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other enquiry ; but certainly we ought condo&, extremely fit to serve her into examine a work only by those prin- tereits in this life, and, I hope, to inciples according to which it was com- | sure them in the next. She was uniposed. This would save a great deal formly good in herself, but her goodof impertinent criticism.

ness principally related to that same

self. She was willing enough, it is SKETCHES of the CHARACTERS of true, to do kind offices for others in Lewis XIV. and of MADAME DE

cases indifferent, but was incapable of MAINTENON.

friendship at the minuteft hazard of her

own concerns. By a LADY, ,

Her whole power and influence, duLEWIS XIV.

ring her elevation, were expended soleEWIS was a monarch, but no he ly on the maintenance of that station, He was liberal and magni

and the security of its emoluments.ficent, an able politician, and a gene. I mean-minded philosophers, be the Panrous patron of arts and sciencesbut had he succeeded to the throne in the theon of Virtue, Madame de Maintecircumxances of his grandfather, he

non certainly bids fairest for the most would never have fat upon it.

He perfect character I know of. Even wanted the bravery, fortitude, magna- her chastity was but a portion of her nimity, and perseverance of Henry the prudence, not her virtue, and more a Fourth, and would have lived and died menfure than a moral. This latter part a pretender.

of her character is, I think, sufficientHe had a passion for glory, but this ly vouched by a passage in one of her arose rather from vanity than ambi.

own letters to her confeffor, preserved tion, and had too much of the antient

at St. Cyr, written at the time of barbarity mixed up with it: the great Lewis's courtship--" I always take ness of an action supplying the place care to send his majesty away dejap. of the justice or advantage of it with pointed and dissatisfied, but never def. him. His behaviour to the republic ponding.of Venice was a vain-glorious, inglo

Are not such evolutions as these the rious proceeding, unbecoming a brave

arts of a finished martinet in intrigue ? or a politic prince. It was sufficient but it satisfied the consciences of the to have rendered that state a perpetual devotee and her divine both : it seems enemy to him, to his family,

and to

that it was but fair play to stake her his nation.

chaftity against a crown. A warlike resentment of injury, or

Her religion was but ritual ; it a rivalry of dominion, may fubfift for might have been Catholic, but not uniever between powers, without person. versal; it wanted charity ; it was li. al resentment, or national enmity; but mited to a sea. Hence arose her difinsolence, like a blow, can never be

contents, and her so oft lamented te. forgiven till returned or revenged. I diousnefs of life. For a religion mereshould be apt to fufpect the meanness | ly mechanical is not sufficient to supof that soul, which would not itfelf be port the wearied soul through its lan. Shocked at a base submission exacted guor. by it from its equal. Lewis le Grand, like some other great

The UNFORTUNATE ACQUISITION. persons recorded in story, happened

Ą TALE. to have lived too long, for he unhap. Riches are oft by guilt, and bareness earned : pily survived his family, his fortune, Or deale by lucky chance, to nield a knarc, and his fame.

Or throw a cruel fun-fhinc on a fool.

ARMSTRONG. MADAME DE MAINTENON.

those who know thç true use a

riches, wealth is a blessing ; position of mind, and a regulation of but we continually fce in our com,

merce

Tbe Unfortunate Acquifition.

237 merce with the world, that the affluent, Devil his due, Dick had, fome-how for want of discretion, reduce them- picked up very elegant notions of livi felves to situations for which they can- ing: but the strength of his intellects not deserve our compaffion. People was juftly fuspected, as the plan which who in the midst of their prosperity, he formed was much too extensive for are plunged into distresses, not from his income. A fortune double to that any imprudences in their own conduct, which his uncle left him would have but by a series of misfortunes, equally been barely fufficient to answer the deunexpected, and unmerited,-sush peo- mands of his Demon ; as Pope someple are, indeed, objects of pity, and where expressively calls tafte. it is the wish of every benevolent heart While Dick was enjoying his forto relieve them.

