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GREGORY

JAMES.

GREGORY.

Soon to be left alone in this bad world, -
That was a thought which many a winter night

This comes of your great schools Had kept her sleepless; aud when prudent love And college-breeding. Plague upon his guardians, In something better than a servant's stale

That would have made him wiser than his fathers! Had placed her well at last, it was a pang Like parting life to part with her dear girl.

If his poor father, Gregory, had but lived,

Things would not have been so. He, poor good man, One summer, Charles, when at the holidays

Had little of book-learning, but there lived not Return d from school, I visited again

A kinder, nobler-hearted gentleman, My old accustom'd walks, and found in them

One better to his tenants. When he died A joy almost like meeting an old friend,

There was not a dry eye for miles around. I saw the cottage empty, and the weeds

Gregory, I thought that I could never know Already crowding the neglected flowers.

A sadder day than that: but what was that,
Joanna, by a villain's wiles seduced,

Compared with this day's sorrow?
Had play'd the wanton, and that blow had reachd
Her mother's heart. She did not suffer long,

I remember,
Her age was feeble, and the heavy blow

Eight months

ago,

when the young Squire began Brought her grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.

To alter the old mansion, they destroy'd

The martin's nests, that had stood undisturb'd I pass this ruind dwelling oftentimes,

Under that roof, -aye! long before my memory. And think of other days. It wakes in me

I shook my head at seeing it, and thought A transient sadness; but the feelings, Charles,

No good could follow. Which ever with these recollections rise,

JAMES.
I trust in God they will not pass away.

Poor young man! I loved him
Like my own child. I loved the family!
Come Candlemas, and I have been their servant

For five-and-forty years. I lived with them
THE LAST OF THE FAMILY,

When his good father brought my Lady home:
JAMES.

And when the young Squire was born, it did me good
Weat, Gregory! you are come, I see, to join us To hear the bells so merrily announce
On this sad business.

An heir. This is indeed a heavy blow-
GREGORY.

I feel it, Gregory, heavier than the weight
Aye, James, I am come,

Of threescore years. He was a noble lad,
But with a heavy heart, God knows it, man!

I loved him dearly. Where shall we meet the corpse?

GREGORY.

Every body loved him. Some hour from hence; Such a fine, generous, open-hearted Youth! By noon, and near about the elms, I take it.

When he came home froin school at holidays, This is not as it should be, Gregory,

How I rejoiced to see him! he was sure
Old men to follow young ones to the grave!

To come and ask of me what birds there were
This morning when I heard the bell strike out, About my fields; and when I found a covey,
I thought that I had never heard it toll

There is not a testy Squire preserves bis game
So dismally before.

More charily, than I have kept them safe
GREGORY

For Master Edward. And he look'd so well
Well, well! my friend,

Upon a fine sharp morning after them, "T is what we all must come to, soon or late.

His brown hair frosted, and his chcek so flush'd But when a young mau dies, in the prime of life, With such a wholesome ruddiness, -alı, James, One born so well, who might have blest us all

But he was sadly changed when lie came down Many long years!—

To keep his birth-day.

JAMES.

JAMES,

JAMES.

And then the family
Extinguishid in him, and the good old name
Ooly to be remember'd on a tomb-stone!
A name that has gone down from sire to son
So many generations! - Many a time
Poor Master Edward, who is now a corpse,
When but a child, would come to me and lead me
To the great family tree, and beg of me
To tell him stories of his ancestors,
Of Eustace, he that went to the Holy Land
Wish Richard Lion-heart, and that Sir Henry
Who fought at Cressy in King Edward's wars;
And then his little eyes would kindle so
To hear of their brave deeds! I used to think
The bravest of them all would not out-do
My darling boy

Changed! why, Gregory,
'T was like a palsy to me, when he stepp'd
Out of the carriage. He was grown so thin,
His check so delicate sallow, and his eyes
Had such a dim and rakisha bollowness;
And when he came to shake me by the hand,
And spoke as kindly to me as he used,
I hardly knew the voice.

GREGORY

It struck a damp
On all our merriment. "T was a noble Ox
That smoked before us, and the old October
Went merrily in evertlowing cans;
But 't was a skin-deep merriment. My heart
Seem'd as it took no share. And when we drank
Dis bealth, the thought came over me what cause

WOMAN

JAMES.

JAMES.

