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siderably, and I shall not easily forget and he is pinking away at an old porthe prodigious step and grasp with trait of a great great uncle, whose canwhich she wheeled me down the stone- vass countenarice he has already constaircase of Mr. Morton's house the verted into a frightful rival of the nutother day at dinner.
meg-grater; or with muffles on his Agnes Morton, younger than either knuckles, he is dipping away scientifiher brother or sister, is one of those cally at the day-lights of a pier glass, sweet little fairy creatures which we or getting considerably the best of a seem to recognize as the realization of corner-cupboard. One while you shall some dim poetic dream, or favourite leave him reading one of Plutarch's beauty of the fancy. Her light blue lives, or burying his brain in the dark cyes, softening beneath the shadowy soil of Bishop Andrewes' Divinity; yet even tracery of her eye-brows, but leave the room for ten minutes, and gleam upon you with a modesty and you will find him on your return trytenderness almost unearthly :-and the ing the latest quadrille with six chairs airy figure, ever simply attired, seems and a plate warmer; or exercising his framed only to be lighted about by such legal powers of oratory, and convincgently radiant eyes. Her very motion ing a green baize table of the strength has feeling in it: and her voice is quite of his talents and his hand, and the inShakspearian, being low and sweet, an veterate justice of his cause. He has a excellent thing in woman. Indeed her fine manly person, which, however, he elf-like shape, melodious tones, and re- a little distorts by the decisive cut of tired looks, seem contrived by nature his coat, and the Corinthian roundness as contrasts to the gigantic figure, vehe- of his collar,—but it is not at all unment voice, and vampire gaze of Miss pleasant to behold his light lithe perPrudence. Agnes, worthy owner of son disdaining the restraint and imthat innocent appellation, hath the prisonment of dress, and dancing about sweetest and simplest wisdom in the under the Merino and the buckram world: Agnes with her lamb-like heart, with all the loose liberty of a boy at and “ those dove's eyes,” by gentle- school. His spirits, when excited, run ness carries all before her. She rules riot, and trample upon fashion in their all hearts, as by some fairy spell. Her freedom. Buttons, stay-tape, and butsoft exclamations of attachment, disre- ton-holes are set at defiance; and the gard, or wonderment, are potent as natural man bursts through all his enacts of parliament, or wills of princes. vious clouds, and asserts his untameYou must not imagine, Russell, that I able glory. Tom is intended for the am heart-stricken more than becomes a law, if it shall please his volatile spirits respectful friend, though I fear my de- to suffer such intention to run its unscription rather borders on the style of shackled course; but there is no vouchthe last new novel :—my affections are, ing for so heedless and unreliable a as you know, wedded to books and life, mind, which at a moment's warning, and I see no very great probability of or even none ať all, might waste its my ever deviating into the lover. sweets behind a grocer's counter, or in
Thomas Morton, the nephew, or spire crossed-legs and a thimble on a Tom, as he is more familiarly and af- raised board under a dim sky-light. fectionately called by his near acquaint- He reads poetry to please Prudence; ance and friends, and I always think but he occasionally tries her patience that pleasant monosyllabic appellation by the vehemence and sameness of his is a species of short-hand for kind- quotations. He has an ill knack of heartedness,) is the life, delight, and wrenching a profound or romantic pasperplexity of the household ;-spirited, sage from its original beauty and meanvolatile, effervescing in health, and ing, and of applying it to some unlucky twenty years of age ; he is at once the and ludicrous circumstance, to the source of mirth, affection, and disorder. utter dismay of his elder and more inWhen you enter the house he, like spired sister. She looks upon him Latimer's peculiar bishop, “is never with her tragic eyes, a look of learned idle;" either the foil is in his hand, remonstrance; and he receives her re
buke with a burst of triumphant laugh- be called, of this mighty city. At ter, which sinks him only deeper in evening, we discuss the wonders we Miss Prudence's displeasure. To Ag- have seen, and many and various are nes, Tom is all that is respectful, gen- the observations we make-each adtle, and sincere, recognizing her unob- miring, or severely commenting upon, trusive manner and exquisite softness the events of the day, after his or her of heart with all the generous and sen own peculiar turn of mind. sitive regard of his nature.
