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Title: The Son of a Genius; A Tale, for the Use of Youth.
Author: Hofland, Barbara (1770-1844)
Illustrator: Anonymous
Date of first publication: 1812
Edition used as base for this ebook: London: J. Harris, 1818
Date first posted: 22 April 2010
Date last updated: 22 April 2010
Project Gutenberg Canada ebook #522

This ebook was produced by: David Edwards, Ross Cooling & the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

This file was produced from images generously made available by the Internet Archive/American Libraries








Lay hold of Instruction, keep her, for she is thy Life.





E. Hemsted, Printer, 19, Great New Street,
Gough Square, London.


F. P. H——D,


Accept, my dear Son, this little work, as a proof of that tender regard and sincere desire for your improvement, not only in the learning of the mind, but of the heart, in which it is not less my duty than inclination to instruct you.

Deprived on your very entrance into life of an excellent father, whose paternal care would have protected, and whose example would have enlightened you, there have doubtless been many times when you have sighed to find yourself bereaved of that connection enjoyed by your companions, and which it was impossible for any kindness or exertion on my part wholly to supply. In tracing the early sorrows of the subject of this story, you will perceive a child struggling with a species of distress to which you never have or could have been subject; yet the contemplation of which will, I trust, be of use to you; not only by showing you that boys who have fathers may, in some cases, suffer many privations and afflictions; but what is of infinitely more consequence to be known, that the most brilliant talents, enlarged conceptions, and refined sensibilities, of which human nature is capable, may be rendered useless, and even prejudicial, unless they are directed by prudence, humility, and discretion; and above all, that strict integrity, founded on religious principles, that "fear of God, which is the beginning (and the end) of wisdom," will, where it is duly engrafted in the heart by true Christianity, produce a disposition to, and observance of, order, regularity, and every action indicative of honesty, industry, and self-control.

Conscious, my Frederic, that you need no advocate for the duties of compassion and charity to your suffering fellow-creatures, I shall only beg you on this subject to remark the conduct of Ludovico as to his discretion: though in the midst of his poverty, he gladly obeyed the injunction of his blessed Master, and the yearnings of his own benevolent heart, in the performance of this delightful duty, yet he did not bestow with a careless or lavish hand; his prudence and industry were made the medium of his generosity, and he thus verified the truth of that assertion I so frequently make, and of which your own conduct, my dear boy, has afforded many endearing proofs, that those who are the most careful, are the most beneficent, and that self-denial is the mother of generosity; a doctrine I do not scruple to repeat, since promising as your conduct now is, you are yet very young; and it is therefore necessary to give you "line upon line, and precept upon precept;" and it is very probable that as this is not the first, so it will not be the last story, dictated for your instruction and others of your age, by their friend, and your anxious, though approving, and affectionate mother,

B. H.——.

The encomiums passed on this little work by many distinguished literary characters, induced the Publishers to lower the price, in the hope that it may have a more extensive circulation.

May 1816.





No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast,
Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife,
Each season look'd delightful as it pass'd,
Found in the lowly vale of shepherd life.


"Depend upon it, Mrs. Lewis, your son is a boy of genius, uncommon genius," said a gentleman to the wife of an Artist, as he looked over some loose sketches which lay upon her work table, at one end of which sat a sickly looking boy of about twelve years old, at work with his pencil; and who now looking up, exhibited his pale face, so illuminated by the pleasure praise seldom fails to convey, however administered, that the gentleman thought he had seldom seen so intelligent a countenance, or been regarded with a look so prepossessing; but he was recalled from his observations on the boy, by the words which immediately fell from the mother, accompanied by a look of apprehensive tenderness, lest her son should be injured by the flattery he had incautiously conveyed.

"Indeed, sir, you are mistaken; my son has no Genius, but he has industry; and sufficient talent to make that industry profitable, I hope."

"You underrate his powers, ma'am—I am convinced he has really Genius, and will some day cut a very great figure in the world; you must not damp the ardours, or be too severe on the eccentricities of a mind like his—he who can do such things as these are now, will at a future period claim the highest honours fame can bestow."

The mother answered by a deep sigh, and as the tears rose into her eyes, involuntarily, though almost inarticulately, exclaimed, "God forbid that he should seek them!" The gentleman was sorry to see her so much affected, though he concluded that she was a weak woman, whose stupidity, vulgarity, or obstinacy of mind, were but too likely to injure the expanding talents of her son; and though the meekness of her manner, and the sweet dejection of her countenance, had somewhat interested him in her favour, when he first entered her apartment, he quitted it with a sense of sorrow for the wan-looking boy, and vexation at the perverse mother, whom he considered the cruel controller of Genius she could not comprehend, and therefore sought to repel, by reducing the high soarings of fancy to the drudgery of common labour, and the fatigue of incessant application.

The gentleman was extremely mistaken in this conclusion, for Mrs. Lewis was a woman of strong natural understanding, and had some portion of that finer perception of beauty and excellence, which, in whatever path it walks, may be designated genius: but she had an aversion to the word, amounting almost to horror, from having observed its application tend to injure either nearly, or remotely, every one to whom it had been her lot to see it applied; and as it was ever in her mind associated with imprudence, imbecility, folly, or vice; was made the excuse for one man's eccentricities, another man's errors, and not unfrequently connected with the crimes of a third; it was no wonder that she shrunk from its application to a son, who notwithstanding his pale looks, and her apparent suppression of his exultation, was to her, the very soul of all her earthly hopes, and had been nourished by her with a tenderness so exquisite, a love so unceasing in its care, and so judicious in its efforts, that in relating the history of this mother and her son, we flatter ourselves every young person who like him has been praised for this rare, indefinite, and often blameably extolled quality, so much the subject of attention in the present day, will see the folly of depending upon it either for happiness, or respectability, in this world, and the sin of daring to make it an excuse for neglecting that "which is to come;" and, that those young people whose more moderate talents, or less vivid imagination, have preserved their minds from being inflated by this silly method of extolling that which implies no merit, since it exacts no exertion, will learn that much may be gained by industry, even where nature has not been liberal, and that the attainments for which men in all stations, and all ages, were most esteemed, were the result of patient investigation, unwearied diligence, and incessant labour; without which, the most brilliant talents have ever failed to produce either individual comforts, or true celebrity. In proportion as the mind is endued with higher powers, and acuter sensibilities, it is annoyed with stronger passions, and more dangerous propensities, and calls in a more peculiar manner for the controul of reason, and the aids and restrictions of religion, without which the widest soarings of human intellect are as liable to error, as the weakest conclusions of the most bounded judgment,—in all that most interests us, as accountable and immortal beings, called to consider this world as but the passage to another, which is to last for ever and ever.

Mr. Rumney, the father of Mrs. Lewis, was a clergyman, who resided on a very small living in Cumberland; he was married to a plain, sensible, good woman, the daughter of a neighbouring farmer, by whom he had five children; of whom Agnes was the eldest very considerably, as the two children who succeeded her were both taken by the diseases incident to infancy. This circumstance was an advantage to her; as by rendering her for some time the sole object of her father's attention, it secured for her all the instruction such a companion could bestow; so that before she was called to participate her mother's duties in her household department, she had gained as much knowledge of the rudiments of education as was necessary to give her a taste for improvement; which never fails to lead youth into such a disposition of their time, as to enable them to seize every precious moment circumstances will allow, for mental cultivation: and the little thus acquired is too dear, too valuable, to be wasted and misapplied. Thus, amidst incessant occupation and various petty cares, Agnes became mistress of much estimable knowledge; notwithstanding the obscurity in which she lived, and the necessity of attending to all the common cares of life inseparable from narrow circumstances; for she was well read in the Bible; she thoroughly understood the prayers and the doctrines of her own church, and had a sufficient knowledge of the various modes in which others professed the Christian faith,—to feel charity for all, and respect for many. She had likewise read the history of the Jews, that of her own country, and as much of the Greek and Roman as enabled her to converse with her father on the subjects to which he occasionally referred, relative to those extraordinary people. She was likewise conversant in Thomson's Seasons, Goldsmith's Deserted Village, and Gray's Poems; had read three volumes of the Spectator, one of the Rambler, and all Tillotson's Sermons. To this stock of erudition, which however humble it may appear to those more highly favoured, had left a mind of native strength and energy by no means poorly endowed, she added a knowledge of her needle above the common standard; she had an excellent ear, and sung and read with singular sweetness and fluency; she wrote a neat hand; understood her own language, and was not ignorant of Latin; to which it may be added, that she understood sufficient mineralogy, botany, and natural philosophy, to render her entertaining to her father, and useful to her mother; but as these were endowments received in the way of chit-chat, it never entered the mind of Agnes to class them amongst her attainments. In the circle of her own parish there were a few young women similarly instructed by her father, or other friends; so that her mind was neither left to the dangerous contemplation of its own superiority, which is often the case in secluded situations; nor, as she saw no one superior to her, was she led to repine at their advantages, or sink under the consciousness of humiliating inferiority. Hence arose a proper estimation of herself, a solidity of character, a temperance, propriety, and self-possession, which combined with deep and fervent piety, unaffected sensibility, and true modesty, rendered her not less estimable than engaging, and promised that the virtuous woman would succeed to the duteous and tender daughter.

At the period we now speak of, it was not so much the fashion as at present to explore the beauties of the mountain scenery of Cumberland; and the remote village where Mr. Rumney held the "noiseless tenor of his way," lay too far from the more striking objects sought in the tour of the lakes to have awaked curiosity, though it boasted many singular beauties; and the inhabitants of Newkirkdale knew nothing more of the lords and ladies, artists and virtuosi, who visited Keswick and Paterdale now and then, than what was transmitted to them from thence on market days and fairs, where the good pastor and his wife occasionally went for the necessary supply of such things as could not be procured elsewhere. At the distance of about five miles was a gentleman's seat; but it was seldom visited by the owners above once in three or four years, when they came for the purpose of grouse shooting; but which visits generally afforded a little treat to Mr. Rumney, as the 'squire ever treated him with respect, and generally brought him a present of some books, which was the most welcome one he could receive; and on these occasions Mrs. Rumney generally became possessor of a dozen or two of wine, which was carefully hoarded as a kind of parish-stock, to which every sick person might look in her vicinity, as long as there was any left: for as the good priest was the spiritual father of his flock, considering their joys, sorrows, unions, and differences, as his own immediate care,—so his pious and worthy partner, according to her utmost ability, left nothing undone that could contribute to their welfare. To her little stock of superfluities they all looked in the hour of want, and to her knowledge in that of suffering; her kindness was their comfort, and her skill their consolation; and, of course, her joys were their joys, and her sorrows were their afflictions. When the pastor's crop failed, the poorest parishioner he had found a sheaf for his minister's barn; when his lambs died, every shepherd around rejoiced when his ewes produced twins, because it furnished an excuse for offering one to his worship.

The inhabitants of this part of England enjoy a degree of equality unknown to any other; and which, though it prevents the accumulation of property in the degree it is generally diffused over the island, yet prevents also much poverty, and the evils arising from servility; the land is almost universally held by a kind of little gentry, who being owners, not farmers, enjoy all the independence of country 'squires, though they are often nearly as poor as their cottagers; these call themselves statesmen—the eldest son is sole heir—and it is by no means uncommon to find them residents on the very spot where their fathers have lived since before the Conquest; and it is their pride to persist, as far as they are able, in all the customs which prevailed in the days of their forefathers—a circumstance inimical to improvement, but beneficial to morals; for as the annals of a family transmit naturally the most favourable side of its character, so the present possessor is called upon to preserve, unimpaired, the good faith, integrity, or religious disposition of his forefathers; and becomes bound to certain restraints on his passions, which cannot fail to be beneficial to himself, and furnish an example to his children and neighbours of the greatest utility. And as the native good sense and vigorous intellect of men, soberly exercised, lead them to consider what is really good in that which increasing civilization offers to their attention, it may be fairly inferred, that the Cumberland and Westmoreland little landholders do not reject many essential advantages at this day, by adhering to the practice of their fathers, whilst they retain a considerable portion of their real good from their amiable partiality.

Amongst the principal blessings thus derived, may be considered the universality of learning; at least such a portion of it as we have assigned to Agnes. In every family the Bible is read, and commented upon by the master or mistress of the house; and as much of profane history understood as is connected with it, and tends to cast light upon it; and to this is usually added a knowledge of local history, connected with that of the country. A taste for poetry is prevalent also, by a natural analogy with the minds of a people, who inhabiting a sublime and picturesque country, often the seat of the border warfare, and still subject to feudal tenures, circumstances which all have a tendency to inspire the mind with images of beauty, terror, and interest, which constitute the very best essence of poetry, and give it the power of delighting the imagination without corrupting the heart.

To return from a digression which, we trust, was not useless, since it serves to help many a wanderer from these sequestered glades, to recal to their minds, and, I trust, their affections, the simple people they have left behind; and those who have not been acquainted with them, to contemplate a new order in society, which, however remote from their own circle, can never be contemptible or unworthy their notice; we proceed to say, that during the autumn, when Agnes Rumney had completed her nineteenth year, the gentleman in question visited his seat, after an absence of four years, accompanied by several friends from the south, and having, amongst other inmates, a young artist of great abilities, who came into this country for the purpose of taking sketches of the romantic scenery it so profusely exhibits.

Mr. Rumney, on his visit to the great house, returned under the pleasing impression refined society never fails to give the mind calculated for enjoying it, when but rarely admitted to the intellectual feast; but he dwelt more on the pleasure the young artist's society had given him than on all the rest; his wit, his eloquence, the variety of his information, the versatility of his manners, the brilliancy of his imagination, the sublimity of his conceptions,—all were by turns the theme of the good man's praise; and Agnes and her mother listened till they partook his enthusiasm, and ardently desired to become acquainted with this extraordinary stranger.

Their wishes were gratified much sooner than they expected, for Mr. Lewis, the artist, having been much pleased with the simplicity, sanctity, and good sense of the Cumberland divine—and being subject to pursue, with enthusiasm, whatever had the power to attract him—and to admire or despise, love or hate, whatever lay in his path—paid Mr. Rumney an early visit, desiring to be led by him into some of those scenes where he could pursue his delightful avocation; after spending some hours of which, he would return to partake his dinner.

The master of the house heard this with pleasure; the mistress, on "hospitable thoughts intent," ran to apprise Agnes of the expected guest, and they united in straining every nerve to add to the comforts of their plain but hospitable table. Mr. Lewis was charmed with all he saw, but especially with Agnes,—the delight he felt he communicated; for the brilliance of his conversation exceeded even what it had done in a higher circle; and Mr. Rumney, perhaps flattered by that circumstance, exclaimed, the moment after he had shook hands at parting with him, "Well, what do you say to this wonderful young man? Have you ever seen any thing like him?"

"Never," returned his wife; "but still I liked him best when he took the children on his knee, and told them about his pranks and misfortunes when he was a little one."

"That was natural enough for you, my love; but he has pleased me more than any thing, by explaining those peculiarities in perspective, which have so often puzzled me when ascending the mountains."

"I liked him the best," said Agnes, timidly, "when, at the very moment he was quoting that fine passage of poetry, at the name of mother, his own seemed to cross his mind, his eyes filled with tears, and he was unable to proceed; for then I felt that, surprising and clever as he is, his heart felt just as my own would have done at such a sad remembrance."

"Bless thee, my bonny bairn," said the mother, tenderly kissing her; "his mother, with all the joy she must once have had in such a son, could not be happier than I am in my Aggy."

Mr. Lewis's visit was soon renewed, and in a short time he became almost a constant inmate in the family; and as the timidity of Agnes gave way, and he discovered the abilities that she possessed, it was evident that he became more pleased with her conversation than even her person, which was uncommonly attractive, though less striking to an inhabitant than a stranger; as in her neighbourhood almost every woman is delicately fair, and elegantly formed; but there was something in the unpretending good sense, the artless propriety, and dignified submission, which marked the conduct of Agnes in every action of her life, added to the compassionate tenderness and lively devotion, which was occasionally exhibited in her conduct, that struck the feelings and attached the heart of Mr. Lewis. He had spent much time amongst the great, the gay, and the accomplished,—where his various talents, elegant manners, and fine person, had attracted their attention, and induced them to call forth all their powers of pleasing, since every person is anxious to be appreciated by those they consider proficients or judges; but he had never yet met with a young woman at once so simple and so wise as Agnes; and he yielded with his accustomed submission to the prevailing impulse, to the passion which she had inspired, and which it was not difficult to awaken in her, being already prepossessed in his favour.

With an open countenance and ingenuous heart, Lewis honourably confessed to his reverend friend, that his paternal fortune was small, and nearly consumed by the unavoidable expences contracted in pursuing his art,—that he believed he had not, since the loss of his parents, conducted his affairs with all the prudence in the world,—and that he was subject to impetuosity of temper, which sometimes hurried him into extravagances he afterwards repented of, and follies he despised; "but," he added, "I have a heart capable of unbounded tenderness, of sublime devotion, and deep contrition. Thank God, my nature is undebased by vicious propensity; my name unstained by reproach; my errors have been the errors of genius; and have a claim on the mercy of all who know how to estimate the peculiarities attached to it."

The frankness and humility of confession never fail to interest the heart; and there was little doubt but the rector gave full credit to his young friend for all that was most amiable in his conduct, in this;—and the consciousness that he had not a shilling in the world to give his daughter, induced him to believe that it would ill become him to make any remarks on pecuniary matters;—lightly as Mr. Lewis thought of his own property, it appeared wealth in the eyes of the good man, who had never possessed half so much in his life; and as he had heard him spoken of at the hall as a man of prodigious genius, who would be an honour to his country, and had actually beheld him receive a sum of money for one picture, equal to his whole income, he could not form any idea of want being attached to his daughter's future situation, and concluded this indirect method of reassuring his mind on a subject for which he felt no fears, was amongst the eccentricities which, in despite of his affection, he had sometimes painfully contemplated in his amiable young friend.

But on other subjects the good man felt it a duty to be more explicit; he had many conversations with Mr. Lewis on morals and religion; on all of which the young man spoke with an air of lively animation and deep interest—as one that felt all the beauty of virtue, and the excellence of Christianity:—"'Tis true," said the pastor, as relating these conversations to his anxious wife, "he does not enter into particular disquisitions on lesser points quite so much as I could wish; but I impute this to the difficulty of restraining that soaring fancy and ardent spirit, which naturally mingles its sublime rhapsodies with the contemplation of divine things in the mind of a man of genius, and prevents him from stooping in all things to the letter of the law; by inspiring him with more noble conceptions, more exalted views of the excellence of our holy religion, and the beauty of truth, than minds of a common cast are favoured with."

Mrs. Rumney's mind, though sensible, acute, and vigorous, had been so long under the complete guidance of her husband, through whose more cultivated intellect, as a faithful medium, she looked on every object; that it was no wonder she saw as he did, in an instance where her affections, like his own, were drawn forcibly towards one, who appeared not only calculated to make her daughter happy, but to raise her to that station of life they naturally concluded their beloved child was calculated to adorn; and where it was probable her good example might be efficacious to others, and not unlikely that her acquaintance with that world to which they were nearly strangers, might enable her, in various ways, to benefit the younger branches of their still increasing family: under these united considerations, therefore, they bestowed Agnes on the young man, in the fullest confidence of her happiness; perceiving that she was most tenderly attached to him, and that she looked up to him with that veneration for his wisdom, and admiration of his talents, which they thought the proper characteristics of a wife's affection; whilst on his part there was a sentiment of love so nearly approaching to idolatry for her, that the worthy pastor would have thought it a subject for his severe reprehension; since in his opinion, which was ever regulated by the word of God, "inordinate affection," even for the most amiable human being, was in a degree sinful; but he concluded that this sensation was a part of that enthusiasm which was inseparable from true genius; he was therefore induced to smile at that in his son-in-law which he would have condemned in another.

For a short time after the marriage of Agnes, the young couple continued to reside in the parsonage, in order to enable Mr. Lewis to finish a set of sketches he was taking from the surrounding scenery. This period was the holiday of Agnes's life; she accompanied her beloved husband on his various little expeditions for distant views; she explored with him the wild dale, and traced the meandering rivulet, climbed the towering mountain, and gazed on the beauteous vale below, while with a painter's eye, and poet's tongue, he led her from one object of interest to another; expatiating on their beauties, explaining their use in the great scale of creation, and finally, glorifying the Almighty hand so eminently visible in scenes like these. From the humble rill that trickled down the pendant rock, to the proud lake that stretched its ample mirror through the broadest valley; from the grassy hillock to the lofty mountain, his comprehensive glance pervaded whatever was beautiful and grand; and felt in all,

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair.—— ——

The native refinement, and energy of his young and pliant wife, soon enabled her to partake with no common fervour the elegant and sublime enthusiasm which affected his mind; but yet she was neither so delighted by the raptures thus awakened, nor so dazzled by the brilliance of powers thus displayed, as not to be conscious that the different hours, and more expensive habits of her husband, rendered their residence at her father's inconvenient and improper; and painful as it was to leave a home so dear, she by no means sought to protract her stay beyond the appointed time; though she left it with a degree of solicitude for future life, which until this time had never clouded her humble views, or troubled her contented bosom.


In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.


Mr. Lewis was the only surviving son of a gentleman, who had nearly expended a fine fortune in mechanical pursuits, which he had not the steadiness to follow so as to bring any single object to perfection, though he evinced powers sufficient to have fully effected that purpose. His son had received the education suitable for a liberal profession, but a direction of mind too desultory for any, until his seventeenth year, when he professed himself determined on embracing that of a painter, a desire perfectly consonant to the wishes of his father, who obtained for him every aid his profession required; but at the same time, by instilling the belief that on his genius alone he must depend for future fame and fortune, defeated in a great measure the benefits he bestowed, in providing his talents the means of cultivation; since his son was thereby encouraged to neglect that application necessary in every profession, and taught to rest on fortuitous means of producing that which is the reward of well-exerted efforts and unwearied application of appropriate talents. The father died very soon after the son's choice of a profession was settled, leaving his affairs in a state of so much derangement that his widow, who had ever been a most affectionate wife and tender mother, was literally harassed to death with settling them: she had, however, the satisfaction of paying all his debts, reducing his scattered property to a tangible shape, and leaving her son in actual possession of about two thousand pounds, with which she hoped he would be enabled to set out advantageously in life, being assured by all who knew him that he was a young man of the most promising talents, and being happy in the persuasion that he had an excellent disposition, and was not subject to any vicious propensity whatever.

