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TALES OF THE HALL.

BOOK IX.

THE PRECEPTOR HUSBAND.

WHOM pass'd we musing near the woodman's shed, “ Whose horse not only carried him but led, “ That his grave rider might have slept the time, “ Or solved a problem, or composed a rhyme ? A more abstracted man within my view “ Has never come- -He recollected you.”

“ Yes,-he was thoughtful-thinks the whole day

long, “Deeply, and chiefly that he once thought wrong; “ He thought a strong and kindred mind to trace “ In the soft outlines of a trifler's face.

Poor Finch! I knew him when at school,—a boy “ Who might be said his labours to enjoy;

“ So young a pedant that he always took
The girl to dance who most admired her book;
“ And would the butler and the cook surprise,
• Who listen'd to his Latin exercise;
“ The matron's self the praise of Finch avow'd,
“ He was so serious, and he read so loud:
“ But yet, with all this folly and conceit,
“ The lines he wrote were elegant and neat;
And early promise in his mind appear’d
Of noble efforts when by reason clear’d.

And when he spoke of wives, the boy would say, “ His should be skill'd in Greek and algebra ; « For who would talk with one to whom his themes, " And favourite studies, were no more than dreams?

For this, though courteous, gentle, and humane, “ The boys contemn'd and hated him as vain, “ Stiff and pedantic.-"

“ Did the man enjoy, In after life, the visions of the boy?"

At least they form’d his wishes, they were yet 6. The favourite views on which his mind was set: “ He quaintly said, how happy must they prove, " Who, loving, study-or who, studious, love;

“ Who feel their minds with sciences imbued, And their warm hearts by beauty's force subdued.

2

“ His widow'd mother, who the world had seen,
And better judge of either sex had been,
Told him that just as their affairs were placed,
“ In some respects, he must forego his taste;
“ That every beauty, both of form and mind,
“ Must be by him, if unendow'd, resign'd;
That wealth was wanted for their joint affairs;
“ His sisters' portions, and the Hall's repairs.

“ The son assented—and the wife must bring Wealth, learning, beauty, ere he gave the ring; “ But as these merits, when they all unite, Are not produced in every soil and site; And when produced are not the certain gain “ Of him who would these precious things obtain ; “ Our patient student waited many a year, “ Nor saw this phoenix in his walks appear. “ But as views mended in the joint estate, “ He would a something in his points abate; “ Give him but learning, beauty, temper, sense, And he would then the happy state commence. “ The mother sigh’d, but she at last agreed, “ And now the son was likely to succeed;

“ Wealth is substantial good the fates allot,
« We know we have it, or we have it not;
“But all those graces, which men highly rate,
“ Their minds themselves imagine and create ;
“ And therefore Finch was in a way to find
A good that much depended on his mind.

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“ He look'd around, observing, till he saw

Augusta Dallas! when he felt an awe “ Of so much beauty and commanding grace, “ That well became the honours of her race:

“ This lady never boasted of the trash “ That commerce brings: she never spoke of cash; “ The gentle blood that ran in every vein “ At all such notions blush'd in pure

disdain.

“ Wealth once relinquish'd, there was all beside, As Finch believed, that could adorn a bride ; He could not gaze upon the form and air, “ Without concluding all was right and fair ; Her mild but dignified reserve supprest “ All free inquiry-but his mind could rest, “ Assured that all was well, and in that view was

blest.

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“ And now he ask'd, am I the happy man
“ “Who can deserve her? is there one who can?'
“ His mother told him, he possess'd the land
“ That puts a man in heart to ask a hand;
“ All who possess it feel they bear about
A spell that puts a speedy end to doubt;
“ But Finch was modest—May it then be thought
That she can so be gain’d?'—' She may be sought :'
“«Can love with land be won?' By land is beauty

bought.
“Do not, dear Charles, with indignation glow,
" All value that the want of which they know;
“ 'Nor do I blame her; none that worth denies :
“But can my son be sure of what he buys?

Beauty she has, but with it can you find The inquiring spirit, or the studious mind ? " . This wilt thou need who art to thinking prone, " • And minds unpair'd had better think alone; «•Then how unhappy will the husband be, «« «Whose sole associate spoils his company?'

“ This he would try; but all such trials prove
“ Too mighty for a man disposed to love;
“He whom the magic of a face enchains
“ But little knowledge of the mind obtains;

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