tune, as he thought, like a man of By a considerable legacy, upon the spirit, every body who knew him death of an old hunks, from whom, plainly perceived that he was wasting tho' he was nearly related to him, he it like a puppy. Some of his former had not looked for a filling, Dick friends--people whom he now despised, Humphreys (a young fellow left an were urged by theer good nature, in orphan, at an early age, and supported spite of his defertion, to wait upon him, by the generous assistance of a few per- in order to remonftrate with him, about fons who had a real regard for his pa. the imprudence-not to say folly, of rents, and extremely compassionated his behaviour. They were received his condition) became so changed, on with coldness, heard with impatience, a sudden, that those who knew him and dismissed in a manner which gave before his twenty thousand pounds de-them no encouragement to renew the solved to him, hardly could believe attack. Finding all their efforts ineftheir eyes. He was not only very much fecual, to make him see himself in a altered in his appearance, rushing into proper light, they quitted him as a man the extremity of the fashion, and quit-“ inflexible to good, and obstinately ting all his decent companions, in or wrong," and gave him up to the devices der to keep, what is absurdly called, of his own heart. the beft company, he also adopted quite Dick, tho' his great ambition was a new set of manners ; assumed airs of to make a figure in the world, was importance, and beheld, with a sort the most unfit mortal existing to spend of contempt, all those with whom he his fortune with dignity, or indeed, to had before been most intimately ac-keep it long in his pofleffion. His quainted. The friends who had ge- plan of life was, it has already been nerously maintained him, were cauti. said too expensive, and he had neither oully avoided, as impertinent persons judgment to form a more prudential who put him too forcibly in mind of one, nor resolution sufficient to have his former condition (a condition which acted agreeably to it, being of so duche wished to forget, as it could not be tile a disposition that every designing thought on without many humiliating man, not very deep, had great advanreflections) inftead of being gratefully tages over him. Surrounded by such remembered for their liberalities to men, from morning to night, (all of him.-No : Dick had faken hands them directing their adulation to his with gratitude, and having a very false weak fide, all Hattering his tafte in the idea of fame, he foolishly imagined it grosselt language, but language perfectwas impossible for a man to make a fi. ly well adapted to the ears against gure if he did not at the same time which it was pointed) he was the most make a blaze.

egregious dupe to be imagined, and Tyrannically governed by this'false, toffed about his guineas and bank notes, this foolish idea, Dick started into the yet not with a becoming air. He lipolite world, with a brilliancy which did ierally paid dear for his taste ; and more honour to his taste, than to his while'he feafted upon the high-flown understanding; for, to give even the panegyrics of his painters and sulptors,

did not consider what enormous fums helly tempers, large fortunes, and mo lavished on pictures and ftatues which worldly cares, could possibly be. Full no man of true taste would have suf- of spirits, full of health, and free from fered to come into his house.

any difquieting reflections with regard Expensive, however, as Dick's par to the future, they gave themselves a? fion for pictures and statues proved to entirely to the enjoyment of the prehim, he had fome other propensities fent. Many of their acquaintance cal

. which ser his money going with cele- led them a giddy, unthinking pair, and rity.

many in a moralizing mood, predicted Charmed, one day, while he was the short duration of their conjugal fereading a morning paper, with the ac- licity: but they were, apparently, a count given of an estate to be sold in thousand times more enviable than his favourite village, an account drawn those who laughed at them, railed at up, it must be owned, in a tempting, and them, pitied them, or prediêted for alluring manner, in a style not inferior them. Dick certainly looked upon to that frequently adopted by a Cbrifli: them as the most delightful people he and a Langford, he immediately ex had ever met with, and spent bis time claimed, clapping his hand upon the with them extremely to his fatisfaction. advertisement, “ I must have this if So much was he engaged indeed, lo poffible.--It will fuit me to a hair: its pleasingly engaged, from the moment fize and situation are quite the thing.” he rose to the moment he retired, that

In confequence of this new move-he absolutely forgot the commiffion ment in his mind, Dick foon employed which he had given to his agent in Losa person who did most of his odd jobs don to purchase the eftate, with the in the purchasing way, and commis description of which he had beer enfroned him to get it knocked down to chanted, when a letter arrived to inhim at all events, whatever was the form him that it had been knocked decifion of the hammer : and his con- down in his favour. fidential agent assured. him that he As soon as he had read the letter, would mol punctually obey his com- he ran with it in his hand to his friend mands.

