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398 History esAmintor and Eugenia. British
Eugenia was now ot that age tended that some business called him JVIag; Wfiory of Amintor and Eugenia. 399
which is called the bloom of beamy; there was an inexpressible sweetness in her face, and an elegance in her air which commanded universal admiration. At the first moment Amintor beheld her, he was struck with the charms of her person, and every subsequent hour encreased his esteem for those of her mind. A sufficient time had elapsed to permit him to declaie his passion, which he did with all the tenderness and delicacy (hat the sincerest love could inspire him with. About this time a gentleman of an immense fortune had seen the fair Eugenia, and from that moment had determined to pay her his addresses. At the university he had been acquainted with Amintor. He had been informed that Eugenia did nothing without his advice; he therefore came to him one morning, told him his intentions, and begged him to be his advocate with the fair.
Amintor was surprised at the proposal, and with the utmost difficulty concealed his uneasiness. As yet he knew not whether be had any claim to Eugenia's affection. He had indeed mentioned his passion, but received such answer only as permitted him not absolutely to despair. The person who would now make her his, was possessed of an estate much larger than his own could ever be. He determined rather to be miserable than to act with dishonour. He assumed the appearance of gaiety, and said he would introduce him to Eugenia, where he might use whatever arguments he thought necessary for his purpose.
Upon the day appointed they went, and Amintor introduced her new admirer as his friend. The tea was scarce over when Amintor pre
away, and retired. Her lover now began to declare the intention of his visit. He told her in the warmth of his sollicitations, that he was encouraged by Amintor, and intreated her to fay whether he might have reason to hope, if his fortune and character should satisfy upon enquiry. Eugenia replied, that she was convinced that Amintor would not countenance a man whose character was not spotless, his fortune flie before had heard was beyond her ambition. She told him at the fame time, with such polite sincerity, that she could not give him room to hope, that the refusal even charmed him. His passion was such only as superior beauty creates in almost every breast, a sudden flame, which burns but for a short space, and i( extinct; her not savouring his addresses therefore gave him but little pain besides what he felt from the mortification of his pride. He left her with the utmost gentility, and wished her all imaginable felicity with the man she ihould prefer.
No anxiety could perhaps exceed what Amintor felt during his absence; he trembled lest Eugenia should have given a rival room to hope; he repented his delicacy, and began to wish he had owned a previous paslion. When he next waited on her he bore the marks of confusion in his countenance, and dreading to know the consequence of the visit, he was some time silent; at length he told every circumstance of the affair, and asked her with a sigh if he had contributed to his own unhappinesi. Eugenia, whose anxiety from this affair had scarcely been inferior to his, was now charmed with the generous tale which appeared in so different a light.
Her bosom was too much influenced her irrecoverably his. For some
by love and gratitude to conceal its time was (he deaf to his proposal;
sentiments, and in her warmth she but lovers easily find arguments
owned that for him she refused the which lovers cannot resist. He told
offered splendor. A circumstance her that his father's resentment
the most flattering of any to a lover's would be but short. I do not
imagination. doubt, said he, thou best of wo
The happiness they enjoyed from tuen, but he will even congratulate
a mutual assurance of each other's me on my happiness. The worst
affection was but of a short dura- that, can happen must be'less pain
tion. Lkinius, the father of Amintor, ful to me than what i feel from the
how pressed his son to marry, having perpetual refusal of his desire,
fixed upon a young lady, whose Licinius, when he knew the affair,
person and fortune he thought his told the unhappy youth he would
son could possibly find no objection no longer consider him as a child,
to. Aminior heard the proposal of and banishing him from his pre
his father, with all the anxiety im- fence, said, he banished him also
aginable. Without Eutrenia he mull from his heart. Amintor left him
be miserable, in the displeasure of a with tears, Eugenia wept. Can
parent he could not be happy. In you still love the woman, said she,
this situation he went, as usual, to who has thus involved you in dis
Eugcnia. He would, if possible, tress r Love thee, thou excellent wo
have worn the appearance of sereni- man, no circumstances can displace
ty, but the heart-felt sigh would thee from my heart. Nay, do
break forth, notwithstanding his en- not weep, Eugenia, we (hall yet
deavour to suppress it. Alarmed at be blest.
this, Eugenia insisted on knowing Amintor, after having in vairi the cause of his pain; she entreated endeavoured to procure a reconcihim, by his love for her, not to station by several letters, entreated conceal it, and told him, that what- me to use my influence wiih his faever it was, it must bring relief to ther. 1 wrote to him, made use of her, since it could not be more ter- every argument I thought riecessary, rible than her apprehensions. Moved arid endeavoured to convince him, by so powerful a persuasion, he told that his son had by no means deher what had happened, and fixing served his severity. My letter so his eyea upon her with the greatest far prevailed on him that he contenderness, When shall we taste, said sented to see his son and the fair he, uninterrupted ease f £ugenia, a favour which the youth!
From this time Licinius was con- himself had long intreated in vain,
tinually endeavouring to prevail on , Amintor came upon the appoint
his son : he could not conceive what ed day accompanied by his lovely
objection he could have to fortune partner. He was conducted 10 the
and to beauty, nor imagined himself room where Licinius fat, and led
In the least guilty of t-verity by in- his trembling Eugenia to the feet of
fisting on this alliance. Amintor fled a father whom for her he had dis
from the pain he felt in denying the pleased. In broken accents be
entreaties of a father to his Euge- begged his blefflng, he begged it
ilia, and now determined to make for the best of women; at which
9 F 2 time 4oo A Flemish
time perceiving the tears stand trt-mbling in Eugenia's eyes, his sympathetic bosom felr for her, and both were silenr, weeping on their knees at his seer. To have seen the moll graceful of her sex overwhelmed uith grief, to have seen a son in tears, imploring for a blelling, must have moved a breast where pity ever entered. Here Lieinius himself wept, and such was she amiable appearance of Eugenia, that he could ho longer blame his son for bellowing on her his heart. He bad them rife and be happy.
Their tears were now changed to
'/'f 'l EMI? H
• i . i rj *
"C^Very country has its traditions, 'which, either too mimife or not sufficiently authentic to receive historical sanction, are handed down among the vulgar, and lerve ar dr/re to instruct and amuse them. Of this number the adventures of Robin Hood, the hunting of Chevy-chace, and the bravery of Johnny Armstrong, among the English; of Krtnl Dereg, among the Irish; and Creighton, amoii^ the Scots/are instances. ■Of all .the traditions, ho-.vtver, 1 remember to have heard, I do not recollect any more remarkable than one still current in Flanders; a story generally the first the peasants tell their children, when they bid them behave like Bidderman the wife. ■ It is by no means, however, a model to be set before a polite people for imitation } since if, oti the one hand, we perceive in it the steady influence of patriotism; we, on the other, find as strong a desire of revenge. But, to wave introduction, let us proceed to the story.
When the Saracens over-ran Europe with their armies, and pene
'sraditien. ■ British teats of joy, and as soon as Amintor could speak, he said, I am ar presi nr, Sir, the happiest of mankind, blest, as a husband, in the best of women, and leconciltd to a parent whose displeasure only could give me pain. Such was the happy confeq'ienctf of this interview.
They are now as happy in each other as they deserve, and enjoy their moments of ease the more for having known the hour of anxiety. A degree of sath'action is likewise reflected from them to me, as I may in some measure consider myself as the cause of their present felicity.
T R A D I T I O N.
frated as far even as Antwerp, Bir!rlermnn cas Lord of a city, which
•time has since (wept into destruction. As the inhabitants of this country were divided under separate traders, the Saracesis found an easy conquest,
'and the city of Bidderman, among the rest, became a prey to the victors.
Thus dispossessed of his paternal 'city, our unfortunate governor was obliged to feck refuge from the neighbouring princes, who were as yet unsubdued, and he for seme time lived in a state of wretched dependance among them.
Soon, however, his love to his native country brought him back tf> his own city, resolved to rescue it from the enemy, or fall in the attempt. Thus, in disguise, he went among the inhabitants, and endeavoured, but in vain, to excite them to a revolt. Former misfortunes lay so heavily on tbeir minds, that thty rather chose to suffer the most cruel bondage, than attempt to vindicate their former freedom.
3 Al Mag. A Flemish
As he was thus one day employed, whether by information, or from suspicion, is not known, he was apprehended by a Saracen soldier as a spy, and brought before the very tribunal at which he once presided. The account he gave of himself was by no means satisfactory. He could produce no friends to vindicate his character; wherefore, as the Saracens knew not their prisoner, and as they had no direct proofs against him, they were content with condemning him to be pubiickly whipt as a vagabond.
The execution of this sentence was accordingly performed with the utmost ligour. Eidderman was bound to the post, the executioner seeming disposed to add to the cruelty of the sentence, as he received no bribe sor lenity. Whenever Eidderman groaned ynder the scourge, the other, only redoubling his blows, cried out, D-jfi til -villain murmur? If E.ddirman cnircattd but a moment's respite from tortute, the other only repeated his former exclamation, Doe; the •villain murmur?
From this peiiod, revenge as well as patiiotifm, took entire possession of his soul. His fury stooped so low as to follow the executioner with unremitting resentment. But conceiving that the best method to attain these ends, was to acquire some eminence in the city, he laid himself out to ohlige its new master;, If udied every art, and practised every meanness that serve to promote the. needy, or render the poor pleasing, and by these means, in a few years, he came to be of some note in the city, which justly belonged entiiely to him.
The executioner was, therefore, the first object of his resentment, and he even practised the Icmdl
fraud to gratify she revenge he owed him. A piece os plate, which Uklderman had previously stok'n froirt the Saracen governor, he privately conveyed into the cxerutioner'n house, and then gave information of the theft. They who are any way acquainted with the rigour of the Arabian laws, know that theft is pnnislied with immediate destb. The proof was direct in this cafe; the executioner had nothing to c.ff.r in his own defence, and he was therefore condemned to be beheaded upon a scaffold in the public market place. As there was no executioner in the city bitt the very man who was now to suffer, Eidderman himself undertook this, to him, molt agreeable office. The criminal was conducted from the judgment feat, bound with cords. The scaffold was erected, and he placed in such a manner, as he might lie null convenient for the blow.
But his death alone was not sufficient to satisfy the resentment of this extraordinary man, unless it was "aggravated with every circumstance of cruelty. Wherefore, coming tip the scaffold, and disposing every thing in readiness for-the intended blow, with the sword in his hand he approached the criminal, and whispering in a low voice, assured him, liiat he himself was tlie very person that had once been used with sa much cruelty; that to his knDWItdge, he died vtrv innocently, for the plate had been stolen by himself, and privately conveyed into the houso of the other.
"O, my countrymen, cti.d the criminal, do you hear what this mat: fays?" Dots the villain murmur? replied Bidderuiau, and iir. mediately, at one blow, fevered his head from his body.
402 Wsttry «/Alcander Septimius, Btitish
Still, however, he was not con- length, offered; the French army tent till he had ample vengeance of came Into the neighbourhood, but
the governors of the city, who condemned him. To effect this, he hired a small house adjoining to the town wall, under which he every day dug, and carried out the earth In a basket. In this unremitting labour, he continued several years, every day digging a little, and carrying the earth unsuspected away. By this means he at last made a secret communication from the country into the city, and only wanted the appearance of an enemy, in order to betray it. "This opportunity, at
had no thoughts of fitting down before a town which they considered as impregnable. Bidderman, however, soon altered their resolutions, and, upon communicating his plan to the general, he embraced it with ardour. Through the private passage before-mentioned, he introduced a large body of the most resolute soldiers, who soon Opened the gates for the rest, and the whole army rushing in, put eveiy Saracen that was found to the sword.
HISTORY os Alcander and StFTtuios. Translated from a Byzantine Historian. Thenst even long after the de- and they were natives of the two
dine of the Roman empire, still continued the feat of learning, politeness and wisdom. The emperors an4 the generals, who in these periods of approaching ignorance, still felt a passion for science, from time to time, added to its buildings, or encreafed its professorships. Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, was of the number; he repaired those schools which barbarity was suffering to fall into decay, and continued those pensions to men of learning, which avaricious governors had monopolized to themselves.
In this city, and about this period, Alcander and Septimius were fellow students together; the one the most subtle reasoner of all the Lyceum; the other the most eloquent speaker in the academic grove. Mutual admiration soon begot an acquaintance, and a similitude of disposition made them perfect friends. Their fortunes were nearly equal, their Audio the fame,
most celebrated cities in the world J for Alcander was of Athens, Septimius came from Rome.
In this mutual harmony they lived for some time together, when Akandcr, after passing the first part of his vouth in the indolence of philosophy, thought at length of enteting into the busy world, and as a step previous to jhis, placed his affections on Hypatia, a lady of exquisite beauty. Hypatia shewed no dislike to bis addresses. The day of their intended nuptials was fixed, the previous ceremonies were performed, and nothing now remained hut her being conducted in triumph to the apartment of the intended bridegroom.
An exultation in his own happiness, or his being unable to enjoy any satisfaction without making his friend Septimius a partner, prevailed upon him to introduce his mistress to his fellow student, which he did with all the gaiety of a man wlu found himself equally happy in friendship