We had for wishing that, and spoilt the draught. Jazy idler,-one who better likes
Poor Gentleman! to think ten months ago

The alchouse than his work?
He came of age, and now!
JAMES.

Why, Sir, for that
I fear'd it then!

He always was a well-condition'd lad, He look'd to me as one that was not long

One who'd work hard and well; and as for drink, For this world's business.

Save now and then mayhap at Christmas time,
GREGORY

Sober as wife could wish.
When the Doctor sent him

TRAVELLER.
Abroad to try the air, it made me certain

Then is the girl That all was over. There's but little hope,

A shrew, or else untidy ;-one to welcome Methinks, that foreign parts can help a man

Her husband with a rude unruly tongue,

Or drive him from a foul and wretched home
Wlien his own mother-couptry will not do.
The last time he came down, these bells rung so To look elsewhere for comfort. Is it so?
I thought they would have rock'd the old steeple down;

WOMAN
And now that dismal toll! I would have staid

She's notable enough ; and as for temper Beyond its reach, but this was a last duty:

The best good-humour'd girl! You see yon house, I am an old tenant of the family,

There by the
aspen-tree, wliose

grey leaves shine Born on the estate, and now that I've outlived it, In the wind? she lived a servant at the farm, Why'ı is but right to see it to the grave.

And often, as I came to weeding here, Have you heard aught of the new uire?

I've heard her singing as she milk'd her cows

So cheerfully:-1 did not like to bear ber,

But little, Because it made me think upon the days And that not well. But be he what he may

When I had got as little on my mind, Matters not much to me. The love I bore

And was as cliecrful too. But she would marry, To the old family will not casily fix

And folks must reap as they have sown. God help her Upon a stranger. What's on the opposite hill ?

TRAVELLER.
Is it not the funeral?

Why, Mistress, if they both are well inclined,
GREGORY.

Why should not both be happy?
"T is, I think, some horsemen.

WOMAN. Aye! they are the black cloaks; and now I see

They 've no money. The while plumes on the licarse.

TRAVELLER
But both can work; and sure as cheerfully

Between the trees; She a labour for herself as at the farm. "T is hid behind them now.

And he wo'n't work the worse because he knows GREGORY.

That she will make his fire-side ready for him,

Aye! now we see it, And watch for his return.
And there's the coaches following, we shall meet
About the bridge. Would that this day were over!

All very well,
I wonder whose turn 's next.

A little while.

TRAVELLER.
God above knows!

And what if they are poor?
When youth is summond, what must age expect! Riches can't always purchase happiness;
God make us ready, Gregory, when it comes!

And much we know will be expected there
Where much was given.

WOMAN.

All this I have heard at church! THE WEDDING.

And when I walk in the church-yard, or have been

By a death-bed, 't is mighty comforting.
TRAVELLER

But when I hear my children cry for hunger,
I PRAY you, wherefore are the village bells

And see them shiver in their rags-God help me! Ringing so merrily!

I pity those for whom these bells ring up

So merrily upon their weuding-day,
A wedding, Sir,

Because I think of mine.
Two of the village folk. And they are right
To make a merry time on 't while they may!

You have known trouble;
Come twelve-months bience, I warrant them they 'd go These haply may be happier.
To church again more willingly than now,
If all might be undone.

Why for that
TRAVELLER

I've had my share ; some sickness and some sorrow:
An ill-match'd pair,

Well will it be for them to know no worse.
So I conceive you. Youth perhaps and age?

Yet had I rather hear a daughter's knell
WOMAN

Than her wedding-peal, Sir, if I thought her fate
No,-- both are young enough.

Promised no better things.
TRAVELLER.
Perhaps the man then,

Sure, sure, good woman,

WOMAN

JAMES

WOMAN.

TRAVELLER.

WOMAN.

TRAVELLER.

WOMAN.

WOMAN.

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You look upon the world with jaundiced eyes! For wilfully, like this new-married pair,
All have their cares; those who are poor want wealth, I went to my undoing.
They who have wealth want more; so are we all

TRAVELLER.
Dissatisfied, yet all live on, and each

But the Parish-
Has his own comforts.
WOMAN.

Aye, it falls heavy there ; and yet their pillance
Sir! d'ye see that horse
Just serves to keep life in. A blessed

prospect,
Turn'd out to common here by the way-side ?