Young Lewis sincerely loved and lamented both his parents; but he neither took warning from the errors into which one had fallen, from following blindly a pursuit praiseworthy in itself, but ruinous to him, from his mismanagement and mutability, nor followed the advice and example of the other, by estimating his own right of expenditure and powers of improvement. Rash, impetuous, and enthusiastic—yet generous, affectionate, and ingenuous; he was perpetually led into the commission of follies which he repented and despised, but whose recurrence he adopted no stable means of preventing;—from attributing them to weakness immediately connected with that superiority in himself, of which he felt too proud to examine minutely its claims to his partiality, or even his right to the distinction thus arrogated; and as it served as an apology for idleness at some times, extravagance at others, and eccentricity in all,—as it had been ceded to him by his father, allowed him by his companions, and was the attribute most dear to him in others,—he indulged himself in believing that he was influenced in all he did by possessing genius.

This suppositious power did not, however, prevent the young man from knowing, that it was by common application and regular study he had become master of all that which was indeed estimable in his attainments; and so long as the period lasted, in which he placed himself under the direction of others, his progress was striking; for his application was truly that of vigorous intellect, and a noble contempt of surrounding difficulties;—but when to the cares of his profession were added those of his worldly affairs, and the possibility of turning his knowledge to profit, he manifested a carelessness amounting to folly, and an ignorance of which a school-boy might blush; and from his scorn of trifles, and neglect of petty cares, was continually subject to serious inconveniences, and in time to alarming calamities.

At the time of his marriage, Mr. Lewis was about four and twenty; and considering his youth, was in possession of a considerable degree of public favour;—but as he had embraced landscape painting, (a branch of the art slow in the fame it bestows, and by no means lucrative until that fame is established), it was necessary to husband his little patrimony with prudence, unless he encreased it by the ordinary method—that of teaching; but there was, according to his apprehension, a degradation in this mode of applying his talents unworthy of him, as a man of genius. He therefore applied himself exclusively to painting; and professing himself devoted to his art, conceived, with all the ardour natural to his years and character, that success must ultimately crown his labours, more especially as he had made considerable progress in his father's studies, possessed a fine taste for poetry, and had spent much of his time in the composition of an epic poem, from which he promised himself the highest honours.

But, alas! between the pen and the pencil, each applied to by turns, but neither with effect, month after month glided on, and Agnes never perceived that the labours of her husband actually produced any money. For some time she forbore to make any remarks, or express any wishes on the subject, since all her modest wants were more liberally supplied than she desired; but as she found that all their expenditure arose from a principle which was, by the confession of her husband, fast waning to a close, she became extremely anxious to see those talents, on which she had so often meditated with delight, produce something like the harvest so long promised, especially as she was become the mother of a boy, whom his father beheld with great delight and affection, and whom, from his partiality to the painter of that name, he christened Ludovico Carracci.

They now removed from the northern counties, where they had hitherto resided, to Manchester, as a place of great importance for its wealth, and where the talents of a respectable artist were likely to meet with that encouragement not to be expected in a more secluded situation. Mr. Lewis regarded his long residence among the mountains as a period of study in Nature's best academy, and considered this the outset of his professional career: he had obtained many valuable introductions to various wealthy inhabitants, and his hopes were so sanguine, that even the consciousness that he had not more than fifty pounds in the world left, to provide for daily increasing expenditure, failed to affect his spirits, or cast a cloud on his brow.

He was well received at Manchester by those to whom he looked as future patrons; the specimens of his talents exhibited in his rooms were much admired; some were bought, others ordered; and Agnes partook the happiness she had hoped for, though she lamented the expence incurred from residing in a place, where the means of living were so much more expensive than she had ever known them; she however applied herself with double diligence to the management of their household concerns, and endeavoured to supply by frugality the difference in their expenditure.

But now was the time of trial—hitherto Mr. Lewis had followed the bent of his inclination, as it directed his studies, or made those studies his amusement; he was now called upon, (as every man is, more or less), to obey the will of others, and submit to certain privations, for certain rewards: the desultory life he had so long led, his habit of placing Genius at the helm of his thoughts, and indulging in the belief of its all controlling power, without, examining how far caprice, idleness, and folly assumed its name, either in his own mind or that of others, precluded him from every solid advantage offered to him; pursuing the dictates of this suppositious impulse, he scorned every other: the pictures ordered were frequently never touched, or if painted, were not according to the wishes of their owners; they never were finished to any given time, and it frequently happened, that a picture, on which all his hopes of subsistence depended, was abandoned entirely, whilst he composed couplets, meant to garnish the corner of a newspaper, wasted his time in the perusal of a new novel, or with more apparent wisdom, but to equal loss, pursued some mechanical speculation, or learned hypothesis. If any person, who either felt for him that friendship his manners seldom failed to inspire, or was really interested in his speedy conclusion of the work then on his easel, presumed to remonstrate with him on this unfortunate misapplication of his time, he never failed to insist upon "the utter impossibility of binding minds of a superior class to common rules;" gave a thousand instances in which men of genius had acted in the same eccentric manner; declared that the moment of inspiration must be employed, but cannot be pressed into the service of art; and that the independence of his mind should never yield to the shackles which the restraints of prudence threw over souls of a more vulgar mould and meaner destination.

The total negligence of the wishes of his patrons was particularly disgusting to the wealthy merchants and manufacturers of Manchester, who, used to regularity in all their proceedings, and seldom educated in a manner that could make them comprehend the nature of that mental labour, which is in fact the life of the art, viewed his errors with too much austerity, and aggravated the fault, which appeared the greater, because, in opposition to their own mode of action, they condemned him, not more than he despised them. After three years' residence he left Manchester, with a determination never more to reside in a manufacturing town, and set out for York, taking with him a wife, and three little children, who left a place with regret where they had experienced much personal kindness, and where Agnes had seen, that, with common prudence, it was very possible, not only to live in comfort, but to secure an ample independence.

A very short time served to convince Mrs. Lewis, that if the evils of narrow-minded tradesmen were severely felt in their late residence, the narrow purses of gentry, living for the most part on stated incomes, were likely to be more severely felt at the present; but she had some consolation from the cheapness of the place, and from perceiving the kind consideration with which her husband was treated by people of real superiority. Lewis, for his part, was delighted; he now found himself amongst kindred souls, and felt as if he was now for the first time brought into that world which he was formed to enjoy and to embellish; every where courted, invited, and admired, his presence seemed necessary to enliven every party, and to give zest to every enjoyment; for as he was known to be a man of family, as well as a man of genius, every house in York was open to receive him; and literary acquaintance, lively friends, and admiring amateurs, surrounded him on every side; while agreeable invitations poured in from every quarter.

But in this agreeable round of engagements all employment was suspended, and for a time all painting was forgotten; unfortunately the interesting antiquities, the fine cathedral, and many local advantages of York, awoke admiration, which affected him rather as a Poet than a Painter; and every solitary ramble and unengaged hour were given to the composition of poetry. By degrees this pursuit gained still more ground, and with the true spirit of a poet he withdrew from all company, abandoned every other pursuit, and wrapt in the sublime contemplation of the past, became completely absorbed in this single subject: so that at the time when the city was filling with company, who might have been really beneficial to him, and to whom it was the intention of his new friends to introduce him, he was so distracted with the thoughts of being torn from his loved employment, that he hastily fled from the city, took refuge in a distant farmhouse, and determined to live in the closest retirement, till he had accomplished his task, which was writing an Epic Poem, entitled "Constantine the Great."

During the time when he had been visiting in York, though admired and caressed by all, his wife and infants had lived in a solitary lodging, where with melancholy forebodings, she had endeavoured to keep up her spirits in the hope of better times, and by every method of the most self-denying economy, delay the approach of want. As, however, it was impossible to avoid running in debt for mere necessaries, her anxiety became more distressing, and her creditors were so urgent for payment, when her husband thus incautiously forsook her, leaving her a message to follow him, without reflecting on the necessity of settling their affairs, that she was obliged to compromise in the best manner she was able, by disposing of all the little furniture they had brought with them, and the greatest part of her husband's books. This circumstance was quickly spread—their credit was universally blasted; and when the poem was finished, and the author presented it under the idea of a liberal subscription being entered upon for it, which would doubtless have been the case three months before, he found from the bookseller, that he was universally regarded in York as an idle, dissipated man, who ran into debt he had no means of discharging, and exposed his wife and innocent children to bear the brunt of misfortune and the sufferings of poverty.

Stung more with the injustice of this sentence than the truth it contained, since he conceived that the very people who pronounced it were those who, on his arrival, had made him idle and dissipated, and now when by incessant application he had redeemed his character abandoned him without mercy, he hastily repaired to his unhappy wife, declaring that he would instantly fly to the metropolis, where alone he could publish his poem, and where genius never failed to meet with patrons, whose wealth and liberality ensured the success due to superior talent.

This scheme was found impracticable; the utmost limits of their power only enabled them to proceed to Leeds, where they were obliged to take a poor lodging, which, in the course of a week, was exchanged for one still poorer, and where the infant poor Agnes now nursed at her breast, (affected by the suppressed, but bitter grief of its unhappy mother), soon breathed its last—the victim of sorrow and imprudence.

Over the corpse of his youngest darling the father shed many a heartfelt tear; but the mother's sacrifice, though lamented, was more easily resigned. As soon as she was somewhat recovered from the shock, she earnestly looked around for some employment which should enable her to assist in providing for her family; and having lodged in the house of a glover during her residence in York, and being ever of an observant turn, and remarkably quick with her needle, she determined on making gloves for sale, and had provided herself with the means of carrying this purpose into effect, when her husband, on perceiving her intention, reprobated it in the severest manner, as a means of injuring him in his profession, and precluding him from appearing in the light of a gentleman.

"But our children want bread, my dear Lewis!" This appeal overwhelmed the wretched man with so severe an agony, that Agnes resolved to comply, apparently at least, with his wishes. She soothed his sorrows, praised his poem, predicted its success, and finally persuaded him to resume his habits of sketching, and preparing a few pictures, though she almost dreaded their finishing, knowing that the expence of providing frames was utterly out of her power. During the hours he was in the house, she applied herself to household concerns, and to instructing her two little boys; but the moment he went out she flew to the business she had adopted; and by dint of incessant labour, and that quickness which practice supplies, she was enabled to find food, though very coarse food, for herself and children,—ever making an excuse to their father, on his return, for having dined without him, and providing something more palatable for him, which she was under the necessity of purchasing from the sale of her clothes, or entreating the butcher to trust her. Lewis returned to the study of nature with increasing avidity; became again a painter; and so long as no one troubled him with claims for money he could not produce, was perfectly easy how his boys were fed or clothed; their smiles were delightful to him, and every display of talent they evinced transported him; but of their real comforts or their future destination he either thought not at all, or when, by some pressing circumstance, forced to think, he shrunk from with a weakness that enervated, or self-reproach that overwhelmed him.

By degrees the artist emerged from the obscurity that attended his first appearance at Leeds; and a bookseller having permitted his pictures to be hung in his shop, was so fortunate as to dispose of two of them. This circumstance renovated the spirits of Lewis; he took better lodgings immediately; replenished his wardrobe; increased his stock of materials; sent his eldest son to school; and considerably extended his credit with various new tradesmen;—but he neglected to pay those who had trusted him, and whom he thus made his enemies, to the sincere grief and mortification of his wife, whose utmost endeavours could not enable her to repay them; for as he was now much at home, it was impossible for her to carry on her employment with effect, especially as she was again likely to increase her family, and her second son was a very delicate boy, and occupied much of her attention. Many a heartbreaking sigh did she breathe over him, under the distressing idea that the hardships to which he had been exposed, in consequence of their poverty, had prayed upon his constitution; for notwithstanding all that may be said, and with truth, respecting the healthiness of poor people's children, yet it will not be found that scanty meals and long protracted fasts produce firm flesh and ruddy looks,—and Agnes well remembered that her boys at Manchester were blessed with both, and her heart sickened at the present contrast; but she endeavoured in all her sorrows to look up to her heavenly Father for consolation and strength, and as far as it was possible to lead her poor babes to the same celestial fountain;—and many a time did the little boys, kneeling on each side of their prostrate mother, with clasped hands and devout looks, listen to her fervent prayers for their welfare and that of their beloved father, who at some times fervently partook of their devotions, but never without evidently suffering so much, that the tender heart of his partner almost shrunk from witnessing emotions, which she perceived were indications of sensibility, unaccompanied by resolution, and unattended by reform; since from time to time he suffered every opportunity for really benefitting himself and family to escape, either from a carelessness which lost the time for securing employment, a haughtiness which rejected it, or what was prejudicial in the highest degree, a versatility in the application of his talents, which, while it evinced his real superiority, prevented every effect that might have been expected. After three years' residence in a rich, populous, and hospitable town, Agnes found herself again with a babe at her breast, her second son in his coffin, and her eldest pale, emaciated, and weeping by her side, without money to procure support for the one or interment for the other,—surrounded by creditors she could not satisfy, and far distant from all her natural connections,—yet forced to urge the instant departure of her dejected husband, lest every pang she felt should be aggravated by seeing him dragged to a long-threatened prison.


But why should I his childish feats display?
Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fled,
Nor cared to mingle in the clamorous fray
Of squabbling imps — —— ——


Ludovico was at this period nearly eight years old; he was tall of his age, but extremely slender; his face was very pale, but his black eyes were full of intelligence; and the brown hair, which hung in clustering curls on his forehead, gave him, notwithstanding his wan looks and shabby clothes, the air of a child who has seen better days—especially as his face and the collar of his shirt were always clean; and from being used to ramble much with his father, he had acquired grace and agility in his gait, and the air of a gentleman in his whole deportment.

His temper, when a mere child, had been impetuous; and he inherited from his father a quickness of conception, that frequently led him to discover and resent imagined injury; but at the same time he was so warmly attached to all around him, so open to conviction, and so truly sorry for having given offence to any human being, so anxious to make reparation for error, and so grateful for its acceptance, that although he often did wrong, he never continued in disgrace;—but as his mother well knew that a life spent in erring and atoning is inconsistent and useless, it was her particular object so to controul this error in early life, that it might never impede his happiness, or obstruct his progress in virtue, beyond the days of infancy; and so wisely had she applied her tender cares to this purpose that, at the period we speak of, a child more amiable, docile, and tractable, could not be found; although his vivacity was still great, and his powers of mind, either as evinced by fortitude or perseverance, very extraordinary, except when bowed down, as at present, by severe affliction: for severe indeed was the stroke which separated him from a brother, whom he not only loved as such with the tenderest affection, but who had been the only companion he had ever known; the poverty which had hung over him having shut him from the houses of the rich, and the refinement naturally imbibed from parents like his, together with the cares of his mother, having rendered it impossible for him to associate with children of a lower class, from whom, during the short period he was at school, he had been accustomed to receive much insult, on account of the difficult pronunciation of his name, which had therefore only tended to render him still fonder of a brother who was similarly situated, and who was likewise so meek-tempered, and so fond of him, that, in all their childish sports and various competitions, there was never found a disposition to quarrel with each other; for Ludovico was not more inclined to take the lead, than Raphael to give it to him.

Such was the boy, who, after lamenting many hours, as one that "refused to be comforted," over the dead body of his beloved brother, witnessed the still severer pang which his mother felt, when emptying her little purse of the few hard-earned shillings which remained, she put them into the hands of his father, and besought him to take advantage of the night and hasten out of the country, ere the law should seize him. The bitter sorrow visible in his countenance, as he glanced his eye over the wretched apartment he was quitting, arrested that of Ludovico; he watched its pathetic expression as pursuing each object of love and interest; it regarded first the coffin of the departed child—then the cradle of the sleeping babe—his own swollen face, and weeping eyes—and lastly, the wasted form and pallid countenance of his mother, on which it rested with an expression of sorrow that seemed to concentrate all human misery.

The boy flew into his father's arms; he sobbed convulsively upon his bosom; he felt as if his very heart was breaking. "My poor fellow!" said Lewis, struggling with himself; "my dear boy! do not give way to this sorrow; remember it is your duty to exert yourself for your mother's sake; I leave her to your care, Ludovico; she has now no other comforter; remember that, my dear, my only son." The father pressed him to his heart, and fled.

"We have a Comforter above," said his mother, approaching the bewildered and overpowered boy; "and to that Comforter we must both look, my son; but you know we can only have a right to do so, by controlling our immoderate grief. It is natural that you should mourn for Raphael—that you should lament parting with your father at such a time of affliction; for our blessed Lord himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus; but you know, Ludovico, he did not indulge in affliction, he did not increase the sorrows, in which he sympathised, by his own excess."

Ludovico promised to subdue his grief, and he sought divine assistance; then turning to his mother, he said, "Oh, mother! if I could indeed help you, I should be happy even now,—I feel I should."

"You will help and comfort me most at present, by endeavouring to sleep, my child. My fears for your health outweigh every other."

Ludovico kissed her, and crept to his solitary bed, which, though the night was far advanced, he had feared to visit, from a consciousness that it would renew his sorrow; but his recent agitation had spent itself, and a ray of hope that he was yet capable of assisting and comforting his mother, solaced his mind; and in a long and ardent prayer, he poured out his heart to Him that "despiseth not the day of small things," after which he sunk into a sound and refreshing slumber, and which, though not a long one, renewed his strength. Hearing uncommon noises in the streets, he recollected that it was a great fair; and concluded that, though early, it was better to rise, and collect the various thoughts which he well remembered had occupied his mind the morning before.

On entering the sitting-room, he perceived his poor mother sitting just as he had left her; and though she had now his little sister in her arms, yet it was plain, from the appearance of her work-table, that she had been sitting up all night making gloves, and he doubted not it was with the intention of disposing of them in the fair. After an affectionate salutation to her and the babe, and one tender look towards the melancholy corner which contained the loved remains of his brother, he busied himself with looking up several articles that were scattered round the room, but with an air of such quietness that his mother fancied he was attaching some little mystery to his employment, and rejoicing that he was going to adopt any means of dissipating his distress, she appeared not to regard him, but fixed her eyes attentively on her nursling, whilst Ludovico, having collected various necessaries for drawing, which had naturally become his chief employment, and had ever been his favourite amusement, sat himself down on the floor opposite to her.

One party absorbed in deep and sorrowful reflections, the other in great but not hopeless solicitude; both were silent for a considerable time: at length Mrs. Lewis said, "Come, child, you have been up near two hours; get your breakfast."

"Presently, mother; I have nearly finished my picture, but cannot move till I have done it."

In about ten minutes Ludovico arose, and presented to his mother, a coarse but not ill-conceived picture of herself and the babe, which she approved of very much, though she pointed out some improvements which he readily adopted; then dispatching his breakfast in great haste, but not till he had prevailed on his mother to take hers also, he resumed his employment: and as his celerity increased by practice, in the middle of the day he found that he had made six pictures of his mother upon as many half sheets of paper, and he now began to mount them upon press paper, which he begged from the master of the lodgings, who was a clothier, and used it in the pressing of his cloth; having done this he drew lines round them, which he filled with Indian ink, and thus finished them in a tidy manner: but all this was accompanied with the same air of secrecy with which it was begun; and scarcely could the afflicted mother refuse a smile at the important and mysterious air assumed by her industrious boy, whom she had ever encouraged in pursuing whatever he engaged in with perseverance and ardour, as the never-failing means of ultimate success.

In the course of the afternoon the person whom she had engaged to take her little parcel of gloves came for them; and as she was not quite prepared, Ludovico stepped out unperceived while she detained the person. After this business was over, she was somewhat surprised that he did not return, but concluding that he was trying to get more press-paper from the master of the house, was not sorry for an absence that would be beneficial to him; but when evening came, and upon enquiry she found that he had not been below, and was certainly out of the house, she became extremely uneasy, and felt more bitterly than ever the full extent of her wretched situation—thus trebly bereft of her comforts.

During all the distress which Mrs. Lewis had experienced since she left the happy though humble roof of her father, she had never yet acquainted her parents with more of her real situation than was absolutely necessary, feeling that to make them further informed of her unhappiness, would be only increasing their burthen without lightening her own; though she was well aware that the utmost relief they could render her would be speedily accorded. It now struck her that her poor boy, deprived of the company of his brother, would be placed to the greatest advantage under the roof of his grandfather, who, she doubted not, would afford him the protection he so much wanted at this time; and she was debating in her own mind on the necessity of the step, and struggling to overcome the dread she felt of parting with a child so inexpressibly dear, when the door was suddenly opened by Ludovico, who, with an air of wildness in his countenance, ran to the spot where she sat, fell on his knees before her, and laying his face on her lap, burst into tears,—at the same time seizing her hand, which he devoured with kisses, he placed in it a crown piece, and two shillings.

"My child! my dear boy! who gave you this money?"

"Oh, mother! mother! I have sold them all,—all my pictures. At first I was sadly ashamed when I went out and stood in the market-place; but as people came to me and asked me what I would take for them, I said a shilling a-piece; so two women came and bought each one; and then a man, who sold toys, came and put this crown in my hand, and took the other four away with him, and told me to paint a dozen more before next Tuesday, and he would buy them all—and—and—is not this good news, mother?"

"Indeed, my love, it is; but why do you cry, Ludovico?"

"Oh, mother, I cannot help it: yesterday I was so very unhappy because poor Raphael was dead; and father and you looked so unhappy I could not help wishing it would please God to take me too, and I cried for exceeding great sorrow; but now I feel as if I had much rather live and be a comfort to you; and now I have sold my little pictures, it has made me so happy I feel my heart swelling quite full, very full of joy."

Again the boy wept, and his mother straining him to her fond heart, which rose to heaven in silent gratitude for such a gift, wept also.

After a long pause, Ludovico recovering serenity, chearfully said, "Who knows, dear mother, but I have a genius, and may one day be a great man? I am sure if I have, I shall always thank God for giving it to me, for your sake and the baby's, and poor father's sake too. Oh, I wish that Raphael had lived, if it had only been till to-day, that he might have felt as I do just now."

