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ved laces, ribbons, bugles, and catgut; my wife decessor had made a seat, overshaded by a hedgo herself retained a passion for her crimson pa- of hawthorn and honeysuckle. Here, when thu duasoy, because I formerly happened to say it weather was fine, and our labour soon finished, became her.
we usually sat together, to enjoy an extensive The first Sunday, in particular, their beha- landscape, in the calm of the evening. Here viour served to mortify me. I had desired my too we drank tea, which now was become an girls the preceding night to be dressed early the occasional banquet; and as we had it but selnext day; for I always loved to be at church a dom, it diffused a new joy, the preparation for good while before the rest of the congregation. it being made with no small share of bustle and They punctually obeyed my directions; but ceremony. On these occasions, our two little when we were to assemble in the morning at ones always read for us, and they were regularly breakfast, down came my wife and daughters, served after we had done. Sometimes, to give dressed out in all their former splendour, their a variety to our amusements, the girls sung to hair plaistered up with pomatum, their faces the guitar ; and while they thus formed a little patched to taste, their trains bundled up into a concert, my wife and I would stroll down the heap behind, and rustling at every motion. I sloping field, that was embellished with bluecould not help smiling at their vanity, particu- bells and centaury, talk of our children with larly that of my wife, from whom I expected rapture, and enjoy the breeze that wafted both more discretion. In this exigence, therefore, health and harmony. my only resource was to order my son, with an In this manner we began to find that every important air, to call our coach. The girls were situation in life may bring its own peculiar amazed at the command ; but I repeated it with pleasures ; every morning waked us to a repetimore solemnity than before. “Surely, my dear, tion of toil; but the evening repaid it with vayou jest,” cried my wife, “ we can walk it per- cant hilarity. tectly well; we want no coach to carry us now.” It was about the beginning of autumn, on a “You mistake, child,” returned I, “ we do holiday, for I kept such as intervals of relaxawant a coach ; for if we walk to church in this tion from labour, that I had drawn out my fatrim, the very children in the parish will hoot mily to our usual place of amusement, and our after us.
--- Indeed,” replied my wife," I young musicians began their usual concert. As always imagined that my Charles was fond of we were thus engaged, we saw a stag bound seeing his children neat and handsome about nimbly by, within about twenty paces of where him.' _“You may be as neat as you please,” we were sitting, and, by its panting, it seemed interrupted I," and I shall love you the better pressed by the hunters. We had not much time for it; but all this is not neatness, but frippery. to reflect upon the poor animals distress, when These rufflings, and pinkings, and patchings, we perceived the dogs and horsemen come sweepwill only make us hated by all the wives of our ing along at some distance behind, and making neighbours. No, my children,” continued I, the very path it had taken. I was instantly for more gravely, “those gowns may be altered into returning in with my family ; but either cusomething of a plainer cut; for finery is very riosity or surprise, or some more hidden motive, unbecoming in us, who want the means of de- held my wife and daughters to their seats. The cency. I do not know whether such flouncing huntsman, who rode foremost, passed us with and shredding is becoming even in the rich, if great swiftness, followed by four or five persons we consider, upon a moderate calculation, that more, who seemed in equal haste. At last, a the nakedness of the indigent world may be young gentleman of a more genteel appearance clothed from the trimmings of the vain.” than the rest, came forward, and for a while
This remonstrance had the proper effect; they regarding us, instead of pursuing the chase, went with great composure, that very instant, stopped short, and giving his horse to a servant to change their dress; and the next day I had who attended, approached us with a careless the satisfaction of finding my daughters, at their superior air. He seerned to want no introducown request, employed in cutting up their trains tion, but was going to salute my daughters as into Sunday waistcoats for Dick and Bill, the one certain of a kind reception; but they had two little ones; and what was still more satis- early learnt the lesson of looking presumption factory, the gowns seemed improved by this out of countenance. Upon which he let us know curtailing.
that his name was Thornhill, and that he was the owner of the estate that lay for some extent
round us. He again, therefore, offered to salute CHAP. V.
the female part of the family; and such was the
power of fortune and fine clothes, that he found A new and great Acquaintance introduced—what no second repulse. As his address, though con
we place most hopes upon, generally proves fident, was easy, we soon became more familiar; most fatal.
and perceiving musical instruments lying near,
he begged to be favoured with a song. As I At a small distance from the house, my pre- did not approve of such disproportioned acquaintance, I winked upon my daughters, in confess a truth, he has not prepossessed me in order to prevent their compliance; but my hint his favour. Disproportioned friendships ever was counteracted by one from their mother, so terminate in disgust; and I thought, notwiththat with a cheerful air they gave us a favourite standing all his ease, that he seemed perfectly song of Dryden's. Mr Thornhill seemed highly sensible of the distance between us.
