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´╗┐Title: The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
Author: Smollett, T. (Tobias), 1721-1771
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle" ***

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THE ADVENTURES OF PEREGRINE PICKLE

In which are included Memoirs of a Lady of Quality


By Tobias Smollett



VOLUME I.



CHAPTER I.



An Account of Mr. Gamaliel Pickle--The Disposition of his Sister
described--He yields to her Solicitations, and returns to the Country.


In a certain county of England, bounded on one side by the sea, and at
the distance of one hundred miles from the metropolis, lived Gamaliel
Pickle, esq.; the father of that hero whose fortunes we propose to
record. He was the son of a merchant in London, who, like Rome, from
small beginnings had raised himself to the highest honours of the city,
and acquired a plentiful fortune, though, to his infinite regret, he
died before it amounted to a plum, conjuring his son, as he respected
the last injunction of a parent, to imitate his industry, and adhere to
his maxims, until he should have made up the deficiency, which was a sum
considerably less than fifteen thousand pounds.

This pathetic remonstrance had the desired effect upon his
representative, who spared no pains to fulfil the request of the
deceased: but exerted all the capacity with which nature had endowed
him, in a series of efforts, which, however, did not succeed; for by the
time he had been fifteen years in trade, he found himself five thousand
pounds worse than he was when he first took possession of his father's
effects; a circumstance that affected him so nearly, as to detach his
inclinations from business, and induce him to retire from the world to
some place where he might at leisure deplore his misfortunes, and, by
frugality, secure himself from want, and the apprehensions of a jail,
with which his imagination was incessantly haunted. He was often heard
to express his fears of coming upon the parish; and to bless God, that,
on account of his having been so long a housekeeper, he was entitled
to that provision. In short, his talents were not naturally active, and
there was a sort of inconsistency in his character; for, with all the
desire of amassing which any citizen could possibly entertain, he was
encumbered by a certain indolence and sluggishness that prevailed over
every interested consideration, and even hindered him from profiting by
that singleness of apprehension, and moderation of appetites, which have
so frequently conduced to the acquisition of immense fortunes;
qualities which he possessed in a very remarkable degree. Nature, in all
probability, had mixed little or nothing inflammable in his composition;
or, whatever seeds of excess she might have sown within him, were
effectually stifled and destroyed by the austerity of his education.

The sallies of his youth, far from being inordinate or criminal, never
exceeded the bounds of that decent jollity which an extraordinary pot,
on extraordinary occasions, may be supposed to have produced in a club
of sedate book-keepers, whose imaginations were neither very warm nor
luxuriant. Little subject to refined sensations, he was scarce ever
disturbed with violent emotions of any kind. The passion of love never
interrupted his tranquility; and if, as Mr. Creech says, after Horace,

    Not to admire is all the art I know;
    To make men happy, and to keep them so;

Mr. Pickle was undoubtedly possessed of that invaluable secret; at
least, he was never known to betray the faintest symptom of transport,
except one evening at the club, where he observed, with some
demonstrations of vivacity, that he had dined upon a delicate loin of
veal.

Notwithstanding this appearance of phlegm, he could not help feeling his
disappointments in trade; and upon the failure of a certain underwriter,
by which he lost five hundred pounds, declared his design of
relinquishing business, and retiring to the country. In this resolution
he was comforted and encouraged by his only sister, Mrs. Grizzle, who
had managed his family since the death of his father, and was now in
the thirtieth year of her maidenhood, with a fortune of five thousand
pounds, and a large stock of economy and devotion.

These qualifications, one would think, might have been the means of
abridging the term of her celibacy, as she never expressed any aversion
to wedlock; but, it seems, she was too delicate in her choice, to find
a mate to her inclination in the city: for I cannot suppose that she
remained so long unsolicited; though the charms of her person were
not altogether enchanting, nor her manner over and above agreeable.
Exclusive of a very wan (not to call it sallow) complexion, which,
perhaps, was the effects of her virginity and mortification, she had
a cast in her eyes that was not at all engaging; and such an extent of
mouth, as no art or affectation could contract into any proportionable
dimension; then her piety was rather peevish than resigned, and did
not in the least diminish a certain stateliness in her demeanour and
conversation, that delighted in communicating the importance and honour
of her family, which, by the bye, was not to be traced two generations
back by all the power of heraldry or tradition.

She seemed to have renounced all the ideas she had acquired before her
father served the office of sheriff; and the eye which regulated the
dates of all her observation, was the mayoralty of her papa. Nay, so
solicitous was this good lady for the support and propagation of the
family name, that, suppressing every selfish motive, she actually
prevailed upon her brother to combat with his own disposition, and
even surmount it so far, as to declare a passion for the person whom he
afterwards wedded, as we shall see in the sequel. Indeed, she was the
spur that instigated him in all his extraordinary undertakings; and I
question, whether he would or not have been able to disengage himself
from that course of life in which he had so long mechanically moved,
unless he had been roused and actuated by her incessant exhortations.
London, she observed, was a receptacle of iniquity, where an honest,
unsuspecting man was every day in danger of falling a sacrifice to
craft; where innocence was exposed to continual temptations, and virtue
eternally persecuted by malice and slander; where everything was ruled
by caprice and corruption, and merit utterly discouraged and despised.
This last imputation she pronounced with such emphasis and chagrin, as
plainly denoted how far she considered herself as an example of what she
advanced; and really the charge was justified by the constructions that
were put upon her retreat by her female friends, who, far from imputing
it to the laudable motives that induced her, insinuated, in sarcastic
commendations, that she had good reason to be dissatisfied with a place
where she had been so overlooked; and that it was certainly her
wisest course to make her last effort in the country, where, in all
probability, her talents would be less eclipsed, and her fortune more
attractive.

Be this as it will, her admonitions, though they were powerful enough to
convince, would have been insufficient to overcome the languor and
vis inertiae of her brother, had she not reinforced her arguments, by
calling in question the credit of two or three merchants, with whom he
was embarked in trade.

Alarmed at these hints of intelligence, he exerted himself effectually;
he withdrew his money from trade, and laying it out in Bank-stock, and
India-bonds, removed to a house in the country, which his father had
built near the sea-side, for the convenience of carrying on a certain
branch of traffic in which he had been deeply concerned.

Here then Mr. Pickle fixed his habitation for life, in the
six-and-thirtieth year of his age; and though the pangs he felt at
parting with his intimate companions, and quitting all his former
connections, were not quite so keen as to produce any dangerous disorder
in his constitution, he did not fail to be extremely disconcerted at his
first entrance into a scene of life to which he was totally a stranger.
Not but that he met with abundance of people in the country, who, in
consideration of his fortune, courted his acquaintance, and breathed
nothing but friendship and hospitality; yet, even the trouble of
receiving and returning these civilities was an intolerable fatigue to
a man of his habits and disposition. He therefore left the care of
the ceremonial to his sister, who indulged herself in all the pride of
formality; while he himself, having made a discovery of a public-house
in the neighbourhood, went thither every evening and enjoyed his pipe
and can; being very well satisfied with the behaviour of the landlord,
whose communicative temper was a great comfort to his own taciturnity;
for he shunned all superfluity of speech, as much as he avoided any
other unnecessary expense.



CHAPTER II.


He is made acquainted with the Characters of Commodore Trunnion and his
Adherents--Meets with them by Accident, and contracts an Intimacy with
that Commander.


This loquacious publican soon gave him sketches of all the characters
in the county; and, among others, described that of his next neighbour,
Commodore Trunnion, which was altogether singular and odd. "The
commodore and your worship," said he, "will in a short time be hand and
glove, he has a power of money, and spends it like a prince--that is, in
his own way--for to be sure he is a little humorsome, as the saying is,
and swears woundily; though I'll be sworn he means no more harm than a
sucking babe. Lord help us! it will do your honour's heart good to hear
him tell a story, as how he lay alongside of the French, yard-arm and
yard-arm, board and board, and of heaving grapplings, and stink-pots,
and grapes, and round and double-headed partridges, crows and carters.
Lord have mercy upon us! he has been a great warrior in his time, and
lost an eye and a heel in the service. Then he does not live like any
other Christian land-man; but keeps garrison in his house, as if he
were in the midst of his enemies, and makes his servants turn out in
the night, watch and watch as he calls it, all the year round. His
habitation is defended by a ditch, over which he has laid a draw-bridge,
and planted his court-yard with patereroes continually loaded with shot,
under the direction of one Mr. Hatchway, who had one of his legs shot
away while he acted as lieutenant on board the commodore's ship; and
now, being on half-pay, lives with him as his companion. The lieutenant
is a very brave man, a great joker, and, as the saying is, hath got the
length of his commander's foot--though he has another favourite in the
house called Tom Pipes, that was his boatswain's mate, and now keeps the
servants in order. Tom is a man of few words, but an excellent hand at
a song concerning the boatswain's whistle, hustle-cap, and
chuck-farthing--there is not such another pipe in the county--so that
the commodore lives very happy in his own manner; though he be sometimes
thrown into perilous passions and quandaries, by the application of his
poor kinsmen, whom he can't abide, because as how some of them were the
first occasion of his going to sea. Then he sweats with agony at the
sight of an attorney, just, for all the world, as some people have an
antipathy to a cat: for it seems he was once at law, for striking one of
his officers, and cast in a swinging sum. He is, moreover, exceedingly
afflicted with goblins that disturb his rest, and keep such a racket in
his house, that you would think (God bless us!) all the devils in hell
had broke loose upon him. It was no longer ago than last year about
this time, that he was tormented the livelong night by the mischievous
spirits that got into his chamber, and played a thousand pranks about
his hammock, for there is not one bed within his walls. Well, sir,
he rang his bell, called up all his servants, got lights, and made
a thorough search; but the devil a goblin was to be found. He had no
sooner turned in again, and the rest of the family gone to sleep, than
the foul fiends began their game anew. The commodore got up in the
dark, drew his cutlass, and attacked them both so manfully, that in
five minutes everything in the apartment went to pieces, The lieutenant,
hearing the noise, came to his assistance. Tom Pipes, being told what
was the matter, lighted his match, and going down to the yard, fired all
the patereroes as signals of distress. Well, to be sure the whole parish
was in a pucker: some thought the French had landed; others imagined the
commodore's house was beset by thieves; for my own part, I called up two
dragoons that are quartered upon me, and they swore, with deadly oaths,
it was a gang of smugglers engaged with a party of their regiment that
lies in the next village; and mounting their horses like lusty fellows,
rode up into the country as fast as their beasts could carry them. Ah,
master! These are hard times, when an industrious body cannot earn his
bread without fear of the gallows. Your worship's father (God rest his
soul!) was a good gentleman, and as well respected in this parish as
e'er a he that walks upon neat's leather; and if your honour should want
a small parcel of fine tea, or a few ankers of right Nantes, I'll be
bound you shall be furnished to your heart's content. But, as I was
saying, the hubbub continued till morning, when the parson being sent
for, conjured the spirits into the Red Sea; and the house has been
pretty quiet ever since. True it is, Mr. Hatchway makes a mock of the
whole affair; and told his commander, in this very blessed spot, that
the two goblins were no other than a couple of jackdaws which had fallen
down the chimney, and made a flapping with their wings up and down the
apartment. But the commodore, who is very choleric, and does not like
to be jeered, fell into a main high passion, and stormed like a perfect
hurricane, swearing that he knew a devil from a jackdaw as well as
e'er a man in the three kingdoms. He owned, indeed, that the birds were
found, but denied that they were the occasion of the uproar. For my own
part, master, I believe much may be said on both sides of the question;
though to be sure, the devil is always going about, as the saying is."

This circumstantial account, extraordinary as it was, never altered one
feature in the countenance of Mr. Pickle, who, having heard it to an
end, took the pipe from his mouth, saying, with a look of infinite
sagacity and deliberation, "I do suppose he is of the Cornish Trunnions.
What sort of a woman is his spouse?" "Spouse!" cried the other;
"odds-heart! I don't think he would marry the queen of Sheba.
Lack-a-day! sir, he won't suffer his own maids to be in the garrison,
but turns them into an out-house every night before the watch is set.
Bless your honour's soul, he is, as it were, a very oddish kind of a
gentleman. Your worship would have seen him before now; for, when he
is well, he and my good master Hatchway come hither every evening, and
drink a couple of cans of rumbo a piece; but he has been confined to
his house this fortnight by a plaguy fit of the gout, which, I'll assure
your worship, is a good penny out of my pocket."

At that instant, Mr. Pickle's ears were saluted with such a strange
noise, as even discomposed the muscles of his face, which gave immediate
indications of alarm. This composition of notes at first resembled
the crying of quails, and croaking of bull-dogs; but as it approached
nearer, he could distinguish articulate sounds pronounced with great
violence, in such a cadence as one would expect to hear from a human
creature scolding through the organs of an ass; it was neither speaking
nor braying, but a surprising mixture of both, employed in the utterance
of terms absolutely unintelligible to our wondering merchant, who had
just opened his mouth to express his curiosity, when the starting up at
the well-known sound, cried, "Odd's niggers! there is the commodore with
his company, as sure as I live," and with his apron began to wipe the
dust off an elbow-chair placed at one side of the fire, and kept sacred
for the ease and convenience of this infirm commander. While he was thus
occupied, a voice, still more uncouth than the former, bawled aloud,
"Ho! the house, a-hoy!" Upon which the publican, clapping a hand to each
side of his head with his thumbs fixed to his ears, rebellowed in the
same tone, which he had learned to imitate, "Hilloah." The voice again
exclaimed, "Have you got any attorneys aboard?" and when the landlord
replied, "No, no," this man of strange expectation came in, supported by
his two dependents, and displayed a figure every way answerable to
the oddity of his character. He was in stature at least six feet high,
though he had contracted a habit of stooping, by living so long on
board; his complexion was tawny, and his aspect rendered hideous by a
large scar across his nose, and a patch that covered the place of
one eye. Being seated in his chair, with great formality the landlord
complimented him upon his being able to come abroad again; and having in
a whisper communicated the name of his fellow-guest, whom the commodore
already knew by report, went to prepare, with all imaginable despatch,
the first allowance of his favourite liquor, in three separate cans (for
each was accommodated with his own portion apart), while the lieutenant
sat down on the blind side of his commander; and Tom Pipes, knowing his
distance, with great modesty took his station in the rear.

After a pause of some minutes, the conversation was begun by this
ferocious chief, who, fixing his eye upon the lieutenant with a
sternness of countenance not to be described, addressed him in these
words: "D-- my eyes! Hatchway, I always took you to be a better seaman
than to overset our chaise in such fair weather. Blood! didn't I tell
you we were running bump ashore, and bid you set in the ice-brace, and
haul up a wind?"--"Yes," replied the other, with an arch sneer, "I do
confess as how you did give such orders, after you had run us foul of
a post, so as that the carriage lay along, and could not right
herself."--"I run you foul of a post!" cried the commander: "d-- my
heart! you're a pretty dog, an't you, to tell me so above-board to my
face? Did I take charge of the chaise? Did I stand at the helm?"--"No,"
answered Hatchway; "I must confess you did not steer; but, howsomever,
you cunned all the way, and so, as you could not see how the land lay,
being blind of your larboard eye, we were fast ashore before you knew
anything of the matter, Pipes, who stood abaft, can testify the truth of
what I say."--"D-- my limbs!" resumed the commodore, "I don't value what
you or Pipes say a rope-yarn. You're a couple of mutinous--I'll say no
more; but you shan't run your rig upon me, d-- ye, I am the man that
learnt you, Jack Hatchway, to splice a rope and raise a perpendicular."

The lieutenant, who was perfectly well acquainted with the trim of his
captain, did not choose to carry on the altercation any further;
but taking up his can, drank to the health of the stranger, who very
courteously returned the compliment, without, however, presuming to join
in the conversation, which suffered a considerable pause. During this
interruption, Mr. Hatchway's wit displayed itself in several practical
jokes upon the commodore, with whom he knew it was dangerous to tamper
in any other way. Being without the sphere of his vision, he securely
pilfered his tobacco, drank his rumbo, made wry faces, and, to use the
vulgar phrase, cocked his eye at him, to the no small entertainment of
the spectators, Mr. Pickle himself not excepted, who gave evident tokens
of uncommon satisfaction at the dexterity of this marine p pantomime.

Meanwhile, the captain's choler gradually subsided, and he was pleased
to desire Hatchway, by the familiar and friendly diminutive of Jack,
to read a newspaper that lay on the table before him. This task was
accordingly undertaken by the lame lieutenant, who, among paragraphs,
read that which follows, with an elevation of voice which seemed to
prognosticate something extraordinary: "We are informed, that Admiral
Bower will very soon be created a British peer, for his eminent services
during the war, particularly in his late engagement with the French
fleet."

Trunnion was thunderstruck at this piece of intelligence: the ring
dropped front his hand, and shivered into a thousand pieces; his eye
glistened like that of a rattle-snake; and some minutes elapsed before
he could pronounce, "Avast! overhaul that article again!"

It was no sooner read the second time, than, smiting the table with his
fist, he started up, and, with the most violent emphasis of rage and
indignation, exclaimed, "D-- my heart and liver! 'tis a land lie, d'ye
see; and I will maintain it to be a lie, from the sprit-sail yard to the
mizen-top-sail haulyards! Blood and thunder! Will. Bower a peer of this
realm! a fellow of yesterday, that scarce knows a mast from a manger!
a snotty-nose boy, whom I myself have ordered to the gun, for stealing
eggs out of the hen-coops! and I, Hawser Trunnion, who commanded a
ship before he could keep a reckoning, am laid aside, d'ye see, and
forgotten! If so be as this be the case, there is a rotten plank in our
constitution, which ought to be hove down and repaired, d-- my eyes! For
my own part, d'ye see, I was none of your Guinea pigs: I did not rise in
the service by parlamenteering interest, or a handsome b-- of a wife.
I was not over the bellies of better men, nor strutted athwart the
quarter-deck in a laced doublet, and thingumbobs at the wrists. D-- my
limbs! I have been a hard-working man, and served all offices on board
from cook's shifter to the command of a vessel. Here, you Tunley,
there's the hand of a seaman, you dog."

So saying, he laid hold on the landlord's fist, and honoured him with
such a squeeze, as compelled him to roar with great vociferation, to
the infinite satisfaction of the commodore, whose features were a little
unblended by this acknowledgment of his vigour; and he thus proceeded,
in a less outrageous strain: "They make a d--d noise about this
engagement with the French: but, egad! it was no more than a bumboat
battle, in comparison with some that I have seen. There was old Rook and
Jennings, and another whom I'll be d--d before I name, that knew what
fighting was. As for my own share, d'ye see, I am none of those that
hallo in their own commendation: but if so be that I were minded to
stand my own trumpeter, some of those little fellows that hold their
heads so high would be taken all aback, as the saying is: they would
be ashamed to show their colours, d-- my eyes! I once lay eight glasses
alongside of the Flour de Louse, a French man-of-war, though her mettle
was heavier, and her complement larger by a hundred hands than mine.
You, Jack Hatchway, d-- ye, what d'ye grin at! D'ye think I tell a
story, because you never heard it before?"

"Why, look ye, sir," answered the lieutenant, "I am glad to find you can
stand your own trumpeter on occasion; though I wish you would change the
tune, for that is the same you have been piping every watch for these
ten months past. Tunley himself will tell you he has heard it five
hundred times."--"God forgive you! Mr. Hatchway," said the landlord,
interrupting him; "as I am an honest man and a housekeeper, I never
heard a syllable of the matter."

This declaration, though not strictly true, was extremely agreeable
to Mr. Trunnion, who, with an air of triumph, observed, "Aha! Jack,
I thought I should bring you up, with your gibes and your jokes: but
suppose you had heard it before, is that any reason why it shouldn't
be told to another person? There's the stranger, belike he has heard it
five hundred times too; han't you, brother?" addressing himself to Mr.
Pickle; who replying, with a look expressing curiosity, "No, never;" he
thus went on: "Well, you seem to be an honest, quiet sort of a man;
and therefore you must know, as I said before, I fell in with a French
man-of-war, Cape Finistere bearing about six leagues on the weather bow,
and the chase three leagues to leeward, going before the wind: whereupon
I set my studding sails; and coming up with her, hoisted my jack and
ensign, and poured in a broadside, before you could count three rattlins
in the mizen shrouds; for I always keep a good look-out, and love to
have the first fire."

"That I'll be sworn," said Hatchway: "for the day we made the Triumph
you ordered the men to fire when she was hull-to, by the same token we
below pointed the guns at a flight of gulls; and I won a can of punch
from the gunner by killing the first bird."

Exasperated at this sarcasm, he replied, with great vehemence, "You lie,
lubber! D-- your bones! what business have you to come always athwart
my hawse in this manner? You, Pipes, was upon deck, and can bear witness
whether or not I fired too soon. Speak, you blood of a ----, and that
upon the word of a seaman: how did the chase bear of us when I gave
orders to fire?"

Pipes, who had hitherto sat silent, being thus called upon to give his
evidence, after divers strange gesticulations, opened his mouth like
a gasping cod, and with a cadence like that of the east wind singing
through a cranny, pronounced, "Half a quarter of a league right upon our
lee-beam."

"Nearer, you porpuss-faced swab," cried the commodore, "nearer by
twelve fathom: but, howsomever, that's enough to prove the falsehood of
Hatchway's jaw--and so, brother, d'ye see," turning to Pickle, "I lay
alongside of the Flour de Louse, yard-arm and yard-arm, plying out great
guns and small arms, and heaving in stink-pots, powder-bottles, and
hand-grenades, till our shot was all expended, double-headed, partridge
and grape: then we loaded with iron crows, marlin-spikes, and old nails;
but finding the Frenchman took a good deal of drubbing, and that he had
shot away all our rigging, and killed and wounded a great number of our
men, d'ye see, I resolved to run him on board upon his quarter, and so
ordered our grapplings to be got ready; but monsieur, perceiving what we
were about, filled his topsails and sheered off, leaving us like a log
upon the water, and our scuppers running with blood."

Mr. Pickle and the landlord paid such extraordinary attention to the
rehearsal of this exploit, that Trunnion was encouraged to entertain
them with more stories of the same nature; after which he observed, by
way of encomium on the government, that all he had gained in the service
was a lame foot and the loss of an eye. The lieutenant, who could not
find in his heart to lose any opportunity of being witty at the expense
of his commander, gave a loose to his satirical talent once more,
saying,--"I have heard as how you came by your lame foot, by having
your upper decks over-stowed with liquor, whereby you became crank, and
rolled, d'ye see, in such a manner, that by a pitch of the ship your
starboard heel was jammed in one of the scuppers; and as for the matter
of your eye, that was knocked out by your own crew when the Lightning
was paid off: there's poor Pipes, who was beaten into all the colours of
the rainbow for taking your part, and giving you time to sheer off; and
I don't find as how you have rewarded him according as he deserves."

As the commodore could not deny the truth of these anecdotes, however
unseasonably they were introduced, he affected to receive them with good
humour, as jokes of the lieutenant's own inventing; and replied, "Ay,
ay, Jack, everybody knows your tongue is no slander; but, howsomever,
I'll work you to an oil for this, you dog." So saying, he lifted up one
of his crutches, intending to lay it gently across Mr. Hatchway's pate;
but Jack, with great agility, tilted up his wooden leg, with which he
warded off the blow, to the no small admiration of Mr. Pickle, and utter
astonishment of the landlord, who, by the bye, had expressed the same
amazement, at the same feet, at the same hour, every night, for three
months before. Trunnion then, directing his eye to the boatswain's mate,
"You, Pipes," said he, "do you go about and tell people that I did not
reward you for standing by me, when I was bustled by these rebellious
rapscallions? D-- you, han't you been rated on the books ever since?"

Tom, who indeed had no words to spare, sat smoking his pipe with
great indifference, and never dreamed of paying any regard to these
interrogations; which being repeated and reinforced with many oaths,
that, however, produced no effect, the commodore pulled out his purse,
saying, "Here, you b-- baby, here's something better than a smart
ticket;" and threw it at his silent deliverer, who received and pocketed
his bounty, without the least demonstration of surprise or satisfaction;
while the donor, turning to Mr. Pickle, "You see, brother," said he, "I
make good the old saying; we sailors get money like horses, and spend
it like asses: come, Pipes, let's have the boatswain's whistle, and be
jovial."

This musician accordingly applied to his mouth the silver instrument
that hung at the button-hole of his jacket, by a chain of the same
metal, and though not quite so ravishing as the pipe of Hermes, produced
a sound so loud and shrill, that the stranger, as it were instinctively,
stopped his ears, to preserve his organs of hearing from such a
dangerous invasion. The prelude being thus executed, Pipes fixed his
eyes upon the egg of an ostrich that depended from the ceiling, and
without once moving them from that object, performed the whole cantata
in a tone of voice that seemed to be the joint issue of an Irish bagpipe
and a sow-gelder's horn: the commodore, the lieutenant, and landlord,
joined in the chorus, repeating this elegant stanza:--

    Bustle, bustle, brave boys!
      Let us sing, let us toil,
      And drink all the while,
      Since labour's the price of our joys.


The third line was no sooner pronounced, than the can was lifted to
every man's mouth with admirable uniformity; and the next word taken
up at the end of their draught with a twang equally expressive and
harmonious. In short, the company began to understand one another;
Mr. Pickle seemed to relish the entertainment, and a correspondence
immediately commenced between him and Trunnion, who shook him by the
hand, drank to further acquaintance, and even invited him to a mess
of pork and pease in the garrison. The compliment was returned,
good-fellowship prevailed, and the night was pretty far advanced, when
the merchant's man arrived with a lantern to light his master home; upon
which, the new friends parted, after a mutual promise of meeting next
evening in the same place.



CHAPTER III.



Mrs. Grizzle exerts herself in finding a proper Match for her Brother;
who is accordingly introduced to the young Lady, whom he marries in due
Season.


I have been the more circumstantial in opening the character of
Trunnion, because he bears a considerable share in the course of these
memoirs; but now it is high time to resume the consideration of Mrs.
Grizzle, who, since her arrival in the country, had been engrossed by a
double care, namely, that of finding a suitable match for her brother,
and a comfortable yoke-fellow for herself.

Neither was this aim the result of any sinister or frail aggression, but
the pure dictates of that laudable ambition, which prompted her to the
preservation of the family name. Nay, so disinterested was she in this
pursuit, that, postponing her nearest concern, or at least leaving her
own fate to the silent operation of her charms, she laboured with such
indefatigable zeal in behalf of her brother, that before they had been
three months settled in the country, the general topic of conversation
in the neighbourhood was an intended match between the rich Mr. Pickle
and the fair Miss Appleby, daughter of a gentleman who lived in the
next parish, and who though he had but little fortune to bestow upon his
children, had, to use his own phrase, replenished their veins with some
of the best blood in the country.

This young lady, whose character and disposition Mrs. Grizzle had
investigated to her own satisfaction, was destined for the spouse of
Mr. Pickle; and an overture accordingly made to her father, who, being
overjoyed at the proposal, gave his consent without hesitation, and even
recommended the immediate execution of the project with such eagerness,
as seemed to indicate either a suspicion of Mr. Pickle's constancy, or
a diffidence of his own daughter's complexion, which perhaps he thought
too sanguine to keep much longer cool. The previous point being thus
settled, our merchant, at the instigation of Mrs. Grizzle, went to visit
his future father-in-law, and was introduced to the daughter, with whom
he had, that same afternoon, an opportunity of being alone. What passed
in that interview I never could learn, though from the character of the
suitor, the reader may justly conclude that she was not much teased
with the impertinence of his addresses. He was not, I believe, the less
welcome for that reason: certain it is she made no objection to his
taciturnity; and when her father communicated his resolution, acquiesced
with the most pious resignation. But Mrs. Grizzle, in order to give
the lady a more favourable idea of his intellects than his conversation
could possibly inspire, resolved to dictate a letter, which her brother
should transcribe and transmit to his mistress as the produce of his own
understanding, and had actually composed a very tender billet for
this purpose; yet her intention was entirely frustrated by the
misapprehension of the lover himself, who, in consequence of his
sister's repeated admonitions, anticipated her scheme, by writing, for
himself, and despatching the letter one afternoon, while Mrs. Grizzle
was visiting at the parson's.

Neither was this step the effect of his vanity or precipitation; but
having been often assured by his sister that it was absolutely necessary
for him to make a declaration of his love in writing, he took
this opportunity of acting in conformity with her advice, when his
imagination was unengaged or undisturbed by any other suggestion,
without suspecting in the least that she intended to save him the
trouble of exercising his own genius. Left, therefore, as he imagined,
to his own inventions, he sat down, and produced the following morceau,
which was transmitted to Miss Appleby, before his sister and counsellor
had the least intimation of the affair:--

                    "Miss Sally Appleby.

    "Madam,--Understanding you have a parcel of heart, warranted
    sound, to be disposed of, shall be pleased to treat for said
    commodity, on reasonable terms; doubt not, shall agree for
    same; shall wait on you for further information, when and where
    you shall appoint. This the needful from--Yours, etc.

                                    "Gam. Pickle."

This laconic epistle, simple and unadorned as it was, met with as
cordial a reception from the person to whom it was addressed, as if it
had been couched in the most elegant terms that delicacy of passion and
cultivated genius could supply; nay, I believe, was the more welcome on
account of its mercantile plainness; because when an advantageous match
is in view, a sensible woman often considers the flowery professions and
rapturous exclamations of love as ensnaring ambiguities, or, at best,
impertinent preliminaries, that retard the treaty they are designed to
promote; whereas Mr. Pickle removed all disagreeable uncertainty, by
descending at once to the most interesting particular.

She had no sooner, as a dutiful child, communicated this billet-doux to
her father, than he, as a careful parent, visited Mr. Pickle, and,
in presence of Mrs. Grizzle, demanded a formal explanation of his
sentiments with regard to his daughter Sally. Mr. Gamaliel, without any
ceremony, assured him he had a respect for the young woman, and, with
his good leave, would take her for better, for worse. Mr. Appleby, after
having expressed his satisfaction that he had fixed his affections
in his family, comforted the lover with the assurance of his being
agreeable to the young lady; and they forthwith proceeded to the
articles of the marriage-settlement, which being discussed and
determined, a lawyer was ordered to engross them; the wedding-clothes
were bought, and, in short, a day was appointed for the celebration of
their nuptials, to which everybody of any fashion in the neighbourhood
was invited. Among these, commodore Trunnion and Mr. Hatchway were not
forgotten, being the sole companions of the bridegroom, with whom, by
this time, they had contracted a sort of intimacy at their nocturnal
rendezvous.

They had received a previous intimation of what was on the anvil, from
the landlord, before Mr. Pickle thought proper to declare himself; in
consequence of which, the topic of the one-eyed commander's discourse,
at their meeting, for several evenings before, had been the folly and
plague of matrimony, on which he held forth with great vehemence of
abuse, leveled at the fair sex, whom he represented as devils incarnate,
sent from hell to torment mankind; and in particular inveighed against
old maids, for whom he seemed to entertain a singular aversion;
while his friend Jack confirmed the truth of all his allegations, and
gratified his own malignant vein at the same time by clenching every
sentence with a sly joke upon the married state, built upon some
allusion to a ship or sea-faring life. He compared a woman to a great
gun loaded with fire, brimstone, and noise, which, being violently
heated, will bounce and fly, and play the devil, if you don't take
special care of her breechings. He said she was like a hurricane that
never blows from one quarter, but veers about to all points of the
compass. He likened her to a painted galley, curiously rigged, with
a leak in her hold, which her husband would never be able to stop. He
observed that her inclinations were like the Bay of Biscay; for why?
because you may heave your deep sea lead long enough without ever
reaching the bottom; that he who comes to anchor on a wife may find
himself moored in d--d foul ground, and after all, can't for his blood
slip his cable; and that, for his own part, though he might make short
trips for pastime, he would never embark in woman on the voyage of life,
he was afraid of foundering in the first foul weather.

In all probability, these insinuations made some impression on the mind
of Mr. Pickle, who was not very much inclined to run great risks of any
kind; but the injunctions and importunities of his sister, who was bent
upon the match, overbalanced the opinion of his sea friends, who finding
him determined to marry, notwithstanding all the hints of caution they
had thrown out, resolved to accept his invitation, and honoured his
nuptials with their presence accordingly.



CHAPTER IV.



The Behaviour of Mrs. Grizzle at the Wedding, with an Account of the
Guests.


I hope it will not be thought uncharitable, if I advance, by way of
conjecture, that Mrs. Grizzle, on this grand occasion, summoned her
whole exertion to play off the artillery of her charms on the single
gentlemen who were invited to the entertainment; sure I am, she
displayed to the best advantage all the engaging qualities she
possessed; her affability at dinner was altogether uncommon, her
attention to the guests was superfluously hospitable, her tongue was
sheathed with a most agreeable and infantine lisp, her address was
perfectly obliging, and though conscious of the extraordinary capacity
of her month, she would not venture to hazard a laugh, she modelled her
lips into an enchanting simper, which played on her countenance all
day long; nay, she even profited by that defect in her vision we have
already observed, and securely contemplated those features which were
most to her liking, while the rest of the company believed her regards
were disposed in a quite contrary direction. With what humility of
complaisance did she receive the compliments of those who could not help
praising the elegance of the banquet; and how piously did she seize that
opportunity of commemorating the honours of her sire, by observing that
it was no merit in her to understand something of entertainments, as she
had occasion to preside at so many, during the mayoralty of her papa!

Far from discovering the least symptom of pride and exultation when the
opulence of her family became the subject of conversation, she assumed
a severity of countenance; and, after having moralized on the vanity
of riches, declared that those who looked on her as a fortune were very
much mistaken; for her father had left her no more than a poor five
thousand pounds, which, with what little she had saved of the interest
since his death, was all she had to depend on: indeed, if she had placed
her chief felicity in wealth, she should not have been so forward in
destroying her own expectations, by advising and promoting the event
at which they were now so happily assembled; but she hoped she should
always have virtue enough to postpone any interested consideration, when
it should happen to clash with the happiness of her friends. Finally,
such was her modesty and self-denial that she industriously informed
those whom it might concern, that she was no less than three years older
than the bride; though had she added ten to the reckoning, she would
have committed no mistake in point of computation.

To contribute as much as lay in her power to the satisfaction of
all present, she in the afternoon regaled them with a tune on the
harpsichord, accompanied with her voice, which, though not the most
melodious in the world, I dare say, would have been equally at their
service could she have vied with Philomel in song; and as the last
effort of her complaisance, when dancing was proposed, she was prevailed
on, at the request of her new sister, to open the ball in person.

In a word, Mrs. Grizzle was the principal figure in this festival,
and almost eclipsed the bride; who, far from seeming to dispute the
pre-eminence, very wisely allowed her to make the best of her talents;
contenting herself with the lot to which fortune had already called
her and which she imagined would not be the less desirable if her
sister-in-law were detached from the family.

I believe I need scarce advertise the reader that, during this whole
entertainment, the commodore and his lieutenant were quite out of their
element; and this, indeed, was the case with the bridegroom himself,
who being utterly unacquainted with any sort of polite commerce, found
himself under a very disagreeable restraint during the whole scene.

Trunnion, who had scarce ever been on shore till he was paid off, and
never once in his whole life in the company of any females above the
rank of those who herd on the Point at Portsmouth, was more embarrassed
about his behaviour than if he had been surrounded at sea by the whole
French navy. He had never pronounced the word "madam" since he was born;
so that, far from entering into conversation with the ladies, he would
not even return the compliment, or give the least note of civility
when they drank to his health, and, I verily believe, would rather have
suffered suffocation than allowed the simple phrase--"your servant," to
proceed from his mouth. He was altogether as inflexible with respect to
the attitudes of his body; for, either through obstinacy or bashfulness,
he sat upright without motion, insomuch that he provoked the mirth of
a certain wag, who, addressing himself to the lieutenant, asked whether
that was the commodore himself, or the wooden lion that used to stand at
his gate?--an image, to which, it must be owned, Mr. Trunnion's person
bore no faint resemblance.

Mr. Hatchway, who was not quite so unpolished as the commodore, and had
certain notions that seemed to approach the ideas of common life, made
a less uncouth appearance; but then he was a wit, and though of a very
peculiar genius, partook largely of that disposition which is common to
all wits, who never enjoy themselves except when their talents meet with
those marks of distinction and veneration, which, in their own opinion,
they deserve.

These circumstances being premised, it is not to be wondered at, if this
triumvirate made no objections to the proposal, when some of the graver
personages of the company made a motion for adjourning into another
apartment, where they might enjoy their pipes and bottles, while
the young folks indulged themselves in the continuance of their
own favourite diversion. Thus rescued, as it were, from a state of
annihilation, the first use the two lads of the castle made of their
existence, was to ply the bridegroom so hard with bumpers, that in less
than an hour he made divers efforts to sing, and soon after was carried
to bed, deprived of all manner of sensation, to the utter disappointment
of the bridemen and maids, who, by this accident, were prevented from
throwing the stocking, and performing certain other ceremonies practised
on such occasions. As for the bride, she bore this misfortune with
great good humour, and indeed, on all occasions, behaved like a discreet
woman, perfectly well acquainted with the nature of her own situation.



CHAPTER V.



Mrs. Pickle assumes the Reins of Government in her own Family--Her
Sister-in-law undertakes an Enterprise of great Moment, but is for some
time diverted from her Purpose by a very interesting Consideration.


Whatever deference, not to say submission, she had paid to Mrs. Grizzle
before she nearly allied to her family, she no sooner became Mrs.
Pickle, than she thought it encumbent on her to act up to the dignity of
the character; and, the very day after the marriage, ventured to dispute
with her sister-in-law on the subject of her own pedigree, which she
affirmed to be more honourable in all respects than that of her husband;
observing that several younger brothers of her house had arrived at
the station of lord-mayor of London, which was the highest pitch of
greatness that any of Mr. Pickle's predecessors had ever attained.

This presumption was like a thunderbolt to Mrs. Grizzle, who began to
perceive that she had not succeeded quite so well as she imagined, in
selecting for her brother a gentle and obedient yoke-fellow, who would
always treat her with that profound respect which she thought due to her
superior genius, and be entirely regulated by her advice and direction:
however, she still continued to manage the reins of government in the
house, reprehending the servants as usual; an office she performed with
great capacity, and in which she seemed to take singular delight, until
Mrs. Pickle, on pretence of consulting her ease, told her one day
she would take that trouble on herself, and for the future assume the
management of her own family. Nothing could be more mortifying to Mrs.
Grizzle than such a declaration; to which, after a considerable pause,
and strange distortion of look, she replied: "I shall never refuse
or repine at any trouble that may conduce to my brother's
advantage."--"Dear madam," answered the sister, "I am infinitely obliged
for your kind concern for Mr. Pickle's interest, which I consider as my
own, but I cannot bear to see you a sufferer by your friendship; and,
therefore, insist on exempting you from the fatigue you have borne so
long."

In vain did the other protest that she took pleasure in the task:
Mrs. Pickle ascribed the assurance to her excess of complaisance; and
expressed such tenderness of zeal for her dear sister's health and
tranquility, that the reluctant maiden found herself obliged to resign
her authority, without enjoying the least pretext for complaining of her
being deposed.

This disgrace was attended by a fit of peevish devotion that lasted
three or four weeks; during which period she had the additional chagrin
of seeing the young lady gain an absolute ascendency over the mind of
her brother, who was persuaded to set up a gay equipage, and improve
his housekeeping, by an augmentation in his expense, to the amount of
a thousand a year at least: though his alteration in the economy of his
household effected no change in his own disposition, or manner of life;
for as soon as the painful ceremony of receiving and returning visits
was performed, he had recourse to the company of his sea friends, with
whom he spent the best part of his time. But if he was satisfied with
his condition, the case was otherwise with Mrs. Grizzle, who, finding
her importance in the family greatly diminished, her attractions
neglected by all the male sex in the neighbourhood, and the withering
hand of time hang threatening over her head, began to feel the horror of
eternal virginity, and, in a sort of desperation, resolved at any rate
to rescue herself from that reproachful and uncomfortable situation.

Thus determined, she formed a plan, the execution of which to a
spirit less enterprising and sufficient than hers, would have appeared
altogether impracticable: this was no other than to make a conquest of
the commodore's heart, which the reader will easily believe was not very
susceptible of tender impressions; but, on the contrary, fortified with
insensibility and prejudice against the charms of the whole sex, and
particularly prepossessed to the prejudice of that class distinguished
by the appellation of old maids, in which Mrs. Grizzle was by this time
unhappily ranked. She nevertheless took the field, and having invested
this seemingly impregnable fortress, began to break ground one day,
when Trunnion dined at her brother's, by springing certain ensnaring
commendations on the honesty and sincerity of sea-faring people,
paying a particular attention to his plate, and affecting a simper of
approbation at everything which he said, which by any means she could
construe into a joke, or with modesty be supposed to hear: nay, even
when he left decency on the left hand, which was often the case, she
ventured to reprimand his freedom of speech with a grin, saying, "Sure
you gentlemen belonging to the sea have such an odd way with you." But
all this complacency was so ineffectual, that, far from suspecting the
true cause of it, the commodore, that very evening, at the club, in
presence of her brother, with whom by this time he could take any manner
of freedom, did not scruple to d-- her for a squinting, block-faced,
chattering p-- kitchen; and immediately after drank "Despair to all old
maids." The toast Mr. Pickle pledged without the least hesitation, and
next day intimated to his sister, who bore the indignity with surprising
resignation, and did not therefore desist from her scheme, unpromising
as it seemed to be, until her attention was called off, and engaged
in another care, which for some time interrupted the progress of this
design.

Her sister had not been married many months, when she exhibited evident
symptoms of pregnancy, to the general satisfaction of all concerned, and
the inexpressible joy of Mrs. Grizzle, who, as we have already hinted,
was more interested in the preservation of the family name than in
any other consideration whatever. She therefore no sooner discovered
appearances to justify and confirm her hopes, than, postponing her own
purpose, and laying aside that pique and resentment she had conceived
from the behaviour of Mrs. Pickle, when she superseded her authority;
or perhaps, considering her in no other light than that of the vehicle
which contained, and was destined to convey, her brother's heir to
light, she determined to exert her uttermost in nursing, tending, and
cherishing her during the term of her important charge. With this
view she purchased Culpepper's Midwifery, which with that sagacious
performance dignified with Aristotle's name, she studied with
indefatigable care; and diligently perused the Complete Housewife,
together with Quincy's Dispensatory, culling every jelly, marmalade, and
conserve which these authors recommend as either salutary or toothsome,
for the benefit and comfort of her sister-in-law, during her gestation.
She restricted her from eating roots, pot-herbs, fruit, and all sorts of
vegetables; and one day, when Mrs. Pickle had plucked a peach with her
own hand, and was in the very act of putting it between her teeth, Mrs.
Grizzle perceived the rash attempt, and running up to her, fell on her
knees in the garden, entreating her, with tears in her eyes, to desist
such a pernicious appetite. Her request was no sooner complied with,
than recollecting, that if her sister's longing was balked, the child
might be affected with some disagreeable mark or deplorable disease, she
begged as earnestly that she would swallow the fruit, and in the mean
time ran for some cordial water of her own composing, which she forced
on her sister, as an antidote to the poison she had received.

This excessive zeal and tenderness did not fail to be very troublesome
to Mrs. Pickle, who, having resolved divers plans for the recovery
of her own ease, at length determined to engage Mrs. Grizzle in such
employment as would interrupt that close attendance, which she found so
teasing and disagreeable. Neither did she wait long for an opportunity
of putting her resolution in practice. The very next day a gentleman
happening to dine with Mr. Pickle, unfortunately mentioned a pine-apple,
part of which he had eaten a week before at the house of a nobleman, who
lived in another part of the country, at the distance of a hundred miles
at least.

The name of this fatal fruit was no sooner pronounced, than Mrs.
Grizzle, who incessantly watched her sister's looks, took the alarm,
because she thought they gave certain indications of curiosity and
desire; and after having observed that she herself could never eat
pine-apples, which were altogether unnatural productions, extorted
by the force of artificial fire out of filthy manure, asked, with a
faltering voice, if Mrs. Pickle was not of her way of thinking? This
young lady, who wanted neither slyness nor penetration, at once divined
her meaning, and replied, with seeming unconcern, that for her own part
she should never repine if there was no pine-apple in the universe,
provided she could indulge herself with the fruits of her own country.

This answer was calculated for the benefit of the stranger, who would
certainly have suffered for his imprudence by the resentment of Mrs.
Grizzle, had her sister expressed the least relish for the fruit in
question. It had the desired effect, and re-established the peace of the
company, which was not a little endangered by the gentleman's want of
consideration. Next morning, however, after breakfast, the pregnant
lady, in pursuance of her plan, yawned, as it were by accident, full in
the face of her maiden sister, who being infinitely disturbed by this
convulsion, affirmed it was a symptom of longing, and insisted upon
knowing the object in desire; when Mrs. Pickle affecting a smile
told her she had eaten a most delicious pine-apple in her sleep. This
declaration was attended with an immediate scream, uttered by
Mrs. Grizzle, who instantly perceiving her sister surprised at the
exclamation, clasped her in her arms, and assured her, with a sort of
hysterical laugh, that she could not help screaming with joy, because
she had it in her power to gratify her dear sister's wish; a lady in
the neighbourhood having promised to send her, as a present, a couple of
delicate pine-apples, which she would on that very day go in quest of.

Mrs. Pickle would by no means consent to this proposal, on pretence of
sparing the other unnecessary fatigue; and assured her, that if she had
any desire to eat a pine-apple, it was so faint, that the disappointment
could produce no bad consequence. But this assurance was conveyed in
a manner, which she knew very well how to adopt, that, instead of
dissuading, rather stimulated Mrs. Grizzle to set out immediately, not
on a visit to that lady, whose promise she herself had feigned with
a view of consulting her sister's tranquility, but on a random Search
through the whole country for this unlucky fruit, which was like to
produce so much vexation and prejudice to her and her father's house.

During three whole days and nights did she, attended by a valet, ride
from place to place without success, unmindful of her health, and
careless of her reputation, that began to suffer from the nature of her
inquiry, which was pursued with such peculiar eagerness and distraction,
that everybody with whom she conversed, looked upon her as an unhappy
person, whose intellects were not a little disordered.

Baffled in all her researches within the country, she at length decided
to visit that very nobleman at whose house the officious stranger had
been (for her) so unfortunately regaled, and actually arrived, in a
post-chaise, at the place of his habitation, when she introduced her
business as an affair on which the happiness of a whole family depended.
By virtue of a present to his lordship's gardener, she procured the
Hesperian fruit, with which she returned in triumph.



CHAPTER VI.



Mrs. Grizzle is indefatigable in gratifying her Sister's
Longings--Peregrine is born, and managed contrary to the Directions
and Remonstrances of his Aunt, who is disgusted upon that account, and
resumes the Plan which she had before rejected.


The success of this device would have encouraged Mrs. Pickle to practise
more of the same sort upon her sister-in-law, had she not been deterred
by a violent fever which seized her zealous ally, in consequence of the
fatigue and uneasiness she had undergone; which, while it lasted, as
effectually conduced to her repose, as any other stratagem she could
invent. But Mrs. Grizzle's health was no sooner restored, than the
other, being as much incommoded as ever, was obliged, in her own
defence, to have recourse to some other contrivance; and managed her
artifices in such a manner, as leaves it at this day a doubt whether she
was really so whimsical and capriccios in her appetites as she herself
pretended to be; for her longings were not restricted to the demands of
the palate and stomach, but also affected all the other organs of sense,
and even invaded her imagination, which at this period seemed to be
strangely diseased.

One time she longed to pinch her husband's ear; and it was with infinite
difficulty that his sister could prevail upon him to undergo the
operation. Yet this task was easy, in comparison with another she
undertook for the gratification of Mrs. Pickle's unaccountable desire;
which was no other than to persuade the commodore to submit his chin
to the mercy of the big-bellied lady, who ardently wished for an
opportunity of plucking three black hairs from his beard. When this
proposal was first communicated to Mr. Trunnion by the husband, his
answer was nothing but a dreadful effusion of oaths, accompanied with
such a stare, and delivered in such a tone of voice, as terrified the
poor beseecher into immediate silence; so that Mrs. Grizzle was fain
to take the whole enterprise upon herself, and next day went to the
garrison accordingly, where, having obtained entrance by means of the
lieutenant, who, while his commander was asleep, ordered her to be
admitted for the joke's sake, she waited patiently till he turned out,
and then accosted him in the yard, where he used to perform his morning
walk. He was thunderstruck at the appearance of a woman in a place he
had hitherto kept sacred from the whole sex, and immediately began to
utter an apostrophe to Tom Pipes, whose turn it was then to watch; when
Mrs. Grizzle, falling on her knees before him, conjured him, with many
pathetic supplications, to hear and grant her request, which was no
sooner signified, than he bellowed in such an outrageous manner that the
whole court re-echoed the opprobrious term b--, and the word damnation,
which he repeated with surprising volubility, without any sort of
propriety or connection; and retreated into his penetralia, leaving the
baffled devotee in the humble posture she had so unsuccessfully chosen
to melt his obdurate heart.

Mortifying as this repulse must have been to a lady of her stately
disposition, she did not relinquish her aim, but endeavoured to interest
the commodore's counsellors and adherents in her cause. With this view
she solicited the interest of Mr. Hatchway, who, being highly pleased
with a circumstance so productive of mirth and diversion, readily
entered into her measures, and promised to employ his whole influence
for her satisfaction; and as for the boatswain's mate, he was rendered
propitious by the present of a guinea, which she slipped into his hand.
In short, Mrs. Grizzle was continually engaged in this negotiation for
the space of ten days, during which, the commodore was so incessantly
pestered with her remonstrances, and the admonitions of his associates,
that he swore his people had a design upon his life, which becoming a
burden to him, he at last complied, and was conducted to the scene like
a victim to the altar, or rather like a reluctant bear, when he is led
to the stake amidst the shouts and cries of butchers and their dogs.
After all, this victory was not quite so decisive as the conquerors
imagined; for the patient being set, and the performer prepared with
a pair of pincers, a small difficulty occurred: she could not for some
time discern one black hair on the whole superficies of Mr. Trunnion's
face, when Mrs. Grizzle, very much alarmed and disconcerted, had
recourse to a magnifying-glass that stood upon her toilet; and, after a
most accurate examination, discovered a fibre of a dusky hue, to which
the instrument being applied, Mrs. Pickle pulled it up by the roots, to
the no small discomposure of the owner, who, feeling the smart much more
severe than he had expected, started up, and swore he would not part
with another hair to save them all from damnation.

Mr. Hatchway exhorted him to patience and resignation; Mrs. Grizzle
repeated her entreaties with great humility; but finding him deaf to all
her prayers, and absolutely bent upon leaving the house, she clasped his
knees, and begged for the love of God that he would have compassion upon
a distressed family, and endure a little more for the sake of the poor
infant, who would otherwise be born with a gray beard upon its chin.
Far from being melted, he was rather exasperated by this reflection; to
which he replied with great indignation, "D-- you for a yaw-sighted b--!
I'll be hanged, long enough before he has any beard at all:" so saying,
he disengaged himself from her embraces, flung out at the door, and
halted homewards with such surprising speed, that the lieutenant could
not overtake him until he had arrived at his own gate; and Mrs.
Grizzle was so much affected with his escape, that her sister, in pure
compassion, desired she would not afflict herself, protesting that her
own wish was already gratified, for she had plucked three hairs at once,
having from the beginning been dubious of the commodore's patience.

But the labours of this assiduous kinswoman did not end with the
achievement of this adventure: her eloquence or industry was employed
without ceasing in the performance of other tasks imposed by the
ingenious craft of her sister-in-law, who at another time conceived an
insuppressible affection for a fricassee of frogs, which should be the
genuine natives of France; so that there was a necessity for despatching
a messenger on purpose to that kingdom; but as she could not depend
upon the integrity of any common servant, Mrs. Grizzle undertook that
province, and actually set sail in a cutter for Boulogne, from whence
she returned in eight-and-forty hours with a tub full of those live
animals, which being dressed according to art, her sister did not
taste them, on pretence that her fit of longing was past: but then her
inclinations took a different turn, and fixed themselves upon a curious
implement belonging to a lady of quality in the neighbourhood, which
was reported to be a great curiosity: this was no other than a porcelain
chamber-pot of admirable workmanship, contrived by the honourable owner,
who kept it for her own private use, and cherished it as a utensil of
inestimable value.

Mrs. Grizzle shuddered at the first hint, she received of her sister's
desire to possess this piece of furniture; because she knew it was not
to be purchased; and the lady's character, which was none of the most
amiable in point of humanity and condescension, forbad all hopes of
borrowing it for a season: she therefore attempted to reason down this
capricious appetite, as an extravagance of imagination which ought to be
combated and repressed; and Mrs. Pickle, to all appearance was convinced
and satisfied by her arguments and advice; but, nevertheless, could make
use of no other convenience, and was threatened with a very dangerous
suppression. Roused at the peril in which she supposed her to be,
Mrs. Grizzle flew to the lady's house, and, having obtained a private
audience, disclosed the melancholy situation of her sister, and implored
the benevolence of her ladyship, who, contrary to expectation, received
her very graciously, and consented to indulge Mrs. Pickle's longing. Mr.
Pickle began to be out of humour at the expense to which he was exposed
by the caprice of his wife, who was herself alarmed at this last
accident, and for the future kept her fancy within bounds; insomuch,
that without being subject to any more extraordinary trouble, Mrs.
Grizzle reaped the long-wished fruits of her dearest expectation in the
birth of a fine boy, whom her sister in a few months brought into the
world.

I shall omit the description of the rejoicings, which were infinite on
this important occasion, and only observe that Mrs. Pickle's mother and
aunt stood godmothers, and the commodore assisted at the ceremony as
godfather to the child, who was christened by the name of Peregrine, in
compliment to the memory of a deceased uncle. While the mother confined
to her bed, and incapable of maintaining her own authority, Mrs. Grizzle
took charge of the infant baby double claim, and superintended, with
surprising vigilance, the nurse and midwife in all the particulars of
their respective offices, which were performed by her express direction.
But no sooner was Mrs. Pickle in a condition to reassume the management
of her own affairs, when she thought proper to alter certain regulations
concerning the child, which had obtained in consequence of her sister's
orders, directing, among other innovations, that the bandages with which
the infant had been so neatly rolled up, like an Egyptian mummy, should
be loosened and laid aside, in order to rid nature of all restraint,
and give the blood free scope to circulate; and, with her own hands she
plunged him headlong every morning into a tub full of cold water. This
operation seemed so barbarous to the tender-hearted Mrs. Grizzle, that
she not only opposed it with all her eloquence, shedding abundance of
tears over the sacrifice when it was made; and took horse immediately,
and departed for the habitation of an eminent country physician, whom
she consulted in these words: "Pray, doctor, is it not both dangerous
and cruel to be the means of letting a poor tender infant perish
by sousing it in water as cold as ice?"--"Yes," replied the doctor,
"downright murder, I affirm."--"I see you are a person of great learning
and sagacity," said the other; "and I must beg you will be so good as
to signify your opinion in your own handwriting." The doctor immediately
complied with her request, and expressed himself upon a slip of paper to
this purpose:--

    "These are to certify whom it may concern, that I firmly
    believe, and it is my unalterable opinion, that who soever
    letteth an infant perish, by sousing it in cold water, even
    though the said water should not be so cold as ice, is in
    effect guilty of the murder of the said infant, as witness
    my hand,
                       "Comfit Colocynth."


Having obtained this certificate, for which the physician was handsomely
acknowledged, she returned, exalting, and hoping, with such authority,
to overthrow all opposition. Accordingly, next morning, when her nephew
was about to undergo his diurnal baptism, she produced the commission,
whereby she conceived herself empowered to overrule such inhuman
proceedings, but she was disappointed in her expectation, confident as
it was; not that Mrs. Pickle pretended to differ in opinion from Dr.
Colocynth, "for whose character and sentiments," said she, "I have such
veneration, that I shall carefully observe the caution implied in this
very certificate, by which, far from condemning my method of practice,
he only asserts that killing is murder; an asseveration, the truth of
which, it is to be hoped, I shall never dispute."

Mrs. Grizzle, who, sooth to say, had rather too superficially considered
the clause by which she thought herself authorized, perused the paper
with more accuracy, and was confounded at her own want of penetration.
Yet, though she was confuted, she was by no means convinced that her
objections to the cold bath were unreasonable; on the contrary, after
having bestowed sundry opprobrious epithets on the physician, for his
want of knowledge and candour, she protested in the most earnest and
solemn manner the pernicious practice of dipping the child--a piece
of cruelty which, with God's assistance, she should never suffer to
be inflicted on her own issue; and washing her hands of the melancholy
consequence that would certainly ensue, shut herself up in her closet
to indulge her sorrow and vexation. She was deceived, however, in her
prognostic. The boy, instead of declining in point of health, seemed to
acquire fresh vigour from every plunge, as if he had been resolved to
discredit the wisdom and foresight of his aunt, who in all probability
could never forgive him for this want of reverence and respect. This
conjecture is founded upon her behaviour to him in the sequel of his
infancy, during which she was known to torture him more than once, when
she had opportunities of thrusting pins into his flesh, without any
danger of being detected. In short, her affections were in a little time
altogether alienated from this hope of her family, whom she abandoned to
the conduct of his mother, whose province it undoubtedly was to manage
the nurture of her own child; while she herself resumed her operations
upon the commodore, whom she was resoled at any rate to captivate and
enslave. And it must be owned that Mrs. Grizzle's knowledge of the human
heart never shone so conspicuous as in the methods she pursued for the
accomplishment of this important aim.

Through the rough unpolished hulk that cased the soul of Trunnion, she
could easily distinguish a large share of that vanity and self-conceit
that generally predominate even in the most savage beast; and to this
she constantly appealed. In his presence she always exclaimed against
the craft and dishonest dissimulation of the world, and never failed of
uttering particular invectives against those arts of chicanery in
which the lawyers are so conversant, to the prejudice and ruin of their
fellow-creatures; observing that in a seafaring life, as far as she
had opportunities of judging or being informed, there was nothing but
friendship, sincerity, and a hearty contempt for everything that was
mean or selfish.

This kind of conversation, with the assistance of certain particular
civilities, insensibly made an impression on the mind of the commodore,
and the more effectual as his former prepossessions were built upon very
slender foundations. His antipathy to old maids, which he had conceived
upon hearsay, began gradually to diminish when he found they were not
quite such infernal animals as they had been presented; and it was not
long before he was heard to observe, at the club, that Pickle's sister
had not so much of the core of b-- in her as he had imagined. This
negative compliment, by the medium of her brother, soon reached the
ears of Mrs. Grizzle, who, thus encouraged, redoubled in her arts and
attention; so that, in less than three months after, he in the same
place distinguished her with the epithet of a d--d sensible jade.

Hatchway, taking the alarm at this declaration, which he feared
foreboded something fatal to his interest, told his commander, with a
sneer, that she had sense enough to bring him to under her stern; and he
did not doubt but that such an old crazy vessel would be the better for
being taken in tow. "But howsomever," added this arch adviser, "I'd have
you take care of your upper-works; for if once you are made fast to her
poop, egad! She'll spank it away, and make every beam in your body crack
with straining."

Our she-projector's whole plan had like to have been ruined by the
effect which this malicious hint had upon Trunnion, whose rage and
suspicion being wakened at once, his colour changed from tawny to a
cadaverous pale, and then shifting to a deep and dusky red, such as we
sometimes observe in the sky when it is replete with thunder, he, after
his usual preamble of unmeaning oaths, answered in these words:--"D--
you, you jury-legg'd dog, you would give all the stowage in your hold to
be as sound as I am; and as for being taken in tow, d'ye see, I'm not
so disabled that I can lie my course, and perform my voyage without
assistance; and, egad! no man shall ever see Hawser Trunnion lagging
astern, in the wake of e'er a b-- in Christendom."

Mrs. Grizzle, who every morning interrogated her brother with regard to
the subject of his night's conversation with his friends, soon received
the unwelcome news of the commodore's aversion to matrimony; and justly
imputing the greatest part of his disgust to the satirical insinuations
of Mr. Hatchway, resolved to level this obstruction to her success, and
actually found means to interest him in her scheme. She had indeed, on
some occasions, a particular knack at making converts, being probably
not unacquainted with that grand system of persuasion which is adopted
by the greatest personages of the age, and fraught with maxims much
more effectual than all the eloquence of Tully or Demosthenes, even
when supported by the demonstrations of truth; besides, Mr. Hatchway's
fidelity to his new ally was confirmed by his foreseeing, in his
captain's marriage, an infinite fund of gratification for his own
cynical disposition. Thus, therefore, converted and properly cautioned,
he for the future suppressed all the virulence of his wit against the
matrimonial state; and as he knew not how to open his mouth in the
positive praise of any person whatever, took all opportunities of
excepting Mrs. Grizzle, by name, from the censures he liberally bestowed
upon the rest of her sex. "She is not a drunkard, like Nan Castick,
of Deptford," he would say; "not a nincompoop, like Peg Simper, of
Woolwich; not a brimstone, like Kate Koddle, of Chatham; nor a shrew,
like Nell Griffin, on the Point, Portsmouth" (ladies to whom, at
different times, they had both paid their addresses); "but a tight,
good-humoured, sensible wench, who knows very well how to box her
compass; well-trimmed aloft, and well-sheathed alow, with a good cargo
under her hatches." The commodore at first imagined this commendation
was ironical; but, hearing it repeated again and again, was filled with
astonishment at this surprising change in the lieutenant's behaviour;
and, after a long fit of musing, concluded that Hatchway himself
harboured a matrimonial design on the person of Mrs. Grizzle.

Pleased with this conjecture, he rallied jack in his turn, and one night
toasted her health as a compliment to his passion--a circumstance which
the lady learned next day by the usual canal of her intelligence;
and interpreting as the result of his own tenderness for her, she
congratulated herself on the victory she had obtained; and thinking
it unnecessary to continue the reserve she had hitherto industriously
affected, resolved from that day to sweeten her behaviour towards him
with such a dash of affection as could not fail to persuade him that
he had inspired her with a reciprocal flame. In consequence of this
determination, he was invited to dinner, and while he stayed treated
with such cloying proofs of her regard, that not only the rest of the
company, but even Trunnion perceived her drift; and taking the alarm
accordingly, could not help exclaiming, "Oho! I see how the land lies,
and if I don't weather the point, I'll be d--d." Having thus expressed
himself to his afflicted inamorata, he made the best of his way to the
garrison, in which he shut himself up for the space of ten days, and had
no communication with his friends and domestics but by looks, which were
most significantly picturesque.



CHAPTER VII.



Divers Stratagems are invented and put in practice, in order to overcome
the obstinacy of Trunnion, who, at length, is teased and tortured into
the Noose of Wedlock.


This abrupt departure and unkind declaration affected Mrs. Grizzle so
much, that she fell sick of sorrow and mortification; and after having
confined herself to her bed for three days, sent for her brother, told
him she perceived her end drawing near, and desired that a lawyer might
be brought, in order to write her last will. Mr. Pickle, surprised at
her demand, began to act the part of a comforter, assuring her that her
distemper was not at all dangerous, and that he would instantly send
for a physician, who would convince her that she was in no manner
of jeopardy; so that there was no occasion at present to employ any
officious attorney in such a melancholy task. Indeed, this affectionate
brother was of opinion that a will was altogether superfluous at any
rate, as he himself was heir-in-law to his sister's whole real and
personal estate. But she insisted on his compliance with such determined
obstinacy, that he could no longer resist her importunities; and, a
arriving, she dictated and executed her will, in which she bequeathed
to Commodore Trunnion one thousand pounds, to purchase a mourning
ring, which she hoped he would wear as a pledge of her friendship and
affection. Her brother, though he did not much relish this testimony
of her love, nevertheless that same evening gave an account of this
particular to Mr. Hatchway, who was also, as Mr. Pickle assured him,
generously remembered by the testatrix.

The lieutenant, fraught with this piece of intelligence, watched for
an opportunity; and as soon as he perceived the commodore's features
a little unbended from that ferocious contraction they had retained so
long, ventured to inform him that Pickle's sister lay at the point of
death, and that she had left him a thousand pounds in her will. This
piece of news overwhelmed him with confusion; and Mr. Hatchway, imputing
his silence to remorse, resolved to take advantage of that favourable
moment, and counselled him to go and visit the poor young woman, who
was dying for love of him. But his admonition happened to be somewhat
unseasonable. Trunnion no sooner heard him mention the cause of her
disorder, than his morosity recurring, he burst out into a violent fit
of cursing, and forthwith betook himself again to his hammock, where he
lay, uttering, in a low growling tone of voice, a repetition of oaths
and imprecations, for the space of four-and-twenty hours, without
ceasing. This was a delicious meal to the lieutenant, who, eager to
enhance the pleasure of the entertainment, and at the same the conduce
to the success of the cause he had espoused, invented a stratagem, the
execution of which had all the effect he could desire. He prevailed on
Pipes, who was devoted to his service, to get on the top of the chimney,
belonging to the commodore's chamber, at midnight, and lower down by
a rope a bunch of stinking whitings, which being performed, he put a
speaking-trumpet to his mouth, and hallooed down the vent, in a voice
like thunder, "Trunnion! Trunnion! turn out and be spliced, or he still
and be d--."

This dreadful note, the terror of which was increased by the silence and
darkness of the night, as well as the cello of the passage through which
it was conveyed, no sooner reached the ears of the astonished commodore,
than turning his eyes towards the place from whence this solemn address
seemed to proceed, he beheld a glittering object that vanished in an
instant. Just as his superstitious fear had improved the apparition into
some supernatural messenger clothed in shining array, his opinion was
confirmed by a sudden explosion, which he took for thunder, though it
was no other than the noise of a pistol fired down the chimney by the
boatswain's mate, according to the instructions he had received; and he
had time enough to descend before he was in any danger of being detected
by his commodore, who could not for an hour recollect himself from the
amazement and consternation which had overpowered his faculties.

At length, however, he got up, and rang his bell with great agitation.
He repeated the summons more than once; but no regard being paid to this
alarm, his dread returned with double terror, a cold sweat bedewed his
limbs, his knees knocked together, his hair bristled up, and the remains
of his teeth were shattered in pieces in the convulsive vibrations of
his jaws.

In the midst of this agony he made one desperate effort, and, bursting
open the door of apartment, bolted into Hatchway's chamber, which
happened to be on the same floor. There he found the lieutenant in
a counterfeit swoon, who pretended to wake from his trance in an
ejaculation of "Lord have mercy upon us!" and being questioned by the
terrified commodore with regard to what had happened, assured him he had
heard the same voice and clap of thunder by which Trunnion himself had
been discomposed.

Pipes, whose turn it was to watch, concurred in giving evidence to the
same purpose; and the commodore not only owned that he had heard the
voice, but likewise communicated his vision, with all the aggravation
which his disturbed fancy suggested.

A consultation immediately ensued, in which Mr. Hatchway gravely
observed that the finger of Heaven was plainly perceivable in those
signals, and that it would be both sinful and foolish to disregard its
commands, especially as the match proposed was, in all respects, more
advantageous than any that one of his years could reasonably expect;
declaring that for his own part he would not endanger his soul and body
by living one day longer under the same roof with a man who despised the
will of Heaven; and Tom Pipes adhered to the same pious resolution.

Trunnion's perseverance could not resist the number and diversity
of considerations that assaulted it; he revolved in silence all the
opposite motives that occurred to his reflection; and after having been,
to all appearance, bewildered in the labyrinth of his own thoughts, he
wiped the sweat from his forehead, and, heaving a piteous groan, yielded
to their remonstrances in these words: "Well, since it must be so, I
think we must ev'n grapple. But d-- my eyes! 'tis a d--d hard case
that a fellow of my years should be compelled, d'ye see, to beat up
to windward all the rest of my life against the current of my own
inclination."

This important article being discussed, Mr. Hatchway set out in the
morning to visit the despairing shepherdess, and was handsomely rewarded
for the enlivening tidings with which he blessed her ears. Sick as
she was, she could not help laughing heartily at the contrivance, in
consequence of which her swain's assent had been obtained, and gave the
lieutenant ten guineas for Tom Pipes, in consideration of the part he
acted in the farce.

In the afternoon the commodore suffered himself to be conveyed to her
apartment, like a felon to execution, and was received by her in
a languishing manner, and genteel dishabille, accompanied by her
sister-in-law, who was, for very obvious reasons, extremely solicitous
about her success. Though the lieutenant had tutored him touching his
behaviour it this interview, he made a thousand wry faces before he
could pronounce the simple salutation of "How d'ye?" to his mistress;
and after his counsellor had urged him with twenty or thirty whispers,
to each of which he had replied aloud, "D-- your eyes, I won't," he got
up, and halting towards the couch on which Mrs. Grizzle reclined in a
state of strange expectation, he seized her hand and pressed it to his
lips; but this piece of gallantry he performed in such a reluctant,
uncouth, indignant manner, that the nymph had need of all her resolution
to endure the compliment without shrinking; and he himself was so
disconcerted at what he had done, that he instantly retired to the
other end of the room, where he sat silent, and broiled with shame and
vexation.

Mrs. Pickle, like a sensible matron, quitted the place, on pretence of
going to the nursery; and Mr. Hatchway, taking the hint, recollected
that he had left his tobacco-pouch in the parlour, whither he descended,
leaving the two lovers to their mutual endearments. Never had the
commodore found himself in such a disagreeable dilemma before. He sat in
an agony of suspense, as if he every moment dreaded the dissolution of
nature; and the imploring sighs of his future bride added, if possible,
to the pangs of his distress. Impatient of this situation, he rolled
his eye around in quest of some relief, and, unable to contain himself,
exclaimed, "D--n seize the fellow and his pouch too! I believe he has
sheered off, and left me here in the stays."

Mrs. Grizzle, who could not help taking some notice of this
manifestation of chagrin, lamented her unhappy fate in being so
disagreeable to him, that he could not put up with her company for a few
moments without repining; and began in very tender terms to reproach him
with his inhumanity and indifference. To this expostulation he replied,
"Zounds! what would the woman have? Let the parson do his office when he
wool: here I am ready to be reeved in the matrimonial block, d'ye see,
and d-- all nonsensical palaver." So saying, he retreated, leaving his
mistress not at all disobliged at his plain dealing. That same evening
the treaty of marriage was brought upon the carpet, and, by means of Mr.
Pickle and the lieutenant, settled to the satisfaction of all parties,
without the intervention of lawyers, whom Mr. Trunnion expressly
excluded from all share in the business; making that condition the
indispensable preliminary of the whole agreement. Things being brought
to this bearing, Mrs. Grizzle's heart dilated with joy; her health,
which, by the bye, was never dangerously impaired, she recovered as if
by enchantment; and, a day being fixed for the nuptials, employed the
short period of her celibacy in choosing ornaments for the celebration
of her entrance into the married state.



CHAPTER VIII.



Preparations are made for the Commodore's Wedding, which is delayed by
an Accident that hurried him the Lord knows whither.


The fame of this extraordinary conjunction spread all over the county;
and, on the day appointed for their spousals, the church was surrounded
by an inconceivable multitude. The commodore, to give a specimen of his
gallantry, by the advice of his friend Hatchway, resolved to appear on
horseback on the grand occasion, at the head of all his male attendants,
whom he had rigged with the white shirts and black caps formerly
belonging to his barge's crew; and he bought a couple of hunters for the
accommodation of himself and his lieutenant. With this equipage, then,
he set out from the garrison for the church, after having despatched a
messenger to apprise the bride that he and his company were mounted. She
got immediately into the coach, accompanied by her brother and his wife,
and drove directly to the place of assignation, where several pews were
demolished, and divers persons almost pressed to death, by the eagerness
of the crowd that broke in to see the ceremony performed. Thus arrived
at the altar, and the priest in attendance, they waited a whole
half-hour for the commodore, at whose slowness they began to be under
some apprehension, and accordingly dismissed a servant to quicken his
pace. The valet having ridden something more than a mile, espied the
whole troop disposed in a long field, crossing the road obliquely, and
headed by the bridegroom and his friend Hatchway, who, finding himself
hindered by a hedge from proceeding farther in the same direction, fired
a pistol, and stood over to the other side, making an obtuse angle with
the line of his former course; and the rest of the squadron followed his
example, keeping always in the rear of each other, like a flight of wild
geese.

Surprised at this strange method of journeying, the messenger came up,
and told the commodore that his lady and her company expected him in the
church, where they had tarried a considerable time, and were beginning
to be very uneasy at his delay, and therefore desired he would proceed
with more expedition. To this message Mr. Trunnion replied, "Hark ye,
brother, don't you see we make all possible speed? go back, and tell
those who sent you, that the wind has shifted since we weighed anchor,
and that we are obliged to make very short trips in tacking, by reason
of the narrowness of the channel; and that as we be within six points
of the wind, they must make some allowance for variation and
leeway."--"Lord, sir!" said the valet, "what occasion have you to go
zig-zag in that manner? Do but clap spurs to your horses, and ride
straight forward, and I'll engage yea shall be at the church-porch
in less than a quarter of an hour."-"What? right in the wind's eye?"
answered the commodore; "ahey! brother, where did you learn your
navigation? Hawser Trunnion is not to be taught at this time of day how
to lie his course, or keep his own reckoning. And as for you, brother,
you best know the trim of your own frigate."

The courier, finding he had to do with people who would not be easily
persuaded out of their own opinions, returned to the temple, and made a
report of what he had seen and heard, to the no small consolation of
the bride, who had begun to discover some signs of disquiet. Composed,
however, by this piece of intelligence, she exerted her patience for the
space of another half-hour, during which period, seeing no bridegroom
arrive, she was exceedingly alarmed; so that all the spectators could
easily perceive her perturbation, which manifested itself in frequent
palpitations, heart-heavings, and alterations of countenance, in spite
of the assistance of a smelling-bottle which she incessantly applied to
her nostrils.

Various were the conjectures of the company on this occasion: some
imagined he had mistaken the place of rendezvous, as he had never been
at church since he first settled in that parish; others believed he
had met with some accident, in consequence of which his attendants had
carried him back to his own house; and a third set, in which the bride
herself was thought to be comprehended, could not help suspecting
that the commodore had changed his mind. But all these suppositions,
ingenious as they were, happened to be wide of the true cause that
detained him, which was no other than this: the commodore and his crew
had, by dint of turning, almost weathered the parson's house that stood
to windward of the church, when the notes of a pack of hounds unluckily
reached the ears of the two hunters which Trunnion and the lieutenant
bestrode. These fleet animals no sooner heard the enlivening sound,
than, eager for the chase, they sprang away all of a sudden, and
strained every nerve to partake of the sport, flew across the fields
with incredible speed, overleaped hedges and ditches, and everything
in their way, without the least regard to their unfortunate riders. The
lieutenant, whose steed had got the heels of the other, finding it would
be great folly and presumption in him to pretend to keep the saddle with
his wooden leg, very wisely took the opportunity of throwing himself off
in his passage through a field of rich clover, among which he lay at his
ease; and seeing his captain advancing, at full gallop, hailed him with
the salutation of "What cheer? Ho!" The commodore, who was in infinite
distress, eyeing him askance as he passed, replied, with a faltering
voice, "O, d-- ye!--you are safe at an anchor. I wish to God I were as
fast moored."

Nevertheless, conscious of his disabled heel, he would not venture
to try the experiment which had succeeded so well with Hatchway but
resolved to stick as close as possible to his horse's back, until
Providence should interpose in his behalf. With this view he dropped his
whip, and with his right hand laid fast hold on the pommel, contracting
every muscle in his body to secure himself in the seat, and grinning
most formidably in consequence of this exertion. In this attitude he
was hurried on a considerable way, when all of a sudden his view was
comforted by a five-bar gate that appeared before him, as he never
doubted that there the career of his hunter must necessarily end.
But, alas! he reckoned without his host. Far from halting at this
obstruction, the horse sprang over it with amazing agility, to the utter
confusion and disorder of his owner, who lost his hat and periwig in
the leap, and now began to think, in good earnest, that he was actually
mounted on the back of the devil. He recommended himself to God; his
reflections forsook him; his eyesight and all his other senses failed;
he quitted the reins, and fastening by instinct on the mane, was in this
condition conveyed into the midst of the sportsmen, who were astonished
at the sight of such an apparition. Neither was their surprise to be
wondered at, if we reflect on the figure that presented itself to their
view. The commodore's person was at all times an object of admiration;
much more so on this occasion, when every singularity was aggravated by
the circumstances of his dress and disaster.

He had put on, in honour of his nuptials, his best coat of blue
broad-cloth, cut by a tailor of Ramsgate, and trimmed with five dozen
of brass buttons large and small; his breeches were of the same piece,
fastened at the knees with large bunches of tape; his waistcoat was of
red plush lappelled with green velvet, and garnished with vellum holes;
his boots bore an infinite resemblance, both in colour and shape, to a
pair of leather buckets; his shoulder was graced with a broad buff belt,
from whence depended a huge hanger with a hilt like that of a backsword;
and on each side of his pommel appeared a rusty pistol rammed in a case
covered with a bearskin. The loss of his tie-periwig and laced hat,
which were curiosities of the kind, did not at all contribute to the
improvement of the picture, but, on the contrary, by exhibiting his
bald pate, and the natural extension of his lantern jaws, added to the
peculiarity and extravagance of the whole.

Such a spectacle could not have failed of diverting the whole company
from the chase had his horse thought proper to pursue a different route;
but the beast was too keen a sporter to choose any other way than that
which the stag followed and therefore, without stopping to gratify
the curiosity of the spectators, he in a few minutes outstripped every
hunter in the field. There being a deep hollow betwixt him and the
hounds, rather than ride round, about the length of a furlong, in a
path that crossed the lane, he transported himself at one jump, to the
unspeakable astonishment and terror of a waggoner who chanced to be
underneath, and saw this phenomenon fly over his carriage. This was not
the only adventure he achieved. The stag, having taken a deep river
that lay in his way, every man directed his course to a bridge in
the neighbourhood; but our bridegroom's courser, despising all such
conveniences, plunged into the stream without hesitation, and swam in a
twinkling to the opposite shore. This sudden immersion into an element
of which Trunnion was properly a native, in all probability helped to
recruit the exhausted spirits of his rider, at his landing on the other
side gave some tokens of sensation, by hallooing aloud for assistance,
which he could not possibly receive, because his horse still maintained
the advantage he had gained, and would not allow himself to be
overtaken.

In short, after a long chase that lasted several hours, and extended to
a dozen miles at least, he was the first in at the death of the deer,
being seconded by the lieutenant's gelding, which, actuated by the same
spirit, had, without a rider, followed his companion's example.

Our bridegroom, finding himself at last brought up, or, in other words,
at the end of his career, took the opportunity of this first pause, to
desire the huntsmen would lend him a hand in dismounting; and by their
condescension, safely placed on the grass, where he sat staring at
the company as they came in, with such wildness of astonishment in his
looks, as if he had been a creature of another species, dropped among
them from the clouds.

Before they had fleshed the hounds, however, he recollected himself;
and, seeing one of the sportsmen take a small flask out of his pocket
and apply it to his mouth, judged the cordial to be no other than neat
Cognac, which it really was; and expressing a desire of participation,
was immediately accommodated with a moderate dose, which perfectly
completed his recovery.

By this time he and his two horses had engrossed the attention of the
whole crowd: while some admired the elegant proportion and uncommon
spirit of the two animals, the rest contemplated the surprising
appearance of their master, whom before they had only seen en passant;
and at length, one of the gentlemen, accosting him very courteously,
signified his wonder at seeing him in such an equipage, and asked if
he had not dropped his companion by the way. "Why look ye, brother,"
replied the commodore, "mayhap you think me an odd sort of a fellow,
seeing me in this trim, especially as I have lost part of my rigging;
but this here is the case, d'ye see: I weighed anchor from my own house
this morning, at ten A.M. with fair weather, and a favourable breeze
at south-south-east, being bound to the next church on the voyage of
matrimony: but howsomever, we had not run down a quarter of a league,
when the wind shifting, blowed directly in our teeth; so that we were
forced to tack all the way, d'ye see, and had almost been up within
sight of the port, when these sons-of-b--s of horses, which I had
bought but two days before (for my own part, I believe they are devils
incarnate), luffed round in a trice, and then, refusing the helm, drove
away like lightning with me and my lieutenant, who soon came to anchor
in an exceeding good berth. As for my own part, I have been carried over
rocks, and quicksands; among which I have pitched away a special good
tie-periwig, and an iron-bound hat; and at last, thank God! am got into
smooth water and safe riding; but if ever I venture my carcass upon such
a hare'um scare'um blood-of-a-b-- again, my name is not Hawser Trunnion,
d-- my eyes!"

One of the company, struck with this name, which lie had often heard,
immediately laid hold on his declaration at the close of this singular
account, and, observing that his horses were very vicious, asked how he
intended to return. "As for that matter," replied Mr. Trunnion, "I am
resolved to hire a sledge or waggon, or such a thing as a jackass; for
I'll be d--d if ever I cross the back of a horse again."--"And what do
you propose to do with these creatures?" said the other, pointing to the
hunters; "they seem to have some mettle; but then they are mere colts,
and will take the devil-and-all of breaking: methinks this hinder one is
shoulder-slipped."--"D-- them," cried the commodore, "I wish both their
necks were broke, thof the two cost me forty good yellow-boys.".-"Forty
guineas!" exclaimed the stranger, who was a squire and a jockey, as well
as owner of the pack, "Lord! Lord! how a man may be imposed upon!
Why, these cattle are clumsy enough to go to plough; mind what a flat
counter; do but observe how sharp this here one is in the withers;
then he's fired in the further fetlock." In short, this connoisseur
in horse-flesh, having discovered in them all the defects which can
possibly be found in this species of animal, offered to give him ten
guineas for the two, saying he would convert them into beasts of burden.
The owner, who, after what had happened, was very well disposed to
listen to anything that was said to their prejudice, implicitly believed
the truth of the stranger's asseverations, discharged a furious volley
of oaths against the rascal who had taken him in, and forthwith struck
a bargain with the squire, who paid him instantly for his purchase; in
consequence of which he won the plate at the next Canterbury races.

This affair being transacted to the mutual satisfaction of both parties,
as well as to the general entertainment of the company, who laughed in
their sleeves at the dexterity of their friend, Trunnion was set upon
the squire's own horse, and led by his servant in the midst of this
cavalcade, which proceeded to a neighbouring village, where they had
bespoke dinner, and where our bridegroom found means to provide himself
with another hat and wig. With regard to his marriage, he bore his
disappointment with the temper of a philosopher; and the exercise he had
undergone having quickened his appetite, sat down at table in the midst
of his new acquaintance, making a very hearty meal, and moistening
every morsel with a draught of the ale, which he found very much to his
satisfaction.



CHAPTER IX.



He is found by Lieutenant--Reconducted to his own House--Married to Mrs.
Grizzle, who meets with a small misfortune in the Night, and asserts her
Prerogative next Morning, in consequence of which her Husband's Eye is
endangered.


Meanwhile Lieutenant Hatchway made shift to hobble to the church, where
he informed the company of what had happened to the commodore: and the
bride behaved with great decency on the occasion; for, as she understood
the danger to which her future husband was exposed, she fainted in the
arms of her sister-in-law, to the surprise of all the spectators,
who could not comprehend the cause of her disorder; and when she was
recovered by the application of smelling-bottles, earnestly begged that
Mr. Hatchway and Tom Pipes should take her brother's coach, and go in
quest of their commander.

This task they readily undertook, being escorted by all the rest of his
adherents on horseback; while the bride and her friends were invited to
the parson's horse, and the ceremony deferred till another occasion.

The lieutenant, steering his course as near the line of direction
in which Trunnion went off, as the coach-road would permit, got
intelligence of his track from one farm-house to another; for such an
apparition could not fail of attracting particular notice; and one of
the horsemen having picked up his hat and wig in a by-path, the whole
troop entered the village where he was lodged, about four o'clock in the
afternoon. When they understood he was safely housed at the George, they
rode up to the door in a body, and expressed their satisfaction in three
cheers; which were returned by the company within, as soon as they were
instructed in the nature of the salute by Trunnion, who, by this time,
had entered into all the jollity of his new friends, and was indeed more
than half-seas-over. The lieutenant was introduced to all present as his
sworn brother, and had something tossed up for his dinner. Tom Pipes and
the crew were regaled in another room; and, a fresh pair of horses being
put to the coach, about six in the evening the commodore, with all his
attendants, departed for the garrison, after having shook hands with
every individual in the house.

Without any further accident, he was conveyed in safety to his own
gate before nine, and committed to the care of Pipes, who carried him
instantly to his hammock, while the lieutenant was driven away to the
place where the bride and her friends remained in great anxiety,
which vanished when he assured them that his commodore was safe, being
succeeded by abundance of mirth and pleasantry at the account he gave of
Trunnion's adventure.

Another day was fixed for the nuptials; and in order to balk the
curiosity of idle people, which had given great offence, the parson was
prevailed upon to perform the ceremony in the garrison, which all
that day was adorned with flags and pendants displayed; and at night
illuminated, by the direction of Hatchway, who also ordered the
patereroes to be fired, as soon as the marriage-knot was tied. Neither
were the other parts of the entertainment neglected by this ingenious
contriver, who produced undeniable proofs of his elegance and art in
the wedding-supper, which had been committed to his management and
direction. This genial banquet was entirely composed of sea-dishes; a
huge pillaw, consisting of a large piece of beef sliced, a couple of
fowls, and half a peck of rice, smoked in the middle of the board: a
dish of hard fish, swimming in oil, appeared at each end; the sides
being furnished with a mess of that savoury composition known by the
name of lub's-course, and a plate of salmagundy. The second course
displayed a goose of a monstrous magnitude, flanked with two
Guinea-hens, a pig barbacued, a hock of salt pork, in the midst of
a pease-pudding, a leg of mutton roasted, with potatoes, and another
boiled, with yams. The third service was made up of a loin of fresh
pork, with apple-sauce, a kid smothered with onions, and a terrapin
baked in the shell; and last of all, a prodigious sea-pie was presented,
with an infinite volume of pancakes and fritters. That everything
might be answerable to the magnificence of this delicate feast, he had
provided vast quantifies of strong beer, flip, rumbo, and burnt brandy,
with plenty of Barbadoes water for the ladies; and hired all the fiddles
within six miles, which, with the addition of a drum, bagpipe, and Welsh
harp, regaled the guests with a most melodious concert.

The company, who were not at all exceptions, seemed extremely well
pleased with every particular of the entertainment; and the evening
being spent in the most social manner, the bride was by her sister
conducted to her apartment, where, however, a trifling circumstance had
like to have destroyed the harmony which had been hitherto maintained.

I have already observed, that there was not one standing bed within the
walls; therefore the reader will not wonder that Mrs. Trunnion was out
of humour, when she found herself under the necessity of being confined
with her spouse in a hammock, which, though enlarged with a double
portion of canvas, and dilated with a yoke for the occasion, was at
best but a disagreeable, not to say dangerous situation. She accordingly
complained with some warmth of this inconvenience, which she imputed
to disrespect; and, at first, absolutely refused to put up with the
expedient; but Mrs. Pickle soon brought her to reason and compliance,
by observing that one night will soon be elapsed, and next day she might
regulate her own economy.

Thus persuaded, she ventured into the vehicle, and was visited by her
husband in less than an hour, the company being departed to their own
homes, and the garrison left to the command of his lieutenant and mate.
But it seems the hooks that supported this swinging couch were not
calculated for the addition of weight which they were now destined to
bear; and therefore gave way in the middle of the night, to the no small
terror of Mrs. Trunnion, who perceiving herself falling, screamed aloud,
and by that exclamation brought Hatchway with a light into the chamber.
Though she had received no injury by the fall, she was extremely
discomposed and incensed at the accident, which she even openly ascribed
to the obstinacy and whimsical oddity of the commodore, in such petulant
terms as evidently declared that she thought her great aim accomplished,
and her authority secured against all the shocks of fortune. Indeed her
bedfellow seemed to be of the same opinion, by his tacit resignation;
for he made no reply to her insinuations, but with a most vinegar
aspect crawled out of his nest, and betook himself to rest in another
apartment; while his irritated spouse dismissed the lieutenant, and
from the wreck of the hammock made an occasional bed for herself on the
floor, fully determined to provide better accommodation for the next
night's lodging.

Having no inclination to sleep, her thoughts, during the remaining part
of the night, were engrossed by a scheme of reformation she was
resolved to execute in the family; and no sooner did the first lark
bid salutation to the morn, than, starting from her humble couch, and
huddling on her clothes, she sallied from her chamber, explored her
way through paths before unknown, and in the course of her researches
perceived a large bell, to which she made such effectual application
as alarmed every soul in the family. In a moment she was surrounded
by Hatchway, Pipes, and all the rest of the servants half-dressed; but
seeing none of the feminine gender appear, she began to storm at the
sloth and laziness of the maids, who, she observed, ought to have been
at work an hour at least before she called; and then, for the first
time, understood that no woman was permitted to sleep within the walls.

She did not fail to exclaim against this regulation; and being informed
that the cook and chambermaid lodged in a small office-house that stood
without the gate, ordered the drawbridge to be let down, and in person
beat up their quarters, commanding them forthwith to set about scouring
the rooms, which had not been hitherto kept in a very decent condition,
while two men were immediately employed to transport the bed on which
she used to lie from her brother's house to her new habitation; so that,
in less than two hours, the whole economy of the garrison was turned
topsy-turvy, and everything involved in tumult and noise. Trunnion,
being disturbed and distracted with the uproar, turned out in his shirt
like a maniac, and, arming himself with a cudgel of crab-tree, made
an irruption into his wife's apartment, where, perceiving a couple of
carpenters at work in joining a bedstead, he, with many dreadful oaths
and opprobrious invectives, ordered them to desist, swearing he would
suffer no bulkheads nor hurricane-houses to stand where he was master:
but finding his remonstrances disregarded by these mechanics, who
believed him to be some madman belonging to the family, who had broken
from his confinement, he assaulted them both with great fury and
indignation, and was handled so roughly, in the encounter, that in a
very short time he measured his length on the floor, in consequence of a
blow that he received from a hammer by which the sight of his remaining
eye was grievously endangered.

Having thus reduced him to a state of subjection, they resolved to
secure him with cords, and were actually busy in adjusting his fetters,
when he was exempted from the disgrace by the accidental entrance of his
spouse, who rescued him from the hands of his adversaries, and, in the
midst of her condolence, imputed his misfortune to the inconsiderate
roughness of his own disposition.

He breathed nothing but revenge, and made some efforts to chastise the
insolence of the workmen, who, as soon as they understood his quality,
asked forgiveness for what they had done with great humility, protesting
that they did not know he was master of the house. But, far from
being satisfied with this apology, he groped about for the bell, the
inflammation of his eye having utterly deprived him of sight; and the
rope being, by the precaution of the delinquents, conveyed out of his
reach, began to storm with incredible vociferation, like a lion roaring
in the toil, pouring forth innumerable oaths and execrations, and
calling by name Hatchway and Pipes, who, being within hearing, obeyed
the extraordinary summons, and were ordered to put the carpenters in
irons, for having audaciously assaulted him in his own house.

His myrmidons, seeing he had been evil-treated, were exasperated at the
insult he had suffered, which they considered as an affront upon the
dignity of the garrison; the more so as the mutineers seemed to put
themselves in a posture of defence and set their authority at defiance;
they therefore unsheathed their cutlasses, which they commonly wore
as badges of their commission; and a desperate engagement in all
probability would have ensued, had not the lady of the castle
interposed, and prevented the effects of their animosity, by assuring
the lieutenant that the commodore had been the aggressor, and that the
workmen, finding themselves attacked in such an extraordinary manner,
by a person whom they did not know, were obliged to act in their own
defence, by which he had received that unlucky contusion.

Mr. Hatchway no sooner learnt the sentiments of Mrs. Trunnion, than,
sheathing his indignation, he told the commodore he should always
be ready to execute his lawful commands; but that he could not in
conscience be concerned in oppressing poor people who had been guilty of
no offence.

This unexpected declaration, together with the behaviour of his wife,
who in his hearing desired the carpenters to resume their work, filled
the breast of Trunnion with rage and mortification. He pulled off his
woollen night-cap, pummeled his bare pate, beat the floor alternately
with his feet, swore his people had betrayed him, and cursed himself to
the lowest pit of hell for having admitted such a cockatrice into his
family. But all these exclamations did not avail; they were among the
last essays of his resistance to the will of his wife, whose influence
among his adherents had already swallowed up his own, and peremptorily
told him that he must leave the management of everything within-doors to
her, who understood best what was for his honour and advantage. She then
ordered a poultice to be prepared for his eye, which being applied, he
was committed to the care of Pipes, by whom he was led about the house
like a blind bear growling for prey, while his industrious yoke-fellow
executed every circumstance of the plan she had projected; so that when
he recovered his vision he was an utter stranger in his own house.



CHAPTER X.



The Commodore being in some cases restive, his Lady has recourse to
Artifice in the Establishment of her Throne--She exhibits Symptoms of
Pregnancy, to the unspeakable joy of Trunnion, who, nevertheless, is
balked in his expectation.


These innovations were not effected without many loud objections on
his part; and divers curious dialogues passed between him and his
yoke-fellow, who always came off victorious from the dispute; insomuch,
that his countenance gradually fell: he began to suppress, and at length
entirely devoured, his chagrin; the terrors of superior authority were
plainly perceivable in his features; and in less than three months
he became a thorough-paced husband. Not that his obstinacy was
extinguished, though overcome. In some things he was as inflexible and
mulish as ever; but then he durst not kick so openly, and was reduced
to the necessity of being passive in his resentments. Mrs. Trunnion, for
example, proposed that a coach and six should be purchased, as she could
not ride on horseback, and the chaise was a scandalous carriage for a
person of her condition. The commodore, conscious of his own inferior
capacity in point of reasoning, did not think proper to dispute the
proposal but lent a deaf ear to her repeated remonstrances, though
they were enforced with every argument which she thought could soothe,
terrify, shame or decoy him into compliance. In vain did she urge
the excess of affection she had for him as meriting some return of
tenderness and condescension: he was even proof against certain menacing
hints she gave touching the resentment of a slighted woman; and he stood
out against all the considerations of dignity or disgrace like a bulwark
of brass. Neither was he moved to any indecent or unkind expressions of
contradiction, even when she upbraided him with his sordid disposition,
and put him in mind of the fortune and honour he had acquired by his
marriage, but seemed to retire within himself, like a tortoise when
attacked, that shrinks within its shell, and silently endured the
scourge of her reproaches, without seeming sensible of the smart.

This, however, was the only point in which she had been baffled since
her nuptials; and as she could by no means digest the miscarriage, she
tortured her invention for some new plan by which she might augment
her influence and authority. What her genius refused was supplied by
accident; for she had not lived four months in the garrison, when
she was seized with frequent qualms and retchings; in a word, she
congratulated herself on the symptoms of her own fertility; and the
commodore was transported with joy at the prospect of an heir of his own
begetting.

She knew this was the proper season for vindicating her own sovereignty,
and accordingly employed the means which nature had put in her power.
There was not a rare piece of furniture or apparel for which she did not
long; and one day, as she went to church, seeing Lady Stately's equipage
arrive, she suddenly fainted away. Her husband, whose vanity had never
been so perfectly gratified as with this promised harvest of his own
sowing, took the alarm immediately; and in order to prevent relapses of
that kind, which might be attended with fatal consequence to his hope,
gave her leave to bespeak a coach, horses, and liveries, to her own
liking. Thus authorized, she in a very little time exhibited such a
specimen of her own taste and magnificence as afforded speculation to
the whole country, and made Trunnion's heart quake within him; because
he foresaw no limits to her extravagance which also manifested itself in
the most expensive preparations for her lying-in.

Her pride, which had hitherto regarded the representative of her
father's house, seemed now to lose all that hereditary respect, and
prompt her to outshine and undervalue the elder branch of her family.
She behaved to Mrs. Pickle with a sort of civil reserve that implied a
conscious superiority; and an emulation in point of grandeur immediately
commenced between the two sisters. She every day communicated her
importance to the whole parish, under pretence of taking the air in
her coach, and endeavoured to extend her acquaintance among people of
fashion. Nor was this an undertaking attended with great difficulty, for
all persons whatever capable of maintaining a certain appearance, will
always find admission into what is called the best company, and be
rated in point of character according to their own valuation, without
subjecting their pretensions to the smallest doubt or examination. In
all her visits and parties she seized every opportunity of declaring her
present condition, observing that she was forbid by her physicians to
taste such a pickle, and that such a dish was poison to a woman in her
way; nay, where she was on a footing of familiarity, she affected to
make wry faces, and complained that the young rogue began to be very
unruly, writhing herself into divers contortions, as if she had been
grievously incommoded by the mettle of this future Trunnion. The husband
himself did not behave with all the moderation that might have been
expected. At the club he frequently mentioned this circumstance of his
own vigour as a pretty successful feat to be performed by an old fellow
of fifty-five, and confirmed the opinion of his strength by redoubled
squeezes of the landlord's hand, which never failed of extorting a
satisfactory certificate of his might. When his companions drank to the
Hans en kelder, or Jack in the low cellar, he could not help displaying
an extraordinary complacence of countenance, and signified his intention
of sending the young dog to sea as soon as he should be able to carry a
cartridge, in hopes of seeing him an officer before his own death.

This hope helped to console him under the extraordinary expense to
which he was exposed by the profusion of his wife, especially when he
considered that his compliance with her prodigality would be limited to
the expiration of the nine months, of which the best part was by this
time elapsed: yet, in spite of all this philosophical resignation, her
fancy sometimes soared to such a ridiculous and intolerable pitch of
insolence and absurdity, that his temper forsook him, and he could
not help wishing in secret that her pride might be confounded in the
dissipation of her most flattering hopes, even though he himself should
be a principal sufferer by the disappointment. These, however, were no
other than the suggestions of temporary disgusts, that commonly subsided
as suddenly as they arose, and never gave the least disturbance to the
person who inspired them, because he took care to conceal them carefully
from her knowledge.

Meanwhile she happily advanced in her reckoning, with the promise of a
favourable issue: the term of her computation expired, and in the middle
of the night she was visited by certain warnings that seemed to bespeak
the approach of the critical moment. The commodore got up with great
alacrity, and called the midwife, who had been several days in the
house; the gossips were immediately summoned, and the most interesting
expectations prevailed; but the symptoms of labour gradually vanished,
and as the matrons sagely observed, this was no more than a false alarm.

Two nights after they received a second intimation, and as she was
sensibly diminished in the waist, everything was supposed to be in a
fair way; yet this visitation was not more conclusive than the former;
her pains wore off in spite of all her endeavours to encourage them,
and the good women betook themselves to their respective homes, in
expectation of finding the third attack decisive, alluding to the
well-known maxim, that "number three is always fortunate." For once,
however, this apophthegm failed; the next call was altogether as
ineffectual as the former; and moreover, attended with a phenomenon
which to them was equally strange and inexplicable: this was no other
than such a reduction in the size of Mrs. Trunnion as might have been
expected after the birth of a full-grown child. Startled at such an
unaccountable event, they sat in close divan; and concluding that
the case was in all respects unnatural and prodigious, desired that a
messenger might be immediately despatched for some male practitioner in
the art of midwifery.

The commodore, without guessing the cause of her perplexity, ordered
Pipes immediately on this piece of duty, and in less than two hours
they were assisted by the advice of a surgeon of the neighbourhood,
who boldly affirmed that the patient had never been with child. This
asseveration was like a clap of thunder to Mr. Trunnion, who had been,
during eight whole days and nights, in continual expectation of being
hailed with the appellation of father.

After some recollection, he swore the surgeon was an ignorant fellow,
and that he would not take his word for what he advanced, being
comforted and confirmed in his want of faith by the insinuations of
the midwife, who still persisted to feed Mrs. Trunnion with hopes of a
speedy and safe delivery; observing that she had been concerned in many
a case of the same nature, where a fine child was found, even after all
signs of the mother's pregnancy had disappeared. Every twig of hope, how
slender soever it may be, is eagerly caught hold on by people who find
themselves in danger of being disappointed. To every question proposed
by her to the lady, with the preambles of "Han't you?" or "Don't you?"
answer was made in the affirmative, whether agreeable to truth or not,
because the respondent could not find in her heart to disown any symptom
that might favour the notion she had so long indulged.

This experienced proficient in the obstetric art was therefore kept in
close attendance for the space of three weeks, during which the patient
had several returns of what she pleased herself with believing to be
labour pains, till at length, she and her husband became the standing
joke of the parish; and this infatuated couple could scarce be prevailed
upon to part with their hope, even when she appeared as lank as a
greyhound, and they were furnished with other unquestionable proofs of
their having been deceived. But they could not for ever remain under
the influence of this sweet delusion, which at last faded away, and was
succeeded by a paroxysm of shame and confusion, that kept the husband
within-doors for the space of a whole fortnight, and confined his lady
to her bed for a series of weeks, during which she suffered all the
anguish of the most intense mortification; yet even this was subdued by
the lenient hand of time.

The first respite from her chagrin was employed in the strict discharge
of what are called the duties of religion, which she performed with
the most rancorous severity, setting on foot a persecution in her own
family, that made the house too hot for all the menial servants, even
ruffled the almost invincible indifference of Tom Pipes, harassed the
commodore himself out of all patience, and spared no individual but
Lieutenant Hatchway, whom she never ventured to disoblige.



