• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Dedication
 I
 II
 III
 IV
 V
 VI
 VII
 VIII
 IX
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The son of a genius
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002160/00001
 Material Information
Title: The son of a genius
Physical Description: 216 p. : ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Sawyer, Ingersoll, and Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: Sawyer, Ingersoll, and Company
Place of Publication: Hudson Ohio
Publication Date: 1852
 Subjects
Subject: Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Poverty -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Artists -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Ohio -- Hudson
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by the author of The history of an officer's widow and family, Clergyman's widow and family, etc.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
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Bibliographic ID: UF00002160
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002249423
oclc - 29455814
notis - ALK1156
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front page 2
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    I
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
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        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    II
        Page 30
        Page 31
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        Page 33
        Page 34
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        Page 36
        Page 37
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    III
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    IV
        Page 70
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    V
        Page 98
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        Page 101
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        Page 118
        Page 119
    VI
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
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    VII
        Page 165
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        Page 168
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    VIII
        Page 176
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    IX
        Page 205
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        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
    Back Cover
        Page 218
    Spine
        Page 219
Full Text
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Aw

















SON OF A GENIUS;





BY THE AUTHOR OF THE

HISTORY OF AN OFFICER'S WIDOW AND FAMILY,
CLERGYMAN'S WIDOW AND FAMILY, ETC.







Lay hold of Instruction, keep her, for she is thy Life.
Proverbs.






HUDSON, OHIO:

SAWYER, INGERSOLL AND COMPANY.

1852.








TO


F. P. N,,
THE AUTHOR'S SON.


ACCEPT, my dear Son, this little work,
as a proof of that tender regard, and sincere
desire for your improvement, not only in the
learning of the mind, but of the heart, in
which it is not less my duty than my inclina-
tion to instruct you.
Deprived, on your very entrance into life,
of an excellent Father, whose paternal care
would have protected, and whose example
would have enlightened you; there have
doubtless been many times, when you have
sighed to find yourself bereaved of that con-
nexion enjoyed by your companions, and
which it was impossible for any kindness or
exertion on my part wholly to supply. In




iv
tracing the early sorrows of the subject of
this story, you will perceive a child struggling
with a species of distress, to which you never
have or could have been subject; yet the con-
templation of which will, I trust, be of use
to you; not only by showing you that boys
who have fathers may in some cases suffer
many privations and afflictions; but, what is
of infinitely more consequence to be known,
that the most brilliant talents, enlarged con-
ceptions, and refined sensibilities, of which
human nature is capable, may be rendered
useless, and even prejudicial, unless they are
directed by prudence, humility, and discre-
tion; and above all, that strict integrity,
founded on religious principles, that fear of
God which is the beginning (and the end) of
wisdom; will, where it is duly engrafted in
the heart by true Christianity, produce a dis-
position to, and observance of, order, regu-
larity, and every action indicative of honesty,
industry, and self control.




V
Conscious, my Frederic, that you do not
need an advocate for the duties of compassion
and charity to your suffering fellow creatures,
I shall only beg you on this subject to remark
the conduct of Ludovico as to his discretion;
though in the midst of his poverty, he gladly
obeyed the injunction of his blessed Master,
and the yearnings of his own benevolent
heart in the performance of this delightful
duty, yet he did not bestow with a careless
or lavish hand; his prudence and industry
were made the medium of his generosity, and
he thus verified the truth of that assertion I
so frequently make, and of which your own
conduct, my dear boy, has afforded many en-
dearing proofs that those who are the most
careful are the most beneficent, and that self-
denial is the mother of generosity; a doctrine
I do not scruple to repeat, since, promising as
your conduct now is, you are yet very young;
and it is therefore necessary to give you line
upon line and precept upon precept; and it is
A*





vi

very probable that as this is not the first,
so it will not be the last story, dictated for
your instruction, and others of your age, by
their friend, and your anxious, though ap-
proving and affectionate, Mother,
B. N.








THE


SON OF A GENIUS.




CHAPTER I.

No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercast,
Nor blasted were their wedded days with strife,
Each season look'd delightful as it passed,
Found in the lowly vale of shepherd life.
Beattie.

"DEPEND upon it, Mrs. Lewis, your son is
a boy of genius, uncommon genius," said a
gentleman to the wife of an artist, as he
looked over some loose sketches which lay
upon her work table, at one end of which
sat a sickly-looking boy of about twelve
years old, at work with his pencil; and who
now looking up exhibited his pale face, so
illuminated by the pleasure praise seldom
fails to convey, however administered, that
the gentleman thought he had seldom seen





THE SON OF A GENIUS;


so intelligent a countenance, or been regard-
ed with a look so prepossessing; but he was
recalled from his observations on the boy,
by the words which immediately fell from
the mother, accompanied by a look of appre-
hensive tenderness lest her son should be
injured by the flattery he had incautiously
conveyed.
"Indeed, Sir, you are mistaken; my son
has no genius, but he has industry ; and suf-
ficient talent to make that industry profita-
ble, I hope."
"You underrate his powers, Ma'am-I am
convinced he has really genius, and will
some day cut a very great figure in the
world; you must not damp the ardor, or be
too severe on the eccentricities of a mind like
his-he who can do such things as these are
now, will at a future period claim the highest
honors that fame can bestow."
The mother answered by a deep sigh, and
as the tears rose into her eyes, involuntarily,
though almost inarticulately, exclaimed,-
"God forbid that he should seek them!"
The gentleman was sorry to see her so much
affected, though he concluded that she was a


[CHAP.





A TALE.


weak woman, whose stupidity, vulgarity or
obstinacy of mind, were but too likely to
injure the expanding talents of her son;
and though the meekness of her manner, and
the sweet dejection of her fine countenance,
had somewhat interested him in her favor,
when he first entered her apartment, he quit-
ted it with a sense of sorrow for the wan-
looking boy, and vexation at the perverse
mother, whom he considered the cruel con-
troller of genius she could not comprehend,
and therefore sought to repel, by reducing
the high soaring of fancy to the drudgery
of common labor, and the fatigue of inces-
sant application.
The gentleman was extremely mistaken
in this conclusion, for Mrs. Lewis was a
woman of strong natural understanding, and
had some portion of that finer perception of
beauty and excellence, which, in whatever
path it walks, may be designated genius: but
she had an aversion to the word, amounting
almost to horror, from having observed its
application tend to injure either nearly, or
remotely, every one to whom it had been her
lot to see it applied; and as it was ever in





10 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


her mind associated with imprudence, imbe-
cility, folly, or vice, was made the excuse for
one man's eccentricities, another man's er-
rors, and not unfrequently connected with
the crimes of a third; it was no wonder that
she shrunk from its application to a son, who
notwithstanding his pale looks, and her ap-
parent suppression of his exultation, was to
her, the very soul of all her earthly hopes,
and had been nourished by her with a tender-
ness so exquisite, a love so unceasing in its
care, and so judicious in its efforts, that in
relating the history of this mother, and her
son, we flatter ourselves every young person
who like him has been praised for this rare,
indefinite, and often blamably extolled qual-
ity so much the subject of attention in the
present day, will see the folly of depending
upon it either for happiness, or respecta-
bility, in this world, and the sin of daring to
make it an excuse for neglecting that "which
is to come ;" and, that those young people
whose more moderate talents, or less vivid
imagination, have preserved their minds
from being inflated by this silly method of
extolling that which implies no merit, since


[CHAP.






it exacts no exertion, will learn, that much
may be gained by industry, even where na-
ture has not been liberal, and that the at-
tainments for which men in all situations,
and all ages, were most esteemed, were the
result of patient investigation, unwearied
diligence, and incessant labor ; without which,
the most brilliant talents have ever failed
to produce either individual comforts, or
true celebrity; and that in proportion as the
mind is endued with higher powers, and
acuter sensibilities, it is annoyed with strong-
er passions, and more dangerous propensi-
ties, and calls in a more peculiar manner for
the control of reason, and the aids and res-
trictions of religion, without which the widest
soaring of human intellect are as liable to
error, as the weakest conclusions of the most
bounded judgment; in all that most interests
us, as accountable, and immortal beings;
called to consider this world as but the pas-
sage to another which is to last for ever and
ever.
Mr. Rumney, the father of Mrs. Lewis,
was a clergyman who resided on a very
small living in Cumberland; he was married


11


A TALE.





TIE SON OF A GENIUS ;


to a plain, sensible good woman, the daugh-
ter of a neighboring farmer, by whom he
had five children; of whom Agnes was the
eldest very considerably, as the two children
who succeeded her were both taken off by
diseases incident to infancy. This circum-
stance was an advantage to her; as by ren-
dering her for some time the object of her
father's attention, it secured for her all the
instruction such a companion could bestow;
so that before she was called to participate
her mother's duties in her household depart-
ment, she had gained as much knowledge of
the rudiments of education, as was necessary
to give her a taste for improvement; which
never fails to lead youth into such a disposi-
tion of their time, as to enable them to seize
every precious moment circumstances allow,
for mental cultivation: and the little thus
acquired is too dear, too valuable, to be wast-
ed, and misapplied: thus amidst incessant
occupation, and various petty cares, Agnes
became mistress of much estimable knowl-
edge, notwithstanding the obscurity in which
she lived, and the necessity of attending to
all the common cares of life inseparable from


[CHAP.





A TALE.


13


narrow circumstances-for she was well
read in the Bible, she thoroughly under-
stood the prayers and the doctrines of her
own church, and had a sufficient knowledge
of the various modes in which others pro-
fessed the Christian faith, to feel charity for
all, and respect for many; she had likewise
read the history of the Jews, that of her
own country, and as much of the Greek and
Roman, as enabled her to converse with her
father, on the subjects to which he occasion-
ally referred, relative to those extraordi-
nary people; she was likewise conversant
in Thompson's Seasons, Goldsmith's Desert-
ed Village, and Gray's Poems; had read
three volumes of the Spectators, one of the
Rambler, and all Tillotson's Sermons; to this
stock of erudition, which however humble
it may appear to those more highly favored,
had left a mind of native strength and
energy by no means poorly endowed; she
added a knowledge of her needle above
the common standard; she had an excellent
ear, and sung, and read, with singular sweet-
ness and fluency; she wrote a neat hand
and understood her own language, and was
B





14 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


not ignorant of Latin; to which it may be
added that she understood sufficiently mine-
ralogy, botany, and natural philosophy, to
render her entertaining to her father, and
useful to her mother ; but as these were en-
dowments received in the way of chit-chat,
it never entered the mind of Agnes to class
them amongst her attainments: amongst the
circle of her own parish there were a few
young women similarly instructed by her
father, or other friends, so that her mind
was neither left to the dangerous contem-
plation of its own superiority, which is often
the case in secluded situations; nor as she
saw no one superior to her, was she led to
repine at their advantage, or sink under the
consciousness of humiliating inferiority;-
hence arose a proper estimation of herself, a
solidity of character, a temperance, proprie-
ty, and self-possession, which, combined with
deep and fervent piety, unaffected sensibility,
and true modesty, rendered her not less esti-
mable than engaging, and promised that the
virtuous woman would succeed to the duteous
and tender daughter.
At the period we now speak of, it was not


[CHAP.





