« ZurückWeiter »
To all in turn full he allegiance swore,
And in his hat the various badges bore :
His liberal soul with every sect agreed,
Unheard their reasons, he received their creed; -A lapster is a good trade, and an old cloak makes | At church he deign'd the organ pipes to fill, a new jerkia; a wither'd serving-man, a fresh tapster. And at the meeting sang both loud and shrill :
Merry Wides of Windsor, act i. sc. 3. But the full purse these different merits gain'd, A fellow, sir, that I have known go about with my By strong demands his lively passions drain'd; troll-my-dames.
| Liquors he loved of each inflaming kind, Winter's Tale, act iv. sc. 2.
To midnight revels flew with ardent mind; -I myself, sometimes leaving the fear of Heaven on Too warm at cards, a losing game he play'd, the left hand, and holding mine honour in my necessity, To fleecing beauty his attention paid ; am forced to shuffle, to hedge, and to lurch.
His boiling passions were by oaths express'd,
And lies he made his profit and his jest.
Such was the boy, and such the man had been, Consideration like an angel came,
But fate or happier fortune changed the scene; And whipp'd th' offending Adam out of him. A fever seized him, " He should surely die—"
Henry V. act i. sc. 1.
He fear'd, and lo! a friend was praying by ; I have lived long enough: My May of life
With terror moved, this teacher he address'd, Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf;
And all the errors of his youth confess'd : And that which should accompany old age,
The good man kindly clear'd the sinner's way
To lively hope, and counsellid him to pray ;
Who then resolved, should he from sickness rise,
To quit cards, liquors, poaching, oaths, and lies : SOME to our hero have a hero's name
His health restored, he yet resolved, and grew Denied, because no father's he could claim ; True to his masters, to their meeting true : Nor could his mother with precision state
His old companions at his sober face A full fair claim to her certificate;
Laugh'd loud, while he, attesting it was grace, On her own word the marriage must depend— With tears besought them all his calling to en. A point she was not eager to defend :
A convert meek, obedient, and afraid.
Suffice it then, our hero's name was clear, Pleased the grave friends, nor less his solemn For, call John Dighton, and he answer'd, “Here!"
tone, But who that name in early life assign'd
The lengthen'd face of care, the low and inward He never found, he never tried to find;
groan : Whether his kindred were lo John disgrace, The stern good men exulted, when they saw Or John to them, is a disputed case ;
Those timid looks of penitence and awe; His infant state owed nothing to their care Nor thought that one so passive, humble, meek, His mind neglected, and his body bare;
llad yet a creed and principles to seek. All his success must on himself depend,
The faith that reason finds, confirms, avows, He had no money, counsel, guide, or friend ; The hopes, the views, the comforts she allows But in a market town an active boy
These were not his, who by his feelings found, Appear'd, and sought in various ways employ ; And by them only, that his faith was sound; Who soon, thus cast upon the world, began Feelings of terror these, for evil past, To show the talents of a thriving man.
Feelings of hope, to be received at last; With spirit high John learn’d the world to Now weak, now lively, changing with the day, brave,
These were his feelings, and he felt his way. And in both senses was a ready knave:
Sprung from such sources, will this faith remain Knave as of old, obedient, keen, and quick, While these supporters can their strength retain : Knave as at present, skill'd to shift and trick; As heaviest weights the deepest rivers pass, Some humble part of many trades he taught, While icy chains fast bind the solid mass ; He for the builder and the painter wrought; So, born of feelings, faith remains secure, Por serving maids on secret errands ran,
Long as their firmness and their strength endure :
Such bridge is reason, and there faith relies,
His patrons, still disposed their aid to lend, Assistant poacher, he o'erlook'd the wood;
Behind a counter placed their humble friend; At an election John's impartial mind
Where pens and paper were on shelves display'd, Was to no cause nor candidate confined ;
| And pious pamphlets on the windows laid;
By nature active and from vice restrain'd, And growing pride in Dighton's mind was bred
And now, his health restored, his spirits eased, To make him humble, and confine his views
A deputation from these friends select, Took him a comely and a courteous lass ;
Might reason with him to some good effect; Simple and civil, loving and beloved,
Arm'd with authority, and led by love, She long a fond and faithful partner proved; They might those follies from his mind remove; In every year the elders and the priest
Deciding thus, and with this kind intent,
And thou art careless, slumbering in the net; To think what trifles will dissolve the tie.
Unmindful art thou of thy early vow? John, now become a master of his trade,
Who at the morning meeting sees thee now! Perceived how much improvement might be made ; Who at the evening ? where is brother John ? And as this prospect open'd to his view,
We ask-are answer'd, To the tavern gone : A certain portion of his zeal withdrew;
Thee on the Sabbath seldom we behold ; His fear abated—“What had he to fear
Thou canst not sing, thou'rt nursing for a cold ; His profits certain, and his conscience clear ?" This from the churchmen thou hast learn'd, for they Above his door a board was placed by John, Have colds and fevers on the Sabbath day; And, “ Dighton, stationer," was gilt thereon ; When in some snug warm room they sit, and pen His window next, enlarged to twice the size, Bills from their ledgers, (world entangled men!) Shone with such trinkets as the simple prize ; “See with what pride thou hast enlarged thy shop While in the shop with pious works were seen To view thy tempting stores the heedless stop; The last new play, review, or magazine :
By what strange names dost thou these baubles In orders punctual, he observed—The books
know, He never read, and could he judge their looks ? Which wantons wear, to make a sinful show? Readers and critics should their merits try, Hast thou in view these idle volumes placed, He had no office but to sell and buy ;
To be the pander of a vicious taste ? Like other traders, profit was his care ;
What's here ? a book of dances !-you advance Of what they print, the authors must beware." In goodly knowledge, John, wilt learn to dance ! He held his patrons and his teachers dear, How! 'Go!-' it says, and to the devil go! But with his trade-they must not interfere. And shake thyself" I tremble-but 'tis som
'Twas certain now that John had lost the dread Wretch as thou art, what answer canst thou make! And pious thoughts that once such terrors bred; 10! without question thou wilt go and shake. His habits varied, and he more inclined
What's here ? the School for Scandal'-pretty To the vain world, which he had half resign'd:
schools! He had moreover in his brethren seen,
Well, and art thou proficient in the rules? Or he imagined, craft, conceit, and spleen; Art thou a pupil, is it thy design “They are but men,” said John, “and shall I then To make our names contemptible as thine ? Fear man's control, or stand in awe of men ? Old Nick, a novel! O! 'tis mighty well ; 'Tis their advice, (their convert's rule and law,) A fool has courage when he laughs at hell; And good it is—I will not stand in awe."
• Frolic and Fun,' the humours of Tim Grin;' Moreover Dighton, though he thought of books Why, John, thou grow'st facetious in thy sin ; As one who chiefly on the title looks,
And what ? th’ Archdeacon's Charge '--'tis Yet sometimes ponder'd o'er a page to find,
mighty wellWhen vex'd with cares, amusement for his mind ; If Satan publish'd, thou wouldst doubtless sell; And by degrees that mind had treasured much Jests, novels, dances, and this precious stuff, From works his teachers were afraid to touch : To crown thy folly we have seen enough ; Satiric novels, poets bold and free,
We find thee fitted for each evil workAnd what their writers term philosophy ;
Do print the Koran, and become a Turk. All these were read, and he began to feel
“John, thou art lost ; success and worldly pride Some self-approval on his bosom steal.
O'er all thy thoughts and purposes preside, Wisdom creates humility, but he
Have bound thee fast, and drawn thee far aside : Who thus collects it will not humble be:
Yet turn; these sin-traps from thy shop expel, No longer John was fillid with pure delight Repent and pray, and all may yet be well. And humble reverence in a pastor's sight;
“ And here thy wife, thy Dorothy, behold, Who, like a grateful zealot, listening stood, How fashion's wanton robes her form infold ! To hear a man so friendly and so good ;
Cam grace, can goodness with such trapping But felt the dignity of one who made
dwell ? Himself important by a thriving trade;
| John; thou hast made thy wife a Jezebel :
See! on her bosom rests the sign of sin,
1 “Wretch that thou art," an elder cried, “and gone The glaring proof of naughty thoughts within; For everlasting."- "Go thyself,” said John; What! 'tis a cross ; come hither—as a friend " Depart this instant, let me hear no more Thus from thy neck the shameful badge I rend." My house my castle is, and that my door." * Rend, if you dare," said Dighton; "you shall The hint they took, and from the door withdrew find
And John to meeting bade a long adieu ; A man of spirit, though to peace inclined; Attach'd to business, he in time became Call me ungrateful! have I not my pay
A wealthy man of no inferior name. At all times ready for th' expected day ?
