Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

ping along the path, but keeping tight hold of his hand, Stanmore constantly made Mary ride. The child amused she led the old man to the spot. The dwelling was very her with her ideas upon everything around them, and her small, but clean and neat; the little garden offered friend took great delight in directing and improving pleasant and profitable employment.

her protégée. Their favourite resting place was an old Mary gathered some flowers for a wreath for “Trust's” | ruinous chapel ; it was well shaded by ancient trees ; neck, who had kept close to her side, as if fearful of and here they spent the hottest days of summer. Ellen again losing her, and then, insisting on her companion's brought books and work, and found a ready pupil; such taking a beantiful little rosebud to remind him of her a kind mistress soon became dear to the scholar; and during his day's journey, followed him back to her when her aunt gave her the errand to Mrs. Stanmore, uncle's house. Breakfast was ready; and soon after she rejoiced that she should have an opportunity of she was obliged to part with her new acquaintance. His relating her adventures with the old man. blessing brought tears to her eyes ; for she remembered When she came to the housekeeper's room, she found the time when she came daily for her mother's kiss ; Mrs. Adams very busy ; she had also much affection for she turned sadly away, but found her aunt by her side, Mary; and when the ladies were engaged, made her sit with such a look of kind sympathy, that she, with sur- with her, and the old woman took great pride in teachprised joy, received her caresses.

ing her to work; but on this occasion she appeared too The traveller's history had much interested all who much occupied to attend to her. Mary gave her aunt's beard it; and Martha much desired that he should message, put down the bundle, and timidly inquired return and assist her and her husband in the guidance whether she might see the ladies. of their children. She was good-hearted, and endea- “ I am not sure that you can go to them to-day, but Toured to do what was right herself, and to influence you can run round to Miss Ellen's sitting-room; she them to do so likewise ; but she had not enjoyed the may be alone with her cousin, Miss Francis, who is benefit of education, and lamented her own deficiencies staying with her; there are several visitors here now, too sincerely not to know that she was wanting in much, but the young ladies spend some part of the morning in which she desired that her children should understand. | their own sitting-room."

Mary sat silent in the porch, puzzling to find out Mary, for an instant, thought she would rather not what could make her cry so much ; for she fully ex- see her friend than meet a stranger; but she remempected her aged friend would return; and she thought bered her desire to interest her in the old man's hisher aunt's kindness ought to have made her quite happy.tory; and, trying to be courageous, she skipped on to

" Are you going to school to-day, Mary?" inquired the lawn, and ran to the window, where she had so little Johnny,

often found admittance. Peeping in, and knocking This question roused his cousin; she felt she had much gently on the glass, she was disappointed to find only rather stay away. “ Trust,” who had sat at her feet, the strange lady there. with his head and paws resting on her knees, as if to “I came to look for Miss Stanmore," she hesitatingly express his wish to share her feelings and cheer her, now replied to the inquiry of what she wanted. jumped up, wagged his tail, and looked wistfully in her My cousin will soon be here ; what have you to say face; she thought she would gladly escape to the fields to her ?" with him, and hastily answered the little boy,—“I shall To relate her tale to any one else seemed impossible ; not go to-day, Johnny; you must go without me.” yet, fearing it was rude to refuse, she was much puzzled

The astonished look of the inquirer, who had never what to say, when Ellen's entrance relieved her; she seen her so irritable before, recalled Mary's sense of warmly welcomed her little favourite, and soon em

duty; and taking the child's hand, she told him to go ployed her by begging for her assistance in arranging .. with her to her aunt, that she might ask her.

some flowers. The presence of a third person put a Martha guessed what passed in her niece's mind, and restraint on Mary, but she was happy in being useful. tenderly sought to indulge her without allowing her to Some more flowers were wanted" from the garden, spend the day in idleness, which would make it appear and, carrying the scissors, she went with Ellen to pick 80 much the longer. “ You shall take this bundle of them, work to the Squire's, instead of going to school; I want “ I fear, Mary," said the latter, “ we shall not have it carried home, and Mrs. Adams will perhaps be able many more rides this summer ; my cousin Anna will to give you some more to bring back to me; James will stay some months with me, and I must consult her be home in the afternoon, and you can return in time to wishes." meet him, and receive any news he may bring of your “ But cannot she come with us; I am sure she would friend." Nothing could have given Mary greater pleasure like to walk in the woods ?" than this errand. The kind inhabitants of the Hall “ She would not, I think, find the attractions in were always good to her; took pleasure in instructing nature that we do, and I believe would prefer a drive ber; and encouraged her visits. Mr. Stanmore was in the carriage." very wealthy; but he had so conscientious a belief that! “ Then it must be that she has never seen them." Fiches were entrusted to him to benefit others, and to “We will not try to find out what her reasons may De a means of extending his duties as a Christian, that be; it is sufficient for us that we give up our own pleasure a large portion was each year put aside for the relief of without a murmur." als poor tenantry, and more for other charitable pur. Unfortunately, Mary was not inclined to be so conposes. The only being on whom he lavished extrava- tented, and would readily have expressed her dislike of Since was his daughter. Her mother had frequently such an obstacle, had she not feared that her companion objected, when she was very young, to her having such would be displeased ; looking at her peaceful countelarge sums at her own disposal ; but latterly, when she nance, she felt almost ashamed of her own thoughts, 32w how her daughter had been led to view her wealth, I and walked on for some time in silence. At last she she never checked her father, and thankfully allowed her recollected that this might be the only opportunity for the full control over what he put into her hands. This mentioning her new acquaintance. She looked doubt

hly child, so dear to her parents, had been brought up | ingly in her friend's face, half fearful that she might not With every care; and her instructors now rejoiced to find have time to listen,

at their precepts had taken effect on her heart,-! “ I see, Mary, that you have something to talk about ir daily, hourly actions setting forth the principles this morning; as we cannot indulge in our walks, and hich she had embraced. With her, Mary was a great conversation at the ruin, you must learn to speak to me tavourite, and she would often call for her, on her pony, here." nd take her with her when she visited the poor on her “I would gladly do so; but although there are so

her's estate ; they used sometimes to go some dis- | many beautiful flowers here, and the birds sing around Lance, and spend hours in the fields and woods; Ellen me as sweetly, I feel as if these neat walks and made-up

[ocr errors]

fathe

seats took away all the ease that I have with you in Biographical Sketches of Eminent Painters. the woods."

“Dear child, you must not feel thus; all the beauties here are as natural, and I am as ready to hear you ; such

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS. trifles should not influence you. Come, we will rest

rest | Having traced the history of some of the most emi i

Live on this bench, it may not be as soft as our turf seat; however, it is in the shade.”

'nent painters of the Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and French But the child would not sit down, and remained schools, we seek for instances of genius and celebrity in timidly leaning on the arm of the seat, while she gave artists of our own country; and the name of Sir Joshua her account of her new friend.

Reynolds is foremost on the list. His birth took place “ You certainly have found a pleasant acquaintance,

on the 16th of July, 1723, at Plympton, in Devonshire. and I hope he may prove a valuable adviser; but I can

His father, the Rev. Samuel Reynolds, had eleven not see why you should have hesitated telling me this before."

children, five of whom died in infancy. He was master « The difficult part is to come: he loves me already; of the Grammar-school at Plympton, and he instructed he has no one to take care of him, and I want to live his son in the classics himself. with him; I can do a great deal of house work, and I When quite a child, Joshua's great delight was in cope would not then run about the fields all day ; I want to ing his elder sister's drawings, and some prints which te learn all he has to teach me. I am afraid you will think

found in his father's books, particularly in Drydea this very bold of me, when he has never given me leave, and he looked so grave when I told him, that I thought

translation of Plutarch's Lives; and in his eighth year you might do the same."

he made himself so completely master of a treatise en « This is a strange idea ; and I can scarcely think you perspective, which he accidentally met with, that bei are right in dwelling on such a plan. I fear you are not never had occasion afterwards to study any other book sufficiently grateful to your aunt. Had you a more con on that subject. He then put his knowledge into pra4 tented mind, you would be less restless, and happier | tice, by drawing, according to rule, the Grainmar-sehun ! where you are." " But I am certain that the old man would teach me

of Plympton, which was a building raised on stone what was right much better than my aunt."

pillars; and he accomplished his task so well, that his Have you already learned perfectly all the duties father was struck with this evidence of his

father was struck with this evidence of his little son a which she teaches you? Is there nothing that she tells talents, and being fond of drawing himself, he enyou, that you neglect ?"

couraged his child in his love for the art. Mary felt that she was very wrong; the beautiful scenes

g; the beautiful scenes Young Joshua now began to take the likenesses of his that surrounded her seemed to reproach her; she covered

family and friends with tolerable success; and the her face with her hands, and now bitterly repented her ill-humour. She owned her errors, and know where to

| perusal of Richardson's Treatise on Painting so delighted seek for that forgiveness and direction which no human

him, and inspired him with such enthusiastic feelings being could give her. After a few minutes' silence, she with regard to Raphael, that he considered that grat ran after Ellen, who had walked on; her smiling face painter to have been the most illustrious character was now as cheerful as ever.

of either ancient or modern times. “My heart is quite bright now," she exclaimed, “and I| Until he was about seventeen years of age, he ever want you to grant me a favour before I go, then I can

cised his juvenile pencil in different parts of his native 1 run home and wait for James." “ You may ask your favour; but I shall be obliged if

county; and at that period his father placed him you will carry the flowers in for me."

under the tuition of Hudson, who was also a natire Mary had not intended to meet the stranger again, of Devonshire, and the most distinguished British artist but, remembering how uncharitable her ill-temper had of that day. He remained in London, with Hudson, made her towards Anna, she ran in with her basket, / three years, and then left him in consequence of some and taking the prettiest rose she could find, laid it by

slight disagreement, and returned to Plympton; this her side; and without waiting for an acknowledgment, bounded back to Ellen.

he afterwards considered to have been a fortunate cir "Now for my request. Will you promise to come

cumstance, since it induced him to abandon the tame and see my old man directly he comes? You know I and insipid style of his master, and to adopt a manner may sometimes, if my aunt will let me, visit him; and of his own. if you were there at the same time, it would be almost Reynolds was in his twenty-third year when bis 3 as pleasant as the ruin."

father died, and the young man was left to make his "I will try and come, if you will first ask him whether he would like to see me; and if my cousin does not require

own way in the world; and, although he is said to have my company."

made but few efforts, and to have improved but lite " Will she not come with you?" In her heart Mary during the three preceding years, he now devoted him hoped Anna would not come; but she thought of her self assiduously to the practice of his profession, and. former bad feelings about her, and fancied she should after the lapse of about four years, having been intro thus make some amends, as she could not doubt that she duced to Lord Mount Edgecumbe. and to Capture. would like the visit.

afterwards Lord Keppel, the latter, upon being appointer “ We will see, Mary: I cannot say what would be most agreeable to her ; but when you let me know that your

to a command in the Mediterranean, invited Reynolds to friend is come, and willing to see me, I shall use every accompany

accompany him on the voyage. Having spent it) endeavour to come to him."

months in the island of Minorca, he sailed for Leghord, With this assurance the child was obliged to be satis- whence he proceeded to Rome. fied ; taking leave of Miss Stanmore, she returned to | The works of Raphael, in the Vatican, did not at in Mrs. Adams for the fresh supply of work, and was soon

make that striking impression on him which he had running down the road leading to her uncle's cottage.

anticipated; this mortified and dejected Reynolds, but (To be continued.)

with becoming diffidence, he imputed the disappoint ment to his own want of taste, and his incapacity to appreciate the real excellence of a painter of whom te had conceived so exalted an opinion. He was, however,

consoled by the assurances of those with whom he con- but he had the happy art of diving into, as it were, and versed on the subject, that a similar effect had been embodying the minds, habits, and manners of those who produced on many persons of acknowledged genius; as sat to him. the beauties of those great performances are by no Though the landscapes forming the back.ground of means superficial, and require to be studied by the eye many of his portraits are extremely beautiful, he

of a real artist in order to discover and appreciate their seldom exercised his hand in regular landscape-painting. Ei genuine merit.

In the historical department, however, he was eminently In his Notes on Du Fresnoy, he says: “Notwith successful, and has not only enriched various collections standing my disappointment, I proceeded to copy some at Rome by his works in that higher branch of his art, of those excellent works. I viewed them again and but he extended the fame of the English school of again. I even affected to feel their merit, and to painting to other foreign countries. admire them more than I really did. In a short time Soon after his return from Italy, Reynolds becamo a new taste and new perceptions began to dawn upon acquainted with Dr. Johnson, and a friendship was me, and I was convinced that I had originally formed a afterwards formed between those two great men, which false opinion of the perfection of art; and, since that lasted until the end of their lives. Reynolds supplied time, having frequently revolved the subject in my his learned friend with three essays on painting, which

mind, I am of opinion that a relish for the higher ex. were published in the Idler, in the latter part of the Et cellences of the art is an acquired taste, which no man year 1759 :—these essays were his first literary produc

ever possessed without long cultivation, great labour, tions. and attention."

In December 1768, His Majesty, George the Third, . It is not probable, however, that when at Rome he was pleased to incorporate, by charter, the Royal spent much of his time in copying, for in a preserved | Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, to be

fragment of his writing he says, “the man of true composed of the ablest and most respectable artists resi- genius, instead of spending all his hours as many artists | dent in Great Britain. Reynolds was unanimously elected

do while they are at Rome, in measuring statues and president, and shortly afterwards the king conferred on copying pictures, soon begins to think for himself, and him the honour of knighthood. endeavours to do something like what he sees :" but The expenses of this new institution were at first he minutely examined the works of the great masters, only partly met by the product of annual exhibitions of and fixed in his mind their peculiar and characteristic works of art, and the deficiency was supplied out of merits.

the king's privy purse. The aid of his Majesty's Reynolds in the same paper says, that he considered bounty was required for a few years, but the exhibition general copying placed the student in danger of imitat | became eventually so profitable, as to suffice for more ..ing without selecting; and that, as it requires no effort than the support of the establishment; and it still con

of the mind, those powers of invention and disposition, itinues to afford a cheap and delightful annual gratificawhich ought particularly to be called out and put tion to the lovers of the fine arts, and to encourage the in action, lie torpid, and lose their energy for want | taste for cultivating and improving them. of exercise.

I Sir Joshua Reynolds, when president of the Royal After an absence of three years, he returned to Academy, voluntarily undertook the task of giving England, and hired a large house in Newport-street, periodical lectures on painting; and, between the years in London; and the first specimen he gave of his great 1769 and 1790, he delivered fifteen discourses, which ability is said to have been a boy's head surmounted by contain such just criticisms on that difficult subject, a turban, in the style of Rembrandt, which so attracted couched in such clear and elegant language, that they the attention of his old master, Hudson, that he called compete with the efforts of his pencil as monuments of every day to watch his progress, and perceiving at last his fame. that there was no trace of his own manner in any part The Empress Catherine of Russia was so pleased of the picture, he exclaimed :-“Reynolds, you don't with the perusal of these lectures, that she sent Sir paint so well as when you left England !"

Joshua a gold box with a basso-relievo of her Imperial He soon afterwards painted a whole length portrait Majesty on the lid, set round with diamonds. Within of his friend and patron, Admiral Keppel. It was so the box was a complimentary note written with her admirably executed, that it at once placed him at the own hand. head of his profession as a portrait-painter.