CHAPTER XI.



Mrs. Trunnion erects a Tyranny in the Garrison, while her Husband
conceives an affection for his Nephew Perry, who manifests a peculiarity
of disposition even in his tender years.


Having exercised herself three months in such pious amusements, she
appeared again in the world; but her misfortune had made such an
impression on her mind, that she could not bear the sight of a child,
and trembled whenever conversation happened to turn upon a christening.
Her temper, which was naturally none of the sweetest, seemed to have
imbibed a double proportion of souring from her disappointment; of
consequence, her company was not much coveted, and she found very few
people disposed to treat her with those marks of consideration which she
looked upon as her due. This neglect detached her from the society of an
unmannerly world; she concentrated the energy of all her talents in
the government of her own house, which groaned accordingly under her
arbitrary sway; and in the brandy-bottle found ample consolation for all
the affliction she had undergone.

As for the commodore, he in a little time weathered his disgrace, after
having sustained many severe jokes from the lieutenant, and now his
chief aim being to be absent from his own house as much as possible, he
frequented the public-house more than ever, more assiduously cultivated
the friendship of his brother-in-law, Mr. Pickle, and in the course of
their intimacy conceived an affection for his nephew Perry, which did
not end but with his life. Indeed it must be owned that Trunnion was
not naturally deficient in the social passions of the soul, which though
they were strangely warped, disguised, and overborne by the circumstance
of his boisterous life and education, did not fail to manifest
themselves occasionally through the whole course of his behaviour.

As all the hopes of propagating his own name had perished, and his
relations lay under the interdiction of his hate, it is no wonder that
through the familiarity and friendly intercourse subsisting between him
and Mr. Gamaliel, he contracted a liking for the boy, who by this time
entered the third year of his age, and was indeed a very handsome,
healthy, and promising child; and what seemed to ingratiate him still
more with his uncle, was a certain oddity of disposition, for which he
had been remarkable even from his cradle. It is reported of him, that
before the first year of his infancy was elapsed, he used very often,
immediately after being dressed, in the midst of the caresses which
were bestowed upon him by his mother, while she indulged herself in the
contemplation of her own happiness, all of a sudden to alarm her with
a fit of shrieks and cries, which continued with great violence till
he was stripped to the skin with the utmost expedition by order of
his affrighted parent, who thought his tender body was tortured by the
misapplication of some unlucky pill; and when he had given them all this
disturbance and unnecessary trouble, he would he sprawling and laughing
in their faces, as if he ridiculed the impertinence of their concern.
Nay, it is affirmed, that one day, when an old woman who attended in the
nursery had by stealth conveyed a bottle of cordial waters to her mouth,
he pulled his nurse by the sleeve, by a slight glance detected the
theft, and tipped her the wink with a particular slyness of countenance,
as if he had said, with a sneer, "Ay, ay, that is what you must all come
to." But these instances of reflection in a babe nine months old are
so incredible, that I look upon them as observations, founded upon
imaginary recollection, when he was in a more advanced age, and his
peculiarities of temper became much more remarkable; of a piece with
the ingenious discoveries of those sagacious observers, who can
discern something evidently characteristic in the features of any noted
personage whose character they have previously heard explained. Yet
without pretending to specify at what period of his childhood this
singularity first appeared, I can with great truth declare, that when
he first attracted the notice and affection of his uncle, it was plainly
perceivable.

One would imagine he had marked out the commodore as a proper object of
ridicule, for almost all his little childish satire was leveled
against him. I will not deny that he might have been influenced in this
particular by the example and instruction of Mr. Hatchway, who delighted
in superintending the first essays of his genius. As the gout had taken
up its residence in Mr. Trunnion's great toe, from whence it never
removed, no not for a day, little Perry took great pleasure in treading
by accident on this infirm member; and when his uncle, incensed by the
pain, used to damn him for a hell-begotten brat, he would appease him in
a twinkling, by returning the curse with equal emphasis, and asking
what was the matter with old Hannibal Tough? an appellation by which the
lieutenant had taught him to distinguish this grim commander.

Neither was this the only experiment he tried upon the patience of the
commodore, with whose nose he used to take indecent freedoms, even.
while he was fondled on his knee. In one month he put him to the
expense of two guineas in seal-skin; by picking his pocket of divers
tobacco-pouches, all of which he in secret committed to the flames. Nor
did the caprice of his disposition abstain from the favourite beverage
of Trunnion, who more than once swallowed a whole draught in which
his brother's snuff-box had been emptied, before he perceived the
disagreeable infusion; and one day, when the commodore had chastised him
by a gentle tap with his cane, he fell flat on the floor as if he had
been deprived of all sense and motion, to the terror and amazement of
the striker; and after having filled the whole house with confusion and
dismay, opened his eyes, and laughed heartily at the success of his own
imposition.

It would be an endless and perhaps no very agreeable task, to enumerate
all the unlucky pranks he played upon his uncle and others, before he
attained the fourth year of his age; about which time he was sent, with
an attendant, to a day-school in the neighbourhood, that (to use his
good mother's own expression) he might be out of harm's way. Here,
however, he made little progress, except in mischief, which he practised
with impunity, because the school-mistress would run no risk of
disobliging a lady of fortune, by exercising unnecessary severities upon
her only child. Nevertheless, Mrs. Pickle was not so blindly partial as
to be pleased with such unseasonable indulgence. Perry was taken out of
the hands of this courteous teacher, and committed to the instruction
of a pedagogue, who was ordered to administer such correction as the boy
should in his opinion deserve. This authority he did not neglect to
use, his pupil was regularly flogged twice a day; and after having been
subjected to this course of discipline for the space of eighteen months,
declared the most obstinate, dull, and untoward genius that ever had
fallen under his cultivation; instead of being reformed, he seemed
rather hardened and confirmed in his vicious inclinations, and was dead
to all sense of fear as well as shame.

His mother was extremely mortified at these symptoms of stupidity, which
she considered as an inheritance derived from the spirit of his father,
and consequently insurmountable by all the efforts of human care.
But the commodore rejoiced over the ruggedness of his nature, and was
particularly pleased when, upon inquiry, he found that Perry had beaten
all the boys in the school; a circumstance from which he prognosticated
everything that was fair and fortunate in his future fate: observing,
that at his age he himself was just such another. The boy, who was
now turned of six, having profited so little under the birch of
his unsparing governor, Mrs. Pickle was counselled to send him to a
boarding-school not far from London, which was kept by a certain person
very eminent for his successful method of education. This advice she the
more readily embraced, because at that time she found herself pretty
far gone with another child that she hoped would console her for the
disappointment she had met with in the unpromising talents of Perry,
or at any rate divide her concern, so as to enable her to endure the
absence of either.



CHAPTER XII.



Peregrine is sent to a boarding-school--Becomes remarkable for his
Genius and Ambition.


The commodore, understanding her determination, to which her husband did
not venture to make the least objection, interested himself so much
in behalf of his favourite, as to fit him out at his own charge, and
accompany him in person to the place of his destination; where he
defrayed the expense of his entrance, and left him to the particular
care and inspection of the usher, who having been recommended to him
as a person of parts and integrity, received per advance a handsome
consideration for the task he undertook.

Nothing could be better judged than this piece of liberality; the
assistant was actually a man of learning, probity, and good sense; and
though obliged by the scandalous administration of fortune to act in
the character of an inferior teacher, had, by his sole capacity and
application, brought the school to that degree of reputation, which
it never could have obtained from the talents of its superior. He had
established an economy, which, though regular, was not at all severe,
by enacting a body of laws suited to the age and comprehension of every
individual; and each transgressor was fairly tried by his peers, and
punished according to the verdict of the jury. No boy was scourged for
want of apprehension, but a spirit of emulation was raised by well-timed
praise and artful comparison, and maintained by a distribution of small
prizes, which were adjudged to those who signalized themselves either by
their industry, sobriety, or genius.

This tutor, whose name was Jennings, began with Perry, according to his
constant maxim, by examining the soil; that is, studying his temper,
in order to consult the bias of his disposition, which was strangely
perverted by the absurd discipline he had undergone. He found him in a
state of sullen insensibility, which the child had gradually contracted
in a long course of stupefying correction; and at first he was not in
the least actuated by that commendation which animated the rest of
his school-fellows; nor was it in the power of reproach to excite his
ambition, which had been buried, as it were, in the grave of disgrace;
the usher, therefore, had recourse to contemptuous neglect, with
which he affected to treat this stubborn spirit; foreseeing that if he
retained any seeds of sentiment, this weather would infallibly raise
them into vegetation; his judgment was justified by the event; the boy
in a little time began to make observations; he perceived the marks
of distinction with which virtue was rewarded, grew ashamed of the
despicable figure he himself made among his companions, who, far from
courting, rather shunned his conversation, and actually pined at his own
want of importance.

Mr. Jennings saw and rejoiced at his mortification, which he suffered
to proceed as far as possible, without endangering his health. The child
lost all relish for diversion, loathed his food, grew pensive, solitary,
and was frequently found weeping by himself. These symptoms plainly
evinced the recovery of his feelings, to which his governor thought it
now high time to make application; and therefore by little and little
altered his behaviour from the indifference he had put on, to the
appearance of more regard and attention. This produced a favourable
change in the boy, whose eyes sparkled with satisfaction one day, when
his master expressed himself, with a show of surprise, in these words:
"So, Perry! I find you don't want genius, when you think proper to
use it." Such encomiums kindled the spirit of emulation in his little
breast; he exerted himself with surprising alacrity, by which he soon
acquitted himself of the imputation of dullness, and obtained sundry
honorary silver pennies, as acknowledgments of his application; his
school-fellows now solicited his friendship as eagerly as they had
avoided it before; and in less than a twelvemonth after his arrival,
this supposed dunce was remarkable for the brightness of his parts;
having in that short period learnt to read English perfectly well, made
great progress in writing, enabled himself to speak the French language
without hesitation, and acquired some knowledge in the rudiments of
the Latin tongue. The usher did not fail to transmit an account of
his proficiency to the commodore, who received it with transport, and
forthwith communicated the happy tidings to the parents.

Mr. Gamaliel Pickle, who was never subject to violent emotions, heard
them with a sort of phlegmatic satisfaction, that scarce manifested
itself either in his countenance or expressions; nor did the child's
mother break forth into that rapture and admiration which might
have been expected, when she understood how much the talents of her
first-born had exceeded the hope of her warmest imagination. Not but
that she professed herself well pleased with Perry's reputation;
though she observed that in these commendations the truth was always
exaggerated by schoolmasters, for their own interest; and pretended to
wonder that the usher had not mingled more probability with his
praise. Trunnion was offended at her indifference and want of faith
and believing that she refined too much in her discernment, swore that
Jennings had declared the truth, and nothing but the truth; for he
himself had prophesied, from the beginning, that the boy would turn out
a credit to his family. But by this time Mrs. Pickle was blessed with
a daughter, whom she had brought into the world about six months before
the intelligence arrived; so that her care and affection being otherwise
engrossed, the praise of Perry was the less greedily devoured. The
abatement of her fondness was an advantage to his education, which would
have been retarded, and perhaps ruined, by pernicious indulgence, and
preposterous interposition, had her love considered him as an only
child; whereas her concern being now diverted to another object,
that shared, at least, one-half of her affection, he was left to the
management of his preceptor, who tutored him according to his own
plan, without any let or interruption. Indeed all his sagacity and
circumspection were but barely sufficient to keep the young gentleman
in order; for now that he had won the palm of victory from his rivals in
point of scholarship, his ambition dilated, and he was seized with the
desire of subjecting the whole school by the valour of his arm. Before
he could bring his project to bear, innumerable battles were fought with
various success; every day a bloody nose and complaint were presented
against him, and his own visage commonly bore some livid marks of
obstinate contention. At length, however, he accomplished his aim; his
adversaries were subdued, his prowess acknowledged, and he obtained the
laurel in war as well is in wit. Thus triumphant, he was intoxicated
with success: his pride rose in proportion to his power and, in spite
of all the endeavours of Jennings, who practised every method he could
invent for curbing his licentious conduct, without depressing his
spirit, he contracted a large proportion of insolence, which series of
misfortunes that happened to him in the sequel could scarce effectually
tame. Nevertheless there was a fund of good nature and generosity in his
composition; and though he established a tyranny among his comrades, the
tranquility of his reign was maintained by the love rather than by the
fear of his subjects.

In the midst of all this enjoyment of empire he never once violated that
respectful awe with which the usher had found means to inspire him; but
he by no means preserved the same regard for the principal master, an
old illiterate German quack, who had formerly practised corn-cutting
among the quality, and sold cosmetic washes to the ladies, together with
teeth-powders, hair-dyeing liquors, prolific elixirs, and tinctures to
sweeten the breath. These nostrums, recommended by the art of cringing,
in which he was consummate, ingratiated him so much with people of
fashion, that he was enabled to set up school with five-and-twenty boys
of the best families, whom he boarded on his own terms and undertook to
instruct in the French and Latin languages, so as to qualify them
for the colleges of Westminster and Eton. While this plan was in its
infancy, he was so fortunate as to meet with Jennings, who, for the
paltry consideration of thirty pounds a year, which his necessities
compelled him to accept, took the whole trouble of educating the
children upon himself, contrived an excellent system for that purpose,
and, by his assiduity and knowledge, executed all the particulars to the
entire satisfaction of those concerned, who, by the bye, never inquired
into his qualifications, but suffered the other to enjoy the fruits of
his labour and ingenuity.

Over and above a large stock of avarice, ignorance, and vanity, this
superior had certain ridiculous peculiarities in his person, such as
a hunch upon his back, and distorted limbs, that seemed to attract the
satirical notice of Peregrine, who, young as he was, took offence at
his want of reverence for his usher, over whom he sometimes chose
opportunities of displaying his authority, that the boys might not
misplace their veneration. Mr. Keypstick, therefore, such as I
have described him, incurred the contempt and displeasure of this
enterprising pupil, who now being in the tenth year of his age, had
capacity enough to give him abundance of vexation. He underwent many
mortifying jokes front the invention of Pickle and his confederates; so
that he began to entertain suspicion of Mr. Jennings, who he could
not help thinking had been at the bottom of them all, and spirited up
principles of rebellion in the school, with a view of making himself
independent. Possessed with this chimera, which was void of all
foundation, the German descended so low as to tamper in private with the
boys, from whom he hoped to draw some very important discovery; but he
was disappointed in his expectations; and this mean practice reaching
the ears of his usher, he voluntarily resigned his employment. Finding
interest to obtain holy orders in a little time after, he left
the kingdom, hoping to find a settlement in some of our American
plantations.

The departure of Mr. Jennings produced a great revolution in the affairs
of Keypstick, which declined from that moment, because he had neither
authority to enforce obedience, nor prudence to maintain order among his
scholars: so that the school degenerated into anarchy and confusion, and
he himself dwindled in the opinion of his employers, who looked upon him
as superannuated, and withdrew their children front his tuition.

Peregrine seeing this dissolution of their society, and finding himself
every day deprived of some companion, began to repine at his situation,
and resolved, if possible, to procure his release from the jurisdiction
of the person whom he both detested and despised. With this view he went
to work, and composed the following billet, addressed to the commodore,
which was the first specimen of his composition in the epistolary way:--

    "Honoured and Loving Uncle,--Hoping you are in good health,
    this serves to inform you, that Mr. Jennings is gone, and
    Mr. Keypstick will never meet with his fellow. The school
    is already almost broke up, and the rest daily going away;
    and I beg of you of all love to have me fetched away also,
    for I cannot bear to be any longer under one who is a perfect
    ignoramus, who scarce knows the declination of musa, and is
    more fit to be a scarecrow than a schoolmaster; hoping you
    will send for me soon, with my love to my aunt, and my duty
    to my honoured parents, craving their blessing and yours. And
    this is all at present from, honoured uncle, your well-beloved
    and dutiful nephew and godson, and humble servant to command
    till death,
                             "Peregrine Pickle."


Trunnion was overjoyed at the receipt of this letter, which he looked
upon as one of the greatest efforts of human genius, and as such
communicated the contents to his lady, whom he had disturbed for the
purpose in the middle of her devotion, by sending a message to her
closet, whither it was her custom very frequently to retire. She was
out of humour at being interrupted, and therefore did not peruse this
specimen of her nephew's understanding with all the relish that the
commodore himself had enjoyed; on the contrary, after sundry paralytical
endeavours to speak (for her tongue sometimes refused its office), she
observed that the boy was a pert jackanapes, and deserved to be severely
chastised for treating his betters with such disrespect. Her husband
undertook his godson's defence, representing with great warmth that he
knew Keypstick to be a good-for-nothing pimping old rascal, and that
Perry showed a great deal of spirit and good sense in desiring to be
taken from under his command; he therefore declared that the boy
should not live a week longer with such a shambling son of a b--, and
sanctioned this declaration with abundance of oaths.

Mrs. Trunnion, composing her countenance into a look of religions
demureness, rebuked him for his profane way of talking; and asked, in
a magisterial tone, if he intended never to lay aside that brutal
behaviour. Irritated at this reproach, he answered, in terms of
indignation, that he knew how to behave himself as well as e'er a woman
that wore a head, bade her mind her affairs, and with another repetition
of oaths gave her to understand that he would be master in his own
house.

The insinuation operated upon her spirits like friction upon a glass
globe: her face gleamed with resentment, and every pore seemed to emit
particles of flame. She replied with incredible fluency of the bitterest
expressions: he retorted equal rage in broken hints and incoherent
imprecations: she rejoined with redoubled fury; and in conclusion he was
fain to betake himself to flight, ejaculating curses against her; and
muttering something concerning the brandy-bottle, which, however, he
took care should never reach her ears.

From his own house he went directly to visit Mrs. Pickle, to whom
he imparted Peregrine's epistle, with many encomiums upon the boy's
promising parts: and, finding his commendations but coolly received,
desired she would permit him to take his godson under his own care.

This lady, whose family was now increased by another son, who seemed to
engross her care for the present, had not seen Perry during a course
of four years, and, with regard to him, was perfectly weaned of
that infirmity known by the name of maternal fondness: she therefore
consented to the commodore's request with great condescension, and a
polite compliment to him on the concern he had all along manifested for
the welfare of the child.



CHAPTER XIII.



The Commodore takes Peregrine under his own care--The Boy arrives at
the Garrison--Is strangely received by his own Mother--Enters into a
Confederacy with Hatchway and Pipes, and executes a couple of waggish
Enterprises upon his Aunt.


Trunnion having obtained this permission, that very afternoon despatched
the lieutenant in a post-chaise to Keypstick's house, from whence in two
days he returned with our young hero, who being now in the eleventh
year of his age, had outgrown the expectation of all his family, and was
remarkable for the beauty and elegance of his person. His godfather was
transported at his arrival, as if he had been actually the issue of
his own loins: he shook him heartily by the hand, turned him round and
round, surveyed him from top to bottom, bade Hatchway take notice how
handsomely he was built; and squeezed his hand again, saying,--"D-- ye,
you dog, I suppose you don't value such an old crazy son of a b-- as me
a rope's end. You have forgot how I was wont to dandle you on my knee,
when you was a little urchin no bigger than a davit, and played a
thousand tricks upon me, burning my 'bacco-pouches and poisoning my
rumbo. O! d-- ye, you can grin fast enough I see; I warrant you have
learnt more things than writing and the Latin lingo."

Even Tom Pipes expressed uncommon satisfaction on this joyful occasion;
and, coming up to Perry, thrust forth his fore paw, and accosted him
with the salutation of "What cheer, my young master? I am glad to see
thee with all my heart." These compliments being passed, his uncle
halted to the door of his wife's chamber, at which he stood hallooing,
"Here's your kinsman, Perry: belike you won't come and bid him
welcome."--"Lord, Mr. Trunnion," said she, "why will you continually
harass me in this manner with your impertinent intrusion?"-"I harrow
you!" replied the commodore: "'sblood! I believe your upper works are
damaged: I only came to inform you that here was your cousin, whom you
have not seen these four long years; and I'll be d--d if there is such
another of his age within the king's dominions, d'ye see, either for
make or mettle: he's a credit to the name, d'ye see: but, d-- my eyes,
I'll say no more of the matter: if you come, you may; if you won't,
you may let it alone."--"Well, I won't come, then," answered his
yoke-fellow, "for I am at present more agreeably employed."--"Oho!
you are. I believe so too," cried the commodore, making wry faces and
mimicking the action of dram-drinking. Then, addressing himself to
Hatchway, "Prithee, Jack," said he, "go and try thy skill on that
stubborn hulk: if anybody can bring her about, I know you wool."

The lieutenant accordingly, taking his station at the door, conveyed
his persuasion in these words: "What, won't you turn out and hail little
Perry? It will do your heart good to see such a handsome young dog; I'm
sure he is the very moral of you, and as like as if he had been spit out
of your own mouth, as the saying is: do show a little respect for your
kinsman, can't you?" To this remonstrance she replied, in a mild tone of
voice, "Dear Mr. Hatchway, you are always teasing one in such a manner:
sure I am, nobody can tax me with unkindness, or want of natural
affection." So saying, she opened the door, and, advancing to the hall
where her nephew stood, received him very graciously and observed that
he was the very image of her papa.

In the afternoon he was conducted by the commodore to the house of his
parents; and, strange to tell, no sooner was he presented to his mother,
than her countenance changed, she eyed him with tokens of affliction and
surprise, and, bursting into tears, exclaimed her child was dead, and
this was no other than an impostor whom they had brought to defraud her
sorrow. Trunnion was confounded at this unaccountable passion, which had
no other foundation than caprice and whim; and Gamaliel himself was so
disconcerted and unsettled in his own belief, which began to waver,
that he knew not how to behave towards the boy, whom his godfather
immediately carried back to the garrison, swearing all the way that
Perry should never cross their threshold again with his good-will. Nay,
so much was he incensed at this unnatural and absurd renunciation, that
he refused to carry on any further correspondence with Pickle, until he
was appeased by his solicitations and submission, and Peregrine owned as
his son and heir. But this acknowledgment was made without the privity
of his wife, whose vicious aversion he was obliged, in appearance, to
adopt. Thus exiled from his father's house, the young gentleman was left
entirely to the disposal of the commodore, whose affection for him daily
increased, insomuch that he could scarcely prevail upon himself to
part with him, when his education absolutely required that he should be
otherwise disposed of.

In all probability, this extraordinary attachment was, if not produced,
at least riveted by that peculiar turn in Peregrine's imagination, which
we have already observed; and which, during his residence in the castle,
appeared in sundry stratagems he practised upon his uncle and aunt,
under the auspices of Mr. Hatchway who assisted him in the contrivance
and execution of all his schemes. Nor was Pipes exempted from a share in
their undertakings; for, being a trusty fellow, not without dexterity
in some cases, and altogether resigned to their will, they found him a
serviceable instrument for their purpose, and used him accordingly.

The first sample of their art was exhibited upon Mrs. Trunnion. They
terrified that good lady with strange noises when she retired to her
devotion. Pipes was a natural genius in the composition of discords: he
could imitate the sound produced by the winding of a jack, the filing
of a saw, and the swinging of a malefactor hanging in chains; he could
counterfeit the braying of an ass, the screeching of a night-owl, the
caterwauling of cats, the howling of a dog, the squeaking of a pig,
the crowing of a cock; and he had learned the war-whoop uttered by the
Indians in North America. These talents were exerted successively,
at different times and places, to the terror of Mrs. Trunnion, the
discomposure of the commodore himself, and the consternation of all
the servants in the castle. Peregrine, with a sheet over his clothes,
sometimes tumbled before his aunt in the twilight, when her organs of
vision were a little impaired by the cordial she had swallowed; and the
boatswain's mate taught him to shoe cats with walnut-shells, so that
they made a most dreadful clattering in their nocturnal excursions.

The mind of Mrs. Trunnion was not a little disturbed by these alarms,
which, in her opinion, portended the death of some principal person in
the family; she redoubled her religious exercises, and fortified her
spirits with fresh potations; nay, she began to take notice that Mr.
Trunnion's constitution was very much broken, and seemed dissatisfied
when people observed that they never saw him look better. Her frequent
visits to the closet, where all her consolation was deposited, inspired
the confederates with a device which had like to have been attended with
tragical consequences. They found an opportunity to infuse jalap in one
of her case-bottles; and she took so largely of this medicine, that her
constitution had well nigh sunk under the violence of its effect. She
suffered a succession of fainting fits that reduced her to the brink
of the grave, in spite of all the remedies that were administered by a
physician, who was called in the beginning of her disorder.

After having examined the symptoms, he declared that the patient had
been poisoned with arsenic, and prescribed only draughts and lubricating
injections, to defend the coats of the stomach and intestines from
the vellicating particles of that pernicious mineral; at the same time
hinting, with a look of infinite sagacity, that it was not difficult to
divine the whole mystery. He affected to deplore the poor lady, as if
she was exposed to more attempts of the same nature; thereby glancing
obliquely at the innocent commodore, whom the officious son of
Aesculapius suspected as the author of this expedient, to rid his hands
of a yoke-fellow for whom he was well known to have no great devotion.
This impertinent and malicious insinuation made some impression upon the
bystanders, and furnished ample field for slander to asperse the morals
of Trunnion, who was represented through the whole district as a monster
of barbarity. Nay, the sufferer herself, though she behaved with great
decency and prudence, could not help entertaining some small diffidence
of her husband; not that she imagined he had any design upon her life,
but that he had been at pains to adulterate the brandy with a view of
detaching her from that favourite liquor.

On this supposition, she resolved to act with more caution for the
future, without setting on foot any inquiry about the affair; while the
commodore, imputing her indisposition to some natural cause, after the
danger was past, never bestowed a thought upon the subject; so that the
perpetrators were quit of their fear, which, however, had punished them
so effectually, that they never would hazard any more jokes of the same
nature.

The shafts of their wit were now directed against the commander himself,
whom they teased and terrified almost out of his senses. One day, while
he was at dinner, Pipes came and told him that there was a person
below that wanted to speak with him immediately, about an affair of the
greatest importance, that would admit of no delay; upon which he ordered
the stranger to be told that he was engaged, and that he must send up
his name and business. To this demand he received for answer a message
importing that the person's name was unknown to him, and his business
of such a nature, that it could not be disclosed to any one but the
commodore himself, whom he earnestly desired to see without loss of
time.

Trunnion, surprised at this importunity, got up with great reluctance,
in the middle of his meal, and descending to a parlour where the
stranger was, asked him, in a surly tone, what he wanted with him in
such a d--d hurry, that he could not wait till he had made an end of his
mess? The other, not at all disconcerted at this rough address, advanced
close up to him on his tiptoes, and, with a look of confidence and
conceit, laying his mouth to one side of the commodore's head, whispered
softly in his car, "Sir, I am the attorney whom you wanted to converse
with in private."--"The attorney?" cried Trunnion, staring, and
half-choked with choler. "Yes, sir, at your service," replied this
retainer of the law; "and, if you please, the sooner we despatch the
affair the better; for 'tis an old observation, that delay breeds
danger."--"Truly, brother," said the commodore, who could no longer
contain himself, "I do confess that I am very much of your way of
thinking, d'ye see, and therefore you shall be despatched in a trice."
So saying, he lifted up his walking-staff, which was something between
a crutch and a cudgel, and discharged it with such energy on the seat of
the attorney's understanding, that if there had been anything but solid
bone, the contents of his skull must have been evacuated.

Fortified as he was by nature against all such assaults, he could not
withstand the momentum of the blow, which in an instant laid him flat
on the floor, deprived of all sense and motion; and Trunnion hopped
upstairs to dinner, applauding himself in ejaculations all the way for
the vengeance he had taken on such an impudent pettifogging miscreant.

The attorney no sooner awaked from his trance, into which he had been so
unexpectedly killed, than he cast his eyes around in quest of evidence,
by which he might be enabled the more easily to prove the injury he had
sustained, but not a soul appearing, he made shift to get upon his legs
again, and, with the blood trickling over his nose, followed one of the
servants into the dining-room, resolved to come to an explanation with
the assailant, and either extort money from him by way of satisfaction,
or provoke him to a second application before witnesses. With this
view, he entered the room in a peal of clamour, to the amazement of all
present, and the terror of Mrs. Trunnion, who shrieked at the appearance
of such a spectacle; and addressing himself to the commodore, "I'll
tell you what, sir," said he; "if there be law in England, I'll make you
smart for this here assault." You think you have screened yourself from
a prosecution by sending all your servants out of the way; but that
circumstance will appear upon trial to be a plain proof of the malice
prepense with which the fact was committed; especially when corroborated
by the evidence of this here letter, under your own hand, whereby I am
desired to come to your own house to transact an affair of consequence.
So he produced the writing, and read the contents in these words:--

                 "Mr. Roger Ravine.
    Sir,--Being in a manner prisoner in my own house, I desire
    you will give me a call precisely at three o'clock in the
    afternoon, and insist upon seeing myself, as I have an affair
    of great consequence, in which your particular advice is
    wanted by your humble servant,
                                   "Hawser Trunnion."


The one-eyed commander, who had been satisfied with the chastisement he
had already bestowed upon the plaintiff, hearing him read this audacious
piece of forgery, which he considered as the effect of his own villainy,
started up from table, and seizing a huge turkey that lay in a dish
before him, would have applied it, sauce and all, by way of poultice, to
his wound, had he not been restrained by Hatchway, who laid fast hold on
both his arms, and fixed him to his chair again, advising the attorney
to sheer off with what he had got. Far from following this salutary
counsel, he redoubled his threats: set Trunnion at defiance, telling him
he not a man of true courage, although he had commanded a ship of war,
or else he would not have attacked any person in such a cowardly and
clandestine manner. This provocation would have answered his purpose
effectually, had not his adversary's indignation been repressed by the
suggestions of the lieutenant, who desired his friend, in a whisper, to
be easy, for he would take care to have the attorney tossed in a
blanket for his presumption. This proposal, which he received with
great approbation, pacified him in a moment: he wiped the sweat from his
forehead, and his features relaxed into a grim smile.

Hatchway disappeared; and Ravine proceeded with great fluency of abuse,
until he was interrupted by the arrival of Pipes, who, without any
expostulation, led him out by the hand, and conducted him to the yard,
where he was put into a carpet, and in a twinkling sent into the air by
the strength and dexterity of five stout operators, whom the lieutenant
had selected from the number of domestics for that singular spell of
duty.

In vain did the astonished vaulter beg, for the love of God, that they
would take pity upon him, and put an end to his involuntary gambols:
they were deaf to his prayers and protestations, even when he swore,
in the most solemn manner, that if they would cease tormenting him, he
would forget and forgive what was past, and depart in peace to his own
habitation; and continued the game till they were fatigued with the
exercise.

Ravine being dismissed in a most melancholy plight, brought an action
of assault and battery against the commodore, and subpoenaed all the
servants as evidences in the cause; but as none of them had seen what
happened, he did not find his account in the prosecution, though he
himself examined all the witnesses, and, among their questions, asked,
whether they had not seen him come in like another man? and whether they
had ever seen any other man in such condition as that in which he
had crawled off. But this last interrogation they were not obliged
to answer, because it had reference to the second discipline he bad
undergone, in which they, and they only, were concerned; and no person
is bound to give testimony against himself.

In short, the attorney was nonsuited, to the satisfaction of all who
knew him, and found himself under the necessity of proving that he had
received, in course of post, the letter which was declared in court a
scandalous forgery, in order to prevent an indictment with which he was
threatened by the commodore, who little dreamt that the whole affair had
been planned and executed by Peregrine and his associates.

The next enterprise in which this triumvirate engaged, was a scheme to
frighten Trunnion with an apparition, which they prepared and exhibited
in this manner: to the hide of a large ox, Pipes fitted a leathern vizor
of a most terrible appearance, stretched on the jaws of a shark, which
he had brought from sea, and accommodated with a couple of broad glasses
instead of eyes. On the inside of these he placed two rushlights, and,
with a composition of sulphur and saltpetre, made a pretty large fusee,
which he fixed between two rows of the teeth. This equipage being
finished, he, one dark night chosen for the purpose, put it on, and,
following the commodore into a long passage, in which he was preceded by
Perry with a light in his hand, kindled his firework with a match, and
began to bellow like a bull. The boy, as it was concerted, looked behind
him, screamed aloud, and dropped the light, which was extinguished
in the fall; when Trunnion, alarmed at his nephew's consternation,
exclaimed, "Zounds! what's the matter?" and turning about to see the
cause of his dismay, beheld a hideous phantom vomiting blue flame, which
aggravated the horrors of its aspect. He was instantly seized with an
agony of fear, which divested him of his reason: nevertheless, he, as it
were mechanically, raised his trusty supporter in his own defence,
and, the apparition advancing towards him, aimed it at this dreadful
annoyance with such a convulsive exertion of strength, that had not the
blow chanced to light upon one of the horns Mr. Pipes would have had no
cause to value himself upon his invention. Misapplied as it was, he did
not fail to stagger at the shock; and, dreading another such salutation,
closed with the commodore, and having tripped up his heels, retreated
with great expedition.

It was then that Peregrine, pretending to recollect himself a little,
ran, with all the marks of disturbance and affright, and called up the
servants to the assistance of their master, whom they found in a cold
sweat upon the floor, his features betokening horror and confusion.
Hatchway raised him up, and having comforted him with a cup of Nantz,
began to inquire into the cause of his disorder: but he could not
extract one word of answer from his friend, who, after a considerable
pause, during which he seemed to be wrapt in profound contemplation,
pronounced aloud, "By the Lord! Jack, you may say what you wool; but
I'll be d-- if it was not Davy Jones himself. I know him by his saucer
eyes, his three rows of teeth, his horns and tail, and the blue smoke
that came out of his nostrils. What does the blackguard hell's baby
want with me? I'm sure I never committed murder, except in the way of my
profession, nor wronged any man whatsomever since I first went to sea."
This same Davy Jones, according to the mythology of sailors, is the
fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep, and is
often seen in various shapes, perching among the rigging on the eve of
hurricanes, shipwrecks, and other disasters, to which a seafaring life
is exposed; warning the devoted wretch of death and woe. No wonder then
that Trunnion was disturbed by a supposed visit of this demon, which, in
his opinion, foreboded some dreadful calamity.



CHAPTER XIV.



He is also, by their device, engaged in an Adventure with the Exciseman,
who does not find his Account in his own Drollery.


Howsomever preposterous and unaccountable that passion may be which
prompts persons, otherwise generous and sympathizing, to afflict
and perplex their fellow-creatures, certain it is, our confederates
entertained such a large proportion of it, that not satisfied with the
pranks they had already played, they still persecuted the commodore
without ceasing. In the course of his own history, the particulars of
which he delighted to recount, he had often rehearsed an adventure of
deer-stealing, in which, during the unthinking impetuosity of his
youth, he had been unfortunately concerned. Far from succeeding in that
achievement, he and his associates had, it seems, been made prisoners,
after an obstinate engagement with the keepers, and carried before
a neighbouring justice of the peace, who used Trunnion with great
indignity, and with his companions committed him to jail.

His own relations, and in particular an uncle on whom he chiefly
depended, treated him during his confinement with great rigour and
inhumanity and absolutely refused to interpose his influence in his
behalf, unless he would sign a writing, obliging himself to go to
sea within thirty days after his release, under the penalty of being
proceeded against as a felon. The alternative was, either to undergo
this voluntary exile, or remain in prison disowned and deserted by
everybody, and, after all, suffer an ignominious trial, that might end
in a sentence of transportation for life. He therefore, without much
hesitation, embraced the proposal of his kinsman, and, as he observed,
was, in less than a month after his discharge, turned adrift to the
mercy of the wind and waves.

Since that period he had never maintained any correspondence with his
relations, all of whom had concurred in sending him off; nor would he
ever pay the least regard to the humiliations and supplications of some
among them, who had prostrated themselves before him, on the advancement
of his fortune: but he retained a most inveterate resentment against
his uncle, who was still in being, though extremely old and infirm, and
frequently mentioned his name with all the bitterness of revenge.

Perry being perfectly well acquainted with the particulars of this
story, which he had heard so often repeated, proposed to Hatchway that
a person should be hired to introduce himself to the commodore, with a
supposititious letter of recommendation from this detested kinsman; an
imposition that, in all likelihood, would afford abundance of diversion.

The lieutenant relished the scheme and young Pickle having composed an
epistle for the occasion, the exciseman of the parish, a fellow of great
impudence and some humour, in whom Hatchway could confide, undertook to
transcribe and deliver it with his own hand, and also personate the
man in whose favour it was feigned to be written. He, accordingly, one
morning arrived on horseback at the garrison, two hours at least
before Trunnion used to get up, and gave Pipes, who admitted him, to
understand, that he had a letter from his master, which he was ordered
to deliver to none but the commodore himself. This message was no sooner
communicated, than the indignant chief (who had been waked for the
purpose) began to curse the messenger for breaking his rest, and swore
he would not budge till his usual time of turning out. This resolution
being conveyed to the stranger, he desired the carrier to go back and
tell him, he had such joyful tidings to impart, that he was sure the
commodore would think himself amply rewarded for his trouble, even if he
had been raised from the grave to receive them.

This assurance, flattering as it was, would not have been powerful
enough to persuade him, had it not been assisted with the exhortations
of his spouse, which never failed to influence his conduct. He therefore
crept out of bed, though not without great repugnance; and wrapping
himself in his morning gown, was supported down-stairs, rubbing his eye,
yawning fearfully, and grumbling in the way. As soon as he popped his
head into the parlour, the supposed stranger made divers awkward bows,
and with a grinning aspect accosted him in these words: "Your most
humble servant, most noble commodore! I hope you are in good health; you
look pure and hearty; and if it was not for that misfortune of your eye,
one would not desire to see a more pleasant countenance in a summer's
day. Sure as I am a living soul, one would take you to be on this side
of threescore. Lord help us, I should have known you to be a Trunnion,
if I had met with one in the midst of Salisbury Plain, as the saying
is."

The commodore, who was not at all in the humour of relishing such an
impertinent preamble, interrupted him in this place, saying, with a
peevish accent, "Pshaw! pshaw! brother, there's no occasion to bowse out
so much unnecessary gun; if you can't bring your discourse to bear on
the right subject, you had much better clap a stopper on your tongue,
and bring yourself up, d'ye see; I was told you had something to
deliver."--"Deliver!" cried the waggish impostor, "odds heart! I have
got something for you that will make your very entrails rejoice within
your body. Here's a letter from a dear and worthy friend of yours. Take,
read it, and be happy. Blessings on his old heart! one would think he
had renewed his age, like the eagle's." Trunnion's expectation being
thus raised, he called for his spectacles, adjusted them to his eye,
took the letter, and being curious to know the subscription, no sooner
perceived his uncle's name, then he started back, his lip quivered, and
he began to shake in every limb with resentment and surprise; eager
to know the subject of an epistle from a person who had never before
troubled him with any sort of address, he endeavoured to recollect
himself, and perused the contents, which were these;--

    "Loving Nephew,--I doubt not but you will be rejoiced to
    hear of my welfare; and well you may, considering what a
    kind uncle I have been to you in the days of your youth, and
    how little you deserved any such thing; for yet, was always
    a graceless young man, given to wicked courses and bad company,
    whereby you would have come to a shameful end, had it not been
    for my care in sending you out of mischief's way. But this is
    not the cause of my present writing. The bearer, Mr. Timothy
    Trickle, is a distant relation of yours, being the son of the
    cousin of your aunt Margery, and is not over and above well as
    to worldly matters. He thinks of going to London, to see for
    some post in the excise or customs if so be that you will
    recommend him to some great man of your acquaintance, and give
    him a small matter to keep him till he is provided. I doubt not,
    nephew, but you will be glad to serve him, if it was no more
    but for the respect you bear to me, who am,--Loving nephew,
    your affectionate uncle, and servant to command,
                                          "Tobiah Trunnion."


It would be a difficult task for the inimitable Hogarth himself to
exhibit the ludicrous expression of the commodore's countenance while
he read this letter. It was not a stare of astonishment, a convulsion
of rage, or a ghastly grin of revenge; but an association of all three,
that took possession of his features. At length, he hawked up, with
incredible straining, the interjection, "Ah!" that seemed to have stuck
some time in his windpipe; and thus gave vent to his indignation: "Have
I come alongside of you at last, you old stinking curmudgeon? You lie,
you lousy hulk! ye lie! you did all in your power to founder me when I
was a stripling; and as for being graceless and wicked, and keeping
bad company, you tell a d--d lie again, you thief! there was not a more
peaceable lad in the county, and I kept no bad company but your own,
d'ye see. Therefore, you Trickle, or what's your name, tell the old
rascal that sent you hither, that I spit in his face, and call him
horse; that I tear his letter into rags, so; and that I trample upon
it as I would upon his own villainous carcase, d'ye see." So saying, he
danced in a sort of frenzy upon the fragments of the paper, which he
had scattered about the room, to the inexpressible satisfaction of the
triumvirate, who beheld the scene.

The exciseman having got between him and the door, which was left open
for his escape, in case of necessity, affected great confusion and
surprise at his behaviour, saying, with an air of mortification, "Lord
be merciful unto me! is this the way you treat your own relations, and
the recommendation of your best friend? Surely all gratitude and virtue
has left this sinful world! What will cousin Tim, and Dick, and Tom,
and good mother Pipkin; and her daughters cousin Sue, and Prue, and
Peg, with all the rest of our kinsfolks, say, when they hear of this
unconscionable reception that I have met with? Consider, sir, that
ingratitude is worse than the sin of witchcraft, as the Apostle wisely
observes; and do not send me away with such unchristian usage, which
will lay a heavy load of guilt upon your poor miserable soul."--"What,
you are on a cruise for a post, brother Trickle, an't ye?" said
Trunnion, interrupting him, "we shall find a post for you in a trice,
my boy. Here, Pipes, take this saucy son of a b-- and help him to the
whipping-post in the yard. I'll teach you to rouse me in the morning
with such impertinent messages."

Pipes, who wanted to carry the joke farther than the exciseman dreamt
of, laid hold of him in a twinkling, and executed the orders of his
commander, notwithstanding all his nods, winking, and significant
gestures, which the boatswain's mate would by no means understand; so
that he began to repent of the part he acted in this performance, which
was like to end so tragically; and stood fastened to the stake, in a
very disagreeable state of suspense; casting many a rueful look over his
left shoulder, while Pipes was absent in quest of a cat-o'-nine-tails,
in expectation of being relieved by the interposition of the lieutenant,
who did not, however, appear. Tom, returning with the instrument of
correction, undressed the delinquent in a trice, and whispering in his
ear, that he was very sorry for being employed in such an office, but
durst not for his soul disobey the orders of his commander, flourished
the scourge about his head, and with admirable dexterity made such a
smarting application to the offender's back and shoulders, that the
distracted gauger performed sundry new cuts with his feet, and bellowed
hideously with pain, to the infinite satisfaction of the spectators. At
length, when he was almost flayed from his rump to the nape of his neck,
Hatchway, who had purposely absented himself hitherto, appeared in the
yard, and interposing in his behalf, prevailed upon Trunnion to call off
the executioner, and ordered the malefactor to be released.

The exciseman, mad with the catastrophe he had undergone, threatened
to be revenged upon his employers, by making a candid confession of
the whole plot; but the lieutenant giving him to understand, that in so
doing, he would bring upon himself a prosecution for fraud, forgery, and
imposture, he was fain to put up with his loss; and sneaked out of the
garrison, attended with a volley of curses discharged upon him by
the commodore, who was exceedingly irritated by the disturbance and
disappointment he had undergone.



CHAPTER XV.



The Commodore detects the Machinations of the Conspirators, and hires a
tutor for Peregrine, whom he settles in Winchester School.


This was not the least affliction he had suffered from the unwearied
endeavours and unexhausted invention of his tormentors, who harassed him
with such a variety of mischievous pranks, that he began to think all
the devils in hell had conspired against his peace; and accordingly
became very serious and contemplative on the subject.

In the course of his meditations, when he recollected and compared
the circumstances of every mortification to which he had been lately
exposed, he could not help suspecting that some of them must have been
contrived to vex him; and, as he was not ignorant of his lieutenant's
disposition, nor unacquainted with the talents of Peregrine, he
resolved to observe them both for the future with the utmost care and
circumspection. This resolution, aided by the incautious conduct of
the conspirators, whom, by this time, success had rendered heedless and
indiscreet, was attended with the desired effect. He in a little time,
detected Perry in a new plot; and by dint of a little chastisement,
and a great many threats, extorted from him a confession of all
the contrivances in which he had been concerned. The commodore was
thunderstruck at the discovery, and so much incensed against Hatchway
for the part he had acted in the whole, that he deliberated with
himself, whether he should demand satisfaction with sword and pistol, or
dismiss him from the garrison, and renounce all friendship with him
at once. But he had been so long accustomed to Jack's company, that he
could not live without him; and upon more cool reflection, perceiving
that what he had done was rather the effect of wantonness than malice,
which he himself would have laughed to see take place upon any
other person, he determined to devour his chagrin, and extended his
forgiveness even to Pipes, whom, in the first sally of his passion, he
had looked upon in a more criminal light than that of a simple mutineer.
This determination was seconded by another, which he thought absolutely
necessary for his own repose, and in which his own interest, and that of
his nephew, concurred.

Peregrine, who was now turned of twelve, had made such advances under
the instruction of Jennings, that he often disputed upon grammar, and
was sometimes thought to have the better in his contests, with the
parish-priest, who, notwithstanding this acknowledged superiority of
his antagonist, did great justice to his genius which he assured Mr.
Trunnion would be lost for want of cultivation, if the boy was not
immediately sent to prosecute his studies at some proper seminary of
learning.

This maxim had been more than once inculcated upon the commodore by Mrs.
Trunnion, who, over and above the deference she paid to the parson's
opinion, had a reason of her own for wishing to see the house clear
of Peregrine, at whose prying disposition she began to be very uneasy.
Induced by these motives, which were joined by the solicitation of the
youth himself, who ardently longed to see a little more of the world,
his uncle determined to send him forthwith to Winchester, under the
immediate care and inspection of a governor, to whom he allowed a very
handsome appointment for that purpose. This gentleman, whose name was
Mr. Jacob Jolter, had been school-fellow with the parson of the parish,
who recommended him to Mrs. Trunnion as a person of great worth and
learning, in every respect qualified for the office of a tutor. He
likewise added, by way of eulogium, that he was a man of exemplary
piety and particularly zealous for the honour of the church, of which
he was a member, having been many years in holy orders, though he did
not then exercise any function of the priesthood. Indeed, Mr. Jolter's
zeal was so exceedingly fervent, as, on some occasions, to get the
better of his discretion; for, being a high churchman and of consequence
a malcontent, his resentment was habituated into an insurmountable
prejudice against the present disposition of affairs, which, by
confounding the nation with the ministry, sometimes led him into
erroneous, not to say absurd calculations; otherwise, a man of good
morals, well versed in mathematics and school divinity, studies which
had not at all contributed to sweeten and unbend the natural sourness
and severity of his complexion.

This gentleman being destined to the charge of superintending Perry's
education, everything was prepared for their departure; and Tom Pipes,
in consequence of his own petition, put into livery, and appointed
footman to the young squire. But, before they set out, the commodore
paid the compliment of communicating his design to Mr. Pickle, who
approved of the plan, though he durst not venture to see the boy; so
much was he intimidated by the remonstrances of his wife, whose aversion
to her first-born became every day more inveterate and unaccountable.
This unnatural caprice seemed to be supported by a consideration which,
one would imagine, might have rather vanquished her disgust. Her second
son Gam, who was now in the fourth year of his age, had been rickety
from the cradle, and as remarkably unpromising in appearance as Perry
was agreeable in his person. As the deformity increased, the mother's
fondness was augmented, and the virulence of her hate against the other
son seemed to prevail in the same proportion.

Far from allowing Perry to enjoy the common privileges of a child,
she would not suffer him to approach his father's house, expressed
uneasiness whenever his name happened to be mentioned, sickened at his
praise, and in all respects behaved like a most rancorous step-mother.
Though she no longer retained that ridiculous notion of his being an
impostor, she still continued to abhor him, as if she really believed
him to be such; and when any person desired to know the cause of her
surprising dislike, she always lost her temper, and peevishly replied,
that she had reasons of her own, which she was not obliged to declare:
nay, so much was she infected by this vicious partiality, that she broke
off all commerce with her sister-in-law and the commodore, because they
favoured the poor child with their countenance and protection.

Her malice, however, was frustrated by the love and generosity
of Trunnion, who, having adopted him as his own son, equipped him
accordingly, and carried him and his governor in his own coach to the
place of destination, where they were settled on a very genteel footing,
and everything regulated according to their desires.

Mrs. Trunnion with great decency at the departure of her nephew, to
whom, with a great many pious advices and injunctions to behave with
submission and reverence towards his tutor, she presented a diamond ring
of small value, and a gold medal, as tokens of her affection and esteem.
As for the lieutenant, he accompanied them in the coach; and such was
the friendship he had contracted for Perry, that when the commodore
proposed to return, after having accomplished the intent of his journey,
Jack absolutely refused to attend him, and signified his resolution to
stay where he was.

Trunnion was the more startled a this declaration, as Hatchway was
become so necessary to him in almost all the purposes of his life, that
he foresaw he should not be able to exist without his company. Not a
little affected with this consideration, he turned his eye ruefully
upon the lieutenant, saying, in a piteous tone, "What! leave me at last,
Jack, after we have weathered so many hard gales together? D-- my limbs!
I thought you had been more of an honest heart: I looked upon you as my
foremast, and Tom Pipes as my mizen: now he is carried away, if so be
as you go too, my standing rigging being decayed, d'ye see, the first
squall will bring me by the board. D-- ye, if in case I have given
offence, can't you speak above-board? and I shall make you amends."

Jack, being ashamed to own the true situation of his thoughts, after
some hesitation, answered with perplexity and incoherence, "No, d--
me! that an't the case neither: to be sure you always used me in an
officer-like manner, that I must own, to give the devil his due, as the
saying is; but for all that, this here is the case, I have some thoughts
of going to school myself to learn your Latin lingo: for, as the saying
is, Better late mend than never: and I am informed as how one can get
more for the money here than anywhere else."

In vain did Trunnion endeavour to convince him of the folly of going to
school at his years, by representing that the boys would make game of
him, and that he would become a laughing-stock to all the world: he
persisted in his resolution to stay, and the commodore was fain to
have recourse to the mediation of Pipes and Perry, who employed their
influence with Jack, and at last prevailed upon him to return to the
garrison, after Trunnion had promised he should be at liberty to visit
them once a month. This stipulation being settled, he and his friend
took leave of the pupil, governor, and attendant, and next morning, set
out for their habitation, which they reached in safety that same night.

Such was Hatchway's reluctance to leave Peregrine, that he is said, for
the first time in his life, to have looked misty at parting: certain I
am, that on the road homewards, after a long pause of silence, which the
commodore never dreamt of interrupting, he exclaimed all of a sudden,
"I'll be d--d if the dog ha'nt given me some stuff to make me love him!"
Indeed, there was something congenial in the disposition of these two
friends, which never failed to manifest itself in the sequel, howsoever
different their education, circumstances, and connections happened to
be.



CHAPTER XVI.



Peregrine distinguishes himself among his School-fellows, exposes his
Tutor, and attracts the particular Notice of the Master.


Thus left to the prosecution of his studies, Peregrine was in a
little time a distinguished character, not only for his acuteness of
apprehension, but also for that mischievous fertility of fancy, of which
we have already given such pregnant examples. But as there was a great
number of such luminaries in this new sphere to which he belonged, his
talents were not so conspicuous while they shone in his single capacity,
as they afterwards appeared, when they concentrated and reflected the
rays of the whole constellation.

At first he confined himself to piddling game, exercising his genius
upon his own tutor, who attracted his attention, by endeavouring to
season his mind with certain political maxims, the fallacy of which he
had discernment enough to perceive. Scarce a day passed in which he did
not find means to render Mr. Jolter the object of ridicule: his violent
prejudices, ludicrous vanity, awkward solemnity, and ignorance of
mankind, afforded continual food for the raillery, petulance, and satire
of his pupil, who never neglected an opportunity of laughing, and making
others laugh, at his expense.

Sometimes in their parties, by mixing brandy in his wine, he decoyed
this pedagogue into a debauch, during which his caution forsook him, and
he exposed himself to the censure of the company. Sometimes, when the
conversation turned upon intricate subjects, he practised upon him the
Socratic method of confutation, and, under pretence of being informed,
by an artful train of puzzling questions insensibly betrayed him into
self-contradiction.

All the remains of authority which he had hitherto preserved over
Peregrine soon vanished; so that, for the future, no sort of ceremony
subsisted between them, and all Mr. Jolter's precepts were conveyed in
hints of friendly advice, which the other might either follow or neglect
at his own pleasure. No wonder then that Peregrine gave a loose to his
inclinations, and, by dint of genius and an enterprising temper, made a
figure among the younger class of heroes in the school.

Before he had been a full year at Winchester, he had signallized himself
in so many achievements, in defiance to the laws and regulations of the
place, that he was looked upon with admiration, and actually chosen dux,
or leader, by a large body of his contemporaries. It was not long
before his fame reached the ears of the master, who sent for Mr. Jolter,
communicated to him the informations he had received, and desired him to
check the vivacity of his charge, and redouble his vigilance in time to
come, else he should be obliged to make a public example of his pupil
for the benefit of the school.

The governor, conscious of his own unimportance, was not a little
disconcerted at this injunction, which it was not in his power to fulfil
by any compulsive means. He therefore went home in a very pensive mood,
and after mature deliberation, resolved to expostulate with Peregrine
in the most familiar terms, and endeavour to dissuade him from practices
which might affect his character as well as interest. He accordingly
frankly told him the subject of the master's discourse; represented the
disgrace he might incur by neglecting this warning; and, putting him in
mind of his own situation, hinted the consequences of the commodore's
displeasure, in case he should be brought to disapprove of his conduct.
These insinuations made the greater impression as they were delivered
with many expressions of friendship and concern. The young gentleman
was not so raw, but that he could perceive the solidity of Mr.
Jolter's advice, to which he promised to conform, because his pride was
interested in the affair, and he considered his own reformation as the
only means of avoiding that infamy which even in idea he could not bear.

His governor, finding him so reasonable, profited by these moments of
reflection; and, in order to prevent a relapse, proposed that he
should engage in some delightful study that would agreeably amuse his
imagination, and gradually detach him from those connections which had
involved him in so many troublesome adventures. For this purpose, he,
with many rapturous encomiums, recommended the mathematics, as yielding
more rational and sensible pleasures to a youthful fancy than any other
subject of contemplation; and actually began to read Euclid with him
that same afternoon.

Peregrine entered upon this branch of learning with all that warmth of
application which boys commonly yield on the first change of study; but
he had scarce advanced beyond the Pons Asinorum, when his ardour
abated; the test of truth by demonstration did not elevate him to those
transports of joy with which his preceptor had regaled his expectation;
and before he arrived at the forty-seventh proposition, he began to
yawn drearily, make abundance of wry faces, and thought himself but
indifferently paid for his attention, when he shared the vast discovery
of Pythagoras, and understood that the square of the hypotenuse was
equal to the squares of the other two sides of a right-angled triangle.
He was ashamed, however, to fail in his undertaking, and persevered with
great industry, until he had finished the first four books, acquired
plane trigonometry, with the method of algebraical calculation, and
made himself well acquainted with the principles of surveying. But no
consideration could prevail upon him to extend his inquiries farther
in this science; and he returned with double relish to his former
avocations, like a stream, which, being dammed, accumulates more force,
and, bursting over its mounds, rushes down with double impetuosity.

Mr. Jolter saw with astonishment and chagrin, but could not resist the
torrent. His behaviour was now no other than a series of license and
effrontery; prank succeeded prank, and outrage followed outrage with
surprising velocity. Complaints were every day preferred against him; in
vain were admonitions bestowed by the governor in private, and menaces
discharged by the masters in public; he disregarded the first, despised
the latter, divested himself of all manner of restraint, and proceeded
in his career to such a pitch of audacity, that a consultation was held
upon the subject, in which it was determined that this untoward spirit
should be humbled by a severe and ignominious flogging for the very next
offence he should commit. In the mean time, Mr. Jolter was desired to
write in the masters name to the commodore, requesting him to remove Tom
Pipes from the person of his nephew, the said Pipes being a principal
actor and abettor in all his malversations; and to put a stop to the
monthly visitations of the mutilated lieutenant, who had never once
failed to use his permission, but came punctual to a day, always fraught
with some new invention. Indeed, by this time Mr. Hatchway was as well
known, and much better beloved, by every boy in the school than the
master who instructed him, and always received by a number of scholars,
who used to attend Peregrine when he went forth to meet his friend, and
conduct him to his lodging with public testimonies of joy and applause.

As for Tom Pipes, he was not so properly the attendant of Peregrine,
as master of the revels of the whole school. He mingled in all their
parties, and superintended the diversions, deciding between boy and boy,
as if he acted by commission under the great seal. He regulated their
motions by his whistle, instructed the young boys in the games of
hustle-cap, leap-frog, and chuck-farthing; imparted to those of a more
advanced age the sciences of cribbage and all-fours, together with the
method of storming the castle, acting the comedy of Prince Arthur, and
other pantomimes, as they commonly exhibited at sea; and instructed
the seniors, who were distinguished by the appellation of bloods, in
cudgel-playing, dancing the St. Giles's hornpipe, drinking flip, and
smoking tobacco. These qualifications had rendered him so necessary and
acceptable to the scholars, that exclusive of Perry's concern in the
affair, his dismission, in all probability, would have produced some
dangerous convulsion in the community. Jolter, therefore, knowing his
importance, informed his pupil of the directions he had received, and
very candidly asked how he should demean himself in the execution;
for he durst not write to the commodore without this previous notice,
fearing that the young gentleman, as soon as he should get an inkling of
the affair, would follow the example, and make his uncle acquainted
with certain anecdotes, which it was the governor's interest to keep
concealed. Peregrine was of opinion that he should spare himself the
trouble of conveying any complaints to the commodore; and if questioned
by the master, assure him he had complied with his desire: at the same
time he promised faithfully to conduct himself with such circumspection
for the future, that the masters should have no temptation to revive
the inquiry. But the resolution attending this extorted promise was too
frail to last, and in less than a fortnight our young hero found himself
entangled in an adventure from which he was not extricated with his
usual good fortune.



CHAPTER XVII.



He is concerned in a dangerous Adventure with a certain
Gardener--Sublimes his Ideas, commences Gallant, and becomes acquainted
with Miss Emily Gauntlet.


He and some of his companions one day entered a garden in the suburbs,
and, having indulged their appetites, desired to know what satisfaction
they must make for the fruit they had pulled. The gardener demanded
what, in their opinion, was an exorbitant price, and they with many
opprobrious terms refused to pay it. The peasant, being surly and
untractable, insisted upon his right; neither was he deficient or
sparing in the eloquence of vulgar abuse. His guests attempted to
retreat; a scuffle ensued, in which Peregrine lost his cap; and the
gardener, being in danger from the number of his foes, called to
his wife to let loose the dog, which instantly flew to his master's
assistance, and, after having torn the leg of one and the shoulder
of another, put the whole body of scholars to flight. Enraged at the
indignity which had been offered them, they solicited a reinforcement
of their friends, and, with Tom Pipes at their head, marched back to
the field of battle. Their adversary, seeing them approach, called
his apprentice, who worked at the other end of the ground, to his
assistance, armed him with a mattock, while he himself wielded a hoe,
bolted his door on the inside, and, flanked with his man and mastiff,
waited the attack without flinching.

He had not remained three minutes in this posture of defence, when
Pipes, who acted as the enemy's forlorn hope, advanced to the gate with
great intrepidity, and, clapping his foot to the door, which was none of
the stoutest, with the execution and despatch of a petard, split it into
a thousand pieces. This sudden execution had an immediate effect upon
the apprentice, who retreated with great precipitation, and escaped at
a postern; but the master placed himself, like another Hercules, in
the breach; and when Pipes, brandishing his cudgel, stepped forward to
engage him, leveled his weapon with such force and dexterity at his
head, that had the skull been made of penetrable stuff, the iron edge
must have cleft his pate in twain. Casemated as he was, the instrument
cut sheer even to the bone, on which it struck with such amazing
violence, that sparks of real fire were produced by the collision.
And let not the incredulous reader pretend to doubt the truth of this
phenomenon, until he shall have first perused the ingenious Peter
Kolben's Natural History of the Cape of Good Hope, where the inhabitants
commonly used to strike fire with the shin-bones of lions which had been
killed in that part of Africa.

Pipes, though a little disconcerted, far from being disabled by the
blow, in a trice retorted the compliment with his truncheon, which, had
not his antagonist expeditiously slipped his head aside, would have
laid him breathless across his own threshold; but, happily for him, he
received the salutation upon his right shoulder, which crashed beneath
the stroke, and the hoe dropped instantly from his tingling hand. Tom,
perceiving, and being unwilling to forego, the advantage he had gained,
darted his head into the bosom of this son of earth, and overturned him
on the plain, being himself that instant assaulted by the mastiff, who
fastened upon the outside of his thigh. Feeling himself incommoded by
this assailant in his rear, he quitted the prostrate gardener to the
resentment of his associates, who poured upon him in shoals, and turning
about, laid hold with both his hands of this ferocious animal's throat,
which he squeezed with such incredible force and perseverance, that the
creature quitted his hold; his tongue lolled out of his jaws, the blood
started from his eyes, and he swung a lifeless trunk between the hands
of his vanquisher.

It was well for his master that he did not longer exist: for by this
time he was overwhelmed by such a multitude of foes, that his whole body
scarce afforded points of contact to all the fists that drummed upon
him; consequently, to use a vulgar phrase, his wind was almost knocked
out, before Pipes had leisure to interpose in his he behalf, and
persuade his offenders to desist, by representing that the wife had
gone to alarm the neighbourhood, and in all probability they would
be intercepted in their return. They accordingly listened to his
remonstrances, and marched homewards in triumph, leaving the gardener
in the embraces of his mother earth, from which he had not power to move
when he was found by his disconsolate helpmate and some friends whom
she had assembled for his assistance. Among these was a blacksmith and
farrier, who took cognizance of his carcase, every limb of which having
examined, he declared there was no bone broken, and taking out his
fleam, blooded him plentifully as he lay. He was then conveyed to his
bed, from which he was not able to stir during a whole month. His family
coming upon the parish, a formal complaint was made to the master of
the school, and Peregrine represented as the ringleader of those who
committed this barbarous assault. An inquiry was immediately set on
foot; and the articles of impeachment being fully proved, our hero was
sentenced to be severely chastised in the face of the whole school. This
was a disgrace, the thoughts of which his proud heart could not brook.
He resolved to make his elopement rather than undergo the punishment
to which he was doomed; and having signified his sentiments to his
confederates, they promised one and all to stand by him, and either
screen him from chastisement or share his fate.

Confiding in this friendly protestation, he appeared unconcerned on the
day that was appointed for his punishment; and when he was called to
his destiny, advanced the scene, attended by the greatest part of the
scholars, who intimated their determination to the master, and proposed
that Peregrine should be forgiven. The superior behaved with that
dignity of demeanour which became his place, represented the folly
and presumption of their demand, reprehended them for their audacious
proceeding, and ordered every boy to his respective station. They obeyed
his command, and our unfortunate hero was publicly horsed, in terrorem
of all whom it might concern.

This disgrace had a very sensible effect upon the mind of Peregrine,
who, having by this time, passed the fourteenth year of his age,
began to adopt the pride and sentiments of a man. Thus dishonourably
stigmatized, he was ashamed to appear in public as usual; he was
incensed against his companions for their infidelity and irresolution,
and plunged into a profound reverie that lasted several weeks, during
which he shook off his boyish connections, and fixed his view upon
objects which he thought more worthy of his attention.

In the course of his gymnastic exercises, at which he was very expert,
he contracted intimacies with several youths who were greatly his
superiors in point of age, and who, pleased with his aspiring genius
and address, introduced him into parties of gallantry which strongly
captivated his inclination. He was by nature particularly adopted
for succeeding in all adventures of this kind: over and above a most
engaging person that improved with his years, he possessed a dignified
assurance, an agreeable ferocity which enhanced the conquest of the fair
who had the good fortune to enslave him, unlimited generosity, and a
fund of humour which never failed to please. Nor was he deficient in
the more solid accomplishments of youth: he had profited in his studies
beyond expectation; and besides that sensibility of discernment which
is the foundation of taste, and in consequence of which he distinguished
and enjoyed the beauties of the classics, he had already given several
specimens of a very promising poetic talent.

With this complexion and these qualifications, no wonder that our hero
attracted the notice and affections of the young Delias in town, whose
hearts had just begun to flutter for they knew not what. Inquiries
were made concerning his condition; and no sooner were his expectations
known, than he was invited and caressed by all the parents, while
the daughters vied with each other in treating him with particular
complacency. He inspired love and emulation wherever he appeared: envy
and jealous rage followed of course; so that he became a very desirable,
though a very dangerous acquaintance. His moderation was not equal to
his success: his vanity took the lead of his passions, dissipating his
attention, which might otherwise have fixed him to one object; and he
was possessed with the rage of increasing the number of his conquests.
With this view he frequented public walks, concerts, and assemblies,
became remarkably rich and fashionable in his clothes, gave
entertainments to the ladies, and was in the utmost hazard of turning
out a most egregious coxcomb.

While his character thus wavered between the ridicule of some and the
regard of others, an accident happened which by contracting his view
to one object, detached him from those vain pursuits that would in time
have plunged him into an abyss of folly and contempt. Being one evening
at the ball which is always given to the ladies at the time of the
races, the person acted as master of the ceremonies, knowing how fond
Mr. Pickle was of every opportunity to display himself, came up, and
told him, that there was a fine young creature at the other end of the
room, who seemed to have a great inclination to dance a minuet, but
wanted a partner, the gentleman who attended her being in boots.

Peregrine's vanity being aroused at this intimation, he went up to
reconnoitre the young lady, and was struck with admiration at her
beauty. She seemed to be of his own age, was tall, though slender,
exquisitely shaped; her hair was auburn, and in such plenty, that the
barbarity of dress had not been able to prevent it from shading both
sides of her forehead, which was high and polished; the contour of her
face was oval; her nose very little raised into the aquiline form,
that contributed to the spirit and dignity of her aspect; her mouth was
small; her lips plump, juicy, and delicious, her teeth regular and white
as driven snow, her complexion incredibly delicate, and glowing with
health; and her full blue eyes beamed forth vivacity and love: her mien
was at the same time commanding and engaging, her address perfectly
genteel, and her whole appearance so captivating, that our young Adonis
looked, and was overcome.

He no sooner recollected himself from his astonishment, than he advanced
to her with a graceful air of respect, and begged she would do him the
honour to walk a minuet with him. She seemed particularly pleased with
his application, and very frankly complied with his request. This pair
was too remarkable to escape the particular notice of the company; Mr.
Pickle was well known by almost everybody in the room, but his partner
was altogether a new face and of consequence underwent the criticism
of all the ladies in the assembly. One whispered, "She has a good
complexion, but don't you think she is a little awry?" a second pitied
her for her masculine nose; a third observed, that she was awkward for
want of seeing company; a fourth distinguished something very bold in
her countenance; and, in short, there was not a beauty in her whole
composition which the glass of envy did not pervert into a blemish.

The men, however, looked upon her with different eyes; among them her
appearance produced a universal murmur of applause: they encircled the
space on which she danced, and were enchanted by her graceful motion.
While they launched out in the praise of her, they expressed their
displeasure at the good fortune of her partner, whom they d--d for a
little finical coxcomb, that was too much engrossed by the contemplation
of his own person, to discern or deserve the favour of his fate. He did
not hear, therefore could not repine at these invectives; but while they
imagined he indulged his vanity, a much more generous passion had taken
possession of his heart.

Instead of that petulance of gaiety for which he had been distinguished
in his public appearance, he now gave manifest signs of confusion and
concern: he danced with an anxiety which impeded his performance,
and blushed to the eyes at every false step he made. Though this
extraordinary agitation was overlooked by the men, it could not escape
the observation of the ladies, who perceived it with equal surprise
and resentment; and when Peregrine led this fair unknown to her seat,
expressed their pique in an affected titter, which broke from every
mouth at the same instant--as if all of them had been informed by the
same spirit.

Peregrine was nettled at this unmannerly mark of disapprobation, and,
in order to increase their chagrin, endeavoured to enter into particular
conversation with their fair rival. The young lady herself, who neither
wanted penetration nor the consciousness of her own accomplishments,
resented their behaviour, though she triumphed at the cause of it, and
gave her partner all the encouragement he could desire. Her mother, who
was present, thanked him for his civility in taking such notice of a
stranger, and he received a compliment of the same nature from the young
gentleman in boots, who was her own brother.

If he was charmed with her appearance, he was quite ravished with
her discourse, which was sensible, spirited, and gay. Her frank and
sprightly demeanour excited his own confidence and good-humour; and he
described to her the characters of those females who had honoured them
with such a spiteful mark of distinction, in terms so replete with
humorous satire, that she seemed to listen with particular complacency
of attention, and distinguished every nymph thus ridiculed with such a
significant glance as overwhelmed her with chagrin and mortification. In
short, they seemed to relish each other's conversation, during which
our young Damon acquitted himself with great skill in all the duties
of gallantry: he laid hold of proper opportunities to express his
admiration of her charms, had recourse to the silent rhetoric of tender
looks, breathed divers insidious sighs, and attached himself wholly to
her during the remaining part of the entertainment.

When the company broke up, he attended her to her lodgings, and
took leave of her with a squeeze of the hand, after having obtained
permission to visit her next morning, and been informed by the mother
that her name was Miss Emilia Gauntlet.

All night long he closed not an eye, but amused himself with plans of
pleasure, which his imagination suggested in consequence of this new
acquaintance. He rose with the lark, adjusted his hair into an agreeable
negligence of curl, and dressing himself in a genteel gray frock trimmed
with silver binding, waited with the utmost impatience for the hour
of ten, which no sooner struck than he hied him to the place of
appointment, and inquiring for Miss gauntlet, was shown into a parlour.
Here he had not waited above ten minutes, when Emilia entered in a most
enchanting undress, with all the graces of nature playing about her
person, and in a moment riveted the chains of his slavery beyond the
power of accident to unbind.

Her mother being still abed, and her brother gone to give orders about
the chaise, in which they proposed to return that same day to their
own habitation, he enjoyed her company a whole hour, during which he
declared his love in the most passionate terms, and begged that he might
be admitted into the number of those admirers whom she permitted to
visit and adore her.

She affected to look upon his vows and protestations as the ordinary
effect of gallantry, and very obligingly assured him that were she to
live in that place she should be glad to see him often; but as the
spot on which she resided was at a considerable distance, she could not
expect he would go so far, upon such a trifling occasion, as to take the
trouble of providing himself with her mamma's permission.

To this favourable hint he with all the eagerness of the most fervent
passion, that he had uttered nothing but the genuine dictates of his
heart; that he desired nothing so much as an opportunity of evincing the
sincerity of his professions; and that, though he lived at the extremity
of the kingdom, he would find means to lay himself at her feet, provided
he could visit her with her mother's consent, which he assured her he
would not fail to solicit.

She then gave him to understand that her habitation was about sixteen
miles front Winchester, in a village which she named, and where, as he
could easily collect from her discourse, he would be no unwelcome guest.

In the midst of this communication they were joined by Mrs. Gauntlet,
who received him with great courtesy, thanking him again for his
politeness to Emy at the ball, and anticipated his intention by saying
that she should be very glad to see him at her house, if ever his
occasions should call him that way.



CHAPTER XVIII.



He inquires into the Situation of this young Lady, with whom he is
enamoured--Elopes from School--Is found by the Lieutenant, conveyed to
Winchester, and sends a Letter with a copy of verses to his Mistress.


He was transported with pleasure at this invitation, which he assured
her he should not neglect; and after a little more conversation on
general topics, took his leave of the charming Emilia and her prudent
mamma, who had perceived the first emotions of Mr. Pickle's passion for
her daughter, and been at some pains to inquire about his family and
fortune.

Neither was Peregrine less inquisitive about the situation and pedigree
of his new mistress, who, he learned, was the only daughter of a
field-officer, who died before he had it in his power to make suitable
provision for his children; that the widow lived in a frugal though
decent manner on her pension, assisted by the bounty of her relations;
that the son carried arms as a volunteer in the company which his father
had commanded; and that Emilia had been educated in London, at the
expense of a rich uncle, who was seized with the whim of marrying at the
age of fifty-five; in consequence of which his niece had returned to her
mother, without any visible dependence, except on her own conduct and
qualifications.

This account, though it could not diminish his affection, nevertheless
alarmed his pride; for his warm imagination had exaggerated all his own
prospects; and he began to fear that his passion for Emilia might be
thought to derogate from the dignity of his situation. The struggle
between his interest and love produced a perplexity which had an evident
effect upon his behaviour: he became pensive, solitary, and peevish;
avoided public diversions; and grew so remarkably negligent in his
dress, that he was scarce distinguishable by his own acquaintance. This
contention of thoughts continued several weeks, at the end of which
the charms of Emilia triumphed over every other consideration. Having
received a supply of money from the commodore, who acted towards him
with great generosity, he ordered Pipes to put up some linen and other
necessaries in a sort of knapsack, which he could conveniently carry;
and, thus attended, set out early one morning on foot for the village
where his charmer lived, at which he arrived before two o'clock in the
afternoon; having chosen this method of travelling that his route might
not be so easily discovered, as it must have been had he hired horses,
or taken a place in the stage-coach.

The first thing he did was to secure a convenient lodging at the inn
where he dined; then he shifted himself, and, according to the direction
he had received, went to the house of Mrs. Gauntlet in a transport of
joyous expectation. As he approached the gate, his agitation increased;
he knocked with impatience and concern, the door opened, and he had
actually asked if Mrs. Gauntlet was at home, before he perceived that
the portress was no other than his dear Emilia. She was not without
emotion at the unexpected sight of her lover, who instantly recognising
his charmer obeyed the irresistible impulse of his love, and caught the
fair creature in his arms. Nor did she seem offended at this forwardness
of behaviour, which might have displeased another of a less open
disposition, or less used to the freedom of a sensible education; but
her natural frankness had been encouraged and improved by the easy and
familiar intercourse in which she had been bred; and therefore, instead
of reprimanding him with a severity of look, she with great good humour
rallied him upon his assurance, which, she observed, was undoubtedly
the effect of his own conscious merit; and conducted him into a parlour,
where he found her mother, who, in very polite terms, expressed her
satisfaction at seeing him within her house.

After tea, Miss Emy proposed an evening walk, which they enjoyed through
a variety of little copses and lawns, watered by a most romantic stream,
that quite enchanted the imagination of Peregrine.

It was late before they returned from this agreeable excursion, and when
our lover wished the ladies good night, Mrs. Gauntlet insisted upon his
staying to supper, and treated him with particular demonstrations
of regard and affection. As her economy was not encumbered with an
unnecessary number of domestics, her own presence was often required in
different parts of the house, so that the young gentleman was supplied
with frequent opportunities of promoting his suit by all the tender
oaths and insinuations that his passion could suggest. He protested her
idea had taken such entire possession of his heart, that finding
himself unable to support her absence one day longer, he had quitted
his studies, and left his governor by stealth, that he might visit the
object of his adoration, and be blessed in her company for a few days
without interruption.

She listened to his addresses with such affability as denoted
approbation and delight, and gently chided him as a thoughtless truant,
but carefully avoided the confession of a mutual flame; because she
discerned, in the midst of all his tenderness, a levity of pride which
she durst not venture to trust with such a declaration. Perhaps she
was confirmed in this caution by her mother, who very wisely, in her
civilities to him, maintained a sort of ceremonious distance, which she
thought not only requisite for the honour and interest of her family,
but likewise for her own exculpation, should she ever be taxed with
having encouraged or abetted him in the imprudent sallies of his youth;
yet, notwithstanding this affected reserve, he was treated with such
distinction by both, that he was ravished with his situation, and became
more and more enamoured every day.

While he remained under the influence of this sweet intoxication,
his absence produced great disturbance at Winchester. Mr. Jolter was
grievously afflicted at his abrupt departure, which alarmed him the
more, as it happened after a long fit of melancholy which he had
perceived in his pupil. He communicated his apprehensions to the master
of the school, who advised him to apprise the commodore of his nephew's
disappearance, and in the mean time inquire at all the inns in
town, whether he had hired horses, or any sort of carriage, for his
conveyance, or was met with on the road by any person who could give an
account of the direction in which he travelled.

The scrutiny, though performed with great diligence and minuteness,
was altogether ineffectual; they could obtain no intelligence of the
runaway. Mr. Trunnion was well distracted at the news of his flight; he
raved with great fury at the imprudence of Peregrine, whom in his first
transports he d--d as an ungrateful deserter; then he cursed Hatchway
and Pipes, who he swore had foundered the lad by their pernicious
counsels; and, lastly, transferred his execrations upon Jolter, because
he had not kept a better look-out; finally, he made an apostrophe to
that son of a b-- the gout, which for the present disabled him from
searching for his nephew in person. That he might not, however, neglect
any means in his power, he immediately despatched expresses to all the
sea-port towns on that coast, that he might be prevented from leaving
the kingdom; and the lieutenant, at his own desire, was sent across the
country, in quest of this young fugitive.

Four days had he unsuccessfully carried on his inquiries with great
accuracy, when, resolving to return by Winchester, where he hoped to
meet with some hints of intelligence by which he might profit in his
future search, he struck off the common road to take the benefit of a
nearer cut; and finding himself benighted near a village, took up
his lodgings at the first inn to which his horse directed him. Having
bespoke something for supper, and retired to his chamber, where he
amused himself with a pipe, he heard a confused noise of rustic jollity,
which being all of a sudden interrupted, after a short pause his ear
was saluted with the voice of Pipes, who, at the solicitation of the
company, began to entertain them with a song.

Hatchway instantly recognised the well-known sound, in which, indeed,
he could not possibly be mistaken, as nothing in nature bore the least
resemblance to it; he threw his pipe into the chimney, and, snatching
up one of his pistols, ran immediately to the apartment from whence
the voice issued; he no sooner entered, than, distinguishing his old
ship-mate in a crowd of country peasants, he in a moment sprang upon
him, and, clapping his pistol to his breast, exclaimed, " D--n you,
Pipes, you are a dead man, if you don't immediately produce young
master."

This menacing application had a much greater effect upon the company
than upon Tom, who, looking at the lieutenant with great tranquility,
replied, "Why so I can, Master Hatchway."--"What! safe and sound?" cried
the other. "As a roach," answered Pipes, so much to the satisfaction
of his friend Jack, that he shook him by the hand, and desired him
to proceed with his song. This being performed and the reckoning
discharged, the two friends adjourned to the other room, where the
lieutenant was informed of the manner in which the young gentleman had
made his elopement from college, as well as of the other particulars of
his present situation, as far as they had fallen within the sphere of
his comprehension.

While they sat thus conferring together, Peregrine, having taken
leave of his mistress for the night, came home, and was not a little
surprised, when Hatchway, entering his chamber in his sea attitude,
thrust out his hand by way of salutation. His old pupil received him as
usual, with great cordiality, and expressed his astonishment at meeting
him in that place; but when he understood the cause and intention of
his arrival, he started with concern; and, his visage glowing with
indignation, told him he was old enough to be judge of his own conduct,
and, when he should see it convenient, would return of himself; but
those who thought he was to be compelled to his duty, would find
themselves egregiously mistaken.

The lieutenant assured him, that for his own part he had no intention to
offer him the least violence; but, at the same time, he represented
to him the danger of incensing the commodore, who was already almost
distracted on account of his absence: and, in short, conveyed his
arguments, which were equally obvious and valid, in such expressions of
friendship and respect, that Peregrine yielded to his remonstrances, and
promised to accompany him next day to Winchester.

Hatchway, overjoyed at the success of his negotiation, went immediately
to the hostler and bespoke a post-chaise for Mr. Pickle and his man with
whom he afterwards indulged himself in a double can of rumbo, and, when
the night was pretty far advanced, left the lover to his repose, or
rather to the thorns of his own meditation; for he slept not one moment,
being incessantly tortured with the prospect of parting with his divine
Emilia, who had now acquired the most absolute empire over his soul. One
minute he proposed to depart early in the morning, without seeing this
enchantress, in whose bewitching presence he durst not trust his own
resolution; then the thoughts of leaving her in such an abrupt and
disrespectful manner interposed in favour of his love and honour. This
war of sentiments kept him all night upon the rack, and it was time to
rise before he had determined to visit his charmer, and candidly impart
the motives that induced him to leave her.

He accordingly repaired to her mother's house with a heavy heart, being
attended to the gate by Hatchway, who did not choose to leave him alone;
and being admitted, found Emilia just risen, and, in his opinion, more
beautiful than ever.

Alarmed at his early visit, and the gloom that overspread his
countenance, she stood in silent expectation of hearing some melancholy
tidings; and it was not till after a considerable pause, that he
collected resolution enough to tell her he was come to take his
leave. Though she strove to conceal her sorrow, nature was not to be
suppressed: every feature of her countenance saddened in a moment; and
it was not without the utmost difficulty that she kept her lovely eyes
from overflowing. He saw the situation of her thoughts, and, in order to
alleviate her concern, assured her he should find means to see her
again in a very few weeks: meanwhile he communicated his reasons for
departing, in which she readily acquiesced; and having mutually consoled
each other, their transports of grief subsided: and before Mrs. Gauntlet
came downstairs, they were in a condition to behave with great decency
and resignation.

This good lady expressed her concern when she learned his resolution,
saying, she hoped his occasions and inclinations would permit him to
favour them with his agreeable company another time.

The lieutenant, who began to be uneasy at Peregrine's stay, knocked
at the door, and, being introduced by his friend, had the honour of
breakfasting with the ladies; on which occasion his heart received such
a rude shock from the charms of Emilia, that he afterwards made a merit
with his friend of having constrained himself so far, as to forbear
commencing his professed rival.

At length they bade adieu to their kind entertainers; and in less
than an hour setting out from the inn, arrived about two o'clock
in Winchester, where Mr. Jolter was overwhelmed with joy at their
appearance.

The nature of this adventure being unknown to all except those who could
be depended upon, everybody who inquired about the cause of Peregrine's
absence, was told that he had been with a relation in the country, and
the master condescended to overlook his indiscretion; so that Hatchway,
seeing everything settled to the satisfaction of his friend, returned to
the garrison, and gave the commodore an account of his expedition.

The old gentleman was very much startled when he heard there was a lady
in the case, and very emphatically observed, that a man had better be
sucked into the gulf of Florida than once get into the indraught of a
woman; because, in one case, he may with good pilotage bring out his
vessel safe between the Bahamas and the Indian shore; but in the other
there is no outlet at all, and it is in vain to strive against the
current; so that of course he must be embayed, and run chuck upon a
lee-shore. He resolved, therefore, to lay the state of the case before
Gamaliel Pickle, and concert such measures with him as should be thought
likeliest to detach his son from the pursuit of an idle amour, which
could not fail of interfering in a dangerous manner with the plan of his
education.

In the mean time, Perry's ideas were totally engrossed by his amiable
mistress, who, whether he slept or waked, was still present in his
imagination, which produced the following stanzas in her praise:--

    Adieu! ye streams that smoothly flow;
    Ye vernal airs that softly blow;
    Ye plains, by blooming spring arrayed;
    Ye  birds that warble through the shade.

    Unhurt from you my soul could fly,
    Nor drop one tear, nor heave one sigh;
    But forced from Celia's charms to part,
    All joy deserts my drooping heart.

    O' fairer than the rosy morn,
    When flowers the dewy fields adorn;
    Unsallied as the genial ray,
    That warms the balmy breeze of May;

    Thy charms divinely bright appear,
    And add new splendour to the year;
    Improve the day with fresh delight,
    And gild with joy the dreary night.


This juvenile production was enclosed in a very tender billet to Emilia,
and committed to the charge of Pipes, who was ordered to set out for
Mrs. Gauntlet's habitation with a present of venison, and a compliment
to the ladies; and directed to take some opportunity of delivering the
letter to miss, without the knowledge of her mamma.



CHAPTER XIX.



His Messenger meets with a Misfortune, to which he applies a very
extraordinary Expedient that is attended with strange Consequences.


As a stage-coach passed within two miles of the village where she lived,
Tom bargained with the driver for a seat on the box, and accordingly
departed on this message, though he was but indifferently qualified for
commissions of such a nature. Having received particular injunctions
about the letter, he resolved to make that the chief object of his care,
and very sagaciously conveyed it between the stocking and the sole of
his foot, where he thought it would be perfectly secure from all injury
or accident. Here it remained until he arrived at the inn where he had
formerly lodged, when, after having refreshed himself with a draught of
beer, he pulled off his stocking, and found the poor billet sullied
with dust, and torn in a thousand tatters by the motion of his foot
in walking the last two miles of his journey. Thunderstruck at
this phenomenon, he uttered it loud whew! which was succeeded by an
exclamation of "D-- my old shoes! a bite by G--!" then he rested his
elbows on the table, and his forehead upon his two fists, and in that
attitude deliberated with himself upon the means of remedying this
misfortune.

As he was not distracted by a vast number of ideas he soon concluded
that his best expedient would be to employ the clerk of the parish, who
he knew was a great scholar, to write another epistle according to
the directions he should give him; and never dreaming that the mangled
original would in the least facilitate this scheme, he very wisely
committed it to the flames, that it might never rise up in judgment
against him.

Having taken this wise step, he went in quest of the scribe, to whom
he communicated his business, and promised a full pot by way of
gratification. The clerk, who was also schoolmaster, proud of an
opportunity to distinguish his talents, readily undertook the task; and
repairing with his employer to the inn, in less than a quarter of an
hour produced a morsel of eloquence so much to the satisfaction of
Pipes, that he squeezed his hand by way of acknowledgment, and doubled
his allowance of beer. This being discussed, our courier betook himself
to the house of Mrs. Gauntlet with the haunch of venison and this
succedaneous letter, and delivered his message to the mother, who
received it with great respect, and many kind inquiries about the health
and welfare of his master, attempting to tip the messenger a crown,
which he absolutely refused to accept, in consequence of Mr. Pickle's
repeated caution. While the old gentlewoman turned to a servant in order
to give directions about the disposal of the present, Pipes looked upon
this as a favourable occasion to transact his business with Emilia, and
therefore shutting one eye, with a jerk of his thumb towards his left
shoulder, and a most significant twist of his countenance he beckoned
the young lady into another room as if he had been fraught with
something of consequence, which he wanted to impart. She understood the
hint, howsoever strangely communicated, and, by stepping to one side of
the room gave him an opportunity of slipping the epistle into her hand,
which he gently squeezed at the same time in token of regard: then
throwing a side-glance at the mother, whose back was turned, clapped
his finger on the side of his nose, thereby recommending secrecy and
discretion.

Emilia, conveying the letter into her bosom, could not help smiling at
Tom's politeness and dexterity; but lest her mamma should detect him in
the execution of his pantomime, she broke off this intercourse of signs,
by asking aloud when he proposed to set out on his return to Winchester?
When he answered, "To-morrow morning." Miss Gauntlet recommended him
to the hospitality of her own footman, desiring him to make much of
Mr. Pipes below, where he was kept to supper, and very cordially
entertained. Our young heroine, impatient to read her lover's billet,
which made her heart throb with rapturous expectation, retired to her
chamber as soon as possible, with a view of perusing the contents, which
were these:--

    "Divine Empress Of My Soul,--If the refulgent flames of your
    beauty had not evaporated the particles of my transported
    brain, and scorched my intellects into a cinder of stolidity,
    perhaps the resplendency of my passion might shine illustrious
    through the sable curtain of my ink, and in sublimity transcend
    the galaxy itself, though wafted on the pinions of a gray goose
    quill! But, ah! celestial enchantress! the necromancy of thy
    tyrannical charms hath fettered my faculties with adamantine
    chains, which, unless thy compassion shall melt I must eternally
    remain in the Tartarean gulf of dismal despair. Vouchsafe,
    therefore, O thou brightest luminary of this terrestrial sphere!
    to warm, as well as shine; and let the genial rays of thy
    benevolence melt the icy emanations of thy disdain, which hath
    frozen up the spirits of angelic pre-eminence.--Thy most
    egregious admirer and superlative slave,
                                     "Peregrine Pickle."


Never was astonishment more perplexing than that of Emilia, when she
read this curious composition, which she repeated verbatim three times
before she would credit the evidence of her own senses. She began to
fear in good earnest that love had produced a disorder in her lover's
understanding; but after a thousand conjectures by which she attempted
to account for this extraordinary fustian of style, she concluded that
it was the effect of mere levity, calculated to ridicule the passion he
had formerly professed. Irritated by this supposition, she resolved
to balk his triumph with affected indifference, and in the mean time
endeavoured to expel him from that place which he possessed within her
heart. And indeed such a victory over her inclinations might have been
obtained without great difficulty; for she enjoyed an easiness of temper
that could accommodate itself to the emergencies of her fate; and her
vivacity, by amusing her imagination, preserved herself from the keener
sensations of sorrow. Thus determined and disposed, she did not send
any sort of answer, or the least token of remembrance by Pipes, who
was suffered to depart with a general compliment from the mother, and
arrived at Winchester the next day.

Peregrine's eyes sparkled when he saw his messenger come in, and he
stretched out his hand in full confidence of receiving some particular
mark of his Emilia's affection; but how was he confounded, when he found
his hope so cruelly disappointed! In an instant his countenance fell.
He stood for some time silent and abashed, then thrice repeated the
interrogation of "What! not one word from Emilia?" and dubious of his
courier's discretion, inquired minutely into all the particulars of his
reception. He asked if he had seen the young lady, if she was in good
health, if he had found an opportunity of delivering his letter, and how
she looked, when he put it into her hand? Pipes answered, that he had
never seen her in better health or better spirits; that he had managed
matters so as not only to present the billet unperceived, but also to
ask her commands in private before he took his leave, when she told him
that the letter required no reply. This last circumstance he considered
as a manifest mark of disrespect, and gnawed his lips with resentment.
Upon further reflection, however, he supposed that she could not
conveniently write by the messenger, and would undoubtedly favour him by
the post. This consideration consoled him for the present, and he waited
impatiently for the fruits of his hope; but after he had seen eight
days elapse without reaping the satisfaction with which he had flattered
himself, his temper forsook him, he raved against the whole sex, and was
seized with a fit of sullen chagrin; but his pride in a little time came
to his assistance, and rescued him from the horrors of the melancholy
fiend. He resolved to retort her own neglect upon her ungrateful
mistress; his countenance gradually resumed its former serenity; and
though by this time he was pretty well cured of his foppery, he appeared
again at public diversions with an air of gaiety and unconcern, that
Emilia might have a chance of hearing how much, in all likelihood, he
disregarded her disdain.

There are never wanting certain officious persons, who take pleasure in
promoting intelligence of this sort. His behaviour soon reached the ears
of Miss Gauntlet, and confirmed her in the opinion she had conceived
from his letter; so that she fortified herself in her former sentiments,
and bore his indifference with great philosophy, Thus a correspondence,
which had commenced with all the tenderness and sincerity of love,
and every promise of duration, was interrupted in its infancy by a
misunderstanding occasioned by the simplicity of Pipes, who never once
reflected upon the consequences of his deceit.

Though their mutual passion was by these means suppressed for the
present, it was not altogether extinguished, but glowed in secret,
though even to themselves unknown, until an occasion, which afterwards
offered, blew up the latent flame, and love resumed his empire in
their breasts. While they moved, as it were, without the sphere of each
other's attraction, the commodore, hearing that Perry was in danger of
involving himself in some pernicious engagement, resolved, by advice
of Mr. Jolter and his friend the parish priest, to recall him from the
place where he had contracted such imprudent connections, and send him
to the university, where his education might be completed, and his fancy
weaned from all puerile amusements.

This plan had been proposed to his own father, who, as hath been already
observed, stood always neuter in everything that concerned his eldest
son; and as for Mrs. Pickle, she had never heard his name mentioned
since his departure with any degree of temper or tranquility, except
when her husband informed her that he was in a fair way of being ruined
by this indiscreet amour. It was then she began to applaud her own
foresight, which had discerned the mark of reprobation in that vicious
boy, and launched out in comparison between him and Gammy, who, she
observed, was a child of uncommon parts and solidity, and, with the
blessing of God, would be a comfort to his parents, and an ornament to
the family.

Should I affirm that this favourite whom she commended so much, was in
every respect the reverse of what she described; that he was a boy of
mean capacity, and, though remarkably distorted in his body, much more
crooked in his disposition; and that she had persuaded her husband to
espouse her opinion, though it was contrary to common sense, as well as
to his own perception;--I am afraid the reader will think I represent a
monster that never existed in nature, and be apt to condemn the economy
of my invention: nevertheless, there is nothing more true than every
circumstance of what I have advanced; and I wish the picture, singular
as it is, may not be thought to resemble more than one original.



CHAPTER XX.



Peregrine is summoned to attend his Uncle--Is more and more hated by his
own Mother--Appeals to his Father, whose Condescension is defeated by
the Dominion of his Wife.


But, waiving these reflections, let us return to Peregrine, who received
a summons to attend his uncle, and in a few days arrived with Mr. Jolter
and Pipes at the garrison, which he filled with joy and satisfaction.
The alteration, which, during his absence, had happened in his person,
was very favourable to his appearance, which, from that of a comely boy,
was converted into that of a most engaging youth. He was already taller
than a middle-sized man, his shape ascertained, his sinews well knit,
his mien greatly improved, and his whole figure as elegant and graceful
as if it had been cast in the same mould with the Apollo of Belvedere.

Such an outside could not fail of prepossessing people in his favour.
The commodore, notwithstanding the advantageous reports he had heard,
found his expectation exceeded in the person of Peregrine, and signified
his approbation in the most sanguine terms. Mrs. Trunnion was struck
with his genteel address, and received him with uncommon marks of
complacency and affection: he was caressed by all the people in the
neighbourhood, who, while they admired his accomplishments, could
not help pitying his infatuated mother, for being deprived of that
unutterable delight which any other parent would have enjoyed in the
contemplation of such an amiable son.

Divers efforts were made by some well-disposed people to conquer, if
possible, this monstrous prejudice; but their endeavours, instead of
curing, served only to inflame the distemper, and she never could be
prevailed upon to indulge him with the least mark of maternal regard. On
the contrary, her original disgust degenerated into such inveteracy
of hatred, that she left no stone unturned to alienate the commodore's
affection for this her innocent child, and even practised the most
malicious defamation to accomplish her purpose. Every day, did she abuse
her husband's ear with some forged instance of Peregrine's ingratitude
to his uncle, well knowing that it would reach the commodore's knowledge
at night.

Accordingly Mr. Pickle used to tell him at the club, that his hopeful
favourite had ridiculed him in such a company, and aspersed his spouse
on another occasion; and thus retail the little scandalous issue of his
own wife's invention. Luckily for Peregrine, the commodore paid no
great regard to the authority of his informer, because he knew from what
channel the intelligence flowed; besides, the youth had a staunch friend
in Mr. Hatchway, who never failed to vindicate him when he was thus
unjustly accused, and always found argument enough to confute the
assertions of his enemies. But, though Trunnion had been dubious of
the young gentleman's principles, and deaf to the remonstrances of the
lieutenant, Perry was provided with a bulwark strong enough to defend
him from all such assaults. This was no other than his aunt, whose
regard for him was perceived to increase in the same proportion as his
own mother's diminished; and, indeed, the augmentation of the one was,
in all probability, owing to the decrease of the other; for the
two ladies, with great civility, performed all the duties of good
neighbourhood, and hated each other most piously in their hearts.

Mrs. Pickle, having been disobliged at the splendour of her sister's
new equipage, had, ever since that time, in the course of her visiting,
endeavoured to make people merry with satirical jokes on the poor lady's
infirmities; and Mrs. Trunnion seized the very first opportunity of
making reprisals, by inveighing against her unnatural behaviour to her
own child; so that Peregrine, as on the one hand he was abhorred, so
on the other was he caressed, in consequence of this contention; and I
firmly believe that the most effectual method of destroying his interest
at the garrison, would have been the show of countenancing him at
his father's house; but, whether this conjecture be reasonable or
chimerical, certain it is the experiment was never tried, and therefore
Mr. Peregrine ran no risk of being disgraced. The commodore, who
assumed, and justly too, the whole merit of his education, was now as
proud of the youth's improvements as if he had actually been his
own offspring; and sometimes his affection rose to such a pitch of
enthusiasm, that he verily believed him to be the issue of his own
loins. Notwithstanding this favourable predicament in which our hero
stood with his aunt and her husband, he could not help feeling the
injury he suffered from the caprice of his mother; and though the gaiety
of his disposition hindered him from afflicting himself with reflections
of any gloomy cast, he did not fail to foresee, that if any sudden
accident should deprive him of the commodore, he would in all likelihood
find himself in a very disagreeable situation. Prompted by this
consideration, he one evening accompanied his uncle to the club, and
was introduced to his father, before that worthy gentleman had the least
inkling of his arrival.

Mr. Gamaliel was never so disconcerted as at this reencounter. His own
disposition would not suffer him to do anything that might create
the least disturbance, or interrupt his enjoyment; so strongly was he
impressed with the terror of his wife, that he durst not yield to
the tranquility of his temper: and, as I have already observed, his
inclination was perfectly neutral. Thus distracted between different
motives, when Perry was presented to him, he sat silent and absorbed,
as if he did not or would not perceive the application; and when he was
urged to declare himself by the youth, who pathetically begged to know
how he had incurred his displeasure, he answered, in a peevish strain,
"Why, good now, child, what would you have me to do? your mother can't
abide you."--"If my mother is so unkind, I will not call it unnatural,"
said Peregrine, the tears of indignation starting from his eyes, "as
to banish me from her presence and affection, without the least cause
assigned; I hope you will not be so unjust as to espouse her barbarous
prejudice."

Before Mr. Pickle had time to reply to his expostulation, for which
he was not at all prepared, the commodore interposed, and enforced his
favourite's remonstrance, by telling Mr. Gamaliel that he was ashamed to
see any man drive in such a miserable manner under his wife's petticoat.
"As for my own part," said he, raising his voice, and assuming a look of
importance and command, "before I would suffer myself to be steered
all weathers by any woman in Christendom, d'ye see, I'd raise such
a hurricane about her ears, that--" Here he was interrupted by Mr.
Hatchway, who thrusting his head towards the door, in the attitude of
one that listens, cried, "Ahey, there's your spouse come to pay us a
visit." Trunnion's features that instant adopted a new disposition; fear
and confusion took possession of his countenance; his voice, from a tone
of vociferation, sank into a whisper of, "Sure, you must be mistaken,
Jack;" and, in great perplexity, he wiped off his sweat which had
started on his forehead at this false alarm. The lieutenant, having thus
punished him for the rodomontade he had uttered, told him, with an arch
sneer, that he was deceived with the sound of the outward door creaking
upon its hinges, which he mistook for Mrs. Trunnion's voice, and desired
him to proceed with his admonitions to Mr. Pickle. It is not to be
denied that this arrogance was a little unseasonable to the commodore,
who was in all respects as effectually subdued to the dominion of his
wife as the person whose submission he then ventured to condemn; with
this difference of disposition--, Trunnion's subjection was like that of
a bear, chequered with fits of surliness and rage; whereas Pickle
bore the yoke like an ox, without repining. No wonder, then, that
this indolence, this sluggishness, this stagnation of temper rendered
Gamaliel incapable of withstanding the arguments and importunity of his
friends, to which he at length surrendered. He acquiesced in the justice
of their observations: and, taking his son by the hand, promised to
favour him for the future with his love and fatherly protection.

But this laudable resolution did not last. Mrs. Pickle, still dubious
of his constancy, and jealous of his communication with the commodore,
never failed to interrogate him every night about the conversation that
happened at the club, and to regulate her exhortations according to the
intelligence she received. He was no sooner, therefore, conveyed to bed
(that academy in which all notable wives communicate their lectures),
when her catechism began; and she in a moment perceived something
reluctant and equivocal in her husband's answers. Aroused at this
discovery, she employed her influence and skill with such success, that
he disclosed every circumstance of what had happened; and after having
sustained a most severe rebuke for his simplicity and indiscretion,
humbled himself so far as to promise that he would next day annul the
condescensions he had made, and for ever renounce the ungracious object
of her disgust. This undertaking was punctually performed in a letter to
the commodore, which she herself dictated in these words:--

    "Sir--Whereas my good-nature being last night imposed upon, I
    was persuaded to countenance and promise I know not what to
    that vicious youth, whose parent I have the misfortune to be;
    I desire you will take notice that I will revoke all such
    countenance and promises, and shall never look upon that man
    as my friend who will, in such a cause, solicit,--
    Sir, yours, etc.
                            "Gam. Pickle."



CHAPTER XXI.



Trunnion is enraged at the conduct of Pickle--Peregrine resents the
Injustice of his Mother, to whom he explains his Sentiments in a
Letter-Is entered at the University of Oxford, where he signalizes
himself as a Youth of an enterprising Genius.


