Page images
PDF
EPUB

it's your duty therefore to do as I bid you."

[ocr errors]

steady, thriving men of business ; though if he had followed my example and advice—Hem! I never like to brag of my own success; (here he slipped a bit of sugar into his mouth,) but as to your parents, Reuben, and your poor sister Agnes, they are all dead and gone ;

swallowed up years ago by the

sea,

foundered

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in the great storm that destroyed the three other Indiamen. It is a sad thing to think of; and I am sure I took it to heart at the time as much as any body, but it is no use repining for ever. I might as well ask the Exchequer to restore me the money it took from me in the bankrupt year seventy-two, as the sea to gire up the bodies that it swallowed so long since."

But there is no certainty of this; it is known that the vessel was to touch at one the Islands of the Indian ocean ; she might bare been wrecked there; they may be still dwelling on some part of the coast, unable to procure a conveyance to Europe, and the last hope that a dutiful son should abandon—"

Tut, boy, tut ! you are my son now, and

of

[ocr errors]

Temaet

s auch

tural parents.

“I acknowledge your kindness, Sir, with gratitude, but not to the forgetting of my na

I have ever felt a deep and solemn conviction that I am destined in some way to discover their fate—”

“ Zooks ! Sir, you have already very nearly 3. destined yourself to a halter by following your

deep and solemn convictions in this foolish affair
of the Birmingham Prince, who was fitter to
carry a fool's truncheon than a general's, and
could have better become a cap and bells than
a crown and sceptre. It has cost you a thou-
sand pounds already to draw your neck out of
that
noose,

would waste the remainder of your little patrimony in running about the world, like Tom O'Bedlam, looking for an uniegg

If

you want to sit down by the sea-side and cry for the moon, you may do so here, as well as in the Indian ocean."

Telemachus had no certain guide when he went in search of his father Ulysses,” observed Reuben. « I

may

be as successful as he was, and I feel a confidence"

“So much the worse, boy, so much the

and you

corn's

[ocr errors]

worse. The blind buzzards that ruin' them arrible selves in searching for the Philosopher's Stone

, salate and the Elixir Vitæ feel la confidence. You may play the fool when you come to years of de zi discretion, for nobody can hinder you, but you must not look to me for either advice or asist ance, if you want to send your wits' a wool gathering. * So saying he took himself off in dudgeon, leaving Reuben vexed to the heart at having offended him, but not the less in that had movably resolved to carry his settled purpose into execution, the moment he should obtain the paris possession of the means which were indispen sably necessary for the preliminary arrangements. In this respect the law would soon gratify his wishes ; and consoling himself for his uncle's displeasure' by the conviction that he was fulfilling the more imperative' duty due to his parents, he determined to bear his sorrows with 'as much patience as he might, until he should attain the age of twenty-one, and then bid adieu' to England, perhaps for evér:

A circumstance which occurred at this period tended in some degree to relieve his melancholy,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

kaj by withdrawing his thoughts from the exclusive Erabby contemplation of his own disappointments. A

letter was received from Basil, Goldingham's other nephew, whom we have already slightly mentioned as being a pupil to Sir Godfrey Kneller in London, stating his having been at the very point of death, and requesting to see either Reuben or his uncle immediately, as his state was still deemed very precarious. When they had been swimming together as boys, Reuben had once saved his cousin's life, from which period, different as were their characters and temperaments in every respect, a friendship had sprung up between them, consisting, on Reuben's part, of that sort of attachment which we always feel for those on whom we have heaped favours; and on Basil's, of the gratitude and natural dependance engendered by benefits received, and a conscious sense of inferiority. The latter, as we have already intimated, was a dull, lethargic phlegmatic youth, of narrow intellects, and a morose, melancholy disposition, affecting solitude and gloom to a degree which in one so young might be con

times with an animation that burst from bim pox Golf

sidered as indicating a morbid state of the mind.is All his faculties were obtuse and sluggish, as if they had not received their full developement. e kohes ve Frigid, and inert, however, as were his feelings thGo in general, his gratitude towards Reuben seemed to be keenly perceived, and was expressed at

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

like a gleam of lightning from a dark and lurid cloud, but which generally left his mind subsequently immersed in a still denser gloom and depression

The scabbard fitted the sword: his frame was such as might have been expected from the spirit that tenanted it. The very fibre of his skin was coarse and inferior: his thick dark hair was of too tough a texture to curl; no graceful mouldings or delicate contours were visible in his clownish figure, which Nature seemed to have left in an unfinished, though not imperfect state. His features were not роsitively bad, but they bore a general impress of coarseness, vulgarity, and sluggishness

, more displeasing than absolute ugliness. His eyes were deep-set and dark, and their expression,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »