Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

friend-before you loved me he was anxious for “He has indeed-before Mr. Sandford and my happiness, and often visited me, to lament Miss Woodley. Now tell me what you petitionwith and console me. I cannot see him turned ed for ?" out of your house without feeling for him what he “ I asked him,” cried Rushbrook, trembling, once felt for me.”

“ for a wife.” Lord Elmwood turned aside to conceal his sen- Her hand, which had just then taken hold of sations—then raising her from the floor, he said, his, in the warmth of her wish to serve him, now Do you know what he has asked of me ?dropped down as with the stroke of death—her

“No,”-answered she in the utmost ignorance, face lost its colour--and she leaned against the and with the utmost innocence painted on her desk by which they were standing, without utterface ;—“but whatever it is, my lord, though you

ing a word. do not grant it, yet pardon him for asking."

“What means this change ?” said he ; “Do “Perhaps you would grant him what he has re- you not wish me happy ?" quested ?" said her father.

“Yes,” she exclaimed ; “Heaven is my wit“ Most willingly—was it in my gift.”

ness,-But it gives me concern to think we must “It is,” replied he. “Go to him in the library,

part.” and hear what he has to say ; for on your will “Then let us be joined,” cried he, falling at her his fate shall depend.”

feet “till death alone can part us." Like lightning she flew out of the room; while All the sensibility-the reserve—the pride, with even the grave Sandford smiled at the idea of their which she was so amply possessed, returned to meeting

her that moment. She started back, and cried, Rushbrook, with his fears all verified by the “Could Lord Elmwood know for what he sent manner in which his uncle had left him, sat with

me?his head reclined against a bookcase, and every “He did,” replied Rushbrook_“I boldly told limb extended with the despair that had seized him. him of my presumptuous love, and he has given

Matilda nimbly opened the door and cried, to you alone the power over my happiness or “Mr. Rushbrook, I am come to comfort you." misery. Oh! do not doom me to the latter."

“ That you have always done,” said he, rising Whether the heart of Matilda, such as it has in rapture to receive her, even in the midst of all been described, could sentence him to misery, the his sadness.

reader is left to surmise-and if he supposes that “What is it you want ?” said she. “What it could not, he has every reason to suppose that have you asked of my father that he has denied their wedded life, was--a life of happiness.

He has beheld the pernicious effects of an im“I have asked for that,” replied he, “which is proper education in the destiny which attended the dearer to me than my life.”

unthinking Miss Milner-On the opposite side, “Be satisfied then,” returned she, "for you what may not be hoped from that school of prushall have it.”

dence—though of adversity--in which Matilda “Dear Matilda ! it is not in your power to be

was bred ? stow."

And Mr. Milner, Matilda's grandfather, had “But he has told me it shall be in my power ; better have given his fortune to a distant branch of and has desired me to give or refuse it you, at my his family-as Matilda's father once meant to do own pleasure.”

-80 that he had given to his daughter-A PRO“O Heavens !” cried Rushbrook in transport, PER EDUCATION. “has he ?"

you ?"

THE BEE;

COLLECTION OF ESSAYS

ON THE

MOST INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING SUBJECTS.

BY OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

NEW-YORK:

GEORGE DEARBOURN, PUBLISHER.

1835.

THE BEE:

No. 1.

Saturday, October 6, 1759.

INTRODUCTION.

There is not, perhaps, a more whimsically dismal figure in nature, than a man of real modesty who assumes an air of impudence; who, while his heart beats with anxiety, studies ease, and affects good humour. In this situation, however, a periodical writer often finds himself, upon his first attempt to address the public in form. All his power of pleasing is damped by solicitude, and his cheerfulness dashed with apprehension. Im. pressed with the terrors of the tribunal before which he is going to appear, his natural humour turns to pertness, and for real wit he is obliged to substitute vivacity. His first publication draws a crowd; they part dissatisfied; and the author, never more to be indulged with a favourable hearing, is left to condemn the indelicacy of his own address, on their want of discernment.

For my part, as I was never distinguished for address, and have often even blundered in making my bow, such bodings as these had like to have totally repressed my ambition. I was at a loss whether to give the public specious promises, or give none; whether to be merry or sad on this solemn occasion. If I should decline all merit, it was too probable the hasty reader might have taken me at my word. If, on the other hand, like labourers in the magazine trade, I had, with modest impudence, humbly presumed to promise an epitome of all the good things that ever were said or written, this might have disgusted those readers I most desire to please. Had I been merry, I might have been censured as vastly low; and had I been sorrowful, I might have been left to mourn in solitude and silence: in short, whichever way I turned, nothing presented but prospects of terror, despair, chandler's shops, and waste paper.

In the debate between fear and ambition, my publisher, happening to arrive, interrupted for a while my anxiety. Perceiving my embarrassment about making my first appearance, he instantly offered his assistance and advice. “ You must know, sir,” says he, “ that the republic of letters is

at present divided into three classes, One writer, for instance, excels at a plan or a title-page, another works away the body of the book, and a third is a dab at an index. Thus a magazine is not the result of any single man's industry, but goes through as many hands as a new pin before it is fit for the public. I fancy, sir,” continues he, “I can provide an eminent hand, and upon moderate terms, to draw up a promising plan to smooth up our readers a little, and pay them as Colonel Charteris paid his seraglio, at the rate of three halfpence in hand, and three shillings more in promises."

He was proceeding in his advice, which, however, I thought proper to decline, by assuring him, that as I intended to pursue no fixed method, so it was impossible to form any regular plan ; determined never to be tedious in order to be logical, wherever pleasure presented I was resolved to follow. Like the Bee, which I had taken for the title of my paper, I would rove from flower to flower, with seeming inattention, but concealed choice, expatiate over all the beauties of the season, and make my industry my amusement.

This reply may also serve as an apology to the reader, who expects, before he sits down, a bill of his future entertainment. It would be improper to pall his curiosity by lessening his surprise, or anticipate any pleasure I am able to procure him, by saying what shall come next. Thus much, however, he may be assured of, that neither war nor scandal shall make any part of it. Homer finely imagines his deity turning away with horror from the prospect of a field of battle, and seeking tranquillity among a nation noted for peace and simplicity. Happy, could any effort of mine, but for a moment, repress that savage pleasure some men find in the daily accounts of human misery! How gladly would I lead them from scenes of blood and altercation, to prospects of innocence and ease, where every breeze breathes health, and every sound is but the echo of tranquillity!

But whatever the merit of his intentions may be, every writer is now convinced, that he must be chiefly indebted to good fortune for finding readers willing to allow him any degree of reputation. It has been remarked, that almost every character,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »