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Title: Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon — Volume 1
Author: Fielding, Henry, 1707-1754
Language: English
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by Henry Fielding








When it was determined to extend the present edition of Fielding, not
merely by the addition of Jonathan Wild to the three universally popular
novels, but by two volumes of Miscellanies, there could be no doubt
about at least one of the contents of these latter. The Journal of a
Voyage to Lisbon, if it does not rank in my estimation anywhere near to
Jonathan Wild as an example of our author's genius, is an invaluable and
delightful document for his character and memory. It is indeed, as has
been pointed out in the General Introduction to this series, our main
source of indisputable information as to Fielding dans son naturel, and
its value, so far as it goes, is of the very highest. The gentle and
unaffected stoicism which the author displays under a disease which he
knew well was probably, if not certainly, mortal, and which, whether
mortal or not, must cause him much actual pain and discomfort of a kind
more intolerable than pain itself; his affectionate care for his family;
even little personal touches, less admirable, but hardly less pleasant
than these, showing an Englishman's dislike to be "done" and an
Englishman's determination to be treated with proper respect, are
scarcely less noticeable and important on the biographical side than the
unimpaired brilliancy of his satiric and yet kindly observation of life
and character is on the side of literature.

There is, as is now well known since Mr. Dobson's separate edition of
the Voyage, a little bibliographical problem about the first appearance
of this Journal in 1755. The best known issue of that year is much
shorter than the version inserted by Murphy and reprinted here, the
passages omitted being chiefly those reflecting on the captain, etc.,
and so likely to seem invidious in a book published just after the
author's death, and for the benefit, as was expressly announced, of his
family. But the curious thing is that there is ANOTHER edition, of date
so early that some argument is necessary to determine the priority,
which does give these passages and is identical with the later or
standard version. For satisfaction on this point, however, I must refer
readers to Mr. Dobson himself.

There might have been a little, but not much, doubt as to a companion
piece for the Journal; for indeed, after we close this (with or without
its "Fragment on Bolingbroke"), the remainder of Fielding's work lies
on a distinctly lower level of interest. It is still interesting, or
it would not be given here. It still has--at least that part which here
appears seems to its editor to have--interest intrinsic and "simple of
itself." But it is impossible for anybody who speaks critically to deny
that we now get into the region where work is more interesting because
of its authorship than it would be if its authorship were different
or unknown. To put the same thing in a sharper antithesis, Fielding is
interesting, first of all, because he is the author of Joseph Andrews,
of Tom Jones, of Amelia, of Jonathan Wild, of the Journal. His plays,
his essays, his miscellanies generally are interesting, first of all,
because they were written by Fielding.

Yet of these works, the Journey from this World to the Next (which, by
a grim trick of fortune, might have served as a title for the more
interesting Voyage with which we have yoked it) stands clearly first
both in scale and merit. It is indeed very unequal, and as the author
was to leave it unfinished, it is a pity that he did not leave it
unfinished much sooner than he actually did. The first ten chapters, if
of a kind of satire which has now grown rather obsolete for the
nonce, are of a good kind and good in their kind; the history of the
metempsychoses of Julian is of a less good kind, and less good in that
kind. The date of composition of the piece is not known, but it appeared
in the Miscellanies of 1743, and may represent almost any period of its
author's development prior to that year. Its form was a very common form
at the time, and continued to be so. I do not know that it is necessary
to assign any very special origin to it, though Lucian, its chief
practitioner, was evidently and almost avowedly a favorite study of
Fielding's. The Spanish romancers, whether borrowing it from Lucian or
not, had been fond of it; their French followers, of whom the chief were
Fontenelle and Le Sage, had carried it northwards; the English essayists
had almost from the beginning continued the process of acclimatization.
Fielding therefore found it ready to his hand, though the present
condition of this example would lead us to suppose that he did not find
his hand quite ready to it. Still, in the actual "journey," there are
touches enough of the master--not yet quite in his stage of mastery.
It seemed particularly desirable not to close the series without some
representation of the work to which Fielding gave the prime of his
manhood, and from which, had he not, fortunately for English literature,
been driven decidedly against his will, we had had in all probability no
Joseph Andrews, and pretty certainly no Tom Jones. Fielding's periodical
and dramatic work has been comparatively seldom reprinted, and has
never yet been reprinted as a whole. The dramas indeed are open to two
objections--the first, that they are not very "proper;" the second, and
much more serious, that they do not redeem this want of propriety by the
possession of any remarkable literary merit. Three (or two and part of
a third) seemed to escape this double censure--the first two acts of the
Author's Farce (practically a piece to themselves, for the Puppet Show
which follows is almost entirely independent); the famous burlesque of
Tom Thumb, which stands between the Rehearsal and the Critic, but nearer
to the former; and Pasquin, the maturest example of Fielding's satiric
work in drama. These accordingly have been selected; the rest I have
read, and he who likes may read. I have read many worse things than even
the worst of them, but not often worse things by so good a writer as
Henry Fielding. The next question concerned the selection of writings
more miscellaneous still, so as to give in little a complete idea of
Fielding's various powers and experiments. Two difficulties beset this
part of the task--want of space and the absence of anything so markedly
good as absolutely to insist on inclusion. The Essay on Conversation,
however, seemed pretty peremptorily to challenge a place. It is in a
style which Fielding was very slow to abandon, which indeed has left
strong traces even on his great novels; and if its mannerism is not
now very attractive, the separate traits in it are often sharp and
well-drawn. The book would not have been complete without a specimen or
two of Fielding's journalism. The Champion, his first attempt of this
kind, has not been drawn upon in consequence of the extreme difficulty
of fixing with absolute certainty on Fielding's part in it. I do not
know whether political prejudice interferes, more than I have usually
found it interfere, with my judgment of the two Hanoverian-partisan
papers of the '45 time. But they certainly seem to me to fail in
redeeming their dose of rancor and misrepresentation by any sufficient
evidence of genius such as, to my taste, saves not only the party
journalism in verse and prose of Swift and Canning and Praed on one
side, but that of Wolcot and Moore and Sydney Smith on the other. Even
the often-quoted journal of events in London under the Chevalier is
overwrought and tedious. The best thing in the True Patriot seems to me
to be Parson Adams' letter describing his adventure with a young "bowe"
of his day; and this I select, together with one or two numbers of the
Covent Garden Journal. I have not found in this latter anything more
characteristic than Murphy's selection, though Mr. Dobson, with his
unfailing kindness, lent me an original and unusually complete set of
the Journal itself.

It is to the same kindness that I owe the opportunity of presenting the
reader with something indisputably Fielding's and very characteristic
of him, which Murphy did not print, and which has not, so far as I know,
ever appeared either in a collection or a selection of Fielding's work.
After the success of David Simple, Fielding gave his sister, for whom he
had already written a preface to that novel, another preface for a set
of Familiar Letters between the characters of David Simple and others.
This preface Murphy reprinted; but he either did not notice, or did
not choose to attend to, a note towards the end of the book attributing
certain of the letters to the author of the preface, the attribution
being accompanied by an agreeably warm and sisterly denunciation of
those who ascribed to Fielding matter unworthy of him. From these the
letter which I have chosen, describing a row on the Thames, seems to
me not only characteristic, but, like all this miscellaneous work,
interesting no less for its weakness than for its strength. In hardly
any other instance known to me can we trace so clearly the influence of
a suitable medium and form on the genius of the artist. There are some
writers--Dryden is perhaps the greatest of them--to whom form and medium
seem almost indifferent, their all-round craftsmanship being such that
they can turn any kind and every style to their purpose. There are
others, of whom I think our present author is the chief, who are
never really at home but in one kind. In Fielding's case that kind was
narrative of a peculiar sort, half-sentimental, half-satirical, and
almost wholly sympathetic--narrative which has the singular gift of
portraying the liveliest character and yet of admitting the widest
disgression and soliloquy.

Until comparatively late in his too short life, when he found this
special path of his (and it is impossible to say whether the actual
finding was in the case of Jonathan or in the case of Joseph), he did
but flounder and slip. When he had found it, and was content to walk
in it, he strode with as sure and steady a step as any other, even the
greatest, of those who carry and hand on the torch of literature through
the ages. But it is impossible to derive full satisfaction from his
feats in this part of the race without some notion of his performances
elsewhere; and I believe that such a notion will be supplied to the
readers of his novels by the following volumes, in a very large number
of cases, for the first time.



Your candor is desired on the perusal of the following sheets, as
they are the product of a genius that has long been your delight and
entertainment. It must be acknowledged that a lamp almost burnt out does
not give so steady and uniform a light as when it blazes in its full
vigor; but yet it is well known that by its wavering, as if struggling
against its own dissolution, it sometimes darts a ray as bright as ever.
In like manner, a strong and lively genius will, in its last struggles,
sometimes mount aloft, and throw forth the most striking marks of its
original luster.

Wherever these are to be found, do you, the genuine patrons of
extraordinary capacities, be as liberal in your applauses of him who is
now no more as you were of him whilst he was yet amongst you. And, on
the other hand, if in this little work there should appear any traces of
a weakened and decayed life, let your own imaginations place before your
eyes a true picture in that of a hand trembling in almost its
latest hour, of a body emaciated with pains, yet struggling for your
entertainment; and let this affecting picture open each tender heart,
and call forth a melting tear, to blot out whatever failings may be
found in a work begun in pain, and finished almost at the same period
with life. It was thought proper by the friends of the deceased that
this little piece should come into your hands as it came from the hands
of the author, it being judged that you would be better pleased to have
an opportunity of observing the faintest traces of a genius you have
long admired, than have it patched by a different hand, by which means
the marks of its true author might have been effaced. That the success
of the last written, though first published, volume of the author's
posthumous pieces may be attended with some convenience to those
innocents he hath left behind, will no doubt be a motive to encourage
its circulation through the kingdom, which will engage every future
genius to exert itself for your pleasure. The principles and spirit
which breathe in every line of the small fragment begun in answer to
Lord Bolingbroke will unquestionably be a sufficient apology for its
publication, although vital strength was wanting to finish a work so
happily begun and so well designed. PREFACE THERE would not, perhaps,
be a more pleasant or profitable study, among those which have their
principal end in amusement, than that of travels or voyages, if they
were wrote as they might be and ought to be, with a joint view to
the entertainment and information of mankind. If the conversation of
travelers be so eagerly sought after as it is, we may believe their
books will be still more agreeable company, as they will in general be
more instructive and more entertaining. But when I say the conversation
of travelers is usually so welcome, I must be understood to mean that
only of such as have had good sense enough to apply their peregrinations
to a proper use, so as to acquire from them a real and valuable
knowledge of men and things, both which are best known by comparison. If
the customs and manners of men were everywhere the same, there would be
no office so dull as that of a traveler, for the difference of hills,
valleys, rivers, in short, the various views of which we may see the
face of the earth, would scarce afford him a pleasure worthy of
his labor; and surely it would give him very little opportunity of
communicating any kind of entertainment or improvement to others.

To make a traveler an agreeable companion to a man of sense, it is
necessary, not only that he should have seen much, but that he should
have overlooked much of what he hath seen. Nature is not, any more than
a great genius, always admirable in her productions, and therefore the
traveler, who may be called her commentator, should not expect to find
everywhere subjects worthy of his notice. It is certain, indeed, that
one may be guilty of omission, as well as of the opposite extreme; but
a fault on that side will be more easily pardoned, as it is better to
be hungry than surfeited; and to miss your dessert at the table of a man
whose gardens abound with the choicest fruits, than to have your
taste affronted with every sort of trash that can be picked up at the
green-stall or the wheel-barrow. If we should carry on the analogy
between the traveler and the commentator, it is impossible to keep one's
eye a moment off from the laborious much-read doctor Zachary Gray, of
whose redundant notes on Hudibras I shall only say that it is, I am
confident, the single book extant in which above five hundred authors
are quoted, not one of which could be found in the collection of the
late doctor Mead.

As there are few things which a traveler is to record, there are fewer
on which he is to offer his observations: this is the office of the
reader; and it is so pleasant a one, that he seldom chooses to have
it taken from him, under the pretense of lending him assistance. Some
occasions, indeed, there are, when proper observations are pertinent,
and others when they are necessary; but good sense alone must point them
out. I shall lay down only one general rule; which I believe to be of
universal truth between relator and hearer, as it is between author and
reader; this is, that the latter never forgive any observation of the
former which doth not convey some knowledge that they are sensible they
could not possibly have attained of themselves.

But all his pains in collecting knowledge, all his judgment in
selecting, and all his art in communicating it, will not suffice,
unless he can make himself, in some degree, an agreeable as well as an
instructive companion. The highest instruction we can derive from the
tedious tale of a dull fellow scarce ever pays us for our attention.
There is nothing, I think, half so valuable as knowledge, and yet there
is nothing which men will give themselves so little trouble to attain;
unless it be, perhaps, that lowest degree of it which is the object
of curiosity, and which hath therefore that active passion constantly
employed in its service. This, indeed, it is in the power of every
traveler to gratify; but it is the leading principle in weak minds only.

To render his relation agreeable to the man of sense, it is therefore
necessary that the voyager should possess several eminent and rare
talents; so rare indeed, that it is almost wonderful to see them ever
united in the same person. And if all these talents must concur in the
relator, they are certainly in a more eminent degree necessary to the
writer; for here the narration admits of higher ornaments of style,
and every fact and sentiment offers itself to the fullest and most
deliberate examination. It would appear, therefore, I think, somewhat
strange if such writers as these should be found extremely common; since
nature hath been a most parsimonious distributor of her richest talents,
and hath seldom bestowed many on the same person. But, on the other
hand, why there should scarce exist a single writer of this kind worthy
our regard; and, whilst there is no other branch of history (for this
is history) which hath not exercised the greatest pens, why this alone
should be overlooked by all men of great genius and erudition, and
delivered up to the Goths and Vandals as their lawful property, is
altogether as difficult to determine. And yet that this is the case,
with some very few exceptions, is most manifest. Of these I shall
willingly admit Burnet and Addison; if the former was not, perhaps, to
be considered as a political essayist, and the latter as a commentator
on the classics, rather than as a writer of travels; which last title,
perhaps, they would both of them have been least ambitious to affect.
Indeed, if these two and two or three more should be removed from
the mass, there would remain such a heap of dullness behind, that the
appellation of voyage-writer would not appear very desirable. I am
not here unapprised that old Homer himself is by some considered as a
voyage-writer; and, indeed, the beginning of his Odyssey may be urged
to countenance that opinion, which I shall not controvert. But, whatever
species of writing the Odyssey is of, it is surely at the head of that
species, as much as the Iliad is of another; and so far the excellent
Longinus would allow, I believe, at this day.

But, in reality, the Odyssey, the Telemachus, and all of that kind, are
to the voyage-writing I here intend, what romance is to true history,
the former being the confounder and corrupter of the latter. I am far
from supposing that Homer, Hesiod, and the other ancient poets and
mythologists, had any settled design to pervert and confuse the records
of antiquity; but it is certain they have effected it; and for my part I
must confess I should have honored and loved Homer more had he written
a true history of his own times in humble prose, than those noble poems
that have so justly collected the praise of all ages; for, though I read
these with more admiration and astonishment, I still read Herodotus,
Thucydides, and Xenophon with more amusement and more satisfaction. The
original poets were not, however, without excuse. They found the limits
of nature too straight for the immensity of their genius, which they had
not room to exert without extending fact by fiction: and that especially
at a time when the manners of men were too simple to afford that variety
which they have since offered in vain to the choice of the meanest
writers. In doing this they are again excusable for the manner in which
they have done it.

     Ut speciosa dehine miracula promant.

They are not, indeed, so properly said to turn reality into fiction,
as fiction into reality. Their paintings are so bold, their colors so
strong, that everything they touch seems to exist in the very manner
they represent it; their portraits are so just, and their landscapes so
beautiful, that we acknowledge the strokes of nature in both, without
inquiring whether Nature herself, or her journeyman the poet, formed the
first pattern of the piece. But other writers (I will put Pliny at their
head) have no such pretensions to indulgence; they lie for lying sake,
or in order insolently to impose the most monstrous improbabilities and
absurdities upon their readers on their own authority; treating them as
some fathers treat children, and as other fathers do laymen, exacting
their belief of whatever they relate, on no other foundation than their
own authority, without ever taking the pains or adapting their lies to
human credulity, and of calculating them for the meridian of a common
understanding; but, with as much weakness as wickedness, and with more
impudence often than either, they assert facts contrary to the honor of
God, to the visible order of the creation, to the known laws of nature,
to the histories of former ages, and to the experience of our own,
and which no man can at once understand and believe. If it should
be objected (and it can nowhere be objected better than where I now
write, [12] as there is nowhere more pomp of bigotry) that whole nations
have been firm believers in such most absurd suppositions, I reply,
the fact is not true. They have known nothing of the matter, and have
believed they knew not what. It is, indeed, with me no matter of doubt
but that the pope and his clergy might teach any of those Christian
heterodoxies, the tenets of which are the most diametrically opposite to
their own; nay, all the doctrines of Zoroaster, Confucius, and Mahomet,
not only with certain and immediate success, but without one Catholic in
a thousand knowing he had changed his religion.

[Footnote 12: At Lisbon.]

What motive a man can have to sit down, and to draw forth a list of
stupid, senseless, incredible lies upon paper, would be difficult to
determine, did not Vanity present herself so immediately as the adequate
cause. The vanity of knowing more than other men is, perhaps, besides
hunger, the only inducement to writing, at least to publishing, at all.
Why then should not the voyage-writer be inflamed with the glory of
having seen what no man ever did or will see but himself? This is
the true source of the wonderful in the discourse and writings, and
sometimes, I believe, in the actions of men. There is another fault, of
a kind directly opposite to this, to which these writers are sometimes
liable, when, instead of filling their pages with monsters which nobody
hath ever seen, and with adventures which never have, nor could possibly
have, happened to them, waste their time and paper with recording things
and facts of so common a kind, that they challenge no other right of
being remembered than as they had the honor of having happened to the
author, to whom nothing seems trivial that in any manner happens to

Of such consequence do his own actions appear to one of this kind, that
he would probably think himself guilty of infidelity should he omit the
minutest thing in the detail of his journal. That the fact is true is
sufficient to give it a place there, without any consideration whether
it is capable of pleasing or surprising, of diverting or informing, the
reader. I have seen a play (if I mistake not it is one of Mrs. Behn's
or of Mrs. Centlivre's) where this vice in a voyage-writer is finely
ridiculed. An ignorant pedant, to whose government, for I know not what
reason, the conduct of a young nobleman in his travels is committed, and
who is sent abroad to show my lord the world, of which he knows nothing
himself, before his departure from a town, calls for his Journal to
record the goodness of the wine and tobacco, with other articles of the
same importance, which are to furnish the materials of a voyage at his
return home. The humor, it is true, is here carried very far; and yet,
perhaps, very little beyond what is to be found in writers who profess
no intention of dealing in humor at all. Of one or other, or both of
these kinds, are, I conceive, all that vast pile of books which pass
under the names of voyages, travels, adventures, lives, memoirs,
histories, etc., some of which a single traveler sends into the world in
many volumes, and others are, by judicious booksellers, collected into
vast bodies in folio, and inscribed with their own names, as if they
were indeed their own travels: thus unjustly attributing to themselves
the merit of others.

Now, from both these faults we have endeavored to steer clear in the
following narrative; which, however the contrary may be insinuated by
ignorant, unlearned, and fresh-water critics, who have never traveled
either in books or ships, I do solemnly declare doth, in my own
impartial opinion, deviate less from truth than any other voyage extant;
my lord Anson's alone being, perhaps, excepted. Some few embellishments
must be allowed to every historian; for we are not to conceive that the
speeches in Livy, Sallust, or Thucydides, were literally spoken in the
very words in which we now read them. It is sufficient that every fact
hath its foundation in truth, as I do seriously aver is the ease in
the ensuing pages; and when it is so, a good critic will be so far
from denying all kind of ornament of style or diction, or even of
circumstance, to his author, that he would be rather sorry if he omitted
it; for he could hence derive no other advantage than the loss of an
additional pleasure in the perusal.

Again, if any merely common incident should appear in this journal,
which will seldom I apprehend be the case, the candid reader will
easily perceive it is not introduced for its own sake, but for some
observations and reflections naturally resulting from it; and which,
if but little to his amusement, tend directly to the instruction of
the reader or to the information of the public; to whom if I choose to
convey such instruction or information with an air of joke and laughter,
none but the dullest of fellows will, I believe, censure it; but if
they should, I have the authority of more than one passage in Horace to
allege in my defense. Having thus endeavored to obviate some censures,
to which a man without the gift of foresight, or any fear of the
imputation of being a conjurer, might conceive this work would be
liable, I might now undertake a more pleasing task, and fall at once to
the direct and positive praises of the work itself; of which indeed, I
could say a thousand good things; but the task is so very pleasant that
I shall leave it wholly to the reader, and it is all the task that I
impose on him. A moderation for which he may think himself obliged to me
when he compares it with the conduct of authors, who often fill a whole
sheet with their own praises, to which they sometimes set their own real
names, and sometimes a fictitious one. One hint, however, I must give
the kind reader; which is, that if he should be able to find no sort of
amusement in the book, he will be pleased to remember the public utility
which will arise from it. If entertainment, as Mr. Richardson observes,
be but a secondary consideration in a romance; with which Mr. Addison, I
think, agrees, affirming the use of the pastry cook to be the first; if
this, I say, be true of a mere work of invention, sure it may well be
so considered in a work founded, like this, on truth; and where the
political reflections form so distinguishing a part. But perhaps I may
hear, from some critic of the most saturnine complexion, that my vanity
must have made a horrid dupe of my judgment, if it hath flattered me
with an expectation of having anything here seen in a grave light, or of
conveying any useful instruction to the public, or to their guardians. I
answer, with the great man whom I just now quoted, that my purpose is
to convey instruction in the vehicle of entertainment; and so to
bring about at once, like the revolution in the Rehearsal, a
perfect reformation of the laws relating to our maritime affairs: an
undertaking, I will not say more modest, but surely more feasible, than
that of reforming a whole people, by making use of a vehicular story, to
wheel in among them worse manners than their own.


In the beginning of August, 1753, when I had taken the duke of
Portland's medicine, as it is called, near a year, the effects of which
had been the carrying off the symptoms of a lingering imperfect gout, I
was persuaded by Mr. Ranby, the king's premier sergeant-surgeon, and the
ablest advice, I believe, in all branches of the physical profession,
to go immediately to Bath. I accordingly wrote that very night to Mrs.
Bowden, who, by the next post, informed me she had taken me a lodging
for a month certain. Within a few days after this, whilst I was
preparing for my journey, and when I was almost fatigued to death with
several long examinations, relating to five different murders,
all committed within the space of a week, by different gangs of
street-robbers, I received a message from his grace the duke of
Newcastle, by Mr. Carrington, the king's messenger, to attend his
grace the next morning, in Lincoln's-inn-fields, upon some business of
importance; but I excused myself from complying with the message, as,
besides being lame, I was very ill with the great fatigues I had lately
undergone added to my distemper.

His grace, however, sent Mr. Carrington, the very next morning,
with another summons; with which, though in the utmost distress, I
immediately complied; but the duke, happening, unfortunately for me,
to be then particularly engaged, after I had waited some time, sent a
gentleman to discourse with me on the best plan which could be invented
for putting an immediate end to those murders and robberies which were
every day committed in the streets; upon which I promised to transmit
my opinion, in writing, to his grace, who, as the gentleman informed me,
intended to lay it before the privy council.

Though this visit cost me a severe cold, I, notwithstanding, set myself
down to work; and in about four days sent the duke as regular a plan
as I could form, with all the reasons and arguments I could bring to
support it, drawn out in several sheets of paper; and soon received a
message from the duke by Mr. Carrington, acquainting me that my plan was
highly approved of, and that all the terms of it would be complied
with. The principal and most material of those terms was the immediately
depositing six hundred pound in my hands; at which small charge I
undertook to demolish the then reigning gangs, and to put the civil
policy into such order, that no such gangs should ever be able, for the
future, to form themselves into bodies, or at least to remain any time
formidable to the public.

I had delayed my Bath journey for some time, contrary to the repeated
advice of my physical acquaintance, and to the ardent desire of my
warmest friends, though my distemper was now turned to a deep jaundice;
in which case the Bath waters are generally reputed to be almost
infallible. But I had the most eager desire of demolishing this gang of
villains and cut-throats, which I was sure of accomplishing the moment
I was enabled to pay a fellow who had undertaken, for a small sum, to
betray them into the hands of a set of thief-takers whom I had
enlisted into the service, all men of known and approved fidelity and

After some weeks the money was paid at the treasury, and within a few
days after two hundred pounds of it had come to my hands, the whole
gang of cut-throats was entirely dispersed, seven of them were in actual
custody, and the rest driven, some out of the town, and others out of
the kingdom. Though my health was now reduced to the last extremity,
I continued to act with the utmost vigor against these villains; in
examining whom, and in taking the depositions against them, I have often
spent whole days, nay, sometimes whole nights, especially when there was
any difficulty in procuring sufficient evidence to convict them; which
is a very common case in street-robberies, even when the guilt of the
party is sufficiently apparent to satisfy the most tender conscience.
But courts of justice know nothing of a cause more than what is told
them on oath by a witness; and the most flagitious villain upon earth is
tried in the same manner as a man of the best character who is accused
of the same crime. Meanwhile, amidst all my fatigues and distresses, I
had the satisfaction to find my endeavors had been attended with such
success that this hellish society were almost utterly extirpated, and
that, instead of reading of murders and street-robberies in the news
almost every morning, there was, in the remaining part of the month of
November, and in all December, not only no such thing as a murder, but
not even a street-robbery committed. Some such, indeed, were mentioned
in the public papers; but they were all found on the strictest inquiry,
to be false. In this entire freedom from street-robberies, during the
dark months, no man will, I believe, scruple to acknowledge that the
winter of 1753 stands unrivaled, during a course of many years; and this
may possibly appear the more extraordinary to those who recollect
the outrages with which it began. Having thus fully accomplished my
undertaking, I went into the country, in a very weak and deplorable
condition, with no fewer or less diseases than a jaundice, a dropsy, and
an asthma, altogether uniting their forces in the destruction of a body
so entirely emaciated that it had lost all its muscular flesh. Mine was
now no longer what was called a Bath case; nor, if it had been so, had
I strength remaining sufficient to go thither, a ride of six miles only
being attended with an intolerable fatigue. I now discharged my lodgings
at Bath, which I had hitherto kept. I began in earnest to look on my
case as desperate, and I had vanity enough to rank myself with those
heroes who, of old times, became voluntary sacrifices to the good of the
public. But, lest the reader should be too eager to catch at the
word VANITY, and should be unwilling to indulge me with so sublime a
gratification, for I think he is not too apt to gratify me, I will take
my key a pitch lower, and will frankly own that I had a stronger motive
than the love of the public to push me on: I will therefore confess to
him that my private affairs at the beginning of the winter had but a
gloomy aspect; for I had not plundered the public or the poor of those
sums which men, who are always ready to plunder both as much as they
can, have been pleased to suspect me of taking: on the contrary, by
composing, instead of inflaming the quarrels of porters and beggars
(which I blush when I say hath not been universally practiced), and by
refusing to take a shilling from a man who most undoubtedly would not
have had another left, I had reduced an income of about five hundred
pounds [13] a-year of the dirtiest money upon earth to little more than
three hundred pounds; a considerable proportion of which remained with
my clerk; and, indeed, if the whole had done so, as it ought, he would
be but ill paid for sitting almost sixteen hours in the twenty-four in
the most unwholesome, as well as nauseous air in the universe, and which
hath in his case corrupted a good constitution without contaminating his

[Footnote 13: A predecessor of mine used to boast that he made one thousand
pounds a-year in his office; but how he did this (if indeed he did it)
is to me a secret. His clerk, now mine, told me I had more business than
he had ever known there; I am sure I had as much as any man could do.
The truth is, the fees are so very low, when any are due, and so much is
done for nothing, that, if a single justice of peace had business enough
to employ twenty clerks, neither he nor they would get much by their

The public will not, therefore, I hope, think I betray a secret when I
inform them that I received from the Government a yearly pension out
of the public service money; which, I believe, indeed, would have been
larger had my great patron been convinced of an error, which I have
heard him utter more than once, that he could not indeed say that
the acting as a principal justice of peace in Westminster was on all
accounts very desirable, but that all the world knew it was a very
lucrative office. Now, to have shown him plainly that a man must be a
rogue to make a very little this way, and that he could not make much
by being as great a rogue as he could be, would have required more
confidence than, I believe, he had in me, and more of his conversation
than he chose to allow me; I therefore resigned the office and
the farther execution of my plan to my brother, who had long been
my assistant. And now, lest the case between me and the reader should
be the same in both instances as it was between me and the great man, I
will not add another word on the subject.

But, not to trouble the reader with anecdotes, contrary to my own rule
laid down in my preface, I assure him I thought my family was very
slenderly provided for; and that my health began to decline so fast that
I had very little more of life left to accomplish what I had thought of
too late. I rejoiced therefore greatly in seeing an opportunity, as I
apprehended, of gaining such merit in the eye of the public, that, if my
life were the sacrifice to it, my friends might think they did a popular
act in putting my family at least beyond the reach of necessity, which I
myself began to despair of doing. And though I disclaim all pretense to
that Spartan or Roman patriotism which loved the public so well that it
was always ready to become a voluntary sacrifice to the public good, I
do solemnly declare I have that love for my family.

After this confession therefore, that the public was not the principal
deity to which my life was offered a sacrifice, and when it is farther
considered what a poor sacrifice this was, being indeed no other than
the giving up what I saw little likelihood of being able to hold much
longer, and which, upon the terms I held it, nothing but the weakness
of human nature could represent to me as worth holding at all; the world
may, I believe, without envy, allow me all the praise to which I have
any title. My aim, in fact, was not praise, which is the last gift they
care to bestow; at least, this was not my aim as an end, but rather as a
means of purchasing some moderate provision for my family, which, though
it should exceed my merit, must fall infinitely short of my service, if
I succeeded in my attempt. To say the truth, the public never act more
wisely than when they act most liberally in the distribution of their
rewards; and here the good they receive is often more to be considered
than the motive from which they receive it. Example alone is the end
of all public punishments and rewards. Laws never inflict disgrace in
resentment, nor confer honor from gratitude. "For it is very hard, my
lord," said a convicted felon at the bar to the late excellent judge
Burnet, "to hang a poor man for stealing a horse." "You are not to be
hanged sir," answered my ever-honored and beloved friend, "for stealing
a horse, but you are to be hanged that horses may not be stolen." In
like manner it might have been said to the late duke of Marlborough,
when the parliament was so deservedly liberal to him, after the battle
of Blenheim, "You receive not these honors and bounties on account of a
victory past, but that other victories may be obtained."

I was now, in the opinion of all men, dying of a complication of
disorders; and, were I desirous of playing the advocate, I have an
occasion fair enough; but I disdain such an attempt. I relate facts
plainly and simply as they are; and let the world draw from them what
conclusions they please, taking with them the following facts for their
instruction: the one is, that the proclamation offering one hundred
pounds for the apprehending felons for certain felonies committed in
certain places, which I prevented from being revived, had formerly cost
the government several thousand pounds within a single year. Secondly,
that all such proclamations, instead of curing the evil, had actually
increased it; had multiplied the number of robberies; had propagated
the worst and wickedest of perjuries; had laid snares for youth and
ignorance, which, by the temptation of these rewards, had been sometimes
drawn into guilt; and sometimes, which cannot be thought on without the
highest horror, had destroyed them without it. Thirdly, that my plan had
not put the government to more than three hundred pound expense, and had
produced none of the ill consequences above mentioned; but, lastly, had
actually suppressed the evil for a time, and had plainly pointed out the
means of suppressing it for ever. This I would myself have undertaken,
had my health permitted, at the annual expense of the above-mentioned

After having stood the terrible six weeks which succeeded last
Christmas, and put a lucky end, if they had known their own interests,
to such numbers of aged and infirm valetudinarians, who might have
gasped through two or three mild winters more, I returned to town in
February, in a condition less despaired of by myself than by any of my
friends. I now became the patient of Dr. Ward, who wished I had taken
his advice earlier. By his advice I was tapped, and fourteen quarts
of water drawn from my belly. The sudden relaxation which this caused,
added to my enervate, emaciated habit of body, so weakened me that
within two days I was thought to be falling into the agonies of death. I
was at the worst on that memorable day when the public lost Mr. Pelham.
From that day I began slowly, as it were, to draw my feet out of the
grave; till in two months' time I had again acquired some little degree
of strength, but was again full of water. During this whole time I took
Mr. Ward's medicines, which had seldom any perceptible operation. Those
in particular of the diaphoretic kind, the working of which is thought
to require a great strength of constitution to support, had so little
effect on me, that Mr. Ward declared it was as vain to attempt sweating
me as a deal board. In this situation I was tapped a second time. I had
one quart of water less taken from me now than before; but I bore all
the consequences of the operation much better. This I attributed greatly
to a dose of laudanum prescribed by my surgeon. It first gave me the
most delicious flow of spirits, and afterwards as comfortable a nap.

The month of May, which was now begun, it seemed reasonable to
expect would introduce the spring, and drive of that winter which yet
maintained its footing on the stage. I resolved therefore to visit a
little house of mine in the country, which stands at Ealing, in the
county of Middlesex, in the best air, I believe, in the whole kingdom,
and far superior to that of Kensington Gravel-pits; for the gravel is
here much wider and deeper, the place higher and more open towards the
south, whilst it is guarded from the north wind by a ridge of hills, and
from the smells and smoke of London by its distance; which last is not
the fate of Kensington, when the wind blows from any corner of the east.

Obligations to Mr. Ward I shall always confess; for I am convinced that
he omitted no care in endeavoring to serve me, without any expectation
or desire of fee or reward.

The powers of Mr. Ward's remedies want indeed no unfair puffs of mine
to give them credit; and though this distemper of the dropsy stands, I
believe, first in the list of those over which he is always certain of
triumphing, yet, possibly, there might be something particular in my
case capable of eluding that radical force which had healed so many
thousands. The same distemper, in different constitutions, may possibly
be attended with such different symptoms, that to find an infallible
nostrum for the curing any one distemper in every patient may be almost
as difficult as to find a panacea for the cure of all.

But even such a panacea one of the greatest scholars and best of men
did lately apprehend he had discovered. It is true, indeed, he was no
physician; that is, he had not by the forms of his education acquired
a right of applying his skill in the art of physic to his own private
advantage; and yet, perhaps, it may be truly asserted that no other
modern hath contributed so much to make his physical skill useful to the
public; at least, that none hath undergone the pains of communicating
this discovery in writing to the world. The reader, I think, will scarce
need to be informed that the writer I mean is the late bishop of Cloyne,
in Ireland, and the discovery that of the virtues of tar-water.

I then happened to recollect, upon a hint given me by the inimitable
and shamefully-distressed author of the Female Quixote, that I had
many years before, from curiosity only, taken a cursory view of bishop
Berkeley's treatise on the virtues of tar-water, which I had formerly
observed he strongly contends to be that real panacea which Sydenham
supposes to have an existence in nature, though it yet remains
undiscovered, and perhaps will always remain so.

Upon the reperusal of this book I found the bishop only asserting his
opinion that tar-water might be useful in the dropsy, since he had known
it to have a surprising success in the cure of a most stubborn anasarca,
which is indeed no other than, as the word implies, the dropsy of the
flesh; and this was, at that time, a large part of my complaint.

After a short trial, therefore, of a milk diet, which I presently found
did not suit with my case, I betook myself to the bishop's prescription,
and dosed myself every morning and evening with half a pint of

It was no more than three weeks since my last tapping, and my belly and
limbs were distended with water. This did not give me the worse opinion
of tar-water; for I never supposed there could be any such virtue
in tar-water as immediately to carry off a quantity of water already
collected. For my delivery from this I well knew I must be again obliged
to the trochar; and that if the tar-water did me any good at all it
must be only by the slowest degrees; and that if it should ever get
the better of my distemper it must be by the tedious operation of
undermining, and not by a sudden attack and storm.

Some visible effects, however, and far beyond what my most sanguine
hopes could with any modesty expect, I very soon experienced; the
tar-water having, from the very first, lessened my illness, increased
my appetite, and added, though in a very slow proportion, to my bodily
strength. But if my strength had increased a little my water daily
increased much more. So that, by the end of May, my belly became again
ripe for the trochar, and I was a third time tapped; upon which, two
very favorable symptoms appeared. I had three quarts of water taken from
me less than had been taken the last time; and I bore the relaxation
with much less (indeed with scarce any) faintness.

Those of my physical friends on whose judgment I chiefly depended seemed
to think my only chance of life consisted in having the whole summer
before me; in which I might hope to gather sufficient strength to
encounter the inclemencies of the ensuing winter. But this chance began
daily to lessen. I saw the summer mouldering away, or rather, indeed,
the year passing away without intending to bring on any summer at all.
In the whole month of May the sun scarce appeared three times. So that
the early fruits came to the fullness of their growth, and to some
appearance of ripeness, without acquiring any real maturity; having
wanted the heat of the sun to soften and meliorate their juices. I saw
the dropsy gaining rather than losing ground; the distance growing still
shorter between the tappings. I saw the asthma likewise beginning again
to become more troublesome. I saw the midsummer quarter drawing towards
a close. So that I conceived, if the Michaelmas quarter should steal
off in the same manner, as it was, in my opinion, very much to be
apprehended it would, I should be delivered up to the attacks of winter
before I recruited my forces, so as to be anywise able to withstand

I now began to recall an intention, which from the first dawnings of my
recovery I had conceived, of removing to a warmer climate; and, finding
this to be approved of by a very eminent physician, I resolved to put
it into immediate execution. Aix in Provence was the place first thought
on; but the difficulties of getting thither were insuperable. The
Journey by land, beside the expense of it, was infinitely too long and
fatiguing; and I could hear of no ship that was likely to set out from
London, within any reasonable time, for Marseilles, or any other port in
that part of the Mediterranean.

Lisbon was presently fixed on in its room. The air here, as it was near
four degrees to the south of Aix, must be more mild and warm, and the
winter shorter and less piercing.

It was not difficult to find a ship bound to a place with which we carry
on so immense a trade. Accordingly, my brother soon informed me of the
excellent accommodations for passengers which were to be found on board
a ship that was obliged to sail for Lisbon in three days. I eagerly
embraced the offer, notwithstanding the shortness of the time; and,
having given my brother full power to contract for our passage, I began
to prepare my family for the voyage with the utmost expedition.

But our great haste was needless; for the captain having twice put off
his sailing, I at length invited him to dinner with me at Fordhook, a
full week after the time on which he had declared, and that with many
asseverations, he must and would weigh anchor.

He dined with me according to his appointment; and when all matters
were settled between us, left me with positive orders to be on board the
Wednesday following, when he declared he would fall down the river
to Gravesend, and would not stay a moment for the greatest man in the
world. He advised me to go to Gravesend by land, and there wait the
arrival of his ship, assigning many reasons for this, every one of which
was, as I well remember, among those that had before determined me to go
on board near the Tower.


WEDNESDAY, June 26, 1754.--On this day the most melancholy sun I had
ever beheld arose, and found me awake at my house at Fordhook. By the
light of this sun I was, in my own opinion, last to behold and take
leave of some of those creatures on whom I doted with a mother-like
fondness, guided by nature and passion, and uncured and unhardened by
all the doctrine of that philosophical school where I had learned to
bear pains and to despise death. In this situation, as I could not
conquer Nature, I submitted entirely to her, and she made as great a
fool of me as she had ever done of any woman whatsoever; under pretense
of giving me leave to enjoy, she drew me in to suffer, the company of my
little ones during eight hours; and I doubt not whether, in that time, I
did not undergo more than in all my distemper.

At twelve precisely my coach was at the door, which was no sooner told
me than I kissed my children round, and went into it with some little
resolution. My wife, who behaved more like a heroine and philosopher,
though at the same time the tenderest mother in the world, and my eldest
daughter, followed me; some friends went with us, and others here took
their leave; and I heard my behavior applauded, with many murmurs
and praises to which I well knew I had no title; as all other such
philosophers may, if they have any modesty, confess on the like

In two hours we arrived in Rotherhithe, and immediately went on board,
and were to have sailed the next morning; but, as this was the king's
proclamation-day, and consequently a holiday at the custom-house, the
captain could not clear his vessel till the Thursday; for these holidays
are as strictly observed as those in the popish calendar, and are almost
as numerous. I might add that both are opposite to the genius of trade,
and consequently contra bonum publicum.

To go on board the ship it was necessary first to go into a boat; a
matter of no small difficulty, as I had no use of my limbs, and was
to be carried by men who, though sufficiently strong for their burden,
were, like Archimedes, puzzled to find a steady footing. Of this, as
few of my readers have not gone into wherries on the Thames, they will
easily be able to form to themselves an idea. However, by the assistance
of my friend, Mr. Welch, whom I never think or speak of but with love
and esteem, I conquered this difficulty, as I did afterwards that of
ascending the ship, into which I was hoisted with more ease by a chair
lifted with pulleys. I was soon seated in a great chair in the cabin,
to refresh myself after a fatigue which had been more intolerable, in a
quarter of a mile's passage from my coach to the ship, than I had before
undergone in a land-journey of twelve miles, which I had traveled with
the utmost expedition.

This latter fatigue was, perhaps, somewhat heightened by an indignation
which I could not prevent arising in my mind. I think, upon my entrance
into the boat, I presented a spectacle of the highest horror. The total
loss of limbs was apparent to all who saw me, and my face contained
marks of a most diseased state, if not of death itself. Indeed, so
ghastly was my countenance, that timorous women with child had abstained
from my house, for fear of the ill consequences of looking at me. In
this condition I ran the gauntlope (so I think I may justly call it)
through rows of sailors and watermen, few of whom failed of paying their
compliments to me by all manner of insults and jests on my misery. No
man who knew me will think I conceived any personal resentment at this
behavior; but it was a lively picture of that cruelty and inhumanity
in the nature of men which I have often contemplated with concern, and
which leads the mind into a train of very uncomfortable and melancholy
thoughts. It may be said that this barbarous custom is peculiar to
the English, and of them only to the lowest degree; that it is an
excrescence of an uncontrolled licentiousness mistaken for liberty, and
never shows itself in men who are polished and refined in such manner
as human nature requires to produce that perfection of which it is
susceptible, and to purge away that malevolence of disposition of which,
at our birth, we partake in common with the savage creation. This may
be said, and this is all that can be said; and it is, I am afraid, but
little satisfactory to account for the inhumanity of those who, while
they boast of being made after God's own image, seem to bear in their
minds a resemblance of the vilest species of brutes; or rather, indeed,
of our idea of devils; for I don't know that any brutes can be taxed
with such malevolence. A sirloin of beef was now placed on the table,
for which, though little better than carrion, as much was charged by the
master of the little paltry ale-house who dressed it as would have been
demanded for all the elegance of the King's Arms, or any other polite
tavern or eating-house! for, indeed, the difference between the best
house and the worst is, that at the former you pay largely for luxury,
at the latter for nothing.

Thursday, June 27.--This morning the captain, who lay on shore at his
own house, paid us a visit in the cabin, and behaved like an angry
bashaw, declaring that, had he known we were not to be pleased, he would
not have carried us for five hundred pounds. He added many asseverations
that he was a gentleman, and despised money; not forgetting several
hints of the presents which had been made him for his cabin, of twenty,
thirty, and forty guineas, by several gentlemen, over and above the sum
for which they had contracted. This behavior greatly surprised me, as I
knew not how to account for it, nothing having happened since we parted
from the captain the evening before in perfect good humor; and all this
broke forth on the first moment of his arrival this morning. He did
not, however, suffer my amazement to have any long continuance before
he clearly showed me that all this was meant only as an apology to
introduce another procrastination (being the fifth) of his weighing
anchor, which was now postponed till Saturday, for such was his will and

Besides the disagreeable situation in which we then lay, in the confines
of Wapping and Rotherhithe, tasting a delicious mixture of the air of
both these sweet places, and enjoying the concord of sweet sounds of
seamen, watermen, fish-women, oyster-women, and of all the vociferous
inhabitants of both shores, composing altogether a greater variety of
harmony than Hogarth's imagination hath brought together in that print
of his, which is enough to make a man deaf to look at--I had a more
urgent cause to press our departure, which was, that the dropsy, for
which I had undergone three tappings, seemed to threaten me with a
fourth discharge before I should reach Lisbon, and when I should have
nobody on board capable of performing the operation; but I was obliged
to hearken to the voice of reason, if I may use the captain's own words,
and to rest myself contented. Indeed, there was no alternative within my
reach but what would have cost me much too dear. There are many evils
in society from which people of the highest rank are so entirely exempt,
that they have not the least knowledge or idea of them; nor indeed of
the characters which are formed by them. Such, for instance, is the
conveyance of goods and passengers from one place to another. Now there
is no such thing as any kind of knowledge contemptible in itself; and,
as the particular knowledge I here mean is entirely necessary to the
well understanding and well enjoying this journal; and, lastly, as in
this case the most ignorant will be those very readers whose amusement
we chiefly consult, and to whom we wish to be supposed principally to
write, we will here enter somewhat largely into the discussion of this
matter; the rather, for that no ancient or modern author (if we can
trust the catalogue of doctor Mead's library) hath ever undertaken it,
but that it seems (in the style of Don Quixote) a task reserved for my
pen alone.

When I first conceived this intention I began to entertain thoughts of
inquiring into the antiquity of traveling; and, as many persons have
performed in this way (I mean have traveled) at the expense of the
public, I flattered myself that the spirit of improving arts and
sciences, and of advancing useful and substantial learning, which
so eminently distinguishes this age, and hath given rise to more
speculative societies in Europe than I at present can recollect the
names of--perhaps, indeed, than I or any other, besides their very near
neighbors, ever heard mentioned--would assist in promoting so curious
a work; a work begun with the same views, calculated for the same
purposes, and fitted for the same uses, with the labors which those
right honorable societies have so cheerfully undertaken themselves,
and encouraged in others; sometimes with the highest honors, even with
admission into their colleges, and with enrollment among their members.

From these societies I promised myself all assistance in their power,
particularly the communication of such valuable manuscripts and records
as they must be supposed to have collected from those obscure ages
of antiquity when history yields us such imperfect accounts of the
residence, and much more imperfect of the travels, of the human race;
unless, perhaps, as a curious and learned member of the young Society
of Antiquarians is said to have hinted his conjectures, that their
residence and their travels were one and the same; and this discovery
(for such it seems to be) he is said to have owed to the lighting by
accident on a book, which we shall have occasion to mention presently,
the contents of which were then little known to the society.

The king of Prussia, moreover, who, from a degree of benevolence
and taste which in either case is a rare production in so northern a
climate, is the great encourager of art and science, I was well assured
would promote so useful a design, and order his archives to be searched
on my behalf. But after well weighing all these advantages, and much
meditation on the order of my work, my whole design was subverted in a
moment by hearing of the discovery just mentioned to have been made by
the young antiquarian, who, from the most ancient record in the world
(though I don't find the society are all agreed on this point), one long
preceding the date of the earliest modern collections, either of books
or butterflies, none of which pretend to go beyond the flood, shows
us that the first man was a traveler, and that he and his family were
scarce settled in Paradise before they disliked their own home, and
became passengers to another place. Hence it appears that the humor of
traveling is as old as the human race, and that it was their curse from
the beginning. By this discovery my plan became much shortened, and
I found it only necessary to treat of the conveyance of goods and
passengers from place to place; which, not being universally known,
seemed proper to be explained before we examined into its original.
There are indeed two different ways of tracing all things used by the
historian and the antiquary; these are upwards and downwards.

The former shows you how things are, and leaves to others to discover
when they began to be so. The latter shows you how things were, and
leaves their present existence to be examined by others. Hence the
former is more useful, the latter more curious. The former receives the
thanks of mankind; the latter of that valuable part, the virtuosi.

In explaining, therefore, this mystery of carrying goods and passengers
from one place to another, hitherto so profound a secret to the very
best of our readers, we shall pursue the historical method, and endeavor
to show by what means it is at present performed, referring the more
curious inquiry either to some other pen or to some other opportunity.

Now there are two general ways of performing (if God permit) this
conveyance, viz., by land and water, both of which have much variety;
that by land being performed in different vehicles, such as coaches,
caravans, wagons, etc.; and that by water in ships, barges, and boats,
of various sizes and denominations. But, as all these methods of
conveyance are formed on the same principles, they agree so well
together, that it is fully sufficient to comprehend them all in the
general view, without descending to such minute particulars as would
distinguish one method from another.

Common to all of these is one general principle that, as the goods to be
conveyed are usually the larger, so they are to be chiefly considered in
the conveyance; the owner being indeed little more than an appendage to
his trunk, or box, or bale, or at best a small part of his own baggage,
very little care is to be taken in stowing or packing them up with
convenience to himself; for the conveyance is not of passengers and
goods, but of goods and passengers.

Secondly, from this conveyance arises a new kind of relation, or rather
of subjection, in the society, by which the passenger becomes bound in
allegiance to his conveyer. This allegiance is indeed only temporary
and local, but the most absolute during its continuance of any known in
Great Britain, and, to say truth, scarce consistent with the liberties
of a free people, nor could it be reconciled with them, did it not move
downwards; a circumstance universally apprehended to be incompatible
to all kinds of slavery; for Aristotle in his Politics hath proved
abundantly to my satisfaction that no men are born to be slaves, except
barbarians; and these only to such as are not themselves barbarians; and
indeed Mr. Montesquieu hath carried it very little farther in the case
of the Africans; the real truth being that no man is born to be a slave,
unless to him who is able to make him so.

Thirdly, this subjection is absolute, and consists of a perfect
resignation both of body and soul to the disposal of another; after
which resignation, during a certain time, his subject retains no more
power over his own will than an Asiatic slave, or an English wife, by
the laws of both countries, and by the customs of one of them. If I
should mention the instance of a stage-coachman, many of my readers
would recognize the truth of what I have here observed; all, indeed,
that ever have been under the dominion of that tyrant, who in this free
country is as absolute as a Turkish bashaw. In two particulars only his
power is defective; he cannot press you into his service, and if you
enter yourself at one place, on condition of being discharged at a
certain time at another, he is obliged to perform his agreement, if
God permit, but all the intermediate time you are absolutely under his
government; he carries you how he will, when he will, and whither he
will, provided it be not much out of the road; you have nothing to eat
or to drink, but what, and when, and where he pleases. Nay, you cannot
sleep unless he pleases you should; for he will order you sometimes out
of bed at midnight and hurry you away at a moment's warning: indeed, if
you can sleep in his vehicle he cannot prevent it; nay, indeed, to
give him his due, this he is ordinarily disposed to encourage: for the
earlier he forces you to rise in the morning, the more time he will give
you in the heat of the day, sometimes even six hours at an ale-house, or
at their doors, where he always gives you the same indulgence which
he allows himself; and for this he is generally very moderate in his
demands. I have known a whole bundle of passengers charged no more than
half-a-crown for being suffered to remain quiet at an ale-house door for
above a whole hour, and that even in the hottest day in summer. But as
this kind of tyranny, though it hath escaped our political writers,
hath been I think touched by our dramatic, and is more trite among
the generality of readers; and as this and all other kinds of such
subjection are alike unknown to my friends, I will quit the passengers
by land, and treat of those who travel by water; for whatever is said on
this subject is applicable to both alike, and we may bring them together
as closely as they are brought in the liturgy, when they are recommended
to the prayers of all Christian congregations; and (which I have often
thought very remarkable) where they are joined with other miserable
wretches, such as women in labor, people in sickness, infants just born,
prisoners and captives. Goods and passengers are conveyed by water in
divers vehicles, the principal of which being a ship, it shall suffice
to mention that alone. Here the tyrant doth not derive his title, as the
stage-coachman doth, from the vehicle itself in which he stows his goods
and passengers, but he is called the captain--a word of such various
use and uncertain signification, that it seems very difficult to fix any
positive idea to it: if, indeed, there be any general meaning which may
comprehend all its different uses, that of the head or chief of any body
of men seems to be most capable of this comprehension; for whether they
be a company of soldiers, a crew of sailors, or a gang of rogues, he who
is at the head of them is always styled the captain.

The particular tyrant whose fortune it was to stow us aboard laid a
farther claim to this appellation than the bare command of a vehicle of
conveyance. He had been the captain of a privateer, which he chose to
call being in the king's service, and thence derived a right of hoisting
the military ornament of a cockade over the button of his hat. He
likewise wore a sword of no ordinary length by his side, with which he
swaggered in his cabin, among the wretches his passengers, whom he had
stowed in cupboards on each side. He was a person of a very singular
character. He had taken it into his head that he was a gentleman, from
those very reasons that proved he was not one; and to show himself a
fine gentleman, by a behavior which seemed to insinuate he had never
seen one. He was, moreover, a man of gallantry; at the age of seventy
he had the finicalness of Sir Courtly Nice, with the roughness of Surly;
and, while he was deaf himself, had a voice capable of deafening all

Now, as I saw myself in danger by the delays of the captain, who was, in
reality, waiting for more freight, and as the wind had been long nested,
as it were, in the southwest, where it constantly blew hurricanes, I
began with great reason to apprehend that our voyage might be long, and
that my belly, which began already to be much extended, would require
the water to be let out at a time when no assistance was at hand;
though, indeed, the captain comforted me with assurances that he had
a pretty young fellow on board who acted as his surgeon, as I found he
likewise did as steward, cook, butler, sailor. In short, he had as
many offices as Scrub in the play, and went through them all with great
dexterity; this of surgeon was, perhaps, the only one in which his skill
was somewhat deficient, at least that branch of tapping for the dropsy;
for he very ingenuously and modestly confessed he had never seen the
operation performed, nor was possessed of that chirurgical instrument
with which it is performed.

Friday, June 28.--By way of prevention, therefore, I this day sent for
my friend, Mr. Hunter, the great surgeon and anatomist of Covent-garden;
and, though my belly was not yet very full and tight, let out ten
quarts of water; the young sea-surgeon attended the operation, not as a
performer, but as a student.

I was now eased of the greatest apprehension which I had from the length
of the passage; and I told the captain I was become indifferent as
to the time of his sailing. He expressed much satisfaction in this
declaration, and at hearing from me that I found myself, since my
tapping, much lighter and better. In this, I believe, he was sincere;
for he was, as we shall have occasion to observe more than once, a very
good-natured man; and, as he was a very brave one too, I found that the
heroic constancy with which I had borne an operation that is attended
with scarce any degree of pain had not a little raised me in his esteem.
That he might adhere, therefore, in the most religious and rigorous
manner to his word, when he had no longer any temptation from interest
to break it, as he had no longer any hopes of more goods or passengers,
he ordered his ship to fall down to Gravesend on Sunday morning, and
there to wait his arrival.

Sunday, June 30.--Nothing worth notice passed till that morning, when
my poor wife, after passing a night in the utmost torments of the
toothache, resolved to have it drawn. I despatched therefore a servant
into Wapping to bring in haste the best tooth-drawer he could find.
He soon found out a female of great eminence in the art; but when he
brought her to the boat, at the waterside, they were informed that
the ship was gone; for indeed she had set out a few minutes after his
quitting her; nor did the pilot, who well knew the errand on which I had
sent my servant, think fit to wait a moment for his return, or to give
me any notice of his setting out, though I had very patiently attended
the delays of the captain four days, after many solemn promises of
weighing anchor every one of the three last. But of all the petty
bashaws or turbulent tyrants I ever beheld, this sour-faced pilot was
the worst tempered; for, during the time that he had the guidance of the
ship, which was till we arrived in the Downs, he complied with no one's
desires, nor did he give a civil word, or indeed a civil look, to any on

The tooth-drawer, who, as I said before, was one of great eminence among
her neighbors, refused to follow the ship; so that my man made himself
the best of his way, and with some difficulty came up with us before we
were got under full sail; for after that, as we had both wind and tide
with us, he would have found it impossible to overtake the ship till she
was come to an anchor at Gravesend.

The morning was fair and bright, and we had a passage thither, I think,
as pleasant as can be conceived: for, take it with all its advantages,
particularly the number of fine ships you are always sure of seeing by
the way, there is nothing to equal it in all the rivers of the world.
The yards of Deptford and of Woolwich are noble sights, and give us a
just idea of the great perfection to which we are arrived in building
those floating castles, and the figure which we may always make in
Europe among the other maritime powers. That of Woolwich, at least, very
strongly imprinted this idea on my mind; for there was now on the stocks
there the Royal Anne, supposed to be the largest ship ever built, and
which contains ten carriage-guns more than had ever yet equipped a

It is true, perhaps, that there is more of ostentation than of real
utility in ships of this vast and unwieldy burden, which are rarely
capable of acting against an enemy; but if the building such contributes
to preserve, among other nations, the notion of the British superiority
in naval affairs, the expense, though very great, is well incurred, and
the ostentation is laudable and truly political. Indeed, I should be
sorry to allow that Holland, France, or Spain, possessed a vessel larger
and more beautiful than the largest and most beautiful of ours; for this
honor I would always administer to the pride of our sailors, who should
challenge it from all their neighbors with truth and success. And sure I
am that not our honest tars alone, but every inhabitant of this island,
may exult in the comparison, when he considers the king of Great Britain
as a maritime prince, in opposition to any other prince in Europe; but
I am not so certain that the same idea of superiority will result from
comparing our land forces with those of many other crowned heads. In
numbers they all far exceed us, and in the goodness and splendor of
their troops many nations, particularly the Germans and French, and
perhaps the Dutch, cast us at a distance; for, however we may flatter
ourselves with the Edwards and Henrys of former ages, the change of the
whole art of war since those days, by which the advantage of personal
strength is in a manner entirely lost, hath produced a change in
military affairs to the advantage of our enemies. As for our successes
in later days, if they were not entirely owing to the superior genius
of our general, they were not a little due to the superior force of his
money. Indeed, if we should arraign marshal Saxe of ostentation when
he showed his army, drawn up, to our captive general, the day after the
battle of La Val, we cannot say that the ostentation was entirely vain;
since he certainly showed him an army which had not been often equaled,
either in the number or goodness of the troops, and which, in those
respects, so far exceeded ours, that none can ever cast any reflection
on the brave young prince who could not reap the laurels of conquest in
that day; but his retreat will be always mentioned as an addition to his

In our marine the case is entirely the reverse, and it must be our own
fault if it doth not continue so; for continue so it will as long as the
flourishing state of our trade shall support it, and this support it can
never want till our legislature shall cease to give sufficient attention
to the protection of our trade, and our magistrates want sufficient
power, ability, and honesty, to execute the laws; a circumstance not
to be apprehended, as it cannot happen till our senates and our benches
shall be filled with the blindest ignorance, or with the blackest

Besides the ships in the docks, we saw many on the water: the yachts
are sights of great parade, and the king's body yacht is, I believe,
unequaled in any country for convenience as well as magnificence;
both which are consulted in building and equipping her with the most
exquisite art and workmanship.

We saw likewise several Indiamen just returned from their voyage.

These are, I believe, the largest and finest vessels which are anywhere
employed in commercial affairs. The colliers, likewise, which are very
numerous, and even assemble in fleets, are ships of great bulk; and if
we descend to those used in the American, African, and European trades,
and pass through those which visit our own coasts, to the small craft
that lie between Chatham and the Tower, the whole forms a most pleasing
object to the eye, as well as highly warming to the heart of an
Englishman who has any degree of love for his country, or can recognize
any effect of the patriot in his constitution. Lastly, the Royal
Hospital at Greenwich, which presents so delightful a front to the
water, and doth such honor at once to its builder and the nation, to
the great skill and ingenuity of the one, and to the no less sensible
gratitude of the other, very properly closes the account of this scene;
which may well appear romantic to those who have not themselves seen
that, in this one instance, truth and reality are capable, perhaps, of
exceeding the power of fiction. When we had passed by Greenwich we saw
only two or three gentlemen's houses, all of very moderate account, till
we reached Gravesend: these are all on the Kentish shore, which affords
a much dryer, wholesomer, and pleasanter situation, than doth that of
its opposite, Essex. This circumstance, I own, is somewhat surprising
to me, when I reflect on the numerous villas that crowd the river from
Chelsea upwards as far as Shepperton, where the narrower channel affords
not half so noble a prospect, and where the continual succession of
the small craft, like the frequent repetition of all things, which have
nothing in them great, beautiful, or admirable, tire the eye, and
give us distaste and aversion, instead of pleasure. With some of these
situations, such as Barnes, Mortlake, etc., even the shore of Essex
might contend, not upon very unequal terms; but on the Kentish borders
there are many spots to be chosen by the builder which might justly
claim the preference over almost the very finest of those in Middlesex
and Surrey.

How shall we account for this depravity in taste? for surely there are
none so very mean and contemptible as to bring the pleasure of seeing
a number of little wherries, gliding along after one another, in
competition with what we enjoy in viewing a succession of ships, with
all their sails expanded to the winds, bounding over the waves before

And here I cannot pass by another observation on the deplorable want of
taste in our enjoyments, which we show by almost totally neglecting the
pursuit of what seems to me the highest degree of amusement; this is,
the sailing ourselves in little vessels of our own, contrived only for
our ease and accommodation, to which such situations of our villas as I
have recommended would be so convenient, and even necessary.

This amusement, I confess, if enjoyed in any perfection, would be of
the expensive kind; but such expense would not exceed the reach of a
moderate fortune, and would fall very short of the prices which are
daily paid for pleasures of a far inferior rate.

The truth, I believe, is, that sailing in the manner I have just
mentioned is a pleasure rather unknown, or unthought of, than rejected
by those who have experienced it; unless, perhaps, the apprehension of
danger or seasickness may be supposed, by the timorous and delicate,
to make too large deductions--insisting that all their enjoyments shall
come to them pure and unmixed, and being ever ready to cry out,

   ----Nocet empta dolore voluptas.

This, however, was my present case; for the ease and lightness which I
felt from my tapping, the gayety of the morning, the pleasant sailing
with wind and tide, and the many agreeable objects with which I was
constantly entertained during the whole way, were all suppressed and
overcome by the single consideration of my wife's pain, which continued
incessantly to torment her till we came to an anchor, when I dispatched
a messenger in great haste for the best reputed operator in Gravesend.
A surgeon of some eminence now appeared, who did not decline
tooth-drawing, though he certainly would have been offended with the
appellation of tooth-drawer no less than his brethren, the members
of that venerable body, would be with that of barber, since the late
separation between those long-united companies, by which, if the
surgeons have gained much, the barbers are supposed to have lost very
little. This able and careful person (for so I sincerely believe he is)
after examining the guilty tooth, declared that it was such a rotten
shell, and so placed at the very remotest end of the upper jaw, where it
was in a manner covered and secured by a large fine firm tooth, that he
despaired of his power of drawing it.

He said, indeed, more to my wife, and used more rhetoric to dissuade
her from having it drawn, than is generally employed to persuade
young ladies to prefer a pain of three moments to one of three months'
continuance, especially if those young ladies happen to be past forty
and fifty years of age, when, by submitting to support a racking
torment, the only good circumstance attending which is, it is so short
that scarce one in a thousand can cry out "I feel it," they are to do a
violence to their charms, and lose one of those beautiful holders with
which alone Sir Courtly Nice declares a lady can ever lay hold of his
heart. He said at last so much, and seemed to reason so justly, that I
came over to his side, and assisted him in prevailing on my wife (for it
was no easy matter) to resolve on keeping her tooth a little longer, and
to apply palliatives only for relief. These were opium applied to the
tooth, and blisters behind the ears.

Whilst we were at dinner this day in the cabin, on a sudden the window
on one side was beat into the room with a crash as if a twenty-pounder
had been discharged among us. We were all alarmed at the suddenness of
the accident, for which, however, we were soon able to account, for the
sash, which was shivered all to pieces, was pursued into the middle
of the cabin by the bowsprit of a little ship called a cod-smack, the
master of which made us amends for running (carelessly at best) against
us, and injuring the ship, in the sea-way; that is to say, by damning us
all to hell, and uttering several pious wishes that it had done us much
more mischief. All which were answered in their own kind and phrase
by our men, between whom and the other crew a dialogue of oaths and
scurrility was carried on as long as they continued in each other's

It is difficult, I think, to assign a satisfactory reason why sailors in
general should, of all others, think themselves entirely discharged from
the common bands of humanity, and should seem to glory in the language
and behavior of savages! They see more of the world, and have, most of
them, a more erudite education than is the portion of landmen of their
degree. Nor do I believe that in any country they visit (Holland itself
not excepted) they can ever find a parallel to what daily passes on
the river Thames. Is it that they think true courage (for they are the
bravest fellows upon earth) inconsistent with all the gentleness of
a humane carriage, and that the contempt of civil order springs up
in minds but little cultivated, at the same time and from the same
principles with the contempt of danger and death? Is it--? in short, it
is so; and how it comes to be so I leave to form a question in the Robin
Hood Society, or to be propounded for solution among the enigmas in the
Woman's Almanac for the next year.

Monday, July 1.--This day Mr. Welch took his leave of me after dinner,
as did a young lady of her sister, who was proceeding with my wife to
Lisbon. They both set out together in a post-chaise for London. Soon
after their departure our cabin, where my wife and I were sitting
together, was visited by two ruffians, whose appearance greatly
corresponded with that of the sheriffs, or rather the knight-marshal's
bailiffs. One of these especially, who seemed to affect a more than
ordinary degree of rudeness and insolence, came in without any kind of
ceremony, with a broad gold lace on his hat, which was cocked with much
military fierceness on his head. An inkhorn at his buttonhole and some
papers in his hand sufficiently assured me what he was, and I asked him
if he and his companion were not custom-house officers: he answered with
sufficient dignity that they were, as an information which he seemed
to conclude would strike the hearer with awe, and suppress all further
inquiry; but, on the contrary, I proceeded to ask of what rank he was
in the custom-house, and, receiving an answer from his companion, as I
remember, that the gentleman was a riding surveyor, I replied that he
might be a riding surveyor, but could be no gentleman, for that none who
had any title to that denomination would break into the presence of
a lady without an apology or even moving his hat. He then took his
covering from his head and laid it on the table, saying, he asked
pardon, and blamed the mate, who should, he said, have informed him if
any persons of distinction were below. I told him he might guess by our
appearance (which, perhaps, was rather more than could be said with the
strictest adherence to truth) that he was before a gentleman and lady,
which should teach him to be very civil in his behavior, though we
should not happen to be of that number whom the world calls people of
fashion and distinction. However, I said, that as he seemed sensible of
his error, and had asked pardon, the lady would permit him to put
his hat on again if he chose it. This he refused with some degree of
surliness, and failed not to convince me that, if I should condescend
to become more gentle, he would soon grow more rude. I now renewed a
reflection, which I have often seen occasion to make, that there is
nothing so incongruous in nature as any kind of power with lowness of
mind and of ability, and that there is nothing more deplorable than
the want of truth in the whimsical notion of Plato, who tells us that
"Saturn, well knowing the state of human affairs, gave us kings and
rulers, not of human but divine original; for, as we make not shepherds
of sheep, nor oxherds of oxen, nor goatherds of goats, but place some of
our own kind over all as being better and fitter to govern them; in
the same manner were demons by the divine love set over us as a race
of beings of a superior order to men, and who, with great ease to
themselves, might regulate our affairs and establish peace, modesty,
freedom, and justice, and, totally destroying all sedition, might
complete the happiness of the human race. So far, at least, may even now
be said with truth, that in all states which are under the government of
mere man, without any divine assistance, there is nothing but labor and
misery to be found. From what I have said, therefore, we may at least
learn, with our utmost endeavors, to imitate the Saturnian institution;
borrowing all assistance from our immortal part, while we pay to this
the strictest obedience, we should form both our private economy and
public policy from its dictates. By this dispensation of our immortal
minds we are to establish a law and to call it by that name. But if any
government be in the hands of a single person, of the few, or of the
many, and such governor or governors shall abandon himself or themselves
to the unbridled pursuit of the wildest pleasures or desires, unable to
restrain any passion, but possessed with an insatiable bad disease; if
such shall attempt to govern, and at the same time to trample on all
laws, there can be no means of preservation left for the wretched
people." Plato de Leg., lib. iv. p. 713, c. 714, edit. Serrani.

It is true that Plato is here treating of the highest or sovereign power
in a state, but it is as true that his observations are general and may
be applied to all inferior powers; and, indeed, every subordinate degree
is immediately derived from the highest; and, as it is equally protected
by the same force and sanctified by the same authority, is alike
dangerous to the well-being of the subject. Of all powers, perhaps,
there is none so sanctified and protected as this which is under
our present consideration. So numerous, indeed, and strong, are the
sanctions given to it by many acts of parliament, that, having once
established the laws of customs on merchandise, it seems to have been
the sole view of the legislature to strengthen the hands and to protect
the persons of the officers who became established by those laws,
many of whom are so far from bearing any resemblance to the Saturnian
institution, and to be chosen from a degree of beings superior to the
rest of human race, that they sometimes seem industriously picked out of
the lowest and vilest orders of mankind. There is, indeed, nothing, so
useful to man in general, nor so beneficial to particular societies and
individuals, as trade. This is that alma mater at whose plentiful breast
all mankind are nourished. It is true, like other parents, she is not
always equally indulgent to all her children, but, though she gives to
her favorites a vast proportion of redundancy and superfluity, there are
very few whom she refuses to supply with the conveniences, and none with
the necessaries, of life.

Such a benefactress as this must naturally be beloved by mankind in
general; it would be wonderful, therefore, if her interest was not
considered by them, and protected from the fraud and violence of some
of her rebellious offspring, who, coveting more than their share or more
than she thinks proper to allow them, are daily employed in meditating
mischief against her, and in endeavoring to steal from their brethren
those shares which this great alma mater had allowed them.

At length our governor came on board, and about six in the evening
we weighed anchor, and fell down to the Nore, whither our passage was
extremely pleasant, the evening being very delightful, the moon just
past the full, and both wind and tide favorable to us.

Tuesday, July 2.--This morning we again set sail, under all the
advantages we had enjoyed the evening before. This day we left the
shore of Essex and coasted along Kent, passing by the pleasant island of
Thanet, which is an island, and that of Sheppy, which is not an island,
and about three o 'clock, the wind being now full in our teeth, we came
to an anchor in the Downs, within two miles of Deal.--My wife, having
suffered intolerable pain from her tooth, again renewed her resolution
of having it drawn, and another surgeon was sent for from Deal, but with
no better success than the former. He likewise declined the operation,
for the same reason which had been assigned by the former: however, such
was her resolution, backed with pain, that he was obliged to make the
attempt, which concluded more in honor of his judgment than of his
operation; for, after having put my poor wife to inexpressible torment,
he was obliged to leave her tooth in statu quo; and she had now the
comfortable prospect of a long fit of pain, which might have lasted
her whole voyage, without any possibility of relief. In these pleasing
sensations, of which I had my just share, nature, overcome with fatigue,
about eight in the evening resigned her to rest--a circumstance which
would have given me some happiness, could I have known how to employ
those spirits which were raised by it; but, unfortunately for me, I
was left in a disposition of enjoying an agreeable hour without the
assistance of a companion, which has always appeared to me necessary to
such enjoyment; my daughter and her companion were both retired sea-sick
to bed; the other passengers were a rude school-boy of fourteen years
old and an illiterate Portuguese friar, who understood no language but
his own, in which I had not the least smattering. The captain was the
only person left in whose conversation I might indulge myself; but
unluckily, besides a total ignorance of everything in the world but a
ship, he had the misfortune of being so deaf, that to make him hear, I
will not say understand, my words, I must run the risk of conveying them
to the ears of my wife, who, though in another room (called, I think,
the state-room--being, indeed, a most stately apartment, capable of
containing one human body in length, if not very tall, and three bodies
in breadth), lay asleep within a yard of me. In this situation necessity
and choice were one and the same thing; the captain and I sat down
together to a small bowl of punch, over which we both soon fell fast
asleep, and so concluded the evening.

Wednesday, July 3.--This morning I awaked at four o'clock for my
distemper seldom suffered me to sleep later. I presently got up, and had
the pleasure of enjoying the sight of a tempestuous sea for four hours
before the captain was stirring; for he loved to indulge himself in
morning slumbers, which were attended with a wind-music, much more
agreeable to the performers than to the hearers, especially such as
have, as I had, the privilege of sitting in the orchestra. At eight o
'clock the captain rose, and sent his boat on shore. I ordered my
man likewise to go in it, as my distemper was not of that kind which
entirely deprives us of appetite. Now, though the captain had well
victualled his ship with all manner of salt provisions for the voyage,
and had added great quantities of fresh stores, particularly of
vegetables, at Gravesend, such as beans and peas, which had been on
board only two days, and had possibly not been gathered above two more,
I apprehended I could provide better for myself at Deal than the ship's
ordinary seemed to promise. I accordingly sent for fresh provisions of
all kinds from the shore, in order to put off the evil day of starving
as long as possible. My man returned with most of the articles I sent
for, and I now thought myself in a condition of living a week on my own
provisions. I therefore ordered my own dinner, which I wanted nothing
but a cook to dress and a proper fire to dress it at; but those were
not to be had, nor indeed any addition to my roast mutton, except the
pleasure of the captain's company, with that of the other passengers;
for my wife continued the whole day in a state of dozing, and my other
females, whose sickness did not abate by the rolling of the ship at
anchor, seemed more inclined to empty their stomachs than to fill them.
Thus I passed the whole day (except about an hour at dinner) by myself,
and the evening concluded with the captain as the preceding one had
done; one comfortable piece of news he communicated to me, which was,
that he had no doubt of a prosperous wind in the morning; but as he did
not divulge the reasons of this confidence, and as I saw none myself
besides the wind being directly opposite, my faith in this prophecy was
not strong enough to build any great hopes upon.