Let us delighted with their performance and choice, keep to companions of our own rank. There is and then took up the guitar himself. He played no character more contemptible than a man that but very indifferently. However, my eldest is a fortune-hunter ; and I can see no reason daughter repaid his former applause with inte- why fortune-hunting women should not be conrest, and assured him that his tones were louder temptible too. Thus, at best, we shall be conthan even those of her master. At this compli- temptible if his views are honourable ; but if ment he bowed, which she returned with a they be otherwise ! I should shudder but to curtsey. He praised her taste, and she com- think of that! It is true, I have no apprehenmended his understanding; an age could not sions from the conduct of my children; but I have made them better acquainted; while the think there are some from his character.” I fond mother too, equally happy, insisted upon would have proceeded, but for the interruption her landlord's stepping in, and taking a glass of of a servant from the squire, who, with his comher gooseberry. The whole family seemed ear- pliments, sent us a side of venison, and a pronest to please him; my girls attempted to en- mise to dine with us some days after. This tertain him with topics they thought most mo- well-timed present pleaded more powerfully in dern; while Moses, on the contrary, gave him his favour than any thing I had to say could a question or two from the ancients, for which obviate. I therefore continued silent, satisfied he had the satisfaction of being laughed at; my with just having pointed out danger, and leaving little ones were no less busy, and fondly stuck it to their own discretion to avoid it. That virclose to the stranger. All my endeavours could tue which requires to be ever guarded, is scarcescarce keep their dirty fingers from handling ly worth the sentinel. and tarnishing the lace on his clothes, and lifting up the flaps of his pocket-holes, to see what was there. At the approach of evening he took
CHAP. VI. leave; but not till he had requested permission to renew his visit, which, as he was our land. The Happiness of a Country Fire-side. lord, we most readily agreed to.
As soon as he was gone, my wife called a As we carried on the former dispute with council on the conduct of the day. She was of some degree of warmth, in order to accommoopinion, that it was a most fortunate hit; for date matters, it was universally agreed, that we she had known even stranger things than that should have a part of the venison for supper, brought to bear. She hoped again to see the and the girls undertook the task with alacrity. day in which we might hold up our heads with “I am sorry,” cried I, “that we have no neighthe best of them ; and concluded, she protested bour or stranger to take part in this good cheer : she could see no reason why the two Miss feasts of this kind acquire a double relish from Wrinklers should marry great fortunes, and her hospitality."- '_" Bless me !" cried my wife, children get none.
As this last argument was “ here comes our good friend Mr Burchell, directed to me, I protested I could see no reason that saved our Sophia, and that run you down for it neither, nor why Mrs Simpkins got the fairly in the argument."-—" Confute me in arten thousand pounds prize in the lottery, and gument, child !” cried I ; you mistake there, we sat down with a blank. “ I protest, Charles," my dear. I believe there are but few that can cried my wife, “this is the way you always do that. I never dispute your abilities at madamp my girls and me, when we are in spirits. king a goose-pie, and I beg you'll leave arguTell me, Soph, my dear, what do you think of ment to me.” As I spoke, poor Mr Burchell our new visitor ? Don't you think he seemed to entered the house, and was welcomed by the be good-natured ?"-" Immensely so, indeed, family, who shook him heartily by the hand, mamma,” replied she; " I think he has a great while little Dick officiously reached him a chair. deal to say upon every thing, and is never at a I was pleased with the poor man's friendship loss; and the more trifling the subject, the for two reasons; because I knew that he wanted more he has to say.”—“Yes,” cried Olivia, mine, and I knew him to be friendly as far as “he is well enough for a man; but, for my he was able. He was known in our neighbour. part, I don't much like him, he is so extremely hood by the character of the poor gentleman impudent and familiar ; but on the guitar he is that would do no good when he was young, shocking.” These two last speeches I inter- though he was not yet thirty. He would at preted by contraries. I found by this, that intervals talk with great good sense ; but in Sophia internally despised, as much as Olivia general he was fondest of the company of childsecretly admired him. “ Whatever may be your ren, whom he used to call harmless little men. opinions of him, my children,” cried I,“ to He was famous, I found, for singing them bal
lads, and telling them stories ; and seldom went former raptures at his wit, are now converted out without something in his pockets for them into sarcasms at his folly. He is poor, and per---a piece of gingerbread, or a halfpenny whistle. haps deserves poverty ; for he has neither the He generally came for a few days into our neigh- ambition to be independent, nor the skill to be bourhood once a-year, and lived upon the neigh- useful.” Prompted perhaps by some secret reabours' hospitality. He sat down to supper among sons, I delivered this observation with too much us, and my wife was not sparing of her goose- acrimony, which my Sophia gently reproved. berry-wine. The tale went round ; he
“ Whatsoever his former conduct may have old songs, and gave the children the story of the been, papa, his circumstances should exempt Buck of Beverland, with the History of Patient him from censure now. His present indigence Grizzel, the Adventures of Catskin, and then is a sufficient punishment for former folly; and Fair Rosamond's Bower. Our cock, which al. I have leard my papa himself say, that we ways crew at eleven, now told us it was time should never strike one unnecessary blow at a for repose; but an unforeseen difficulty started victim over whom Providence holds the scourge about lodging the stranger ; all our beds were of its resentment.”—“You are right, Sophy," already taken up, and it was too late to send him cried my son Moses ; " and one of the ancients to the next alhouse. In this dilemma, little finely represents so malicious a conduct, by the Dick offered him his part of the bed, if his bro- attempts of a rustic to flay Marsyas, whose skin, ther Moses would let him lie with him. “And the fable tells us, had been wholly stripped off I,” cried Bill, “ will give Mr Burchell my part, by another ; besides, I don't know if this poor if my sisters will take me to theirs.”—“Well man's situation be so bad as my father would done, my good children,” cried I,“ hospitality represent it. We are not to judge of the feelings is one of the first Christian duties. The beast of others by what we might feel if in their place. retires to his shelter, and the bird flies to its However dark the habitation of the mole to our nest; but helpless man can only find refuge eyes, yet the animal itself finds the apartment from his fellow-creatures. The greatest stranger sufficiently lightsome. And, to confess a truth, in this world was He that came to save it, he this man's mind seems fitted to his station ; for never had a house, as if willing to see what hos- never heard any one more sprightly than he pitality was left remaining amongst us.-De- was to-day, when he conversed with you.” This borah, my dear," cried I to my wife, “ give was said without the least design ; however, it those boys a lump of sugar each ; and let Dick's excited a blush, which she strove to cover by an be the largest, because he spoke first.”
affected laugh ; assuring him that she scarcely In the morning early, 1 called out my whole took any notice of what he said to her ; but that family to help at saving an after-growth of hay, she believed he might once have been a very and our guest offering his assistance, he was ac- fine gentleman. The readiness with which she cepted among the number. Our labours went undertook to vindicate herself, and her blushon lightly; we turned the swath to the wind ; ing, were symptoms I did not internally apI went foremost, and the rest followed in due prove ; but I repressed my suspicions. succession. I could not avoid, however, obser- As we expected our landlord the next day, my ving the assiduity of Mr Burchell in assisting wife went to make the venison-pasty. Moses my daughter Sophia in her part of the task. sat reading, while I taught the little ones; my When he had finished his own, he would join daughters seemed equally busy with the rest'; in her's, and enter into a close conversation ;, and I observed them for a good while cooking but I had too good an opinion of Sophia's un- something over the fire. I at first supposed derstanding, and was too well convinced of her they were assisting their mother; but little ambition, to be under any uneasiness from a Dick informed me, in a whisper, that they were man of broken fortune. When we were finished making a wash for the face. Washes of all for the day, Mr Burchell was invited, as on the kinds I had a natural antipathy to; for I knew night before; but he refused, as he was to lie that, instead of mending the complexion, they that night at a neighbour's, to whose child he spoiled it. I therefore approached my chair by was carrying a whistle. When gone, our con- slow degrees to the fire, and grasping the poker, versation at supper turned upon our late unfor- as if it wanted mending, seemingly by accident, tunate guest.
“What a strong instance,” said overturned the whole composition, and it was 1, " is that poor man, of the miseries attending too late to begin another. a youth of levity and extravagance! He by no means wants sense, which only serves to aggravate his former folly. Poor forlorn creature !
