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From this second failure he proceeded, nothing daunted, to the erection of a Gothic stable; and, to have every thing perfect, he added an extensive poultry-yard, with proper appurtenances. But, from the scanty room left by the magnificent barn, he was forced to contract his operations, and so his doves and chickens were forced to inhabit the same enclosure, and his elegantly conceived duck-pond was restricted to the circumference of a sunken hogshead. Thus did this idle schemer occupy himself, much to the satisfaction of the villagers, who cared not whence came his wealth, or how he squandered it, if from it they obtained an easy subsistence.
While her father thus occupied his time and thoughts, Miss Dorothea was no less sedulously, and quite as uselessly, engaged in perusing all the novels, romances, and plays, which she could procure for love or money. Now and then, to be sure, she would condescendingly show the girls of her own age her father's improvements, and her own splendid furniture, pictures, and books; sometimes, too, she would permit the lion of the village (the grocer's son) to accompany her piano with his flute; and, to be peculiarly unique among her new neighbors, she affected a great love of the beauties of nature, and pretended to be a thorough botanist, repeating regularly, to her admiring female visiters, the Latin names of all her plants.
There was another point in the father's character,-stinginess; which, strange to tell, he carried to as great an extreme as his extravagance; and which a circumstance that occurred just before I was obliged to leave the village, fully exemplifies. It appeared that Miss, getting tired of the sameness of her mode of life, thought it would be a pleasing variety to give a grand fête. By some chance, I was included among those invited, and although very young, my curiosity led me to go. However, I did not afterwards repent of my boldness, as I had an impressive exhibition of human character. At my first entrance, I established myself near the master of the house, and could easily observe all his actions.
He was in eager debate with his carpenter (the master of ceremonies) upon a new conception of his fertile brain. It was upon the expediency of throwing a neat hanging bridge, on a new plan, over his marsh. The carpenter objected that the banks of the marsh were but little elevated above the
marsh itself; this difficulty, however, he could remedy, said his employer, by raising the sides with stone and earth. However,' rejoined the carpenter, 'there could be no use in the bridge, as there is no road that way.' 'But it would be so admired!' 'And would cost an immense sum,' added the prudent carpenter. 'But it is such an original scheme; and I can afford to give a few thousands.' Just then, a little flaxen-headed boy, with tears in his eyes, appeared at the door: anxious to proceed, yet irresolute, he stopped at the threshhold; urged on, however, by some kind hand, he proceeded, until he handed a paper to the master of the house; who, having returned it quickly, sternly ordered him to go, and pester him not with his petitions, as he had no dollars to throw away. The little boy, terrified, astonished, doubting, despairing, looked wistfully up into his rigid face, then sobbing out most piteously, My poor mother," rushed out of the room. I, equally moved, quickly followed him, muttering to myself, bestow thousands on an useless marsh, but throw away dollars on a destitute family.'
Two years after the preceding event, I passed through the same village, and could not fail to observe the seat of the hopeful stranger and his daughter Dorothea. But what was my astonishment at the change there visible. I saw barefooted urchins playing hide-and-seek among the columns and once splendid porticos; pigs paraded up and down the poultryyard; here and there an old hat filled broken panes, where Miss Dorothea's plants used to bloom; hops covered the remains of the Cretan labyrinth with their wild exuberance; an unpicturesque brick-kiln occupied the site of the famous hanging bridge; and when I expected the rich notes of a piano to greet my ear, I heard the dull, monotonous sound of a shuttle and loom. My eager curiosity was soon satisfied by the information, that soon after my departure, Miss Dorothea ran away with the grocer's son; that the schemer was arrested by a deputy from the city for fraudulent bankruptcy; that the daughter lives in abject poverty in a neighboring village, and the father is dying in prison. At this account, without one word of sorrow or regret, I sank into a reverie upon the deceitfulness of human things, and confessed,
"Raro antecedentem scelestum,
O! she was a maid of a laughing eye,
But the rosy boy of the cherub wing
And she would wake from her troubled sleep,
And he who was late so tall and proud,
But one soft night in the month of June,
O then from her creaking couch she sprung,
She did not start with a foolish frown,
But she packed her trunk, and she scamper'd down;
The star that rose in the evening shade
SCENE FROM AN UNPUBLISHED PLAY.
Back room at Porter's-DICK, solus.
I AM not well to-night-methinks the fumes
Or where the soul sits regent. Strange that things
Should cloud the mind's own heaven with fantasies!
All laced with steely sinews-see that arm,
And yet, in these same most degenerate days,
Methinks the polish of these nether casings
Perhaps the varlet who doth give them lustre
I'd rather have a Patagonian savage,
It was mentioned in our last, that a communication had been left at the printing-office, by a gentleman of the name of Hock. In the hurry of getting out a first number, we neglected to make a proper inquiry into the particulars. We have since ascertained that his visits were frequently repeated, and that they became at last exceedingly troublesome. He assured the compositor that he was one of the editors; and insisted, accordingly, upon his right of interfering in the arrangements of the press. On a representation of the circumstances to the CLUB, measures were taken to prevent any such occurrence in future. Mr. Hock, however, continued his calls, and at length it was found necessary to eject him forcibly from the premises.
He resented the insult with a great deal of indignation, and insisted upon seeing some one of the Club. The names of the six, and their residences, were accordingly given him, and he proceeded with all possible despatch to demand an interview. By chance, he happened first into my own apartI was dozing over a volume of Fielding, when a rap at the door announced a visiter. In a moment after, entered a gentleman, richly dressed, and wearing a moderate-sized walking-stick. He stalked up to the table where I was sitting, and with an emphatic gesture threw down before me his card. I looked, and, engraven in the neatest characters, read the words, Francis Hock, Esq.
I handed him a chair, and immediately entered into a conversation. But my surprise, already considerably raised, was excited to the highest wonder by what followed. He immediately burst into the most eloquent invectives on our cruelty in turning him out of the Club; declared that it was a severe blow to his own feelings and those of his relatives; that he