I.J A TALE. 10

so much the fashion, as at present, to ex-
plore the beauties of the mountain scenery
of Cumberland; and the remote village
where Mr. Rumney held the "noiseless ten-
or of his way;" lay too far from the more
striking objects sought in the tour of the
lakes, to have awakened curiosity, though it
boasted many singular beauties; and the in-
habitants of Newkirkdale knew nothing more
of the lords, and ladies, artists, and vir-
tuosi, who visited Keswick and Patterdale,
now and then, than what was transmitted to
them from thence on market days, and fairs,
where the good pastor, and his wife, occa-
sionally went for the necessary supply of
such things as could not be procured else-
where. At the distance of about five miles
was a gentleman's seat, but it was seldom
visited by the owners above once in three
or four years, when they came for the pur-
pose of grouse shooting, but which visits
generally afforded a little treat to Mr. Rum-
ney, as the Squire ever treated him with re-
spect, and generally brought him a present
of some books, which were the most welcome
one he could receive; and on these occasions





16 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


Mrs. Rumney generally became possessor
of a dozen or two of wine, which was care-
fully hoarded as a kind of parish stock, to
which every sick person might look in her
vicinity, so long as there was any left; for
as the good priest was the spiritual father of
his flock, considering their joys, sorrows,
unions, and differences, as his own immedi-
ate care; so his pious and worthy partner,
according to her utmost ability, left nothing
undone that could contribute to their wel-
fare; and to her little stock of superfluities
they all looked in the hour of want; and to
her knowledge in that of suffering; her kind-
ness was their comfort, and her skill their
consolation, and, of course, her joys were
their joys, and her sorrows were their afflic-
tions. When the pastor's crop failed, the
poorest parishioner he had found a sheaf for
his minister's barn. When his lambs died,
every shepherd around rejoiced when his
ewes produced twins, because it furnished an
excuse for offering one to his worship.
The inhabitants of this part of England
enjoy a degree of equality unknown to any
other, and which, though it prevents the ac-


[CHAP.




A TALE.


cumulation of property in the degree it is
generally diffused over the island, yet pre-
vents also much poverty, and the evils aris-
ing from servility; the land is almost uni-
versally held by a kind of little gentry, who
being owners, not farmers, enjoy all the in-
dependence of country Squires, though they
are often nearly as poor as their cottagers;
these call themselves statesmen, the eldest
son is sole heir, and it is by no means un-
common to find them residents on the very
spot where their fathers have lived since be-
fore the Conquest; and it is their pride to
persist, as far as they are able, in all the
customs which prevailed in the days of their
forefathers, a circumstance inimical to im-
provement, but beneficial to morals; for as
the annals of a family transmit naturally the
most favorable side of its character, so the
present possessor is called upon to preserve,
unimpaired, the good faith, integrity, or re-
ligious disposition of his fathers; and be-
comes bound to certain restraints on his
passions, which cannot fail to be beneficial to
himself, and furnish an example to his chil-
dren and neighbors, of the greatest utility:
B*




18 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


and as the native good sense and vigorous
intellect of men, soberly exercised, lead
them to consider what is really good in that
which increasing civilization offers to their
attention, it may be fairly inferred, that the
Cumberland and Westmoreland little land-
holders do not reject many essential advan-
tages at this day by adhering to the practice
of their fathers, whilst they retain a consid-
erable portion of their real good from their
amiable partiality.
Amongst the principal blessings thus de-
rived may be considotd the universality of
learning; at least, such a portion of it as
we have assigned to A es. In every family
the Bible is read, and commented upon by
the master or mistress of the house; and as
much of profane history understood as is
connected with it, and tends to cast light
upon it; and to this is usually added a knowl-
edge of local history, connected with that of
the country. A taste for poetry is prevalent
also, by a natural analogy with the minds of
a people, who, inhabiting a sublime and pic-
turesque country, often the seat of the bor-
der warfare, and still subject to feudal ten-


[CHAP.





ures, circumstances which all have a tenden-
cy to inspire the mind with images of beauty,
terror, and interest, which constitute the
very best essence of poetry, and give it the
power of delighting the imagination without
corrupting the heart.
To return from a digression which, we
trust, was not useless; since it serves to
help many a wanderer from these sequester-
ed glades, to recal to their minds, and, I trust,
their affections, the simple genius they have
left behind; and t e who have not been
acquainted with the contemplate a new
order in society, however remote
fprm their own ci ef can never be con-
temptible or unworthy of their notice. We
proceed to say-that during the autumn,
when Agnes Rumney had completed her
nineteenth year, the gentleman in question
visited his seat, after an absence of four
years, accompanied by several friends from
the South, and having, amongst other in-
mates, a young artist of great abilities, who
came into this country for the purpose of
taking sketches of the romantic scenery it so
profusely exhibits.


19


A TALE.





20 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


Mr. Rumney, on his visit to the great
house, returned under the pleasing impres-
sion refined society never fails to give the
mind calculated for enjoying it, when but
rarely admitted to the intellectual feast; but
he dwelt more on the pleasure the young ar-
tist's society had given him than on all the
rest; his wit, his eloquence, the variety of
his information, the versatility of his man-
ners, the brilliance of his imagination, the
sublimity of his conceptions; all were by
turns the theme of t good man's praise;
and Agnes, and her her, listened till they
partook his enthusia d ardently desired
to become acquainted this extraordina
stranger.
Their wishes were gratified much sooner
than they expected, for Mr. Lewis, the art-
ist, having been much pleased with the sim-
plicity, sanctity, and good sense of the Cum-
berland divine; and being subject to pursue,
with enthusiasm, whatever had the power to
attract him; and to admire or despise, love
or hate, whatever lay in his path; paid Mr.
Rumney an early visit, desiring to be led by
him into some of those scenes where he could


[CHAPS






pursue his delightful avocation; when, after
spending some hours, he would return to par-
take his dinner.
The master of the house heard this with
pleasure; the mistress, on hospitable
thoughts intent," ran to apprise Agnes of
the expected guest, and they united in strain-
ing every nerve to add to the comforts of
their plain but hospitable table. Mr. Lewis
was charmed with all he saw, but especially
with Agnes; the delight he felt he commu-
nicated; for the br' iance of his conversa-
tion exceeded even Vat it had done in a
higher circle; and Rumney, perhaps
flattered by that circus tance, exclaimed, the
moment after he had shook hands at parting
with him, Well, what do you say to this
wonderful young man ? have you ever seen
any thing like him ?"
"Never," returned his wife, "but still I
liked him best when he took the children on
his knee, and told them about his pranks and
misfortunes when he was a little one."
That was natural enough for you, my
love; but he has pleased me much more by
explaining those peculiarities in perspective,


1.]


21


A TALE.




22 TIE SON OF A GENIUS ;


which have so often puzzled me when as-
cending the mountains."
"I liked him the best," said Agnes, tim-
idly, "when, at the very moment he was
quoting that fine passage of poetry, at the
name of mother, his own seemed to cross his
mind, his eyes filled with tears, and he was
unable to proceed, for then I felt that sur-
prising and clever as he is, his heart felt just
as my own would have done at such a sad
remembrance."
"Bless thee, my bonnie bairn," said the
mother, tenderly kissing her, "' his mother,
with all the joy she must one- have had in
such a son, could nof be happfr than I am
in my Aggy."
Mr. Lewis's visit was soon renewed, and
in a short time he became almost a constant
inmate in the family; and as the timidity of
Agnes gave way, and he discovered the
abilities that she possessed, it was evident
that he became more pleased with her con-
versation than even her person, which was
uncommonly attractive, though less striking
to an inhabitant than a stranger; as in her
neighborhood almost every woman is deli-


[CHAP.





cately fair, and elegantly formed; but there
was something in the unpretending good
sense, the artless propriety, and dignified
submission, which marked the conduct of
Agnes in every action of her life; added to
the compassionate tenderness and lively de-
votion which was occasionally exhibited in
her conduct, that struck the feelings and at-
tached the heart of Mr. Lewis. He had
spent much time amongst the great, the gay,
and the accomplished; where his various
talents, elegant manners, and fine person,
had attracted their Ittention, and induced
them to call forth all ir powers of pleas-
ing, since every person is anxious to be ap-
preciated by those they consider proficients
or judges; but he had never yet met with a
young woman, at once so simple, and so
wise, as Agnes; and he yielded with his ac-
customed submission to the prevailing im-
pulse, to the passion which she had inspired,
and which it was not difficult to awaken in
her, being already prepossessed in his fa-
vor.
With an open countenance and ingenuous
heart, Lewis honorably confessed to his rev-


1.]


23


A TALE.




THE SON OF A GENIUS;


erend friend, that his paternal fortune was
small, and nearly consumed by the unavoid-
able expenses contracted in pursuing his art;
that he believed he had not, since the loss
of his parents, conducted his affairs with all
the prudence in the world, and that he was
subject to impetuosity of temper, which some-
times hurried him into extravagancies he af-
terwards repented of, and follies he despised;
but, he added, "I have a heart capable of
unbounded tenderness, of sublime devotion,
and deep contrition. Thank God, my nature
is undebased by vicious propensities, my name
unstained by reproach; my errors have been
the errors of genius, and have a claim on the
mercy of all who know how to estimate the
peculiarities attached to it."
The frankness and humility of confession
never fail to interest the heart; and there
was little doubt but the rector gave full cred-
it to his young friend for all that was most
amiable in his conduct, in this; and the con-
sciousness that he had not a shilling in the
world to give his daughter, induced him to
believe that it would ill become him to make
any remarks on pecuniary matters; lightly


24


[CHAP.






as Mr. Lewis thought of his own property,
it appeared wealth in the eyes of the good
man, who had never possessed half so much
in his life; and as he had heard him spoken
of at the hall, as a man of prodigious genius,
who would be an honor to his country, and
had actually beheld him receive a sum of
money for one picture, equal to his whole
income; he could not form any idea of want
being attached to his daughter's future situ-
ation, and concluded this indirect method of
re-assuring his mind on a subject for which
he felt no fears, was amongst the eccentrici-
ties which, in despite of his affection, he had
sometimes painfully contemplated in his ami-
able young friend.
But on other subjects the good man felt
it a duty to be more explicit; he had many
conversations with Mr. Lewis on morals and
religion; on all of which the young man
spoke with an air of lively animation, and
deep interest; as one that felt all the beauty
of virtue, and the excellence of christianity :
" 'tis true," said the pastor, as relating these
conversations to his anxious wife, he does
not enter into particular disquisitions on


A TALE.


