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These may appear trifling reminiscences, Sir; but subsequent events, as you will soon learn, have rendered them deeply impressed upon my memory. “The boy is father of the man,"and Lovett's boyhood-undirected, as it was, by authoritative influence, was but too true a preface to his manhood: but I will not anticipate.
I went through the school without distinguishing myself in any extraordinary manner—that is, I neither set the ward on fire, nor made love to the nurse's daughter=nor bearded the steward-nor, in short, did I do any thing worthy of commemorative importance. I was, however, flogged the requisite number of times, and “ turned out," as a groom would say, a fine, chubby lad of fifteen.
Your inquiring glance adds, did I form no friendships during my six years' scholarship? I did, with two, and only two individuals—the name of the one was Burton, that of the other Podds. Can you tell me, deeply learned as you are, (I know you write in
Magazines--so do Í!) how school-friendships are contracted ? How it is, that from amidst several hundred human beings, the heart should single only one, or, at the utmost, two companions to its yearnings, and accompanied, accordingly, by them-be unmindful of all the others ?* “ Congeniality of sentiment," you will exclaim. Congeniality of a fiddlestick! There was no more congeniality between Burton, Podds and me, or between any one of us, than there is between us and the prim effigy of Edward VI., affixed over the church-gate. Does not Plato say something about the etheriality of the soul flying about till it meets with an opposite spirit, and then mingling with it, like acid and alkali, producing from such union, a bland and harmonious whole? Burton was a quiet, contemplative, and apparently a dull boy. Podds was a learned, and, therefore, a disagreeable boy; and I was a hot, and choleric Welshman-even as a boy, the slave of impulse, with scarcely one sentiment in common with my two friends :-but friends we were, although not, certainly, from “congeniality of sentiment."
I left school before either of my friends: Burton followed in about a month, and Podds remained nearly a twelvemonth longer, by which, you will understand that I was the senior young gentleman of the triad." My uncle Highmore, who had kindly continued his patronage to me, while I was at school, had provided me a situation with a medical practitioner in Londona stranger to us all—but recommended by one of the masters; and the very day I quitted Christ's Hospital, 1 proceeded directly to my new residence in Welbeck-street, Cavendish Square. My uncle was one of those old-fashioned gentlemen, who, having never had any children himself, considered my interests better consulted by debarring me of the usual boyish enjoyments. I had not seen any part of my family during the whole six years I had been in London; and, instead of letting me pay a visit to Wales, when I left school, it
was the old gentleman's pleasure, that I should enter at once tipon
the duties of my apprenticeship, and upon them did I, accordingly, • enter.
To a boy of my curious and ardent disposition, every object, in my new situation, was a matter of interest. My new master, whose name was Ratcliffe, was blessed with a buxom spouse, and a romping daughter, about three years younger than myself
. He was a pettish, good-hearted, irritable, thin man, extremely fond of his daughter, and usually squabbling with his cara sposa, who, although an extremely worthy, "good sort of woman," had her weak points, like the rest of us. One of these was a mortal aver-' sion to all book-learning, as well as every thing in the shape of super-refinement. “Give me a girl," would the good lady say, " who can make a pie or a pudding, a shirt för her husband's back, and look after the servants ! None of your flighty and flaunting Madame's for me they are useless hussies !" As to the booklearning affair, it was a constant source of bickering between the worthy pair-Mr. Ratcliffe, being a most ardent and devoted zoologist, and in the opinion of his thrifty dame, spending more money about “ those useless nick-nackeries” than they are worth. Nevertheless, Mr. Robert Radcliffe continued his zoological pursuitsparticularly as regarded his researches into the lung; of butterfliesthe “nick-nackeries” so pathetịcally lamented—and his faithful rib continued her vituperationis, very much to my edification and amusement,
To a youth só friendless as myself---for Į had no relations, or even acquaintances in London-my domestication with Mr. Radcliffe's family was an event of no trifling interest and importance. Naturally of an affectionate and a confiding disposition---looking upon all mankind literally as my brethren, as anxious for my welfare, as I vyąs for their's'; and, then, undeceived as to my flattering estimation of my fellow-men—what wonder is it, that I beheld every thing around me through the charming medium of exulting youth? 1 had quitted school with the approbation and esteem of all my masters, (no slight honour, let me tell you, in so large an establishment) and I was gratified and encouraged by the kindness and commendations of my uncle Highmore, whom I really esteemed, and whose kindness to my mother, as well as to myself, I had learnt properly to appreciate; and, in addition to this, I was stimulated to increased exertion by the success I had met with in my vocation, as an author, having published in a paltry magazine, some verses on a blackbird. These circumstances considered, I entered Mr. Radcliffe's family, "predisposed" to gain the good will of every member of it, and to deserve á continuance of my uncle's praise and regard
Were I in a moralizing mood, continued Mr. Templeton, emptying his glass, and proceeding with all due formality to compound another, -Were I in a moralizing mood, which your whiskey provokes, I could spin you a most cloquent and edifying I did gain
discourse on the inevitable vagaries of fate : but observing the interest which you take in these reminiscences, and anticipating, therefore, your anxiety for their continuation, I will be merciful, and spare you the infliction. Let me, however, direct your attention to one circumstance, and I will leave you to moralize upon it, the next time you are kept awake by the tooth-aehe.
