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and not for my fortune. That my fortune, Sir Toby's the man. I have taken a resolution. Your brother and yourself shall be married both on the same day. Sir Toby dines here on Sunday, and on the following Saturday you shall be married. Say not a word, Hymenæa, this is my will, and in this I will be positive. I ask nothing unreasonable. Sir Toby is in every
was still as much as he had any right to expect with any wife, and certainly more than he wished with me, as I had qualities | which might compensate even for a total want of it. This letter to my father was accompanied by one to me, which I confess gave me much pain, as it proved that though rough, and without the graceway worthy of you." You may imagine of manners, Sir Toby had a natural honour, and an inbred generosity, which does not always accompany more manners and more knowledge.
To speak plainly, I began to think that Sir Toby was not altogether well treated. The other letter, the one from Mr. Honeycomb, was of totally a different nature. My father entered with it in his hand, and gave it to me." Here is a pitiful fellow," said he, "but I am persuaded, Hymenæa, that you will congratulate yourself on a good riddance." My father concluded with an oath against knowledge of the world, politeness, and an Harrow education. The letter was as follows:
"Mr. Honeycomb has had the honour to receive Mr. Wellwood's letter. Mr. Honeycomb has only to add, that the information contained in it makes a most material alteration in what he conceived to be the situation of Miss Wellwood; a circumstance, indeed, of which Mr. Wellwood himself seems to have been aware, by sending Mr. || Honeycomb the notice. Under these cir- || cumstances Mr. Honeycomb has only to add, that with the highest respect for Miss Wellwood, as well as for her father and family, he must so far consult the prudential considerations resulting from his own situation, as most reluctantly to resign his former pretensions."
that this resolution of my father embarras. sed me not a little; I will not say it distressed me, for as I had made up my own mind, I consoled myself in the idea that nothing could compel me to a wilful sacrifice of my own happiness.
Horatio dined at our house as usual; you may imagine that I watched my opportunity, and informed him of all that had happened. He conjured me to abide by my determination not to sacrifice him for Sir Toby, and then left me as I thought very abruptly. I was offended, moreover, with what I then thought an unpardonable omission. There was one ready and immediate escape from all our difficulties; why did he not propose it? why did he not suggest an elopement and a Scotch marriage?
I saw nor heard nothing of Horatio till the following day, when my father entered my room in a fury of passion, and after his abuse of me, for such it was, became distinct, I discovered that the cause of it had been a letter from Horatio, in which my lover had pleaded his passion, acknow ledged his inequality of fortune, and sug gested that I had overlooked it. "You are thus about," said my father," to throw yourself away on a beggar. It was not enough that I gave you a choice out of two of the best matches in the country, and certainly one of them perfectly unexcep tionable. You know that I have but one wish at my heart, to see you well married. But my resolution is taken, marry Sir Toby, or you are no longer my child. To this officer I have a most insuperable objection, I neither like his connections, and I abhor
"This letter explains a circumstance," said my father, "which I had heard before, but which I had some difficulty in believing. The Earl of A—, has two daughters, Lady Charlotte and Lady Emily. They are co-hei esses, and your brother, as you know, is to have one of them. Since this has been known in the country, Honey-him for his breach of hospitality. Do not comb has spared no efforts to get the defend him. It is enough that I hate him. other." "Is she not deformed," said I. Marry Sir Toby," repeated he, “and keep "What is that," replied my father, "to your room till you have decided your purHoneycomb, when she is co-heiress to one pose." With these words he left me, lockof the finest estates in the country. But ing the door, and taking the key away with let us have done with the hateful fellow. | him.
it to say, that my mother left me to propose a compromise to my father, which briefly was, that I should think no more of the Lieutenant, and that he should press me no more on Sir Toby. This comprorise was accepted, and I was restored to liberty, though, as I afterwards understood, very closely watched. In this manner had I lost at once three lovers. You may perhaps feel some curiosity as to their
You must imagine that under these circumstances I felt as young women usually do. I thought myself an heroine, and examined the window; but on second thoughts I considered it better not to break my neck. I took up my scissars, but had the prudence to lay them down again. In a word, I fairly wept myself to sleep, and by the next day had exhausted myself into reason and submission. My mother entered my chamber about noon, accom- || subsequent fate. Horatio, the elegant acpanied by my father, who had hitherto suffered me to see no one, and had brought my food himself. My father left my mother and myself together, but still locked the door, desiring my mother to ring when she wished to leave me.
My mother now reasoned with me in a style of good sense, which at once softened my obstinacy and inspired my confidence. I will not weary you with a detailed narrative of our discourse on both sides. Suffice
complished Horatio, eloped about three weeks afterwards, with the daughter of a rich brazier, who in the event made him an excellent wife. Sir Toby, as a matter of slight to me, addressed himself to the deformed daughter of the Earl of A-——, and much to the satisfaction of my father supplanted Mr. Honeycomb and married her. So much for my three lovers.—In my next I shall give you an account of others. HYMENEA.
ISLE OF SKY, NORTH-BRITAIN.
I AM one of those singular characters whose existence every one is inclined to doubt till they have received the evidence of their senses, and even then, if they hap pen to be of that class of men who are termed philosophers, it will run hard with them but they will doubt their senses too. It is my fortune indeed, to have seen one or more examples of these beings, who, though brought in to my presence,and absolutely seeing me in action and operation, as they term it, have still gone on hesitating, and having begun by doubting me, finish by doubting themselves.
To such people I am not now writing, and have but one answer for all their hems of incredulity." What you assert is im- || possible," said a philosopher to a peasant. "You may be very right, master, for all that I know," replied the countryman, "but what I say is true, though you may have very good reasons to the contrary."
All travellers in Scotland, who have visited the Isle of Sky, cannot but have remarked a very lofty hill which almost loses its top in the clouds, and frowns over the
subject sea; they must have observed, moreover, that the top of this hill is crowned with the ruins of an antient castle, nothing of which indeed now remains but its walls, and its grand portal; this portal, like all those attached to the larger castles in North-Britain, is flanked by two towers, connected together by the curtain, through the centre of which is the a ched gateway. The loftiness of these towers is generally in proportion to the magnitude of the castle. In Sky Castle therefore they are unusually lofty; that structure having been formerly one of the most considerable in the kingdom.
In this castle, Sir, were my ancestors born, and for many centuries enjoyed all the sovereign power possessed by the antient Barons. They were the Lords of the Island, and though they nominally, and by an homage of form, acknowledged the supremacy of the Kings of Scotland, this homage, and this acknowledgment tended nothing to diminish their own immediate power. In plain words, they were as absolute as the Kings of Asia, and were in every sense of the word true Knights and Barons
every thing which belongs to them, to ourselves. If they have eaten, we eat,-if they have been great, we are great, and all our actual beggary and insignificance is only a delusion of the senses. Take this principle with you, and you will hereafter cease to wonder at many of the actions of Scotsmen, which without this principle
They loved liberty, and kept it all to them-, lived a thousand years ago, that we transfer selves. The were clamorous enough when the Kings attacked their own privileges, but were equally patient and submissive when he assailed only the rights of the people. In short, in these carly days, whatever your historians may say of balanced powers, and interposed checks, there were but the two divisions of the community mentioned by the Greek poet, the devour-will appear obscure and unintelligible. ers and the devoured. The people were in fact the fleece between the Kings and the Barons, and the two latter never quarreled but when they thought the one interfered beyond his proportion to the prejudice of the other. This, Sir, I know to have been the antient state of what is called liberty and constitution in Scotland, and unless I am mistaken, this was likewise the antient state of the same liberty and constitution in all the nations of Europe.
To return, however, to my own family; though, if you have any Scotch blood in you, I mean any o' the gude blood, you wilk need no apology from me that I have digressed from myself to my nation. To return, however, to my more immediate subject.
The other distinction of my family was still more important. You are not perhaps sufficiently acquainted with northern customs to understand what is understood amongst us by the term gifts. I will briefly explain it, Sir.
