Such was the Stranger's creed — if not pro-
He judg'd it useful, and proclaimed it sound ;
And many liked it : invitations went
To Captain Elliot, and Irom him were sent —
These last so often, that his friends confess'd,
The Captain's cook had not a place of rest.
Still were they something at a loss to guess
What his profession was from his address ;
For much he knew, and too correct was he
For a man train'd and nurtured on the sea ;
Yet well he knew the seaman's words and
Seaman's his look, and nautical his phrase :
In fact, all ended just where they began,
With many a doubt of this amphibious man.
Though kind to all, lie look'd with special
On a few members of an ancient race,
Long known, and well respected in the place :
Dyson their name ; but how regard for these
Hose in his mind, or wliy they seem'd to please,
Or by what ways, what virtues — not a cause
Can we assign, for Fancy has no laws ;
THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 41
But, as the Captain show'd them such respect,
We Avill not treat the Dysons with neglect.
Their Father died while yet engaged by trade
To make a fortune, that was never made.
But to his children taught ; for he would say
" I place them — all I can — in Fortune's way."
James was his first-born ; when his father died,
He, in their large domain, the place supplied.
And found, as to the Dysons all appear'd.
Affairs less gloomy than their sire had fear'd ;
But then if rich or poor, all now agree,
Frugal and careful, James must wealthy be :
And wealth in wedlock sought, he married soon.
And ruled his Lady from the honey-moon :
Nor shall we wonder ; for, his house beside,
He had a sturdy multitude to guide,
Who now his spirit vex'd, and now his temper
Men who by labours live, and, day by day.
Work, weave, and spin their active lives away :
Like bees industrious, they for others strive.
With, now and then, some murmuring in th£
James was a churchman — 'twas his pride and
Loyal his heart, and "Church and King" his
He for Religion might not warmly feel.
But for the Church he had abounding zeal.
THE FAiMILY OF LOVE. tale ii.
Yet no dissenting sect would he condemn,
« They're nought to us," said he, " nor we to them ;
*' 'Tis innovation of our own I hate,
" Whims and inventions of a modern date.
" Why send you Bibles all the world about,
" That men may read amiss, and learn to doubt ?
" Wliy teach the children of the poor to read,
" That a new race of doubters may succeed ?
** Now can you scarcely rule the stubborn crew,
"■ And what if they should know as much as you ?
" Will a man labour when to learning bred,
" Or use his hands who can employ his head ?
" Will lie a clerk or master's self obey,
« Who thinks himself as well-inform'd as they ? "
These were his favourite subjects — these he
And where he ruled no creature durst oppose.
" We are rich," quoth James; "but if we thus
" And give to all, we shall be poor indeed :
" In war we subsidise the world — in peace
" We christianise — our bounties never cease:
" We learn each stranger's tongue, that they with
" May read translated Scriptures, if they please ;
" We buy them presses, print them books, and
" Pay and export poor learned, pious men ;
" Vainly we strive a fortune now to get,
' ' So tax'd by private claims, and public debt."
TALE II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 43
Still he proceeds — " You make your prisons
" Airy and clean, your robbers to invite ;
" And in such ways your pity show to vice,
" That you the rogues encourage, and entice."
For lenient measures James had no regard —
" Hardship," he said, " must work upon the hai'd ;
" Labour and chains such desperate men require ;
" To soften iron you must use the fire."
Active himself, he labour'd to express.
In his strong words, his scorn of idleness ;
From him in vain the beggar sought relief —
" Who will not labour is an idle thief,
" Stealing from those who will;" he knew not how
For the untaught and ill-taught to allow.
Children of want and vice, inured to ill,
Unchain'd the passions, and uncurb'd the will.
Alas ! he look'd but to his own affairs,
Or to the rivals in his trade, and theirs :
Knew not the thousands who must all be fed,
Yet ne'er were taught to earn their daily bread ;
Whom crimes, misfortunes, errors only teach
To seek their food where'er within their reach,
Who for their parents' sins, or for their own,
Are now as vagrants, wanderers, beggars known.
Hunted and hunting through the world, to share
Alms and contempt, and shame and scorn to bear ;
Whom Law condemns, and Justice, with a sigh.
Pursuing, shakes her sword and passes by. —
^^ THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale ii.
If to the prison we should these commit,
They for the gallows will be render'd fit.
But James had virtues — was esteem'd as one
Whom men look'd up to, and relied upon.