25





26 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


lesser points quite so much as I could wish;
but I impute this to the difficulty of restrain-
ing that soaring fancy, and ardent spirit,
which naturally mingles its sublime rhapso-
dies with the contemplation of divine things,
in the mind of a man of genius; and pre-
vents him from stooping in all things, to the
letter of the law; by inspiring him with
more noble conceptions, more exalted views
of the excellence of our holy religion, and
the beauty of truth: than minds of a com-
mon cast are favored with."
Mrs. Rumney's mind, though sensible, a-
cute, and vigorous, hadbeen so long under the
complete guidance of her husband, through
whose more cultivated intellect, as a faithful
medium, she looked on every object; that it
was no wonder she saw as he did, in an in-
stance where her affections, like his own,
were drawn forcibly towards one, who ap-
peared not only calculated to make her
daughter happy, but to raise her to that sta-
tion of life they naturally concluded their
beloved child was calculated to adorn; and
where it was probable her good example
might be efficacious to others, and not un-


[CHAP.






likely that her acquaintance with that world
to which they were nearly strangers, might
enable her, in various ways, to benefit the
younger branches of their still increasing
family; under these united considerations,
therefore, they bestowed Agnes on the young
man, in the fullest confidence of her happi-
ness; perceiving that she was most tenderly
attached to him, and that she looked up to
him with that veneration for his wisdom, and
admiration of his talents which they thought
the proper characteristics of a wife's affec-
tion; whilst on his part there was a sent-
iment of love so nearly approaching to idol-
atry for her, that the worthy pastor would
have thought it a subject for his severe rep-
rehension; since in his opinion, which was
ever regulated by the word of God, "inordi-
nate affection," even for the most amiable
human being, was in a degree sinful; but he
concluded that this sensation was a part of
that enthusiasm which was inseparable from
true genius; he was therefore induced to
smile at that in his son-in-law which he would
have condemned in another.
For a short time after the marriage of


i.]


A TALE.





THE SON OF A GENIUS [


Agnes, the young couple continued to reside
in the parsonage, in order to enable Mr.
Lewis to finish a set of sketches he was ta-
king from the surrounding scenery. This
period was the holiday of Agnes' life; she
accompanied her beloved husband on his va-
rious little expeditions for distant views; she
explored with him the wild dale, and traced
the meandering rivulet, climbed the towering
mountain, and gazed on the beauteous vale
below, while with a painter's eye, and poet's
tongue, he led her from one subject of inter-
est to another; expatiating on their beauties,
explaining their use in the great scale of
creation, and finally, glorifying the Almigh-
ty hand so eminently visible in scenes like
these, from the humble rill that trickled
down the pendant rock, to the proud lake
that stretched its ample mirror through the
broadest valley; from the grassy hillock to
the lofty mountain, his comprehensive glance
pervaded whatever was beautiful and grand;
and felt in all,

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair.


[CHAP.







and the native refinement, and energy of his
young and pliant wife, soon enabled her to
partake with no common fervor, the elegant
and sublime enthusiasm which affected his
mind; but yet she was neither so delighted
by the raptures thus awakened nor so daz-
zled by the brilliance of powers thus dis-
played, as not to be conscious that the dif-
ferent hours, and more expensive habits of
her husband, rendered their residence at her
father's inconvenient and improper; and
painful as it was to leave a home so dear,
she by no means sought to protract her stay
beyond the appointed time; though she left
it with a degree of solicitude for future life,
which until this time had never clouded her
humble views, or troubled her contented bo-
som.


I.]


29


A TALE.




30 THE SON OF A GENIUS.


CHAPTER II.

In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
Beattie.

MR. LEWIS was the only surviving son of
a gentleman who had nearly expended a fine
fortune in mechanical pursuits, which he
had not the steadiness to follow, so as to
bring any single object to perfection ; though
he evinced powers sufficient to have fully
effected that purpose. His son had received
the education suitable for a liberal profession,
but a direction of mind too desultory for any,
until his seventeenth year, when he professed
himself determined on that of a painter, a
desire perfectly consonant to the wishes of
his father, who obtained for him every aid
his profession required; but, at the same
time, by instilling the belief, that on his gen-
ius alone he must depend for future fame and
fortune, defeated in a great measure the ben-


[CHAP.






efits he bestowed, in providing his talents the
means of cultivation; since his son was
thereby encouraged to neglect that applica-
tion necessary in every profession, and taught
to rest on fortuitous means of producing that
which is the reward of well-exerted efforts,
and unwearied application of appropriate
talents. The father died very soon after the
son's choice of a profession was settled, leav-
ing his affairs in a state of so much derange-
ment that his widow, who had ever been a
most affectionate wife, and tender mother,
was literally harassed to death with settling
them: she had, however, the satisfaction of
paying all his debts, reducing his scattered
property to a tangible shape, and leaving her
son in actual possession of about two thou-
sand pounds, with which she hoped he would
be enabled to set out advantageously in life,
being assured by all who knew him, that he
was a young man of the most promising tal-
ents; and being happy in the persuasion
that he had an excellent disposition, and
was not subject to any vicious propensity
whatever.
Young Lewis sincerely loved and lament-


Ir.]


31


A TALE.





32 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


ed both his parents; but he neither took
warning from the errors into which one had
fallen, from following blindly a pursuit
praiseworthy in itself, but ruinous to him,
from his mismanagement and mutability;
nor followed the advice and example of the
other, by estimating his own right of expen-
diture and powers of improvement; rash, im-
petuous, and enthusiastic, yet generous, af-
fectionate, and ingenuous; he was perpetu-
ally led into the commission of follies which
he repented, and despised; but whose re-
currence he adopted no stable means of pre-
venting; from attributing them to weakness
immediately connected with that superiority
in himself, of which he felt too proud to ex-
amine minutely its claims to his partiality, or
even his right to the distinction thus arroga-
ted; and as it served as an apology for idle-
ness at some times, extravagance at others,
and eccentricity in all; as it had been ceded
to him by his father, allowed him by his com-
panions, and was the attribute most dear to
him in others; he indulged himself in be-
lieving that he was influenced in all he did
by possessing genius.


[CHAP.






This suppositious power did not, however,
prevent the young man from knowing, that
it was by no common application and regular
study he had become master of all that
which was indeed estimable in his attain-
ments; and so long as the period lasted, in
which he placed himself under the direction
of others, his progress was striking, for his
application was truly that of vigorous intel-
lect, and a noble contempt of surrounding
difficulties; but when to the cares of his pro-
fession were added those of his worldly af-
fairs, and the possibility of turning his
knowledge to profit, he manifested a care-
lessness amounting to folly, and an igno-
rance of which a school-boy might blush,
and from his scorn of trifles, and neglect of
petty cares, was continually subject to seri-
ous inconveniences, and in time, to alarming
calamities.
At the time of his marriage, Mr. Lewis
was about four and twenty, and consider-
ing his youth, was in possession of a consid-
erable degree of public favor; but as he
had embraced landscape painting, a branch
of the art slow in the fame it bestows, and


33


A TALE.




34 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


by no means lucrative until that fame is es-
tablished, it was necessary to husband his
little patrimony with prudence, unless he in-
creased it by the ordinary method, that of
teaching; but there was, according to his
apprehension, a degradation in this mode of
applying his talents, unworthy of him as a
man of genius; he therefore applied himself
exclusively to painting, and professing him-
self devoted to his art, conceived with all
the ardor natural to his years and charac-
ter, that success must ultimately crown his
labors, more especially as he had made
considerable progress in his father's studies,
possessed a fine taste for poetry, and had
spent much of his time in the composition of
an epic poem, from which he promised him-
self the highest honors.
But alas, between the pen and the pencil,
each applied to by turns, but neither with
effect; month after month glided on, and
Agnes never perceived that the labors of
her husband actually produced any money.
For some time she forbore to make any re-
marks, or express any wishes on the subject,
since all her modest wants were more liberal-


[CHAP.






ly supplied than she desired; but as she
found the remains of his little property was,
by the confession of her husband, fast wan-
ing to a close, she became extremely anxious
to see those talents, on which she had so of-
ten meditated with delight, produce some-
thing like the harvest so long promised, es-
pecially as she was become the mother of a
boy whom his father beheld with great de-
light and affection, and whom, from his par-
tiality to the painter of that name, he chris-
tened Ludovico Carracci.
They now removed from the northern
counties, where they had hitherto resided,
to Manchester, as a place of great impor-
tance for its wealth, and where the talents of
a respectable artist were likely to meet with
that encouragement not to be expected in a
more secluded situation. Mr. Lewis regard-
ed his long residence among the mountains
as a period of study in Nature's best acade-
my, and considered this the outset of his
professional career; he had obtained many
valuable introductions to various wealthy
inhabitants, and his hopes were so sanguine,
that even the consciousness that he had not


35


I A TALE.






36 THE SON OF A GENIUS; [CHAP.
more than fifty pounds in the world, left to
provide for daily increasing expenditure,
failed to affect his spirits, or cast a cloud on
his brow.
He was well received at Manchester by
those to whom he looked as future patrons,
the specimens of his talents exhibited in his
rooms were much admired, some were pur-
chased, others ordered; and Agnes partook
the happiness she had hoped for, though she
lamented the expense incurred from resid-
ing in a place where the means of living
were so much more expensive than she had
ever known them; she however applied her-
self with double diligence to the manage-
ment of their household concerns, and en-
deavored to supply by frugality the differ-
ence in their expenditure.
But now was the time of trial-hitherto
Mr. Lewis had followed the bent of inclina-
tion, as it directed his studies, or made those
studies his amusement; he was now called
upon (as every man is more or less) to obey
the will of others; and submit to certain
privations, for certain rewards; the desulto-
ry life he had so long led, his habit of plac-





II.] A TALE. 87
ing genius at the helm of his thoughts, and
indulging in the belief of its all controlling
power, without examining how far caprice,
idleness, and folly, assumed its name, either
in his own mind, or that of others; preclud-
ed him from every solid advantage offered
to him; pursuing the dictates of this suppo-
sitious impulse, he scorned every other; the
pictures ordered were frequently never even
touched, or if painted, were not according to
the wishes of their owners-they never were
finished to any given time, and it frequent-
ly happened that a picture, on which all his
hopes of subsistence depended, was aban-
doned entirely, whilst he composed couplets,
meant to garnish the corner of a newspa-
per; wasted his time in the perusal of a
new novel, or with more apparent wisdom,
but to equal loss, pursued some mechanic
speculation, or learned hypothesis; and if
any person who either felt for him that
friendship which his manners seldom failed
to inspire, or were really interested in his
speedy conclusion of the work then on his
easel, presumed to remonstrate with him
on this unfortunate misapplication of his
D





TIE SON OF A GENIUS;


time, he never failed to insist upon "the ut-
ter impossibility of binding minds of a su-
perior class to common rules;" gave a thou-
sand instances in which men of genius had
acted in the same eccentric manner; declar-
ed that the moment of inspiration must be
employed, but cannot be pressed into the ser-
vice of art;. and that the independence of
his mind should never yield to the shackles
which the restraints of prudence threw over
souls of a more vulgar mould, and meaner
destination.
This total negligence of the wishes of his
patrons was particularly disgusting to the
wealthy merchants and manufacturers of
Manchester; who, used to regularity in all
their proceedings, and seldom educated in a
manner that could make them comprehend
the nature of that mental labor, which is in
fact the life of the art, viewed his errors
with too much austerity, and aggravated the
fault, which appeared the greater, because
in opposition to their own mode of action;
they condemned him not more than he de-
spised them. After three years' residence,
he left Manchester, with a determination


[CHAP.







never more to reside in a manufacturing
town, and set out for York, taking with him
a wife and three little children; who left a
place with regret, where they had experi-
enced much personal kindness, and where
Agnes had seen, that with common prudence
it was very possible, not only to live in com-
fort, but to secure an ample independence.
A very short time served to convince Mrs.
Lewis, that if the evils of narrow-minded
tradesmen were severely felt in their late
residence, the narrow purses of gentry, liv-
ing for the most part on stated incomes, were
likely to be more severely felt in their pres-
ent; but she felt some consolation from the
cheapness of the place, and from perceiving
the kind consideration with which her hus-
band was treated by people of real superior-
ity. Lewis for his part was delighted; he
now found himself amongst kindred souls,
and felt as if he was now for the first time
brought into that world, which he was form-
ed to enjoy and to embellish; every where
courted, invited, and admired, his presence
seemed necessary to enliven every party,
and give zest to every enjoyment; for as


II.]