Agnes was loth to repress the generous hopes and ennobling enthusiasm which, at this moment, so evidently enlivened the heart of her amiable child; but she felt it her duty to impress, in this hour of awakened feeling—this early outset in the life of a child forced by circumstances to premature reflexion and exertion, the necessity of justly estimating his own powers, and the nature of the path he seemed appointed to tread. Taking both his hands in hers, as he still knelt at her feet, with a look of great tenderness but deep solemnity, she said, "My dear child, God has given to you and to all men talents; by the prudent and persevering, who not only use but improve them, every thing really desirable may always be attained; but without industry, and the proper application of that industry, no natural gift can possibly avail them. Therefore, though it is only just and right that you should thank God for enabling you to be of use to your parents, and praise Him, who is indeed the giver of every good and perfect gift; seeking with humility and diligence for his blessing on your endeavours, and his direction in all your pursuits; yet remember, it is foolish and presumptuous to expect success, even in a good cause, otherwise than as he has appointed; and it is his will that we attain all real advantages, both for this world and that which is to come, by earnestly endeavouring to obtain them by vigilance."

"But then what does my father mean, by saying so often that Genius conquers all things; and tells me about so many great men who had Genius?"

"The great men he speaks of, having a decided preference for some particular art or science, pursued with unceasing diligence every means which was likely to contribute to their attainment: this preference is called taste, and united with this perseverance, it produced that superiority which became genius. Do you understand me, my dear?"

"Perfectly, mother; for I remember when Raphael was making a kite, he could not do it at all; and as father used to say he was a good child but had no genius, I thought it was of no use to leave off drawing to teach him: but he wanted a kite; and he tried, and tried, till at last he made this pretty one, which I will keep for his sake; and then father said, 'Well, I declare the boy has really a genius for kite-making.' I suppose in general people call a taste, or just having a liking for things, having a genius; but if they think that will do, they are sadly mistaken; I know that by myself. Why, mother, do you know I have been drawing your face and the baby's with pencil only, for many weeks, but I would not waste paint on it till I was quite sure of doing good; because many a time when I have seen father waste things, you have looked so sad and given such deep sighs when nobody heard you but me."

"Yes, my child, 'our Father who is in heaven' heard them; and in teaching you to feel for your mother, proved that the sorrowful sighing of an humble heart ascended not to his mercy-seat in vain: let this be ever your comfort, my child; and in every exertion you make for yourself, remember, that although success may not crown your endeavours, though ever so well exerted, (which is sometimes, though not frequently, the case) that you have an unfailing friend in heaven, who can render your sufferings the means of blessedness, and who never fails to help those who put their trust in him."

This interesting conversation received a dreadful interruption by the entrance of the mistress of the lodging-house, who entered to say, that she had just heard that Mr. Lewis was arrested, and at that moment lodged in the jail at the suit of his taylor; and she added, that as there was now no likelihood that they would be able to pay for their lodgings, she was willing to forgive them the little which was due in arrears, provided they would bury the little boy, and leave the place tomorrow evening.

This dreadful event, long foreseen by Mrs. Lewis, yet not less deplored on that account, for a moment completely overcame her, and she fell back in her chair almost fainting, while Ludovico enquired, with eager and trembling haste, where the wicked men had caught his poor father.

"Wicked! indeed there be no wickedness in peeple seeking their own, as I know of.—Why your father did just as your peeple of genus always do; instead of running away out of the county as he should, knowing as how there was a writ out against him—what does he do? but when he'd got a few miles out a town, an his flutter was gon off as it were, but down he sits afore an old oak tree, and begins to take it down in one of his books; so the foaks az comed to the fair seed him, and they telled those az telled the baileys, who set off and tok him without trouble, only that he begged and prayed of all things—"

"For what did he beg?" cried the wife, starting forward in extreme distress.

"He begged of all things they would let him finish his sketch of the old oak, and shured them it was worth twenty guineas; but I warrant nobody else will say that but some genus like his self;—for my part, I be sorry for you, very sorry; God forbid my Nanny should ever marry sich as he; but we must take care of ourselves; not but if little Lu, Lu, what's his name, ever comes for press-paper, or ought else to our house, he be's heartily welcome; for I will say a nicer, civiller sort of a body than you never darkened my doors; and as to th' master he's a nice man, and quite a bettermore sort of a genteel person; but, dear heart, with all his 'bilities he'll niver get bread, being as how he sticks to nothing as it were."

To the great relief of Mrs. Lewis the good woman, who lamented and scolded in the same breath, now withdrew; and after a long and painful silence at length Ludovico broke it, by saying, "Mother, Mrs. Holmes said the men were not wicked who took my dear father; but surely they were. When he spoke of them yesterday he called them cruel creditors, and hard-hearted wretches, you know."

"Your father was then in a state of severe affliction, and in his apprehension of that misfortune which has actually happened, he spoke with more asperity than was justifiable, which you know we all do when we are either very angry or very sorry, and for which we afterwards see ourselves to blame."

"Then it is not wicked to put him in prison?"

"No, my dear, not wicked, but certainly unkind, and in some cases cruel: but I do not say Mr. Bradley is cruel, though I feel extremely distressed at his conduct; but he has waited a long time for his money, has known that your father has had the power of paying him, but neglected to do it, and these things have vexed him."

"Then he is not a bad man?"

"No, my dear, he is a good man, regular in his own payments, desirous of maintaining his family, and very charitable to the poor; but not being a man of much knowledge, he is not aware of the difficulties which are always found to attend men in your father's profession."

"I will never run in debt," said the boy, thoughtfully; "especially with ignorant people:—it breaks my heart to think my father should sleep by himself in a prison; let us go to him, dear mother."

Mrs. Lewis, as well as her trembling limbs would permit her, put on her bonnet and shawl for that purpose, but, on casting a look towards the coffin, knew not what was best to do. Ludovico read her thoughts.

"Go by yourself, dear mother; I will stay here—I will not leave the room for a moment. I am not afraid to stay with dear Raphael; surely you do not think I am! believing as I do that he is gone to heaven, and that the eye of God is now looking down on us both."

"Thou art my "manna in the wilderness"," said the fond mother clasping him a moment to her breast; and then flying, as well as she was able, to the wretched abode of her more wretched partner, whom she found so completely overpowered by the severity of those reflections which had crowded upon him since his entrance into this melancholy home, as to be actually ill; and dreadfully divided as her heart was between two objects so dear to her, she yet felt it was impossible to forsake her husband, and the night was passed by Ludovico alone in the chamber of death, rendered more melancholy by the mournful certainty that nothing less than a strong necessity for remaining with his afflicted father, whose acute distress he had too often witnessed, would have kept his mother from returning to him.

When Ludovico began to think on his mother, and retrace not only the many excellent precepts with which she had ever stored his mind and that of the dear child who was still his silent companion, he was led to consider her conduct also. "My mother does not sit down and cry over misfortunes only; no, she does all she can to get out of them, and I must do my best too. Suppose I write a letter to beg this person will set my poor father at liberty? or had I not better take my best clothes back to him, it will be something towards the debt, and then next week I shall have done the pictures, and if I have a crown for four, how much shall I get for a dozen?"

As Ludovico had only learnt a very little of accounts from his mother, this sum, though small, was a lesson to him; in settling that, he was led to propose other questions of the same kind, which amused his mind, and in the midst of his calculations he fell asleep, (having had very little the preceding night), nor awoke till the rays of the sun felt warm upon his face, when he arose, and, recollecting his resolutions, prepared all his little powers for a successful attack upon the feelings of his father's creditors; and finding the people of the house were up, he requested their attention to the room he left, and with his own and poor Raphael's cloaths bundled up, was proceeding to the taylor's house with his offering when that person himself entered the door, and by his sudden appearance disconcerted every word of the pathetic appeal poor Ludovico had intended to have made.

"Where's your mother, child?"

"My mother took the babe in her arms, about ten o'clock last night, and went to the prison to my father."

"Bless my soul! is that a coffin?"

"Yes, sir; my poor brother died the day before yesterday, and we must bury him today."

"Sad work this, child. What are you going to do with that bundle? Pawn it, I suppose, hey, child?"

"It is my best cloaths, and poor Raphael's, I was bringing them to you; I hope, sir,—I beg, sir, you will sell them, and let the money help to take my father out of prison."

"And who told you to do this?"

"Nobody told me, but I know my mother will not be angry, for she is always unhappy about debts; and now she is quite, quite wretched because father is in the jail."

"Aye, aye, I see what you want, but I shan't let him out; because for why? I know it'll do him good to stay in a bit, it'll teach him to know what's what: but don't you go for to think I'm hard-hearted, for now I'll tell you what I'll do—I'll find your mother money to bury this poor boy, and you shall have your cloaths to go to the funeral in; and when that's over, come to me, and I shall say something to you."

With these words the taylor brushed away a tear from his eyes, threw some money on the table, and departed, leaving Ludovico uncertain whether he was most grateful for present relief, or vexed at the detention of his father, for whom he felt so much affection, and whose situation appeared to him so dreadful, that he could not help still considering it as cruel and unmerited.


Charity never faileth.

St. Paul.

When poor Mrs. Lewis, accompanied by her son, returned from paying her last duties to the sweet child who had for so long a time been the object of her solicitude, she found the person with whom she had lodged, standing on the outside of her chamber-door, with the babe she had been obliged to consign to her care, ready to deliver it along with her cloaths, but resolute in denying her admittance to her lodgings, which she said were already disposed of to those who could pay for them.

Mrs. Lewis was utterly unable to contend the point; she pressed her little girl to her aching heart, and bent her steps towards her husband's abode, followed by Ludovico, who having in the course of the day visited his father, and conveyed to him his materials for painting, now took up the bundle which contained their united wardrobe, and prepared to follow; at the same time mentioning his engagement with Mr. Bradley, the taylor, with whom he proposed to leave the cloaths he now wore.

His mother, approving his design, accompanied him to the taylor's, who said he was an honest child, and added, "tho' but a little one, I can teach him to cover buttons soon; and if so be as he will promise to be good, I will take him into the house, he shall sleep with my 'prentice, and I will teach him to work for his living, and feed him as if he were my own."

Agnes cast a melancholy look at her child; she dreaded taking him to the receptacle whither she was condemned to go; yet every feeling of long nourished hope sunk at the idea of thus bestowing that child, whose mind she had nurtured, and whose talents she was convinced deserved a far different destination; but when she considered how contaminating is the touch of impurity, she could not help wishing to secure him this humble asylum, from a consciousness that it was far better than the haunts of that abode to which she was doomed. Thanking the honest man for the offer, she turned to Ludovico, who shrinking from the proposal, was now closely pressing to her side.

"What do you say, my dear, to Mr. Bradley's offer?"

"I am much, very much obliged, but I had rather go with you, mother."

"What! to idleness and starvation?" said the taylor.

"No, sir, I shall work very hard: I earned seven shillings yesterday with my own hands; mother knows I did."

Mrs. Lewis explained this to the astonished hearer, adding, that, "notwithstanding his temporary success, she had rather leave him in good hands, fearful of the injury his mind might receive from the associates of the jail."

"Look ye," said the taylor, "I'm not such a fool as not to see, that a boy with his sort of larning, and a better trade than mine at his fingers' ends, should not go for to spend his days at my work-board, neither can I afford to keep him without working; but I'll tell you what I'll do, he shall lodge here, and so long as he can keep himself by his little thingumby pictures, he shall; and when that's done, which I take it'll be very soon, if he'll take to my trade, well and good."

This plan relieved the mother's heart, while it awoke with new force the honest ambition of her son, who pursued his avocation with unremitting diligence, constantly spending the principal part of every day with his parents, and preparing his little pictures for sale, in which he soon became so expert, that the man who had employed him, and who was a hawker of petty wares round the neighbourhood, declared he was overstocked with the first pattern, and expressed a wish for some other; so that Ludovico, from painting his mother and sister, turned his thoughts to domestic animals, and, after various efforts, at length produced dogs and cats with equal success and rapidity, which the vender observing, abated his price; a circumstance which at length incited Ludovico's determination to conquer the diffidence he had felt, and offer them for sale on the following market-day himself.

This scheme fully answered his purpose, for as he offered his first production in silence, a report prevailed that he was a "little foreigner, which was magnified into his being a papist, selling pictures of the Virgin and Child;" and as every thing marvellous obtains celebrity, poor Ludovico's productions were not only speedily sold, but many country-women gave him an apple out of their baskets, or a piece of cake from their pockets, as a mark of sympathy for his supposed misfortunes in losing his country and friends. Ludovico had hitherto carried all his gains immediately to his mother, but he was so elated by the success of this day, in which he had taken fifteen shillings, that he conceived the heroic design of rescuing his father from captivity, and, on retiring to his lodgings, he ventured to ask Mr. Bradley how much money would get his father out of prison.

"Seventeen pounds is your father's debt to me, my little fellow."

With a look of great importance, Ludovico laid all his earnings on the table.

"Well done, my noble boy; your money does'nt go in gingerbread, that's a plain case. I cannot, however, think of taking it, but this I will say, that when your father pays me one half of his debt, I will let him out; in the mean time, he lives in cheap lodgings, and is no worse for biting the bridle, in my mind at least. But I'll tell you what, there will be a great fair in three weeks at Wakefield, and if you get a stock of your dogs, and cats, and babies ready, you may sell them well, my boy, if you send them there."

With diligent delight poor Ludovico now went to work, resolving to save every penny he could procure; but his incessant exertions injured his health, and as his mother would not hear of his going at a distance to dispose of his pictures, he was obliged to sell off his large stock at very low prices to his old customer, the pedlar; who on his part declared that he could not pay for them till he had sold them. To this arrangement Ludovico made no objection, so delighted was he with the largeness of the sum he was now about to receive: but, alas! he was now doomed to meet a severe loss in the faithlessness of his friend, who having never been in possession of half the number before, made off with his prize, and was not heard of in the neighbourhood again.

Poor Ludovico's spirits completely sunk at this unfortunate failure; he had expended a considerable part of his money in purchasing the materials to complete this order; he had injured his health by the closeness of his application, and almost denied himself food, in his extreme anxiety not to diminish his little hoard; and, to complete his distress, on going to pour his sorrows into the bosom of that tender parent who would so truly sympathise with them, he found her weeping over her sick babe, who had gradually pined ever since she had been removed to her present close and comfortless abode.

At such a time Ludovico could not add to her distress by revealing his discomfiture; and, in order to hide his chagrin from her anxious and penetrating eye, he busied himself in mounting two or three of his ill-fated pictures, as he now thought them, resolving henceforward never to trust them in any hands but his own. His father observed, as he looked at them, that the tears were in his eyes, and, mistaking the cause, he endeavoured to console him by retouching them, and praising his exertions; this tenderness only made poor Ludovico more sensible of the bitterness of his disappointment, and fearful that he could not command his feelings much longer, he hastily bade good-bye to his parents, and seizing his pictures and pencils, rushed out of the prison.

In the first alley he entered, poor Ludovico freely indulged the grief he had long suppressed, and after staying there a considerable time, pursued his way, with melancholy steps, towards his lodgings. In turning into Briggate, at the corner of a pastry-cook's shop, he was stopped for a moment by the passing of a cart, and his eye was naturally drawn towards the window: a gentleman, who was a passenger in a stage-coach then drawn up on the other side of the street, had been dispatched by the rest of the party to this shop, with such a variety of commissions that he found it difficult how to dispose of them, and was stuffing papers into each pocket, when the meagre face of Ludovico caught his eye, at the very moment the shop-girl presented him with an open paper of biscuits he was nearly forgetting, and of which he had been eating whilst the other parcels were prepared. Ludovico had heard his mother wish for some finger biscuits to steep in the milk she gave his sister, and his eye glanced instinctively towards the paper.

"Give them to that poor hungry boy," said the gentleman, directing Ludovico by a kind look to receive them.

Naturally diffident, the poor boy blushed, and hung back; but the gentleman, not less struck by his modesty than his apparent desire, called him encouragingly, and put them into his hand, expecting to see him devour them. He was thanked by a look of the most lively gratitude he had ever witnessed; but, to his surprise, the boy, folding up his treasure, darted up the street: in a few moments he stopped, and turned back just as the gentleman, warned by the coachman, was entering the vehicle. Ludovico flew towards him, holding the best of his little pictures in his hand, crying, "Pray, sir; do, pray, sir, take it."

The gentleman, willing to buy the thing, whatever it might be, from a boy who had already moved his compassion, received it, saying, "What is the price, my boy?" when Ludovico, with another expressive look of gratitude, ran away as fast as he was able.

A person was at this moment handing up some bundles to the coachman: he had observed the whole transaction, for he knew Ludovico very well, being one of the persons sometimes employed by Mr. Bradley, and remarking the surprise visible in the stranger, said, "That be a curious little chap, sir; I'll be bound he's gone to take them sweets as you geed him to the jail, to his little sister: it's just like him."

The gentleman's curiosity was strongly excited, and partly gratified, before the coach drove off, by the few facts gathered from this man; and it furnished conversation amongst the passengers for the rest of the stage, and particularly interested a lady who was fond of drawing, and had been visiting her little girl, who was placed at a boarding-school in the vicinity of Leeds. This lady looked often at the picture, and thought it a surprising effort for such a child, and she determined on making further enquiries respecting him when she visited that neighbourhood again; and the gentleman sent him half a crown by the coachman, which, to the man's credit, was faithfully delivered the next day, and helped so much to revive the drooping spirits of the poor child, that he once more commenced his task, and finding his work improve from that degree of mechanical excellence which is ever attained by practice, he again entertained hopes of ultimate success.

The greatest trouble Ludovico experienced now arose from his father, who, disliking to see him employed in what he called useless and tasteless daubs, inimical to that freedom which he deemed necessary for the expansion of Genius, was perpetually giving him other employment, and setting him to do different things. Although his mother perceived, from his bringing no more money, that his little trade had ceased to be profitable, yet she approved the perseverance which so evidently tended to his improvement, in one branch of the art, and proposed that he should carry on his work in the taylor's garret, only making it a point to visit them every day. In depriving herself of the pleasure of her child's society, this truly affectionate mother lost the only one she enjoyed; but she saved him from much suffering, as well as facilitated his views. The confinement of her husband being a grievance to which, of all others, he had the greatest aversion, from being in the continual habit of exploring the country, and feasting on its beauteous scenes, which were, to his enlightened mind and vivid imagination, not only a luxuriant repast, but a consoling balm; the dreadful difference preyed upon his spirits, affected his health, and greatly altered his temper, so that he was alternately sorrowful or petulant; either sinking into a dejection so distressing as to awaken the keenest sympathy, or producing manners so fretful, peevish, and irritable, that it was impossible for either his wife or son to please him. Such will ever be the effects of trouble on a mind which is not under the guidance of reason, or subject to the mild but all-restraining influence of religion, whatever may be its natural powers, or its acquired knowledge.

Mrs. Lewis was not only desirous of saving her poor boy from the pain of sharing his father's grief, or enduring his ill-humour; she wished, as far as it was possible, to prevent him from imbibing those sentiments he was in the habit of uttering, respecting the superexcellence of possessing Genius; and the contempt he often expressed for the common occupations, and common endowments of those around him. It had been the great business of her life to guard her son from imbibing that pride of talent, that self-sufficiency, and contempt of common cares, which had been the ruin of her husband; and although his situation at this very moment seemed to offer an antidote to his doctrine, yet in so young a child, and one who admired his father the more as his unfolding mind, and increasing taste for his art expanded; and as his pity and compassion were excited towards him, she feared these sentiments might lay the seeds for future errors, unless she opposed their growth by exposing the folly of the father in every stage of his mismanagement to the son: a mode of conduct so utterly repugnant to her affections, her sense of the obedience due to him, and every feeling and principle which had ever governed her conduct, that she could not for a moment bring herself to think of doing it, in even the most trivial instance, except when there was a positive danger of misleading her son, and the duty of implanting true notions of right and wrong in his mind she ever held paramount to every other.

Left in a great measure to his own management, Ludovico now worked incessantly, and when he had finished a little parcel of pictures took them out into the neighbouring villages of this populous district for sale, a circumstance of great utility to him, as the exercise he was thus obliged to take was of the greatest use to his health; and the country-women who bought his pictures frequently gave him a crust of bread and a bason of unadulterated milk, which was far more nourishing than the unwholesome viands on which he had lately fed, and of which his extreme anxiety to save money for his great purpose had allowed him far less than was really necessary for a growing boy. Yet Ludovico's care, so far from closing his heart to the sorrows of others, only made him more anxious to relieve them, and his roll was often shared with the beggar whom he met on his rambles.

Amongst other objects of Ludovico's compassion was an old woman who sold matches, mop-thrums, and little paper bags for the maids to put feathers in. He enquired of this poor woman, "what she gave for the last?" To which she answered by complaining that she had only two left, and could get no more; at the same time lamenting she could not make them herself, as they were the most profitable articles she sold.

Ludovico, after examining one, bought it of her; as he did so, these words passed his mind, "silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I unto thee." His eyes filled with tears as he looked at the withered face and gray hair of the poor old woman, and as it ever was his custom to run away when his feelings were awakened, he scampered out of sight before the old woman had time to perceive that he had given her three-pence for her two-penny bag.

"Now the blessing of God go with thee, my bonny bairn," said the old woman, for she was convinced by the look of the boy, that it was done intentionally.

"No need to bless he for an odd penny," said a woman who was standing by, "why, Goody, that's the boy as sells the pictures all about; he's bought your bag on purpose for a pattern, and by next market-day he'll be selling a whole mess of 'em, ye'll see that."

"Well, well, we mun awl live," said the poor dame.

On the next market-day Ludovico was seen as usual, silently standing in Briggate with his pictures, and something folded in a newspaper under his arm: he had now been regularly working for several months, and his sale was of course not so rapid as at first, especially as he had raised his prices. Just as he had finished bargaining with a cobler, who wished for a painting to ornament his stall, he cast his eyes upon the old woman with her match-basket, and springing gladly forward, he opened his little parcel and produced nine neat paper bags, very prettily made, which he silently put into her hand.

"An what mun I gee thee for these, my lad? They be just what I wanted."

"Nothing, nothing at all; you are welcome," said Ludovico, as he spoke, trying to escape the poor woman's surprise and thanks, by edging his way backward into the crowd.