Kind to his equals, social when they met —
If out of spirits, always out of debt ;
True to his promise, he a lie disdain'd,
And e'en when tempted in his trade, refrain'd ;
Frugal he was, and loved the cash to spare,
Gain'd by much skill, and nursed by constant care ;
Yet liked the social board, and when he spoke.
Some hail'd his wisdom, some enjoy'd his joke.
To him a Brother look'd as one to Avhom,
If fortune frown'd, he might in trouble come ;
His Sisters view'd the important man with awe,
As if a parent in his place they saw :
All lived in Love ; none sought their private ends ;
The Dysons were a Family of Friends.
His brother David was a studious boy.
Yet could his sports as well as books enjoy.
E'en when a boy, he was not quickly read.
If by the heart you judged him, or the head.
His father thought he was decreed to shine,
And be in time an eminent Divine ;
But if he ever to the Church inclined.
It is too certain that he changed his mind.
He spoke of scruples, but who knew him best
Affirm'd, no scruples broke on David's rest.
Physic and Law were each in turn proposed.
He weigh'd them nicely, and with Physic closed.
THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 45
He had a serious air, a smooth address,
And a firm spirit that ensured success.
He watched his brethren of the time, how thej-
Rose into fame, that he might choose his way.
Some, he observed, a kind of roughness used,
And now their patients banter'd, now abused :
The awe-struck people were at once dismay'd,
As if they begg'd the advice for which they
There are who hold that no disease is slight,
Who magnify the foe Avith whom they fight.
The sick was told that his was that disease
But rarely known on mortal frame to seize ;
Which only skill profound, and full command
Of all the powers in nature could withstand.
Then, if he lived, what fame the conquest gave !
And if he died — " No human power could
Mere fortune sometimes, and a lucky case,
Will make a man the idol of a place —
Who last, advice to some fair duchess gave.
Or snatch'd a widow's darling from the grave.
Him first she honours of the lucky tribe.
Fills him with praise, and woos him to prescribe.
In his own chariot soon he rattles on.
And half believes the lies that built him one.
But not of these was David : care and pain,
And studious toil prepar'd his way to gain.
46 THE FAMILY OF LOVE.
At first observed, then trusted, he became
At length respected, and acquired a name.
Keen, close, attentive, he could read mankind,
The feeble body, and the failing mind ;
And if his heart remain'd untouch'd, his eyes.
His air, and tone, with all could sympathise.
This brought him fees, and not a man was he
In weak compassion to refuse a fee.
Yet though the Doctor's purse was well supplied.
Though patients came, and fees were multiplied,
Some secret drain, that none presumed to know,
And few e'en guess'd, for ever kept it low.
Some of a patient spake, a tender fair,
Of whom the doctor took peculiar care,
But not a fee : he rather largely gave.
Nor spared himself, 'twas said, this gentle friend to
Her case consumptive, with perpetual need
Still to be fed, and still desire to feed ;
An eager craving, seldom known to cease,
And gold alone brought temporary peace. —
So, rich he was not ; James some fear express'd.
Dear Doctor David would be yet distress'd ;
For if now poor, when so repaid his skill.
What fate were his, if he himself were ill I
In his religion, Doctor Dyson sought
To teach himself — " A man should not be taught,
" Should not, by forms or creeds, his mind debase,
" That keep in awe an unreflecting race."
TALE II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 47
He heeded not what Clarke and Paley say,
But thought himself as good a judge as they ;
Yet to the Church profess'd himself a friend,
And would the rector for his hour attend ;
Nay, praise the learn'd discourse, and learnedly
For since the common herd of men are blind,
He judged it right that guides should be assign'd ;
And that the few who could themselves direct
Should treat those guides with honour and respect.
He was from all contracted notions freed.
But gave his Brother credit for his creed ;
And if in smaller matters he indulged,
'T was well, so long as they were not divulged.
Oft was the spirit of the Doctor tried,
When his grave Sister wish'd to be his guide.
She told him, " all his real friends were grieved
" To hear it said, how little he believed :
" Of all who bore the name she never knew
" One to his pastor or his church untrue ;
" All have the truth with mutual zeal profess'd,
** And why, dear Doctor, differ from the rest ? "
" 'T is my hard fate," with serious looks replied
The man of doubt, " to err with such a guide."
" Then why not turn from such a painful state?"
The doubting man replied, " It is my fate."