89


A TALE.





40 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


he was known to be a man of family, as well
as a man of genius, every house in York was
open to receive him, and literary acquaint-
ance, lively friends, and admiring amateurs,
surrounded him on every side; while agree-
able invitations were without limits.
But in this agreeable round of engage-
ments all employment was suspended, and
for a time all painting was forgot; unfortu-
nately the interesting antiquities, the fine ca-
thedral, and many local advantages of York,
awoke admiration, which affected him rather
as a poet than a painter; and every solitary
ramble and unengaged hour were given to
the composition of poetry. By degrees this
pursuit gained still more ground, and with
the true spirit of a poet he withdrew from
all company, abandoned every other pursuit,
and wrapped in the sublime contemplation
of the past, became completely absorbed in
this single subject. So that at the time
when the city was filling with company who
might have been really beneficial to him,
and to whom it was the intention of his new
friends to introduce him, he was so distracted
with the thoughts of being torn from his


[CIHAP.







loved employment, that he hastily fled from
the city, took refuge in a distant farm-house;
and determined to live in the closest retire-
ment, till he had accomplished his task,
which was writing an epic poem, entitled
" Constantine the Great."
During the time when he had been visit-
ing in York, though admired and caressed
by all, his wife and infants had lived in a
solitary lodging, and filled with melancholy
forebodings, she had endeavored to keep
up her spirits in the hope of better times,
and by every method of the most self-deny-
ing economy delay the approach of want.
As, however, it was impossible to avoid run-
ning in debt for mere necessaries, her anxie-
ty became more distressing, and her credit-
ors were so urgent for payment, when her
husband thus incautiously forsook her, leav-
ing her a message to follow him, without re-
flecting on the necessity of settling their af-
fairs, that she was obliged to compromise in
the best manner she was able, by disposing
of all the little furniture they had brought
with them and the greatest part of her hus-
band's books. This circumstance quickly
D*


n.]


41


A TALE.





THE SON OF A GENIUS;


spread, their credit was universally blasted,
and when the poem was finished, and the
author presented it under the idea of a libe-
ral subscription being entered upon for it,
(which would doubtless have been the case,
three months before) he found from the book-
seller, that he was universally regarded in
York as "an idle, dissipated man, who ran
into debt he had no means of discharging,
and exposed his wife and innocent children
to bear the brunt of misfortune, and the suf-
ferings of poverty."
Stung more with the injustice of this sen-
tence, than the truth it contained, since he
conceived that the very people who pro-
nounced it were those who, on his arrival,
had made him idle and dissipated; and now
when by incessant application he had re-
deemed his character, they abandoned him
without mercy, he hastily repaired to his un-
happy wife, declaring "that he would in-
stantly fly to the metropolis, where alone he
could publish his poem; and where genius
never failed to meet with patrons, whose
wealth and liberality insured the success due
to superior talent."


[CHAP.







This scheme was found impracticable, the
utmost limits of their power only enabled
them to proceed to Leeds; where they were
obliged to take a poor lodging, which in the
course of a week was exchanged for one
still poorer, and where the infant poor Ag-
nes now nursed at her breast, affected by
the suppressed but bitter grief of its unhap-
py mother, soon breathed its last, the victim
of sorrow and imprudence.
Over the corpse of his youngest darling
the father shed many a heartfelt tear; but
the mother's sacrifice, though lamented, was
more easily resigned; and as soon as she
was somewhat recovered from the shock,
she earnestly looked round for some em-
ployment, which should enable her to assist
in providing for her family; and having
lodged in the house of a glover during her
residence in York, and being ever of an ob-
servant turn, and remarkably quick with
her needle, she determined on making gloves
for sale, and had provided herself with the
means of carrying this purpose into effect,
when her husband, on perceiving her inten-
tion, reprobated it in the severest manner,


43


II.]


A TALE.





44 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


as a means of injuring him in his profession,
and precluding him from appearing in the
light of a gentleman.
"But our children want bread, my dear
Lewis!" This appeal overwhelmed the
wretched man with so severe an agony, that
Agnes resolved to comply, apparently at least,
with his wishes. She soothed his sorrows,
praised his poem, predicted its success, and
finally persuaded him to resume his habits
of sketching, and preparing a few pictures,
though she almost dreaded their finishing,
knowing that the expense of providing frames
was utterly out of her power. During the
hours he was in the house, she applied her-
self to household concerns, and to instructing
her two little boys; but the moment he went
out, she flew to the business she had adopt-
ed; and by dint of incessant labor, and
that quickness which practice supplies, she
was enabled to find food, though very coarse
food, for herself and children; ever making
an excuse to their father on his return for
having dined without him, and providing
something more palatable for him, which
she was under the necessity of purchasing


[CHAP.





II.] A TALE. 45

from the sale of her clothes, or entreating
the butcher to trust her. Lewis returned to
the study of nature with increasing avidity,
became again a painter; and so long as no
one troubled him with claims for money he
could not produce, was perfectly easy how
his boys were fed, or clothed; their smiles
were delightful to him, and every display of
talent they evinced transported him; but of
their real comforts, or their future destina-
tion, he either thought not at all, or when
by some pressing circumstance forced to
think, he shrunk from them with a weakness
that enervated, or self-reproach that over-
whelmed him.
By degrees, the Artist emerged from the
obscurity that attended his first appear-
ance at Leeds; and a bookseller having per-
mitted his pictures to be hung in his shop,
was so fortunate as to dispose of two of them.
This circumstance renovated the spirits of
Lewis; he took better lodgings immediately,
replenished his wardrobe, increased his stock
of materials, sent his eldest son to school,
and considerably extended his credit with
various new tradesmen; but he neglected to




46 THE SON OF A GENIUS; [CHAP.

pay those who had trusted him, and whom
he thus made his enemies; to the sincere
grief and mortification of his wife, whose
utmost endeavors could not enable her to
repay them; for as he was now much at
home, it was impossible for her to carry on
her employment with effect, especially as
she was again likely to increase the family,
and her second son was a very delicate boy,
and occupied much of her attention; and
many a heart-breaking sigh did she breathe
over him, under the distressing idea, that the
hardships to which he had been exposed, in
consequence of their poverty, had preyed
upon his constitution. For notwithstanding
all that may be said, and with truth, respect-
ing the healthiness of poor people's children,
yet it will not be found that scanty meals
and long fasting produce firm flesh and rud-
dy looks. And Agnes well remembered
that her boys at Manchester were blessed
with both; and her heart sickened at the
contrast; but she endeavored in all her sor-
rows to look up to her heavenly Father for
consolation and strength, and, as far as pos-
sible, to lead her poor babes to the same







fountain. And many a time did the little
boys, kneeling on each side of the prostrate
mother, with clasped hands, and devout
looks, listen to her fervent prayers for their
welfare, and that of their beloved father;
who at some times fervently partook of their
devotions, but never without evidently suffer-
ing so much, that the tender heart of his
partner almost shrunk from witnessing emo-
tions, which she perceived were indications
of sensibility, unaccompanied by resolution,
and unattended by reform; since from time
to time, he suffered every opportunity for
really benefiting himself and family to es-
cape, either from a carelessness which lost
the time for securing employment, a haugh-
tiness which rejected it, or what was preju-
dicial in the highest degree, a versatility in
the application of his talents, which while it
evinced his real superiority, prevented every
effect that might have been expected.
Thus after a residence of three years in a
rich, populous, and hospitable town, Agnes
found herself again with a babe at her breast,
her second son in his coffin, and her eldest
pale, emaciated, and weeping at her side,


47


A TALE.





THE SON OF A GENIUS;


without money to procure support for the
one, or interment of the other; surrounded
by creditors she could not satisfy, and far
distant from all her natural connections; yet
forced to urge the instant departure of her
dejected husband, lest every pang she felt
should be aggravated by seeing him dragged
to a long-threatened prison.





CHAPTER III.

But why should I his childish feats display ?
Concourse, and noise, and toil, he ever fled,
Nor card to mingle in the clamorous fray
Of squabbling imps-
Beattie.

LUDOVICO was at this period nearly eight
years old; he was tall of his age, but very
slender; his face was pale, but his black
eyes were full of intelligence, and the brown
hair which hung in clustering curls on his
forehead, gave him, notwithstanding his wan
looks, and shabby clothes, the air of a child


48


[CHAP.







who had seen better days; especially as his
face, and the collar of his shirt, were always
clean, and from being used to ramble much
with his father, he had acquired grace and
agility in his gait, and the air of a gentleman
in his whole deportment.
His temper, when a mere child, had been
impetuous, and he inherited from his father
a quickness of conception that frequently led
him to discover, and resent, imagined injury;
but at the same time he was so warmly at-
tached to all around him, so open to convic-
tion, and so truly sorry for having given of-
fence to any human being; so anxious to
make reparation for error, and so grateful
for its acceptance, that although he often
did wrong, he never continued in disgrace.
But as his mother well knew that a life spent
in erring, and atoning, is inconsistent, and
useless, it was her particular object so to
control this error in early life, that it might
never impede his happiness, or obstruct his
progress in virtue, beyond the days of in-
fancy, and so wisely had she applied her
tender cares to this purpose, that at the time
we speak of, a child more amiable, docile,
E


49


A TALE.




50 THE SON OF A GENIUS; [CHAP.

and tractable, could not be found; although
his vivacity was still great, and his powers
of mind, either as evinced by fortitude, or
perseverance, very extraordinary; except
when bowed down as at present, by severe
affliction: for severe indeed was the stroke
which separated him from a brother whom
he not only loved as such, with the tenderest
affection, but who had been the only com-
panion he had ever known. The poverty
which had hung over him having shut him
from the houses of the rich, and the refine-
ment naturally imbibed from parents like
his, together with the cares of his mother,
having rendered it impossible for him to as-
sociate with children of a lower class; from
whom, during the short period he was at
school, he had been accustomed to receive
much insult on account of his name; which
had therefore only tended to render him
still fonder of a brother, who was similarly
situated, and who was likewise so meek tem-
pered, and so fond of him, that in all their
childish sports, and various competitions,
there was never found a disposition to quar-
rel with each other; for Ludovico was not





A TALE.


more inclined to take the lead, than Raphael
to give it him.
Such was the boy, who, after lamenting
many hours, as one that "refused to be
comforted," over the dead body of his be-
loved brother, witnessed the still severer
pang which his mother felt, when emptying
her little purse of a few hard-earned shil-
lings which remained, she put them into the
hands of his father, and besought him to
take advantage of the night and hasten out
of the country ere the law should seize him.
The bitter sorrow visible in his countenance
as he glanced his eye over the wretched
apartment he was quitting, arrested that of
Ludovico; he watched its pathetic expres-
sion, as pursuing each object of love, and
interest; it regarded first, the coffin of the
departed child; then the cradle of the sleep-
ing babe; his own swollen face, and weep-
ing eyes; and lastly, the wasted form, and
pallid countenance of his mother, on which
it rested with an expression of sorrow, that
seemed to concentrate all human misery.
The boy flew into his father's arms, and
sobbed convulsively upon his bosom-he




52 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


felt as if his very heart was breaking.-
My poor fellow, (said Lewis, struggling
with himself) my dear boy do not give way
to this sorrow; remember it is your duty to
exert yourself for your mother's sake-I
leave her to your care, Ludovico; she has
now no other comforter-remember that, my
dear, my only son."--The father pressed him
to his heart and fled.
"We have a comforter above," said his
mother, approaching the bewildered and
overpowered boy; "and to that comforter
we must both look, my son; but you know
we can only have a right to do so, by con-
trolling our immoderate grief. It is natural
that you should mourn for Raphael, that you
should lament parting with your father at
such a time of affliction; for our blessed
Lord himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus,
but you know, Ludovico, he did not indulge
in affliction; he did not increase the sorrows
in which he sympathised, by his own ex-
cess "
Ludovico promised to subdue his grief,
and he sought divine assistance; then turn-
ing to his mother, he said, Oh, mother, if


[CHAP.