At this moment a loud altercation was taking place between two cornfactors, one of whom, in an angry voice, was repeating the words—

"Tis false, I tell you, false altogether; I paid you for the second load along with the other, as my receipt will shew."

"I shall believe the receipt when I see it, but not till then; for the twenty-eight pounds stands in my book uncrossed; whereas the fifty pounds is just as it ought to be, made received, all in order."

"More shame for you, not settling your books; but I'll convince you, I'll prove to you," said the first in a very angry tone, taking out his pocket-book, and turning over the leaves with great agitation.

At this very moment poor Ludovico had the ill luck to jostle the angry man in his retreat, who in the moment of vexation gave him such a violent blow, that many of the papers in his pocket-book fell out: the book was full of bills, for he was going to make a large payment, and the consciousness of his folly instantly calmed his anger. He gathered his papers up as well as he could, looking in vain for the receipt, which he declared he possessed, and proposed stepping into the hotel to examine more minutely the contents of the disarranged pocket book; saying, at the same time, "I believe I have lost nothing, but that is more by good luck than good looking after."

This was more than Ludovico could say, for he had not only got a hard blow, but his pictures were all thrown down on the dirty stones, which were wet from a recent shower, and the labours of a week were lost in a moment. The poor woman would have wiped them for him, but Ludovico, knowing all was lost, hastily clapped them together, and was departing, when he perceived something of paper sticking to his foot, which he had no doubt had come from the angry man's pocket-book, an idea which was instantly confirmed by perceiving that it was a Leeds bank note for five guineas.

Ludovico had that morning counted his store, which, with the stock he hoped to dispose of that day, amounted to something more than three pounds. He looked wistfully at the bill—"five pounds five, and three pounds seven," said he inwardly, "makes eight pounds ten. Oh, that it was mine!"

"Thine, honey! It is thine, to be sure, and much good may thee have of it," said the old woman.

"Nay, goody, it is the gentleman's that struck me."

"More brute he! But I doesn't think it be his'n, for he said he had got all that belonged to him, and many a man as rich as he have gone over these stones to-day: take it, child,—take it; 'tis a God-send to thee for helping a poor old woman, and it came to thee in the very nick of time, as a body may say, just as I was praying for thee in my own heart, that it did."

This was indeed persuasive logic, and for a moment Ludovico yielded to it, but the next convinced him that he ought at least to enquire for the gentleman who had owned the pocket-book, persuading himself, that as he seemed a rich man, even if he had lost the bill, he might perhaps give it him; he therefore hastened after him to the hotel, but, having no name or description to give of the gentleman sufficiently clear, he could gain no attention, and was at length turned out by the waiter. As he was making his way to the prison, in order, at last, to make his mother acquainted with the whole affair, he saw the very person he wanted riding past him in full gallop: Ludovico called out to him to stop, but the gentleman remembering him only by the blow he had given him, did not stop; he threw a shilling on the pavement to the boy, and pursued his course as fast as a good horse could carry him.

Several people who witnessed this transaction asked Ludovico why he wanted the person to stop; to which he replied by eagerly asking his name. They were all ignorant, and united in saying they did not think he was a person who regularly frequented their market, as they never had seen him before.

Ludovico went home to the tailor's garret, laid down his parcel of ruined pictures, which were of no worth but for the pasteboard they were mounted on, and, putting all his money into his bosom, prepared to lay this case of conscience before his mother; at the same time recollecting all that the old woman had said, respecting his right to the five guineas, and concluding that it could not have been lost by the person in question, who since he had seen him, and seen him too in the very act of calling to him, would, if he had been conscious of such a loss, have doubtless made enquiries of one so likely to inform him.

When Ludovico arrived at the prison, he found his father feverish and languid, thrown upon the bed, and his little sister laid on her mother's lap. She held up her head on his coming, and as well as she was able to articulate, asked him for an apple; being wont to receive all her little indulgences of this kind through his hands, for though in habits of the strictest self-denial, Ludovico seldom came empty-handed; matters of greater moment had now occupied him, and with an apologizing kiss he passed by her to enquire after his father.

"I am dying for want of air and exercise," said Lewis faintly to his affectionate boy.

"But my father, I hope, I believe—that is, if my mother thinks it right—I can, yes, indeed I can take you out of this terrible place."

He then recounted briefly his agreement with the taylor, the success he had met with, the money he had saved, notwithstanding the loss he had sustained in the onset, and lastly, the note he had found, with all his cares and doubts.

The prospect of regained liberty inspired the dejected Lewis with new life; he sprung from his pitiful couch, caught his young deliverer to his heart; called him the preserver of his life, his noble, his generous boy, and shed a torrent of tears on his face. Ludovico, exceedingly affected, ardently returned his caresses; but yet this event so long, so ardently desired, for which he had prayed so oft, and worked so hard, failed to give him the happiness he had expected; for though his father's joy was indeed grateful to his heart, his mother had not yet spoken; he looked earnestly and doubtingly in her face.

"You look at me, my child. Can you doubt my approbation—my sincere joy? Believe me, my dear boy, your industry, care, and perseverance, has my truest admiration; but I wish, I cannot help wishing as I see you do, that we could find the owner of this bill."

"We must advertise it by all means," said Lewis. "I will copy the number; and if an owner should really be found, of which I have not the slightest expectation, we must of course return it to the true owner."

"But how can we return it, if we pay it away?'

"Dear Agnes, how can you raise objections so cruel to me? how can you bear to see my best days consumed in a prison which destroys all my energies, and enervates the very faculties whose exertion would support us? You know I cannot paint here. How should I, when my very soul is shackled by useless regrets? but give me liberty, and you shall see of what I am capable!"

Agnes reflected for a moment; then rising, she said she would immediately see Mr. Bradley, and urge the performance of his promise, to accept this half payment and liberate her husband; "but," she added, turning to Ludovico, "you and I must, as soon as we are able, make up this sum, my child, in order that we may be able to answer this just demand, should it ever be made upon us;—our sweetest joys, our best propensities, must not be purchased by our integrity."

The taylor was not an ill-tempered, still less an unfeeling man; he readily entered into an agreement with Mrs. Lewis to accept the rest of his debt by instalments, and the instant liberation of Lewis was accomplished; in truth the creditor would never have detained him so long, but from an idea that he was an idle dissipated man, to whom punishment might be serviceable. He was mistaken in his conception of the character of poor Lewis, who was prone to no vice whatsoever, and was for the most part laborious in his application, though not persevering: but he was not altogether wrong in his mode of curing the kind of errors into which he had really fallen; since his late sufferings had for a time the effect of inducing him to turn his mind to the necessity of rendering his profession profitable, which he was the better enabled to do from his frame-maker agreeing to take his pictures off his hands; which though done to a certain degree during his residence in prison for the payment of an old debt, had not yet been immediately beneficial to him, as he had owed his support there entirely to the industry of his wife, who, although obliged to nurse a child whose first steps were learnt in that melancholy abode, yet made shift to obtain food for all; and by her diligence, patience, and resignation, not only provided for his wants, but soothed his sorrows; and endeavoured, by unremitting kindness and unwearied well-doing, to lead him to that fountain of consolation from whence she derived support under her accumulated affliction.

When a few days were past, and Mrs. Lewis had put an advertisement in the newspaper, a circumstance which greatly relieved both her own mind and that of Ludovico; the latter again set seriously to work, and after preparing his accustomed number, he recollected his last spoiled cargo still left in the taylor's garret, from which he now fetched them, intending to turn the boards to the best account possible. In dividing two of those which were stuck by the dirt, he saw a piece of paper, which to his eye nearly resembled another bank bill: the first he had met with had, notwithstanding the happy effects it had produced to his dear parents, left a weight upon his heart it had never known before, and he felt a repugnance to touching it; his mother was sitting at work near him, and he immediately pointed it out to her.

Mrs. Lewis gently turning the paper from the place where it stuck, found it was a receipt for sixty-eight pounds, specified as being due on two bills, from John Higgins to Timothy Jackson; it was dated Thorpe Farm, Dec. 26.

"Aye, now it is all plain, quite plain," said poor Ludovico. "Mr. Higgins had good reason for being in a passion; but it is very, very hard that he should both lose his money and his receipt. But where is Thorpe Farm, I wonder?"

"I cannot answer that; we must advertise again, for there are many places of that name," said Mrs. Lewis.

Poor Ludovico's countenance fell. "Alas! mother, we cannot advertise; you know we have got no money." As he spoke he sat down with an air of such extreme mortification and shame, that his mother was wounded to the heart; she endeavoured to comfort him by saying, that it would be some days before they could put the advertisement in the newspapers, and in the mean time something might turn out favourable; adding, "my dear child, you know I have told you many times, and your own experience has taught you, I am certain, that to fold our hands in despair is not only sinful, as it argues a mistrust of divine goodness, but likewise very foolish, because it prevents us from benefiting ourselves as much as we may: whilst you sit sorrowing, you might be earning sixpence or a shilling."

"But what is sixpence or a shilling to five guineas?"

"It is a considerable part, however disproportionate it may appear at first; besides, surely the consciousness of doing our best is a great matter: consider how happy it has made you many a time within the last six months; and do you think the knowledge of your industry will make no difference in the estimation of this Mr. Higgins? Believe me, child, the advantage of a good character, and a clear conscience, are well worth your utmost efforts."

Thus encouraged, the sensible and feeling boy resumed his employment, and even exceeded his former exertions.


Keep innocence, and take heed to the thing that is right, for that will bring a man peace at the last.


When Ludovico with his new stock again made his appearance in the market place, he found the old woman watching about, in hopes of seeing him; she told him that she had sold all her paper cases in the neighbourhood of Pudsey, chiefly amongst the Moravians; that she had been to their large school at Fullneck, and having informed one of the masters who had made her little cases, he had said, that if Ludovico would bring some of his pictures there, he might sell a number to the boys, who were now returning from the vacation, and who could not spend their money better than by encouraging a boy who was so ingenious and industrious, and withal so charitable.

As several market people had witnessed the ruin of poor Ludovico's pictures the day of his last sale, they were the more inclined to help him on this, and he returned home with half a guinea to his mother, who having her lodgings to pay, was not able to put any thing to it. He then revealed the old woman's news, and proposed going to Fullneck with a great many little pictures calculated for the purses of his expected customers. Mrs. Lewis had no objection but what arose from the length of the way, as she found it was near seven miles. As the days were, however, at the longest, this objection was overruled and consent given; in consequence of which the eager boy set out to buy materials, resolved to commence his operations with the dawn of morning.

As he was turning out of the shop door, somebody struck him smartly on the shoulder; he turned round, and beheld with surprise his long-lost friend the pedlar.

"What, you thought I should come no more, I warrant? you thought I was a rogue, now didn't you?"

Ludovico hastily asked for his pictures.

"All sold, my boy, long ago; but come, here's six and twenty shillings for you, and you must draw me as many more before this day week, for I am going another long journey."

"I draw better than I did, and I do not intend to sell any more so cheap."

"Well, I don't mind if I give you a guinea and a half; only be true to your time."

With a light heart Ludovico returned home and added this to his treasure. His mother rose when he did the next morning, and assisted him in his work, finding it to be really profitable at present; but considering that it must be necessarily soon over, she told him that he ought by all means to execute the order he had received first; but Ludovico, though he obeyed her injunction, seemed to have a particular desire to expedite those drawings which were to introduce him to children of his own age; and he was incessantly enquiring of her what were the rules, profession, and design of the institution he was about to visit; and every word she uttered only served to increase his curiosity and admiration: he however did not gratify it till he had secured the money from the pedlar; when the consciousness that the tea-cup in his mother's possession, notwithstanding he had paid a good deal to the paper man, contained nearly half of the five guineas, though he had put a second advertisement in the papers, he set out with a light heart for his destination, following the path of a stage waggon.

Ludovico arrived at Fullneck in the forenoon; and as all was still, he sauntered round the place unheeded, till at length he found himself in front of a long row of handsome buildings on a terrace, which overlooking a beautiful valley watered by a winding stream, and thick set with various small coppices, leads the eye to the opposite hill, whose cultivated heights are crowned by a neat village, its modest church, and an old-fashioned hall. The whole scene was in unison with his ideas of pastoral and rural landscape, and with that retirement from the confusion, dissipation, mingled splendour, and poverty, which ever strike on the senses in large manufacturing towns. The description his mother had given him of the religious retirement, simplicity, and innocence of the inhabitants, rendered their abode doubly interesting; and as he gazed on all around him, his heart felt drawn towards them, a tear stole down his cheek, and he silently ejaculated, "Oh, happy! happy place!"

His reverie had continued some time, when an universal buzz of pleasure, equally remote from the rude clamour of boisterous mirth, and the repressed sensations of it, broke on his ear, and he found the terrace on which he stood covered by boys of all ages, come out to play: some had heard of him at Leeds, and drew nigh with an air of courteous curiosity; and one little fellow, who although very young, from being an inhabitant of this seminary from his very cradle, conceived himself entitled to do the honours of the place, approached and took his hand. There was something in this child's age, face, and still more his manner, which reminded Ludovico of Raphael; he had lived much in the world, he had conversed much with strangers, but he had never felt the touch of a child's hand since that of his poor brother had feebly endeavoured to return the fond pressure of his; this incident awakened his feelings acutely; he gazed a moment on the child, and burst into tears.

"Why do you cry, my little boy?" said one of the masters, who now advanced from the house, and whose welcome step was joyfully made way for by the willing crowd, who the moment he had reached Ludovico, again hemmed round in sympathising curiosity.

"I had once a brother, a dear brother," said Ludovico, sobbing; "and—and this little boy is like—like him."

"My dear child, we are all brothers here, and can feel for your loss; but we must try to comfort you; your brother, we trust, is gone to a much better world than this, where all tears are wiped for ever from his eyes, and where he will one day welcome you to share his glory, if you 'remember your Creator in the days of your youth,' as I hope you do, my child."

The sweet and gentle tone in which these words were uttered, soothed, whilst they affected, the amiable child; he threw his arms round the speaker, and hiding his face in the kind bosom of his supporter, for a few minutes indulged in tears; while in tender and respectful silence the softened group stood around, lamenting by many a significant glance that a little boy with so much feeling should be so shabby, and look so thin.

As Ludovico recovered, Mr. Steinhaver, the master, who had noticed him, led him into the house, gave him some bread and butter, and examined his pictures: thus encouraged, the poor boy recovered his spirits, and ventured to say he was in hopes the young gentlemen would purchase some. "I have no doubt of it," returned his kind consoler; "but as I perceive you are a little modest boy, and it is very possible our children, though very affectionate, might teaze you with questions, suppose I provide you somebody to sell for you, while you rest here and eat your luncheon?"

So saying he looked out of the window, saying to a tall boy who stood near, "Higgins, my good fellow, take these pictures and sell them to all who will buy; in my opinion they are very pretty; they are sixpence a-piece."

An universal buzz was now heard, consisting of mingled approbation, desires to get one, or fears of losing one; and in a few minutes Ludovico was so much interested, that his benevolent entertainer told him to go amongst them; he was received with a shout of pleasure; in a moment his hands were full of sixpences and mustered halfpence; and the salesman lamented that he had not reserved one for himself, though he had intended to buy it and send it to his brothers at Thorpe Farm.

"Higgins—Thorpe Farm!" said Ludovico to himself. In a moment after he turned to the boy, and enquired if his father frequented Leeds market.

"He goes there sometimes, very seldom though, for he lives near Rotheram; he brought me here not long since, and then he stopped in the market to his sorrow, for he lost a bank note."

"I found it! I found it!" said Ludovico, clapping his hands; "and I found his receipt too, and mother says that's a better thing; I put them both in the newspaper yesterday, as you may see; and if you will come to our house I will give you the receipt and the—no not the note, but almost all the money, and I will work for the rest and bring it you here; you see I have got thirty-six sixpences now, pray take them to begin with."

"But why did you not keep the bank note, my little man?" said the master.

Ludovico blushed, and trembled, and after much hesitation, said—

"My father was in prison, sir: I have it all but—but a little."

"I do not doubt your honest intentions, my child, but from that pain you now feel, and which I had no idea of inflicting, remember so long as you live never to do evil in the hopes that good may come; but whilst I say this, so thoroughly I am convinced that your affection, perhaps even your obedience led you astray, that I am willing to make up your five guineas for my friend Mr. Higgins, fully convinced that you will repay me every farthing."

Ludovico submitted to this remonstrance by a look of contrite humility, and answered by eyes that glistened with tears of gratitude: but young Higgins declined doing any thing in the matter, saying, he would write to his father, whom he expected coming over soon, and Ludovico should put the letter in the post.

The boy was happy in this arrangement, thinking that with his mother's assistance the money would become a bank note again before the claimant appeared; and he parted from his new friends with great complacency; but alas! before he get home, either from the unusual length of the way, his previous exertions, or some latent cause, he became afflicted with a violent head-ache and intolerable thirst, and scarcely had he deposited his money in its usual hiding place, than he sunk on the floor in a kind of fainting fit, from which he was raised by his distracted father, and heart-stricken mother.

For many days Ludovico was so ill that all employment both for himself and parents was impossible, and of course the idea was still uppermost in his mind, that Mr. Higgins would be coming soon for his bank note, and retarded his recovery. Being, however, like his father, fond of being out in the meadows, as soon as he was able, he requested his father to walk with him, and they took a short turn in the fields. When they were near home, Mr. Lewis, recollecting that the frame-maker who took his pictures had sent for him at the time when Ludovico was at the worst, proposed stepping back to see what he wanted. Just as he left him, two ladies passed; and one, after giving poor Ludovico an earnest look, said, "are not you the little boy who paints pictures, and whose father was in confinement some time ago?"

It instantly struck him that this was Mrs. Higgins, and his pale face was dyed with crimson, but he promptly answered, "Yes, ma'am, I am Ludovico Lewis; my father is out of prison now."

"So I find, child, but I could not learn where you lodged; take me to your parents."

Surprised, and somewhat relieved, Ludovico led the way, as well as he was able, to their lodgings, which, though humble, were always kept as neat as it was possible by his mother, who was now anxiously looking out for the return of the invalid. Scarcely had the ladies entered, when Mr. Lewis returned, and though now looking ill and very shabby, his manners evidently proving that he was a gentleman, the lady who spoke, having no doubt of his identity, addressed him thus—

"Mr. Lewis, your little boy has been the means, though unknown to himself, of making me your friend: I have procured for you the teaching of Miss Wilson's school at Chapel Town. You are required to attend two days in the week, and, in order to save you all risk, she engages to pay you fifty pounds per quarter. She knows your abilities, and only requests your regularity."

Thankfulness to heaven for this joyful news, fear lest her husband should be so blind, so mad, as to refuse it, alike operated on Mrs. Lewis, and oppressed her almost to fainting. Ludovico cried out that his mother was ill, and in that fear his father lost the power of reply; he held his wife, his faded, woe-worn wife, in his arms, he beheld the pale cheek of that boy who was again made a ministering angel to his wants, and, deeply affected, he pronounced, with many expressions of gratitude to the lady, that he would merit the recommendation she had given him.

Agnes was now happy; she breathed, she wept—her heart ascended in thankful adoration to that God who thus led her step by step out of "the mire and clay" which had so long surrounded her, and once more set her foot upon the rock of modest competence.

When the ladies were gone, a consultation took place upon a subject of immediate importance; it was necessary that Mr. Lewis should have a new suit of cloaths before the following Monday. His wife said she had no doubt but Mr. Bradley would supply him when he knew his appointment to the school.

"I shall not employ that fellow any more," said Mr. Lewis, haughtily. His wife sighed.

"I believe," added he, after a pause, "I must borrow from Lu's treasure. This Mr. Higgins seems in no hurry to claim his note. What say you, my boy?"

"I will work night and day for you, father, but I cannot give you my money; I mean that money, because—because it is not mine."

"The boy is a fool," said his father, angrily rising; then giving a glance towards the sorrowful and perturbed countenance over which he had so lately hung in speechless solicitude, he checked himself, and drawing the child to him with an air of tenderness and self-command, he reasoned with him thus—

"My dear, you are of an age to understand what I am going to say, therefore attend to me: you know I must appear properly dressed at the school, or Miss Watson cannot employ me: and if she does employ me, I immediately secure the means of repaying this money: of course there is a very great benefit incurred, and very little risk, that not to do it would be an absolute sin in my present situation. Do you see this?"

After some thought, Ludovico answered—

"I see you must be clothed, father, properly, and I know you have no money, but still it is not right to take Mr. Higgins's money, for fear you should never be able to make it up; because you may die—we may all die to-night. Don't be angry at me, dear father, but I cannot, indeed I cannot give it you; and if you take it from me, it will break my heart."

"I would not take it for the world, child; you mistake me, boy,—my honour is surely as rigid as your mother's; I wished to convince your reason of an act of expediency, not to persuade you to an immoral action: but I have done; either you have not the sense to be convinced, or you are encouraged to unkindness and disobedience." So saying, Mr. Lewis, putting on his hat, with an air of cool defiance walked out of the house.

Agnes dreaded lest his anger should induce him hastily to resign the school, for she had seen him in so many instances abandon help in similar cases, that she trembled lest even suffering had not taught him wisdom: she consulted what was best to be done, and with poor Ludovico in her hand, she went to a mercer in the neighbourhood, and frankly stated the case. The person heard her with great attention, and promised her the things she wanted.

Many hours did she sit restless and unhappy, waiting for her husband; on his return he was exceedingly intoxicated, which, being a vice to which he had never been subject, affected her the more; and this evening, which had once promised so much, was, like her dreams of happiness for many a past year, involved in clouds of sorrow and vain regrets.

The next morning, as Lewis was sitting at his easel, heart-sick and head-achy, unable to work, and unwilling to complain, from the consciousness of his folly, the family was surprised by the entrance of Mr. Higgins, who immediately addressing Ludovico, said, "Well, my honest boy, I hear you are able and willing to recompence good for evil, by restoring me the note and the receipt I lost, like a fool as I was, by being so angry; but every man is a fool when he suffers passion to get hold of him; hey, sir?" looking to Mr. Lewis for assent as he spoke.

