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Title: Dalziels' Illustrated Goldsmith
Author: Goldsmith, Oliver
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dalziels' Illustrated Goldsmith" ***

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[Illustration]

[Illustration: Oliver Goldsmith]



                         DALZIELS' ILLUSTRATED

                               GOLDSMITH:


                             COMPRISING of

                         THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
                             THE TRAVELLER
                          THE DESERTED VILLAGE
                         THE HAUNCH OF VENISON
                       THE CAPTIVITY: AN ORATORIO
                              RETALIATION
                          MISCELLANEOUS POEMS
                          THE GOOD-NATURED MAN
                         SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER

                          AND A SKETCH OF THE

                       LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH,

                        BY H. W. DULCKEN, PH. D.


                                  WITH

                          ONE HUNDRED PICTURES

                                DRAWN BY

                             G. J. PINWELL,

                   ENGRAVED BY THE BROTHERS DALZIEL.


                          WARD, LOCK AND CO.,

             LONDON: WARWICK HOUSE, SALISBURY SQUARE, E.C.
                       NEW YORK: 10 BOND STREET.


[Illustration: Publisher]

                               CONTENTS.


                                                        PAGE

           A SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH       vi

           THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD                          1

           THE TRAVELLER                                 175

           THE DESERTED VILLAGE                          189

           THE HAUNCH OF VENISON                         202

           THE CAPTIVITY                                 205

           RETALIATION                                   212

           MISCELLANEOUS POEMS                           225

           THE GOOD-NATURED MAN                          266

           SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER                         361



                                A SKETCH

                                 OF THE

                       LIFE OF OLIVER GOLDSMITH.


The middle of the last century was an evil time, in England, for
literature and for literary men. The period was eminently one of
transition; and transition periods are always times of trial to all
whose interests they affect. The old system passes away, bearing with it
those who cling to it; the new system requires time until it is in
working order, and those who depend upon its advent for their
subsistence are sorely harassed while the turmoil lasts. Thus it was
with literature at the time when Goldsmith began to write. The age in
which literary men depended upon patrons had passed away. No more snug
government berths, no more secretaryships, as in the time of Addison and
Prior and Steele—and the time when the public was to support literature
had not yet come.

Thus the author was compelled either to depend entirely on the
booksellers, or to sell his pen, in true hireling fashion, to the
government of the day, or to the opposition, and to scribble approval or
invective at his master's dictation. Happily for his own fame, happily
for English literature, the author of the "Vicar of Wakefield" chose the
former alternative.

Oliver Goldsmith was born at Pallas, or Pallasmore, county Longford,
Ireland, on the 10th of November, 1728. He was one of a numerous family,
of whom he alone attained celebrity. His father, the Rev. Charles
Goldsmith, a clergyman of the Established Church, was in very poor
circumstances at the time of the birth of his famous son; but little
Oliver was only two years old when the sunshine of prosperity descended
upon his house, with what must have appeared to the inmates quite a
blaze of noonday splendour. The small income of forty pounds a-year,
upon which the Rev. Charles Goldsmith had managed painfully and
penuriously to struggle on with his family, was suddenly increased to
two hundred, when the rectory of Kilkenny-west was obtained by that
fortunate divine; and the Goldsmiths removed to Lissoy, near Athlone.

The Rev. Charles Goldsmith seems to have possessed, in a very large
degree, certain traits of character by which all the Goldsmiths were
more or less distinguished. Almost culpably careless in worldly matters,
his easy good-nature and kindly generous disposition frequently made him
the dupe of the designing and ungrateful. Himself incapable of cunning
and deceit, he imagined that all men were frank and open. The last man
in the world to take an unfair advantage of his neighbour, he never
suspected that any man could possibly take advantage of him. Goldsmith
himself under the guise of the Man in Black, gives us an insight into
affairs at the Rectory in these early days. "My father's education," the
Man in Black tells us, "was above his fortune, and his generosity
greater than his education." Then we hear of numerous guests entertained
at the hospitable parson's table, and paying for their dinner by
laughing at the host's oft-repeated jests and time-honoured anecdotes.
"He told the story of the ivy tree, and that was laughed at; he repeated
the jest of the two scholars and one pair of breeches, and the company
laughed at that; but the story of Taffy in the sedan chair was sure to
set the table in a roar; thus his pleasure increased in proportion to
the pleasure he gave; he loved all the world; and he fancied all the
world loved him. We were told that universal benevolence was what first
cemented society; we were taught to consider all the wants of mankind as
our own; to regard the human face divine with affection and esteem; he
wound us up to be mere machines of pity, and rendered us incapable of
withstanding the slightest impulse made either by real or fictitious
distress; in a word, we were perfectly instructed in the art of giving
away thousands before we were taught the more necessary qualifications
of getting a farthing."

[Illustration:

  _The Man in Black_—(_Citizen of the World._)
]


In fact, this inimitable Man in Black, who appears as one of the
characters in Goldsmith's "Citizen of the World," is, in many respects,
a counterpart of Goldsmith himself. Like our author, he is overreached
by every knave, and an object of contemptuous pity to all the worldly
wise. He tries one position after another, and fails in each, chiefly
through his honesty and credulity. He cannot succeed as follower to a
great man, because he will not flatter where he disapproves; he loses
his mistress because he believes her sincere when she expresses
admiration of him, and detestation of his rival's high-heeled shoes.
Everywhere he is snubbed and elbowed away by men more versed than
himself in the ways of the world; but, like Goldsmith again, he has an
easy, good-humoured philosophy, that carries him gaily through trials
and troubles that would have swamped other men. As he cannot be rich and
happy, he resolves to be poor and contented. He does not "invoke gods
and men to see him dining upon a ha'porth of radishes;" but rather tries
to persuade himself and others that a vegetable diet suits him. And he
has his reward in the verdict universally pronounced upon him—that he
"is very good-natured, and has not the least harm in him."

On a lad of ordinary disposition, the Rev. Charles Goldsmith's peculiar
ideas would, perhaps, have had little effect. The small world of the
school-room, and the larger world in which he would afterwards have to
play his part, could scarcely fail to teach him to distinguish between
real and fictitious distress, and to give him the prudence which makes
charity begin at home, and, indeed, too often causes it to end there.
But the Goldsmiths were not ordinary people. Warm-hearted, and of large
sympathy—anxious to relieve the distress of all who sued to them for
aid—they were the very persons whom the prudent and prosperous are ever
holding up to ridicule, as dupes and simpletons, utterly deficient in
wisdom—as though there existed no other than _worldly_ wisdom; as though
"our being's end and aim" were the attainment of wealth. And here, at
the very outset, we come upon the cause of many of the troubles and
cares that beset Oliver Goldsmith throughout his entire career. His
kindly nature led him to relieve distress wherever he found it; and, as
his disposition became known, there is no doubt that distress—real and
feigned—sought him out pertinaciously enough.

The words he wrote of his brother Henry, the benevolent
clergyman—"passing rich on forty pounds a year"—and whose "pride" was to
"relieve the wretched," might be equally applied to himself. When
applicants for succour came to him—

            "Careless their merits, or their faults to scan,
            His pity gave ere charity began."

But the wish to relieve was so largely in excess of the power, that
frequently when Justice called to present a claim for payment Generosity
had been beforehand, and had carried away the money; and Justice had to
wait, or, alas, in too many cases, to go away unsatisfied. Thus the most
humiliating position in which Goldsmith was ever placed in the days of
his direst poverty, arose from his hastily obeying an impulse to relieve
the landlord of his miserable lodgings, who had been arrested for debt,
and whose wife came to Goldsmith, weeping and wringing her hands.
Thinking only how he could liberate the poor man by the only means in
his power, the poet rushed off and pledged some books, and a suit of
clothes, procured on the credit of Ralph Griffiths, a bookseller, that
Goldsmith might appear decently at an examination, which he failed to
pass, and dire was the wrath of Griffiths on the occasion.

The young days of Oliver Goldsmith offer nothing very remarkable to
record. He was considered a dull boy by his first instructors, though
there are indications at times of poetical talent. One of his sisters
married a gentleman of fortune of the name of Hodson, to whom Henry
Goldsmith, Oliver's eldest brother, was tutor. In order that his
daughter might not enter this family without a suitable marriage
portion, the Rev. Charles Goldsmith made a sacrifice, which, while it
impoverished the whole family, was peculiarly detrimental to the
fortunes of Oliver. He executed a bond, pledging himself to pay four
hundred pounds as the marriage portion of his daughter Catherine. The
immediate effect of this proceeding was that Oliver was obliged to
enter, in the humblest possible manner, upon the college career he was
about to commence. On the 11th of June, 1745, Oliver Goldsmith was
admitted as a sizar of Trinity College, Dublin.

Very wretched and very unsatisfactory was his life at that seat of
learning. The menial duties exacted in return for the reduced expense of
the sizar's education disgusted him. The brutalities of his tutor
Wilder, a man at once ferocious and pedantic, and totally unable to
appreciate the young scholar's genius, caused him the keenest
mortification; and to these ills were added the grinding poverty with
which he now first became familiar; a poverty occasionally alleviated by
gifts from his uncle, the Rev. Mr. Contarine, a truly kind-hearted and
benevolent man, to whom our poet was bound to the last by ties of
affectionate gratitude. Now also his father died, and his necessities
became greater than ever. We hear of him, writing ballads, and selling
the copyrights at five shillings each; then stealing out at night to
hear these, the earliest efforts of his muse, sung through the streets.

A small triumph, in the shape of an exhibition, worth some thirty
shillings, induced the young awkward student to give a very humble kind
of ball at his rooms. To this ball came an unexpected visitor in the
shape of Wilder the tutor, who put the guests to flight, and publicly
beat the host. Smarting under the disgrace, Goldsmith quitted the
college, and was only induced, after a time, to return by the
persuasions of his brother Henry, who brought about a reconciliation, or
rather a truce, between Oliver and his tyrant. On the 27th of February,
1749, he obtained his B.A. degree, and, returning home, remained for a
time idle and unemployed, looking out for the chance of a career. He
presented himself for ordination and was refused; was a tutor in a
private family, and left in consequence of a quarrel; was furnished with
funds by Uncle Contarine to study law, lost his money, and appeared
again at home destitute. At length, with some last assistance from the
friendly uncle's purse, he started on a tour through Europe; travelling,
not like the majority of British tourists in coach and on horseback, but
on foot and alone, making his way from place to place, and studying men
rather than science. Important, and rich in results for his whole future
life, was this remarkable journey. And, among the most memorable of its
effects was, that it suggested the poem of the "Traveller." Marvellously
true were the views taken by the poor student of the various lands
through which he passed; and remarkable were the words in which, in one
of his early essays, he predicted the change that was coming upon
France. Clearly and distinctly he heard the first far-off mutterings of
the great revolutionary storm. He saw the growth and spread of the
spirit of freedom among the people, and while others cried "peace" when
there was no peace, he distinctly and clearly foresaw the great crash of
revolution that was coming.

Early in the year 1756 Oliver Goldsmith found himself alone in London.
He was in his twenty-eighth year—without a profession, almost utterly
friendless, and destitute of all means of subsistence. Of this part of
his life he could be scarcely ever induced to speak in his later and
happier days; but here and there we get a glimpse which shows us that it
must have been dreary in the extreme. At Sir Joshua Reynolds's he once
startled the company by commencing an anecdote with "When I lived among
the beggars in Axe Lane;" and there is something very significant in the
way in which the pangs of starvation are described in his "Natural
History." He must have felt those pangs himself to describe them so
graphically.

By various means he made a shift to live. At one time he pounded drugs
for an apothecary near London Bridge; at another, he attempted to
practise physic amongst the poorest of the poor. Now we find him
correcting press proofs for a printer; and now he is settled for a time
as usher in Dr. Milner's boys' school at Peckham. We have a picture of
him here, drawn by Miss Milner, the principal's daughter. He is
described as exceedingly good-natured, always ready to amuse the boys
with his flute, giving away his money, or spending it in tarts and
sweetmeats for the boys as soon as he received it, and generally
recommending himself by his amiability and kindliness of heart. But
Goldsmith himself considered this servitude at the Peckham Academy as
the most dreary period of his life. The position of an usher was at that
time, if possible, worse than it is now; and the mortifications he
experienced at Peckham helped to throw a shadow over his later life.

But on a certain day in April, 1757, Ralph Griffiths, a prosperous
London bookseller, dined at Peckham, with the Milners. He was the
proprietor of a critical magazine; and, as the conversation turned on
the literature of the day, Griffiths became aware that the remarks made
by the poor usher were not those of an ordinary man. He took him aside,
and asked if he would undertake to write some literary notices and
reviews. The offer was accepted, as was also the very moderate salary
Griffiths offered in return for the daily services of the writer; and
thus at last Goldsmith was fairly started in authorship, and beginning
to serve his apprenticeship to letters.

A dreary apprenticeship it was. Griffiths, and Griffiths' wife, ruled
over their "hack" author with a rod of iron; curtailed his leisure,
carped at the amount of "work" done, and ruthlessly altered his
articles. He began with some reviews, which, for their elegance of
style, facility of expression, and gracefulness of fancy, must have
astonished the readers of the ordinarily dull and common-place "Monthly
Review." Soon, however, the tyranny of the Griffiths pair became
intolerable; a quarrel ensued, and the connexion between master and
servant was broken off. Goldsmith established himself in a garret in a
court near Fleet Street, and began the almost hopeless attempt to
support himself independently by miscellaneous writing.

Very hard and bitter was the struggle through which he had to pass; and
now and then he made efforts to emancipate himself entirely from the
thraldom of literature. Indeed, we even find him once more at his desk
at Dr. Milner's school, at Peckham. He obtained an appointment as
medical officer in the East India Company's service on the Coromandel
coast, but lost it, probably through inability to pay his passage and
procure the necessary outfit. Then, as a last resource, he presented
himself for examination at Surgeons' Hall, intending to become a
"hospital mate;" but was rejected, as the books of the society record,
as "not qualified." Thus, perforce driven back to literature, he girded
himself up manfully for the struggle; and gradually the dawn of a better
day began to break. The long and hard battle he had fought had at length
produced one gain for him. He was known to the bookselling fraternity;
and, as they would have phrased it, "his value in the market began to
rise." A number of new magazines were started simultaneously, and the
proprietors were naturally anxious to secure the services of Goldsmith's
graceful pen. We find him writing for several magazines at once, and
receiving a respectable price for his work. Thus, with the year 1759,
the shadow of squalid poverty and grinding want passes away from
Goldsmith's life. Happy would it have been for him had his distresses
taught him prudence. But the prosperity came too late. His habits were
formed; the unfortunate custom of living from hand to mouth, of flying
from the thoughts of the dark future by heedless indulgence in any
pleasure that could be snatched in the present—the inveterate
disposition to alternate periods of over-work with intervals of thorough
inaction—these were the marks which the hard conflict had left upon
him—wounds which were seared over, indeed, but never thoroughly healed.

[Illustration:

  _Goldsmith wandering among the streets
  of the great, cold, wicked city._
]


But these years of adversity had also taught him lessons whose memory
remained with him to the last day of his life—lessons which he was among
the first to teach to the unthinking world around him. Poverty and pain
had spoilt him to some extent for society—had brought upon him a
melancholy which he would strive vainly to banish with fits of strained
and forced hilarity—had rendered him abrupt in speech and uncouth in
gesture—but never hardened his heart. He had been poor himself—miserably
poor—and his sympathies were with the poor, and his voice was honestly
uplifted in their behalf. Long before Sir Samuel Romilly had arisen to
denounce the harshness and cruelty of our penal code—long before the
eagle glance of Howard had pierced into the gloom of the debtor's fetid
prison, Goldsmith pointed out the effects of harsh legislation, and the
evils and contamination of our gaols.He would leave his home at night to
wander among the streets of the great, cold, wicked city, taking note of
the misery and destitution he found there, and sympathising with the
distress of the wretched outcasts whom none else would succour or
befriend. And manfully was his voice raised against those who, having
caused much of that wretchedness, were suffered, by a false and
heartless system of mock morality, to escape the penalty of infamy they
had justly incurred.

In a publication called the "Bee," which he edited, there is a paper of
matchless pathos, entitled a "City Nightpiece," in which he indignantly
draws attention to poor houseless girls, who have been flattered and
cozened into sin, and then left desolate in their misery. He concludes
with the following withering denunciation of the authors of all this
misery:—

"But let me turn from a scene of such distress to the sanctified
hypocrite, who has been 'talking of virtue till the time of bed',[1] and
now steals out, to give a loose to his vices under the protection of
midnight—vices more atrocious because he attempts to conceal them. See
how he pants down the dark alley; and, with hastening steps, fears an
acquaintance in every face. He has passed the whole day in company he
hates, and now goes to prolong the night among company that as heartily
hate him. May his vices be detected! may the morning rise upon his
shame! Yet I wish to no purpose: villany, when detected, never gives up,
but boldly adds impudence to imposture."

Goldsmith's Essays, afterwards collected by himself into a volume, were
chiefly written between 1758 and 1762. In this kind of writing he
peculiarly excelled; and his friend Dr. Johnson allowed him to be
unrivalled in it. As a specimen of his humourous style, the following
extract from the "History of a Strolling Player" may be taken as
displaying the quaint drollery and quiet fun he could infuse in this
style of composition. Goldsmith has picked up in one of the parks a
jocose, talkative, hungry man, who proposes that the two should dine at
the expense of his new acquaintance, promising that he himself will
return the favour at some future time not accurately defined. Stimulated
by a good dinner, and by a tankard which he takes care shall be
frequently replenished, the talkative man tells his history, of which
the following is a part. He has been a soldier, and finds the profession
not at all to his liking. He says:

"The life of a soldier soon, therefore, gave me the spleen. I asked
leave to quit the service; but, as I was tall and strong, my captain
thanked me for my kind intention, and said, because he had a regard for
me, we should not part. I wrote to my father a very dismal penitent
letter, and desired that he would raise money to pay for my discharge;
but, as the good old man was as fond of drinking as I was, (sir, my
service to you), and those who are fond of drinking never pay for other
people's discharges; in short, he never answered my letter. What could
be done? If I have not money, said I to myself, to pay for my discharge,
I must find an equivalent some other way; and that must be by running
away. I deserted; and that answered my purpose every bit as well as if I
had bought my discharge.

Footnote 1:

  Parnell.

"Well, I was now fairly rid of my military employment. I sold my
soldier's clothes, bought worse, and, in order not to be overtaken, took
the most unfrequented roads possible. One evening, as I was entering a
village, I perceived a man, whom I afterwards found to be the curate of
the parish, thrown from his horse in a miry road, and almost smothered
in the mud. He desired my assistance: I gave it, and drew him out with
some difficulty. He thanked me for my trouble, and was going off; but I
followed him home, for I loved always to have a man thank me at his own
door. The curate asked a hundred questions; as whose son I was, from
whence I came, and whether I would be faithful. I answered him greatly
to his satisfaction, and gave myself one of the best characters in the
world for sobriety (sir, I have the honour of drinking your health),
discretion, and fidelity. To make a long story short, he wanted a
servant, and hired me. With him I lived but two months: we did not much
like each other. I was fond of eating, and he gave me but little to eat:
I loved a pretty girl, and the old woman, my fellow-servant, was
ill-natured and ugly. As they endeavoured to starve me between them, I
made a pious resolution to prevent their committing murder: I stole the
eggs as soon as they were laid: I emptied every unfinished bottle that I
could lay my hands on: whatever eatable came in my way was sure to
disappear. In short, they found I would not do; so I was discharged one
morning, and paid three shillings and sixpence for two months' wages.

[Illustration: _The Strolling Player._]


"While my money was getting ready, I employed myself in making
preparations for my departure. Two hens were hatching in an outhouse—I
went and took the eggs from habit; and not to separate the parents from
the children, I lodged hens and all in my knapsack. After this piece of
frugality, I returned to receive my money, and with my knapsack on my
back, and a staff in my hand, I bade adieu, with tears in my eyes, to my
old benefactor. I had not gone far from the house when I heard behind me
a cry of 'stop thief!' but this only increased my dispatch: it would
have been foolish to stop, as I knew the voice could not be levelled at
me—but hold, I think I passed those two months at the curate's without
drinking. Come, the times are dry, and may this be my poison, it ever I
spent two more pious, stupid months in all my life.

"Well, after travelling some days, whom should I light upon but a
company of strolling players. The moment I saw them at a distance, my
heart warmed to them; I had a sort of natural love for everything of the
vagabond order. They were employed in settling their baggage, which had
been overturned in a narrow way: I offered my assistance, which they
accepted; and we soon became so well acquainted, that they took me as a
servant. This was a paradise to me; they sang, danced, drank, ate, and
travelled, all at the same time. By the blood of all the Mirabels! I
thought I had never lived till then; I grew as merry as a grig, and
laughed at every word that was spoken. They liked me as much as I liked
them: I was a very good figure, as you may see; and though I was poor, I
was not modest.

"I love a straggling life above all things in the world; sometimes good,
sometimes bad; to be warm to-day, and cold to-morrow; to eat when one
can get it, and drink when (the tankard is out) it stands before me. We
arrived that evening at Tenterden, and took a large room at the
'Greyhound,' where we resolved to exhibit Romeo and Juliet, with the
funeral procession, the grave, and the garden scene. Romeo was to be
performed by a gentleman from the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane; Juliet,
by a lady who had never appeared on any stage before; and I was to snuff
the candles: all excellent in our way. We had figures enough, but the
difficulty was to dress them."

Equally humourous is the account of Mr. Jack Spindle, the "good-natured
man," who has been pestered during his prosperity with offers of
service, which he finds suddenly and unaccountably withdrawn when the
sun no longer shines upon him. His friends have, one and all, been
importunate with him, that he should use their name and credit if ever
the time should come when he needed them; and now that this time had
most certainly arrived, Jack proceeded with the most perfect good faith
to put some of these assertions to the proof. To quote our author:—

"Jack, therefore, thought he might use his old friend without any
ceremony; and, as a man confident of not being refused, requested the
use of a hundred guineas for a few days, as he just then had an occasion
for money. 'And pray, Mr. Spindle,' replied the scrivener, 'do you want
all this money?'—'Want it, sir,' says the other, 'if I did not want it I
should not have asked it.'—'I am sorry for that,' says the friend; 'for
those who want money when they come to borrow, will want when they
should come to pay. To say the truth, Mr. Spindle, money is money
now-a-days. I believe it is all sunk in the bottom of the sea, for my
part; and he that has got a little is a fool if he does not keep what he
has got.'

"Not quite disconcerted by this refusal, our adventurer was resolved to
apply to another, whom he knew to be the very best friend he had in the
world. The gentleman whom he now addressed received his proposal with
all the affability that could be expected from generous friendship. 'Let
me see,—you want a hundred guineas; and, pray, dear Jack, would not
fifty answer?'—'If you have but fifty to spare, sir, I must be
contented.'—'Fifty to spare! I do not say that, for I believe I have but
twenty about me.'—'Then I must borrow the other thirty from some other
friend.'—'And pray,' replied the friend, 'would it not be the best way
to borrow the whole money from that other friend, and then one note will
serve for all, you know? Lord, Mr. Spindle, make no ceremony with me at
any time; you know I'm your friend, when you choose a bit of dinner, or
so. You, Tom, see the gentleman down. You won't forget to dine with us
now and then? Your very humble servant.'

"Distressed, but not discouraged at this treatment, he was at last
resolved to find that assistance from love, which he could not have from
friendship. Miss Jenny Dismal had a fortune in her own hands, and she
had already made all the advances that her sex's modesty would permit.
He made his proposal, therefore, with confidence, but soon perceived,
'No bankrupt ever found the fair one kind.' Miss Jenny and Master Billy
Galoon were lately fallen deeply in love with each other, and the whole
neighbourhood thought it would soon be a match.

"Every day now began to strip Jack of his former finery: his clothes
flew piece by piece to the pawnbrokers'; and he seemed at length
equipped in the genuine mourning of antiquity. But still he thought
himself secure from starving; the numberless invitations he had received
to dine, even after his losses, were yet unanswered; he was, therefore,
now resolved to accept of a dinner, because he wanted one; and in this
manner he actually lived among his friends a whole week without being
openly affronted."

[Illustration: _Jack Spindle and the Scrivener._]


Poor Jack also tries to retrieve his fortunes by marriage, but finds
that a penniless wooer has but small chance with the fair.

In the "Citizen of the World" are to be found some of the best essays of
Goldsmith. It was a happy idea that of pourtraying our national
peculiarities and customs in the light in which they might strike a
foreigner; and the series contain, moreover, besides the inimitable "Man
in Black," a portrait which would in itself be enough to make it
immortal—the fussy, pleasant, consequential, little Beau Tibbs. Was
there ever such a perseveringly happy man? He speaks of his own
miserable poverty as if it were wealth, affects to prefer a bit of ox
cheek and some "brisk beer" to ortolans and claret, and gives himself
the airs of a lord while Mrs. Tibbs is laboriously seeing his second
shirt through the washing tub. After all, there may be more true
philosophy in the cheerfulness of little Tibbs than in the querulous
grumbling of greater men on whom the keen wind of adversity blows and
who shout vociferous complaints as they shiver in the keen blast. Beau
Tibbs' hilarious cheerfulness is, after all, but an exaggerated phase of
the equanimity of the "Man in Black."

[Illustration: _Jack Spindle rejected by Miss Jenny Dismal._]


It was a day in the poet's life to be marked with a white stone when he
made the acquaintance of Johnson. The "great cham of literature," as
Smollett called him, understood and appreciated Goldsmith better than
did the shallow witlings who laughed at the poet's eccentricities and
awkwardness, but had not the sense to discover his genius. And who,
better than Goldsmith, could value and respect the great qualities that
lay hidden under Johnson's brusque manners and overbearing roughness?
Their acquaintance soon ripened into friendship—a friendship that was a
joy and solace to Goldsmith until the day of his death. Just at this
time Johnson, after many years' hard and unproductive toil had been
rewarded with a well-earned pension. Thus lifted above the struggling
crowd of his literary brethren, he filled a sort of dictatorial throne
among them. In Goldsmith he took quite a peculiar interest, and quickly
became what Washington Irving, in his "Life of Goldsmith," happily
designates a kind of "growling supervisor of the poet's affairs."

Such a supervision was but too urgently needed. Increased means had not
improved the poet's habits, or taught him self-denial. The pay for his
literary labour was almost invariably drawn and spent before the task
was completed, and already poor Goldsmith was becoming involved in that
net of embarrassment from which he never extricated himself; and thus
the following scene was one day enacted, which shall be told in
Johnson's own words, as reported by the indefatigable Boswell:—"I
received one morning," said Johnson, "a message from poor Goldsmith that
he was in great distress, and as it was not in his power to come to me,
begged that I would come to him as soon as possible. I sent him a
guinea, and promised to come to him directly. I accordingly went as soon
as I was dressed, and found that his landlady had arrested him for his
rent, at which he was in a violent passion. I perceived that he had
already changed my guinea, and had got a bottle of madeira and a glass
before him. I put the cork into the bottle, desired he would be calm,
and began to talk to him of the means by which he might be extricated.
He then told me that he had a novel ready for the press, which he
produced to me. I looked into it, and saw its merit; told the landlady I
should soon return; and having gone to a bookseller, sold it for sixty
pounds. I brought Goldsmith the money, and he discharged his rent, not
without rating his landlady in a high tone for having used him so ill."

The book thus sold for sixty pounds was the "Vicar of Wakefield," a work
never surpassed for wonderful vitality of character and for beauty of
colouring. The old vicar, loveable in his very weakness, and indulgent
as a Christian priest should be towards the weaknesses of others—the
downright honest buxom wife, whose maternal vanity at times tempts her
so sorely to disobedience against the behests of her lord and
master—Olivia the coquette, and Sophia the prude—Moses the honest and
simple—and Burchell with his grand monosyllabic commentary of
"Fudge,"—these will live so long as English Literature lasts, and be
remembered with delight when the pretentious effusions of the Richardson
school have vanished into the limbo of obscurity. But the outcry that
has since been raised against the bookseller who only gave sixty pounds
for the manuscript appears somewhat unjust. Francis Newbery gave the sum
demanded by Johnson, evidently without reading the book, and on
Johnson's recommendation alone. That he had no great hopes of profit
from his bargain is proved by the length of time he allowed it to lie
unpublished in his desk. It was not Newbery's fault that the manuscript
was sent out at a pinch, to be sold for what it would bring, before it
had even been read to a few discerning friends who might have given a
deliberate opinion on its merits. Johnson spoke sensibly enough when he
replied to the indignant protest,—" A sufficient price, too, when it was
sold; for then the fame of Goldsmith had not been elevated, as it
afterwards was, by his 'Traveller;' and the bookseller had faint hopes
of profit by his bargain. After the 'Traveller,' to be sure, it was
accidentally worth more money."

The "Traveller" was now completed, and was published very shortly after
the bailiff episode. It took the circle who surrounded Goldsmith
completely by surprise; some of the members of the Literary Club even
affected to doubt that he could have written it, and declared that the
most striking passages were the work of Johnson. But Johnson himself
laughed at all this, and openly and honestly proclaimed his belief in
the great merits of the poem, and declared that since the death of Pope
nothing equal to it had been written. The touches which describe the
various shades of character in the different nations are exquisite, and
can only be the result of personal observation aided by mature thought.

And now our poet resolved to try his powers in a new field—to write a
comedy, the remuneration for which should pay off the debts that were
fast accumulating round him. But here fresh vexation and new care
awaited him. Garrick, the great actor and prosperous manager, to whom he
offered the play, took upon himself the office of critic and emendator,
authoritatively suggested the entire omission of _Lofty_, one of the
best characters, and, to use an expressive vulgarism, seemed inclined to
"burke" the comedy altogether. Goldsmith, smarting under the actor's
patronizing criticism, became angry, refused to alter or amend the play,
and finally took the manuscript out of Garrick's hands, and transferred
it to the rival management of Colman at Covent Garden. But Colman,
though he accepted the piece, had little or no hope that it would be a
success; and he contrived to impart his own doubts and misgivings to the
whole company. The fact was, that, at this period, sentimental comedy,
showing men and women as they appear in the pages of novelists of a
certain school, but not as they walk and talk in real life, was in the
ascendant; and Hugh Kelly—a man with some ingenuity, but without a spark
of genius—was the great representative of this school of writing. Now
Goldsmith held that a comedy should be comic—that it should, above all
things, amuse the spectators by humourous dialogue and startling action;
and, in his dramatic creed, the enunciation of moral platitudes had no
place. In fact, the lines Goldsmith afterwards wrote concerning
Cumberland, Kelly's successor in the Sentimental School of Comedy, might
well have been applied to Kelly himself:

[Illustration: _Goldsmith and his Landlady._]


           "A flattering painter, who made it his care,
           To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are,
           His gallànts are all faultless, his women divine;
           And Comedy wonders at being so fine!
           Like a tragedy queen he has dizened her out,
           Or rather like Tragedy giving a rout."

Now this Hugh Kelly had just produced a stupid comedy, insipid and full
of mawkish sentimentality, and entitled "False Delicacy." It was acted
at Drury Lane, while Goldsmith's "Good-Natured Man" was in rehearsal,
and proved a complete success. This triumph of Kelly's further damaged
the hopes of Colman and his actors. Goldsmith had made his hero, not an
impossible monster of virtue, but an easy-going, kindly gentleman, who
shows that excessive good-nature is, after all, only a kind of weakness.
The fun was broad and hearty, and the characters were drawn in a style
that differed from Kelly's as widely as a picture by Hogarth would
differ from a pastoral piece by Watteau. At last the comedy was
performed; and though it brought nearly five hundred pounds to the
distressed poet, it was at first not successful. The taste of the town
had been too much spoiled by the sentimentalisms of Kelly and his
school, to appreciate at once the strong, hearty fare now offered; and
especially was public opinion divided on the subject of the introduction
of two bailiffs, who were then considered "low," and whose appearance is
now acknowledged to be one of the best "points" in the whole play.
Goldsmith declared he would write for the theatre no more: but
fortunately he did not keep to his determination. Once again, in 1772,
he wrote a comedy—one of the very best of our English plays—"She Stoops
to Conquer," which was performed at Covent Garden, for the first time,
on the 15th of March, 1773. Again was Goldsmith harassed by the
misgivings of Colman, though sentimental comedy was no longer in the
ascendant. It had never recovered the blow inflicted by a burlesque of
Foote's, entitled "The Virtuous Housemaid; or Piety in Pattens," in
which the mawkish platitudes of the sentimental school were turned into
pitiless ridicule. But the laughter and cheers of a crowded house
completely took Colman and the croakers by surprise; and so utter was
their astonishment, that the town made sport of the doubters whose
prognostications had proved so false. Colman was obliged to run away to
Bath, from the shower of lampoons that hailed down upon him. One of the
best of these bade him take comfort from the idea that though
Goldsmith's present play succeeded, his next might fail; and advised
Colman to bring about that desirable consummation, if all other methods
failed, by writing the best play he could himself, and printing it in
Goldsmith's name. "She Stoops to Conquer" has kept the stage for nearly
a century, and bids fair long to retain its place. It was a triumph for
our poet, but it was his last.

For now money troubles and embarrassments thickened more and more around
him. His fame, indeed, was established; but his habits of
procrastination and unthrift were but too well known. The "Deserted
Village" had silenced those even who carped at the "Traveller;" his
charming "Animated Nature" had brought him profit and reputation as a
scientific writer; but his dilatoriness and want of method spoiled all.

Early in 1774 he was attacked by an illness to which he was subject, and
as a remedy for which he obstinately insisted on dosing himself with
"James's Powders." He grew rapidly worse, and to the question asked by
his medical man: "Is your mind at ease?" replied with a mournful "No, it
is not." For some days he fluctuated between life and death; but at
last, on the morning of the 4th of April, strong convulsions came on,
under which he expired.

His death was mourned by a circle of friends comprising some of the most
illustrious names in the land. A public funeral was proposed for him,
but negatived in consideration of his embarrassed circumstances. For,
alas! in spite of the success of his later years, he owed nearly two
thousand pounds. "Was ever poet so trusted before!" exclaimed sturdy old
Johnson. "But," added the same honest friend, pronouncing a verdict
which a century has since endorsed, "let not his failings be
remembered—he was a very great man!"

                  *       *       *       *       *



                               DALZIELS'
                         ILLUSTRATED GOLDSMITH.

                                  THE
                          VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.


[Illustration: Facsimile of the book cover.]

                  *       *       *       *       *



                              _CHAPTER I._

              _The description of the family of Wakefield,
                  in which a kindred likeness prevails
                    as well of minds as of persons._


I was ever of opinion that the honest man, who married and brought up a
large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only
talked of population. From this motive, I had scarcely taken orders a
year, before I began to think seriously of matrimony, and chose my wife,
as she did her wedding gown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such
qualities as would wear well. To do her justice, she was a good-natured,
notable woman; and as for breeding, there were few country ladies who
could show more. She could read any English book without much spelling;
but for pickling, preserving, and cookery, none could excel her. She
prided herself also upon being an excellent contriver in housekeeping,
though I could never find that we grew richer with all her contrivances.

However, we loved each other tenderly, and our fondness increased as we
grew old. There was, in fact, nothing that could make us angry with the
world or each other. We had an elegant house, situated in a fine country
and a good neighbourhood. The year was spent in moral or rural
amusement; in visiting our rich neighbours, and relieving such as were
poor. We had no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; all our
adventures were by the fireside, and all our migrations from the blue
bed to the brown.

As we lived near the road, we often had the traveller or stranger visit
us to taste our gooseberry-wine, for which we had great reputation; and
I profess, with the veracity of an historian, that I never knew one of
them find fault with it. Our cousins too, even to the fortieth remove,
all remembered their affinity, without any help from the heralds'
office, and came very frequently to see us. Some of them did us no great
honour by these claims of kindred; as we had the blind, the maimed, and
the halt amongst the number. However, my wife always insisted that, as
they were the same _flesh and blood_, they should sit with us at the
same table: so that if we had not very rich, we generally had very happy
friends about us; for this remark will hold good through life, that the
poorer the guest the better pleased he ever is with being treated; and
as some men gaze with admiration at the colours of a tulip, or the wing
of a butterfly, so I was by nature an admirer of happy human faces.
However, when any one of our relations was found to be a person of a
very bad character, a troublesome guest, or one we desired to get rid
of, upon his leaving my house I ever took care to lend him a
riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or sometimes a horse of small value,
and I always had the satisfaction of finding he never came back to
return them. By this the house was cleared of such as we did not like;
but never was the family of Wakefield known to turn the traveller or the
poor dependent out of doors.

Thus we lived several years in a state of much happiness; not but that
we sometimes had those little rubs which Providence sends to enhance the
value of its favours. My orchard was often robbed by school-boys, and my
wife's custards plundered by the cats or the children. The squire would
sometimes fall asleep in the most pathetic parts of my sermon, or his
lady return my wife's civilities at church with a mutilated curtsey. But
we soon got over the uneasiness caused by such accidents, and usually in
three or four days began to wonder how they vexed us.

My children, the offspring of temperance, as they were educated without
softness, so they were at once well-formed and healthy; my sons hardy
and active, my daughters beautiful and blooming. When I stood in the
midst of the little circle, which promised to be the support of my
declining age, I could not avoid repeating the famous story of Count
Abensberg, who, in Henry the Second's progress through Germany, while
other courtiers came with their treasures, brought his thirty-two
children, and presented them to his sovereign as the most valuable
offering he had to bestow. In this manner, though I had but six, I
considered them as a very valuable present made to my country, and
consequently looked upon it as my debtor. Our eldest son was named
George, after his uncle, who left us ten thousand pounds. Our second
child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel; but my wife,
who during her pregnancy had been reading romances, insisted upon her
being called Olivia. In less than another year we had another daughter,
and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name; but a rich
relation taking a fancy to stand godmother, the girl was by her
directions called Sophia; so that we had two romantic names in the
family; but I solemnly protest I had no hand in it. Moses was our next,
and after an interval of twelve years we had two sons more.

It would be fruitless to deny my exultation when I saw my little ones
about me; but the vanity and the satisfaction of my wife were even
greater than mine. When our visitors would say, "Well, upon my word,
Mrs. Primrose, you have the finest children in the whole country;"—"Ay,
neighbour," she would answer, "they are as heaven made them—handsome
enough, if they be good enough; for handsome is that handsome does." And
then she would bid the girls hold up their heads; who, to conceal
nothing, were certainly very handsome. Mere outside is so very trifling
a circumstance with me, that I should scarcely have remembered to
mention it, had it not been a general topic of conversation in the
country. Olivia, now about eighteen, had that luxuriancy of beauty with
which painters generally draw Hebe: open, sprightly, and commanding.
Sophia's features were not so striking at first, but often did more
certain execution; for they were soft, modest, and alluring. The one
vanquished by a single blow, the other by efforts successively repeated.

[Illustration: _Olivia and Sophia._]

The temper of a woman is generally formed from the turn of her features;
at least it was so with my daughters. Olivia wished for many lovers;
Sophia to secure one. Olivia was often affected, from too great a desire
to please; Sophia even repressed excellence, from her fear to offend.
The one entertained me with her vivacity when I was gay, the other with
her sense when I was serious. But these qualities were never carried to
excess in either, and I have often seen them exchange characters for a
whole day together. A suit of mourning has transformed my coquette into
a prude, and a new set of ribands has given her younger sister more than
natural vivacity. My eldest son, George, was bred at Oxford, as I
intended him for one of the learned professions. My second boy, Moses,
whom I designed for business, received a sort of miscellaneous education
at home. But it is needless to attempt describing the particular
characters of young people that had seen but very little of the world.
In short, a family likeness prevailed through all; and, properly
speaking, they had but one character—that of being all equally generous,
credulous, simple, and inoffensive.


[Illustration:

  "_And having got it copied fair, with an elegant
  frame, it was placed over the chimney-piece._"
]



                             _CHAPTER II._

         _Family misfortunes._—_The loss of fortune only serves
                 to increase the pride of the worthy._


The temporal concerns of our family were chiefly committed to my wife's
management; as to the spiritual, I took them entirely under my own
direction. The profits of my living, which amounted to about thirty-five
pounds a year, I made over to the orphans and widows of the clergy of
our diocese; for, having a sufficient fortune of my own, I was careless
of temporalities, and felt a secret pleasure in doing my duty without
reward. I also set a resolution of keeping no curate, and of being
acquainted with every man in the parish, exhorting the married men to
temperance, and the bachelors to matrimony; so that in a few years it
was a common saying, that there were three strange wants at Wakefield—a
parson wanting pride, young men wanting wives, and alehouses wanting
customers.

Matrimony was always one of my favourite topics, and I wrote several
sermons to prove its happiness; but there was a peculiar tenet which I
made a point of supporting: for I maintained, with Whiston, that it was
unlawful for a priest of the Church of England, after the death of his
first wife, to take a second: or, to express it in one word, I valued
myself upon being a strict monogamist.

I was early initiated into this important dispute, on which so many
laborious volumes have been written. I published some tracts upon the
subject myself, which, as they never sold, I have the consolation of
thinking were read only by the happy _few_. Some of my friends called
this my weak side; but, alas! they had not, like me, made it the subject
of long contemplation. The more I reflected upon it, the more important
it appeared. I even went a step beyond Whiston in displaying my
principles: as he had engraven upon his wife's tomb that she was the
_only_ wife of William Whiston; so I wrote a similar epitaph for my
wife, though still living, in which I extolled her prudence, economy,
and obedience till death; and, having got it copied fair, with an
elegant frame, it was placed over the chimney-piece, where it answered
several very useful purposes. It admonished my wife of her duty to me
and my fidelity to her; it inspired her with a passion for fame, and
constantly put her in mind of her end.

It was thus, perhaps, from hearing marriage so often recommended, that
my eldest son, just upon leaving college, fixed his affections upon the
daughter of a neighbouring clergyman, who was a dignitary in the church,
and in circumstances to give her a large fortune; but fortune was her
smallest accomplishment. Miss Arabella Wilmot was allowed by all (except
my two daughters) to be completely pretty. Her youth, health, and
innocence were still heightened by a complexion so transparent, and such
a happy sensibility of look, as even age could not gaze on with
indifference. As Mr. Wilmot knew that I could make a very handsome
settlement on my son, he was not averse to the match; so both families
lived together in all that harmony which generally precedes an expected
alliance. Being convinced, by experience, that the days of courtship are
the most happy of our lives, I was willing enough to lengthen the
period; and the various amusements which the young couple every day
shared in each other's company seemed to increase their passion. We were
generally awakened in the morning by music, and on fine days rode
a-hunting. The hours between breakfast and dinner the ladies devoted to
dress and study: they usually read a page, and then gazed at themselves
in the glass, which even philosophers might own often presented the page
of greatest beauty. At dinner my wife took the lead; for, as she always
insisted upon carving everything herself, it being her mother's way, she
gave us, upon these occasions, the history of every dish. When we had
dined, to prevent the ladies leaving us I generally ordered the table to
be removed; and sometimes, with the music-master's assistance, the girls
would give us a very agreeable concert. Walking out, drinking tea,
country-dances, and forfeits shortened the rest of the day, without the
assistance of cards, as I hated all manner of gaming, except backgammon,
at which my old friend and I sometimes took a twopenny hit. Nor can I
here pass over an ominous circumstance that happened the last time we
played together: I only wanted to fling a quatre, and yet I threw
deuce-ace five times running.

Some months were elapsed in this manner, till at last it was thought
convenient to fix a day for the nuptials of the young couple, who seemed
earnestly to desire it. During the preparations for the wedding, I need
not describe the busy importance of my wife, nor the sly looks of my
daughters: in fact my attention was fixed on another object—the
completing a tract which I intended shortly to publish in defence of my
favourite principle. As I looked upon this as a masterpiece, both for
argument and style, I could not in the pride of my heart avoid showing
it to my old friend Mr. Wilmot, as I made no doubt of receiving his
approbation: but not till too late I discovered that he was violently
attached to the contrary opinion, and with good reason; for he was at
that time actually courting a fourth wife. This, as may be expected,
produced a dispute attended with some acrimony, which threatened to
interrupt our intended alliance; but, on the day before that appointed
for the ceremony, we agreed to discuss the subject at large.

It was managed with proper spirit on both sides: he asserted that I was
heterodox; I retorted the charge; he replied, and I rejoined. In the
meantime, while the controversy was hottest, I was called out by one of
my relations, who, with a face of concern, advised me to give up the
dispute, at least till my son's wedding was over. "How!" cried I,
"relinquish the cause of truth, and let him be a husband, already driven
to the very verge of absurdity? You might as well advise me to give up
my fortune as my argument." "Your fortune," returned my friend, "I am
now sorry to inform you, is almost nothing. The merchant in town in
whose hands your money was lodged, has gone off, to avoid a statute of
bankruptcy, and is thought not to have left a shilling in the pound. I
was unwilling to shock you or the family with the account till after the
wedding; but now it may serve to moderate your warmth in the argument;
for I suppose your own prudence will enforce the necessity of
dissembling, at least till your son has the young lady's fortune
secure." "Well," returned I, "if what you tell me be true, and if I am
to be a beggar, it shall never make me a rascal, or induce me to disavow
my principles. I'll go this moment and inform the company of my
circumstances: and as for the argument, I even here retract my former
concessions in the old gentleman's favour, nor will I allow him now to
be a husband in any sense of the expression."

It would be useless to describe the different sensations of both
families, when I divulged the news of our misfortune; but what others
felt was slight to what the lovers appeared to endure. Mr. Wilmot, who
seemed before sufficiently inclined to break off the match, was by this
blow soon determined: one virtue he had in perfection, which was
prudence—too often the only one that is left us at seventy-two.

[Illustration:

  "_And take this book too, it will be your comfort on the way._"
]



                             _CHAPTER III._

              _A migration.—The fortunate circumstances of
                    our lives are generally found at
                   last to be of our own procuring._


The only hope of our family now was, that the report of our misfortune
might be malicious or premature: but a letter from my agent in town soon
came with a confirmation of every particular. The loss of fortune to
myself alone would have been trifling: the only uneasiness I felt was
for my family, who were to be humbled, without an education to render
them callous to contempt.

Near a fortnight had passed before I attempted to restrain their
affliction; for premature consolation is but the remembrancer of sorrow.
During this interval, my thoughts were employed on some future means of
supporting them; and at last a small cure of fifteen pounds a year was
offered me in a distant neighbourhood, where I could still enjoy my
principles without molestation. With this proposal I joyfully closed,
having determined to increase my salary by managing a little farm.

Having taken this resolution, my next care was to get together the
wrecks of my fortune; and, all debts collected and paid, out of fourteen
thousand pounds we had but four hundred remaining. My chief attention,
therefore, was now to bring down the pride of my family to their
circumstances; for I well knew that aspiring beggary is wretchedness
itself. "You cannot be ignorant, my children," cried I, "that no
prudence of ours could have prevented our late misfortune; but prudence
may do much in disappointing its effects. We are now poor, my fondlings,
and wisdom bids us to conform to our humble situation. Let us, then,
without repining, give up those splendours with which numbers are
wretched, and seek, in humbler circumstances, that peace with which all
may be happy. The poor live pleasantly without our help; why then should
not we learn to live without theirs? No, my children, let us from this
moment give up all pretensions to gentility; we have still enough left
for happiness if we are wise, and let us draw upon content for the
deficiencies of fortune."

As my eldest son was bred a scholar, I determined to send him to town,
where his abilities might contribute to our support and his own. The
separation of friends and families is, perhaps, one of the most
distressful circumstances attendant on penury. The day soon arrived on
which we were to disperse for the first time. My son, after taking leave
of his mother and the rest, who mingled their tears with their kisses,
came to ask a blessing from me. This I gave him from my heart, and
which, added to five guineas, was all the patrimony I had now to bestow.
"You are going, my boy," cried I, "to London on foot, in the manner
Hooker, your great ancestor, travelled there before you. Take from me
the same horse that was given him by the good Bishop Jewel, this staff;
and take this book too—it will be your comfort on the way; these two
lines in it are worth a million—_I have been young, and now am old; yet
never saw I the righteous man forsaken, nor his seed begging their
bread_. Let this be your consolation as you travel on. Go, my boy;
whatever be thy fortune, let me see thee once a year; still keep a good
heart, and farewell." As he was possessed of integrity and honour, I was
under no apprehensions from throwing him naked into the amphitheatre of
life; for I knew he would act a good part, whether vanquished or
victorious.

His departure only prepared the way for our own, which arrived a few
days afterwards. The leaving a neighbourhood in which we had enjoyed so
many hours of tranquillity was not without a tear, which scarcely
fortitude itself could suppress. Besides, a journey of seventy miles, to
a family that had hitherto never been above ten from home, filled us
with apprehension; and the cries of the poor, who followed us for some
miles, contributed to increase it. The first day's journey brought us in
safety within thirty miles of our future retreat, and we put up for the
night at an obscure inn in a village by the way. When we were shown a
room, I desired the landlord, in my usual way, to let us have his
company, with which he complied, as what he drank would increase the
bill next morning. He knew, however, the whole neighbourhood to which I
was removing, particularly Squire Thornhill, who was to be my landlord,
and who lived within a few miles of the place. This gentleman he
described as one who desired to know little more of the world than its
pleasures, being particularly remarkable for his attachment to the fair
sex. He observed, that no virtue was able to resist his arts and
assiduity, and that there was scarcely a farmer's daughter within ten
miles round but what had found him successful and faithless. Though this
account gave me some pain, it had a very different effect upon my
daughters, whose features seemed to brighten with the expectation of an
approaching triumph; nor was my wife less pleased and confident of their
allurements and virtue. While our thoughts were thus employed, the
hostess entered the room to inform her husband that the strange
gentleman, who had been two days in the house, wanted money, and could
not satisfy them for his reckoning. "Want money!" replied the host,
"that must be impossible; for it was no later than yesterday he paid
three guineas to our beadle to spare an old broken soldier that was to
be whipped through the town for dog-stealing." The hostess, however,
still persisting in her first assertion, he was preparing to leave the
room, swearing that he would be satisfied one way or another, when I
begged the landlord would introduce me to a stranger of so much charity
as he described. With this he complied, showing in a gentleman who
seemed to be about thirty, dressed in clothes that once were laced. His
person was well-formed, and his face marked with the lines of thinking.
He had something short and dry in his address, and seemed not to
understand ceremony, or to despise it. Upon the landlord's leaving the
room, I could not avoid expressing my concern to the stranger at seeing
a gentleman in such circumstances, and offered him my purse to satisfy
the present demand. "I take it with all my heart, sir," replied he, "and
am glad that a late oversight, in giving what money I had about me, has
shown me that there are still some men like you. I must, however,
previously entreat being informed of the name and residence of my
benefactor, in order to repay him as soon as possible." In this I
satisfied him fully, not only mentioning my name and late misfortune,
but the place to which I was going to remove. "This," cried he, "happens
still more luckily than I hoped for, as I am going the same way myself,
having been detained here two days by the floods, which I hope, by
to-morrow, will be found passable." I testified the pleasure I should
have in his company, and my wife and daughters joining in entreaty, he
was prevailed upon to stay supper. The stranger's conversation, which
was at once pleasing and instructive, induced me to wish for a
continuance of it; but it was now high time to retire and take
refreshment against the fatigues of the following day.

[Illustration:

  "_My wife and daughters joining in entreaty,
  he was prevailed upon to stay supper._"
]

The next morning we all set forward together: my family on horseback,
while Mr. Burchell, our new companion, walked along the foot-path by the
road-side, observing, with a smile, that as we were ill mounted he would
be too generous to attempt leaving us behind. As the floods were not yet
subsided, we were obliged to hire a guide, who trotted on before, Mr.
Burchell and I bringing up the rear. We lightened the fatigues of the
road with philosophical disputes, which he seemed to understand
perfectly. But what surprised me most was, that though he was a
money-borrower, he defended his opinions with as much obstinacy as if he
had been my patron. He now and then also informed me to whom the
different seats belonged that lay in our view as we travelled the road.
"That," cried he, pointing to a very magnificent house which stood at
some distance, "belongs to Mr. Thornhill, a young gentleman who enjoys a
large fortune, though entirely dependent on the will of his uncle, Sir
William Thornhill, a gentleman who, content with a little himself,
permits his nephew to enjoy the rest, and chiefly resides in town."
"What!" cried I, "is my young landlord then the nephew of a man whose
virtues, generosity, and singularities are so universally known? I have
heard Sir William Thornhill represented as one of the most generous, yet
whimsical men in the kingdom; a man of consummate benevolence."
"Something, perhaps, too much so," replied Mr. Burchell; "at least, he
carried benevolence to an excess when young, for his passions were then
strong, and as they were all upon the side of virtue, they led it up to
a romantic extreme. He early began to aim at the qualifications of the
soldier and the scholar; was soon distinguished in the army, and had
some reputation among men of learning. Adulation ever follows the
ambitious; for such alone receive most pleasure from flattery. He was
surrounded with crowds, who showed him only one side of their character;
so that he began to lose a regard for private interest in universal
sympathy. He loved all mankind; for fortune prevented him from knowing
that there were rascals. Physicians tell us of a disorder in which the
whole body is so exquisitely sensible, that the slightest touch gives
pain: what some have thus suffered in their persons, this gentleman felt
in his mind. The slightest distress, whether real or fictitious, touched
him to the quick, and his soul laboured under a sickly sensibility of
the miseries of others. Thus disposed to relieve, it will be easily
conjectured he found numbers disposed to solicit: his profusion began to
impair his fortune, but not his good-nature; that, indeed, was seen to
increase as the other seemed to decay; he grew improvident as he grew
poor; and though he talked like a man of sense, his actions were those
of a fool. Still, however, being surrounded with importunity, and no
longer able to satisfy every request that was made him, instead of
_money_ he gave _promises_. They were all he had to bestow, and he had
not resolution enough to give any man pain by a denial. By this he drew
round him crowds of dependents, whom he was sure to disappoint, yet
wished to relieve. These hung upon him for a time, and left him with
merited reproaches and contempt. But in proportion as he became
contemptible to others, he became despicable to himself. His mind had
leaned upon their adulation, and, that support taken away, he could find
no pleasure in the applause of his heart, which he had never learned to
reverence. The world now began to wear a different aspect; the flattery
of his friends began to dwindle into simple approbation. Approbation
soon took the more friendly form of advice; and advice, when rejected,
produced their reproaches. He now, therefore, found that such friends as
benefits had gathered round him were little estimable; he now found that
a man's own heart must be ever given to gain that of another. I now
found, that—that—I forget what I was going to observe; in short, sir, he
resolved to respect himself, and laid down a plan of restoring his
falling fortune. For this purpose, in his own whimsical manner, he
travelled through Europe on foot, and now, though he has scarcely
attained the age of thirty, his circumstances are more affluent than
ever. At present his bounties are more rational and moderate than
before; but he still preserves the character of a humourist, and finds
most pleasure in eccentric virtues."

My attention was so much taken up by Mr. Burchell's account, that I
scarcely looked forward as we went along, till we were alarmed by the
cries of my family; when, turning, I perceived my youngest daughter in
the midst of a rapid stream, thrown from her horse, and struggling with
the torrent. She had sunk twice, nor was it in my power to disengage
myself in time to bring her relief. My sensations were even too violent
to permit my attempting her rescue: she must have certainly perished,
had not my companion, perceiving her danger, instantly plunged in to her
relief, and, with some difficulty, brought her in safety to the opposite
shore. By taking the current a little farther up, the rest of the family
got safely over, where we had an opportunity of joining our
acknowledgments to hers. Her gratitude may be more readily imagined than
described: she thanked her deliverer more with looks than words, and
continued to lean upon his arm, as if still willing to receive
assistance. My wife also hoped one day to have the pleasure of returning
his kindness at her own house. Thus, after we were refreshed at the next
inn, and had dined together, as Mr. Burchell was going to a different
part of the country, he took leave; and we pursued our journey, my wife
observing, as he went, that she liked him extremely, and protesting
that, if he had birth and fortune to entitle him to match into such a
family as ours, she knew no man she would sooner fix upon. I could not
but smile to hear her talk in this lofty strain; but I was never much
displeased with those harmless delusions that tend to make us more
happy.



                             _CHAPTER IV._

      _A proof that even the humblest fortune may grant happiness,
         which depends not on circumstances, but constitution._


The place of our retreat was in a little neighbourhood, consisting of
farmers who tilled their own grounds, and were equal strangers to
opulence and poverty. As they had almost all the conveniences of life
within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of
superfluities. Remote from the polite, they still retained the primeval
simplicity of manners; and, frugal by habit, they scarcely knew that
temperance was a virtue. They wrought with cheerfulness on days of
labour; but observed festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure.
They kept up the Christmas carol, sent true-love knots on Valentine
morning, ate pancakes on Shrovetide, showed their wit on the first of
April, and religiously cracked nuts on Michaelmas-eve. Being apprised of
our approach, the whole neighbourhood came out to meet their minister,
dressed in their finest clothes, and preceded by a pipe and tabor; a
feast also was provided for our reception, at which we sat cheerfully
down; and what the conversation wanted in wit was made up in laughter.

Our little habitation was situated at the foot of a sloping hill,
sheltered with a beautiful underwood behind, and a prattling river
before; on one side a meadow, on the other a green. My farm consisted of
about twenty acres of excellent land, having given a hundred pounds for
my predecessor's goodwill. Nothing could exceed the neatness of my
little enclosures, the elms and hedgerows appearing with inexpressible
beauty. My house consisted of but one storey, and was covered with
thatch, which gave it an air of great snugness; the walls on the inside
were nicely whitewashed, and my daughters undertook to adorn them with
pictures of their own designing. Though the same room served us for
parlour and kitchen, that only made it the warmer. Besides, as it was
kept with the utmost neatness, the dishes, plates, and coppers being
well scoured, and all disposed in bright rows on the shelves, the eye
was agreeably relieved, and did not want richer furniture. There were
three other apartments—one for my wife and me, another for our two
daughters within our own, and the third with two beds for the rest of
our children.

The little republic to which I gave laws was regulated in the following
manner: by sunrise we all assembled in our common apartment, the fire
being previously kindled by the servant; after we had saluted each other
with proper ceremony—for I always thought fit to keep up some mechanical
forms of good breeding, without which, freedom ever destroys
friendship—we all bent in gratitude to that Being who gave us another
day. This duty being performed, my son and I went to pursue our usual
industry abroad, while my wife and daughters employed themselves in
providing breakfast, which was always ready at a certain time. I allowed
half an hour for this meal, and an hour for dinner; which time was taken
up in innocent mirth between my wife and daughters, and in philosophical
arguments between my son and me.

[Illustration:

  "_Sometimes Farmer Flamborough, our talkative neighbour,
  and often the blind piper, would pay us a visit._"
]


As we rose with the sun, so we never pursued our labours after it was
gone down, but returned home to the expecting family; where smiling
looks, a neat hearth, and pleasant fire were prepared for our reception.
Nor were we without guests; sometimes Farmer Flamborough, our talkative
neighbour, and often the blind piper, would pay us a visit, and taste
our gooseberry-wine, for the making of which we had lost neither the
recipe nor the reputation. These harmless people had several ways of
being good company; for while one played, the other would sing some
soothing ballad—Johnny Armstrong's Last Good-night, or the Cruelty of
Barbara Allen. The night was concluded in the manner we began the
morning, my youngest boys being appointed to read the lessons of the
day; and he that read loudest, distinctest, and best, was to have a
halfpenny on Sunday to put into the poor's-box.

When Sunday came, it was indeed a day of finery, which all my sumptuary
edicts could not restrain. How well soever I fancied my lectures against
pride had conquered the vanity of my daughters, yet I still found them
secretly attached to all their former finery; they still loved laces,
ribands, bugles, and catgut; my wife herself retained a passion for her
crimson paduasoy, because I formerly happend to say it became her.

The first Sunday, in particular, their behaviour served to mortify me. I
had desired my girls the preceding night to be dressed early the next
day; for I always loved to be at church a good while before the rest of
the congregation. They punctually obeyed my directions; but when we were
assembled in the morning at breakfast, down came my wife and daughters,
dressed out in all their former splendour; their hair plastered up with
pomatum, their faces patched to taste, their trains bundled up into a
heap behind, and rustling at every motion. I could not help smiling at
their vanity, particularly that of my wife, from whom I expected more
discretion. In this exigence, therefore, my only resource was to order
my son, with an important air, to call our coach. The girls were amazed
at the command; but I repeated it with more solemnity than before.
"Surely, my dear, you jest," cried my wife; "we can walk it perfectly
well: we want no coach to carry us now." "You mistake, child," returned
I, "we do want a coach; for if we walk to church in this trim, the very
children in the parish will hoot after us." "Indeed," replied my wife,
"I always imagined that my Charles was fond of seeing his children neat
and handsome about him." "You may be as neat as you please," interrupted
I, "and I shall love you the better for it; but all this is not
neatness, but frippery. These rufflings, and pinkings, and patchings,
will only make us hated by all the wives of our neighbours. No, my
children," continued I, more gravely, "those gowns may be altered into
something of a plainer cut; for finery is very unbecoming in us, who
want the means of decency. I do not know whether such flouncing and
shredding is becoming even in the rich, if we consider, upon a moderate
calculation, that the nakedness of the indigent world may be clothed
from the trimmings of the vain."

This remonstrance had the proper effect: they went with great composure,
that very instant, to change their dress; and the next day I had the
satisfaction of finding my daughters, at their own request, employed in
cutting up their trains into Sunday waistcoats for Dick and Bill, the
two little ones; and, what was still more satisfactory, the gowns seemed
improved by this curtailing.



                              _CHAPTER V._

      _A new and great acquaintance introduced.—What we place most
                hopes upon generally proves most fatal._


At a small distance from the house my predecessor had made a seat
overshaded by a hedge of hawthorn and honeysuckle. Here, when the
weather was fine, and our labour soon finished, we usually sat together
to enjoy an extensive landscape in the calm of the evening. Here, too,
we drank tea, which was now become an occasional banquet; and as we had
it but seldom, it diffused a new joy, the preparation for it being made
with no small share of bustle and ceremony. On these occasions our two
little ones always read for us, and they were regularly served after we
had done. Sometimes, to give a variety to our amusements, the girls sung
to the guitar; and while they thus formed a little concert, my wife and
I would stroll down the sloping field, that was embellished with
blue-bells and centaury, talk of our children with rapture, and enjoy
the breeze that wafted both health and harmony.

In this manner we began to find that every situation in life may bring
its own peculiar pleasures; every morning waked us to a repetition of
toil; but the evening repaid it with vacant hilarity.

It was about the beginning of autumn, on a holiday—for I kept such as
intervals of relaxation from labour—that I had drawn out my family to
our usual place of amusement, and our young musicians began their usual
concert. As we were thus engaged, we saw a stag bound nimbly by, within
about twenty paces of where we were sitting, and, by its panting, it
seemed pressed by the hunters. We had not much time to reflect upon the
poor animal's distress, when we perceived the dogs and horsemen come
sweeping along at some distance behind, and making the very path it had
taken. I was instantly for returning in with my family; but either
curiosity or surprise, or some more hidden motive, held my wife and
daughters to their seats. The huntsman, who rode foremost, passed us
with great swiftness, followed by four or five persons more, who seemed
in equal haste. At last, a young gentleman, of a more genteel appearance
than the rest, came forward, and for a while regarding us, instead of
pursuing the chase stopped short, and, giving his horse to a servant who
attended, approached us with a careless, superior air. He seemed to want
no introduction, but was going to salute my daughters as one certain of
a kind reception; but they had early learned the lesson of looking
presumption out of countenance. Upon which he let us know that his name
was Thornhill, and that he was the owner of the estate that lay for some
extent around us. He again, therefore, offered to salute the female part
of the family; and such was the power of fortune and fine clothes, that
he found no second repulse. As his address, though confident, was easy,
we soon became more familiar; and perceiving musical instruments lying
near, he begged to be favoured with a song. As I did not approve of such
disproportioned acquaintances, I winked upon my daughters in order to
prevent their compliance; but my hint was counteracted by one from their
mother, so that with a cheerful air they gave us a favourite song of
Dryden's. Mr. Thornhill seemed highly delighted with their performance
and choice, and then took up the guitar himself. He played but very
indifferently; however, my eldest daughter repaid his former applause
with interest, and assured him that his tones were louder than even
those of her master. At this compliment he bowed, which she returned by
a curtsey. He praised her taste, and she commended his understanding: an
age could not have made them better acquainted: while the fond mother
too, equally happy, insisted upon her landlord's stepping in, and taking
a glass of her gooseberry. The whole family seemed earnest to please
him: my girls attempted to entertain him with topics they thought most
modern; while Moses, on the contrary, gave him a question or two from
the ancients, for which he had the satisfaction of being laughed at; my
little ones were no less busy, and fondly stuck close to the stranger.
All my endeavours could scarcely keep their dirty fingers from handling
and tarnishing the lace on his clothes, and lifting up the flaps of his
pocket-holes, to see what was there. At the approach of evening he took
leave; but not till he had requested permission to renew his visit,
which, as he was our landlord, we most readily agreed to.

[Illustration:

  "_Mr. Thornhill was highly delighted with their
  performance and choice, and then took the guitar himself._"
]


As soon as he was gone, my wife called a council on the conduct of the
day. She was of opinion that it was a most fortunate hit; for she had
known even stranger things than that brought to bear. She hoped again to
see the day in which we might hold up our heads with the best of them;
and concluded, she protested she could see no reason why the two Miss
Wrinkles should marry great fortunes, and her children get none. As this
last argument was directed to me, I protested I could see no reason for
it neither; nor why Mr. Simkins got the ten thousand pound prize in the
lottery, and we set down with a blank. "I protest, Charles," cried my
wife, "this is the way you always damp my girls and me when we are in
spirits. Tell me, Sophy, my dear, what do you think of our new visitor?
Don't you think he seemed to be good-natured?" "Immensely so, indeed,
mamma," replied she; "I think he has a great deal to say upon
everything, and is never at a loss; and the more trifling the subject,
the more he has to say." "Yes," cried Olivia, "he is well enough for a
man; but, for my part, I don't much like him, he is so extremely
impudent and familiar; but on the guitar he is shocking." These two last
speeches I interpreted by contraries. I found by this, that Sophia
internally despised as much as Olivia secretly admired him. "Whatever
may be your opinions of him, my children," cried I, "to confess the
truth, he has not prepossessed me in his favour. Disproportioned
friendships ever terminate in disgust; and I thought, notwithstanding
all his ease, that he seemed perfectly sensible of the distance between
us. Let us keep to companions of our own rank. There is no character
more contemptible than a man that is a fortune-hunter; and I can see no
reason why fortune-hunting women should not be contemptible too. Thus,
at best, we shall be contemptible if his views be honourable; but if
they be otherwise! I should shudder but to think of that! It is true, I
have no apprehensions from the conduct of my children, but I think there
are some from his character." I would have proceeded, but for the
interruption of a servant from the squire, who, with his compliments,
sent us a side of venison, and a promise to dine with us some days
after. This well-timed present pleaded more powerfully in his favour
than anything I had to say could obviate. I therefore continued silent,
satisfied with just having pointed out danger, and leaving it to their
own discretion to avoid it. That virtue which requires to be ever
guarded is scarcely worth the sentinel.



                             _CHAPTER VI._

                   _Happiness of a country fireside._


As we carried on the former dispute with some degree of warmth, in order
to accommodate matters it was universally agreed that we should have a
part of the venison for supper, and the girls undertook the task with
alacrity. "I am sorry," cried I, "that we have no neighbour or stranger
to take part in this good cheer: feasts of this kind acquire a double
relish from hospitality." "Bless me!" cried my wife, "here comes our
good friend, Mr. Burchell, that saved our Sophia, and that run you down
fairly in the argument." "Confute me in argument, child!" cried I, "you
mistake there, my dear; I believe there are but few that can do that: I
never dispute your abilities at making a goose-pie, and I beg you'll
leave argument to me." As I spoke poor Mr. Burchell entered the house,
and was welcomed by the family, who shook him heartily by the hand,
while little Dick officiously reached him a chair.

I was pleased with the poor man's friendship for two reasons: because I
knew that he wanted mine, and I knew him to be friendly as far as he was
able. He was known in our neighbourhood by the character of the poor
gentleman that would do no good when he was young, though he was not yet
thirty. He would at intervals talk with great good sense; but in general
he was fondest of the company of children, whom he used to call harmless
little men. He was famous, I found, for singing them ballads and telling
them stories; and seldom went out without something in his pockets for
them—a piece of gingerbread, or a halfpenny whistle. He generally came
for a few days into our neighbourhood once a year, and lived upon the
neighbours' hospitality. He sat down to supper among us, and my wife was
not sparing of her gosseberry-wine. The tale went round; he sung us old
songs, and gave the children the story of the Buck of Beverland, with
the History of Patient Grizzel, the Adventures of Catskin, and then Fair
Rosamond's Bower. Our cock, which always crew at eleven, now told us it
was time for repose; but an unforeseen difficulty started about lodging
the stranger: all our beds were already taken up, and it was too late to
send him to the next alehouse. In this dilemma, little Dick offered him
his part of the bed, if his brother Moses would let him lie with him.
"And I," cried Bill, "will give Mr. Burchell my part, if my sisters will
take me to theirs." "Well done, my good children," cried I, "hospitality
is one of the first Christian duties. The beast retires to its shelter,
and the bird flies to its nest; but helpless man can only find refuge
from his fellow-creature. The greatest stranger in this world was He
that came to save it: He never had a house, as if willing to see what
hospitality was left remaining amongst us. Deborah, my dear," cried I to
my wife, "give those boys a lump of sugar each; and let Dick's be the
largest, because he spoke first."

In the morning early, I called out my whole family to help at saving an
after-growth of hay, and our guest offering his assistance, he was
accepted among the number. Our labours went on lightly; we turned the
swath to the wind; I went foremost, and the rest followed in due
succession. I could not avoid, however, observing the assiduity of Mr.
Burchell in aiding my daughter Sophia in her part of the task. When he
had finished his own, he would join in hers, and enter into a close
conversation: but I had too good an opinion of Sophia's understanding,
and was too well convinced of her ambition, to be under any uneasiness
from a man of broken fortune. When we were finished for the day, Mr.
Burchell was invited as on the night before, but he refused, as he was
to lie that night at a neighbour's, to whose child he was carrying a
whistle. When gone, our conversation at supper turned upon our late
unfortunate guest. "What a strong instance," said I, "is that poor man
of the miseries attending a youth of levity and extravagance! He by no
means wants sense, which only serves to aggravate his former folly. Poor
forlorn creature! where are now the revellers, the flatterers, that he
could once inspire and command? Gone, perhaps, to attend the bagnio
pandar, grown rich by his extravagance. They once praised him, and now
they applaud the pandar: their former raptures at his wit are now
converted into sarcasms at his folly: he is poor, and perhaps deserves
poverty; for he has neither the ambition to be independent nor the skill
to be useful." Prompted perhaps by some secret reasons, I delivered this
observation with too much acrimony, which my Sophia gently reproved.
"Whatsoever his former conduct may have been, papa, his circumstances
should exempt him from censure now. His present indigence is a
sufficient punishment for former folly: and I have heard my papa himself
say, that we should never strike one unnecessary blow at a victim over
whom Providence holds the scourge of its resentment." "You are right,
Sophy," cried my son Moses; "and one of the ancients finely represents
so malicious a conduct, by the attempts of a rustic to flay Marsyas,
whose skin, the fable tells us, had been wholly stripped off by another;
besides, I don't know if this poor man's situation be so bad as my
father would represent it. We are not to judge of the feelings of others
by what we might feel if in their place. However dark the habitation of
the mole to our eyes, yet the animal itself finds the apartments
sufficiently lightsome. And, to confess the truth, this man's mind seems
fitted to his station; for I never heard any one more sprightly than he
was to-day, when he conversed with you." This was said without the least
design: however, it excited a blush, which she strove to cover by an
affected laugh; assuring him that she scarcely took any notice of what
he said to her, but that she believed he might once have been a very
fine gentleman. The readiness with which she undertook to vindicate
herself, and her blushing, were symptoms I did not internally approve;
but I repressed my suspicions.

[Illustration:

  "_I could not avoid, however, observing
  the assiduity of Mr. Burchell in aiding my
  daughter Sophia in her part of the task._"
]


As we expected our landlord the next day, my wife went to make the
venison-pasty; Moses sat reading, while I taught the little ones: my
daughters seemed equally busy with the rest; and I observed them for a
good while cooking something over the fire. I at first supposed they
were assisting their mother; but little Dick informed me, in a whisper,
that they were making a wash for the face. Washes of all kinds I had a
natural antipathy to; for I knew that, instead of mending the
complexion, they spoiled it. I therefore approached my chair by slow
degrees to the fire, and grasping the poker, as if it wanted mending,
seemingly by accident overturned the whole composition, and it was too
late to begin another.



                             _CHAPTER VII._

          _A town wit described.—The dullest fellows may learn
                   to be comical for a night or two._


When the morning arrived on which we were to entertain our young
landlord, it may be easily supposed what provisions were exhausted to
make an appearance. It may be also conjectured, that my wife and
daughters expanded their gayest plumage on this occasion. Mr. Thornhill
came with a couple of friends, his chaplain and feeder. The servants,
who were numerous, he politely ordered to the next alehouse: but my
wife, in the triumph of her heart, insisted on entertaining them all;
for which, by the bye, our family was pinched for three weeks after. As
Mr. Burchell had hinted to us, the day before, that he was making some
proposals of marriage to Miss Wilmot, my son George's former mistress,
this a good deal damped the heartiness of his reception: but accident in
some measure relieved our embarrassment; for one of the company
happening to mention her name, Mr. Thornhill observed with an oath, that
he never knew anything more absurd than calling such a fright a beauty.
"For, strike me ugly!" continued he, "if I should not find as much
pleasure in choosing my mistress by the information of a lamp under the
clock of St. Dunstan's." At this he laughed, and so did we: the jests of
the rich are ever successful. Olivia, too, could not avoid whispering,
loud enough to be heard, that he had an infinite fund of humour.

After dinner, I began with my usual toast, the Church; for this I was
thanked by the chaplain, as he said the Church was the only mistress of
his affections. "Come, tell us honestly, Frank," said the squire, with
his usual archness, "suppose the Church, your present mistress, dressed
in lawn sleeves, on one hand, and Miss Sophia, with no lawn about her,
on the other, which would you be for?" "For both, to be sure," cried the
chaplain, "Right, Frank!" cried the squire; "for may this glass
suffocate me, but a fine girl is worth all the priestcraft in the
creation; for what are tithes and tricks but an imposition, all a
confounded imposture? and I can prove it." "I wish you would," cried my
son Moses; "and I think," continued he, "that I should be able to answer
you." "Very well, sir," cried the squire, who immediately smoked him,
and winked on the rest of the company to prepare us for the sport: "if
you are for a cool argument upon the subject, I am ready to accept the
challenge. And first, whether are you for managing it analogically or
dialogically?" "I am for managing it rationally," cried Moses, quite
happy at being permitted to dispute. "Good again!" cried the squire;
"and, firstly, of the first I hope you'll not deny that whatever is, is:
if you don't grant me that, I can go no further." "Why," returned Moses,
"I think I may grant that, and make the best of it." "I hope, too,"
returned the other, "you will grant that a part is less than the whole?"
"I grant that too," cried Moses: "it is but just and reasonable." "I
hope," cried the squire, "you will not deny, that the three angles of a
triangle are equal to two right ones?" "Nothing can be plainer,"
returned t'other, and looked round him with his usual importance. "Very
well," cried the squire, speaking very quick; "the premises being thus
settled, I proceed to observe, that the concatenation of
self-existences, proceeding in a reciprocal duplicate ratio, naturally
produce a problematical dialogism, which, in some measure, proves that
the essence of spirituality may be referred to the second predicable."
"Hold, hold!" cried the other, "I deny that. Do you think I can thus
tamely submit to such heterodox doctrines?" "What!" replied the squire,
as if in a passion, "not submit! Answer me one plain question. Do you
think Aristotle right when he says that relatives are related?"
"Undoubtedly," replied the other. "If so, then," cried the squire,
"answer me directly to what I propose: Whether do you judge the
analytical investigation of the first part of my enthymem deficient
_secundum quoad_, or _quoad minus_? and give me your reasons, I say,
directly." "I protest," cried Moses, "I don't rightly comprehend the
force of your reasoning; but if it be reduced to one single,
proposition, I fancy it may then have an answer." "Oh, sir," cried the
squire, "I am your most humble servant: I find you want me to furnish
you with argument and intellects too. No, sir! there I protest you are
too hard for me." This effectually raised the laugh against poor Moses,
who sat the only dismal figure in a group of merry faces; nor did he
offer a single syllable more during the whole entertainment.

But though all this gave me no pleasure, it had a very different effect
upon Olivia, who mistook it for humour, though but a mere act of memory.
She thought him, therefore, a very fine gentleman; and such as consider
what powerful ingredients a good figure, fine clothes, and fortune are
in that character, will easily forgive her. Mr. Thornhill,
notwithstanding his real ignorance, talked with ease, and could
expatiate upon the common topics of conversation with fluency. It is not
surprising, then, that such talents should win the affections of a girl
who, by education, was taught to value an appearance in herself, and
consequently to set a value upon it in another.

Upon his departure, we again entered into a debate upon the merits of
our young landlord. As he directed his looks and conversation to Olivia,
it was no longer doubted but that she was the object that induced him to
be our visitor. Nor did she seem to be much displeased at the innocent
raillery of her brother and sister upon this occasion. Even Deborah
herself seemed to share the glory of the day, and exulted in her
daughter's victory, as if it were her own. "And now, my dear," cried she
to me, "I'll fairly own that it was I who instructed my girls to
encourage our landlord's addresses. I had always some ambition, and you
now see that I was right; for who knows how this may end?" "Ay, who
knows that, indeed!" answered I, with a groan: "for my part, I don't
much like it; and I could have been better pleased with one that was
poor and honest, than this fine gentleman with his fortune and
infidelity; for, depend on't, if he be what I suspect him, no
freethinker shall ever have a child of mine."

"Sure, father," cried Moses, "You are too severe in this; for Heaven
will never arraign him for what he thinks, but for what he does. Every
man has a thousand vicious thoughts, which arise without his power to
suppress. Thinking freely of religion may be involuntary with this
gentleman; so that, allowing his sentiments to be wrong, yet, as he is
purely passive in his assent, he is no more to be blamed for his errors
than the governor of a city without walls for the shelter he is obliged
to afford an invading enemy."

"True, my son," cried I; "but if the governor invites the enemy there,
he is justly culpable; and such is always the case with those who
embrace error. The vice does not lie in assenting to the proofs they
see, but in being blind to many of the proofs that offer. So that,
though our erroneous opinions be involuntary when formed, yet, as we
have been wilfully corrupt or very negligent in forming them, we deserve
punishment for our vice, or contempt for our folly."

[Illustration:

  "_And when he bought each of the girls a
  set of ribands, hers was the finest._"—_p._ 30.
]


My wife now kept up the conversation, though not the argument: she
observed, that several very prudent men of our acquaintance were
freethinkers, and made very good husbands; and she knew some sensible
girls that had had skill enough to make converts of their spouses. "And
who knows, my dear," continued she, "what Olivia may be able to do? The
girl has a great deal to say upon every subject, and, to my knowledge,
is very well skilled in controversy."

"Why, my dear, what controversy can she have read? "cried I. "It does
not occur to me that I ever put such books into her hands: you certainly
over-rate her merit." "Indeed, papa," replied Olivia, "she does not; I
have read a great deal of controversy. I have read the disputes between
Thwackum and Square; the controversy between Robinson Crusoe and Friday
the savage; and I am now employed in reading the controversy in
'Religious Courtship.'" "Very well," cried I: "that's a good girl; I
find you are perfectly qualified for making converts, and so go help
your mother to make the gooseberry-pie."



                            _CHAPTER VIII._

             _An amour, which promises little good fortune,
                    yet may be productive of much._


The next morning we were again visited by Mr. Burchell, though I began,
for certain reasons, to be displeased with the frequency of his return;
but I could not refuse him my company and my fireside. It is true, his
labour more than requited his entertainment; for he wrought among us
with vigour, and, either in the meadow or at the hay-rick, put himself
foremost. Besides, he had always something amusing to say that lessened
our toil, and was at once so out of the way, and yet so sensible, that I
loved, laughed at, and pitied him. My only dislike arose from an
attachment he discovered to my daughter: he would, in a jesting manner,
call her his little mistress; and when he bought each of the girls a set
of ribands, hers was the finest. I knew not how, but he every day seemed
to become more amiable, his wit to improve, and his simplicity to assume
the superior airs of wisdom.

Our family dined in the field, and we sat, or rather reclined, round a
temperate repast, our cloth spread upon the hay, while Mr. Burchell gave
cheerfulness to the feast. To heighten our satisfaction, two blackbirds
answered each other from the opposite hedges, the familiar redbreast
came and pecked the crumbs from our hands, and every sound seemed but
the echo of tranquillity. "I never sit thus," says Sophia, "but I think
of the two lovers, so sweetly described by Mr. Gay, who were struck dead
in each other's arms. There is something so pathetic in the description,
that I have read it a hundred times with new rapture." "In my opinion,"
cried my son, "the finest strokes in that description are much below
those in the 'Acis and Galatea' of Ovid. The Roman poet understands the
use of _contrast_ better, and upon that figure, artfully managed, all
strength in the pathetic depends." "It is remarkable," cried Mr.
Burchell, "that both the poets you mention have equally contributed to
introduce a false taste into their respective countries, by loading all
their lines with epithet. Men of little genius found them most easily
imitated in their defects; and English poetry, like that in the latter
empire of Rome, is nothing at present but a combination of luxuriant
images, without plot or connection—a string of epithets that improve the
sound without carrying on the sense. But perhaps, madam, while I thus
reprehend others, you'll think it just that I should give them an
opportunity to retaliate; and, indeed, I have made this remark only to
have an opportunity of introducing to the company a ballad, which,
whatever be its other defects, is, I think, at least free from those I
have mentioned."


A BALLAD.

 "Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
   And guide my lonely way
 To where yon taper cheers the vale
   With hospitable ray.

 "For here forlorn and lost I tread,
   With fainting steps and slow;
 Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
   Seem lengthening as I go."

 "Forbear, my son," the hermit cries,
   "To tempt the dangerous gloom;
 For yonder faithless phantom flies
   To lure thee to thy doom.

 "Here to the houseless child of want
   My door is open still
 And though my portion is but scant,
   I give it with good will.

 "Then turn to-night, and freely share
   Whate'er my cell bestows;
 My rushy couch and frugal fare,
   My blessing, and repose.

 "No flocks that range the valley free
   To slaughter I condemn;
 Taught by that Power that pities me,
   I learn to pity them.

 "But from the mountain's grassy side
   A guiltless feast I bring;
 A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
   And water from the spring.

 "Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
   All earth-born cares are wrong;
 Man wants but little here below,
   Nor wants that little long."

 Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
   His gentle accents fell:
 The modest stranger lowly bends,
   And follows to the cell.

 Far in a wilderness obscure
   The lonely mansion lay;
 A refuge to the neighbouring poor,
   And strangers led astray.

 No stores beneath its humble thatch
   Required a master's care;
 The wicket, opening with a latch,
   Received the harmless pair.

 And now, when busy crowds retire,
   To take their evening rest,
 The hermit trimmed his little fire
   And cheered his pensive guest;

 And spread his vegetable store,
   And gaily pressed, and smiled;
 And skilled in legendary lore
   The lingering hours beguiled.

 Around, in sympathetic mirth,
   Its tricks the kitten tries;
 The cricket chirrups in the hearth
   The crackling faggot flies.

 But nothing could a charm impart
   To soothe the stranger's woe;
 For grief was heavy at his heart,
   And tears began to flow.

 His rising cares the hermit spied,
   With answering care opprest:
 "And whence, unhappy youth," he cried,
   "The sorrows of thy breast?

 "From better habitations spurned,
   Reluctant dost thou rove?
 Or grieve for friendship unreturned,
   Or unregarded love?

 "Alas! the joys that fortune brings
   Are trifling and decay;
 And those who prize the paltry things,
   More trifling still than they.

 "And what is friendship but a name,
   A charm that lulls to sleep,
 A shade that follows wealth or fame,
   But leaves the wretch to weep?

 "And love is still an emptier sound,
   The modern fair one's jest;
 On earth unseen, or only found
   To warm the turtle's nest.

 "For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
   And spurn the sex," he said:
 But while he spoke, a rising blush
   His love-lorn guest betrayed.

 Surprised he sees new beauties rise,
   Swift mantling to the view;
 Like colours o'er the morning skies,
   As bright, as transient too.

 The bashful look, the rising breast,
   Alternate spread alarms:
 The lovely stranger stands confest
   A maid in all her charms!

 And "Ah, forgive a stranger rude,
   A wretch forlorn," she cried;
 "Whose feet unhallowed thus intrude
   Where heaven and you reside.

 "But let a maid thy pity share,
   Whom love has taught to stray;
 Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
   Companion of her way.

 "My father lived beside the Tyne,
   A wealthy lord was he:
 And all his wealth was marked as mine;
   He had but only me.

 "To win me from his tender arms,
   Unnumbered suitors came;
 Who praised me for imputed charms,
   And felt or feigned a flame.

 "Each hour a mercenary crowd
   With richest proffers strove;
 Among the rest young Edwin bowed,
   But never talked of love.

 "In humble, simplest habit clad,
   No wealth nor power had he;
 Wisdom and worth were all he had,
   But these were all to me.

 "The blossom opening to the day,
   The dews of heaven refined,
 Could nought of purity display
   To emulate his mind.

 "The dew, the blossom on the tree,
   With charms inconstant shine;
 Their charms were his, but, woe is me!
   Their constancy was mine!

 "For still I tried each fickle art,
   Importunate and vain;
 And while his passion touched my heart,
   I triumphed in his pain.

 "Till quite dejected with my scorn,
   He left me to my pride;
 And sought a solitude forlorn,
   In secret where he died.

 "But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
   And well my life shall pay;
 I'll seek the solitude he sought,
   And stretch me where he lay.

 "And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
   I'll lay me down and die;
 'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
   And so for him will I."—

 "Forbid it, Heaven!" the hermit cried,
   And clasped her to his breast:
 The wond'ring fair one turned to chide,—
   'Twas Edwin's self that prest!

 "Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
   My charmer, turn to see
 Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
   Restored to love and thee!

 "Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
   And every care resign:
 And shall we never, never part,
   My life—my all that's mine?

 "No, never from this hour to part,
   We'll live and love so true;
 The sigh that rends thy constant heart
   Shall break thy Edwin's too."

[Illustration:

  "_Two young ladies richly dressed, whom
  he introduced as women of very great
  distinction and fashion from town._"—_p._ 35.
]


While this ballad was reading, Sophia seemed to mix an air of tenderness
with her approbation. But our tranquillity was soon disturbed by the
report of a gun just by us; and, immediately after, a man was seen
bursting through the hedge to take up the game he had killed. This
sportsman was the squire's chaplain, who had shot one of the blackbirds
that so agreeably entertained us. So loud a report, and so near,
startled my daughters; and I could perceive that Sophia, in the fright,
had thrown herself into Mr. Burchell's arms for protection. The
gentleman came up, and asked pardon for having disturbed us, affirming
that he was ignorant of our being so near. He therefore sat down by my
youngest daughter, and, sportsman like, offered her what he had killed
that morning. She was going to refuse, but a private look from her
mother soon induced her to correct the mistake, and accept his present,
though with some reluctance. My wife, as usual, discovered her pride in
a whisper; observing that Sophy had made a conquest of the chaplain, as
well as her sister had of the squire. I suspected, however, with more
probability, that her affections were placed upon a different object.
The chaplain's errand was to inform us that Mr. Thornhill had provided
music and refreshments, and intended that night giving the young ladies
a ball by moonlight on the grass-plot before our door. "Nor can I deny,"
continued he, "that I have an interest in being first to deliver this
message, as I expect for my reward to be honoured with Miss Sophia's
hand as a partner." To this my girl replied that she should have no
objection, "if she could do it with honour. But here," continued she,
"is a gentleman," looking at Mr. Burchell, "who has been my companion in
the task of the day, and it is fit he should share in its amusements."
Mr. Burchell returned her a compliment for her intentions, but resigned
her up to the chaplain, adding, that he was to go that night five miles,
being invited to a harvest supper. His refusal appeared to me a little
extraordinary; nor could I conceive how so sensible a girl as my
youngest could thus prefer a man of broken fortunes to one whose
expectations were much greater. But as men are most capable of
distinguishing merit in women, so the ladies often form the truest
judgment of us. The two sexes seem placed as spies upon each other, and
are furnished with different abilities, adapted for mutual inspection.



                             _CHAPTER IX._

         _Two ladies of great distinction introduced.—Superior
            finery ever seems to confer superior breeding_.


Mr. Burchell had scarcely taken leave, and Sophia consented to dance
with the chaplain, when my little ones came running out to tell us that
the squire was come with a crowd of company. Upon our return, we found
our landlord with a couple of under-gentlemen and two young ladies
richly dressed, whom he introduced as women of very great distinction
and fashion from town. We happened not to have chairs enough for the
whole company; but Mr. Thornhill immediately proposed that every
gentleman should sit in a lady's lap. This I positively objected to,
notwithstanding a look of disapprobation from my wife. Moses was
therefore despatched to borrow a couple of chairs; and, as we were in
want of ladies to make up a set at country-dances, the two gentlemen
went with him in quest of a couple of partners. Chairs and partners were
soon provided. The gentlemen returned with my neighbour Flamborough's
rosy daughters, flaunting with red top-knots. But an unlucky
circumstance was not adverted to: though the Miss Flamboroughs were
reckoned the very best dancers in the parish, and understood the jig and
the round-about to perfection, yet they were totally unacquainted with
country-dances. This at first discomposed us; however, after a little
shoving and dragging, they at last went merrily on. Our music consisted
of two fiddles, with a pipe and tabor. The moon shone bright: Mr.
Thornhill and my eldest daughter led up the ball, to the great delight
of the spectators; for the neighbours, hearing what was going forward,
came flocking about us. My girl moved with so much grace and vivacity,
that my wife could not avoid discovering the pride of her heart, by
assuring me that, though the little chit did it so cleverly, all the
steps were stolen from herself. The ladies of the town strove hard to be
equally easy, but without success. They swam, sprawled, languished, and
frisked; but all would not do: the gazers, indeed, owned that it was
fine; but neighbour Flamborough observed that Miss Livy's feet seemed as
pat to the music as its echo. After the dance had continued about an
hour, the two ladies, who were apprehensive of catching cold, moved to
break up the ball. One of them, I thought, expressed her sentiments upon
this occasion in a very coarse manner, when she observed, that, by the
_living jingo, she was all of a muck of sweat_. Upon our return to the
house we found a very elegant cold supper, which Mr. Thornhill had
ordered to be brought with him. The conversation at this time was more
reserved than before. The two ladies threw my girls quite into the
shade: for they would talk of nothing but high life and high-lived
company; with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste,
Shakespeare, and the musical glasses. 'Tis true, they once or twice
mortified us sensibly by slipping out an oath; but that appeared to me
as the surest symptom of their distinction (though I am since informed
that swearing is perfectly unfashionable). Their finery, however, threw
a veil over any grossness in their conversation. My daughters seemed to
regard their superior accomplishments with envy; and whatever appeared
amiss was ascribed to tip-top quality breeding. But the condescension of
the ladies was still superior to their other accomplishments. One of
them observed, that, had Miss Olivia seen a little more of the world, it
would greatly improve her. To which the other added, that a single
winter in town would make her little Sophia quite another thing. My wife
warmly assented to both; adding that there was nothing she more ardently
wished than to give her girls a single winter's polishing. To this I
could not help replying that their breeding was already superior to
their fortune; and that greater refinement would only serve to make
their poverty ridiculous, and give them a taste for pleasures they had
no right to possess. "And what pleasures," cried Mr. Thornhill, "do they
not deserve to possess, who have so much in their power to bestow? As
for my part," continued he, "my fortune is pretty large; love, liberty,
and pleasure are my maxims; but, curse me! if a settlement of half my
estate could give my charming Olivia pleasure, it should be hers; and
the only favour I would ask in return would be to add myself to the
benefit." I was not such a stranger to the world as to be ignorant that
this was the fashionable cant to disguise the insolence of the basest
proposal; but I made an effort to suppress my resentment. "Sir," cried
I, "the family which you now condescend to favour with your company has
been bred with as nice a sense of honour as you. Any attempts to injure
that may be attended with very dangerous consequences. Honour, sir, is
our only possession at present, and of that last treasure we must be
particularly careful." I was soon sorry for the warmth with which I had
spoken this, when the young gentleman, grasping my hand, swore he
commended my spirit, though he disapproved my suspicions. "As to your
present hint," continued he, "I protest nothing was further from my
heart than such a thought. No, by all that's tempting, the virtue that
will stand a regular siege was never to my taste; for all my amours are
carried by a _coup-de-main_."

[Illustration:

  "_The tawny sybil no sooner appeared than
  my girls came running to me for a shilling
  a-piece to cross her hand with silver._"—_p._ 38.
]


The two ladies, who affected to be ignorant of the rest, seemed highly
displeased with this last stroke of freedom, and began a very, discreet
and serious dialogue upon virtue. In this my wife, the chaplain, and I
soon joined; and the squire himself was at last brought to confess a
sense of sorrow for his former excesses. We talked of the pleasures of
temperance, and of the sunshine in the mind unpolluted with guilt. I was
so well pleased, that my little ones were kept up beyond the usual time
to be edified by so much good conversation. Mr. Thornhill even went
beyond me, and demanded if I had any objection to giving prayers. I
joyfully embraced the proposal; and in this manner the night was passed
in a most comfortable way, till at length the company began to think of
returning. The ladies seemed very unwilling to part with my daughters,
for whom they had conceived a particular affection, and joined in a
request to have the pleasure of their company home. The squire seconded
the proposal, and my wife added her entreaties; the girls, too, looked
upon me as if they wished to go. In this perplexity I made two or three
excuses, which my daughters as readily removed; so that at last I was
obliged to give a peremptory refusal; for which we had nothing but
sullen looks and short answers for the whole day ensuing.



                              _CHAPTER X._

         _The family endeavour to cope with their betters.—The
         miseries of the poor when they attempt to appear above
                         their circumstances._


I now began to find that all my long and painful lectures upon
temperance, simplicity, and contentment, were entirely disregarded. The
distinctions lately paid us by our betters awakened that pride which I
had laid asleep, but not removed. Our windows again, as formerly, were
filled with washes for the neck and face. The sun was dreaded as an
enemy to the skin without doors, and the fire as a spoiler of the
complexion within. My wife observed, that rising too early would hurt
her daughters' eyes, that working after dinner would redden their noses,
and she convinced me that the hands never looked so white as when they
did nothing. Instead, therefore, of finishing George's shirts, we now
had them new-modelling their old gauzes, or flourishing upon catgut. The
poor Miss Flamboroughs, their former gay companions, were cast off as
mean acquaintance, and the whole conversation now ran upon high life and
high-lived company, with pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical
glasses.

But we could have borne all this had not a fortune-telling gipsy come to
raise us into perfect sublimity. The tawny sybil no sooner appeared than
my girls came running to me for a shilling a-piece to cross her hand
with silver. To say the truth, I was tired of being always wise, and
could not help gratifying their request, because I loved to see them
happy. I gave each of them a shilling; though, for the honour of the
family, it must be observed that they never went without money
themselves, as my wife always generously let them have a guinea each to
keep in their pockets, but with strict injunctions never to change it.
After they had been closeted up with the fortune-teller for some time, I
knew by their looks, upon their returning, that they had been promised
something great. "Well, my girls, how have you sped? Tell me, Livy, has
the fortune-teller given thee a pennyworth?" "I protest, papa," says the
girl, "I believe she deals with somebody that's not right; for she
positively declared that I am to be married to a squire in less than a
twelvemonth!" "Well, now, Sophy, my child," said I, "and what sort of a
husband are you to have?" "Sir," replied she, "I am to have a lord soon
after my sister has married the squire." "How!" cried I, "is that all
you are to have for your two shillings? Only a lord and a squire for two
shillings? You fools, I could have promised you a prince and a nabob for
half the money."

This curiosity of theirs, however, was attended with very serious
effects: we now began to think ourselves designed by the stars to
something exalted, and already anticipated our future grandeur.

It has been a thousand times observed, and I must observe it once more,
that the hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing
than those crowned with fruition. In the first case, we cook the dish to
our own appetite; in the latter, nature cooks it for us. It is
impossible to repeat the train of agreeable reveries we called up for
our entertainment. We looked upon our fortunes as once more rising; and
as the whole parish asserted that the squire was in love with my
daughter, she was actually so with him; for they persuaded her into the
passion. In this agreeable interval my wife had the most lucky dreams in
the world, which she took care to tell us every morning with great
solemnity and exactness. It was one night a coffin and cross-bones, the
sign of an approaching wedding; at another time she imagined her
daughters' pockets filled with farthings, a certain sign that they would
shortly be stuffed with gold. The girls themselves had their omens: they
felt strange kisses on their lips; they saw rings in the candle; purses
bounced from the fire; and true-love knots lurked in the bottom of every
tea-cup.

Towards the end of the week we received a card from the town ladies, in
which, with their compliments, they hoped to see all our family at
church the Sunday following. All Saturday morning I could perceive, in
consequence of this, my wife and daughters in close conference together,
and now and then glancing at me with looks that betrayed a latent plot.
To be sincere, I had strong suspicions that some absurd proposal was
preparing for appearing with splendour the next day. In the evening they
began their operations in a very regular manner, and my wife undertook
to conduct the siege. After tea, when I seemed in spirits, she began
thus: "I fancy, Charles, my dear, we shall have a great deal of good
company at our church to-morrow." "Perhaps we may, my dear," returned I;
"though you need be under no uneasiness about that—you shall have a
sermon whether there be or not." "That is what I expect," returned she;
"but I think, my dear, we ought to appear there as decently as possible,
for who knows what may happen?" "Your precautions," replied I, "are
highly commendable. A decent behaviour and appearance at church is what
charms me. We should be devout and humble, cheerful and serene." "Yes,"
cried she, "I know that; but I mean we should go there in as proper a
manner as possible; not altogether like the scrubs about us." "You are
quite right, my dear," returned I, "and I was going to make the very
same proposal. The proper manner of going is, to go there as early as
possible, to have time for meditation before the service begins." "Phoo!
Charles," interrupted she, "all that is very true, but not what I would
be at. I mean, we should go there genteelly. You know the church is two
miles off, and I protest I don't like to see my daughters trudging up to
their pew all blowzed and red with walking, and looking for all the
world as if they had been winners at a smock-race. Now, my dear, my
proposal is this—there are our two plough-horses, the colt that has been
in our family these nine years, and his companion Blackberry, that has
scarcely done an earthly thing for this month past; they are both grown
fat and lazy: why should they not do something as well as we? And let me
tell you, when Moses has trimmed them a little they will cut a very
tolerable figure."

To this proposal I objected that walking would be twenty times more
genteel than such a paltry conveyance, as Blackberry was wall-eyed, and
the colt wanted a tail; that they had never been broke to the rein, but
had a hundred vicious tricks; and that we had but one saddle and pillion
in the whole house. All these objections, however, were overruled; so
that I was obliged to comply. The next morning I perceived them not a
little busy in collecting such materials as might be necessary for the
expedition; but, as I found it would be a work of time, I walked on to
the church before, and they promised speedily to follow. I waited near
an hour in the reading desk for their arrival; but, not finding them
come as was expected, I was obliged to begin, and went through the
service, not without some uneasiness at finding them absent.

[Illustration:

  "_But a thing of this kind, madam," cried she, addressing
  my spouse, "requires a thorough examination into characters,
  and a more perfect knowledge of each other._"—_p._ 46.
]


This was increased when all was finished, and no appearance of the
family. I therefore walked back by the horse-way, which was five miles
round, though the footway was but two; and when I got about half way
home, perceived the procession marching slowly forward towards the
church—my son, my wife, and the two little ones exalted upon one horse,
and my two daughters upon the other. I demanded the cause of their
delay; but I soon found by their looks they had met with a thousand
misfortunes on the road. The horses had at first refused to move from
the door, till Mr. Burchell was kind enough to beat them forward for
about two hundred yards with his cudgel. Next the straps of my wife's
pillion broke down, and they were obliged to stop to repair them before
they could proceed. After that, one of the horses took it into his head
to stand still, and neither blows nor entreaties could prevail with him
to proceed. They were just recovering from this dismal situation when I
found them; but perceiving everything safe, I own their present
mortification did not much displease me, as it would give me many
opportunities of future triumph, and teach my daughters more humility.



                             _CHAPTER XI._

           _The family still resolve to hold up their heads._


Michaelmas-Eve happening on the next day, we were invited to burn nuts
and play tricks at neighbour Flamborough's. Our late mortifications had
humbled us a little, or it is probable we might have rejected such an
invitation with contempt: however, we suffered ourselves to be happy.
Our honest neighbour's goose and dumplings were fine; and the
lamb's-wool, even in the opinion of my wife, who was a connoisseur, was
excellent. It is true, his manner of telling stories was not quite so
well. They were very long and very dull, and all about himself, and we
had laughed at them ten times before; however, we were kind enough to
laugh at them once more.

Mr. Burchell, who was of the party, was always fond of seeing some
innocent amusement going forward, and set the boys and girls to
blindman's buff. My wife too was persuaded to join in the diversion, and
it gave me pleasure to think that she was not yet too old. In the
meantime, my neighbour and I looked on, laughed at every feat, and
praised our own dexterity when we were young. Hot cockles succeeded
next, questions and commands followed that, and, last of all, they sat
down to hunt the slipper. As every person may not be acquainted with
this primeval pastime, it may be necessary to observe, that the company
at this play plant themselves in a ring upon the ground, all except one
who stands in the middle, whose business it is to catch a shoe which the
company shove about under their hams from one to another, something like
a weaver's shuttle?. As it is impossible, in this case, for the lady who
is up to face all the company at once, the great beauty of the play lies
in hitting her a thump with the heel of the shoe on that side least
capable of making a defence. It was in this manner that my eldest
daughter was hemmed in, and thumped about, all blowzed, in spirits, and
bawling for fair play with a voice that might deafen a ballad-singer,
when, confusion on confusion! who should enter the room but our two
great acquaintances from town, Lady Blarney and Miss Carolina Wilhelmina
Amelia Skeggs! Description would but beggar, therefore it is unnecessary
to describe this new mortification.—Death! to be seen by ladies of such
high breeding in such vulgar attitudes! Nothing better could ensue from
such a vulgar play of Mr. Flamborough's proposing. We seemed stuck to
the ground for some time, as if actually petrified with amazement.

The two ladies had been at our house to see us, and finding us from
home, came after us hither, as they were uneasy to know what accident
could have kept us from church the day before. Olivia undertook to be
our prolocutor, and delivered the whole in a summary way, only saying,
"We were thrown from our horses." At which account the ladies were
greatly concerned; but being told the family received no hurt, they were
extremely glad; but being informed that we were almost killed with
fright, they were vastly sorry; but hearing that we had a very good
night, they were extremely glad again. Nothing could exceed their
complaisance to my daughters: their professions the last evening were
warm, but now they were ardent. They protested a desire of having a more
lasting acquaintance. Lady Blarney was particularly attached to Olivia;
Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs (I love to give the whole name)
took a greater fancy to her sister. They supported the conversation
between themselves, while my daughters sat silent, admiring their
exalted breeding. But as every reader, however beggarly himself, is fond
of high-lived dialogues, with anecdotes of lords, ladies, and knights of
the garter, I must beg leave to give him the concluding part of the
present conversation.

"All that I know of the matter," cried Miss Skeggs, "is this, that it
may be true, or it may not be true: but this I can assure your ladyship,
that the whole rout was in amaze; his lordship turned all manner of
colours, my lady fell into a swoon; but Sir Tomkyn, drawing his sword,
swore he was hers to the last drop of his blood."

"Well," replied our peeress, "this I can say, that the duchess never
told me a syllable of the matter, and I believe her grace would keep
nothing a secret from me. This you may depend upon as fact, that the
next morning my lord duke cried out three times to his valet-de-chambre,
'Jernigan! Jernigan! Jernigan! bring me my garters.'"

But previously I should have mentioned the very impolite behaviour of
Mr. Burchell, who, during this discourse, sat with his face turned to
the fire, and at the conclusion of every sentence would cry out _Fudge!_
an expression which displeased us all, and in some measure damped the
rising spirit of the conversation.

"Besides, my dear Skeggs," continued our peeress, "there is nothing of
this in the copy of verses that Dr. Burdock made upon the
occasion."—_Fudge!_

"I am surprised at that," cried Miss Skeggs; "for he seldom leaves
anything out, as he writes only for his own amusement. But can your
ladyship favour me with a sight of them?"—_Fudge!_

"My dear creature," replied our peeress, "do you think I carry such
things about me? Though they are very fine to be sure, and I think
myself something of a judge: at least I know what pleases myself.
Indeed, I was ever an admirer of all Dr. Burdock's little pieces; for
except what he does, and our dear countess at Hanover-square, there's
nothing comes out but the most lowest stuff in nature; not a bit of high
life among them."—_Fudge!_

"Your ladyship should except," says t'other, "your own things in the
'Lady's Magazine.' I hope you'll say there's nothing low-lived there!
But I suppose we are to have no more from that quarter?"—_Fudge!_

"Why, my dear," says the lady, "you know my reader and companion has
left me to be married to Captain Roach, and as my poor eyes won't suffer
me to write myself, I have been for some time looking out for another. A
proper person is no easy matter to find, and to be sure thirty pounds a
year is a small stipend for a well-bred girl of character that can read,
write, and behave in company; as for the chits about town, there is no
bearing them about one."—_Fudge!_

"That I know," cried Miss Skeggs, "by experience; for of the three
companions I had this last half-year, one of them refused to do plain
work an hour in a day; another thought twenty-five guineas a year too
small a salary; and I was obliged to send away the third, because I
suspected an intrigue with the chaplain. Virtue, my dear Lady Blarney,
virtue is worth any price; but where is that to be found?"—_Fudge!_

[Illustration:

  "_We had at last the satisfaction of seeing
  him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box
  before him to bring home groceries in._"—_p._ 48.
]


My wife had been for a long time all attention to this discourse, but
was particularly struck with the latter part of it. Thirty pounds and
twenty-five guineas a year, made fifty-six pounds five shillings English
money; all which was in a manner going a begging, and might easily be
secured in the family. She for a moment studied my looks of approbation;
and, to own the truth, I was of opinion that two such places would fit
our two daughters exactly. Besides, if the squire had any real affection
for my eldest daughter, this would be the way to make her every way
qualified for her fortune. My wife, therefore, was resolved that we
should not be deprived of such advantages for want of assurance, and
undertook to harangue for the family. "I hope," cried she, "your
ladyship will pardon my present presumption. It is true, we have no
right to pretend to such favours, but yet it is natural for me to wish
putting my children forward in the world. And I will be bold to say, my
two girls have had a pretty good education, and capacity; at least the
country can't show better. They can read, write, and cast accounts; they
understand their needle, broad-stitch, cross, and change, and all manner
of plain work; they can pink, point, and frill; and know something of
music; they can do up small clothes and work upon catgut; my eldest can
cut paper, and my youngest has a very pretty manner of telling fortunes
upon the cards?"—_Fudge!_

When she had delivered this pretty piece of eloquence, the two ladies
looked at each other a few minutes in silence, with an air of doubt and
importance. At last Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs condescended
to observe, that the young ladies, from the opinion she could form of
them from so slight an acquaintance, seemed very fit for such
employments: "but a thing of this kind, madam," cried she, addressing my
spouse, "requires a thorough examination into characters, and a more
perfect knowledge of each other. Not, madam," continued she, "that I in
the least suspect the young ladies' virtue, prudence, and discretion;
but there is a form in these things, madam; there is a form."—_Fudge!_

My wife approved her suspicions very much, observing that she was very
apt to be suspicious herself; but referred her to all the neighbours for
a character; but this our peeress declined as unnecessary, alleging that
her cousin Thornhill's recommendation would be sufficient, and upon this
we rested our petition.



                             _CHAPTER XII._

            _Fortune seems resolved to humble the family of
Wakefield.—Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities._


When we returned home, the night was dedicated to schemes of future
conquest. Deborah exerted much sagacity in conjecturing which of the two
girls was likely to have the best place and most opportunities of seeing
good company. The only obstacle to our preferment was in obtaining the
squire's recommendation; but he had already shown us too many instances
of his friendship to doubt of it now. Even in bed my wife kept up the
usual theme. "Well, faith, my dear Charles, between ourselves, I think
we have made an excellent day's work of it." "Pretty well," cried I, not
knowing what to say. "What, only pretty well!" returned she, "I think it
is very well. Suppose the girls should come to make acquaintance of
taste in town? This I am assured of, that London is the only place in
the world for all manner of husbands. Besides, my dear, stranger things
happen every day; and as ladies of quality are so taken with my
daughters, what will not men of quality be? _Entre nous_, I protest I
like my Lady Blarney vastly: so very obliging. However, Miss Carolina
Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs has my warm heart. But yet, when they came to
talk of places in town, you saw at once how I nailed them. Tell me, my
dear, don't you think I did for my children there?" "Ay," returned I,
not knowing well what to think of the matter; "Heaven grant they may be
both the better for it this day three months!" This was one of those
observations I usually made to impress my wife with an opinion of my
sagacity; for if the girls succeeded, then it was a pious wish
fulfilled; but if anything unfortunate ensued, then it might be looked
upon as a prophecy. All this conversation, however, was only preparatory
to another scheme, and indeed I dreaded as much. This was nothing less
than that, as we were now to hold up our heads a little higher in the
world, it would be proper to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a
neighbouring fair, and buy us a horse that would carry single or double
upon an occasion, and make a pretty appearance at church or upon a
visit. This at first I opposed stoutly, but it was as stoutly defended.
However, as I weakened, my antagonists gained strength, till at last it
was resolved to part with him.

As the fair happened on the following day, I had intentions of going
myself; but my wife persuaded me that I had got a cold, and nothing
could prevail upon her to permit me from home. "No, my dear," said she,
"our son Moses is a discreet boy, and can buy and sell to very good
advantage; you know all our great bargains are of his purchasing. He
always stands out and higgles, and actually tires them till he gets a
bargain."

As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I was willing enough to
entrust him with this commission; and the next morning I perceived his
sisters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming his
hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking his hat with pins. The business
of the toilet being over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeing him
mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before him to bring home
groceries in. He had on a coat made of that cloth called
thunder-and-lightning, which, though grown too short, was much too good
to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling green, and his sisters
had tied his hair with a broad black riband. We all followed him several
paces from the door, bawling after him, "Good luck! good luck!" till we
could see him no longer.

He was scarcely gone, when Mr. Thornhill's butler came to congratulate
us upon our good fortune, saying that he overheard his young master
mention our names with great commendation.

Good fortune seemed resolved not to come alone. Another footman from the
same family followed, with a card for my daughters, importing that the
two ladies had received such pleasing accounts from Mr. Thornhill of us
all, that after a few previous inquiries they hoped to be perfectly
satisfied. "Ay," cried my wife, "I now see it is no easy matter to get
into the families of the great, but when one once gets in, then, as
Moses says, one may go to sleep." To this piece of humour, for she
intended it for wit, my daughters assented with a loud laugh of
pleasure. In short, such was her satisfaction at this message, that she
actually put her hand in her pocket, and gave the messenger
sevenpence-halfpenny.

This was to be our visiting day. The next that came was Mr. Burchell,
who had been at the fair. He brought my little ones a pennyworth of
gingerbread each, which my wife undertook to keep for them, and give
them by letters at a time. He brought my daughters also a couple of
boxes, in which they might keep wafers, snuff, patches, or even money,
when they got it. My wife was usually fond of a weasel-skin purse, as
being the most lucky; but this by the bye. We had still a regard for Mr.
Burchell, though his late rude behaviour was in some measure
displeasing; nor could we now avoid communicating our happiness to him,
and asking his advice: although we seldom followed advice, we were all
ready enough to ask it. When he read the note from the two ladies he
shook his head, and observed that an affair of this sort demanded the
utmost circumspection. This air of diffidence highly displeased my wife.
"I never doubted, sir," cried she, "your readiness to be against my
daughters and me. You have more circumspection than is wanted. However,
I fancy when we come to ask advice, we shall apply to persons who seem
to have made use of it themselves." "Whatever my conduct may have been,
madam," replied he, "is not the present question; though, as I have made
no use of advice myself, I should in conscience give it to those that
will." As I was apprehensive this answer might draw on a repartee,
making up by abuse what it wanted in wit, I changed the subject, by
seeming to wonder what could keep our son so long at the fair, as it was
now almost nightfall. "Never mind our son," cried my wife; "depend upon
it he knows what he is about; I'll warrant we'll never see him sell his
hen on a rainy day. I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze
one. I'll tell you a good story about that, that will make you split
your sides with laughing. But, as I live, yonder comes Moses, without a
horse, and the box at his back."

[Illustration:

  "_You need be under no uneasiness," cried I,
  "about selling the rims, for they are not worth
  sixpence, for I perceive they are only
  copper varnished over._"—_p._ 50.
]

As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and sweating under the deal
box, which he had strapped round his shoulders like a pedlar. "Welcome!
welcome, Moses! Well, my boy, what have you brought us from the fair?"
"I have brought you myself," cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting
the box on the dresser. "Ay, Moses," cried my wife, "that we know, but
where is the horse?" "I have sold him," cried Moses, "for three pounds
five shillings and twopence." "Well done! my good boy," returned she; "I
knew you would touch them off. Between ourselves, three pounds five
shillings and twopence is no bad day's work. Come, let us have it then."
"I have brought back no money," cried Moses again, "I have laid it all
out in a bargain, and here it is," pulling out a bundle from his breast;
"here they are: a gross of green spectacles, with silver rims and
shagreen cases." "A gross of-green spectacles!" repeated my wife, in a
faint voice. "And you have parted with the colt, and brought us back
nothing but a gross of green paltry spectacles!" "Dear mother," cried
the boy, "why won't you listen to reason? I had them a dead bargain, or
I should not have bought them. The silver rims alone will sell for
double the money." "A fig for the silver rims!" cried my wife in a
passion: "I dare swear they won't sell for above half the money at the
rate of broken silver, five shillings an ounce." "You need be under no
uneasiness," cried I, "about selling the rims, for they are not worth
sixpence, for I perceive they are only copper varnished over." "What!"
cried my wife, "not silver! the rims not silver!" "No," cried I, "no
more silver than your saucepan. "And so," returned she, "we have parted
with the colt, and have only got a gross of green spectacles, with
copper rims and shagreen cases! A murrain take such trumpery! The
blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have known his company
better!" "There, my dear," cried I, "you are wrong; he should not have
known them at all." "Marry, hang the idiot!" returned she, "to bring me
such stuff; if I had them I would throw them in the fire." "There again
you are wrong, my dear," cried I, "for though they be copper, we will
keep them by us, as copper spectacles, you know, are better than
nothing."

By this time the unfortunate Moses was undeceived. He now saw that he
had indeed been imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his
figure, had marked him for an easy prey. I therefore asked him the
circumstances of his deception. He sold the horse, it seems, and walked
the fair in search of another. A reverend-looking man brought him to a
tent, under pretence of having one to sell. "Here," continued Moses, "we
met another man, very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty pounds
upon these, saying that he wanted money, and would dispose of them for a
third of their value. The first gentleman, who pretended to be my
friend, whispered me to buy them, and cautioned me not to let so good an
offer pass. I sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely
as they did me; and so at last we were persuaded to buy the two gross
between us."



                            _CHAPTER XIII._

_Mr. Burchell is found to be an enemy; for he has the confidence to give
                         disagreeable advice._


Our family had now made several attempts to be fine; but some unforeseen
disaster demolished each as soon as projected. I endeavoured to take the
advantage of every disappointment to improve their good sense, in
proportion as they were frustrated in ambition. "You see, my children,"
cried I, "how little is to be got by attempts to impose upon the world,
in coping with our betters. Such as are poor, and will associate with
none but the rich, are hated by those they avoid, and despised by those
they follow. Unequal combinations are always disadvantageous to the
weaker side; the rich having the pleasure, the poor the inconveniences,
that result from them. But come, Dick, my boy, repeat the fable you were
reading to-day, for the good of the company."

"Once upon a time," cried the child, "a giant and a dwarf were friends,
and kept together. They made a bargain that they never would forsake
each other, but go seek adventures. The first battle they fought was
with two Saracens; and the dwarf, who was very courageous, dealt one of
the champions a most angry blow. It did the Saracen but very little
injury, who, lifting up his sword, fairly struck off the poor dwarf's
arm. He was now in a woful plight; but the giant, coming to his
assistance, in a short time left the two Saracens dead on the plain, and
the dwarf cut off the dead man's head out of spite. They then travelled
on to another adventure. This was against three bloody-minded satyrs,
who were carrying away a damsel in distress. The dwarf was not quite so
fierce now as before, but for all that struck the first blow, which was
returned by another that knocked out his eye; but the giant was soon up
with them, and, had they not fled, would certainly have killed them
every one. They were all very joyful for this victory, and the damsel
who was relieved fell in love with the giant, and married him. They now
travelled far, and farther than I can tell, till they met with a company
of robbers. The giant, for the first time, was foremost now; but the
dwarf was not far behind. The battle was stout and long. Wherever the
giant came all fell before him; but the dwarf had like to have been
killed more than once. At last the victory declared for the two
adventurers; but the dwarf lost his leg. The dwarf had now lost an arm,
a leg, and an eye, while the giant was without a single wound. Upon
which he cried out to his little companion, 'My little hero, this is
glorious sport; let us get one victory more, and then we shall have
honour for ever.' 'No,' cries the dwarf, who by this time was grown
wiser, 'no; I declare off; I'll fight no more, for I find, in every
battle, that you get all the honour and rewards, but all the blows fall
upon me.'"

I was going to moralise upon this fable, when our attention was called
off to a warm dispute between my wife and Mr. Burchell, upon my
daughters' intended expedition to town. My wife very strenuously
insisted upon the advantages that would result from it. Mr. Burchell, on
the contrary, dissuaded her with great ardour, and I stood neuter. His
present dissuasions seemed but the second part of those which were
received with so ill a grace in the morning. The dispute grew high,
while poor Deborah, instead of reasoning stronger, talked louder, and
was at last obliged to take shelter from a defeat in clamour. The
conclusion of her harangue, however, was highly displeasing to us all:
she knew, she said, of some who had their secret reasons for what they
advised; but for her part, she wished such to stay away from her house
for the future.

[Illustration:

  _"No," cries the dwarf, who by this time was grown wiser,
  "no; I declare off; I'll fight no more."_—_p._ 52.
]


 "Madam," cried Burchell, with looks of great composure, which tended to
inflame her the more, "as for secret reasons, you are right; I have
secret reasons which I forbear to mention, because you are not able to
answer those of which I make no secret. But I find my visits here are
become troublesome; I'll take my leave therefore now, and perhaps come
once more to take a final farewell when I am quitting the country." Thus
saying, he took up his hat; nor could the attempts of Sophia, whose
looks seemed to upbraid his precipitancy, prevent his going.

When gone, we all regarded each other for some minutes with confusion.
My wife, who knew herself to be the cause, strove to hide her concern
with a forced smile and an air of assurance, which I was willing to
reprove. "How, woman!" cried I to her, "is it thus we treat strangers?
Is it thus we return their kindness? Be assured, my dear, that these
were the harshest words, and to me the most unpleasing, that ever
escaped your lips!" "Why would he provoke me then?" replied she; "but I
know the motives of his advice perfectly well. He would prevent my girls
going to town, that he may have the pleasure of my youngest daughter's
company here at home. But whatever happens, she shall choose better
company than such low-lived fellows as he." "Low-lived, my dear, do you
call him?" cried I; "it is very possible we may mistake this man's
character; for he seems, upon some occasions, the most finished
gentleman I ever knew. Tell me, Sophia, my girl, has he ever given you
any secret instances of his attachment?" "His conversation with me,
sir," replied my daughter, "has ever been sensible, modest, and
pleasing. As to aught else, no; never. Once indeed I remember to have
heard him say, he never knew a woman who could find merit in a man that
seemed poor." "Such, my dear," cried I, "is the common cant of all the
unfortunate or idle. But I hope you have been taught to judge properly
of such men, and that it would be even madness to expect happiness from
one who has been so very bad an economist of his own. Your mother and I
have now better prospects for you. The next winter, which you will
probably spend in town, will give you opportunities of making a more
prudent choice."

What Sophia's reflections were upon this occasion I cannot pretend to
determine; but I was not displeased at the bottom that we were rid of a
guest from whom I had much to fear. Our breach of hospitality went to my
conscience a little; but I quickly silenced that monitor by two or three
specious reasons, which served to satisfy and reconcile me to myself.
The pain which conscience gives the man who has already done wrong is
soon got over. Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not
strength enough to prevent, it seldom has justice enough to accuse.



                             _CHAPTER XIV._

               _Fresh mortifications, or a demonstration
            that seeming calamities may be real blessings._


The journey of my daughters to town was now resolved upon, Mr. Thornhill
having kindly promised to inspect their conduct himself, and inform us
by letter of their behaviour. But it was thought indispensably necessary
that their appearance should equal the greatness of their expectations,
which could not be done without expense. We debated, therefore, in full
council, what were the easiest methods of raising money; or, more
properly speaking, what we could most conveniently sell. The
deliberation was soon finished. It was found that our remaining horse
was utterly useless for the plough without his companion, and equally
unfit for the road, as wanting an eye: it was therefore determined that
we should dispose of him, for the purpose above mentioned, at the
neighbouring fair; and, to prevent imposition, that I should go with him
myself. Though this was one of the first mercantile transactions of my
life, yet I had no doubt of acquitting myself with reputation. The
opinion a man forms of his own prudence is measured by that of the
company he keeps, and as mine was mostly in the family way, I had
conceived no unfavourable sentiments of my worldly wisdom. My wife,
however, next morning at parting, after I had got some paces from the
door, called me back, to advise me, in a whisper, to have all my eyes
about me.

I had, in the usual forms, when I came to the fair, put my horse through
all his paces, but for some time had no bidders. At last a chapman
approached, and, after he had for a good while examined the horse round,
finding him blind of one eye, he would have nothing to say to him; a
second came up, but observing he had a spavin, declared he would not
have him for the driving home; a third perceived he had a windgall, and
would bid no money; a fourth knew by his eye that he had the bots; a
fifth wondered what the plague I could do at the fair with a blind,
spavined, galled hack, that was only fit to be cut up for a dog-kennel.
By this time I began to have a most hearty contempt for the poor animal
myself, and was almost ashamed at the approach of every customer; for
though I did not entirely believe all the fellows told me, yet I
reflected that the number of witnesses was a strong presumption that
they were right; and St. Gregory, upon good works, professes himself to
be of the same opinion.

I was in this mortifying situation, when a brother clergyman, an old
acquaintance, who had also business at the fair, came up, and shaking me
by the hand, proposed adjourning to a public-house, and taking a glass
of whatever we could get. I readily closed with the offer, and entering
an alehouse, we were shown into a little back room, where there was only
a venerable old man, who sat wholly intent over a very large book which
he was reading. I never in my life saw a figure that prepossessed me
more favourably. His locks of silver grey venerably shaded his temples,
and his green old age seemed to be the result of health and benevolence.
However, his presence did not interrupt our conversation: my friend and
I discoursed on the various turns of fortune we had met; the Whistonian
controversy, my last pamphlet, the archdeacon's reply, and the hard
measure that was dealt me. But our attention was in a short time taken
off by the appearance of a youth, who, entering the room, respectfully
said something softly to the old stranger. "Make no apologies, my
child," said the old man: "to do good is a duty we owe to all our
fellow-creatures: take this. I wish it were more; but five pounds will
relieve your distress, and you are welcome." The modest youth shed tears
of gratitude, and yet his gratitude was scarcely equal to mine. I could
have hugged the good old man in my arms, his benevolence pleased me so.
He continued to read, and we resumed our conversation, until my
companion, after some time, recollecting that he had business to
transact in the fair, promised to be soon back; adding that he always
desired to have as much of Dr. Primrose's company as possible. The old
gentleman, hearing my name mentioned, seemed to look at me with
attention for some time, and when my friend was gone, most respectfully
demanded if I was any way related to the great Primrose, that courageous
monogamist, who had been the bulwark of the Church. Never did my heart
feel sincerer rapture than at that moment. "Sir," cried I, "the applause
of so good a man as I am sure you are adds to that happiness in my
breast which your benevolence has already excited. You behold before
you, sir, that Dr. Primrose, the monogamist, whom you have been pleased
to call great. You here see that unfortunate divine, who has so long,
and it would ill become me to say successfully, fought against the
deuterogamy of the age." "Sir," cried the stranger, struck with awe, "I
fear I have been too familiar; but you'll forgive my curiosity, sir; I
beg pardon."

[Illustration:

  "_But, sir, I ask pardon, I am straying
  from the question._"—_p._ 58.
]

"Sir," cried I, grasping his hand, "you are so far from displeasing me
by your familiarity, that I must beg you'll accept my friendship, as you
already have my esteem." "Then with gratitude I accept the offer," cried
he, squeezing me by the hand, "thou glorious pillar of unshaken
orthodoxy. And do I behold—" I here interrupted what he was going to
say; for though, as an author, I could digest no small share of
flattery, yet now my modesty would permit no more. However, no lovers in
romance ever cemented a more instantaneous friendship. We talked upon
several subjects. At first I thought him rather devout than learned, and
began to think he despised all human doctrines as dross. Yet this no way
lessened him in my esteem; for I had for some time begun privately to
harbour such an opinion myself. I therefore took occasion to observe,
that the world in general began to be blamably indifferent as to
doctrinal matters, and followed human speculations too much. "Ay, sir,"
replied he, as if he had reserved all his learning to that moment, "ay,
sir, the world is in its dotage; and yet the cosmogony or creation of
the world has puzzled philosophers of all ages. What a medley of
opinions have they not broached upon the creation of the world!
Sanchoniathon, Manetho, Berosus, and Ocellus Lucanus, have all attempted
it in vain. The latter has these words, _Anarchon ara kai atelutaion to
pan_, which imply that all things have neither beginning nor end.
Manetho also, who lived about the time of Nebuchadon-Asser,—Asser being
a Syriac word usually applied as a surname to the kings of that country,
as Teglet Phael-Asser; Nabon-Asser,—he, I say, formed a conjecture
equally absurd; for as we usually say, _ek to biblion kubernetes_, which
implies that books will never teach the world, so he attempted to
investigate——But, sir, I ask pardon, I am straying from the question."

That he actually was; nor could I for my life see how the creation of
the world had anything to do with the business I was talking of; but it
was sufficient to show me that he was a man of letters, and I now
reverenced him the more. I was resolved therefore to bring him to the
touchstone; but he was too gentle to contend for victory. Whenever I
made any observation that looked like a challenge to controversy, he
would smile, shake his head, and say nothing; by which I understood he
could say much if he thought proper. The subject, therefore, insensibly
changed from the business of antiquity to that which brought us both to
the fair: mine, I told him, was to sell a horse; and, very luckily
indeed, his was to buy one for one of his tenants. My horse was soon
produced, and in fine we struck a bargain. Nothing now remained but to
pay me, and he accordingly pulled out a thirty-pound note, and bade me
change it. Not being in a capacity of complying with his demand, he
ordered his footman to be called up, who made his appearance in a very
genteel livery. "Here, Abraham," cried he, "go and get gold for this;
you'll do it at neighbour Jackson's, or anywhere." While the fellow was
gone, he entertained me with a pathetic harangue on the great scarcity
of silver, which I undertook to improve by deploring also the great
scarcity of gold; so that, by the time Abraham returned, we had both
agreed that money was never so hard to be come at as now. Abraham
returned to inform us, that he had been over the whole fair and could
not get change, though he had offered half-a-crown for doing it. This
was a very great disappointment to us all; but the old gentlemen having
paused a little, asked me if I knew one Solomon Flamborough in my part
of the country; upon replying that he was my next-door neighbour, "If
that be the case then," returned he, "I believe we shall deal. You shall
have a draft upon him, payable at sight; and let me tell you, he is as
warm a man as any within five miles round him. Honest Solomon and I have
been acquainted for many years together. I remember I always beat him at
three jumps; but he could hop upon one leg further than I." A draft upon
my neighbour was to me the same as money; I was sufficiently convinced
of his ability. The draft was signed and put into my hands, and Mr.
Jenkinson, the old gentleman, his man Abraham, and my horse, old
Blackberry, trotted off very well pleased with each other.

After a short interval, being left to reflection, I began to recollect
that I had done wrong in taking a draft from a stranger, and so
prudently resolved upon following the purchaser, and having back my
horse. But this was now too late; I therefore made directly homewards,
resolving to get the draft changed into money at my friend's as fast as
possible. I found my honest neighbour smoking his pipe at his own door;
and informing him that I had a small bill upon him, he read it twice
over. "You can read the name, I suppose," cried I—"Ephraim Jenkinson."
"Yes," returned he, "the name is written plain enough, and I know the
gentleman too, the greatest rascal under the canopy of heaven. This is
the very same rogue who sold us the spectacles. Was he not a
venerable-looking man, with grey hair, and no flaps to his pocket-holes?
and did he not talk a long string of learning about Greek, cosmogony,
and the world?" To this I replied with a groan. "Ay," continued he, "he
has but that one piece of learning in the world, and he always talks it
away whenever he finds a scholar in company: but I know the rogue, and
will catch him yet."

Though I was already sufficiently mortified, my greatest struggle was to
come, in facing my wife and daughters. No truant was ever more afraid of
returning to school, there to behold the master's visage, than I was of
going home. I was determined, however, to anticipate their fury, by
first falling into a passion myself.

But, alas! upon entering, I found the family no way disposed for battle.
My wife and girls were all in tears, Mr. Thornhill having been there
that day to inform them that their journey to town was entirely over.
The two ladies, having heard reports of us from some malicious person
about us, were that day set out for London. He could neither discover
the tendency nor the author of these; but, whatever they might be, or
whoever might have broached them, he continued to assure our family of
his friendship and protection. I found, therefore, that they bore my
disappointment with great resignation, as it was eclipsed in the
greatness of their own. But what perplexed us most, was to think who
could be so base as to asperse the character of a family so harmless as
ours—too humble to excite envy, and too inoffensive to create disgust.



                             _CHAPTER XV._

             _All Mr. Burchell's villany at once detected.—
                     The folly of being over-wise._


That evening, and part of the following day, was employed in fruitless
attempts to discover our enemies: scarcely a family in the neighbourhood
but incurred our suspicions, and each of us had reasons for our opinion
best known to ourselves. As we were in this perplexity, one of our
little boys, who had been playing abroad, brought in a letter-case which
he found on the green. It was quickly known to belong to Mr. Burchell,
with whom it had been seen; and, upon examination, contained some hints
upon different subjects; but what particularly engaged our attention was
a sealed note, superscribed, "The copy of a letter to be sent to the two
ladies at Thornhill Castle." It instantly occurred that he was the base
informer: and we deliberated whether the note should not be broken open.
I was against it; but Sophia, who said she was sure that of all men he
would be the last to be guilty of so much baseness, insisted upon its
being read. In this she was seconded by the rest of the family; and at
their joint solicitation, I read as follows:—

[Illustration:

  "_So saying, I threw him his pocket-book,
  which he took up with a smile._"—_p._ 64.
]


"LADIES,

 "The bearer will sufficiently satisfy you as to the person from whom
this comes: one at least the friend of innocence, and ready to prevent
its being seduced. I am informed for a truth, that you have some
intention of bringing two young ladies to town, whom I have some
knowledge of, under the character of companions. As I would neither have
simplicity imposed upon nor virtue contaminated, I must offer it as my
opinion that the impropriety of such a step will be attended with
dangerous consequences. It has never been my way to treat the infamous
or the lewd with severity; nor should I now have taken this method of
explaining myself, or reproving folly, did it not aim at guilt. Take,
therefore, the admonition of a friend, and seriously reflect on the
consequences of introducing infamy and vice into retreats where peace
and innocence have hitherto resided."

Our doubts were now at an end. There seemed indeed something applicable
to both sides in this letter, and its censures might as well be referred
to those to whom it was written as to us; but the malicious meaning was
obvious, and we went no farther. My wife had scarcely patience to hear
me to the end, but railed at the writer with unrestrained resentment.
Olivia was equally severe, and Sophia seemed perfectly amazed at his
baseness. As for my part, it appeared to me one of the vilest instances
of unprovoked ingratitude I had ever met with. Nor could I account for
it in any other manner than by imputing it to his desire of detaining my
youngest daughter in the country, to have the more frequent
opportunities of an interview. In this manner we all sat ruminating upon
schemes of vengeance, when our other little boy came running in to tell
us that Mr. Burchell was approaching at the other end of the field. It
is easier to conceive than describe the complicated sensations which are
felt from the pain of a recent injury, and the pleasure of approaching
vengeance. Though our intentions were only to upbraid him with his
ingratitude, yet it was resolved to do it in a manner that would be
perfectly cutting. For this purpose we agreed to meet him with our usual
smiles, to chat in the beginning with more than ordinary kindness, to
amuse him a little; and then, in the midst of the flattering calms to
burst upon him like an earthquake, and overwhelm him with the sense of
his own baseness. This being resolved upon, my wife undertook to manage
the business herself, as she really had some talents for such an
undertaking. We saw him approach; he entered, drew a chair, and sat
down. "A fine day, Mr. Burchell." "A very fine day, doctor; though I
fancy we shall have some rain, by the shooting of my corns." "The
shooting of your horns!" cried my wife, in a loud fit of laughter, and
then asked pardon for being fond of a joke. "Dear madam," replied he, "I
pardon you with all my heart; for I protest I should not have thought it
a joke had you not told me." "Perhaps not, sir," cried my wife, winking
at us: "and yet I dare say you can tell us how many jokes go to an
ounce." "I fancy, madam," returned Burchell, "you have been reading a
jest-book this morning, that ounce of jokes is so very good a conceit;
and yet, madam, I had rather see half an ounce of understanding." "I
believe you might," cried my wife, still smiling at us, though the laugh
was against her; "and yet I have seen some men pretend to understanding
that have very little." "And no doubt," replied her antagonist, "you
have known ladies set up for wit that had none." I quickly began to find
that my wife was likely to gain but little at this business; so I
resolved to treat him in a style of more severity myself. "Both wit and
understanding," cried I, "are trifles without integrity; it is that
which gives value to every character. The ignorant peasant without
fault, is greater than the philosopher with many; for what is genius or
courage without a heart?

              'An honest man's the noblest work of God.'"

"I always held that hackneyed maxim of Pope's," returned Mr. Burchell,
"as very unworthy of a man of genius, and a base desertion of his own
superiority. As the reputation of books is raised, not by their freedom
from defect, but the greatness of their beauties; so should that of men
be prized, not for their exemption from fault, but the size of those
virtues they are possessed of. The scholar may want prudence; the
statesman may have pride, and the champion ferocity; but shall we prefer
to these the low mechanic, who laboriously plods on through life without
censure or applause? We might as well prefer the tame, correct paintings
of the Flemish school to the erroneous, but sublime animations of the
Roman pencil."

"Sir," replied I, "your present observation is just, when there are
shining virtues and minute defects; but when it appears that great vices
are opposed in the same mind to as extraordinary virtues, such a
character deserves contempt."

"Perhaps," cried he, "there may be some such monsters as you describe,
of great vices joined to great virtues; yet, in my progress through
life, I never yet found one instance of their existence; on the
contrary, I have ever perceived that where the mind was capacious the
affections were good. And indeed Providence seems kindly our friend in
this particular, thus to debilitate the understanding where the heart is
corrupt, and diminish the power where there is the will to do mischief.
This rule seems to extend even to other animals: the little vermin race
are ever treacherous, cruel, and cowardly; whilst those endowed with
strength and power are generous, brave, and gentle."

"These observations sound well," returned I, "and yet it would be easy
this moment to point out a man," and I fixed my eye steadfastly upon
him, "whose head and heart form a most detestable contrast. Ay, sir,"
continued I, raising my voice, "and I am glad to have this opportunity
of detecting him in the midst of his fancied security. Do you know this,
sir—this pocket-book?" "Yes, sir," returned he, with a face of
impenetrable assurance; "that pocket-book is mine, and I am glad you
have found it." "And do you know," cried I, "this letter? Nay, never
falter, man; but look me full in the face. I say, do you know this
letter?" "That letter?" replied he; "yes, it was I that wrote that
letter." "And how could you," said I, "so basely, so ungratefully,
presume to write this letter?" "And how came you," replied he, with
looks of unparalleled effrontery, "so basely to presume to break open
this letter? Don't you know, now, I could hang you all for this? All
that I have to do is to swear at the next justice's that you have been
guilty of breaking open the lock of my pocket-book, and so hang you all
up at this door." This piece of unexpected insolence raised me to such a
pitch, that I could scarcely govern my passion. "Ungrateful wretch!
begone, and no longer pollute my dwelling with thy baseness. Begone! and
never let me see thee again: go from my door! and the only punishment I
wish thee is an alarmed conscience, which will be a sufficient
tormentor!" So saying, I threw him his pocket-book, which he took up
with a smile, and shutting the clasps with the utmost composure, left us
quite astonished at the serenity of his assurance. My wife was
particularly enraged that nothing could make him angry, or make him seem
ashamed of his villanies. "My dear," cried I, willing to calm those
passions that had been raised too high among us, "we are not to be
surprised that bad men want shame; they only blush at being detected in
doing good, but glory in their vices.

"Guilt and Shame (says the allegory) were at first companions, and in
the beginning of their journey inseparably kept together. But their
union was soon found to be disagreeable and inconvenient to both: Guilt
gave Shame frequent uneasiness, and Shame often betrayed the secret
conspiracies of Guilt. After long disagreement, therefore, they at
length consented to part for ever. Guilt boldly walked forward alone, to
overtake Fate, that went before in the shape of an executioner; but
Shame, being naturally timorous, returned back to keep company with
Virtue, which in the beginning of their journey they had left behind.
Thus, my children, after men have travelled through a few stages in
vice, shame forsakes them, and returns back to wait upon the few virtues
they have still remaining."

[Illustration: _p._ 67.]



                             _CHAPTER XVI._

        _The family use art, which is opposed by still greater._


Whatever might have been Sophia's sensations, the rest of the family
were easily consoled for Mr. Burchell's absence by the company of our
landlord, whose visits now became more frequent and longer. Though he
had been disappointed in procuring my daughters the amusements of the
town, as he designed, he took every opportunity of supplying them with
those little recreations which our retirement would admit of. He usually
came in the morning, and while my son and I followed our occupations
abroad, he sat with the family at home, and amused them by describing
the town, with every part of which he was particularly acquainted. He
could repeat all the observations that were retailed in the atmosphere
of the play-houses, and had all the good things of the high wits by
rote, long before they made their way into the jest-books. The intervals
between conversation were employed in teaching my daughters piquet; or,
sometimes, in setting my two little ones to box, to make them _sharp_,
as he called it: but the hopes of having him for a son-in-law in some
measure blinded us to all his imperfections. It must be owned, that my
wife laid a thousand schemes to entrap him; or, to speak it more
tenderly, used every art to magnify the merit of her daughter. If the
cakes at tea ate short and crisp, they were made by Olivia; if the
gooseberry-wine was well knit, the gooseberries were of her gathering:
it was her fingers which gave the pickles their peculiar green; and in
the composition of a pudding it was her judgment that mixed the
ingredients. Then the poor woman would sometimes tell the squire, that
she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, and would bid both stand
up to see which was the tallest. These instances of cunning, which she
thought impenetrable, yet which everybody saw through, were very
pleasing to our benefactor, who gave every day some new proofs of his
passion, which, though they had not arisen to proposals of marriage,
yet, we thought, fell but little short of it; and his slowness was
sometimes attributed to native bashfulness, and sometimes to his fear of
offending his uncle. An occurrence, however, which happened soon after,
put it beyond a doubt that he designed to become one of our family; my
wife even regarded it as an absolute promise.

My wife and daughters, happening to return a visit at neighbour
Flamborough's, found that family had lately got their pictures drawn by
a limner who travelled the country, and took likenesses for fifteen
shillings a head. As this family and ours had long a sort of rivalry in
point of taste, our spirit took the alarm at this stolen march upon us,
and, notwithstanding all I could say, and I said much, it was resolved
that we should have our pictures done too. Having, therefore, engaged
the limner (for what could I do?), our next deliberation was to show the
superiority of our taste in the attitudes. As for our neighbour's
family, there were seven of them, and they were drawn with seven
oranges: a thing quite out of taste—no variety in life—no composition in
the world. We desired to have something in a brighter style, and, after
many debates, at length came to an unanimous resolution of being drawn
together in one large historical family-piece. This would be cheaper,
since one frame would serve for all, and it would be infinitely more
genteel; for all families of any taste were now drawn in the same
manner. As we did not immediately recollect an historical subject to hit
us, we were contented each with being drawn as independent historical
figures. My wife desired to be represented as Venus, and the painter was
requested not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomacher and
hair. Her two little ones were to be as Cupids by her side; while I, in
my gown and band, was to present her with my books on the Whistonian
controversy. Olivia would be drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank of
flowers, dressed in a green joseph, richly laced with gold, and a whip
in her hand. Sophia was to be a shepherdess, with as many sheep as the
painter could put in for nothing; and Moses was to be dressed out with a
hat and white feather.

Our taste so much pleased the squire that he insisted on being put in as
one of the family, in the character of Alexander the Great, at Olivia's
feet. This was considered by us all as an indication of his desire to be
introduced into the family; nor could we refuse his request. The painter
was therefore set to work, and, as he wrought with assiduity and
expedition, in less than four days the whole was completed. The piece
was large, and it must be owned he did not spare his colours; for which
my wife gave him great encomiums. We were all perfectly satisfied with
his performance; but an unfortunate circumstance, which had not occurred
till the picture was finished, now struck us with dismay. It was so very
large that we had no place in the house to fix it. How we all came to
disregard so material a point is inconceivable; but certain it is, we
had all been greatly remiss. This picture, therefore, instead of
gratifying our vanity, as we hoped, leaned in a most mortifying manner
against the kitchen wall, where the canvas was stretched and painted,
much too large to be got through any of the doors, and the jest of all
our neighbours. One compared it to Robinson Crusoe's longboat, too large
to be removed; another thought it more resembled a reel in a bottle;
some wondered how it could be got out, but still more were amazed how it
ever got in.

But though it excited the ridicule of some, it effectually raised more
malicious suggestions in many. The squire's portrait being found united
with ours was an honour too great to escape envy. Scandalous whispers
began to circulate at our expense, and our tranquillity was continually
disturbed by persons who came as friends to tell us what was said of us
by enemies. These reports were always resented with becoming spirit; but
scandal ever improves by opposition.

We once again, therefore, entered into consultation upon obviating the
malice of our enemies, and at last came to a resolution which had too
much cunning to give me entire satisfaction. It was this: as our
principal object was to discover the honour of Mr. Thornhill's
addresses, my wife undertook to sound him, by pretending to ask his
advice in the choice of a husband for her eldest daughter. If this was
not found sufficient to induce him to a declaration, it was then
resolved to terrify him with a rival. To this last step, however, I
would by no means give my consent, till Olivia gave me the most solemn
assurances that she would marry the person provided to rival him upon
this occasion, if he did not prevent it by taking her himself. Such was
the scheme laid, which, though I did not strenuously oppose, I did not
entirely approve.

The next time, therefore, that Mr. Thornhill came to see us, my girls
took care to be out of the way, in order to give their mamma an
opportunity of putting her scheme in execution; but they only retired to
the next room, from whence they could overhear the whole conversation.
My wife artfully introduced it by observing, that one of the Miss
Flamboroughs was like to have a very good match of it in Mr. Spanker. To
this the squire assenting, she proceeded to remark, that they who had
warm fortunes were always sure of getting good husbands: "But heaven
help," continued she, "the girls that have none! What signifies beauty,
Mr. Thornhill? or what signifies all the virtue and all the
qualifications in the world, in this age of self-interest? It is not,
What is she? but, What has she? is all the cry."

"Madam," returned he, "I highly approve the justice, as well as the
novelty, of your remarks; and if I were a king it should be otherwise.
It should then, indeed, be fine times for the girls without fortunes:
our two young ladies should be the first for whom I would provide."

"Ah! sir," returned my wife, "you are pleased to be facetious: but I
wish I were a queen, and then I know where my eldest daughter should
look for a husband. But now that you have put it into my head,
seriously, Mr. Thornhill, can't you recommend me a proper husband for
her? she is now nineteen years old, well grown, and well educated; and,
in my humble opinion, does not want for parts."

[Illustration:

   _"Madam," returned he, "I highly approve the justice,
  as well as the novelty, of your remarks; and if I were a
  king it should be otherwise."_—_p._ 68.
]


"Madam," replied he, "if I were to choose, I would find out a person
possessed of every accomplishment that can make an angel happy; one with
prudence, fortune, taste, and sincerity: such, madam, would be, in my
opinion, the proper husband." "Ay, sir," said she, "but do you know of
any such person?" "No, madam," returned he, "it is impossible to know
any person that deserves to be her husband: she's too great a treasure
for one man's possession: she's a goddess. Upon my soul, I speak what I
think: she is an angel." "Ah, Mr. Thornhill, you only flatter my poor
girl: but we have been thinking of marrying her to one of your tenants,
whose mother is lately dead, and who wants a manager; you know whom I
mean—Farmer Williams; a warm man, Mr. Thornhill, able to give her good
bread; and who has several times made her proposals" (which was actually
the case). "But, sir," concluded she, "I should be glad to have your
approbation of our choice." "How, madam!" replied he, "my approbation!
My approbation of such a choice! Never. What! sacrifice so much beauty,
and sense, and goodness, to a creature insensible of the blessing!
Excuse me, I can never approve of such a piece of injustice! And I have
my reasons." "Indeed, sir," cried Deborah, "if you have your reasons,
that's another affair; but I should be glad to know those reasons."
"Excuse me, madam," returned he, "they lie too deep for discovery,"
(laying his hand upon his bosom,) "they remain buried, riveted here."

After he was gone, upon a general consultation, we could not tell what
to make of these fine sentiments. Olivia considered them as instances of
the most exalted passion; but I was not quite so sanguine: it seemed to
me pretty plain that they had more of love than matrimony in them; yet,
whatever they might portend, it was resolved to prosecute the scheme of
Farmer Williams, who, from my daughter's first appearance in the
country, had paid her his addresses.



                            _CHAPTER XVII._

         _Scarcely any virtue found to resist the power of long
                       and pleasing temptation._


As I only studied my child's real happiness, the assiduity of Mr.
Williams pleased me, as he was in easy circumstances, prudent and
sincere. It required but very little encouragement to revive his former
passion; so that in an evening or two he and Mr. Thornhill met at our
house, and surveyed each other for some time with looks of anger; but
Williams owed his landlord no rent, and little regarded his indignation.
Olivia, on her side, acted the coquette to perfection, if that might be
called acting which was her real character, pretending to lavish all her
tenderness on her new lover. Mr. Thornhill appeared quite dejected at
this preference, and with a pensive air took leave; though I own it
puzzled me to find him in so much pain as he appeared to be, when he had
it in his power so easily to remove the cause, by declaring an
honourable passion. But whatever uneasiness he seemed to endure, it
could easily be perceived that Olivia's anguish was much greater. After
any of these interviews between her lovers, of which there were several,
she usually retired to solitude, and there indulged her grief. It was in
such a situation I found her one evening, after she had been for some
time supporting a fictitious gaiety. "You now see, my child," said I,
"that your confidence in Mr. Thornhill's passion was all a dream: he
permits the rivalry of another, every way his inferior, though he knows
it lies in his power to secure you to himself by a candid declaration."
"Yes, papa," returned she, "but he has his reasons for this delay; I
know he has. The sincerity of his looks and words convinces me of his
real esteem. A short time, I hope, will discover the generosity of his
sentiments, and convince you that my opinion of him has been more just
than yours." "Olivia, my darling," returned I, "every scheme that has
been hitherto pursued to compel him to a declaration has been proposed
and planned by yourself, nor can you in the least say that I have
constrained you. But you must not suppose, my dear, that I will ever be
instrumental in suffering his honest rival to be the dupe of your
ill-placed passion. Whatever time you require to bring your fancied
admirer to an explanation shall be granted; but at the expiration of
that term, if he is still regardless, I must absolutely insist that
honest Mr. Williams shall be rewarded for his fidelity. The character
which I have hitherto supported in life demands this from me; and my
tenderness as a parent shall never influence my integrity as a man.
Name, then, your day: let it be as distant as you think proper, and in
the meantime take care to let Mr. Thornhill know the exact time on which
I design delivering you up to another. If he really loves you, his own
good sense will readily suggest that there is but one method alone to
prevent his losing you for ever." This proposal, which she could not
avoid considering as perfectly just, was readily agreed to. She again
renewed her most positive promise of marrying Mr. Williams in case of
the other's insensibility; and at the next opportunity, in Mr.
Thornhill's presence, that day month was fixed upon for her nuptials
with his rival.

Such vigorous proceedings seemed to redouble Mr. Thornhill's anxiety:
but what Olivia really felt gave me some uneasiness. In this struggle
between prudence and passion, her vivacity quite forsook her, and every
opportunity of solitude was sought, and spent in tears. One week passed
away; but Mr. Thornhill made no efforts to restrain her nuptials. The
succeeding week he was still assiduous, but not more open. On the third
he discontinued his visits entirely; and instead of my daughter
testifying any impatience, as I expected, she seemed to retain a pensive
tranquillity, which I looked upon as resignation. For my own part, I was
now sincerely pleased with thinking that my child was going to be
secured in a continuance of competence and peace, and frequently
applauded her resolution in preferring happiness to ostentation.

It was within about four days of her intended nuptials, that my little
family at night were gathered round a charming fire, telling stories of
the past, and laying schemes for the future; busied in forming a
thousand projects, and laughing at whatever folly came uppermost. "Well,
Moses," cried I, "we shall soon, my boy, have a wedding in the family;
what is your opinion of matters and things in general?" "My opinion,
father, is, that all things go on very well; and I was just now
thinking, that when sister Livy is married to Farmer Williams, we shall
then have the loan of the cider-press and brewing-tubs for nothing."
"That we shall, Moses," cried I, "and he will sing us _Death and the
Lady_, to raise our spirits, into the bargain." "He has taught that song
to our Dick," cried Moses; "and I think he goes through it very
prettily." "Does he so?" cried I, "then let us have it: where is little
Dick? let him up with it boldly." "My brother Dick," cried Bill, my
youngest, "is just gone out with his sister Livy; but Mr. Williams has
taught me two songs, and I'll sing them for you, papa. Which song do you
choose—_The Dying Swan_, or the _Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog_?" "The
elegy, child, by all means," said I; "I never heard that yet. And
Deborah, my life, grief, you know, is dry; let us have a bottle of the
best gooseberry-wine, to keep up our spirits. I have wept so much at all
sorts of elegies of late, that, without an enlivening glass, I am sure
this will overcome me. And Sophy, love, take your guitar, and thrum in
with the boy a little."


                                AN ELEGY
                       ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.

 Good people all, of every sort,
   Give ear unto my song;
 And if you find it wondrous short,
   It cannot hold you long.

 In Islington there was a man
   Of whom the world might say,
 That still a godly race he ran
   Whene'er he went to pray.

 A kind and gentle heart he had
   To comfort friends and foes;
 The naked every day he clad,
   When he put on his clothes.

 And in that town a dog was found,
   As many dogs there be,
 Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
   And curs of low degree.

 This dog and man at first were friends;
   But when a pique began,
 The dog, to gain some private ends,
   Went mad, and bit the man!

 Around from all the neighb'ring streets
   The wond'ring neighbours ran,
 And swore the dog had lost his wits,
   To bite so good a man.

 The wound it seemed both sore and sad
   To every Christian eye;
 And while they swore the dog was mad,
   They swore the man would die.

 But soon a wonder came to light,
   That showed the rogues they lied
 The man recovered of the bite,
   The dog it was that died.

[Illustration:

  "_After any of these interviews between her lovers,
  of which there were several, she usually retired to
  solitude, and there indulged her grief._"—_p._ 71.
]


"A very good boy, Bill, upon my word; and an elegy that may be truly
called tragical. Come, my children, here's Bill's health, and may he one
day be a bishop!"

"With all my heart," cried my wife; "and if he but preaches as well as
he sings, I make no doubt of him. The most of his family, by the
mother's side, could sing a good song. It was a common saying in our
country, that the family of the Blenkinsops could never look straight
before them; nor the Hugginsons blow out a candle; and there were none
of the Grograms but could sing a song, or of the Marjorams but could
tell a story." "However that be," cried I, "the most vulgar ballad of
all generally pleases me better than the fine modern odes, and things
that petrify us in a single stanza: productions that we at once detest
and praise. Put the glass to your brother, Moses. The great fault of
these elegiasts is, that they are in despair for griefs that give the
sensible part of mankind very little pain. A lady loses her muff, her
fan, or her lap-dog; and so the silly poet runs home to versify the
disaster."

"That may be the mode," cried Moses, "in sublimer compositions; but the
Ranelagh songs that come down to us are perfectly familiar, and all cast
in the same mould: Colin meets Dolly, and they hold a dialogue together;
he gives her a fairing to put in her hair, and she presents him with a
nosegay; and then they go together to church, where they give good
advice to young nymphs and swains to get married as fast as they can."

"And very good advice too," cried I; "and I am told there is not a place
in the world where advice can be given with so much propriety as there:
for, as it persuades us to marry, it also furnishes us with a wife; and
surely that must be an excellent market, my boy, where we are told what
we want, and supplied with it when wanting."

"Yes, sir," returned Moses, "and I know but of two such markets for
wives in Europe, Ranelagh in England, and Fontarabia in Spain. The
Spanish market is open once a year, but our English wives are saleable
every night."

"You are right, my boy," cried his mother; "Old England is the only
place in the world for husbands to get wives." "And for wives to manage
their husbands," interrupted I. "It is a proverb abroad, that if a
bridge were built across the sea, all the ladies of the continent would
come over to take pattern from ours; for there are no such wives in
Europe as our own. But let us have one bottle more, Deborah, my life,
and, Moses, give us a good song. What thanks do we not owe to Heaven for
thus bestowing tranquillity, health, and competence! I think myself
happier now than the greatest monarch upon earth. He has no such
fireside, nor such pleasant faces about it. Yes, Deborah, we are now
growing old; but the evening of our life is likely to be happy. We are
descended from ancestors that knew no stain, and we shall leave a good
and virtuous race of children behind us. While we live they will be our
support and our pleasure here, and when we die they will transmit our
honour untainted to posterity. Come, my son, we wait for a song; let us
have a chorus. But where is my darling Olivia? That little cherub's
voice is always sweetest in the concert." Just as I spoke, Dick came
running in. "O papa, papa, she is gone from us! she is gone from us; my
sister Livy is gone from us for ever!" "Gone, child!" "Yes; she is gone
off with two gentlemen in a post-chaise, and one of them kissed her, and
said he would die for her; and she cried very much, and was for coming
back; but he persuaded her again, and she went into the chaise, and
said, 'Oh! what will my poor papa do when he knows I am undone!'" "Now,
then," cried I, "my children, go and be miserable; for we shall never
enjoy one hour more. And Oh, may Heaven's everlasting fury light upon
him and his! Thus to rob me of my child! And sure it will—for taking
back my sweet innocent that I was leading up to heaven! Such sincerity
as my child was possessed of! But all our earthly happiness is now over!
Go, my children, go and be miserable and infamous—for my heart is broken
within me!" "Father," cried my son, "is this your fortitude?"
"Fortitude, child! Yes, he shall see I have fortitude. Bring me my
pistols—I'll pursue the traitor—while he is on earth, I'll pursue him!
Old as I am, he shall find I can sting him yet—the villain—the
perfidious villain!" I had by this time reached down my pistols, when my
poor wife, whose passions were not so strong as mine, caught me in her
arms. "My dearest, dearest husband," cried she, "the Bible is the only
weapon that is fit for your old hands now. Open that, my love, and read
our anguish into patience, for she has vilely deceived us." "Indeed,
sir," resumed my son, after a pause, "your rage is too violent and
unbecoming. You should be my mother's comforter, and you increase her
pain. It ill suited you and your reverend character, thus to curse your
greatest enemy; you should not have cursed him, villain as he is." "I
did not curse him, child, did I?" "Indeed, sir, you did; you cursed him
twice." "Then may Heaven forgive me and him if I did. And now, my son, I
see it was more than human benevolence that first taught us to bless our
enemies. Blessed be His holy name for all the good He hath given, and
for all He hath taken away. But it is not—it is not a small distress
that can wring tears from these old eyes, that have not wept for so many
years. My child—to undo my darling! May confusion seize—Heaven forgive
me!—what am I about to say? You may remember, my love, how good she was,
and how charming: till this vile moment all her care was to make us
happy. Had she but died! But she is gone; the honour of our family is
contaminated, and I must look out for happiness in other worlds than
here. But, my child, you saw them go off: perhaps he forced her away? If
he forced her, she may yet be innocent." "Ah! no, sir," cried the child;
"he only kissed her, and called her his angel, and she wept very much,
and leaned upon his arm, and they drove off very fast." "She's an
ungrateful creature," cried my wife, who could scarcely speak for
weeping, "to use us thus; she never had the least constraint put upon
her affections. The vile strumpet has basely deserted her parents
without any provocation—thus to bring your grey hairs to the grave, and
I must shortly follow."

In this manner that night, the first of our real misfortunes, was spent
in the bitterness of complaint and ill-supported sallies of enthusiasm.
I determined, however, to find out our betrayer, wherever he was, and
reproach his baseness. The next morning we missed our wretched child at
breakfast, where she used to give life and cheerfulness to us all. My
wife, as before, attempted to ease her heart by reproaches. "Never,"
cried she, "shall that vilest stain of our family again darken these
harmless doors. I will never call her daughter more. No! let the
strumpet live with her vile seducer: she may bring us to shame, but she
shall never more deceive us."

"Wife," said I, "do not talk thus hardly: my detestation of her guilt is
as great as yours; but ever shall this house and this heart be open to a
poor returning repentant sinner. The sooner she returns from her
transgressions, the more welcome shall she be to me. For the first time
the very best may err; art may persuade, and novelty spread out its
charm. The first fault is the child of simplicity, but every other the
offspring of guilt. Yes, the wretched creature shall be welcome to this
heart and this house, though stained with ten thousand vices. I will
again hearken to the music of her voice, again will I hang fondly on her
bosom, if I find but repentance there. My son, bring hither my Bible and
my staff; I will pursue her, wherever she is; and, though I cannot save
her from shame, I may prevent the continuance of her iniquity."



                            _CHAPTER XVIII._

      _The pursuit of a father to reclaim a lost child to virtue._


[Illustration:

  "_But she is gone; the honour of our family
  is contaminated, and I must look out for happiness
  in other worlds than here._"—_p._ 75.
]


Though the child could not describe the gentleman's person who handed
his sister into the post-chaise, yet my suspicions fell entirely upon
our young landlord, whose character for such intrigues was but too well
known. I therefore directed my steps towards Thornhill Castle, resolving
to upbraid him, and, if possible, to bring back my daughter; but before
I had reached his seat I was met by one of my parishioners, who said he
saw a young lady resembling my daughter in a post-chaise with a
gentleman, whom, by the description, I could only guess to be Mr.
Burchell, and that they drove very fast. This information, however, did
by no means satisfy me; I therefore went to the young squire's, and,
though it was yet early, insisted upon seeing him immediately; he soon
appeared with the most open, familiar air, and seemed perfectly amazed
at my daughter's elopement, protesting upon his honour that he was quite
a stranger to it. I now therefore condemned my former suspicions, and
could turn them only on Mr. Burchell, who I recollected had of late
several private conferences with her; but the appearance of another
witness left me no room to doubt of his villainy, who averred that he
and my daughter were actually gone towards the Wells, about thirty miles
off, where there was a great deal of company. Being driven to that state
of mind in which we are more ready to act precipitately than to reason
right, I never debated with myself whether these accounts might not have
been given by persons purposely placed in my way to mislead me, but
resolved to pursue my daughter and her fancied deluder thither. I walked
along with earnestness, and inquired of several by the way; but received
no accounts, till entering the town, I was met by a person on horseback,
whom I remembered to have seen at the squire's, and he assured me that
if I followed them to the races, which were but thirty miles further, I
might depend upon overtaking them; for he had seen them dance there the
night before, and the whole assembly seemed charmed with my daughter's
performance. Early the next day I walked forward to the races, and about
four in the afternoon I came upon the course. The company made a very
brilliant appearance, all earnestly employed in one pursuit, that of
pleasure: how different from mine, that of reclaiming a lost child to
virtue! I thought I perceived Mr. Burchell at some distance from me;
but, as if he dreaded an interview, upon my approaching him he mixed
among a crowd, and I saw him no more.

I now reflected, that it would be to no purpose to continue my pursuit
farther, and resolved to return home to an innocent family, who wanted
my assistance. But the agitations of my mind, and the fatigues I had
undergone, threw me into a fever, the symptoms of which I perceived
before I came off the course. This was another unexpected stroke, as I
was more than seventy miles distant from home; however, I retired to a
little alehouse by the road-side; and in this place, the usual retreat
of indigence and frugality, I laid me down patiently to wait the issue
of my disorder. I languished here for nearly three weeks; but at last my
constitution prevailed, though I was unprovided with money to defray the
expenses of my entertainment. It is possible the anxiety from this last
circumstance alone might have brought on a relapse, had I not been
supplied by a traveller who stopped to take a cursory refreshment. This
person was no other than the philanthropic bookseller in St. Paul's
Churchyard, who has written so many little books for children: he called
himself their friend, but he was the friend of all mankind. He was no
sooner alighted, but he was in haste to be gone; for he was ever on
business of the utmost importance, and was at that time actually
compiling materials for the history of one Mr. Thomas Trip. I
immediately recollected this good-natured man's red pimpled face; for he
had published for me against the Deuterogamists of the age; and from him
I borrowed a few pieces, to be paid at my return. Leaving the inn,
therefore, as I was yet but weak, I resolved to return home by easy
journeys of ten miles a day.

My health and usual tranquillity were almost restored, and I now
condemned that pride which had made me refractory to the hand of
correction. Man little knows what calamities are beyond his patience to
bear till he tries them; as in ascending the heights of ambition, which
look bright from below, every step we rise shows us some new and gloomy
prospect of hidden disappointment; so in our descent from the summits of
pleasure, though the vale of misery below may appear at first dark and
gloomy, yet the busy mind, still attentive to its own amusement, finds,
as we descend, something to flatter and to please. Still as we approach
the darkest objects appear to brighten, and the mental eye becomes
adapted to its gloomy situation.

I now proceeded forward, and had walked about two hours, when I
perceived what appeared at a distance like a waggon, which I was
resolved to overtake: but when I came up with it found it to be a
strolling company's cart, that was carrying their scenes and other
theatrical furniture to the next village, where they were to exhibit.

The cart was attended only by the person who drove it, and one of the
company; as the rest of the players were to follow the ensuing day.
"Good company upon the road," says the proverb, "is the shortest cut." I
therefore entered into conversation with the poor player; and, as I once
had some theatrical powers myself, I descanted on such topics with my
usual freedom; as I was but little acquainted with the present state of
the stage, I demanded who were the present theatrical writers in vogue,
who the Drydens and Otways of the day? "I fancy, sir," cried the player,
"few of our modern dramatists would think themselves much honoured by
being compared to the writers you mention. Dryden's and Rowe's manner,
sir, are quite out of fashion: our taste has gone back a whole century;
Fletcher, Ben Jonson, and all the plays of Shakespeare are the only
things that go down." "How!" cried I, "is it possible the present age
can be pleased with that antiquated dialect, that obsolete humour, those
overcharged characters, which abound in the works you mention?" "Sir,"
returned my companion, "the public think nothing about dialect, or
humour, or character; for that is none of their business; they only go
to be amused, and find themselves happy when they can enjoy a pantomime,
under the sanction of Jonson's or Shakespeare's name." "So then, I
suppose," cried I, "that our modern dramatists are rather imitators of
Shakespeare than nature?" "To say the truth," returned my companion, "I
don't know that they imitate anything at all; nor indeed does the public
require it of them: it is not the composition of the piece, but the
number of starts and attitudes that may be introduced, that elicits
applause. I have known a piece, with not one jest in the whole, shrugged
into popularity, and another saved by the poet's throwing in a fit of
the gripes. No, sir, the works of Congreve and Farquhar have too much
wit in them for the present taste; our modern dialect is much more
natural."