I could indeed help you, I should be happy
even now, and I feel I should."
You will help and comfort me most at
present, by endeavoring to sleep, my child;
my fears for your health at present outrun
every other."
Ludovico kissed her, and crept to his sol-
itary bed, which, though the night was far
advanced, he had feared to visit, from a con-
sciousness that it would renew his sorrow;
but his recent agitation had spent itself, and
a ray of hope that he was yet capable of as-
sisting, and comforting his mother, solaced
his mind, and in a long and ardent prayer
he poured out his heart to Him, that de-
spiseth not the day of small things;" after
which he sunk into a sound and refreshing
slumber; and which, though not a long one,
renewed his strength. Hearing uncommon
noises in the streets, he recollected that it
was a great fair, and concluded that though
early, it was better to rise, and collect the
various thoughts which he well remembered
had occupied his mind the morning before.
On entering the sitting room, he perceiv-
ed his poor mother sitting just as he had left
E*


A TALE.


53




THE SON OF A GENIUS


her; and though she had now his little sis-
ter in her arms, yet it was plain from the
appearance of her work table, that she had
been sitting up all night making gloves, and
he doubted not that it was with the intention
of disposing of them in the fair. After an
affectionate salutation to her, and the babe,
and one tender look towards the melancholy
corner, which contained the loved remains
of his brother, he busied himself with look-
ing up several articles that were scattered
round the room, but with an air of such
quietness that his mother fancied he was
attaching some little mystery to his employ-
ment, and rejoiced that he was going to
adopt any means of dissipating his distress,
she appeared not to regard him, but fixed
her eyes attentively on her nursling; whilst
Ludovico having collected various necessa-
ries for drawing, which had naturally be-
come his chief employment, and had ever
been his favorite amusement, sat himself
down on the floor opposite to her.
One party absorbed in deep and sorrow-
ful reflections, the other in great, but not
hopeless solicitude; both' were silent for a


54


[CHAP.






considerable time; at length Mrs. Lewis
said-" Come, child, you have been up near
two hours, get your breakfast."
Presently, mother-I have nearly finish-
ed my picture, but cannot move till I have
done it."
In about ten minutes Ludovico arose, and
presented to his mother a coarse, but not ill-
conceived picture of the babe and herself,
which she approved of very much, though
she pointed out some improvements, which
he readily adopted: then dispatching his
breakfast in great haste, but not till he had
prevailed on his mother to take hers also, he
resumed his employment, and as his celerity
increased by practice, in the middle of the
day he found that he had made six pictures
of his mother, upon as many half sheets of
paper, and he now began to mount them
upon press paper, which he begged from the
master of the lodgings, who was a clothier,
and used it in the pressing of his cloth;
having done this, he drew lines round them
which he filled with Indian ink, and thus fin-
ished them in a tidy manner; but all this
was accompanied with the same air of secre-


55


A TALE.




56 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


sy with which it was begun, and scarcely
could the afflicted mother forbear a smile at
the important and mysterious air assumed
by the boy; whom she had ever encouraged
in pursuing whatever he engaged in with
perseverance and ardor, as the never failing
means of ultimate success.
In the course of the afternoon, the person
whom she had engaged to take her little
parcel of gloves came for them; and as she
was not quite prepared, Ludovico stepped
out unperceived while she detained the per-
son; after this business was over she was
somewhat surprised that he did not return,
but concluding that he was trying to get
more press paper from the master of the
house, was not sorry for an absence which
would be beneficial to him; but when even-
ing came, and upon inquiry she found that
he had not been below, and was certainly
out of the house, she became extremely un-
easy, and felt more bitterly than ever the
full extent of her wretched situation, thus
trebly bereft of her comforts.
During all the distress which Mrs. Lewis
had experienced since she left the happy


[CHAP.







though humble roof of her father, she had
never yet acquainted her parents with more
of her real situation than was necessary,
feeling that to make them further informed
of her unhappiness, would be only increasing
their burden, without lightening her own;
though she was well aware that the utmost
relief they could render her would be speed-
ily accorded. It now struck her that her
poor boy, deprived of the company of his
brother, would be placed to the greatest ad-
vantage under the roof of his grandfather,
who she doubted not would afford him the
protection he so much wanted at this time.
She was debating in her own mind on the
necessity of the step, and struggling to over-
come the dread she felt of parting with a
child so inexpressibly dear, when the door
was suddenly opened by Ludovico, who with
an air of wildness in his countenance, ran to
the spot where she sat, fell on his knees be-
fore her, and laying his face on her lap burst
into tears; at the same time seizing her hand,
which he devoured with kisses, he placed in
it a crown piece, and two shillings.


57


A TALE.




58 THE SON OF A GENIUS j


My child! my dear boy, who gave you
this money ?"
"Oh, mother! dear mother I have sold
them all-all my pictures. At first I was
very much ashamed when I went out and
stood in the market place; but as people
came to me and asked me what I would take
for them, I said a shilling a piece; so two
women came and bought each one; and then
a man who sold toys came and put this
crown in my hand, and took the other four
away with him, and told me to paint a dozen
more before next Tuesday, and he would buy
them all-and-and-is not this good news,
mother ?"
"Indeed, my love, it is, but why do you
cry, Ludovico?"
"Oh, mother, I cannot help it; yester-
day I was so very unhappy because poor
Raphael was dead, and father and you looked
so unhappy, I could not help wishing it would
please God to take me too, and I cried for
exceeding great sorrow; but now I feel as if
I had much rather live, and be a comfort to
you; and now I have sold my little pictures


[CHAP.






it has made me so happy, I feel my heart
swelling quite full, very full of joy."
Again the boy wept, and his mother,
straining him to her fond heart, which rose
to heaven in silent gratitude for such a gift,
wept also.
After a long pause Ludovico, recovering
serenity, cheerfully said, "Who knows, dear
mother, but I have a genius, and may one
day be a great man ? I am sure if I have, I
shall always thank God for giving it to me,
for your sake, and the baby's, and poor fa-
ther's sake too. Oh, I wish that Raphael
had lived, if it had only been till to-day, that
he might have felt as I do just now."
Agnes was loth to repress the generous
hopes, and ennobling enthusiasm, which at
this moment so evidently enlivened the heart
of her amiable child. But she felt it her
duty to impress, in this hour of awakened
feeling in a child forced by circumstances to
premature reflection, and exertion, the ne-
cessity of justly estimating his own powers,
and the nature of the path he seemed destin-
ed to tread. Taking his hands in hers, as
he still knelt at her feet, with a look of great


59


A TALE.




60 THE SON OF A GENIUS; [CHAP.
tenderness but deep solemnity, she replied:
" My dear child, God has given to you
and to all men talents ; by the prudent and
persevering, who not only use, but improve
them, every thing really desirable may al-
ways be attained; but without industry, and
the proper application of that industry,
no natural gift can possibly avail them.
Therefore, though it is only just and right
that you should thank God for enabling you
to be of use to your parents, and praise Him
who is indeed the giver of every good and
perfect gift, seeking with diligence and hu-
mility for his blessing on your endeavors,
and his direction in all your pursuits; yet
remember it is foolish and presumptuous
to expect success even in a good cause
otherwise than as he has appointed, and it is
his will that we attain all real advantages,
both for this world, and for that which is to
come, by earnestly endeavoring to obtain
them by vigilance."
But then what does my father mean, by
saying so often that Genius conquers every
thing ? and tells me about so many great
men who had Genius ?"







The great men he speaks of, having a
decided preference for some particular art
or science, pursued with unceasing diligence
every means which was likely to contribute
to their attainment; this preference is called
taste; and united with this perseverance, it
produced that superiority which became
genius; do you understand me, my dear ?"
Perfectly, mother; for I remember
when Raphael was making a kite, he could
not do it at all, and as father used to say he
was a good child, but had no genius, I thought
it was of no use to leave off drawing to teach
him. But he wanted a kite, and he tried,
and tried, till at last he made this pretty one,
which I Will keep for his sake; and then fa-
ther said, Well, I declare the boy has cer-
tainly a genius for kite-making." I suppose
in general people call a taste, or just having
a liking for things, having a genius; but if
they think that will do they are sadly mista-
ken; I know that by myself. Why, mother,
do you know I have been drawing your face
and the baby's, with pencil only, for many
weeks, but I would not waste paint on it till
I was quite sure of doing good; because
F


61


A TALE.





62 THE SON OF A GENIUS


many a time when I have seen father waste
things you have looked so sad, and given
such deep sighs when nobody heard you but
me."
Yes, my child, our Father 'who is in
heaven' heard them, and in teaching you to
feel for your mother, proved that the sorrow-
ful sighing of an humble heart ascended not
to his mercy-seat in vain; let this be ever
your comfort, my child, and in every exer-
tion you make for yourself, remember, that
although success may not crown your en-
deavors, though ever so well exerted (which
is sometimes though not frequently the case),
that you have. an unfailing friend in heaven,
who can render your sufferings a means of
blessedness, and who never fails to help those
who put their trust il him."
This interesting conversation received a
dreadful interruption by the entrance of the
mistress of the lodging house, who entered
to say, she had heard that Mr. Lewis was
just arrested and lodged in jail, at the suit
of his tailor;" and she added "that as
there was no likelihood they would be able
to pay for their lodgings, she was willing to


[CHAP







forgive them the little which was due, pro-
vided they would bury the little boy, and
leave the place to-morrow evening."
This dreadful event, long foreseen by Mrs.
Lewis, yet not less deplored on that account,
for a moment completely overcame her; and
she fell back in her chair, almost fainting,
while Ludovico inquired, with eager and
trembling haste, "where the wicked men
had caught his poor father? "
"Wicked indeed there be no wickedness
in people seeking their own, as I know of.-
Why your father did just as your people of
genus always do ; instead of running away
out of the country as he should, knowing as
how there was a writ out against him; what
does he do, but when he had got a few miles
out a town, and his flutter was gone off as it
were, but down he sits afore an old oak tree,
and begins to take it down in one of his
books; so the foaks as come to the fair, seed
him, and they telled those as telled the bai-
leys, who set off and took him without much
trouble, only that he begged and prayed of
all things-"


63


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THE SON OF A GENIUS;


