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Title: Tales and Novels — Volume 02
 - Popular Tales
Author: Edgeworth, Maria
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales and Novels — Volume 02
 - Popular Tales" ***

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By Maria Edgeworth



Some author says, that a good book needs no apology; and, as a preface
is usually an apology, a book enters into the world with a better grace
without one. I, however, appeal to those readers who are not gluttons,
but epicures, in literature, whether they do not wish to see the bill of
fare? I appeal to monthly critics, whether a preface that gives a view
of the pretensions of the writer is not a good thing? The author may
overvalue his subject, and very naturally may overrate the manner in
which it is treated; but still he will explain his views, and facilitate
the useful and necessary art which the French call _reading with the
thumb_. We call this _hunting a book_, a term certainly invented by a
sportsman. I leave the reader to choose which he pleases, whilst I lay
before him the contents and design of these volumes.

Burke supposes that there are eighty thousand readers in Great Britain,
nearly one hundredth part of its inhabitants! Out of these we may
calculate that ten thousand are nobility, clergy, or gentlemen of the
learned professions. Of seventy thousand readers which remain, there
are many who might be amused and instructed by books which were not
professedly adapted to the classes that have been enumerated. With this
view the following volumes{1} have been composed. The title of POPULAR
TALES has been chosen, not as a presumptuous and premature claim to
popularity, but from the wish that they may be current beyond circles
which are sometimes exclusively considered as polite.

The art of printing has opened to all classes of people various new
channels of entertainment and information.--Amongst the ancients, wisdom
required austere manners and a length of beard to command attention;
but in our days, instruction, in the dress of innocent amusement, is
not denied admittance amongst the wise and good of all ranks. It is
therefore hoped that a succession of stories, adapted to different
ages, sexes, and situations in life, will not be rejected by the public,
unless they offend against morality, tire by their sameness, or disgust
by their imitation of other writers.


{Footnote 1: This Work was originally published in three volumes.}

  LAME JERVAS                       1
  THE WILL                          55
  THE LIMERICK GLOVES               101
  THE LOTTERY                       161
  ROSANNA                           195
  MURAD THE UNLUCKY                 245
  THE MANUFACTURERS                 281
  THE CONTRAST                      317
  THE GRATEFUL NEGRO                399
  TO-MORROW                         421



Some years ago, a lad of the name of William Jervas, or, as he was
called from his lameness, Lame Jervas, whose business it was to tend the
horses in one of the Cornwall tin-mines, was missing. He was left one
night in a little hut, at one end of the mine, where he always slept;
but in the morning, he could no where be found; and this his sudden
disappearance gave rise to a number of strange and ridiculous stories
among the miners. The most rational, however, concluded that the lad,
tired of his situation, had made his escape during the night. It was
certainly rather surprising that he could no where be traced; but after
the neighbours had wondered and talked for some time about it, the
circumstance was by degrees forgotten. The name of William Jervas was
scarcely remembered by any, except two or three of the oldest miners,
when, twenty years afterward, there came a party of gentlemen and ladies
to see the mines! and, as the guide was showing the curiosities of the
place, one among the company, a gentleman of about six-and-thirty years
of age, pointed to some letters that were carved on the rock, and asked,
“Whose name was written there?” “Only the name of one William Jervas,”
 answered the guide; “a poor lad, who ran away from the mines a great
long while ago.” “Are you sure that he ran away?” said the gentleman.
“Yes,” answered the guide, “sure and certain I am of that.” “Not at
all sure and certain of any such thing,” cried one of the oldest of the
miners, who interrupted the guide, and then related all that he knew,
all that he had heard, and all that he imagined and believed concerning
the sudden disappearance of Jervas; concluding by positively assuring
the stranger that the ghost of the said Jervas was often seen to walk,
slowly, in the long west gallery of the mine, with a blue taper in his
hand.--“I will take my Bible oath,” added the man, “that about a month
after he was missing, I saw the ghost just as the clock struck twelve,
walking slowly, with the light in one hand, and a chain dragging after
him in t’other; and he was coming straight towards me, and I ran away
into the stables to the horses; and from that time forth I’ve taken
special good care never to go late in the evening to that there gallery,
or near it: for I never was so frightened, above or under ground, in all
my born days.”

The stranger, upon hearing this story, burst into a loud fit of
laughter; and, on recovering himself, he desired the ghost-seer to look
stedfastly in his face, and to tell whether he bore any resemblance to
the ghost that walked with the blue taper in the west gallery. The miner
stared for some minutes, and answered, “No; he that walks in the gallery
is clear another guess sort of a person; in a white jacket, a leather
apron, and ragged cap, like what Jervas used to wear in his lifetime;
and, moreover, he limps in his gait, as Lame Jervas always did, I
remember well.” The gentleman walked on, and the miners observed, what
had before escaped their notice, that he limped a little; and, when
he came again to the light, the guide, after considering him very
attentively, said, “If I was not afraid of affronting the like of a
gentleman such as your honour, I should make bold for to say that you be
very much--only a deal darker complexioned--you be very much of the same
sort of person as our Lame Jervas used for to be.” “Not at all like our
Lame Jervas,” cried the old miner, who professed to have seen the ghost;
“no more like to him than _Black Jack to Blue John._” The by-standers
laughed at this comparison; and the guide, provoked at being laughed at,
sturdily maintained that not a man that wore a head in Cornwall should
laugh him out of his senses. Each party now growing violent in support
of his opinion, from words they were just coming to blows, when the
stranger at once put an end to the dispute, by declaring that he was the
very man. “Jervas!” exclaimed they all at once, “Jervas alive!--our Lame
Jervas turned gentleman!”

The miners could scarcely believe their eyes, or their ears, especially
when, upon following him out of the mine, they saw him get into a
handsome coach, and drive toward the mansion of one of the principal
gentlemen of the neighbourhood, who was a proprietor of the mine.

The next day, all the head miners were invited to dine in tents, pitched
in a field near this gentleman’s house. It was fine weather, and harvest
time; the guests assembled, and in the tents found abundance of good
cheer provided for them.

After dinner, Mr. R----, the master of the house, appeared, accompanied
by Lame Jervas, dressed in his miner’s old jacket and cap. Even the
ghost-seer acknowledged that he now looked wonderful like himself. Mr.
R----, the master of the house, filled a glass, and drank--“Welcome
home to our friend, Mr. Jervas; and may good faith always meet with good
fortune.” The toast went round, each drank, and repeated, “Welcome home
to our friend Mr. Jervas; and may good faith always meet good fortune.”
 Indeed, what was meant by the good faith, or the good fortune, none
could guess; and many in whispers, and some aloud, made bold to ask for
an explanation of the toast.

Mr. Jervas, on whom all eyes were fixed, after thanking the company for
their _welcome home_, took his seat at the table; and in compliance with
Mr. R----‘s request, and the wishes of all present, related to them his
story nearly in the following manner:

“Where I was born, or who were my parents, I do not well know myself;
nor can I recollect who was my nurse, or whether I was ever nursed at
all: but, luckily, these circumstances are not of much importance to the
world. The first thing which I can distinctly remember is the being set,
along with a number of children of my own age, to pick and wash loose
ore of tin mixed with the earth, which in those days we used to call
_shoad_, or _squad_--I don’t know what you call it now.”

“We call it _squad_ to this day, master,” interrupted one of the miners.

“I might be at this time, I suppose,” continued the gentleman, “about
five or six years old; and from that time till I was thirteen I worked
in the mine where we were yesterday. From the bottom of my heart I
rejoice that the times are bettered for youngsters since then; for I
know I had a hard life of it.

“My good master, here, never knew any thing of the matter but I was
cruelly used by those under him. First, the old woman--Betty Morgan, I
think, was her name--who set us our tasks of picking and washing the
_squad_, was as cross as the rheumatism could make her. She never picked
an ounce herself, but made us do her heap for her among us; and I being
the youngest, it was shoved down to me. Often and often my day’s wages
were kept back, not having done this woman’s task; and I did not dare
to tell my master the truth, lest she should beat me. But, God rest
her soul! she was an angel of light in comparison with the _trap-door
keeper_, who was my next tyrant.

“It was our business to open and shut certain doors, that were placed
in the mine for letting in air to the different galleries: but my young
tyrant left them every one to me to take care of; and I was made to run
to and fro, till I had scarcely breath in my body, while every miner in
turn was swearing at me for the idlest little fellow upon the surface of
the earth; though the surface of the earth, alas! was a place on which I
had never yet, to my knowledge, set my foot.

“In my own defence, I made all the excuses I could think of; and, from
excuses, I went on to all kinds of deceit: for tyranny and injustice
always produce cunning and falsehood.

“One day, having shut all the doors on my side of the mine, I left three
open on my companion’s side. The men, I thought, would not go to work on
that side of the mine for a day or two: but in this I was mistaken; and
about noon I was alarmed by the report of a man having been killed in
one of the galleries for want of fresh air.

“The door-keepers were summoned before the overseer; or, as you call
him, the viewer. I was the youngest, and the blame was all laid upon
me. The man, who had only swooned, recovered; but I was thrashed and
thrashed for the neglect of another person, till the viewer was tired.

“A weary life I led afterwards with my friend the door-keeper, who was
enraged against me for having told the truth.

“In process of time, as I grew stronger and bigger, I was set to other
work. First, I was employed at the barrow; and then a pick-axe and a
_gad_{Footnote: A gad is a tool used in mines; it resembles a smith’s
punch.} were put into my hands; and I thought myself a great man.--It
was my fate to fall among the idlest set in the mine. I observed that
those men who worked by task, and who had the _luck_ to hit upon easy
beds of the rock, were not obliged to work more than three or four hours
a day: they got high wages with little labour; and they spent their
money jollily above-ground in the ale-houses, as I heard. I did not know
that these jolly fellows often left their wives and families starving
while they were getting drunk.

“I longed for the time when I should be a man, and do as I saw others
do. I longed for the days when I should be able to drink and be idle;
and, in the mean time, I set all my wits to work to baffle and overreach
the viewer.

“I was now about fourteen, and, had I grown up with these notions and
habits, I must have spent my life in wretchedness, and I should probably
have ended my days in a workhouse; but fortunately for me, an accident
happened, which made as great a change in my mind as in my body.

“One of my companions bribed me, with a strong dram, to go down into
a hole in the mine to search for his _gad_; which he, being half
intoxicated, had dropped. My head could not stand the strength of
the dram which he made me swallow to give me courage: and being quite
insensible to the danger, I took a leap down a precipice which I should
have shuddered to look at, if I had not lost my recollection.

“I soon came to my senses, for I broke my leg; and it is wonderful I did
not break my neck by my fall. I was drawn up by cords, and was carried
to a hut in the mine, near the stables, where I lay in great pain.

“My master was in the mine at the time the accident happened; and,
hearing where I was, he had the goodness to come directly to me himself,
to let me know that he had sent for a surgeon.

“The surgeon, who lived in the neighbourhood, was not at home; but there
was then upon a visit at my master’s a Mr. Y----, an old gentleman who
had been a surgeon; and, though he had for many years left off practice,
he no sooner heard of the accident that had happened to me than he had
the goodness to come down into the mine, to set my leg.

“After the operation was over, my master returned to tell me that I
should want for nothing. Never shall I forget the humanity with which
he treated me. I do not remember that I had ever heard him speak to
me before this time; but now his voice and manner were so full of
compassion and kindness, that I looked up to him as to a new sort of

“His goodness wakened and warmed me to a sense of gratitude--the first
virtuous emotion I was conscious of having ever felt.

“I was attended with the greatest care, during my illness, by the
benevolent surgeon, Mr. Y----. The circumstance of my having been
intoxicated, when I took the leap, had been concealed by the man who
gave me the dram; who declared that I had fallen by accident, as I was
looking down the hole for a _gad_ that I had dropped. I did not join
in this falsehood: for, the moment my master spoke to me with so much
goodness about my mishap, my heart opened to him, and I told him just
how the thing happened.

“Mr. Y---- also heard the truth from me, and I had no reason to repent
having told it, for this gave him, as he said, hopes that I might turn
out well, and was the cause of his taking some pains to instruct me. He
observed to me, that it was a pity a lad like me should so early in
my days take to dram-drinking; and he explained the consequences of
intemperance, of which I had never before heard or thought.

“While I was confined to my bed, I had leisure for many reflections. The
drunken and brutal among the miners, with whom I formerly associated,
never came near me in my illness; but the better sort used to come and
see me often, and I began to take a liking to their ways, and to wish to
imitate them.

“As they stood talking over their own affairs in my hut, I learned how
they laid out their time and their money; and I now began to desire to
have, as they had, a little garden, and property of my own, for which I
knew I must work hard. So I rose from my bed with very different views
from those which I had when I was laid down upon it; and from this
time forward I kept company with the sober and industrious as much as
I could. I saw things with different eyes: formerly I used, like my
companions, to be ready enough to take any advantage that lay in my
way of my employer; but my gratitude to him who had befriended me in my
helpless state wrought such a change in me, that I now took part with
my master on all occasions, and could not bear to see him wronged--so
gratitude first made me honest.

“My master would not let the viewer turn me out of the work, as
he wanted to do, because I was lame and weak, and not able to do
much.--‘Let him have the care of my horses in the stable,’ said my
master: ‘he can do something. I don’t want to make money of poor _Lame
Jervas_. So, as long as he is willing to work, he shall not be turned
out to starve.’--These were his very words; and when I heard them I said
in my heart, ‘God bless him!’ And, from that time forth, I could, as I
thought, have fought with the stoutest man in the mine that said a word
to his disparagement.

“Perhaps my feeling of attachment to him was the stronger, because he
was, I may say, the first person then in the world who had ever shown me
any tenderness, and the only one from whom I felt sure of meeting with

“About this time, as I was busied in the stable, unperceived by them, I
saw through a window a party of the miners, amongst whom were several of
my old associates, at work opposite to me. Suddenly, one of them gave
a shout--then all was hushed--they threw down their tools, huddled
together, and I judged by the keenness of their looks that they knew
they had made some valuable discovery. I further observed, that, instead
of beginning to work the vein, they covered it up immediately with
rubbish, and defaced the _country_ with their pick-axes; so that, to
look at, no one could have suspected there was any _load_ to be found
near. I also saw them secrete a lump of spar, in which they had reason
to guess there were Cornish diamonds, as they call them, and they
carefully hid the bits of _kellus_{Footnote: 2 _Kellus_ is the miner’s
name for a substance like a white soft stone, which lies above the floor
or spar, near to a vein.}, which they had picked out, lest the viewer
should notice them and suspect the truth.

“From all this, the whispering that went on, and the pains they took
to chase or entice the overseer away from this spot, I conjectured they
meant to keep their discovery a secret, that they might turn it to their
own advantage.

“There was a passage out of the mine, known only to themselves, as they
thought, through which they intended to convey all the newly-found ore.
This passage, I should observe, led through an old gallery in the mine,
along the side of the mountain, immediately up to the surface of the
earth; so that you could by this way come in and out of the mine without
the assistance of the _gin_, by which people and ore are usually let
down or drawn up.

“I made myself sure of my facts by searching this passage, in which I
found plenty of their purloined treasure. I then went up to one of
the party, whose name was Clarke, and, drawing him aside, ventured to
expostulate with him. Clarke cursed me for a spy, and then knocked me
down, and returned to tell his associates what I had been saying, and
how he had served me. They one and all swore that they would be revenged
upon me, if I gave the least hint of what I had seen to our master.

“From this time they watched me, whenever he came down amongst us, lest
I should have an opportunity of speaking to him; and they never, on any
account, would suffer me to go out of the mine. Under pretence that the
horses must be looked after, and that no one tended them so well as I
did, they contrived to keep me prisoner night and day; hinting to me
pretty plainly, that if I ever again complained of being thus _shut up_,
I should not long be buried _alive_.

“Whether they would have gone the lengths they threatened I know not:
perhaps they threw out these hints only with a design to intimidate me,
and so to preserve their secret. I confess I was alarmed; but there
was something in the thought of showing my good master how much I was
attached to his interests, that continually prevailed over my fears; and
my spirits rose with the reflection that I, a poor insignificant lad; I,
that was often the scoff and laughing-stock of the miners; I, that went
by the name of _Lame Jervas_; I, who they thought could be bullied
to any thing by their threats, might do a nobler action than any man
amongst them would have the courage to do in my place. Then the kindness
of my master, and the words he said about me to the viewer, came into my
memory; and I was so worked up, that I resolved, let the consequence be
what it might, I would, living or dying, be faithful to my benefactor.

“I now waited anxiously for an opportunity to speak to him; and if I did
but hear the sound of his voice at a distance, my heart beat violently.
‘You little know,’ thought I, ‘that there is one here whom perhaps you
quite forget, who is ready to hazard his life to do you a service.’

“One day, as he was coming near the place where I was at work, rubbing
down a horse, he took notice that I fixed my eyes very earnestly upon
him; and he came closer to me, saying, ‘I am glad to see you better,
Jervas:--do you want any thing?’ ‘I want for nothing, thank you,
sir,--but,’--and as I said _but_, I looked round, to see who was near.
Instantly Clarke, one of the gang, who had his eyes upon us, called me,
and despatched me, on some errand, to a distant part of the mine. As I
was coming back, however, it was my good fortune to meet my master by
himself in one of the galleries. I told him my secret and my fears.
He answered me only with a nod, and these words, ‘Thank you--trust to
me--make haste back to those that sent you.’

“I did so; but I fancy there was something unusual in my manner or
countenance which gave alarm; for, at the close of the day, I saw Clarke
and the gang whispering together; and I observed that they refrained
from going to their secret treasure the whole of the day. I was in great
fear that they suspected me, and that they would take immediate and
perhaps bloody revenge.

“These fears increased when I found myself left alone in my hut at
night; and, as I lay quite still, but broad awake in my bed, I listened
to every sound, and once or twice started up on hearing some noise near
me; but it was only the horses moving in the stable, which was close to
my hut. I lay down again, laughing at my own fears, and endeavoured to
compose myself to sleep, reflecting that I had never, in my life, more
reason to sleep with a safe conscience.

“I then turned round, and fell into a sweet sound sleep; but from this
I was suddenly roused by a noise at the door of my hut. ‘It is only the
horses again,’ thought I; but, opening my eyes, I saw a light under
the door. I rubbed my eyes, hoping I had been in a dream: the light
disappeared, and I thought it was my fancy. As I kept my eyes, however,
turned towards the door, I saw the light again through the key-hole, and
the latch was pulled up; the door was then softly pushed inwards, and I
saw on the wall the large shadow of a man with a pistol in his hand. My
heart sunk within me, and I gave myself up for lost. The man came in: he
was muffled up in a thick coat, his hat was slouched, and a lantern in
his hand. Which of the gang it was I did not know, but I took it for
granted that it was one of them come with intent to murder me. Terror at
this instant left me; and starting upright in my bed, I exclaimed--‘I’m
ready to die! I die in a good cause! Give me five minutes to say my
prayers!’ and I fell upon my knees. The man standing silent beside the
bed, with one hand upon me, as if afraid I should escape from him.

“When I had finished my short prayer, I looked up towards my murderer,
expecting the stroke: but, what was my surprise and joy, when, as he
held the lantern up to his face, I beheld--the countenance of my master,
smiling upon me with the most encouraging benevolence. ‘Awake, Jervas,’
said he, ‘and try if you can find out the difference between a friend
and an enemy. Put on your clothes as fast as you can, and show me the
way to this new vein.’

“No one ever was sooner dressed than I was. I led the way to the spot,
which was covered up with rubbish, so that I was some time clearing out
an opening, my master assisting me all the while: for, as he said, he
was impatient to get me out of the mine safe, as he did not think my
apprehensions wholly without foundation. The light of our lantern was
scarcely sufficient for our purpose; but, when we came to the vein, my
master saw enough to be certain that I was in the right. We covered up
the place as before, and he noted the situation, so that he could be
sure to find it again. Then I showed him the way to the secret passage;
but this passage he knew already, for by it he had descended into the
mine this night.

“As we passed along, I pointed out the heaps of ore which lay ready to
be carried off. ‘It is enough, Jervas,’ said he, clapping his hand upon
my shoulder; ‘you have given me proof sufficient of your fidelity. Since
you were so ready to die in a good cause, and that cause mine, it is
my business to take care you shall live by it: so follow me out of this
place directly; and I will take good care of you, my honest lad.’

“I followed him with quick steps, and a joyful heart: he took me home
with him to his own house, where he said I might sleep for the rest of
the night secure from all fear of murderers: and so, showing me into
a small closet within his own bedchamber, he wished me a good night;
desiring me, if I waked early, not to open the window-shutters of my
room, nor go to the window, lest some of his people should see me.

“I lay down, for the first time in my life, upon a feather-bed; but,
whether it was from the unusual feeling of the soft bed, or from the
hurry of mind in which I had been kept, and the sudden change of my
circumstances, I could not sleep a wink all the remainder of the night.

“Before daybreak, my master came into my room, and bid me rise, put
on the clothes which he brought me, and follow him without making any
noise. I followed him out of the house before any body else was awake;
and he took me across the fields towards the high road. At this place
we waited till we heard the tinkling of the bells of a team of horses.
‘Here comes the waggon,’ said he, ‘in which you are to go. I have taken
every possible precaution to prevent any of the miners or people in the
neighbourhood from tracing you; and you will be in safety at Exeter,
with my friend Mr. Y----; to whom I am going to send you. Take this,’
continued he, putting a letter directed to Mr. Y---- into my hand; ‘and
here are five guineas for you. I shall desire Mr. Y---- to pay you an
annuity of ten guineas out of the profits of the new vein, provided it
turns out well, and you do not turn out ill. So fare you well, Jervas.
I shall hear how you go on; and I only hope you will serve your next
master, whoever he may be, as faithfully as you have served me.’

“‘I shall never find so good a master,’ was all I could say for the soul
of me; for I was quite overcome by his goodness and by sorrow at parting
with him, as I then thought, for ever.”


“The morning clouds began to clear away; I could see my master at some
distance, and I kept looking after him, as the waggon went on slowly,
and as he walked fast away over the fields; but, when I had lost sight
of him, my thoughts were forcibly turned to other things. I seemed to
awake to quite a new scene, and new feelings. Buried underground in
a mine, as I had been from my infancy, the face of nature was totally
unknown to me.

“‘We shall have a brave fine day of it, I hope and trust,’ said the
waggoner, pointing with his long whip to the rising sun.

“He went on whistling, whilst I, to whom the rising sun was a spectacle
wholly surprising, started up in astonishment! I know not what
exclamations I uttered, as I gazed upon it; but I remember the waggoner
burst out into a loud laugh. ‘_Lud a marcy_,’ said he, holding his
sides, ‘to hear _un_, and look at _un_, a body would think the oaf had
never seen the sun rise afore in all his born days!’

“Upon this hint, which was nearer the truth than he imagined,
recollecting that we were still in Cornwall, and not out of the reach of
my enemies, I drew myself back into the waggon, lest any of the miners,
passing the road to their morning’s work, might chance to spy me out.

“It was well for me that I took this precaution; for we had not gone
much farther when we met a party of the miners; and, as I sat wedged up
in a corner behind a heap of parcels, I heard the voice of Clarke, who
asked the waggoner as he passed us, ‘What o’clock it might be?’ I kept
myself quite snug till he was out of sight; nay, long afterwards, I was
content to sit within the waggon, rather than venture out; and I
amused myself with listening to the bells of the team, which jingled

“On our second day’s journey, however, I ventured out of my
hiding-place; I walked with the waggoner up and down the hills, enjoying
the fresh air, the singing of the birds, and the delightful smell of the
honey-suckles and the dog-roses in the hedges. All these wild flowers,
and even the weeds on the banks by the way-side, were to me matters
of wonder and admiration. At every step, almost, I paused to observe
something that was new to me; and I could not help feeling surprised
at the insensibility of my fellow-traveller, who plodded on, seldom
interrupting his whistling, except to cry, ‘Gee, Blackbird, aw, woa;’
or, ‘How now, Smiler;’ and certain other words or sounds of menace
and encouragement, addressed to his horses in a language which seemed
intelligible to them and to him, though utterly incomprehensible to me.

“Once, as I was in admiration of a plant, whose stem was about two feet
high, and which had a round, shining, pale purple, beautiful flower, the
waggoner, with a look of extreme scorn, exclaimed, ‘Help thee, lad, does
not thee know ‘tis a common thistle? Didst thee not know that a thistle
would prick thee?’ continued he, laughing at the face I made when I
touched the prickly leaves; ‘why my horse Dobbin has more sense by half!
he is not like an ass hunting for thistles.’

“After this, the waggoner seemed to look upon me as very nearly an
idiot. Just as we were going into the town of Plymouth, he eyed me from
head to foot, and muttered, ‘The lad’s beside himself, sure enough.’
In truth, I believe I was a droll figure; for my hat was stuck full of
weeds, and of all sorts of wild flowers; and both my coat and waistcoat
pockets were stuffed out with pebbles and funguses.

“Such an effect, however, had the waggoner’s contemptuous look upon me,
that I pulled the weeds out of my hat, and threw down all my treasure of
pebbles before we entered the town. Nay, so much was I overawed, and in
such dread was I of passing for an idiot, that when we came within view
of the sea, in the fine harbour of Plymouth, I did not utter a single
exclamation; although I was struck prodigiously at this, my first sight
of the ocean, as much almost as I had been at the spectacle of the
rising sun. I just ventured, however, to ask my companion some questions
about the vessels which I beheld sailing on the sea, and the shipping
with which the bay was filled. But he answered coldly, ‘They be nothing
in life but the boats and ships, man: them that see them for the first
time are often struck all on a heap, as I’ve noticed, in passing by
here: but I’ve seen it all a many and a many times.’ So he turned
away, went on chewing a straw, and seemed not a whit more moved with
admiration than he had been at the sight of my thistle.

“I conceived a high opinion of a man who had seen so much that he could
admire nothing; and he preserved and increased my respect for him by the
profound silence which he maintained, during the five succeeding days of
our journey: he seldom or never opened his lips except to inform me of
the names of the towns through which we passed. I have since
reflected that it was fortunate for me that I had such a supercilious
fellow-traveller on my first journey; for he made me at once thoroughly
sensible of my own ignorance, and extremely anxious to supply my
deficiencies, and to find one who would give some other answer to my
questions than a smile of contempt, or, ‘_I do na knaw, I say_.’

“We arrived at Exeter at last; and, with much ado, I found my way to Mr.
Y----‘s house. It was evening when I got there; and the servant to
whom I gave the letter said he supposed Mr. Y---- would not see me that
night, as he liked to have his evenings to himself; but he took the
letter, and in a few minutes returned, desiring me to follow him up

“I found the good old gentleman and some of his friends in his study,
with his grand-children about him; one little chap on his knee, another
climbing on the arm of his chair; and two bigger lads were busy looking
at a glass tube which he was showing them when I came in. It does not
become me to repeat the handsome things he said to me, upon reading over
my good master’s letter; but he was very gracious to me, and told me
that he would look out for some place or employment that would suit me;
and in the mean time, that I should be welcome to stay in his house,
where I should meet with the good treatment (which he was pleased to
say) I deserved. Then, observing that I was overcome with bashfulness,
at being looked at by so many strangers, he kindly dismissed me.

“The next day he sent for me again to his study, when he was alone;
and asked me several questions, seeming pleased with the openness and
simplicity of my answers. He saw that I gazed with vast curiosity at
several objects in the room, which were new to me: and pointing to the
glass tube, which he had been showing the boys when I first came in, he
asked me if they had such things as that in our mines; and if I knew
the use of it? I told him I had seen something like it in our overseer’s
hands; but that I had never known its use. It was a thermometer. Mr.
Y---- took great pains to show me how, and on what occasions, this
instrument might be useful.

“I saw I had now to do with a person who was somewhat different from my
friend the waggoner; and I cannot express the surprise and gratitude
I felt, when I found that he did not think me quite a fool. Instead of
looking at me with scorn, as one _very nearly an idiot_, he answered
my questions with condescension; and sometimes was so good as to add,
‘That’s a sensible question, my lad.’

“While we were looking at the thermometer, he found out that I could
not read the words _temperate, freezing point, boiling water heat, &c._
which were written upon the ivory scale, in small characters. He took
that occasion to point out to me the use and advantages of knowing how
to read and write; and he told me that, as I wished to learn, he would
desire the writing-master, who came to attend his young grandson, to
teach me.

“I shall not detain you with a journal of my progress through my
spelling-book and copy-books: it is enough to say that I applied with
diligence, and soon could write my name in rather more intelligible
characters than those in which the name of Jervas is cut on the rock
that we were looking at yesterday.

“My eagerness to read the books which he put into my hands, and the
attention which I paid to his lessons, pleased my writing-master so
much, that he took a pride, as he said, ‘_in bringing me forward as fast
as possible_.’