Mr. Lewis felt the fact, but only acknowledged it by a bow. "Let me see," continued Mr. Higgins, taking a pen and ink from his pocket, "you have paid twelve shillings for advertisements: I mean to give you a guinea, my boy, for reward; therefore, if you give me three pounds twelve shillings, we shall be right."

Mr. Lewis, greatly agitated, arose, and opening the window, looked earnestly into the street, whilst Ludovico ran for his tea-cup, and betwixt gold, silver, and copper, counted out three pounds nine and eight-pence, and was turning to his mother for the remainder, when she, conscious that her husband had spent the last farthing in actual possession the night before, and not bearing to wound him by an useless question, took a pair of new gloves out of a drawer, and laying them silently on the table, pushed them, with the change, towards Mr. Higgins.

Mr. Higgins took all in equal silence, for he comprehended both the action and its motive, and something rose in his throat and prevented speech: he put the gloves carefully in his pocket, saying, inwardly, "the price of a virtuous woman is indeed above rubies;" then hemming stoutly, and twinkling away the drop which pity and esteem had gathered in his eye, be said, "Well, my little fellow, I am quite satisfied, and I hope you are so too."

"Yes, sir," said Ludovico; "I am very glad it is settled, and I am much obliged to you for taking so little."

"Yes, child, you feel satisfied, and are glad the affair is off your mind, but you have by no means the same pleasure you would have had if you had given me back my note, and in return I had given you a bright golden guinea; for then you would have felt rich in possession, rich in the power of spending your money, or giving it to your parents: you are now merely easy in having discharged a duty, and this is a very, very good thing, but to have had your money in your own hand would have been still better."

Ludovico confessed that it would.

"Then, my good child, let this affair be a lesson to you as long as you live, never to run into debt on the strength of working yourself out of it, for depend upon it labour goes down very heavily when it is done to get rid of an obligation, not to obtain a comfort; and this rule is more particularly to be observed in all occupations where the taste and imagination are called into action, since it is next to impossible for a man to give fair play to either, when his mind is loaded by the consciousness of debt: a man from honesty may work hard, but the sense of depression will prevent him from working well. I see you understand me, so be sure you remember."

"I will, indeed, sir," said Ludovico earnestly, for he did indeed understand this; he had heard his father breathe many a sigh over the pictures he had been lately painting for the frame-maker, under the dread of another imprisonment; and he had seen him when painting for his ordinary chance of sale, or, as he termed it, at the instigation of his Genius, so happy in his employment, that it was with difficulty he could be torn from it, to take necessary food.

"Well, then," resumed Mr. Higgins, "we will now proceed to settle our second business; you see I am very regular, I never jumble things together. Now tell me how many of your pictures I spoiled when I knocked you down in the market-place."

"Oh, sir, don't think of that; you know you threw me a shilling on the pavement that night."

"That was for the blow I gave you, I did not know at that time I had otherways injured you; but I now see by the way in which I procured the safety of my receipt, that I spoiled your pictures; tell me the extent of the mischief."

"There were seven spoiled, sir, but the old pasteboards are worth a shilling, so we will call the damage six."

"Good boy,—I like that distinction; it proves not only honesty, but regularity: here are six shillings for you." Ludovico, as he took the money, felt the pleasure of being rich, for it was his own, fairly earned.

"And now," said Mr. Higgins, "here are three guineas for you, which is the reward I should have given any other person for finding my receipt; it will buy you a new suit of cloaths, my boy, which I perceive you want, and which I wish you your health to wear."

"Oh, sir, you are very good to me indeed, but I don't know—pray, mother, is it right I should take this money just for giving back a bit of paper that is of no use to me?" said Ludovico, turning to his mother.

Every feeling of native and long nourished pride arose in the father's breast at this moment, and turning from the window, he cast a look towards the boy, and the words "by no means" rose to his lips, but the appearance of Ludovico's well-patched jacket and worn-out shoes checked him, and Mrs. Lewis's reply, though uttered in a low voice, was the only one heard.

"Take it, my love, by all means, since Mr. Higgins has the goodness to give it you, and consider it not only as his gift, but that of a gracious Providence, who has given you another friend in the hour of need; remembering also, that although this appears an accidental good, yet it came to you in the prosecution of a regular system of industry, which is ever beneficial."

"And among other good lessons learnt out of this incident, take this, my child," said Mr. Higgins, "that I have given you this for a receipt, from the loss of which I might have been made to pay twenty-eight pounds over again—not by a dishonest man who wished to cheat me, but an irregular man, who did not keep his books properly. There is as much mischief done in the world by folly and disorder as roguery: the man who wrongs me in this instance would neglect to do himself justice in another, and so cheat and be cheated without benefit or villainy so that every wise man will take receipts for fear of accidents. Now can you think of all this, my man?"

"If I cannot remember the words, I am sure I can remember the thing, and when I am a man I will take receipts; and yet father never takes any; do you, sir? I think you scorn them; and if I thought it would spoil my genius, I am afraid I should scorn them too."

"Mr. Higgins is perfectly right in all he has said, child," said the father; "for I have repeatedly suffered for want of that wisdom he recommends; but these petty cares are totally incompatible with—"

"Pardon me, Mr. Lewis," hastily interrupted the worthy stranger, "you have said enough to convince your son that he has listened to a necessary document, and depend upon it a great mind can take in petty cares, an aspiring genius stoop to petty details, since it is impossible to be virtuous and pious without it; and no one can deny that virtue is the crown of genius, and religion the very soul of virtue."


Stripp'd of his fondest, dearest claim,
And disinherited of fame,
Louder and bolder bards were crown'd.
Whose dissonance his music drown'd.


The good offices of Mr. Higgins did not stop with the attention we have mentioned; through his means several country gentlemen were led to visit the apartments of Mr. Lewis, and to purchase his pictures. His debts were soon paid, he removed to genteel lodgings, and in a short time lived again like a gentleman; and being extremely anxious to forget the days of his humiliation, and erase the remembrance of them from the minds of others, he readily agreed to the suggestion of Mrs. Lewis, to place Ludovico at a boarding-school, being particularly desirous that the time when the poor child had maintained himself, and helped to maintain him, by the sale of his humble works, should be forgotten.

Conscious that the memory of this truly praiseworthy period in her son's life might injure him in the eyes of proud and ill-taught children, and subject him to blush for that poverty which his conduct had ennobled, and which in the moment of sorrow had planted those seeds of virtue which future life would not fail to call into action, Mrs. Lewis was desirous of fixing him at Fullneck, as the place where she thought he would be least subject to the scorn of others, from the uncommon attention paid by the masters to the conduct and comfort of the pupils; and to her great satisfaction she perceived that although Ludovico, daily more and more attached to his parents, and doatingly fond of his little sister, seemed but to live in their society, heard her proposal without expressing any regret, and anticipated much benefit from his residence there.

In this quiet retreat of learning, simplicity, and piety, the now happy boy remained about two years, and there made such accessions to his knowledge as were necessary for his years, without losing any of those important lessons impressed on his tender heart by the painful scenes he had gone through. And here too he recovered his health, and those blooming looks which are the natural result of mental ease, regular exercise, good food, and early hours. During this time he was frequently visited by both parents, and during the latter part of it, his sister, whose name was Constantina, (so called because her father had newly finished his poem of "Constantine the Great" at the time of her birth) accompanied their mother, and added greatly to his pleasure, he was, however, pained to observe, that Mrs. Lewis looked very pale, and that her mild features were often shaded with that solicitude which had been so much her companion from his earliest remembrance; but as she did not reveal the cause, he would not pain her by asking it. He was not only an affectionate, but a sensible and submissive child, and felt it to be his duty to receive his mother's confidence with gratitude, and her sorrows with sympathy, but never to intrude on that secrecy she might think proper to observe.

Ludovico had still another motive for repressing his curiosity; he was now able to reflect sufficiently on the conduct of his father, and to gather from the casual observations of others enough to teach him, that all their past misfortunes had arisen from his imprudence, and that infatuation which he imputed to genius, and deemed inseparable from it; he therefore felt aware that whatever might be his mother's sorrows, they sprang from some misfortune in close alliance with his father's indiscretion; and so nearly did he love that father, so highly did he estimate his talents, so tenderly commiserate his sufferings, and so justly appreciate the obedience due to him, that he could not bear to touch on any subject which could in the remotest degree lead to his condemnation; and as these were precisely the sentiments his mother had ever sought to inspire him with, and which were in her own mind felt in a still higher degree towards her much loved, though faulty husband, it was no wonder that each party observed a delicate and affectionate silence on a subject so painful though so interesting to them both.

For the first six months after his appointment to the school, Mr. Lewis had attended to it with so much regularity, and displayed such decided ability, that many parents of the children sought his acquaintance, and praised him so much, that the offer of another school was made him, which unfortunately he accepted; we say unfortunately, from the circumstances which followed. On accepting this second offer, Mr. Lewis was dazzled by the prospect of an immediate increase of income, and did not consider that it would necessarily engross that time which he had hitherto devoted to painting, in which he always delighted, and from which he with difficulty tore himself on the appointed days. The consequence was, that he soon found his time would be nearly all occupied with attending the two schools, and preparing the necessary copies for each; and although Mrs. Lewis, who, during the first year of her marriage, had made great progress in this delightful art, which she now resumed by making little sketches for younger scholars, assisted him, yet still so much time was consumed, that his pictures—those pictures to which he ever looked as the medium of fame through every future age, stood still; he could not bear this; his habit of self-indulgence, combined with his laudable ambition to urge him to resume his work, or repine that he could not, and without exerting that energy which would have enabled him to conquer his difficulties, by husbanding his time, he frequently spent many an hour in bewailing the want of it; he neglected each school by turns, and yet did not forward his work at home, and at the end of the second half year he declined them both; but, in order to soothe the distress of his wife, consented to take a few pupils at his own house on very expensive terms.

Such was the general opinion of his talents, and such was the engaging suavity of his manners, that although his resignation of the schools had lost him many friends, yet, having introduced him to many acquaintance, he was soon enabled to gain from these a number of very lucrative pupils, most of whom, being pretty well advanced in the art, suited him far better than the attendance on children; and he now lamented that he had so long wasted his time and talents in a pursuit unworthy of him, never considering the misery from which he had been rescued by this very means; for it was his misfortune ever to live on the present moment: thus experience was rendered useless, and the future was ever abandoned to the delusion of hope, or at times to the depression of despair, instead of being provided for by the suggestions of the past, and the knowledge it had imparted.

Under this new regulation, Mr. Lewis was enabled to finish a large picture, for which he purchased an expensive frame, and sent it to the Royal Academy, in the full hope that those talents which had been spoken of so highly some years ago, would now be considered matured by time, and that he should be considered as bursting on the world with more brilliance from his long seclusion and apparent obscurity; which obscurity he chose to attribute to the misfortunes which had attended his professional progress, his imprudent marriage, and the weight ever attached to a large family; for these things floated on the surface of his history, were spoken of by his admirers, and presented agreeable and natural causes for the depression of a man of genius, since men of genius, and men of no genius, have felt the weight of such impediments in all ages; and to be considered a man of genius, admired, courted, distinguished, and even pitied or condemned as such, was at once the ambition and consolation of this misguided, though interesting man.

Every woman of taste, sentiment, and ability, must feel pride and pleasure in the display of her husband's talents, however developed; and Agnes beheld with delight this proof of her husband's powers, and concurred with him in the necessity of setting it off to the best advantage; and when he proposed that they should both go to London for the purpose of seeing how the picture was hung in the Academy, she no farther opposed the scheme than to decline her share of such an expensive jaunt; but feeling with him how natural it was for a man so situated to wish with all a parent's longings to enquire after the fate of his child, she encouraged him most affectionately to set out, and lost no time in providing every facility for his departure; only urging his speedy return on account of his pupils, who being nearly all grown up, were anxious to improve their time, and not likely to accept excuses or delays.

Lewis went to London, and with a beating heart flew to the Academy, and there beheld his long cherished work; that work on which he had expended the treasured knowledge of many a year—to gather materials for which he had been many a time burnt in the sun, or drenched by the shower—for which he had passed many a long day in uneasiness and hunger—many a sleepless night in combining, arranging, and concluding—to which he had bent all the enthusiasm of his imagination and the knowledge of his art—that picture, so valued and so dear, was hung in a corner, aloof from every eye, unnoticed by every tongue, and as little likely to attract attention as when the canvas lay rolled behind the mercer's counter.

This misfortune, for such it really was, overwhelmed poor Lewis, and perhaps was felt the more severely, because it was the first he had ever really known; for whatever else he had experienced of trouble, which he had dignified with that name, had arisen evidently and naturally out of his own conduct, as effects follow causes; and although this was a misfortune felt in common with many other equal sufferers, and was one of those disappointments he might have been prepared to expect, yet for a time he suffered it completely to overpower him, and without seeing any friend, making any enquiry into the state of the arts, or doing one of the things which he ought to have done, he precipitately returned to Leeds, to throw himself on the consolations of his wife, and to protest against a profession which after all his labour had deceived him.

Mrs. Lewis applied every means of consolation she could suggest, and particularly pointed out the happiness they enjoyed in being enabled to procure the means of life by teaching; adding, that she had of late practised drawing so much, she hoped soon to be a valuable assistant to him.

"I disclaim, I renounce all drawing, painting, and every thing that belongs to it; and I beseech you never to name it to me: if I see you touch a pencil in my presence, I shall feel it unkind, and injurious to me."

The sympathising wife considered these professions the result of too keenly wounded feelings, which in a short time would return to their accustomed amenity; but, to her extreme concern, the irritability thus roused continued to act, and in despite of her remonstrances he renounced his scholars, sold his painting and drawing materials, and would have disposed of his sketches for a trifling consideration if she had not contrived to secrete them; and then collecting a few books, the diminished remnant of his father's library, set himself down to study mechanics, a mode of conduct to which he was encouraged by the father of one of his late pupils, who was at the head of a prodigious manufactory, and who, from various conversations with Lewis, had discovered the scientific knowledge he possessed in matters of this description.

Poor Mrs. Lewis's heart sunk under this change, for she saw nothing before her but a recapitulation of further sorrows: she had intended to treat herself and Ludovico with his company during the ensuing Midsummer vacation, but fearful either that he should adopt his father's new pursuit, or in condemning it be led to condemn the versatility of him who now pursued it, she had the resolution to forego it; and it was on her visit to him at this time he first perceived the dejection we have noticed.

Mr. Lewis had already begun to exert his recovered talents in mechanics, and had nearly constructed a small piece of machinery, calculated to improve the appearance of broad cloths, and which abridged manual labour without supplying the place of workmen, of course it was likely to answer extremely well; and the gentleman who persuaded him to undertake it exultingly told Mrs. Lewis, that it was worth all the pictures in the world; she was therefore persuading herself that if he persisted in this pursuit all might yet be well, when he received a letter from the secretary of the Royal Academy, desiring him to remove his picture, as the exhibition had been over some days.

He threw the letter from him with an air of such vexation, as plainly proved the subject was hateful; and in order to save him from further pain, Mrs. Lewis wrote to a person she had formerly been acquainted with during their residence in York, requesting him to remove the picture to his own house for a short time; and recapitulating what had been the situation of this unfortunate essay of her husband's skill.

Mr. Lewis, not content with his first effort in mechanics, recommenced his labour; and as his knowledge increased and he became more perfect at every trial, so it appeared that every beginning only laid the foundation of another improvement; so that time passed, debts were necessarily contracted, and nothing was finished that could demand the reward liberally offered in the first instance; and the person who had so exultingly prognosticated success was now fearful that nothing would be accomplished. Just, however, as the projector had brought all to bear, and was now prophesying that in three days he would give the finishing stroke to his admirable instrument, Mrs. Lewis received a most welcome letter from London. The friend to whom she had consigned the picture had shown it to a gentleman of known liberality and acknowledged judgment, who had not only purchased the picture, but declared that he thought the artist a man of genius, and that it was a thousand pities such a man should be buried in a country town.

The handsome enclosure contained in this letter made not a more welcome revolution in the affairs of Mr. Lewis, and the satisfaction of his oppressed wife, than the latter part of its contents caused in his feelings; joy sparkled in his eyes, and conscious power beamed on his brow: "I am again a painter," said he, majestically stalking over the room with the air of one who has regained liberty and life.

"But, my dear Lewis, as you have so nearly, so very nearly finished this clever little machine, you will surely complete it, and then paint again as soon as you please; but surely you will finish this in the first place."

"Nonsense! any fool may finish it now; I can give directions to a common carpenter about it—London is the place, the only place for a painter: I have indeed been cooped up too long in the country, but we will now set out immediately."

With many a sigh Agnes obeyed the will of her hasty, impetuous husband: she was glad that he was about to resume his own profession, and she thought from his success in the present instance, and the encouragement held out by their friend, that it was probable that the talents of her husband would indeed be best appreciated and rewarded in the metropolis; but she wished him to await the reward of his late exertions, and to take with him such a sum of money as might enable him to live for some months without being under the necessity of stooping to the drudgery of the profession, and thereby injuring his name in the higher walks of the art. But, alas! his ear, possessed by the demon of self-flattery, "refused to hear the voice of the charmer," though she "charmed ever so wisely;" hastily calling his creditors together, he paid them out of the bill he had received; then sending for a neighbouring carpenter, sold him the machinery which had employed him six months for as many pounds; and fetching Ludovico from school, which he quitted with infinite regret, set out for London with his family, in the very depth of winter, without any prospect of employment or patronage, beyond that held out by the sale of a single picture, and with not more than ten pounds in the world beyond the expences of their journey.

On their arrival it was found that the friend who sold the picture was gone to spend the winter in Bath; the gentleman to whom he sold it had gone to reside on his estate in Ireland, whither he had conveyed his purchase, so that Lewis was not only left without an acquaintance to advise or a patron to encourage him, but without even a picture to which he could refer any person; having sold indiscriminately many which were finished along with many more that were unfinished, at the time when he so rashly resigned a profession, which of all others requires not only indefatigable diligence and unwearied patience, but a fortitude that no failure can blast, no disappointment overcome.

Lewis now felt himself like a mariner without chart or compass, left alone on an immeasurable ocean; and his spirits were again sinking into a depression as blameable as their late exhilaration, when Agnes produced those valuable sketches of his which, together with a few pencils and some scarce pigments, she had saved from the general wreck; and Ludovico offered to do any thing in his power towards preparing his pallet: his hopes revived with the appearance of his wonted apparatus, and setting seriously to work, he shortly produced two beautiful views of the Lakes, which were at that time, as now, in deserved reputation.

Desirous of obtaining the suffrage of artists for his pictures, Mr. Lewis took an opportunity of calling on several with whom he had either been acquainted formerly, or whose names stood so high in the list of professional celebrity as to be considered general patrons of the Arts. He was received by the former with coldness, either as a man forgotten by long absense, or as one whose competition was not desirable; by the latter with more urbanity, but not sufficient freedom to encourage a warm and generous spirit like his to throw itself on their protection; and he returned to his lodgings disgusted and dispirited, to reconsider on the way of disposing of his pictures, for the frames of which he had already paid two-thirds of all that he had in the world.

In the course of a few days necessity obliged him to part with them to a picture dealer, who taking advantage of his situation, obtained them for two guineas, and engaged him to paint several more, for which he advanced him money. The infatuated Lewis thus became in this man's power, and at the time he should have made another effort to attract public attention, by painting again a large picture for the Academy, his time was frittered away, his talents restrained, and his name lost by his compact with a contemptible fellow, who at once encouraged and destroyed him.

Many a time did poor Ludovico recollect Mr. Higgins's counsel, and turn in his mind the possibility of rescuing his father from this second bondage, whilst his mother resumed her old employments, as finding that the profits she got, though trifling, were prompt; and Ludovico, determined not to be idle, began to make a set of drawings with his mother's assistance, and as he was now much improved, he succeeded so far as to procure subsistence for himself; but dear as every thing was in London, to do more was impossible.

It was generally Ludovico's work to take his father's pictures when finished to this man, and in doing so he frequently was seen by different gentlemen, to whom his appearance was attractive, from the modesty and good sense of his manners, and the neatness of his person, notwithstanding the poverty which again became visible in his dress, and the absence of those good looks which had been his school companions; and through him one or two of these gentlemen had been led to call in his father's painting-room, to the great joy of Ludovico, as they had made several small purchases; but having never found one of his happiest efforts on the easel, were not induced to hold out the encouragement they would have doubtless bestowed on better productions.

The gentleman with whose observation on Ludovic's genius we opened this story, was one of these; he left the house at the time we speak of, feeling sorry for the boy, and happening to see him a few days after standing at a book-stall in Holborn, he thus addressed him.

"Are you fond of reading, my little fellow?"

"Yes, sir, I always read when I have time."

"If there are any of these books for which you have a fancy, I will give it you."

Ludovico had just laid down a small edition of Collins, and he instinctively put his hand on it again.

"With all my heart," said the gentleman, comprehending his expressive and grateful blush; "you are fond of poetry, it seems."

"Extremely fond of it, sir, but I don't read it often."

"So much the better, at your time of day, for there are many things more useful. But what poetry did you read last?"

Ludovico hesitated a moment, and then said, "Constantine the Great, sir."

"You are more learned than me, for I not only never read, but never heard of such a poem."

"No, sir, my father has not published it yet."

"Your father published—what, is your father a poet as well as a painter? the thing is however very possible, for the arts are nearly related: each presents pictures to the mind through different mediums.—Come, step with me into this coffee-house, and if you can repeat me a few lines of your father's poem, pray do."

In a tremulous but pleasing voice, and with great justness of expression, Ludovico recited the opening of his father's poem, and informed the gentleman as well as he could what constituted the argument; on which he observed, "Well, if your father can write verses like those, 'tis a shame he does not publish them, that's all I have to say,—tell him I said so; and you may add farther, that whenever he does, I will for myself and friends engage to take twenty copies off his hands."

Away flew Ludovico on the wings of joy to repeat his message, but to his mortification it was heard by his father not only without pleasure, but an air of vexation appeared on his features: "How happened you, my dear, to give the boy that idle manuscript?" said he to his wife; "I have not seen it these seven years."

"That is precisely the time wise men lay such things by, and then read and revise them, I have been told: suppose, my dear, you were to do the same; I have lately listened to it with great pleasure, and am well convinced it is worth your attention; many inferior things are every day published, even in its present state, and you might improve it very greatly, I am certain, by correction."