In 1773, the University of Oxford honoured Sir Reynolds possessed the art of uniting to a dignified Joshua Reynolds by conferring on him the degree of characteristic resemblance of the head, an endless Doctor of Laws. In the summer of 1781, he went to variety of spirited and graceful attitudes, picturesque the Netherlands and Holland, and on his return he back-grounds, novel and striking effects of light and wrote an account of his journey. It contains much exshade, with great richness and harmony of colour. His cellent criticism on the works of Rubens, Vandyck, performances at this period did not, however, possess Rembrandt, &c., which he saw in the churches and colthose excellences to the degree which is observable lections at Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, in the Dusseldorf in his later works; for he was one of the few whose gallery, and at Amsterdam. efforts to improve ended but with his life. He was The elegant translation of Du Fresnoy's Art of Paintaccustomed to say, that he never began a picture withing, by Mr. Mason, was published in 1783, with a very out a determination to make it his best; and his ingenious commentary by Sir Joshua Reynolds, consistfavourite maxim, which he was fond of repeating con- ing chiefly of practical observations on, and explanatinually, that “ nothing is denied to well-directed tions of, the rules laid down by the author of that poem ; industry," seems to have been justified by his own and in the following year he was appointed principal unceasing progress.

painter in ordinary to His Majesty, in which office he Reynolds's portraits were not only correct likenesses, I continued until his death.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Sir Joshua had now reached the highest step in his great fortitude and gentleness, and expired at his house profession; but he was a man whom prosperity could in Leicester Fields, on the 23d of February, 1792, in not spoil. His whole life, until his sight failed him, the sixty-ninth year of his age. was passed in the unwearied practice of the art which On the 3d of March following, his remains were formed his chief delight. His house was filled to the interred in the crypt of St. Paul's cathedral, near the remotest corners with casts from the antique ; statues, tombs of Sir Christopher Wren and Vandyck. A great pictures, drawings, and prints by the various masters of number of the most distinguished persons in this country all the different schools and nations; and thus he was attended his funeral, and the pall was supported by constantly surrounded by objects of amusement, of three dukes, two marquesses, and fire other noblema : study, and of competition.

indeed, every respect that could be paid, by an ea-
Sir Joshua Reynolds was rather under the middle lightened nation, to the memory of worth and genins
size ; his complexion was florid, and his countenance was displayed on this occasion,
had an honest, lively, and pleasing expression. His
manners were polished and agreeable, and he possessed
a constant flow of spirits which rendered him at all
times a most desirable companion. His hours of recrea-
tion were chiefly passed in the society of his numerous

THE FALSE MERCHANT.
friends and acquaintance; and at his hospitable table
were assembled, in succession, for above thirty years,

Sir Felix was a warrior of high prowess, but there almost every individual in the three kingdoms who

withal of small possessions and slender income, ami was distinguished for his attainments in literature and

careful of his little patrimony. Summoned to the defent the arts, or who was remarkable for his eminence in the and rescue of the Holy Sepulchre, he looked arou. pulpit or at the bar, in the senate or in the naval and for one in whose hands he might repose confidene military service.

for he had sold his few fields in order to raise a This amiable man was always ready to be amused,

sufficient following of armed esquires to enable his and to contribute to the amusement of others, and

banner to be raised with credit on the fields of Palestine anxious to receive information on every subject which

Some little of his money yet remained, and Sir Feli presented itself. In the exercise of his professional

desired to place it with some man of trust, that talents, he was, as we have shown, indefatigably assidu might remain for him, should he ever return from ks ous, and he neither suffered a failure to make him de- / hazardous expedition. spond, nor success to render him negligent.

Among all the merchants of the imperial city no In conjunction with Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua esta- | bore a higher or more extended reputation than Cautus: blished the Literary Club, a society which can boast of from east to west, from north to south, his agents were having had enrolled among its members many of the in motion, and every nation recognised the power af! most enlightened characters of the last century.

the energy of the great Roman merchant; the wil From the period of Sir Joshua's return from Italy, he

hordes of the deserts of the east, and the roving banda had the misfortune to be very deaf; this aftliction arose of the Scythians, were alike in his pay,- the hired! from a severe cold which he caught when painting in the guardians of the long files of camels, or the countles palace of the Vatican near a stove, which attracted the waggons that bore his goods from one nation to anotbe? damp vapours of the building. When in company with people. several persons, he was obliged to use an ear-trumpet to

“His argosies with portly sail, enable him to enjoy and share in the conversation of his

Like signors and rich burghers of the flood,

Or as it were the pageants of the sea, friends; and such was the serenity of his temper, that

Did over-peer the petty traffickers, what he did not at once hear he never troubled those

That curtsied to them, did them reverence, with whom he conversed to repeat.