Thursday, July 4.--This morning, however, the captain seemed resolved
to fulfill his own predictions, whether the wind would or no; he
accordingly weighed anchor, and, taking the advantage of the tide when
the wind was not very boisterous, he hoisted his sails; and, as if his
power had been no less absolute over Aeolus than it was over Neptune, he
forced the wind to blow him on in its own despite.

But as all men who have ever been at sea well know how weak such
attempts are, and want no authorities of Scripture to prove that the
most absolute power of a captain of a ship is very contemptible in the
wind's eye, so did it befall our noble commander, who, having struggled
with the wind three or four hours, was obliged to give over, and lost
in a few minutes all that he had been so long a-gaining; in short,
we returned to our former station, and once more cast anchor in the
neighborhood of Deal.

Here, though we lay near the shore, that we might promise ourselves
all the emolument which could be derived from it, we found ourselves
deceived; and that we might with as much conveniency be out of the sight
of land; for, except when the captain launched forth his own boat, which
he did always with great reluctance, we were incapable of procuring
anything from Deal, but at a price too exorbitant, and beyond the reach
even of modern luxury--the fare of a boat from Deal, which lay at two
miles' distance, being at least three half-crowns, and, if we had been
in any distress for it, as many half-guineas; for these good people
consider the sea as a large common appendant to their manor; in which
when they find any of their fellow-creatures impounded, they conclude
that they have a full right of making them pay at their own discretion
for their deliverance: to say the truth, whether it be that men who live
on the sea-shore are of an amphibious kind, and do not entirely partake
of human nature, or whatever else may be the reason, they are so far
from taking any share in the distresses of mankind, or of being moved
with any compassion for them, that they look upon them as blessings
showered down from above, and which the more they improve to their
own use, the greater is their gratitude and piety. Thus at Gravesend
a sculler requires a shilling for going less way than he would row in
London for threepence; and at Deal a boat often brings more profit in a
day than it can produce in London in a week, or perhaps in a month; in
both places the owner of the boat founds his demand on the necessity
and distress of one who stands more or less in absolute want of
his assistance, and with the urgency of these always rises in the
exorbitancy of his demand, without ever considering that, from these
very circumstances, the power or ease of gratifying such demand is in
like proportion lessened. Now, as I am unwilling that some conclusions,
which may be, I am aware, too justly drawn from these observations,
should be imputed to human nature in general, I have endeavored to
account for them in a way more consistent with the goodness and dignity
of that nature. However it be, it seems a little to reflect on the
governors of such monsters that they do not take some means to restrain
these impositions, and prevent them from triumphing any longer in
the miseries of those who are, in many circumstances at least, their
fellow-creatures, and considering the distresses of a wretched seaman,
from his being wrecked to his being barely windbound, as a blessing sent
among them from above, and calling it by that blasphemous name.

Friday, July 5.--This day I sent a servant on board a man-of-war that
was stationed here, with my compliments to the captain, to represent to
him the distress of the ladies, and to desire the favor of his long-boat
to conduct us to Dover, at about seven miles' distance; and at the same
time presumed to make use of a great lady's name, the wife of the first
lord commissioner of the admiralty, who would, I told him, be pleased
with any kindness shown by him towards us in our miserable condition.
And this I am convinced was true, from the humanity of the lady, though
she was entirely unknown to me.

The captain returned a verbal answer to a long letter acquainting me
that what I desired could not be complied with, it being a favor not in
his power to grant. This might be, and I suppose was, true; but it is
as true that, if he was able to write, and had pen, ink, and paper on
board, he might have sent a written answer, and that it was the part of
a gentleman so to have done; but this is a character seldom maintained
on the watery element, especially by those who exercise any power on it.
Every commander of a vessel here seems to think himself entirely free
from all those rules of decency and civility which direct and restrain
the conduct of the members of a society on shore; and each, claiming
absolute dominion in his little wooden world, rules by his own laws and
his own discretion. I do not, indeed, know so pregnant an instance
of the dangerous consequences of absolute power, and its aptness to
intoxicate the mind, as that of those petty tyrants, who become such in
a moment, from very well-disposed and social members of that communion
in which they affect no superiority, but live in an orderly state of
legal subjection with their fellow-citizens.

Saturday, July 6.--This morning our commander, declaring he was sure the
wind would change, took the advantage of an ebbing tide, and weighed
his anchor. His assurance, however, had the same completion, and his
endeavors the same success, with his formal trial; and he was soon
obliged to return once more to his old quarters. Just before we let go
our anchor, a small sloop, rather than submit to yield us an inch of
way, ran foul of our ship, and carried off her bowsprit. This obstinate
frolic would have cost those aboard the sloop very dear, if our
steersman had not been too generous to exert his superiority, the
certain consequence of which would have been the immediate sinking
of the other. This contention of the inferior with a might capable of
crushing it in an instant may seem to argue no small share of folly
or madness, as well as of impudence; but I am convinced there is very
little danger in it: contempt is a port to which the pride of man
submits to fly with reluctance, but those who are within it are always
in a place of the most assured security; for whosoever throws away his
sword prefers, indeed, a less honorable but much safer means of avoiding
danger than he who defends himself with it. And here we shall offer
another distinction, of the truth of which much reading and experience
have well convinced us, that as in the most absolute governments there
is a regular progression of slavery downwards, from the top to the
bottom, the mischief of which is seldom felt with any great force and
bitterness but by the next immediate degree; so in the most dissolute
and anarchical states there is as regular an ascent of what is called
rank or condition, which is always laying hold of the head of him who is
advanced but one step higher on the ladder, who might, if he did not too
much despise such efforts, kick his pursuer headlong to the bottom. We
will conclude this digression with one general and short observation,
which will, perhaps, set the whole matter in a clearer light than the
longest and most labored harangue. Whereas envy of all things most
exposes us to danger from others, so contempt of all things best secures
us from them. And thus, while the dung-cart and the sloop are always
meditating mischief against the coach and the ship, and throwing
themselves designedly in their way, the latter consider only their own
security, and are not ashamed to break the road and let the other pass
by them.

Monday, July 8.--Having passed our Sunday without anything remarkable,
unless the catching a great number of whitings in the afternoon may
be thought so, we now set sail on Monday at six o'clock, with a little
variation of wind; but this was so very little, and the breeze itself so
small, but the tide was our best and indeed almost our only friend. This
conducted us along the short remainder of the Kentish shore. Here
we passed that cliff of Dover which makes so tremendous a figure
in Shakespeare, and which whoever reads without being giddy, must,
according to Mr. Addison's observation, have either a very good head or
a very bad, one; but which, whoever contracts any such ideas from the
sight of, must have at least a poetic if not a Shakesperian genius.
In truth, mountains, rivers, heroes, and gods owe great part of their
existence to the poets; and Greece and Italy do so plentifully abound
in the former, because they furnish so glorious a number of the latter;
who, while they bestowed immortality on every little hillock and blind
stream, left the noblest rivers and mountains in the world to share the
same obscurity with the eastern and western poets, in which they
are celebrated. This evening we beat the sea of Sussex in sight of
Dungeness, with much more pleasure than progress; for the weather was
almost a perfect calm, and the moon, which was almost at the full,
scarce suffered a single cloud to veil her from our sight.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 9, 10.--These two days we had much the same
fine weather, and made much the same way; but in the evening of the
latter day a pretty fresh gale sprung up at N.N.W., which brought us by
the morning in sight of the Isle of Wight.

Thursday, July 11.--This gale continued till towards noon; when the east
end of the island bore but little ahead of us. The captain swaggered and
declared he would keep the sea; but the wind got the better of him, so
that about three he gave up the victory, and making a sudden tack stood
in for the shore, passed by Spithead and Portsmouth, and came to an
anchor at a place called Ryde on the island.

A most tragical incident fell out this day at sea. While the ship was
under sail, but making as will appear no great way, a kitten, one of
four of the feline inhabitants of the cabin, fell from the window into
the water: an alarm was immediately given to the captain, who was then
upon deck, and received it with the utmost concern and many bitter
oaths. He immediately gave orders to the steersman in favor of the poor
thing, as he called it; the sails were instantly slackened, and all
hands, as the phrase is, employed to recover the poor animal. I was,
I own, extremely surprised at all this; less indeed at the captain's
extreme tenderness than at his conceiving any possibility of success;
for if puss had had nine thousand instead of nine lives, I concluded
they had been all lost. The boatswain, however, had more sanguine hopes,
for, having stripped himself of his jacket, breeches, and shirt, he
leaped boldly into the water, and to my great astonishment in a few
minutes returned to the ship, bearing the motionless animal in his
mouth. Nor was this, I observed, a matter of such great difficulty as
it appeared to my ignorance, and possibly may seem to that of my
fresh-water reader. The kitten was now exposed to air and sun on the
deck, where its life, of which it retained no symptoms, was despaired of
by all.

The captain's humanity, if I may so call it, did not so totally destroy
his philosophy as to make him yield himself up to affliction on this
melancholy occasion. Having felt his loss like a man, he resolved to
show he could bear it like one; and, having declared he had rather have
lost a cask of rum or brandy, betook himself to threshing at backgammon
with the Portuguese friar, in which innocent amusement they had passed
about two-thirds of their time.

But as I have, perhaps, a little too wantonly endeavored to raise the
tender passions of my readers in this narrative, I should think myself
unpardonable if I concluded it without giving them the satisfaction of
hearing that the kitten at last recovered, to the great joy of the good
captain, but to the great disappointment of some of the sailors, who
asserted that the drowning a cat was the very surest way of raising a
favorable wind; a supposition of which, though we have heard several
plausible accounts, we will not presume to assign the true original

Friday, July 12.--This day our ladies went ashore at Ryde, and drank
their afternoon tea at an ale-house there with great satisfaction: here
they were regaled with fresh cream, to which they had been strangers
since they left the Downs.

Saturday, July 13.--The wind seeming likely to continue in the same
corner where it had been almost constantly for two months together, I
was persuaded by my wife to go ashore and stay at Ryde till we sailed.
I approved the motion much; for though I am a great lover of the sea,
I now fancied there was more pleasure in breathing the fresh air of the
land; but how to get thither was the question; for, being really that
dead luggage which I considered all passengers to be in the beginning
of this narrative, and incapable of any bodily motion without external
impulse, it was in vain to leave the ship, or to determine to do it,
without the assistance of others. In one instance, perhaps, the living,
luggage is more difficult to be moved or removed than an equal or much
superior weight of dead matter; which, if of the brittle kind, may
indeed be liable to be broken through negligence; but this, by proper
care, may be almost certainly prevented; whereas the fractures to which
the living lumps are exposed are sometimes by no caution avoidable, and
often by no art to be amended.

I was deliberating on the means of conveyance, not so much out of the
ship to the boat as out of a little tottering boat to the land; a matter
which, as I had already experienced in the Thames, was not extremely
easy, when to be performed by any other limbs than your own. Whilst I
weighed all that could suggest itself on this head, without strictly
examining the merit of the several schemes which were advanced by the
captain and sailors, and, indeed, giving no very deep attention even to
my wife, who, as well as her friend and my daughter, were exerting their
tender concern for my ease and safety, Fortune, for I am convinced she
had a hand in it, sent me a present of a buck; a present welcome enough
of itself, but more welcome on account of the vessel in which it came,
being a large hoy, which in some places would pass for a ship, and many
people would go some miles to see the sight.

I was pretty easily conveyed on board this hoy; but to get from hence
to the shore was not so easy a task; for, however strange it may appear,
the water itself did not extend so far; an instance which seems to
explain those lines of Ovid,

     Omnia pontus erant, deerant quoque littora ponto,

in a less tautological sense than hath generally been imputed to them.

In fact, between the sea and the shore there was, at low water, an
impassable gulf, if I may so call it, of deep mud, which could neither
be traversed by walking nor swimming; so that for near one half of the
twenty-four hours Ryde was inaccessible by friend or foe. But as the
magistrates of this place seemed more to desire the company of the
former than to fear that of the latter, they had begun to make a small
causeway to the low-water mark, so that foot passengers might land
whenever they pleased; but as this work was of a public kind, and
would have cost a large sum of money, at least ten pounds, and
the magistrates, that is to say, the churchwardens, the overseers,
constable, and tithingman, and the principal inhabitants, had every
one of them some separate scheme of private interest to advance at the
expense of the public, they fell out among themselves; and, after having
thrown away one half of the requisite sum, resolved at least to save the
other half, and rather be contented to sit down losers themselves than
to enjoy any benefit which might bring in a greater profit to another.
Thus that unanimity which is so necessary in all public affairs became
wanting, and every man, from the fear of being a bubble to another, was,
in reality, a bubble to himself.

However, as there is scarce any difficulty to which the strength of men,
assisted with the cunning of art, is not equal, I was at last hoisted
into a small boat, and being rowed pretty near the shore, was taken up
by two sailors, who waded with me through the mud, and placed me in a
chair on the land, whence they afterwards conveyed me a quarter of a
mile farther, and brought me to a house which seemed to bid the fairest
for hospitality of any in Ryde.

We brought with us our provisions from the ship, so that we wanted
nothing but a fire to dress our dinner, and a room in which we might eat
it. In neither of these had we any reason to apprehend a disappointment,
our dinner consisting only of beans and bacon; and the worst apartment
in his majesty's dominions, either at home or abroad, being fully
sufficient to answer our present ideas of delicacy.

Unluckily, however, we were disappointed in both; for when we arrived
about four at our inn, exulting in the hopes of immediately seeing our
beans smoking on the table, we had the mortification of seeing them on
the table indeed, but without that circumstance which would have made
the sight agreeable, being in the same state in which we had dispatched
them from our ship. In excuse for this delay, though we had exceeded,
almost purposely, the time appointed, and our provision had arrived
three hours before, the mistress of the house acquainted us that it was
not for want of time to dress them that they were not ready, but for
fear of their being cold or over-done before we should come; which she
assured us was much worse than waiting a few minutes for our dinner; an
observation so very just, that it is impossible to find any objection
in it; but, indeed, it was not altogether so proper at this time, for we
had given the most absolute orders to have them ready at four, and
had been ourselves, not without much care and difficulty, most
exactly punctual in keeping to the very minute of our appointment.
But tradesmen, inn-keepers, and servants, never care to indulge us in
matters contrary to our true interest, which they always know better
than ourselves; nor can any bribes corrupt them to go out of their way
while they are consulting our good in our own despite.

Our disappointment in the other particular, in defiance of our humility,
as it was more extraordinary, was more provoking. In short, Mrs.
Francis (for that was the name of the good woman of the house) no sooner
received the news of our intended arrival than she considered more the
gentility than the humanity of her guests, and applied herself not to
that which kindles but to that which extinguishes fire, and, forgetting
to put on her pot, fell to washing her house.

As the messenger who had brought my venison was impatient to be
dispatched, I ordered it to be brought and laid on the table in the room
where I was seated; and the table not being large enough, one side, and
that a very bloody one, was laid on the brick floor. I then ordered Mrs.
Francis to be called in, in order to give her instructions concerning
it; in particular, what I would have roasted and what baked; concluding
that she would be highly pleased with the prospect of so much money
being spent in her house as she might have now reason to expect, if
the wind continued only a few days longer to blow from the same points
whence it had blown for several weeks past.

I soon saw good cause, I must confess, to despise my own sagacity. Mrs.
Francis, having received her orders, without making any answer, snatched
the side from the floor, which remained stained with blood, and, bidding
a servant to take up that on the table, left the room with no pleasant
countenance, muttering to herself that, "had she known the litter which
was to have been made, she would not have taken such pains to wash her
house that morning. If this was gentility, much good may it do such
gentlefolks; for her part she had no notion of it." From these murmurs
I received two hints. The one, that it was not from a mistake of
our inclination that the good woman had starved us, but from wisely
consulting her own dignity, or rather perhaps her vanity, to which our
hunger was offered up as a sacrifice. The other, that I was now sitting
in a damp room, a circumstance, though it had hitherto escaped my notice
from the color of the bricks, which was by no means to be neglected in a
valetudinary state.

My wife, who, besides discharging excellently well her own and all
the tender offices becoming the female character; who, besides being
a faithful friend, an amiable companion, and a tender nurse, could
likewise supply the wants of a decrepit husband, and occasionally
perform his part, had, before this, discovered the immoderate attention
to neatness in Mrs. Francis, and provided against its ill consequences.
She had found, though not under the same roof, a very snug apartment
belonging to Mr. Francis, and which had escaped the mop by his wife's
being satisfied it could not possibly be visited by gentle-folks. This
was a dry, warm, oaken-floored barn, lined on both sides with wheaten
straw, and opening at one end into a green field and a beautiful
prospect. Here, without hesitation, she ordered the cloth to be laid,
and came hastily to snatch me from worse perils by water than the common
dangers of the sea.

Mrs. Francis, who could not trust her own ears, or could not believe a
footman in so extraordinary a phenomenon, followed my wife, and asked
her if she had indeed ordered the cloth to be laid in the barn? She
answered in the affirmative; upon which Mrs. Francis declared she would
not dispute her pleasure, but it was the first time she believed that
quality had ever preferred a barn to a house. She showed at the same
time the most pregnant marks of contempt, and again lamented the labor
she had undergone, through her ignorance of the absurd taste of her

At length we were seated in one of the most pleasant spots I believe in
the kingdom, and were regaled with our beans and bacon, in which there
was nothing deficient but the quantity. This defect was however so
deplorable that we had consumed our whole dish before we had visibly
lessened our hunger. We now waited with impatience the arrival of our
second course, which necessity, and not luxury, had dictated. This was
a joint of mutton which Mrs. Francis had been ordered to provide; but
when, being tired with expectation, we ordered our servants TO SEE FOR
SOMETHING ELSE, we were informed that there was nothing else; on which
Mrs. Francis, being summoned, declared there was no such thing as mutton
to be had at Ryde. When I expressed some astonishment at their having no
butcher in a village so situated, she answered they had a very good one,
and one that killed all sorts of meat in season, beef two or three times
a year, and mutton the whole year round; but that, it being then beans
and peas time, he killed no meat, by reason he was not sure of selling
it. This she had not thought worthy of communication, any more than that
there lived a fisherman at next door, who was then provided with plenty
of soles, and whitings, and lobsters, far superior to those which adorn
a city feast. This discovery being made by accident, we completed the
best, the pleasantest, and the merriest meal, with more appetite,
more real solid luxury, and more festivity, than was ever seen in an
entertainment at White's.

It may be wondered at, perhaps, that Mrs. Francis should be so negligent
of providing for her guests, as she may seem to be thus inattentive
to her own interest; but this was not the case; for, having clapped a
poll-tax on our heads at our arrival, and determined at what price to
discharge our bodies from her house, the less she suffered any other to
share in the levy the clearer it came into her own pocket; and that
it was better to get twelve pence in a shilling than ten pence, which
latter would be the case if she afforded us fish at any rate.

Thus we passed a most agreeable day owing to good appetites and good
humor; two hearty feeders which will devour with satisfaction whatever
food you place before them; whereas, without these, the elegance of St.
James's, the charde, the perigord-pie, or the ortolan, the venison, the
turtle, or the custard, may titillate the throat, but will never convey
happiness to the heart or cheerfulness to the countenance.

As the wind appeared still immovable, my wife proposed my lying on
shore. I presently agreed, though in defiance of an act of parliament,
by which persons wandering abroad and lodging in ale-houses are
decreed to be rogues and vagabonds; and this too after having been very
singularly officious in putting that law in execution. My wife, having
reconnoitered the house, reported that there was one room in which
were two beds. It was concluded, therefore, that she and Harriot should
occupy one and myself take possession of the other. She added likewise
an ingenious recommendation of this room to one who had so long been in
a cabin, which it exactly resembled, as it was sunk down with age on one
side, and was in the form of a ship with gunwales too.

For my own part, I make little doubt but this apartment was an ancient
temple, built with the materials of a wreck, and probably dedicated to
Neptune in honor of THE BLESSING sent by him to the inhabitants; such
blessings having in all ages been very common to them. The timber
employed in it confirms this opinion, being such as is seldom used by
ally but ship-builders. I do not find indeed any mention of this matter
in Hearn; but perhaps its antiquity was too modern to deserve his
notice. Certain it is that this island of Wight was not an early convert
to Christianity; nay, there is some reason to doubt whether it was ever
entirely converted. But I have only time to touch slightly on things
of this kind, which, luckily for us, we have a society whose peculiar
profession it is to discuss and develop.

Sunday, July 19.--This morning early I summoned Mrs. Francis, in order
to pay her the preceding day's account. As I could recollect only two
or three articles I thought there was no necessity of pen and ink. In
a single instance only we had exceeded what the law allows gratis to a
foot-soldier on his march, viz., vinegar, salt, etc., and dressing his
meat. I found, however, I was mistaken in my calculation; for when the
good woman attended with her bill it contained as follows:--

                                        L.       s.     d.

  Bread and beer                        0        2      4

  Wind                                  0        2      0

  Rum                                   0        2      0

  Dressing dinner                       0        3      0

  Tea                                   0        1      6

  Firing                                0        1      0

  Lodging                               0        1      6
  Servants' lodging                     0        0      6


                                      L 0       13     10

Now that five people and two servants should live a day and night at a
public-house for so small a sum will appear incredible to any person in
London above the degree of a chimney-sweeper; but more astonishing will
it seem that these people should remain so long at such a house without
tasting any other delicacy than bread, small beer, a teacupful of
milk called cream, a glass of rum converted into punch by their own
materials, and one bottle of wind, of which we only tasted a single
glass though possibly, indeed, our servants drank the remainder of the

This wind is a liquor of English manufacture, and its flavor is thought
very delicious by the generality of the English, who drink it in great
quantities. Every seventh year is thought to produce as much as the
other six. It is then drank so plentifully that the whole nation are
in a manner intoxicated by it; and consequently very little business is
carried on at that season. It resembles in color the red wine which is
imported from Portugal, as it doth in its intoxicating quality; hence,
and from this agreement in the orthography, the one is often confounded
with the other, though both are seldom esteemed by the same person. It
is to be had in every parish of the kingdom, and a pretty large quantity
is consumed in the metropolis, where several taverns are set apart
solely for the vendition of this liquor, the masters never dealing
in any other. The disagreement in our computation produced some small
remonstrance to Mrs. Francis on my side; but this received an immediate
answer: "She scorned to overcharge gentlemen; her house had been always
frequented by the very best gentry of the island; and she had never had
a bill found fault with in her life, though she had lived upwards of
forty years in the house, and within that time the greatest gentry in
Hampshire had been at it; and that lawyer Willis never went to any
other when he came to those parts. That for her part she did not get her
livelihood by travelers, who were gone and away, and she never expected
to see them more, but that her neighbors might come again; wherefore, to
be sure, they had the only right to complain."

She was proceeding thus, and from her volubility of tongue seemed likely
to stretch the discourse to an immoderate length, when I suddenly cut
all short by paying the bill.