"For what did he beg?" cried the wife,
starting forward in extreme distress.
ie begged of all things they would let
him finish his sketch of the old oak, and told
them it was worth twenty ginnies; but I
warrant nobody else will say that but some
genus like his self-for my part, I be sorry
for you, very sorry; God forbid that my
Nanny should ever marry sich as he; but
we must take care of ourselves, not but if
little Lu, Lu, what's his name, ever comes
for press paper, or aught else, to our house,
he's be heartily welcome; for I will say, a
nicer, civiler sort of a body than you never
darkened my doors; and as to the master,
he's a nice man, and quite a bettermore sort
of a genteel person; but, dear heart, with all
his abilitiess he'll niver get bread, being as
how he sticks to nothing as it were."
To the great relief of Mrs. Lewis, the
good woman who lamented and scolded in
the same breath, now withdrew; and after a
long and painful silence, Ludovico said,
Mother, Mrs. Holmes said the men were
not wicked who took my dear father; but
surely they were; when he spoke of them


[CHAP.







yesterday, he called them cruel creditors,
and hard-hearted wretches, you know."
Your father was then in a state of severe
affliction, and in his apprehension of that
misfortune which has actually happened, he
spoke with more asperity than was justifia-
ble, which you know we all do when we are
either very angry or very sorry, and for
which we afterwards see we are to blame ?"
So it is not wicked to put him in prison ?"
"No, my dear, not wicked, but certainly
unkind, and in some cases cruel ? but I do
not say Mr. Bradley is cruel, though I feel
extremely distressed at his conduct; but he
has waited a long time for his money, has
known that your father has had the power
of paying him, but forgot to do it, and
these things have vexed him."
Then he is not a bad man ?"
No, my dear, he is a good man, regular
in his own payments, desirous of maintaining
his family and very charitable to the poor:
but not being a man of much knowledge, he
is not aware of the difficulties which are al-
ways found to attend men in your father's
profession."


A TALE.


65





THE SON OF A GENIUS.


"I will never run in debt,' said the boy
thoughtfully; "especially with ignorant peo-
ple-it breaks my heart to think my father
should sleep by himself in a prison-let us
go to him, dear mother."
Mrs. Lewis, as well as her trembling
limbs would permit her, put on her bonnet
and shawl for that purpose, but on casting a
look towards the coffin, knew not what was
best to do. Ludovico read her thoughts.
"Go by yourself, my dear mother; I
will stay here; I will not leave the room for
a moment.-I am not afraid to stay with
dear Raphael; surely you do not think I am!
believing as I do that he is gone to heaven,
and that the eye of God is now looking
down on us both."
Thou art my manna in the wilderness,"
said the fond mother, clasping him a moment
to her breast; and then flying, as well as
she was able, to the wretched abode of her
more wretched partner, whom she found so
completely overpowered by the severity of
those reflections which had crowded upon
him since his entrance into this melancholy
home, as to be actually ill; and dreadfully


[CHAP.







divided as her heart was between two ob-
jects so dear to her, she yet felt it was im-
possible to forsake her husband; and the
night was passed by Ludovico alone in the
chamber of death; rendered more melan-
choly by the mournful certainty, that nothing
less than a strong necessity for remaining
with his afflicted father, whose acute distress
he had too often witnessed, would have kept
his mother from returning to him.
When Ludovico began to think on his
mother, and retrace not only the many ex-
cellent precepts with which she had ever
stored his mind and that of the dear child
who was still his silent companion, he was
led to consider her conduct also; My moth-
er does not sit down and cry over misfor-
tunes only, no, she does all she can to get
out of them; and I must do my best too;
suppose I write a letter to beg this person
will set my poor father at liberty, or had I
not better take my best clothes back to him,
it will be something towards the debt, and
then next week I shall have done the pic-
tures, and if I have a crown for four, how
much shall I get for a dozen ?"


67


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THE SON OF A GENIUS;


As Ludovico had only learnt a very little
of accounts from his mother, this sum,
though small, was a lesson to him; in settling
that, he was led to propose other questions
of the same kind, which amused his mind,
and in the midst of his calculations he fell
asleep; (having had very little the preceding
night,) nor awoke till the rays of the sun felt
warm upon his face, when he arose, and re-
collecting his resolutions, prepared all his
little powers for a successful attack upon the
feelings of his father's creditors; and finding
the people of the house were up, he request-
ed their attention to the room he left, and
with his own and poor Raphael's clothes
bundled up, was proceeding to the tailor's
house with his offering, when that person
himself entered the door, and by his sudden
appearance disconcerted every word of the
pathetic appeal poor Ludovico had intended
to have made.
"Where's your mother, child?"
My mother took the babe in her arms,
about ten o'clock last night, and went to the
prison to my father."
Bless my soul, is that a coffin?"


[CHAP







Yes, Sir, my poor brother died the day
before yesterday, and we must bury him to
day."
Sad work this, child; what are you go-
ing to do with that bundle ? pawn it, I sup-
pose, hey, child?"
"It is my best clothes, and poor Raph-
ael's, I was bringing them to you; I hope Sir,
I beg Sir, you will sell them, and let the mo-
ney help to take my father out of prison."
And who told you 'to do this ?"
"Nobody told me, but I know my mother
will not be angry, for she is always unhappy
about debts; and now she is quite, quite
wretched, because father is in the jail."
"Aye, aye, I see what you want, but I
sha'nt let him out; because for why? I know
it'll do him good to stay in a bit, it'll teach
him to know what's what; but don't you go
for to think that I'm hard hearted, for now
I'll tell you what I'll do-I'll find your moth-
er money to bury this poor boy, and you
shall have your clothes to go to the funeral
in; and when that's over, come to me and I
shall say something to you."
With these words the tailor brushed away


69


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70 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


a tear from his eyes, threw some money on
the table, and departed, leaving Ludovico
uncertain whether he was most grateful for
present relief, or vexed at the detention of
his father, for whom he felt so much affec-
tion, and whose situation appeared to him
so dreadful, that he could not help still con-
sidering it as cruel and unmerited.





CHAPTER IV.

Charity never faileth.-St. Paul.

WHEN poor Mrs. Lewis, accompanied by
her son, returned from paying her last du-
ties to the sweet child who had for so long a
time been the object of her solicitude, she
found the person where she had lodged stand-
ing on the outside of her chamber door, with
the babe which she had been obliged to
consign to her care, ready to deliver it along
with her clothes, but resolute in denying her
admittance to her lodgings, which she said


[CHAP





A TALE.


were already disposed of to those who could
pay for them.
Mrs. Lewis was utterly unable to contend
the point; she pressed her little girl to her
aching heart, and bent her steps towards
her husband's abode, followed by Ludovico,
who having in the course of the day visited
his father, and conveyed to him his materi-
als for painting, now took up the bundle
which contained their united wardrobe, and
prepared to follow; at the same time men-
tioning his engagement with Mr. Bradley
the tailor, with whom he proposed to leave
the clothes he now wore.
His mother approving his design accom-
panied him to the tailor's, who said he was
an honest child, and added, "though but a
little one, I can teach him to cover buttons
soon, and if so be as he will promise to be
good, I will take him into the house; he shall
sleep with my 'prentice, and I will teach
him to work for his living, and feed him as
if he were my own."
Agnes cast a melancholy look at her child,
she dreaded taking him to the receptacle
whither she was condemned to go; yet






TIE SON OF A GENIUS ;


every feeling of long nourished hope sank at
the idea of thus bestowing that child, whose
mind she had nurtured, and whose talents
she was convinced deserved a far different
destination; but when she considered how
contaminating is the touch of impurity, she
could not help wishing to secure him this
humble asylum; from a consciousness that
it was far better than the haunts of that
abode to which she was doomed. Thanking
the honest man for the offer, she turned to
Ludovico, who shrinking from the proposal
was now closely pressing to her side.
"What do you say, my dear, to Mr.
Bradley's offer?"
I am much, very much obliged, but I
had rather go with you, mother."
"What, to idleness and starvation ?" said
the tailor.
No, Sir, I shall work very hard; I
earned seven shillings yesterday with my
own hands, mother knows I did."
Mrs. Lewis explained this to the astonish-
ed hearer, adding, that, "notwithstanding
his temporary success, she had rather leave
him in good hands; fearful of the injury his


72


[CHIAP.







mind might receive from the associates of
the jail."
"Look ye," said the tailor, I'm not such
a fool as not to see, that a boy with his sort
of larning and a better trade than mine at
his fingers' ends, should not go for to spend
his days at my work board, neither can I
afford to keep him without working; but I'll
tell you what I'll do, he shall lodge here;
and so long as he can keep himself by his
little thingumby pictures he shall; and when
that's done, which I take it'll be very soon,
if he'll take to my trade well and good."
This plan relieved the mother's heart,
while it awoke with new force the honest
ambition of her son; who pursued his avoca-
tion with unremitting diligence, constantly
spending the principal part of the day with
his parents, and preparing his little pictures
for sale; in which he soon became so expert
that the man who had employed him, and
who was a hawker of pretty wares round the
neighborhood, declared he was overstock-
ed with the first pattern, and expressed a
wish for some other; so that Ludovico from
painting his mother and sister, turned his
G


78


A TALE.






74 THE SON OF A GENIUS. [CHAP.
thoughts to domestic animals, and after va-
rious efforts, at length produced dogs, and
cats, with equal success and rapidity; which
the vender observing, abated his price, a
circumstance which at length incited Ludo-
vico's determination to conquer the diffi-
dence he had felt, and offer them for sale on
the next market day himself.
This scheme fully answered his purpose,
for as he offered his first production in si-
lence, a report prevailed that he was a little
foreigner;" which was magnified into his be-
ing a papist, selling pictures of the "Virgin
and child;" and as every thing marvellous
obtains celebrity, poor Ludovico's produc-
tions were not only speedily sold, but many
country women gave him an apple out of
their baskets, or a piece of cake from their
pockets, as a mark of sympathy for his sup-
posed misfortunes in losing his country and
friends. Ludovico had hitherto carried all
his gains immediately to his mother, but he
was so elated by the success of this day, in
which he had taken fifteen shillings, that he
conceived the heroic design of rescuing his
father from captivity, and on retiring to his








lodgings he ventured to ask Mr. Bradley
how much money would get his father out
of prison.
"Seventeen pounds is your father's debt
to me, my little fellow."
With a look of great importance, Ludovi-
co laid all his earnings on the table.
Well done, my noble boy, your money
does'nt go in gingerbread, that's a plain case
-I cannot, however, think of taking it, but
this I will say, that when your father pays
me one-half of his debt, I will let him out;
in the mean time he lives in cheap lodgings,
and is no worse for biting the bridle, in my
mind at least; but I'll tell you what, there
will be a great fair in three weeks at Wake-
field, and if you get a stock of your dogs,
and cats, and babies ready, you may sell
them well, my boy, if you send them there."
With diligent delight poor Ludovico now
went to work, resolving to save every penny
he could procure; but his incessant exer-
tions injured his health; anc as his mother
would not hear of his going at a distance to
dispose of his pictures, he was obliged to
sell off his large stock, at very low prices, to


75


A TALE.