Strong in her zeal, by texts and reasons back'd,
In his grave mood the Doctor she attack'd :
48 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale II.
Cull'd words from Scripture to announce his doom,
And bade him " think of dreadful things to come."
" If such," he answer'd, " be that state untried,
" In peace, dear Martha, let me here abide ;
" Forbear to insult a man whose fate is known,
" And leave to Heaven a matter all its own."
In'the same cause the Merchant, too, would strive ;
He ask'd, " Did ever unbeliever thrive ?
" Had he respect ? could he a fortune make ?
" And why not then such impious men forsake ? "
" Thanks, my dear James, and be assured I feel,
" If not your reason, yet at least your zeal ;
" And when those wicked thoughts, that keep me
" And bar respect, assail me as before
" With force combin'd, you'll drive the fiend away,
" For you shall i-eason, James, and Martha pray."
But tliough the Doctor could reply with ease
To all such trivial arguments as these, —
Though he could reason, or at least deride.
There was a power that would not be defied ;
A closer reasoner, whom he could not shun.
Could not refute, from whom he could not run ;
For Conscience lived within ; she slept, 't is true,
But when she waked, her pangs awaken'd too.
She bade him think ; and as he thought, a sigh
Of deep remorse precluded all reply.
THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 49
No soft insulting smile, no bitter jest,
Could this commanding power of strength divest,
But with reluctant fear her terrors he confess'd.
His weak advisers he could scorn or slight,
But not their cause ; for, in their folly's spite,
They took the wiser part, and chose their way aright.
Such was the Doctor, upon whom for aid
Had some good ladies call'd, but were afraid —
Afraid of one who, if report were just.
The arm of flesh, and that alone would trust.
But these were few — the many took no care
Of what they judged to be his own affair:
And if he them from their diseases freed.
They neither cared nor thought about his creed :
They said his merits would for much atone,
And only wonder'd that he lived alone.
The widow'd Sister near the Merchant dwelt.
And her late loss with lingering sorrow felt.
Small was her jointure, and o'er this she sigh'd,
That to her heart its bounteous wish denied.
Which yet all common wants, but not her all,
Sorrows like showers descend, and as the heart
For them prepares, they good or ill impart ;
Some on the mind, as on the ocean rain.
Fall and disturb, bat soon are lost again —
Some, as to fertile lands, a boon bestow.
And seed, that else had perish'd, live and grow ;
Some fall on barren soil, and thence proceed
The idle blossom, and the useless weed ;
VOL. VIII. E
50 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale II.
But how her griefs the Widow's heart impress'd,
Must from the tenor of her life be guess'd.
Rigid she was, persisting in her grief,
Fond of complaint, and adverse to relief.
In her religion she was all severe.
And as she was, was anxious to appear.
When sorrow died restraint usurp'd the place,
And sate in solemn state upon her face,
Reading she loved not, nor would deign to waste
Her precious time on trifling works of taste ;
Though M'hat she did with all that precious time
We know not, but to waste it was a crime —
As oft she said, when with a serious friend
She spent the hours as duty bids us spend;
To read a novel was a kind of sin —
Albeit once Clarissa took her in ;
And now of late she heard with much surprise,
Novels there were that made a compromise
Betwixt amusement and religion ; these
Might charm the worldly, whom the stories please,
And please the serious, whom the sense would eharm,
And thus indulging, be secured from harm —
A happy thought, when from the foe we take
His arms, and use them for religion's sake.
Her Bible she perused by day, by night ;
It was her task — she said 'twas her delight;
Found in her room, her chamber, and her pew,
For ever studied, yet for ever new —
All must be new that we cannot retain,
And new we find it when we read again.
TALE II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 51
The hardest texts she eoiild with ease exiDound,
And meaning for the most mysterious found,
Knew which of dubious senses to prefer :
The want of Greek was not a want in her ; —
Instinctive light no aid from Hebrew needs —
But full conviction without study breeds ;
O'er mortal powers by inborn strength prevails,
Where Reason trembles, and where Learning
To the church strictly from her childhood bred,
She now her zeal with party-spirit fed :
For brother James she lively hopes expressed,
But for the Doctor's safety felt distress'd ;
And her light Sister, poor, and deaf, and blind,
Fill'd her with fears of most tremendous kind.
But David mocked her for the pains she took,
And Fanny gave resentment for rebuke ;
While James approved the zeal, and praised the
" That brought," he said, " a blessing on tliem all :
" Goodness like this to all the House extends,
" For were they not a Family of Friends ?"