As they flew by them with their woven wings." For a long series of years, Sir Joshua enjoyed excel

To outward appearance, no man was more calm, of lent health, which has been in a great manner at. Lless excited by good or evil fortune, than Cautus. 13. tributed to his custom of standing to paint; but in the least nar

the least part of his affections seemed placed on his masti year 1782 he was afflicted with a paralytic affec

C / ventures; he cared little how the wind blew, whether! tion, from which he soon recovered ; but in 1789,

fair or foul, and seldom consulted in his maps for the whilst painting the portrait of Lady Beauchamp, his

ports or tracks to or over which his vessels were sailing sight hecame seriously affected, and it was with difficulty that he could proceed with his work. He had

“His ventures were not in one vessel trusted, recourse to the aid of the most skilful oculists, but he

Nor to one place; nor was his whole estate

Upon the fortune of a present year; was shortly afterwards deprived of the sight of his left

Therefore his merchandize made him not sad." eye.

After many struggles, he made up his mind to desist To this merchant Sir Felix went. from painting, lest his right eye should also fail him. "Good Sir," said the knight, "I come to entrest now! This resolution must have been the result of a painful with the little that remains to me of my paternal fortune, effort, since it deprived him of an occupation, which he after raising my followers for the Holy Land, loved more for its own sake than for the great emolument furnishing their and my equipments. There are 8 which it produced. Nevertheless, his usual flow of thousand pieces of gold; receive them in trust for me spirits remained unchanged, and he enjoyed the society should I ever return. If I fall in Palestine take them of his friends as much as ever. In the latter part of to yourself. For nor wife, nor child, nor relative han the year 1791, however, he became afflicted with disease I, and of my wealth none can I take with me to the of the liver; he bore this painful malady, and a con- grave." finement to the house of nearly three months, with Freely do I receive the trust, Sir Knight, alle,

honestly will I, if it so please you, employ your money “Good mother," rejoined the knight, “sorely have I until you come, that you shall receive back your own suffered in the Holy Land by disease and wounds; but with interest.”

now more grievous is my loss, for he to whom I had "Nay, nay, good merchant, I am no trader ; make entrusted the little remnant of my property denies the thou what thou willest of the gold, so that I do but re. pledge, and drives me from his house as an impostor." gain my money on my return.

When the old devotee heard the whole of the knight's With these words Sir Felix turned to leave the house story, she bade him take comfort and follow her advice: of the merchant, when Cautus stayed him.

then the old devotee sent for a crafty workman, a man "Sir Knight,-stay, Sir Knight, until I can give you of trust and ability, and he made by her order ten a written acknowledgment of the trust, and a bond to large and fair chests of wood, well adorned with ornareturn it on your demand."

mented locks and hinges, and enriched with curious "Nay, nay, Sir Merchant," rejoined the knight, “no devices and colours on the outside. When these chests scholar am I. If I cannot believe the word of Cautus, were well filled, she sent for ten porters, and told them how can his bond profit me?"

to take the ten chests to the house of Cautus, each sucYears passed over before the merchant and the knight cessive man to be at least several minutes after his met again. Mixed fortune had followed the merchant; predecessor. With the workman she went herself to some of his ventures had gone to wreck, but the majority the merchant's house, and told Sir Felix to come in with had come to a good market, and the wealth and repu- the porter that brought the first chest. tation of Cautus was greater than ever. Far different “Good mother," said Cautus, as soon as he saw the had been the fortune of the crusader. His life indeed old woman come tottering in, and recognised her as a

had been spared to him, but sickness had borne down devotee of great repute, "good mother, what can I do or his frame, and death in every form had destroyed one for thee?" 22 by one the gallant and faithful band that had followed “My son," replied the old woman, pointing to the

his person. Eager to regain the small sum he had de- workman, “this my friend leaves Rome to-day for posited in the hands of Cautus, the knight made his Egypt, and would find some safe place for his great way to the imperial city

wealth. To thee, my son, for thy known probity, have Meanly clothed in a pilgrim's dress, Sir Felix entered I brought him; and look, where the first of the ten 1. the splendid house of the merchant.

chests in which it is contained is now being brought "What news, Sir Pilgrim?" said Cautus.

hither." as “But little good, Sir Merchant. Disease and war At this moment the porter entered with the first • Wear down the bodies of the holy warriors, and dissen- chest, and placed it with apparent difficulty on the sions weaken their strength. I, too, have suffered ; 1 ground. Hardly had cautus expressed his thanks to and now I return to redeem the pledge with which I | the old devotee, and her supposed friend, before Sir entrusted you on my departure."

