The Riſe, the Progreſs, of the human Heart,The real Honour, the Diſguiſe of Art;The Wiſe, the Good, the Vicious;—all I ſing,Oh Thou! from whom our ev'ry Actions ſpring,Not the poor Author, but the World inſpire,If not the Stile, the Moral to admire.Learn from the Child, he places in your Sight,To act with Juſtice, and to judge aright.ANONIMOUS.
THE Actions of Monarchs, the Intrigues of Miniſters, the Hiſtory of Battles and Slaughter, and the Revolutions of Kingdoms, are Subjects, that rather ſurpriſe and aſtoniſh the Generality of Readers, than [Page 2] improve or amend the Heart. A great, wicked, or virtuous Man, plung'd into the utmoſt Diſtreſs, muſt raiſe our Pity and Compaſſion: A Glorious and a Wiſe Prince, triumphing over Foreign or Domeſtick Enemies, and fixing his Crown in the Affections of his People, muſt warm the rational Mind, and give Delight and Pleaſure; but what have the Bulk of Mankind to do with their Greatneſs? Their Misfortunes or Succeſſes may make us cry out, 'Tis ſtrange!—'Tis wondrous ſtrange! But how can we make the Application to ourſelves? The wide Difference in our Situations, almoſt renders it impoſſible, and, if by Chance, ſomething like a Parallel ſhould ariſe, it muſt be ſtript of all pompous Terms;—the Rubbiſh of State and Parade muſt be removed; and the Whole levell'd to the Sphere we act in.
PERHAPS, Reflections of this Nature, gave Riſe to BIOGRAPHY. The Story of the Calamities, or good Fortune of private Perſons, muſt ſenſibly affect every private Reader, and, as the Incidents are natural, and what every Man is ſubject to, he with Eaſe applies the Inferences, and, in ſome Meaſure, may be ſaid to read himſelf.
THE Papers and Memorandums, committed to my Care, gave Riſe to the following [Page 3] Account of JOHN CONNOR.—I will not affirm that I have acted impartially, becauſe I will not preſume doing, what, I am afraid, no Hiſtorian ever did. If I aſſure my Readers I am quite unbias'd, yet I hope to be indulged, like the Reſt of my Brethren, when I ſometimes act otherwiſe. I cannot avoid ſaying, I have conſulted the Eaſe of my Reader as much as poſſible, by not ſwelling this Work into Twenty Volumes. As a Proof of my Indulgence, I have ſhortened my Prefatory Diſcourſe and this Introduction above One Hundred Pages, and ſhall proceed directly to the Hiſtory.
JEREMIAH CONNOR, the Father of JOHN, whoſe Story I now write, had been a well made, athletic Man, and a Soldier in King WILLIAM'S Army in the War in Ireland. When that Matter was ſettled, he quitted that Sort of Life, and paſſing through ſundry Services, at laſt ſettled with Sir Roger Thornton, a Gentleman of great Honour and Fortune, in the County of Limerick, in Ireland. Here he lived, and his Warlike Scars of Credit, made him aſſume ſome Authority, and furniſhed a large Fund for Converſation. He found the Happineſs of being Virtuous in the Cauſe of Liberty and Common-Senſe. Though he was one of the [Page 4] famous Enniſkilliners that joyn'd King William, yet his Reward, like other great Men, was confined to the ſecret Pleaſure of having done his Duty.
IN this Family liv'd DOLLY BRIGHT, who perform'd the Function of Landry-Maid; ſhe was young and handſome; and Jerry obſerving, ſhe had a docile and tractable Turn, he encourag'd her in it. Being himſelf a Man of Learning, he took ſome Pains to inculcate all his Knowledge, and taught her to Read and Write. The Fame of her Erudition a little hightened her Vanity, eſpecially when Sir Roger examined her himſelf, and declaring her a very ſurpriſing Genius, gave her a Kiſs and two Guineas to buy a Gown and Linnen.— This unfortunate Preſent, and a few more of the ſame Nature, at laſt alarm'd Lady Thornton, and brought on ſome Alteration, in which the Lady ſeem'd in the Right. All Sir Roger's Affirmations were of no Effect; my Lady moſt violently proteſted the impudent Slut ſhould quit the Houſe, or ſhe would—. Sir Roger knew the World, and what's more, he knew himſelf and his Wife, which determined him to make all this eaſy. He told Jerry Connor, that if he would marry Dolly Bright, he would give him a Cabbin and five Acres of [Page 5] Ground at a ſmall Rent, and compleat his Happineſs, who had been ſo careful of her Education.
LADY THORNTON objected to this, but finding Sir Roger grow warm and ſomewhat peremptory, ſhe acquieſced.—Though Jerry Connor was thirty Years older than Dolly, they willingly conſented to the Match, and Peace was reſtor'd to the Family.
THUS Jack's Parents were fix'd in a Farm about twenty Miles from Thornton Caſtle. Jerry was Fifty-five and Dolly Twenty-four Years of Age. To compleat their Joy, the Hero of this Hiſtory ſtepp'd forth, and was uſher'd into the World the 15th Day of December 1720, juſt ſeven Months after their Nuptials, a fine healthy Boy, and the very Picture of Jerry Connor.
WHETHER it was from the frequent Viſits Sir Roger paid them, or from ſome other Motive, my Lady Thornton never reſted till ſhe had perſuaded him to remove his Family to England. This was a mighty Loſs, and poor Connor felt it more and more every Day. They were much in Arrear, and as the Steward could no longer indulge them, they were put to vaſt Difficulties. This ſhagrin'd Mrs. Connor, and her Huſband was ſometimes peeviſh. Every Misfortune was imputed to one or the [Page 6] other, conſequently many bitter Invectives paſſed between them, and ſometimes Blows. Mrs. Connor generally conquer'd, for an old Wound broke out in his Knee and lam'd him. The good Woman had always great Spirits, which rais'd itſelf on certain Occaſions, to that noble Ardour, which the Vulgar call Termagant, in which her Neighbours and Huſband gave her Opportunities to improve.
AT laſt another Wound appear'd in his Head, and oblig'd him to have Recourſe to the Surgeon of the next Town, though ill able to bear the Expence of, at leaſt, a Shilling a Day. However, the Surgeon was a ſkillful Man, and ſo managed his Patient, that in a Month he brought a Humour into his Eyes, and in ſix Weeks he was quite Blind. The Surgeon declared his Sorrow for the Accident, but believed, that had it not providentially happen'd, it muſt have coſt him his Life. The Wound at laſt heal'd, but Connor thought, and his Wife ſaw, they were ruin'd; which the Seizing their two remaining Cows, and a Barrel of Potatoes, completely finiſhed; and next Night the good Woman threw Jack on her Back, took her blind Huſband by the Hand, and march'd off, with about ſix Shillings, to ſeek better Fortune.
He tells us,"When one Senſe is ſuppreſt,"It but retires into the reſt."So Poverty, againſt the Will,Gives Cunning to aſſuage the Ill.ANONIMOUS.
SULLEN and ſilent were their Travels all that Night, but when Day appeared, they determined to repoſe themſelves at the firſt Inn that ſeem'd proper to entertain ſuch Gueſts, mutually agreeing to poſtpone all Talk of Affairs, till their Bodies were a little refreſh'd. At length a Cabbin appear'd, to which they bended their Steps, and, by the Information of a Linnen Rag over the Door, and a Pipe ſtuck in the Thatch, they boldly enter'd and call'd for Milk and Bread. Before this could be had, the Woman of the Houſe demanded three Half-pence, and Mrs. Connor pulling out a Piece of an old Glove, which contained all her Treaſure, paid for the approaching Breakfaſt.
AT this Repaſt the good Creature ſeem'd very tender of Mrs. Connor, whoſe Eyes were ſwell'd with Crying. She aſk'd many Queſtions, as, Where they came from, and [Page 8] whither going; to which ſhe received a melancholy Account of the paſt, but not of what they intended to do, being ignorant of it themſelves. The poor Woman ſympathiz'd with her Gueſt, who, by a Change of Fortune grew ſtrangely humble, and was now all Humility and Meekneſs.— God Almighty help you, ſaid the Landlady, ‘I'm ſure you've Troubles enough;—I pray the ſweet Jeſus to comfort you, and ſend you ſafe in your Journey; — but my dear Sowle, added ſhe, rocking herſelf, you muſt not ſet Grief too much about your Heart, for my poor dear Man in his Grave (God be with his Sowle) left me the Mother of three Children, and one in my Belly, and the Devil a Farthing to bleſs myſelf, but three Shillings and Five-pence in Silver and Braſs. To be ſure it was the Holy Virgin put it into my Head to ſpeak to the Quality that travell'd the Road, and by my own Sowle I got Pence enough, and bred my poor little Creturs to get their Bread as well as myſelf; for Thady is a fine Boy, and a poor Scolard, and ſpeaks his Latin, and brings home many a Happeny; ſweet Jeſus bleſs him! and ſend me once to hear him ſay Maſs! for my dear Child will be nothing but a Prieſt, and Father [Page 9] O'Sloughneſey will ſend him to France on his own Means; God's Bleſſing on the ſweet Man.—Then my dear little Terence drives the Cows out and home for Mr. Flaherty, and brings me broken Meat, and a Bottle of good Ale when he finds it after the Servants; for the Rogue is as cunning as a Fox.—Pray Jeſus I could ſee him a Prieſt too!—And my Daughter Noragh, poor Sowle, is always buſy enough, and minds the Hens and the Turf, and digs the Potatoes, and ſerves the Carryers very well ever ſince Father O'Sloughneſey got me this good Houſe.’
SHE was going on, but finding Mr. Connor was more inclin'd to Sleep than Hear, ſhe call'd to her Daughter Noragh to ſettle the Straw in the other Room, and advis'd the Travellers to reſt for a few Hours; aſſuring them, that the Cow and the Pigs at one End of it, kept it pure and warm. Mrs. Connor conducted her Huſband to the Apartment, where, in Spite of every Calamity, Sleep attended and diverted every anxious Thought.
'TWAS about Twelve o'Clock at Noon when they join'd the Landlady. Mrs. Connor was putting her Hand in her Pocket to pay for her Bed, but the kind Woman held it faſt and prevented her, ſwearing ſhe [Page 10] would not take a Farthing, and order'd Noragh to give them a large Bowl of Milk; then putting ſome boil'd Potatoes into her Apron, ſhe fix'd the Child on her Back, and, with a ſweet Jeſus be with you, let them depart.
JERRY greatly prais'd the Tenderneſs of the poor Woman, and a Converſation enſu'd on their preſent Circumſtances. ‘To be ſure, ſaid his Wife, ſince God Almighty has made you ſtone blind, and given me this helpleſs Infant, you can't Work, nor can I go into Service, God help me; ſo, to be ſure, myſelf can't find out a better Way than to ſpeak to the Quality on the Road, as the Landlady did, though to be ſure none of my Kiff or Kin ever did ſo before; but you know, Jerry, God's Will muſt be done,’—and then ſhe cry'd heartily.
‘DON'T cry, ſaid Connor, for what Good will that do us?—Though we never begg'd yet, 'tis a Trade ſoon learn'd, and God knows, our Poverty ought to make us ſet up very ſoon.—I formerly mimick'd an old blind Man for Sport, and now I muſt do it in Reality for Profit.— Take care of the Child Dolly, and don't leave your poor Jerry, and I warrant we [Page 11] ſhall eat and drink well enough,—and, what more can any body do? ’
THE Tranſition from an Iriſh Cottager to a Beggar, is very natural and common in the Country. The many Examples of that Sort, enabled the poor Couple to bear, and in ſome Meaſure lighten'd their Afflictions. —They now ſeriouſly determin'd to begin this new Occupation on the firſt proper Object, reſolving with themſelves, not to touch the Capital Stock, but at the laſt Extremity.
THEY had march'd about ſeven Miles without meeting any Paſſengers, but what ſeem'd as poor as themſelves; at laſt ſhe cry'd out, that a Gentleman in Scarlet appear'd, with two Servants well mounted. This put them into ſome Confuſion, but Jerry, boldly raiſing his Spirits, aſſiſted his Voice, and in the moſt pathetick Manner, begg'd a little Charity to a poor blind, old Soldier, who once ſerv'd moſt faithfully his King and Country.—His Help-mate was not Eloquent on this Occaſion, but the Abundance of her Tears ſupply'd her want of Speech; and perhaps inclin'd the Gentleman to throw them a few Half-pence, which he did in a haſty Manner; and riding ſmartly on, was followed by a Million of Bleſſings: But how great was her [Page 12] Surpriſe and Joy, when ſhe pick'd up Three Half-pence, and a Shilling? — She kiſs'd the Silver a thouſand Times, and in her Tranſport as often kiſs'd the Child and Jerry, who were now ſquatted in the Ditch. She talk'd of Providence and the bleſſed Virgin; and in Rapture concluded, that pleaſe God they'd cheer their Hearts by a Pot of Ale, at the firſt Houſe.— The poor Man objected to this, and begg'd of her only to ſpend the Braſs, but to put the Shilling in the Glove with the reſt.—After much Diſpute, and ſundry Diſſertations on Extravagance and Stingineſs, ſhe conſented.—But, who can paint the Wildneſs of her Looks, and the frantick Motion of her Limbs, nor deſcribe her dreadful Shrieks and Exclamations, when ſhe neither found Glove nor Pocket?—They were fairly cut off.—Heaven, and Hell, and Purgatory, and all Mankind, were in an Inſtant engaged in her Quarrel, till fatigu'd and tir'd with the Violence of her Paſſion, ſhe threw herſelf on the Ground, and in a Torrent of Tears, aſſuaged the Storm in her ſwelling Breaſt.
CONNOR bore this Miſortune with great Patience, and comforted his Wife out of the Proverbs. He gave her many on this Occaſion; and concluded, that Solomon, who was a wiſe Man, told us, that Riches made [Page 13] themſelves Wings and flew away.—'Don't tell me, Jerry, ſaid ſhe, of ſuch Stuff. I ſay again and again, our poor Matter of Money would have been ſafe enough in my Pocket, if we had not ſlept at that curſed Inn; and as for your Wings, I'm ſure they muſt have been in the old B—'s Fingers.'—'Or, ſaid Jerry, in her Daughter's.—But hang it, 'tis gone— What can't be cur'd muſt be endur'd.—A Pound of Sorrow never paid an Ounce of Debt.—I've heard a wiſe Man ſay, that when the worſt has happen'd, we ought to be content, becauſe we know the worſt.— Many a cloudy Morning turns out a fine Day.—We are now Beggars, Dolly, and 'twould be a Sin to be Rich; for, ſufficient to the Day is the Evil thereof,—and St. PAUL ſays — Hold your fooliſh Tongue, cry'd Dolly,—this is fine prating indeed!— Will your Solomon provide a Bed for us to Night? Or will St. PAUL pay for our Supper?—Not they by my Sowle;—They'll talk and make a fine Story, but the Devil a bit will they give to fill a hungry Belly?—Come, come, ſaid he, we have a Shilling ſtill left; let us keep that and our Wits, and my Life for it, we ſhall pick up a pretty Living.' —So ſaying, Jack took his Poſt on his [Page 14] Mother's Back, and got ſafe to the next Village. They finiſh'd the Remainder of their Potatoes, had their Pint of Ale, and went to Reſt pretty much as in the former Manner.
Begging is not ſo vile a TradeAs ſome imagine—ſome have made.Vary the Stile, or change the Dreſs,You'll find 'tis what we all profeſs;The Diff'rence lies 'twixt Rich and Poor,Some beg for little—Others more.HUDIBRASTICK.
THE good People continued their daily Travels, and wander'd through many Counties, and greatly improv'd in the Art and Myſtery, that was to furniſh them with Bread; and indeed, every Day produc'd its Supply. Three Months paſt in this Manner, till the old Man complain'd of the Fatigue, and moſt ardently wiſh'd for a ſettled Habitation. They were now in the great Road, and within a few Miles of Clonmel, on a pretty Eminence that commanded a good Proſpect. 'Twas agreed to fix here, and lodge about a Quarter of [Page 15] a Mile from the Road; where was an old Hut, which a few Boughs cover'd well enough for the preſent.
THE Venerableneſs of Jerry's Beard, which no Razor was ſuffer'd to viſit, had a very good Effect, and the tatter'd Condition of Dolly's Cloaths; Her Hair hanging about her Eyes, a dirty Clout on her Head, and Face and Hands almoſt of the ſame Colour, made her look near as old as her Huſband, and procur'd the Charity of well diſpoſed Chriſtians ſo amply, that they had no Reaſon to repent of their Situation.—In a ſhort Time, the Hut was better cover'd; and they provided themſelves with two Cadows, a ſmall Pot, two wooden Platters, two Trenchers, one Knife, and two Horn Spoons. However, this Abode being ſo diſtant from what they might call their Shop, made it very inconvenient, and loſt them many Cuſtomers. This determin'd them to double Diligence, and to ſave as much as would build a Cabbin by the Road Side, on the Common. A few Shillings compleated this Structure, and their Effects were ſoon removed.
THUS were they fix'd in a more comfortable Manner than could be imagined, from the Appearance of the Hovel. Buſineſs went on in a very proſperous Way; [Page 16] and, as Money came in, they increas'd their Conveniencies and Utenſils; but every thing was added externally that gave an Idea of Miſery and Wretchedneſs.—They often drank Ale, eat Bread, and ſometimes Meat, which moſt Cottagers in the Kingdom are utter Strangers to. In ſhort, they lived as happily as the Impetuoſity of Dolly's Temper would admit, which at ſome Seaſons vented itſelf on Jerry, in old Rogue and old Scoundrel, and ſuch affectionate Epithets, which he bore with the Calmneſs of a Philoſopher, ſeldom anſwering but in Proverbs.
SCARCELY had they been ſettled three Months before ſome of their Neighbours ſmoak'd a Pipe with blind Connor and poor Doll. Their great Knowledge ſurpriz'd them, particularly when they found She could both Read and Write. The Prieſt of the Pariſh, who was a young Man, being at laſt made acquainted with this Prodigy, determin'd to pay her a Viſit. One Morning, when ſhe was cleaner dreſs'd than uſual, ſhe was ſweetly ſinging on the Ditch Side, and his Reverence ſurpriz'd her in the Act of giving Suck. As ſhe knew him, ſhe bluſh'd, and was going to cover her Neck, which the holy Man prevented with his Hand, ſaying, ‘God ſpeed your Work, my [Page 17] dear Child. — Don't be aſhamed at what God has given you.—I'm well enough us'd to ſuch Sights!’—Perhaps he was; but Mrs. Connor had a Skin of ſuch an wholeſome Sanguineneſs, and Breaſts ſo prominent and firm, as puzzled his Reverence, and made his Blood riſe in his Face, and his Speech to faulter.
AS Mrs. Connor durſt not diſoblige the Prieſt, ſhe made all the fine Speeches in her Power, and told him almoſt as much as if ſhe had been at Confeſſion. His Reverence ſpoke very compaſſionately on her unhappy Circumſtances, and, in a tender Manner, inſinuated the hard Fortune, that ſo young and well-ſpoken a Woman, ſhould be reduc'd to aſk a Favour of any Man; when if ſhe had her due, they ought to aſk Favours of her.—‘Not, my dear Child, ſaid he, that I would be after finding Fault with your Induſtry, or putting bad Thoughts in your Head. No! no! God forbid! But as you are a ſenſible Woman, I may tell you, we ought to know Good as well as Bad, that we may avoid the one and follow the other: But when we make a Slip, as we are all frail Mortals, it muſt be great Comfort to a good Catholick, to have a Holy Prieſt to pray for, and abſolve us. ’ —At this, he put on a Countenance of [Page 18] primitive Piety, or at leaſt, ſo much of it, as his Eyes would permit, which ſtill ſparkled, and being fixed on the beautiful Part before-mention'd, ſpoke a Language truly Catholick.
JACK'S Mother was quite confounded at all theſe fine Words; and not perfectly underſtanding Logical Diſtinctions, was afraid the Holy Father was endeavouring to make her Proof againſt good or bad Fortune, not againſt good or bad Morals. Father Kelly ſoon ſolv'd her Doubts; for as the Child ſtill continued at the Breaſt, he prais'd its Beauty, patted its Cheeks, and utter'd every infantine Expreſſion, which Mothers are ſo naturally fond to hear.—‘The ſweet little Fellow, ſaid he, it looks like an Angel, I muſt kiſs it, were it but for the Sake of the Nurſe.’—He kept his Word; but guiding his Head a little more on one Side, he feaſted his Lips (as if by Accident) on thoſe Charms his Eyes had been Witneſs of for half an Hour.
HIS Reverence recover'd himſelf at laſt, and—‘I aſk your Pardon, good Mrs. Connor, ſaid he, for by my own Conſcience I had no Harm in my Thoughts; but God forgive me! in troth I was going to t'other Side, for fear it would be jealous; tho' if I had, you know, there would be no [Page 19] Sin in it neither; for what is a Breaſt but Fleſh? and ſo is your Hand; and what Sin, my Dear, in touching a Hand? ’ —This Reaſoning was ſo ſtrong that Conviction ſat on Mrs. Connor's Countenance; which the good Man perceiving, he very fervently tranſported his Kiſſes from one Side to the other.
SOME Travellers appearing, and Jerry being ſummon'd to his Poſt, the charitable Prieſt ſlipt Sixpence into her Hand, and gave the old Man a Yard of good Tobacco; ſo wiſhing them good Luck, added his Benediction, and promis'd to call in his Walks.
IT would be endleſs to point out the Virtues of this good Man. He viſited frequently, and always left ſomething behind him. He mention'd to Dolly the moſt charitable Families in the Country; and taught Jerry how to tell the weary Traveller the Hour of the Day. He repair'd the firſt Hut, where ſhe always cook'd the Victuals when he honour'd them with his Company. He put a Door to it, and ſent in good Store of Whiſkey and Straw, with two Cadows. This ſerv'd his Reverence for a Country Retreat; and anſwered every End of a Confeſſional. His Converſation was truly pious, and his Pains were great to convert Jerry to the [Page 20] Boſom of that Church, out of which there is no Salvation. Sometimes, indeed, his Zeal was rather too great; for when Mr. Connor made ſtrong Objections, he moſt charitably, and with a truly Chriſtian Spirit, hurry'd poor Jerry's Soul to the Devil and all his Angels; in which Journey his Wife always added an hearty Amen.
ABOUT the Age of Five Years, JACK remembers his daily ſitting on a Ditch with his Father and Mother, induſtriouſly employed in that moſt antient and moſt noble Profeſſion of Begging. The Situation was well contriv'd, and three Roads terminated juſt at their Manſion, and, as it were, empty'd themſelves into the great one. Beſides the Beauty of the Proſpect, I apprehend, his Parents had ſome Regard and Love to Society; for no Traveller could paſs, but were attack'd with all the Oratory in their Power. Without Vanity I may ſay, few People of their Diſtinction enjoy'd that Talent to greater Perfection, eſpecially Mrs. Connor. When ſhe was determin'd to extract a Penny from a good Chriſtian, ſhe mounted the Ditch, and with Eyes rais'd to Heaven, and uplifted Hands, ſhe beſpoke his Favour: She ſaluted him with every tender, moving Expreſſion. The Tear was ready; and ſometimes ſhe pleaded a [Page 21] numerous Family of Orphans, and ſometimes an antient helpleſs Huſband.— Did his hard Heart paſs by untouch'd, ſhe followed him with her rais'd Voice, invoking every Saint to proſper his Journey, and to commiſerate her wretched Condition.—Many a Time, and oft', has ſhe compelled the moſt obdurate Lawyer or Parſon to Rein-back, and fumble for Farthings.
JERRY had his Excellence: He was really advanced in Years; was infirm and blind. The Loſs of Sight, ſo dreadful to many, was to them of infinite Uſe. From this he drew the Pity of the Good-natur'd, and the Compaſſion of moſt Travellers; but his being an old Soldier who had ſerv'd by Sea and Land, afforded an Addition to his Revenue; to which a red Coat contributed not a little.
YOUNG as our Hero was, his Employment had its Uſe; for whilſt his dear Parents were ſolacing themſelves in their Caſtle, and enjoying the Comforts of Ale, Tobacco, and the Converſation of Friends, he was on the Watch for the Approach of Paſſengers; when his Father or Mother, and ſometimes both, ſally'd out, and he always attended to join in the Cry and pick up the Copper that Humanity threw them.
[Page 22] JACK now grew a ſturdy Fellow, of Six Years old. As his Mother had been ſo good to teach him to read, he was a great Comfort to his Father, and entertained him out of The whole Duty of Man, which he took particular Care of, ever ſince Mrs. Connor had ſold his Bible. The Child read ſo frequently, that at laſt he was very expert, and began to reliſh the Subject. One Day, he aſked his Father, If there was any more Books in the World, for he would read them all. ‘God bleſs you, poor Child, ſaid Jerry, and give you Grace to learn, and practice all good Things.’—Then, folding him in his Arms, with many Tears, and uplifted Hands, beſeech'd the Almighty to ſuccour his helpleſs Age, and guide his Steps, that he might live by Honeſty and Labour.—Though Jack knew not what he meant, yet his Words made ſo great an Impreſſion, that he cry'd moſt heartily.— In this Situation the Mother found them, which ſoon changed the Scene: She ſtorm'd like a Fury, and ſwore he was ſending the Boy to the Devil, as well as himſelf; ‘But, continued ſhe, with all my Heart, an obſtinate Baſtard as he is; but I'll take Care, I warrant, of your damn'd Book. ’—She then curs'd herſelf moſt bitterly, for teaching [Page 23] Jack to read; and mutter'd ſomething of ſending him far enough out of his Reach.
‘No, Dolly, ſaid her Huſband, you need not do that; for Father Kelly and You will ſoon ſend me to my long Home!—'Tis too good News to be true,—ſaid ſhe.—Well, well, reply'd Jerry, I ſhan't trouble you long;— you may let me have a little Peace whilſt I live.’—Some Paſſengers interrupted this Converſation; and the common Occurrences of the Day, gave Jerry ſome Reſpite till Dinner.—He ſaid Grace as uſual, but could not eat. At Supper 'twas the ſame Way; and in the Night a Fever came on which open'd his Wounds, and, for Want of proper Care, a Mortification enſued, and the fourth Day he ſlept with his Fathers.—The pious Prieſt was determined to have the better of the Argument at laſt, and make him a good Catholick, by performing the final Rites of the Church, before the Body was quite cold.
ON this melancholy Occaſion, it muſt be confeſſed, the poor Widow behav'd as the moſt faſhionable of her Sex.—She ſhrieked and wrung her Hands, and call'd on Death to eaſe her Miſery.—She fainted, and fell into Fits; and the Neighbours with great Difficulty brought her to herſelf.— When recover'd, ſhe bore her Fate with [Page 24] great Reſignation, and gave Directions about the Funeral with much Compoſure of Mind, except when more Friends dropt in, which renewed her Sorrows; and then the whole Company ſympathiz'd in the moſt doleful Cadences.
THE Deceaſed being ſtripped and waſhed, was laid out on ſome Straw, cover'd with a Sheet that was formerly white. On his Breaſt was a large Diſh fill'd with Salt, which undoubtedly had its Uſe. The good People, three Miles round, flock'd to blind Connor's Wake, with Loads of Whiſkey and Tobacco; Pipers were in Abundance; and ſundry Gentlemen amuſed the Company with the ſweet Harmony of their Trumps or Jews-harps.—When Father Kelly had declared that Jerry Connor died a True Son of the Church, being by him converted almoſt by a Miracle, a Buzz of Content ran thro' the whole Aſſembly, and he finiſhed a few Prayers for the Repoſe of his Soul.
THE common Iriſh are chearful at a Wedding; but, at a Wake, their Joy and Mirth is ſeemingly extravagant. Ill Nature, and the Want of Compaſſion and Tenderneſs, are not placed amongſt their natural Vices. If the Moral of this antient Cuſtom be examined, and found to proceed from their Pleaſure, in believing that their Friend or [Page 25] Companion has quitted all human Infirmities, and now enjoys a Fulneſs of Bliſs, we cannot think the Practice irrational or abſurd.
MIRTH in every Shape abounded; but Jack ſeem'd to drop all the romping Sporters. He liſtened with great Attention to a Knot of Old Ladies, who entertained each other with true Stories of Giants and Witches, and Spirits, and Kings of Ireland.—From theſe he went to another Cluſter, who ſpoke of the Deceaſed, like the Egyptian Prieſts. They magnify'd his ſuppoſed Virtues, and gave him Vices, to which he was a Stranger. —Scandal and Malice, and Envy, were preſent! Some hinted, that Dolly was not his Wife; ſome called her his Niece, and ſome his Daughter; but all agreed, in wondering, what he Devil Father Kelly could ſee, to make him ſo civil to her.—I much fear many grand Societies are but humble Imitators of this equally polite Aſſembly.
AT laſt the Funeral ſet out, directing their Courſe to a ruin'd Monaſtery, about Six Miles diſtant. The March was ſolemn; and ever and anon a Sacred Dirge was rais'd, that ſhook the Hills, and eccho'd through the Vales. The Company ſtill encreas'd from the neighbouring Cabins, whoſe Inhabitants having walked two or three Miles, and rais'd their Notes of Condolence [Page 26] with the reſt; perhaps would at laſt find Time to aſk, who is dead?
What by this Name, then, ſhall be underſtood?What? but the glorious Luſt of doing good?The Heart that finds it Happineſs to pleaſe,Can feel another's Pain, and taſte his Eaſe.The Cheek that with another's Joy can glow,Turn pale, and ſicken, with another's Woe,Free from Contempt and Envy, he who deemsJuſtly of Life's two oppoſite Extremes.Who to make all, and each Man, truly bleſt,Does all he can, and wiſhes all the reſt.FIELDING on Good Nature.
I May with Truth affirm, that Jack's Parents, tho' Beggars, gave better Education to their Son, than moſt of their Neighbours; witneſs his reading at ſo tender [Page 27] an Age, when not one in a Thouſand know a ſingle Letter. His Dreſs was pretty much the ſame with young Gentlemen of his Years, or rather with almoſt all in the Pariſh. He had ſomething on that reſembled Breeches, and a Remnant of a Rug very artfully hung over his Shoulders, and faſtened round his Waiſt by Pieces of Wood nicely carv'd, of the Size of a Packer's Needle.—A Shirt was an idle and uncomfortable Ornament; and Shoes and Stockings made Youth too tender and delicate. This noble and manly Dreſs is moſt carefully preſerved; and ſcarcely has Novelty and Faſhion found an Opportunity of making any Variations.—Tho' the Romans never viſited Ireland, yet their Dreſs certainly did. Were our Virtuoſi ſeriouſly to conſider this, they might ſave the vaſt Expence they are at in purchaſing a Piece of Leaden, or Marble, or Copper Roman Figure and Drapery; when, by ſtepping to Ireland, they may ſee Thouſands, even at this Day, in the Original Habit, and whole Groups in the antient Manner, eating on the Ground.
PERHAPS I may be thought too free with ſo great a Name as LOCKE, when I ſay I imagine he borrows Part of his Treatiſe on Education from this People, to whom, I've been told, he was no Stranger. All [Page 28] the World knew that the common Romans wore no Shoes; but Mr. Locke could not infer from thence, with all his more than Human Underſtanding, that going without them, or having the Feet conſtantly wet, was conducive to Health or Vigour, till he ſaw ſuch numberleſs Examples.—But to return to the Family.
FATHER KELLY'S Viſits to the Widow were more frequent than uſual, as ſhe ſtood in Need of more frequent Conſolation. From his pious Intentions the evil-minded of the Pariſh drew Concluſions no-way favourable to either, eſpecially as Mrs. Connor dropt her former Occupation, and retir'd to the firſt Hut, where ſhe ſuffer'd herſelf to be viſited but by a few ſelect Friends; and was never publickly ſeen but at Maſs.—How different! How chang'd in her Appearance! Her Face was waſh'd; —her fine black Hair was comb'd, and nicely plaited;—her Kercher was clean, which paſſing under her Chin, was neatly ty'd at the back of her Neck;—her brown Jacket with red Cuffs;—her red Petticoat, and, above all, her yellow Stockings and new Brogues drew the Eyes of the whole Congregation; ſome to admire her real Comelineſs, but more to whiſper, They wiſhed ſhe came honeſtly by them.
[Page 29] WHATEVER were their private Opinions, Father Kelly received many publick Marks of their Diſ-eſteem. The old Ladies, and the young, extreamly reſented this open and particular Attachment, ſo injurious to their own Beauties and ſuperior Merit. They wrought on their Huſbands, their Brothers and Sweethearts; and the good and charitable Prieſt was condemn'd a Sacrifice to Malice and Envy.
WHETHER the People had juſt Cauſe to complain to the titular Archbiſhop of Caſhel, or whether Father Kelly and Mrs. Connor were conſcious of Guilt; or, whether they found the Current of Slander too ſtrong to ſtem, I know not; neither can I tell the Reſolution they took on this Occaſion, but certain it is, they came to one very ſpeedily.
MRS. CONNOR had converted the old red Coat into a Sort of Waiſtcoat for Jack, who having a Pocket, never failed carrying his Book in it. One Morning ſhe called him up earlier than uſual, and with more than common good Humour, waſh'd his Face and comb'd his Head, and having put on ſomething like a Shirt, ſhe kiſs'd him, ſaying, 'he was a charming pretty Boy.' In Reality he was ſo.—‘Come, Jack, ſays ſhe, now we'll walk to Town and ſee your [Page 30] Aunt.’—Poor Jack was vaſtly pleas'd at going to Town, though he knew not where, and followed his Mother with great Chearfulneſs. They had not walk'd above a Mile or two, when a Man overtook them, whom Mrs. Connor knew. Some Queſtions being aſk'd, ‘I am going, ſaid ſhe, to leave Jack at my Siſter's for a Day or two, and muſt be back to Squire Diſney's to Night. —That's too far, ſaid the Man, to walk in one Day; go you to the Squire's, and I ſhall take care of Jack. ’—The Child cry'd, but his Mother coax'd, and prevail'd on him to go without Murmuring. She kiſs'd, and promiſing to ſee him To-morrow, turn'd about, and Jack and the Stranger marched on.
NOTHING remarkable happened in this Journey, but Jack complain'd that the Town was a great ways off.—That he wiſh'd he was there;—that he was Hungry, or Dry, or Sleepy, and ſome childiſh Talk of that Sort, to which the Man gave Anſwers, and relieved all his Wants.—Many Days paſſed in ſmall Journeys, till the Fellow found he was in the County of Meath. He fed the Child as well as he could, and having got a Woman to waſh his Rags and clean him, march'd on till he came to a large fine Houſe.—‘Now, Jack, ſaid he, [Page 31] we ſhall ſoon ſee your Aunt; ſtay here, my good Child, a little, and I'll be with you by and by; but be ſure don't go beyond that great Gate. ’ (Pointing to the Gate of the Houſe.) The Man walk'd off, and Jack never ſaw him after.
THE poor Child waited a long Time for him with great Patience, till Hunger and Night coming on, he cry'd till his little Heart was almoſt broke.—At laſt he ventured to walk to the Gate, and found it open. He went into a large Court-yard, and finding a Houſe, which was a deſerted Dog-kennel, he boldly enter'd; and what with his Fatigues, and little Sorrows, he lay down and ſlept ſoundly 'till next Morning.—One of the Grooms going by, heard the Cries of the Boy, and relieved him from his Priſon.—He was aſk'd many Queſtions, to which he could give no Anſwers; except that a Man was going with him to his Aunt's, and that his Name was Jack Connor.—The Groom aſk'd him ‘if he was hungry? Yes, ſaid Jack, and very dry too, and my Feet are very ſore. ’— The Servant was good natur'd, and taking him into one of the Stables, gave him a Piece of Bread and ſome ſmall Beer. He waſh'd his little Feet with warm Brand and Water, which was ready to be given to a [Page 32] ſick Horſe, and laid him on ſome clean Straw. The poor Child went to Sleep, but waken'd ſo refreſh'd, and ſo happy, that, on ſeeing the Groom, he ſmil'd, and utter'd every Expreſſion, that ſhew'd the Gratitude of his Heart.
THUS was he fed for a Fortnight, and all Enquiry was made by the Servants about him, but in vain.—Jack grew quite well, and mightily pleas'd with his Situation, for Providence had directed him to the Houſe of LORD TRUEGOOD, a Nobleman leſs remarkable for his large Fortune, than his Humanity, and extenſive Charity to all Mankind.
MR. KINDLY, his Lordſhip's Domeſtick Steward, had heard ſomething of this Story, and determined to ſee the Child.— He watch'd when the Servants were out, and ſtole privately into the Stable.—Jack was mounted in one of the Windows, with his Book in his Hand, but when he ſaw the Gentleman, he ſtuff'd it into his Pocket, and got on his Feet in an Inſtant. Mr. Kindly, with a Smile of good Nature, cry'd out—'Who have we got here?—Where did you come from, Child?'—'Indeed, Sir, reply'd Jack, almoſt in Tears, I don't know.'—'Don't cry, my Dear, ſaid the good Steward, I ſhall do you no Harm; [Page 33] —Have you a Mother, and where is ſhe gone to?—I don't know indeed Sir, reply'd Jack, but ſhe gave me to a Man to ſee my Aunt, and he bid me ſtay at the Gate, and ſo I did, and ſo he did'nt come for me.'—'That's my good Boy, ſaid Kindly; come, now tell me all the reſt.'—The poor Child was not at a Loſs, but told as much of his Affairs as he poſſibly could know, and in ſo innocent a Manner, that greatly pleas'd the good Man. —‘That's my good Dear, ſaid he; but what Book was it, you put in your Pocket? Let me ſee it my Man.’—Jack deliver'd it, telling him, his Father ſaid it was a good Book, and would make every Body good.—Mr. Kindly look'd at the Title, and was greatly ſurpriz'd.—'Your Father, ſaid he, was a good Man, and you'll be a very good Boy, when you can read it.'— Oh dear, ſaid Jack, indeed, Sir, I can read it very well.'—'Can you ſo, reply'd the Steward, let me ſee.'—He opened the Book, where leaſt mark'd, and Jack began, and pretty diſtinctly read.—‘So alſo for the Calamities and Miſeries that befall a Man, be it Want or Sickneſs, or whatever elſe, theſe alſo come by the Providence of God, who raiſeth up and putteth down, as ſeems good to him, and it belongs not to us [Page 34] to judge what are the Motives to him to do ſo, as many do, who, upon any Affliction that befalls another, are preſently concluding, that ſure it was ſome extraordinary Guilt, which puts this upon him, though they have no particular to lay to his Charge.’—As the Boy read, the Tenderneſs of the good Man mounted to his Eyes.—‘That's enough my Child, ſaid he,—God bleſs you.’—So quitting him in an Inſtant, got into the Yard, and gave vent to a few Tears.—Good God, cry'd he, how infinitely is thy loving Kindneſs, who, out of the Mouths of Babes and Sucklings, teacheth us our Duty.
MR. KINDLY walked to the Houſe, and having call'd Mrs. Mathews, an elderly Servant, begg'd her to get him a Leg or a Wing of a Fowl, with a Piece of Bread, and ſome ſmall Beer. 'Lord, dear Sir, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, may hap your Morning's Walk has gotten you a Stomach; pray let me broil you a Pigeon, and give you a Glaſs of white Wine.'—'Thank you heartily, good Mrs. Mathews, reply'd the Steward, you know I ſeldom eat in a Morning, but I never drink. What I want is for a poor Stranger.'— Lord bleſs you, dear Sir, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, you are ſo good, all the Servants [Page 35] are bound to pray for you.'—She did not wait for a Reply, but ran to the Pantry, and ſoon returned, properly loaded. — 'Thank you, my dear Friend, ſaid Mr. Kindly, now I have a great Favour to beg of you; which is, to carry theſe to the fartheſt Stable, where you'll find a poor little Boy. See him eat his Dinner, and take him to John Long's Wife.'—'Yes that I will, ſaid ſhe.'—'The Lord preſerve your good Heart.—I'm ſure you're always the poor Man's Friend. — The Lord keep you your Health, for you're too good for this World.'—'We muſt aſſiſt one another, ſaid Kindly, but pray go and help the Child, and I'll walk on to John Long's.'
MRS. MATHEWS thought there was ſome Myſtery in this Affair, but reſolved to hear and ſee, but ſay nothing. She determined to be as ſecret as could be expected from her Sex and Station; ſo, wiſely took Jenny the Houſe Maid to the Stable, to whom ſhe communicated the Matter, with many notable Remarks.—‘You know, Jenny, ſaid ſhe, Mr. Kindly is a Man as well as another, and though he is antient or ſo, yet, let me tell you, 'tis an old Rat that won't eat Cheeſe.—He's a hearty Man, Jenny, and a good natur'd Man, and they [Page 36] ſay lives a Widower for the Sake of his Children; now putting Things and Things together, who knows what may have happen'd?—But pleaſe God it ſhall go no farther for me;'—nor for me neither, ſaid Jenny, for I would not hurt a Hair of his Head, poor dear Man. ’
THEY got to the Stable and found Jack with the Groom.—So ſo, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, have I found you, young Spark.— 'Come, ſit down my little fellow, and try how a bit will agree with you.'—'What Jenny, ſaid the Groom, are you come too? I'll ſay that for you, you've as good a Noſe at finding out a pretty Boy, as any Wench in the Pariſh; I ſuppoſe he's ſome Relation of your's, Eh, Jenny?— The Fellow's a Fool, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, tho' may hap he may have as good Relations as any here.—Come, my brave Man, eat heartily, and much good may do you.—So—you ſay your Name is Jack,—'Yes, Madam, ſaid the Child, my Name is Jack Connor.—Very well, ſaid the good Woman, very well; now come, my dear, and take a Walk with me, we'll not go far, only to John Long's.' —Then turning to the Groom, ſaid, with a Wink, ‘Mr. Kindly bid me fill his little Belly, and carry him to John's Wife.’
[Page 37] THE Groom was pleas'd, and the Ladies marched on.—'Jenny, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, look at the little Fellow, how ſturdily he walks, and for all the World, like good Mr. Kindly. 'Faith and troth, ſaid Jenny, and ſo he does, and his Name is Jack too.' 'Faith, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, I forgot that, and then the little Rogue has the very Smile of him.—Now I think on it Jenny, I'll be hang'd but I knew the Mother of him. Do you remember Bryan Connor the Miller, that lived at the Ford two Miles off.'—'Yes that I do, reply'd Jenny, and by the ſame Token, he had four Daughters and three Sons.'— Very true, ſaid Mrs. Methews, and all the Neighbours believed Mr. Kindly was a great Help to the Family, for he went very often there. The old People died, and the Children went up and down, I don't know what became of them all; but Molly Connor was a pretty Huſſey enough, but was no better than ſhe ſhould be, and about ſeven or eight Years agon, ſhe contriv'd to get her Belly up, and then went to Dublin.'—'Goodneſs Sirs, ſaid Jenny, how ſtrangely Things comes about; ſo, to be ſure this is her Child.' Ay, ay, ſaid Mathews, as ſure as I'm in this Spot alive. Murder will out, you know, [Page 38] but that's none of our Buſineſs,—we are only Servants, and muſt hold our Tongues; ſo, beſure Jenny, ſaid ſhe, don't open your Lips about it, for it ſhan't be computed to me, for I hate fending and proving, and wou'd'nt be brought into a Primeiniron for all I'm worth in the World.'
THE Steward and Mrs. Long were waiting at the Door till Jack arrived.— ‘There, Madam Long, ſaid Mr. Kindly, There's a Boy for you; don't you think him very like me? Heaven knows, reply'd Mrs. Long, for the poor little Face of him is ſo dirty, 'tis impoſſible to tell who he is like; but pleaſe God, I'll know more of him by To-morrow! Do ſo, ſaid Kindly, and in a little Time I hope to ſee him look as well as my own Son.— Then turning to Mrs. Mathews, thank'd her for her Civilities, and promis'd her a Preſent of ſome good Bohea Tea. ’
THE Ladies made great haſte Home, and by Mr. Kindly's Words, they were more confirm'd in their firſt Conjectures, and in the Neceſſity of being very Secret.— No doubt they were mighty cautious, but on Mr. Kindly's Return to Bounty-Hall, he found a ſtrange Alteration in the Countenances of the Servants.—When he ſpoke, [Page 39] he was anſwer'd with a Smile or a Grin.— A general Titter and Whiſper ran through the Family, and on his Enquiry into the Cauſe of ſo much Mirth, they vaniſh'd with a loud Laugh.—Though a little ſurpriz'd at their Behaviour, he knew there was no Miſchief done, ſo was perfectly eaſy. He always permitted them to be as chearful as they pleas'd, for he thought an Openneſs and Freedom of Manners, was an Indication of an honeſt Heart; but he ever ſuſpected a Servant of a gloomy or ſullen Countenance.
There is a Luſt in Man no Charm can tame,Of loudly publiſhing his Neighbour's Shame:On Eagles Wings immortal Scandals fly,While virtuous Actions are but born and die.HARVEY'S JUVENAL.
A SECRET, like many other Diſorders, is Epidemical and Contagious, but in the whole Hiſtory of Phyſick, none is more Inſtant, or whoſe Quality is more Diffuſive. —Every Part of human Matter is immediately affected, and the firſt Symptom, moſt [Page 40] commonly appears on the Tongue. To curious Perſons, this Malady would afford an Infinity of Obſervations.—Where a Secret takes its Riſe from Charity, Good-nature, Friendſhip, Benevolence, or other remarkable Virtues, be aſſured the Diſorder is not of long Continuance. It attacks us, and we muſt be a little ſenſible of its Power, but it ſoon flies off by the Operation of the Lips.—Some have been cured by ſaying, I never thought him that Sort of Man.—He's a great Cheat, if what you ſay be true.— That may be, but to be ſure, he had his Ends in it.—I find Miracles are not ceas'd.—I've a little of the THOMAS in me—and ſo on.— Againſt this Sort of Peſtilence, the Biſhop need never order public Prayers; for when it happens, it ſeldom goes beyond the Neighbourhood, but never marches to the next Pariſh.
ON the other Hand, when the Plague of Secrecy has its Source from Scandal, Malice, Envy, and ſometimes, mere Ignorance, the Effects are aſtoniſhing. Every Breaſt is enflam'd, and the Fire communicates itſelf like Electricity. The Heart ſwells, and the Tongue, with loud Clamour, utters Millions of Falſehoods.—The farther the Contagion ſpreads, the Diſorder encreaſes its Force, nor does it ſtop, till it encounters ſome new Frenzy or Secret.
[Page 41] THOUGH the learned Dr. Mead has been ſilent on this Article, yet it certainly is of as ſubtil and poiſonous a Nature, as any mentioned in his Hiſtory.—Indeed it ſeldom carries its baneful Influence to the Life of the Perſon pointed at, but it violently attacks, and often deſtroys the Reputation, the Bread, the Peace and Happineſs of whole Families. The Doctor may cure th'enraged Maſtiff's Bite; but who can heal the Wounds that Slanderers Tongues have made? —Dr. Monroe, is a Stranger to this Species of Madneſs, nor did I ever hear that Mr. Ward has attempted to palliate it. If 'tis not in Phyſick to relieve this dreadful Malady, what Prayers ſhould we not offer up, to avert the Evil!
DO thou therefore, kind Reader, give up thy Neighbour or thy Friend, who labours under this Madneſs.—Avoid him; —his Breath is Infectious, and the Saliva of his Tongue, will deſtroy thy Peace.—Liſten not to his Words, neither repeat them.—Be firm in Truth, and the Peſt may eſcape thee, and perhaps, in Time, the Name of the Malady may be loſt.
BUT to return.—The mighty Secret was now in the Poſſeſſion of every Servant, mounting by Degrees, till it arrived to Mrs. Betty Tittle, Lady Truegood's Woman; [Page 42] who, like a good Chriſtian, ſuffer'd not the Sun to go down, till ſhe imparted the valuable Diſcovery to her Ladyſhip.—'Tittle, ſaid her Ladyſhip, I can't imagine what ails the Servants: Surely ſomething muſt have vaſtly pleas'd them, they ſeem ſo merry!—Tittle put her Handkerchief to her Face to hide her Bluſhes.'—'Pray, ſaid my Lady, what is the Matter?—I ſuppoſe ſome Maid has got a Sweetheart, or ſtolen a Wedding, or ſome ſuch Thing.' —'No indeed, Mem, ſaid Tittle, I aſſure your Laſhip, there's nothing like a Wedding in the Caſe.'—'I hope, reply'd my Lady, there is nothing worſe, though you are all too apt to laugh at Miſchief; but whatever it is, I inſiſt Mrs. Tittle, you'll inſtantly tell me.—Lord Mem, ſaid Tittle, I don't know how to ſpeak of naughty Things, eſpecially to your Laſhip; but all the Servants knows as well as I, for Mrs. Mathews and Jenny told me of it, and they went to ſee the Child.'— Child! cry'd my Lady, greatly alarm'd, what Child.'—I once more deſire, and I lay my Commands on you, to tell me the whole Story this Moment.'—'I hope, ſaid Tittle, your Laſhip won't be angry with me; but 'tis only, pleaſe your Laſhip, that Molly Connor, the Miller's [Page 43] Daughter, made Mr. Kindly a Preſent of a fine Boy this Morning. The Nurſe brought it Home, becauſe Mr. Kindly would not pay for its Keeping this four or five Years, ſo the poor Man was forced to take the Child, and ſend it to John Long's; and indeed, pleaſe your Laſhip, that's all, only they ſay, that the Boy is ſeven or eight Years old, and as like Mr. Kindly as two Peas; but they ſay Mem.— Hold your impertinent Tongue, ſaid my Lady, is this the Occaſion of ſo much Giggle?—You are an ungrateful Pack. I am ſure 'tis falſe, therefore I charge you all, not to appear before me with ſuch ſaucy Airs.'—'Indeed Mem, ſaid Tittle, if I've ſaid any thing to offend your Laſhip.—Yes, Madam, ſaid my Lady, you have very greatly offended me, and ſo you have all; but hold your ſcandalous Tongue, and leave me this Minute.'
POOR Mrs. Tittle was not only vaſtly diſappointed, but greatly frighten'd, as ſhe had never heard her Ladyſhip ſpeak in ſuch a Manner, or ſeem in ſuch a Paſſion.—She inform'd the reſt, of the Reception ſhe met with; and the Faces of the Servants ſeem'd more compos'd at Supper. They were quite ſurpriz'd at the Oddity of her Ladyſhip's Temper, and quoted many Examples [Page 44] diametrically oppoſite.'—‘I'm ſure, ſaid Mrs. Tittle, had I told as much to Squire Smart's Lady, we ſhould have laugh'd together about it, the whole live long Night!—Ay, ay, ſaid Mrs. Mathews, God bleſs the good Lady Malign. When I waited on her in Yorkſhire, many a Gown and Petticoat, and Smock, have I gotten for telling her half as much; but to be ſure ſome People think themſelves wiſer than all the World.'—'Hold, hold, ſaid Tom Blunt the Butler; 'Now d'ye ſee, if ſo be that as how, my Lady is wrong, ſhe'll do you Right; and if my Lady is right, how like Fools and Ninni-hammers will you all look? So d'ye ſee, take a Fool's Advice, and go and ſleep upon't.—Tom went to Bed, and as he left them no more to ſay, we may ſuppoſe they follow'd his Example.’
MY Lord and Lady were now retir'd, when ſhe reveal'd to him with an Air of Concern and Emotion, what Mrs. Tittle had told her, every now and then aſking his Advice and Opinion.—'My dear Betty, reply'd my Lord, don't be uneaſy; I've heard of this Affair pretty much in the ſame Manner. I've privately examin'd into it, and have great Reaſon to applaud Mr. Kindly's Conduct. As you always [Page 45] judge right, I am not ſurpriz'd at your checking the Tattling of Servants, which, if once encourag'd, as ignorant People too frequently do, 'tis impoſſible to ſay where it may end: However, continued his Lordſhip, as trifling as this Affair is, I hope to make it uſeful. When I bring it on the Carpet; I muſt beg your Aſiſtance.'—'My dear Harry, ſaid my Lady, I ſhall not fail; but come to Bed, and if you think proper, tell me then all the reſt.'
Hail wedded Love! myſterious Law! true SourceOf Human Off-ſpring! ſole ProprietyIn Paradiſe, of all Things common elſe!By thee adult'rous Luſt was driv'n from ManAmong the Beſtial Herds to range: By thee,Founded in Reaſon, loyal, juſt, and pure,Relations dear, and all the CharitiesOf Father, Son, and Brother, firſt were known!MILTON.
AS the Reader muſt reſide with Lord and Lady Truegood for ſome Time, perhaps they will be pleas'd at being properly acquainted with them. To thoſe who know not their Perſons, I can only introduce them to their Perſonal Conduct, and Family Behaviour. This may be as uſeful and entertaining, and rather leſs tedious, than a Deſcription of their Features, their Stature, or other viſible Marks of Elegance, Beauty, or Deformity.
[Page 47] HIS Lordſhip had about Five Thouſand a Year in Ireland, and about Two Thouſand in England, all in his own Power. Her Ladyſhip was the Daughter of Sir William Templeton, of Lancaſhire. She was Heireſs to Two Thouſand Pounds a Year in that County; and his Lordſhip's Eſtate lay contiguous to it. Miſs Templeton was endow'd with all thoſe Charms that Men of Senſe admire, becauſe they know they are laſting. Her Wit and Knowledge had that Sort of ſprightly and ſolid Turn, that enliven'd, at the ſame Time, it pleas'd and improv'd her Hearers. Her many Virtues were more admir'd than imitated; and her Perſon, tho' not a Beauty, was ſo genteel and elegantly neat, that ſhe rais'd Deſire in every Breaſt, and commanded more than common Reſpect. They had been well acquainted when Children; and from the Intimacy of each Family, a Friendſhip, if not ſomething ſtronger, inſenſibly grew up with them. His Collegiate Studies being over, and his Father dead, he was ſent to finiſh the Accompliſhments of a Gentleman by Travel. In this Time he conſtantly correſponded with Miſs Betty Templeton, and the moſt agreeable and entertaining Letters paſs'd, greatly to their Satisfaction and mutual Improvement. Mr. Johnſton, [Page 48] a Clergyman, and his Lordſhip's Tutor and Companion, vaſtly encourag'd theſe good Diſpoſitions in his Pupil, foreſeeing the happy Conſequences that might ariſe from it.
AT Twenty-four Years of Age, his Lordſhip return'd from his Travels, a truly polite, and well-bred Man.—He found Miſs Templeton, now about Nineteen Years of Age, with every Qualification he could wiſh in a Wife.—He ſpoke to her, at ſome Diſtance, on that Head, and found her Anſwers ſenſible and juſt, and no-ways againſt his Views.—His Lordſhip, then, apply'd to Mrs. Jordon, a Widow Lady, and Aunt to Miſs, who had bred her from a Child, and ſupply'd the Loſs of a Mother. The good Lady was overjoy'd to put her dear Niece into the Hands of a Nobleman of ſuch Fortune; and whoſe great Good-nature, and many Virtues, promis'd a Life of real Happineſs and Content.
HIS Lordſhip now paid his Addreſſes publickly; every one agreeing, they were born for each other.—A Jointure was ſoon fix'd on; but the Settling his Eſtate was a Matter of ſome Difficulty, as his Notions on that Head were uncommon.—He always thought, that the Undutifulneſs of [Page 49] Children to their Parents, eſpecially of the Eldeſt Son, proceeded often from a Knowledge of the Fortune they were entitled to, at their Father's Deceaſe.—His Lordſhip convinced the young Lady of the Abſurdity of placing Children out of the Power of Parents, either to reward ſome for their Goodneſs, or chaſtiſe others for their Miſdeeds. At laſt he perſwaded her Guardians, and Four Thouſand Pounds a Year was ſettled on the Iſſue of the Marriage, in ſuch Proportion, as my Lord thought proper to make by Will, or any future Deed or Gift, except an Eſtate of Five Hundred Pounds a Year, which ſhould follow the Title: Two Thouſand Pounds a Year, and Ten Thouſand Pounds in Money, was ſettled on Miſs Templeton; and my Lord reſerv'd the Remainder as a Settlement on any future Wife, or to be diſpoſed of, as he thought proper. —The young Lady was ſo weak, that ſhe abſolutely inſiſted, that Pin, or Alimony, ſhould not be mentioned in any of the Writings.—All theſe Matters being regularly adjuſted, the Day was fix'd, and Mr. Johnſton joyn'd their Hands, and compleated the Happineſs of this truly affectionate Pair.
MY Lord and Lady ſtay'd above Two Years in England; but finding his Preſence [Page 50] quite neceſſary in Ireland, to ſettle his Fortune, which had ſomewhat ſuffer'd by the Death of his Father, and his own long Abſence, he haſten'd over, and determin'd chiefly to reſide there.—He took with him his two Sons, Henry and William, with my Lady's Aunt, Mrs. Jordon, and a numerous Retinue of Servants.—Mr. Johnſton had been already there Twelve Months, and ſettled in a good Living, which my Lord had procured him.
BOUNTY-HALL, the Seat of Lord True-good, was a regular, well-built Houſe, tho' not altogether in the Modern Taſte.—The Company, to congratulate my Lord and Lady on their ſafe Arrival, was very numerous and very gay. They ſeem'd free, and of chearful Diſpoſitions, inviting my Lord and Family to their Houſes, in ſuch an hearty ſincere Manner, as quite pleas'd and ſurpriz'd my Lady and Mrs. Jordon, who were not a little prejudiced againſt the Iriſh. —Mrs. Jordon could not avoid telling my Lord, ſhe lik'd them extreamly, but wiſh'd they'd ſpeak with another Tone of Voice.— My Lord laugh'd, and ſaid, ‘I aſſure you, one of the Ladies ask'd me, if all the Engliſh ſpoke in ſo ſtrange a Manner as Mrs. Jordon? But ſhe added, ſhe believ'd you were a very good Lady, for all that.’ [Page 51] —My Lady and her Aunt ſmil'd, and took this tender Rebuke in the proper Manner; acknowledging, that Infant Prejudices were difficult to remove, but hoped, Time would get the better of ſome of them.
MRS. JORDON took great Pains to reform the Pronunciation of the People. She made ſuch Progreſs in tranſplanting the Lancaſhire Dialect, that on her Return to that County, ſhe was heartily laugh'd at, and by her Friends was conſtantly called an Iriſh Bog-Trotter,—a Brogue-a-neer,—a Teague, and ſundry other endearing Names. —But I muſt follow my Lord.
HIS firſt Care was to get out of the Hands of the Lawyers, for he had three Chancery Suits: Two of them he ſoon finiſhed in an amicable Manner, but the Third was ſo glaring an Affront on his Underſtanding and his Right, that he would hear of no Compoſition, leſt he might be tax'd with Weakneſs, and draw on himſelf others.— This determin'd him to proſecute the Suit with the utmoſt Vigour; and the Expedition of the Law was ſuch, that the Cauſe was ripe for an Hearing, juſt as my Lord— became a Grandfather.
WHILST his Law Affairs were put in a Channel, he at the ſame Time ſettled with his different Receivers, two of whom he [Page 52] diſcharged, as likewiſe his Auditor, taking that Branch into his own Management. He oblig'd his Receivers to return him Monthly Abſtracts of their Receipts and Payments, by which he was enabled to ſettle each Tenant's Account, and at one View, knew their Arrear, and gave Orders for Severity or Indulgence, as the Circumſtances required.
As my Lord's chief Reſidence was in the Country, he ſaw, with real Uneaſineſs, the wretched Condition of the poor Inhabitants. Their Idleneſs and Sloth, with the Swarms of ignorant Prieſts, and the Treatment of ſome Landlords, kept them in a conſtant miſerable Situation, and even depriv'd them of ſufficient Spirits to wiſh a Change of Condition. My Lord clearly ſaw, that ſuch Diſpoſitions could never improve the Face of the Country. He conſidered, that the People, however poor and miſerable, were by Nature, ſtrong; and, when ſet on by Example and Encouragement, were not the leaſt Docile of all Nations. Theſe Sort of Reflections, as a faithful and good Subject, engroſſed his whole Thoughts. He knew, that the Strength of the Crown, was in the Number of faithful Inhabitants; and, to reclaim thoſe who were otherwiſe, was a [Page 53] Duty worthy the Attention of every Man who lov'd the King or his own Happineſs.
AT a Meeting of the Juſtices of the Peace for the County, his Lordſhip very pathetically laid before them, what Popery was productive of, in a Proteſtant Government; or, as it is elegantly expreſs'd by the brighteſt Genius of the Age,* ‘That the ſpeculative Errors (of POPERY) would only deſerve Pity, if their pernicious Influence upon CIVIL SOCIETY did not both REQUIRE and AUTHORIZE Reſtraint.’ That the Laws againſt Papiſts, tho' ſevere in the Letter, and tho' moſtly taken from the Edicts of France againſt Hugonots, but greatly ſoften'd, were connived at, and, in a great Meaſure, made uſeleſs.—That the Condition of the poorer Sort in Ireland, was a Scandal to a Nation who piqued themſelves at being Polite and Humane, and almoſt compell'd the few Strangers who viſited the Country, to imagine they were rather with the Natives of the Cape of Good Hope, than in a civilized Kingdom.—That as natural Juſtice and Tenderneſs obliged us to indulge them with a Prieſt in each Pariſh; yet Juſtice and Tenderneſs to ourſelves, [Page 54] ought to oblige us to proſecute every Interloper who attempted to officiate.—He added, that he was ſo convinced of the Neceſſity of it, he was determin'd to begin in his own Diſtrict, and wiſh'd every one preſent would concur with him.
MANY Debates aroſe: but the chief Oppoſition was from tender Minds, who fear'd ſuch a Conduct would be call'd a Perſecution. One of the Gentlemen anſwer'd, he did not doubt, but Popery would blacken it with every odious Name.—That whatever was the Practice of other Nations, he was far from Oppreſſing or Forcing the Wills or Conſciences of Men in religious Matters.— That the preſent Debate was not ſo much levell'd at their Religion, as the preventing the Ignorant being deceived and impoveriſhed by thoſe who pretended to the Name of it—as in the Caſe of Gypſies and Fortune-tellers, who rob the Weak, where a Juſtice of the Peace may, and ought, to ſend them to the Houſe of Correction, if not to the Plantations.—That the Maxim was perfectly true, in Regard to Ireland, that Ignorance was the Mother of Devotion; and that, were it poſſible to give the poor Natives a little Learning, they would be Honeſter, more Induſtrious, and in Time, find out how groſly they were deceived.
[Page 55] MUCH more was ſaid on the Occaſion, and all agreed to do their utmoſt for the Relief of the Poor, in Reſpect to Supernumerary Prieſts, and in every other Way for the General Good.—A few Examples being made, obliged thoſe Holy Nuſances to ſhift their Abode, and fly to a County in the Weſt, where One or Two Hundred extraordinary, were little regarded; and where Fryaries are common, and Nunneries more open, than at Hammerſmith near London.
THAT the poorer Sort might not want Examples of Induſtry to ſpur them on, my Lord annually ſettled two or three poor Lancaſhire Families on the Home Eſtate. He built them decent Dwellings, and lett them proper Farms. The more Children they had, his private Encouragement was the greater.
HIS happy Imagination ſuggeſted to him a Scheme, productive of more Good, than was at firſt thought on.—He gave out, that in Compaſſion to the Poor of the Pariſh, he would take and maintain Ten Boys, not older than Twelve, or younger than Seven Years of Age, and have them taught ſome Trade or Buſineſs, that they might earn their Bread in an honeſt Way. The poor People preſs'd their Children on him with ſuch Eagerneſs, that he might have had an Hundred. [Page 56] His Number was fix'd for Boys; but he permitted my Lady to add Ten Girls to his Plan. For theſe he built a convenient Houſe; maintain'd, and uniformly cloath'd, and fix'd a Proteſtant Family from the North, to teach them two Hours a Day to Read, and the Remainder, in ſuch Branches of the Linen Manufacture, as their Age would admit of.
MY Lord made Regulations as he ſaw convenient. The Progreſs they made gave him vaſt Pleaſure, and her Ladyſhip a rational Amuſement, as ſhe frequently viſited the Children, and heard them ſay their Prayers and Catechiſm, and encouraged them in their Work. In a little Time they were able to join in the Pſalms on Sundays, and their Voices were a great Addition to the Service in a Country Church. Some few Attempts were made to pervert the Children, and make them return to their Parents, and conſequently to Sloth, Ignorance and Filth, but the Actors were ſoon oblig'd to quit the Country, and they were found to be Popiſh School-Maſters, who, generally ſpeaking, are Prieſts in Diſguiſe.
FROM this Hint, ſo ſelf evidently advantageous to the Kingdom, and from the Bounty and infinite Labours of a truly RIGHT REVEREND PRELATE, ſprung thoſe [Page 57] Schools of Induſtry, now known by the Name of the Incoporated Society, for promoting Engliſh Proteſtant Schools in Ireland. The Application of the firſt Subſcription had ſo good an Effect, that HIS MAJESTY ſupported the Scheme by a Royal Charter; and encouraged the Spreading theſe Schools over Ireland, by a Grant of One Thouſand Pounds a Year. This, with the annual Bounties, and caſual Legacies from both Kingdoms, have enabled the Truſtees to extend their Views, and make the Charity more General. A Charity! where not a ſingle Inſtance of Miſapplication can be given. A Charity unparallell'd! and for which the next Generation muſt Bleſs the Promoters, as they muſt feel the happy Conſequences.
FOR fuller Particulars of this noble Charity, I muſt refer my kind Readers to the annual Accounts publiſh'd in Ireland, and by their Correſpondent Society in London. When they examine and ſeriouſly conſider it, if they have Hearts, they muſt rejoice.
BUT to return to my Lord.—Though Part of his Time was given to the Publick, his private Affairs were not neglected. He employ'd the Poor, which is the beſt Sort of Charity, in draining and making good Land of ſome Bogs. He planted Trees of [Page 58] all Sorts. He mended and ſhortened the Roads; and, in a Word, he contrived, and ſpared no Expence in executing, what he judg'd of Publick Utility.
Children like tender Oziers, take the Bow,And as they firſt are faſhion'd always grow:For what we learn in Youth, to that aloneIn Age we are by ſecond Nature prone.DRYDEN.
THOUGH his Lordſhip had began and forwarded theſe great Works, he attended the Britiſh Parliament three Winters, as a Member of the Houſe of Commons. He thought himſelf ill us'd at a new Election, and declined engaging too far, leſt it might fruſtrate his future Views. In ſome Diſguſt at the Treatment he had met with, he return'd to Ireland.
His Son HENRY was now about Five, WILLIAM, Four, and his Daughter HARRIOT, Three Years of Age. Theſe began to demand his particular Attention. Her Ladyſhip was an uncommon Mother, for ſhe had not only taught them what their [Page 59] Age was capable of; but had moſt prudently prevented their being taught ſundry bad Habits, which might never be thoroughly eraſed. Scarcely were any of her Children able to walk, when ſhe took Opportunities of ſending them into the next Room at Night without a Candle; and as they grew up, ſhe found Reaſons to oblige them to go over the whole Houſe in the ſame Manner, neither did ſhe ever permit a Servant to ſtay with them, or a Candle to burn in the Room, when they were put to Bed. No Nurſe or Domeſtick, durſt venture to mention a ſingle Word, or idle Story that could inſpire Fear into the Minds of the Children, except they choſe their immediate Diſcharge, which happened twice or thrice.—By this Method they had no Notion of imaginary Dangers, which ſaved them many uneaſy Hours in their Lives, which others feel for Want of ſuch a Management.
THEIR little Learning was not inculcated by the common Means of Obligation and Duty. If my Lord gave them Halfpence, and they liſten'd to the Story of a poor Perſon, and relieved him, he was in great Delight.—When he had mentioned all the Bleſſings attending a Charitable and Compaſſionate Temper; he'd turn to my Lady, [Page 60] and ſay, ‘My Dear, the Children have been very good, and I deſire you will love and encourage them, and give them Leave to learn as much as they pleaſe.'— To this my Lady anſwer'd, 'Becauſe they have ſo much Senſe as to oblige you, I will take that Trouble on myſelf.’
ON the contrary, was any one of them guilty of a Fault, the higheſt Correction was, being depriv'd of their Book, refuſed being taught their Leſſon, and not regarded in the uſual Manner. On theſe Occaſions, the poor Delinquent was oblig'd to make his Peace, and enter into Grace, by Prayer, Repentance, and double Diligence; yet ſtill, this Matter was ſo contrived, that no Jealouſy could ariſe amongſt them. The Good were ſuffered to pity the Faulty, and intercede for them; and, after the neceſſary Difficulties, always ſucceeded. Often have they requeſted, and even ſupplicated her Ladyſhip to teach them, and ſhe often refus'd, as what gave her too much Pain, or, having other Matters to mind of more Conſequence: However, ſhe commonly ſuffer'd herſelf to be prevail'd on at laſt.
WHATEVER ſome may imagine, there is certainly an Activity or Impulſe in the Soul, that gives it a Deſire and Longing for thoſe Things that are attainable but by Difficulty [Page 61] and Labour; and a Diſregard, and ſometimes, a Loathing even of our real Happineſs or Pleaſure, when, in a Manner, they are forced on us, or too cheaply purchaſed. Whether this ariſes from the Obſtinacy or Perverſeneſs of our Nature; or, is given to convince us, that the Love of Freedom is ſtrongly implanted in our Breaſts; or whether for the wiſe End of employing the Mind, in ſearching after, and ſurmounting Difficulties, and to raiſe in us the Spirit of Emulation and proper Ambition, ſo abſolutely neceſſary to Mankind, I ſhall not determine, as it is out of my Province; but I can ſafely ſay, that whether this Principle ſprings from a Defect or Perfection in our Nature; theſe Parents chang'd the ſtrong Bias, if the Firſt, and cultivated and greatly improved it, if the Latter;—if a Defect, their Manner is ſtill more Praiſe-worthy, as they made it anſwer all the Ends of a Perfection.—The ſame Scheme, varied in Proportion as Age open'd their Minds, was conſtantly purſued in their Education, and the Leſſons and Cuſtoms that were ſown, and had taken Root in their Childhood, grew up inſenſibly into Habits with their Years, and became Conſtitutional.
PRIDE, another Attendant on our Frame, was to be encounter'd and conquer'd by [Page 62] my Lord.—As the little ones were, what is commonly call'd, fine Children, Care was taken to prevent their having too good an Opinion of their Perſons.—The Servants had particular Inſtructions on that Head; nor could they, without greatly diſobliging my Lord, praiſe a Child for its beautiful Face, Skin, or the like. Even the Viſitors were privately requeſted to avoid any Applauſe of that Sort; but when ſome began to extol, my Lord or Lady always drew back the Flattery, by aſſuring the Perſon, that all the Merit Harry had, was his being a good Boy; did what he was bid, ſaid his Prayers, and thank'd God that he had given him all his Limbs, and not made him crooked or deform'd, like many poor Children.
IF my Lady caught Miſs looking too frequently in the Glaſs, and ſeemingly admiring her Features, ſhe order'd a beautiful China Figure to be brought, and deſiring her to obſerve its Complexion, its Eyes, its Teeth, &c. would add,—‘Perhaps this fine Lady is as fond of her dear Perſon as other Folks, and indeed I think, with as good Reaſon; for, do you know, my dear Harriot, what this pretty Thing is made of?—I aſſure you, 'tis of dirty Earth, juſt like you or me; ſo you may [Page 63] well imagine this Lump of Clay has great Reaſon to value itſelf, when in an Inſtant, if I think proper, I can brake it into a Thouſand Pieces, and make it Dirt again.'—Here, ſaid ſhe to a Servant, 'take this Thing away, it ſeems too much pleas'd with itſelf, to pleaſe me, or any body elſe.’—There needed no more to perſuade Miſs Harriot to retire from the Mirror, aſham'd of herſelf and of the Compariſon.
WHEN the Buſineſs of their Book, which was always a voluntary Duty, or rather a Pleaſure, was over, they were indulged in every Amuſement, and not kept up in warm Rooms, to weaken their Sinews and enfeeble their Conſtitutions. The Boys were permitted to ramble in the Fields with a careful Servant or two, and uſe as much Exerciſe as they pleaſed, and their being dirty or wet on thoſe Occaſions, was never counted a Fault.—Sometimes my Lord and Lady were vaſtly amus'd, in entering into the Spirit of their Plays, and my Lord tumbled about the Room and join'd in their Mirth and Paſtime. By this Means, the Children were never happier than when with them. They ſeem'd like Companions and Friends to each other; and, as they had no Secrets to hide, their Behaviour [Page 64] was chearful and without Reſtraint. If ſometimes, they were timorous, it was the Conſequence of Love and Affection, and Fear of diſobliging.
AT their Meals my Lord and Lady inſtructed them without their perceiving their main Deſign; for they never directly applied to any one, or gave them Directions or Advice to do this, or avoid that.—Their Counſel was always given obliquely, by praiſing ſuch a Gentleman's Son, ‘who was ſo extreamly good; that, though no more than Five Years old, he read exceedingly well, had all the Pſalms by heart, and wanted much to learn to Write. ’ Then my Lord would add, ‘I have entreated his Father to indulge the Child, and have prevail'd.'—'I told you, reply'd my Lady, that that Boy would do well, for I have always found him fond of his Book. ’ —Sometimes my Lord much pity'd a Gentleman, who had ſpent a great deal of Money on his Son's Education. 'The Boy, ſaid he, was ſuch a Fool he would learn nothing, but was always with the Servants; ſo that now, the poor Man is obliged to bind him Apprentice to a Captain of a dirty Ship.'—'I am heartily ſorry, reply'd my Lady, for the good Man, and for his ſilly Son; but [Page 65] ſince the Boy would not be a Gentleman, I think his Father was in the Right to oblige him to live in Dirt and Naſtineſs, eſpecially ſince he lov'd it.'
NOT a Word of theſe Sort of Inſinuations was loſt to the Children. Their little Thoughts were ſet to work, and they never failed making the Application. They were very fond of Gay's Fables, and always apply'd to my Lord and Lady for the juſt Meaning when in Doubt, and received Anſwers, not only ſatisfactory, but pleaſant and entertaining. On theſe and every other Occaſion, they were ſpoken to by their Parents and Tutor in proper and elegant Engliſh, and were ſet right if their Anſwers were not in the beſt Terms.
A ſevere Reprimand was ſcarcely ever uſed, but when they were guilty of ſome Act, that had the leaſt Tendency to Cruelty or Ill-nature.—The Torturing a Fly or a Sparrow—a pert Anſwer to a poor Perſon or a Servant, were Crimes, that brought a Rebuke and a Leſſon that ended in Tears, and an Acknowledgment of the Fault; but if they told an Untruth, or prevaricated on any Examination, no Intereſt, nor all the Promiſes they could make, were capable to prevent a Chaſtiſement that made the Guilty and Innocent tremble. The Maxim [Page 66] of my Lord was, never to puniſh in a Paſſion, and as ſeldom as poſſible; but when really neceſſary, to do it effectually; and not make it a mere Ceremony.
WITH regard to their Servants, they were look'd on, almoſt in the Light of Children, and had a natural Right to Protection and Advice. As Servants, they were obliged to a Strictneſs in their Duty, but as Men, they were treated with that Humanity and Tenderneſs every Creature is intitled to. They obey'd their Orders with Alacrity and Chearfulneſs, becauſe they were never given with Haughtineſs, or in an angry Manner.
FOR a Nobleman, he had many uncommon and ſingular Notions. He had Prayers every Morning and Night, and all the Family aſſiſted with great Decency. His Lordſhip thought, that the Duties of Religion, were of the utmoſt Conſequence to Society, and the only Security for the Faith and Confidence of Man to Man.—He was ſurprized, how People could, with Juſtice, complain of the Theft, Drunkenneſs, and other Immoralities of their Servants, when they not only took no Care to perſuade them of the Odiouſneſs of ſuch Practices, by ordering them to attend the Service of [Page 67] the Church, but too frequently gave Examples of theſe Vices themſelves.
THOUGH I have mentioned Theft amongſt the Vices of Gentlemen, ſurely thoſe who run in Debt to Tradeſmen, and ſuffer them to waſte their Time in vain Enquiries after ther Property, commit a Robbery of the blackeſt Kind, and deſerve equal Puniſhment with thoſe Wretches, who have openly ventur'd their Lives to maintain their Extravagancies, and ſometimes to ſatisfy their real Wants.
THIS Sort of Conduct was unknown in the Family, where, on the Delivery of any Commodity, the Value was inſtantly paid. By this Means he was better ſerv'd, leſs impos'd on, and bought cheaper than moſt of his Neighbours. Few Things ſurpriz'd him more, than how a Man can live and pretend to any Degree of Comfort or Content, when indebted to Numbers, and for large Sums.—He imagined that the many Examples of the fatal Conſequence of ſuch abſurd Management, ought to perſuade them into an oppoſite Behaviour; but the Want of Thought or proper Reflection, plung'd them into Extravagance, then into Mortgages, Law-Suits, and Diſcredit.—If poſſible, they avail themſelves of an infamous and ſcandalous Practice, ‘ [Page 68] And fly from Bailiffs into Parliament.’ Still the Evils accumulate, and often end in a Gaol, in the Ruin of their Families, and the Families of many of their Creditors.
MY Lord was not only punctual and exact in his Dealings, but every one under him was almoſt compell'd to the like Conduct, for they knew his being a Nobleman gave them no Authority to commit, nor would protect them from the Puniſhment due to an illegal or unjuſt Action.
METHOD makes ſeeming Difficulties quite eaſy, and a prudent Conduct brings that Peace and Satisfaction of Mind, which we term Happineſs. His Lordſhip's Felicity was not merely confin'd to the Proſpect of his own regular Family; for he had the Pleaſure to obſerve, that many of his Neighbours adopted ſome of his Rules, and that the poorer Sort began to practice a few. —If my Lord and his whole Family were conſtant at Church, the Gentry round, ceaſed to think it ungenteel, and were as conſtant as they.—If my Lord made Reſponſes of the Service, or ſung Pſalms with an audible Voice, and was really intent on the Duties of the Place, the reſt of the Congregation were brought to believe, that their aſſembling was for other Purpoſes [Page 69] than ſhewing their Finery, Gigling, Laughing, Bowing, and the like. The Prevalency of Example, ought to oblige us to a Rectitude of Conduct, for a bad one makes us, in ſome Meaſure, guilty of the Faults of others, as a good one adds to their Virtues, and our own Merit.
AS my Lord and Lady were bleſſed with great Good-nature and Underſtanding, ſo were they happy in a ſincere and mutual Affection. The World was not convinc'd of this from a fooliſh idle Fondneſs, when in Company; but by their Chearfulneſs, good Humour and Complacency to each other, and all preſent.—MY Lord knew of what Human Nature is compounded, and that, to keep up this Harmony, ſo eſſential to their Happineſs, a little Management was ſometimes neceſſary. He knew, that the moſt precious Cordials become inſipid, if too frequently uſed, and that Nothing contributed more to preſerve the true Reliſh of Conjugal Felicity, than a Decency, even to Delicacy.—They roſe early in the Morning, and inſtantly retir'd to their own Apartments, and never appear'd to each other, but, if not as fine, at leaſt as clean, as when going to Court. They were ſo exact in this Point, that they had two Beds in their Chamber, and frequently ſlept aſunder. This gave a [Page 70] Reliſh and a Poignancy to their moſt refined Joys, and brought with it that Sort of Pleaſure that attends on Novelty, without the Aſſiſtance of Variety.