Their sister Frances, though her prime was past.
Had beauty still — nay, beauty form'd to last ;
'Twas not the lily and the rose combined.
Nor must we say the beauty of the mind ;
But feature, form, and that engaging air,
That lives when ladies are no longer fair.
Lovers she had, as she remember'd yet,
For who the glories of their reign forget?
52 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale ll.
Some she rejected in her maiden pride
And some in maiden hesitation tried,
Unwilling to renounce, unable to decide.
One lost, another would her grace implore,
Till all were lost, and lovers came no more :
Nor had she that, in beauty's failing state,
Which will recall a lover, or create ;
Hers was the slender portion, that supplied
Her real wants, but all beyond denied.
When Fanny Dyson reach'd her fortieth year.
She would no more of love or lovers hear ;
But one dear Friend she chose, her guide, her stay ;
And to each other all the world were they ;
For all the world had grown to them unkind,
One sex censorious, and the other blind.
The Friend of Frances longer time had known
The world's deceits, and from its follies flown.
With her dear Friend, life's sober joys to share
Was all that now became her wish and care.
They walk'd together, they conversed and read.
And tender tears for well-feign'd sorrows shed :
And were so happy in their quiet lives,
They pitied sighing maids, and weeping wives.
But Fortune to our state such change imparts,
That Pity stays not long in human hearts ;
When sad for others' woes our hearts are grown.
This soon gives place to sorrows of our own.
There was among our guardian Volunteers
A Major Bright — he reckoned fifty years:
TALE II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 53
A reading man of peace, but call'd to take
His sword and musket for his country's sake ;
Not to go forth and fight, but here to stay,
Invaders, shoukl they come, to chase or slay.
Him had the elder Lady long admired,
As one from vain and trivial things retired ;
With him conversed ; but to a Friend so dear,
Gave not that pleasure — Why ? is not so clear ;
But chance effected this : the Major now
Gave both the time his duties would allow ;
In walks, in visits, when abroad, at liome.
The friendly Major would to either come.
He never spoke — for he was not a boy —
Of ladies' charms, or lovers' grief and joy.
All his discourses were of serious kind.
The heart they touch'd not, but they fill'd the mind.
Yet — oh, the pity ! from this grave good man
The cause of coolness in the Friends began.
The sage Sophronia — that the chosen name —
Now more polite, and more estranged became.
She could but feel that she had longer known
This valued friend — he was indeed her own;
But Frances Dyson, to confess the truth.
Had more of softness — yes, and more of youth ;
And though he said such things had ceased to please,
The worthy Major was not blind to these :
So without thought, without intent, he paid
More frequent visits to the younger Maid.
Such the offence ; and though the Major tried
To tie again the knot he thus untied,
54 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale ii.
His utmost efforts no kind looks repaid, —
He moved no more the inexorable maid.
The Friends too parted, and the elder told
Tales of false hearts, and friendships waxing cold ;
And wonder'd what a man of sense could see
In the light airs of wither'd vanity.
'T is said that Frances now the world reviews.
Unwilling all the little left to lose ;
She and the Major on the walks are seen,
And all the world is wondering what they mean.
Such were the four whom Captain Elliot drew
To his own board, as the selected few.
For why ? they seem'd each other to approve.
And called themselves a Family of Love.
These were not all : there was a Youth beside.
Left to his uncles when his parents died:
A Girl, their sister, by a Boy was led
To Scotland, where a boy and girl may wed —
And they return'd to seek for pardon, pence, and
Five years they lived to labour, weep, and pray,
When Death, in mercy, took them both away.
Uncles and aunts received this lively child.
Grieved at his fate, and at his follies smiled ;
But when the cliild to boy's estate grew on.
The smile was vanish'd, and the pity gone.
Slight was the burden, but in time increased,
Until at length, botli love and pity ceased.
TALE II. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 55
Then Tom was idle ; he would find his way
To his aunt's stores, and make her sweets his prey ;
By uncle Doctor on a message sent,
He stopp'd to play, and lost it as he went.
His grave aunt Martha, with a frown austere,
And a rough hand, produced a transient fear ;
But Tom, to whom his rude companions taught
Language as rude, vindictive measures sought ;
He used such words, that when she wish'd to speak
Of his offence, she had her words to seek.