To slave while there is strength, in age the workhouse,
He's high in bone, you may tell every rib

A parish shell at last, and the little bell
Even at this distance. Mind him! how he turns Tolla hastily for a pauper's funeral !
His head, to drive away the fies that feed

TRAVELLER.
On his gall'd shoulder! There 's just grass enough Is this

your

child?
To disappoiot bis whetted appetite.
You see his comforts, Sir!

Aye, Sir; and were he drest
TRAVELLER.

And clean'd, he 'd be as five a boy to look on
A wretched beast !

As the Squire's young master. These thio rays of his
Hard labour and worse usage he endures

Let comfortably in the summer wind;
From some bad master. But the lot of the poor But when the winter comes, it pioches me
Is not like his.

To see the little wretch! I've three besides ;
WOMAN

Avd, -God forgive me! but I often wish
In truth it is not, Sir!

To see them in their coffins.—God reward you!
For when the horse lies down at night, no cares God bless you for your charity!
About to-morrow vex him in his dreams;

TRAVELLER
He knows no quarter-day, and when he gets

You have taught me
Some musty hay or patch of hedge-row grass,

To give sad meaning to the village bells!
He has no hungry children to claim part

1 800. Of his half meal!

TRAVELLER. .
"T is idleness makes want,

THE ALDERMAN'S FUNERAL.
And idle habits. If the man will
go

STRANGER.
And spend his evenings by the alehouse fire,

Whom are they ushering from the world, with all
Whom can he blame if there be want at home?

This pageantry and long parade of death?
WOMAN.

TOWNSMAN.
Aye! idleness! the rich folks never fail

A long parade, indeed, Sir, and yet here
To find some reason why the poor deserve

You see but half; round yonder bend it reaches
Their miseries!- Is it idleness, I pray you,

A furlong farther, carriage behind carriage.
That brings the fever or the ague
fit?

STRANGER.
That makes the sick one's sickly appetite

'T is but a mournful sight, and yet the pomp
Turn at the dry bread and potatoe meal?

Tempts me to stand a gazer.
Is it idleness that makes small wages fail
For growing wants ?—Six years agone, these bells

Yonder schoolboy
Rung on my weddivg.day, and I was told

Who plays the truant, says the proclamation
What I might look for,- but I did not heed

Of peace was nothing to the show; and even
Good counsel. I had lived in service, Sir;

The chairing of the members at election
Knew never what it was to want a meal;

Would not have been a finer sight than this;
Laid down without one thought to keep me sleepless

Ooly that red and green are prettier colours
Or trouble me in sleep; had for a Sunday

Than all this mourning. There, Sir, you behold
My linen gown, and when the pedlar came

One of the red-gown'd worthies of the city,
Could buy me a new riband. —And my husband, -

The envy and the boast of our exchange;-
A towardly young man and well to do, -

Aye, what was worth, last week, a good half-million,
He had his silver buckles and his watch;

Screwd down in yonder hearse!
There was not in the village one who look'd
Sprucer on holidays. We married, Sir,

Then he was born
And we had children, but as wants increased
Wages did not. The silver buckles went,

Under a lucky planet, who to-day
So went the watch; and when the holiday coat

Puts mourning on for his inheritance.

TOWNSMAN.
Was worn to work, no new one in its place.'

When first I heard his death, that very
For me-you see my rags! but I deserve them,

wish

Leape to my lips; but now the closing scene
' A farmer once told the author of Malrem Hills, « that he almost of the comedy hath waken'd wiser thoughts ;
constantly remarked a gradation of changes in those men be bad

And I bless God, that, when I go to the grave,
been in the habit of employing. Young men, he said, were gene-
rally neat in their appearanco, active and cheerful, till they became There will not be the weight of wealth like his
married and bad a family, when be bad observed that their silver To sink me down.
buttons, buckles, and watches gradually disappeared, and their
Sunday's clothes became common without any other to supply their

The camel and the needle,-
place, - but, said he, some good comes from this, for they will then
work for whatever they can get. ----Note to Cottle's Malvern Hills. Is that then in your mind ?

TOWNSMAN.

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STRANGER.

STRANGER.