This morning our ladies went to church, more, I fear, from curiosity
than religion; they were attended by the captain in a most military
attire, with his cockade in his hat and his sword by his side. So
unusual an appearance in this little chapel drew the attention of all
present, and probably disconcerted the women, who were in dishabille,
and wished themselves dressed, for the sake of the curate, who was the
greatest of their beholders. While I was left alone I received a visit
from Mr. Francis himself, who was much more considerable as a farmer
than as an inn-holder. Indeed, he left the latter entirely to the care
of his wife, and he acted wisely, I believe, in so doing. As nothing
more remarkable passed on this day I will close it with the account of
these two characters, as far as a few days' residence could inform me of
them. If they should appear as new to the reader as they did to me, he
will not be displeased at finding them here. This amiable couple seemed
to border hard on their grand climacteric; nor indeed were they shy of
owning enough to fix their ages within a year or two of that time. They
appeared to be rather proud of having employed their time well than
ashamed of having lived so long; the only reason which I could ever
assign why some fine ladies, and fine gentlemen too, should desire to
be thought younger than they really are by the contemporaries of their
grandchildren. Some, indeed, who too hastily credit appearances, might
doubt whether they had made so good a use of their time as I would
insinuate, since there was no appearance of anything but poverty, want,
and wretchedness, about their house; nor could they produce anything
to a customer in exchange for his money but a few bottles of wind, and
spirituous liquors, and some very bad ale, to drink; with rusty bacon
and worse cheese to eat. But then it should be considered, on the other
side, that whatever they received was almost as entirely clear profit as
the blessing of a wreck itself; such an inn being the very reverse of a
coffee-house; for here you can neither sit for nothing nor have anything
for your money.

Again, as many marks of want abounded everywhere, so were the marks of
antiquity visible. Scarce anything was to be seen which had not some
scar upon it, made by the hand of Time; not an utensil, it was manifest,
had been purchased within a dozen years last past; so that whatever
money had come into the house during that period at least must have
remained in it, unless it had been sent abroad for food, or other
perishable commodities; but these were supplied by a small portion of
the fruits of the farm, in which the farmer allowed he had a very good
bargain. In fact, it is inconceivable what sums may be collected by
starving only, and how easy it is for a man to die rich if he will but
be contented to live miserable.

Nor is there in this kind of starving anything so terrible as some
apprehend. It neither wastes a man's flesh nor robs him of his
cheerfulness. The famous Cornaro's case well proves the contrary; and so
did farmer Francis, who was of a round stature, had a plump, round face,
with a kind of smile on it, and seemed to borrow an air of wretchedness
rather from his coat's age than from his own.

The truth is, there is a certain diet which emaciates men more than any
possible degree of abstinence; though I do not remember to have seen any
caution against it, either in Cheney, Arbuthnot, or in any other modern
writer or regimen.

Nay, the very name is not, I believe, in the learned Dr. James's
Dictionary; all which is the more extraordinary as it is a very common
food in this kingdom, and the college themselves were not long since
very liberally entertained with it by the present attorney and other
eminent lawyers in Lincoln's-inn-hall, and were all made horribly sick
by it.

But though it should not be found among our English physical writers,
we may be assured of meeting with it among the Greeks; for nothing
considerable in nature escapes their notice, though many things
considerable in them, it is to be feared, have escaped the notice of
their readers. The Greeks, then, to all such as feed too voraciously
on this diet, give the name of HEAUTOFAGI, which our physicians will, I
suppose, translate MEN THAT EAT THEMSELVES.

As nothing is so destructive to the body as this kind of food, so
nothing is so plentiful and cheap; but it was perhaps the only cheap
thing the farmer disliked. Probably living much on fish might produce
this disgust; for Diodorus Siculus attributes the same aversion in a
people of Ethiopia to the same cause; he calls them the fish-eaters,
and asserts that they cannot be brought to eat a single meal with the
Heautofagi by any persuasion, threat, or violence whatever, not even
though they should kill their children before their faces.

What hath puzzled our physicians, and prevented them from setting this
matter in the clearest light, is possibly one simple mistake, arising
from a very excusable ignorance; that the passions of men are capable of
swallowing food as well as their appetites; that the former, in feeding,
resemble the state of those animals who chew the cud; and therefore,
such men, in some sense, may be said to prey on themselves, and as it
were to devour their own entrails. And hence ensues a meager aspect and
thin habit of body, as surely as from what is called a consumption. Our
farmer was one of these. He had no more passion than an Ichthuofagus or
Ethiopian fisher. He wished not for anything, thought not of anything;
indeed, he scarce did anything or said anything. Here I cannot be
understood strictly; for then I must describe a nonentity, whereas I
would rob him of nothing but that free agency which is the cause of all
the corruption and of all the misery of human nature. No man, indeed,
ever did more than the farmer, for he was an absolute slave to labor
all the week; but in truth, as my sagacious reader must have at first
apprehended, when I said he resigned the care of the house to his wife,
I meant more than I then expressed, even the house and all that belonged
to it; for he was really a farmer only under the direction of his wife.
In a word, so composed, so serene, so placid a countenance, I never saw;
and he satisfied himself by answering to every question he was asked, "I
don't know anything about it, sir; I leaves all that to my wife."

Now, as a couple of this kind would, like two vessels of oil, have made
no composition in life, and for want of all savor must have palled every
taste; nature or fortune, or both of them, took care to provide a proper
quantity of acid in the materials that formed the wife, and to render
her a perfect helpmate for so tranquil a husband. She abounded in
whatsoever he was defective; that is to say, in almost everything. She
was indeed as vinegar to oil, or a brisk wind to a standing-pool, and
preserved all from stagnation and corruption.

Quin the player, on taking a nice and severe survey of a
fellow-comedian, burst forth into this exclamation:--"If that fellow be
not a rogue, God Almighty doth not write a legible hand."

Whether he guessed right or no is not worth my while to examine; certain
it is that the latter, having wrought his features into a proper harmony
to become the characters of Iago, Shylock, and others of the same cast,
gave us a semblance of truth to the observation that was sufficient
to confirm the wit of it. Indeed, we may remark, in favor of the
physiognomist, though the law has made him a rogue and vagabond, that
Nature is seldom curious in her works within, without employing some
little pains on the outside; and this more particularly in mischievous
characters, in forming which, as Mr. Derham observes, in venomous
insects, as the sting or saw of a wasp, she is sometimes wonderfully
industrious. Now, when she hath thus completely armed our hero to carry
on a war with man, she never fails of furnishing that innocent lambkin
with some means of knowing his enemy, and foreseeing his designs. Thus
she hath been observed to act in the case of a rattlesnake, which never
meditates a human prey without giving warning of his approach. This
observation will, I am convinced, hold most true, if applied to the
most venomous individuals of human insects. A tyrant, a trickster, and
a bully, generally wear the marks of their several dispositions in
their countenances; so do the vixen, the shrew, the scold, and all other
females of the like kind. But, perhaps, nature hath never afforded a
stronger example of all this than in the case of Mrs. Francis. She was a
short, squat woman; her head was closely joined to her shoulders, where
it was fixed somewhat awry; every feature of her countenance was
sharp and pointed; her face was furrowed with the smallpox; and her
complexion, which seemed to be able to turn milk to curds, not a little
resembled in color such milk as had already undergone that operation.
She appeared, indeed, to have many symptoms of a deep jaundice in her
look; but the strength and firmness of her voice overbalanced them all;
the tone of this was a sharp treble at a distance, for I seldom heard
it on the same floor, but was usually waked with it in the morning, and
entertained with it almost continually through the whole day.

Though vocal be usually put in opposition to instrumental music, I
question whether this might not be thought to partake of the nature of
both; for she played on two instruments, which she seemed to keep for
no other use from morning till night; these were two maids, or rather
scolding-stocks, who, I suppose, by some means or other, earned their
board, and she gave them their lodging gratis, or for no other service
than to keep her lungs in constant exercise.

She differed, as I have said, in every particular from her husband; but
very remarkably in this, that, as it was impossible to displease him, so
it was as impossible to please her; and as no art could remove a smile
from his countenance, so could no art carry it into hers. If her bills
were remonstrated against she was offended with the tacit censure of
her fair-dealing; if they were not, she seemed to regard it as a tacit
sarcasm on her folly, which might have set down larger prices with the
same success. On this lather hint she did indeed improve, for she daily
raised some of her articles. A pennyworth of fire was to-day rated at a
shilling, to-morrow at eighteen-pence; and if she dressed us two dishes
for two shillings on the Saturday, we paid half-a-crown for the cookery
of one on the Sunday; and, whenever she was paid, she never left the
room without lamenting the small amount of her bill, saying, "she knew
not how it was that others got their money by gentle-folks, but for her
part she had not the art of it." When she was asked why she complained,
when she was paid all she demanded, she answered, "she could not deny
that, nor did she know she had omitted anything; but that it was but
a poor bill for gentle-folks to pay." I accounted for all this by her
having heard, that it is a maxim with the principal inn-holders on the
continent, to levy considerable sums on their guests, who travel with
many horses and servants, though such guests should eat little or
nothing in their houses; the method being, I believe, in such cases, to
lay a capitation on the horses, and not on their masters. But she did
not consider that in most of these inns a very great degree of hunger,
without any degree of delicacy, may be satisfied; and that in all such
inns there is some appearance, at least, of provision, as well as of a
man-cook to dress it, one of the hostlers being always furnished with a
cook's cap, waistcoat, and apron, ready to attend gentlemen and ladies
on their summons; that the case therefore of such inns differed from
hers, where there was nothing to eat or to drink, and in reality no
house to inhabit, no chair to sit upon, nor any bed to lie in; that
one third or fourth part therefore of the levy imposed at inns was, in
truth, a higher tax than the whole was when laid on in the other, where,
in order to raise a small sum, a man is obliged to submit to pay as many
various ways for the same thing as he doth to the government for the
light which enters through his own window into his own house, from his
own estate; such are the articles of bread and beer, firing, eating and
dressing dinner.

The foregoing is a very imperfect sketch of this extraordinary couple;
for everything is here lowered instead of being heightened. Those who
would see them set forth in more lively colors, and with the proper
ornaments, may read the descriptions of the Furies in some of the
classical poets, or of the Stoic philosophers in the works of Lucian.

Monday, July 20.--This day nothing remarkable passed; Mrs. Francis
levied a tax of fourteen shillings for the Sunday. We regaled ourselves
at dinner with venison and good claret of our own; and in the afternoon,
the women, attended by the captain, walked to see a delightful scene two
miles distant, with the beauties of which they declared themselves most
highly charmed at their return, as well as with the goodness of the lady
of the mansion, who had slipped out of the way that my wife and their
company might refresh themselves with the flowers and fruits with which
her garden abounded.

Tuesday, July 21.--This day, having paid our taxes of yesterday, we were
permitted to regale ourselves with more venison. Some of this we would
willingly have exchanged for mutton; but no such flesh was to be had
nearer than Portsmouth, from whence it would have cost more to convey
a joint to us than the freight of a Portugal ham from Lisbon to London
amounts to; for though the water-carriage be somewhat cheaper here than
at Deal, yet can you find no waterman who will go on board his boat,
unless by two or three hours' rowing he can get drunk for the residue of
the week.

And here I have an opportunity, which possibly may not offer again, of
publishing some observations on that political economy of this nation,
which, as it concerns only the regulation of the mob, is below the
notice of our great men; though on the due regulation of this order
depend many emoluments, which the great men themselves, or at least many
who tread close on their heels, may enjoy, as well as some dangers which
may some time or other arise from introducing a pure state of anarchy
among them. I will represent the case, as it appears to me, very fairly
and impartially between the mob and their betters. The whole mischief
which infects this part of our economy arises from the vague and
uncertain use of a word called liberty, of which, as scarce any two men
with whom I have ever conversed seem to have one and the same idea, I
am inclined to doubt whether there be any simple universal notion
represented by this word, or whether it conveys any clearer or more
determinate idea than some of those old Punic compositions of syllables
preserved in one of the comedies of Plautus, but at present, as I
conceive, not supposed to be understood by any one.

By liberty, however, I apprehend, is commonly understood the power of
doing what we please; not absolutely, for then it would be inconsistent
with law, by whose control the liberty of the freest people, except only
the Hottentots and wild Indians, must always be restrained.

But, indeed, however largely we extend, or however moderately we
confine, the sense of the word, no politician will, I presume, contend
that it is to pervade in an equal degree, and be, with the same extent,
enjoyed by, every member of society; no such polity having been ever
found, unless among those vile people just before commemorated. Among
the Greeks and Romans the servile and free conditions were opposed to
each other; and no man who had the misfortune to be enrolled under the
former could lay any claim to liberty till the right was conveyed to him
by that master whose slave he was, either by the means of conquest, of
purchase, or of birth.

This was the state of all the free nations in the world; and this, till
very lately, was understood to be the case of our own.

I will not indeed say this is the case at present, the lowest class of
our people having shaken off all the shackles of their superiors, and
become not only as free, but even freer, than most of their superiors. I
believe it cannot be doubted, though perhaps we have no recent instance
of it, that the personal attendance of every man who hath three hundred
pounds per annum, in parliament, is indispensably his duty; and that,
if the citizens and burgesses of any city or borough shall choose such
a one, however reluctant he appear, he may be obliged to attend, and be
forcibly brought to his duty by the sergeant-at-arms.

Again, there are numbers of subordinate offices, some of which are of
burden, and others of expense, in the civil government--all of which
persons who are qualified are liable to have imposed on them, may be
obliged to undertake and properly execute, notwithstanding any bodily
labor, or even danger, to which they may subject themselves, under the
penalty of fines and imprisonment; nay, and what may appear somewhat
hard, may be compelled to satisfy the losses which are eventually
incident, to that of sheriff in particular, out of their own private
fortunes; and though this should prove the ruin of a family, yet the
public, to whom the price is due, incurs no debt or obligation to
preserve its officer harmless, let his innocence appear ever so clearly.
I purposely omit the mention of those military or military duties
which our old constitution laid upon its greatest members. These might,
indeed, supply their posts with some other able-bodied men; but if no
such could have been found, the obligation nevertheless remained, and
they were compellable to serve in their own proper persons. The only
one, therefore, who is possessed of absolute liberty is the lowest
member of the society, who, if he prefers hunger, or the wild product of
the fields, hedges, lanes, and rivers, with the indulgence of ease and
laziness, to a food a little more delicate, but purchased at the expense
of labor, may lay himself under a shade; nor can be forced to take the
other alternative from that which he hath, I will not affirm whether
wisely or foolishly, chosen.

Here I may, perhaps, be reminded of the last Vagrant Act, where all
such persons are compellable to work for the usual and accustomed wages
allowed in the place; but this is a clause little known to the justices
of the peace, and least likely to be executed by those who do know it,
as they know likewise that it is formed on the ancient power of the
justices to fix and settle these wages every year, making proper
allowances for the scarcity and plenty of the times, the cheapness and
dearness of the place; and that THE USUAL AND ACCUSTOMED WAGES are words
without any force or meaning, when there are no such; but every man
spunges and raps whatever he can get; and will haggle as long and
struggle as hard to cheat his employer of twopence in a day's labor as
an honest tradesman will to cheat his customers of the same sum in a
yard of cloth or silk.

It is a great pity then that this power, or rather this practice, was
not revived; but, this having been so long omitted that it is become
obsolete, will be best done by a new law, in which this power, as well
as the consequent power of forcing the poor to labor at a moderate
and reasonable rate, should be well considered and their execution
facilitated; for gentlemen who give their time and labor gratis, and
even voluntarily, to the public, have a right to expect that all their
business be made as easy as possible; and to enact laws without doing
this is to fill our statute-books, much too full already, still
fuller with dead letter, of no use but to the printer of the acts of
parliament. That the evil which I have here pointed at is of itself
worth redressing, is, I apprehend, no subject of dispute; for why
should any persons in distress be deprived of the assistance of their
fellow-subjects, when they are willing amply to reward them for their
labor? or, why should the lowest of the people be permitted to exact
ten times the value of their work? For those exactions increase with the
degrees of necessity in their object, insomuch that on the former side
many are horribly imposed upon, and that often in no trifling matters.
I was very well assured that at Deal no less than ten guineas was
required, and paid by the supercargo of an Indiaman, for carrying him on
board two miles from the shore when she was just ready to sail; so that
his necessity, as his pillager well understood, was absolute. Again,
many others, whose indignation will not submit to such plunder, are
forced to refuse the assistance, though they are often great sufferers
by so doing. On the latter side, the lowest of the people are encouraged
in laziness and idleness; while they live by a twentieth part of the
labor that ought to maintain them, which is diametrically opposite to
the interest of the public; for that requires a great deal to be done,
not to be paid, for a little. And moreover, they are confirmed in
habits of exaction, and are taught to consider the distresses of their
superiors as their own fair emolument. But enough of this matter, of
which I at first intended only to convey a hint to those who are alone
capable of applying the remedy, though they are the last to whom the
notice of those evils would occur, without some such monitor as myself,
who am forced to travel about the world in the form of a passenger. I
cannot but say I heartily wish our governors would attentively
consider this method of fixing the price of labor, and by that means
of compelling the poor to work, since the due execution of such powers
will, I apprehend, be found the true and only means of making them
useful, and of advancing trade from its present visibly declining state
to the height to which Sir William Petty, in his Political Arithmetic,
thinks it capable of being carried.

In the afternoon the lady of the above-mentioned mansion called at our
inn, and left her compliments to us with Mrs. Francis, with an assurance
that while we continued wind-bound in that place, where she feared we
could be but indifferently accommodated, we were extremely welcome to
the use of anything which her garden or her house afforded. So polite a
message convinced us, in spite of some arguments to the contrary, that
we were not on the coast of Africa, or on some island where the few
savage inhabitants have little of human in them besides their form. And
here I mean nothing less than to derogate from the merit of this lady,
who is not only extremely polite in her behavior to strangers of her own
rank, but so extremely good and charitable to all her poor neighbors who
stand in need of her assistance, that she hath the universal love and
praises of all who live near her. But, in reality, how little doth the
acquisition of so valuable a character, and the full indulgence of so
worthy a disposition, cost those who possess it! Both are accomplished
by the very offals which fall from a table moderately plentiful. That
they are enjoyed therefore by so few arises truly from there being so
few who have any such disposition to gratify, or who aim at any such

Wednesday, July 22.--This morning, after having been mulcted as usual,
we dispatched a servant with proper acknowledgments of the lady's
goodness; but confined our wants entirely to the productions of her
garden. He soon returned, in company with the gardener, both richly
laden with almost every particular which a garden at this most fruitful
season of the year produces. While we were regaling ourselves with
these, towards the close of our dinner, we received orders from our
commander, who had dined that day with some inferior officers on board
a man-of-war, to return instantly to the ship; for that the wind was
become favorable and he should weigh that evening. These orders were
soon followed by the captain himself, who was still in the utmost hurry,
though the occasion of it had long since ceased; for the wind had,
indeed, a little shifted that afternoon, but was before this very
quietly set down in its old quarters.

This last was a lucky hit for me; for, as the captain, to whose orders
we resolved to pay no obedience, unless delivered by himself, did
not return till past six, so much time seemed requisite to put up the
furniture of our bed-chamber or dining-room, for almost every article,
even to some of the chairs, were either our own or the captain's
property; so much more in conveying it as well as myself, as dead a
luggage as any, to the shore, and thence to the ship, that the night
threatened first to overtake us. A terrible circumstance to me, in my
decayed condition; especially as very heavy showers of rain, attended
with a high wind, continued to fall incessantly; the being carried
through which two miles in the dark, in a wet and open boat, seemed
little less than certain death. However, as my commander was absolute,
his orders peremptory, and my obedience necessary, I resolved to avail
myself of a philosophy which hath been of notable use to me in the
latter part of my life, and which is contained in this hemistich of

     ----Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.

The meaning of which, if Virgil had any, I think I rightly understood,
and rightly applied. As I was therefore to be entirely passive in my
motion, I resolved to abandon myself to the conduct of those who were to
carry me into a cart when it returned from unloading the goods.

But before this, the captain, perceiving what had happened in the
clouds, and that the wind remained as much his enemy as ever, came
upstairs to me with a reprieve till the morning. This was, I own, very
agreeable news, and I little regretted the trouble of refurnishing my
apartment, by sending back for the goods.

Mrs. Francis was not well pleased with this.

As she understood the reprieve to be only till the morning, she saw
nothing but lodging to be possibly added, out of which she was to deduct
fire and candle, and the remainder, she thought, would scarce pay her
for her trouble. She exerted therefore all the ill-humor of which she
was mistress, and did all she could to thwart and perplex everything
during the whole evening.

Thursday, July 23.--Early in the morning the captain, who had remained
on shore all night, came to visit us, and to press us to make haste on
board. "I am resolved," says he, "not to lose a moment now the wind is
coming about fair: for my own part, I never was surer of a wind in
all my life." I use his very words; nor will I presume to interpret or
comment upon them farther than by observing that they were spoke in the
utmost hurry.

We promised to be ready as soon as breakfast was over, but this was not
so soon as was expected; for, in removing our goods the evening before,
the tea-chest was unhappily lost. Every place was immediately searched,
and many where it was impossible for it to be; for this was a loss
of much greater consequence than it may at first seem to many of my
readers. Ladies and valetudinarians do not easily dispense with the use
of this sovereign cordial in a single instance; but to undertake a long
voyage, without any probability of being supplied with it the whole way,
was above the reach of patience. And yet, dreadful as this calamity was,
it seemed unavoidable. The whole town of Ryde could not supply a single
leaf; for, as to what Mrs. Francis and the shop called by that name, it
was not of Chinese growth. It did not indeed in the least resemble tea,
either in smell or taste, or in any particular, unless in being a leaf;
for it was in truth no other than a tobacco of the mundungus species.
And as for the hopes of relief in any other port, they were not to be
depended upon, for the captain had positively declared he was sure of a
wind, and would let go his anchor no more till he arrived in the Tajo.

When a good deal of time had been spent, most of it indeed wasted on
this occasion, a thought occurred which every one wondered at its not
having presented itself the first moment. This was to apply to the
good lady, who could not fail of pitying and relieving such distress. A
messenger was immediately despatched with an account of our misfortune,
till whose return we employed ourselves in preparatives for our
departure, that we might have nothing to do but to swallow our breakfast
when it arrived. The tea-chest, though of no less consequence to us
than the military-chest to a general, was given up as lost, or rather
as stolen, for though I would not, for the world, mention any particular
name, it is certain we had suspicions, and all, I am afraid, fell on the
same person.

The man returned from the worthy lady with much expedition, and brought
with him a canister of tea, despatched with so true a generosity, as
well as politeness, that if our voyage had been as long again we should
have incurred no danger of being brought to a short allowance in this
most important article. At the very same instant likewise arrived
William the footman with our own tea-chest. It had been, indeed, left in
the hoy, when the other goods were re-landed, as William, when he first
heard it was missing, had suspected; and whence, had not the owner of
the hoy been unluckily out of the way, he had retrieved it soon enough
to have prevented our giving the lady an opportunity of displaying
some part of her goodness. To search the hoy was, indeed, too natural a
suggestion to have escaped any one, nor did it escape being mentioned
by many of us; but we were dissuaded from it by my wife's maid, who
perfectly well remembered she had left the chest in the bed-chamber; for
that she had never given it out of her hand in her way to or from the
hoy; but William perhaps knew the maid better, and best understood how
far she was to be believed; for otherwise he would hardly of his own
accord, after hearing her declaration, have hunted out the hoy-man, with
much pains and difficulty. Thus ended this scene, which began with such
appearance of distress, and ended with becoming the subject of mirth and
laughter. Nothing now remained but to pay our taxes, which were indeed
laid with inconceivable severity. Lodging was raised sixpence, fire in
the same proportion, and even candles, which had hitherto escaped, were
charged with a wantonness of imposition, from the beginning, and placed
under the style of oversight. We were raised a whole pound, whereas
we had only burned ten, in five nights, and the pound consisted of

Lastly, an attempt was made which almost as far exceeds human credulity
to believe as it did human patience to submit to. This was to make us
pay as much for existing an hour or two as for existing a whole day; and
dressing dinner was introduced as an article, though we left the
house before either pot or spit had approached the fire. Here I own
my patience failed me, and I became an example of the truth of the
observation, "That all tyranny and oppression may be carried too far,
and that a yoke may be made too intolerable for the neck of the tamest
slave." When I remonstrated, with some warmth, against this grievance,
Mrs. Francis gave me a look, and left the room without making any
answer. She returned in a minute, running to me with pen, ink, and
paper, in her hand, and desired me to make my own bill; "for she hoped,"
she said "I did not expect that her house was to be dirtied, and her
goods spoiled and consumed for nothing. The whole is but thirteen
shillings. Can gentlefolks lie a whole night at a public-house for less?
If they can I am sure it is time to give off being a landlady: but
pay me what you please; I would have people know that I value money as
little as other folks. But I was always a fool, as I says to my husband,
and never knows which side my bread is buttered of. And yet, to be sure,
your honor shall be my warning not to be bit so again. Some folks knows
better than other some how to make their bills. Candles! why yes, to be
sure; why should not travelers pay for candles? I am sure I pays for my
candles, and the chandler pays the king's majesty for them; and if he
did not I must, so as it comes to the same thing in the end. To be sure
I am out of sixteens at present, but these burn as white and as clear,
though not quite so large. I expects my chandler here soon, or I would
send to Portsmouth, if your honor was to stay any time longer. But when
folks stays only for a wind, you knows there can be no dependence on
such!" Here she put on a little slyness of aspect, and seemed willing to
submit to interruption. I interrupted her accordingly by throwing down
half a guinea, and declared I had no more English money, which was
indeed true; and, as she could not immediately change the thirty-six
shilling pieces, it put a final end to the dispute. Mrs. Francis soon
left the room, and we soon after left the house; nor would this good
woman see us or wish us a good voyage. I must not, however, quit this
place, where we had been so ill-treated, without doing it impartial
justice, and recording what may, with the strictest truth, be said in
its favor.