Mr. Lewis did not immediately comply with his wife's desire, but soon after this happening to hear Ludovico quote two lines of it, he was struck with their beauty, and seized the long-neglected manuscript with avidity, and on reading was so pleased with it, that he became as entirely wrapt in poetic furor as he had been on his first writing it, and every moment of his life was now given to correction and emendation, whilst Ludovico's time was entirely occupied in neatly transcribing it: poor Agnes, and even little Constantina, plied the needle for their joint support, but were obliged to beg credit both for their lodgings and their food in a great measure, since they lived at more than double their expence in the country, and yet were not paid equally for their labours.

At length the important work was finished, and poor Lewis felt again the delight of having performed something that might claim the meed of honest praise from posterity; but although confident in his own powers, and fully possessed with the idea of inspiration from genius, he was yet diffident and extremely averse to authorship; realizing what a French author has assured of all English writers, that they are ashamed of the works which are their highest honour. When he first wrote this poem, it was doubtless his intention to publish it immediately; but time, by increasing his knowledge and purifying his taste, rendered him of course more aware of the difficulty of the task, and more sensible of the imperfections of his work; and notwithstanding the pleasure he felt in perusing the higher passages of it, and the sense he could not help entertaining of its comparative merits, yet all the solicitations of his wife and son could not prevail on him to publish it, till want again stared him so plainly in the face, that at last

"His poverty, but not his will consented;"

and even then, such was the bashfulness which oppressed him on this occasion, that he requested his wife to offer the manuscript to the booksellers.

Possessed as Mrs. Lewis was of that genuine sensibility and taste which enabled her how to appreciate poetic excellence, and aware that she held a valuable work in her hand, she determined to offer it only to those booksellers whose names stood high in their profession; and ignorant that any other introduction than her business was necessary, she set out, accompanied by Ludovico, to the west end of the town, and offered it to a gentleman of the first eminence as a publisher, who refused it in a way that gave her little hopes of success in her future applications; but stimulated by her distress, she went to a house in Bond Street, where civility at least marked the conduct of the proprietor. It unluckily happened, however, that it was not the line of publication he dealt in, but he recommended her to a gentleman in Fleet Street. On her entrance to this house she was accommodated with a seat by one of the assistants, and the principal informed of the nature of her business. In a short time Mr. N—— appeared, and looked at the manuscript. "This is certainly a very beautiful poem, madam," said he; "so beautiful, that I regret it is not in my power to be the purchaser, having already as much on my hands as I dare undertake." She ventured to ask him to whom he would recommend her to offer it—"Thomson's is a very good house, ma'am—very good judges too." So to Thomson's she went. Mr. T. was fortunately at home; and after waiting half an hour, was conducted into his counting-house in silence, and then told to leave the manuscript and her address. Ludovico, with more foresight than his mother, said, "Pray, sir, may I call again next week for your answer?" "I will drop your father a line, mentioning my proposals," was his reply.

"I think, mother," said Ludovico, as they left the house, "selling books for a livelihood is like fishing for amusement; the best baits will hardly get a nibble in either case: I am certain I shall never seek pleasure in the one, and God forbid I should be driven by necessity to the other." "Amen, my child," said the mother. At length, after many a weary journey undertaken by poor Ludovico, in hopes of his father's poem being purchased by Mr. T. it was returned to him, saying, that when he had leisure to look it over it should be sent for, but that poetry was a very unsaleable commodity at the best.

At the moment when Ludovico returned, the spirits of his father were elated by an order he had just received from that very gentleman who had first incited him to publish, and who had been speaking to him on the subject; and under this impression he now declared that he would immediately publish the work at his own expence, and set all those tiresome booksellers at defiance.

Convinced as Mrs. Lewis was of the excellence of her husband's work, she yet trembled at the thoughts of incurring a printer's bill; but as her spouse with his usual rapidity of decision had now determined on the thing, she set about finding who would do it the cheapest, and at length found a person who offered what appeared both to her and Lewis very reasonable proposals; but he refused to begin printing till half the money was advanced; and such was the newly-awakened desire of the Artist to see his poem in forwardness at this period, notwithstanding his previous timidity, that he not only worked night and day to finish the gentleman's picture, but again applied to his insidious friend the picture dealer, who anxious to take advantage of his wants, and vexed to see him employed for a gentleman who would pay him liberally, supplied him, on the express condition that he should work for no other person for the next six months, an agreement he signed in despite of the tears and entreaties of his distressed son, who foresaw all the evils to which it would subject him, so deeply had he allowed the counsel of his friends to affect his memory.

From this time all that had been bad in the affairs of poor Lewis went worse; before the six months expired the poems were delivered, and the printer demanded further payment; but, alas! the contracting parties discovered now too late, that in their ignorance of terms, they had consented to the poem being printed in a manner so shabby and unfashionable, in its outward form, that every bookseller to whom it was offered protested against its appearance; and declared it might lie on their shelves for ever, no person would purchase it; and as Lewis was by this time well aware that he had conducted the business altogether wrong, he could not help acknowledging the truth of this conclusion, for the external appearance of his literary bantling was so inferior to the present general style of publication, that it was impossible for even parental partiality to suppose it would attract attention, until its merit was generally known, or at least asserted by those guardians of the public taste, whose opinions, whether adopted or not, cannot fail to give publicity, and confer some degree of fame; but as Lewis was entirely ignorant of the general routine of business, and disdained every means of notice which approached to servility, or even indicated fear, he shrunk in sullen melancholy from the disappointment of his expectations, and leaving his wife to dispose of the books as well as she was able, desired only that they might never be brought before his mind in any way again, protesting that worlds should not tempt him to compose another couplet.

This resolution was as unfortunate as that which on a former occasion had condemned his pencil to temporary oblivion; for though all the booksellers to whom they were offered declined the purchase of his poem, and barely suffered it to remain on their shelves as a favour, yet several read it, and being pleased with the variety of beautiful imagery, fine sentiments, and truly classic taste displayed in it, conceived that the author might become a great favorite with the public, if his powers were employed in some more common medium, presented under a less questionable shape, and made proposals to him for that purpose; but he turned from these proposals with cold disgust or haughty sorrow; and without considering that his work was yet unknown, and of course uncondemned, he assumed the manners of one who has been ill-treated by the world, looks down with contempt on those who have trampled upon him, and repels cruelty by disdain.

Poor Ludovico watched every turn of his father's irritated temper and wounded spirit with the deepest interest and the truest sympathy, and so much did his affection lead him to participate in all his father's feelings, that his mother again found the utmost difficulty to inform his judgment without weakening his respect; to shew him how far misconduct had produced the evil his heart was still commanded to pity, and his industry to obviate. Ah! how severe was such a task to a fond and tender wife; to one who in every change of situation, every modification of sorrow, was alike active to help, strong to suffer, and patient to endure; who combined the firmness of fortitude with the meekness of obedience; was humble in the hour of joy, and chearful in the day of adversity.

When the picture dealer, Mr. Sinister, found how large a debt was still due to the printer, be became only the more urgent with Mr. Lewis to fulfil his agreement; and when the six months were expired, it was found that scarcely ten pounds remained due to the Artist, who owed twice that sum to the colourman, besides various other debts unavoidably contracted for their support. It cannot be supposed that the late disappointments he had received, acting on a mind subject to suffering every impulse to affect him acutely, could have been sustained by Lewis without sensibly affecting his health as well as his spirits; and during the depression under which he now sunk, he was frequently led to visit a public-house, not for the purpose of intoxication, for the native refinement of his mind, and his domestic habits, aided by a sense of duty, forbade that degradation, but merely to take a trifling refreshment, and in the society of those around to forget his own cares. Agnes had of late observed that his appetite was very indifferent, and she wished him to take a little wine, and therefore did not object to these visits, until they became so frequent as to alarm her; she then for the first time in her life seriously remonstrated with him, and her entreaties were so fondly, so warmly seconded by poor Ludovico, that he promised them both to refrain from what he confessed to be a growing evil; and ever decisive in his determination, rather from violence of temper than firmness of mind, he resolved never again to enter the scene of his temptation, provided they would be chearful at home, since, he protested, it was for their sakes alone that he trembled at the evils which surrounded him, and shrunk from the prospects before him.

As in every agreement there are obligations named or implied on both sides, Mrs. Lewis felt it her duty to provide for her husband, as well as her scanty means allowed, those indulgences he had at her request so wisely and kindly abandoned: to do this she worked beyond her strength; her long-tried constitution, excellent as it was, gave way, and poor Ludovico, with great dismay, beheld sickness in the face of either parent, duns at the door, and the voice of friendship only uttered by one, whose insidious assistance perpetuated the poverty he affected to relieve.

For a considerable time Mr. Lewis forbore to ask further assistance from Mr. Sinister, the picture dealer, in the hope that he should be enabled to attract attention in some other way, and perhaps not without some secret expectation that his poems would shortly obtain notice, notwithstanding the veil which now obscured them: but alas! his clothes were now shabby, and his credit bad; for as the printer was really a poor man, he had been from necessity clamorous for his money, and his complaints had revealed to the neighbouring tradesmen the state of poor Lewis's affairs; so that various circumstances now combined to crush him, which though each comparatively small, formed a host like the locusts, "which," says the wise son of Sirach, "are a small people, yet they destroy the land."

It so happened, that one day when the printer called in great distress for his money to urge the payment, Mrs. Lewis was setting a bottle of wine on the table before her husband, who urged the person to take a glass with him. The sight of a luxury he had never been accustomed to indulge in, thus enjoyed by a man who was in his debt, offended him still more than the excuse which necessity compelled Lewis to offer; and he left the house swearing that he would have his money, or his revenge, on an idle, drunken fellow, who, provided he could get his own luxuries, cared not who worked or starved. These words were heard only by Mrs. Lewis, who heard them uttered as he descended the stairs. She felt extremely shocked that a single glass of wine, taken by her husband at a time when he really had occasion for it in a medicinal sense, when he was worn down by cares and labour, should have made him an enemy; but she could not help remembering the time when, without a shilling beforehand in the world, he had been accustomed to give many a bottle of this expensive beverage to companions who wasted at once his time and his substance, whilst she was too often lamenting in silence, not so much the commission of error in this respect, since it was never carried to excess, as the omission of providing for a future day, which as the father of a family it was his bounden duty to do; and she now felt how severely he was punished in this individual instance of past neglect, and harassed her mind exceedingly as to the means of averting the threatened danger.

This was out of her power, for the vengeance of anger is ever prompt; and in the evening Ludovico discovered that a bailiff was watching the house. As his father was gone to the picture-dealer's at this time, for the express purpose of obtaining money for the printer, his mother dispatched her son thither to inform him of the circumstance, and entreat him to remain where he was, until darkness should have enabled him to return in safety. At the moment of Ludovico's arrival, Mr. Sinister, convinced from the solicitude in poor Lewis's countenance, of how much importance it was to him to dispose of his pictures, was offering him a price which he well knew to be far below their value, and consequently resisted; but when he heard the sad news brought by Ludovico, he was so alarmed by the threatened privation of his liberty, as to be incapable of bargaining any farther, and impelled by the pressure of the moment to flight, he could only say, "settle the matter with my son," and darted out of the shop, taking the road that led farthest from his own house, under the idea that the footsteps of Ludovico might probably be traced to this place, especially as it was a spot where his business so frequently led him.

Cunning people frequently over-reach themselves, and this was now the case with Mr. Sinister: perceiving the distress of the moment, he now laid six guineas before the boy, saying, "There is the gold, young man, I was about to give your father; God knows whether I shall ever see it again or not, for his pictures all stick by me, I can't dispose of any of them."

At the moment when Ludovico entered the place, he had heard his father use these words, "You cannot surely think of offering me eight guineas for two such pictures as these, Mr. Sinister." From this he learnt that eight had been offered, and he well knew twice eight was too little; he learnt also from this circumstance, what rejoiced him exceedingly, that his father had actually settled by his painting with this rapacious man, and merely applied to him now as a person who, having ready money by him, could give that present assistance he so much wanted. Ludovico knew that his father's pride and delicacy was such that he could not bring himself to seek for purchasers, to beg for assistance, and that this person took advantage of this feeling, ever inherent in persons of native refinement, and which Ludovico possessed as strongly as his father; but he had likewise the sense of duty, that determined virtue, which when a point of integrity was at stake, could overcome every feeling at war with his principles. He had seen his mother, whose modesty as a woman increased the difficulty of conquering such sensations, and whose early habits of seclusion rendered every mode of obtrusion on the world peculiarly painful, yet meet meekly but firmly every obstacle that opposed her real utility; and after a few minutes recollection he determined to attempt some means of bettering his father's situation at this important crisis. Seizing, therefore, the pictures, and placing them under his arm, he said, "Well, sir, if you will only give me six guineas for these pictures, I must endeavour to dispose of them elsewhere. I heard my father refuse eight for them from you, and I should ill merit his confidence if I permitted them to go for less." As Ludovico said this, he retreated with the air of a person who had determined on his mode of action.

"Well, well, put them down, if I said eight, I will give eight."

"But my father refused eight in my hearing, therefore I cannot take it."

"Come, come, child, don't be a fool, here are eight guineas for you—your father is in distress, I know he is, my ears are as quick as yours—I know very well how you are situated; your father is on the point of an arrest, and this money will enable him to fly somewhere for safety; when he is gone, I will help to settle his affairs; we will keep him snug till we get the creditors to sign a release, and then I will bring him out and give him employment; now if this offer won't shew you your true friend, nothing will."

"Do I understand you right? Do you mean to say that my father will not have occasion to pay his debts?"

"Only a trifle, we must make a sale of your father's sketches, and books, and odds and ends, as it were; in fact, I will take them myself at a fair valuation, and then divide what little matter there is amongst them: now as they can't help themselves, there's no doubt but they'll take it, sign a release, and he's a sound man again: that's the way Morland's affairs have been settled just now; do you see, boy?"

"Yes, yes, I see it all," cried Ludovico, tears of sorrow and indignation bursting from his eyes; "I see that my poor father is to be made a rogue to the world, and a slave to you; but he shall never be driven to this; my mother will never agree to it; I will never agree; we will work, we will beg, we will pay all our debts honestly, in time—yes, if we have time we will do every thing."

"Fine talking, indeed!—observe this, while you are stitching for pence, and drawing for shillings, your mother and you will have the satisfaction of seeing your father pining to death in a close prison—he's already very thin, and I think his lungs are touched; he'll soon be gone, when he's once shut up in Newgate."

Ludovico sobbed aloud.

"Come, come, I don't like to see you distressed; I will add to these eight guineas, a guinea as a gift to yourself; you are a clever boy, and a good boy, and I will encourage you by taking some of your drawings off your hands; when we get your affairs settled I shall not mind employing you myself."

"Settled," said Ludovico to himself, and every principle of his honest heart revolted at the word; yet his distress was very great, the nine guineas lay temptingly before him; tho' conscious that the pictures were worth twice the money even to a dealer, yet present relief for his father was of the utmost importance; he knew not what to do, but his trembling heart fervently addressed itself to heaven, and besought almighty guidance. Whilst he stood thus rapt in inward prayer, two persons entered the place and called for Mr. Sinister's attention; this gave him an opportunity of hastening Ludovico's decision, and gathering up the guineas, he chinked them in his hand, saying, "Well, master Lewis, are these guineas to go into my pocket or yours, that's the question?"

Ludovico laid the pictures on the table with a deep sigh, and an irresolute air.

"Harkee now," said one of the men in a strong Irish accent, "if so be as your name be Lewis, and you dale in pictures, I shuldn't wonder but you be the son, or the cuzen, or the like o'that, to the very man that my master bought a great big painting of some two years agone; an if ye be, I can tell ye for your comfort, that my master, Sir John Gifford, has given it the best place in his house, so he has; and he wouldn't take five hundred pounds for his bargain of ever a lord in little Ireland, so he wouldn't."

"Is Sir John Gifford your master?" said Ludovico, with brightening looks, in the hopes that his father would at length obtain the introduction he had so long wished for to the gentleman who had bought his large picture, and in doing so, had proved how highly he esteemed his talents.

"No, honey, he's not my master now, because for why, he sent me to live with his sister's son's husband you must know; but if ye mane you should like to shew your pictures there to my master, who has a little matter of liking for such things, I'll traduce you and your pictures to him with all my heart, if ye'll come to Portman Square to-morrow, and ask to spake with one Dermot at General Villars."

With a heart that bounded with gratitude to heaven, and a tongue that faintly expressed his thanks to honest Dermot, Ludovico again grasped his pictures, and was leaving the shop, when Sinister, seizing his arm, whispered, "Your father must be helped to-night, remember, and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush—here, take this money to your father's creditors—take more—I will let you have whatever will satisfy him."

"No, thank you, sir, whatever helps my father, helps his creditors also; their interests are inseparable; and when he knows the pains I shall undoubtedly take to sell the pictures properly now I know their value, he will wait in patience."

"'Tis a chance of a thousand to one that the General should buy your pictures; besides, you cannot shew them to him without frames—elegant, expensive frames; come, come leave them with me, I will give you twelve guineas for them."

Ludovico shook his head.

"Sixteen, that is double the money I offered your father."

"It won't do, Mr. Sinister—I shall not sell them to you for any money, since the very offer convinces me how dreadfully my poor father has been imposed upon, notwithstanding your assertion that you found it impossible to part with his pictures."

Sinister now became in such a rage, that he would have wrested the pictures from him by force, if it had not been in the presence of the two persons, who were both gentlemen's servants, and who having delivered their message, departed with Ludovico, and became guardians to him nearly all the way home. On arriving there he found his father not yet returned, and his mother extremely uneasy on his account, as the evening was now setting in for rain: the information of Ludovico was very grateful to her, and she agreed with him that some means must be taken to procure frames for the pictures before morning.

Ludovico depositing his precious burden under her care, ran to the house of the only friend he had, who was the person that purchased his sketches; and after informing him precisely of his situation, requested him to advise, or assist him in procuring the loan of two frames for an hour in the morning, offering any method of securing their speedy return which the bookseller should point out.

"You are so punctual," said the bookseller, "in fulfilling your engagements, so loath to ask the advance of a trifle, and so certain to repay it to the time stipulated, that I have a pleasure in doing you a service, and though it is late, I will go with you to a frame-maker, who will trust you on my word."

To the great joy of Ludovico, he found a pair of elegant frames just finished of the exact size he wanted, and they were on the bookseller's recommendation immediately lent to him, though of great value: such is the worth and utility of a good character.

As the rain now fell in torrents, the bookseller called a coach for Ludovico, in order that he might convey the frames in safety. He had not rode far when he perceived his father, who appeared drenched to the skin; in great distress he called to him from the window, "Mr. Lewis! Mr. Lewis;" but the alarmed, unhappy man knew not the voice of his child, and ran as fast as he could the contrary way.

For many hours Ludovico and his unhappy mother waited the return of the fugitive, but it was past midnight when he came home, and it then appeared that he had been wandering in the streets ever since he received the fatal news of his intended arrest, negligent of the tempest, unmindful of refreshment, and so absorbed by the severer storm that raged within, as to be insensible of that without; but when he found himself locked once more in his own house, supported by the kindness of his wife, and relieved by the welcome information communicated by his son, he was then sensible of the effects of the terrible cold he had caught, and the extreme exhaustion of his frame, which was now assailed by rheumatic pain in every limb.

True to the feelings which ever characterized him, ill as he was, poor Lewis placed his paintings that very night in the elegant frames his son had procured, and in contemplating their appearance seemed to lose the sense of the sorrows that surrounded, and the sickness that oppressed him; and such was the renovation of his spirits in the pleasure he experienced from this incident, that Mrs. Lewis was deceived into the belief that her cares had saved him from sustaining more than temporary indisposition from his late unhappy exposure to the elements, and she fell asleep in this happy, though false conviction.

When Ludovico arose the next morning, no longer under the immediate oppression of those severe feelings, which had made him ready, the preceding night, to venture at all hazards to present himself and his father's pictures to the eye of strangers, to incur the charge of impertinence, bear the brunt of insolence, and in the search for pity endure contempt, he felt all the awkwardness of his situation, and shrunk from the pain to which it subjected him. No longer under the immediate influence of hope or despair, he had the leisure to consider his personal appearance, which was shabby and unpromising; to reflect on his manners, which knowing to be bashful, he believed were uncouth, and to fear that if he was called on to speak, the words would stick in his throat; and he almost repented not taking the advanced terms offered by Mr. Sinister. His mother, accustomed to read every thought of his heart in his ingenuous countenance, relieved him by saying, that most probably the pictures would be carried to the General by Mr. Dermot in the first place, and afterwards, if the General should purchase, he would express a wish to see his father; and this idea gave the poor boy courage to regain that self-possession, which was generally habitual to him, and enabled him to set out with a serene heart and smiling countenance.


There was on earth no power to save,
But, as he shudder'd o'er the grave,
He saw from realms of light descend
The friend of him who has no friend.


When Ludovico arrived at the General's house, and enquired for Mr. Dermot, he was told by the porter to "wait a wee bit;" this wee bit proved a tedious hour, during which time there were servants of all descriptions seen moving about the house with an air of uncommon bustle, but no Dermot amongst them. From their conversation he learnt that the family were on the point of setting out for the South of France, whither the General's lady had been ordered for the benefit of her health; and as this was the period of the short peace, she was taking the advantage of it.

"Alas!" thought Ludovico, "they will take no notice of me at such a time as this; and as to buying pictures, that is out of the question just when the family is about to remove: I wish I had never come."

"My bonny bairn, thee hast muckle patience," said the Scotchman, "but hauld up thy head, for here comes Dermot at last, as ise warrant he'll gie thee a lift."

The broad, open, good-natured countenance of Dermot revived the heart of poor Ludovico, and although he found he was going to be taken immediately into the General's presence, notwithstanding his humble apparel, yet he did not shrink in the manner he apprehended. Dermot praised the frames of the pictures all the way up stairs; and this praise, though not of the kind which is gratifying to an artist, was yet welcome to Ludovico at such a moment as this.

"Plase your honour, here's the young boy as I was telling your honour about, and here's his pictures, which to my mind are more handsomer in their gilding, an all that, than any your honour has sain lately."