“And here, I must confess, he was rather imprudent in the warmth of his
commendations; my head could not stand them; as much as I was humbled
and mortified by the waggoner’s calling me _an idiot_, so much was I
elated by my writing-master’s calling me _a genius_. I wrote some very
bad lines in praise of a thistle, which I thought prodigiously fine,
because my writing-master looked surprised, when I showed them to
him; and because he told me that, having given a copy of them to some
gentlemen in Exeter, they agreed that the rhymes were _wonderful for

“I was at this period very nearly spoiled for life: but fortunately
my friend Mr. Y---- saw my danger, and cured me of my conceit, without
damping my ardour to acquire knowledge. He took me to the books in
his study, and showed me many volumes of fine poems; pointing out some
passages to me that greatly diminished my admiration of my own lines on
the thistle. The vast distance which I perceived between myself and these
writers threw me into despair. Mr. Y---- seeing me thoroughly abashed,
observed that he was glad to find I saw the difference between bad and
good poetry; and pointed out to me, it was not likely, if I turned my
industry to writing verses, that I should ever either earn my bread, or
equal those who had enjoyed greater advantages of leisure and education.
‘But, Jervas,’ continued he, ‘I commend you for your application and
quickness in learning to write and read, in so short a time: you will
find both these qualifications of great advantage to you. Now, I advise
you, turn your thoughts to something that may make you useful to other
people. You have your bread to earn, and this you can only do by making
yourself useful in some way or other. Look about you, and you will see
that I tell you truth. You may perceive that the servants in my house
are all useful to me, and that I pay them for their services. The cook
who can dress my dinner, the baker who bakes bread for me, the smith who
knows how to shoe my horses, the writing-master who undertakes to
teach my children to write, can all earn money for themselves, and make
themselves independent.--And you may remark that, of all those I have
mentioned, the writing-master is the most respected, and the best paid.
There are some kinds of knowledge, and some kinds of labour, that are
more highly paid for than others. But I have said enough to you, Jervas,
for the present: I do not want to lecture you, but to serve you.--You
are a young lad, and have had no experience; I am an old man, and have
had a great deal: so perhaps my advice may be of some use to you.’

“His advice was indeed of the greatest use to me: every word he said
sunk into my mind. I wish those who give advice to young people,
especially to those in a lower station than themselves, would
follow this gentleman’s example; and, instead of haranguing with the
haughtiness of superior knowledge, would speak with such kindness as to
persuade at the same time that they convince.

“The very day that Mr. Y---- spoke to me in this manner, he called me
in, that I might tell his eldest grandson the names which we miners
give to certain fossils that had been sent him from Cornwall; and, after
observing to the boy that this knowledge would be useful to him,
he begged me to tell him exactly how the mine, in which I had been
employed, was worked. This I did, as well as I was able; and imperfect
as my description was, it entertained the boys so much that I determined
to try to make a sort of model of the tin-mine for their amusement.

“But this I found no easy task; my remembrance, even of the place in
which I had lived all my life, was not sufficiently exact to serve
me, as to the length, height, breadth, &c. of the different parts; and
though Mr. Y---- had a good collection of fossils, I was at a loss, for
want of materials, to represent properly the different strata and veins;
or, as we call it, _the country_.

“My temper, naturally enthusiastic, was not on this occasion to be
daunted by any difficulties. I was roused by the notion that I should
be able to complete something that would be _really useful_ to my kind
benefactor’s family; and I anticipated with rapture, the moment when I
should produce my model complete, and justify Mr. Y----‘s opinion of my
diligence and capacity. I thought of nothing else from the moment these
ideas came into my head. The measures, plans, and specimens of earths
and ore which were wanting, I knew could only be obtained from the
mine; and such was my ardour to accomplish my little project, that I
determined at all hazards to return into Cornwall, and to ask my good
master’s permission to revisit the mine in the night time.

“Accordingly, without a moment’s delay, I set out upon this expedition.
Part of the journey I performed on foot; but wherever I could, I got
a set down, because I was impatient to get near the _Land’s End_.
I concluded that the wonder excited by my sudden disappearance had
subsided by this time; that I was too insignificant to make it worth
while to continue a search after me for more than a few days; and that,
in all likelihood, my master had dismissed from his work the gang who
had been concerned in the plot, and who were the only persons whose
revenge I had reason to fear.

“However, as I drew near the mine, I had the prudence not to expose
myself unnecessarily; and I watched my opportunity so well, that I
contrived to meet my master, in his walk homeward, when no one was with
him. I hastily gave him a letter from Mr. Y----, as a certificate of
my good conduct since my leaving him; then explained the reason of my
return, and asked permission to examine the mines that night.

“He expressed a good deal of surprise, but no displeasure, at my
boldness in returning: he willingly granted my request; but, at the same
time, warned me that some of my enemies were still in the neighbourhood;
and that, though he had dismissed them from his works, and though
several had left the country in search of employment elsewhere, yet he
was informed that two or three of the gang, and Clarke among the number,
were seen lurking about the country: that they had sworn vengeance
against me for _betraying_ them, as they called it; and had been
indefatigably active in their search after me.

“My master consequently advised me to stay only the ensuing night, and
to depart before daybreak: he also cautioned me not to wake the man who
now slept in my hut in the mine.

“I did not like to spoil the only good suit of clothes of which I was
possessed; so, before I went down into the mine, I got from my master my
old jacket, apron, and cap, in which being equipped, and furnished with
a lantern, and rod for measuring, I descended into the mine.

“I went to work as quietly as possible, surveyed the place exactly, and
remembered what I had heard Mr. Y---- observe, ‘that people can never
make their knowledge useful, if they have not been at the pains to
make it exact.’ I was determined to give him a proof of my exactness:
accordingly I measured and minuted down every thing with the most
cautious accuracy; and, so intent was my mind upon my work, the thoughts
of Clarke and his associates never came across me for a moment. Nay,
I absolutely forgot the man in the hut, and am astonished he was not
sooner waked.

“What roused him at last was, I believe, the noise I made in loosening
some earth and stones for specimens. A great stone came tumbling down,
and immediately afterwards I heard one of the horses neigh, which showed
me I had waked them at least; and I betook myself to a hiding-place, in
the western gallery, where I kept quiet, for I believe a quarter of an
hour, in order to give the horses and the man, if he were awake, time to
go to sleep again.

“I ventured out of my hiding-place too soon; for, just as I left my
nook, I saw the man at the end of the gallery. Instantly, upon the sight
of me, he put both his hands before his face, gave a loud shriek, turned
his back, and took to his heels with the greatest precipitation. I
guessed that, as he said yesterday, he took me for the ghost of myself;
and that his terror made him mistake my lantern for a blue taper. I had
no chain; but that I had a rod in my hand is most certain: and it is
also true that I took advantage of his fears, to drive him out of my
way; for the moment he began to run, I shook my rod as fast and as loud
as I could against the tin top of my lantern; and I trampled with my
feet as if I was pursuing him.

“As soon as the coast was clear, I hastened back for my specimens; which
I packed up in my basket, and then decamped as fast as I could. This is
the only time I ever walked in the western gallery with a _blue taper_
in my hand, dragging a _chain_ after me, whatever the ghost-seer may
report to the contrary.

“I was heartily glad to get away, and to have thus happily accomplished
the object of my journey. I carried my basket on my back for some miles,
till I got to the place where a waggon put up; and in this I travelled
safely back to Exeter.

“I determined not to show my model to Mr. Y----, or the boys, till
it should be as complete as I could make it. I got a good ingenious
carpenter, who had been in the habit of working for the toy-shops, to
help me; and laid out the best part of my worldly treasure upon this my
grand first project. I had new models made of the sieves for _lueing_,
the _box_ and _trough_, the _buddle, wreck, and tool_ {Footnote: The
names of vessels and machines used in the Cornish tin-mines.}, beside
some dozen of wooden workmen, wheelbarrows, &c,; with which the
carpenter, by my directions, furnished my mine. I paid a smith and
tinman, moreover, for models of our _stamps_, and _blowing-house_, and
an iron grate for my box: besides, I had a _lion rampant_ {Footnote: A
lion rampant is stamped on the block tin which is brought thence.}, and
other small matters, from the pewterer; also a pair of bellows, finished
by the glover; for all which articles, as they were out of the common
way, I was charged high.

“It was some time, even when all this was ready, before we could
contrive to make our puppets do their business properly: but patience
accomplishes every thing. At last we got our wooden miners to obey us,
and to perform their several tasks at the word of command; that is to
say, at the pulling of certain strings and wires, which we fastened to
their legs, arms, heads, and shoulders: which wires, being slender and
black, were at a little distance invisible to the spectators. When the
skeletons were perfect, we fell to work to dress and paint them; and
I never shall forget the delight with which I contemplated our whole
company of puppets: men, women, and children, fresh painted and dizened
out, all in their proper colours. The carpenter could scarcely prevent
me from spoiling them: I was so impatient to set them at work that I
could not wait till their clothes were dry; and I was every half hour
rubbing my fingers upon their cheeks, to try whether the red paint was
yet hard enough.

“With some pride, I announced my intended exhibition to Mr. Y----; and
he appointed that evening for seeing it, saying that none but his own
boys should be present at the first representation. It was for
them alone it was originally designed; but I was so charmed with my
newly-finished work, that I would gladly have had all Exeter present at
the exhibition. However, before night, I was convinced of my friend Mr.
Y----‘s superior prudence: the whole thing, as the carpenter said,
_went off_ pretty well; but several disasters happened which I had not
foreseen. There was one stiff old fellow, whose arms, twitch them which
way I would, I could never get to bend: and an obstinate old woman, who
would never do any thing else but curtsy, when I wanted her to kneel
down and to do her work. My children sorted their heaps of rubbish and
ore very dexterously; excepting one unlucky little chap, who, from the
beginning, had his head, somehow or other, turned the wrong way upon
his shoulders; and I could never manage, all the night, to set it right
again: it was in vain I flattered myself that his wry neck would escape
observation; for, as he was one of the wheelbarrow boys, he was a
conspicuous figure in the piece; and, whenever he appeared, wheeling
or emptying his barrow, I to my mortification heard repeated peals of
laughter from the spectators, in which even my patron, notwithstanding
his good-natured struggles against it for some time, was at last
compelled to join.

“I, all the while, was wiping my forehead behind my show-box; for I
never was in such a bath of heat in my life: not the hardest day’s work
I ever wrought in the mine made me one half so hot as setting these
puppets to work.

“When my exhibition was over, good Mr. Y---- came to me, and consoled
me for all disasters, by the praises he bestowed upon my patience and
ingenuity: he showed me that he knew the difficulties with which I had
to contend: and he mentioned the defects to me in the kindest manner,
and how they might be remedied. ‘I see,’ said he, smiling, ‘that you
have endeavoured to make something useful for the entertainment of my
boys; and I will take pains to make it turn out advantageously to you.’

“The next morning I went to look at my show-box, which Mr. Y---- had
desired me to leave in his study; and I was surprised to see the front
of the box, which I had left open for the spectators, filled up with
boards, and having a circular glass in the middle. The eldest boy, who
stood by enjoying my surprise, bid me look in, and tell him what I saw.
What was my astonishment, when I first looked through this glass--‘As
large as the life!--As large as the life!’ cried I, in admiration--‘I
see the puppets, the _wheelbarrows_, every thing as large as life!’

“Mr. Y---- then told me, that it was by his grandson’s directions that
this glass, which he said was called a magnifying-glass, or convex-lens,
was added to my show-box. ‘He makes you a present of it; and now,’ added
he, smiling, ‘get all your little performers into order, and prepare for
a second representation: I will send for a clock-maker in this town,
who is an _ingenious_ man, and will show you how to manage properly the
motions of your puppets; and then we will get a good painter to paint
them for you.”

“There was at this time, in Exeter, a society of literary gentlemen, who
met once a week at each other’s houses. Mr. Y---- was one of these; and
several of the principal families in Exeter, especially those who had
children, came on the appointed evening to see the model of the Cornwall
tin-mine, which, with the assistance of the clock-maker and painter, was
now become really a show worth looking at. I made but few blunders this
time, and the company were indulgent enough to pardon these, and to
express themselves well pleased with my little exhibition. They gave me,
indeed, solid marks of their satisfaction, which were quite unexpected:
after the exhibition, Mr. Y----‘s youngest grandchild, in the name
of the rest of the company, presented me with a purse, containing the
contributions which had been made for me.

“After repaying all my expenses for my journey and machinery, I found
I had six guineas and a crown to spare. So I thought myself a rich man;
and, having never seen so much money together in my life before, as six
golden guineas and a crown, I should, most probably, like the generality
of people who come into the possession of unexpected wealth, have become
extravagant, had it not been for the timely advice of my kind monitor,
Mr. Y----. When I showed him a pair of Chinese tumblers, which I had
bought from a pedlar for twice as much as they were worth, merely
because they pleased my fancy, he shook his head, and observed that I
might, before my death, want this very money to buy a loaf of bread. ‘If
you spend your money as fast as you get it, Jervas,’ said he, ‘no matter
how ingenious or industrious you are, you will always be poor. Remember
the good proverb that says, _Industry is Fortune’s right hand, and
Frugality her left_;’ a proverb which has been worth ten times more to
me than all my little purse contained: so true it is, that those do not
always give most who give money.”


“I had soon reason to rejoice at having thrown away no more money on
baubles, as I had occasion for my whole stock to fit myself out for a
new way of life. ‘Jervas,’ said Mr. Y---- to me, ‘I have at last found
an occupation, which I hope will suit you.’--Unknown to me, he had been,
ever since he first saw my little model, intent upon turning it to
my lasting advantage. Among the gentlemen of the society which I have
before mentioned, there was one who had formed a design of sending
some well-informed lecturer through England, to exhibit models of
the machines used in manufactories: Mr. Y---- purposely invited this
gentleman the evening that I exhibited my tin-mine, and proposed to him
that I should be permitted to accompany his lecturer. To this he
agreed. Mr. Y---- told me that although the person who was fixed upon as
lecturer was not exactly the sort of man he should have chosen, yet
as he was a relation of the gentleman who set the business on foot, no
objection could well be made to him.

“I was rather daunted by the cold and haughty look with which my new
master, the lecturer, received me when I was presented to him. Mr.
Y----, observing this, whispered to me at parting. ‘Make yourself
useful, and you will soon be agreeable to him. We must not expect to
find friends ready made wherever we go in the world: we often have to
make friends for ourselves with great pains and care.’ It cost me both
pains and care, I know, to make this lecturer my friend. He was what
is called _born a gentleman;_ and he began by treating me as a low-born
upstart, who, being perfectly ignorant, wanted to pass for a self-taught
_genius._ That I was low-born, I did not attempt to conceal; nor did I
perceive that I had any reason to be ashamed of my birth, or of having
raised myself by honest means to a station above that in which I was
born. I was proud of this circumstance, and therefore it was no torment
to me to hear the continual hints which my well-born master threw out
upon this subject. I moreover never pretended to any knowledge which I
had not; so that, by degrees, notwithstanding his prejudices, he began
to feel that I had neither the presumption of an upstart, nor of a
self-taught genius. I kept in mind the counsel given to me by Mr. Y----,
to endeavour to make myself useful to my employer; but it was no
easy matter to do this at first, because he had such a dread of my
awkwardness that he would never let me touch any of his apparatus. I was
always left to stand like a cipher beside him whilst he lectured; and
I had regularly the mortification of hearing him conclude his lecture
with, ‘_Now, gentlemen and ladies, I will not detain you any longer from
what, I am sensible, is much better worth your attention than any thing
I can offer--Mr. Jervas’s puppet-show_.’

“It happened one day that he sent me with a shilling, as he thought,
to pay a hostler for the feeding of his horse; as I rubbed the money
between my finger and thumb, I perceived that the white surface came
off, and the piece looked yellow: I recollected that my master had the
day before been showing some experiments with quicksilver and gold, and
that he had covered a guinea with quicksilver: so I immediately took the
money back, and my master, for the first time in his life, thanked me
very cordially; for this was in reality a guinea, and not a shilling.
He was also surprised at my directly mentioning the experiment he had

“The next day that he lectured, he omitted the offensive conclusion
about Mr. Jervas’s puppet-show. I observed, farther, to my infinite
satisfaction, that after this affair of the guinea, he was not so
suspicious of my honesty as he used to appear to be: he now yielded more
to his natural indolence, and suffered me to pack up his things for him,
and to do a hundred little services which formerly he used roughly to
refuse at my hands; saying, ‘I had rather do it myself, _sir_,’ or, ‘I
don’t like to have _any_ body meddle with my things, Mr. Jervas.’ But
his tone changed, and it was now, ‘Jervas, I’ll leave you to put up
these things, whilst I go and read;’--or, ‘Jervas, will you see that I
leave none of my goods behind me, there’s a good lad?’--In truth, he
was rather apt to leave his goods behind him: he was the most absent and
forgetful man alive. During the first half year we travelled together,
whilst he attempted to take care of his own things, I counted that he
lost two pair and a half of slippers, one boot, three night-caps, one
shirt, and fifteen pocket-handkerchiefs. Many of these losses, I make no
doubt, were set down in his imagination to my account whilst he had
no opinion of my honesty; but I am satisfied that he was afterwards
thoroughly convinced of the injustice of his suspicions, as, from the
time that I had the charge of his _goods_, as he called them, to the day
we parted, including a space of above four years and a half, he never
lost any thing but one red nightcap, which, to the best of my belief, he
sent in his wig one Sunday morning to the barber’s, but which never came
back again, and an old ragged blue pocket-handkerchief, which he said he
put under his pillow, or into his boot, when he went to bed at night. He
had an odd way of sticking his pocket-handkerchief into his boot, that
he might be sure to find it in the morning.’ I suspect the handkerchief
was carried down in the boot when it was taken to be cleaned. He was,
however, perfectly certain that these two losses were not to be imputed
to any carelessness of mine. He often said he was obliged to me for the
attention I paid to his interests; he treated me now very civilly, and
would sometimes condescend to explain to me in private what I did not
understand in his public lectures.

“I was presently advanced to the dignity of his secretary. He wrote
a miserably bad hand: and his manuscripts were so scratched and
interlined, that it was with the utmost difficulty he could decipher
his own writing, when he was obliged to have recourse to his notes
in lecturing. He was, moreover, extremely near-sighted; and he had a
strange trick of wrinkling up the skin on the bridge of his nose when he
was perplexed: altogether, his look was so comical when he began to pore
over these papers of his, that few of the younger part of our audiences
could resist their inclination to laugh. This disconcerted him beyond
measure; and he was truly glad to accept my offer of copying out his
scrawls fairly in a good bold round hand. I could now write, if I
may say it without vanity, an excellent hand, and could go over
his calculations as far as the first four rules of arithmetic were
concerned; so that I became quite his _factotum_: and I thought myself
rewarded for all my pains, by having opportunities of gaining every
day some fresh piece of knowledge from the perusal of the notes which I

“It was now that I felt most thoroughly the advantage of having learned
to read and write: stores of useful information were opened to me, and
my curiosity and desire to inform myself were insatiable. I often sat
up half the night reading and writing: I had free access now to all my
fellow-traveller’s books, and I thought I could never study them enough.

“At the commencement of my studies, my master often praised my
diligence, and would show me where to look for what I wanted in his
books, or explain difficulties: I looked up to him as a miracle of
science and learning; nay, I was actually growing fond of him, but this
did not last long. In process of time, he grew shy of explaining things
to me; he scolded me for thumbing his books, though, God knows, my
thumbs were always cleaner than his own, and he thwarted me continually
upon some pretence or other. I could not for some time conceive the
cause of this change in my master’s behaviour: indeed it was hard for
me to guess or believe that he was become jealous of the talents and
knowledge of a poor lad, whose ignorance he, but a few years before, had
so much despised and derided. I was the more surprised at this new turn
of his mind, because I was conscious that, instead of becoming more
conceited, I had of late become more humble; but this humility was, by
my suspicious master, attributed to artifice, and tended more than any
thing to confirm him in his notion that I had formed a plan to supplant
him in his office of lecturer, a scheme which had never entered into
my head. I was thunderstruck when he one day said to me, ‘You need not
study so hard, Mr. Jervas; for I promise you that, even with Mr. Y----‘s
assistance, and all your _art_, you will not be able to supplant me,
clever as, with all affected humility, you think yourself.’

“The truth lightened upon me at once. Had he been a judge of the human
countenance, he must have seen my innocence in my looks: but he was so
fixed in his opinion, that I knew any protestations I could make of my
never having thought of the scheme he imputed to me, would serve only
to confirm him in his idea of my dissimulation. I contented myself
with returning to him his books and his manuscripts, and thenceforward
withdrew my attention from his lectures, to which I had always till now
been one of the most eager auditors; by these proceedings I hoped to
quiet his suspicions. I no longer applied myself to any studies in which
he was engaged, to show him that all competition with him was far from
my thoughts; and I have since reflected that this fit of jealousy of
his, which I at the time looked upon as a misfortune, because it stopped
me short in pursuits which were highly agreeable to my taste, was in
fact of essential service to me. My reading had been too general; and I
had endeavoured to master so many things, that I was not likely to make
myself thoroughly skilled in any. As a blacksmith said once to me, when
he was asked why he was not both blacksmith and whitesmith, ‘The smith
that will meddle with all things may go shoe the goslings;’ an old
proverb, which, from its mixture of drollery and good sense, became ever
after a favourite of mine.

“Having returned my master’s books, I had only such to read as I could
purchase or borrow for myself, and I became very careful in my choice:
I also took every opportunity of learning all I could from the
conversation of sensible people, wherever we went; and I found that one
piece of knowledge helped me to another often when I least expected it.
And this I may add, for the encouragement of others, that every thing
which I learned accurately was, at some time or other of my life, of use
to me.

“After having made a progress through England, my fellow-traveller
determined to try his fortune in the metropolis, and to give lectures
there to young people during the winter season. Accordingly, we
proceeded towards London, taking Woolwich in our way, where we exhibited
before the young gentlemen of the military academy. My master, who,
since he had withdrawn his notes from my hands, had no one to copy them
fairly, found himself, during his lecture, in some perplexity; and, as
he exhibited his usual odd contortions upon this occasion, the young
gentlemen could not restrain their laughter: he also prolonged his
lecture more than his audience liked, and several yawned terribly, and
made signs of an impatient desire to see what was in my box, as a
relief from their fatigue. This my master quickly perceived, and,
being extremely provoked, he spoke to me with a degree of harshness
and insolence which, as I bore it with temper, prepossessed the young
company in my favour. He concluded his lecture with the old sentence:
‘Gentlemen, I shall no longer detain you from what I am sure is much
better worthy of your attention than any thing I can offer, viz.
Mr. Jervas’s puppet-show.’ This was an unlucky speech on the present
occasion, for it happened that every body, after having seen what he
called my puppet-show, was precisely of this opinion. My master grew
more and more impatient, and wanted to hurry me away, but one spirited
young man most warmly took me and my tin-mine under his protection: I
stood my ground, insisting upon my right to finish my exhibition, as my
master had been allowed full time to finish his. The young gentleman who
supported me was as well pleased by my present firmness as he had been
by my former patience. At parting he made a handsome collection for me,
which I refused to accept, taking only the regular price. ‘Well,’ said
he, ‘you shall be no loser by this. You are going to town; my father is
in London; here is his direction. I’ll mention you to him the next time
I write home, and you’ll not be the worse for that.’

“As soon as we got to London, I went according to my direction. The
young gentleman had been more punctual in writing home than young
gentlemen sometimes are. I was appointed to come with my models the
next evening, when a number of young people were collected, beside the
children of the family. The young spectators gathered round me at
one end of a large saloon, asking me innumerable questions after the
exhibition was over; whilst the master of the house, who was an East
India director, was walking up and down the room, conversing with
a gentleman in an officer’s uniform. They were, as I afterwards
understood, talking about the casting of some guns at Woolwich for the
East India Company. ‘Charles,’ said the director, coming to the place
where we were standing, and tapping one of his sons on the shoulder,
‘do you recollect what your brother told us about the proportion of tin
which is used in casting brass cannon at Woolwich?’ The young gentleman
answered that he could not recollect, but referred his father to me;
adding, that his brother told him I was the person from whom he had the
information. My memory served me exactly; and I had reason to rejoice
that I had not neglected the opportunity of gaining this knowledge,
during our short stay at Woolwich. The East India director, pleased with
my answering his first question accurately, condescended, in compliance
with his children’s entreaties, to examine my models, and questioned me
upon a variety of subjects: at length he observed to the gentleman with
whom he had been conversing, that I explained myself well, that I knew
all I did know accurately, and that I had the art of captivating the
attention of young people. ‘I do think,’ concluded he, ‘that he would
answer Dr. Bell’s description better than any person I have seen.’ He
then inquired particularly into my history and connexions, all of which
I told him exactly. He took down the direction to Mr. Y----, and my
good master (as I shall always call Mr. R----), and to several other
gentlemen, at whose houses I had been during the last three or four
years, telling me that he would write to them about me; and that if he
found my accounts of myself were as exact as my knowledge upon other
subjects, he thought he could place me in a very eligible situation. The
answers to these letters were all perfectly satisfactory: he gave me the
letter from Mr. R----, saying ‘you had better keep this letter, and take
care of it; for it will be a recommendation to you in any part of the
world where courage and fidelity are held in esteem.’ Upon looking into
this letter, I found that my good master had related, in the handsomest
manner, the whole of my conduct about the discovery of the vein in his

“The director now informed me that, if I had no objection to go to
India, I should be appointed to go out to Madras as an assistant to Dr.
Bell, one of the directors of the asylum for the instruction of orphans;
an establishment which is immediately under the auspices of the East
India Company, and which does them honour {Footnote: _Vide_ a small
pamphlet, printed for Cadell and Davies, entitled, “An Experiment
in Education, made at the Male Asylum of Madras, by the Rev. Dr. A.

“The salary which was offered me was munificent beyond my utmost
expectations; and the account of the institution, which was put into my
hands, charmed me. I speedily settled all my concerns with the lecturer,
who was in great astonishment that this appointment had not fallen upon
him. To console him for the last time, I showed him a passage in Dr.
Bell’s pamphlet, in which it is said that the doctor prefers to all
others, for teaching at his school, youths who have no fixed habits as
tutors, and who will implicitly follow his directions. I was at this
time but nineteen: my master was somewhat appeased by this view of the
affair, and we parted, as I wished, upon civil terms; though I could not
feel much regret at leaving him. I had no pleasure in living with one
who would not let me become attached to him; for, having early met with
two excellent friends and masters, the agreeable feelings of gratitude
and affection were in a manner necessary to my happiness.

“Before I left England, I received new proofs of Mr. R----‘s goodness:
he wrote to me to say that, as I was going to a distant country,
to which a small annuity of ten guineas a year could not easily be
remitted, he had determined to lay out a sum equal to the value of
the annuity he had promised me, in a manner which he hoped would be
advantageous: he further said, that as the vein of the mine with which I
had made him acquainted turned out better than he expected, he had added
the value of fifty guineas more than my annuity; and that if I would go
to Mr. Ramsden’s, mathematical instrument maker, in Piccadilly, I should
receive all he had ordered to be ready for me. At Mr. Ramsden’s I found
ready to be packed up for me two small globes, siphons, prisms, an
air-gun and an air-pump, a speaking trumpet, a small apparatus for
showing the gases, and an apparatus for freezing water. Mr. Ramsden
informed me that these were not all the things Mr. R---- had bespoken;
that he had ordered a small balloon, and a portable telegraph, in form
of an umbrella, which would be sent home, as he expected, in the course
of the next week. Mr. Ramsden also had directions to furnish me with a
set of mathematical instruments of his own making. ‘But,’ added he
with a smile, ‘you will be lucky if you get them soon enough out of my
hands.’ In fact, I believe I called a hundred times in the course of a
fortnight upon Ramsden, and it was only the day before the fleet sailed
that they were finished and delivered to me.

“I cannot here omit to mention an incident that happened in one of my
walks to Ramsden’s: I was rather late, and was pushing my way hastily
through a crowd that was gathered at the turning of a street, when a
hawker by accident flapped a bundle of wet hand-bills in my eyes, and
at the same instant screamed in my ears, ‘_The last dying speech and
confession of Jonathan Clarke, who was executed on Monday, the 11th
instant._’--Jonathan Clarke! The name struck my ears suddenly, and the
words I shocked me so much that I stood fixed to the spot; and it was I
not till the hawker had passed by me some yards, and was beginning with
‘_The last dying speech and confession of Jonathan Clarke, the Cornwall
miner_,’ that I recollected myself enough to speak: I called after the
hawker in vain: he was bawling too loud to hear me, and I was forced to
run the whole length of the street before I could overtake him, and get
one of the hand-bills. On reading it, I could have no doubt that it
was really the last dying speech of my old enemy Clarke. His birth,
parentage, and every circumstance, convinced me of the truth. Amongst
other things in his confession, I came to a plan he had laid to murder a
poor lad in the tin-mine, where he formerly worked; ‘and he thanked God
that this plan was never executed, as the boy providentially disappeared
the very night on which the murder was to have been perpetrated. He
further set forth that, after being turned away by his master, and
obliged to fly from Cornwall, he came up to London, and worked as
a coal-heaver for a little while, but soon became what is called a
_mud-lark_; that is, a plunderer of the ships’ cargoes that unload in
the Thames. He plied this abominable trade for some time, drinking every
day to the value of what he stole, till, in a quarrel at an ale-house
about the division of some articles to be sold to a receiver of stolen
goods, he struck the woman of the house a blow, of which she died; and,
as it was proved that he had long-borne her malice for some old
dispute, Clarke was on his trial brought in guilty of wilful murder, and
sentenced to be hanged.

