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Moun. Life of my soul ! bright angel !
Millisent. What means the friar?
Moun. O Millisent! 'tis I.

Millisent. My heart misgives me; I should know that voice.
You? Who are you? The holy Virgin bless me!
Tell me your name; you shall ere you confess me.

Moun. Mounchensey, thy true friend.

Millisent. My Raymond ! my dear heart !
Sweet life, give leave to my distracted soul
To wake a little from this swoon of joy.
By what means cam’st thou to assume this shape ?

Moun. By means of Peter Fabel, my kind tutor,
Who in the habit of friar Hildersham,
Frank Jerningham's old friend and confessor,
Plotted by Frank, by Fabel, and myself,
And so deliver'd to Sir Arthur Clare,
Who brought me here unto the abbey gate,
To be his nun-made daughter's visitor.

Millisent. You are all sweet traitors to my poor old father.
O my dear life, I was a dream'd to-night,
That, as I was praying in my psalter,
There came a spirit unto me, as I kneeld,
And by his strong persuasions tempted me
To leave this nunnery; and methought
He came in the most glorious angel-shape
That mortal eye did ever look upon.
Ha! thou art sure that spirit, for there 's no form
Is in mine eye so glorious as thine own.

Moun. O thou idolatress, that dost this worship
To him whose likeness is but praise of thee!
Thou bright unsetting star, which, through this veil,
For very envy mak’st the sun look pale.

Millisent. Well, visitor, lest that perhaps my mother
Should think the friar too strict in his decrees,
I this confess to my sweet ghostly father;
If chaste pure love be sin, I must confess
I have offended three years now with thee.

Moun. But you do yet repent you of the same?

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Millisent. I' faith I cannot.

Moun. Nor will I absolve thee
Of that sweet sin, though it be venial:
Yet have the penance of a thousand kisses;
And I enjoin thee to this pilgrimage :-
That in the evening you bestow yourself
Here in the walk near to the willow-ground,
Where I'll be ready both with men and horse
To wait your coming, and convey you

hence
Unto a lodge I have in Enfield Chase :
No more reply if that you yield consent :
I see more eyes upon our stay are bent.

Millisent. Sweet life, farewell! 'tis done, let that suffice;

What my tongue fails, I send thee by mine eyes. The votaress is carried off by her brother and Jerningham ; but in the darkness of the night they lose their way, and encounter the deerstealers and the keepers. A friendly forester, however, assists them, and they reach Enfield in safety. Not so fortunate are Sir Arthur and Sir Ralph, who are in pursuit of the unwilling nun: they are roughly treated by the keepers, and, after a night of toil, find a resting-place at Waltham. The priest and his companions are terrified by their encounters in the Chase: the lady in white, who has been hiding from them, is taken for a spirit; and the sexton has seen a vision in the church-porch. The morning, however, arrives, and we see “ Sir Arthur Clare and Sir Ralph Jerningham trussing their points, as newly made up." They had made good their retreat, as they fancied, to the inn of mine host of the George, but the Merry Devil of Edmonton had set the host and the smith to change the sign of the house with that of another inn; and at the real George the lovers were being happily married by the venison-stealing priest, in the company of their faithful friends. Sir Arthur and Sir Ralph are of course very angry when the truth is made known; but reconcilement and peace are soon accomplished.

139.—THE POET DESCRIBED.

S. JOHNSON. (WE have already given a brilliant estimate of the character of Dr. Johnson in connection with his times, from the pen of Mr. Macaulay. (Vol. i. p. 368.) It is therefore scarcely necessary for us here to add more than a statement of the dates connected with the life of this eminent man. He was born at Lichfield, on the 18th of September, 1709, in which city his father was a bookseller. He was placed at Pembroke College, Oxford, but the straitened circumstances of his father compelled him to leave the University without taking a degree. He became usher in a school at Market Bosworth, married in 1736, and with a little fortune that his wife brought him, set up a school, which was unsuccessful. In company with his pupil, David Garrick, he came to London. For many years he was a literary drudge for periodical works, ill-paid, neglected by the great, unknown to the small reading public whom he addressed. At length his great talents and acquirements forced their way into notice. He completed his English Dictionary in 1755. His · Rambler' and his · Imitations of Juvenal' had previously given him a high rank amongst the original writers of his day. In 1762 a pension of three hundred a year was bestowed upon him, and from that time to his death in 1784 his life was a happy one as far as worldly circumstances were concerned. The following extract is from his · Rasselas.' It is one of the many examples which his writings present of the occasional largeness of his critical views when applied to the general principles of poetry—a characteristic singularly in contrast with the narrowness with which he regards particular styles and individual authors.]

“Wherever I went, I found that poetry was considered as the highest learning, and regarded with a veneration somewhat approaching to that which man would pay to the angelic nature. And it yet fills me with wonder, that in almost all countries the most ancient poets are considered as the best; whether it be that every other kind of knowledge is an acquisition gradually attained, and poetry is a gift conferred at once; or that the first poetry of every nation surprised them as a novelty, and retained the credit by consent which it received by accident at first; or whether, as the province of poetry is to describe nature and passion, which are always the same, the first writers took possession of the most striking objects for description, and the most probable occurrences for fiction, and left nothing for those that followed them but transcriptions of the same events, and new combinations of the same images. Whatever be the reason, it is commonly observed, that the early writers are in possession of nature, and their followers, of art; that the first excel in strength and invention, and the latter in elegance and refinement.

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