By this time the equipage of the strolling company was arrived at the
village, which, it seems, had been apprised of our approach, and was
come out to gaze at us; for my companion observed, that strollers always
have more spectators without doors than within. I did not consider the
impropriety of my being in such company, till I saw a mob gather about
me. I therefore took shelter, as fast as possible, in the first alehouse
that offered; and being shown into the common-room, was accosted by a
very well-dressed gentleman, who demanded whether I was the real
chaplain of the company, or whether it was only to be my masquerade
character in the play? Upon my informing him of the truth, and that I
did not belong in any sort to the company, he was condescending enough
to desire me and the player to partake in a bowl of punch, over which he
discussed modern politics with great earnestness and interest. I set him
down in my own mind for nothing less than a parliament man at least; but
was almost confirmed in my conjectures, when, upon asking what there was
in the house for supper, he insisted that the player and I should sup
with him at his house; with which request, after some entreaties, we
were prevailed on to comply.

[Illustration: Interior Scene]



                             _CHAPTER XIX._

       _The description of a person discontented with the present
      government, and apprehensive of the loss of our liberties._


The house where we were to be entertained lying at a small distance from
the village, our inviter observed, that, as the coach was not ready, he
would conduct us on foot; and we soon arrived at one of the most
magnificent mansions I had seen in that part of the country. The
apartment into which we were shown was perfectly elegant and modern. He
went to give orders for supper, while the player, with a wink, observed
that we were perfectly in luck. Our entertainer soon returned, an
elegant supper was brought in, two or three ladies in easy dishabille
were introduced, and the conversation began with some sprightliness.
Politics, however, was the subject on which our entertainer chiefly
expatiated; for he asserted that liberty was at once his boast and his
terror. After the cloth was removed, he asked me if I had seen the last
Monitor; to which replying in the negative, "What! nor the Auditor, I
suppose?" cried he. "Neither, sir," returned I. "That's strange, very
strange," replied my entertainer. "Now I read all the politics that come
out. The Daily, the Public, the Ledger, the Chronicle, the London
Evening, the Whitehall Evening, the seventeen magazines, and the two
reviews; and, though they hate each other, I love them all. Liberty,
sir, liberty is the Briton's boast, and, by all my coal-mines in
Cornwall, I reverence its guardians." "Then it is to be hoped," cried I,
"you reverence the king?" "Yes," returned my entertainer, "when he does
what we would have him; but if he goes on as he has done of late, I'll
never trouble myself more with his matters. I say nothing. I think only.
I could have directed some things better. I don't think there has been a
sufficient number of advisers; he should advise with every person
willing to give him advice, and then we should have things done in
another guess manner."

"I wish," cried I, "that such intruding advisers were fixed in the
pillory. It should be the duty of honest men to assist the weaker side
of our constitution, that sacred power that has for some years been
every day declining and losing its due share of influence in the state.
But these ignorants still continue the same cry of liberty, and if they
have any weight, basely throw it into the subsiding scale."

"How!" cried one of the ladies, "do I live to see one so base, so
sordid, as to be an enemy to liberty, and a defender of tyrants?
Liberty, that sacred gift of heaven, that glorious privilege of
Britons!"

"Can it be possible," cried our entertainer, "that there should be any
found, at present, advocates for slavery? Any who are for meanly giving
up the privileges of Britons? Can any, sir, be so abject?"

"No, sir," replied I, "I am for liberty, that attribute of gods!
Glorious liberty! that theme of modern declamation! I would have all men
kings. I would be a king myself. We have all naturally an equal right to
the throne; we are all originally equal. This is my opinion, and was
once the opinion of a set of honest men who were called levellers. They
tried to erect themselves into a community where all should be equally
free. But, alas! it would never answer; for there were some among them
stronger, and some more cunning than others, and these became masters of
the rest; for as sure as your groom rides your horses, because he is a
cunninger animal than they, so surely will the animal that is cunninger
or stronger than he sit upon his shoulders in turn. Since, then, it is
entailed upon humanity to submit, and some are born to command, and
others to obey, the question is, as there must be tyrants, whether it is
better to have them in the same house with us, or in the same village,
or still farther off, in the metropolis. Now, sir, for my own part, as I
naturally hate the face of a tyrant, the farther off he is removed from
me, the better pleased am I. The generality of mankind also are of my
way of thinking, and have unanimously created one king, whose election
at once diminishes the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the
greatest distance from the greatest number of people. Now the great, who
were tyrants themselves before the election of one tyrant, are naturally
averse to a power raised over them, and whose weight must ever lean
heaviest on the subordinate orders. It is the interest of the great,
therefore, to diminish kingly power as much as possible; because
whatever they take from that is naturally restored to themselves: and
all they have to do in the state is to undermine the single tyrant, by
which they resume their primeval authority. Now the state may be so
circumstanced, or its laws may be so disposed, or its men of opulence so
minded, as all to conspire in carrying on this business of undermining
monarchy. For, in the first place, if the circumstances of our state be
such as to favour the accumulation of wealth, and make the opulent still
more rich, this will increase their ambition. An accumulation of wealth,
however, must necessarily be the consequence, when, as at present, more
riches flow in from external commerce than arise from internal industry:
for external commerce can only be managed to advantage by the rich, and
they have also at the same time all the emoluments arising from internal
industry; so that the rich, with us, have two sources of wealth, whereas
the poor have but one. For this reason, wealth in all commercial states
is found to accumulate; and all such have hitherto in time become
aristocratical. Again, the very laws also of the country may contribute
to the accumulation of wealth; as when, by their means, the natural ties
that bind the rich and poor together are broken; and it is ordained that
the rich shall only marry with the rich; or when the learned are held
unqualified to serve their country as councillors, merely from a defect
of opulence; and wealth is thus made the object of a wise man's
ambition: by these means, I say, and such means as these, riches will
accumulate. Now the possessor of accumulated wealth, when furnished with
the necessaries and pleasures of life, has no other method to employ the
superfluity of his fortune but in purchasing power; that is, differently
speaking, in making dependants by purchasing the liberty of the needy or
the venal, of men who are willing to bear the mortification of
contiguous tyranny for bread. Thus each very opulent man generally
gathers round him a circle of the poorest of the people, and the polity
abounding in accumulated wealth may be compared to a Cartesian system,
each orb with a vortex of its own. Those, however, who are willing to
move in a great man's vortex, are only such as must be slaves, the
rabble of mankind, whose souls and whose education are adapted to
servitude, and who know nothing of liberty except the name. But there
must still be a large number of the people without the sphere of the
opulent man's influence, namely, that order of men which subsists
between the very rich and the very rabble; those men who are possessed
of too large fortunes to submit to the neighbouring man in power, and
yet are too poor to set up for tyranny themselves. In this middle order
of mankind are generally to be found all the arts, wisdom, and virtues
of society. This order alone is known to be the true preserver of
freedom, and may be called THE PEOPLE. Now it may happen, that this
middle order of mankind may lose all its influence in a state, and its
voice be in a manner drowned in that of the rabble; for if the fortune
sufficient for qualifying a person at present to give his voice in state
affairs be ten times less than was judged sufficient upon forming the
constitution, it is evident that greater numbers of the rabble will thus
be introduced into the political system, and they, ever moving in the
vortex of the great, will follow where greatness shall direct. In such a
state, therefore, all that the middle order has left is, to preserve the
prerogative and privileges of the one principal governor with the most
sacred circumspection. For he divides the power of the rich, and calls
off the great from falling with tenfold weight on the middle order
placed beneath them. The middle order may be compared to a town, of
which the opulent are forming the siege, and of which the governor from
without is hastening the relief.

[Illustration:

  "_He was going to begin, when,
  turning his eyes upon the audience, he
  perceived Miss Wilmot and me, and stood
  at once speechless and immoveable._"—_p._ 88.
]


While the besiegers are in dread of an enemy over them, it is but
natural to offer the townsmen the most specious terms: to flatter them
with sounds, and amuse them with privileges; but if they once defeat the
governor from behind, the walls of the town will be but a small defence
to its inhabitants. What they may then expect may be seen by turning our
eyes to Holland, Genoa, or Venice, where the laws govern the poor, and
the rich govern the laws. I am then for, and would die for, monarchy,
sacred monarchy; for if there be anything sacred amongst men, it must be
the anointed _sovereign_ of his people; and every diminution of his
power, in war or peace, is an infringement upon the real liberties of
the subject. The sounds of liberty, patriotism, and Britons, have
already done much; it is to be hoped that the true sons of freedom will
prevent their ever doing more. I have known many of these pretended
champions for liberty in my time, yet do I not remember one that was not
in his heart and in his family a tyrant."

My warmth, I found, had lengthened this harangue beyond the rules of
good breeding; but the impatience of my entertainer, who often strove to
interrupt it, could be restrained no longer. "What!" cried he, "then I
have been all this while entertaining a Jesuit in parson's clothes? but,
by all the coal-mines of Cornwall, out he shall pack, if my name be
Wilkinson." I now found I had gone too far, and asked pardon for the
warmth with which I had spoken. "Pardon!" returned he, in a fury; "I
think such principles demand ten thousand pardons. What! give up
liberty, property, and, as the Gazetteer says, lie down to be saddled
with wooden shoes! Sir, I insist upon your marching out of this house
immediately, to prevent worse consequences. Sir, I insist upon it." I
was going to repeat my remonstrances; but just then we heard a footman's
rap at the door, and the two ladies cried out, "As sure as death, there
is our master and mistress come home!" It seems my entertainer was all
this while only the butler, who, in his master's absence, had a mind to
cut a figure, and be for a while the gentleman himself; and, to say the
truth, he talked politics as well as most country gentlemen do. But
nothing could now exceed my confusion upon seeing the gentleman and his
lady enter; nor was their surprise, at finding such company and good
cheer, less than ours. "Gentlemen," cried the real master of the house
to me and my companion, "my wife and I are your most humble servants;
but I protest this is so unexpected a favour, that we almost sink under
the obligation." However unexpected our company might be to them,
theirs, I am sure, was still more so to us, and I was struck dumb with
the apprehensions of my own absurdity, when whom should I next see enter
the room but my dear Miss Arabella Wilmot, who was formerly designed to
be married to my son George; but whose match was broken off, as already
related! As soon as she saw me, she flew to my arms with the utmost joy.
"My dear sir," cried she, "to what happy accident is it that we owe so
unexpected a visit? I am sure my uncle and aunt will be in raptures when
they find they have got the good Dr. Primrose for their guest." Upon
hearing my name, the old gentleman and lady very politely stepped up,
and welcomed me with most cordial hospitality. Nor could they forbear
smiling on being informed of the nature of my present visit; but the
unfortunate butler, whom they at first seemed disposed to turn away, was
at my intercession forgiven.

Mr. Arnold and his lady, to whom the house belonged, now insisted upon
having the pleasure of my stay for some days; and as their niece, my
charming pupil, whose mind, in some measure, had been formed under my
own instructions, joined in their entreaties, I complied. That night I
was shown to a magnificent chamber, and the next morning early, Miss
Wilmot desired to walk with me in the garden, which was decorated in the
modern manner. After some time spent in pointing out the beauties of the
place, she inquired, with seeming unconcern, when last I had heard from
my son George. "Alas! madam," cried I, "he has now been nearly three
years absent, without ever writing to his friends or me. Where he is I
know not; perhaps I shall never see him or happiness more. No, my dear
madam, we shall never more see such pleasing hours as were once spent by
our fireside at Wakefield. My little family are now dispersing very
fast, and poverty has brought not only want, but infamy, upon us." The
good-natured girl let fall a tear at this account; but as I saw her
possessed of too much sensibility, I forbore a more minute detail of our
sufferings. It was, however, some consolation to me to find that time
had made no alteration in her affections, and that she had rejected
several offers that had been made her since our leaving her part of the
country. She led me round all the extensive improvements of the place,
pointing to the several walks and arbours, and at the same time catching
from every object a hint for some new question relative to my son. In
this manner we spent the forenoon, till the bell summoned us to dinner,
where we found the manager of the strolling company that I mentioned
before, who was come to dispose of tickets for the _Fair Penitent_,
which was to be acted that evening: the part of Horatio by a young
gentleman who had never appeared on any stage. He seemed to be very warm
in the praise of the new performer, and averred that he never saw any
one who bade so fair for excellence. Acting, he observed, was not
learned in a day; "but this gentleman," continued he, "seems born to
tread the stage. His voice, his figure, and attitudes, are all
admirable. We caught him up accidentally in our journey down." This
account in some measure excited our curiosity, and, at the entreaty of
the ladies, I was prevailed upon to accompany them to the play-house,
which was no other than a barn. As the company with which I went was
incontestably the chief of the place, we were received with the greatest
respect, and placed in the front seat of the theatre; where we sat for
some time with no small impatience to see Horatio make his appearance.
The new performer advanced at last; and let parents think of my
sensations by their own, when I found it was my unfortunate son! He was
going to begin, when, turning his eyes upon the audience, he perceived
Miss Wilmot and me, and stood at once speechless and immoveable.

The actors behind the scenes, who ascribed this pause to his natural
timidity, attempted to encourage him; but, instead of going on, he burst
into a flood of tears, and retired off the stage. I don't know what were
my feelings on this occasion, for they succeeded with too much rapidity
for description; but I was soon awakened from this disagreeable reverie
by Miss Wilmot, who, pale and with a trembling voice, desired me to
conduct her back to her uncle's. When got home, Mr. Arnold, who was as
yet a stranger to our extraordinary behaviour, being informed that the
new performer was my son, sent his coach and an invitation for him; and,
as he persisted in his refusal to appear again upon the stage, the
players put another in his place, and we soon had him with us. Mr.
Arnold gave him the kindest reception, and I received him with my usual
transport; for I could never counterfeit false resentment. Miss Wilmot's
reception was mixed with seeming neglect, and yet I could perceive she
acted a studied part. The tumult in her mind seemed not yet abated; she
said twenty giddy things that looked like joy, and then laughed loud at
her own want of meaning. At intervals she would take a sly peep at the
glass, as if happy in the consciousness of irresistible beauty; and
often would ask questions, without giving any manner of attention to the
answers.



                             _CHAPTER XX._

        _The History of a Philosophic Vagabond pursuing novelty,
                          but losing content._


After we had supped, Mrs. Arnold politely offered to send a couple of
her footmen for my son's baggage, which he at first seemed to decline;
but, upon her pressing the request, he was obliged to inform her, that a
stick and a wallet were all the moveable things upon this earth which he
could boast of.

[Illustration:

  "_As I was one day sitting on a bench in
  St. James's Park, a young gentleman of
  distinction, who had been my intimate
  acquaintance at the university, approached me._"—_p._ 93.
]


"Why, ay, my son," cried I, "you left me but poor; and poor, I find, you
are come back; and yet, I make no doubt, you have seen a great deal of
the world." "Yes, sir," replied my son; "but travelling after fortune is
not the way to secure her: and, indeed, of late I have desisted from the
pursuit."

"I fancy, sir," cried Mrs. Arnold, "that the account of your adventures
would be amusing: the first part of them I have often heard from my
niece; but could the company prevail for the rest, it would be an
additional obligation." "Madam," replied my son, "I promise you the
pleasure you have in hearing will not be half so great as my vanity in
repeating them; and yet in the whole narrative I can scarcely promise
you one adventure, as my account is rather of what I saw than what I
did. The first misfortune of my life, which you all know, was great; but
though it distressed, it could not sink me. No person ever had a better
knack of hoping than I. The less kind I found Fortune at one time, the
more I expected from her at another; and being now at the bottom of her
wheel, every new revolution might lift, but could not depress me. I
proceeded, therefore, towards London on a fine morning, no way uneasy
about to-morrow, but cheerful as the birds that carolled by the road;
and comforted myself with reflecting that London was the mart where
abilities of every kind were sure of meeting distinction and reward.

"Upon my arrival in town, sir, my first care was to deliver your letter
of recommendation to our cousin, who was himself in little better
circumstances than I. My first scheme, you know, sir, was to be usher at
an academy, and I asked his advice on the affair. Our cousin received
the proposal with a true sardonic grin. 'Ay,' cried he, 'this is,
indeed, a very pretty career that has been chalked out for you. I have
been an usher to a boarding-school myself; and may I die by an anodyne
necklace, but I had rather be an under-turnkey in Newgate! I was up
early and late: I was browbeat by the master, hated for my ugly face by
the mistress, worried by the boys within, and never permitted to stir
out to meet civility abroad. But are you sure you are fit for a school?
Let me examine you a little. Have you been bred apprentice to the
business?' 'No.' 'Then you won't do for a school. Can you dress the
boys' hair?' 'No.' 'Then you won't do for a school. Have you had the
small-pox?' 'No.' 'Then you won't do for a school. Can you lie three in
a bed?' 'No.' 'Then you will never do for a school. Have you got a good
stomach?' 'Yes.' 'Then you will by no means do for a school. No, sir; if
you are for a genteel, easy profession, bind yourself seven years as an
apprentice to turn a cutler's wheel; but avoid a school by any means.
Yet come,' continued he, 'I see you are a lad of spirit and some
learning; what do you think of commencing author, like me? You have read
in books, no doubt, of men of genius starving at the trade; at present
I'll show you forty very dull fellows about town that live by it in
opulence—all honest jog-trot men, who go on smoothly and dully, write
history and politics, and are praised: men, sir, who, had they been bred
cobblers, would all their lives have only mended shoes, but never made
them.'

"Finding that there was no great degree of gentility affixed to the
character of an usher, I resolved to accept his proposal; and, having
the highest respect for literature, hailed the _Antiqua Mater_ of
Grub-street with reverence. I thought it my glory to pursue a track
which Dryden and Otway trod before me. I considered the goddess of this
region as the parent of excellence; and, however an intercourse with the
world might give us good sense, the poverty she entailed I supposed to
be the nurse of genius. Big with these reflections I sat down, and,
finding that the best things remained to be said on the wrong side, I
resolved to write a book that should be wholly new. I therefore dressed
up three paradoxes with some ingenuity. They were false, indeed, but
they were new. The jewels of truth have been so often imported by
others, that nothing was left for me to import but some splendid things
that, at a distance, looked every bit as well. Witness, you powers, what
fancied importance sat perched upon my quill while I was writing! The
whole learned world, I made no doubt, would rise to oppose my systems;
but then I was prepared to oppose the whole learned world. Like the
porcupine, I sat self-collected, with a quill pointed against every
opposer."

"Well said, my boy!" cried I; "and what subject did you treat upon? I
hope you did not pass over the importance of monogamy? But I interrupt:
go on. You published your paradoxes; well, and what did the learned
world say to your paradoxes?"

"Sir," replied my son, "the learned world said nothing to my paradoxes;
nothing at all, sir. Every man of them was employed in praising his
friends and himself, or condemning his enemies; and, unfortunately, as I
had neither, I suffered the cruellest mortification—neglect.

"As I was meditating one day, in a coffee-house, on the fate of my
paradoxes, a little man happening to enter the room, placed himself in
the box before me; and, after some preliminary discourse, finding me to
be a scholar, drew out a bundle of proposals, begging me to subscribe to
a new edition he was going to give the world of Propertius, with notes.
This demand necessarily produced a reply that I had no money; and that
concession led him to inquire into the nature of my expectations.
Finding that my expectations were just as great as my purse, 'I see,'
cried he, 'you are unacquainted with the town. I'll teach you a part of
it.—Look at these proposals; upon these very proposals I have subsisted
very comfortably for twelve years. The moment a nobleman returns from
his travels, a Creolian arrives from Jamaica, or a dowager from her
country-seat, I strike for a subscription. I first besiege their hearts
with flattery, and then pour in my proposals at the breach. If they
subscribe readily the first time, I renew my request to beg a dedication
fee; if they let me have that, I smite them once more for engraving
their coat of arms at the top. Thus,' continued he, 'I live by vanity,
and laugh at it. But, between ourselves, I am now too well known; I
should be glad to borrow your face a bit: a nobleman of distinction has
just returned from Italy; my face is familiar to his porter: but, if you
bring this copy of verses, my life for it, you succeed, and we divide
the spoil.'"

"Bless us! George," cried I, "and is this the employment of poets now?
Do men of their exalted talents thus stoop to beggary? Can they so far
disgrace their calling as to make a vile traffic of praise for bread?"

"Oh, no, sir," returned he; "a true poet can never be so base; for,
wherever there is genius there is pride. The creatures I now describe
are only beggars in rhyme. The real poet, as he braves every hardship
for fame, so is he equally a coward to contempt: and none but those who
are unworthy of protection condescend to solicit it.

"Having a mind too proud to stoop to such indignities, and yet a fortune
too humble to hazard a second attempt for fame, I was now obliged to
take a middle course, and write for bread. But I was unqualified for a
profession where mere industry alone was to insure success. I could not
suppress my lurking passion for applause; but usually consumed that time
in efforts after excellence, which takes up but little room, when it
should have been more advantageously employed in the diffusive
productions of fruitful mediocrity. My little piece would, therefore,
come forth in the midst of periodical publications, unnoticed and
unknown. The public were more importantly employed than to observe the
easy simplicity of my style, or the harmony of my periods. Sheet after
sheet was thrown off to oblivion. My essays were buried among the essays
upon liberty, eastern tales, and cures for the bite of a mad dog; while
Philautos, Philalethes, and Philelutheros, and Philanthropos, all wrote
better, because they wrote faster than I.

"Now, therefore, I began to associate with none but disappointed authors
like myself, who praised, deplored, and despised each other. The
satisfaction we found in every celebrated writer's attempts was
inversely as their merits. I found that no genius in another could
please me: my unfortunate paradoxes had entirely dried up that source of
comfort. I could neither read nor write with satisfaction; for
excellence in another was my aversion, and writing was my trade.

[Illustration:

  "_And without taking further notice
  he went out of the room._"—_p._ 95
]


"In the midst of these gloomy reflections, as I was one day sitting on a
bench in St. James's Park, a young gentleman of distinction, who had
been my intimate acquaintance at the university, approached me. We
saluted each other with some hesitation: he almost ashamed of being
known to one who made so shabby an appearance, and I afraid of a
repulse. But my suspicions soon vanished; for Ned Thornhill was at the
bottom a very good-natured fellow."

"What did you say, George?" interrupted I. "Thornhill! was not that his
name? It can certainly be no other than my landlord." "Bless me!" cried
Mrs. Arnold, "is Mr. Thornhill so near a neighbour of yours? He has long
been a friend in our family, and we expect a visit from him shortly."

"My friend's first care," continued my son, "was to alter my appearance
by a very fine suit of his own clothes, and then I was admitted to his
table upon the footing of half friend, half underling. My business was
to attend him at auctions, to put him in spirits when he sat for his
picture, to take the left hand in his chariot when not filled by
another, and to assist at tattering a kip, as the phrase was, when he
had a mind for a frolic. Besides this, I had twenty other little
employments in the family. I was to do many small things without
bidding; to carry the corkscrew; to stand godfather to all the butler's
children; to sing when I was bid; to be never out of humour; always to
be humble; and, if I could, to be very happy.

"In this honourable post, however, I was not without a rival. A captain
of marines, who was formed for the place by nature, opposed me in my
patron's affections. His mother had been laundress to a man of quality,
and thus he early acquired a taste for pimping and pedigree. As this
gentleman made it the study of his life to be acquainted with lords,
though he was dismissed from several for his stupidity, yet he found
many of them, who were as dull as himself, that permitted his
assiduities. As flattery was his trade, he practised it with the easiest
address imaginable; but it came awkward and stiff from me; and as every
day my patron's desire of flattery increased, so every hour, being
better acquainted with his defects, I became more unwilling to give it.
Thus I was once more fairly going to give up the field to the captain,
when my friend found occasion for my assistance. This was nothing less
than to fight a duel for him with a gentleman whose sister it was
pretended he had used ill. I readily complied with his request, and
though I see you are displeased at my conduct, yet, as it was a debt
indispensably due to friendship, I could not refuse. I undertook the
affair, disarmed my antagonist, and soon after had the pleasure of
finding that the lady was only a woman of the town, and the fellow her
bully and a sharper. This piece of service was repaid with the warmest
professions of gratitude; but as my friend was to leave town in a few
days, he knew no other method of serving me but by recommending me to
his uncle, Sir William Thornhill, and another nobleman of great
distinction, who enjoyed a post under the government. When he was gone,
my first care was to carry his recommendatory letter to his uncle, a man
whose character for every virtue was universal, yet just. I was received
by his servants with the most hospitable smiles, for the looks of the
domestics ever transmit their master's benevolence. Being shown into a
grand apartment, where Sir William soon came to me, I delivered my
message and letter, which he read, and after pausing some minutes,
'Pray, sir,' cried he, 'inform me what you have done for my kinsman to
deserve this warm recommendation. But I suppose, sir, I guess your
merits: you have fought for him; and so you would expect a reward from
me for being the instrument of his vices. I wish, sincerely wish, that
my present refusal may be some punishment for your guilt; but still more
that it may be some inducement to your repentance.' The severity of this
rebuke I bore patiently, because I knew that it was just. My whole
expectations now, therefore, lay in my letter to the great man. As the
doors of the nobility are almost ever beset with beggars, all ready to
thrust in some sly petition, I found it no easy matter to gain
admittance. However, after bribing the servants with half my worldly
fortune, I was at last shown into a spacious apartment, my letter being
previously sent up for his lordship's inspection. During this anxious
interval I had full time to look around me. Everything was grand and of
happy contrivance: the paintings, the furniture, the gildings, petrified
me with awe, and raised my idea of the owner. Ah! thought I to myself,
how very great must the possessor of all these things be, who carries in
his head the business of the state, and whose house displays half the
wealth of a kingdom; sure his genius must be unfathomable! During these
awful reflections I heard a step come heavily forward. Ah, this is the
great man himself! No, it was only a chambermaid. Another foot was heard
soon after. This must be he! No, it was only the great man's
_valet-de-chambre_. At last his lordship actually made his appearance.
'Are you,' cried he, 'the bearer of this here letter?' I answered with a
bow. 'I learn by this,' continued he, 'as how that—' But just at that
instant a servant delivered him a card; and without taking further
notice he went out of the room, and left me to digest my own happiness
at leisure. I saw no more of him, till told by a footman that his
lordship was going to his coach at the door. Down I immediately
followed, and joined my voice to that of three or four more, who came
like me to petition for favours. His lordship, however, went too fast
for us, and was gaining his chariot-door with large strides, when I
hallooed out to know if I was to have any reply. He was by this time got
in, and muttered an answer, half of which only I heard, the other half
was lost in the rattling of his chariot-wheels. I stood for some time
with my neck stretched out, in the posture of one that was listening to
catch the glorious sounds, till, looking round me, I found myself alone
at his lordship's gate.

"My patience," continued my son, "was now quite exhausted. Stung with
the thousand indignities I had met with, I was willing to cast myself
away, and only wanted the gulf to receive me. I regarded myself as one
of those vile things that Nature designed should be thrown by into her
lumber-room, there to perish in obscurity. I had still, however,
half-a-guinea left, and of that I thought Fortune herself should not
deprive me; but, in order to be sure of this, I was resolved to go
instantly and spend it while I had it, and then trust to occurrences for
the rest. As I was going along with this resolution, it happened that
Mr. Crispe's office seemed invitingly open to give me a welcome
reception. In this office Mr. Crispe kindly offers all his majesty's
subjects a generous promise of thirty pounds a-year, for which promise
all they give in return is their liberty for life, and permission to let
him transport them to America as slaves. I was happy at finding a place
where I could lose my fears in desperation, and entered this cell, for
it had the appearance of one, with the devotion of a monastic. Here I
found a number of poor creatures, all in circumstances like myself,
expecting the arrival of Mr. Crispe, presenting a true epitome of
English impatience. Each untractable soul at variance with fortune
wreaked her injuries on their own hearts; but Mr. Crispe at last came
down, and all our murmurs were hushed. He deigned to regard me with an
air of peculiar approbation, and indeed he was the first man who, for a
month past, talked to me with smiles. After a few questions, he found I
was fit for everything in the world. He paused awhile upon the properest
means of providing for me, and slapping his forehead as if he had found
it, assured me that there was at that time an embassy talked of from the
synod of Pennsylvania to the Chickasaw Indians, and that he would use
his interest to get me made secretary. I knew in my own heart that the
fellow lied, and yet his promise gave me pleasure, there was something
so magnificent in the sound. I fairly, therefore, divided my
half-guinea, one-half of which went to be added to his thirty thousand
pounds, and with the other half I resolved to go to the next tavern, to
be there more happy than he.

"As I was going out with that resolution, I was met at the door by the
captain of a ship, with whom I had formerly some little acquaintance,
and he agreed to be my companion over a bowl of punch. As I never chose
to make a secret of my circumstances, he assured me that I was upon the
very point of ruin, in listening to the office-keeper's promises; for
that he only designed to sell me to the plantations. 'But,' continued
he, 'I fancy you might by a much shorter voyage be very easily put into
a genteel way of bread. Take my advice. My ship sails to-morrow for
Amsterdam; what if you go in her as a passenger? The moment you land,
all you have to do is to teach the Dutchmen English, and I warrant
you'll get pupils and money enough. I suppose you understand English,'
added he, 'by this time, or the deuce is in it.'

[Illustration:

  "_Whenever I approached a peasant's house
  towards nightfall, I played one of my most
  merry tunes, and this procured me not only
  a lodging, but subsistence for the next day._"—_p._ 99.
]

I confidently assured him of that; but expressed a doubt whether the
Dutch would be willing to learn English. He affirmed, with an oath, that
they were fond of it to distraction; and upon that affirmation I agreed
with his proposal, and embarked with him the next day to teach the Dutch
English in Holland. The wind was fair, our voyage short; and, after
having paid my passage with half my moveables, I found myself, as fallen
from the skies, a stranger in one of the principal streets of Amsterdam.
In this situation I was unwilling to let any time pass unemployed in
teaching. I addressed myself, therefore, to two or three of those I met,
whose appearance seemed most promising; but it was impossible to make
ourselves mutually understood. It was not till this very moment I
recollected that, in order to teach Dutchmen English, it was necessary
that they should first teach me Dutch. How I came to overlook so obvious
an objection is to me amazing; but certain it is I overlooked it.

"This scheme thus blown up, I had some thoughts of fairly shipping back
to England again; but falling into company with an Irish student who was
returning from Louvain, our conversation turning upon topics of
literature (for by the way, it may be observed, that I always forgot the
meanness of my circumstances when I could converse on such subjects),
from him I learned that there were not two men in his whole university
who understood Greek. This amazed me: I instantly resolved to travel to
Louvain, and there live by teaching Greek; and in this design I was
heartened by my brother-student, who threw out some hints that a fortune
might be got by it.

"I set boldly forward the next morning. Every day lessened the burthen
of my moveables, like Æsop and his basket of bread; for I paid them for
my lodgings to the Dutch as I travelled on. When I came to Louvain, I
was resolved not to go sneaking to the lower professors, but openly
tendered my talents to the principal himself. I went, had admittance,
and offered him my service as a master of the Greek language, which I
had been told was a desideratum in his university. The principal seemed,
at first, to doubt of my abilities; but of these I offered to convince
him, by turning a part of any Greek author he should fix upon into
Latin. Finding me perfectly earnest in my proposal, he addressed me
thus: 'You see me, young man: I never learned Greek, and I don't find
that I have ever missed it. I have had a doctor's cap and gown without
Greek; I have ten thousand florins a-year without Greek; I eat heartily
without Greek; and, in short,' continued he, 'as I don't know Greek, I
do not believe there is any good in it.'

"I was now too far from home to think of returning, so I resolved to go
forward. I had some knowledge of music, with a tolerable voice; I now
turned what was once my amusement into a present means of subsistence. I
passed among the harmless peasants of Flanders, and among such of the
French as were poor enough to be very merry; for I ever found them
sprightly in proportion to their wants. Whenever I approached a
peasant's house towards nightfall, I played one of my most merry tunes,
and that procured me not only a lodging, but subsistence for the next
day. I once or twice attempted to play for people of fashion; but they
always thought my performance odious, and never rewarded me even with a
trifle. This was to me the more extraordinary, as whenever I used in
better days to play for company, when playing was my amusement, my music
never failed to throw them into raptures, and the ladies especially;
but, as it was now my only means, it was received with contempt: a proof
how ready the world is to underrate those talents by which a man is
supported.

"In this manner I proceeded to Paris, with no design but just to look
about me, and then to go forward. The people of Paris are much fonder of
strangers that have money than of those that have wit. As I could not
boast much of either, I was no great favourite. After walking about the
town four or five days, and seeing the outsides of the best houses, I
was preparing to leave this retreat of venal hospitality; when, passing
through one of the principal streets, whom should I meet but our cousin,
to whom you first recommended me! This meeting was very agreeable to me,
and I believe not displeasing to him. He inquired into the nature of my
journey to Paris, and informed me of his own business there, which was
to collect pictures, medals, intaglios, and antiques of all kinds, for a
gentleman in London, who had just stepped into taste and a large
fortune. I was the more surprised at seeing our cousin pitched upon for
this office, as he himself had often assured me he knew nothing of the
matter. Upon asking how he had been taught the art of a _cognoscento_ so
very suddenly, he assured me that nothing was more easy. The whole
secret consisted in a strict adherence to two rules: the one, always to
observe that the picture might have been better if the painter had taken
more pains; and the other, to praise the works of Pietro Perugino.
'But,' says he, 'as I once taught you how to be an author in London,
I'll now undertake to instruct you in the art of picture-buying in
Paris.'

"With this proposal I very readily closed, as it was a living; and now
all my ambition was to live. I went therefore to his lodgings, improved
my dress by his assistance; and, after some time, accompanied him to
auctions of pictures, where the English gentry were expected to be
purchasers. I was not a little surprised at his intimacy with people of
the best fashion, who referred themselves to his judgment upon every
picture or medal, as to an unerring standard of taste. He made very good
use of my assistance upon these occasions; for when asked his opinion,
he would gravely take me aside and ask mine, shrug, look wise, return,
and assure the company that he could give no opinion upon an affair of
so much importance. Yet there was sometimes an occasion for a more
supported assurance. I remember to have seen him, after giving his
opinion that the colouring of a picture was not mellow enough, very
deliberately take a brush with brown varnish that was accidentally lying
by, and rub it over the piece with great composure before all the
company, and then ask if he had not improved the tints.

"When he had finished his commission in Paris, he left me strongly
recommended to several men of distinction, as a person very proper for a
travelling tutor; and, after some time, I was employed in that capacity
by a gentleman who brought his ward to Paris in order to set him forward
on his tour through Europe. I was to be the young gentleman's governor,
but with a proviso that he should always be permitted to govern himself.
My pupil, in fact, understood the art of guiding in money concerns much
better than I. He was heir to a fortune of about two hundred thousand
pounds, left him by an uncle in the West Indies; and his guardians, to
qualify him for the management of it, had bound him apprentice to an
attorney. Thus avarice was his prevailing passion: all his questions on
the road were, how much money might be saved; which was the least
expensive course of travelling; whether anything could be bought that
would turn to account when disposed of again in London. Such curiosities
on the way as could be seen for nothing he was ready enough to look at;
but if the sight of them was to be paid for, he usually asserted that he
had been told they were not worth seeing. He never paid a bill that he
would not observe how amazingly expensive travelling was! And all this
though he was not yet twenty-one. When arrived at Leghorn, as we took a
walk to look at the port and shipping, he inquired the expense of the
passage by sea home to England. This he was informed was but a trifle
compared to his returning by land: he was therefore unable to withstand
the temptation; so, paying me the small part of my salary that was due,
he took leave, and embarked with only one attendant for London.

"I now therefore was left once more upon the world at large; but then it
was a thing I was used to. However, my skill in music could avail me
nothing in a country where every peasant was a better musician than I;
but by this time I had acquired another talent which answered my purpose
as well, and this was a skill in disputation. In all the foreign
universities and convents there are, upon certain days, philosophical
theses maintained against every adventitious disputant; for which, if
the champion opposes with any dexterity, he can claim a gratuity in
money, a dinner, and a bed for one night. In this manner, therefore, I
fought my way towards England; walked along from city to city; examined
mankind more nearly; and, if I may so express it, saw both sides of the
picture. My remarks, however, are but few; I found that monarchy was the
best government for the poor to live in, and commonwealths for the rich.
I found that riches in general were in every country another name for
freedom; and that no man is so fond of liberty himself as not to be
desirous of subjecting the will of some individuals in society to his
own.

[Illustration:

  "_Walked along from city to city._"—_p._ 101.
]

"Upon my arrival in England, I resolved to pay my respects first to you,
and then to enlist as a volunteer in the first expedition that was going
forward; but on my journey down my resolutions were changed by meeting
an old acquaintance, who I found belonged to a company of comedians that
were going to make a summer campaign in the country. The company seemed
not much to disapprove of me for an associate. They all, however,
apprised me of the importance of the task at which I aimed; that the
public was a many-headed monster, and that only such as had very good
heads could please it; that acting was not to be learnt in a day; and
that without some traditional shrugs, which had been on the stage, and
only on the stage, these hundred years, I could never pretend to please.
The next difficulty was in fitting me with parts, as almost every
character was in keeping. I was driven for some time from one character
to another, till at last Horatio was fixed upon, which the presence of
the present company has happily hindered me from acting."



                             _CHAPTER XXI._

        _The short continuance of friendship among the vicious,
            which is coeval only with mutual satisfaction._


My son's account was too long to be delivered at once; the first part of
it was begun that night, and he was concluding the rest after dinner the
next day, when the appearance of Mr. Thornhill's equipage at the door
seemed to make a pause in the general satisfaction. The butler, who was
now become my friend in the family, informed me in a whisper that the
squire had already made some overtures to Miss Wilmot, and that her aunt
and uncle seemed highly to approve the match. Upon Mr. Thornhill's
entering, he seemed, at seeing my son and me, to start back: but I
readily imputed that to surprise, and not displeasure. However, upon our
advancing to salute him, he returned our greeting with the most apparent
candour; and after a short time his presence served only to increase the
general good humour.

After tea, he called me aside to inquire after my daughter; but upon my
informing him that my inquiry was unsuccessful, he seemed greatly
surprised, adding that he had since been frequently at my house in order
to comfort the rest of my family, whom he left perfectly well. He then
asked if I had communicated her misfortune to Miss Wilmot or my son; and
upon my replying that I had not told them as yet, he greatly approved my
prudence and precaution, desiring me by all means to keep it a secret.
"For at best," cried he, "it is but divulging one's own infamy; and
perhaps Miss Livy may not be so guilty as we all imagine." We were here
interrupted by a servant, who came to ask the squire in, to stand up at
country-dances, so that he left me quite pleased with the interest he
seemed to take in my concerns. His addresses, however, to Miss Wilmot,
were too obvious to be mistaken; and yet she seemed not perfectly
pleased, but bore them rather in compliance to the will of her aunt than
from real inclination. I had even the satisfaction to see her lavish
some kind looks upon my unfortunate son, which the other could neither
extort by his fortune nor assiduity. Mr. Thornhill's seeming composure,
however, not a little surprised me. We had now continued here a week, at
the pressing instances of Mr. Arnold; but each day, the more tenderness
Miss Wilmot showed my son, Mr. Thornhill's friendship seemed
proportionably to increase for him.

He had formerly made us the most kind assurances of using his interest
to serve the family; but now his generosity was not confined to promises
alone. The morning I designed for my departure Mr. Thornhill came to me
with looks of real pleasure, to inform me of a piece of service he had
done for his friend George. This was nothing less than his having
procured him an ensign's commission in one of the regiments that were
going to the West Indies, for which he had promised but one hundred
pounds, his interest having been sufficient to get an abatement of the
other two. "As for this trifling piece of service," continued the young
gentleman, "I desire no other reward but the pleasure of having served
my friend; and as for the hundred pounds to be paid, if you are unable
to raise it yourselves, I will advance it, and you shall repay me at
your leisure." This was a favour we wanted words to express our sense
of; I readily, therefore, gave my bond for the money, and testified as
much gratitude as if I never intended to pay.

George was to depart for town the next day to secure his commission, in
pursuance of his generous patron's directions, who judged it highly
expedient to use despatch, lest in the meantime another should step in
with more advantageous proposals. The next morning, therefore, our young
soldier was early prepared for his departure, and seemed the only person
among us that was not affected by it. Neither the fatigues and dangers
he was going to encounter, nor the friends and mistress (for Miss Wilmot
actually loved him) he was leaving behind, any way damped his spirits.
After he had taken leave of the rest of the company, I gave him all that
I had—my blessing. "And now, my boy," cried I, "thou art going to fight
for thy country, remember how thy brave grandfather fought for his
sacred king, when loyalty among Britons was a virtue. Go, my boy, and
imitate him in all but his misfortunes—if it was a misfortune to die
with Lord Falkland. Go, my boy, and if you fall, though distant,
exposed, and unwept by those that love you, the most precious tears are
those with which Heaven bedews the unburied head of a soldier."

The next morning I took leave of the good family that had been kind
enough to entertain me so long, not without several expressions of
gratitude to Mr. Thornhill for his late bounty. I left them in the
enjoyment of all that happiness which affluence and good breeding
procure, and returned towards home, despairing of ever finding my
daughter more, but sending a sigh to Heaven to spare and to forgive her.
I was now come within about twenty miles of home, having hired a horse
to carry me, as I was yet but weak, and comforted myself with the hopes
of soon seeing all I held dearest upon earth. But the night coming on, I
put up at a little public-house by the road-side, and asked for the
landlord's company over a pint of wine. We sat beside his kitchen fire,
which was the best room in the house, and chatted on politics and the
news of the country. We happened, among other topics, to talk of young
Squire Thornhill, who, the host assured me, was hated as much as his
uncle, Sir William, who sometimes came down to the country, was loved.
He went on to observe that he made it his whole study to betray the
daughters of such as received him to their houses, and after a fortnight
or three weeks' possession turned them out unrewarded and abandoned to
the world. As we continued our discourse in this manner, his wife, who
had been out to get change, returned, and perceiving that her husband
was enjoying a pleasure in which she was not a sharer, she asked him in
an angry tone what he did there, to which he only replied in an ironical
way by drinking her health. "Mr. Symonds," cried she, "you use me very
ill, and I'll bear it no longer. Here three parts of the business is
left for me to do, and the fourth left unfinished, while you do nothing
but soak with the guests all day long; whereas, if a spoonful of liquor
were to cure me of a fever, I never touch a drop." I now found what she
would be at, and immediately poured her out a glass, which she received
with a courtesy, and drinking towards my good health.

[Illustration:

  "_Out, I say; pack out this moment_!"—_p._ 106.
]


"Sir," resumed she, "it is not so much for the value of the liquor I am
angry, but one cannot help it when the house is going out of the
windows. If the customers or guests are to be dunned, all the burden
lies upon my back: he'd as leave eat that glass as budge after them
himself. There, now, above stairs we have a young woman who has come to
take up her lodgings here, and I don't believe she has got any money, by
her over-civility. I am certain she is very slow of payment, and I wish
she were put in mind of it." "What signifies minding her?" cried the
host; "if she be slow she's sure." "I don't know that," replied the
wife, "but I know that I am sure she has been here a fortnight, and we
have not yet seen the cross of her money." "I suppose, my dear," cried
he, "we shall have it all in a lump." "In a lump!" cried the other, "I
hope we may get it any way; and that I am resolved we will this very
night, or out she tramps, bag and baggage." "Consider, my dear," cried
the husband, "she is a gentlewoman, and deserves more respect." "As for
the matter of that," returned the hostess, "gentle or simple, out she
shall pack with a sassarara. Gentry may be good things where they take;
but for my part, I never saw much good of them at the sign of the
Harrow." Thus saying, she ran up a narrow flight of stairs that went
from the kitchen to a room overhead, and I soon perceived by the
loudness of her voice, and the bitterness of her reproaches, that no
money was to be had from her lodger. I could hear her remonstrances very
distinctly. "Out, I say; pack out this moment! tramp, thou infamous
strumpet, or I'll give thee a mark thou won't be the better for these
three months. What! you trumpery, to come and take up an honest house
without cross or coin to bless yourself with! Come along, I say." "Oh,
dear madam," cried the stranger, "pity me, pity a poor abandoned
creature for one night, and death will soon do the rest." I instantly
knew the voice of my poor ruined child Olivia. I flew to her rescue,
while the woman was dragging her along by the hair, and I caught the
dear forlorn wretch in my arms. "Welcome, any way welcome, my dearest
lost one, my treasure, to your poor old father's bosom! Though the
vicious forsake thee, there is yet one in the world that will never
forsake thee; though thou hadst ten thousand crimes to answer for, he
will forgive them all." "Oh, my own dear"—for minutes she could say no
more—"my own dearest, good papa! Could angels be kinder? How do I
deserve so much? The villain, I hate him and myself, to be a reproach to
so much goodness. You can't forgive me—I know you cannot." "Yes, my
child, from my heart I do forgive thee: only repent, and we both shall
yet be happy. We shall see many pleasant days yet, my Olivia." "Ah!
never, sir, never! The rest of my wretched life must be infamy abroad,
and shame at home. But alas! papa, you look much paler than you used to
do. Could such a thing as I am give you so much uneasiness? surely you
have too much wisdom to take the miseries of my guilt upon yourself!"
"Our wisdom, young woman—" replied I. "Ah! why so cold a name, papa?"
cried she, "this is the first time you ever called me by so cold a
name." "I ask pardon, my darling," returned I; "but I was going to
observe, that wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at
last a sure one."

The landlady now returned to know if we did not choose a more genteel
apartment; to which assenting, we were shown to a room where we could
converse more freely. After we had talked ourselves into some
tranquillity, I could not avoid desiring some account of the gradations
that led to her present wretched situation. "That villain, sir," said
she, "from the first day of our meeting, made me honourable though
private proposals."

"Villain, indeed!" cried I; "and yet it in some measure surprises me how
a person of Mr. Burchell's good sense and seeming honour could be guilty
of such deliberate baseness, and thus step into a family to undo it."

"My dear papa," returned my daughter, "you labour under a strange
mistake. Mr. Burchell never attempted to deceive me. Instead of that, he
took every opportunity of privately admonishing me against the artifices
of Mr. Thornhill, who, I now find, was even worse than he represented
him." "Mr. Thornhill!" interrupted I, "can it be?" "Yes, sir," returned
she, "it was Mr. Thornhill who seduced me; who employed the two ladies,
as he called them, but who in fact were abandoned women of the town
without breeding or pity, to decoy us up to London. Their artifices, you
may remember, would certainly have succeeded, but for Mr. Burchell's
letter, who directed those reproaches at them which we all applied to
ourselves. How he came to have so much influence as to defeat their
intentions, still remains a secret to me; but I am convinced he was ever
our warmest, sincerest friend."

"You amaze me, my dear," cried I; "but now I find my first suspicions of
Mr. Thornhill's baseness were too well grounded: but he can triumph in
security; for he is rich and we are poor. But tell me, my child; sure it
was no small temptation that could thus obliterate all the impressions
of such an education and so virtuous a disposition as thine?"

"Indeed, sir," replied she, "he owes all his triumph to the desire I had
of making him, and not myself, happy. I knew that the ceremony of our
marriage, which was privately performed by a popish priest, was no way
binding, and that I had nothing to trust to but his honour." "What!"
interrupted I, "and were you indeed married by a priest, and in orders?"
"Indeed, sir, we were," replied she, "though we were both sworn to
conceal his name." "Why then, my child, come to my arms again; and now
you are a thousand times more welcome than before; for you are his wife
to all intents and purposes; nor can all the laws of man, though written
upon tables of adamant, lessen the force of that sacred connexion."

"Alas! papa," replied she, "you are but little acquainted with his
villainies; he has been married already, by the same priest, to six or
eight wives more, whom, like me, he has deceived and abandoned."

"Has he so?" cried I, "then we must hang the priest, and you shall
inform against him to-morrow." "But, sir," returned she, "will that be
right, when I am sworn to secresy?" "My dear," I replied, "if you have
made such a promise, I cannot, nor will I tempt you to break it. Even
though it may benefit the public, you must not inform against him. In
all human institutions, a smaller evil is allowed to procure a greater
good: as, in politics, a province may be given away to secure a kingdom;
in medicine, a limb may be lopped off to preserve the body. But in
religion the law is written and inflexible, _never_ to do evil. And,
this law, my child, is right; for otherwise, if we commit a smaller evil
to procure a greater good, certain guilt would be thus incurred in
expectation of contingent advantage. And though the advantage should
certainly follow, yet the interval between commission and advantage,
which is allowed to be guilty, may be that in which we are called away
to answer for the things we have done, and the volume of human actions
is closed for ever. But I interrupt you, my dear: go on."

"The very next morning," continued she, "I found what little
expectations I was to have from his sincerity. That very morning he
introduced me to two unhappy women more, whom, like me, he had deceived,
but who lived in contented prostitution. I loved him too tenderly to
bear such rivals in his affections, and strove to forget my infamy in a
tumult of pleasures. With this view, I danced, dressed, and talked, but
still was unhappy. The gentlemen who visited there told me every moment
of the power of my charms, and this only contributed to increase my
melancholy, as I had thrown all their power quite away. Thus each day I
grew more pensive and he more insolent, till at last the monster had the
assurance to offer me to a young baronet of his acquaintance. Need I
describe, sir, how this ingratitude stung me? My answer to this proposal
was almost madness. I desired to part. As I was going, he offered me a
purse; but I flung it at him with indignation, and burst from him in a
rage that for a while kept me insensible of the miseries of my
situation. But I soon looked round me, and saw myself a vile, abject,
guilty thing, without one friend in the world to apply to. Just in that
interval a stage-coach happening to pass by, I took a place, it being my
only aim to be driven to a distance from a wretch I despised and
detested. I was set down here; where, since my arrival, my own anxiety,
and this woman's unkindness, have been my only companions. The hours of
pleasure that I have passed with my mamma and sister now grow painful to
me. Their sorrows are much; but mine are greater than theirs; for mine
are mixed with guilt and infamy."

[Illustration:

  _"My dear papa," returned my daughter,
  "you labour under a strange mistake.
  Mr. Burchell never attempted to deceive me."_—_p._ 107.
]

"Have patience, my child," cried I, "and I hope things will yet be
better. Take some repose to-night, and to-morrow I'll carry you home to
your mother and the rest of the family, from whom you will receive a
kind reception. Poor woman! this has gone to her heart; but she loves
you still, Olivia, and will forget it."



                            _CHAPTER XXII._

     _Offences are easily pardoned where there is love at bottom._


The next morning I took my daughter behind me, and set out on my return
home. As we travelled along, I strove by every persuasion to calm her
sorrows and fears, and to arm her with resolution to bear the presence
of her offended mother. I took every opportunity, from the prospect of a
fine country through which we passed, to observe how much kinder Heaven
was to us than we to each other; and that the misfortunes of nature's
making were but very few. I assured her that she should never perceive
any change in my affections, and that during my life, which yet might be
long, she might depend upon a guardian and an instructor. I armed her
against the censures of the world, showed her that books were sweet
unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that, if they could not
bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.

The hired horse that we rode was to be put up that night at an inn by
the way, within about five miles from my house; and as I was willing to
prepare my family for my daughter's reception, I determined to leave her
that night at the inn, and to return for her, accompanied by my daughter
Sophia, early the next morning. It was night before we reached our
appointed stage; however, after seeing her provided with a decent
apartment, and having ordered the hostess to prepare proper
refreshments, I kissed her, and proceeded towards home. And now my heart
caught new sensations of pleasure, the nearer I approached that peaceful
mansion. As a bird that had been frightened from its nest, my affections
outwent my haste, and hovered round my little fireside with all the
rapture of expectation. I called up the many fond things I had to say,
and anticipated the welcome I was to receive. I already felt my wife's
tender embrace, and smiled at the joy of my little ones. As I walked but
slowly, the night waned apace; the labourers of the day were all retired
to rest; the lights were out in every cottage; no sounds were heard but
of the shrilling cock and the deep-mouthed watch-dog, at hollow
distance. I approached my little abode of pleasure, and, before I was
within a furlong of the place, our honest mastiff came running to
welcome me.

It was now near midnight that I came to knock at my door: all was still
and silent—my heart dilated with unutterable happiness: when to my
amazement, I saw the house bursting out into a blaze of fire, and every
aperture red with conflagration! I gave a loud convulsive outcry, and
fell upon the pavement insensible. This alarmed my son, who had till
this been asleep, and he, perceiving the flames, instantly awakened my
wife and daughter, and all running out, naked and wild with
apprehension, recalled me to life with their anguish. But it was only to
objects of new terror, for the flames had by this time caught the roof
of our dwelling, part after part continuing to fall in, while the family
stood with silent agony looking on as if they enjoyed the blaze. I gazed
upon them and upon it by turns, and then looked round me for my two
little ones; but they were not to be seen. "O misery! where," cried I,
"where are my little ones?" "They are burnt to death in the flames,"
said my wife, calmly, "and I will die with them." That moment I heard
the cry of the babes within, who were just awakened by the fire, and
nothing could have stopped me. "Where, where are my children?" cried I,
rushing through the flames, and bursting the door of the chamber in
which they were confined; "where are my little ones?" "Here, dear papa,
here we are!" cried they together, while the flames were just catching
the bed where they lay. I caught them both in my arms, and conveyed them
through the fire as fast as possible, while, just as I was going out,
the roof sunk in. "Now," cried I, holding up my children, "now let the
flames burn on, and all my possessions perish; here they are—I have
saved my treasure: here, my dearest, here are our treasures, and we
shall yet be happy." We kissed our little darlings a thousand times;
they clasped us round the neck, and seemed to share our transports,
while their mother laughed and wept by turns.

I now stood a calm spectator of the flames, and after some time began to
perceive that my arm to the shoulder was scorched in a terrible manner.
It was, therefore, out of my power to give my son any assistance, either
in attempting to save our goods, or preventing the flames spreading to
our corn. By this time the neighbours were alarmed, and came running to
our assistance; but all they could do was to stand, like us, spectators
of the calamity. My goods, among which were the notes I had reserved for
my daughters' fortunes, were entirely consumed, except a box with some
papers that stood in the kitchen, and two or three things more of little
consequence, which my son brought away in the beginning. The neighbours
contributed, however, what they could to lighten our distress. They
brought us clothes, and furnished one of our outhouses with kitchen
utensils; so that by daylight we had another, though a wretched,
dwelling to retire to. My honest next neighbour and his children were
not the least assiduous in providing us with everything necessary, and
offering whatever consolation untutored benevolence could suggest.

When the fears of my family had subsided, curiosity to know the cause of
my long stay began to take place; having, therefore, informed them of
every particular, I proceeded to prepare them for the reception of our
lost one; and, though we had nothing but wretchedness now to impart, I
was willing to procure her a welcome to what we had. This task would
have been more difficult but for our own recent calamity, which had
humbled my wife's pride, and blunted it by more poignant afflictions.
Being unable to go for my poor child myself, as my arm grew very
painful, I sent my son and daughter, who soon returned, supporting the
wretched delinquent, who had not the courage to look up at her mother,
whom no instructions of mine could persuade to a perfect reconciliation;
for women have a much stronger sense of female error than men. "Ah,
madam!" cried her mother, "this is but a poor place you are come to
after so much finery. My daughter Sophy and I can afford but little
entertainment to persons who have kept company only with people of
distinction: yes, Miss Livy, your poor father and I have suffered very
much of late; but I hope Heaven will forgive you." During this
reception, the unhappy victim stood pale and trembling, unable to weep
or to reply; but I could not continue a silent spectator of her
distress; wherefore, assuming a degree of severity in my voice and
manner, which was ever followed with instant submission, "I entreat,
woman, that my words may be now marked once for all: I have here brought
you back a poor deluded wanderer—her return to duty demands the revival
of our tenderness. The real hardships of life are now coming fast upon
us; let us not, therefore, increase them by dissensions among each
other: if we live harmoniously together, we may yet be contented, as
there are enough of us to shut out the censuring world, and keep each
other in countenance. The kindness of Heaven is promised to the
penitent, and let ours be directed by the example. Heaven, we are
assured, is much more pleased to view a repentant sinner than
ninety-nine persons who have supported a course of undeviating
rectitude: and this is right; for that single effort by which we stop
short in the down-hill path to perdition, is of itself a greater
exertion of virtue than a hundred acts of justice."

[Illustration:

  _"Ah, madam" cried her mother,
  "this is but a poor place you are
  come to after so much finery."_—_p._ 112.
]



                            _CHAPTER XXIII._

      _None but the guilty can be long and completely miserable._


Some assiduity was now required to make our present abode as convenient
as possible, and we were soon again qualified to enjoy our former
serenity. Being disabled myself from assisting my son in our usual
occupations, I read to my family from the few books that were saved, and
particularly from such as, by amusing the imagination, contributed to
ease the heart. Our good neighbours, too, came every day with the
kindest condolence, and fixed a time in which they were all to assist in
repairing my former dwelling. Honest Farmer Williams was not last among
these visitors, but heartily offered his friendship. He would even have
renewed his addresses to my daughter; but she rejected them in such a
manner as totally repressed his future solicitations. Her grief seemed
formed for continuing, and she was the only person in our little society
that a week did not restore to cheerfulness. She now lost that
unblushing innocence which once taught her to respect herself, and to
seek pleasure by pleasing. Anxiety had now taken strong possession of
her mind; her beauty began to be impaired with her constitution, and
neglect still more contributed to diminish it. Every tender epithet
bestowed on her sister brought a pang to her heart and a tear to her
eye; and as one vice, though cured, ever plants others where it has
been, so her former guilt, though driven out by repentance, left
jealousy and envy behind. I strove a thousand ways to lessen her care,
and even forgot my own pain in a concern for hers, collecting such
amusing passages of history as a strong memory and some reading could
suggest. "Our happiness, my dear," I would say, "is in the power of One
who can bring it about by a thousand unforeseen ways that mock our
foresight. If example be necessary to prove this, I'll give you a story,
my child, told us by a grave, though sometimes a romancing, historian.

"Matilda was married very young to a Neapolitan nobleman of the first
quality, and found herself a widow and a mother at the age of fifteen.
As she stood one day caressing her infant son in the open window of an
apartment which hung over the river Volturna, the child, with a sudden
spring, leaped from her arms into the flood below, and disappeared in a
moment. The mother, struck with instant surprise, and making an effort
to save him, plunged in after; but, far from being able to assist the
infant, she herself with great difficulty escaped to the opposite shore,
just when some French soldiers were plundering the country on that side,
who immediately made her their prisoner.

"As the war was then carried on between the French and Italians with the
utmost inhumanity, they were going at once to perpetrate those two
extremes suggested by appetite and cruelty. This base resolution,
however, was opposed by a young officer, who, though their retreat
required the utmost expedition, placed her behind him, and brought her
in safety to his native city. Her beauty at first caught his eye: her
merit, soon after, his heart. They were married; he rose to the highest
posts; they lived long together, and were happy. But the felicity of a
soldier can never be called permanent: after an interval of several
years, the troops which he commanded having met with a repulse, he was
obliged to take shelter in the city where he had lived with his wife.
Here they suffered a siege, and the city at length was taken. Few
histories can produce more various instances of cruelty than those which
the French and Italians at that time exercised upon each other. It was
resolved by the victors, upon this occasion, to put all the French
prisoners to death; but particularly the husband of the unfortunate
Matilda, as he was principally instrumental in protracting the siege.
Their determinations were, in general, executed almost as soon as
resolved upon. The captive soldier was led forth, and the executioner
with his sword stood ready, while the spectators, in gloomy silence,
awaited the fatal blow, which was only suspended till the general, who
presided as judge, should give the signal. It was in this interval of
anguish and expectation that Matilda came to take the last farewell of
her husband and deliverer, deploring her wretched situation, and the
cruelty of fate that had saved her from perishing by a premature death
in the river Volturna, to be the spectator of still greater calamities.
The general, who was a young man, was struck with surprise at her beauty
and pity at her distress; but with still stronger emotions when he heard
her mention her former dangers. He was her son, the infant for whom she
had encountered so much danger; he acknowledged her at once as his
mother, and fell at her feet. The rest may be easily supposed; the
captive was set free, and all the happiness that love, friendship, and
duty could confer on earth, were united."

In this manner I would attempt to amuse my daughter; but she listened
with divided attention; for her own misfortunes engrossed all the pity
she once had for those of another, and nothing gave her ease. In company
she dreaded contempt; and in solitude she only found anxiety. Such was
the colour of her wretchedness, when we received certain information
that Mr. Thornhill was going to be married to Miss Wilmot; for whom I
always suspected he had a real passion, though he took every opportunity
before me to express his contempt both of her person and fortune. This
news served only to increase poor Olivia's affliction; for such a
flagrant breach of fidelity was more than her courage could support. I
was resolved, however, to get more certain information; and to defeat,
if possible, the completion of his designs, by sending my son to old Mr.
Wilmot's, with instructions to know the truth of the report, and to
deliver Miss Wilmot a letter intimating Mr. Thornhill's conduct in my
family. My son went, in pursuance of my directions, and in three days
returned, assuring us of the truth of the account; but that he had found
it impossible to deliver the letter, which he was therefore obliged to
leave, as Mr. Thornhill and Miss Wilmot were visiting round the country.
They were to be married, he said, in a few days, having appeared
together at church, the Sunday before he was there, in great splendour,
the bride attended by six young ladies, and he by as many gentlemen.
Their approaching nuptials filled the whole country with rejoicing, and
they usually rode out together in the grandest equipage that had been
seen in the country for many years. All the friends of both families, he
said, were there, particularly the squire's uncle, Sir William
Thornhill, who bore so good a character. He added, that nothing but
mirth and feasting were going forward; that all the country praised the
young bride's beauty and the bridegroom's fine person, and that they
were immensely fond of each other; concluding that he could not help
thinking Mr. Thornhill one of the most happy men in the world.

"Why, let him if he can," returned I; "but, my son, observe this bed of
straw and unsheltering roof; those mouldering walls and humid floor; my
wretched body thus disabled by fire, and my children weeping round me
for bread: you have come home, my child, to all this; yet here, even
here, you see a man that would not for a thousand worlds exchange
situations. Oh, my children, if you could but learn to commune with your
own hearts, and know what noble company you can make them, you would
little regard the elegance and splendour of the worthless. Almost all
men have been taught to call life a passage, and themselves the
travellers. The similitude still may be improved, when we observe that
the good are joyful and serene, like travellers that are going towards
home; the wicked but by intervals happy, like travellers that are going
into exile."

My compassion for my poor daughter, overpowered by this new disaster,
interrupted what I had further to observe. I bade her mother support
her, and after a short time she recovered. She appeared from that time
more calm, and I imagined had gained a new degree of resolution; but
appearances deceived me; for her tranquillity was the languor of
overwrought resentment. A supply of provisions, charitably sent us by my
kind parishioners, seemed to diffuse new cheerfulness among the rest of
my family, nor was I displeased at seeing them once more sprightly and
at ease. It would have been unjust to damp their satisfaction, merely to
condole with resolute melancholy, or to burden them with a sadness they
did not feel. Thus, once more, the tale went round, and a song was
demanded, and cheerfulness condescended to hover round our little
habitation.

[Illustration:

  _"Go," cried I, "thou art a wretch; a poor,
  pitiful wretch, and every way a liar."_—_p._ 118.
]



                            _CHAPTER XXIV._

                          _Fresh calamities._


The next morning the sun arose with peculiar warmth for the season, so
that we agreed to breakfast together on the honeysuckle bank; where,
while we sat, my youngest daughter, at my request, joined her voice to
the concert on the trees about us. It was in this place my poor Olivia
first met her seducer, and every object served to recall her sadness.
But that melancholy which is excited by objects of pleasure, or inspired
by sounds of harmony, soothes the heart instead of corroding it. Her
mother, too, upon this occasion felt a pleasing distress, and wept, and
loved her daughter as before. "Do, my pretty Olivia," cried she, "let us
have that little melancholy air your papa was so fond of; your sister
Sophy has already obliged us. Do, child; it will please your old
father." She complied in a manner so exquisitely pathetic, as moved me.

 When lovely woman stoops to folly,
   And finds, too late, that men betray,
 What charm can soothe her melancholy?
   What art can wash her guilt away?

 The only art her guilt to cover,
   To hide her shame from every eye,
 To give repentance to her lover,
   And wring his bosom, is—to die.

As she was concluding the last stanza, to which an interruption in her
voice, from sorrow, gave peculiar softness, the appearance of Mr.
Thornhill's equipage at a distance alarmed us all, but particularly
increased the uneasiness of my eldest daughter, who, desirous of
shunning her betrayer, returned to the house with her sister. In a few
minutes he was alighted from his chariot, and, making up to the place
where I was still sitting, inquired after my health with his usual air
of familiarity. "Sir," replied I, "your present assurance only serves to
aggravate the baseness of your character; and there was a time when I
would have chastised your insolence for presuming thus to appear before
me. But now you are safe; for age has cooled my passions, and my calling
restrains them."

"I vow, my dear sir," returned he, "I am amazed at all this; nor can I
understand what it means! I hope you do not think your daughter's late
excursion with me had anything criminal in it."

"Go," cried I, "thou art a wretch, a poor pitiful wretch, and every way
a liar; but your meanness secures you from my anger. Yet, sir, I am
descended from a family that would not have borne this! And so, thou
vile thing! to gratify a momentary passion thou hast made one poor
creature wretched for life, and polluted a family that had nothing but
honour for their portion."

"If she, or you," returned he, "are resolved to be miserable, I cannot
help it. But you may still be happy; and whatever opinion you may have
formed of me, you shall ever find me ready to contribute to it. We can
marry her to another in a short time; and, what is more, she may keep
her lover beside; for I protest I shall ever continue to have a true
regard for her."

I found all my passions alarmed at this new degrading proposal; for
though the mind may often be calm under great injuries, little villainy
can at any time get within the soul, and sting it into rage. "Avoid my
sight, thou reptile!" cried I, "nor continue to insult me with thy
presence. Were my brave son at home, he would not suffer this; but I am
old and disabled, and every way undone."

"I find," cried he, "you are bent upon obliging me to talk in a harsher
manner than I intended. But, as I have shown you what may be hoped from
my friendship, it may not be improper to represent what may be the
consequences of my resentment. My attorney, to whom your late bond has
been transferred, threatens hard; nor do I know how to prevent the
course of justice, except by paying the money myself; which as I have
been at some expenses lately, previous to my intended marriage, is not
so easy to be done. And then my steward talks of driving for the rent:
it is certain he knows his duty; for I never trouble myself with affairs
of that nature. Yet still I could wish to serve you, and even to have
you and your daughter present at my marriage, which is shortly to be
solemnised, with Miss Wilmot; it is even the request of my charming
Arabella herself, whom I hope you will not refuse."

"Mr. Thornhill," replied I, "hear me once for all: as to your marriage
with any but my daughter, that I never will consent to; and though your
friendship could raise me to a throne, or your resentment sink me to the
grave, yet would I despise both. Thou hast once woefully, irreparably
deceived me. I reposed my heart upon thine honour, and have found it
baseness. Never more, therefore, expect friendship from me. Go, and
possess what fortune has given thee—beauty, riches, health, and
pleasure. Go, and leave me to want, infamy, disease, and sorrow. Yet,
humbled as I am, shall my heart still vindicate its dignity; and though
thou hast my forgiveness, thou shalt ever have my contempt."

"If so," returned he, "depend upon it you shall feel the effects of this
insolence, and we shall shortly see which is the fittest object of
scorn, you or me." Upon which he departed abruptly.

My wife and son, who were present at this interview, seemed terrified
with apprehension. My daughters also, finding that he was gone, came out
to be informed of the result of our conference; which, when known,
alarmed them not less than the rest. But as to myself, I disregarded the
utmost stretch of his malevolence—he had already struck the blow, and I
now stood prepared to repel every new effort, like one of those
instruments used in the act of war, which, however thrown, still present
a point to receive the enemy.

We soon, however, found that he had not threatened in vain; for the very
next morning his steward came to demand my annual rent, which, by the
train of accidents already related, I was unable to pay. The consequence
of my incapacity was, his driving my cattle that evening, and their
being appraised and sold the next day for less than half their value. My
wife and children now, therefore, entreated me to comply upon any terms,
rather than incur certain destruction. They even begged of me to admit
his visits once more, and used all their little eloquence to paint the
calamities I was going to endure—the terrors of a prison in so rigorous
a season as the present, with the danger that threatened my health from
the late accident that happened by the fire. But I continued inflexible.

"Why, my treasures," cried I, "why will you thus attempt to persuade me
to the thing that is not right? My duty has taught me to forgive him,
but my conscience will not permit me to approve. Would you have me
applaud to the world what my heart must internally condemn? Would you
have me tamely sit down and flatter our infamous betrayer; and, to avoid
a prison, continually suffer the more galling bonds of mental
confinement? No, never! If we are to be taken from this abode, only let
us hold to the right, and, wherever we are thrown, we can still retire
to a charming apartment, where we can look round our own hearts with
intrepidity and with pleasure."

In this manner we spent that evening. Early the next morning, as the
snow had fallen in great abundance in the night, my son was employed in
clearing it away, and opening a passage before the door. He had not been
thus engaged long, when he came running in, with looks all pale, to tell
us that two strangers, whom he knew to be officers of justice, were
making towards the house.

[Illustration:

  "_I then turned to my wife and children,
  and directed them to get together what few
  things were left us, and to prepare immediately
  for leaving this place._"—_p._ 122.
]


Just as he spoke they came in, and approaching the bed where I lay,
after previously informing me of their employment and business, made me
their prisoner, bidding me prepare to go with them to the county gaol,
which was eleven miles off.

"My friends," said I, "this is severe weather in which you are come to
take me to a prison; and it is particularly unfortunate at this time, as
one of my arms has lately been burnt in a terrible manner, and it has
thrown me into a slight fever, and I want clothes to cover me; and I am
now too weak and old to walk far in such deep snow; but if it must be
so——"

I then turned to my wife and children, and directed them to get together
what few things were left us, and to prepare immediately for leaving
this place. I entreated them to be expeditious; and desired my son to
assist his eldest sister, who, from a consciousness that she was the
cause of all our calamities, was fallen, and had lost anguish in
insensibility. I encouraged my wife, who, pale and trembling, clasped
our affrighted little ones in her arms, that clung to her bosom in
silence, dreading to look round at the strangers. In the meantime my
youngest daughter prepared for our departure, and as she received
several hints to use despatch, in about an hour we were ready to depart.



                             _CHAPTER XXV._

               _No situation, however wretched it seems,
              but has some sort of comfort attending it._


We set forward from this peaceful neighbourhood, and walked on slowly.
My eldest daughter being enfeebled by a slow fever, which had begun for
some days to undermine her constitution, one of the officers who had a
horse kindly took her behind him; for even these men cannot entirely
divest themselves of humanity. My son led one of the little ones by the
hand, and my wife the other; while I leaned upon my youngest girl, whose
tears fell not for her own but my distresses.

We were now got from my late dwelling about two miles, when we saw a
crowd running and shouting behind us, consisting of about fifty of my
poorest parishioners. These, with dreadful imprecations, soon seized
upon the two officers of justice, and swearing they would never see
their minister go to a gaol while they had a drop of blood to shed in
his defence, were going to use them with great severity. The consequence
might have been fatal had I not immediately interposed, and with some
difficulty rescued the officers from the hands of the enraged multitude.
My children, who looked upon my delivery now as certain, appeared
transported with joy, and were incapable of containing their raptures.
But they were soon undeceived upon hearing me address the poor deluded
people, who came, as they imagined, to do me service.

"What! my friends," cried, I, "and is this the way you love me? Is this
the manner you obey the instructions I have given you from the pulpit?
thus to fly in the face of justice, and bring down ruin on yourselves
and me? Which is your ringleader? Show me the man that has thus seduced
you. As sure as he lives he shall feel my resentment. Alas! my dear
deluded flock, return back to the duty you owe to God, to your country,
and to me. I shall yet, perhaps, one day see you in greater felicity
here, and contribute to make your lives more happy. But let it at least
be my comfort, when I pen my fold for immortality, that not one here
shall be wanting."

They now seemed all repentance, and melting into tears, came, one after
the other, to bid me farewell. I shook each tenderly by the hand, and
leaving them my blessing, proceeded forward without meeting any further
interruption. Some hours before night we reached the town, or rather
village, for it consisted but of a few mean houses, having lost all its
former opulence, and retaining no marks of its ancient superiority but
the gaol.

Upon entering we put up at an inn, where we had such refreshments as
could most readily be procured, and I supped with my family with my
usual cheerfulness. After seeing them properly accommodated for that
night, I next attended the sheriff's officers to the prison, which had
formerly been built for the purposes of war, and consisted of one large
apartment, strongly grated, and paved with stone, common to both felons
and debtors at certain hours in the four-and-twenty. Besides this, every
prisoner had a separate cell, where he was locked in for the night.

I expected upon my entrance to find nothing but lamentations and various
sounds of misery; but it was very different. The prisoners seemed all
employed in one common design, that of forgetting thought in merriment
or clamour. I was apprised of the usual perquisite required upon these
occasions; and immediately complied with the demand, though the little
money I had was very near being all exhausted. This was immediately sent
away for liquor, and the whole prison was soon filled with riot,
laughter, and profaneness.

"How!" cried I to myself, "shall men so very wicked be cheerful, and
shall I be melancholy? I feel only the same confinement with them, and I
think I have more reason to be happy."

With such reflections I laboured to become more cheerful: but
cheerfulness was never yet produced by effort, which is itself painful.
As I was sitting, therefore, in a corner of the gaol, in a pensive
posture, one of my fellow-prisoners came up, and sitting by me, entered
into conversation. It was my constant rule in life never to avoid the
conversation of any man who seemed to desire it; for if good, I might
profit by his instructions; if bad, he might be assisted by mine. I
found this to be a knowing man, of strong unlettered sense, but a
thorough knowledge of the world, as it is called; or, more properly
speaking, of human nature on the wrong side. He asked me if I had taken
care to provide myself with a bed, which was a circumstance I had never
once attended to.

"That's unfortunate," cried he, "as you are allowed nothing but straw,
and your apartment is very large and cold. However, you seem to be
something of a gentleman, and as I have been one myself in my time, part
of my bed-clothes are heartily at your service."

I thanked him, professing my surprise at finding such humanity in a gaol
in misfortunes; adding, to let him see that I was a scholar, "that the
sage ancient seemed to understand the value of company in affliction,
when he said, _ton kosmon aire, ei dos ton etairon_; and, in fact,"
continued I, "what is the world if it affords only solitude?"

"You talk of the world, sir," returned my fellow-prisoner: "the world is
in its dotage, and yet the cosmogony, or creation of the world, has
puzzled the philosophers of every age. What a medley of opinions have
they not broached upon the creation of the world! Sanchoniathon,
Manetho, Berosus, and Ocellus Lucanus, have all attempted it in vain.
The latter has these words: _Anarchon ara kai atelutaion to pan_, which
implies—" "I ask pardon, sir," cried I, "for interrupting so much
learning; but I think I have heard all this before. Have I not had the
pleasure of once seeing you at Welbridge fair, and is not your name
Ephraim Jenkinson?" At this demand he only sighed. "I suppose you must
recollect," resumed I, "one Doctor Primrose, from whom you bought a
horse?"

He now at once recollected me, for the gloominess of the place and the
approaching night prevented his distinguishing my features before. "Yes,
sir," returned Mr. Jenkinson, "I remember you perfectly well; I bought a
horse, but forgot to pay for him. Your neighbour Flamborough is the only
prosecutor I am any way afraid of at the next assizes; for he intends to
swear positively against me as a coiner. I am heartily sorry, sir, I
ever deceived you, or indeed any man: for you see," continued he,
pointing to his shackles, "what my tricks have brought me to."

[Illustration:

  "_The execrations, lewdness, and brutality
  that invaded me on every side, drove me back
  to my apartment again._"—_p._ 127.
]


"Well, sir," replied I, "your kindness in offering me assistance, when
you could expect no return, shall be repaid with my endeavours to soften
or totally suppress Mr. Flamborough's evidence, and I will send my son
to him for that purpose the first opportunity: nor do I in the least
doubt but he will comply with my request: and as to my own evidence, you
need be under no uneasiness about that."

"Well, sir," cried he, "all the return I can make shall be yours. You
shall have more than half my bed-clothes to-night, and I'll take care to
stand your friend in the prison, where I think I have some influence."

I thanked him, and could not avoid being surprised at the present
youthful change in his aspect; for at the time I had seen him before he
appeared at least sixty. "Sir," answered he, "you are little acquainted
with the world. I had at that time false hair, and have learned the art
of counterfeiting every age from seventeen to seventy. Ah, sir! had I
but bestowed half the pains in learning a trade that I have in learning
to be a scoundrel, I might have been a rich man at this day. But, rogue
as I am, still I may be your friend, and that, perhaps, when you least
expect it."

We were now prevented from further conversation by the arrival of the
gaoler's servants, who came to call over the prisoners' names, and lock
up for the night. A fellow also with a bundle of straw for my bed
attended, who led me along a dark narrow passage into a room paved like
the common prison, and in one corner of this I spread my bed, and the
clothes given me by my fellow-prisoner; which done, my conductor, who
was civil enough, bade me a good night. After my usual meditations, and
having praised my Heavenly Corrector, I laid myself down, and slept with
the utmost tranquillity until morning.



                            _CHAPTER XXVI._

           _A reformation in the gaol.—To make laws complete,
                 they should reward as well as punish._


The next morning early I was awakened by my family, whom I found in
tears at my bedside. The gloomy appearance of everything about us, it
seems, had daunted them. I gently rebuked their sorrow, assuring them I
had never slept with greater tranquillity, and next inquired after my
eldest daughter, who was not among them. They informed me that
yesterday's uneasiness and fatigue had increased her fever, and it was
judged proper to leave her behind. My next care was to send my son to
procure a room or two to lodge my family in, as near the prison as
conveniently could be found. He obeyed, but could only find one
apartment, which was hired at a small expense for his mother and
sisters, the gaoler with humanity consenting to let him and his two
little brothers lie in the prison with me. A bed was therefore prepared
for them in a corner of the room, which I thought answered very
conveniently. I was willing, however, previously to know whether my
little children chose to lie in a place which seemed to fright them upon
entrance.

"Well," cried I, "my good boys, how do you like your bed? I hope you are
not afraid to lie in this room, dark as it appears."

"No, papa," says Dick, "I am not afraid to lie anywhere where you are."

"And I," says Bill, who was yet but four years old, "love every place
best that my papa is in."

After this I allotted to each of the family what they were to do. My
daughter was particularly directed to watch her sister's declining
health; my wife was to attend me; my little boys were to read to me.
"And as for you, my son," continued I, "it is by the labour of your
hands we must all hope to be supported. Your wages as a day-labourer
will be fully sufficient, with proper frugality, to maintain us all, and
comfortably too. Thou art now sixteen years old, and hast strength, and
it was given thee, my son, for very useful purposes; for it must save
from famine your helpless parents and family. Prepare then this evening
to look out for work against to-morrow, and bring home every night what
money you earn for our support."

Having thus instructed him, and settled the rest, I walked down to the
common prison, where I could enjoy more air and room. But I was not long
there when the execrations, lewdness, and brutality that invaded me on
every side, drove me back to my apartment again. Here I sat for some
time pondering upon the strange infatuation of wretches who, finding all
mankind in open arms against them, were labouring to make themselves a
future and a tremendous enemy.

Their insensibility excited my highest compassion, and blotted my own
uneasiness from my mind. It even appeared a duty incumbent upon me to
attempt to reclaim them. I resolved, therefore, once more to return,
and, in spite of their contempt, to give them my advice, and conquer
them by perseverance. Going therefore among them again, I informed Mr.
Jenkinson of my design, at which he laughed heartily, but communicated
it to the rest. The proposal was received with the greatest good humour,
as it promised to afford a new fund of entertainment to persons who had
now no other resource for mirth but what could be derived from ridicule
or debauchery.

I therefore read them a portion of the service, with a loud, unaffected
voice, and found my audience perfectly merry upon the occasion. Lewd
whispers, groans of contrition burlesqued, winking, and coughing,
alternately excited laughter. However, I continued with my natural
solemnity to read on, sensible that what I did might amend some, but
could itself receive no contamination from any.

After reading, I entered upon my exhortation, which was rather
calculated at first to amuse them than to reprove. I previously observed
that no other motive but their welfare could induce me to this; that I
was their fellow-prisoner, and now got nothing by preaching. I was
sorry, I said, to hear them so very profane; because they got nothing by
it, and might lose a great deal. "For be assured, my friends," cried I,
("for you are my friends, however the world may disclaim your
friendship,) though you swore twelve thousand oaths in a day, it would
not put one penny in your purse. Then what signifies calling every
moment upon the devil, and courting his friendship, since you find how
scurvily he uses you? He has given you nothing here, you find, but a
mouthful of oaths and an empty belly; and, by the best accounts I have
of him, he will give you nothing that's good hereafter.

"If used ill in our dealings with one man, we naturally go elsewhere.
Were it not worth your while, then, just to try how you may like the
usage of another Master, who gives you fair promises, at least, to come
to Him? Surely, my friends, of all stupidity in the world, his must be
the greatest, who, after robbing a house, runs to the thief-takers for
protection. And yet how are you more wise? You are all seeking comfort
from one that has already betrayed you, applying to a more malicious
being than any thief-taker of them all; for they only decoy and then
hang you; but he decoys and hangs, and, what is worst of all, will not
let you loose after the hangman has done."

When I had concluded, I received the compliments of my audience, some of
whom came and shook me by the hand, swearing that I was a very honest
fellow, and that they desired my further acquaintance. I therefore
promised to repeat my lecture next day, and actually conceived some hope
of making a reformation here; for it had ever been my opinion, that no
man was past the hour of amendment, every heart lying open to the shafts
of reproof, if the archer could but take a proper aim. When I had thus
satisfied my mind, I went back to my apartment, where my wife prepared a
frugal meal, while Mr. Jenkinson begged leave to add his dinner to ours,
and partake of the pleasure, as he was kind enough to express it, of my
conversation. He had not yet seen my family, for as they came to my
apartment by a door in the narrow passage already described, by this
means they avoided the common prison. Jenkinson at the first interview,
therefore, seemed not a little struck with the beauty of my youngest
daughter, which her pensive air contributed to heighten, and my little
ones did not pass unnoticed.

[Illustration:

  _"Alas! doctor," cried he, "these children
  are too handsome and too good for such a
  place as this."_—_p._ 130.
]

"Alas! doctor," cried he, "these children are too handsome and too good
for such a place as this."