“I shuddered whilst I read all this.--To such an end, after the utmost
his cunning could do, was this villain brought at last! How thankful
I was that I did not continue his associate in my boyish days! My
gratitude to my good master increased upon the reflection that it was
his humanity which had raised me from vice and misery, to virtue and
happiness. We sailed from the Downs the 20th of March, one thousand
seven hundred and.... But why I tell you this I do not know; except it
be in compliance with the custom of all voyagers, who think that it is
important to the world to know on what day they sailed from this or that
port. I shall not, however, imitate them in giving you a journal of
the wind, or a copy of the ship’s log-book. Suffice it to say, that we
arrived safely at Madras, after a voyage of about the usual number of
months and days, during all which I am sorry that I have not for your
entertainment any escape or imminent danger of shipwreck to relate; nor
even any description of a storm or a water-spout.

“You will, I am afraid, be much disappointed to find that, upon my
arrival in India, where doubtless you expected that I should like others
have wonderful adventures, I began to live at Dr. Bell’s asylum in
Madras a quiet regular life; in which for years I may safely say, that
every day in the week was extremely like that which preceded it. This
regularity was nowise irksome to me, notwithstanding that I had for
some years, in England, been so much used to a roving way of life. I had
never any taste for rambling; and under Dr. Bell, who treated me with
strict justice, as far as the business of the asylum was concerned, and
with distinguished kindness in all other circumstances, I enjoyed as
much freedom as I desired. I never had those absurd vague notions of
liberty, which render men uneasy under the necessary restraints of all
civilized society, and which do not make them the more fit to live
with savages. The young people who were under my care gradually became
attached to me, and I to them. I obeyed Dr. Bell’s directions exactly
in all things; and he was pleased to say, after I had been with him for
some time, that he never had any assistant who was so entirely agreeable
to him. When the business of the day was over, I often amused myself,
and the elder boys, with my apparatus for preparing the gases, my
speaking-trumpet, air-gun, &c.

“One day, I think it was in the fourth year of my residence at Madras,
Dr. Bell sent for me into his closet, and asked me if I had ever heard
of a scholar of his, of the name of William Smith, a youth of seventeen
years of age; who, in the year 1794, attended the embassy to Tippoo
Sultan, when the hostage princes were restored; and who went through
a course of experiments in natural philosophy, in the presence of the
sultan. I answered Dr. Bell that, before I left England, I had read, in
his account of the asylum, extracts from this William Smith’s letters,
whilst he was at the sultan’s court; and that I remembered all the
experiments he had exhibited perfectly well; and also that he was
detained, by the sultan’s order, nineteen days after the embassy had
taken leave, for the purpose of instructing two aruzbegs, or lords, in
the use of an extensive and elegant mathematical apparatus, presented
to Tippoo by the government at Madras.

{Footnote: _Extracts from William Smith’s Letters to Dr. Bell, (vide the
Pamphlet before mentioned.)_

‘Devanelli Fort, April 8, 1792.


‘I take the liberty of informing you that we arrived here the 28th ult.
without any particular occurrence in the way. The day after our arrival
we made our first visit to the sultan; and he entertained us at his
court for upwards of three hours.

‘On the 1st instant Captain Dovetoun sent me an order to open the boxes,
and lay out the machines, to show them to the sultan. Accordingly, on
the third, I was sent for, and I exhibited the following experiments;
viz. head and wig; dancing images; electric stool; cotton fired; small
receiver and stand; hemispheres; Archimedes’ screw; siphon; Tantalus’s
cup; water-pump; condensing engine, &c. Captain Dovetoun was present,
and explained, as I went on, to the sultan, who has given us an instance
of his being acquainted with some of these experiments. He has shown
us a condensing engine made by himself, which spouted water higher than
ours. He desired me to teach two men, his aruzbegs.

       *       *       *       *       *

‘I can assure you that Tippoo Sultan was mightily pleased with the
electric machine. He was prepared for every experiment I exhibited,
except the firing of the inflammable air.

       *       *       *       *       *

‘It did cost me several minutes before the firing of the inflammable air
proved successful; during which time he was in a very impatient emotion;
and, when that was done, it did indeed surprise him. He desired me to go
over it three times.

‘I take the liberty to write for your information the familiar discourse
Tippoo Sultan was pleased to enter into with me, that took place at the
close of the experiments.

‘There were some silver trumpets, newly made, brought in to him for
his inspection, and which he desired the trumpeters to sound _hauw_ and
_jauw_; i.e. come and go; after which, he asked me if they were like
those I saw at Madras. I answered, Yes; but those at Madras are made of
copper. He asked me again whether the tune was any thing like what I had
ever heard. I answered, No. How then? says he; and presently ordering
the instrument to be put into my hands, desired me to blow. I told him,
very civilly, that I could not blow. No! says he: you could; what are
you afraid of? I told him again that I spoke truth; and that I was
brought up in a school where my master informed me what lying was, and
always punished those boys that spoke untruths.

       *       *       *       *       *

‘June 11th. After this the sultan arose (five hours being elapsed) to
quit the court, and desired the present (of a hundred rupees) to be
delivered into my hands, with these words: “This is given you as a
present for the trouble you took in performing those experiments, which
verily pleased me;” and a command that I am to stay in the fort ten
days; “after which,” he continued, “I will send you to Kistnagherry,
with two hircarrahs, in order to conduct you safely through my country.”
 I returned the compliment with a salam, in the manner I was instructed;
saying that I thankfully accepted his present, and am willing to obey
his commands. The language which the sultan used was the Carnatic
Malabar. Mine very little differed from his. Poornbia was the
interpreter of such terms as the sultan did not understand.’}

“Well,’ said Dr. Bell, ‘since that time Tippoo Sultan has been at war,
and has had no leisure, I suppose, for the study of philosophy, or
mathematics; but now that he has just made peace, and wants something
to amuse him, he has sent to the government at Madras, to request that
I will permit some of my scholars to pay a second visit at his court to
refresh the memory of the aruzbegs, and, I presume, to exhibit some new
wonders for Tippoo’s entertainment.’

“Dr. B. proposed to me to go on this embassy: accordingly, I prepared
all my apparatus, and, having carefully remarked what experiments Tippoo
had already seen, I selected such as would be new to him. I packed up
my speaking-trumpet, my apparatus for freezing water, and that for
exhibiting the gases, my balloon and telegraph, and with these and my
model of the tin-mine, which I took by Dr. Bell’s advice, I set out
with two of his eldest scholars upon our expedition. We were met on the
entrance of Tippoo’s dominions by four hircarrahs or soldiers, whom the
sultan sent as a guard to conduct us safely through his dominions. He
received us at court the day after our arrival. Unaccustomed as I was to
Asiatic magnificence, I confess that my eyes were at first so dazzled by
the display of oriental pomp that, as I prostrated myself at the foot
of the sultan’s throne, I considered him as a personage high as human
veneration could look upon. After having made my salam, or salutation,
according to the custom of his court, as I was instructed to do, the
sultan commanded me, by his interpreter, to display my knowledge of the
arts and sciences, for the instruction and amusement of his court.

“My boxes and machines had all been previously opened, and laid out:
I was prepared to show my apparatus for freezing, but Tippoo’s eye was
fixed upon the painted silk balloon; and with prodigious eagerness he
interrupted me several times with questions about that great empty
bag. I endeavoured to make him understand as well as I could, by my
interpreter and his own, that this great empty bag was to be filled with
a species of air lighter than the common air; and that, when filled,
the bag which I informed him was in our country called a balloon, would
mount far above his palace. No sooner was this repeated to him, by
the interpreter, than the sultan commanded me _instantly_ to fill the
balloon; and when I replied that it could not be done instantly, and
that I was not prepared to exhibit it on this day, Tippoo gave signs of
the most childish impatience. He signified to me, that since I could not
show him what he wanted to see, the sultan would not see what I wanted
to show. I replied, through his interpreter, in the most respectful but
firm manner, that no one would be so presumptuous as to show to Tippoo
Sultan, in his own court, any thing which he did not desire to see:
that it was in compliance with his wishes that I came to his court, from
which, in obedience to his commands, I should at any time be ready
to withdraw. A youth, who stood at the right hand of Tippoo’s throne,
seemed much to approve of this answer, and the sultan, assuming a more
composed and dignified aspect, signified to me that he was satisfied to
await for the sight of the filling of the great bag till the next day;
and that he should, in the mean time, be well pleased to see what I was
now prepared to show.

“The apparatus for freezing, which we then exhibited, seemed to please
him; but I observed that he was, during a great part of the time whilst
I was explaining it, intent upon something else; and no sooner had I
done speaking than he caused to be produced the condensing engines, made
by himself, which he formerly showed to William Smith, and which he said
spouted water higher than any of ours. The sultan, I perceived, was much
more intent upon displaying his small stock of mechanical knowledge than
upon increasing it; and the mixture of vanity and ignorance, which he
displayed upon this and many subsequent occasions, considerably lessened
the awe which his external magnificence at first excited in my mind.
Sometimes he would put himself in competition with me, to show his
courtiers his superiority; but failing in these attempts, he would then
treat me as a species of mechanic juggler, who was fit only to exhibit
for the amusement of his court. When he saw my speaking-trumpet, which
was made of copper, he at first looked at it with great scorn, and
ordered his trumpeters to show me theirs, which were made of silver. As
he had formerly done when my predecessor was at his court, he desired
his trumpeters to sound through these trumpets the words _hauw_ and
_jauw_, i.e. come and go: but, upon trial, mine was found to be far
superior to the sultan’s: and I received intimation, through one of his
courtiers, that it would be prudent to offer it immediately to Tippoo.
This I accordingly did, and he accepted it with the eagerness of a child
who has begged and obtained a new play-thing.”


“The next day, Tippoo and his whole court assembled to see my balloon.
Tippoo was seated in a splendid pavilion, and his principal courtiers
stood in a semicircle on each side of him: the youth, whom I formerly
observed, was again on his right hand, and his eyes were immovably fixed
upon my balloon, which had been previously filled and fastened down by
cords. I had the curiosity to ask who this youth was: I was informed he
was the sultan’s eldest son, Prince Abdul Calie. I had not time to make
any farther inquiries, for Tippoo now ordered a signal to be given, as
had been previously agreed upon. I instantly cut the cords which held
the balloon, and it ascended with a rapid but graceful motion, to the
unspeakable astonishment and delight of all the spectators. Some clapped
their hands and shouted, others looked up in speechless ecstasy, and
in the general emotion all ranks for an instant were confounded: even
Tippoo Sultan seemed at this interval to be forgotten, and to forget
himself, in the admiration of this new wonder.

“As soon as the balloon was out of sight, the court returned to their
usual places, the noise subsided, and the sultan, as if desirous to
fix the public attention upon himself, and to show his own superior
magnificence, issued orders immediately to his treasurer to present me,
as a token of his royal approbation, with two hundred star pagodas.
When I approached to make my salam and compliment of thanks, as I was
instructed, the sultan, who observed that some of the courtiers already
began to regard me with envy, as if my reward had been too great,
determined to divert himself with their spleen, and to astonish me
with his generosity: he took from his finger a diamond ring, which he
presented to me by one of his officers. The young prince, Abdul Calie,
whispered to his father whilst I was withdrawing, and I soon afterwards
received a message from the sultan, requesting, or, in other words,
ordering me to remain some time at his court, to instruct the young
prince, his son, in the use of my European machines, for which they had
in their language no names.

“This command proved a source of real pleasure to me; for I found
Prince Abdul Calie not only a youth of quick apprehension, but of a most
amiable disposition, unlike the imperious and capricious temper which
I had remarked in his father. Prince Abdul Calie had been, when he
was about twelve years old, one of the hostage princes left with Lord
Cornwallis at Seringapatam. With that politeness which is seldom to
be found in the sons of eastern despots, this prince, after my first
introduction, ordered the magnificent palanquin, given to him by Lord
Cornwallis, to be shown to me; then pointing to the enamelled snakes
which support the panels, and on which the sun at that instant happened
to shine, Prince Abdul Calie was pleased to say, ‘The remembrance of
your noble countryman’s kindness to me is as fresh and lively in my soul
as those colours now appear to my eye.’

“Another thing gave me a good opinion of this young prince; he did not
seem to value presents merely by their costliness; whether he gave or
received, he considered the feelings of others; and I know that he often
excited in my mind more gratitude by the gift of a mere trifle, by a
word or a look, than his ostentatious father could by the most valuable
donations. Tippoo, though he ordered his treasurer to pay me fifty
rupees per day, whilst I was in his service, yet treated me with a
species of insolence; which, having some of the feelings of a free-born
Briton about me, I found it difficult to endure with patience. His
son, on the contrary, showed that he felt obliged to me for the little
instruction I was able to give him; and never appeared to think that, as
a prince, he could pay for all the kindness, as well as the service
of his inferiors, by pagodas or rupees: so true it is that attachment
cannot be bought; and those who wish to have friends, as well as
servants, should keep this truth constantly in mind. My English spirit
of independence induced me to make these and many more such reflections
whilst I was at Tippoo’s court.

“Every day afforded me fresh occasion to form comparisons between the
sultan and his son; and my attachment to my pupil every day increased.
My pupil! It was with astonishment I sometimes reflected that a young
prince was actually my pupil. Thus an obscure individual, in a country
like England, where arts, sciences, and literature are open to all
ranks, may obtain a degree of knowledge which an eastern despot, in all
his pride, would gladly purchase with ingots of his purest gold.

“One evening, after the business of the day was over, Tippoo Sultan came
into his son’s apartment, whilst I was explaining to the young prince
the use of some of the mathematical instruments in my pocket-case. ‘We
are well acquainted with these things,’ said the sultan in a haughty
tone: ‘the government of Madras sent us such things as those, with
others, which are now in the possession of some of my aruzbegs, who
have doubtless explained them sufficiently to the prince my son.’ Prince
Abdul Calie modestly replied, ‘that he had never before been made to
understand them; for that the aruzbeg, who had formerly attempted to
explain them, had not the art of making things so clear to him as I had

“I felt a glow of pleasure at this compliment, and at the consciousness
that I deserved it. How little did I imagine, when I used to sit up at
nights studying my old master’s books, that one of them would be the
means of procuring me such honour. {Footnote: Jervas here alludes to a
book entitled, “A Description of Pocket and Magazine Cases of Drawing
Instruments: in which is explained the use of each instrument, and
particularly of the sector and plain scale, Gunter’s scale, &c. By J.
Barrow, private teacher of mathematics.”}

“‘What is contained in that box?’ said the sultan, pointing to the box
which held the model of the tin-mine. ‘I do not remember to have seen it
opened in my presence.’

“I replied that it had not been opened, because I feared that it was not
worthy to be shown to him. But he commanded that it should instantly
be exhibited; and, to my great surprise, it seemed to delight him
excessively: he examined every part, moved the wires of the puppets,
and asked innumerable questions concerning our tin-mines. I was the
more astonished at this, because I had imagined he would have considered
every object of commerce as beneath the notice of a sultan. Nor could
I guess why he should be peculiarly interested in this subject: but
he soon explained this to me, by saying that he had, in his dominions,
certain mines of tin, which he had a notion would, if properly managed,
bring a considerable revenue to the royal treasury; but that at present,
through negligence or fraud, these mines were rather burdensome than

“He inquired from me how my model came into my possession; and, when his
interpreter told him that I made it myself, he caused the question and
answer to be repeated twice, before he would believe that he understood
me rightly. He next inquired whether I was acquainted with the art of
mining; and how I came by my information: in short, he commanded me to
relate my history. I replied that it was a long story, concerning only
an obscure individual, and unworthy the attention of a great monarch:
but he seemed this evening to have nothing to do but to gratify his
curiosity, which my apology only served to increase. He again commanded
me to relate my adventures, and I then told him the history of my early
life. I was much flattered by the interest which the young prince
took in my escape from the mine, and by the praises he bestowed on my
fidelity to my master.

“The sultan, on the contrary, heard me at first with curiosity, but
afterwards with an air of incredulity. Upon observing this, I produced
the letter from my good master to the East India director, which gave
a full account of the whole affair. I put this letter into the hands
of the interpreter, and with some difficulty he translated it into the
Carnatic Malabar, which was the language the sultan used in speaking to

“The letter, which had the counter-signatures of some of the East India
Company’s servants resident at Madras, whose names were well known to
Tippoo, failed not to make a great impression in favour of my integrity:
of my knowledge he had before a high opinion. He stood musing for some
time, with his eyes fixed upon the model of the tin-mine; and, after
consulting with the young prince, as I guessed by their tones and looks,
he bade his interpreter tell me that, if I would undertake to visit the
tin-mines in his dominions, to instruct his miners how to work them,
and to manage the ore according to the English fashion, I should receive
from the royal treasury a reward more than proportioned to my services,
and suitable to the generosity of a sultan.

“Some days were given me to consider of this proposal. Though tempted by
the idea that I might realize, in a short time, a sum that would make me
independent for the rest of my life, yet my suspicions of the capricious
and tyrannical temper of Tippoo made me dread to have him for a master;
and, above all, I resolved to do nothing without the express permission
of Dr. Bell, to whom I immediately wrote. He seemed, by his answer,
to think that such an opportunity of making my fortune was not to be
neglected: my hopes, therefore, prevailed over my fears, and I accepted
the proposal.

“The presents which he had made me, and the salary allowed me during six
weeks that I had attended the young prince, amounted to a considerable
sum; 500 star pagodas and 500 rupees: all which I left, together with
my ring, in the care of a great Gentoo merchant of the name of Omychund,
who had shown me many civilities. With proper guides, and full powers
from the sultan, I proceeded on my journey, and devoted myself with
the greatest ardour to my undertaking. A very laborious and difficult
undertaking it proved: for in no country are prejudices in favour of
their own customs more inveterate, amongst workmen of every description,
than in India; and although I was empowered to inflict what punishment
I thought proper on those who disobeyed, or even hesitated to fulfil my
orders, yet, thank God! I could never bring myself to have a poor slave
tortured, or put to death, because he roasted ore in a manner which I
did not think so good as my own method; nor even because he was not
so well convinced as I was of the advantages of our Cornwall

“My moderation was of more service to me, in the minds of the people,
than the utmost violence I could have employed to enforce obedience. As
I got by degrees some little knowledge of their language, I grew more
and more acceptable to them; and some few, who tried methods of my
proposing, and found that they succeeded, were, by my directions,
rewarded with the entire possession of the difference of profit between
the old and new modes. This bounty enticed others; and in time that
change was accomplished by gentle means, which I had at first almost
despaired of ever effecting.

“When the works were in proper train, I despatched a messenger to the
sultan’s court, to request that he would be pleased to appoint some
confidential person to visit the mines, in order to be an eye-witness of
what had been done; and I further begged, as I had now accomplished the
object of the sultan’s wishes, that I might be recalled, after deputing
whomsoever he should think proper to superintend and manage the mines in
my stead. I moreover offered, before I withdrew, to instruct the person
who should be appointed. My messenger, after a long delay, returned to
me, with a command from Tippoo Sultan to remain where I was till his
further orders. For these I waited three months, and then, concluding
that I was forgotten, I determined to set out to refresh Tippoo’s

“I found him at Devanelli Fort, thinking of nothing less than of me or
my tin-mines: he was busily engaged in making preparations for a war
with some Soubha or other, whose name I forget, and all his ideas were
bent on conquests and vengeance. He scarcely deigned to see, much less
to listen to me: his treasurer gave me to understand that too much had
already been lavished upon me, a stranger as I was; and that Tippoo’s
resources, at all events, would be now employed in carrying on schemes
of war, not petty projects of commerce. Thus insulted, and denied all my
promised reward, I could not but reflect upon the hard fate of those who
attempt to serve capricious despots.

“I prepared as fast as possible to depart from Tippoo’s court. The
Hindoo merchant with whom I had lodged the pagodas and rupees promised
to transmit them to me at Madras; and he delivered to me the diamond
ring which Tippoo had given to me during his fit of generosity, or of
ostentation. The sultan, who cared no more what became of me, made no
opposition to my departure: but I was obliged to wait a day or two for
a guard, as the hircarrahs who formerly conducted me were now out upon
some expedition.

“Whilst I waited impatiently for their return, Prince Abdul Calie, who
had not been during all this time at Devanelli Fort, arrived; and when
I went to take leave of him, he inquired into the reason of my sudden
departure. In language as respectful as I could use, and with as much
delicacy as I thought myself bound to observe, in speaking to a son of
his father, I related the truth. The prince’s countenance showed what he
felt. He paused, and seemed to be lost in thought, for a few minutes: he
then said to me, ‘The sultan, my father, is at this time so intent upon
preparations for war, that even I should despair of being listened to on
any other subject. But you have in your possession, as I recollect, what
might be useful to him either in war or peace; and, if you desire it, I
will speak of this machine to the sultan.’

“I did not immediately know to what machine of mine the prince alluded;
but he explained to me that he meant my portable telegraph, which would
be of infinite use to Tippoo in conveying orders of intelligence across
the deserts. I left the matter entirely to the prince, after returning
him my very sincere thanks for being thus interested in my concerns.

“A few hours after this conversation, I was summoned into the sultan’s
presence. His impatience to make trial of the telegraphs was excessive;
and I, who but the day before had been almost trampled upon by the
officers and lords of his court, instantly became a person of the
greatest importance. The trial of the telegraphs succeeded beyond even
my expectations; and the sultan was in a species of ecstasy on the

“I cannot omit to notice an instance of the violence of his temper, and
its sudden changes from joy to rage. One of his blacks, a gentle Hindoo
lad, of the name of Saheb, was set to manage a telegraph at one of
the stations, a few yards distant from the sultan. I had previously
instructed Saheb in what he was to do; but, from want of practice, he
made some mistake, which threw Tippoo into such a transport of passion,
that he instantly ordered the slave’s head to be cut off! a sentence
which would infallibly have been executed, if I had not represented that
it would be expedient to suffer his head to remain on his shoulders till
the message was delivered by his telegraph; because there was no one
present who could immediately supply his place. Saheb then read off his
message without making any new blunder; and the moment the exhibition
was over, I threw myself at the feet of the sultan, and implored him
to pardon Saheb. I was not likely at this moment to be refused such a
_trifle_! Saheb was pardoned.

“An order upon the treasurer for five hundred star pagodas, to reward my
services at the royal tin-mines, was given to me; and upon my presenting
to Tippoo Sultan the portable telegraphs, on which his ardent wishes
were fixed, he exclaimed: ‘Ask any favour in the wide-extended power of
Tippoo Sultan to confer, and it shall be granted.”

“I concluded that this was merely an oriental figure of speech; but I
resolved to run the hazard of a refusal. I did not ask for a province,
though this was in the wide-extended power of Tippoo Sultan to confer;
but as I had a great curiosity to see the diamond mines of Golconda, of
which both in Europe and in India I had heard so much, I requested the
sultan’s permission to visit those which belonged to him. He hesitated;
but after saying some words to an officer near him, he bade his
interpreter tell me that he granted my request.

“Accordingly, after lodging my pagodas and rupees along with the rest
in the hands of Omychund, the Gentoo merchant, who was a man of great
wealth and credit, I set out in company with some diamond merchants who
were going to Golconda. My curiosity was amply gratified by the sight
of these celebrated mines; and I determined that, when I returned to
Europe, I would write a description of them. This description, however,
I shall spare you for the present, and proceed with my story.

“The diamond merchants with whom I travelled had a great deal of
business to transact at various places; and this was the cause of much
delay to me, which I could scarcely bear with patience; for now that I
had gratified my curiosity, I was extremely desirous to return to Madras
with my little treasure. The five years’ salary due to me by the East
India Company, which I had never used, I had put out at interest at
Madras, where sometimes the rate was as high as twelve per cent.; and
if you knew (said Mr. Jervas, addressing himself to the miners at Mr.
R----‘s table) any thing of the nature of compound interest, you would
perceive that I was in a fair way to get rich: for, in the course of
fourteen or fifteen years, any sum that is put out at compound interest,
even in England, where the rate of legal interest is five per cent.,
becomes double; that is, one hundred pounds put out at compound
interest, in fourteen years, becomes two hundred. But few people have
the patience, or the prudence, to make this use of their money. I was,
however, determined to employ all my capital in this manner; and I
calculated that, in seven years, I should have accumulated a sum fully
sufficient to support me all the rest of my life in ease and affluence.

“Full of these hopes and calculations, I pursued my journey along with
the merchants. Arrived at Devanelli Fort, I learned that the Soubha,
with whom the sultan had been going to war, had given up the territory
in dispute, and had pacified Tippoo by submissions and presents. Whether
he chose peace or war was indifferent to me: I was intent on my private
affairs, and I went immediately to Omychund, my banker, to settle them.
I had taken my diamond ring with me to the mines, that I might compare
it with others, and learn its value; and I found that it was worth
nearly treble what I had been offered for it. Omychund congratulated me
upon this discovery, and we were just going to settle our accounts,
when an officer came in, and, after asking whether I was not the young
Englishman who had lately visited the mines of Golconda, summoned me
immediately to appear before the sultan. I was terrified, for I imagined
I was perhaps suspected of having purloined some of the diamonds; but I
followed the officer without hesitation, conscious of my innocence.

“Tippoo Sultan, contrary to my expectations, received me with a smiling
countenance; and, pointing to the officer who accompanied me, asked me
whether I recollected to have ever seen his face before? I replied, No:
but the sultan then informed me that this officer, who was one of his
own guards, had attended me in disguise during my whole visit to the
diamond mines; and that he was perfectly satisfied of my honourable
conduct. Then, after making a signal to the officer and all present to
withdraw, he bade me approach nearer to him; paid some compliments to my
abilities, and proceeded to explain to me that he stood in farther need
of my services; and that, if I served him with fidelity, I should have
no reason to complain, on my return to my own country, of his want of

“All thoughts of war being now, as he told me, out of his mind, he had
leisure for other projects to enrich himself; and he was determined to
begin by reforming certain abuses, which had long tended to impoverish
the royal treasury. I was at a loss to know whither this preamble
would lead: at length, having exhausted his oriental pomp of words, he
concluded by informing me that he had reason to believe he was terribly
cheated in the management of his mines at Golconda; that they were
rented from him by a Feulinga Brahmin, as he called him, whose agreement
with the adventurers in the mines was, that all the stones they found
under a pago in weight were to be their own; and all above this weight
were to be his, for the sultan’s use. Now it seems that this agreement
was never honestly fulfilled by any of the parties: the slaves cheating
the merchants, the merchants cheating the Feulinga Brahmin, and he,
in his turn, defrauding the sultan; so that, Tippoo assured me, he had
often purchased, from diamond merchants, stones of a larger spread and
finer water than any he could get directly from his own mines; and
that he had been frequently obliged to reward these merchants with
rich vests, or fine horses, in order to encourage others to offer their
diamonds {Footnote: Philosophical Transactions, vol. ii. p.472.} for

“I could not but observe, whilst Tippoo related all this, the great
agitation of his looks and voice, which showed me the strong hold the
passion for diamonds had upon his soul; on which I should perhaps have
made some wise reflections, but that people have seldom leisure or
inclination to make wise reflections when standing in the presence of a
prince as powerful and as despotic as Tippoo Sultan.

“The service that he required from me was a very dangerous one; no
less than to visit the mines secretly by night, to search those small
cisterns in which the workmen leave the diamonds mixed with the sand,
gravelly stuff, and red earth, to sink and drain off during their
absence. I by no means relished this undertaking: besides that it would
expose me to imminent danger, it was odious to my feelings to become a
spy and an informer. This I stated to the sultan, but he gave no credit
to this motive; and, attributing my reluctance wholly to fear, he
promised that he would take effectual measures to secure my safety; and
that, after I had executed this commission, he would immediately send
a guard with me to Madras. I saw that a dark frown lowered on his brow,
when I persisted in declining this office; but I fortunately bethought
myself at this moment of a method of escaping the effects of his anger,
without giving up my own principles.

“I represented to him that the seizure of the diamonds in the cisterns,
which he proposed, even should it afford him any convincing proofs of
the dishonesty of the slaves and diamond merchants, and even if he
could in future take effectual precautions to secure himself from their
frauds, would not be a source of wealth to him equal to one which I
could propose. His avarice fixed his attention, and he eagerly
commanded me to proceed. I then explained to him that one of his richest
diamond-mines had been for some time abandoned; because the workmen,
having dug till they came to water, were then forced to stop for want of
engines such as are known in Europe. Now, having observed that there was
a rapid current at the foot of the mountain, on which I could erect a
water-mill, I offered to clear this valuable mine.”


“The sultan was pleased with the proposal; but, recollecting how apt
he was to change his humour, and how ill he received me when I returned
from his tin-mines, I had the precaution to represent that, as this
undertaking would be attended with considerable expense, it would
be necessary that a year’s salary should be advanced to me before my
departure for Golconda; and that, if the payments were not in future
regularly made, I should be at liberty to resign my employment, and
return to Madras. Prince Abdul Calie was present when the sultan pledged
his word to this, and gave me full powers to employ certain of his
artificers and workmen.

“I shall not trouble you with a history of all my difficulties, delays,
and disappointments, in the execution of my undertaking; however
interesting they were to me, the relation would be tiresome to those
who have no diamond-mines to drain. It is enough for you to know that at
length my engines were set a-going properly, and did their business so
effectually, that the place was by degrees cleared of water, and the
workmen were able to open fresh and valuable veins. During all this
time, including a period of three years, my salary was regularly paid to
the Gentoo merchant, Omychund, in whose hands I left all my money,
upon his promising to pay me as high interest as what I could obtain
at Madras. I drew upon him only for such small sums as were absolutely
necessary; as I was resolved to live with the utmost economy, that I
might the sooner be enabled to return in affluence to my native country.

