Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Parley, of ridicule on his master, and of abufive fneers on the BOOK in which the master's laws were written. Against this last he had always a particular spite, for he considered it as the grand instrument by which the master maintained his servants in allegiance, and when they could once be brought to {neer at the book, there was an end of fubmiflion to the master. Parley had not penetration enough to see his drift.“ AS TO THE BOOK, Mr. Flatterwell," said he, “I do not know whether it be true or false, I rather neglect than disbelieve it. I am forced, indeed, to hear it read once a week, but I never look into it myself if I can help it." 5. Excellent," said Flatterwell to himself, " that is just the same thing. This is safe ground for me; for whether a man does not believe in the BOOK, or does not attend to it, it comes pretty much to the same, and I generally get him at last."

" Why cannot we be a little nearer, Mr. Par. ley ?" said Flatterwell; “ I am afraid of being overheard by some of your master's spies; the window from which you speak is so high ; I wish you would come down to the door.”—“ Well,

," faid Parley, “ I see no great harm in that. There is a little wicket in the door through which we can converse with more ease and equal safety. The fame fastenings will be fill between us. So down he went, but not without a degree of fear and trembling.

The little wicket being now opened, and Fla:-)

Аа

terwell standing clofe on the outside of the door, they conversed with great ease. “Mr. Parley," faid Flatterwell, “ I should not have pressed you so much to admit me into the castle, but out of pure disinterested regard to your own happiness. I shall get nothing by it, but I cannot bear to think that a person fo wise and amiable should be shut up in this gloomy dungeon, under a hard master, and a llave to the unreasonable ty. ranny of his BOOK OF LAWS. If you admit me, you need have no more waking, no more watching." Here Parley involuntarily slipped back the bolt of the door. “ To convince you of my true love," continued Flatterwell, “I have brought a bottle of the most delicious wine that grows in the wilderness. You shall taste it, but you

muit put a glass through the wicket to receive it, for it is a fingular property in this wine, that we of the wilderness cannot fucceed ia conveying it to you of the castle, without you hold oui a veílel to receive it.”—“0, here is a glais," said Parley, holding out a large goblet, which he always kept ready to be filled by any chance comer. The other immediately poured into the capacious goblet, a large draught of that delicious intoxicating liquor with which the family of the Fatterwells have for near 6000

gained the hearts, and destroyed the fouls whicr inhabitants of the caftle, whenever cian. been able to prevail on them to hold tion, ito receive it. This the wife master pleasure well knew would be the case, for he knew what was in men ; he knew their propenfi, ty to receive the delicious poison of the Flatter: wells, and it was for this reason that he gave them THE BOOK of his laws, and planted the hedge, and invented the bolts, and doubled the locks.

As soon as poor Parley had swallowed the fatal draught, it acted like enchantment. He had no sense of fear left. He at once lost all power of resistance. He despised his own safety, forgot his master, lost all fight of the house in the other country, and reached out for another draught as eagerly as Flatterwell held out the bottle to administer it. 6 What a fool have I been,” said Parley, “ to deny myself so long.". 4. Will you let me in ?" said Fatterwell. " Aye, that I will," said the deluded Parley. Though the train was now increased to near a hundred robbers, yet so intoxicated was Parley, that he did not see one of them, except his new friend. Parley eagerly pulled down the bars, drew back the bolts, and forced open the locks, thinking he could never let in his friend soon enough: He, had however, just presence of mind to say,

My dear friend, I hope you are alone.” Flatterwell swore he was-Parley opened the door In rushed, not Flatterwell only, but the whole banditti, who always lurk behind in his train. The moment they had got sure posseflion. Flatterwell changed his soft tone, and cried out in a voice of thunder, “ Down with the castle; kill, burn, and destroy."

Rapine, murder, and conflagration, by turns,

66

took place. Parley was the very first whom they attacked. He was overpowered with wounds. As he fell, he cried out, “O my maller, I die a victim to my unbelief in thee, and to my own vanity and imprudence. O that the guardians of all other castles would hear me with my dying breath repeat my master's admonition, that all attacks from without will not destroy unlefs there is fome confederate within. O that the keepers of all other castles would learn, from my ruin, that he who parleys with temptation is already undone. That he who allows himself to go to the very bounds, will foon jump over the hedge; that he who talks out of the window with the enemy, will soon open the door to him ; that he who holds out his hand for the cup of fipful flattery, loses all power of relifting; that when he opens the door to one fin, all the rest fly in upon him, and the man perishes as I now do,"

Z.

THE HISTORY OF
MARY WOOD,

THE HOUSEMAID. Or, The Danger of False Excuses, MR. HEARTWELL, the worthy clergyman of a country parish, was sitting in the porch of his little parfonage, when he saw a figure rather flying than running down a hill near his house, the swiftness of whose motion made it

hard to discern what she was, much less could he guess who she was. She fled directly towards him, and flung herfelf at his feet almost breath less, with difficulty she pronounced the words, “O, sir, save me! for pity's fake hide me in your house-they will be here in a moment hide me this inftant!-indeed I am innocent!" then, without waiting for his answer, she jumped up and rushed by him into the house, the good man ran after her, and catching her hand led her up ftairs into his bed-room, and putting her into a closet within it, told her, no one ihould come there to hurt her. Then hearing a noise he looked out of his window and saw several men and women running almost as fast as the young woman had done before, and his maid Bridget (who had seen them sooner from her own window) running to meet them, and to ask what was the matter. He had forgotten to bid her be silent about the young woman, indeed he did not know that she had seen her; but the truth is, she was amusing herself in a very idle mana ner with looking at the road out of her garret window, and had seen with great surprise the wild behavior of the poor girl, which raised her curiosity. This the now hoped to satisfy by stopping the posle that was running by ; instead of answering her questions, they asked if she had seen a girl about seventeen, that was running from justice, pass that way? What in a linen gown and green petticoat, said she, without a bonnet, and her hair and cap flying ? « the same,

« AnteriorContinua »