"Why, Mr. Jenkinson," replied I, "thank Heaven, my children are pretty
tolerable in morals; and if they be good, it matters little for the
rest."

"I fancy, sir," returned my fellow-prisoner, "that it must give you a
great comfort to have all this little family about you."

"A comfort, Mr. Jenkinson!" replied I, "yes, it is indeed a comfort, and
I would not be without them for all the world; for they can make a
dungeon seem a palace. There is but one way in this life of wounding my
happiness, and that is by injuring them."

"I am afraid then, sir," cried he, "that I am in some measure culpable;
for I think I see here (looking at my son Moses) one that I have
injured, and by whom I wish to be forgiven."

My son immediately recollected his voice and features, though he had
before seen him in disguise, and taking him by the hand, with a smile
forgave him. "Yet," continued he, "I can't help wondering at what you
could see in my face to think me a proper mark for deception."

"My dear sir," returned the other, "it was not your face, but your white
stockings and the black riband in your hair, that allured me. But, no
disparagement to your parts, I have deceived wiser men than you in my
time; and yet with all my tricks the blockheads have been too many for
me at last."

"I suppose," cried my son, "that the narrative of such a life as yours
must be extremely instructive and amusing."

"Not much of either," returned Mr. Jenkinson. "Those relations which
describe the tricks and vices only of mankind, by increasing our
suspicion in life, retard our success. The traveller that distrusts
every person he meets, and turns back upon the appearance of every man
that looks like a robber, seldom arrives in time at his journey's end.

"Indeed, I think, from my own experience, that the knowing one is the
silliest fellow under the sun. I was thought cunning from my very
childhood; when but seven years old the ladies would say that I was a
perfect little man; at fourteen I knew the world, cocked my hat, and
loved the ladies; at twenty, though I was perfectly honest, yet every
one thought me so cunning, that no one would trust me. Thus, I was at
last obliged to turn sharper in my own defence, and have lived ever
since, my head throbbing with schemes to deceive, and my heart
palpitating with fears of detection. I used often to laugh at your
honest simple neighbour Flamborough, and one way or another generally
cheated him once a year. Yet still the honest man went forward without
suspicion, and grew rich, while I still continued tricksy and cunning,
and was poor without the consolation of being honest. However,"
continued he, "let me know your case, and what has brought you here;
perhaps, though I have not skill to avoid a gaol myself, I may extricate
my friends."

In compliance with his curiosity, I informed him of the whole train of
accidents and follies that had plunged me into my present troubles, and
my utter inability to get free.

After hearing my story, and pausing some minutes, he slapped his
forehead, as if he had hit upon something material, and took his leave,
saying he would try what could be done.



                            _CHAPTER XXVII._

                     _The same subject continued._


The next morning I communicated to my wife and children the schemes I
had planned of reforming the prisoners, which they received with
universal disapprobation, alleging the impossibility and impropriety of
it; adding that my endeavours would no way contribute to their
amendment, but might probably disgrace my calling.

"Excuse me," returned I, "these people, however fallen, are still men;
and that is a very good title to my affections. Good counsel rejected
returns to enrich the giver's bosom; and though the instruction I
communicate may not mend them, yet it will assuredly mend myself. If
these wretches, my children, were princes, there would be thousands
ready to offer their ministry; but in my opinion, the heart that is
buried in a dungeon is as precious as that seated upon a throne. Yes, my
treasures, if I can mend them, I will; perhaps they will not all despise
me: perhaps I may catch up even one from the gulf, and that will be
great gain; for is there upon earth a gem so precious as the human
soul?"

Thus saying, I left them and descended to the common prison, where I
found the prisoners very merry, expecting my arrival; and each prepared
with some gaol-trick to play upon the doctor. Thus, as I was going to
begin, one turned my wig awry, as if by accident, and then asked my
pardon. A second, who stood at some distance, had a knack of spitting
through his teeth, which fell in showers upon my book. A third would cry
"Amen!" in such an affected tone as gave the rest great delight. A
fourth had slily picked my pocket of my spectacles. But there was one
whose trick gave more universal pleasure than all the rest; for
observing the manner in which I had disposed my books on the table
before me, he very dexterously displaced one of them, and put an obscene
jest-book of his own in the place. However, I took no notice of all that
this mischievous group of little beings could do, but went on, perfectly
sensible that what was ridiculous in my attempt would excite mirth only
the first or second time, while what was serious would be permanent. My
design succeeded, and in less than six days some were penitent, and all
were attentive.

It was now that I applauded my perseverance and address at thus giving
sensibility to wretches divested of every moral feeling, and now began
to think of doing them temporal services also, by rendering their
situation somewhat more comfortable. Their time had hitherto been
divided between famine and excess, tumultuous riot and bitter repining.
Their only employment was quarrelling among each other, playing at
cribbage, and cutting tobacco-stoppers. From this last mode of idle
industry I took the hint of setting such as chose to work at cutting
pegs for tobacconists and shoemakers, the proper wood being bought by a
general subscription, and, when manufactured, sold by my appointment; so
that each earned something every day: a trifle, indeed, but sufficient
to maintain him.

I did not stop here, but instituted fines for the punishment of
immorality, and rewards for peculiar industry. Thus in less than a
fortnight I had formed them into something social and humane, and had
the pleasure of regarding myself as a legislator, who had brought men
from their native ferocity into friendship and obedience.

[Illustration:

  _Olivia and Sophia leaving the Prison._
]


And it were highly to be wished, that legislative power would thus
direct the law rather to reformation than severity; that it would seem
convinced that the work of eradicating crimes is not by making
punishments familiar, but formidable. Then, instead of our present
prisons, which find or make men guilty, which enclose wretches for the
commission of one crime, and return them, if returned alive, fitted for
the perpetration of thousands, we should see, as in other parts of
Europe, places of penitence and solitude, where the accused might be
attended by such as could give them repentance if guilty, or new motives
to virtue if innocent. And this, but not the increasing punishments, is
the way to mend a state: nor can I avoid even questioning the validity
of that right which social combinations have assumed of capitally
punishing offences of a slight nature. In cases of murder their right is
obvious, as it is the duty of us all, from the law of self-defence, to
cut off that man who has shown a disregard for the life of another.
Against such, all nature rises in arms; but it is not so against him who
steals my property. Natural law gives me no right to take away his life,
as by that the horse he steals is as much his property as mine. If,
then, I have any right, it must be from a compact made between us, that
he who deprives the other of his horse shall die. But this is a false
compact; because no man has a right to barter his life any more than to
take it away, as it is not his own. And besides, the compact is
inadequate, and would be set aside even in a court of modern equity, as
there is a great penalty for a trifling inconvenience, since it is far
better that two men should live than that one man should ride. But a
compact that is false between two men is equally so between a hundred
and a hundred thousand; for as ten millions of circles can never make a
square, so the united voice of myriads cannot lend the smallest
foundation to falsehood. It is thus that reason speaks, and untutored
nature says the same thing. Savages that are directed by natural law
alone are very tender of the lives of each other; they seldom shed blood
but to retaliate former cruelty.

Our Saxon ancestors, fierce as they were in war, had but few executions
in times of peace; and in all commencing governments, that have the
print of nature still strong upon them, scarcely any crime is held
capital.

It is among the citizens of a refined community that penal laws, which
are in the hands of the rich, are laid upon the poor. Government, while
it grows older, seems to acquire the moroseness of age; and as if our
property were become dearer in proportion as it increased—as if the more
enormous our wealth, the more extensive our fears—all our possessions
are paled up with new edicts every day, and hung round with gibbets to
scare every invader.

I cannot tell whether it is from the number of our penal laws, or the
licentiousness of our people, that this country should show more
convicts in a year than half the dominions of Europe united. Perhaps it
is owing to both; for they mutually produce each other. When by
indiscriminate penal laws a nation beholds the same punishment affixed
to dissimilar degrees of guilt, from perceiving no distinction in the
penalty, the people are led to lose all sense of distinction in the
crime, and this distinction is the bulwark of all morality. Thus the
multitude of laws produce new vices, and new vices call for fresh
restraints.

It were to be wished, then, that power, instead of contriving new laws
to punish vice, instead of drawing hard the cords of society till a
convulsion come to burst them, instead of cutting away wretches as
useless before we have tried their utility, instead of converting
correction into vengeance—it were to be wished that we tried the
restrictive arts of government, and made law the protector, but not the
tyrant, of the people. We should then find that creatures whose souls
are held as dross, only wanted the hand of a refiner; we should then
find that wretches, now stuck up for long tortures, lest luxury should
feel a momentary pang, might, if properly treated, serve to sinew the
state in times of danger; that as their faces are like ours, their
hearts are so too; that few minds are so base as that perseverance
cannot amend; that a man may see his last crime without dying for it;
and that very little blood will serve to cement our security.



                           _CHAPTER XXVIII._

   _Happiness and misery rather the result of prudence than of virtue
       in this life; temporal evils or felicities being regarded
           by Heaven as things merely in themselves trifling,
              and unworthy its care in the distribution._


I had now been confined more than a fortnight, but had not since my
arrival been visited by my dear Olivia, and I greatly longed to see her.
Having communicated my wishes to my wife, the next morning the poor girl
entered my apartment leaning on her sister's arm. The change which I saw
in her countenance struck me. The numberless graces that once resided
there were now fled, and the hand of death seemed to have moulded every
feature to alarm me. Her temples were sunk, her forehead was tense, and
a fatal paleness sat upon her cheek.

"I am glad to see thee, my dear," cried I; "but why this dejection,
Livy? I hope, my love, you have too great a regard for me to permit
disappointment thus to undermine a life which I prize as my own. Be
cheerful, child, and we may yet see happier days"

"You have ever, sir," replied she, "been kind to me, and it adds to my
pain that I shall never have an opportunity of sharing that happiness
you promise. Happiness, I fear, is no longer reserved for me here, and I
long to be rid of a place where I have only found distress. Indeed, sir,
I wish you would make a proper submission to Mr. Thornhill: it may in
some measure induce him to pity you, and it will give me relief in
dying."

"Never, child!" replied I, "never will I be brought to acknowledge my
daughter a prostitute; for though the world may look upon your offence
with scorn, let it be mine to regard it as a mark of credulity, not of
guilt. My dear, I am no way miserable in this place, however dismal it
may seem; and be assured that, while you continue to bless me by living,
he shall never have my consent to make you more wretched by marrying
another."

After the departure of my daughter, my fellow-prisoner, who was by at
this interview, sensibly enough expostulated upon my obstinacy in
refusing a submission which promised to give me freedom. He observed
that the rest of my family were not to be sacrificed to the peace of one
child alone, and she the only one who had offended me. "Besides," added
he, "I don't know if it be just thus to obstruct the union of man and
wife, which you do at present, by refusing to consent to a match which
you cannot hinder, but may render unhappy."

"Sir," replied I, "you are unacquainted with the man that oppresses us.
I am very sensible that no submission I can make could procure me
liberty even for an hour. I am told that even in this very room a debtor
of his, no later than last year, died for want. But though my submission
and approbation could transfer me from hence to the most beautiful
apartment he is possessed of, yet I would grant neither, as something
whispers me that it would be giving a sanction to adultery. While my
daughter lives, no other marriage of his shall ever be legal in my eye.
Were she removed, indeed, I should be the basest of men, from any
resentment of my own, to attempt putting asunder those who wish for a
union. No; villain as he is, I should then wish him married, to prevent
the consequences of his future debaucheries. But now should I not be the
most cruel of all fathers to sign an instrument which must send my child
to the grave, merely to avoid a prison myself; and thus, to escape one
pang, break my child's heart with a thousand?"

He acquiesced in the justice of this answer, but could not avoid
observing that he feared my daughter's life was already too much wasted
to keep me long a prisoner. "However," continued he, "though you refuse
to submit to the nephew, I hope you have no objection to laying your
case before the uncle, who has the first character in the kingdom for
everything that is just and good. I would advise you to send him a
letter by the post, intimating all his nephew's ill-usage, and, my life
for it, that in three days you shall have an answer." I thanked him for
the hint, and instantly set about complying; but I wanted paper, and,
unluckily, all our money had been laid out that morning in provisions:
however, he supplied me.

[Illustration:

  "_My children, however, sat by me, and, while
  I was stretched on my straw, read to me by turns,
  or listened and wept at my instructions._"—_p._ 137.
]


For the three ensuing days I was in a state of anxiety to know what
reception my letter might meet with; but in the meantime was frequently
solicited by my wife to submit to any conditions rather than remain
here, and every hour received repeated accounts of the decline of my
daughter's health. The third day and the fourth arrived, but I received
no answer to my letter: the complaints of a stranger against a favourite
nephew were no way likely to succeed; so that these hopes soon vanished
like all my former. My mind, however, still supported itself, though
confinement and bad air began to make a visible alteration in my health,
and my arm that had suffered in the fire grew worse. My children,
however, sat by me, and, while I was stretched on my straw, read to me
by turns, or listened and wept at my instructions. But my daughter's
health declined faster than mine; every message from her contributed to
increase my apprehensions and pain. The fifth morning after I had
written the letter which was sent to Sir William Thornhill, I was
alarmed with an account that she was speechless. Now it was that
confinement was truly painful to me; my soul was bursting from its
prison to be near the pillow of my child, to comfort, to strengthen her,
to receive her last wishes, and teach her soul the way to heaven!
Another account came—she was expiring, and yet I was debarred the small
comfort of weeping by her. My fellow-prisoner, some time after, came
with the last account. He bade me be patient—she was dead! The next
morning he returned, and found me with my two little ones, now my only
companions, who were using all their innocent efforts to comfort me.
They entreated to read to me, and bade me not to cry, for I was now too
old to weep. "And is not my sister an angel now, papa?" cried the
eldest, "and why then are you sorry for her? I wish I were an angel, out
of this frightful place, if my papa were with me." "Yes," added my
youngest darling, "heaven, where my sister is, is a finer place than
this, and there are none but good people there, and the people here are
very bad."

Mr. Jenkinson interrupted their harmless prattle, by observing that, now
my daughter was no more, I should seriously think of the rest of my
family, and attempt to save my own life, which was every day declining
for want of necessaries and wholesome air. He added that it was now
incumbent on me to sacrifice any pride or resentment of my own to the
welfare of those who depended on me for support; and that I was now,
both by reason and justice, obliged to try to reconcile my landlord.

"Heaven be praised!" replied I, "there is no pride left me now. I should
detest my own heart if I saw either pride or resentment lurking there.
On the contrary, as my oppressor has been once my parishioner, I hope
one day to present him up an unpolluted soul at the eternal tribunal.
No, sir, I have no resentment now; and though he has taken from me what
I held dearer than all his treasures, though he has wrung my heart—for I
am sick almost to fainting, very sick, my fellow-prisoner—yet that shall
never inspire me with vengeance. I am now willing to approve his
marriage; and if this submission can do him any pleasure, let him know
that if I have done him any injury I am sorry for it." Mr. Jenkinson
took pen and ink, and wrote down my submission nearly as I have
expressed it, to which I signed my name. My son was employed to carry
the letter to Mr. Thornhill, who was then at his seat in the country. He
went, and in about six hours returned with a verbal answer. He had some
difficulty, he said, to get a sight of his landlord, as the servants
were insolent and suspicious; but he accidentally saw him as he was
going out upon business, preparing for his marriage, which was to be in
three days. He continued to inform us that he stepped up in the humblest
manner, and delivered the letter, which, when Mr. Thornhill had read, he
said that all submission was now too late and unnecessary; that he had
heard of our application to his uncle, which met with the contempt it
deserved; and, as for the rest, that all future applications should be
directed to his attorney, not to him. He observed, however, that as he
had a very good opinion of the discretion of the two young ladies, they
might have been the most agreeable intercessors.

"Well, sir," said I to my fellow-prisoner, "you now discover the temper
of the man that oppresses me. He can at once be facetious and cruel; but
let him use me as he will, I shall soon be free, in spite of all his
bolts to restrain me. I am now drawing towards an abode that looks
brighter as I approach it: this expectation cheers my afflictions; and
though I leave a helpless family of orphans behind me, yet they will not
be utterly forsaken; some friend, perhaps, will be found to assist them
for the sake of their poor father, and some may charitably relieve them
for the sake of their Heavenly Father."

Just as I spoke, my wife, whom I had not seen that day before, appeared
with looks of terror, and making efforts, but unable, to speak. "Why, my
love," cried I, "why will you thus increase my afflictions by your own?
What though no submission can turn our severe master, though he has
doomed me to die in this place of wretchedness, and though we have lost
a darling child, yet still you will find comfort in your other children
when I shall be no more." "We have indeed lost," returned she, "a
darling child!—My Sophia, my dearest, is gone—snatched from us, carried
off by ruffians!"

"How, madam!" cried my fellow-prisoner, "Miss Sophia carried off by
villains! Sure it cannot be!"

She could only answer with a fixed look and a flood of tears. But one of
the prisoners' wives, who was present, and came in with her, gave us a
more distinct account: she informed us that as my wife, my daughter, and
herself were taking a walk together on the great road a little way out
of the village, a post-chaise and pair drove up to them, and instantly
stopped. Upon which a well-dressed man, but not Mr. Thornhill, stepping
out, clasped my daughter round the waist, and forcing her in, bid the
postilion drive on, so that they were out of sight in a moment."

"Now," cried I, "the sum of my miseries is made up; nor is it in the
power of anything on earth to give me another pang. What! not one left!
not to leave me one! The monster! The child that was next my heart! She
had the beauty of an angel, and almost the wisdom of an angel. But
support that woman, nor let her fall.—Not to leave me one!" "Alas, my
husband!" said my wife, "you seem to want comfort even more than I. Our
distresses are great; but I could bear this and more if I saw you but
easy. They may take away my children, and all the world, if they leave
me but you."

My son who was present, endeavoured to moderate her grief. He bade us
take comfort, for he hoped that we might still have reason to be
thankful. "My child," cried I, "look round the world, and see if there
be any happiness left me now. Is not every ray of comfort shut out,
while all our bright prospects only lie beyond the grave?" "My dear
father," returned he, "I hope there is still something that will give
you an interval of satisfaction, for I have a letter from my brother
George." "What of him, child?" interrupted I. "Does he know our misery?
I hope my boy is exempt from any part of what his wretched family
suffers." "Yes, sir," returned he, "he is perfectly gay, cheerful, and
happy. His letter brings nothing but good news: he is the favourite of
his colonel, who promises to procure him the very next lieutenancy that
becomes vacant."

"But are you sure of all this?" cried my wife, "are you sure that
nothing ill has befallen my boy?" "Nothing, indeed, madam," returned my
son; "you shall see the letter, which will give you the highest
pleasure: and if anything can procure you comfort, I am sure that will."
"But are you sure," still repeated she, "that the letter is from
himself, and that he is really so happy?" "Yes, madam," replied he, "it
is certainly his, and he will one day be the credit and the support of
our family." "Then I thank Providence," cried she, "that my last letter
to him has miscarried. Yes, my dear," continued she, turning to me, "I
will now confess that though the hand of Heaven is sore upon us in other
instances, it has been favourable here. By the last letter I wrote my
son, which was in the bitterness of anger, I desired him, upon his
mother's blessing, and if he had the heart of a man, to see justice done
his father and sister, and avenge our cause. But, thanks to Him who
directs all things, it has miscarried, and I am at rest."

[Illustration:

  "_What! not one left! not to leave me one!
  The monster!_"—_p._ 140.
]


"Woman," cried I, "thou hast done very ill, and at another time my
reproaches might have been more severe. Oh! what a tremendous gulf hast
thou escaped, that would have buried both thee and him in endless ruin!
Providence, indeed, has here been kinder to us than we to ourselves. It
has reserved that son to be the father and protector of my children when
I shall be away. How unjustly did I complain of being stripped of every
comfort, when still I hear that he is happy, and insensible of our
afflictions; still kept in reserve to support his widowed mother, and to
protect his brothers and sisters! But what sisters has he left? He has
no sisters now: they are all gone, robbed from me, and I am undone!"
"Father," interrupted my son, "I beg you will give me leave to read this
letter: I know it will please you." Upon which, with my permission, he
read as follows:—

"HONOURED SIR,

"I have called off my imagination a few moments from the pleasures that
surround me, to fix it upon objects that are still more pleasing—the
dear little fireside at home. My fancy draws that harmless group as
listening to every line of this with great composure. I view those faces
with delight, which never felt the deforming hand of ambition or
distress. But whatever your happiness may be at home, I am sure it will
be some addition to it to hear that I am perfectly pleased with my
situation, and every way happy here.

"Our regiment is countermanded, and is not to leave the kingdom; the
colonel, who professes himself my friend, takes me with him to all
companies where he is acquainted, and, after my first visit, I generally
find myself received with increased respect upon repeating it. I danced
last night with Lady G——, and, could I forget you know whom, I might
perhaps be successful. But it is my fate still to remember others, while
I am myself forgotten by most of my absent friends; and in this number I
fear, sir, that I must consider you, for I have long expected the
pleasure of a letter from home to no purpose. Olivia and Sophia, too,
promised to write, but seem to have forgotten me. Tell them that they
are two arrant little baggages, and that I am at this moment in a most
violent passion with them—yet still, I know not how, though I want to
bluster a little, my heart is respondent only to softer emotions. Then
tell them, sir, that after all I love them affectionately; and be
assured of my ever remaining

                                                     "YOUR DUTIFUL SON."


"In all our miseries," cried I, "what thanks have we not to return, that
one at least of our family is exempted from what we suffer! Heaven be
his guard, and keep my boy thus happy, to be the support of his widowed
mother and the father of these two babes, which is all the patrimony I
can now bequeath him! May he keep their innocence from the temptations
of want, and be their conductor in the paths of honour! "I had scarcely
said these words, when a noise like that of a tumult seemed to proceed
from the prison below; it died away soon after, and a clanking of
fetters was heard along the passage that led to my apartment. The keeper
of the prison entered, holding a man all bloody, wounded, and fettered
with the heaviest irons. I looked with compassion upon the wretch as he
approached me, but with horror when I found it was my own son! "My
George! my George! and do I behold thee thus? wounded! fettered! Is this
thy happiness! Is this the manner you return to me! Oh that this sight
would break my heart at once, and let me die!"

"Where, sir, is your fortitude?" returned my son, with an intrepid
voice; "I must suffer; my life is forfeited, and let them take it."

I tried to restrain my passion for a few minutes in silence, but I
thought I should have died with the effort. "O my boy, my heart weeps to
behold thee thus, and I cannot, cannot help it! In the moment that I
thought thee blest, and prayed for thy safety, to behold thee thus
again, chained, wounded! And yet the death of the youthful is happy. But
I am old, a very old man, and have lived to see this day; to see my
children all untimely falling about me, while I continue a wretched
survivor in the midst of ruin! May all the curses that ever sunk a soul
fall heavy upon the murderer of my children! May he live, like me, to
see——"

"Hold, sir!" replied my son, "or I shall blush for thee. How, sir!
forgetful of your age, your holy calling, thus to arrogate the justice
of Heaven, and fling those curses upward that must soon descend to crush
thy own grey head with destruction! No, sir, let it be your care now to
fit me for that vile death I must shortly suffer, to arm me with hope
and resolution, to give me courage to drink of that bitterness which
must shortly be my portion."

"My child, you must not die! I am sure no offence of thine can deserve
so vile a punishment. My George could never be guilty of any crime to
make his ancestors ashamed of him."

"Mine, sir," returned my son, "is, I fear, an unpardonable one. When I
received my mother's letter from home, I immediately came down,
determined to punish the betrayer of our honour, and sent him an order
to meet me, which he answered, not in person, but by despatching four of
his domestics to seize me. I wounded one who first assaulted me, and I
fear desperately; but the rest made me their prisoner. The coward is
determined to put the law in execution against me; the proofs are
undeniable: I have sent a challenge, and as I am the first aggressor
upon the statute, I see no hopes of pardon. But you have often charmed
me with your lessons of fortitude; let me now, sir, find them in your
example."

"And, my son, you shall find them. I am now raised above this world, and
all the pleasures it can produce. From this moment I break from my heart
all the ties that held it down to earth, and will prepare to fit us both
for eternity. Yes, my son, I will point out the way, and my soul shall
guide yours in the ascent, for we will take our flight together. I now
see and am convinced you can expect no pardon here, and I can only
exhort you to seek it at that greatest tribunal where we both shall
shortly answer. But let us not be niggardly in our exhortations, but let
all our fellow-prisoners have a share. Good gaoler, let them be
permitted to stand here, while I attempt to improve them." Thus saying,
I made an effort to rise from my straw, but wanted strength, and was
able only to recline against the wall. The prisoners assembled
themselves according to my directions, for they loved to hear my
counsel; my son and his mother supported me on either side; I looked and
saw that none were wanting, and then addressed them with the following
exhortation.



                            _CHAPTER XXIX._

             _The equal dealings of Providence demonstrated
         with regard to the happy and the miserable here below,
                   that, from the nature of pleasure
       and pain, the wretched must be repaid the balance of their
                   sufferings in the life hereafter._


"My friends, my children, and fellow-sufferers, when I reflect on the
distribution of good and evil here below, I find that much has been
given man to enjoy, yet still more to suffer. Though we should examine
the whole world, we shall not find one man so happy as to have nothing
left to wish for: but we daily see thousands who by suicide show us they
have nothing left to hope. In this life, then, it appears that we cannot
be entirely blest; but yet we may be completely miserable.

"Why man should thus feel pain; why our wretchedness should be requisite
in the formation of universal felicity; why, when all other systems are
made perfect by the perfection of their subordinate parts, the great
system should require for its perfection parts that are not only
subordinate to others, but imperfect in themselves—these are questions
that never can be explained, and might be useless if known. On this
subject Providence has thought fit to elude our curiosity, satisfied
with granting us motives to consolation.

[Illustration:

  "_The prisoners assembled themselves according
  to my directions, for they loved to hear my counsel._"—_p._ 144.
]


"In this situation man has called in the friendly assistance of
philosophy; and Heaven, seeing the incapacity of that to console him,
has given him the aid of religion. The consolations of philosophy are
very amusing, but often fallacious. It tells us that life is filled with
comforts, if we will but enjoy them; and on the other hand, that though
we unavoidably have miseries here, life is short, and they will soon be
over. Thus do these consolations destroy each other; for if life is a
place of comfort, its shortness must be misery; and if it be long, our
griefs are protracted. Thus philosophy is weak; but religion comforts in
a higher strain. Man is here, it tells us, fitting up his mind, and
preparing it for another abode. When the good man leaves the body, and
is all a glorious mind, he will find he has been making himself a heaven
of happiness here; while the wretch that has been maimed and
contaminated by his vices, shrinks from his body with terror, and finds
that he has anticipated the vengeance of Heaven. To religion, then, we
must hold in every circumstance of life for our truest comfort; for, if
already we are happy, it is a pleasure to think that we can make that
happiness unending; and, if we are miserable, it is very consoling to
think that there is a place of rest. Thus, to the fortunate, religion
holds out a continuance of bliss; to the wretched, a change from pain.

"But though religion is very kind to all men, it has promised peculiar
rewards to the unhappy. The sick, the naked, the houseless, the
heavy-laden, and the prisoner, have ever most frequent promises in our
sacred law. The Author of our religion everywhere professes Himself the
wretch's friend; and, unlike the false ones of this world, bestows all
His caresses upon the forlorn. The unthinking have censured this as
partiality, as a preference without merit to deserve it. But they never
reflect, that it is not in the power even of Heaven itself to make the
offer of unceasing felicity as great a gift to the happy as to the
miserable. To the first, eternity is but a single blessing, since, at
most, it but increases what they already possess. To the latter, it is a
double advantage; for it diminishes their pain here, and rewards them
with heavenly bliss hereafter.

"But Providence is in another respect kinder to the poor than to the
rich; for as it thus makes the life after death more desirable, so it
smooths the passage there. The wretched have had a long familiarity with
every face of terror. The man of sorrow lays himself quietly down, with
no possessions to regret, and but few ties to stop his departure; he
feels only nature's pang in the final separation, and this is no way
greater than he has often fainted under before; for, after a certain
degree of pain, every new breach that death opens in the constitution,
nature kindly covers with insensibility.

"Thus Providence has given to the wretched two advantages over the happy
in this life—greater felicity in dying, and in heaven all that
superiority of pleasure which arises from contrasted enjoyment. And this
superiority, my friends, is no small advantage, and seems to be one of
the pleasures of the poor man in the parable; for though he was already
in heaven, and felt all the raptures it could give, yet it was mentioned
as an addition to his happiness, that he had once been wretched, and now
was comforted; that he had known what it was to be miserable, and now
felt what it was to be happy.

"Thus, my friends, you see religion does what philosophy could never do:
it shows the equal dealings of Heaven to the happy and the unhappy, and
levels all human enjoyments to nearly the same standard. It gives to
both rich and poor the same happiness hereafter, and equal hopes to
aspire after it; but if the rich have the advantage of enjoying pleasure
here, the poor have the endless satisfaction of knowing what it was once
to be miserable, when crowned with endless felicity hereafter; and even
though this should be called a small advantage, yet, being an eternal
one, it must make up by duration what the temporal happiness of the
great may have exceeded by intenseness.

"These are, therefore, the consolations which the wretched have peculiar
to themselves, and in which they are above the rest of mankind; in other
respects they are below them. They who would know the miseries of the
poor, must see life and endure it. To declaim on the temporal advantages
they enjoy is only repeating what none either believe or practise. The
men who have the necessaries of living are not poor; and they who want
them must be miserable. Yes, my friends, we must be miserable. No vain
efforts of a refined imagination can soothe the wants of nature, can
give elastic sweetness to the dank vapour of a dungeon, or ease to the
throbbings of a broken heart. Let the philosopher from his couch of
softness tell us that we can resist all these. Alas! the effort by which
we resist them is still the greatest pain. Death is slight, and any man
may sustain it; but torments are dreadful, and these no man can endure.

"To us, then, my friends, the promises of happiness in heaven should be
peculiarly dear; for if our reward be in this life alone, we are,
indeed, of all men the most miserable. When I look round these gloomy
walls, made to terrify as well as to confine us; this light, that only
serves to show the horrors of the place; those shackles, that tyranny
has imposed or crime made necessary; when I survey these emaciated
looks, and hear those groans; Oh, my friends, what a glorious exchange
would heaven be for these! To fly through regions unconfined as air—to
bask in the sunshine of eternal bliss—to carol over endless hymns of
praise—to have no master to threaten or insult us, but the form of
Goodness Himself for ever in our eyes: when I think of these things,
death becomes the messenger of very glad tidings; when I think of these
things, his sharpest arrow becomes the staff of my support; when I think
of these things, what is there in life worth having? when I think of
these things, what is there that should not be spurned away? Kings in
their palaces should groan for such advantages; but we, humbled as we
are, should yearn for them.

"And shall these things be ours? Ours they will certainly be, if we but
try for them; and what is a comfort, we are shut out from many
temptations that would retard our pursuit. Only let us try for them, and
they will certainly be ours; and what is still a comfort, shortly too;
for if we look back on a past life, it appears but a very short span;
and whatever we may think of the rest of life, it will yet be found of
less duration: as we grow older the days seem to grow shorter, and our
intimacy with Time ever lessens the perception of his stay. Then let us
take comfort now, for we shall soon be at our journey's end; we shall
soon lay down the heavy burden laid by Heaven upon us; and though death,
the only friend of the wretched, for a little while mocks the weary
traveller with the view, and, like the horizon, flies before him, yet
the time will certainly and shortly come when we shall cease from our
toil; when the luxurious great ones of the world shall no more tread us
to the earth; when we shall think with pleasure of our sufferings below;
when we shall be surrounded with all our friends, or such as deserved
our friendship; when our bliss shall be unutterable, and still, to crown
all, unending."



                             _CHAPTER XXX._

       _Happier prospects begin to appear.—Let us be inflexible,
            and fortune will at last change in our favour._


When I had thus finished, and my audience was retired, the gaoler, who
was one of the most humane of his profession, hoped I would not be
displeased, as what he did was but his duty; observing, that he must be
obliged to remove my son into a stronger cell, but that he should be
permitted to visit me every morning. I thanked him for his clemency, and
grasping my boy's hand, bade him farewell, and be mindful of the great
duty that was before him.

I again therefore laid me down, and one of my little ones sat by my
bedside reading, when Mr. Jenkinson entering, informed me that there was
news of my daughter; for that she was seen by a person about two hours
before in a strange gentleman's company, and that they had stopped at a
neighbouring village for refreshment, and seemed as if returning to
town. He had scarcely delivered his news, when the gaoler came with
looks of haste and pleasure to inform me that my daughter was found!
Moses came running in a moment after, crying out that his sister Sophy
was below, and coming up with our old friend Mr. Burchell.

[Illustration:

  "_Mr. Burchell running up, shivered his sword
  to pieces, and then pursued him for near a quarter
  of a mile; but he made his escape._"—_p._ 150.
]


Just as he delivered this news my dearest girl entered, and, with looks
almost wild with pleasure, ran to kiss me in a transport of affection.
Her mother's tears and silence also showed her pleasure.

"Here, papa," cried the charming girl, "here is the brave man to whom I
owe my delivery; to this gentleman's intrepidity I am indebted for my
happiness and safety——." A kiss from Mr. Burchell, whose pleasure seemed
even greater than hers, interrupted what she was going to add.

"Ah, Mr. Burchell!" cried I, "this is but a wretched habitation you find
us in; and we are now very different from what you last saw us. You were
ever our friend: we have long discovered our errors with regard to you,
and repented of our ingratitude. After the vile usage you then received
at my hands, I am almost ashamed to behold your face; yet I hope you
will forgive me, as I was deceived by a base, ungenerous wretch, who,
under the mask of friendship, has undone me."

"It is impossible," replied Mr. Burchell, "that I should forgive you, as
you never deserved my resentment. I partly saw your delusion then, and,
as it was out of my power to restrain, I could only pity it."

"It was ever my conjecture," cried I, "that your mind was noble; but now
I find it so. But tell me, my dear child, how thou hast been relieved,
or who the ruffians were that carried thee away?"

"Indeed, sir," replied she, "as to the villain who carried me off I am
yet ignorant. For as my mamma and I were walking out, he came behind us,
and almost before I could call for help forced me into the post-chaise,
and in an instant the horses drove away. I met several on the road to
whom I cried out for assistance, but they disregarded my entreaties. In
the meantime the ruffian himself used every art to hinder me from crying
out: he flattered and threatened me by turns, and swore that, if I
continued but silent, he intended no harm. In the meantime I had broken
the canvas that he had drawn up, and whom should I perceive at some
distance but your old friend Mr. Burchell, walking along with his usual
swiftness, with the great stick for which we used so much to ridicule
him! As soon as we came within hearing, I called out to him by name, and
entreated his help. I repeated my exclamations several times, upon
which, with a very loud voice, he bade the postilion stop; but the boy
took no notice, but drove on with still greater speed. I now thought he
could never overtake us, when in less than a minute I saw Mr. Burchell
come running up by the side of the horses, and with one blow knocked the
postilion to the ground. The horses, when he was fallen, soon stopped of
themselves, and the ruffian stepping out, with oaths and menaces, drew
his sword, and ordered him at his peril to retire; but Mr. Burchell
running up, shivered his sword to pieces, and then pursued him for near
a quarter of a mile; but he made his escape. I was by this time come out
myself, willing to assist my deliverer; but he soon returned to me in
triumph. The postilion, who was recovered, was going to make his escape
too; but Mr. Burchell ordered him at his peril to mount again, and drive
back to town. Finding it impossible to resist, he reluctantly complied,
though the wound he had received seemed to me at least to be dangerous.
He continued to complain of the pain as we drove along, so that he at
last excited Mr. Burchell's compassion, who, at my request, exchanged
him for another at an inn where we called on our return."

"Welcome, then," cried I, "my child; and thou, her gallant deliverer, a
thousand welcomes. Though our cheer is but wretched, yet our hearts are
ready to receive you. And now, Mr. Burchell, as you have delivered my
girl, if you think her a recompense, she is yours: if you can stoop to
an alliance with a family so poor as mine, take her, obtain her consent,
as I know you have her heart, and you have mine. And let me tell you,
sir, that I give you no small treasure: she has been celebrated for
beauty, it is true, but that is not my meaning—I give you a treasure in
her mind."

"But I suppose, sir," cried Mr. Burchell, "that you are apprised of my
circumstances, and of my incapacity to support her as she deserves?"

"If your present objection," replied I, "be meant as an evasion of my
offer, I desist; but I know no man so worthy to deserve her as you; and
if I could give her thousands, and thousands sought her from me, yet my
honest brave Burchell should be my dearest choice."

To all this his silence alone seemed to give a mortifying refusal; and
without the least reply to my offer, he demanded if we could not be
furnished with refreshments from the next inn; to which being answered
in the affirmative, he ordered them to send in the best dinner that
could be provided upon such short notice. He bespoke also a dozen of
their best wine, and some cordials for me; adding, with a smile, that he
would stretch a little for once; and, though in a prison, asserted he
was never better disposed to be merry. The waiter soon made his
appearance with preparations for dinner; a table was lent us by the
gaoler, who seemed remarkably assiduous; the wine was disposed in order,
and two very well-dressed dishes were brought in.

My daughter had not yet heard of her poor brother's melancholy
situation, and we all seemed unwilling to damp her cheerfulness by the
relation. But it was in vain that I attempted to appear cheerful; the
circumstances of my unfortunate son broke through all efforts to
dissemble; so that I was at last obliged to damp our mirth by relating
his misfortunes, and wishing he might be permitted to share with us in
this little interval of satisfaction. After my guests were recovered
from the consternation my account had produced, I requested also that
Mr. Jenkinson, a fellow-prisoner, might be admitted; and the gaoler
granted my request with an air of unusual submission. The clanking of my
son's irons was no sooner heard along the passage, than his sister ran
impatiently to meet him; while Mr. Burchell, in the meantime, asked me
if my son's name was George; to which replying in the affirmative, he
still continued silent. As soon as my boy entered the room, I could
perceive he regarded Mr. Burchell with a look of astonishment and
reverence. "Come on," cried I, "my son; though we are fallen very low,
yet Providence has been pleased to grant us some small relaxation from
pain. Thy sister is restored to us, and there is her deliverer; to that
brave man it is that I am indebted for yet having a daughter; give him,
my boy, the hand of friendship—he deserves our warmest gratitude."

My son seemed all this while regardless of what I said, and still
continued fixed at a respectful distance. "My dear brother," cried his
sister, "why don't you thank my good deliverer? The brave should ever
love each other."

He still continued his silence and astonishment; till our guest at last
perceived himself to be known, and assuming all his native dignity,
desired my son to come forward. Never before had I seen anything so
truly majestic as the air he assumed upon this occasion. The greatest
object in the universe, says a certain philosopher, is a good man
struggling with adversity; yet there is a still greater, which is the
good man that comes to relieve it. After he had regarded my son for some
time with a superior air, "I again find," said he, "unthinking boy, that
the same crime—". But here he was interrupted by one of the gaoler's
servants, who came to inform us that a person of distinction, who had
driven into town with a chariot and several attendants, sent his
respects to the gentleman that was with us, and begged to know when he
should think proper to be waited upon. "Bid the fellow wait," cried our
guest, "till I shall have leisure to receive him:" and then turning to
my son, "I again find, sir," proceeded he, "that you are guilty of the
same offence for which you once had my reproof, and for which the law is
now preparing its justest punishments. You imagine, perhaps, that a
contempt for your own life gives you a right to take that of another:
but where, sir, is the difference between the duellist, who hazards a
life of no value, and the murderer, who acts with greater security? Is
it any diminution of the gamester's fraud, when he alleges that he has
staked a counter?"

"Alas, sir!" cried I, "whoever you are, pity the poor misguided
creature; for what he has done was in obedience to a deluded mother, who
in the bitterness of her resentment required him, upon her blessing, to
avenge her quarrel. Here, sir, is the letter which will serve to
convince you of her imprudence, and diminish his guilt."

[Illustration:

  _"What, Bill, you chubby rogue!" cried he,
  "do you remember your old friend Burchell?"_—_p._ 155.
]


He took the letter, and hastily read it over. "This," said he, "though
not a perfect excuse, is such a palliation of his fault as induces me to
forgive him. And now, sir," continued he, kindly taking my son by the
hand, "I see you are surprised at finding me here; but I have often
visited prisons upon occasions less interesting. I am now come to see
justice done a worthy man, for whom I have the most sincere esteem. I
have long been a disguised spectator of thy father's benevolence. I have
at his little dwelling enjoyed respect uncontaminated by flattery, and
have received that happiness which courts could not give, from the
amusing simplicity round his fireside. My nephew has been apprised of my
intention of coming here, and I find he is arrived: it would be wronging
him and you to condemn him without examination; if there be injury there
shall be redress; and this I may say without boasting, that none have
ever taxed the injustice of Sir William Thornhill."

We now found that the personage whom we had so long entertained as a
harmless, amusing companion, was no other than the celebrated Sir
William Thornhill, to whose virtues and singularities scarcely any were
strangers. The poor Mr. Burchell was in reality a man of large fortune
and great interest, to whom senates listened with applause, and whom
party heard with conviction; who was the friend of his country, but
loyal to his king. My poor wife, recollecting her former familiarity,
seemed to shrink with apprehension; but Sophia, who a few moments before
thought him her own, now perceiving the immense distance to which he was
removed by fortune, was unable to conceal her tears.

"Ah, sir," cried my wife, with a piteous aspect, "how is it possible
that I can ever have your forgiveness? The slights you received from me
the last time I had the honour of seeing you at our house, and the jokes
which I so audaciously threw out—these, sir, I fear, can never be
forgiven."

"My dear, good lady," returned he, with a smile, "if you had your joke,
I had my answer. I'll leave it to all the company if mine were not as
good as yours. To say the truth, I know nobody whom I am disposed to be
angry with at present, but the fellow who so frightened my little girl
here! I had not even time to examine the rascal's person, so as to
describe him in an advertisement. Can you tell me, Sophia, my dear,
whether you should know him again?"

"Indeed, sir," replied she, "I cannot be positive; yet, now I recollect,
he had a large mark over one of his eyebrows." "I ask pardon, madam,"
interrupted Jenkinson, who was by, "but be so good as to inform me if
the fellow wore his own red hair." "Yes; I think so," cried Sophia. "And
did your honour," continued he, turning to Sir William, "observe the
length of his legs?" "I can't be sure of their length," cried the
baronet, "but I am convinced of their swiftness; for he outran me, which
is what I thought few men in the kingdom could have done." "Please your
honour," cried Jenkinson, "I know the man; it is certainly the same: the
best runner in England; he has beaten Pinwire, of Newcastle. Timothy
Baxter is his name: I know him perfectly, and the very place of his
retreat at this moment. If your honour will bid Mr. Gaoler let two of
his men go with me, I'll engage to produce him to you in an hour at
farthest." Upon this the gaoler was called, who instantly appearing, Sir
William demanded if he knew him. "Yes, please your honour," replied the
gaoler, "I know Sir William Thornhill well; and everybody that knows
anything of him, will desire to know more of him." "Well, then," said
the baronet, "my request is, that you will permit this man and two of
your servants to go upon a message by my authority, and, as I am in the
commission of the peace, I undertake to secure you." "Your promise is
sufficient," replied the other, "and you may, at a minute's warning,
send them over England whenever your honour thinks fit."

In pursuance of the gaoler's compliance, Jenkinson was despatched in
pursuit of Timothy Baxter, while we were amused with the assiduity of
our youngest boy, Bill, who had just come in, and climbed up to Sir
William's neck in order to kiss him. His mother was immediately going to
chastise his familiarity, but the worthy man prevented her; and taking
the child, all ragged as he was, upon his knee, "What, Bill, you chubby
rogue!" cried he, "do you remember your old friend Burchell? And Dick,
too, my honest veteran, are you here? You shall find I have not forgot
you." So saying, he gave each a large piece of gingerbread, which the
poor fellows ate very heartily, as they had got that morning but a very
scanty breakfast.

We now sat down to dinner, which was almost cold: but previously, my arm
still continuing painful, Sir William wrote a prescription, for he had
made the study of physic his amusement, and was more than moderately
skilled in the profession: this being sent to an apothecary who lived in
the place, my arm was dressed, and I found almost instantaneous relief.
We were waited upon at dinner by the gaoler himself, who was willing to
do our guest all the honour in his power. But before we had well dined,
another message was brought from his nephew, desiring permission to
appear, in order to vindicate his innocence and honour; with which
request the baronet complied, and desired Mr. Thornhill to be
introduced.



                            _CHAPTER XXXI._

       _Former benevolence now repaid with unexpected interest._


Mr. Thornhill made his entrance with a smile, which he seldom wanted,
and was going to embrace his uncle, which the other repulsed with an air
of disdain. "No fawning, sir, at present," cried the baronet, with a
look of severity; "the only way to my heart is by the road of honour;
but here I only see complicated instances of falsehood, cowardice, and
oppression. How is it, sir, that this poor man, for whom I know you
professed a friendship, is used thus hardly? His daughter vilely seduced
as a recompense for his hospitality, and he himself thrown into prison,
perhaps but for resenting the insult. His son, too, whom you feared to
face as a man——"

"Is it possible, sir," interrupted his nephew, "that my uncle should
object that as a crime which his repeated instructions alone have
persuaded me to avoid?"

"Your rebuke," cried Sir William, "is just: you have acted in this
instance prudently and well, though not quite as your father would have
done: my brother, indeed, was the soul of honour; but thou——yes, you
have acted in this instance perfectly right, and it has my warmest
approbation."

"And I hope," said his nephew, "that the rest of my conduct will not be
found to deserve censure. I appeared, sir, with this gentleman's
daughter at some places of public amusement; thus, what was levity
scandal called by a harsher name, and it was reported that I had
debauched her. I waited on her father in person, willing to clear the
thing to his satisfaction, and he received me only with insult and
abuse. As for the rest, with regard to his being here, my attorney, and
steward can best inform you, as I commit the management of business
entirely to them. If he has contracted debts, and is unwilling, or even
unable, to pay them, it is their business to proceed in this manner; and
I see no hardship or injustice in pursuing the most legal means of
redress."

"If this," cried Sir William, "be as you have stated it, there is
nothing unpardonable in your offences; and though your conduct might
have been more generous in not suffering this gentleman to be oppressed
by subordinate tyranny, yet it has been at least equitable."

[Illustration:

  _"And I hope," said his nephew, "that
  the rest of my conduct will not be found
  to deserve censure."_—_p._ 156.
]


"He cannot contradict a singular particular," replied the squire; "I
defy him to do so; and several of my servants are ready to attest what I
say. Thus, sir," continued he, finding that I was silent, for in fact I
could not contradict him: "thus, sir, my own innocence is vindicated:
but though at your entreaty I am ready to forgive this gentleman every
other offence, yet his attempts to lessen me in your esteem excite a
resentment that I cannot govern; and this, too, at a time when his son
was actually preparing to take away my life; this, I say, was such
guilt, that I am determined to let the law take its course. I have here
the challenge that was sent me, and two witnesses to prove it; one of my
servants has been wounded dangerously; and even though my uncle himself
should dissuade me, which I know he will not, yet I will see public
justice done, and he shall suffer for it."

"Thou monster!" cried my wife, "hast thou not had vengeance enough
already, but must my poor boy feel thy cruelty? I hope that good Sir
William will protect us, for my son is as innocent as a child; I am sure
he is, and never did harm to man."

"Madam," replied the good man, "your wishes for his safety are not
greater than mine; but I am sorry to find his guilt too plain; and if my
nephew persists——" But the appearance of Jenkinson and the gaolers two
servants now called off our attention, who entered hauling in a tall
man, very genteelly dressed, and answering the description already given
of the ruffian who had carried off my daughter. "Here," cried Jenkinson,
pulling him in, "Here we have him: and, if ever there was a candidate
for Tyburn, this is one."

The moment Mr. Thornhill perceived the prisoner, and Jenkinson who had
him in custody, he seemed to shrink backward with terror. His face
became pale with conscious guilt, and he would have withdrawn; but
Jenkinson, who perceived his design, stopped him. "What, squire!" cried
he, "are you ashamed of your two old acquaintances, Jenkinson and
Baxter? But this is the way that all great men forget their friends,
though I am resolved we will not forget you. Our prisoner, please your
honour," continued he, turning to Sir William, "has already confessed
all. This is the gentleman reported to be so dangerously wounded; he
declares that it was Mr. Thornhill who first put him upon this affair;
that he gave him the clothes he now wears to appear like a gentleman,
and furnished him with the post-chaise. The plan was laid between them,
that he should carry off the young lady to a place of safety, and that
there he should threaten and terrify her; but Mr. Thornhill was to come
in in the meantime, as if by accident, to her rescue, and that they
should fight awhile, and then he was to run off, by which Mr. Thornhill
would have the better opportunity of gaining her affections himself
under the character of her defender."

Sir William remembered the coat to have been frequently worn by his
nephew, and all the rest the prisoner himself confirmed by a more
circumstantial account; concluding, that Mr. Thornhill had often
declared to him that he was in love with both sisters at the same time.

"Heavens!" cried Sir William, "what a viper have I been fostering in my
bosom! And so fond of public justice, too, as he seemed to be! But he
shall have it. Secure him, Mr. Gaoler. Yet hold; I fear there is no
legal evidence to detain him."

Upon this, Mr. Thornhill, with the utmost humility, entreated that two
such abandoned wretches might not be admitted as evidence against him,
but that his servants should be examined. "Your servants!" replied Sir
William; "wretch! call them yours no longer: but come, let us hear what
those fellows have to say: let his butler be called."

When the butler was introduced, he soon perceived by his former master's
looks that all his power was now over. "Tell me," cried Sir William,
sternly, "have you ever seen your master and that fellow dressed up in
his clothes in company together?" "Yes, please your honour," cried the
butler, "a thousand times: he was the man that always brought him his
ladies." "How!" interrupted young Mr. Thornhill, "this to my face?"
"Yes," replied the butler; "or to any man's face. To tell you a truth,
Master Thornhill, I never either loved you or liked you, and I don't
care if I tell you now a piece of my mind." "Now then," cried Jenkinson,
"tell his honour whether you know anything of me." "I can't say,"
replied the butler, "that I know much good of you. The night that
gentleman's daughter was deluded to our house, you were one of them."
"So then," cried Sir William, "I find you have brought a very fine
witness to prove your innocence; thou stain to humanity! to associate
with such wretches! But," continuing his examination, "you tell me, Mr.
Butler, that this was the person who brought him this old gentleman's
daughter." "No, please your honour," replied the butler, "he did not
bring her, for the squire himself undertook that business; but he
brought the priest that pretended to marry them."

"It is but too true," cried Jenkinson; "I cannot deny it; that was the
employment assigned to me, and I confess it to my confusion."

"Good Heavens!" exclaimed the worthy baronet, "how every new discovery
of his villainy alarms me! All his guilt is now too plain, and I find
his present prosecution was dictated by tyranny, cowardice, and revenge:
at my request, Mr. Gaoler, set this young officer, now your prisoner,
free, and trust to me for the consequences. I'll make it my business to
set the affair in a proper light to my friend the magistrate who has
committed him. But where is the unfortunate young lady herself? Let her
appear to confront this wretch. I long to know by what arts he has
seduced her. Entreat her to come in. Where is she?"

"Ah, sir!" said I, "that question stings me to the heart. I was once
indeed happy in a daughter, but her miseries——" Another interruption
here prevented me; for who should make her appearance but Miss Arabella
Wilmot, who was the next day to have been married to Mr. Thornhill.
Nothing could equal her surprise at seeing Sir William and his nephew
here before her; for her arrival was quite accidental. It happened that
she and the old gentleman, her father, were passing through the town on
their way to her aunt's, who had insisted that her nuptials with Mr.
Thornhill should be consummated at her house; but, stopping for
refreshment, they put up at an inn at the other end of the town. It was
there, from the window, that the young lady happened to observe one of
my little boys playing in the street, and, instantly sending a footman
to bring the child to her, she learnt from him some account of our
misfortunes, but was still kept ignorant of young Mr. Thornhill's being
the cause. Though her father made several remonstrances on the
impropriety of her going to a prison to visit us, yet they were
ineffectual: she desired the child to conduct her, which he did, and it
was thus she surprised us at a juncture so unexpected.

Nor can I go on without a reflection on those accidental meetings,
which, though they happen every day, seldom excite our surprise but upon
some extraordinary occasion. To what a fortuitous concurrence do we not
owe every pleasure and convenience of our lives! How many seeming
accidents must unite before we can be clothed or fed! The peasant must
be disposed to labour, the shower must fall, the wind fill the
merchant's sail, or numbers must want the usual supply.

We all continued silent for some moments, while my charming pupil, which
was the name I generally gave this young lady, united in her looks
compassion and astonishment, which gave new finishings to her beauty.
"Indeed, my dear Mr. Thornhill," cried she to the squire, who she
supposed was come here to succour and not to oppress us, "I take it a
little unkindly that you should come here without me, or never inform me
of the situation of a family so dear to us both: you know I should take
as much pleasure in contributing to the relief of my reverend old master
here, whom I shall ever esteem, as you can. But I find that, like your
uncle, you take a pleasure in doing good in secret."

"He find pleasure in doing good!" cried Sir William, interrupting her:
"no, my dear, his pleasures are as base as he is. You see in him, madam,
as complete a villain as ever disgraced humanity. A wretch, who, after
having deluded this poor man's daughter, after plotting against the
innocence of her sister, has thrown the father into prison, and the
eldest son into fetters, because he had the courage to face her
betrayer! And give me leave, madam, now to congratulate you upon an
escape from the embraces of such a monster."

[Illustration:

  "_We had now, therefore, the satisfaction
  of seeing them fly into each other's arms
  in a transport._"—_p._ 164.
]

"O goodness!" cried the lovely girl, "how have I been deceived! Mr.
Thornhill informed me, for certain, that this gentleman's eldest son,
Captain Primrose, was gone off to America with his new-married lady."

"My sweetest miss," cried my wife, "he has told you nothing but
falsehoods. My son George never left the kingdom, nor ever was married.
Though you have forsaken him, he has always loved you too well to think
of anybody else; and I have heard him say he would die a bachelor for
your sake." She then proceeded to expatiate upon the sincerity of her
son's passion; she set his duel with Mr. Thornhill in a proper light;
from thence she made a rapid digression to the squire's debaucheries,
his pretended marriages, and ended with a most insulting picture of his
cowardice.

"Good Heaven!" cried Miss Wilmot, "how very near have I been to the
brink of ruin! but how great is my pleasure to have escaped it! Ten
thousand falsehoods has this gentleman told me! He had at last art
enough to persuade me that my promise to the only man I esteemed was no
longer binding, since he had been unfaithful. By his falsehoods I was
taught to detest one equally brave and generous."

But by this time my son was freed from the incumbrances of justice, as
the person supposed to be wounded was detected to be an impostor. Mr.
Jenkinson also, who had acted as his valet-de-chambre, had dressed up
his hair, and furnished him with whatever was necessary to make a
genteel appearance. He now, therefore, entered, handsomely dressed in
his regimentals, and without vanity (for I am above it) he appeared as
handsome a fellow as ever wore a military dress. As he entered, he made
Miss Wilmot a modest and distant bow, for he was not as yet acquainted
with the change which the eloquence of his mother had wrought in his
favour. But no decorums could restrain the impatience of his blushing
mistress to be forgiven. Her tears, her looks, all contributed to
discover the real sensations of her heart, for having forgotten her
former promise, and having suffered herself to be deluded by an
impostor. My son appeared amazed at her condescension, and could
scarcely believe it real. "Sure, madam," cried he, "this is but
delusion; I can never have merited this! To be blessed thus, is to be
too happy!" "No sir," replied she, "I have been deceived, basely
deceived, else nothing could have ever made me unjust to my promise. You
know my friendship, you have long known it: but forget what I have done;
and, as you once had my warmest vows of constancy, you shall now have
them repeated; and be assured, that if your Arabella cannot be yours,
she shall never be another's." "And no other's you shall be," cried Sir
William, "if I have any influence with your father."

This hint was sufficient for my son Moses, who immediately flew to the
inn where the old gentleman was, to inform him of every circumstance
that had happened. But in the meantime the squire, perceiving that he
was on every side undone, now finding that no hopes were left from
flattery or dissimulation, concluded that his wisest way would be to
turn and face his pursuers. Thus, laying aside all shame, he appeared
the open, hardy villain. "I find, then," cried he, "that I am to expect
no justice here; but I am resolved it shall be done me. You shall know,
sir," turning to Sir William, "I am no longer a poor dependant upon your
favours. I scorn them. Nothing can keep Miss Wilmot's fortune from me,
which, I thank her father's assiduity, is pretty large. The articles and
a bond for her fortune are signed, and safe in my possession. It was her
fortune, not her person, that induced me to wish for this match; and,
possessed of the one, let who will take the other."

This was an alarming blow: Sir William was sensible of the justice of
his claims, for he had been instrumental in drawing up the
marriage-articles himself. Miss Wilmot, therefore, perceiving that her
fortune was irretrievably lost, turning to my son, asked if the loss of
fortune could lessen her value to him. "Though fortune," said she, "is
out of my power, at least I have my hand to give."

"And that, madam," cried her real lover, "was indeed all that you ever
had to give; at least, all that I ever thought worth the acceptance. And
I now protest, my Arabella, by all that's happy, your want of fortune
this moment increases my pleasure, as it serves to convince my sweet
girl of my sincerity."

Mr. Wilmot now entering, he seemed not a little pleased at the danger
his daughter had just escaped, and readily consented to a dissolution of
the match. But finding that her fortune, which was secured to Mr.
Thornhill by bond, would not be given up, nothing could exceed his
disappointment. He now saw that his money must all go to enrich one who
had no fortune of his own. He could bear his being a rascal, but to want
an equivalent to his daughter's fortune was wormwood. He sat, therefore,
for some minutes employed in the most mortifying speculations, till Sir
William attempted to lessen his anxiety. "I must confess, sir," cried
he, "that your present disappointment does not entirely displease me.
Your immoderate passion for wealth is now justly punished. But though
the young lady cannot be rich, she has still a competence sufficient to
give content. Here you see an honest young soldier, who is willing to
take her without fortune: they have long loved each other, and for the
friendship I bear his father, my interest shall not be wanting in his
promotion. Leave, then, that ambition which disappoints you, and for
once admit that happiness which courts your acceptance."

"Sir William," replied the old gentleman, "be assured I never yet forced
her inclinations, nor will I now. If she still continues to love this
young gentleman, let her have him with all my heart. There is still,
thank Heaven, some fortune left, and your promise will make it something
more. Only let my old friend here" (meaning me) "give me a promise of
settling six thousand pounds upon my girl, if ever he should come to his
fortune, and I am ready this night to be the first to join them
together."

As it now remained with me to make the young couple happy, I readily
gave a promise of making the settlement he required; which, to one who
had such little expectations as I, was no great favour. We had now,
therefore, the satisfaction of seeing them fly into each other's arms in
a transport. "After all my misfortunes," cried my son George, "to be
thus rewarded! Sure this is more than I could ever have presumed to hope
for. To be possessed of all that's good, and after such an interval of
pain! my warmest wishes could never rise so high!" "Yes, my George,"
returned his lovely bride, "now let the wretch take my fortune: since
you are happy without it, so am I. Oh, what an exchange have I made from
the basest of men to the dearest, best! Let him enjoy our fortune; I now
can be happy even in indigence." "And I promise you," cried the squire,
with a malicious grin, "that I shall be very happy with what you
despise." "Hold, hold, sir!" cried Jenkinson; "there are two words to
that bargain. As for that lady's fortune, sir, you shall never touch a
single stiver of it. Pray, your honour," continued he to Sir William,
"can the squire have this lady's fortune if he be married to another?"
"How can you make such a simple demand?" replied the baronet:
"undoubtedly he cannot." "I am sorry for that," cried Jenkinson; "for as
this gentleman and I have been old fellow-sporters, I have a friendship
for him. But I must declare, well as I love him, that his contract is
not worth a tobacco-stopper, for he is married already." "You lie, like
a rascal!" returned the squire, who seemed roused by this insult; "I
never was legally married to any woman." "Indeed, begging your honour's
pardon," replied the other, "you were; and I hope you will show a proper
return of friendship to your own honest Jenkinson, who brings you a
wife; and if the company restrain their curiosity a few minutes, they
shall see her." So saying, he went off with his usual celerity, and left
us all unable to form any probable conjecture as to his design. "Aye,
let him go," cried the squire: "whatever else I may have done, I defy
him there. I am too old now to be frightened with squibs."

[Illustration:

  "_So saying, he put the license into the
  baronet's hands, who read it, and found it
  perfect in every respect._"—_p._ 166.
]


"I am surprised," said the baronet, "what the fellow can intend by this.
Some low piece of humour, I suppose." "Perhaps, sir," replied I, "he may
have a more serious meaning. For when we reflect on the various schemes
this gentleman has laid to seduce innocence, perhaps some one, more
artful than the rest, has been found able to deceive him. When we
consider what numbers he has ruined, how many parents now feel with
anguish the infamy and the contamination which he has brought into their
families, it would not surprise me if some one of them—Amazement! Do I
see my lost daughter? Do I hold her? It is, it is—my life, my happiness!
I thought thee lost, my Olivia, yet still I hold thee, and still thou
shalt live to bless me." The warmest transports of the fondest lover
were not greater than mine, when I saw him introduce my child, and held
my daughter in my arms, whose silence only spoke her raptures. "And art
thou returned to me, my darling," cried I, "to be my comfort in age?"
"That she is," cried Jenkinson; "and make much of her, for she is your
own honourable child, and as honest a woman as any in the whole room,
let the other be who she will. And as for you, squire, as sure as you
stand there, this young lady is your lawful wedded wife: and to convince
you that I speak nothing but the truth, here is the license by which you
were married together." So saying, he put the license into the baronet's
hands, who read it, and found it perfect in every respect. "And now,
gentlemen," continued he, "I find you are surprised at all this; but a
very few words will explain the difficulty. That there squire of renown,
for whom I have a great friendship (but that's between ourselves) has
often employed me in doing odd little things for him. Among the rest he
commissioned me to procure him a false license, and a false priest, in
order to deceive this young lady. But as I was very much his friend,
what did I do, but went and got a true license and a true priest, and
married them both as fast as the cloth could make them. Perhaps you'll
think it was generosity made me do all this. But no. To my shame I
confess it, my only design was to keep the license, and let the squire
know that I could prove it upon him whenever I thought proper, and so
make him come down whenever I wanted money." A burst of pleasure now
seemed to fill the whole apartment; our joy even reached the
common-room, where the prisoners themselves sympathised,

                         And shook their chains
                     In transport and rude harmony.

Happiness was expanded upon every face, and even Olivia's cheeks seemed
flushed with pleasure. To be thus restored to reputation, to friends,
and fortune at once, was a rapture sufficient to stop the progress of
decay, and restore former health and vivacity. But, perhaps, among all,
there was not one who felt sincerer pleasure than I. Still holding the
dear-loved child in my arms, I asked my heart if these transports were
not delusion. "How could you," cried I, turning to Jenkinson, "how could
you add to my miseries by the story of her death? But it matters not: my
pleasure at finding her again is more than a recompense for the pain."

"As to your question," replied Jenkinson, "that is easily answered. I
thought the only probable means of freeing you from prison, was by
submitting to the squire, and consenting to his marriage with the other
young lady. But these you had vowed never to grant while your daughter
was living; there was, therefore, no other method to bring things to
bear, but by persuading you that she was dead. I prevailed on your wife
to join in the deceit, and we have not had a fit opportunity of
undeceiving you till now."

In the whole assembly there now appeared only two faces that did not
glow with transport. Mr. Thornhill's assurance had entirely forsaken
him; he now saw the gulf of infamy and want before him, and trembled to
take the plunge. He therefore fell on his knees before his uncle, and in
a voice of piercing misery implored compassion. Sir William was going to
spurn him away, but at my request he raised him, and after pausing a few
moments, "Thy vices, crimes, and ingratitude," cried he, "deserve no
tenderness; yet thou shalt not be entirely forsaken; a bare competence
shall be supplied to support the wants of life, but not its follies.
This young lady, thy wife, shall be put in possession of a third part of
that fortune which once was thine; and from her tenderness alone thou
art to expect any extraordinary supplies for the future." He was going
to express his gratitude for such kindness in a set speech; but the
baronet prevented him, by bidding him not aggravate his meanness, which
was already but too apparent. He ordered him at the same time to be
gone, and from all his former domestics to choose one, and such as he
should think proper, which was all that should be granted to attend him.

As soon as he left us, Sir William very politely stepped up to his new
niece with a smile, and wished her joy. His example was followed by Miss
Wilmot and her father; my wife too kissed her daughter with much
affection, as, to use her own expression, she was now made an honest
woman of. Sophia and Moses followed in turn, and even our benefactor
Jenkinson desired to be admitted to that honour. Our satisfaction seemed
scarcely capable of increase. Sir William, whose greatest pleasure was
in doing good, now looked round with a countenance open as the sun, and
saw nothing but joy in the looks of all except that of my daughter
Sophia, who, for some reasons we could not comprehend, did not seem
perfectly satisfied. "I think now," cried he, with a smile, "that all
the company, except one or two, seem perfectly happy. There only remains
an act of justice for me to do. You are sensible, sir," continued he,
turning to me, "of the obligations we both owe to Mr. Jenkinson; and it
is but just we should both reward him for it. Miss Sophia will, I am
sure, make him very happy, and he shall have five hundred pounds as her
fortune; and upon this, I am sure, they can live very comfortably
together. Come, Miss Sophia, what say you to this match of my making?
will you have him?" My poor girl seemed almost sinking into her mother's
arms at the hideous proposal. "Have him, sir!" cried she, faintly; "no,
sir, never!" "What!" cried he again, "not Mr. Jenkinson, your
benefactor; a handsome young fellow, with five-hundred pounds and good
expectations?" "I beg, sir," returned she, scarcely able to speak, "that
you'll desist, and not make me so very wretched." "Was ever such
obstinacy known?" cried he again, "to refuse the man whom the family has
such infinite obligations to—who has preserved your sister, and who has
five hundred pounds? What! not have him!" "No, sir, never," replied she,
angrily; "I'd sooner die first!" "If that be the case, then," cried he,
"if you will not have him—I think I must have you myself." And so
saying, he caught her to his breast with ardour. "My loveliest, my most
sensible of girls," cried he, "how could you ever think your own
Burchell could deceive you, or that Sir William Thornhill could ever
cease to admire a mistress that loved him for himself alone? I have for
some years sought for a woman, who, a stranger to my fortune, could
think I had merit as a man. After having tried in vain, even among the
pert and ugly, how great at last must be my rapture, to have made a
conquest over such sense and such heavenly beauty!" Then turning to
Jenkinson, "As I cannot, sir, part with this young lady myself, for she
has taken a fancy to the cut of my face, all the recompense I can make
is, to give you her fortune, and you may call upon my steward to-morrow
for five hundred pounds." Thus we had all our compliments to repeat, and
Lady Thornhill underwent the same round of ceremony that her sister had
done before. In the meantime Sir William's gentleman appeared to tell us
that the equipages were ready to carry us to the inn, where everything
was prepared for our reception. My wife and I led the van, and left
those gloomy mansions of sorrow. The generous baronet ordered forty
pounds to be distributed among the prisoners, and Mr. Wilmot, induced by
his example, gave half that sum. We were received below by the shouts of
the villagers, and I saw and shook by the hand two or three of my honest
parishioners, who were among the number. They attended us to our inn,
where a sumptuous entertainment was provided, and coarser provisions
were distributed in great quantities among the populace.

[Illustration:

  "_Will you have him?_"—_p._ 168.
]

After supper, as my spirits were exhausted by the alternation of
pleasure and pain which they had sustained during the day, I asked
permission to withdraw; and leaving the company in the midst of their
mirth, as soon as I found myself alone, I poured out my heart in
gratitude to the Giver of joy as well as sorrow, and then slept
undisturbed till morning.



                            _CHAPTER XXXII._

                           _The conclusion._


The next morning, as soon as I awaked, I found my eldest son sitting by
my bedside, who came to increase my joy with another turn of fortune in
my favour. First having released me from the settlement that I had made
the day before in his favour, he let me know that my merchant, who had
failed in town, was arrested at Antwerp, and there had given up effects
to a much greater amount than what was due to his creditors. My boy's
generosity pleased me almost as much as this unlooked-for good fortune.
But I had some doubts whether I ought in justice to accept his offer.
While I was pondering upon this, Sir William entered the room, to whom I
communicated my doubts. His opinion was, that as my son was already
possessed of a very affluent fortune by his marriage, I might accept his
offer without hesitation. His business, however, was to inform me that,
as he had the night before sent for the licenses, and expected them
every hour, he hoped that I would not refuse my assistance in making all
the company happy that morning. A footman entered while we were
speaking, to tell us that the messenger was returned; and as I was by
this time ready, I went down, where I found the whole company as merry
as affluence and innocence could make them. However, as they were now
preparing for a very solemn ceremony, their laughter entirely displeased
me. I told them of the grave, becoming, and sublime deportment they
should assume upon this mystical occasion, and read them two homilies
and a thesis of my own composing, in order to prepare them. Yet they
still seemed perfectly refractory and ungovernable. Even as we were
going along to church, to which I led the way, all gravity had quite
forsaken them, and I was often tempted to turn back in indignation. In
church a new dilemma arose, which promised no easy solution. This was,
which couple should be married first: my son's bride warmly insisted
that Lady Thornhill (that was to be) should take the lead; but this the
other refused with equal ardour, protesting she would not be guilty of
such rudeness for the world. The argument was supported for some time
between both with equal obstinacy and good breeding. But as I stood all
this time with my book ready, I was at last quite tired of the contest,
and shutting it, "I perceive," cried I, "that none of you have a mind to
be married, and I think we had as good go back again; for I suppose
there will be no business done here to-day." This is once reduced them
to reason. The baronet and his lady were first married, and then my son
and his lovely partner.

I had previously that morning given orders that a coach should be sent
for my honest neighbour Flamborough and his family, by which means, upon
our return to the inn, we had the pleasure of finding the two Miss
Flamboroughs alighted before us. Mr. Jenkinson gave his hand to the
eldest, and my son Moses led up the other; and I have since found that
he has taken a real liking to the girl, and my consent and bounty he
shall have, whenever he thinks proper to demand them. We were no sooner
returned to the inn, but numbers of my parishioners, hearing of my
success, came to congratulate me; but among the rest were those who rose
to rescue me, and whom I formerly rebuked with such sharpness. I told
the story to Sir William, my son-in-law, who went out and reproved them
with great severity; but, finding them quite disheartened by his harsh
reproof, he gave them half-a-guinea a-piece to drink his health and
raise their dejected spirits.

Soon after this we were called to a very genteel entertainment, which
was dressed by Mr. Thornhill's cook. And it may not be improper to
observe, with respect to that gentleman, that he now resides in quality
of companion at a relation's house, being very well liked, and seldom
sitting at the side-table, except when there is no room at the other,
for they make no stranger of him. His time is pretty much taken up in
keeping his relation, who is a little melancholy, in spirits, and in
learning to blow the French horn. My eldest daughter, however, still
remembers him with regret; and she has even told me, though I make a
great secret of it, that when he reforms she may be brought to relent.
But to return, for I am not apt to digress thus: when we were to sit
down to dinner our ceremonies were going to be renewed. The question
was, whether my eldest daughter, as being a matron, should not sit above
the two young brides; but the debate was cut short by my son George, who
proposed that the company should sit indiscriminately, every gentleman
by his lady. This was received with great approbation by all, excepting
my wife, who, I could perceive, was not perfectly satisfied, as she
expected to have had the pleasure of sitting at the head of the table,
and carving all the meat for all the company. But, notwithstanding this,
it is impossible to describe our good-humour. I can't say whether we had
more wit among us now than usual, but I am certain we had more laughing,
which answered the end as well. One jest I particularly remember: old
Mr. Wilmot drinking to Moses, whose head was turned another way, my son
replied, "Madam, I thank you;" upon which the old gentleman, winking
upon the rest of the company, observed that he was thinking of his
mistress. At which jest I thought the two Miss Flamboroughs would have
died with laughing. As soon as dinner was over, according to my old
custom, I requested that the table might be taken away, to have the
pleasure of seeing all my family assembled once more by a cheerful
fireside. My two little ones sat upon each knee, the rest of the company
by their partners. I had nothing now on this side of the grave to wish
for—all my cares were over: my pleasure was unspeakable. It now only
remained that my gratitude in good fortune should exceed my former
submission in adversity.



                                  THE
                            POEMS AND PLAYS
                                   OF
                           OLIVER GOLDSMITH.



                               CONTENTS.


                                 POEMS.


 THE TRAVELLER; OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.

 THE DESERTED VILLAGE.

 THE HAUNCH OF VENISON. A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE.

 THE CAPTIVITY. AN ORATORIO.

 RETALIATION. —— POSTSCRIPT.

 THE HERMIT. A BALLAD.

 THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION. A TALE.

 THE GIFT: TO IRIS, IN BOW STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

 THE LOGICIANS REFUTED. IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT.

 ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.

 A NEW SIMILE, IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.

 AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.

 THE CLOWN'S REPLY.

 STANZAS ON WOMAN.

 DESCRIPTION OF AN AUTHOR'S BED-CHAMBER.

 SONG, INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SUNG IN THE COMEDY OF "SHE STOOPS TO
    CONQUER."

 STANZAS ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC.

 EPITAPH ON DR. PARNELL.

 EPITAPH ON EDWARD PURDON.

 AN ELEGY ON MRS. MARY BLAIZE.

 STANZAS.

 SONGS.

 A PROLOGUE BY THE POET LABERIUS, WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.

 PROLOGUE TO "ZOBEIDE," A TRAGEDY.

 EPILOGUE, SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWIS.

 EPILOGUE TO THE COMEDY OF "THE SISTERS."

 THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS, SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE
 PRINCESS OF WALES.

 EPILOGUE TO THE "GOOD-NATURED MAN."

 EPILOGUE TO "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."

 AN EPILOGUE, INTENDED FOR MRS. BULKLEY.

 EPILOGUE TO "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER:" INTENDED TO BE SPOKEN BY MRS.
    BULKLEY
 AND MISS CATLEY.


                                 PLAYS.

 THE GOOD-NATURED MAN.

 SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.



                             THE TRAVELLER;

                       OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.


                              DEDICATION.


                      TO THE REV. HENRY GOLDSMITH

DEAR SIR,

I am sensible that the friendship between us can acquire no new force
from the ceremonies of a dedication; and perhaps it demands an excuse
thus to prefix your name to my attempts, which you decline giving with
your own. But as a part of this poem was formerly written to you from
Switzerland, the whole can now, with propriety, be only inscribed to
you. It will also throw a light upon many parts of it, when the reader
understands that it is addressed to a man who, despising fame and
fortune, has retired early to happiness and obscurity, with an income of
forty pounds a-year.

I now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of your humble choice. You
have entered upon a sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the
labourers are but few; while you have left the field of ambition, where
the labourers are many, and the harvest not worth carrying away. But of
all kinds of ambition—what from the refinement of the times, from
different systems of criticism, and from the divisions of party—that
which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.

Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a
country verging to the extremes of refinement, painting and music come
in for a share. As these offer the feeble mind a less laborious
entertainment, they at first rival poetry, and at length supplant her:
they engross all that favour once shown to her, and, though but younger
sisters, seize upon the elder's birthright.

Yet, however this art may be neglected by the powerful, it is still in
greater danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it.
What criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of blank verse and
Pindaric odes, choruses, anapests and iambics, alliterative care and
happy negligence! Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; and
as he is generally much in the wrong, so he has always much to say; for
error is ever talkative.

But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous,—I mean Party.
Party entirely distorts the judgment and destroys the taste. When the
mind is once infected with this disease, it can only find pleasure in
what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that seldom
desists from pursuing man after having once preyed upon human flesh, the
reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny, makes, ever
after, the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such readers
generally admire some half-witted thing, who wants to be thought a bold
man, having lost the character of a wise one. Him they dignify with the
name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is
said to be force, and his frenzy fire.

What reception a poem may find which has neither abuse, party, nor blank
verse to support it, I cannot tell, nor am I solicitous to know. My aims
are right. Without espousing the cause of any party, I have endeavoured
to moderate the rage of all. I have attempted to show, that there may be
equal happiness in states that are differently governed from our own;
that every state has a particular principle of happiness, and that this
principle in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. There are few
can judge better than yourself how far these positions are illustrated
in this poem.

                            I am, dear Sir,

                                         Your most affectionate brother,

                                                       OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

[Illustration:

  "_Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow, Or
  by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po._"—_p._ 176.
]



                             THE TRAVELLER;

                       OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.


 Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
 Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po;
 Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
 Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
 Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
 A weary waste expanding to the skies;
 Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
 My heart untravell'd fondly turns to thee:
 Still to my Brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
 And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
   Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
 And round his dwelling guardian saints attend!
 Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
 To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
 Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,
 And every stranger finds a ready chair;

[Illustration:

  "_Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale._"—_p._ 177.
]


 Blest be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd,
 Where all the ruddy family around
 Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
 Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;
 Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
 And learn the luxury of doing good.
   But me, not destined such delights to share,
 My prime of life in wandering spent and care;
 Impell'd, with steps unceasing, to pursue
 Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view;
 That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
 Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies;
 My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
 And find no spot of all the world my own.
   Even now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
 I sit me down a pensive hour to spend;
 And, placed on high above the storm's career,
 Look downward where a hundred realms appear;
 Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide,
 The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.
   When thus Creation's charms around combine,
 Amidst the store should thankless pride repine?
 Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
 That good which makes each humbler bosom vain?
 Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
 These little things are great to little man;
 And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind
 Exults in all the good of all mankind.
 Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendour crown'd;
 Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round;
 Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
 Ye bending swains, that dress the flowery vale;
 For me your tributary stores combine:
 Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!
   As some lone miser, visiting his store,
 Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er;
 Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
 Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still:
 Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
 Pleased with each good that Heaven to man supplies;
 Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
 To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
 And oft I wish, amidst the scene to find
 Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
 Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
 May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
   But where to find that happiest spot below,
 Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
 The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone
 Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
 Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
 And his long nights of revelry and ease:
 The naked negro, panting at the line,
 Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,
 Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
 And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
 Such is the patriot's boast where'er we roam,
 His first, best country, ever is at home.
 And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
 And estimate the blessings which they share,
 Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
 An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
 As different good, by art or nature given
 To different nations, makes their blessings even.
   Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
 Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call!
 With food as well the peasant is supplied
 On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;
 And though the rocky-crested summits frown,
 These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
 From art more various are the blessings sent,
 Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content;
 Yet these each other's power so strong contest,
 That either seems destructive of the rest.
 Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails,
 And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.
 Hence every state, to one loved blessing prone,
 Conforms and models life to that alone;
 Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,
 And spurns the plan that aims at other ends;
 Till, carried to excess in each domain,
 This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
   But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
 And trace them through the prospect as it lies:
 Here for a while, my proper cares resign'd,
 Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
 Like yon neglected shrub, at random cast,
 That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.
   Far to the right, where Appenine ascends,
 Bright as the summer, Italy extends;
 Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
 Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;
 While oft some temple's mouldering tops between
 With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
   Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
 The sons of Italy were surely blest.
 Whatever fruits in different climes are found,
 That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground;
 Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
 Whose bright succession decks the varied year;
 Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
 With vernal lives, that blossom but to die;
 These, here disporting, own the kindred soil,
 Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil;
 While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand
 To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
   But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
 And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.
 In florid beauty groves and fields appear,—
 Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
 Contrasted faults through all his manners reign;
 Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
 Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
 And even in penance planning sins anew.
 All evils here contaminate the mind,
 That opulence departed leaves behind;
 For wealth was theirs, not far removed the date,
 When commerce proudly flourish'd through the state;
 At her command the palace learned to rise,
 Again the long-fallen column sought the skies;
 The canvas glow'd beyond e'en nature warm;
 The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form;
 Till, more unsteady than the southern gale,
 Commerce on other shores display'd her sail;
 While nought remained of all that riches gave,
 But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave:
 And late the nation found, with fruitless skill,
 Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
   Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied
 By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride:
 From these the feeble heart and long-fallen mind
 An easy compensation seem to find.
 Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
 The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade;
 Processions form'd for piety and love,—
 A mistress or a saint in every grove.
 By sports like these are all their cares beguiled,—
 The sports of children satisfy the child;
 Each nobler aim, repress'd by long control,
 Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
 While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
 In happier meanness occupy the mind.
 As in those domes where Cæsars once bore sway,
 Defaced by time and tottering in decay,
 There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
 The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed:
 And, wondering man could want the larger pile,
 Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.

[Illustration:

  "_Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
  The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade._"—_p._ 180.
]


   My soul, turn from them; turn we to survey
 Where rougher climes a nobler race display,
 Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread,
 And force a churlish soil for scanty bread:
 No product here the barren hills afford,
 But man and steel, the soldier and his sword;
 No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
 But winter lingering chills the lap of May;
 No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast,
 But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
   Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm,
 Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
 Though poor the peasant's hut, his feast though small,
 He sees his little lot the lot of all;
 Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
 To shame the meanness of his humble shed;
 No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
 To make him loathe his vegetable meal;
 But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
 Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
 Cheerful, at morn, he wakes from short repose,
 Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;
 With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
 Or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep;
 Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
 And drags the struggling savage into day.
 At night returning, every labour sped.
 He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
 Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
 His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
 While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard,
 Displays her cleanly platter on the board:
 And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
 With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
   Thus every good his native wilds impart
 Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
 And e'en those ills that round his mansion rise,
 Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.
 Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
 And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms;
 And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,
 Clings close and closer to the mother's breast,
 So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
 But bind him to his native mountains more.
   Such are the charms to barren states assign'd;
 Their wants but few, their wishes all confined.
 Yet let them only share the praises due;
 If few their wants, their pleasures are but few:
 For every want that stimulates the breast
 Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest;
 Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies
 That first excites desire, and then supplies;
 Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy,
 To fill the languid pause with finer joy;
 Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,
 Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame;
 Their level life is but a smouldering fire,
 Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire;
 Unfit, for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
 On some high festival of once a year,
 In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
 Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
   But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow;
 Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low:
 For, as refinement stops, from sire to son
 Unalter'd, unimproved the manners run;
 And love's and friendship's finely-pointed dart
 Fall blunted from each indurated heart.
 Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast
 May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;
 But all the gentler morals, such as play
 Through life's more cultured walks, and charm the way,
 These, far dispersed, on timorous pinions fly,
 To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
   To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
 I turn; and France displays her bright domain.
 Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
 Pleased with thyself, whom all the world can please!
 How often have I led thy sportive choir,
 With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire;
 Where shading elms along the margin grew,
 And, freshen'd from the wave, the zephyr flew;
 And haply, though my harsh touch, faltering still,
 But mock'd all tune and marr'd the dancer's skill,
 Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,
 And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour.
 Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
 Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
 And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
 Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
   So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
 Thus idly busy rolls their world away:
 Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
 For honour forms the social temper here.
 Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
 Or e'en imaginary worth obtains,
 Here passes current; paid from hand to hand,
 It shifts in splendid traffic round the land;
 From courts to camps, to cottages it strays,
 And all are taught an avarice of praise:
 They please, are pleased; they give to get esteem,
 Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.
   But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
 It gives their follies also room to rise;
 For praise too dearly loved, or warmly sought,
 Enfeebles all internal strength of thought:
 And the weak soul, within itself unblest,
 Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
 Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art,
 Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;
 Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
 And trims her robes of frieze with copper lace;
 Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
 To boast one splendid banquet once a year:
 The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws,
 Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.
   To men of other minds my fancy flies,
 Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies;
 Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
 Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
 And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
 Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
 Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
 The firm-connected bulwark seems to grow,
 Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar,
 Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore,
 While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
 Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
 The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
 The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
 The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,—
 A new creation rescued from his reign.
   Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil
 Impels the native to repeated toil,
 Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
 And industry begets a love of gain.
 Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
 With all those ills superfluous treasure brings,
 Are here display'd. Their much-loved wealth imparts
 Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts:
 But view them closer, craft and fraud appear,
 Even liberty itself is barter'd here:
 At gold's superior charms all freedom flies,
 The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
 A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
 Here wretches seek dishonourable graves,
 And calmly bent, to servitude conform,
 Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.

