Historical Children's Literature Collection

The Foundling; or, the history of Lucius Stanhope [unknown] [1825?]

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K. 'V-
{gj on, THE
Printed by J. Keadrew, Colliergate.
• "•■ ty;i iSHstin ■ J.'.V.T.';.'^
The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I;
Let me he drest fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flow'rs exceed me still.
Printed by J. Keiidrcw, Collicrgate.
 Roman Alphabet.
■abcdefghij klmnop
Italian Alphabet.
a b c d efg h ij k I m nop q
r s t u v w m y z.
123456 789 0.     -
THE more we reflect on the won*
derflil works of Providence, the more
we are lost in admiration and astonishment; and hence it is indispensi*
bly necessary  to all my pretty little
readers   to  accustom   themselves to
pray morning and night to that great
director of all things, I mean our all-
wise and good God, to enable them to
find out those paths that will conduct
them to peace, virtue, and honour,
The little history 1 am now writ*
ins for their amusement and instruo
tion, will, 1 hope, convince them, that
there is no station in liier however
exalted, but may,, by some unforeseen
accident or other, be sorrowfully
humbled; and on the other hand,
however low and mean may be the
lot of others, we must not presume to
say, that they may not one day become rich, exalted, and of great consequence.
1 shall now proceed to relate the
history of Lucius Stanhope, whose
parents deserted him in his infancy,
and left him in a basket, suspended
to the knocker of the door of the good
Sir John Honeycomb, who lived in a
village in Yorkshire. Can you, my
tender readers, think of it, and not
feel for the deplorable condition of
the pretty little innocent ? No, I am
sure, you would not scruple to part
with some chiinty to give it !
It may reasonably be supposed, that
the basket did not long hang to the
knocker of the door ..undiscovered*
One of the servants found it, and
brought it to Sir John and his lady.
When they took the pretty infant out
of the basket, it seemed to smile in
their face, insensible of the cruelty of
Its parent,,     It *« *ea«d  very
cleanly and neatly, and on its breast
was pinned a paper, on which was
written nothing more than (i Ltieitis
Sir John and his amiable lady, who
had then a son only two months old,
took compassion on the deserted
foundling, and directed the nurse of
their own son to take care of little
Lucius. Fortunately the nurse happened to be a good woman, who faithfully discharged the orders she had
received from the worthy baronet
and his lady.
As soon as the two children became
capable of taking notice of each other,
they displayed every symptom of a
tender and mutual affection, which
their ripening years seemed to en-
crease. They were treated with the
same tenderness as though they were
brothers, till they arrived at that age,
when it became necessary to acquaint
them of the distinction there was between them.
Young as they then were, being
only five years of age, it afforded matter of serious thought and reflection,
I on observing the different manner in
which the children received this information. Little Sir John's countenance seemed to be elated, while
that of poor little Lucius appeared
down-cast and dejected ; for even an
infant mind must be capable of feeling a shock on such an occasion.
Lucius, however, young as he was,
shewed great marks of prudence,
which seemed to promise a wise manhood. He appeared cheerful in public, but frequently cried bitterly in
private, when he recollected he had
neither father nor mother to take care
of him.
Young Sir John, though naturally
of a good disposition, could not avoid
feeling tlte superiority he enjoyed
over Lucius ; and, though he treated
him with great civility, yet it evidently appeared to proceed more from
pity than from any thing like a brotherly affection. This distinction appeared more visible as they grew up,
and consequently increased the uneasiness of Lucius.
They were indeed instructed by the
same master, in the same sciences, and
no distinctions were made between
them by Sir John and his lady, excepting that Lucius was not permitted
to accompany them in their visits.
This mark of superiority was a flattering object to their son, which filled
his youthful mind with ideas of the
greatness of his birth, and by degrees
made him very indifferent about his
On the other hand, Lucius wisely
perceived, that the only chance he had
of getting into the world, and supporting himself with any degree of credit,
was to attend to his studies with indefatigable industry. Thus while the
parade of birth and riches interrupted
young Sir John in the progress of his
learning, the want of them laid the
foundation of the future greatness of
the prudent Lucius.
As soon as they arrived at a proper
age, they were both sent to the university of Oxford to complete their
studies, and to prepare themselves for
the practice of the law. As young
Sir John's allowance was, as may
reasonably be supposed, considerably
greater than that of Lucius, his company was sought and courted by all
the young gentlemen who go to these
seminaries of learning more for pastime and parade, than to prepare
themselves for the filling of exalted
On the other hand, the allowance of
Lucius being more moderate, but at
the same time sufficient for real necessaries, without allowing any thing for
extravagant company, he met with no
importunities from the rich and idle
to draw him aside from his business.
Hence he made such a progress in the
study of the law, that he was admired
and caressed by all those, who prefer
genius and learning to the empty
parade of riches and titles.
Young Sir John could not fail of
sometimes hearing of the rising fame
of Lucius, while he had the mortifi*
cation to find, that he was everywhere
considered rather as a joyous compa*
nion than a scholar. This naturally
created a jealousy in the mind of the
young gentleman, who began not only
to treat Lucius with indifference, but
even represented him to his father in
no very advantageous light. Lucius
heard this and dreading the consequence, he did every thing in his
power to remove those ill-founded
jealousies from the bosom of his pa-.
tron's son.
A disgust once raised in the breast
of a man rich and powerful, against a
person poor and defenceless,  is not
easily got over. It generally in*
creases, and what at first was considered only as disgust, in time became
a fixed hatred, and the wish of revenge
soon follows. Lucius would sometimes take the liberty to remonstrate
with the young gentleman, on the
irregular courses he pursued, and
point out the evil consequences that
must naturally attend them.
It is a very hazardous thing to attempt giving advice to our superiors,
and still more to presume to correct
their errors. Whoever is in possession
of riches or power, however weak or
defective theirjnatural abilities may be,
will always expect to be treated as
persons of the most perfect and enlightened understandings.
However sensible young Sir John
might be of the truth of his friend's
admonitions, he received them with a
great deal of anger and resentment,
and told him never more to take those
liberties with him.    " When I am to
come to you, Lucius* (said he, M m
angry tone,) for what money I want,
I will then permit you to call meto
an account for the manner in which h
choose to spend it.    You should re*
member you are nothing more than a,
Foundling, supported by the charity
of my father; and let me tell you,
that I think a person in your situa*
tion, should not take these liberties
with the heir to a title and estate.
As Lucius was a youth of spirit, he
felt this rebuke with the greatest sensibility ; but he very prudently avoided any altercation on the matter. He
held down his head, and after remaining buried in thought a few moments, rose from his seat, made a very
respectful bow, and retired without
saying a ytovd.
The young gentleman and Lucius
were now turned of twenty years of
age; and the former, from this moment, determined to ruin the latter
in the opinion and protection of his
parents. Young Sir John, therefore,
well knowing, that he could work on
the prejudices of his mother more
easily than on those of his father, sat
down in his study, as you here see,
and wrote the following cruel letter
to his mother;
"Bear mother, I am very sorry to
acquaint you, that the conduct of
Lucius towards me, at once displeases
and alarms me. He has the presumption to direct me in the disposal
of that money, which you and my
father are so obliging as to allow me,
in order properly to support the dig*,
nity of your son and heir. For my
own part, the liberties he takes wkh
me would not much displease me, did
they not seem to affect your character
and reputation. Many people here
seem to whisper, that he would not
presume to take these liberties with
me, were he not conscious, that he is
nearerrelated to me than the generality
of people imagine. Lucius is now of
an age to take care of himself, and
you have already done too much for
him. It is high time you should put
him to the trial of getting his own
living, and thereby - you will remove
every imputation that has been unjustly cast on your character.
lam, &c."
The contents of this letter exceedingly astonished Lady Honeycomb;
who had a most scrupulous regard for
her character, the least attack of which
must give her most sensible uneasiness. She shewed this artful letter
to Sir John, who, being a good man,
would probably have paid no attention to it, had not the character of his
worthy lady been materially interested therein. He therefore left her
to act as she pleased.
Lady Honeycomb immediately wrote
to her son, and gave him orders to
present Lucius with a twenty-pound
note, and to tell him, at the same time,
that was all he had ever more to expect from that family. Young Sir
John no sooner received this letter,
than he flew to the apartments of
Lucius, and delivered his message
and the note, with all the marks of
insulting cruelty, and then retired
with an air of triumph.
Poor Lucius was not so much surprised at this event as might have
been expected; for he had long seen
this storm as it was gathering. The
next day he received a letter from Sir
John, who, doubting the sincerity of
some part of his son's letter, took pity
on Lucius. In this letter was enclosed a fifty-pound note, with promises of a more flattering and liberal
Lucius did not lose any time in idle
lamentations on his hard fate; but
thanked God that it was not worse ;
and then began seriously to reflect on
what course he should steer. He determined \o quit the University im-
mediately, and seek some employment in London, before he had spent
all his money. See the coach, in
which he is travelling to London.
On his arrival in town, he articled
himself to a very eminent attorney, in
whose service he acquired a great character for his honour, assiduity, and
integrity. Indeed so great a depend-
ance did the master of Lucius place
in him, that as soon as the time of his
clerkship was expired, he offered him
his only daughter in marriage, in order to induce him to stay with him.
Lucius eagerly embraced this offer,
not so much on account of the advantages he must derive from it, as for
the mutual affection that subsisted between him and the amiable young
lady. He was now comfortably provided for, and was got into the line
of obtaining a large fortune. In all
companies that he went into, the first
toast that he gave was, <f Health and
happiness to the family of the Honey-
-combs." Indeed he carried his grateful remembrance of that family so far,
as to procure a comfortable subsistence for two or three of those servants
who were now grown old, and who
had been kind to him in his infantile
and boyish days.
