Imatges de pÓgina

you will.

of stopping it short; but desirous of hearing the conclusion, he suffered him to proceed thus far, when the insinuation contained in the last sentence, put him off his guard, and he exclaimed-Oh, Harry! Oh, my son! now, now I feel the wounds you have inflicted : I am compelled to listen to an insinuation against my honour and my honesty. Your wealth, Sir, and my misfortunes, have given you the power of ruining me, but not of insulting me with impunity' • Insult you, Mr Darlington! Why, your misfortunes have turned your brain. Insulted you !- I came a hundred and twenty miles to hush up matters, and put things straight--and this is called insulting! This may be fine logic, for aught I know, Mr Darlington ; but I'm sure it's not according to my notions of business.' • What is it but insult, Sir, to suppose that the house of Darlington would receive the money of its customers, when I know that its bankruptcy may take place at any hour you please ? No, Sir--no: if such is your intended clemency, I refuse it. Foreclose, instantly, Sir: take possession of Darlington-Hall as soon as you please : advertise it for sale by auction, if

It may occasion me to shut up my doors in Lombard-street; but it shall not make me a villain !!

Mr Dickens stared with astonishment at the warmth of Mr Darlington; for, in truth, he never meant to convey that meaning by his speech, which the quick sense of honour in Darlington attached to it. • One word, one word, Mr Darlington, and I have done,' said Dickens. You have run your head against a post, as the saying is; that's no fault of mine ; I had no meaning to offend you. To come to the point, for I have always found plain dealing the best road, my meaning was this-You are under bond to pay me two hundred thousand pounds next month, or the estates in Cumberland are mine. Now, I know you can't pay me without shutting your doors in Lombard-street, as you say; and if it comes to be known that I have foreclosed the mortgage, because you can't redeem it, why, it comes to the same thing; for your

credit is gone, and then where's your bank ? Now, Mr Darlington, don't be offended again, Mr Darlington; though I am what I am, through hard working and closesaving,--and though your family, as I have heard, be come of lords and earls-yet, Mr Darlington, my two hundred thousands are as good as a Duke's; and all I say is, Why there it is, and more to that if it is wanted; there's the use of the Bristol bank besides. And for what? you



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Why for a fair share of the profits ; a fair honest share, Mr Darlington; Edward Dickens is not the man to want more than his own.' Mr Darlington was staggered. If, Sir,' said he,

I have misconstrued your meaning, I beg your pardon, Now, if I understand you rightly, you are willing to let the money advanced remain in the bank, upon being admitted to a proportional share of the profits; that is, you propose yourself as a partner.' *Not quite so: I am in years, Mr Darlington; my son is coming on apace-eighteen years old last March the fourth. He is a sharp lad, has the best of learning, the very best, Mr Darlington, that money could buy. You have a daughter — Sir, forgive the interruption,' said Mr Darlington, 'you do not mean, perhaps, to wound me; but a proposal so abrupt, to place the son of another in the situation which the death of my own has so recently made vacant, is not of a nature to be attended to immediately. I thank you, however, for the confidence your proposal evinces. Nay, I will not absolutely refuse it ; but I see so many obstacles to it, that in requesting a little time for consideration, I would by no means have


withhold such proceedings as your judgment directs, from any notion of my consent which such a request might imply. You shall hear from me, Sir, as soon as possible; but for the present you must excuse me.' These sentences were uttered, with the interruption of sobs; and then ringing the bell for a servant, he left the room without waiting an instant for Mr Dickens's reply. The anguish of the worthy man was extreme, and the appearance of his daughter, who sought to alleviate his sorrow, increased his distress.

In the meantime Dickens and his son quitted the house ; the former with no slight degree of astonishment at the conduct of Mr Darlington. The thing, however, must take that course,' said he to his son; "I am sure it must, Sawyer.