[Illustration:

  "_Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
  And trims her robes of frieze with copper lace._"—_p._ 184.
]

 Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old!
 Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
 War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;—
 How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
   Fired at the sound, my genius spreads her wing,
 And flies where Britain courts the western spring;
 Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride,
 And brighter streams than famed Hydaspes glide;
 There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
 There gentle music melts on every spray;
 Creation's mildest charms are there combined,
 Extremes are only in the master's mind!
 Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state,
 With daring aims irregularly great;
 Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
 I see the lords of human kind pass by;
 Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,
 By forms unfashion'd, fresh from Nature's hand,
 Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
 True to imagined right, above control,
 While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
 And learns to venerate himself as man.
   Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictured here,
 Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear;
 Too blest, indeed, were such without alloy,
 But, foster'd e'en by Freedom, ills annoy:
 That independence Britons prize too high
 Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
 The self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
 All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
 Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,
 Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd:
 Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
 Repress'd ambition struggles round her shore,
 Till, overwrought, the general system feels
 Its motion stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.
   Nor this the worst. As Nature's ties decay,
 As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
 Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
 Still gather strength and force unwilling awe.
 Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
 And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown:
 Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms,
 The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms,
 Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,
 Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote far fame,
 One sink of level avarice shall lie,
 And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.
   Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state,
 I mean to flatter kings or court the great:
 Ye powers of truth that bid my soul aspire,
 Far from my bosom drive the low desire;
 And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
 The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel;
 Thou transitory flower, alike undone
 By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun,
 Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure,
 I only would repress them to secure:
 For just experience tells, in every soil,
 That those that think must govern those that toil;
 And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach,
 Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
 Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
 Its double weight must ruin all below.
   Oh, then, how blind to all that truth requires,
 Who think it freedom when a part aspires!
 Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
 Except when fast-approaching danger warms:
 But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
 Contracting regal power to stretch their own;
 When I behold a factious band agree
 To call it freedom when themselves are free;
 Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
 Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
 The wealth of climes where savage nations roam
 Pillaged from slaves, to purchase slaves at home;
 Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
 Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
 Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
 I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.
   Yes, Brother, curse with me that baleful hour,
 When first ambition struck at regal power;
 And, thus polluting honour in its source,
 Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
 Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore,
 Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore?
 Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
 Like flaring tapers brightening as they waste?
 Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
 Lead stern depopulation in her train,
 And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
 In barren solitary pomp repose?
 Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call
 The smiling long-frequented village fall?
 Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
 The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
 Forced from their homes, a melancholy train,
 To traverse climes beyond the western main;
 Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
 And Niagara stuns with thundering sound?
   E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
 Through tangled forests and through dangerous ways;
 Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
 And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim;
 There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
 And all around distressful yells arise,
 The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
 To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
 Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
 And bids his bosom sympathise with mine.
   Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
 That bliss which only centres in the mind:
 Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
 To seek a good each government bestows?
 In every government, though terrors reign,
 Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain,
 How small, of all that human hearts endure,
 That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
 Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
 Our own felicity we make or find:
 With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
 Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
 The lifted axe, the agonising wheel,
 Luke's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel,
 To men remote from power but rarely known,
 Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.


                         THE DESERTED VILLAGE.


                              DEDICATION.


                        TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.

DEAR SIR,

I can have no expectations, in an address of this kind, either to add to
your reputation or to establish my own. You can gain nothing from my
admiration, as I am ignorant of that art in which you are said to excel;
and I may lose much by the severity of your judgment, as few have a
juster taste in poetry than you. Setting interest therefore aside, to
which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in
following my affections. The only dedication I ever made was to my
brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since
dead. Permit me to inscribe this poem to you.

How far you may be pleased with the versification and mere mechanical
parts of this attempt, I do not pretend to inquire; but I know you will
object (and indeed several of our best and wisest friends concur in the
opinion), that the depopulation it deplores is nowhere to be seen, and
the disorders it laments are only to be found in the poet's own
imagination. To this I can scarcely make any other answer than that I
sincerely believe what I have written; that I have taken all possible
pains in my country excursions, for these four or five years past, to be
certain of what I allege; and that all my views and inquiries have led
me to believe those miseries real which I here attempt to display. But
this is not the place to enter into an inquiry, whether the country be
depopulating or not; the discussion would take up much room, and I
should prove myself, at best, an indifferent politician, to tire the
reader with a long preface, when I want his unfatigued attention to a
long poem.

In regretting the depopulation of the country, I inveigh against the
increase of our luxuries; and here also I expect the shout of modern
politicians against me. For twenty or thirty years past, it has been the
fashion to consider luxury as one of the greatest national advantages,
and all the wisdom of antiquity, in that particular, as erroneous.
Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and
continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to states by which so many
vices are introduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. Indeed, so
much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question,
that, merely for the sake of novelty and variety, one would sometimes
wish to be in the right.

                            I am, dear Sir,

                                 Your sincere friend and ardent admirer,

                                                       OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

[Illustration:

  "_The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
  The matron's glance that would those looks reprove._"—_p._ 191.
]



                         THE DESERTED VILLAGE.


 Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
 Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain,
 Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
 And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd:
 Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
 Seats of my youth, when every sport could please,
 How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
 Where humble happiness endear'd each scene!
 How often have I paused on every charm,—
 The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
 The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
 The decent church that topp'd the neighbouring hill,
 The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
 For talking age and whispering lovers made!
 How often have I bless'd the coming day,
 When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
 And all the village train, from labour free,
 Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree;
 While many a pastime circled in the shade,
 The young contending as the old survey'd;
 And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
 And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
 And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
 Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired:
 The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
 By holding out to tire each other down;
 The swain, mistrustless of his smutted face,
 While secret laughter titter'd round the place;
 The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
 The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
 These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like these,
 With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please;
 These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,
 These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled.
   Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
 Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
 Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
 And desolation saddens all thy green:
 One only master grasps the whole domain,
 And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain;
 No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
 But, choked with sedges, works its weedy way;
 Along thy glades a solitary guest,
 The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
 Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
 And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
 Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
 And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;
 And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
 Far, far away, thy children leave the land.
   Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
 Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
 Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade—
 A breath can make them, as a breath has made—
 But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
 When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.
   A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
 When every rood of ground maintain'd its man:
 For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
 Just gave what life required, but gave no more:
 His best companions, innocence and health,
 And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
   But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train
 Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain:
 Along the lawn where scatter'd hamlets rose,
 Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose;
 And every want to luxury allied,
 And every pang that folly pays to pride.
 Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
 Those calm desires that ask'd but little room,
 Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,
 Lived in each look, and brighten'd all the green,
 These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,
 And rural mirth and manners are no more.
   Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,
 Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power.
 Here, as I take my solitary rounds
 Amidst thy tangling walks and ruin'd grounds,
 And, many a year elapsed, return to view
 Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,
 Remembrance wakes, with all her busy train,
 Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
   In all my wanderings round this world of care,
 In all my griefs—and God has given my share—
 I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,
 Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
 To husband out life's taper at the close,
 And keep the flame from wasting by repose:
 I still had hopes,—for pride attends us still,—
 Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill;
 Around my fire an evening group to draw,
 And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
 And, as a hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
 Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
 I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
 Here to return—and die at home at last.
   O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,
 Retreats from care, that never must be mine,
 How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
 A youth of labour with an age of ease;
 Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
 And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!
 For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
 Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep;
 Nor surly porter stands in guilty state
 To spurn imploring famine from the gate:
 But on he moves to meet his latter end,
 Angels around befriending virtue's friend;

[Illustration:

  "_The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung._"—_p._ 193.
]


 Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay,
 While resignation gently slopes the way;
 And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
 His heaven commences ere the world be past.
   Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
 Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
 There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
 The mingling notes came soften'd from below:
 The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung,
 The sober herd that low'd to meet their young;
 The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
 The playful children just let loose from school;
 The watch-dog's voice, that bay'd the whispering wind,
 And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
 These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
 And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
 But now the sounds of population fail,
 No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale;
 No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
 But all the bloomy flush of life is fled:
 All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
 That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;
 She, wretched matron! forced in age, for bread,
 To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
 To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
 To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn;
 She only left of all the harmless train,
 The said historian of the pensive plain.
   Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled,
 And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
 There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
 The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
 A man he was to all the country dear,
 And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
 Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
 Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;
 Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power
 By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
 Far other aims his heart had learnt to prize,
 More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
 His house was known to all the vagrant train;
 He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain:
 The long-remember'd beggar was his guest,
 Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
 The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
 Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd;
 The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
 Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away;
 Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
 Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won.
 Pleased with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow,
 And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
 Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
 His pity gave ere charity began.
   Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
 And e'en his failings lean'd to virtue's side;
 But in his duty prompt at every call,
 He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all;
 And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
 To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,
 He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
 Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
   Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
 And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd,
 The reverend champion stood. At his control
 Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
 Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
 And his last faltering accents whisper'd praise.
   At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
 His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
 Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
 And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
 The service past, around the pious man,
 With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
 E'en children follow'd with endearing wile,
 And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile.
 His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd,
 Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distress'd;
 To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
 But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
 As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
 Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
 Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
 Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
   Beside yon straggling fence, that skirts the way
 With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
 There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
 The village master taught his little school:
 A man severe he was, and stern to view,—
 I knew him well, and every truant knew;
 Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
 The day's disasters in his morning face;
 Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee
 At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
 Full well the busy whisper circling round,
 Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd:
 Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
 The love he bore to learning was in fault.
 The village all declared how much he knew,
 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
 Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
 And e'en the story ran—that he could gauge:
 In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill,
 For e'en though vanquish'd, he could argue still;
 While words of learned length and thundering sound
 Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;
 And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
 That one small head could carry all he knew.
 But past is all his fame. The very spot
 Where many a time he triumph'd is forgot.
   Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
 Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
 Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
 Where grey-beard mirth, and smiling toil retired,
 Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
 And news much older than their ale went round.
 Imagination fondly stoops to trace
 The parlour splendours of that festive place:
 The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor;
 The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door;
 The chest contrived a double debt to pay,
 A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
 The pictures placed for ornament and use;
 The Twelve Good Rules, the royal game of goose;
 The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
 With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay;
 While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,
 Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row.
 Vain transitory splendours! could not all
 Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
 Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
 An hour's importance to the poor man's heart;
 Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
 To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
 No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
 No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail;
 No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
 Relax his ponderous strength, and learn to hear:
 The host himself no longer shall be found
 Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
 Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press'd,
 Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.
   Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
 These simple blessings of the lowly train;
 To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
 One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
 Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,
 The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway;
 Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
 Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined.
 But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
 With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd,
 In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
 The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;

[Illustration:

  "_But in his duty prompt at every call._"—_p._ 194.
]


 And e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
 The heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy?
   Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
 The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
 'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
 Between a splendid and a happy land.
 Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
 And shouting folly hails them from the shore;
 Hoards e'en beyond the misers wish abound,
 And rich men flock from all the world around.
 Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name,
 That leaves our useful products still the same.
 Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride
 Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
 Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
 Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
 The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
 Has robb'd the neighbouring fields of half their growth;
 His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
 Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
 Around the world each needful product flies,
 For all the luxuries the world supplies.
 While thus the land, adorn'd for pleasure all,
 In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
   As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain,
 Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
 Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies,
 Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;
 But when those charms are past—for charms are frail—
 When time advances, and when lovers fail,
 She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
 In all the glaring impotence of dress.
 Thus fares the land by luxury betray'd:
 In nature's simplest charms at first array'd,
 But, verging to decline, its splendours rise,
 Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
 While, scourged by famine from the smiling land
 The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
 And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
 The country blooms—a garden, and a grave.
   Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
 To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
 If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd,
 He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
 Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
 And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
   If to the city sped—what waits him there?
 To see profusion that he must not share;
 To see ten thousand baneful arts combined
 To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
 To see each joy the sons of pleasure know,
 Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe,
 Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
 There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
 Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
 There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
 The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
 Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train:
 Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
 The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
 Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
 Sure these denote one universal joy!
 Are these thy serious thoughts? Ah! turn thine eyes
 Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
 She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
 Has wept at tales of innocence distrest;
 Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
 Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
 Now lost to all, her friends, her virtue fled,
 Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
 And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
 With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour
 When idly first, ambitious of the town,
 She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
   Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,
 Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
 E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
 At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
 Ah! no. To distant climes, a dreary scene,
 Where half the convex world intrudes between,
 Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
 Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
 Far different there from all that charm'd before,
 The various terrors of that horrid shore;
 Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
 And fiercely shed intolerable day;
 Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
 But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
 Those poisonous fields, with rank luxuriance crown'd,
 Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;
 Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
 The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;
 Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,
 And savage men, more murderous still than they;
 While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
 Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies.
 Far different these from every former scene,—
 The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green,
 The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
 That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
   Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day,
 That call'd them from their native walks away:
 When the poor exiles, every pleasure past,
 Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last,
 And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain
 For seats like these beyond the western main;
 And, shuddering still to face the distant deep,
 Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep.
 The good old sire the first prepared to go
 To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
 But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
 He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
 His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
 The fond companion of his helpless years,
 Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
 And left a lover's for a father's arms.
 With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
 And blessed the cot where every pleasure rose;
 And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
 And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
 Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief,
 In all the silent manliness of grief.
   O luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
 How ill exchanged are things like these for thee!
 How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
 Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
 Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
 Boast of a florid vigour not their own:
 At every draught more large and large they grow,
 A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
 Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
 Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
   E'en now the devastation is begun,
 And half the business of destruction done;
 E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
 I see the rural virtues leave the land.
 Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
 That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
 Downward they move, a melancholy band,
 Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
 Contented toil, and hospitable care,
 And kind connubial tenderness, are there;

[Illustration:

  "_Near her betrayer's door she lays her head._"—_p._ 199.
]


 And piety with wishes placed above,
 And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
 And thou, sweet Poetry! thou loveliest maid,
 Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
 Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame,
 To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
 Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
 My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
 Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe,
 That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
 Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
 Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
 Farewell; and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
 On Torno's cliffs or Pambamarca's side,
 Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
 Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
 Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
 Redress the rigours of the inclement clime;
 Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;
 Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
 Teach him that states, of native strength possess'd,
 Though very poor, may still be very blest;
 That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
 As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
 While self-dependent power can time defy,
 As rocks resist the billows and the sky.



                         THE HAUNCH OF VENISON.

                   A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE.


 Thanks, my Lord, for your Ven'son; for finer or fatter,
 Ne'er ranged in a forest or smoked in a platter.
 The haunch was a picture for painters to study,
 The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy;
 Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting
 To spoil such a delicate picture by eating:
 I had thoughts in my chamber to place it in view,
 To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù;
 As in some Irish houses, where things are so-so,
 One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show;
 But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
 They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
 But hold—let me pause—Don't I hear you pronounce
 This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce?
 Well! suppose it a bounce—sure a poet may try,
 By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
 But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
 It's a truth—and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.[2]
   To go on with my tale—as I gazed on the Haunch,
 I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch;
 So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest,
 To paint it, or eat it, just as he liked best.
 Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose—
 'Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's:
 But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
 With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
 There's H—d, and C—y, and H—rth, and H—ff,
 I think they love ven'son—I know they love beef;
 There's my countryman, Higgins—Oh! let him alone
 For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
 But, hang it! to poets, who seldom can eat,
 Your very good mutton's a very good treat;
 Such dainties to them their health it might hurt;
 It's like sending them ruffles when wanting a shirt.
 While thus I debated, in reverie centred,
 An acquaintance—a friend as he call'd himself—enter'd:
 An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he;
 And he smiled as he look'd at the Ven'son and me.
 "What have we got here?—Why, this is good eating!
 Your own, I suppose—or is it in waiting?"
 "Why, whose should it be?" cried I, with a flounce;
 "I get these things often"—but that was a bounce:
 "Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
 Are pleased to be kind—but I hate ostentation."
 "If that be the case then," cried he, very gay,
 "I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
 To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
 No words—I insist on't—precisely at three:
 We'll have Johnson and Burke; all the wits will be there;
 My acquaintance is slight or I'd ask my Lord Clare.
 And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
 We wanted this Ven'son to make out a dinner.
 What say you—a pasty?—it shall, and it must,
 And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
 Here, porter!—this Ven'son with me to Mile-end;
 No stirring, I beg,—my dear friend—my dear friend!"
 Thus, snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind,
 And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Footnote 2:

  Lord Clare's nephew.

   Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
 And "nobody with me at sea but myself,"[3]
 Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
 Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good ven'son pasty,
 Were things that I never disliked in my life,
 Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
 So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,
 I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach.
   When come to the place where we all were to dine,
 (A chair-lumber'd closet, just twelve feet by nine,)
 My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb
 With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come.
 "For I knew it," he cried; "both eternally fail,
 The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale.
 But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
 With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
 The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew;
 They're both of them merry, and authors like you.
 The one writes the 'Snarler,' the other the 'Scourge:'
 Some think he writes 'Cinna'—he owns to 'Panurge.'"
 While thus he described them by trade and by name,
 They entered, and dinner was served as they came.
   At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen,
 At the bottom was tripe in a swingeing tureen;
 At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot;
 In the middle a place where the Pasty—was not.
 Now, my Lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
 And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
 So there I sat stuck like a horse in a pound,
 While the bacon and liver went merrily round:
 But what vexed me most was that d——d Scottish rogue,
 With his long-winded speeches, his smiles, and his brogue;
 And, "Madam," quoth he, "may this bit be my poison,
 A prettier dinner I never set eyes on!
 Pray, a slice of your liver, though, may I be curst,
 But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst."
 "The tripe!" quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek,
 "I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week;
 I like these here dinners, so pretty and small:
 But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all."
 "Oho!" quoth my friend, "he'll come on in a trice:
 He's keeping a corner for something that's nice;
 There's a Pasty"—"A Pasty!" repeated the Jew,
 "I don't care if I keep a corner for't too."

Footnote 3:

   See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry Duke of
   Cumberland, and Lady Grosvenor. 12mo., 1769.

[Illustration:

  "_I had thoughts in my chamber to place it in view._"—_p._ 202.
]


 "What the de'il, mon, a Pasty!" re-echoed the Scot,
 "Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that."
 "We'll all keep a corner," the lady cried out;
 "We'll all keep a corner," was echoed about.
 While thus we resolved, and the Pasty delay'd,
 With looks that quite petrified enter'd the maid;
 A visage so sad and so pale with affright
 Waked Priam in drawing his curtains by night.
 But we quickly found out—for who could mistake her?—
 That she came with some terrible news from the baker:
 And so it fell out; for that negligent sloven
 Had shut out the Pasty on shutting his oven!
 Sad Philomel thus—but let similes drop—
 And, now that I think on't, the story may stop.
   To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplaced
 To send such good verses to one of your taste:
 You've got an odd something—a kind of discerning—
 A relish—a taste—sicken'd over by learning;
 At least, it's your temper, as very well known,
 That you think very slightly of all that's your own:
 So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss,
 You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.



                                 SONG.


             O Memory! thou fond deceiver,
               Still importunate and vain,
             To former joys recurring ever,
               And turning all the past to pain:

             Thou, like the world, the oppress'd oppressing,
               Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe;
             And he who wants each other blessing,
               In thee must ever find a foe.



                             THE CAPTIVITY.

                              AN ORATORIO.


                              THE PERSONS.


 FIRST JEWISH PROPHET.
 SECOND JEWISH PROPHET.
 ISRAELITISH WOMAN.
 FIRST CHALDEAN PRIEST.
 SECOND CHALDEAN PRIEST.
 CHALDEAN WOMAN.

                      CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS.

 SCENE—_The Banks of the River Euphrates, near Babylon._



                                 ACT I.

 ISRAELITES _sitting on the banks of the Euphrates_.

                             FIRST PROPHET.

                             _Recitative._

              Ye captive tribes, that hourly work and weep
              Where flows Euphrates murmuring to the deep,
              Suspend your woes awhile, the task suspend,
              And turn to God, your father and your friend:
              Insulted, chained, and all the world our foe,
              Our God alone is all we boast below.

                  _Air._

                  Our God is all we boast below,
                    To him we turn our eyes;
                  And every added weight of woe
                    Shall make our homage rise.

                  SECOND PROPHET.

                  And though no temple richly drest,
                    Nor sacrifice is here;
                  We'll make his temple in our breast,
                    And offer up a tear.

                              _The first stanza repeated by the_ CHORUS.

 ISRAELITISH WOMAN.

 _Recitative._

 That strain once more! it bids remembrance rise,
 And brings my long-lost country to mine eyes.
 Ye fields of Sharon, dress'd in flowery pride;
 Ye plains, where Kedron rolls its glassy tide;
 Ye hills of Lebanon, with cedars crown'd;
 Ye Gilead groves, that fling perfumes around:
 How sweet those groves! those plains how wondrous fair!
 But doubly sweet when Heaven was with us there.

                                 _Air._

                O Memory, thou fond deceiver!
                  Still importunate and vain;
                To former joys recurring ever,
                  And turning all the past to pain;
                Hence, intruder most distressing!
                  Seek the happy and the free;
                The wretch who wants each other blessing,
                  Ever wants a friend in thee.


                SECOND PROPHET.

                _Recitative._

 Yet, why complain? What though by bonds confined,
 Should bonds repress the vigour of the mind?
 Have we not cause for triumph, when we see
 Ourselves alone from idol-worship free?
 Are not, this very morn, those feasts begun,
 Where prostrate Error hails the rising sun?
 Do not our tyrant lords this day ordain
 For superstitious rites and mirth profane?
 And should we mourn? Should coward Virtue fly,
 When vaunting Folly lifts her head on high?
 No! rather let us triumph still the more,
 And as our fortune sinks, our spirits soar.

 _Air._

                  The triumphs that on vice attend
                  Shall ever in confusion end:
                  The good man suffers but to gain,
                  And every virtue springs from pain:
                  As aromatic plants bestow
                  No spicy fragrance while they grow;
                  But crush'd or trodden to the ground,
                  Diffuse their balmy sweets around.

                  FIRST PROPHET.

                  _Recitative._

 But hush, my sons! our tyrant lords are near;
 The sounds of barbarous pleasure strike mine ear;
 Triumphant music floats along the vale;
 Near, nearer still, it gathers on the gale:
 The growing sound their swift approach declares;—
 Desist, my sons, nor mix the strain with theirs.

[Illustration:

  "_Desist, my sons, nor mix the
  strain with theirs._"—_p. 209._
]


 _Enter_ CHALDEAN PRIESTS, _attended_.

              FIRST PRIEST.

              _Air._


              Come on, my companions, the triumph display,
                Let rapture the minutes employ;
              The sun calls us out on this festival day,
                And our monarch partakes in the joy.

 SECOND PRIEST.

          Like the sun, our great monarch all rapture supplies,
            Both similar blessings bestow:
          The sun with his splendour illumines the skies,
            And our monarch enlivens below.


                A CHALDEAN WOMAN.

                _Air._

                Haste, ye sprightly sons of pleasure,
                Love presents the fairest treasure,
                  Leave all other joys for me.


                A CHALDEAN ATTENDANT.


                Or rather, Love's delights despising,
                Haste to raptures ever rising,
                  Wine shall bless the brave and free.


                FIRST PRIEST.


                Wine and beauty thus inviting,
                Each to different joys exciting,
                  Whither shall my choice incline?


                SECOND PRIEST.


                I'll waste no longer thought in choosing;
                But neither this nor that refusing,
                  I'll make them both together mine.


                FIRST PRIEST.

                _Recitative._


 But whence, when joy should brighten o'er the land,
 This sullen gloom in Judah's captive band?
 Ye sons of Judah, why the lute unstrung?
 Or why those harps on yonder willows hung?
 Come, take the lyre, and pour the strain along,
 The day demands it: sing us Sion's song.
 Dismiss your griefs, and join our warbling choir;
 For who like you can wake the sleeping lyre!


 SECOND PROPHET.


 Chain'd as we are, the scorn of all mankind,
 To want, to toil, and every ill consign'd,
 Is this a time to bid us raise the strain,
 Or mix in rites that Heaven regards with pain?
 No, never! May this hand forget each art
 That wakes to finest joys the human heart,
 Ere I forget the land that gave me birth,
 Or join to sounds profane its sacred mirth!


 FIRST PRIEST.


 Rebellious slaves! if soft persuasions fail,
 More formidable terrors shall prevail.

                                                     _Exeunt_ CHALDEANS.

 FIRST PROPHET.

 Why, let them come! one good remains to cheer—
 We fear the Lord, and scorn all other fear.

                  CHORUS.

                  _Can chains or tortures bend the mind
                  On God's supporting breast reclined?
                  Stand fast, and let our tyrants see
                  That fortitude is victory._

                                                               _Exeunt._



                                ACT II.


                CHORUS OF ISRAELITES.


                _O peace of mind, angelic guest!
                Thou soft companion of the breast!
                  Dispense thy balmy store;
                Wing all our thoughts to reach the skies,
                Till earth, receding from our eyes,
                  Shall vanish as we soar._

                              FIRST PRIEST.

                              _Recitative._

 No more! Too long has justice been delay'd;
 The king's commands must fully be obey'd:
 Compliance with his will your peace secures;
 Praise but our gods, and every good is yours.
 But if, rebellious to his high command,
 You spurn the favours offer'd from his hand,
 Think, timely think, what terrors are behind;
 Reflect, nor tempt to rage the royal mind.

                     SECOND PRIEST.

                     _Air._


                     Fierce is the whirlwind howling
                       O'er Afric's sandy plain,
                     And fierce the tempest rolling
                       Along the furrow'd main;
                         But storms that fly
                         To rend the sky,
                       Every ill presaging,
                         Less dreadful show
                         To worlds below
                       Than angry monarch's raging.


                     ISRAELITISH WOMAN.

                     _Recitative._


 Ah, me! what angry terrors round us grow;
 How shrinks my soul to meet the threaten'd blow!
 Ye prophets, skill'd in Heaven's eternal truth,
 Forgive my sex's fears, forgive my youth!
 Ah! let us one, one little hour obey;
 To-morrow's tears may wash the stain away.


                  _Air._


                  Fatigued with life, yet loth to part,
                    On Hope the wretch relies;
                  And every blow that sinks the heart
                    Bids the deluder rise.
                  Hope, like the taper's gleamy light,
                    Adorns the wretch's way;
                  And still, as darker grows the night,
                    Emits a brighter ray.


                  SECOND PRIEST.

 Why this delay? At length for joy prepare;
 I read your looks, and see compliance there.
 Come on, and bid the warbling rapture rise:
 Our monarch's fame the noblest theme supplies.
 Begin, ye captive bands, and strike the lyre;
 The time, the theme, the place, and all conspire.

                             CHALDEAN WOMAN.

                                 _Air._

                  See the ruddy morning smiling,
                  Hear the grove to bliss beguiling;
                  Zephyrs through the woodland playing,
                  Streams along the valley straying.

[Illustration:

  "_The master-prophet grasps his full-toned lyre.
  Mark where he sits._"—_p. 214._
]

                   FIRST PRIEST.


                   While these a constant revel keep,
                   Shall Reason only teach to weep?
                   Hence, intruder! we'll pursue
                   Nature, a better guide than you.


                   SECOND PRIEST.


                   Every moment, as it flows,
                   Some peculiar pleasure owes;
                   Then let us, providently wise,
                   Seize the debtor ere it flies.
                   Think not to-morrow can repay
                   The debt of pleasure lost to-day;
                   Alas! to-morrow's richest store
                   Can but pay its proper score.

                   FIRST PRIEST.

                              _Recitative._

 But, hush! See, foremost of the captive choir,
 The master-prophet grasps his full-toned lyre.
 Mark where he sits, with executing art,
 Feels for each tone, and speeds it to the heart.
 See how prophetic rapture fills his form,
 Awful as clouds that nurse the growing storm;
 And now his voice, accordant to the string,
 Prepares our monarch's victories to sing.

              FIRST PROPHET.

              _Air._

              From north, from south, from east, from west,
                Conspiring nations come;
              Tremble, thou vice-polluted breast,
                Blasphemers, all be dumb.
              The tempest gathers all around,
                On Babylon it lies;
              Down with her! down—down to the ground!
                She sinks, she groans, she dies.

              SECOND PROPHET.

              Down with her, Lord, to lick the dust,
                Ere yonder setting sun;
              Serve her as she has served the just!
                'Tis fix'd—it shall be done.

              FIRST PRIEST.

              _Recitative._

 No more! When slaves thus insolent presume,
 The king himself shall judge, and fix their doom.
 Unthinking wretches! have not you and all
 Beheld our power in Zedekiah's fall?
 To yonder gloomy dungeon turn your eyes,
 See where dethroned your captive monarch lies;
 Deprived of sight and rankling in his chain,
 See where he mourns his friends and children slain.
 Yet know, ye slaves, that still remain behind
 More ponderous chains, and dungeons more confined.

                  CHORUS OF ALL.

                  _Arise, all potent Ruler, rise,
                    And vindicate thy people's cause:
                  Till every tongue in every land
                    Shall offer up unfeigned applause._

                                                               _Exeunt._



                                ACT III.


                              FIRST PRIEST.

                              _Recitative._

 Yes, my companions, Heaven's decrees are passed,
 And our fix'd empire shall for ever last;
 In vain the madd'ning prophet threatens woe,
 In vain Rebellion aims her secret blow;
 Still shall our name and growing power be spread,
 And still our justice crush the traitor's head.

                        _Air._

                        Coeval with man
                        Our empire began,
                        And never shall fall
                        Till ruin shakes all.
                        When ruin shakes all,
                        Then shall Babylon fall.

                        FIRST PROPHET.

                        _Recitative._

 'Tis thus that Pride triumphant rears the head;—
 A little while, and all their power is fled.
 But, ah! what means yon sadly plaintive train,
 That this way slowly bend along the plain?
 And now, behold! to yonder bank they bear
 A pallid corse, and rest the body there.
 Alas! too well mine eyes indignant trace
 The last remains of Judah's royal race:
 Fallen is our king, and all our fears are o'er,
 Unhappy Zedekiah is no more!

                _Air._

                Ye wretches, who by fortune's hate
                  In want and sorrow groan,
                Come, ponder his severer fate,
                  And learn to bless your own.
                You vain, whom youth and pleasure guide,
                  Awhile the bliss suspend:
                Like yours, his life began in pride;
                  Like his, your lives shall end.

                SECOND PROPHET.

 Behold his wretched corse with sorrow worn,
 His squalid limbs with ponderous fetters torn;
 Those eyeless orbs that shock with ghastly glare,
 Those unbecoming rags, that matted hair!
 And shall not Heaven for this avenge the foe,
 Grasp the red bolt, and lay the guilty low?
 How long, how long, Almighty God of all,
 Shall wrath vindictive threaten ere it fall?

              ISRAELITISH WOMAN.

              _Air._

              As panting flies the hunted hind,
                Where brooks refreshing stray;
              And rivers through the valley wind,
                That stop the hunter's way:

              Thus we, O Lord, alike distress'd,
                For streams of mercy long:
              Those streams which cheer the sore oppress'd,
                And overwhelm the strong.

              FIRST PROPHET.

              _Recitative._

 But whence that shout? Good heavens! amazement all!
 See yonder tower just nodding to the fall:
 Behold, an army covers all the ground!
 'Tis Cyrus here that pours destruction round!
 The ruin smokes, destruction pours along:
 How low the great, how feeble are the strong!
 And now, behold, the battlements recline—
 O God of hosts, the victory is thine!

                CHORUS OF CAPTIVES.

                _Down with them, Lord, to lick the dust!
                  Thy vengeance be begun:
                Serve them as they have served the just,
                  And let thy will be done._

                FIRST PRIEST.

                _Recitative._

 All, all is lost. The Syrian army fails;
 Cyrus, the conqueror of the world, prevails!
 The ruin smokes, the torrent pours along,—
 How low the proud, how feeble are the strong!
 Save us, O Lord! to thee, though late, we pray,
 And give repentance but an hour's delay.

                    FIRST AND SECOND PRIESTS.

                    _Air._

                    O happy, who in happy hour
                      To God their praise bestow,
                    And own his all-consuming power,
                      Before they feel the blow.

                    SECOND PROPHET.

                    _Recitative._

 Now, now's our time! Ye wretches bold and blind,
 Brave but to God, and cowards to mankind,
 Ye seek in vain the Lord, unsought before:
 Your wealth, your pride, your kingdom are no more!

                _Air._

                O Lucifer, thou son of morn,
                Alike of Heaven and man the foe,—
                  Heaven, men, and all,
                  Now press thy fall,
                And sink thee lowest of the low.

                FIRST PROPHET.

                O Babylon, how art thou fallen!
                Thy fall more dreadful from delay!
                  Thy streets forlorn
                  To wilds shall turn,
                Where toads shall pant and vultures prey.

                SECOND PROPHET.

                _Recitative._

 Such be her fate! But hark! how from afar
 The clarion's note proclaims the finish'd war!
 Our great restorer, Cyrus, is at hand,
 And this way leads his formidable band.
 Give, give your songs of Zion to the wind,
 And hail the benefactor of mankind:
 He comes, pursuant to divine decree,
 To chain the strong, and set the captive free.

             CHORUS OF YOUTHS.

             _Rise to transports past expressing,
               Sweeter by remember'd woes;
             Cyrus comes, our wrongs redressing,
               Comes to give the world repose._

             CHORUS OF VIRGINS.

             _Cyrus comes, the world redressing,
               Love and pleasure in his train;
             Comes to heighten every blessing,
               Comes to soften every pain._

             SEMI-CHORUS.

             _Hail to him, with mercy reigning,
               Skill'd in every peaceful art;
             Who, from bonds our limbs unchaining,
               Only binds the willing heart._

             LAST CHORUS.

             _But chief to Thee, our God, defender, friend,
               Let praise be given to all eternity;
             O Thou, without beginning, without end,
               Let us, and all, begin and end in Thee._

                              RETALIATION.


                                 A POEM.

         FIRST PRINTED IN MDCCLXXIV., AFTER THE AUTHOR'S DEATH.

 Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends occasionally dined at the St.
 James's Coffee-house. One day it was proposed to write epitaphs on him.
 His country, dialect, and person furnished subjects of witticism. He
 was called on for retaliation, and at their next meeting produced the
 following poem.

 Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
 Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
 If our landlord[4] supplies us with beef and with fish,
 Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish.
 Our Dean[5] shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
 Our Burke[6] shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains;
 Our Will[7] shall be wild-fowl of excellent flavour,
 And Dick[8] with his pepper shall heighten the savour;
 Our Cumberland's[9] sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
 And Douglas[10] is pudding, substantial and plain;
 Our Garrick's[11] a salad; for in him we see
 Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
 To make out the dinner, full certain I am
 That Ridge[12] is anchovy, and Reynolds[13] is lamb;
 That Hickey's[14] a capon, and, by the same rule,
 Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
 At a dinner so various—at such a repast
 Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
 Here, waiter, more wine! let me sit while I'm able,
 Till all my companions sink under the table,
 Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
 Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

Footnote 4:

   The master of the St. James's Coffee-house, where the poet, and the
   friends he has characterised in this poem, occasionally dined.

Footnote 5:

   Dr. Barnard, Dean of Derry in Ireland.

Footnote 6:

   The Right Hon. Edmund Burke.

Footnote 7:

   Mr. William Burke, late secretary to General Conway, member for
   Bedwin, and afterwards holding office in India.

Footnote 8:

   Mr. Richard Burke, collector of Granada; afterwards Recorder of
   Bristol.

Footnote 9:

   Richard Cumberland, Esq., author of the "West-Indian," "Fashionable
   Lover," "The Brothers," "Calvary," &c., &c.

Footnote 10:

   Dr. Douglas, Canon of Windsor (afterwards Bishop of Salisbury), an
   ingenious Scotch gentleman, who has no less distinguished himself as
   a citizen of the world, than a sound critic, in detecting several
   literary mistakes (or rather forgeries) of his countrymen;
   particularly Lauder on Milton, and Bower's "History of the Popes."

Footnote 11:

   David Garrick, Esq.

Footnote 12:

   Counsellor John Ridge, a gentleman belonging to the Irish Bar.

Footnote 13:

   Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Footnote 14:

   An eminent attorney.

   Here lies the good Dean, reunited to earth,
 Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
 If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt;
 At least, in six weeks I could not find 'em out;
 Yet some have declared, and it can't be denied 'em,
 That Sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
 Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
 We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much;
 Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
 And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
 Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
 To persuade Tommy Townshend[15] to lend him a vote;
 Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
 And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining:
 Though equal to all things, for all things unfit,
 Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit;
 For a patriot, too cool; for a drudge, disobedient;
 And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
 In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd or in place, sir,
 To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
   Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint,
 While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
 The pupil of impulse, it forced him along,
 His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;
 Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,—
 The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home:
 Would you ask for his merits? alas! he had none:
 What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
   Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at;
 Alas! that such frolic should now be so quiet!
 What spirits were his! what wit and what whim!
 Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb![16]
 Now wrangling and grumbling, to keep up the ball!
 Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!
 In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,
 That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick;
 But missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
 As often we wish'd to have Dick back again.
   Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
 The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
 A flattering painter, who made it his care
 To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.

Footnote 15:

   Mr. Thomas Townshend, member for Whitchurch.

Footnote 16:

   Mr. Richard Burke. This gentleman having fractured an arm and a leg
   at different times, the Doctor has rallied him on these accidents, as
   a kind of retributive justice for breaking his jests upon other
   people.

[Illustration:

  _Dr. Goldsmith and some of his friends at the
  St. James's Coffee-house._—_p._ 219.
]


 His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
 And Comedy wonders at being so fine;
 Like a tragedy queen he has dizen'd her out,
 Or rather like Tragedy giving a rout.
 His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
 Of virtues and feelings, that Folly grows proud;
 And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
 Adopting his portraits, are pleased with their own.
 Say, where has our poet this malady caught,
 Or wherefore his characters thus without fault?
 Say was it, that vainly directing his view
 To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
 Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
 He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
   Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
 The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks:
 Come all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
 Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines:
 When satire and censure encircled his throne,
 I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own:
 But now he is gone, and we want a detector,
 Our Dodds[17] shall be pious, our Kenricks[18] shall lecture;
 Macpherson[19] write bombast, and call it a style;
 Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile:
 New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
 No countryman living their tricks to discover;
 Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
 And Scotchman meet Scotchman, and cheat in the dark.
   Here lies David Garrick, describe him who can,—
 An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
 As an actor confess'd without rival to shine;
 As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
 Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
 The man had his failings,—a dupe to his art.
 Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
 And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red.
 On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
 'Twas only that when he was off he was acting:
 With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
 He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day:
 Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
 If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
 He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
 For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
 Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
 And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame;

Footnote 17:

   The Rev. William Dodd.

Footnote 18:

   Dr. Kenrick, who read lectures at the Devil Tavern, under the title
   of "The School of Shakspeare."

Footnote 19:

   James Macpherson, Esq., who lately, from the mere force of his style,
   wrote down the first poet of all antiquity.

 Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
 Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.
 But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
 If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
 Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys,[20] and Woodfalls[21] so grave,
 What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
 How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
 While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were bepraised!
 But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
 To act as an angel and mix with the skies:
 Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill
 Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will;
 Old Shakspeare receive him with praise and with love,
 And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
   Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt pleasant creature,
 And slander itself must allow him good-nature;
 He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper;
 Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper!
 Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser?
 I answer, No, no, for he always was wiser.
 Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
 His very worst foe can't accuse him of that.
 Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
 And so was too foolishly honest? Ah, no!
 Then what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye!
 He was—could he help it?—a special attorney.
   Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
 He has not left a wiser or better behind;
 His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
 His manners were gentle, complying, and bland;
 Still born to improve us in every part,
 His pencil our faces, his manners our heart;
 To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
 When they judged without skill, he was still hard of hearing:
 When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,
 He shifted his trumpet,[22] and only took snuff.

Footnote 20:

   Mr. Hugh Kelly, author of "False Delicacy," "Word to the Wise,"
   "Clementina," "School for Wives," &c., &c.

Footnote 21:

   Mr. William Woodfall, printer of the "Morning Chronicle."

Footnote 22:

   Sir Joshua Reynolds was so remarkably deaf, as to be under the
   necessity of using an ear-trumpet in company.

                               POSTSCRIPT.

 (After the fourth edition of this poem was printed, the publisher
 received the following epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord,[23] from a friend of
 the late Dr. Goldsmith.)

 Here Whitefoord reclines, and deny it who can,
 Though he merrily lived, he is now a grave[24] man:
 Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun;
 Who relish'd a joke, and rejoiced in a pun;
 Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
 A stranger to flatt'ry, a stranger to fear;
 Who scatter'd around wit and humour at will;
 Whose daily _bons mots_ half a column might fill:
 A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free;
 A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
 What pity, alas! that so lib'ral a mind
 Should so long be to newspaper essays confined!
 Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
 Yet content "if the table he set in a roar;"
 Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
 Yet happy if Woodfall[25] confessed him a wit.
 Ye newspaper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks!
 Who copied his squibs and re-echoed his jokes;
 Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come,
 Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:
 To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
 And copious libations bestow on his shrine;
 Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
 Cross-readings, Ship-news, and Mistakes of the Press.
 Merry Whitefoord[26], farewell; for thy sake I admit
 That a Scot may have humour: I had almost said wit—
 This debt to thy mem'ry I cannot refuse,
 "Thou best-humour'd man with the worst-humour'd Muse."

Footnote 23:

   Mr. Caleb Whitefoord, author of many humorous essays.

Footnote 24:

   Mr. Whitefoord was so notorious a punster, that Dr. Goldsmith used to
   say it was impossible to keep his company without being infected with
   the itch of punning.

Footnote 25:

   Mr. H. S. Woodfall, printer of the "Public Advertiser."

Footnote 26:

   Mr. Whitefoord had frequently indulged the town with humorous pieces,
   under those titles, in the "Public Advertiser."

[Illustration: A seated woman]

                                  SONG.


                     "AH ME! WHEN SHALL I MARRY ME?"

  INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SUNG IN THE COMEDY OF "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."

          Ah me! when shall I marry me?
            Lovers are plenty, but fail to relieve me.
          He, fond youth, that could carry me,
            Offers to love, but means to deceive me.

          But I will rally, and combat the ruiner:
            Not a look, nor a smile shall my passion discover.
          She that gives all to the false one pursuing her,
            Makes but a penitent, and loses a lover.

                              THE HERMIT.

                A BALLAD.


                "Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
                  And guide my lonely way
                To where yon taper cheers the vale
                  With hospitable ray.

                "For here forlorn and lost I tread,
                  With fainting steps and slow;
                Where wilds immeasurably spread,
                  Seem lengthening as I go."

                "Forbear, my son," the hermit cries,
                  "To tempt the dangerous gloom;
                For yonder faithless phantom flies
                  To lure thee to thy doom.

                "Here to the houseless child of want
                  My door is open still;
                And though my portion is but scant
                  I give it with good will.

                "Then turn to-night, and freely share
                  Whate'er my cell bestows:
                My rushy couch and frugal fare,
                  My blessing, and repose.

                "No flocks that range the valley free
                  To slaughter I condemn;
                Taught by that Power that pities me,
                  I learn to pity them.

                "But from the mountain's grassy side
                  A guiltless feast I bring;
                A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
                  And water from the spring.

                "Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
                  All earth-born cares are wrong;
                Man wants but little here below,
                  Nor wants that little long."

                Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
                  His gentle accents fell:
                The modest stranger lowly bends,
                  And follows to the cell.

                Far in a wilderness obscure
                  The lonely mansion lay;
                A refuge to the neighbouring poor,
                  And strangers led astray.

                No stores beneath its humble thatch
                  Required a master's care;
                The wicket, opening with a latch,
                  Received the harmless pair.

                And now, when busy crowds retire
                  To take their evening rest,
                The hermit trimmed his little fire
                  And cheered his pensive guest;

                And spread his vegetable store,
                  And gaily pressed, and smiled;
                And skilled in legendary lore
                  The lingering hours beguiled.

                Around, in sympathetic mirth,
                  Its tricks the kitten tries;
                The cricket chirrups in the hearth,
                  The crackling faggot flies.

                But nothing could a charm impart
                  To soothe the strangers woe;
                For grief was heavy at his heart,
                  And tears began to flow.

                His rising cares the hermit spied,
                  With answering care opprest:
                "And whence, unhappy youth," he cried,
                  "The sorrows of thy breast?

                "From better habitations spurned,
                  Reluctant dost thou rove?
                Or grieve for friendship unreturned,
                  Or unregarded love?

                "Alas! the joys that fortune brings
                  Are trifling and decay;
                And those who prize the paltry things,
                  More trifling still than they.

                "And what is friendship but a name,
                  A charm that lulls to sleep,
                A shade that follows wealth or fame,
                  But leaves the wretch to weep?

                "And love is still an emptier sound,
                  The modern fair one's jest;
                On earth unseen, or only found
                  To warm the turtle's nest.

                "For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
                  And spurn the sex," he said:
                But while he spoke, a rising blush
                  His love-lorn guest betrayed.

                Surprised he sees new beauties rise,
                  Swift mantling to the view;
                Like colours o'er the morning skies,
                  As bright, as transient too.

                The bashful look, the rising breast,
                  Alternate spread alarms:
                The lovely stranger stands confest
                  A maid in all her charms!

                And "Ah, forgive a stranger rude,
                  A wretch forlorn," she cried;
                "Whose feet unhallowed thus intrude
                  Where heaven and you reside.

                "But let a maid thy pity share,
                  Whom love has taught to stray;
                Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
                  Companion of her way.

                "My father lived beside the Tyne,
                  A wealthy lord was he:
                And all his wealth was marked as mine;
                  He had but only me.

                "To win me from his tender arms,
                  Unnumbered suitors came,
                Who praised me for imputed charms,
                  And felt or feigned a flame.

                "Each hour a mercenary crowd
                  With richest proffers strove;
                Among the rest young Edwin bowed,
                  But never talked of love."

[Illustration: "_Turn gentle hermit._"—_p._ 226.]

                "In humble, simplest habit clad,
                  No wealth nor power had he;
                Wisdom and worth were all he had,
                  But these were all to me.

                "The blossom opening to the day,
                  The dews of heaven refined,
                Could nought of purity display
                  To emulate his mind.

                "The dew, the blossom on the tree,
                  With charms inconstant shine;
                Their charms were his, but, woe is me!
                  Their constancy was mine!

                "For still I tried each fickle art,
                  Importunate and vain;
                And while his passion touched my heart,
                  I triumphed in his pain.

                "Till quite dejected with my scorn,
                  He left me to my pride;
                And sought a solitude forlorn,
                  In secret where he died.

                "But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
                  And well my life shall pay;
                I'll seek the solitude he sought,
                  And stretch me where he lay.

                "And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
                  I'll lay me down and die;
                'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
                  And so for him will I."—

                "Forbid it, Heaven!" the hermit cried,
                  And clasped her to his breast:
                The wond'ring fair one turned to chide,—
                  'Twas Edwin's self that prest!

                "Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
                  My charmer, turn to see
                Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
                  Restored to love and thee!

                "Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
                  And every care resign:
                And shall we never, never part,
                  My life—my all that's mine?

                "No, never from this hour to part,
                  We'll live and love so true;
                The sigh that rends thy constant heart
                  Shall break thy Edwin's too."

                       THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION.


                                 A TALE.


               Secluded from domestic strife,
               Jack Bookworm led a college life;
               A fellowship at twenty-five
               Made him the happiest man alive:
               He drank his glass and crack'd his joke,
               And freshmen wonder'd as he spoke.
                 Such pleasures, unalloy'd with care,
               Could any accident impair?
               Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix
               Our swain, arrived at thirty-six?
               Oh, had the Archer ne'er come down
               To ravage in a country town!
               Or Flavia been content to stop
               At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop!
               Oh, had her eyes forgot to blaze!
               Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze!
               Oh!——But let exclamations cease:
               Her presence banish'd all his peace.
               So with decorum all things carried,
               Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then—was
               married.
                 Need we expose to vulgar sight
               The raptures of the bridal night?
               Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
               Or draw the curtains closed around?
               Let it suffice that each had charms;
               He clasp'd a goddess in his arms;
               And though she felt his usage rough,
               Yet in a man 'twas well enough.
                 The honey-moon like lightning flew;
               The second brought its transports too;
               A third, a fourth, were not amiss;
               The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss:
               But, when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
               Jack found his goddess made of clay;
               Found half the charms that deck'd her face
               Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
               But still the worst remain'd behind,—
               That very face had robb'd her mind.
                 Skill'd in no other arts was she
               But dressing, patching, repartee;
               And, just as humour rose or fell,
               By turns a slattern or a belle.
               'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace,—
               Half-naked at a ball or race;
               But when at home, at board or bed,
               Five greasy nightcaps wrapp'd her head.
               Could so much beauty condescend
               To be a dull domestic friend?
               Could any curtain lectures bring
               To decency so fine a thing?
               In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting;
               By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
               Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
               Of powder'd coxcombs at her levy;
               The squire and captain took their stations,
               And twenty other near relations:
               Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
               A sigh in suffocating smoke;
               While all their hours were pass'd between
               Insulting repartee and spleen.
                 Thus, as her faults each day were known,
               He thinks her features coarser grown;
               He fancies every vice she shows
               Or thins her lip, or points her nose:
               Whenever rage or envy rise,
               How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
               He knows not how, but so it is,
               Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
               And, though her fops are wondrous civil,
               He thinks her ugly as the devil.
                 Now, to perplex the ravell'd noose,
               As each a different way pursues,
               While sullen or loquacious strife
               Promised to hold them on for life,
               That dire disease, whose ruthless power
               Withers the beauty's transient flower,—
               Lo! the small-pox, with horrid glare,
               Levell'd its terrors at the fair;
               And, rifling every youthful grace,
               Left but the remnant of a face.
                 The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
               Reflected now a perfect fright;
               Each former art she vainly tries
               To bring back lustre to her eyes;
               In vain she tries her paste and creams
               To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
               Her country beaux and city cousins,
               Lovers no more, flew off by dozens;
               The squire himself was seen to yield,
               And ev'n the captain quit the field.

[Illustration:

  "_By turns a slattern or a belle._"—_p._ 232.
]


                    Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
                  The rest of life with anxious Jack,
                  Perceiving others fairly flown,
                  Attempted pleasing him alone.
                  Jack soon was dazzled to behold
                  Her present face surpass the old:
                  With modesty her cheeks are dyed;
                  Humility displaces pride;
                  For tawdry finery is seen
                  A person ever neatly clean;
                  No more presuming on her sway,
                  She learns good-nature every day;
                  Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
                  Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                               THE GIFT.


                 TO IRIS, IN BOW STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

                       IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH.


                Say, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
                  Dear mercenary beauty,
                What annual offering shall I make
                  Expressive of my duty?

                My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
                  Should I at once deliver,
                Say, would the angry fair one prize
                  The gift, who slights the giver?

                A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
                  My rivals give—and let 'em;
                If gems or gold impart a joy,
                  I'll give them—when I get 'em.

                I'll give—but not the full-blown rose,
                  Or rose-bud more in fashion:
                Such short-lived off'rings but disclose
                  A transitory passion.

                I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
                  Not less sincere than civil,—
                I'll give thee—ah! too charming maid!—
                  I'll give thee—to the Devil.

                         THRENODIA AUGUSTALIS,


               SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF HER ROYAL HIGHNESS
                     THE PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES.

                             ADVERTISEMENT.

(The following may more properly be termed a compilation than a poem. It
was prepared for the composer in little more than two days; and may
therefore rather be considered as an industrious effort of gratitude
than of genius. In justice to the composer it may likewise be right to
inform the public that the music was composed in a period of time
equally short.)


                 OVERTURE.—_A solemn Dirge._


                 _Air.—Trio._


                 Arise, ye sons of worth, arise,
                   And waken every note of woe!
                 When truth and virtue reach the skies,
                   'Tis ours to weep the want below.

                 CHORUS.

                 _When truth and virtue, &c._

                 MAN SPEAKER.

       The praise attending pomp and power,
         The incense given to Kings,
       Are but the trappings of an hour—
         Mere transitory things:
       The base bestow them; but the good agree
       To spurn the venal gifts as flattery.
       But when to pomp and power are join'd
       An equal dignity of mind;
         When titles are the smallest claim;
       When wealth, and rank, and noble blood,
       But aid the power of doing good;
         Then all their trophies last—and flattery turns to fame.
       Blest spirit thou, whose fame, just born to bloom,
       Shall spread and flourish from the tomb;
         How hast thou left mankind for Heaven!
       E'en now reproach and faction mourn,
       And, wondering how their rage was born,
         Request to be forgiven!
       Alas! they never had thy hate;
         Unmoved, in conscious rectitude,
         Thy towering mind self-centred stood,
       Nor wanted man's opinion to be great.
         In vain, to charm thy ravish'd sight,
       A thousand gifts would fortune send;
         In vain, to drive thee from the right,
       A thousand sorrows urged thy end:
       Like some well-fashion'd arch thy patience stood,
       And purchased strength from its increasing load.
       Pain met thee like a friend to set thee free,
       Affliction still is virtue's opportunity!

             SONG.—BY A MAN.


             Virtue, on herself relying,
               Every passion hush'd to rest,
             Loses every pain of dying,
               In the hopes of being blest.

             Every added pang she suffers,
               Some increasing good bestows.
             And every shock that malice offers,
               Only rocks her to repose.

             WOMAN SPEAKER.


             Yet, ah! what terrors frown'd upon her fate—
                 Death, with its formidable band,
             Fever, and pain, and pale consumptive care,
                 Determined took their stand.
             Nor did the cruel ravagers design
                 To finish all their efforts at a blow;
                 But, mischievously slow,
             They robb'd the relic and defaced the shrine.
                 With unavailing grief,
                 Despairing of relief,
             Her weeping children round
                 Beheld each hour
                 Death's growing power,
             And trembled as he frown'd.
             As helpless friends who view from shore
             The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar,

[Illustration:

  "_As helpless friends who view from shore
  The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar._"—_p._ 236.
]


                While winds and waves their wishes cross,—
            They stood, while hope and comfort fail,
            Not to assist, but to bewail
                The inevitable loss.
            Relentless tyrant, at thy call
            How do the good, the virtuous fall!
            Truth, beauty, worth, and all that most engage,
            But wake thy vengeance and provoke thy rage.


            SONG.—BY A MAN.


            When vice my dart and scythe supply,
            How great a king of terrors I!
            If folly, fraud, your hearts engage,
            Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage!

            Fall, round me fall, ye little things,
            Ye statesmen, warriors, poets, kings!
            If virtue fail her counsel sage,
            Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage!

            MAN SPEAKER.


 Yet let that wisdom, urged by her example,
 Teach us to estimate what all must suffer;
 Let us prize death as the best gift of nature,
 As a safe inn, where weary travellers,
 When they have journey'd through a world of cares,
 May put off life and be at rest for ever.
 Groans, weeping friends, indeed, and gloomy sables,
 May oft distract us with their sad solemnity:
 The preparation is the executioner.
 Death, when unmask'd, shows me a friendly face,
 And is a terror only at a distance;
 For as the line of life conducts me on
 To Death's great court, the prospect seems more fair.
 'Tis Nature's kind retreat, that's always open
 To take us in when we have drain'd the cup
 Of life, or worn our days to wretchedness.
 In that secure, serene retreat,
 Where, all the humble, all the great,
   Promiscuously recline;
 Where, wildly huddled to the eye,
 The beggar's pouch and prince's purple lie,
   May every bliss be thine.
 And, ah! blest spirit, wheresoe'er thy flight,
 Through rolling worlds, or fields of liquid light,
 May cherubs welcome their expected guest,
 May saints with songs receive thee to their rest;
 May peace, that claim'd while here thy warmest love,
 May blissful, endless peace be thine above!

                  SONG.—BY A WOMAN.

                  Lovely, lasting Peace, below,
                  Comforter of ev'ry woe,
                  Heav'nly born, and bred on high,
                  To crown the favourites of the sky;

                  Lovely, lasting Peace, appear;
                  This world itself, if thou art here,
                  Is once again with Eden blest,
                  And man contains it in his breast.

                  WOMAN SPEAKER.

 Our vows are heard! long, long to mortal eyes,
 Her soul was fitting to its kindred skies;
 Celestial-like her bounty fell,
 Where modest want and silent sorrow dwell:
 Want pass'd for merit at her door,
 Unseen the modest were supplied,
 Her constant pity fed the poor,—
 Then only poor, indeed, the day she died.
 And, oh! for this, while sculpture decks thy shrine,
   And art exhausts profusion round,
 The tribute of a tear be mine,
 A simple song, a sigh profound.
 There Faith shall come a pilgrim grey,
 To bless the tomb that wraps thy clay;
 And calm Religion shall repair,
 To dwell a weeping hermit there.
 Truth, Fortitude, and Friendship shall agree
 To blend their virtues while they think of thee.

                    _Air.—Chorus._

                    _Let us—let all the world agree,
                    To profit by resembling thee._

                                PART II.

OVERTURE.—_Pastorale._

MAN SPEAKER.

 Fast by that shore where Thames' translucent stream
   Reflects new glories on his breast,
 Where, splendid as the youthful poet's dream,
   He forms a scene beyond Elysium blest;
 Where sculptured elegance and native grace
 Unite to stamp the beauties of the place;
 While, sweetly blending, still are seen,
 The wavy lawn, the sloping green;
   While novelty, with cautious cunning,
   Through every maze of fancy running,
 From China borrows aid to deck the scene:—
 There, sorrowing by the rivers glassy bed,
   Forlorn a rural band complain'd,
 All whom Augusta's bounty fed,
   All whom her clemency sustain'd.
 The good old sire, unconscious of decay,
 The modest matron, clad in homespun grey,
 The military boy, the orphan'd maid,
 The shatter'd veteran, now first dismay'd,—
 These sadly join beside the murmuring deep,
 And as they view the towers of Kew,
 Call on their mistress, now no more, and weep.

             CHORUS.

             _Ye shady walks, ye waving greens,
             Ye nodding towers, ye fairy scenes,
             Let all your echoes now deplore,
             That she who form'd your beauties is no more._

             MAN SPEAKER.

 First of the train the patient rustic came,
   Whose callous hand had form'd the scene,
 Bending at once with sorrow and with age,
   With many a tear, and many a sigh between:
 "And where," he cried, "shall now my babes have bread,
   Or how shall age support its feeble fire?
 No lord will take me now, my vigour fled,
   Nor can my strength perform what they require;
 Each grudging master keeps the labourer bare,
 A sleek and idle race is all their care.
 My noble mistress thought not so:
   Her bounty, like the morning dew,
 Unseen, though constant, used to flow,
   And, as my strength decay'd, her bounty grew."

[Illustration:

  "_In decent dress, and coarsely clean,
  The pious matron next was seen._"—_p._ 241.
]


                             WOMAN SPEAKER.

 In decent dress, and coarsely clean,
   The pious matron next was seen,
 Clasp'd in her hand a godly book was borne,
   By use and daily meditation worn;
   That decent dress, this holy guide,
   Augusta's care had well supplied.

 "And, ah!" she cries, all woe-begone,
   "What now remains for me?
 Oh! where shall weeping want repair
   To ask for charity!
 Too late in life for me to ask,
   And shame prevents the deed,
 And tardy, tardy are the times
   To succour, should I need.
 But all my wants, before I spoke,
   Were to my Mistress known;
 She still relieved, nor sought my praise,
   Contented with her own.
 But every day her name I'll bless,
   My morning prayer, my evening song;
 I'll praise her while my life shall last,
   A life that cannot last me long."

 SONG.—BY A WOMAN.

 Each day, each hour, her name I'll bless,
  My morning and my evening song,
 And when in death my vows shall cease,
   My children shall the note prolong.

 MAN SPEAKER.

 The hardy veteran after struck the sight,
 Scarr'd, mangled, maim'd in every part,
 Lopp'd of his limbs in many a gallant fight,
 In nought entire—except his heart;
 Mute for awhile, and sullenly distress'd,
 At last the impetuous sorrow fired his breast:—
 "Wild is the whirlwind rolling
   O'er Afric's sandy plain,
 And wild the tempest howling
   Along the billow'd main;
 But every danger felt before
 The raging deep, the whirlwind's roar,
 Less dreadful struck me with dismay
 Than what I feel this fatal day.
 Oh, let me fly a land that spurns the brave,
 Oswego's dreary shores shall be my grave;
 I'll seek that less inhospitable coast,
 And lay my body where my limbs were lost."

                     SONG.—BY A MAN.

 Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield,
 Shall crowd from Cressy's laurell'd field,
   To do thy memory right;
 For thine and Britain's wrongs they feel,
 Again they snatch the gleamy steel,
   And wish the avenging fight.

 WOMAN SPEAKER.

 In innocence and youth complaining,
   Next appear'd a lovely maid;
 Affliction, o'er each feature reigning,
   Kindly came in beauty's aid;
 Every grace that grief dispenses,
   Every glance that warms the soul,
 In sweet succession charms the senses,
   While pity harmonized the whole.
 "The garland of beauty," 'tis thus she would say,
   "No more shall my crook or my temples adorn:
 I'll not wear a garland—Augusta's away,
   I'll not wear a garland until she return;
 But, alas! that return I never shall see:
   The echoes of Thames shall my sorrows proclaim,
 There promised a lover to come—but, ah me!
   'Twas Death—'twas the death of my mistress that came.
 But ever, for ever, her image shall last,
   I'll strip all the spring of its earliest bloom;
 On her grave shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
   And the new blossom'd thorn shall whiten her tomb."

          SONG—BY A WOMAN.

          _Pastorale._

          With garlands of beauty the Queen of the May
            No more will her crook or her temples adorn;
          For who'd wear a garland when she is away,
            When she is removed and shall never return?

          On the grave of Augusta these garlands be placed,
            We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom,
          And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
            And the new blossom'd thorn shall whiten her tomb.

          CHORUS.

          _On the grave of Augusta this garland be placed,
            We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom,
          And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
            The tears of her country shall water her tomb._

                         THE LOGICIANS REFUTED.


                      IN IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT.

               Logicians have but ill defined
               As rational the human mind:
               Reason, they say, belongs to man;
               But let them prove it if they can.
               Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,
               By ratiocinations specious,
               Have strove to prove with great precision,
               With definition and division,
               _Homo est ratione præditum_;
               But for my soul I cannot credit 'em;
               And must in spite of them maintain
               That man and all his ways are vain;
               And that this boasted lord of nature
               Is both a weak and erring creature;
               That instinct is a surer guide
               Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
               And that brute beasts are far before 'em—
               _Deus est anima brutorum_.
               Who ever knew an honest brute
               At law his neighbour prosecute?
               Bring action for assault and battery?
               Or friends beguile with lies and flattery?
               O'er plains they ramble unconfined;
               No politics disturb their mind;
               They eat their meals and take their sport,
               Nor know who's in or out at court:
               They never to the levee go
               To treat as dearest friend a foe;
               They never importune his Grace,
               Nor ever cringe to men in place;
               Nor undertake a dirty job;
               Nor draw the quill to write for Bob;[27]
               Fraught with invective they ne'er go
               To folks at Paternoster Row:
               No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
               No pickpockets or poetasters,

Footnote 27:

  Sir Robert Walpole.

[Illustration:

  "_Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
  Nor cut each other's throats for pay._"—_p._ 245.
]


               Are known to honest quadrupeds:
               No single brute his fellow leads.
               Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
               Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
               Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
               Comes nearest us in human shape:
               Like man, he imitates each fashion,
               And malice is his ruling passion:
               But both in malice and grimaces
               A courtier any ape surpasses.
               Behold him humbly cringing wait
               Upon the minister of state;
               View him soon after to inferiors
               Aping the conduct of superiors:
               He promises with equal air,
               And to perform takes equal care.
               He in his turn finds imitators;
               At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
               Their master's manners still contract,
               And footmen lords and dukes can act.
               Thus at the court, both great and small
               Behave alike, for all ape all.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                DESCRIPTION OF AN AUTHOR'S BED-CHAMBER.

 Where the Red Lion, staring o'er the way,
 Invites each passing stranger that can pay;
 Where Calvert's butt, and Parsons' black champagne,
 Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury Lane;
 There in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
 The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd beneath a rug.
 A window, patched with paper, lent a ray
 That dimly show'd the state in which he lay:
 The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread;
 The humid wall with paltry pictures spread;
 The royal Game of Goose was there in view,
 And the Twelve Rules the royal martyr drew;
 The Seasons, framed with listing, found a place;
 And brave Prince William show'd his lamp-black face.
 The morn was cold; he views with keen desire
 The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:
 With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
 And five crack'd tea-cups dress'd the chimney-board;
 A night-cap deck'd his brows instead of bay,
 A cap by night—a stocking all the day!

                              AN EPILOGUE,


                       INTENDED FOR MRS. BULKLEY.

 There is a place—so Ariosto sings—
 A treasury for lost and missing things;
 Lost human wits have places there assign'd them,
 And they who lose their senses, there may find them.
 But where's this place, this storehouse of the age?
 The Moon, says he;—but I affirm, the Stage—
 At least, in many things, I think I see
 His lunar and our mimic world agree:
 Both shine at night, for, but at Foote's alone,
 We scarce exhibit till the sun goes down;
 Both prone to change, no settled limits fix,
 And sure the folks of both are lunatics.
 But in this parallel my best pretence is,
 That mortals visit both to find their senses:
 To this strange spot, rakes, macaronies, cits,
 Come thronging to collect their scatter'd wits.
 The gay coquette, who ogles all the day,
 Comes here at night, and goes a prude away.
 Hither the affected city dame advancing,
 Who sighs for operas, and doats on dancing,
 Taught by our art, her ridicule to pause on,
 Quits the _ballet_, and calls for _Nancy Dawson_.
 The gamester, too, whose wit's all high or low,
 Oft risks his fortune on one desperate throw,
 Comes here to saunter, having made his bets,
 Finds his lost senses out, and pays his debts.
 The Mohawk, too, with angry phrases stor'd—
 As "Dam'me, Sir!" and, "Sir, I wear a sword!"
 Here lesson'd for awhile, and hence retreating,
 Goes out, affronts his man, and takes a beating.
 Here come the sons of scandal and of news,
 But find no sense—for they had none to lose.
 Of all the tribe here wanting an adviser,
 Our Author's the least likely to grow wiser;
 Has he not seen how you your favour place
 On sentimental queens and lords in lace?
 Without a star, a coronet, or garter,
 How can the piece expect or hope for quarter?
 No high-life scenes, no sentiment:—the creature
 Still stoops among the low to copy nature.
 Yes, he's far gone:—and yet some pity fix,
 The English laws forbid to punish lunatics.

                          PROLOGUE TO ZOBEIDE,


               A TRAGEDY; WRITTEN BY JOSEPH CRADDOCK, ESQ.

           SPOKEN BY MR. QUICK, IN THE CHARACTER OF A SAILOR.

 In these bold times, when Learning's sons explore
 The distant climate, and the savage shore;
 When wise astronomers to India steer,
 And quit for Venus many a brighter here;
 While botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling,
 Forsake the fair, and patiently—go simpling;
 Our bard into the general spirit enters,
 And fits his little frigate for adventures.
 With Scythian stores, and trinkets deeply laden,
 He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading;
 Yet ere he lands he's order'd me before,
 To make an observation on the shore.
 Where are we driven? our reckoning sure is lost
 This seems a rocky and a dangerous coast.
 Lord, what a sultry climate am I under!
 Yon ill-foreboding cloud seems big with thunder:
                                        _Upper Gallery._
 There mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen 'em—
                                                 [_Pit._
 Here trees of stately size—and billing turtles in 'em—
                                           [_Balconies._
 Here ill-conditioned oranges abound—
                                               [_Stage._
 And apples, bitter apples, strew the ground.
                                        [_Tasting them._
 The inhabitants are cannibals, I fear:
 I heard a hissing—there are serpents here!
 O, there the people are—best keep my distance;
 Our Captain, gentle natives! craves assistance;
 Our ship's well-stored;—in yonder creek we've laid her,
 His Honour is no mercenary trader.
 This is his first adventure; lend him aid,
 And we may chance to drive a thriving trade.
 His goods, he hopes, are prime, and brought from far,
 Equally fit for gallantry and war.
 What! no reply to promises so ample?
 I'd best step back—and order up a sample.

[Illustration:  Victorian London Street view.]


                                 ELEGY.

                       ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.

                Good people all, of every sort,
                  Give ear unto my song,
                And if you find it wondrous short—
                  It cannot hold you long.

                In Islington there was a man
                  Of whom the world might say,
                That still a godly race he ran—
                  Whene'er he went to pray.

                A kind and gentle heart he had
                  To comfort friends and foes;
                The naked every day he clad—
                  When he put on his clothes.

                And in that town a dog was found,
                  As many dogs there be,
                Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
                  And curs of low degree.

                This dog and man at first were friends;
                  But when a pique began,
                The dog, to gain some private ends,
                  Went mad, and bit the man!

                Around from all the neighbouring streets
                  The wondering neighbours ran,
                And swore the dog had lost his wits,
                  To bite so good a man.

                The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
                  To every Christian eye;
                And while they swore the dog was mad,
                  They swore the man would die.

                But soon a wonder came to light,
                  That show'd the rogues they lied:
                The man recover'd of the bite—
                  The dog it was that died.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                EPILOGUE.


                     TO THE COMEDY OF "THE SISTERS."

 What? five long acts—and all to make us wiser!
 Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
 Had she consulted me, she should have made
 Her moral play a speaking masquerade;
 Warm'd up each bustling scene, and in her rage
 Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
 My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking,
 Have pleased our eyes, and saved the pain of thinking.
 Well! since she thus has shown her want of skill,
 What if I give a masquerade?—I will.
 But how? ay, there's the rub! _pausing_ I've got my cue:
 The world's a masquerade! the masquers, you, you, you.
                              _To Boxes, Bit, and Gallery._

 Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses!
 False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
 Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em,
 Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em:
 There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
 To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore;
 These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
 Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen.
 Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
 Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman;
 The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
 And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure.
 Thus 'tis with all—their chief and constant care
 Is to seem every thing—but what they are.
 Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
 Who seems t'have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
 Who frowns and talks and swears, with round parade,
 Looking, as who should say, dam' me! who's afraid?

                                               _Mimicking._

 Strip but this vizor off, and, sure I am,
 You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
 Yon politician, famous in debate,
 Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state;
 Yet, when he deigns his real shape t'assume,
 He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
 Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
 And seems, to every gazer, all in white,
 If with a bribe his candour you attack,
 He bows, turns round, and whip—the man's in black!
 Yon critic, too—but whither do I run?
 If I proceed, our bard will be undone!
 Well, then, a truce, since she requests it too:
 Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                PROLOGUE,


         WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS, A ROMAN KNIGHT
                    WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.

                         PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS.

 What! no way left to shun th'inglorious stage,
 And save from infamy my sinking age!
 Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
 What in the name of dotage drives me here?
 A time there was, when glory was my guide,
 Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
 Unawed by power, and unappall'd by fear,
 With honest thrift I held my honour dear:
 But this vile hour disperses all my store,
 And all my hoard of honour is no more;
 For, ah! too partial to my life's decline,
 Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
 Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
 Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
 Here then at once I welcome every shame,
 And cancel at threescore a life of fame:
 No more my titles shall my children tell;
 The old buffoon will fit my name as well:
 This day beyond its term my fate extends,
 For life is ended when our honour ends.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                STANZAS.

          ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC, AND DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE.

          Amidst the clamour of exulting joys,
            Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
          Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
            And quells the raptures which from pleasure start.

          O Wolfe! to thee a streaming flood of woe,
            Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear:
          Quebec in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
            Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.

          Alive, the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
            And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes;
          Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead!
            Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise.

[Illustration: Man Sitting at a table writing.]


                              A NEW SIMILE.
                         IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.

               Long had I sought in vain to find
               A likeness for the scribbling kind—
               The modern scribbling kind, who write
               In wit, and sense, and nature's spite—
               Till reading—I forget what day on,
               A chapter out of Tooke's "Pantheon,"
               I think I met with something there
               To suit my purpose to a hair.
               But let us not proceed too furious,—
               First please to turn to god Mercurius:
               You'll find him pictur'd at full length
               In book the second, page the tenth:
               The stress of all my proofs on him I lay;
               And now proceed we to our simile.
                 _Imprimis_, pray observe his hat:
               Wings upon either side—mark that.
               Well! what is it from thence we gather?
               Why, these denote a brain of feather.
               A brain of feather? very right,
               With wit that's flighty, learning light;
               Such as to modern bard's decreed:
               A just comparison—proceed.
                 In the next place, his feet peruse:
               Wings grow again from both his shoes;
               Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
               And waft his godship through the air:
               And here my simile unites;
               For in a modern poet's flights,
               I'm sure it may be justly said,
               His feet are useful as his head.
                 Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
               Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand,
               By classic authors termed Caduceus,
               And highly famed for several uses:
               To wit,—most wond'rously endued,
               No poppy-water half so good;
               For let folks only get a touch,
               Its soporific virtue's such,
               Though ne'er so much awake before,
               That quickly they begin to snore;
               Add, too, what certain writers tell,
               With this he drives men's souls to hell.
                 Now to apply, begin we then:—
               His wand's a modern author's pen;
               The serpents round about it twined
               Denote him of the reptile kind,
               Denote the rage with which he writes,
               His frothy slaver, venom'd bites:
               An equal semblance still to keep,
               Alike, too, both conduce to sleep;
               This difference only,—as the god
               Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
               With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
               Instead of others, damns himself.
                 And here my simile almost tript;
               Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
               Moreover Merc'ry had a failing;
               Well! what of that? out with it.—Stealing;
               In which all modern bards agree,
               Being each as great a thief as he.
               But even this deity's existence
               Shall lend my simile assistance:
               Our modern bards! why, what a pox
               Are they—but senseless stones and blocks?

                  *       *       *       *       *

                         EPITAPH ON DR. PARNELL.

 This tomb, inscribed to gentle Parnell's name,
 May speak our gratitude, but not his fame.
 What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
 That leads to truth through pleasure's flowery way?
 Celestial themes confess'd his tuneful aid;
 And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid.
 Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
 The transitory breath of fame below:
 More lasting rapture from his works shall rise,
 While converts thank their poet in the skies.

                  *       *       *       *       *

              EPITAPH ON EDWARD PURDON.


              Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
                Who long was a bookseller's hack:
              He led such a damnable life in this world,
                I don't think he'll wish to come back.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                EPILOGUE,

 SPOKEN BY MR. LEE LEWIS, IN THE CHARACTER OF HARLEQUIN, AT HIS BENEFIT.

 Hold! Prompter, hold! a word before your nonsense:
 I'd speak a word or two, to ease my conscience.
 My pride forbids it ever should be said
 My heels eclipsed the honours of my head;
 That I found humour in a piebald vest,
 Or ever thought that jumping was a jest.

                                              [_Takes off his mask._

 Whence, and what art thou, visionary birth?
 Nature disowns, and reason scorns, thy mirth;
 In thy black aspect every passion sleeps,
 The joy that dimples, and the woe that weeps.
 How hast thou fill'd the scene with all thy brood
 Of fools pursuing, and of fools pursued!
 Whose ins and outs no ray of sense discloses,
 Whose only plot it is to break our noses;
 Whilst from below the trap-door demons rise,
 And from above the dangling deities.
 And shall I mix in this unhallow'd crew?
 May rosin'd lightning blast me if I do!
 No—I will act—I'll vindicate the stage:
 Shakespeare himself shall feel my tragic rage.
 Off! off! vile trappings! a new passion reigns:
 The madd'ning monarch revels in my veins.
 Oh! for a Richard's voice to catch the theme,—
 "Give me another horse! bind up my wounds!—soft—'twas but a dream."
 Ay, 'twas but a dream, for now there's no retreating,
 If I cease Harlequin, I cease from eating.
 'Twas thus that Æsop's stag, a creature blameless,
 Yet something vain, like one that shall be nameless,
 Once on the margin of a fountain stood,
 And cavill'd at his image in the flood.
 "The deuce confound," he cries, "these drumstick shanks,
 They never have my gratitude nor thanks;
 They're perfectly disgraceful! strike me dead;
 But for a head, yes, yes, I have a head:
 How piercing is that eye! how sleek that brow!
 My horns!—I'm told horns are the fashion now."
   Whilst thus he spoke, astonish'd, to his view,
 Near, and more near, the hounds and huntsmen drew;
 Hoicks! hark forward! came thundering from behind,
 He bounds aloft, outstrips the fleeting wind:
 He quits the woods, and tries the beaten ways;
 He starts, he pants, he takes the circling maze:
 At length, his silly head, so prized before,
 Is taught his former folly to deplore;
 Whilst his strong limbs conspire to set him free,
 And at one bound he saves himself—like me.

                [_Taking a jump through the stage door._

[Illustration: Interior scene of a haberdashery.]

                                AN ELEGY

               ON THE GLORY OF HER SEX, MRS. MARY BLAIZE.

                 Good people all, with one accord,
                   Lament for Madam Blaize,
                 Who never wanted a good word—
                   From those who spoke her praise.

                 The needy seldom pass'd her door,
                   And always found her kind;
                 She freely lent to all the poor—
                   Who left a pledge behind.

                 She strove the neighbourhood to please
                   With manners wond'rous winning;
                 And never follow'd wicked ways—
                   Unless when she was sinning.

                 At church, in silks and satins new,
                   With hoop of monstrous size,
                 She never slumber'd in her pew—
                   But when she shut her eyes.

                 Her love was sought, I do aver,
                   By twenty beaux and more;
                 The king himself has follow'd her—
                   When she has walk'd before.

                 But now, her wealth and finery fled,
                   Her hangers-on cut short all;
                 The doctors found, when she was dead—
                   Her last disorder mortal.

                 Let us lament in sorrow sore,
                   For Kent Street well may say,
                 That had she liv'd a twelvemonth more—
                   She had not died to-day.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                EPIGRAM,


             ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.

                  Sure 'twas by Providence design'd,
                    Rather in pity than in hate,
                  That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
                    To save him from Narcissus' fate.

                                EPILOGUE


                       TO "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."

      SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY, IN THE CHARACTER OF MISS HARDCASTLE.

 Well, having stoop'd to conquer with success,
 And gain'd a husband without aid from dress,
 Still, as a bar-maid, I could wish it too,
 As I have conquer'd him to conquer you:
 And let me say, for all your resolution,
 That pretty bar-maids have done execution.
 Our life is all a play, composed to please;
 "We have our exits and our entrances."
 The first act shows the simple country maid,
 Harmless and young, of everything afraid;
 Blushes when hired, and, with unmeaning action,
 "I hopes as how to give you satisfaction."
 Her second act displays a livelier scene,—
 The unblushing bar-maid of a country inn,
 Who whisks about the house, at market caters,
 Talks loud, coquets the guests, and scolds the waiters.
 Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars,
 The chop-house toast of ogling _connoisseurs_:
 On 'squires and cits she there displays her arts,
 And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts;
 And, as she smiles, her triumphs to complete,
 E'en common-councilmen forget to eat.
 The fourth act shows her wedded to the 'squire,
 And madam now begins to hold it higher;
 Pretends to taste, at operas cries _caro!_
 And quits her Nancy Dawson for Che Faro:
 Doats upon dancing, and, in all her pride,
 Swims round the room, the Heinelle of Cheapside;
 Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
 Till, having lost in age the power to kill,
 She sits all night at cards, and ogles at spadille.
 Such through our lives the eventful history—
 The fifth and last act still remains for me:
 The bar-maid now for your protection prays,
 Turns female barrister, and pleads for bays.

                                EPILOGUE


                       TO "THE GOOD-NATURED MAN."

                         SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY.

 As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
 To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
 Thus, on the stage, our play-wrights still depend
 For epilogues and prologues on some friend,
 Who knows each art of coaxing up the town,
 And make full many a bitter pill go down:
 Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
 And teased each rhyming friend to help him out.
 An epilogue! things can't go on without it;
 It could not fail, would you but set about it:
 "Young man," cries one, (a bard laid up in clover,)
 "Alas! young man, my writing days are over;
 Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw, not I;
 Your brother doctor there, perhaps, may try,"
 "What I! dear Sir," the doctor interposes;
 "What, plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses!
 No, no, I've other contests to maintain;
 To-night I heard our troops at Warwick-lane.
 Go ask your manager"—"Who, me! Your pardon,
 Those things are not our forte at Covent Garden."
 Our author's friends, thus placed at happy distance,
 Give him good words, indeed, but no assistance.
 As some unhappy wight, at some new play,
 At the pit door stands elbowing a way,
 While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug,
 He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug;
 His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
 Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise:
 He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace;
 But not a soul will budge to give him place.
 Since, then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
 "To 'bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,"
 Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
 And be each critic the _Good-natured Man_.

                  *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Seated woman reading a book.]

                           STANZAS ON WOMAN.

                  When lovely woman stoops to folly,
                    And finds too late that men betray,
                  What charm can soothe her melancholy,
                    What art can wash her guilt away?

                  The only art her guilt to cover,
                    To hide her shame from every eye,
                  To give repentance to her lover,
                    And wring his bosom, is—to die.

                  THE CLOWN'S REPLY.

        John Trott was desired by two witty peers
        To tell them the reason why asses had ears.
        "An't please you," quoth John, "I'm not given to letters,
        Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters;
        Howe'er, from this time, I shall ne'er see your graces,
        As I hope to be saved!—without thinking on asses."