It seem'd, alas! in John's deluded sight, To share my plenteous board you deign to come, That all was wrong because not all was right; Myself your pupil, and my house your home; And when he found his teachers had their stains, And shall the persons who my meat enjoy
Resentment and not reason broke his chains : Talk of my faults, and treat me as a boy?
Thus on his feelings he again relied Have you not told how Rome's insulting priests And never look'd to reason for his guide : Led their meek laymen like a herd of beasts; Could he have wisely view'd the frailty shown, And by their fleecing and their forgery made And rightly weigh'd their wanderings and his Their holy calling an accursed trade?
own, Can you such acts and insolence condemn, He might have known that men may be sincere, Who to your utmost power resemble them? Though gay and feasting on the savoury cheer ;
“Concerns it you what books I set for sale ? That doctrines sound and sober they may teach, The tale perchance may be a virtuous tale ; Who love to eat with all the glee they preach ; And for the rest, 'tis neither wise nor just, Nay, who believe the duck, the grape, the pine, In you, who read not, to condemn on trust; Were not intended for the dog and swine; Why should th' Archdeacon's Charge your spleen But Dighton's hasty mind on every theme excite
Ran from the truth, and rested in th' extreme : de, or perchance th' archbishop, may be right. Flaws in his friends he found, and then withdren * That from your meetings I refrain, is true ; (Vain of his knowledge) from their virtues too. meet with nothing pleasant-nothing new; Best of his books he loved the liberal kind, But the same proofs, that not one text explain, That, if they improve not, still enlarge the mind; And the same lights, where all things dark remain; And found himself, with such advisers, free I thought you saints on earth-but I have found | From a fix'd creed, as mind enlarged could be. Some sins among you, and the best unsound : His humble wife at these opinions sigh'd, You have your failings, like the crowds below, But her he never heeded till she died : And at your pleasure hot and cold can blow. He then assented to a last request, When I at first your grave deportment saw, And by the meeting window let her rest; (I own my folly,) I was fill'd with awe;
And on her stone the sacred text was seen, You spoke so warmly, and it seems so well, Which had her comfort in departing been. I should have thought it treason to rebel ;
Dighton with joy beheld his trade advance, Is it a wonder that a man like me
Yet seldom publish'd, loath to trust to chance ; Should such perfection in such teachers see? Then wed a doctor's sister-poor indeed, Nay, should conceive you sent from heaven to brave But skill'd in works her husband could not read The host of sin, and sinful souls to save?
Who, if he wish'd new ways of wealth to seek, Bat as our reason wakes, our prospects clear, Could make her half-crown pamphlet in a week; And failings, flaws, and blemishes appear. This he rejected, though without disdain,
When you were mounted in your rostrum high, And chose the old and certain way to gain. We shrank beneath your tone, your frown, your eye; 1 Thus he proceeded, trade increased the while, Then you beheld us abject, fallen, low,
And fortune woo'd him with perpetual smile : And felt your glory from our baseness grow; On early scenes he sometimes cast a thought, Touch'd by your words, I trembled like the rest, When on his heart the mighty change was wrought And my own vileness and your power confess'd : And all the ease and comfort converts find These, I exclaim'd, are men divine, and gazed Was magnified in his reflecting mind : On him who taught, delighted, and amazed : Then on the teacher's priestly pride he dwelt, Glad when he finish'd, if by chance he cast That caused his freedom, but with this he felt One look on such a sinner, as he pass'd.