Unspeakable were the transports of rage to which Trunnion was incensed
by this absurd renunciation: he tore the letter with his gums (teeth
he had none), spit with furious grimaces, in token of the contempt
he entertain the for the author, whom he not only damned as a lousy,
scabby, nasty, scurvy, skulking lubberly noodle, but resolved to
challenge to single combat with fire and sword; but, he was dissuaded
from this violent measure, and appeased by the intervention and advice
of the lieutenant and Mr. Jolter, who represented the message as the
effect of the poor man's infirmity, for which he was rather an object
of pity than of resentment, and turned the stream of his indignation
against the wife, whom he reviled accordingly. Nor did Peregrine himself
bear with patience this injurious declaration, the nature of which he no
sooner understood from Hatchway than, equally shocked and exasperated,
he retired to his apartment, and, in the first emotions of his ire,
produced the following epistle, which was immediately conveyed to his
mother,--

    "Madam,--Had nature formed me a bugbear to the sight, and
    inspired me with a soul as vicious as my body was detestable,
    perhaps I might have enjoyed particular marks of your affection
    and applause; seeing you have persecuted me with such unnatural
    aversion, for no other visible reason than that of my differing
    so widely in shape as well as disposition from that deformed
    urchin who is the object of your tenderness and care. If these be
    the terms on which alone I can obtain your favour, I pray God
    you may never cease to hate,--Madam, your much-injured son,
                           "Peregrine Pickle."


This letter, which nothing, but his passion and inexperience could
excuse, had such an effect upon his mother as may be easily conceived.
She was enraged to a degree of frenzy against the writer; though, at the
same time, she considered the whole as the production of Mrs. Trunnion's
particular pique, and represented it to her husband as an insult that he
was bound in honour to resent, by breaking off all correspondence with
the commodore and his family. This was a bitter pill to Gamaliel, who,
through a long course of years, was so habituated to Trunnion's company,
that he could as easily have parted with a limb as have relinquished the
club all at once. He therefore ventured to represent his own incapacity
to follow her advice, and begged that he might, at least, be allowed to
drop the connection gradually, protesting that he would do his endeavour
to give her all manner of satisfaction.

Meanwhile preparations were made for Peregrine's departure to the
university, and in a few weeks he set out, in the seventeenth year
of his age, accompanied by the same attendants who lived with him at
Winchester. His uncle laid strong injunctions upon him to avoid the
company of immodest women, to mind his learning, to let him hear of
his welfare as often as he could find time to write, and settled
his appointments at the rate of five hundred a year, including his
governor's salary, which was one-fifth part of the sum. The heart of
our young gentleman dilated at the prospect of the figure he should make
with such a handsome annuity the management of which was left to his
own discretion; and he amused his imagination with the most agreeable
reveries during his journey to Oxford, which he performed in two days.
Here, being introduced to the head of the college, to whom he had been
recommended, accommodated with genteel apartments, entered as gentleman
commoner in the books, and provided with a judicious tutor, instead of
returning to the study of Greek and Latin, in which he thought himself
already sufficiently instructed, he renewed his acquaintance with some
of his old school-fellows, whom he found in the same situation, and was
by them initiated in all the fashionable diversions of the place.

It was not long before he made himself remarkable for his spirit and
humour, which were so acceptable to the bucks of the university, that he
was admitted as a member of their corporation, and in a very little time
became the most conspicuous personage of the whole fraternity. Not that
he valued himself upon his ability in smoking the greatest number
of pipes, and drinking the largest quantity of ale: these were
qualifications of too gross a nature to captivate his refined ambition.
He piqued himself on his talent for raillery, his genius and taste,
his personal accomplishments, and his success at intrigue. Nor were his
excursions confined to the small villages in the neighbourhood, which
are commonly visited once a week by the students for the sake of carnal
recreation. He kept his own horses, traversed the whole country in
parties of pleasure, attended all the races within fifty miles of
Oxford, and made frequent jaunts to London, where he used to be
incognito during the best part of many a term.

The rules of the university were too severe to be observed by a youth
of his vivacity; and therefore he became acquainted with the proctor
betimes. But all the checks he received were insufficient to moderate
his career; he frequented taverns and coffee-houses, committed midnight
frolics in the streets, insulted all the sober and pacific class of
his fellow-students: the tutors themselves were not sacred from his
ridicule; he laughed at the magistrate, and neglected every particular
of college discipline. In vain did they attempt to restrain his
irregularities by the imposition of fines; he was liberal to profusion,
and therefore paid without reluctance. Thrice did he scale the windows
of a tradesman, with whose daughter he had an affair of gallantry; as
often was he obliged to seek his safety by a precipitate leap; and one
night would, in all probability, have fallen a sacrifice to an ambuscade
that was laid by the father, had not his trusty squire Pipes interposed
in his behalf, and manfully rescued him from the clubs of his enemies.

In the midst of these excesses, Mr. Jolter, finding his admonitions
neglected and his influence utterly destroyed, attempted to wean his
pupil from his extravagant courses, by engaging his attention in some
more laudable pursuit. With this view he introduced him into a club
of politicians, who received him with great demonstrations of regard,
accommodated themselves more than he could have expected to his jovial
disposition, and while they revolved schemes for the reformation of the
state, drank with such devotion to the accomplishment of their
plans, that, before parting, the cares of their patriotism were quite
overwhelmed.

Peregrine, though he could not approve of their doctrine, resolved to
attach himself for some time to their company, because he perceived
ample subject for his ridicule in the characters of these wrong-headed
enthusiasts. It was a constant practice with them, in their midnight
consistories, to swallow such plentiful draughts of inspiration, that
their mysteries commonly ended like those of the Bacchanalian orgia; and
they were seldom capable of maintaining that solemnity of decorum which,
by the nature of their functions, most of them were obliged to profess.
Now, as Peregrine's satirical disposition was never more gratified than
when he had an opportunity of exposing grave characters in ridiculous
attitudes, he laid a mischievous snare for his new confederates, which
took effect in this manner:--In one of their nocturnal deliberations,
he promoted such a spirit of good fellowship by the agreeable sallies
of his wit, which were purposely leveled against their political
adversaries, that by ten o'clock they were all ready to join in the most
extravagant proposal that could be made. They broke their glasses in
consequence of his suggestion, drank healths out of their shoes, caps,
and the bottoms of the candlesticks that stood before them, sometimes
standing with one foot on a chair, and the knee bent on the edge of
the table; and when they could no longer stand in that posture, setting
their bare posteriors on the cold floor. They huzzaed, hallooed, danced,
and sang, and, in short, were elevated to such a pitch of intoxication,
that when Peregrine proposed that they should burn their periwigs, the
hint was immediately approved, and they executed the frolic as one man.
Their shoes and caps underwent the same fate by the same instigation,
and in this trim he led them forth into the street, where they resolved
to compel everybody they should find to subscribe to their political
creed, and pronounce the Shibboleth of their party. In the achievement
of this enterprise, they met with more opposition than they expected;
they were encountered with arguments which they could not well
withstand; the noses of some, and eyes of others, in a very little
time bore the marks of obstinate disputation. Their conductor having at
length engaged the whole body in a fray with another squadron which was
pretty much in the same condition, he very fairly gave them the slip,
and slyly retreated to his apartment, foreseeing that his companions
would soon be favoured with the notice of their superiors: nor was he
deceived in his prognostic; the proctor, going his round, chanced to
fall in with this tumultuous uproar, and, interposing his authority,
found means to quiet the disturbance. He took cognizance of their names,
and dismissed the rioters to their respective chambers, not a little
scandalized at the behaviour of some among them, whose business and
duty it was to set far other examples for the youth under their care and
direction.

About midnight, Pipes, who had orders to attend at a distance, and keep
an eye upon Jolter, brought home that unfortunate governor upon his
back, Peregrine having beforehand secured his admittance into the
college; and among other bruises, he was found to have received a couple
of contusions on his face, which next morning appeared in a black circle
that surrounded each eye.

This was a mortifying circumstance to a man of his character and
deportment, especially as he had received a message from the proctor,
who desired to see him forthwith. With great humility and contrition
he begged the advice of his pupil, who being used to amuse himself with
painting, assured Mr. Jolter that he would cover those signs of disgrace
with a slight coat of flesh-colour so dexterously, that it would be
almost impossible to distinguish the artificial from the natural skin.
The rueful governor, rather than expose such opprobrious tokens to the
observation and censure of the magistrate, submitted to the expedient.
Although his counsellor had overrated his own skill, he was persuaded to
confide in the disguise, and actually attended the proctor, with such
a staring addition to the natural ghastliness of his features, that
his visage bore a very apt resemblance to some of those ferocious
countenances that hang over the doors of certain taverns and ale-houses,
under the denomination of the Saracen's head.

Such a remarkable alteration of physiognomy could not escape the notice
of the most undiscerning beholder, much less the penetrating eye of his
severe judge, already whetted with what he had seen over-night. He was
therefore upbraided with this ridiculous and shallow artifice, and,
together with the companions of his debauch, underwent such a cutting
reprimand for the scandalous irregularity of his conduct, that all of
them remained crest-fallen, and were ashamed, for many weeks, to appear
in the public execution of their duty.

Peregrine was too vain of his finesse, to conceal the part he acted in
this comedy, with the particulars of which he regaled his companions,
and thereby entailed upon himself the hate and resentment of the
community whose maxims and practices he had disclosed: for he was
considered as a spy, who had intruded himself into their society, with a
view of betraying it; or, at best, as an apostate and renegado from the
faith and principles which he had professed.



CHAPTER XXII.



He is insulted by his Tutor, whom he lampoons--Makes a considerable
Progress in Polite Literature; and, in an Excursion to Windsor, meets
with Emilia by accident, and is very coldly received.


Among those who suffered by his craft and infidelity was Mr. Jumble,
his own tutor, who could not at all digest the mortifying affront he had
received, and was resolved to be revenged on the insulting author. With
this view he watched the conduct of Mr. Pickle with the utmost rancour
of vigilance, and let slip no opportunity of treating him disrespect,
which he knew the disposition of his pupil could less brook than any
other severity it was in his power to exercise.

Peregrine had been several mornings absent from chapel; and as Mr.
Jumble never failed to question him in a very peremptory style about his
non-attendance, he invented some very plausible excuses; but at length
his ingenuity was exhausted: he received a very galling rebuke for his
proffigacy of morals; and, that he might feel it the more sensibly, was
ordered, by way of exercise, to compose a paraphrase in English verse
upon these two lines in Virgil:--

    Vane Ligur, frustraque animis elate superbis,
    Nequicquam patrias tentasti lubricus artes.


The imposition of this invidious theme had all the desired effect upon
Peregrine, who not only considered it as a piece of unmannerly abuse
leveled against his own conduct, but also a retrospective insult on
the memory of his grandfather, who, as he had been informed, was in his
lifetime more noted for his cunning than candour in trade.

Exasperated at this instance of the pedant's audacity, he had well nigh,
in his first transports, taken corporal satisfaction on the spot;
but, foreseeing the troublesome consequences that would attend such
a flagrant outrage against the laws of the university, he checked his
indignation, and resolved to revenge the injury in a more cool and
contemptuous manner. Thus determined, he set on foot an inquiry into
the particulars of Jumble's parentage and education. He learnt that the
father of this insolent tutor was a brick-layer, that his mother sold
pies, and that the son, in different periods of his youth, had amused
himself in both occupations, before he converted his views to the study
of learning. Fraught with this intelligence, he composed the following
ballad in doggerel rhymes; and next day, presented it as a gloss upon
the text which the tutor had chosen:--

    Come, listen, ye students of every degree;
    I sing of a wit and a tutor perdie,
    A statesman profound, a critic immense,
    In short a mere jumble of learning and sense;
    And yet of his talents though laudably vain,
    His own family arts he could never attain.

    His father, intending his fortune to build,
    In his youth would have taught him the trowel to wield,
    But the mortar of discipline never would stick,
    For his skull was secured by a facing of brick;
    And with all his endeavours of patience and pain,
    The skill of his sire he could never attain.

    His mother, a housewife neat, artful, and wise,
    Renown'd for her delicate biscuit and pies,
    soon alter'd his studies, by flattering his taste,
    From the raising of walls to the rearing of paste!
    But all her instructions were fruitless and vain;
    The pie-making mystery he ne'er could attain.

    Yet true to his race, in his labours were seen
    A jumble of both their professions, I ween;
    For, when his own genius he ventured to trust,
    His pies seemed of brick, and his houses of crust.
    Then good Mr. Tutor, pray be not so vain,
    Since your family arts you could never attain.


This impudent production was the most effectual vengeance he could
have taken on his tutor, who had all the supercilious arrogance and
ridiculous pride of a low-born pedant. Instead of overlooking this
petulant piece of satire with that temper and decency of disdain that
became a person of his gravity and station, he no sooner cast his eye
over the performance, than the blood rushed into his countenance, and
immediately after exhibited a ghastly pale colour. With a quivering lip,
he told his pupil, that he was an impertinent jackanapes; and he would
take care that he should be expelled from the university, for having
presumed to write and deliver such a licentious and scurrilous libel.
Peregrine answered, with great resolution, that when the provocation
he had received should be known, he was persuaded that he should be
acquitted by the opinion of all impartial people; and that he was ready
to submit the whole to the decision of the master.

This arbitration he proposed, because he knew the master and Jumble were
at variance; and, for that reason, the tutor durst not venture to put
the cause on such an issue. Nay, when this reference was mentioned,
Jumble, who was naturally jealous, suspected that Peregrine had a
promise of protection before he undertook to commit such an outrageous
insult; and this notion had such an effect upon him, that he decided
to devour his vexation, and wait for a more proper opportunity of
gratifying his hate. Meanwhile, copies of the ballad were distributed
among the students, who sang it under the very nose of Mr. Jumble, to
the tune of "A Cobbler there was" etc.; and the triumph of our hero
was complete. Neither was his whole time devoted to the riotous
extravagancies of youth. He enjoyed many lucid intervals, during which
he contracted a more intimate acquaintance with the classics, applied
himself to the reading of history, improved his taste for painting and
music, in which he made some progress; and, above all things, cultivated
the study of natural philosophy. It was generally after a course of
close attention to some of these arts and sciences, that his disposition
broke out into those irregularities and wild sallies of a luxuriant
imagination, for which he became so remarkable; and he was perhaps the
only young man in Oxford who, at the same time, maintained an intimate
and friendly intercourse with the most unthinking, as well as the most
sedate students at the university.

It is not to be supposed that a young man of Peregrine's vanity,
inexperience, and profusion, could suit his expense to his allowance,
liberal as it was--for he was not one of those fortunate people who are
born economists, and knew not the art of withholding his purse when he
saw his companion in difficulty. Thus naturally generous and expensive,
he squandered away his money, and made a most splendid appearance upon
the receipt of his quarterly appointment; but long before the third
month was elapsed, his finances were consumed: and as he could not stoop
to ask an extraordinary supply, was too proud to borrow, and too haughty
to run in debt with tradesmen, he devoted those periods of poverty to
the prosecution of his studies, and shone forth again at the revolution
of quarter-day.

In one of these eruptions he and some of his companions went to Windsor,
in order to see the royal apartments in the castle, whither they
repaired in the afternoon; and as Peregrine stood contemplating the
picture of Hercules and Omphale, one of his fellow-students whispered in
his car, "Zounds! Pickle, there are two fine girls!" He turned instantly
about, and in one of them recognized his almost forgotten Emilia; her
appearance acted upon his imagination like a spark of fire that falls
among gun-powder; that passion which had lain dormant for the space of
two years, flashed up in a moment, and he was seized with a trepidation.
She perceived and partook of his emotion; for their souls, like unisons,
vibrated with the same impulse. However, she called her pride and
resentment to her aid, and found resolution enough to retire from such a
dangerous scene.

Alarmed at her retreat, he recollected all his assurance, and, impelled
by love, which he could no longer resist, followed her into the next
room, where, in the most disconcerted manner, he accosted her with "Your
humble servant, Miss Gauntlet;" to which salutation she replied, with
an affectation of indifference, that did not, however, conceal her
agitation, "Your servant, sir;" and immediately extending her finger
toward the picture of Duns Scotus, which is fixed over one of the doors,
asked her companion, in a giggling tone, if she did not think he looked
like a conjurer? Peregrine, nettled into spirits by this reception,
answered for the other lady, "that it was an easy matter to be a
conjurer in those times, when the simplicity of the age assisted his
divination; but were he, or Merlin himself, to rise from the dead now,
when such deceit and dissimulation prevail, they would not be able to
earn their bread by the profession."--"O! Sir," said she, turning
full upon him, "without doubt they would adopt new maxims; 'tis
no disparagement in this enlightened age for one to alter one's
opinion."--"No, sure, madam," replied the youth, with some
precipitation, "provided the change be for the better."--"And should
it happen otherwise," retorted the nymph, with a flirt of her
fan, "inconstancy will never want countenance from the practice of
mankind."-"True, madam," resumed our hero, fixing his eyes upon her;
"examples of levity are every where to be met with."-"Oh Lord, sir,"
cried Emilia, tossing her head, "you'll scarce ever find a fop without
it."

By this time his companion, seeing him engaged with one of the ladies,
entered into conversation with the other; and, in order to favour his
friend's gallantry, conducted her into the next apartment, on pretence
of entertaining her with the sight of a remarkable piece of painting.

Peregrine, laying hold on this opportunity of being alone with the
object of his love, assumed a most seducing tenderness of look, and,
heaving a profound sigh, asked if she had utterly discarded him from
her remembrance. Reddening at this pathetic question, which recalled the
memory of the imagined slight he had put upon her, she answered in great
confusion, "Sir, I believe I once had the pleasure of seeing you at a
ball in Winchester."--"Miss Emilia," said he, very gravely, "will you
be so candid as to tell me what misbehaviour of mine you are pleased to
punish, by restricting your remembrance to that single occasion?"--"Mr.
Pickle," she replied, in the same tone, "it is neither my province
nor inclination to judge your conduct; and therefore you misapply your
question when you ask such an explanation of me"--"At least" resumed our
lover, "give me the melancholy satisfaction to know for what offence
of mine you refused to take least notice of that letter which I had the
honour to write from Winchester by your own express permission."--"Your
letter," said miss, with great vivacity, "neither required, nor, in my
opinion, deserved an answer; and to be free with you, Mr. Pickle, it
was but a shallow artifice to rid yourself of a correspondence you had
deigned to solicit."

Peregrine, confounded at this repartee, replied that howsoever he might
have failed in point of elegance or discretion, he was sure he had not
been deficient in expressions of respect and devotion for those charms
which it was his pride to adore: "As for the verses," said he, "I own
they were unworthy of the theme; but I flattered myself that they would
have merited your acceptance, though not your approbation, and been
considered not so much as the proof of my genius, as the genuine
effusion of my love."--"Verses," cried Emilia with an air of
astonishment, "what verses? I really don't understand you."

The young gentleman was thunderstruck at this exclamation; to which,
after a long pause, he answered: "I begin to suspect, and heartily wish
it may appear, that we have misunderstood each other from the beginning.
Pray, Miss Gauntlet, did you not find a copy of verses inclosed in that
unfortunate letter?"--"Truly, sit," said the lady, "I am not so much of
a connoisseur as to distinguish whether that facetious production, which
you merrily style as an unfortunate letter, was composed in verse or
prose; but methinks, the jest is a little too stale to be brought upon
the carpet again." So saying, she tripped away to her companion, and
left her lover in a most tumultuous suspense. He now perceived that her
neglect of his addresses when he was at Winchester, must have been owing
to some mystery which he could not comprehend; and she began to suspect
and to hope that the letter which she received was spurious, though
she could not conceive how that could possibly happen, as it had been
delivered to her by the hands of his own servant.

However, she resolved to leave the task of unravelling this affair to
him, who, she knew, would infallibly exert himself for his own as well
as her satisfaction. She was not deceived in her opinion: he went up
to her again at the staircase, and, as they were improvided with a male
attendant, insisted upon squiring the ladies to their lodgings. Emilia
saw his drift, which was no other than to know where she lived; and
though she approved of his contrivance, thought it was incumbent upon
her, for the support of her own dignity, to decline the chivalry;
she therefore thanked him for his polite offer, but would by no means
consent to his giving himself such unnecessary trouble, especially as
they had a very little way to walk. He was not repulsed by this refusal,
the nature of which he perfectly understood; nor was she sorry to see
him persevere in his determination: he therefore accompanied them
in their return, and made divers efforts to speak with Emilia in
particular; but she had a spice of the coquette in her disposition,
and being determined to whet his impatience, artfully baffled all
his endeavours, by keeping her companion continually engaged in the
conversation, which turned upon the venerable appearance and imperial
situation of the place. Thus tantalized, he lounged with them to the
door of the house in which they lodged, when his mistress, perceiving,
by the countenance of her comrade, that she was on the point of desiring
him to walk in, checked her intention with a frown; then, turning to Mr.
Pickle, dropped him a very formal curtsy, seized the other young lady by
the arm, and saying, "Come, cousin Sophy," vanished in a moment.



CHAPTER XXIII.



After sundry unsuccessful Efforts, he finds means to come to an
Explanation with his Mistress; and a Reconciliation ensues.


Peregrine, disconcerted at their sudden disappearance, stood for some
minutes gaping in the street, before he could get the better of his
surprise; and then deliberated with himself whether he should demand
immediate admittance to his mistress, or choose some other method of
application. Piqued at her abrupt behaviour, though pleased with her
spirit, he set his invention to work, in order to contrive some means
of seeing her: and in a fit of musing arrived at the inn, where he found
his companions, whom he had left at the castle-gate. They had already
made inquiry about the ladies; in consequence of which he learnt that
Miss Sophy was daughter of a gentleman in town to which his mistress
was related; that an intimate friendship subsisted between the two
young ladies; that Emilia had lived almost a month with her cousin, and
appeared at the last assembly, where she was universally admired: and
that several young gentlemen of fortune had since that time teased her
with addresses.

Our hero's ambition was flattered, and his passion inflamed with this
intelligence; and he swore within himself that he would not quit the
spot until he should have obtained an undisputed victory over all his
rivals.

That same evening he composed a most eloquent epistle, in which he
earnestly entreated that she would favour him with an opportunity of
vindicating his conduct: but she would neither receive his billet, nor
see his messenger. Balked in this effort, he inclosed it in a new cover
directed by another hand, and ordered Pipes to ride next morning to
London, on purpose to deliver it at the post-office; that coming by such
conveyance she might have no suspicion of the author, and open it before
she should be aware of the deceit.

Three days he waited patiently for the effect of this stratagem, and,
in the afternoon of the fourth, ventured to hazard a formal visit, in
quality of an old acquaintance. But here too he failed in his attempt:
she was indisposed, and could not see company. These obstacles
served only to increase his eagerness: he still adhered to his former
resolution; and his companions, understanding his determination, left
him next day to his own inventions. Thus relinquished to his own ideas,
he doubled his assiduity, and practised every method his imagination
could suggest, in order to promote his plan.

Pipes was stationed all day long within sight of her door, that he might
be able to give his master an account of her motions; but she never
went abroad except to visit in the neighbourhood, and was always housed
before Peregrine could be apprised of her appearance. He went to church
with a view of attracting her notice, and humbled his deportment before
her; but she was so mischievously devout as to look at nothing but
her book, so that he was not favoured with one glance of regard. He
frequented the coffee-house, and attempted to contract an acquaintance
with Miss Sophy's father, who, he hoped, would invite him to his house:
but this expectation was also defeated. That prudent gentleman looked
upon him as one of those forward fortune-hunters who go about the
country seeking whom they may devour, and warily discouraged all his
advances. Chagrined by so many unsuccessful endeavours, he began to
despair of accomplishing his aim; and, as the last suggestion of his
art, paid off his lodging, took horse at noon, and departed, in all
appearance, for the place from whence he had come. He rode, but a few
miles, and in the dusk of the evening returned unseen, alighted at
another inn, ordered Pipes to stay within doors, and keeping himself
incognito, employed another person as a sentinel upon Emilia.

It was not long before he reaped the fruits of his ingenuity. Next day
in the afternoon he was informed by his spy that the two young ladies
were gone to walk in the park, whither he followed them on the instant,
fully determined to come to an explanation with his mistress, even in
presence of her friend, who might possibly be prevailed upon to interest
herself in his behalf.

When he saw them at such a distance that they could not return to
town before he should have an opportunity of putting his resolution in
practice, he mended his pace, and found means to appear before them
so suddenly, that Emilia could not help expressing her surprise in a
scream. Our lover, putting on a mien of humility and mortification,
begged to know if her resentment was implacable; and asked why she had
so cruelly refused to grant him the common privilege that every
criminal enjoyed. "Dear Miss Sophy," said he, addressing himself to her
companion, "give me leave to implore your intercession with your cousin.
I am sure you have humanity enough to espouse my cause, did you but know
the justice of it; and I flatter myself that by your kind interposition
I may be able to rectify that fatal misunderstanding which hath made
me wretched."--"Sir," said Sophy, "you appear like a gentleman, and
I doubt not but your behaviour has been always suitable to your
appearance; but you must excuse me from undertaking any such office
in behalf of a person whom I have not the honour to know."--"Madam,"
answered Peregrine, "I hope Miss Emy will justify my pretensions to that
character, notwithstanding the mystery of her displeasure, which, upon
my honour, I cannot for my soul explain."--"Lord! Mr. Pickle," said
Emilia, who had by this time recollected herself, "I never questioned
your gallantry and taste; but I am resolved that you shall never have
cause to exercise your talents at my expense; so that you tease yourself
and me to no purpose. Come, Sophy, let us walk home again."--"Good God!
madam," cried the lover, with great emotion, "why will you distract me
with such barbarous indifference? Stay, dear Emilia!--I conjure you on
my knees to stay and hear me. By all that is sacred, I was not to blame.
You must have been imposed upon by some villain who envied my good
fortune, and took some treacherous method to ruin my love."

Miss Sophy, who possessed a large stock of good nature, and to whom
her cousin had communicated the cause of her reserve, seeing the young
gentleman so much affected with that disdain which she knew to be
feigned, laid hold on Emilia's sleeve, saying, with a smile, "Not quite
so fast, Emily. I begin to perceive that this is a love-quarrel, and
therefore there may be hopes of a reconciliation; for I suppose both
parties are open to conviction."--"For my own part," cried Peregrine,
with great eagerness, "I appeal to Miss Sophy's decision. But why do I
say appeal? Though I am conscious of having committed no offence, I am
ready to submit to any penance, let it be never so rigorous, that my
fair enslaver herself shall impose, provided it will entitle me to
her favour and forgiveness at last." Emily, well nigh overcome by this
declaration, told him, that as she taxed him with no guilt, she expected
no atonement, and pressed her companion to return to town. But Sophy,
who was too indulgent to her friend's real inclination to comply with
her request, observed that the gentleman seemed so reasonable in his
concessions, that she began to think her cousin was in the wrong, and
felt herself disposed to act as umpire in the dispute.

Overjoyed at this condescension, Mr. Pickle thanked her in the most
rapturous terms, and, in the transport of his expectation, kissed the
hand of his kind mediatrix--a circumstance which had a remarkable effect
on the countenance of Emilia, who did not seem to relish the warmth of
his acknowledgment.

After many supplications on one hand, and pressing remonstrances on the
other, she yielded at length, and, turning to her lover while her face
was overspread with blushes,--"Well, sir," said she, "supposing I were
to put the difference on that issue, how could you excuse the ridiculous
letter which you sent to me from Winchester?" This expostulation
introduced a discussion of the whole affair, in which all the
circumstances were canvassed; and Emilia still affirmed, with great
heat, that the letter must have been calculated to affront her; for she
could not suppose the author was so weak as to design it for any other
purpose.

Peregrine, who still retained in his memory the substance of this
unlucky epistle, as well as the verses which were inclosed, could
recollect no particular expression which could have justly given the
least umbrage; and therefore, in the agonies of perplexity, begged
that the whole might be submitted to the judgment of Miss Sophy, and
faithfully promised to stand to her award. In short, this proposal was,
with seeming reluctance, embraced by Emilia, and an appointment made to
meet next day in the place, whither both parties were desired to come
provided with their credentials, according to which definitive sentence
would be pronounced.

Our lover, having succeeded thus far, overwhelmed Sophy with
acknowledgments on account of her generous mediation; and in the course
of their walk, which Emilia was now in no hurry to conclude, whispered
a great many tender protestations in the ear of his mistress, who
nevertheless continued to act upon the reserve, until her doubts should
be more fully resolved.

Mr. Pickle, having found means to amuse them in the fields till the
twilight, was obliged to wish them good even, after having obtained a
solemn repetition of their promise to meet him at the appointed time
and place, and then retreated to his apartment, where he spent the whole
night in various conjectures on the subject of the letter, the Gordian
knot of which he could by no means untie. One while he imagined that
some wag had played a trick on his messenger, in consequence of
which Emilia had received a supposititious letter; but, upon farther
reflection, he could not conceive the practicability of any such deceit.
Then he began to doubt the sincerity of his mistress, who perhaps had
only made that a handle for discarding him, at the request of some
favoured rival; but his own integrity forbade him to harbour this mean
suspicion; and therefore he was again involved in the labyrinth of
perplexity. Next day he waited on the rack of impatience for the hour of
five in the afternoon, which no sooner struck than he ordered Pipes
to attend him, in case there should be occasion for his evidence, and
repaired to the place of rendezvous, where he had not tarried five
minutes before the ladies appeared. Mutual compliments being passed, and
the attendant stationed at a convenient distance, Peregrine persuaded
them to sit down upon the grass, under the shade of a spreading oak,
that they might be more at their ease; while he stretched himself at
their feet, and desired that the paper on which his doom depended might
be examined. It was accordingly put into the hand of his fair arbitress,
who read it immediately with an audible voice. The first two words of
it were no sooner pronounced, than he started, with great emotion, and
raised himself upon his hand and knee, in which posture he listened
to the rest of the sentence; then sprang upon his feet in the utmost
astonishment, and, glowing with resentment at the same time, exclaimed,
"Hell and the devil! what's all that? Sure you make a jest of me,
madam!"--"Pray, sir," said Sophy, "give me the hearing for a few
moments, and then urge what you shall think proper in your own defence."
Having thus cautioned him, she proceeded; but before she had finished
one-half of the performance, her gravity forsook her, and she was seized
with a violent fit of laughter, in which neither of the lovers could
help joining, notwithstanding the resentment which at that instant
prevailed in the breasts of both. The judge, however, in a little
time, resumed her solemnity, and having read the remaining part of this
curious epistle, all three continued staring at each other alternately
for the space of half a minute, and then broke forth at the same instant
in another paroxysm of mirth. From this unanimous convulsion, one would
have thought that both parties were extremely well pleased with a joke,
yet this was by no means the case.

Emilia imagined that, notwithstanding his affected surprise, her lover,
in spite of himself, had received the laugh at her expense, and in so
doing applauded his own unmannerly ridicule. This supposition could not
fail of raising and reviving her indignation, while Peregrine highly
resented the indignity, with which he supposed himself treated, in their
attempting to make him the dupe of such a gross and ludicrous artifice.
This being the situation of their thoughts, their mirth was succeeded by
a mutual gloominess of aspect; and the judge, addressing herself to Mr.
Pickle, asked if he had anything to offer why sentence should not be
pronounced? "Madam," answered the culprit, "I am sorry to find myself
so low in the opinion of your cousin as to be thought capable of being
deceived by such shallow contrivance."--"Nay, sir," said Emilia, "the
contrivance is your own; and I cannot help admiring your confidence in
imputing it to me."--"Upon my honour, Miss Emily, resumed our hero, "you
wrong my understanding, as well as my love, in accusing me of having
written such a silly, impertinent performance. The very appearance and
address of it is so unlike the letter which I did myself the honour
to write, that I dare say my man, even at this distance of time, will
remember the difference."

So saying, he extended his voice, and beckoned to Pipes, who immediately
drew near. His mistress seemed to object to the evidence, by observing
that to be sure Mr. Pipes had his cue; when Peregrine, begging she would
spare him the mortification of considering him in such a dishonourable
light, desired his valet to examine the outside of the letter, and
recollect if it was the same which he had delivered to Miss Gauntlet
about two years ago. Pipes, having taken a superficial view of it,
pulled up his breeches, saying, "Mayhap it is, but we have made so many
trips, and been in so many creeks and corners since that time, that I
can't pretend to be certain; for I neither keep journal nor log-book of
our proceedings." Emilia commended him for his candour, at the same
time darting a sarcastic look at his master, as if she thought he had
tampered with his servant's integrity in vain; and Peregrine began to
live and curse his fate for having subjected him to such mean suspicion,
attesting heaven and earth in the most earnest manner, that far from
having composed and conveyed that stupid production, he had never seen
it before, nor been privy to the least circumstance of the plan.

Pipes, now, for the first time, perceived the mischief which he had
occasioned; and, moved with the transports of his master, for whom he
had a most inviolable attachment, frankly declared he was ready to make
oath that Mr. Pickle had no hand in the letter which he delivered. All
three were amazed at this confession, the meaning of which they could
not comprehend. Peregrine, after some pause, leaped upon Pipes, and
seizing him by the throat, exclaimed, in an ecstasy of rage. "Rascal!
tell me this instant what became of the letter I entrusted to your
care." The patient valet, half-strangled as he was, squirted a
collection of tobacco-juice out of one corner of his mouth, and with
great deliberation replied, "Why, burnt it, you wouldn't have me to give
the young woman a thing that shook all in the wind in tatters, would
you?" The ladies interposed in behalf of the distressed squire, from
whom, by dint of questions which he had neither art nor inclination to
evade, they extorted an explanation of the whole affair.

Such ridiculous simplicity and innocence of intention appeared in the
composition of his expedient, that even the remembrance of all the
chagrin which it had produced, could not rouse their indignation, or
enable the to resist a third eruption of laughter which they forthwith
underwent. Pipes was dismissed, with many menacing injunctions to beware
of such conduct for the future; Emilia stood with a confusion of joy and
tenderness in her countenance; Peregrine's eyes kindled into rapture,
and, when Miss Sophy pronounced the sentence of reconciliation, advanced
to his mistress, saying, "Truth is mighty, and will prevail;" then
clapping her in his arms, very impudently ravished a kiss, which she had
not power to refuse. Nay, such was the impulse of his joy, that he took
the same freedom with the lips of Sophy, calling her his kind mediatrix
and guardian angel; and behaved with such extravagance of transport, as
plainly evinced the fervour and sincerity of his love.

I shall not pretend to repeat the tender protestations that were uttered
on one side, or describe the bewitching glances of approbation with
which they were received on the other, suffice it to say that the
endearing intimacy of their former connection was instantly renewed, and
Sophy, who congratulated them on the happy termination of their quarrel,
favoured with their mutual confidence. In consequence of this happy
pacification, they deliberated upon the means of seeing each other
often; and as he could not, without some previous introduction, visit
her openly at the house of her relation, they agreed to meet every
afternoon in the park till the next assembly, at which he would solicit
her as a partner, and she be unengaged, in expectation of his request.
By this connection he would be entitled to visit her next day, and
thus an avowed correspondence would of course commence. This plan was
actually put in execution, and attended with a circumstance which had
well-nigh produced some mischievous consequence, had not Peregrine's
good fortune been superior to his discretion.



CHAPTER XXIV.



He achieves an Adventure at the Assembly, and quarrels with his
Governor.


At the assembly, were no fewer than three gentlemen of fortune, who
rivalled our lover in his passion for Emilia, and who had severally
begged the honour of dancing with her upon this occasion. She had
excused herself to each, on pretence of a slight indisposition that she
foresaw would detain her from the ball, and desired they would provide
themselves with other partners. Obliged to admit her excuse, they
accordingly followed her advice; and after they had engaged themselves
beyond the power of retracting, had the mortification of seeing her
there unclaimed. They in their turn made up to her, and expressed their
surprise and concern at finding her in the assembly unprovided, after
she had declined their invitation; but she told them that her cold had
forsaken her since she had the pleasure of seeing them, and that she
would rely upon accident for a partner. Just as she pronounced these
words to the last of the three, Peregrine advanced as an utter stranger,
bowed with great respect, told her he understood she was unengaged, and
would think himself highly honoured in being accepted as her partner for
the night; and he had the good fortune to succeed in his application.

As they were by far the handsomest and best-accomplished couple in the
room, they could not fail of attracting the notice and admiration of the
spectators, which inflamed the jealousy of his three competitors, who
immediately entered into a conspiracy against this gaudy stranger, whom,
as their rival, they resolved to affront in public. Pursuant to the plan
which they projected for this purpose, the first country-dance was no
sooner concluded, than one of them, with his partner, took place of
Peregrine and his mistress, contrary to the regulation of the ball. Our
lover, imputing his behaviour to inadvertency, informed the gentleman of
his mistake, and civilly desired he would rectify his error. The other
told him, in an imperious tone, that he wanted none of his advice, and
bade him mind his own affairs. Peregrine answered, with some warmth, and
insisted upon his right: a dispute commenced, high words, ensued, in the
course of which, our impetuous youth hearing himself reviled with the
appellation of scoundrel, pulled off his antagonist's periwig, and
flung it in his face. The ladies immediately shrieked, the gentlemen
interposed, Emilia was seized with a fit of trembling, and conducted
to her seat by her youthful admirer, who begged pardon for having
discomposed her, and vindicated what he had done, by representing the
necessity he was under to resent the provocation he had received.

Though she could not help owning the justice of his plea, she not the
less concerned at the dangerous situation in which he had involved
himself, and, in the utmost consternation and anxiety, insisted upon
going directly home: he could not resist her importunities; and her
cousin being determined to accompany her, he escorted to their lodgings,
where he wished them good night, after having, in order to quiet their
apprehensions, protested, that if his opponent was satisfied, he should
never take any step towards the prosecution of the quarrel. Meanwhile
the assembly-room became a of scene of tumult and uproar: the person who
conceived himself injured, seeing Peregrine retire, struggled with his
companions, in order to pursue and take satisfaction of our hero, whom
he loaded with terms of abuse, and challenged to single combat. The
director of the ball held a consultation with all the subscribers who
were present; and it was determined, by a majority of votes, that the
two gentlemen who had occasioned the disturbance should be desired to
withdraw. This resolution being signified to one of the parties then
present, he made some difficulty of complying, but was persuaded to
submit by his two confederates, who accompanied him to the street-door,
where he was met by Peregrine on his return to the assembly.

This choleric gentleman, who was a country squire, no sooner saw his
rival, than he began to brandish his cudgel in a menacing posture, when
our adventurous youth, stepping back with one foot, laid his hand upon
the hilt of his sword, which he drew half way out of the scabbard. This
attitude, and the sight of the blade which glistened by moonlight in his
face, checked, in some sort, the ardour of his assailant, who desired
he would lay aside his toaster, and take a bout with him at equal arms.
Peregrine, who was an expert cudgel-player, accepted the invitation:
then, exchanging weapons with Pipes, who stood behind him, put himself
in a posture of defence, and received the attack of his adversary, who
struck at random, without either skill or economy. Pickle could have
beaten the cudgel out of his hand at the first blow; but as in that
case he would have been obliged in honour to give immediate quarter, he
resolved to discipline his antagonist without endeavouring to disable
him, until he should be heartily satisfied with the vengeance he had
taken. With this view be returned the salute, and raised such a clatter
about the squire's pate, that one who had heard without seeing the
application, would have taken the sound for that of a salt-box, in the
hand of a dexterous merry-andrew, belonging to one of the booths at
Bartholomew-fair. Neither was this salutation confined to his head: his
shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles, and ribs, were visited with amazing
rapidity, while Tom Pipes sounded the charge through his fist.
Peregrine, tired with his exercise, which had almost bereft his enemy of
sensation, at last struck the decisive blow, in consequence of which the
squire's weapon flew out of his grasp, and he allowed our hero to be
the better man. Satisfied with this acknowledgment, the victor walked
upstairs with such elevation of spirits and insolence of mien, that
nobody chose to intimate the resolution, which had been taken in his
absence; there, having amused himself for some time in beholding the
country-dances, he retreated to his lodging, where he indulged himself
all night in the contemplation of his own success.

Next day in the forenoon he went to visit his partner; and the
gentleman, at whose house she lived, having been informed of his family
and condition, received him with great courtesy, as the acquaintance of
his cousin Gauntlet, and invited him to dinner that same day. Emilia was
remarkably well pleased, when she understood the issue of his adventure,
which began to make some noise in town even though it deprived her of
a wealthy admirer. The squire, having consulted an attorney about the
nature of the dispute, in hopes of being able to prosecute Peregrine
for an assault, found little encouragement to go to law: he therefore
resolved to pocket the insult and injury he had undergone, and to
discontinue his addresses to her who was the cause of both.

Our lover being told by his mistress that she proposed to stay a
fortnight longer in Windsor, he determined to enjoy her company all that
time, and then to give her a convoy to the house of her mother, whom he
longed to see. In consequence of this plan, he every day contrived some
fresh party of pleasure for the ladies, to whom he had by this time free
access; and entangled himself so much in the snares of love, that he
seemed quite enchanted by Emilia's charms, which were now indeed almost
irresistible. While he thus heedlessly roved in the flowery paths of
pleasure, his governor at Oxford alarmed at the unusual duration of
his absence, went to the young gentlemen who had accompanied him in his
excursion, and very earnestly entreated them to tell him, what they
knew concerning his pupil: they accordingly gave him an account of the
reencounter that happened between Peregrine and Miss Emily Gauntlet in
the castle, and mentioned circumstances sufficient to convince him that
his charge was very dangerously engaged.

Far from having an authority over Peregrine, Mr. Jolter durst not even
disoblige him: therefore, instead of writing to the commodore, he took
horse immediately, and that same night reached Windsor, where he found
his stray sheep very much surprised at his unexpected arrival. The
governor desiring to have some serious conversation with him, they
shut themselves up in an apartment, when Jolter, with great solemnity,
communicated the cause of his journey, which was no other than his
concern for his pupil's welfare; and very gravely undertook to prove,
by mathematical demonstration, that this intrigue, if further pursued,
would tend to the young gentleman's ruin and disgrace. This singular
proposition raised the curiosity of Peregrine, who promised to yield all
manner of attention, and desired him to begin without further preamble.

The governor, encouraged by this appearance of candour, expressed his
satisfaction in finding him so open to conviction, and told him he would
proceed upon geometrical principles; then, hemming thrice, observed that
no mathematical inquiries could be carried on, except upon certain data,
or concessions of truth that were self-evident; and therefore he must
have his assent to a few axioms, which he was sure Mr. Pickle would see
no reason to dispute. "In the first place, then," said he, "you will
grant, I hope, that youth and discretion are with respect to each other
as two parallel lines, which, though infinitely produced, remain still
equidistant, and will never coincide: then you must allow that passion
acts upon the human mind in a ratio compounded of the acuteness of
sense, and constitutional heat; and, thirdly, you will not deny that
the angle of remorse is equal to that of precipitation. These postulata
being admitted," added he, taking pen, ink, and paper, and drawing a
parallelogram, "let youth be represented by the right line, a b, and
discretion by another right line, c d, parallel to the former. Complete
the parallelogram, a b c d, and let the point of intersection, b,
represent perdition. Let passion, represented under the letter c, have
a motion in the direction c a. At the same time, let another motion
be communicated to it, in the direction c d, it will proceed in the
diagonal c b, and describe it in the same time that it would have
described the side c a, by the first motion, or the side, c d, by the
second. To understand the demonstration of this corollary, we must
premise this obvious principle, that when a body is acted upon by a
motion of power parallel to a right line given in position, this power,
or motion, has no effect to cause the body to approach towards that
line, or recede from it, but to move in a line parallel to a right line
only; as appears from the second law of motion: therefore c a being
parallel to d b--"

His pupil having listened to him thus far, could contain himself no
longer, but interrupted the investigation with a loud laugh, and
told him that his postulata put him in mind of a certain learned and
ingenious gentleman, who undertook to disprove the existence of natural
evil, and asked no other datum on which to found his demonstration,
but an acknowledgment that "everything that is, is right." "You may
therefore," said he, in a peremptory tone, "spare yourself the trouble
of torturing your invention; for, after all, I am pretty certain that
I shall want capacity to comprehend the discussion of your lemma, and
consequently be obliged to all the pangs of an ingenuous mind that I
refuse my assent to your deduction."

Mr. Jolter was disconcerted at this declaration, and so much offended
at Peregrine's disrespect, that he could not help expressing his
displeasure, by telling him flatly, that he was too violent and
headstrong to be reclaimed by reason and gentle means; that he (the
tutor) must be obliged, in the discharge of his duty and conscience, to
inform the commodore of his pupil's imprudence; that if the laws of this
realm were effectual, they would take cognizance of the gipsy who
had led him astray; and observed, by way of contrast, that if such
a preposterous intrigue had happened in France, she would have been
clapped up in a convent two years ago. Our lover's eyes kindled with
indignation, when he heard his mistress treated with such irreverence:
he could scarce refrain from inflicting manual chastisement on the
blasphemer, whom he reproached in his wrath as an arrogant pedant,
without either delicacy or sense, and cautioned him against rising any
such impertinent freedoms with his affairs for the future on pain of
incurring more severe effects of his resentment.

Mr. Jolter, who entertained very high notions of that veneration to
which he thought himself entitled by his character and qualifications,
had not borne, without repining, his want of influence and authority
over his pupil, against whom he cherished a particular grudge ever since
the adventure of the painted eye; and therefore, on this occasion, his
politic forbearance had been overcome by the accumulated motives of his
disgust. Indeed, he would have resigned his charge with disdain, had
not he been encouraged to persevere, by the hopes of a good living which
Trunnion had in his gift, or known how to dispose of himself for the
present to better advantage.



CHAPTER XXV.



He receives a Letter from his Aunt, breaks with the Commodore, and
disobliges the Lieutenant, who, nevertheless, undertakes his Cause.


Meanwhile he quitted the youth in high dudgeon, and that same evening
despatched a letter for Mrs. Trunnion, which was dictated by the
first transports of his passion, and of course replete with severe
animadversions on the misconduct of his pupil. In consequence of this
complaint, it was not long before Peregrine received an epistle from his
aunt, wherein she commemorated all the circumstances of the commodore's
benevolence towards him, when he was helpless and forlorn, deserted and
abandoned by his own parents; upbraided him for his misbehaviour, and
neglect of his tutor's advice; and insisted upon his breaking off an
intercourse with that girl who had seduced his youth, as he valued the
continuance of her affection and her husband's regard.

As our lover's own ideas of generosity were extremely refined, he was
shocked at the indelicate insinuations of Mrs. Trunnion, and felt all
the pangs of an ingenuous mind that labours under obligations to a
person whom it contemns. Far from obeying her injunction, or humbling
himself by a submissive answer to her reprehension, his resentment
buoyed him up above every selfish consideration: he resolved to attach
himself to Emilia, if possible, more than ever; and although he was
tempted to punish the officiousness of Jolter, by recriminating upon
his life and conversation, he generously withstood the impulse of his
passion, because he knew that his governor had no other dependence than
the good opinion of the commodore. He could not, however, digest in
silence the severe expostulations of his aunt; to which he replied by
the following letter, addressed to her husband:--

    "Sir,--Though my temper could never stoop to offer nor, I
    believe, your disposition deign to receive, that gross incense
    which the illiberal only expect, and none but the base-minded
    condescend to pay; my sentiments have always done justice to
    your generosity, and my intention scrupulously adhered to the
    dictates of my duty. Conscious of this integrity of heart, I
    cannot but severely feel your lady's unkind (I will not call
    it ungenerous) recapitulation of the favours I have received;
    and, as I take it for granted that you knew and approved of her
    letter, I must beg leave to assure you, that, far from being
    swayed by menaces and reproach, I am determined to embrace the
    most abject extremity of fortune, rather than submit to such
    dishonourable compulsion. When I am treated in a more delicate
    and respectful manner, I hope I shall behave as becomes,--Sir,
    your obliged
                                "P. Pickle."


The commodore, who did not understand those nice distinctions of
behaviour, and dreaded the consequence of Peregrine's amour, against
which he was strangely prepossessed, seemed exasperated at the insolence
and obstinacy of this adopted son; to whose epistle he wrote the
following answer, which was transmitted by the hands of Hatchway, who
had orders to bring the delinquent along with him to the garrison:--

    "Hark ye, child,--You need not bring your fine speeches to bear
    upon me: you only expend your ammunition to no purpose. Your
    aunt told you nothing but truth; for it is always fair and
    honest to be above-board, d'ye see. I am informed as how you
    are in chase of a painted galley, which will decoy you upon the
    flats of destruction, unless you keep a better look-out and a
    surer reckoning than you have hitherto done; and I have sent
    Jack Hatchway to see how the land lies, and warn you of your
    danger: if so be as you will put about ship, and let him steer
    you into this harbour, you shall meet with a safe berth and
    friendly reception; but if you refuse to alter your course you
    cannot expect any farther assistance from yours as you behave,
                                   "Hawser Trunnion."


Peregrine was equally piqued and disconcerted at the receipt of this
letter, which was quite different from what he had expected; and
declared in a resolute tone to the lieutenant, who brought it, that he
might return as soon as he pleased, for he was determined to consult his
own inclination, and remain for some time longer where he was.

Hatchway endeavoured to persuade him, by all the arguments which his
sagacity and friendship could supply, to show a little more deference
for the old man, who was by this time rendered fretful and peevish by
the gout, which now hindered him from enjoying himself as usual, who
might, in his passion, take some step very much to the detriment of the
young gentleman, whom he had hitherto considered as his own son. Among
other remonstrances, Jack observed that mayhap Peregrine had got under
Emilia's hatches, and did not choose to set her adrift; and that if that
was the case, he himself would take charge of the vessel, and see her
cargo safely delivered; for he had a respect for the young woman, and
his needle pointed towards matrimony; and as, in all probability, she
could not be much the worse for the wear, he would make shift to scud
through life with her under an easy sail.

Our lover was deaf to all his admonitions, and, having thanked him
for this last instance of his complaisance, repeated his resolution of
adhering to his first purpose. Hatchway, having profited so little by
mild exhortations: assumed a more peremptory aspect, and plainly told
him that he neither could nor would go home without him; so he had best
make immediate preparation for the voyage.

Peregrine made no other reply to this declaration than by a contemptuous
smile, and rose from his seat in order to retire; upon which the
lieutenant started up, and, posting himself by the door, protested,
with some menacing gestures, that he would not suffer him to run a-head
neither. The other, incensed at his presumption in attempting to detain
him by force, tripped up his wooden leg, and laid him on his back in a
moment; then walked deliberately towards the park, in order to indulge
his reflection, which at that time teemed with disagreeable thoughts. He
had not proceeded two hundred steps when he heard something blowing and
stamping behind him; and, looking back, perceived the lieutenant at his
heels, with rage and indignation in his countenance. This exasperated
seaman, impatient of the affront he had received, and forgetting all the
circumstances of their former intimacy, advanced with great eagerness
to his old friend, saying, "Look ye, brother, you're a saucy boy, and if
you was at sea, I would have your backside brought to the davit for your
disobedience; but as we are on shore, you and I must crack a pistol at
one another: here is a brace; you shall take which you please."

Peregrine, upon recollection, was sorry for having been laid under the
necessity of disobliging honest Jack, and very frankly asked his pardon
for what he had done. But this condescension was misinterpreted by the
other, who refused any other satisfaction but that which an officer
ought to claim; and, with some irreverent expressions, asked if Perry
was afraid of his bacon? The youth, inflamed at this unjust insinuation,
darted a ferocious look at the challenger, told him he had paid but too
much regard to his infirmities, and bid him walk forward to the park,
where he would soon convince him of his error, if he thought his
concession proceeded from fear.

About this time, they were overtaken by Pipes, who, having heard the
lieutenant's fall and seen him pocket his pistols, suspected there was
a quarrel in the case, and followed him with a view of protecting
his master. Peregrine, seeing him arrive, and guessing his intention,
assumed an air of serenity; and pretending that he had left his
handkerchief at the inn, ordered his man to go thither and fetch it to
him in the park, where he would find them at his return. This command
was twice repeated before Tom would take any other notice of the
message, except by shaking his head; but being urged with many threats
and curses to obedience, he gave them to understand that he knew their
drift too well to trust them by themselves. "As for you, Lieutenant
Hatchway," said he, "I have been your shipmate, and know you to be a
sailor, that's enough; and as for master, I know him to be as good a man
as ever stept betwixt stem and stern, whereby, if you have anything to
say to him, I am your man, as the saying is. Here's my sapling, and I
don't value your crackers of a rope's end." This oration, the longest
that ever Pipes was known to make, he concluded with a flourish of his
cudgel, and enforced with such determined refusals to leave them, that
they found it impossible to bring the cause to mortal arbitrement at
that time, and strolled about the park in profound silence; during
which, Hatchway's indignation subsiding, he, all of a sudden, thrust out
his hand as an advance to reconciliation, which being cordially shaken
by Peregrine, a general pacification ensued; and was followed by a
consultation about the means of extricating the youth from his present
perplexity. Had his disposition been like that of most other young men,
it would have been no difficult task to overcome his difficulties; but
such was the obstinacy of his pride, that he deemed himself bound in
honour to resent the letters he had received; and instead of submitting
to the pleasure of the commodore, expected an acknowledgment from him,
without which he would listen to no terms of accommodation. "Had I been
his own son," said he, "I should have borne his reproof, and sued for
forgiveness; but knowing myself to be on the footing of an orphan, who
depends entirely upon his benevolence, I am jealous of everything that
can be construed into disrespect, and insist upon being treated with the
most punctual regard. I shall now make application to my father, who is
obliged to provide for me by the ties of nature, as well as the laws
of the land; and if he shall refuse to do me justice, I can never want
employment while men are required for his Majesty's service."

The lieutenant, alarmed at this intimation, begged he would take no new
step until he should hear from him; and that very evening set out for
the garrison, where he gave Trunnion an account of the miscarriage
of his negotiation, told him how highly Peregrine was offended at the
letter, communicated the young gentleman's sentiments and resolution,
and finally assured him that unless he should think proper to ask pardon
for the offence he had committed, he would, in all appearance, never
more behold the face of his godson.

The old commodore was utterly confounded at this piece of intelligence:
he had expected all the humility of obedience and contrition from the
young man; and, instead of that, received nothing but the most indignant
opposition, and even found himself in the circumstances of an offender,
obliged to make atonement, or forfeit all correspondence with his
favourite. These insolent conditions at first threw him into an agony of
wrath; and he vented execrations with such rapidity that he left himself
no time to breathe, and had almost been suffocated with his choler.
He inveighed bitterly against the ingratitude of Peregrine, whom he
mentioned with many opprobrious epithets, and swore that he ought to be
keelhauled for his presumption; but when he began to reflect more coolly
upon the spirit of the young gentleman, which had already manifested
itself on many occasions, and listened to the suggestions of Hatchway,
whom he had always considered as an oracle in his way, his resentment
abated, and he determined to take Perry into favour again; this
placability being not a little facilitated by Jack's narrative of our
hero's intrepid behaviour at the assembly, as well as the contest with
him in the park. But still this plaguy amour occurred like a bugbear to
his imagination; for he held it as an infallible maxim, that woman was
an eternal source of misery to man. Indeed, this apophthegm he seldom
repeated since his marriage, except in the company of a very few
intimates, to whose secrecy and discretion he could trust. Finding
Jack himself at a nonplus in the affair of Emilia, he consulted Mrs.
Trunnion, who was equally surprised and offended when she understood
that her letter did not produce the desired effect; and after having
imputed the youth's obstinacy to his uncle's unseasonable indulgence,
had recourse to the advice of the parson, who, still with an eye to his
friend's advantage, counselled them to send the young gentleman on his
travels, in the course of which he would, in all probability, forget
the amusements of his greener years. The proposal was judicious, and
immediately approved; when Trunnion, going into his closet, after divers
efforts, produced the following billet, with which Jack departed for
Windsor that same afternoon:--

    "My good lad,--If I gave offence in my last letter I'm sorry
    for't, d'ye see: I thought it was the likeliest way to bring
    you up; but, in time to come, you shall have a larger swing
    of cable. When you can spare time, I should be glad if you will
    make a short trip and see your aunt, and him who is--Your
    loving godfather and humble servant,
                                   "Hawser Trunnion.

    P.S. If you want money, you may draw upon me payable at sight."



CHAPTER XXVI.



He becomes Melancholy and Despondent--Is favoured with the condescending
Letter from his Uncle--Reconciles himself to his Governor, and sets out
with Emilia and her Friend for Mrs. Gauntlet's House.


Peregrine, fortified as he was with pride and indignation, did not fail
to feel the smarting suggestions of his present situation: after having
lived so long in an affluent and imperious manner, he could ill brook
the thoughts of submitting to the mortifying exigencies of life. All the
gaudy schemes of pomp and pleasure, which his luxuriant imagination had
formed, began to dissolve; a train of melancholy ideas took possession
of his thoughts; and the prospect of losing Emilia was not the least
part of his affliction. Though he endeavoured to suppress the chagrin
that preyed upon his heart, he could not conceal the disturbance of his
mind from the penetration of that amiable young lady, who sympathized
with him in her heart, though she could not give her tongue the liberty
of asking the cause of his disorder; for, notwithstanding all the ardour
of his addresses, he never could obtain from her the declaration of
a mutual flame; because, though he had hitherto treated her with the
utmost reverence of respect, he had never once mentioned the final
aim of his passion. However honourable she supposed it to be, she had
discernment enough to foresee that vanity or interest, co-operating with
the levity of youth, might one day deprive her of her lover, and she was
too proud to give him any handle of exulting at her expense. Although
he was received by her with the most distinguished civility, and even
an intimacy of friendship, all his solicitations could never extort
from her an acknowledgment of love: on the contrary, being of a gay
disposition, she sometimes coquetted with other admirers, that his
attention thus whetted might never abate, and that he might see she had
other resources in case he should flag in his affection.

This being the prudential plan on which she acted, it cannot be supposed
that she would condescend to inquire into the state of his thoughts when
she saw him thus affected; but she, nevertheless, imposed that task
on her cousin and confidant, who, as they walked together in the park
observed that he seemed to be out of humour. When this is the case, such
a question generally increases the disease; at least it had that effect
upon Peregrine, who replied somewhat peevishly, "I assure you, madam,
you never were more mistaken in your observations."--"I think so,
too," said Emilia, "for I never saw Mr. Pickle in higher spirits." This
ironical encomium completed his confusion: he affected to smile, but it
was a smile of anguish, and in his heart he cursed the vivacity of both.
He could not for his soul recollect himself so as to utter one connected
sentence; and the suspicion that they observed every circumstance of
his behaviour, threw such a damp on his spirits that he was quite
overwhelmed with shame and resentment, when Sophy, casting her eyes
towards the gate, said, "Yonder is your servant, Mr. Pickle, with
another man who seems to have a wooden leg." Peregrine started at this
intelligence, and immediately underwent sundry changes of complexion,
knowing that his fate, in a great measure, depended upon the information
he would receive from his friend.

Hatchway, advancing to the company, after a brace of sea bows to the
ladies, took the youth aside, and put the commodore's letter into
his hand, which threw him into such an agitation that he could scarce
pronounce, "Ladies, will you give me leave?" When, in consequence of
their permission, he attempted to open the billet, he fumbled with such
manifest disorder, that his mistress, who watched his motions, began to
think that there was something very interesting in the message; and so
much was she affected with his concern, that she was fain to turn her
head another way, and wipe the tears from her lovely eyes.

Meanwhile, Peregrine no sooner read the first sentence than his
countenance, which before was overcast with a deep gloom, began to be
lighted up, and every feature unbending by degrees, he recovered his
serenity. Having perused the letter, his eyes sparkling with joy and
gratitude, he hugged the lieutenant in his arms, and presented him to
the ladies as one of his best friends. Jack met with a most gracious
reception, and shook Emilia by the hand, telling her, with the familiar
appellation of "old acquaintance" that he did not care how soon he was
master of such another clean-going frigate as herself. The whole company
partook of this favourable change that evidently appeared in our lover's
recollection, and enlivened his conversation with such an uncommon flow
of sprightliness and good humour, as even made an impression on the iron
countenance of Pipes himself, who actually smiled with satisfaction as
he walked behind them.

The evening being pretty far advanced, they directed their course
homeward; and while the valet attended Hatchway to the inn, Peregrine
escorted the ladies to their lodgings, where he owned the justness of
Sophy's remark in saying he was out of humour, and told them he had been
extremely chagrined at a difference which had happened between him and
his uncle, to whom, by the letter which they had seen him receive, he
now found himself happily reconciled.

Having received their congratulations, and declined staying to sup
with them, on account of the longing desire he had to converse with his
friend Jack, he took his leave, and repaired to the inn, where Hatchway
informed him of everything that had happened in the garrison upon his
presentations. Far from being disgusted, he was perfectly well pleased
with the prospect of going abroad, which flattered his vanity and
ambition, gratified his thirst after knowledge, and indulged that turn
for observation, for which he had been remarkable from his most
tender years. Neither did he believe a short absence would tend to the
prejudice of his love, but, on the contrary, enhance the value of his
heart, because he should return better accomplished, consequently, a
more welcome offering to his mistress. Elevated with these sentiments,
his heart dilated with joy; and the sluices of his natural benevolence
being opened by this happy turn of his affairs, he sent his compliment
to Mr. Jolter, to whom he had not spoken during a whole week, and
desired he would favour Mr. Hatchway and him with his company at supper.

The governor was not weak enough to decline this invitation; in
consequence of which he forthwith appeared, and was cordially
welcomed by the relenting pupil, who expressed his sorrow for the
misunderstanding which had prevailed between them, and assured him that
for the future he would avoid giving him any just cause of complaint.
Jolter, who did not want affections, was melted by this acknowledgment,
which he could not have expected; and earnestly protested, that his
chief study had always been, and ever should be, to promote Mr. Pickle's
interest and happiness.

The best part of the night being spent in the circulation of a cheerful
glass, the company broke up; and next morning Peregrine went out with
a view of making his mistress acquainted with his uncle's intention
of sending him out of the kingdom for his improvement, and of saying
everything which he thought necessary for the interest of his love. He
found her at breakfast with her cousin; and, as he was very full of
the subject of his visit, had scarce fixed himself in his seat, when he
brought it upon the carpet, by asking, with a smile, if the ladies had
any commands for Paris? Emilia at this question began to stare, and her
confidant desired to know who was going thither? He no sooner gave
to understand that he himself intended in a short time to visit that
capital, than his mistress with great precipitation wished him a good
journey, and affected to talk with indifference the pleasures he would
enjoy in France; but when he seriously assured Sophy, who asked if he
was in earnest, and his uncle actually insisted upon his making a short
tour, the tears gushed in poor Emilia's eyes, and she was at great pains
to conceal her concern, by observing that the tea was so scalding hot,
as to make her eyes water. This pretext was too thin to impose upon her
lover, or even deceive the observation of her friend Sophy, who, after
breakfast, took an opportunity of quitting the room.

Thus left by themselves, Peregrine imparted to her what he had learnt
of the commodore's intention, without, however, mentioning a syllable
of his being offended at their correspondence; and accompanied his
information with such fervent vows of eternal constancy and solemn
promises of a speedy return, that Emily's heart, which had been invaded
by a suspicion that this scheme of travelling was an effect of her
lover's inconstancy, began to be more at ease; and she could not help
signifying her approbation of his design.

This affair being amicably compromised, he asked how soon she proposed
to set out for her mother's house; and understanding that her departure
was fixed for next day but one, and that her Cousin Sophy intended to
accompany her in her father's chariot, he repeated his intention of
attending her. In the mean time he dismissed the governor and the
lieutenant to the garrison, with his compliments to his aunt and the
commodore, and a faithful promise of his being with them in six days at
farthest. These previous measures being taken, he, attended by Pipes,
set out with the ladies; and they had also a convoy for twelve miles
from Sophy's father, who, at parting, recommended them piously to
the care of Peregrine, with whom by this time, he was perfectly well
acquainted.



CHAPTER XXVII.



They meet with a dreadful Alarm on the Road--Arrive at their Journey's
end--Peregrine is introduced to Emily's Brother--These two young
Gentlemen misunderstand each other--Pickle departs for the Garrison.


As they travelled at an easy rate, they had performed something more
than one half of their journey, when they were benighted near an inn,
at which they resolved to lodge; the accommodation was very good, they
supped together with great mirth and enjoyment, and it was not till
after he had been warned by the yawns of the ladies, that he conducted
them to their apartment; where, wishing them good night, he retired to
his own, and went to rest. The house was crowded with country-people who
had been at a neighbouring fair, and now regaled themselves with ale and
tobacco in the yard; so that their consideration, which at any time was
but slender, being now overwhelmed by this debauch, they staggered into
their respective kennels, and left a lighted candle sticking to one of
the wooden pillars that supported the gallery. The flame in a little
time laid hold on the wood, which was as dry as tinder; and the whole
gallery was on fire, when Peregrine suddenly waked, and found himself
almost suffocated. He sprang up in an instant, slipped on his breeches,
and, throwing open the door of his chamber, saw the whole entry in a
blaze.

Heavens! what were the emotions of his soul, when he beheld the volumes
of flame and smoke rolling towards the room where his dear Emilia lay!
Regardless of his own danger, he darted himself through the thickest
of the gloom, when knocking hard, and calling at the same time to the
ladies, with the most anxious entreaty to be admitted, the door was
opened by Emilia in her shift, who asked, with the utmost trepidation,
what was the matter? He made no reply, but snatching her up in his arms,
like another Aeneas, bore her through the flames to a place of safety;
where leaving her before she could recollect herself, or pronounce one
word, but "Alas; my Cousin Sophy!" he flew back to the rescue of that
young lady, and found her already delivered by Pipes, who having been
alarmed by the smell of fire, had got up, rushed immediately to the
chamber where he knew these companions lodged, and Emily being saved by
her lover brought off Miss Sophy with the loss of his own shock-head of
hair, which was singed off in his retreat.

By this time the whole inn was alarmed; every lodger, as well as
servant, exerted himself, in order to stop the progress of this
calamity: and there being a well-replenished horse-pond in the yard, in
less than an hour the fire was totally extinguished, without having done
any other damage than that of consuming about two yards of the wooden
gallery.

All this time our young gentleman closely attended his fair charge, each
of whom had swooned with apprehension; but as their constitutions were
good, and their spirits not easily dissipated, when upon reflection
they found themselves and their company safe, and that the flames were
happily quenched, the tumult of their fears subsided, they put on their
clothes, recovered their good humour, and began to rally each other on
the trim in which they had been secured. Sophy observed that now
Mr. Pickle had an indisputable claim to her cousin's affection; and
therefore she ought to lay aside all affected reserve for the future,
and frankly avow the sentiments of her heart. Emily retorted the
argument, putting her in mind, that by the same claim Mr. Pipes was
entitled to the like return from her. Her friend admitted the force
of the conclusion, provided she could not find means of satisfying his
deliverer in another shape; and, turning, to the valet, who happened to
be present, asked if his heart was not otherwise engaged. Tom, who did
not conceive the meaning of the question, stood silent according to
custom; and the interrogation being repeated, answered, with a grin,
"Heart-whole as a biscuit, I'll assure you, mistress."--"What!" said
Emilia, "have you never been in love, Thomas?"--"Yes, forsooth," replied
the valet without hesitation, "sometimes of a morning."

Peregrine could not help laughing, and his mistress looked a little
disconcerted at this blunt repartee: while Sophy, slipping a purse
into his hand, told him there was something to purchase a periwig. Tom,
having consulted his master's eyes, refused the present, saying, "No,
thank ye as much as if I did;" and though she insisted upon his putting
it in his pocket, as a small testimony of her gratitude, he could not be
prevailed upon to avail himself of her generosity; but following her to
the other end of the room, thrust it into her sleeve without ceremony,
exclaiming, "I'll be d--d to hell if I do." Peregrine, having checked
him for his boorish behaviour, sent him out of the room, and begged that
Miss Sophy would not endeavour to debauch the morals of his servant,
who, rough and uncultivated as he was, had sense enough to perceive that
he had no pretension to any such acknowledgment. But she argued, with
great vehemence, that she should never be able to make acknowledgment
adequate to the service he had done her, and that she should never
be perfectly easy in her own mind until she found some opportunity of
manifesting the sense she had of the obligation: "I do not pretend,"
said she, "to reward Mr. Pipes; but I shall be absolutely unhappy,
unless I am allowed to give him some token of my regard."

Peregrine, thus earnestly solicited, desired, that since she was bent
upon displaying her generosity, she would not bestow upon him any
pecuniary gratification, but honour him with some trinket, as a mark of
consideration; because he himself had such a particular value for the
fellow, on account of his attachment and fidelity, that he should be
sorry to see him treated on the footing of a common mercenary domestic.
There was not one jewel in the possession of this grateful young lady,
that she would not have gladly given as a recompense, or badge of
distinction, to her rescuer; but his master pitched upon a seal ring of
no great value that hung at her watch, and Pipes, being called in, had
permission to accept that testimony of Miss Sophy's favour. Tom received
it accordingly with sundry scrapes; and, having kissed it with great
devotion, put it on his little finger, and strutted off, extremely proud
of his acquisition.

Emilia, with a most enchanting sweetness of aspect, told her lover that
he had instructed her how to behave towards him; and taking a diamond
ring from her finger, desired he would wear it for her sake. He received
the pledge as became him, and presented another in exchange, which
she at first refused, alleging that it would destroy the intent of her
acknowledgment; but Peregrine assured her he had accepted her jewel, not
as a proof of her gratitude, but as the mark of her love; and that if
she refused a mutual token, he should look upon himself as the object of
her disdain. Her eyes kindled, and her cheeks glowed with resentment
at this impudent intimation, which she considered as an unseasonable
insult, and the young gentleman, perceiving her emotion, stood corrected
for his temerity, and asked pardon for the liberty of his remonstrance,
which he hoped she would ascribe to the prevalence of that principle
alone, which he had always taken pride in avowing.

Sophy, seeing him disconcerted, interposed in his behalf, and chid her
cousin for having practised such unnecessary affectation; upon which,
Emilia, softened into compliance, held out her finger as a signal of
her condescension. Peregrine put on the ring with great eagerness, and
mumbled her soft white hand in an ecstasy which would not allow him to
confine his embraces to that limb, but urged him to seize her by the
waist, and snatch a delicious kiss from her love-pouting lips; nor
would he leave her a butt to the ridicule of Sophy, on whose mouth he
instantly committed a rape of the same nature: so that the two friends,
countenanced by each other, reprehended him with such gentleness of
rebuke, that he was almost tempted to repeat the offence.

The morning being now lighted up, and the servants of the inn on foot,
he ordered some chocolate for breakfast, and at the desire of the
ladies, sent Pipes to see the horses fed, and the chariot prepared,
while he went to the bar, and discharged the bill.

These measures being taken, they set out about five o'clock, and having
refreshed themselves and their cattle at another inn on the road,
proceeded in the afternoon. Without meeting with any other accident,
they safely arrived at the place of their destination, where Mrs.
Gauntlet expressed her joy at seeing her old friend Mr. Pickle, whom,
however, she kindly reproached for the long discontinuance of his
regard. Without explaining the cause of that interruption, he protested
that his love and esteem had never been discontinued, and that for the
future he should omit no occasion of testifying how much he had her
friendship at heart. She then made him acquainted with her son, who at
that time was in the house, being excused from his duty by furlough.

This young man, whose name was Godfrey, was about the age of twenty, of
a middling size, vigorous make, remarkably well-shaped, and the scars
of the small-pox, of which he bore a good number, added a peculiar
manliness to the air of his countenance. His capacity was good, and his
disposition naturally frank and easy; but he had been a soldier from
his infancy, and his education was altogether in the military style.
He looked upon taste and letters as mere pedantry, beneath the
consideration of a gentleman, and every civil station of life as mean,
when compared with the profession of arms. He had made great progress in
the gymnastic sciences of dancing, fencing, and riding; played perfectly
well on the German flute; and, above all things valued himself upon a
scrupulous observance of all the points of honour.

Had Peregrine and he considered themselves upon equal footing, in
all probability they would have immediately entered into a league of
intimacy and friendship: but this sufficient soldier looked upon his
sister's admirer as a young student raw from the university, and utterly
ignorant of mankind; while Squire Pickle beheld Godfrey in the light of
a needy volunteer, greatly inferior to himself in fortune, as well as
every other accomplishment. This mutual misunderstanding could not fail
of animosities. The very next day after Peregrine's arrival, some sharp
repartees passed between them in presence of the ladies, before whom
each endeavoured to assert his own superiority. In these contests our
hero never failed of obtaining the victory, because his genius was more
acute, and his talents better cultivated, than those of his antagonist,
who therefore took umbrage at his success, became jealous of his
reputation, and began to treat him with marks of scorn and disrespect.

His sister saw, and, dreading the consequence of his ferocity, not
only took him to task in private for his impolite behaviour, but
also entreated her lover to make allowances for the roughness of her
brother's education. He kindly assured her, that whatever pains it might
cost him to vanquish his own impetuous temper, he would, for her sake,
endure all the mortifications to which her brother's arrogance might
expose him; and, after having stayed with her two days, and enjoyed
several private interviews, during which he acted the part of a most
passionate lover, he took his leave of Mrs. Gauntlet overnight, and told
the young ladies he would call early next morning to bid them farewell.
He did not neglect this piece of duty, and found the two friends and
breakfast already prepared in the parlour. All three being extremely
affected with the thoughts of parting, a most pathetic silence for some
time prevailed, till Peregrine put an end to it by lamenting his fate,
in being obliged to exile himself so long from the dear object of his
most interesting wish. He begged, with the most earnest supplications,
that she would now, in consideration of the cruel absence he must
suffer, give him the consolation which she had hitherto refused; namely,
that of knowing he possessed a place within her heart. The confidante
seconded his request, representing that it was now no time to disguise
her sentiments, when her lover was about to leave the kingdom, and might
be in danger of contracting other connections, unless he was confirmed
in his constancy, by knowing how far he could depend upon her love; and,
in short, she was plied with such irresistible importunities, that
she answered in the utmost confusion, "Though I have avoided literal
acknowledgments, methinks the circumstances of my behaviour might
have convinced Mr. Pickle that I do not regard him as a common
acquaintance."--"My charming Emily," cried the impatient lover, throwing
himself at her feet, "why will you deal out my happiness in such scanty
portions? Why will you thus mince the declaration which would overwhelm
me with pleasure, and cheer my lonely reflection, while I sigh amid
the solitude of separation?" His fair mistress, melted by this image,
replied, with the tears gushing from her eyes, "I'm afraid I shall feel
that separation more severely than you imagine." Transported at this
flattering confession, he pressed her to his breast, and while her head
reclined upon his neck, mingled his tears with hers in great abundance,
breathing the most tender vows of eternal fidelity. The gentle heart
of Sophy could not bear this scene unmoved: she wept with sympathy,
and encouraged the lovers to resign themselves to the will of fate, and
support their spirits with the hope of meeting again on happier terms.
Finally, after mutual promises, exhortations, and endearments, Peregrine
took his leave, his heart being so full that he could scarce pronounce
the word Adieu! and, mounting his horse at the door, set out with Pipes
for the garrison.



CHAPTER XXVIII.



Peregrine is overtaken by Mr. Gauntlet, with whom he fights a Duel, and
contracts an intimate Friendship--He arrives at the Garrison, and finds
his Mother as implacable as ever--He is insulted by his Brother Gam,
whose Preceptor he disciplines with a Horsewhip.


In order to expel the melancholy images that took possession of his
fancy, at parting from his mistress, he called in the flattering ideas
of those pleasures he expected to enjoy in France; and before he had
rode ten miles, his imagination was effectually amused. While he thus
prosecuted his travels by anticipation, and indulged himself in all
the insolence of hope, at the turning of a lane he was all of a sudden
overtaken by Emilia's brother on horseback, who told him he was riding
the same way, and should be glad of his company. This young gentleman,
whether prompted by personal pique, or actuated with zeal for the honour
of his family, had followed our hero, with the view of obliging him to
explain the nature of his attachment to his sister.

Peregrine returned his compliment with such disdainful civility as gave
him room to believe that he suspected his errand; and therefore, without
further preamble, he declared his business in these words: "Mr. Pickle,
you have carried on a correspondence with my sister for some time, and
I should be glad to know the nature of it." To this question our lover
replied, "Sir, I should be glad to know what title you have to demand
that satisfaction?"--"Sir," answered the other, "I demand it in the
capacity of a brother, jealous of his own honour, as well as of his
sister's reputation; and if your intentions are honourable, you will
not refuse it."--"Sir," said Peregrine, "I am not at present disposed to
appeal to your opinion for the rectitude of my intentions: and I think
you assume a little too much importance, in pretending to judge my
conduct."--"Sir," replied the soldier, "I pretend to judge the conduct
of every man who interferes with my concerns, and even to chastise
him, if I think he acts amiss."--"Chastise!" cried the youth, with
indignation in his looks, "sure you dare not apply that term to
me?"--"You are mistaken," said Godfrey; "I dare do anything that becomes
the character of a gentleman."--"Gentleman, God wot!" replied the other,
looking contemptuously at his equipage, which was none of the most
superb, "a very pretty gentleman, truly!"

The soldier's wrath was inflamed by this ironical repetition, the
contempt of which his conscious poverty made him feel; and he called his
antagonist presumptuous boy, insolent upstart, and with other epithets,
which Perry retorted with great bitterness. A formal challenge having
passed between them, they alighted at the first inn, and walked into
the next field, in order to decide their quarrel by the sword. Having
pitched upon the spot, helped to pull off each other's boots, and laid
aside their coats and waistcoats, Mr. Gauntlet told his opponent, that
he himself was looked upon in the army as an expert swordsman, and
that if Mr. Pickle had not made that science his particular study, they
should be upon a more equal footing in using pistols. Peregrine was too
much incensed to thank him for his plain dealing, and too confident
of his own skill to relish the other's proposal, which he accordingly
rejected: then, drawing his sword, he observed, that were he to treat
Mr. Gauntlet according to his deserts, he would order his man to punish
his audacity with a horsewhip. Exasperated at this expression, which he
considered as an indelible affront, he made no reply, but attacked his
adversary with equal ferocity and address. The youth parried his
first and second thrust, but received the third in the outside of his
sword-arm. Though the wound was superficial, he was transported with
rage at sight of his own blood, and returned the assault with such
fury and precipitation, that Gauntlet, loath to take advantage of
his unguarded heat, stood upon the defensive. In the second lounge,
Peregrine's weapon entering a kind of network in the shell of Godfrey's
sword, the blade snapped in two, and left him at the mercy of the
soldier, who, far from making an insolent use of the victory he had
gained, put up his Toledo with great deliberation, like a man who had
been used to that kind of reencounters, and observed that such a blade
as Peregrine's was not to be trusted with a man's life: then advising
the owner to treat a gentleman in distress with more respect for the
future, he slipped on his boots, and with sullen dignity of demeanour
stalked back to the inn.

Though Pickle was extremely mortified at his miscarriage in this
adventure, he was also struck with the behaviour of his antagonist,
which affected him the more, as he understood that Godfrey's fierte had
proceeded from the jealous sensibility of a gentleman declined into the
vale of misfortune. Gauntlet's valour and moderation induced him to
put a favourable construction on all those circumstances of that young
soldier's conduct, which before had given him disgust. Though in any
other case he would have industriously avoided the least appearance of
submission, he followed his conqueror to the inn with a view of thanking
him for his generous forbearance, and of soliciting his friendship and
correspondence.

Godfrey had his foot in the stirrup to mount, when Peregrine, coming up
to him, desired he would defer his departure for a quarter of an hour,
and favour him with a little private conversation. The soldier, who
mistook the meaning of the request, immediately quitted his horse, and
followed Pickle into a chamber, where he expected to find a brace of
pistols loaded on the table: but he was very agreeably deceived,
when our hero, in the most respectful terms, acknowledged his noble
deportment in the field, owned that till then he had misunderstood his
character, and begged that he would honour him with his intimacy and
correspondence.

Gauntlet, who had seen undoubted proofs of Peregrine's courage, which
had considerably raised him in his esteem, and had sense enough to
perceive that this concession was not owing to any sordid or sinister
motive, embraced his offer with demonstrations of infinite satisfaction.
When he understood the terms on which Mr. Pickle was with his sister,
he proffered his service in his turn, either as agent, mediator, or
confidant: nay, to give this new friend a convincing proof of his
sincerity, he disclosed to him a passion which he had for some time
entertained for his cousin Miss Sophy, though he durst not reveal his
sentiments to her father, lest he should be offended at his presumption,
and withdraw his protection from the family.

Peregrine's generous heart was wrung with anguish, when he understood
that this young gentleman, who was the only son of a distinguished
officer, had carried arms for the space of five years, without being
able to obtain a subaltern's commission, though he always had behaved
with remarkable regularity and spirit, and, acquired the friendship and
esteem of all the officers under whom he had served. He would, at that
time, with the utmost pleasure, have shared his finances with him; but
as he would not run the risk of offending the young soldier's delicacy
of honour by a premature exertion of his liberality, he resolved to
insinuate himself into an intimacy with him, before he would venture to
take such freedoms; and with that view pressed Mr. Gauntlet to accompany
him to the garrison, where he did not doubt of having influence enough
to make him a welcome guest. Godfrey thanked him very courteously for
his invitation, which he said he could not immediately accept; but
promised, if he would favour him with a letter, and fix the time at
which he proposed to set out for France, he would endeavour to visit
him at the commodore's habitation, and from thence give him a convoy to
Dover. This new treaty being settled, and a dossil of lint, with a
snip of plaster, applied to our adventurer's wound, he parted from the
brother of his dear Emilia, to whom and his friend Sophy he sent his
kindest wishes; and having lodged one night upon the road, arrived next
day in the afternoon at the garrison, where he found all his friends in
good health, and overjoyed at his return.

The commodore, who was by this time turned of seventy, and altogether
crippled by the gout, seldom went abroad; and as his conversation was
not very entertaining, had but little company within doors; so that his
spirits must have quite stagnated, had not they been kept in motion
by the conversation of Hatchway, and received at different times a
wholesome fillip from the discipline of his spouse, who, by the force of
pride, religion, and Cognac, had erected a most terrible tyranny in the
house. There was such a quick circulation of domestics in the family,
that every suit of livery had been worn by figures of all dimensions.
Trunnion himself had long before this time yielded to the torrent of her
arbitrary sway, though not without divers obstinate efforts to maintain
his liberty; and now, that he was disabled by his infirmities, when
he used to bear his empress singing the loud Orthyan song among the
servants below, he would often in whispers communicate to the lieutenant
hints of what he would do if so be as how he was not deprived of the use
of his precious limbs. Hatchway was the only person whom the temper of
Mrs. Trunnion respected, either because she dreaded his ridicule, or
looked upon his person with eyes of affection. This being the situation
of things in the garrison, it is not to be doubted that the old
gentleman highly enjoyed the presence of Peregrine, who found means to
ingratiate himself so effectually with his aunt, that while he remained
at home, she seemed to have exchanged the disposition of a tigress for
that of a gentle kid; but he found his own mother as implacable, and his
father as much henpecked, as ever.

Gamaliel, who now very seldom enjoyed the conversation of his old friend
the commodore, had some time ago entered into an amicable society,
consisting of the barber, apothecary, attorney, and exciseman of the
parish, among whom he used to spend the evening at Tunley's, and listen
to their disputes upon philosophy and politics with great comfort and
edification, while his sovereign lady domineered at home as usual,
visited with pomp in the neighbourhood, and employed her chief care in
the education of her darling son Gam, who was now in the fifteenth year
of his age, and so remarkable for his perverse disposition, that, in
spite of his mother's influence and authority, he was not only hated,
but also despised, both at home and abroad. She had put him under the
tuition of the curate, who lived in the family, and was obliged to
attend him in all his exercises and excursions. This governor was a
low-bred fellow, who had neither experience nor ingenuity, but possessed
a large fund of adulation and servile complaisance, by which he had
gained the good graces of Mrs. Pickle, and presided over all her
deliberations in the same manner as his superior managed those of Mrs.
Trunnion.

He had one day rode out to take the air with his pupil, who, as I have
already observed, was odious to the poor people, for having killed
their dogs and broken their inclosures, and, on account of his hump,
distinguished by the title of My Lord, when in a narrow lane they
chanced to meet Peregrine on horseback. The young squire no sooner
perceived his elder brother, for whom he had been instructed to
entertain the most inveterate grudge, than he resolved to insult him en
passant, and actually rode against him from gallop. Our hero, guessing
his aim, fixed himself in his stirrups, and by a dexterous management
of the reins avoided the shock in such a manner as that their legs only
should encounter; by which means my lord was tilted out of his saddle,
and in a twinkling laid sprawling in the dirt. The governor, enraged at
the disgrace of his charge, advanced with great insolence and fury, and
struck at Peregrine with his whip. Nothing could be more agreeable
to our young gentleman than this assault, which furnished him with
an opportunity of chastising an officious wretch, whose petulance and
malice he had longed to punish. He therefore, spurring up his horse
towards his antagonist, overthrew him in the middle of a hedge. Before
he had time to recollect himself from the confusion of the fall, Pickle
alighted in a trice, and exercised his horsewhip with such agility about
the curate's face and ears, that he was fain to prostrate himself before
his enraged conqueror, and implore his forbearance in the most abject
terms. While Peregrine was thus employed, his brother Gam had made shift
to rise and attack him in the rear; for which reason, when the tutor was
quelled, the victor faced about, snatched the weapon out of his hand,
and having broken it to pieces, remounted his horse and rode off,
without deigning to honour him with any other notice.

The condition in which they returned produced infinite clamour against
the conqueror, who was represented as a ruffian who had lain in ambush
to make away with his brother, in whose defence the curate was said to
have received those cruel stripes that hindered him from appearing for
three whole weeks in the performance of his duty at church. Complaints
were made to the commodore, who, having inquired into the circumstances
of the affair, approved of what his nephew had done, adding, with many
oaths, that provided Peregrine had been out of the scrape, he wished
Crook-back had broken his neck in the fall.



CHAPTER XXIX.



He projects a plan of Revenge, which is executed against the Curate.


Our hero, exasperated at the villainy of the curate, in the treacherous
misrepresentation he had made of this encounter, determined to rise upon
him a method of revenge, which should be not only effectual but also
unattended any bad consequence to himself. For this purpose he and
Hatchway, to whom he imparted his plan, went to the ale-house one
evening, and called for an empty room, knowing there was no other but
that which they had chosen for the scene of action. This apartment was
a sort of a parlour that fronted the kitchen, with a window towards the
yard, where after they had sat some time, the lieutenant found means to
amuse the landlord in discourse, while Peregrine, stepping out into
the yard, by the talent of mimickry, which he possessed in a surprising
degree, counterfeited a dialogue between the curate and Tunley's
wife. This reaching the ears of the publican, for whose hearing it was
calculated, inflamed his naturally jealous disposition to such a degree,
that he could not conceal his emotion, but made a hundred efforts
to quit the room; while the lieutenant, smoking his pipe with great
gravity, as if he neither heard what passed nor took notice of the
landlord's disorder, detained him on the spot by a succession of
questions, which he could not refuse to answer, though he stood sweating
with agony all the time, stretching his neck every instant towards the
window through which the voices were conveyed, scratching his head, and
exhibiting sundry other symptoms of impatience and agitation. At length
the supposed conversation came to such a pitch of amorous complaisance,
that the husband, quite frantic with his imaginary disgrace, rushed
out of the door crying, "Coming, sir;" but as he was obliged to make a
circuit round one-half of the house, Peregrine had got in by the window
before Tunley arrived in the yard.

According to the feigned intelligence he had received, he ran directly
to the barn, in expectation of making some very extraordinary discovery;
and having employed some minutes in rummaging the straw to no purpose,
returned in a state of distraction to the kitchen, just as his wife
chanced to enter at the other door. The circumstance of her appearance
confirmed him in the opinion that the deed was done. As the disease of
being henpecked was epidemic in the parish, he durst not express the
least hint of his uneasiness to her, but resolved to take vengeance on
the libidinous priest, who he imagined had corrupted the chastity of his
spouse.

The two confederates, in order to be certified that their scheme had
taken effect, as well as to blow up the flame which they had kindled,
called for Tunley, in whose countenance they could easily discern his
confusion. Peregrine, desiring him to sit down and drink a glass with
them, began to interrogate him about his family, and, among other
things, asked him how long he had been married to that handsome wife.
This question, which was put with an arch significance of look, alarmed
the publican, who began to fear that Pickle had overheard his dishonour;
and this suspicion was not at all removed when the lieutenant, with a
sly regard, pronounced "Tunley warn't you noosed by the curate?" "Yes,
is was," replied the landlord, with an eagerness and perplexity of
tone, as if he thought the lieutenant knew that thereby hang a tale: and
Hatchway supported the suspicion by "Nay, as for that matter, the curate
may be a very sufficient man in his way." This transition from his wife
to the curate convinced him that his shame was known to his guests; and,
in the transport of his indignation, he pronounced with great emphasis,
"A sufficient man! Odds heart! I believe they are all wolves in sheep's
clothing. I wish to God I could see the day, master, when there shall
not be a priest, an exciseman, or a custom-house officer in the kingdom.
As for that fellow of a curate, if I do catch him--It don't signify
talking--But, by the Lord!--Gentlemen, my service to you."

The associates being satisfied, by these abrupt insinuations, that they
had so far succeeded in their aim, waited with impatience two or three
days in expectation of hearing that Tunley had fallen upon some method
of being revenged for this imaginary wrong; but finding that either his
invention was too shallow, or his inclination too languid, to gratify
their desire of his own accord, they determined to bring the affair to
such a crisis, that he should not be able to withstand the opportunity
of executing his vengeance. With this view, they one evening hired a boy
to run to Mr. Pickle's house, and tell the curate that Mrs. Tunley being
taken suddenly ill, her husband desired he would come immediately and
pray with her. They had taken possession of a room in the house and
Hatchway engaging the landlord in conversation, Peregrine, in his return
from the yard, observed, as if by accident, that the parson was gone
into the kitchen, in order, as he supposed, to catechise Tunley's wife.

The publican started at this intelligence, and, under pretence of
serving another company in the next room, went out to the barn, where,
arming himself with a flail, he repaired to a lane through which the
curate was under a necessity of passing in his way home. There he lay
in ambush with fell intent; and when the supposed author of his shame
arrived, greeted him in the dark with such a salutation as forced him
to stagger backward three paces at least. If the second application had
taken effect, in all probability that spot would have been the
boundary of the parson's mortal peregrination; but luckily for him, his
antagonist was not expert in the management of his weapon, which, by a
twist of the thong that connected the legs, instead of pitching upon the
head of the astonished curate, descended in an oblique direction on
his own pate, with such a swing that the skull actually rang like an
apothecary's mortar, and ten thousand lights seemed to dance before his
eyes. The curate recollecting himself during the respite he obtained
from this accident, and believing his aggressor to be some thief who
lurked in that place for prey, resolved to make a running fight, until
he should arrive within cry of his habitation. With this design he
raised up his cudgel for the defence of his head, and, betaking himself
to his heels, began to roar for help with the lungs of a Stentor.
Tunley, throwing away the flail, which he durst no longer trust with
the execution of his revenge, pursued the fugitive with all the speed he
could exert; and the other, either unnerved by fear or stumbling over
a stone, was overtaken before he had run a hundred paces. He no sooner
felt the wind of the publican's fist that whistled round his ears, than
he fell flat upon the earth at full length, and the cudgel flew from his
unclasping hand; when Tunley, springing like a tiger on his back, rained
such a shower of blows upon his carcase, that he imagined himself
under the discipline of ten pairs of fists at least; yet the imaginary
cuckold, not satisfied with annoying the priest in this manner, laid
hold of one of his ears with his teeth, and bit so unmercifully, that
the curate was found almost entranced with pain by two labourers, at
whose approach the assailant retreated unperceived.

The lieutenant had posted himself at the window, in order to see the
landlord at his first return: and no sooner perceived him enter the
yard, than he called him into the apartment, impatient to learn the
effects of their stratagem. Tunley obeyed the summons, and appeared
before his guests in all the violence of rage, disorder, and fatigue:
his nostrils were dilated more than one-half beyond their natural
capacity, his eyes rolled, his teeth chattered, he snored in breathing
as if he had been oppressed by the nightmare, and streams of sweat
flowed down each side of his forehead.

Peregrine, affecting to start at the approach of such an uncouth figure,
asked if he had been with a spirit; upon which he answered, with great
vehemence, "Spirit! No, no, master, I have had a roll and tumble with
the flesh. A dog. I'll teach him to come a caterwauling about my doors."
Guessing from this reply, that his aim was accomplished, and curious to
know the particulars of the rencounter, "Well, then," said the youth,
"I hope you have prevailed against the flesh, Tunley."--"Yes, yes,"
answered the publican, "I have cooled his capissens, as the saying is:
I have played such a tune about his ears, that I'll be bound he shan't
long for music this month. A goatish, man-faced rascal! Why, he's a
perfect parish bull, as I hope to live."

Hatchway, observing that he seemed to have made a stout battle, desired
he would sit down and recover wind; and after he had swallowed a brace
of bumpers, his vanity prompted him to expatiate upon his own exploit in
such a manner, that the confederates, without seeming to know the curate
was his antagonist, became acquainted with every circumstance of the
ambuscade.

Tunley had scarce got the better of his agitation, when his wife,
entering the room, told them, by way of news, that some waggish body
had sent Mr. Sackbut the curate to pray with her. This name inflamed
the husband's choler anew; and, forgetting all his complaisance for his
spouse, he replied with a rancorous grin, "Add rabbit him! I doubt not
but you found his admonitions deadly comfortable!" The landlady, looking
at her vassal with a sovereign aspect, "What crotchets," said she, "have
you got in your fool's head, I trow? I know no business you have to sit
here like a gentleman with your arms akimbo, there's another company
in the house to be served." The submissive husband took the hint, and
without further expostulation sneaked out of the room.

Next day it was reported that Mr. Sackbut had been waylaid and
almost murdered by robbers, and an advertisement was pasted upon the
church-door, offering a reward to any person that should discover the
assassin; but he reaped no satisfaction from this expedient, and
was confined to his chamber a whole fortnight, by the bruises he had
received.



CHAPTER XXX.



Mr. Sackbut and his Pupil conspire against Peregrine, who,
being apprised of their Design by his Sister, takes measures for
counterworking their Scheme, which is executed by mistake upon Mr.
Gauntlet--this young Soldier meets with a cordial reception from the
Commodore, who generously decoys him into his own interest.


When he considered the circumstances of the ambuscade, he could not
persuade himself that he had been assaulted by a common thief, because
it was not to be supposed that a robber would have amused himself in
pummeling rather than in rifling his prey; he therefore ascribed his
misfortune to the secret enmity of some person who had a design upon his
life; and, upon mature deliberation, fixed his suspicion upon Peregrine,
who was the only man on earth from whom he thought he deserved such
treatment. He communicated his conjecture to his pupil, who readily
adopted his opinion, and advised him strenuously to revenge the wrong by
a like contrivance, without seeking to make a narrower inquiry, lest his
enemy should be thereby put upon his guard.

This proposal being relished, they in concert revolved the means of
retorting the ambush with interest, and actually laid such a villainous
plan for attacking our hero in the dark, that, had it been executed
according to their intention, the young gentleman's scheme of travelling
would have been effectually marred. But their machinations were
overheard by Miss Pickle, who was now in the seventeenth year of her
age, and, in spite of the prejudice of education, entertained in secret
a most sisterly affection for her brother Perry, though she had never
spoken to him, and was deterred by the precepts, vigilance and menaces
of her mother, from attempting any means of meeting him in private. She
was not, however, insensible to his praise, which was loudly sounded
forth in the neighbourhood; and never failed of going to church, and
every other place, where she thought she might have an opportunity of
seeing this amiable brother. With these sentiments it cannot be supposed
that she would hear the conspiracy without emotion. She was shocked at
the treacherous barbarity of Gam, and shuddered at the prospect of the
danger to which Peregrine would be exposed from their malice. She durst
not communicate this plot to her mother, because she was afraid that
lady's unaccountable aversion for her first-born would hinder her
from interposing in his behalf, and consequently render her a sort of
accomplice in the guilt of his assassins. She therefore resolved to warn
Peregrine of the conspiracy, on account of which she transmitted to
him in an affectionate letter, by means of a young gentleman in that
neighbourhood, who made his addresses to her at that time, and who, at
her request, offered his service to our hero, in defeating the projects
of his adversaries.

Peregrine was startled when he read the particulars of their scheme,
which was no other than an intention to sally upon him when he should
be altogether unprovided against such an attack, cut off his ears, and
otherwise mutilate him in such a manner that he should have no cause
to be vain of his person for the future. Incensed as he was against
the brutal disposition of his own father's son, he could not help
being moved at the integrity and tenderness of his sister, of whose
inclinations towards him he had been hitherto kept in ignorance. He
thanked the gentleman for his honourable dealing, and expressed a desire
of being better acquainted with his virtues; told him that now he was
cautioned, he hoped there would be no necessity for giving him any
further trouble, and wrote by him a letter of acknowledgment to his
sister, for whom he expressed the utmost love and regard, beseeching
her to favour him with an interview before his departure, that he might
indulge his fraternal fondness, and be blessed with the company and
countenance of one at least belonging to his own family. Having imparted
this discovery to his friend Hatchway, they came to a resolution of
countermining the plan of their enemies. As they did not choose to
expose themselves to the insinuations of slander, which would have
exerted itself at their expense, had they, even in defending themselves,
employed any harsh means of retaliation, they invented a method of
disappointing and disgracing their foes, and immediately set Pipes at
work to forward the preparations. Miss Pickle having described the spot
which the assassins had pitched upon for the scene of their vengeance,
our triumvirate intended to have placed a sentinel among the corn, who
should come and give them intelligence when the ambuscade was laid; and,
in consequence of that information, they would steal softly towards the
place, attended by three or four of the domestics, and draw a large
net over the conspirators, who, being entangled in the toil, should be
disarmed, fettered, heartily scourged, and suspended between two trees
in the snare, as a spectacle to all passengers that should chance to
travel that way.

The plan being thus digested, and the commodore acquainted with the
whole affair, the spy was sent upon duty, and everybody within-doors
prepared to go forth upon the first notice. One whole evening did they
spend in the most impatient expectation, but on the second the scout
crept into the garrison, and assured them that he had perceived three
men skulking behind the hedge, on the road that led to the public-house
from which Peregrine and the lieutenant used every night to return about
that hour. Upon this intelligence the confederates set out immediately
with all their implements. Approaching the scene with as little noise as
possible, they heard the sound of blows; and, though the night was
dark, perceived a sort of tumultuous conflict on the very spot which the
conspirators had possessed. Surprised at this occurrence, the meaning of
which he could not comprehend, Peregrine ordered his myrmidons to
halt and reconnoitre; and immediately his ears were saluted with an
exclamation of "You shan't 'scape me, rascal." The voice being quite
familiar to him, he at once divined the cause of that confusion which
they had observed; and running up to the assistance of the exclaimer,
found a fellow on his knees begging his life of Mr. Gauntlet, who stood
over him with a naked hanger in his hand.

Pickle instantly made himself known to his friend, who told him, that
having left his horse at Tunley's, he was, in his way to the garrison,
set upon by three ruffians, one of whom being the very individual person
now in his power, had come behind him, and struck with a bludgeon at
his head, which, however, he missed, and the instrument descended on his
left shoulder; that, upon drawing his hanger, and laying about him
in the dark, the other two fled, leaving their companion, whom he had
disabled, in the lurch.

Peregrine congratulated him on his safety, and having ordered Pipes to
secure the prisoner, conducted Mr. Gauntlet to the garrison, where he
met with a very hearty reception from the commodore, to whom he was
introduced as his nephew's intimate friend; not but that, in all
likelihood, he would have abated somewhat of his hospitality had he
known that he was the brother of Perry's mistress; but her name the
old gentleman had never thought of asking, when he inquired into the
particulars of his godson's amour.

The captive being examined, in presence of Trunnion and all his
adherents, touching the ambuscade, owned that being in the service of
Gam Pickle, he had been prevailed upon, by the solicitations of his
master and the Curate, to accompany them in their expedition, and
undertake the part which he had acted against the stranger, whom he
and his employers mistook for Peregrine. In consideration of this frank
acknowledgment, and a severe wound he had received in his right arm,
they resolved to inflict no other punishment on this malefactor than to
detain him all night in the garrison, and next morning carry him before
a justice of the peace, to whom he repeated all he had said overnight,
and with his own hand subscribed his confession, copies of which
were handed about the neighbourhood, to the unspeakable confusion and
disgrace of the curate and his promising pupil.