WERE I to be minute on the whole Oeconomy of the Family, this would rather be the Memoirs of Lord TRUEGOOD, than the Hiſtory of JACK CONNOR.—The many Methods he practiſed to avoid Drinking to Exceſs himſelf, and preventing it in others; —His ſundry Contrivances to convince the Poor of the Neceſſity of Labour and Induſtry; His ſucceſsful Arts to aboliſh profane Swearing in his Family and Neighbourhood, and the many Schemes made uſe of, to perſuade the Natives into Juſtice and Honeſty, would fill a Volume.—What has already been ſaid, are merely Sketches, and the Out-lines of the Picture: The nice Finiſhing of the Features, with the Colouring and Drapery, I muſt leave to the Management of the ſkilful Reader, whilſt I purſue the Account of my little Friend.
From Thomas Thumb to Thomas Jones,You'll find ſome Diamonds and ſome Stones.Read where you will, and all remark,Much will be Light, but more be Dark.If Judgment guides not your Intention,The Poet loſes his Invention.ANONIMOUS.
NEXT Morning Mr. Kindly found the Servants in the ſame merry Mood, and very chearfully agreed with them, but could by no Means gueſs the real Cauſe. He forgot not however, to ſend Mrs. Mathews to John Long's, to enquire after little Jack. She return'd in Raptures.—'Lord, Mr. Kindly, ſaid ſhe, I never ſaw ſo fine a Child in all my born Days; to be ſure his Father was a healthy Man, and a good natur'd Man, for the little Fellow is as ſtrong as Herclus, and his Complexion is as fine White and Red, as any King's Son in the Land; and he laughs and ſmiles, and is as happy as any Thing. God bleſs it!—Though I am a Virgin, as I may ſay, yet I thinks I ſhould not bluſh, if he was [Page 72] my own Son, and I am ſure you need not be aſhamed of him, for 'tis no Harm for a Man.'—'How, how, ſaid Kindly, ſo, Mrs. Mathews, you would infer that the Child is mine'—'Eh? Lord, Sir, ſaid ſhe, He's ſo like'—She would have ſaid more, but the Muſcles of her Face took an involuntary Motion, and oblig'd her to run off in a loud Laugh.—‘I believe, ſaid he, I have at laſt found out the Reaſon of ſo much Diverſion in the Family. How apt are People to think amiſs, and invent Scandal. They are happy, when they can indulge the Thought, that their Superiors do wrong; becauſe, in ſome Sort, it brings them down to their own Level, and when we walk in the ſame Line, no wonder if our Authority is diminiſhed.—I'm pleas'd however, they think no worſe of me, for in this they will ſoon find their Error.’—He was going on with many moral Reflections, and conſidering how to proceed, when the Bell ſummoned him to Dinner.
AT Table, my Lady's Woman was a little merry, and gave ſuch Hints about old Men and young Girls, that my Lord's Gentleman could not forbear joyning in the Satyr. He declar'd, that if venerable Neſtors practis'd ſuch Gambols in the Pariſh, he, [Page 73] and all the young Fellows would be obliged to run away for Shame.—‘No, no, Mr. Sympſon, cry'd Mrs. Tittle, You ought rather to ſtay, when you are ſure of finding an old Fellow to Father your Handy-work.' —Very true indeed, Madam, ſaid Sympſon; but you know they ſay, an old Cock treads ſure.’—At this witty Stroke Mrs. Tittle laugh'd immoderately, and fix'd her Eyes on Mr. Kindly, but the Butler look'd grave, and having empty'd his Glaſs, ſaid, ‘Why lookee, Madam, d'ye ſee, when I am in Company, I love to underſtand what the Company ſay; ſo, d'ye ſee, becauſe as how, I don't know what you and that Gentleman laugh at, mayhap it is at me. If ſo, out with it a God's Name, for if it be true, I'll own it, but if it be a Lye, as I ſuſpect it is, keep it to yourſelves, for I can't ſcold with a Gilflirt, and I have ſomething elſe to do, than knock down a Butterfly. ’—Then clapping his Hand on Madam the Governant's Shouder, who had not ſpoke a Word, cry'd,— ‘What ſay you, Madam, to all this? You that know the very Marrow and Quinteſſence of good Manners. For my Part, d'ye ſee, I am for letting every Tub ſtand on its own Bottom.—That's my Way, Mamzell. ’
[Page 74] ‘Mon Dieu, Monſieur de Butler, ſaid Mademoiſelle le Meagre, I protes I am quite confus. Mademoiſelle Tittel, ſhe talk of de Men, and of de Girl, and laff ſo mouch, dat I aſſure you is ver mouch contre de bien Séance. Monſieur Kindly ſay noting, but Monſieur de Sympſon he laff at one Monſieur Neſtor and Monſieur Oldcock, but ſay noting non plus, and Monſieur Butler, he look ſerieux, and make a beau Diſcours on de Gilfleur, de Papillon and a Tub.—Bon Dieu! I underſtand not one Syllabe.'—'I proteſt, Madamoiſelle, ſaid Mr. Kindly, you are juſt on a Par with the Reſt of the good Company; but People of Wit and fine Teeth, are apt to ſhew their Excellencies.’—In all Probability Mrs. Tittle was going to make ſome very ſmart Anſwer, when a Servant entered, and told Mr. Kindly, that my Lord deſired the Favour of his Company, which broke up the Party for this Time.
MR. CASSOCK, a young Clergyman, who was Tutor to the Children, conſtantly dined with my Lord, where Mr. Kindly was often ſent for, as his Lordſhip particularly eſteemed him; for he was moſt careful and diligent in his Duty, of juſt Principles, and ſtrong and nervous Underſtanding. Mr. Kindly found only my Lord, my Lady and [Page 75] the Chaplain at Table. When two or three Glaſſes, and ſome common Chat had gone round, my Lady aſk'd him when he heard from his Sons?—'Very lately, Madam, ſaid Mr. Kindly, thank God, and this good Family, the Boys are in a Way of advancing themſelves; for they know that their Virtue and Induſtry only can recommend them to his Lordſhip's Favour and Protection.'—They ſhall not want that, reply'd my Lord, my laſt Letters mention your Son Jack, as the moſt diligent Reader in the Temple. I was ſo pleas'd with the Character they gave him, that I have wrote to my Friend and Relation, the Lord Chancellor, in his Favour; ſo that, who knows but Councellor Kindly may be imported into this Kingdom with the next Chancellor?'—The good old Man could not refrain from Tears of Joy.— 'You have not mentioned, ſaid my Lady, how my Favourite Billy is; he was always fond of going to Church, and Reading Prayers; ſo, of Courſe he muſt be a Parſon.'—'Yes, Madam, ſaid Kindly, he was ſo inclin'd.—Thank God, he is in good Health, and minds his Duty in the College, but I fear he reads too much, for I'm informed he intends to ſit for the next Fellowſhip, unknown to his Friends.'— [Page 76] Mr. Kindly, ſaid my Lady, you are very happy in your Sons, and I aſſure you, your Daughter Betty has her Share of Merit. She is a very good Girl, and minds her Work with Mrs. Le Meagre extreamly well. In a Year or two ſhe will be able to manage a Houſe; ſo, Mr. Kindly, you muſt open your Bags, and I ſhall try and get her a good Huſband.'—'I humbly thank your Ladyſhip, ſaid Kindly; but a Child of Sixteen, bred up ſo much under your Ladyſhip's good Inſtructions, I hope can't entertain Thoughts of that Sort.'—'Who, reply'd my Lord, can tell the Thoughts of Girls! We muſt leave them to Time; but Mr. Kindly, ſince your three Children are in ſome Meaſure provided for, I ſhould be glad to know, if you have any more, that I could aſſiſt you in.'—More, my Lord, ſaid Kindly, I proteſt I don't rightly comprehend your Lordſhip.' — 'Why, Mr. Kindly, ſaid the Chaplain, you bluſh, and that is a ſure Sign of your comprehending; but ſince your Memory is ſo bad, permit me to rub it up, by aſking you a ſingle Queſtion.'—'Sir, reply'd Kindly, you may aſk as many as you pleaſe; but, as I am ignorant of any particular Obligation, I ſhall certainly only [Page 77] give you ſuch Anſwers as I think proper.'—'Guilty, guilty, my Lord, cried the Parſon, 'tis plain by his Evaſions.— Come, come, old Gentleman, to the Point, anſwer fairly, Have you not been Fleſh and Blood?—Did not Temptation appear in the Shape of Molly Connor, the Miller's Daughter;—And was not the Fruit of your Labour a —'a Baſtard, ſaid Kindly, Is it not ſo you mean, Sir?' —'Juſt ſo, indeed, Sir, reply'd the Chaplain, a fine chopping Boy.'
'SINCE, ſaid Mr. Kindly, my Lord and Lady are preſent at the heavy Charge laid on me by this very young Gentleman, I think myſelf bound in Duty to anſwer. —Your Lordſhip knows me incapable of Falſhood, therefore I aver, in the moſt ſolemn Manner, there is not the leaſt Foundation for ſo malicious and ſcandalous a Report. I am not ignorant of the Cauſe. and ſhall fully ſatisfy my Lord and Lady, but not before this worthy Gentleman, to whom I hope to be permitted to aſk a Queſtion or two, in my Turn.'—'Undoubtedly, ſaid my Lady, 'tis but fair and juſt.'—'Stand faſt, Mr. Caſſock, ſaid my Lord, or Old Kindly will be too many for you.'—'Oh, my Lord, anſwered Caſſock, I fear no one but an old Woman; if he [Page 78] will prove himſelf ſuch, I ſhall run for it immediately.'—Very well, Sir, ſaid Kindly, very well; will your Reverence permit me to ask, How would you have behaved to me, if I vented on you the ſame Wit and Slander you were juſt now ſo good to beſtow ſo liberally upon me?—I hope, Sir, reply'd Caſſock, the Dignity of my Function makes a wide Difference between me, and People in your Sphere.'— You mean, Sir, ſaid Kindly, that it ought to make a wide Difference; but as you ſeem to want that Knowledge, I ſhall, with my Lord's Permiſſion, tell you wherein the Dignity conſiſts.—When we, the poor Laity, who work for, and pay you, are Proud, Tyrannical, Envious, and the like, your Function obliges you to Meekneſs, Modeſty, Love, and univerſal Charity, and Good-will to all Mankind, that we may ſee and admire the Charms of ſuch a Conduct, and be almoſt compell'd to imitate it; 'tis then, and then only, that a real Dignity is added to your Function; but when a Parſon buſies himſelf only about his Tythes, is immoral, too low-minded, or too full of Grandeur, to help or adminiſter Comfort to his poor Pariſhioners;—when he notoriouſly follows God for the Loaves and the Fiſhes;—when [Page 79] he performs the Offices of the Church, with his Eyes wandering to every Object, and his Hand adjuſting a new-acquir'd Tippet, or diſplaying a Brilliant Ring;—when he forgets the Fervour of his Duty, and ſeems to Read with a ſlighting Indifference;—when he takes no Pains to reconcile the Diviſions of his Neighbours, but foments little Animoſities, and adds Slander to Slander, 'tis then, tho' his Function remains, his Dignity is lower'd even below the Sexton's.—Now, Mr. Caſſock, if you know any of your Brethren who act in this Manner, tho' they preach like Angels, you may aſſure them, the ignorant Laity will hold them, and their Dignity, in very great Contempt,—at leaſt I promiſe you, John Kindly will.'
'WELL ſaid, old Gentleman, cry'd my Lord, upon my Word a notable Diſcourſe!—Diſcouſe, ſaid my Lady, I really think it a moſt admirable Leſſon.—Why, Mr. Caſſock, continued ſhe, Mr. Kindly has furniſh'd you with Texts enow for twenty Sermons.'—Ay, ay, ſaid my Lord, but I hope Mr. Caſſock's good Senſe will rather incline him to apply the Moral, which will certainly add to my good Opinion of him.'
[Page 80] 'MR. CASSOCK bluſh'd, but anſwer'd, I am not ſo vain as to believe myſelf faultleſs; but perhaps I may be guilty of ſome, that I have not properly attended to. To ſhew your Lordſhip my Willingneſs to amend, I am extreamly pleaſed at Mr. Kindly's plain Dealing, and ſhall endeavour to take the Hint.'—'And I am, ſaid my Lord, as much pleas'd, you take his honeſt Freedom in the true Light; for, believe me, 'tis leſs criminal to commit a Fault, than impatiently to bear a gentle Admonition.'—'Sir, ſaid Kindly to the Chaplain, ſince you are ſo good to forgive me, I moſt heartily aſk your Pardon, if I have made Uſe of any unguarded Expreſſions.'—'Why, ſaid my Lady, this Matter is ſettled juſt as it ought to be;— but about this Boy, for a Boy there certainly is.'—'Madam, ſaid Kindly, if you will permit me, I ſhall mention all I know of this Affair.'—'We can ſpare you that Trouble, ſaid my Lord, for my Lady and I know it already; but let us ſend for the young Stranger, for I long to ſee him.'—'I was, ſaid my Lady, as impatient as you, and have ſent for him already.'—She rung the Bell, and having enquir'd of the Servant, was told, John Long's Wife had been in the Kitchen this [Page 81] half Hour.—‘Then, ſaid my Lady, pray deſire her, and her little Charge to come in.’—All the Servants had been admiring poor Jack, and mounted with him and Mrs. Long, almoſt into the Parlour. Mrs. Long made her profound Honours, and my Lady ſpoke very tenderly to her, and of her Family.—Mr. Kindly then preſented Jack Connor, ſaying, ‘My Lord, this is my little Boy, who is much improv'd ſince Yeſterday.’
MRS. LONG had taken great Care to waſh him well and clean, and comb his Head. His fine light-brown Hair hung in natural Curls, and his Complexion was remarkably good. He had clean Linen, and his own red Waiſtcoat and old Breeches; but the good Woman had not yet given him a Coat, nor Shoes nor Stockings.
MY Lord and Lady ſeem'd charm'd with his Countenance, tho' the poor Child was in the utmoſt Confuſion and Aſtoniſhment.—My Lord's two Sons now came in, and my Lady call'd them to her.—'My dear Harry, ſaid ſhe, here is a poor little Boy that has loſt his Father and Mother, and was ſtripp'd of all his Cloaths. I believe he is a very good Child; ſo, you know, 'twould be a Sin to let him go quite naked, and ſtarve.'—'O dear, ſaid [Page 82] Harry, indeed I'll give him my brown Coat and Breeches.'—'And indeed, Madam, ſaid Billy, I'll give him a Shirt and a Pair of Stockings.'—'And I'm ſure, ſaid Harry, my Shoes will be large enough.' —They ſaw my Lady's conſenting Looks, and inſtantly ran to perform their Promiſe. All were pleas'd at the Tenderneſs and Good-nature of the Children; and whilſt they were abſent, Mr. Kindly ask'd Jack, where was his Book? The Boy could juſt ſay, 'here, Sir,' and gave it him.—‘This Book, my Lord, ſaid Kindly, has greatly prejudiced me in Favour of this poor Child. I caught him reading in it, and I made him turn to another Part, which he diſtinctly read; and, by Accident, it was this Paragraph.’—Mr. Kindly gave the Book to Mr. Caſſock, who read it, which affected my Lord, but brought Tears into my Lady Eyes.
‘THERE ſeems to me, ſaid my Lord, ſomewhat remarkable in the Story of this Child; I'll try him a little.’ Then turning to Mrs. Long, told her to leave the Boy with him. When Mrs. Long had retired, he took Jack between his Knees, and with great Fondneſs and Good-humour, ask'd him many Queſtions, and received ſhort, but very proper Anſwers. He then ſhew'd [Page 83] him a Guinea and a Shilling, but the Child knew not what they were. At laſt he produc'd an Halfpenny, and Jack readily told the Name.—'Well, my Dear, ſaid my Lord, what will you do with that Halfpenny? —I muſt, reply'd Jack, give it to my Mother, for I always give it to her.'— And which Way, ſaid my Lord, do you get an Halfpenny?'—'I run, ſaid the Child, after every Body in the Road, and they give me an Hapeny for the Love of God.' 'That's my good Child, ſaid my Lord;' and turning to Mr. Kindly, added, I can eaſily diſcover the Profeſſion of his Parents, or thoſe he was with; but his Reading and his Accent, I own, ſurprize me. However, ſince Providence has directed him to take Sanctuary in my Houſe, I am determin'd to take Care of him.— I think, continued he, the ſaving an Innocent from Perdition, and breeding him up in virtuous Principles, is in Fact giving him a new Birth, and encreaſing our own Happineſs, in the ſame Degree we give it to others.'—'The Power, ſaid my Lady, of doing Good, is certainly the higheſt Gratification a rational Mind is capable of receiving.'—'True, indeed Madam, ſaid Kindly, your Power to do Good, is Great, but Heaven has added another [Page 84] Bleſſing to you both, in giving you Hearts and Minds ready and willing to exerciſe that Power on every proper Object.—In the Name of this poor tender Creature, I humbly thank your Lordſhip, and my good Lady; and I pray God he may live to ſhew his Gratitude to ſuch bountiful Benefactors.'
THE two Boys, by this Time, had got the Cloaths, and running with them into the Parlour, were going immediately to ſtrip poor Jack, but my Lord ſtopp'd them, and kiſſing Harry, told him, 'He was ſo good and charitable, he would give him the prettieſt little Horſe he could get, and a Bridle and Saddle.'—'And becauſe, ſaid my Lady, my dear Billy follow'd his Brother's good Example, I ſhall do as much for him.'—The Children were quite happy, and Harry ran, as my Lord bid him, for Mrs. Long.—‘Here, Mrs. Long, ſaid my Lord, take back your little Fellow for this Night. Dreſs him in theſe Cloaths, and be ſo good to come with him To-morrow, for we all intend to take ſome Care of Jack. ’—His Lordſhip then put the Boy and Half a Guinea into her Hand, and ſhe bleſs'd their Honours, and retir'd.—Before Mrs. Long quitted the Houſe, Mr. Kindly deſir'd her to pack [Page 85] up all the old Rags belonging to Jack, and bring them to him.
What can our Judgment or our Prudence doIf Chains of Accidents concur not too?One happy Accident, One lucky Hit,Out-ballances our Wiſdom and our Wit.ANONIMOUS.
MRS. LONG found the Coat and other Things, fitted Jack very well, and had dreſs'd him with great Neatneſs. On his Arrival at my Lord's, the whole Family admir'd his Strength and his exact Make, but he ſeem'd more aukward than before, and was very uneaſy with his Shoes. Mr. Kindly provided him with ſome Neceſſaries, and employ'd him in attending my Lord's Sons in their Amuſements, and in cleaning their Shoes, and bruſhing their Coats. At leiſure Times he heard him read in the Bible, or his own Book, and my Lord and Lady often did the ſame.
IN ſix Months the Boy was quite chang'd. The chearful and happy Diſpoſition indulg'd him by Nature, ſhew'd itſelf on a [Page 86] thouſand Occaſions; inſomuch, that he became a general Favourite, and was ſenſible of his Happineſs. Mr. Kindly, from Time to Time gave him ſuch Leſſons of Duty and Gratitude, as ſuited his Age, and Mr. Caſſock taught him his Prayers, Catechiſm, and other Matters, equal with my Lord's Children.
ONE Day, as Mr. Kindly was writing in his Office, Jack approach'd him, and bluſhing, but with a modeſt Smile, look'd up, and ſeem'd as if he had a Favour to ask. —'Well Jack, ſaid the good Man, d'ye want another Book.'—'No indeed, Sir, reply'd the Child, I don't want a Book.' —'Why, you Rogue, ſaid Kindly, I hope you are not tir'd of Reading?' 'Yes indeed, Sir, ſaid Jack.' 'O ho, ſaid the old Man, very well, ſince you will not read, and be a good Boy, I ſhall get you a Leather Coat and Cap, and you ſhall be a Poſtillion, and lie with the Horſes.' Jack's Countenance chang'd, his Eyes ſwell'd, and he burſt into a violent Fit of Crying.—Mr. Kindly was a long Time before he could dry his Tears, or get him to ſpeak and explain what he wanted.—‘Sir, ſaid Jack at laſt, indeed and indeed, I am not tir'd of Reading, for if you pleaſe, I would be very good, and write as you [Page 87] do, if you'd give me Pens and Paper.’ —The Tenderneſs of the old Gentleman was touch'd at the Child's Requeſt.—‘Yes, ſaid he, my dear Jack, you ſhall have Pens and Paper, and I will get you a little Desk in the Office, and teach you to write myſelf.’—Jack was quite delighted, and the Novelty of the Employment diverted and pleaſed Mr. Kindly, particularly as his Pupil was ſo apt a Scholar, that in eighteen Months he wrote a very good Hand, and perfectly underſtood the four firſt Rules of Arithmetick.
HE was now about Ten Years of Age, and ſeem'd to have a Faculty in learning whatever he undertook. In the Plays of Children he was dexterous, and in the little Occupations of the Family, he was Handdy and Neat. He had a certain Manner of doing Things, that Nature alone can give, and what ſome can only imitate, even by Labour and Pains. Another natural Gift began at this Time to be remarkable, for he had a fine Voice, and greatly diverted the Maids with Iriſh Songs. Some were of Humour, and requir'd a proper Management of Voice and Words to keep up the Drollery. This he was a perfect Maſter of.
[Page 88] The Boys were one Morning at Play in the Fields, and Mr. Caſſock, who commonly attended them, was, by Accident, at a good Diſtance. Maſter Harry and Jack had ſome Words, and Harry gave him a Blow on the Face. Jack greatly reſented this, and told him, if he was not my Lord's Son, he'd beat him heartily. Harry, fir'd at the Rebuke and Menace, pull'd off his Coat, and flew at him like a little Tiger. Jack defended himſelf without returning a Stroke, though his Hair was almoſt torn off his Head. At laſt he receiv'd a violent Cut which ſtunn'd him, and made his Noſe bleed. He then cried out moſt bitterly, and run directly Home. The Tutor heard his Cries, and ſaw him running, and joining the Boys, Maſter Billy told him the real Truth. As Jack was entering the Houſe, my Lord ſaw him from a Window in his Study, and order'd a Servant to bring him up. With ſome Difficulty he got the Story out of him, and Mr. Caſſock and the two Boys entering with my Lady, my Lord was confirm'd in the Truth of what he ſaid, and looking very ſerious, and in great Concern, ſat down and took up his Book.
'I AM, ſaid my Lady, quite ſurpriz'd and aſtoniſh'd, that Harry could behave [Page 89] in ſo brutal a Manner to a poor Boy that loves him.— Come hither Jack, ſaid ſhe, —Do you think you could beat Harry, if you were to box and fight fairly?' 'Yes indeed, pleaſe your Ladyſhip, ſaid Jack, for Maſter Harry knows I'm ſtronger than him.'—'Very well, reply'd my Lady, I believe what you ſay, and now remember, you have my Lord's Leave and mine, to beat him ſoundly whenever he ſtrikes you again.'—Then turning to a Servant, order'd Jack to be taken down and clean'd.— Poor Harry was in great Tribulation; but when my Lady, very gravely, directed him to go to the Kitchen, and dine with the Servants, he cry'd moſt dreadfully. —‘Why, Sir, ſaid my Lady, you are fit for no other Company; for, when a young Gentlemen will fight with his Servant, does he not make him his equal? But I ſuppoſe you think you may do what you pleaſe with Jack; but to convince you, Sir, you are no better than him, except you behave better, you ſhall wear his Cloaths, and he yours, and then I believe every Stranger will take him for Maſter Harry, and you for Jack Connor. ’
HARRY begg'd and intreated, and gave many Promiſes of never doing the like again.—‘You ſee, ſaid my Lady, when one [Page 90] does a naughty Thing, no-body ſpeaks in our Favour. I cannot forgive you, except my Lord does.’—Then turning about, 'Will your Lordſhip, ſaid ſhe, pardon Harry this one Fault, he promiſes, and is penitent.'—'My Dear, ſaid my Lord, what can I do in the Affair? If Maſter Harry was a Gentleman, and had beaten a Servant of mine, I ſhould certainly reſent the Affront, except he begg'd, and obtain'd my Servant's Pardon.'— That's true indeed, ſaid my Lady, ſo, my dear Billy, call up Jack, and I am ſure Harry will beg his Pardon very ſincerely.' —Mr. Caſſock, who knew his Time, began now to intercede for Maſter Harry, and aſſur'd my Lord he never knew him do a Thing of that Sort, or put himſelf into ſo violent a Paſſion before; that, as it was the firſt Fault, he begg'd my Lord to forgive him, and could almoſt promiſe it would be the laſt.
MY Lord ſhak'd his Head, and the two Boys entering, my Lady ſpoke to Harry, who immediately went and kiſs'd Jack, and very heartily ask'd his Pardon. Jack bluſh'd, but with a Smile bow'd, and kiſs'd him again.—Harry then went to my Lord, and on his Knees begg'd his Forgiveneſs. My Lord rais'd him, ſaying, ‘I forgive [Page 91] you, my Dear, this Fault, ſince you are ſorry for committing it, but depend on your Honour, that you will keep your Word, and never vex your Papa again. Now go and beg my Lady's Pardon, for you have greatly offended and fretted her.’ —My Lady took him in her Arms, and the Affair ended much to the Satisfaction of all Parties.
TWO Days after, the three Boys, the Chaplain, and a Servant with a Gun, went in the Morning to walk as uſual. A ſmall Rivulet run by one of the Fields, which they generally croſs'd by the Help of large Stones, but an Abundance of Rain having fallen, it was rais'd above four Feet, and very rapid. This ſtopp'd their Progreſs; but, as they mounted the Brook to find another Paſſage, Harry ſaw a Jack-daw in a Tree on the oppoſite Side, and the Boys begg'd the Servant to fire at it, and they mounted the Ditch to ſee it fall. Jack went a little lower to get a convenient Stand, but ſcarcely had he been there a Moment, when, the Earth breaking under Harry's Feet, he fell into the River.—His Brother ſhriek'd, but Jack inſtantly took Hold of a Bough of a Tree that fell near the Water, and ſtretching out as far as he was able, caught Harry by the Hair, juſt as he roſe, having [Page 92] been carryed by the Stream about ten Yards, and held him faſt.—Billy roar'd and ſtamp'd, and the poor Parſon and Servant were frighten'd almoſt into Stupidity, till Jack call'd out here—here.—They got to him juſt in Time, for his whole Weight reſting on his left Arm, his little Force was almoſt exhauſted.—Caſſock and the Servant jump'd in directly, and reſcu'd Harry; but, not immediately attending to the Care of Jack, the poor Boy could not retire, but fell in between them. However, they divided their Labour, and brought the Children ſafely out.
JACK had only got a Ducking, but Harry was ſome Time before he could ſpeak, but being laid on the Graſs, he ſoon recovered. The Tenderneſs of the Boys is not to be expreſs'd; they kiſs'd him a thouſand Times, and even cry'd with Joy. Mr. Caſſock, fearing they might catch Cold, walk'd pretty ſmartly towards the Houſe, near which they met my Lord, looking over ſome Improvements. He was greatly ſurpriz'd at the Condition they were all in, but much more ſo, when the Chaplain told him of the Accident, and particularly of Jack's ready Thought. My Lord was much mov'd, and moſt affectionately embracing the Children, carry'd them to my Lady, [Page 93] who waited their coming in to Breakfaſt. —As my Lord told her the Story, Love, Tenderneſs, Surpriſe and Fear, were viſible in her Countenance. Her Heart ſeemed ready to leap from its Habitation, and the whole Mother ruſhing violently on her Spirits, ſhe ſeiz'd Harry in her Arms, and would have fall'n with him, had not my Lord and Mr. Caſſock ſupported her to her Chair, where ſhe did not recover till her Tears were ſuffer'd to come to her Aſſiſtance.
THE Boys were put in warm Beds, and the Chaplain was advis'd to change his Cloaths. My Lord and the Women ſtayed with my Lady, and indeed ſhe had great Occaſion for them.—Mr. Kindly had been abſent on Buſineſs; but when he return'd, and heard of the Affair, he trembled exceſſively; but Joy ſucceeding, he ran to my Lord, and Lady, then to the two Boys, whom he almoſt ſmother'd with Careſſes, then to the Chaplain, and then to my Lord again. In a Word, the poor Man could think and ſpeak of Nothing elſe, and even of that not very diſtinctly.
THE Hurry of the Family ceas'd by Degrees, and all Matters were ſet right by Dinner Time, and Jack took his Place behind the Boys, whom he always waited on. [Page 94] A Neighbouring Gentleman hearing of the Accident, came to felicitate my Lord on Maſter Harry's providential Eſcape.—At Dinner it was the particular Converſation, and Mr. Caſſock was compell'd to repeat the Morning Adventure with all its Circumſtances, which often oblig'd Jack to bluſh and hold down his Head.—My Lord bid him never to be aſhamed at doing Good, and the Gentleman was very laviſh of his Praiſes.—My Lady look'd at Maſter Harry, and hinting at the Quarrel, ſaid,—‘We may plainly ſee how much it is our Intereſt to be Good and Friendly to, and avoid giving Offence to the pooreſt Creature, ſince every Man, however low or mean, may, if he pleaſes, be of great Uſe, or do an irreparable Injury to the Greateſt. Let what will be our Situations, we are born to help and aſſiſt each other, according to our Power and Abilities, and he, who does it not, deſtroys the End of his Creation.—This, ſaid ſhe, is a plain Truth, and I hope you and your Brother will remember and practiſe it, as long as you live.’
THUS, out of every Accident, or the moſt common Occurences, did theſe wiſe Parents inculcate Virtue and Humanity in the Minds of their Children, and gave them [Page 95] a moral Certainty of their being hereafter happy in themſelves, and of making others happy.
IN the Evening the Gentleman took his Leave, and calling Jack, kiſs'd him and put a Crown in his Hand, which he immediately depoſited with Mr. Kindly. My Lord gave the Servant which had been with the Children, a Farm worth Ten Pounds a Year. Many poor neighbouring Families felt, on this Occaſion, his Goodneſs and Liberality, and he added ten Children more to the Charity Scheme before-mentioned. The Chaplain was not forgot in my Lord's Thoughts, and my Lady order'd Jack new Cloaths from Head to Foot.
AS the Family was extremely belov'd, no Wonder if all the Gentlemen round continued for ſome Time to viſit and congratulate them on their good Fortune. Scarcely one quitted Bounty-Hall, without a Mark of Regard for Jack. Theſe he always conſign'd to Mr. Kindly, ſo that his Riches at laſt amounted to the mighty Sum of Ten Pounds.
PERHAPS my merry Readers are extremely angry at being ſo long detain'd in Company with Boys, whilſt others of a more ſerious Turn are pleas'd with the Opening of the Heart, and the gradual Increaſe of Knowledge in the Minds of Children. Others again, reading only as a mere Amuſement, and to kill Time, are in an actual State of Indifference, and provided the great End is anſwer'd, are equally charm'd with Clariſſa, as Tom Jones. That theſe Claſſes may be gratified, I ſhall beg Leave to introduce a young Lady, by way of Epiſode; and becauſe ſhe is the Daughter of my good Friend Mr. Kindly.
MISS BETTY KINDLY, now turn'd of Twenty, was a moſt agreeable Girl, with good Senſe and good Humour. Mr. Caſſock had a ſmall paternal Fortune, a good Allowance from my Lord, and forty Pounds [Page 97] a Year, for officiating for the Miniſter of the Pariſh, who was about Fourſcore Years of Age. This young Gentleman was not inſenſible of the Charms of Miſs Betty, and of her more eſſential Qualifications; and knowing my Lord's Sons would ſoon be removed from his Care, determin'd to take the Advantage of the general Joy, and ſollicit my Lady's Intereſt. He ſuffer'd not the Time to elapſe, but took the firſt Opportunity when my Lady was alone.—She rally'd him a little at firſt, on his being in Love, but aſſuring him of all her good Offices, added, —‘I believe a little of my Intereſt will go a great Way, for I much doubt if you have not a powerful Friend already in the Garriſon. ’—Mr. Caſſock bluſh'd, and, aukwardly thanking her Ladyſhip, retir'd.—It ſeems Mademoiſelle Le Meagre had inform'd her of what paſs'd in Miſs Betty's Heart, which ſhe was convinced of, by ſome Obſervations on her late Conduct.
MY Lord was extremely pleaſed at this Diſcovery, and declar'd it was what he had always wiſh'd. After Dinner he ſent for Mr. Kindly, and the Chat at laſt fell on Jack Connor.—‘I wiſh, my Lord, ſaid Mr. Kindly, you would permit my inſtructing that poor Boy in the Duty of my Station. He [Page 98] is ſurpriſingly diligent, notable, and honeſt; and ſo expert at his Pen, that, young as he is, he has often aſſiſted me.—I think I have been a faithful Servant to your Lordſhip, and your truly noble Father, who bred me from a Child; and it would give me the greateſt Joy to have almoſt a Certainty of leaving as juſt a one to ſucceed me.—Age, my Lord, ſteals on, and ſhould Heaven indulge me with a few more Years of Strength and Abilities, I muſt then ſubmit to our common Deſtiny.’—My Lord wink'd at her Ladyſhip, and ſhe at Mr. Caſſock, who inſtantly withdrew, and my Lady ſoon follow'd.
'JACK, ſaid my Lord, has ſav'd my Son; if I had no other Motive than that, you may be aſſur'd he is greatly in my Thoughts; but I love the Boy for many Reaſons, having notic'd particularly his Behaviour; but as I am determin'd to ſend him with my Sons to Mr. Johnſton's, where he may learn a little more, we muſt poſtpone your Scheme till his Return.— Since you think, continued my Lord, ſo much of my Jack, give me Leave to think a little of your Betty.—The Girl is of Age, and you know young Wenches are Fleſh and Blood.—In two Words, poor Caſſock loves her; and, if my Intelligence [Page 99] be right, Betty is far from diſliking him; therefore, if you approve of the Match, the Parſon muſt have ſome Money to buy a new Gown, and a freſh Cargoe of Sermons.'—'Does your Lordſhip approve of it, ſaid Kindly? 'I do, ſaid my Lord.'—'Then, reply'd the old Man, I have no Will, but your Lordſhip's, and To-morrow, Sir, I ſhall put into your Hands the Value of three hundred Pounds, and ſubmit my dear Child to your Lordſhip's Judgment, thinking myſelf the happieſt of Men, by the Favour and Indulgence of the beſt of Maſters.'
‘I thank you, ſaid my Lord, for your Compliment, and to ſhew you how much I approve of this Union, and that your Daughter may be under your own Eye, I intend to preſent Mr. Caſſock to this Pariſh, on the Death of the preſent Incumbent. You know 'tis worth two hundred Pounds a Year, and that Dr. Canter is ſuperannuated, and cannot laſt long.’— Kindly, with uplifted Hands, was attempting to utter his Gratitude, but my Lord ſtopp'd him, ſaying,—‘No more of that, Mr. Kindly, I am now going to advance this Matter,’ And retiring, left the happy old Man but the Power of thanking Providence, [Page 100] and admiring the Goodneſs of my Lord.
IN a few Days Mr. Caſſock was preſented in Form to Miſs Kindly. All the Converſation of the Family was on the approaching Wedding, which was fix'd at no longer a Diſtance than a Week, and ſome neighbouring Families were invited.
WERE I a French Memoir Writer, I ſhould naturally embrace this Opportunity to extol the Virgin Charms of the Bride, and deſcribe the Beauty and Propriety of every Part of her Dreſs without a ſlaviſh Regard to Truth. I ſhould then have ſaid,— ‘Scarcely were the Curtains drawn which permitted the Sun's Appearance, when Miſs opened thoſe Eyes, that alone could eclipſe his Brightneſs. She ſigh'd, and ſometimes wiſh'd, and ſometimes trembled at the Approach of the Time, when ſhe was to be,—ſhe knew not what,—ſhe knew not where. Hope and Fear ingroſs'd her whole Imagination till the Hour arriv'd, when ſhe bid an eternal Adieu to that Bed, deſtin'd never more to embrace her Virgin Innocence. Mademoiſelle Le Meagre and Mrs. Tittle aſſiſted in adjuſting her Dreſs, and her Ladyſhip deigned to give her Advice and Help. Her Treſſes were of the fineſt [Page 101] Brown, which hanging behind in ſmall natural Ringlets, were nicely order'd to crown her Forehead, and touch her Ears which were ornamented with Brilliants; and, though of the firſt Water, her Charms added a particular Luſtre and Refulgency to. Diamonds likewiſe ſparkled round her lovely Neck, and, a little above the heavenly Orbs, hung the glittering Croſs, ‘Which JEWS might kiſs and Infidels adore.’ Her Stays diſcover'd a Shape the moſt exact and delicate, and the Robe that clos'd on it, was of the fineſt white Silk of Padua. A Bunch of Jaſmin, Hyacinths and Roſes, took their Place near her Neck, and ſeem'd to envy the Vicinity of a ſuperior Fragrancy. She deſcended to the Apartment where the Company, and her deſiring Lover, impatiently attended, and where a moſt magnificent and elegant Dinner was provided. The firſt Courſe conſiſted of’—I hope the courteous Reader will excuſe my not proceeding farther in mere Sound, and permit me to ſay in plain Engliſh, that the Wedding-Day at laſt came, and that Miſs Betty behav'd as Girls naturally do on the [Page 102] Occaſion. My Lady had made her a Preſent of genteel plain Cloaths; and her good Complexion Shape and Size, made her a very deſirable Object. Mr. Caſſock look'd, and ſeem'd to think her a Subject worth handling.—When the Ceremony, and the uſual Compliments were over, my Lord declar'd his Intention of giving the Pariſh to Mr. Caſſock, on the Death of Doctor Canter.—This was a Comment on the Text, that Mr. Caſſock had not known before; and, as it perfectly agreed with his Way of Thinking, he look'd on the Author as a very learned and wiſe Man.—The Truth is, he was ſo ſtruck with my Lord's Bounty, that neither he nor his Bride could return their Thank but by their humble Obeiſances.
MY Lord had ſtill in Reſerve what was to complete the Reward of Mr. Kindly's Fidelity.—He firſt beſtow'd many Compliments on him before all the Company, and then added, —‘When my Boys are ſettled at Mr. Johnſton's School, my Lady and I purpoſe ſtaying for ſome Time in England. You will then, Mr. Kindly, be ſo good to audit the Accounts of my Receivers, and take the Charge and Management of my Charity Children. You and the young Couple muſt keep this [Page 103] Houſe warm in my Abſence; and, that the Roof may be always in good Order, and to defray the Expences attending your Increaſe of Buſineſs, I deſire you will charge me with one hundred Pounds a Year extraordinary; and now, Mr. Kindly, give me Leave to regard you as my Companion and my Friend. ’
A PROFOUND Silence enſu'd, till the old Man, finding his Tongue, he pour'd out whatever his grateful Heart ſuggeſted, and ending in moſt fervent Prayers, retir'd in Haſte, to give his Tears of Joy full Scope. —At Dinner he was pretty chearful; and Mirth, Good-humour and Happineſs admir'd Bounty-Hall, and reſided there.
As I am call'd another Way, it cannot be expected I ſhould wait on this Company the whole Evening, much leſs pretend to conduct Mr. Caſſock and his Bride to that Theatre, where we are ſuffer'd to ſee the Actors, but by the Reflection of Fancy.— Let it ſuffice to ſay, that the young Lady was next Morning Mrs. Caſſock.
So much has been ſaid of this noble Family, that I fear ſome will be apt to ſuſpect my Veracity.—Envy will poſitively aſſert, that the Characters are abſurd, unnatural, and without a Precedent.—Ill-naure will diſcover the Sarcaſm, in placing in full [Page 104] View, what the Nobility ought truly to be, in Oppoſition to what ſome really are.— The Thought of ſuch ſcandalous Inſinuations, determines me to quit Bounty-Hall, and ſhift the Scene.