As Dermot spoke, he displayed the pictures, clapping them down opposite to the window. General Villars, who was a fine sun-burnt looking man, giving Ludovico an encouraging look, bade him come forwards, and then directed Dermot where to place the pictures, observing, that he "wished to see the painting, not the gilding."

"True, your honour; one person likes one thing, and hanother, hanother. The frame always appairs to me the varry heart of a pictur."

In the middle of the large room where this examination took place, was a table, where three ladies were sitting; she whom Ludovico considered the General's lady arose to look at the pictures, laying down an open book which she had been reading, which was a fine edition of Beattie's Minstrel: the table was covered with such a variety and profusion of things, spread out as if for packing, that Ludovico could not forbare looking at it: there were many beautiful toys, sparkling jewels, colour-boxes, and perfumes at one end, and at the other were fruit, conserves, and various cakes: two young ladies were arranging the jewels in some caskets, and when they heard the General tell Ludovico to come forwards, one of them looked at the other, as much as to say, "let us make haste and get these things out of the way; they are too tempting objects to be laid before that poor boy."

Mrs. Villars saw the look, and the manner which accompanied it; she turned her eyes full upon Ludovico, and said, "you need be under no apprehension," repeating from the book she had laid down,

"For know poor Edwin was no vulgar boy,
"Deep thought oft seem'd to fix his infant eye;—
"Dainties he heeded not, nor guade, nor toy,
"Silent when glad, affectionate though shy."

"We will see bye and bye," said the young ones with a look of doubt, in answer to her observation.

The General, calling Ludovico, enquired the subject of the picture he liked best, to which he answered with promptness and precision: and when further questioned, described the country which environed it with that simple eloquence natural to a mind that feels its subject, and has been accustomed to hear the best language in its ordinary society.

"Has your father been many years an artist?" said the honourable Mrs. Villars.

"Yes, madam, he was devoted to the arts from his youth; but he is likewise a—a Poet."

"More the pity," said the General. Ludovico blushed excessively.

"I mean only to say," added the General, kindly, "that it is a pity that a gentleman (which I am sure your father is) should either injure his talents by attempting too much, or be under a necessity of exerting them in such various ways. I am sorry that my departure from this country forbids me the pleasure of enquiring farther after all his productions at present; but on my return I hope to see more of him: I shall, however, purchase this picture, if your father will sell it for twenty guineas."

Ludovico bowed gratefully in assent.

Whilst the General opened his escritoire to take out his bills, the lady said, "now tell me which of all the things on this table you think the best worth having, my young friend?"

"The colour-boxes are, I believe, the best worth having, but—

"But what! speak your opinion freely, I am certain you have an opinion."

"I was going to say, that though I think the colour-boxes best worth having, the book you were reading, madam, is the most delightful of all the things."

The lady smiled in triumph at her young friends, and whilst Ludovico turned to receive his money from the General, who paid him for the frame of his picture likewise, she closed up one of the colour-boxes, and wrapt the book in some writing-paper; and just as he had received the money, and was thanking the General, she put them and a large plum-cake into his hands, saying, "I am certain you will make a good use of all these things."

Ludovico started with surprise, looked at the lady, and the tears flushed into his eyes—his lips trembled, but he could not articulate a syllable.

Affected with his artless sensibility, the lady beckoned Dermot, and ordered him to carry the other picture home for him, and Ludovico departed the happiest of boys. Ludovico's first care was to repair to the frame-maker's, to return one frame and pay for the other; and the man, pleased with his ready sale of the frame, and the boy's punctuality, offered to keep the other picture on sale, to which he joyfully consented, and he returned to set his father's heart at ease, having no doubt but the present sum would satisfy the printer, whose debt would be nearly liquidated. His father received him with rapture, and extolled all his exertions; but it was now so evident that he was ill, that the poor boy had little pleasure even in his success, for he thought on Sinister's words, that his lungs were touched, and though he attached no precise meaning to the words, yet he dreaded their import.

The exultation of his mother was still shorter; for though her husband would not allow that he was ill, and repeatedly sat down to his easel, yet she was convinced that some uncommon ailment hung over him. For several successive days she continued in this anxious state, when, unable to endure it any longer, she procured medical advice, when it was declared that his lungs were disordered, that he had a considerable degree of fever, and that unless an extraordinary change took place he would go off in a gallopping consumption, the effects of a violent cold. At this very crisis two gentlemen, both celebrated amateurs, called at his lodgings to order pictures, in consequence of the recommendation of General Villars: this attention awoke new energies in the sick man, and he made several attempts at painting; but alas! the power of exertion grew every hour faint, and more faint; and although he had a pleasure in awakening and combining those beauteous images which had so long engaged his mind, and employed his hand, he had no longer the power of pursuing them, his dry and burning hand could no longer wield the pencil, his bright but aching eye refused to spend its fleeting beams upon the canvas.

Many a weary day, and many a restless night, did the unhappy wife pursue untired every mode of relief, every possibility of consolation, till the last vestige of hope forsook her sinking heart, and she was condemned to accept of fortitude as its only substitute: in all her trouble she cried unto the Lord, and he forsook her not. She had the inexpressible satisfaction to find that a deep sense of error in his own conduct induced her husband candidly to acknowledge wherein he had suffered himself to be led astray, by the pride, or imprudence, which he had excused, and dignified with the name of Genius; and to perceive that his heart was frequently engaged in fervent prayer, that the promises of redeeming love, as displayed in the Gospel, were now exceeding precious in his sight, and that all his conversations with Ludovico were of the mercies of God in having spared him the comforts he now enjoyed; though he frequently lamented the difficulties to which his family were exposed, and extremely regretted the debts he had incurred. On these occasions Agnes never failed to reassure his mind, and intreat him to dismiss every painful apprehension from his heart, declaring her trust in the protecting hand of the Almighty, and her resolution by unwearied diligence to liquidate every debt, and suffer no dishonour to rest upon his grave; an assurance that gave him the sincerest pleasure he was now capable of enjoying, though he could not help bitterly lamenting the necessity of her exertions on this account; and these conversations seldom failed to make him again attempt to sit to his easel, where he would sometimes draw a beautiful sketch, or produce a fine effect of colouring; but long before the finishing touch could be given, clouds obscured his sight, fever palsied his hand, and he sunk fainting on the bosom of his pitying and heart-wounded wife.

One evening, as he was reclined on his couch, supported by this beloved partner, they were surprised by a visit from the frame-maker, who brought them sixteen guineas which he had taken for the picture left in his hand, and which Lewis roused himself to distribute to his different creditors, being now as anxious to pay to the uttermost farthing as he was once careless; on such subjects so different are our views when we draw near that awful tribunal, where not only our actual crimes, but our sinful omissions must be weighed in that balance where our best deeds are too often found wanting. This led him to consider on the folly of his conduct in subjecting himself to Sinister, and he foretold that after his death this man would grow rich by the sale of his pictures; and thus his family were deprived of that inheritance his talents might have left them, and an insidious stranger possessed of that property it is the highest boon, and the best bequest of Genius to bestow.

As he thus spoke, Ludovico knelt at his feet with earnest eyes, gazing on his face, and devouring his words with eager and fond attention, whilst his wife, as his pale forehead rested on her shoulder, now wiped away the cold dew that rose on his brow, and now pressed it with parched and trembling lips: as he felt this tender salutation, he blessed and thanked her for all her love, declaring that she had ever been to him the most kind, generous, and pious helpmate that ever man was blessed with; then looking on Ludovico, he declared that "he was worthy of his mother, and a crown of rejoicing to his father's dying hour;" and he earnestly bade him remember that he must soon become, not only that mother's only comfort, but a parent to his little Constantina, who was at this moment sleeping by his side. As he spoke, he clasped his hands, and looking fervently to heaven, as if all the powers of his feeble frame were now concentrated on his quivering lips, he cried—

"Father of the spirits of all flesh; Almighty, All-merciful—thou from whom I have received so much, and to whom I have rendered back so little, forgive me! oh, forgive me for my Saviour's sake!"

As the last words were spoken, his head fell heavier on the bosom of his wife, and the last sigh escaped him. Ludovico, in awful sorrow, beheld that terrible hour which left him fatherless, which made his mother a widow; and his suspended lamentations now broke forth in all the bitterness of unavailing sorrow.

Thus died Alfred Lewis, in the very prime of his life and the zenith of his talents, addicted to no vice, capable of every virtue, and possessing powers that might have secured not only the comforts of independence, but the acquisition of wealth.


There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.


We do not wish to afflict our readers farther than is absolutely necessary in this little history, and shall therefore pass over the first transports of sorrow felt by this tender family for a beloved, though improvident parent and husband; we therefore proceed to the immediate consequences of his death.

The printer and colourman had received the late payments, which had reduced their bills to twelve pounds in the first instance, and seven in the second; added to which, various other claimants made up the sum of fourteen pounds; but as each of the creditors could entertain no doubt of Mrs. Lewis's power to discharge their trifling demands, she did not entertain any immediate fear of their troubling her; nor were they likely to do it in any instance; but the printer, who being a needy man himself, might be compelled to insist upon payment, was still an object of some uneasiness to her.

It so happened, that the morning after poor Lewis had breathed his last this man happened to meet Sinister, who informed him of the event, inquiring if he was paid; the printer replied, "that he was not, but as he was convinced they were honest people, he must try to wait."

"Then you are a fool for your pains, for now or never is your time, depend upon it; that boy is as cunning as a fox—he has got two or three pictures, any one of which will pay you three times over, but he will not part with one of them if he can help it, because the longer he keeps them the more they will fetch; so if you let your compassion get the better of you, you will never see a farthing."

"But I cannot afford that," said the man.

"Then I will tell you how to go on with them; so come along."

In consequence of Mr. Sinister's advice, which arose partly from his desire to be revenged on Ludovico, and partly from his wish to obtain every thing that had been painted by Mr. Lewis, well knowing that he would be able to turn them to good account, this man repaired immediately to poor Lewis's lodgings, where he saw only Ludovico sitting with his little sister, as he had prevailed on his mother to go to bed.

From motives of the most delicate humanity, these affectionate children, during the absence of their mother, had collected every sketch, pencil, and pallet of their father, and put them in a box, which they had given in charge to the mistress of the house, in order to save their mother the pain of seeing these affecting relics; and when the printer entered the room it immediately struck him that Ludovico had already disposed of them, a mode of conduct he thought indecent and dishonest, and being a vulgar, passionate man, he immediately insisted on his money, in a manner so coarse and unfeeling, that Ludovico could not forbear to notice it; on which the man, already irritated, swore that if he did not receive the money in twenty-four hours, "though he had not caught his father alive, he might depend upon it he would have him dead;" so he left him to consider of it.

Ludovico did not understand this threat, but he was so shocked with the brutality of one, who, in such a moment of affliction, could thus break upon him, that he believed the man capable of every outrage which could debase human nature; and trembling for the safety of his mother, he descended to enquire of the mistress of the house, how far this dear mother was amenable to the law in such case, and there learnt, with inexpressible horror, that the man had repeated his determination to seize the body of his father, and had the power to put his threat in execution.

From this moment the distress of Ludovico became anguish intolerable: it was a violation at which his inmost soul shuddered, and he had only the power to intreat that not a word of this might reach his mother's ear before a deadly faintness overcame him, and he sunk insensible on the floor.

When Mrs. Lewis retired to her chamber, she wrote to inform her father of her loss, and for the first time to let him so far into her melancholy circumstances as to request the loan of ten pounds for her immediate wants, confident that her request would be granted, and that even in his poor parish the good pastor could always command such a sum as this: she had proceeded to give orders respecting the interment of her husband, thus sparing the feelings of her children as they were sparing hers; and had just made these arrangements when she was informed that Ludovico was ill, and requested to come down stairs.

When the affectionate boy beheld his mother with new and inexpressible anguish in her face, leaning over him, he recalled his scattered thoughts, and struggled to overcome the terrible emotion which oppressed him, and through the remainder of the day affected that composure he could not feel; sometimes endeavouring, but in vain, to contrive ways for raising the money; sometimes flattering himself that it was not possible for any human being to be so uselessly cruel; and then sinking into a dreadful fear that it really was possible, and figuring to himself the wretchedness of his mother on such an event, should the threat be executed.

Every noise startled him; every voice, under the window or in the house, alarmed him: terrible as had been his sufferings the preceding night, they were far exceeded by those of the present: "let me fell into the hands of God rather than the hands of men," was the prayer of David in his trouble, and poor Ludovico felt with him on this trying occasion. Unable to sleep, he arose early in the morning, and was slowly pacing about the room, uncertain how the time passed, but receiving some consolation from the idea that his mother slept beyond her usual hour, when he heard the voices of men ascending the stairs, and to his utter horror, enter the room where his father lay.

For a moment his blood seemed to stagnate in his veins, but the recollection of his mother's look of bitter anguish as she hung over him the day before when he was sick, roused him to exertion; he shook himself, hastily swallowed some water, and by a desperate effort ran to the door of the room which the men had entered.

"What are you doing there? Oh! for God's sake, what are you doing?" cried he.

"We are moving the body, that's all," answered one of the fellows in a gruff voice.

An agony beyond expression darted through the brain, and cleft the heart of Ludovico; he flew into the street like lightning; he cast his eyes around, as if appealing both to heaven and earth for pity; nor did he appeal in vain.

A stout looking gentleman, about fifty, one of the Society of Friends, was walking slowly up the street, and was the first human being on which Ludovico's haggard looks rested: he flew to him; he seized his coat; he fell at his feet; he embraced his knees, crying, "Save! save my father!"

"Is thy father ill, my child?"

"No! no! he is dead, quite dead."

It immediately struck the good man, that this poor distracted looking boy had just discovered a self-murdered parent, and he enquired as well as he could if this was the case.

Ludovico trembled at the bare suggestion.

"My father was a christian, sir," cried he; "he fell by a lingering disease, and died commending his soul to his Redeemer—I am not so very, very wretched as I might have been, I see."

"Then tell me what aileth thee, my poor child, and how I can help thee."

Ludovico had by this time risen and drawn the good man to the door post, which the men must pass; and having felt that he had placed a kind of bulwark there, he became able to reveal his sad story; but just as he had finished it the men came down stairs, and on the Quaker's interrogating them, it appeared that they had merely been placing the body in the coffin; and that the fears of poor Ludovico outran the necessity. As, however, from the testimony of the mistress of the house, it appeared that there was but too much reason to apprehend an arrest might be made; the kind-hearted, and truly charitable man sat down and listened to every particular of the sad story, frequently sighing over it, though his features, from habitual self-command, remained apparently unmoved.

At length rising, he said, "I must leave thee, but here is my address, and if these men trouble thee, scruple not to send for me, and here is a guinea for thy more immediate wants, which appear to me manifold; I do not understand thy profession, therefore cannot decide on the value of that which appeareth vain and unprofitable in my eyes; but I know a good man, one John Young, who thinketh no labour too great which helpeth the needy; I will request him to look at thy property, and I entreat thee to suffer no other to direct thee, neither by force nor cajolement; remember thou art afflicted, but not desolate—nay, my child, hold me not, I pray thee, for I have a friend who waiteth for me."

"Go," said Ludovico, resigning the hand he held, "and the blessing of him that was ready to perish be on you."

These words were not heard by him to whom they were addressed, for the swollen heart denied them utterance—he departed, however, sensible of the comfort he had bestowed, and happy in the consciousness of it.

Mrs. Lewis had just entered the sitting-room after visiting the remains of her beloved partner, and was preparing their frugal repast, when the printer and Mr. Sinister entered the room together; and when the former brutally demanded his money, the latter mildly, and in the most insinuating manner informed her, that he was willing to give her a fair price for whatever pictures his late dear friend had left behind him.

"Alas!" said Mrs. Lewis, "of the many my dear Alfred begun, there is not one finished picture."

"No matter, I will give you something for the very poorest things you have."

Eager for relief, Mrs. Lewis cast her eyes round the room in search of the sketches.

"Mother, dear mother, you cannot sell them," cried Ludovico, "until Mr. Young has valued them; when he has fixed the price, Mr. Sinister may have them all, if he chooses; he must not have them till then."

"Mr. Young, child,—I do not know such a person."

But Mr. Sinister did, and what was worse, he was aware that Mr. Young knew him; and determined not to meet him, he shrunk towards the door, at the same time giving the printer a look, which instigated him to torture the widow, by threatening again the outrage with which he had menaced her son; but Ludovico, aware of his intention, stepped up to him, saying, "I know what you are going to say—but hear me, we will pay you honestly, indeed we will, if you will have patience; but if you attempt the cruel conduct you threaten, this gentleman has promised to protect me, and I will fetch him instantly."

As Ludovico spoke, he held up the Quaker's card. "David Gurney!" said the printer, recoiling; "he is my landlord, the man that saved me from a jail—ah, you are indeed a cunning dog—but say nothing to him—you'll pay me in time; 'twas a bad job for us both; I hope to get off a few of the books; indeed I have no objection to taking half the debt in books now; not I indeed, I doesn't like to be hard with any body; Mr. Sinister knows that I said that yesterday morning."

Mr. Sinister flew down stairs; the printer would have followed him, but Ludovico, though overcome with fasting so long, after such previous agitation, detained him, and insisted on his taking the books he had mentioned with him; and signing a proper receipt, he then knew he was safe; and his spirits released from this load sprung with happy elasticity; and to the great consolation of his mother, after making a good meal, he sunk back in his chair and enjoyed some hours of necessary repose.

The following morning this affectionate family resigned to the dust those beloved remains guarded with so much difficulty, and began to arrange their future plan of life. Whilst thus engaged they were happily interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Young and the benevolent Quaker, who now saw the widow for the first time. Whilst his friend, who was an engraver, looked over the sketches and unfinished pictures poor Lewis had left behind, he inquired into her future views, which by leading her to speak of the past, though she adverted as little as possible to it, proved that she had been long subject to anxiety and affliction; and that she possessed that strength which is derived from above, and which he trusted would still support her; and though he determined that she should not sink for want of a friend, yet he determined likewise as far as possible to give her the comfort of self-dependence.

Whilst he was thus conversing with her, Constantina, who was now in her eighth year, and had become of late very useful to her mother, brought out her work-basket and sat down seriously to work, as she thought unnoticed; but the eyes of the good man were upon her; and as he soon afterwards began to question her, he drew from the artless child the little history of all her mothers labours, and her own; and the mother, exceedingly affected by the idea of any reflections that might be made on her departed husband, precipitately withdrew.

Constantina, at that happy age when the "tear forgot as soon as shed" leaves no corrosive pang behind, pleased to be noticed by the gentleman, went on to say, she hoped some time to work as hard as Ludovico did, when he drew little pictures enow, to get poor papa out of the jail.

Mr. Young now listened to her, and laying down the picture in his hand, said, "Do you remember ever giving a little dab of a drawing to a gentleman in a stage coach?" looking at Ludovico.

"Perfectly, sir, I should be very ungrateful if I did not recollect that gentleman, for he gave me a paper of biscuits which my sister there could eat, when she was too ill to take any other food."

"That gentleman was my brother-in-law, and that very proof of your early ingenuity is now in my house, under the care of Mrs. Young, and where I shall be happy to show it to you, as a medium of reviving scenes, which though connected with painful circumstances, can never be useless or disagreeable."

Mrs. Lewis now returning, Mr. Young addressing her with that respectful politeness which the humane mind ever pays to the sacred form of virtue in affliction, however humble its situation in life, said thus—

"In looking over these pictures, I find them in so unfinished a state as to be worth very little money at this time, and would advise you not to part with them, as I think your son at some future period may finish them to advantage."

Mrs. Lewis was about to urge her necessities, when by a motion of his hand he entreated silence, and then proceeded to say,—

"This book of sketches is very valuable, and I will purchase it myself, that is, if you think your son has no inclination to become an engraver; for if he has such an intention, I think it might be very beneficial to him, and advise you to keep it for his use also if you are able to afford it."

"My poor boy has no chance of gaining necessary instruction, or he would be most happy to pursue that delightful art; we have since our residence in London made many inquiries, but found the terms of an apprenticeship far beyond our power; I will therefore most thankfully accept what you may be pleased to give me for these sketches, which must be parted with."

"The terms I offer are twenty-five pounds at this time, and twenty-five more when the engravings I shall make from them are completed. Do you accept this, Mrs. Lewis, or more if I find I can afford it?"

"Most thankfully, sir."

"Then, madam, here is the money; I pay it you in small notes, as concluding it the most convenient."

As Mrs. Lewis took up these bills, she was observed by Mr. Gurney to put them in parcels, by which he perceived she was giving to each creditor his due, especially as when she came to the last, she drew from her pocket the guinea he had given to Ludovico, and two shillings which she put to it; and having done so, cast a look to heaven full of devout gratitude, though moistened with a tear of regret that her sensations of joy were not shared by her departed spouse.

Mr. Young was a close observer; he added this trait of honesty to the many he had seen,—twinkling away a tear which compassionate admiration had gathered in his eye, with affected apathy he told Ludovico to bring him the engravings on the morrow morning, and shaking hands with Mr. Gurney, retired.

"I have placed thee in very good hands," said the latter, when he was gone; "for he may be many days before he regains the money he has advanced for thee. Moreover, friend Young is a man that will not easily forsake thee, for he hath a great sympathy with all those who have industry and honesty, though he denieth not help to any. My occasions will shortly call me from hence, in which case I would have thee look to him for counsel in all things, seeing he understandeth the nature of thy calling, or rather thy son's calling, far better than me." So saying he arose.

The benevolent countenance, and generous kindness of this good man, while it excited the warmest gratitude in Ludovico, subdued his general timidity; pressing up to him with a look of tender earnestness, he said—

"Oh, sir! must you indeed go?"

"I must, my child, but not till I have furnished thy mother with the means of providing decent clothing for ye all, agreeable to general custom, in people of your profession—that you have not violated your principles in conformity with your feelings in this respect, hath greatly gratified me; but now I desire that ye will go immediately into decent and proper mourning, such as ye were arrayed in yesterday, which I now apprehend was borrowed for the occasion."

So saying, he presented Mrs. Lewis with a bank note of twenty pounds, and then hastened out of the room, leaving the widow and her son overwhelmed with their feelings; and little Constantina on her knees by the work-table, with upraised eyes and clasped hands praying aloud for blessings on the head of their benefactor.