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Upon the point. This man of half a million
Had all these public virtues which you praise:
But the poor man rung never at his door;
And the old beggar, at the public gate,
Who, all the summer long, stands, hat in hand,
He knew how vain it was to lift an eye
To that hard face. Yet he was always found
Among your ten and twenty pound subscribers,
Your benefactors in the newspapers.
His alms were money put to interest
In the other world, -donations to keep open
A running charity-account with heaven :-
Retaining fees against the last assizes,
When, for the trusted talents, strict account
Shall be required from all, and the old Arch-Lawyer
Plead his own cause as plaintiff.

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STRANGER.

STRANGER.

Was his wealth Stored fraudfully,-the spoil of orphans wrong'd, And widows who had none to plead their right?

TOWNSMAN All honest, open,

honourable gains, Fair legal interest, bonds and mortgages, Ships to the East and West.

STRANGER.

Why judge you then So hardly of the dead?

TOWNSMAN.

For what he left Undone ;-for sins, not one of which is mentioned In the Ten Commandments. He, I warrant him, Believed no other Gods than those of the Creed: Bowd to no idols,—but bis money-bags : Swore no false oaths, except at the custom-house: Kept the Sabbath idle: built a monument To honour his dead father: did no murder : Was too old-fashion'd for adultery: Never pick'd pockets : Never bore false witness : And never, with that all-commanding wealth, Coveted his neighbour's house, nor ox, nor ass!

I must needs
Believe you, Sir:- these are your witnesses,
These mourners here, who from their carriages
Gape at the gaping crowd. A good March wind
Were to be pray'd for now, to lend their eyes
Some deceni rheum. The very hireling mute
Bears not a face blanker of all emotion
Than the old servant of the family!
How can this man have lived, that thus his death
Costs not the soiling one white handkerchief!

TOWNSMAN.
Who should lament for him, Sir, in whose heart
Love had no place, por natural charity?
The parlour spaniel, when she beard his step,
Rose slowly from the hearth, and stole aside
With creeping pace; she never raised her eyes
To woo kind words from him, nor laid her head
Upraised upon bis knee, with fondling whine.
How could it be but thus! Arithmetic
Was the sole science he was ever taught;
The multiplication-table was his Creed,
His Pater-noster, and his Decalogue.
When yet he was a boy, and should have breathed
The
open

air and sunshine of the fields,
To give his blood its natural spring and play,
He in a close and dusky counting-house,
Smoke-dried and seard and shrivell d up his heart.
So, from the way in which he was train'd up,
His feet departed not; he toild and moild,
Poor muck-worm! through his three-score years and

ten;
And when the earth shall now be shovelld on him;
If that which served him for a soul were still
Within his husk, 't would still be dirt to dirt.

STRANGER.
Yet your next newspapers will blazon him
For industry and honourable wealth
A bright example.

TOWNSMAN

Even half a million
Gets him no other praise But come this way
Some twelve months hence, and you will find his !

virtues
Trimly set forth in lapidary lines,
Faith, with her torch beside, and little Cupids
Dropping upon his urn their marble tears.

1803.

STRANGER.

You knew him then, it seems?

TOWNSMAN.

As all men know The virtues of your hundred-thousanders; They never hide their lights beneath a bushel.

STRANGER
Nay, pay, uncharitable Sir! for often
Doch bounty like a streamlet flow unseen,
Freshening and giving life along its course.

TOWNSMAN.

We track the streamlet by the brighter green
And livelier growth it gives ;-but as for this-
This was a pool that stagnated and stunk;
The rains of heaven engendered nothing in it
But slime and foul corruption.

STRANGER.

Yet even these
Are reservoirs whence public charity
Still keeps her channels full.

TOWNSMAN.

Now, Sir, you touch

She loved, and young Richard had settled the day,
BALLADS AND METRICAL TALES. And she hoped to be happy for life:

But Richard was idle and worthless, and they
MARY THE MAID OF THE INN.

Who knew him would pity poor Mary, and say

That she was too good for his wife.
The subject of the following Ballad was related to me, when a
school-boy, as a fact which had happened in the north of England. /'T was in autumn, and stormy and dark was the night,
Either Furnes or Kirkstall Abbey (I forget which) was named as the And fast were the windows and door;
scene. It seems, however, to have been founded upon a story re Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright,
lated in Dr Plot's History of Staffordshire.