Fenton, and said, eagerly, “ I have Having given these positive orders got it, Charles." to his agent, he accepted of an invita “Got it? What?" Replied Charles, tion of a friend of his almost as a little surprized at his eagerness, not thoughtless as himself-just married, to knowing the cause of it. spend a few a weeks with him at his Why the estate I rold you of." Folly, in the county of Bucks. As “ Not you indeed, Dick-you se the new married couple were not only ver told me a syllable about it; bat young, {prightly, and entertaining, coine, I am ready to hear all the parbut people in very genteel life', he rol. ticulars you can communicate." ied down with them ju their poft coach Nay, now you are too much is and four, with the utmoit alacrity, a hurry : I can tell you no particuları and found liimself quite at home with yet ; I can only tell you that it is fallthem. Dick was indeed aliays at en to my lot, and that I must lear his ease wherever he went, and the you in a few hours, in order to tak: Fentons, with whom he was now en- poflefion of it." gaged, were people whole manners cor “ But why so soon?” responded with his own, as they abhor. “O dan it, when I get a red all ceremony as much as he did thing into my head, I hate to delay. himself, and desired to see nobody with With those words he left his frica them under any restraints, excepl those abruptly, went in scarch of his fer which good-breeding rendered proper. vant, and ordered bim to secure a po!

The Fentons were as happy as two chaise for him directly. persons in the prime of life, with live Charles, overhearing his orders

The Unfortunate Acquisition.

239 hurried to him, and begged he would, He could not look at her without feelrecallthem.--" I'll wheel you to town, ing emotions and agitations which he Dick, in my phaeton.!!

had never felt before. Scarce did he Dick accepted of his friend's offer know where he was, while he gazed with so small pleasure, and away they enraptured upon her. Whenever he drove to the metropolis.

was with her (and he was often with When Dick came to take possession her, for reasons to be presently proof the eftate which his agent had pur- duced) he was all eye. Whenever chased for him, he began to wish that the opened her lips, he had no ears but he had taken a peep at the premises, for her conversation. In short, to before he had declared his resolution speak without any circumlocution, he to buy them, as the real state in which was deeply, desperately in love. he found then, was not by any means

Mrs. Williams--that was the name answerable to the flowery description of the lady who had taken rooms for which the auctioneer had exhibited in herself and her daughter oppofite to the public papers. The number of those which our hero occupied was acres was tolerably exact, and the fite a woman who had seen a good deal of was juftly described ; but he was very the world, but who had not been well much offended with the manner in used by it. Having met with a series which the grounds were laid out, and of disappointments, many of them ocparticularly disgusted with the manfion cafioned by the ill behaviour in several house, having expected both the for shapes of a profligate husband, she remer and the latter in a far better con- tired upon his death, with the fight dition than he beheld them. To in- income he left her to live in the most troduce, therefore, a new mode of frugal stile. Choosing C, because cultivation, and to build a new house, it was the town in which she was born, were the new hobbies of his head. The, at firit took a small house there; Accordingly, he fet a great number of finding, however, in that house, her proper persons to work, and hired a income insufficient to answer her famipartments in the nearest town, that he ly expences, le removed to the lodg, might see with his own eyes, from ings above mentioned. In her removal time to time, how they went on : that to those lodgings, she was governed by he might see every thing done in his two powerful motives : in the ficit cwn way.