The danger of the free--for since that day, * But when I view'd you in a clearer light, No guide had shown, no brethren join'd his way And saw the frail and carnal appetite;
Forsaking one, he found no second creed, When, at his humble prayer, you deign'd to eat But reading doubted, doubting what to read. Saints as you are, a civil sinner's meat;
Still, though reproof had brought some present When as you sat contented and at ease,
But that all traders claim a right to do:
When he exclaim'd, “Why longer should I strive ? All this perceiving, can you think it strange Why more amass, who never must behold That change in you should work an equal change ?" | A young John Dighton, to make glad the old ?"
The sons he had to early graves were gone, I had my comforts, and a growing trade
I lost those comforts I enjoy'd before,
When reverend guides I saw my table round, And parish honours ?-folly and parade."
And in my guardian guest my safety found : Thus Dighton thought, and in his looks appear'd Now sick and sad, no appetite, tio ease, Sadness increased by much he saw and heard : Nor pleasure have I, nor a wish to please ; The brethren often at the shop would stay, Nor views, nor hopes, nor plans, nor taste have I, And make their comments ere they walk'd away: Yet sick of life, have no desire to die." They mark'd the window, fill'd in every pane He said, and died; his trade, his name is gone, With lawless prints of reputations slain ;
And all that once gave consequence to John. Distorted forms of men with honours graced, Unhappy Dighton! had he found a friend, And our chief rulers in derision placed :
When conscience told him it was time to mend! Amazed they stood, remembering well the days A friend discreet, considerate, kind, sincere, When to be humble was their brother's praise, Who would have shown the grounds of hope and When at the dwelling of their friend they stopp'd fear; To drop a word, or to receive it droppid;
And proved that spirits, whether high or low, Where they beheld the prints of men renown'd, No certain tokens of man's safety show; And far-famed preachers pasted all around; Had reason ruled him in her proper place, (Such mouths ! eyes ! hair! so prim! so fierce! so And virtue led him while he lean'd on grace; sleek!
Had he while zealous been discreet and pure, They look'd as speaking what is wo to speak :) His knowledge humble, and his hope secure ; On these the passing brethren loved to dwell These guides had placed him on the solid rock, How long they spake! how strongly! warmly! | Where faith had rested, nor received a shock; well !
But his, alas! was placed upon the sand,
A brother noble, When all were summond at the rising sun,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms, And he was ready with his friends to run;
That he suspects none; on whose foolish konesty When he, partaking with a chosen few,
My practice may ride casy. Felt the great change, sensation rich and new ?
King Lear, act i. sc. 2 No! all is lost, her favours Fortune shower'd
He lets me feed with hinds. Upon the man, and he is overpowerd;
Bars me the place of brother. The world has won him with its tempting store
As You Like It, act i. sc. 1. Of needless wealth, and that has made him poor :
'Twas 1, but 'tis not 1: I do not shame
To tell you what I was, being what I am. Success undoes him, he has risen to fall,
Ib. act iv. sc. 3. Has gain'd a fortune, and has lost his all; Gone back from Sion, he will find his age
Than old George Fletcher, on the British coast, Loath to commence a second pilgrimage ;
Dwelt not a seaman who had more to boast; He has retreated from the chosen track ;
Kind, simple, and sincere-he seldom spoke, And now must ever bear the burden on his back." But sometimes sang and choruss'd," Hearts of Oak,"
Hurt by such censure, John began to find In dangers steady, with his lot content, Fresh revolutions working in his mind;
| His days in labour and in love were spent. He sought for comfort in his books, but read
He left a son so like him, that the old Without a plan or method in his head ;
With joy exclaim'd, “ 'tis Fletcher we behold;" What once amused, now rather made him sad, But to his brother when the kinsmen came, What should inform, increased the doubts he had; And view'd his form, they grudged the father's Shame would not let him seek at church a guide, name. And from his meeting he was held by pride ; George was a bold, intrepid, careless lad, His wife derided fears she never felt,
With just the failings that his father had; And passing brethren daily censures dealt; Isaac was weak, attentive, slow, exact, Hope for a son was now for ever past,
With just the virtues that his father lack'd. He was the first John Dighton, and the last;
George lived at sea; upon the land a guestHis stomach fail'd, his case the doctor knew, He sought for recreation, not for rest; But said, “ He still might hold a year or two." While, far unlike, his brother's feebler form “ No more !" he said, " but why should I complain? Shrank from the cold, and shudder'd at the storm, A life of doubt must be a life of pain :
Still with the seaman's to connect his trade, Could I be sure--but why should I despair! The boy was bound where blocks and ropes were I'm sure my conduct has been just and fair;
made. In youth indeed I had a wicked will,
George, strong and sturdy, had a tender mind But I repented, and have sorrow still :
And was to Isaac pitiful and kind
A very father, till his art was gain'd,
And hear me, brother, whether pay or prize, And then a friend unwearied he remain'd: One-half to thee I give and I devise ; He saw his brother was of spirit low,
For thou hast oft occasion for the aid His temper peevish, and his motions slow; Of learn'd physicians, and they will be paid : Not fit to bustle in a world, or make
Their wives and children men support, at sea, Friends to his fortune for his merit's sake :
And thou, my lad, art wife and child to me: But the kind sailor could not boast the art
Farewell I go where hope and honour call, Of looking deeply in the human heart;
Nor does it follow that who fights must fall." Else had he seen that this weak brother knew Isaac here made a poor attempt to speak, What men to court, what objects to pursue ; And a huge tear moved slowly down his cheek; That he to distant gain the way discern'd,
Like Pluto's iron drop, hard sign of grace,
Isaac was poor, and this the brother felt; Forced by the striving will alone its way to trace.