                  *       *       *       *       *

                SONG.


                The wretch condemn'd with life to part,
                  Still, still on Hope relies;
                And every pang that rends the heart
                  Bids expectation rise.

                Hope, like the glimmering taper's light,
                  Adorns and cheers the way;
                And still, as darker grows the night,
                  Emits a brighter ray.


                STANZAS.


                Weeping, murmuring, complaining,
                  Lost to every gay delight,
                Myra, too sincere for feigning,
                  Fears th'approaching bridal night.

                Yet why impair thy bright perfection?
                  Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
                Had Myra follow'd my direction,
                  She long had wanted cause of fear.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                                EPILOGUE


                       TO "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER."

         INTENDED TO BE SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY AND MISS CATLEY.

 _Enters_ MRS. BULKLEY, _who curtsies very low as beginning to speak.
 Then enters_ MISS CATLEY, _who stands full before her, and curtsies to
 the Audience_.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Hold, Ma'am, your pardon. What's your business here?

 MISS CATLEY.

 The Epilogue.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 The Epilogue?

 MISS CATLEY.

  Yes, the Epilogue, my dear.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Sure you mistake, Ma'am. The Epilogue, _I_ bring it.

 MISS CATLEY.

 Excuse me, Ma'am. The author bid _me_ sing it.

 _Recitative._

 Ye beaux and belles, that form this splendid ring,
 Suspend your conversation while I sing.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Why, sure the girl's beside herself! an Epilogue of singing,
 A hopeful end, indeed, to such a blest beginning.
 Besides, a singer in a comic set—
 Excuse me, Ma'am, I know the etiquette.

 MISS CATLEY.

 What if we leave it to the house?

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 The house!—Agreed.

 MISS CATLEY.

 Agreed.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 And she whose party's largest shall proceed.
 And first, I hope you'll readily agree
 I've all the critics and the wits for me.
 They, I am sure, will answer my commands;
 Ye candid judging few, hold up your hands.
 What! no return? I find too late, I fear,
 That modern judges seldom enter here.

 MISS CATLEY.

 I'm for a different set:—Old men, whose trade is
 Still to gallant and dangle with the ladies.

 _Recitative._

 Who mump their passion, and who, grimly smiling
 Still thus address the fair with voice beguiling.

 _Air.—Cotillion._


 Turn, my fairest, turn, if ever
   Strephon caught thy ravish'd eye.
 Pity take on your swain so clever,
   Who without your aid must die.
         Yes, I shall die, hu, hu, hu, hu!
         Yes, I must die, ho, ho, ho, ho!
                                 _Da Capo._


 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Let all the old pay homage to your merit;
 Give me the young, the gay, the men of spirit.
 Ye travell'd tribe, ye macaroni train,
 Of French friseurs and nosegays justly vain,
 Who take a trip to Paris once a year
 To dress, and look like awkward Frenchmen here,—
 Lend me your hand: O fatal news to tell,
 Their hands are only lent to the Heinelle.

 MISS CATLEY.

 Ay, take your travellers—travellers indeed!
 Give me my bonny Scot, that travels from the Tweed.
 Where are the chiels?—Ah! ah, I well discern
 The smiling looks of each bewitching bairn.

 _Air.—A bonny young Lad is my Jocky._

 I sing to amuse you by night and by day,
 And be unco merry when you are but gay;
 When you with your bagpipes are ready to play,
 My voice shall be ready to carol away
       With Sandy, and Sawney, and Jockey,
       With Sawney, and Jarvie, and Jockey.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Ye gamesters, who, so eager in pursuit,
 Make but of all your fortune one _va toute_:
 Ye jockey tribe, whose stock of words are few,
 "I hold the odds.—Done, done, with you, with you."
 Ye barristers, so fluent with grimace,
 "My Lord,—Your Lordship misconceives the case."
 Doctors, who cough and answer every misfortuner,
 "I wish I'd been called in a little sooner:"
 Assist my cause with hands and voices hearty,
 Come end the contest here, and aid my party.

 MISS CATLEY.

 _Air.—Ballinamony_

 Ye brave Irish lads, hark away to the crack,
 Assist me, I pray, in this woful attack;
 For—sure I don't wrong you—you seldom are slack,
 When the ladies are calling, to blush and hang back.
     For you're always polite and attentive,
     Still to amuse us inventive,
     And death is your only preventive:
       Your hands and your voices for me.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Well, Madam, what if, after all this sparring,
 We both agree, like friends, to end our jarring?

 MISS CATLEY.

 And that our friendship may remain unbroken,
 What if we leave the Epilogue unspoken?

 MRS. BULKLEY.

 Agreed.

 MISS CATLEY.

         Agreed.

 MRS. BULKLEY.

                And now with late repentance,
 Un-epilogued the Poet waits his sentence.
 Condemn the stubborn fool who can't submit
 To thrive by flattery, though he starves by wit.

                               [_Exeunt._



                         THE GOOD-NATURED MAN.

                               A COMEDY.


                                PREFACE.

 When I undertook to write a comedy, I confess I was strongly
 prepossessed in favour of the poets of the last age, and strove to
 imitate them. The term _genteel comedy_ was then unknown amongst us,
 and little more was desired by an audience, than nature and humour, in
 whatever walks of life they were most conspicuous. The author of the
 following scenes never imagined that more would be expected of him, and
 therefore to delineate character has been his principal aim. Those who
 know any thing of composition, are sensible, that in pursuing humour,
 it will sometimes lead us into the recesses of the mean; I was even
 tempted to look for it in the master of a spunging-house: but in
 deference to the public taste, grown of late, perhaps, too delicate,
 the scene of the bailiffs was retrenched in the representation. In
 deference also to the judgment of a few friends, who think in a
 particular way, the scene is here restored. The author submits it to
 the reader in his closet; and hopes that too much refinement will not
 banish humour and character from ours, as it has already done from the
 French theatre. Indeed the French comedy is now become so very elevated
 and sentimental, that it has not only banished humour and _Molière_
 from the stage, but it has banished all spectators too.

 Upon the whole, the author returns his thanks to the public for the
 favourable reception which the Good-Natured Man has met with: and to
 Mr. Colman in particular, for his kindness to it. It may not also be
 improper to assure any who shall hereafter write for the theatre, that
 merit, or supposed merit, will ever be a sufficient passport to his
 protection.

                                PROLOGUE.


                         WRITTEN BY DR. JOHNSON.

                         SPOKEN BY MR. BENSLEY.

   Press'd by the load of life, the weary mind
 Surveys the general toil of humankind;
 With cool submission joins the labouring train,
 And social sorrow loses half its pain.
 Our anxious bard, without complaint, may share
 This bustling season's epidemic care;
 Like Cæsar's pilot, dignified by fate,
 Toss'd in one common storm with all the great;
 Distress'd alike, the statesman and the wit,
 When one a borough courts, and one the pit.
 The busy candidates for power and fame,
 Have hopes, and fears, and wishes just the same
 Disabled both to combat, or to fly,
 Must hear all taunts, and hear without reply.
 Uncheck'd, on both, loud rabbles vent their rage,
 As mongrels bay the lion in a cage.
 Th'offended burgess hoards his angry tale,
 For that blessed year when all that vote may rail;
 Their schemes of spite the poet's foes dismiss,
 Till that glad night when all that hate may hiss.
 "This day the powder'd curls and golden coat,"
 Says swelling Crispin, "begged a cobbler's vote!"
 "This night our wit" the pert apprentice cries,
 "Lies at my feet: I hiss him, and he dies!"
 The great, 'tis true, can charm th'electing tribe;
 The bard may supplicate, but cannot bribe.
 Yet, judg'd by those whose voices ne'er were sold
 He feels no want of ill-persuading gold;
 But, confident of praise, if praise be due,
 Trusts, without fear, to merit, and to you.


 DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


 MEN.


 MR. HONEYWOOD.
 CROAKER.
 LOFTY.
 SIR WILLIAM HONEYWOOD.
 LEONTINE.
 JARVIS.
 BUTLER.
 BAILIFF.
 DUBARDIEU.
 POSTBOY.


 WOMEN.


 MISS RICHLAND.
 OLIVIA.
 MRS. CROAKER.
 GARNET.
 LANDLADY.

                             SCENE—_London._

[Illustration:

  "BUTLER.—_Sir, I'll not stay in
  the family with Jonathan._"—_p._ 271.
]



                                 ACT I.


 SCENE I.—_An Apartment in_ YOUNG HONEYWOOD'S _House_.

 _Enter_ SIR WILLIAM HONEYWOOD _and_ JARVIS.

 SIR WILL. Good Jarvis, make no apologies for this honest bluntness.
 Fidelity like yours, is the best excuse for every freedom.

 JARVIS. I can't help being blunt, and being very angry too, when I hear
 you talk of disinheriting so good, so worthy a young gentleman as your
 nephew, my master. All the world loves him.

 SIR WILL. Say rather, that he loves all the world; that is his fault.

 JARVIS. I'm sure there is no part of it more dear to him than you are,
 though he has not seen you since he was a child.

 SIR WILL. What signifies his affection to me? or how can I be proud of
 a place in a heart where every sharper and coxcomb finds an easy
 entrance?

 JARVIS. I grant that he's rather too good-natured; that he's too much
 every man's man; that he laughs this minute with one, and cries the
 next with another; but whose instructions may he thank for all this?

 SIR WILL. Not mine, sure! My letters to him during my employment in
 Italy, taught him only that philosophy which might prevent, not defend,
 his errors.

 JARVIS. Faith, begging your honour's pardon, I'm sorry they taught him
 any philosophy at all; it has only served to spoil him. This same
 philosophy is a good horse in a stable, but an errant jade on a
 journey. For my own part, whenever I hear him mention the name on't,
 I'm always sure he's going to play the fool.

 SIR WILL. Don't let us ascribe his faults to his philosophy, I entreat
 you. No, Jarvis, his good-nature arises rather from his fears of
 offending the importunate, than his desire of making the deserving
 happy.

 JARVIS. What it rises from, I don't know. But, to be sure, every body
 has it, that asks it.

 SIR WILL. Ay, or that does not ask it. I have been now for some time a
 concealed spectator of his follies, and find them as boundless as his
 dissipation.

 JARVIS. And yet, faith, he has some fine name or other for them all. He
 call his extravagance, generosity; and his trusting every body,
 universal benevolence. It was but last week he went security for a
 fellow whose face he scarce knew, and that he called an act of exalted
 mu-mu-munificence; ay, that was the name he gave it.

 SIR WILL. And upon that I proceed, as my last effort, though with very
 little hopes to reclaim him. That very fellow has just absconded, and I
 have taken up the security. Now, my intention is, to involve him in
 fictitious distress, before he has plunged himself into real calamity;
 to arrest him for that very debt, to clap an officer upon him, and then
 let him see which of his friends will come to his relief.

 JARVIS. Well, if I could but any way see him thoroughly vexed, every
 groan of his would be music to me; yet, faith, I believe it impossible.
 I have tried to fret him myself every morning these three years; but,
 instead of being angry, he sits as calmly to hear me scold, as he does
 to his hair-dresser.

 SIR WILL. We must try him once more, however, and I'll go this instant
 to put my scheme into execution; and I don't despair of succeeding, as
 by your means, I can have frequent opportunities of being about him,
 without being known. What a pity it is, Jarvis, that any man's good
 will to others should produce so much neglect of himself, as to require
 correction! Yet, we must touch his weakness with a delicate hand. There
 are some faults so nearly allied to excellence, that we can scarce weed
 out the vice without eradicating the virtue.

                                 _Exit._

 JARVIS. Well, go thy ways, Sir William Honeywood. It is not without
 reason that the world allows thee to be the best of men. But here comes
 his hopeful nephew; the strange, good-natured, foolish,
 open-hearted—And yet, all his faults are such that one loves him still
 the better for them.

 _Enter_ HONEYWOOD.

 HONEYW. Well, Jarvis, what messages from my friends this morning!

 JARVIS. You have no friends.

 HONEYW. Well; from my acquaintance, then?

 JARVIS. (_Pulling out bills._) A few of our usual cards of compliment,
 that's all. This bill from your tailor; this from your mercer; and this
 from the little broker in Crooked-lane. He says he has been at a great
 deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed.

 HONEYW. That I don't know; but I am sure we were at a great deal of
 trouble in getting him to lend it.

 JARVIS. He has lost all patience.

 HONEYW. Then he has lost a very good thing.

 JARVIS. There's that ten guineas you were sending to the poor gentleman
 and his children in the Fleet. I believe that would stop his mouth for
 a while at least.

 HONEYW. Ay, Jarvis, but what will fill their mouths in the meantime?
 Must I be cruel because he happens to be importunate; and, to relieve
 his avarice, leave them to insupportable distress?

 JARVIS. 'Sdeath, sir, the question now is, how to relieve yourself.
 Yourself—Haven't I reason to be out of my senses, when I see things
 going at sixes and sevens?

 HONEYW. Whatever reason you may have for being out of your senses, I
 hope you'll allow that I'm not quite unreasonable for continuing in
 mine.

 JARVIS. You're the only man alive in your present situation that could
 do so—Every thing upon the waste. There's Miss Richland and her fine
 fortune gone already, and upon the point of being given to your rival.

 HONEYW. I'm no man's rival.

 JARVIS. Your uncle in Italy preparing to disinherit you; your own
 fortune almost spent; and nothing but pressing creditors, false
 friends, and a pack of drunken servants that your kindness has made
 unfit for any other family.

 HONEYW. Then they have the more occasion for being in mine.

 JARVIS. So! What will you have done with him that I caught stealing
 your plate in the pantry? In the fact; I caught him in the fact.

 HONEYW. In the fact? If so, I really think that we should pay him his
 wages, and turn him off.

 JARVIS. He shall be turned off at Tyburn, the dog; we'll hang him, if
 it be only to frighten the rest of the family.

 HONEYW. No, Jarvis: it's enough that we have lost what he has stolen,
 let us not add to the loss of a fellow-creature.

 JARVIS. Very fine; well, here was the footman just now, to complain of
 the butler; he says he does most work, and ought to have most wages.

 HONEYW. That's but just: though perhaps here comes the butler to
 complain of the footman.

 JARVIS. Ay, it's the way with them all, from the scullion to the
 privy-counsellor. If they have a bad master, they keep quarrelling with
 him; if they have a good master they keep quarrelling with one another.

 _Enter_ BUTLER _drunk_.

 BUTLER. Sir, I'll not stay in the family with Jonathan: you must part
 with him, or part with me, that's the ex-ex-position of the matter,
 sir.

 HONEYW. Full and explicit enough. But what's his fault, good Phillip?

 BUTLER. Sir, he's given to drinking, sir, and I shall have my morals
 corrupted, by keeping such company.

 HONEYW. Ha! ha! he has such a diverting way—

 JARVIS. O! quite amusing.

 BUTLER. I find my wines a-going, sir; and liquors don't go without
 mouths, sir; I hate a drunkard, sir.

 HONEYW. Well, well, Philip, I'll hear you upon that another time, so go
 to bed now.

 JARVIS. To bed! Let him go to the devil.

 BUTLER. Begging your honour's pardon, and begging your pardon, master
 Jarvis, I'll not go to bed, nor to the devil neither. I have enough to
 do to mind my cellar. I forgot, your honour, Mr. Croaker is below. I
 came on purpose to tell you.

 HONEYW. Why didn't you show him up, blockhead?

 BUTLER. Show him up, sir? With all my heart, sir. Up or down, all's one
 to me.

                                 _Exit._

 JARVIS. Ay, we have one or other of that family in this house from
 morning till night. He comes on the old affair, I suppose; the match
 between his son, that's just returned from Paris, and Miss Richland,
 the young lady he's guardian to.

 HONEYW. Perhaps so. Mr. Croaker, knowing my friendship for the young
 lady, has got it into his head that I can persuade her to what I
 please.

 JARVIS. Ah! if you loved yourself but half as well as she loves you, we
 should soon see a marriage that would set all things to rights again.

 HONEYW. Love me! Sure, Jarvis, you dream. No, no; her intimacy with me
 never amounted to more than friendship—mere friendship. That she is the
 most lovely woman that ever warmed the human heart with desire, I own.
 But never let me harbour a thought of making her unhappy, by a
 connection with one so unworthy her merits, as I am. No, Jarvis, it
 shall be my study to serve her, even in spite of my wishes; and to
 secure her happiness, though it destroys my own.

 JARVIS. Was ever the like? I want patience.

 HONEYW. Besides, Jarvis, though I could obtain Miss Richland's consent,
 do you think I could succeed with her guardian, or Mrs. Croaker, his
 wife; who, though both very fine in their way, are yet a little
 opposite in their dispositions, you know?

 JARVIS. Opposite enough, Heaven knows; the very reverse of each other;
 she all laugh and no joke, he always complaining and never sorrowful; a
 fretful poor soul, that has a new distress for every hour in the
 four-and-twenty—

 HONEYW. Hush, hush, he's coming up! he'll hear you.

 JARVIS. One whose voice is a passing bell—

 HONEYW. Well, well, go do.

 JARVIS. A raven that bodes nothing but mischief; a coffin and cross
 bones; a bundle of rue; a sprig of deadly nightshade; a—(HONEYWOOD,
 _stopping his mouth, at last pushes him off_.)

                             _Exit_ JARVIS.

 HONEYW. I must own, my old monitor is not entirely wrong. There is
 something in my friend Croaker's conversation that quite depresses me.
 His very mirth is an antidote to all gaiety, and his appearance has a
 stronger effect on my spirits than an undertaker's shop.—Mr. Croaker,
 this is such a satisfaction—

                            _Enter_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. A pleasant morning to Mr. Honeywood, and many of them. How is
 this? You look most shockingly to-day, my dear friend. I hope this
 weather does not affect your spirits. To be sure, if this weather
 continues—I say nothing—but God send we be all better this day three
 months.

[Illustration:

  "CROAKER.—_A pleasant morning to Mr. Honeywood._"—_p._ 272.
]


 HONEYW. I heartily concur in the wish, though, I own, not in your
 apprehensions.

 CROAKER. May be not. Indeed, what signifies what weather we have, in a
 country going to ruin like ours? Taxes rising and trade falling. Money
 flying out of the kingdom, and Jesuits swarming into it. I know at this
 time no less than a hundred and twenty-seven Jesuits between
 Charing-cross and Temple-bar.

 HONEYW. The Jesuits will scarce pervert you or me, I should hope?

 CROAKER. May be not. Indeed what signifies whom they pervert in a
 country that has scarce any religion to lose? I'm only afraid for our
 wives and daughters.

 HONEYW. I have no apprehensions for the ladies, I assure you.

 CROAKER. May be not. Indeed what signifies whether they be perverted or
 not? The women in my time were good for something. I have seen a lady
 dressed from top to toe in her own manufactures formerly. But
 now-a-days the devil a thing of their own manufacture about them,
 except their faces.

 HONEYW. But, however these faults may be practised abroad, you don't
 find them at home, either with Mrs. Croaker, Olivia, or Miss Richland.

 CROAKER. The best of them will never be canonised for a saint when
 she's dead. By the by, my dear friend, I don't find this match between
 Miss Richland and my son much relished, either by one side or t'other.

 HONEYW. I thought otherwise.

 CROAKER. Ah, Mr. Honeywood, a little of your fine serious advice to the
 young lady might go far: I know she has a very exalted opinion of your
 understanding.

 HONEYW. But would not that be usurping an authority that more properly
 belongs to yourself?

 CROAKER. My dear friend, you know but little of my authority at home.
 People think, indeed, because they see me come out in a morning thus,
 with a pleasant face, and to make my friends merry, that all's well
 within. But I have cares that would break a heart of stone. My wife has
 so encroached upon every one of my privileges, that I'm now no more
 than a mere lodger in my own house.

 HONEYW. But a little spirit exerted on your side might perhaps restore
 your authority.

 CROAKER. No, though I had the spirit of a lion. I do rouse sometimes.
 But what then? always haggling and haggling. A man is tired of getting
 the better, before his wife is tired of losing the victory.

 HONEYW. It's a melancholy consideration indeed, that our chief comforts
 often produce our greatest anxieties, and that an increase of our
 possessions is but an inlet to new disquietudes.

 CROAKER. Ah, my dear friend, these were the very words of poor Dick
 Doleful to me not a week before he made away with himself. Indeed, Mr.
 Honeywood, I never see you but you put me in mind of poor Dick. Ah,
 there was merit neglected for you! and so true a friend; we loved each
 other for thirty years, and yet he never asked me to lend him a single
 farthing.

 HONEYW. Pray what could induce him to commit so rash an action at last?

 CROAKER. I don't know, some people were malicious enough to say it was
 keeping company with me; because we used to meet now and then, and open
 our hearts to each other. To be sure I loved to hear him talk, and he
 loved to hear me talk; poor dear Dick! He used to say, that Croaker
 rhymed to joker; and so we used to laugh—Poor Dick!

                            [_Going to cry._

 HONEYW. His fate affects me.

 CROAKER. Ay, he grew sick of this miserable life, where we do nothing
 but eat and grow hungry, dress and undress, get up and lie down; while
 reason, that should watch like a nurse by our side, falls as fast
 asleep as we do.

 HONEYW. To say truth, if we compare that part of life which is to come,
 by that which we have passed, the prospect is hideous.

 CROAKER. Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that
 must be humoured and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all
 the care is over.

 HONEYW. Very true, sir; nothing can exceed the vanity of our existence,
 but the folly of our pursuits. We wept when we came into the world, and
 every day tells us why.

 CROAKER. Ah, my dear friend, it is a perfect satisfaction to be
 miserable with you. My son Leontine shan't lose the benefit of such
 fine conversation. I'll just step home for him. I am willing to show
 him so much seriousness in one scarce older than himself—And what if I
 bring my last letter to the Gazetteer on the increase and progress of
 earthquakes? It will amuse us, I promise you. I there prove how the
 late earthquake is coming round to pay us another visit from London to
 Lisbon, from Lisbon to the Canary Islands, from the Canary Islands to
 Palmyra, from Palmyra to Constantinople, and so from Constantinople
 back to London again.

                                 _Exit._

 HONEYW. Poor Croaker! His situation deserves the utmost pity. I shall
 scarce recover my spirits these three days. Sure, to live upon such
 terms is worse than death itself. And yet, when I consider my own
 situation, a broken fortune, a hopeless passion, friends in distress;
 the wish but not the power to serve them—(_pausing and sighing._)

 _Enter_ BUTLER.

 BUTLER. More company below, sir; Mrs. Croaker and Miss Richland; shall
 I show them up? But they're showing up themselves.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ MRS. CROAKER _and_ MISS RICHLAND.

 MISS RICH. You're always in such spirits.

 MRS. CROAKER. We have just come, my dear Honeywood, from the auction.
 There was the old deaf dowager, as usual, bidding like a fury against
 herself. And then so curious in antiques! herself the most genuine
 piece of antiquity in the whole collection.

 HONEYW. Excuse me, ladies, if some uneasiness from friendship makes me
 unfit to share in this good humour: I know you'll pardon me.

 MRS. CROAKER. I vow, he seems as melancholy as if he had taken a dose
 of my husband this morning. Well, if Richland here can pardon you, I
 must.

 MISS RICH. You would seem to insinuate, madam, that I have particular
 reasons for being disposed to refuse it.

 MRS. CROAKER. Whatever I insinuate, my dear, don't be so ready to wish
 an explanation.

 MISS RICH. I own I should be sorry Mr. Honeywood's long friendship and
 mine should be misunderstood.

 HONEYW. There's no answering for others, madam; but I hope you'll never
 find me presuming to offer more than the most delicate friendship may
 readily allow.

 MISS RICH. And, I shall be prouder of such a tribute from you, than the
 most passionate professions from others.

 HONEYW. My own sentiments, madam: friendship is a disinterested
 commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants
 and slaves.

 MISS RICH. And, without a compliment, I know none more disinterested or
 more capable of friendship than Mr. Honeywood.

 MRS. CROAKER. And indeed I know nobody that has more friends, at least
 among the ladies. Miss Fruzz, Miss Odbody, and Miss Winterbottom,
 praise him in all companies. As for Miss Biddy Bundle, she's his
 professed admirer.

 MISS RICH. Indeed! an admirer! I did not know, sir, you were such a
 favourite there. But is she seriously so handsome? Is she the mighty
 thing talked of?

 HONEYW. The town, madam, seldom begins to praise a lady's beauty, till
 she's beginning to lose it.

 [_Smiling._

 MRS. CROAKER. But she's resolved never to lose it, it seems; for as her
 natural face decays, her skill improves in making the artificial one.
 Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those fine old dressy things,
 who thinks to conceal her age by everywhere exposing her person;
 sticking herself up in the front of a side-box; trailing through a
 minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens, looking for all
 the world like one of the painted ruins of the place.

 HONEYW. Every age has its admirers, ladies. While you, perhaps, are
 trading among the warmer climates of youth, there ought to be some to
 carry on a useful commerce in the frozen latitudes beyond fifty.

 MISS RICH. But then the mortifications they must suffer before they can
 be fitted out for traffic! I have seen one of them fret a whole morning
 at her hair-dresser, when all the fault was her face.

 HONEYW. And yet I'll engage, has carried that face at last to a very
 good market. This good-natured town, madam, has husbands, like
 spectacles, to fit every age, from fifteen to four-score.

 MRS. CROAKER. Well, you're a dear good-natured creature. But you know
 you're engaged with us this morning upon a strolling party. I want to
 show Olivia the town and the things; I believe I shall have business
 for you for the whole day.

 HONEYW. I am sorry, madam, I have an appointment with Mr. Croaker,
 which it is impossible to put off.

 MRS. CROAKER. What! with my husband? Then I'm resolved to take no
 refusal. Nay, I protest you must. You know I never laugh so much as
 with you.

 HONEYW. Why, if I must, I must, I'll swear, you have put me into such
 spirits. Well, do you find jest, and I'll find laugh, I promise you.
 We'll wait for the chariot in the next room.

                               [_Exeunt._

 _Enter_ LEONTINE _and_ OLIVIA.

 LEONT. There they go, thoughtless and happy. My dearest Olivia, what
 would I give to see you capable of sharing in their amusements, and as
 cheerful as they are!

 OLIVIA. How, my Leontine, how can I be cheerful, when I have so many
 terrors to oppress me? The fear of being detected by this family, and
 the apprehensions of a censuring world, when I must be detected——

 LEONT. The world! my love, what can it say? At worst, it can only say
 that, being compelled by a mercenary guardian to embrace a life you
 disliked, you formed a resolution of flying with the man of your
 choice; that you confided in his honour, and took refuge in my father's
 house; the only one where yours could remain without censure.

[Illustration:

  "CROAKER.—_Well, and you have both of
  you a mutual choice._"—_p._ 279.
]


 OLIVIA. But consider, Leontine, your disobedience and my indiscretion:
 your being sent to France to bring home a sister; and, instead of a
 sister, bringing home——

 LEONT. One dearer than a thousand sisters; one that I am convinced will
 be equally dear to the rest of the family, when she comes to be known.

 OLIVIA. And that I fear, will shortly be.

 LEONT. Impossible till we ourselves think proper to make the discovery.
 My sister, you know, has been with her aunt, at Lyons, since she was a
 child; and you find every creature in the family takes you for her.

 OLIVIA. But mayn't she write? mayn't her aunt write?

 LEONT. Her aunt scarce ever writes, and all my sister's letters are
 directed to me.

 OLIVIA. But won't your refusing Miss Richland, for whom you know the
 old gentleman intends you, create a suspicion?

 LEONT. There, there's my masterstroke. I have resolved not to refuse
 her; nay, an hour hence I have consented to go with my father, to make
 her an offer of my heart and fortune.

 OLIVIA. Your heart and fortune!

 LEONT. Don't be alarmed, my dearest. Can Olivia think so meanly of my
 honour, or my love, as to suppose I could ever hope for happiness from
 any but her? No, my Olivia, neither the force, nor permit me to add,
 the delicacy of my passion, leave any room to suspect me. I only offer
 Miss Richland a heart, I am convinced she will refuse; as I am
 confident, that without knowing it, her affections are fixed upon Mr.
 Honeywood.

 OLIVIA. Mr. Honeywood! You'll excuse my apprehensions; but when your
 merits come to be put in the balance—

 LEONT. You view them with too much partiality. However, by making this
 offer, I show a seeming compliance with my father's commands; and
 perhaps, upon her refusal, I may have his consent to choose for myself.

 OLIVIA. Well, I submit. And, yet my Leontine, I own, I shall envy her,
 even your pretended addresses. I consider every look, every expression
 of your esteem, as due only to me. This is folly, perhaps: I allow it;
 but it is natural to suppose, that merit which has made an impression
 on one's own heart, may be powerful over that of another.

 LEONT. Don't, my life's treasure, don't let us make imaginary evils,
 when you know we have so many real ones to encounter. At worst, you
 know, if Miss Richland should consent, or my father refuse his pardon,
 it can but end in a trip to Scotland; and——

 _Enter_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Where have you been, boy? I have been seeking you. My friend
 Honeywood here has been saying such comfortable things. Ah! he's an
 example indeed. Where is he? I left him here.

 LEONT. Sir, I believe you may see him, and hear him too, in the next
 room: he's preparing to go out with the ladies.

 CROAKER. Good gracious, can I believe my eyes or my ears? I'm struck
 dumb with his vivacity, and stunned with the loudness of his laugh. Was
 there ever such a transformation? (_A laugh behind the scenes_; CROAKER
 _mimics it_.) Ha! ha! ha! there it goes: a plague take their
 balderdash; yet I could expect nothing less, when my precious wife was
 of the party. On my conscience, I believe she could spread a
 horse-laugh through the pews of a tabernacle.

 LEONT. Since you find so many objections to a wife, sir, how can you be
 so earnest in recommending one to me?

 CROAKER. I have told you, and tell you again, boy, that Miss Richland's
 fortune must not go out of the family; one may find comfort in the
 money, whatever one does in the wife.

 LEONT. But, sir, though in obedience to your desire, I am ready to
 marry her; it may be possible, she has no inclination to me.

 CROAKER. I'll tell you once for all how it stands. A good part of Miss
 Richland's large fortune consists in a claim upon government, which my
 good friend, Mr. Lofty, assures me the treasury will allow. One half of
 this she is to forfeit, by her father's will, in case she refuses to
 marry you. So if she rejects you, we seize half her fortune; if she
 accepts you, we seize the whole, and a fine girl into the bargain.

 LEONT. But, sir, if you will but listen to reason—

 CROAKER. Come, then produce your reasons. I tell you I'm fixed,
 determined, so now produce your reasons. When I'm determined I always
 listen to reason, because it can then do no harm.

 LEONT. You have alleged that a mutual choice was the first requisite in
 matrimonial happiness—

 CROAKER. Well, and you have both of you a mutual choice. She has her
 choice—to marry you, or lose half her fortune; and you have your
 choice—to marry her, or pack out of doors without any fortune at all.

 LEONT. An only son, sir, might expect more indulgence.

 CROAKER. An only father, sir, might expect more obedience; besides, has
 not your sister here, that never disobliged me in her life, as good a
 right as you? He's a sad dog, Livy my dear, and would take all from
 you. But he shan't, I tell you he shan't, for you shall have your
 share.

 OLIVIA. Dear sir, I wish you'd be convinced that I can never be happy
 in any addition to my fortune, which is taken from his.

 CROAKER. Well, well, it's a good child; so say no more, but come with
 me, and we shall see something that will give us a great deal of
 pleasure, I promise you; old Ruggins, the currycomb maker, lying in
 state: I'm told he makes a very handsome corpse, and becomes his coffin
 prodigiously. He was an intimate friend of mine, and these are friendly
 things we ought to do for each other.

                               [_Exeunt._

 ACT II.


 SCENE.—CROAKER'S _house_.

 MISS RICHLAND, GARNET.

 MISS RICH. Olivia not his sister? Olivia not Leontine's sister? You
 amaze me!

 GARNET. No more his sister than I am; I had it all from his own
 servant; I can get anything from that quarter.

 MISS RICH. But how? Tell me again, Garnet.

 GARNET. Why madam, as I told you before, instead of going to Lyons to
 bring home his sister, who has been there with her aunt these ten years
 he never went further than Paris; there he saw and fell in love with
 this young lady: by the bye, of a prodigious family.

 MISS RICH. And brought her home to my guardian, as his daughter.

 GARNET. Yes, and daughter she will be. If he don't consent to their
 marriage, they talk of trying what a Scotch parson can do.

 MISS RICH. Well, I own they have deceived me—And so demurely as Olivia
 carried it too!—Would you believe it, Garnet, I told her all my
 secrets; and yet the sly cheat concealed all this from me?

 GARNET. And, upon my word, madam, I don't much blame her; she was loth
 to trust one with her secrets, that was so very bad at keeping her own.

 MISS RICH. But, to add to their deceit, the young gentleman, it seems,
 pretends to make me serious proposals. My guardian and he are to be
 here presently, to open the affair in form. You know I am to lose half
 my fortune if I refuse him.

 GARNET. Yet what can you do? for being, as you are, in love with Mr.
 Honeywood, madam—

 MISS RICH. How, idiot! what do you mean? In love with Mr. Honeywood! Is
 this to provoke me?

 GARNET. That is, madam, in friendship with him; I meant nothing more
 than friendship, as I hope to be married; nothing more.

 MISS RICH. Well, no more of this. As to my guardian and his son, they
 shall find me prepared to receive them; I'm resolved to accept their
 proposal with seeming pleasure, to mortify them by compliance, and so
 throw the refusal at last upon them.

 GARNET. Delicious! and that will secure your whole fortune to yourself.
 Well, who could have thought so innocent a face could cover so much
 cuteness?

 MISS RICH. Why, girl, I only oppose my prudence to their cunning, and
 practise a lesson they have taught me against themselves.

 GARNET. Then you're likely not long to want employment; for here they
 come, and in close conference.

 _Enter_ CROAKER, LEONTINE.

 LEONT. Excuse me, sir, if I seem to hesitate upon the point of putting
 to the lady so important a question.

 CROAKER. Lord, good sir! moderate your fears; you're so plaguy shy,
 that one would think you had changed sexes. I tell you, we must have
 the half or the whole. Come, let me see with what spirit you begin.
 Well, why don't you? Eh? What? Well then—I must, it seems. Miss
 Richland, my dear, I believe you guess at our business; an affair which
 my son here comes to open, that nearly concerns your happiness.

 MISS RICH. Sir, I should be ungrateful not to be pleased with anything
 that comes recommended by you.

 CROAKER. How, boy, could you desire a finer opportunity? Why don't you
 begin, I say?

 [_To_ LEONT.

 LEONT. 'Tis true, madam, my father, madam, has some intentions—hem—of
 explaining an affair—which—himself—can best explain, madam.

 CROAKER. Yes, my dear; it comes entirely from my son; it's all a
 request of his own, madam. And I will permit him to make the best of
 it.

 LEONT. The whole affair is only this, madam; my father has a proposal
 to make, which he insists none but himself shall deliver.

 CROAKER. My mind misgives me, the fellow will never be brought on.
 (_Aside._) In short, madam, you see before you one that loves you; one
 whose whole happiness is all in you.

 MISS RICH. I never had any doubts of your regard, sir; and I hope you
 can have none of my duty.

[Illustration:

  GARNET.—"_For being, as you are,
  in love with Mr. Honeywood, madam._"—_p._ 280.
]


 CROAKER. That's not the thing, my little sweeting, my love. No, no,
 another-guess lover than I, there he stands, madam; his very looks
 declare the force of his passion—Call up a look, you dog—But then, had
 you seen him, as I have, weeping, speaking soliloquies and blank verse,
 sometimes melancholy, and sometimes absent—

 MISS RICH. I fear, sir, he's absent now; or such a declaration would
 have come most properly from himself.

 CROAKER. Himself, madam! He would die before he could make such a
 confession; and if he had not a channel for his passion through me, it
 would ere now have drowned his understanding.

 MISS RICH. I must grant, sir, there are attractions in modest
 diffidence, above the force of words. A silent address is the genuine
 eloquence of sincerity.

 CROAKER. Madam, he has forgot to speak any other language; silence is
 become his mother-tongue.

 MISS RICH. And it must be confessed, sir, it speaks very powerful in
 his favour. And yet, I shall be thought too forward in making such a
 confession; shan't I, Mr. Leontine?

 LEONT. Confusion! my reserve will undo me. But, if modesty attracts
 her, impudence may disgust her. I'll try. (_Aside._) Don't imagine from
 my silence, madam, that I want a due sense of the honour and happiness
 intended me. My father, madam, tells me, your humble servant is not
 totally indifferent to you. He admires you; I adore you; and when we
 come together, upon my soul I believe we shall be the happiest couple
 in all St. James's.

 MISS RICH. If I could flatter myself, you thought as you speak, sir—

 LEONT. Doubt my sincerity, madam? By your dear self I swear. Ask the
 brave if they desire glory, ask cowards if they covet safety—

 CROAKER. Well, well, no more questions about it.

 LEONT. Ask the sick if they long for health, ask misers if they love
 money, ask—

 CROAKER. Ask a fool if he can talk nonsense! What's come over the boy?
 What signifies asking, when there's not a soul to give you an answer?
 If you would ask to the purpose, ask this lady's consent to make you
 happy.

 MISS RICH. Why indeed, sir, his uncommon ardour almost compels me,
 forces me, to comply, And yet I am afraid he'll despise a conquest
 gained with too much ease; won't you Mr. Leontine?

 LEONT. Confusion! (_Aside._) O, by no means, madam, by no means. And
 yet, madam, you talked of force. There is nothing I would avoid so much
 as compulsion in a thing of this kind. No, madam; I will still be
 generous, and leave you at liberty to refuse.

 CROAKER. But I tell you, sir, the lady is not at liberty. It's a match.
 You see she says nothing. Silence gives consent.

 LEONT. But, sir, she talked of force. Consider, sir, the cruelty of
 constraining her inclinations.

 CROAKER. But I say there's no cruelty. Don't you know, blockhead, that
 girls have always a round-about way of saying Yes before company? So
 get you both gone together into the next room, and hang him that
 interrupts the tender explanation. Get you gone, I say; I'll not hear a
 word.

 LEONT. But, sir, I must beg leave to insist—

 CROAKER. Get off, you puppy, or I'll beg leave to insist upon knocking
 you down. Stupid whelp! But I don't wonder; the boy takes entirely
 after his mother.

                    [_Exeunt_ MISS RICH. _and_ LEONT.

 _Enter_ MRS. CROAKER.

 MRS. CROAKER. Mr. Croaker, I bring you something, my dear, that I
 believe will make you smile.

 CROAKER. I'll hold you a guinea of that, my dear.

 MRS. CROAKER. A letter; and, as I knew the hand, I ventured to open it.

 CROAKER. And how can you expect your breaking open my letters should
 give me pleasure?

 MRS. CROAKER. Pooh, it's from your sister at Lyons, and contains good
 news: read it.

[Illustration:

  LEONT.—"_But, if modesty attracts her,
  impudence may disgust her. I'll try._"—_p._ 282.
]


 CROAKER. What a Frenchified cover is here! That sister of mine has some
 good qualities, but I could never teach her to fold a letter.

 MRS. CROAKER. Fold a fiddlestick! Read what it contains.

 CROAKER. (_reading._) "Dear Nick,—An English gentleman, of large
 fortune, has for some time made private, though honourable, proposals
 to your daughter Olivia. They love each other tenderly, and I find she
 has consented, without letting any of the family know, to crown his
 addresses. As such good offers don't come every day, your own good
 sense, his large fortune, and family considerations, will induce you to
 forgive her.—Yours ever, Rachel Croaker." My daughter Olivia privately
 contracted to a man of large fortune! This is good news indeed. My
 heart never foretold me of this. And yet, how slily the little baggage
 has carried it since she came home! Not a word on't to the old ones,
 for the world! Yet I thought I saw something she wanted to conceal.

 MRS. CROAKER. Well, if they have concealed their amour, they shan't
 conceal their wedding; that shall be public, I'm resolved.

 CROAKER. I tell thee, woman, the wedding is the most foolish part of
 the ceremony. I can never get this woman to think of the more serious
 part of the nuptial engagement.

 MRS. CROAKER. What, would you have me think of their funeral? But come,
 tell me, my dear, don't you owe more to me than you care to confess?
 Would you have ever been known to Mr. Lofty, who has undertaken Miss
 Richland's claim at the Treasury, but for me? Who was it first made him
 an acquaintance at Lady Shabbaroon's rout? Who got him to promise us
 his interest? Is not he a back-stairs favourite, one that can do what
 he pleases with those that do what they please? Isn't he an
 acquaintance that all your groaning and lamentations could never have
 got us?

 CROAKER. He is a man of importance, I grant you; and yet, what amazes
 me is, that while he is giving away places to all the world, he can't
 get one for himself.

 MRS. CROAKER. That perhaps may be owing to his nicety. Great men are
 not easily satisfied.

 _Enter_ FRENCH SERVANT.

 SERVANT. An expresse from Monsieur Lofty. He vil be vait upon your
 honours instamment. He be only giving four five instruction, read two
 tree memorial, call upon von ambassadeur. He vil be vid you in one tree
 minutes.

 MRS. CROAKER. You see now, my dear, what an extensive department. Well,
 friend, let your master know, that we are extremely honoured by this
 honour. Was there any thing ever in a higher style of breeding? All
 messages among the great are now done by express.

 CROAKER. To be sure, no man does little things with more solemnity, or
 claims more respect, than he. But he's in the right on't. In our bad
 world, respect is given where respect is claimed.

 MRS. CROAKER. Never mind the world, my dear; you were never in a
 pleasanter place in your life. Let us now think of receiving him with
 proper respect: (_a loud rapping at the door_) and there he is, by the
 thundering rap.

 CROAKER. Ay, verily, there he is; as close upon the heels of his own
 express, as an endorsement upon the back of a bill. Well, I'll leave
 you to receive him, whilst I go to chide my little Olivia for intending
 to steal a marriage without mine or her aunt's consent. I must seem to
 be angry, or she too may begin to despise my authority.

                                [_Exit._

 _Enter_ LOFTY, _speaking to his_ SERVANT.

 LOFTY. And if the Venetian ambassador, or that teazing creature the
 marquis, should call, I'm not at home. Dam'me, I'll be packhorse to
 none of them. My dear madam, I have just snatched a moment—and if the
 expresses to his grace be ready, let them be sent off; they're of
 importance. Madam, I ask a thousand pardons.

 MRS. CROAKER. Sir, this honour—

 LOFTY. And, Dubardieu, if the person calls about the commission, let
 him know that it is made out. As for Lord Cumbercourt's stale request;
 it can keep cold: you understand me. Madam, I ask ten thousand pardons.

 MRS. CROAKER. Sir, this honour—

 LOFTY. And, Dubardieu, if the man comes from the Cornish borough, you
 must do him; you must do him, I say. Madam, I ask ten thousand pardons.
 And if the Russian ambassador calls; but he will scarce call to-day, I
 believe. And now, madam, I have just got time to express my happiness
 in having the honour of being permitted to profess myself your most
 obedient humble servant.

 MRS. CROAKER. Sir, the happiness and honour are all mine: and yet I'm
 only robbing the public while I detain you.

 LOFTY. Sink the public, madam, when the fair are to be attended. Ah,
 could all my hours be so charmingly devoted! Sincerely, don't you pity
 us poor creatures in affairs? Thus it is eternally; solicited for
 places here, teazed for pensions there, and courted everywhere. I know
 you pity me. Yes, I see you do.

 MRS. CROAKER. Excuse me, sir; "Toils of empires pleasures are," as
 Waller says.

 LOFTY. Waller, Waller; is he of the house?

 MRS. CROAKER. The modern poet of that name, sir.

 LOFTY. Oh, a modern! We men of business despise the moderns; and as for
 the ancients, we have no time to read them. Poetry is a pretty thing
 enough for our wives and daughters; but not for us. Why now, here I
 stand that know nothing of books; I say, madam, I know nothing of
 books; and yet, I believe, upon a land carriage fishery, a stamp act,
 or a jaghire, I can talk my two hours without feeling the want of them.

 MRS. CROAKER. The world is no stranger to Mr. Lofty's eminence in every
 capacity.

 LOFTY. I vow to gad, madam, you make me blush. I'm nothing, nothing,
 nothing, in the world; a mere obscure gentleman. To be sure, indeed,
 one or two of the present ministers are pleased to represent me as a
 formidable man. I know they are pleased to bespatter me at all their
 little dirty levees. Yet, upon my soul, I wonder what they see in me to
 treat me so. Measures, not men, have always been my mark; and I vow, by
 all that's honourable, my resentment has never done the men, as mere
 men, any manner of harm—that is, as mere men.

 MRS. CROAKER. What importance, and yet what modesty!

 LOFTY. Oh, if you talk of modesty, madam; there, I own, I'm accessible
 to praise: modesty is my foible: it was so, the Duke of Brentford used
 to say of me. I love Jack Lofty, he used to say: no man has a finer
 knowledge of things; quite a man of information; and when he speaks
 upon his legs, by the Lord he's prodigious; he scouts them: and yet all
 men have their faults; too much modesty is his, says his grace.

 MRS. CROAKER. And yet, I dare say, you don't want assurance when you
 come to solicit for your friends.

 LOFTY. O, there indeed I'm in bronze. Apropos, I have just been
 mentioning Miss Richland's case to a certain personage; we must name no
 names. When I ask, I am not to be put off, madam. No, no, I take my
 friend by the button. "A fine girl, sir; great justice in her case. A
 friend of mine. Borough interest. Business must be done, Mr. Secretary.
 I say, Mr. Secretary, her business must be done, sir." That's my way,
 madam.

 MRS. CROAKER. Bless me! you said all this to the secretary of state,
 did you?

 LOFTY. I did not say the secretary, did I? Well, curse it, since you
 have found me out I will not deny it. It was to the secretary.

 MRS. CROAKER. This was going to the fountain head at once; not applying
 to the understrappers, as Mr. Honeywood would have had us.

 LOFTY. Honeywood! he-he! He was, indeed, a fine solicitor. I suppose
 you have heard what has just happened to him?

 MRS. CROAKER. Poor dear man! No accident, I hope.

 LOFTY. Undone, madam, that's all. His creditors have taken him into
 custody. A prisoner in his own house.

 MRS. CROAKER. A prisoner in his own house! How! At this very time? I'm
 quite unhappy for him.

 LOFTY. Why, so am I. The man, to be sure, was immensely good-natured;
 but then, I could never find that he had anything in him.

 MRS. CROAKER. His manner, to be sure, was excessive harmless; some,
 indeed, thought it a little dull. For my part I always concealed my
 opinion.

 LOFTY. It can't be concealed, madam: the man was dull, dull as the last
 new comedy! A poor impracticable creature! I tried once or twice to
 know if he was fit for business, but he had scarce talents to be
 groom-porter to an orange barrow.

 MRS. CROAKER. How differently does Miss Richland think of him! for, I
 believe, with all his faults, she loves him.

 LOFTY. Loves him! Does she? You should cure her of that, by all means.
 Let me see: what if she were sent to him this instant, in his present
 doleful situation? My life for it, that works her cure. Distress is a
 perfect antidote to love. Suppose we join her in the next room? Miss
 Richland is a fine girl, has a fine fortune, and must not be thrown
 away. Upon my honour, madam, I have a regard for Miss Richland; and,
 rather than she should be thrown away, I should think it no indignity
 to marry her myself.

                               [_Exeunt._

 _Enter_ OLIVIA _and_ LEONTINE.

 LEONT. And yet, trust me, Olivia, I had every reason to expect Miss
 Richland's refusal, as I did everything in my power to deserve it. Her
 indelicacy surprises me.

 OLIVIA. Sure, Leontine, there's nothing so indelicate in being sensible
 of your merit. If so, I fear I shall be the most guilty thing alive.

 LEONT. But you mistake, my dear. The same attention I used to advance
 my merit with you, I practised to lessen it with her. What more could I
 do?

 OLIVIA. Let us now rather consider what's to be done. We have both
 dissembled too long. I have always been ashamed, I am now quite weary,
 of it. Sure, I could never have undergone so much for any other but
 you.

 LEONT. And you shall find my gratitude equal to your kindest
 compliance. Though our friends should totally forsake us, Olivia, we
 can draw upon content for the deficiencies of fortune.

 OLIVIA. Then why should we defer our scheme of humble happiness, when
 it is now in our power? I may be the favourite of your father, it is
 true; but can it ever be thought, that his present kindness to a
 supposed child, will continue to a known deceiver?

 LEONT. I have many reasons to believe it will. As his attachments are
 but few, they are lasting. His own marriage was a private one, as ours
 may be. Besides, I have sounded him already at a distance, and find all
 his answers exactly to our wish. Nay by an expression or two that
 dropp'd from him, I am induced to think he knows of this affair.

 OLIVIA. Indeed! But that would be a happiness too great to be expected.

 LEONT. However it be, I'm certain you have power over him; and am
 persuaded, if you informed him of our situation, that he would be
 disposed to pardon it.

 OLIVIA. You had equal expectations, Leontine, from your last scheme
 with Miss Richland, which you find has succeeded most wretchedly.

 LEONT. And that's the best reason for trying another.

 OLIVIA. If it must be so, I submit.

 LEONT. As we could wish, he comes this way. Now, my dearest Olivia, be
 resolute. I'll just retire within hearing, to come in at a proper time,
 either to share your danger, or confirm your victory.

                                [_Exit._

 _Enter_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Yes, I must forgive her; and yet not too easily, neither. It
 will be proper to keep up the decorums of resentment a little, if it be
 only to impress her with an idea of my authority.

 OLIVIA. How I tremble to approach him!—Might I presume, sir—If I
 interrupt you—

 CROAKER. No, child; where I have an affection, it is not a little thing
 can interrupt me. Affection gets over little things.

 OLIVIA. Sir, you're too kind. I'm sensible how ill I deserve this
 partiality. Yet Heaven knows there is nothing I would not do to gain
 it.

 CROAKER. And you have but too well succeeded, you little hussy, you.
 With those endearing ways of yours, on my conscience, I could be
 brought to forgive any thing, unless it were a very great offence
 indeed.

 OLIVIA. But mine is such an offence—When you know my guilt—Yes, you
 shall know it, though I feel the greatest pain in the confession.

 CROAKER. Why then, if it be so very great a pain, you may spare
 yourself the trouble, for I know every syllable of the matter before
 you begin.

 OLIVIA. Indeed! Then I'm undone.

 CROAKER. Ay, miss, you wanted to steal a match, without letting me know
 it, did you? But I'm not worth being consulted, I suppose, when there's
 to be a marriage in my own family. No, I'm to have no hand in the
 disposal of my own children. No, I'm nobody. I'm to be a mere article
 of family lumber; a piece of crack'd china to be stuck up in a corner.

 OLIVIA. Dear sir, nothing but the dread of your authority could induce
 us to conceal it from you.

 CROAKER. No, no, my consequence is no more; I'm as little minded as a
 dead Russian in winter, just stuck up with a pipe in his mouth till
 there comes a thaw—It goes to my heart to vex her.

 OLIVIA. I was prepared, sir, for your anger, and despaired of pardon,
 even while I presumed to ask it. But your severity shall never abate my
 affection, as my punishment is but justice.

 CROAKER. And yet you should not despair neither, Livy. We ought to hope
 all for the best.

 OLIVIA. And do you permit me to hope, sir? Can I ever expect to be
 forgiven? But hope has too long deceived me.

 CROAKER. Why then, child, it shan't deceive you now, for I forgive you
 this very moment; I forgive you all; and now you are indeed my
 daughter.

 OLIVIA. O transport! This kindness overpowers me.

 CROAKER. I was always against severity to our children. We have been
 young and giddy ourselves, and we can't expect boys and girls to be old
 before their time.

 OLIVIA. What generosity! But can you forget the many falsehoods, the
 dissimulation——

 CROAKER. You did indeed dissemble, you urchin you; but where's the girl
 that won't dissemble for a husband? My wife and I had never been
 married, if we had not dissembled a little beforehand.

 OLIVIA. It shall be my future care never to put such generosity to a
 second trial. And as for the partner of my offence and folly, from his
 native honour, and the just sense he has of his duty, I can answer for
 him that——

 _Enter_ LEONTINE.

 LEONT. Permit him thus to answer for himself. (_Kneeling._) Thus, sir,
 let me speak my gratitude for this unmerited forgiveness. Yes, sir,
 this even exceeds all your former tenderness: I now can boast the most
 indulgent of fathers. The life he gave, compared to this, was but a
 trifling blessing.

 CROAKER. And, good sir, who sent for you, with that fine tragedy face,
 and flourishing manner? I don't know what we have to do with your
 gratitude upon this occasion.

 LEONT. How, sir, is it possible to be silent when so much obliged?
 Would you refuse me the pleasure of being grateful? Of adding my thanks
 to my Olivia's? Of sharing in the transports that you have thus
 occasioned?

 CROAKER. Lord, sir, we can be happy enough, without your coming in to
 make up the party. I don't know what's the matter with the boy all this
 day; he has got into such a rhodomontade manner all the morning!

 LEONT. But, sir, I that have so large a part in the benefit, is it not
 my duty to show my joy? Is the being admitted to your favour so slight
 an obligation? Is the happiness of marrying my Olivia so small a
 blessing?

 CROAKER. Marrying Olivia! marrying Olivia! marrying his own sister!
 Sure the boy is out of his senses! His own sister!

 LEONT. My sister!

 OLIVIA. Sister! How have I been mistaken!

 _Aside._

 LEONT. Some cursed mistake in all this, I find.

 _Aside._

 CROAKER. What does the booby mean, or has he any meaning? Eh, what do
 you mean, you blockhead you?

 LEONT. Mean, sir—why, sir—only when my sister is to be married, that I
 have the pleasure of marrying her, sir; that is, of giving her away,
 sir—I have made a point of it.

 CROAKER. O, is that all? Give her away. You have made a point of it.
 Then you had as good make a point of first giving away yourself, as I'm
 going to prepare the writings between you and Miss Richland this very
 minute. What a fuss is here about nothing! Why, what's the matter now?
 I thought I had made you at least as happy as you could wish.

[Illustration:

  BAILIFF.—"_Look-ye, sir, I have arrested
  as good men as you in my time._"—_p._ 290.
]


 OLIVIA. Oh! yes, sir, very happy.

 CROAKER. Do you foresee anything, child? You look as if you did. I
 think if anything was to be foreseen, I have as sharp a look-out as
 another: and yet I foresee nothing.

                                [_Exit._

 LEONTINE, OLIVIA.

 OLIVIA. What can it mean?

 LEONT. He knows something, and yet for my life I can't tell what.

 OLIVIA. It can't be the connexion between us, I'm pretty certain.

 LEONT. Whatever it be, my dearest, I'm resolved to put it out of
 Fortune's power to repeat our mortification. I'll haste, and prepare
 for our journey to Scotland this very evening. My friend Honeywood has
 promised me his advice and assistance. I'll go to him, and repose our
 distresses on his friendly bosom: and I know so much of his honest
 heart, that if he can't relieve our uneasinesses, he will at least
 share them.

                               [_Exeunt._

                                ACT III.


 SCENE.—YOUNG HONEYWOOD'S _House_.

 BAILIFF, HONEYWOOD, FOLLOWER.

 BAILIFF. Look-ye, sir, I have arrested as good men as you in my time;
 no disparagement of you neither. Men that would go forty guineas on a
 game of cribbage. I challenge the town to show a man in more genteeler
 practice than myself.

 HONEYW. Without all question, Mr. ——. I forget your name, sir?

 BAILIFF. How can you forget what you never knew? he, he, he!

 HONEYW. May I beg leave to ask your name?

 BAILIFF. Yes, you may.

 HONEYW. Then, pray, sir, what is your name, sir?

 BAILIFF. That I didn't promise to tell you; he, he, he! A joke breaks
 no bones, as we say among us that practise the law.

 HONEYW. You may have reason for keeping it a secret perhaps.

 BAILIFF. The law does nothing without reason. I'm ashamed to tell my
 name to no man, sir. If you can show cause, as why, upon a special
 capus, that I should prove my name—But, come, Timothy Twitch is my
 name. And, now you know my name, what have you to say to that?

 HONEYW. Nothing in the world, good Mr. Twitch, but that I have a favour
 to ask, that's all.

 BAILIFF. Ay, favours are more easily asked than granted, as we say
 among us that practise the law. I have taken an oath against granting
 favours. Would you have me perjure myself?

 HONEYW. But my request will come recommended in so strong a manner, as,
 I believe, you'll have no scruple. (_Pulling out his purse._) The thing
 is only this: I believe I shall be able to discharge this trifle in two
 or three days at farthest; but as I would not have the affair known for
 the world, I have thought of keeping you, and your good friend here,
 about me till the debt is discharged; for which I shall be properly
 grateful.

 BAILIFF. Oh! that's another maxum, and altogether within my oath. For
 certain, if an honest man is to get anything by a thing, there's no
 reason why all things should not be done in civility.

 HONEYW. Doubtless, all trades must live, Mr. Twitch, and yours is a
 necessary one. (_Gives him money._)

 BAILIFF. Oh! your honour; I hope your honour takes nothing amiss as I
 does, as I does nothing but my duty in so doing. I'm sure no man can
 say I ever give a gentleman, that was a gentleman, ill-usage. If I saw
 that a gentleman was a gentleman, I have taken money not to see him for
 ten weeks together.

 HONEYW. Tenderness is a virtue, Mr. Twitch.

 BAILIFF. Ay, sir, it's a perfect treasure. I love to see a gentleman
 with a tender heart. I don't know, but I think I have a tender heart
 myself. If all that I have lost by my heart was put together, it would
 make a—but no matter for that.

 HONEYW. Don't account it lost, Mr. Twitch. The ingratitude of the world
 can never deprive us of the conscious happiness of having acted with
 humanity ourselves.

 BAILIFF. Humanity, sir, is a jewel. It's better than gold. I love
 humanity. People may say that we, in our way, have no humanity; but
 I'll show you my humanity this moment. There's my follower here, little
 Flanigan, with a wife and four children, a guinea or two would be more
 to him, than twice as much to another. Now, as I can't show him any
 humanity myself, I must beg you'll do it for me.

 HONEYW. I assure you, Mr. Twitch, yours is a most powerful
 recommendation. (_Giving money to the_ FOLLOWER.)

 BAILIFF. Sir, you're a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your
 money. But, to business: we are to be with you here as your friends, I
 suppose. But set in case company comes.—Little Flanigan here, to be
 sure, has a good face; a very good face; but then, he is a little
 seedy, as we say among us that practise the law. Not well in clothes.
 Smoke the pocket-holes.

 HONEYW. Well, that should be remedied without delay.

 _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERVANT. Sir, Miss Richland is below.

 HONEYW. How unlucky! Detain her a moment. We must improve, my good
 friend, little Mr. Flanigan's appearance first. Here, let Mr. Flanigan
 have a suit of my clothes—quick—the brown and silver—Do you hear?

 SERVANT. That your honour gave away to the begging gentleman that makes
 verses, because it was as good as new.

 HONEYW. The white and gold then.

 SERVANT. That, your honour, I made bold to sell because it was good for
 nothing.

 HONEYW. Well, the first that comes to hand then. The blue and gold. I
 believe Mr. Flanigan will look best in blue.

                            [_Exit_ FLANIGAN.

 BAILIFF. Rabbit me, but little Flanigan will look well in anything. Ah,
 if your honour knew that bit of flesh as well as I do, you'd be
 perfectly in love with him. There's not a prettier scout in the four
 counties after a shy-cock than he. Scents like a hound; sticks like a
 weasel. He was master of the ceremonies to the black queen of Morocco
 when I took him to follow me. [_Re-enter_ FLANIGAN.] Heh, ecod, I think
 he looks so well, that I don't care if I have a suit from the same
 place for myself.

 HONEYW. Well, well, I hear the lady coming. Dear Mr. Twitch, I beg
 you'll give your friend directions not to speak. As for yourself, I
 know you will say nothing without being directed.

 BAILIFF. Never you fear me, I'll show the lady that I have something to
 say for myself as well as another. One man has one way of talking, and
 another man has another, that's all the difference between them.

 _Enter_ MISS RICHLAND _and her_ MAID.

 MISS RICH. You'll be surprised, sir, with this visit. But you know I'm
 yet to thank you for choosing my little library.

 HONEYW. Thanks, madam, are unnecessary, as it was I that was obliged by
 your commands. Chairs here. Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch,
 and Mr. Flanigan. Pray, gentlemen, sit without ceremony.

 MISS RICH. Who can these odd-looking men be? I fear it is as I was
 informed. It must be so.

 _Aside._

 BAILIFF (_after a pause_). Pretty weather, very pretty weather, for the
 time of the year, madam.

 FOLLOWER. Very good circuit weather in the country.

 HONEYW. You officers are generally favourites among the ladies. My
 friends, madam, have been upon very disagreeable duty, I assure you.
 The fair should, in some measure, recompense the toils of the brave.

 MISS RICH. Our officers do indeed deserve every favour. The gentlemen
 are in the marine service, I presume, sir?

 HONEYW. Why, madam, they do—occasionally serve in the Fleet, madam. A
 dangerous service.

 MISS RICH. I'm told so. And I own, it has often surprised me, that,
 while we have had so many instances of bravery there, we have had so
 few of wit at home to praise it.

 HONEYW. I grant, madam, that our poets have not written as our soldiers
 have fought; but, they have done all they could, and Hawke or Amherst
 could do no more.

 MISS RICH. I'm quite displeased when I see a fine subject spoiled by a
 dull writer.

 HONEYW. We should not be so severe against dull writers, madam. It is
 ten to one, but the dullest writer exceeds the most rigid French critic
 who presumes to despise him.

 FOLLOWER. Damn the French, the parle vous, and all that belongs to
 them.

 MISS RICH. Sir!

 HONEYW. Ha, ha, ha, honest Mr. Flanigan. A true English officer, madam;
 he's not contented with beating the French, but he will scold them too.

 MISS RICH. Yet, Mr. Honeywood, this does not convince me but that
 severity in criticism is necessary. It was our first adopting the
 severity of French taste, that has brought them in turn to taste us.

 BAILIFF. Taste us! By the Lord, madam, they devour us. Give Monseers
 but a taste, and I'll be damn'd, but they come in for a bellyful.

 MISS RICH. Very extraordinary this.

 FOLLOWER. But very true. What makes the bread rising? the parle vous
 that devour us. What makes the mutton five pence a pound? the parle
 vous that eat it up. What makes the beer threepence halfpenny a pot—

 HONEYW. Ah! the vulgar rogues, all will be out. Right, gentlemen, very
 right upon my word, and quite to the purpose. They draw a parallel,
 madam, between the mental taste, and that of our senses. We are injured
 as much by French severity in the one, as by French rapacity in the
 other. That's their meaning.

 MISS RICH. Though I don't see the force of the parallel, yet, I'll own,
 that we should sometimes pardon books, as we do our friends, that have
 now and then agreeable absurdities to recommend them.

[Illustration:

  BAILIFF.—"_Taste us! By the Lord,
  madam, they devour us._"—_p._ 292.
]


 BAILIFF. That's all my eye. The king only can pardon, as the law says;
 for set in case——

 HONEYW. I'm quite of your opinion, sir. I see the whole drift of your
 argument. Yes, certainly our presuming to pardon any work, is
 arrogating a power that belongs to another. If all have power to
 condemn, what writer can be free?

 BAILIFF. By his habus corpus. His habus corpus can set him free at any
 time. For set in case—

 HONEYW. I'm obliged to you, sir, for the hint. If madam, as my friend
 observes, our laws are so careful of a gentleman's person, sure we
 ought to be equally careful of his dearer part, his fame.

 FOLLOWER. Ay, but if so be a man's nabbed, you know—

 HONEYW. Mr. Flanigan, if you spoke for ever, you could not improve the
 last observation. For my own part, I think it conclusive.

 BAILIFF. As for the matter of that, mayhap——

 HONEYW. Nay, sir, give me leave in this instance to be positive. For
 where is the necessity of censuring works without genius, which must
 shortly sink of themselves: what is it, but aiming our unnecessary blow
 against a victim already under the hands of justice?

 BAILIFF. Justice! O, by the elevens, if you talk about justice, I think
 I am at home there; for, in a course of law—

 HONEYW. My dear Mr. Twitch, I discern what you'd be at perfectly, and I
 believe the lady must be sensible of the art with which it is
 introduced. I suppose you perceive the meaning, madam, of his course of
 law?

 MISS RICH. I protest, sir, I do not. I perceive only that you answer
 one gentleman before he has finished, and the other before he has well
 begun.

 BAILIFF. Madam, you are a gentlewoman, and I will make the matter out.
 This here question is about severity and justice, and pardon, and the
 like of they. Now to explain the thing—

 HONEYW. O! curse your explanations.

 _Aside._

 _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERVANT. Mr. Leontine, sir, below, desires to speak with you upon
 earnest business.

 HONEYW. That's lucky (_aside._) Dear madam, you'll excuse me, and my
 good friends here, for a few minutes. There are books, madam, to amuse
 you. Come, gentlemen, you know I make no ceremony with such friends.
 After you, sir. Excuse me. Well, if I must; but I know your natural
 politeness.

 BAILIFF. Before and behind, you know.

 FOLLOWER. Ay, ay, before and behind, before and behind.

 [_Exeunt_ HONEYWOOD, BAILIFF, _and_ FOLLOWER.

 MISS RICH. What can all this mean, Garnet?

 GARNET. Mean, madam? why, what should it mean, but what Mr. Lofty sent
 you here to see? These people he calls officers, are officers sure
 enough: sheriff's officers; bailiffs, madam.

 MISS RICH. Ay, it is certainly so. Well, though his perplexities are
 far from giving me pleasure; yet I own there's something very
 ridiculous in them, and a just punishment for his dissimulation.

 GARNET. And so they are. But I wonder, madam, that the lawyer you just
 employed to pay his debts and set him free, has not done it by this
 time. He ought at least to have been here before now. But lawyers are
 always more ready to get a man into troubles, than out of them.

 _Enter_ SIR WILLIAM.

 SIR WILL. For Miss Richland to undertake setting him free, I own, was
 quite unexpected. It has totally unhinged my schemes to reclaim him.
 Yet, it gives me pleasure to find, that, among a number of worthless
 friendships, he has made one acquisition of real value; for there must
 be some softer passion on her side that prompts this generosity. Ha!
 here before me: I'll endeavour to sound her affections. Madam, as I am
 the person that have had some demands upon the gentleman of this house,
 I hope you'll excuse me, if, before I enlarged him, I wanted to see
 yourself.

 MISS RICH. The precaution was very unnecessary, sir. I suppose your
 wants were only such as my agent had power to satisfy.

 SIR WILL. Partly, madam. But, I was also willing you should be fully
 apprised of the character of the gentleman you intended to serve.

 MISS RICH. It must come, sir, with a very ill grace from you. To
 censure it, after what you have done, would look like malice; and to
 speak favourably of a character you have oppressed, would be impeaching
 your own. And sure, his tenderness, his humanity, his universal
 friendship, may atone for many faults.

 SIR WILL. That friendship, madam, which is exerted in too wide a
 sphere, becomes totally useless. Our bounty, like a drop of water,
 disappears when diffused too widely. They, who pretend most to this
 universal benevolence, are either deceivers, or dupes—men who desire to
 cover their private ill-nature by a pretended regard for all; or men
 who, reasoning themselves into false feelings, are more earnest in
 pursuit of splendid, than of useful virtues.

 MISS RICH. I am surprised, sir, to hear one who has probably been a
 gainer by the folly of others, so severe in his censure of it.

 SIR WILL. Whatever I may have gained by folly, madam, you see I am
 willing to prevent your losing by it.

 MISS RICH. Your cares for me, sir, are unnecessary. I always suspect
 those services which are denied where they are wanted, and offered,
 perhaps, in hopes of a refusal. No, sir, my directions have been given,
 and I insist upon their being complied with.

 SIR WILL. Thou amiable woman, I can no longer contain the expressions
 of my gratitude—my pleasure. You see before you one who has been
 equally careful of his interest: one, who has for some time been a
 concealed spectator of his follies, and only punished, in hopes to
 reclaim them—His uncle.

 MISS RICH. Sir William Honeywood! You amaze me! How shall I conceal my
 confusion? I fear, sir, you'll think I have been too forward in my
 services. I confess I——

 SIR WILL. Don't make any apologies, madam. I only find myself unable to
 repay the obligation. And yet, I have been trying my interest of late
 to serve you. Having learnt, madam, that you had some demands upon
 government, I have, though unasked, been your solicitor there.

 MISS RICH. Sir, I am infinitely obliged to your intentions; but my
 guardian has employed another gentleman, who assures him of success.

 SIR WILL. Who, the important little man that visits here? Trust me,
 madam, he's quite contemptible among men in power, and utterly unable
 to serve you. Mr. Lofty's promises are much better known to people of
 fashion than his person, I assure you.

 MISS RICH. How have we been deceived! As sure as can be, here he comes.

 SIR WILL. Does he? Remember I'm to continue unknown. My return to
 England has not as yet been made public. With what impudence he enters!

 _Enter_ LOFTY.

 LOFTY. Let the chariot—let my chariot drive off, I'll visit to his
 grace's in a chair. Miss Richland here before me! Punctual, as usual,
 to the calls of humanity. I'm very sorry, madam, things of this kind
 should happen, especially to a man I have shown every where, and
 carried amongst us as a particular acquaintance.

 MISS RICH. I find, sir, you have the art of making the misfortunes of
 others your own.

 LOFTY. My dear madam, what can a private man like me do? One man can't
 do everything; and then, I do so much in this way every day. Let me
 see, something considerable might be done for him by subscription; it
 could not fail if I carried the list. I'll undertake to set down a
 brace of dukes, two dozen lords, and half the lower house, at my own
 peril.

 SIR WILL. And after all, it is more than probable, sir, he might reject
 the offer, of such powerful patronage.

 LOFTY. Then, madam, what can we do? You know I never make promises. In
 truth, I once or twice tried to do something with him in the way of
 business; but as I often told his uncle, Sir William Honeywood, the man
 was utterly impracticable.

 SIR WILL. His uncle! Then that gentleman, I suppose, is a particular
 friend of yours?

 LOFTY. Meaning me, sir?—Yes, madam, as I often said, My dear Sir
 William, you are sensible I would do anything as far as my poor
 interest goes, to serve your family; but what can be done? there's no
 procuring first-rate places for ninth-rate abilities.

 MISS RICH. I have heard of Sir William Honeywood; he's abroad in
 employment; he confided in your judgment, I suppose.

 LOFTY. Why, yes, madam; I believe Sir William had some reason to
 confide in my judgment; one little reason, perhaps.

 MISS RICH. Pray, sir, what was it?

 LOFTY. Why, madam—but let it go no further—it was I procured him his
 place.

 SIR WILL. Did you, sir?

 LOFTY. Either you or I, sir.

 MISS RICH. This, Mr. Lofty, was very kind, indeed.

 LOFTY. I did love him, to be sure; he had some amusing qualities; no
 man was fitter to be toastmaster to a club, or had a better head.

 MISS RICH. A better head?

 LOFTY. Ay, at a bottle. To be sure he was as dull as a choice spirit;
 but hang it, he was grateful, very grateful; and gratitude hides a
 multitude of faults.

 SIR WILL. He might have reason, perhaps. His place is pretty
 considerable, I'm told.

 LOFTY. A trifle, a mere trifle, among us men of business. The truth is,
 he wanted dignity to fill up a greater.

 SIR WILL. Dignity of person, do you mean sir? I'm told he's much about
 my size and figure, sir.

 LOFTY. Ay, tall enough for a marching regiment; but then he wanted a
 something—a consequence of form—a kind of a—I believe the lady
 perceives my meaning.

 MISS RICH. O perfectly; you courtiers can do any thing, I see.

 LOFTY. My dear madam, all this is but a mere exchange; we do greater
 things for one another every day. Why as thus, now; let me suppose you
 the first lord of the treasury; you have an employment in you that I
 want; I have a place in me that you want; do me here, do you there:
 interest on both sides, few words, flat, done and done, and it's over.

 SIR WILL. A thought strikes me (_aside_). Now you mention Sir William
 Honeywood, madam, and as he seems, sir, an acquaintance of yours,
 you'll be glad to hear he's arrived from Italy; I had it from a friend
 who knows him as well as he does me, and you may depend on my
 information.

[Illustration:

  LOFTY.—"_Either you or I, sir._"—_p._ 296.
]


 LOFTY. The devil he is! If I had known that we should not have been
 quite so well acquainted (_aside_).

 SIR WILL. He is certainly returned; and as this gentleman is a friend
 of yours, he can be of signal service to us, by introducing me to him;
 there are some papers relative to your affairs, that require dispatch
 and his inspection.

 MISS RICH. This gentleman, Mr. Lofty, is a person employed in my
 affairs: I know you'll serve us.

 LOFTY. My dear madam, I live but to serve you. Sir William shall even
 wait upon him, if you think proper to command it.

 SIR WILL. That would be quite unnecessary.

 LOFTY. Well, we must introduce you then. Call upon me—let me see—ay, in
 two days.

 SIR WILL. Now, or the opportunity will be lost for ever.

 LOFTY. Well, if it must be now, now let it be. But damn it, that's
 unfortunate; my lord Grig's cursed Pensacola business comes on this
 very hour, and I'm engaged to attend—another time—

 SIR WILL. A short letter to Sir William will do.

 LOFTY. You shall have it; yet, in my opinion, a letter is a very bad
 way of going to work; face to face, that's my way.

 SIR WILL. The letter sir, will do quite as well.

 LOFTY. Zounds, sir, do you pretend to direct me? direct me in the
 business of office? Do you know me, sir? who am I?

 MISS RICH. Dear Mr. Lofty, this request is not so much his as mine; if
 my commands—but you despise my power.

 LOFTY. Delicate creature! your commands could even control a debate at
 midnight; to a power so constitutional, I am all obedience and
 tranquility. He shall have a letter; where is my secretary? Dubardieu!
 And yet, I protest, I don't like this way of doing business. I think if
 I spoke first to Sir William—But you will have it so.

                         [_Exit with_ MISS RICH.

 SIR WILLIAM _alone_.

 SIR WILL. Ha, ha, ha! This too is one of my nephew's hopeful
 associates. O vanity, thou constant deceiver, how do all thy efforts to
 exalt, serve but to sink us! thy false colourings, like those employed
 to heighten beauty, only seem to mend that bloom which they contribute
 to destroy. I'm not displeased at this interview; exposing this
 fellow's impudence to the contempt it deserves, may be of use to my
 design; at least, if he can reflect, it will be of use to himself.

 _Enter_ JARVIS.

 SIR WILL. How now, Jarvis, where's your master my nephew?

 JARVIS. At his wit's end, I believe; he's scarce gotten out of one
 scrape, but he's running his head into another.

 SIR WILL. How so?

 JARVIS. The house has but just been cleared of the bailiffs, and now
 he's again engaging tooth and nail in assisting old Croaker's son to
 patch up a clandestine match with the young lady that passes in the
 house for his sister.

 SIR WILL. Ever busy to serve others.

 JARVIS. Ay, any body but himself. The young couple, it seems, are just
 setting out for Scotland, and he supplies them with money for the
 journey.

 SIR WILL. Money! how is he able to supply others, who has scarce any
 for himself?

 JARVIS. Why, there it is; he has no money, that's true; but then, as he
 never said No to any request in his life, he has given them a bill
 drawn by a friend of his upon a merchant in the city, which I am to get
 changed; for you must know that I am to go with them to Scotland
 myself.

 SIR WILL. How!

 JARVIS. It seems the young gentleman is obliged to take a different
 road from his mistress, as he is to call upon an uncle of his that
 lives out of the way, in order to prepare a place for their reception,
 when they return; so they have borrowed me from my master, as the
 properest person to attend the young lady down.

 SIR WILL. To the land of matrimony! A pleasant journey, Jarvis.

 JARVIS. Ay, but I'm only to have all the fatigues on't.

 SIR WILL. Well, it may be shorter, and less fatiguing, than you
 imagine. I know but too much of the young lady's family and connexions,
 whom I have seen abroad, I have also discovered that Miss Richland is
 not indifferent to my thoughtless nephew; and will endeavour, though I
 fear in vain, to establish that connexion. But, come, the letter I wait
 for must be almost finished; I'll let you further into my intentions in
 the next room.

                               [_Exeunt._

 ACT IV.


 SCENE.—CROAKER'S _House_.

 LOFTY. Well, sure the devil's in me of late, for running my head in
 such defiles, as nothing but a genius like my own could draw me from. I
 was formerly contented to husband out my places and pensions with some
 degree of frugality; but, curse it, of late I have given away the whole
 Court Register in less time than they could print the title-page; yet,
 hang it, why scruple a lie or two to come at a fine girl, when I every
 day tell a thousand for nothing? Ha! Honeywood here before me. Could
 Miss Richland have set him at liberty?

 _Enter_ HONEYWOOD.

 Mr. Honeywood, I'm glad to see you abroad again. I find my concurrence
 was not necessary in your unfortunate affairs. I had put things in a
 train to do your business; but it is not for me to say what I intended
 doing.

 HONEYW. It was unfortunate indeed, sir. But what adds to my uneasiness
 is, that while you seem to be acquainted with my misfortune, I, myself
 continue still a stranger to my benefactor.

 LOFTY. How! not know the friend that served you?

 HONEYW. Can't guess at the person.

 LOFTY. Inquire.

 HONEYW. I have, but all I can learn is, that he chooses to remain
 concealed, and that all inquiry must be fruitless.

 LOFTY. Must be fruitless?

 HONEYW. Absolutely fruitless.

 LOFTY. Sure of that?

 HONEYW. Very sure.

 LOFTY. Then I'll be damn'd if you shall ever know it from me.

 HONEYW. How, sir!

 LOFTY. I suppose now, Mr. Honeywood, you think my rent-roll very
 considerable, and that I have vast sums of money to throw away; I know
 you do. The world, to be sure says such things of me.

 HONEYW. The world, by what I learn, is no stranger to your generosity.
 But where does this tend?

 LOFTY. To nothing; nothing in the world. The town, to be sure, when it
 makes such a thing as me the subject of conversation, has asserted,
 that I never yet patronised a man of merit.

 HONEYW. I have heard instances to the contrary, even from yourself.

 LOFTY. Yes, Honeywood, and there are instances to the contrary that you
 shall never hear from myself.

 HONEYW. Ha, dear sir, permit me to ask you but one question.

 LOFTY. Sir, ask me no questions; I say, sir, ask me no questions; I'll
 be damn'd if I answer them.

 HONEYW. I will ask no further. My friend, my benefactor, it is, it must
 be here, that I am indebted for freedom for honour. Yes, thou worthiest
 of men, from the beginning I suspected it, but was afraid to return
 thanks; which, if undeserved, might seem reproaches.

 LOFTY. I protest I don't understand all this, Mr. Honeywood. You treat
 me very cavalierly, I do assure you, sir.—Blood, sir, can't a man be
 permitted to enjoy the luxury of his own feelings without all this
 parade?

 HONEYW. Nay, do not attempt to conceal an action that adds to your
 honour. Your looks, your air, your manner, all confess it.

 LOFTY. Confess it sir! Torture itself, sir, shall never bring me to
 confess it. Mr. Honeywood, I have admitted you upon terms of
 friendship. Don't let us fall out; make me happy, and let this be
 buried in oblivion. You know I hate ostentation; you know I do. Come
 come, Honeywood, you know I always loved to be a friend, and not a
 patron. I beg this may make no kind of distance between us. Come, come,
 you and I must be more familiar—indeed we must.

 HONEYW. Heavens! Can I ever repay such friendship? Is there any way?
 Thou best of men, can I ever return the obligation?

 LOFTY. A bagatelle, a mere bagatelle. But I see your heart is labouring
 to be grateful. You shall be grateful. It would be cruel to disappoint
 you.

 HONEYW. How! teach me the manner. Is there any way?

 LOFTY. From this moment you're mine. Yes, my friend you shall know
 it—I'm in love.

 HONEYW. And can I assist you?

 LOFTY. Nobody so well.

 HONEYW. In what manner? I'm all impatience.

 LOFTY. You shall make love for me.

 HONEYW. And to whom shall I speak in your favour?

 LOFTY. To a lady with whom you have great interest, I assure you—Miss
 Richland.

 HONEYW. Miss Richland!

 LOFTY. Yes, Miss Richland. She has struck the blow up to the hilt in my
 bosom, by Jupiter.

 HONEYW. Heavens was ever anything more unfortunate? It is too much to
 be endured.

 LOFTY. Unfortunate indeed! and yet I can endure it, till you have
 opened the affair to her for me. Between ourselves, I think she likes
 me; I'm not apt to boast, but I think she does.

 HONEYW. Indeed! but you know the person you apply to?

 LOFTY. Yes, I know you are her friend, and mine: that's enough. To you,
 therefore, I commit the success of my passion. I'll say no more, let
 friendship do the rest. I have only to add, that if at any time my
 little interest can be of service—but, hang it, I'll make no
 promises—you know my interest is yours at any time. No apologies, my
 friend; I'll not be answered; it shall be so.

                                [_Exit._

 HONEYW. Open, generous, unsuspecting man! He little thinks that I love
 her too; and with such an ardent passion!—But then it was ever but a
 vain and hopeless one; my torment, my persecution! What shall I do?
 Love, friendship, a hopeless passion, a deserving friend! Love that has
 been my tormentor; a friend, that has, perhaps, distressed himself to
 serve me. It shall be so. Yes, I will discard the fondling hope from my
 bosom, and exert all my influence in his favour. And yet to see her in
 the possession of another!—Insupportable. But then to betray a
 generous, trusting friend!—Worse, worse. Yes, I'm resolved. Let me but
 be the instrument of their happiness, and then quit a country, where I
 must for ever despair of finding my own.

 [_Exit._

[Illustration:

  OLIVIA.—"_O, Jarvis, are you come at last?_"—_p._ 302.
]


 _Enter_ OLIVIA _and_ GARNET, _who carries a milliner's box_.

 OLIVIA. Dear me, I wish this journey were over. No news of Jarvis yet?
 I believe the old peevish creature delays purely to vex me.

 GARNET. Why, to be sure, madam, I did hear him say, a little snubbing
 before marriage would teach you to bear it the better afterwards.

 OLIVIA. To be gone a full hour, though he had only to get a bill
 changed in the city! How provoking!