So much satisfied was Sir John
Honeycomb with his advances in life,
that, on his death, he left him five
hundred pounds. His son, however,
now Sir John, still retained an implacable hatred against Lucius, whose
prosperity gave him no small share of
uneasiness. He therefore disputed
the legacy with Lucius, whom he obliged to move the Court of Chancery
to obtain it. However, after all his
evasions, after all his art to prolong
it, he was obliged to pay, not only
the legacy, but nearly as much more
&r the costs attending the suit.
About this time the father-in-law
of Lucius died, and leftthisfine house,
I elegantly furnished, and every thing
he was possessed of to him and his
daughter. Thus Mr. Stanhope was
now&nearly on a level with the young
Sir John Honeycomb.   However, the
■ mode of enjoying their good fortune
was very different.
Mr. Stanhope kept company only
with the learned and polite, and his
table afforded excellent amusement, as
well as the best articles of entertainment. He was happy in the enjoyment of a wife, who possessed every
accomplishment, that could contribute
to make the marriage state happy and
comfortable, and their children were
every where beloved and respected for
their genteel and orderly behaviour.
On the other hand. Sir John's company consisted only of loose and
abandoned young gentlemen, who
having spent their fortunes in riot
and dissipation of every kind, became
his flatterers, and humoured his passions only to procure themselves a
meal of excess. They drank away
whole nights together.
By a conduct of this kind, heat
once reduced his fortune, and im-
paired his health. He was by degrees drawn into gambling parties,
who fleeced him of large sums. His
rents did not come round fast enough
to supply him with money for his
extravagant purposes, and he was
therefore obliged to sell or mortgage
a great part of his estates.
Lady Honeycomb, who was still
living, beheld the extravagancies of
her son in the most serious light; and
at last, when she found, that neither
promises nor threats had any effect to
bring him back to reason, she gave
herself up to despair, and died in a
T consumption. In the next page you
will see the place where the body of
this amiable woman was deposited.
The death of his mother afforded
him some little relief, as her jointure,
- which was very considerable, then
fell into his hands.    However, his
the Foundling.
madness and folly was not yet cured,
and he ran again into his former extravagance. Indeed, he determined*,
to bring matters to short issue. A
single cast of the dice, one night, completely deprived him of all his estate;
and thus he, who but lately boasted
so much of his title, fortune, and*
family; has not a bed left that he
could claim as his own.
Thus deprived even of a home to
go to, he wandered from the house of
one friend to that of another, and
every where, in a little time, became
so troublesome, as to see he was no
where welcome. Those on whom he
had lavished his fortune, and made
the partakers of his riot and excesses,
now either shunned him or reproached
him for his folly.
The good Mr. Stanhope, hearing of
the misfortunes of Sir John, instead
of triumphing in his distress, made
every enquiry after him, and at last
found him in the chimney corner of
an obscure public-house, and almost
covered with rags. Mr. Stanhope
took him by the hand, and was incapable of concealing those tears that
forced a passage at his eyes. He took
him home, clothed him afresh from
head to foot, and then conducted him
to a place near his own country seat,
wrhere he allowed him a hundred a
year for his support.
This, surely, was the triumph of a
good heart; but it was a triumph he
wished not to make a parade of. Sir
John became sensible of his past
errors; and was afterwards almost
ashamed to look Mr. Stanhope in the
face. However, fortune once more
smiled on him: his uncle died in the
East Indies, immensely rich, and left     ,       ,,..,.       . „ -,
him all he was possessed of, (in the     ]fted, h\m  m,M ™^for unes,  and
next page you will see the two ships     *<*«#* falfse f.haJW m ?avlrf Mr;
which brought the principal part of j. Stanhope lor  his bosom friend and
his very valuable property from the   *^ companion*
Indies) on   which   he gratefully resigned the pension of his friend, and
assumed his former greatness, without r~T:rr7"7;
retaining; his former follies,  lie now.
in turn,  treated all those  with con-  -
tempt; who either despised or neg*»
O 'tis a lovely thing for youth
To walk betime in wisdom's way;
To fear a lie, to speak the truth,
That we may trust to all they say.
But liars we can never trust,
Tho' they should speak the thing that's true;
And he that does one fault at first,
And lies to hide it, makes it two.
Have we not known, nor heard, nor read,
How God abhors deceit and wrong ?
Low Ananias was struck dead,
Catch'd with a lie upon his tongue ?
The Lord delights in them that speak
The words of truth ; but ev'ry liar
Must have his portion in the lake
That burns with brimstone and with fire.
Then let me always watch my lips.
Lest I be struck to death and hell,
Since God a book of reckoning keeps*
For ev'ry lie that children tell.
So did his wife, Sapphira, die,
When she came in and grew so bold,
As to confirm that wicked lie,
That just before her husband told.
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