Imágenes de páginas

evening, which, till the last sand of time, I shall remember. My heart will always retain the odour of it

66 Like the vase in which roses have once been distilled :

You may break, you may ruin the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will cling round it still.”

Need I say that I returned to No. 7, St. Martin'sle-Grand, praying that the public might discover something in my literary efforts to induce them to buy up the work with an avidity unprecedented in the purchase of any other production, to repay the liberality of our worthy president, who, while he benefits himself by the labours of others, has generosity enough thus to treat them ? May be be, like Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London, without ever feeling what it is to want a powerful friend!

My friend Malony here drops his journal, where I expected it to proceed with an account of all he saw in the great city ; but the fact is, while he remained there, he was so closely employed in writing and revising his manuscript, that he had

[ocr errors]

no opportunities of using his eyes on foreign objects. I conclude that he pocketed a handsome reward for his labour, and returned home with London presents to his dear Emma; for I find the following remarks on record :66 I have taken my seat.

To-morrow I shall leave this wonderful city. Yet I return home under considerable dejection. I had fondly hoped that the prize money due to the Deckan army would shortly be paid. This, if as expected, a subaltern's share should be one thousand pounds, with what I have already, would enable me to purchase a cottage, stock a small farm, and sit down in rural retirement with my own sweet girl, contented and happy. But, alas ! after eight years' delay, there seems now no more chance than ever of speedily participating in the advantages of the large captures which we made, under circumstances of peculiar hardship and suffering. Is it not cruel to treat men thus, who risk their lives at a moment's notice for the interests of their country? Great blame must attach somewhere.

His majesty's gracious bounty to the army is defeated. Many



a gallant fellow, who was nearly roasted in pursuit of Bajee Row, has sunk into a grave of sorrow and poverty, whose remnant of existence would have been cheered, if the prize property taken at Poonah and elsewhere had been shared on the spot. What has been done with the money ? Surely, in common justice, it ought to have been invested, and legal interest added to the principal. Oh, honour! thou art sported with every where. Noble-minded officers, when they become prize agents, forget the interest of those by whom they were elected, and benefit themselves."

The worthy Jack (I like to call an old friend by his mess name) staid only the next day with Mary and me. He was going to Belfast for the purpose of communicating with a commercial house there, which had discovered a balance of some hundreds of pounds due to his father, in an old account, from erroneous summing. Such things will sometimes occur in extensive concerns. It had also been ascertained, that the assets of the Fermoy Bank were not so utterly unequal to the demands against it as at' first supposed. There would be, it was calculated, a moderate provision left for Mr. Malony, senior.

Under these circumstances, my friend's looks were bright, and his hopes, like a glass of almost dead champagne, revived by a crum, were sparkling, and evincing the latent vivacity by which they were still animated.

" Be ever mindful of thy changing state,

How quick and various are the terms of fate !

is a maxim which ought to be imprinted on every understanding. We see every year some signal instance of the capriciousness of fortune. Now, a poor man elevated by unexpected wealth ; now, a rich one doomed, like Job, to taste the bitterness of adversity. What I have to relate, therefore, respecting the sudden good fortune of my friend Malony need create no surprise. Such things have happened; they will occur as long as fortune's smiles are courted. Jack himself communicated his happiness to me, in the following brief letter, soon after he had been married to Emma; and as it is characteristic of the man, I give it verbatim et literatim,

66 MY DEAR FRIEND, “On my arrival in Belfast, I received news that surprised and overjoyed me.

When I was in London, I purchased the half of a lottery ticket for Emma; and as I am not accustomed to indulge hopes in such unequal chance adventures, I never gave my mind uneasiness about it, nor did I awaken my Emma's expectation, by presenting what I anticipated would end as usual in disappointment. The ticket I made over to my dear girl, and having sealed and directed it under cover to her mother, I requested that it should not be opened but in my presence, or after my death. Upon my return home, Emma was all curiosity to know the contents of the mysterious packet ; but I opposed her wish, and determined upon awaiting the drawing of the lottery. It is not easy to describe what I felt on seeing our number a prize of thirty thousand pounds! I did not wait to look over accounts, but hurried back to my father's on the wings of despatch. “ To you I need not explain the tumult of

my feelings. Emma is now really my own; and we

« AnteriorContinuar »