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The tide is already on the flood as you may perceive, and I inust take the current while it serves, or lose my venture, and now Mr. Narrator a good morning to you. I bade my neigh: bour's son farewell and thus we parted, with a full resolution on my side, to mark the result of a dream, that made an impression so legible, on the mind of Richard Markham.
A fair wind and a strong tide soon brought our hero to the place predicted, and now as Richard was mounting the stairs to the town of Gravesend, with great surprise and pleasure, he beheld the same good looking man in a blue coat, with a sword by his side, bending pleasantly towards him, and taking Mr. Markham by the hand told him he was pressed into the King's service
• Hail Horrors, Hail !! and advised him to make the best of it, assuring him resistance would be in vain and of no use to him, that his Majesty's service was greatly in want of such fine young men, and that he might be assured it would be all for the better, here Richard shook his head and cursed his folly for putting confidence in an idle dream ; however Dick had
"A mind not to be changed by place or time," and at length cheerfully submitted to his destiny.
My neighbour's son with many others, was sent to Admiral Rodham, who commanded at the port of Sheerness, where the Astrea frigate was waiting for a few prime hands to make up her compliment. Richard was presently put on board and disposed of accordingly. The ship weighed anchor, and proceeded for the Downs, where a large fleet of West Indiamen waited her coming as their convoy, and as they dashed together into the Atlantic ocean, Richard bid farewell to the white liffs of his native country, resolved to be as happy as circumstances would permit, still hoping that some event would turn up to realize his dream ; and after a pleasant passage of something more than seven weeks the feet arrived at Jamaica.
It has been suggested that Ricliard was not attached to industry and the life of a British sailor was before all things disgusting to him, still he had prudence to do his duty, and gave no reason to his officers to suspect his dislike to the profession; the humble deportment of Richard to his superiors obtained him many friends, and the captain, hearing that he had a good name, frequently entrusted him to go on shore aboat the ship’s concerns, till one day put a period to those
excursions. One of the officers had left a quadrant on shore for repairs, and not wishing to sail without it, obtained permission for my neighbour's son to be sent on the errand, with strict injunctions to return with all speed, as the frigate was preparing that night to be under weigh for England. As no suspicion could arise to Markham's prejudice, the boat was sent off and soon entered the harbour of Port Royal, the quadrant was obtained, with the tradesman's receipted bill and the change he had received, and carefully packed in the case that contained the instrument, beside a letter directed to Captain Grindal, in which Richard informed his commander that, through the carelessness of a negro porter on the wharf, an hogshead of sugar had been rolled against him and fractured the bone of his right leg, just above the instep, that a surgeon bad set it and engaged to put him on board before the sun set. The management of all this was left to an old black, named Quashi, for the simple bribe of one shilling. Quashi delivered the case to those who had the care of the boat, and told the story in a way so affecting that the seamen . expressed much sorrow for the misfortune, and rowed away with great expedition to their ship in the ofling.
My neigbbour's son knew not how this story might be received on board, so withdrew from the town to a plantation called Tralawny, and there while he could behold the frigate ride at anchor, secreted himself among the sugar-canes, The next morning, at sun rise, he had the pleasure to behold the yessel under sail, and eagerly followed her course with his eyes till her white sails were no bigger than the wings of a butterfly. And now, thinking on the vicissitudes he had undergone, Richard asked himself what course of life it were best for him to steer, when he was called from his reverie by the appearance of Mr. Bailey, master of the estate, who had been riding about the plantation to see his business properly executed by his dependents, and coming near to Richard inquired, in a pleasant way, to what ship he belonged, my neighbour's son mentioned the ship and captain, and added, by some fatal mistake, they had sailed without him. 66 What do you mean to do ? ' said the master. I do not know was the answer, Can you write and cast accounts ?” said Mr. Bailey. “As well as any man in the island,” replied Richard, " Then,” said the lord of the plantation, “ follow me.” Richard soon found himself in a much better state than he had a right to expect, for upon trial the planter finding him answer his purpose, his seaman's habit was changed for that
of the gentleman's; and proving himself every way deserving, : my neighbour's son in a short time became not only respected but thoroughly acquainted with the business of a Jamaica Planter. About this time the proprietor of an adjoining estate fell by the yellow-fever, and the worthy Mr. Bailey recommended Mr. Markham to manage for the widow.
In the outset of my narration I observed that Richard was given to dissipation, the discipline of the ship bad worked a perfect reform; and my neighbour's son had now become, as well as the merchant, the gentleman, and a companion for any one of that description in the whole island. For some years be continued to manage the estate with great attention; the negroes were pleased with his humanity; his word, in mercantile matters, highly regarded, and no one more respected on all occasions than Mr. Markham. The widow Ponsonby had the good sense to appreciate his merits, and gave him her hand with her immense property ; and thus my neighbour's son, through the impulse of a dream, was led through some scenes of trouble to be the husband of a beautiful lady, and the lord of a noble plantation : his rum puncheons and sugar hogsheads became numerous, and his credit with merchants, equal to any in Jamaica. He took his father from labour, and placed him above all want. And having committed these circumstances to my direction, I put them into this form to shew that however huinble man's outset of life may be, by perse: verance and honourable attachments he may arrive at the highest pinnacle of fortune,
Nil desperandum ! Notwithstanding my neighbour's son's success in obeying the impulsive power of a dream, I am of opinion there is no thing in nature more delusive than dreams, as I shall endeavour, in my next paper, to exemplify by the story of my neighbour's daughter.