place fhe was so well acquainted with In the midst of his brick and mor the people who had them to let, as to tar, proceedings, and other improve. be assured the should be commodioully meats, Dick now and then muttered situated in them, and in the second, tu himself “a cursed dear bit, by the had hopes of procuring a comfortJupiter !”_However, animated by able settlement for her daughter, by the progress which bis workmen and throwing her into the way of Mr. labourers made from day to day, he Humphreys, who passed in that part biad few checks, occasioned by pecu- of the county, for a man pofleffed of Diary ccafiderations, to interrupt the a very large fortune, and " the best current of his fatisfactions as a landed nacured gentleman alive." If liberalias well as a funded man,

ty may stand for good nature, Dick In a few weeks after Dick had hired was certainly entitled to that appellahis rural apartments, an old lady who tion: for no man spent his money with had a very refpe&table appearance, and les concern about it; but

his generoa young lady, whom the called her lty oftener resulted from a sudden daughter, came to lodge in the fame impulse, thin from a rational premehonie.—The firit, tho' in her autumn, ditation: so that while he was by those; was very agreeable in her person, the who talted immediately the sweets of lait, in her spring, was—" the finest his munificence, said to be as generous piece of Aesh and blood in England." as a prince, he was b: others, who saw

him

him squander away his money on flat-listed in her attachment to Mr. Stroud, terers and buffoons, called the prince and that her disobedience would cerof dupes.

tainly be the death of her, consented Dick was unquestionably very tho' with the utmost reluctance (of much in love with Nancy Williams, course not with a good grace) to de. but she was by no means disposed to sert the lover of her heart, and accept return his passion for her. She had of the advantageous offers which her fixed her affections on a young fellow new admirer might propose to her. who was in no fituation to maintain her, In this filial--but unhappy-frame ror could all her mother's remonftran- of mind, she received the overtures ces in favour of her rich lover, weak- which Dick soon afterwards made to en the impression which he had made her, and became-his wife. By this upon her tender heart. In the follow- marriage, Nancy gave the strongeft ing little dialogue between them, the proof of her regard for her mother; reader will perceive in Mrs. Williams, but it cannot be said, on the other a very common mother; in her Nancy, hand, that Mrs. Williams consulted an uncommon daughter.

the true intereft of her child. “ You are really then determined to Dick, tho' he was the happiest of behave to Mr. Humphreys in a forbid bridegrooms, did not permit any mading manner, and to give no encou trimonal matters to hinder him from ragement to his addresses, tho' you paying his usual attention to his workplainly see that you are necessary to his men and labourers. He spurred them happiness, that you will be a contider with redoubled alacrity, to finish their able gainer by a marriage with him." operations, and when they were com

“ What shall I gain, Madam, by pleted, carried home his bride in trimarı ying a man for whom I cannot umph. Proud of his taste in beauty, he feel any regard?"

took an infinite deal of pleasure in sceing “ Regard! A fiddlestick : you will her dreft to the greateft advantage, and gain a good settlement, child ; and that in seeing her visited by the gentceleft consideration alone, as you are cir. families within several miles of him. cumstanced, should over-balance all Nancy was at firft flattered by the others. 'Tis true, indeed, I was fool- consequence which she obtained in her ith enough to marry your father, be new character ; but she was foon paincause I had a regard for him: and how ed, severelypained, byher recolle&ions. am I rewarded for it? I should not Whenever the reflected upon the facrihave been in this condition, if I had fice she made to filial duty; (filial tenbeen directed by prudence, instead of derness, indeed; for the was not able love, in the choice of an husband." to bear the thoughts of being inftru

6 We may with, Madam, always to mental to her mother's death, which act with discretion, but we cannot com might have been occasioned, the fearmand our feelings."

ed, by her attachment to a man whom “ Feelings ! - It is your duty to con Mé could not marry with prudence) the quer your feelings in favour of a beg- was miserable beyond expreffion. gar, and to listen to the addrefles of a Dick, extremely well pleased with man who has it in his power, and seems the improvements which he had, in his quite ready to make your fortune." own opinion, made upon his estate,

It is impossible for mothers and was not less satisfied with his new-built daughters to think in the fame manner house, till the money for its erection upon many subjects; and this is surely was required. When the architect ap. a subject on which a fimilitude of fep-peared with his demands, he swore timents is rarely to be expected. - tremendously, that he had deceived Nancy could not possibly think like her him in his estimate, that he would not mother about Mr. Humphreys : she, at be so grofly imposed upon, and that he laft, however, on being told by her, that would oblige-him to stand to his agree. she would never see her again if she per ment.

The

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