Meanwhile Trunnion treated the young soldier with uncommon marks of
respect, being prepossessed in his favour by this adventure, which he
had so gallantly achieved, as well as by the encomiums that Peregrine
bestowed upon his valour and generosity. He liked his countenance, which
was bold and hardy, admired his Herculean limbs, and delighted in asking
questions concerning the service he had seen. The day after his arrival,
while the conversation turned on this last subject, the commodore,
taking the pipe out of his month, "I'll tell ye what, brother," said he;
"five-and-forty years ago, when I was third lieutenant of the Warwick
man-of-war, there was a very stout young fellow on board, a subaltern
officer of marines; his name was not unlike your own, d'ye see, being
Guntlet, with a G. I remember he and I could not abide one another at
first, because, d'ye see, I was a sailor and he a landsman; till we fell
in with a Frenchman, whom we engaged for eight glasses, and at length
boarded and took. I was the first man that stood on the enemy's deck,
and should have come scurvily off, d'ye see, if Guntlet had not jumped
to my assistance; but we soon cleared ship, and drove them to close
quarters, so that they were obliged to strike; and from that day Guntlet
and I were sworn brothers as long as he remained on board. He was
exchanged into a marching regiment, and what became of him afterwards,
Lord in heaven knows; but this I'll say of him, whether he be dead or
alive, he feared no man that ever wore a head, and was, moreover, a very
hearty messmate."

The stranger's breast glowed at this eulogium, which was no sooner
pronounced than he eagerly asked if the French ship was not the
Diligence? The commodore replied, with a stare, "The very same, my
lad."--"Then," said Gauntlet, "the person of whom you are pleased to
make such honourable mention was my own father."--"The devil he was!"
cried Trunnion, shaking him by the hand: "I am rejoiced to see a son of
Ned Guntlet in my house."

This discovery introduced a thousand questions, in the course of which
the old gentleman learned the situation of his friend's family, and
discharged innumerable execrations upon the ingratitude and injustice
of the ministry, which had failed to provide for the son of such a
brave soldier. Nor was his friendship confined to such ineffectual
expressions; he that same evening signified to Peregrine a desire of
doing something for his friend. This inclination was so much praised,
encouraged, and promoted by his godson, and even supported by his
councilor Hatchway, that our hero was empowered to present him with a
sum of money sufficient to purchase a commission.

Though nothing could be more agreeable to Pickle than this permission,
he was afraid that Godfrey's scrupulous disposition would hinder him
from subjecting himself to any such obligation; and therefore proposed
that he should be decoyed into his own interest by a feigned story, in
consequence of which he would be prevailed upon to accept of the money,
as a debt which the commodore had contracted of his father at sea.
Trunnion made wry faces at this expedient, the necessity of which he
could not conceive, without calling in question the common sense of
Gauntlet; as he took it for granted that such offers as those were not
to be rejected on any consideration whatever. Besides, he could not
digest an artifice, by which he himself must own that he had lived so
many years without manifesting the least intention of doing justice to
his creditor. All these objections, however, were removed by the zeal
and rhetoric of Peregrine, who represented that it would be impossible
to befriend him on any other terms; that his silence hitherto would
be imputed to his want of information touching the circumstances and
condition of his friend; and that his remembering and insisting upon
discharging the obligation, after such an interval of time, when the
whole affair was in oblivion, would be the greatest compliment he could
pay to his own honour and integrity.

Thus persuaded, he took an opportunity of Gauntlet's being alone with
him to broach the affair, telling the young man that his father had
advanced a sum of money for him, when they sailed together, on account
of the mess, as well as to stop the mouth of a clamorous creditor at
Portsmouth; and that the said sum, with interest, amounted to about four
hundred pounds, which he would now, with great thankfulness, repay.

Godfrey was amazed at this declaration, and, after a considerable pause,
replied, that he had never heard his parents mention any such debt; that
no memorandum or voucher of it was found among his father's papers;
and that, in all probability, it must have been discharged long ago,
although the commodore, in such a long course of time and hurry of
occupation, might have forgotten the repayment: he therefore desired to
be excused from accepting what in his own conscience he believed was
not his due; and complemented the old gentleman upon his being so
scrupulously just and honourable.

The soldier's refusal, which was matter of astonishment to Trunnion,
increased his inclination to assist him; and, on pretence of acquitting
his own character, he urged his beneficence with such obstinacy, that
Gauntlet, afraid of disobliging him, was in a manner compelled to
receive a draft for the money; for which he subscribed an ample
discharge, and immediately transmitted the order to his mother, whom
at the same time he informed of the circumstances by which they had so
unexpectedly gained this accession of fortune.

Such a piece of news could not fail of being agreeable to Mrs. Gauntlet,
who by the first post wrote a polite letter of acknowledgment to the
commodore; another to her own son, importing that she had already sent
the draft to a friend in London, with directions to deposit it in the
hands of a certain banker, for the purchase of the first ensigncy to be
sold; and she took the liberty of sending a third to Peregrine, couched
in very affectionate terms, with a kind postscript, signed by Miss Sophy
and his charming Emily.

This affair being transacted to the satisfaction of all concerned,
preparations were set on foot for the departure of our hero, on whom his
uncle settled an annuity of eight hundred pounds, being little less than
one half of his whole income. By this time, indeed, the old gentleman
could easily afford to alienate such a part of his fortune, because he
entertained little or no company, kept few servants, and was remarkably
plain and frugal in his housekeeping. Mrs. Trunnion being now some
years on the wrong side of fifty, her infirmities began to increase; and
though her pride had suffered no diminution, her vanity was altogether
subdued by her avarice.

A Swiss valet-de-chambre, who had already made the tour of Europe, was
hired for the care of Peregrine's own person. Pipes being ignorant of
the French language, as well as otherwise unfit for the office of
a fashionable attendant, it was resolved that he should remain in
garrison; and his place was immediately supplied by a Parisian lacquey
engaged at London for that purpose. Pipes did not seem to relish this
disposition of things; and though he made no verbal objections to it,
looked remarkably sour at his successor upon his first arrival; but this
sullen fit seemed gradually to wear off; and long before his master's
departure, he had recovered his natural tranquility and unconcern.



CHAPTER XXXI.



The two young Gentlemen display their talents for Gallantry, in the
course of which they are involved in a ludicrous circumstance of
Distress, and afterwards take Vengeance on the Author of their Mishap.


Meanwhile our hero and his new friend, together with honest Jack
Hatchway, made daily excursions into the country, visited the gentlemen
in the neighbourhood, and frequently accompanied them to the chase;
all three being exceedingly caressed on account of their talents, which
could accommodate themselves with great facility to the tempers and
turns of their entertainers. The lieutenant was a droll in his way,
Peregrine possessed a great fund of sprightliness and good-humour, and
Godfrey, among his other qualifications already recited, sang a most
excellent song; so that the company of this triumvirate was courted
in all parties, whether male or female: and if the hearts of our
young gentlemen had not been pre-engaged, they would have met with
opportunities in abundance of displaying their address in the art of
love: not but that they gave loose to their gallantry without much
interesting their affections, and amused themselves with little
intrigues, which, in the opinion of a man of pleasure, do not affect his
fidelity to the acknowledged sovereign of his soul.

In the midst of these amusements, our hero received an intimation from
his sister, that she should be overjoyed to meet him next day, at five
o'clock in the afternoon, at the house of her nurse, who lived in a
cottage hard by her father's habitation, she being debarred from all
opportunity of seeing him in any other place by the severity of her
mother, who suspected her inclination. He accordingly obeyed the
summons, and went at the time appointed to the place of rendezvous,
where he met this affectionate young lady, who when he entered the room,
ran towards him with all the eagerness of transport, flung her arms
about his neck, and shed a flood of tears in his bosom before she
could utter one word, except a repetition of My dear, dear brother! He
embraced her with all the piety of fraternal tenderness, wept over her
in his turn, assured her that this was one of the happiest moments of
his life, and kindly thanked her for having resisted the example, and
disobeyed the injunctions, of his mother's unnatural aversion.

He was ravished to find, by her conversation, that she possessed a
great share of sensibility and prudent reflection; for she lamented the
infatuation of her parents with the most filial regret, and expressed
such abhorrence and concern at the villainous disposition of her younger
brother as a humane sister may be supposed to have entertained. He made
her acquainted with all the circumstances of his own fortune; and, as he
supposed she spent her time very disagreeably at home, among characters
which must be shockingly interesting, professed a desire of removing her
into some other sphere, where she could live with more tranquility and
satisfaction.

She objected to this proposal as an expedient that would infallibly
subject her to the implacable resentment of her mother, whose favour and
affection she at present enjoyed but in a very inconsiderable degree;
and they had canvassed divers schemes of corresponding for the future,
when the voice of Mrs. Pickle was heard at the door. Miss Julia (that
was the young lady's name), finding herself betrayed, was seized with
a violent agitation of fear; and Peregrine scarce had time to encourage
her with a promise of protection, before the door of the apartment being
flung open, this irreconcilable parent rushed in, and, with a furious
aspect, flew directly at her trembling daughter, when, the son
interposing, received the first discharge of her fury.

Her eyes gleamed with all the rage of indignation, which choked up her
utterance, and seemed to convulse her whole frame: she twisted her left
hand in his hair, and with the other buffeted him about the face till
the blood gushed from his nostrils and mouth; while he defended his
sister from the cruelty of Gam, who assaulted her from another quarter,
seeing his brother engaged. This attack lasted several minutes with
great violence, till at length Peregrine, finding himself in danger of
being overpowered if he should remain any longer on the defensive, laid
his brother on his back; then he disentangled his mother's hand from his
own hair, and, having pushed her gently out of the room, bolted the door
on the inside; finally, turning to Gam, he threw him out at the window,
among a parcel of hogs that fed under it. By this time Julia was almost
quite distracted with terror: she knew she had offended beyond all hope
of forgiveness, and from that moment considered herself as an exile from
her father's house: in vain did her brother strive to console her
with fresh protestations of love and protection; she counted herself
extremely miserable in being obliged to endure the eternal resentment
of a parent with whom she had hitherto lived; and dreaded the censure of
the world, which, from her mother's misrepresentation, she was sensible
would condemn her unheard. That she might not, however, neglect any
means in her power of averting this storm, she resolved to appease, if
possible, her mother's wrath with humiliation, and even appeal to the
influence of her father, weak as it was, before she would despair
of being forgiven. But the good lady spared her this unnecessary
application, by telling her, through the keyhole, that she must never
expect to come within her father's door again; for, from that hour, she
renounced her as unworthy of her affection and regard. Julia, weeping
bitterly, endeavoured to soften the rigour of this sentence by the most
submissive and reasonable remonstrances; but as, in her vindication, she
of necessity espoused her elder brother's cause, her endeavours, instead
of soothing, served only to exasperate her mother to a higher pitch of
indignation, which discharged itself in invectives against Peregrine,
whom she reviled with the epithets of a worthless, abandoned reprobate.

The youth, hearing these unjust aspersions, trembled with resentment
through every limb, assuring the upbraider that he considered her as an
object of compassion; "for without all doubt," said he, "your diabolical
rancour must be severely punished by the thorns of your own conscience,
which this very instant taxes you with the malice and falsehood of your
reproaches. As for my sister, I bless God that you have not been able
to infect her with your unnatural prejudice, which, because she is too
just, too virtuous, too humane to imbibe, you reject her as an alien to
your blood, and turn her out unprovided into a barbarous world. But even
there your vicious purpose shall be defeated: that same Providence, that
screened me from the cruelty of your hate, shall extend its protection
to her, until I shall find it convenient to assert by law that right of
maintenance which Nature, it seems, hath bestowed upon us in vain. In
the mean time, you will enjoy the satisfaction of paying an undivided
attention to that darling son, whose amiable qualities have so long
engaged and engrossed your love and esteem."

This freedom of expostulation exalted his mother's ire to mere frenzy:
she cursed him with the bitterest imprecations, and raved like a
bedlamite at the door, which she attempted to burst open. Her efforts
were seconded by her favourite son, who denounced vengeance against
Peregrine, and made furious assaults against the lock, which resisted
all their applications, until our hero espying his friends Gauntlet and
Pipes stepping over a stile that stood about a furlong from the window,
called them to his assistance: giving them to understand how he was
besieged, he desired they would keep off his mother, that he might the
more easily secure his sister Julia's retreat. The young soldier entered
accordingly, and, posting, himself between Mrs. Pickle and the door,
gave the signal to his friend, who, lifting up his sister in his arms,
carried her safe without the clutches of this she-dragon, while Pipes,
with his cudgel, kept young master at bay.

The mother, being thus deprived of her prey, sprang upon Gauntlet like
a lioness robbed of her whelps; and he must have suffered sorely in the
flesh, had he not prevented her mischievous intent by seizing both her
wrists, and so keeping her at due distance. In attempting to disengage
herself from his grasp, she struggled with such exertion, and suffered
such agony of passion at the same time, that she actually fell into
a severe fit, during which she was put to bed, and the confederates
retired without further molestation.

In the mean time, Peregrine was not a little perplexed about the
disposal of his sister, whom he had rescued. He could not endure the
thoughts of saddling the commodore with a new expense; and he was afraid
of undertaking the charge of Julia, without his benefactor's advice and
direction: for the present, however, he carried her to the house of a
gentleman in the neighbourhood, whose lady was her godmother, where she
was received with great tenderness and condolence; and he purposed to
inquire for some creditable house, where she might be genteelly boarded
in his absence; resolving to maintain her from the savings of his own
allowance, which he thought might very well bear such reduction. But
this intention was frustrated by the publication of the whole affair,
which was divulged next day, and soon reached the ears of Trunnion,
who chid his godson for having concealed the adventure; and, with the
approbation of his wife, ordered him to bring Julia forthwith to the
garrison. The young gentleman, with tears of gratitude in his eyes,
explained his design of maintaining her at his own expense, and
earnestly begged that he might not be deprived of that satisfaction. But
his uncle was deaf to all his entreaties, and insisted upon her living
in the garrison, though for no other reason than that of being company
to her aunt, who, he observed, was lost for want of conversation.

Julia was accordingly brought home, and settled under the tuition of
Mrs. Trunnion, who, whatever face she might put on the matter, could
have dispensed with the society of her niece, though she was not without
hope of gratifying her pique to Mrs. Pickle, by the intelligence she
would receive from the daughter of that lady's economy and domestic
behaviour. The mother herself seemed conscious of this advantage which
her sister-in-law had now gained over her, being as much chagrined at
the news of Julia's reception in the garrison, as if she had heard of
her own husband's death. She even tortured her invention to propagate
calumnies against the reputation of her own daughter, whom she slandered
in all companies; she exclaimed against the commodore as an old
ruffian, who spirited up rebellion among her children, and imputed the
hospitality of his wife, in countenancing them, to nothing else but her
inveterate enmity to their mother, whom they had disobliged. She now
insisted, in the most peremptory terms, upon her husband's renouncing
all commerce with the old lad of the castle and his adherents; and Mr.
Gamaliel, having by this time contracted other friendships, readily
submitted to her will; nay, even refused to communicate with the
commodore one night, when they happened to meet by accident at the
public-house.



CHAPTER XXXII.



The Commodore sends a Challenge to Gamaliel, and is imposed upon by a
waggish invention of the Lieutenant, Peregrine, and Gauntlet.


This affront Trunnion could by no means digest: he advised with the
lieutenant upon the subject; and the result of their consultation was a
defiance which the old commander sent to Pickle, demanding that he would
meet him at such a place on horseback with a brace of pistols, and give
satisfaction for the slight he had put upon him. Nothing could have
afforded more pleasure to Jack than the acceptance of this challenge,
which he delivered verbally to Mr. Gamaliel, who was called out from
the club at Tunley's for that purpose. The nature of this message had an
instantaneous effect upon the constitution of the pacific Pickle, whose
bowels yearned with apprehension, and underwent such violent agitation
on the spot, that one would have thought the operation proceeded from
some severe joke of the apothecary which he had swallowed in his beer.

The messenger, despairing of a satisfactory answer, left him in this
woeful condition; and being loath to lose any opportunity of raising the
laugh against the commodore, went immediately and communicated the whole
affair to the young gentlemen, entreating them, for the love of God,
to concert some means of bringing old Hannibal into the field. The
two friends relished the proposal; and after some deliberation, it was
resolved that Hatchway should tell Trunnion his invitation was accepted
by Gamaliel, who would meet him at the place appointed, with his second,
to-morrow in the twilight, because, if either should fall, the other
would have the chance of escaping in the dark; that Godfrey should
personate old Pickle's friend, and Peregrine represent his own father;
while the lieutenant should take care in loading the pistols to keep out
the shot, so that no damage might be done in the rencounter.

These circumstances being adjusted, the lieutenant returned to his
principal with a most thundering reply from his antagonist, whose
courageous behaviour, though it could not intimidate, did not fail to
astonish the commodore, who ascribed it to the spirit of his wife,
which had inspired him. Trunnion that instant desired his counsellor to
prepare his cartridge-box, and order the quietest horse in the stable to
be kept ready saddled for the occasion; his eye seemed to lighten with
alacrity and pleasure at the prospect of smelling gunpowder once more
before his death; and when Jack advised him to make his will, in case of
accident, he rejected his counsel with disdain, saying, "What! dost thou
think that Hawser Trunnion, who has stood the fire of so many floating
batteries, runs any risk from the lousy pops of a landman? Thou shalt
see, thou shalt see, how I'll make him lower his topsails."

Next day Peregrine and the soldier provided themselves with horses at
the public-house, from whence, at the destined hour, they rode to the
field of battle, each of them being muffed in a great coat, which, with
the dimness of the light, effectually shielded them from the knowledge
of the one-eyed commander, who, having taken horse, on pretence of
enjoying the fresh air, soon appeared with Hatchway in his rear. When
they came within sight of each other, the seconds advanced, in order to
divide the ground, and regulate the measures of the combat; when it was
determined by mutual consent, that two pistols should be discharged on
each side, and that if neither should prove decisive, recourse must
be had to the broad-swords, in order to ascertain the victory. These
articles being settled, the opponents rode forward to their respective
stations, when Peregrine, cocking his pistol, and presenting,
counterfeited his father's voice, bidding Trunnion take care of his
remaining eye.

The commodore took his advice, being unwilling to hazard his daylight,
and very deliberately opposed the patched side of his face to the muzzle
of his antagonist's piece, desiring him to do his duty without farther
jaw. The young man accordingly fired; and the distance being small,
the wad of his pistol took place with a smart stroke on the forehead of
Trunnion. Mistaking it for a ball, which he thought lodged in his brain,
spurred up his steed in a state of desperation towards his antagonist,
and holding his piece within two yards of his body, let it off, without
any regard to the laws of battle. Surprised and enraged to see it had
made no impression, he halloed, in a terrible tone, "O! d-ye, you have
your netting stuffed, I see;" and advancing, he discharged his second
pistol so near his godson's head, that had he not been defended by his
great coat, the powder must have scorched his face. Having thus thrown
away his fire, he remained at the mercy of Peregrine, who clapping the
piece he had in reserve to his head, commanded him to beg his life,
and ask pardon for his presumption. The commodore made no reply to this
imperious injunction; but, dropping his pistol, and unsheathing his
broad-sword in an instant, attacked our hero with such incredible
agility, that if he had not made shift to ward off the stroke with his
piece, the adventure, in all likelihood, would have turned out a very
tragical joke.

Peregrine finding it would be in vain for him to think of drawing his
weapon, or of standing on the defensive against this furious aggressor,
very fairly clapped spurs to his nag, and sought his safety in flight.
Trunnion pursued him with infinite eagerness; and his steed being the
better of the two, would have overtaken the fugitive to his peril, had
he not been unfortunately encountered by the boughs of a tree, that
happened to stand on his blind side, and incommoded him so much, that
he was fain to quit his sword, and lay hold on the mane in order to
maintain his seat. Perry perceiving his disaster, wheeled about, and now
finding leisure to produce his weapon, returned upon his disarmed foe,
brandishing his Ferrara, threatening to make him shorter by the head
if he would not immediately crave quarter and yield. There was nothing
farther from the intention of the old gentleman than such submission,
which he flatly refused to pay, alleging that he had already compelled
his enemy to clap on all sails, and that his own present misfortune was
owing to accident; all one as if a ship should be attacked, after she
had been obliged to heave her guns overboard in a storm.

Before Peregrine had time to answer this remonstrance, the lieutenant
interposed, and taking cognizance of the case, established a truce,
until he and the other second should discuss and decide upon the merits
of the case. They accordingly retired to a small distance; and after
having conferred a few minutes, Hatchway returned and pronounced the
commodore vanquished by the chance of war.

Never was rage more than that which took possession of old Hannibal,
when he heard the sentence: it was some time before he could utter
aught, except the reproachful expression, "You lie!" which he repeated
more than twenty times, in a sort of delirious insensibility. When he
recovered the further use of speech, he abused the arbitrators with such
bitter invectives, renouncing their sentence, and appealing to another
trial, that the confederates began to repent of having carried the joke
so far; and Peregrine, in order to appease his choler, owned himself
overcome.

This acknowledgment calmed the tumult of his wrath, though he could not
for some days forgive the lieutenant; and the two young gentlemen rode
back to Tunley's, while Hatchway, taking the commodore's horse by the
bridle, reconducted him to his mansion, growling all the way to Jack for
his unjust and unfriendly decree; though he could not help observing,
as how he had made his words good, in making his adversary to strike his
top-sails: "And yet," said he, "before God! I think the fellow's head is
made of a wood-pack: for my shot rebounded from his face like a wad of
spun-yarn from the walls of a ship. But if so be that son of a b-- of
a tree hadn't come athwart my weather-bow, d'ye see, I'll be d--d if
I hadn't snapt his main-yard in the slings, and mayhap let out his
bulge-water into the bargain." He seemed particularly vain of this
exploit, which dwelt upon his imagination, and was cherished as the
child of his old age; for though he could not with decency rehearse
it to the young men and his wife at supper, he gave hints of his own
manhood, even at these years, and attested Hatchway as a voucher for his
mettle; while the triumvirate, diverted by his vanity, enjoyed in secret
the success of their imposition.



CHAPTER XXXIII.



Peregrine takes leave of his Aunt and Sister--Sets out from the
Garrison-Parts with his Uncle and Hatchway on the Road, and with his
Governor arrives in safety at Dover.


This, however, was the last effort of invention which they practised
upon him; and everything being now prepared for the departure of his
godson, that hopeful youth in two days took leave of all his friends in
the neighbourhood. He was closeted two whole hours with his aunt, who
enriched him with many pious advices, recapitulated all the benefits
which, through her means, had been conferred upon him since his infancy,
cautioned him against the temptations of lewd women, who bring many a
man to a morsel of bread, laid strict injunctions upon him to live in
the fear of the Lord and the true Protestant faith, to eschew quarrels
and contention, to treat Mr. Jolter with reverence and regard, and above
all things to abstain from the beastly sin of drunkenness, which
exposes a man to the scorn and contempt of his fellow-creatures, and, by
divesting him of reason and reflection, renders him fit for all manner
of vice and debauchery. She recommended to him economy, and the care of
his health, bade him remember the honour of his family, and in all the
circumstances of his behaviour, assured him that he might always depend
upon the friendship and generosity of the commodore. Finally, presenting
him with her own picture set in gold, and a hundred guineas from her
privy purse, she embraced him affectionately, and wished him all manner
of happiness and prosperity.

Being thus kindly dismissed by Mrs. Trunnion, he locked himself up with
his sister Julia, whom he admonished to cultivate her aunt with the
most complaisant and respectful attention, without stooping to any
circumstance of submission that she should judge unworthy of her
practice: he protested that his chief study should be to make her amends
for the privilege she had forfeited by her affection for him; entreated
her to enter into no engagement without his knowledge and approbation;
put into her hand the purse, which he had received from his aunt, to
defray her pocket expenses in his absence; and parted from her, not
without tears, after she had for some minutes hung about his neck,
kissing him, and weeping in the most pathetic silence.

Having performed these duties of affection and consanguinity over-night,
he went to bed, and was, by his own direction, called at four o'clock
in the morning, when he found the post-chaise, coach, and riding-horses
ready at the gate, his friends Gauntlet and Hatchway on foot, the
commodore himself almost dressed, and every servant in the garrison
assembled in he yard to wish him a good journey. Our hero shook each
of these humble friends by the hand, tipping them at the same time
with marks of his bounty; and was very much surprised when he could not
perceive his old attendant Pipes among the number. When he expressed his
wonder at this disrespectful omission of Tom, some of those present ran
to his chamber, in order to give him a call; but his hammock and room
were both deserted, and they soon returned with an account of his having
eloped. Peregrine was disturbed at this information, believing that
the fellow had taken some desperate course, in consequence of his being
dismissed from his service, and began to wish that he had indulged his
inclination, by retaining him still about his person. However, as
there was now no other remedy, he recommended him strenuously to the
particular favour and distinction of his uncle and Hatchway, in case he
should appear again; and as he went out of the gate, was saluted with
three cheers by all the domestics in the family.

The commodore, Gauntlet, lieutenant, Peregrine, and Jolter went into the
coach together, that they might enjoy each other's conversation as
much as possible, resolving to breakfast at an inn upon the road, where
Trunnion and Hatchway intended to bid our adventurer farewell; the
Valet-de-chambre got into the post-chaise; the French lacquey rode one
horse, and led another; one of the valets of the garrison mounted at the
back of the coach; and thus the cavalcade set out on the road to Dover.

As the commodore could not bear the fatigue of jolting, they travelled
at an easy pace during the fist stage; so that the old gentleman had an
opportunity of communicating his exhortations to his godson, with
regard to his conduct abroad: he advised him, now that he was going
into foreign parts, to be upon his guard against the fair weather of the
French politesse, which was no more to be trusted than a whirlpool at
sea. He observed that many young men had gone to Paris with good cargoes
of sense, and returned with a great deal of canvas, and no ballast
at all, whereby they became crank all the days of their lives, and
sometimes carried their keels above water. He desired Mr. Jolter to keep
his pupil out of the clutches of those sharking priests who lie in wait
to make converts of all young strangers, and in a particular manner
cautioned the youth against carnal conversation with the Parisian dames,
who, he understood, were no better than gaudy fire-ships ready primed
with death and destruction.

Peregrine listened with great respect, thanking him for his kind
admonitions, which he faithfully promised to observe. The halted and
breakfasted at the end of the stage, where Jolter provided himself with
a horse, and the commodore settled the method of corresponding with his
nephew. The minute of parting being arrived, the old commander wrung his
godson by the hand, saying, "I wish thee a prosperous voyage and good
cheer, my lad: my timbers are now a little crazy, d'ye see; and God
knows if I shall keep afloat till such time as I see thee again; but
howsomever, hap what will, thou wilt find thyself in a condition to keep
in the line with the rest of thy fellows." He then reminded Gauntlet
of his promise to call at the garrison in his return from Dover, and
imparted something in a whisper to the governor, while Jack Hatchway,
unable to speak, pulled his hat over his eyes, and, squeezing Peregrine
by the hand, gave him a pistol of curious workmanship, as a memorial
of his friendship. Our youth, who was not unmoved on this occasion,
received the pledge, which he acknowledged with the present of a
tobacco-box bought for this purpose; and the two lads of the castle
getting into the coach, were driven homewards, in a state of silent
dejection.

Godfrey and Peregrine seated themselves in the post-chaise; and Jolter,
the valet-de-chambre, and lacquey, bestriding their beasts, they
proceeded for the place of their destination, at which they arrived in
safety that same night, and bespoke a passage in the packet-boat which
was to sail next day.



CHAPTER XXXIV.



He adjusts the Method of his Correspondence with Gauntlet; meets by
accident with an Italian Charlatan, and a certain Apothecary, who proves
to be a noted Character.


There the two friends adjusted the articles of a future correspondence;
and Peregrine, having written a letter to his mistress, wherein he
renewed his former vows of eternal fidelity, it was intrusted to the
care of her brother, while Mr. Jolter, at the desire of his pupil,
provided an elegant supper, and some excellent Burgundy, that they might
spend this eve of his departure with the greater enjoyment.

Things being thus disposed, and a servant employed in laying the cloth,
their ears were of a sudden invaded by a strange tumultuous noise in the
next room, occasioned by the overthrow of tables, chairs, and glasses,
with odd unintelligible exclamations in broken French, and a jargon of
threats in the Welsh dialect. Our young gentlemen ran immediately into
the apartment from whence this clamour seemed to proceed, and found a
thin, meagre, swarthy figure, gasping, in all the agony of fear, under
the hands of a squat, thick, hard-featured man, who collared him with
great demonstrations of wrath, saying, "If you was as mighty a magician
as Owen Glendower or the witch of Entor, look you, ay, ay, or as Paul
Beor himself, I will meke pold, by the assistance of Got, and in his
majesty's name, to seize and secure, and confine and confront you, until
such time as you suffer and endure and undergo the pains and penalties
of the law, for your diabolical practices. Shentlements," added he,
turning to our adventurers, "I take you to witness, that I protest, and
assert, and avow, that this person is as pig a necromancer as you would
desire to behold; and I supplicate, and beseech, and entreat of you,
that he may be prought pefore his petters, and compelled to give an
account of his compact and commerce with the imps of darkness, look you;
for, as I am a Christian soul, and hope for joyful resurrection, I have
this plessed evening seen him perform such things as could not be done
without the aid and instruction and connivance of the tevil."

Gauntlet seemed to enter into the sentiments of this Welsh reformer,
and actually laid hold on the delinquent's shoulder, crying, "D--n the
rascal! I'll lay any wager that he's a Jesuit; for none of his order
travel without a familiar." But Peregrine, who looked upon the affair
in another point of view, interposed in behalf of the stranger, whom he
freed from his aggressors, observing, that there was no occasion to use
violence; and asked, in French, what he had done to incur the censure of
the informer. The poor foreigner, more dead than alive, answered that
he was an Italian charlatan, who had practised with some reputation
in Padua, until he had the misfortune to attract the notice of the
Inquisition, by exhibiting certain wonderful performances by his skill
in natural knowledge, which that tribunal considered as the effects of
sorcery, and persecuted him accordingly; so that he had been fain to
make a precipitate retreat into France, where not finding his account
in his talents, he was now arrived in England, with a view of practising
his art in London; and that, in consequence of a specimen which he
had given to a company below, the choleric gentleman had followed him
up-stairs to his own apartment, and assaulted him in that inhospitable
manner: he therefore earnestly begged that our hero would take him
under his protection; and, if he entertained the least suspicion of his
employing preternatural means in the operations of his art, he would
freely communicate all the secrets in his possession.

The youth dispelled his apprehension by assuring him that he was in no
danger of suffering for his art in England, where, if ever he should be
questioned by the zeal of superstitious individuals, he had nothing to
do but appeal to the justice of the peace, who would immediately acquit
him of the charge, and punish his accusers for their impertinence and
indiscretion.

He then told Gauntlet and the Welshman that the stranger had a good
action against them for an assault, by virtue of an Act of Parliament,
which makes it criminal for any person to accuse another of sorcery and
witchcraft, these idle notions being now justly exploded by all sensible
men. Mr. Jolter, who had by this time joined the company, could not
help signifying his dissent from this opinion of his pupil, which he
endeavoured to invalidate by the authority of Scripture, quotations from
the Fathers, and the confession of many wretches who suffered death for
having carried on correspondence with evil spirits together with
the evidence of "Satan's Invisible World," and Moreton's "History of
Witchcraft."

The soldier corroborated these testimonies by facts that had happened
within the sphere of his own knowledge, and in particular mentioned the
case of an old woman of the parish in which he was born, who used to
transform herself into the shapes of sundry animals, and was at last
killed by small shot in the character of a hare. The Welshman, thus
supported, expressed his surprise at hearing that the legislature had
shown such tenderness for criminals of so dark a hue, and offered to
prove, by undeniable instances, that there was not a mountain in
Wales which had not been, in his memory, the scene of necromancy and
witchcraft. "Wherefore," said he, "I am assuredly more than above
astonished and confounded and concerned that the Parliament of Great
Britain should, in their great wisdoms, and their prudence, and their
penetration, give countenance and encouragement, look you, to the works
of darkness and the empire of Pelzepup--ofer and apove the evidence of
holy writ, and those writers who have been quoted by that aggurate and
learned shentleman, we are informed, by profane history, of the pribbles
and pranks of the old serpent, in the bortents and oragles of antiquity,
as you will find in that most excellent historian Bolypius, and Titus
Lifius; ay, and moreofer, in the Commentaries of Julius Caesar himself,
who, as the ole world knows, was a most famous, and a most faliant, and
a most wise, and a most prudent, and a most fortunate chieftain, and a
most renowned orator; ay, and a most elegant writer to boot."

Peregrine did not think proper to enter the lists of dispute with three
such obstinate antagonists, but contented himself with saying that he
believed it would be no difficult matter to impugn the arguments
they had advanced; though he did not find himself at all disposed to
undertake the task, which must of course break in upon the evening's
entertainment. He therefore invited the Italian to supper, and asked
the same favour of his accuser, who seemed to have something curious and
characteristic in his manner and disposition, resolving to make himself
an eye-witness of those surprising feats which had given offence to
the choleric Briton. This scrupulous gentleman thanked our hero for
his courtesy, but declined communicating with the stranger until his
character should be further explained; upon which his inviter, after
some conversation with the charlatan, assured him that he would himself
undertake for the innocence of his art; and then he was prevailed upon
to favour them with his company.

In the course of the conversation, Peregrine learned that the Welshman
was a surgeon of Canterbury, who had been called in to a consultation at
Dover; and, understanding that his name was Morgan, took the liberty
of asking if he was not the person so respectfully mentioned in the
"Adventures of Roderick Random." Mr. Morgan assumed a look of gravity
and importance at this interrogation, and, screwing up his mouth,
answered, "Mr. Rantum, my good sir, I believe, upon my conscience and
salfation, is my very goot frient and well-wisher; and he and I have
been companions and messmates and fellow-sufferers, look you; but
nevertheless, for all that, peradventure he hath not pehaved with so
much complaisance and affability and respect as I might have expected
from him; pecause he hath revealed and tivulged and buplished our
private affairs, without my knowledge and privity and consent; but as
Got is my Safiour, I think he had no evil intention in his pelly; and
though there be certain persons, look you, who, as I am told, take
upon them to laugh at his descriptions of my person, deportment, and
conversation, I do affirm and maintain, and insist with my heart, and
my plood, and my soul, that those persons are no petter than ignorant
asses, and that they know not how to discern and distinguish and define
true ridicule, or, as Aristotle calls it, the to Geloion, no more, look
you, than a herd of mountain goats; for I will make pold to observe--and
I hope this goot company will be of the same opinion--that there is
nothing said of me in that performance which is unworthy of a Christian
and a shentleman."

Our young gentleman and his friends acquiesced in the justness of his
observation. Peregrine particularly assured him that, from reading
the book, he had conceived the utmost regard and veneration for his
character, and that he thought himself extremely fortunate in having
this opportunity of enjoying his conversation. Morgan, not a little
proud of such advances from a person of Peregrine's appearance, returned
the compliment with a profusion of civility, and, in the warmth of
acknowledgment, expressed a desire of seeing him and his company at his
house in Canterbury. "I will not pretend, or presume, kind sir," said
he, "to entertain you according to your merits and deserts; but you
shall be as welcome to my poor cottage, and my wife and family, as the
prince of Wales himself; and it shall go hard if, one way or other, I
do not find ways and means of making you confess that there is some goot
fellowship in an ancient Priton; for though I am no petter than a simple
apothecary, I have as goot plood circulating in my veins as any he in
the county; and I can describe and delineate and demonstrate my pedigree
to the satisfaction of the 'ole 'orld; and, moreofer, by Got's goot
providence and assistance, I can afford to treat my friend with joint of
good mutton and a pottle of excellent wine, and no tradesman can peard
me with a bill."

He was congratulated on his happy situation, and assured that our youth
would visit him on his return from France, provided he should take
Canterbury in his route. As Peregrine manifested an inclination of
being acquainted with the state of his affairs, he very complaisantly
satisfied his curiosity by giving him to know that his spouse had left
off breeding, after having blessed him with two boys and a girl,
who were still alive and well; that he lived in good esteem with
his neighbors; and by his practice, which was considerably extended
immediately after the publication of Roderick Random, had saved some
thousand pounds. He had begun to think of retiring among his own
relations in Glamorganshire, though his wife had made objection to this
proposal, and opposed the execution of it with such obstinacy, that
he had been at infinite pains in asserting his own prerogative by
convincing her, both from reason and example, that he was king, and
priest in his own family, and that she owed the most implicit submission
to his will. He likewise informed the company that he had lately seen
his friend Roderick, who had come from London on purpose to visit him,
after having gained his lawsuit with Mr. Topeball, who was obliged to
pay Narcissa's fortune; that Mr. Random, in all appearance, led a very
happy life in the conversation of his father and bed-fellow, by whom he
enjoyed a son and daughter; and that Morgan had received, in a present
from him, a piece of very fine linen of his wife's own making, several
kits of salmon, and two casks of pickled pork--the most delicate he
had ever tasted; together with a barrel of excellent herrings for
salmagundy, which he knew to be his favourite dish.

This topic of conversation being discussed, the Italian was desired to
exhibit a specimen of his art, and in a few minutes he conducted the
company into the next room, where, to their great astonishment and
affright, they beheld a thousand serpents winding along the ceiling.
Morgan, struck with this phenomenon, which he had not seen before, began
to utter exorcisms with great devotion, Mr. Jolter ran of the room,
Gauntlet drew his hanger, and Peregrine himself was disconcerted. The
operator, perceiving their confusion, desired them to retire, and,
calling them back in an instant, there was not a viper to be seen. He
raised their admiration by sundry other performances and the Welshman's
former opinion and abhorrence of his character began to recur, when,
in consideration of the civility with which he had been treated, this
Italian imparted to them all the methods by which he had acted such
wonders, that were no other than the effects of natural causes curiously
combined; so that Morgan became a convert to his skill, asked pardon for
the suspicion he had entertained, and invited the stranger to pass a
few days with him at Canterbury. The scruples of Godfrey and Jolter were
removed at the same time, and Peregrine testified his satisfaction by a
handsome gratuity which he bestowed upon their entertainer.

The evening being spent in this sociable manner, every man retired to
his respective chamber, and next morning they breakfasted together,
when Morgan declared he would stay till he should see our hero fairly
embarked, that he might have the pleasure of Mr. Gauntlet's company to
his own habitation: meanwhile, by the skipper's advice, the servants
were ordered to carry a store of wine and provision on board, in case of
accident; and, as the packet-boat could not sail before one o'clock, the
company walked up hill to visit the castle, where they saw the sword
of Julius Caesar, and Queen Elizabeth's pocket pistol; repeated
Shakespeare's description, while they surveyed the chalky cliffs on each
side, and cast their eyes towards the city of Calais, that was obscured
by a thick cloud which did not much regale their eye-sight, because it
seemed to portend foul weather.

Having viewed everything remarkable in this place, they returned to
the pier, where, after the compliments of parting, and an affectionate
embrace between the two young gentlemen, Peregrine and his governor
stepped aboard, the sails were hoisted, and they went to sea with a fair
wind, while Godfrey, Morgan, and the conjurer walked back to the inn,
from whence they set out for Canterbury before dinner.



CHAPTER XXXV.



He embarks for France--Is overtaken by a Storm--Is surprised with
the Appearance of Pipes--Lands at Calais, and has an Affray with the
Officers at the Custom-house.


Scarce had the vessel proceeded two leagues on the passage, when, the
wind shifting, blew directly in her teeth; so that they were obliged to
haul upon a wind, and alter their course. The sea running pretty high
at the same time, our hero, who was below in his cabin, began to be
squeamish, and, in consequence of the skipper's advice, went upon deck
for the comfort of his stomach; while the governor, experienced in these
disasters, slipped into bed, where he lay at his ease, amusing himself
with a treatise on the cycloid, with algebraical demonstrations, which
never failed to engage his imagination in the most agreeable manner.

In the mean time the wind increased to a very hard gale, the vessel
pitched with great violence, the sea washed over the deck, the master
was alarmed, the crew were confounded, the passengers were overwhelmed
with sickness and fear, and universal distraction ensued. In the midst
of this uproar, Peregrine holding fast by the taffrail, and looking
ruefully ahead, the countenance of Pipes presented itself to his
astonished view, rising, as it were, from the hold of the ship. At first
he imagined it was a fear-formed shadow of his own brain; though he
did not long remain in this error, but plainly perceived that it was no
other than the real person of Thomas, who, jumping on the quarter-deck,
took charge of the helm, and dictated to the sailors with as much
authority as if he had been commander of the ship. The skipper
looked upon him as an angel sent to his assistance; and the crew
soon discovered him to be a thoroughbred seaman, notwithstanding his
livery-frock; obeyed his orders with such alacrity, that, in a little
time, the confusion vanished; and every necessary step was taken to
weather the gale.

Our young gentleman immediately conceived the meaning of Tom's
appearance on board; and when the tumult was a little subsided, went up,
and encouraged him to exert himself for the preservation of the ship,
promising to take him again into his service, from which he should never
be dismissed, except at his own desire. This assurance had a surprising
effect upon Pipes, who, though he made no manner of reply, thrust the
helm into the master's hands, saying, "Here, you old bumboat-woman, take
hold of the tiller, and keep her thus, boy, thus;" and skipped about the
vessel, trimming the sails, and managing the ropes with such agility and
skill, that everybody on deck stood amazed at his dexterity.

Mr. Jolter was far from being unconcerned at the uncommon motion of the
vessel, the singing of the wind, and the uproar which he heard about
him: he looked towards the cabin-door with the most fearful expectation,
in hope of seeing some person who could give some account of the
weather, and what was doing upon deck; but not a soul appeared, and he
was too well acquainted with the disposition of his own bowels to make
the least alteration in his attitude. When he had lain a good while in
all the agony of suspense, the boy tumbled headlong into his apartment,
with such noise, that he believed the mast had gone by the board; and
starting upright in his bed, asked, with all the symptoms of horror,
what was the cause of that disturbance? The boy, half-stunned by his
fall, answered in a dolorous tone, "I'm come to put up the dead-lights."
At the mention of dead-lights, the meaning of which he did not
understand, the poor governor's heart died within him: he shivered with
despair, his recollection forsaking him, he fell upon his knees in the
bed, and, fixing his eyes upon the book which was in his hand, began to
pronounce aloud with great fervour, "The time of a complete oscillation
in the cycloid, is to the time in which a body would fall through
the axis of the cycloid DV, as the circumference of a circle to its
diameter."

He would in all likelihood have proceeded with the demonstration of this
proposition, had he not been seized with such a qualm as compelled
him to drop the book, and accommodate himself to the emergency of his
distemper: he therefore stretched himself at full length, and, putting
up ejaculations to Heaven, began to prepare himself for his latter end,
when all of a sudden the noise above was intermitted; and as he could
not conceive the cause of this tremendous silence, he imagined that
either the men were washed overboard, or that, despairing of safety,
they had ceased to oppose the tempest. While he was harrowed by this
miserable uncertainty, which, however, was not altogether unenlightened
by some scattered rays of hope, the master entered the cabin: then he
asked, with a voice half-extinguished by fear, how matters went upon
deck; and the skipper, with a large bottle of brandy applied to his
mouth, answered, in a hollow tone, "All's over now, master." Upon which,
Mr. Jolter, giving himself over for lost, exclaimed, with the utmost
horror, "Lord have mercy upon us! Christ have mercy upon us;" and
repeated this supplication, as it were mechanically, until the master
undeceived him by explaining the meaning of what he had said, and
assuring him that the squall was over.

Such a sudden transition from fear to joy occasioned a violent agitation
both in his mind and body; and it was a full quarter of an hour, before
he recovered the right use of his organs, By this time the weather
cleared up, the wind began to blow again from the right corner, and the
spires of Calais appeared at the distance of five leagues; so that the
countenances of all on board were lighted up with joyous expectation and
Peregrine, venturing to go down into the cabin, comforted his governor
with an account of the happy turn of their affairs.

Jolter, transported with the thought of a speedy landing, began to
launch out in praise of that country for which they were bound. He
observed, that France was the land of politeness and hospitality, which
were conspicuous in the behaviour of all ranks and degrees, from the
peer to the peasant; that a gentleman and a foreigner, far from being
insulted and imposed upon by the lower class of people, as in England,
was treated with the utmost reverence, candour, and respect; and their
fields were fertile, their climate pure healthy, their farmers rich and
industrious, the subjects in general the happiest of men. He would have
prosecuted this favourite theme still farther, had not his pupil been
obliged to run upon deck, in consequence of certain warnings he received
from his stomach.

The skipper seeing his condition, very honestly reminded him of the cold
ham and fowls, with a basket of wine which he had ordered to be sent
on board, and asked if he would have the cloth laid below. He could
not have chosen a more seasonable opportunity of manifesting his own
disinterestedness. Peregrine made wry faces at the mention of food,
bidding him, for Heaven's sake, talk no more on that subject. He then
descended into the cabin, and put the same question to Mr. Jolter, who,
he knew, entertained the same abhorrence for his proposal; and meeting
with the like reception from him, went between decks, and repeated his
courteous proffer to the valet-de-chambre and lacquey, who lay sprawling
in all the pangs of a double evacuation, and rejected his civility with
the most horrible loathing. Thus baffled in all his kind endeavours,
he ordered the boy to secure the provision in one of his own lockers,
according to the custom of the ship.

It being low water when they arrived on the French coast, the vessel
could not enter the harbour, and they were obliged to bring to, and
wait for a boat, which in less than half-an-hour came alongside from the
shore. Mr. Jolter now came upon deck, and, snuffing up the French air
with symptoms of infinite satisfaction, asked of the boatmen, with the
friendly appellation of Mes enfants, what they demanded for transporting
him and his pupil with their baggage to the pier. But how was he
disconcerted, when those polite, candid, reasonable watermen demanded
a louis d'or for that service! Peregrine, with a sarcastic sneer,
observed, that he already began to perceive the justice of his encomiums
on the French; and the disappointed governor could say nothing in his
own vindication, but that they were debauched by their intercourse with
the inhabitants of Dover. His pupil, however, was so much offended at
their extortion, that he absolutely refused to employ them, even when
they abated one half in their demand, and swore he would stay on
board till the packet should be able to enter the harbour, rather than
encourage such imposition.

The master, who in all probability had some sort of fellow-feeling with
the boatmen, in vain represented that he could not with safety lie-to
or anchor upon a lee-shore: our hero, having consulted Pipes, answered,
that he had hired his vessel to transport him to Calais, and that he
would oblige him to perform what he had undertaken. The skipper, very
much mortified at this peremptory reply, which was not over and above
agreeable to Mr. Jolter, dismissed the boat, notwithstanding the
solicitations and condescension of the watermen. Running a little
farther in shore, they came to an anchor, and waited till there was
water enough to float them over the bar. Then they stood into the
harbour; and our gentleman, with his attendants and baggage, were
landed on the pier by the sailors, whom he liberally rewarded for their
trouble.

He was immediately plied by a great number of porters, who, like so
many hungry wolves, laid hold on his baggage, and began to carry it off
piecemeal, without his order or direction. Incensed at this officious
insolence, he commanded them to desist, with many oaths and opprobrious
terms that his anger suggested; and perceiving, that one of them did
not seem to pay any regard to what he said, but marched off with his
burthen, he snatched a cudgel out of his lacquey's hand, and overtaking
the fellow in a twinkling, brought him to the ground with one blow. He
was instantly surrounded by the whole congregation of this canaille, who
resented the injury which their brother had sustained, and would have
taken immediate satisfaction on the aggressor, had not Pipes, seeing his
master involved, brought the whole crew to his assistance, and exerted
himself so manfully that the enemy were obliged to retreat with many
marks of defeat, and menaces of interesting the commandant in their
quarrel. Jolter, who knew and dreaded the power of the French governor,
began to shake with apprehension, when he heard their repeated
threats, but they durst not apply to this magistrate, who, upon a fair
representation of the case, would have punished them severely for
their rapacious and insolent behaviour. Peregrine, without further
molestation, availed himself of his own attendants, who shouldered his
baggage and followed him to the gate, where they were stopped by the
sentinels until their names should be registered.

Mr. Jolter, who had undergone this examination before, resolved to
profit by his experience, and cunningly represented his pupil as a
young English lord. This intimation, supported by the appearance of his
equipage, was no sooner communicated to the officer, than he turned out
the guard, and ordered his soldiers to rest upon their arms, while his
lordship passed in great state to the Lion d'Argent, where he took up
his lodging for the night, resolving to set out for Paris next morning
in a post-chaise.

The governor triumphed greatly in this piece of complaisance and respect
with which they had been honoured, and resumed his beloved topic of
discourse, in applauding the method and subordination of the French
government, which was better calculated for maintaining order and
protecting the people, than any constitution upon earth. Of their
courteous attention to strangers, there needed no other proof than the
compliment which had been paid to them, together with the governor's
connivance at Peregrine's employing his own servants in carrying the
baggage to the inn, contrary to the privilege of the inhabitants.

While he expatiated with a remarkable degree of self-indulgence on
this subject, the valet-de-chambre coming into the room interrupted his
harangue by telling his master that their trunks and portmanteaus must
be carried to the custom-house, in order to be searched, and sealed with
lead, which must remain untouched until their arrival at Paris.

Peregrine made no objection to this practice, which was in itself
reasonable enough; but when he understood that the gate was besieged by
another multitude of porters, who insisted upon their right of carrying
the goods, and also of fixing their own price, he absolutely refused to
comply with their demand. Nay, he chastised some of the most clamorous
among them with his foot, and told them, that if their custom-house
officers had a mind to examine his baggage, they might come to the inn
for that purpose. The valet-de-chambre was abashed at this boldness of
his master's behaviour, which the lacquey, shrugging up his shoulders,
observed, was bien a l'Anglaise; while the governor represented it as an
indignity to the whole nation, and endeavoured to persuade his pupil to
comply with the custom of the place. But Peregrine's natural haughtiness
of disposition hindered him from giving ear to Jolter's wholesome
advice; and in less than half-an-hour they observed a file of musketeers
marching up to the gate. At sight of this detachment the tutor trembled,
the valet grew pale, and the lacquey crossed himself; but our hero,
without exhibiting any other symptoms than those of indignation, met
them on the threshold, and with a ferocious air demanded their business.
The corporal who commanded the file answered, with great deliberation,
that he had orders to convey his baggage to the custom-house; and seeing
the trunks standing in the entry, placed his men between them and the
owner, while the porters that followed took them up, and proceeded to
the douane without opposition.

Pickle was not mad enough to dispute the authority of this message; but
in order to gall and specify his contempt for those who brought it, he
called aloud to his valet, desiring him, in French, to accompany his
things, and see that none of his linen and effects should be stolen by
the searchers. The corporal, mortified at this satirical insinuation,
darted a look of resentment at the author, as if he had been interested
for the glory of his nation; and told him that he could perceive he was
a stranger in France, or else he would have saved himself the trouble of
such a needless precaution.



CHAPTER XXXVI.



He makes a fruitless Attempt in Gallantry--Departs for Boulogne, where
he spends the evening with certain English Exiles.


Having thus yielded to the hand of power, he inquired if there was any
other English company in the house; when, understanding that a gentleman
and lady lodged in the next apartment, and had bespoke a post-chaise for
Paris, he ordered Pipes to ingratiate himself with their footman, and,
if possible, learn their names and condition, while he and Mr. Jolter,
attended by the lacquey, took a turn round the ramparts, and viewed the
particulars of the fortification.

Tom was so very successful in his inquiry, that when his master
returned he was able to give him a very satisfactory account of his
fellow-lodgers, in consequence of having treated his brother with a
bottle of wine. The people in question were a gentleman and his lady
lately arrived from England, in their way to Paris. The husband was
a man of good fortune, who had been a libertine in his youth, and a
professed declaimer against matrimony. He wanted neither sense nor
experience, and piqued himself in particular upon his art of avoiding
the snares of the female sex, in which he pretended to be deeply versed;
but, notwithstanding all his caution and skill, he had lately fallen a
sacrifice to the attractions of an oyster-wench, who had found means
to decoy him into the bands of wedlock; and, in order to evade the
compliments and congratulations of his friends and acquaintance, he had
come so far on a tour to Paris, where he intended to initiate his spouse
in the beau monde. In the mean time, he chose to live upon the reserve,
because her natural talents had as yet received but little cultivation;
and he had not the most implicit confidence in her virtue and
discretion, which, it seems, had like to have yielded to the addresses
of an officer at Canterbury, who had made shift to insinuate himself
into her acquaintance and favour.

Peregrine's curiosity being inflamed by this information, he lounged
about the yard, in hopes of seeing the dulcinea who had captivated the
old bachelor; and at length observing her at a window, took the liberty
of bowing to her with great respect. She returned the compliment with a
curtsy, and appeared so decent in her dress and manner, that unless he
had been previously informed of her former life and conversation, he
never would have dreamt that her education was different from that
of other ladies of fashion; so easy is it to acquire that external
deportment on which people of condition value themselves so much. Not
but that Mr. Pickle pretended to distinguish a certain vulgar audacity
in her countenance, which in a lady of birth and fortune would have
passed for an agreeable vivacity that enlivens the aspect, and gives
poignancy to every feature; but as she possessed a pair of fine eyes,
and a clear complexion overspread with a glow of health, which never
fails of recommending the owner, he could not help gazing at her with
desire, and forming the design of making a conquest of her heart.
With this view, he sent his compliments to her husband whose name was
Hornbeck, with an intimation that he proposed to set out the next day
for Paris, and as he understood that he was resolved upon the same
journey, he should be extremely glad of his company on the road, if he
was not better engaged. Hornbeck, who in all probability did not choose
to accommodate his wife with a squire of our hero's appearance, sent a
civil answer to his message, professing infinite mortification at his
being unable to embrace the favour of this kind offer, by reason of
the indisposition of his wife, who, he was afraid, would not be in a
condition for some days to bear the fatigue of travelling.

This rebuff, which Peregrine ascribed to the husband's jealousy, stifled
his project in embryo: he ordered his French servant to take a place
for himself in the diligence, where all his luggage was stowed, except a
small trunk, with some linen and other necessaries, that was fixed upon
the post-chaise which they hired of the landlord; and early next morning
he and Mr. Jolter departed from Calais, attended by his valet-de-chambre
and Pipes on horseback. They proceeded without any accident as far
as Boulogne, where they breakfasted, and visited old Father Graham, a
Scottish gentleman of the governor's acquaintance, who had lived as a
Capuchin in that place for the space of threescore years, and during
that period conformed to all the austerities of the order with the most
rigorous exactness, being equally remarkable for the frankness of his
conversation, the humanity of his disposition, and the simplicity of his
manners. From Boulogne they took their departure about noon; and as they
proposed to sleep that night at Abbeville, commanded the postilion to
drive with extra ordinary speed. Perhaps it was well for his cattle that
the axletree gave way and the chaise of course overturned, before they
had travelled one-third part of the stage.

This accident compelled them to return to the place from whence they had
set out; and as they could not procure another conveyance, they found
themselves under the necessity of staying till their chaise could be
refitted. Understanding that this operation would detain them a whole
day, our young gentleman had recourse to his patience, and demanded
to know what they could have for dinner; the garcon or waiter, thus
questioned, vanished in a moment, and immediately they were surprised
with the appearance of a strange figure, which, from the extravagance
of its dress and gesticulation, Peregrine mistook for a madman of the
growth of France. This phantom (which, by the bye, happened to be no
other than the cook) was a tall, long-legged, meagre, swarthy fellow,
that stooped very much; his cheek-bones were remarkably raised, his nose
bent into the shape and size of a powder-horn, and the sockets of his
eyes as raw round the edges as if the skin had been pared off. On his
head he wore a handkerchief, which had once been white, and now served
to cover the upper part of a black periwig, to which was attached a bag
at least a foot square, with a solitaire and rose that stuck upon each
side of his ear; so that he looked like a criminal on the pillory. His
back was accommodated with a linen waistcoat, his hands adorned with
long ruffles of the same piece, his middle was girded by an apron,
tucked up, that it might not conceal his white silk stockings, rolled;
and at his entrance he brandished a bloody weapon full three feet in
length.

Peregrine, when he first saw him approach in this menacing attitude, put
himself upon his guard; but being informed of his quality, perused
his bill of fare, and having bespoken three or four things for dinner,
walked out with Mr. Jolter to view both towns, which they had not
leisure to consider minutely before. In their return from the harbour
they met with four or five gentlemen, all of whom seemed to look with an
air of dejection, and perceiving our hero and his governor to be English
by their dress, bowed with great respect as they passed. Pickle, who
was naturally compassionate, felt an emotion of sympathy; and seeing a
person, who by his habit he judged to be one of their servants, accosted
him in English, and asked who the gentlemen were. The lacquey gave
him to understand that they were his own countrymen, called from their
native homes in consequence of their adherence to an unfortunate and
ruined cause; and that they were gone to the sea-side, according to
their daily practice, in order to indulge their longing eyes with a
prospect of the white cliffs of Albion, which they must never more
approach.

Though our young gentleman differed widely from them in point of
political principles, he was not one of those enthusiasts who look upon
every schism from the established articles of faith as damnable,
and exclude the sceptic from every benefit of humanity and Christian
forgiveness: he could easily comprehend how a man of the most
unblemished morals might, by the prejudice of education, or
indispensable attachments, be engaged in such a blameworthy and
pernicious undertaking; and thought that they had already suffered
severely for their imprudence. He was affected with the account of their
diurnal pilgrimage to the sea-side, which he considered as a pathetic
proof of their affliction, and invested Mr. Jolter with the agreeable
office of going to them with a compliment in his name, and begging the
honour of drinking a glass with them in the evening. They accepted the
proposal with great satisfaction and respectful acknowledgment, and
in the afternoon waited upon the kind inviter, who treated them with
coffee, and would have detained them to supper, but they entreated the
favour of his company at the house which they frequented so earnestly,
that he yielded to their solicitations, and, with his governor, was
conducted by them to the place, where they had provided an elegant
repast, and regaled them with some of the best claret in France.

It was easy for them to perceive that their principal guest was no
favourer of their state maxims, and therefore they industriously avoided
every subject of conversation which could give the least offence: not
but they lamented their own situation, which cut them off from all their
dearest connections, and doomed them to perpetual banishment from their
families and friends: but they did not, even by the most distant hint,
impeach the justice of that sentence by which they were condemned;
although one among them, who seemed to be about the age of thirty, wept
bitterly over his misfortune, which had involved a beloved wife and
three children in misery and distress; and, in the impatience of his
grief, cursed his own fate with frantic imprecations. His companions,
with a view of beguiling his sorrow, and manifesting their own
hospitality at the same time, changed the topic of discourse, and
circulated the bumpers with great assiduity; so that all their cares
were overwhelmed and forgotten, several French drinking catches were
sung, and mirth and good-fellowship prevailed.

In the midst of this elevation, which commonly unlocks the most hidden
sentiment, and dispels every consideration of caution and constraint,
one of the entertainers, being more intoxicated than his fellows,
proposed a toast, to which Peregrine, with some warmth, excepted as an
unmannerly insult. The other maintained his proposition with indecent
heat; and the dispute beginning to grow very serious, the company
interposed, and gave judgment against their friend, who was so keenly
reproached and rebuked for his impolite behaviour, that he retired in
high dudgeon, threatening to relinquish their society, and branding them
with the appellation apostates from the common cause. Mortified at the
behaviour of their companion, those that remained were earnest in
their apologies to their guests, whom they besought to forgive his
intemperance, assuring them with great confidence that he would, upon
the recovery of his reflection, wait upon them in person, and ask
pardon for the umbrage he had given. Pickle was satisfied with their
remonstrances, resumed his good humour, and the night being pretty far
advanced resisted all their importunities with which he was entreated to
see another bottle go round, and was escorted to his own lodgings more
than half-seas over. Next morning, about eight o'clock, he was waked by
his valet-de-chambre, who told him that two of the gentlemen with whom
he had spent the evening were in the house, and desired the favour of
being admitted into his chamber. He could not conceive the meaning of
this extraordinary visit; and, ordering his man to show them enter into
his apartment, beheld the person who had affronted him enter with the
gentleman who had reprehended his rudeness.

He who had given the offence, after having made an apology for
disturbing Mr. Pickle, told him that his friend there present had been
with him early that morning, and proposed the alternative of either
fighting with him immediately, or coming to beg pardon for his
unmannerly deportment over-night: that though he had courage enough to
face any man in the field in a righteous cause, he was not so brutal as
to disobey the dictates of his own duty and reflection, in consequence
of which, and not out of any regard to the other's menaces, which he
despised, he had now taken the liberty of interrupting his repose, that
he might, as soon as possible, atone for the injury he had done him,
which he protested was the effect of intoxication alone, and begged his
forgiveness accordingly. Our hero accepted of this acknowledgment very
graciously; thanked the other gentleman for the gallant part he had
acted in his behalf; and perceiving that his companion was a little
irritated at his officious interposition, effected a reconciliation, by
convincing him that what he had done was for the honour of the company.
He then kept them to his breakfast; expressed a desire of seeing their
situation altered for the better; and the chaise being repaired, took
his leave of his entertainers, who came to wish him a good journey, and
with his attendants left Boulogne for the second time.



CHAPTER XXXVII.



Proceeds for the Capital--Takes up his Lodging at Bernay, where he is
overtaken by Mr. Hornbeck, whose Head he longs to fortify.


During this day's expedition, Mr. Jolter took an opportunity of
imparting to his pupil the remarks he had made upon the industry of the
French as an undeniable proof of which he bade him cast his eyes around,
and observe with what care every spot of ground was cultivated, and from
the fertility of that province, which is reckoned the poorest in France,
conceive the wealth and affluence of the nation in general. Peregrine,
amazed as well as disgusted at this infatuation, answered that what he
ascribed to industry was the effect of mere wretchedness; the miserable
peasants being obliged to plough up every inch of ground to satisfy
their oppressive landlords, while they themselves and their cattle
looked like so many images of famine; that their extreme poverty
was evident from the face of the country, on which there was not one
inclosure to be seen, or any other object, except scanty crops of barley
and oats, which could never reward the toil of the husbandman; that
their habitations were no better than paltry huts; that in twenty miles
of extent not one gentleman's house appeared; that nothing was more
abject and forlorn than the attire of their country people; that the
equipage of their travelling chaises was infinitely inferior to that
of a dung-cart in England; and that the postilion who then drove their
carriage had neither stockings to his legs, nor a shirt to his back.

The governor, finding his charge so intractable resolved to leave him
in the midst of his own ignorance and prejudice, and reserve his
observations for those who would pay more deference to his opinion: and
indeed this resolution he had often made, and as often broken in the
transports of his zeal, that frequently hurried him out of the plan of
conduct which in his cooler moments he had laid down. They halted for
refreshment at Montreuil, and about seven in the evening arrived at a
village called Bernay, where, while they waited for fresh horses, they
were informed by the landlord that the gates of Abbeville were shut
every night punctually at eight o'clock, so that it would be impossible
for them to get admittance. He said there was not another place
of entertainment on the road where they could pass the night; and
therefore, as a friend, he advised them to stay at his house, where they
would find the best of accommodation, and proceed upon their journey
betimes in the morning.

Mr. Jolter, though he had travelled on that road before, could not
recollect whether or not mine host spoke truth; but his remonstrance
being very plausible, our hero determined to follow his advice, and
being conducted into an apartment, asked what they could have for
supper. The landlord mentioned everything that was eatable in the house;
and the whole being engrossed for the use of him and his attendants,
he amused himself, till such time as it should be dressed, in strolling
about the house, which stands in a very rural situation. While he thus
loitered away the time that hung heavy on his hands, another chaise
arrived at the inn, and upon inquiry he found that the new-comers were
Mr. Hornbeck and his lady. The landlord, conscious of his inability to
entertain this second company, came and begged with great humiliation
that Mr. Pickle would spare them some part of the victuals he had
bespoken; but he refused to part with so much as the wing of a
partridge, though at the same time he sent his compliments to the
strangers, and giving them to understand how ill the house was provided
for their reception, invited them to partake of his supper. Mr.
Hornbeck, who was not deficient in point of politeness, and extremely
well disposed for a relishing meal, which he had reason to expect from
the savoury steam that issued from the kitchen, could not resist this
second instance of our young gentleman's civility, which he acknowledged
in a message, importing that he and his wife would do themselves the
pleasure of profiting by his courteous offer. Peregrine's cheeks glowed
when he found himself on the eve of being acquainted with Mrs. Hornbeck,
of whose heart he had already made a conquest in imagination; and he
forthwith set his invention at work, to contrive some means of defeating
her husband's vigilance.

When supper was ready, he in person gave notice to his guests, and,
leading the lady into his apartment, seated her in an elbow-chair at the
upper end of the table, squeezing her hand, and darting a most insidious
glance at the same time. This abrupt behaviour he practised on the
presumption that a lady of her breeding was not to be addressed with
the tedious forms that must be observed in one's advances to a person
of birth and genteel education. In all probability his calculation was
just, for Mrs. Hornbeck gave no signs of discontent at this sort of
treatment, but, on the contrary, seemed to consider it as a proof of
the young gentleman's regard; and though she did not venture to open
her mouth three times during the whole repast, she showed herself
particularly well satisfied with her entertainer, by sundry sly and
significant looks, while her husband's eyes were directed another way;
and divers loud peals of laughter, signifying her approbation of the
sallies which he uttered in the course of their conversation.

Her spouse began to be very uneasy at the frank demeanour of his
yoke-fellow, whom he endeavoured to check in her vivacity, by assuming
a severity of aspect; but whether she obeyed the dictates of her own
disposition, which, perhaps, was merry and unreserved, or wanted to
punish Mr. Hornbeck for his jealousy of temper; certain it is, her
gaiety increased to such a degree, that her husband was grievously
alarmed and, incensed at her conduct, and resolved to make her sensible
of his displeasure, by treading in secret upon her toes. He was,
however, so disconcerted by his indignation, that he mistook his mark,
and applied the sharp heel of his shoe to the side of Mr. Jolter's foot,
comprehending his little toe that was studded with an angry corn, which
he invaded with such a sudden jerk, that the governor, unable to endure
the torture in silence started up, and, dancing on the floor, roared
hideously with repeated bellowings, to the enjoyment of Peregrine and
the lady, who laughed themselves almost into convulsions at the joke.
Hornbeck, confounded at the mistake he had committed, begged pardon of
the injured tutor with great contrition protesting that the blow he
had so unfortunately received, was intended for an ugly cur, which he
thought had posted himself under the table. It was lucky for him that
there was actually a dog in the room, to justify this excuse, which
Jolter admitted with the tears running over his cheeks, and the economy
of the table was recomposed.

As soon, however, as the strangers could with decency withdraw, this
suspicious husband took his leave of the youth, on pretence of being
fatigued with his journey, after having, by way of compliment, proposed
that they should travel together next day; and Peregrine handed the
lady to her chamber, where he wished her good night with another warm
squeeze, which she returned. This favourable hint made his heart bound
with a transport of joy: he lay in wait for an opportunity of declaring
himself; and seeing the husband go down into the yard with a candle,
glided softly into his apartment, where he found her almost undressed.
Impelled by the impetuosity of his passion, which was still more
inflamed by her present luscious appearance, and encouraged by
the approbation she had already expressed, he ran towards her with
eagerness, crying, "Zounds! madam, your charms are irresistible!" and
without further ceremony would have clasped her in his arms, had she not
begged him for the love of God to retire; for should Mr. Hornbeck return
and find him there, she would be undone for ever. He was not so blinded
by his passion, but that he saw the reasonableness of her fear; and as
he could not pretend to crown his wishes at that interview, he avowed
himself her lover, assured her that he would exhaust his whole invention
in finding a proper opportunity for throwing himself at her feet; and in
the mean time he ravished sundry small favours, which she in the hurry
of her fright, could not withhold from his impudence of address. Having
thus settled the preliminaries, he withdrew to his own chamber, and
spent the whole night in contriving stratagems to elude the jealous
caution of his fellow-traveller.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.



They set out in company, breakfast at Abbeville, dine at Amiens and,
about eleven o'clock, arrive at Chantilly where Peregrine executes a
Plan which he had concerted upon Hornbeck.


The whole company by agreement rose and departed before day, and
breakfasted at Abbeville, where they became acquainted with the finesse
of their Bernay landlord, who had imposed upon them, in affirming that
they would not have been admitted after the gates were shut. From thence
they proceeded to Amiens, where they dined, and were pestered by begging
friars; and the roads being deep, it was eleven o'clock at night before
they reached Chantilly, where they found supper already dressed, in
consequence of having despatched the valet-de-chambre before them on
horseback.

The constitution of Hornbeck being very much impaired by a life of
irregularity, he found himself so fatigued with his day's journey, which
amounted to upwards of a hundred miles, that when he sat down at table,
he could scarce sit upright; and in less than three minutes began to
nod in his chair. Peregrine, who had foreseen and provided for this
occasion, advised him to exhilarate his spirits with a glass of wine;
and the proposal being embraced, tipped his valet-de-chambre the wink,
who, according to the instructions he had received, qualified the
Burgundy with thirty drops of laudanum, which this unfortunate
husband swallowed in one glass. The dose, cooperating with his former
drowsiness, lulled him so fast to sleep, as it were instantaneously,
that it was found necessary to convey him to his own chamber, where his
footman undressed and put him to bed: nor was Jolter (naturally of a
sluggish disposition) able to resist his propensity to sleep, without
suffering divers dreadful yawns, which encouraged his pupil to
administer the same dose to him, which had operated so successfully upon
the other Argus. This cordial had not such gentle effect upon the rugged
organs of Jolter as upon the more delicate nerves of Hornbeck; but
discovered itself in certain involuntary startings, and convulsive
motions in the muscles of his face; and when his nature at length
yielded to the power of this medicine, he sounded the trumpet so loud
through his nostrils, that our adventurer was afraid the noise would
wake his other patient, and consequently the accomplishment of his aim.
The governor was therefore committed to the care of Pipes, who lugged
him into the next room, and having stripped off his clothes, tumbled him
into his nest, while the two lovers remained at full liberty to indulge
their mutual passion.

Peregrine, in the impatience of his inclination, would have finished
the fate of Hornbeck immediately; but his inamorata disapproved of his
intention, and represented that their being together by themselves for
any length of time would be observed by her servant, who was kept as a
spy upon her actions; so that they had recourse to another scheme which
was executed in this manner. He conducted her into her own apartment in
presence of her footman, who lighted them thither, and wishing her good
rest, returned to his own chamber, where he waited till everything was
quiet in the house; then stealing softly to her door, which had been
left open for his admission in the dark, he found the husband still
secure in the embraces of sleep, and the lady in a loose gown, ready to
seal his happiness. He conveyed her to his own chamber; but his guilty
passion was not gratified.

The opium which had been given to Jolter, together with the wine he had
drunk, produced such a perturbation in his fancy, that he was visited
with horrible dreams; and, among other miserable situations, imagined
himself in danger of perishing in the flames, which he thought had taken
hold on his apartment. This vision made such an impression upon his
faculties, that he alarmed the whole house with repeated cries of "Fire!
fire!" and even leaped out of his bed, though he still continued fast
asleep. The lovers were very disagreeably disturbed by this dreadful
exclamation; and Mrs. Hornbeck, running in great confusion to the door,
had the mortification to see the footman, with a light in his hand,
enter her husband's chamber, in order to give him notice of this
accident. She knew that she would be instantly missed, and could easily
divine the consequence, unless her invention could immediately trump up
some plausible excuse for her absence.

Women are naturally fruitful of expedients in cases of such emergency:
she employed but a few seconds in recollection, and, rushing directly
towards the apartment of the governor, who still continued to hallo in
the same note, exclaimed, in a screaming tone, "Lord have mercy upon us!
where! where!" By this time, all the servants were assembled in strange
attire: Peregrine burst into Jolter's room, and seeing him stalking in
his shirt, with his eyes shut, bestowed such a slap upon his back, as in
a moment dissolved his dream, and restored him to the use of his senses.
He was astonished and ashamed at being discovered in such an indecent
attitude; and, taking refuge under the clothes, asked pardon of all
present for the disturbance he had occasioned; soliciting, with great
humility, the forgiveness of the lady, who, to a miracle, counterfeited
the utmost agitation of terror and surprise. Meanwhile Hornbeck, being
awaked by the repeated efforts of his man, no sooner understood that his
wife was missing, than all the chimeras of jealousy taking possession of
his imagination, he started up in a sort of frenzy, and, snatching his
sword, flew straight to Peregrine's chamber; where, though he found not
that which he looked for, he unluckily perceived an under-petticoat,
which his wife had forgot in the hurry of her retreat. This discovery
added fuel to the flame of his resentment. He seized the fatal proof of
his dishonour, and, meeting his spouse in her return to bed, presented
it to her view, with a most expressive countenance, "Madam, you have
dropped your under-petticoat in the next room."

Mrs. Hornbeck, who inherited from nature a most admirable presence of
mind, looked earnestly at the object in question, and, with incredible
serenity of countenance, affirmed that the petticoat must belong to the
house, for she had none such in her possession. Peregrine, who walked
behind her, hearing this asseveration, immediately interposed, and
pulling Hornbeck by the sleeve into his chamber, "Gadszooks!" said he,
"what business had you with that petticoat? Can't you let a young fellow
enjoy a little amour with an innkeeper's daughter, without exposing his
infirmities to your wife? Pshaw! that's so malicious, because you have
quitted these adventures yourself, to spoil the sport of other people."

The poor husband was so confounded at the effrontery of his wife, and
this cavalier declaration of the young man, that his faith began to
waver; he distrusted his own conscious diffidence of temper, which, that
he might not expose, he expressed no doubts of Peregrine's veracity;
but, asking pardon for the mistake he had committed, retired. He was not
yet satisfied with the behaviour of his ingenious helpmate, but on the
contrary determined to inquire more minutely into the circumstances of
this adventure, which turned out so little to his satisfaction, that he
ordered his servant to get everything ready for his departure by break
of day; and when our adventurer rose next morning, he found that his
fellow-travellers were gone above three hours, though they had agreed
to stay all the forenoon, with a view of seeing the prince of Conde's
palace, and to proceed all together for Paris in the afternoon.

Peregrine was a little chagrined, when he understood that he was so
suddenly deprived of this untasted morsel; and Jolter could not conceive
the meaning of their abrupt and uncivil disappearance, which, after many
profound conjectures, he accounted for, by supposing that Hornbeck
was some sharper who had run away with an heiress, whom he found it
necessary to conceal from the inquiry of her friends. The pupil, who
was well assured of the true motive, allowed his governor to enjoy the
triumph of his own penetration, and consoled himself with the hope of
seeing his dulcinea again at some of the public places in Paris, which
he proposed to frequent. Thus comforted, he visited the magnificent
stables and palace of Chantilly, and immediately after dinner set out
for Paris, where they arrived in the evening, and hired apartments at an
hotel in the Faubourg St. Germaine, not far from the playhouse.



CHAPTER XXXIX.



He is involved in an Adventure at Paris, and taken prisoner by the City
Guard--Becomes acquainted with a French Nobleman, who introduces him in
the Beau Monde.


They were no sooner settled in these lodgings, than our hero wrote to
his uncle an account of their safe arrival, and sent another letter to
his friend Gauntlet, with a very tender billet inclosed for his dear
Emilia, to whom he repeated all his former vows of constancy and love.

The next care that engrossed him was that of bespeaking several suits
of clothes suitable to the French mode; and, in the mean time, he never
appeared abroad, except in the English coffee-house, where he soon
became acquainted with some of his own countrymen, who were at Paris on
the same footing with himself. The third evening after his journey, he
was engaged in a party of those young sparks, at the house of a noted
traiteur, whose wife was remarkably handsome, and otherwise extremely
well qualified for alluring customers to her house. To this lady our
young gentleman was introduced as a stranger fresh from England; and
he was charmed with her personal accomplishments, as well as with the
freedom and gaiety of her conversation. Her frank deportment persuaded
him that she was one of those kind creatures who granted favours to the
best bidder: on this supposition he began to be so importunate in
his addresses, that the fair bourgeoise was compelled to cry aloud
in defence of her own virtue. Her husband ran immediately to her
assistance, and finding her in a very alarming situation, flew upon her
ravisher with such fury, that he was fain to quit his prey, and turn
against the exasperated traiteur, whom he punished without mercy for
his impudent intrusion. The lady, seeing her yoke-fellow treated with
so little respect, espoused his cause, and, fixing her nails in his
antagonist's face, sacrificed all one side of his nose. The noise of
this encounter brought all the servants of the house to the rescue of
their master; and Peregrine's company opposing them, a general battle
ensued, in which the French were totally routed, the wife insulted, and
the husband kicked downstairs.

The publican, enraged at the indignity which had been offered to him and
his family, went out into the street, and implored the protection of
the guet, or city guard, which, having heard his complaint, fixed their
bayonets and surrounded the door, to the number of twelve or fourteen.
The young gentlemen, flushed with their success, and considering the
soldiers as so many London watchmen whom they had often put to flight,
drew their swords, and sallied out, with Peregrine at their head.
Whether the guard respected them as foreigners, or inexperienced youths
intoxicated with liquor, they opened to right and left, and gave them
room to pass without opposition. This complaisance, which was the effect
of compassion, being misinterpreted by the English leader, he, out of
mere wantonness, attempted to trip up the heels of the soldier that
stood next him, but failed in the execution, and received a blow on his
breast with the butt-end of a fusil, that made him stagger several paces
backward. Incensed at this audacious application, the whole company
charged the detachment sword in hand and, after an obstinate engagement,
in which divers wounds were given and received, every soul of them was
taken, and conveyed to the main-guard. The commanding officer being made
acquainted with the circumstances of the quarrel, in consideration
of their youth and national ferocity, for which the French make large
allowances, set them all at liberty, after having gently rebuked them
for the irregularity and insolence of their conduct; so that all our
hero acquired by his gallantry and courage, was a number of scandalous
marks upon his visage that confined him a whole week to his chamber.
It was impossible to conceal this disaster from Mr. Jolter, who, having
obtained intelligence of the particulars, did not fail to remonstrate
against the rashness of the adventure, which, he observed, must have
been fatal to them, had their enemies been other than Frenchmen, who,
of all people under the sun, most rigorously observe the laws of
hospitality.

As the governor's acquaintance lay chiefly among Irish and English
priests, and a set of low people who live by making themselves necessary
to strangers, either in teaching the French language, or executing small
commissions with which they are intrusted, he was not the most proper
person in the world for regulating the taste of a young gentleman who
travelled for improvement, in expectation of making a figure one day
in his own country. Being conscious of his own incapacity, he contented
himself with the office of a steward, and kept a faithful account of all
the money that was disbursed in the course of their family expense: not
but that he was acquainted with all the places which were visited by
strangers on their first arrival at Paris; and he knew to a liard what
was commonly given to the Swiss of each remarkable hotel; though, with
respect to the curious painting and statuary that everywhere abounded in
that metropolis, he was more ignorant than the domestic that attends for
a livre a day.

In short, Mr. Jolter could give a very good account of the stages on the
road, and save the expense of Antonini's detail of the curiosities
in Paris: he was a connoisseur in ordinaries, from twelve to
five-and-thirty livres, knew all the rates of fiacre and remise, could
dispute with a tailleur or a traiteur upon the articles of his bill,
and scold the servants in tolerable French. But the laws, customs,
and genius of the people, the characters of individuals, and scenes
of polished life, were subjects which he had neither opportunities to
observe, inclination to consider, nor discernment to distinguish. All
his maxims were the suggestions of pedantry and prejudice; so that his
perception was obscured, his judgment biased, his address awkward,
and his conversation absurd and unentertaining: yet such as I have
represented this tutor, are the greatest part of those animals who
lead raw boys about the world, under the denomination of travelling
governors. Peregrine, therefore, being perfectly well acquainted with
the extent of Mr. Jolter's abilities, never dreamt of consulting him
in the disposition of his conduct, but parcelled out his time to the
dictates of his own reflection, and the information and direction of his
companions, who had lived longer in France, and consequently were better
acquainted with the pleasures of the place.

As soon as he was in a condition to appear a la Francaise, he hired a
genteel chariot by the month, made the tour of the Luxembourg gallery,
Palais Royal, all the remarkable hotels, churches, and celebrated places
in Paris; visited St. Cloud, Marli, Versailles, Trianon, St. Germaine,
and Fountainebleau, enjoyed the opera, Italian and French comedy; and
seldom failed of appearing in the public walks, in hopes of meeting with
Mrs. Hornbeck, or some adventure suited to his romantic disposition.
He never doubted that his person would attract the notice of some
distinguished inamorata, and was vain enough to believe that few female
hearts were able to resist the artillery of his accomplishments, should
he once find an opportunity of planting it to advantage. He presented
himself, however, at all the spectacles for many weeks, without reaping
the fruits of his expectation; and began to entertain a very indifferent
idea of the French discernment, which had overlooked him so long,
when one day, in his way to the opera, his chariot was stopped by an
embarrass in the street, occasioned by two peasants, who having driven
their carts against each other, quarrelled, and went to loggerheads on
the spot. Such a rencounter is so uncommon in France, that the people
shut up their shops, and from their windows threw cold water upon the
combatants, with a view of putting an end to the battle, which was
maintained with great fury, and very little skill, until one of them
receiving an accidental fall, the other took the advantage of this
misfortune, and, fastening upon him, as he lay, began to thump the
pavement with his head.

Our hero's equipage being detained close by the field of this
contention, Pipes could not bear to see the laws of boxing so
scandalously transgressed, and, leaping from his station, pulled the
offender from his antagonist, whom he raised up, and in the English
language encouraged to a second essay, instructing him at the same time
by clenching his fists according to art, and putting himself in a proper
attitude. Thus confirmed, the enraged carman sprang upon his foe, and
in all appearance would have effectually revenged the injury he had
sustained, if he had not been prevented by the interposition of a
lacquey belonging to a nobleman, whose coach was obliged to halt in
consequence of the dispute. This footman, who was distinguished by
a cane, descending from his post, without the least ceremony or
expostulation, began to employ his weapon upon the head and shoulders
of the peasant who had been patronized by Pipes; upon which, Thomas,
resenting such ungenerous behaviour, bestowed such a stomacher upon
the officious intermeddler, as discomposed the whole economy of his
entrails, and obliged him to discharge the interjection Ah! with
demonstrations of great anguish and amazement. The other two footmen
who stood behind the coach, seeing their fellow-servant so insolently
assaulted, flew to his assistance, and rallied a most disagreeable
shower upon the head of his aggressor, who had no means of diversion or
defence.

Peregrine, though he did not approve of Tom's conduct, could not bear
to see him so roughly handled, especially as he thought his own honour
concerned in the fray; and therefore, quitting his machine, came to the
rescue of his attendant, and charged his adversaries sword in hand.
Two of them no sooner perceived this reinforcement, than they betook
themselves to flight; and Pipes, having twisted the cane out of the
hands of the third, belaboured him so unmercifully, that our hero
thought proper to interpose his authority in his behalf. The common
people stood aghast at this unprecedented boldness of Pickle, who
understanding that the person whose servants he had disciplined was a
general and prince of the blood, went up to the coach, and asked pardon
for what he had done, imputing his own behaviour to his ignorance of
the other's quality. The old nobleman accepted of his apology with great
politeness, thanking him for the trouble he had taken to reform the
manners of his domestics; and guessing from our youth's appearance that
he was some stranger of condition, very courteously invited him into the
coach, on the supposition that they were both going to the opera. Pickle
gladly embraced this opportunity of becoming acquainted with a person
of such rank, and, ordering his own chariot to follow, accompanied
the count to his loge, where he conversed with him during the whole
entertainment.

He soon perceived that Peregrine was not deficient in spirit or sense,
and seemed particularly pleased with his engaging manner and easy
deportment, qualifications for which the English nation is by no means
remarkable in France, and therefore the more conspicuous and agreeable
in the character of our hero, whom the nobleman carried home that same
evening, and introduced to his lady and several persons of fashion who
supped at his house. Peregrine was quite captivated by their affable
behaviour and the vivacity of their discourse; and, after having been
honoured with particular marks of consideration, took his leave, fully
determined to cultivate such a valuable acquaintance.

His vanity suggested, that now the time was come when he should profit
by his talents among the fair sex, on whom he resolved to employ his
utmost art and address. With this view he assiduously engaged in all
parties to which he had access by means of his noble friend, who let
slip no opportunity of gratifying his ambition. He for some time shared
in all his amusements, and was entertained in many of the best families
of France; but he did not long enjoy that elevation of hope, which had
flattered his imagination. He soon perceived that it would be impossible
to maintain the honourable connections he had made, without engaging
every day at quadrille, or, in other words, losing his money; for every
person of rank, whether male or female, was a professed gamester, who
knew and practised all the finesse of the art, of which he was entirely
ignorant. Besides, he began to find himself a mere novice in French
gallantry, which is supported by an amazing volubility of tongue, and
obsequious and incredible attention to trifles, a surprising faculty
of laughing out of pure complaisance, and a nothingness of conversation
which he could never attain. In short, our hero, who among his own
countrymen would have passed for a sprightly, entertaining fellow, was
considered in the brilliant assemblies of France as a youth of a very
phlegmatic disposition. No wonder, then, that his pride was mortified
at his own want of importance, which he did not fail to ascribe to their
defect in point of judgment and taste. He conceived a disgust at the
mercenary conduct, as well as the shallow intellects, of the ladies; and
after he had spent some months, and a round sum of money, in fruitless
attendance and addresses, he fairly quitted the pursuit, and consoled
himself with the conversation of a merry fille de joie, whose good
graces he acquired by an allowance of twenty louis per month. That he
might the more easily afford this expense, he dismissed his chariot and
French lacquey at the same time.

He then entered himself in a noted academy, in order to finish his
exercises, and contracted an acquaintance with a few sensible people,
whom he distinguished at the coffee-house and ordinary to which he
resorted, and who contributed not a little to the improvement of his
knowledge and taste; for, prejudice apart, it must be owned that France
abounds with men of consummate honour, profound sagacity, and the most
liberal education. From the conversation of such, he obtained a distinct
idea of their government and constitution; and though he could not help
admiring the excellent order and economy of their police, the result of
all his inquiries was self-congratulation on his title to the privileges
of a British subject. Indeed this invaluable birthright was rendered
conspicuous by such flagrant occurrences, which fell every day almost
under his observation, that nothing but the grossest prejudice could
dispute its existence.



CHAPTER XL.



Acquires a distinct Idea of the French Government--Quarrels with a
Mousquetaire, whom he afterwards fights and vanquishes, after having
punished him for interfering in his amorous Recreations.


Among many other instances of the same nature, I believe it will not be
amiss to exhibit a few specimens of their administration, which happened
during his abode at Paris; that those who have not the opportunity
of observing for themselves, or are in danger of being influenced by
misrepresentation, may compare their own condition with that of their
neighbours, and do justice to the constitution under which they live.

A lady of distinguished character having been lampooned by some obscure
scribbler, who could not be discovered, the ministry, in consequence
of her complaint, ordered no fewer than five-and-twenty abbes to be
apprehended and sent to the Bastille, on the maxim of Herod, when he
commanded the innocents to be murdered, hoping that the principal object
of his cruelty would not escape in the general calamity; and the
friends of those unhappy prisoners durst not even complain of the unjust
persecution, but shrugged up their shoulders, and in silence deplored
their misfortune, uncertain whether or not they should ever set eyes on
them again.

About the same time a gentleman of family, who had been oppressed by a
certain powerful duke that lived in the neighbourhood, found means to
be introduced to the king, who, receiving his petition very graciously,
asked in what regiment he served; and when the memorialist answered
that he had not the honour of being in the service, returned the paper
unopened, and refused to hear one circumstance of his complaint; so
that, far from being redressed, he remained more than ever exposed to
the tyranny of his oppressors; nay, so notorious is the discouragement
of all those who presume to live independent of court favour and
connections that one of the gentlemen, whose friendship Peregrine
cultivated, frankly owned he was in possession of a most romantic place
in one of the provinces, and deeply enamoured of a country life; and
yet he durst not reside upon his own estate, lest, by slackening in his
attendance upon the great, who honoured him with their protection, he
should fall a prey to some rapacious intendant.

As for the common people, they are so much inured to the scourge and
insolence of power, that every shabby subaltern, every beggarly cadet of
the noblesse, every low retainer to the court, insults and injures them
with impunity. A certain ecuyer, or horsedealer, belonging to the king,
being one day under the hands of a barber, who happened to cut the head
of a pimple on his face, he started up, and drawing his sword, wounded
him desperately in the shoulder. The poor tradesman, hurt as he was,
made an effort to retire, and was followed by this barbarous assassin,
who, not contented with the vengeance he had taken, plunged his sword a
second time into his body, and killed him on the spot. Having performed
this inhuman exploit, he dressed himself with great deliberation, and
going to Versailles, immediately obtained a pardon for what he had done;
triumphing in his brutality with such insolence, that the very next time
he had occasion to be shaved he sat with his sword ready drawn, in order
to repeat the murder, in case the barber should commit the same mistake.
Yet so tamed are those poor people to subjection, that when Peregrine
mentioned this assassination to his own trimmer, with expressions of
horror and detestation, the infatuated wretch replied, that without
all doubt it was a misfortune, but it proceeded from the gentleman's
passion; and observed, by way of encomium on the government, that such
vivacity is never punished in France.

A few days after this outrage was committed, our youth, who was a
professed enemy to all oppression, being in one of the first loges
at the comedy, was eye-witness of an adventure which filled him with
indignation: a tall, ferocious fellow, in the parterre, without the
least provocation, but prompted by the mere wantonness of pride, took
hold of the hat of a very decent young man who happened to stand before
him, and twirled it round upon his head. The party thus offended turned
to his aggressor, and civilly asked the reason of such treatment: but
he received no answer; and when he looked the other way, the insult
was repeated: upon which he expressed his resentment as became a man of
spirit, and desired the offender to walk out with him. No sooner did
he thus signify his intention, than his adversary, swelling with rage,
cocked his hat fiercely in his face, and, fixing his hands in his sides,
pronounced, with the most imperious tone, "Hark ye, Mr. Round Periwig,
you must know that I am a mousquetaire." Scarce had this awful word
escaped from his lips, when the blood forsook the lips of the poor
challenger, who, with the most abject submission, begged pardon for
his presumption, and with difficulty obtained it, on condition that he
should immediately quit the place. Having thus exercised his authority,
he turned to one of his companions, and, with an air of disdainful
ridicule, told him he was like to have had an affair with a bourgeois;
adding, by way of heightening the irony, "Egad! I believe he is a
physician."

Our hero was so much shocked and irritated at this licentious behaviour,
that he could not suppress his resentment, which he manifested by saying
to this Hector, "Sir, a physician may be a man of honour." To this
remonstrance, which was delivered with a very significant countenance,
the mousquetaire made no other reply, but that of echoing his assertion
with a loud laugh, in which he was joined by his confederates.
Peregrine, glowing with resentment, called him a fanfaron, and withdrew
in expectation of being followed into the street. The other understood
the hint; and a rencounter must have ensued had not the officer of the
guard, who overheard what passed, prevented their meeting, by putting
the mousquetaire immediately under arrest. Our young gentleman waited at
the door of the parterre, until he was informed of this interposition,
and then went home very much chagrined at his disappointment; for he was
an utter stranger to fear and diffidence on those occasions, and had set
his heart upon chastising the insolence of this bully, who had treated
him with such disrespect.

This adventure was not so private but that it reached the ears of Mr.
Jolter by the canal of some English gentlemen who were present when it
happened; and the governor, who entertained a most dreadful idea of
the mousquetaires, being alarmed at a quarrel, the consequence of which
might be fatal to his charge, waited on the British ambassador, and
begged he would take Peregrine under his immediate protection. His
excellency, having heard the circumstances of the dispute, sent one of
his gentlemen to invite the youth to dinner; and after having assured
him that he might depend upon his countenance and regard, represented
the rashness and impetuosity of his conduct so much to his conviction,
that he promised to act more circumspectly for the future, and drop all
thoughts of the mousquetaire from that moment.

A few days after he had taken this laudable resolution, Pipes, who had
carried a billet to his mistress, informed him that he had perceived a
laced hat lying upon a marble slab in her apartment; and that when
she came out of her own chamber to receive the letter, she appeared in
manifest disorder. From these hints of intelligence our young gentleman
suspected, or rather made no doubt of, her infidelity; and being by this
time well nigh cloyed with possession, was not sorry to find she had
given him cause to renounce her correspondence. That he might therefore
detect her in the very breach of duty, and at the same time punish the
gallant who had the presumption to invade his territories, he concerted
with himself a plan which was executed in this manner. During his next
interview with his dulcinea, far from discovering the least sign of
jealousy or discontent, he affected the appearance of extraordinary
fondness, and, after having spent the afternoon with the show
of uncommon satisfaction, told her he was engaged in a party for
Fountainebleau, and would set out from Paris that same evening; so that
he should not have the pleasure of seeing her again for some days.

The lady, who was very well versed in the arts of her occupation,
pretended to receive this piece of news with great affliction, and
conjured him, with such marks of real tenderness, to return as soon as
possible to her longing arms, that he went away almost convinced of her
sincerity. Determined, however, to prosecute his scheme, he actually
departed from Paris with two or three gentlemen of his acquaintance,
who had hired a remise for a jaunt to Versailles; and having accompanied
them as far as the village of Passe, he returned in the dusk of the
evening on foot.

He waited impatiently till midnight, and then, arming himself with a
brace of pocket-pistols, and attended by trusty Tom with a cudgel in his
hand, repaired to the lodgings of his suspected inamorata. Having given
Pipes his cue, he knocked gently at the door, which was no sooner opened
by the lacquey, than he bolted in, before the fellow could recollect
himself from the confusion occasioned by his unexpected appearance; and,
leaving Tom to guard the door, ordered the trembling valet to light
him upstairs into his lady's apartment. The first object that presented
itself to his view, when he entered the antechamber, was a sword upon
the table, which he immediately seized, exclaiming, in a loud and
menacing voice, that his mistress was false, and then in bed with
another gallant, whom he would instantly put to death. This declaration,
confirmed by many terrible oaths, he calculated for the hearing of his
rival, who, understanding his sanguinary purpose, started up in great
trepidation, and, naked as he was, dropped from the balcony into the
street, while Peregrine thundered at the door for admittance, and,
guessing his design, gave him an opportunity of making this precipitate
retreat. Pipes, who stood sentinel at the door, observing the fugitive
descend, attacked him with his cudgel; and sweating him from one end of
the street to the other, at last committed him to the guet by whom he
was conveyed to the officer on duty in a most disgraceful and deplorable
condition.

Meanwhile Peregrine, having burst open the chamber door, found the lady
in the utmost dread and consternation, and the spoils of her favourite
scattered about the room; but his resentment was doubly gratified, when
he learned, upon inquiry, that the person who had been so disagreeably
interrupted was no other than that individual mousquetaire with whom he
had quarrelled at the comedy. He upbraided the nymph with her
perfidy and ingratitude; and telling her that she must not expect the
continuance of his regard, or the appointments which she had hitherto
enjoyed from his bounty, went home to his own lodgings, overjoyed at the
issue of the adventure.

The soldier, exasperated at the disgrace he had undergone, as well as
the outrageous insult of the English valet, whom he believed his master
had tutored for that purpose, no sooner extricated himself from the
opprobrious situation he had incurred, than, breathing vengeance
against the author of the affront, he came to Peregrine's apartment, and
demanded satisfaction upon the ramparts next morning before sunrise.
Our hero assured him he would not fail to pay his respects to him at the
time and place appointed; and foreseeing that he might be prevented from
keeping this engagement by the officious care of his governor, who saw
the mousquetaire come in, he told Mr. Jolter, that the Frenchman
had visited him in consequence of an order he had received from his
superiors, to make an apology for his rude behaviour to him in the
playhouse, and that they had parted very good friends. This assurance,
together with Pickle's tranquil and unconcerned behaviour through the
day, quieted the terrors which had begun to take possession of his
tutor's imagination; so that the youth had an opportunity of giving him
the slip at night, when he betook himself to the lodgings of a friend,
whom he engaged as his second, and with whom he immediately took the
field, in order to avoid the search which Jolter, upon missing him,
might set on foot.

This was a necessary precaution; for as he did not appear at supper, and
Pipes, who usually attended him in his excursions, could give no account
of his motions, the governor was dreadfully alarmed at his absence, and
ordered his man to run in quest of his master to all the places which
he used to frequent, while he himself went to the commissaire, and,
communicating his suspicions, was accommodated with a party of the
horse-guards, who patrolled round all the environs of the city, with a
view of preventing the rencounter. Pipes might have directed them to the
lady, by whose information they could have learned the name and lodgings
of the mousquetaire, and if he had been apprehended the duel would not
have happened; but he did not choose to run the risk of disobliging his
master by intermeddling in the affair, and was moreover very desirous
that the Frenchman should be humbled; for he never doubted that
Peregrine was more than a match for any two men in France. In this
confidence, therefore, he sought his master with great diligence, not
with a view of disappointing his intention, but in order to attend him
to the battle, that he might stand by him, and see justice done.

While this inquiry was carried on, our hero and his companion concealed
themselves among some weeds, that grew on the edge of the parapet, a few
yards from the spot where he had agreed to meet the mousquetaire;
and scarce had the morning rendered objects distinguishable when they
perceived their men advancing boldly to the place. Peregrine, seeing
them approach sprang forward to the ground, that he might have the glory
of anticipating his antagonist; and swords being drawn, all four were
engaged in a twinkling. Pickle's eagerness had well nigh cost him
his life; for, without minding his footing, he flew directly to his
opposite, and, stumbling over a stone, was wounded on one side of his
head before he could recover his attitude. Far from being dispirited at
this check, it served only to animate him the more; being endowed with
uncommon agility, he retrieved his posture in a moment; and having
parried a second thrust, returned the lunge with such incredible speed,
that the soldier had not time to resume his guard, but was immediately
run through the bend of his right arm; and the sword dropping out of his
hand, our hero's victory was complete.

Having despatched his own business, and received the acknowledgment of
his adversary who, with a look of infinite mortification, answered, that
his was the fortune of the day, he ran to part the seconds, just as the
weapon was twisted out of his companion's hand: upon which he took his
place; and, in all likelihood, an obstinate dispute would have ensued,
had they not been interrupted by the guard, at sight of whom the two
Frenchmen scampered off. Our young gentleman and his friend allowed
themselves to be taken prisoners by the detachment which had been sent
out for that purpose, and were carried before the magistrate, who,
having sharply reprimanded them for presuming to act in contempt of the
laws, set them at liberty, in consideration of their being strangers;
cautioning them, at the same time, to beware of such exploits for the
future.

When Peregrine returned to his own lodgings, Pipes, seeing the blood
trickling down upon his master's neckcloth and solitaire, gave evident
tokens of surprise and concern; not for the consequences of the wound,
which he did no suppose dangerous, but for the glory of Old England,
which he was afraid had suffered in the engagement; for he could not
help saying, with an air of chagrin, as he followed the youth into his
chamber, "I do suppose as how you gave that lubberly Frenchman as good
as he brought."



CHAPTER XLI.



Mr. Jolter threatens to leave him on account of his Misconduct, which he
promises to rectify; but his Resolution is defeated by the Impetuosity
of his Passions--He meets accidentally with Mrs. Hornbeck, who elopes
with him from her Husband, but is restored by the Interposition of the
British Ambassador.


Though Mr. Jolter was extremely well pleased at the safety of his pupil,
he could not forgive him for the terror and anxiety he had undergone on
his account; and roundly told him, that notwithstanding the inclination
and attachment he had to his person, he would immediately depart for
England, if ever he should hear of his being involved in such another
adventure; for it could not be expected that he would sacrifice his own
quiet, to an unrequited regard for one who seemed determined to keep him
in continual uneasiness and apprehension.

To this declaration Pickle made answer, that Mr. Jolter, by this time,
ought to be convinced of the attention he had always paid to his ease
and satisfaction; since he well knew that he had ever looked upon him in
the light of a friend rather than as a counsellor or tutor; and desired
his company in France with a view of promoting his interest, not for any
emolument he could expect from his instruction. This being the case, he
was at liberty to consult his own inclinations, with regard to going or
staying; though he could not help owning himself obliged by the concern
he expressed for his safety, and would endeavour, for his own sake, to
avoid giving him any cause of disturbance in time to come.

No man was more capable of moralizing upon Peregrine's misconduct than
himself: his reflections were extremely just and sagacious, and attended
with no other disadvantage but that of occurring too late. He projected
a thousand salutary schemes of deportment, but, like other projectors,
he never had interest enough with the ministry of his passions to bring
any of them to bear. He had, in the heyday of his gallantry received a
letter from his friend Gauntlet with a kind postscript from his charming
Emilia; but it arrived at a very unseasonable juncture, when his
imagination was engrossed by conquests that more agreeably flattered his
ambition; so that he could not find leisure and inclination, from that
day, to honour the correspondence which he himself had solicited. His
vanity had, by the time, disapproved of the engagement he had contracted
in the rawness and inexperience of youth; suggesting, that he was born
to such an important figure in life, as ought to raise his ideas
above the consideration of any such middling connections, and fix his
attention upon objects of the most sublime attraction. These dictates
of ridiculous pride had almost effaced the remembrance of his amiable
mistress, or at least so far warped his morals and integrity, that he
actually began to conceive hopes of her altogether unworthy of his own
character and her deserts.