The little wretch had call'd her — 't was a shame
To think such thought, and more to name sucL
Thus fed and beaten, Tom was taught to pray
For his true friends : " but who," said he, " are
By nature kind, when kindly used, the Boy
Hail'd the strange good with tears of love and
But, roughly used, he felt his bosom burn
With wrath he dared not on his uncles turn ;
So with indignajit spirit, still and strong.
He nursed the vengeance, and endured the wrong.
To a cheap school, far north, the boy was sent :
Without a tear of love or grief he went ;
Where, doom'd to fast and study, fight and play,
He staid five years, and wish'd five more to stay.
He loved o'er plains to run, up hills to climb,
Without a thought of kindred, home, or time ;
Till from the calkin of a coasting hoy.
Landed at last the thin and freckled boy,
56 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale ll.
With sharp keen eye, but pale and hollow cheek,
A.11 made more sad from sickness of a week.
His aunts and uncles felt — nor strove to hide
From the poor boy, their pity and their pride :
He had been taught that he had not a friend,
Save these on earth, on whom he might depend ;
And such dependence upon these he had,
As made him sometimes desperate, always sad.
" Awkward and weak, where can the lad be
" And we not troubled, censured, or disgraced?
" Do, Brother James, th' unhappy boy enrol
" Among your set ; you only can control."
James sigh'd, and Thomas to the Factory went.
Who there his days in sundry duties spent.
He ran, he wrought, he wrote — to read or play
He had no time, nor much to feed or pray.
What pass'd without he heard not — or lie heard
Without concern, what he nor wish'd nor fear'd ;
Told of the Captain and his wealth, he sigh'd,
And said, " how well his table is supplied : "
But with the sigh it caused the sorrow fled ;
He was not feasted, but he must be fed,
And he could sleep full sound, though not full soft
But still, ambitious thoughts his mind possess'dj
And dreams of joy broke in upon his rest.
Improved in person, and enlarged in mind,
The good he found not he could hope to find.
TALE u. THE FAMILY OF LOVE.
Though now enslaved, he hail'd the approaching
When he should break his chains and flee away.
Such were the Dysons : they were first of those
Whom Captain Elliot as companions chose ;
Them he invited, and the more approved,
As it appear'd that each the other loved.
Proud of their brothers were the sister pair.
And if not proud, yet kind the brothers were.
This pleased the Captain, who had never known.
Or he had loved, such kindred of his own :
Them he invited, save the Orphan lad,
WTiose name was not the one his Uncles had ;
No Dyson he, nor with the party came —
The worthy Captain never heard his name ;
Uncles and Aunts forbore to name the boy,
For then, of course, must follow his employ.
Though all were silent, as wath one consent.
None told another what his silence meant.
What hers; but each suppress'd the useless truth.
And not a word was mention'd of the youth.
Familiar grown, the Dysons saw their host,
With none beside them : it became their boast.
Their pride, their pleasure ; but to some it seem'd
Beyond the worth their talents were esteem'd.
This wrought no change within the Captain's
To all men courteous, he to them was kind.
58 THE FAMILY OF LOVE. tale II.
One day with these he sat, and only these,
In a light humour, talking at his ease :
Familiar grown, he was disposed to tell
Of times long past, and what in them befell —
Not of his life their wonder to attract,
But the choice tale, or insulated fact.
Then, as it seem'd, he had acquired a right
To hear Mhat they could from their stores recite.
Their lives, they said, were all of common kind ;
He could no pleasure in such trifles find.
They had an Uncle — 'tis their father's tale —
Who in all seas had gone where ship can sail.
Who in all lands had been, where men can live ;
" He could indeed some strange relations give,
" And many a bold adventure ; but in vain
" We look for him ; he comes not home again."
" And is it so ? why then, if so it be,"
Said Captain Elliot, " you must look to me :
" I knew John Dyson" Instant every one
Was moved to wonder — " knew my Uncle John !
" Can he be rich ? be childless ? he is old,
" That is most certain — What ! can more be told?
" Will he return, who has so long been gone,
" And lost to us ? Oh ! what of Uncle John ? "
Tliis was aside : their unobservant friend
Seem'd on their thoughts but little to attend ;
A traveller speaking, he was more inclined
To tell his story than their thoughts to find.
TALE 11. THE FAMILY OF LOVE. 59
" Although, my Friends, I love you well, 'tis
" 'T was your relation turn'd my mind to you ;
" For we were friends of old, and friends like us
" And though from dearest friends a man will hide