CHAP. VII. where are now the revellers, the flatterers, that he could once inspire and command ? Gone, A town wit described.-The dullest fellows may perhaps, to attend the bagnio pander, grown learn to be comical for a night or two. rich by his extravagance. They once praised him, and now they applaud the pander; their When the morning arrived on which we were
to entertain our young landlord, it may be easi. " I hope," cried the squire, “ you will not deny, ly supposed what provisions were exhausted to that the three angles of a triangle are equal to make an appearance. It may be also conjectu- two right ones.' -“ Nothing can be plainer,” red, that my wife and daughters expanded their returned t'other, and looked round him with gayest plumage on this occasion. Mr Thornhill his usual importance.-“ Very well,” cried the came with a couple of friends, his chaplain and squire, speaking very quick ; " the premises befeeder. The servants, who were numerous, he ing thus settled, I proceed to observe, that the politely ordered to the next alehouse ; but my concatenation of self-existences, proceeding in a wife, in the triumph of her heart, insisted on reciprocal duplicate ratio, naturally produce a entertaining them all; for which, by the by, problematical dialogism, which in some measure our family was pinched for three weeks after. proves that the essence of spirituality may be As Mr Burchell had hinted to us, the day be referred to the second predicable." -" Hold, fore, that he was making some proposals of mare hold,” cried the other, “ I deny that. riage to Miss Wilmot, my son George's former think I can thus tamely submit to such heteromistress, this a good deal damped the heartiness dox doctrines ?”—“What !” replied the squire, of his reception; but accident, in some measure, as if in a passion, “ not submit! Answer me relieved our embarrassment; for one of the one plain question. Do you think Aristotle right company happening to mention her name, Mr when he says, that relatives are related ?"Thornhill observed, with an oath, that he never “ Undoubtedly,” replied the other.-" If so, knew any thing more absurd than calling such then," cried the squire, “ answer me directly to a fright a beauty; "For, strike me ugly," con- what I propose: Whether do you judge the antinued he,“ if I should not find as much plea- alytical investigation of the first part of my ensure in choosing my mistress by the information thymem deficient secundum quoad, or quoad of a lamp under the clock of St Dunstan's.” At minus ? and give me your reasons,
I this he laughed, and so did we: the jests of the rectly.”—“I protest," cried Moses, " I don't rich are ever successful. Olivia, too, could not rightly comprehend the force of your reasoning ; avoid whispering, loud enough to be heard, that but if it be reduced to one single proposition, I he had an infinite fund of humour.
fancy it may then have an answer.”-“0, sir," After dinner, I began with my usual toast cried the squire, “ I am your most humble serthe Church ; for this I was thanked by the chap- vant; I find you want me to furnish you with lain, as he said the Church was the only mistress argument and intellects too. No, sir, there I of his affections. “Come, tell us honestly, protest, you are too hard for me.' This effecFrank," said the squire, with his usual arch- iually raised the laugh against poor Moses, who ness, suppose the Church, your present mis- sat the only dismal figure in a group of merry tress, dressed in lawn sleeves, on one hand, and faces; nor did he offer a single syllable more Miss Sophia, with no lawn about her, on the during the whole entertainment. other, which would you be for ?"-"For both, But though all this gave me no pleasure, it to be sure,” cried' the chaplain." Right, had a very different effect upon Olivia, who misFrank," cried the squire: “ for may this glass took it for humour, though but a mere act of the suffocate me, but a fine girl is worth all the memory. She thought him therefore a very fine priestcraft in the creation, for what are tythes gentleman; and such as consider what powerand tricks but an imposition, all a confounded ful ingredients a good figure, fine clothes, and imposture ? and I can prove it.”—“I wish you fortune, are in that character, will easily forgive would,” cried my son Moses; “ and I think,” her. Mr Thornhill, notwithstanding his real continued he, “that I should be able to answer ignorance, talked with ease, and could expatiate you."
.""Very well, sir,” cried the squire, who upon the common topics of conversation with immediately smoked him, and winked on the fluency. It is not surprising, then, that such rest of the company, to prepare us for the sport; talents should win the affections of a girl, who
if you are for a cool argument upon the sub- by education was taught to value an appearance ject, I am ready to accept the challenge. And in herself, and, consequently, to set a value upon first, whether are you for managing it analogi- it in another. cally, or dialogically?"-"I am for managing Upon his departure, we again entered into a it rationally,” cried Moses, quite happy at be- debate upon the merits of our young landlord. ing permitted to dispute.—“Good again,” cried As he directed his looks and conversation to the squire ; "and, firstly, of the first. I hope Olivia, it was no longer doubted but that she you'll not deny that whatever is, is ; if you don't was the object that induced him to be our visitor. grant me that, I can go no further. '-" Why," Nor did she seem to be much displeased at the returned Moses, “ I think I may grant that, innocent raillery of her brother and sister upon and make the best of it.”—“ I hope too,” re- this occasion. Even Deborah herself seemed to turned the other, “ you will grant that a part share the glory of the day, and exulted in her is less than the whole.”—“I grant that too,” daughter's victory, as if it were her own. "And cried Moses, " it is but just and reasonable.” now, my dear,” cried she to me, “ I'll fairly
with a groan;
own, that it was I that instructed my girls to encourage our landlord's addresses. I had always some ambition, and you now see that I was
CHAP. VIII. right; for who knows how this may end ?"Ay, who knows that indeed ?" answered I, An Amour, which promises little good fortune, yet “ for my part, I don't much like
may be productive of much. it ; and I could have been better pleased with one that was poor and honest, than this fine The next morning we were again visited by gentleman, with his fortune and infidelity; for, Mr Burchell, though I began, for certain readepend on't, if he be what I suspect him, no sons, to be displeased with the frequency of his free-thinker shall ever have a child of mine.” return; but I could not refuse him my company
“ Sure, father,” cried Moses, “ you are too and fireside. It is true, his labour more than severe in this; for Heaven will never arraign him requited his entertainment; for he wrought for what he thinks, but for what he does. Every amongst us with vigour, and, either in the meaman has a thousand vicious thoughts, which dow or at the hay-rick, put himself foremost. arise without his power to suppress. Thinking Besides, he had always something amusing to freely of religion may be involuntary with this say that lessened our toil, and was at once so gentleman ; so that allowing his sentiments to out of the way, and yet so sensible, that I loved, be wrong, yet, as he is purely passive in his as- laughed at, and pitied him. My only dislike sent, he is no more to be blamed for his errors, arose from an attachment he discovered to my than the governor of a city without walls for daughter: he would, in a jesting manner, call the shelter he is obliged to afford an invading her his little mistress, and when he bought each enemy."
of the girls a set of ribbons, hers was the finest. “ True, my son,” cried I; “ but if the go- I knew not how, but he every day seemed to bevernor invites the enemy there, he is justly cul- come more amiable, his wit to improve, and his pable; and such is always the case with those simplicity to assume the superior airs of wisdom. who embrace error. The vice does not lie in as- Our family dined in the field, and we sat, or senting to the proofs they see ; but in being rather reclined, round a temperate repast ; our blind to many of the proofs that offer. So that, cloth spread upon the hay, while Mr Burchell though our erroneous opinions be involuntary gave cheerfulness to the feast. To heighten our when formed, yet, as we have been wilfully cor- satisfaction, two blackbirds answered each other rupt, or very negligent, in forming them, we from opposite hedges; the familiar red-breast deserve punishment for our vice, or contempt came and picked the crumbs from our hands, for our folly."
and every sound seemed but the echo of trans My wife now kept up the conversation, though quillity. “ I never sit thus," says Sophia, " but not the argument; she observed, that several I think of the two lovers, so sweetly described very prudent men of our acquaintance were free- by Mr Gay, who were struck dead in each other's thinkers, and made very good husbands; and There is something so pathetic in the she knew some sensible girls that had skill description, that I have read it a hundred times enough to make converts of their spouses :- with new rapture.”—“ In my opinion,” cried “And who knows, my dear," continued she, my son, " the finest strokes in that description “ what Olivia may be able to do? The girl has are much below those in the Acis and Galatea a great deal to say upon every subject, and to of Ovid. The Roman poet understands the use my knowledge is very well skilled in contro- of contrast better ; and upon that figure, artfulversy."
ly managed, all strength in the pathetic de“'Why, my dear, what controversy can she pends.”_" It is remarkable,” cried Mr Burhave read ?” cried I. “ It does not occur to chell, “ that both the poets you mention have me that I ever put such books into her hands; equally contributed to introduce a false taste inyou certainly over-rate her merit.”—“Indeed, to their respective countries, by loading all their papa,” replied Olivia," she does not; I have lines with epithet. Men of little genius found read a great deal of controversy. I have read them most easily imitated in their defects; and the disputes between Thwackum and Square ; English poetry, like that in the latter empire of the controversy between Robinson Crusoe and Rome, is nothing at present but a combination Friday, the savage; and I am now employed in of luxuriant images, without plot or connection reading the controversy in Religious Courtship.” -a string of epithets that improve the sound
- Very well,” cried I," that's a good girl; I without carrying on the sense. But, perhaps, find you are perfectly qualified for making con- madam, while I thus reprehend others, you'll verts, and so go help your mother to make the think it just that I should give them an opporgooseberry-pye.”
tunity to retaliate ; and, indeed, I have made this remark only to have an opportunity of introducing to the company a ballad, which, whatever be its other defects, is, I think, at least free from those I have mentioned.”