Meanwhile, being destitute of a toy for the dalliance of his idle hours,
he employed several spies, and almost every day made a tour of the
public places in person, with a view of procuring intelligence of Mr.
Hornbeck, with whose wife he longed to have another interview. In this
course of expectation had he exercised himself a whole fortnight, when,
chancing to be at the Hospital of the Invalids with a gentleman lately
arrived from England, he no sooner entered the church than he perceived
his lady, attended by her spouse, who at sight of our hero changed
colour and looked another way, in order to discourage any communication
between them. But the young man, who was not so easily repulsed,
advanced with great assurance to his fellow-traveller, and taking him by
the hand, expressed his satisfaction at this unexpected meeting; kindly
upbraiding him for his precipitate retreat from Chantilly. Before
Hornbeck could make any reply he went up to his wife, whom he
complimented in the same manner; assuring her, with some significant
glances, he ass extremely mortified that she had put it out of his power
to pay his respects to her on his first arrival at Paris; and then,
turning to her husband, who thought proper to keep close to him in this
conference, begged to know where he could have the honour of waiting
upon him; observing at the same time, that he himself lived a l'Academie
de Palfrenier.

Mr. Hornbeck, without making any apology for his elopement on the road,
thanked Mr. Pickle for his complaisance in a very cool and disobliging
manner; saying that as he intended to shift his lodgings in a day or
two, he could not expect the pleasure of seeing him, until he should be
settled, when he would call at the academy, and conduct him to his new
habitation.

Pickle, who was not unacquainted with the sentiments of this jealous
gentleman, did not put much confidence in his promise, and therefore
made divers efforts to enjoy a little private conversation with his
wife; but he was baffled in all his attempts by the indefatigable
vigilance of her keeper, and reaped no other immediate pleasure from
this accidental meeting, than that of a kind squeeze while he handed her
into the coach. However, as he had been witness to some instances of
her invention, and was no stranger to the favourable disposition of
her heart, he entertained some faint hopes of profiting by her
understanding, and was not deceived in his expectation; for the very
next forenoon, a Savoyard called at the academy, and put the following
billet in his hand:--

     "Coind Sur,--Heaving the playsure of meating with you at the
     osspital of awilheads, I take this lubbertea of latin you
     know, that I lotch at the hottail de May cong dangle rouy
     Doghouseten, with two postis at the gait, naytheir of um very
     hole, ware I shall be at the windore, if in kais you will be
     so good as to pass that way at sicks a cloak in the heavening
     when Mr. Hornbeck goes to the Calf hay de Contea. Prey for the
     loaf of Geesus keep this from the nolegs of my hussban, ells he
     will make me leed a hell upon urth.--Being all from, deer Sur,
     your most umbell servan wile

     "Deborah Hornbeck."

Our young gentleman was ravished at the receipt of this elegant epistle,
which was directed, A Monsr. Monsr. Pickhell, a la Gaddamme de Paul
Freny, and did not fail to obey the summons at the hour of assignation;
when the lady, true to her appointment, beckoned him up-stairs, and he
had the good fortune to be admitted unseen.

After the first transports of their mutual joy at meeting, she told him,
that her husband had been very surly and cross ever since the adventure
at Chantilly, which he had not yet digested; that he had laid severe
injunctions upon her to avoid all commerce with Pickle, and even
threatened to shut her up in a convent for life, if ever she should
discover the least inclination to renew that acquaintance; that she had
been cooped up in her chamber since her arrival at Paris, without being
permitted to see the place, or indeed any company, except that of her
landlady, whose language she did not understand; so that her spirit
being broken, and her health impaired, he was prevailed upon some days
ago to indulge her in a few airings, during which she had seen the
gardens of the Luxembourg, the Tuileries, and Palais Royal, though at
those times when there was no company in the walks; and that it was
in one of those excursions she had the happiness of meeting with him.
Finally, she gave him to understand, that rather than continue longer
in such confinement with the man whom she could not love, she would
instantly give him the slip, and put herself under the protection of her
lover.

Rash and unthinking as this declaration might be, the young
gentleman was so much of a gallant, that he would not balk the
lady's inclinations; and too infatuated by his passion to foresee the
consequences of such a dangerous step: he therefore, without hesitation,
embraced the proposal; and the coast being clear, they sallied out into
the street, where Peregrine, calling a fiacre, ordered the coachman
to drive them to a tavern; but knowing it would not be in his power to
conceal her from the search of the lieutenant de police, if she should
remain within the walls of Paris, he hired a remise, and carried her
that same evening to Villejuif, about four leagues from town, where he
stayed with her all night; and having boarded her on a genteel pension,
and settled the economy of his future visits, returned next day to his
own lodgings.

While he thus enjoyed his success, her husband endured the tortures of
the damned. When he returned from the coffee-house, and understood
that his wife had eloped, without being perceived by any person in the
family, he began to rave and foam with rage and jealousy; and, in the
fury of distraction, accused the landlady of being an accomplice in her
escape, threatening to complain of her to the commissaire. The woman
could not conceive how Mrs. Hornbeck, who she knew was an utter stranger
to the French language, and kept no sort of company, could elude the
caution of her husband, and find any refuge in a place where she had
no acquaintance, and began to suspect the lodger's emotion was no other
than an affected passion to conceal his own practices upon his wife, who
had perhaps fallen a sacrifice to his jealous disposition. She therefore
spared him the trouble of putting his menaces into execution by going to
the magistrate, without any further deliberation, and giving an account
of what she knew concerning this mysterious affair, with certain
insinuations against Hornbeck's character, which she represented as
peevish and capricious to the last degree.

While she thus anticipated the purpose of the plaintiff, her information
was interrupted by the arrival of the party himself, who exhibited
his complaint with such evident marks of perturbation, anger, and
impatience, that the commissaire could easily perceive that he had
no share in the disappearance of his wife, and directed him to the
lieutenant de police, whose province it is to take cognizance of such
occurrences. This gentleman, who presides over the city of Paris, having
heard the particulars of Hornbeck's misfortune, asked if he suspected
any individual person as the seducer of his yoke-fellow; and when he
mentioned Peregrine as the object of his suspicion, granted a warrant
and a detachment of soldiers, to search for and retrieve the fugitive.

The husband conducted them immediately to the academy where our hero
lodged; and having rummaged the whole place, to the astonishment of
Mr. Jolter, without finding either his wife or the supposed ravisher,
accompanied them to all the public-houses in the Faubourg, which having
examined also without success, he returned to the magistrate in a state
of despair, and obtained a promise of his making such an effectual
inquiry, that in three days he should have an account of her, provided
she was alive, and within the walls of Paris.

Our adventurer, who had foreseen all this disturbance, was not at all
surprised when his governor told him what had happened, and conjured
him to restore the woman to the right owner, with many pathetic
remonstrances touching the heinous sin of adultery, the distraction of
the unfortunate husband, and the danger of incurring the resentment of
an arbitrary government, which, upon application being made would
not fail of espousing the cause of the injured. He denied, with great
effrontery, that he had the least concern in the matter, pretended to
resent the deportment of Hornbeck, whom he threatened to chastise for
his scandalous suspicion, and expressed his displeasure at the credulity
of Jolter, who seemed to doubt the veracity of his asseveration.

Notwithstanding this confident behaviour, Jolter could not help
entertaining doubts of his sincerity, and, visiting the disconsolate
swain, begged he would, for the honour of his country, as well as
for the sake of his own reputation, discontinue his addresses to the
lieutenant de police, and apply to the British ambassador, who, by dint
of friendly admonitions, would certainly prevail upon Mr. Pickle to do
him all the justice in his power, if he was really the author of
the injury he had sustained. The governor urged this advice with the
appearance of so much sympathy and concern, promising to co-operate
within his influence in his behalf, that Hornbeck embraced the proposal,
communicated his purpose to the magistrate, who commended the resolution
as the most decent and desirable expedient he could use, and then waited
upon his excellency, who readily espoused his cause, and sending for the
young gentleman that same evening, read him such a lecture in private,
as extorted a confession of the whole affair. Not that he assailed him
with sour and supercilious maxims, or severe rebuke; because he
had penetration enough to discern that Peregrine's disposition was
impregnable to all such attacks; but he first of all rallied him on his
intriguing genius; then, in a humorous manner, described the distraction
of the poor cuckold, who he owned was justly punished for the absurdity
of his conduct; and lastly, upon the supposition that it would be no
great effort in Pickle to part with such a conquest, especially after
it had been for some time possessed, represented the necessity and
expediency of restoring her, not only out of regard to his own character
and that of his nation, but also with a view to his ease, which would in
a little time be very much invaded by such an incumbrance, that in all
probability would involve him in a thousand difficulties and disgusts.
Besides, he assured him that he was already, by order of the lieutenant
de police, surrounded with spies, who would watch all his motions, and
immediately discover the retreat in which he had disposed his prize.
These arguments, and the frank familiar manner in which they were
delivered--but, above all, the last consideration--induced the young
gentleman to disclose the whole of his proceedings to the ambassador;
and he promised to be governed by his direction, provided the lady
should not suffer for the step she had taken, but, be received by her
husband with due reverence and respect. These stipulations being agreed
to, he undertook to produce her in eight-and-forty hours; and, taking
coach, immediately drove to the place of her residence, where he spent
a whole day and night in convincing her of the impossibility of their
enjoying each other in that manner; then, returning to Paris, he
delivered her into the hands of the ambassador, who, having assured her
that she might depend upon his friendship and protection, in case she
should find herself aggrieved by the jealous temper of Mr. Hornbeck,
restored her to her legitimate lord, whom he counselled to exempt her
from that restraint which in all probability had been the cause of
her elopement, and endeavour to conciliate her affection by tender and
respectful usage.

The husband behaved with great humility and compliance, protesting
that his chief study should be to contrive parties for her pleasure and
satisfaction. But no sooner did he regain possession of his stray sheep,
than he locked her up more closely than ever; and after having revolved
various schemes for her reformation, determined to board her in
a convent, under the inspection of a prudent abbess, who should
superintend her morals, and recall her to the paths of virtue which
she had forsaken. With this view, he consulted an English priest of his
acquaintance, who advised him to settle her in a monastery at Lisle,
that she might be as far as possible from the machinations of her lover,
and gave him a letter of recommendation to the superior of a certain
convent in that place, for which Mr. Hornbeck set out in a few days with
his troublesome charge.



CHAPTER XLII.



Peregrine resolves to return to England--Is diverted with the odd
Characters of two of his Countrymen, with whom he contracts an
acquaintance in the Apartments of the Palais Royal.


In the mean time our hero received a letter from his aunt, importing
that the commodore was in a very declining way, and longed much to see
him at the garrison; and at the same time he heard from his sister, who
gave him to understand that the young gentleman, who had for some
time made his addresses to her, was become very pressing in his
solicitations; so that she wanted to know in what manner she should
answer his repeated entreaties. Those two considerations determined the
young gentleman to retain to his native country; a resolution that was
far from being disagreeable to Jolter, who knew that the incumbent on a
living which was in the gift of Trunnion was extremely old, and that
it would be his interest to be upon the spot at the said incumbent's
decease.

Peregrine, who had resided about fifteen months in France, thought he
was now sufficiently qualified for eclipsing most of his contemporaries
in England, and therefore prepared for his departure with infinite
alacrity; being moreover inflamed with the most ardent desire of
revisiting his friends, and renewing his connections, particularly with
Emilia, whose heart he by this time, thought he was able to reduce on
his own terms.

As he proposed to make the tour of Flanders and Holland in his return
to England, he resolved to stay at Paris a week or two after his affairs
were settled, in hope of finding some companion disposed for the same
journey; and, in order to refresh his memory, made a second circuit
round all the places in that capital, where any curious production of
art is to be seen. In the course of this second examination he chanced
to enter the Palais Royal, just as two gentlemen alighted from a fiacre
at the gate; and all three being admitted at the same time, he soon
perceived that the strangers were of his own country. One of them was a
young man, in whose air and countenance appeared all the uncouth
gravity and supercilious self-conceit of a physician piping-hot from his
studies; while the other, to whom his companion spoke by the appellation
of Mr. Pallet, displayed at first sight a strange composition of levity
and assurance. Indeed, their characters, dress, and address, were
strongly contrasted: the doctor wore a suit of black, and a huge
tie-wig, neither suitable to his own age, nor the fashion of the country
where he then lived; whereas the other, though seemingly turned of
fifty, strutted in a gay summer dress of the Parisian cut, with a bag to
his own grey hair, and a red feather in his hat, which he carried under
his arm. As these figures seemed to promise something entertaining,
Pickle entered into conversation with them immediately, and soon
discovered that the old gentleman was a painter from London, who had
stolen a fortnight from his occupation, in order to visit the remarkable
paintings of France and Flanders; and that the doctor had taken the
opportunity of accompanying him in his tour. Being extremely talkative,
he not only communicated these particulars to our hero in a very few
minutes after their meeting, but also took occasion to whisper in his
ear that his fellow-traveller was a man of vast learning and, beyond
all doubt, the greatest poet of the age. As for himself, he was under no
necessity of making his own eulogium; for he soon gave such specimens of
his taste and talents as left Pickle no room to doubt of his capacity.

While they stood considering the pictures in one of the first
apartments, which are by no means the most masterly compositions,
the Swiss, who set up for a connoisseur, looking at a certain piece,
pronounced the word with a note of admiration; upon which Mr. Pallet,
who was not at all a critic in the French language, replied, with
great vivacity, "Manufac, you mean, and a very indifferent piece of
manufacture it is: pray, gentlemen, take notice; there is no keeping in
those heads upon the background, and no relief in the principal figure:
then you'll observe the shadings are harsh to the last degree; and, come
a little closer this way--don't you perceive that the foreshortening of
that arm is monstrous?--egad, sir! The is an absolute fracture in
the limb. Doctor, you understand anatomy: don't you think that muscle
evidently misplaced? Hark ye, Mr. what-d'ye-call-um (turning to the
attendant), what is the name of the dauber who painted that miserable
performance?" The Swiss, imagining that he was all this time expressing
his satisfaction, sanctioned his supposed commendation by exclaiming
sans prix. "Right," cried Pallet: "I could not recollect his name,
though his manner is quite familiar to me. We have a few pieces
in England, done by that same Sangpree; but there they are in no
estimation; we have more taste among us than to relish the productions
of such a miserable gout. A'n't he an ignorant coxcomb, doctor?" The
physician, ashamed of his companion's blunder, thought it was necessary,
for the honour of his wan character, to take notice of it before the
stranger, and therefore answered his question by repeating this line
from Horace:--

Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur.

The painter, who was rather more ignorant of Latin than of French,
taking it for granted that this quotation of his friend conveyed an
assent to his opinion, "Very true," said he, "Potato domine date, this
piece is not worth a single potato." Peregrine was astonished at this
surprising perversion of the words and meaning of a Latin line, which,
at first, he could not help thinking was a premeditated joke; but,
upon second thoughts, he saw no reason to doubt that it was the
extemporaneous effect of sheer pertness and ignorance, at which he
broke out into an immoderate fit of laughter. Pallet, believing that the
gentleman's mirth was occasioned by his arch animadversion upon the work
of Sangpree, underwent the same emotion in a much louder strain, and
endeavoured to heighten the jest by more observations of the same
nature; while the doctor, confounded at his impudence and want of
knowledge, reprimanded him in these words of Homer:--

Siga, me tis allos Achaion touton akouse muthon.

This rebuke, the reader will easily perceive, was not calculated for the
meridian of his friend's intellects, but uttered with a view of raising
his own character in the opinion of Mr. Pickle, who retorted this parade
of learning in three verses from the same author, being part of the
speech of Polydamas to Hector, importing that it is impossible for one
man to excel in everything.

The self-sufficient physician, who did not expect such a repartee from
a youth of Peregrine's appearance, looked upon his reply as a fair
challenge, and instantly rehearsed forty or fifty lines of the Iliad
in a breath. Observing that the stranger made no effort to match this
effusion, he interpreted his silence into submission; then, in order to
ascertain his victory, insulted him with divers fragments of authors,
whom his supposed competitor did not even know by name; while Mr. Pallet
stared with admiration at the profound scholarship of his companion. Our
young gentleman, far from repining at this superiority laughed within
himself at the ridiculous ambition of the pedantic doctor. He rated him
in his own mind as a mere index-hunter, who held the eel of science by
the tail, and foresaw an infinite fund of diversion in his solemnity and
pride, if properly extracted by means of his fellow-traveller's
vanity and assurance. Prompted by these considerations, he resolved to
cultivate their acquaintance, and, if possible, amuse himself at their
expense in his journey through Flanders, understanding that they were
determined upon the same route. In this view he treated them with
extraordinary attention, and seemed to pay particular deference to the
remarks of the painter, who, with great intrepidity, pronounced judgment
upon every picture in the palace, or, in other words, exposed his own
nakedness in every sentence that proceeded from his mouth.

When they came to consider the Murder of the Innocents by Le Brun,
the Swiss observed, that it was un beau morceau, and Mr. Pallet
replied,--"Yes, yes, one may see with half an eye, that it can be
the production of no other; for Bomorso's style both in colouring
and drapery, is altogether peculiar: then his design is tame, and his
expression antic and unnatural. Doctor, you have seen my judgment of
Solomon; I think I may, without presumption--but, I don't choose to make
comparisons; I leave that odious task to other people, and let my works
speak for themselves. France, to be sure, is rich in the arts; but
what is the reason? The king encourages men of genius with honour and
rewards; whereas, in England, we are obliged to stand on our own feet,
and combat the envy and malice of our brethren. Egad! I have a good mind
to come and settle here in Paris. I should like to have an apartment in
the Louvre, with a snug pension of so many thousand livres."

In this manner did Pallet proceed with an eternal rotation of tongue,
floundering from one mistake to another, until it was the turn of
Poussin's Seven Sacraments to be examined. Here again, the Swiss, out
of the abundance of his zeal, expressed his admiration, by saying these
pieces were impayable; when the painter, turning to him, with an air of
exultation, "Pardon me, friend, there you happen to be mistaken: these
are none of Impayable's; but done by Nicholas Pouseen. I have seen
prints of them in England, so that none of your tricks upon travellers,
Mr. Swiss or Swash, or what's your name." He was much elated by this
imaginary triumph of his understanding, which animated him to persevere
in his curious observations upon all the other pieces of that celebrated
collection; but perceiving that the doctor manifested no signs of
pleasure and satisfaction, but rather beheld them with a silent air of
disdain, he could not digest his indifference, and asked, with a waggish
sneer, if ever he had seen such a number of masterpieces before? The
physician, eyeing him with a look of compassion, mingled with contempt,
observed that there was nothing there which deserved the attention
of any person acquainted with the ideas of the ancients; and that
the author of the finest piece now in being was unworthy to clean the
brushes of one of those great masters who are celebrated by the Greek
and Roman writers.

"O lad! O lad!" exclaimed the painter, with a loud laugh, "you have
fairly brought yourself into a dilemma at last, dear doctor; for it is
well known that your ancient Greek and Roman artists knew nothing at
all of the matter, in comparison with our modern masters; for this good
reason, because they had but three or four colours, and knew not how to
paint with oil: besides, which of all your old fusty Grecians would you
put upon a footing with the divine Raphael, the most excellent Michael
Angelo, Bona Roti, the graceful Guido, the bewitching Titian, and above
all others, the sublime Rubens, the--." He would have proceeded with
a long catalogue of names which he had got by heart for the purpose,
without retaining the least idea of their several qualifications, had
not he been interrupted by his friend, whose indignation being kindled
by the irreverence with which he mentioned the Greeks, he called
him blasphemer, Goth, Boeotian, and, in his turn, asked with great
vehemence, which of those puny moderns could match with Panaenus of
Athens, and his brother Phidias; Polycletus of Sicyon; Polygnotus, the
Thracian; Parrhasius of Ephesus, surnamed Abrodiaitos, or the Beau; and
Apelles, the prince of painters? He challenged him to show any portrait
of these days that could vie with the Helen of Zeuxis, the Heraclean; or
any composition equal to the Sacrifice of Iphigenia, by Timanthes,
the Sicyonian; not to mention the Twelve Gods of Asclepiodorus, the
Athenian, for which Mnason, tyrant of Elatea, gave him about three
hundred pounds apiece; or Homer's Hell, by Nicias, who refused sixty
talents, amounting to upwards of eleven thousand pounds, and generously
made a present of it to his own country. He desired him to produce a
collection equal to that in the temple of Delphos, mentioned in the
"Ion" of Euripides; where Hercules and his companion Iolaus, are
represented in the act of killing the Lernaean hydra with golden
sickles, kruseais harpais, where Bellerophon appears on his winged
steed, vanquishing the fire-breathing chimera, tan puripneousan; and the
war of the giants is described. Here Jupiter stands wielding the red-hot
thunderbolts, keraunon amphipuron; there Pallas, dreadful to the view,
Gorgopon, brandishes her spear against the huge Euceladus; and Bacchus,
with slender ivy rods, defeats and slays the ges teknon, or the mighty
son of earth.

The painter was astonished and confounded at this rhapsody of names and
instances, which was uttered with surprising eagerness and rapidity,
suspecting at first that the whole was the creation of his own brain;
but when Pickle, with a view of flattering the doctor's self-conceit,
espoused his side of the question, and confirmed the truth of everything
he advanced, Mr. Pallet changed his opinion, and in emphatic silence
adored the immensity of his friend's understanding. In short, Peregrine
easily perceived that they were false enthusiasts, without the smallest
pretensions to taste and sensibility; and pretended to be in raptures
with they knew not what; the one thinking it was incumbent upon him
to express transports on seeing the works of those who had been most
eminent in their profession, whether they did or did not really raise
his admiration; and the other as a scholar deeming it his duty to
magnify the ancients above all competition, with an affected fervour,
which the knowledge of their excellencies never inspired. Indeed, our
young gentleman so successfully accommodated himself to the disposition
of each, that long before their review was finished, he was become a
particular favourite with both.

From the Palais Royal he accompanied them to the cloisters of the
Carthusian's, where they considered the History of St. Bruno, by Le
Sueur, whose name being utterly unknown to the painter, he gave judgment
against the whole composition, as pitiful and paltry; though, in the
opinion of all good judges, it is a most masterly performance.

Having satisfied their curiosity in this place, Peregrine asked them
to favour him with their company at dinner; but whether out of caution
against the insinuations of one whose character they did not know, or by
reason of a prior engagement, they declined his invitation on pretence
of having an appointment at a certain ordinary, though they expressed
a desire of being further acquainted with him; and Mr. Pallet took the
freedom of asking his name, which he not only declared, but promised,
as they were strangers in Paris, to wait upon them next day in the
forenoon, in order to conduct them to the Hotel de Toulouse, and the
houses of several other noblemen, remarkable for painting or curious
furniture. They thankfully embraced his proposal, and that same day made
inquiry among the English gentlemen about the character of our hero,
which they found so much to their satisfaction, that, upon their second
meeting, they courted his good graces without reserve; and as they had
heard of his intended departure, begged earnestly to have the honour of
accompanying him through the Low Countries. He assured them that
nothing could be more agreeable to him than the prospect of having such
fellow-travellers; and they immediately appointed a day for setting out
on that tour.



CHAPTER XLIII.



He introduces his new Friends to Mr. Jolter, with whom the Doctor enters
into a Dispute upon Government, which had well nigh terminated in open
War.


Meanwhile, he not only made them acquainted with everything worth seeing
in town but attended them in their excursions to all the king's houses
within a day's journey of Paris; and in the course of these parties,
treated them with an elegant dinner at his own apartments, where a
dispute arose between the doctor and Mr. Jolter, which had well nigh
terminated in an irreconcilable animosity. These gentlemen, with an
equal share of pride, pedantry, and saturnine disposition, were, by the
accidents of education and company, diametrically opposite in
political maxims; the one, as we have already observed, being a bigoted
high-churchman, and the other a rank republican. It was an article of
the governor's creed, that the people could not be happy, nor the earth
yield its fruits in abundance, under a restricted clergy and limited
government; whereas, in the doctor's opinion, it was an eternal truth,
that no constitution was so perfect as the democracy, and that no
country could flourish but under the administration of the mob.

These considerations being premised, no wonder that they happened to
disagree in the freedom of an unreserved conversation, especially as
their entertainer took all opportunities of encouraging and inflaming
the contention. The first source of their difference was an unlucky
remark of the painter, who observed that the partridge, of which he was
then eating, had the finest relish of any he had ever tasted. His friend
owned that the birds were the best of the kind he had seen in France;
but affirmed that they were neither so plump nor delicious as those that
were caught in England. The governor, considering this observation as
the effect of prejudice and inexperience, said, with a sarcastic smile,
"I believe, sir, you are very well disposed to find everything here
inferior to the productions of your own country."--"True, sir," answered
the physician, with a certain solemnity of aspect, "and not without
good reason, I hope."--"And pray," resumed the tutor, "why may not the
partridges of France be as good as those of England?"--"For a very plain
reason," replied the other; "because they are not so well fed. The
iron hand of oppression is extended to all animals within the French
dominions, even to the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air;
kunessin oionoisi te pasi."--"Egad!" cried the painter, "that is a truth
not to be controverted: for my own part, I am none of your tit-bits, one
would think; but yet there is a freshness in the English complexion, a
ginseekye, I think you call it, so inviting to a hungry Frenchman,
that I have caught several in the very act of viewing me with an eye of
extreme appetite, as I passed; and as for their curs, or rather their
wolves, whenever I set eyes on one of 'em, Ah! your humble servant, Mr.
son of a b--, I am upon my guard in an instant. The doctor can testify
that their very horses, or more properly their live carrion, that drew
our chaise, used to reach back their long necks and smell at us, as a
couple of delicious morsels."

This sally of Mr. Pallet, which was received with a general laugh of
approbation, would in all probability, have stifled the dispute in
embryo, had not Mr. Jolter, with a self-applauding simper, ironically
complimented the strangers on their talking like true Englishmen. The
doctor, affronted at the insinuation, told him with some warmth that he
was mistaken in his conjecture, his affections and ideas being confined
to no particular country; for he considered himself as a citizen of
the world. He owned himself more attached to England than to any other
kingdom, but this preference was the effect of reflection, and not of
prejudice; the British constitution approached nearer than any other to
that perfection of government, the democracy of Athens, he hoped one
day to see revived; he mentioned the death of Charles the First, and the
expulsion of his son, with raptures of applause; inveighed with great
acrimony against the kingly name; and, in order to strengthen his
opinion, repeated forty or fifty lines from one of the Philippics of
Demosthenes.

Jolter, hearing him speak so disrespectfully of the higher powers,
glowed with indignation: he said his doctrines were detestable, and
destructive of all right, order, and society; that monarchy was of
divine institution, therefore indefeasible by any human power; and
of consequence those events in the English history, which he had so
liberally commended, were no other than flagrant instances of sacrilege,
perfidy, and sedition; that the democracy of Athens was a most absurd
constitution, productive of anarchy and mischief, which must always
happen when the government of a nation depends upon the caprice of the
ignorant, hair-brained vulgar; that it was in the power of the most
profligate member of the commonwealth, provided he was endowed with
eloquence, to ruin the most deserving, by a desperate exertion of his
talents upon the populace, who had been often persuaded to act in the
most ungrateful and imprudent manner against the greatest patriots that
their country had produced; and, finally, he averred, that the liberal
arts and sciences had never flourished so much in a republic as under
the encouragement and protection of absolute power: witness the Augustan
age, and the reign of Louis the Fourteenth: nor was it to be supposed
that genius and merit could ever be so amply recompensed by the
individuals or distracted councils of a commonwealth, as by the
generosity and magnificence of one who had the whole treasury at his own
command.

Peregrine, who was pleased to find the contest grow warm, observed that
there seemed to be a good deal of truth in what Mr. Jolter advanced;
and the painter whose opinion began to waver, looked with a face
of expectation at his friend, who, modelling his features into an
expression of exulting disdain, asked of his antagonist, if he did not
think that very power of rewarding merit enabled an absolute prince
to indulge himself in the most arbitrary license over the lives and
fortunes of his people? Before the governor had time to answer this
question, Pallet broke forth into an exclamation of "By the Lord! that
is certainly fact, egad! that was a home-thrust, doctor." When Mr.
Jolter, chastising this shallow intruder with a contemptuous look,
affirmed that, though supreme power furnished a good prince with the
means of exerting his virtues, it would not support a tyrant in the
exercise of cruelty and oppression; because in all nations the genius
of the people must be consulted by their governors, and the burthen
proportioned to the shoulders on which it is laid. "Else, what follows?"
said the physician. "The consequence is plain," replied the governor,
"insurrection, revolt, and his own destruction; for it is not to
be supposed that the subjects of any nation would be so abject and
pusillanimous as to neglect the means which heaven hath put in their
power for their own preservation."--"Gadzooks, you're in the right, sir!"
cried Pallet; "that, I grant you, must be confessed: doctor, I'm afraid
we have got into the wrong box." This son of Paean, however, far from
being of his friend's opinion, observed, with an air of triumph, that
he would not only demonstrate the sophistry of the gentleman's last
allegation by argument and facts, but even confute him with his own
words. Jolter's eyes kindling at this presumptuous declaration, he told
his antagonist, while his lip quivered with resentment, that if his
arguments were no better than his breeding, he was sure he would make
very few converts to his opinion; and the doctor, with all the insolence
of triumph, advised him to beware of disputes for the future, until he
should have made himself more master of his subject.

Peregrine both wished and hoped to see the disputants proceed to
arguments of more weight and conviction; and the painter, dreading the
same issue, interposed with the usual exclamation of "For God's sake,
gentlemen;" when the governor rose from table in great dudgeon, and left
the room, muttering some ejaculation, of which the word coxcomb only
could be distinctly heard. The physician, being thus left master of the
field of battle, was complimented on his victory by Peregrine, and so
elevated by his success, that he declaimed a full hour on the
absurdity of Jolter's proposition, and the beauty of the democratic
administration; canvassed the whole scheme of Plato's republic, with
many quotations from that ideal author, touching the to kalon: from
thence he made a transition to the moral sense of Shaftesbury, and
concluded his harangue with the greatest part of that frothy writer's
rhapsody, which he repeated with all the violence of enthusiastic
agitation, to the unspeakable satisfaction of his entertainer, and
the unutterable admiration of Pallet, who looked upon him as something
supernatural and divine.

So intoxicated was this vain young man with the ironical praises of
Pickle, that he forthwith shook off all reserve; and having professed
a friendship for our hero, whose taste and learning he did not fail to
extol, intimated in plain terms, that he was the only person, in these
latter ages, who possessed that genius, that portion of the divinity,
or Ti Theion, which immortalized the Grecian poets: that as Pythagoras
affirmed the spirit of Euphorbus had transmigrated into his body, he,
the doctor, strangely possessed with the opinion that he himself was
inspired by the soul of Pindar; because, making allowance for the
difference of languages in which they wrote, there was a surprising
affinity between his own works and those of that celebrated Theban; and
as a confirmation of this truth, he immediately produced a sample of
each, which, though in spirit and versification as different as the Odes
of Horace and our present poet-laureat, Peregrine did not scruple to
pronounce altogether congenial, notwithstanding the violence he by
this sentence offered to his own conscience, and a certain alarm to
his pride, that was weak enough to be disturbed by the physician's
ridiculous vanity and presumption, which, not contented with displaying
his importance in the world of taste and polite literature, manifested
itself in arrogating certain material discoveries in the province of
physic, which could not fail to advance him to the highest pinnacle of
that profession, considering the recommendation of his other talents,
together with a liberal fortune which he inherited from his father.



CHAPTER XLIV.



The Doctor prepares an Entertainment in the Manner of the Ancients,
which is attended with divers ridiculous Circumstances.


In a word, our young gentleman, by his insinuating behaviour, acquired
the full confidence of the doctor, who invited him to an entertainment,
which he intended to prepare in the manner of the ancients. Pickle,
struck with this idea, eagerly embraced the proposal, which he honoured
with many encomiums, as a plan in all respects worthy of his genius and
apprehension; and the day was appointed at some distance of time,
that the treater might have leisure to compose certain pickles and
confections which were not to be found among the culinary preparations
of these degenerate days. With a view of rendering the physician's taste
more conspicuous, and extracting from it the more diversion, Peregrine
proposed that some foreigners should partake of the banquet; and the
task being left to his care and discretion, he actually bespoke the
company of a French marquis, an Italian count, and a German baron, whom
he knew to be egregious coxcombs, and therefore more likely to enhance
the joy of the entertainment.

Accordingly, the hour being arrived, he conducted them to the hotel
where the physician lodged, after having regaled their expectations with
an elegant meal in the genuine old Roman taste; and they were received
by Mr. Pallet, who did the honours of the house, while his friend
superintended the cook below. By this communicative painter, the guests
understood that the doctor had met with numerous difficulties in
the execution of his design; that no fewer than five cooks had been
dismissed, because they could not prevail upon their own consciences to
obey his directions in things that were contrary to the present practice
of their art; and that although he had at last engaged a person, by
an extraordinary premium, to comply with his orders, the fellow was so
astonished, mortified, and incensed at the commands he had received,
that his hair stood on end, and he begged on his knees to be released
from the agreement he had made; but finding that his employer insisted
upon the performance of his contract, and threatened to introduce him
to the commissaire if he should flinch from the bargain, he had, in the
discharge of his office, wept, sang, cursed, and capered for two whole
hours without intermission.

While the company listened to this odd information, by which they were
prepossessed with strange notions of the dinner, their ears were invaded
by a voice that exclaimed in French, "For the love of God! dear sir! for
the passion of Jesus Christ! spare me the mortification of the honey
and oil!" Their ears still vibrated with the sound, when the doctor
entering, was by Peregrine made acquainted with the strangers, to whom
he, in the transports of his wrath, could not help complaining of the
want of complaisance he had found in the Parisian vulgar, by which his
plan had been almost entirely ruined and set aside. The French marquis,
who thought the honour of his nation was concerned at this declaration,
professed his sorrow for what had happened, so contrary to the
established character of the people, and undertook to see the
delinquents severely punished, provided he could be informed of their
names or places of abode.

The mutual compliments that passed on this occasion were scarce
finished, when a servant, coming into the room, announced dinner; and
the entertainer led the way into another apartment, where they found a
long table, or rather two boards joined together, and furnished with a
variety of dishes, the steams of which had such evident effect upon the
nerves of the company, that the marquis made frightful grimaces, under
pretence of taking snuff; the Italian's eyes watered; the German's
visage underwent several distortions of features; our hero found means
to exclude the odour from his sense of smelling, by breathing only
through his mouth; and the poor painter, running into another room,
plugged his nostrils with tobacco. The doctor himself, who was the only
person present, whose organs were not discomposed, pointing to a couple
of couches placed on each side of the table, told his guests that he was
sorry he could not procure the exact triclinia of the ancients, which
were somewhat different from these conveniences, and desired they would
have the goodness to repose themselves without ceremony, each in his
respective couchette, while he and his friend Mr. Pallet would place
themselves upright at the ends, that they might have the pleasure of
serving those that lay along. This disposition, of which the strangers
had no previous idea, disconcerted and perplexed them in a most
ridiculous manner; the marquis and baron stood bowing to each other,
on pretence of disputing the lower seat, but in reality with a view of
profiting by the example of one another, for neither of them understood
the manner in which they were to loll; and Peregrine, who enjoyed their
confusion, handed the count to the other side, where, with the most
mischievous politeness, he insisted upon his taking possession of the
upper place.

In this disagreeable and ludicrous suspense, they continue acting a
pantomime of gesticulations, until the doctor earnestly entreated them
to waive all compliment and form, lest the dinner should be spoiled
before the ceremonial could be adjusted. Thus conjured, Peregrine took
the lower couch on the left-hand-side, laying himself gently down, with
his face towards the table. The marquis, in imitation of this pattern
(though he would have much rather fasted three days than run the risk of
discomposing his dress by such an attitude), stretched himself upon the
opposite place, reclining upon his elbow in a most painful and awkward
situation, with his head raised above the end of the couch, that the
economy of his hair might not suffer by the projection of his body. The
Italian, being a thin limber creature, planted himself next to Pickle,
without sustaining any misfortune but that of his stocking being torn
by a ragged nail of the seat, as he raised his legs on a level with the
rest of his limbs. But the baron, who was neither so wieldy nor supple
in his joints as his companions, flounced himself down with such
precipitation, that his feet, suddenly tilting up, came in furious
contact with the head of the marquis, and demolished every curl in a
twinkling, while his own skull, at the same instant, descended upon the
side of his couch, with such violence, that his periwig was struck off,
and the whole room filled with pulvilio.

The drollery of distress that attended this disaster entirely vanquished
the affected gravity of our young gentleman, who was obliged to
suppress his laughter by cramming his handkerchief in his mouth; for the
bare-headed German asked pardon with such ridiculous confusion, and
the marquis admitted his apology with such rueful complaisance, as were
sufficient to awake the mirth of a quietist.

This misfortune being repaired as well as the circumstances of
the occasion would permit, and every one settled according to the
arrangement already described, the doctor graciously undertook to give
some account of the dishes as they occurred, that the company might be
directed in their choice: and with an air of infinite satisfaction thus
began: "This here, gentlemen, is a boiled goose, served up in a sauce
composed of pepper, lovage, coriander, mint, rue, anchovies; I wish
for your sakes, gentlemen, it was one of the geese of Ferrara, so much
celebrated among the ancients for the magnitude of their livers, one
of which is said to have weighed upwards of two pounds; with this food,
exquisite as it was, did the tyrant Heliogabalus regale his hounds. But
I beg pardon, I had almost forgot the soup, which I hear is so necessary
an article at all tables in France. At each end there are dishes of the
salacacabia of the Romans; one is made of parsley, pennyroyal, cheese,
pine-tops, honey, brine, eggs, cucumbers, onions, and hen livers; the
other is much the same as the soup-maigre of this country. Then there
is a loin of veal boiled with fennel and caraway-seed, on a pottage
composed of pickle, oil, honey, and flour, and a curious hachis of the
lights, liver, and blood of a hare, together with a dish of roasted
pigeons. Monsieur le baron, shall I help you to a plate of this soup?"
The German, who did not at all disapprove of the ingredients, assented
to the proposal, and seemed to relish the composition; while the marquis
being asked by the painter which of the silly-kickabys he chose, was,
in consequence of his desire, accommodated with a portion of the
soup-maigre; and the count, in lieu of spoon-meat, of which he said he
was no great admirer, supplied himself with a pigeon, therein conforming
to the choice of our young gentleman, whose example he determined to
follow through the whole course of the entertainment.

The Frenchman, having swallowed the first spoonful, made a full pause,
his throat swelled as if an egg had stuck in his gullet, his eyes
rolled, and his mouth underwent a series of involuntary contractions and
dilatations. Pallet, who looked steadfastly at this connoisseur, with a
view of consulting his taste, before he himself would venture upon the
soup, began to be disturbed at these motions, and observed, with some
concern, that the poor gentleman seemed to be going into a fit; when
Peregrine assured him, that these were symptoms of ecstasy, and, for
further confirmation, asked the marquis how he found the soup. It was
with infinite difficulty that his complaisance could so far master
his disgust as to enable him to answer, "Altogether excellent, upon my
honour!" and the painter being certified of his approbation, lifted the
spoon to his mouth without scruple, but far from justifying the eulogium
of his taster, when this precious composition diffused itself upon his
palate, he seemed to be deprived of all sense and motion, and sat like
the leaden statue of some river god, with the liquor flowing out at both
sides of his mouth.

The doctor, alarmed at this indecent phenomenon, earnestly inquired into
the cause of it; and when Pallet recovered his recollection, and swore
that he would rather swallow porridge made of burning brimstone, than
such an infernal mess as that which he had tasted, the physician, in
his own vindication, assured the company, that, except the usual
ingredients, he had mixed nothing in the soup but some sal ammoniac
instead of the ancient nitrum, which could not now be procured;
and appealed to the marquis, whether such a succedaneum was not an
improvement on the whole. The unfortunate petit-maitre, driven to
the extremity of his condescension, acknowledged it to be a masterly
refinement; and deeming himself obliged, in point of honour, to evince
his sentiments by his practice, forced a few more mouthfuls of this
disagreeable potion down his throat, till his stomach was so much
offended, that he was compelled to start up of a sudden; and, in the
hurry of his elevation, overturned his plate into the bosom of the
baron. The emergency of this occasion would not permit him to stay and
make apologies for his abrupt behaviour; so that he flew into another
apartment, where Pickle found him puking and crossing himself with great
devotion; and a chair, at his desire, being brought to the door, he
slipped into it more dead than alive, conjuring his friend Pickle to
make his peace with the company, and in particular excuse him to the
baron, on account of the violent fit of illness with which he had been
seized. It was not without reason that he employed a mediator; for when
our hero returned to the dining-room, the German got up, and was
under the hands of his own lacquey, who wiped the grease from a rich
embroidered waistcoat, while he, almost frantic with his misfortune,
stamped upon the ground, and in High Dutch cursed the unlucky banquet,
and the impertinent entertainer, who all this time, with great
deliberation, consoled him for the disaster, by assuring him that the
damage done might be repaired with some oil of turpentine and a hot
iron. Peregrine, who could scarce refrain from laughing in his face,
appeased his indignation by telling him how much the whole company, and
especially, the marquis, was mortified at the accident; and the unhappy
salacacabia being removed, the places were filled with two pies, one
of dormice liquored with syrup of white poppies, which the doctor had
substituted in the room of toasted poppy-seed, formerly eaten with
honey, as a dessert; and the other composed of a hock of pork baked in
honey.

Pallet, hearing the first of these dishes described, lifted up his hands
and eyes, and with signs of loathing and amazement, pronounced, "A
pie made of dormice and syrup of poppies! Lord in heaven! what beastly
fellows those Romans were!" His friend checked him for his irreverent
exclamation with a severe look, and recommended the veal, of which he
himself cheerfully ate, with such encomiums to the company, that the
baron resolved to imitate his example, after having called for a bumper
of Burgundy, which the physician, for his sake, wished to have been the
true wine of Falernum. The painter, seeing nothing else upon the table
which he would venture to touch, made a merit of necessity, and had
recourse to the veal also; although he could not help saying that he
would not give one slice of the roast beef of Old England for all the
dainties of a Roman Emperor's table. But all the doctor's invitations
and assurances could not prevail upon his guests to honour the hachis
and the goose; and that course was succeeded by another, in which he
told them were divers of those dishes, which among the ancients had
obtained the appellation of politeles, or magnificent. "That which
smokes in the middle," said he, "is a sow's stomach, filled with a
composition of minced pork, hog's brains, eggs, pepper, cloves, garlic,
aniseed, rue, ginger, oil, wine, and pickle. On the right-hand side are
the teats and belly of a sow, just farrowed, fried with sweet wine, oil,
flour, lovage, and pepper. On the left is a fricassee of snails, fed,
or rather purged, with milk. At that end next Mr. Pallet are fritters
of pompions, lovage, origanum, and oil; and here are a couple of pullets
roasted and stuffed in the manner of Apicius."

The painter, who had by wry faces testified his abhorrence of the
sow's stomach, which he compared to a bagpipe, and the snails which had
undergone purgation, he no sooner heard him mention the roasted pullets,
than he eagerly solicited a wing of the fowl; upon which the doctor
desired he would take the trouble of cutting them up, and accordingly
sent them round, while Pallet tucked the table-cloth under his chin,
and brandished his knife and fork with singular address: but scarce were
they set down before him, when the tears ran down his cheeks; and he
called aloud, in a manifest disorder, "Zounds! this is the essence of a
whole bed of garlic!" That he might not, however, disappoint or disgrace
the entertainer, he applied his instruments to one of the birds; and
when he opened up the cavity, was assaulted by such an irruption of
intolerable smells, that, without staying to disengage himself from the
cloth, he sprang away, with an exclamation of "Lord Jesus!" and involved
the whole table in havoc, ruin, and confusion.

Before Pickle could accomplish his escape, he was sauced with the syrup
of the dormouse pie, which went to pieces in the general wreck; and as
for the Italian count, he was overwhelmed by the sow's stomach, which,
bursting in the fall, discharged its contents upon his leg and thigh,
and scalded him so miserably, that he shrieked with anguish, and grinned
with a most ghastly and horrible aspect.

The baron, who sat secure without the vortex of this tumult, was not at
all displeased at seeing his companions involved in such a calamity as
that which he had already shared; but the doctor was confounded with
shame and vexation. After having prescribed an application of oil to
the count's leg, he expressed his sorrow for the misadventure, which he
openly ascribed to want of taste and prudence in the painter, who did
not think proper to return, and make an apology in person; and protested
that there was nothing in the fowls which could give offence to a
sensible nose, the stuffing being a mixture of pepper, lovage, and
assafoetida, and the sauce consisting of wine and herring-pickle, which
he had used instead of the celebrated garum of the Romans; that famous
pickle having been prepared sometimes of the scombri, which were a
sort of tunny-fish, and sometimes of the silurus, or shad-fish: nay, he
observed that there was a third kind, called garum haemation, made of
the guts, gills, and blood of the thynnus.

The physician, finding it would be impracticable to re-establish the
order of the banquet, by presenting again the dishes which had been
discomposed, ordered everything to be removed, a clean cloth to be laid,
and the dessert to be brought in. Meanwhile, he regretted his incapacity
to give them a specimen of the aliens, or fish meals of the ancients,
such as the jus diabaton, the conger-eel, which, in Galen's opinion, is
hard of digestion; the cornuta, or gurnard, described by Pliny in his
Natural History, who says, the horns of many of them were a foot and
a half in length, the mullet and lamprey, that were in the highest
estimation of old, of which last Julius Caesar borrowed six thousand for
one triumphal supper. He observed that the manner of dressing them was
described by Horace, in the account he gives of the entertainment to
which Maecenas was invited by the epicure Nasidienus:--

Affertur squillas inter muraena natantes, etc.

and told them that they were commonly eaten with the thus Syriacum,
a certain anodyne and astringent seed, which qualified the purgative
nature of the fish. This learned physician gave them to understand, that
though this was reckoned a luxurious fish in the zenith of the Roman
taste, it was by no means comparable, in point of expense, to some
preparations in vogue about the time of that absurd voluptuary
Heliogabalus, who ordered the brains of six hundred ostriches to be
compounded in one illness.

By this time the dessert appeared, and the company were not a little
rejoiced to see plain olives in salt and water: butt what the master of
the feast valued himself upon, was a sort of jelly, which he affirmed
to be preferable to the hypotrimma of Hesychius, being a mixture of
vinegar, pickle, and honey, boiled to proper consistence, and candied
assafoetida, which he asserted, in contradiction to Aumelbergius and
Lister, was no other than the laser Syriacum, so precious, as to be sold
among the ancients to the weight of a silver penny. The gentlemen took
his word for the excellency of this gum, but contented themselves with
the olives, which gave such an agreeable relish to the wine, that they
seemed very well disposed to console themselves for the disgraces they
had endured; and Pickle, unwilling to lose the least circumstance of
entertainment that could be enjoyed in their company, went in quest of
the painter, who remained in his penitentials in another apartment, and
could not be persuaded to re-enter the banqueting room, until Peregrine
undertook to procure his pardon from those whom he had injured. Having
assured him of this indulgence, our young gentleman led him in like a
criminal, bowing on all hands with all air of humility and contrition;
and particularly addressing himself to the count, to whom he swore in
English, as God was his Saviour, he had no intent to affront man, woman,
or child: but was fain to make the best of his way, that he might not
give the honourable company cause of offence, by obeying the dictates of
nature in their presence.

When Pickle interpreted this apology to the Italian, Pallet was forgiven
in very polite terms, and even received into favour by his friend the
doctor, in consequence of our hero's intercession: so that all the
guests forgot their chagrin, and paid their respects so piously to the
bottle, that in a short time the Champagne produced very evident effects
in the behaviour of all present.



CHAPTER XLV.



The Painter is persuaded to accompany Pickle to a Masquerade in
Woman's Apparel---Is engaged in a troublesome Adventure, and, with his
Companion, conveyed to the Bastille.


The painter, at the request of Pickle, who had a design upon the count's
sense of hearing, favoured the company with the song of Bumper Squire
Jones, which yielded infinite satisfaction to the baron, but affected
the delicate ears of the Italian in such a manner, that his features
expressed astonishment and disquiet; and by his sudden and repeated
journeys to the door, it plainly appeared, that he was in the same
predicament with those who, as Shakespeare observes, "when the bagpipe
sings in the nose, cannot contain their urine for affection."

With a view, therefore, of vindicating music from such a barbarous
taste. Mr. Pallet had no sooner performed his task, than the count
honoured his friends with some favourite airs of his own country, which
he warbled with infinite grace and expression, though he had not energy
sufficient to engage the attention of the German, who fell fast asleep
upon his couch, and snored so loud, as to interrupt, and totally annul,
this ravishing entertainment; so that they were fain to have recourse
again to the glass, which made such innovation upon the brain of the
physician, that he sang divers odes of Anacreon to a tune of his own
composing, and held forth upon the music and recitative of the ancients
with great erudition; while Pallet, having found means to make the
Italian acquainted with the nature of his profession, harangued upon
painting with wonderful volubility, in a language which (it was well for
his own credit) the stranger did not understand.

At length the doctor was seized with such a qualm, that he begged
Peregrine to lead him to his chamber; and the baron, being waked,
retired with the count. Peregrine, being rendered frolicsome with
the wine he had drunk, proposed that he and Pallet should go to a
masquerade, which he recollected was to be given that night. The painter
did not want curiosity and inclination to accompany him, but expressed
his apprehension of losing him in the ball; an accident which could
not fail to be very disagreeable, as he was an utter stranger to the
language and the town. To obviate this objection, the landlady, who was
of their council, advised him to appear in a woman's dress, which would
lay his companion under the necessity of attending him with more care,
as he could not with decency detach himself from the lady whom he
should introduce; besides, such a connection would hinder the ladies of
pleasure from accosting and employing their seducing arts upon a person
already engaged.

Our young gentleman foreseeing the abundance of diversion in the
execution of this project, seconded the proposal with such importunity
and address, that the painter allowed himself to be habited in a suit
belonging to the landlady, who also procured for him a mask and domino,
while Pickle provided himself with a Spanish dress. In this disguise,
which they put on about eleven o'clock, did they, attended by Pipes,
set out in a fiacre for the ball-room, into which Pickle led this
supposititious female, to the astonishment of the whole company, who had
never seen such an uncouth figure in the appearance of a woman.

After they had taken a view of all the remarkable masks, and the painter
had been treated with a of glass of liqueur, his mischievous companion
gave him the slip; and, vanishing in an instant, returned with
another mask and a domino over his habit, that he might enjoy Pallet's
perplexity, and be at hand to protect him from insult. The poor painter,
having lost his guide, was almost distracted with anxiety, and stalked
about the room, in quest of him, with such huge strides and oddity of
gesture, that he was followed by a whole multitude, who gazed at him as
a preternatural phenomenon. This attendance increased his uneasiness
to such a degree, that he could not help uttering a soliloquy aloud, in
which he cursed his fate for having depended upon the promise of such a
wag; and swore, that if once he was clear of this scrape, he would
not bring himself into such a premunire again for the whole kingdom of
France.

Divers petit-maitres, understanding the mask was a foreigner, who in all
probability could not speak French, made up to him in their turns, in
order to display their wit and address, and teased him with several arch
questions, to which he made no other reply than "No parly Francy. D--
your chattering! Go about your business, can't ye." Among the masks
was a nobleman, who began to be very free with the supposed lady, and
attempted to plunge his hand into her bosom: hut the painter was too
modest to suffer such indecent treatment; and when the gallant repeated
his efforts in a manner still more indelicate, lent him such a box
on the ear, as made the lights dance before him, and created such a
suspicion of Pallet's sex, that the Frenchman swore he was either a male
or a hermaphrodite, and insisted upon a scrutiny, for the sake of his
own honour, with such obstinacy of resentment, that the nymph was in
imminent danger, not only of being exposed, but also undergoing severe
chastisement, for having made so free with the prince's ear; when
Peregrine, who saw and overheard everything that passed, thought it was
high time to interpose; and accordingly asserted his pretensions to the
insulted lady, who was overjoyed at this proof of his protection.

The affronted gallant persevered in demanding to know who she was, and
our hero as strenuously refused to give him that satisfaction: so that
high words ensued; and the prince threatening to punish his insolence,
the young gentleman, who was not supposed to know his quality, pointed
to the place where his own sword used to hang, and, snapping his fingers
in his face, laid hold on the painter's arm, and led him to another
part of the room, leaving his antagonist to the meditations of his own
revenge.

Pallet, having chid his conductor for his barbarous desertion, made him
acquainted with the difficulty in which he had been involved; and flatly
telling him he would not put it in his power to give him the slip again,
held fast by his arm during the remaining part of the entertainment, to
the no small diversion of the company, whose attention was altogether
engrossed in the contemplation of such an awkward, ungainly, stalking
apparition. At last Pickle, being tired of exhibiting this raree-show,
complied with the repeated desires of his companion, and handed her
into the coach; which he himself had no sooner entered, than they
were surrounded by a file of musqueteers, commanded by an exempt,
who, ordering the coach-door to be opened, took his place with great
deliberation, while one of his detachment mounted the box, in order to
direct the driver.

Peregrine at once conceived the meaning of this arrest, and it was well
for him that he had no weapon wherewith to stand upon his defence; for
such was the impetuosity and rashness of his temper, that, had he been
armed, he would have run all risks rather than surrender himself to any
odds whatever; but Pallet, imagining that the officer was some gentleman
who had mistaken their carriage for his own, desired his friend to
undeceive the stranger; and when he was informed of the real state of
their condition, his knees began to shake, his teeth to chatter, and he
uttered a most doleful lamentation, importing his fear of being carried
to some hideous dungeon of the Bastille, where he should spend the rest
of his days in misery and horror, and never see the light of God's sun,
nor the face of a friend; but perish in a foreign land, far removed from
his family and connexions. Pickle d--d him for his pusillanimity; and
the exempt hearing a lady bemoan herself so piteously, expressed his
mortification at being the instrument of giving her such pain, and
endeavoured to console them by representing the lenity of the French
government, and the singular generosity of the prince, by whose order
they were apprehended.

Peregrine, whose discretion seemed to forsake him on all such occasions,
exclaimed, with great bitterness, against the arbitrary administration
of France, and inveighed, with many expressions of contempt, against
the character of the offended prince, whose resentment, far from being
noble, he mid, was pitiful, ungenerous, and unjust. To this remonstrance
the officer made no reply, but shrugged up his shoulders in silent
astonishment at the hardiesse of the prisoner; and the fiacre was just
on the point of setting out, when they heard the noise of a scuffle at
the back of the coach, and the voice of Tom Pipes pronouncing, "I'll
be d--d if I do." This trusty attendant had been desired by one of the
guards to descend from his station in the rear; but as he resolved to
share his master's fate, he took no notice of their entreaties, until
they were seconded by force; and that he endeavoured to repeal with his
heel, which he applied with such energy to the jaws of the soldier, who
first came in contact with him, that they emitted a crashing sound like
a dried walnut between the grinders of a Templar in the pit. Exasperated
at this outrage, the other saluted Tom's posteriors with his bayonet,
which incommoded him so much that he could no longer keep his post, but,
leaping upon the ground, gave his antagonist a chuck under the chin, and
laid him upon his back, then skipping over him with infinite agility,
absconded among the crowd of coaches, till he saw the guard mount before
and behind upon his master's fiacre, which no sooner set forward,
than he followed at a small distance, to reconnoitre the place where
Peregrine should be confined. After having proceeded slowly through many
windings and turnings to a part of Paris, in which Pipes was an utter
stranger, the coach stopped at a great gate, with a wicket in the
middle, which, being opened at the approach of the carriage, the
prisoners were admitted; and, the guard returning with the fiacre, Tom
determined to watch in that place all night, that, in the morning, he
might make such observations as might be conducive to the enlargement of
his master.



CHAPTER XLVI.



By the Fidelity of Pipes, Jolter is informed of his Pupil's
fate--Confers with the Physician--Applies to the Ambassador, who, with
great difficulty, obtains the Discharge of the Prisoners on certain
Conditions.


This plan he executed, notwithstanding the pain of his wound, and the
questions of the city-guard, both horse and foot, to which he could make
no other answer than "Anglais, anglais;" and as soon as it was light,
taking an accurate survey of the castle (for such it seemed to be)
into which Peregrine and Pallet had been conveyed, together with its
situation in respect to the river, he went home to the lodgings, and,
waking Mr. Jolter, gave him an account of the adventure. The governor
wrung his hands in the utmost grief and consternation when he heard
this unfortunate piece of news: he did not doubt that his pupil
was imprisoned in the Bastille for life; and, in the anguish of his
apprehension, cursed the day on which he had undertaken to superintend
the conduct of such an imprudent young man, who had, by reiterated
insults, provoked the vengeance of such a mild, forbearing
administration. That he might not, however, neglect any means in his
power to extricate him from his present misfortune, he despatched Thomas
to the doctor, with an account of his companion's fate, that they might
join their interest in behalf of the captives; and the physician, being
informed of what had happened, immediately dressed himself, and repaired
to Jolter, whom he accosted in these words:--

"Now, sir, I hope you are convinced of your error in asserting that
oppression can never be the effect of arbitrary power. Such a calamity
as this could never have happened under the Athenian democracy: nay,
even when the tyrant Pisistratus got possession of that commonwealth,
he durst not venture to rule with such absolute and unjust dominion. You
shall see now that Mr. Pickle and my friend Pallet will fall a sacrifice
to the tyranny of lawless power; and, in my opinion, we shall be
accessory to the ruin of this poor enslaved people if we bestir
ourselves in demanding or imploring the release of our unhappy
countrymen; as we may thereby prevent the commission of a flagrant
crime, which would fill up the vengeance of Heaven against the
perpetrators, and perhaps be the means of restoring the whole nation to
the unspeakable fruition of freedom. For my own part, I should rejoice
to see the blood of my father spilt in such a glorious cause, provided
such a victim would furnish me with the opportunity of dissolving the
chains of slavery, and vindicating that liberty which is the birthright
of man. Then would my name be immortalised among the patriot heroes of
antiquity, and my memory, like that of Harmodius and Aristogiton, be
honoured by statues erected at the public expense."

This rhapsody, which was delivered with great emphasis and agitation,
gave so much offence to Jolter, that, without saying one word, he
retired in great wrath to his own chamber; and the republican returned
to his lodging, in full hope of his prognostic being verified in the
death and destruction of Peregrine and the painter, which must give rise
to some renowned revolution, wherein he himself would act a principal
part. But the governor whose imagination was not quite so warm and
prolific, went directly to the ambassador, whom he informed of his
pupil's situation, and besought to interpose with the French ministry,
that he and the other British subject might obtain their liberty.

His excellency asked, if Jolter could guess at the cause of his
imprisonment, that he might be the better prepared to vindicate or
excuse his conduct: but neither he nor Pipes could give the smallest
hint of intelligence on that subject; though he furnished himself from
Tom's own mouth with a circumstantial account of the manner in which
his master had been arrested, as well as of his own behaviour, and the
disaster he had received on that occasion. His lordship never doubted
that Pickle had brought this calamity upon himself by some unlucky
prank he had played at the masquerade; when he understood that the young
gentleman had drunk freely in the afternoon, and been so whimsical as to
go thither with a man in woman's apparel; and he that same day waited on
the French minister, in full confidence of obtaining his discharge; but
met with more difficulty than he expected, the court of France being
extremely punctilious in everything that concerns a prince of the blood:
the ambassador was therefore obliged to talk in very high terms; and,
though the present circumstances of the French politics would not allow
them to fall out with the British administration for trifles, all the
favour he could procure was to promise that Pickle should L set at
liberty, provided he would ask pardon of the prince to whom he had given
offence.

His excellency thought this was but a reasonable condescension,
supposing Peregrine to have been in the wrong; and Jolter was admitted
to him in order to communicate and reinforce his lordship's advice,
which was, that he comply with the terms proposed. The governor, who
did not enter this gloomy fortress without fear and trembling, found
his pupil in a dismal apartment, void of all furniture but a stool and
a truckle-bed. The moment he was admitted, he perceived the youth
whistling with great unconcern, and working with his pencil at the bare
wall, on which he had delineated a ludicrous figure labelled with the
name of the nobleman, whom he had affronted, and an English mastiff with
his leg lifted up, in the attitude of making water in his shoe. He
had been even so presumptuous as to explain the device with satirical
inscriptions in the French language, which, when Jolter perused, his
hair stood on end with affright. The very turnkey was confounded and
overawed by the boldness of his behaviour, which he had never seen
matched by any inhabitant of that place; and actually joined his friend
in persuading him to submit to the easy demand of the minister. But our
hero, far from embracing the counsel of this advocate, handed him to the
door with great ceremony, and dismissed him with a kick on the breeches;
and, to all the supplications, and even tears of Jolter, made no other
reply than that he would stoop to no condescension, because he had
committed no crime, but would leave his case to the cognisance and
exertion of the British court, whose duty it was to see justice done to
its own subjects: he desired, however, that Pallet, who was confined
in another place, might avail himself of his own disposition, which
was sufficiently pliable; but when the governor desired to see his
fellow-prisoner, the turnkey gave him to understand that he had received
no orders relating to the lady, and therefore could not admit him into
her apartment; though he was complaisant enough to tell him that she
seemed very much mortified at her confinement, and at certain times
behaved as if her brain was not a little disordered.

Jolter, thus baffled in all his endeavours, quitted the Bastille with a
heavy heart, and reported his fruitless negotiation to the ambassador,
who could not help breaking forth into some acrimonious expressions
against the obstinacy and insolence of the young man, who, he said,
deserved to suffer for his folly. Nevertheless, he did not desist
from his representations to the French ministry, which he found so
unyielding, that he was obliged to threaten, in plain terms, to make it
a national concern; and not only wrote to his court for instructions,
but even advised the council to make reprisals, and send some French
gentleman in London to the Tower.

This intimation had an effect upon the ministry at Versailles, who,
rather than run the risk of incensing a people whom it was neither
their interest nor inclination to disoblige, consented to discharge the
offenders, on condition that they should leave Paris in three days after
their enlargement. This proposal was readily agreed to by Peregrine, who
was now a little more tractable, and heartily tired of being cooped
up in such an uncomfortable abode, for the space of three long days,
without any sort of communication or entertainment but that which his
own imagination suggested.



CHAPTER XLVII.



Peregrine makes himself Merry at the Expense of the Painter, who curses
his Landlady, and breaks with the Doctor.


As he could easily conceive the situation of his companion in adversity,
he was unwilling to leave the place until he had reaped some diversion
from his distress, and with that view repaired to the dungeon of the
afflicted painter, to which he had by this time free access. When
he entered, the first object that presented itself to his eye was so
uncommonly ridiculous, that he could scarce preserve that gravity of
countenance which he had affected in order to execute the joke he had
planned. The forlorn Pallet sat upright in his bed in a deshabille that
was altogether extraordinary. He had laid aside his monstrous hoop,
together with his stays, gown, and petticoat, wrapped his lappets
about his head by way of nightcap, and wore his domino as a loose
morning-dress; his grizzled locks hung down about his lack-lustre
eyes and tawny neck, in all the disorder of negligence; his gray beard
bristled about half-an-inch through the remains of the paint with
which his visage had been bedaubed, and every feature of his face was
lengthened to the most ridiculous expression of grief and dismay.

Seeing Peregrine come in, he started up in a sort of frantic ecstasy,
and, running towards him with open arms, no sooner perceived the woeful
appearance into which our hero had modelled his physiognomy, than he
stopped short all of a sudden, and the joy which had begun to take
possession of his heart was in a moment dispelled by the most rueful
presages; so that he stood in a most ludicrous posture of dejection,
like a malefactor at the Old Bailey, when sentence is about to be
pronounced. Pickle, taking him by the hand, heaved a profound sigh; and
after having protested that he was extremely mortified at being pitched
upon as the messenger of bad news, told him, with an air of sympathy and
infinite concern, that the French court, having discovered his sex, had
resolved, in consideration of the outrageous indignity he offered
in public to a prince of the blood, to detain him in the Bastille a
prisoner for life; and that this sentence was a mitigation obtained by
the importunities of the British ambassador, the punishment ordained by
law being no other than breaking alive upon the wheel.

These tidings aggravated the horrors of the painter to such a degree
that he roared aloud, and skipped about the room in all the extravagance
of distraction, taking God and man to witness, that he would rather
suffer immediate death than endure one year's imprisonment in such a
hideous place; and cursing the hour of his birth, and the moment on
which he departed from his own country. "For my own part," said his
tormentor, in a hypocritical tone, "I was obliged to swallow the bitter
pill of making submission to the prince, who, as I had not presumed to
strike him, received acknowledgments, in consequence of which I shall
be this day set at liberty; and there is even one expedient left for the
recovery of your freedom--it is, I own, a disagreeable remedy, but one
had better undergo a little mortification than be for ever wretched.
Besides, upon second thoughts, I begin to imagine that you will not for
such a trifle sacrifice yourself to the unceasing horrors of a dungeon;
especially as your condescension will in all probability be attended
with advantages which you could not otherwise enjoy." Pallet,
interrupting him with great eagerness, begged for the love of God that
he would no longer keep him in the torture of suspense, but mention
that same remedy, which he was resolved to follow, let it be ever so
unpalatable.

Peregrine, having thus played upon his passions of fear and hope,
answered, "that as the offence was committed in the habit of a woman,
which was a disguise unworthy of the other sex, the French court was of
opinion that the delinquent should be reduced to the neuter gender; so
that there was no alternative at his own option, by which he had it in
his power to regain immediate freedom."--"What!" cried the painter, in
despair, "become a singer? Gadzooks! and the devil and all that! I'll
rather be still where I am, and let myself be devoured by vermin." Then
thrusting out his throat--"Here is my windpipe," said he; "be so good,
my dear friend, as to give it a slice or two: if you don't, I shall
one of these days be found dangling in my garters. What an unfortunate
rascal I am! What a blockhead, and a beast, and a fool, was I to trust
myself among such a barbarous ruffian race! Lord forgive you, Mr.
Pickle, for having been the immediate cause of my disaster. If you had
stood by me from the beginning, according to your promise, I should not
have been teased by that coxcomb who has brought me to this pass. And
why did I put on this d--d unlucky dress? Lord curse that chattering
Jezebel of a landlady, who advised such a preposterous disguise!--a
disguise which has not only brought me to this pass, but also rendered
me abominable to myself, and frightful to others; for when I this
morning signified to the turnkey that I wanted to be shaved, he looked
at my beard with astonishment, and, crossing himself, muttered his Pater
Noster, believing me, I suppose, to be a witch, or something worse. And
Heaven confound that loathsome banquet of the ancients, which provoked
me to drink too freely, that I might wash away the taste of that
accursed sillikicaby."

Our young gentleman, having heard this lamentation to an end, excused
himself for his conduct by representing that he could not possibly
foresee the disagreeable consequences that attended it; and in the
mean time strenuously counselled him to submit to the terms of his
enlargement. He observed that he was now arrived at that time of life
when the lusts of the flesh should be entirely mortified within him, and
his greatest concern ought to be the of his soul, to which nothing could
more effectually contribute than the amputation which was proposed; that
his body, as well as his mind, would profit by the change; because he
would have no dangerous appetite to gratify, and no carnal thoughts to
divert him from the duties of his profession; and his voice, which was
naturally sweet, would improve to such a degree, that he would captivate
the ears of all the people of fashion and taste, and in a little time be
celebrated under the appellation of the English Senesino.

These arguments did not fail to make impression upon the painter, who
nevertheless started two objections to his compliance; namely, the
disgrace of the punishment, and the dread of his wife. Pickle undertook
to obviate these difficulties, by assuring him that the sentence would
be executed so privately as never to transpire: and that his wife could
not be so unconscionable, after so many years of cohabitation, as to
take exceptions to an expedient by which she would not only enjoy the
conversation of her husband, but even the fruits of those talents which
the knife would so remarkably refine.

Pallet shook his hand at this last remonstrance, as if he thought it
would not be altogether convincing to his spouse, but yielded to the
proposal, provided her consent could be obtained. Just as he signified
this condescension, the jailer entered, and addressing himself to the
supposed lady, expressed his satisfaction in having the honour to tell
her that she was no longer a prisoner. As the painter did not understand
one word of what he said, Peregrine undertook the office of interpreter,
and made his friend believe the jailer's speech was no other than an
intimation that the ministry had sent a surgeon to execute what was
proposed, and that the instruments and dressings were prepared in the
next room. Alarmed and terrified at this sudden appointment, he flew
to the other end of the room, and, snatching up an earthen chamber-pot,
which was the only offensive weapon in the place, put himself in a
posture of defence, and with many oaths threatened to try the temper
of the barber's skull, if he should presume to set his nose within the
apartment.

The jailer, who little expected such a reception, concluded that
the poor gentlewoman had actually lost her wits, and retreated with
precipitation, leaving the door open as he went out; upon which Pickle,
gathering up the particulars of his dress with great despatch, crammed
them into Pallet's arms, and taking notice that now the coast was clear,
exhorted him to follow his footsteps to the gate, where a hackney-coach
stood for his reception. There being no time for hesitation, the painter
took his advice; and, without quitting the utensil, which in his hurry
he forgot to lay down, sallied out in the rear of our hero, with all the
wildness of terror and impatience which may be reasonably supposed to
take possession of a man who flies from perpetual imprisonment. Such was
the tumult of his agitation, that his faculty of thinking was for the
present utterly overwhelmed, and he saw no object but his conductor,
whom he followed by a sort of instinctive impulse, without regarding the
keepers and sentinels, who, as he passed with his clothes under one arm,
and his chamber-pot brandished above his head, were confounded, and even
dismayed, at the strange apparition.

During the whole course of this irruption, he ceased nor to cry, with
great vociferation, "Drive, coachman, drive, in the name of God!"
and the carriage had proceeded the length of a whole street before he
manifested the least sign of reflection, but stared like the Gorgon's
head, with his mouth wide open, and each particular hair crawling
and twining like an animated serpent. At length, however, he began to
recover the use of his senses, and asked if Peregrine thought him
now out of all danger of being retaken. This unrelenting wag, not yet
satisfied with the affliction he imposed upon the sufferer, answered,
with an air of doubt and concern, that he hoped they would not be
overtaken, and prayed to God they might not be retarded by a stop
of carriages. Pallet fervently joined in this supplication; and they
advanced a few yards farther, when the noise of a coach at full speed
behind them invaded their ears; and Pickle, having looked out of the
window, withdrew his head in seeming confusion, and exclaimed, "Lord
have mercy upon us! I wish that may not be a guard sent after us.
Methinks I saw the muzzle of a fusil sticking out of the coach." The
painter, hearing these tidings, that instant thrust himself half out
at the window, with his helmet still in his hand, bellowing to the
coachman, as loud as he could roar, "Drive, d-- ye, dive to the gates
of Jericho and the ends of the earth! Drive, you ragamuffin, you
rascallion, you hell-hound! Drive us to the pit Of hell, rather than we
should be taken!"

Such a phantom could not pass without attracting the curiosity of the
people, who ran to their doors and windows, in order to behold this
object of admiration. With the same view, that coach, which was supposed
to be in pursuit of him, stopped just as the windows of each happened to
be opposite; and Pallet, looking behind, and seeing three men standing
upon the footboard armed with canes, which his fear converted into
fusils, never doubted that his friend's suspicion was just, but, shaking
his Jordan at the imaginary guard, swore he would sooner die than part
with his precious ware. The owner of the coach, who was a nobleman of
the first quality, mistook him for some unhappy woman deprived of her
senses: and, ordering his coachman to proceed, convinced the fugitive,
to his infinite joy, that this was no more than a false alarm. He was
not, for all that, freed from anxiety and trepidation; but our young
gentleman, fearing his brain would not bear a repetition of the
same joke, permitted him to gain his own lodgings without further
molestation.

His landlady, meeting him on the stair, was so affected at his
appearance, that she screamed aloud, and betook herself to flight; while
he, cursing her with greet bitterness, rushed into the apartment to
the doctor, who, instead of receiving him with cordial embraces, and
congratulating him upon his deliverance, gave evident signs of umbrage
and discontent; and even plainly told him, he hoped to have heard that
he and Mr. Pickle had acted the glorious part of Cato; an event which
would have laid the foundation of such noble struggles, as could not
fail to end in happiness and freedom; and that he had already made
some progress in an ode that would have immortalised their names, and
inspired the flame of liberty in every honest breast. "There," said
he, "I would have proved, that great talents, and high sentiments of
liberty, do reciprocally produce and assist each other; and illustrated
my assertions with such notes and quotations from the Greek writers, as
would have opened the eyes of the most blind and unthinking, and touched
the most callous and obdurate heart. 'O fool! to think the man, whose
ample mind must grasp whatever yonder stars survey'--Pray, Mr. Pellet,
what is your opinion of that image of the mind's grasping the whole
universe? For my own part, I can't help thinking it the most happy
conception that ever entered my imagination."

The painter, who was not such a flaming enthusiast in the cause of
liberty, could not brook the doctor's reflections, which he thought
savoured a little too much of indifference and deficiency in point of
private friendship; and therefore seized the present opportunity of
mortifying his pride, by observing, that the image was, without all
doubt, very grand and magnificent; but that he had been obliged for the
idea to Mr. Bayes in "The Rehearsal," who values himself upon the same
figure, conveyed in these words, "But all these clouds, when by the eye
of reason grasp'd, etc." Upon any other occasion, the painter would
have triumphed greatly upon this detection; but such was the flutter and
confusion of his spirits, under the apprehension of being retaken, that,
without further communication, he retreated to his own room, in order to
resume his own dress, which he hoped would alter his appearance in such
a manner as to baffle all search and examination; while the physician
remained ashamed and abashed, to find himself convinced of bombast by
a person of such contemptible talents. He was offended at this proof
of his memory, and so much enraged at his presumption in exhibiting
it, that he could never forgive his want of reverence, and took every
opportunity of exposing his ignorance and folly in the sequel. Indeed,
the ties of private affection were too weak to engage the heart of this
republican, whose zeal for the community had entirely swallowed up
his concern for individuals. He looked upon particular friendship as a
passion unworthy of his ample soul, and was a professed admirer of L.
Manlius, Junius Brutus, and those later patriots of the same name,
who shut their ears against the cries of nature, and resisted all the
dictates of gratitude and humanity.



CHAPTER XLVIII.



Pallet conceives a hearty Contempt for his Fellow-traveller, and
attaches himself to Pickle, who, nevertheless, persecutes him with his
mischievous Talent upon the Road to Flanders.


In the mean time, his companion, having employed divers pailfuls of
water in cleansing himself from the squalor of jail, submitted his face
to the barber, tinged his eye-brows with a sable hue, and, being dressed
in his own clothes, ventured to visit Peregrine, who was still under the
hands of his valet-de-chambre, and who gave him to understand that his
escape had been connived at, and that the condition of their deliverance
was their departure from Paris in three days.

The painter was transported with joy, when he learned that he ran
no risk of being retaken, and, far from repining at the terms of his
enlargement, would have willingly set out on his return to England that
same afternoon; for the Bastille had made such an impression upon him,
that he started at the sound of every coach, and turned pale at the
sight of a French soldier. In the fulness of his heart, he complained of
the doctor's indifference, and related what had passed at their meeting
with evident marks of resentment and disrespect; which were not at all
diminished, when Jolter informed him of the physician's behaviour
when he sent for him, to confer about the means of abridging their
confinement. Pickle himself was incensed at his want of bowels; and,
perceiving how much he had sank in the opinion of his fellow-traveller,
resolved to encourage these sentiments of disgust, and occasionally
foment the division to a downright quarrel, which he foresaw would
produce some diversion, and perhaps expose the poet's character in
such a light, as would effectually punish him for his arrogance and
barbarity. With this view, he leveled several satirical jokes at the
doctor's pedantry and want of taste, which had appeared so conspicuous
in the quotation he had got by heart, from ancient authors; in his
affected disdain of the best pictures of the world, which, had he been
endowed with the least share of discernment, he could not have beheld
with such insensibility; and, lastly, in his ridiculous banquet, which
none but an egregious coxcomb, devoid of all elegance and sense, would
have prepared, or presented to rational beings. In a word, our young
gentleman played the artillery of his wit against him with such success,
that the painter seemed to wake from a dream, and went home with the
most hearty contempt for the person he had formerly adored.

Instead of using the privilege of a friend, to enter his apartment
without ceremony, he sent in his servant with a message, importing,
that he intended to set out from Paris the next day, in company with
Mr. Pickle; and desiring to know whether or not he was, or would be,
prepared for the journey. The doctor, struck with the manner as well
as the matter of this intimation, went immediately to Pallet's room and
demanded to know the cause of such a sudden determination without his
privity or concurrence; and when he understood the necessity of their
affairs, rather than travel by himself, he ordered his baggage to be
packed up, and signified his readiness to conform to the emergency of
the case; though he was not at all pleased with the cavalier behaviour
of Pallet, to whom he threw out some hints on his own importance, and
the immensity of his condescension in favouring him with such marks of
regard. But by this time these insinuations had lost their effect upon
the painter who told him, with an arch sneer, that he did not at all
question his learning and abilities, and particularly his skill in
cookery, which he should never forget while his palate retained its
function; but nevertheless advised him, for the sake of the degenerate
eaters of these days, to spare a little of his sal ammoniac in the next
sillykicaby he should prepare; and abate somewhat of the devil's dung,
which he had so plentifully crammed into the roasted fowls, unless he
had a mind to convert his guests into patients, with a view of licking
himself whole for the expense of the entertainment.

The physician, nettled at these sarcasms, eyed him with a look of
indignation and disdain; and, being, unwilling to express himself in
English, lest, in the course of the altercation, Pallet should be so
much irritated as to depart without him, he vented his anger in Greek.
The painter, though by the sound he supposed this quotation to be Greek,
complimented his friend upon his knowledge in the Welsh language, and
found means to rally him quite out of temper; so that he retired to
his own chamber in the utmost wrath and mortification, and left his
antagonist exulting over the victory he had won.

While these things passed between these originals, Peregrine waited
upon the ambassador, whom he thanked for his kind interposition,
acknowledging the indiscretion of his own conduct with such appearance
of conviction and promises of reformation, that his excellency freely
forgave him for all the trouble he had been put to on his account,
fortified him with sensible advices and, assuring him of his continual
favour and friendship, gave him at parting, letters of introduction to
several persons of quality belonging to the British court.

Thus distinguished, our young gentleman took leave of all his French
acquaintance, and spent the evening with some of those who had enjoyed
the greatest share of his intimacy and confidence; while Jolter
superintended his domestic concerns, and with infinite joy bespoke a
post-chaise and horse, in order to convey him from a place where
he lived in continual apprehension of suffering by the dangerous
disposition of his pupil. Everything being adjusted according to their
plan, they and their fellow-travellers next day dined together, and
about four in the afternoon took their departure in two chaises,
escorted by the valet-de-chambre, Pipes, and the doctor's lacquey on
horseback, well furnished with arms and ammunition, in case of being
attacked by robbers on the road.

It was about eleven o'clock at night when they arrived at Senlis, which
was the place at which they proposed to lodge, and where they were
obliged to knock up the people of the inn, before they could have
their supper prepared. All the provision in the house was but barely
sufficient to furnish one indifferent meal: however, the painter
consoled himself for the quantity with the quality of the dishes, one of
which was a fricassee of rabbit, a preparation that he valued above
all the dainties that ever smoked upon the table of the sumptuous
Heliogabalus.

He had no sooner expressed himself to this effect, than our hero,
who almost incessantly laying traps for diversion at his neighbour's
expense, laid hold on the declaration; and, recollecting the story of
Scipio and the muleteer in Gil Blas, resolved to perpetrate a joke upon
the stomach of Pallet, which seemed well disposed to a hearty supper.
He, accordingly, digested his plan; and the company being seated at
table, affected to stare with peculiar eagerness at the painter, who had
helped himself to a large portion of the fricassee, and began to swallow
it with infinite relish. Pallet, notwithstanding the keenness of his
appetite, could not help taking notice of Pickle's demeanour; and,
making a short pause in the exercise of his grinders, "You are
surprised," said he, "to see me make so much despatch; but I was
extremely hungry, and this is one of the best fricassees I ever tasted:
the French are very expert in these dishes, that I must allow; and, upon
my conscience, I would never desire to eat a more delicate rabbit than
this that lies upon my plate."

Peregrine made no other reply to this encomium, than the repetition of
the word rabbit, with a note of admiration, and such a significant shake
of the head, as effectually alarmed the other, who instantly suspended
the action of his jaws, and, with the morsel half chewed in his mouth,
stared round him with a certain stolidity of apprehension, which
is easier conceived than described; until his eyes encountered the
countenance of Thomas Pipes, who, being instructed, and posted opposite
to him for the occasion, exhibited an arch grin, that completed the
painter's disorder. Afraid of swallowing his mouthful, and ashamed to
dispose of it any other way, he sat some time in a most distressed state
of suspense; and being questioned by Mr. Jolter touching his calamity,
made a violent effort of the muscles of his gullet, which with
difficulty performed their office; and then, with great confusion and
concern, asked if Mr. Pickle suspected the rabbit's identity. The young
gentleman, assuming a mysterious air, pretended ignorance of the matter,
observing that he was apt to suspect all dishes of that kind, since he
had been informed of the tricks which were commonly played at inns
in France, Italy, and Spain; and recounted three passage in Gil Blas,
which we have hinted it above, saying, he did not pretend to be a
connoisseur in animals, but the legs of the creature which composed that
diet which composed the fricassee, did not, in his opinion, resemble
those of the rabbits he had usually seen. This observation had an
evident effect upon the features of the painter, who, with certain signs
of loathing and astonishment, exclaimed, "Lord Jesus!" and appealed to
Pipes for the discovery of the truth by asking if he knew anything
of the affair. Tom very gravely replied, "he did suppose the food
was wholesome enough, for he had seen the skin and feet of a special
ram-cat, new flayed, hanging upon the door of a small pantry adjoining
to the kitchen."

Before this sentence was uttered, Pallet's belly seemed to move in
contact with his back-bone, his colour changed, no part but the whites
of his eyes were to be seen, he dropped his lower jaw, and, fixing his
hands in his sides, retched with such convulsive agonies, as amazed and
disconcerted the whole company: and what augmented his disorder, was
the tenacious retention of the stomach, which absolutely refused to part
with its contents, notwithstanding all the energy of his abhorrence,
which threw him into a cold sweat, and almost into a swoon.

Pickle, alarmed at his condition, assured him it was a genuine rabbit,
and that he had tutored Pipes to say otherwise for the joke's sake.
But this confession he considered as a friendly artifice of Pickle's
compassion, and therefore it had little effect upon his constitution. By
the assistance, however, of a large bumper of brandy, his spirits were
recruited, and his recollection so far recovered, that he was able to
declare, with divers contortions of face, that the dish had a rankness
of taste, which he had imparted partly to the nature of the French
covey, and partly to the composition of their sauces; then he inveighed
against the infamous practices of French publicans, attributing
such imposition to their oppressive government, which kept them so
necessitous, that they were tempted to exercise all manner of knavery
upon their unwary guests.

Jolter, who could not find in his heart to let slip any opportunity of
speaking in favour of the French, told him, that he was a very great
stranger to their police; else he would know, that if, upon information
to the magistrate, it should appear that any traveller, native or
foreigner, had been imposed upon or ill-treated by a publican, the
offender would be immediately obliged to shut up his house; and, if his
behaviour had been notorious, he himself would be sent to the galleys,
without the least hesitation: "and as for the dish which has been made
the occasion of your present disorder," said he, "I will take upon me
to affirm it was prepared of a genuine rabbit, which was skinned in my
presence; and, in confirmation of what I assert, though such fricassees
are not the favourites of my taste, I will eat a part of this without
scruple."

So saying, he swallowed several mouthfuls of the questioned coney, and
Pallet seemed to eye it again with inclination; nay, he even resumed his
knife and fork; and being just on the point of applying them, was seized
with another qualm of apprehension, that broke out in an exclamation of,
"After all, Mr. Jolter, if it should be a real ram-cat? Lord have mercy
upon me! here is one of the claws." With these words he presented the
tip of a toe, of which Pipes had snipped off five or six from a duck
that was roasted, and purposely scattered them in the fricassee: and
the governor could not behold this testimonial without symptoms of
uneasiness and remorse; so that he and the painter sat silenced and
abashed, and made faces at each other, while the physician, who hated
them both, exulted over their affliction, bidding them be of good cheer,
and proceed with their meal; for he was ready to demonstrate, that
the flesh of a cat was as nourishing and delicious as veal or mutton,
provided they could prove that the said cat was not of the boar kind,
and had fed chiefly on vegetable diet, or even confined its carnivorous
appetite to rats and mice, which he affirmed to be dainties of exquisite
taste and flavour. He said, it was a vulgar mistake to think that
all flesh-devouring creatures were unfit to be eaten: witness the
consumption of swine and ducks, animals that delight in carriage as
well as fish, and prey upon each other, and feed on bait and carrion;
together with the demand for bear, of which the best hams in the world
are made. He then observed that the negroes on the coast of Guinea, who
are healthy and vigorous people, prefer cats and dogs to all other
fare; and mentioned from history several sieges, during which the
inhabitants, who were blocked up, lived upon these animals, and had
recourse even to human flesh, which, to his certain knowledge, was in
all respects preferable to pork; for, in the course of his studies, he
had, for the experiment's sake, eaten a steak cut from the buttock of a
person who had been hanged.

This dissertation, far from composing, increased the disquiet in
the stomachs of the governor and painter, who, hearing the last
illustration, turned their eyes upon the orator, at the same instant,
with looks of horror and disgust; and the one muttering the term
"cannibal," and the other pronouncing the word "abomination," they rose
from table in a great hurry, and running towards another apartment,
jostled with such violence in the passage, that both were overturned
by the shock, which also contributed to the effect of their nausea that
mutually defiled them as they lay.



CHAPTER XLIX.



Nor is the Physician sacred from his Ridicule--They reach Arras, where
our Adventurer engages in Play with two French Officers, who, next
Morning, give the Landlord an interesting Proof of their Importance.


The doctor remained sullen and dejected during the whole journey: not
but that he attempted to recover his importance by haranguing upon the
Roman highways, when Mr. Jolter desired the company to take notice of
the fine pavement upon which they travelled from Paris into Flanders;
but Pallet, who thought he had now gained the ascendency over the
physician, exerted himself in maintaining the superiority he had
acquired, by venting various sarcasms upon his self-conceit and
affectation of learning, and even tittering puns and conundrums upon the
remarks which the republican retailed. When he talked of the Flaminian
Way, the painter questioned if it was a better pavement than the
Fleminian Way on which they travelled: and the doctor having observed,
that this road was made for the convenience of drawing the French
artillery into Flanders, which was often the seat of war, his competitor
in wit replied, with infinite vivacity, "There are more great guns than
the French king knows of drawn along this causeway, doctor."

Encouraged by the success of these efforts, which tickled the
imagination of Jolter, and drew smiles (as he imagined) of approbation
from our hero, he sported in many other equivoques of the same nature;
and at dinner, told the physician, that he was like the root of the
tongue, as being cursedly down in the mouth.

By this time, such was the animosity subsisting between these quondam
friends, that they never conversed together, except with a view
of exposing each other to the ridicule or contempt of their
fellow-travellers. The doctor was at great pains to point out the folly
and ignorance of Pallet in private to Peregrine, who was often conjured
in the same manner by the painter, to take notice of the physician's
want of manners and taste. Pickle pretended to acquiesce in the truth
of their mutual severity, which, indeed, was extremely just; and by
malicious insinuations blew up their contention, with a view of bringing
it to open hostility. But both seemed so averse to deeds of mortal
purpose, that for a long time his arts were baffled, and he could
not spirit them up to any pitch of resentment higher than scurrilous
repartee.

Before they reached Arras, the city gates were shut, so that they
were obliged to take up their lodgings at an indifferent house in the
suburbs, where they found a couple of French officers, who had also rode
post from Paris so far on their way to Lisle. These gentlemen were about
the age of thirty, and their deportment distinguished by such an air
of insolence, as disgusted our hero, who, nevertheless, accosted them
politely in the yard, and proposed that they should sup together. They
thanked him for the honour of his invitation, which, however, they
declined upon pretence of having ordered something for themselves;
but promised to wait upon him and his company immediately after their
repast.

This they accordingly performed; and, after having drunk a few glasses
of Burgundy, one of them asked, if the young gentleman would, for
pastime, take a hand at quadrille. Peregrine easily divined the meaning
of this proposal, which was made with no other view than that of
fleecing him and his fellow-travellers; for he well knew to what shifts
a subaltern in the French service is reduced, in order to maintain the
appearance of a gentleman, and had reason to believe that most of them
were sharpers from their youth: but, as he depended a good deal upon his
own penetration and address, he gratified the stranger's desire; and a
party was instantly formed of the painter, the physician, the proposer,
and himself, the other officer having professed himself utterly ignorant
of the game; in the course of the play, he took his station at the back
of Pickle's chair, which was opposite to his friend, on pretence of
amusing himself with seeing his manner of conducting the cards. The
youth was not such a novice but that he perceived the design of this
palpable piece of behaviour, which, notwithstanding, he overlooked for
the present, with a view of flattering their hopes in the beginning,
that they might be the more effectually punished by their disappointment
in the end.

The game was scarce begun, when, by the reflection of a glass, he
discerned the officer at his back making signs to his companion, who,
by preconcerted gestures, was perfectly informed of the contents of
Peregrine's hand, and, of consequence, fortunate in the course of play.
Thus they were allowed to enjoy the fruits of their dexterity, until
their money amounted to some louis; when our young gentleman, thinking
it high time to do himself justice, signified in very polite terms to
the gentleman who stood behind him, that he could never play with ease
and deliberation when he was overlooked by any bystander, and begged
that he would have the goodness to be seated.

As this was a remonstrance which the stranger could not, with my show
of breeding, resist, he asked pardon, and retired to the chair of the
physician, who frankly told him, that it was not the fashion of his
country for one to submit his hand to the perusal of a spectator; and
when, in consequence of this rebuff, he wanted to quarter himself upon
the painter, he was refused by a wave of the hand, and shake of the
head, with an exclamation of pardonnez moi; which was repeated with such
emphasis, as discomposed this effrontery; and he found himself obliged
to sit down in a state of mortification.

The odds being thus removed, fortune proceeded in her usual channel;
and though the Frenchman, deprived of his ally, endeavoured to practise
divers strokes of finesse, the rest of the company observed him with
such vigilance and caution, as baffled all his attempts, and in a very
little time he was compelled to part with his winning: but, having
engaged in the match with an intention of taking all advantages,
whether fair or unfair, that his superior skill should give him over the
Englishman, the money was not refunded without a thousand disputes, in
the course of which he essayed to intimidate his antagonist with high
words, which were retorted by our hero with such interest as convinced
him that he had mistaken his man, and persuaded him to make his retreat
in quiet. Indeed, it was not without cause that they repined at the
bad success of their enterprise; because, in all likelihood, they had
nothing to depend upon for the present but their own industry, and knew
not how to defray their expenses on the road, except by some acquisition
of this kind.

Next morning they rose at daybreak, and resolving to anticipate their
fellow-lodgers, bespoke post-horses as soon as they could be admitted
into the city; so that, when our company appeared, their beasts were
ready in the yard, and they only waited to discuss the bill, which they
had ordered to be made out. The landlord of the inn presented his carte
with fear and trembling to one of those ferocious cavaliers, who no
sooner cast his eye upon the sum total, than he discharged a volley of
dreadful oaths, and asked if the king's officers were to be treated in
that manner? The poor publican protested, with great humility, that he
had the utmost respect for his majesty, and everything that belonged to
him; and that, far from consulting his own interest, all that he desired
was, to be barely indemnified for the expense of their lodging.

This condescension seemed to have no other effect than that of
encouraging their arrogance. They swore his extortion should be
explained to the commandant of the town, who would, by making him a
public example, teach other innkeepers how to behave towards men of
honour; and threatened with such confidence of indignation, that the
wretched landlord, dreading the consequence of their wrath, implored
pardon in the most abject manner, begging, with many supplications, that
he might have the pleasure of lodging them at his own charge. This was
a favour which he with great difficulty obtained: they chid him severely
for his imposition; exhorted him to have more regard for his own
conscience, as well as to the convenience of his guests; and, cautioning
him in particular touching his behaviour to the gentlemen of the army,
mounted their horses, and rode off in great state, leaving him very
thankful for having so successfully appeased the choler of two officers,
who wanted either inclination or ability to pay their bill; for
experience had taught him to be apprehensive of all such travellers, who
commonly lay the landlord under contribution, by way of atonement
for the extravagance of his demands, even after he has professed his
willingness to entertain them on their own terms.



CHAPTER L.



Peregrine moralizes upon their Behaviour, which is condemned by the
Doctor, and defended by the Governor--They arrive in safety at Lisle,
dine at an Ordinary, visit the Citadel--The Physician quarrels with a
North Briton, who is put in Arrest.


These honourable adventurers being gone, Peregrine, who was present
during the transaction, informed himself of the particulars from the
mouth of the innkeeper himself, who took Heaven and the saints to
witness, that he should have been a loser by their custom, even if
the bill had been paid: because he was on his guard against their
objections, and had charged every article at an under price: but such
was the authority of officers in France, that he durst not dispute
the least circumstance of their will; for, had the case come under the
cognizance of the magistrate, he must, in course, have suffered by the
maxims of their government, which never fail to abet the oppression
of the army; and, besides, run the risk of incurring their future
resentment, which would be sufficient to ruin him from top to bottom.

Our hero boiled with indignation at this instance of injustice and
arbitrary power; and, turning to his governor, asked, if this too was
a proof of the happiness enjoyed by the French people. Jolter replied,
that every human constitution must, in some things, be imperfect and
owned, that in this kingdom, gentlemen were more countenanced than
the vulgar, because it was to be presumed that their own sentiments
of honour and superior qualifications would entitle them to this
pre-eminence, which had also a retrospective view to the merit of their
ancestors, in consideration of which they were at first ennobled; but he
affirmed, that the innkeeper had misrepresented the magistracy, which,
in France, never failed to punish flagrant outrages and abuse, without
respect of persons.

The painter approved of the wisdom of the French government, in bridling
the insolence of the mob, by which, he assured them, he had often
suffered in his own person; having been often bespattered by
hackney-coachmen, jostled by draymen and porters, and reviled in the
most opprobrious terms by the watermen of London, where he had once lost
his bag and a considerable quantity of hair, which had been cut off
by some rascal in his passage through Ludgate, during the Lord Mayor's
procession. On the other hand, the doctor with great warmth alleged,
that those officers ought to suffer death, or banishment at least, for
having plundered the people in this manner, which was so impudent
and barefaced, as plainly to prove they were certain of escaping
with impunity, and that they were old offenders in the same degree of
delinquency. He said, that the greatest man in Athens would have been
condemned to perpetual exile, and seen his estate confiscated for public
use, had he dared in such a licentious manner to violate the rights of
a fellow-citizen; and as for the little affronts to which a man may
be subject from the petulance of the multitude, he looked upon them as
glorious indications of liberty, which ought not to be repressed, and
would at any time rejoice to find himself overthrown in a kennel by the
insolence of a son of freedom, even though the fall should cost him a
limb; adding, by way of illustration, that the greatest pleasure he ever
enjoyed was in seeing a dustman wilfully overturn a gentleman's coach,
in which two ladies were bruised, even to the danger of their lives.
Pallet, shocked at the extravagance of this declaration, "If that be the
case," said he, "I wish you may see every bone in your body broke by the
first carman you meet in the streets of London."

This argument being discussed, and the reckoning discharged without any
deduction, although the landlord, in stating the articles, had an eye
to the loss he had sustained by his own countrymen, they departed
from Arras, and arrived in safety at Lisle, about two o'clock in the
afternoon.

They had scarce taken possession of their lodgings, in a large hotel in
the Grande Place, when the innkeeper gave them to understand, that
he kept an ordinary below, which was frequented by several English
gentlemen who resided in town, and that dinner was then set upon
the table. Peregrine, who seized all opportunities of observing new
characters, persuaded his company to dine in public; and they were
accordingly conducted to the place, where they found a mixture of Scotch
and Dutch officers, who had come from Holland to learn their exercises
at the academy, and some gentlemen in the French service, who were upon
garrison duty in the citadel. Among these last was a person about the
age of fifty, of a remarkably genteel air and polite address, dignified
with a Maltese cross, and distinguished by the particular veneration of
all those who knew him. When he understood that Pickle and his friends
were travellers, he accosted the youth in English, which he spoke
tolerably well; and, as they were strangers, offered to attend them in
the afternoon to all the places worth seeing in Lisle. Our hero thanked
him for his excess of politeness, which, he said, was peculiar to the
French nation; and, struck with his engaging appearance, industriously
courted his conversation, in the course of which he learned that this
chevalier was a man of good sense and great experience, that he was
perfectly well acquainted with the greatest part of Europe, had lived
some years in England, and was no stranger to the constitution and
genius of that people.

Having dined, and drunk to the healths of the English and French kings,
two fiacres were called, in one of which the knight, with one of his
companions, the governor, and Peregrine seated themselves, the other
being occupied by the physician, Pallet, and two Scottish officers,
who proposed to accompany them in their circuit. The first place they
visited was the citadel, round the ramparts of which they walked,
under the conduct of the knight, who explained with great accuracy the
intention of every particular fortification belonging to that seemingly
impregnable fortress; and, when they had satisfied their curiosity,
took coach again, in order to view the arsenal, which stands in another
quarter of the town; but, just as Pickle's carriage had crossed the
promenade, he heard his own name bawled aloud by the painter; and,
ordering the fiacre to stop, saw Pallet, with one half of his body
thrust out at the window of the other coach, crying, with a terrified
look, "Mr. Pickle, Mr. Pickle, the for the love of God halt, and prevent
bloodshed, else here will be carnage and cutting of throats." Peregrine,
surprised at this exclamation, immediately alighted, and, advancing to
the other vehicle, found one of their military companions standing upon
the ground, at the farther side of the coach, with his sword drawn, and
fury in his countenance; and the physician, with a quivering lip, and
haggard aspect, struggling with the other, who had interposed in the
quarrel, and detained him in his place.

Our young gentleman, upon inquiry, found that this animosity had sprung
from a dispute that happened upon the ramparts, touching the strength of
the fortification, which the doctor, according to custom, undervalued,
because it was a modern work; saying, that by the help of the military
engines used among the ancients, and a few thousands of pioneers, he
would engage to take it in less than ten days after he should sit down
before it. The North Briton, who was as great a pedant as the physician,
having studied fortification, and made himself master of Caesar's
Commentaries and Polybius, with the observations of Folard, affirmed,
that all the methods of besieging practised by the ancients would be
utterly ineffectual against such a plan as that of the citadel of Lisle;
and began to compare the vineae, aggeres, arietes, scorpiones, and
catapultae of the Romans, with the trenches, mines, batteries, and
mortars used in the present art of war. The republican, finding himself
attacked upon what he thought his strong side, summoned all his learning
to his aid; and, describing the famous siege of Plateae, happened to
misquote a passage of Thucydides, in which he was corrected by the
other, who, having been educated for the church, was also a connoisseur
in the Greek language. The doctor, incensed at being detected in such
a blunder in the presence of Pallet, who, he knew, would promulgate his
shame, told the officer, with great arrogance, that his objection was
frivolous, and that he must not pretend to dispute on these matters
with one who had considered them with the utmost accuracy and care. His
antagonist, piqued at this supercilious insinuation, replied with
great heat, that for aught he knew, the doctor might be a very expert
apothecary, but that in the art of war, and knowledge of the Greek
tongue, he was no other than an ignorant pretender.

This asseveration produced an answer full of virulence, including a
national reflection upon the soldier's country; and the contention rose
to mutual abuse, when it was suppressed by the admonitions of the other
two, who begged they would not expose themselves in a strange place,
but behave themselves like fellow-subjects and friends. They accordingly
ceased reviling each other, and the affair was seemingly forgot;
but after they had resumed their places in the coach, the painter
unfortunately asked the meaning of the word tortise, which he had
heard them mention among the Roman implements of war. This question was
answered by the physician, who described the nature of this expedient
so little to the satisfaction of the officer, that he contradicted him
flatly in the midst of his explanation; a circumstance which provoked
the republican to such a degree, that, in the temerity of his passion,
he uttered the epithet, "impertinent scoundrel;" which was no sooner
pronounced than the Caledonian made manual application to his nose, and,
leaping out of the coach, stood waiting for him on the plain; while he,
the physician, made feeble efforts to join him, being easily retained
by the other soldier; and Pallet, dreading the consequence in which he
himself might be involved, bellowed aloud for prevention.

Our hero endeavoured to quiet the commotion by representing to the Scot
that he had already taken satisfaction for the injury he had received,
and telling the doctor that he had deserved the chastisement which was
inflicted upon him; but the officer, encouraged perhaps by the confusion
of his antagonist, insisted upon his asking pardon for what he had said;
and the doctor, believing himself under the protection of his friend
Pickle, far from agreeing to such concession, breathed nothing but
defiance and revenge; so that the chevalier, in order to prevent
mischief, put the soldier under arrest, and sent him to his lodgings,
under the care of the other French gentleman and his own companion; they
being also accompanied by Mr. Jolter, who, having formerly seen all the
curiosities of Lisle, willingly surrendered his place to the physician.



CHAPTER LI.



Pickle engages with a Knight of Malta, in a Conversation upon the
English Stage, which is followed by a Dissertation on the Theatres of
the Ancients, by the Doctor.