'Tis neceſſary to inform my Readers, that Mr. Johnſton, who I am now going to viſit, is the Clergyman that was a Companion to my Lord in his Travels.—During their Stay at Paris, Mr. Johnſton became acquainted with Madam Bonfoy, the Widow of a Captain who had been kill'd in the Service. She had ſollicited for a Penſion; but, being known to be a Hugonot, could never obtain it. As ſhe had two thouſand Livres a Year on the Town-Houſe of Paris, and the Intereſt of ſome Money, ſhe kept genteel Apartments, and liv'd in a very decent Manner with her Niece, who was about four Years old.
THE Temper of Madam Bonfoy was ſo like Mr. Johnſton's, an Inclination for each other enſu'd, which ended, or rather increaſed, in Matrimony.—My Lord got him a good Living in the North of Ireland, but afterwards advis'd him to exchange for one of leſs Value near Portarlington, in the King's County, inhabited moſtly by French Proteſtants, and where little of any other Language was ſpoken. My Lord gave [Page 105] him the Plan of a School, which, by Mr. and Mrs. Johnſton's good Management, could not fail of being extremely advantageous to them. Mr. Johnſton had now been in that Situation near four Years, and met with great Approbation, as he had Talents peculiar to that Profeſſion.
MASTER Harry was now twelve Years of Age, and all Things were preparing for the Journey of the three Boys. Every one in the Family began to dread the Loſs of ſuch Children, who, by a thouſand little Pranks, were extremely dear to them. Miſs Harriot began to pine and cry, that ſhe was to loſe her Brothers, and her Favourite little Jack. In ſhort, it is impoſſible to expreſs the ſilent Grief that reign'd in the Houſe.
MR. KINDLY took up whole Days in preaching to Jack, and giving him good Advice.—‘Perhaps, my dear Child, ſaid he, I may never ſee you again; if ſo, mind my Words, and I ſhall be always preſent with you, and ſhield you from thoſe Evils the World is full of. If you deſpiſe and neglect them, depend upon it, Calamity and Misfortunes will attend you. That my Counſel may not be forgotten, I have wrote it down, and put it in your Trunk, that you may read, and get it by [Page 106] Heart. They are the ſame Inſtructions I gave to my own Sons when they went from me, and, in general, will anſwer your Purpoſes. I have likewiſe, continued he, put up a good Store of Paper and Pens, and I inſiſt on your Writing frequently to me, with a particular Account how the young Gentlemen behave, and how you employ your Time.’—Jack cry'd moſt heartily, and faithfully promis'd to obey all his Commands, and be a good Boy.—The Children took Leave of the Neighbours, but Jack, in a very tender and particular Manner, took his of Mrs. Long and the good-natur'd Groom.
THE Morning came, and the Horſes were ordered to be put too.—Mr. Kindly took Jack in his Hand to the Office, and, ſhewing him his little Effects in a ſmall Trunk he had provided, put therein a Purſe, ſaying,—‘ Jack, here is all your Money, with ſome Intereſt, amounting to Fifteen Guineas. I know you will take great Care and keep it, till you really want it. You are no Fool, my Dear, and [Page 107] he muſt be the greateſt Fool that ſpends his Money idly.’—Jack gave him his Word, he ſhould find it all when he came back.—‘Yeſterday, ſaid Mr. Kindly, I told you I might never ſee you more. I have, this ſmall Box to give you as my laſt Legacy. It contains a Book, that in Time you may read; but as I know you love Truth, I muſt have your Promiſe never to open it, but at the Time I direct.’—Jack fell on his Knees, and aſſur'd him, he would never open it, if he order'd.—‘Then, ſaid the old Man, mind what I ſay: I lay my Commands on you, never to open this Box, except you be reduced to the greateſt Neceſſity, and almoſt want Bread.’—So ſaying, he lock'd it in the Trunk, and gave Jack the Key. —‘Now ſaid Mr. Kindly, I have but one Word more to ſay:—If God ſhould proſper you in the World, and your Heart ſhould ſwell with Pride and Arrogance, remember that Drawer, and correct thoſe Vices. ’—Pray, Sir. ſaid Jack, what is in that Drawer?—'You ſhall ſee,' ſaid Kindly, and, producing his old red Waiſtcoat, tatter'd Shirt and Breeches, ſaid,—‘This, Jack, is your Original, ſo judge if Pride and Haughtineſs will agree with ſuch a Dreſs.’—The Boy bluſh'd, and embracing [Page 108] Mr. Kindly's Waiſt, aſſur'd him, he would always remember the Drawer and the Dog-Kennel.
THEY now join'd the Children, whom they found in Tears, having juſt quitted her Ladyſhip. Jack was ſent in by my Lord, and on his Knees, moſt humbly thank'd her Ladyſhip for all her Goodneſs to him.—The parting with her Sons made her ſcarcely able to ſpeak, but ſhe bid him mind his Buſineſs, and ſerve God. —She could utter no more, but with a tender Embrace let him depart.
THE Servants had their Turn, and the Boys were almoſt hugg'd to Death.—With great Difficulty they quitted this moving Scene, and the Coach driving off, were followed by the Prayers and Bleſſings of a thouſand of the poor Inhabitants.
Seek you to train your fav'rite Boy?Each Caution, ev'ry Care employ;And e'er you venture to confide,Let his Preceptor's Heart be try'd;Weigh well his Manners, Life and Scope,On theſe depends thy future Hope.GAY.
THE Occurrences on the Road are not worth mentioning; but my Lord and Mr. Caſſock gave the Lads a good Impreſſion of their new Maſter, and explain'd the Rules and Cuſtoms of the School. Mr. Johnſton was prepar'd for their Reception, and thank'd my Lord for the Honour he did him. After Supper, my Lord and Mr. Caſſock went to private Lodgings. The two Brothers had a Chamber to themſelves, and Jack had a ſmall one near the Back-Stairs at the End of the Gallery.
BEFORE Eight next Morning, my Lord and Mr. Caſſock went to Mr. Johnſton's. All the Scholars had not yet made their Appearance; but the Bell ringing, the reſt ſoon were in the School, where Mr. Johnſton and the Family attended my Lord, [Page 110] when all were ſeated, one of the Lads mounted a Deſk, and with great Reverence began the Morning Service of the Church; another read the Leſſons of the Day; Mr. Lilly, the Uſher, rais'd the Pſalm, and the firſt Boy finiſh'd the Prayers, except the Bleſſing, which Mr. Johnſton always pronounced.—This over, an Hour was employ'd in examining their Exerciſes, and giving others for the following Day, and then they retir'd to Breakfaſt.
MY Lord was again conducted to School, when one of the moſt ingenious of the Gentlemen aſcended the Pulpit, and made a Latin Oration on the Riſe of Nobility. He very artfully inſinuated, how happy ſome Families were, in always leaving Heirs to their Virtues as well as their Titles; and, that he could point out, even in theſe degenerate Days, a living Example of that Bleſſing, were he at Liberty to ſpeak, without being ſuſpected of Flattery; and concluded, that tho' many Patricians were a Scandal to their own and every other Order, yet ſome were always found who added a Luſtre to the Dignity, as their Lives were an Ornament to human Nature, and their Actions the Glory of their Fellow-Citizens.
WHEN this Gentleman had finiſh'd, another mounted, and made a ſhort Speech in [Page 111] Engliſh, on the Happineſs of a good Education, which he compar'd to a tender Plant, under the Management of a ſkilful Gardiner, who not only made it bear exquiſite Fruit, but gave the Branches ſuch an elegant Turn, as added a Beauty to the Place, and a Delight to the Eye.
HIS Lordſhip was extremely pleas'd with this Entertainment, but particularly with the diſtinct, emphatical and graceful Manner in which they pronounced their Words. He was not wanting in returning his Thanks to the young Gentlemen, and, giving the Uſher Ten Guineas, begg'd he would be ſo good to buy a Dozen Bows and Arrows, and erect two Butts in the next Field, which would not only agreeably entertain them, but be a moſt healthful Exerciſe.
I MUST continue at Portarlington-School above three Years. If my Reader pleaſes, I ſhall indulge his reſiding with me, and making all the Remarks and Applications his Underſtanding may ſuggeſt. Imagination muſt furniſh him with the many Pranks and Tricks School-Boys are wont to [Page 112] play, as I am not at Leiſure, at preſent, to entertain him in that Manner. I ſhall confine myſelf to the narrow Compaſs of hinting at the Conduct of this School, as there is ſomewhat peculiar in it, and what I could wiſh every other had a Part of, if not the Whole.
MR. JOHNSTON was a Gentleman of very extenſive Knowledge, great Application and Temper, chearful and eaſy in Converſation, and, above all, knew Mankind and the World perfectly well. As he had Talents peculiar for Inſtruction, and delighted in it, ſo his Virtue and Underſtanding convinc'd him, that rearing up good and uſeful Members of Society, was the moſt honourable Employment of Man.
HIS Houſe could hold but twenty-five Youths, and each paid thirty Pounds a Year. When his Conduct was known, it is not to be imagined what Intereſt was made by Gentlemen, to have their Sons admitted, on a Vacancy.
HIS firſt Care was the inculcating into his Pupils, the Principles of true Religion, as the ſureſt Foundation on which to build the moral Virtues. His next, was the inſpiring into them, a certain Proportion of Ambition and temporal Happineſs, and demonſtrating, that Learning, Honour, and [Page 113] Integrity were the moſt probable, if not the only Way, to attain them. For theſe Purpoſes, they conſtantly attended Divine Service at Church and at Home: He made them read the Prayers alternately, and, as Occaſions requir'd, gave hiſtorical Accounts to explain or illuſtrate ſome Paſſages in the Old or New Teſtament.—He always treated them, not as Children, but as Gentlemen, which made them endeavour to act as ſuch. If ſome were negligent of their Duty, he ſeem'd concern'd at it, and pity'd the unhappy Youth, that forgot himſelf ſo much as to undo, by a voluntary Neglect, all that his Anceſtors had acquir'd by Knowledge and Induſtry.
HE took great Pains to give them an early Habit of Civility and Good Manners; and, by his own Practice, convinc'd them how agreeable ſuch a Conduct was to every Man. He always ſpoke with a Bow, and Marks of Reſpect, and encouraged them to act in the like Manner to each other. He ſhew'd them, by ſundry ſerious and comic Examples, the Uſe and Beauty of Politeneſs, and the Abſurdity and bad Conſequences of a clowniſh and brutiſh Behaviour.
THE Mornings were given to School Learning, in which, by his Skilfulneſs and [Page 114] Aſſiduity, they made great Progreſs. As to fix'd Holidays, they were Strangers; but when all the Lads were perfect in their different Leſſons, Mr. Johnſton always return'd them Thanks, and then added,— ‘This is very clever.—I find, Gentlemen, you have taken more than ordinary Pains; but I am ſo far from deſiring too much Study, that, pleaſe God, if To morrow be a fine Day, we will take the Diverſion of Hunting or Fiſhing,—juſt, Gentlemen, as you pleaſe.’— Thus they could always command a Day of Amuſement; but that Lad paſs'd his Time very diſagreeably, who, by his Idleneſs, had ſtopp'd the Pleaſure of the reſt.
THE Evenings, in ſome Degree, were their own, either to ſtudy in their Chambers, or divert themſelves in the large Yard or Field. If the Weather did not permit the latter, Mr. Johnſton us'd to ſay,— ‘Well, Gentlemen, how ſhall we paſs our Time? I have a great Notion Mr. Moore can pronounce one of Cicero's Orations as well as Mr. Stevenſon. ’—Sometimes he pitch'd on one of Atterbury's or Tillotſon's Sermons; ſometimes on Speeches in Tacitus or Livy; ſometimes on Parliamentary Debates, and ſometimes on Milton, or on occaſional Pieces of Poetry, of Beauty and [Page 115] Elegance.—The Reader always mounted the Pulpit; but if he err'd from the right Pronounciation and true Meaning of the Author, or leſſen'd the Senſe by falſe Action or too languid a Delivery, Mr. Johnſton begg'd his Pardon, and deſir'd to be permitted to ſhew, wherein he thought it might be utter'd more to the Satisfaction of the Audience.—He then took his Place, and diſplay'd the Orator.—His determin'd and reſolute Voice, ſtirr'd their young Blood; but when he ſoftened into Pity at ſome Diſtreſs, it caught the Lads, and their Countenances ſhew'd it.
HE thought it abſolutely neceſſary that a young Man ſhould be acquainted with the Hiſtory of his own Country, at leaſt as ſoon as that of Egypt, Greece, or Rome. This was a fix'd Entertainment twice a Week; and his Comments, Obſervations and Reflections on the different Parts, were adapted to thoſe he made them to, and had always ſomewhat that ſhew'd the Value of Liberty, and the Danger in not putting proper Bounds to it.—The Effects of Tyranny and Oppreſſion;—the Nature of Laws and Government;—the Obligation of a King to his Subjects, and his Subjects to him;—the Happineſs of a good Monarch, with the Infamy and Puniſhment due to [Page 116] thoſe, who wantonly attempt to diſturb the Peace of the Crown, and the Peace of the People.
OF a chearful Evening Mr. Johnſton has propos'd the Repetition of a good Comedy; but, as he did not conceive that acting a Play was of Uſe to Youth, he placed them in their Seats, and aſſign'd them their different Parts, which they read from different Copies. The Comedies he generally choſe were Steele's, Farquhar's, and ſome of Cibber's, as they not only had Wit and Humour, but a certain Moral in them, not to be found in Congreve, Wycherly, Dryden, or Vanbrugh, but by wading through Obſcenity.—If the Gentlemen choſe a Tragedy, he made them carefully obſerve the Difference between a paſſionate Utterance, and Ranting, and between the ſoft and tender Manner of Expreſſion, and the Whining, and gave them Examples himſelf.
BUT the moſt favourite Manner he had of entertaining them, becauſe he had a Scheme in it, was giving ſhort and pleaſing Accounts of the Lives of great Men of all Nations.—The Conqueror and Captive.— The Tyrant, and the Father of his People. —The Law giver and the Incendiary.— The Patriot, and the Pretenders to Patriotiſm.—The Orator and the Declaimer.—The Divine.—The Lawyer.—The moral and experimental [Page 117] Philoſopher.—The Botaniſt.— Phyſician, and the Merchant.—The many Profeſſions that ſpring from theſe Fountains, were at different Times ſet in proper and clear Lights.—Their Virtues and Uſes to Society, or the Abuſes of Power and Knowledge were touch'd, ſo as not to deſcend too deeply into the Sciences; but to fix the Attention of the Lads, and give him an Opportunity of diſcovering the Bent of their Inclinations and Geniuſes.
HAPPY had it been for many Gentlemen, if their Genius had been properly attended to in their Youth!—The many Abſurdities in the World would be avoided, and each have the Rank the Law of Nature had aſſign'd them.—The Martial Spirit would not be compell'd to expoſe himſelf in a Pulpit.—The tender and meek Mind would not be drove to the Field of Buſtle and Slaughter.—The Phyſician would not preſcribe at the Bar, nor the Lawyer adminiſter Phyſick by Act of Parliament. — Each would be in their juſt Point of View, [Page 118] and each have a fair Opportunity of excelling.
AS Nature gives not equal Talents to all, this good Maſter made proper Allowances: He was never diſpleas'd at one Gentleman's being leſs apt to learn than another, provided he found him equally diligent: On the contrary, he encourag'd and indulg'd him, and frequently ſtole into his Room at Night, and gave him half an Hour's private Inſtruction for the Buſineſs of next Day, but inſiſted on its being kept ſecret from the reſt.
SELDOM was their Book an Occaſion of Chaſtiſement, but they never were excuſed for any vicious Act. When he found a Lad of an obſtinate ſullen Temper, who deſpis'd Learning, good Advice, or Correction, he ſent him home to his Friends. —On ſuch Occaſions he always made a pathetic Speech to the School, and placed the unhappy Boy ſeparate from the reſt.— When he was to depart, Mr. Johnſton walk'd with him to the Gate, and all the Gentlemen follow'd with profound Silence. Here he embrac'd him and took his Leave, praying God that this gentle Admonition might make him reflect in Time, and change his Conduct, ſo as to be an Honour, and not a Diſcredit to Society.—Then, [Page 119] in a ceremonious Manner, all the reſt took a melancholy Farewel.
AMONGST the many Advantages of this Seminary, Mrs. Johnſton, and her Niece Nannett contributed in improving the Boys in French; and, as all the Inhabitants commonly ſpoke it, they acquired that Language with great Facility.—Some Evenings, when Mr. Johnſton could not attend, his Wife has extremely diverted and amuſed them by Molier's Comedies, Gil-Blas, Scaron, and other Books of that Tendency.
THUS did this good Family look on themſelves as Parents to the Children, and the Children regarded them as ſuch.—Inſtruction and profitable Entertainment were ſo agreeably and nicely blended, that the one was never ſuffered to become tedious and irkſome, nor the other to cloy or fill the Mind too much.
Perſuaſive Folly has ſtrong Charms,T'allure the Feeble to her Arms.Weakneſs and Vice go Hand in Hand,And ſeem united by one Band.Let Reaſon but aſſume her Seat,Folly and Vice will ſoon retreat.ANONIMOUS.
AS Jack Connor was not intended for a perfect Scholar, Mr. Johnſton's Care on that Account was not ſo exact as to other Lads; but what regarded the moral and ſocial Duties, he received in common with them. In the three Years at this School, he had acquir'd a good Share of Latin and ſome Greek, but his chief Pleaſure was in Reading, and making Extracts of uſeful and entertaining Paſſages from Hiſtory, Voyages, Poetry, and the like, of which Mr. Johnſton had a good Collection always open to the Gentlemen. This improved him in Writing, made ſtrong Impreſſions on his Mind, and gave him a Falicity, and a genteel and eaſy Turn of Language, that much better Scholars are Strangers [Page 121] to. He ſpoke French with great Fluency, for Mademoiſelle Nannett took ſome Pains to perfect him in it, and as he had a charming Voice, ſhe taught him many agreeable French Songs.
HE was now in the Spring of Life, tall and well made. Health, Beauty, and Sprightlineſs were always preſent with him, and Mirth and Joy danc'd in his Eyes. Theſe, and his little Accompliſhments, made him careſs'd by all, and were ſo remarkable, that even Madam Johnſton has been frequently heard to ſay, ‘Ma Foy, c'eſt un beau Garçon!—Voila de quoi faire un Joli Homme!’—If Nannett was ſilent, ſhe looked, and perhaps thought the more.—The Dial ſpoke not, but it made ſhrewd Signs.
THE Juice of the Grape is inſipid, nor can yield a Spirit till fermented. In this State, the Veſſel muſt be pierc'd, and a Vent given to the jarring Particles, or it will burſt its Tenement.—The Hand of Experience knows when to ſtop this Chaſm, —to fine it down, and give it the proper Time to acquire a Mellowneſs and Flavour that gladdens the Heart of Man, and adds Chearfulneſs and good Humour to every rational Company.—If Ignorance interferes [Page 122] in the Management, the Wine will become ſour, and of little or no Value.
IS there not ſomewhat of a fermenting Quality in human Nature? Or rather, is it not certain that there is?—Without this Fermentation, which the Paſſions only can give, Man would be but a moving Statue. 'Tis the Paſſions that open his Underſtanding.—They lay the Plan of all his Operations.—They conduct him firſt to Objects of Pleaſure, and then branch out his Imagination to Glory—Honour—Riches. They poliſh him, and raiſe a Deſire of loving, and of being loved.—In a Word, they alone, when juſtly guided, can make him a rational Creature.—If unheeded, and ſuffer'd to take an unnatural Bent, neither Fame nor Honour can reſult from them, and the Man becomes the Peſt of Society inſtead of the Pleaſure.
OUR little Hero was not form'd without theſe Paſſions. If from Inexperience, they ſometimes hurry'd him into imprudent Acts, and brought him into dangerous Situations, he was the firſt to cenſure his own Conduct, and recur inſtantly to the Principles imbib'd in his Youth.—Of what Uſe theſe Paſſions and theſe Principles were to him, is too much a Part of this Hiſtory, to be omitted in their proper Place.— [Page 123] Since, therefore, it is impoſſible for me to act the impartial Hiſtorian, and omit the Conſequences of theſe Paſſions, I hope the candid Reader will excuſe the ſeeming Levity of this Chapter.—My Hero is not a perfect Hero.—He is young, and without Experience. He has the Seeds of Man in him, and conſequently is faulty. Beſides, as his whole Life turns on this Incident, I am compell'd to inſert it, but hope the Moral will excuſe the Tale.
THE Time was now come when Jack was to be tempted, and unwarily to yield. When he became criminal, he became unhappy.—Of late he took a particular Pleaſure in Nannett's Company, and ſhe, in Return, treated him with great Freedom, and with ſomewhat more than mere Complaiſance. His Years prevented his ſeeing the ſecret Motives of her Kindneſs. He was happy, becauſe ſhe was fond of him; but her Fondneſs aroſe from a different Principle.—She lov'd.
How far this Paſſion will extend itſelf, few are unacquainted, and poor Nannett practis'd every female Wile to gain a Heart invincible to her Charms, only from Ignorance. Often has ſhe told him, he ought, at his Age, to avoid bluſhing when he ſpoke to her, and be more a Man, than to tremble [Page 124] at touching her Hand.—Theſe and many other forcible Expreſſions ſhe has reiterated, and ſometimes even kiſs'd him, but they only ſerv'd to give him a ſecret uneaſy Pleaſure, and a conſtant Deſire of her Preſence, without a Knowledge of the Meaning.—She remark'd his confus'd Behaviour, and found, ſhe muſt either renounce all Shame, by ſpeaking in direct Terms, or abſolutely avoid him.—The Delicacy of her Sex as much forbid the one, as her violent Love did the other.
HER Invention was on the Rack, but at aſt ſhe remember'd a certain French Book, where a Lady is placed exactly in her Situation. To this dear Volume ſhe turn'd, and determin'd to try the Experiment. She found Opportunities to oblige Jack to read moſt Part of it to her, but defer'd the Lecture of the intereſting Scene, till the firſt Day Mr. Johnſton and the Lads went a Hunting. That Time ſoon came, and the Evening before ſhe whiſper'd him, to avoid being of the Party, and they would finiſh that charming Story. He with Eagerneſs conſenting, ſhe told him how inconvenient it would be to read in his little Room, ‘but, ſaid ſhe, as ſoon as they are all gone, if you will promiſe to be very ſecret, and make no Noiſe, you may come to [Page 125] my Chamber, and we can read at our Eaſe.’—He promis'd, and this Converſation ended.
IT was now June, and being fine Weather, all were ready for the Sport of the Field at Four in the Morning. Jack excus'd himſelf to Maſter Harry, on Account of a Book he was to finiſh, and a Letter to write to Mr. Kindly; and, ſlily ſlipping up into his Room, remain'd there till he ſaw them all at ſome Diſtance. With cautious Steps he quietly mounted the Back-Stairs, and found Nannett's Chamber Door on a Jarr ready to admit him. His Treading was not ſo light, but her attentive Ear heard him, and putting the Curtain back, in a low Voice ſhe cry'd,—‘Lord bleſs me, Jack! Who would have expected you ſo early?—I thought to have been up and dreſs'd, and now you ſurpriſe a-body in Bed. Indeed I am quite aſham'd of myſelf,—but—ſhut the Door, and ſit down ſoftly.’—She then open'd the Curtain a little more, and Jack ſat at ſome Diſtance. A Silence enſu'd for ſome Minutes, till at laſt he ventur'd to ſay ſomething of the Book.—‘Well, ſaid Nannett, look for it under my Pillow, and I'll read.’—Jack ſearch'd for ſome Time, but in vain; and, ſhe calling him an aukward Fellow, roſe [Page 126] careleſly and ſoon found it.—Undoubtedly ſhe had no Intention of expoſing to his View her lovely Neck; for, no ſooner had ſhe caught his Eyes fix'd on that Part, and ſaw the Tumult it occaſion'd in him, than with great Precipitation ſhe cover'd it.— Her Head was once more laid on her Pillow, and the Book in her Hand.—‘If, ſaid ſhe, you keep ſo far off, you can't hear me, and you had better come and ſit on the Bed-ſide.’—The poor Boy, willing to oblige, carefully mov'd, but found her right Arm negligently thrown out. This Impediment he gently remov'd, but not before he had frequently kiſs'd it. She call'd him a Fool, but her good Nature did not forbid this Sort of Folly.
JACK'S Spirits were up in Arms, ſo we muſt preſume he was going to ſit down improperly, otherwiſe ſhe certainly would not have ſaid—‘Bleſs me!—Why ſure you an't ſo mad as to lie on the Bed;—But— if you are afraid your Shoes will make a Noiſe, and will abſolutely do it, can't you pull them off?’—His Shoes vaniſh'd in an Inſtant, and he placed himſelf where before he had no Intention.—
‘COME, come, ſaid Nannett, let me make an End of my Story, but if you attempt to ſerve me, as Amyntor does his [Page 127] Phillis, poſitively I ſhan't endure you,— but—here's one Kiſs more to keep you quiet.’—She then fix'd on the Page and began.—‘Thus ſituated were this happy Pair. Silence and Secrecy reign'd, and no Eyes to witneſs their Joys, but thoſe of laughing Cupids, who hover'd round the inchanting Bower. Amyntor was all Deſire and Love, but his invincible Modeſty, oblig'd the equally enamour'd Phillis to ſupply by Management, what her Tongue could not utter. She inſenſibly conducted him to the Beginning of Charms, to which the Youth was an abſolute Stranger.’— Nannett continued to read, and, with great Judgment, laid the proper Emphaſis on every Word; but at every tender or delicate Period, as many ſuch there were, Jack became an exact Imitator, and frequently interrupted the Narration. She often wonder'd at his Aſſurance, and declar'd her Anger, but her Countenance did not ſeem to imply that Paſſion, and at laſt ſhe was permitted to continue.—‘Too preſſing Amyntor, too yielding Phillis!—The Time, the Place, and every Opportunity conſpir'd with their mutual Inclinations.—A thouſand Dalliances interven'd, 'till Prudence,— Virtue,—and Phillis were loſt.’
[Page 128] NANNETT would have proceeded, but Jack, ſtill faithful to his Copy, prevented it by acting Amyntor.—I hope the Reader will not inſiſt on too nice a Deſcription of this Scene, for I am permitted but to add, that at laſt, as Reading was become uſeleſs, ſhe clos'd the Book, and—I muſt cloſe this Chapter.
Ah thoughtleſs Mortals! ever blind to Fate!Too ſoon dejected, and too ſoon elate!Sudden theſe Honours ſhall be ſnatch'd away,And curs'd for ever this victorious Day.DRYDEN'S VIRGIL.
THE Clock ſtruck Seven, which rous'd them from their Dream of Happineſs, to think on their Safety. Nannett was unwilling to part; but Jack, now more prudent, took an haſty Kiſs or two, and got to his Room unperceiv'd. He now began to reflect on his Conduct, and he judg'd himſelf greatly criminal. He now remember'd Mr. Kindly's Precepts, which had for [Page 129] ſome Time been neglected, and call'd to Mind his laſt Words of Calamity and Misfortunes, if he departed from Virtue. Theſe Thoughts gave him extreme Uneaſineſs, but he found himſelf greatly reliev'd by reſolving to be guilty no more, and to ſhun the Object. An unuſual Gravity attended him the whole Day, which greatly diſturb'd Nannett, as he gave her no Opportunity of inquiring into the Reaſon.
HE was extremely pleas'd with this Conqueſt over himſelf, but alas! he little knew his own Heart; and, as he was a Stranger to the Ways of Men, how could he poſſibly know that of Women?—Nannett, impatient to learn what paſſed in his Soul, waited in her Chamber till Two in the Morning, not doubting but Jack would find his Way there. The Diſappointment extremely mortify'd her Pride; however, ſhe determin'd at all Events, to have her Doubts ſatisfied, and reſolutely ventur'd down, and got to his Bed-ſide. She prevented a Noiſe on his awaking, by telling her Name, and as ſhe was undreſs'd, without more Ceremony ſlipp'd in, and took him in her Arms.
WHERE now were all his mighty Reſolutions?—Where were all Mr. Kindly's moral Leſſons?—Vaniſh'd,—Loſt in the Obſcurity of the Night, and in the Arms of [Page 130] Youth and Beauty!—She made him many tender Reproaches, but her Love forgave all.—His Reflections that Day were quite of another Complexion to the former, and he even thought himſelf a Fool, for being more timorous than a Girl. Beſides, he argu'd the Impoſſibility of Danger, or being diſcover'd; and, that if it was a Crime, he at moſt, was anſwerable but for Half; but the ſtrongeſt Reaſon for continuing this Affair was, that he believed every Man would do the ſame, had he the ſame Opportunity.—Thus, his Underſtanding was quite defeated by, what he thought, good Reaſon.—How many are there, who, by ſuch fallacious Arguments, perſuade, or endeavour to perſuade themſelves into Evil, even contrary to their real Opinion? And how many are there, who are but too ſucceſsful in their Attempts to deceive themſelves?
HIS Amour went charmingly on for about ſix Weeks, nor could there be, in his Imagination, an happier Mortal.—He inſenſibly dropt all boyiſh Amuſements, and was much leſs punctual and exact at School, than formerly. His Viſage began to change, and the Roſes in his Cheeks to fade; inſomuch, that Madam Johnſton really thought him out of Order, and very innocently directed [Page 131] Nannett to take ſome Care of the poor Boy, and give him ſomething warm, when he was in Bed. Nannett moſt punctually obey'd her Commands, but Jack grew paler notwithſtanding.
MR. JOHNSTON, at laſt, obſerv'd an Alteration in Jack, and, for ſome Time, was of his Wife's Opinion; but, as Nothing could eſcape his Penetration, he perceiv'd that the Boy's Eyes ſparkl'd, and his Face had an uncommon Glow, whenever Nannett enter'd the Room. He likewiſe remark'd a peculiar Pleaſure in their Countenances, when they ſpoke to each other, and even when their Eyes chanc'd to meet, which they frequently did.—'Tis a Queſtion would puzzle Monſieur de Moivre, Whether moſt Intrigues were began, or were diſcover'd by the Eyes? Certain it is, they are as apt to betray as ſeduce. If theſe faithleſs Companions have a Language to perſuade us into ſecret Deeds, they have another to divulge it.—What Pity it is, they are placed in ſo conſpicuous a Spot!
MR. JOHNSTON in his Youth was a Maſter of this Language, and read in their Hearts, what gave him extreme Pain. He was tortur'd with ſuſpecting the worſt, and reaſon'd himſelf into the Conduct he was to obſerve, ſhould his Suſpicions be well [Page 132] grounded.—He knew, ſhould his Reſentment vent itſelf in Words, the Reputation of his Niece was loſt, and the Character of his School would ſuffer a ſevere Wound.— To chaſtiſe the Boy, would anſwer but the ſame End.—To join them in Marriage was ridiculous, and, to ſuffer them to live peaceably in Iniquity was impoſſible.—For two Days was he thus agitated, before he could fix on a Scheme to ſave all Appearances, but particularly thoſe that could affect his own Family.—When he had revolved his Plan, and taken a Reſolution, his next Step was to ſatisfy his eager Doubts.
The third Morning, about Three o'Clock, he quietly ſtepp'd into Jack's Room. He examined the Bed, which he founded unruffled and cold, and immediately concluded Jack was in a warmer Place. He pauſed for a few Minutes to ſtifle his Indignation, and let the Hurry of his Spirits ſubſide, and then quietly mounted to his Niece's Apartment. He gently open'd the Curtain, and found the happy criminal Pair lock'd in each other's Arms, bidding Defiance to all worldly Cares, for they were faſt aſleep. —For ſome Time he gazed with Aſtoniſhment, and ſcarcely credited the Evidence of his Eyes.—At laſt he ſtirred Nannett, who wakened with a tender Expreſſion to [Page 133] Jack; but when ſhe perceiv'd her Uncle, ſhe was juſt going to ſcream out, when he put his his Hand on her Mouth, and conjured her to make no Noiſe, but lie ſtill.— Jack now opened his Eyes, but the Moment he beheld the old Gentleman, he hid himſelf under the Cloaths.
POOR Nannett put on a moſt ſupplicating Countenance, which her ready Tears greatly aſſiſted. Mr. Johnſton, with as much Coolneſs as he could collect, firſt deſired her to pin her Tucker; and, ‘Now, ſaid he, Child, though you have been very fooliſh, yet I promiſe you, if you will keep your own Counſel, I ſhall do the ſame, and it ſhall for ever be a Secret, even from your Aunt.’—So much Goodneſs gave her new Life, and ſhe promiſed never more to tranſgreſs, and be all Obedience.—‘Dry your Eyes, my Dear, ſaid he, you ſee I am not angry with you or Jack, ſo bid him get up and meet me in the Garden immediately; where we will conſult how to manage this ſilly Affair.’— When he was gone, Jack ventured to peep out, and was quite overjoyed to find Mr. Johnſton in ſuch good Humour, and much wonder'd at it. They were both extremely pleaſed, and imagined they even had his Conſent to continue their agreeable Amuſement. [Page 134] —Jack ſoon dreſſed himſelf, and taking a tender Leave of his dear Nannett, promiſed to meet earlier the following Night; but alas! that Meeting never happened.
JACK got to the Garden as directed, but trembled at Mr. Johnſton's Approach, who, aſſuming a Smile, gave the Boy not a little Courage.—'Well, Sir, ſaid his Maſter, it ſeems you have lately paſſed your Time very chearfully, and turned over other Leaves beſides Latin and Greek; however, I am not now here to upbraid you with Ingratitude, or with the Breach of all Laws, Human and Divine; neither ſhall I now correct you, or ſend you to Priſon, and have you hang'd, as the Laws direct; but, as I ſhall always have it in my Power, ſo I ſhall certainly put it in Practice, except you will give me your moſt ſacred Promiſe, to do whatever I ſhall order.' —'Sir, ſaid Jack, with great Confuſion, I really don't know how to appear before God or you, after my Tranſgreſſions; but I hope my ſincere Repentance, with my moſt ſolemn Vow to obey all your Directions, will atone for my Crimes'— I know, reply'd Mr. Johnſton, you abhor a Lye, therefore I will truſt you. The laſt Letters I received from my Lord particularly mention you, about a Project [Page 135] I had of ſending you to London, of which he has approved. Now, Jack, if you will ſet out this Day, in the Manner I ſhall direct, I will pardon all, and put you in a Way of making your Fortune.' —'Sir, reply'd Jack, (who was fired at going to London) I have already given you my Oath to obey, and, to convince you of my Readineſs, I am willing to ſet out this Minute.'
‘IN the firſt Place, ſaid Mr. Johnſton, I muſt inſiſt on your not ſpeaking a Syllable to Nannett, on any Account whatever, nor to any Perſon in the Family about what has happened. In the next Place, I deſire you will preſs me this Morning for Leave to viſit Mr. Wilſon's Family, who have ſo often invited you.—Go that Road about a Mile, and then turn back through the Fields, which you know will, in about an Hour, lead you into the great Road to DUBLIN. On this Side the Windmill you will find my Man John with a Carr, who will have particular Orders to take Care of you, and you will follow his Directions. As I know you will believe me, I give you my Word and Honour, that I intend only your own Good; but it is abſolutely neceſſary for your Peace and mine, that you promiſe [Page 136] punctually to obey my Orders, and that on no Account you will ever write yourſelf, or cauſe any other Perſon to write to my Lord, Mr. Kindly, or me. Theſe are the Conditions on which my Pardon is founded: If you tranſgreſs, be aſſur'd my utmoſt Renſentment will follow.’
JACK threw himſelf on his Knees, and moſt ſolemnly vow'd, in the Preſence of God, religiouſly to obſerve all his Directions; and riſing, aſk'd his Maſter what he intended to do with his Shirts, Books, and his other little Effects? But being aſſur'd he ſhould find them all ſafe in Dublin, was quite eaſy on that Account.—‘Now, ſaid Mr. Johnſton, I am ſatisfy'd, and I hope you will have Reaſon to be content. Leſt you may want Money on the Road, here is a Guinea, and more will be given you in Town.’
AS they walk'd towards the Houſe, Mr. Johnſton gave him many good Leſſons for his future Conduct.—He very earneſtly recommended a modeſt, ſober, and religious Life, as what only could give him true Joy and real Happineſs.—He told him, that God ſometimes permitted Good to come out of Evil and pray'd it might be ſo in the preſent Caſe; but, that no Man ought to depend that ſuch a Grace would at all [Page 137] Times be beſtowed on us;—that, as the Mercy of God was great, ſo was his Jealouſy; equally capable of forgiving young raſh Sinners, as of puniſhing obſtinate and unrepenting Offenders.
MUCH more was ſaid on this Subject, and in ſo tender a Manner, as greatly to affect the Boy, and make a ſtrong Impreſſion on his Mind. Mr. Johnſton concluded, with ſaying, ‘You have not much of the common Iriſh Manner of ſpeaking, but let me adviſe you to forget the little you have, and endeavour to ſpeak like the People you live with, which will prevent your being often laugh'd at, and ridicul'd by the Ignorant and Vulgar, and none other can do it.—Your Name is quite Iriſh, but I ſhall call you JOHN CONYERS, in my Letters, and henceforward let that be your Name. And now, Mr. Conyers, I think we have fully ſettled this Matter; therefore go in, and behave as uſual; but remember your Promiſe.’
THEY got to the Houſe before any of the Servants were up, ſo their Meeting was a Secret.—When Jack was alone, he began very ſeriouſly to reflect on his Situation. He was conſcious of deſerving very ſevere Puniſhment, and thank'd God Mr. Johnſton had treated him ſo well.—On the other [Page 138] Hand, he regretted parting with his dear Nannett, eſpecially in the Manner he had promis'd, and had a violent Inclination to take one tender Farewel, but his Vow prevented him. The Injunctions laid on him, he thought very extraordinary; but the Dread of Puniſhment and Shame, and the Anger of my Lord and Mr. Kindly, made him acquieſce with Patience to theſe hard Terms. Beſides, as he really had an entire Confidence in, and a Love for Mr. Johnſton, he doubted not but he had good Reaſons for what he ordered.
THO' his Effects were to meet him in Dublin, he had the wiſe Precaution of putting on two Shirts, and taking his Purſe, which now contained but eleven Guineas. He likewiſe put in his Coat Pocket the little Box and Inſtructions given him by Mr. Kindly, and all the little Manuſcripts he had. Thus dreſs'd, and fix'd in his Reſolutions, he waited on Mr. Johnſton, and begged his Leave to viſit Mr. Wilſon, who lived about four Miles to the Weſt.—Mr. Johnſton heſitated for ſome Time, but his Wife interceding, ſhe obtained Permiſſion, provided he promiſed to go Half a Mile round, and not croſs the Ford which was ſometimes dangerous.
[Page 139] IT ſeems Mr. Johnſton had given Orders to John to go that Morning with a Carr to Dublin for an Hogſhead of Wine; and, as he was an old faithful Servant, was the only Perſon he truſted with the Secret. He gave him his Inſtructions, and a Letter to his Brother, who was a Merchant of that City.—John had ſet out about Eight o'Clock, and Jack took a different Road about Nine. —He went off with tolerable Spirits; but, when he came to the appointed Turn, his Heart ſwelled, and the Thoughts of parting with Nannett, Maſter Harry, Billy, and all his dear Friends for ever, almoſt made him diſtracted, and obliged him to ſit down and give Way to a Torrent of Tears.—At laſt the Thoughts of ſeeing DUBLIN and LONDON, and the Hopes of making his Fortune, throwing his Situation into a more favourable Light, he found Strength to proceed, and joyned old John about Eleven o'Clock.—The Man was prepared for him; and, under the Pretence of keeping him from the Sun, ſeated him on a Bundle of Straw on the Carr, and cover'd him with a Sort of Awning, ſo cloſe, that no Paſſengers could ſee him, and then march'd on to Dublin, where he was well received by the Merchant.