 GARNET. I'll lay my life Mr. Leontine, that had twice as much to do, is
 setting off by this time from his inn, and here you are left behind.

 OLIVIA. Well, let us be prepared for his coming, however. Are you sure
 you have omitted nothing, Garnet?

 GARNET. Not a stick, madam—all's here. Yet I wish you could take the
 white and silver to be married in. It's the worst luck in the world, in
 any thing but white. I knew one Bet Stubbs, of our town, that was
 married in red, and, as sure as eggs is eggs, the bridegroom and she
 had a miff before morning.

 OLIVIA. No matter—I'm all impatience till we are out of the house.

 GARNET. Bless me, madam, I had almost forgot the wedding ring!—The
 sweet little thing—I don't think it would go on my little finger. And
 what if I put in a gentleman's night-cap, in case of necessity, madam?
 But here's Jarvis.

 _Enter_ JARVIS.

 OLIVIA. O, Jarvis, are you come at last? We have been ready this half
 hour. Now let's be going—Let us fly!

 JARVIS. Ay, to Jericho; for we shall have no going to Scotland this
 bout, I fancy.

 OLIVIA. How! What's the matter?

 JARVIS. Money, money, is the matter, madam. We have got no money. What
 the plague do you send me of your fool's errand for? My master's bill
 upon the city is not worth a rush. Here it is; Mrs. Garnet may pin up
 her hair with it.

 OLIVIA. Undone! How could Honeywood serve us so! What shall we do?
 Can't we go without it?

 JARVIS. Go to Scotland without money! To Scotland without money! Lord,
 how some people understand geography! We might as well set sail for
 Patagonia upon a cork jacket.

 OLIVIA. Such a disappointment! What a base insincere man was your
 master, to serve us in this manner! Is this his good-nature?

 JARVIS. Nay, don't talk ill of my master, madam: I won't bear to hear
 any body talk ill of him but myself.

 GARNET. Bless us! now I think on't, madam, you need not be under any
 uneasiness: I saw Mr. Leontine receive forty guineas from his father
 just before he set out, and he can't yet have left the inn. A short
 letter will reach him there.

 OLIVIA. Well remembered, Garnet; I'll write immediately. How's this?
 Bless me, my hand trembles so I can't write a word. Do you write,
 Garnet; and, upon second thought, it will be better from you.

 GARNET. Truly, madam, I write and indite but poorly: I never was cute
 at my larning. But I'll do what I can to please you. Let me see. All
 out of my own head, I suppose?

 OLIVIA. Whatever you please.

 GARNET (_writing_). Muster Croaker—Twenty guineas, madam?

 OLIVIA. Ay, twenty will do.

 GARNET. At the bar of the Talbot till called for. Expedition—will be
 blown up—All of a flame—Quick, dispatch—Cupid, the little God of Love—I
 conclude it, madam, with Cupid; I love to see a love-letter end like
 poetry.

 OLIVIA. Well, well, what you please, anything. But how shall we send
 it? I can trust none of the servants of this family.

 GARNET. Odso, Madam, Mr. Honeywood's butler is in the next room; he's a
 dear, sweet man; he'll do anything for me.

 JARVIS. He! the dog, he'll certainly commit some blunder. He's drunk
 and sober ten times a day.

 OLIVIA. No matter. Fly, Garnet; any body we can trust will do. _Exit_
 GARNET. Well, Jarvis, now we can have nothing more to interrupt us. You
 may take up the things, and carry them on to the inn. Have you no
 hands, Jarvis?

 JARVIS. Soft and fair, young lady. You, that are going to be married,
 think things can never be done too fast: but we that are old, and know
 what we are about must elope methodically, madam.

 OLIVIA. Well, sure, if my indiscretions were to be done over again—

 JARVIS. My life for it you would do them ten times over.

 OLIVIA. Why will you talk so? If you knew how unhappy they make me—

 JARVIS. Very unhappy, no doubt: I was once just as unhappy when I was
 going to be married myself. I'll tell you a story about that—

 OLIVIA. A story! when I'm all impatient to be away. Was there ever such
 a dilatory creature?—

 JARVIS. Well, madam, if we must march, why we will march; that's all.
 Though, odds-bobs we have still forgot one thing we should never travel
 without—a case of good razors, and a box of shaving-powder. But no
 matter, I believe we shall be pretty well shaved by the way.

                                                                [_Going_

 _Enter_ GARNET.

 GARNET. Undone, undone, madam. Ah, Mr. Jarvis, you said right enough.
 As sure as death, Mr. Honeywood's rogue of a drunken butler dropped the
 letter before he went ten yards from the door. There's old Croaker has
 just picked it up, and is this moment reading it to himself in the
 hall.

 OLIVIA. Unfortunate! we shall be discovered.

 GARNET. No, madam, don't be uneasy, he can make neither head nor tail
 of it. To be sure, he looks as if he was broke loose from Bedlam about
 it, but he can't find what it means for all that. O Lud, he is coming
 this way all in the horrors!

 OLIVIA. Then let us leave the house this instant, for fear he should
 ask farther questions. In the mean time, Garnet, do you write and send
 off just such another.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

                            _Enter_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Death and destruction! Are all the horrors of air, fire, and
 water, to be levelled only at me? Am I only to be singled out for
 gunpowder-plots, combustibles and conflagration? Here it is—An
 incendiary letter dropped at my door. 'To Muster Croaker, these, with
 speed.' Ay, ay, plain enough the direction: all in the genuine
 incendiary spelling, and as cramp as the devil, 'With speed!' O,
 confound your speed. But let me read it once more. (_Reads_). 'Muster
 Croakar as sone as yoew see this leve twenty gunnes at the bar of the
 Talboot tell caled for or yowe and yower experetion will be al blown
 up.' Ah, but too plain. Blood and gunpowder in every line of it. Blown
 up! murderous dog! All blown up! Heavens! what have I and my poor
 family done, to be all blown up! (_Reads_). 'Our pockets are low, and
 money we must have.' Ay, there's the reason; they'll blow us up,
 because they have got low pockets. (_Reads_). 'It is but a short time
 you have to consider; for if it takes wind, the house will quickly be
 all of a flame.' Inhuman monsters! blow us up, and then burn us. The
 earthquake at Lisbon was but a bonfire to it. (_Reads_). 'Make quick
 dispatch, and so no more at present. But may cupid, the little God of
 Love, go with you wherever you go.' The little God of Love! Cupid, the
 little God of Love go with me! Go you to the devil, you and your little
 Cupid together; I'm so frightened, I scarce know whether I sit, stand,
 or go. Perhaps this moment I'm treading on lighted matches, blazing
 brimstone, and barrels of gunpowder. They are preparing to blow me up
 into the clouds. Murder! We shall be all burnt in our beds; we shall be
 all burnt in our beds.

 _Enter_ MISS RICHLAND

 MISS RICH. Lord, sir, what's the matter?

 CROAKER. Murder's the matter. We shall be all blown up in our beds
 before morning.

 MISS RICH. I hope not, sir.

 CROAKER. What signifies what you hope, madam, when I have a certificate
 of it here in my hand? Will nothing alarm my family? Sleeping and
 eating, sleeping and eating, is the only work from morning till night
 in my house. My insensible crew could sleep, though rocked by an
 earthquake; and fry beef-steaks at a volcano.

 MISS RICH. But, sir, you have alarmed them so often already, we have
 nothing but earthquakes, famines, plagues, and mad dogs, from year's
 end to years' end. You remember, sir, it is not above a month ago you
 assured us of a conspiracy among the bakers, to poison us in our bread;
 and so kept the whole family a week upon potatoes.

 CROAKER. And potatoes were too good for them. But why do I stand
 talking here with a girl, when I should be facing the enemy without?
 Here, John, Nicodemus, search the house. Look into the cellars, to see
 if there be any combustibles below; and above, in the apartments, that
 no matches be thrown in at the windows. Let all the fires be put out,
 and let the engine be drawn out in the yard, to play upon the house in
 case of necessity.

                                [_Exit._

 MISS RICHLAND _alone_.

 MISS RICH. What can he mean by all this? Yet, why should I inquire,
 when he alarms us in this manner almost every day? But Honeywood has
 desired an interview with me in private. What can he mean? or, rather,
 what means this palpitation at his approach? It is the first time he
 ever showed anything in his conduct that seemed particular. Sure he
 cannot mean to——but he's here.

 _Enter_ HONEYWOOD.

 HONEYW. I presumed to solicit this interview, madam, before I left
 town, to be permitted—

 MISS RICH. Indeed! Leaving town, sir?—

 HONEYW. Yes, madam; perhaps the kingdom. I have presumed, I say, to
 desire the favour of this interview—in order to disclose something
 which our long friendship prompts. And yet my fears—

[Illustration:

  CROAKER.—"_It's your supreme pleasure
  to give me no better consolation?_"—_p._ 307.
]


 MISS RICH. His fears! what are his fears to mine? _Aside._—We have
 indeed been long acquainted, sir; very long. If I remember, our first
 meeting was at the French ambassador's.—Do you recollect how you were
 pleased to rally me upon my complexion there?

 HONEYW. Perfectly, madam; I presumed to reprove you for painting: but
 your warmer blushes soon convinced the company that the colouring was
 all from nature.

 MISS RICH. And yet you only meant it, in your good-natured way, to make
 me pay a compliment to myself. In the same manner you danced the same
 night with the most awkward woman in company, because you saw nobody
 else would take her out.

 HONEYW. Yes; and was rewarded the next night, by dancing with the
 finest woman in company, whom every body wished to take out.

 MISS RICH. Well, sir, if you thought so then, I fear your judgment has
 since corrected the errors of a first impression. We generally show to
 most advantage at first. Our sex are like poor tradesmen, that put all
 their best goods to be seen at the windows.

 HONEYW. The first impression, madam, did, indeed, deceive me. I
 expected to find a woman with all the faults of conscious flattered
 beauty. I expected to find her vain and insolent. But every day has
 since taught me that it is possible to possess sense without pride, and
 beauty without affectation.

 MISS RICH. This, sir, is a style very unusual with Mr. Honeywood; and I
 should be glad to know why he thus attempts to increase that vanity,
 which his own lesson hath taught me to despise.

 HONEYW. I ask pardon, madam, Yet, from our long friendship, I presumed
 I might have some right to offer, without offence, what you may refuse
 without offending.

 MISS RICH. Sir! I beg you'd reflect; though, I fear, I shall scarce
 have any power to refuse a request of yours; yet, you may be
 precipitate: consider, sir.

 HONEYW. I own my rashness; but, as I plead the cause of friendship, of
 one who loves—Don't be alarmed, madam—Who loves you with the most
 ardent passion; whose whole happiness is placed in you—

 MISS RICH. I fear, sir, I shall never find whom you mean, by this
 description of him.

 HONEYW. Ah, madam, it but too plainly points him out; though he should
 be too humble himself to urge his pretensions, or you too modest to
 understand them.

 MISS RICH. Well; it would be affectation any longer to pretend
 ignorance; and, I will own, sir, I have long been prejudiced in his
 favour. It was but natural to wish to make his heart mine, as he seemed
 himself ignorant of its value.

 HONEYW. I see she always loved him (_aside_). I find, madam, you're
 already sensible of his worth, his passion. How happy is my friend, to
 be the favourite of one with such sense to distinguish merit, and such
 beauty to reward it!

 MISS RICH. Your friend, sir! What friend?

 HONEYW. My best friend—my friend Mr. Lofty, madam.

 MISS RICH. He, sir!

 HONEYW. Yes, he, madam. He is, indeed, what your warmest wishes might
 have formed him. And to his other qualities, he adds that of the most
 passionate regard for you.

 MISS RICH. Amazement!—No more of this, I beg you, sir.

 HONEYW. I see your confusion, madam, and know how to interpret it. And
 since I so plainly read the language of your heart, shall I make my
 friend happy, by communicating your sentiments?

 MISS RICH. By no means.

 HONEYW. Excuse me; I must—I know you desire it.

 MISS RICH. Mr. Honeywood, let me tell you, that you wrong my sentiments
 and yourself. When I first applied to your friendship, I expected
 advice and assistance; but now, sir, I see that it is vain to expect
 happiness from him who has been so bad an economist of his own; and
 that I must disclaim his friendship who ceases to be a friend to
 himself.

                                [_Exit._

 HONEYW. How is this? she has confessed she loved him, and yet she
 seemed to part in displeasure. Can I have done anything to reproach
 myself with? No, I believe not; yet, after all, these things should not
 be done by a third person; I should have spared her confusion. My
 friendship carried me a little too far.

 _Enter_ CROAKER, _with the letter in his hand, and_ MRS. CROAKER.

 MRS. CROAKER. Ha, ha, ha! And so my dear, it's your supreme wish that I
 should be quite wretched upon this occasion? Ha, ha!

 CROAKER (_mimicking_). Ha, ha, ha! and so, my dear, it's your supreme
 pleasure to give me no better consolation?

 MRS. CROAKER. Positively, my dear, what is this incendiary stuff and
 trumpery to me? Our house may travel through the air like the house of
 Loretto, for aught I care, if I'm to be miserable in it.

 CROAKER. Would to heaven it were converted into a house of correction
 for your benefit! Have we not everything to alarm us? Perhaps, this
 very moment the tragedy is beginning.

 MRS. CROAKER. Then let us reserve our distress till the rising of the
 curtain, or give them the money they want, and have done with them.

 CROAKER. Give them my money!—and pray what right have they to my money?

 MRS. CROAKER. And pray what right then have you to my good humour?

 CROAKER. And so your good humour advises me to part with my money? Why,
 then, to tell your good humour a piece of my mind, I'd sooner part with
 my wife. Here's Mr. Honeywood, see what he'll say to it. My dear
 Honeywood, look at this incendiary letter dropped at my door. It will
 freeze you with terror; and yet lovey here can read it—can read it, and
 laugh.

 MRS. CROAKER. Yes, and so will Mr. Honeywood.

 CROAKER. If he does, I'll suffer to be hanged the next minute in the
 rogue's place, that's all.

 MRS. CROAKER. Speak, Mr. Honeywood; is there anything more foolish than
 my husband's fright upon this occasion?

 HONEYW. It would not become me to decide, madam; but, doubtless, the
 greatness of his terrors now will but invite them to renew their
 villainy another time.

 MRS. CROAKER. I told you he'd be of my opinion.

 CROAKER. How, sir! do you maintain that I should lie down under such an
 injury, and show, neither by my tears nor complaints, that I have
 something of the spirit of a man in me?

 HONEYW. Pardon me, sir. You ought to make the loudest complaints if you
 desire redress. The surest way to have redress, is to be earnest in the
 pursuit of it.

 CROAKER. Ay, whose opinion is he of now?

 MRS. CROAKER. But don't you think that laughing off our fears is the
 best way?

 HONEYW. What is the best, madam, few can say; but I'll maintain it to
 be a very wise way.

 CROAKER. But we're talking of the best. Surely the best way is to face
 the enemy in the field, and not wait till he plunders us in our very
 bed-chamber.

 HONEYW. Why, sir, as to the best, that—that's a very wise way too.

 MRS. CROAKER. But can anything be more absurd than to double our
 distresses by our apprehensions, and put it in the power of every low
 fellow, that can scrawl ten words of wretched spelling, to torment us?

 HONEYW. Without doubt, nothing more absurd.

 CROAKER. How! would it not be more absurd to despise the rattle till we
 are bit by the snake?

 HONEYW. Without doubt, perfectly absurd.

 CROAKER. Then you are of my opinion?

 HONEYW. Entirely.

 MRS. CROAKER. And you reject mine?

 HONEYW. Heavens forbid, madam. No; sure no reasoning can be more just
 than yours. We ought certainly to despise malice, if we cannot oppose
 it, and not make the incendiary's pen as fatal to our repose as the
 highwayman's pistol.

 MRS. CROAKER. O! then you think I'm quite right?

 HONEYW. Perfectly right.

 CROAKER. A plague of plagues, we can't both be right. I ought to be
 sorry, or I ought to be glad. My hat must be on my head, or my hat must
 be off.

 MRS. CROAKER. Certainly; in two opposite opinions, if one be perfectly
 reasonable, the other can't be perfectly right.

 HONEYW. And why may not both be right, madam; Mr. Croaker in earnestly
 seeking redress, and you in waiting the event with good humour? Pray
 let me see the letter again. I have it. This letter requires twenty
 guineas to be left at the bar of the Talbot inn. If it be indeed an
 incendiary letter, what if you and I, sir, go there; and when the
 writer comes to be paid his expected booty, seize him?

 CROAKER. My dear friend, it's the very thing; the very thing. While I
 walk by the door, you shall plant yourself in ambush near the bar;
 burst out upon the miscreant like a masqued battery; extort a
 confession at once, and so hang him up by surprise.

 HONEYW. Yes; but I would not choose to exercise too much severity. It
 is my maxim, sir, that crimes generally punish themselves.

 CROAKER. Well, but we may upbraid him a little, I suppose?
 (_Ironically._)

 HONEYW. Ay, but not punish him too rigidly.

 CROAKER. Well, well, leave that to my own benevolence.

 HONEYW. Well, I do; but remember that universal benevolence is the
 first law of nature.

 [_Exeunt_ HONEYWOOD _and_ MRS. CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Yes; and my universal benevolence will hang the dog if he had
 as many necks as a hydra.

 ACT V.


 SCENE.—_An Inn._

 _Enter_ OLIVIA, JARVIS.

 OLIVIA. Well, we have got safe to the inn, however. Now, if the
 post-chaise were ready—

 JARVIS. The horses are just finishing their oats; and, as they are not
 going to be married, they choose to take their own time.

 OLIVIA. You are for ever giving wrong motives to my impatience.

 JARVIS. Be as impatient as you will, the horses must take their own
 time; besides, you don't consider we have got no answer from our
 fellow-traveller yet. If we hear nothing from Mr. Leontine, we have
 only one way left us.

 OLIVIA. What way?

 JARVIS. The way home again.

 OLIVIA. Not so. I have made a resolution to go, and nothing shall
 induce me to break it.

 JARVIS. Ay; resolutions are well kept when they jump with inclination.
 However, I'll go hasten things without. And I'll call too at the bar to
 see if anything should be left for us there. Don't be in such a plaguy
 hurry, madam, and we shall go the faster, I promise you.

 [_Exit_ JARVIS.

 _Enter_ LANDLADY.

 LANDLADY. What! Solomon; why don't you move? Pipes and tobacco for the
 Lamb there. Will nobody answer? To the Dolphin; quick. The Angel has
 been outrageous this half-hour. Did your ladyship call, madam?

 OLIVIA. No, madam.

 LANDLADY. I find, as you're for Scotland, madam—but that's no business
 of mine; married or not married, I ask no questions. To be sure, we had
 a sweet little couple set off from this two days ago for the same
 place. The gentleman, for a tailor, was, to be sure, as fine a spoken
 tailor as ever blew froth from a full pot. And the young lady so
 bashful, it was near half an hour before we could get her to finish a
 pint of raspberry between us.

 OLIVIA. But this gentleman and I are not going to be married, I assure
 you

 LANDLADY. May be not. That's no business of mine; for certain, Scotch
 marriages seldom turn out. There was, of my own knowledge, Miss Macfag,
 that married her father's footman. Alack-a-day! she and her husband
 soon parted, and now keep separate cellars in Hedge-lane.

 OLIVIA. A very pretty picture of what lies before me.

 _Aside._

 _Enter_ LEONTINE.

 LEONT. My dear Olivia, my anxiety till you were out of danger, was too
 great to be resisted. I could not help coming to see you set out,
 though it exposes us to a discovery.

 OLIVIA. May everything you do prove as fortunate. Indeed, Leontine, we
 have been most cruelly disappointed. Mr. Honeywood's bill upon the city
 has, it seems, been protested; and we have been utterly at a loss how
 to proceed.

 LEONT. How! An offer of his own too. Sure, he could not mean to deceive
 us.

 OLIVIA. Depend upon his sincerity; he only mistook the desire for the
 power of serving us. But let us think no more of it. I believe the
 post-chaise is ready by this.

 LANDLADY. Not quite yet; and, begging your ladyship's pardon, I don't
 think your ladyship quite ready for the post-chaise. The north road is
 a cold place, madam. I have a drop in the house of as pretty raspberry
 as ever was tipt over tongue. Just a thimblefull, to keep the wind off
 your stomach. To be sure, the last couple we had here, they said it was
 a perfect nosegay. Ecod, I sent them both away as good-natured—Up went
 the blinds, round went the wheels, and, Drive away, postboy! was the
 word.

 _Enter_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Well, while my friend Honeywood is upon the post of danger at
 the bar, it must be my business to have an eye about me here. I think I
 know an incendiary's look; for, wherever the devil makes a purchase, he
 never fails to set his mark. Ha! who have we here? My son and daughter!
 What can they be doing here?

 LANDLADY. I tell you, madam, it will do you good; I think I know by
 this time what's good for the north road. It's a raw night, madam.—Sir—

 LEONT. Not a drop more, good madam. I should now take it as a greater
 favour if you hasten the horses; for I am afraid to be seen myself.

 LANDLADY. That shall be done. Wha, Solomon! are you all dead there?
 Wha, Solomon, I say.

                            [_Exit bawling._

 OLIVIA. Well; I dread, lest an expedition begun in fear should end in
 repentance.—Every moment we stay increases our danger, and adds to my
 apprehensions.

 LEONT. There's no danger, trust me, my dear; there can be none. If
 Honeywood has acted with honour, and kept my father, as he promised, in
 employment, till we are out of danger, nothing can interrupt our
 journey.

 OLIVIA. I have no doubt of Mr. Honeywood's sincerity, and even his
 desires to serve us. My fears are from your father's suspicions. A mind
 so disposed to be alarmed without a cause will be but too ready when
 there's a reason.

 LEONT. Why, let him, when we are out of his power. But, believe me,
 Olivia, you have no great reason to dread his resentment. His repining
 temper, as it does no manner of injury to himself, so will it never do
 harm to others. He only frets to keep himself employed, and scolds for
 his private amusement.

 OLIVIA. I don't know that; but I'm sure, on some occasions, it makes
 him look most shockingly.

 CROAKER (_discovering himself_). How does he look now?—How does he look
 now?

 OLIVIA. Ah!

 LEONT. Undone.

 CROAKER. How do I look now? Sir, I am your very humble servant. Madam,
 I am yours. What! you are going off, are you? Then, first, if you
 please, take a word or two from me with you before you go. Tell me
 first where you are going; and when you have told me that, perhaps, I
 shall know as little as I did before.

[Illustration:

  CROAKER.—"_How does he look now?_"—_p._ 310.
]


 LEONT. If that be so, our answer might but increase your displeasure,
 without adding to your information.

 CROAKER. I want no information from you, puppy! and you, too, madam,
 what answer have you got? Eh! _A cry without, Stop him!_ I think I
 heard a noise. My friend, Honeywood, without—has he seized the
 incendiary? Ah, no, for now I hear no more on't.

 LEONT. Honeywood without? Then, sir, it was Mr. Honeywood that directed
 you hither.

 CROAKER. No, sir, it was Mr. Honeywood conducted me hither.

 LEONT. Is it possible?

 CROAKER. Possible! why he's in the house now, sir. More anxious about
 me, than my own son, sir.

 LEONT. Then, sir, he's a villain.

 CROAKER. How, sirrah; a villain, because he takes most care of your
 father? I'll not bear it. I tell you I'll not bear it. Honeywood is a
 friend to the family, and I'll have him treated as such.

 LEONT. I shall study to repay his friendship as it deserves.

 CROAKER. Ah, rogue, if you knew how earnestly he entered into my
 griefs, and pointed out the means to detect them, you would love him as
 I do. _A cry without, Stop him!_ Fire and fury! they have seized the
 incendiary: they have the villain, the incendiary in view. Stop him,
 stop an incendiary, a murderer! stop him.

                                [_Exit._

 OLIVIA. Oh, my terrors! What can this new tumult mean?

 LEONT. Some new mark, I suppose, of Mr. Honeywood's sincerity. But we
 shall have satisfaction: he shall give me instant satisfaction.

 OLIVIA. It must not be, my Leontine, if you value my esteem, or my
 happiness. Whatever be our fate, let us not add guilt to our
 misfortunes. Consider that our innocence will shortly be all we have
 left us. You must forgive him.

 LEONT. Forgive him! Has he not in every instance betrayed us? Forced me
 to borrow money from him, which appears a mere trick to delay us:
 promised to keep my father engaged, till we were out of danger, and
 here brought him to the very scene of our escape?

 OLIVIA. Don't be precipitate. We may yet be mistaken.

 _Enter_ POSTBOY, _dragging in_ JARVIS: HONEYWOOD _entering soon after_.

 POSTBOY. Ay, master, we have him fast enough. Here is the incendiary
 dog. I'm entitled to the reward; I'll take my oath I saw him ask for
 the money at the bar, and then run for it.

 HONEYW. Come, bring him along. Let us see him. Let him learn to blush
 for his crimes. (_Discovering his mistake._) Death! what's
 here?—Jarvis, Leontine, Olivia! What can all this mean?

 _Jarvis._ Why, I'll tell you what it means: that I was an old fool, and
 that you are my master—that's all.

 HONEYW. Confusion.

 LEONT. Yes, sir; I find you have kept your word with me. After such
 baseness, I wonder how you can venture to see the man you have injured.

 HONEYW. My dear Leontine, by my life, my honour—

 LEONT. Peace, peace, for shame; and do not continue to aggravate
 baseness by hypocrisy. I know you, sir, I know you.

 HONEYW. Why, won't you hear me? By all that's just, I knew not—

 LEONT. Hear you, sir, to what purpose? I now see through all your low
 arts; your ever complying with every opinion; your never refusing any
 request; your friendship is as common as a prostitute's favours, and as
 fallacious; all these, sir, have long been contemptible to the world,
 and are now perfectly so to me.

 HONEYW. Ha! contemptible to the world! That reaches me.

 _Aside._

 LEONT. All the seeming sincerity of your professions, I now find, were
 only allurements to betray; and all your seeming regret for their
 consequences, only calculated to cover the cowardice of your heart.
 Draw, villain!

[Illustration:

  HONEYW.—"_Madam, you seem at least
  calm enough to hear reason._"—_p._ 314.
]


 _Enter_ CROAKER _out of breath_.

 CROAKER. Where is the villain?

 Where is the incendiary! (_Seizing the_ POSTBOY.) Hold him fast, the
 dog; he has the gallows in his face. Come, you dog, confess; confess
 all, and hang yourself.

 POSTBOY. Zounds, master! what do you throttle me for?

 CROAKER. (_beating him_). Dog, do you resist? do you resist?

 POSTBOY. Zounds, master! I'm not he; there's the man that we thought
 was the rogue, and turns out to be one of the company.

 CROAKER. How!

 HONEYW. Mr. Croaker, we have all been under a strange mistake here: I
 find there is nobody guilty; it was all an error; entirely an error of
 our own.

 CROAKER. And I say, sir, that you're in an error: for there's guilt,
 and double guilt; a plot, a damn'd jesuitical, pestilential plot; and I
 must have proof of it.

 HONEYW. Do but hear me.

 CROAKER. What! you intend to bring 'em off, I suppose? I'll hear
 nothing.

 HONEYW. Madam, you seem at least calm enough to hear reason.

 OLIVIA. Excuse me.

 HONEYW. Good Jarvis, let me then explain it to you.

 JARVIS. What signifies explanation, when the thing is done?

 HONEYW. Will nobody hear me? Was there ever such a set, so blinded by
 passion and prejudice!—(_To the_ POSTBOY). My good friend, I believe
 you'll be surprised when I assure you——

 POSTBOY. Sure me nothing—I'm sure of nothing but a good beating.

 CROAKER. Come then, you, madam; if you ever hope for any favour or
 forgiveness, tell me sincerely all you know of this affair.

 OLIVIA. Unhappily, sir, I'm but too much the cause of your suspicions;
 you see before you, sir, one, that with false pretences has stept into
 your family, to betray it: not your daughter—

 CROAKER. Not my daughter!

 OLIVIA. Not your daughter—but a mean deceiver—who—support me, I cannot—

 HONEYW. Help, she's going! give her air.

 CROAKER. Ay, ay, take the young woman to the air; I would not hurt a
 hair of her head, whoseever daughter she may be—not so bad as that
 neither.

                       [_Exeunt all but_ CROAKER.

 CROAKER. Yes, yes, all's out; I now see the whole affair; my son is
 either married, or going to be so, to this lady, whom he imposed upon
 me as his sister. Ay, certainly so; and yet I don't find it afflicts me
 so much as one might think. There's the advantage of fretting away our
 misfortunes beforehand, we never feel them when they come.

 _Enter_ MISS RICHLAND _and_ SIR WILLIAM.

 SIR WILL. But how do you know, madam, that my nephew intends setting
 off from this place?

 MISS RICH. My maid assured me he was come to this inn, and my own
 knowledge of his intending to leave the kingdom, suggested the rest.
 But what do I see? my guardian here before us! Who, my dear sir, could
 have expected meeting you here? to what accident do we owe this
 pleasure?

 CROAKER. To a fool, I believe.

 MISS RICH. But to what purpose did you come?

 CROAKER. To play the fool.

 MISS RICH. But with whom?

 CROAKER. With greater fools than myself.

 MISS RICH. Explain.

 CROAKER. Why, Mr. Honeywood brought me here, to do nothing now I am
 here; and my son is going to be married to I don't know who that is
 here; so now you are as wise as I am.

 MISS RICH. Married! to whom, sir?

 CROAKER. To Olivia; my daughter, as I took her to be; but who the devil
 she is, or whose daughter she is, I know no more than the man in the
 moon.

 SIR WILL. Then, sir, I can inform you; and though a stranger, yet you
 shall find me a friend to your family: it will be enough at present to
 assure you, that, both in point of birth and fortune, the young lady is
 at least your son's equal. Being left by her father, Sir James
 Woodville—

 CROAKER. Sir James Woodville! What of the west!

 SIR WILL. Being left by him, I say, to the care of a mercenary wretch,
 whose only aim was to secure her fortune to himself, she was sent into
 France, under pretence of education; and there every art was tried to
 fix her for life in a convent, contrary to her inclinations. Of this I
 was informed upon my arrival at Paris; and as I had been once her
 father's friend, I did all in my power to frustrate her guardian's base
 intentions. I had even meditated to rescue her from his authority, when
 your son stept in with more pleasing violence, gave her liberty, and
 you a daughter.

 CROAKER. But I intend to have a daughter of my own choosing, sir. A
 young lady, sir, whose fortune, by my interest with those that have
 interest, will be double what my son has a right to expect. Do you know
 Mr. Lofty, sir?

 SIR WILL. Yes, sir; and know that you are deceived in him. But step
 this way, and I'll convince you.

 CROAKER _and_ SIR WILLIAM _seem to confer_.

 _Enter_ HONEYWOOD.

 HONEYW. Obstinate man, still to persist in his outrage! Insulted by
 him, despised by all, I now begin to grow contemptible even to myself.
 How have I sunk, by too great an assiduity to please! How have I
 overtaxed all my abilities, lest the approbation of a single fool
 should escape me! But all is now over; I have survived my reputation,
 my fortune, my friendships; and nothing remains henceforward for me but
 solitude and repentance.

 MISS RICH. Is it true, Mr. Honeywood, that you are setting off, without
 taking leave of your friends? The report is, that you are quitting
 England. Can it be?

 HONEYW. Yes, madam; and though I am so unhappy as to have fallen under
 your displeasure, yet, thank Heaven, I leave you to happiness; to one
 who loves you, and deserves your love; to one who has power to procure
 you affluence, and generosity to improve your enjoyment of it.

 MISS RICH. And are you sure, sir, that the gentleman you mean is what
 you describe him?

 HONEYW. I have the best assurances of it, his serving me. He does,
 indeed, deserve the highest happiness, and that is in your power to
 confer. As for me, weak and wavering as I have been, obliged by all and
 incapable of serving any, what happiness can I find, but in solitude?
 What hope, but in being forgotten?

 MISS RICH. A thousand! to live among friends that esteem you; whose
 happiness it will be to be permitted to oblige you.

 HONEYW. No, madam; my resolution is fixed. Inferiority among strangers
 is easy; but among those that once were equals, insupportable. Nay, to
 show you how far my resolution can go, I can now speak with calmness of
 my former follies, my vanity, my dissipation, my weakness. I will even
 confess, that, among the number of my other presumptions, I had the
 insolence to think of loving you. Yes, madam, while I was pleading the
 passion of another, my heart was tortured with its own. But it is over,
 it was unworthy our friendship, and let it be forgotten.

 MISS RICH. You amaze me!

 HONEYW. But you'll forgive it, I know you will; since the confession
 should not have come from me even now, but to convince you of the
 sincerity of my intention of—never mentioning it more.

 _Going._

 MISS RICH. Stay, sir, one moment—Ha! he here—

 _Enter_ LOFTY.

 LOFTY. Is the coast clear? None but friends. I have followed you here
 with a trifling piece of intelligence: but it goes no farther; things
 are not yet ripe for a discovery. I have spirits working at a certain
 board: your affair at the treasury will be done in less than—a thousand
 years. Mum!

 MISS RICH. Sooner, sir, I should hope.

 LOFTY. Why, yes, I believe it may, if it falls into proper hands, that
 know where to push and where to parry; that know how the land lies—eh,
 Honeywood?

 MISS RICH. It is fallen into yours.

 LOFTY. Well, to keep you no longer in suspense, your thing is done. It
 is done, I say—that's all. I have just had assurances of Lord Neverout,
 that the claim has been examined, and found admissible. _Quietus_ is
 the word, madam.

 HONEYW. But how! his lordship has been at Newmarket these ten days.

 LOFTY. Indeed. Then Sir Gilbert Goose must have been most damnably
 mistaken. I had it of him.

 MISS RICH. He! why Sir Gilbert and his family have been in the country
 this month.

 LOFTY. This month! It must certainly be so—Sir Gilbert's letter did
 come to me from Newmarket, so that he must have met his lordship there;
 and so it came about. I have this letter about me; I'll read it to you
 (_Taking out a large bundle._) That's from Paoli of Corsica; that's
 from the Marquis of Squilachi. Have you a mind to see a letter from
 Count Poniatowski, now king of Poland—Honest Pon—— (_Searching._) O,
 sir, what are you here too? I'll tell you what, honest friend, if you
 have not absolutely delivered my letter to Sir William Honeywood, you
 may return it. The thing will do without him.

 SIR WILL. Sir, I have delivered it, and must inform you, it was
 received with the most mortifying contempt.

 CROAKER. Contempt! Mr. Lofty, what can that mean?

 LOFTY. Let him go on, let him go on, I say. You'll find it come to
 something presently.

 SIR WILL. Yes, sir, I believe you'll be amazed, if, after waiting some
 time in the ante-chamber; after being surveyed with insolent curiosity
 by the passing servants, I was at last assured, that Sir William
 Honeywood knew no such person, and I must certainly have been imposed
 upon.

 LOFTY. Good; let me die, very good. Ha! ha! ha!

 CROAKER. Now, for my life, I can't find out half the goodness of it.

 LOFTY. You can't. Ha! ha!

 CROAKER. No, for the soul of me; I think it was as confounded a bad
 answer, as ever was sent from one private gentleman to another.

 LOFTY. And so you can't find out the force of the message? Why, I was
 in the house at that very time. Ha! ha! It was I that sent that very
 answer to my own letter. Ha! ha!

[Illustration:

  LOFTY.—"_Ay, stick it where you will;
  for, by the Lord, it cuts but a very poor figure where
  it sticks at present._"—_p._ 318.
]


 CROAKER. Indeed? How! why!

 LOFTY. In one word, things between Sir William and me, must be behind
 the curtain. A party has many eyes. He sides with Lord Buzzard; I side
 with Sir Gilbert Goose. So that unriddles the mystery.

 CROAKER. And so it does, indeed, and all my suspicions are over.

 LOFTY. Your suspicions? What, then, you have been suspecting, have you?
 Mr. Croaker, you and I were friends; we are friends no longer. Never
 talk to me. It's over; I say, it's over.

 CROAKER. As I hope for your favour, I did not mean to offend. It
 escaped me. Don't be discomposed.

 LOFTY. Zounds, sir, but I am discomposed, and will be discomposed. To
 be treated thus! Who am I? Was it for this I have been dreaded both by
 ins and outs? Have I been libelled in the Gazetteer, and praised in the
 St. James's? Have I been cheered at Wildman's, and a speaker at
 Merchant Tailors' Hall? Have I had my hand to addresses, and my head in
 the print-shops; and talk to me of suspects?

 CROAKER. My dear sir, be pacified. What can you have but asking pardon?

 LOFTY. Sir, I will not be pacified.—Suspects! Who am I? To be used
 thus, have I paid court to men in favour to serve my friends, the lords
 of the treasury, Sir William Honeywood, and the rest of the gang, and
 talk to me of suspects? Who am I, I say? who am I?

 SIR WILL. Since, sir, you're so pressing for an answer, I'll tell you
 who you are—a gentleman, as well acquainted with politics as with men
 in power; as well acquainted with persons of fashion as with modesty;
 with lords of the treasury as with truth; and with all as you are with
 Sir William Honeywood. I am Sir William Honeywood.

 _Discovering his ensigns of the Bath._

 CROAKER. Sir William Honeywood!

 HONEYW. Astonishment! my uncle!

 _Aside._

 LOFTY. So then, my confounded genius has been all this time only
 leading me up to the garret, in order to fling me out of the window.

 CROAKER. What, Mr. Importance, and are these your works? Suspect you!
 You, who have been dreaded by the ins and outs: you, who have had your
 hand to addresses, and your head stuck up in print-shops. If you were
 served right, you should have your head stuck up in the pillory.

 LOFTY. Ay, stick it where you will; for, by the Lord, it cuts but a
 very poor figure where it sticks at present.

 SIR WILL. Well, Mr. Croaker, I hope you now see how incapable this
 gentleman is of serving you, and how little Miss Richland has to expect
 from his influence.

 CROAKER. Ay, sir, too well I see it, and I can't but say I have had
 some boding of it these ten days. So I'm resolved, since my son has
 placed his affections on a lady of moderate fortune, to be satisfied
 with his choice, and not run the hazard of another Mr. Lofty in helping
 him to a better.

 SIR WILL. I approve your resolution; and here they come, to receive a
 confirmation of your pardon and consent.

 _Enter_ MRS. CROAKER, JARVIS, LEONTINE, OLIVIA.

 MRS. CROAKER. Where's my husband? Come, come, lovey, you must forgive
 them. Jarvis here has been to tell me the whole affair; and, I say, you
 must forgive them. Our own was a stolen match, you know, my dear; and
 we never had any reason to repent of it.

 CROAKER. I wish we could both say so: however, this gentleman, Sir
 William Honeywood, has been beforehand with you in obtaining their
 pardon. So, if the two poor fools have a mind to marry, I think we can
 tack them together without crossing the Tweed for it.

 _Joining their hands._

 LEONT. How blest and unexpected! What, what can we say to such
 goodness? But our future obedience shall be the best reply. And as for
 this gentleman, to whom we owe——

 SIR WILL. Excuse me sir, if I interrupt your thanks, as I have here an
 interest that calls me. (_Turning to_ HONEYWOOD.) Yes, sir, you are
 surprised to see me; and I own that a desire of correcting your follies
 led me hither. I saw with indignation the errors of a mind that only
 sought applause from others; that easiness of disposition which, though
 inclined to the right, had not courage to condemn the wrong. I saw with
 regret those splendid errors, that still took name from some
 neighbouring duty. Your charity, that was but injustice; your
 benevolence, that was but weakness; and your friendship but credulity.
 I saw, with regret, great talents and extensive learning only employed
 to add sprightliness to error, and increase your perplexities. I saw
 your mind, with a thousand natural charms; but the greatness of its
 beauty served only to heighten my pity for its prostitution.

 HONEYW. Cease to upbraid me, sir: I have for some time but too strongly
 felt the justice of your reproaches; but there is one way still left
 me. Yes, sir, I have determined this very hour to quit for ever, a
 place where I have made myself the voluntary slave of all; and to seek
 among strangers that fortitude which may give strength to the mind, and
 marshal all its dissipated virtues. Yet, ere I depart, permit me to
 solicit favour for this gentleman; who, notwithstanding what has
 happened, has laid me under the most signal obligations. Mr. Lofty—

 LOFTY. Mr. Honeywood, I am resolved upon a reformation, as well as you.
 I now begin to find, that the man who first invented the art of
 speaking truth, was a much cunninger fellow than I thought him. And to
 prove that I design to speak truth for the future, I must now assure
 you that you owe your late enlargement to another; as, upon my soul, I
 had no hand in the matter. So now, if any of the company has a mind for
 preferment, he may take my place. I am determined to resign.

                                [_Exit._

 HONEYW. How have I been deceived!

 SIR WILL. No, sir, you have been obliged to a kinder, fairer friend for
 that favour—to Miss Richland. Would she complete our joy, and make the
 man she has honoured by her friendship happy in her love, I should then
 forget all, and be as blest as the welfare of my dearest kinsman can
 make me.

 MISS RICH. After what is past, it would be but affectation to pretend
 to indifference. Yes, I will own an attachment, which, I find, was more
 than friendship. And if my entreaties cannot alter his resolution to
 quit the country, I will even try if my hand has not power to detain
 him.

 _Giving her hand._

 HONEYW. Heavens! how can I have deserved all this? How express my
 happiness, my gratitude! A moment like this overpays an age of
 apprehension.

 CROAKER. Well, now I see content in every face; but Heaven send we be
 all better this day three months.

 SIR WILL. Henceforth, nephew, learn to respect yourself. He who seeks
 only for applause from without, has all his happiness in another's
 keeping.

 HONEYW. Yes, sir, I now too plainly perceive my errors. My vanity, in
 attempting to please all, by fearing to offend any. My meanness in
 approving folly, lest fools should disapprove. Henceforth, therefore,
 it shall be my study to reserve my pity for real distress; my
 friendship for true merit; and my love for her who first taught me what
 it is to be happy.

                                EPILOGUE


 SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY.


 As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
 To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
 Thus, on the stage, our play-wrights still depend
 For epilogues and prologues on some friend,
 Who knows each art of coaxing up the town,
 And make full many a bitter pill go down:
 Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
 And teased each rhyming friend to help him out.
 An epilogue! things can't go on without it;
 It could not fail, would you but set about it:
 "Young man," cries one, (a bard laid up in clover,)
 "Alas! young man, my writing days are over;
 Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw, not I;
 Your brother doctor there, perhaps, may try,"
 "What I! dear Sir," the doctor interposes;
 "What, plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses!
 No, no, I've other contests to maintain;
 To-night I heard our troops at Warwick-lane.
 Go ask your manager"—"Who, me! Your pardon,
 Those things are not our forte at Covent Garden."
 Our author's friends, thus placed at happy distance,
 Give him good words, indeed, but no assistance.
 As some unhappy wight, at some new play,
 At the pit door stands elbowing a way,
 While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug,
 He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug;
 His simpering friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
 Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise:
 He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace;
 But not a soul will budge to give him place.
 Since, then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
 "To 'bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,"
 Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
 And be each critic the _Good-natured Man_.



                         SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER;
                                  OR,

                        THE MISTAKES OF A NIGHT
                               A COMEDY.


                               DEDICATION.

 TO SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D.

 DEAR SIR,

 By inscribing this slight performance to you, I do not mean so much to
 compliment you as myself. It may do me some honour to inform the
 public, that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve
 the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may
 be found in a character, without impairing the most unaffected piety.

 I have, particularly, reason to thank you for your partiality to this
 performance. The undertaking a Comedy not merely sentimental, was very
 dangerous; and Mr. Colman, who saw this piece in its various stages,
 always thought it so. However, I ventured to trust it to the public;
 and though it was necessarily delayed till late in the season, I have
 every reason to be grateful.

                             I am, dear sir,

                                       Your sincere friend, and admirer,

                                                       OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

 PROLOGUE,

 BY DAVID GARRICK, ESQ.


 _Enter_ MR. WOODWARD,

 Dressed in black, and holding a handkerchief to his eyes.

  Excuse me, sirs, I pray—I can't yet speak—
  I'm crying now—and have been all the week!
  _'Tis not alone this mourning suit_, good masters;
  _I've that within_—for which there are no plasters!
  Pray, would you know the reason why I'm crying?
  The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying!
  And if she goes, my tears will never stop;
  for as a play'r, I can't squeeze out one drop:
  I am undone, that's all—shall lose my bread—I'd
  rather—but that's nothing—lose my head
  When the sweet maid is laid upon the bier,
  _Shuter_ and _I_ shall be chief mourners here.
  To her a mawkish drab of spurious breed,
  Who deals in _sentimentals_ will succeed!
  Poor _Ned_ and _I_ are dead to all intents,
  We can as soon speak _Greek_ as _sentiments_!
  Both nervous grown, to keep our spirits up,
  We now and then take down a hearty cup.
  What shall we do?—If Comedy forsake us!
  _They'll turn us out, and no one else will take us._
  But why can't I be moral?—Let me try—
  My heart thus pressing—fixed my face and eye—
  With a sententious look, that nothing means,
  (Faces are blocks, in sentimental scenes)
  Thus I begin—_All is not gold that glitters,
  Pleasure seems sweet, but proves a glass of bitters.
  When ignorance enters, folly is at hand;
  Learning is better far than house and land.
  Let not your virtue trip, who trips may stumble,
  And virtue is not virtue, if she tumble._

    I give it up—morals won't do for me;
  To make you laugh I must play tragedy.
  One hope remains: hearing the maid was ill,
  A _doctor_ comes this night to show his skill.
  To cheer her heart, and give your muscles motion,
  He in _five draughts_ prepared, presents a potion:
  A kind of magic charm—for be assured,
  If you will _swallow it_, the maid is cured:
  But desperate the doctor, and her case is,
  If you reject the dose, and make wry faces!
  This truth he boasts, will boast it while he lives,
  No _poisonous drugs_ are mixed with what he gives;
  Should he succeed, you'll give him his degree;
  If not, within he will receive no fee!
  The college _you_, must his pretensions back,
  Pronounce him _regular_, or dub him _quack_.


 DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


 MEN.


 SIR CHARLES MARLOW.
 YOUNG MARLOW (HIS SON).
 HARDCASTLE.
 HASTINGS.
 TONY LUMPKIN.
 DIGGORY.


 WOMEN.


 MRS. HARDCASTLE.
 MISS HARDCASTLE.
 MISS NEVILLE.
 MAID.


 LANDLORD, SERVANTS, &c. &c.

[Illustration:

  MRS. HARDCASTLE.—_"You shan't go."—p. 326_.
]



                                 ACT I.


 SCENE.—_A scene in an old-fashioned house._

 _Enter_ MRS. HARDCASTLE _and_ MR. HARDCASTLE.

 MRS. HARD. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you're very particular. Is there a
 creature in the whole country, but ourselves, that does not take a trip
 to town now and then to rub off the rust a little? There's the two Miss
 Hoggs, and our neighbour Mrs. Grisby, go to take a month's polishing
 every winter.

 HARD. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to last them the whole
 year. I wonder why London cannot keep its own fools at home. In my
 time, the follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now they
 travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies come down, not only as
 inside passengers, but in the very basket.

 MRS. HARD. Ay, _your_ times were fine times, indeed; you have been
 telling us of _them_ for many a long year. Here we live in an old
 rambling mansion, that looks for all the world like an inn, but that we
 never see company. Our best visitors are old Mrs. Oddfish, the curate's
 wife, and little Cripplegate, the lame dancing-master; and all our
 entertainment, your old stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of
 Marlborough. I hate such old-fashioned trumpery.

 HARD. And I love it. I love everything that's old: old friends, old
 times, old manners, old books, old wine; and, I believe, Dorothy
 (_taking her hand_), you'll own I have been pretty fond of an old wife.

 MRS. HARD. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, you're for ever at your Dorothys, and
 your old wives. You may be a Darby, but I'll be no Joan, I promise you.
 I'm not so old as you'd make me, by more than one good year. Add twenty
 to twenty, and make money of that.

 HARD. Let me see; twenty added to twenty, makes just fifty and seven.

 MRS. HARD. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle: I was but twenty when I was
 brought to bed of Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my first husband;
 and he's not come to years of discretion yet.

 HARD. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you have taught _him_
 finely.

 MRS. HARD. No matter, Tony Lumpkin has a good fortune. My son is not to
 live by his learning. I don't think a boy wants much learning to spend
 fifteen hundred a-year.

 HARD. Learning, quotha! a mere composition of tricks and mischief.

 MRS. HARD. Humour, my dear: nothing but humour. Come, Mr. Hardcastle,
 you must allow the boy a little humour.

 HARD. I'd sooner allow him a horse-pond. If burning the footmen's
 shoes, frighting the maids, worrying the kittens—be humour, he has it.
 It was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, and
 when I went to make a bow, I popt my bald head in Mrs. Frizzle's face.

 MRS. HARD. And am I to blame? The poor boy was always too sickly to do
 any good. A school would be his death. When he comes to be a little
 stronger, who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him!

 HARD. Latin for him! A cat and fiddle. No, no, the alehouse and the
 stable are the only schools he'll ever go to.

 MRS. HARD. Well, we must not snub the poor boy now, for I believe we
 shan't have him long among us. Anybody that looks in his face may see
 he's consumptive.

 HARD. Ay, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms.

 MRS. HARD. He coughs sometimes.

 HARD. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong way.

 MRS. HARD. I'm actually afraid of his lungs.

 HARD. And truly so am I; for he sometimes whoops like a speaking
 trumpet—(_Tony hallooing behind the scenes_)—O there he goes—A very
 consumptive figure, truly.

 _Enter_ TONY, _crossing the stage_.

 MRS. HARD. Tony, where are you going, my charmer? Won't you give papa
 and I a little of your company, lovee?

 TONY. I'm in haste, mother, I cannot stay.

 MRS. HARD. You shan't venture out this raw evening, my dear; you look
 most shockingly.

 TONY. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons expects me down every
 moment. There's some fun going forward.

 HARD. Ay; the alehouse, the old place: I thought so.

 MRS. HARD. A low, paltry set of fellows.

 TONY. Not so low neither. There's Dick Muggins the exciseman, Jack
 Slang the horse-doctor, little Aminadab, that grinds the music-box, and
 Tom Twist, that spins the pewter platter.

 MRS. HARD. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one night at least.

 TONY. As for disappointing _them_, I should not so much mind; but I
 can't abide to disappoint _myself_.

 MRS. HARD. (_Detaining him._) You shan't go.

 TONY. I will, I tell you.

 MRS. HARD. I say you shan't.

 TONY. We'll see which is the strongest, you or I!

                        _Exit, hauling her out._

 HARDCASTLE, _solus_.

 HARD. Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil each other; but is not the
 whole age in a combination to drive sense and discretion out of doors?
 There's my pretty darling Kate; the fashions of the times have almost
 infected her too. By living a year or two in town, she is as fond of
 gauze, and French frippery, as the best of them.

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. Blessings on my pretty innocence! Drest out as usual, my Kate.
 Goodness! What a quantity of superfluous silk hast thou got about thee,
 girl! I could never teach the fools of this age, that the indigent
 world could be clothed out of the trimmings of the vain.

 MISS HARD. You know our agreement, sir. You allow me the morning to
 receive and pay visits, and to dress in my own manner; and in the
 evening, I put on my housewife's dress to please you.

 HARD. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our agreement; and, by
 the by, I believe I shall have occasion to try your obedience this very
 evening.

 MISS HARD. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your meaning.

 HARD. Then, to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the young gentleman I
 have chosen to be your husband from town this very day. I have his
 father's letter, in which he informs me his son is set out, and that he
 intends to follow himself shortly after.

 MISS HARD. Indeed! I wish I had known something of this before. Bless
 me, how shall I behave! It's a thousand to one I shan't like him; our
 meeting will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, that I
 shall find no room for friendship or esteem.

 HARD. Depend upon it, child, I'll never control your choice; but Mr.
 Marlow, whom I have pitched upon, is the son of my old friend, Sir
 Charles Marlow, of whom you have heard me talk so often. The young
 gentleman has been bred a scholar, and is designed for an employment in
 the service of his country. I am told he's a man of an excellent
 understanding.

 MISS HARD. Is he?

 HARD. Very generous.

 MISS HARD. I believe I shall like him.

 HARD. Young and brave.

 MISS HARD. I'm sure I shall like him.

 HARD. And very handsome.

 MISS HARD. My dear papa, say no more (_kissing his hand_), he's mine,
 I'll have him!

[Illustration:

  MISS HARDCASTLE.—"_I protest, Sir, I
  do not comprehend your meaning._"—_p._ 326.
]


 HARD. And to crown all, Kate, he's one of the most bashful and reserved
 young fellows in all the world.

 MISS HARD. Eh! you have frozen me to death again. That word _reserved_,
 has undone all the rest of his accomplishments. A reserved lover, it is
 said, always makes a suspicious husband.

 HARD. On the contrary, modesty seldom resides in a breast that is not
 enriched with nobler virtues. It was the very feature in his character
 that first struck me.

 MISS HARD. He must have more striking features to catch me, I promise
 you. However, if he be so young, so handsome, and so everything, as you
 mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him.

 HARD. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's more than an even
 wager, he may not have _you_.

 MISS HARD. My dear papa, why will you mortify one so!—Well, if he
 refuses, instead of breaking my heart at his indifference, I'll only
 break my glass for its flattery, set my cap to some newer fashion, and
 look out for some less difficult admirer.

 HARD. Bravely resolved! In the meantime I'll go prepare the servants
 for his reception; as we seldom see company, they want as much training
 as a company of recruits the first day's muster.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS HARDCASTLE, _sola_.

 MISS HARD. Lud, this news of papa's puts me all in a flutter.
 Young—handsome: these he put last; but I put them foremost.
 Sensible—good-natured: I like all that. But then—reserved, and
 sheepish: that's much against him. Yet, can't he be cur'd of his
 timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife? Yes; and can't
 I—But, I vow, I'm disposing of the husband, before I have secured the
 lover.

 _Enter_ MISS NEVILLE.

 MISS HARD. I'm glad you're come, Neville, my dear. Tell me, Constance:
 how do I look this evening? Is there anything whimsical about me? Is it
 one of my well-looking days, child? Am I in face to-day?

 MISS NEV. Perfectly, my dear. Yet, now I look again—bless me!—sure no
 accident has happened among the canary birds, or the gold fishes. Has
 your brother or the cat been meddling? Or, has the last novel been too
 moving?

 MISS HARD. No; nothing of all this. I have been threatened—I can scarce
 get it out—I have been threatened with a lover.

 MISS NEV. And his name—

 MISS HARD. Is Marlow.

 MISS NEV. Indeed!

 MISS HARD. The son of Sir Charles Marlow.

 MISS NEV. As I live, the most intimate friend of Mr. Hastings, _my_
 admirer. They are never asunder. I believe you must have seen him when
 we lived in town.

 MISS HARD. Never.

 MISS NEV. He's a very singular character, I assure you. Among women of
 reputation and virtue, he is the modestest man alive; but his
 acquaintance give him a very different character among creatures of
 another stamp: you understand me.

 MISS HARD. An odd character, indeed. I shall never be able to manage
 him. What shall I do? Pshaw, think no more of him, but trust to
 occurrences for success. But how goes on your own affair, my dear? has
 my mother been courting you for my brother Tony, as usual!

 MISS NEV. I have just come from one of our agreeable tête-à-têtes. She
 has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting off her pretty
 monster as the very pink of perfection.

[Illustration:

  TONY.—"_Then I'll sing you,
  gentlemen, a song._"—_p._ 330.
]


 MISS HARD. And her partiality is such, that she actually thinks him so.
 A fortune like yours is no small temptation. Besides, as she has the
 sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see her unwilling to let it
 go out of the family.

 MISS NEV. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists in jewels, is no
 such mighty temptation. But, at any rate, if my dear Hastings be but
 constant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at last. However, I
 let her suppose that I am in love with her son, and she never once
 dreams that my affections are fixed upon another.

 MISS HARD. My good brother holds out stoutly. I could almost love him
 for hating you so.

 MISS NEV. It is a good-natured creature at bottom, and I'm sure would
 wish to see me married to anybody but himself. But my aunt's bell rings
 for our afternoon's walk round the improvements. _Allons!_ Courage is
 necessary, as our affairs are critical.

 MISS HARD. Would it were bedtime, and all were well.

                                _Exeunt._

 SCENE.—_An ale house room. Several shabby fellows, with punch and
 tobacco._ TONY _at the head of the table, a little higher than the
 rest: a mallet in his hand_.

 OMNES. Hurrea, hurrea, hurrea, bravo!

 1 FEL. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 'squire is going to
 knock himself down for a song.

 OMNES. Ay, a song, a song!

 TONY. Then I'll sing you, gentlemen, a song I made upon this alehouse,
 the Three Pigeons.

 SONG.

 Let school-masters puzzle their brain,
   With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
 Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
   Give _genus_ a better discerning.
 Let them brag of their heathenish gods,
   Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians;
 Their _quis_, and their _quæs_, and their _quods_,
   They're all but a parcel of pigeons.
                       Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.

 When methodist-preachers come down,
   A preaching that drinking is sinful,
 I'll wager the rascals a crown,
   They always preach best with a skin full.
 But when you come down with your pence,
   For a slice of their scurvy religion,
 I'll leave it to all men of sense,
   But you, my good friend, are the pigeon.
                       Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.

 Then come, put the jorum about,
   And let us be merry and clever;
 Our hearts and our liquors are stout,
   Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever!
 Let some cry up woodcock or hare,
   Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons;
 But of all the birds in the air,
   Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons!
                       Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.

 OMNES. Bravo! bravo!

 1 FEL. The 'squire has got spunk in him.

 2 FEL. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he never gives us nothing
 that's _low_.

 3 FEL. O damn anything that's _low_, I cannot bear it.

 4 FEL. The genteel thing, is the genteel thing at any time. If so be
 that a gentleman bees in a concatenation accordingly.

 3 FEL. I like the maxum of it, Master Muggins. What though I am
 obligated to dance a bear? a man may be a gentleman for all that. May
 this be my poison, if my bear ever dances but to the very genteelest of
 tunes: "Water parted," or "The minuet in Ariadne."

 2 FEL. What a pity it is the 'squire is not come to his own! It would
 be well for all the publicans within ten miles round of him.

 TONY. Ecod and so it would, Master Slang. I'd then show what it was to
 keep choice of company.

 2 FEL. O he takes after his own father for that. To be sure, old
 'squire Lumpkin was the finest gentleman I ever set my eyes on. For
 winding the straight horn, or beating a thicket for a hare, or a wench,
 he never had his fellow. It was a saying in the place, that he kept the
 best horses, dogs, and girls in the whole county.

 TONY. Ecod, and when I'm of age I'll be no bastard, I promise you! I
 have been thinking of Bett Bouncer, and the miller's grey mare to begin
 with. But come, my boys, drink about and be merry, for you pay no
 reckoning.—Well, Stingo, what's the matter?

 _Enter_ LANDLORD.

 LAND. There be two gentlemen in a post-chaise at the door. They have
 lost their way upo' the forest; and they are talking something about
 Mr. Hardcastle.

 TONY. As sure as can be, one of them must be the gentleman that's
 coming down to court my sister.—Do they seem to be Londoners?

 LAND. I believe they may. They look woundily like Frenchmen.

 TONY. Then desire them to step this way, and I'll set them right in a
 twinkling. (_Exit_ LANDLORD.) Gentlemen, as they mayn't be good enough
 company for you, step down for a moment, and I'll be with you in the
 squeezing of a lemon.

                             [_Exeunt mob._

 TONY, _solus_.

 TONY. Father-in-law has been calling me whelp, and hound, this half
 year. Now if I pleased, I could be so revenged upon the old
 grumbletonian. But then I'm afraid—afraid of what? I shall soon be
 worth fifteen hundred a-year, and let him frighten me out of _that_ if
 he can.

 _Enter_ LANDLORD, _conducting_ MARLOW _and_ HASTINGS.

 MARL. What a tedious uncomfortable day have we had of it! We were told
 it was but forty miles across the country, and we have come above
 threescore.

 HAST. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable reserve of yours, that
 would not let us inquire more frequently on the way.

 MARL. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself under an obligation
 to every one I meet; and often stand the chance of an unmannerly
 answer.

 HAST. At present, however, we are not likely to receive any answer.

 TONY. No offence, gentlemen; but I'm told you have been inquiring for
 one Mr. Hardcastle, in those parts. Do you know what part of the
 country you are in?

 HAST. Not in the least, sir; but should thank you for information.

 TONY. Nor the way you came?

 HAST. No, sir; but if you can inform us——

 TONY. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road you are going, nor
 where you are, nor the road you came, the first thing I have to inform
 you is, that—you have lost your way.

 MARL. We wanted no ghost to tell us that.

 TONY. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as to ask the place from whence
 you came?

 MARL. That's not necessary towards directing us where we are to go.

 TONY. No offence; but question for question is all fair, you know.
 Pray, gentlemen, is not this same Hardcastle a cross-grained,
 old-fashioned, whimsical fellow, with an ugly face; a daughter, and a
 pretty son?

 HAST. We have not seen the gentleman; but he has the family you
 mention.

 TONY. The daughter, a tall trapesing, trolloping, talkative
 May-pole——The son, a pretty, well-bred, agreeable youth, that everybody
 is fond of.

 MARL. Our information differs in this. The daughter is said to be
 well-bred and beautiful; the son, an awkward booby, reared up, and
 spoiled at his mother's apron-string.

 TONY. He-he-hem—Then, gentlemen, all I have to tell you is, that you
 won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's house this night, I believe.

 HAST. Unfortunate!

 TONY. It's a damn'd long, dark, boggy, dirty, dangerous way. Stingo,
 tell the gentlemen the way to Mr. Hardcastle's; (_winking upon the
 landlord._) Mr. Hardcastle's, of Quagmire Marsh; you understand me.

 LAND. Master Hardcastle's? Lack-a-daisy, my masters, you're come a
 deadly deal wrong! When you came to the bottom of the hill, you should
 have crossed down Squash-lane.

 MARL. Cross down Squash-lane?

 LAND. Then you were to keep straight forward, till you came to four
 roads.

 MARL. Come to where four roads meet!

 TONY. Aye; but you must be sure to take only one of them.

 MARL. O sir, you're facetious.

 TONY. Then keeping to the right, you are to go sideways till you come
 upon Crack-skull-common: there you must look sharp for the track of the
 wheel, and go forward, till you come to farmer Murrain's barn. Coming
 to the farmer's barn, you are to turn to the right, and then to the
 left, and then to the right-about again, till you find out the old
 mill——

 MARL. Zounds, man! we could as soon find out the longitude!

 HAST. What's to be done, Marlow?

 MARL. This house promises but a poor reception; though perhaps the
 landlord can accommodate us.

 LAND. Alack, master, we have but one spare bed in the whole house.

 TONY. And, to my knowledge, that's taken up by three lodgers already.
 (_After a pause, in which the rest seem disconcerted._) I have hit it.
 Don't you think, Stingo, our landlady would accommodate the gentlemen
 by the fireside, with—three chairs and a bolster?

 HAST. I hate sleeping by the fireside.

 MARL. And I detest your three chairs and a bolster.

 TONY. You do, do you?—then let me see—what if you go on a mile further,
 to the Buck's Head; the old Buck's Head on the hill, one of the best
 inns in the whole country?

 HAST. O, ho! so we have escaped an adventure for this night, however.

 LAND. (_Apart to_ TONY.) Sure, you ben't sending them to your father's
 as an inn, be you?

 TONY. Mum, you fool you. Let _them_ find that out. (_To them._) You
 have only to keep on straight forward, till you come to a large old
 house by the road-side. You'll see a pair of large horns over the door.
 That's the sign. Drive up the yard, and call stoutly about you.

 HAST. Sir, we are obliged to you. The servants can't miss the way.

 TONY. No, no. But I tell you though, the landlord is rich, and going to
 leave off business; so he wants to be thought a gentleman, saving your
 presence, he! he! he! He'll be for giving you his company, and ecod, if
 you mind him, he'll persuade you that his mother was an alderman, and
 his aunt a justice of the peace.

 LAND. A troublesome old blade, to be sure; but a keeps as good wines
 and beds as any in the whole country.

 MARL. Well, if he supplies us with these, we shall want no further
 connexion. We are to turn to the right, did you say?

 TONY. No, no; straightforward. I'll just step myself, and show you a
 piece of the way. (_To the landlord._) Mum.

 LAND. Ah, bless your heart, for a sweet, pleasant-damn'd mischievous
 son of a whore.

                                _Exeunt._

                                 ACT II.


 SCENE.—_An old-fashioned house._

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE, _followed by three or four awkward Servants_.

 HARD. Well, I hope you're perfect in the table exercise I have been
 teaching you these three days. You all know your posts and your places;
 and can show that you have been used to good company, without stirring
 from home.

 OMNES. Ay, ay.

 HARD. When company comes, you are not to pop out and stare, and then
 run in again, like frighted rabbits in a warren.

 OMNES. No, no.

 HARD. You, Diggory, whom I have taken from the barn, are to make a show
 at the side-table; and you, Roger, whom I have advanced from the
 plough, are to place yourself behind _my_ chair. But you're not to
 stand so, with your hands in your pockets. Take your hands from your
 pockets, Roger; and from your head, you blockhead you. See how Diggory
 carries his hands. They're a little too stiff, indeed, but that's no
 great matter.

 DIGG. Ay; mind how I hold them. I learned to hold my hands this way,
 when I was upon drill for the militia. And so being upon drill—

 HARD. You must not be so talkative, Diggory. You must be all attention
 to the guests. You must hear us talk, and not think of talking; you
 must see us drink, and not think of drinking; you must see us eat, and
 not think of eating.

 DIGG. By the laws, your worship, that's parfectly unpossible. Whenever
 Diggory sees yeating going forward, ecod he's always wishing for a
 mouthful himself.

 HARD. Blockhead! Is not a belly-full in the kitchen as good as a
 belly-full in the parlour? Stay your stomach with that reflection.

 DIGG. Ecod, I thank your worship I'll make a shift to stay my stomach
 with a slice of cold beef in the pantry.

 HARD. Diggory you are too talkative. Then if I happen to say a good
 thing, or tell a good story at table, you must not all burst out
 a-laughing, as if you made part of the company.

 DIGG. Then ecod, your worship must not tell the story of Ould Grouse in
 the gun-room: I can't help laughing at that—he! he! he!—for the soul of
 me. We have laughed at that these twenty years—ha! ha! ha!

 HARD. Ha! ha! ha! The story is a good one. Well, honest Diggory, you
 may laugh at that—but still remember to be attentive. Suppose one of
 the company should call for a glass of wine, how will you behave? A
 glass of wine, sir, if you please. (_To_ DIGGORY.) Eh, why don't you
 move?

 DIGG. Ecod, your worship, I never have courage till I see the eatables
 and drinkables brought upon the table, and then I'm as bauld as a lion.

[Illustration:

  HARDCASTLE.—"_You must not be
  so talkative, Diggory._"—_p._ 333.
]


 HARD. What, will nobody move?

 1. SERV. I'm not to leave this place.

 2. SERV. I'm sure it's no place of mine.

 3. SERV. Nor mine, for sartain.

 DIGG. Wauns, and I'm sure it canna be mine.

 HARD. You numskulls! and so while, like your betters, you are
 quarrelling for places, the guests must be starved. O you dunces! I
 find I must begin all over again.—But don't I hear a coach drive into
 the yard? To your posts, you blockheads. I'll go in the mean time and
 give my old friend's son a hearty welcome at the gate.

                           _Exit_ HARDCASTLE.

 DIGG. By the elevens, my place is gone quite out of my head.

 ROGER. I know that my place is to be everywhere.

 1. SERV. Where the devil is mine?

 2. SERV. My place is to be no where at all; and so Ize go about my
 business.

 _Exeunt_ SERVANTS, _running about as if frighted, different ways_.

 _Enter_ SERVANT _with candles, showing in_ MARLOW _and_ HASTINGS.

 SERV. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome. This way.

 HAST. After the disappointments of the day, welcome once more, Charles,
 to the comforts of a clean room and a good fire. Upon my word, a very
 well-looking house; antique, but creditable.

 MARL. The usual fate of a large mansion. Having first ruined the master
 by good housekeeping, it at last comes to levy contributions as an inn.

 HAST. As you say, we passengers are to be taxed to pay all these
 fineries. I have often seen a good sideboard, or a marble
 chimney-piece, though not actually put in the bill, inflame the bill
 confoundedly.

 MARL. Travellers, George, must pay in all places. The only difference
 is, that in good inns you pay dearly for luxuries; in bad inns you are
 fleeced and starved.

 HAST. You have lived pretty much among them. In truth, I have been
 often surprised, that you, who have seen so much of the world, with
 your natural good sense, and your many opportunities, could never yet
 acquire a requisite share of assurance.

 MARL. The Englishman's malady. But tell me, George, where could I have
 learned that assurance you talk of? My life has been chiefly spent in a
 college, or an inn; in seclusion from that lovely part of the creation
 that chiefly teach men confidence. I don't know that I was ever
 familiarly acquainted with a single modest woman—except my mother—But
 among females of another class, you know—

 HAST. Aye, among them you are impudent enough of all conscience.

 MARL. They are of _us_, you know.

 HAST. But in the company of women of reputation, I never saw such an
 idiot, such a trembler; you look, for all the world, as if you wanted
 an opportunity of stealing out of the room.

 MARL. Why, man, that's because I _do_ want to steal out of the room.
 Faith, I have often formed a resolution to break the ice, and rattle
 away at any rate. But I don't know how, a single glance from a pair of
 fine eyes has totally overset my resolution. An impudent fellow may
 counterfeit modesty; but I'll be hanged if a modest man can ever
 counterfeit impudence.

 HAST. If you could but say half the fine things to them that I have
 heard you lavish upon the bar-maid of an inn, or even a college
 bed-maker—

 MARL. Why, George, I can't say fine things to them. They freeze, they
 petrify me. They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some
 such bagatelle: but to me, a modest woman, dressed out in all her
 finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.

 HAST. Ha! ha! ha! At this rate, man, how can you ever expect to marry?

 MARL. Never, unless, as among kings and princes, my bride were to be
 courted by proxy. If, indeed, like an eastern bridegroom, one were to
 be introduced to a wife he never saw before, it might be endured. But
 to go through all the terrors of a formal courtship, together with the
 episode of aunts, grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to blurt out
 the broad-star question, of—_madam, will you marry me?_ No, no; that's
 a strain much above me, I assure you.

 HAST. I pity you. But how do you intend behaving to the lady you are
 come down to visit at the request of your father?

 MARL. As I behave to all other ladies: bow very low; answer yes, or no,
 to all her demands—But for the rest, I don' think I shall venture to
 look in her face till I see my father's again.

 HAST. I am surprised that one who is so warm a friend can be so cool a
 lover.

 MARL. To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my chief inducement down, was
 to be instrumental in forwarding your happiness, not my own. Miss
 Neville loves you, the family don't know you, as my friend you are a
 sure of a reception, and let honour do the rest.

 HAST. My dear Marlow!—But I'll suppress the emotion. Were I a wretch,
 meanly seeking to carry off a fortune, you should be the last man in
 the world I would apply to for assistance. But Miss Neville's person is
 all I ask; and that is mine, both from her deceased father's consent,
 and her own inclination.

 MARL. Happy man! You have talents and art to captivate any woman. I am
 doomed to adore the sex, and yet to converse with the only part of it I
 despise. This stammer in my address, and this awkward prepossessing
 visage of mine, can never permit me to soar above the reach of a
 milliner's prentice, or one of the duchesses of Drury-lane.—Pshaw! this
 fellow here to interrupt us.

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. Gentlemen, once more you are heartily welcome. Which is Mr.
 Marlow? Sir, you are heartily welcome. It's not my way, you see, to
 receive my friends with my back to the fire. I like to give them a
 hearty reception, in the old style, at my gate. I like to see their
 horses and trunks taken care of.

 MARL. (_Aside._) He has got our names from the servants already. (_To
 him._) We approve your caution and hospitality, sir. (_To_ HASTINGS.) I
 have been thinking, George, of changing our travelling dresses in the
 morning. I am grown confoundedly ashamed of mine.

 HARD. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll use no ceremony in this house.

 HAST. I fancy, Charles, you're right: the first blow is half the
 battle. I intend opening the campaign with the white and gold.

 HARD. Mr. Marlow—Mr. Hastings—gentlemen—pray be under no restraint in
 this house. This is Liberty Hall, gentlemen. You may do just as you
 please here.

 MARL. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too fiercely at first we may
 want ammunition before it is over. I think to reserve the embroidery to
 secure a retreat.

 HARD. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the
 Duke of Marlborough, when he went to besiege Denain. He first summoned
 the garrison.

 MARL. Don't you think the _ventre_ _d'or_ waistcoat will do with the
 plain brown?

 HARD. He first summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five
 thousand men—

 HAST. I think not: brown and yellow mix but very poorly.

 HARD. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, he summoned the garrison,
 which might consist of about five thousand men—

 MARL. The girls like finery.

 HARD. Which might consist of about five thousand men, well appointed
 with stores, ammunition, and other implements of war. Now, says the
 Duke of Marlborough, to George Brooks, that stood next to him—you must
 have heard of George Brooks; "I'll pawn my dukedom," says he, "but I
 take that garrison without spilling a drop of blood." So——

 MARL. What, my good friend, if you gave us a glass of punch in the
 meantime? It would help us to carry on the siege with vigour.

 HARD. Punch, sir! (_Aside._) This is the most unaccountable kind of
 modesty I ever met with.

 MARL. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm punch, after our journey, will
 be comfortable. This is Liberty-hall, you know.

 HARD. Here's cup, sir.

 MARL. (_Aside._) So this fellow, in his Liberty-hall, will only let us
 have just what he pleases.

 HARD. (_Taking the cup._) I hope you'll find it to your mind. I have
 prepared it with my own hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients
 are tolerable. Will you be so good as to pledge me, sir? Here, Mr.
 Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance.

 _Drinks._

 MARL. (_Aside._) A very impudent fellow this! but he's a character, and
 I'll humour him a little. Sir, my service to you.

 _Drinks._

 HAST. (_Aside._) I see this fellow wants to give us his company, and
 forgets that he's an inn-keeper, before he has learned to be a
 gentleman.

 MARL. From the excellence of your cup my old friend, I suppose you have
 a good deal of business in this part of the country. Warm work, now and
 then, at elections, I suppose.

 HARD. No, sir, I have long given that work over. Since our betters have
 hit upon the expedient of electing each other, there's no business _for
 us that sell ale_.

 HAST. So, then you have no turn for politics I see.

 HARD. Not in the least. There was a time, indeed, I fretted myself
 about the mistakes of government, like other people; but, finding
 myself every day grow more angry, and the government growing no better,
 I left it to mend itself. Since that, I no more trouble my head about
 _Heyder Alley_, or _Ally Cawn_, than about _Ally Croaker_.—Sir, my
 service to you.

 HAST. So that with eating above stairs, and drinking below; with
 receiving your friends within, and amusing them without, you lead a
 good pleasant bustling life of it.

 HARD. I do stir about a great deal, that's certain. Half the
 differences of the parish are adjusted in this very parlour.

 MARL. (_After drinking._) And you have an argument in your cup, old
 gentleman, better than any in Westminster Hall.

 HARD. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a little philosophy.

 MARL. (_Aside._) Well, this is the first time I ever heard of an
 inn-keeper's philosophy!

 HAST. So then, like an experienced general, you attack them on every
 quarter. If you find their reason manageable, you attack it with your
 philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you attack them with
 this.—Here's your health, my philosopher.

 _Drinks._

 HARD. Good, very good, thank you; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in
 mind of Prince Eugene, when he fought the Turks at the battle of
 Belgrade. You shall hear.

 MARL. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's almost time to
 talk about supper. What has your philosophy got in the house for
 supper?

 HARD. For supper, sir! (_Aside._) Was ever such a request to a man in
 his own house?

 MARL. Yes, sir; supper, sir: I begin to feel an appetite. I shall make
 devilish work to-night in the larder, I promise you.

 HARD. (_Aside._) Such a brazen dog sure never my eyes beheld. (_To
 him._) Why really, sir, as for supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy,
 and the cook-maid, settle these things between them. I leave these kind
 of things entirely to them.

 MARL. You do, do you?

 HARD. Entirely. By-the-by, I believe they are in actual consultation,
 upon what's for supper, this moment in the kitchen.

 MARL. Then I beg they'll admit _me_ as one of their privy council. It's
 a way I have got. When I travel, I always choose to regulate my own
 supper. Let the cook be called. No offence I hope, sir.

 HARD. O no, sir, none in the least; yet, I don't know how, our Bridget,
 the cook-maid, is not very communicative upon these occasions. Should
 we send for her, she might scold us all out of the house.

 HAST. Let's see the list of the larder then. I ask it as a favour. I
 always match my appetite to my bill of fare.

 MARL. (_To_ HARDCASTLE, _who looks at them with surprise_.) Sir, he's
 very right, and it's my way too.

 HARD. Sir, you have a right to command here. Roger, bring us the bill
 of fare for to-night's supper. I believe it's drawn up. Your manner,
 Mr. Hastings, puts me in mind of my uncle, Colonel Wallop. It was a
 saying of his that no man was sure of his supper till he had eaten it.

 HAST. (_Aside._) All upon the high ropes! His uncle a colonel! we shall
 soon hear of his mother being a justice of peace. But let's hear the
 bill of fare.

 MARL. (_Perusing._) What's here? For the first course; for the second
 course; for the dessert. The devil, sir, do you think we have brought
 down the whole joiner's company, or the corporation of Bedford, to eat
 up such a supper? Two or three little things, clean and comfortable,
 will do.

 HAST. But let's hear it.

 MARL. (_Reading._) For the first course at the top, a pig, and pruin
 sauce.

 HAST. Damn your pig, I say.

 MARL. And damn your pruin sauce, say I.

 HARD. And yet, gentlemen, to men that are hungry, pig, with pruin
 sauce, is very good eating.

 MARL. At the bottom, a calf's tongue and brains.

 HAST. Let your brains be knocked out, my good sir; I don't like them.

 MARL. Or you may clap them on a plate by themselves. I do.

 HARD. (_Aside._) Their impudence confounds me. (_To them._) Gentlemen,
 you are my guests, make what alterations you please. Is there any thing
 else you wish to retrench, or alter, gentlemen?

 MARL. Item, A pork pie, a boiled rabbit and sausages, a florentine, a
 shaking pudding, and a dish of tiff—taff—taffety cream!

 HAST. Confound your made dishes. I shall be as much at a loss in this
 house, as at a green and yellow dinner, at the French ambassador's
 table. I'm for plain eating.

[Illustration:

  HASTINGS.—"_Let your brains be knocked
  out, my good sir; I don't like them._"—_p._ 338.
]


 HARD. I'm sorry, gentlemen, that I have nothing you like; but if there
 be any thing you have a particular fancy to——

 MARL. Why really, sir, your bill of fare is so exquisite, that any one
 part of it is full as good as another. Send us what you please. So much
 for supper: and now to see that our beds are aired, and properly taken
 care of.

 HARD. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. You shall not stir a step.

 MARL. Leave that to you? I protest, sir, you must excuse me; I always
 look to these things myself.

 HARD. I must insist, sir, you'll make yourself easy on that head.

 MARL. You see I'm resolved on it. (_Aside._) A very troublesome fellow
 this, as ever I met with.

 HARD. Well, sir, I'm resolved at least to attend you. (_Aside._) This
 may be modern modesty, but I never saw anything look so like
 old-fashioned impudence.

                       _Exeunt_ MARL. _and_ HARD.

 HASTINGS, _solus_.

 HAST. So I find, this fellow's civilities begin to grow troublesome.
 But who can be angry at those assiduities, which are meant to please
 him? Ha! what do I see? Miss Neville, by all that's happy!

 _Enter_ MISS NEVILLE.

 MISS NEV. My dear Hastings! To what unexpected good fortune, to what
 accident am I to ascribe this happy meeting?

 HAST. Rather, let me ask the same question, as I could never have hoped
 to meet my dear Constance at an inn.

 MISS NEV. An inn? sure you mistake! my aunt, my guardian, lives here.
 What could induce you to think this house an inn?

 HAST. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with whom I came down, and I, have been
 sent here as to an inn, I assure you. A young fellow, whom we
 accidentally met at a house hard by, directed us hither.

 MISS NEV. Certainly it must be one of my hopeful cousin's tricks, of
 whom you have heard me talk so often, ha! ha! ha! ha!

 HAST. He whom your aunt intends for you? He of whom I have such just
 apprehensions?

 MISS NEV. You have nothing to fear from him, I assure you. You'd adore
 him, if you knew how heartily he despises me. My aunt knows it too, and
 has undertaken to court me for him; and actually begins to think she
 has made a conquest.

 HAST. Thou dear dissembler! You must know, my Constance, I have just
 seized this happy opportunity of my friend's visit here, to get
 admittance into the family. The horses that carried us down, are now
 fatigued with their journey; but they'll soon be refreshed; and then,
 if my dearest girl will trust in her faithful Hastings, we shall soon
 be landed in France; where, even among slaves, the laws of marriage are
 respected.

 MISS NEV. I have often told you that, though ready to obey you, I yet
 should leave my little fortune behind with reluctance. The greatest
 part of it was left me by my uncle, the India director, and chiefly
 consists in jewels. I have been for some time persuading my aunt to let
 me wear them. I fancy I am very near succeeding. The instant they are
 put into my possession, you shall find me ready to make them and myself
 yours.

 HAST. Perish the baubles! Your person is all I desire. In the meantime,
 my friend Marlow must not be let into his mistake; I know the strange
 reserve of his temper is such, that if abruptly informed of it, he
 would instantly quit the house, before our plan was ripe for execution.

 MISS NEV. But how shall we keep him in the deception? Miss Hardcastle
 is just returned from walking; what if we still continue to deceive
 him?—This, this way——

 _They confer._

 _Enter_ MARLOW.

 MARL. The assiduities of these good people tease me beyond bearing. My
 host seems to think it ill manners to leave me alone, and so he claps
 not only himself, but his old-fashioned wife on my back. They talk of
 coming to sup with us too; and then, I suppose, we are to run the
 gauntlet through all the rest of the family.—What have we got here?—

 HAST. My dear Charles! Let me congratulate you!—The most fortunate
 accident!—Who do you think is just alighted?

 MARL. Cannot guess.