The rest of the company proceeded to the arsenal, which having viewed,
together with some remarkable churches, they, in their return, went to
the comedy, and saw the Cid of Corneille tolerably well represented. In
consequence of this entertainment, the discourse at supper turned upon
dramatic performances; and all the objections of Monsieur Scudery to
the piece they had seen acted, together with the decision of the French
Academy, were canvassed and discussed. The knight was a man of letters
and taste, and particularly well acquainted with the state of the
English stage; so that when the painter boldly pronounced sentence
against the French manner of acting, on the strength of having
frequented a Covent Garden club of critics, and been often admitted, by
virtue of an order, into the pit; a comparison immediately ensued,
not between the authors, but the actors of both nations, to whom
the chevalier and Peregrine were no strangers. Our hero, like a good
Englishman, made no scruple of giving the preference to the performers
of his own country, who, he alleged, obeyed the genuine impulses of
nature, in exhibiting the passions of the human mind; and entered so
warmly into the spirit of their several parts, that they often fancied
themselves the very heroes they represented; whereas, the action of
the Parisian players, even in their most interesting characters, was
generally such an extravagance in voice and gesture, as is nowhere to
be observed but on the stage. To illustrate this assertion, he availed
himself of his talent, and mimicked the manner and voice of all the
principal performers, male and female, belonging to the French comedy,
to the admiration of the chevalier, who, having complimented him upon
this surprising modulation, begged leave to dissent in some particulars
from the opinion he had avowed.

"That you have good actors in England," said he, "it would be unjust
and absurd in me to deny; your theatre is adorned by one woman, whose
sensibility and sweetness of voice is such as I have never observed on
any other stage; she has besides, an elegance of person and expression
of features, that wonderfully adapt her for the most engaging characters
of your best plays; and I must freely own that I have been as highly
delighted and as deeply affected by a Monimia and Belvidera at London,
as ever I was by Cornelia and Cleopatra at Paris. Your favourite actor
is a surprising genius. You can, moreover, boast of several comic actors
who are perfect masters of buffoonery and grimace; though, to be free
with you, I think in these qualifications you are excelled by the
players of Amsterdam. Yet one of your graciosos I cannot admire, in all
the characters he assumes. His utterance is a continual sing-song,
like the chanting of vespers; and his action resembles that of heaving
ballast into the hold of a ship. In his outward deportment he seems to
have confounded the ideas of insolence and the dignity of mien; acts the
crafty cool, designing Crookback, as a loud, shallow, blustering Hector;
in the character of the mild patriot Brutus, loses all temper and
decorum; nay, so ridiculous is the behaviour of him and Cassius at their
interview, that, setting foot to foot, and grinning at each other,
with the aspect of two cobblers engaged, they thrust their left sides
together, with repeated shoots, that the hilts of their swords may clash
for the entertainment of the audience; as if they were a couple of merry
andrews, endeavouring to raise the laugh of the vulgar, on some scaffold
of Bartholomew Fair. The despair of a great man, who falls a victim to
the infernal practices of a subtle traitor who enjoyed his confidence,
this English Aesopus represents, by beating his own forehead, and
beating like a bull; and, indeed, in almost all his most interesting
scenes, performs such strange shakings of the head, and other antic
gesticulations, that when I first saw him act, I imagined the poor man
laboured under the paralytical disorder, which is known by the name
of St. Vitus's dance. In short, he seems to be a stranger to the more
refined sensations of the soul, consequently his expression is of the
vulgar kind, and he must often sink under the idea of the poet; so that
he has recourse to such violence of affected agitation, as imposes upon
the undiscerning spectator; but to the eye of taste, evinces him a mere
player of that class whom your admired Shakespeare justly compares to
Nature's journeyman tearing a passion to rags. Yet this man, in spite of
all these absurdities, is an admirable Falstaff, exhibits the character
of the eighth Henry to the life, is reasonably applauded in the Plain
Dealer, excels in the part of Sir John Brute, and would be equal to many
humorous situations in low comedy, which his pride will not allow him to
undertake. I should not have been so severe upon this actor, had I not
seen him extolled by his partisans with the most ridiculous and fulsome
manifestations of praise, even in those very circumstances wherein (as I
have observed) he chiefly failed."

Peregrine, not a little piqued to hear the qualifications of such a
celebrated actor in England treated with such freedom and disrespect,
answered, with some asperity, that the chevalier was a true critic,
more industrious in observing the blemishes than in acknowledging the
excellence of those who fell under his examination.

It was not to be supposed that one actor could shine equally in all
characters; and though his observations were undoubtedly very judicious,
he himself could not help wondering that some of them had always escaped
his notice, though he had been an assiduous frequenter of the
playhouse. "The player in question," said he, "has, in your own opinion,
considerable share of merit in the characters of comic life; and as to
the manners of the great personages in tragedy, and the operation of
the grand passions of the soul, I apprehend they may be variously
represented, according to the various complexion and cultivation of
different men, A Spaniard, for example, though impelled by the same
passion, will express it very differently from a Frenchman; and what
is looked upon as graceful vivacity and address by the one, would be
considered as impertinence and foppery by the other; nay, so opposite is
your common deportment from that of some other nations, that one of
our own countrymen, in the relation of his travels, observes, that the
Persians even of this age, when they see any man perform unnecessary
gestures, says he is either a fool or Frenchman. The standard of
demeanour being thus unsettled, a Turk, a Moor, an Indian, or inhabitant
of my country whose customs and dress are widely different from ours,
may, in his sentiments, possess all the dignity of the human heart,
and be inspired by the noblest passion that animates the soul, and yet
excite the laughter rather than the respect of an European spectator.

"When I first beheld your famous Parisian stage heroine in one of her
principal parts, her attitudes seemed so violent, and she tossed
her arms around with such extravagance, that she put me in mind of
a windmill under the agitation of a hard gale; while her voice and
features exhibited the lively representation of an English scold. The
action of your favourite male performer was, in my opinion, equally
unnatural: he appeared with the affected airs of a dancing-master; at
the most pathetic junctures of his fate he lifted up his hands above his
head, like a tumbler going to vault, and spoke as if his throat had
been obstructed by a hair-brush: yet, when I compared their manners with
those of the people before whom they performed, and made allowance
for that exaggeration which obtains on all theatres, I was insensibly
reconciled to their method of performance, and I could distinguish
abundance of merit beneath that oddity of appearance."

The chevalier, perceiving Peregrine a little irritated at what he had
said, asked pardon for the liberty he had taken in censuring the English
players; assuring him that he had an infinite veneration for the British
learning, genius, and taste, which were so justly distinguished in
the world of letters; and that, notwithstanding the severity of his
criticism, he thought the theatre of London much better supplied with
actors than that of Paris. The young gentleman thanked him for his
polite condescension, at which Pallet excited, saying, with a shake of
the head, "I believe so, too, Monsieur;" and the physician, impatient
of the dispute in which he had borne no share, observed, with a
supercilious air, that the modern stage was altogether beneath one who
had an idea of ancient magnificence and execution; that plays ought to
be exhibited at the expense of the state, as those of Sophocles were by
the Athenians; and that proper judges should be appointed for receiving
or rejecting all such performances as are offered to the public.

He then described the theatre at Rome, which contained eighty thousand
spectators; gave them a learned disquisition into the nature of the
persona, or mask, worn by the Roman actors, which, he said, was a
machine that covered the whole head, furnished on the inside with a
brazen concavity, that, by reverberating, the sound, as it issued from
the mouth, raised the voice, so as to render it audible to such an
extended audience. He explained the difference between the saltator and
declamator, one of whom acted, while the other rehearsed the part; and
from thence took occasion to mention the perfection of their pantomimes,
who were so amazingly distinct in the exercise of their art, that a
certain prince of Pontus, being at the court of Nero, and seeing one of
them represent a story, begged him of the emperor, in order to employ
him as an interpreter among barbarous nations, whose language he did
not understand. Nay, divers cynic philosophers, who had condemned this
entertainment unseen, when they chanced to be eye-witnesses of their
admirable dexterity, expressed their sorrow for having so long debarred
themselves of such national enjoyment.

He dissented, however, from the opinion of Peregrine, who, as a proof of
their excellence, had advanced that some of the English actors fancied
themselves the very thing they represented; and recounted a story from
Lucian, of a certain celebrated pantomime, who, in, acting the part of
Ajax in his frenzy, was transported into a real fit of delirium, during
which he tore to pieces the clothes of that actor who stalked before
him, beating the stage with iron shoes, in order to increase the noise;
snatched an instrument from one of the musicians, and broke it over the
head of him who represented Ulysses; and, running to the consular bench,
mistook a couple of senators for the sheep which were to be slain. The
audience applauded him to the skies: but so conscious was the mimic of
his own extravagance when he recovered the use of his reason, that he
actually fell sick with mortification; and being afterwards desired to
re-act the piece, flatly refused to appear in any such character, saying
that the shortest follies were the best, and that it was sufficient for
him to have been a madman once in his life.



CHAPTER LII.



An Adventure happens to Pipes, in consequence of which he is dismissed
from Peregrine's Service--The whole Company set out for Ghent, in the
Diligence--Our Hero is captivated by a Lady in that Carriage--Interests
her spiritual Director in his behalf.


The doctor being fairly engaged on the subject of the ancients, would
have proceeded the Lord knows how far, without hesitation, had not he
been interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Jolter, who, in great confusion,
told them that Pipes, having affronted a soldier, was then surrounded
in the street, and certainly would be put to death if some person of
authority did not immediately interpose in his behalf.

Peregrine no sooner learned the danger of his trusty squire, than,
snatching up his sword, he ran down-stairs, and was followed by the
chevalier, entreating him to leave the affair to his management. Within
ten yards of the door they found Tom, with his back to a wall, defending
himself with a mopstick against the assault of three or four soldiers,
who, at sight of the Maltese cross, desisted from the attack, and were
taken into custody by order of the knight. One of the aggressors, being
an Irishman, begged to be heard with great importunity before he should
be sent to the guard; and, by the mediation of Pickle, was accordingly
brought into the hotel with his companions, all three bearing upon
their heads and faces evident marks of their adversary's prowess and
dexterity. The spokesman, being confronted with Pipes, informed the
company that, having by accident met with Mr. Pipes, whom he considered
as his countryman, though fortune had disposed of them in different
services, he invited him to drink a glass of wine, and accordingly
carried him to a cabaret, where he introduced him to his comrades;
but in the course of the conversation, which turned upon the power and
greatness of the kings of France and England, Mr. Pipes had been pleased
to treat his most Christian Majesty with great disrespect; and when he,
the entertainer, expostulated with him in a friendly manner about his
impolite behaviour, observing, that he, being in the French service,
would be under the necessity of resenting his abuse if he did not put a
stop to it before the other gentlemen of the cloth should comprehend
his meaning; he had set them all three at defiance, dishonoured him in
particular with the opprobrious epithet of rebel to his native king and
country, and even drunk, in broken French, to the perdition of Louis and
all his adherents; that, compelled by this outrageous conduct, he, as
the person who had recommended him to their society, had, in vindication
of his own character, demanded of the delinquent, who, on pretence
of fetching a sword, had gone to his lodging, from whence he all of a
sudden sallied upon them with the mopstick, which he employed in the
annoyance of them all without distinction, so that they were obliged to
draw in their own defence.

Pipes, being questioned by his master with regard to the truth of this
account, owned that every circumstance was justly represented; saying,
he did not value their cheese-toasters a pinch of oakum; and that if the
gentleman had not shot in betwixt them, he would have trimmed them
to such a tune, that they should not have had a whole yard to square.
Peregrine reprimanded him sharply for his unmannerly behaviour, and
insisted upon his asking pardon of those he had injured upon the spot:
but no consideration was efficacious enough to produce such concession;
to this command he was both deaf and dumb; and the repeated threats
of his master had no more effect than if they had been addressed to a
marble statue. At length, our hero, incensed at his obstinacy, started
up, and would have chastised him with manual operation, had not he been
prevented by the chevalier, who found means to moderate his indignation
so far that he contented himself with dismissing the offender from his
service; and after having obtained the discharge of the prisoners, gave
them a louis to drink, by way of recompense for the disgrace and damage
they had sustained.

The knight, perceiving our young gentleman very much ruffled at
this accident, and reflecting upon the extraordinary deportment and
appearance of his valet, whose hair had by this time adopted a grizzled
hue, imagined he was some favourite domestic, who had grown gray in the
service of his master's family, and that, of consequence, he was uneasy
at the sacrifice he had made. Swayed by this conjecture, he earnestly
solicited in his behalf; but all he could obtain, was a promise of
re-admitting him into favour on the terms already proposed, or at least
on condition that he should make his acknowledgment to the chevalier,
for his want of reverence and respect for the French monarch.

Upon this condescension the culprit was called up-stairs, and made
acquainted with the mitigation of his fate; upon which he said, he would
down on his marrow-bones to his own master, but would be d--d before he
would ask pardon of e'er a Frenchman in Christendom. Pickle, exasperated
at this blunt declaration, ordered him out of his presence, and charged
him never to appear before his face again; while the officer in vain
employed all his influence and address to appease his resentment, and
about midnight took his leave with marks of mortification at his want of
success.

Next day the company agreed to travel through Flanders in the diligence,
by the advice of Peregrine, who was not without hope of meeting with
some adventure or amusement in that carriage; and Jolter took care to
secure places for them all; it being resolved that the valet-de-chambre
and the doctor's man should attend the vehicle on horseback; and as for
the forlorn Pipes, he was left to reap the fruits of his own
stubborn disposition, notwithstanding the united efforts of the whole
triumvirate, who endeavoured to procure his pardon.

Every previous measure being thus taken, they set out from Lisle about
six in the morning, and found themselves in the company of a female
adventurer, a very handsome young lady, a Capuchin, and a Rotterdam
Jew. Our young gentleman, being the first of this society that entered,
surveyed the stranger with an attentive eye, and seated himself
immediately behind the beautiful unknown, who at once attracted his
attention. Pallet, seeing another lady unengaged, in imitation of his
friend, took possession of her neighbourhood; the physician paired with
the priest, and Jolter sat down by the Jew.

The machine had not proceeded many furlongs, when Pickle, accosting the
fair incognita, congratulated himself upon his happiness, in being the
fellow-traveller of so charming a lady. She, without the least reserve
or affectation, thanked him for his compliment; and replied, with a
sprightly air, that now they were embarked in one common bottom, they
must club their endeavours to make one another as happy as the nature
of their situation would permit them to be. Encouraged by this frank
intimation, and captivated by her fine black eyes and easy behaviour,
he attached himself to her from that moment; and, in a little time, the
conversation became so particular, that the Capuchin thought proper
to interfere in the discourse in such a manner as gave the youth to
understand that he was there on purpose to superintend her conduct. He
was doubly rejoiced at this discovery, in consequence of which he hoped
to profit in his addresses, not only by the young lady's restraint,
that never fails to operate in behalf of the lover, but also by the
corruptibility of her guardian, whom he did not doubt of rendering
propitious to his cause. Flushed with these expectations, he behaved
with uncommon complacency to the father, who was charmed with the
affability of his carriage, and on the faith of his generosity abated of
his vigilance so much, that our hero carried on his suit without further
molestation; while the painter, in signs and loud bursts of laughter,
conversed with his dulcinea, who was perfectly well versed in these
simple expressions of satisfaction, and had already found means to make
a dangerous invasion upon his heart.

Nor were the governor and physician unemployed, while their friends
interested themselves in this agreeable manner. Jolter no sooner
perceived the Hollander was a Jew, than he entered into an investigation
of the Hebrew tongue, in which he was a connoisseur; and the doctor at
the same time attacked the mendicant on the ridiculous maxims of his
order, together with the impositions of priestcraft in general, which,
he observed, prevailed so much among those who profess the Roman
Catholic religion.

Thus coupled, each committee enjoyed their own conversation apart,
without any danger of encroachment; and all were so intent upon their
several topics, that they scarce allowed themselves a small interval
in viewing the desolation of Menin, as they passed through that ruined
frontier. About twelve o'clock they arrived at Courtray, where the
horses are always changed, and the company halt an hour for refreshment.
Here Peregrine handed his charmer into an apartment, where she was
joined by the other lady; and on pretence of seeing some of the churches
in town, put himself under the direction of the Capuchin, from whom he
learned that the lady was wife to a French gentleman, to whom she had
been married about a year, and that she was now on her journey to visit
her mother, who lived in Brussels, and was at that time laboured under a
lingering distemper, which, in all probability, would soon put a period
to her life. He then launched out in praise of her daughter's virtue
and conjugal affection; and, lastly, told him, that he was her
father-confessor, and pitched upon to be her conductor through Flanders,
by her husband, as well as his wife, placed the utmost confidence in his
prudence and integrity.

Pickle easily comprehended the meaning of this insinuation, and took
the hint accordingly. He tickled the priest's vanity with extraordinary
encomiums upon the disinterested principles of his order, which were
detached from all worldly pursuits, and altogether devoted to the
eternal salvation of mankind. He applauded their patience, humility, and
learning, and lavished a world of praise upon their talent in preaching,
which, he said, had more than once operated so powerfully upon him, that
had he not been restrained by certain considerations which he could
not possibly waive, he should have embraced their tenets, and begged
admission into their fraternity: but, as the circumstances of his fate
would not permit him to take such a salutary measure for the present,
he entreated the good father to accept a small token of his love and
respect, for the benefit of that convent to which he belonged. So
saying he pulled out a purse of ten guineas, which the Capuchin
observing, turned his head another way, and, lifting up his arm,
displayed a pocket almost as high as his collar-bone, in which he
deposited the money.

This proof of affection for the order produced a sudden and surprising
effect upon the friar. In the transport of his zeal he wrung this
semi-convert's hand, showered a thousand benedictions upon his head, and
exhorted him, with the tears flowing from his eyes, to perfect the great
work which the finger of God had begun in his heart; and, as an instance
of his concern for the welfare of his precious soul, the holy brother
promised to recommend him strenuously to the pious admonitions of the
young woman under his care, who was a perfect saint upon earth, and
endowed with a peculiar gift of mollifying the hearts of obdurate
sinners. "O father!" cried the hypocritical projector, who by this time
perceived that his money was not thrown away, "if I could be favoured
but for one half hour with the private instruction of that inspired
devotee, my mind presages, that I should be a strayed sheep brought
back into the fold, and that I should find easy entrance at the gates of
heaven! There is something supernatural in her aspect: I gaze upon her
with the most pious fervour, and my whole soul is agitated with tumults
of hope and despair!"

Having pronounced this rhapsody with transport half natural and half
affected, the priest assured him, that these were the operations of the
Spirit, which must not be repressed; and comforted him with the hope of
enjoying the blessed interview which he desired, protesting, that, as
far as his influence extended, his wish should be that very evening
indulged. The gracious pupil thanked him for his benevolent concern,
which he swore should not be squandered upon an ungrateful object; and
the rest of the company interrupting the conversation, they returned in
a body to the inn, where they dined all together, and the ladies were
persuaded to be our hero's guests.

As the subjects on which they had been engaged before dinner were not
exhausted, each brace resumed their former theme when they were replaced
in the diligence. The painter's mistress finished her conquest, by
exerting her skill in the art of ogling, accompanied by frequent
bewitching sighs and some tender French songs, that she sang with such
pathetic expression, as quite melted the resolution of Pallet, and
utterly subdued his affection. And he, to convince her of the importance
of her victory, gave a specimen of his own talents, by entertaining her
with that celebrated English ditty, the burden of which begins with,
"The pigs they lie with their a--s bare."



CHAPTER LIII.



He makes some Progress in her Affections--Is interrupted by a Dispute
between Jolter and the Jew--Appeases the Wrath of the Capuchin, who
procures for him an interview with his fair Enslaver, in which he finds
himself deceived.


Peregrine, meanwhile, employed all his insinuation and address in
practising upon the heart of the Capuchin's fair charge. He had long ago
declared his passion, not in the superficial manner of a French gallant,
but with all the ardour of an enthusiast. He had languished, vowed,
flattered, kissed her hand by stealth, and had no reason to complain
of his reception. Though, by a man of a less sanguine disposition, her
particular complaisance would have been deemed equivocal, and perhaps
nothing more than the effects of French breeding and constitutional
vivacity; he gave his own qualifications credit for the whole, and with
these sentiments carried on the attack with such unabating vigour, that
she was actually prevailed upon to accept a ring, which he presented
as a token of his esteem; and everything proceeded in a most prosperous
train, when they were disturbed by the governor Israelite, who, in
the heat of disputation, raised their voices, and poured forth such
effusions of gutturals, as set our lover's teeth on edge. As they spoke
in a language unknown to every one in the carriage but themselves,
and looked at each other with mutual animosity and rancour, Peregrine
desired to know the cause of their contention; upon which Jolter
exclaimed, in a furious tone, "This learned Levite, forsooth, has the
impudence to tell me that I don't understand Hebrew; and affirms that
the word Benoni signifies 'child of joy;' whereas, I can prove, and
have already said enough to convince any reasonable man, that in the
Septuagint it is rightly translated into 'son of my sorrow.'"

Having thus explained himself to his pupil, he turned to the priest,
with intention to appeal to his determination; but the Jew pulled him by
the sleeve with great eagerness, saying, "For the love of God, be
quiet: the Capuchin will discover who we are." Joker, offended at this
conjunction, echoed, "Who we are!" with great emphasis; and repeating
nos poma natamus, asked ironically, to which of the tribes the Jew
thought he belonged? The Levite, affronted at his comparing him to a
ball of horse-dung, replied, with a most significant grin, "To the tribe
of Issachar." His antagonist, taking the advantage of his unwillingness
to be known by the friar, and prompted by revenge for the freedom he
had used, answered, in the French language, that the judgment of God
was still manifest upon their whole race, not only in their being in the
state of exiles from their native land, but also in the spite of their
hearts and pravity of their dispositions, which demonstrate them to be
the genuine offspring of those who crucified the Saviour of the world.

His expectation was, however, defeated: the priest himself was too
deeply engaged to attend to the debates of other people. The physician,
in the pride and insolence of his learning, had undertaken to display
the absurdity of the Christian faith; having already, as he thought,
confuted the Capuchin, touching the points of belief in which the Roman
Catholics differ from the rest of the world. But not cemented with the
imagined victory he bed gained, he began to strike at the fundamentals
of religion; and the father, with incredible forbearance, suffered him
to make very free with the doctrine of the Trinity: but, when he leveled
the shafts of his ridicule at the immaculate conception of the Blessed
Virgin, the good man's patience forsook him, his eyes seemed to kindle
with indignation, he trembled in every joint, and uttered, with a loud
voice, "You are an abominable--I will not call thee heretic, for thou
art worse, if possible, than a Jew; you deserve to be inclosed in
a furnace seven times heated; and I have a good mind to lodge an
information against you with the governor of Ghent, that you may be
apprehended and punished as an impious blasphemer."

This menace operated like a charm upon all present. The doctor was
confounded, the governor dismayed, the Levite's teeth chattered, the
painter astonished at the general confusion, the cause of which he could
not comprehend, and Pickle himself, not a little alarmed, was obliged to
use all his interest and assiduity in appeasing this son of the church,
who, at length, in consideration of the friendship he professed for the
young gentleman, consented to forgive what had passed, but absolutely
refused to sit in contact with such a profane wretch, whom he looked
upon as a fiend of darkness, sent by the enemy of mankind to poison the
minds of weak people; so that, after having crossed himself and uttered
certain exorcisms, he insisted upon the doctor's changing places with
the Jew, who approached the offended ecclesiastic in an agony of fear.

Matters being thus compromised, the conversation flowed in a more
general channel; and without the intervention of any other accident
or bone of contention, the carriage arrived at the city of Ghent about
seven in the evening. Supper being bespoken for the whole company, our
adventurer and his friends went out to take a superficial view of
the place, leaving his new mistress to the pious exhortations of her
confessor, whom, as we have already observed, he had secured in his
interest. This zealous mediator spoke so warmly in his commendation,
and interested her conscience so much in the affair, that she could
not refuse her helping hand to the great work of his conversion, and
promised to grant the interview he desired.

This agreeable piece of intelligence, which the Capuchin communicated to
Peregrine at his return, elevated his spirits to such a degree, that he
shone at supper with uncommon brilliance, in a thousand sallies of wit
and pleasantry, to the delight of all present, especially of his fair
Fleming, who seemed quite captivated by his person and behaviour. The
evening being thus spent to the satisfaction of all parties, the company
broke up, and retired to their several apartments, where our lover, to
his unspeakable mortification, learned that the two ladies were
obliged to be in the same room, all the other chambers of the inn being
pre-occupied. When he imparted this difficulty to the priest, that
charitable father, who was very fruitful in expedients, assured him
that his spiritual concerns should not be obstructed by such a slender
impediment; and accordingly availed himself of his prerogative, by going
into his daughter's chamber when she was almost undressed, and leading
her into his own, on pretence of administering salutary food for her
soul. Having brought the two votaries together, he prayed for success
to the operations of grace, and left them to their mutual meditations,
after having conjured them in the most solemn manner to let no impure
sentiments or temptations of the flesh interfere with the hallowed
design of their meeting.

The reverend intercessor being gone, and the door fastened on the
inside, the pseudo-convert, transported with his passion, threw himself
at his Amanda's feet; and begging she would spare him the tedious form
of addresses, which the nature of their interview would not permit him
to observe, began, with all the impetuosity of love, to make the most
of the occasion. But whether she was displeased by the intrepidity and
assurance of his behaviour, thinking herself entitled to more courtship
and respect; or was really better fortified with chastity than he or his
procurer had supposed her to be; certain it is, she expressed resentment
and surprise at his boldness and presumption, and upbraided him with
having imposed upon the charity of the friar. The young gentleman was
really as much astonished at this rebuff, as she pretended to be at his
declaration, and earnestly entreated her to consider how precious
the moments were, and for once sacrifice superfluous ceremony to the
happiness of one who adored her with such a flame as could not fail to
consume his vitals, if she would not deign to bless him with her favour.

Notwithstanding all his tears, vows, and supplications, his personal
accomplishments, and the tempting opportunity, all that he could obtain
was an acknowledgment of his having made an impression upon her heart,
which she hoped the dictates of her duty would enable her to erase. This
confession he considered as a delicate consent; and, obeying the impulse
of his love, snatched her up in his arms, with an intention of seizing
that which she declined to give; when this French Lucretia, unable
to defend her virtue any other way, screamed aloud; and the Capuchin,
setting his shoulder to the door, forced it open, and entered in an
affected ecstasy of amazement. He lifted up his hands and eyes, and
pretended to be thunderstruck at the discovery he had made; then in
broken exclamations, professed his horror at the wicked intention of our
hero, who had covered such a damnable scheme with the mask of religion.

In short, he performed his cue with such dexterity, that the lady,
believing him to be in earnest, begged he would forgive the stranger on
account of his youth and education, which had been tainted by the errors
of heresy; and he was on these considerations content to accept the
submission of our hero; who, far from renouncing his expectations,
notwithstanding this mortifying repulse, confided so much in his
own talents, and the confession which his mistress had made, that he
resolved to make another effort, to which nothing could have prompted
him but the utmost turbulence of unruly desire.



CHAPTER LIV.



He makes another Effort to towards the Accomplishment of his Wish, which
is postponed by a strange Accident.


He directed his valet-de-chambre, who was a thorough-paced pimp,
to kindle some straw in the yard, and then pass by the door of her
apartment, crying with a loud voice that the house was on fire.
This alarm brought both ladies out of their chamber in a moment, and
Peregrine, taking the advantage of their running to the street door,
entered the room, concealed himself under a large table that stood in an
unobserved corner. The nymphs, as soon as they understood the cause
of his Mercury's supposed affright, returned to their apartment, and,
having said their prayers, undressed themselves, and went to bed.
This scene, which fell under the observation of Pickle, did not at all
contribute to the cooling of his concupiscence, but on the contrary
inflamed him to such a degree, that he could scarce restrain his
impatience, until, by her breathing deep, he concluded the fellow-lodger
of his Amanda was asleep. This welcome note no sooner saluted his ears,
than he crept to his charmer's bedside, and placing himself on his
knees, gently laid hold on her white hand, and pressed it to his lips.
She had just begun to close her eyes, and enjoy the agreeable oppression
of slumber, when she was roused by this rape, at which she started,
pronouncing, in a tone of surprise and dismay, "My God! who's that?"

The lover, with the most insinuating humility, besought her to hear him;
vowing that his intention, in approaching her thus, was not to violate
the laws of decency, or that indelible esteem which she had engraved on
his heart; but to manifest his sorrow and contrition for the umbrage he
had given, to pour forth the overflowings of his soul, and tell her that
he neither could nor would survive her displeasure. These and many
more pathetic protestations, accompanied with sighs and tears and other
expressions of grief, which our hero had at command, could not fail to
melt the tender heart of the Fleming, already prepossessed in favour of
his qualifications. She sympathized so much with his affliction, as
to weep in her turn, when she represented the impossibility of her
rewarding his passion; and he, seizing the moment, reinforced his
solicitations with such irresistible transports, that her resolution
gave way, she began to breathe quick, expressed her fear of being
overheard by the other lady, with an ejaculation of "O heavens! I'm
undone," suffered him, after a faint struggle, to make a lodgment upon
the covered way of her bed. Her honour, however, was secured for the
present, by a strange sort of knocking upon the wainscot, at the other
end of the room, hard by the bed in which the female adventurer lay.

Surprised at this circumstance, the lady begged him for heaven's sake
to retreat, or her reputation would be ruined for ever; but when he
represented to her, that her character would run a much greater risk
if he should be detected in withdrawing, she consented, with great
trepidation, to his stay, and they listened in silence to the sequel of
the noise that alarmed them. This was no other than an expedient of the
painter to awaken his dulcinea, with whom he had made an assignation,
or at least interchanged such signals as he thought amounted to a firm
appointment. His nymph, being disturbed in her first sleep, immediately
understood the sound, and, true to the agreement, rose; and, unbolting
the door, as softly as possible, gave him admittance; leaving it open
for his more commodious retreat.

While this happy gallant was employed in disengaging himself from
the deshabille in which he had entered, the Capuchin, suspecting that
Peregrine would make another attempt upon his charge, had crept silently
to the apartment in order to reconnoitre, lest the adventure should be
achieved without his knowledge; a circumstance that would deprive him
of the profits he might expect from his privity and concurrence. Finding
the door unlatched, his suspicion was confirmed, and he made no scruple
of creeping into the chamber on all four; so that the painter, having
stripped himself to the shirt, in groping about for his dulcinea's bed,
chanced to lay his hand upon the shaven crown of the father's head,
which, by a circular motion, the priest began to turn round in his
grasp, like a ball in a socket, to the surprise and consternation of
poor Pallet, who, neither having penetration to comprehend the case,
nor resolution to withdraw his fingers from this strange object of his
touch, stood sweating in the dark, and venting ejaculations with great
devotion.

The friar, tired with this exercise, and the painful posture in which he
stooped, raised himself gradually upon his feet, heaving up at the same
time the hand of the painter, whose terror and amazement increased to
such a degree at this unaccountable elevation, that his faculties began
to fail; and his palm, in the confusion of his fright, sliding over the
priest's forehead, one of his fingers happened to slip into his mouth,
and was immediately secured between the Capuchin's teeth with as firm a
fixture as if it had been screwed in a blacksmith's vice.

The painter was so much disordered by this sudden snap, which tortured
him to the bone, that, forgetting all other considerations, he roared
aloud, "Murder! a fire! a trap, a trap! help, Christians, for the love
of God, help!" Our hero, confounded by these exclamation, which he
knew would soon fill the room with spectators, and incensed at his own
mortifying disappointment, was obliged to quit the untasted banquet,
and, approaching the cause of his misfortune, just as his tormentor
had thought proper to release his finger, discharged such a hearty
slap between his shoulders, as brought him to the ground with hideous
bellowing; then, retiring unperceived to his own chamber, was one of the
first who returned with a light, on pretence of having been alarmed
with his cries. The Capuchin had taken the same precaution, and followed
Peregrine into the room, pronouncing benedicite, and crossing himself
with many marks of astonishment. The physician and Jolter appearing
at the same time, the unfortunate painter was found lying naked on the
floor, in all the agony of horror and dismay, blowing upon his left
hand, that hung dangling from the elbow. The circumstance of his being
found in that apartment, and the attitude of his affliction, which was
extremely ridiculous, provoked the doctor to a smile, and produced a
small relaxation in the severity of the governor's countenance; while
Pickle, testifying his surprise and concern, lifted him from the ground,
and inquired into the cause of his present situation.

Having, after some recollection, and fruitless endeavours to speak,
recovered the use of his tongue, he told them that the house was
certainly haunted by evil spirits, by which he had been conveyed, he
knew not how, into that apartment, and afflicted with all the tortures
of hell: that one of them had made itself sensible to his feeling, in
the shape of a round ball of smooth flesh, which turned round under his
hand, like an astronomer's globe; and then, rising up to a surprising
height, was converted into a machine that laid hold on his finger, by a
snap; and having pinned him to the spot, he continued for some moments
in unspeakable agony. At last, he said, the engine seemed to melt away
from his finger, and he received a sudden thwack upon his shoulders, as
if discharged by the arm of a giant, which overthrew him in an instant
upon the floor.

The priest, hearing this strange account, pulled out of one of his
pouches a piece of consecrated candle, which he lighted immediately, and
muttered certain mysterious conjurations. Jolter, imagining that Pallet
was drunk, shook his head, saying, he believed the spirit was nowhere
but in his own brain. The physician for once condescended to be a wag,
and, looking towards one of the beds, observed, that, in his opinion,
the painter had been misled by the flesh, and not by the spirit. The
fair Fleming lay in silent astonishment and affright; and her fellow
in order to acquit herself of all suspicion, exclaimed with incredible
volubility against the author of this uproar, who, she did not doubt,
had concealed himself in the apartment with a view of perpetuating some
wicked attempt upon her precious virtue, and was punished and prevented
by the immediate interposition of heaven. At her desire, therefore, and
at the earnest solicitation of the other lady, he was conducted to his
own bed; and the chamber being evacuated, they locked their door, fully
resolved to admit no more visitants for that night: while Peregrine,
mad with seeing the delicious morsel snatched, as it were, from his very
lip, stalked through the passage like a ghost, in hope of finding some
opportunity of re-entering; till the day beginning to break, he was
obliged to retire, cursing the idiotical conduct of the painter, which
had so unluckily interfered with his delight.



CHAPTER LV.



They depart from Ghent--Our Hero engages in a Political Dispute with his
Mistress, whom he offends, and pacifies with Submission--He practises
an Expedient to detain the Carriage at Alost, and confirms the Priest in
his Interest.


Next day, about one o'clock, after having seen everything remarkable in
town, and been present at the execution of two youths, who were hanged
for ravishing a w--, they took their departure from Ghent in the same
carriage which had brought them thither; and the conversation turning
upon the punishment they had seen inflicted, the Flemish beauty
expressed great sympathy and compassion for the unhappy sufferers,
who, as she had been informed, had fallen victims to the malice of the
accuser. Her sentiments were espoused by all the company, except the
French lady of pleasure, who, thinking the credit of the sisterhood
concerned in the affair, bitterly inveighed against the profligacy of
the age, and particularly the base and villainous attempts of man upon
the chastity of the weaker sex; saying, with a look of indignation
directed to the painter, that for her own part she should never be
able to manifest the acknowledgment she owed to Providence, for having
protected her last night from the wicked aims of unbridled lust. This
observation introduced a series of jokes at the expense of Pallet, who
hung his ears, and sat with a silent air of dejection, fearing that,
through the malevolence of the physician, his adventure might reach the
ears of his wife. Indeed, though we have made shift to explain the
whole transaction to the reader, it was an inextricable mystery to every
individual in the diligence, because the part which was acted by the
Capuchin was known to himself alone, and even he was utterly ignorant
of Pickle's being concerned in the affair; so that the greatest share
of the painter's sufferings were supposed to be the exaggerations of his
own extravagant imagination.

In the midst of their discourse on this extraordinary subject, the
driver told them that they were now on the very spot where a detachment
of the allied army had been intercepted and cut off by the French: and,
stopping the vehicle, entertained them with a local description of the
battle of Melle. Upon this occasion, the Flemish lady, who, since her
marriage, had become a keen partisan for the French, gave a minute
detail of all the circumstances, as they had been represented to her by
her husband's brother, who was in the action. This account, which sunk
the number of the French to sixteen, and raised that of the allies to
twenty thousand men, was so disagreeable to truth, as well as to the
laudable partiality of Peregrine, that he ventured to contradict her
assertions, and a fierce dispute commenced, that not only regarded the
present question, but also comprehended all the battles in which the
Duke of Marlborough had commanded against Louis the Fourteenth. In the
course of these debates, she divested the great general of all the
glory he had acquired, by affirming, that every victory he gained was
purposely lost by the French in order to bring the schemes of Madame de
Maintenon into discredit; and, as a particular instance, alledged, that
while the citadel of Lisle was besieged, Louis said, in presence of the
Dauphin, that if the allies should be obliged to raise the siege, he
would immediately declare his marriage with that lady; upon which, the
son sent private orders to Marshal Boufflers to surrender the place.

This strange allegation was supported by the asseveration of the priest
and the courtesan, and admitted as truth by the governor, who pretended
to have heard it from good authority; while the doctor sat neutral, as
one who thought it scandalous to know the history of such modern events.
The Israelite, being a true Dutchman, himself under the banners of our
hero, who, in attempting to demonstrate the absurdity and improbability
of what they had advanced, raised such a hue and cry against himself,
and, being insensibly heated in the altercation, irritated his Amanda
to such a degree, that her charming eyes kindled with fury, and he
saw great reason to think, that if he did not fall upon some method to
deprecate her wrath, she would, in a twinkling, sacrifice all her esteem
for him to her own zeal for the glory of the French nation. Moved by
this apprehension, his ardour cooled by degrees, and he insensibly
detached himself from the argument, leaving the whole care of supporting
it to the Jew, who, finding himself deserted, was fain to yield at
discretion; so that the French remained masters of the field, and their
young heroine resumed her good humour.

Our hero having prudently submitted to the superior intelligence of his
fair enslaver, began to be harassed with the fears of losing her
for ever; and set his invention at work, to contrive some means
of indemnifying himself for his assiduities, presents, and the
disappointment he had already undergone. On pretence of enjoying a free
air, he mounted the box, and employed his elocution and generosity with
such success, that the driver undertook to disable the diligence from
proceeding beyond the town of Alost for that day; and, in consequence
of his promise, gently overturned it when they were but a mile short of
that baiting-place. He had taken his measures so discreetly, that this
accident was attended with no other inconvenience than a fit of fear
that took possession of the ladies, and the necessity to which they
were reduced by the declaration of the coachman, who, upon examining
the carriage, assured the company that the axle-tree had given way, and
advised them to walk forward to the inn, while he would jog after them
at a slow pace, and do his endeavour the damage should be immediately
repaired.

Peregrine pretended to be very much concerned at what had happened,
and even cursed the driver for his inadvertency, expressing infinite
impatience to be at Brussels, and wishing that this misfortune might
not detain them another night upon the road; but when his understrapper,
according to his instructions, came afterwards to the inn, and gave them
to understand that the workman he had employed could not possibly refit
the machine in less then six hours, the crafty youth affected to
lose all temper, stormed at his emissary, whom he reviled in the most
opprobrious terms, and threatened to cane for his misconduct. The fellow
protested, with great humility, that their being overturned was owing to
the failure of the axle-tree, and not to his want of care or dexterity
in driving; though rather than be thought the cause of incommoding
him, he would inquire for a post-chaise, in which he might depart for
Brussels immediately. This expedient Pickle rejected, unless the whole
company could be accommodated in the same manner; and he had been
previously informed by the driver that the town could not furnish more
than one vehicle of that sort. His governor, who was quite ignorant
of his scheme, represented that one night would soon be passed, and
exhorted him to bear this small disappointment with a good grace,
especially as the house seemed to be well provided for their
entertainment, and the company so much disposed to be sociable.

The Capuchin, who had found his account in cultivating the acquaintance
of the young stranger, was not ill-pleased at this event, which might,
by protracting the term of their intercourse, yield him some opportunity
of profiting still farther by his liberality: he therefore joined Mr.
Jolter in his admonitions, congratulating himself upon the prospect
of enjoying his conversation a little longer than he had expected.
Our young gentleman received a compliment to the same purpose from
the Hebrew, who had that day exercised his gallantry upon the French
coquette, and was not without hope of reaping the fruit of his
attention, his rival, the painter, being quite disgraced and dejected
by the adventure of last night, As for the doctor, he was too much
engrossed in the contemplation of his own importance, to interest
himself in the affair or its consequences, further than by observing,
that the European powers ought to establish public games, like those
that were celebrated of old in Greece; in which case, every state would
be supplied with such dexterous charioteers as would drive a machine, at
full speed, within a hair's breadth of a precipice, without any danger
of its being overturned.

Peregrine could not help yielding to their remonstrances and united
complaisance, for which he thanked them in very polite terms; and his
passion seeming to subside, proposed that they should amuse themselves
in walking round the ramparts. He hoped to enjoy some private
conversation with his admired Fleming, who had the whole day behaved
with remarkable reserve. The proposal being embraced, he, as usual,
handed her into the street, and took all opportunities of promoting his
suit; but they were attended so closely by her father-confessor, that
he foresaw it would be impracticable to accomplish his aim without the
connivance of that ecclesiastic. This he was obliged to purchase with
another purse, which he offered, and was accepted, as a charitable
atonement for his criminal behaviour during the interview which the
friar had procured for the good of his soul. The benefaction was no
sooner made, than the mendicant edged off by little and little, till
he joined the rest of the company, leaving his generous patron at full
liberty to prosecute his purpose.

It is not to be doubted that our adventurer made a good use of this
occasion: he practised a thousand flowers of rhetoric, and actually
exhausted his whole address, in persuading her to have compassion upon
his misery, and indulge him with another private audience, without which
he should run distracted, and be guilty of extravagancies which, in
the humanity of her disposition, she would weep to see. But, instead of
complying with his request, she chid him severely for his presumption
in persecuting her with his vicious addresses: she assured him, that
although she had secured a chamber for herself in this place, because
she had no ambition to be better acquainted with the other lady, he
would be in the wrong to disturb her with another nocturnal visit, for
she was determined to deny him admittance. The lover was comforted by
this hint, which he understood in the true acceptation; and his passion
being inflamed by the obstacles he had met with, his heart beat high
with the prospect of possession. These raptures of expectation produced
an inquietude, which disabled him from bearing that share of the
conversation for which he used to be distinguished. His behaviour
at supper was a vicissitude of startings and reveries. The Capuchin,
imputing the disorder to a second repulse from his charge, began to
be invaded with the apprehension of being obliged to refund, and in a
whisper forbade our hero to despair.



CHAPTER LVI.



The French Coquette entraps the Heart of the Jew, against whom Pallet
enters into a Conspiracy, by which Peregrine is again disappointed, and
the Hebrew's Incontinence exposed.


Meanwhile the French siren, balked in her design upon her English
cully, who was so easily disheartened, and hung his ears in manifest
despondence, rather than rather than run the risk of making a voyage
that should be altogether unprofitable, resolved to practise her charms
upon the Dutch merchant. She had already made such innovation upon his
heart, that he cultivated her with peculiar complacency, gazed upon her
with a most libidinous stare, and unbended his aspect into a grin
that was truly Israelitish. The painter saw and was offended at this
correspondence, which he considered as an insult upon his misfortune,
as well as an evident preference of his rival; and, conscious of his own
timidity, swallowed an extraordinary glass, that his invention might be
stimulated, and his resolution raised to the contrivance and execution
of some scheme of revenge. The wine failed in the expected effect, and,
without inspiring him with the plan, served only to quicken his
desire of vengeance; so that he communicated his purpose to his friend
Peregrine, and begged his assistance; but our young gentleman was too
intent upon his own affair to mind the concerns of any other person; and
he declining to be engaged in the project, Pallet had recourse to
the genius of Pickle's valet-de-chambre, who readily embarked in the
undertaking, and invented a plan, which was executed accordingly.

The evening being pretty far advanced, and the company separated into
their respective apartments, Pickle repaired, in all the impatience of
youth and desire, to the chamber of his charmer, and, finding the door
unbolted, entered in a transport of joy. By the light of the room,
which shone through the window, he was conducted to her bed, which he
approached in the utmost agitation; and perceiving her to all appearance
asleep, essayed to wake her with a gentle kiss; but this method proved
ineffectual, because she was determined to save herself the confusion of
being an accomplice in his guilt. He repeated the application, murmured
a most passionate salutation in her ear, and took such other gentle
methods of signifying his presence, as persuaded him that she was
resolved to sleep, in spite of all his endeavours. Flushed with this
supposition, he locked the door, in order to prevent interruption; and,
stealing himself under the clothes, set fortune at defiance, while he
held the fair creature circled in his arms.

Nevertheless, near as he seemed to be to the happy accomplishment of his
desire, his hope was again frustrated with a fearful noise, which in a
moment awaked his Amanda in a fright, and for the present engaged all
his attention. His valet-de-chambre, whom Pallet had consulted as a
confederate in his revenge against the lady of pleasure and her gallant,
had hired of certain Bohemians, who chanced to lodge at the inn, a
jackass adorned with bells, which, when everybody was retired to
rest, and the Hebrew supposed to be bedded with his mistress, they led
upstairs into a long thoroughfare, from which the chambers were detached
on each side. The painter, perceiving the lady's door ajar, according
to his expectation, mounted this animal, with intention to ride into the
room, and disturb the lovers in the midst of their mutual endearments;
but the ass, true to its kind, finding himself bestrid by an unknown
rider, instead of advancing in obedience to his conductor, retreated
backward to the other end of the passage, in spite of all the efforts of
the painter, who spurred, and kicked, and pummeled to no purpose. It was
the noise of this contention between Pallet and the ass which invaded
the ears of Peregrine and his mistress, neither of whom could form the
least rational conjecture about the cause of such strange disturbance,
which increased as the animal approached their apartment. At length
the bourrique's retrograde motion was obstructed by the door, which
it forced open in a twinkling, with one kick, and entered with such
complication of sound as terrified the lady almost into a fit, and threw
her lover into the utmost perplexity and confusion.

The painter, finding himself thus violently intruded into the
bed-chamber of he knew not whom, and dreading the resentment of the
possessor, who might discharge a pistol at him as a robber who had
broken into his apartment, was overwhelmed with consternation, and
redoubled his exertion to accomplish a speedy retreat, sweating all the
time with fear, and putting up petition to Heaven for his safety;
but his obstinate companion, regardless of his situation, instead of
submitting to his conduct, began to turn round like a millstone, the
united sound of his feet and bells producing a most surprising concert.
The unfortunate rider, whirling about in this manner, would have quitted
his seat, and left the beast to his own amusement, but the rotation was
so rapid, that the terror of a severe fall hindered him from attempting
to dismount; and, in the desperation of his heart, he seized one of his
ears, which he pinched so unmercifully, that the creature set up his
throat, and brayed aloud.

This hideous exclamation was no sooner heard by the fair Fleming,
already chilled with panic, and prepared with superstition, than,
believing herself visited by the devil, who was permitted to punish her
for her infidelity to the marriage-bed, she uttered a scream, and began
to repeat her pater noster with a loud voice. Her lover, finding himself
under the necessity of retiring, started up, and, stung with the most
violent pangs of rage and disappointment, ran directly to the spot from
whence this diabolical noise seemed to proceed. There encountering the
ass he discharged such a volley of blows at him and his rider, that the
creature carried him off at a round trot, and they roared in unison all
the way. Having thus cleared the room of such disagreeable company,
he went back to his mistress, and assuring her that this was only some
foolish prank of Pallet, took his leave, with a promise of returning
after the quiet of the inn should be re-established.

In the mean time, the noise of the bourrique, the cries of the painter,
and the lady's scream, had alarmed the whole house; and the ass, in the
precipitation of his retreat, seeing people with lights before him, took
shelter in the apartment for which he was at first designed, just as
the Levite, aroused at the uproar, had quitted his dulcinea, and was
attempting to recover his own chamber unperceived. Seeing himself
opposed by such an animal, mounted by a tall, meagre, lantern-jawed
figure, half naked, with a white nightcap upon his head which added to
the natural paleness of his complexion,--the Jew was sorely troubled in
mind and believing it to be an apparition of Balaam and his ass, flew
backward with a nimble pace, and crept under the bed, where he lay,
concealed. Mr. Jolter and the priest, who were the foremost of those
who had been aroused by the noise, were not unmoved when they saw such a
spectacle rushing into the chamber, whence the lady of pleasure began
to shriek. The governor made a full halt, and the Capuchin discovered no
inclination to proceed. They were, however, by the pressure of the crowd
that followed them, thrust forward to the door, through which the
vision entered; and there Jolter, with great ceremony, complimented his
reverence with the pas, beseeching him to walk in. The mendicant was
too courteous and humble to accept this pre-eminence, and a very earnest
dispute ensued; during which, the ass, in the course of his circuit,
showed himself and rider, and in a trice decided the contest; for,
struck with this second glimpse, both at one instant sprang backward
with such force, as overturned their next men, who communicated the
impulse to those that stood behind them, and these again to others; so
that the whole passage was strewed with a long file of people, that lay
in a line, like the sequel and dependence of a pack of cards.

In the midst of this havoc, our hero returned from his own room with
an air of astonishment, asking the cause of this uproar. Receiving such
hints of intelligence as Jolter's consternation would permit him to
give, he snatched the candle out of his hand, and advanced into the
haunted chamber without hesitation, being followed by all present, who
broke forth into a long and loud peal of laughter, when they perceived
the ludicrous source of their disquiet. The painter himself made an
effort to join their mirth; but he had been so harrowed by fear, and
smarted so much with the pain of the discipline he had received from
Pickle, that he could not, with all his endeavours, vanquish the
ruefulness of his countenance. His attempt served only to increase
the awkwardness of his situation, which was not at all mended by the
behaviour of the coquette, who, furious with her disappointment, slipped
on a petticoat and bedgown, and springing upon him, like mother Hecuba,
with her nails deprived all one side of his nose of the skin; and would
not have left him an eye to see through, if some of the company had not
rescued him from her unmerciful talons. Provoked at this outrage, as
well as by her behaviour to him in the diligence, he publicly explained
his intention in entering her chamber in this equipage; and missing the
Hebrew among the spectators, assured them that he must have absconded
somewhere in the apartment. In pursuance of this intimation, the room
was immediately searched, and the mortified Levite pulled up by the
heels from his lurking-place; so that Pallet had the good fortune, at
last, to transfer the laugh from himself to his rival and the French
inamorata, who accordingly underwent the ridicule of the whole audience.



CHAPTER LVII.



Pallet endeavouring to unravel the Mystery of the Treatment he had
received, falls out of the Frying-pan into the Fire.


Nevertheless, Pallet was still confounded and chagrined by one
consideration, which was no other than that of his having been so
roughly handled in the chamber, belonging, as he found upon inquiry,
to the handsome young lady who was under the Capuchin's direction. He
recollected that the door was fast locked when his beast burst it open,
and he had no reason to believe that any person followed him in his
inruption: on the other hand, he could not imagine that such a gentle
creature would either attempt to commit, or be able to execute, such
a desperate assault as that which his body had sustained; and her
demeanour was so modest and circumspect, that he durst not harbour the
least suspicion of her virtue. These reflections bewildered him in the
labyrinth of thought: he rummaged his whole imagination, endeavouring
to account for what had happened. At length, he concluded, that either
Peregrine, or the devil, or both must have been at the bottom of the
whole affair, and determined, for the satisfaction of his curiosity,
to watch our hero's motions, during the remaining part of the night, so
narrowly, that his conduct, mysterious as it was, should not be able to
elude his penetration.

With these sentiments he retired to his own room, after the ass had been
restored to the right owners, and the priest had visited and comforted
his fair ward, who had been almost distracted with fear. Silence no
sooner prevailed again, than he crawled darkling towards her door, and
huddled himself up in an obscure corner, from whence he might observe
the ingress or egress of any human creature. He had not long remained
in this posture, when, fatigued with this adventure and that of the
preceding night, his faculties were gradually overpowered with slumber;
and, falling fast asleep, he began to snore like a whole congregation of
Presbyterians. The Flemish beauty, hearing this discordant noise in the
passage, began to be afraid of some new alarm, and very prudently bolted
her door; so that when her lover wanted to repeat his visit he was not
only surprised and incensed at this disagreeable serenade, the author of
which he did not know; but when compelled by his passion, which was
by this time wound to the highest pitch, he ventured to approach the
entrance, he had the extreme mortification to find himself shut out. He
durst not knock or signify his presence in any other manner, on account
of the lady's reputation, which would have greatly suffered had the
snorer been waked by his endeavours. Had he known that the person
who thus thwarted his views was the painter, he would have taken some
effectual step to remove him; but he could not conceive what should
induce Pallet to take up his residence in that corner; nor could he use
the assistance of a light, to distinguish him, because there was not a
candle burning in the house.

It is impossible to describe the rage and vexation of our hero, while he
continued thus tantalized upon the brink of bliss, after his desire had
been exasperated by the circumstances of his former disappointments. He
ejaculated a thousand execrations against his own fortune, cursed all
his fellow-travellers without exception, vowed revenge against the
painter, who had twice confounded his most interesting scheme, and was
tempted to execute immediate vengeance upon the unknown cause of his
present miscarriage. In this agony of distraction did he sweat two
whole hours in the passage, though not without some faint hope of being
delivered from his tormentor, who, he imagined, upon waking, would
undoubtedly shift his quarters, and leave the field free to his designs;
but when he heard the cock repeat his salutation to the morn, which
began to open on the rear of night, he could no longer restrain his
indignation. Going to his own chamber, he filled a basin with cold
water, and, standing at some distance, discharged it full in the face
of the gaping snorer, who, over and above the surprise occasioned by the
application, was almost suffocated by the liquor that entered his
mouth, and ran down into his windpipe. While he gasped like a person
half-drowned, without knowing the nature of his disaster, or remembering
the situation in which he fell asleep, Peregrine retired to his own
door, and, to his no small astonishment, from a long howl that invaded
his ears, learned that the patient was no other than Pallet, who had
now, for the third time, balked his good fortune.

Enraged at the complicated trespasses of this unfortunate offender,
he rushed from his apartment with a horsewhip, and, encountering the
painter in his flight, overturned him in the passage. There he exercised
the instrument of his wrath with great severity on pretence of mistaking
him for some presumptuous cur, which had disturbed the repose of the
inn: nay, when he called aloud for mercy in a supplicating tone, and his
chastiser could no longer pretend to treat him as a quadruped, such was
the virulence of the young gentleman's indignation, that he could
not help declaring his satisfaction, by telling Pallet he had richly
deserved the punishment he had undergone, for his madness, folly, and
impertinence, in contriving and executing such idle schemes, as had no
other tendency than that of plaguing his neighbours.

Pallet protested, with great vehemence, that he was innocent as the
child unborn of an intention to give umbrage to any person whatever,
except the Israelite and his doxy, who he knew had incurred his
displeasure. "But as God is my Saviour," said he, "I believe I am
persecuted with witchcraft, and begin to think that d--d priest is
an agent of the devil; for he has been but two nights in our company,
during which I have not closed an eye; but, on the contrary, have been
tormented by all the fiends of hell." Pickle peevishly replied, that his
torments had been occasioned by his own foolish imagination; and asked
how he came to howl in that corner. The painter, who did not think
proper to own the truth, said, that he had been transported thither by
some preternatural conveyance, and soused in water by an invisible hand.
The youth, in hope of profiting by his absence, advised him to retire
immediately to his bed, and by sleep strive to comfort his brain, which
seemed to be not a little disordered by the want of that refreshment.
Pallet himself began to be very much of the same way of thinking; and,
in compliance with such wholesome counsel, betook himself to rest,
muttering prayers all the way for the recovery of his own understanding.

Pickle attended him to his chamber, and, locking him up, put the key in
his own pocket, that he might not have it in his power to interrupt him
again; but in his return he was met by Mr. Jolter and the doctor, who
had been a second time alarmed by the painter's cries, and came to
inquire about this new adventure. Half-frantic with such a series of
disappointments, he cursed them in his heart for their unseasonable
appearance. When they questioned him about Pallet, he told them he had
found him stark staring mad, howling in a corner, and wet to the skin,
and conducted him to his room, where he was now abed. The physician,
hearing this circumstance, made a merit of his vanity; and, under
pretence of concern for the patient's welfare, desired he might have an
opportunity of examining the symptoms of his disorder, without loss of
time; alleging that many diseases might have been stifled in the birth,
which afterwards baffled all the endeavours of the medical art. The
young gentleman accordingly delivered the key, and once more withdrew
into his own chamber, with a view of seizing the first occasion that
should present itself of renewing his application to his Amanda's
door; while the doctor, in his way to Pellet's apartment, hinted to the
governor his suspicion that the patient laboured under that dreadful
symptom called the hydrophobia, which he observed had sometimes appeared
in persons who were not previously bit by a mad dog. This conjecture
he founded upon the howl he uttered when he was soused with water, and
began to recollect certain circumstances of the painter's behaviour for
some days past, which now he could plainly perceive had prognosticated
some such calamity. He then ascribed the distemper to the violent
frights he had lately undergone, affirming that the affair of the
Bastille had made such a violent encroachment upon his understanding,
that his manner of thinking and speaking was entirely altered. By a
theory of his own invention, he explained the effects of fear upon a
loose system of nerves, and demonstrated the modus in which the animal
spirits operate upon the ideas and power of imagination.

This disquisition, which was communicated at the painter's door, might
have lasted till breakfast, had not Jolter reminded him of his own
maxim, Venienti occurrite morbo; upon which he put the key to immediate
use, and they walked softly towards the bed, where the patient lay
extended at full length in the arms of sleep. The physician took
notice of his breathing hard, and his mouth being open; and from
these diagnostics declared, that the liquidum nervosum was intimately
affected, and the saliva impregnated with the spiculated particles
of the virus, howsoever contracted. This sentence was still farther
confirmed by the state of his pulse, which, being full and slow,
indicated an oppressed circulation, from a loss of elasticity in the
propelling arteries. He proposed that he should immediately suffer a
second aspersion of water, which would not only contribute to the cure,
but also certify them, beyond all possibility of doubt, with regard to
the state of the disease; for it would evidently appear, from the manner
in which he would bear the application, whether or not his horror of
water amounted to a confirmed hydrophobia. Mr. Jolter, in compliance
with his proposal, began to empty a bottle of water, which he found
in the room in a basin; when he was interrupted by the prescriber,
who advised him to use the contents of the chamberpot, which, being
impregnated with salt, would operate more effectually than pure element.
Thus directed, the governor lifted up the vessel, which was replete with
medicine, and with one turn of his hand, discharged the whole healing
inundation upon the ill-omened patient, who, waking in the utmost
distraction of horror, yelled most hideously, just at the time when
Peregrine had brought his mistress to a parley, and entertained hopes of
being admitted into her chamber.

Terrified at this exclamation, she instantly broke off the treaty,
beseeching him to retire from the door, that her honour might receive
no injury from his being found in that place; and he had just enough
of recollection left to see the necessity of obeying the order; in
conformity to which he retreated well nigh deprived of his senses, and
almost persuaded that so many unaccountable disappointments must have
proceeded from some supernatural cause, of which the idiot Pallet was no
more than the involuntary instrument.

Meanwhile, the doctor having ascertained the malady of the patient,
whose cries, interrupted by frequent sobs and sighs, he interpreted into
the barking of a dog, and having no more salt-water at hand, resolved to
renew the bath with such materials as chance would afford. He actually
laid hold of the bottle and basin; but by this time the painter had
recovered the use of his senses so well as to perceive his drift,
and, starting up like a frantic bedlamite, ran directly to his sword,
swearing, with many horrid imprecations, that he would murder them both
immediately, if he should be hanged before dinner, They did not choose
to wait the issue of his threat, but retired with such precipitation
that the physician had almost dislocated his shoulder by running against
one side of the entry. Jolter, having pulled the door after him and
turned the key, betook himself to flight, roaring aloud for assistance.
His colleague, seeing the door secured, valued himself upon his
resolution, and exhorted him to return; declaring that, for his own
part, he was more afraid of the madman's teeth than of his weapon, and
admonishing the governor to re-enter and execute what they had left
undone. "Go in," said he, "without fear or apprehension; and if any
accident shall happen to you, either from his slaver or his sword,
I will assist you with my advice, which from this station I can more
coolly and distinctly administer, than I should be able to supply if my
ideas were disturbed, or my attention engaged in any personal concern."
Jolter, who could make no objection to the justness of the conclusion,
frankly owned that he had no inclination to try the experiment;
observing, that self-preservation was the first law of nature; that his
connections with the unhappy lunatic were but slight; and that it could
not be reasonably expected that he would run such risks for his service
as were declined by one who had set out with him from England on the
footing of a companion. This insinuation introduced a dispute upon
the nature of benevolence, and the moral sense, which, the republican
argued, existed independent of any private consideration, and could
never be affected by any contingent circumstance of time and fortune;
while the other, who abhorred his principles, asserted the duties and
excellence of private friendship with infinite rancour of altercation.

During the hottest of the argument, they were joined by the Capuchin,
who being astonished to see them thus virulently engaged at the door,
and to hear the painter bellowing within the chamber, conjured them, in
the name of God, to tell him the cause of that confusion which had kept
the whole house in continual alarm during the best part of the night,
and seemed to be the immediate work of the devil and his angels. When
the governor gave him to understand that Pallet was visited with an evil
spirit, he muttered a prayer of St. Antonio de Padua, and undertook
to cure the painter, provided he could be secured so as that he might,
without danger to himself, burn part of a certain relic under his nose,
which he assured them was equal to the miraculous power of Eleazar's
ring. They expressed great curiosity to know what this treasure was; and
the priest was prevailed upon to tell them in confidence, that it was
a collection of the parings of the nails belonging to those two madmen,
whom Jesus purged of the legion of devils that afterwards entered
the swine. So saying, he pulled from one of his pockets a small box,
containing about an ounce of the parings of a horse's hoof; at sight of
which the governor could not help smiling, on account of the grossness
of the imposition. The doctor asked, with a supercilious smile, whether
those maniacs whom Jesus cured were of the sorrel complexion, or
dapple-gray; for, from the texture of these parings, he could prove that
the original owners were of the quadruped order, and even distinguish
that their feet had been fortified with shoes of iron.

The mendicant, who bore an inveterate grudge against this son of
Esculapius ever since he had made so free with the Catholic religion,
replied, with great bitterness, that he was a wretch with whom no
Christian ought to communicate; that the vengeance of Heaven would one
day overtake him, on account of his profanity; and that his heart was
shod with a metal much harder than iron, which nothing but hell fire
would be able to melt.

It was now broad day, and all the servants of the inn were afoot.
Peregrine, seeing it would be impossible to obtain any sort of
indemnification for the time he had lost, and the perturbation of
his spirits hindering him from enjoying repose, which was moreover
obstructed by the noise of Pallet and his attendants, put on his clothes
at once, and, in exceeding ill-humour, arrived at the spot where this
triumvirate stood debating about the means of overpowering the furious
painter, who still continued his song of oaths and execrations, and made
sundry efforts to break open the door. Chagrined as our hero was, he
could not help laughing when he heard how the patient had been treated;
and his indignation changing into compassion, he called to him through
the keyhole, desiring to know the reason of his distracted behaviour.
Pallet no sooner recognized his voice than, lowering his own to a
whimpering tone, "My dear friend!" said he, "I have at last detected the
ruffians who have persecuted me so much. I caught them in the fact of
suffocating me with cold water; and by the Lord, I will be revenged, or
may I never live to finish my Cleopatra. For the love of God! open the
door, and I will make that conceited pagan, that pretender to
taste, that false devotee of the ancients, who poisons people with
sillykicabies and devil's dung--I say, I will make him a monument of my
wrath, and an example to all the cheats and impostors of the faculty;
and as for that thick-headed insolent pedant, his confederate, who
emptied my own jordan upon me while I slept, he had better have been in
his beloved Paris, botching schemes for his friend the Pretender, than
incur the effects of my resentment. Gadsbodikins! I won't leave him a
windpipe for the hangman to stop, at the end of another rebellion."

Pickle told him his conduct had been so extravagant as to confirm the
whole company in the belief that he was actually deprived of his senses:
on which supposition, Mr. Jolter and the doctor had acted the part
of friends, in doing that which they thought most conducive to his
recovery: so that their concern merited his thankful acknowledgment,
instead of his frantic menaces: that, for his own part, he would be the
first to condemn him, as one utterly bereft of his wits, and give orders
for his being secured as a madman, unless he would immediately give a
proof of his sanity by laying aside his sword, composing his spirits,
and thanking his injured friends for their care of his person.

This alternative quieted his transports in a moment: he was terrified at
the apprehension of being treated like a bedlamite, being dubious of
the state of his own brain; and, on the other hand, had conceived such
a horror and antipathy for his tormentors, that, far from believing
himself obliged by what they had done, he could not even think of them
without the utmost rage and detestation. He, therefore, in the most
tranquil voice he could assume, protested that he never was less out
of his senses than at present, though he did not know how long he might
retain them, if he should be considered in the light of a lunatic: that,
in order to prove his being Compos mentis, he was willing to sacrifice
the resentment he so justly harboured against those who, by their
malice, had brought him to this pass; but, as he apprehended it would
be the greatest sign of madness he could exhibit to thank them for
the mischiefs they had brought upon him, he desired to be excused from
making any such concession; and swore he would endure everything rather
than be guilty of such mean absurdity.

Peregrine held a consultation upon this reply, when the governor and
physician strenuously argued against any capitulation with a maniac, and
proposed that some method might be taken to seize, fetter, and convey
him into a dark room, where he might be treated according to the rules
of art; but the Capuchin, understanding the circumstances of the case,
undertook to restore him to his former state, without having recourse to
such violent measures. Pickle, who was a better judge of the affair
than any person present, opened the door without further hesitation, and
displayed the poor painter standing with a woeful countenance, shivering
in his shirt, which was as wet as if he had been dragged through the
Dender:--a spectacle which gave such offence to the chaste eyes of the
Hebrew's mistress, who was by this time one of the spectators, that she
turned her head another way, and withdrew to her own room, exclaiming
against the indecent practices of men.

Pallet, seeing the young gentleman enter, ran to him, and, taking him by
the hands, called him his best friend, and said he had rescued him from
those who had a design against his life. The priest would have produced
his parings and applied them to his nose, but was hindered by Pickle,
who advised the patient to shift himself, and put on his clothes. This
being done with great order and deliberation, Mr. Jolter who, with the
doctor, had kept a wary distance, in expectation of seeing some storage
effects of his distraction, began to believe that he had been guilty of
a mistake, and accused the physician of having misled him by his false
diagnostic. The doctor still insisted upon his former declaration
assuring him, that although Pallet enjoyed a short interval for the
present, the delirium would soon recur, unless they would profit by this
momentary calm, and order him to be blooded, blistered, and purged with
all imaginable despatch.

The governor, however, notwithstanding this caution, advanced to the
injured party, and begged pardon for the share he had in giving him
such disturbance. He declared, in the most solemn manner, that he had no
other intention than that of contributing towards his welfare; and that
his behaviour was the result of the physician's prescription, which he
affirmed was absolutely necessary for the recovery of his health.

The painter, who had very little gall in his disposition, was satisfied
with this apology; but his resentment, which was before divided, now
glowed with double fire against his first fellow-traveller, whom he
looked upon as the author of all the mischances he had undergone,
and marked out for his vengeance accordingly. Yet the doors of
reconciliation were not shut against the doctor, who, with great
justice, might have transferred this load of offence from himself
to Peregrine, who was, without doubt, the source of the painter's
misfortune: but, in that case, he must have owned himself mistaken in
his medical capacity, and he did not think the friendship of Pallet
important enough to be retrieved by such condescension; so that he
resolved to neglect him entirely, and gradually forget the former
correspondence he had maintained with a person whom he deemed so
unworthy of his notice.



CHAPTER LVIII.



Peregrine, almost distracted with his Disappointment, conjures the
fair Fleming to permit his Visits at Brussels--She withdraws from his
Pursuit.


Things being thus adjusted, and all the company dressed, they went to
breakfast about five in the morning; and in less than an hour after were
seated in the diligence, where a profound silence prevailed. Peregrine,
who used to be the life of the society, was extremely pensive and
melancholy on account of his mishap, the Israelite and his dulcinea
dejected in consequence of their disgrace, the poet absorbed in lofty
meditation, the painter in schemes of revenge; while Jolter, rocked by
the motion of the carriage, made himself amends for the want of rest he
had sustained; and the mendicant, with his fair charge, were infected
by the cloudy aspect of our youth, in whose disappointment each of
them, for different reasons, bore no inconsiderable share. This general
languor and recess from all bodily exercise disposed them all to receive
the gentle yoke of slumber; and in half-an-hour after they had embarked,
there was not one of them awake, except our hero and his mistress,
unless the Capuchin was pleased to counterfeit sleep, in order to
indulge our young gentleman with an opportunity of enjoying some private
conversation with his beauteous ward.

Peregrine did not neglect the occasion; but, on the contrary, seized
the first minute, and, in gentle murmurs, lamented his hard hap in
being thus the sport of fortune. He assured her, and that with great
sincerity, that all the cross accidents of his life had not cost him one
half of the vexation and keenness of chagrin which he had suffered last
night; and that now he was on the brink of parting from her, he should
be overwhelmed with the blackest despair, if she would not extend her
compassion so far as to give him an opportunity of sighing at her feet
in Brussels, during the few days his affairs would permit him to spend
in that city. This young lady, with an air of mortification, expressed
her sorrow for being the innocent cause of his anxiety; said she hoped
last night's adventure would be a salutary warning to both their souls;
for she was persuaded, that her virtue was protected by the intervention
of Heaven; that whatever impression it might have made upon him, she was
enabled by it to adhere to that duty from which her passion had begun to
swerve; and, beseeching him to forget her for his own peace, gave him to
understand, that neither the plan she had laid down for her own conduct,
nor the dictates of her honour, would allow her to receive his visits,
or carry on any other correspondence with him, while she was restricted
by the articles of her marriage-vow.

This explanation produced such a violent effect upon her admirer, that
he was for some minutes deprived of the faculty of speech; which he no
sooner recovered, than he gave vent to the most unbridled transports of
passion. He taxed her with barbarity and indifference; told her, that
she had robbed him of his reason and internal peace; that he would
follow her to the ends of the earth, and cease to live sooner than cease
to love her; that he would sacrifice the innocent fool who had been the
occasion of all this disquiet, and murder every man whom he considered
as an obstruction to his views. In a word, his passions, which had
continued so long in a state of the highest fermentation, together with
the want of that repose which calms and quiets the perturbation of the
spirits, had wrought him up to a pitch of real distraction. While he
uttered these delirious expressions, the tears ran down his cheeks; and
he underwent such agitation that the tender heart of the fair Fleming
was affected with his condition: and, while her own face was bedewed
with the streams of sympathy, she begged him, for Heaven's sake, to be
composed; and promised, for his satisfaction, to abate somewhat of the
rigour of her purpose. Consoled by this kind declaration, he recollected
himself; and, taking out his pencil, gave her his address, when she had
assured him, that he should hear from her in four-and-twenty hours, at
farthest, after their separation.

Thus soothed, he regained the empire of himself, and, by degrees,
recovered his serenity. But this was not the case with his Amanda, who,
from this sample of his disposition, dreaded the impetuosity of his
youth, and was effectually deterred from entering into any engagements
that might subject her peace and reputation to the rash effects of
such a violent spirit. Though she was captivated by his person and
accomplishments, she had reflection enough to foresee, that the longer
she countenanced his passion, her own heart would be more and more
irretrievably engaged, and the quiet of her life the more exposed to
continual interruption. She therefore profited by these considerations,
and a sense of religious honour, which helped her to withstand the
suggestions of inclination; and resolved to amuse her lover with
false hopes, until she should have it in her power to relinquish his
conversation, without running any risk of suffering by the inconsiderate
sallies of his love. It was with this view that she desired he would not
insist upon attending her to her mother's house, when they arrived at
Brussels; and he, cajoled by her artifice, took a formal leave of her,
together with the other strangers, fixing his habitation at the inn to
which he and his fellow-travellers had been directed, in the impatient
expectation of receiving a kind summons from her within the limited
time.

Meanwhile, in order to divert his imagination, he went to see
the stadthouse, park, and arsenal, took a superficial view of the
booksellers' cabinet of curiosities, and spent the evening at the
Italian opera, which was at that time exhibited for the entertainment
of Prince Charles of Lorraine, then governor of the Low Countries. In
short, the stated period was almost lapsed when Peregrine received a
letter to this purport:--

     "Sir,--If you knew what violence I do my own heart, in
     declaring, that I have withdrawn myself for ever from your
     addresses, you would surely applaud the sacrifice I make to
     virtue, and strive to imitate this example of self-denial.
     Yes, sir, Heaven hath lent me grace to struggle with my guilty
     passion, and henceforth to avoid the dangerous sight of him,
     who inspired it. I therefore conjure you, by the regard you
     ought to have to the eternal welfare of us both, as well as by
     the esteem and affection you profess, to war with your unruly
     inclination, and desist from all attempts of frustrating the
     laudable resolution I have made. Seek not to invade the peace
     of one who loves you, to disturb the quiet of a family that
     never did you wrong, and to alienate the thoughts of a weak
     woman from a deserving man, who, by the most sacred claim,
     ought to have the full possession of her heart."


This billet, without either date or subscription, banished all remains
of discretion from the mind of our hero, who ran instantly to the
landlord in all the ecstasy of madness, and demanded to see the
messenger who brought the letter on pain of putting his whole family to
the sword. The innkeeper, terrified by his looks and menaces, fell upon
his knees, protesting in the face of Heaven that he was utterly ignorant
and innocent of anything that could give him offence, and that the
billet was brought by a person whom he did not know, and who retired
immediately, saying it required no answer. He then gave utterance to his
fury in a thousand imprecations and invectives against the writer,
whom he dishonoured with the appellations of a coquette, a jilt, an
adventurer, who, by means of a pimping priest, had defrauded him of his
money. He denounced vengeance against the mendicant, whom he swore he
would destroy if ever he should set eyes on him again.

The painter unluckily appearing during this paroxysm of rage, he seized
him by the throat, saying he was ruined by his accursed folly; and in
all likelihood poor Pallet would have been strangled had not Jolter
interposed in his behalf, beseeching his pupil to have mercy upon the
sufferer, and, with infinite anxiety, desiring to know the cause of
this violent assault. He received no answer but a string of incoherent
curses. When the painter, with unspeakable astonishment, took God to
witness that he had done nothing to disoblige him, the governor began to
think, in sad earnest, that Peregrine's vivacity had at length risen to
the transports of actual madness, and was himself almost distracted with
this supposition. That he might the better judge what remedy ought to
be applied, he used his whole influence, and practised all his eloquence
upon the youth, in order to learn the immediate cause of his delirium.
He employed the most pathetic entreaties, and even shed tears in the
course of his supplication; so that Pickle, the first violence of the
hurricane being blown over, was ashamed of his own imprudence, and
retired to his chamber in order to recollect his dissipated thoughts;
there he shut himself up, and for the second time perusing the fatal
epistle, began to waver in his opinion of the author's character and
intention. He sometimes considered her as one of those nymphs, who,
under the mask of innocence and simplicity, practise upon the hearts and
purses of unwary and inexperienced youths: this was the suggestion of
his wrath inflamed by disappointment; but when he reflected upon the
circumstances of her behaviour, and recalled her particular charms to
his imagination, the severity of his censure gave way and his heart
declared in favour of her sincerity.

Yet even this consideration aggravated the sense of his loss, and he was
in danger of relapsing into his former distraction, when his passion was
a little becalmed by the hope of seeing her again, either by accident
or in the course of a diligent and minute inquiry, which he forthwith
resolved to set on foot. He had reason to believe that her own heart
would espouse his cause in spite of her virtue's determination; and did
not despair of meeting with the Capuchin, whose good offices he knew he
could at any time command. Comforted with these reflections, the tempest
of his soul subsided. In less than two hours he joined his company with
an air of composure, and asked the painter's forgiveness for the freedom
he had taken, the cause of which he promised hereafter to explain.
Pallet was glad of being reconciled on any terms to one whose
countenance supported him in equilibrio with his antagonist the doctor;
and Mr. Jolter was rejoiced beyond measure at his pupil's recovery.



CHAPTER LIX.



Peregrine meets with Mrs. Hornbeck, and is consoled for his Loss--His
Valet-de-chambre is embroiled with her Duenna, whom, however, he finds
means to appease.


Everything having thus resumed its natural channel, they dined together
in great tranquility. In the afternoon, Peregrine, on pretence of
staying at home to write letters, while his companions were at
the coffee-house, ordered a coach to be called, and, with his
valet-de-chambre, who was the only person acquainted with the present
state of his thoughts, set out for the promenade, to which all the
ladies of fashion resort in the evening during the summer season, in
hopes of seeing his fugitive among the rest.

Having made a circuit round the walk, and narrowly observed every female
in the place, he perceived at some distance the livery of Hornbeck upon
a lacquey that stood at the back of a coach; upon which he ordered his
man to reconnoitre the said carriage, while he pulled up his glasses,
that he might not be discovered before he should have received some
intelligence by which he might conduct himself on this unexpected
occasion, that already began to interfere with the purpose of his coming
thither, though it could not dispute his attention with the idea of his
charming unknown.

His Mercury, having made his observations, reported that there was
nobody in the coach but Mrs. Hornbeck and an elderly woman, who had all
the air of a duenna; and that the servant was not the same footman who
had attended them in France. Encouraged by this information, our hero
ordered himself to be driven close up to that side of their convenience
on which his old mistress sat, and accosted her with the usual
salutation. This lady no sooner beheld her gallant than her cheeks
reddened with a double glow, and she exclaimed, "Dear brother, I am
overjoyed to see you! Pray come into our coach." He took the hint
immediately, and, complying with her request, embraced this new sister
with great affection.

Perceiving that her attendant was very much surprised and alarmed at
this unexpected meeting, she, in order to banish her suspicion, and at
the same time give her lover his cue, told him that his brother (meaning
her husband) was gone to the Spa for a few weeks, by the advice of
physicians, on account of his ill state of health; and that, from his
last letter, she had the pleasure to tell him he was in a fair way of
doing well. The young gentleman expressed his satisfaction at this
piece of news; observing, with an air of fraternal concern, that if
his brother had not made too free with his constitution, his friends in
England would have had no occasion to repine at his absence and want of
health, by which he was banished from his own country and connections.
He then asked, with an affectation of surprise, why she had not
accompanied her spouse, and was given to understand that his tenderness
of affection would not suffer him to expose her to the fatigues of the
journey, which lay among rocks that were almost inaccessible.

The duenna's doubts being eased by this preamble of conversation, he
changed the subject to the pleasures of the place; and, among other
such questions, inquired if she had as yet visited Versailles. This is
a public-house, situated upon the canal, at the distance of about
two miles from town, and accommodated with tolerable gardens, for the
entertainment of company. When she replied in the negative, he proposed
to accompany her thither immediately; but the governante, who had
hitherto sat silent, objected to this proposal; telling them, in broken
English, that as the lady was under her care, she could not answer to
Mr. Hornbeck for allowing her to visit such a suspicious place. "As
for that matter, madam," said the confident gallant, "give yourself no
trouble; the consequences shall be at my peril; and I will undertake to
insure you against my brother's resentment." So saying, he directed the
coachman to the place, and ordered his own to follow, under the auspices
of his valet-de-chambre; while the old gentlewoman, overruled by his
assurance, quietly submitted to his authority.

Being arrived at the place, he handed the ladies from the coach,
and then, for the first time, observed that the duenna was lame, a
circumstance of which he did not scruple to take the advantage; for
they had scarce alighted, and drunk a glass of wine, when he advised his
sister to enjoy a walk in the garden; and although the attendant made
shift to keep them almost always in view, they enjoyed a detached
conversation, in which Peregrine learned that the true cause of her
being left behind at Brussels, whilst her husband proceeded to Spa, was
his dread of the company and familiarities of that place, to which his
jealousy durst not expose her; and that she had lived three weeks in a
convent at Lisle, from which she was delivered by his own free motion,
because indeed he could no longer exist without her company; and,
lastly, our lover understood that her governante was a mere dragon,
who had been recommended to him by a Spanish merchant, whose wife she
attended to her dying day; but she very much questioned whether or not
her fidelity was proof enough against money and strong waters. Peregrine
assured her the experiment should be tried before parting; and they
agreed to pass the night at Versailles, provided his endeavours should
succeed.

Having exercised themselves in this manner, until his duenna's spirits
were pretty much exhausted, that she might be the be the better
disposed to recruit them with a glass of liqueur, they returned to their
apartment, and the cordial was recommended and received in a bumper; but
as it did not produce such a visible alteration as the sanguine hopes
of Pickle had made him expect, and the old gentlewoman observed that it
began to be late, and that the gates would be shut in a little time, he
filled up a parting glass, and pledged her in equal quantity. Her blood
was too much chilled to be warmed even by this extraordinary dose, which
made immediate innovation in the brain of our youth, who, in the gaiety
of his imagination, overwhelmed this she-Argus with such profusion of
gallantry, that she was more intoxicated with his expressions than with
the spirits she had drunk. When in the course of toying he dropped a
purse into her bosom, she seemed to forget how the night wore, and,
with the approbation of her charge, assented to his proposal of having
something for supper.

This was a great point which our adventurer had gained; and yet he
plainly perceived that the governante mistook his meaning, by giving
herself credit for all the passion he had professed. As this error could
be rectified by no other means than those of plying her with the bottle,
until her distinguishing faculties should be overpowered, he promoted
a quick circulation. She did him justice, without any manifest signs of
inebriation, so long, that his own eyes began to reel in the sockets,
and he found that before his scheme could be accomplished, he should
be effectually unfitted for all the purposes of love. He therefore had
recourse to his valet-de-chambre, who understood the hint as soon as it
was given, and readily undertook to perform the part of which his master
had played the prelude. This affair being settled to his satisfaction,
and the night at odds with morning, he took an opportunity of imparting
to the ear of this aged dulcinea a kind whisper, importing a promise of
visiting her when his sister should be retired to her own chamber, and
an earnest desire of leaving her door unlocked.

This agreeable intimation being communicated, he conveyed a caution of
the same nature to Mrs. Hornbeck, as he led her to her apartment; and
darkness and silence no sooner prevailed in the house, than he and his
trusted squire set out on their different voyages. Everything would have
succeeded according to their wish, had not the valet-de-chambre suffered
himself to fall asleep at the side of his inamorata, and, in the
agitation of a violent dream, exclaimed in a voice so unlike that of her
supposed adorer, that she distinguished the difference at once. Waking
him with a pinch and a loud shriek, she threatened to prosecute him
for a rape, and reviled him with all the epithets her rage and
disappointment could suggest.

The Frenchman, finding himself detected, behaved with great temper and
address: he begged she would compose herself, on account of her own
reputation, which was extremely dear to him; protesting that he had a
most inviolable esteem for her person. His representations had weight
with the duenna, who, upon recollection, comprehended the whole
affair, and thought it would be her interest to bring matters to an
accommodation. She therefore admitted the apologies of her bed-fellow,
provided he would promise to atone by marriage for the injury she had
sustained; and in this particular he set her heart at ease by repeated
vows, which he uttered with surprising volubility, though without any
intention to perform the least title of their contents.

Peregrine, who had been alarmed by her exclamation, and ran to the
door with a view of interposing according to the emergency of the case,
overhearing the affair thus compromised, returned to his mistress, who
was highly entertained with an account of what had passed, foreseeing
that for the future she should be under no difficulty or restriction
from the severity of her guard.



CHAPTER LX.



Hornbeck is informed of his Wife's Adventure with Peregrine, for whom he
prepares a Stratagem, which is rendered ineffectual by the Information
of Pipes--The Husband is ducked for his Intention, and our Hero
apprehended by the Patrol.


There was another person, however, still ungained; and that was no other
than her footman, whose secrecy our hero attempted to secure in the
morning by a handsome present, which he received with many professions
of gratitude and devotion to his service; yet this complaisance was
nothing but a cloak used to disguise the design he harboured of making
his master acquainted with the whole transaction. Indeed this lacquey
had been hired, not only as a spy upon his mistress, but also as a check
on the conduct of the governante, with promise of ample reward if ever
he should discover any sinister or suspicious practices in the course of
her behaviour. As for the footman whom they had brought from England,
he was retained in attendance upon the person of his master, whose
confidence he had lost by advising him to gentle methods of reclaiming
his lady, when her irregularities had subjected her to his wrath.

The Flemish valet, in consequence of the office he had undertaken, wrote
to Hornbeck by the first post, giving an exact detail of the adventure
at Versailles, with such a description of the pretended brother as left
the husband no room to think he could be any other person than his first
dishonourer; and exasperated him to such a degree, that he resolved
to lay an ambush for this invader, and at once disqualify him from
disturbing his repose, by maintaining further correspondence with his
wife.

Meanwhile the lovers enjoyed themselves without restraint, and
Peregrine's plan of inquiry after his dear unknown was for the present
postponed. His fellow-travellers were confounded at his mysterious
motions, which filled the heart of Jolter with anxiety and terror.
This careful conductor was fraught with such experience of his pupil's
disposition, that he trembled with the apprehension of some sudden
accident, and lived in continual alarm, like a man that walks under the
wall of a nodding tower. Nor did he enjoy any alleviations of his fears,
when, upon telling the young gentleman that the rest of the company were
desirous of departing for Antwerp, he answered, they were at liberty to
consult their own inclinations; but, for his own part, he was resolved
to stay in Brussels a few days longer. By this declaration the governor
was confirmed in the opinion of his having some intrigue upon the anvil.
In the bitterness of his vexation, he took the liberty of signifying his
suspicion, and reminding him of the dangerous dilemmas to which he had
been reduced by his former precipitation.

Peregrine took his caution in good part, and promised to behave
with such circumspection as would screen him from any troublesome
consequences for the future: but, nevertheless, behaved that same
evening in such a manner as plainly showed that his prudence was nothing
else than vain speculation. He had made an appointment to spend the
night, as usual, with Mrs. Hornbeck; and about nine o'clock hastened to
her lodgings, when he was accosted in the street by his old discarded
friend Thomas Pipes, who, without any other preamble, told him, that for
all he had turned him adrift, he did not choose to see him run full
sail into his enemy's harbour, without giving him timely notice of the
danger. "I'll tell you what," said he; "mayhap you think I want to curry
favour, that I may be taken in tow again; if you do, you have made a
mistake in your reckoning. I am old enough to be laid up, and have to
keep my planks from the weather. But this here is the affair: I have
known you since you were no higher than a marlinspike, and shouldn't
care to see you deprived of your rigging at these years; whereby I
am informed by Hornbeck's man, whom I this afternoon fell in with by
chance, as how his master has got intelligence of your boarding his
wife, and has steered privately into this port with a large complement
of hands, in order, d'ye see, to secure you while you are under the
hatches. Now, if so be as how you have a mind to give him a salt eel for
his supper, here am I, without hope of fee or reward, ready to stand
by you as long as my timbers will stick together: and if I expect any
recompense, may I be bound to eat oakum and drink bilge-water for life."

Startled at this information, Peregrine examined him upon the
particulars of his discourse with the lacquey; and when he understood
that Hornbeck's intelligence flowed from the canal of his Flemish
footman, he believed every circumstance of Tom's report, thanked him for
his warning, and, after having reprimanded him for his misbehaviour at
Lisle, assured him that it should be his own fault if ever they should
part again. He then deliberated with himself whether or not he should
retort the purpose upon his adversary; but when he considered that
Hornbeck was not the aggressor, and made that unhappy husband's case his
own, he could not help quitting his intention of revenge; though, in his
opinion, it ought to have been executed in a more honourable manner, and
therefore he determined to chastise him for his want of spirit. Nothing
surely can be more insolent and unjust than this determination, which
induced him to punish a person for his want of courage to redress the
injury which he himself had done to his reputation and peace; and yet
this barbarity of decision is authorised by the opinion and practice of
mankind.

With these sentiments he returned to the inn, and, putting a pair of
pistols in his pocket, ordered his valet-de-chambre and Pipes to follow
him at a small distance, so as that they should be within call in
case of necessity, and then posted himself within thirty yards of his
dulcinea's door. There he had not been above half an hour, when he
perceived four men take their station on the other side, with a view, as
he guessed, to watch for his going in, that he might be taken unaware.
But when they had tarried a considerable time in that corner, without
reaping the fruits of their expectation, their leader, persuaded that
the gallant had gained admittance by some secret means, approached the
door with his followers, who, according to the instructions they had
received, no sooner saw it opened, than they rushed in, leaving their
employer in the street, where he thought his person would be least
endangered. Our adventurer, seeing him all alone, advanced with speed,
and clapping a pistol to his breast, commanded him to follow his
footsteps without noise, on pain of immediate death.

Terrified at this sudden apparition, Hornbeck obeyed in silence; and, in
a few minutes, they arrived at the quay, where Pickle, halting, gave
him to understand that he was no stranger to his villainous design; told
him, that if he conceived himself injured by any circumstance of his
conduct, he would now give him an opportunity of resenting the wrong in
a manner becoming a man of honour. "You have a sword about you," said
he; "or, if you don't choose to put the affair on that issue, here is a
brace of pistols; take which you please." Such an address could not fail
to disconcert a man of his character. After some hesitation, he, in a
faltering accent, denied that his design was to mutilate Mr. Pickle, but
that he thought himself entitled to the benefit of the law, by which he
would have obtained a divorce, if he could have procured evidence of his
wife's infidelity; and, with that view, he had employed people to
take advantage of the information he had received. With regard to this
alternative, he declined it entirely, because he could not see what
satisfaction he should enjoy in being shot through the head, or run
through the lungs, by a person who had already wronged him in an
irreparable manner. Lastly, his fear made him propose that the affair
should be left to the arbitration of two creditable men, altogether
unconcerned in the dispute.

To these remonstrances Peregrine replied, in the style of a hot-headed
young man, conscious of his own unjustifiable behaviour, that every
gentleman ought to be a judge of his own honour and therefore he would
submit to the decision of no umpire whatsoever; that he would forgive
his want of courage, which might be a natural infirmity, but his mean
dissimulation he could not pardon. That, as he was certified of the
rascally intent of his ambuscade by undoubted intelligence, he would
treat him, not with a retaliation of his own treachery, but with such
indignity as a scoundrel deserves to suffer, unless he would make one
effort to maintain the character he assumed in life. So saying, he again
presented his pistols, which being rejected as before, he called his two
ministers, and ordered them to duck him in the canal.

This command was pronounced and executed almost in the same breath, to
the unspeakable terror and disorder of the poor shivering patient, who,
having undergone the immersion, ran about like a drowned rat, squeaking
for assistance and revenge. His cries were overheard by the patrol,
who, chancing to pass that way, took him under their protection, and,
in consequence of his complaint and information, went in pursuit of our
adventurer and his attendants, who were soon overtaken and surrounded.
Rash and inconsiderate as the young gentleman was, he did not pretend
to stand upon the defensive against a file of musketeers, although Pipes
had drawn his cutlass at their approach, but surrendered himself without
opposition, and was conveyed to the main guard, where the commanding
officer, engaged by his appearance and address, treated him with all
imaginable respect. Hearing the particulars of his adventure, he assured
him that the prince would consider the whole as a tour de jeunesse, and
order him to be released without delay.

Next morning, when this gentleman gave in his report, he made such a
favourable representation of the prisoner, that our hero was on the
point of being discharged, when Hornbeck preferred a complaint, accusing
him of a purposed assassination, and praying that such punishment should
be inflicted upon him as his highness should think adequate to the
nature of the crime. The prince, perplexed with this petition, in
consequence of which he foresaw that he must disoblige a British
subject, sent for the plaintiff, of whom he had some knowledge, and, in
person, exhorted him to drop the prosecution, which would only serve to
propagate his own shame. But Hornbeck was too much incensed to listen to
any proposal of that kind, and peremptorily demanded justice against
the prisoner, whom he represented as an obscure adventurer, who had made
repeated attempts upon his honour and his life. Prince Charles told him,
that what he had advised was in the capacity of a friend; but, since he
insisted upon his acting as a magistrate, the affair should be examined,
and determined according to the dictates of justice and truth.

The petitioner being dismissed with this promise, the defendant was, in
his turn, brought before the judge, whose prepossession in his favour
was in a great measure weakened by what his antagonist had said to the
prejudice of his birth and reputation.



CHAPTER LXI.



Peregrine is released--Jolter confounded at his mysterious Conduct--A
Contest happens between the Poet and Painter, who are reconciled by the
Mediation of their Fellow-Travellers.


Our hero, understanding from some expressions which escaped the prince,
that he was considered in the light of a sharper and assassin, begged
that he might have the liberty of sending for some vouchers, that would
probably vindicate his character from the malicious aspersions of his
adversary. This permission being granted, he wrote a letter to
his governor, desiring that he would bring to him the letters of
recommendation which he had received from the British ambassador at
Paris, and such other papers as he thought conducive to evince the
importance of his situation.

The billet was given in charge to one of the subaltern officers on
duty, who carried it to the inn, and demanded to speak with Mr. Jolter.
Pallet, who happened to be at the door when this messenger arrived,
and heard him inquire for the tutor, ran directly to that gentleman's
apartment, and in manifest disorder, told him that a huge fellow of
a soldier, with a monstrous pair of whiskers, and fur cap as big as a
bushel, was asking for him at the door. The poor governor began to shake
at this intimation, though he was not conscious of having committed
anything that could attract the attention of the state. When the officer
appeared at his chamber door, his confusion increased to such a degree,
that his perception seemed to vanish, and the subaltern repeated the
purport of his errand three times, before he could comprehend his
meaning, or venture to receive the letter which he presented. At length
he summoned all his fortitude, and having perused the epistle, his
terror sank into anxiety. His ingenuous fear immediately suggested, that
Peregrine was confined in a dungeon, for some outrage he had committed.
He ran with great agitation to a trunk, and, taking out a bundle of
papers, followed his conductor, being attended by the painter, to whom
he had hinted his apprehension.

When they passed through the guard, which was under arms, the hearts of
both died within them; and when they came into the presence, there was
such an expression of awful horror on the countenance of Jolter, that
the prince, observing his dismay, was pleased to encourage him with an
assurance that he had nothing to fear. Thus comforted, he recollected
himself so well as to understand his pupil, when he desired him to
produce the ambassador's letters; some of which being open, were
immediately read by his highness, who was personally acquainted with the
writer, and knew several of the noblemen to whom they were addressed.
These recommendations were so warm, and represented the young gentleman
in such an advantageous light, that the prince, convinced of the
injustice his character had suffered by the misrepresentation of
Hornbeck, took our hero by the hand, asked pardon for the doubts he had
entertained of his honour, declared him from that moment at liberty,
ordered his domestics to be enlarged, and offered him his countenance
and protection as long as he should remain in the Austrian Netherlands.
At the same time, he cautioned him against indiscretion in the course
of his gallantries; and took his word of honour, that he should drop
all measures of resentment against the person of Hornbeck during his
residence in that place.

The delinquent, thus honourably acquitted, thanked the prince in the
most respectful manner for his generosity and candour, and retired with
his two friends, who were amazed and bewildered in their thoughts
at what they had seen and heard, the whole adventure still remaining
without the sphere of their comprehension, which was not at all
enlarged by the unaccountable appearance of Pipes, who, with the
valet-de-chambre, joined them at the castle gate. Had Jolter been a man
of a luxuriant imagination, his brain would undoubtedly have suffered in
the investigation of his pupil's mysterious conduct, which he strove in
vain to unravel; but his intellects were too solid to be affected by the
miscarriage of his invention; and, as Peregrine did not think proper
to make him acquainted with the cause of his being apprehended, he
contented himself with supposing that there was a lady in the case.

The painter, whose imagination was of a more flimsy texture, formed a
thousand chimerical conjectures, which he communicated to Pickle,
in imperfect insinuations, hoping, by his answers and behaviour, to
discover the truth: but the youth, in order to tantalise him, eluded all
his inquiries, with such appearance of industry and art, as heightened
his curiosity, while it disappointed his aim, and inflamed him to such
a degree of impatience, that his wits began to be unsettled: then
Peregrine was fain to recompose his brain, by telling him in confidence,
that he had been arrested as a spy. This secret he found more
intolerable than his former uncertainty. He ran from one apartment to
another, like a goose in the agonies of egg-laying, with intention of
disburdening this important load; but Jolter being engaged with the
pupil, and all the people of the house ignorant of the only language
he could speak, he was compelled, with infinite reluctance, to address
himself to the doctor, who was at that time shut up in his own chamber.
Having knocked at the door to no purpose, he peeped through the
key-hole, and saw the physician sitting at a table, with a pen in one
hand, and paper before him, his head reclined upon his other hand, and
his eyes fixed upon the ceiling, as if he had been entranced. Pallet,
concluding that he was under the power of some convulsion, endeavoured
to force the door open, and the noise of his efforts recalled the doctor
from his reverie.

This poetical republican, being so disagreeably disturbed, started up
in a passion, and, opening the door, no sooner perceived who had
interrupted him, than he flung it in his face with great fury, and
cursed him for his impertinent intrusion, which had deprived him of the
most delightful vision that ever regaled the human fancy. He imagined,
as he afterwards imparted to Peregrine, that, as he enjoyed himself in
walking through the flowery plain that borders on Parnassus, he was met
by a venerable sage, whom, by a certain divine vivacity that lightened
from his eyes, he instantly knew to be the immortal Pindar. He was
immediately struck with reverence and awe, and prostrated himself before
the apparition, which, taking him by the hand, lifted him gently from
the ground and, with words more sweet than the honey of the Hybla
bees, told him, that, of all the moderns, he alone was visited by
that celestial impulse by which he himself had been inspired, when he
produced his most applauded odes. So saying, he led him up the sacred
hill, persuaded him to drink a copious draught of the waters of the
Hippocrene, and then presented him to the harmonious Nine, who crowned
his temples with a laurel wreath.

No wonder that he was enraged to find himself cut off from such sublime
society. He raved in Greek against the invader, who was so big with
his own purpose, that, unmindful of the disgrace he had sustained, and
disregarding all the symptoms of the physician's displeasure, he applied
his mouth to the door, in an eager tone. "I'll hold you any wager," said
he, "that I guess the true cause of Mr. Pickle's imprisonment." To this
challenge he received no reply, and therefore repeated it, adding, "I
suppose you imagine he was taken up for fighting a duel, or affronting a
nobleman, or lying with some man's wife, or some such matter: but, egad!
you was never more mistaken in your life; and I'll lay my Cleopatra
against your Homer's head, that in four-and-twenty hours you shan't
light on the true reason."

The favourite of the muses, exasperated at this vexatious perseverance
of the painter, who he imagined had come to tease and insult him, "I
would," said he, "sacrifice a cock to Esculapius, were I assured that
any person had been taken up for extirpating such a troublesome Goth as
you are from the face of the earth. As for your boasted Cleopatra, which
you say was drawn from your own wife, I believe the copy has as much of
the to kalon as the original: but, were it mine, it should be hung up
in the Temple of Cloacina, as the picture of that goddess; for any
other apartment would be disgraced by its appearance."--"Hark ye, sir,"
replied Pallet, enraged in his turn at the contemptuous mention of his
darling performance, "you may make as free with my wife as you think
proper, but 'ware my works; those are the children of my fancy,
conceived by the glowing imagination, and formed by the art of my own
hands: and you yourself are a Goth, and a Turk, and a Tartar, and
an impudent pretending jackanapes, to treat with such disrespect a
production which, in the opinion of all the connoisseurs of the age,
will, when finished, be a masterpiece in its kind, and do honour to
human genius and skill. So I say again and again, and I care not
though your friend Playtor heard me, that you have no more taste than a
drayman's horse, and that those foolish notions of the ancients ought to
be drubbed out of you with a pod cudgel, that you might learn to treat
men of parts with more veneration. Perhaps you may not always be in the
company of one who will halloo for assistance when you are on the brink
of being chastised for your insolence, as I did, when you brought upon
yourself the resentment of that Scot, who, by the Lord! would have paid
you both scot and lot, as Falstaff says, if the French officer had not
put him in arrest."

The physician, to this declamation, which was conveyed through the
key-hole, answered, that he (the painter) was a fellow so infinitely
below his consideration, that his conscience upbraided him with no
action of his life, except that of choosing such a wretch for his
companion and fellow-traveller. That he had viewed his character through
the medium of good-nature and compassion, which had prompted him to give
Pallet an opportunity of acquiring some new ideas under his immediate
instruction; but he had abused his goodness and condescension in such a
flagrant manner, that he was now determined to discard him entirely
from his acquaintance; and desired him, for the present, to take himself
away, on pain of being kicked for his presumption.

Pallet was too much incensed to be intimidated by this threat, which he
retorted with great virulence, defying him to come forth, that it might
appear which of them was best skilled in that pedestrian exercise, which
he immediately began to practise against the door with such thundering
application, as reached the ears of Pickle and his governor, who coming
out into the passage, and seeing him thus employed, asked if he had
forgot the chamber-pots of Alost, that he ventured to behave in such a
manner as entitled him to a second prescription of the same nature.

