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grief; and, after its first transports had subsided, he carried her to London, in hopes that objects new to her, and commonly attractive to all, might contribute to remove it.
With a man possessed of feelings like Sir Edward's, the affliction of Louisa gave a certain respect to his attentions. He hired her a house separate from his own, and treated her with all the delicacy of the purest attachment. But his solicitude to comfort and amuse her was not attended with success. She felt all the horrors of that guilt, which she now considered as not only the ruin of herself, but the murderer of her father.
In London, Sir Edward found his sister, who had married a man of great fortune and high fashion. He had married her, because she was a fine woman, and admired by fine men; she had married him, because he was the wealthiest of her suitors. They lived, as is common to people in such a situation, necessitous with a princely revenue, and very wretched amidst perpetual gaiety. This scene was so foreign from the idea Sir Edward had formed of the reception his country and friends were to afford him, that he found a constant source of disgust in the society of his equals. In their conversation fantastic, not refined, their ideas were frivolous, and their knowledge shallow; and with all the pride of birth and insolence of station, their principles were mean, and their minds ignoble. In their pretended attachments, he discovered only designs of selfishness; and their pleasures, he experienced, were as fallacious as their friendships. In the society of Louisa he found sensibility and truth; her's was the only heart that seemed interested in his welfare ; she saw the return of virtue in Sir Edward, and felt the friendship which he showed her. Sometimes when she perceived him sorrowful, her lute would
leave its melancholy for more lively airs, and her countenance assume a gaiety it was pot formed to
But her heart was breaking with that anguish which her generosity endeavoured to conceal from him ; her frame, too delicate for the struggle with her feelings, seemed to yield to their force; her rest forsook her; the colour faded in her cheek; the lustre of her eyes grew dim. Sir Edward saw those symptoms of decay with the deepest remorse. Often did he curse those false ideas of pleasure which had led him to consider the ruin of an artless girl, who loved and trusted him, as an object which it was luxury to attain, and pride to accomplish. Often did he wish to blot out from his life a few guilty months, to be again restored to an opportunity of giving happiness to that family, whose unsuspecting kindness he had repaid with the treachery of a robber and the cruelty of an assassin.
One evening, while he sat in a little parlour with Louisa, his mind alternately agitated and softened with this impression, a hand-organ, of a remarkably sweet tone, was heard in the street. Louisa laid aside her lute and listened: the airs it played were those of her native country; and a few tears, which she endeavoured to hide, stole from her on hearing them. Sir Edward ordered a servant to fetch the organist into the room: he was brought in accordingly, and seated at the door of the apartment.
He played one or two sprightly tunes, to which Louisa had often danced in her infancy; she gave herself
to the recollection, and her tears flowed without control. Suddenly the musician, changing the stop, introduced a little melancholy air of a wild and plaintive kind.-Louisa started from her seat, and rushed up to the stranger. He threw off a tattered coat, and black patch. It was her father! -She would have sprung to embrace him; he turned
aside for a few moments, and would not receive her into his arms. But nature at last overcome his resentment; he burst into tears, and pressed to his bosom his long-lost daughter.
Sir Edward stood fixed in astonishment and confusion.— I come not to upbraid you,' said Venoni;
I am a poor, weak, old man, unable for upbraidings; I am come but to find my child, to forgive her, and to die! When you saw us first, Sir Edward, we were not thus. You found us virtuous and happy; we danced and we sung, and there was not a sad heart in the valley where we dwelt. Yet we left our dancing, our songs, and our cheerfulness; you were distressed, and we pitied you. Since that day the pipe has never been heard in Venoni's fields : grief and sickness have almost brought him to the grave; and his neighbours, who loved and pitied him, have been cheerful no more. Yet, methinks, though you robbed us of happiness, you are not happy; else why that dejected look, which, amidst all the grandeur around you, I saw you wear, and those tears which, under all the gaudiness of her apparel, I saw that poor deluded girl shed ?'
L. But she shall shed no more,' cried Sir Edward; 'you shall be happy, and I shall be just. Forgive, my venerable friend, the injuries which I have done thee: forgive me, my Louisa, for rating your excellence at a price so mean.
I have seen those high-born females to which my rank might have allied me; I am ashamed of their vices, and sick of their follies. Profligate in their hearts, amidst affected purity they are slaves to pleasure without the sincerity of passion; and, with the name of honour, are insensible to the feelings of virtue. You, my Louisa ! -but I will not call
up recollections that might render me less worthy of your future esteem- Continue to love your Edward ; but a few hours, and you shall add the title to the affections of a wife; let the care and tenderness of a husband bring back its peace to your mind, and its bloom to your cheek. We will leave, for a while, the wonder and the envy of the fashionable circle here. We will restore your father to his native home; under that roof I shall once more be happy; happy without allay, because I shall deserve my happiness. Again shall the pipe and the dance gladden the valley, and innocence and peace beam on the cottage of Venoni.'
No. 110. SATURDAY, MAY 27, 1780.
Extremum concede laborem.
VIRG. ECL. X. l.
As, at the close of life, people confess the secrets, and explain the mysteries of their conduct, endeavour to do justice to those with whom they have had dealings, and to die in peace with all the world ; so, in the concluding number of a periodical publication, it is usual to lay aside the assumed name, or fictitious character, to ascribe the different papers to their true authors, and to wind up the whole with a modest appeal to the candor or indulgence of the Public.
In the course of these papers, the author has not often ventured to introduce himself, or to give an account of his own situation ; in this, therefore, which is to be the last, he has not much to unravel on that score. From the narrowness of the place of its appearance, the Mirror did not admit of much
personification of its editor; the little disguise he has used has been rather to conceal what he was, than to give himself out for what he was not.
The idea of publishing a periodical paper in Edinburgh took its rise in a company of gentlemen, whom particular circumstances of connexion brought frequently together. Their discourse often turned upon subjects of manners, of taste, and of literature. By one of those accidental resolutions, of which the origin cannot easily be traced, it was determined to put their thoughts into writing, and to read them for the entertainment of each other. Their essays assumed the form, and, soon after, some one gave them the name, of a periodical publication: the writers of it were naturally associated ; and their meetings increased the importance, as well as the number, of their productions. Cultivating letters in the midst of business, composition was to them an amusement only ; that amusement was heightened by the audience which this society afforded ; the idea of publication suggested itself as productive of still higher entertainment.
It was not, however, without diffidence that such a resolution was taken.' From that, and several other circumstances, it was thought proper to observe the strictest secrecy with regard to the authors; a purpose in which they have been so suce cessful, that, at this moment, the very publisher of the work knows only one of their number, to whom the conduct of it was intrusted.
The assistance received from Correspondents has been considerable. To them the MIRROR is indebted for the following papers ; the Sth, the note from IGNORAMUS in the 9th, the letter in the 17th, the letter signed Adelus in the 21st, the 22d, the 24th, the 29th, except the short letter at the end, the