Page images

This dog and man at first were friends ; but of two such markets for wives in EuropeBut when a pique began,

Ranelagh in England, and Fontarabia in Spain. The dog, to gain some private ends,

The Spanish market is open once a-year, but Went mad, and bit the man !

our English wives are saleable every night.”

• “You are right, my boy,” cried his inother; Around from all the neighb'ring streets

« Old England is the only place in the world The wond'ring neighbours ran;

for husbands to get wives.”_" And for wives And swore the dog had lost his wits, To bite so good a man.

to manage their husbands," interrupted I. "It

is a proverb abroad, that if a bridge were built The wound it seem'd both sore and sad, across the sea, all the ladies of the continent To every Christian eye ;

would come over to take pattern from ours; for And while they swore the dog was mad, there are no such wives in Europe as our own. They swore the man would die.

But let us have one bottle more, Deborah, my

life-and, Moses, give us a good song. What But soon a wonder came to light,

thanks do we not owe to heaven for thus bestow That show'd the rogues they lied ;

ing tranquillity, health, and competence! I think The man recover'd of the bite, The dog it was that died.

myself happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth. He has no such fire-side, nor such

pleasant faces about it. Yes, Deborah, we are "A very good boy, Bill, upon my word; and now growing old : but the evening of our life an elegy that may truly be called tragical - is likely to be happy. We are descended from Come, my children, here's Bill's health, and ancestors that knew no stain, and we shall leave may he one day be a bishop !”

a good and virtuous race of children behind us. With all my heart,” cried my wife ; "and While we live they will be our support and our if he but preaches as well as he sings, I make pleasure here, and when we die they will transno doubt of him. The most of his family, by mit our honour untainted to posterity. Come, the mother's side, could sing a good song; it my son, we wait for a song ; let us have a chowas a common saying, in our country, that the rus. But where is my darling Olivia ? That family of the Blenkinsops could never look little cherub's voice is always sweetest in the straight before them ; nor the Hugginsons blow concert.” out a candle ; that there were none of the Groe. Just as I spoke, Dick came running ingrams but could sing a song, or of the Marjo- “O papa, papa, she is gone from us—she is rams but could tell a story.”—However that gone from us; my sister Livy is gone from us be,” cried I, “ the most vulgar ballad of all ge- for ever!"-" Gone, child !"-"Yes; she is nerally pleases me better than the fine modern gone off with two gentlemen in a post-chaiseodes, and things that petrify us in a single and one of them kissed her, and said he would stanza : productions that we at once detest and die for her; and she cried very much, and was praise. Put the glass to your brother, Moses. for coming back ; but he persuaded her again, The great fault of these elegiasts is, that they and she went into the chaise, and said, 'Oh ! are in despair for griefs that give the sensible what will my poor papa do when he knows I am part of mankind very little pain. A lady loses undone?'”_" Now, then,” cried I, “my childher muff, her fan, or her lap-dog, and so the ren, go and be miserable; for we shall never silly poet runs home to versify the disaster." enjoy one hour more. And, 0, may heaven's

“That may be the mode," cried Moses, “in everlasting fury light upon him and his! Thus sublimer compositions : but the Ranelagh songs to rob me of my child !And sure it will for that come down to us are perfectly familiar, and taking back my sweet innocent that I was leadall cast in the same mould ; Colin meets Dolly, ing up to heaven ! Such sincerity as my child and they hold a dialogue together; he gives her was possessed of! But all our earthly happiness a fairing to put in her hair, and she presents is now over! Go, my children, go and be miserhim with a nose-gay; and then they go toge- able and infamous for my heart is broken ther to church, where they give good advice to within me!”—“Father," cried my son, “is this young nymphs and swains to get married as fast your fortitude?"_" Fortitude, child!—Yes, he as they can."

shall see I have fortitude-bring me my pistols “ And very good advice too,” cried I;" and I'll pursue the traitor-while he is on earth, I am told there is not a place in the world where I'll pursue him!-Old as I am, he shall find i advice can be given with so much propriety as can sting him yet—the villain—the perfidious there : for, as it persuades us to marry, it also villain !” I had' by this time reached down my furnishes us with a wife; and surely that must pistols, when my poor wife, whose passions were be an excellent market, my boy, where we are not so strong as mine, caught me in her arms. told what we want, and supplied with it wher) , “ My dearest, dearest husband,” cried she, wanting.”

" the Bible is the only weapon that is fit for “ Yes, sir," returned Moses, “and Lknow your old hands now. Open that, my love, and

read our anguish into patience, for she has vile-, offspring of guilt. Yes, the wretched creature ly deceived us."-" Indeed, sir," resumed my shall be welcome to this heart and this house, son, after a pause, “ your rage is too violent though stained with ten thousand vices. I will and unbecoming. You should be my mother's again hearken to the music of her voice, again comforter, and you increase her pain. It illwill I hang fondly on her bosom, if I find but resuited you and your reverend character, thus to pentance there.-My son, bring hither my Bible curse your greatest enemy ;-you should not and my staff; I will pursue her, wherever she is; have cursed him, villain as he is.”_“I did not and though I cannot save her from shame, Í curse him, child, did I?"_" Indeed, sir, you may prevent the continuance of her iniquity.” did; you cursed him twice."-" Then may heaven forgive me and him if I did. And now, my son, I see it was more than human benevo

CHAP. XVIII. lence, that first taught us to bless our enemies: -Blessed be his holy name for all the good he The pursuit of a Father to reclaim a lost Child to hath given, and for all that he hath taken away!

Virtue. But it is not it is not a small distress that can wring tears from these old eyes, that have not Though the child could not describe the wept for so many years. My child-to undo gentleman's person who handed his sister into my darling! May confusion seize-Heaven for the post-chaise, yet my suspicions fell entirely give me ;-what am I about to say ?-You may upon our young landlord, whose character for remember, my love, how good she was, and how such intrigues was but too well known. I therecharming ; till this vile moment, all her care fore directed my steps towards Thornhill Castle, was to make us happy. Had she but died resolving to upbraid him, and, if possible, to But she is gone; the honour of our family is bring back my daughter ; but before I had contaminated, and I must look out for happi- reached his seat, I was met by one of my paness in other worlds than here. But, my child, rishioners, who said he saw a young lady reyou saw them go off ; perhaps he forced her sembling my daughter, in a post-chaise with a away. If he forced her, she may yet be inno- gentleman, whom, by the description, I could cent."-" Ah, no, sir,” cried the child; “ he only guess to be Mr Burchell, and that they only kissed her, and called her his angel, and drove very fast. This information, however, she wept very much, and leaned upon his arm, did by no means satisfy me; I therefore went and they drove off very fast."-"She's an un- to the young Squire's, and, though it was yet grateful creature,” cried my wife, who could early, insisted upon seeing him immediately. scarce speak for weeping, “to use us thus ; she He soon appeared with the most open familiar never had the least constraint put upon her af- air, and seemed perfectly amazed at my daughfections. The vile strumpet has basely deserted ter's elopement, protesting upon his honour that her parents without any provocation-thus to he was quite a stranger to it. I now therefore bring your grey hairs to the grave, and I must condemned my former suspicions, and could shortly follow." "

turn them only on Mr Burchell, who, I recol· In this manner that night, the first of our lected, had of late several private conferences real misfortunes, was spent in the bitterness of with her; but the appearance of another witness complaint, and ill-supported sallies of enthusi- left me no room to doubt of his villainy, who asm. I determined, however, to find out our averred that he and my daughter were actually betrayer, wherever he was, and reproach his gone towards the Wells, about thirty miles off, baseness. The next morning we missed our where there was a great deal of company, Being wretched child at breakfast, where she used to driven to that state of mind in which we are give life and cheerfulness to us all. - My wife, more ready to act precipitately than to reason as before, attempted to ease her heart by re- right, I never debated with myself, whether proaches. Never,” cried she, “ shall that these accounts might not have been given by vilest stain of our family again darken these persons purposely placed in my way, to mislead harmless doors. I will never call her daughter me, but resolved to pursue my daughter and more. No! let the strumpet live with her vile her fancied deluder ihither. I walked along seducer :-she may bring us to shame, but she with earnestness, and inquired of several by the shall never more deceive us."

way; but received no accounts, till entering the “ Wife,” said I, “ do not talk thus hardly; town I was met by a person on horseback, whom my detestation of her guilt is as great as yours; I remembered to have seen at the Squire's, and but ever shall this house and this heart be open he assured me, that if I followed them to the to a poor returning repentant sinner. The soon- races, which were but thirty miles farther, I er she returns from her transgression, the more might depend upon overtaking them ; for he welcome shall she be to me. For the first time had seen them dance there the night before, and the very best may err; art may persuade, and the whole assembly seemed charmed with my novelty spread out its charms. The first fault daughter's performance. Early the next day I is the child of simplicity ; but cvery other the walked forward to the races, and about four in

the afternoon I came upon the course. The ed at a distance like a waggon, which I was recompany made a very brilliant appearance, all solved to overtake ; but when I came up with it earnestly employed in one pursuit, that of plea- found it to be a strolling company's cart, that sure : how different from mine, that of reclaim- was carrying their scenes and other theatrical ing a lost child to virtue! I thought I perceived furniture to the next village, where they were Mr Burchell at some distance froin me; but as to exhibit. if he dreaded an interview, upon my approach- The cart was attended only by the person who ing him, he mixed among a crowd, and I saw drove it, and one of the company; as the rest of him no more.

the players were to follow the ensuing day. I now reflected, that it would be to no pure “ Good company upon the road,” says the proposc to continue my pursuit further; and re- verb, “ is the shortest cut.” I therefore enter. solved to return home to an innocent family, ed into conversation with the poor player; and who wanted my assistance. But the agitations as I once had some theatrical powers myself, I of my mind, and the fatigues I had undergone, descanted on such topics with my usual freedom ; threw me into a fever, the symptoms of which but as I was but little acquainted with the preI perceived before I came off the course. This sent state of the stage, I demanded who were was another unexpected stroke, as I was more the present theatrical writers in vogue, who the than seventy miles distant from home: how. Drydens and Otways of the day? " I fancy, ever, I retired to a little ale-house, by the road sir," cried the player, “ few of our modern draside ; and in this place, the usual retreat of in- matists would think themselves much honour. digence and frugality, I laid me down patiently ed by being compared to the writers you mento wait the issue of my disorder. I languished tion. Dryden and Rowe's manner, sir, are quite here for near three weeks; but at last my con- out of fashion ; our taste has gone back a whole stitution prevailed, though I was unprovided century; Fletcher, Ben Jonson, and all the with money to defray the expenses of my enter- plays of Shakespeare, are the only things that go tainment. It is possible the anxiety from this down."-" How !" cried I, “ is it possible the last circumstance alone might have brought on present age can be pleased with that antiquated a relapse, had I not been supplied by a travel- dialect, that obsolete humour, those overcharler who stopped to take a cursory refreshment. ged characters, which abound in the works you This person was no other than the philanthropic mention?"-“Sir," returned my companion, bookseller in St Paul's Church-yard, who has “the public think nothing about dialect or huwritten so many little books for children ; he mour, or character; for that is none of their bucalled himself their friend: but he was the friend siness ; they only go to be amused, and find of all mankind. He was no sooner alighted, but themselves happy when they can enjoy a pantohe was in haste to be gone ; for he was ever on mime, under the sanction of Jonson's or Shakebusiness of the utmost importance, and was at speare's name.”-“ So, then, I suppose," cried that time actually compiling materials for the 1,“ that our modern dramatists are rather imi. history of one Mr Thomas Trip. I immediate- tators of Shakespeare than nature."_" To say ly recollected this good-natured man's red pim- the truth," returned my companion, “ I don't pled face ; for he had published for me against know that they imitate any thing at all ; nor the Deuterogamists of The age ; and from him I indeed does the public require it of them; it is borrowed a few pieces, to be paid at my return. not the composition of the piece, but the numLeaving the inn, therefore, as I was yet but ber of starts and attitudes that may be introweak, I resolved to return home by easy jour- duced, that elicits applause. I have known a piece neys of ten miles a-day.

with not one jest in the whole, shrugged into poMy health and usual tranquillity were almost pularity, and another saved by the poet's throwrestored, and I now condemned that pride which ing in a fit of the gripes. No, sir, the works of had made me refractory to the hand of correc- Congreve and Farquhar have too much wit in tion. Man little knows what calamities are be- them for the present taste ; our modern dialect yond his patience to bear, till he tries them. As is much more natural.” in ascending the heights of ambition, which By this time the equipage of the strolling look bright from below, every step we arise company was arrived at the village, which, it shews us some new and gloomy prospect of hid. seems, had been apprized of our approach, and den disappointment; so in our descent from the was come out to gaze at us ; for my companion summits of pleasure, though the vale of misery observed that strollers always have more spectabelow may appear at first dark and gloomy, yet tors without doors than within. I did not conthe busy mind, still attentive to its own amuse- sider the impropriety of my being in such comment, finds, as we descend, something to flatter pany, till I saw a mob gather about me. I and to please. Still as we approach, the dark- therefore took shelter, as fast as possible, in the est objects appear to brighten, and the mental first ale-house that offered, and being shewn ineye becomes adapted to its gloomy situation to the common room, was accosted by a very

I now proceeded forward, and had walked well-dressed gentleman, who demanded, wheabout two hours, when I perceived what appear- ther I was the real chaplain of the company, or whether it was only to be my masquerade cha visers were fixed in the pillory. It should be racter in the play ? Upon my informing him the duty of honest men to assist the weaker side of the truth, and that I did not belong in any of our constitution, that sacred power that has sort to the company, he was condescending for some years been every day declining, and enough to desire me and the player to partake losing its due share of influence in the state. in a bowl of punch, over which he discussed mo. But these ignorants still continue the cry of lidern politics with great earnestness and interest. berty, and if they have any weight, basely throw I set him down in my mind for nothing less it into the subsiding scale." than a parliament-man at least ; but was almost “How !” cried one of the ladies, “ do I live confirmed in my conjectures, when, upon ask to see one so base, so sordid, as to be an enemy ing what there was in the house for supper, he to liberty, and a defender of tyrants ? Liberty, insisted that the player and I should sup with that sacred gift of heaven, that glorious privihim at his house; with which request, after lege of Britons ?" some entreaties, we were prevailed on to comply. * Can it be possible,” cried our entertainer,

" that there should be any found, at present,

advocates for slavery? Any who are for meanCHAP. XIX.

ly giving up the privileges of Britons? Can any,

sir, be so abject?" The Description of a Person discontented with the 6 No, sir,” replied I, “ I am for liberty, that

present Government, and apprehensive of the attribute of gods! Glorious liberty ! that theme loss of our Liberties.

of modern declamation. I would have all men

kings. I would be a king myself. We have all The house where we were to be entertained, naturally an equal right to the throne; we are lying at a small distance from the village, our all originally equal. This is my opinion, and inviter observed, that as the coach was not ready, was once the opinion of a set of honest men who he would conduct us on foot; and we soon ar are called levellers. They tried to erect themrived at one of the most magnificent mansions I selves into a community, where all should be had seen in that part of the country. The apart- equally free. But alas ! it would never answer ; ment into which we were shewn was perfectly for there were some among them stronger, and elegant and modern ; he went to give orders for some more cunning than others, and these besupper, while the player, with a wink, observed came masters of the rest ; for as sure as your that we were perfectly in luck. Our entertainer groom rides your horses, because he is a cunsoon returned, an elegant supper was brought in, ninger animal than they, so surely will the ani. two or three ladies in an easy dishabille were in mal that is cunninger or stronger than he, sit troduced, and the conversation began with some upon his shoulders in turn. Since then, it is ensprightliness. Politics, however, was the sub- tailed upon humanity to submit, and some are ject on which our entertainer chiefly expatiated ; born to command, and others to obey, the for he asserted that liberty was at once his boast question is, as there must be tyrants, whether and his terror. After the cloth was removed, it is better to have them in the same house with he asked me if I had seen the last Monitor ; to us, or in the same village, or, still farther off, in which replying in the negative, “What, nor the the metropolis. Now, sir, for my own part, as Auditor, I suppose ?” cried he. -"Neither, sir," I naturally hate the face of a tyrant, the farther returned 1.- That's strange, very strange," off he is removed from me, the better pleased replied my entertainer. « Now, I read all the am I. The generality of mankind also are of politics that come out. The Daily, the Public, my way of thinking, and have unanimously crethe Ledger, the Chronicle, the London Evené ated one king, whose election at once diminishes ing, the Whitehall Evening, the seventeen Ma- the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the gazines, and the two Reviews; and though they greatest distance from the greatest number of hate each other, I love them all. Liberty, sir, people. Now, the great, who were tyrants themliberty is the Briton's boast; and by all my selves, before the election of one tyrant, are nacoal-mines in Cornwall, I reverence its guard turally averse to a power raised over them, and ians."-" Then it is to be hoped,” cried I, “ you whose weight must ever lean heaviest on the reverence the king."-" Yes," returned my en subordinate orders. It is the interest of the tertainer, “ when he does what we would have great, therefore, to diminish kingly power as him ; but if he goes on as he has done of late, much as possible; because, whatever they take I'll never trouble myself more with his matters. from that, is naturally restored to themselves; I say nothing. I think only, I could have di- and all they have to do in the state, is to underrected some things better. I don't think there mine the single tyrant, by which they resume has been a sufficient number of advisers; he their primeval authority. Now the state may should advise with every person willing to give be so circumstanced, or its laws may be so dishim advice, and then we should have things posed, or its men of opulence so minded, as all done in another guess manner."

to conspire in carrying on this business of un“I wish,” cried I, “ that such intruding ad dermining monarchy. For, in the first place, if the circumstances of our state be such, as to troduced into the political system, and they, favour the accumulation of wealth, and make ever moving in the vortex of the great, will folthe opulent still more rich, this will increase low where greatness shall direct. In such a their ambition. An accumulation of wealth, state, therefore, all that the middle order has however, must necessarily be the consequence, left, is to preserve the prerogative and privileges when, as at present, more riches flow in from of the one principal governor with the most saexternal commerce than arise from internal in- cred circumspection. For he divides the power dustry; for external commerce can only be ma- of the rich, and calls off the great from falling naged to advantage by the rich, and they have with tenfold weight on the middle order placed also at the same time all the emoluments arising beneath them. The middle order may be comfrom internal industry ; so that the rich, with pared to a town, of which the opulent are formus, have two sources of wealth, whereas the poor ing the siege, and of which the governor from have but one. For this reason, wealth, in all without is hastening the relief. While the becommercial states, is found to accumulate ; and siegers are in dread of an enemy over them, it all such have hitherto in time become aristo. is but natural to offer the townsmen the most cratical. Again, the very laws also of the coun. specious terms; to flatter them with sounds, and try may contribute to the accumulation of wealth: amuse them with privileges; but if they once as when, by their means, the natural ties that defeat the governor from behind, the walls of bind the rich and poor together are broken ; and the town will be but a small defence to its init is ordained that the rich shall only marry with habitants. What they may then expect, may the rich; or when the learned are held unqua- be seen by turning our eyes to Holland, Genoa, lified to serve their country as counsellors, mere or Venice, where the laws govern the poor, and ly from a defect of opulence; and wealth is thus the rich govern the laws. I am then for, and made the object of a wise man's ambition ; by would die for, monarchy, sacred monarchy; for these means, I say, and such means as these, if there be any thing sacred amongst men, it riches will accumulate. Now the possessor of must be the anointed sovereign of his people; accumulated wealth, when furnished with the and every diminution of his power, in war or necessaries and pleasures of life, has no other peace, is an infringement upon the real libermethod to employ the superfluity of his fortune, ties of the subject. The sounds of liberty, pabut in purchasing power; that is, differently triotism, and Britons, have already done much; speaking, in making dependants, by purchasing it is to be hoped, that the true sons of freedom the liberty of the needy, or the venal, of men will prevent their ever doing more. I have who are willing to bear the mortification of con- known many of those pretended champions for tiguous tyranny for bread. Thus each very opu- liberty in my time, yet do I not remember one lent man generally gathers round him a circle of that was not, in his heart and in his family, a the poorest of the people; and the polity abounda tyrant.” ing in accumulated wealth may be compared to My warmth, I found, had lengthened this a Cartesian system, each orb with a vortex of harangue beyond the rules of good-breeding; its own. Those, however, who are willing to but the impatience of my entertainer, who often move in a great man's vortex, are only such as strove to interrupt it, could be restrained no must be slaves, the rabble of mankind, whose longer. “ What!” cried he, “ then I have been souls and whose education are adapted to ser all this while entertaining a jesuit in parson's vitude, and who know nothing of liberty except clothes ? But by all the coal-mines of Cornwall, the name. But there must still be a large num- out he shall pack, if my name be Wilkinson.' ber of the people without the sphere of the opu. - I now found I had gone too far, and asked lent man's influence, namely, that order of men pardon for the warmth with which I had spoken. which subsists between the very rich and the “ Pardon !" returned he in a fury; “ I think very rabble; those men who are possessed of too such principles demand ten thousand pardons. large fortunes to submit to the neighbouring What! give up liberty, property, and, as the man in power, and yet are too poor to set up for Gazetteer says, lie down to be saddled with tyranny themselves. In this middle order of wooden shoes! Sir, I insist upon your marching mankind, are generally to be found all the arts, out of this house immediately, to prevent worse wisdom, and virtues of society. This order consequences. Sir, I insist upon it.” I was goalone is known to be the true preserver of free. ing to repeat my renionstrances; but just then dom, and may be called, the people. Now it we heard a footman's rap at the door, and the may happen, that this middle order of mankind two ladies cried out, “ As sure as death, there may lose all its influence in a state, and its voice is our master and mistress come home !"-It be in a manner drowned in that of the rabble; seems my entertainer was all this while only for if the fortune sufficient for qualifying a per- the butler, who, in bis master's absence, had a son at present to give his voice in state affairs, mind to cut a figure, and be for a while the genbe ten times less than was judged sufficient up- tleman himself; and, to say the truth, he talkon formning the constitution, it is evident, that ed politics as well as most country gentlemen greater numbers of the rabble will thus be in- do. But nothing could now exceed my confu

« PreviousContinue »