The doctor, understanding that there was company at hand, opened the
door in a twinkling, and, springing upon his antagonist like a tiger, a
fierce contention would have ensued, to the infinite satisfaction of
our hero, had not Jolter, to the manifest peril of his own person,
interposed, and partly by force, and partly by exhortations, put a stop
to the engagement before it was fairly begun. After having demonstrated
the indecency of such a vulgar rencontre, betwixt two fellow-citizens
in a foreign land, he begged to know the cause of their dissension,
and offered his good offices towards an accommodation. Peregrine also,
seeing the fray was finished, expressed himself to the same purpose;
and the painter, for obvious reasons, declining an explanation, his
antagonist told the youth what a mortifying interruption he had suffered
by the impertinent intrusion of Pallet, and gave him a detail of the
particulars of his vision, as above recited. The arbiter owned the
provocation was not to be endured; and decreed that the offender should
make some atonement for his transgression. Upon which the painter
observed, that, however he might have been disposed to make
acknowledgments, if the physician had signified his displeasure like
a gentleman, the complainant had now forfeited all claim to any such
concessions, by the vulgar manner in which he had reviled him and his
productions; observing, that, if he (the painter) had been inclined to
retort his slanderous insinuations, the republican's own works would
have afforded ample subject for his ridicule and censure.

After divers disputes and representations, peace was at length
concluded, on condition, that, for the future, the doctor should never
mention Cleopatra, unless he could say something in her praise; and that
Pallet, in consideration of his having been the first aggressor, should
make a sketch of the physician's vision, to be engraved and prefixed to
the next edition of his odes.



CHAPTER LXII.



The Travellers depart for Antwerp, at which place the Painter gives a
loose to his Enthusiasm.


Our adventurer, baffled in all his efforts to retrieve his lost
Amanda, yielded at length to the remonstrances of his governor and
fellow-travellers, who, out of pure complaisance to him, had exceeded
their intended stay by six days at least; and a couple of post-chaises,
with three riding-horses, being hired, they departed from Brussels in
the morning, dined at Mechlin, and arrived about eight in the evening
at the venerable city of Antwerp. During this day's journey Pallet was
elevated to an uncommon flow of spirits, with the prospect of seeing the
birthplace of Rubens, for whom he professed an enthusiastic admiration.
He swore, that the pleasure he felt was equal to that of a Mussulman, on
the last day of his pilgrimage to Mecca; and that he already considered
himself a native of Antwerp, being so intimately acquainted with their
so justly boasted citizen, from whom, at certain junctures, he could
not help believing himself derived, because his own pencil adopted the
manner of that great man with surprising facility, and his face wanted
nothing but a pair of whiskers and a beard, to exhibit the express
image of the Fleming's countenance. He told them he was so proud of this
resemblance, that, in order to render it more striking, he had, at one
time of his life, resolved to keep his face sacred from the razor;
and in that purpose had persevered, notwithstanding the continual
reprehensions of Mrs. Pallet, (who, being then with child), said, his
aspect was so hideous, that she dreaded a miscarriage every hour, until
she threatened in plain terms, to dispute the sanity of his intellects,
and apply to the chancellor for a committee.

The doctor, on this occasion, observed, that a man who is not proof
against the solicitations of a woman, can never expect to make a great
figure in life; that painters and poets ought to cultivate no wives but
the Muses; or, if they are by the accidents of fortune encumbered with
families, they should carefully guard against that pernicious weakness,
falsely honoured with the appellation of natural affection, and pay no
manner of regard to the impertinent customs of the world. "Granting that
you had been for a short time deemed a lunatic," said he, "you
might have acquitted yourself honourably of that imputation, by some
performance that would have raised your character above all censure.
Sophocles himself, that celebrated tragic poet, who, for the sweetness
of his versification, was styled Melitta, or "the Bee," in his old age,
suffered the same accusation from his own children, who, seeing him
neglect his family affairs, and devote himself entirely to poetry,
carried him before the magistrate, as a man whose intellects were so
much impaired by the infirmities of age, that he was no longer fit to
manage his domestic concerns; upon which the reverend bard produced his
tragedy of Oidipus epi Kolono, as a work he had just finished; which
being perused, instead of being declared unsound of understanding,
he was dismissed with admiration and applause. I wish your beard and
whiskers had been sanctioned by the like authority; though I am afraid
you would have been in the predicament of those disciples of a certain
philosopher, who drank decoctions of cummin seeds, that their faces
might adopt the paleness of their master's complexion, hoping that, in
being as wan, they would be as learned as their teacher." The painter,
stung by this sarcasm, replied, "or like those virtuosi, who, by
repeating Greek, eating sillikicaby, and pretending to see visions,
think they equal the ancients in taste and genius." The physician
retorted, Pallet rejoined, and the altercation continued until they
entered the gates of Antwerp, when the admirer of Rubens broke forth
into a rapturous exclamation, which put an end to the dispute and
attracted the notice of the inhabitants, many of whom by shrugging up
their shoulders and pointing to their foreheads, gave shrewd indications
that they believed him a poor gentleman disordered in his brain.

They had no sooner alighted at the inn, than this pseudo-enthusiast
proposed to visit the great church, in which he had been informed some
of his master's pieces were to be seen, and was remarkably chagrined,
when he understood that he could not be admitted till next day. He rose
next morning by day-break, and disturbed his fellow-travellers in such a
noisy and clamorous manner, that Peregrine determined to punish him with
some new infliction, and, while he put on his clothes, actually
formed the plan of promoting a duel between him and the doctor, in the
management of which, he promised himself store of entertainment, from
the behaviour of both.

Being provided with one of those domestics who are always in waiting
to offer their services to strangers on their first arrival, they were
conducted to the house of a gentleman who had an excellent collection
of pictures; and though the greatest part of them were painted by his
favourite artist, Pallet condemned them all by the lump, because Pickle
had told him beforehand that there was not one performance of Rubens
among the number.

The next place they visited was what is called the Academy of Painting,
furnished with a number of paltry pieces, in which our painter
recognised the style of Peter Paul, with many expressions of admiration,
on the same sort of previous intelligence.

From this repository, they went to the great church; and being led
to the tomb of Rubens, the whimsical painter fell upon his knees,
and worshipped with such appearance of devotion, that the attendant,
scandalized at his superstition, pulled him up, observing, with great
warmth, that the person buried in that place was no saint, but as great
a sinner as himself; and that, if he was spiritually disposed, there was
a chapel of the Blessed Virgin, at the distance of three yards on the
right hand, to which he might retire. He thought it was incumbent upon
him to manifest some extraordinary inspiration, while he resided on the
spot where Rubens was born; and, therefore, his whole behaviour was an
affectation of rapture, expressed in distracted exclamations, convulsive
starts, and uncouth gesticulations. In the midst of this frantic
behaviour, he saw an old Capuchin, with a white beard, mount the pulpit,
and hold forth to the congregation with such violence of emphasis and
gesture, as captivated his fancy; and, bawling aloud, "Zounds! what
an excellent Paul preaching at Athens!" he pulled a pencil and a small
memorandum book from his pocket, and began to take a sketch of the
orator, with great eagerness and agitation, saying "Egad! friend
Raphael, we shall see whether you or I have got the best knack at
trumping up an apostle." This appearance of disrespect gave offence to
the audience, who began to murmur against this heretic libertine; when
one of the priests belonging to the choir, in order to prevent any ill
consequence from their displeasure, came and told him in the French
language, that such liberties were not permitted in their religion, and
advised him to lay aside his implements, lest the people should take
umbrage at his design, and be provoked to punish him as a profane
scoffer at their worship.

The painter, seeing himself addressed by a friar, who, while he spoke,
bowed with great complaisance, imagined that he was a begging brother
come to supplicate his charity; and his attention being quite engrossed
by the design he was making, he patted the priest's shaven crown with
his hand, saying, Oter tems, oter tems, and then resumed his pencil with
great earnestness. The ecclesiastic, perceiving that the stranger did
not comprehend his meaning, pulled him by the sleeve, and explained
himself in the Latin tongue: upon which Pallet, provoked at his
intrusion, cursed him aloud for an impudent beggarly son of a w--, and,
taking out a shilling, flung it upon the pavement, with manifest signs
of indignation.

Some of the common people, enraged to see their religion contemned, and
their priests insulted at the very altar, rose from their seats, and,
surrounding the astonished painter, one of the number snatched his book
from his hand, and tore it into a thousand pieces. Frightened as he was,
he could not help crying "Fire and fagots! all my favourite ideas are
gone to wreck!" and was in danger of being very roughly handled by the
crowd, had not Peregrine stepped in, and assured them, that he was a
poor unhappy gentleman, who laboured under a transport of the brain.
Those who understood the French language communicated this information
to the rest, so that he escaped without any other chastisement than
being obliged to retire. And as they could not see the famous Descent
from the Cross till after the service was finished, they were conducted
by their domestic to the house of a painter, where they found a
beggar standing for his picture, and the artist actually employed in
representing a huge louse that crawled upon his shoulder. Pallet was
wonderfully pleased with this circumstance, which he said was altogether
a new thought, and an excellent hint, of which he would make his
advantage: and, in the course of his survey of this Fleming's
performances, perceiving a piece in which two flies were engaged upon
the carcass of a dog half devoured, he ran to his brother brush, and
swore he was worthy of being a fellow-citizen of the immortal Rubens.
He then lamented, with many expressions of grief and resentment, that
he had lost his commonplace book, in which he had preserved a thousand
conceptions of the same sort, formed by the accidental objects of
his senses and imagination; and took an opportunity of telling his
fellow-travellers, that in execution he had equalled, if not
excelled, the two ancient painters who had vied with each other in the
representation of a curtain and a bunch of grapes; for he had exhibited
the image of a certain object so like to nature, that the bare sight of
it set a whole hog-sty in an uproar.

When he had examined and applauded all the productions of this minute
artist, they returned to the great church, and were entertained with
the view of that celebrated masterpiece of Rubens, in which he has
introduced the portraits of himself and his whole family. The doors
that conceal this capital performance were no sooner unfolded, than our
enthusiast, debarred the use of speech, by a previous covenant with his
friend Pickle, lifted up his hands and eyes, and putting himself in the
attitude of Hamlet, when his father's ghost appears, adored in silent
ecstasy and awe. He even made a merit of necessity; and, when they
had withdrawn from the place, protested that his whole faculties were
swallowed up in love and admiration. He now professed himself more than
ever enamoured of the Flemish school, raved in extravagant encomiums,
and proposed that the whole company should pay homage to the memory
of the divine Rubens, by repairing forthwith to the house in which he
lived, and prostrating themselves on the floor of his painting-room.

As there was nothing remarkable in the tenement, which had been rebuilt
more than once since the death of that great man, Peregrine excused
himself from complying with the proposal, on pretence of being fatigued
with the circuit they had already performed. Jolter declined it for the
same reason; and the question being put to the doctor, he refused his
company with an air of disdain. Pallet, piqued at his contemptuous
manner, asked, "if he would not go and see the habitation of Pindoor,
provided he was in the city where that poet lived?" and when the
physician observed, that there was an infinite difference between the
men, "That I'll allow," replied the painter, "for the devil a poet ever
lived in Greece or Troy, that was worthy to clean the pencils of our
beloved Rubens." The physician could not, with any degree of temper
and forbearance, hear this outrageous blasphemy, for which, he said,
Pallet's eyes ought to be picked out by owls; and the dispute arose,
as usual, to such scurrilities of language, and indecency of behaviour,
that passengers began to take notice of their animosity, and Peregrine
was obliged to interpose for his own credit.



CHAPTER LXIII.



Peregrine artfully foments a Quarrel between Pallet and the Physician,
who fight a Duel on the Ramparts.


The painter betook himself to the house of the Flemish Raphael, and
the rest of the company went back to their lodgings; where the young
gentleman, taking the advantage of being alone with the physician,
recapitulated all the affronts he had sustained from the painter's
petulance, aggravating every circumstance of the disgrace, and advising
him, in the capacity of a friend, to take care of his honour, which
could not fail to suffer in the opinion of the world, if he allowed
himself to be insulted with impunity, by one so much his inferior in
every degree of consideration.

The physician assured him, that Pallet had hitherto escaped
chastisement, by being deemed an object unworthy his resentment, and
in consideration of the wretch's family, for which his compassion was
interested; but that repeated injuries would inflame the most benevolent
disposition. And, though he could find no precedent of duelling among
the Greeks and Romans, whom he considered as the patterns of demeanour,
Pallet should no longer avail himself of his veneration for the
ancients, but be punished for the very next offence he should commit.

Having thus spirited up the doctor to a resolution from which he could
not decently swerve, our adventurer acted the incendiary with the other
party also; giving him to understand, that the physician treated his
character with such contempt, and behaved to him with such insolence, as
no gentleman ought to bear: that, for his own part, he was every day put
out of countenance by their mutual animosity, which appeared in nothing
but vulgar expressions, more becoming shoe-boys and oyster-women
than men of honour and education; and therefore he should be obliged,
contrary to his inclination, to break off all correspondence with them
both, if they would not fall upon some method to retrieve the dignity of
their characters.

These representations would have had little effect upon the timidity of
the painter, who was likewise too much of a Grecian to approve of single
combat, in any other way than that of boxing, an exercise in which he
was well skilled, had they not been accompanied with an insinuation,
that his antagonist was no Hector, and that he might humble him into any
concession, without running the least personal risk. Animated by this
assurance, our second Rubens set the trumpet of defiance to his mouth,
swore he valued not his life a rush, when his honour was concerned, and
entreated Mr. Pickle to be the bearer of a challenge, which he would
instantly commit to writing.

The mischievous fomenter highly applauded this manifestation of courage,
by which he was at liberty to cultivate his friendship and society,
but declined the office of carrying the billet, that his tenderness of
Pallet's reputation might not be misinterpreted into an officious desire
of promoting quarrels. At the same time, he recommended Tom Pipes, not
only as a very proper messenger on this occasion, but also as a trusty
second in the field. The magnanimous painter took his advice, and,
retiring to his chamber, penned a challenge in these terms:--

     "Sir,--When I am heartily provoked, I fear not the devil
     himself; much less--I will not call you a pedantic coxcomb,
     nor an unmannerly fellow, because these are the hippethets of
     the vulgar; but, remember, such as you are, I nyther love you
     nor fear you; but, on the contrary, expect satisfaction for your
     audacious behaviour to me on divers occasions; and will, this
     evening, in the twilight, meet you on the ramparts with sword
     and pistol, where the Lord have mercy on the soul of one of us,
     for your body shall find no favour with your incensed defier
     till death,
                                      "Layman Pallet."

This resolute defiance, after having been submitted to the perusal, and
honoured with the approbation of our youth, was committed to the charge
of Pipes, who, according to his orders, delivered it in the afternoon;
and brought for answer, that the physician would attend him at the
appointed time and place. The challenger was evidently discomposed at
the unexpected news of this acceptance, and ran about the house in
great disorder, in quest of Peregrine, to beg his further advice and
assistance; but understanding that the youth was engaged in private with
his adversary, he began to suspect some collusion, and cursed himself
for his folly and precipitation. He even entertained some thoughts
of retracting his invitation, and submitting to the triumph of his
antagonist: but before he would stoop to this opprobrious condescension,
he resolved to try another expedient, which might be the means of saving
both his character and person. In this hope he visited Mr. Jolter, and
very gravely desired he would be so good as to undertake the office
of his second in a duel which he was to fight that evening with the
physician.

The governor, instead of answering his expectation, in expressing
fear and concern, and breaking forth into exclamations of "Good God!
gentlemen, what d'ye mean? You shall not murder one another while it is
in my power to prevent your purpose. I will go directly to the governor
of the place, who shall interpose his authority--I say--" instead
of these and other friendly menaces of prevention, Jolter heard the
proposal with the most phlegmatic tranquility, and excused himself from
accepting the honour he intended for him, on account of his character
and situation, which would not permit him to be concerned in any such
rencontres. Indeed, this mortifying reception was owing to a previous
hint from Peregrine, who, dreading some sort of interruption from his
governor, had made him acquainted with his design, and assured him, that
the affair should not be brought to any dangerous issue.

Thus disappointed, the dejected challenger was overwhelmed with
perplexity and dismay; and, in the terrors of death or mutilation,
resolved to deprecate the wrath of his enemy, and conform to any
submission he should propose, when he was accidentally encountered by
our adventurer, who, with demonstrations of infinite satisfaction, told
him in confidence, that the billet had thrown the doctor into an agony
of consternation; that his acceptance of his challenge was a mere effort
of despair, calculated to confound the ferocity of the sender, and
dispose him to listen to terms of accommodation; that he had imparted
the letter to him with fear and trembling, on pretence of engaging him
as a second, but, in reality, with a view of obtaining his good offices
in promoting a reconciliation; "but, perceiving the situation of his
mind," added our hero, "I thought it would be more for your honour to
baffle his expectation, and therefore I readily undertook the task of
attending him to the field, in full assurance that he will there humble
himself before you, even to prostration. In this security, you may go
and prepare your arms, and bespeak the assistance of Pipes, who will
squire you in the field, while I keep myself up, that our correspondence
may not be suspected by the physician." Pallet's spirits, that were
sunk to dejection, rose at this encouragement to all the insolence of
triumph; he again declared his contempt of danger, and his pistols being
loaded and accommodated with new flints, by his trusty armour-bearer, he
waited, without flinching, for the hour of battle.

On the first approach of twilight, somebody knocked at his door,
and Pipes having opened it at his desire, he heard the voice of his
antagonist pronounce, "Tell Mr. Pallet that I am going to the place
of appointment." The painter was not a little surprised at this
anticipation, which so ill agreed with the information he had received
from Pickle; and his concern beginning to recur, he fortified himself
with a large bumper of brandy, which, however, did not overcome the
anxiety of his thoughts. Nevertheless, he set out on the expedition with
his second, betwixt whom and himself the following dialogue passed, in
their way to the ramparts.

"Mr. Pipes," said the painter, with disordered accent, "methinks the
doctor was in a pestilent hurry with that message of his."--"Ey, ey,"
answered Tom, "I do suppose he longs to be foul of you."--"What,"
replied the other, "d'ye think he thirsts after my blood?"--"To be sure
a does," said Pipes, thrusting a large quid of tobacco in his check,
with great deliberation. "If that be the case," cried Pallet, beginning
to shake, "he is no better than a cannibal, and no Christian ought to
fight him on equal footing." Tom observing his emotion, eyed him with a
frown of indignation, saying, "You an't afraid, are you?"--"God forbid,"
replied the challenger, stammering with fear; "what should I be afraid
of? The worst he can do is to take my life, and then he'll be answerable
both to God and man for the murder. Don't you think he will?"--"I think
no such matter," answered the second; "if so be as how he puts a brace
of bullets through your bows, and kills you fairly, it is no more murder
than if I was to bring down a noddy from the main top-sail yard."

By this time Pallet's teeth chattered with such violence, that he could
scarce pronounce this reply: "Mr. Thomas, you seem to make very light
of a man's life; but I trust in the Almighty. I shall not be so easily
brought down. Sure many a man has fought a duel without losing his life.
Do you imagine that I run such a hazard of falling by the hand of my
adversary?"--"You may or you may not," said the unconcerned Pipes, "just
as it happens. What then? Death is a debt that every man owes, according
to the song; and if you set foot to foot, I think one of you must go
to pot."--"Foot to foot!" exclaimed the terrified painter: "that's
downright butchery; and I'll be d-- before I fight any man on earth in
such a barbarous way. What! d'ye take me to be a savage beast?" This
declaration he made while they ascended the ramparts.

His attendant perceiving the physician and his second at the distance
of a hundred paces before them, gave him notice of their appearance,
and advised him to make ready, and behave like a man. Pallet in vain
endeavoured to conceal his panic, which discovered itself in a universal
trepidation of body, and the lamentable tone in which he answered this
exhortation of Pipes, saying, "I do behave like a man; but you would
have me act the part of a brute. Are they coming this way?" When Tom
told him that they had faced about, and admonished him to advance,
the nerves of his arm refused their office, he could not hold out his
pistol, and instead of going forward, retreated with an insensibility
of motion; till Pipes, placing himself in the rear, set his own back to
that of his principal, and swore he should not budge an inch farther in
that direction.

While the valet thus tutored the painter, his master enjoyed the terrors
of the physician, which were more ridiculous than those of Pallet,
because he was more intent upon disguising them. His declaration to
Pickle in the morning would not suffer him to start any objections when
he received the challenge; and finding that the young gentleman made
no offer of mediating the affair, but rather congratulated him on the
occasion, when he communicated the painter's billet, all his efforts
consisted in oblique hints, and general reflections upon the absurdity
of duelling, which was first introduced among civilised nations by the
barbarous Huns and Longobards. He likewise pretended to ridicule the use
of firearms, which confounded all the distinctions of skill and address,
and deprived a combatant of the opportunity of signalizing his personal
prowess.

Pickle assented to the justness of his observations; but, at the same
time, represented the necessity of complying with the customs of this
world, ridiculous as they were, on which a man's honour and reputation
depend: so that, seeing no hopes of profiting by that artifice, the
republican's agitation became more and more remarkable; and he proposed,
in plain terms, that they should contend in armour, like the combatants
of ancient days; for it was but reasonable that they should practise
the manner of fighting, since they adopted the disposition of those iron
times.

Nothing could have afforded more diversion to our hero than the sight of
two such duellists cased in iron; and he wished that he had promoted the
quarrel in Brussels, where he could have hired the armour of Charles the
Fifth, and the valiant Duke of Parma, for their accommodation; but as
there was no possibility of furnishing them cap-a-pie at Antwerp, he
persuaded him to conform to the modern use of the sword, and meet the
painter on his own terms; and suspecting that his fear would supply him
with other excuses for declining the combat, he comforted him with some
distant insinuations, to the prejudice of his adversary's courage, which
would, in all probability, evaporate before any mischief could happen.

Notwithstanding this encouragement, he could not suppress the reluctance
with which he went to the field, and cast many a wishful look over his
left shoulder, to see whether or not his adversary was at his heels.
When, by the advice of his second, he took possession of the ground, and
turned about with his face to the enemy, it was not so dark, but that
Peregrine could perceive the unusual paleness of his countenance, and
the sweat standing in large drops upon his forehead; nay, there was a
manifest disorder in his speech, when he regretted his want of the pila
and parma, with which he would have made a rattling noise, to astonish
his foe, in springing forward, and singing the hymn to battle, in the
manner of the ancients.

In the meantime, observing the hesitation of his antagonist, who, far
from advancing, seemed to recoil, and even struggle with his second, he
guessed the situation of the painter's thoughts, and, collecting all the
manhood that he possessed, seized the opportunity of profiting by
his enemy's consternation. Striking his sword and pistol together, he
advanced in a sort of trot, raising a loud howl, in which he repeated,
in lieu of the Spartan song, part of the strophe from one of Pindar's
Pythia, beginning with ek theon gar makanoi pasai Broteais aretais,
etc. This imitation of the Greeks had all the desired effect upon the
painter, who seeing the physician running towards him like a fury, with
a pistol in his right hand, which was extended, and hearing the dreadful
yell he uttered, and the outlandish words he pronounced, was seized
with a universal palsy of his limbs. He would have dropped down upon
the ground, had not Pipes supported and encouraged him to stand upon his
defence. The doctor, contrary to his expectation, finding that he had
not flinched from the spot, though he had now performed one half of his
career, put in practice his last effort, by firing his pistol, the noise
of which no sooner reached the ears of the affrighted painter, than
he recommended his soul to God, and roared for mercy with great
vociferation.

The republican, overjoyed at this exclamation, commanded him to yield,
and surrender his arms, on pain of immediate death; upon which he threw
away his pistols and sword, in spite of all the admonitions and even
threats of his second, who left him to his fate, and went up to his
master, stopping his nose with signs of loathing and abhorrence.

The victor, having won the spolia opima, granted him his life, on
condition that he would on his knees supplicate his pardon, acknowledge
himself inferior to his conqueror in every virtue and qualification, and
promise for the future to merit his favour by submission and respect.
These insolent terms were readily embraced by the unfortunate
challenger, who fairly owned, that he was not at all calculated for the
purposes of war, and that henceforth he would contend with no weapon
but his pencil. He begged with great humility, that Mr. Pickle would not
think the worse of his morals for this defect of courage, which was a
natural infirmity inherited from his father, and suspend his opinion of
his talents, until he should have an opportunity of contemplating the
charms of his Cleopatra, which would be finished in less than three
months.

Our hero observed, with an affected air of displeasure, that no man
could be justly condemned for being subject to the impressions of fear,
and therefore his cowardice might easily be forgiven: but there was
something so presumptuous, dishonest, and disingenuous, in arrogating
a quality to which he knew he had not the smallest pretension, that
he could not forget his misbehaviour all at once, though he would
condescend to communicate with him as formerly, in hopes of seeking
a reformation in his conduct. Pallet protested, that there was no
dissimulation in the case; for he was ignorant of his own weakness,
until his resolution was put to the trial: he faithfully promised
to demean himself, during the remaining part of the tour, with that
conscious modesty and penitence which became a person in his condition;
and, for the present, implored the assistance of Mr. Pipes, in
disembarrassing him from the disagreeable consequence of his fear.



CHAPTER LXIV.



The Doctor exults in his Victory--They set out for Rotterdam, where they
are entertained by two Dutch Gentlemen in a Yacht, which is overturned
in the Maese, to the manifest hazard of the Painter's Life--They spend
the Evening with their Entertainers, and next Day visit a Cabinet of
Curiosities.


Tom was accordingly ordered to administer to his occasions; and
the conqueror, elated with his success, which he in a great measure
attributed to his manner of attack, and the hymn which he howled, told
Peregrine, that he was now convinced of the truth of what Pindar sung in
these words, ossa de me pephileke Zeus atuzontai boan Pieridon aionta;
for he had no sooner begun to repeat the mellifluent strains of that
divine poet, than the wretch his antagonist was confounded, and his
nerves unstrung.

On their return to the inn, he expatiated on the prudence and
tranquility of his own behaviour, and ascribed the consternation
of Pallet to the remembrance of some crime that lay heavy upon his
conscience; for, in his opinion, a man of virtue and common sense could
not possibly be afraid of death, which is not only the peaceful harbour
that receives him shattered on the tempestuous sea of life, but also the
eternal seal of his fame and glory, which it is no longer in his power
to forfeit and forego. He lamented his fate, in being doomed to live in
such degenerate days, when war is become a mercenary trade; and ardently
wished, that the day would come, when he should have such an opportunity
of signalizing his courage in the cause of liberty, as that of Marathon,
where a handful of Athenians, fighting for their freedom, defeated the
whole strength of the Persian empire. "Would to heaven!" said he, "my
muse were blessed with an occasion to emulate that glorious testimony on
the trophy in Cyprus, erected by Cimon, for two great victories gained
on the same day over the Persians by sea and land; in which it is very
remarkable, that the greatness of the occasion has raised the manner of
expression above the usual simplicity and modesty of all other ancient
inscriptions." He then repeated it with all the pomp of declamation, and
signified his hope, that the French would one day invade us with such an
army as that which Xerxes led into Greece, that it might be in his power
to devote himself, like Leonidas, to the freedom of his country.

This memorable combat being thus determined, and everything that was
remarkable in Antwerp surveyed, they sent their baggage down the Scheldt
to Rotterdam, and set out for the same place in a post-waggon, which
that same evening brought them in safety to the banks of the Maese. They
put up at an English house of entertainment, remarkable for the modesty
and moderation of the landlord; and next morning the doctor went in
person to deliver letters of recommendation to two Dutch gentlemen from
one of his acquaintance at Paris. Neither of them happened to be at home
when he called; so that he left a message at their lodgings, with his
address; and in the afternoon, they waited upon the company, and, after
many hospitable professions, one of the two invited them to spend the
evening at his house.

Meanwhile they had provided a pleasure yacht, in which they proposed to
treat them with an excursion upon the Maese. This being almost the only
diversion that place affords, our young gentleman relished the proposal;
and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of Mr. Jolter, who declined the
voyage on account of the roughness of the weather, they went on board
without hesitation, and found a collation prepared in the cabin. While
they tacked to and fro in the river, under the impulse of a mackerel
breeze, the physician expressed his satisfaction, and Pallet was
ravished with the entertainment. But the wind increasing, to the
unspeakable joy of the Dutchmen, who had now an opportunity of showing
their dexterity in the management of the vessel, the guests found it
inconvenient to stand upon deck, and impossible to sit below, on account
of the clouds of tobacco smoke which rolled from the pipes of their
entertainers, in such volumes as annoyed them even to the hazard of
suffocation. This fumigation, together with the extraordinary motion
of the ship, began to affect the head and stomach of the painter, who
begged earnestly to be set on shore. But the Dutch gentlemen, who had no
idea of his sufferings, insisted, with surprising obstinacy of regard,
upon his staying until he should see an instance of the skill of the
mariners; and, bringing him on deck, commanded the men to carry the
vessel's lee gunwale under water. This nicety of navigation they
instantly performed, to the admiration of Pickle, the discomposure of
the doctor, and terror of Pallet, who blessed himself from the courtesy
of a Dutchman, and prayed to Heaven for his deliverance.

While the Hollanders enjoyed the reputation of this feat, and the
distress of the painter, at the same time, the yacht was overtaken by
a sudden squall, that overset her in a moment, and flung every man
overboard into the Maese, before they could have the least warning of
their fate, much less time to provide against the accident. Peregrine,
who was an expert swimmer, reached the shore in safety; the physician,
in the agonies of despair, laid fast hold on the trunk-breeches of one
of the men, who dragged him to the other side; the entertainers
landed at the bomb-keys, smoking their pipes all the way with great
deliberation; and the poor painter must have gone to the bottom, had not
he been encountered by the cable of a ship that lay at anchor near the
scene of their disaster. Though his senses had forsaken him, his hands
fastened by instinct on this providential occurrence, which he held with
such a convulsive grasp, that, when a boat was sent out to bring him
on shore, it was with the utmost difficulty that his fingers were
disengaged. He was carried into a house, deprived of the use of speech,
and bereft of all sensation; and, being suspended by the heels, a vast
quantity of water ran out of his mouth. This evacuation being made, he
began to utter dreadful groans, which gradually increased to a continued
roar; and, after he had regained the use of his senses, he underwent
a delirium that lasted several hours. As for the treaters, they never
dreamed of expressing the least concern to Pickle or the physician
for what had happened, because it was an accident so common as to pass
without notice.

Leaving the care of their vessel to the seamen, the company retired to
their respective lodgings, in order to shift their clothes; and in the
evening our travellers were conducted to the house of their new friend,
who, with a view of making his invitation the more agreeable, had
assembled, to the number of twenty or thirty Englishmen, of all ranks
and degrees, from the merchant to the periwig-maker's prentice.

In the midst of this congregation stood a chafing-dish with live coals,
for the convenience of lighting their pipes, and every individual was
accommodated with a spitting-box. There was not a mouth in the apartment
unfurnished with a tube, so that they resembled a congregation of
chimeras breathing fire and smoke; and our gentlemen were fain to
imitate their example in their own defence. It is not to be supposed
that the conversation was either very sprightly or polite; that the
whole entertainment was of the Dutch cast--frowzy and phlegmatic;
and our adventurer, as he returned to his lodging, tortured with the
headache, and disgusted with every circumstance of his treatment, cursed
the hour in which the doctor had saddled them with such troublesome
companions.

Next morning by eight o'clock, these polite Hollanders returned the
visit, and, after breakfast, attended their English friends to the house
of a person that possessed a very curious cabinet of curiosities,
to which they had secured our company's admission. The owner of this
collection was a cheesemonger, who received them in a woollen nightcap,
with straps buttoned under his chin. As he understood no language but
his own, he told them, by the canal of one of their conductors, that he
did not make a practice of showing his curiosities; but understanding
that they were Englishmen, and recommended to his friends, he was
content to submit them to their perusal. So saying, he led them up a
dark stair, into a small room, decorated with a few paltry figures in
plaster of Paris, two or three miserable landscapes, the skins of an
otter, seal, and some fishes stuffed; and in one corner stood a glass
case, furnished with newts, frogs, lizards, and serpents, preserved in
spirits; a human foetus, a calf with two heads, and about two dozen of
butterflies pinned upon paper.

The virtuoso having exhibited these particulars, eyed the strangers with
a look soliciting admiration and applause; and as he could not perceive
any symptom of either in their gestures or countenances, withdrew a
curtain, and displayed a wainscot chest of drawers, in which, he
gave them to understand, was something that would agreeably amuse the
imagination. Our travellers, regaled with this notice, imagined that
they would be entertained with the sight of some curious medals, or
other productions of antiquity; but how were they disappointed, when
they saw nothing but a variety of shells, disposed in whimsical figures,
in each drawer! After he had detained them full two hours with a tedious
commentary upon the shape, size, and colour of each department, he, with
a supercilious simper, desired that the English gentlemen would frankly
and candidly declare, whether his cabinet, or that of Mynheer Sloane,
at London, was the most valuable. When this request was signified in
English to the company, the painter instantly exclaimed, "By the Lard!
they are not to be named of a day. And as for that matter, I would not
give one corner of Saltero's coffee-house at Chelsea for all the trash
he hath shown." Peregrine, unwilling to mortify any person who had done
his endeavour to please him, observed, that what he had seen was very
curious and entertaining; but that no private collection in Europe was
equal to that of Sir Hans Sloane, which, exclusive of presents, had cost
an hundred thousand pounds. The two conductors were confounded at this
asseveration, which, being communicated to the cheesemonger, he shook
his head with a significant grin; and, though he did not choose to
express his incredulity in words, gave our hero to understand, that
he did not much depend upon his veracity. From the house of this
Dutch naturalist, they were draggled all round the city by the painful
civility of their attendants, who did not quit them till the evening was
well advanced, and then not till after they had promised to be with
them before ten o'clock next day, in order to conduct them to a country
house, situated in a pleasant village on the other side of the river.

Pickle was already so much fatigued with their hospitality, that, for
the first time of his life, he suffered a dejection of spirits; and
resolved, at any rate, to avoid the threatened persecution of to-morrow.
With this view, he ordered his servants to pack up some clothes and
linen in a portmanteau; and in the morning embarked, with his governor,
in the treckskuyt, for the Hague, whither he pretended to be called by
some urgent occasion, leaving his fellow-travellers to make his apology
to their friends, and assuring them, that he would not proceed for
Amsterdam without their society. He arrived at the Hague in the
forenoon, and dined at an ordinary frequented by officers and people of
fashion; where being informed that the princess would see company in the
evening, he dressed himself in a rich suit of the Parisian cut, and went
to court, without any introduction. A person of his appearance could not
fail to attract the notice of such a small circle. The prince himself,
understanding he was an Englishman and a stranger, went up to him
without ceremony, and, having welcomed him to the place, conversed with
him for some minutes on the common topics of discourse.



CHAPTER LXV.



They proceed to the Hague; from whence they depart for Amsterdam, where
they see a Dutch Tragedy--Visit the Music-house, in which Peregrine
quarrels with the Captain of a Man-of-War--They pass through Haerlem, in
their way to Leyden--Return to Rotterdam, where the Company separates,
and our Hero, with his Attendants, arrive in safety at Harwich.


Being joined by their fellow-travellers in the morning, they made a
tour to all the remarkable places in this celebrated village: saw the
foundry, the Stadthouse, the Spinhuys, Vauxhall, and Count Bentinck's
gardens; and in the evening went to the French comedy, which was
directed by a noted harlequin, who had found means to flatter the Dutch
taste so effectually, that they extolled him as the greatest actor that
ever appeared in the province of Holland. This famous company did not
represent regular theatrical pieces, but only a sort of impromptus,
in which this noted player always performed the greatest part of the
entertainment. Among other sallies of wit that escaped him, there was
one circumstance so remarkably adapted to the disposition and genius of
his audience, that it were a pity to pass it over in silence. A windmill
being exhibited on the scene, harlequin, after having surveyed it
with curiosity and admiration, asks one of the millers the use of that
machine; and being told that it was a windmill, observes, with some
concern, that as there was not the least breath of wind, he could not
have the pleasure of seeing it turn round. Urged by this consideration,
he puts himself into the attitude of a person wrapt in profound
meditation; and, having continued a few seconds in this posture, runs
to the miller with great eagerness and joy, and, telling him that he
had found an expedient to make his mill work; very fairly unbuttons his
breeches. Then presenting his posteriors to the sails of the machine,
certain explosions are immediately heard, and the arms of the mill
begin to turn round, to the infinite satisfaction of the spectators, who
approve the joke with loud peals of applause.

Our travellers stayed a few days at the Hague, during which the young
gentleman waited on the British ambassador, to whom he was recommended
by his excellency at Paris, and lost about thirty guineas at billiards
to a French adventurer, who decoyed him into the snare by keeping up his
game. Then they departed in a post-waggon for Amsterdam, being provided
with letters of introduction to an English merchant residing in that
city, under whose auspices they visited everything worth seeing,
and among other excursions, went to see a Dutch tragedy acted, an
entertainment which, of all others, had the strangest effect upon the
organs of our hero; the dress of their chief personages was so antic,
their manner so awkwardly absurd, and their language so ridiculously
unfit for conveying the sentiment of love and honour, that Peregrine's
nerves were diuretically affected with the complicated absurdity, and
he was compelled to withdraw twenty times before the catastrophe of the
piece.

The subject of this performance was the famous story of Scipio's
continence and virtue, in restoring the fair captive to her lover.
The young Roman hero was represented by a broadfaced Batavian, in a
burgomaster's gown and a fur cap, sitting smoking his pipe at a table
furnished with a can of beer, a drinking glass, and a plate of tobacco.
The lady was such a person as Scipio might well be supposed to give
away, without any great effort of generosity; and indeed the Celtiberian
prince seemed to be of that opinion; for, upon receiving her from the
hand of the victor, he discovered none of those transports of gratitude
and joy which Livy describes in recounting this event. The Dutch Scipio,
however, was complaisant enough in his way; for he desired her to sit at
his right hand, by the appellation of Ya frow, and with his own fingers
filling a clean pipe, presented it to Mynheer Allucio, the lover. The
rest of the economy of the piece was in the same taste; which was so
agreeable to the audience, that they seemed to have shaken off their
natural phlegm, in order to applaud the performance.

From the play our company adjourned to the house of their friend, where
they spent the evening; and the conversation turning upon poetry, a
Dutchman who was present, and understood the English language, having
listened very attentively to the discourse, lifted up with both hands
the greatest part of a Cheshire cheese that lay upon the table, saying,
"I do know vat is boetre. Mine brotre be a great boet, and ave vrought
a book as dick as all dat." Pickle, diverted with this method of
estimating an author according to the quantity of his works, inquired
about the subjects of this bard's writings; but of these his brother
could give no account, or other information, but that there was little
market for the commodity, which hung heavy upon his hands, and induced
him to wish he had applied himself to another trade.

The only remarkable scene in Amsterdam, which our company had not
seen, was the Spuyl or music-houses, which, by the connivance of the
magistrates, are maintained for the recreation of those who might
attempt the chastity of creditable women, if they were not provided
with such conveniences. To one of these night-houses did our travellers
repair, under the conduct of the English merchant, and were introduced
into such another place as the ever-memorable coffee-house of Moll King;
with this difference, that the company here were not so riotous as the
bucks of Covent Garden, but formed themselves into a circle, within
which some of the number danced to the music of a scurvy organ and a few
other instruments, that uttered tunes very suitable to the disposition
of the hearers, while the whole apartment was shrouded with clouds of
smoke impervious to the view. When our gentlemen entered, the floor was
occupied by two females and their gallants, who, in the performance of
their exercise, lifted their legs like so many oxen at plough and the
pipe of one of those hoppers happening to be exhausted, in the midst of
his saraband, he very deliberately drew forth his tobacco-box, filling
and lighting it again, without any interruption to the dance.

Peregrine being unchecked by the presence of his governor, who was too
tender of his own reputation to attend them in this expedition, made up
to a sprightly French girl who sat in seeming expectation of a customer,
and prevailing upon her to be his partner, led her into the circle, and
in his turn took the opportunity of dancing a minuet, to the admiration
of all present. He intended to have exhibited another specimen of his
ability in this art, when a captain of a Dutch man-of-war chancing to
come in, and seeing a stranger engaged with the lady whom, it seems,
he had bespoke for his bedfellow, he advanced without any ceremony, and
seizing her by the arm, pulled her to the other side of the room. Our
adventurer, who was not a man to put up with such a brutal affront,
followed the ravisher with indignation in his eyes; and pushing him on
one side, retook the subject of their contest, and led her back to the
place from whence she had been dragged. The Dutchman, enraged at the
youth's presumption, obeyed the first dictates of his choler, and lent
his rival a hearty box on the ear; which was immediately repaid with
interest, before our hero could recollect himself sufficiently to lay
his hand upon his sword, and beckon the aggressor to the door.

Notwithstanding the confusion and disorder which this affair produced
in the room, and the endeavours of Pickle's company, who interposed,
in order to prevent bloodshed, the antagonists reached the street; and
Peregrine drawing, was surprised to see the captain advance against
him with a long knife, which he preferred to the sword that hung by his
side. The youth, confounded at this preposterous behaviour, desired him,
in the French tongue, to lay aside that vulgar implement, and approach
like a gentleman. But the Hollander, who neither understood the
proposal, nor would have complied with this demand, had he been made
acquainted with his meaning, rushed forward like a desperado, before his
adversary could put himself on his guard; and if the young gentleman had
not been endued with surprising agility, his nose would have fallen a
sacrifice to the fury of the assailant. Finding himself in such imminent
jeopardy, he leaped to one side, and the Dutchman passing him, in the
force of his career, he with one nimble kick made such application to
his enemy's heels, that he flew like lightning into the canal, where he
had almost perished by pitching upon one of the posts with which it is
faced.

Peregrine having performed this exploit, did not stay for the captain's
coming on shore, but retreated with all despatch, by the advice of his
conductor; and next day embarked, with his companions, in the skuyt,
for Haerlem, where they dined; and in the evening arrived at the ancient
city of Leyden, where they met with some English students, who
treated them with great hospitality. Not but that the harmony of the
conversation was that same night interrupted by a dispute that arose
between one of those young gentlemen and the physician, about the
cold and hot methods of prescription in the gout and rheumatism; and
proceeded to such a degree of mutual reviling, that Pickle, ashamed
and incensed at his fellow-traveller's want of urbanity, espoused the
other's cause, and openly rebuked him for his unmannerly petulance,
which, he said, rendered him unfit for the purposes, and unworthy of the
benefit, of society. This unexpected declaration overwhelmed the doctor
with amazement and confusion; he was instantaneously deprived of his
speech, and, during the remaining part of the party, sat in silent
mortification. In all probability, he deliberated with himself, whether
or not he should expostulate with the young gentleman on the freedom he
had taken with his character in a company of strangers; but as he knew
he had not a Pallet to deal with, he very prudently suppressed that
suggestion, and, in secret, chewed the cud of resentment.

After they had visited the physic-garden, the university, the anatomical
hall, and every other thing that was recommended to their view, they
returned to Rotterdam, and held a consultation upon the method of
transporting themselves to England. The doctor, whose grudge against
Peregrine was rather inflamed than allayed by our hero's indifference
and neglect, had tampered with the simplicity of the painter, who was
proud of his advances towards a perfect reconciliation, and now took the
opportunity of parting with our adventurer, by declaring that he and
his friend Mr. Pallet were resolved to take their passage in a trading
sloop, after he had heard Peregrine object against that tedious,
disagreeable, and uncertain method of conveyance. Pickle immediately saw
his intention, and, without using the least argument to dissuade them
from their design, or expressing the smallest degree of concern at their
separation, very coolly wished them a prosperous voyage, and ordered his
baggage to be sent to Helvoetsluys. There he himself, and his retinue,
went on board of the packet next day, and, by the favour of a fair wind,
in eighteen hours arrived at Harwich.



CHAPTER LXVI.



Peregrine delivers his Letters of Recommendation at London, and returns
to the Garrison, to the unspeakable joy of the Commodore and his whole
Family.


Now that our hero found himself on English ground, his heart dilated
with the proud recollection of his own improvement since he left his
native soil. He began to recognise the interesting ideas of his tender
years; he enjoyed, by anticipation, the pleasure of seeing his friends
in the garrison, after an absence of eighteen months; and the image
of his charming Emily, which other less worthy considerations had
depressed, resumed the full possession of his breast. He remembered,
with shame, that he had neglected the correspondence with her brother,
which he himself had solicited, and in consequence of which he had
received a letter from that young gentleman, while he lived at Paris. In
spite of these conscientious reflections he was too self-sufficient to
think he should find any difficulty in obtaining forgiveness for
such sins of omission; and began to imagine that his passion would
be prejudicial to the dignity of his situation, if it should not be
gratified upon terms which formerly his imagination durst not conceive.

Sorry I am, that the task I have undertaken, lays me under the necessity
of divulging this degeneracy in the sentiment of our imperious youth,
who was now in the heyday of his blood, flushed with the consciousness
of his own qualifications, vain of his fortune, and elated on the
wings of imaginary expectation. Though he was deeply enamoured of Miss
Gauntlet, he was far from proposing her heart as the ultimate aim of
his gallantry, which, he did not doubt, would triumph over the most
illustrious females of the land, and at once regale his appetite and
ambition.

Meanwhile, being willing to make his appearance at the garrison equally
surprising and agreeable, he cautioned Mr. Jolter against writing to the
commodore, who had not heard of them since their departure from Paris,
and hired a post-chaise and horses, for London. The governor, going out
to give orders about the carriage, inadvertently left a paper book open
upon the table; and his pupil, casting his eyes upon the page, chanced
to read these words: "Sept. 15. Arrived in safety, by the blessing of
God, in this unhappy kingdom of England. And thus concludes the journal
of my last peregrination." Peregrine's curiosity being inflamed by this
extraordinary conclusion he turned to the beginning, and perused several
sheets of a diary such as is commonly kept by that class of people known
by the denomination of travelling governors, for the satisfaction of
themselves and the parents or guardians of their pupils, and for the
edification and entertainment of their friends.

That the reader may have a clear idea of Mr. Jolter's performance, we
shall transcribe the transactions of one day, as he had recorded them;
and that abstract will be a sufficient specimen of the whole plan and
execution of the work.

"May 3. At eight o'clock, set out from Boulogne in a post-chaise: the
morning hazy and cold. Fortified my stomach with a cordial. Recommended
ditto to Mr. P. as an antidote against the fog. Mem. He refused it.
The hither horse greased in the off-pastern of the hind leg. Arrived
at Samers. Mem. This last was a post and a half, i.e. three leagues, or
nine English miles. The day clears up. A fine champaign country, well
stored with corn. The postillion says his prayers in passing by a wooden
crucifix upon the road. Mem. The horses staled in a small brook that
runs in a bottom, betwixt two hills. Arrived at Cormont. A common post.
A dispute with my pupil, who is obstinate, and swayed by an unlucky
prejudice. Proceed to Montreuil, where we dine on choice pigeons. A very
moderate charge. No chamber-pot in the room, owing to the negligence of
the maid. This is an ordinary post. Set out again for Nampont. Troubled
with flatulences and indigestion. Mr. P. is sullen, and seems to mistake
an eructation for the breaking of wind backwards. From Nampont depart
for Bernay, at which place we arrive in the evening, and propose to
stay all night. N.B. The two last a redouble posts, and our cattle
very willing, though not strong. Sup on a delicate ragout and excellent
partridges, in company with Mr. H. and his spouse. Mem. The said H.
trod upon my corn by mistake. Discharge the bill, which is not very
reasonable. Dispute with Mr. P. about giving money to the servant. He
insists upon my giving a twenty-four sols piece, which is too much by
two-thirds, in all conscience. N.B. She was a pert baggage, and did not
deserve a liard."

Our hero was so much disobliged with certain circumstances of this
amusing and instructing journal, that, by way of punishing the author,
he interlined these words betwixt two paragraphs, in a manner that
exactly resembled the tutor's handwriting: "Mem. Had the pleasure of
drinking myself into a sweet intoxication, by toasting our lawful king,
and his royal family, among some worthy English fathers of the Society
of Jesus."

Having taken this revenge, he set out for London, where he waited upon
those noblemen to whom he had letters of recommendation from Paris;
and was not only graciously received, but even loaded with caresses and
proffers of service, because they understood he was a young gentleman
of fortune, who, far from standing in need of their countenance or
assistance, would make a useful and creditable addition to the number
of their adherents. He had the honour of dining at their tables, in
consequence of pressing invitations, and of spending several evenings
with the ladies, to whom he was particularly agreeable, on account of
his person, address, and bleeding freely at play.

Being thus initiated in the beau monde, he thought it was high time
to pay his respects to his generous benefactor, the commodore; and,
accordingly, departed one morning, with his train, for the garrison,
at which he arrived in safety the same night. When he entered the gate,
which was opened by a new servant that did not know him, he found his
old friend, Hatchway, stalking in the yard, with a nightcap on his head,
and a pipe in his mouth; and, advancing to him, took him by the hand
before he had any intimation of his approach. The lieutenant, thus
saluted by a stranger, stared at him in silent astonishment, till he
recollected his features, which were no sooner known, than, dashing
his pipe upon the pavement, he exclaimed, "Smite my cross-trees! th'art
welcome to port;" and hugged him in his arms with great affection. He
then, by a cordial squeeze, expressed his satisfaction at seeing his old
shipmate, Tom, who, applying his whistle to his mouth, the whole castle
echoed with his performance.

The servants, hearing the well-known sound, poured out in a tumult of
joy; and, understanding that their young master was returned, raised
such a peal of acclamation, as astonished the commodore and his lady,
and inspired Julia with such an interesting presage, that her heart
began to throb with violence. Running out in the hurry and perturbation
of her hope, she was so much overwhelmed at sight of her brother, that
she actually fainted in his arms. But from this trance she soon awaked;
and Peregrine, having testified his pleasure and affection, went
upstairs, and presented himself before his godfather and aunt. Mrs.
Trunnion rose and received him with a gracious embrace, blessing God for
his happy return from a land of impiety and vice, in which she hoped his
morals had not been corrupted, nor his principles of religion altered or
impaired. The old gentleman being confined to his chair, was struck dumb
with pleasure at his appearance; and, having made divers ineffectual
efforts to get up, at length discharged a volley of curses against his
own limbs, and held out his hand to his godson, who kissed it with great
respect.

After he had finished his apostrophe to the gout, which was the daily
and hourly subject of his execrations, "Well, my lad," said he, "I
care not how soon I go to the bottom, now I behold thee safe in harbour
again; and yet I tell a d--d lie; I would I could keep afloat until I
should see a lusty boy of thy begetting. Odds my timbers! I love thee
so well, that I believe thou art the spawn of my own body; though I can
give no account of thy being put upon the stocks." Then, turning his
eyes upon Pipes, who by this time had penetrated into his apartment, and
addressed him with the usual salutation of "What cheer?" "Ahey," cried
he, "are you there, you herring-faced son of a sea-calf? What a slippery
trick you played your old commander! But come, you dog, there's my fist;
I forgive you, for the love you bear to my godson. Go, man your tackle,
and hoist a cask of strong beer into the yard, knock out the bung, and
put a pump in it, for the use of all my servants and neighbours; and,
d'ye hear, let the patereroes be fired, and the garrison illuminated,
as rejoicings for the safe arrival of your master. By the Lord! if I had
the use of these d--d shambling shanks, I would dance a hornpipe with
the best of you."

The next object of his attention was Mr. Jolter, who was honoured with
particular marks of distinction, and the repeated promise of enjoying
the living in his gift, as an acknowledgment of the care and discretion
with which he had superintended the education and morals of our hero.
The governor was so affected by the generosity of his patron, that the
tears ran down his cheeks, while he expressed his gratitude, and the
infinite satisfaction he felt in contemplating the accomplishments of
his pupil.

Meanwhile, Pipes did not neglect the orders he had received. The beer
was produced, the gates were thrown open for the admission of all
comers, the whole house was lighted up, and the patereroes were
discharged in repeated volleys. Such phenomena could not fail to attract
the notice of the neighbourhood. The club at Tunley's were astonished
at the report of the guns, which produced various conjectures among the
members of that sagacious society. The landlord observed, that, in all
likelihood, the commodore was visited by hobgoblins, and ordered the
guns to be fired in token of distress, as he had acted twenty years
before, when he was annoyed by the same grievance. The exciseman, with
a waggish sneer, expressed his apprehension of Trunnion's death,
in consequence of which the patereroes might be discharged with an
equivocal intent, either as signals of his lady's sorrow or rejoicing.
The attorney signified a suspicion of Hatchway's being married to Miss
Pickle, and that the firing and illuminations were in honour of the
nuptials; upon which Gamaliel discovered some faint signs of emotion,
and, taking the pipe from his mouth, gave it as his opinion, that his
sister was brought to bed.

While they were thus bewildered in the maze of their own imaginations,
a company of countrymen, who sat drinking in the kitchen, and whose legs
were more ready than their invention, sallied out to know the meaning
of these exhibitions. Understanding that there was a butt of strong beer
abroach in the yard, to which they were invited by the servants, they
saved themselves the trouble and expense of returning to spend the
evening at the public-house, and listed themselves under the banner of
Tom Pipes, who presided as director of this festival.

The news of Peregrine's return being communicated to the parish, the
parson, and three or four neighbouring gentlemen, who were well-wishers
to our hero, immediately repaired to the garrison, in order to pay their
compliments on this happy event, and were detained to supper. An elegant
entertainment was prepared by the direction of Miss Julia, who was an
excellent housewife; and the commodore was so invigorated with joy, that
he seemed to have renewed his age. Among those who honoured the occasion
with their presence, was Mr. Clover, the young gentleman that made his
addresses to Peregrine's sister. His heart was so big with his passion,
that, while the rest of the company were engrossed by their cups,
he seized an opportunity of our hero's being detached from the
conversation, and, in the impatience of his love, conjured him to
consent to his happiness; protesting, that he would comply with any
terms of settlement that a man of his fortune could embrace, in favour
of a young lady who was absolute mistress of his affection.

Our youth thanked him very politely for his favourable sentiments and
honourable intention towards his sister, and told him, that at present
he saw no reason to obstruct his desire; that he would consult Julia's
own inclinations, and confer with him about the means of gratifying his
wish; but, in the meantime, begged to be excused from discussing any
point of such importance to them both. Reminding him of the jovial
purpose on which they were happily met, he promoted such a quick
circulation of the bottle, that their mirth grew noisy and obstreperous;
they broke forth into repeated peals of laughter, without any previous
incitement except that of claret. These explosions were succeeded by
Bacchanalian songs, in which the old gentleman himself attempted to
bear a share; the sedate governor snapped time with his fingers, and the
parish priest assisted in the chorus with a most expressive nakedness
of countenance. Before midnight they were almost all pinned to their
chairs, as if they had been fixed by the power of enchantment; and, what
rendered the confinement still more unfortunate, every servant in the
house was in the same situation; so that they were fain to take their
repose as they sat, and nodded at each other like a congregation of
Anabaptists.

Next day Peregrine communed with his sister on the subject of her match
with Mr. Clover, who, she told him, had offered to settle a jointure of
four hundred pounds, and take her to wife without any expectation of a
dowry. She moreover gave him to understand, that, in his absence, she
had received several messages from her mother, commanding her to return
to her father's house; but that she had refused to obey these orders,
by the advice and injunction of her aunt and the commodore, which were
indeed seconded by her own inclination; because she had all the reason
in the world to believe, that her mother only wanted an opportunity of
treating her with severity and rancour. The resentment of that lady
had been carried to such indecent lengths, that, seeing her daughter at
church one day, she rose up, before the parson entered, and reviled her
with great bitterness, in the face of the whole congregation.



CHAPTER LXVII.



Sees his Sister happily married--Visits Emilia, who receives him
according to his Deserts.


Her brother being of opinion, that Mr. Clover's proposal was not to
be neglected, especially as Julia's heart was engaged in his favour,
communicated the affair to his uncle, who, with the approbation of
Mrs. Trunnion, declared himself well satisfied with the young man's
addresses, and desired that they might be buckled with all expedition,
without the knowledge or concurrence of her parents, to whom (on account
of their unnatural barbarity) she was not bound to pay the least regard.
Though our adventurer entertained the same sentiments of the matter,
and the lover, dreading some obstruction, earnestly begged the immediate
condescension of his mistress, she could not be prevailed upon to take
such a material step, without having first solicited the permission of
her father; resolved, nevertheless, to comply with the dictates of her
own heart, should his objections be frivolous or unjust.

Urged by this determination, her admirer waited upon Mr. Gamaliel at the
public-house, and, with the appearance of great deference and respect,
made him acquainted with his affection for his daughter, communicated
the particulars of his fortune, with the terms of settlement he was
ready to make; and in conclusion told him, that he would marry her
without a portion. This last offer seemed to have some weight with the
father, who received it with civility, and promised in a day or two to
favour him with a final answer to his demand. He, accordingly, that same
evening consulted his wife, who, being exasperated at the prospect of
her daughter's independency, argued with the most virulent expostulation
against the match, as an impudent scheme of her own planning, with a
view of insulting her parents, towards whom she had already been guilty
of the most vicious disobedience. In short, she used such remonstrances,
as not only averted this weak husband's inclination from the proposal
which he had relished before, but even instigated him to apply for a
warrant to apprehend his daughter, on the supposition that she was about
to bestow herself in marriage without his privity or consent.

The justice of peace to whom this application was made, though he could
not refuse the order, yet, being no stranger to the malevolence of the
mother, which, together with Gamaliel's simplicity, was notorious in the
county, he sent an intimation of what had happened to the garrison; upon
which a couple of sentinels were placed on the gate, and at the pressing
solicitation of the lover, as well as the desire of the commodore, her
brother, and aunt, Julia was wedded without further delay, the ceremony
being performed by Mr. Jolter, because the parish priest prudently
declined any occasion of giving offence, and the curate was too much in
the interest of their enemies to be employed in that office.

This domestic concern being settled to the satisfaction of our hero, he
escorted her next day to the house of her husband, who immediately wrote
a letter to her father, declaring his reasons for having thus superseded
his authority; and Mrs. Pickle's mortification was unspeakable.

That the new-married couple might be guarded against all insult, our
young gentleman and his friend Hatchway, with their adherents, lodged
in Mr. Clover's house for some weeks; during which they visited their
acquaintance in the neighbourhood, according to custom. When the
tranquility of their family was perfectly established, and the contract
of the marriage executed in the presence of the old commodore and his
lady, who gave her niece five hundred pounds to purchase jewels and
clothes, Mr. Peregrine could no longer restrain his impatience to see
his dear Emily; and told his uncle, that next day he proposed to ride
across the country, in order to visit his friend Gauntlet, whom he had
not heard of for a long time.

The old gentleman, looking steadfastly in his face, "Ah! D--n your
cunning!" said he, "I find the anchor holds fast! I did suppose as how
you would have slipt your cable, and changed your berth; but, I see,
when a young fellow is once brought up by a pretty wench, he may man his
capstans and viol block, if he wool; but he'll as soon heave up the Pike
of Teneriffe, as bring his anchor aweigh! Odds heartlikins! had I known
the young woman was Ned Gauntlet's daughter, I shouldn't have thrown out
signal for leaving off chase."

Our adventurer was not a little surprised to hear the commodore talk
in this style; and immediately conjectured that his friend Godfrey
had informed him of the whole affair. Instead of listening to this
approbation of his flame, with those transports of joy which he would
have felt, had he retained his former sentiments, he was chagrined at
Trunnion's declaration, and offended at the presumption of the young
soldier, in presuming to disclose the secret with which he had entrusted
him. Reddening with these reflections, he assured the commodore that he
never had serious thoughts of matrimony; so that if any person had told
him he was under any engagement of that kind, he had abused his ear; for
he protested that he would never contract such attachments without his
knowledge and express permission.

Trunnion commended him for his prudent resolution, and observed, that,
though no person mentioned to him what promises had passed betwixt him
and his sweetheart, it was very plain that he had made love to her, and
therefore it was to be supposed that his intentions were honourable; for
he could not believe he was such a rogue in his heart, as to endeavour
to debauch the daughter of a brave officer, who had served his country
with credit and reputation. Notwithstanding this remonstrance, which
Pickle imputed to the commodore's ignorance of the world, he set out for
the habitation of Mrs. Gauntlet, with the unjustifiable sentiments of a
man of pleasure, who sacrifices every consideration to the desire of his
ruling appetite; and, as Winchester lay in his way, resolved to visit
some of his friends who lived in that place. It was in the house of one
of these that he was informed of Emilia's being then in town with her
mother; upon which he excused himself from staying to drink tea, and
immediately repaired to their lodgings, according to the directions he
had received.

When he arrived at the door, instead of undergoing that perturbation of
spirits, which a lover in his interesting situation might be supposed to
feel, he suffered no emotion but that of vanity and pride, favoured with
an opportunity of self-gratification, and entered his Emilia's apartment
with the air of a conceited petit-maitre, rather than that of the
respectful admirer, when he visits the object of his passion, after an
absence of seventeen months.

The young lady, having been very much disobliged at his mortifying
neglect of her brother's letter, had summoned all her own pride and
resolution to her aid; and, by means of a happy disposition, so far
overcame her chagrin at his indifference, that she was able to behave in
his presence with apparent tranquility and ease. She was even pleased
to find he had, by accident, chosen a time for his visit when she was
surrounded by two or three young gentlemen, who professed themselves her
admirers. Our gallant was no sooner announced, than she collected all
her coquetry, put on the gayest air she could assume, and contrived
to giggle just as he appeared at the room door. The compliments of
salutation being performed, she welcomed him to England in a careless
manner, asked the news of Paris, and, before he could make any reply,
desired one of the other gentlemen to proceed with the sequel of that
comical adventure, in the relation of which he had been interrupted.

Peregrine smiled within himself at this behaviour, which, without all
doubt, he believed she had affected to punish him for his unkind silence
while he was abroad, being fully persuaded that her heart was absolutely
at his devotion. On this supposition, he practised his Parisian
improvements on the art of conversation, and uttered a thousand
prettinesses in the way of compliment, with such incredible rotation of
tongue, that his rivals were struck dumb with astonishment, and Emilia
fretted out of all temper, at seeing herself deprived of the prerogative
of the sex. He persisted, however, in this surprising loquacity, until
the rest of the company thought proper to withdraw, and then contracted
his discourse into the focus of love, which now put on a very different
appearance from that which it had formerly worn. Instead of awful
veneration, which her presence used to inspire, that chastity of
sentiment, and delicacy of expression, he now gazed upon her with the
eyes of a libertine, he glowed with the impatience of desire, talked in
a strain that barely kept within the bounds of decency, and attempted
to snatch such favours, as she, in the tenderness of mutual
acknowledgments, had once vouchsafed to bestow.

Grieved and offended as she was, at this palpable alteration in his
carriage, she disdained to remind him of his former deportment, and,
with dissembled good-humour, rallied him on the progress he had made
in gallantry and address. But, far from submitting to the liberties he
would have taken, she kept her person sacred from his touch, and would
not even suffer him to ravish a kiss of her fair hand; so that he
reaped no other advantage from the exercise of his talents, during
this interview, which lasted a whole hour, than that of knowing he had
overrated his own importance, and that Emily's heart was not a garrison
likely to surrender at discretion.

At length his addresses were interrupted by the arrival of the mother,
who had gone abroad to visit by herself; and the conversation becoming
more general, he understood that Godfrey was at London, soliciting for a
lieutenancy that had fallen vacant in the regiment to which he belonged;
and that Miss Sophy was at home with her father.

Though our adventurer had not met with all the success he expected by
his first visit, he did not despair of reducing the fortress, believing
that in time there would be a mutiny in his favour, and accordingly
carried on the siege for several days, without profiting by his
perseverance; till, at length, having attended the ladies to their
own house in the country, he began to look upon this adventure as time
misspent, and resolved to discontinue his attack, in hopes of meeting
with a more favourable occasion; being, in the meantime, ambitious of
displaying in a higher sphere, those qualifications which his vanity
told him were at present misapplied.



CHAPTER LXVIII.



He attends his Uncle with great Affection during a Fit of Illness--Sets
out again for London--Meets with his Friend Godfrey, who is prevailed
upon to accompany him to Bath; on the Road to which Place they chance
to Dine with a Person who entertains them with a curious Account of a
certain Company of Adventurers.


Thus determined, he took leave of Emilia and her mother, on pretence of
going to London upon some urgent business, and returned to the garrison,
leaving the good old lady very much concerned, and the daughter incensed
at his behaviour, which was the more unexpected, because Godfrey had
told them that the commodore approved of his nephew's passion.

Our adventurer found his uncle so ill of the gout, which, for the first
time, had taken possession of his stomach, that his life was in imminent
danger, and the whole family in disorder. He therefore took the reins
of government in his own hands, sent for all the physicians in the
neighbourhood, and attended him in person with the most affectionate
care, during the whole fit, which lasted a fortnight, and then retired
before the strength of his constitution.

When the old gentleman recovered his health, he was so penetrated with
Peregrine's behaviour, that he actually would have made over to him his
whole fortune, and depended upon him for his own subsistence, had not
our youth opposed the execution of the deed with all his influence
and might, and even persuaded him to make a will, in which his friend
Hatchway, and all his other adherents, were liberally remembered,
and his aunt provided for on her own terms. This material point being
settled, he, with his uncle's permission, departed for London, after
having seen the family affairs established under the direction and
administration of Mr. Jolter and the lieutenant; for, by this time, Mrs.
Trunnion was wholly occupied with her spiritual concern.

On his first arrival at London, he sent a card to the lodgings of
Gauntlet, in consequence of a direction from his mother; and that young
gentleman waited on him next morning, though not with that alacrity of
countenance and warmth of friendship which might have been expected
from the intimacy of their former connection. Nor was Peregrine himself
actuated by the same unreserved affection for the soldier which he had
formerly entertained. Godfrey, over and above the offence he had taken
at Pickle's omission in point of corresponding with him, had been
informed, by a letter from his mother, of the youth's cavalier behaviour
to Emilia, during his last residence at Winchester; and our young
gentleman, as we have already observed, was disgusted at the supposed
discovery which the soldier had made in his absence to the commodore.
They, perceived their mutual umbrage at meeting, and received each other
with that civility of reserve which commonly happens between two persons
whose friendship is in the wane.

Gauntlet at once divined the cause of the other's displeasure, and, in
order to vindicate his own character, after the first compliments were
passed, took the opportunity, on inquiring after the health of the
commodore, to tell Peregrine, that, while he tarried at the garrison,
on his return from Dover, the subject of the conversation, one night,
happening to turn on our hero's passion, the old gentleman had expressed
his concern about that affair; and, among other observations, said,
he supposed the object of his love was some paltry hussy, whom he had
picked up when he was a boy at school. Upon which, Mr. Hatchway assured
him, that she was a young woman of as good a family as any in the
county; and, after having prepossessed him in her favour, ventured,
out of the zeal of his friendship, to tell who she was. Wherefore, the
discovery was not to be imputed to any other cause; and he hoped Mr.
Pickle would acquit him of all share in the transaction.

Peregrine was very well pleased to be thus undeceived; his countenance
immediately cleared up, the formality of his behaviour relaxed into
his usual familiarity; he asked pardon for his unmannerly neglect of
Godfrey's letter, which he protested, was not owing to any disregard,
or abatement of friendship, but to a hurry of youthful engagements, in
consequence of which he had procrastinated his answer from time to time,
until he was ready to return in person.

The young soldier was contented with this apology and, as Pickle's
intention, with respect to his sister, was still dubious and undeclared,
he did not think it was incumbent upon him, as yet, to express any
resentment on that score; but was wise enough to foresee, that the
renewal of his intimacy with our young gentleman might be the means of
reviving that flame which had been dissipated by a variety of new
ideas. With those sentiments, he laid aside all reserve, and their
communication resumed its former channel. Peregrine made him acquainted
with all the adventures in which he had been engaged since their
parting; and he, with the same confidence, related the remarkable
incidents of his own fate; among other things, giving him to understand,
that, upon obtaining a commission in the army, the father of his dear
Sophy, without once inquiring about the occasion of his promotion, had
not only favoured him with his countenance in a much greater degree than
heretofore, but also contributed his interest, and even promised the
assistance of his purse, in procuring for him a lieutenancy, which he
was then soliciting with all his power; whereas, if he had not been
enabled, by a most accidental piece of good fortune, to lift himself
into the sphere of an officer, he had all the reason in the world to
believe that this gentleman, and all the rest of his wealthy relations,
would have suffered him to languish in obscurity and distress; and by
turning his misfortune into reproach, made it a plea for their want of
generosity and friendship.

Peregrine, understanding the situation of his friend's affairs, would
have accommodated him upon the instant with a sum to accelerate the
passage of his commission through the offices; but, being too well
acquainted with his scrupulous disposition, to manifest his benevolence
in that manner, he found means to introduce himself to one of the
gentlemen of the War Office, who was so well satisfied with the
arguments used in behalf of his friend, that Godfrey's business was
transacted in a very few days, though he himself knew nothing of his
interest being thus reinforced.

By this time, the season at Bath was begun; and our hero, panting with
the desire of distinguishing himself at that resort of the fashionable
world, communicated his design of going thither to his friend Godfrey,
whom he importuned to accompany him in the excursion; and leave of
absence from his regiment being obtained by the influence of Peregrine's
new quality friends, the two companions departed from London in a
post-chaise, attended, as usual, by the valet-de-chambre and Pipes, who
were become almost as necessary to our adventurer as any two of his own
organs.

At the inn, when they alighted for dinner, Godfrey perceived a person
walking by himself in the yard, with a very pensive air, and, upon
observing him more narrowly, recognised him to be a professed gamester,
whom he had formerly known at Tunbridge. On the strength of this
acquaintance, he accosted the peripatetic, who knew him immediately;
and, in the fulness of his grief and vexation, told him, that he was
now on his return from Bath, where he had been stripped by a company
of sharpers, who resented that he should presume to trade upon his own
bottom.

Peregrine, who was extremely curious in his inquiries, imagining that
he might learn some entertaining and useful anecdotes from this artist,
invited him to dinner, and was accordingly fully informed of all the
political systems at Bath. He understood that there was at London one
great company of adventurers, who employed agents in all the different
branches of imposition throughout the whole kingdom of England, allowing
these ministers a certain proportion of the profits accruing from their
industry and skill, and reserving the greatest share for the benefit of
the common stock, which was chargeable with the expense of fitting
out individuals in their various pursuits, as well as with the loss
sustained in the course of their adventures. Some whose persons and
qualifications are by the company judged adequate to the task, exert
their talents in making love to ladies of fortune, being accommodated
with money and accoutrements for that purpose, after having given their
bonds payable to one or other of the directors, on the day of marriage,
for certain sums, proportioned to the dowries they are to receive.
Others versed in the doctrine of chances, and certain secret
expediences, frequent all those places where games of hazard are
allowed: and such as are masters in the arts of billiards, tennis,
and bowls, are continually lying in wait, in all the scenes of
these diversions, for the ignorant and unwary. A fourth class attend
horse-races, being skilled in those mysterious practices by which the
knowing ones are taken in. Nor is this community unfurnished with those
who lay wanton wives and old rich widows under contribution, and extort
money, by prostituting themselves to the embraces of their own sex,
and then threatening their admirers with prosecution. But their most
important returns are made by that body of their undertakers who
exercise their understandings in the innumerable stratagems of the card
table, at which no sharper can be too infamous to be received, and even
caressed by persons of the highest rank and distinction. Among other
articles of intelligence, our young gentleman learned, that those
agents, by whom their guest was broke, and expelled from Bath, had
constituted a bank against all sporters, and monopolized the advantage
in all sorts of play. He then told Gauntlet, that, if he would put
himself under his direction, he would return with them, and lay such a
scheme as would infallibly ruin the whole society at billiards, as he
knew that Godfrey excelled them all in his knowledge of that game.

The soldier excused himself from engaging in any party of that kind, and
after dinner the travellers parted; but, as the conversation between
the two friends turned upon the information they had received, Peregrine
projected a plan for punishing those villainous pests of society,
who prey upon their fellow-creatures; and it was put in execution by
Gauntlet in the following manner.



CHAPTER LXIX.



Godfrey executes a Scheme at Bath, by which a whole Company of Sharpers
is ruined.


On the evening after their arrival at Bath, Godfrey, who had kept
himself up all day for that purpose, went in boots to the billiard
table; and, two gentlemen being at play, began to bet with so little
appearance of judgment, that one of the adventurers then present was
inflamed with a desire of profiting by his inexperience; and, when the
table was vacant, invited him to take a game for amusement. The soldier,
assuming the air of a self-conceited dupe, answered, that he did not
choose to throw away his time for nothing, but, if he pleased, would
piddle for a crown a game. This declaration was very agreeable to
the other, who wanted to be further confirmed in the opinion he
had conceived of the stranger, before he would play for anything of
consequence. The party being accepted, Gauntlet put off his coat,
and, beginning with seeming eagerness, won the first game, because his
antagonist kept up his play with a view of encouraging him to wager
a greater sum. The soldier purposely bit at the hook, the stakes
were doubled, and he was again victorious, by the permission of his
competitor. He now began to yawn; and observing, that it was not worth
his while to proceed in such a childish manner; the other swore, in
an affected passion, that he would play him for twenty guineas. The
proposal being embraced, through the connivance of Godfrey, the money
was won by the sharper, who exerted his dexterity to the utmost, fearing
that otherwise his adversary would decline continuing the game.

Godfrey thus conquered, pretended to lose his temper, cursed his own
ill-luck, swore that the table had a cast, and that the balls did not
run true, changed his mast, and with great warmth, challenged his enemy
to double the sum. The gamester, who feigned reluctance, complied with
his desire; and having got the two first hazards, offered to lay one
hundred guineas to fifty on the game. The odds were taken; and Godfrey
having allowed himself to be overcome, began to rage with great
violence, broke the mast to pieces, threw the balls out of the window,
and, in the fury of his indignation, defied his antagonist to meet him
tomorrow, when he should be refreshed from the fatigue of travelling.
This was a very welcome invitation to the gamester, who, imagining that
the soldier would turn out a most beneficial prize, assured him, that
he would not fail to be there next forenoon, in order to give him his
revenge.

Gauntlet went home to his lodgings, fully certified of his own
superiority, and took his measures with Peregrine, touching the
prosecution of their scheme; while his opponent made a report of his
success to the brethren of the gang, who resolved to be present at the
decision of the match, with a view of taking advantage of the stranger's
passionate disposition.

Affairs being thus concerted on both sides, the players met, according
to appointment, and the room was immediately filled with spectators,
who either came thither by accident, curiosity, or design. The match
was fixed for one hundred pounds a game, the principals chose their
instruments, and laid aside their coats, and one of the knights of the
order proffered to lay another hundred on the head of his associate.
Godfrey took him upon the instant. A second worthy of the same class,
seeing him so eager, challenged him to treble the sum; and his proposal
met with the same reception, to the astonishment of the company, whose
expectation was raised to a very interesting pitch. The game was begun,
and the soldier having lost the first hazard, the odds were offered by
the confederacy with great vociferation; but nobody would run such a
risk in favour of a person who was utterly unknown. The sharper having
gained the second also, the noise increased to a surprising clamour, not
only of the gang, but likewise of almost all the spectators, who desired
to lay two to one against the brother of Emilia.

Peregrine, who was present, perceiving the cupidity of the association
sufficiently inflamed, all of a sudden opened his mouth, and answered
their bets, to the amount of twelve hundred pounds; which were
immediately deposited, on both sides, in money and notes; so that this
was, perhaps, the most important game that ever was played at billiards.
Gauntlet seeing the agreement settled, struck his antagonist's ball
into the pocket in a twinkling, though it was in one of those situations
which are supposed to be against the striker. The betters were a little
discomposed at this event, for which, however, they consoled themselves
by imputing the success to accident; but when, at the very next
stroke, he sprung it over the table, their countenances underwent an
instantaneous distraction of feature, and they waited, in the most
dreadful suspense, for the next hazard, which being likewise taken with
infinite ease by the soldier, the blood forsook their cheeks, and the
interjection "Zounds!" pronounced with a look of consternation, and in a
tone of despair, proceeded from every mouth at the same instant of
time. They were overwhelmed with horror and astonishment at seeing
three hazards taken in as many strokes, from a person of their
friend's dexterity; and shrewdly suspected, that the whole was a scheme
preconcerted for their destruction. On this supposition, they changed
the note, and attempted to hedge for their own indemnification, by
proposing to lay the odds in favour of Gauntlet; but so much was the
opinion of the company altered by that young gentleman's success,
that no one would venture to espouse the cause of his competitor, who,
chancing to improve his game by the addition of another lucky hit,
diminished the concern, and revived the hopes of his adherents.

But this gleam of fortune did not long continue. Godfrey collected
his whole art and capacity, and, augmenting his score to number ten,
indulged himself with a view of the whole fraternity. The visages of
these professors had adopted different shades of complexion at every
hazard he had taken: from their natural colour they had shifted into
a sallow hue; from thence into pale; from pale into yellow, which
degenerated into a mahogany tint; and now they saw seventeen hundred
pounds of their stock depending upon a single stroke, they stood like so
many swarthy Moors, jaundiced with terror and vexation. The fire which
naturally glowed in the cheeks and nose of the player, seemed utterly
extinct, and his carbuncles exhibited a livid appearance, as if a
gangrene had already made some progress in his face; his hand began to
shake, and his whole frame was seized with such trepidation, that he
was fain to swallow a bumper of brandy, in order to re-establish the
tranquility of his nerves. This expedient, however, did not produce
the desired effect; for he aimed the ball at the lead with such
discomposure, that it struck on the wrong side, and came off at an
angle which directed it full in the middle hole. This fatal accident was
attended with a universal groan, as if the whole universe had gone to
wreck; and notwithstanding that tranquility for which adventurers are so
remarkable, this loss made such an impression upon them all, that each
in particular manifested his chagrin, by the most violent emotions. One
turned up his eyes to heaven, and bit his nether lip; another gnawed
his fingers, while he stalked across the room; a third blasphemed with
horrid imprecations; and he who played the party sneaked off, grinding
his teeth together, with a look that baffles all description, and as he
crossed the threshold, exclaiming, "A d--d bite, by G--!"

The victors, after having insulted them, by asking, if they were
disposed for another chance, carried off their winning, with the
appearance of great composure, though in their hearts they were
transported with unspeakable joy; not so much on account of the booty
they had gained, as in consideration of having so effectually destroyed
such a nest of pernicious miscreants.

Peregrine, believing that now he had found an opportunity of serving his
friend, without giving offence to the delicacy of his honour, told him,
upon their arrival at their lodgings, that fortune had at length enabled
him to become in a manner independent, or at least make himself easy in
his circumstances, by purchasing a company with the money he had won.
So saying, he put his share of the success in Gauntlet's hand, as a sum
that of right belonged to him, and promised to write in his behalf to
a nobleman, who had interest enough to promote such a quick rise in the
service.

Godfrey thanked him for his obliging intention, but absolutely refused,
with great loftiness of demeanour, to appropriate to his own use any
part of the money which Pickle had gained, and seemed affronted at the
other's entertaining a sentiment so unworthy of his character. He would
not even accept, in the way of loan, such an addition to his own stock,
as would amount to the price of a company of foot; but expressed great
confidence in the future exertion of that talent which had been blessed
with such a prosperous beginning. Our hero finding him thus obstinately
deaf to the voice of his own interest, resolved to govern himself in
his next endeavours of friendship, by his experience of this ticklish
punctilio; and, in the meantime, gave a handsome benefaction to the
hospital, out of these first fruits of the success in play, and reserved
two hundred pounds for a set of diamond ear-rings and solitaire, which
he intended for a present to Miss Emily.



CHAPTER LXX.



The two Friends eclipse all their Competitors in Gallantry, and practise
a pleasant Project of Revenge upon the Physicians of the Place.


The fame of their exploit against the sharpers was immediately diffused
through all the companies at Bath; so that, when our adventurers
appeared in public, they were pointed out by an hundred extended
fingers, and considered as consummate artists in all the different
species of finesse, which they would not fail to practise with the first
opportunity. Nor was this opinion of their characters any obstacle to
their reception into the fashionable parties in the place; but, on the
contrary, such a recommendation, which, as I have already hinted, never
fails to operate for the advantage of the possessor.

This first adventure, therefore, served them as an introduction to
the company at Bath, who were not a little surprised to find their
expectations baffled by the conduct of the two companions; because,
far from engaging deeply at play, they rather shunned all occasions of
gaming, and directed their attention to gallantry, in which our hero
shone unrivalled. His external qualifications, exclusive of any other
merit, were strong enough to captivate the common run of the female sex;
and these, reinforced with a sprightliness of conversation, and a
most insinuating address, became irresistible, even by those who were
fortified with pride, caution, or indifference. But, among all the
nymphs of this gay place, he did not meet with one object that disputed
the empire of his heart with Emilia, and therefore he divided his
attachment according to the suggestions of vanity and whim; so that,
before he had resided a fortnight at Bath, he had set all the ladies
by the ears, and furnished all the hundred tongues of scandal with full
employment. The splendour of his appearance excited the inquiries of
envy, which, instead of discovering any circumstances to his prejudice,
was cursed with the information of his being a young gentleman of a good
family, and heir to an immense fortune.

The countenance of some of his quality friends, who arrived at Bath,
confirmed this piece of intelligence. Upon which his acquaintance
was courted and cultivated with great assiduity; and he met with such
advances from some of the fair sex, as rendered him extremely fortunate
in his amours. Nor was his friend Godfrey a stranger to favours of the
same kind; his accomplishments were exactly calculated for the meridian
of female taste; and, with certain individuals of that sex, his muscular
frame, and the robust connection of his limbs, were more attractive
than the delicate proportions of his companion. He accordingly reigned
paramount among those inamoratas who were turned of thirty, without
being under the necessity of proceeding by tedious addresses, and was
thought to have co-operated with the waters in removing the sterility of
certain ladies, who had long undergone the reproach and disgust of their
husbands; while Peregrine set up his throne among those who laboured
under the disease of celibacy, from the pert miss of fifteen, who,
with a fluttering heart, tosses her head, bridles up, and giggles
involuntarily at sight of a handsome young man, to the staid maid of
twenty-eight, who, with a demure aspect, moralizes on the vanity of
beauty, the folly of youth, and simplicity of woman, and expatiates
on friendship, benevolence, and good sense, in the style of a Platonic
philosopher.

In such a diversity of dispositions, his conquests were attended with
all the heart-burnings, animosities, and turmoils of jealousy and spite.
The younger class took all opportunities of mortifying their seniors
in public, by treating them with that indignity which, contrary to the
general privilege of age, is, by the consent and connivance of mankind,
leveled against those who have the misfortune to come under the
denomination of old maids; and these last retorted their hostilities
in the private machinations of slander, supported by experience and
subtilty of invention. Not one day passed in which some new story did
not circulate, to the prejudice of one or other of those rivals.

If our hero, in the long-room, chanced to quit one of the moralists,
with whom he had been engaged in conversation, he was immediately
accosted by a number of the opposite faction, who, with ironical smiles,
upbraided him with cruelty to the poor lady he had left, exhorted him to
have compassion on her sufferings; and, turning their eyes towards
the object of their intercession, broke forth into a universal peal of
laughter. On the other hand, when Peregrine, in consequence of having
danced with one of the minors overnight, visited her in the morning,
the Platonists immediately laid hold on the occasion, tasked their
imaginations, associated ideas, and, with sage insinuations, retailed a
thousand circumstances of the interview, which never had any foundation
in truth. They observed, that, if girls are determined to behave with
such indiscretion, they must lay their accounts with incurring the
censure of the world; that she in question was old enough to act more
circumspectly; and wondered that her mother would permit any young
fellow to approach the chamber while her daughter was naked in bed.
As for the servants peeping through the key-hole, to be sure it was an
unlucky accident; but people ought to be upon their guard against
such curiosity, and give their domestics no cause to employ their
penetration. These and other such reflections were occasionally
whispered as secrets among those who were known to be communicative; so
that, in a few hours, it became the general topic of discourse; and,
as it had been divulged under injunctions of secrecy, it was almost
impossible to trace the scandal to its origin; because every person
concerned must have promulgated her own breach of trust, in discovering
her author of the report.

Peregrine, instead of allaying, rather exasperated this contention,
by an artful distribution of his attention among the competitors; well
knowing, that, should his regard be converged into one point, he would
soon forfeit the pleasure he enjoyed in seeing them at variance; for
both parties would join against the common enemy, and his favourite
would be persecuted by the whole coalition. He perceived, that, among
the secret agents of scandal, none were so busy as the physicians, a
class of animals who live in this place, like so many ravens hovering
about a carcase, and even ply for employment, like scullers at
Hungerford-stairs. The greatest part of them have correspondents
in London, who make it their business to inquire into the history,
character, and distemper of every one that repairs to Bath, for the
benefit of the waters, and if they cannot procure interest to recommend
their medical friends to these patients before they set out, they at
least furnish them with a previous account of what they could collect,
that their correspondents may use this intelligence for their own
advantage. By these means, and the assistance of flattery and assurance,
they often insinuate themselves into the acquaintance of strangers, and,
by consulting their dispositions, become necessary and subservient to
their prevailing passions. By their connection with apothecaries and
nurses, they are informed of all the private occurrences in each family,
and therefore enabled to gratify the rancour of malice, amuse the spleen
of peevish indisposition, and entertain the eagerness of impertinent
curiosity.

In the course of these occupations, which frequently affected the
reputation of our two adventurers, this whole body fell under the
displeasure of our hero, who, after divers consultations with his
friend, concerted a stratagem, which was practised upon the faculty
in this manner. Among those who frequented the pump-room, was an old
officer, whose temper, naturally impatient, was, by repeated attacks
of the gout, which had almost deprived him of the use of his limbs,
sublimated into a remarkable degree of virulence and perverseness. He
imputed the inveteracy of his distemper to the malpractice of a surgeon
who had administered to him, while he laboured under the consequences
of an unfortunate amour; and this supposition had inspired him with an
insurmountable antipathy to all the professors of the medical art, which
was more and more confirmed by the information of a friend at London,
who had told him, that it was the common practice among the physicians
at Bath to dissuade their patients from drinking the water, that the
cure, and in consequence their attendance, might be longer protracted.

Thus prepossessed, he had come to Bath, and, conformable to a few
general instructions he had received, used the waters without any
farther direction, taking all occasions of manifesting his hatred and
contempt of the sons of Esculapius, both by speech and gesticulations,
and even by pursuing a regimen quite contrary to that which he knew they
prescribed to others who seemed to be exactly in his condition. But he
did not find his account in this method, how successful soever it may
have been in other cases. His complaints, instead of vanishing, were
every day more and more enraged: and at length he was confined to his
bed, where he lay blaspheming from morn to night, and from night to
morn, though still more determined than ever to adhere to his former
maxims.

In the midst of his torture, which was become the common joke of the
town, being circulated through the industry of the physicians, who
triumphed in his disaster, Peregrine, by means of Mr. Pipes, employed a
country fellow, who had come to market, to run with great haste, early
one morning, to the lodgings of all the doctors in town, and desire them
to attend the colonel with all imaginable despatch. In consequence of
this summons, the whole faculty put themselves in motion; and three
of the foremost arriving at the same instant of time, far from
complimenting one another with the door, each separately essayed to
enter, and the whole triumvirate stuck in the passage. While they
remained thus wedged together, they descried two of their brethren
posting towards the same goal, with all the speed that God had enabled
them to exert; upon which they came to a parley, and agreed to stand
by one another. This covenant being made, they disentangled themselves,
and, inquiring about the patient, were told by the servant that he had
just fallen asleep.

Having received this intelligence, they took possession of his
ante-chamber, and shut the door, while the rest of the tribe posted
themselves on the outside as they arrived; so that the whole passage was
filled, from the top of the staircase to the street-door; and the people
of the house, together with the colonel's servant, struck dumb with
astonishment. The three leaders of this learned gang had no sooner made
their lodgment good, than they began to consult about the patient's
malady, which every one of them pretended to have considered with great
care and assiduity. The first who gave his opinion, said, the distemper
was an obstinate arthritis; the second affirmed, that it was no other
than a confirmed pox; and the third swore, it was an inveterate scurvy.
This diversity of opinions was supported by a variety of quotations
from medical authors, ancient as well as modern; but these were not of
sufficient authority, or, at least, not explicit enough to decide the
dispute; for there are many schisms in medicine, as well as in religion,
and each sect can quote the fathers in support of the tenets they
profess. In short, the contention rose to such a pitch of clamour, as
not only alarmed the brethren on the stair, but also awaked the patient
from the first nap he had enjoyed in the space of ten whole days. Had
it been simply waking, he would have been obliged to them for the noise
that disturbed him; for, in that case, he would have been relieved from
the tortures of hell fire, to which, in his dreams, he fancied himself
exposed. But this dreadful vision had been the result of that impression
which was made upon his brain by the intolerable anguish of his joints;
so that, when he awaked, the pain, instead of being allayed, was
rather aggravated by a great acuteness of sensation; and the confused
vociferation in the next room invading his ears at the same time, he
began to think his dream was realised, and, in the pangs of despair,
applied himself to a bell that stood by his bedside, which he rung with
great violence and perseverance.

This alarm put an immediate stop to the disputation of the three
doctors, who, upon this notice of his being awake, rushed into his
chamber, without ceremony; and two of them seizing his arms, the third
made the like application to one of his temples. Before the patient
could recollect himself from the amazement which had laid hold on him
at this unexpected irruption, the room was filled by the rest of the
faculty, who followed the servant that entered in obedience to his
master's call; and the bed was in a moment surrounded by these gaunt
ministers of death. The colonel seeing himself beset with such an
assemblage of solemn visages and figures, which he had always considered
with the utmost detestation and abhorrence, was incensed to a most
inexpressible degree of indignation; and so inspirited by his rage, that
though his tongue denied its office, his other limbs performed their
functions. He disengaged himself from the triumvirate, who had taken
possession of his body, sprung out of bed with incredible agility, and,
seizing one of his crutches, applied it so effectually to one of the
three, just as he stooped to examine the patient's water, that his
tie-periwig dropped into the pot, while he himself fell motionless on
the floor.

This significant explanation disconcerted the whole fraternity; every
man turned his face, as if it were by instinct, towards the door;
and the retreat of the community being obstructed by the efforts of
individuals, confusion and tumultuous uproar ensued. For the colonel,
far from limiting his prowess to the first exploit, handled his weapon
with astonishing vigour and dexterity, without respect of persons; so
that few or none of them had escaped without marks of his displeasure,
when his spirits failed, and he sank down again quite exhausted on his
bed. Favoured by this respite, the discomfited faculty collected their
hats and wigs, which had fallen off in the fray; and perceiving the
assailant too much enfeebled to renew the attack, set up their throats
together, and loudly threatened to prosecute him severely for such an
outrageous assault.

By this time the landlord had interposed; and, inquiring into the
cause of the disturbance, was informed of what had happened by the
complainants, who, at the same time, giving him to understand that
they had been severally summoned to attend the colonel that morning, he
assured them that they had been imposed upon by some wag, for his lodger
had never dreamed of consulting any one of their profession.

Thunderstruck at this declaration, the general clamour instantaneously
ceased; and each, in particular, at once comprehending the nature of
the joke, they sneaked silently off with the loss they had sustained, in
unutterable shame and mortification; while Peregrine and his friend, who
took care to be passing that way by accident, made a full stop at
sight of such an extraordinary efflux, and enjoyed the countenance and
condition of every one as he appeared; nay, even made up to some of
those who seemed most affected with their situation, and mischievously
tormented them with questions, touching this unusual congregation; then,
in consequence of the information they received from the landlord and
the colonel's valet, subjected the sufferers to the ridicule of all the
company in town. As it would have been impossible for the authors of
this farce to keep themselves concealed from the indefatigable inquiries
of the physicians, they made no secret of their having directed the
whole: though they took care to own it in such an ambiguous manner, as
afforded no handle of prosecution.



CHAPTER LXXI.



Peregrine humbles a noted Hector, and meets with a strange Character at
the House of a certain Lady.


Among those who never failed to reside at Bath during the season, was a
certain person, who, from the most abject misery, had, by his industry
and art at play, amassed about fifteen thousand pounds; and though his
character was notorious, insinuated himself so far into the favour
of what is called the best company, that very few private parties of
pleasure took place in which he was not principally concerned. He was
of a gigantic stature, a most intrepid countenance; and his disposition,
naturally overbearing, had, in the course of his adventures and success,
acquired a most intolerable degree of insolence and vanity. By the
ferocity of his features, and audacity of his behaviour, he had obtained
a reputation for the most undaunted courage, which had been confirmed by
divers adventures, in which he had humbled the most assuming heroes of
his own fraternity; so that he now reigned chief Hector of the place
with unquestioned authority.

With this son of fortune was Peregrine one evening engaged at play, and
so successful, that he could not help informing his friend of his
good luck. Godfrey, hearing the description of the loser, immediately
recognized the person, whom he had known at Tunbridge; and, assuring
Pickle that he was a sharper of the first water, cautioned him against
any further connection with such a dangerous companion, who, he
affirmed, had suffered him to win a small sum, that he might be
encouraged to lose a much greater sum upon some other occasion.

Our young gentleman treasured up this advice; and though he did not
scruple to give the gamester an opportunity of retrieving his loss, when
he next day demanded his revenge, he absolutely refused to proceed
after he had refunded his winning. The other, who considered him as
a hot-headed unthinking youth, endeavoured to inflame his pride to a
continuance of the game, by treating his skill with scorn and contempt;
and, among other sarcastic expressions, advised him to go to school
again, before he pretended to engage with masters of the art. Our hero,
incensed at his arrogance, replied with great warmth, that he knew
himself sufficiently qualified for playing with men of honour, who deal
upon the square, and hoped he should always deem it infamous either
to learn or practise the tricks of a professed gamester. "Blood and
thunder! meaning me, sir?" cried this artist, raising his voice, and
curling his visage into a most intimidating frown. "Zounds! I'll cut the
throat of any scoundrel who has the presumption to suppose that I don't
play as honourably as e'er a nobleman in the kingdom: and I insist upon
an explanation from you, sir; or, by hell and brimstone! I shall expect
other sort of satisfaction." Peregrine (whose blood by this time boiled
within him) answered without hesitation, "Far from thinking your demand
unreasonable, I will immediately explain myself without reserve, and
tell you, that, upon unquestionable authority, I believe you to be an
impudent rascal and common cheat."

The Hector was so amazed and confounded at the freedom of this
declaration, which he thought no man on earth would venture to make in
his presence, that, for some minutes, he could not recollect himself;
but at length whispered a challenge in the ear of our hero, which was
accordingly accepted. When they arrived next morning upon the field, the
gamester, arming his countenance with all its terrors, advanced with a
sword of a monstrous length, and, putting himself in a posture, called
out aloud in a most terrific voice, "Draw, d--n ye, draw; I will this
instant send you to your fathers." The youth was not slow in complying
with his desire; his weapon was unsheathed in a moment, and he began
the attack with such unexpected spirit and address, that his adversary,
having made shift with great difficulty to parry the first pass,
retreated a few paces, and demanded a parley, in which he endeavoured
to persuade the young man, that to lay a man of his character under
the necessity of chastising his insolence, was the most rash and
inconsiderate step that he could possibly have taken; but that he had
compassion upon his youth, and was willing to spare him if he would
surrender his sword, and promise to ask pardon in public for the offence
he had given. Pickle was so much exasperated at this unparalleled
effrontery, that, without deigning to make the least reply, he flung
his own hat in the proposer's face, and renewed the charge with such
undaunted agility, that the gamester, finding himself in manifest
hazard of his life, betook himself to his heels, and fled homewards
with incredible speed, being closely pursued by Peregrine, who, having
sheathed his sword, pelted him with stones as he ran, and compelled him
to go, that same day, into banishment from Bath, where he had domineered
so long.

By this achievement, which was the subject of astonishment to all the
company, who had looked upon the fugitive as a person of heroic
courage, our adventurer's reputation was rendered formidable in all
its circumstances; although he thereby disobliged a good many people of
fashion, who had contracted an intimacy of friendship with the exile,
and who resented his disgrace, as if it had been the misfortune of
a worthy man. These generous patrons, however, bore a very small
proportion to those who were pleased with the event of the duel;
because, in the course of their residence at Bath, they had either been
insulted or defrauded by the challenger. Nor was this instance of our
hero's courage unacceptable to the ladies, few of whom could now resist
the united force of such accomplishments. Indeed, neither he nor
his friend Godfrey would have found much difficulty in picking up an
agreeable companion for life; but Gauntlet's heart was pre-engaged
to Sophy; and Pickle, exclusive of his attachment to Emily, which was
stronger than he himself imagined, possessed such a share of ambition
as could not be satisfied with the conquest of any female he beheld at
Bath.

His visits were, therefore, promiscuous, without any other view than
that of amusement; and though his pride was flattered by the advances
of the fair, whom he had captivated, he never harboured one thought of
proceeding beyond the limits of common gallantry, and carefully avoided
all particular explanations. But, what above all other enjoyments
yielded him the most agreeable entertainment, was the secret history of
characters, which he learned from a very extraordinary person, with whom
he became acquainted in this manner.

Being at the house of a certain lady on a visiting day, he was struck
with the appearance of an old man, who no sooner entered the room than
the mistress of the house very kindly desired one of the wits present to
roast the old put. This petit-maitre, proud of the employment, went up
to the senior, who had something extremely peculiar and significant
in his countenance, and saluting him with divers fashionable congees,
accosted him in these words: "Your servant, you old rascal. I hope to
have the honour of seeing you hanged. I vow to Gad! you look extremely
shocking, with these gummy eyes, lanthorn jaws, and toothless chaps.
What! you squint at the ladies, you old rotten medlar? Yes, yes, we
understand your ogling; but you must content yourself with a cook-maid,
sink me! I see you want to sit. These withered shanks of yours tremble
under their burden; but you must have a little patience, old Hirco!
indeed you must. I intend to mortify you a little longer, curse me!"

The company was so tickled with this address, which was delivered with
much grimace and gesticulation, that they burst out into a loud fit
of laughter, which they fathered upon a monkey that was chained in the
room; and, when the peal was over, the wit renewed the attack in these
words: "I suppose you are fool enough to think this mirth was occasioned
by Pug. Ay, there he is; you had best survey him; he is of your own
family; switch me. But the laugh was at your expense; and you ought
to thank Heaven for making you so ridiculous." While he uttered these
ingenious ejaculations, the old gentleman bowed alternately to him and
the monkey, that seemed to grin and chatter in imitation of the beau,
and, with an arch solemnity of visage, pronounced, "Gentlemen, as I have
not the honour to understand your compliments, they will be much better
bestowed on each other." So saying, he seated himself, and had the
satisfaction to see the laugh returned upon the aggressor, who remained
confounded and abashed, and in a few minutes left the room, muttering,
as he retired, "The old fellow grows scurrilous, stap my breath!"

While Peregrine wondered in silence at this extraordinary scene, the
lady of the house perceiving his surprise, gave him to understand, that
the ancient visitant was utterly bereft of the sense of hearing;
that his name was Cadwallader Crabtree, his disposition altogether
misanthropical; and that he was admitted into company on account
of entertainment he afforded by his sarcastic observations, and the
pleasant mistakes to which he was subject from his infirmity. Nor did
our hero wait a long time for an illustration of this odd character.
Every sentence he spoke was replete with gall; nor did his satire
consist in general reflections, but a series of remarks, which had been
made through the medium of a most whimsical peculiarity of opinion.

Among those who were present at this assembly was a young officer, who
having, by dint of interest, obtained a seat in the lower house, thought
it incumbent upon him to talk of affairs of state; and accordingly
regaled the company with an account of a secret expedition which the
French were busied in preparing; assuring them that he had it from the
mouth of the minister, to whom it had been transmitted by one of his
agents abroad. In descanting upon the particulars of the armament,
he observed that they had twenty ships of the line ready manned and
victualled at Brest, which were destined for Toulon, where they would
be joined by as many more; and from thence proceed to the execution of
their scheme, which he imparted as a secret not fit to be divulged.

This piece of intelligence being communicated to all the company except
Mr. Crabtree, who suffered by his loss of hearing, that cynic was soon
after accosted by a lady, who, by means of an artificial alphabet,
formed by a certain conjunction and disposition of the fingers, asked if
he had heard any extraordinary news of late. Cadwallader, with his usual
complaisance, replied, that he supposed she took him for a courier or
spy, by teasing him eternally with that question. He then expatiated
upon the foolish curiosity of mankind, which, he said, must either
proceed from idleness or want of ideas; and repeated almost verbatim
the officer's information, a vague ridiculous report invented by some
ignorant coxcomb, who wanted to give himself airs of importance, and
believed only by those who were utterly unacquainted with the politics
and strength of the French nation.

In confirmation of what he had advanced, he endeavoured to demonstrate
how impossible it must be for that people to fit out even the third part
of such a navy, so soon after the losses they had sustained during
the war; and confirmed his proof by asserting, that to his certain
knowledge, the harbours of Brest and Toulon could not at that time
produce a squadron of eight ships of the line. The member, who was
an utter stranger to this misanthrope, hearing his own asseverations
treated with such contempt, glowed with confusion and resentment,
and, raising his voice, began to defend his own veracity, with great
eagerness and trepidation, mingling with his arguments many blustering
invectives, against the insolence and ill manners of his supposed
contradictor, who sat with the most mortifying composure of countenance,
till the officer's patience was quite exhausted, and then, to the
manifest increase of his vexation, he was informed, that his antagonist
was so deaf, that in all probability, the last trumpet would make no
impression upon him, without a previous renovation of his organs.