“And here I must pause to praise myself, or rather to rejoice from the
bottom of my soul, that I did not, when power was in my hands, make use
of it for the purposes of extortion. The condition of the poor slaves,
who were employed by me, was envied by all the others: and I have reason
to know that, even in the most debased and miserable state of existence,
the human heart can be wakened by kind treatment to feelings of
affection and gratitude. These slaves became so much attached to me
that, although the governor of the mines, and certain diamond merchants,
were lying in wait continually to get rid of me some way or other, they
never could effect their purposes. I was always apprised of my danger in
time by some of these trusty slaves; who, with astonishing sagacity and
fidelity, guarded me while I lived amongst them.

“A life of daily suspicion and danger was, however, terrible; and my
influence extended but a little way in making others happy. I might,
for a short season, lessen the suffering of these slaves; but still
they were slaves, and most of them were treated scarcely as if they were
human beings, by the rapacious adventurers for whom they laboured.

“These poor wretches generally work almost naked; they dare not wear a
coat, lest the governor should say they have thriven much, are rich, and
so increase his demands upon them. The wisest, when they find a great
stone, conceal it till they have an opportunity; and then, with wife and
children, run all away into the Visiapore country, where they are secure
and well used. {Footnote: Philosophical Transactions.}

“My heart sickened at the daily sight of so much misery; and nothing but
my hopes of finally prevailing on the sultan to better their condition,
by showing him how much he would be the gainer by it, could have induced
me to remain so long in this situation. Repeatedly Tippoo promised me
that the first diamond of twenty pagos weight which I should bring to
him, he would grant me all I asked in favour of the slaves under my
care. I imparted to them this promise, which excited them to great
exertions. At last we were fortunate enough to find a diamond above
the weight required. It was a well-spread stone, of a beautiful pale
rose-colour, and of an adamantine hardness. I am sure that the sight of
that famous stone, which is known by the name of the Pitt diamond, never
gave its possessor such heartfelt joy as I experienced when I beheld
this. I looked upon it as the pledge of future happiness, not only to
myself, but to hundreds of my fellow-creatures.

“I set out immediately for Tippoo Sultan’s court. It was too late in
the evening, when I arrived, to see the sultan that night; so I went
to Omychund, the Hindoo merchant, to settle my affairs with him. He
received me with open arms, saying that he had thriven much upon my
pagodas and rupees, and that he was ready to account with me for my
salary; also for the interest which he owed me; for all which he gave
me an order upon an English merchant at Madras, with whom I was well

“This being settled to my satisfaction, I told him the business which
now brought me to Tippoo’s court, and showed him my rose-coloured
diamond. His eyes opened at the sight with a prodigious expression of
avaricious eagerness. ‘Trust me,’ said he, ‘keep this diamond. I know
Tippoo better than you do; he will not grant those privileges to the
slaves that you talk about; and, after all, what concern are they of
yours? They are used to the life they lead. They are not Europeans. What
concern are they of yours? Once in your native country, you will dream
of them no more. You will think only of enjoying the wealth you shall
have brought from India. Trust me, keep the diamond. Fly this night
towards Madras. I have a slave who perfectly knows the road across
the country: you will be in no danger of pursuit, for the sultan will
suppose you to be still at Golconda. No one could inform him of the
truth but myself; and you must see, by the advice I now give you, that I
am your firm friend.’

“As he finished these words, he clapped his hands, to summon one of his
slaves, as he said, to give instant orders for my flight. He looked upon
me with incredulous surprise, when I coolly told him that the flight
which he proposed was far from my thoughts; and that it was my
determination to give the sultan the diamond that belonged to him.

“Seeing that I was in earnest, Omychund suddenly changed his
countenance; and in a tone of raillery, asked me whether I could believe
that his proposal was serious. Indeed I was left in doubt whether he
had been in earnest or not; and, at all events, I gave him to understand
that I was incapable of betraying him to the sultan.

“The next morning, as early as I could, I presented myself before the
sultan, who singled me from the crowd, and took me with him into the
apartment of Prince Abdul Calie.

“I proceeded cautiously: Tippoo was all impatience to hear news of his
diamond mine, and repeatedly interrupted me in my account of what had
been done there, by asking whether we had yet come to any diamonds? I
produced first one of a violet colour, which I had reserved as a present
for Prince Abdul Calie; it was a fine stone, but nothing equal to our
rose-coloured diamond. Tippoo admired this, however, so much, that I was
certain he would be in raptures with that which I had in store for him.
Before I showed it to him, in speaking of the weight of that which I had
designed to present to the prince, I reminded him of his royal promise
with respect to the slaves. ‘True,’ cried the sultan: ‘but is this
diamond twenty pagos weight? when you bring me one of that value,
you may depend upon having all you ask.’ I instantly produced the
rose-coloured diamond, weighed it in his presence, and, as the scale in
which it was put descended, Tippoo burst forth into an exclamation of
joy. I seized the favourable moment; he nodded as I knelt before him,
and bade me rise, saying my request was granted; though why I should ask
favours for a parcel of mean slaves, he observed, was incomprehensible.

“Prince Abdul Calie did not appear to be of this opinion; he at this
instant cast upon me a look full of benevolence; and whilst his father
was absorbed in the contemplation of his rose-coloured diamond, which he
weighed, I believe, a hundred times, the generous young prince presented
to me that violet-coloured diamond which I brought for him. A princely
gift made in a princely manner.

“Tippoo’s secretary made out for me the necessary order to the governor
of the mines, by which a certain share of the profits of his labour was,
by the sultan’s command, to belong to each slave; and all those who had
been employed in my service were, as a reward for their good conduct,
to be emancipated. A number of petty exactions were by this order
abolished; and the property acquired in land, dress, &c. by the slaves,
was secured to them. Most gladly did I see the sultan’s signet affixed
to this paper; and when it was delivered into my hands, my heart bounded
with joy. I resolved to be the bearer of these good tidings myself.
Although my passport was made out for Madras, and two hircarrahs, by the
sultan’s orders, were actually ready to attend me thither, yet I could
not refuse myself the pleasure of beholding the joy of the slaves, at
this change in their condition; and, to the latest hour of my life, I
shall rejoice that I returned to Golconda the messenger of happiness.
Never shall I forget the scene to which I was there a witness; never
will the expressions of joy and gratitude be effaced from my memory,
which lighted up the dark faces of these poor creatures! who, say what
we will, have as much sensibility, perhaps more, than we have ourselves.

“No sooner was I awake, the morning after my arrival, than I heard
them singing songs under my window, in which my own name was frequently
repeated. They received me with a shout of joy when I went out amongst
them; and, crowding round me, they pressed me to accept of some little
tokens of their gratitude and good-will, which I had not the heart to
refuse. The very children, by their caresses, seemed to beg me not to
reject these little offerings. I determined, if ever I reached Europe,
to give all of them to you, sir, my good master, as the best present I
could make to one of your way of thinking.

“The day after my arrival was spent in rejoicings. All the slaves, who
had worked under my inspection, had saved some little matters, with
which they had purchased for their wives and for themselves coloured
cottons, and handkerchiefs for their heads. Now that they were not in
dread of being robbed or persecuted by the governor of the mines, they
ventured to produce them in open day. These cottons of Malabar are dyed
of remarkably bright and gaudy colours; and, when the slaves appeared
decked in them, it was to me one of the gayest spectacles I ever beheld.
They were dancing with a degree of animation of which, till then, I
never had an idea.

“I stood under the shade of a large banyan tree, enjoying the sight;
when suddenly I felt from behind a blow on my head which stunned me. I
fell to the ground; and when I came to my senses, found myself in the
hands of four armed soldiers, and a Hindoo, who was pulling my diamond
ring from my finger. They were carrying me away amid the cries and
lamentations of the slaves, who followed us. ‘Stand off’! it is in vain
you shriek,’ said one of the soldiers to the surrounding crowd; ‘what we
do is by order of the sultan. Thus he punishes traitors.’

“Without further explanation, I was thrown into a dungeon belonging to
the governor of the mines, who stood by with insulting joy to see me
chained to a large stone in my horrid prison. I knew him to be my enemy:
but what was my astonishment when I recollected in the countenance of
the Hindoo, who was fastening my chains and loading me with curses,
that very Saheb, whose life I had formerly saved! To all my questions
no answer was given, but, ‘It is the will of the sultan;’ or, ‘Thus the
sultan avenges himself upon traitors.’

“The door of my dungeon was then locked and barred, and I was left alone
in perfect darkness. Is this, thought I, the reward of all my faithful
services? Bitterly did I regret that I was not in my native country,
where no man, at the will of a sultan, can be thrown into a dungeon,
without knowing his crime or his accusers. I cannot attempt to describe
to you what I felt, during this most miserable day of my existence.
Feeble at last, for want of food, I stretched myself out, as well as my
chains would allow me, and tried to compose myself to sleep. I sunk
into a state of insensibility, in which I must have remained for several
hours, for it was midnight when I was roused by the unbarring of my
prison door. It was Saheb who entered, carrying in one hand a torch, and
in the other some food, which he set before me in silence. I cast upon
him a look of scorn, and was about to reproach him with his ingratitude,
when he threw himself at my feet, and burst into tears. ‘Is it
possible,’ said he to me, ‘that you are not sure of the heart of Saheb?
You saved my life; I am come to save yours. But eat, master,’ continued
he; ‘eat whilst I speak, for we have no time to lose. To-morrow’s sun
must see us far from hence. You cannot support the fatigues you have to
undergo without taking food.’

“I yielded to his entreaties, and, whilst I ate, Saheb informed me that
my imprisonment was owing to the treacherous Hindoo merchant, Omychund;
who, in hopes, I suppose, of possessing himself in quiet of all the
wealth which I had intrusted to his care, went to the sultan, and
accused me of having secreted certain diamonds of great value, which
he pretended I had shown to him in confidence. Tippoo, enraged at this,
despatched immediate orders to four of his soldiers to go in search of
me, seize, imprison, and torture me, till I should confess where these
diamonds were concealed. Saheb was in the sultan’s apartment when this
order was given, and immediately hastened to Prince Abdul Calie, whom he
knew to be my friend, and informed him of what had happened. The prince
sent for Omychund, and, after carefully questioning him, was convinced,
by his contradictory answers, and by his confusion, that the charge
against me was wholly unfounded: he dismissed Omychund, however, without
letting him know his opinion, and then sent Saheb for the four soldiers
who were setting out in search of me. In their presence he gave Saheb
orders aloud to take charge of me the moment I should be found, and
secretly commissioned him to favour my escape. The soldiers thought that
in obeying the prince they obeyed the sultan; and, consequently, when
I was taken and lodged in my dungeon, the keys of it were delivered to

“When he had finished telling me all this, he restored to me my ring,
which he said he snatched from my finger, as soon as I was seized, that
I might not be robbed of it by the governor, or some of the soldiers.

“The grateful Saheb now struck off my chains; and my own anxiety for my
escape was scarcely equal to his. He had swift horses belonging to
the soldiers in readiness; and we pursued our course all night
without interruption. He was well acquainted with the country, having
accompanied the sultan on several expeditions. When we thought ourselves
beyond the reach of all pursuers, Saheb permitted me to rest; but I
never rested at my ease till I was out of Tippoo Sultan’s dominions, and
once more in safety at Madras. Dr. Bell received me with great kindness,
heard my story, and congratulated me on my escape from Tippoo’s power.

“I was now rich beyond my hopes; for I had Omychund’s order upon the
Madras merchant safe in my pocket, and the whole sum was punctually paid
to me. My ring I sold to the governor of Madras for more even than I

“I had the satisfaction to learn, before I left Madras, that Omychund’s
treachery was made known to the sultan, by means of Prince Abdul Calie,
whose memory will ever be dear to me. Tippoo, as I have been informed,
in speaking of me, was heard to regret that he could not recall to his
service such an honest Englishman.

“I was eager to reward the faithful Saheb, but he absolutely refused the
money which I offered him, saying, ‘that he would not be paid for saving
the life of one who had saved his.’ He expressed a great desire to
accompany me to my native country, from the moment that I told him we
had no slaves there; and that as soon as any slave touched the English
shore, by our laws, he obtained his freedom. He pressed me so earnestly
to take him along with me as my servant, that I could not refuse; so he
sailed with me for Europe. As the wind filled the sails of our vessel,
much did I rejoice that the gales which blew me from the shores of India
were not tainted with the curses of any of my fellow-creatures. Here
I am, thank Heaven! once more in free and happy England, with a good
fortune, clean hands, and a pure conscience, not unworthy to present
myself to my first good master, to him whose humanity and generosity
were the cause of--”

Here Mr. R---- interrupted his own praises, by saying to those of the
miners who had not fallen fast asleep, “My good friends, you now know
the meaning of the toast which you all drank after dinner; let us drink
it again before we part ‘Welcome home to our friend, Mr. Jervas, and may
good faith always meet with good fortune!’”

_October_, 1799.



Mr. Pearson, a wealthy Lincolnshire farmer, who had always been esteemed
a prudent sensible man, though something of a _humourist_, made the
following will:

“I, John Pearson, of _The Wold_ in Lincolnshire, farmer, being of sound
mind and body, do make this my last will and testament, &c.

“I give and bequeath my farm of West Woldland to my eldest nephew,
Grimes Goodenough; my farm of Holland Fen to my dear nephew, John
Wright, and my farm of Clover-hill to my youngest nephew, Pierce Marvel.

“I farther will and desire that the sum of ten thousand pounds, which is
now in the hands of William Constantine, gentleman, my executor, may by
him, immediately after my decease, be put out to interest for ten years:
and I will and desire that, at the end of the said ten years, the said
sum of ten thousand pounds, and the interest so accumulated thereon, be
given to whichsoever of my aforesaid nephews shall at that time be the

“And I trust that the said William Constantine, gentleman, my executor
and very good friend, being a clear-headed honest man, will understand
and execute this my last will and testament, according to the plain
meaning of my words; though it should happen that this my will should
not be drawn up in due legal form, of which I know little or nothing.”

Mr. Constantine, the executor, being, as described, a clear-headed
honest man, found no difficulty either in understanding or executing
this trust: the ten thousand pounds were, immediately upon Pearson’s
decease, placed out upon interest; and the three nephews were put
into possession of their farms. These were of very different value.
Goodenough’s wanted improvement, but would pay richly for any that
should be judiciously made; Wright’s farm was by far the worst of the
three; and Marvel’s the best.

The Lincolnshire world was much divided in opinion concerning these
young men; and many bets were laid relating to the legacy. People judged
according to their own characters; the enterprising declared for Marvel,
the prudent for Wright, the timid for Goodenough.

The nephews had scarcely been in possession of their farms a week when,
one evening, as they were all supping together at Wright’s house, Marvel
suddenly turned to Goodenough, and exclaimed, “When do you begin your
improvements, cousin Goodenough?”

“Never, cousin Marvel.”

“Then you’ll never touch the ten thousand, my boy. What! will you
do nothing to your marsh? Nothing to your common? Nothing to your
plantations? Do not you mean ever to make any improvements?”

“I mean not to make any improvements.”

“Well, you’ll let me make some for you.”

“Not I.”

“No! Won’t you let me cut down some of those trees for you, that are
spoiling one another in your wood?”

“Not a tree shall be cut down. Not a stick shall be stirred. Not a
change shall be made, I say.”

“Not a change for the better, cousin Goodenough?” said Wright.

“Not a change can be for the better, to my mind; I shall plough, and
sow, and reap, as our forefathers did, and that’s enough for me.”

“What! will you not even try the new plough?” said Marvel.

“Not I; no new ploughs for me. No plough can be so good as the old one.”

“How do you know, as you never tried it, or would see it tried?” said
Wright: “I find it better than the old one.”

“No matter; the old one will do well enough for me, as it did for my
father before me.” After having repeated these words in precisely the
same tone several times, he went on slowly eating his supper, whilst
Marvel, in detestation of his obstinate stupidity, turned his back
upon him, and began to enumerate to Wright sundry of his own ingenious

“My dear Wright,” said he, “you are worth talking to, and you shall hear
all my schemes.”

“Willingly; but I do not promise to approve of them all.”

“Oh! you will, you will, the moment you hear them; and I will let you
have a share in some of them. In the first place, there’s that fine
rabbit-warren near Clover-hill. The true silver grey rabbits--_silver
sprigs_, they call them--do you know that the skins of those _silver
sprigs_ are worth any money?”

“Any money! what money?”

“Pooh! I don’t know exactly: but I mean to buy that warren.”

“Before you know what it is worth! Let us consider; each dozen of skins
is worth, say, from ten to fifteen shillings.”

“You need not trouble yourself to calculate now,” interrupted Marvel,
“for I have determined to have the warren. With the money that I shall
get for my silver sprigs, I will next year make a decoy, and supply the
London market with wild-fowl. Don’t you remember the day that we met
Simon Stubbs, the carrier, loaded with game and wild-fowl, he said that
a decoy in Lincolnshire must be a fortune to any man. I’ll have the best
decoy not only in Lincolnshire but in all England. By-the-bye, there’s
another thing I must do, Wright; I’ll exchange any part of Clover-hill
you please with you, for as much land in Holland Fen.”

“Take him at his word, cousin Wright,” said Goodenough.

“No, no,” replied Wright; “I know the value of land, and the difference
between Clover-hill and Holland Fen, better than he does: I would not
take him at his word, for that would be taking him in.”

“I would not take anybody in,” said Goodenough; “but if another man is
a fool, that’s no reason I should be one. Now, if a man offers me a
good bargain, why should not I close with him, and say--Done?” “Then say
done,” cried Marvel, “and you shall have the bargain, Goodenough.
You have an undrained marsh of your own: I’ll exchange with you, and
welcome, ten acres of the marsh for five of Clover-hill.”

“Done,” said Goodenough.

“Done. I shall stock it with geese, and you’ll see what the quills and
feathers alone will bring me in. I’ve engaged with one already to sell
them for me. But, Wright, here’s another scheme I have. Wildmore common,
you know, is covered with those huge thistles, which prick the noses of
the sheep so as to hinder them from feeding and fattening: I will take
that common into my own hands.”

“Ay,” said Goodenough; “exchange the rest of Clover-hill for it:--that’s
like you!”

“And I will mow the thistles,” pursued Marvel, without deigning to reply
to Goodenough. “I will mow the thistles; their down I can contrive to
work up into cotton, and the stalks into cordage: and, with the profit
I shall make of these thistles, and of my decoy, and of my goose-quills
and feathers, and of my silver sprig rabbits, I will buy jackets for my
sheep, for my sheep shall all have jackets after shearing. Why should
not Lincolnshire sheep, if they have jackets, become as valuable as
the Leicestershire breed? You’ll see my sheep will be the finest in the
whole county; and, with the profit I shall make of them, I will set up
a fishery in Fen-lake; and with the profits of the fishery--now comes my
grand scheme--I shall be the richest of you all! with the profits of the
fishery, and the decoy, and the sheep, and the silver sprigs, and the
quills and feathers, geese and thistles, I will purchase that fine
heronry, near Spalding.”

At these words, Goodenough laid down his knife and fork; and, sticking
his arms a-kimbo, laughed contemptuously, if not heartily.

“So, then, the end of all this turmoil is to purchase a heronry! Much
good may it do you, cousin Marvel. You understand your own affair best:
you will make great _improvements_, I grant, and no doubt will be the
richest of us all. The ten thousand pounds will be yours for certain:
for, as we all know, cousin Marvel, you are a genius!--But why a genius
should set his fancy upon a heronry, of all things in this mortal world,
is more than I can pretend to tell, being no genius myself.”

“Look here, Wright,” continued Marvel, still without vouchsafing
any direct reply to Goodenough: “here’s a description, in this last
newspaper, of the fine present that the grand seignior has made to his
majesty. The plume of herons’ feathers alone is estimated at a thousand
guineas! Think of what I shall make by my heronry! At the end of ten
years, I shall be so rich that it will hardly be worth my while,” said
Marvel, laughing, “to accept of my uncle’s legacy. I will give it to
you, Wright; for you are a generous fellow, and I am sure you will
deserve it.”

In return for this liberal promise, Wright endeavoured to convince
Marvel, that if he attempted such a variety of schemes at once, they
would probably all fail; and that to ensure success, it would be
necessary to calculate, and to make himself master of the business,
before he should undertake to conduct it. Marvel, however, was of too
sanguine and presumptuous a temper to listen to this sage advice: he was
piqued by the sneers of his cousin Goodenough, and determined to prove
the superiority of his own spirit and intellect. He plunged at once
into the midst of a business which he did not understand. He took a
rabbit-warren of two hundred and fifty acres into his hands; stocked ten
acres of marsh land with geese; and exchanged some of the best part of
Clover-hill for a share in a common covered with thistles. He planted a
considerable tract of land, with a degree of expedition that astonished
all the neighbourhood: but it was remarked that the fences were not
quite sufficient; especially as the young trees were in a dangerous
situation, being surrounded by land stocked with sheep and horned
cattle. Wright warned him of the danger; but he had no time this year,
he said, to complete the fences: the men who tended his sheep might
easily keep them from the plantation for this season, and the next
spring he purposed to dig such a ditch round the whole as should secure
it for ever. He was now extremely busy, making jackets for his sheep,
providing willows for his decoy, and gorse and corn for his geese: the
geese, of which he had a prodigious flock, were not yet turned into
their fen, because a new scheme had occurred to Marvel, relative to some
reeds with which a part of this fen was covered; on these reeds myriads
of starlings were accustomed to roost, who broke them down with their
weight. Now Marvel knew that such reeds would be valuable for thatching,
and with this view he determined to drive away the starlings; but the
measures necessary for this purpose would frighten his friends, the
geese, and therefore he was obliged to protect and feed them in his
farm-yard, at a considerable expense, whilst he was carrying on the war
with the starlings. He fired guns at them morning and evening, he sent
up rockets and kites with fiery tails, and at last he banished them; but
half his geese, in the mean time, died for want of food; and the women
and children, who plucked them, stole one quarter of the feathers, and
one half of the quills, whilst Marvel was absent letting up rockets in
the fen.

The rabbit-warren was, however, to make up for all other losses:
a furrier had engaged to take as many silver sprigs from him as he
pleased, at sixteen shillings a dozen, provided he should send them
properly dressed, and in time to be shipped for China, where these
silver grey rabbit skins sold to the best advantage. As winter came on,
it was necessary to supply the warren with winter food: and Marvel was
much astonished at the multitude of unforeseen expenses into which
his rabbits led him. The banks of the warren wanted repair, and the
warrener’s house was not habitable in bad weather: these appeared but
slight circumstances when Marvel made the purchase; but, alas! he had
reason to change his opinion in the course of a few months. The first
week in November, there was a heavy fall of snow; and the warren walls
should have been immediately cleared of snow, to have kept the rabbits
within their bounds: but Marvel happened this week to be on a visit in
Yorkshire, and he was _obliged_ to leave the care of the warren entirely
to the warrener, who was _obliged_ to quit his house during the snow,
and to take shelter with a neighbour: he neglected to clear the walls;
and Marvel upon his return home, found that his silver sprigs had
strayed into a neighbouring warren. The second week in November is the
time when the rabbits are usually killed, as the skins are then in full
prime: it was in vain that Marvel raised a hue and cry after his silver
sprigs; a fortnight passed away before one-third of them could be
recovered. The season was lost, and the furrier sued him for breach of
contract; and what was worse, Goodenough laughed at his misfortunes. The
next year he expected to retrieve his loss: he repaired the warrener’s
house, new faced the banks, and capped them with furze; but the common
grey rabbit had been introduced into the warren, by the stragglers of
the preceding year; and as these grey rabbits are of a much more hardy
race than the silver sprigs, they soon obtained and kept possession
of the land. Marvel now pronounced rabbits to be the most useless and
vexatious animals upon earth; and, in one quarter of an hour, thoroughly
convinced himself that tillage was far more profitable than rabbits.
He ploughed up his warren, and sowed it with corn; but, unluckily,
his attention had been so much taken up by the fishery, the decoy,
the geese, the thistles, and the hopes of the heronry, that he totally
forgot his intention of making the best of all possible ditches round
his plantation. When he went to visit this plantation, he beheld a
miserable spectacle: the rabbits which had strayed beyond their bounds
during the great snow, and those which had been hunted from their
burrows, when the warren was ploughed up, had all taken shelter in this
spot; and these refugees supported themselves, for some months, upon the
bark and roots of the finest young trees.

Marvel’s loss was great, but his mortification still greater; for his
cousin Goodenough laughed at him without mercy. Something must be done,
he saw, to retrieve his credit: ad the heronry was his resource.

“What will signify a few trees, more or less,” thought he, “or the loss
of a few silver sprigs, or the death of a few geese, or the waste of a
few quills and feathers? My sheep will sell well, my thistles will bring
me up again; and as soon as I have sold my sheep at Partney fair, and
manufactured my thistles, I will set out with my money in my pocket
for Spalding, and make my bargain for the heronry. A plume of herons’
feathers is worth a thousand guineas! My fortune will be made when I get
possession of the Spalding heronry.”

So intent was Marvel upon the thoughts of the Spalding heronry, that he
neglected every thing else. About a week before the fair of Partney,
he bethought himself of his sheep, which he had left to the care of a
shepherd boy: he now ordered the boy to drive them home, that he might
see them. Their jackets hung upon them like bags: the poor animals had
fallen away in the most deplorable manner. Marvel could scarcely believe
that these were his sheep; or that these were the sheep which he had
expected to be the pride of Lincolnshire, and which he had hoped would
set the fashion of jackets. Behold, they were dying of the rot!

“What an unfortunate man I am!” exclaimed Marvel, turning to his cousin
Wright, whom he had summoned along with Goodenough, in the pride of his
heart, to view, value, and admire his sheep. “All your sheep, Wright,
are fat and sound: mine were finer than yours when I bought them: how
comes it that I am so unlucky?”

“Jack of all trades, and master of none!” said Goodenough, with a sneer.

“You forgot, I am afraid, what I told you, when first you bought these
sheep,” said Wright, “that you should always keep them in fold, every
morning, till the dew was off: if you had done so, they would now be as
well and thriving as mine. Do not you remember my telling you that?”

“Yes; and I charged this boy always to keep them in fold till the dew
was off,” replied Marvel, turning with an angry countenance to the
shepherd boy.

“I never heard nothing of it till this minute, I am sure, master,” said
the boy.

Marvel now recollected that, at the very moment when he was going to
give this order to the boy, his attention had been drawn away by the
sight of a new decoy in the fields adjoining to his sheep pasture. In
his haste to examine the decoy, he forgot to give that order to his
shepherd, on which the safety of his fine flock of sheep depended.
{Footnote: A General View of the Agriculture of the County of Lincoln,
p. 330. “It well deserves noting that a shepherd, who, when young, was
shepherd’s boy to an old man, who lived at Netlam, near Lincoln, a place
famous for the rot, told Mr. Neve that he was persuaded sheep took the
rot only of a morning, before the dew was well off. At that time they
folded, being open field: his master’s shepherd kept his flock in fold
always till the dew was gone; and, with no other attention, his sheep
were kept sound, when all the neighbours lost their flocks.”} Such are
the negligences and blunders of those who endeavour to do half a dozen
things at once.

The failure of one undertaking never discouraged Marvel from beginning
another; and it is a pity, that, with so much spirit and activity, he
had so little steadiness and prudence. His sheep died, and he set out
for Spalding full of the thoughts of the heronry. Now this heronry
belonged to Sir Plantagenet Mowbray, an elderly gentleman, who was
almost distracted with family pride: he valued himself upon never having
parted with one inch of the landed property that had descended to him,
through a long line of ancestors, from the Plantagenets. He looked down
upon the whole race of farmers and traders as beings of a different
species from himself; and the indignation with which he heard, from a
Lincolnshire farmer, a proposal to purchase his heronry, may perhaps be
imagined, but cannot be described. It was in vain that Marvel rose in
his offers; it was in vain that he declared he was ready to give any
price that Sir Plantagenet would set upon the heronry. Sir Plantagenet
sent word, by his steward, that not a feather of his birds should be
touched; that he was astonished at the insolence of such a proposal; and
that he advised Marvel to keep out of the way of _his people_, lest they
should revenge the insult that had been offered to their master.

This haughty answer, and the disappointment of all his hopes and schemes
respecting the heronry, threw Marvel into a degree of rage scarcely
inferior to what was felt by Sir Plantagenet. As he was galloping down
the avenue from Plantagenet-hall, he overtook a young man, of a shabby
appearance, who was mounted upon a very fine horse. At first Marvel took
it for granted that he was one of Sir Plantagenet’s _people_, and he
was riding past him, when he heard the stranger say, in a friendly tone,
“Your horse gallops well, sir: but have a care; there’s a carrion a
little way farther on that may startle him.”

Marvel pulled in his horse; the stranger rode up beside him, and they
entered into conversation. “That carrion, sir,” said he, pointing to
the dead horse, which had just been shot for the baronet’s son’s hounds,
“that carrion, sir, was in my opinion the best horse Sir Plantagenet,
or his son either, were possessed of. ‘Tis a shame for any man, who
pretends to be a gentleman, and who talks this way and that so high of
his family, should be so stingy in the article of horseflesh.”