And smoking in silence, with tranquil delight
- Amongst the unusual accidents, says this amusing author,
• that have attended the female sex in the course of their lives, I

They listen'd to hear the wind roar.
think I may also reckon the Darrow escapes they have made from
death. Wbereof I met with one mentioned with admiration by « 'T is pleasant,» cried one, « seated by the fire-side,
every body at Leek, ibat bappened not far off at the Black Meer of

To hear the wind whistle without.»
Morridge, wbích, though famous for nothing for which it is com-
monly reputed so (as that it is bottomless, no cattle will drink of it,

« What a night for the Abbey! » his comrade replied,
or birds fly over or settle upon it, all which I found false), yet is so, « Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried
for the signal deliverance of a poor woman, enticed thither in a dis Who should wander the ruins about.
mal stormy night, by a bloody ruffian, who had first gotten her
with cbild, and intended in this remote in hospitable place to have
dispatched her by drowning. The same night (Providence 80 or-

« I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to hear
dering it) there were several persons of inferior rank drinking in The hoarse ivy shake over my head;
an ale-bouse at Leek, whereof one having been out, and observing and could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear,
the darkness and other ill circumstances of the weather, coming in Some ugly old Abbot's grim spirit appear,
again, said to the rest of his companions, that be were a stout man
indeed that would venture to go to the black Meer of Morridge in

For this wind might awaken the dead ! »
such a nigbt as ibat: to which one of them replying, that for a crown
or somo such sum ho would undertake it, the rest joining their «I'll wager a dinner,» the other one cried,
purses, said he should have his demand. Tha bargain being strack,

That Mary would venture there now.»
away he went on his journey with a stick in bis hand, which he was
to leave there as a testimony of his pe fopiance. At length com-

wager

and lose!» with a sneer he replied, ing near the Meer, he heard the lamentable cries of this distressed « I 'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side, woman, begging for mercy, which at first put him to a stand; but And faint if she saw a white cow.» being a man of great resolution and some policy, he went boldly on, bowever, counterfeiting the presence of divers other persons, caliing Jack, Dick, and Tom, and crying Here are the rogues we look'd

« Will Mary this charge on her courage allow?» for, etc.; which being beard by the murderer, be left the woman

His companion exclaim'd with a smile;
and ted; wbom the other man found by the Meer side almost stripe «I shall win,-for I know she will venture there now,
of her clothes, and brought her with him to Leek as an amplo tes- and earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough
timony of his having been at the Meer, and of God's providence
too..-P. 291.

From the elder that grows in the aisle.»
Tbe metre is Mr Lewis's invention ; and metre is one of the few
things concerning which popularity may be admitted as a proof of With fearless good-humour did Mary comply,
merit. The Ballad has become popular owing to the metre and the

And her way to the Abbey she bent;
story: as for every thing else, dum relego scripsisse pudet. It has
however been made the subject of a fine picture by Mr Barker.

The night was dark, and the wind was high,
And as hollowly howling it swept through the sky,

She shiver'd with cold as she went.
Wuo is yonder poor Maniac, whose wildly-fix'd eyes
Seem a heart overcharged to express ?

O'er the path so well known still proceeded the Maid
She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs ;

Where the Abbey rose dim on the sight.
She never complains, but her silence implies

Through the gateway she enter'd, she felt not afraid,
The composure of settled distress.

Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their shade

Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night.
No pity she looks for, no alms does she seek;

All around her was silent, save when the rude blast
Nor for raiment nor food doth she care :

Howld dismally round the old pile;
Through her rags do the winds of the winter blow bleak

Over weed-cover'd fragments she fearlessly past,
On that wither'd breast, and her weather-worn cheek
Hath the hue of a mortal despair.

And arrived at the innermost ruin at last

Where the elder-tree grew in the aisle.

« Then

Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day,

Poor Mary the Maniac hath been;
The Traveller remembers who journey'd this way
No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay,

As Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

Well pleased did she reach it, and quickly drew near,

And hastily gatherd the bough;
When the sound of a voice seemd to rise on her ear-
She paused, and she listen d all eager to hear,

And her heart panted fearfully now.

Her cheerful address fill'd the guests with delight

As she welcomed them in with a smile;
Her heart was a stranger to childish affright,
And Mary would walk by the Abbey at night

When the wind whistled down the dark aisle.

The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her head,

She listen d-nought else could she hear;
The wind fell, ber heart sunk in her bosom with dread,
For she heard in the ruins distinctly the tread

Of footsteps approaching her near.

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