CHAPTER LXXII.



He cultivates an Acquaintance with the Misanthrope, who favours him with
a short Sketch of his own History.


Peregrine was extremely well pleased with this occasional rebuke, which
occurred so seasonably, that he could scarce believe it accidental. He
looked upon Cadwallader as the greatest curiosity he had ever known,
and cultivated the old man's acquaintance with such insinuating address,
that in less than a fortnight he obtained his confidence. As they one
day walked into the fields together, the man-hater disclosed himself in
these words:--"Though the term of our communication has been but short,
you must have perceived, that I treat you with uncommon marks of regard;
which, I assure you, is not owing to your personal accomplishments, nor
the pains you take to oblige me; for the first I overlook, and the
last I see through. But there is something in your disposition which
indicates a rooted contempt for the world, and I understand you have
made some successful efforts in exposing one part of it to the ridicule
of the other. It is upon this assurance that I offer you my advice and
assistance, in prosecuting other schemes of the same nature; and to
convince you that such an alliance is not to be rejected, I will now
give you a short sketch of my history, which will be published after my
death, in forty-seven volumes of my own compiling.

"I was born about forty miles from this place, of parents who, having
a very old family name to support, bestowed their whole fortune on my
elder brother; so that I inherited of my father little else than a large
share of choler, to which I am indebted for a great many adventures that
did not always end to my satisfaction. At the age of eighteen I was sent
up to town, with a recommendation to a certain peer, who found means
to amuse me with the promise of a commission for seven whole years; and
'tis odds but I should have made my fortune by my perseverance, had not
I been arrested, and thrown into the Marshalsea by my landlord, on whose
credit I had subsisted three years, after my father had renounced me as
an idle vagabond. There I remained six months, among those prisoners
who have no other support than chance charity; and contracted a very
valuable acquaintance, which was of great service to me in the future
emergencies of my life.

"I was no sooner discharged, in consequence of an act of parliament
for the relief of insolvent debtors, than I went to the house of my
creditor, whom I cudgelled without mercy; and, that I might leave
nothing undone of those things which I ought to have done, my next stage
was to Westminster Hall, where I waited until my patron came forth from
the house, and saluted him with a blow that laid him senseless on the
pavement. But my retreat was not so fortunate as I could have wished.
The chairman and lacqueys in waiting having surrounded and disarmed me
in a trice, I was committed to Newgate, and loaded with chains; and
a very sagacious gentleman, who was afterwards hanged, having sat in
judgment upon my case, pronounced me guilty of a capital crime, and
foretold my condemnation at the Old Bailey. His prognostic, however, was
disappointed; for nobody appearing to prosecute me at the next session,
I was discharged by order of the court. It would be impossible for me
to recount, in the compass of one day's conversation, all the particular
exploits of which I bore considerable share. Suffice it to say, I have
been, at different times, prisoner in all the jails within the bills of
mortality. I have broken from every round-house on this side Temple-bar.
No bailiff, in the days of my youth and desperation, durst execute a
writ upon me without a dozen of followers; and the justices themselves
trembled when I was brought before them.

"I was once maimed by a carman, with whom I quarrelled, because he
ridiculed my leek on St. David's day; my skull was fractured by a
butcher's cleaver on the like occasion. I have been run through the body
five times, and lost the tip of my left ear by a pistol bullet. In a
rencontre of this kind, having left my antagonist for dead, I was wise
enough to make my retreat into France; and a few days after my arrival
at Paris, entering into conversation with some officers on the subject
of politics, a dispute arose, in which I lost my temper, and spoke so
irreverently of the Grand Monarque, that next morning I was sent to the
Bastille, by virtue of a lettre de cachet. There I remained for
some months, deprived of all intercourse with rational creatures;
a circumstance for which I was not sorry, as I had the more time to
project schemes of revenge against the tyrant who confined me, and the
wretch who had betrayed my private conversation. But tired, at length,
with these fruitless suggestions, I was fain to unbend the severity of
my thoughts by a correspondence with some industrious spiders, who had
hung my dungeon with their ingenious labours.

"I considered their work with such attention that I soon became an adept
in the mystery of weaving, and furnished myself with as many useful
observations and reflections on that art, as will compose a very curious
treatise, which I intend to bequeath to the Royal Society, for the
benefit of our woollen manufacture; and this with a view to perpetuate
my own name, rather than befriend my country; for, thank Heaven! I am
weaned from all attachments of that kind, and look upon myself as one
very little obliged to any society whatsoever. Although I presided
with absolute power over this long-legged community, and distributed
punishments and rewards to each, according to his deserts, I grew
impatient of my situation; and my natural disposition one day
prevailing, like a fire which had long been smothered, I wreaked the
fury of my indignation upon my innocent subjects, and in a twinkling
destroyed the whole race. While I was employed in this general massacre,
the turnkey, who brought me food, opened the door, and perceiving my
transport, shrugged up his shoulders, and leaving my allowance, went
out, pronouncing, Le pauvre diable! la tete lui tourne. My passion no
sooner subsided than I resolved to profit by this opinion of the jailor,
and from that day counterfeited lunacy with such success, that in less
than three months I was delivered from the Bastille, and sent to the
galleys, in which they thought my bodily vigour might be of service,
although the faculties of my mind were decayed. Before I was chained
to the oar, I received three hundred stripes by way of welcome, that I
might thereby be rendered more tractable, notwithstanding I used all the
arguments in my power to persuade them I was only mad north-north-west,
and, when the wind was southerly, knew a hawk from a handsaw.

"In our second cruise we had the good fortune to be overtaken by
a tempest, during which the slaves were unbound, that they might
contribute the more to the preservation of the galley, and have a chance
for their lives, in case of shipwreck. We were no sooner at liberty,
than, making ourselves masters of the vessel, we robbed the officers,
and ran her on shore among rocks on the coast of Portugal; from whence
I hastened to Lisbon, with a view of obtaining my passage in some ship
bound for England, where, by this time, I hoped my affair was forgotten.

"But, before this scheme could be accomplished, my evil genius led me
into company; and, being intoxicated, I began to broach doctrines on
the subject of religion, at which some of the party were scandalized and
incensed; and I was next day dragged out of bed by the officers of the
Inquisition, and conveyed to a cell in the prison belonging to that
tribunal.

"At my first examination, my resentment was strong enough to support me
under the torture, which I endured without flinching; but my resolution
abated, and my zeal immediately cooled, when I understood from a
fellow-prisoner, who groaned on the other side of the partition, that
in a short time there would be an auto da fe; in consequence of which
I should, in all probability, be doomed to the flames, if I would not
renounce my heretical errors, and submit to such penance as the church
should think fit to prescribe. This miserable wretch was convicted of
Judaism, which he had privately practised by connivance for many years,
until he had amassed a fortune sufficient to attract the regard of the
church. To this he fell a sacrifice, and accordingly prepared himself
for the stake; while I, not at all ambitious of the crown of martyrdom,
resolved to temporize; so that, when I was brought to the question the
second time, I made a solemn recantation. As I had no worldly fortune to
obstruct my salvation, I was received into the bosom of the church, and,
by way of penance, enjoined to walk barefoot to Rome in the habit of a
pilgrim.

"During my peregrination through Spain, I was detained as a spy, until
I could procure credentials from the Inquisition at Lisbon; and behaved
with such resolution and reserve, that, after being released, I
was deemed a proper person to be employed in quality of a secret
intelligencer at a certain court. This office I undertook without
hesitation; and being furnished with money and bills of credit, crossed
the Pyrenees, with intention to revenge myself upon the Spaniards for
the severities I had undergone during my captivity.

"Having therefore effectually disguised myself by a change of dress, and
a large patch on one eye, I hired an equipage, and appeared at Bologna
in quality of an itinerant physician; in which capacity I succeeded
tolerably well, till my servants decamped in the night with my baggage,
and left me in the condition of Adam. In short, I have travelled over
the greatest part of Europe, as a beggar, pilgrim, priest, soldier,
gamester, and quack; and felt the extremes of indigence and opulence,
with the inclemency of weather in all its vicissitudes. I have learned
that the characters of mankind are everywhere the same; that common
sense and honesty bear an infinitely small proportion to folly and vice;
and that life is at best a paltry province.

"After having suffered innumerable hardships, dangers, and disgraces, I
returned to London, where I lived some years in a garret, and picked up
a subsistence, such as it was, by vending purges in the streets, from
the back of a pied horse, in which situation I used to harangue the mob
in broken English, under pretence of being an High German doctor.

"At last an uncle died, by whom I inherited an estate of three hundred
pounds per annum, though, in his lifetime, he would not have parted with
a sixpence to save my soul and body from perdition.

"I now appear in the world, not as a member of any community, or what
is called a social creature, but merely as a spectator, who entertains
himself with the grimaces of a jack-pudding, and banquets his spleen in
beholding his enemies at loggerheads. That I may enjoy this disposition,
abstracted from all interruption, danger, and participation, I feign
myself deaf; an expedient by which I not only avoid all disputes and
their consequences, but also become master of a thousand little secrets,
which are every day whispered in my presence, without any suspicion of
their being overheard. You saw how I handled that shallow politician at
my Lady Plausible's the other day. The same method I practise upon the
crazed Tory, the bigot Whig, the sour, supercilious pedant, the petulant
critic, the blustering coward, the fawning fool, the pert imp, sly
sharper, and every other species of knaves and fools, with which this
kingdom abounds.

"In consequence of my rank and character, I obtain free admission to
the ladies, among whom I have acquired the appellation of the Scandalous
Chronicle. As I am considered, while silent, in no other light than that
of a footstool or elbow-chair, they divest their conversation of all
restraint before me, and gratify my sense of hearing with strange
things, which, if I could prevail upon myself to give the world that
satisfaction, would compose a curious piece of secret history, and
exhibit a quite different idea of characters from what is commonly
entertained.

"By this time, young gentleman, you may perceive that I have it in
my power to be a valuable correspondent, and that it will be to your
interest to deserve my confidence."

Here the misanthrope left off speaking, desirous to know the sentiments
of our hero, who embraced the proffered alliance in a transport of joy
and surprise; and the treaty was no sooner concluded, than Mr. Crabtree
began to perform articles, by imparting to him a thousand delicious
secrets, from the possession of which he promised himself innumerable
scenes of mirth and enjoyment. By means of this associate, whom he
considered as the ring of Gyges, he foresaw, that he should be enabled
to penetrate, not only into the chambers, but even to the inmost
thoughts of the female sex. In order to ward off suspicion, they
agreed to revile each other in public, and meet at a certain private
rendezvous, to communicate their mutual discoveries, and concert their
future operations.

But, soon after this agreement, our adventurer was summoned to the
garrison by an express from his friend Hatchway, representing that the
commodore lay at the point of death; and, in less than an hour after
the receipt of this melancholy piece of news, he set out post for his
uncle's habitation, having previously taken leave of Crabtree,
who promised to meet him in two months in London; and settled a
correspondence with Gauntlet, who proposed to remain at Bath during the
rest of the season.



CHAPTER LXXIII.



Peregrine arrives at the Garrison, where he receives the last
Admonitions of Commodore Trunnion, who next Day resigns his Breath, and
is buried according to his own Directions--Some Gentlemen in the Country
make a fruitless Attempt to accommodate Matters betwixt Mr. Gamaliel
Pickle and his eldest Son.


About four o'clock in the morning our hero arrived at the garrison,
where he found his generous uncle in extremity, supported in bed by
Julia on one side, and Lieutenant Hatchway on the other, while Mr.
Jolter administered spiritual consolation to his soul; and between
whiles comforted Mrs. Trunnion, who, with her maid, sat by the fire,
weeping with great decorum; the physician having just taken his last
fee, and retired, after pronouncing the fatal prognostic, in which he
anxiously wished he might be mistaken.

Though the commodore's speech was interrupted by a violent hiccup, he
still retained the use of his senses; and, when Peregrine approached,
stretched out his hand with manifest signs of satisfaction. The young
gentleman, whose heart overflowed with gratitude and affection, could
not behold such a spectacle unmoved. He endeavoured to conceal his
tenderness, which, in the wildness of his youth, and the pride of his
disposition, he considered as a derogation from his manhood; but, in
spite of all his endeavours, the tears gushed from his eyes, while he
kissed the old man's hand; and he was so utterly disconcerted by his
grief, that, when he attempted to speak, his tongue denied its office;
so that the commodore, perceiving his disorder, made a last effort of
strength, and consoled him in these words:--"Swab the spray from your
bowsprit, my good lad, and coil up your spirits. You must not let the
toplifts of your heart give way, because you see me ready to go down at
these years. Many a better man has foundered before he has made half
my way; thof I trust, by the mercy of God, I shall be sure in port in a
very few glasses, and fast moored in a most blessed riding; for my
good friend Jolter hath overhauled the journal of my sins, and, by
the observation he hath taken of the state of my soul, I hope I shall
happily conclude my voyage, and be brought up in the latitude of heaven.
Here has been a doctor that wanted to stow me chock full of physic; but,
when a man's hour is come, what signifies his taking his departure with
a 'pothecary's shop in his hold? Those fellows come alongside of dying
men, like the messengers of the Admiralty with sailing orders; but
I told him as how I could slip my cable without his direction or
assistance, and so he hauled off in dudgeon. This cursed hiccup makes
such a rippling in the current of my speech, that mayhap you don't
understand what I say. Now, while the sucker of my wind-pump will go, I
would willingly mention a few things, which I hope you will set down
in the log-book of your remembrance, when I am stiff, d'ye see. There's
your aunt sitting whimpering by the fire; I desire you will keep her
tight, warm, and easy in her old age, she's an honest heart in her own
way, and, thof she goes a little crank and humoursome, by being often
overstowed with Nantz and religion, she has been a faithful shipmate to
me, and I daresay she never turned in with another man since we first
embarked in the same bottom. Jack Hatchway, you know the trim of her as
well as e'er a man in England, and I believe she has a kindness for
you; whereby, if you two will grapple in the way of matrimony, when I
am gone, I do suppose that my godson, for love of me, will allow you to
live in the garrison all the days of your life."

Peregrine assured him, he would with pleasure comply with any request
he should make in behalf of two persons whom he esteemed so much.
The lieutenant, with a waggish sneer, which even the gravity of the
situation could not prevent, thanked them both for their good-will,
telling the commodore, he was obliged to him for his friendship, in
seeking to promote him to the command of a vessel which he himself had
worn out in the service; but that, notwithstanding, he should be content
to take charge of her, though he could not help being shy of coming
after such an able navigator.

Trunnion, exhausted as he was, smiled at this sally, and, after some
pause, resumed his admonitions in this manner:--"I need not talk of
Pipes, because I know you'll do for him without any recommendation; the
fellow has sailed with me in many a hard gale, and I'll warrant him as
stout a seaman as ever set face to the weather. But I hope you'll take
care of the rest of my crew, and not disrate them after I am dead,
in favour of new followers. As for that young woman, Ned Gauntlet's
daughter, I'm informed as how she's an excellent wench, and has a
respect for you; whereby, if you run her on board in an unlawful way, I
leave my curse upon you, and trust you will never prosper in the voyage
of life. But I believe you are more of an honest man, than to behave
so much like a pirate. I beg, of all love, you wool take care of your
constitution, and beware of running foul of harlots, who are no better
than so many mermaids, that sit upon rocks in the sea, and hang out a
fair face for the destruction of passengers; thof I must say, for my own
part, I never met with any of those sweet singers, and yet I have gone
to sea for the space of thirty years. But howsomever, steer your course
clear of all such brimstone b--s. Shun going to law, as you would shun
the devil; and look upon all attorneys as devouring sharks, or ravenous
fish of prey. As soon as the breath is out of my body, let minute guns
be fired, till I am safe under ground. I would also be buried in the
red jacket I had on when I boarded and took the Renummy. Let my pistols,
cutlass, and pocket-compass be laid in the coffin along with me. Let
me be carried to the grave by my own men, rigged in the black caps and
white shirts which my barge's crew were wont to wear; and they must keep
a good look out, that none of your pilfering rascallions may come and
heave me up again, for the lucre of what they can get, until the carcase
is belayed by a tombstone. As for the motto, or what you call it, I
leave that to you and Mr. Jolter, who are scholars; but I do desire,
that it may not be engraved in the Greek or Latin lingos, and much less
in the French, which I abominate, but in plain English, that, when the
angel comes to pipe all hands, at the great day, he may know that I am a
British man, and speak to me in my mother tongue. And now I have no more
to say, but God in heaven have mercy upon my soul, and send you all fair
weather, wheresoever you are bound."

So saying, he regarded every individual around him with a look of
complacency, and closing his eye, composed himself to rest, while the
whole audience, Pipes himself not excepted, were melted with sorrow; and
Mrs. Trunnion consented to quit the room, that she might not be exposed
to the unspeakable anguish of seeing him expire.

His last moments, however, were not so near as they imagined. He began
to doze, and enjoyed small intervals of ease, till next day in the
afternoon; during which remissions, he was heard to pour forth many
pious ejaculations, expressing his hope, that, for all the heavy cargo
of his sins, he should be able to surmount the puttock-shrouds of
despair, and get aloft to the cross-trees of God's good favour. At last
his voice sunk so low as not to be distinguished; and, having lain about
an hour, almost without any perceptible signs of life, he gave up the
ghost with a groan which announced his decease.

Julia was no sooner certified of this melancholy event, than she ran to
her aunt's chamber, weeping aloud; and immediately a very decent concert
was performed by the good widow and her attendants. Peregrine and
Hatchway retired till the corpse should be laid out; and Pipes having
surveyed the body, with a face of rueful attention,--"Well fare thy
soul! old Hawser Trunnion," said he: "man and boy I have known thee
these five-and-thirty years, and sure a truer heart never broke biscuit.
Many a hard gale hast thou weathered; but now thy spells are all over,
and thy hull fairly laid up. A better commander I'd never desire to
serve; and who knows but I may help to set up thy standing rigging in
another world?"

All the servants of the house were affected with the loss of their old
master; and the poor people in the neighbourhood assembled at the gate,
and, by repeated howlings, expressed their sorrow for the death of their
charitable benefactor. Peregrine, though he felt everything which
love and gratitude could inspire on this occasion, was not so much
overwhelmed with affliction as to be incapable of taking the management
of the family into his own hands. He gave directions about the funeral
with great discretion, after having paid the compliments of condolence
to his aunt, whom he consoled with the assurance of his inviolable
esteem and affection. He ordered a suit of mourning to be made for every
person in the garrison, and invited all the neighbouring gentlemen to
the burial, not even excepting his father and brother Gam, who did not,
however, honour the ceremony with their presence; nor was his mother
humane enough to visit her sister-in-law in her distress.

In the method of interment, the commodore's injunctions were obeyed to a
title; and at the same time our hero made a donation of fifty pounds to
the poor of the parish, as a benefaction which his uncle had forgot
to bequeath. Having performed these obsequies with the most pious
punctuality, he examined the will, to which there was no addition since
it had first been executed, adjusted the payment of all the legacies,
and, being sole executor, took an account of the estate to which he
had succeeded, which, after all deductions, amounted to thirty thousand
pounds. The possession of such a fortune, of which he was absolute
master, did not at all contribute to the humiliation of his spirit, but
inspired him with new ideas of grandeur and magnificence, and elevated
his hope to the highest pinnacle of expectation.

His domestic affairs being settled, he was visited by almost all
the gentlemen of the county, who came to pay their compliments of
congratulation on his accession to the estate; and some of them offered
their good offices towards a reconciliation betwixt his father and him,
induced by the general detestation which was entertained for his brother
Gam, who was by this time looked upon by his neighbours as a prodigy
of insolence and malice. Our young squire thanked them for their kind
proposal, which he accepted; and old Gamaliel, at their entreaties,
seemed very well disposed to any accommodation: but as he would not
venture to declare himself before he had consulted his wife, his
favourable disposition was rendered altogether ineffectual, by the
instigations of that implacable woman; and our hero resigned all
expectation of being reunited to his father's house. His brother,
as usual, took all opportunities of injuring his character, by false
aspersions, and stories misrepresented, in order to prejudice his
reputation; nor was his sister Julia suffered to enjoy her good fortune
in peace. Had he undergone such persecution from an alien to his blood,
the world would have heard of his revenge; but, notwithstanding
his indignation, he was too much tinctured by the prejudices of
consanguinity, to lift his arm in judgment against the son of his own
parents; and this consideration abridged the term of his residence at
the garrison, where he had proposed to stay for some months.



VOLUME II.



CHAPTER LXXIV.



The young Gentleman, having settled his domestic Affairs, arrives
in London, and sets up a gay Equipage--He meets with Emilia, and is
introduced to her Uncle.


His aunt, at the earnest solicitations of Julia and her husband, took
up her quarters at the house of that affectionate kinswoman, who made
it her chief study to comfort and cherish the disconsolate widow; and
Jolter, in expectation of the living, which was not yet vacant, remained
in garrison, in quality of land-steward upon our hero's country estate.
As for the lieutenant, our young gentleman communed with him in a
serious manner, about the commodore's proposal of taking Mrs. Trunnion
to wife; and Jack, being quite tired of the solitary situation of a
bachelor, which nothing but the company of his old commander could have
enabled him to support so long, far from discovering aversion from the
match, observed with an arch smile, that it was not the first time
he had commanded a vessel in the absence of Captain Trunnion; and
therefore, if the widow was willing, he would cheerfully stand by her
helm, and, as he hoped the duty would not be of long continuance, do his
endeavour to steer her safe into port, where the commodore might come on
board, and take charge of her again.

In consequence of this declaration, it was determined that Mr. Hatchway
should make his addresses to Mrs. Trunnion as soon as decency would
permit her to receive them; and Mr. Clover and his wife promised to
exert their influence on his behalf. Meanwhile, Jack was desired to live
at the castle as usual, and assured, that it should be put wholly in his
possession, as soon as he should be able to accomplish this matrimonial
scheme.

When Peregrine had settled all these points to his own satisfaction,
he took leave of all his friends, and, repairing to the great city,
purchased a new chariot and horses, put Pipes and another lacquey into
rich liveries, took elegant lodgings in Pall Mall, and made a most
remarkable appearance among the people of fashion.

It was owing to this equipage, and the gaiety of his personal
deportment, that common fame, which is always a common liar, represented
him as a young gentleman who had just succeeded to an estate of five
thousand pounds per annum, by the death of an uncle; that he was
entitled to an equal fortune at the decease of his own father, exclusive
of two considerable jointures, which would devolve upon him at the
demise of his mother and aunt. This report, false and ridiculous as it
was, he could not find in his heart to contradict. Not but that he was
sorry to find himself so misrepresented; but his vanity would not allow
him to take any step that might diminish his importance in the opinion
of those who courted his acquaintance, on the supposition that his
circumstances were actually as affluent as they were said to be. Nay, so
much was he infatuated by this weakness, that he resolved to encourage
the deception, by living up to the report; and accordingly engaged
in the most expensive parties of pleasure, believing that, before his
present finances should be exhausted, his fortune would be effectually
made, by the personal accomplishments he should have occasion to display
to the beau monde in the course of his extravagance. In a word, vanity
and pride were the ruling foibles of our adventurer, who imagined
himself sufficiently qualified to retrieve his fortune in various
shapes, long before he could have any idea of want or difficulty. He
thought he should have it in his power, at any time, to make a prize of
a rich heiress, or opulent widow; his ambition had already aspired to
the heart of a young handsome duchess dowager, to whose acquaintance
he had found means to be introduced; or, should matrimony chance to be
unsuitable to his inclinations, he never doubted, that, by the interest
he might acquire among the nobility, he should be favoured with some
lucrative post, that would amply recompense him for the liberality
of his disposition. There are many young men who entertain the same
expectations, with half the reason he had to be so presumptuous.

In the midst of these chimerical calculations, his passion for Emilia
did not subside; but, on the contrary, began to rage with such an
inflammation of desire, that her idea interfered with every other
reflection, and absolutely disabled him from prosecuting the other lofty
schemes which his imagination had projected. He therefore laid down the
honest resolution of visiting her in all the splendour of his situation,
in order to practise upon her virtue with all his art and address, to
the utmost extent of his affluence and fortune. Nay, so effectually
had his guilty passion absorbed his principles of honour, conscience,
humanity, and regard for the commodore's last words, that he was base
enough to rejoice at the absence of his friend Godfrey, who, being then
with his regiment in Ireland, could not dive into his purpose, or take
measures for frustrating his vicious design.

Fraught with these heroic sentiments, he determined to set out for
Sussex in his chariot and six, attended by his valet-de-chambre and
two footmen; and as he was now sensible that in his last essay he had
mistaken his cue, he determined to change his battery, and sap the
fortress, by the most submissive, soft, and insinuating behaviour.

On the evening that preceded this proposed expedition, he went into one
of the boxes at the playhouse, as usual, to show himself to the ladies;
and reconnoitring the company through a glass (for no other reason but
because it was fashionable to be purblind), perceived his mistress very
plainly dressed, in one of the seats above the stage, talking to another
young woman of a very homely appearance. Though his heart beat the
alarm with the utmost impatience at sight of his Emilia, he was for some
minutes deterred from obeying the impulse of his love, by the presence
of some ladies of fashion, who, he feared, would think the worse of him,
should they see him make his compliment in public to a person of her
figure. Nor would the violence of his inclination have so far prevailed
over his pride, as to lead him thither, had he not recollected, that his
quality friends would look upon her as some handsome Abigail, with whom
he had an affair of gallantry, and of consequence give him credit for
the intrigue.

Encouraged by this suggestion, he complied with the dictates of love,
and flew to the place where his charmer sat. His air and dress were so
remarkable, that it was almost impossible he should have escaped the
eyes of a curious observer, especially as he had chosen a time for
coming in, when his entrance could not fail to attract the notice of the
spectators; I mean, when the whole house was hushed in attention to the
performance on the stage. Emilia, therefore, perceived him at his first
approach; she found herself discovered by the direction of his glass,
and, guessing his intention by his abrupt retreat from the box, summoned
all her fortitude to her aid, and prepared for his reception. He
advanced to her with an air of eagerness and joy, tempered with modesty
and respect, and expressed his satisfaction at seeing her, with a
seeming reverence of regard. Though she was extremely well pleased at
this unexpected behaviour, she suppressed the emotions of her heart, and
answered his compliments with affected ease and unconcern, such as
might denote the good humour of a person who meets by accident with an
indifferent acquaintance. After having certified himself of her own good
health, he very kindly inquired about her mother and Miss Sophy, gave
her to understand that he had lately been favoured with a letter from
Godfrey; that he had actually intended to set out next morning on a
visit to Mrs. Gauntlet, which, now that he was so happy as to meet with
her, he would postpone, until he should have the pleasure of attending
her to the country. After having thanked him for his polite intention,
she told him, that her mother was expected in town in a few days, and
that she herself had come to London some weeks ago, to give attendance
upon her aunt, who had been dangerously ill, but was now pretty well
recovered.

Although the conversation of course turned upon general topics, during
the entertainment he took all opportunities of being particular with his
eyes, through which he conveyed a thousand tender protestations. She
saw and inwardly rejoiced at the humility of his looks; but, far from
rewarding it with one approving glance, she industriously avoided this
ocular intercourse, and rather coquetted with a young gentleman that
ogled her from the opposite box. Peregrine's penetration easily detected
her sentiments, and he was nettled at her dissimulation, which served to
confirm him in his unwarrantable designs upon her person. He persisted
in his assiduities with indefatigable perseverance; when the play was
concluded, handed her and her companion into a hackney-coach, and with
difficulty was permitted to escort them to the house of Emilia's uncle,
to whom our hero was introduced by the young lady, as an intimate friend
of her brother Godfrey.

The old gentleman, who was no stranger to the nature of Peregrine's
connection with his sister's family, prevailed upon him to stay
supper, and seemed particularly well pleased with his conversation and
deportment, which, by the help of his natural sagacity, he wonderfully
adapted to the humour of his entertainer. After supper, when the ladies
were withdrawn, and the citizen called for his pipe, our sly adventurer
followed his example. Though he abhorred the plant, he smoked with
an air of infinite satisfaction, and expatiated upon the virtues of
tobacco, as if he had been deeply concerned in the Virginia trade. In
the progress of the discourse, he consulted the merchant's disposition;
and the national debt coming upon the carpet, held forth upon the
funds like a professed broker. When the alderman complained of the
restrictions and discouragements of trade, his guest inveighed against
exorbitant duties, with the nature of which he seemed as well acquainted
as any commissioner of the customs; so that the uncle was astonished at
the extent of his knowledge, and expressed his surprise that a gay young
gentleman like him should have found either leisure or inclination to
consider subjects so foreign to the fashionable amusements of youth.

Pickle laid hold on this opportunity to tell him, that he was descended
from a race of merchants; and that, early in life, he had made it his
business to instruct himself in the different branches of trade, which
he not only studied as his family profession, but also as the source
of all our national riches and power. He then launched out in praise of
commerce, and the promoters thereof; and, by way of contrast, employed
all his ridicule in drawing such ludicrous pictures of the manners and
education of what is called high life, that the trader's sides were
shaken by laughter, even to the danger of his life; and he looked upon
our adventurer as a miracle of sobriety and good sense. Having thus
ingratiated himself with the uncle, Peregrine took his leave, and next
day, in the forenoon, visited the niece in his chariot, after she
had been admonished by her kinsman to behave with circumspection, and
cautioned against neglecting or discouraging the addresses of such a
valuable admirer.



CHAPTER LXXV.



He prosecutes his Design upon Emilia with great Art and Perseverance.


Our adventurer, having by his hypocrisy obtained free access to his
mistress, began the siege by professing the most sincere contrition
for his former levity, and imploring her forgiveness with such earnest
supplication, that, guarded as she was against his flattering arts, she
began to believe his protestations, which were even accompanied with
tears, and abated a good deal of that severity and distance she had
proposed to maintain during this interview. She would not, however,
favour him with the least acknowledgment of a mutual passion, because,
in the midst of his vows of eternal constancy and truth, he did not
mention one syllable of wedlock, though he was now entirely master of
his own conduct, and this consideration created a doubt, which fortified
her against all his attacks. Yet, what her discretion would have
concealed, was discovered by her eyes, which, in spite of all her
endeavours, breathed forth complacency and love; for her inclination
was flattered by her own self-sufficiency, which imputed her admirer's
silence in that particular to the hurry and perturbation of his spirits,
and persuaded her that he could not possibly regard her with any other
than honourable intentions.

The insidious lover exulted in the tenderness of her looks, from which
he presaged a complete victory; but, that he might not overshoot
himself by his own precipitation, he would not run the risk of declaring
himself, until her heart should be so far entangled within his snares,
as that neither the suggestions of honour, prudence, nor pride, should
be able to disengage it. Armed with this resolution, he restrained
the impatience of his temper within the limits of the most delicate
deportment. After having solicited and obtained permission to attend
her to the next opera, he took her by the hand, and, pressing it to his
lips, in the most respectful manner, went away, leaving her in a most
whimsical state of suspense, chequered with an interesting vicissitude
of hope and fear. On the appointed day, he appeared again about five
o'clock in the afternoon, and found her native charms so much improved
by the advantages of dress, that he was transported with admiration
and delight; and, while he conducted her to the Haymarket, could scarce
bridle the impetuosity of his passion, so as to observe the forbearing
maxims he had adopted. When she entered the pit, he had abundance of
food for the gratification of his vanity; for, in a moment, she eclipsed
all the female part of the audience; each individual allowing in her own
heart that the stranger was by far the handsomest woman there present,
except herself.

Here it was that our hero enjoyed a double triumph; he was vain of this
opportunity to enhance his reputation for gallantry among the ladies of
fashion who knew him, and proud of an occasion to display his quality
acquaintance to Emilia, that she might entertain the greater idea of the
conquest she had made, and pay the more deference to his importance in
the sequel of his addresses. That he might profit as much as possible
by this situation, he went up and accosted every person in the pit,
with whom he ever had least communication, whispered and laughed with an
affected air of familiarity, and even bowed at a distance to some of the
nobility, on the slender foundation of having stood near them at court,
or presented them with a pinch of rappee at White's chocolate-house.

This ridiculous ostentation, though now practised with a view of
promoting his design, was a weakness that, in some degree, infected
the whole of his behaviour; for nothing gave him so much joy in
conversation, as an opportunity of giving the company to understand how
well he was with persons of distinguished rank and character. He would
often, for example, observe, as it were occasionally, that the Duke of
G-- was one of the best-natured men in the world, and illustrate this
assertion by some instance of his affability, in which he himself was
concerned. Then, by an abrupt transition, he would repeat some repartee
of Lady T--, and mention a certain bon mot of the Earl of C--, which was
uttered in his hearing.

Abundance of young men in this manner make free with the names, though
they have never had access to the persons of the nobility; but this was
not the case with Peregrine, who, in consideration of his appearance and
supposed fortune, together with the advantage of his introduction, was,
by this time, freely admitted to the tables of the great.

In his return with Emilia from the opera, though he still maintained
the most scrupulous decorum in his behaviour, he plied her with the most
passionate expressions of love, squeezed her hand with great fervency,
protested that his whole soul was engrossed by her idea, and that he
could not exist independent of her favour. Pleased as she was with his
warm and pathetic addresses, together with the respectful manner of his
making love, she yet had prudence and resolution sufficient to contain
her tenderness, which was ready to run over; being fortified against
his arts, by reflecting, that, if his aim was honourable, it was now his
business to declare it. On this consideration, she refused to make any
serious reply to his earnest expostulations, but affected to receive
them as the undetermined effusions of gallantry and good breeding.

This fictitious gaiety and good-humour, though it baffled his hope
of extorting from her an acknowledgment of which he might have taken
immediate advantage, nevertheless encouraged him to observe, as the
chariot passed along the Strand, that the night was far advanced; that
supper would certainly be over before they could reach her uncle's
house; and to propose that he should wait upon her to some place, where
they might be accommodated with a slight refreshment. She was offended
at the freedom of this proposal, which, however, she treated as a joke,
thanking him for his courteous offer, and assuring him, that when she
should be disposed for a tavern treat, he alone would have the honour of
bestowing it.

Her kinsman being engaged with company abroad, and her aunt retired to
rest, he had the good fortune to enjoy a tete-a-tete with her during
a whole hour, which he employed with such consummate skill, that her
caution was almost overcome. He not only assailed her with the artillery
of sighs, vows, prayers, and tears, but even pawned his honour in behalf
of his love. He swore, with many imprecations, that although her heart
was surrendered to him at discretion, there was a principle within him,
which would never allow him to injure such innocence and beauty; and the
transports of his passion had, upon this occasion so far overshot his
purpose, that if she had demanded an explanation while he was thus
agitated, he would have engaged himself to her wish by such ties as
he could not break with any regard to his reputation. But from such
expostulation she was deterred, partly by pride, and partly by the
dread of finding herself mistaken in such an interesting conjecture.
She therefore enjoyed the present flattering appearance of her fate, was
prevailed upon to accept the jewels which he purchased with part of his
winning at Bath, and, with the most enchanting condescension, submitted
to a warm embrace when he took his leave, after having obtained
permission to visit her as often as his inclination and convenience
would permit.

In his return to his own lodgings, he was buoyed up with his success to
an extravagance of hope, already congratulated himself upon his triumph
over Emilia's virtue, and began to project future conquests among the
most dignified characters of the female sex. But his attention was not
at all dissipated by these vain reflections; he resolved to concentrate
the whole exertion of his soul upon the execution of his present plan,
desisted, in the meantime, from all other schemes of pleasure, interest,
and ambition, and took lodgings in the city, for the more commodious
accomplishment of his purpose. While our lover's imagination was thus
agreeably regaled, his mistress did not enjoy her expectations without
the intervention of doubts and anxiety. His silence, touching the
final aim of his addresses, was a mystery on which she was afraid of
exercising her sagacity; and her uncle tormented her with inquiries into
the circumstances of Peregrine's professions and deportment. Rather than
give this relation the least cause for suspicion, which must have cut
off all intercourse betwixt her and her admirer, she said everything
which she thought would satisfy his care and concern for her welfare;
and, in consequence of such representation, she enjoyed, without
reserve, the company of our adventurer, who prosecuted his plan with
surprising eagerness and perseverance.



CHAPTER LXXVI.



He prevails upon Emilia to accompany him to a Masquerade, makes a
treacherous Attempt upon her Affection, and meets with a deserved
Repulse.


Scarce a night elapsed in which he did not conduct her to some public
entertainment. When, by the dint of his insidious carriage, he thought
himself in full possession of her confidence and affection, he lay in
wait for an opportunity; and, hearing her observe in conversation, that
she had never been at a masquerade, begged leave to attend her to the
next ball; at the same time extending his invitation to the young lady
in whose company he had found her at the play, she being present when
this subject of discourse was introduced. He had flattered himself,
that this gentlewoman would decline the proposal, as she was a person
seemingly of a demure disposition, who had been born and bred in the
city, where such diversions are looked upon as scenes of lewdness and
debauchery. For once, however, he reckoned without his host; curiosity
is as prevalent in the city as at the court end of the town. Emilia no
sooner signified her assent to his proposal, than her friend, with an
air of satisfaction, agreed to make one of the party; and he was obliged
to thank her for that complaisance, which laid him under infinite
mortification. He set his genius at work to invent some scheme for
preventing her unseasonable intrusion. Had an opportunity offered, he
would have acted as her physician, and administered a medicine that
would have laid her under the necessity of staying at home. But his
acquaintance with her being too slight to furnish him with the means of
executing this expedient, he devised another, which was practised with
all imaginable success. Understanding that her grandmother had left her
a sum of money independent of her parents, he conveyed a letter to
her mother, intimating, that her daughter, on pretence of going to the
masquerade, intended to bestow herself in marriage to a certain person,
and that in a few days she would be informed of the circumstances of
the whole intrigue, provided she would keep this information secret,
and contrive some excuse for detaining the young lady at home, without
giving her cause to believe she was apprised of her intention. This
billet, subscribed "Your well-wisher, and unknown humble servant,"
had the desired effect upon the careful matron, who, on the ball day,
feigned herself so extremely ill, that Miss could not with any decency
quit her mamma's apartment; and therefore sent her apology to Emilia in
the afternoon, immediately after the arrival of Peregrine, who pretended
to be very much afflicted with the disappointment, while his heart
throbbed with a transport of joy.

About ten o'clock the lovers set out for the Haymarket, he being dressed
in the habit of Pantaloon, and she in that of Columbine; and they had
scarce entered the house when the music struck up, the curtain was
withdrawn, and the whole scene displayed at once, to the admiration of
Emilia, whose expectation was infinitely surpassed by this exhibition.
Our gallant having conducted her through all the different apartments,
and described the economy of the place, led her into the circle, and, in
their turn, they danced several minuets; then going to the sideboard,
he prevailed upon her to eat some sweetmeats and drink a glass of
champagne. After a second review of the company, they engaged in country
dances, at which exercise they continued until our adventurer concluded
that his partner's blood was sufficiently warm for the prosecution of
his design. On this supposition, which was built upon her declaring
that she was thirsty and fatigued, he persuaded her to take a little
refreshment and repose; and, for that purpose, handed her downstairs
into the eating-room, where, having seated her on the floor, he
presented her with a glass of wine and water; and, as she complained of
being faint, enriched the draught with some drops of a certain elixir,
which he recommended as a most excellent restorative, though it was no
other than a stimulating tincture, which he had treacherously provided
for the occasion. Having swallowed this potion, by which her spirits
were manifestly exhilarated, she ate a slice of ham, with the wing of a
cold pullet, and concluded the meal with a glass of burgundy, which
she drank at the earnest entreaty of her admirer. These extraordinary
cordials co-operating with the ferment of her blood, which was heated by
violent motion, could not fail to affect the constitution of a delicate
young creature, who was naturally sprightly and volatile. Her eyes began
to sparkle with unusual fire and vivacity, a thousand brilliant sallies
of wit escaped her, and every mask that accosted her underwent some
smarting repartee.

Peregrine, overjoyed at the success of his administration, proposed that
they should resume their places at the country dances, with a view to
promote and assist the efficacy of his elixir; and, when he thought her
disposition was properly adapted for the theme, began to ply her with
all the elocution of love. In order to elevate his own spirits to
that pitch of resolution which his scheme required, he drank two whole
bottles of burgundy, which inflamed his passion to such a degree, that
he found himself capable of undertaking and perpetrating any scheme for
the gratification of his desire.

Emilia, warmed by so many concurring incentives, in favour of the man
she loved, abated considerably of her wonted reserve, listened to his
protestations with undissembled pleasure, and, in the confidence of her
satisfaction, even owned him absolute master of her affections. Ravished
with this confession, he now deemed himself on the brink of reaping the
delicious fruits of his art and assiduity; and the morning being already
pretty far advanced, assented with rapture to the first proposal she
made of retiring to her lodgings. The blinds of the chariot being pulled
up, he took advantage of the favourable situation of her thoughts;
and, on pretence of being whimsical, in consequence of the wine he had
swallowed, clasped her in his arms, and imprinted a thousand kisses
on her pouting lips, a freedom which she pardoned as the privilege of
intoxication. While he thus indulged himself with impunity, the carriage
halted, and Pipes opening the door, his master handed her into the
passage, before she perceived that it was not her uncle's house at which
they had alighted.

Alarmed at this discovery, she, with some confusion, desired to know his
reason for conducting her to a strange place at these hours. But he made
no reply, until he had led her into an apartment, when he gave her to
understand, that, as her uncle's family must be disturbed by her going
thither so late in the night, and the streets near Temple-bar were
infested by a multitude of robbers and cut-throats, he had ordered his
coachman to halt at this house, which was kept by a relation of his, a
mighty good sort of a gentlewoman, who would be proud of an opportunity
to accommodate a person for whom he was known to entertain such
tenderness and esteem.

Emilia had too much penetration to be imposed upon by this plausible
pretext. In spite of her partiality for Peregrine, which had never been
inflamed to such a pitch of complacency before, she comprehended his
whole plan in a twinkling. Though her blood boiled with indignation, she
thanked him with an affected air of serenity for his kind concern, and
expressed her obligation to his cousin; but, at the same time, insisted
upon going home, lest her absence should terrify her uncle and aunt,
who, she knew, would not retire to rest till her return.

He urged her, with a thousand remonstrances, to consult her own ease and
safety, promising to send Pipes into the city, for the satisfaction of
her relations. But, finding her obstinately deaf to his entreaties, he
assured her, that he would, in a few minutes, comply with her request;
and, in the meantime, begged she would fortify herself against the cold
with a cordial, which he poured out in her presence, and which, now that
her suspicion was aroused, she refused to taste, notwithstanding all
his importunities. He then fell on his knees before her, and the tears
gushing from his eyes, swore that his passion was wound up to such a
pitch of impatience, that he could no longer live upon the unsubstantial
food of expectation; and that, if she would not vouchsafe to crown his
happiness, he would forthwith sacrifice himself to her disdain. Such an
abrupt address, accompanied with all the symptoms of frantic agitation,
could not fail to perplex and affright the gentle Emilia, who, after
some recollection, replied with a resolute tone, that she could not
see what reason he had to complain of her reserve, which she was not
at liberty to lay entirely aside, until he should have avowed his
intentions in form, and obtained the sanction of those whom it was
her duty to obey. "Divine creature!" cried he, seizing her hand,
and pressing it to his lips, "it is from you alone I hope for that
condescension, which would overwhelm me with the transports of celestial
bliss. The sentiments of parents are sordid, silly, and confined. I
mean not then to subject my passion to such low restrictions as were
calculated for the purposes of common life. My love is too delicate and
refined to wear those vulgar fetters, which serve only to destroy the
merit of voluntary affection, and to upbraid a man incessantly with the
articles of compulsion, under which he lies. My dear angel! spare me the
mortification of being compelled to love you, and reign sole empress
of my heart and fortune. I will not affront you so much as to talk of
settlements; my all is at your disposal. In this pocket-book are notes
to the amount of two thousand pounds; do me the pleasure to accept of
them; to-morrow I will lay ten thousand more in your lap. In a word, you
shall be mistress of my whole estate, and I shall think myself happy in
living dependent on your bounty!"

Heavens! what were the emotions of the virtuous, the sensible, the
delicate, the tender Emilia's heart, when she heard this insolent
declaration from the mouth of a man whom she had honoured with her
affection and esteem! It was not simply horror, grief, or indignation,
that she felt, in consequence of this unworthy treatment, but the united
pangs of all together, which produced a sort of hysteric laughter, while
she told him that she could not help admiring his generosity.

Deceived by this convulsion, and the ironical compliment that attended
it, the lover thought he had already made great progress in his
operations, and that it was now his business to storm the fort by a
vigorous assault, that he might spare her the confusion of yielding
without resistance. Possessed by this vain suggestion, he started up,
and, folding her in his arms, began to obey the furious dictates of his
unruly and ungenerous desire. With an air of cool determination, she
demanded a parley; and when, upon her repeated request, he granted it,
addressed herself to him in these words, while her eyes gleamed with all
the dignity of the most awful resentment:--

"Sir, I scorn to upbraid you with a repetition of your former vows
and protestations, nor will I recapitulate the little arts you have
practised to ensnare my heart; because, though by dint of the most
perfidious dissimulation you have found means to deceive my opinion,
your utmost efforts have never been able to lull the vigilance of my
conduct, or to engage my affection beyond the power of discarding you
without a tear, whenever my honour should demand such a sacrifice.
Sir, you are unworthy of my concern or regret, and the sigh that now
struggles from my breast is the result of sorrow, for my own want of
discernment. As for your present attempt upon my chastity, I despise
your power, as I detest your intention. Though, under the mask of the
most delicate respect, you have decoyed me from the immediate protection
of my friends, and contrived other impious stratagems to ruin my
peace and reputation, I confide too much in my own innocence, and the
authority of the law, to admit one thought of fear, much less to sink
under the horror of this shocking situation, into which I have been
seduced. Sir, your behaviour on this occasion is, in all respects, low
and contemptible. For, ruffian as you are, you durst not harbour the
thought of executing your execrable scheme, while you knew my brother
was near enough to prevent or revenge the insult; so that you must not
only be a treacherous villain, but also a most despicable coward."

Having expressed herself in this manner, with a most majestic severity
of aspect, she opened the door, and walking down-stairs with
surprising resolution, committed herself to the care of a watchman, who
accommodated her with a hackney-chair, in which she was safely conveyed
to her uncle's house.

Meanwhile, the lover was so confounded and overawed by these cutting
reproaches, and her animated behaviour, that all his resolution forsook
him, and he found himself not only incapable of obstructing her retreat,
but even of uttering one syllable to deprecate her wrath, or extenuate
the guilt of his own conduct. The nature of his disappointment, and the
keen remorse that seized him, when he reflected upon the dishonourable
footing on which his character stood with Emilia, raised such
perturbation in his mind, that his silence was succeeded by a violent
fit of distraction, during which he raved like a bedlamite, and acted
a thousand extravagancies, which convinced the people of the house, a
certain bagnio, that he had actually lost his wits. Pipes, with great
concern, adopted the same opinion; and, being assisted by the waiters,
hindered him, by main force, from running out and pursuing the fair
fugitive, whom, in his delirium, he alternately cursed and commended
with horrid imprecations and lavish applause. His faithful valet,
having waited two whole hours, in hopes of seeing this gust of passion
overblown, and perceiving that the paroxysm seemed rather to increase,
very prudently sent for a physician of his master's acquaintance,
who, having considered the circumstances and symptoms of the disorder,
directed that he should be plentifully blooded, without loss of time,
and prescribed a draught to compose the tumult of his spirits. These
orders being punctually performed, he grew more calm and tractable,
recovered his reflection so far as to be ashamed of the ecstasy he had
undergone, and suffered himself quietly to be undressed and put to
bed, where the fatigue occasioned by his exercise at the masquerade
co-operated with the present dissipation of his spirits to lull him
into a profound sleep, which greatly tended to the preservation of his
intellects. Not that he found himself in a state of perfect tranquility
when he waked about noon. The remembrance of what had passed overwhelmed
him with mortification. Emilia's invectives still sounded in his ears.
And, while he deeply resented her disdain, he could not help admiring
her spirit, and his heart did homage to her charms.



CHAPTER LXXVII.



He endeavours to Reconcile himself to his Mistress, and Expostulates
with the Uncle, who forbids him the House.


In this state of division, he went home to his own lodgings in a chair;
and while he deliberated with himself whether he should relinquish
the pursuit, and endeavour to banish her idea from his breast, or go
immediately and humble himself before his exasperated mistress, and
offer his hand as an atonement for his crime, his servant put in his
hand a packet, which had been delivered by a ticket porter at the
door. He no sooner perceived that the superscription was in Emilia's
handwriting, than he guessed the nature of the contents; and, opening
the seal with disordered eagerness, found the jewels he had given to her
enclosed in a billet, couched in these words:--

     "That I may have no cause to reproach myself with having
     retained the least memorial of a wretch whom I equally
     despise and abhor, I take this opportunity of restoring
     these ineffectual instruments of his infamous design upon
     the honour of

     "Emilia."

His chagrin was so much galled and inflamed at the bitterness of this
contemptuous message, that he gnawed his fingers till the blood ran
over his nails, and even wept with vexation. Sometimes he vowed revenge
against her haughty virtue, and reviled himself for his precipitate
declaration, before his scheme was brought to maturity; then he would
consider her behaviour with reverence and regard, and bow before the
irresistible power of her attractions. In short, his breast was torn by
conflicting passions: love, shame, and remorse, contended with vanity,
ambition, and revenge; and the superiority was still doubtful when
headstrong desire interposed, and decided in favour of an attempt
towards a reconciliation with the offended fair.

Impelled by this motive, he set out in the afternoon for the house of
her uncle, not without hopes of that tender enjoyment, which never fails
to attend an accommodation betwixt two lovers of taste and sensibility.
Though the consciousness of his trespass encumbered him with an air of
awkward confusion, he was too confident of his own qualifications and
address to despair of forgiveness; and, by that time he arrived at the
citizen's gate, he had conned a very artful and pathetic harangue, which
he proposed to utter in his own behalf, laying the blame of his conduct
on the impetuosity of his passion, increased by the burgundy which he
had too liberally drunk; but he did not meet with an opportunity to
avail himself of this preparation. Emilia, suspecting that he would
take some step of this kind to retrieve her favour, had gone abroad
on pretence of visiting, after having signified to her kinsman her
resolution to avoid the company of Peregrine, on account of some
ambiguities which, she said, were last night remarkable in his demeanour
at the masquerade. She chose to insinuate her suspicion in these hints,
rather than give an explicit detail of the young man's dishonourable
contrivance, which might have kindled the resentment of the family to
some dangerous pitch of animosity and revenge.

Our adventurer, finding himself baffled in his expectation of seeing
her, inquired for the old gentleman, with whom he thought he had
influence enough to make his apology good, in case he should find
him prepossessed by the young lady's information. But here too he was
disappointed, the uncle having gone to dine in the country, and his wife
was indisposed; so that he had no pretext for staying in the house till
the return of his charmer. Being, however, fruitful of expedients, he
dismissed his chariot, and took possession of a room in a tavern, the
windows of which fronted the merchant's gate; and there he proposed to
watch until he should see her approach. This scheme he put in practice
with indefatigable patience, though it was not attended with the
expected success.

Emilia, whose caution was equally vigilant and commendable, foreseeing
that she might be exposed to the fertility of his invention, came home
by a private passage, and entered by a postern, which was altogether
unknown to her admirer; and her uncle did not arrive until it was so
late that he could not, with any decency, demand a conference.

Next morning, he did not fail to present himself at the door, and his
mistress being denied by her own express direction, insisted upon
seeing the master of the house, who received him with such coldness of
civility, as plainly gave him to understand that he was acquainted with
the displeasure of his niece. He, therefore, with an air of candour,
told the citizen, he could easily perceive by his behaviour that he was
the confidant of Miss Emily, of whom he was come to ask pardon for the
offence he had given; and did not doubt, if he could be admitted to her
presence, that he should be able to convince her that he had not erred
intentionally, or at least propose such reparation as would effectually
atone for his fault.

To this remonstrance the merchant, without any ceremony or
circumlocution, answered, that though he was ignorant of the nature of
his offence, he was very certain, that it must have been something
very flagrant that could irritate his niece to such a degree, against a
person for whom she had formerly a most particular regard. He owned, she
had declared her intention to renounce his acquaintance for ever, and,
doubtless, she had good reason for so doing; neither would he undertake
to promote an accommodation, unless he would give him full power to
treat on the score of matrimony, which he supposed would be the only
means of evincing his own sincerity, and obtaining Emilia's forgiveness.
Peregrine's pride was kindled by this blunt declaration, which he could
not help considering as the result of a scheme concerted betwixt the
young lady and her uncle, in order to take advantage of his heat. He
therefore replied, with manifest signs of disgust, that he did not
apprehend there was any occasion for a mediator to reconcile the
difference betwixt Emilia and him; and that all he desired was an
opportunity of pleading in his own behalf. The citizen frankly told
him, that, as his niece had expressed an earnest desire of avoiding his
company, he would not put the least constraint upon her inclination;
and, in the meantime, gave him to know, that he was particularly
engaged. Our hero, glowing with indignation at this supercilious
treatment, "I was in the wrong," said he, "to look for good manners so
far on this side of Temple-bar; but you must give me leave to tell you,
sir, that unless I am favoured with an interview with Miss Gauntlet,
I shall conclude that you have actually laid a constraint upon her
inclination, for some sinister purposes of your own."--"Sir," replied
the old gentleman, "you are welcome to make what conclusions shall seem
good unto your own imagination; but pray be so good as to allow me
the privilege of being master in my own house." So saying, he very
complaisantly showed him to the door; and our lover being diffident of
his own temper, as well as afraid of being used with greater indignity,
in a place where his personal prowess would only serve to heighten his
disgrace, quitted the house in a transport of rage, which he could not
wholly suppress, telling the landlord, that if his age did not protect
him, he would have chastised him for his insolent behaviour.



CHAPTER LXXVIII.



He projects a violent Scheme, in consequence of which he is involved in
a most fatiguing Adventure, which greatly tends towards the Augmentation
of his Chagrin.


Thus debarred of personal communication with his mistress, he essayed
to retrieve her good graces by the most submissive and pathetic letters,
which he conveyed by divers artifices to her perusal; but, reaping no
manner of benefit from these endeavours, his passion acquired a degree
of impatience little inferior to downright frenzy; and he determined to
run every risk of life, fortune, and reputation, rather than desist
from his unjustifiable pursuit. Indeed, his resentment was now as deeply
concerned as his love, and each of these passions equally turbulent and
loud in demanding gratification. He kept sentinels continually in pay,
to give him notice of her outgoings, in expectation of finding some
opportunity to carry her off; but her circumspection entirely
frustrated this design, for she suspected everything of that sort from a
disposition like his, and regulated her motions accordingly.

Baffled by her prudence and penetration, he altered his plan. On
pretence of being called to his country house by some affair of
importance, he departed from London, and, taking lodgings at a farmer's
house that stood near the road through which she must have necessarily
passed in her return to her mother, concealed himself from all
intercourse, except with his valet-de-chambre and Pipes, who had orders
to scour the country, and reconnoitre every horse, coach, or carriage,
that should appear on that highway, with a view of intercepting his
Emilia in her passage.

He had waited in this ambuscade a whole week, when his valet gave him
notice, that he and his fellow-scout had discovered a chaise-and-six,
driving at full speed towards them; upon which they had flapped their
hats over their eyes, so as they might not be known, in case they should
be seen, and concealed themselves behind a hedge, from whence they could
perceive in the carriage, as it passed, a young man plainly dressed,
with a lady in a mask, of the exact size, shape, and air of Emilia;
and that Pipes followed them at a distance, while he rode back to
communicate this piece of intelligence.

Peregrine would scarce allow him time to conclude his information. He
ran down to the stable, where his horse was kept ready saddled for the
purpose, and, never doubting that the lady in question was his mistress,
attended by one of her uncle's clerks, mounted immediately, and rode
full gallop after the chaise, which, when he had proceeded about two
miles, he understood from Pipes, had put up at a neighbouring inn.
Though his inclination prompted him to enter her apartment without
further delay, he suffered himself to be dissuaded from taking such a
precipitate step, by his privy counsellor, who observed, that it would
be impracticable to execute his purpose of conveying her against her
will from a public inn, that stood in the midst of a populous village,
which would infallibly rise in her defence. He advised him therefore to
be in wait for the chaise, in some remote and private part of the road,
where they might accomplish their aim without difficulty or danger.
In consequence of this admonition our adventurer ordered Pipes to
reconnoitre the inn, that she might not escape another way, while he
and the valet, in order to avoid being seen, took a circuit by an
unfrequented path, and placed themselves in ambush, on a spot which they
chose for the scene of their achievement. Here they tarried a full hour,
without seeing the carriage, or hearing from their sentinel. So that
the youth, unable to exert his patience one moment longer, left the
foreigner in his station, and rode back to his faithful lacquey, who
assured him, that the travellers had not yet hove up their anchor, or
proceeded on their voyage.

Notwithstanding this information, Pickle began to entertain such
alarming suspicions, that he could not refrain from advancing to
the gate, and inquire for the company which had lately arrived in a
chaise-and-six. The innkeeper, who was not at all pleased with the
behaviour of those passengers, did not think proper to observe the
instructions he had received: on the contrary, he plainly told him, that
the chaise did not halt, but only entered at one door, and went out at
the other, with a view to deceive those who pursued it, as he guessed
from the words of the gentleman, who had earnestly desired that his
route might be concealed from any person who should inquire about their
motions. "As for my own peart, measter," continued this charitable
publican, "I believes as how they are no better than they should
be, else they wouldn't be in such a deadly fear of being overtaken.
Methinks, said I, when I saw them in such a woundy pother to be gone,
oddsheartlikins! this must be some London 'prentice running away with
his measter's daughter, as sure as I'm a living soul. But, be he who he
will, sartain it is, a has nothing of the gentleman about en; for, thof
a asked such a favour, a never once put hand in pocket, or said, 'Dog,
will you drink?' Howsomever, that don't argufy in reverence of his being
in a hurry; and a man may be sometimes a little too judgmatical in his
conjectures." In all probability, this loquacious landlord would have
served the travellers effectually, had Peregrine heard him to an end;
but this impetuous youth, far from listening to the sequel of his
observations, interrupted him in the beginning of his career, by asking
eagerly which road they followed; and, having received the innkeeper's
directions, clapped spurs to his horse, commanding Pipes to make the
valet acquainted with the course, that they might attend him with all
imaginable despatch.

By the publican's account of their conduct, his former opinion was fully
confirmed. He plied his steed to the height of his mettle; and so much
was his imagination engrossed by the prospect of having Emilia in his
power, that he did not perceive the road on which he travelled was quite
different from that which led to the habitation of Mrs. Gauntlet. The
valet-de-chambre was an utter stranger to that part of the country; and,
as for Mr. Pipes, such considerations were altogether foreign to the
economy of his reflection.

Ten long miles had our hero rode, when his eyes were blessed with the
sight of the chaise ascending an hill, at the distance of a good league;
upon which he doubled his diligence in such a manner, that he gained
upon the carriage every minute, and at length approached so near to
it, that he could discern the lady and her conductor, with their heads
thrust out at the windows, looking back, and speaking to the driver
alternately, as if they earnestly besought him to augment the speed of
his cattle.

Being thus, as it were, in sight of port, while he crossed the road, his
horse happened to plunge into a cart-rut with such violence, that he
was thrown several yards over his head; and, the beast's shoulder being
slipped by the fall, he found himself disabled from plucking the fruit,
which was almost within his reach; for he had left his servants at a
considerable distance behind him; and although they had been at his
back, and supplied him with another horse, they were so indifferently
mounted, that he could not reasonably expect to overtake the flyers, who
profited so much by this disaster that the chaise vanished in a moment.

It may be easily conceived how a young man of his disposition passed his
time, in this tantalizing situation. He ejaculated with great fervency;
but his prayers were not the effects of resignation. He ran back
on foot, with incredible speed, in order to meet his valet, whom he
unhorsed in a twinkling, and, taking his seat, began to exercise his
whip and spurs, after having ordered the Swiss to follow him on the
other gelding, and committed the lame hunter to the care of Pipes.

Matters being adjusted in this manner, our adventurer prosecuted the
race with all his might; and, having made some progress, was informed
by a countryman, that the chaise had struck off into another road, and,
according to his judgment, was by that time about three miles ahead;
though, in all probability, the horses would not be able to hold out
much longer, because they seemed to be quite spent when they passed
his door. Encouraged by this intimation, Peregrine pushed on with great
alacrity, though he could not regain sight of the desired object, till
the clouds of night began to deepen, and even then he enjoyed nothing
more than a transient glimpse; for the carriage was no sooner seen, than
shrouded again from his view. These vexatious circumstances animated his
endeavours, while they irritated his chagrin. In short, he continued his
pursuit, till the night was far advanced, and himself so uncertain about
the object of his care, that he entered a solitary inn, with a view of
obtaining some intelligence, when, to his infinite joy, he perceived the
chaise standing by itself, and the horses panting in the yard.

In full confidence of his having arrived at last at the goal of all his
wishes, he alighted instantaneously, and, running up to the coachman,
with a pistol in his hand, commanded him, in an imperious tone, to
conduct him to the lady's chamber, on pain of death. The driver,
affrighted at this menacing address, protested, with great humility,
that he did not know whither his fare had retired; for that he himself
was paid and dismissed from the service, because he would not undertake
to drive them all night across the country without stopping to refresh
his horses. But he promised to go in quest of the waiter, who would
show him to their apartment. He was accordingly detached on that errand,
while our hero stood sentinel at the gate, till the arrival of his
valet-de-chambre, who, joining him by accident, before the coachman
returned, relieved him in his watch; and then the young gentleman,
exasperated at his messenger's delay, rushed, with fury in his eyes,
from room to room, denouncing vengeance upon the whole family; but he
did not meet with one living soul, until he entered the garret, where he
found the landlord and his wife in bed. This chicken-hearted couple, by
the light of a rush candle that burned on the hearth, seeing a stranger
burst into the chamber, in such a terrible attitude, were seized with
consternation; and, exalting their voices, in a most lamentable strain,
begged, for the passion of Christ, that he would spare their lives, and
take all they had.

Peregrine guessing, from this exclamation, and the circumstance of their
being abed, that they mistook him for a robber, and were ignorant of
that which he wanted to know, dispelled their terror, by making them
acquainted with the cause of his visit, and desired the husband to get
up with all possible despatch, in order to assist and attend him in his
search.

Thus reinforced, he rummaged every corner of the inn, and at last,
finding the hostler in the stable, was by him informed, to his
unspeakable mortification, that the gentleman and lady who arrived in
the chaise, had immediately hired post-horses for a certain village
at the distance of fifteen miles, and departed without halting for the
least refreshment. Our adventurer, mad with his disappointment, mounted
his horse in an instant, and, with his attendant, took the same road,
with full determination to die, rather than desist from the prosecution
of his design. He had, by this time, rode upwards of thirty miles, since
three o'clock in the afternoon; so that the horses were almost quite
jaded, and travelled this stage so slowly, that it was morning before
they reached the place of their destination, where, far from finding the
fugitives, he understood that no such persons as he described had passed
that way, and that, in all likelihood, they had taken a quite contrary
direction, while in order to mislead him in his pursuit, they had amused
the hostler with a false route. This conjecture was strengthened by his
perceiving, now for the first time, that he had deviated a considerable
way from the road, through which they must have journeyed, in order to
arrive at the place of her mother's residence; and these suggestions
utterly deprived him of the small remains of recollection which he
had hitherto retained. His eyes rolled about, witnessing rage and
distraction; he foamed at the mouth, stamped upon the ground with
great violence, uttered incoherent imprecations against himself and all
mankind, and would have sallied forth again, he knew not whither, upon
the same horse, which he had already almost killed with fatigue, had
not his confidant found means to quiet the tumult of his thoughts,
and recall his reflection, by representing the condition of the poor
animals, and advising him to hire fresh horses, and ride post across
the country, to the village in the neighbourhood of Mrs. Gauntlet's
habitation, where they should infallibly intercept the daughter,
provided they could get the start of her upon the road.

Peregrine not only relished, but forthwith acted in conformity with
this good counsel. His own horses were committed to the charge of the
landlord, with directions for Pipes, in case he should come in quest of
his master: and, a couple of stout geldings being prepared, he and
his valet took the road again, steering their course according to the
motions of the post-boy, who undertook to be their guide. They had
almost finished the first stage, when they descried a post-chaise just
halting at the inn where they proposed to change horses; upon which our
adventurer, glowing with a most interesting presage, put his beast
to the full speed, and approached near enough to distinguish, as the
travellers quitted the carriage, that he had at last come up with the
very individual persons whom he had pursued so long.

Flushed with this discovery, he galloped into the yard so suddenly, that
the lady and her conductor scarce had time to shut themselves up in a
chamber, to which they retreated with great precipitation; so that
the pursuer was now certain of having housed his prey. That he might,
however, leave nothing to fortune, he placed himself upon the stair by
which they had ascended to the apartment, and sent up his compliments to
the young lady, desiring the favour of being admitted to her presence,
otherwise he should be obliged to waive all ceremony, and take that
liberty which she would not give. The servant, having conveyed his
message through the keyhole, returned with an answer, importing that she
would adhere to the resolution she had taken, and perish, rather than
comply with his will. Our adventurer, without staying to make any
rejoinder to this reply, ran upstairs, and, thundering at the door
for entrance, was given to understand by the nymph's attendant, that
a blunderbuss was ready primed for his reception, and that he would do
well to spare him the necessity of shedding blood in defence of a person
who had put herself under his protection. "All the laws of the land,"
said he, "cannot now untie the knots by which we are bound together; and
therefore I will guard her as my own property; so that you had better
desist from your fruitless attempt, and thereby consult your own safety;
for, by the God that made me! I will discharge my piece upon you, as
soon as you set your nose within the door; and your blood be upon your
own head."

These menaces, from a citizen's clerk, would have been sufficient
motives for Pickle to storm the breach, although they had not been
reinforced by that declaration, which informed him of Emilia's having
bestowed herself in marriage upon such a contemptible rival. This sole
consideration added wings to his impetuosity, and he applied his foot to
the door with such irresistible force, as burst it open in an instant,
entering at the same time with a pistol ready cocked in his hand. His
antagonist, instead of firing his blunderbuss, when he saw him
approach, started back with evident signs of surprise and consternation,
exclaiming, "Lord Jesus! Sir, you are not the man! and, without doubt,
are under some mistake with regard to us." Before Peregrine had time
to answer this salutation, the lady, hearing it, advanced to him, and,
pulling off a mask, discovered a face which he had never seen before.
The Gorgon's head, according to the fables of antiquity, never had
a more instantaneous or petrifying effect, than that which this
countenance produced upon the astonished youth. His eyes were fixed
upon this unknown object, as if they had been attracted by the power of
enchantment, his feet seemed riveted to the ground, and, after having
stood motionless for the space of a few minutes, he dropped down in an
apoplexy of disappointment and despair. The Swiss, who had followed him,
seeing his master in this condition, lifted him up, and, laying him upon
a bed in the next room, let him blood immediately, without hesitation,
being always provided with a case of lancets, against all accidents on
the road. To this foresight our hero, in all probability, was indebted
for his life. By virtue of a very copious evacuation, he recovered
the use of his senses; but the complication of fatigues and violent
transports, which he had undergone, brewed up a dangerous fever in his
blood; and, a physician being called from the next market-town, several
days elapsed before he would answer for his life.



CHAPTER LXXIX.



Peregrine sends a Message to Mrs. Gauntlet, who rejects his Proposal--He
repairs to the Garrison.


At length, however, his constitution overcame his disease, though not
before it had in a great measure tamed the fury of his disposition,
and brought him to a serious consideration of his conduct. In this
humiliation of his spirits, he reflected with shame and remorse upon
his treachery to the fair, the innocent Emilia; he remembered his former
sentiments in her favour, as well as the injunctions of his dying uncle;
he recollected his intimacy with her brother, against which he had so
basely sinned; and, revolving all the circumstances of her conduct,
found it so commendable, spirited, and noble, that he deemed her an
object of sufficient dignity to merit his honourable addresses, even
though his duty had not been concerned in this decision. But, obligated
as he was to make reparation to a worthy family, which he had so grossly
injured, he thought he could not manifest his reformation too soon; and,
whenever he found himself able to hold a pen, wrote a letter to Mrs.
Gauntlet, wherein he acknowledged, with many expressions of sorrow and
contrition, that he had acted a part altogether unbecoming a man of
honour, and should never enjoy the least tranquility of mind, until he
should have merited her forgiveness. He protested, that, although his
happiness entirely depended upon the determination of Emilia, he would
even renounce all hope of being blessed with her favour, if she could
point out any other method of making reparation to that amiable young
lady, but by laying his heart and fortune at her feet, and submitting
himself to her pleasure during the remaining part of his life. He
conjured her, therefore, in the most pathetic manner, to pardon him,
in consideration of his sincere repentance, and to use her maternal
influence with her daughter, so as that he might be permitted to wait
upon her with a wedding ring, as soon as his health would allow him to
undertake the journey.

This explanation being despatched by Pipes, who had, by this time, found
his master, the young gentleman inquired about the couple whom he had
so unfortunately pursued, and understood from his valet-de-chambre,
who learned the story from their own mouths, that the lady was the only
daughter of a rich Jew, and her attendant no other than his apprentice,
who had converted her to Christianity, and married her at the same time;
that this secret having taken air, the old Israelite had contrived
a scheme to separate them for ever; and they being apprised of his
intention, had found means to elope from his house, with a view of
sheltering themselves in France, until the affair could be made up;
that, seeing three men ride after them with such eagerness, they
never doubted that the pursuers were her father, and some friends, or
domestics, and on that supposition had fled with the utmost despatch and
trepidation, until they had found themselves happily undeceived, at that
very instant when they expected nothing but mischief and misfortune.
Lastly, the Swiss gave him to understand, that, after having professed
some concern for his deplorable situation, and enjoyed a slight
refreshment, they had taken their departure for Dover, and, in all
likelihood, were safely arrived at Paris.

In four-and-twenty hours after Pipes was charged with his commission,
he brought back an answer from the mother of Emilia, couched in these
words:--

     Sir,--I received the favour of yours, and am glad, for your
     own sake, that you have attained a due sense and conviction
     of your unkind and unchristian behaviour to poor Emy. I thank
     God, none of my children were ever so insulted before. Give
     me leave to tell you, sir, my daughter was no upstart, without
     friends or education, but a young lady, as well bred, and
     better born, than most private gentlewomen in the kingdom;
     and therefore, though you had no esteem for her person, you
     ought to have paid some regard to her family, which, no
     disparagement to you, sir, is more honourable than your own.
     As for your proposal, Miss Gauntlet will not hear of it,
     being that she thinks her honour will not allow her to listen
     to any terms of reconciliation; and she is not yet so
     destitute as to embrace an offer to which she has the least
     objection. In the meantime, she is so much indisposed, that
     she cannot possibly see company; so I beg you will not take
     the trouble of making a fruitless journey to this place.
     Perhaps your future conduct may deserve her forgiveness,
     and really, as I am concerned for your happiness, which you
     assure me depends upon her condescension, I wish with all my
     heart it may; and am, notwithstanding all that has happened,
     your sincere well-wisher.             "Cecilia Gauntlet."

From this epistle, and the information of his messenger, our hero
learned, that his mistress had actually profited by his wild-goose
chase, so as to make a safe retreat to her mother's house. Though sorry
to hear of her indisposition, he was also piqued at her implacability,
as well as at some stately paragraphs of the letter, in which, he
thought, the good lady had consulted her own vanity, rather than
her good sense. These motives of resentment helped him to bear his
disappointment like a philosopher, especially as he had now quieted
his conscience, in proffering to redress the injury he had done; and,
moreover, found himself, with regard to his love, in a calm state of
hope and resignation.

A seasonable fit of illness is an excellent medicine for the turbulence
of passion. Such a reformation had the fever produced on the economy of
his thoughts, that he moralized like an apostle, and projected several
prudential schemes for his future conduct. In the meantime, as soon
as his health was sufficiently re-established, he took a trip to the
garrison, in order to visit his friends; and learned from Hatchway's own
mouth, that he had broke the ice of courtship to his aunt, and that his
addresses were now fairly afloat; though, when he first declared himself
to the widow, after she had been duly prepared for the occasion, by her
niece and the rest of her friends, she had received his proposal with
a becoming reserve, and piously wept at the remembrance of her husband,
observing, that she should never meet with his fellow.

Peregrine promoted the lieutenant's suit with all his influence, and
all Mrs. Trunnion's objections to the match being surmounted, it was
determined, that the day of marriage should be put off for three months,
that her reputation might not suffer by a precipitate engagement. His
next care was to give orders for erecting a plain marble monument to the
memory of his uncle, on which the following inscription, composed by the
bridegroom, actually appeared in golden letters:

                     Here lies,
             Foundered in a fathom and half,
                     The shell
                         Of
                 HAWSER TRUNNION, Esq.
            Formerly commander of a squadron
               In his Majesty's service,
          Who broached to, at five P.M. Oct. 10,
      In the year of his age threescore and nineteen.

            He kept his guns always loaded,
             And his tackle ready mann'd,
        And never showed his poop to the enemy,
            Except when he took her in tow;
    But, His shot being expended, His match burnt out,
             And his upper works decayed,
    He was sunk by Death's superior weight of metal.

                     Nevertheless,
       He will be weighed again at the Great Day,
      His rigging refitted, And his timbers repaired;
                And, with one broadside,
          Make his adversary strike in his turn.



CHAPTER LXXX.



He returns to London, and meets with Cadwallader, who entertains
him with many curious Particulars--Crabtree sounds the Duchess, and
undeceives Pickle, who, by an extraordinary Accident, becomes acquainted
with another Lady of Quality.


The young gentleman having performed these last offices in honour of
his deceased benefactor, and presented Mr. Jolter to the long-expected
living, which at this time happened to be vacant, returned to London,
and resumed his former gaiety: not that he was able to shake Emilia from
his thought, or even to remember her without violent emotions; for, as
he recovered his vigour, his former impatience recurred, and therefore
he resolved to plunge himself headlong into some intrigue, that might
engage his passions and amuse his imagination.

A man of his accomplishments could not fail to meet with a variety of
subjects on which his gallantry would have been properly exercised; and
this abundance distracted his choice, which at any time was apt to be
influenced by caprice and whim. I have already observed, that he had
lifted his view, through a matrimonial perspective, as high as a lady of
the first quality and distinction: and now, that he was refused by Miss
Gauntlet, and enjoyed a little respite from the agonies of that flame
which her charms had kindled in his heart, he renewed his assiduities to
her grace. Though he durst not yet risk an explanation, he enjoyed the
pleasure of seeing himself so well received in quality of a particular
acquaintance, that he flattered himself with the belief of his having
made some progress in her heart; and was confirmed in this conceited
notion by the assurances of her woman, whom, by liberal largesses, he
retained in his interest, because she found means to persuade him
that she was in the confidence of her lady. But, notwithstanding this
encouragement, and the sanguine suggestions of his own vanity, he
dreaded the thoughts of exposing himself to her ridicule and resentment
by a premature declaration and determined to postpone his addresses,
until he should be more certified of the probability of succeeding in
his attempt.

While he remained in this hesitation and suspense, he was one morning
very agreeably surprised with the appearance of his friend Crabtree,
who, by the permission of Pipes, to whom he was well known, entered his
chamber before he was awake, and, by a violent shake of the shoulder,
disengaged him from the arms of sleep. The first compliments having
mutually passed, Cadwallader gave him to understand, that he had arrived
in town overnight in the stage-coach from Bath, and entertained him with
such a ludicrous account of his fellow-travellers, that Peregrine, for
the first time since their parting, indulged himself in mirth, even to
the hazard of suffocation.

Crabtree, having rehearsed these adventures, in such a peculiarity of
manner as added infinite ridicule to every circumstance, and repeated
every scandalous report which had circulated at Bath, after Peregrine's
departure, was informed by the youth, that he harboured a design upon
the person of such a duchess, and in all appearance had no reason to
complain of his reception; but that he would not venture to declare
himself, until he should be more ascertained of her sentiments; and
therefore he begged leave to depend upon the intelligence of his friend
Cadwallader, who, he knew, was admitted to her parties.

The misanthrope, before he would promise his assistance, asked if his
prospect verged towards matrimony; and our adventurer, who guessed the
meaning of his question, replying in the negative, he undertook the
office of reconnoitring her inclination, protesting at the same time,
that he would never concern himself in any scheme that did not tend
to the disgrace and deception of all the sex. On these conditions he
espoused the interest of our hero; and a plan was immediately concerted,
in consequence of which they met by accident at her grace's table.
Pickle having staid all the forepart of the evening, and sat out all the
company, except the misanthrope and a certain widow lady who was said
to be in the secrets of my lady duchess, went away on pretence of an
indispensable engagement, that Crabtree might have a proper opportunity
of making him the subject of conversation.

Accordingly, he had scarce quitted the apartment, when this cynic,
attending him to the door with a look of morose disdain, "Were I an
absolute prince," said he, "and that fellow one of my subjects, I would
order him to be clothed in sackcloth, and he should drive my asses
to water, that his lofty spirit might be lowered to the level of his
deserts. The pride of a peacock is downright self-denial, when compared
with the vanity of that coxcomb, which was naturally arrogant, but is
now rendered altogether intolerable, by the reputation he acquired at
Bath, for kicking a bully, outwitting a club of raw sharpers, and divers
other pranks, in the execution of which he was more lucky than wise.
But nothing has contributed so much to the increase of his insolence and
self-conceit, as the favour he found among the ladies; ay, the ladies,
madam: I care not who knows it: the ladies, who, to their honour be it
spoken, never fail to patronize foppery and folly, provided they solicit
their encouragement. And yet this dog was not on the footing of those
hermaphroditical animals, who may be reckoned among the number of
waiting-women, who air your shifts, comb your lap-dogs, examine your
noses with magnifying glasses, in order to squeeze out the worms, clean
your tooth-brushes, sweeten your handkerchiefs, and soften waste
paper for your occasions. This fellow Pickle was entertained for more
important purposes; his turn of duty never came till all those lapwings
were gone to roost; then he scaled windows, leaped over garden walls,
and was let in by Mrs. Betty in the dark. Nay, the magistrates of Bath
complimented him with the freedom of the corporation, merely because,
through his means, the waters had gained extraordinary credit; for every
female of a tolerable appearance, that went thither on account of her
sterility, got the better of her complaint, during his residence at
Bath. And now the fellow thinks no woman can withstand his addresses.
He had not been here three minutes, when I could perceive, with half
an eye, that he had marked out your grace for a conquest,--I mean in
an honourable way; though the rascal has impudence enough to attempt
anything."

So saying, he fixed his eyes upon the duchess, who, while her face
glowed with indignation, turning to her confidant, expressed herself in
these words: "Upon my life! I believe there is actually some truth in
what this old ruffian says; I have myself observed that young fellow
eyeing me with a very particular stare."--"It is not to be at all
wondered at," said her friend, "that a youth of his complexion should
be sensible to the charms of your grace! but I dare say he would
not presume to entertain any but the most honourable and respectful
sentiments."--"Respectful sentiments!" cried my lady, with a look of
ineffable disdain; "if I thought the fellow had assurance enough to
think of me in any shape, I protest I would forbid him my house. Upon my
honour, such instances of audacity should induce persons of quality to
keep your small gentry at a greater distance; for they are very apt to
grow impudent, upon the least countenance or encouragement."

Cadwallader, satisfied with this declaration, changed the subject of
discourse, and next day communicated his discovery to his friend Pickle,
who upon this occasion felt the most stinging sensations of mortified
pride, and resolved to quit his prospect with a good grace. Nor did the
execution of this self-denying scheme cost him one moment's uneasiness;
for his heart had never been interested in the pursuit, and his vanity
triumphed in the thoughts of manifesting his indifference. Accordingly,
the very next time he visited her grace, his behaviour was remarkably
frank, sprightly and disengaged; and the subject of love being
artfully introduced by the widow, who had been directed to sound his
inclinations, he rallied the passion with great ease and severity and
made no scruple of declaring himself heart-whole. Though the duchess
had resented his supposed affection, she was now offended at his
insensibility, and even signified her disgust, by observing, that
perhaps his attention to his own qualifications screened him from the
impression of all other objects.

While he enjoyed this sarcasm, the meaning of which he could plainly
discern, the company was joined by a certain virtuoso, who had gained
free access to all the great families of the land, by his noble talent
of gossiping and buffoonery. He was now in the seventy-fifth year of his
age; his birth was so obscure, that he scarce knew his father's name;
his education suitable to the dignity of his descent; his character
publicly branded with homicide, profligacy, and breach of trust; yet
this man, by the happy inheritance of impregnable effrontery, and a
lucky prostitution of all principle in rendering himself subservient to
the appetites of the great, had attained to an independency of fortune,
as well as to such a particular share of favour among the quality, that,
although he was well known to have pimped for three generations of the
nobility, there was not a lady of fashion in the kingdom who scrupled to
admit him to her toilette, or even to be squired by him in any place of
public entertainment. Not but that this sage was occasionally useful to
his fellow-creatures, by these connections with people of fortune; for
he often undertook to solicit charity in behalf of distressed objects,
with a view of embezzling one-half of the benefactions. It was an errand
of this kind that now brought him to the house of her grace.

After having sat a few minutes, he told the company that he would favour
them with a very proper opportunity to extend their benevolence, for the
relief of a poor gentlewoman, who was reduced to the most abject misery,
by the death of her husband, and just delivered of a couple of fine
boys: they, moreover, understood from his information, that this object
was daughter of a good family, who had renounced her in consequence
of her marrying an ensign without a fortune; and even obstructed
his promotion with all their influence and power; a circumstance of
barbarity which had made such an impression upon his mind, as disordered
his brain, and drove him to despair, in a fit of which he had made away
with himself, leaving his wife, then big with child, to all the horrors
of indigence and grief.

Various were the criticisms on this pathetic picture, which the old man
drew with great expression. My lady duchess concluded that she must be
a creature void of all feeling and reflection, who could survive such
aggravated misery, therefore did not deserve to be relieved, except in
the character of a common beggar; and was generous enough to offer a
recommendation, by which she would be admitted into an infirmary,
to which her grace was a subscriber; at the same time advising the
solicitor to send the twins to the Foundling Hospital, where they could
be carefully nursed and brought up, so as to become useful members to
the commonwealth. Another lady, with all due deference to the opinion of
the duchess, was free enough to blame the generosity of her grace, which
would only serve to encourage children in disobedience to their parents,
and might be the means not only of prolonging the distress of the
wretched creature, but also of ruining the constitution of some young
heir, perhaps the hope of a great family; for she did suppose that
madam, when her month should be up, and her brats disposed of, would
spread her attractions to the public, provided she could profit by her
person, and, in the usual way, make a regular progress from St. James's
to Drury Lane. She apprehended, for these reasons, that their compassion
would be most effectually shown, in leaving her to perish in her present
necessity; and that the old gentleman would be unpardonable, should
he persist in his endeavours to relieve her. A third member of this
tender-hearted society, after having asked if the young woman was
handsome, and being answered in the negative, allowed that there was a
great deal of reason in what had been said by the honourable person who
had spoke last; nevertheless, she humbly conceived her sentence would
admit of some mitigation. "Let the bantlings," said she, "be sent to the
hospital, according to the advice of her grace, and a small collection
be made for the present support of the mother; and, when her health
is recovered, I will take her into my family, in quality of an upper
servant, or medium between me and my woman; for, upon my life! I can't
endure to chide or give directions to a creature, who is, in point of
birth and education, but one degree above the vulgar."

This proposal met with universal approbation. The duchess, to her
immortal honour, began the contribution with a crown; so that the rest
of the company were obliged to restrict their liberality to half the
sum, that her grace might not be affronted. And the proposer, demanding
the poor woman's name and place of abode, the old mediator could not
help giving her ladyship a verbal direction, though he was extremely
mortified, on more accounts than one, to find such an issue to his
solicitation.

Peregrine, who, "though humorous as winter, had a tear for pity, and
a hand open as day for melting charity," was shocked at the nature and
result of this ungenerous consultation. He contributed his half-crown,
however, and, retiring from the company, betook himself to the lodgings
of the forlorn lady in the straw, according to the direction he had
heard. Upon inquiry, he understood that she was then visited by some
charitable gentlewoman, who had sent for a nurse, and waited the return
of the messenger; and he sent up his respects, desiring he might be
permitted to see her, on pretence of having been intimate with her late
husband.

Though the poor woman had never heard of his name, she did not think
proper to deny his request; and he was conducted to a paltry chamber
in the third story, where he found this unhappy widow sitting upon a
truckle-bed, and suckling one of her infants, with the most piteous
expression of anguish in her features, which were naturally regular
and sweet, while the other was fondled on the knee of a person, whose
attention was so much engrossed by her little charge, that, for the
present, she could mind nothing else; and it was not till after the
first compliments passed betwixt the hapless mother and our adventurer,
that he perceived the stranger's countenance, which inspired him with
the highest esteem and admiration. He beheld all the graces of elegance
and beauty, breathing sentiment and beneficence, and softened into the
most enchanting tenderness of weeping sympathy. When he declared the
cause of his visit, which was no other than the desire of befriending
the distressed lady, to whom he presented a bank-note for twenty pounds,
he was favoured with such a look of complacency by this amiable phantom,
who might have been justly taken for an angel ministering to the
necessities of mortals, that his whole soul was transported with love
and veneration. Nor was this prepossession diminished by the information
of the widow, who, after having manifested her gratitude in a flood of
tears, told him, that the unknown object of his esteem was a person of
honour, who having heard by accident of her deplorable situation, had
immediately obeyed the dictates of her humanity, and come in person to
relieve her distress; that she had not only generously supplied her with
money for present sustenance, but also undertaken to provide a nurse for
her babes, and even promised to favour her with protection, should
she survive her present melancholy situation. To these articles of
intelligence she added, that the name of her benefactress was the
celebrated Lady --, to whose character the youth was no stranger, though
he had never seen her person before. The killing edge of her charms was
a little blunted by the accidents of time and fortune; but no man of
taste and imagination, whose nerves were not quite chilled with the
frost of age, could, even at that time, look upon her with impunity.
And as Peregrine saw her attractions heightened by the tender office in
which she was engaged, he was smitten with her beauty, and so ravished
with her compassion, that he could not suppress his emotions, but
applauded her benevolence with all the warmth of enthusiasm.

Her ladyship received his compliments with great politeness and
affability. And the occasion on which they met being equally interesting
to both, an acquaintance commenced between them, and they concerted
measures for the benefit of the widow and her two children, one of whom
our hero bespoke for his own godson; for Pickle was not so obscure in
the beau monde, but that his fame had reached the ears of this lady,
who, therefore, did not discourage his advances towards her friendship
and esteem. All the particulars relating to their charge being adjusted,
he attended her ladyship to her own house; and, by her conversation,
had the pleasure of finding her understanding suitable to her other
accomplishments. Nor had she any reason to think that our hero's
qualifications had been exaggerated by common report.

One of their adopted children died before it was baptized; so that
their care concentred in the other, for whom they stood sponsors.
Understanding that the old agent was becoming troublesome in his visits
to the mother, to whom he now began to administer such counsel as
shocked the delicacy of her virtue, they removed her into another
lodging, where she would not be exposed to his machinations. In less
than a month, our hero learned from a nobleman of his acquaintance,
that the hoary pander had actually engaged to procure for him this
poor afflicted gentlewoman; and, being frustrated in his intention,
substituted in her room a nymph from the purlieus of Covent Garden, that
made his lordship smart severely for the favours she bestowed.

Meanwhile, Peregrine cultivated his new acquaintance with all his art
and assiduity, presuming, from the circumstances of her reputation and
fate, as well as on the strength of his own merit, that, in time, he
should be able to indulge that passion which had begun to glow within
his breast. As her ladyship had undergone a vast variety of fortune
and adventure, which he had heard indistinctly related, with numberless
errors and misrepresentations, he was no sooner entitled, by the
familiarity of communication, to ask such a favour, than he earnestly
entreated her to entertain him with the particulars of her story; and,
by dint of importunity, she was at length prevailed upon, in a select
party, to gratify his curiosity, by the account given in the following
chapter.



CHAPTER LXXXI.



The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality.


"By the circumstances of the story which I am going to relate, you will
be convinced of my candour, while you are informed of my indiscretion.
You will be enabled, I hope, to perceive, that, howsoever my head may
have erred, my heart hath always been uncorrupted, and that I have been
unhappy, because I loved, and was a woman.

"I believe I need not observe, that I was the only child of a man of
good fortune, who indulged me in my infancy with all the tenderness of
paternal affection; and, when I was six years old, sent me to a private
school, where I stayed till my age was doubled, and became such a
favourite, that I was, even in those early days, carried to all the
places of public diversion, the court itself not excepted, an indulgence
that flattered my love of pleasure, to which I was naturally addicted,
and encouraged those ideas of vanity and ambition which spring up so
early in the human mind.

"I was lively and good-natured, my imagination apt to run riot, my heart
liberal and disinterested, though I was so obstinately attached to my
own opinions, that I could not well brook contradiction; and, in the
whole of my disposition, resembled that of Henry V., as described by
Shakespeare.

"In my thirteenth year I went to Bath, where I was first introduced
into the world as a woman, having been entitled to that privilege by my
person, which was remarkably tall for my years; and there my fancy was
quite captivated by the variety of diversions in which I was continually
engaged. Not that the parties were altogether new to me, but because I
now found myself considered as a person of consequence, and surrounded
by a crowd of admirers, who courted my acquaintance, and fed my vanity
with praise and adulation. In short, whether or not I deserved their
encomiums, I leave the world to judge; but my person was commended, and
my talent in dancing met with universal applause. No wonder, then,
that everything appeared joyous to a young creature, who was so void
of experience and dissimulation, that she believed everybody's heart as
sincere as her own, and every object such as it appeared to be.

"Among the swains who sighed, or pretended to sigh for me, were two
that bore a pretty equal share of my favour (it was too superficial to
deserve the name of love). One of these was a forward youth of sixteen,
extremely handsome, lively, and impudent. He attended in quality of page
upon the Princess Amelia, who spent that season at Bath. The other was a
Scotch nobleman turned of thirty, who was graced with a red ribbon, and
danced particularly well, two qualifications of great weight with a
girl of my age, whose heart was not deeply interested in the cause.
Nevertheless, the page prevailed over this formidable rival; though our
amour went no farther than a little flirting, and ceased entirely when I
left the place.

"Next year, however, I revisited this agreeable scene, and passed my
time in the same circle of amusements; in which, indeed, each season
at Bath is exactly resembled by that which succeeds, allowing for the
difference of company, which is continually varying. There I met with
the same incense, and again had my favourite, who was a North Briton,
and captain of foot, near forty years of age, and a little lame, an
impediment which I did not discover, until it was pointed out by some
of my companions, who rallied me upon my choice. He was always
cheerful, and very amorous, had a good countenance, and an excellent
understanding, possessed a great deal of art, and would have persuaded
me to marry him, had I not been restrained by the authority of my
father, whose consent was not to be obtained in favour of a man of his
fortune.

"At the same time, many proposals of marriage were made to my parents;
but as they came from people whom I did not like, I rejected them all,
being determined to refuse every man who did not make his addresses to
myself in person, because I had no notion of marrying for anything
but love. Among these formal proposers was a Scottish earl, whose
pretensions were broke off by some difference about settlements; and
the son of an English baron, with whom my father was in treaty, when
he carried me to town, on a visit to a young lady with whom I had been
intimate from my infancy. She was just delivered of her first son, for
whom we stood sponsors; so that this occasion detained us a whole month,
during which I went to a ball at court, on the Queen's birthday, and
there, for the first time, felt what love and beauty were.

"The second son of Duke H--, who had just returned from his travels, was
dancing with the princess royal, when a young lady came and desired
me to go and see a stranger, whom all the world admired. Upon which I
followed her into the circle, and observed this object of admiration. He
was dressed in a coat of white cloth, faced with blue satin, embroidered
with silver, of the same piece with his waistcoat; his fine hair hung
down his back in ringlets below his waist; his hat was laced with
silver, and garnished with a white feather; but his person beggared
description. He was tall and graceful, neither corpulent nor meagre, his
limbs finely proportioned, his countenance open and majestic, his eyes
full of sweetness and vivacity, his teeth regular, and his pouting lips
of the complexion of the damask rose. In short, he was formed for
love, and inspired it wherever he appeared; nor was he a niggard of his
talents, but liberally returned it, at least, what passed for such; for
he had a flow of gallantry, for which many ladies of this land can vouch
from their own experience. But he exclaimed against marriage, because
he had, as yet, met with no woman to whose charms he would surrender his
liberty, though a princess of France, and lady of the same rank in --,
were said to be, at that time, enamoured of his person.

"I went home, totally engrossed by his idea, flattering myself that he
had observed me with some attention; for I was young and new, and had
the good fortune to attract the notice and approbation of the queen
herself.

"Next day, being at the opera, I was agreeably surprised with the
appearance of this amiable stranger, who no sooner saw me enter, than
he approached so near to the place where I sat, that I overheard what he
said to his companions; and was so happy as to find myself the object
of his discourse, which abounded with rapturous expressions of love and
admiration. I could not listen to these transports without emotion; my
colour changed, my heart throbbed with unusual violence, and my eyes
betrayed my inclination in sundry favourable glances, which he seemed to
interpret aright, though he could not then avail himself of his success,
so far as to communicate his sentiments by speech, because we were
strangers to each other.

"I passed that night in the most anxious suspense, and several days
elapsed before I saw him again. At length, however, being at court on
a ball-night, and determined against dancing, I perceived him among the
crowd, and, to my unspeakable joy, saw him advance, with my Lord P--,
who introduced him to my acquaintance. He soon found means to alter my
resolution, and I condescended to be his partner all the evening; during
which he declared his passion in the most tender and persuasive terms
that real love could dictate, or fruitful imagination invent.

"I believed his protestations, because I wished them true, and was an
unexperienced girl of fifteen. I complied with his earnest request of
being permitted to visit me, and even invited him to breakfast next
morning; so that you may imagine (I speak to those that feel) I did
not, that night, enjoy much repose. Such was the hurry and flutter of my
spirits, that I rose at six to receive him at ten. I dressed myself in
a new pink satin gown, and my best laced night-clothes, and was so
animated by the occasion that, if ever I deserved a compliment upon my
looks, it was my due at this meeting. The wished-for moment came that
brought my lover to my view. I was overwhelmed with joy, modesty, and
fear of I knew not what. We sat down to breakfast, but did not eat. He
renewed his addresses with irresistible eloquence, and pressed me to
accept of his hand without further hesitation. But to such a precipitate
step I objected, as a measure repugnant to my decency, as well as to
that duty which I owed to my father, whom I tenderly loved.

"Though I withstood this premature proposal, I did not attempt to
disguise the situation of my thoughts; and thus commenced a tender
correspondence, which was maintained by letters while I remained in the
country, and carried on, when I was in town, by private interviews twice
or thrice a week at the house of my milliner, where such endearments
passed as refined and happy lovers know, and others can only guess.
Truth and innocence prevailed on my side, while his heart was fraught
with sincerity and love. Such frequent intercourse created an intimacy
which I began to think dangerous, and therefore yielded to his repeated
desire that we might be united for ever. Nay, I resolved to avoid him,
until the day should be fixed, and very innocently, though not very
wisely, told him my reason for this determination, which was no other
than a consciousness of my incapacity to refuse him anything he should
demand as a testimony of my love.

"The time was accordingly appointed, at the distance of a few days,
during which I intended to have implored my father's consent, though I
had but faint hopes of obtaining it. But he was by some means or other
apprised of our design, before I could prevail upon myself to make him
acquainted with our purpose. I had danced with my lover at the ridotto
on the preceding evening, and there perhaps our eyes betrayed us.
Certain it is, several of Lord W--'s relations, who disapproved of the
match, came up and rallied him on his passion; Lord S--k, in particular,
used this remarkable expression, 'Nephew, as much love as you please,
but no matrimony.'"

"Next day, the priest being prepared, and the bridegroom waiting for me
at the appointed place, in all the transports of impatient expectation,
I was, without any previous warning, carried into the country by my
father, who took no notice of the intelligence he had received, but
decoyed me into the coach on pretence of taking the air; and, when we
had proceeded as far as Turnham Green, gave me to understand, that he
would dine in that place.

"There was no remedy. I was obliged to bear my disappointment, though
with an aching heart, and followed him up-stairs into an apartment,
where he told me he was minutely informed of my matrimonial scheme. I
did not attempt to disguise the truth, but assured him, while the tears
gushed from my eyes, that my want of courage alone had hindered me from
making him privy to my passion; though I owned, I should have married
Lord W--, even though he had disapproved of my choice. I reminded him of
the uneasy life I led at home, and frankly acknowledged, that I loved my
admirer too well to live without him; though, if he would favour me with
his consent, I would defer my intention, and punctually observe any day
he would fix for our nuptials. Meanwhile I begged he would permit me to
send a message to Lord W--, who was waiting in expectation of my coming,
and might, without such notice, imagine I was playing the jilt. He
granted this last request; in consequence of which I sent a letter to
my lover, who, when he received it, had almost fainted away, believing I
should be locked up in the country, and snatched for ever from his arms.
Tortured with these apprehensions, he changed clothes immediately, and,
taking horse, resolved to follow me whithersoever we should go.

"After dinner, we proceeded as far as Brentford, where we lay, intending
to be at my father's country house next night; and my admirer putting up
at the same inn, practised every expedient his invention could suggest
to procure an interview; but all his endeavours were unsuccessful,
because I, who little dreamed of his being so near, had gone to bed upon
our first arrival, overwhelmed with affliction and tears. In the morning
I threw myself at my father's feet, and conjured him, by all the ties
of paternal affection, to indulge me with an opportunity of seeing my
admirer once more, before I should be conveyed from his wishes. The
melancholy condition in which I preferred this supplication, melted the
tender heart of my parent, who yielded to my supplications, and carried
me back to town for that purpose.

"Lord W--, who had watched our motions, and arrived at his own lodgings
before we arrived at my father's house, obeyed my summons on the
instant, and appeared before me like an angel. Our faculties were for
some minutes suspended by a conflict of grief and joy. At length I
recovered the use of speech, and gave him to understand, that I was
come to town in order to take my leave of him, by the permission of my
father, whom I had promised to attend into the country next day, before
he would consent to my return; the chief cause and pretence of which
was my earnest desire to convince him, that I was not to blame for the
disappointment he had suffered, and that I should see him again in a
month, when the nuptial knot should be tied in spite of all opposition.

"My lover, who was better acquainted with the world, had wellnigh run
distracted with this information. He swore he would not leave me, until
I should promise to meet and marry him next day; or, if I refused to
grant that request, he would immediately leave the kingdom, to which he
would never more return; and, before his departure, sacrifice Lord H.
B--, son to the Duke of S. A--, who was the only person upon earth who
could have betrayed us to my father, because he alone was trusted with
the secret of our intended marriage, and had actually undertaken to give
me away; an office which he afterwards declined. Lord W-- also affirmed,
that my father decoyed me into the country with a view of cooping me up,
and sequestering me entirely from his view and correspondence.

"In vain I pleaded my father's well-known tenderness, and used all the
arguments I could recollect to divert him from his revenge upon Lord
H--. He was deaf to all my representations, and nothing, I found, would
prevail upon him to suppress his resentment, but a positive promise to
comply with his former desire. I told him I would hazard everything to
make him happy; but could not, with any regard to my duty, take such a
step without the knowledge of my parent; or, if I were so inclined, it
would be impracticable to elude his vigilance and suspicion. However,
he employed such pathetic remonstrances, and retained such a powerful
advocate within my own breast, that, before we parted, I assured him my
whole power should be exerted for his satisfaction; and he signified his
resolution of sitting up all night, in expectation of seeing me at his
lodgings.

"He had no sooner retired, than I went into the next room, and
desired my father to fix a day for the marriage; in which case I would
cheerfully wait upon him into the country; whereas, should he deny
my request, on pretence of staying for the consent of my mother's
relations, which was very uncertain, I would seize the first opportunity
of marrying Lord W--, cost what it would. He consented to the match,
but would not appoint a day for the ceremony, which he proposed to defer
until all parties should be agreed; and such a favourable crisis, I
feared, would never happen.

"I therefore resolved within myself to gratify my lover's expectation,
by eloping, if possible, that very night; though the execution of this
plan was extremely difficult, because my father was upon the alarm,
and my own maid, who was my bedfellow, altogether in his interest.
Notwithstanding these considerations, I found means to engage one of
the housemaids in my behalf, who bespoke a hackney-coach, to be kept in
waiting all night; and to bed I went with my Abigail, whom, as I had not
closed an eye, I waked about five in the morning, and sent to pack up
some things for our intended journey.

"While she was thus employed, I got up,