Marvel was not unwilling at this instant to hear the haughty baronet
blamed and ridiculed; and his companion exactly fell in with his humour,
by telling a variety of anecdotes to prove Sir Plantagenet to be every
thing that was odious and contemptible. The history of his insolence
about the heronry was now related by Marvel; and the stranger seemed to
sympathize so much in his feelings, that, from a stranger, he began to
consider him as a friend. Insensibly the conversation returned to the
point at which it commenced; and his new friend observed that it was
in vain to expect any thing good from any gentleman, or indeed from any
man, who was stingy in the article of horseflesh.

A new sense of honour and of shame began to rise in our hero’s mind;
and he sat uneasy in his saddle, whilst he reflected that the horse upon
which he was mounted, was perhaps as deservedly an object of contempt as
any of Sir Plantagenet’s stud. His new friend, without seeming to notice
his embarrassment, continued his conversation, and drew a tempting
picture of the pleasures and glories of a horse-race: he said, “he was
just training a horse for the York races, and a finer animal never was
crossed. Sir Plantagenet’s eldest son would have been the proudest and
happiest of men, if his father would but have bought the horse for him:
but he had refused, and the youth himself had not the price, or half the
price, at his command.”

Our hero was no judge of horses, but he was ambitious to prove that his
spirit was superior to that of the haughty baronet; and that something
good might be expected from him, as he was not stingy in horseflesh.
Besides, he was worked up to a high degree of curiosity to see the York
races; and his companion assured him that he could not appear there
without being well mounted. In short, the hour was not at an end before
he had offered a hundred guineas for the finest horse that ever
was crossed. He was charmed with the idea that he should meet Sir
Plantagenet Mowbray’s son and heir at the York races, and should
show him that he was able and willing to pay for the horse, which his
arrogant father could not afford to purchase.

From the anecdote of the heronry, his companion perceived that Marvel
was a man fond of projects; and he proposed to him a scheme, which
caught his fancy so much that it consoled him for his disappointment. It
was the fault of our enterprizing hero’s character always to think the
last scheme for making a fortune the best. As soon as he reached home he
was in haste to abandon some of his old projects, which now appeared to
him flat, stale, and unprofitable. About a score of his flock, though
tainted with the rot, were not yet dead; he was eager to sell them, but
no one would buy sheep of such a wretched appearance. At last Wright
took them off his hands. “I will throw the threescore jackets into
the bargain,” said Marvel; “for you are a generous fellow, to offer so
handsomely for my poor sheep, and you deserve to be treated as you treat
others. If I come in at the end of the ten years for the legacy, I shall
remember you, as I told you before: as to my cousin Goodenough here, he
thinks so much of himself, that there is no occasion for others to
think of him. I asked him to join me in a bond, yesterday, for a hundred
pounds, just to try him, and he refused me. When I come in for the
legacy, I will cut him off with a shilling,--I will give him fair

“Cut me off with what you will,” said Goodenough, sullenly, “not a
farthing of my money shall ever be lent to one that has a project for
every day in the year. Get into what difficulties you may, I will never
join you in any bond, I promise you. It is enough for me to take care of

“Don’t flatter yourself that I am getting into any difficulties,”
 replied Marvel. “I wanted the hundred guineas only to pay for a horse;
and the friend who sold him to me will wait my convenience.”

“The _friend_” said Wright; “do you mean that man who rode home with you
from Spalding?--I advise you not to make a friend of him, for he is a
notorious jockey.” “He will not take _me_ in, though,” said Marvel; “I
am as sharp as he is, and he sees that: so we understand one another
very well. To my certain knowledge, a hundred and twenty guineas could
be had to-morrow for the horse I bought from him; yet he let me have him
for a hundred.”

“And how can a man of your sense, cousin Marvel,” said Wright, “believe
that a person, who never saw you till within these three days, would be
so much your friend as to make you a present of twenty guineas?”

“A present!”

“Yes; if he lets you have a horse for a hundred, which you can sell for
a hundred and twenty, does not he make you a present of twenty guineas?”

“Well, but I can tell you the reason for all that: he wants me to enter
into a scheme with him, for breeding horses on the common here: and
so he would not, at first setting out, stand to higgle with me for the
price of a horse.”

“And would you for twenty guineas, cousin Marvel, run the hazard of
joining in any scheme with a man of his character? Pray inquire in the
country and in York, where you are going, what sort of a character this
man bears. Take my advice, pay him for his horse, and have nothing more
to do with him.”

“But I have not the ready cash to pay him for his horse, that’s one
thing,” said Marvel.

“Let that be no difficulty,” replied Wright; “for I have a hundred
guineas here, just brought home from Partney fair, and they are heartily
at your service.”

Goodenough twitched Wright’s elbow three times as he uttered these
words: but Wright finished his sentence, and put the money into Marvel’s
hands immediately upon his promising to pay for the horse, break off
all connexion with his friend the jockey, if he should find upon inquiry
that he was not a person of good character, and at all events to suspend
any treaty with him till after his return from York.

“Whilst you are gone,” said Wright, “I will make inquiries about the
profit of breeding of horses on the commons. I have an acquaintance, a
sensible old man, who has kept accounts of what he has done in that way
himself; and he will show us his accounts, from which we shall be able
to judge.”


Wright heard nothing more of him for about a fortnight; he then received
the following letter:


“It is a very great pity that you could not be persuaded to come along
with me to York races, where I have seen more of life, and of the world,
in a week, than ever I did in all my life before.--York is a surprising
fine town; and has a handsome cathedral, and assembly-room: but I am not
in the humour, just now, to describe them: so I shall proceed to what is
much better worth thinking of.

“You must know, cousin Wright, that I am in love, and never was I so
happy or so miserable in my days. If I was not a farmer there would be
some hopes for me; but, to be sure, it is not to be expected that such
a lady as she is should think of a mere country booby; in which light,
indeed, she was pleased to say, as I heard from good authority, she did
not consider me; though my manners wanted polish. These were her own
words. I shall spare nothing to please her, if possible, and am not
wholly without hope, though I have a powerful rival; no less a person
than the eldest son and heir of Sir Plantagenet Mowbray, Bart. But
her virtue will never, I am persuaded, suffer her to listen to such
addresses as his. Now mine are honourable, and pure as her soul; the
purity of which no one could doubt, who had seen her last night, as I
did, in the character of the Fair Penitent. She was universally admired:
and another night sung and danced like an angel. But I can give you no
idea of her by pen and ink; so I beseech you to come and see her, and
give your advice to me candidly, for I have the highest opinion of your
judgment and good-nature.

“I find you were quite right about that scoundrel who rode with me from
Spalding! He has arrested me for a hundred guineas; and is, without
exception, the shabbiest dog I ever met with: but I am out of his
clutches, and have better friends. I will tell you the whole story when
we meet, and pay you your hundred with many thanks. Pray set out as
soon as you receive this, for every moment is an age to me: and I won’t
declare myself, more than I have done, if possible, till you come; for
I have a great opinion of your judgment; yet hope you won’t put on your
severe face, nor be prejudiced against her, because of her being on the
stage. Leave such illiberality to cousin Goodenough: it would be quite
beneath you! Pray bring with you that volume of old plays that is at the
top of my bed, under the bag of thistles; or in the basket of reeds that
I was making; or in the out-house, where I keep the goose-quills and
feathers. I don’t find my memory so clear, since my head is so full of
this charming Alicia Barton. Pray make no delay, as you value the peace
of mind of your

“Affectionate cousin and friend,


“P. S. Mr. Barton, her brother, is the most generous of men, and the
cleverest. He is not averse to the match. Sir Plantagenet Mowbray’s son
and heir, who is as insolent as his father, may find that a Lincolnshire
farmer is not a person to be despised. I have thoughts of selling my
farm of Clover-hill, and of going into another way of life; for which,
as Mr. Barton said, and Alicia hinted, nay, as I am inclined to believe
too, I am much better suited than for farming. Of this more when we
meet. Pray set out as soon as you receive this. Alicia has dark eyes,
and yet a fair complexion. I am sure you will like her.”

Far from feeling sure that he should like Miss Alicia Barton, Wright was
so much alarmed for his cousin, on the perusal of this letter, that he
resolved to set out immediately for York, lest the sale of Clover-hill
should be concluded before his arrival. A new project and a new love
were, indeed, powerful temptations to one of Marvel’s character.

As Goodenough was plodding at his accustomed pace in his morning’s work,
he met Wright on horseback, who asked him if he had any commissions that
he could execute in York, whither he was going.

“None, thank Heaven!” said Goodenough. “So I see it is as I always knew
it would be! Marvel is ‘ticing you into his own ways, and will make you
just such another as _his_ self. Ay, you must go to York races! Well, so
much the better for me. Much pleasure to you at the races.”

“I am not going to the races; I am going to do Marvel a service.”

“Charity begins at home: that’s my maxim,” replied Goodenough.

“It is quite fitting that charity should _begin_ at home,” said Wright;
“but then it should not _end_ at home; for those that help nobody will
find none to help them in time of need.”

“Those that help nobody will not be so apt to come to need,” replied
Goodenough. “But yonder’s my men standing idle. If I but turn my head,
that’s the way of them. Good morrow to you, cousin Wright; I can’t stand
argufying here about charity, which won’t plough my ground, nor bring me
a jot nearer to the ten thousand pounds’ legacy: so good morrow to you.
My service to cousin Marvel.”

Goodenough proceeded to his men, who were in truth standing idle, as it
was their custom to do when their master’s eye was not, as they thought,
upon them; for he kept them so hard at work, when he was present, that
not a labouring man in the country would hire himself to Goodenough,
when he could get employment elsewhere. Goodenough’s partizans, however,
observed that he got his money’s worth out of every man he employed;
and that this was the way to grow rich. The question, said they, is not
which of the three nephews will be the best beloved, but which will
be the richest at the end of ten years; and, on this ground, who can
dispute that Goodenough’s maxim is the best, “Charity begins at home?”
 Wright’s friends looked rather alarmed when they heard of this journey
to York; and Marvel’s advocates, though they put a good face upon the
matter, heartily wished him safe home.

Upon Wright’s arrival in York, he found it no easy matter to discover
his cousin Marvel; for he had forgotten to date his letter, and no
direction was given to inn or lodging: at last, after inquiring at all
the public-houses without success, Wright bethought himself of asking
where Miss Alicia Barton, the actress, lodged; for there he would
probably meet her lover. Mr. Harrison, an eminent dyer, to whom he
applied for information, very civilly offered to show him to the house.
Wright had gained this dyer’s good opinion by the punctuality with
which he had, for three years past, supplied him, at the day and
hour appointed, with the quantity of woad for which he had agreed.
Punctuality never fails to gain the good opinion of men of business.

As the dyer walked with Wright to Miss Barton’s lodgings, they entered
into conversation about her; and Wright asked what character she bore.
“I know nothing of her character for my own share,” said Harrison, “not
being in that line of business; but I think I could put you into a way
of seeing her in her true colours, whatever they may be; for she is very
intimate with a milliner, whom my wife (though not with my good-will
entirely) visits. In return for which, I shall be glad that you will do
my business along with your own; and let me know if any thing is going

The dyer introduced Wright to the milliner as a gentleman farmer, who
wanted to take home with him a fashionable cap and bonnet, or two,
for some ladies in Lincolnshire. The milliner ordered down some dusty
bandboxes, which she protested and vowed were just arrived from London
with the newest fashions; and, whilst she was displaying these, Wright
talked of the races, and the players, and Miss Alicia Barton.

“Is she as handsome as they say? I have a huge _cur’osity_ to see her,”
 said Wright, feigning more rusticity of manner and more simplicity than
was natural to him. “I have, truly, a woundy _cur’osity_ to see her,
I’ve heard so much of her, even down in Lincolnshire.”

“If you go to see the play, sir, you can’t fail to have your curiosity
gratified, for Miss Barton plays to-night--(Jenny! reach me a
play-bill)--for her own benefit, and appears in her very best character,
the Romp.”

“The Romp!--Odds! Is that her best character? Why, now, to my notion,
bad’s the best, if that be the best of her characters. The Romp!--Odds
so! What would our grandmothers say to that?”

“Oh, sir, times are changed, as well as fashions, since our
grandmothers’ days,” said the milliner. “Put up this bonnet for the
gentleman, Jenny.--I am sure I don’t pretend to say any thing in favour
of the times, whatever I may of the fashions. But, as to fashion, to be
sure no one can be more fashionable, here in York, than Miss Barton. All
our gentlemen are dying for her.”

“Odds my life, I’ll keep out of her way! And yet I’ve a huge cur’osity
to set my eyes upon her. Pray, now, could I any way get to the sight or
speech of her in a room, or so? for seeing a woman on the stage is one
thing, and seeing her off, as I take it, is another.”

“I take it so too, sir. Jenny, put up the cap for the gentleman, and
make out a bill.”

“No, no; the bonnet’s all I want, which I’ll pay for on the nail.”

Wright took out a long purse full of guineas: then put it up again, and
opened a pocket-book full of bank-notes. The milliner’s respect for him
obviously increased. “Jenny! Do run and see who’s within there. Miss
Barton was trying on her dress, I think, half an hour ago: may be she’ll
pass through this way, and the gentleman may have a sight of her, since
it weighs so much upon his mind. Let me put up the cap too, sir: it’s
quite the fashion, you may assure the Lincolnshire ladies.--Oh! here’s
Miss Barton.”

Miss Barton made her appearance, with all her most bewitching smiles
and graces. Without seeming to notice Wright, she seated herself in a
charming attitude; and, leaning pensively on the counter, addressed
her conversation to her friend, the milliner: but, at every convenient
pause, she cast an inquiring glance at Wright, who stood with his long
purse of guineas in his hand, and his open pocket-book of bank-notes
before him, as if he had been so much astonished by the lady’s
appearance, that he could not recover his recollection. Now, Wright was
a remarkably well-shaped handsome man, and Miss Barton was in reality as
much struck by his appearance as he feigned to be by hers. No forbidding
reserve condemned him to silence; and, as if inspired by the hope of
pleasing, he soon grew talkative.

“This is the most rare town, this, your town of York.” said he: “I do
not well know how I shall ever be able to get myself out of it: so many
fine sights, my eyes be quite dazzled!” “And pray, sir, which of all the
fine sights do you like the best?” said the milliner.

“Oh! the ladies be the finest of all the fine sights: and I know who I
think the finest lady I ever beheld--but will never tell--never.”

“Never, sir?” said the milliner, whilst Miss Barton modestly cast down
her eyes. “Never’s a bold word, sir. I’ve a notion you’ll live to break
that rash resolution.”

Miss Barton sighed, and involuntarily looked at the glass.

“Why, where’s the use,” pursued Wright, “of being laughed at? Where’s
the sense of being scoffed at, as a man might be, that would go for to
pay a compliment, not well knowing how, to a lady that is used to have
court made to her by the first gentlemen in all York?”

“Those that think they don’t know how to pay a compliment often pay the
best to my fancy,” said the milliner. “What says Miss Barton?”

Miss Barton sighed and blushed, or looked as if she meant to blush; and
then, raising her well-practised eyes, exclaimed, with theatrical tones
and gestures:

  “Ye sacred pow’rs, whose gracious providence
  Is watchful for our good, guard me from men,
  From their deceitful tongues, their vows and flatteries;
  Still let me pass neglected by their eyes:
  Let my bloom wither and my form decay,
  That none may think it worth their while to ruin me,
  And fatal love may never be my bane.”

Scarcely had she concluded her speech, when Pierce Marvel came
breathless into the shop. Wright was standing so as to be completely
hidden by the door: and Marvel, not seeing his friend, addressed
himself, as soon as he had breath, to his mistress.--The lady’s manner
changed, and Wright had an opportunity of seeing and admiring her powers
of acting. To Marvel, she was coy and disdainful.

“I expect my friend and relation in town every hour,” said he to her in
a low voice; “and then I shall be able to settle with your brother about
the sale of Clover-hill. You half promised that you would walk with me
this morning.” “Not without my brother: excuse me, sir,” said the coy
lady, withdrawing with the dignity of a princess. “When your friend
arrives, for whose advice I presume you wait, you will be able to decide
_your_ heart. Mine cannot be influenced by base lucre, or mercenary
considerations--Unhand me, sir.”

“I will run immediately to the inn, to see whether my friend is come,”
 cried Marvel. “Believe me, I am as much above mercenary considerations
as yourself; but I have promised not to conclude upon the sale till he
comes, and he would take it ill to be sent for, and then to be made a
fool of.--I’ll run to the Green Man again immediately, to see if he is

Marvel darted out of the shop. Wright, during this parley, which lasted
but a few seconds, had kept himself snug in his hiding-place, and
appeared to the milliner to be wholly absorbed in casting up his bill,
in which there was a shilling wrong. He came from behind the door
as soon as Marvel departed; and, saying that he would call for his
purchases in an hour’s time, left the milliner’s, took a hackney coach,
and drove to the Green Man, where he was now sure of meeting his cousin.

“Thank Heaven! you are come at last,” cried Marvel, the moment he saw
him. “Thank Heaven! you are come! do not let us lose a moment. If you
are not tired, if you are not hungry, come along with me, and I’ll
introduce you to my charming Alicia Barton.”

“I am both tired and hungry,” replied Wright: “so let us have a hot
beef-steak, and let me sit down and rest myself.”

It was the utmost stretch of Marvel’s patience to wait for the
beef-steak; and he could scarcely conceive how any one could prefer
eating it to seeing his charming Alicia. He did not eat a morsel
himself, but walked up and down the room with quick steps.

“Oh! my dear Wright,” cried he, “it is a sign you’ve never seen her, or
you would eat a little faster.”

“Does every body eat fast, who has seen Miss Barton?” said Wright; “then
to be sure I should; for I have seen her within this half hour.”

“Seen her! Seen Alicia! Seen her within this half hour! That’s
impossible.--How could you see her? Where could you see her?” “I saw her
in your company,” rejoined Wright, coolly.

“In my company! How could that be, without my seeing you?--You are
making a jest of me.”

“Not at all; only take care that you do not make a jest of yourself.
I assure you that I say nothing but truth: I’ve seen you and your Miss
Barton this very morning: nay, I’ll tell you what you said to her; you
told her that you could not sell Clover-hill till I came to town.”

Marvel stared, and stood in silent astonishment.

“Ay,” continued Wright, “you see by this how many things may pass before
a man’s eyes and ears, when he is in love, without his seeing or hearing
them. Why, man, I was in the milliner’s shop just now, standing in the
corner behind the door; but you could see nothing but your charming Miss

“I beg your pardon for being so blind,” said Marvel, laughing; “but you
are too good-natured to take offence; though you don’t know what it is
to be in love.”

“There you are mistaken; for I am as much in love as yourself at this

“Then I’m undone,” cried Marvel, turning as pale as death.

“Why so?” said Wright; “will you allow nobody, man, to be in love but
yourself? I don’t see why I have not as good a right to fall in love as
you have.”

“To be sure you have,” said Marvel, trying to recover himself; “and
I can’t say but what you deal fairly by me, to tell me so honestly at
once. More fool I to send for you. I might have foreseen this, blockhead
as I am! but you deal fairly by me, Wright: so I cannot complain, and
will not, happen what may. Let him who can win her, wear her. We start
fair; for though I have had the advantage of a first acquaintance, you
are much the handsomer man of the two; and that goes for a great deal
with some ladies, though not perhaps with Alicia Barton.”

“There, perhaps, you may find yourself mistaken,” replied Wright, with a
significant look.

“You don’t say so? You don’t think so?” cried Marvel, with great
emotion. “I say what I think; and, if I may trust a woman’s looks, I’ve
some reason for my thoughts.”

Marvel took up the tankard which stood on the table, and swallowed down
a hasty draught; and then said, though with an altered voice, “Cousin
Wright, let him who can win her, wear her, as I said before. I sha’n’t
quarrel with you if you deal fairly by me; so tell me honestly, did you
never see her before this morning?”

“Never, as I am an honest man,” said Wright.

“Then, here’s my hand for you,” said Marvel. “All’s fair and handsome
on your part. Happen what may, as I said before, I will not quarrel with
you. If she was decreed to fall in love with you at first sight, why
that’s no fault of yours; and if she tells me so fairly, why no great
fault of hers. She has encouraged me a little; but still women will
change their minds, and I shall not call her a jilt if she speaks
handsomely to me. It will go a little to my heart at first, no doubt;
but I shall bear it like a man, I hope; and I shall not quarrel with
you, cousin Wright, whatever else I do.”

Marvel shook Wright’s hand heartily; but turned away directly
afterwards, to hide his agitation.

“Why now, cousin Marvel, you are a good fellow; that’s the truth of it,”
 said Wright. “Trust to me: and, if the girl is what you think her, you
shall have her: that I promise you.”

“That’s more than you _can_ promise, being as you say as much in love as
I am.”

“I say I’m more in love than you are: but what then, I ask you?”

“What then! why, we cannot both have Alicia Barton.”

“Very true. I would not have her if you would give her to me.”

“Would not have her!” cried Marvel, with a look of joyous astonishment:
“but, did not you tell me you were in love with her?”

“Not I. You told it to yourself. I said I was in love; but cannot a man
be in love with any woman in this whole world but Miss Barton?”

Marvel capered about the room with the most lively expressions of
delight, shook hands with his cousin, as if he would have pulled his
arm off, and then suddenly stopping, said, “But what do you think of my
Alicia? Though you are not in love with her, I hope you think well of

“I must see more of her before I am qualified to speak.”

“Nay, nay, no drawbacks: out with it. I must know what you think of her
at this time being.”

“At this time being, then, I think, she is what they call a--coquette.”

“Oh, there you are out, indeed, cousin Wright! she’s more of what they
call a prude than a coquette.”

“To you, perhaps; but not to me, cousin. Let every one speak of her as
they find,” replied Wright.

Marvel grew warm in defence of Miss Barton’s prudery; and at last ended
by saying, “that he’d stake his life upon it, she was no jilt. If she
had taken a fancy to you, Wright, she would honestly tell me so, I’m
convinced; and, when she finds you are thinking of another woman, her
pride would soon make her think no more of you. ‘Tis but little she
could have thought in the few minutes you were in her company; and it is
my opinion she never thought of you at all--no offence.”

“No offence, I promise you,” said Wright; “but let us put her to the
trial: do you keep your own counsel; go on courting her your own way,
and let me go mine. Don’t you say one word of my being here in York;
but put her off about the sale of Clover-hill, till such time as you are
sure of her heart.”

To this proposal Marvel joyfully agreed; and, as to the time of trial,
Wright asked only one week. His cousin then told him the new scheme,
from which he expected to make so much: it had been suggested by
Alicia’s brother. “I am to sell Clover-hill; and, with the money that I
get for it, Barton and I are to build and fit up a theatre in Lincoln,
and be the managers ourselves. I assure you, he says, and they all say,
I should make a figure on the stage: and Miss Barton whispered, in my
hearing, that I should make a capital Lothario,” added Marvel, throwing
himself into a stage attitude, and reciting, in a voice that made Wright

     “‘Earth, Heav’n, and fair Calista, judge the combat.’”

“Very fine, no doubt,” said Wright; “but I am no judge of these matters;
only this I am sure of, that, with respect to selling Clover-hill, you
had best go slowly to work, and see what the sister is, before you trust
to the brother. It is not for my interest, I very well know, to advise
you against this scheme; because, if I wanted to make certain of your
not coming in for my uncle’s legacy, I could not take a better way than
to urge you to follow your fancy. For, say that you lay out all you have
in the world on the building of this playhouse, and say that Barton’s
as honest a man as yourself: observe, your playhouse cannot be built in
less than a couple of years, and the interest of your money must be dead
all that time; and pray how are you to bring yourself up, by the end of
the ten years? Consider, there are but seven years of the time to come.”

Marvel gave his cousin hearty thanks for his disinterested advice, but
observed that actors and managers of playhouses were, of all men, they
who were most likely to grow rich in a trice; that they often cleared
many hundreds in one night for their benefits; that even, if he should
fail to hit the public taste himself, as an actor, he was sure at
least, if he married the charming Alicia, that she would be a source
of inexhaustible wealth. “Not,” added he, “that I think of her in that
light; for my soul is as much superior to mercenary considerations as
her own.”

“More, perhaps,” said Wright; but seeing fire flash in his cousin’s
eyes at this insinuation, he contented himself for the present with the
promise he had obtained, that nothing should be concluded till the
end of one week; that no mention should be made to Miss Barton, or her
brother, of his arrival in town; and that he should have free liberty to
make trial of the lady’s truth and constancy, in any way he should
think proper. Back to his friend the milliner’s he posted directly. Miss
Barton was gone out upon the race-ground in Captain Mowbray’s curricle:
in her absence, Wright was received very graciously by the milliner,
who had lodgings to let, and who readily agreed to let them to him for
a week, as he offered half a guinea more than she could get from anybody
else. She fancied that he was deeply smitten with Miss Barton’s
charms, and encouraged his passion, by pretty broad hints that it was
reciprocal. Miss Barton drank tea this evening with the milliner: Wright
was of the party, and he was made to understand that _others_ had been
excluded: “for Miss Barton,” her friend observed, “was very _nice_ as to
her company.”

Many dexterous efforts were made to induce Wright to lay open his heart;
for the dyer’s lady had been cross-questioned as to his property in
Lincolnshire, and she being a lover of the marvellous, had indulged
herself in a little exaggeration; so that he was considered as a prize,
and Miss Barton’s imagination settled the matter so rapidly, that she
had actually agreed to make the milliner a handsome present on the
wedding-day. Upon this hint, the milliner became anxious to push forward
the affair. Marvel, she observed, hung back about the sale of his
estate; and, as to Sir Plantagenet Mowbray’s son, he was bound hand and
foot by his father, so could do nothing genteel: besides, honourable
matrimony was out of the question there.

All these things considered, the milliner’s decision was, on perfectly
prudential and virtuous motives, in favour of Wright. Miss Barton’s
_heart_, to use her own misapplied term, spoke warmly in his favour; for
he was, without any comparison, the _handsomest_ of her lovers; and
his simplicity and apparent ignorance of the world were rather
recommendations than objections.

Upon her second interview with him, she had, however, some reason to
suspect that his simplicity was not so great as she had imagined. She
was surprised to observe, that, notwithstanding all their artful
hints, Wright came to nothing like a positive proposal, nor even to any
declaration of his passion. The next day she was yet more astonished;
for Wright, though he _knew_ she was a full hour in the milliner’s shop,
never made the slightest attempt to see her; nay, in the evening, he
met her on the public walk, and passed without more notice than a formal
bow, and without turning his head back to look after her, though she
was flirting with a party of gentlemen, expressly for the purpose of
exciting his jealousy.

Another consultation was held with her friend the milliner: “These men
are terrible creatures to deal with,” said her confidant. “Do you know,
my dear creature, this man, simple as he looks, has been very near
taking us in. Would you believe it? he is absolutely courting a
Lincolnshire lady for a wife. He wrote a letter to her, my dear
Alicia, this morning, and begged me to let my boy run with it to the
post-office. I winded and winded, saying he was mighty anxious about
the letter, and so on, till, at the last, out comes the truth. Then
I touched him about you; but he said, ‘an actress was not fit for a
farmer’s wife, and that you had too many admirers already.’ You see, my
dear creature, that he has none of the thoughts we built upon. Depend
upon it he is a shrewd man, and knows what he is about; so, as we cannot
do better than Marvel, my advice--”

“Your advice!” interrupted Miss Barton: “I shall follow no advice but my
own.” She walked up and down the small parlour in great agitation.

“Do as you please, my dear; but remember I cannot afford to _lay_ out of
my money to all eternity. The account between us has run up to a great
sum; the dresses were such as never were made up before in York, and
must be paid for accordingly, as you must be sensible, Miss Barton. And
when you have an opportunity of establishing yourself so handsomely, and
getting all your debts paid; and when your brother, who was here an hour
ago, presses the match with Mr. Marvel so much; it is very strange and
unaccountable of you to say, ‘you will take nobody’s advice but your
own;’ and to fall in love, ma’am, as you are doing, as fast as you can,
with a person who has no serious intentions, and is going to be married
to another woman. For shame, Miss Barton; is this behaving with proper
propriety? Besides, I’ve really great regard for that poor young man
that you have been making a fool of; I’m sure he is desperately in love
with you.”

“Then let him show it, and sell Clover-hill,” said Miss Barton.

Her mind balanced between avarice and what she called love. She had
taken a fancy to Wright, and his present coldness rather increased than
diminished her passion: he played his part so well, that she could
not tell how to decide. In the mean time, the milliner pressed for her
money; and Alicia’s brother bullied loudly in favour of Marvel: he had
engaged the milliner, whom he was courting, to support his opinion.
Marvel, though with much difficulty, stood his ground, and refused to
sell Clover-hill, till he should be perfectly sure that Miss Barton
would marry him, and till his relation should arrive in town, and give
his consent.


Mr. Barton and the milliner now agreed, that if fair means would not
bring the charming Alicia to reason, others must be used; and it was
settled that she should be arrested for her debt to the milliner, which
was upwards of fifty pounds. “She knows,” said this considerate brother,
“that I have neither the power nor the will to pay the money. Sir
Plantagenet’s son is as poor as Job; so she must have recourse to
Marvel; and, if she gives him proper encouragement, he’ll pay the money
in a trice. As to this man, who lodges with you, let her apply to him if
she likes it; she will soon see how he will answer her. By your account
he is a shrewd fellow, and not like our friend Marvel.”