First, then, as to its situation, it is, I think, most delightful, and
in the most pleasant spot in the whole island. It is true it wants the
advantage of that beautiful river which leads from Newport to Cowes;
but the prospect here extending to the sea, and taking in Portsmouth,
Spithead, and St. Helen's, would be more than a recompense for the loss
of the Thames itself, even in the most delightful part of Berkshire or
Buckinghamshire, though another Denham, or another Pope, should unite in
celebrating it. For my own part, I confess myself so entirely fond of a
sea prospect, that I think nothing on the land can equal it; and if it
be set off with shipping, I desire to borrow no ornament from the terra
firma. A fleet of ships is, in my opinion, the noblest object which
the art of man hath ever produced; and far beyond the power of those
architects who deal in brick, in stone, or in marble.

When the late Sir Robert Walpole, one of the best of men and of
ministers, used to equip us a yearly fleet at Spithead, his enemies of
taste must have allowed that he, at least, treated the nation with a
fine sight for their money. A much finer, indeed, than the same expense
in an encampment could have produced. For what indeed is the best idea
which the prospect of a number of huts can furnish to the mind, but of
a number of men forming themselves into a society before the art of
building more substantial houses was known? This, perhaps, would be
agreeable enough; but, in truth, there is a much worse idea ready to
step in before it, and that is of a body of cut-throats, the supports of
tyranny, the invaders of the just liberties and properties of mankind,
the plunderers of the industrious, the ravishers of the chaste, the
murderers of the innocent, and, in a word, the destroyers of the plenty,
the peace, and the safety, of their fellow-creatures.

And what, it may be said, are these men-of-war which seem so delightful
an object to our eyes? Are they not alike the support of tyranny and
oppression of innocence, carrying with them desolation and ruin wherever
their masters please to send them? This is indeed too true; and however
the ship of war may, in its bulk and equipment, exceed the honest
merchantman, I heartily wish there was no necessity for it; for, though
I must own the superior beauty of the object on one side, I am more
pleased with the superior excellence of the idea which I can raise in
my mind on the other, while I reflect on the art and industry of mankind
engaged in the daily improvements of commerce to the mutual benefit of
all countries, and to the establishment and happiness of social life.
This pleasant village is situated on a gentle ascent from the water,
whence it affords that charming prospect I have above described. Its
soil is a gravel, which, assisted with its declivity, preserves it
always so dry that immediately after the most violent rain a fine lady
may walk without wetting her silken shoes. The fertility of the place is
apparent from its extraordinary verdure, and it is so shaded with large
and flourishing elms, that its narrow lanes are a natural grove or walk,
which, in the regularity of its plantation, vies with the power of art,
and in its wanton exuberancy greatly exceeds it.

In a field in the ascent of this hill, about a quarter of a mile from
the sea, stands a neat little chapel. It is very small, but adequate to
the number of inhabitants; for the parish doth not seem to contain above
thirty houses.

At about two miles distant from this parish lives that polite and good
lady to whose kindness we were so much obliged. It is placed on a hill
whose bottom is washed by the sea, and which from its eminence at top,
commands a view of great part of the island as well as it does that of
the opposite shore. This house was formerly built by one Boyce, who,
from a blacksmith at Gosport, became possessed, by great success in
smuggling, of forty thousand pound. With part of this he purchased an
estate here, and, by chance probably, fixed on this spot for building
a large house. Perhaps the convenience of carrying on his business, to
which it is so well adapted, might dictate the situation to him. We can
hardly, at least, attribute it to the same taste with which he furnished
his house, or at least his library, by sending an order to a bookseller
in London to pack him up five hundred pounds' worth of his handsomest
books. They tell here several almost incredible stories of the
ignorance, the folly, and the pride, which this poor man and his wife
discovered during the short continuance of his prosperity; for he did
not long escape the sharp eyes of the revenue solicitors, and was, by
extents from the court of Exchequer, soon reduced below his original
state to that of confinement in the Fleet. All his effects were sold,
and among the rest his books, by an auction at Portsmouth, for a
very small price; for the bookseller was now discovered to have been
perfectly a master of his trade, and, relying on Mr. Boyce's finding
little time to read, had sent him not only the most lasting wares of his
shop, but duplicates of the same, under different titles.

His estate and house were purchased by a gentleman of these parts, whose
widow now enjoys them, and who hath improved them, particularly her
gardens, with so elegant a taste, that the painter who would assist his
imagination in the composition of a most exquisite landscape, or the
poet who would describe an earthly paradise, could nowhere furnish
themselves with a richer pattern.

We left this place about eleven in the morning, and were again conveyed,
with more sunshine than wind, aboard our ship.

Whence our captain had acquired his power of prophecy, when he promised
us and himself a prosperous wind, I will not determine; it is sufficient
to observe that he was a false prophet, and that the weathercocks
continued to point as before. He would not, however, so easily give up
his skill in prediction. He persevered in asserting that the wind was
changed, and, having weighed his anchor, fell down that afternoon to St.
Helen's, which was at about the distance of five miles; and whither
his friend the tide, in defiance of the wind, which was most manifestly
against him, softly wafted him in as many hours.

Here, about seven in the evening, before which time we could not procure
it, we sat down to regale ourselves with some roasted venison, which was
much better dressed than we imagined it would be, and an excellent cold
pasty which my wife had made at Ryde, and which we had reserved uncut
to eat on board our ship, whither we all cheerfully exulted in
being returned from the presence of Mrs. Francis, who, by the exact
resemblance she bore to a fury, seemed to have been with no great
propriety settled in paradise.

Friday, July 24.--As we passed by Spithead on the preceding evening we
saw the two regiments of soldiers who were just returned from Gibraltar
and Minorca; and this day a lieutenant belonging to one of them, who was
the captain's nephew, came to pay a visit to his uncle. He was what is
called by some a very pretty fellow; indeed, much too pretty a fellow
at his years; for he was turned of thirty-four, though his address and
conversation would have become him more before he had reached twenty. In
his conversation, it is true, there was something military enough, as it
consisted chiefly of oaths, and of the great actions and wise sayings
of Jack, and Will, and Tom of our regiment, a phrase eternally in his
mouth; and he seemed to conclude that it conveyed to all the officers
such a degree of public notoriety and importance that it entitled him
like the head of a profession, or a first minister, to be the subject
of conversation among those who had not the least personal acquaintance
with him. This did not much surprise me, as I have seen several examples
of the same; but the defects in his address, especially to the women,
were so great that they seemed absolutely inconsistent with the behavior
of a pretty fellow, much less of one in a red coat; and yet, besides
having been eleven years in the army, he had had, as his uncle informed
me, an education in France. This, I own, would have appeared to have
been absolutely thrown away had not his animal spirits, which were
likewise thrown away upon him in great abundance, borne the visible
stamp of the growth of that country. The character to which he had an
indisputable title was that of a merry fellow; so very merry was he that
he laughed at everything he said, and always before he spoke. Possibly,
indeed, he often laughed at what he did not utter, for every speech
begun with a laugh, though it did not always end with a jest. There was
no great analogy between the characters of the uncle and the nephew,
and yet they seemed entirely to agree in enjoying the honor which the
red-coat did to his family. This the uncle expressed with great pleasure
in his countenance, and seemed desirous of showing all present the honor
which he had for his nephew, who, on his side, was at some pains to
convince us of his concurring in this opinion, and at the same time of
displaying the contempt he had for the parts, as well as the occupation
of his uncle, which he seemed to think reflected some disgrace on
himself, who was a member of that profession which makes every man a
gentleman. Not that I would be understood to insinuate that the nephew
endeavored to shake off or disown his uncle, or indeed to keep him
at any distance. On the contrary, he treated him with the utmost
familiarity, often calling him Dick, and dear Dick, and old Dick, and
frequently beginning an oration with D--n me, Dick.

All this condescension on the part of the young man was received with
suitable marks of complaisance and obligation by the old one; especially
when it was attended with evidences of the same familiarity with general
officers and other persons of rank; one of whom, in particular, I know
to have the pride and insolence of the devil himself, and who, without
some strong bias of interest, is no more liable to converse familiarly
with a lieutenant than of being mistaken in his judgment of a fool;
which was not, perhaps, so certainly the case of the worthy lieutenant,
who, in declaring to us the qualifications which recommended men to his
countenance and conversation, as well as what effectually set a bar
to all hopes of that honor, exclaimed, "No, sir, by the d-- I hate all
fools-- No, d--n me, excuse me for that. That's a little too much, old
Dick. There are two or three officers of our regiment whom I know to be
fools; but d--n me if I am ever seen in their company. If a man hath a
fool of a relation, Dick, you know he can't help that, old boy." Such
jokes as these the old man not only tools in good part, but glibly
gulped down the whole narrative of his nephew; nor did he, I am
convinced, in the least doubt of our as readily swallowing the same.
This made him so charmed with the lieutenant, that it is probable we
should have been pestered with him the whole evening, had not the north
wind, dearer to our sea-captain even than this glory of his family,
sprung suddenly up, and called aloud to him to weigh his anchor. While
this ceremony was performing, the sea-captain ordered out his boat to
row the land-captain to shore; not indeed on an uninhabited island, but
one which, in this part, looked but little better, not presenting us the
view of a single house. Indeed, our old friend, when his boat returned
on shore, perhaps being no longer able to stifle his envy of the
superiority of his nephew, told us with a smile that the young man had a
good five mile to walk before he could be accommodated with a passage to

It appeared now that the captain had been only mistaken in the date of
his prediction, by placing the event a day earlier than it happened; for
the wind which now arose was not only favorable but brisk, and was no
sooner in reach of our sails than it swept us away by the back of the
Isle of Wight, and, having in the night carried us by Christchurch and
Peveral-point, brought us the next noon, Saturday, July 25, oft the
island of Portland, so famous for the smallness and sweetness of its
mutton, of which a leg seldom weighs four pounds. We would have bought
a sheep, but our captain would not permit it; though he needed not have
been in such a hurry, for presently the wind, I will not positively
assert in resentment of his surliness, showed him a dog's trick, and
slyly slipped back again to his summer-house in the south-west.

The captain now grew outrageous, and, declaring open war with the wind,
took a resolution, rather more bold than wise, of sailing in defiance of
it, and in its teeth. He swore he would let go his anchor no more, but
would beat the sea while he had either yard or sail left. He accordingly
stood from the shore, and made so large a tack that before night, though
he seemed to advance but little on his way, he was got out of sight of

Towards evening the wind began, in the captain's own language,
and indeed it freshened so much, that before ten it blew a perfect
hurricane. The captain having got, as he supposed, to a safe distance,
tacked again towards the English shore; and now the wind veered a point
only in his favor, and continued to blow with such violence, that the
ship ran above eight knots or miles an hour during this whole day and
tempestuous night till bed-time. I was obliged to betake myself
once more to my solitude, for my women were again all down in their
sea-sickness, and the captain was busy on deck; for he began to grow
uneasy, chiefly, I believe, because he did not well know where he
was, and would, I am convinced, have been very glad to have been in
Portland-road, eating some sheep's-head broth.

Having contracted no great degree of good-humor by living a whole day
alone, without a single soul to converse with, I took but ill physic to
purge it off, by a bed-conversation with the captain, who, amongst many
bitter lamentations of his fate, and protesting he had more patience
than a Job, frequently intermixed summons to the commanding officer on
the deck, who now happened to be one Morrison, a carpenter, the only
fellow that had either common sense or common civility in the ship. Of
Morrison he inquired every quarter of an hour concerning the state
of affairs: the wind, the care of the ship, and other matters of
navigation. The frequency of these summons, as well as the solicitude
with which they were made, sufficiently testified the state of the
captain's mind; he endeavored to conceal it, and would have given no
small alarm to a man who had either not learned what it is to die, or
known what it is to be miserable. And my dear wife and child must pardon
me, if what I did not conceive to be any great evil to myself I was not
much terrified with the thoughts of happening to them; in truth, I have
often thought they are both too good and too gentle to be trusted to the
power of any man I know, to whom they could possibly be so trusted.

Can I say then I had no fear? indeed I cannot. Reader, I was afraid for
thee, lest thou shouldst have been deprived of that pleasure thou art
now enjoying; and that I should not live to draw out on paper that
military character which thou didst peruse in the journal of yesterday.

From all these fears we were relieved, at six in the morning, by the
arrival of Mr. Morrison, who acquainted us that he was sure he beheld
land very near; for he could not see half a mile, by reason of the
haziness of the weather. This land he said was, he believed, the
Berry-head, which forms one side of Torbay: the captain declared that it
was impossible, and swore, on condition he was right, he would give him
his mother for a maid. A forfeit which became afterwards strictly due
and payable; for the captain, whipping on his night-gown, ran up without
his breeches, and within half an hour returning into the cabin, wished
me joy of our lying safe at anchor in the bay.

Sunday, July 26.--Things now began to put on an aspect very different
from what they had lately worn; the news that the ship had almost lost
its mizzen, and that we had procured very fine clouted cream and fresh
bread and butter from the shore, restored health and spirits to our
women, and we all sat down to a very cheerful breakfast. But, however
pleasant our stay promised to be here, we were all desirous it should
be short: I resolved immediately to despatch my man into the country
to purchase a present of cider, for my friends of that which is called
Southam, as well as to take with me a hogshead of it to Lisbon; for it
is, in my opinion, much more delicious than that which is the growth
of Herefordshire. I purchased three hogsheads for five pounds ten
shillings, all which I should have scarce thought worth mentioning, had
I not believed it might be of equal service to the honest farmer who
sold it me, and who is by the neighboring gentlemen reputed to deal in
the very best; and to the reader, who, from ignorance of the means of
providing better for himself, swallows at a dearer rate the juice
of Middlesex turnip, instead of that Vinum Pomonae which Mr. Giles
Leverance of Cheeshurst, near Dartmouth in Devon, will, at the price of
forty shillings per hogshead, send in double casks to any part of the
world. Had the wind been very sudden in shifting, I had lost my cider by
an attempt of a boatman to exact, according to custom. He required five
shillings for conveying my man a mile and a half to the shore, and
four more if he stayed to bring him back. This I thought to be such
insufferable impudence that I ordered him to be immediately chased from
the ship, without any answer. Indeed, there are few inconveniences that
I would not rather encounter than encourage the insolent demands of
these wretches, at the expense of my own indignation, of which I own
they are not the only objects, but rather those who purchase a paltry
convenience by encouraging them. But of this I have already spoken very
largely. I shall conclude, therefore, with the leave which this fellow
took of our ship; saying he should know it again, and would not put
off from the shore to relieve it in any distress whatever. It will,
doubtless, surprise many of my readers to hear that, when we lay at
anchor within a mile or two of a town several days together, and even in
the most temperate weather, we should frequently want fresh provisions
and herbage, and other emoluments of the shore, as much as if we had
been a hundred leagues from land. And this too while numbers of boats
were in our sight, whose owners get their livelihood by rowing people
up and down, and could be at any time summoned by a signal to our
assistance, and while the captain had a little boat of his own, with men
always ready to row it at his command.

This, however, hath been partly accounted for already by the imposing
disposition of the people, who asked so much more than the proper price
of their labor. And as to the usefulness of the captain's boat, it
requires to be a little expatiated upon, as it will tend to lay
open some of the grievances which demand the utmost regard of our
legislature, as they affect the most valuable part of the king's
subjects--those by whom the commerce of the nation is carried into
execution. Our captain then, who was a very good and experienced seaman,
having been above thirty years the master of a vessel, part of which
he had served, so he phrased it, as commander of a privateer, and had
discharged himself with great courage and conduct, and with as great
success, discovered the utmost aversion to the sending his boat ashore
whenever we lay wind-bound in any of our harbors. This aversion did not
arise from any fear of wearing out his boat by using it, but was, in
truth, the result of experience, that it was easier to send his men
on shore than to recall them. They acknowledged him to be their master
while they remained on shipboard, but did not allow his power to extend
to the shores, where they had no sooner set their foot than every man
became sui juris, and thought himself at full liberty to return when he
pleased. Now it is not any delight that these fellows have in the fresh
air or verdant fields on the land. Every one of them would prefer
his ship and his hammock to all the sweets of Arabia the Happy; but,
unluckily for them, there are in every seaport in England certain
houses whose chief livelihood depends on providing entertainment for the
gentlemen of the jacket. For this purpose they are always well furnished
with those cordial liquors which do immediately inspire the heart with
gladness, banishing all careful thoughts, and indeed all others,
from the mind, and opening the mouth with songs of cheerfulness and
thanksgiving for the many wonderful blessings with which a seafaring
life overflows.

For my own part, however whimsical it may appear, I confess I have
thought the strange story of Circe in the Odyssey no other than an
ingenious allegory, in which Homer intended to convey to his countrymen
the same kind of instruction which we intend to communicate to our own
in this digression. As teaching the art of war to the Greeks was the
plain design of the Iliad, so was teaching them the art of navigation
the no less manifest intention of the Odyssey. For the improvement of
this, their situation was most excellently adapted; and accordingly we
find Thucydides, in the beginning of his history, considers the Greeks
as a set of pirates or privateers, plundering each other by sea.
This being probably the first institution of commerce before the Ars
Cauponaria was invented, and merchants, instead of robbing, began to
cheat and outwit each other, and by degrees changed the Metabletic,
the only kind of traffic allowed by Aristotle in his Politics, into the

By this allegory then I suppose Ulysses to have been the captain of a
merchant-ship, and Circe some good ale-wife, who made his crew drunk
with the spirituous liquors of those days. With this the transformation
into swine, as well as all other incidents of the fable, will notably
agree; and thus a key will be found out for unlocking the whole mystery,
and forging at least some meaning to a story which, at present, appears
very strange and absurd.

Hence, moreover, will appear the very near resemblance between the
sea-faring men of all ages and nations; and here perhaps may be
established the truth and justice of that observation, which will occur
oftener than once in this voyage, that all human flesh is not the same
flesh, but that there is one kind of flesh of landmen, and another of

Philosophers, divines, and others, who have treated the gratification
of human appetites with contempt, have, among other instances, insisted
very strongly on that satiety which is so apt to overtake them even in
the very act of enjoyment. And here they more particularly deserve
our attention, as most of them may be supposed to speak from their own
experience, and very probably gave us their lessons with a full stomach.
Thus hunger and thirst, whatever delight they may afford while we are
eating and drinking, pass both away from us with the plate and the cup;
and though we should imitate the Romans, if, indeed, they were such dull
beasts, which I can scarce believe, to unload the belly like a dung-pot,
in order to fill it again with another load, yet would the pleasure be
so considerably lessened that it would scarce repay us the trouble of
purchasing it with swallowing a basin of camomile tea. A second haunch
of venison, or a second dose of turtle, would hardly allure a city
glutton with its smell. Even the celebrated Jew himself, when well
filled with calipash and calipee, goes contentedly home to tell his
money, and expects no more pleasure from his throat during the
next twenty-four hours. Hence I suppose Dr. South took that elegant
comparison of the joys of a speculative man to the solemn silence of an
Archimedes over a problem, and those of a glutton to the stillness of a
sow at her wash. A simile which, if it became the pulpit at all, could
only become it in the afternoon. Whereas in those potations which the
mind seems to enjoy, rather than the bodily appetite, there is happily
no such satiety; but the more a man drinks, the more he desires; as if,
like Mark Anthony in Dryden, his appetite increased with feeding, and
this to such an immoderate degree, ut nullus sit desiderio aut pudor
aut modus. Hence, as with the gang of Captain Ulysses, ensues so total
a transformation, that the man no more continues what he was. Perhaps
he ceases for a time to be at all; or, though he may retain the same
outward form and figure he had before, yet is his nobler part, as we are
taught to call it, so changed, that, instead of being the same man,
he scarce remembers what he was a few hours before. And this
transformation, being once obtained, is so easily preserved by the same
potations, which induced no satiety, that the captain in vain sends or
goes in quest of his crew. They know him no longer; or, if they do,
they acknowledge not his power, having indeed as entirely forgotten
themselves as if they had taken a large draught of the river of Lethe.

Nor is the captain always sure of even finding out the place to which
Circe hath conveyed them. There are many of those houses in every
port-town. Nay, there are some where the sorceress doth not trust only
to her drugs; but hath instruments of a different kind to execute
her purposes, by whose means the tar is effectually secreted from the
knowledge and pursuit of his captain. This would, indeed, be very fatal,
was it not for one circumstance; that the sailor is seldom provided
with the proper bait for these harpies. However, the contrary sometimes
happens, as these harpies will bite at almost anything, and will snap at
a pair of silver buttons, or buckles, as surely as at the specie itself.
Nay, sometimes they are so voracious, that the very naked hook will go
down, and the jolly young sailor is sacrificed for his own sake.

In vain, at such a season as this, would the vows of a pious heathen
have prevailed over Neptune, Aeolus, or any other marine deity. In
vain would the prayers of a Christian captain be attended with the
like success. The wind may change how it pleases while all hands are on
shore; the anchor would remain firm in the ground, and the ship would
continue in durance, unless, like other forcible prison-breakers, it
forcibly got loose for no good purpose. Now, as the favor of winds and
courts, and such like, is always to be laid hold on at the very first
motion, for within twenty-four hours all may be changed again; so, in
the former case, the loss of a day may be the loss of a voyage: for,
though it may appear to persons not well skilled in navigation, who see
ships meet and sail by each other, that the wind blows sometimes east
and west, north and south, backwards and forwards, at the same instant;
yet, certain it is that the land is so contrived, that even the same
wind will not, like the same horse, always bring a man to the end of
his journey; but, that the gale which the mariner prayed heartily for
yesterday, he may as heartily deprecate to-morrow; while all use
and benefit which would have arisen to him from the westerly wind of
to-morrow may be totally lost and thrown away by neglecting the offer of
the easterly blast which blows to-day.

Hence ensues grief and disreputation to the innocent captain, loss and
disappointment to the worthy merchant, and not seldom great prejudice to
the trade of a nation whose manufactures are thus liable to lie unsold
in a foreign warehouse the market being forestalled by some rival
whose sailors are under a better discipline. To guard against these
inconveniences the prudent captain takes every precaution in his power;
he makes the strongest contracts with his crew, and thereby binds them
so firmly, that none but the greatest or least of men can break through
them with impunity; but for one of these two reasons, which I will not
determine, the sailor, like his brother fish the eel, is too slippery to
be held, and plunges into his element with perfect impunity. To speak a
plain truth, there is no trusting to any contract with one whom the wise
citizens of London call a bad man; for, with such a one, though your
bond be ever so strong, it will prove in the end good for nothing.

What then is to be done in this case? What, indeed, but to call in the
assistance of that tremendous magistrate, the justice of peace, who can,
and often doth, lay good and bad men in equal durance; and, though he
seldom cares to stretch his bonds to what is great, never finds anything
too minute for their detention, but will hold the smallest reptile alive
so fast in his noose, that he can never get out till he is let drop
through it. Why, therefore, upon the breach of those contracts, should
not an immediate application be made to the nearest magistrate of this
order, who should be empowered to convey the delinquent either to ship
or to prison, at the election of the captain, to be fettered by the leg
in either place? But, as the case now stands, the condition of this poor
captain without any commission, and of this absolute commander without
any power, is much worse than we have hitherto shown it to be; for,
notwithstanding all the aforesaid contracts to sail in the good ship
the Elizabeth, if the sailor should, for better wages, find it more his
interest to go on board the better ship the Mary, either before their
setting out or on their speedy meeting in some port, he may prefer the
latter without any other danger than that of "doing what he ought not
to have done," contrary to a rule which he is seldom Christian enough to
have much at heart, while the captain is generally too good a Christian
to punish a man out of revenge only, when he is to be at a considerable
expense for so doing. There are many other deficiencies in our laws
relating to maritime affairs, and which would probably have been long
since corrected, had we any seamen in the House of Commons. Not that I
would insinuate that the legislature wants a supply of many gentlemen in
the sea-service; but, as these gentlemen are by their attendance in the
house unfortunately prevented from ever going to sea, and there learning
what they might communicate to their landed brethren, these latter
remain as ignorant in that branch of knowledge as they would be if none
but courtiers and fox-hunters had been elected into parliament, without
a single fish among them. The following seems to me to be an effect of
this kind, and it strikes me the stronger as I remember the case to have
happened, and remember it to have been dispunishable. A captain of a
trading vessel, of which he was part owner, took in a large freight of
oats at Liverpool, consigned to the market at Bearkey: this he carried
to a port in Hampshire, and there sold it as his own, and, freighting
his vessel with wheat for the port of Cadiz, in Spain, dropped it at
Oporto in his way; and there, selling it for his own use, took in a
lading of wine, with which he sailed again, and, having converted it in
the same manner, together with a large sum of money with which he was
intrusted, for the benefit of certain merchants, sold the ship and cargo
in another port, and then wisely sat down contented with the fortune
he had made, and returned to London to enjoy the remainder of his days,
with the fruits of his former labors and a good conscience.