The affec We were all sitting one afternoon tations and enormities of Prudence sit over our fruit,sipping it might be a uneasily upon him; but the pretty temperate glass of Mr. Morton's parmanners and engaging looks of Agnes ticular, which leapt into the glass disarm his ridicule and tame his heed- “ with all its sun-set glow,” ever at the lessness. Mrs. Morton is continually same interval, and ever in the same annoyed at the follies and bursts of rash moderate quantities; our discourse was gaiety in Tom, but her inimitable at its meridian, and we sat basking in discernment into character makes her the warmth of bright talk, and could perceive a virtue under all, which will have been satisfied to have ever so yet surmount its present impediments. sunned ourselves. Mrs. Morton was Prudence, with all her temporary af- in the full plumage of wisdom,—Miss flictions, sets a proper value upon his Prudence had laid aside those two diservices at theatres and parties,-Ag- lating eyes, so wont to expand over a pes loves him for his marked and in whole company, -Agnes sat with her ceasing gentleness and afiection, and little white hand in Mr. Morton's, and old Mr. Morton silently delights to see smoothing with the other the scanty how fine spirited a lad Tom is, and silken hair which scarcely shadowed though often worn with his noisy mirth, his forehead. Tom was cutting out an and suffering in his furniture from orange into a sick alderman, and findTom's turbulent exercises, still he never ing in his labours their own exceeding fails to take a pride in the boy, and to great reward; for he could procure no say “ Aye, aye, let him be young—we one to eulogize his sculpture in fruitage were all young ourselves, and have all -all present having often been treated had our troublesome days. I myself, with a sight of the same specimen of (he will sometimes continue, to the the ideal in art. I had the forefinger regular astonishment of Agnes) I my- of my right hand pertinaciously hooked self was once dangerous to the glasses, round the stem of my glass. We were and had my boisterous propensities. all peculiarly happy, alternately talkTom is a kind nephew." And Tom ing, alternately listening,—when the is kind. He is kind even to me, Rus- perfect blue of the sky, and the intense sell, who sometimes venture to sift ad- lustre of the sun, carried our thoughts vice over his fleeting failings. There, to the country, and I know not how it I have given you a picture of the Mor- was that they travelled to Greenwich. tons, and it is not done in little," I One ignorant question of mine led on think, but manufactured after the style to one sweet remembrance of the laof poor Dr. Primrose's family group,
— dies, and another, another—and my huge, awkward, and unsatisfactory. mind became excited in the narration Tell me, when you write to me, whether I heard--and curiosity led to uttered you detect in my poor language Mr. desires and desires grew to projected Morton from Mrs. Morton, or Tom realizations, till in due course of schemfrom Agnes. I own I pique myself ing, we arrived at a determination to on Prudence.
visit Greenwich Hospital on the folo Many of my days, my dear Russell, lowing day. Mrs. Morton would faina are passed, as you will readily conjec- have gone that very afternoon, that her ture, in the society of this excellent best hall (in her estimation) might parfamily; and one or other of them gene- take of the pleasure ; but Mr. Morton rally accompanies me on my excursions protested against it, declaring that he in search of the picturesque, as it may had seen the building many years ago, 3A
ATHEXEUM Vou. 10.
and that the evening damps were much Wakefield, for he never lost the imagainst the journey home. The visit pression, made in youth, that this tale accordingly was postponed until the was a true one, and that all its characmorrow; and the evening subsided in- ters had lived precisely as Goldsmith to a quiet tea, and a patient rubber, in has so exquisitely described them. the course of which I led a small dia- When we were all assembled at the mond that forced Mr. Morton's king of breakfast-table, Pradence broke the ice trumps, and crowned my misfortune by of an apology, by hinting that she omitting to lead through the honour, doubted whether the day " would last;" which lost us the game, and which ab- and, indeed, that she took no peculiar ducted from Mr. Morton a kindly and delight in seeing a great old building, monitory moaning till I left the house full of lame uncultivated old men; and for the night. But on shaking my that, indeed, she expected Miss hand at parting, he told me that he be would call with the lines ; and, indeed, lieved we could not have won the that she could not altogether think hergame; and he begged I would not self well, for she had heard the clock think more about it, although indeed strike two, and could not see very any card would have been better than clearly with her eyes in the morning, the diamond.
giving them at the same moment a proI wish I could begin this paragraph found roll, as though they were revolvwith the explosion of some such eló ing like satellites around her head, to quent gun as commences the deep tra- convince us that her sight was affected. gedy in the Critic; and thus convey to Mrs. Morton, foreseeing no great adyou a perfect and an instantaneous idea vantage from Miss Prudence's society of the rich “saffron morning,” with- under her then state of mind, very wiseout the usual flourish of sun and clouds, ly begged her not to think of venturing and all the established finery of blue in so dire a state of health ; and Miss firmament, and “gilding the eastern Prudence, with a sigh that seemed to hemisphere," and singing birds and shatter all her bulk, and end her befresh zephyrs; but I have no way of ing," consented to give up the pleabreaking all this splendour to you, Rus- sure of Mr. Herbert's company, with sell, without having recourse to these the same species of reluctance that popular terms: you will therefore have Richard displayed to receive the crown the kindness to imagine one of the at the hands of the pertinacious Lord brightest days that ever shone in the Mayor. Agnes looked pale, and was first chapter of a novel, and you will evidently affected with a head-ache, approach within thirty degrees of that though she made no complaints, and admirable morning on which it was our was anxious to assure us that it would fate to visit Greenwich Hospital. Our be removed by the ride and the fresh company fell off rather in the morning. air. Tom would have accompanied Mr. Morton, as usual, came down to us, but he had some other engagement, breakfast (I was invited to that meal, which I guessed, by his shrewd winks and was punctual) in his easy slippers, and nods, was not of that order that, in but otherwise neatly armed in cleanli- the opinion of ladies, ought to superness for his City duties. He shook sede a visit to so noble a building as my land, and slightly occurred to our Greenwich Hospital. He wished he misfortunes the night before by hoping could make one with Herbert, but that I had thought no more of the dia- (squaring with his clenched hands, and mond, as it was really not worth caring scientifically touching at the tea-urn) about. He rejoiced in the fineness of he had business in hand that must be our day, and begged me to admire par- taken by the forelock. He took an ticularly Sir James Thornhill's paint- opportunity, while the ladies were gone ings at Greenwich Hospital, which he up to attire, to let me into the secret of remembered were very blue and very sa bull-bait down the Edgeware Road, beautiful ; and he then wondered whe- near the four mile slab,” which would ther this Sir James Thornhill was any be worth whole pailfuls of pensioners, relation of the Baronet in the Vicar of and he was desirous of deshing a young
ring-tailed and tulip-eared puppy, of of the fashion of that day, and removes which he had the most extravagant ex- the wearer from the modern manners pectations ; not but that I should be and look of the foolish mankind of this entertained where I was going. In round-hatted generation. Every old less than a quarter of an hour from the sailor appears coeval with the foundaperiod of this assurance our breakfast tion of the charity, and walks the deck party had separated; Mrs. Morton, of the building under his three-cornered Agnes, and myself were seated in the beaver, more like a formal gentleman carriage, rattling through the stony- out of one of Sir John Thornhills pichearted streets. Mr. Morton was steadi- tures, than the living hulk of a man of ly walking towards his counting-house, war, said up in the blessed harbour of with a placid heart, and an umbrellá his country. All the arrangements of under his arm, (for he never was be- this admirable charity are so well ortrayed by a fine morning into an abate- dered that the sailor has his life emment of this salutary provision against balmed in comfort, and preserved as the malice of the clouds.) Miss Pru- much in its original shape and appeardence had arranged herself over a vol- ance as possible. The watches are ume of Wordsworth, and a lace-frill, set—the food is portioned out—the and sat like Lydia Languish over the cooks are of the crew-the lieutenants Tears of Sensibility, ready for any one preside—the bed-rooms are like cabins that should come: while Tom, with a –the wainscotting is of oak—the very blue neckerchief, and a white hat, was cloth of the dress is blue. It is life in shaking his way down the Edgeware a stone ship,-on an untroubled sea,Road, in the taxed cart of one of the with no end to fresh meat and water, cognoscenti, discussing the breed of a naval romance! There is no more pied and brindled, and sitting with his do than to take care of their munificent two hands round the lugs of his little vessel; and I will do them the justice tulip-eared puppy, which sat up in to say, that they are ever washing the restless state between his legs. decks. You can hardly go over the
I shall not detain you, Russell, over rooms without finding one man at his the common adventures of the road; Bible—another at a sea voyageyou will know that the principal inci- another looking through a telescope at dents were the paying of turnpikes, a the vessels in the river : they are a sitax which those who prize smooth roads lent, contemplative race, made so, it and easy riding seldom think an evil. may be, by the eternal and higher noise