TIE SON OF A GENIUS;


his old customer the pedlar, who on his part
declared that he could not pay for them till
he had sold them. To this arrangement,
Ludovico made no objection, so delighted
was he with the largeness of the sum he was
now about to receive; but, alas! he was now
doomed to meet a severe loss in the faith-
lessness of his friend, who having never been
in possession of half the number before,
made off with his prize, and was not heard
of in the neighborhood again.
Poor Ludovico's spirits completely sunk
at this unfortunate failure; he had expend-
ed a considerable part of.his money in pur-
chasing the materials to complete this order,
he had injured his health by the closeness
of his application, and almost denied him-
self food, in his extreme anxiety not to di-
minish his little hoard; and to complete his
distress, on going to pour his sorrows into
the bosom of that tender parent, who would
so truly sympathise with him, he found her
weeping over her sick babe, who had gradu-
ally pined ever since she had been removed
to her present close and comfortless abode.
At such a time Ludovico could not add to


[CHAP.







her distress by revealing his discomfiture;
and in order to hide his chagrin from her
fond and penetrating eye, he busied himself
in mounting two or three of his ill-fated pic-
tures, as he now thought them, resolving
henceforward never to trust them in any
hands but his own. His father observed as
he looked at them, that the tears were in his
eyes, and mistaking the cause he endeavour-
ed to console him by retouching them, and
praising his exertions; this tenderness only
made poor Ludovico more sensible of the
bitterness of his disappointment, and fearful
that he could not command his feelings much
longer he hastily bade good bye to his par-
ents, and seizing his pictures and pencils
rushed out of the prison.
In the first alley he entered, poor Ludo-
vico freely indulged the grief he had long
suppressed, and after staying there a con-
siderable time, pursued his way, with mel-
ancholy steps, toward his lodgings; in turn-
ing into Briggate, at the corner of a pastry-
cook's shop, he was stopped for a moment
by the passing of a cart, and his eye was
naturally drawn toward the window; a gen-
G*


Iv.]


A TALE.







78 TIE SON OF A GENIUS. CHIIAP.
tleman, who was a passenger in a stage-coach
then drawn up on the other side of the
street, had been dispatched by the rest of
the party to this shop, with such a variety
of commissions that he found it very difficult
how to dispose of them, and was stuffing pa-
pers into each pocket, when the meagre face
of Ludovico caught his eye, at the very mo-
ment the shop-girl presented him with an
open paper of biscuits he was nearly forget-
ting, and of which he had been eating, whilst
the other parcels were prepared. Ludovico
had heard his mother wish for some finger
biscuits to steep in the milk she gave his sis-
ter, and his eye glanced instinctively toward
the paper.
Give them to that poor hungry boy;"
said the gentleman, directing Ludovico by a
kind look to receive them.
Naturally diffident, the poor boy blushed,
and hung back; but the gentleman not less
struck by his modesty than his apparent de-
sire, called him encouragingly and put them
into his hand, expecting to see him devour
them; he was thanked by a look of the most
lively gratitude he had ever witnessed; but







to his surprise the boy folding up his treas-
ure darted up the street: in a few moments
he stopped, and turned back just as the gen-
tleman, warned by the coachman, was en-
tering the vehicle. Ludovico flew towards
him, holding the best of his little pictures in
his hand, crying Pray sir, do, pray sir,
take it."
The gentleman, willing to buy the thing
whatever it might be, from a boy who had
already moved his compassion, received it,
saying, "What is the price, my boy?" when
Ludovico, with another expressive look of
gratitude, ran away as fast as he was able.
A person was at this moment handing up
some bundles to the coachman; he had ob-
served the whole transaction; for he knew
Ludovico very well, being one of the persons
sometimes employed by Mr. Bradley; and
remarking the surprise visible in the stran-
ger, said,
"That be a curious little chap, sir. I'll
be bound he's gone to take them sweets as
you geed him to the jail to his little sister;
it's just like him."
The gentleman's curiosity was strongly


79


A TALE.






80 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


excited, and partly gratified, before the
coach drove off, by the few facts gathered
from this man, and it furnished conversation
among the passengers for the rest of the stage.
It particularly interested a lady, who was
fond of drawing, and had been visiting her
little girl, who was placed at a school in the
vicinity of Leeds. This lady looked often
at the picture, and thought it a surprising ef-
fort for such a child; and she determined
on making further inquiries respecting him
when she visited that neighborhood again;
and the gentleman sept him half a crown by
the coachman, whic 'lt the man's credit,
was faithfully delivered the next day, and
helped so much to revive the drooping spir-
its of the poor child, that he once more
commenced his task, and finding his work
improve from that degree of mechanical ex-
cellence which is ever attained from practice,
he again entertained hopes of ultimate suc-
cess.
The greatest trouble Ludovico experienc-
ed now arose from his father; who, dislik-
ing to see him employed in what he called
useless and tasteless daubs, inimical to that


[CHAP.







freedom which he deemed necessary for the
expansion of Genius, was perpetually giving
him other employment, and setting him to do
different things; although his mother per-
ceived, from his bringing no more money,
that his little trade had ceased to be profit-
able, yet she approved the perseverance
which so evidently tended to his improve-
ment, in one branch of the art; and propos-
ed that he should carry on his work in the
tailor's garret, gRl~ ng it a point to visit
them every dray. In depriving herself of
the pleasure her oq d's society, this truly
affectionate the only one she en-
joyed; but shet him from much suffer-
ing, as well as facilitated his views. The con-
finement of her husband being a grievance
to which, of all others, he had the greatest
aversion, from being in the habit of explor-
ing the country, and feasting on its beaute-
ous scenes; which were to his enlightened
mind, and vivid imagination, not only a lux-
urious repast, but a consoling balm; and the
dreadful difference preyed upon his spirits,
affected his health, and greatly altered his
temper; so that he was alternately sorrow-


81


A TALE.





82 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


ful, or petulant; either sinking into a dejec-
tion so distressing as to awaken the keenest
sympathy, or producing manners so fretful,
peevish, and irritable, that it was impossible
for either his wife or his son to please him.
Such will ever be the effects of trouble on a
mind which is not under the guidance of rea-
son, or subject to the mild but restraining
influence of religion, whatever may be its
natural powers, or its acquired knowledge.
Mrs. Lewis was not' j desirous of sav-
ing her poor boy from pain of sharing
his father's grief, oq I.inglis ill-humor;
she wished, as far a ssible, to pre-
vent him from imbibin e sentiments he
was in the habit of uttering, respecting the
super-excellence of possessing Genius; and
the contempt he often expressed for the com-
mon occupations and common endowments
of those around him. It had been the great
business of her life to guard him from imbib-
ing that pride of talent, that self-sufficiency,
and contempt of common cares, which had
been the ruin of her husband ; and although
his situation at this very moment seemed to
offer an antidote to his doctrine, yet in so


[CHAP.








young a child, and one who admired his fa-
ther the more,,as his unfolding mind and in-
creasing taste for his art expanded; and as
his pity and compassion were excited to-
wards him, she feared these sentiments might
lay the seeds for future errors, unless she
opposed their growth by exposing the folly
of his father, in every stage of his misman-
agement to the son; a mode of conduct so
utterly repugnant to her affections, her sense
of the obedienC due to him, and every feel-
ing and principle which Aad ever governed
her conduct, that shX not for a mo-
ment bring her .of doing it, in
even the most t stance, except when
there was a positive danger of misleading
her son; and the duty of implanting true
notions of right and wrong in his mind she
ever held paramount to every other.
Left in a great measure to his own man-
agement, Ludovico now worked incessantly,
and when he had finished a little parcel of
pictures, took them out into the neighboring
villages of this populace district for sale; a
circumstance of great utility to him, as the
exercise he was thus obliged to take was of


83


A TALE.






84 TIE SON OF A GENIUS;


the greatest service to his health; and the
country women who bought his pictures fre-
quently gave him a crust of bread and a ba-
sin of unadulterated milk, which was far
more nourishing than the unwholesome vi-
ands on which he had lately fed, and of
which his extreme anxiety to save money
for his great purpose had allowed him far
less than was really necessary for a growing
boy; yet Ludovico's care, so far from clos-
ing his heart tot.e asorrow-of others, only
made him more aniious to relieve them, and
his roll was -:hared with the beggar
whom he met on b bles.
Amongst other obje passion, was an old woman who sold match-
es, mop-thrumps, and little paper bags for
the maids to put feathers in: he inquired
of this poor woman, what she gave for the
last ?" to which she answered by complain-
ing that she had only two left, and could get
no more; at the same time lamenting she
could not make them herself, as they were
the most profitable article she sold.
Ludovico, after examining one, bought it
of her: as he did so, these words passed his


[CIIAP.







mind,-" silver and gold have I none, but
such as I have give I unto thee:" his eyes
filled with tears as he looked at the withered
face and gray locks of the poor old woman;
and as it ever was his custom to run away
when his feelings were awakened, he scam-
pered out of sight before the old woman had
time to perceive that he had given her three
pence for her two-penny bag.
"Now the blessing of God go with you,
my bonnie bairn," said the old woman; for
she was convinced, by the look of the boy,
that it was done intentionally.
"No need to bless beTfor an odd penny,"
said a woman who was standing by; "why,
Goody, that's the boy as sells the pictures
all about; he's bought your bag on purpose
for a pattern, and next market-day he'll be
selling a whole mess of them ; ye'll see that."
Well, well, we mun awl live," said the
poor dame.
On the next market-day, Ludovico was
seen as usual silently standing in Briggate,
with his pictures; and something folded in a
paper under his arm: he had now been reg-
ularly working for several months, and his
H


85


A TALE.





THE SON OF A GENIUS;


sale was of course not so rapid as at first,
especially as he had raised his prices. Just
as he had finished bargaining with a cobbler,
who wished for a painting to ornament his
stall, he cast his eyes upon the old woman
with her match basket; and springing gladly
forward, he opened his little parcel and pro-
duced nine neat paper bags, prettily made,
which he silently put into her hand.
"An what mun I gee you for these, my
lad? they be just what I wanted."
"Nothing, nothing, you are welcome,"-
said Ludovico, as he spoke, trying to escape
the poor woman's surprise and thanks, by
edging his way backward into the crowd,
which was very great.
At this moment a loud altercation attract-
ed his attention; it was between two corn-
factors, one of whom, in an angry voice, was
repeating the words-
"'Tis false, I tell you, false altogether;
I paid you for the second load along with
the other, as my receipt will show."
I shall believe the receipt when I see it,
but not till then; for the twenty-eight pounds
stands in my books uncrossed; whereas the


[CHAP.







fifty pounds is just as it ought to be, credited
received all in order."
"More shame for youz in not settling
your books; but I'll convince you, I'll prove
to you," said the first, in a very angry tone,
taking out his pocket-book, and turning over
the leaves with great agitation.
At this very moment poor Ludovico had
the ill luck to jostle the angry man in his re-
treat, who, in the moment of vexation, gave
him such a violent blow, that many of the
papers in his pocket-book fell out: the book
was full of bills, for he was going to make a
large payment, and the consciousness of his
folly instantly calmed his anger; he gathered
his papers up as well as he could, looking in
vain for the receipt which he declared he
possessed, and proposed stepping into the
hotel to examine more minutely the contents
of the disarranged pocket-book; saying, at
the same time, "I believe I have lost no-
thing, but that is more by good luck than
by good looking after."
This was more than Ludovico could say,
for he had not only got a hard blow, but his
pictures were all thrown down on the dirty


87


A TALE.