-There's no loop hole. Pride's in the way: he thinks we are not grand enough in family connections :- But we are in possession of that that will buy titles, boy.--He is a goorlmeaning man that Darlington, but a little weak in the noddle: crying and pouting about what can't be helped ; all idle nonsense. Well, let him alone a bit ;-must come to, Sawyer. We have him in a bag; of two evils he'll choose the least, I warrant. Won't relish bankruptcy. See if any of his grand cousins will raise two hundred thousand-not amongst them all together. Let him try the city-many a one willing to catch at such an opening; but where's their

hundred thousands ? Yes, yes, I foresaw this ; must come to us at last, and then, Sawyer, you are made for ever. The best accounts in all the city--receivership of the countygovernment accounts ; I know what I am about, my boy; and I am sure Sawyer Dickens is not the undutiful son, or the snivelling fool, that would balk the plans of his father.'

As this votary of wealth now prophesied, precisely so it came to pass. After a variety of struggles between pride and shamem-between the instant disgrace and ruin of bankruptcy, and the more remote humiliation of adding Sawyer Dickens to the firm, the heart-broken Darlington acceded at length to the latter. Sawyer Dickens was immediately admitted upon the most liberal terms, as an inmate in the house of Mr Darlington, and attended the banking house in the capacity of a pupil, who was hereafter to become a prin. cipal in the concern, It was the substance of one clause-in the articles of this agreement, that if, on or before a certain day, Sawyer Dickens married Amelia Darlington, then and in that case the said sum of two hundred thousand pounds, now belonging to Edward Dickens, with all other share, interest, and concern whatever, which he now possessed in the house of Darlington and Dickens, should be and become the joint property of the said Sawyer Dickens and Augustus Darlington, and the survivors of them for ever. The intent of this clause was obvious, and that intent was answered. The credit, the fortunes of Darlington, now rested entirely on the connection with Dickens, and the filial anxiety of Amelia soon discovered that important secret.

At the same time, Sawyer Dickens, with his father, perceived the numerous advantages that must accrue from a relationship with the family of Darlington, in the event of his death, and urged with importunity his pretensions to the gentle Amelia. They were married. Mr Darlington lived to bless their nuptials, and then sunk to that grave, which the indiscretions of a beloved son had prematurely prepared.

The heart of old Dickens was now without a wish : he beheld the work of his hand, and rejoiced. From penury itself, he had risen to a level, in point of fortune, with the richest men of his age, and he saw his son firmly established in a concern that added every year immense accumulation to his already overgrown fortune. He lived to see that son the father of a son, and then his career of avarice was closed for ever. Through life he had suffered no pain, he had enjoyed

no pleasure from the intellectual part of his being: for in him the accumulation of wealth was not a passion, but merely an instinct, which afforded him only a similar enjoyment to that which the indulgence of gluttony yields to its grovelling votaries. In death he experienced neither mental terror nor hope ; his corporeal sufferings engrossed his whole essence of being, except that in short intervals of ease, he would exhort his son to preserve and to increase that wealth, which it had been the chief end of his existence to create. The widow Dickens survived her husband only a few months; and these three deaths left Mr Sawyer Dickens, as before stated, one of the wealthiest commoners in England.

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It does not generally hold that an author is characteristic of his country; but in the case of Ireland, with one or two exceptions—Swift and Sir Richard Steele, for instance, * who were pure English writers and thinkers-almost all her authors are strongly marked with the peculiar qualities that distinguish her as a nation. At this time, we have Moore among our poets-Philips among our orators—and (till lately) Maturin

among our romance writers-three authors thoroughly and unequivocally Irishwith all the faults and excellences that are supposed to characterize their country. men—ardent and imaginative to the last degree—full of point. ed sentiment and brilliant imagery-bold and rapid in their conceptions—fervent and exaggerated in their diction-always straining at effect, and at times reaching the height of powerful writing, though as often, by their extravagance, falling into the ludicrous--generally bearing the reader impetuously on in a state of dazzled and feverish enthusiasm, but leaving him at last oppressed and fatigued, by a glare to which there is no relief, and an excitement to which there is no cessation. The latter of these writers did not, in his life time, attain that celebrity which his works entitled him to; and it is grievous that this reading age should have to add one of unquestionable genius to the list of unfortunate and ill-rewarded authors. He was a clergyman of the Irish Episcopal Church, and held the cure of St Peter's, Dublin. With the frankness of his countrymen, he tells us in one of his prefaces that none of his prose works had been success


* Goldsmith, too. But though Goldsmith was a pure English writer, his character as a man was Irish.

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