tell me why it is, that I, Timothy Templeton, after being such a good boy at school, and after gaining, as you
will soon see, the esteem and regard of my master, the apothecary; after, indeed, doing a number of wonderful things in the way of goodness—will you fain tell me why I should have risen no higher in this bustling world, than a jailer's man? It is to me a matter perfectly inexplicable; but, your superior penetration may, perhaps, suggest a solution, after I shall have gratified you with some further particulars of this surprising history. I had been 'nearly a year with Mr. Ratcliffe, when
uncle Highmore arranged for my visit to Wales. Seven years had now elapsed since I had left home, and I had not seen any of my family, during the whole of that period. However expedient it may be, under some circumstances, to encourage the absence of one member of a family from the others—a son from his parents, especially-I am very certain, that, in my case, it was injurious to me, as a son: that is, it removed from me—by depriving me of the controul and solicitude of a mother-a great portion of affection and reverence for that mother: for how could it be supposed that I should love a person, whom I had not once seen during the most important and plastic period of my boyhood ? However this may be, I had still enough veneration left to render the prospect of a visit to my mountain-home, a matter of superlative felicity: and well do I remember the deep, deep joy, which filled my bosom; when the old rumble-tumble of a night coach rolled out of the yard of the “ Bull and Mouth,” whither I had posted to secure my place, on its road to Shrewsbury, where we arrived some time in the evening of the following day.
In those days of halcyon innocence and simplicity, there was no conveyance from Shrewsbury to any of the towns in M- -shire; but there was a coach, if it deserves the name, which crawled within about twelve miles of my native place; and by this was I consigned, per order, to a rude mountain-village, where a man had been sent to meet me with a horse. At this romantic hamlet we arrived about five o'clock, on as fine a summer's afternoonas ever glowed from the heavens: and I will not attempt to describe to you the buoyant exultation, which made my putses bound, as I rode over the hills to my secluded home, which, however, I did not reach till the gloom of evening had shrouded it in darkness, hiding from my sparkling eyes, for the present, the scenes so familiar to my memory.
Although the less changeable and more enduring works of Nature had remained indelibly impressed upon my recollection, it was otherwise with the beings, for whom these works were created. Even the members of my own family, (my mother alone excepted) were perfect strangers to me; and, as to the hundred and one juvenile acquaintances, who had sprung up like so many mushrooms in my absence, I recollected them no more, than if I had never seen them; they knew me, as a sort of Lion--but the knowledge was not reciprocal.
And my cousins? you ask-were they too forgotten? Even 80every one-even Ellen herself; but our meeting was nevertheless joyous in the extreme. The two boys had grown hugely in stature, and the girls, but especially Ellen, had become pretty and interesting. Ellen, who, you recollect, was the youngest, was at that shy, budding age, when girlhood is bursting into womanhoodwhen
every word calls up a blush—every glance a terror. Girls, at this age, have good memories, and I could perceive that our childish love was still fondly remembered; for the kiss, which I impressed upon her lips at meeting, suffused her brow and bosom with one burning glow of agitation and delight. Say what you like--think what you like about the matured charms of woman, there is nothing like the gentle, artless naiveté of girlhood. Unconscious of any scheming-regardless of the future full of hope, and tenderness, and love every impulse tells at once upon the heart, and you see its effect reflected from the tell-tale features : and the eye! did you ever observe its irrepressible disclosures ?-its searching, thrilling, irresistible lightning ?-its softness, its fire, its love ? Ah! my dear friend! I have had opportunities of scrutinizing women of every kind and character--but all must yield, in point of true and powerful attraction, to the blushing, artless, sensitive and delicate-minded girl of fifteen!
I have told you already, that I was in love at nine years old: you may suppose, then, that my amorous propensities were not diminished at sixteen indeed, they were not: and from the very moment of the impression of the kiss aforesaid, I was in love with Ellen. Gracious Heaven ! what ecstacy !-what delight !-what rapture did I experience in the artless interchange of love, which, at this period, occurred between us ! Ellen, all affection—all feeling -all confiding tenderness,-met my boyish advances without once reflecting on the future. And I! alas ! was too happy to reflect at all! and plunged headlong and joyously into a whirlpool of passion and delight Alas! alas? how soon was the gay fabric of my glad vision crumbled into dust! how soon was every vestige of it destroyed !
“ Hlad we never loved so kindly,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted !" But I will not anticipate: “all's well that ends well!" as our overnor, always tells young criminals, by way of consolation and encouragement, upon their first visit to our castle.
Dream of a woundeil Soldier on the Fuld of Battle. 71
My visit, as you may suppose, passed on with all the quick rapidity of joy, and I returned to London to pursue, with a bad relish, my professional studies.
DREAM OF A WOUNDED SOLDIER ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE.
The day had set-and silence drear
Sank o'er that field—the last but one
The red goal of his wild career-
That deeper darkness, in its rear,
Of low and melancholy sound,
To break sepulchral silence round :--
Whose stormy breath had wreath'd him o'er
At eve along the silent shore!
fitful gleams, that sank
Was such as feverd brain permits,
And wild delirium, rage by fits!
The battle's fiery empest past
Of ruin; roars the gathering blast ;-
Like Comet with its burning train,
And strew'd with dead the plain!
To change retreat into a rout.
With wild hurrah-and ’vengeful shout!