THE BROKEN SWORD.
A New Melo Drama, under this title, has been brought forward at Covent Garden Theatre. Tbe plot comprises a great variety of incident and action--and is, briefly, as follows :
Six years previous to the commencement of the drama, Captain Zavior, a naval ollicer in the service of the King of Spain, travel. ling towards the castle of his brother, enters the forest of Colares.
His attention is here suddenly arrested by the appearance of a boy, who, with earnest gesture and piteous looks, entreats the Captain to follow him. Impelled by motives of humanity, he obeys the sum. mons—and the youth conducts him to a spot, where he discovers the lifeless body of an officer, pierced with wounds, lying in a chariot, the traces of which had been cut. The youth, by signals, declares that he is dumb, but that he can write. And the means being afford. ed to him, he states that his name is Myrtillo, and that the lifeless officer was his father; who, having returned with immense wealth from Mexico, was murdered in the wood and despoiled of his property. The horror of the scene had so dreadful an effect on him, as to deprive him of the power of utterance. Were he again to see the assassin, he was certain, so indelibly were the villain's features im. pressed on his mind, that he should know him. The Captain takes Myrtillo under under his protection, and places him in safety, in the castle of his brother the Baron. The business of the Melo drama commences with grand preparations for a rural fete, which Rosara, the daughter of the Baron, has planned, in order to celebrate the return of her brother Claudio, from the wars.
This event is expected on the 13th of August, on which day, six years before, Myrtillo's father, Colonel Lerida, had been murdered. Rosara, who loves the orphan with the affection of a sister, has also determined to surprise him : and, for this purpose, she causes a bust of his father, which had been transmitted from Mexico, to be placed privately in the garden where the fete was to be given. At length Claudio, accom. panied by Colonel Rigolio, who had saved his life at the siege of Tortona arrives. Some conversation, relative to the murder of Lerida, takes place, which greatly disturbs Rigolio, who, as he is about to enter the castle, perctives the bust of Lerida, and immediately hetrays the most violent emotions. His friends endeavour to soothe him ; but, when he is told that the son of the murdered Lerida lives, and has signified, that should he see his father's murderer he should kaow him, Rigolio's horrors increase. Just then it is announced that Myrtillo is approaching, and Rigolio, regardless of the entreaties of bis friends, takes to flight. He endeavours to reach the French frontier, but is bewildered in the mountains, where he enconuters Es. tevan, who had formerly been servant to Lerida ; and, who, though perfectly innocent of his master's murder, had been condemned to the gallies for the offence, through the sccret machinations of Rigolio. A few days before this rencontre, Estevan effccted his escape from slavery; and he now beseeches Rigolio to protect and assist him. The latter seemingly complies with the request; and, under pretence of giving him a letter of friendly introduction to the Baron and Claudio, he calls on them to secure the bearer of his note, as the con. victed murderer of Lerida. He himself promising to call on the fole lowing day and explain the mystery of his retreat. Estevan is, of course, secured; but, on being confronted with Myrtillo, the latter is rejoiced to sec, and tenderly embraces him. Prior to this inter.
view, however, Claudio, has left the castle to summon the officers of justice. Suddenly a storm arises, and the Baron, accompanied by his brother, and a body of domestics, fearful lest Claudio should pe. rish in a neighbouring torrent, proceed in search of him. They are followed by Myrtillo and Estevan. Near the torrent, Rigolio, in the darkness of the night, is bewildered, when he hears voices, and perceives a body of men advancing with lights. He supposes they are searching for him, and he escapes across the torrent bridge. Mertillo, in order to afford every assistance to Claudio, should any danger threaten him, now ascends the bridge, waying his torch. He is suddenly assailed by Rigolio, who strikes the torch from his hand, and plunges him into the torrent, from which he is saved by the intrepidity of Estevan. Rigolio believing that he has destroyed the only living evidence of his guilt returns to the castle. In his scuffle on the bridge, he had lowever, broken a piece off his sword, which Estevan picked up. The trusty servant is confronted with him; and Rigolio, incensed at the boldness of his accusations, draws his sword to punish him, when lo! the weapon appears to have been broken, and the fragment in the possession of Estevan is evidently that which had been shivered from it. Claudio, whose life had been saved by Rigolio, entreats him to make his escape ; but, ere be can effect his purpose, Myrtillo, accompanied by the officers of Justice, enters, and having cast a glance at Rigolio, immediately seizes him, exclaiming after a convulsive struggle, "s this is my father's murderer !"
Such are the leading features of this interesting Melo Drama. The circumstance of Myrtillo recovering his speech by the influence of powerful passion, was, perhaps suggested to the author by the story which is related of the son of Crøsus, King of Lydia, who, though dumb from his infancy, suddenly acquired the faculty of speech, when he bebeld his father borne down in battle by a party of soldiers, to whom he exs claimed, “Spare the King!" The incidents in this piece are very numerous, and they are in general extremely affect ing. Some of them, that, for instance, in which Myrtillo recognises the old servant of his father, are uncommonly pathetic, and command the feelings in a very high degree.--Miss Luppino, as Myrtillo, the dumb orphan, spoke, by her action and countenance, a very intelligible language. The music, is tasteful and expressive. The scenery is eminently beautiful. The view of the garden, with an extended landscape in the back ground, and the torrent scene, are painted with peculiar ability. The architectural scenes are also finely de, signed and executed.
The Melo-drama was received with unqualified approbation; and announced for repetition amidst the loudcst accla. mations.