網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

a gallant fellow, who was nearly roasted in pursuit of Bajee Row, has sunk into a grave of sorrow and poverty, whose remnant of existence would have been cheered, if the prize property taken at Poonah and elsewhere had been shared on the

spot. What has been done with the money ? Surely, in common justice, it ought to have been invested, and legal interest added to the principal. Oh, honour! thou art sported with every where. Noble-minded officers, when they become prize agents, forget the interest of those by whom they were elected, and benefit themselves."

The worthy Jack (I like to call an old friend by his mess name) staid only the next day with Mary and me. He was going to Belfast for the purpose of communicating with a commercial house there, which had discovered a balance of some hundreds of pounds due to his father, in an old account, from erroneous summing. Such things will sometimes occur in extensive concerns. It had also been ascertained, that the assets of the Fermoy Bank were not so utterly unequal to the demands against it as at first supposed. There would be, it was calculated, a moderate provision left for Mr. Malony, senior. Under these circumstances, my friend's looks were bright, and his hopes, like a glass of almost dead champagne, revived by a crum, were sparkling, and evincing the latent vivacity by which they were still animated.

66. Be ever mindful of thy changing state,

How quick and various are the terms of fate!”

is a maxim which ought to be imprinted on every understanding We see every year some signal instance of the capriciousness of fortune. Now, a poor man elevated by unexpected wealth ; now, a rich one doomed, like Job, to taste the bitterness of adversity. What I have to relate, therefore, respecting the sudden good fortune of my friend Malony need create no surprise.

Such things have happened; they will occur as long as fortune's smiles are courted. Jack himself communicated his happiness to me, in the following brief letter, soon after he had been married to Emma ; and as it is characteristic of the man, I give it verbatim et literatim.

66 MY DEAR FRIEND, “On my arrival in Belfast, I received news that surprised and overjoyed me. When I was in London, I purchased the half of a lottery ticket for Emma; and as I am not accustomed to indulge hopes in such unequal chance adventures, I never gave my mind uneasiness about it, nor did I awaken my Emma's expectation, by presenting what I anticipated would end as usual in disappointment. The ticket I made over to my dear girl, and having sealed and directed it under cover to her mother, I requested that it should not be opened but in my presence, or after my death. Upon my return home, Emma was all curiosity to know the contents of the mysterious packet; but I opposed her wish, and determined upon awaiting the drawing of the lottery. It is not easy to describe what I felt on seeing our number a prize of thirty thousand pounds! I did not wait to look over accounts, but hurried back to my father's on the wings of despatch.

“ To you I need not explain the tumult of my feelings. Emma is now really my own; and we require your presence here forthwith, to partake of the joy which is, I declare it, too much for my philosophy. In the hope of seeing thee soon, my dear Charles,

" I remain
“ Thine, whilst I am

" John MALONY."

a

Little need be added. The coach soon rattled me to the vicinity of Cork; and I had the inexpressible pleasure of seeing Jack as happy as love and wealth can make a man. Emma is really good, a sweet, and a charming bride; and I am confident that felicity will be her portion with my worthy friend, whose character may be summed up, and estimated, from a few lines he wrote on receiving the compliments of the New-year, from an older and longer known friend than I am.

" The medicine of life is a faithful friend.”

When in the mirror of my brain

I gaze on all the past ;
And see my sighs the crystal stain,

And view my face aghast !

[blocks in formation]

Jack, deeming an elegant competency all that is requisite for happiness, has made up his mind to trouble the public with no more of his trifles; but he is most anxious that his forthcoming work may reward the excellent and worthy gentleman who treated him with such consideration in the character of a poor author in London. It is true, Jack will not be able, like the literary planets of Paternoster Row, and Ave Maria Lane, to shine with the lustre of sparkling champagne, but in an

« 上一頁繼續 »