Felix entered, and not far behind him was seen another “ The pledge, good pilgrim-what pledge ?"

porter staggering under the second chest. Only too " Dost thou not know me?" asked the knight, as he glad to sacrifice the thousand pieces to obtain the

bared his face and head. “Sore as disease has wasted treasure of the ten chests, the merchant hastened to Sir ji me, many must there be that know me.”

Felix and embraced him with every demonstration "Sir Pilgrim, I know thee not--who art thou?" of joy. .. "Am not I the knight Sir Felix, and art not thou “Ah, my friend, my dear knight! where have you * the merchant Cautus, in whose hands I placed a been? when did you return? Receive, I pray you, the

thousand pieces of gold, when I sailed for the Holy gold you entrusted to my care, and take the interest it : Land."

has made during thy absence,--three hundred like "Nothing know I of thee or thine, Sir Knight ; but pieces. Come, my dear friend, receive thine own.” come, if that thou sayest be true, show me my bond, and Whilst Cautus was paying Sir Felix his money, the I will pay thee that I owe.”

ten chests continued to arrive, until the whole number "I have no bond,” rejoined the knight. .

were arranged on the floor, and gladdened the eyes of “No bond, Sir Knight,--and yet wouldst persuade a the merchant with their external glitter, and apparent ?' merchant that thou didst entrust him with a thousand weight.

pieces of gold? Go to, ask of any man whether the “My son,” said the old devotee, “there be yet more merchant Cautus ever takes a pledge without giving than these ten chests; we will go and see after them; do his bond. Go to,-thou art a bold impostor."

thou take care of these during our absence." “If thou wilt deny thy trust, Sir Merchant, at least With these words the old devotee and the workman have pity on my distress, and of thy abundance give me left the shop of Cautus and followed Sir Felix. Every that which thou dost deny me of my right.”

day, every hour, Cautus expected their return, but they " Away, Sir,-away, Sir; to a case of real woe and came not; the ten chests were borne into another waremisery, the ears of Cautus and his wealth were ever | house, and the merchant regarded them as bis own, as open, but to an impostor he has nothing to give but he had given no document for them. After much delay, punishment. Go, Sir Pilgrim, for thy garb's sake I his avarice overcame him, and he proceeded to open the refrain from giving thee up to justice."

first chest. The labour was great, but endured gladly Driven from the merchant's house amid the sneers in the hopes of the treasure within: at last, lock after and threats of Cautus and his subordinates, Sir Felix lock was forced, and the lid kept down by its own wandered haplessly through the noisy city, and sought weight alone. Sending every one away, Cautus entered the silence of the fields without its walls. Wandering the closet and approached the chest : with a trembling along a bye-road, deeply grieving over his miseries, the hand he raised the heavy lid, and held the lamp over knight met an old and feeble woman, dressed like himself the box, that he might better scan its contents. With in the weeds of a pilgrim. Hardly able to support her- a sudden scream he reeled backwards, and the lamp fell self on her staff, the old woman tottered along, stumbling from his hand, and was broken on the stones with which over the stones that lay scattered in her path. In pity the box was filled. With the three hundred pieces he on her condition, Sir Felix moved some of the impedi- had given to the knight, he had purchased nought ments out of her path, and assisted the devotce to a part but tons of pebbles. of the road whereon her shoeless feet might walk with less pain and discomfort.

"Thanks, good father, for thy kindness. Old as I am, and sore worn with fasting, prayer, and travel, methinks my aged features bear a less mournful appearanco than thine,"

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »