Page images

Let us

ing operation of a mortal poison, traces these few trembling lines to an injured wretched husband. If thou hast any pity for my parting spirit fly the ruin that awaits thee and avoid this scene of villainy and horror. When I tell thee I have borne a child to the monster, whose poison runs in my veins, thou wilt abhor thy faithless Leonora; had i strength to relate to thee the subtle machinations, which betrayed me to disgrace, thou wouldst pity and perhaps for. give me. Oh agony! can I write his name?-The In. quisidor is my murdererMy pen falls from my hand Farewell for ever!

Had a shot passed through the heart of Don Manuel, it could not more effectually have stopt its motions, than the perusal of this fatal writing : He dropped lifeless on the couch, and but for the care and assistance of the Captain and Pedrosa in that posture he had probably expired. Grief like his will not be described by words, for to words it gave no utterance; it was suffocating silent woe. drop the curtain over this melancholy pause in our narration, and attend upon the mournful widower now landing upon English ground, and conveyed by his humane and generous preserver to the house of a noble Earl, the father of our amiable Captain and a man by his virtues still more conspicuous than by his rank. Here amidst the gentle solicitudes of a beneve olent family, in one of the most enchanting spots on earth, in a climate most salubrious and restorative to a constitution exhausted by heat and a heart near broken with sorrow,the reviving spirits of the unfortunate Don Manuel gave the first symptoms of a possible recovery: At the period of a few tranquillizing weeks here passed in the bosom of humanity, letters came to hand from the British Minister at Lisbon, in answer to a memorial, that I should have stated to have been drawn up by the friendly Captain before his departure from that port, with a detail of facts dcposed and sworn to by Nicolas Pedrosa, which memorial with the doçu.


ments attached to it was forwarded to the Spanish Court by special express from the Portuguese premi

By these letters it appeared that the high dignity of the person impeached by this statement of facts had not been sufficient to screen him from a very serious and complete investigation; in the course of which facts had been so clearly brought home to him by the confession of his several agents, and the testimony of the deceased Leonora's attendants together with her own written declarations, whilst the poison was in operation, that though no public sentence had been executed upon the criminal, it was generally understood he was either no longer in existence, or in a situation never to be heard of any more, till roused by the awakening trump he shall be summoned to his tremendous last account. As for the unhappy widower it was fully signified to him from authori. ty, that his return to Spain, whether upon exchange

or parole, would be no longer opposed, nor had he hany thing to apprehend on the part of government,

when he should there arrive. The same was signified in fewer words to the exculpated Pedrosa.

Whether Don Manual de Casafonda will in time to come avail himself of these overtures time alone can prove: As for little Nicolas, whose prize money has set him up in a comfortable little shop in Duke's place, where he breathes the veins and cleanses the bowels of his Israelitish brethren in a land of freedom and toleration, his merry heart is at rest, save only when with fire in his eyes and vengeance on his tongue he anathematizes the Inquisition, and struts into the synagogue every sabbath with as bold a step and as erect a look, as if he was himself High Priest of the Temple going to perform sacrifice upon the reEssembling of the scattered tribes.


[ocr errors]

as related by himself.

I labour under a species of distress, which I fear will at length drive me utterly from that society, in which I am most ambitious to appear; but I will give you a short sketch of my origin and present situation, by which you will be enabled to judge of my difficule ties.

My father was a farmer of no great property, and with no other learning than what he had acerired at a charity school; but my mother being dead, and I an only child, he determined to give me that advantage, which he fancied would have made him happy, viz. a learned education. I was sent to a country grammar-school, and from thence to the university, with a view of qualifying for holy orders. Here, having but small allowance from my father, and being naturally of a timid and bashful disposition, I had no opportunity of rubbing off that native auk. wardness, which is the fatal cause of all my unhappiness, and which I now begin to fear can never be an mended. You must know that in my person I am tall and thin, with a fair complexion, and light flaxen hair; but of such extreme susceptibility of shame, that, on the squallest subject of confusion, my blood all Il shes into my cheeks, and I appear a perfect fullblown rose. The consciousness of this unhappy failing, made me avoid society, and I became enamoured of a college life ; particularly when I reflected, that the uncouth manners of my father's family were lit. tle calculated to improve my outward conduct; } therefore had resolved on living at the university and taking pupils, when two unexpected events greatly altered the posture of my affairs, viz. my father death and the arrival of an uncle from the Indies.

This uncle I had very rarely heard my father mention, and it was generally believed that he was long since dead, when he arrived in England only a week too late to close his brother's eyes. I am ashamed to confess, what I believe has been often experienced by those, whose education has been better than their pa rents, that my poor father's ignorance, and vulgar language, had often made me blush to think I was his son; and at his death I was not inconsolable for the loss of that, which I was not unfrequently ashamed to own. My uncle was but little affected, for he had been separated from his brother more than thirty years, and in that time he had acquired a fortun which he used to brag, would make a Nabob happx in short, he had brought over with him the enormous sum of thirty thousand pounds, and upon this he built his hopes of never-ending happiness. While he was planning schemes of greatness and delight, whether the change of climate might affect him, or what other cause I know not, but he was snatched from all his dreams of joy by a short illness, of which he died, leaving me heir to all his property. And now, behold me at the age of twenty-five, well stock ed with Latin, Greek, and Mathematics, possessed of an ample fortune, but so aukward and unversed in every gentleman-like accomplishment, that I am pointed at by all who see me, as the wealthy learned clown, I have lately purchased an estate in the country, which abounds in (what is called) a fase ionable neighbourhood; and when you reflect on my parentage and uncouth manner, you will hardly think how much my company is courted by the surround

« PreviousContinue »