On Friday morning the charming Alicia was arrested, at the suit of her
dear friend and confidant, the milliner. The arrest was made in the
milliner’s shop. Alicia would doubtless have screamed and fainted, with
every becoming spirit and grace, if any spectators had been present:
but there was no one in the shop to admire or pity. She rushed with
dishevelled hair, and all the stage show of distraction, into Wright’s
apartment; but, alas! he was not to be found. She then composed herself,
and wrote the following note to Marvel:

“TO ---- MARVEL, ESQ. &C.

“At the Green Man.

“Much as it hurts the delicacy and wounds the pride of Alicia, she is
compelled, by the perfidy of a bosom friend of her own sex, to apply for
assistance and protection to one who will feel for the indignity that
has been shown her. How will his generous nature shudder, when he hears
that she is on the point of being dragged to a loathsome dungeon, for
want of the paltry sum of fifty pounds! Retrospection may convince the
man of her heart, that her soul is superior to mercenary considerations;
else, she would not now be reduced so low in the power of her enemies:
she scarcely knows what she writes--her heart bleeds--her brain is on

  “‘Celestial sounds! Peace dawns upon my soul,
  And every pain grows less. Oh! gentle Altamont,
  Think not too hardly of me when I’m gone,
  But pity me. Had I but early known
  Thy wond’rous worth, thou excellent young man,
  We had been happier both. Now ‘tis too late.
  And yet my eyes take pleasure to behold thee!
  Thou art their last dear object.--Mercy, Heav’n!’

  “Your affectionate,
  “And (shall I confess it?)
  “Too affectionate,

Marvel was settling some accounts with Wright when this note was put
into his hands: scarcely had he glanced his eye over it, when he started
up, seized a parcel of bank notes, which lay on the table, and was
rushing out of the room. Wright caught hold of his arm, and stopped him
by force.

“Where now? What now, Marvel?” said he.

“Do not stop me, Wright! I will not be stopped! She has been barbarously
used. They are dragging her to prison.--They have driven her almost out
of her senses. I must go to her this instant.”

“Well, well, don’t go without your hat, man, for the people in the
street will take you for a lunatic. May a friend see this letter that
has driven _you_ out of your senses?”

Marvel put it into Wright’s hands, who read it with wonderful composure;
and when he came to the end of it, only said--“Hum!”

“Hum,” repeated Marvel, provoked beyond measure; “you have no humanity.
You are most strangely prejudiced. You are worse than Goodenough. Why do
you follow me?” continued he, observing that Wright was coming after him
across the inn-yard into the street.

“I follow you to take care of you,” said Wright, calmly; “and though you
do stride on at such a rate, I’ll be bound to keep up with you.”

He suffered Marvel to walk on at his own pace for the length of two
streets, without saying another word; but just as they were turning the
corner into the square where the milliner lived, he again caught hold of
his cousin’s arm, and said to him: “Hark you, Marvel; will you trust me
with those bank notes that you have in your pocket? and will you let me
step on to the milliner’s, and settle this business for you? I see
it will cost you fifty pounds, but that I cannot help. You may think
yourself well off.”

“Fifty pounds! What are fifty pounds?” cried Marvel, hurrying forwards.
“You see that my Alicia must be superior to mercenary considerations;
for, though she knows I have a good fortune, that could not decide her
in my favour.”

“No, because she fancies that 1 have a better fortune; and, besides (for
there are times when a man must speak plainly), I’ve a notion she would
at this minute sooner be my mistress than your wife, if the thing were
fairly tried. She’ll take your money as fast as you please; and I may
take her as fast as I please.”

Incensed at these words, Marvel could scarcely restrain his passion
within bounds: but Wright, without being, moved, continued to speak.

“Nay, then, cousin, if you don’t believe me, put it to the test!--I’ll
wait here, at this woollen-draper’s, where I am to dine: do you go on to
your milliner’s, and say what you please, only let me have my turn
for half an hour this evening; and, if I am mistaken in the lady, I’ll
freely own it, and make all due apology.”

In the afternoon, Marvel came to Wright with a face full of joy and
triumph. “Go to my Alicia now, cousin Wright,” said he: “I defy you. She
is at her lodging.--She has promised to marry me! I am the happiest man
in the world!”

Wright said not a word, but departed. Now he had in his pocket an
unanswered billet-doux, which had been laid upon his table the preceding
night: the billet-doux had no name to it; but, from all he had remarked
of the lady’s manners towards him, he could not doubt that it was the
charming Alicia’s. He was determined to have positive proof, however, to
satisfy Marvel’s mind completely. The note which he had received was as

“What can be the cause of your cruel and sudden change towards one of
whom you lately appeared to think so partially? A certain female friend
may deceive you, by false representations: do not trust to her, but
learn the real sentiments of a fond heart from one who knows not how to
feign. Spare the delicacy of your victim, and guess her name.”

To this note, from one “who knew not how to feign,” Wright sent the
following reply:

“If Miss Barton knows any thing of a letter that was left at Mrs.
Stokes’s, the milliner’s, last night, she may receive an answer to her
questions from the bearer; who, being no scholar, hopes she will not
take no offence at the shortness of these lines, but satisfy him in the
honour of drinking tea with her, who waits below stairs for an answer.”

The charming Alicia allowed him the honour of drinking tea with her, and
was delighted with the thought that she had at last caught him in her
snares. The moment she had hopes of him, she resolved to break her
promise to Marvel; and by making a merit of sacrificing to Wright all
his rivals, she had no doubt that she should work so successfully
upon his vanity, as to induce him to break off his treaty with the
Lincolnshire lady.

Wright quickly let her go on with the notion that she had the game in
her own hands; at length he assumed a very serious look, like one upon
the point of forming some grand resolution; and turning half away from
her, said:

“But now, look ye, Miss Barton, I am not a sort of man who would like
to be made a fool of. Here I’m told half the gentlemen of York are dying
for you; and, as your friend Mrs. Stokes informed--”

“Mrs. Stokes is not my friend, but the basest and most barbarous of
enemies,” cried Alicia.

“Why, now, this is strange! She was your friend yesterday; and how do I
know but a woman may change as quick, and as short, about her lovers, as
about her friends?”

“I never can change: fear nothing,” said Alicia, tenderly.

“But let me finish what I was saying about Mrs. Stokes; she told me
something about one Mr. Marvel, I think they call him; now what is all

“Nothing: he is a foolish young man, who was desperately in love with
me, that’s all, and offered to marry me; but, as I told him, I am
superior to mercenary considerations.”

“And is the affair broke off, then?” said Wright, looking her full in
the face. “That’s in one word what I must be sure of: for I am not a man
that would choose to be jilted. Sit you down and pen me a farewell to
that same foolish young fellow. I am a plain-spoken man, and now you
have my mind.”

Miss Barton was now persuaded that all Wright’s coldness had proceeded
from jealousy: blinded by her passions, and alarmed by the idea that
this was the moment in which she must either secure or for ever abandon
Wright and his fortune, she consented to his proposal, and wrote the
following tender adieu to Marvel:

“TO----MARVEL, ESQ. &C. At the Green Man.


“CIRCUMSTANCES have occurred, since I had last the honour of seeing you,
which make it impossible that I should ever think of you more.


Wright said he was perfectly satisfied with this note; and all that he
now desired was to be himself the bearer of it to Marvel.

“He is a hot-headed young man,” said Alicia; “he will perhaps quarrel
with you: let me send the letter by a messenger of my own. You don’t
know him; you will not be able to find him out. Besides, why will you
deprive me of your company? Cannot another carry this note as well as

“None shall carry it but myself,” said Wright, holding fast his prize.
She was apprehensive of losing him for ever, if she opposed what she
thought his jealous humour; so she struggled no longer to hold him, but
bade him make haste to return to his Alicia.

He returned no more; but the next morning she received from him the
following note:



“Circumstances have occurred, since I had last the honour of seeing you,
which make it impossible that I should ever think of you more.


“P.S. My cousin, Marvel, thanks you for your note. Before you receive
this, he will have left York wiser than he came into it by fifty guineas
and more.”

“Wiser by more than fifty guineas, I hope,” said Marvel, as he rode out
of town, early in the morning.

“I have been on the point of being finely taken in! I’m sure this
will be a lesson to me as long as I live. I shall never forget your
good-nature, and steadiness to me, Wright. Now, if it had not been for
you, I might have been married to this jade; and have given her and her
brother every thing I’m worth in the world. Well, well, this is a lesson
I shall remember. I’ve felt it sharply enough. Now I’ll turn my head to
my business again, if I can. How Goodenough would laugh at me if he knew
this story. But I’ll make up for all the foolish things I have done
yet before I die; and I hope, before I die, I may be able to show you,
cousin Wright, how much I am obliged to you: that would be greater
joy to me even than getting by my own ingenuity my uncle Pearson’s ten
thousand pound legacy. Do, Wright, find out something I can do for you,
to make amends for all the trouble I’ve given you, and all the time I
have made you waste: do, there’s a good fellow.”

“Well, then,” said Wright, “I don’t want to saddle you with an
obligation. You shall pay me in kind directly, since you are so desirous
of it. I told you I was in love: you shall come with me and see my
mistress, to give me your opinion of her. Every man can be prudent for
his neighbour: even you no doubt can,” added Wright, laughing. Wright’s
mistress was a Miss Banks, only daughter to a gentleman who had set up
an apparatus for manufacturing woad. Mr. Banks’s house was in their way
home, and they called there. They knocked several times at the door,
before any one answered: at last a boy came to hold their horses, who
told them that Mr. Banks was dead, and that nobody could be let into the
house. The boy knew nothing of the matter, except that his master died,
he believed, of a sort of a fit; and that his young mistress was in
great grief: “which I’m mortal sorry for,” added he: “for she be’s kind
hearted and civil spoken, and moreover did give me the very shoes I have
on my feet.”

“I wish I could see her,” said Wright; “I might be some comfort to her.”

“Might ye so, master? If that the thing be so,” said the boy, looking
earnestly in Wright’s face, “I’ll do my best endeavours.”

He ran off at full speed through the back yard, but returned to learn
the gentleman’s name, which he had forgotten to ask; and presently
afterwards he brought his answer. It was written with a pencil, and with
a trembling hand:

“My dear Mr. Wright, I cannot see you now: but you shall hear from me as
soon as I am able to give an answer to your last.


The words, “My dear,” were half rubbed out: but they were visible enough
to his eyes. Wright turned his horse’s head homewards, and Marvel and he
rode away. His heart was so full that he could not speak, and he did
not hear what Marvel said to comfort him. As they were thus riding on
slowly, they heard a great noise of horsemen behind them; and looking
back, they saw a number of farmers, who were riding after them. As they
drew near, Wright’s attention was roused by hearing the name of _Banks_
frequently repeated. “What news, neighbour?” said Marvel.

“The news is, that Mr. Banks is dead; he died of an apoplectic fit, and
has left his daughter a power o’ money, they say. Happy the man who
gets her! Good morrow to you, gentlemen; we’re in haste home.” After
receiving this intelligence, Wright read his mistress’s note over again,
and observed that he was not quite pleased to see the words “My dear”
 half rubbed out. Marvel exclaimed, “Have nothing more to do with
her; that’s my advice to you; for I would not marry any woman for her
fortune; especially if she thought she was doing me a favour. If she
loved you, she would not have rubbed out those words at such a time as

“Stay a bit,” said Wright; “we shall be better able to judge by and by.”

A week passed away, and Wright heard nothing from Miss Banks; nor did he
attempt to see her, but waited as patiently as he could for her promised
letter. At last it came. The first word was “Sir.” That was enough for
Marvel, who threw it down with indignation when his cousin showed it to
him. “Nay, but read it, at least,” said Wright.


“My poor father’s affairs have been left in great disorder; and instead
of the fortune which you might have expected with me, I shall have
little or nothing. The creditors have been very kind to me; and I hope
in time to pay all just debts. I have been much hurried with business,
or should have written sooner. Indeed it is no pleasant task to me to
write at all, on this occasion. I cannot unsay what I have said to you
in former times, for I think the same of you as ever I did: but I know
that I am not now a fit match for you as to fortune, and would not hold
any man to his word, nor could value any man enough to marry him, who
would break it. Therefore it will be no grief for me to break off with
you if such should be your desire. And no blame shall be thrown upon you
by my friends, for I will take the refusal upon myself. I know the terms
of your uncle’s will, and the great reason you have to wish for a good
fortune with your wife; so it is very natural--I mean very likely, you
may not choose to be burdened with a woman who has none. Pray speak your
mind freely to, sir,

“Your humble servant,

“S. BANKS.” Marvel had no sooner read this letter than he advised his
friend Wright to marry Miss Banks directly.

“That is what I have determined to do,” said Wright: “for I don’t think
money the first thing in the world; and I would sooner give up my uncle
Pearson’s legacy this minute than break my word to any woman, much less
to one that I love, as I do Miss Banks, better now than ever. I have
just heard from the steward, who brought this letter, how handsomely
and prudently she has behaved to other people, as well as to myself:
by which I can judge most safely. She has paid all the debts that were
justly due, and has sold even the gig, which I know she wished to keep;
but, seeing that it was not suited to her present circumstances, her
good sense has got the better. Now, to my mind, a prudent wife, even
as to money matters, may turn out a greater treasure to a man than what
they call a great fortune.”

With these sentiments Wright married Miss Banks, who was indeed a very
prudent, amiable girl. Goodenough sneered at this match; and observed
that he had always foretold Wright would be taken in, sooner or later.
Goodenough was now in his thirty-second year, and as he had always
determined to marry precisely at this age, he began to look about for
a wife. He chose a widow, said to be of a very close saving temper: she
was neither young, handsome, nor agreeable; but then she was rich,
and it was Goodenough’s notion that the main chance should be first
considered, in matrimony as in every thing else. Now this notable dame
was precisely of his way of thinking; but she had more shrewdness than
her lover, and she overreached him in the bargain: her fortune did not
turn out to be above one half of what report had represented it; her
temper was worse than even her enemies said it was; and the time that
was daily wasted in trifling disputes between this well-matched pair was
worth more than all the petty savings made by her avaricious habits.

Goodenough cursed himself ten times a day, during the honey-moon; but
as he did not like to let the neighbours know how far he had been
outwitted, he held his tongue with the fortitude of a martyr; and his
partisans all commended him for making so prudent a match. “Ah, ay,”
 said they, “there’s Wright, who might have had this very woman, has gone
and married a girl without a shilling, with all his prudence; and, as to
Marvel, he will surely be bit.” There they were mistaken. Marvel was
a person capable of learning from experience, and he never forgot the
lesson that he had received from the charming Alicia. It seemed to have
sobered him completely.


About this time, Mr. James Harrison, an eminent dyer, uncle to Wright’s
friend of that name at York, came to settle near Clover-hill; and
as Marvel was always inclined to be hospitable, he assisted his new
neighbour with many of those little conveniences, which money cannot
always command at the moment they are wanted. The dyer was grateful;
and, in return for Marvel’s civilities, let him into many of the
mysteries of the dyeing business, which he was anxious to understand.
Scarcely a day passed without his calling on Mr. James Harrison. Now,
Mr. Harrison had a daughter, Lucy, who was young and pretty, and Marvel
thought her more and more agreeable every time he saw her; but, as he
told Wright, he was determined not to fall in love with her, until he
was quite sure that she was good for something. A few weeks after he
had been acquainted with her, he had an opportunity of seeing her tried.
Mrs. Isaac Harrison, the dyer of York’s lady, came to spend some
time; Miss Millicent, or, as she was commonly called, Milly Harrison,
accompanied her mother: she, having a more fashionable air than Lucy,
and having learned to dance from a London dancing-master, thought
herself so much her superior that she ought to direct her in all things.
Miss Milly, the Sunday after her arrival, appeared at church in a bonnet
that charmed half the congregation; and a crowd of farmers’ wives and
daughters, the moment church was over, begged the favour of Miss Milly
to tell them where and how such a bonnet could be got, and how much it
would cost. It was extravagantly dear; and those mothers who had any
prudence were frightened at the price: but the daughters were of opinion
that it was the cheapest, as well as prettiest thing that ever was seen
or heard of; and Miss Milly was commissioned to write immediately to
York to bespeak fifteen bonnets exactly like her own. This transaction
was settled before they had left the churchyard; and Miss Milly was
leaning upon a tombstone to write down the names of those who were most
eager to have their bonnets before the next Sunday, when Wright and
Marvel came up to the place where the crowd was gathered, and they saw
what was going forward.

Miss Barber, Miss Cotton, Miss Lamb, Miss Dishley, Miss Trotter, Miss
Hull, Miss Parker, Miss Bury, Miss Oxley, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c.
&c. &c. &c. &c. &c., all, in their turn, peeped anxiously over Miss
Milly’s shoulder, to make themselves sure that their names were in the
happy list. Lucy Harrison, alone, stood with a composed countenance in
the midst of the agitated group. “Well, cousin Lucy, what say you now?
Shall I bespeak a bonnet for you, hey?--Do you know,” cried Miss Milly,
turning to the admirers of her bonnet, “do you know that I offered to
bespeak one yesterday for Lucy; and she was so stingy she would not
let me, because it was _too dear_?” “_Too dear!_ Could ye conceive it?”
 repeated the young ladies, joining in a scornful titter. All eyes were
now fixed upon Lucy, who blushed deeply, but answered, with gentle
steadiness, that she really could not afford to lay out so much money
upon a bonnet, and that she would rather not have her name put down in
the list.

“She’s a good prudent girl,” whispered Wright to Marvel.

“And very pretty, I am sure; I never saw her look so pretty as at this
instant,” replied Marvel in a low voice,

“Please yourself, child,” said Miss Milly, throwing back her head with
much disdain; “but I’m sure you’ll please nobody else with such a dowdy
thing as that you have on. Lord! I should like to see her walk the
streets of York on a Sunday that figure. Lord! how Mrs. Stokes would

Here she paused, and several of her fair audience were struck with the
terrible idea of being laughed at by a person whom they had never seen,
and whom they were never likely to see; and transporting themselves
in imagination into the streets of York, felt all the horror of being
stared at, in an unfashionable bonnet, by Mrs. Stokes. “Gracious me!
Miss Milly, do pray be sure to have mine sent from York afore next
Sunday,” cried one of the country belles: “and, gracious me! don’t
forget mine, Miss Mill,” was reiterated by every voice but Lucy’s, as
the crowd followed Miss Harrison out of the churchyard. Great was the
contempt felt for her by the company; but she was proof against their
ridicule, and calmly ended, as she began, with saying, “I cannot afford

“She is a very prudent girl,” repeated Wright, in a low voice, to

“But I hope this is not stinginess,” whispered Marvel. “I would not
marry such a stingy animal as Goodenough has taken to wife for all the
world. Do you know she has half starved the servant boy that lived with
them? There he is, yonder, getting over the stile: did you ever see such
a miserable-looking creature?--He can tell you fifty stories of dame
Goodenough’s stinginess. I would not marry a stingy woman for the whole
world. I hope Lucy Harrison is not stingy.”

“Pray, Mrs. Wright,” said Marvel’s friend, turning to his wife, who had
been standing beside him, and who had not yet said one word, “what may
your opinion be?”

“My opinion is, that she is as generous a girl as any upon earth,” said
Mrs. Wright, “and I have good reason to say so.”

“How? What?” said Marvel, eagerly.

“Her father lent my poor father five hundred pounds; and at the meeting
of the creditors after his death, Mr. Harrison was very earnest to have
the money paid, because it was his daughter’s fortune. When he found
that it could not be had immediately, he grew extremely angry; but Lucy
pacified him, and told him that she was sure I should pay the money
honestly, as soon as I could; and that she would willingly wait to
have it paid at a hundred pounds a year, for my convenience. I am more
obliged to her for the handsome way in which she trusted to me, than if
she had given me half the money. I shall never forget it.”

“I hope you forgive her for not buying the bonnet,” said Wright to

“Forgive her! ay; now I love her for it,” said Marvel; “now I know that
she is not stingy.”

From this day forward, Marvel’s attachment to Lucy rapidly increased.
One evening he was walking in the fields with Lucy and Miss Milly, who
played off her finest York airs to attract his admiration, when the
following dialogue passed between them: “La! cousin Lucy,” said Miss
Millicent, “when shall we get you to York? I long to show you a little
of the world, and to introduce you to my friend, Mrs. Stokes, the

“My father says that he does not wish that I should be acquainted with
Mrs. Stokes,” said Lucy.

“Your father! Nonsense, child. Your father has lived all his life in the
country, the Lord knows where; he has not lived in York, as I have; so
how can he know any thing upon earth of the world?--what we call the
world, I mean.”

“I do not know, cousin Milly, what you call the world; but I think
that he knows more of Mrs. Stokes than I do; and I shall trust to his
opinion, for I never knew him speak ill of any body without having good
reason for it. Besides, it is my duty to obey my father.”

“Duty! La! Gracious me! She talks as if she was a baby in
leading-strings,” cried Miss Milly, laughing; but she was mortified at
observing that Marvel did not join, as she had expected, in the laugh:
so she added, in a scornful tone, “Perhaps I’m in the wrong box;
and that Mr. Marvel is one of them that admires pretty babes in

“I am one of those that admire a good daughter, I confess,” said Marvel;
“and,” said he, lowering his voice, “that love her too.”

Miss Milly coloured with anger, and Lucy with an emotion that she had
never felt before. As they returned home, they met Mr. Harrison, and the
moment Marvel espied him he quitted the ladies.

“I’ve something to say to you, Mr. Harrison. I should be glad to speak a
few words to you in private, if you please,” cried he, seizing his arm,
and leading him down a by-lane.

Mr. Harrison was all attention; but Marvel began to gather primroses,
instead of speaking.

“Well,” said Mr. Harrison, “did you bring me here to see you gather

After smelling the flowers twenty times, and placing them in twenty
different forms, Marvel at last threw them on the bank, and, with a
sudden effort, exclaimed, “You have a daughter, Mr. James Harrison.”

“I know I have; and I thank God for it.”

“So you have reason to do; for a more lovely girl and a better, in my
opinion, never existed.”

“One must not praise one’s own, or I should agree with you,” said the
proud father.

Again there was silence. And again Marvel picked up his primroses.

“In short,” said he, “Mr. Harrison, would you like me for a son-in-law?”

“Would Lucy like you for a husband? I must know that first,” said the
good father.

“That is what I do not know,” replied Marvel; “but, if I was to ask
her, she would ask you, I am sure, whether you would like me for a

“At this rate, we shall never get forwards,” said Harrison. “Go you back
to Miss Milly, and send my Lucy here to me.”

We shall not tell how Lucy picked up the flowers, which had been her
lover’s grand resource; nor how often she blushed upon the occasion: she
acknowledged that she thought Mr. Marvel _very agreeable_, but that she
was afraid to marry a person who had so little steadiness. That she had
heard of a great number of schemes, undertaken by him, which had failed;
or which he had given up as hastily as he had begun them. “Besides,”
 said she, “may be he might change his mind about me as well as about
other things; for I’ve heard from my cousin Milly--I’ve heard--that--he
was in love, not very long since, with an actress in York. Do you think
this is all true?”

“Yes, I know it is all true,” said Mr. Harrison, “for he told me so
himself. He is an honest, open-hearted young man; but I think as you do,
child, that we cannot be sure of his steadiness.”

When Marvel heard from Mr. Harrison the result of this conversation,
he was inspired with the strongest desire to convince Lucy that he was
capable of perseverance. To the astonishment of all who knew him, or who
thought that they knew him, he settled steadily to business; and, for a
whole twelvemonth, no one heard him speak of any new scheme. At the end
of this time he renewed his proposal to Lucy; saying that he hoped she
would now have some dependence upon his constancy to her, since she had
seen the power she had over his mind. Lucy was artless and affectionate,
as well as prudent: now that her only real objection to the match was
lessened, she did not torment him, to try her power; but acknowledged
her attachment to him, and they were married.

Sir Plantagenet Mowbray’s agent was much astonished that Lucy did not
prefer him, because he was a much richer man than Pierce Marvel; and
Miss Milly Harrison was also astonished that Mr. Marvel did not prefer
her to such a country girl as Lucy, especially when she had a
thousand pounds more _to_ her fortune. But, notwithstanding all this
astonishment, Marvel and his wife were perfectly happy.

It was now the fifth year after old Mr. Pearson’s death. Wright was at
this time the richest of the three nephews; for the money that he had
laid out in draining Holland fen began to bring him in twenty per cent.
As to Marvel, he had exchanged some of his finest acres for the warren
of silver sprigs, the common full of thistles, and the marsh full of
reeds: he had lost many guineas by his sheep and their jackets, and many
more by his ill-fenced plantations: so that counting all the losses from
the failure of his schemes and the waste of his time, he was a thousand
pounds poorer than when he first came into possession of Clover-hill.

Goodenough was not, according to the most accurate calculations, one
shilling richer or poorer than when he first began the world. “Slow and
sure,” said his friends: “fair and softly goes far in a day. What he has
he’ll hold fast; that’s more than Marvel ever did, and may be more than
Wright will do in the end. He dabbles a little in _experiments_, as he
calls them: this he has learned from his friend Marvel; and this will
come to no good.”

About this time there was some appearance of a scarcity in England; and
many farmers set an unusual quantity of potatoes, in hopes that they
would bear a high price the ensuing season. Goodenough, who feared and
hated every thing that was called a speculation, declared that, for his
part, he would not set a drill more than he used to do. What had always
done for him and his should do for him still. With this resolution, he
began to set his potatoes: Marvel said to him, whilst he was at work,
“Cousin Goodenough, I would advise you not to set the shoots that are at
the bottom of these potatoes; for, if you do, they won’t be good for
any thing. This is a secret I learned last harvest home, from one of
my Irish haymakers. I made the experiment last year, and found the poor
fellow was quite right. I have given him a guinea for his information;
and it will be worth a great deal more to me and my neighbours.”

“May be so,” said Goodenough; “but I shall set my own potatoes my own
way, I thank you, cousin Marvel; for I take it the old way’s best, and
I’ll never follow any other.”

Marvel saw that it was in vain to attempt to convince Goodenough:
therefore he left him to his old ways. The consequence was, that
Goodenongh and his family ate the worst potatoes in the whole country
this year; and Marvel cleared _above two hundred pounds_ by twenty acres
of potatoes, set according to his friend the Irishman’s directions.

This was the first speculation of Marvel’s which succeeded; because
it was the first which had been begun with prudence, and pursued with
steadiness. His information, in the first instance, was good: it came
from a person who had actually tried the experiment, and who had seen
it made by others; and when he was convinced of the fact, he applied
his knowledge at the proper time, boldly extended his experiment, and
succeeded. This success raised him in the opinion even of his enemies.
His friend, Wright, heartily rejoiced at it; but Goodenough sneered,
and said to Wright, “What Marvel has gained this year he’ll lose by some
scheme the next. I dare to say, now, he has some new scheme or another
brewing in his brains at this very moment. Ay--look, here he comes, with
two bits of rags in his hand.--Now for it!”

Marvel came up to them with great eagerness in his looks; and showing
two freshly-dyed patterns of cloth, said, “Which of these two blues is
the brightest?”

“That in your left hand,” said Wright; “it is a beautiful blue.”

“Marvel rubbed his hands with an air of triumph; but restraining his
joy, he addressed himself to Wright in a composed voice.

“My dear Wright, I have many obligations to you; and, if I have any good
fortune, you shall be the first to share it with me. As for you, cousin
Goodenough, I don’t bear malice against you for laughing at me and my
herons’ feathers, and my silver sprigs, and my sheep’s jackets, and my
thistles: shake hands, man; you shall have a share in our scheme, if you

“I don’t please to have no share at all in none of your schemes, cousin
Marvel: I thank you kindly,” said Goodenough.

“Had not you better hear what it is, before you decide against it?” said

Marvel explained himself further: “Some time ago,” said he, “I was with
my father-in-law, who was dyeing some cloth with woad. I observed that
one corner of the cloth was of much brighter blue than any of the rest;
and upon examining what could be the cause of this, I found that the
corner of the cloth had fallen upon the ground, as it was taken out of
the dyeing vat, and had trailed through a mixture of colours, which I
had accidentally spilled on the floor. I carefully recollected of
what this mixture was composed: I found that woad was the principal
ingredient; the other----is a secret. I have repeated my experiments
several times, and I find that they have always succeeded: I was
determined not to speak of my discovery till I was sure of the facts.
Now I’m sure of them, my father-in-law tells me that he and his brother
at York could ensure to me an advantageous sale for as much blue cloth
as I can prepare; and he advised me to take out a patent for the dye.”

Goodenough had not patience to listen any longer, but exclaimed:

“Join in a patent! that’s more than I would do, I’m sure, cousin Marvel;
so don’t think to take me in: I’ll end as I began, without having any
thing to do with any of your new-fangled schemes--Good morning to you.”

“I hope, Wright,” said Marvel, proudly, “that you do not suspect me of
any design to take you in; and that you will have some confidence in
this scheme, when you find that my experiments have been accurately

Wright assured Marvel that he had the utmost confidence in his
integrity; and that he would carefully go over with him any experiments
he chose to show him. “I do not want to worm your secret from you,” said
he; “but we must make ourselves sure of success before we go to take out
a patent, which will be an expensive business.”

“You are exactly the sort of man I should wish to have for my partner,”
 cried Marvel, “for you have all the coolness and prudence that I want.”

“And you have all the quickness and ingenuity that I want,” replied
Wright; “so, between us, we should indeed, as you say, make good

A partnership was soon established between Wright and Marvel. The woad
apparatus, which belonged to Wright’s father-in-law, was given up to the
creditors to pay the debts; but none of these creditors understood the
management of it, or were willing to engage in it, lest they should ruin
themselves. Marvel prevailed upon Wright to keep it in his own hands:
and the creditors, who had been well satisfied by his wife’s conduct
towards them, and who had great confidence in his character for
prudence, relinquished their claims upon the property, and trusted to
Wright’s promise, that they should be gradually paid by instalments.

“See what it is to have chosen a good wife,” said Wright. “Good
character is often better than good fortune.”

The wife returned the husband’s compliment; but we must pass over such
unfashionable conversation, and proceed with our story.

The reader may recollect our mentioning a little boy, who carried a
message from Wright to Miss Banks the day that he called upon her, on
his return from York. She had been very good to this boy, and he was of
a grateful temper. After he left her father’s service, he was hired by
a gentleman, who lived near Spalding, and for some time she had heard
nothing of him: but, about a year after she was married, his master paid
a visit in Lincolnshire, and the lad early one morning came to see his
“_old young mistress_.” He came so very early that none of the family
were stirring, except Marvel, who had risen by daybreak to finish some
repairs that he was making in the woad apparatus. He recognized the boy
the moment he saw him, and welcomed him with his usual good-nature.

“Ah, sir!” said the lad, “I be’s glad to see things going on here again.
I be’s main glad to hear how young mistress is happy! But I must be back
afore my own present master be’s up; so will you be pleased to give my
sarvice and duty, and here’s a little sort of a tea-chest for her, that
I made with the help of a fellow-sarvant of mine. If so be she’ll think
well of taking it, I should be very proud: it has a lock and key and

Marvel was astonished at the workmanship of this tea-chest; and when he
expressed his admiration, the boy said, “Oh, sir! all the difficult_est_
parts were done by my fellow-sarvant, who is more handy like than I
am, ten to one, though he is a Frenchman. He was one of them French
prisoners, and is a curious man. He would have liked of all things to
have come here along with me this morning, to get a sight of what’s
going on here; because that they have woad mills and the like in his own
country, he says; but then he would not come spying without leave, being
a civil honest man.”

Marvel told the boy that his fellow-servant should be heartily welcome
to satisfy his curiosity; and the next morning the Frenchman came. He
was a native of Languedoc, where woad is cultivated: he had been engaged
in the manufacture of it, and Marvel soon found, by his conversation,
that he was a well-informed, intelligent man. He told Marvel that there
were many natives of Languedoc, at this time, prisoners in England,
who understood the business as well as he did, and would be glad to be
employed, or to sell their knowledge at a reasonable price. Marvel was
not too proud to learn, even from a Frenchman. With Wright’s consent, he
employed several of these workmen; and he carried, by their means, the
manufacture of woad to a high pitch of perfection. How success changes
the opinion of men! The Lincolnshire farmers, who had formerly sneered
at Marvel as a genius and a projector, began to look up to him as to a
very wise and knowing man, when they saw this manufactory continue to
thrive; and those who had blamed Wright, for entering into partnership
with him, now changed their minds. Neither of them could have done
separately what they both effected by their union.

At the end of the ten years, Goodenough was precisely where he was when
he began; neither richer nor poorer; neither wiser nor happier; all that
he had added to his stock was a cross wife and two cross children. He,
to the very last moment, persisted in the belief that he should be the
richest of the three, and that Wright and Marvel would finish by being
bankrupts. He was in unutterable astonishment, when, upon the appointed
day, they produced their account-books to Mr. Constantine, the executor,
and it was found that they were many thousand pounds better in the world
than himself.

“Now, gentlemen,” said Mr. Constantine, “to which of you am I to give
your uncle’s legacy? I must know which of the partners has the greatest
share in the manufactory.”

“Wright has the greatest share,” cried Marvel; “for without his prudence
I should have been ruined.”

“Marvel has the greatest share,” cried Wright: “for without his
ingenuity I should never have succeeded in the business, nor indeed
should I have undertaken it.”

“Then, gentlemen, you must divide the legacy between you,” said Mr.
Constantine, “and I give you joy of your happy partnership. What can be
more advantageous than a partnership between prudence and justice on the
one side, and generosity and abilities on the other?”

_June, 1800_.



It was Sunday morning, and a fine day in autumn; the bells of Hereford
cathedral rang, and all the world smartly dressed were flocking to

“Mrs. Hill! Mrs. Hill!--Phoebe! Phoebe! There’s the cathedral bell, I say,
and neither of you ready for church, and I a verger;” cried Mr. Hill,
the tanner, as he stood at the bottom of his own staircase. “I’m ready,
papa,” replied Phoebe; and down she came, looking so clean, so fresh, and
so gay, that her stern father’s brows unbent, and he could only say to
her, as she was drawing on a new pair of gloves, “Child, you ought to
have had those gloves on before this time of day.”

“Before this time of day!” cried Mrs. Hill, who was now coming down
stairs completely equipped, “before this time of day! she should know
better, I say, than to put on those gloves at all: more especially when
going to the cathedral.”

“The gloves are very good gloves, as far as I see,” replied Mr. Hill.
“But no matter now. It is more fitting that we should be in proper time
in our pew, to set an example, as becomes us, than to stand here talking
of gloves and nonsense.”

He offered his wife and daughter each an arm, and set out for the
cathedral; but Phoebe was too busy in drawing on her new gloves, and
her mother was too angry at the sight of them, to accept of Mr. Hill’s
courtesy: “What I say is always nonsense, I know, Mr. Hill,” resumed the
matron: “but I can see as far into a millstone as other folks. Was it
not I that first gave you a hint of what became of the great dog, that
we lost out of our tan-yard last winter? And was it not I who first
took notice to you, Mr. Hill, verger as you are, of the hole under the
foundation of the cathedral? Was it not, I ask you, Mr. Hill?” “But, my
dear Mrs. Hill, what has all this to do with Phoebe’s gloves?”

“Are you blind, Mr. Hill? Don’t you see that they are Limerick gloves?”

“What of that?” said Mr. Hill; still preserving his composure, as it was
his custom to do as long as he could, when he saw his wife was ruffled.

“What of that, Mr. Hill! why don’t you know that Limerick is in Ireland,
Mr. Hill?”

“With all my heart, my dear.”

“Yes, and with all your heart, I suppose, Mr. Hill, you would see
our cathedral blown up, some fair day or other, and your own daughter
married to the person that did it; and you a verger, Mr. Hill.”

“God forbid!” cried Mr. Hill; and he stopped short and settled his wig.
Presently recovering himself, he added, “But, Mrs. Hill, the cathedral
is not yet blown up; and our Phoebe is not yet married.”

“No: but what of that, Mr. Hill? Forewarned is forearmed, as I told you
before your dog was gone; but you would not believe me, and you see how
it turned out in that case; and so it will in this case, you’ll see, Mr.

“But you puzzle and frighten me out of my wits, Mrs. Hill,” said the
verger, again settling his wig. “_In that case and in this case!_ I
can’t understand a syllable of what you’ve been saying to me this half
hour. In plain English, what is there the matter about Phoebe’s gloves?”

“In plain English, then, Mr. Hill, since you can understand nothing
else, please to ask your daughter Phoebe who gave her those gloves.
Phoebe, who gave you those gloves?”

“I wish they were burnt,” said the husband, whose patience could endure
no longer. “Who gave you those cursed gloves, Phoebe?”

“Papa,” answered Phoebe, in a low voice, “they were a present from Mr.
Brian O’Neill.”

“The Irish glover,” cried Mr. Hill, with a look of terror.

“Yes,” resumed the mother; “very true, Mr. Hill, I assure you. Now, you
see, I had my reasons.”

“Take off the gloves directly: I order you, Phoebe,” said her father,
in his most peremptory tone. “I took a mortal dislike to that Mr. Brian
O’Neill the first time I ever saw him. He’s an Irishman, and that’s
enough, and too much for me. Off with the gloves, Phoebe! When I order a
thing, it must be done.”

Phoebe seemed to find some difficulty in getting off the gloves, and
gently urged that she could not well go into the cathedral without them.
This objection was immediately removed, by her mother’s pulling from
her pocket a pair of mittens, which had once been brown, and once been
whole, but which were now rent in sundry places; and which, having been
long stretched by one who was twice the size of Phoebe, now hung in huge
wrinkles upon her well-turned arms.

“But, papa,” said Phoebe, “why should we take a dislike to him because he
is an Irishman? Cannot an Irishman be a good man?”

The verger made no answer to this question, but a few seconds after it
was put to him, observed that the cathedral bell had just done ringing;
and, as they were now got to the church door, Mrs. Hill, with a
significant look at Phoebe, remarked that it was no proper time to talk
or think of good men, or bad men, or Irishmen, or any men, especially
for a verger’s daughter.

We pass over in silence the many conjectures that were made by several
of the congregation, concerning the reason why Miss Phoebe Hill should
appear in such a shameful shabby pair of gloves on a Sunday. After
service was ended, the verger went, with great mystery, to examine the
hole under the foundation of the cathedral; and Mrs. Hill repaired, with
the grocer’s and the stationer’s ladies, to take a walk in the Close;
where she boasted to all her female acquaintance, whom she called her
friends, of her maternal discretion in prevailing upon Mr. Hill to
forbid her daughter Phoebe to wear the Limerick gloves.

In the mean time, Phoebe walked pensively homewards; endeavouring to
discover why her father should take a mortal dislike to a man, at first
sight, merely because he was an Irishman; and why her mother had talked
so much of the great dog, which had been lost last year out of the
tan-yard; and of the hole under the foundation of the cathedral! What
has all this to do with my Limerick gloves? thought she. The more she
thought, the less connexion she could perceive between these things:
for as she had not taken a dislike to Mr. Brian O’Neill at first sight,
because he was an Irishman, she could not think it quite reasonable to
suspect him of making away with her father’s dog; nor yet of a design to
blow up Hereford cathedral. As she was pondering upon these matters,
she came within sight of the ruins of a poor woman’s house, which a few
months before this time had been burnt down. She recollected that her
first acquaintance with her lover began at the time of this fire; and
she thought that the courage and humanity he showed, in exerting himself
to save this unfortunate woman and her children, justified her notion of
the possibility that an Irishman might be a good man.

The name of the poor woman, whose house had been burnt down, was Smith:
she was a widow, and she now lived at the extremity of a narrow lane in
a wretched habitation. Why Phoebe thought of her with more concern than
usual at this instant we need not examine, but she did; and, reproaching
herself for having neglected it for some weeks past, she resolved to go
directly to see the widow Smith, and to give her a crown which she had
long had in her pocket, with which she had intended to have bought play

It happened that the first person she saw in the poor widow’s kitchen
was the identical Mr. O’Neill. “I did not expect to see any body here
but you, Mrs. Smith,” said Phoebe, blushing.

“So much the greater the pleasure of the meeting; to me, I mean, Miss
Hill,” said O’Neill, rising, and putting down a little boy, with whom
he had been playing. Phoebe went on talking to the poor woman; and, after
slipping the crown into her hand, said she would call again. O’Neill,
surprised at the change in her manner, followed her when she left the
house, and said, “It would be a great misfortune to me to have done any
thing to offend Miss Hill; especially if I could not conceive how or
what it was, which is my case at this present speaking.” And, as the
spruce glover spoke, he fixed his eyes upon Phoebe’s ragged gloves. She
drew them up in vain; and then said, with her natural simplicity and
gentleness, “You have not done any thing to offend me, Mr. O’Neill; but
you are some way or other displeasing to my father and mother, and they
have forbid me to wear the Limerick gloves.”

“And sure Miss Hill would not be after changing her opinion of her
humble servant for no reason in life, but because her father and mother,
who have taken a prejudice against him, are a little contrary.”

“No,” replied Phoebe; “I should not change my opinion without any reason;
but I have not yet had time to fix my opinion of you, Mr. O’Neill.”

“To let you know a piece of my mind, then, my dear Miss Hill,” resumed
he, “the more contrary they are, the more pride and joy it would give me
to win and wear you, in spite of ‘em all; and if without a farthing in
your pocket, so much the more I should rejoice in the opportunity of
proving to your dear self, and all else whom it may consarn, that Brian
O’Neill is no fortune-hunter, and scorns them that are so narrow-minded
as to think that no other kind of cattle but them there fortune-hunters
can come out of all Ireland. So, my dear Phoebe, now we understand one
another, I hope you will not be paining my eyes any longer with the
sight of these odious brown bags, which are not fit to be worn by any
Christian arms, to say nothing of Miss Hill’s, which are the handsomest,
without any compliment, that ever I saw; and, to my mind, would become
a pair of Limerick gloves beyond any thing: and I expect she’ll show her
generosity and proper spirit by putting them on immediately.”

“You expect, sir!” repeated Miss Hill, with a look of more indignation
than her gentle countenance had ever before been seen to assume.
“Expect!” If he had said hope, thought she, it would have been another
thing: but expect! what right has he to expect?

Now Miss Hill, unfortunately, was not sufficiently acquainted with the
Irish idiom, to know, that to expect, in Ireland, is the same thing as
to hope in England; and, when her Irish admirer said I expect, he meant
only in plain English, I hope. But thus it is that a poor Irishman,
often, for want of understanding the niceties of the English language,
says the rudest when he means to say the civillest things imaginable.

Miss Hill’s feelings were so much hurt by this unlucky “I expect,”
 that the whole of his speech, which had before made some favourable
impression upon her, now lost its effect; and she replied with proper
spirit, as she thought, “You expect a great deal too much, Mr. O’Neill;
and more than ever I gave you reason to do. It would be neither pleasure
nor pride to me to be won and worn, as you were pleased to say, in spite
of them all; and to be thrown, without a farthing in my pocket, upon the
protection of one who expects so much at first setting out.--So I assure
you, sir, whatever you may expect, I shall not put on the Limerick

Mr. O’Neill was not without his share of pride and proper spirit;
nay, he had, it must be confessed, in common with some others of his
countrymen, an improper share of pride and spirit. Fired by the lady’s
coldness, he poured forth a volley of reproaches; and ended by wishing,
as he said, a good morning, for ever and ever, to one who could change
her opinion, point blank, like the weathercock. “I am, miss, your most
obedient; and I expect you’ll never think no more of poor Brian O’Neill,
and the Limerick gloves.”

If he had not been in too great a passion to observe any thing, poor
Brian O’Neill would have found out that Phoebe was not a weathercock: but
he left her abruptly, and hurried away, imagining all the while that it
was Phoebe, and not himself, who was in a rage. Thus, to the horseman,
who is galloping at full speed, the hedges, trees, and houses, seem
rapidly to recede; whilst, in reality, they never move from their
places. It is he that flies from them, and not they from him.

On Monday morning Miss Jenny Brown, the perfumer’s daughter, came to pay
Phoebe a morning visit, with face of busy joy.

“So, my dear!” said she: “fine doings in Hereford! but what makes you
look so downcast? To be sure you are invited, as well as the rest of

“Invited where?” cried Mrs. Hill, who was present, and who could never
endure to hear of an invitation in which she was not included. “Invited
where, pray, Miss Jenny?”

“La! have not you heard? Why, we all took it for granted that you and
Miss Phoebe would have been the first and foremost to have been asked to
Mr. O’Neill’s ball.”

“Ball!” cried Mrs. Hill; and luckily saved Phoebe, who was in some
agitation, the trouble of speaking. “Why, this is a mighty sudden thing:
I never heard a tittle of it before.”

“Well, this is really extraordinary! And, Phoebe, have you not received a
pair of Limerick gloves?”

“Yes, I have,” said Phoebe, “but what then? What have my Limerick gloves
to do with the ball?”

“A great deal,” replied Jenny. “Don’t you know, that a pair of Limerick
gloves is, as one may say, a ticket to this ball? for every lady that
has been asked has had a pair sent to her along with the card; and
I believe as many as twenty, besides myself, have been asked this

Jenny then produced her new pair of Limerick gloves; and as she tried
them on, and showed how well they fitted, she counted up the names of
the ladies who, to her knowledge, were to be at this ball. When she had
finished the catalogue, she expatiated upon the grand preparations which
it was said the widow O’Neill, Mr. O’Neill’s mother, was making for the
supper; and concluded by condoling with Mrs. Hill for her misfortune
in not having been invited. Jenny took her leave, to get her dress in
readiness: “for,” added she, “Mr. O’Neill has engaged me to open the
ball, in case Phoebe does not go: but I suppose she will cheer up and go,
as she has a pair of Limerick gloves as well as the rest of us.”

There was a silence for some minutes after Jenny’s departure, which was
broken by Phoebe, who told her mother that, early in the morning, a note
had been brought to her, which she had returned unopened; because she
knew, from the hand-writing of the direction, that it came from Mr.

We must observe that Phoebe had already told her mother of her meeting
with this gentleman at the poor widow’s, and of all that had passed
between them afterwards. This openness, on her part, had softened the
heart of Mrs. Hill; who was really inclined to be good-natured, provided
people would allow that she had more penetration than any one else in
Hereford. She was moreover a good deal piqued and alarmed by the idea
that the perfumer’s daughter might rival and outshine her own. Whilst
she had thought herself sure of Mr. O’Neill’s attachment to Phoebe, she
had looked higher; especially as she was persuaded, by the perfumer’s
lady, to think that an Irishman could not be a bad match: but now she
began to suspect that the perfumer’s lady had changed her opinion of
Irishmen, since she did not object to her own Jenny’s leading up the
ball at Mr. O’Neill’s.

All these thoughts passed rapidly in the mother’s mind; and, with her
fear of losing an admirer for her Phoebe, the value of that admirer
suddenly rose in her estimation. Thus, at an auction, if a lot is going
to be knocked down to a lady, who is the only person that has bid for
it, even she feels discontented, and despises that which nobody covets;
but if, as the hammer is falling, many voices answer to the question,
Who bids more? then her anxiety to secure the prize suddenly rises; and,
rather than be outbid, she will give far beyond its value.

“Why, child,” said Mrs. Hill, “since you have a pair of Limerick gloves;
and since certainly that note was an invitation to us to this ball; and
since it is much more fitting that you should open the ball than Jenny
Brown; and since, after all, it was very handsome and genteel of the
young man to say he would take you without a farthing in your pocket,
which shows that those were misinformed who talked of him as an Irish
adventurer; and since we are not certain ‘twas he made away with the
dog, although he said its barking was a great nuisance; there is no
great reason to suppose he was the person who made the hole under the
foundation of the cathedral, or that he could have such a wicked thought
as to blow it up; and since he must be in a very good way of business
to be able to afford giving away four or five guineas’ worth of Limerick
gloves, and balls and suppers; and since, after all, it is no fault of
his to be an Irishman; I give it as my vote and opinion, my dear, that
you put on your Limerick gloves and go to this ball; and I’ll go and
speak to your father, and bring him round to our opinion; and then
I’ll pay the morning visit I owe to the widow O’Neill, and make up your
quarrel with Brian. Love quarrels are easy to make up, you know; and
then we shall have things all upon velvet again; and Jenny Brown need
not come with her hypocritical condoling face to us anymore.”

After running this speech glibly off, Mrs. Hill, without waiting to hear
a syllable from poor Phoebe, trotted off in search of her consort. It
was not, however, quite so easy a task as his wife expected to bring
Mr. Hill round to her opinion. He was slow in declaring himself of any
opinion; but, when once he had said a thing, there was but little chance
of altering his notions. On this occasion, Mr. Hill was doubly bound to
his prejudice against our unlucky Irishman; for he had mentioned with
great solemnity at the club which he frequented, the grand affair of
the hole under the foundation of the cathedral; and his suspicions that
there was a design to blow it up. Several of the club had laughed at
this idea; others, who supposed that Mr. O’Neill was a Roman Catholic,
and who had a confused notion that a Roman Catholic _must_ be a very
wicked, dangerous being, thought that there might be a great deal in the
verger’s suggestions; and observed that a very watchful eye ought to be
kept upon this Irish glover, who had come to settle at Hereford nobody
knew why, and who seemed to have money at command nobody knew how.

The news of this ball sounded to Mr. Hill’s prejudiced imagination like
the news of a conspiracy. Ay! ay! thought he; the Irishman is cunning
enough! But we shall be too many for him: he wants to throw all the good
sober folks of Hereford off their guard, by feasting, and dancing, and
carousing, I take it; and so to perpetrate his evil designs when it is
least suspected; but we shall be prepared for him, fools as he takes us
plain Englishmen to be, I warrant.

In consequence of these most shrewd cogitations, our verger silenced his
wife with a peremptory nod, when she came to persuade him to let Phoebe
put on the Limerick gloves, and go to the ball. “To this ball she shall
not go; and I charge her not to put on those Limerick gloves, as she
values my blessing,” said Mr. Hill. “Please to tell her so, Mrs. Hill,
and trust to my judgment and discretion in all things, Mrs. Hill.
Strange work may be in Hereford yet: but I’ll say no more; I must go and
consult with knowing men, who are of my opinion.”

He sallied forth, and Mrs. Hill was left in a state which only those
who are troubled with the disease of excessive curiosity can rightly
comprehend or compassionate. She hied her back to Phoebe, to whom she
announced her father’s answer; and then went gossipping to all her
female acquaintance in Hereford, to tell them all that she knew, and all
that she did not know; and to endeavour to find out a secret where there
was none to be found.

There are trials of temper in all conditions: and no lady, in high or
low life, could endure them with a better grace than Phoebe. Whilst Mr.
and Mrs. Hill were busied abroad, there came to see Phoebe one of the
widow Smith’s children. With artless expressions of gratitude to Phoebe,
this little girl mixed the praises of O’Neill, who, she said, had been
the constant friend of her mother, and had given her money every
week since the fire happened. “Mammy loves him dearly, for being so
good-natured,” continued the child: “and he has been good to other
people as well as to us.”

“To whom?” said Phoebe.

“To a poor man who has lodged for these few days past next door to
us,” replied the child; “I don’t know his name rightly, but he is an
Irishman; and he goes out a-haymaking in the day-time, along with a
number of others. He knew Mr. O’Neill in his own country, and he told
mammy a great deal about his goodness.”

As the child finished these words, Phoebe took out of a drawer some
clothes, which she had made for the poor woman’s children, and gave them
to the little girl. It happened that the Limerick gloves had been thrown
into this drawer; and Phoebe’s favourable sentiments of the giver
of those gloves were revived by what she had just heard, and by the
confession Mrs. Hill had made, that she had no reasons, and but vague
suspicions, for thinking ill of him. She laid the gloves perfectly
smooth, and strewed over them, whilst the little girl went on talking of
Mr. O’Neill, the leaves of a rose which she had worn on Sunday.

Mr. Hill was all this time in deep conference with those prudent men of
Hereford, who were of his own opinion, about the perilous hole under the
cathedral. The ominous circumstance of this ball was also considered,
the great expense at which the Irish glover lived, and his giving away
gloves; which was a sure sign he was not under any necessity to sell
them; and consequently a proof that, though he pretended to be a glover,
he was something wrong in disguise. Upon putting all these things
together, it was resolved, by these over-wise politicians, that the best
thing that could be done for Hereford, and the only possible means of
preventing the immediate destruction of its cathedral, would be to take
Mr. O’Neill into custody. Upon recollection, however, it was perceived
that there was no legal ground on which he could be attacked. At
length, after consulting an attorney, they devised what they thought an
admirable mode of proceeding.

Our Irish hero had not that punctuality which English tradesmen usually
observe in the payment of bills: he had, the preceding year, run up a
long bill with a grocer in Hereford; and, as he had not at Christmas
cash in hand to pay it, he had given a note, payable six months after
date. The grocer, at Mr. Hill’s request, made over the note to him; and
it was determined that the money should be demanded, as it was now due,
and that, if it was not paid directly, O’Neill should be that night
arrested. How Mr. Hill made the discovery of this debt to the grocer
agree with his former notion that the Irish glover had always money at
command, we cannot well conceive; but anger and prejudice will swallow
down the grossest contradictions without difficulty.

When Mr. Hill’s clerk went to demand payment of the note, O’Neill’s
head was full of the ball which he was to give that evening. He was much
surprised at the unexpected appearance of the note: he had not ready
money by him to pay it; and, after swearing a good deal at the clerk,
and complaining of this ungenerous and ungentleman-like behaviour in
the grocer and the tanner, he told the clerk to be gone, and not to be
bothering him at such an unseasonable time; that he could not have the
money then, and did not deserve to have it at all.

This language and conduct were rather new to the English clerk’s
mercantile ears: we cannot wonder that it should seem to him, as he said
to his master, more the language of a madman than a man of business.
This want of punctuality in money transactions, and this mode of
treating contracts as matters of favour and affection, might not have
damned the fame of our hero in his own country, where such conduct is,
alas! too common; but he was now in a kingdom where the manners and
customs are so directly opposite, that he could meet with no allowance
for his national faults. It would be well for his countrymen if they
were made, even by a few mortifications, somewhat sensible of this
important difference in the habits of Irish and English traders, before
they come to settle in England.

But, to proceed with our story. On the night of Mr. O’Neill’s grand
ball, as he was seeing his fair partner, the perfumer’s daughter, safe
home, he felt himself tapped on the shoulder by no friendly hand. When
he was told that he was the king’s prisoner, he vociferated with sundry
strange oaths, which we forbear to repeat, “No, I am not the king’s
prisoner! I am the prisoner of that shabby rascally tanner, Jonathan
Hill. None but he would arrest a gentleman, in this way, for a trifle
not worth mentioning.”

Miss Jenny Brown screamed when she found herself under the protection
of a man who was arrested; and, what between her screams and his oaths,
there was such a disturbance that a mob gathered.

Among this mob there was a party of Irish haymakers, who, after
returning late from a hard day’s work, had been drinking in a
neighbouring ale-house. With one accord they took part with their
countryman, and would have rescued him from the civil officers with
all the pleasure in life, if he had not fortunately possessed just
sufficient sense and command of himself, to restrain their party
spirit, and to forbid them, as they valued his life and reputation, to
interfere, by word or deed, in his defence.

He then despatched one of the haymakers home to his mother, to inform
her of what had happened; and to request that she would get somebody to
be bail for him as soon as possible, as the officers said they could not
let him out of their sight till he was bailed by substantial people, or
till the debt was discharged.

The widow O’Neill was just putting out the candles in the ball-room when
this news of her son’s arrest was brought to her. We pass over Hibernian
exclamations: she consoled her pride by reflecting that it would
certainly be the most easy thing imaginable to procure bail for Mr.
O’Neill in Hereford, where he had so many friends who had just been
dancing at his house, but to dance at his house she found was one thing,
and to be bail for him quite another. Each guest sent excuses; and the
widow O’Neill was astonished at what never fails to astonish every body
when it happens to themselves. “Rather than let my son be detained in
this manner for a paltry debt,” cried she, “I’d sell all I have within
half an hour to a pawnbroker.” It was well no pawnbroker heard this
declaration: she was too warm to consider economy. She sent for a
pawnbroker, who lived in the same street, and, after pledging goods to
treble the amount of the debt, she obtained ready money for her son’s

O’Neill, after being in custody for about an hour and a half, was set at
liberty upon the payment of his debt. As he passed by the cathedral in
his way home, he heard the clock strike; and he called to a man, who was
walking backwards and forwards in the churchyard, to ask whether it was
two or three that the clock struck. “Three,” answered the man; “and, as
yet, all is safe.”

O’Neill, whose head was full of other things, did not stop to inquire
the meaning of these last words. He little suspected that this man was a
watchman, whom the over-vigilant verger had stationed there to guard the
Hereford cathedral from his attacks. O’Neill little guessed that he
had been arrested merely to keep him from blowing up the cathedral this
night. The arrest had an excellent effect upon his mind, for he was a
young man of good sense: it made him resolve to retrench his expenses in
time, to live more like a glover and less like a gentleman; and to aim
more at establishing credit, and less at gaining popularity. He found,
from experience, that good friends will not pay bad debts.


On Thursday morning, our verger rose in unusually good spirits,
congratulating himself upon the eminent service he had done to the city
of Hereford, by his sagacity in discovering the foreign plot to blow up
the cathedral, and by his dexterity in having the enemy held in custody,
at the very hour when the dreadful deed was to have been perpetrated.
Mr. Hill’s knowing friends farther agreed it would be necessary to have
a guard that should sit up every night in the churchyard; and that as
soon as they could, by constantly watching the enemy’s motions, procure
any information which the attorney should deem sufficient grounds for a
legal proceeding, they should lay the whole business before the mayor.

After arranging all this most judiciously and mysteriously with friends
who were exactly of his own opinion, Mr. Hill laid aside his dignity of
verger; and assuming his other character of a tanner proceeded to his
tan-yard. What was his surprise and consternation, when he beheld his
great rick of oak bark levelled to the ground; the pieces of bark were
scattered far and wide, some over the close, some over the fields, and
some were seen swimming upon the water! No tongue, no pen, no muse can
describe the feelings of our tanner at this spectacle! feelings which
became the more violent from the absolute silence which he imposed on
himself upon this occasion. He instantly decided in his own mind, that
this injury was perpetrated by O’Neill, in revenge for his arrest; and
went privately to the attorney to inquire what was to be done, on his
part, to secure legal vengeance.

The attorney unluckily, or at least as Mr. Hill thought, unluckily, had
been sent for, half an hour before, by a gentleman at some distance from
Hereford, to draw up a will; so that our tanner was obliged to postpone
his legal operations.