There are certain families in Scotland who, from chance or a happy constitution of nature, are peculiarly favoured with some advantage over their countrymen, some additional quality to what is common to mankind in general, or some greater degree of such qualities as are common.
My family had two other claims to distinction besides their birth. The first was wealth, for they were really wealthy, they had glass to their windows and soles to their My family possessed that distinction and shoes, when half the houses in Scotland reputation which rank and birth gives in were open to the wind and rain, and no every country under heaven, and more one under an Earl had a stocking to his particularly in Scotland. There is a pro- || leg. verb current in every nation in the world, that the poorest nations are always the proudest. Those who have nothing to console themselves with have usually the happy art of finding consolation in themselves. Many families in Scotland may not have the property of an acre,-what then, they have that of a title? Many of them may want a house, but then they have a titular Barony. Many of them may not have a shirt themselves,-what || then, their ancestors wore ermine. These are solid consolations, and he is not a Scot of the true blood, who, whilst his own brawny back, as the poet calls it, is bleaching under the northern blast, does not comfort himself and become insensible to the bitter wind, when he reflects that the illustrious Barons, his ancestors, were warm enough in their costly robes. The pride of ancestry,, and the advan-bers to the highest honours of the state, tages of family distinction, are not sufficiently understood in your part of the world, and indeed are no where understood except it be in North-Britain. In North-be known without naming them in NorthBritain, to have had illustrious ancestors is to have had a former compensation for present difficulties and distress. We are in fact so identified with the persons of our ancestors, though they might have
These supernumerary qualities are what is termed GIFTS. Thus, for example, different families in North-Britain have been famed time immemorial for possessing different gifts. One family, by the gift of booing, and a peculiar suppleness of knee, have been raised in their successive mem.
Another has had equal good fortune by what is vulgarly called the gift of gab. The members of these two families, which will
Britain, have been ministers and lords of the bed chambers in every succeeding reign. In the same manner, the family of the Second-sights have likewise had their share of good fortune; some of them have
been financiers, some celebrated almanackmakers, and others have written with some reputation on the Millenium.
Having said so much of the antiquity of my family, and of the sources of its reputation, you may naturally enough inquire whence they derived this extraordinary gift. Why, Sir, there is a tradition in the family, that when our good King James wrote upon witchcraft, and to act up to the principles of his book, ordered all the witches to be burned throughout his good realm of Scotland, there is a tradition, I say, Sir, that the then Lord of Sky gave a refuge and an asylum to the white witches, which from time immemorial had possess ed, and in a degree governed that island. In return for this protection, he is said to have received the gift in question from a conclave of the Weird Sisters. Be that as it may, Sir, for the Scottish family-records, like those of the Welch, become illegible as they mould into dust, so far is certainly true, that Malcolm, surnamed Whitebeard, the sixth in ascent from my father, has left a written document, or family-record, in which it is stated, that so many of the females of his family as shall remain virgins, shall at a certain age acquire, and thereafter retain, the faculty of Secondsight; that is to say, that they shall foresee all such events as shall happen within the period of their own life; that they shall see the images of things yet in futurity; and at their will shall call before their mental eye all those embryoes of events which yet lie in the womb of time.
future fortune. In one thing alone we are limited, and Second-sight therein falls short of prediction. We cannot see the end of the procession, the train terminates in clouds, which are impenetrable to Secondsight; in a word, which are pervious only to prophecy. To explain myself by an example; suppose that one of your correspondents had informed me, as I was indeed last week informed, that she, a young woman, had married herself to an old man; it would doubtless be in my power to call up before my eyes and her own the greater part of the train of events which would make up the tissue of her future life, but how that life should end, when it should end, &c. &c. would be even beyond my powers of sight or prediction. I should perhaps, under the circumstances above mentioned, see a train of images, such as a young woman, a coffin, a buck with branching horns, and perhaps an unseen hole or precipice, into which, whilst the young female was anxiously looking at the coffin which was following her husband in the fond expectation that it would overtake him, she herself might fall, and the funeral procession might have another object than the one anticipated.