How shall I give you an idea of the of the sea, which has unfitted them for beauty of the far-famed Hospital of the lighter voices of their kind. But Greenwich, rising with its fair domes from this general character for reserve and stately walls, by the side of one of and retirement let me exempt honest the noblest rivers in Europe ?-In no Master Ball, as comely a man as ever way, I fear, save by sending you the wore checked shirt,—as conversational
perspective view, sold by the boat- a man as ever piped all hands, -as swain in the painted Hall, done in a cheerful a man as ever brake biscuit, very masterly manner by some one, if or damped a tobacco-tinted tooth with I recollect rightly, connected with the a tumbler of cold grog. He is, if I Hospital. The beautiful park rises mistake not, the boatswain of one of gradually on the larboard side of the the long rooms, and sits there as jolly building, to speak professionally, and as though he should never be old; seems to protect it from all rude storms, smiling on all comers, and looking over and tempests; as it, in turn, shields its two shining bronzed cheeks with the old glorious inmates from the blasts and most easy and winning assurance in billows of the world. There are four the world. Mrs. Morton well remarkdivisions, all stately and majestic; and ed, that he looked as if he would give the court yards and kingly statue speak, sickness no more quarter than the enelike an English history, of the reign of my. His forehead shone insufferably George the Second. The very dress bright, and quite dazzled the eyes of of the pensioner appears a sober record the beholder; and his hands were
crossed over the lower button of his shrewd cock of his tri-cornered beaver, waistcoat, which fastened as convex a probing, with his gimlet eye, the rusty little garment as ever bent round a hole in the bottom of a worn-out skiff
. comfortable body. Agnes thought the He stood sideways, peering into it with forehead was like that of Mr. Morton ; all the sagacity of the magpie’s marbut we all negatived her opinion, and rowbone survey—now ogling it on this left her to the solitary possession of it; side—now contemplating it on that, which, however, woman-like, she tena- and appearing to see in it something ciously held. But I know not how it far deeper than our poor optics could is, I am getting out of order, and am discern. He looked closer and closer, describing a character with which, at and twined his glossy antiquated finpresent, I have clearly no business. gers upon the small of his back, and
The terrace that runs along the whole gave his head a more intense twistrange of the building, between it and till I really thought the hole might not the water, is pleasantly situated, but, as be a mere hole, and that I ought not, it does not much abound with pension- as Mr. Puff says, to be “ too sure that ers, it is by no means a striking attrac- he was a beef-eater.” Five minutes tion in my eyes. But in the walk be- elapsed, but the inquisition was not low it, at the edge of the water, nar- over ;-indeed, it deepened and deeprow, inconvenient, and thronging with ened, and just as I was satisfied the watermen, sailors, and other bronzed scrutiny was ripening to a purpose, and meny-we all delighted to walk. There that the old man was arriving at do the maimed and weather-tried ten- his conclusion, he suddenly dispersed ants of the place saunter out their indo- all our expectations by loosening his lent and late holiday of existence. hands, giving the silver buckle of his There do they sit for hours, like right leg an easy elevation into the sun, Crabbe's Peter Ghrimes, but without and, whistling off the last notes of some his crimes, looking upon the flood. ricketty tune, he left us with an empty There do they lean,--there stand, stare at ourselves, the building, and the there recline,—there sidle about. The river. And this is, with these charmpassing of a packet,—the slow drifting ing old men, an incident--a sample of of a merchantman,—the heavy slum- life. Thus do they dwell, thus exist in ber of a Dutch vessel,—the arrowy doing nothing with more industrious course of a wherry,—are all beheld and exactness than any other kind of idlers thought over with an unchangeable pro- in the world. fundity and a deathless silence. It
By the kindness of one of Mr. Morpears to me that words are of no use by ton's friends, who holds some place of the water side. The only object that trust in the Hospital, we were conductcalls up an extraordinary expression of ed to the chapel, one of the most beausurprise or distaste on the mahogany tiful places of worship I ever beheld, line of visages along the railing, is the but possessing, perhaps, too much of aquatic innovation of a steam-boat;- architectural splendour for the sincerity that elevates the bristles of twenty or and serenity of devotion. It had not thirty pair of rugged old eyebrows, and the unobtrusive quiet of the little Oracrumples up so many dark brown tory of Warwick Castle: but the gothic cheeks till they look like a row of bif-style is to my feelings always more asfens.—But not a word passes. The sociated with the sacred earnestness of long-rapid--smoking machine goes prayer. A steady, sober pensioner, rattling by, convulsing the river, and with a willow wand in his hand, maragitating the lesser craft: but much as shalled us up to the extreme end of the it offends the eyes of the oldest sailors, interior, and pointing to a huge paintit is passed and passes in a dignified ing by West, over the communion tasilence. I was much amused, and ble, began his daily labour of descripnudged my good friends on each side tion. The Preservation of St. Paul to share in my amusement, by watching from Shipwreck must be a brave subone hale old man, with a peculiar and ject for an old sailor to enlarge upon ;