The sum he brought home with him consisted of near six thousand pounds,
all in specie, and most of it in that coin which Portugal distributes so
liberally over Europe.

He was not yet old enough to be past all sense of pleasure, nor so
puffed up with the pride of his good fortune as to overlook his old
acquaintances the journeymen tailors, from among whom he had been
formerly pressed into the sea-service, and, having there laid the
foundation of his future success by his shares in prizes, had afterwards
become captain of a trading vessel, in which he purchased an interest,
and had soon begun to trade in the honorable manner above mentioned. The
captain now took up his residence at an ale-house in Drury-lane, where,
having all his money by him in a trunk, he spent about five pounds a
day among his old friends the gentlemen and ladies of those parts. The
merchant of Liverpool, having luckily had notice from a friend during
the blaze of his fortune, did, by the assistance of a justice of peace,
without the assistance of the law, recover his whole loss. The captain,
however, wisely chose to refund no more; but, perceiving with what hasty
strides Envy was pursuing his fortune, he took speedy means to retire
out of her reach, and to enjoy the rest of his wealth in an inglorious
obscurity; nor could the same justice overtake him time enough to assist
a second merchant as he had done the first.

This was a very extraordinary case, and the more so as the ingenious
gentleman had steered entirely clear of all crimes in our law. Now, how
it comes about that a robbery so very easy to be committed, and to
which there is such immediate temptation always before the eyes of
these fellows, should receive the encouragement of impunity, is to
be accounted for only from the oversight of the legislature, as that
oversight can only be, I think, derived from the reasons I have assigned
for it.

But I will dwell no longer on this subject. If what I have here said
should seem of sufficient consequence to engage the attention of any
man in power, and should thus be the means of applying any remedy to the
most inveterate evils, at least, I have obtained my whole desire, and
shall have lain so long wind-bound in the ports of this kingdom to some
purpose. I would, indeed, have this work--which, if I should live to
finish it, a matter of no great certainty, if indeed of any great hope
to me, will be probably the last I shall ever undertake--to produce some
better end than the mere diversion of the reader.

Monday.--This day our captain went ashore, to dine with a gentleman who
lives in these parts, and who so exactly resembles the character given
by Homer of Axylus, that the only difference I can trace between them
is, the one, living by the highway, erected his hospitality chiefly
in favor of land-travelers; and the other, living by the water-side,
gratified his humanity by accommodating the wants of the mariner.

In the evening our commander received a visit from a brother bashaw, who
lay wind-bound in the same harbor. This latter captain was a Swiss. He
was then master of a vessel bound to Guinea, and had formerly been
a privateering, when our own hero was employed in the same laudable
service. The honesty and freedom of the Switzer, his vivacity, in which
he was in no respect inferior to his near neighbors the French,
the awkward and affected politeness, which was likewise of French
extraction, mixed with the brutal roughness of the English tar--for he
had served under the colors of this nation and his crew had been of the
same--made such an odd variety, such a hotch-potch of character, that I
should have been much diverted with him, had not his voice, which was as
loud as a speaking-trumpet, unfortunately made my head ache. The noise
which he conveyed into the deaf ears of his brother captain, who sat on
one side of him, the soft addresses with which, mixed with awkward bows,
he saluted the ladies on the other, were so agreeably contrasted, that
a man must not only have been void of all taste of humor, and insensible
of mirth, but duller than Cibber is represented in the Dunciad, who
could be unentertained with him a little while; for, I confess, such
entertainments should always be very short, as they are very liable to
pall. But he suffered not this to happen at present; for, having
given us his company a quarter of an hour only, he retired, after many
apologies for the shortness of his visit.

Tuesday.--The wind being less boisterous than it had hitherto been since
our arrival here, several fishing-boats, which the tempestuous weather
yesterday had prevented from working, came on board us with fish. This
was so fresh, so good in kind, and so very cheap, that we supplied
ourselves in great numbers, among which were very large soles at
fourpence a pair, and whitings of almost a preposterous size at
ninepence a score. The only fish which bore any price was a john doree,
as it is called. I bought one of at least four pounds weight for as many
shillings. It resembles a turbot in shape, but exceeds it in firmness
and flavor. The price had the appearance of being considerable when
opposed to the extraordinary cheapness of others of value, but was, in
truth, so very reasonable when estimated by its goodness, that it left
me under no other surprise than how the gentlemen of this country, not
greatly eminent for the delicacy of their taste, had discovered the
preference of the doree to all other fish: but I was informed that Mr.
Quin, whose distinguishing tooth hath been so justly celebrated, had
lately visited Plymouth, and had done those honors to the doree which
are so justly due to it from that sect of modern philosophers who,
with Sir Epicure Mammon, or Sir Epicure Quin, their head, seem more to
delight in a fish-pond than in a garden, as the old Epicureans are said
to have done.

Unfortunately for the fishmongers of London, the doree resides only in
those seas; for, could any of this company but convey one to the temple
of luxury under the Piazza, where Macklin the high-priest daily serves
up his rich offerings to that goddess, great would be the reward of that
fishmonger, in blessings poured down upon him from the goddess, as great
would his merit be towards the high-priest, who could never be thought
to overrate such valuable incense.

And here, having mentioned the extreme cheapness of fish in the
Devonshire sea, and given some little hint of the extreme dearness with
which this commodity is dispensed by those who deal in it in London, I
cannot pass on without throwing forth an observation or two, with the
same view with which I have scattered my several remarks through this
voyage, sufficiently satisfied in having finished my life, as I have
probably lost it, in the service of my country, from the best of
motives, though it should be attended with the worst of success. Means
are always in our power; ends are very seldom so.

Of all the animal foods with which man is furnished, there are none so
plenty as fish. A little rivulet, that glides almost unperceived through
a vast tract of rich land, will support more hundreds with the flesh of
its inhabitants than the meadow will nourish individuals. But if this
be true of rivers, it is much truer of the sea-shores, which abound with
such immense variety of fish that the curious fisherman, after he hath
made his draught, often culls only the daintiest part and leaves the
rest of his prey to perish on the shore. If this be true it would
appear, I think, that there is nothing which might be had in such
abundance, and consequently so cheap, as fish, of which Nature seems to
have provided such inexhaustible stores with some peculiar design. In
the production of terrestrial animals she proceeds with such slowness,
that in the larger kind a single female seldom produces more than one
a-year, and this again requires three, for, or five years more to bring
it to perfection. And though the lesser quadrupeds, those of the wild
kind particularly, with the birds, do multiply much faster, yet can none
of these bear any proportion with the aquatic animals, of whom every
female matrix is furnished with an annual offspring almost exceeding the
power of numbers, and which, in many instances at least, a single year
is capable of bringing to some degree of maturity.

What then ought in general to be so plentiful, what so cheap, as fish?
What then so properly the food of the poor? So in many places they are,
and so might they always be in great cities, which are always situated
near the sea, or on the conflux of large rivers. How comes it then, to
look no farther abroad for instances, that in our city of London the
case is so far otherwise that, except that of sprats, there is not one
poor palate in a hundred that knows the taste of fish?

It is true indeed that this taste is generally of such excellent flavor
that it exceeds the power of French cookery to treat the palates of
the rich with anything more exquisitely delicate; so that was fish the
common food of the poor it might put them too much upon an equality with
their betters in the great article of eating, in which, at present, in
the opinion of some, the great difference in happiness between man and
man consists. But this argument I shall treat with the utmost disdain:
for if ortolans were as big as buzzards, and at the same time as plenty
as sparrows, I should hold it yet reasonable to indulge the poor with
the dainty, and that for this cause especially, that the rich would soon
find a sparrow, if as scarce as an ortolan, to be much the greater, as
it would certainly be the rarer, dainty of the two.

Vanity or scarcity will be always the favorite of luxury; but honest
hunger will be satisfied with plenty. Not to search deeper into the
cause of the evil, I should think it abundantly sufficient to propose
the remedies of it. And, first, I humbly submit the absolute necessity
of immediately hanging all the fishmongers within the bills of
mortality; and, however it might have been some time ago the opinion of
mild and temporizing men that the evil complained of might be removed by
gentler methods, I suppose at this day there are none who do not see the
impossibility of using such with any effect. Cuncta prius tentanda
might have been formerly urged with some plausibility, but cuncta
prius tentata may now be replied: for surely, if a few monopolizing
fishmongers could defeat that excellent scheme of the Westminster
market, to the erecting which so many justices of peace, as well as
other wise and learned men, did so vehemently apply themselves, that
they might be truly said not only to have laid the whole strength of
their heads, but of their shoulders too, to the business, it would be a
vain endeavor for any other body of men to attempt to remove so stubborn
a nuisance.

If it should be doubted whether we can bring this case within the letter
of any capital law now subsisting, I am ashamed to own it cannot; for
surely no crime better deserves such punishment; but the remedy may,
nevertheless, be immediate; and if a law was made at the beginning of
next session, to take place immediately, by which the starving thousands
of poor was declared to be felony, without benefit of clergy, the
fishmongers would be hanged before the end of the session. A second
method of filling the mouths of the poor, if not with loaves at least
with fishes, is to desire the magistrates to carry into execution one at
least out of near a hundred acts of parliament, for preserving the small
fry of the river of Thames, by which means as few fish would satisfy
thousands as may now be devoured by a small number of individuals. But
while a fisherman can break through the strongest meshes of an act
of parliament, we may be assured he will learn so to contrive his own
meshes that the smallest fry will not be able to swim through them.

Other methods may, we doubt not, he suggested by those who shall
attentively consider the evil here hinted at; but we have dwelt too long
on it already, and shall conclude with observing that it is difficult to
affirm whether the atrocity of the evil itself, the facility of curing
it, or the shameful neglect of the cure, be the more scandalous or more

After having, however, gloriously regaled myself with this food, I was
washing it down with some good claret with my wife and her friend, in
the cabin, when the captain's valet-de-chambre, head cook, house and
ship steward, footman in livery and out on't, secretary and fore-mast
man, all burst into the cabin at once, being, indeed, all but one
person, and, without saying, by your leave, began to pack half a
hogshead of small beer in bottles, the necessary consequence of which
must have been either a total stop to conversation at that cheerful
season when it is most agreeable, or the admitting that polyonymous
officer aforesaid to the participation of it. I desired him therefore to
delay his purpose a little longer, but he refused to grant my request;
nor was he prevailed on to quit the room till he was threatened with
having one bottle to pack more than his number, which then happened to
stand empty within my reach. With these menaces he retired at last, but
not without muttering some menaces on his side, and which, to our great
terror, he failed not to put into immediate execution.

Our captain was gone to dinner this day with his Swiss brother;
and, though he was a very sober man, was a little elevated with some
champagne, which, as it cost the Swiss little or nothing, he dispensed
at his table more liberally than our hospitable English noblemen put
about those bottles, which the ingenious Peter Taylor teaches a led
captain to avoid by distinguishing by the name of that generous liquor,
which all humble companions are taught to postpone to the flavor of
methuen, or honest port.

While our two captains were thus regaling themselves, and celebrating
their own heroic exploits with all the inspiration which the liquor, at
least, of wit could afford them, the polyonymous officer arrived, and,
being saluted by the name of Honest Tom, was ordered to sit down and
take his glass before he delivered his message; for every sailor is by
turns his captain's mate over a cann, except only that captain bashaw
who presides in a man-of-war, and who upon earth has no other mate,
unless it be another of the same bashaws. Tom had no sooner swallowed
his draught than he hastily began his narrative, and faithfully related
what had happened on board our ship; we say faithfully, though from what
happened it may be suspected that Tom chose to add perhaps only five or
six immaterial circumstances, as is always I believe the case, and may
possibly have been done by me in relating this very story, though it
happened not many hours ago.

No sooner was the captain informed of the interruption which had been
given to his officer, and indeed to his orders, for he thought no time
so convenient as that of his absence for causing any confusion in the
cabin, than he leaped with such haste from his chair that he had like to
have broke his sword, with which he always begirt himself when he walked
out of his ship, and sometimes when he walked about in it; at the same
time, grasping eagerly that other implement called a cockade, which
modern soldiers wear on their helmets with the same view as the ancients
did their crests--to terrify the enemy he muttered something, but so
inarticulately that the word DAMN was only intelligible; he then hastily
took leave of the Swiss captain, who was too well bred to press his stay
on such an occasion, and leaped first from the ship to his boat, and
then from his boat to his own ship, with as much fierceness in his
looks as he had ever expressed on boarding his defenseless prey in the
honorable calling of a privateer. Having regained the middle deck, he
paused a moment while Tom and others loaded themselves with bottles, and
then descending into the cabin exclaimed with a thundering voice, "D--n
me, why arn't the bottles stowed in, according to my orders?"

I answered him very mildly that I had prevented his man from doing
it, as it was at an inconvenient time to me, and as in his absence, at
least, I esteemed the cabin to be my own. "Your cabin!" repeated he many
times; "no, d--n me! 'tis my cabin. Your cabin! d--n me! I have brought
my hogs to a fair market. I suppose indeed you think it your cabin, and
your ship, by your commanding in it; but I will command in it, d--n
me! I will show the world I am the commander, and nobody but I! Did you
think I sold you the command of my ship for that pitiful thirty pounds?
I wish I had not seen you nor your thirty pounds aboard of her." He then
repeated the words thirty pounds often, with great disdain, and with a
contempt which I own the sum did not seem to deserve in my eye, either
in itself or on the present occasion; being, indeed, paid for the
freight of ---- weight of human flesh, which is above fifty per cent
dearer than the freight of any other luggage, whilst in reality it takes
up less room; in fact, no room at all.

In truth, the sum was paid for nothing more than for a liberty to six
persons (two of them servants) to stay on board a ship while she sails
from one port to another, every shilling of which comes clear into the
captain's pocket. Ignorant people may perhaps imagine, especially when
they are told that the captain is obliged to sustain them, that their
diet at least is worth something, which may probably be now and then
so far the case as to deduct a tenth part from the net profits on this
account; but it was otherwise at present; for when I had contracted with
the captain at a price which I by no means thought moderate, I had some
content in thinking I should have no more to pay for my voyage; but I
was whispered that it was expected the passengers should find themselves
in several things; such as tea, wine, and such like; and particularly
that gentlemen should stow of the latter a much larger quantity than
they could use, in order to leave the remainder as a present to the
captain at the end of the voyage; and it was expected likewise that
gentlemen should put aboard some fresh stores, and the more of such
things were put aboard the welcomer they would be to the captain.

I was prevailed with by these hints to follow the advice proposed; and
accordingly, besides tea and a large hamper of wine, with several hams
and tongues, I caused a number of live chickens and sheep to be conveyed
aboard; in truth, treble the quantity of provisions which would have
supported the persons I took with me, had the voyage continued three
weeks, as it was supposed, with a bare possibility, it might.

Indeed it continued much longer; but as this was occasioned by our being
wind-bound in our own ports, it was by no means of any ill consequence
to the captain, as the additional stores of fish, fresh meat,
butter, bread, &c., which I constantly laid in, greatly exceeded the
consumption, and went some way in maintaining the ship's crew. It is
true I was not obliged to do this; but it seemed to be expected; for the
captain did not think himself obliged to do it, and I can truly say I
soon ceased to expect it of him. He had, I confess, on board a number of
fowls and ducks sufficient for a West India voyage; all of them, as he
often said, "Very fine birds, and of the largest breed." This I believe
was really the fact, and I can add that they were all arrived at the
full perfection of their size. Nor was there, I am convinced, any want
of provisions of a more substantial kind; such as dried beef, pork,
and fish; so that the captain seemed ready to perform his contract,
and amply to provide for his passengers. What I did then was not from
necessity, but, perhaps, from a less excusable motive, and was by no
means chargeable to the account of the captain.

But, let the motive have been what it would, the consequence was still
the same; and this was such that I am firmly persuaded the whole pitiful
thirty pounds came pure and neat into the captain's pocket, and not only
so, but attended with the value of ten pound more in sundries into
the bargain. I must confess myself therefore at a loss how the epithet
PITIFUL came to be annexed to the above sum; for, not being a pitiful
price for what it was given, I cannot conceive it to be pitiful in
itself; nor do I believe it is thought by the greatest men in the
kingdom; none of whom would scruple to search for it in the dirtiest
kennel, where they had only a reasonable hope of success. How,
therefore, such a sum should acquire the idea of pitiful in the eyes
of the master of a ship seems not easy to be accounted for; since it
appears more likely to produce in him ideas of a different kind. Some
men, perhaps, are no more sincere in the contempt for it which they
express than others in their contempt of money in general; and I am the
rather inclined to this persuasion, as I have seldom heard of either
who have refused or refunded this their despised object. Besides, it is
sometimes impossible to believe these professions, as every action of
the man's life is a contradiction to it. Who can believe a tradesman who
says he would not tell his name for the profit he gets by the selling
such a parcel of goods, when he hath told a thousand lies in order to
get it? Pitiful, indeed, is often applied to an object not absolutely,
but comparatively with our expectations, or with a greater object: in
which sense it is not easy to set any bounds to the use of the word.
Thus, a handful of halfpence daily appear pitiful to a porter, and a
handful of silver to a drawer. The latter, I am convinced, at a polite
tavern, will not tell his name (for he will not give you any answer)
under the price of gold. And in this sense thirty pound may be accounted
pitiful by the lowest mechanic.

One difficulty only seems to occur, and that is this: how comes it that,
if the profits of the meanest arts are so considerable, the professors
of them are not richer than we generally see them? One answer to this
shall suffice. Men do not become rich by what they get, but by what they
keep. He who is worth no more than his annual wages or salary, spends
the whole; he will be always a beggar let his income be what it will,
and so will be his family when he dies. This we see daily to be the case
of ecclesiastics, who, during their lives, are extremely well provided
for, only because they desire to maintain the honor of the cloth by
living like gentlemen, which would, perhaps, be better maintained by
living unlike them.

But, to return from so long a digression, to which the use of so
improper an epithet gave occasion, and to which the novelty of the
subject allured, I will make the reader amends by concisely telling
him that the captain poured forth such a torrent of abuse that I very
hastily and very foolishly resolved to quit the ship.

I gave immediate orders to summon a hoy to carry me that evening to
Dartmouth, without considering any consequence. Those orders I gave in
no very low voice, so that those above stairs might possibly conceive
there was more than one master in the cabin. In the same tone I likewise
threatened the captain with that which, he afterwards said, he feared
more than any rock or quicksand. Nor can we wonder at this when we are
told he had been twice obliged to bring to and cast anchor there before,
and had neither time escaped without the loss of almost his whole cargo.

The most distant sound of law thus frightened a man who had often, I am
convinced, heard numbers of cannon roar round him with intrepidity. Nor
did he sooner see the hoy approaching the vessel than he ran down again
into the cabin, and, his rage being perfectly subsided, he tumbled on
his knees, and a little too abjectly implored for mercy.

I did not suffer a brave man and an old man to remain a moment in this
posture, but I immediately forgave him.

And here, that I may not be thought the sly trumpeter of my own praises,
I do utterly disclaim all praise on the occasion. Neither did the
greatness of my mind dictate, nor the force of my Christianity exact,
this forgiveness. To speak truth, I forgave him from a motive which
would make men much more forgiving if they were much wiser than they
are, because it was convenient for me so to do.

Wednesday.--This morning the captain dressed himself in scarlet in order
to pay a visit to a Devonshire squire, to whom a captain of a ship is a
guest of no ordinary consequence, as he is a stranger and a gentleman,
who hath seen a great deal of the world in foreign parts, and knows all
the news of the times.

The squire, therefore, was to send his boat for the captain, but a most
unfortunate accident happened; for, as the wind was extremely rough and
against the hoy, while this was endeavoring to avail itself of great
seamanship in hauling up against the wind, a sudden squall carried off
sail and yard, or at least so disabled them that they were no longer of
any use and unable to reach the ship; but the captain, from the deck,
saw his hopes of venison disappointed, and was forced either to stay on
board his ship, or to hoist forth his own long-boat, which he could not
prevail with himself to think of, though the smell of the venison had
had twenty times its attraction. He did, indeed, love his ship as his
wife, and his boats as children, and never willingly trusted the latter,
poor things! to the dangers of the sea.

To say truth, notwithstanding the strict rigor with which he preserved
the dignity of his stations and the hasty impatience with which he
resented any affront to his person or orders, disobedience to which he
could in no instance brook in any person on board, he was one of
the best natured fellows alive. He acted the part of a father to his
sailors; he expressed great tenderness for any of them when ill, and
never suffered any the least work of supererogation to go unrewarded by
a glass of gin. He even extended his humanity, if I may so call it,
to animals, and even his cats and kittens had large shares in his

An instance of which we saw this evening, when the cat, which had shown
it could not be drowned, was found suffocated under a feather-bed in
the cabin. I will not endeavor to describe his lamentations with more
prolixity than barely by saying they were grievous, and seemed to have
some mixture of the Irish howl in them. Nay, he carried his fondness
even to inanimate objects, of which we have above set down a pregnant
example in his demonstration of love and tenderness towards his boats
and ship. He spoke of a ship which he had commanded formerly, and which
was long since no more, which he had called the Princess of Brazil, as a
widower of a deceased wife. This ship, after having followed the honest
business of carrying goods and passengers for hire many years, did at
last take to evil courses and turn privateer, in which service, to use
his own words, she received many dreadful wounds, which he himself had
felt as if they had been his own.

Thursday.--As the wind did not yesterday discover any purpose of
shifting, and the water in my belly grew troublesome and rendered me
short-breathed, I began a second time to have apprehensions of wanting
the assistance of a trochar when none was to be found; I therefore
concluded to be tapped again by way of precaution, and accordingly I
this morning summoned on board a surgeon from a neighboring parish, one
whom the captain greatly recommended, and who did indeed perform his
office with much dexterity. He was, I believe, likewise a man of great
judgment and knowledge in the profession; but of this I cannot speak
with perfect certainty, for, when he was going to open on the dropsy
at large and on the particular degree of the distemper under which I
labored, I was obliged to stop him short, for the wind was changed, and
the captain in the utmost hurry to depart; and to desire him, instead
of his opinion, to assist me with his execution. I was now once more
delivered from my burden, which was not indeed so great as I had
apprehended, wanting two quarts of what was let out at the last

While the surgeon was drawing away my water the sailors were drawing up
the anchor; both were finished at the same time; we unfurled our sails
and soon passed the Berry-head, which forms the mouth of the bay.

We had not however sailed far when the wind, which, had though with a
slow pace, kept us company about six miles, suddenly turned about, and
offered to conduct us back again; a favor which, though sorely against
the grain, we were obliged to accept.

Nothing remarkable happened this day; for as to the firm persuasion
of the captain that he was under the spell of witchcraft, I would not
repeat it too often, though indeed he repeated it an hundred times every
day; in truth, he talked of nothing else, and seemed not only to be
satisfied in general of his being bewitched, but actually to have fixed
with good certainty on the person of the witch, whom, had he lived in
the days of Sir Matthew Hale, he would have infallibly indicted, and
very possibly have hanged, for the detestable sin of witchcraft; but
that law, and the whole doctrine that supported it, are now out of
fashion; and witches, as a learned divine once chose to express himself,
are put down by act of parliament. This witch, in the captain's opinion,
was no other than Mrs. Francis of Ryde, who, as he insinuated, out of
anger to me for not spending more money in her house than she could
produce anything to exchange for, or ally pretense to charge for, had
laid this spell on his ship.

Though we were again got near our harbor by three in the afternoon, yet
it seemed to require a full hour or more before we could come to our
former place of anchoring, or berth, as the captain called it. On this
occasion we exemplified one of the few advantages which the travelers by
water have over the travelers by land. What would the latter often give
for the sight of one of those hospitable mansions where he is assured
consequently promise themselves to assuage that hunger which exercise is
so sure to raise in a healthy constitution.

At their arrival at this mansion how much happier is the state of the
horse than that of the master! The former is immediately led to
his repast, such as it is, and, whatever it is, he falls to it with
appetite. But the latter is in a much worse situation. His hunger,
however violent, is always in some degree delicate, and his food
must have some kind of ornament, or, as the more usual phrase is,
of dressing, to recommend it. Now all dressing requires time, and
therefore, though perhaps the sheep might be just killed before you
came to the inn, yet in cutting him up, fetching the joint, which the
landlord by mistake said he had in the house, from the butcher at two
miles' distance, and afterwards warming it a little by the fire, two
hours at least must be consumed, while hunger, for want of better food,
preys all the time on the vitals of the man.

How different was the case with us! we carried our provision, our
kitchen, and our cook with us, and we were at one and the same time
traveling on our road, and sitting down to a repast of fish, with which
the greatest table in London can scarce at any rate be supplied.

Friday.--As we were disappointed of our wind, and obliged to return back
the preceding evening, we resolved to extract all the good we could out
of our misfortune, and to add considerably to our fresh stores of
meat and bread, with which we were very indifferently provided when we
hurried away yesterday. By the captain's advice we likewise laid in some
stores of butter, which we salted and potted ourselves, for our use at
Lisbon, and we had great reason afterwards to thank him for his advice.

In the afternoon I persuaded my wife whom it was no easy matter for
me to force from my side, to take a walk on shore, whither the gallant
captain declared he was ready to attend her. Accordingly the ladies
set out, and left me to enjoy a sweet and comfortable nap after the
operation of the preceding day.

Thus we enjoyed our separate pleasures full three hours, when we met
again, and my wife gave the foregoing account of the gentleman whom I
have before compared to Axylus, and of his habitation, to both which she
had been introduced by the captain, in the style of an old friend and
acquaintance, though this foundation of intimacy seemed to her to be no
deeper laid than in an accidental dinner, eaten many years before, at
this temple of hospitality, when the captain lay wind-bound in the same

Saturday.--Early this morning the wind seemed inclined to change in our
favor. Our alert captain snatched its very first motion, and got under
sail with so very gentle a breeze that, as the tide was against him, he
recommended to a fishing boy to bring after him a vast salmon and some
other provisions which lay ready for him on shore.

Our anchor was up at six, and before nine in the morning we had doubled
the Berry-head, and were arrived off Dartmouth, having gone full three
miles in as many hours, in direct opposition to the tide, which only
befriended us out of our harbor; and though the wind was perhaps our
friend, it was so very silent, and exerted itself so little in our
favor, that, like some cool partisans, it was difficult to say whether
it was with us or against us. The captain, however, declared the former
to be the case during the whole three hours; but at last he perceived
his error, or rather, perhaps, this friend, which had hitherto wavered
in choosing his side, became now more determined. The captain then
suddenly tacked about, and, asserting that he was bewitched, submitted
to return to the place from whence he came. Now, though I am as free
from superstition as any man breathing, and never did believe in
witches, notwithstanding all the excellent arguments of my lord
chief-justice Hale in their favor, and long before they were put down by
act of parliament, yet by what power a ship of burden should sail three
miles against both wind and tide, I cannot conceive, unless there was
some supernatural interposition in the case; nay, could we admit that
the wind stood neuter, the difficulty would still remain. So that
we must of necessity conclude that the ship was either bewinded or
bewitched. The captain, perhaps, had another meaning. He imagined
himself, I believe, bewitched, because the wind, instead of persevering
in its change in his favor, for change it certainly did that morning,
should suddenly return to its favorite station, and blow him back
towards the bay. But, if this was his opinion, he soon saw cause to
alter; for he had not measured half the way back when the wind again
declared in his favor, and so loudly, that there was no possibility of
being mistaken. The orders for the second tack were given, and obeyed
with much more alacrity than those had been for the first. We were all
of us indeed in high spirits on the occasion; though some of us a little
regretted the good things we were likely to leave behind us by the
fisherman's neglect; I might give it a worse name, for he faithfully
promised to execute the commission, which he had had abundant
opportunity to do; but nautica fides deserves as much to be proverbial
as ever Punica fides could formerly have done. Nay, when we consider
that the Carthaginians came from the Phoenicians who are supposed to have
produced the first mariners, we may probably see the true reason of
the adage, and it may open a field of very curious discoveries to the

We were, however, too eager to pursue our voyage to suffer anything we
left behind us to interrupt our happiness, which, indeed, many agreeable
circumstances conspired to advance. The weather was inexpressibly
pleasant, and we were all seated on the deck, when our canvas began to
swell with the wind. We had likewise in our view above thirty other sail
around us, all in the same situation. Here an observation occurred to
me, which, perhaps, though extremely obvious, did not offer itself
to every individual in our little fleet: when I perceived with what
different success we proceeded under the influence of a superior power
which, while we lay almost idle ourselves, pushed us forward on our
intended voyage, and compared this with the slow progress which we had
made in the morning, of ourselves, and without any such assistance,
I could not help reflecting how often the greatest abilities lie
wind-bound as it were in life; or, if they venture out and attempt to
beat the seas, they struggle in vain against wind and tide, and, if they
have not sufficient prudence to put back, are most probably cast away on
the rocks and quicksands which are every day ready to devour them.

It was now our fortune to set out melioribus avibus. The wind freshened
so briskly in our poop that the shore appeared to move from us as fast
as we did from the shore. The captain declared he was sure of a wind,
meaning its continuance; but he had disappointed us so often that he had
lost all credit. However, he kept his word a little better now, and we
lost sight of our native land as joyfully, at least, as it is usual to
regain it.

Sunday.--The next morning the captain told me he thought himself thirty
miles to the westward of Plymouth, and before evening declared that the
Lizard Point, which is the extremity of Cornwall, bore several leagues
to leeward. Nothing remarkable passed this day, except the captain's
devotion, who, in his own phrase, summoned all hands to prayers, which
were read by a common sailor upon deck, with more devout force and
address than they are commonly read by a country curate, and received
with more decency and attention by the sailors than are usually
preserved in city congregations. I am indeed assured, that if any such
affected disregard of the solemn office in which they were engaged, as
I have seen practiced by fine gentlemen and ladies, expressing a kind of
apprehension lest they should be suspected of being really in earnest
in their devotion, had been shown here, they would have contracted the
contempt of the whole audience. To say the truth, from what I observed
in the behavior of the sailors in this voyage, and on comparing it with
what I have formerly seen of them at sea and on shore, I am convinced
that on land there is nothing more idle and dissolute; in their own
element there are no persons near the level of their degree who live in
the constant practice of half so many good qualities.

They are, for much the greater part, perfect masters of their business,
and always extremely alert, and ready in executing it, without any
regard to fatigue or hazard. The soldiers themselves are not better
disciplined nor more obedient to orders than these whilst aboard;
they submit to every difficulty which attends their calling with
cheerfulness, and no less virtues and patience and fortitude are
exercised by them every day of their lives. All these good qualities,
however, they always leave behind them on shipboard; the sailor out of
water is, indeed, as wretched an animal as the fish out of water; for
though the former hath, in common with amphibious animals, the bare
power of existing on the land, yet if he be kept there any time he never
fails to become a nuisance. The ship having had a good deal of motion
since she was last under sail, our women returned to their sickness, and
I to my solitude; having, for twenty-four hours together, scarce opened
my lips to a single person. This circumstance of being shut up within
the circumference of a few yards, with a score of human creatures, with
not one of whom it was possible to converse, was perhaps so rare as
scarce ever to have happened before, nor could it ever happen to one
who disliked it more than myself, or to myself at a season when I wanted
more food for my social disposition, or could converse less wholesomely
and happily with my own thoughts. To this accident, which fortune opened
to me in the Downs, was owing the first serious thought which I ever
entertained of enrolling myself among the voyage-writers; some of the
most amusing pages, if, indeed, there be any which deserve that name,
were possibly the production of the most disagreeable hours which ever
haunted the author.

Monday.--At noon the captain took an observation, by which it appeared
that Ushant bore some leagues northward of us, and that we were just
entering the bay of Biscay. We had advanced a very few miles in this bay
before we were entirely becalmed: we furled our sails, as being of
no use to us while we lay in this most disagreeable situation, more
detested by the sailors than the most violent tempest: we were alarmed
with the loss of a fine piece of salt beef, which had been hung in
the sea to freshen it; this being, it seems, the strange property
of salt-water. The thief was immediately suspected, and presently
afterwards taken by the sailors. He was, indeed, no other than a huge
shark, who, not knowing when he was well off, swallowed another piece
of beef, together with a great iron crook on which it was hung, and by
which he was dragged into the ship. I should scarce have mentioned the
catching this shark, though so exactly conformable to the rules and
practice of voyage-writing, had it not been for a strange circumstance
that attended it. This was the recovery of the stolen beef out of the
shark's maw, where it lay unchewed and undigested, and whence, being
conveyed into the pot, the flesh, and the thief that had stolen it,
joined together in furnishing variety to the ship's crew.

During this calm we likewise found the mast of a large vessel, which the
captain thought had lain at least three years in the sea. It was stuck
all over with a little shell-fish or reptile, called a barnacle, and
which probably are the prey of the rockfish, as our captain calls it,
asserting that it is the finest fish in the world; for which we are
obliged to confide entirely to his taste; for, though he struck the fish
with a kind of harping-iron, and wounded him, I am convinced, to death,
yet he could not possess himself of his body; but the poor wretch
escaped to linger out a few hours with probably great torments.

In the evening our wind returned, and so briskly, that we ran upwards
of twenty leagues before the next day's [Tuesday's] observation, which
brought us to lat. 47 degrees 42'. The captain promised us a very speedy
passage through the bay; but he deceived us, or the wind deceived him,
for it so slackened at sunset, that it scarce carried us a mile in an
hour during the whole succeeding night.

Wednesday.--A gale struck up a little after sunrising, which carried us
between three and four knots or miles an hour. We were this day at noon
about the middle of the bay of Biscay, when the wind once more deserted
us, and we were so entirely becalmed, that we did not advance a mile in
many hours. My fresh-water reader will perhaps conceive no unpleasant
idea from this calm; but it affected us much more than a storm could
have done; for, as the irascible passions of men are apt to swell with
indignation long after the injury which first raised them is over, so
fared it with the sea. It rose mountains high, and lifted our poor ship
up and down, backwards and forwards, with so violent an emotion, that
there was scarce a man in the ship better able to stand than myself.
Every utensil in our cabin rolled up and down, as we should have rolled
ourselves, had not our chairs been fast lashed to the floor. In this
situation, with our tables likewise fastened by ropes, the captain and
myself took our meal with some difficulty, and swallowed a little of our
broth, for we spilt much the greater part. The remainder of our dinner
being an old, lean, tame duck roasted, I regretted but little the loss
of, my teeth not being good enough to have chewed it.

Our women, who began to creep out of their holes in the morning, retired
again within the cabin to their beds, and were no more heard of this
day, in which my whole comfort was to find by the captain's relation
that the swelling was sometimes much worse; he did, indeed, take this
occasion to be more communicative than ever, and informed me of such
misadventures that had befallen him within forty-six years at sea as
might frighten a very bold spirit from undertaking even the shortest
voyage. Were these, indeed, but universally known, our matrons of
quality would possibly be deterred from venturing their tender offspring
at sea; by which means our navy would lose the honor of many a young
commodore, who at twenty-two is better versed in maritime affairs than
real seamen are made by experience at sixty. And this may, perhaps,
appear the more extraordinary, as the education of both seems to be
pretty much the same; neither of them having had their courage tried by
Virgil's description of a storm, in which, inspired as he was, I doubt
whether our captain doth not exceed him. In the evening the wind, which
continued in the N.W., again freshened, and that so briskly that Cape
Finisterre appeared by this day's observation to bear a few miles to the
southward. We now indeed sailed, or rather flew, near ten knots an hour;
and the captain, in the redundancy of his good-humor, declared he would
go to church at Lisbon on Sunday next, for that he was sure of a
wind; and, indeed, we all firmly believed him. But the event again
contradicted him; for we were again visited by a calm in the evening.

But here, though our voyage was retarded, we were entertained with a
scene, which as no one can behold without going to sea, so no one can
form an idea of anything equal to it on shore. We were seated on the
deck, women and all, in the serenest evening that can be imagined. Not
a single cloud presented itself to our view, and the sun himself was the
only object which engrossed our whole attention. He did indeed set
with a majesty which is incapable of description, with which, while
the horizon was yet blazing with glory, our eyes were called off to the
opposite part to survey the moon, which was then at full, and which in
rising presented us with the second object that this world hath offered
to our vision. Compared to these the pageantry of theaters, or splendor
of courts, are sights almost below the regard of children. We did
not return from the deck till late in the evening; the weather being
inexpressibly pleasant, and so warm that even my old distemper perceived
the alteration of the climate. There was indeed a swell, but nothing
comparable to what we had felt before, and it affected us on the deck
much less than in the cabin.

Friday.--The calm continued till sun-rising, when the wind likewise
arose, but unluckily for us it came from a wrong quarter; it was S.S.E.,
which is that very wind which Juno would have solicited of Aeolus, had
Gneas been in our latitude bound for Lisbon.

The captain now put on his most melancholy aspect, and resumed his
former opinion that he was bewitched. He declared with great solemnity
that this was worse and worse, for that a wind directly in his teeth
was worse than no wind at all. Had we pursued the course which the wind
persuaded us to take we had gone directly for Newfoundland, if we had
not fallen in with Ireland in our way. Two ways remained to avoid
this; one was to put into a port of Galicia; the other, to beat to the
westward with as little sail as possible: and this was our captain's

As for us, poor passengers, any port would have been welcome to us;
especially, as not only our fresh provisions, except a great number of
old ducks and fowls, but even our bread was come to an end, and nothing
but sea-biscuit remained, which I could not chew. So that now for the
first time in my life I saw what it was to want a bit of bread.

The wind however was not so unkind as we had apprehended; but, having
declined with the sun, it changed at the approach of the moon, and
became again favorable to us, though so gentle that the next day's
observation carried us very little to the southward of Cape Finisterre.
This evening at six the wind, which had been very quiet all day, rose
very high, and continuing in our favor drove us seven knots an hour.

This day we saw a sail, the only one, as I heard of, we had seen in
our whole passage through the bay. I mention this on account of what
appeared to me somewhat extraordinary. Though she was at such a distance
that I could only perceive she was a ship, the sailors discovered that
she was a snow, bound to a port in Galicia.

Sunday.--After prayers, which our good captain read on the deck with
an audible voice, and with but one mistake, of a lion for Elias, in
the second lesson for this day, we found ourselves far advanced in 42
degrees, and the captain declared we should sup off Porte. We had not
much wind this day; but, as this was directly in our favor, we made it
up with sail, of which we crowded all we had. We went only at the rate
of four miles an hour, but with so uneasy a motion, continuing rolling
from side to side, that I suffered more than I had done in our whole
voyage; my bowels being almost twisted out of my belly. However, the day
was very serene and bright, and the captain, who was in high spirits,
affirmed he had never passed a pleasanter at sea.

The wind continued so brisk that we ran upward of six knots an hour the
whole night.

Monday.--In the morning our captain concluded that he was got into
lat. 40 degrees, and was very little short of the Burlings, as they are
called in the charts. We came up with them at five in the afternoon,
being the first land we had distinctly seen since we left Devonshire.
They consist of abundance of little rocky islands, a little distant from
the shore, three of them only showing themselves above the water.

Here the Portuguese maintain a kind of garrison, if we may allow it that
name. It consists of malefactors, who are banished hither for a term,
for divers small offenses--a policy which they may have copied from
the Egyptians, as we may read in Diodorus Siculus. That wise people, to
prevent the corruption of good manners by evil communication, built a
town on the Red Sea, whither they transported a great number of their
criminals, having first set an indelible mark on them, to prevent their
returning and mixing with the sober part of their citizens. These
rocks lie about fifteen leagues northwest of Cape Roxent, or, as it
is commonly called, the Rock of Lisbon, which we passed early the next
morning. The wind, indeed, would have carried us thither sooner; but the
captain was not in a hurry, as he was to lose nothing by his delay.

Tuesday.--This is a very high mountain, situated on the northern side of
the mouth of the river Tajo, which, rising about Madrid, in Spain, and
soon becoming navigable for small craft, empties itself, after a long
course, into the sea, about four leagues below Lisbon.

On the summit of the rock stands a hermitage, which is now in the
possession of an Englishman, who was formerly master of a vessel trading
to Lisbon; and, having changed his religion and his manners, the latter
of which, at least, were none of the best, betook himself to this
place, in order to do penance for his sins. He is now very old, and hath
inhabited this hermitage for a great number of years, during which he
hath received some countenance from the royal family, and particularly
from the present queen dowager, whose piety refuses no trouble or
expense by which she may make a proselyte, being used to say that the
saving one soul would repay all the endeavors of her life. Here we
waited for the tide, and had the pleasure of surveying the face of the
country, the soil of which, at this season, exactly resembles an
old brick-kiln, or a field where the green sward is pared up and set
a-burning, or rather a smoking, in little heaps to manure the land. This
sight will, perhaps, of all others, make an Englishman proud of, and
pleased with, his own country, which in verdure excels, I believe,
every other country. Another deficiency here is the want of large trees,
nothing above a shrub being here to be discovered in the circumference
of many miles.

At this place we took a pilot on board, who, being the first Portuguese
we spoke to, gave us an instance of that religious observance which is
paid by all nations to their laws; for, whereas it is here a capital
offense to assist any person in going on shore from a foreign vessel
before it hath been examined, and every person in it viewed by the
magistrates of health, as they are called, this worthy pilot, for a very
small reward, rowed the Portuguese priest to shore at this place, beyond
which he did not dare to advance, and in venturing whither he had given
sufficient testimony of love for his native country.

We did not enter the Tajo till noon, when, after passing several old
castles and other buildings which had greatly the aspect of ruins, we
came to the castle of Bellisle, where we had a full prospect of Lisbon,
and were, indeed, within three miles of it.

Here we were saluted with a gun, which was a signal to pass no farther
till we had complied with certain ceremonies which the laws of this
country require to be observed by all ships which arrive in this port.
We were obliged then to cast anchor, and expect the arrival of the
officers of the customs, without whose passport no ship must proceed
farther than this place.

Here likewise we received a visit from one of those magistrates of
health before mentioned. He refused to come on board the ship till every
person in her had been drawn up on deck and personally viewed by him.
This occasioned some delay on my part, as it was not the work of a
minute to lift me from the cabin to the deck. The captain thought my
particular case might have been excused from this ceremony, and that
it would be abundantly sufficient if the magistrate, who was obliged
afterwards to visit the cabin, surveyed me there. But this did not
satisfy the magistrate's strict regard to his duty. When he was told
of my lameness, he called out, with a voice of authority, "Let him
be brought up," and his orders were presently complied with. He was,
indeed, a person of great dignity, as well as of the most exact fidelity
in the discharge of his trust. Both which are the more admirable as his
salary is less than thirty pounds English per annum.

Before a ship hath been visited by one of those magistrates no person
can lawfully go on board her, nor can any on board depart from her. This
I saw exemplified in a remarkable instance. The young lad whom I have
mentioned as one of our passengers was here met by his father, who, on
the first news of the captain's arrival, came from Lisbon to Bellisle
in a boat, being eager to embrace a son whom he had not seen for many
years. But when he came alongside our ship neither did the father dare
ascend nor the son descend, as the magistrate of health had not yet been
on board. Some of our readers will, perhaps, admire the great caution of
this policy, so nicely calculated for the preservation of this country
from all pestilential distempers. Others will as probably regard it as
too exact and formal to be constantly persisted in, in seasons of the
utmost safety, as well as in times of danger. I will not decide either
way, but will content myself with observing that I never yet saw or
heard of a place where a traveler had so much trouble given him at his
landing as here. The only use of which, as all such matters begin and
end in form only, is to put it into the power of low and mean fellows
to be either rudely officious or grossly corrupt, as they shall see
occasion to prefer the gratification of their pride or of their avarice.

Of this kind, likewise, is that power which is lodged with other
officers here, of taking away every grain of snuff and every leaf
of tobacco brought hither from other countries, though only for the
temporary use of the person during his residence here. This is executed
with great insolence, and, as it is in the hands of the dregs of the
people, very scandalously; for, under pretense of searching for tobacco
and snuff, they are sure to steal whatever they can find, insomuch that
when they came on board our sailors addressed us in the Covent-garden
language: "Pray, gentlemen and ladies, take care of your swords and
watches." Indeed, I never yet saw anything equal to the contempt and
hatred which our honest tars every moment expressed for these Portuguese

At Bellisle lies buried Catharine of Arragon, widow of prince Arthur,
eldest son of our Henry VII, afterwards married to, and divorced from
Henry VIII. Close by the church where her remains are deposited is
a large convent of Geronymites, one of the most beautiful piles of
building in all Portugal.

In the evening, at twelve, our ship, having received previous visits
from all the necessary parties, took the advantage of the tide, and
having sailed up to Lisbon cast anchor there, in a calm and moonshiny
night, which made the passage incredibly pleasant to the women, who
remained three hours enjoying it, whilst I was left to the cooler
transports of enjoying their pleasures at second-hand; and yet, cooler
as they may be, whoever is totally ignorant of such sensation is, at the
same time, void of all ideas of friendship.

Wednesday.--Lisbon, before which we now lay at anchor, is said to be
built on the same number of hills with old Rome; but these do not all
appear to the water; on the contrary, one sees from thence one vast high
hill and rock, with buildings arising above one another, and that in so
steep and almost perpendicular a manner, that they all seem to have but
one foundation.

As the houses, convents, churches, &c., are large, and all built with
white stone, they look very beautiful at a distance; but as you approach
nearer, and find them to want every kind of ornament, all idea of beauty
vanishes at once. While I was surveying the prospect of this city,
which bears so little resemblance to any other that I have ever seen, a
reflection occurred to me that, if a man was suddenly to be removed from
Palmyra hither, and should take a view of no other city, in how
glorious a light would the ancient architecture appear to him! and what
desolation and destruction of arts and sciences would he conclude had
happened between the several eras of these cities!

I had now waited full three hours upon deck for the return of my man,
whom I had sent to bespeak a good dinner (a thing which had been long
unknown to me) on shore, and then to bring a Lisbon chaise with him to
the seashore; but it seems the impertinence of the providore was not yet
brought to a conclusion. At three o'clock, when I was from emptiness,
rather faint than hungry, my man returned, and told me there was a new
law lately made that no passenger should set his foot on shore without
a special order from the providore, and that he himself would have
been sent to prison for disobeying it, had he not been protected as the
servant of the captain. He informed me likewise that the captain had
been very industrious to get this order, but that it was then the
providore's hour of sleep, a time when no man, except the king himself,
durst disturb him.

To avoid prolixity, though in a part of my narrative which may be more
agreeable to my reader than it was to me, the providore, having at last
finished his nap, dispatched this absurd matter of form, and gave me
leave to come, or rather to be carried, on shore.

What it was that gave the first hint of this strange law is not easy
to guess. Possibly, in the infancy of their defection, and before their
government could be well established, they were willing to guard
against the bare possibility of surprise, of the success of which bare
possibility the Trojan horse will remain for ever on record, as a great
and memorable example. Now the Portuguese have no walls to secure them,
and a vessel of two or three hundred tons will contain a much larger
body of troops than could be concealed in that famous machine, though
Virgil tells us (somewhat hyperbolically, I believe) that it was as big
as a mountain.

About seven in the evening I got into a chaise on shore, and was driven
through the nastiest city in the world, though at the same time one of
the most populous, to a kind of coffee-house, which is very pleasantly
situated on the brow of a hill, about a mile from the city, and hath
a very fine prospect of the river Tajo from Lisbon to the sea. Here we
regaled ourselves with a good supper, for which we were as well charged
as if the bill had been made on the Bath-road, between Newbury and

And now we could joyfully say,

     Egressi optata Troes potiuntur arena.

Therefore, in the words of Horace,

     --hie Finis chartaeque viaeque.

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