 HAST. Our mistresses, boy, Miss Hardcastle and Miss Neville. Give me
 leave to introduce Miss Constance Neville to your acquaintance.
 Happening to dine in the neighbourhood, they called, on their return,
 to take fresh horses here. Miss Hardcastle has just stept into the next
 room, and will be back in an instant. Wasn't it lucky, eh?

 MARL. (_Aside._) I have just been mortified enough of all conscience,
 and here comes something to complete my embarrassment.

 HAST. Well, but wasn't it the most fortunate thing in the world?

 MARL. Oh! yes. Very fortunate—a most joyful encounter—But our dresses,
 George, you know, are in disorder—What if we should postpone the
 happiness till to-morrow?—To-morrow, at her own house—It will be every
 bit as convenient—And rather more respectful—To-morrow let it be.

 _Offering to go._

 MISS NEV. By no means, sir. Your ceremony will displease her. The
 disorder of your dress will show the ardour of your impatience:
 besides, she knows you are in the house, and will permit you to see
 her.

 MARL. O! the devil! how shall I support it? Hem! hem! Hastings, you
 must not go. You are to assist me, you know. I shall be confoundedly
 ridiculous. Yet, hang it! I'll take courage. Hem!

 HAST. Pshaw, man! it's but the first plunge, and all's over. She's but
 a woman, you know.

 MARL. And of all women, she that I dread most to encounter.

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE, _as returning from walking, a bonnet, &c._

 HAST. (_Introducing him._) Miss Hardcastle—Mr. Marlow. I'm proud of
 bringing two persons of such merit together, that only want to know, to
 esteem each other.

 MISS HARD. (_Aside._) Now, for meeting my modest gentleman with a
 demure face, and quite in his own manner. (_After a pause, in which he
 appears very uneasy and disconcerted._) I'm glad of your safe arrival,
 sir—I'm told, you had some accidents by the way.

 MARL. Only a few, madam. Yes, we had some. Yes, madam, a good many
 accidents; but should be sorry—madam—or rather glad of any
 accidents—that are so agreeably concluded. Hem!

 HAST. (_To him._) You never spoke better in your whole life. Keep it
 up, and I'll ensure you the victory.

 MISS HARD. I'm afraid you flatter, sir. You, that have seen so much of
 the finest company, can find little entertainment in an obscure corner
 of the country.

 MARL. (_Gathering courage._) I have lived, indeed, in the world, madam;
 but I have kept very little company. I have been but an observer upon
 life, madam, while others were enjoying it.

 MISS NEV. But that, I am told, is the way to enjoy it at last.

 HAST. (_To him._) Cicero never spoke better. Once more, and you are
 confirmed in assurance for ever.

 MARL. (_To him._) Hem! Stand by me, then, and when I'm down, throw in a
 word or two, to set me up again.

 MISS HARD. An observer, like you, upon life, were, I fear, disagreeably
 employed, since you must have had much more to censure than to approve.

 MARL. Pardon me, madam. I was always willing to be amused. The folly of
 most people is rather an object of mirth than uneasiness.

 HAST. (_To him._) Bravo, bravo. Never spoke so well in your whole life.
 Well! Miss Hardcastle, I see, that you and Mr. Marlow are going to be
 very good company. I believe our being here will but embarrass the
 interview.

 MARL. Not in the least, Mr. Hastings. We like your company of all
 things. (_To him._) Zounds! George, sure you won't go: how can you
 leave us?

 HAST. Our presence will but spoil conversation, so we'll retire to the
 next room. (_To him._) You don't consider, man, that we are to manage a
 little tête-à-tête of our own.

 _Exeunt._

 MISS HARD. (_After a pause._) But you have not been wholly an observer,
 I presume, sir: the ladies, I should hope, have employed some part of
 your addresses.

 MARL. (_Relapsing into timidity._) Pardon me, madam, I—I—I—as yet have
 studied—only—to—deserve them.

 MISS HARD. And that, some say, is the very worst way to obtain them.

 MARL. Perhaps so, madam. But I love to converse only with the more
 grave and sensible part of the sex.—But I'm afraid I grow tiresome.

 MISS HARD. Not at all, sir; there is nothing I like so much as grave
 conversation myself; I could hear it for ever. Indeed—I have often been
 surprised how a man of _sentiment_ could ever admire those light airy
 pleasures, where nothing reaches the heart.

 MARL. It's—a disease—of the mind, madam. In the variety of tastes there
 must be some who, wanting a relish—for—um-a-um.

 MISS HARD. I understand you, sir. There must be some, who, wanting a
 relish for refined pleasures, pretend to despise what they are
 incapable of tasting.

 MARL. My meaning, madam, but infinitely better expressed. And I can't
 help observing—a—

 MISS HARD. (_Aside._) Who could ever suppose this fellow impudent upon
 some occasions? (_To him._) You were going to observe, sir——

 MARL. I was observing, madam—I protest, madam, I forget what I was
 going to observe.

 MISS HARD. (_Aside._) I vow, and so do I. (_To him._) You were
 observing, sir, that in this age of hypocrisy, something about
 hypocrisy, sir.

 MARL. Yes, madam; in this age of hypocrisy there are few who, upon
 strict inquiry, do not—a—a—a—

 MISS HARD. I understand you perfectly, sir.

 MARL. (_Aside._) Egad! and that's more than I do myself.

 MISS HARD. You mean that, in this hypocritical age, there are few that
 do not condemn in public what they practise in private, and think they
 pay every debt to virtue when they praise it.

[Illustration:

  MARLOW.—"_I was observing, madam._"—_p._ 342.
]


 MARL. True, madam; those who have most virtue in their mouths, have
 least of it in their bosoms. But I'm sure I tire you, madam.

 MISS HARD. Not in the least, sir; there's something so agreeable, and
 spirited, in your manner; such life and force—pray, sir, go on.

 MARL. Yes, madam; I was saying—that there are some occasions—when a
 total want of courage, madam, destroys all the—and puts us—upon a—a—a—

 MISS HARD. I agree with you entirely; a want of courage upon some
 occasions, assumes the appearance of ignorance, and betrays us when we
 most want to excel. I beg you'll proceed.

 MARL. Yes, madam; morally speaking, madam—But I see Miss Neville,
 expecting us in the next room. I would not intrude for the world.

 MISS HARD. I protest, sir, I never was more agreeably entertained in
 all my life. Pray go on.

 MARL. Yes, madam; I was—But she beckons us to join her. Madam, shall I
 do myself the honour to attend you?

 MISS HARD. Well then, I'll follow.

 MARL. (_Aside._) This pretty smooth dialogue has done for me.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS HARDCASTLE, _sola_.

 MISS HARD. Ha! ha! ha! Was there ever such a sober sentimental
 interview? I'm certain he scarce looked in my face the whole time. Yet
 the fellow, but for his unaccountable bashfulness, is pretty well too.
 He has good sense; but then, so buried in his fears, that it fatigues
 one more than ignorance. If I could teach him a little confidence, it
 would be doing somebody, that I know of, a piece of service. But who is
 that somebody?—that, faith, is a question I can scarce answer.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ TONY _and_ MISS NEVILLE, _followed by_ MRS. HARDCASTLE _and_
 HASTINGS.

 TONY. What do you follow me for, cousin Con? I wonder you're not
 ashamed, to be so very engaging.

 MISS NEV. I hope, cousin, one may speak to one's own relations, and not
 be to blame?

 TONY. Ay, but I know what sort of a relation you want to make me
 though; but it won't do. I tell you, cousin Con, it won't do, so I beg
 you'll keep your distance; I want no nearer relationship.

 _She follows, coquetting him to the back-scene._

 MRS. HARD. Well! I vow, Mr. Hastings, you are very entertaining.
 There's nothing in the world I love to talk of so much as London, and
 the fashions, though I was never there myself.

 HAST. Never there! You amaze me! From your air and manner, I concluded
 you had been bred all your life either at Ranelagh, St. James's, or
 Tower Wharf.

 MRS. HARD. O! sir, you're only pleased to say so. We country persons
 can have no manner at all. I'm in love with the town, and that serves
 to raise me above some of our neighbouring rustics; but who can have a
 manner, that has never seen the Pantheon, the Grotto Gardens, the
 Borough, and such places, where the nobility chiefly resort? All I can
 do, is to enjoy London at second-hand. I take care to know every
 tête-à-tête from the Scandalous Magazine, and have all the fashions, as
 they come out, in a letter from the two Miss Rickets of Crooked-lane.
 Pray how do you like this head, Mr. Hastings?

 HAST. Extremely elegant and _dégagée_, upon my word, madam. Your
 friseur is a Frenchman, I suppose?

 MRS. HARD. I protest I dressed it myself from a print in the Ladies'
 Memorandum Book for the last year.

 HAST. Indeed! such a head in a side-box, at the play-house, would draw
 as many gazers, as my lady Mayoress at a city ball.

 MRS. HARD. I vow, since inoculation began, there is no such thing to be
 seen as a plain woman; so one must dress a little particular, or one
 may escape in the crowd.

 HAST. But that can never be your case, madam, in any dress.

 _Bowing._

[Illustration:

  HASTINGS.—"_Extremely elegant and
  dégagée, upon my word, madam._"—_p._ 344.
]


 MRS. HARD. Yet what signifies _my_ dressing when I have such a piece of
 antiquity by my side as Mr. Hardcastle? all I can say will not argue
 down a single button from his clothes. I have often wanted him to throw
 off his great flaxen wig, and where he was bald, to plaster it over,
 like my lord Pately, with powder.

 HAST. You are right, madam; for as, among the ladies, there are none
 ugly, so, among the men, there are none old.

 MRS. HARD. But what do you think his answer was? Why, with his usual
 gothic vivacity, he said, I only wanted him to throw off his wig, to
 convert it into a tête for my own wearing.

 HAST. Intolerable! At your age you may wear what you please, and it
 must become you.

 MRS. HARD. Pray, Mr. Hastings, what do you take to be the most
 fashionable age about town?

 HAST. Some time ago, forty was all the mode; but I'm told the ladies
 intend to bring up fifty for the ensuing winter.

 MISS HARD. Seriously! then I shall be too young for the fashion.

 HAST. No lady begins now to put on jewels till she's past forty. For
 instance, Miss there, in a polite circle, would be considered as a
 child, as a mere maker of samplers.

 MRS. HARD. And yet Mrs. Niece thinks herself as much a woman, and is as
 fond of jewels, as the oldest of us all.

 HAST. Your niece, is she? and that young gentleman, a brother of yours,
 I should presume?

 MRS. HARD. My son, sir. They are contracted to each other. Observe
 their little sports. They fall in and out ten times a day, as if they
 were man and wife already. (_To them._) Well, Tony, child, what soft
 things are you saying to your cousin Constance this evening.

 TONY. I have been saying no soft things; but that it's very hard to be
 followed about so. Ecod! I've not a place in the house now, that's left
 to myself, but the stable.

 MRS. HARD. Never mind him, Con my dear. He's in another story behind
 your back.

 MISS NEV. There's something generous in my cousin's manner. He falls
 out before faces to be forgiven in private.

 TONY. That's a damned confounded—crack.

 MRS. HARD. Ah! he's a sly one. Don't you think they're like each other
 about the mouth, Mr. Hastings? The Blenkinsop mouth to a T. They're of
 a size too. Back to back, my pretties, that Mr. Hastings may see you.
 Come, Tony.

 TONY. You had as good not make me, I tell you.

 _Measuring._

 MISS NEV. O lud! he has almost cracked my head.

 MRS. HARD. O, the monster! For shame, Tony. You a man, and behave so!

 TONY. If I'm a man, let me have my fortin. Ecod, I'll not be made a
 fool of no longer.

 MRS. HARD. Is this, ungrateful boy, all that I'm to get for the pains I
 have taken in your education? I that have rocked you in your cradle,
 and fed that pretty mouth with a spoon! Did not I work that waistcoat,
 to make you genteel? Did not I prescribe for you every day, and weep
 while the receipt was operating?

 TONY. Ecod! you had reason to weep, for you have been dosing me ever
 since I was born. I have gone through every receipt in the Complete
 Huswife ten times over; and you have thoughts of coursing me through
 _Quincy_ next spring. But, ecod! I tell you, I'll not be made a fool of
 no longer.

 MRS. HARD. Wasn't it all for your good, viper? Wasn't it all for your
 good?

 TONY. I wish you'd let me and my good alone then. Snubbing this way,
 when I'm in spirits. If I'm to have any good, let it come of itself;
 not to keep dinging it, dinging it into one so.

 MRS. HARD. That's false; I never see you when you're in spirits. No,
 Tony, you then go to the alehouse, or kennel. I'm never to be delighted
 with your agreeable wild notes, unfeeling monster!

 TONY. Ecod! mamma, your own notes are the wildest of the two.

 MRS. HARD. Was ever the like! But I see he wants to break my heart, I
 see he does.

 HAST. Dear madam, permit me to lecture the young gentleman a little.
 I'm certain I can persuade him to his duty.

 MRS. HARD. Well! I must retire. Come, Constance, my love. You see, Mr.
 Hastings, the wretchedness of my situation. Was ever poor woman so
 plagued with a dear, sweet, pretty, provoking, undutiful boy?

                                 _Exeunt_ MRS. HARD. _and_ MISS NEVILLE.

 HASTINGS. TONY.

 TONY. (_Singing_)

 There was a young man riding by,
   And fain would have his will.
                     Rang do didlo dee.

 Don't mind her. Let her cry. It's the comfort of her heart. I have seen
 her and sister cry over a book for an hour together; and they said,
 they liked the book the better the more it made them cry.

 HAST. Then you're no friend to the ladies, I find, my pretty young
 gentleman?

 TONY. That's as I find 'um.

 HAST. Not to her of your mother's choosing, I dare answer: and yet she
 appears to me a pretty, well-tempered girl.

 TONY. That's because you don't know her as well as I. Ecod! I know
 every inch about her; and there's not a more bitter cantankerous toad
 in all Christendom.

 HAST. (_Aside._) Pretty encouragement this for a lover!

 TONY. I have seen her since the height of that. She has as many tricks
 as a hare in a thicket, or a colt the first day's breaking.

 HAST. To me she appears sensible and silent.

 TONY. Ay, before company. But when she's with her playmates, she's as
 loud as a hog in a gate.

 HAST. But there is a meek modesty about her that charms me.

 TONY. Yes; but curb her never so little, she kicks up, and you're flung
 in a ditch.

 HAST. Well; but you must allow her a little beauty.—Yes, you must allow
 her some beauty.

 TONY. Bandbox! She's all a made up thing, mun. Ah! could you but see
 Bet Bouncer, of these parts, you might then talk of beauty. Ecod, she
 has two eyes as black as sloes, and cheeks as broad and red as a pulpit
 cushion. She'd make two of she.

 HAST. Well, what say you to a friend that would take this bitter
 bargain off your hands?

 TONY. Anon.

 HAST. Would you thank him that would take Miss Neville, and leave you
 to happiness and your dear Betsy?

 TONY. Ay; but where is there such a friend? for who would take _her_?

 HAST. I am he. If you but assist me, I'll engage to whip her off to
 France, and you shall never hear more of her.

 TONY. Assist you! Ecod, I will, to the last drop of my blood. I'll clap
 a pair of horses to your chaise, that shall trundle you off in a
 twinkling; and may be, get you a part of her fortin beside, in jewels,
 that you little dream of.

 HAST. My dear 'squire, this looks like a lad of spirit.

 TONY. Come along then, and you shall see more of my spirit before you
 have done with me. _Singing._

 We are the boys,
 That fears no noise,
 Where the thundering cannons roar.

                                _Exeunt._

                                ACT III.


 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE, _solus_.

 HARD. What could my old friend Sir Charles mean, by recommending his
 son as the modestest young man in town? To me he appears the most
 impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a tongue. He has taken
 possession of the easy chair by the fireside already. He took off his
 boots in the parlour, and desired me to see them taken care of. I'm
 desirous to know how his impudence affects my daughter.—She will
 certainly be shocked at it.

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE, _plainly dressed_.

 HARD. Well, my Kate, I see you have changed your dress, as I bid you;
 and yet, I believe, there was no great occasion.

 MISS HARD. I find such a pleasure, sir, in obeying your commands, that
 I take care to obey them without ever debating their propriety.

 HARD. And yet, Kate, I sometimes give you some cause, particularly when
 I recommended my _modest_ gentleman to you as a lover to-day.

 MISS HARD. You taught me to expect something extraordinary, and I find
 the original exceeds the description.

 HARD. I was never so surprised in my life! He has quite confounded all
 my faculties!

 MISS HARD. I never saw anything like it: and a man of the world too!

 HARD. Ay, he learned it all abroad,—what a fool was I, to think a young
 man could learn modesty by travelling! He might as soon learn wit at a
 masquerade.

 MISS HARD. It seems all natural to him.

 HARD. A good deal assisted by bad company, and a French dancing-master.

 MISS HARD. Sure you mistake, papa! A French dancing-master could never
 have taught him that timid look,—that awkward address,—that bashful
 manner—

 HARD. Whose look? whose manner, child?

 MISS HARD. Mr. Marlow's: his mauvaise honte, his timidity struck me at
 the first sight.

 HARD. Then your first sight deceived you; for I think him one of the
 most brazen first-sights that ever astonished my senses.

 MISS HARD. Sure, sir, you rally! I never saw any one so modest.

 HARD. And can you be serious! I never saw such a bouncing, swaggering
 puppy, since I was born. Bully Dawson was but a fool to him.

[Illustration:

  MISS HARDCASTLE.—"_Yes. But upon conditions._"—_p._ 350.
]


 MISS HARD. Surprising! he met me with a respectful bow, a stammering
 voice, and a look fixed on the ground.

 HARD. He met me with a loud voice, a lordly air, and a familiarity that
 made my blood freeze again.

 MISS HARD. He treated me with diffidence and respect; censured the
 manners of the age; admired the prudence of girls that never laughed;
 tired me with apologies for being tiresome; then left the room with a
 bow, and, "Madam, I would not for the world detain you."

 HARD. He spoke to me, as if he knew me all his life before; asked
 twenty questions, and never waited for an answer; interrupted my best
 remarks with some silly pun; and when I was in my best story of the
 Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, he asked if I had not a good
 hand at making punch. Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he was a maker
 of punch!

 MISS HARD. One of us must certainly be mistaken.

 HARD. If he be what he has shown himself, I'm determined he shall never
 have my consent.

 MISS HARD. And if he be the sullen thing I take him, he shall never
 have mine.

 HARD. In one thing then we are agreed—to reject him.

 MISS HARD. Yes. But upon conditions. For if you should find him less
 impudent, and I more presuming; if you find him more respectful, and I
 more importunate—I don't know—the fellow is good enough for a
 man—Certainly we don't meet many such at a horse-race in the country.

 HARD. If we should find him so—but that's impossible. The first
 appearance has done my business. I'm seldom deceived in that.

 MISS HARD. And yet there may be many good qualities under that first
 appearance.

 HARD. Ay, when a girl finds a fellow's outside to her taste, she then
 sets about guessing the rest of his furniture. With her, a smooth face
 stands for good sense, and a genteel figure, for every virtue.

 MISS HARD. I hope, sir, a conversation begun with a compliment to my
 good sense, won't end with a sneer at my understanding.

 HARD. Pardon me, Kate. But if young Mr. Brazen can find the art of
 reconciling contradictions, he may please us both, perhaps.

 MISS HARD. And as one of us must be mistaken, what if we go to make
 further discoveries?

 HARD. But depend on't I'm in the right.

 MISS HARD. And depend on't I'm not much in the wrong.

                                _Exeunt._

 _Enter_ TONY _running in with a casket_.

 TONY. Ecod! I have got them. Here they are. My cousin Con's necklaces,
 bobs, and all. My mother shan't cheat the poor souls out of their
 fortin neither. O! my genius, is that you?

 _Enter_ HASTINGS.

 HAST. My dear friend, how have you managed with your mother? I hope you
 have amused her with pretending love for your cousin; and that you are
 willing to be reconciled at last. Our horses will be refreshed in a
 short time, and we shall soon be ready to set off.

 TONY. And here's something to bear your charges by the way. (_Giving
 the casket._) Your sweetheart's jewels. Keep them; and hang those, I
 say, that would rob you of one of them.

 HAST. But how have you procured them from your mother?

 TONY. Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs. I procured them
 by the rule of thumb. If I had not a key to every drawer in mother's
 bureau, how could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An honest man
 may rob of himself his own at any time.

 HAST. Thousands do it every day. But to be plain with you; Miss Neville
 is endeavouring to procure them from her aunt this very instant. If she
 succeeds, it will be the most delicate way at least of obtaining them.

 TONY. Well, keep them, till you know how it will be. I know how it will
 be well enough; she'd as soon part with the only sound tooth in her
 head.

 HAST. But I dread the effects of her resentment, when she finds she has
 lost them.

 TONY. Never you mind her resentment, leave _me_ to manage that. I don't
 value her resentment the bounce of a cracker. Zounds! here they are.
 Morrice. Prance.

                            _Exit_ HASTINGS.

 TONY, MRS. HARDCASTLE, MISS NEVILLE.

 MRS. HARD. Indeed, Constance, you amaze me. Such a girl as you want
 jewels! It will be time enough for jewels, my dear, twenty years hence;
 when your beauty begins to want repairs.

 MISS NEV. But what will repair beauty at forty, will certainly improve
 it at twenty, madam.

 MRS. HARD. Yours, my dear, can admit of none. That natural blush is
 beyond a thousand ornaments. Besides, child, jewels are quite out at
 present. Don't you see half the ladies of our acquaintance, my Lady
 Kill-day-light, and Mr. Crump, and the rest of them, carry their jewels
 to town, and bring nothing but paste and marcasites back?

 MISS NEV. But who knows, madam, but somebody that shall be nameless
 would like me best with all my little finery about me?

 MRS. HARD. Consult your glass, my dear, and then see, if, with such a
 pair of eyes, you want any better sparklers. What do you think, Tony,
 my dear, does your cousin Con want jewels, in your eyes to set off her
 beauty?

 TONY. That's as thereafter may be.

 MISS NEV. My dear aunt, if you knew how it would oblige me.

 MRS. HARD. A parcel of old fashioned rose and table-cut things. They
 would make you look like the court of king Solomon at a puppet-show.
 Besides, I believe I can't readily come at them. They may be missing
 for aught I know to the contrary.

 TONY. (_Apart to_ MRS. HARDCASTLE.) Then why don't you tell her so at
 once, as she's so longing for them? Tell her they're lost. It's the
 only way to quiet her. Say they're lost, and call me to bear witness.

 MRS. HARD. (_Apart to_ TONY.) You know, my dear, I'm only keeping them
 for you. So, if I say they're gone, you'll bear me witness, will you?
 He! he! he!

 TONY. Never fear me. Ecod! I'll say I saw them taken out with mine own
 eyes.

 MISS NEV. I desire them but for a day, madam. Just to be permitted to
 show them as relics, and then they may be locked up again.

 MRS. HARD. To be plain with you, my dear Constance; if I could find
 them, you should have them. They're missing, I assure you. Lost, for
 aught I know; but we must have patience wherever they are.

 MISS NEV. I'll not believe it; this is but a shallow pretence to deny
 me. I know they're too valuable to be so slightly kept, and as you are
 to answer for the loss.

 MRS. HARD. Don't be alarmed, Constance; if they be lost, I must restore
 an equivalent. But my son knows they are missing, and not to be found.

 TONY. That I can bear witness to. They are missing, and not to be
 found, I'll take my oath on't.

 MRS. HARD. You must learn resignation, my dear; for though we lose our
 fortune, yet we should not lose our patience. See me, how calm I am.

 MISS NEV. Ay, people are generally calm at the misfortunes of others.

 MRS. HARD. Now, I wonder a girl of your good sense, should waste a
 thought upon such trumpery. We shall soon find them; and, in the mean
 time, you shall make use of my garnets, till your jewels be found.

 MISS NEV. I detest garnets.

 MRS. HARD. The most becoming things in the world to set off a clear
 complexion. You have often seen how well they look upon me. You _shall_
 have them.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS NEV. I dislike them of all things. You shan't stir.—Was ever
 anything so provoking? to mislay my own jewels, and force me to wear
 her trumpery.

 TONY. Don't be a fool. If she gives you the garnets, take what you can
 get. The jewels are your own already. I have stolen them out of her
 bureau, and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, he'll tell you
 more of the matter. Leave me to manage _her_.

 MISS NEV. My dear cousin!

 TONY. Vanish. She's here, and has missed them already. Zounds! how she
 fidgets, and spits about like a Catherine-wheel!

 _Enter_ MRS. HARDCASTLE.

 MRS. HARD. Confusion! thieves! robbers! We are cheated, plundered,
 broke open, undone.

 TONY. What's the matter, what's the matter, mamma? I hope nothing has
 happened to any of the good family!

 MRS. HARD. We are robbed. My bureau has been broke open, the jewels
 taken out, and I'm undone.

 TONY. Oh! is that all? Ha! ha! ha! By the laws, I never saw it better
 acted in my life. Ecod, I thought you was ruined in earnest; ha, ha,
 ha!

 MRS. HARD. Why, boy, I _am_ ruined in earnest. My bureau has been broke
 open, and all taken away.

 TONY. Stick to that; ha, ha, ha! stick to that; I'll bear witness, you
 know; call me to bear witness.

 MRS. HARD. I tell you, Tony, by all that's precious, the jewels are
 gone, and I shall be ruined for ever.

 TONY. Sure, I know they're gone, and I am to say so.

 MRS. HARD. My dearest Tony, but hear me. They're gone, I say.

 TONY. By the laws, mamma, you make me for to laugh; ha! ha! I know who
 took them well enough, ha! ha! ha!

 MRS. HARD. Was there ever such a blockhead, that can't tell the
 difference between jest and earnest? I tell you I'm not in jest, booby.

 TONY. That's right, that's right. You must be in a bitter passion, and
 then nobody will suspect either of us. I'll bear witness that they are
 gone.

 MRS. HARD. Was there ever such a cross-grained brute, that won't hear
 me! Can you bear witness that you're no better than a fool? Was ever
 poor woman so beset with fools on one hand, and thieves on the other?

 TONY. I can bear witness to that.

 MRS. HARD. Bear witness again, you blockhead you, and I'll turn you out
 of the room directly. My poor niece, what will become of _her_! Do you
 laugh, you unfeeling brute, as if you enjoyed my distress?

 TONY. I can bear witness to that.

 MRS. HARD. Do you insult me, monster? I'll teach you to vex your
 mother, I will.

 TONY. I can bear witness to that.

 _He runs off, she follows him._

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE _and_ MAID.

 MISS HARD. What an unaccountable creature is that brother of mine, to
 send them to the house as an inn, ha! ha! I don't wonder at his
 impudence.

 MAID. But what is more, madam, the young gentlemen, as you passed by in
 your present dress, asked me if you were the bar-maid? He mistook you
 for the bar-maid, madam.

 MISS HARD. Did he? Then, as I live, I'm resolved to keep up the
 delusion. Tell me, Pimple, how do you like my present dress? Don't you
 think I look something like Cherry in the Beaux' Stratagem?

 MAID. It's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in the country, but
 when she visits or receives company.

 MISS HARD. And are you sure he does not remember my face or person?

 MAID. Certain of it.

 MISS HARD. I vow, I thought so; for though we spoke for some time
 together, yet his fears were such, that he never once looked up during
 the interview. Indeed, if he had, my bonnet would have kept him from
 seeing me.

 MAID. But what do you hope from keeping him in his mistake?

 MISS HARD. In the first place I shall be _seen_, and that is no small
 advantage to a girl who brings her face to market. Then I shall,
 perhaps, make an acquaintance, and that's no small victory gained over
 one, who never addresses any but the wildest of her sex. But my chief
 aim is to take my gentleman off his guard, and, like an invisible
 champion of romance, examine the giant's force before I offer to
 combat.

 MAID. But are you sure you can act your part, and disguise your voice,
 so that he may mistake that, as he has already mistaken your person?

 MISS HARD. Never fear me. I think I have got the true bar-cant—Did your
 honour call?—Attend the Lion there.—Pipes and tobacco for the
 Angel.—The Lamb has been outrageous this half-hour.

 MAID. It will do, madam. But he's here.

                              _Exit_ MAID.

 _Enter_ MARLOW.

 MARL. What a bawling in every part of the house! I have scarce a
 moment's repose. If I go to the best room, there I find my host and his
 story. If I fly to the gallery, there we have my hostess, with her
 curtesy down to the ground. I have at last got a moment to myself, and
 now for recollection.

 _Walks and muses._

 MISS HARD. Did you call, sir? Did your honour call?

 MARL. (_Musing_). As for Miss Hardcastle, she's too grave and
 sentimental for me.

 MISS HARD. Did your honour call?

 _She still places herself before him, he turning away._

 MARL. No, child. (_Musing._) Besides, from the glimpse I had of her, I
 think she squints.

 MISS HARD. I'm sure, sir, I heard the bell ring.

 MARL. No, no. (_Musing._) I have pleased my father, however, by coming
 down, and I'll to-morrow please myself by returning.

 _Taking out his tablets, and perusing._

 MISS HARD. Perhaps the other gentleman called, sir.

 MARL. I tell you, no.

 MISS HARD. I should be glad to know, sir. We have such a parcel of
 servants.

 MARL. No, no, I'll tell you. (_Looks full in her face._) Yes, child, I
 think I did call. I wanted—I wanted—I vow, child, you are vastly
 handsome.

 MISS HARD. O la, sir, you'll make one ashamed.

 MARL. Never saw a more sprightly malicious eye. Yes, yes, my dear, I
 did call. Have you got any of your—a—what d'ye call it, in the house?

 MISS HARD. No, sir, we have been out of that these ten days.

 MARL. One may call in this house, I find, to very little purpose.
 Suppose I should call for a taste, just by way of trial, of the nectar
 of your lips; perhaps I might be disappointed in that too.

 MISS HARD. Nectar! nectar! that's a liquor there's no call for in these
 parts. French, I suppose. We keep no French wines here, sir.

 MARL. Of true English growth, I assure you.

 MISS HARD. Then it's odd I should not know it. We brew all sorts of
 wines in this house, and I have lived here these eighteen years.

 MARL. Eighteen years? Why, one would think, child, you kept the bar
 before you were born. How old are you?

 MISS HARD. O! sir, I must not tell my age. They say women and music
 should never be dated.

 MARL. To guess at this distance, you can't be much above forty.
 (_Approaching._) Yet, nearer, I don't think so much. (_Approaching._)
 By coming close to some women they look younger still; but when we come
 very close indeed——

 _Attempting to kiss her._

 MISS HARD. Pray, sir, keep your distance. One would think you wanted to
 know one's age as they do horses, by mark of mouth.

 MARL. I protest, child, you use me extremely ill. If you keep me at
 this distance, how is it possible you and I can be ever acquainted?

 MISS HARD. And who wants to be acquainted with you? I want no such
 acquaintance, not I. I'm sure you did not treat Miss Hardcastle, that
 was here a while ago, in this obstropalous manner. I'll warrant me,
 before her you looked dashed, and kept bowing to the ground, and
 talked, for all the world, as if you was before a justice of peace.

 MARL. (_Aside._) Egad! she has hit it, sure enough. (_To her._) In awe
 of her, child? Ha! ha! ha! A mere awkward, squinting thing; no, no. I
 find you don't know me. I laughed, and rallied her a little; but I was
 unwilling to be too severe. No, I could not be too severe, _curse me_!

 MISS HARD. O! then, sir, you are a favourite, I find, among the ladies.

 MARL. Yes, my dear, a great favourite. And yet, hang me, I don't see
 what they find in me to follow. At the ladies' club in town, I'm called
 their agreeable Rattle. Rattle, child, is not my real name, but one I'm
 known by. My name is Solomons. Mr. Solomons, my dear, at your service.

 _Offering to salute her._

[Illustration:

  MARLOW.—"_And why not now, my angel?_"—_p._ 356.
]


 MISS HARD. Hold, sir; you were introducing me to your club, not to
 yourself. And you're so great a favourite there, you say?

 MARL. Yes, my dear; there's Mrs. Mantrap, lady Betty Blackleg, the
 countess of Sligo, Mrs. Longhorns, old Miss Biddy Buckskin, and your
 humble servant, keep up the spirit of the place.

 MISS HARD. Then it's a very merry place, I suppose.

 MARL. Yes; as merry as cards, suppers, wine, and old women, can make
 us.

 MISS HARD. And their agreeable Rattle; ha! ha! ha!

 MARL. (_Aside._) Egad! I don't quite like this chit. She looks knowing,
 methinks. You laugh, child!

 MISS HARD. I can't but laugh to think what time they all have for
 minding their work or their family.

 MARL. (_Aside._) All's well, she don't laugh at me. (_To her._ ) Do
 _you_ ever work, child?

 MISS HARD. Ay, sure. There's not a screen or a quilt in the whole house
 but what can bear witness to that.

 MARL. Odso! Then you must show me your embroidery. I embroider and draw
 patterns myself a little. If you want a judge of your work, you must
 apply to me.

 _Seizing her hand._

 MISS HARD. Ay, but the colours don't look well by candle-light. You
 shall see all in the morning.

 _Struggling._

 MARL. And why not now, my angel? Such beauty fires beyond the power of
 resistance.—Pshaw! the father here! My old luck: I never nicked seven,
 that I did not throw ames-ace three times following.

                             _Exit_ MARLOW.

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE, _who stands in surprise_.

 HARD. So, madam! So I find _this_ is your _modest_ lover. This is your
 humble admirer, that kept his eyes, fixed on the ground, and only
 adored at humble distance. Kate, Kate, art thou not ashamed to deceive
 your father so?

 MISS HARD. Never trust me, dear papa, but he's still the modest man I
 first took him for, you'll be convinced of it as well as I.

 HARD. By the hand of my body, I believe his impudence is infectious!
 Didn't I see him seize your hand? Didn't I see him haul you about like
 a milk-maid? and now you talk of his respect and his modesty, forsooth!

 MISS HARD. But if I shortly convince you of his modesty; that he has
 only the faults that will pass off with time, and the virtues that will
 improve with age; I hope you'll forgive him.

 HARD. The girl would actually make one run mad; I tell you, I will not
 be convinced. I am convinced. He has scarcely been three hours in the
 house, and he has already encroached on all my prerogatives. You may
 like his impudence, and call it modesty; but my son-in-law, madam, must
 have very different qualifications.

 MISS HARD. Sir, I ask but this night to convince you.

 HARD. You shall not have half the time; for I have thoughts of turning
 him out this very hour.

 MISS HARD. Give me that hour, then, and I hope to satisfy you.

 HARD. Well, an hour let it be then. But I'll have no trifling with your
 father. All fair and open, do you mind me?

 MISS HARD. I hope, sir, you have ever found that I considered your
 commands as my pride; for your kindness is such, that my duty as yet
 has been inclination.

                                _Exeunt._



                                ACT IV.


 _Enter_ HASTINGS _and_ MISS NEVILLE.

 HAST. You surprise me! Sir Charles Marlow expected here this night?
 Where have you had your information?

 MISS NEV. You may depend upon it. I just saw his letter to Mr.
 Hardcastle, in which he tells him he intends setting out a few hours
 after his son.

 HAST. Then, my Constance, all must be completed before he arrives. He
 knows me; and should he find me here, would discover my name, and
 perhaps my designs, to the rest of the family.

 MISS NEV. The jewels, I hope, are safe.

 HAST. Yes, yes. I have sent them to Marlow, who keeps the keys of our
 baggage. In the meantime, I'll go to prepare matters for our elopement.
 I have had the squire's promise of a fresh pair of horses; and, if I
 should not see him again, will write him further directions.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS NEV. Well! success attend you. In the meantime, I'll go amuse my
 aunt with the old pretence of a violent passion for my cousin.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ MARLOW _followed by a_ SERVANT.

 MARL. I wonder what Hastings could mean by sending me so valuable a
 thing as a casket to keep for him, when he knows the only place I have,
 is the seat of a post-coach at an inn-door.—Have you deposited the
 casket with the landlady, as I ordered you? Have you put it into her
 own hands?

 SERV. Yes, your honour.

 MARL. She said she'd keep it safe, did she?

 SERV. Yes, she said she'd keep it safe enough; she asked me how I came
 by it, and she said she had a great mind to make me give an account of
 myself.

                                 _Exit._

 MARL. Ha! ha! ha! They're safe, however. What an unaccountable set of
 beings have we got amongst! This little bar-maid, though, runs in my
 head most strangely, and drives out the absurdities of all the rest of
 the family. She's mine, she must be mine, or I'm greatly mistaken.

 _Enter_ HASTINGS.

 HAST. Bless me! I quite forgot to tell her, that I intended to prepare
 at the bottom of the garden. Marlow here, and in spirits too!

 MARL. Give me joy, George! Crown me, shadow me with laurels! Well,
 George, after all, we modest fellows don't want for success among the
 women.

 HAST. Some women, you mean. But what success has your honour's modesty
 been crowned with now, that it grows so insolent upon us?

 MARL. Didn't you see the tempting, brisk, lovely, little thing, that
 runs about the house, with a bunch of keys to its girdle?

 HAST. Well, and what then?

 MARL. She's mine, you rogue you. Such fire, such motion, such eyes,
 such lips—but, egad! she would not let me kiss them though.

 HAST. But are you so sure, so very sure of her?

 MARL. Why man, she talked of showing me her work above-stairs, and I'm
 to improve the pattern.

 HAST. But how can _you_, Charles, go about to rob a woman of her
 honour?

 MARL. Pshaw! pshaw! We all know the honour of the bar-maid of an inn. I
 don't intend to _rob_ her, take my word for it; there's nothing in this
 house I shan't honestly _pay_ for.

 HAST. I believe the girl has virtue.

 MARL. And if she has, I should be the last man in the world that would
 attempt to corrupt it.

 HAST. You have taken care, I hope, of the casket I sent you to lock up?
 Is it in safety?

 MARL. Yes, yes; it's safe enough. I have taken care of it. But how
 could you think the seat of a post-coach, at an inn-door, a place of
 safety? Ah! numb-skull! I have taken better precautions for you than
 you did for yourself.—I have—

 HAST. What?

 MARL. I have sent it to the landlady, to keep for you.

 HAST. To the landlady!

 MARL. The landlady.

 HAST. You did!

 MARL. I did. She's to be answerable for its forthcoming, you know.

 HAST. Yes, she'll bring it forth, with a witness.

 MARL. Wasn't I right? I believe you'll allow that I acted prudently
 upon this occasion.

 HAST. (_Aside._) He must not see my uneasiness.

 _Marl._ You seem a little disconcerted though, methinks. Sure nothing
 has happened.

 HAST. No, nothing. Never was in better spirits in all my life. And so
 you left it with the landlady, who, no doubt, very readily undertook
 the charge?

 MARL. Rather too readily. For she not only kept the casket; but,
 through her great precaution, was going to keep the messenger too. Ha!
 ha! ha!

 HAST. He! he! he! They are safe, however.

 MARL. As a guinea in a miser'spurse.

 HAST. (_Aside._) So now all hopes of fortune are at an end, and we must
 set off without it. (_To him._ ) Well, Charles, I'll leave you to your
 meditations on the pretty bar-maid; and, he! he! he! may you be as
 successful for yourself as you have been for me.

                                 _Exit._

 MARL. Thank ye, George! I ask no more; ha! ha! ha!

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. I no longer know my own house. It's turned all topsy-turvy. His
 servants have got drunk already. I'll bear it no longer; and yet, from
 my respect for his father, I'll be calm. (_To him._ ) Mr. Marlow, your
 servant. I'm your very humble servant.

 _Bowing low._

 MARL. Sir, your humble servant. (_Aside._) What's to be the wonder now?

 HARD. I believe, sir, you must be sensible, sir, that no man alive
 ought to be more welcome than your father's son, sir. I hope you think
 so.

 MARL. I do, from my soul, sir. I don't want much entreaty. I generally
 make my father's son welcome wherever he goes.

 HARD. I believe you do, from my soul, sir. But though I say nothing to
 your own conduct, that of your servants is insufferable. Their manner
 of drinking is setting a very bad example in this house, I assure you.

[Illustration:

  HARDCASTLE.—"_I'm your very humble servant._"—_p._ 358.
]


 MARL. I protest, my very good sir, that's no fault of mine. If they
 don't drink as they ought, _they_ are to blame. I ordered them not to
 spare the cellar: I did, I assure you. (_To the side scene._) Here, let
 one of my servants come up. (_To him._) My positive directions were,
 that, as I did not drink myself, they should make up for my
 deficiencies below.

 HARD. Then, they had your orders for what they do! I'm satisfied.

 MARL. They had, I assure you. You shall hear from one of themselves.

 _Enter_ SERVANT, _drunk_.

 MARL. You, Jeremy! Come forward, sirrah! What were my orders? Were you
 not told to drink freely, and call for what you thought fit, for the
 good of the house?

 HARD. (_Aside._) I begin to lose my patience.

 JEREMY. Please your honour, liberty and Fleet-street for ever! Though
 I'm but a servant, I'm as good as another man. I'll drink for no man
 before supper, sir, damme! Good liquor will sit upon a good supper; but
 a good supper will not sit upon—(_Hiccup._)—upon my conscience, sir.

 MARL. You see, my old friend, the fellow is as drunk as he can possibly
 be. I don't know what you'd have more, unless you'd have the poor devil
 soused in a beer-barrel.

 HARD. Zounds! He'll drive me distracted if I contain myself any longer.
 Mr. Marlow, sir; I have submitted to your insolence for more than four
 hours, and I see no likelihood of its coming to an end. I'm now
 resolved to be master here, sir; and I desire that you and your drunken
 pack may leave my house directly.

 MARL. Leave your house?—Sure you jest, my good friend! What, when I'm
 doing what I can to please you?

 HARD. I tell you, sir, you don't please me; so I desire you'll leave my
 house.

 MARL. Sure you cannot be serious! At this time o'night, and such a
 night! You only mean to banter me.

 HARD. I tell you, sir, I'm serious; and, now that my passions are
 roused, I say this house is mine, sir; this house is mine, and I
 command you to leave it directly!

 MARL. Ha! ha! ha! A puddle in a storm. I shan't stir a step, I assure
 you. (_In a serious tone._) This your house, fellow! It's my house.
 This is my house. Mine, while I choose to stay. What right have you to
 bid me leave this house, sir? I never met with such impudence, curse
 me, never in my whole life before.

 HARD. Nor I, confound me if ever I did. To come to my house, to call
 for what he likes, to turn me out of my own chair, to insult the
 family, to order his servants to get drunk, and then to tell me, _This
 house is mine, sir_. By all that's impudent, it makes me laugh. Ha! ha!
 Pray, sir, (_Bantering._) as you take the house, what think you of
 taking the rest of the furniture? There's a pair of silver
 candlesticks, and there's a fire-screen, and here's a pair of
 brazen-nosed bellows, perhaps you may take a fancy to them.

 MARL. Bring me your bill, sir, bring me your bill, and let's make no
 more words about it.

 HARD. There are a set of prints too. What think you of the Rake's
 Progress for your own apartment?

 MARL. Bring me your bill, I say; and I'll leave you and your infernal
 house directly.

 HARD. Then there's a mahogany table, that you may see your own face in.

 MARL. My bill, I say.

 HARD. I had forgot the great chair, for your own particular slumbers,
 after a hearty meal.

 MARL. Zounds! bring me my bill, I say; and let's hear no more on't.

 HARD. Young man, young man, from your father's letter to me, I was
 taught to expect a well-bred, modest man, as a visitor here; but now I
 find him no better than a coxcomb, and a bully. But he will be down
 here presently, and shall hear more of it.

                                 _Exit._

[Illustration:

  MISS HARDCASTLE.—"_Let it be short, then._"—_p._ 361.
]


 MARL. How's this? Sure I have not mistaken the house! Everything looks
 like an inn. The servants cry, _Coming._ The attendance is awkward; the
 bar-maid too to attend us. But she's here, and will further inform me.
 Whither so fast, child! A word with you.

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE.

 MISS HARD. Let it be short then. I'm in a hurry, (_Aside._) I believe
 he begins to find out his mistake; but it's too soon quite to undeceive
 him.

 MARL. Pray, child, answer me one question.—What are you, and what may
 your business in this house be?

 MISS HARD. A relation of the family, sir.

 MARL. What; a poor relation?

 MISS HARD. Yes, sir; a poor relation, appointed to keep the keys, and
 to see that the guests want nothing in my power to give them.

 MARL. That is, you act as the bar-maid of this inn.

 MISS HARD. O law!—What brought that in your head? One of the best
 families in the county keep an inn! Ha! ha! ha! old Mr. Hardcastle's
 house an inn!

 MARL. Mr. Hardcastle's house? Is this house Mr. Hardcastle's house,
 child?

 MISS HARD. Ay, sure. Whose else should it be?

 MARL. So then all's out, and I have been damnably imposed on. O,
 confound my stupid head, I shall be laughed at over the whole town. I
 shall be stuck up in caricatura in all the print-shops: the Dullissimo
 Maccaroni. To mistake this house, of all others, for an inn; and my
 father's old friend for an inn-keeper! What a swaggering puppy must he
 take me for! What a silly puppy do I find myself! There again, may I be
 hanged, my dear, but I mistook you for the bar-maid.

 MISS HARD. Dear me! dear me! I'm sure there's nothing in my _behaviour_
 to put me upon a level with one of that stamp.

 MARL. Nothing, my dear, nothing. But I was in for a list of blunders,
 and could not help making you a subscriber. My stupidity saw everything
 the wrong way. I mistook your assiduity for assurance, and your
 simplicity for allurement. But it's over—This house I no more show _my_
 face in.

 MISS HARD. I hope, sir, I have done nothing to disoblige you. I'm sure
 I should be sorry to affront any gentleman who has been so polite, and
 said so many civil things to me. I'm sure I should be sorry
 (_Pretending to cry._) if he left the family upon my account. I'm sure
 I should be sorry, if people said anything amiss, since I have no
 fortune but my character.

 MARL. (_Aside._) By heaven, she weeps. This is the first mark of
 tenderness I ever had from a modest woman, and it touches me. (_To
 her._) Excuse me, my lovely girl, you are the only part of the family I
 leave with reluctance. But to be plain with you, the difference of our
 birth, fortune, and education, make an honourable connexion impossible;
 and I can never harbour a thought of bringing ruin upon one, whose only
 fault was being too lovely.

 MISS HARD. (_Aside._) Generous man! I now begin to admire him. (_To
 him._) But I'm sure my family is as good as Miss Hardcastle's; and
 though I'm poor, that's no great misfortune to a contented mind; and
 until this moment, I never thought that it was bad to want fortune.

 MARL. And why now, my pretty simplicity?

 MISS HARD. Because it puts me a distance from one, that if I had a
 thousand pound I would give it all too.

 MARL. (_Aside._) This simplicity bewitches me so that if I stay I'm
 undone. I must make one bold effort, and leave her. (_To her._) Your
 partiality in my favour, my dear, touches me most sensibly; and were I
 to live for myself alone, I could easily fix my choice. But I owe too
 much to the opinion of the world, too much to the authority of a
 father, so that—I can scarcely speak it—it affects me. Farewell.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS HARD. I never knew half his merit till now. He shall not go, if I
 have power or art to detain him. I'll still preserve the character in
 which I stooped to conquer; but will undeceive my papa, who, perhaps,
 may laugh him out of his resolution.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ TONY, MISS NEVILLE.

 TONY. Ay, you may steal for yourselves the next time. I have done my
 duty. She has got the jewels again, that's a sure thing; but she
 believes it was all a mistake of the servants.

 MISS NEV. But, my dear cousin, sure you won't forsake us in this
 distress. If she in the least suspects that I am going off, I shall
 certainly be locked up, or sent to my aunt Pedigree's, which is ten
 times worse.

 TONY. To be sure, aunts of all kinds are damn'd bad things; but what
 can I do? I have got you a pair of horses that will fly like
 Whistle-jacket, and I'm sure you can't say but I have courted you
 nicely before her face. Here she comes, we must court a bit or two
 more, for fear she should suspect us.

 _They retire and seem to fondle._

 _Enter_ MRS. HARDCASTLE.

 MRS. HARD. Well, I was greatly fluttered, to be sure. But my son tells
 me it was all a mistake of the servants. I shan't be easy, however,
 till they are fairly married, and then let her keep her own fortune.
 But what do I see? Fondling together, as I'm alive. I never saw Tony so
 sprightly before. Ah! have I caught you, my pretty doves? What!
 billing, exchanging stolen glances, and broken murmurs? Ah!

 TONY. As for murmurs, mother, we grumble a little now and then, to be
 sure. But there's no love lost between us.

 MRS. HARD. A mere sprinkling, Tony, upon the flame, only to make it
 burn brighter.

 MISS NEV. Cousin Tony promises to give us more of his company at home.
 Indeed, he shan't leave us any more. It won't leave us, cousin Tony,
 will it?

 TONY. O! it's a pretty creature. No, I'd sooner leave my horse in a
 pound, than leave you, when you smile upon one so. Your laugh makes you
 so becoming.

 MISS NEV. Agreeable cousin! Who can help admiring that natural humour,
 that pleasant, broad, red, thoughtless, (_patting his cheek_) ah! it's
 a bold face.

 MRS. HARD. Pretty innocence!

 TONY. I'm sure I always loved cousin Con's hazel eyes, and her pretty
 long fingers, that she twists this way and that, over the haspicholls,
 like a parcel of bobbins.

 MRS. HARD. Ah, he would charm the bird from the tree. I was never so
 happy before. My boy takes after his father, poor Mr. Lumpkin, exactly.
 The jewels, my dear Con, shall be yours incontinently. You shall have
 them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my dear? You shall be married to-morrow,
 and we'll put off the rest of his education, like Mr. Drowsy's sermons,
 to a fitter opportunity.

 _Enter_ DIGGORY.

 DIGG. Where's the 'squire? I have got a letter for your worship.

 TONY. Give it to my mamma. She reads all my letters first.

 DIGG. I had orders to deliver it into your own hands.

 TONY. Who does it come from?

 DIGG. Your worship mun ask that o' the letter itself.

 TONY. I could wish to know, though (_turning the letter and gazing on
 it_).

 MISS NEV. (_Aside._) Undone, undone! A letter to him from Hastings. I
 know the hand. If my aunt sees it, we are ruined for ever. I'll keep
 her employed a little if I can. (_To_ MRS. HARDCASTLE.) But I have not
 told you, madam, of my cousin's smart answer just now to Mr. Marlow. We
 so laughed—You must know, madam—this way a little; for he must not hear
 us.

 _They confer._

 TONY. (_Still gazing._) A damn'd cramp piece of penmanship, as ever I
 saw in my life. I can read your printhand very well. But here there are
 such handles, and shanks, and dashes, that one can scarce tell the head
 from the tail. _To Anthony Lumpkin, Esq._ It's very odd, I can read the
 outside of my letters, where my own name is, well enough. But when I
 come to open it, it is all—buzz. That's hard, very hard; for the inside
 of the letter is always the cream of the correspondence.

 MRS. HARD. Ha! ha! ha! Very well, very well. And so my son was too hard
 for the philosopher.

 MISS NEV. Yes, madam; but you must hear the rest, madam. A little more
 this way, or he may hear us. You'll hear how he puzzled him again.

 MRS. HARD. He seems strangely puzzled now himself, methinks.

 TONY. (_Still gazing._) A damned up and down hand, as if it was
 disguised in liquor. (_Reading._) _Dear Sir_, Ay, that's that. Then
 there's an _M_, and a _T_, and _S_; but whether the next be an _izzard_
 or an _R_, confound me, I cannot tell.

 MRS. HARD. What's that, my dear. Can I give you any assistance?

 MISS NEV. Pray, aunt, let me read it. Nobody reads a cramp hand better
 than I. (_Twitching the letter from her._) Do you know who it is from?

 TONY. Can't tell, except from Dick Ginger, the feeder.

 MISS NEV. Ay, so it is. (_Pretending to read._) Dear 'Squire, Hoping
 that you're in health, as I am at this present. The gentlemen of the
 Shake-bag club has cut the gentlemen of Goose green quite out of
 feather. The odds—um—odd battle—um—long fighting—um—Here, here; it's
 all about cocks, and fighting: it's of no consequence; here, put it up,
 put it up.

 _Thrusting the crumpled letter upon him._

 TONY. But I tell you, miss, it's of all the consequence in the world. I
 would not lose the rest of it for a guinea. Here, mother, do you make
 it out. Of no consequence!

 _Giving_ MRS. HARDCASTLE _the letter_.

 MRS. HARD. How's this? (_Reads._) Dear 'Squire, I'm now waiting for
 Miss Neville, with a post-chaise and pair, at the bottom of the garden,
 but I find my horses yet unable to perform the journey. I expect you'll
 assist us with a pair of fresh horses, as you promised. Dispatch is
 necessary, as the _hag_ (ay the hag), your mother, will otherwise
 suspect us. Yours, Hastings. Grant me patience. I shall run distracted.
 My rage chokes me.

 MISS NEV. I hope, madam, you'll suspend your resentment for a few
 moments, and not impute to me any impertinence, or sinister design that
 belongs to another.

 MRS. HARD. (_Curtseying very low._) Fine-spoken madam, you are most
 miraculously polite and engaging, and quite the very pink of courtesy
 and circumspection, madam. (_Changing_ _her tone._ ) And you, you great
 ill-fashioned oaf, with scarce sense enough to keep your mouth shut.
 Were you too joined against me? But I'll defeat all your plots in a
 moment. As for you, madam, since you have got a pair of fresh horses
 ready, it would be cruel to disappoint them. So, if you please, instead
 of running away with your spark, prepare, this very moment, to run off
 with _me_. Your old aunt Pedigree will keep you secure, I'll warrant
 me. You too, sir, may mount your horse, and guard us upon the way.
 Here, Thomas, Roger, Diggory, I'll show you, that I wish you better
 than you do yourselves.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS NEV. So, now I'm completely ruined.

 TONY. Ay, that's a sure thing.

 MISS NEV. What better could be expected, from being connected with such
 a stupid fool, and after all the nods and signs I made him?

 TONY. By the laws, miss, it was your own cleverness, and not my
 stupidity, that did your business. You were so nice, and so busy, with
 your Shake-bags and Goose-greens, that I thought you could never be
 making believe.

 _Enter_ HASTINGS.

 HAST. So, sir, I find by my servant, that you have shown my letter, and
 betrayed us. Was this well done, young gentleman?

 TONY. Here's another. Ask miss there, who betrayed you. Ecod, it was
 her doing, not mine.

 _Enter_ MARLOW.

 MARL. So, I have been finely used here among you. Rendered
 contemptible, driven into ill manners, despised, insulted, laughed at.

 TONY. Here's another. We shall, have old Bedlam broke loose presently.

 MISS NEV. And there, sir, is the gentleman to whom we all owe every
 obligation.

 MARL. What can I say to him, a mere boy, an idiot, whose ignorance and
 age are a protection?

 HAST. A poor contemptible booby, that would but disgrace correction.

 MISS NEV. Yet with cunning and malice enough to make himself merry with
 all our embarrassments.

 HAST. An insensible cub.

 MARL. Replete with tricks and mischief.

 TONY. Baw! damme, but I'll fight you both, one after the other,——with
 baskets.

 MARL. As for him, he's below resentment. But your conduct, Mr.
 Hastings, requires an explanation. You knew of my mistakes, yet would
 not undeceive me.

 HAST. Tortured as I am with my own disappointments, is this a time for
 explanations? It is not friendly, Mr. Marlow.

 MARL. But, sir——

 MISS NEV. Mr. Marlow, we never kept on your mistake, till it was too
 late to undeceive you. Be pacified.

 _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERV. My mistress desires you'll get ready immediately, madam. The
 horses are putting to. Your hat and things are in the next room. We are
 to go thirty miles before morning.

                             _Exit_ SERVANT.

 MISS NEV. Well, well; I'll come presently.

 MARL. (_To_ HASTINGS.) Was it well done, sir, to assist in rendering me
 ridiculous? To hang me out for the scorn of all my acquaintance? Depend
 upon it, sir, I shall expect an explanation.

[Illustration:

  MISS NEVILLE.—"_Constancy is the word._"—_p._ 367.
]


 HAST. Was it well done, sir, if you're upon that subject, to deliver
 what I intrusted to yourself, to the care of another, sir?

 MISS NEV. Mr. Hastings, Mr. Marlow, why will you increase my distress
 by this groundless dispute? I implore, I entreat you—

 _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERV. Your cloak, madam. My mistress is impatient.

 MISS NEV. I come. Pray be pacified. If I leave you thus, I shall die
 with apprehension.

 _Enter_ SERVANT.

 SERV. Your fan, muff, and gloves, madam. The horses are waiting.

 MISS NEV. O, Mr. Marlow! if you knew what a scene of constraint and
 ill-nature lies before me, I'm sure it would convert your resentment
 into pity.

 MARL. I'm so distracted with a variety of passions, that I don't know
 what I do. Forgive me, madam. George, forgive me. You know my hasty
 temper, and should not exasperate it.

 HAST. The torture of my situation is my only excuse.

 MISS NEV. Well, my dear Hastings, if you have that esteem for me that I
 think, that I am sure you have, your constancy for three years will but
 increase the happiness of our future connexion. If—

 MRS. HARD. (_Within._) Miss Neville—Constance, why Constance, I say.

 MISS NEV. I'm coming. Well, constancy. Remember, constancy is the word.

                                 _Exit._

 HAST. My heart, how can I support this! To be so near happiness, and
 such happiness.

 MARL. (_To_ TONY.) You see now, young gentleman, the effects of your
 folly. What might be amusement to you, is here disappointment, and even
 distress.

 TONY. (_From a reverie._) Ecod, I have hit it. It's here. Your hands.
 Yours and yours, my poor sulky. My boots there, ho! Meet me two hours
 hence at the bottom of the garden; and if you don't find Tony Lumpkin a
 more good-natured fellow than you thought for, I'll give you leave to
 take my best horse, and Bet Bouncer into the bargain. Come along. My
 boots, ho!

                                _Exeunt._



                                 ACT V.


 _Scene continues._

 _Enter_ HASTINGS _and_ SERVANT.

 HAST. You saw the old lady and Miss Neville drive off, you say?

 SERV. Yes, your honour; they went off in a post-coach, and the young
 'squire went on horseback. They're thirty miles off by this time.

 HAST. Then all my hopes are over.

 SERV. Yes, sir. Old Sir Charles is arrived. He and the old gentleman of
 the house have been laughing at Mr. Marlow's mistake this half-hour.
 They are coming this way.

 HAST. Then I must not be seen. So, now to my fruitless appointment, at
 the bottom of the garden. This is about the time.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ SIR CHARLES _and_ HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. Ha! ha! ha! The peremptory tone in which he sent forth his
 sublime commands!

 SIR CHARLES. And the reserve with which I suppose he treated all your
 advances!

 HARD. And yet he might have seen something in me above a common
 inn-keeper too.

 SIR CHARLES. Yes, Dick, but he mistook you for an uncommon inn-keeper,
 ha! ha! ha!

 HARD. Well, I'm in too good spirits to think of anything but joy. Yes,
 my dear friend, this union of our families will make our personal
 friendships hereditary; and though my daughter's fortune is but small——

 SIR CHARLES. Why, Dick, will you talk of fortune to _me_? My son is
 possessed of more than a competence already, and can want nothing but a
 good and virtuous girl to share his happiness and increase it. If they
 like each other, as you say they do——

 HARD. _If_, man! I tell you they _do_ like each other. My daughter as
 good as told me so.

 SIR CHARLES. But girls are apt to flatter themselves, you know.

 HARD. I saw him grasp her hand in the warmest manner myself; and here
 he comes to put you out of your _ifs_, I warrant you.

 _Enter_ MARLOW.

 MARL. I come, sir, once more, to ask pardon for my strange conduct. I
 can scarce reflect on my insolence without confusion.

 HARD. Tut, boy, a trifle. You take it too gravely. An hour or two's
 laughing with my daughter will set all to rights again.—She'll never
 like you the worse for it.

 MARL. Sir, I shall be always proud of her approbation.

 HARD. Approbation is but a cold word, Mr. Marlow: if I am not deceived,
 you have something more than approbation thereabouts. You take me.

 MARL. Really, sir, I have not that happiness.

 HARD. Come boy, I'm an old fellow, and know what's what, as well as you
 that are younger. I know what has passed between you; but mum.

 MARL. Sure, sir, nothing has passed between us, but the most profound
 respect on my side, and the most distant reserve on hers. You don't
 think, sir, that my impudence has been passed upon all the rest of the
 family.

 HARD. Impudence! No, I don't say that—Not quite impudence—Though girls
 like to be played with, and rumpled a little too sometimes. But she has
 told no tales I assure you.

 MARL. I never gave her the slightest cause.

 HARD. Well, well, I like modesty in its place well enough. But this is
 over-acting, young gentleman. You _may_ be open. Your father and I will
 like you the better for it.

 MARL. May I die, sir, if I ever——

 HARD. I tell you, she don't dislike you; and as I'm sure you like her——

 MARL. Dear sir—I protest, sir——

 HARD. I see no reason why you should not be joined as fast as the
 parson can tie you.

 MARL. But hear me, sir——

 HARD. Your father approves the match, I admire it, every moment's delay
 will be doing mischief, so——

 MARL. But why won't you hear me? By all that's just and true, I never
 gave Miss Hardcastle the slightest mark of my attachment, or even the
 most distant hint to suspect me of affection. We had but one interview,
 and that was formal, modest and uninteresting.

 HARD. (_Aside._). This fellow's formal modest impudence is beyond
 bearing.

 SIR CHARLES. And you never grasped her hand, or made any protestations?

 MARL. As Heaven is my witness, I came down in obedience to your
 commands. I saw the lady without emotion, and parted without
 reluctance. I hope you'll exact no further proofs of my duty, nor
 prevent me from leaving a house in which I suffer so many
 mortifications.

                                 _Exit._

 SIR CHARLES. I'm astonished at the air of sincerity with which he
 parted.

 HARD. And I'm astonished at the deliberate intrepidity of his
 assurance.

 SIR CHARLES. I dare pledge my life and honour upon his truth.

 HARD. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake my happiness upon her
 veracity.

 _Enter_ MISS HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. Kate, come hither, child. Answer us sincerely, and without
 reserve: has Mr. Marlow made you any professions of love and affection?

 MISS HARD. The question is very abrupt, sir! But since you require
 unreserved sincerity, I think he has.

 HARD. (_To_ SIR CHARLES.) You see.

 SIR CHARLES. And pray, madam, have you and my son had more than one
 interview?

 MISS HARD. Yes, sir, several.

 HARD. (_To_ SIR CHARLES.) You see.

 SIR CHARLES. But did he profess any attachment?

 MISS HARD. A lasting one.

 SIR CHARLES. Did he talk of love?

 MISS HARD. Much, sir.

 SIR CHARLES. Amazing! and all this formally?

 MISS HARD. Formally.

 HARD. Now, my friend, I hope you are satisfied?

 SIR CHARLES. And how did he behave, madam?

 MISS HARD. As most professed admirers do. Said some civil things of my
 face: talked much of his want of merit, and the greatness of mine;
 mentioned his heart; gave a short tragedy speech, and ended with
 pretended rapture.

 SIR CHARLES. Now I'm perfectly convinced, indeed. I know his
 conversation among women to be modest and submissive. This forward,
 canting, ranting manner by no means describes him, and I am confident
 he never sat for the picture.

 MISS HARD. Then what, sir, if I should convince you to your face of my
 sincerity? If you and my papa, in about half-an-hour, will place
 yourselves behind that screen, you shall hear him declare his passion
 to me in person.

 SIR CHARLES. Agreed. And if I find him what you describe, all my
 happiness in him must have an end.

                                 _Exit._

 MISS HARD. And if you don't find him what I describe—I fear my
 happiness must never have a beginning.

                                _Exeunt._

 _Scene changes to the back of the garden._

 _Enter_ HASTINGS.

 HAST. What an idiot am I, to wait here for a fellow who probably takes
 a delight in mortifying me. He never intended to be punctual, and I'll
 wait no longer. What do I see? It is he, and perhaps with news of my
 Constance.

 _Enter_ TONY, _booted and spattered_.

 HAST. My honest 'squire! I now find you a man of your word. This looks
 like friendship.

 TONY. Ay, I'm your friend, and the best friend you have in the world,
 if you knew but all. This riding by night, by-the-by, is cursedly
 tiresome. It has shook me worse than the basket of a stage-coach.

 HAST. But how? Where did you leave your fellow travellers? Are they in
 safety! Are they housed?

 TONY. Five-and-twenty miles in two hours and a half is no such bad
 driving. The poor beasts have smoked for it. Rabbet me, but I'd rather
 ride forty miles after a fox, than ten with such _varment_.

 HAST. Well, but where have you left the ladies? I die with impatience.

 TONY. Left them? Why where should I leave them but where I found them.

 HAST. This is a riddle.

 TONY. Riddle me this, then. What's that goes round the house, and round
 the house and never touches the house?

 HAST. I'm still astray.

 TONY. Why that's it, mon. I have led them astray. By jingo, there's not
 a pond or slough within five miles of the place, but they can tell the
 taste of.

 HAST. Ha, ha, ha! I understand: you took them in a round, while they
 supposed themselves going forward. And so you have at last brought them
 home again.

 TONY. You shall hear. I first took them down Feather-bed-lane, where we
 stuck fast in the mud. I then rattled them crack over the stones of
 Up-and-down Hill—I then introduced them to the gibbet, on Heavy-tree
 Heath; and from that, with a circumbendibus, I fairly lodged them in
 the horse-pond at the bottom of the garden.

 HAST. But no accident, I hope.

 TONY. No, no. Only mother is confoundedly frightened. She thinks
 herself forty miles off. She's sick of the journey, and the cattle can
 scarce crawl. So if your own horses be ready, you may whip off with
 cousin, and I'll be bound that no soul here can budge a foot to follow
 you.

 HAST. My dear friend, how can I be grateful?

 TONY. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble 'squire. Just now, it was all
 idiot, cub, and run me through the guts. Damn _your_ way of fighting, I
 say. After we take a knock in this part of the country, we kiss and be
 friends. But, if you had run me through the guts, then I should be
 dead, and you might go kiss the hangman.

 HAST. The rebuke is just. But I must hasten to relieve Miss Neville; if
 you keep the old lady employed, I promise to take care of the young
 one.

                            _Exit_ HASTINGS.

 TONY. Never fear me. Here she comes. Vanish. She's got from the pond,
 and draggled up to the waist like a mermaid.

 _Enter_ MRS. HARDCASTLE.

 MRS. HARD. Oh, Tony, I'm killed. Shook. Battered to death. I shall
 never survive it. That last jolt, that laid us against the quickset
 hedge, has done my business.

 TONY. Alack, mamma, it was all your own fault. You would be for running
 away by night, without knowing one inch of the way.

 MRS. HARD. I wish we were at home again. I never met so many accidents
 in so short a journey. Drenched in the mud, overturned in a ditch,
 stuck fast in a slough, jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way!
 Whereabouts do you think we are, Tony?

 TONY. By my guess we should be upon Crackskull Common, about forty
 miles from home.

 MRS. HARD. O lud! O lud! the most notorious spot in all the country. We
 only want a robbery to make a complete night on't.

[Illustration:

  TONY.—"_Don't be afraid, mamma._"—_p._ 371.
]


 TONY. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. Two of the five that
 kept here are hanged, and the other three may not find us. Don't be
 afraid. Is that a man that's galloping behind us? No; it's only a tree.
 Don't be afraid.

 MRS. HARD. The fright will certainly kill me.

 TONY. Do you see anything like a black hat moving behind the thicket?

 MRS. HARD. O death!

 TONY. No, it's only a cow. Don't be afraid, mamma: don't be afraid.

 MRS. HARD. As I'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming towards us. Ah! I'm
 sure on't. If he perceives us we are undone.

 TONY (_Aside._) Father-in-law, by all that's unlucky, come to take one
 of his night walks. (_To her._) Ah! it's a highwayman, with pistols as
 long as my arm. A damn'd ill looking fellow.

 MRS. HARD. Good Heaven defend us! He approaches.

 TONY. Do you hide yourself in that thicket, and leave me to manage him.
 If there be any danger I'll cough, and cry—hem! When I cough, be sure
 to keep close.

 MRS. HARDCASTLE _hides behind a tree, in the back scene_.

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE.

 HARD. I'm mistaken, or I heard voices of people in want of help. O,
 Tony, is that you? I did not expect you so soon back. Are your mother
 and her charge in safety?

 TONY. Very safe, sir, at my aunt Pedigree's. Hem!

 MRS. HARD. (_From behind._). Ah, death! I find there's danger.

 HARD. Forty miles in three hours; sure that's too much, my youngster.

 TONY. Stout horses and willing minds make short journeys, as they say.
 Hem!

 MRS. HARD. (_From behind._) Sure he'll do the dear boy no harm.

 HARD. But I heard a voice here; I should be glad to know from whence it
 came.

 TONY. It was I, sir; talking to myself, sir. I was saying, that forty
 miles in three hours, was very good going—hem! As, to be sure, it
 was—hem! I have got a sort of cold by being out in the air. We'll go
 in, if you please—hem!

 HARD. But if you talked to yourself, you did not answer yourself. I am
 certain I heard two voices, and am resolved (_Raising his voice_) to
 find the other out.

 MRS. HARD. (_From behind._) Oh! he's coming to find me out. Oh!

 TONY. What need you go, sir, if I tell you—hem! I'll lay down my life
 for the truth—hem! I'll tell you all, sir.

 _Detaining him._

 HARD. I tell you, I will not be detained. I insist on seeing. It's in
 vain to expect I'll believe you.

 MRS. HARD. (_Running forward from behind._) O lud, he'll murder my poor
 boy, my darling. Here, good gentleman, whet your rage upon me. Take my
 money, my life; but spare that young gentleman, spare my child, if you
 have any mercy.

 HARD. My wife! as I'm a Christian. From whence can she come, or what
 does she mean?

 MRS. HARD. (_Kneeling._) Take compassion on us, good Mr. Highwayman.
 Take our money, our watches, all we have; but spare our lives. We will
 never bring you to justice; indeed we won't, good Mr. Highwayman.

 HARD. I believe the woman's out of her senses. What, Dorothy, don't you
 know _me_?

 MRS. HARD. Mr. Hardcastle, as I'm alive! My fears blinded me. But who,
 my dear, could have expected to meet you here, in this frightful place,
 so far from home? What has brought you to follow us?

 HARD. Sure, Dorothy, you have not lost your wits? So far from home,
 when you are within forty yards of your own door? (_To him._) This is
 one of your old tricks, you graceless rogue you. (_To her._) Don't you
 know the gate, and the mulberry-tree? and don't you remember the
 horse-pond, my dear?

 MRS. HARD. Yes, I shall remember the horse-pond as long as I live: I
 have caught my death in it. (_To_ TONY.) And is it to you, you
 graceless varlet, I owe all this? I'll teach you to abuse your mother,
 I will.

 TONY. Ecod, mother, all the parish says you have spoiled me, and so you
 may take the fruits on't.

 MRS. HARD. I'll spoil you, I will.

 _Follows him off the stage._ _Exit._

 HARD. There's morality, however, in his reply.

                                 _Exit._

 _Enter_ HASTINGS _and_ MISS NEVILLE.

 HAST. My dear Constance, why will you deliberate thus? If we delay a
 moment, all is lost for ever. Pluck up a little resolution, and we
 shall soon be out of the reach of her malignity.

 MISS NEV. I find it impossible. My spirits are so sunk with the
 agitations I have suffered, that I am unable to face any new danger.
 Two or three years' patience will at last crown us with happiness.

 HAST. Such a tedious delay is worse than inconstancy. Let us fly, my
 charmer. Let us date our happiness from this very moment. Perish
 fortune. Love and content will increase what we possess, beyond a
 monarch's revenue. Let me prevail.

 MISS NEV. No, Mr. Hastings; no. Prudence once more comes to my relief,
 and I will obey its dictates. In the moment of passion, fortune may be
 despised; but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I am resolved to
 apply to Mr. Hardcastle's compassion and justice for redress.

 HAST. But though he had the will, he has not the power, to relieve you.

 MISS NEV. But he has influence, and upon that I am resolved to rely.

 HAST. I have no hopes. But since you persist, I must reluctantly obey
 you.

                                _Exeunt._

 _Scene changes._

 _Enter_ SIR CHARLES _and_ MISS HARDCASTLE.

 SIR CHARLES. What a situation am I in! If what you say appears, I shall
 then find a guilty son. If what he says be true, I shall then lose one
 that, of all others, I most wished for a daughter.

 MISS HARD. I am proud of your approbation, and to show I merit it, if
 you place yourselves as I directed, you shall hear his explicit
 declaration. But he comes.

 SIR CHARLES. I'll to your father, and keep him to the appointment.

                           _Exit_ SIR CHARLES.

 _Enter_ MARLOW.

 MARL. Though prepared for setting out, I come once more to take leave;
 nor did I, till this moment, know the pain I feel in the separation.

 MISS HARD. (_In her own natural manner._) I believe these sufferings
 cannot be very great, sir, which you can so easily remove. A day or two
 longer, perhaps, might lessen your uneasiness, by showing the little
 value of what you now think proper to regret.

 MARL. (_Aside._) This girl every moment improves upon me. (_To her._)
 It must not be, madam. I have already trifled too long with my heart.
 My very pride begins to submit to my passion. The disparity of
 education and fortune, the anger of a parent, and the contempt of my
 equals, begin to lose their weight, and nothing can restore me to
 myself, but this painful effort of resolution.

 MISS HARD. Then go, sir. I'll urge nothing more to detain you. Though
 my family be as good as hers you came down to visit; and my education,
 I hope, not inferior, what are these advantages, without equal
 affluence? I must remain contented with the slight approbation of
 imputed merit; I must have only the mockery of your addresses, while
 all your serious aims are fixed on fortune.

 _Enter_ HARDCASTLE _and_ SIR CHARLES, _from behind_.

 SIR CHARLES. Here, behind this screen.

 HARD. Ay, ay, make no noise. I'll engage my Kate covers him with
 confusion at last.

 MARL. By heavens, madam, fortune was ever my smallest consideration.
 Your beauty at first caught my eye; for who could see that without
 emotion? But every moment that I converse with you, steals in some new
 grace, heightens the picture, and gives it stronger expression. What at
 first seemed rustic plainness, now appears refined simplicity. What
 seemed forward assurance, now strikes me as the result of courageous
 innocence and conscious virtue.

 SIR CHARLES. What can it mean? He amazes me!

 HARD. I told you how it would be. Hush!

 MARL. I am now determined to stay, madam; and I have too good an
 opinion of my father's discernment, when he sees you, to doubt his
 approbation.

 MISS HARD. No, Mr. Marlow, I will not, cannot detain you. Do you think
 I could suffer a connexion in which there is the smallest room for
 repentance? Do you think I would take the mean advantage of a transient
 passion, to load you with confusion? Do you think I could ever relish
 that happiness which was acquired by lessening yours?

 MARL. By all that's good, I can have no happiness but what's in your
 power to grant me. Nor shall I ever feel repentance, but in not having
 seen your merits before. I will stay, even contrary to your wishes; and
 though you should persist to shun me, I will make my respectful
 assiduities atone for the levity of my past conduct.

 MISS HARD. Sir, I must entreat you'll desist. As our acquaintance
 began, so let it end, in indifference. I might have given an hour or
 two to levity; but seriously, Mr. Marlow, do you think I could ever
 submit to a connexion where _I_ must appear mercenary, and _you_
 imprudent? Do you think I could ever catch at the confident addresses
 of a secure admirer?

 MARL. (_Kneeling._) Does this look like security? Does this look like
 confidence? No, madam; every moment that shows me your merit, only
 serves to increase my diffidence and confusion. Here let me continue—

 SIR CHARLES. I can hold it no longer. Charles, Charles, how hast thou
 deceived me! Is this your indifference, your uninteresting
 conversation?

 HARD. Your cold contempt; your formal interview? What have you to say
 now?

[Illustration:

  MARLOW.—"_Does this look like security?_"—_p._ 374.
]


 MARL. That I'm all amazement! What can it mean?

 HARD. It means, that you can say and unsay things at pleasure. That you
 can address a lady in private, and deny it in public; that you have one
 story for us, and another for my daughter.

 MARL. Daughter!—this lady your daughter!

 HARD. Yes, sir, my only daughter. My Kate, whose else should she be?

 MARL. Oh, the devil!

 MISS HARD. Yes, sir, that very identical tall, squinting lady you were
 pleased to take me for. (_Curtseying._) She that you addressed as the
 mild, modest, sentimental man of gravity, and the bold, forward,
 agreeable rattle of the ladies' club; ha, ha, ha!

 MARL. Zounds, there's no bearing this; it's worse than death.

 MISS HARD. In which of your characters, sir, will you give us leave to
 address you? As the faltering gentleman, with looks on the ground, that
 speaks just to be heard, and hates hypocrisy; or the loud confident
 creature, that keeps it up with Mrs. Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy
 Buckskin, till three in the morning? ha, ha, ha!

 MARL. O, curse on my noisy head! I never attempted to be impudent yet,
 that I was not taken down. I must be gone.

 HARD. By the hand of my body, but you shall not. I see it was all a
 mistake, and I am rejoiced to find it. You shall not, sir, I tell you.
 I know she'll forgive you. Won't you forgive him, Kate? We'll all
 forgive you. Take courage, man.

 _They retire, she tormenting him to the back scene._

 _Enter_ MRS. HARDCASTLE. TONY.

 MRS. HARD. So, so, they're gone off. Let them go, I care not.

 HARD. Who gone?

 MRS. HARD. My dutiful niece and her gentleman, Mr. Hastings, from town.
 He who came down with our modest visitor here.

 SIR CHARLES. Who, my honest George Hastings? As worthy a fellow as
 lives; and the girl could not have made a more prudent choice.

 HARD. Then, by the hand of my body, I'm proud of the connexion.

 MRS. HARD. Well, if he has taken away the lady, he has not taken her
 fortune; that remains in this family to console us for her loss.

 HARD. Sure, Dorothy, you would not be so mercenary.

 MRS. HARD. Ay, that's my affair, not yours. But you know, if your son,
 when of age, refuses to marry his cousin, her whole fortune is then at
 her own disposal.

 HARD. Ay, but he's not of age, and she has not thought proper to wait
 for his refusal.

 _Enter_ HASTINGS _and_ MISS NEVILLE.

 MRS. HARD. (_Aside._) What, returned so soon? I begin not to like it.

 HAST. (_To_ HARDCASTLE.) For my late attempt to fly off with your
 niece, let my present confusion be my punishment. We are now come back,
 to appeal from your justice to your humanity. By her father's consent,
 I first paid her my addresses, and our passions were first founded on
 duty.

 MISS NEV. Since his death, I have been obliged to stoop to
 dissimulation to avoid oppression. In an hour of levity, I was ready
 even to give up my fortune to secure my choice. But I am now recovered
 from the delusion, and hope, from your tenderness, what is denied me
 from a nearer connexion.

 MRS. HARD. Pshaw, pshaw! this is all but the whining end of a modern
 novel.

 HARD. Be it what it will, I'm glad they are come back to reclaim their
 due. Come hither, Tony, boy. Do you refuse this lady's hand whom I now
 offer you?

 TONY. What signifies my refusing? You know I can't refuse her till I'm
 of age, father.

 HARD. While I thought concealing your age, boy, was likely to conduce
 to your improvement, I concurred with your mother's desire, to keep it
 secret. But since I find she turns it to a wrong use, I must now
 declare, you have been of age these three months.

 TONY. Of age! Am I of age, father?

 HARD. Above three months.

 TONY. Then you'll see the first use I'll make of my liberty. (_Taking_
 MISS NEVILLE'S _hand_.) Witness all men by these presents, that I,
 Anthony Lumpkin, Esquire, of _blank_ place, refuse you, Constantia
 Neville, spinster, of no place at all, for my true and lawful wife. So
 Constantia Neville may marry whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin is his
 own man again.

 SIR CHARLES. O brave 'squire!

 HAST. My worthy friend!

 MRS. HARD. My undutiful offspring!

 MARL. Joy, my dear George; I give you joy sincerely. And could I
 prevail upon my little tyrant here, to be less arbitrary, I should be
 the happiest man alive, if you would return me the favour.

 HAST. (_To_ MISS HARDCASTLE.) Come, madam, you are now driven to the
 very last scene of all your contrivances. I know you like him, I'm sure
 he loves you, and you must and shall have him.

 HARD. (_Joining their hands._) And I say so too. And, Mr. Marlow, if
 she makes as good a wife as she has a daughter, I don't believe you'll
 ever repent your bargain. So now to supper. To-morrow we shall gather
 all the poor of the parish about us; and the mistakes of the night
 shall be crowned with a merry morning. So, boy, take her; and as you
 have been mistaken in the mistress, my wish is, that you may never be
 mistaken in the wife.

 EPILOGUE,

 BY DR. GOLDSMITH.


 SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY,

 Well, having stoop'd to conquer with success,
 And gain'd a husband without aid from dress,
 Still, as a bar-maid, I could wish it too,
 As I have conquer'd him to conquer you:
 And let me say, for all your resolution,
 That pretty bar-maids have done execution.
 Our life is all a play, composed to please:
 "We have our exits and our entrances."
 The first act shows the simple country maid,
 Harmless and young, of everything afraid;
 Blushes when hired, and, with unmeaning action,
 "I hopes as how to give you satisfaction."
 Her second act displays a livelier scene,—
 The unblushing bar-maid of a country inn,
 Who whisks about the house, at market caters,
 Talks loud, coquets the guests, and scolds the waiters.
 Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars,
 The chop-house toast of ogling _connoisseurs_:
 On 'squires and cuts she there displays her arts,
 And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts;
 And, as she smiles, her triumphs to complete,
 E'en common-councilmen forget to eat.
 The fourth act shows her wedded to the 'squire,
 And madam now begins to hold it higher;
 Pretends to taste, at operas cries _caro!_
 And quits her Nancy Dawson for Che Faro:
 Doats upon dancing, and, in all her pride,
 Swims round the room, the Heinelle of Cheapside:
 Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
 Till, having lost in age the power to kill,
 She sits all night at cards, and ogles at spadille.
 Such through our lives the eventful history—
 The fifth and last act still remains for me:
 The bar-maid now for your protection prays,
 Turns female barrister, and pleads for bays.

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 Variations in hyphenation have been retained as they were in the
 original publication.

 Italicized words and phrases are presented by surrounding the text with
 _underscores_.





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