of his hands and knees redouble în case of its being fulfilled, to erect at every word. " Ah! sir,” cried I, an altar to this confo'ing angel under at length, “ in the name of Nature, a bower we should both plant in con- and your own blood, ask pardon for a cert.

thoughtless youth, who ran away from “ M. de Nelcour, Natalie, and I, his father, and for these seven years set off together.

She appeared before patt, has not dared to appear before my father dressed like a simple coun- hiin.” At these words, I fell at bis try girl, and enchanted the old man feet. “ Ah!, unfortunate boy ! 'tis with her grace, her modesty, her in- you,” cried he, running up to me, genuous language, and witń the turn and taking me in his arms, while of her mind, which discovered, un- I, lialf ftitted by my fobs, felt my known to her, a tincture of cultiva- face bedewed with tears. « These tion, Her beauty rendered her ftill are tears of joy,” said I, “ let them more interesting in his eyes. He ex- Aow; I have shed many of a bitterer presied his satisfaâion at M. de Nel- kind. O my dear father! do you cour's having taken so much care of forgive my being the cause?”—“ Yes, her education; made him fay thrce I forgive you, and every thing is for

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since you are restored to me; to me with all his faults corrected. but do you not come to asiet and dif- And you, daughter of a man, whose tress old age; tell me who is this blood I honour, and whose memory I young woman you wilh to marry ?”- respect, come and be with your huf« Fear nothing, father ; mademoi- band, the delight of my old age.” felle de Leonval is not unworthy to We were married in this very village; bear your name.” These words clear- and chose for our wedding clothes, ed up every thing.

the very same dress we wore at “Come, fir," said he to M. de Fleury. Nelcour, come and receive my « Such was the narrative of Alexis. thanks. What do I not owe you? As soon as it was finished, we reYou restore

my son; you restore him turned to the now happy father.



my desires,


MIDSUMMER-Night's Dream. To you your father should be as a god;

One that compos’d your beauties ; yea, The Step-Mother.

and one Theseus.

To whom you are but as a form in wax,

By him imprinted, and within his power
OW Now

To leave the figure, or disfigure it
This old moon wanes! She lingers

The expression, to leave the figure, Like to a ftep-dame, or a dowager,

signifies no more than this :

i That Long withering out a young man's re- the child being but a form imprinted

in wax by the father, he has as abfoThe idea of a step-mother being lute authority over it, to kill or to odious to her family, is applied, in fave it, as he has over a waxen image, this passage, in a very beautiful and to leave the figure, that is, to let it uncommon manner, to illustrate the remain as he has formed it; or, entediousness of expectation, But this tirely to disfigure, that is, to destroy, idea of the charačter of a step-mother or melt it down again.'— In this play, as odious, however general it may the scene of which is at Athens, there be, is very often unfounded; as many is a peculiar propriety in this passage; instances


be recorded of women, for a law of the great legislator Solon who, in that too frequently unthank- gave to parents an absolute authority ful and uneqviable office, have dis- over the life and death of their chilplayed a greater fuperiority of virtue, dren. Thus Egeus had said, in the than they could posibly have shewn speech immediately before : in the exercise of their natural duties. Terence has given us the portrait of I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;

As ihe is mine, I may dispose of her : an excellent mother-in-law :

Which shall be either to this gentleman, 'Tis now my chief concern to make my

Or to her death; according to our law,

Immediately provided in that cafe.
Easy to all, that no one may regret
My lengthen'd life, or languish for my

Neither the Athenian privilege, death.

nor indeed any unreasonable exertion COLMAN. of parental authority, can be warrant

ed by the precepts of religion or the This portrait, we are persuaded, is principles of morality. But, after neither inimitable nor unfrequent.

this observation, we may be allowed

to add, that filial piety is not only Parental Authority.

one of the most amiable and becoming Theseus. What fay you, Hermia ? Be ad- of virtues, but is one of those on which vii'd, fair maid. too great a stress cannot be laid; for

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