THE SON OF A GENIUS.


stones, which were wet from a recent shower,
and the labors of a week were lost in a mo-
inent; the poor woman would have wiped
them for him, but Ludovico, knowing that all
was lost, hastily clapped them together, and
was departing, when he perceived something
of paper sticking to his foot, which he had
no doubt had dropped from the angry man's
pocket-book, an idea which was instantly
confirmed, by perceiving that it was a Leeds
bank note for five guineas.
Ludovico had that morning counted his
store, which, with the stock he hoped to dis-
pose of that day, amounted to something over
three pounds. He looked wistfully at the
bill-" five pounds five, and three pounds
seven, "-said he inwardly, "make eight
pounds twelve-Oh that this were mine !"
Thine, honey, it is thine, to be sure,
and much good may thee have of it," said
the old woman.
"Nay, Goody, it is the gentleman's that
struck me."
"More brute he But I doesn't think it be
his'n, for he said he had got all that belong-
ed to him, and many a man as rich as he has


88


[CHAP.








gone over these stones to day-take it child,
take it; 'tis a God-send to the for helping a
poor old woman, and it come to thee in the
very nick of time, as a body may say; just
as I was praying for thee in my own heart,
that it did."
This was indeed persuasive logic, and for
a moment Ludovico yielded to it, but the
next convinced him that he ought at least to
inquire for the*ntleman who had owned
the pocket-book, persuading himself that as
he seemed a rich man, even if he had lost
the bill, he might perhaps give it him; he
therefore hastened after him to the hotel,
but having no name, or description to give
of the gentleman, sufficiently clear, he could
gain no attention, and was at length turned
out by the waiter. As he was making his
way to the prison, in order at last to make
his mother acquainted with the whole affair,
he saw the very person he wanted, riding
past him in full gallop; Ludovico called out
to .him to stop, but the gentleman remember-
ing him only by the blow he had given him,
did not stop; he threw a shilling on the pave-
ment to the boy, and pursued his way as fast
.1*


89


A TALE.






90 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


as a good horse would carry him, and was
soon out of sight.
Several people who witnessed this trans-
action asked Ludovico why he wanted the
person to stop; to which he replied by ea-
gerly asking his name; they were all igno-
rant, and united in saying they did not think
he was a person who regularly frequented
their market, as they had never seen him
before. 4
Ludovico went home to the tailor's gar-
ret, laid down his parcel of ruined pictures,
which were of no worth but for the paste-
board they were mounted on, and putting all
his money into his bosom prepared to lay
this case of conscience before his mother;
at the same time recollecting all that the old
woman had said, respecting his right to the
five guineas, and concluding that it could not
have been lost by the person in question,
who since he had seen him, and seen him
too in the very act of calling to him, would
if he had been conscious of such a loss, have
doubtless made inquiries of one so likely to
inform him.
When Ludovico arrived at the prison, he


[CHAP.






A TALE.


found his father feverish and languid, thrown
upon the bed, and his little sister laid on her
mother's lap. She held up her head on his
coming, and, as well as she was able to ar-
ticulate, asked him for an apple; being wont
to receive all her little indulgences of this
kind through his hands, for though in the
habits of the strictest self denial, Ludovico
seldom came empty handed to her; matters
of greater moment had now occupied him,
and with an apologizing kiss he passed by
her, to inquire after his father.
"I am dying for want of air and exer-
cise," said Lewis, faintly, to his affectionate
boy.
But my father, I hope, I believe-that
is, if my mother thinks it right- I can, yes
indeed I can take you out of this terrible
place."
He then recounted briefly his agreement
with the tailor, the success he had met with,
the money he had saved, notwithstanding
the loss he had sustained in the outset, and
lastly the note he had found, with all his
cares and doubts.
The prospect of regained liberty inspired






92 THE SON OF A GENIUS ;


the dejected Lewis with new life; he sprung
from his pitiful couch, caught his young de-
liverer to his heart; called him the "pre-
server of his life, his noble, his generous
boy," and shed a torrent of tears on his
face. Ludovico, exceedingly affected, ar-
dently returned his caresses; but yet this
event so long, so ardently desired, for which
he had prayed so oft, and worked so hard,
failed to give him the happiness he had ex-
pected, for though his father's joy was in-
deed grateful to his heart, his mother had
not yet spoken; he looked earnestly and
doubtingly in her face.
"You look at me, my child-can you
doubt my approbation ?-my sincere joy ?
Believe me, my dear boy, your industry,
care, and perseverance has my truest ad-
miration; but I wish, I cannot help wishing,
as I see you do, that we could find the own-
er of this bill."
We must advertise it by all means," said
Lewis; "I will copy the number, and if an
owner should really be found, of which I
have not the slightest expectation, we must
of course return it to the true owner."


[CHAP.







But how can we return it if we pay it
away?"
"Dear Agnes, how can you raise objec-
tions so cruel to me? how can you bear to
see my best days consumed in a prison,
which destroys all my energies, and ener-
vates the very faculties whose exertion would
support us: you know I cannot paint here!
-how should I, when my very soul is
shackled by useless regrets--but give me
liberty, and you shall see of what I am ca-
pable!"
Agnes reflected for a moment; then ris-
ing, she said she would immediately see Mr.
Bradley, and urge the performance of his
promise, to accept this half payment and
liberate her husband; but she added, turn-
ing to Ludovico, "you and I must, as soon as
we are able, make up this sum, my child, in
order that we may be able to answer this
just demand, should it ever be made upon
us; our sweetest joys, our best propensities,
must not be purchased by our integrity."
The tailor was not an ill-tempered, still
less an unfeeling man, he readily entered
into an agreement with Mrs. Lewis to accept


93


A TALE.






THE SON OF A GENIUS


the rest of his debt by instalments, and the
instant liberation of Lewis was accomplish-
ed; in truth the creditor would never have
detained him so long, but from an idea that
he was an idle dissipated man, to whom pun-
ishment might be serviceable; he was mis-
taken in his conception of the character of
poor Lewis, who was prone to no vice what-
soever, and was for the most part laborious
in his application, though not persevering;
but he was not altogether wrong in his mode
of curing the kind of errors into which he
had already fallen; since his late sufferings
had for a time the effect of inducing him to
turn his mind to the necessity of render-
ing his profession profitable, which he was
the better enabled to do from his frame-
maker agreeing to take his pictures off his
hands; which though done to a certain de-
gree during his residence in prison, for the
payment of an old debt had not yet been
immediately beneficial to him, as he had
owed his support there entirely to the indus-
try of his wife, who although obliged to
nurse a child whose first steps were learnt in
that melancholy abode, yet made shift to


[CHAP.






IV.J A TALE. 95
obtain food for all, and by her diligence, pa-
tience, and resignation, not only provided
for his wants, but soothed his sorrows; and
endeavored by unremitting kindness, and
unwearied well-doing, to lead him to that
fountain of consolation from whence she de-
rived support, under her accumulated afflic-
tion.
When a few days were past, and Mrs.
Lewis had put an advertisement in the news-
paper, a circumstance which greatly reliev-
ed both her own mind and hat of Ludovi-
co; the latter again set seriously to work,
and after preparing his accustomed number,
he recollected his last spoiled cargo still left
in the tailor's garret, from which he now
fetched them. Intending to turn the boards
to the best account possible, in dividing two
of those which were stuck by the dirt, he
saw a piece of paper, which to his eye near-
ly resembled another bank-bill; the first he
had met with had, notwithstanding the hap-
py effects it had produced to his dear par-
ents, left a weight upon his heart it had nev-
er known before; and he felt a repugnance
to touching it; his mother was sitting at






THE SON OF A GENIUS;


work near him, and he immediately pointed
it out to her.
Mrs. Lewis gently turning the paper from
the place where it stuck, found it was a re-
ceipt for sixty-eight pounds, specified as be-
ing due on two bills, from John Higgins to
Timothy Jackson; it was dated Thorpe
Farm, Dec. 26.
"Aye, now it is all plain, quite plain,"
said poor Ludovico-" Mr. Higgins had good
reason for being in a passion, but it is very,
very hard that le should both lose his money
and his receipt-but where is Thorpe Farm,
I wonder ?"
I cannot answer that, we must advertise
again, for there are many places of that
name," said Mrs. Lewis.
Poor Ludovico's countenance fell-"Alas !
mother, we cannot advertise; you know we
have no money:"-as he spoke he sat down
with an air of such extreme mortification
and shame, that his mother was wounded to
the heart; she endeavored to comfort him,
by saying that it would be some days before
they could put the advertisement in the
newspaper, and in the mean time something


[CHAP.







might turn out favorable; adding, "my dear
child, you know I have told you many times,
and your own experience has taught you,
I am certain, that to fold our hands in de-
spair is not only sinful, as it argues a mis-
trust of divine goodness, but likewise very
foolish, because it prevents us from benefit-
ing ourselves as much as we may; whilst
you sit sorrowing, you might earn sixpence,
or a shilling."'
"But what is sixpence or a shilling to
five guineas ?"
"It is a considerable pai't, however dis-
proportionate it may appear at first: besides,
surely the consciousness of doing our best is
a great matter: consider how happy it has
made you many a time within the last six
months, and do you think the knowledge of
your industry will make no difference in the
estimation of this Mr. Higgins? Believe me,
child, the advantages of a good character,
and a clear conscience, are well worth your
utmost efforts."
Thus encouraged, the sensible and feeling
boy resumed his employment, and even ex-
ceeded his former exertions.
I


97


Iv.]


A TALE.





98 THE SON OF A GENIUS;


CHAPTER V.

Keep innocence, and take heed to the thing that is right
for that will bring a man peace at the last.
Psalms.
WHEN Ludovico with his new stock again
made his appearance in the market-place, he
found the old woman watching about in hopes
of seeing him Ihe told him she had sold all
her paper case'in the neighborhood of Pud-
sey, chiefly amongst the Moravians; that
she had been to their large school at Full-
neck, and having informed one of the mas-
ters who had made her little cases, he had
said, that "if Ludovico would bring some of
his pictures there, he might sell a number to
the boys, who were now returning from the
vacation, ad who could not spend their
money better than by encouraging a boy
who was so ingenious and industrious, and
withal so charitable."
As several market people had witnessed
the ruin of poor Ludovico's pictures the day


[CHAP.








of his last sale, they were the more inclined
to help him on this, and he returned home
with half a guinea to his mother, who, hav-
ing her lodgings to pay, was not al to put
any thing to it. Ie then revealedthe old
woman's news, and proposed going to Full-
neck, with a great many little pictures, cal-
culated for td purses of his expected cus-
tomers. Mr fLewis had no objection but
what arose from the length of the way, as
she found it was near seven miles. As the
days were, however, at 10ongest, this ob-
jection was overruled ail consent given; in
consequence of which ti eager boy set out
to buy materials, resolved to commence his
operations with the dawn of morning.
As he was turning out of the shop door,
somebody struck him smartly on the shoul-
der; he turned round, and beheld with sur-
prise his long lost friend the pedlar.
"What! you thought I should" come no
more, I warrant; you thought I was a rogue,
now did'nt you? "
Ludovico hastily asked for his pictures.
"All sold, my boy, longa go; but come,
here's six-and-twenty shillings for you, and


99


A TALE.




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