Having now, Sir, as fully explained myself as is required of a woman, I think you must perfectly understand both my powers and my wishes. Man, says the philosopher. and more particularly woman, is a sociable, communicative animal, and no one can be found possessed of any peculiar gift or acquisition, any quality of nature or attainThis, Sir, is what is understood by ment of education, who does not find his Second-sight; and this, Sir, is what my pleasure in the active operation of commufamily have now possessed for some cen-nicating his knowledge, or the effects of his turies, and what, having fulfilled the condition on which it is given, I possess like wise. Now, Sir, it is in the character of one possessing this quality, that I wish to become your correspondent, as I flatter myself that I can thereby both assist you and exercise my own peculiar talent and enjoyment. There are doubtless many of your readers who would wish to have the mirror of their fate holden up before them; to such I offer my assistance; let one inform me of the circumstances of their situation, and my faculty will enable me to conjure the procession of their future life, and the srain of events which will compose their
knowledge, to others. There is no such
curiosity, if not all the meddling impertinence which distinguish our sex. I will not deny, therefore, that the circumstances detailed in the letters of my expected correspondents will more than compensate for any trouble I may have in answering them, if trouble, indeed, that can be called which is but the natural exercise and the active operation of my peculiar faculties.
To prevent all possible disappointment, however, I must repeat that there will be limits to the information which they will derive from me, and that though they may very fairly expect me to know more than themselves, they must not expect me to know more than the Witch of Endor and the Wandering Jew. To say all in a word, they must not expect two things from me. They must not expect, that in the first place, I shall be able to foretel any certain event. This, as I have said before, belongs to prophecy, to absolute prediction, and not to Second-sight. Second-sight, as the term indeed expresses, is a kind of prolonged vision, which certainly sees at a greater distance both of space and time, but does not see very distinctly and clearly, which sees in shadows and clouds.
departure of Colouel Thornton and his fox-hounds; and I myself have met two or three ladies who acknowledge themselves under obligations to your wisdom. In the confidence of your goodness, and in the full persuasion of your knowledge, I shall make no further apology, but proceed to state my case, and to solicit your opinion. Briefly then, my dear Madam, I am the daughter of a gentleman who has seven children besides myself, and a very small. annual income, which expires with his life. The points of my case are these two.-I am addressed by two gentlemen; the one of them a young Officer quartered in the town, but who has no fortune but his commission; the other an old gentleman just returned from India, who has an immense property, but is gouty, bilious, and as far as I know has nothing in the world to recommend him but his fortune, and the hopes of a speedy deliverance by his great age. Now, Madam, what is your advice; I most sincerely love the Officer, and will have him; I should wish, however, to have your advice, because I should wish to have some one on my side. As to the old gentleman he is a favourite of my father's, and And secondly, for the very same reason, my sisters and brothers all unite in his as they must not expect me to foretel any favour. My father, of course, thinks it certain event, so must they likewise not the more prudent match, and my sisters expect that I shall foretel any event cerhave no objection to having their sister tainly. The images, presented to the possessed of a carriage of her own. But I faculty of Second-sight, pass before our do not think that either they or my fatber eyes in allegories and emblems; they are are the best judges of what belongs peremblematic representations of futurity, the sonally to my own feelings, to use an old skeletons and external forms of events yet proverb, Madam, they are the best judges in progress. It is not very easy upon this of the shoe who are to wear it. What I point to render myself intelligible, therehave to request, therefore, Madam, is your fore I shall leave the further explanation of advice, but let it reach me, if possible beit to the experience of my correspondents.fore the 20th of the month, as I expect to As an example to such ladies, or even be married to the Officer on the 19th, and gentlemen, as wish to consult me, you may on the following day shall leave this place take the following letter, which I received for Bath.-I am, Madain, yours in haste, last week from a young lady at York:ELIZABETH SPEEDWELL."
TO THE LADY SYBILLA MACKEN.
"My dear Madam,-Your knowledge is as much spoken of in these parts as the
[To be continued.]