His patron's interest, and the office caught; And when they parted, Isaac look'd around, For still the virgin was his faithful friend, Where other friends and helpers might be found. | And one so sober could with truth commend,
He wish'd for some port-place, and one might fall, Who of his own defects most humbly thonght,
No more he needs assistance-but, alas !
Or that the seaman might to flatterers lend, But bow'd and bent the neck to Burgess Steel; Or give support to some pretended friend : And great attention to a lady gave,
Still he must write--he wrote, and he confess'd His ancient friend, a maiden spare and grave : That, till absolved, he should be sore distress'd; One whom the visage long and look demure But one so friendly would, he thought, forgive Of Isaac pleased-he seem'd sedate and pure; The hasty deed-heaven knew how he should live; And his soft heart conceived a gentle flame “ But you," he added, " as a man of sense, For her who waited on this virtuous dame : Have well consider'd danger and expense : Not an outrageous love, a scorching fire,
I ran, alas ! into the fatal snare, But friendly liking and chastised desire;
And now for trouble must my mind prepare ; And thus he waited, patient in delay,
And how, with children, I shall pick my way, In present favour and in fortune's way.
Through a hard world, is more than I can say :
Your apprehensions are unwise, unjust;
Then vow'd to bear in all expense a part,
And thus concluded, “ Have a cheerful heart." As if I fear'd the music of a gun."
Had the glad Isaac been his brother's guide, "Go not !" said Isaac_“You shall wear disguise.” In these same terms the seaman had replied ; "What!" said the seaman, "clothe myself with At such reprooss the crafty landsman smiled, lies?"
And softly said, “ This creature is a child.” "O! but there's danger.”_“ Danger in the fleet? Twice had the gallant ship a capture made, You cannot mean, good brother, of defeat; And when in port the happy crew were paid, And other dangers I at land must share-
Home went the sailor, with his pocket stored, So now adieu! and trust a brother's care."
Ease to enjoy, and pleasure to afford ; Isaac awhile demurr'd-but, in his heart, His time was short, joy shone in every face, So might he share, he was disposed to part: Isaac half fainted in the fond embrace : The better mind will sometimes feel the pain The wife resolved her honour'd guest to please, Of benefactions-favour is a chain ;
The children clung upon their uncle's knees; But they the feeling scorn, and what they wish The grog went round, the neighbours drank his disdain ;
health, While beings form'd in coarser mould will hate And George exclaim'd, “Ah! what to this is wealth ? The helping hand they ought to venerate ; Better," said he, “ to bear a loving heart, No wonder George should in this cause prevail, Than roll in riches--but we now must part!" With one contending who was glad to fail :
All yet is still-but hark! the winds o'ers weep · Isaac, farewell! do wipe that doleful eye; The rising waves, and howl upon the deep; Crying we came, and groaning we may die. Ships late becalm'd on mountain-billows rideLet us do something 'twixt the groan and cry: So life is threaten'd, and so man is tried.