[Page 140] PERHAPS the good-natured Reader may be deſirous of knowing what paſſed at Portarlington when Jack was miſſed, and how Nannett and the Family behaved on this melancholy Occaſion; and ſorry I am, that it is not in my Power to gratify ſo reaſonable a Curioſity. He may, if he pleaſes, ſuppoſe with me, that they ſent next Day to Mr. Wilſon's, and that their Surprize was great, when inform'd they had not ſeen or heard of him. No doubt, many were their Conjectures; ſome, I imagine, thought he had run away; but I apprehend the moſt probable and general Surmiſe was, that in croſſing the Ford he was drown'd.
BE this as it will, I muſt, tho' with ſome Regret, leave this good Family, and follow my Friend JACK CONYERS through Scenes of a much different Nature.—The calm, tranquil Life he has hitherto led, muſt give Place to the Hurry and Buſtle of the World. —Deceit, Craft, Flattery and Vice, muſt ſucceed to Leſſons of Honour, Probity and Virtue.
Take ſound Advice proceeding from the Heart,Sincerely your's and free from fraudful Art.DRYDEN'S VIRGIL.
HAPPY that Being, who ſometimes permits himſelf to think ſeriouſly; who ſuffers his Imagination deliberately to reflect on external Objects, and internally apply thoſe Leſſons of Morality, and Inſtruction that may be drawn from every Action of Man—Vice trails with it thoſe Marks, that ſhew us its Odiouſneſs, as ſome poiſonous Animals carry their Antidote.— Affluence and Plenty are not generally productive of ſuch Thoughts; for, in that Situation, we are apt to look no farther than ourſelves, nor conceive the Poſſibility of being wretched and unhappy, till we have experienced ſome of its Bitters.—There is a pleaſing and a uſeful Senſation, in the Soul, at viewing and commiſerating the Diſtreſſes of the Unfortunate. The more we have pitied and raiſed our Tenderneſs and Charity to others, the happier we find ourſelves, ſhould Diſtreſs and Penury, viſit us [Page 142] in its Rounds—Independent of the Chriſtian Duty of Compaſſion, this Conſideration alone, makes it good to have been in Trouble.
JACK, tho' tenderly treated by the Merchant, and now in a large City where Variety of unaccuſtom'd Objects preſented themſelves to his View, yet melancholy Ideas fill'd his Mind. To abandon and be abandon'd by thoſe Friends he had ſo ſincerely loved—To live amongſt Strangers in a diſtant Country, and to begin to labour and work for the Bread he was to eat, were to him moſt dreadful Viciſſitudes of Fortune; and what he imagin'd, were peculiar to himſelf. In theſe gloomy Reflections, he acknowledged his manifold Offences, and in his fervent Prayers, which had lately been neglected, moſt heartily begg'd Forgiveneſs. He read Mr. Kindly's Inſtructions to his Son, over and over, and made the propereſt Obſervations on them in his Power.
AS I have now ſome ſpare Time, it cannot be better employ'd, than laying before my Reader the Inſtructions ſo often mention'd.—Should he be wiſe enough not to ſtand in Need of theſe Precepts, I beg he will paſs them over, and ſkip on to the mere Narration.
To my Son John Kindly.
My dear Child,
WHEN you reflect on the Relation I bare to you, and on my Tenderneſs and Affection, you muſt be convinc'd that all my Care and Pains is to endeavour to make, and perhaps ſee you an happy and a worthy Man.—You are now to begin a new Scene of Life, where, inſtead of the Guardianſhip of a fond Father you muſt be guided and directed by ſo dangerous a Tutor as yourſelf—Tho' you muſt be far remov'd from my Preſence, yet, I conjure you by every ſacred Tye, to think on your Father and the Advice he now gives you.
BE careful in obſerving every Duty of RELIGION. You will find it the ſureſt, and perhaps the only Way to keep Peace and Content in your Heart, and a Serenity and Chearfulneſs in your Countenance—By being a Man, be not aſham'd of being a Chriſtian.
CANDOUR, Integrity and Gratitude, are ſome of the ſtrongeſt Links that bind Men to each other. When theſe [Page 144] are abſent, Suſpicion, Fraud and Deceit, will fill each Breaſt, and make us rather Companions for the wild Inhabitants of the Foreſt, than Aſſociates to Animals, who boaſt ſuperior Reaſon.
YOU are to live in the World.—You are to ſtudy the large Volume of Mankind.—Whilſt thus employ'd, forget not that Mankind are ſtudying you.— Nature has given you an eaſy flexible Temper, therefore guard againſt the Charms of Flattery.—I know you will avoid the Profligate and Prophane: Shun likewiſe the Demure, the Preciſe, and the Very Godly. — Experience demonſtrates that Hypocriſy, Cunning and Deceit, generally lurk under it, and that the Righteous overmuch, have other Schemes to work out, beſides their Salvation.
A TENDERNESS for our Fellow-Creatures, a compaſſionate Turn for their Misfortunes, and Pity for their Weakneſſes, are what we owe ourſelves and them.—By not paying this Debt, we renounce our Claim to Humanity.
[Page 145] POLITE Behaviour and Complacency of Manners places every Action in the moſt advantageous Light, and adds irreſiſtible Grace to every Word and every Motion.—Be ſincere in ſuch a Conduct, and ſuffer not your Lips to give the Lye to your Heart.—There is a Medium to be followed even to Perſons we have an ill Opinion of.
AS a general good Behaviour is neceſſary to, and required by all, you cannot fail of being remarkably ſo to ſome particulars; but avoid making Friendſhips, till by Time you are convinced they deſerve your's.—When you have found a Friend, deteſt the old and falſe Maxim of living with him as tho' he may become an Enemy.
GO not into the Way of Temptation; for, believe me, it will but too often fall in your's. Reſolution is ſtrong; but the ſtrongeſt is lodg'd in a frail Body, therefore depend not too much upon it, but, rather owe your Safety to a timely Flight.
IN your Dreſs, avoid as much as poſſible the Gaudy and Fluttering, but in the Neat and Clean, endeavour to be remarkable. A Carefulneſs in properly ſetting off the Perſon, is commendable [Page 146] and uſeful. It argues a Deſire of pleaſing, and gratifies the Eye of every Beholder. A Propriety in Dreſs, and a certain Sobriety of Deportment, free from Affectation and Formality, will always add Weight to your Converſation, and make it ſought after.
COMPANY and Chearfulneſs are neceſſary, and of infinite Uſe; but a conſtant Jollity and Mirth betrays ſuch a Levity in the Mind, that your Preſence will never be deſir'd but merely to divert others, whoſe Regard ceaſes the Inſtant the Laughter is over.—Should your Wit offend, be aſſured of an Enemy for ever.
AS your Inclinations lead you to the Study of the Laws, you will ſoon perceive the Strength of the Foundation on which the Britiſh Conſtitution is built.— You will ſoon obſerve the Happineſs of that Kingdom, where the different Ranks of Men have their different Operations, all coinciding and centering in the Preſervation of the Whole.—Let your Heart and your Hand be always ready to ſupport this Structure.—It has often been in Danger, and ſuffered mighty-Revolutions; but, as it is now fully repaired by a PROTESTANT ARCHITECT, [Page 147] be it your Care, as much as in you lies, to defend it from every Foreign Political, and from every Domeſtick wicked Attempt.
AMBITION and Pride are Crimes of the moſt dangerous Tendency, yet, like Opiates, a ſmall Quantity is ſometimes neceſſary, as a large one gives the Patient up to Frenzy and Madneſs, and, in the End, deſtroys him.—To have theſe in a juſt Degree, will raiſe a Deſire of excelling, and prevent a Meanneſs of Conduct.
A POET ſays, 'There is a Pleaſure in being mad, which none but mad Men know.'—Be it ſo, but deſire not to experience it. Rather try what Pleaſure Common Senſe will afford.—She will inſtruct you in Oeconomy, and in that proper Management of your Fortune, that will bid Defiance to a Goal, and make your Sleep truly a Bleſſing.—She will teach you the right Uſe of Learning, and ſhew the Folly of being impertinent with it.—She will hold a Mirror to your Perſon, and point out the Abſurdity of being vain of it.—She will adviſe, direct, and ſhew you the World in its true and genuine Colours, and give you that Taſte, which Ignorance, [Page 148] Pride and Folly, will ever be Strangers to.
LEARN, if poſſible, to be content with the Station Heaven has allotted you, and endeavour to attain that Sort of Philoſophy which gives Patience and Reſignation in all Sorts of Calamities.— The happieſt of Beings not only are ſubject to them, but almoſt daily feel them in different Shapes.—To be a Maſter of this truly noble Science, believe me, the Heart muſt be unconſcious of Guilt, and a Rectitude of Thought muſt dwell in it.—In a Word, let your Intentions and your Schemes of Life be always founded in Virtue and Honour; but, whilſt human and prudential Means are purſu'd, ſubmit the Iſſue, with all Humility, unto that BEING, who is incapable of Error or Falſhood, and into whoſe Hands I chearfully ſubmit you.
AS often as Jack read over theſe Leſſons, he found his Cares to lighten, and received ſuch Strength to ſupport himſelf, as made him determine to purſue them as exactly as he could.—He had now been in Dublin about a Month, and had received all the Effects he left in Portarlington. The Merchant [Page 149] having prepared all Things for his Expedition, and equipp'd him tolerably well in Cloaths, gave him Five Guineas, and a Letter to his Correſpondent Mr. Joſhua Strong, of Throgmorton-Street, and embark'd him on board the Hibernia, bound for London.
I HOPE it will not be expected I ſhould furniſh my Readers with the Adventures of this Voyage of ten Days, as there happen'd but the common Occurrences on ſuch Occaſions; but I am ſtrongly inclin'd to preſent them, according to the Practice of other wiſe Authors, with a moſt extraordinary and ſurpriſing Dream Jack had the firſt Night.—He dream'd—But I beg Pardon, for I find myſelf at this Inſtant ſo drowſy, that I muſt requeſt my kind Reader will follow my Example, and by taking a Nap, dream the Remainder of this Chapter.
When Pleaſure ſtumbles in our Way,Our beſt Reſolves too oft' decay.Frail Nature prompts, and giddy YouthFalls into Crimes, in ſpite of Truth.ANONIMOUS.
MR. STRONG had by Poſt received a full Account of Jack, and what he was deſtin'd for, ſo that when he appear'd with his Letter, he was received with a Sort of Civility that gave him ſome Uneaſineſs. Mr. Strong, was at Dinner, and having aſked him a few trifling Queſtions, deſir'd him to go to the Kitchen and get ſome Victuals. He bore this Indignity tolerably well, for his Appetite did not permit his quarrelling with Punctilios. In the Evening ſome more Queſtions were put to him, and was told he ſhould be taken next Morning where he was to live. It ſeems Mr. Strong had had Time to prepare Matters.
THIS was not the pleaſanteſt Night Jack paſs'd in his Life, but the Morning at laſt came that was to ſolve ſome Doubts. Mr. [Page 151] Strong took his Hat and Cane, and deſir'd Jack to follow him. As they walk'd he told him they were going to Mr. Champignon's the Weaver in Spittle Fields, with whom he had agreed to bind him Apprentice. ‘You may, ſaid Mr. Strong, ſtay ſeven or eight Months on Trial; but I dare ſay you will like your Situation ſo well, that you will have Reaſon to thank your Friends.’ —Jack, though not quite pleas'd, was glad to find Matters no worſe, and with more Chearfulneſs continued his March to the Weaver's.
MR. STRONG entering, cry'd, 'Well, Monſieur, here is the Boy I ſpoke to you about; take him, and be ſure dont keep him idle.'—'Ha hah, ſaid Champignon, Parbleau he be a ver pritty Garçon, and I ſure you muſte workè ver well, for be gar ſi he no Travail he fall avè de ver good Soupe-maigre!—'That's right, ſaid Mr. Strong, no Work, no Meat; but I hope he'll prove a good Boy, ſo, Monſieur, your Servant,—I'll call on you as I go by.'— 'Serviteur, Serviteur, Monſieur de Strang, cry'd Champignon, as you pleſe call en peſſant.'—Jack eye'd his new Maſter, and could ſcarcely forbear laughing at the Oddity of his Figure. He was about Sixty-five or Seventy Years of [Page 152] Age, tall and very thin. His ſwarthy Skin did not ſeem to belong to what it cover'd, and his Cheek-Bones, in particular, diſcover'd a violent Inclination to eſcape through. He had on an old greaſy Stuff Gown, and a double mill'd Cap, that perhaps was formerly Scarlet. In ſhort, Jack thought he was bound Apprentice to a Skeleton, but a certain good natur'd Smile, and an agreeable Vivacity in the old Man, gave him ſome Proſpect of being better than he imagin'd.
MONSIEUR Champignon, was one of the Million whom the Religious Wiſdom of LEWIS the Fourteenth compell'd to viſit England and other Proteſtant Countries, and who brought with them many uſeful Arts and Manufactures. He was a Man of great Application and Induſtry, which, with great Saving for a Courſe of Years, made him worth about Twenty Thouſand Pounds. He had a Gaiety in his Temper, and ſuch a Fund of natural good Underſtanding, that his Company was extremely agreeable to many eminent Merchants. His Wife was a good Sort of old Woman; but his only Child Mademoiſelle TONTON, was a moſt lively and pritty Girl of Twenty-four Years of Age. Her Complexion was not of the brighteſt, but her ſparkling [Page 153] Eyes, and her good Shape, made her a very deſirable Object. Her Father, from the Stingineſs of his Temper, had diſappointed her of two very good Matches, and the ſcandalous Chronicle of the Neighbourhood ſaid, ſhe had taken a proper Revenge.
CHAMPIGNON was ſo whimſical, that he ſcarcely ever ſpoke French, and his Engliſh was ſuch a Medley, as to occaſion frequent Laughter. When he was aſk'd, Why he ſpoke not better Engliſh, he always anſwer'd,—‘De par tout les Diables! — How you avè me ſpeak ſo better Englis? Sacre Chien! I avè live dans Londres no more as Forty Year, but avec de Time, me ſal avè de Converſation, Piff—Paff— ſo well as Monſieur me lor Merè.’
IT would be impertinent to attempt to entertain the Reader with the many arch Tricks Jack play'd his new Maſter, or with the Mirth Monſieur Champignon's Engliſh afforded. He was extremely paſſionate, and often call'd Jack a Jean Fou-re, an Irland ſon-ma-biche, and many other [Page 154] whimſical Names that always excited Llaughter.
HE had now liv'd with Mr. Champignon above Twelve Months, and was pretty well reconciled to the Family, whoſe Love he had got by Songs, and a thouſand Iriſh Stories. Miſs, in particular, was greatly diverted with his agreeable Chat, and he overheard her one Morning, tell her Maid; ‘That conſidering Conyers was Iriſh, he was the prettieſt young Fellow ſhe ever ſaw in her Life.’—Though his Manner of ſpeaking was greatly improved, yet there remained enough of his Country to be ſeverely banter'd by Miſs Tonton. She often inſiſted on his making Bulls and Blunders. She laugh'd at the Words, Unwell — Big Coat, — E're Yeſterday, and the like. — Jack, who was now become pretty free, aſk'd her, if ſhe underſtood him when he ſpoke.—'Yes, ſaid ſhe, I comprehend your Meaning well enough; but you have ſuch unaccountable Phraſes, one had need of an Iriſh Expoſitor.'—'I'm glad, Madam, ſaid Jack, you are pleas'd to allow I ſpeak ſo as to be comprehended, but a Gentleman, the other Day, in our Warehouſe cry'd out, "Did no body ſee any body take up never a Hat."—'I beg, Madam, [Page 155] you will be ſo good to explain this Engliſh Phraſe; for, upon my Sowl, I cannot.'—'Upon my Sowl! ſaid ſhe, and laugh'd violently at his Tone, without anſwering his Queſtion.'
SUCH Sort of Converſation happen'd frequently, and was equally amuſing, but as he artfully ſuffer'd her to have the Superiority in every Argument, and even aſk'd her Advice and Inſtruction, ſhe conceived a vaſt Opinion of his uncultivated Genius, and his natural good Parts.—Theſe Sort of Beginnings, generally lead to, and are but the Forerunners of Thoughts, not ſo proper to be plainly ſet down.—Theſe impertinent Thoughts but too often occur'd,— Jack had them not,—Gueſs who then?
MISS TONTON was one Morning at her Toilet very judiciouſly adjuſting her Headdreſs before ſhe fix'd her Stays. Young Conyers, paſſing her Chamber, was perceiv'd by the Reflection of her Glaſs, and calling him in a great Hurry, begg'd he'd look down her back for a Flea that teaz'd her immoderately. Jack, very innocently, examin'd the Part, and declar'd he ſaw nothing.—‘Lord, ſaid Tonton, you're ſuch an unhandy Booby, you'll let the Creature eſcape, but look ſharp, Jack, I beg of you.’—Jack look'd, but his Imagination [Page 156] being warm'd by the Touch, his Underſtanding became the clearer.—‘Now, cry'd he, I ſee it.—There it hops, faith 'tis a Swinger.’—He then vigourouſly purſu'd the flying Animal, which, traverſing the whole Plain of her Back, took its Courſe to the Eminencies in Front, where it afforded a moſt delightful Chaſe. It ſkip'd from Hill to Hill, practis'd all the Craft of the Hare, but Jack was ſo keen a Sportſman, that he reſted not till he had fairly caught it.
ASSOCIATES in Amuſements become Intimates, and frequently form Friendſhips. 'Twas ſo in the preſent Caſe. Tonton began to be extremely fond of Jack's Company, and found ſo many Opportunities to hunt, that one would imagine ſhe had collected all the Fleas in the Pariſh, to afford him Diverſion. Her Maid Berſheba, who was old and ugly, prevented many an Evening's Sport, ſo ſhe was oblig'd to make Uſe of her as a Whipper-in, or as a Groom to hold the Horſes. By this notable Contrivance, Jack was frequently introduc'd when the Family were in Bed, and ſtay'd till they were near riſing, when he quietly retir'd through the old Maid's Room, whoſe Hey-day of the Blood was not over, but ſometimes mutiny'd in the Matron's [Page 157] Bones.—It ſeems poor Berſheba was likewiſe ſubject to Fleas, and the Hunting them became not a little troubleſome to Jack. It chagreen'd him much, and made Tonton very uneaſy.—At laſt he obtain'd a long Reſpite, but not in the Manner he choſe, for he was taken extremely ill, and a violent Fever enſu'd. No doubt he wanted not proper Care, and in Six Weeks he began to return to his Senſes, and a little to recover.
THE firſt Uſe he made of his Reaſon, was to confeſs the Juſtice of the Puniſhment for his repeated Crimes.—Bounty-Hall, Portarlington, his Friends, and all their good Advice, now came ruſhing into his Thoughts with ſuch Force, that he relapſed, and had like never to have given me the Opportunity of writing his Hiſtory. His Youth and good Conſtitution at length prevail'd, and all Danger was over, except what might proceed from his extreme Weakneſs, or falling into a Conſumption. He recover'd ſo ſlowly, that the Doctor, like his Brethren, when they know not what elſe to do, advis'd a Change of Air for a Month or two. Champignon was one of the few Frenchmen of Subſtance, who had not a Country Houſe, and to take Lodgings and maintain Jack, would be attended [Page 158] with an Expence he by no means could bring himſelf to think of.
MR. VILLENEUF, a very eminent Merchant in Black-Fryars, was an intimate Friend, and had frequently diverted himſelf with Jack, whoſe pertinent Anſwers and good Underſtanding, made him a Sort of Favourite.—'Champignon, ſaid he one Day, Why don't you ſend poor Conyers to the Country?—The Lad will die here, and his Funeral will coſt you more than a Month's Lodging.'—'Ha, Ha, ſaid Champignon, I do no ſuch a-ting.—Parbleu I ſend Jean to de Diable—to Monſieur de Strang.—Dat Gentilman he never come ſay, Champignon, how Jean Conyer do?—Monſieur de Strang ſay noting, do noting—Poor Champignon muſte do tout.—Ventrebleu! Je crois dat de Monde tink me diablement richè!—I tellê you, Monſieur Villeneuf, poor Champignon ſall dye, alors you will ſee, you will regardé all my pauvre Richeſſe.'—'A d'autres, ſaid Villeneuf, I know you better. Beſides, if Mr. Strong be a Brute, I hope my Friend Champignon is not?—But I ſhall make this Matter eaſy, and honeſt Conyers ſhall not be loſt.—Send him Tomorrow to my Houſe at Greenwich, where he may be a Companion for my ſober [Page 159] melancholy Son, and perhaps do each other good.'—Champignon was not averſe to this Propoſal, and Jack, with his Trunk, were put into a Coach, and ſent off next Day.
MR. VILLENEUF, the Son, was a Gentleman of Twenty-four Years of Age. He paſſionately lov'd Reading and Retirement, was extremely good natur'd and charitable; but had a Gloomineſs in his Temper, that made him averſe to much Company and Mirth. His Father, who had no other Child, was oblig'd to indulge him in his Humour, and ſupply him liberally with Money to gratify his generous Spirit. His large Fortune could very well afford this Expence.
JACK was as happy as his diſturb'd Thoughts would permit, which were ever reflecting on his paſt Conduct, and upbraiding him with Actions of which he dreaded the Conſequence.—Repentance, he thought, might avert a further Puniſhment, and ſet himſelf ſeriouſly to think of it.— He knew, that truly to repent, he muſt lead a new Life, and avoid his former, and all other Crimes.—But how difficult! what Struggles had he to forget Nannett and Tonton! he could not avoid remembring the very Thing he wanted to be blotted from [Page 160] his Memory; then how could he ſay he would forget them?—No, but as he could not prevent the Intruſion of Thought, he was determin'd to refrain from actual Evil. As this was the utmoſt he could bring himſelf to, he reſted ſatisfy'd that this Reſolution would hold firm.
THE firſt Week at Greenwich was not extreamly pleaſant, as young Mr. Villeneuf, ſeldom ſpoke to, or ſeem'd to regard him, but as the Apprentice of a Weaver, for whom his Father had ſome Value. Jack perceived the Reaſon of this Coolneſs, and by Degrees ſtole in a Latin Sentence; and ſome judicious Obſervations, but in ſuch Language and Accent (for he had quite loſt the Iriſh Tone) that ſurpriz'd the young Gentleman, and made him deſirous of a more intimate Acquaintance. This he eaſily accompliſhed, and as Jack's Health and Spirits encreas'd, he made great Progreſs in the Affections of Mr. Villeneuf.
THE old Gentleman had determin'd to ſend his Son to Paris for a Year or two, that by Travel, and a different Climate and Company, he might be brought inſenſibly to act like other Men. He found his Son was much pleas'd with Jack, and propos'd his going with him as a kind of Servant, of whom he might at Times make a Companion. [Page 161] The young Gentleman expreſs'd his Satisfaction, and Conyers was vaſtly delighted at ſeeing a little more of the World, and not be oblig'd to return to the perpetual Motion of the Shuttle.
I MUST leave the Management of Monſieur Champignon to the old Gentleman, and bid adieu to Spittle-Fields, Tonton and Berſheba, for in three Months Mr. Villeneuf and Conyers found themſelves in the Capital of France.
The Learned, full of inward Pride,The Fops of Outward ſhow Deride;The Fop, with Learning at Defiance,Scoffs at the Pedant, and the Science:The Don, a formal, ſolemn Strutter,Deſpiſes Monſieur's Airs and Flutter;While Monſieur mocks the formal FoolWho looks, and ſpeaks, and walks by Rule.Britain, a Medley of the Twain,As pert as France, as grave as Spain,In Fancy wiſer than the Reſt,Laughs at them both,—GAY.
JACK was now in his Ninteenth Year, of a good Stature, good Complexion, and, when dreſs'd, was a very genteel and handſome Fellow. His Eyes were black and ſprightly; he had a moſt agreeable Smile, and ſomething ſo eaſy in his Manner, that he prepoſſeſſed every one in his Favour, almoſt at firſt Sight. When he ſpoke, it was with great Modeſty, but his Learning and good Senſe made him heard with Pleaſure. He had found out the [Page 163] grand Secret of Converſation, which was to ſpeak ſeldom, but to the Purpoſe, and he had likewiſe learn'd to get the better in an Argument, by ſometimes giving it up.
HIS fix'd Allowance from Mr. Villeneuf was but ſmall, but he equipp'd him with decent Cloaths, ruffled Shirts, and from Time to Time with Money ſufficient to dine at a good Ordinary, and be always clean and neat. Mr. Villeneuf generally went out about Ten in the Morning, and return'd to his Lodgings about Five in the Evening, except he went to the Comedy, but never expected Conyers till about Eight or Nine o'Clock. Jack always attended when he was dreſſing, but was of little Uſe, as a French Footman performed all that Operation.
MR. VILLENEUF had a Fencing and a Dancing Maſter, rather becauſe it was the Faſhion, and that his Father inſiſted on it, than for any Uſe they might be of to him. The Gentlemen conſtantly attended, but Conyers principally received the Benefit of their Inſtructions. He likewiſe was very diligent at a Neighbouring Academy for Riding. This was of infinite Advantage, as it ſtrengthened his Limbs, and gave him a Carriage that ſtill added to the Gracefulneſs of his Perſon. When his Curioſity [Page 164] was pretty much gratify'd, he applied cloſely to the beſt French Authors, making their Hiſtory and Language familiar to him. He examined and enquired, as far as he was able, into their Laws, their Cuſtoms and Manners; and made ſuch Obſervations, that more learned Travellers need not have been aſham'd of. He had a Genius for Figures, and made himſelf a tolerable Maſter of ſome Branches in Mathematicks. In a Word, he took Care to be fully employ'd.
HIS young Maſter, or rather his Friend, had Books enough, and in Converſation gave him many Hints which he improv'd. One Night at Supper, Villeneuf told him, he wonder'd at his ſtaying ſo much in the Houſe; and that he ought to go more into the World! 'You are always ſaid he, poring over Books, and adviſing me againſt what you practiſe yourſelf.'—'I confeſs, Sir, ſaid Conyers, it is but too true. I am neceſſitated to act like the Gaſcoin; for, not having it in my Power to read the Great, I muſt content myſelf with the ſmall World, as I find it in Books.'— Pray, ſaid Mr. Villeneuf, how did the Gaſcoin manage?—'Why, Sir, reply'd Conyers, the Gaſcoin was juſt as poor a Fellow as I am, but he took it into his Head to be induſtrious, and amuſe himſelf [Page 165] with ſelling Water in Paris. An old Friend met him and his Pitchers, and was vaſtly ſurpriz'd that a Gentleman of his Noble Blood, could ſo demean himſelf, as to follow ſo low an Occupation. Lord! reply'd the Gaſcoin, you quite miſtake the Matter, for I am a Man of great Importance, and ſuch a Favourite at Court, that the King has granted me the Waters of the Sein, but, as I have not found a Chap to buy the Whole at once, you ſee I am oblig'd to retail it.—'So, ſaid Villeneuf, the Moral of the Story is, that your Poverty prevents your following my Advice; but henceforward, that ſhall be no Obſtacle. My Appointment is more than I poſſibly know how to ſpend, and muſt deſire your Aſſiſtance in the Management of Part of it. To begin, take theſe Fifty Pieces, and command more when they are gone.'—Sir, ſaid Conyers, I own I meant to beg a little Money, but could never imagine your Generoſity and Goodneſs, extenſive and great as they are, could lead you into ſuch an Act, that my poor Services can never repay.'
CONYERS, like Numps in the Comedy, was quite another Creature with Money in his Pocket, and ſo elate, that he could not avoid imparting his good Fortune to Madam [Page 166] Commode, the Milliner where they lodg'd. She rejoic'd exceedingly, and extoll'd Mr. Villeneuf's Generoſity to the Skies, but ſtill inſinuated, that the Bounty was vaſtly leſſen'd, when the Worth and Value of the Receiver was conſider'd.—Many were the Compliments and Encomiums beſtow'd on him by the good Woman and her fair Daughter, Madamoiſelle MADELAIN. This young Lady was bleſs'd with peculiar Eloquence, and ſuch a Fluency of Speech, that Conyers preſs'd her Acceptance of a Couple of Lewis d'Ors, which, by ſome accidental Words, he found ſhe ſtood in Need of. With great Difficulty ſhe conſented, but aſſur'd him, it was owing to his irreſiſtable Politeneſs.—He imagin'd ſometimes, ſhe was troubled with Fleas, but he found thoſe of Paris more nimble than thoſe he had before hunted; for, though he often attempted, yet he never could catch one of Madelain's.
HE din'd moſt commonly at a neighbouring Hotel frequented by very good Company, where he had the Honour of hearing the Engliſh pretty ſeverely handled, particularly by Monſieur MAQUEREAU, and the Chevalier FANFARON.—'I can't conceive, ſaid Maquereau, how London maintains itſelf, for moſt of the Inhabitants [Page 167] tranſport themſelves to Paris.'—'True, cry'd Fanfaron, thoſe Engliſh of ſome Underſtanding, know they can never improve but by our Company.'—'I can't blame them, reply'd the other, for it ſhews ſome Glimmering of a good Taſte. The Engliſh, continued he, have that plodding Turn, and that Sort of blunt Stupidity, that enables them to make Money, and as fooliſhly to throw it away. Were it not for their Guineas, their Company would be inſupportable.'—'It muſt be confeſs'd, ſaid the Chevalier, that their Purſe is the beſt furniſh'd Part about them. They are aukward and clumſey, and have not the leaſt Spark of French Politeneſs.'—'I'm ſure, ſaid Maquereau, (raiſing his Shoulders) we take great Pains to make them reaſonable Animals, by ſending ſuch a conſtant Proviſion of Cooks, Milliners, Taylors, Footmen, Silks, Embroideries, and a Million of other uſeful Ingredients in the Compoſition of a fine Gentleman or Lady; and ſo ungrateful are the Creatures, that they ſend us nothing in Return.'— Fo—re, cry'd the Chevalier, what the Devil have they to ſend us? So Monſieur BALLANCE comes in Perſon to return their Thanks.'—Many more vain and impertinent Remarks paſs'd between them; and [Page 168] the Chevalier concluded, by ſaying, ‘It muſt be allowed, France is the Nation in the World, where People ſee good Manners and true Politeneſs.’
CONYERS was very uneaſy at this Converſation; but Monſieur DE PENSE, an elderly Gentleman, took a Glaſs of Wine, and ſaid to him, 'Mr. Engliſhman, I have the Honour to drink your Health. 'Tis the Engliſh Faſhion, and I love it the better. I have great Obligations to the Engliſh, and regard them as a brave and generous People. As for their Politeneſs, I ſwear they have more than what you have ſeen this Day at Table.'—'Sir, ſaid Conyers, I am very glad to find ſo much in one Gentleman, and am diſappointed at not diſcovering the ſame in all.'— How, Sir! cry'd the Chevalier, in an half Angry Tone.—Sir, reply'd Jack very briſkly, you'll be ſo good to indulge me two Words, before your Warmth encreaſes. Gentlemen, continued he, I am in Paris by Command; therefore, am not one of thoſe who come meerly to learn Faſhions. All Nations have Fools in Abundance.— Engliſh Fools go Abroad, becauſe they have Money, and perhaps the Fools of this Country ſtay at Home, becauſe they have none. I frequently meet them, and [Page 169] ſometimes dine with them, and, if you will take their Words, they are Men of Taſte and Politeneſs; and, to convince you of it, they will tell you the Engliſh are ſtupid and barbarous. They'll ſay the rudeſt Expreſſions with the moſt reſpectful Bow, and call it Good Manners. I own, Gentlemen, my Ignorance cannot comprehend the vaſt Politeneſs of ſuch a Conduct, but my little Experience has taught me not to judge of a whole Nation, by a few recent bad Samples.'—Fanfaron and Maquereau ſwell'd with Choler, but Penſé, in a Sort of peremptory Manner, deſir'd them to be eaſy, and added,—'I am aſham'd of all this. Every one here knew this young Gentleman was Engliſh, and every one of us ought to ſtrive who could moſt oblige him. If Gentlemen will ſtrike the Ball, they muſt expect it will rebound, and I doubt not but the young Engliſhman is as capable of handling a Racket as either of you; but by G— he that offends him, by Deſign, offends me.' —'I offend the Gentleman? cry'd the Chevalier, I hope I have more good Manners.'—'I am truly ſorry, ſaid Maquereau, any Pleaſantry of mine ſhould offend a Stranger, much more one of ſo reſpectable a Nation as England, and I [Page 170] hope the Gentleman will be ſo good to grant me his Pardon.'—'Sir, ſaid the Chevalier to Jack, I aſk the ſame with the utmoſt Sincerity, and flatter myſelf the Good Nature, ſo peculiar to the Engliſh Nation, will demonſtrate itſelf on this unhappy Occaſion; for, be aſſur'd, Sir, we had not the leaſt Intention of affronting you, or our dear Friend Monſieur de Penſé.' —Mutual Compliments having paſs'd, the Affair was finally adjuſted, but Mr. Penſé begg'd a further Acquaintance with Conyers, for he was vaſtly ſatisfy'd with his Conduct.
AT Supper, Jack acquainted Mr. Villeneuf with his Adventure, who ſeem'd extremely pleas'd he had come off ſo well.— 'That idle Partiality to our Country, and the deſpiſing all others, ſaid Mr. Villeneuf, gives Riſe to a thouſand Quarrels. Do not our vulgar Countrymen moſt heartily abuſe the French, and all other Nations? And I believe many of our Great-ones do the ſame.'—'In this, Sir, ſaid Jack, you may very juſtly ſay,
[Page 171] The higheſt and loweſt Claſs only vary in their Vices, by the Manner of committing them. They have their Amours, and are equally gratified.—One may drink Champaign or Burgundy to Exceſs, and the other be as happily drunk with Beer or Gin.—One may game for a Thouſand Pounds, and the others be as eager, and cheat as much in Play for Two-pence.' —'But, ſaid Mr. Villeneuf, in Swearing and Curſing, as their Capacities are equal, they are equal in every Part.'—'In abuſing the French, ſaid Conyers, they may have a Shadow of Reaſon, becauſe they are always publick or private Enemies; but what can be ſaid, Sir, when they abuſe and inſult a whole Kingdom, govern'd by the ſame Monarch, the ſame Laws, and inhabited by the ſame People, as themſelves?'—'I ſuppoſe, ſaid Villeneuf, you mean the People of IRELAND, for I know you have a warm Side to it.'—'Sir, ſaid Conyers, I ſhall not deny it, neither do I think it a criminal Warmth; for he who wiſhes well to a Part of his Majeſty's faithful Subjects, ought to do ſo to the Remainder.'—'Not only ſo, reply'd Villeneuf, but is bound in Duty to wiſh well, that is, to endeavour to convert the bad ones. Your Obſervation on the Inſults [Page 172] offer'd the Iriſh, is, I think, rather too general, and holds true; but, with Regard to what you term the great and ſmall Vulgar, Gentlemen of a certain Education, think differently, and are not Slaves to old Popular Errors and Prejudices. However, I believe you will confeſs, that the infamous Practices of ſome of the Iriſh, don't much contribute to remove the Partiality.'—''Tis too true, Sir, ſaid Conyers, and many pay for their Pranks with their Lives, and die ſuddenly in Tyburn Road. If a poor Wretch has, or takes on himſelf a Name, ſomething like the common Iriſh, every News-Paper charges him to the Account of Ireland, when perhaps ſome other Part was intitled to the Honour. This has often made me wiſh, that the Hibernians had a Gallows erected for their own proper Uſe, as they have here for the Normans; and, who knows, but a certain Shame might operate more forcibly than the Severity of Laws.'The Great Vulgar, and the Small,Differ in little,—if at all.
‘Well, well, cry'd Villeneuf, I am for the Ford, let it fit whom it will. As for the Abuſe and Banter beſtow'd in general on the Iriſh Tone, or Manner of Speaking, I think it falls only on thoſe who give it; but as you ſeem to intereſt yourſelf [Page 173] about them, and I believe know little of the Conduct of England, with Regard to that Kingdom, I ſhall give you, ſome Time or another, a ſhort Tract on that Subject, which I have chiefly collected from the Obſervations of my Father.’— Conyers return'd him many Thanks, and Mr. Villeneuf deſiring him to keep up his Acquaintance with Monſieur Penſé, retir'd to his Chamber.
Of all the Follies we can boaſt,None, ſure, can be ſo ſtrong,As pay a Fool to rule the Roaſt,And guide our Children wrong.What Man, who plows the fertile Soil,And hopes Reward for Cares,Will call the Crows to reap his Toil,And be content with Tares?ANONIMOUS.
NEXT Morning Conyers paid a Viſit to Monſieur Penſé, and was genteely received. The uſual Compliments being over, I doubt not, Sir, ſaid he, but you 'were greatly ſhock'd, Yeſterday, at the [Page 174] Impertinencies of the two Scoundrels; but, as you very juſtly ſaid, that you would not brand a whole Nation for the Faults of a few, I believe I can ſtrengthen your good Senſe, by informing you who thoſe Men are.'—'I am ſure, Sir, ſaid Conyers, they are Perſons of low Minds, which made my Reſentment fall the lighter; but I muſt own my Obligations to you, for extricating me from an Affair that might have been as troubleſome as neceſſary.'—'I promiſe you, ſaid Penſé, you owe me nothing, and you will be convinc'd of it, when I have the Pleaſure of being better known to you. At preſent, permit me to give you a ſhort Account of thoſe Gentlemen who gave themſelves ſo many Airs.'
FANFARON was very early dubb'd a Knight of the famous and ancient Order of INDUSTRY. It is impoſſible to inform you of his many Exploits in France, Italy, and in England, where I had the Honour of meeting him and Maquereau at a Gaming-Table, and detected them of uſing loaded Dice: Fanfaron fell to my Share, and Maquereau to a Friend. The Diſcipline of the Cane and Kicking laſted a full half Hour, and was ſo entertaining, [Page 175] that they have ever ſince done me the Honour of being extremely complaiſant.
THE Chevalier got acquainted in London with Mrs. Smith, the Wife of an Italian Merchant. She was a moſt charming Woman, and her Huſband was extremely fond. His Buſineſs calling him to Leghorn, he prudently ſettled his Affairs, and made his dear Wife ſole Executrix, and divided his Fortune between her and a Child. Poor Mr. Smith went off, and his tender Conſort would have been inconſolable, had not the good-natur'd Fanfaron comforted her in her Afflictions.
AT laſt the Chevalier perſuaded her into a Scheme to make their Joys more compleat, and not ſo liable to be interrupted by the Curioſity of a Huſband. He very dexterouſly forg'd a Letter from the Correſpondent at Leghorn to Mrs. Smith, full of kind Expreſſions and Friendſhip, and the great Difficulty he was under, by being oblig'd to mention the Loſs of ſo worthy and good a Man as Mr. Smith, who took a Fever, and, in Spite of all Aſſiſtance, and the Skill of Phyſicians, died in his Arms the Ninth Day, confirming a Teſtament made in England.
[Page 176] MRS. SMITH was now a Widow, and acted that Part to ſuch Perfection, that her Relations thought ſhe could not long ſurvive.'—'Good Heaven! cry'd Conyers, I ſhudder at the Conſequences.'— Well, Sir, ſaid Penſé, notwithſtanding her mighty Grief, her Weeds and Adminiſtring to the Will were not forgotten. In fine, ſhe call'd in the Debts, ſold off the Stock in Trade, the Houſe, and every Thing belonging to it, and finding herſelf in Poſſeſſion of Six Thouſand Pounds in Caſh, very fairly bid Adieu to her Huſband, her Child, her Father, and all her Relations, and flew with her beloved Fanfaron to this famous City.
