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ways in their pew before we were in the desk, and the servants also; but now we are often disturbed in the midst of our devotions, by the rattling of the carriage, and the entrance of Mr. Lester's family. Sir Thomas and his lady always behaved when at church, as though they came to worship their Maker; but there's no appearance of devotion in the pew now. Sir Thomas and his lady were familiar even with the poorest man in the parish, but Mr. Lester will speak to no one, except 'Squire Tonks and a few other people of property. Sir Thomas and his lady set no bounds to their charity, but I have never heard of any poor family being relieved by Mr. Lester. Soon after he came, I took the liberty of calling on him, and asked him to contribute something towards a poor worthy man, who had met with an accident, which rendered him unable to do his work; but instead of giving me any thing, he said, scornfully, 'I am not come to support a set of paupers. If you want any money, go to the overseers.' 'What's that?" said Mrs. Lester, as I stood in the hall. The old clerk is come begging.' 'Come begging! And does he think that we are going to support beggars in idleness, after being obliged to work so hard as we have done for our money. No: go, man. We have nothing to give. We shall have to pay poor's-rates, I dare say, and I hope the overseers will be frugal in giving away our money."
"I could not help weeping," added the old man, on being driven away from the mansion, where had been received in former times with so much kindness; and I thought of the old Jews, who wept aloud when they gazed on the second temple, because it was so inferior in magnificence to the former one. The mansion, Sir, looks better than it did when it
lay in ruins; but it lost the Shekinah of its glory when Sir Thomas went to heaven; and now I look upon it as a painted sepulchre which looks beautiful to the eye; but is tenanted by spirits that breathe no vital breath of charity or good-will to the poor."
"Has he any family?"
We e were now interrupted in our conversation by the entrance of the sexton, who came to toll the bell for the funeral of the eldest son of a gentleman of considerable wealth and importance in the parish. As I could not conveniently tarry during the solemnities of the service, I withdrew, and soon afterwards met my friend, with whom I returned home to an early dinner.
"Have you seen the old clerk in your rambles ?" said Mrs. Mowbray.
"Yes, Madam, I saw him at the church." "Did he show you Sir Thomas' tomb?" "Yes, Madam."
"And gave you, I presume, a detailed account of Sir Thomas and his lady, and his ancestors ?" "Yes, Madam.”
"And the history of the old Vicar, and his joke about taking his degree at Oxford, with a quotation or two from Goldsmith ?"
"And made a few references to the present occupier of the mansion, and instituted a few comparisons between present and former times? Is he not a most interesting man?"
"Indeed he is the most intelligent, and the best informed man of his, profession I ever met with; and I hope, from some few expressions that fell from his lips, that he is pious."
"Of his piety we have no doubt. He was once,
like the Apostle before his conversion, a Pharisee of the stricter sort; but within the last few years, we hope he has been renewed in the spirit of his mind. He is a most benevolent and humane man ; fond of reading and so attached to the memory of the old Vicar and the old Baron family, that he seems to regain the vivacity of his youth when speaking of them; and though he is not given to detraction, yet he cannot speak in praise of Mr. and Mrs. Lester. I suppose he told you of the reception he met with when he made his first visit; and gave you his beautiful figure of the temple and the sepulchre."
"Why, Madam, you seem to know the full extent of the information he gave me.'
"Yes, Sir. He tells the same tales to every stranger who will give him an opportunity; and as his memory is now become very treacherous, except in relation to the earlier incidents and events of his life, he will tell the same tales to the same person again and again, without varying the order of the narrative, or introducing even another sentence or word, unless diverted by an obtruding question."
"This is very common with very old people; and while it exhibits an affecting picture of the decaying state of the human mind, it is gratifying to find, that at this stage of existence, its religious principles appear active, and the visions of bliss which futurity discloses, not unfrequently elevate it above the tumultuous scenes of earthly vexation and care." "Did he make any reference to Miss Lester ?" "He was going to reply to a question which I proposed to him, respecting the family which now occupies the mansion, but the sexton coming into the church at the time prevented him."
"That is a circumstance which I regret, as you would have been much delighted. He is truly eloquent in her praise; but as she is a later actor in the interesting drama of his history, he usually reserves his description of her to the last. That you may witness the mechanical fidelity of his memory, in his narratives and descriptions of the 'olden times," and hear his simple eloquence in the praise of that most lovely and interesting character, we will invite him to spend the evening with us."
ON THE LOSS OF TEMPER, COMPARED WITH
I AM acquainted with a scholar, passionately fond of books, and for the most part, immersed in his own element, profound study, who often lectures his domestics on the virtue of punctuality. If his meals are, by any unforseen circumstances, protracted a little beyond the customary hour, he murmurs, and regrets the loss of time; and those around him, have equal cause to regret the loss of his temper. The one he can calculate by his watch, but he seems to have neither means nor inclinations to form any right estimate of the other.
A very honest and industrious tradesman, a neighbour of mine, is remarkable for his care and vigilance in all the minute engagements of business. He never loses any part of his property, but he also loses his temper at the same time. The carelessness of a servant, in breaking or spoiling an article worth sixpence, is repeated twenty times in one day. He is all eye, and all ear, to what is passing around him, but keeps no watch and ward over his own spirit.
I will mention a third case, of a gentleman of affluence and independence, who sets a high value on that character or credit, which he has gained in the arduous career of patriotism. His political opponents well know his extreme sensibility, and to this weak part they direct all their envenomed weapons. He kindles at the shadow of a wrong, and instantly repels the most distant imputation which implicates his motives. The fear of losing one grain of credit, robs him at once of all self-command.
Calamities, as the proverb runs, seldom come single; but if when one comes, we voluntarily call another to keep it company, we have little ground to complain. Though certain untoward accidents and interruptions, fritter away some part of our time, why should they also fret and irritate our temper? If other men despoil us of our property, or credit, why should they deprive us of our peace? Why should we choose at once to incur a double loss?
Perhaps the reader may be ready to ask, whether the sad infirmity here noticed and deplored, belongs exclusively to the masculine part of our species. Truth compels me to say, that the ladies must come in for their full share of blame. A popular bard asserts:
"In men, we various ruling passions find,
Miss Bland will undoubtedly rank with the former class. She is positively one of the warmest votaries of amusement I ever knew. Of all losses, she most dreads and most deplores the loss of plea