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that appertained to them, insensibly suffered from its influence. When I first knew them, they were a young, blooming couple, as you would wish to see ; but I gradually perceived an alteration. My mistress began to stoop a little; and my master got a cough, which troubled him, more or less, to the end of his days. At first, and for many years, my mistress's foot upon the stairs was light and nimble, and. she would come in as blithe and as brisk as a lark; but at last, it was a slow, heavy step, and even my master's began to totter. And, in these respects, every thing else kept pace with them : the crimson damask, that I remembered so fresh and bright, was now faded and worn : the dark, polished mahogany was, in some places, wormeaten; the parrot's gay plumage on the walls grew dull; and I myself, though long unconscious of it, partook of the universal decay.
The dissipated taste I acquired, upon my first introduction to society, had long since subsided; and the quiet, sombre life I led, gave me a grave, meditative turn.
The change which I witnessed in all things around me caused me to reflect much on their vanity; and when, upon the occasions before mentioned, I used to see the gay, blooming faces of the young, saluting me with so much complacency, I would fain have admonished them of the alteration they must soon undergo, and have told them how certainly their bloom, also, must fade away as a flower. But, alas! you know, sir, looking-glasses can only reflect.
After I had remained in this condition, to the best of my knowledge, about five-and-forty years, I suddenly missed my poor old master : he came to visit me no more ; and, by the change in my mistress's apparel, I guessed what had happened. Five years more passed away; and then I saw no more of her! In a short time after this, several rude strangers entered my room: the long, rusty screw, which had held me up so many years, was drawn out; and I, together with all the goods and chattels in the house, was put up to auction, in that very apartment which I had so long peaceably occupied.
I felt a good deal hurt at the very contemptuous terms in, which I was spoken of by some of the bidders; for, as I said, I was not aware that I had become as old-fashioned as my poor old master and mistress. At last, I was knocked down for a trifling sum, and sent away to a very different destination.
Same Subject, concluded.
BEFORE going home to my new residence, I was sent to a workman to be refitted in a new gilt frame; which, although it completely modernized my appearance, I must confess, at first, set very uneasily upon me. nd now, although
although it was not till my old age, I for the first time became acquainted with my natural use, capacity, and importance. My new station was no other than the dressing-room of a young lady, just come from school. Before I was well fixed in the destined spot, she came to survey me, and with a look of such complacency and good-will as. I had not seen for many a day.
I was now presently initiated in all the mysteries of the toilet. 0, what an endless variety of laces, jewels, silks, and ribbons; pins, combs, cushions, and curling-irons; washes, essences, powders, and patches, were daily spread before me! If I had been heretofore almost tired with the sight of my good old mistress's everlasting lustring, I really felt still more so with this profusion of ornament and preparation. · I was, indeed, favored with my fair mistress's constant attentions : they were so unremitting as perfectly to astonish me, after being so long accustomed to comparative neglect. Never did she enter her room, on the most hasty errand, without just vouchsafing me a kind glance; and at leisure hours I was indulged with much longer visits. Indeed, to confess
the truth, I was sometimes quite surprised at their length; but I do not mean to tell tales.
During the hour of dressing, when I was more professionally engaged with her, there was, I could perceive, nothing in the room
- in the house — nay, I believe, nothing in the world - of so much importance in her estimation as myself. But I have frequently remarked, with concern, the different aspect with which she would regard me at those times, and when she returned at night from the evening's engagements. However late it was, or however fatigued she might be, still I
was sure of a greeting the moment she entered; but, instead of the bright, blooming face I had seen a few hours before, it was generally pale and haggard, and not unfrequently bearing a strong expression of disappointment or chagrin.
My mistress would frequently bring a crowd of her young companions into her apartment; and it was amusing to see how they would each in turn come to pay their respects to
What varied features and expressions in the course of a few minutes I had thus an opportunity of observing ! upon which I used to make my own quiet reflections.
In this manner I continued some years in the service of my mistress, without any material alteration taking place either in her or in me; but, at length, I began to perceive. that her aspect towards me was considerably changed, especially when I compared it with my first recollections of her. She now appeared to regard me with somewhat less complacency, and would frequently survey me with a mingled expression of displeasure and suspicion, as though some change had taken place in me, though I am sure it was no fault of mine; indeed, I could never reflect upon myself for a moment, with regard to my conduct towards any of my
I have ever been a faithful servant; nor have I once, in the course of my whole life, given a false answer to any one I have had to do with. I am, by nature, equally averse to flattery and detraction; and this I may say for myself, that I am incapable of misrepresentation.
It was with mingled sensations of contempt and compassion, that I witnessed the efforts my mistress now made in endeavoring to force me to yield the same satisfaction to her as I had done upon our first acquaintance. Perhaps, in my confidential situation, it would be scarcely honorable to disclose all I saw ; suffice it then to hint, that, to my candid temper, it was painful to be obliged to connive at that borrowed bloom which, after all, was a substitute for that of nature; time, too, greatly baffled even these expedients, and threatened to render them wholly ineffectual. Many a cross and reproachful look had I now to endure - which, however, I took patiently, being always remarkably smooth and even in my temper.
Well remembering how sadly Time had spoiled the face of my poor old mistress, I dreaded the consequences if my present owner should experience, by and by, as rough treatment from him; and I believe she dreaded it too; but these apprehensions were needless. Time is not seldom arrested in the midst of his occupations; and it was so in this instance. I was one day greatly shocked, by beholding my poor mistress stretched out in a remote part of the room, arrayed in very different ornaments from those I had been used to see her wear. She was so much altered that I scarcely knew her; but for this she could not now reproach me. I watched her thus for a few days, as she lay before me as cold and motionless as myself; but she was soon conveyed away, and I, shortly afterwards, was engaged in the service of another mistress.
My new station was, in some respects," very similar to my last; that is, I was again placed in a young lady's apartment, where I did not doubt but I should be called to witness the same appearances and operations as before; but in this I was mistaken. The first circumstance that made me suspect my new mistress differed from my late one, was, that, when she first entered her chamber after my arrival, I observed that she remained there for a considerable time, and at last went out again without taking the least notice of me: this surprised me exceedingly.
The first time I had a full view of her was the next morning as soon as she arose, when she came and spent a very few minutes in my company, adjusting a neat morning dress, and combing out some pretty, simple ringlets upon her fair forehead. It was not such a fine-formed face as I remember my last mistress's was when I first entered her service; but having, by this time, from the nature of my studies, acquired considerable skill in physiognomy, I confess it pleased me much better; and although I soon found I should meet with much less attention here, than I had lately been accustomed to, I was now too old, and knew too well how to estimate those attentions, to feel at all mortified at the neglect. The visits my new mistress paid me were very regular; about thrice in the day she used to avail herself for a short time of my services; and while, on these occasions, I never remember to have received a cross or discontented look from her, so I never, on the other hand, witnessed that expression of secret satisfaction, or anxious inquiry, which I had often heretofore had occasion to remark.
My mistress spent much time alone in her chamber; but it was rarely, indeed, that she took any notice of me, except at those times when I was really wanted. I have known her sit many a time, for two or three hours, working or reading at the table over which I hung, without once lifting up her head to look at me; though I could see her all the time. I have observed her light figure pass and repass twenty times before me, without her once glancing at me as she went by. Thus we lived together very good friends; neither of us making any unreasonable demands upon the other.
I saw here but few fine things, and little variety, except such as the changing seasons, and a moderate attention to changing fashions, occasioned; but, then, I was never annoyed, as I had been in my last place, with that heterogeneous mixture of fragments of littered finery, with which