POOR Mr. Smith return'd ſoon after to England. If his Pleaſure was great at the Thoughts of meeting his deareſt Wife, what were the Torments he endur'd, when he found he had not only loſt her, but was reduc'd to Beggary? Words cannot expreſs his melancholy Situation, and the Manner of it afflicted him more than had he been depriv'd of all, by any other Accident. His Friends did all in their Power to aſſwage his Woes; and, as he had an extream good Character, and was really an honeſt Man, the Merchants of London acting like themſelves, ſupported [Page 177] his Credit abroad, advanc'd him Money, and ſet him ſo fairly in the World, that I left him greatly recover'd in his Spirits and Fortune.
'DEAR Sir, ſaid Conyers, you give me great Joy, but I am curious to know, if poſſible, what became of Mrs. Smith.'— Her Fate, reply'd Penſé, was dreadful enough. Fanfaron, for ſome Time, liv'd a gay and ſplendid Life. Conſtancy and Humanity were not amongſt his Virues or Vices; ſo that in about Twelve Months, Madam was ſent to Graze on the Common, till at laſt, having run through every Scene of Miſery, attended by a guilty Conſcience, ſhe finiſh'd her Days in the Hoſpital of La Charitè.'
TEARS ſtood in Conyers's Eyes; but when he a little recover'd, 'poor Wretch, ſaid he, as the Hand of Providence is ſo viſible, I ſhall not pretend to arraign its Juſtice or Mercy.—I preſume, continued he, Monſieur Fanfaron enjoys the Remainder of her Fortune with vaſt Comfort and Satisfaction, and doubt not, but he will ſome Day or other, have the Honour of entertaining a Crowd at the Greve;'—'and very likely, added Penſé, attended by his Friend Maquereau.—This other fine Gentleman, continued he, was a [Page 178] Footman in Paris, and went to London with an Engliſh Lord. Had he had common Honeſty, he might have made a Fortune, for he don't want Senſe. He paſs'd through many Services, and was remarkably dextrous in the nice Conduct of an Affair, which in Italy is managed by a Secretario de Amore, and what in England is term'd Pimping. The Money he got by this Branch of Buſineſs, was all laid out at the Gaming-Table. However, I found him in Paris a few Years ago, with an Equipage; but by ſome Circumſtances that then happen'd, I have Reaſon to believe his laſt Maſter was not the richer for him.—But let us drop theſe Fellows, for they are not worth our Thoughts, tho' we are compell'd ſometimes to dine with, and be civil to them.'
'I OBSERV'D, ſaid Conyers, an Engliſhman, at Table Yeſterday with a young Lad, and what ſurpriz'd me was, they never open'd their Mouths, but to eat and drink.'—'O, reply'd Penſé with a Laugh, the Gentleman you mention, is a BEAR-LEADER.'—'A BEAR-LEADER, cry'd Conyers,! In the Name of Wonder, what Profeſſion is that?' Why, Sir, anſwer'd Penſé, A Bear-leader is a Man [Page 179] who underſtands Latin and Greek, and is well paid by a rich Father, to take his Child and expoſe him through every great Town in Europe.'—'I ſuppoſe, ſaid Conyers, you mean a Governor to a young Gentleman in his Travels.'—'You may give it, reply'd the other, what Name you pleaſe in England, but I am ſure they here give it the proper Appellation; for the Boys that generally follow theſe Leaders, may very juſtly be call'd Cubs.'— Conyers ſmil'd, and the Converſation continued on various Subjects till they withdrew to Dinner.'
IN the Evening, Jack gave Mr. Villeneuf ſome Account of his Viſit, and did not forget the Deſcription of a Bear-leader. —‘Certain it is, ſaid Villeneuf, nothing improves the Mind of a young Man like prudent Travel. We are ſenſible of this in England, but few know how to conduct it.—We generally take a Lad from the Univerſity, where, tho' he has acquir'd ſome Learning, yet he is as ignorant of the World as his Bed-maker, and at once Caſe him up in fine Cloaths, and let him Run a Winter or two in London. He is then taken up and ſaddled with a Governor, who Races him round Europe, and in two or three Years he returns [Page 180] to his dear Parents loaded with the Bawbles and Vices of each Country.'— And is this, Sir, ſaid Conyers, the mighty Uſes of Travelling?'—''Tis but too frequently ſo, reply'd Villeneuf, but when a Youth of Education, improved by good Company, travels with a Gentleman of Senſe for his Companion, his Friends may expect the Harveſt of a thorough Accompliſhment. This Youth will remark on the Strength and Weakneſs of different Countries; on the Uſefulneſs of different Manufactures, and endeavour to tranſplant thoſe Sciences that may advantage his Country, and improve it. This I call travelling, and not riding Poſt; but to ſend a Boy of Sixteen or Seventeen Years of Age, who knows nothing of his own Country, with a Pedant as ignorant as himſelf, is truly, what your Friend calls expoſing both to the Ridicule and Impoſition of Foreigners, and brings a Contempt on our Country.—One will improve by the good Cuſtoms and Manners, and the other as certainly catch the Follies and Impertinences of every Nation they travel through; and every Nation have ſome of one, and too much of the other. ’
'SIR, ſaid Conyers, tho' I do not pretend to be a Traveller, yet I cannot help [Page 181] obſerving, that the Courteſy of this Country is not of the right Breed. Their Civilities, or, as they call it, their Politeneſs, ſeems to me rather an Habit, and Jingle of Words, than to carry a Meaning ſignificant of what they expreſs.'— Sometimes, ſaid Villeneuf, it is ſo; yet, when I find myſelf deceived, their Manner of doing it, prevents my finding Fault, and even pleaſes. 'Tis this Sort of Manner that makes a Stranger paſs his Time, more agreeably in France, than in moſt other Countries, and what I wiſh our People had a little more of.'—I believe, Sir, anſwered Conyers, if our Engliſh want that Manner, they make it fully up by their Sincerity.—So we ſay, reply'd Villeneuf, but ſuppoſe it Fact, What have I to do with the Sincerity of a People with whom I mean to paſs but a ſhort Time; to contract no particular Friendſhips; and to keep myſelf in that neutral civil Stile which every Man has a Title to? Believe me, Conyers, Men of Fortune will be naturally drawn to that Place where they can purchaſe moſt Pleaſure, and receive moſt Honour. You may, if you pleaſe, call it Flattery; but ſince we chooſe to ſwallow, they are in the Right to adminiſter the Doſe.'—'I wonder, ſaid [Page 182] Conyers, that ſo much of it don't turn the Stomach.'—Juſt the contrary, reply'd Villeneuf, for the Stomach is ſo accuſtom'd to it, that it becomes a real Nutriment, and a Nutriment, that many Courts in Europe are ſo fond of, that they will purchaſe it, tho' their Liberties may be the Price.—I have often heard, ſaid Conyers, that the French have always aimed at Univerſal Monarchy, but I ſhould imagine, that the Fate of the Romans who fell by their own Weight, would deter them from ſuch a Project; but Ambition and Glory have no Bounds.'— If, ſaid Villeneuf, they have ſuch Notions, they may manage in another Manner. By the Converſation I have frequently had with ſome Gentlemen of Underſtanding, I have laid down a Plan of French Politicks by Way of Hypotheſis, and not as Truth, which is very difficult to come at. If my Conjectures are right, their Syſtem is ſhort, and far from impracticable.—But it is now late, ſo take it, and examine it at your Leiſure.'
WHEN both were retir'd, Conyers read, and copied, as he always did, the Obſervations of Mr. Villeneuf. He now began, from the Study of Books, to examine the Truth from the Study of Man, and compare [Page 183] them together. — The Reflections of Mr. Villeneuf, and the Additions made by Conyers, according to the Time he had occaſion to mention them, muſt be left to that Time to diſcover; for he is now going to Bed, and ſo am I.
'Tis an Old Maxim in the Schools,That Flatt'ry is the Food of Fools;Yet now and then your Men of WitWill condeſcend to take a Bit.SWIFT.
CONYERS conſtantly viſited Monſieur Penſé and was much improv'd by his Company. Mr. Villeneuf was ſo extreamly pleas'd, that he ſupplied him very liberally with Money; but whatever good Senſe Jack poſſeſſed, he by no Means underſtood the Uſes of that Commodity. His Landlady and the fair Madelain were determined to enjoy an equal Share of it, at the ſmall Expence of a little Flattery, and the nice tickling the String of Vanity and Self-Opinion, ſo common in Youth, and what [Page 184] Age and Experience are not always Proof againſt.
THESE Ladies had engaged the Eſteem of Conyers, by a thouſand winning Ways; but now, his Perſon and his vaſt Accompliſhments were the Theme of every Hour. When they ſpoke of him to Strangers, it was with Rapture, but they took Care that he was within hearing. This Sort of Conduct not only produced frequent Plays, Operas and Parties of Pleaſure; but often extracted half a dozen Pieces for ſome pretended Emergency, which were repaid by Madelain in Careſſes, and by every Freedom except the laſt.
THEY often wiſhed that Conyers had a Fortune agreeable to his Merit, and inſinuated, that perhaps they might be of Service to him. —'It is not, ſaid Madame Commode, a New or Uncommon Thing for Ladies of Fortune to make themſelves Happy with a young Gentleman of your Figure and Underſtanding.'—'And I know, ſaid Madelain, a moſt beautiful Lady with half a Million of Livres; that, I believe, ſees Monſieur Conyer oftener then he imagines.'—'In a Word, cry'd Madame, ſince my Girl has blabbed out ſo much, I muſt tell you a little more. The Daughter of a rich Banker of Paris, [Page 185] has ſeen you, and is actually in Love. Her Companion ſups with me this Evening, and you muſt be of the Party.'— Lord, Madame, cry'd Madelain, what a charming Couple they will be! how delightfully will they live!—What a ſuperbe Equipage, and magnificent Hotel! Good God! What cannot Youth, Beauty, and Riches do together.'—'Hold, hold, ſaid her Mother, not ſo faſt if you pleaſe. Fair and ſoftly:—This muſt be a Work of ſome Time, and managed with great Addreſs, or we ſhall ſtumble on many Difficulties.'—Conyers bluſh'd, and gave many Thanks for the good Opinion ſhe was pleaſed to entertain of him—that he would ſtudy to deſerve her Favour, and would be entirely guided by her.—'Leave it to me, reply'd Madame, and I will engage to make ſomething of it.—I need not deſire you to be chearful and free with the Lady to Night, but don't think of making her any Preſents till you become a little more intimate, which I hope will be about the third Viſit.—Preſents muſt be made, but let them be genteel and frequent.—They pave the Way, and oyl the Hinges,—You underſtand me.'— Extremely well, reply'd Conyers, and as [Page 186] I know they are abſolutely neceſſary they ſhall not be wanting.'
CONYERS provided ſome excellent Burgundy and Champaign, and in the Evening was preſented, with great Form and Encomiums, to the amiable Companion of the Fair unknown. At Supper he was extremely Gay and polite, and, at her Requeſt, ſung ſeveral new Songs in an elegant Taſte.— Mademoiſelle FARDE was highly delighted with his agreeable Company, and gave many Proofs of it.—Madame Commode and Madelain were very laviſh in their Praiſes, and the Night concluded with mutual Marks of Eſteem and Reſpect.
A SECOND and a Third Evening paſt pretty much like the Firſt, except that Mademoiſelle Fardé and Conyers were very intimate and free; Madame Commode, by Accident ſhewing ſome fine new faſhioned Caps and Ruffles, Conyers embraced the luckly Opportunity of preſenting Mademoiſelle Fardé with what ſhe ſeemed to like moſt. The Gift was a Trifle of about Twelve Lewis d'Or's; and, with great Entreaty, was accepted. That Night the good Lady of the Houſe brought on the proper Subject, and with ſome Heſitation Mademoiſelle Fardé acknowledged that Monſieur Conyer was not indifferent to the Lady [Page 187] ſhe had the Honour to live with.—Conyers bow'd and aſſured her he was in Love with the Deſcription of that beautiful Angel, and with many Apologies, begged ſhe would convey a ſmall Billet to her fair Hands. Mademoiſelle Fardé objected to ſuch a Proceedure, and would have abſolutely refuſed it, had not Madame Commode and Madelain moſt artfully pleaded his Cauſe.—He had a Letter prepared, which he moſt reſpectively gave her.—She was equally ready, and, with a wink, ſlipped a Note into his Hand.
WHEN all were retired he read his Billet which contained theſe Words, ‘I have my Reaſons. Let me ſee you To-morrow Evening at Six o'Clock in the Tuilleries. Keep this a profound Secret. Adieu.’—Conyers was punctual, and Fardé was exact.— She told him, 'twas impoſſible to meet ſo often at Madame Commode's without being obſerved, and to take him to the Lady's Houſe was impoſſible; that to be of Service to both, ſhe had taken a private Lodging, where they could ſettle Matters, and where the Lady would certainly meet him, were it in her Power. She then added, ‘We may be obſerved even here, let us retire.’ — Conyers attended, and was conducted to a little Lane, and a very indifferent Chamber of which ſhe had the [Page 188] Key.—Here ſhe informed him of many Particulars with Regard to the young Lady, and gave him Hopes of bringing Matters to bear, and promiſed her utmoſt Aſſiſtance. — So much Goodneſs naturally claimed a grateful Return, and at laſt ſhe was prevailed on to accept Ten Pieces. His Generoſity charmed her, nor could ſhe forbear anſwering his tender Embraces, which by Degrees became more Fervent, ſo that —you will permit a Continuance of this Hiſtory.
HE had now compleatly fixed Mademoiſelle Fardé on his Side, yet they met at his Lodgings as uſual, but more frequently in this.—The young Lady anſwered his Billets in a proper and polite Manner, and permitted him to Hope. He reply'd as politely, and the Correſpondence went on in the moſt agreeable Manner, though he ſometimes thought that the Poſtage was rather too expenſive; however, as he was ſure of the Lady's Affections, he judged it well beſtowed, and waited for the Iſſue with great Patience for above Four Months.
YOU have afforded me infinite Pleaſure by the Company of the Engliſh Man. Were he richer, our Profit would be greater; however, I ſhall do my Part to eaſe the poor Devil of what he don't know the Value of. I ſend you back the embroidered Petticoat, which the Fool gave me laſt Night, ſo give the Bearer Six Lewis d'Or's. I ſhall call on you To-morrow, and think I have a Scheme to keep the ſilly Fellow's Hopes alive, at leaſt three Months longer. Adieu.
HE recover'd his uſual Sprightlineſs, and went to find Mr. Penſé, to whom he communicated the Beginning of this Affair in a very ſerious Manner; but Penſé had no ſooner heard Madame Commode named, than he bid him, have a Care.—'I am ſurprized, ſaid he, that a young Fellow of your Underſtanding, has not found out that that Lady is but of the middling Order of Bawds.—You are her Dupe, her Cully, and give me but Permiſſion, and I ſhall demonſtrate it to you.'— Permit me, ſaid Conyers, to thank and ſave you the Trouble, for I know it perfectly well, but my Knowledge is not Three Hours old.'—He then told him the Remainder of the Story, and begged his Advice, which Penſé gave, with an Addition of good Inſtructions.
CONYERS found Means to perſuade Villeneuf to change Lodgings, and on various Pretences to borrow a few Louis from Madame Commode, and even from Mademoiſelle Fardé.—At laſt he contrived a Letter as from London to a Merchant in Paris, [Page 191] wherein, among many Particulars, he expreſſed his Surpriſe, that Mr. Conyers would chooſe to live in the Manner he did with Mr. Villeneuf, when a large Eſtate waited his Orders, by the Death of his Father. A Gentleman delivered to Mrs. Commode this Letter open with Directions where he lived, but that he would have the Honour of waiting on Mr. Conyers, in a few Days.
'TIS not eaſy to conceive the Impreſſion this Letter made on the Mother and Daughter. They gave it to Conyers with prodigious Reſpect, and formed Projects infinitely more extenſive than the firſt.—He told them he knew of this before, therefore was not elate on any Advancement of Fortune; but he likewiſe found a Time to perſuade Madelain to accompany him to England, and ſhare it with him.—As ſhe conſented to his generous Propoſal, it is not ſurpriſing that they ſealed the Agreement in the moſt ſolemn Manner.
HE was now out of the Houſe of Madame Commode, and conſtantly viſited Mademoiſelle Fardé. This good Creature was much more liberal of her Favours than he expected; but Jack being of a free communicative Temper, Miſs Madelain ſhared in her Bounty. He ſoon was ſenſible of his [Page 192] Situation, and applyed to his Friend Penſé, who, with a Smile, ſaid, ‘This Affair has ended with ſtrict poetical Juſtice, and let it there remain. Drop theſe fine Ladies, and make your Court to a Surgeon. ’
POOR Conyers was greatly mortified.— The Reflections of his Mind were not lightened by the Pains of his Body. He found he had not only acted imprudently, but wickedly; and, once more, began to repent, that is, to dread a ſharper Puniſhment; for he had that Sort of uneaſy Fore-boding in the Soul, that many feel, but what none can deſcribe or account for.
HIS Intimacy with Penſé, for almoſt two Years, had grown into a ſtrict Friendſhip. —To this ſenſible Man, he diſcovered his preſent Situation, and almoſt his whole Life, and received ſuch Conſolation and Comfort, that greatly alleviated his Sorrow. —They were now in the Tuilleries, and the Surpriſe of Conyers was extream, when Mr. Penſé began to ſpeak in very good Engliſh. —‘'Tis but juſt, my dear Conyers, ſaid he, to repay your Confidence in me, by giving you ſome Account of myſelf, which I ſhall fairly do, and in few Words.’
‘I WAS born, continued he, in London, of French Proteſtant Parents, and my real Name is Villars. My Father was a Mercer, [Page 193] and bred me to the Buſineſs; but it ſeems, my idle Inclinations led me more to Plays, Gaming-Houſes, and Horſe Races. —My Father thought, that a prudent Wife would take off my Wildneſs, and provided me with as good a one as ever Man was bleſſed with.—We commenced in Trade, and had tolerable Buſineſs; but Diverſion, or what they call innocent Recreation, was ſtrong in my weak Head. I was often at the Play-Houſes, and a conſtant Member of two or three notable Clubs.—I ſometimes tryed my Fortune at a Maſquerade, where my Diſguiſe ſaved my Reputation, but not my Purſe.— I kept a Brace of good Geldings, and frequently ventured Fifty or an Hundred Pieces at Epſom, Tunbridge, and other Races.—My poor dear Girl, with gentle Words, and Tears in her Eyes, has remonſtrated the Injury I did my Credit;— That I loſt not only my Money to Sharpers, but my Youth and Time, which never could be recall'd.—I laugh'd at her ſober Follies, but ſhe never replyed, but, —Well, well, I hope my dear Tom will think before it is too late.’
‘NOTWITHSTANDING my idle Extravagancies, my dear Wife managed the Shop ſo well, that my Circumſtances rather increaſed [Page 194] than diminiſhed.—The Folly of appearing rich in the Eyes of the World, is a ſure Way of being poor in Reality.— This Folly I had, and without conſidering my Force, I took a Houſe and Garden at Dulwich, kept my Chair and more Servants; and, according to Cuſtom, went there on Saturdays, and returned on Mondays; but to my Shame I ſpeak it, I did worſe, much worſe, for I kept a Whore.—Oh, Mr. Conyers! could my Example, could the Compunction of Mind I now feel be a Warning to Mankind, I ſhould have ſome Pleaſure in being a Sacrifice for their Uſe!—Well, Sir, theſe Matters took their natural Courſe. I began to think People aſked for their Money more frequently than they were wont.—I was peſtered with Duns.—I practiſed all the low Arts, and Contrivances to ſilence their Importunities.—My Plate and Silks often viſited the Pawnbrokers, and ſometimes I was privately arreſted.—My Mind was on the Rack. I ſuffered the Torments of the damn'd; and all this, for Follies and Imprudencies, that, in the higheſt Enjoyment, afforded but an inſipid Pleaſure.—Good God! what exquiſite Miſery! Though my Temper was ſoured, my deareſt Girl bore my Peeviſhneſs [Page 195] with a peculiar Sweetneſs of Manners. —So far from reproaching my Conduct, ſhe had laid down a rational Plan for retrieving all.—No doubt her Trouble was great, but it was internal, and her delicate, tender Nature ſunk under the Weight, and ſhe—died in my Arms!— Oh Conyers! ’—Poor Penſé could utter no more, for his Heart ſwell'd, and the round Drops chac'd one another down his manly Cheeks.—Conyers was much in the ſame Situation, but at laſt he ſaid from Shakeſpear,
'Thy Heart is big, get thee apart and weep:'Paſſion I ſee is catching; for my Eyes,'Seeing thoſe Beads of Sorrow ſtand in thine,'Begin to water.'
‘To the Loſs of my Wife was added the Infidelity of my Servants, which my Careleſneſs made an eaſy Matter.—Finding the Impoſſibility of re-eſtabliſhing my Credit, I ſecreted to the Value of Five Hundred [Page 196] Pounds, and leaving my Shop and Effects to the Mercy of my Creditors, took Shelter in Paris.—I had but one Comfort in all my Misfortunes, for I had no Child to ſhare the Afflictions of a guilty Father. ’
‘IN this City I have chiefly reſided for Fifteen Years, and get a ſeeming Livelihood by lending Money on Pledges, but the Britiſh Miniſter is my principal Support. He has employed me on many Occaſions, and to give him Intelligence of every Occurrence theſe Ten Years paſt. Four Years ago I went to London on his Affairs, where I met thoſe two worthy Gentlemen, Fanfaron and Maquereau. — The French look on me as one of themſelves.—I live quietly, and as a Gentleman, and believe I am not ſuſpected.’ — Conyers return'd him many Thanks for his candid Relation, and aſſured him of his inviolable 'Secrecy.
THEY were now talking of indifferent Matters, when Penſé turn'd ſuddenly and ſaid, ‘Pray what is the Motto to the Order of the Bath? ’—Conyers, though ſurpriz'd at the Queſtion, anſwer'd, 'TRIA JUNCTA IN UNO.'—'Then, reply'd Penſé, obſerve thoſe three Gentlemen by yonder Tree in ſuch earneſt Converſation, [Page 197] and then you will ſee the Motto in Reality.—One, continued he, is an Engliſh Non-Juring Parſon; the other is a Iriſh Man of the Society of Jeſus, and the Third is a Scotch Man of the Epiſcopal Church.— Thoſe three, and many others of the ſame Stamp, have Penſions here, and at different Times reſide in London, and divert themſelves, and frighten the credulous People by numberleſs Pamphlets and Paragraphs in News-Papers, full of the Decay of Trade.—The Weakneſs and Wickedneſs of the Miniſtry, be they whom it will. —The Danger of our Liberties by Pribery and Corruption.—The dreadful Conſequences of a Standing Army, and many other popular Subjects.—The Scotch Man is a Maſter of his Trade, and keeps up the Credit of his Books by, very ingeniouſly, anſwering them himſelf, which furniſhes him an Opportunity of replying to himſelf.—They really are Men of Learning and ſtrong Parts, and meet with great Encouragement from the Enemies of England.'
‘I SHALL not, ſaid Conyers, interrupt their pious Meditations, for I am call'd to Mr. Villeneuf, who, I fear, waits, for my Appetite informs me it is near Dinner-time.’ [Page 198] —Few Ceremonies ſuffice amongſt Friends, and they parted, but promis'd to meet ſoon again.
If Dame Partial'ty but holds the Glaſs,Full ſure, in ev'ry Virtue we ſurpaſs.Change but the Mirror, and let Prudence ſpeak,We'll bluſh at Error, and our fond Miſtake.ANONIMOUS.
FOR ſome Time paſt, Mr. Villeneuf had frequently made Conyers of his Party, and was not diſgrac'd by his Behaviour. This Day a ſelect Company din'd at an eminent Citizen's.—Chearfulneſs and good Humour added the true Reliſh to the Entertainment; but when the Servants were withdrawn, the Converſation fell on particular Subjects.—‘As no Man, ſaid Monſieur St. Martin, can judge ſo impartially of his own Country as a Stranger of Underſtanding, I ſhould be glad Mr. Villeneuf would give us his Opinion of France, with Freedom, and his accuſtom'd Sincerity.’—Many Apologies were made, and Compliments returned, till at laſt Mr. Villeneuf conſented, provided that the Queſtion [Page 199] was fairly ſtated.—'I cannot ſuppoſe, ſaid he, you mean to have my Opinion on what regards State Affairs.'—'No, no, reply'd the other, we only beg your Thoughts of the People, their Politeneſs, their Manners, their Dreſs and their Happineſs, or otherwiſe.'—''Tis a difficult Taſk you have aſſigned me, ſaid Villeneuf, and will require your Patience: But as great and little—long and ſhort—ſtrong and weak, are made ſuch, only by Compariſon, I hope you will permit an alternate Account of England, under the ſeveral Articles.' —The Company approv'd of his Method, and he began.
FEW People on Earth are bleſſed with ſuch a Fund of Spirits and natural Gaiety of Temper as the French; and yet few Nations are more crampt in the natural Exerciſe of it. They laugh, they ſing, they dance, and ſeem content. The Publick are conſtantly ſupplyed with Amuſements, and Policy has ſo contrived, as to make Glory and War be thought a rational Recreation. All are diſregarded but thoſe who ſerve the King in his Troops; his Majeſty's Name is never mentioned, but with the profoundeſt Reſpect. We never ſee his Portrait hung out as a Sign, in Paris, becauſe it would be treating [Page 200] the Monarch with too much Freedom, but the Sign of the Holy-Ghoſt, and all the Saints are diſperſed through every Street. A King is always the Head of the moſt childiſh Games, and at Cards, the Beſt, is honoured with that Title.— Such Principles are propagated with great Art, and the Religion of the Country admitting Auricular Confeſſion and Abſolution, an Abſolute Monarch can, with Eaſe, direct the Current of Opinion.—Men of Learning and Judgment muſt go with the Stream, for it falls from too high a Fountain to be reſiſted, whatever their private Sentiments may be. Beſides, Two or Three Hundred Thouſand Orators well armed, will always carry Demonſtration and Conviction. In England, where the Conſtitution admits the full Enjoyment of Property, and where Property is proportionably divided amongſt all the Inhabitants, one would imagine they ſhould be more chearful than the French, but the Fact is otherwiſe; for this very Property, and the Liberty of employing it, has the contrary Effect. They have the Bleſſing, but a Jealouſy, and the perpetual Dread of loſing it, throws Thorns on their Pillows, and, like the Miſer, they ſtarve in the midſt of [Page 201] Plenty. They employ Watchmen for their Security, yet are in conſtant Fear of being plundered by them.—This is the Riſe of all the Clamour againſt an Handful of Troops.—The Religion of England teaches Duty and Submiſſion to the King, and thoſe in Authority under him, but ſome imagine, that the Liberty of England gives the People a Right to abuſe all; not conſidering, that by leſſening and ridiculing the juſt Power and Authority of their Governors, they leſſen their own Weight and Conſequence in the World.
FRANCE has propagated the Notion of Military Honour to ſuch a Degree, that they are become a Nation of JANISARIES, and perhaps muſt be treated as ſuch,—that is, they muſt, Right or Wrong, be frequently employed. Commerce and Traffick flouriſh in Peace.— Riches and Plenty, Learning and Knowledge are the Conſequences, as well as Pride and Luxury. Men naturally become fond of theſe Sweets, and will not quietly forego them. They will find out their own Strength and Power. They will expect a Freedom of Action, as well as Thought, and abſolute Monarchy will fall before them.—RICHELIEU knew this.— [Page 202] He broke and divided the Power of the Nobility, not like Henry the Seventh of England, amongſt the People, but added all to the Dignity and Power of the Crown.—MAZARIN did the ſame, and LOUVOIS, FOUQUET and COLBERT compleated the Project, and the long Reign and Ambition of LEWIS confirmed it. The King of GREAT-BRITAIN is the Fountain of Honour; but the Monarch of this Kingdom is not only the Fountain of real, but the Creator of imaginary Honours. A trivial Croſs dangling at a Button-hole, gives a French Gentleman ſuch a Spirit of Honour, as to intreat a General to permit him to mount a Breach. In England, it muſt be a valuable Conſideration that can perſuade moſt Men even to do their Duty.
THE Faſhions of the two Nations are on different Footings. Here, in whatever Manner the King or thoſe about him are pleaſed to wear their Swords, or dreſs their Hair, it inſtantly becomes the Practice of all Paris. Every Man from the Duke, to the Porter, has his Hat cocked and his Coat cut nearly in the ſame Manner. London affords more Variety.—There every Man dreſſes according to his Fancy. Some have Coats below [Page 203] the Knees, and Breeches down to the Middle of the Leg. Others mount their Breeches to the Thighs, and raiſe their Skirts to their Waiſts. Some Shopkeepers dreſs like Privy Counſellors, and ſome of high Rank may be miſtaken for Coach-men.—I am ignorant who had the Honour of inventing Weepers, when in Mourning, but I think I may venture to affirm our Manner of wearing them anſwers the End of Ornament, and keeps the Shirt from being blacken'd by the Coat. To wear them on the Top of the Sleeve, can anſwer no End.
THE Engliſh Ladies rely on their native Charms, nor want the Aſſiſtance of Paint to heighten their Complexions. Whether the French Ladies really ſtand in Need of Art, I know not, but their Conduct ſeems to imply it.—Whatever good Senſe the French are Maſters of, this is certainly not the moſt glaring Inſtance.
IN France, Politeneſs is not always good Manners, neither is the Bluntneſs of an Engliſhman always a Mark of Sincerity. The Lye is more frequently given in France, than is generally imagin'd, but the Pardon that is begg'd, and the Excuſe that is demanded, (Je demand Excuſe; Pardonne moi) ſoftens the Negative, which, [Page 204] with the Addition of ſundry ſignificant Geſtures, Cuſtom has made That genteel, which frequently is the Reverſe.—In England, theſe Cuſtoms are accounted ſuperfluous, and they deny or contradict in plain Terms, even without the Aſſiſtance of the rude Monoſyllable.
I HAVE been often told, "I muſt own." (Il faut avouer) 'I confeſs I do not underſtand the Phraſe.—If I muſt believe, I am depriv'd of the Liberty of thinking for myſelf, and my Arguments muſt ceaſe, when I am pinn'd down to the Reaſons of my Antagoniſt. In England, the Freedom of judging is held more ſacred.
THE Theatres of the two Nations were different. The Tragedies and Plays of the Engliſh Shakeſpear gave Riſe to thoſe of France. His Imagination was not confin'd by the Rules of Ariſtotle, as, perhaps, he thought he had as good a Right to Alter, as the other had to Make. If the Engliſh, by following new Models, are more regular in Unity, Time and Place, I am ſorry to ſay, their Fire is not ſo bright, nor will their Heat laſt ſo long. —Monſieur de Voltaire and l'Abbé le Blanc take great Pains to ſhew the Abſurdity of ſome of our Authors, in tranſporting [Page 205] the Audience to different Kingdoms, and continuing the Scenes of one Play for many Years, but they do not tell us, that in Tragedy or Comedy, where we are to ſuppoſe an eaſy, natural Converſation, it is unnatural to make the Parties ſpeak in Rhyme. They inſiſt, that the Action ſhould be confin'd to twenty-four Hours; if ſo, I apprehend it is unnatural to have it repreſented in three. If twenty-four Hours Buſineſs can be ſhewn in ſo ſhort a Time, we may as well have twenty-four Years.—The Abbé complains of our murdering on the Stage, and ſays, that a Man, not underſtanding our Language, muſt take us for a barbarous People, delighting in Blood. Should a Man, not underſtanding French, ſee the Stage in Tears, and in the utmoſt Agony of Grief, muſt he not wonder what has occaſioned it? The Truth is, neither of the Stages are made for thoſe who do not underſtand the Language, but I really think every Stranger, or Frenchman of Senſe, muſt be ſhock'd at the unnatural abſurd Entertainment of a Speaking Harlequin with a patch'd Coat, and a black Face.
THE Engliſh are full looſe in their Morals, but I really think, Libertiniſm reigns [Page 206] here in a much higher Degree. The French have a Way of varniſhing their Vices, and making them more dangerous and catching than our aukward Manner can arrive at.—When an Engliſhman ſwears by his Maker, it is ſhocking, but when the French, with Eyes and Hands lifted up, cry out, Sacred God! (Sacré Dieu!) it is little regarded, as it is the common Expreſſion of every Ten Minutes. The French have another Phraſe, which is but too commonly us'd, even before Ladies, and what ſome Ladies are as familiar with. This Phraſe ſerves to ſhew Pleaſure or Anger, according to the Tone or Manner of ſpeaking.—How often are the Words, Fou-re, Fou-u, Bou-re, Bou-ſſe, pronounc'd in the politeſt Aſſemblies, and paſs'd over as if no Idea was annex'd to them?—I am ignorant of any Rules that eſtabliſh ſuch Indecencies, except the ſtrong Law of a bad Cuſtom. I am much pleas'd that Voltaire, and le Blanc, could not mark theſe amongſt our other Follies; but they totally forget them when they mention their own. The Abbé very juſtly cenſures the Looſeneſs and Ribaldry of ſome of our Comedies, but he omits to inform us, that no Nation excels [Page 207] France in the Multitude of abomiable and filthy Books.
INFORMERS againſt the Breach of the Laws, are abſolutely neceſſary in every civiliz'd Government. The Informer, when his Motive ſprings from Conſcience, and the Good of his Country, is a moſt valuable Subject, and merits the Regard of Mankind. But to be inform'd againſt, and hurried to the Baſtile, or baniſh'd in an Inſtant by a Letter de Cachet, without knowing the Accuſer or the Crime, may, for aught I know, be very good Policy, but I am ſure it is not Juſtice.—In England, let the Motives of Information be what they will, the Informer is, not only, not ſkreen'd and ſhelter'd from his Enemies, but is given up to the Reproach and Invectives of an engrag'd Populace. Laws are made, and Puniſhments aſſign'd for Tranſgreſſors, but our Vox Populi decrees a ſeverer Treatment to the Diſcoverer, and ſaps the very Foundation of Laws.
WITH regard to the Happineſs of the French or Engliſh, no Mortal can judge. It muſt be left to their own Deciſion; that is, each will give the Preference to themſelves, for each have that natural Prejudice and Partiality to their own [Page 208] Country, that perſuades them into an Opinion of their peculiar Felicity.—Did not Mankind deceive themſelves, by imagining an ideal Happineſs, they would be miſerable in Reality.—Deform'd Perſons have generally a large Share of Vanity and Self-Opinion. They are infinitely happy, when their Mirror diſcovers Beauty and Charms which the World do not find out. Such a Conduct is juſtify'd by the wiſe Scheme of Providence, as it gives Eaſe and Comfort to their Lives, which otherwiſe would be almoſt inſupportable. —Perhaps the ſame Argument may be apply'd to Kingdoms.
Thus, Gentlemen, I have given ſhort Hints of my private Opinion, taking Things in a general Light, but I know there are many Exceptions.—The Wiſe, the Good, the Honeſt of both Nations, have equal Sentiments, and ſpeak one common Language.—Both Nations have their peculiar Virtues as well as Vices.— In a Word, if the People of one were leſs a Dupe to Glory and arbitrary Power, and the other leſs a Prey to extravagant Liberty, I apprehend, both would have more Content.—But to be perfectly happy, is not given to human Nature.
[Page 209] THE Company expreſs'd much Satisfaction at Mr. Villeneuf's Diſcourſe, particularly at the Manner he conducted it.—At laſt one of the Gentlemen ſaid, I know England, and ſome of their Laws. I know the Nature of their Parliament, and the Power of the Crown. I know the vaſt Benefit of their Juries, and the good Effects of their Habeas Corpus Act. My Knowledge but increaſes my Aſtoniſhment, that a People, enjoying a Liberty and Freedom unknown to all other Nations on Earth, ſhould repine at their Situation, and take Pains to imbitter the bleſſed Waters of Peace and Plenty. Since all Things, as you ſay, riſe or fall by Compariſon, what Happineſs would the Engliſh enjoy, did they but turn their Eyes on the Miſeries of other Kingdoms?' As Frenchmen, reply'd another, we ought not to be angry at their Conduct; for, were they truly ſenſible of their Happineſs, and all united to their real Intereſt, what Power could ſtand before them? No doubt, our Miniſtry know this too well, to neglect any Opportunity of dividing them, nor is it a difficult Taſk; for the Liberty of the Country, and the unbounded Licence of the Preſs, eaſily furniſhes Tools to work with.'—'I am [Page 210] afraid, Sir, ſaid Villeneuf, your Conjecture, is but too well founded, yet I muſt hope, Time will open our Eyes, not by ſupreſſing the Preſs, but by deſpiſing the Invectives, the Slander, and the vile Inſinuations it too frequently throws out.
THE Converſation inſenſibly became more general, and their different Opinions were given with Freedom and good Humour. Conyers had his Share, and made himſelf very agreeable by ſprightly and chearful Turns.—‘Come, come, ſaid Monſieur St. Martin, talk as you will, I think it is given up, that we live with Gaiety, Mirth and Chearfulneſs, and that is Living. The Want of this, I believe, is the Reaſon that SUICIDE and MADNESS are much more common in England than in France.'—'Pray, Sir, ſaid Conyers, let me be permitted to take off a little of the Imputation, and account for the ſeeming Difference from other Reaſons, than what Monſieur le Blanc, and other French Authors have given.’
‘MANKIND, continued Conyers, are pretty much the ſame in every Clime. Our frantick Diſorders are conſpicuous to the World.—If France be equally liable to them, the Nature of their Government caſts a Veil over the Misfortune.—With [Page 211] us, if a poor Wretch hangs or drowns himſelf, the News-writers immediately give the Circumſtances and his Name to the whole Kingdom.—Such an Affair in Paris is ſeldom known beyond the Diſtrict he liv'd in.—As to Madneſs, we cannot inſiſt on a Parity in Numbers.— We have publick and private Mad-houſes in Abundance, and many unhappy Creatures are expos'd to publick View.— Perhaps France has leſs Need of theſe Edifices, when 'tis conſider'd they have, at leaſt, an hundred Thouſand of both Sexes in Monaſteries and Convents.—As theſe Seminaries take in the ſeveral Degrees from the moſt Auſtere to a Life of eaſy Inaction, may we not naturally ſuppoſe, that Numbers of the Inhabitants take Shelter into thoſe ORDERS, that have the neareſt Affinity to the Degree of Enthuſiaſm and Madneſs with which they are poſſeſs'd?—Of this, the many thouſand Volumes of Lives of Saints, many of whom never exiſted, but in the Brains of Monks, is a convincing Proof.—If we meet Numbers in different Habits walking the Streets, and ſeemingly exerciſing the Function of right Reaſon and Underſtanding, who can count thoſe confined to their Cells, or to the Limits of their Garden? I am not [Page 212] ſingular in my Conjecture, for the famous Monſieur d' Aubigny, about the Year 1600, writes this Epigram.’
THE Epigram furniſh'd the Company with a good deal of laughing Chat, though they did not deny but there was ſome Truth in the Queſtion.—Time puts an End to all Things, as it did to this Converſation. —The uſual Compliments and Bows being made on all Sides, each ſeparated to their Places of Repoſe, which affords me and my Reader an Opportunity of doing the like.
What God, alas! will Caution beFor living Man's Security,Or will inſure his Veſſel in this faithleſs Sea?Where Fortune's Favours, and her Spight,Roll with alternate Waves, like Day and Night.COWLEY.