But the good man's kindness did not stop here; he had perceived that although Mrs. Lewis did not complain of ill health, and had perhaps no disorder to which she could give a name, that her whole constitution was breaking down from the long train of solicitude and affliction which she had endured, and the many privations to which she had submitted; and his habit of frequently visiting the abodes of sorrow, and watching its melancholy progress, assured him that now the object of her anxiety was torn from her, and the burden of her immediate wants removed, she would feel her own complaints more sensibly. He therefore sent her from his own house a supply of excellent old wine, recommended her to take country lodgings, and commanded her to apply to his housekeeper for whatever his table afforded, that could contribute to the restoration of her strength and health and that of poor Ludovico, whose tall thin figure and meagre looks bore ample proof of the poverty which had so long assailed them.

True to the moment Mr. Young had specified for receiving the sketches he had purchased, Ludovico, now handsomely dressed, and with a cheerful countenance, set out for his house near Fitzroy Square. He was shewn by the servant into a large dining parlour, at one end of which sat Mrs. Young, who with a smiling countenance pointed to a chair near her, shewing him by a glance of her eye, that Mr. Young was engaged at the other end of the room.

In pointing to the chair Mrs. Young threw down a little box of silk balls, which rolled around on every side; Ludovico instantly laid down his portfolio and began to gather them up, and before he laid them on the table he rolled them up as well as he could, and with less awkwardness than is usually seen in boys.

"I perceive, young gentleman," said Mrs. Young, "that you have been used to assist your mother; I like you for that."

Just then Ludovico perceived a boy about two years older, but not much taller than himself, take a pen from Mr. Young, who was standing with him, and an elderly gentleman at the sideboard, on which was a parchment, which the young man signed; on which the former, laying a number of bank notes on the table, said, "there, sir, is the three hundred and fifty pounds due to you, as an apprentice fee; you will find them all right: my nephew shall come to you next Monday, as we agreed, and I hope you will find him a boy of Genius."

"I hope to find him diligent, and persevering," said Mr. Young, "in which case I will excuse the Genius, for genius has hitherto been the plague of my life."

"You perfectly astonish me," said the gentleman.

"That may be, sir, but if you had had half so much to do with men of Genius, without thought, regularity, prudence, or management—boys of Genius, who were headstrong, careless, self-willed, idle, and disorderly, as I have had, you would say as I do, that even in a profession generally supposed to call for extraordinary genius, the qualities I have mentioned are worth the highest praise that can attach to it ten times over; and, in fact, the highest praise of genius is this, that in well regulated minds it becomes, and, in fact, is itself a stimulus to industry."

"You hear all this, Charles," said the uncle, "and I hope you will profit by it;" so saying, they departed together.

"You have heard all this likewise, and I hope you believe it," said Mr. Young to Ludovico.

"I do indeed, sir; it is the language of my mother."

"Then perhaps you would have no objection to do as that young man has done, sign an indenture, and become my apprentice."

"Oh, sir, I should be most happy! but that gentleman, sir, I saw—yes, I saw him—"

"You saw him give me a large sum of money, that I might give his nephew board and instruction for three years; he is seventeen years of age, you are fourteen; now I will take you for five years, instead of three, for no money at all, on the consideration that you already possess much knowledge of drawing, and that the same care, industry, honesty, and affection, which have been engrafted in your heart, and displayed in your conduct towards your parents, will be shewn towards me, and all who are dear to me."

Ludovico, in speechless gratitude, would have assured his generous friend of all he felt, but his heart was too full—he cast his eye towards Mrs. Young.

"I see all you would say, my good boy," said she, "and feel assured that for the first time in my life, I shall have an apprentice in my house who will neither waste his master's time, abuse his master's property, or omit the respect due to his master's wife; you, Ludovico, will do none of these things?"

"God forbid!" said Ludovico, raising his swimming eyes to heaven.

"Ever preserve, my good boy, that humble confidence in heaven, that pious observance of religious duties which now actuates you, so shall your virtues strengthen with your years: from this hour we are agreed: I will prepare your indentures, and on Monday receive you at my house; so carry the news to your mother, from whose hands I must then receive you."

But it was not possible for the warm and grateful heart of Mrs. Lewis to wait till Monday before she expressed the sentiments with which such charitable and liberal conduct inspired her; and although she had just received a letter from a dear Father, which greatly affected her, she started up, declaring she would go that moment to Mr. Young, and bless him and thank him for his goodness.

"My dear mother," said Ludovico, "remember you used to say we should seldom obey our sudden impulses, so let us go tomorrow morning instead, and in the mean time we will answer this excellent letter from my good grandfather, and return the money he has straightened himself to send us. We will enable him to rejoice that his prayers have been heard, and answered on our behalf, and that as our sorrows have multiplied, so have the mercies of our heavenly Father been multiplied also."

Mrs. Lewis yielded to her son's request, and wrote a long letter to her reverend parent, in which hope for the future mingled with sorrow for the past, and then prepared for the hour of rest, by gratefully adoring, with her children, that awful power who had brought them through clouds and thick darkness to rejoice in the light of his countenance; after which they retired to a serene, though still pensive pillow.

When Mrs. Lewis presented herself the following morning at Mr. Young's house, the family being at breakfast, and having a friend with them, she would have withdrawn; but on hearing her name, Mr. Young desired her to be instantly admitted, and received her with such an expression of pleasure in his mien that she was convinced she had indeed come at the best time: to her surprise, however, he scarcely received her first salutation before he led her to Mrs. Young and his friend, saying, that he was too busy to stay another moment, and they must settle their business without him.

Mrs. Lewis, feeling she had no business to settle, would have withdrawn, especially as the gentleman, though a most respectable looking man, regarded her with such penetrating, though not unfeeling looks, that she wished to avoid them; but Mrs. Young, laying her hand upon her arm, said, "you must not leave us, madam, for we have indeed business with you of the utmost moment."

Mrs. Lewis sat down, wondering to what this could tend.—"My friend, Mr. Lloyd," continued Mrs. Young, "lives in the city, and keeps a house at Hampstead for the advantage of country air for his children; they are young, and have been for some time under the care of a confidential servant, a very worthy woman, who is just dead; he wishes to fill her place by a kind and active governess, who shall be well educated, pious, and vigilant, and who being herself a mother will attend to their wants as one; in return for which care, Mrs. Lloyd and himself will attend to her every comfort: now the question is, will you accept this situation?"

"If, madam, you consider me duly qualified, I should be most happy to do it: yet I have one very material obstruction—my poor little girl; I doubt I cannot part from her, especially at such a time as this, when her brother is taken (though happily taken) from me."

"You are not called to this trial," said Mr. Lloyd with a benevolent air; "no, my good friend, for such I must be allowed to call you, your child shall run in the same pasture with ours for the next seven years, when it is probable that her brother may claim her for a housekeeper; but we will not anticipate matters farther than to say, that the sooner you remove out of the air of London the better, and that, if it is agreeable, my carriage shall take you and Constantina up next Monday, as that is the day fixed upon to tie your son to his worthy master."

Tears of wonder, affection, and gratitude, rolled down the cheeks of the widow, as with faltering tongue she acknowledged the kindness of this liberal offer, and inwardly magnified the divine hand so visible in every dispensation of the comfort she received; and she could only ardently hope, that the spirit of her departed husband might be permitted to know, that the anxiety which had embittered his last moments on her account was now so happily and so completely unnecessary.

Their little affairs were soon arranged, for every debt was already honestly discharged, and they had assembled at Mr. Young's, from whence Mr. Lloyd had agreed to take the happy Constantina and her mother, when a person desired to have a little private conversation with Mrs. Lewis, as he was come from Leeds on purpose to see her.

Mr. Young, who perceived her surprise, answered for her, that "she could not see any person but in his company;" which was accordingly acceded to.

The gentleman who entered, said, that he came from Mr. Wright, the person for whom Mr. Lewis had made the machines of which we spoke; saying, that having seen an account of his death in the newspaper, he wished to become repossessed of a written promise he had once made him, and which he apprehended might be found amongst his papers; and although it was evidently deemed of no use by the late possessor, was of some to him, since it stood in the way of his procuring a patent for the machine, which being finished, had been some time in use.

Mrs. Lewis said, she had no doubt but the paper was in her possession, as she had preserved every paper she found; adding, "do you think it is tied with a green string, for I put such an one in my box this morning?"

"There is a seal affixed to it with a green ribbon, and probably a green string too; it is a bond, whereby my employer, Mr. Wright, engages himself to pay a certain sum, if at the end of three years the machine was found to answer its purpose: the time has not yet expired, but as Mr. Wright thought a little money might be acceptable to Mrs. Lewis at this time, he sent me to town to conclude the affair."

"I am exceedingly obliged to him," said the widow.

"Then, ma'am, I will trouble you either to restore me the bond, or, what is just as well, sign this note of indemnification, when I have paid you two hundred pounds, that being the sum proposed for you."

So saying, the person laid down a stamped paper on the table, and taking out a pocket-book, began to count out the money, which was a sum so much above the poor widow's expectations, that she almost feared it was all a dream; just, however, as she was taking the pen to sign, Mr. Young laid his hand quietly upon hers, and taking the pen out of it, said—

"My good ma'am, let us resign the bond, if it be a bond of two hundred pounds."

"I did not say it was," cried the attorney; "it may be for more; but then you will observe, it is not due for many months: this offer is made for the widow's present accommodation, sir; of course some allowance is due to my client."

"The widow needs no accommodation, sir; she does not owe a shilling in the world, and herself and children are provided for; she can therefore wait till the bond is due, and then resign it regularly."

The box was now searched, the bond found, tied up with a parcel of scraps of poetry and tradesmen's bills; it was torn, but not defaced, and was found to be an agreement to pay five hundred pounds at the end of three years, and a second five hundred in five years, in case the machine answered; and this was in the form of a proposal by Wright, and acceded to by Lewis, with proper witnesses; but as it did not become due for the space of the next five months, it was plain that Lewis had forgot it, and Wright had only remembered it as a medium of securing advantage to himself.

"Now, sir," observed Mr. Young, as with a firm grasp he held this bond in his hand, "you will be pleased to inform your client, that on the day this instalment is due it must be paid, and fully paid; and that I pledge myself in your presence to supply all Mrs. Lewis's wants until that time; of course the cruel and ungenerous advantage he would have taken falls to the ground. I blush for him, when I reflect that he is now making a fortune by the labours of that very man of whose survivors he could take this mean advantage."

"Aye, sir, you don't know all; the machinery was all left at sixes and sevens, sold to a common carpenter, and bought back by my client."

"I have no doubt of that, and while I execrate the avarice of one party, I blame the imprudence of another; the innocent have suffered from both."

When the attorney was gone, Mr. Young said, "pray, madam, did you sell the copyright of that poem which you mentioned to me as failing in the printing?"

"No, sir, we were not able."

"So much the better, we shall probably see it become one day as good an affair as this has proved: proof upon proof that the throne of Genius is a mere vapour, unless reared on the basis of economy and supported by discretion and diligence."

At the appointed hour Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd took away the widow and her smiling daughter in their coach, and led her to a happy and elegant home, where she found every comfort necessary for the restoration of her exhausted frame and wounded spirit, where she was surrounded by a group of lovely little ones, who vied in affection to her and love to their new playmate. Month after month glided away in the exercise of important duties, which brought their own reward with them, and where happiness was heightened by the consciousness of utility, and above all, the daily exercise of religious duties. Meanwhile Ludovico approved himself truly worthy of the high confidence reposed in him by his worthy and indulgent master, to whom he became, if possible, more attached every day he lived with him; his abilities, improved by the sources of knowledge opened to his view, were considered of the highest order, and inclined him exceedingly to his father's profession, but he continued to take advantage of the important lessons that unhappy father's life held out to him, and persisted in a close adherence to the more immediate duties of his present calling, without losing the power he had already obtained as a painter, or omitting any means of improvement he could consistently enjoy; his days were blessed with plenty and his nights with peace, and he advanced to maturity in the enjoyment of esteem from all around him.

As we have only undertook to give Ludovico's history as a boy, it would perhaps be as well to leave him here; but as there may be many who will be gratified to know his present situation, and the steps which led to that high degree of respectability he now enjoys, we are induced to offer them the following chapter.


We fare on earth as other men have fared.
Were they successful?—let us not despair.


At the appointed time Mr. Young had, on behalf of Mrs. Lewis and her children, received the stipulated sum from Mr. Wright, and placed it in the funds; he had likewise given Ludovico leisure and instruction how to finish his father's pictures; and at the time when Sinister brought out those which he had purchased as long concealed treasures, and called on the public for their approbation, these were produced also; and as it was natural to suppose that those most original were the ones retained by the family, Ludovico's little assortment drew more purchasers than the more splendid show of Sinister; and though he made it a rule candidly to inform every visitant how far they had been really painted by his father, his integrity gained him friends even in cases where it lost him purchasers; and the few who rejected the paintings of his father from this cause only, reserved themselves for those of the son. In fine, he disposed of them so well, that at the time when he received his indentures from his estimable master, his mother considered herself rich enough to treat herself and children with a visit to her venerable parents; and she had the more pleasure in doing this, because, during the last five years, the worthy family with whom she resided had provided for two of her brothers, and at this time Ludovico was made the happy medium of obtaining a commission for a third, so that they possessed the abundant means of diffusing joy throughout the dear household, who had for many years desired to see their beloved Agnes return to her distant home.

It is impossible to describe the joy and delight of their meeting, though many a tear was shed on either side, and many a pain was recalled by faithful memory. Ludovico the beloved, the admired of all, was delighted with the simplicity, the good sense, and, above all, the unaffected piety of all around him; and in embracing his revered grandsire, he felt as if heaven had restored him another father. To the charms of the surrounding country he was fully sensible, and beheld the romantic dales, sublime precipices, and cloud-capt mountains, with all that fine enthusiasm and poetic sensibility that was wont to inspire the youthful imagination of his still lamented father; but these were the transient dreams of bliss, and not the sober business of life with him; and though he took care to turn every ramble to account, by tracing with his pencil the beauties it revealed, yet he ever returned to the sober cares of life, after such excursions, with the air of one who was refreshed by the change, not abstracted by it.

As Mr. Lloyd's family had no longer any occasion for the services of Mrs. Lewis, though they ever offered a home in their house, she agreed to remain for the ensuing winter in that home where her earliest years had been spent, and where she was still so fondly loved; but Ludovico returned to London, where his late master offered to employ him on the most liberal terms as an engraver; but as he found all his taste for his original destination return with new zeal from his late visit to the North, and found that the British Gallery was now open for the improvement of young artists, he determined to prosecute the one study, without losing the power of literally providing for his wants by adhering to the other, and determined by unremitting attention to render himself deserving of public favour in both.

Being introduced, through the interest of his master, to become a pupil in the British Institution, where his works were frequently inspected by the noblemen and gentlemen who direct this liberal establishment; he one day perceived a lady, who accompanied one of them, looking at his picture with great earnestness, but without making any comments upon it; as, however, he was now accustomed to continue his pursuits unaffected by such incidents, he continued to paint; when the lady, in a soft and well-remembered tone, said,—

"And now at length to Edwin's ardent gaze
"The Muse of History unrolls her page!"—

Ludovico started, turned, and beheld the kind and gentle Mrs. Villars standing by his side: he was no longer the poor famished boy, who had looked up to her for charity, who had blessed her for relief; but he was still a modest, though elegant young man, who wanted the fostering hand of patronage, that assistance, which, in his profession, can only be given by the generous, the polished, and the rich: the Honourable Mrs. Villars was all these, and this meeting was productive of the happiest consequences to Ludovico, as the lady on her return mentioned the circumstance to the General, who well remembered purchasing poor Lewis's pictures, and who had during his residence abroad rendered his collection of the finest pictures so extensive as to furnish the best possible study for a young artist; and he now permitted the full use of his gallery to Ludovico; and on finding how truly modest, pious, virtuous, and grateful, the young man really was, he invited him frequently to his table; introduced him to the first patrons of the fine arts this country can boast, and thus gave his talents that encouragement and his exertions that reward he so truly merited.

Humble in prosperity, as firm in adversity, Ludovico suffered not the smiles of man to divert him from the service of God; placing the higher professors of his art before his eyes, he determined to resist every incitement to dissipation, every temptation to luxury, and more especially every digression to that false philosophy and loose morality, too often lamentably visible in the conduct of those who arrogate to themselves the title of "Men of Genius," and seem to act as if they thought that God had bestowed on them a wonderful endowment, for the express purpose of proving with what singular ingratitude and effrontery they dared to neglect the great Giver, and abuse his precious gift.

As soon as Ludovico considered himself equal to doing justice to the subject, he painted a picture representing himself and Mr. Gurney, in that moment of severe distress, when he first arrested the good man's attention; and having placed it in a plain but handsome frame, requested his acceptance of it, and had the satisfaction to see that it was highly valued by the venerable man. Soon after this he presented a copy of his father's poem to Mrs. Villars, requesting her to advise him how to proceed in the reprinting of it; a circumstance he now resolved on, from a sense of justice due to the memory of his father. The lady advised him to publish it by subscription in a style worthy of the subject, and the merit of the work, undertaking herself to procure him many names. Soon after advertising it, the gentleman who first proposed the publication, and who had now lost sight of Ludovico for some years, called upon him, and not only entered his own name for twenty copies, but declared his resolution to encourage the work in every possible way. Thus emboldened to proceed, Ludovico sent proposals to every place where his father's name was known, and every where was successful; the people of Manchester considered themselves as the first patrons of Lewis; the people of Leeds claimed the honour of being his last friends; and the gentry of York, conceiving the work to have been born amongst them, had a pleasure in promoting the sale; whilst in London it was successfully pushed by the General and Mrs. Villars amongst the higher classes, and Mr. Young among the middle classes of society; so that during Mrs. Lewis's retirement in Cumberland, Ludovico prepared for her the most gratifying surprise she was capable of receiving, and he was the better enabled to do it from her continuing much longer than she had originally intended.

At length, when his bookseller's accounts were settled, his subscriptions received, and his plans arranged, he wrote to request her return, saying, that as she had been absent above a year he was impatient to see her, and begged she would come to him at a house in Somers Town, which he specified, so as to keep his twenty-second birth-day.

The fond mother obeyed the summons; she found her son in a small, but neat and pleasant dwelling, enlivened by the chearful faces of Mr. and Mrs. Young, who were employed in admiring a large handsome book upon the table one minute, and the next in looking through the window at a beautiful little garden. After the first salutations were over, she exclaimed—

"Are these your lodgings, my dear Ludovico?"

"Yes, my dear mother, they are my lodgings, if the mistress of the house does not turn me out; but as the house and furniture is bona fide her own, bought and paid for, as Mr. Young can witness, there is no saying what she may do."

"I hope she will not think of it, my dear; for as I am sure you will pay her honestly and regularly for your board, and are always civil and orderly, why should she do it?"

"True!" said Mr. Young, "and there is the less reason to suspect her, because she happens to be his own mother."

"Mother!—my dear sir, this Paradise cannot be mine."

"Indeed, madam, you are mistaken, it is yours; for happening to find it could be sold very cheap, I took the liberty of laying out your money upon it. Your son has furnished it out of his own pocket, and he is, I trust, so situated as to be enabled to pay you in such a manner for his board as will keep you all very comfortably."

"He is the best, the very best of sons," cried Mrs. Lewis, as she fondly embraced the grateful, happy Ludovico; then tendering her hands to the worthy couple who partook her emotion, "and you," said she; "are the best, the very best of friends."

"That we love and respect you now, as much as we once pitied, and sought to assist you, is very certain; but let it be your pleasure and comfort to know that Ludovico has, in various ways, repaid all obligations to me seven-fold."

"Indeed he has," added Mrs. Young most warmly.

As the delighted mother heard these praises of her son, she glanced her eye towards her daughter, now a blooming, graceful girl, in her sixteenth year, and who leaning over the large book which was open on the table, was imprinting on the frontispiece a tender, tearful kiss.

"What have you got there, my dear?" said the mother, leaning forwards: then starting, she exclaimed, "what do I see? surely that print is my own Alfred—my dear husband!"—

"You are right, my mother; a faithful memory, and a good looking-glass, have enabled me to give the world a tolerable likeness of my dear father, and in this handsome publication of his excellent poem, a still more faithful portrait of his mind."

"But how, my dear Ludovico, could you do all this?—surely you have not involved yourself to procure me all these treasures?"

"No, my dear mother; so far from this, I have actually cleared twelve hundred pounds by this publication, which, with your leave, shall from this very day be considered the portion of Constantina; since she seems allied to it from her name and her birth."

"No, brother, it is yours, only yours!"

"Then take it, my dear sister, as thy brother's free gift; that brother who received thee as a precious deposit from the hands of his dying father, and who has thus endeavoured, and will still endeavour, so to fulfil his sacred trust, that in that awful day, when we must all meet before the great tribunal of God, he may behold his father without a blush; and in the language of Holy Writ may say, 'behold! here am I, and the child which thou gavest me.'"

My dear young reader, whoever you are, and however you are situated, I trust the story of Ludovico will be found, in some point, to convey a good example, or an useful lesson. If you are rich and happy, surrounded by splendour, friends, and fortune, let it lead you to think on the many helpless young people, who with minds as polished and feelings as acute as yours, languish in poverty, and eat the bitter bread of affliction moistened by their tears; and seek to remove the misery you may one day share, but which, whether you partake or not, it is your express duty to relieve. And you who do in any measure participate the sorrows of Ludovico, who lament either the misfortune or misconduct of those parents, who are still hallowed in your eyes, and dear to your hearts, take courage from his example, and learn from his history, that in the severest trials, comfort and support may be derived from faith and prayer, poverty relieved by industry and patience, and comfort expected from unforeseen sources, since our Heavenly Father never fails to send help to his children in the hour of need.

Under this impression, I trust I have not written, nor have you read in vain; but that this imperfect, though well-intended little book, will never cause either of us any regret that we have wept together, and rejoiced together, over the "short and simple annals" of the



E. Hemsted, Printer, 19, Great New Street,
Gough Square, London.

[End of The Son of a Genius by Mrs. Hofland]