Page images
PDF
EPUB

might not offend the prudence of those who bad ratus, and filled his pipe, without taking any been concerned in the choice of his profession, more notice of Harley, or his friend, than if no he continued to labour in it several years, till, such persons had been in the room. by the death of a relation, he succeeded to an Harley could not help stealing a look of surestate of little better than one hundred pounds prise at him ; but his friend, who knew his hua-year, with which, and the small patrimony mour, returned it, by annihilating his presence left him, he retired into the country, and made in the like manner, and, leaving him to his own a love-match with a young lady of a similar meditations, addressed himself entirely to Hartemper to his own, with whom the sagacious ley. world pitied him for finding happiness.

In their discourse, some mention happened to “ But his elder brother, whom you are to see be made of an amiable character, and the words at supper, if you will do us the favour of your honour and politeness were applied to it. Upon company, was naturally impetuous, decisive, and this, the gentleman laying down his pipe, and overbearing. He entered into life with those are changing the tone of his countenance, from an dent expectations, by which young men are com- ironical grin to something more intently conmonly deluded ; in his friendships, warm to ex. temptuous, “ Honour,” said he, “Honour and cess; and equally violent in his dislikes. He Politeness ! this is the coin of the world, and was on the brink of marriage with a young la passes current with the fools of it. You have dy, when one of those friends, for whose honour substituted the shadow Honour, instead of the he would have pawned his life, made an elope- substance Virtue; and have banished the reality ment with that very goddess, and left him, be- of friendship for the fictitious semblance, which sides, deeply engaged for sums which that good you have termed Politeness ; politeness, which friend's extravagance had squandered.

consists in a certain ceremonious jargon, more “ The dreams he had formerly enjoyed, were ridiculous to the ear of reason than the voice of now changed for ideas of a very different nature. a puppet. You have invented sounds, which He abjured all confidence in any thing of hu- you worship, though they tyrannize over your man form ; sold his lands, which still produced peace; and are surrounded with empty forms, him a very large reversion ; came to town, and which take from the honest emotions of joy, and immured himself with a woman, who had been add to the poignancy of misfortune.”_" Sir!" his nurse, in little better than a garret ; and has said Harley-his friend winked to him, to reever since applied his talents to the vilifying of mind him of the caution he had received. He his species. In one thing I must take the liber- was silenced by the thought-The philosopher ty to instruct you ;-however different your sen turned his eye upon him ; he examined him from timents may be, (and different they must be,) top to toe, with a sort of triumphant contempt. you will suffer him to go on without contradic- Harley's coat happened to be a new one; the tion, otherwise he will be silent immediately, other's was as shabby as could possibly be supand we shall not get a word from him all the posed to be on the back of a gentleman ; there night after.” Harley promised to remember this was much significance in his look with regard injunction, and accepted the invitation of his to this coat; it spoke of the sleekness of folly, friend.

and the threadbareness of wisdom. When they arrived at the house, they were in “Truth,” continued he, “ the most amiable, formed that the gentleman was come, and had as well as the most natural, of virtues, you are been shewn into the parlour. They found him at pains to eradicate. Your very nurseries are sitting with a daughter of his friend's, about seminaries of falsehood; and what is called Fathree years old, on his knee, whom he was teach- shion in manhood, completes the system of ing the alphabet from a horn-book; at a little avowed insincerity. Mankind, in the gross, is distance stood a sister of hers, some years older. a gaping monster, that loves to be deceived, and “ Get you away, miss,” said he to this last; has seldom been disappointed ; nor is their va“ you are a pert gossip, and I will have nothing nity less fallacious to your philosophers, who todo with you.”-“Nay,"answered she, “Nancy adopt modes of truth to follow them through is your favourite ; you are quite in love with the paths of error, and defend paradoxes mereNancy."-"Take away that girl," said he to her ly to be singular in defending them. These are father, whom he now observed to have entered they whom ye term Ingenious; 'tis a phrase of the room," she has woman about her already." commendation I detest; it implies an attempt to The children were accordingly dismissed. impose on my judgment, by flattering my ima

Betwixt that and supper-time, he did not ut- gination ; yet these are they whose works are ter a syllable. When supper came, he quarrel. read by the old with delight, which the young led with every dish at table, but eat of them all; are taught to look upon as the codes of knowonly exempting from his censures a sallad, ledge and philosophy. « which you have not spoiled,” said he, “be "Indeed, the education of your youth is every cause you have not attempted to cook it.” way preposterous ; you waste at school years in

When the wine was set upon the table, he improving talents, without having ever spent an took from his pocket a particular smoking appa- hour in discovering them ; one promiscuous line

of instruction is followed, without regard to ge- contempt which attends irresolution, or the renius, capacity, or probable situation in the com- sentment which follows temerity.” monwealth. From this bear-garden of the pe

# # # # # # # dagogue, a raw, unprincipled boy is turned loose upon the world to travel, without any ideas but those of improving his dress at Paris, or starting [Here a considerable part is wanting.] into taste by gazing on some paintings at Rome. Ask him of the manners of the people, and he **“ In short, man is an animal equally selfish will tell you, that the skirt is worn much short and vain. Vanity, indeed, is but a modification er in France; and that every body eats macaroni of selfishness. From the latter, there are some in Italy. When he returns home he buys a seat who pretend to be free; they are generally such in Parliament, and studies the constitution at as declaim against the lust of wealth and power, Arthur's.

because they have never been able to attain any “ Nor are your females trained to any more high degree in either; they boast of generosity useful purpose ; they are taught, by the very re- and feeling. They tell us, (perhaps they tell wards which their nurses propose for good be- us in rhyme,) that the sensations of an honest haviour, by the first thing like a jest which they heart, of a mind universally benevolent, make hear from every male visitor of the family, that up the quiet bliss which they enjoy ; but they a young woman is a creature to be married ; will not, by this, be exempted from the charge and, when they are grown somewhat older, are of selfishness. Whence the luxurious happiness instructed, that it is the purpose of marriage to they describe in their little family-circles ? have the enjoyment of pin-money, and the ex- Whence the pleasure which they feel, when pectation of a jointure.

they trim their evening fires, and listen to the * * “ These indeed are the effects of luxury, bowl of the winter's wind? Whence, but from which is perhaps inseparable from a certain de the secret reflection of what houseless wretches gree of power and grandeur in a nation. But it feel from it? Or do you administer comfort in is not simply of the progress of luxury that we affliction—the motive is at hand; I have had it have to complain ; did its votaries keep in their preached to me in nineteen out of twenty of your own sphere of thoughtless dissipation, we might consolatory discourses-the comparative littledespise them without emotion ; but the frivo- ness of our own misfortunes. lous pursuits of pleasure are mingled with the “With vanity your best virtues are grossly most important concerns of the state ; and pub- tainted ; your benevolence, which ye deduce im. lic enterprize shall sleep till he who should guide mediately from the natural impulse of the heart, its operation has decided his bets at Newmarket, squints to it for its reward. There are some, or fulfilled his engagement with a favourite mis- indeed, who tell us of the satisfaction which tress in the country. We want some man of flows from a secret consciousness of good actions ; acknowledged eminence to point our counsels this secret satisfaction is truly excellent-when with that firmness which the counsels of a great we have some friend to whom we may discover people require. We have hundreds of ministers, its excellence.' who press forward into office, without having He now paused a moment to relight his pipe, ever learned that art which is necessary for every when a clock, that stood at his back, struck business,—the art of thinking; and mistake the eleven; he started up at the sound, took his hat petulance, which could give inspiration to smart and his cane, and, nodding good night with his sarcasms on an obnoxious measure in a popular head, walked out of the room. The gentleman assembly, for the ability which is to balance the of the house called a servant to bring the straninterest of kingdoms, and investigate the latent ger's surtout. “What sort of a night is it, felsources of national superiority. With the ad- low?” said he.--" It rains, sir," answered the ministration of such men, the people can never servant, “ with an easterly wind.”_" Easterly be satisfied; for, besides that their confidence for ever!”-He made no other reply; but, shruge is gained only by the view of superior talents, ging up his shoulders till they almost touched there needs that depth of knowledge, which is his ears, wrapped himself tight in his great-coat, not only acquainted with the just extent of and disappeared. power, but can also trace its connection with the “ This is a strange creature,” said his friend expedient, to preserve its possessors from the to Harley. “I cannot say," answered he, that

• Though the curate could not remember having shown this chapter to any body, I strongly suspect that these political observatioris are the work of a later pen than the rest of this performance. There seems to have been, by some accident, a gap in the manuscript, from the words, “ Expectation of a jointure," to these, “ In short, man is an animal," where the present blank ends ; and some other person (for the hand is differ. ent, and the ink whiter) has filled part of it with sentiments of his own. Whoever he was, he seems to have caught some portion of the spirit of the man he personates.

his remarks are of the pleasant kind; it is cu- “ Yet I agree in some measure," answered rious to observe, how the nature of truth may Harley, “ with those who think, that charity to be changed by the garb it wears; softened to the our common beggars is often misplaced ; there admonition of friendship, or soured into the se- are objects less obtrusive, whose title is a better verity of reproof. Yet this severity may be use- one.” ful to some tempers ; it somewhat resembles a We cannot easily distinguish," said the file ; disagreeable in its operations, but hard me- stranger ; "and even of the worthless, are there tals may be the brighter for it.'

not many whose imprudence, or whose vice,

may have been one dreadful consequence of * * * * * * * *

misfortune ?"

Harley looked again in his face, and blessed

himself for his skill in physiognomy. CHAP. XXV.

By this time they had reached the end of the

walk, the old gentleman leaning on the rails to His Skill in Physiognomy.

take breath, and in the mean time they were

joined by a younger man, whose figure was The company at the Baronet's removed to much above the appearance of his dress, which the playhouse accordingly, and Harley took his was poor and shabby. Harley's former comusual route into the Park. He observed, as he panion addressed him as an acquaintance, and entered, a fresh-looking elderly gentleman in they turned on the walk together. conversation with a beggar, who, leaning on his The elder of the strangers complained of the crutch, was recounting the hardships he had closeness of the evening, and asked the other if undergone, and explaining the wretchedness of he would go with him into a house hard by, his present condition. This was a very interests and take one draught of excellent cyder. “ The ing dialogue to Harley; he was rude enough, man who keeps this house,” said he to Harley, therefore, to slacken his pace, as he approached, “was once a servant of mine ; I could not think and, at last, to make a full stop at the gentle- of turning loose upon the world a faithful old man's back, who was just then expressing his fellow, for no other reason but that his age had compassion for the beggar, and regretting that incapacitated him ; so I gave him an annuity of he had not a farthing of change about him. At ten pounds, with the help of which he has set saying this, he looked piteously on the fellow: up this little place here, and his daughter goes there was something in his physiognomy which and sells milk in the city, while her father caught Harley's notice: indeed physiognomy manages his tap-room, as he calls it, at home. was one of Harley's foibles, for which he had I can't well ask a gentleman of your appearance been often rebuked by his aunt in the country; to accompany me to so paltry a place."--"Sir,” who used to tell him, that when he was come replied Harley, interrupting him, “I would to her years and experience, he would know, much rather enter it than the most celebrated that all's not gold that glitters : and it must be tavern in town; to give to the necessitous, may owned, that his aunt was a very sensible, harsh, sometimes be a weakness in the man ; to enlooking, maiden lady, of threescore and up- courage industry, is a duty in the citizen.” wards. But he was too apt to forget this cau- They entered the house accordingly. tion; and now, it seems, it had not occurred to On a table at the corner of the room lay a him: stepping up, therefore, to the gentleinan, pack of cards, loosely thrown together. The who was lamenting the want of silver, “ Your old gentleman reproved the man of the house intentions, sir," said he,“ are so good, that I for encouraging so idle an amusement. Harley cannot help lending you my assistance to carry attempted to defend him, from the necessity of them into execution," and gave the beggar à accommodating himself to the humour of his sbilling. The other returned a suitable compli- guests, and, taking up the cards, began to ment, and extolled the benevolence of Harley. shuffle them backwards and forwards in his They kept walking together, and beneyolence hand. “ Nay, I don't think cards so unpardongrew the topic of discourse.

able an amusement as some do,” replied the The stranger was fluent on the subject. other; “ and now and then, about this time of “ There is no use of money," said he, “ equal the evening, when my eyes begin to fail me for to that of beneficence; with the profuse, it is my book, I divert myself with a game at piquet, lost ; and even with those who lay it out ac. without finding my morals a bit relaxed by it. cording to the prudence of the world, the ob- Do you play piquet, sir ?" (to Harley.) Harley jects acquired by it pall on the sense, and have answered in the affirmative ; upon which the scarce become our own till they lose their value other proposed playing a pool at a shilling the with the power of pleasing ; but here the en- game, doubling the stakes; adding, that he never joyment grows on reflection, and our money is played higher with any body:. most truly ours, when it ceases being in our Harley's good nature could not refuse the possession."

benevolent old man; and the younger stranger

though he at first pleaded prior engagements, a voice tremulous and faint, asked him for å yet being earnestly solicited by his friend, at pint of wine, in a manner more supplicatory last yielded to solicitation.

than is usual with those whom the infamy of When they began to play, the old gentleman, their profession has deprived of shame; he turnsomewhat to the surprise of Harley, produced ed round at the demand, and looked stedfastly ten shillings to serve for markers of his score. on the person who made it. “ He had no change for the beggar," said Har-, She was above the common size, and eleley to himself; “ but I can easily account for gantly formed; her face was thin and hollow, it'; it is curious to observe the affection that and shewed the remains of tarnished beauty. inanimate things will create in us by a long Her eyes were black, but had little of their acquaintance; if I may judge from my own feel- lustre left: her cheeks had some paint laid on ings, the old man would not part with one of without art, and productive of no advantage to these counters for ten times its intrinsic value; her complexion, which exhibited a deadly paleit even got the better of his benevolence! I my- ness on the other parts of her face. self have a pair of old brass sleeve-buttons”- Harley stood in the attitude of hesitation ; Here he was interrupted by being told, that the which she interpreting to her advantage, repeatold gentleman had beat the younger, and that ed her request, and endeavoured to force a leer it was his turn to take up the conqueror. “ Your of invitation into her countenance. He took game has been short,” said Harley. “I repiqued her arm, and they walked on to one of those him," answered the old man, with joy sparkling obsequious taverns in the neighbourhood, where in his countenance. Harley wished to be re- the dearness of the wine is a discharge in full piqued too, but he was disappointed ; for he for the character of the house. From what had the same good fortune against his opponent. impulse he did this, we do not mean to inIndeed, never did Fortune, mutable as she is, quire; as it has ever been against our nature to delight in mutability so much as at that mo- search for motives where bad ones are to be ment; the victory was so quick, and so con found. They entered, and a waiter shewed stantly alternate, that the stake, in a short time, them a room, and placed a bottle of wine on amounted to no less a sum than 121., Harley's the table. proportion of which was within half a guinea Harley filled the lady's glass; which she of the money he had in his pocket. He had be had no sooner tasted, than, dropping it on the fore proposed a division, but the old gentleman floor, and eagerly catching his arm, her eye opposed it with such a pleasant warmth in his grew fixed, her lip assumed a clayey whiteness, manner, that it was always over-ruled. Now, and she fell back lifeless in her chair. however, he told them, that he had an appoint- Harley started from his seat, and, catching ment with some gentlemen, and it was within her in his arms, supported her from falling to a few minutes of his hour. The young stranger the ground, looking wildly at the door, as if he had gained one game, and was engaged in the wanted to run for assistance, but durst not leave second with the other; they agreed, therefore, the miserable creature. It was not till some mithat.the stake should be divided if the old gen- nutes after, that it occurred to him to ring the tleman won that; which was more than proba- bell, which at last, however, he thought of, and ble, as his score was 90 to 35, and he was elder rung with repeated violence even after the waithand; but a momentous repique decided it in er appeared. Luckily the waiter had his senses favour of his adversary, who seemned to enjoy somewhat more about him; and snatching up his victory mingled with regret, for having won a bottle of water, which stood on a buffet at too much, while his friend, with great ebul the end of the room, he sprinkled it over the lience of passion, many praises of his own good hands and face of the dying figure before him. play, and many maledictions on the power of She began to revive, and, with the assistance of chance, took up the cards, and threw them in some hartshorn drops, which Harley now for to the fire.

the first time drew from his pocket, was able to desire the waiter to bring her a crust of bread;

of which she swallowed some mouthfuls with CHAP. XXVI.

the appearance of the keenest hunger. The

waiter withdrew ; when, turning to Harley, The Man of Feeling in a Brothel. sobbing at the same time, and shedding tears,

I am sorry, sir,” said she, “ that I should The company he was engaged to meet were have given you so much trouble ; but you will assembled in Fleet-street. He had walked some pity me when I tell you, that till now I have time along the Strand, amidst the crowd of not tasted a morsel these two days past." ---He those wretches who wait the uncertain wages of fixed his eyes on hers-every circumstance but prostitution, with ideas of pity suitable to the the last was forgotten ; and he took her hand scene around him, and the feelings he possess with as much respect as if she had been a duched, and had got as far as Somerset-house, when ess. It was ever the privilege of misfortune one of them laid hold of his arm, and, with to be revered by him.-" Two days!” said he; " and I have fared sumptuously every day!” share of the reckoning. He applied, therefore, He was reaching to the bell; she understood to one of them with whom he was most intihis meaning, and prevented him. “ I beg, mate, acknowledging that he had not a farthing sir," said she, “ that you would give yourself of money about him; and, upon being jocularly no more trouble about a wretch who does not asked the reason, acquainted them with the two wish to live; but, at present, I could not eat a adventures we have just now related. One of bit ; my stomach even rose at the last mouthful the company asked him, if the old man in Hyde of that crust.” He offered to call a chair, say- park did not wear a brownish coat, with a naring, that he hoped a little rest would relieve row gold edging, and his companion an old green her. He had one half-guinea left : “ I am frock, with a buff-coloured waistcoat. Upon sorry," he said, “ that at present I should be Harley's recollecting that they did, " Then.” able to make you an offer of no more than this said he,“ you may be thankful you have come paltry sum.” She burst into tears: “Your off so well; they are two as noted sharpers, in generosity, sir, is abused ; to bestow it on me is their way, as any in town, and but t'other night to take it from the virtuous: I have no title but took me in for a much larger sum : I had some misery to plead; misery of my own procuring.” thoughts of applying to a justice, but one does

“No more of that," answered Harley; "there not like to be seen in those matters.” is virtue in these tears; let the fruit of them Harley answered, “ That he could not but be virtue.”—He rung, and ordered a chair. fancy the gentleman was mistaken, as he never $« Though I am the vilest of beings," said she, saw a face promise more honesty than that of “ I have not forgotten every virtue; gratitude, the old man he had met with.” “ His face !" I hope, I shall still have left, did I but know said a grave-looking man, who sat opposite to who is my benefactor."-"My name is Harley.” him, squirting the juice of his tobacco obliquely

“ Could I ever have an opportunity”—“You into the grate. There was something very emshall, and a glorious one too !- your future con- phatical in the action ; for it was followed by a duct—but I do not mean to reproach you—if, burst of laughter round the table. “ Gentle I say it will be the noblest reward— I will do men,” said Harley, “ you are disposed to be myself the pleasure of seeing you again.”- merry; it may be as you imagine, for I confess Here the waiter entered, and told them the myself ignorant of the town: but there is one chair was at the door; the lady informed Har- thing which makes me bear the loss of my moley of her lodgings, and he promised to wait on ney with temper: the young fellow who won it her at ten next morning.

must have been miserably poor; I observed him He led her to the chair, and returned to clear borrow money for the stake from his friend: he with the waiter, without ever once reflecting had distress and hunger in his countenance: be that he had no money in his pocket. He was his character what it may, his necessities at least ashamed to make an excuse; yet an excuse plead for him.”-At this there was a louder must be made: he was beginning to frame one, laugh than before. “Gentlemen,” said the lawwhen the waiter cut him short, by telling him, yer, one of whose conversations with Harley we that he could not run scores ; but that, if he have already recorded, “ here's a very pretty would leave his watch, or any other pledge, it fellow for you: to have heard him talk some would be as safe as if it lay in his pocket. Har- nights ago, as I did, you might have sworn he ley jumped at the proposal, and, pulling out was a saint ; yet now he games with sharpers, his watch, delivered it into his hands immedi- and loses his money ; and is bubbled by a fine 'ately; and having, for once, had the precau- story invented by a whore, and pawns his watch; tion to take a note of the lodging he intended here are sanctified doings, with a witness !” to visit next morning, sallied forth with a blush “ Young gentleman," said his friend on the of triumph on his face, without taking notice other side of the table, " let me advise you to of the sneer of the waiter, who, twirling the be a little more cautious for the future ; and as watch in his hand, made him a profound bow for faces you may look into them to know at the door, and whispered to a girl, who stood whether a man's nose be a long or a short one." in the passage, something in which the word CULLY was honoured with a particular emphasis.

CHAP. XXVIII.

He keeps his Appointment.
CHAP. XXVII.

The last night's raillery of his companions
His skill in Physiognomy is doubled. was recalled to his remembrance when he awoke,

and the colder homilies of prudence began to AFTER he had been some time with the com- suggest some things which were nowise favourpany he had appointed to meet, and the last able for a performance of his promise to the unbottle was called for, he first recollected that he fortunate female he had met with before. He would be again at a loss how to discharge his rose uncertain of his purpose ; but the torpor

« PreviousContinue »