NEXT Morning Mr. Villeneuf found himſelf much out of Order, yet he could not avoid mentioning what, with Deſign, he had omitted in the Converſation of Yeſterday.—‘God forbid, ſaid he, that perſecuting Spirit ſhould ever prevail in England, yet I ſhould imagine, Self-preſervation ought at leaſt to keep us upon our Guard againſt the Encroachments of POPERY; for, though we are not their Enemies, becauſe they are Papiſts, yet they are certainly our's, becauſe we are Proteſtants.—We ſuffer them in England to purchaſe Eſtates; and the Influence Property carries with it, is ſometimes too viſible.—They are likewiſe permitted to ſell their Eſtates, but the Hugonots in [Page 214] France may purchaſe, but cannot ſell.— We allow our Subjects to attend the Romiſh Chapels of Foreign Miniſters, but what Frenchman dare viſit our Ambaſſador's Chapel at Paris?—Without forcing the Conſciences of Men, I think we might, and ought to take ſome Example from our Neighbours.—Sending Proteſtant Youths of both Sexes, to be educated in the Colleges of Jeſuits, or in the Convents of Nuns, is ſuch a monſtrous, ſuch an abſurd Practice, that, as no Name can be given, ſo no Puniſhment can be equal to the Crime.’
‘THIS, Sir, reply'd Conyers, has often ſurpriſed me, but there is another Matter, equally aſtoniſhing.—I know what was formerly underſtood by a Nonjuror. I know that a ſcrupulous Conſcience might refuſe the Oaths to King WILLIAM, when he had before taken them to King JAMES, but I cannot conceive what a Nonjuror is in theſe Days.'—'And you will, ſaid Villeneuf, be more amazed, when I tell you, he is one of thoſe rank Weeds that the beſt Land is moſt ſubject to. A Nonjuror is a Perſon that avails himſelf of that Liberty, and Conſtitution of England, which his Principles, and the Study of his whole Life, labours to deſtroy.—He denies [Page 215] the Validity of the Foundation of our Laws.—He calls himſelf a Proteſtant, and yet acts on Popiſh Tenets.—How it is poſſible, ſuch a Being can be ſuffer'd in our State, is paſt my Comprehenſion. —If he refuſes the Oath of Allegiance, which I wiſh was more frequently tender'd, what Security has the Government for his Conduct? And ought he not to be expell'd a Society, to which he avows himſelf an Enemy?—If he muſt be Reſident, why is he not ſerv'd like the Jews in Germany, and oblig'd to wear a Badge of Diſtinction.’
ON this Subject Mr. Villeneuf gave many Hints, but Conyers prevented his enlarging too much; and, as he ſaw his Countenance frequently change, he perſuaded him to lie down.—All the Morning he complained of a violent Head-Ach, and Pain in the Back. —All Precautions were taken, and the beſt Phyſicians employ'd, but all prov'd ineffectual, for this good, this valuable young Gentleman died the fourteenth Day.
POOR Conyers was in the utmoſt Affliction, for he loſt his Brother, his Friend, his Maſter, and his whole Support.—For ſome Time he was not able to attend his own Intereſt; but the good Nature of Mr. Penſé ſhar'd his Sorrows, and directed his Conduct. [Page 216] —By the Will of Mr. Villeneuf, he found himſelf poſſeſs'd of Sixty Pounds, with all the Books and wearing Apparel he had in France. Penſé advis'd the ſelling the Books and all the Cloaths, except the Shirts; which done, he had about One Hundred and Fifty Pounds to begin a new Life. —Penſé knew perfectly his Situation, and many Projects were thought on to put this Sum to a proper Uſe; but, as neither of them could contrive how he might live on it, they paſs'd them over without fixing, but Penſé promis'd to think for him.
WHILST their Imaginations were buſily employ'd in forming Plans for his future Conduct, an Accident happen'd which I am almoſt aſham'd to mention. I once intended to have ſuppreſs'd this Accident, but my ſtrict Adherence to Truth, obliges me, though with Reluctance, to make it a Part of this Hiſtory. Beſides, as all the Memoirs and Papers that ſerv'd in compiling this great Work, are now depoſited in the Cotton Library, for the Peruſal of the Curious, and to vouch the Authenticity and Impartiality of this Performance, with what Face could I omit or gloſs over a material Circumſtance, and make my Veracity doubtful to the Publick. If ſome have taken [Page 217] a contrary Method, I am determin'd to keep mine Integrity.
CONYERS did not always dine at the ſame Hotel, for different Companies afforded him different Remarks. At one of theſe Ordinaries, he had made a Sort of Acquaintance with a genteel young Man, of about his own Age, without inquiring into his Character. The Converſation happen'd to turn on the Folly and Abſurdity of Gaming, and this Gentleman laid open the Subject and the Schemes of Sharpers, in ſo clear and convincing a Manner, that charm'd Conyers.—After Dinner, they took a Walk together, and renewed the Subject.—'Few Men, ſaid the Stranger, underſtand Play better than I. Formerly I was a Bubble to it, but when I became a Maſter, and might have won back the Money I had loſt, though I don't much want it, my Friends and Relations got round me, and oblig'd me to renounce Gaming for myſelf. I now aſſiſt ſome Friends, and but laſt Night I won two hundred Pieces for the Gentleman in Blue, with Gold Brandenburghs, that din'd with us. This I frequently do, and am of Uſe to ſome honeſt Fellows.'—'I ſhould imagine, ſaid Conyers, that a Man who conſtantly plays, muſt ſometimes be liable to Quarrels, Diſputes, and many other [Page 218] Difficulties.'—'I grant you, reply'd the Gentleman, ſuch Affairs happen in poor low Company, but the Aſſemblies I frequent, are compoſed but of People of Rank and Fortune. Moſt of them incog. ſo no one takes Notice, or ſeems to know another, but all are on the ſame Footing.'
OUR Hero liſten'd with great Attention, and, by his many Queſtions, ſeem'd deſirous to venture a ſmall Matter, which perchance might double his Fund. The two hundred Pieces won laſt Night, ran ſtrangely in his Head, and his Imagination put him already in Poſſeſſion of ſuch a Sum. Like a Fiſh, he went round and round, and often nibled at the Bait, till at length his eager Deſires ſurmounted his Fears, and he ſwallow'd the Hook.
WHEN Conyers propos'd viſiting the Temple of Fortune, the other made ſome few Difficulties, but was at laſt prevail'd on to lend him his Skill. In Purſuance to the Plan of Operation, Conyers gave him Forty Louis, and put Twenty more into his own Pocket. It was too ſoon to begin the Project; and, to divert the Time and raiſe their Spirits, the Gentleman propoſed a Bottle of Champaign. They finiſh'd two, and Conyers found himſelf extremely elate, [Page 219] and prognoſticated vaſt good Fortune. He was like Alnaſchar the famous Glaſs Man, for he had rais'd his Thoughts, and built the Edifice of Grandeur, but others had the Honour of kicking it all down.
THEY arriv'd at the Temple, where the Prieſts were aſſembled, and very earneſt at their Devotions.—Conyers was fix'd at a Table with good Company, where he won and loſt, but much wonder'd his Friend did not appear and aſſiſt him. He grew a little uneaſy, but when he enquir'd, the Gentleman was not to be found, neither did any one know his Name. Conyers was unwilling to ſuſpect him, and purſu'd his Fortune ſingly.—As no Man knows his own Courage till he is try'd, ſo Conyers knew not his Paſſion for Play, until he was at a Gaming Table.—His twenty Pieces being near expir'd, he ventur'd to aſk, If any Gentleman would give him Credit till next Morning, in caſe he loſt. With great Politeneſs they all agreed, there was no Difficulty in confiding in a Gentleman of his Appearance.
THE Play continued, and the Dice flew about with the uſual Vehemence.—The fickle Goddeſs held the changing Balance, and joy'd to ſee ſuch true, ſuch fervent Zeal in all her Votaries.—The Rites and Ceremonies being finiſh'd, Conyers began to [Page 220] examine the Mythology. He now diſcover'd that the Doctrine was extremely erroneous, for he had not only loſt all his ready Money, but was indebted above Fifty Louis d'Ors.—The ſmall Remains of the Night was not employ'd in the moſt agreeable Reflections, neither was the Morning uſher'd in with happier Thoughts, for the Crime of laſt Night ſtar'd him full in the Face, in the Shape of three Gentlemen with Demands of Money. Whilſt employ'd in diſcharging theſe Debts of Honour, Mr. Penſé enter'd, which put him in the utmoſt Confuſion. Penſé began to imagine that his Friend had taken up the Buſineſs of lending Money on Pledges, but a little of their Converſation ſoon convinc'd him of his Error.
WHEN the three Gentlemen had retir'd, our Friends ſtood ſilent, and gaz'd on each other for ſome Time.—‘Well Sir, ſaid Penſé, I find the Prudent, the Wiſe, the Sagacious Mr. Conyers is beholden to Sharpers for making his Fortune, and giving him Experience.’—Conyers bluſh'd, and, with ſome Heſitation, told his melancholy Tale; but concluded, with heartily curſing the Falſhood of the French.—‘Very fine, cry'd Penſé, very fine, indeed. You have been bubbled by Pickpockets, and you [Page 221] damn a whole Nation; but the Truth is, you ought to quarrel with your own Folly and Imprudence, and I hope you will ſo effectually do it, as for ever to baniſh them your Company.—Gaming, continued Penſé, is the moſt ruinous of all Vices. It is—’
AS an Hiſtorian, I muſt be extremely angry with one HENRY FIELDING, who has wrote the Memoirs of a profligate Fellow, whom he calls TOM JONES.—This Man has done me great Injury, and I am apt to believe has ſeen the Materials of this Hiſtory; for in one of his Volumes, he has not only copy'd the very long Diſcourſe Mr. Penſé made on Gaming, but has rak'd together all that the Wiſeſt have ſaid, or could ſay on that Subject; ſo that he has very unfairly depriv'd me of the Benefit of a Dozen or Twenty Pages, which I muſt ſtrike out, or be thought a Plagiary.— This is not the only Place where the ſaid FIELDING has curtail'd my Reputation and crampt my Genius.—Without ſaying more on this barbarous and ungentleman-like Uſage, I muſt inſiſt, that the good natur'd Public will believe, I ſhould have had more Reflections, and have been as fertile in Wit and Humour as the ſaid Fielding, had he not [Page 222] cruelly and enviouſly foreſtall'd my Invention.
CONYERS was all Attention to Mr. Penſe's Harangue, and moſt faithfully promis'd to ſhun Temptation and avaricious Thoughts. —‘The Miſchief is done, ſaid Penſe, ſo I ſhall upbraid no more. I had a Scheme for your Service, but doubt your conſenting to it. I ſhall not flatter you, for, Why ſhould the Poor be flatter'd? But what I have to ſay is my ſincere Opinion. —You are, continued he, a very handſome genteel young Fellow, you have Learning and Underſtanding. You have cultivated your Talents by the Additions of polite Accompliſhments; and the Excellency of your Voice, and your good Nature, make you belov'd by all. My dear Conyers, it is no Crime to be conſcious of our Perfections, the Folly lies in being vain of, or over-rating them.— With your Endowments, and a prudent Management, you may make your Fortune, and be happy.—A Man muſt ſtoop, before we can juſtly ſay, he riſes. In a Word, I wiſh you would act the Part of a Servant.—You will be maintain'd and cloath'd. By your Addreſs, I know you will acquire Eſteem; and, as there are Secrets in all Families, no doubt but [Page 223] ſome may paſs through your Hands. Out of theſe, and ſundry Accidents that unavoidably happen, you may ſcheme ſome civil Employ, and eſtabliſh yourſelf in the World, as many worthy Men have done, not bleſs'd with half your Capacity.'—Jack liſten'd, but made no Reply. —'There is, ſaid Penſé, another Argument in Favour of my Project, and a ſtrong one, for I do not ſee what elſe you can do.’—This laſt Reaſon got the Better of Pride, and Conyers conſented.
‘NOW, ſaid his Friend, to convince you I have had you in my Thoughts, I can promiſe you a Service with an Engliſh Lord, now returning to London; he is rich, extremely good humour'd, but not the brighteſt Genius in the World.—He keeps an Engliſh Wench.—I need not deſire you to endeavour to have her Favour.’
AT Dinner they met again, when Penſé inform'd him that my Lord Weakhead with Pleaſure conſented, as he wanted one to take Care of his Wardrobe, and write his Letters. —‘I would not, continued he, have you always fix'd to a particular Service or Family; for, except your Judgment ſhews you a Probability of ſucceeding in your chief Deſign, ſhift about, and try another Soil; but be ſure to take Care of the [Page 224] little Money you have left, leſt you ſhould be too long unemploy'd.’
NEXT Morning they waited on Lord Weakhead, who would not agree, until his Dulcinea had approved. In ſome Time the Lady made her Appearance, and was ſo good to ſay, ‘ ſhe believ'd the Fellow would do well enough.’ His Lordſhip told Conyers the Duty he expected from him, and the Lady added ſome for herſelf.—He was to have thirty Pounds a Year, and ſome Perquiſites, to enable him to be decent.
IN three Days they ſet out for England.— The Friends parted with great Regret, and took a moſt tender Adieu. Penſé gave a Hint, that in all Likelihood a War would ſoon break out, and begg'd of Conyers never to write to him.
—Fie, fie upon her!There's Language in her Eye, her Cheek, her Lip:Nay, her Foot ſpeaks; her wanton Spirits look outAt every Joint, and Motion of her Body:Oh, theſe Encounterers! ſo glib of Tongue,They give a coaſting Welcome ere it comes;And wide unclaſp the Tables of their ThoughtsTo every tickliſh Redder: Set them downFor ſluttiſh Spoils of Opportunity,And Daughters of the Game.SHAKESPEAR'S Troilus & Creſſida.
JACK was ſoon ſettled in a Family-way in London, but found a mighty Difference between his laſt and preſent Maſter. My Lord had a fine Houſe, and a Number of Servants were maintain'd at a vaſt Expence; yet the Whole was conducted in ſo ſlovenly a Manner, that nothing was in Order, and ſomething was always wanting to compleat the intended Elegance.—Madam Haughty ruled all, and govern'd with [Page 226] a Power as uncontroul'd as it was extenſive. She frequently ſchool'd his Lordſhip in ſuch Terms, that made Conyers conceive an utter Averſion for her. Some Times ſhe had violent Fits of Jealouſy, and on thoſe Occaſions my Lord was never permitted to approach, neither could any Rhetorick, except that of a Purſe, perſuade her into any tolerable Temper.—Her male Acquaintances were Singers, Fidlers, young Fops, and a Couple of worn-out Sharpers. Her female Friends were Milliners, Mantua-Makers of ſmall Repute, and ſome Nymphs of her own Order. For theſe a plentiful Table was kept, and the Incenſe of Praiſe was conſtantly perfuming on the Altars of the Goddeſs Haughty. Tho' the Houſe was perpetually crowded, yet properly ſpeaking, Lord Weakhead ſaw no Company.
MADAM HAUGHTY had a ſtrong Levée almoſt every Morning; and, becauſe ſhe had been in France, and heard ſomething of the Conduct of their Ladies of Quality, ſhe frequently received their Viſits in Bed. Conyers always made the Tea, and, with a Footman, attended the Duty of the Table. One Morning, when the Company were pretty numerous, Jack was buſy employ'd in this Office, but happening to go into the Lady's Dreſſing-Room, he found a Bottle [Page 227] with a Label, on which was wrote Mouth Water; and, as his Gums were ſwell'd with a Cold, he innocently uſed this Water as a Gargle. Whilſt he was filling out the Tea, his Lips ſhrunk up, and his Mouth almoſt clos'd. The Company could not forbear ſmiling at the Oddity of his Face, which was quite diſtorted. Madam, at laſt perceived the Queerneſs of his Phiz, and, with a Laugh, aſk'd him, What was the Matter? When he attempted to anſwer, his whole Face was in Convulſions; but, as he could not articulate a Word, he ran to the Dreſſing-Room, and produced the Bottle. Haughty burſt into a violent Laugh, and whiſper'd a Lady near her, who communicated the Secret to a Third, and in a Moment all preſent were in the utmoſt Mirth; and a thouſand Witticiſms were thrown out, till Conyers was oblig'd to quit his Station, and ſeek Refuge in his Chamber, where, with Patience and warm Water, he brought his Features to their accuſtom'd Regularity; but it was not till ſome Years after, he found out what had occaſion'd his Diſorder, and the immoderate Banter he ſuffer'd.
MRS. HAUGHTY carry'd her Ridicule ſo far, that it raiſed his Reſentment, and determin'd him to watch her Motions more [Page 228] narrowly. In the mean Time he could not avoid making ſome ſerious Reflections on the Conduct and Situation of Lord Weakhead. He thought that the Life of a Man of Quality was to be employ'd in ſhewing good Examples to the World; and, with ſome Sighs, compar'd the Behaviour of his preſent Maſter to that of Lord True good.—He was ſurpriz'd how a Peer could run from the Dignity his Anceſtors had purchas'd, and act below the Character of the meaneſt Mechanic. He was aſtoniſh'd that a Nobleman, who might almoſt command the beſt Society, and a Lady of the firſt Family, where good Senſe and Honour would grace his Table, ſhould renounce theſe rational Comforts, and amuſe himſelf with the Dregs of Mankind, and a Woman of a moſt abandon'd Life. He was at laſt convinced, that his poor Lord had all the Plagues the worſt Wife could give, without any one of thoſe Pleaſures ſhe might ſometimes beſtow.
THIS Lady hath diſcover'd, that Delicacy and Tenderneſs were not the Charms moſt admir'd by my Lord in a Miſtreſs, but that his Conſtitution was to be govern'd only by abſolute Power. The more ſhe ſeem'd to hate and deſpiſe him, the fonder he grew. Her inſolent Security was ſuch, [Page 229] that ſhe ſcarcely made a Secret of her Infidelity, ſo that Conyers caught her one Morning beating Time to the Muſick of a dirty Fidler. She colour'd a little, at being ſo fairly diſcover'd; but, with a matchleſs Aſſurance, propos'd his taking a Part in the Concert. Conyers, with a Smile of Diſdain, anſwer'd, He had too good a Taſte, to be charm'd with a common vulgar Ballad. Her Rage is not to be expreſs'd, ſhe ſwore like an old Dragoon; and in this Temper he quitted her in Contempt.
AMONGST the many who paid Court to my Lord and Madam Haughty, Mr. Sangfroid, a young Surgeon of French Extraction, was pretty conſtant. He had a particular Regard for Conyers, and was the only Perſon who found out his Value and Merit. Sangfroid was a Man of Senſe, and whoſe Converſation was ſeriouſly diverting, and his ſpeaking French extremely well, made Conyers fond of being often with him. To this Gentleman he told his Story, and begg'd his Advice. ‘I ſee, ſaid Sangfroid, you are not perfectly acquainted with this Part of the World. I have ſometimes interfered between a Gentleman and his Wife, and have made up mighty Quarrels occaſion'd by Lap-Dogs, Parrots, and the like; but I never meddle between [Page 230] a Gentleman and his Miſtreſs. It is of too ſacred and delicate a Nature, neither can my Probe ſearch to the Bottom of the Wound; and, as I perceive that a Mortification muſt of Neceſſity enſue, why ſhould I give my Patient unneceſſary Pain? However, continued he, don't repine at being diſmiſſed this Service, but live with me until I can provide you another.’ Conyers return'd him many Thanks, and that Evening accepted his kind Invitation, for my Lord very gravely paid him three Months Wages, and gave him a Diſcharge.
MR. SANGFROID received him with great Kindneſs, and apologiz'd for not having it in his Power to be more conſtantly with him, but he never fail'd at Dinner, and ſeldom in the Evenings. In theſe Converſations Conyers took Care to ingratiate himſelf with his new Friend, and diſplay'd his Learning and Accompliſhments in ſo agreeable a Manner, as not a little ſurprized the Surgeon, who confeſs'd he merited an happier Fate: ‘But, continued he, it ſhall not be my Fault, if ſomething don't turn out to your Advantage.’
CONYERS paſs'd his Time in a very ſatisfactory Manner, for Sangfroid entertain'd him with Hiſtories of ſundry Families, but [Page 231] with ſuch Humour, as created Abundance of Mirth and moſt uſeful Obſervations; which laſt, Jack conſtantly added to his Collection.
Hail thou! who ne'er as yet was ſungBy any Bard, or old or young,Inchanting Riot! God of Drink!(Whatever ancient Poets think.)Thou to the World, chief Foe or Friend,Making ſome mount, and ſome deſcend,Inſpire my Verſe.ANONIMOUS.
ONE Evening our Friends had agreed to go to a favourite Play, where Mr. Sangfroid met ſeveral of his Acquaintance. 'I ſee, ſaid he to Conyers, a Knot of choice Spirits in the third Row; ſhould they aſk me to a Tavern, I muſt deſire your Company; for, though it will be Time thrown away, it will not be loſt.' 'I cannot, reply'd Conyers, rightly underſtand your Diſtinction, but command me.' 'That young Gentleman, continued [Page 232] the Surgeon, in a white Fuſtian Frock, and checquer'd Flannel Waiſtcoat, with the Hat of a Stage Coachman, is Sir Nicholas Royſter of Yorkſhire, who inherits good four thouſand Pounds a Year. He's not yet of Age, but borrows Money enough, by inſuring his Life. That elderly Youth juſt by him, with a red Face, is Squire Moriſe, formerly of High Hall in Glouceſterſhire. That fine Seat, and fifteen hundred a Year round it, has been long purchaſed by Mr. Punctual, a Banker in the Strand, on which the Squire has two hundred a Year Life-Rent. That genteel young Man on the other Side, is one Mr. Fitz-Simons of Ireland, where, I imagine, he has a good Fortune, for he is extremely generous. He has Chambers in the Middle Temple, and for theſe three Years has ſtudy'd very cloſely. A little beyond him you ſee a portly fierce Gentleman in Scarlet, with a Point d' Eſpagne Hat ſo cock'd, that it frights the Orange Wenches. He is called Major Noiſy, and, I have been told, was formerly a Lieutenant in the Army, but was oblig'd to ſell out and retire on Enſign's Half-pay; but the Knight is his Friend.' —'I think, ſaid Conyers, you apply the Word fierce to the Major; now, as I apprehend, [Page 233] it is derived from, the French Word fier, which means proud and ſaucy, I beg you will give him ſome other Epithet, for I obſerve he is extremely familiar with the Orange Ladies, who ſeem to attack him with equal Freedom.'— Your Obſervation, ſaid Sangfroid, I believe is right, but really the Major is far from being proud; but how fier may anſwer to ſaucy, I hope to convince you: However, they are all my Friends and Cuſtomers; and the Plague of my Profeſſion is, I muſt not only keep them Company, but agree to every Thing they ſay, when in Company.'
THE Play was ſcarcely finiſhed, when the Major gave a loud Hem, and having fix'd Sangfroid's Eyes, call'd out, —The King's Arms, and received a Nod of Conſent.— Sir Nicholas and his Company got firſt to the Tavern, having pick'd up two ſpecial City Sparks. When Mr. Sangfroid and Conyers arriv'd, they found the Major and the reſt very loud at the Larder. With great Difficulty Supper was order'd, and the Maſter, Mr. Ryan, conducted them into the Roſe.— As an Hiſtorian, I am compell'd to attend, but, courteous Reader, if thou'rt not charm'd with Diſcord of harſh Sounds,—If a Tavern Scene delighteth not [Page 234] thy Heart, or, if thou findeſt thyſelf not diſpoſed for a Converſation with ſuch Company, go not thou in with me, but paſs on to ſome other Part of this delectable Hiſtory.
THE Inſtant the Major enter'd the Roſe, he cry'd out, ‘Z—ns! what a Room has the Raſcal put us into?—Here— You Son of a W—re, ſhew us into the Rummer, this ſmokes like Hell!’—Ryan was all Obedience, and, as he conducted them back, the Knight could not avoid ſaying, ‘Ay, ay, let the old Soldier alone; D— me he'll keep 'em all in Order.’— The uſual Salutations began, and Mr. Sangfroid introduced Conyers to each, by their Titles.—‘Sir, ſaid the Major, give me your Hand. D—n all theſe Compliments; you ſeem, Sir, to be a Gentleman, and a Man of Honour, and D— me but we're all oblig'd to Young Bolus for your Company.’—Conyers juſt began to return the Compliment, but the Major interrupted him, ſaying,—'Sir, You are a very pretty ſenſible Gentleman, and (ringing the Bell as loud as he could) we'll take a hearty Bottle together, and know me for your Friend.—Here—You Oſtler —D— me, where is the Wine.'— Pleaſe your Honour, ſaid the Waiter, the [Page 235] Wine your Honour always chuſes is on the Table.'—'D'ye prate, Puppy? ſaid he, to Kennel, down this Inſtant,— Avaunt!'—The Waiter retir'd with a Smile, and then he began, ‘Come, Boys, —Come Lads, ſit down and be D—d, and take your Wine in Peace and Quietneſs.’
THE Company were moving to their Places, when Mr. Moriſe open'd with an hoarſe Voice,—‘D—n that old Firelock, what a Clatter he makes; curſe him, he'll never be a Conjurer, for he wan't born dumb.’—This witty Stroke occaſion'd a prodigious Laugh, which laſted with many Additions, till all had taken their Seats.
I HOPE it will not be expected I ſhould ſet down minutely and in Order every ſingle Word and Repartee during the firſt half Hour's Converſation. The Taſk would be too arduous even for the renown'd Author of Pamela and Clariſſa, whoſe Patience nothing could equal, except that of his Readers. Old Bunyan would have been at a Loſs, and the celebrated Mr. Cleveland would have found it impoſſible; how therefore can I, a weak, ignorant Modern, pretend to attempt what ſuch vaſt Geniuſes muſt have omitted. All I am able to do, [Page 236] is to beg the learned Reader to ſupply my Defects, by imagining, or, if he can, writing about thirty Pages of the moſt faſhionable Oaths, and refin'd Bawdy Jokes his Wit can put together. Should his Thoughts not be ſufficiently elevated for ſo ſublime a Subject, let him take the Memoirs of a Lady of Pleaſure, whoſe Author, as he undoubtedly merits, certainly ought to be preferr'd to the higheſt Poſt on Hounſlow, or ſome other convenient Heath.
WHILST the Supper was laying, Mr. Sangfroid whiſper'd his Friend, ‘that Sir Nicholas had pawn'd his Honour they would have no Whores in Company that Night, for I hope, added the Surgeon, to amuſe you in a better Manner.’—Supper over, they had juſt ſet down to freſh Bottles when Mr. Ryan enter'd. ‘Pleaſe your Honours, ſaid he, here's the Gazette, and great News in it, will your Honour, giving it to the Major, be pleas'd to read it, for 'tis beſpoke in the next Room.’ —I read it! cry'd the Major, ‘No, not I by G—, read it yourſelf and be d—d.’— Ryan began, and read of a powerful Squadron fitted out at Breſt, and that forty thouſand French had Orders to march to Germany, and the like Number to the Frontiers of Flanders. That the Queen of Hungary [Page 237] was levying a large Army in Bohemia, which would be ready to take the Field early in the Spring.—He was proceeding, when the Major jump'd up, drew his Sword, and ſlapping it on the Table, 'Now, cry'd he, we ſhall have a War, 'D—n my Blood but we ſhall. Now the Scoundrels will court me to ſhew them the Way to Flanders, and the Prig Officers who will hardly give me a Bow, ſhall come Cap in Hand, for they can't make me leſs than a Lieutenant Colonel. Z—ds! How I long to be at it, and then, Sir Nicholas, D—me, Sir Nicholas, but you ſhall go with me, and be my Enſign, and fight by my Side, D—me if you ſhan't.—Not ſo faſt, ſaid the Knight, for, D—me if I do. No, no, I know a Trick worth two of that, for, as the Gentleman ſaid to Night in the Play, I've four thouſand a Year of as good fighting Land as any in Europe; ſo I ſuppoſe if we have a War I ſhall pay my Club, and you and your Honour and Glory may go fight and be d—d for Sir Nicholas.' 'Then, cry'd the Hero, ſtay at home and be d—d, and mind your Hounds and your Horſes. Z—ds, when I was of your Age,'—Why, ſaid Sangfroid, when you were of Sir Nicholas's Age, [Page 238] what mighty Matters did your Honour do? Come, tell us, my dear Man of War.
‘I was, ſaid the Major, the eighth Son of fourteen, for we were always a fine Bucking Family. My Father, Juſtice Noiſy, 'tis well known, had two thouſand a Year in Cornwall, and gave his Children as much Learning as they would take. Your Latin and Greek was not my Turn, and the Fool my Maſter flogg'd me damnably before he found it out, which happen'd by an odd Accident, for when I was about Fifteen, the Son of a B—h was at his old Tricks with his Birch, but d—me if I didn't take him ſuch a Knock over the Noddle with the Poker, that down dropt Old Ars in preſente, and the beſt of the Joke was, that the Scoundrel was a Parſon. The old Juſtice laugh'd heartily, and prais'd my Spirit, ſo I thought I had him on. I wanted d—ly to get to London, but my Chap was as cloſe fiſted as the Devil, and not a Stiver would he part with to buy me a Commiſſion, which was all my Pride. The old Fool at laſt married a young B—h for Love, and uſed me like a Dog. D—me thought I but I'll be reveng'd, and you'll ſplit your Sides with laughing when I tell you how I contriv'd it.—D—n my [Page 239] Blood if I didn't make Love to my Mother, and fairly Cuckol'd Old Square-toes.' Bravo, Bravo, cry'd Sir Nicholas, and Bravo, cry'd all the Reſt.’ Well, ſaid Sangfroid, ſo when you had Cuckol'd your Father you—‘Z—ns, Mr. Purge, cry'd the Major, ſure I can tell my own Story. —Why, when I had done him that Jobb, D—me, thought I, but I'll do you another; ſo one Morning I made free with a Purſe of Fifty Guineas, and, as the Devil would have it, the ſame Day he found Madam and I fairly planting his Horns. —Z—ns! how he ſtared, and ſwore and rag'd like any Free-man in Bedlam. I walk'd off, my Dears, and left him that Bone to pick the beſt Way he could.— Well, as I was ſaying, I walk'd off, and took the Road to London. As I had Money in my Purſe, I thought I had all the World in a String. In a Week I got acquainted with ſome fine Ladies, and very fond of me they were, for D—me but I was as fine a Lad as ever trod the Ground, and five Foot Seven in my Stocking Feet. The dear B—hes ſoon made me known to ſome Gentlemen of Quality, ſo that in about a Month I knew Drury-Lane and London as well as if I had been bred and born in't; but [Page 240] D—me if I know to this Day how it was, but in ſix Weeks I'd but a ſingle Guinea left.—Now ſome Lads would have ſnivel'd and cry'd, and begged Pardon, and ſo forth; not me by G—d. I kept up my Heart like a Man, and as I could not purchaſe a Red Rag, I bravely reſolved to earn one with my Sword, ſo I went to the Parade, and took on in the Firſt Regiment of Guards.’—The Company greatly applauded his Courage and Reſolution, and he proceeded—‘A Trifle, a Trifle, Gentlemen. Boys of Spirit will always, ſooner or later, ſtrike out their own Fortunes.—Well, this was in the Year 1711, which all the World knows was about the Middle of that red hot War.—To cut ſhort my Story, we landed near Liſle, which my Glorious Maſter the Duke of Marlborough was Beſieging, and the ſame Day I begged to mount the Trenches.—Hot Work, hot Work my Boys, for there was we expoſed on the Top of a Ditch to the Fire of the Enemy for four Hours Endways. —Come, Gentlemen, drink about, Sorrow is dry, and d—me but I'm choaking with Thirſt.’—They drank, but whilſt the Knight and Mr. Moriſe were aſking ſome Particulars of the Siege, Conyers found [Page 241] Time to ſay to his Friend,—‘This Fellow was never an Officer, and I verily believe was never in any Army except as a Sutler's Servant.’—Juſt then the Major's Voice was diſtinct.—‘Lord, Lord, ſaid he, why there it is. People that ſtay at Home and ſee nothing, muſt have ſtrange Notions. To be ſure 'tis terrible enough at firſt, D—me if it isn't, but when a Man is us'd to it for four or five Campaigns as I was, 'tis a mere Flea-bite.— Well, as I was ſaying, having cut a Paſſage through the covered Way, and with fixed Bayonets maſtered the Half Moon of the firſt and ſecond Parapets, and a Breach being made in the Glacis by our Engineers, I boldly mounted, and the whole Army following, the poor Devils of French ſurrender'd the Town.—The Gazette did me Juſtice, and the Noble General made me an Enſign. At Blenheim the next Campaign, I did my Duty, got a few Wounds and a Company, and the ſame Year a Majority.—You know the reſt. My old Dad kick'd up, and like an unnatural Son of a Whore as he was, left me a Shilling. A d—d Peace being made, and a Boy put over my Head, I quitted the Service, and have been on Half-Pay ever ſince, but now— [Page 242] D—n my Blood they ſhall beg and pray before they catch me in Flanders.— So drink about my Boys, I'm alive, D—me.’
THE Bottle and Wit went briskly round, till Sangfroid, clapping Sir Nicholas on the Shoulder, 'There, ſaid he, there's a Fellow of Mettle: I think I ſee him routing a whole French Army; I wiſh he'd write his Memoirs, they'd ſell d—d well. What would you give, Sir Knight, to be able to ſay as much as the Major?'— Give, reply'd Sir Nicholas, D—me, I'd not give Six-pence. To be ſure the Fellow may have ſeen more, for he's old enough to be my Grandfather, but d—n my Blood, I've done as much for my Time, as any He in Chriſtendom.'— Impoſſible, Impoſſible, ſaid Sangfroid,— Judgment, Judgment, cry'd the Knight, and in a Quarter of an Hour, Silence was proclaimed, and he began.
‘WHY, lookee, Gentlemen, I was but Nineteen, as I may ſay, laſt Graſs. My good Father Sir Joſeph, and my Lady Mother were very tender of my Youth, and gave me all the Education a Gentleman of my Fortune requir'd. At ten Years old I could read,—no body better, —and the ſame Year I rode one of my [Page 243] Father's Horſes, poor Merry Pintle, and won the Sweep Stakes at Wakefield Races. D—me if I didn't.—Z—ns! I thought the old Gentleman would have leapt out of's Skin for Joy.—Next Day, my Bucks, I ran old Sly Boots againſt Squire Maſon's Bay Mare Miſs Slammekin, a Bye Match for Fifty Guineas, Weight for Inches. Honeſt Sly-boots had well nigh diſtanc'd the Mare, when he loſt all Four, and canted me twenty Yards over his Head. There I lay, and was taken up for dead, tho' I only broke my left Arm and two of my Ribs.—No more by G—. When I recovered of my Wounds, all my Friends ſaid that Young Nick was fairly entred.—Come Bucks, drink about.—Well, next Year, D—me if I didn't out-ride our Huntſman in a Fox Chace, and made him helliſhly Jealous; but in leaping a double Ditch, I got a Tumble, and my Head fell foul of a d—d Stump of a Tree, and laid it open. See Gentlemen, ſee, (pulling off a little black Wig) here it is, you may put your Fingers in't, but, D—me, I ſoon hors'd for all that, and call'd out Jowler, —Ringwood,—Ho. ’—Then he diſplay'd all the Eloquence of Field Language, and the Company joining in the Cry, the Guardian [Page 244] of the Night forgot the Hour, and imagined himſelf in Epping Forreſt.—At Length Sir Nicholas found Time to proceed.—‘All the Tenants was cock ſure I'd be a clever Fellow; but when I began to kill their Dogs, and break their Nets, the Scoundrels complain'd to Sir Joſeph, and my good Lady Mother gave me a ſwinging Lecture about good Nature and Humanity, and ſuch Stuff; but when I was Sixteen, I ſhew'd them other Game, for D—me if I didn't get their Daughters with Child by Dozens, and at laſt I tipt the ſame Favour to her Ladyſhip's Maid. Sir Joſeph curs'd and ſwore, and my Lady cry'd and pray'd like Hell and the Devil; but what did I care?—I knew they cou'dn't ſwear or pray me out of the Eſtate, do their worſt; ſo becauſe they wou'dn't let me take my Swing at Home, I touched the Steward for a Brace of Hundreds, and wiſhed 'em all a good Night.—My dear Father at laſt relented his hard Uſage of me, and about four Months ago he took a Leap in the Dark to Kingdom come; and ſo I'm in Mourning for him, as you ſee.’—A loud Laugh enſued, and the Bottle took its Courſe, and then he continued—‘My Guardians, for I've enough of 'em, won't allow me to [Page 245] live like a Gentleman, but D—me they are bit; I won't ſtarve in a Cook's Shop, not I, for, my Bucks, here I am ſafe, and by the Help of my Friend yonder, pretty ſound. Now, Gentlemen, I think I've been in more Dangers than if I had fought twenty Battles in Flanders, and D—me I'll lay Fifty Guineas I've more Wounds than his Honour the Major.’
EVERY Body agreed, and poor Noiſy ſtood a whole Volly of Wit.—'Truce, Boys, Truce, cry'd the Major, Why what the Devil, all upon Roger!—Fitzſimons, do dear Rogue, tell us ſome of your fooliſh Exploits, and keep Sir Nicholas in Countenance.'—'I'd do as much for you, ſaid Fitzſimons, with all my Heart, but it ſeems you have no Occaſion, for the Devil himſelf can't put you out of Countenance.'—This encreaſed the Laugh, till Sangfroid cry'd out, ‘Well, Gentlemen, I muſt own the Major has ſaid a good Thing once in his Life, and I ſecond the Motion; to Order Gentlemen, to Order, Mr. Fitzſimons is up,—hear him, hear him. ’—All the Cry now was hear him, ſo Fitzſimons was obliged to comply, and he began.
'MY Hiſtory, Gentlemen, is very ſhort. —My Family is pretty conſiderable in [Page 246] Ireland, where my Father kept a good Houſe, and lived in the true old hoſpitable Manner, but ſtill gave his five Sons ſuch Accompliſhments as the Country afforded. We knew Latin and Greek, but Dancing and Fencing much better. At laſt the good Man died, and I, as his eldeſt Son, took Poſſeſſion of the Eſtate, charged with my Mother's Jointure, and Portions for younger Children. To do the beſt I could for a large Family, I entered the Temple, and ſtinted myſelf to One Hundred Pounds a Year. I have many Relations in London, and ſome of Faſhion, who introduced me into the politeſt Company of both Sexes, where I ſoon found I had a Genius for Play, and improved my Talent.—But, Gentlemen, the Ladies, the Ladies are kind, for I court them in ſuch a Manner that few can withſtand my Rhetorick.'—'Z—ns, cry'd the Knight, I'd give a Thouſand Pounds for that Secret.'—'You may have it much cheaper, reply'd Fitzſimons, for when I am with a Lady I like, or whoſe Eyes ſpeak a certain Language, I watch the firſt Opportunity, and ‘Uſher the New Acquaintance, &c. ’ [Page 247] D—me, cry'd the Major, If I know what you mean. I know well enough a Man may be uſhered to the King's Bench, or the Poultry, or the Round Houſe, and the like, where a Man may make new Acquaintances enough, but D—me if ever I heard of uſhering a new Acquaintance to a Lady, but by a Pimp.'—'Why you old B—h, cry'd Sir Nicholas, don't you know that new Acquaintances are New Guineas, and that little Fitz ſlily tipt the Lady half a Score?—D—me after all, 'tis the only beſt Argument in the World.'—'Right, right, Sir Nicholas, ſaid the Surgeon, 'fore Gad you have hit it.'
‘THE Knight is ſo ſharp, ſaid Fitzſimons, there is no hiding Things from him.—If the Lady accepts my little Rouleau I am ſure of her immediately. If ſhe refuſes, and afterwards permits my Viſits, I try her again, and ſeldom have Occaſion to repeat the Doſe. From this I have the Advantage of being of her Family, as often as I pleaſe; and if it encreaſes not my Revenue, it at leaſt prevents a Decreaſe by another Channel. —This, Gentlemen, is my Amuſement, but my grand Reſources are the Chocolate Houſes.— When Salkeild, and Cook, [Page 248] and Ventris, and Littleton, begin to grow dry and ſtupid, I turn about and converſe with my good Friend Monſiéur de Moivre, on the Doctrines of Chances.— Perhaps, ſaid Mr. Moriſe, that ſame Mr. De—what d'ye call him, may be a pretty Fellow; I don't know him; but for Salkeild and the reſt, I've ſeen 'em drunk and ſober enough, and by the L—d they are ſtupid Mortals.' — That may be, ſaid the Major, for D—me if I know any of 'em; but, dear Moriſe, not to interrupt you, I've often heard ſome of your Tip-top People ſay that your Littleton is a d—d clever Fellow;—but I beg Pardon, and, my dear Fitz, don't let us talk of Religion; D—n your Doctrine, and finiſh your Story.’
‘WITH all my Heart, ſaid Fitzſimons, for two Words will do it.—In ſhort, Gentlemen, I am Maſter at Piquet, and could teach Whiſt to Mr. Hoyle. I care not how the World goes, for one Lord pays for my Chariot, another keeps my Servants and Horſes, and many of different Titles contribute to my Family-Expences.—Thus, Gentlemen, I live, and live well, tho' the good old Gentlewoman keeps her Jointure.’
[Page 249] ‘Z—NS, cry'd Sir Nicholas, you're a happy Fellow, but I am the moſt unlucky Dog in the World.—There's my Mother now,—D—me, ſhe has no more Nature in her than a Stone; for, if ſhe lov'd her only Child, or my poor defunct Father, to be ſure ſhe'd have contrived ſome Way or other to have paid him a Viſit by this Time.—But no Matter, for whether her Jointure falls in or not, by G—I'm determined next Bout to be Knight of the Shire, if it coſts me Twenty Thouſand Pounds.’
THE higheſt Encomiums were ready to fall on Sir Nicholas, when Mr. Moriſe roſe in an Extacy, crying out, 'D—me I muſt kiſs the dear Boy.—Do, dear Sir Nick, ſtand for the County, and here I am that will ſupport you with all my Intereſt, and be your Manager; for by the L—d, no Man in Europe underſtands that Matter better.'—'I thought, ſaid Mr. Sangfroid, your Eſtate lay in another County.'—'You thought, reply'd Moriſe, Pſha, D—it, why Man, all the World knows I've ſtood for Twenty Boroughs and Counties, and was a Member too in the Queen's Time; but that D—d new Miniſtry threw me out, and I've been fighting them ever ſince; but next P—t, [Page 250] I think I have a Borough pretty ſure.'— Ay, ay, Maſter Moriſe, ſaid the Major, let it alone till then, and then you may think on't, for that will be your Share.'— Why, you dirty Scoundrel, cry'd Moriſe, do you upbraid me in my Misfortunes, that has kept you from ſtarving?'— Patience good Mr. Moriſe, ſaid the Major, Starving! Ay, ay, D—me if you kept me like yourſelf, I ſhould ſtarve indeed.'—Moriſe loſt all Temper, and whilſt he diſcharged a thouſand hard Names, and not a few Glaſſes on the Major, the Warrior practiſed his own Leſſon of Patience, and received them with great Meekneſs, ſtill crying out,—‘Mr. Moriſe, Mr. Moriſe,—don't rouſe the angry Lyon.’—Moriſe drew his Sword, but ſome held him, and ſome the Major, whoſe Sword, by this Time, was unſheath'd.— The Storm was violent. The Major's Voice was Thunder, and Moriſe's the Echo to it.—Mr. Ryan and the Waiters entered, which added not a little to the Harmony. —Now might be heard Oaths, Imprecations, Prayers and Intreaties ruſhing inſtantly out; but no Mortal could diſtinguiſh or aſſign a Reaſon.
AT laſt the Noiſe of War ſeemed to ſubſide, and gentle Peace began to ſpread her [Page 251] Pinions. The mangled Limbs of ſlaughtered Bottles and Glaſſes were decently interred, and the purple Stream, that covered Half the Plain, was now ſwallowed up by the neighbouring Sands. All Preliminaries being adjuſted, Tranquillity was proclaimed, and three Bottles called for, to ſacrifice to Love and Friendſhip.—Bumpers went briſkly round, and their Zeal was ſo fervent to eſtabliſh a right Underſtanding, that ſome of the Company began to loſe their own.
‘Z—NS, cry'd the Knight, what Fools were we to quarrel amongſt ourſelves, when the common Enemy is at Hand?— D—me, my Bucks, let's ſally forth and beat the Watch!'—'Glorious Thought! ſaid the Major, and let's beat up the Bawdy-Houſes.'—'I'm with you, cryed Moriſe, by the L—d 'tis the moſt fineſt Fun in the Univerſe.—To pay—a Bill this, Inſtant, and let's to Buſineſs.’—All ſeemed to join, and whilſt the Bill was preparing, Sir Nicholas ſettled the Operations.
THE Reckoning was Three Pounds Eighteen Shillings, and each Man put his Hand to his Pocket.—The Major laughed, and ſwearing he had changed his Breeches that Morning, and forgot to ſhift his Money, [Page 252] added, ‘'Tis no great Matter, for my Servant is an honeſt Fellow; however, Sir Nick, tip me a Guinea till I ſee you next.’—The Knight readily comply'd, and Mr. Conyers ſaying, ‘It is juſt our Half Guineas a-piece, ’ threw one on the Table.—Moriſe whiſpered ſomewhat to Sir Nicholas, who immediately cryed out, ‘Z—ns, that's true, D—my B—d if the Gentleman pays a Farthing in my Company.’—Conyers begged to be excuſed; but the other inſiſting on paying the Whole, threw four Guineas to the Waiter. Mr. Moriſe took the Half Guinea, intreating Mr. Conyers to put it up; which he peremptorily refuſing, ‘Well, ſaid Moriſe, 'tis only ſo much the more for the Waiter;’ however, in a Miſtake, he ſlipt it into his own Pocket.
'TWAS paſt three o'Clock, and the Quiet of the Neighbourhood was to be invaded, the Company in the Street, each encouraging the other in the Expedition.—But my Duty calls me another Way, for Mr. Conyers took the firſt Chair, and got ſafe to his Lodgings, without ſharing in the Honours or Danegrs of this glorious Action, and his Friend very ſoon followed his Example.
O that I had my Innocence again!My untouch'd Honour! but I wiſh in vain:The Fleece that has been by the Dyer ſtain'd,Never again its native Whiteneſs gain'd.WALLER.
SANGFROID was rous'd about Six that Morning, by a thundering Rap at the Door. At Ten he return'd, and gave Conyers the Sequel to the Evening's Entertainment.—‘There has been fine Work, ſaid he, and our Heroes have furniſh'd me Employment. It ſeems they began their Attack on the Watchmen a little too precipitately, ſo were inſtantly outnumber'd. The Battle laſted but a ſhort Time, and in the Hurry, the Major and Mr. Moriſe got off to a Bagnio, but moſt miſerably cut in the Head and Face.— The Valour of the young Knight not permitting him the proper Uſe of his Legs, he was taken Priſoner, and conducted to the Citadel of the Pariſh, vulgarly [Page 254] term'd the Round-Houſe. He is tolerably bruiſed, and has another honourable Mark planted juſt over his Eye. Some of the Watch are ſlightly injur'd, but as they will make the moſt of it, this Affair, perhaps, may be made up at the trivial Expence of an Hundred Guineas.’
'BUT, ſaid Conyers, what became of the other Gentleman? For methinks Mr. Fitzſimons is a Man of more Underſtanding than to embarque in ſuch an Exploit.' —'He (anſwer'd the Surgeon) ſlipp'd off with me, and whiſper'd, "He had no Idea of Fighting, where nothing but the Reverſe of Honour or Credit could poſſibly be obtain'd."—As for the City Blades, all I hear of them is, that they play'd their Parts very well for ſome Time, but had ſo much Prudence as not to be taken.'
'I AM heartily glad, ſaid Conyers, that ſome have been properly puniſh'd; for their Conduct is ſo abſurd, that nothing can extenuate it, but imagining them Lunatick.'—'In truth, ſaid Sangfroid, the Watchmen treated them as ſuch, and blooded them ſeverely.—But what think you of their Humour?—'Humour! reply'd Conyers, Faith I find none, but [Page 255] for Ribaldry, Folly, and Nonſenſe, I thank my Stars, I never heard nor ſaw more in my whole Life. I was quite ſilent, and bore all their Extravagancies with ſome Patience, except their horrid Swearings, which really made me ſhudder.'—'And yet, ſaid his Friend, ſuch is the general Run of Tavern-Converſation.'—'I am ſorry for it, anſwer'd Conyers; but wonder what Joy, what Pleaſure Men can take, eſpecially old ones, in Riot and Exceſs! Company, and too much Wine, may ſometimes lead Men into a thouſand odd Frolicks, but a cool, deliberate Syſtem of Ignorance, Debauchery and Impiety, is what I can by no Means account for. Dean Swift, indeed, was not ſo much aſtoniſh'd at ſeeing Men wicked, as at their not being aſham'd of it.'—'That, ſaid Sangfroid, is really the moſt ſurprizing Circumſtance; but of our Companions, I can only ſay, as Killigrew did of Lord Wharton, "they would not ſwear at that abominable Rate, if they thought they were doing God Honour.' Many Obſervations paſs'd, till the Surgeon told him, they would dine Tomorrow with a Lady on the Surry Side, where poſſibly he might be more happily and more agreeably entertain'd.
[Page 256] NEXT Day they took Boat. ‘The Lady, ſaid Sangfroid, we are going to viſit, was formerly call'd POLLY GUN, but lately POLLY CANNON, and has been what the World calls, One of Us. She has had her Share of Variety, but managed ſo cleverly, as to have an Income of about Two Hundred Pounds a Year. She is now about Forty-five Years of Age, preſerves a Portion of Beauty, and has for theſe Four laſt Years retir'd from the Town, and lives a moſt regular and modeſt Life. She has been often in Keeping, but had always a Settlement by Way of Life-Annuity. I tranſact all her Affairs, and am on ſuch a Footing, that I hope to perſuade her to give you her Hiſtory. You'll be pleas'd with her Converſation, for ſhe is extremely well-bred, and of a lively and chearful Turn.’
THEY row'd up the River about Six Miles, Conyers ſtill enquiring into more Particulars, which furniſh'd Sangfroid with an Opportunity of deſcribing her Perſon, her Oeconomy, her Happineſs, and other Articles, till they landed. A Quarter of an Hour brought them to her Houſe: It was ſmall, but moſt neatly furniſh'd, with a Garden in nice Order. The firſt Salutations over, Mrs. Cannon fell into the eaſy [Page 257] and familiar Stile. She very agreeably rally'd the Magnificence of her Palace, the Elegance of the Apartments, and the Spaciouſneſs of the Saloon. As ſhe went through the few Rooms, ſhe made very merry Remarks.—'Now, Gentlemen, ſaid ſhe, this is my Bed-Chamber, and contains ſomewhat ſcarcely to be found in any other.'—'I muſt own, Madam, ſaid Conyers, I never ſaw ſo truly a clean, neat, and charming an Apartment in my Life, but the Bed ſtrikes my Imagination the moſt.—What Joy, what Content muſt Repoſe and Slumber find in it!'—'Oh, very fine, ſaid ſhe; but tho' your Gueſs is very true, permit me to ſet you Right in the Main.—This Bed, continued ſhe, I made myſelf, and have for theſe Four Years conſtantly ſlept in it as happily as I wiſh or deſire; but few Beds can boaſt, like this, of being never employ'd but merely to ſleep in.' —Sangfroid laugh'd, and Conyers ſmil'd. —'You may laugh, Gentlemen, ſaid ſhe, yet Faith it is Fact.—But now let us go to the Library.' She then conducted them into a pretty contriv'd Cloſet, and ſhew'd about Three Hundred Volumes of Hiſtory, Poetry, and Books of Divinity.' —‘I doubt not, ſaid ſhe, but ſome great [Page 258] Perſonages may have a larger Collection, but perhaps they cannot ſay with me, that they have read all their's more than once over.—Yonder are the Claſſicks in good Engliſh.—You may examine them, if you pleaſe; for, I aſſure you, they are not in Wood, and deſign'd for Ornament only.’—Conyers and the Surgeon found ſomething to ſay on every Volume, nor did ſhe fail in very pertinent Replies.
SHE then led them to her Garden:— 'Here, ſaid ſhe, is the fair Flower in its Luſtre! What Pity to crop its growing Sweetneſs, then caſt it like a loathſome Weed away.'—'Pity, indeed, Madam, ſaid Conyers; but to tranſplant, to cheriſh it in your fair Garden, where the Sun always ſhines, has been your careful Employment; but however, to let it wither and periſh on the Stem, without ſmelling its Fragrancy, is, perhaps, a Crime almoſt as bad. For my Part, I ſhould enjoy its Perfume, and endeavour to keep it in conſtant Blow.'—'Yes, yes, ſaid ſhe, I never knew a young Fellow that did not imagine he'd make an excellent Gardener.—But here comes my Maid, and I prophecy Dinner is ready.'—As [Page 259] they walk'd to the Houſe, the Surgeon gave her a Whiſper.
THE Repaſt was plain, but ſo neat, and enliven'd by ſuch Good Humour and Chearfulneſs, that Conyers declar'd he never had ſo high an Entertainment.—Sangfroid put her in Mind of the Promiſe ſhe made him. —‘Since, ſaid ſhe, your Friend Mr. Conyers is ſo curious, I ſhall give him a Hiſtory, of which I make no great Secret.’
WHO, or what were my Parents, is of no Conſequence, only I muſt ſay they were People of Subſtance and Reputation, and moſt tenderly bred and educated me. I grew up like other Wenches; and at Fourteen, the flattering World had talk'd me into Beauty. Perhaps I really was ſo, but am ſure I [Page 260] thought it. About this Time, one Mr. Tarrier, and his Lady, took a furniſh'd Houſe in our Neighbourhood. The good Gentlewoman was mighty religious, and never fail'd at the Pariſh Church. She took a great Liking to my Father's Pew, and, by many little Civilities, was much regarded by our Family. She invited us to Supper, and was invited in Return. In a Word, her Converſation was ſo pious and godly, and ſhe inveigh'd ſo much againſt the Wickedneſs and Vices of the preſent Age, that my poor Parents became ſo fond of, and intimate with her, that they intreated ſhe would be ſo good to inſtruct their dear Polly. I own I was not much pleas'd with my Tutoreſs, for ſhe conſtantly trail'd me to Church twice a-Day. My good Mother thank'd God ſhe had found ſo good a Friend; but I ſoon diſcover'd that Madam Tarrier was not ſo outrageouſly rigid as I expected; for ſhe ſometimes perſuaded them to permit me to a Play. The pious Lady always choſe a Comedy, and in ſome Parts, where I was ignorant of the Joke, ſhe very kindly explain'd, perhaps more than the Author meant.
IN this Manner we lived for about Half a Year, and the good Woman had got [Page 261] ſuch an Aſcendancy over my Mother, that I believe ſhe would have truſted me with her even to America. She frequently took me to viſit her Uncle near Groſvenor-Square. He was a very polite, rich old Gentleman, and ſo kind to me, that I was always ſure of ſome pretty Preſent, or a Guinea or two to buy Ribbands. At one, and the laſt of theſe Viſits, Madam Tarrier took the Opportunity of leaving me with her Uncle, that ſhe might attend her Devotions at a neighbouring Church. I thought ſhe ſtaid a little too long, and began to be impatient. The old Gentleman endeavoured to paſs away the Time with a Chat fitting my Years, but at laſt I could not refrain crying moſt bitterly.—What need I amuſe you with unneceſſary Particulars?—The She Devil had left me with an He one, and I was undone.
THE firſt Month of my Confinement, for I was conſtantly watch'd, was dreadful to my Imagination. I moſt affectionately lov'd my Father and Mother, and felt their Sufferings at the Loſs of an only Child. I wept almoſt Day and Night, but muſt ſay the old Gentleman was extremely tender and fond, and did all in his Power to make my Life eaſy. [Page 262] He bought me Books, we read by Turns, and he gave me that Sort of Taſte and Reliſh for them, which I now find of infinite Uſe. I play'd on the Harpſichord, and ſung well; but he had a Maſter to perfect me and amuſe my leiſure Hours. I inſenſibly began to be better pleas'd with my Station, and in Twelve Months was quite reconciled to it.
WHAT an Animal is Man! — As I grew happy and fond of the Wretch, his Affections cool'd, and he entirely changed his Conduct. At laſt he upbraided me with Infidelity (which was impoſſible) and proved his Aſſertions by my injuring his Health. He ſtorm'd and flew into a violent Paſſion; and calling his Man Jenkins, "Here, ſaid he, take this fair Lady, get her a Lodging and a Surgeon, which I ſhall pay; but ſince ſhe has found out a Trade, all ſhe can expect of me, is to ſet her up."— Without giving me Time to reply, he ſtepp'd into his Chariot and vaniſhed. — I was ſtruck dumb; and tho' my Heart was ready to burſt, no friendly Tear aſſiſted me. Poor Jenkins was in great Perplexity; but one of the Maids having pack'd up all my Linen and Cloaths, of [Page 263] which I had Abundance, and very fine, he was obliged to execute the Orders of his Maſter, and conducted me to the Door, where an Hackney Coach ſtood ready to receive me.
AS I was paſſing the Hall, I don't know what perſuaded me to open the Parlour Door; but what was my Aſtoniſhment, when I ſaw Mrs. Tarrier, and a charming young Creature, in cloſe Converſation!—I ſtood motionleſs, but in Agony, and with uplifted Eyes, I juſt utter'd—Infamous Woman! and fell in a Swoon.—The Servants too charitably brought me to myſelf, and Jenkins rather carried, than led me to the Coach.
WHEN we got to the Lodging he had provided for me, I flew to the Bed and abandon'd myſelf to Tears, Sighs, and the moſt melancholy Reflections.—Good God! ſaid I, is there no Law, no Juſtice for the Injuries done me? Muſt I ſuffer in Silence, and muſt triumphant Villany go unpuniſhed!—Is the Nature of Woman ſo harden'd, and the Conſcience of Man ſo ſteel'd, as not to feel the utmoſt Remorſe for this worſe than Rape?—Bitter, very bitter were my Words, and Jenkins try'd all Means to aſſuage the Violence of my Paſſion. At length I became more calm, [Page 264] and he promiſed to wait on me in the Morning. The Woman of the Houſe obliged me to eat a little, and was very civil and tender.
NEXT Day Jenkins came and brought a Surgeon. When alone he began to queſtion and examine me in the delicate Manner, and then declared I was injured in a high Degree.—'Twould be tedious to mention all this Affair; let it ſuffice, that I was perfectly recover'd in two Months.—As I could not accuſe myſelf of a real Crime, I reſolv'd, if poſſible, to return to my Parents, not doubting but they would receive me, and revenge my Wrongs. With proper Caution I perſuaded my Landlady to make ſome Enquiry after them; but, Good Heavens! What were my Sufferings whilſt ſhe gave me the following Account?—"I have done, Madam, ſaid ſhe, what you have deſir'd, and find that the Family I enquir'd after, had a beautiful Daughter who was ſtolen from them about a Year ago by a Bawd, who, as a Neighbour, got into their Favour, but decamp'd the Moment ſhe finiſhed her horrid Work. The poor Mother was ſo griev'd at the Loſs of her Child, that ſhe fell into a Decay, and died in Half a Year. The [Page 265] Father, with Difficulty, got the better of his Afflictions, but ſold all his Effects, and went Abroad, but where I could not learn. I aſſure you, Madam, that Family are greatly pity'd by all the Neighbours."—'My Situation is not to be deſcribed.— Now, ſaid I, the worſt has happen'd.—My dear Mother is dead, —My Father gone, — and I muſt be abandon'd to the Fate of a Proſtitute!— But what ſignifies what becomes of me?
JENKINS juſt then enter'd, and, after ſome Chat, told me my Lodgings and Surgeon were paid; "and now, Polly, ſaid he, your old Friend ſends you theſe Fifty Guineas, and adviſes you to take Care of yourſelf."—I took the Money, but vented on the old Villain every Name, and every Imprecation my Rage could ſuggeſt.—"Come, come, ſaid Jenkins, of what Uſe is all this? You muſt now think of providing a Maintenance; and if you'll be advis'd by me, perhaps Things may go better than you imagine. You are certainly a fine Girl, and ſome Gentlemen would think themſelves happy in your Acquaintance. If you'll give me leave, I'll engage you ſhall not want two or three very liberal Friends.—You underſtand me."—I [Page 266] was really, in ſuch a Temper of Mind, and thought my Situation ſo deſperate, that I did not reflect on the Miſery I was going to plunge my ſelf into, but conſented to be guided by him and fell into his Project with a Sort of Stupidity that I never could account for.
JENKINS got me noble Lodgings properly ſituated and gave me his Inſtructions; but, like other Dealers, I gave him a Sample of the Goods. He had the Benefit of a Subſcriber for Six Copies, by having the Seventh Gratis. He was a notable Broker, and ſent many good Cuſtomers to my Ware-houſe.—In Six Months POLLY GUN began to be famous, and my Lodgings were ſometimes the Scene of Quarrels and Noiſe, eſpecially at Night. In ſhort, Diſgraces had knock'd too frequently at my Door, and the Neighbourhood oblig'd me to ſhift my Quarters.
IN three Years I believe I had thirty different Apartments, good and bad, juſt as the Ballance of Trade was For or Againſt me. 'Tis an odd Sort of Fund, for when Stock was low, I mounted to a Second or Third Story; when high, I deſcended to the Firſt Floor. I had not ſeen Jenkins for ſome Time, ſo preſume [Page 267] he was inſtructing other Wenches whom his Maſter had made as wretched as myſelf.—By this Time ſome of my Cloaths were worn out, and many had viſited the Pawn-Brokers.—I was frequented but by Lovers of the trifling Order.—I had not ſaved a Shilling, and wanted many Neceſſaries in my Profeſſion, beſides being indebted a Month's Lodging. In this Diſtreſs my Maid perſuaded me to be acquainted with the Porters of two or three noted Taverns.—To theſe Places I was frequently ſent for, and now took the Name of POLLY CANNON. The Novelty of my Face, my Converſation, which was always decent, my Voice, and my Youth and Compexion, furniſh'd out a good or rather a bad Livelihood. The Porters were fond to promote my Intereſt, as I greatly promoted theirs.
THESE Gentlemen always charg'd a Shilling for my Chair hire to the Tavern, and another if I return'd alone to my Lodgings, tho' I was oblig'd to walk. If I got a Guinea, their Fee was a Crown, beſides ſome other Dues, which I ſhall not mention. In ſhort, theſe Fellows make a vaſt Income out of the Induſtry of poor young Ladies.
[Page 268] EVEN this Sort of Life at laſt fail'd me; for my Face grew too familiar, which is an unpardonable Crime amongſt Gentlemen; and my biting the Porters out of their juſt Poundage, and refuſing ſome certain Compliances which they regard as their Prerogative, they left me to pick my Teeth in my Chamber, and never invited poor Polly Cannon to a good Supper.
I COULD not ſtarve.—With ſome Intereſt, I was inliſted under the Banners of a famous Lady near Covent-Garden. Not to be too minute in my Relation, I ſhall only ſay, I did tolerably well there for ſome Time; but a Quarrel between one of the Nymphs and I, obliged me to ſhift the Scene, and make a Piece of the Furniture of a Coffee-houſe.—As abandon'd as I was, I could never ſwear or drink. The Want of this laſt Qualification, made me ſoon diſcharg'd the Manſions of Drunkenneſs, and threw me, for Subſiſtance, into the Arms of the Publick.
WHY ſhould I pretend to deſcribe what no Mortal can exactly do? What Joy can you receive in my ſpeaking Variety of Wretchedneſs? Or in a Tale, whoſe lighteſt Word would harrow up thy Soul!— [Page 269] Cold, Famine and Peſtilence were my conſtant Companions.—I breath'd, but devoutly wiſh'd every Moment might be my laſt. ROWE juſtly paints my Miſery.
To know no Thought of Reſt; to have the MindStill miniſtring freſh Plagues, as in a Circle,Where one Diſhonour treads upon another:What know the Fiends beyond it!
ONE Night as I took my Rounds, I touch'd a young Gentleman, and in the uſual Phraſe, aſk'd for a Pint of Wine. He turn'd, and by the Aſſiſtance of a Lamp, examined me a little, and conſented.— "Perhaps, Child, ſaid he, you are more Hungry than Dry."—On my telling him he gueſs'd right, he order'd a Supper.—Our Converſation became very diverting, and he was ſo good to ſay, I was much above the Common. He deſired my Story, and I gave it him very naturally, but concluded, that as all [Page 270] poor Girls were fertile in Invention, I much doubted if he credited my Tale.— He look'd ſerious, but from pitying he became amorous, and preſſed my going to a Bagnio.—Wretched as I am, Sir, ſaid I, I cannot do a Wilful Injury. You are happy and in Health, but I am miſerable every Way.—When he was convinced of the Truth of what I ſaid, he took me in his Arms, and vowed he would never forget my Generoſity.— Take, ſaid he, theſe Five Guineas, and meet me To-morrow Morning in Somerſet-Gardens.
YOU may be ſure I was punctual, and indeed he was exact. In fine, he carried me to the Houſe of a Surgeon, where I remained until his Duty was over. My Friend, whoſe Name was Loveit, conducted me to a private Family, where, in a ſhort Time, with good Living and tolerable Content of Mind, I recovered my former Spirits, my Complexion, and every Sign of Youth, for I was not yet quite One-and-Twenty.—If ever I lov'd a Man it was this dear Friend, and he merited all my Regard.
WITH this Gentleman I lived near three Years, and as happily as my Situation could admit of. I recover'd my [Page 271] Muſick and my Taſte in Books, and greatly improved in both.—One Morning at Breakfaſt he walked about the Room, and ſeem'd very penſive. On my enquiring the Cauſe, he ſat down by me and began thus.—"I hope, my dear Polly believes I love her as I ought, but all Things muſt have an End.—Don't be too much alarm'd, ſaid he, on ſeeing my my Tears,—I ſhall act with Honour, and to your Satisfaction. — In two Words, Polly, my Friends and my real Intereſt compel me to marry."—Be happy, Sir, ſaid I, in the Choice of a Wife, and may every Bleſſing attend you.' —'What remains for me but Diſpair, Anxiety and Madneſs.—"Not ſo, my dear Polly, cry'd he, for I hope a better Fate attends you. Here are One Hundred Guineas, and this Paper intitles you to an Annuity of Forty Pounds a Year. Be careful of theſe and be happy.
HIS Generoſity charmed me, and by Degrees he calmed my troubled Spirits, and brought me to talk of parting with more Coolneſs of Temper than I poſſibly could have imagined.—"Since we muſt ſeparate, ſaid he, take a little of my Advice. My Couſin, Captain Mizen, of the Superb Man of War, has ſeen and [Page 272] likes you. As he knows all my Affairs, he begs to be admitted to your good Graces. The Captain is an Old Bluff Tar, and tho' not very polite and tender, yet he's an hearty honeſt Fellow. If you conſent, I will engage a Settlement of Thirty Pounds, beſides your living as you have hitherto done."—Some Converſation enſued, and at laſt I accepted the Propoſal.
THE Evening was uſhered in by a Viſit from Captain Mizen, who was introduced by Mr. Loveit. I received them with great Reſpect, and made many Compliments for the Praiſes beſtowed on me by my Friend.—"S'blood, ſaid the Captain, what's all this Jawing for? I've done as Coz deſired, and o'has the Papers in's Pocket. Now d'ye ſee, an it be too little, there's twenty Pieces more to turn the Scale.—Now, Miſtreſs, how ſay you? ſhall we make the Bargain and ſeal Lips."—Loveit ſmiled, but I was mute.—"Well, well, ſaid he, Silence gives Conſent, ſo Miſtreſs, by your Leave."—He kiſs'd moſt furiouſly, and then turning to Loveit, ſaid, — S'blood Coz, ſhe's a well built Sloop, and will carry a huge deal of Cavas; [Page 273] I'm afraid I ſhall never be able to run her fairly down.
WE had much of this Sort of Converſation, but Mr. Loveit came to the Point, and his giving me another Annuity of Thirty Pounds, I own it prejudiced me greatly in Favour of Captain Mizen. A few more Words finiſhed this Affair, and I became the Property of this Man of War, and parted with my Friend with Love and Regret.
CAPTAIN Mizen viſited conſtantly, but ſeldom before One or Two in the Morning, and frequently Half Seas over, as he called it. 'Twas difficult to manage him in this Trim; but when quite drunk, was very tame and obedient, ſo I took Care to ply him with Port or Punch, and then he turned in with Eaſe. In the Morning he always begged Pardon, not in Words, but in a pecuniary Manner, that carry'd irreſiſtable Perſuaſion. I certainly hated him, and the Reſiſtance I always made to his Careſſes, ſerved but to plague me the more with his Fondneſs. The Creature loved, and no Caliban could ſhew it more. I was his Pinnace, his Frigate, and a Thouſand tender Names, but on ſtruggling he has cry'd out'—"That's right!—Yard-arm [Page 274] and Yard-arm.—S'blood Poll, an you blow me up, by the World I'll clap the broad R on you.
AT laſt my true Love went to Sea, and gave me a Reprieve for ſix Months. The Experience I had, made me find out the real Uſe of Money, and reſolve to ſave as much as I could. The Captain returned with a freſh Cargo of that Commodity which his Love made leſs valuable. He was ſo generous, that I ſuffered his Embraces with great Freedom, but diſcovered the lucky Secret, that this was the only Chance I had of loſing his valiant Heart. It ſeems he loved a ſmart Engagement, and a Ship that would take a good Deal of Drubbing before ſhe ſtruck. An eaſy Conqueſt was to him of no Value. With this Knowledge I pretended extreme Fondneſs; I hung on his Neck; I kiſs'd his Carbuncled Cheeks, and almoſt cryed when he left me. He ſeemed pleaſed enough with my Behaviour, but his Viſits were leſs frequent, and in ſix Months he forfeited his Articles, gave me the Good-bye, and left me like a Turtle all alone, to weep and mourn the Abſence of her Mate.
MY Landlady, Mrs. Wheedle, was a Woman who underſtood the World. In [Page 275] her younger Days ſhe had been of perſonal Uſe to a Nobleman, who married her to his Footman, and procured him a very pretty Employ in the Revenue. Latterly, I believe, ſhe ſerved his Lordſhip in another Capacity. With theſe People I lived, and, all Things conſidered, was perfectly happy in the Friendſhip of Mrs. Wheedle. We went to Church, to Play-Houſes, and were inſeparable. In one of our Walks, I took it in my Head to enquire for my Old Friend near Groſvenor Square, of whom I had not heard for above ſix Years. Mrs. Wheedle went to the Houſe, but found it inhabited by another Family. With ſome Difficulty I was informed, that the Old Gentleman's whole Fortune was ſwallowed up in the South Sea. That his Diſtreſs was ſo great, that it turned his Head, and had been ſupported by Charity in a Mad-houſe near Chelſea, where he died about a Year ago.—I had no great Reaſon to love his Memory, yet could I not help a few Tears, but guarded againſt calling his Fate a juſt Judgment.
LORD, ſaid Mrs. Wheedle, what ſignifies it. If the Gentleman was a Friend in a Corner, thank God there be others in the World as good as he. Charity begins [Page 276] at Home, my Dear, but nothing is to be got by Idleneſs. I love to ſee a young Woman Induſtrious and Careful. 'Tis the moſt recommendableſt Thing in Life.'—'I am no Enemy, ſaid I, to Induſtry, but ſure you would not have me hawk about my Goods, or ſtand at the Door and cry,—Walk in Gentlemen! and behold the wonderful Works of Nature! Alive—Alive—ho!—"Certainly Polly, ſaid ſhe, you're diſtracted!—Did ever any Body hear ſuch Nonſenſe?— If you will be induſtrious, I know a Friend will give you Employment." —Ay marry, ſaid I, now you ſay ſomething; but will he come down handſomely? for you know I hate a Game that can't afford paying the Cards.—"Lord, Lord, Polly, ſaid ſhe, you're ſtrangely covetous! but I don't blame you neither. —There's 'Squire CARELESS now, the moſt Charmingeſt and moſt Agreeableſt Man in Life, mayhap he may anſwer your Purpoſe.—What ſay to that, Polly?" —With all my Heart, ſaid I, the Squire ſhall be welcome, but you know the Conditions.
IN a few Days Mr. Careleſs paid me a Viſit, and, with great Eaſe and Familiarity, fell into a Chat of a Settlement,— [Page 277] I'm ſo unlucky my Dear, ſaid he, to have my Eſtate ſo fix'd by Law, that I cannot touch it. My Income I ſpend like a Gentleman. Pleaſure is my Religion, and the Ladies are the Idols I adore. The Incenſe I burn is Money, and my Sacrifice is Love. Accept one and the other, and the Prieſteſs below Stairs ſhall have Reaſon to be content." —I laugh'd at the Oddity of his Expreſſions, but as his Incenſe had a ſweet-ſmelling Flavour, I was perſuaded of the Sincerity of his Devotions, and I became his Titular Saint.
HIS Viſits were very irregular, but, tho' always chearful, always good-humour'd and generous, they ſeemed rather paid to diſpoſe of, and kill Time, than to ſee the Object of his Love.— Mrs. Wheedle took Notice of this, and inſinuated, that vacant Hours might be employed to Advantage.—"There is Perquiſites, ſaid ſhe, belonging to all Employments in Life, and ſince you keep an Office, I ſee no Reaſon why you ſhou'dn't have 'em as well as others."— If I keep an Office, ſaid I, it is an Office of Aſſurance, or rather, that of an Underwriter; but where are the Perquiſites you talk of? for I always admir'd your [Page 278] Douceurs, or, as ſome call them, your Dowcers.—"You're a Mad-cap, ſaid ſhe, but let me alone to work for you,
THE good Woman was very ſkilful, and, at different Times, brought me acquainted with two or three elderly Gentlemen, who made ample Amends for the Roughneſs of their Beards, and their Stinking Breath. This Revenue was partly appropriated to my Friend's private Recreation and mine, and the Remainder to the Sinking Fund.
CARELESS ſometimes met one of theſe Gentlemen in my Chamber, but ſeem'd quite indifferent about it. The Indolence of his Temper was ſuch, that no jealous Thoughts had Power to give him Uneaſineſs. I once made an Apology for having a Stranger in my Apartment, and told him a well-contriv'd Lye.— "Bleſs me, Child, ſaid he, why ſo many Words about a Trifle!—I know you are a Woman, and cannot help acting as ſuch.— I know you have been playing the Truant, but why ſhould I be angry at the conſtant Practice of your Sex? No, no, my Dear, I am ſo happy, that no Woman can diſappoint me.—You have all the ſame Turn, and a little Cheating, even at Cards, affords you infinite Delight. [Page 279] —The Pleaſure of Deceiving has ſomething exquiſite in it, but I am ſo ill-natur'd as to diſappoint you, and freely indulge a Paſſion ſo natural to the Ladies.
I OWN he flung me more by his Indifference, than had he ſtorm'd and ſwore. I ſaid what was neceſſary on the Occaſion, but he took the Standiſh and wrote.— Here, my dear Polly, ſaid he, are my Sentiments. Let's ſay no more on the Head, but love one another as well as we can."—He then began a very merry Converſation, and embracing me very tenderly, took his Leave.—I long'd to read his Paper, and found theſe Words;
AT firſt I thought I had loſt him for ever; but a Day or two convinc'd me to the contrary. We kept up a tender Correſpondence for about a Twelve-month more; and my Perquiſites regularly came in. At laſt his Extravagancies, and the Want of common Attention to his Affairs, drove him into ſuch Difficulties, that he was compell'd to give up many Amuſements, and Me amongſt the reſt.—Mrs. Wheedle's good Management prevented my too much regretting the Loſs of Careleſs. She ſoon furniſh'd me with another and another, and the laſt Fool ſtill welcome as the firſt.
I MUST reſerve for another Opportunity, my Travels to Ireland with a Lord of that Country, and to France with a Scotch Nobleman.—My living with a Jew, a Methodiſt Preacher, and ſundry others; and the many Tricks I played in a Progreſs of fifteen Years, would make a large [Page 281] Folio, and perhaps be as uſeful as MOLL FLANDERS.
IN a Word, I found myſelf poſſeſſed of about Two Hundred Pounds a Year well paid, beſides ſome ready Money and Jewels.—Time began to gather my Roſes, and ruffle my ſmooth Brow. The few Charms that remained, I reſolved to uſe myſelf. I had ſeen the World, and found it a vain empty Nothing.—I began to call to my Memory the Days of Innocency and Happineſs.—I reflected on the Charms of Religion and Virtue, for their Beauties had not quite forſaken me.— I try'd their Power, and they have conducted me to this Manſion of Peace and Tranquillity.
WHY are miſerable Creatures call'd Women of Pleaſure?—Poor Wretches! they know of none!—In their happieſt Days, and in the higheſt Keeping, whom do they converſe with?—In the Midſt of Gaiety, they are in Darkneſs and Obſcurity.—They walk with ſelf-condemn'd and ſuſpicious Looks, and juſt live like a Rat in the Wainſcot.—When ſtript of their Finery, when diſcarded the fertile Paddock, and ſent to graze on the Common. What Horrors!—What Vileneſs!
[Page 282] I DO not pretend to be a Judge of the Charms of Matrimony, neither can I have a juſt Idea of the Pleaſure Parents take in their Children, as I never was in either Situation; but this I can poſitively affirm from my own Experience, that in the Midſt of every Joy I was capable of receiving, as I certainly was of ſome, I had Reflections which I could not account for, but which gave me infinite Anxiety.—To be neceſſitated to be fond where I was quite indifferent.—To careſs him whom I deſpiſed.—To ſeem to love, and be all Tenderneſs, where I hated, and even loath'd.—In ſhort, to live, if I may ſo call it, a MARTYR to my Reaſon and Underſtanding, is a Situation the moſt deplorable human Nature can be reduced to.—As Light follow Shade, ſo Trouble and Remorſe purſue the Vicious.—Who can fathom the Deep, or meaſure infinite Space! But Oh! who can deſcribe the Joy, when the Father of infinite Mercy ſpeaks Peace and Comfort to the contrite Heart!
She ceaſed.—Sangfroid prais'd the Steadineſs of her Reſolution, but Conyers was loſt in Thought.—If, Madam, ſaid he at laſt, your whole Life was ſhewn to the World, with the proper Obſervation of [Page 283] a ſkilful Hand, how uſeful, how inſtructive would it be!—You would ſerve as a fix'd Star to direct the Unwary in the Voyage through Life; or, ſhould Storms or Tempeſts drive them into Error, to guide and pilot them into an Harbour of Safety.—Vice has its Charms, but place Virtue in Contraſt, How is it poſſible our Senſe ſhould ſtray?'—'Your Remark, Sir, ſaid ſhe, is juſt; but FRAILTY! thy Name is Woman, or rather, it is the common Name of all Mankind.—The whole World ſtruggle and ſtrive and fight for, what they call Happineſs; but they neglect and deſpiſe the ſure, the only Way of attaining it, which Religion and Virtue, free from Enthuſiaſtick Cant, or Hypocritical Demureneſs, can alone point out.— The Remainder of the Converſation was very ſerious; but Night coming on, they were obliged, unwillingly, to ſeparate.
As they returned, Conyers could ſpeak of Nothing but Mrs. Cannon. He admir'd her good Senſe, her eaſy Turn of Mind, and her Moral and Religious Sentiments; but thought ſhe ſtill led but a melancholy Life.—Quite otherwiſe, ſaid Sangfroid, ſhe has a ſenſible Servant for her conſtant Companion: She has her Books, her Muſick, and her Garden; which give her a [Page 284] rational Delight and Amuſement: Beſides, tho' her former Life is well known in the Village, her Sincerity and Virtue are ſo well vouch'd by her Conduct, that ſome of the beſt Families have lately viſited her, and ſhe them. She told me the other Day, that to keep Company, and be rank'd with modeſt Women, was ſuch a Pleaſure, as almoſt made her diſtracted.