We forbear to recount his return, and how many times he walked up and
down the close to view his scattered bark, and to estimate the damage
that had been done to him. At length that hour came which usually
suspends all passions by the more imperious power of appetite--the hour
of dinner; an hour of which it was never needful to remind Mr. Hill by
watch, clock, or dial; for he was blessed with a punctual appetite, and
powerful as punctual: so powerful, indeed, that it often excited the
spleen of his more genteel, or less hungry wife.--“Bless my stars, Mr.
Hill,” she would oftentimes say, “I am really downright ashamed to see
you eat so much; and when company is to dine with us, I do wish you
would take a snack by way of a damper before dinner, that you may not
look so prodigious famishing and ungenteel.”

Upon this hint, Mr. Hill commenced a practice, to which he ever
afterwards religiously adhered, of going, whether there was to be
company or no company, into the kitchen regularly every day, half an
hour before dinner, to take a slice from the roast or the boiled before
it went up to table. As he was this day, according to his custom, in the
kitchen, taking his snack by way of a damper, he heard the housemaid and
the cook talking about some wonderful fortune-teller, whom the housemaid
had been consulting. This fortune-teller was no less a personage than
the successor to Bampfylde Moore Carew, king of the gipsies, whose life
and adventures are probably in many, too many, of our readers’ hands.
Bampfylde, the second king of the gipsies, assumed this title, in hopes
of becoming as famous, or as infamous, as his predecessor: he was now
holding his court in a wood near the town of Hereford, and numbers of
servant-maids and ‘prentices went to consult him--nay, it was whispered
that he was resorted to, secretly, by some whose education might have
taught them better sense.

Numberless were the instances which our verger heard in his kitchen of
the supernatural skill of this cunning man; and whilst Mr. Hill ate his
snack with his wonted gravity, he revolved great designs in his secret
soul. Mrs. Hill was surprised, several times during dinner, to see her
consort put down his knife and fork, and meditate. “Gracious me, Mr.
Hill, what can have happened to you this day? What can you be thinking
of, Mr. Hill, that can make you forget what you have upon your plate?”

“Mrs. Hill,” replied the thoughtful verger, “our grand-mother Eve had
too much curiosity; and we all know it did not lead to good. What I am
thinking of will be known to you in due time, but not now, Mrs. Hill;
therefore, pray, no questions, or teasing, or pumping. What I think, I
think; what I say, I say; what I know, I know; and that is enough for
you to know at present: only this, Phoebe, you did very well not to put
on the Limerick gloves, child. What I know, I know. Things will turn out
just as I said from the first. What I say, I say; and what I think, I
think; and this is enough for you to know at present.”

Having finished dinner with this solemn speech, Mr. Hill settled himself
in his arm-chair, to take his after-dinner’s nap; and he dreamed of
blowing up cathedrals, and of oak bark floating upon the waters; and
the cathedral was, he thought, blown up by a man dressed in a pair of
woman’s Limerick gloves, and the oak bark turned into mutton steaks,
after which his great dog Jowler was swimming; when, all on a sudden, as
he was going to beat Jowler for eating the bark transformed into mutton
steaks, Jowler became Bampfylde the second, king of the gipsies; and
putting a horsewhip with a silver handle into Hill’s hand, commanded
him three times, in a voice as loud as the town crier’s, to have O’Neill
whipped through the market-place of Hereford: but, just as he was going
to the window to see this whipping, his wig fell off, and he awoke.

It was difficult, even for Mr. Hill’s sagacity, to make sense of this
dream: but he had the wise art of always finding in his dreams something
that confirmed his waking determinations. Before he went to sleep, he
had half resolved to consult the king of the gipsies, in the absence
of the attorney; and his dream made him now wholly determined upon this
prudent step. From Bampfylde the second, thought he, I shall learn for
certain who made the hole under the cathedral, who pulled down my rick
of bark, and who made away with my dog Jowler; and then I shall swear
examinations against O’Neill without waiting for attorneys. I will
follow my own way in this business: I have always found my own way best.

So, when the dusk of the evening increased, our wise man set out towards
the wood to consult the cunning man. Bampfylde the second, king of the
gipsies, resided in a sort of hut made of the branches of trees:
the verger stooped, but did not stoop low enough, as he entered this
temporary palace; and, whilst his body was almost bent double, his
peruke was caught upon a twig. From this awkward situation he was
relieved by the consort of the king; and he now beheld, by the light
of some embers, the person of his gipsy majesty, to whose sublime
appearance this dim light was so favourable that it struck a secret awe
into our wise man’s soul; and, forgetting Hereford cathedral, and oak
bark, and Limerick gloves, he stood for some seconds speechless. During
this time, the queen very dexterously disencumbered his pocket of all
superfluous articles. When he recovered his recollection, he put with
great solemnity the following queries to the king of the gipsies, and
received the following answers:

“Do you know a dangerous Irishman, of the name of O’Neill, who has come,
for purposes best known to himself, to settle at Hereford?”

“Yes, we know him well.”

“Indeed! And what do you know of him?”

“That he is a dangerous Irishman.”

“Right! And it was he, was it not, that pulled down, or caused to be
pulled down, my rick of oak bark?”

“It was.”

“And who was it that made away with my dog Jowler, that used to guard
the tan-yard?”

“It was the person that you suspect.”

“And was it the person whom I suspect that made the hole under the
foundation of our cathedral?”

“The same, and no other.”

“And for what purpose did he make that hole?”

“For a purpose that must not be named,” replied the king of the gipsies;
nodding his head in a mysterious manner.

“But it may be named to me,” cried the verger, “for I have found it out,
and I am one of the vergers; and is it not fit that a plot to blow up
the Hereford cathedral should be known _to_ me, and _through_ me?”

  “Now, take my word,
  Wise men of Hereford,
  None in safety may be,
  Till the _bad man_ doth flee.”

These oracular verses, pronounced by Bampfylde with all the enthusiasm
of one who was inspired, had the desired effect upon our wise man; and
he left the presence of the king of the gipsies with a prodigiously
high opinion of his majesty’s judgment and of his own, fully resolved
to impart, the next morning, to the mayor of Hereford, his important

Now it happened that, during the time Mr. Hill was putting the foregoing
queries to Bampfylde the second, there came to the door or entrance
of the audience chamber, an Irish haymaker, who wanted to consult the
cunning man about a little leathern purse which he had lost, whilst he
was making hay, in a field near Hereford. This haymaker was the same
person who, as we have related, spoke so advantageously of our
hero, O’Neill, to the widow Smith. As this man, whose name was Paddy
M’Cormack, stood at the entrance of the gipsies’ hut, his attention
was caught by the name of O’Neill; and he lost not a word of all that
passed. He had reason to be somewhat surprised at hearing Bampfylde
assert it was O’Neill who had pulled down the rick of bark. “By the holy
poker,” said he to himself, “the old fellow now is out there. I know
more o’ that matter than he does--no offence to his majesty: he knows
no more of my purse, I’ll engage now, than he does of this man’s rick of
bark and his dog: so I’ll keep my tester in my pocket, and not be giving
it to this king o’ the gipsies, as they call him; who, as near as I can
guess, is no better than a cheat. But there is one secret which I can be
telling this conjuror himself; he shall not find it such an easy matter
to do all what he thinks; he shall not be after ruining an innocent
countryman of my own, whilst Paddy M’Cormack has a tongue and brains.”

Now Paddy M’Cormack had the best reason possible for knowing that Mr.
O’Neill did not pull down Mr. Hill’s rick of bark; it was M’Cormack
himself, who, in the heat of his resentment for the insulting arrest
of his countryman in the streets of Hereford, had instigated his fellow
haymakers to this mischief; he headed them, and thought he was doing a
clever, spirited action.

There is a strange mixture of virtue and vice in the minds of the lower
class of Irish; or rather a strange confusion in their ideas of right
and wrong, from want of proper education. As soon as poor Paddy found
out that his spirited action of pulling down the rick of bark was likely
to be the ruin of his countryman, he resolved to make all the amends
in his power for his folly: he went to collect his fellow haymakers
and persuaded them to assist him this night in rebuilding what they had
pulled down.

They went to this work when every body except themselves, as they
thought, was asleep in Hereford. They had just completed the stack,
and were all going away except Paddy, who was seated at the very top,
finishing the pile, when they heard a loud voice cry out, “Here they
are, Watch! Watch!”

Immediately, all the haymakers, who could, ran off as fast as possible.
It was the watch who had been sitting up at the cathedral who gave
the alarm. Paddy was taken from the top of the rick, and lodged in the
watchhouse till morning. “Since I’m to be rewarded this way for doing a
good action, sorrow take me,” said he, “if they catch me doing another
the longest day ever I live.”

Happy they who have in their neighbourhood such a magistrate as Mr.
Marshal! He was a man who, to an exact knowledge of the duties of
his office, joined the power of discovering truth from the midst of
contradictory evidence; and the happy art of soothing, or laughing,
the angry passions into good-humour. It was a common saying in
Hereford--that no one ever came out of Justice Marshal’s house as angry
as he went into it.

Mr. Marshal had scarcely breakfasted when he was informed that Mr. Hill,
the verger, wanted to speak to him on business of the utmost importance.
Mr. Hill, the verger, was ushered in; and, with gloomy solemnity, took a
seat opposite to Mr. Marshal.

“Sad doings in Hereford, Mr. Marshal! Sad doings, sir.”

“Sad doings? Why, I was told we had merry doings in Hereford. A ball the
night before last, as I heard.”

“So much the worse, Mr. Marshal; so much the worse; as those think with
reason that see as far into things as I do.”

“So much the better, Mr. Hill,” said Mr. Marshal, laughing; “so much the
better; as those think with reason that see no farther into things than
I do.”

“But, sir,” said the verger, still more solemnly, “this is no laughing
matter, nor time for laughing; begging your pardon. Why, sir, the night
of that there diabolical ball, our Hereford cathedral, sir, would have
been blown up--blown up from the foundation, if it had not been for me,

“Indeed, Mr. Verger! And pray how, and by whom, was the cathedral to be
blown up? and what was there diabolical in this ball?”

Here Mr. Hill let Mr. Marshal into the whole history of his early
dislike to O’Neill, and his shrewd suspicions of him the first moment
he saw him in Hereford; related in the most prolix manner all that
the reader knows already, and concluded by saying that, as he was now
certain of his facts, he was come to swear examinations against this
villanous Irishman, who, he hoped, would be speedily brought to justice,
as he deserved.

“To justice he shall be brought, as he deserves,” said Mr. Marshal;
“but, before I write, and before you swear, will you have the goodness
to inform me how you have made yourself as certain, as you evidently
are, of what you call your facts?”

“Sir, that is a secret,” replied our wise man, “which I shall trust to
you alone;” and he whispered into Mr. Marshal’s ear that his information
came from Bampfylde the second, king of the gipsies.

Mr. Marshal instantly burst into laughter; then composing himself said,
“My good sir, I am really glad that you have proceeded no farther in
this business; and that no one in Hereford, beside myself, knows that
you were on the point of swearing examinations against a man on the
evidence of Bampfylde the second, king of the gipsies{1}. My dear sir,
it would be a standing joke against you to the end of your days. A
grave man, like Mr. Hill; and a verger too! Why, you would be the
laughing-stock of Hereford!”

Now Mr. Marshal well knew the character of the man to whom he was
talking, who, above all things on earth, dreaded to be laughed at. Mr.
Hill coloured all over his face, and, pushing back his wig by way of
settling it, showed that he blushed not only all over his face but all
over his head.

{Footnote 1: The following passage is an extract from Colquhoun, On
the Police of the Metropolis, page 69:--“An instance of mischievous
credulity, occasioned by consulting this impostor” (_a man calling
himself an astrologer, who practised long in the Curtain-road,
Shoreditch, London; and who is said, in conjunction with his associates,
to have made near 300£. a year by practising on the credulity of the
lower order of the people_), “fell lately under the review of a police
magistrate. A person, having property stolen from him, went to consult
the conjuror respecting the thief; who having described something like
the person of a man whom he suspected, his credulity and folly so far
got the better of his reason and reflection, as to induce him, upon
the authority of this impostor, actually to charge his neighbour with a
felony, and to cause him to be apprehended. The magistrate settled the
matter by discharging the prisoner, reprimanding the accuser severely,
and ordering the conjuror to be taken into custody, according to law, as
a rogue and a vagabond.”}

“Why, Mr. Marshal, sir,” said he, “as to my being laughed at, it is what
I did not look for, being as there are some men in Hereford to whom
I have mentioned that hole in the cathedral, who have thought it
no laughing matter, and who have been precisely of my own opinion

“But did you tell these gentlemen that you had been consulting the king
of the gipsies?”

“No, sir, no: I can’t say that I did.”

“Then I advise you, keep your own counsel, as I will.”

Mr. Hill, whose imagination wavered between the hole in the cathedral
and his rick of bark on one side, and between his rick of bark and his
dog Jowler on the other, now began to talk of the dog, and now of the
rick of bark; and when he had exhausted all he had to say upon these
subjects, Mr. Marshal gently pulled him towards the window, and putting
a spy-glass into his hand, bid him look towards his own tan-yard, and
tell him what he saw. To his great surprise, Mr. Hill saw his rick of
bark rebuilt.

“Why, it was not there last night,” exclaimed he, rubbing his eyes.
“Why, some conjuror must have done this.”

“No,” replied Mr. Marshal, “no conjuror did it: but your friend
Bampfylde the second, king of the gipsies, was the cause of its being
rebuilt; and here is the man who actually pulled it down, and who
actually rebuilt it.”

As he said these words, Mr. Marshal opened the door of an adjoining
room, and beckoned to the Irish haymaker, who had been taken into
custody about an hour before this time. The watch who took Paddy had
called at Mr. Hill’s house to tell him what had happened, but Mr. Hill
was not then at home.

It was with much surprise that the verger heard the simple truth from
this poor fellow; but no sooner was he convinced that O’Neill was
innocent as to this affair, than he recurred to his other ground of
suspicion, the loss of his dog.

The Irish haymaker now stepped forward, and, with a peculiar twist of
the hips and shoulders, which those only who have seen it can picture to
themselves, said, “Plase your honour’s honour, I have a little word to
say too about the dog.” “Say it then,” said Mr. Marshal.

“Plase your honour, if I might expect to be forgiven, and let off for
pulling down the jontleman’s stack, I might be able to tell him what I
know about the dog.”

“If you can tell me any thing about my dog,” said the tanner, “I will
freely forgive you for pulling down the rick: especially as you have
built it up again. Speak the truth now: did not O’Neill make away with
the dog?”

“Not at all at all, plase your honour,” replied the haymaker: “and the
truth of the matter is, I know nothing of the dog, good or bad; but I
know something of his collar, if your name, plase your honour, is Hill,
as I take it to be?”

“My name is Hill: proceed,” said the tanner, with great eagerness. “You
know something about the collar of my dog Jowler?”

“Plase your honour, this much I know any way, that it is now or was the
night before last, at the pawnbroker’s there, below in town; for, plase
your honour, I was sent late at night (that night that Mr. O’Neill,
long life to him! was arrested) to the pawnbroker’s for a Jew, by Mrs.
O’Neill, poor creature! she was in great trouble that same time.”

“Very likely,” interrupted Mr. Hill: “but go on to the collar; what of
the collar?”

“She sent me,--I’ll tell you the story, plase your honour, _out of the
face_--she sent me to the pawnbroker’s for the Jew; and, it being so
late at night, the shop was shut, and it was with all the trouble in
life that I got into the house any way: and, when I got in, there was
none but a slip of a boy up; and he set down the light that he had in
his hand, and ran up the stairs to waken his master: and, whilst he was
gone, I just made bold to look round at what sort of a place I was in,
and at the old clothes and rags and scraps; there was a sort of a frieze

“A trusty!” said Mr. Hill; “what is that pray?”

“A big coat, sure, plase your honour: there was a frieze big coat lying
in a corner, which I had my eye upon, to trate myself to; I having, as
I then thought, money in my little purse enough for it. Well, I won’t
trouble your honour’s honour with telling of you now how I lost my purse
in the field, as I found after; but about the big coat, as I was saying,
I just lifted it off the ground, to see would it fit me; and, as I swung
it round, something, plase your honour, hit me a great knock on the
shins: it was in the pocket of the coat, whatever it was, I knew; so I
looks into the pocket, to see what was it, plase your honour, and out
I pulls a hammer and a dog-collar; it was a wonder, both together, they
did not break my shins entirely: but it’s no matter for my shins now:
so, before the boy came down, I just out of idleness spelt out to myself
the name that was upon the collar: there were two names, plase your
honour; and out of the first there were so many letters hammered out I
could make nothing of it, at all at all; but the other name was plain
enough to read any way, and it was Hill, plase your honour’s honour, as
sure as life: Hill, now.”

This story was related in tones and gestures which were so new and
strange to English ears and eyes, that even the solemnity of our verger
gave way to laughter.--Mr. Marshal sent a summons for the pawnbroker,
that he might learn from him how he came by the dog-collar. The
pawnbroker, when he found from Mr. Marshal that he could by no other
means save himself from being committed to prison, confessed that
the collar had been sold to him by Bampfylde the second, king of the

A warrant was immediately despatched for his majesty: and Mr. Hill was
a good deal alarmed, by the fear of its being known in Hereford that he
was on the point of swearing examinations against an innocent man, upon
the evidence of a dog-stealer and a gipsy.

Bampfylde the second made no sublime appearance, when he was brought
before Mr. Marshal; nor could all his astrology avail upon this
occasion: the evidence of the pawnbroker was so positive, as to the fact
of his having sold to him the dog-collar, that there was no resource
left for Bampfylde but an appeal to Mr. Hill’s mercy. He fell on his
knees, and confessed that it was he who stole the dog; which used to
bark at him at night so furiously that he could not commit certain petty
depredations, by which, as much as by telling fortunes, he made his

“And so,” said Mr. Marshal, with a sternness of manner which till now he
had never shown, “to screen yourself, you accused an innocent man; and
by your vile arts would have driven him from Hereford, and have set two
families for ever at variance, to conceal that you had stolen a dog.”

The king of the gipsies was, without farther ceremony, committed to the
house of correction. We should not omit to mention, that, on searching
his hut, the Irish haymaker’s purse was found, which some of his
majesty’s train had emptied. The whole set of gipsies decamped, upon the
news of the apprehension of their monarch.

Mr. Hill stood in profound silence, leaning upon his walking-stick,
whilst the committal was making out for Bampfylde the second. The fear
of ridicule was struggling with the natural positiveness of his temper:
he was dreadfully afraid that the story of his being taken in by the
king of the gipsies would get abroad; and, at the same time, he was
unwilling to give up his prejudice against the Irish glover.

“But, Mr. Marshal,” cried he, after a long silence, “the hole under the
foundation of the cathedral has never been accounted for: that is, was,
and ever will be, an ugly mystery to me; and I never can have a good
opinion of this Irishman, till it is cleared up; nor can I think the
cathedral in safety.”

“What,” said Mr. Marshal, with an arch smile, “I suppose the verses
of the oracle still work upon your imagination, Mr. Hill. They are
excellent in their kind. I must have them by heart that, when I am asked
the reason why Mr. Hill has taken an aversion to an Irish glover, I may
be able to repeat them:

  ‘Now, take my word,
  Wise men of Hereford,
  None in safety may be,
  Till the bad man doth flee.’”

“You’ll oblige me, sir,” said the verger, “if you would never repeat
those verses, sir; nor mention, in any company, the affair of the king
of the gipsies.”

“I will oblige you,” replied Mr. Marshal, “if you will oblige me. Will
you tell me honestly whether now that you find this Mr. O’Neill is
neither a dog-killer nor a puller down of bark ricks, you feel that you
could forgive him for being an Irishman, if the mystery, as you call
it, of the hole under the cathedral was cleared up?” “But that is not
cleared up, I say, sir,” cried Mr. Hill, striking his walking-stick
forcibly upon the ground, with both his hands. “As to the matter of
his being an Irishman, I have nothing to say to it: I am not saying any
thing about that, for I know we all are born where it pleases God; and
an Irishman may be as good as another. I know that much, Mr. Marshal;
and I am not one of those illiberal-minded ignorant people that
cannot abide a man that was not born in England. Ireland is now in his
majesty’s dominions, I know very well, Mr. Marshal; and I have no
manner of doubt, as I said before, that an Irishman born may be as good,
almost, as an Englishman born.”

“I am glad,” said Mr. Marshal, “to hear you speak, almost, as reasonably
as an Englishman born and every man ought to speak; and I am convinced
that you have too much English hospitality to persecute an inoffensive
stranger, who comes amongst us trusting to our justice and good nature.”

“I would not persecute a stranger, God forbid!” replied the verger, “if
he was, as you say, inoffensive.”

“And if he was not only inoffensive, but ready to do every service in
his power to those who are in want of his assistance, we should not
return evil for good, should we?”

“That would be uncharitable, to be sure; and moreover a scandal,” said
the verger.

“Then,” said Mr. Marshal, “will you walk with me as far as the widow
Smith’s, the poor woman whose house was burnt last winter! This
haymaker, who lodged near her, can show us the way to her present

During his examination of Paddy M’Cormack, who would tell his whole
history, as he called it, _out of the face_, Mr. Marshal heard several
instances of the humanity and goodness of O’Neill, which Paddy related
to excuse himself for that warmth of attachment to his cause, that had
been manifested so injudiciously by pulling down the rick of bark
in revenge for the arrest. Amongst other things, Paddy mentioned his
countryman’s goodness to the widow Smith: Mr. Marshal was determined,
therefore, to see whether he had, in this instance, spoken the truth;
and he took Mr. Hill with him, in hopes of being able to show him the
favourable side of O’Neill’s character. Things turned out just as Mr.
Marshal expected. The poor widow and her family, in the most simple
and affecting manner, described the distress from which they had been
relieved by the good gentleman and lady, the lady was Phoebe Hill;
and the praises that were bestowed upon Phoebe were delightful to her
father’s ear, whose angry passions had now all subsided.

The benevolent Mr. Marshal seized the moment when he saw Mr. Hill’s
heart was touched, and exclaimed, “I must be acquainted with this Mr.
O’Neill. I am sure we people of Hereford ought to show some hospitality
to a stranger, who has so much humanity. Mr. Hill, will you dine with
him to-morrow at my house?”

Mr. Hill was just going to accept of this invitation, when the
recollection of all he had said to his club about the hole under the
cathedral came across him; and, drawing Mr. Marshal aside, he whispered,
“But sir, sir, that affair of the hole under the cathedral has not been
cleared up yet.”

At this instant, the widow Smith exclaimed, “Oh! here comes my little
Mary” (one of her children, who came running in): “this is the little
girl, sir, to whom the lady has been so good. Make your curtsy, child.
Where have you been all this while?”

“Mammy,” said the child, “I’ve been showing the lady my rat.”

“Lord bless her! Gentlemen, the child has been wanting me this many
a day to go to see this tame rat of hers; but I could never get time,
never: and I wondered too at the child’s liking such a creature. Tell
the gentlemen, dear, about your rat. All I know is, that, let her have
but never such a tiny bit of bread, for breakfast or supper, she saves
a little of that little for this rat of hers: she and her brothers have
found it out somewhere by the cathedral.”

“It comes out of a hole under the wall of the cathedral,” said one
of the elder boys; “and we have diverted ourselves watching it, and
sometimes we have put victuals for it, so it has grown, in a manner,
tame like.”

Mr. Hill and Mr. Marshal looked at one another during this speech; and
the dread of ridicule again seized on Mr. Hill, when he apprehended
that, after all he had said, the mountain might, at last, bring forth--a
rat. Mr. Marshal, who instantly saw what passed in the verger’s mind,
relieved him from this fear, by refraining even from a smile on this
occasion. He only said to the child, in a grave manner, “I am afraid,
my dear, we shall be obliged to spoil your diversion. Mr. Verger, here,
cannot suffer rat-holes in the cathedral: but, to make you amends for
the loss of your favourite, I will give you a very pretty little dog, if
you have a mind.”

The child was well pleased with this promise; and, at Mr. Marshal’s
desire, she then went along with him and Mr. Hill to the cathedral, and
they placed themselves at a little distance from that hole which had
created so much disturbance. The child soon brought the dreadful enemy
to light; and Mr. Hill, with a faint laugh, said, “I’m glad it’s no
worse: but there were many in our club who were of my opinion; and, if
they had not suspected O’Neill too, I am sure I should never have given
you so much trouble, sir, as I have done this morning. But, I hope, as
the club know nothing about that vagabond, that king of the gipsies, you
will not let any one know any thing about the prophecy, and all that?
I am sure, I am very sorry to have given you so much trouble, Mr.

Mr. Marshal assured him that he did not regret the time which he had
spent in endeavouring to clear up all these mysteries and suspicions;
and Mr. Hill gladly accepted his invitation to meet O’Neill at his house
the next day. No sooner had Mr. Marshal brought one of the parties
to reason and good-humour, than he went to prepare the other for a
reconciliation. O’Neill and his mother were both people of warm but
forgiving tempers: the arrest was fresh in their minds; but when
Mr. Marshal represented to them the whole affair, and the verger’s
prejudices, in a humorous light, they joined in the good-natured laugh,
and O’Neill declared that, for his part, he was ready to forgive and
to forget every thing, if he could but see Miss Phoebe in the Limerick

Phosbe appeared the next day, at Mr. Marshal’s, in the Limerick gloves;
and no perfume ever was so delightful to her lover as the smell of the
rose leaves, in which they had been kept. Mr. Marshal had the benevolent
pleasure of reconciling the two families. The tanner and the glover of
Hereford became, from bitter enemies, useful friends to each other; and
they were convinced, by experience, that nothing could be more for their
mutual advantage than to live in union.

_Nov_. 1799.



Leonard Ludgate was the only son and heir of a London haberdasher, who
had made some money by constant attendance to his shop. “Out of debt
out of danger,” was the father’s old-fashioned saying. The son’s more
liberal maxim was, “Spend to-day, and spare to-morrow.” Whilst he
was under his father’s eye, it was not in his power to live up to his
principles; and he longed for the time when he should be relieved from
his post behind the counter: a situation which he deemed highly unworthy
a youth of his parts and spirit. To imprison his elegant person behind a
counter in Cranbourne-alley was, to be sure, in a cruel father’s
power; but his tyranny could not extend to his mind; and, whilst he was
weighing minikin pins, or measuring out penny ribbon, his soul, leaving
all these meaner things, was expatiating in Bond-street or Hyde-park.
Whilst his fingers mechanically adjusted the scales, or carelessly
slipped the yard, his imagination was galloping a fine bay with Tom
Lewis, or driving Miss Belle Perkins in a gig.

Now Tom Lewis was a dashing young citizen, whom old Ludgate could not
endure; and Miss Belle Perkins a would-be fine lady, whom he advised
his son never to think of for a wife. But the happy moment at length
arrived, when our hero could safely show how much he despised both the
advice and the character of his father; when he could quit his nook
behind the counter, throw aside the yard, assume the whip, and affect
the fine gentleman. In short, the happy moment came when his father

Leonard now shone forth in all the glory which the united powers of
tailor, hatter, and hosier, could spread around lug person. Miss Belle
Perkins, who had hitherto looked down upon our hero as a reptile of
Cranbourne-alley, beheld his metamorphosis with surprise and admiration.
And she, who had formerly been heard to say, “she would not touch him
with a pair of tongs,” now unreluctantly gave him her envied hand at
a ball at Bagnigge Wells. Report farther adds that, at tea, Miss Belle
whispered loud enough to be heard, that since his queer father’s death,
Leonard Ludgate had turned out quite a genteeler sort of person than
could have been expected.

“Upon this hint he spake.” His fair one, after assuming all proper and
becoming airs upon the occasion, suffered herself to be prevailed
upon to call, with her mother and a friend, at Mr. Ludgate’s house in
Cranbourne-alley, to see whether it could be possibly inhabited by a
lady of her taste and consequence.

As Leonard handed her out of her hackney-coach, she exclaimed, “Bless
us, and be we to go up this paved lane, and through the shop, before we
can get to the more creditabler apartments?”

“I’m going to cut a passage off the shop, which I’ve long had in
contemplation,” replied our hero; “only I can’t get light into it

“Oh! a lamp in the style of a _chandaleer_ will do vastly well by night,
which is the time one wants one’s house to put the best foot foremost,
for company; and by day we can make a shift, somehow or other, I dare
say. Any thing’s better than _trapesing_ through a shop; which is a
thing I’ve never been used to, and cannot reconcile myself to by any

Leonard immediately acceded to this scheme of the dark passage by day,
and the _chandaleer_ by night; and he hurried his fair one through the
odious shop to the _more creditabler_ apartments. She was handed above,
about, and underneath. She found every particle of the house wanted
modernizing immensely, and was altogether smaller than she could ever
have conceived beforehand. Our hero, ambitious at once to show his
gallantry, spirit, and taste, incessantly protested he would adopt every
improvement Miss Belle Perkins could suggest; and he declared that the
identical same ideas had occurred to him a hundred and a hundred times,
during his poor father’s lifetime: but he could never make the old
gentleman enter into any thing of the sort, his notions of life being
utterly limited, to say no worse. “He had one old saw, for ever grating
in my ears, as an answer to everything that bore the stamp of gentility,
or carried with it an air of spirit: hey, Allen!” continued our hero,
looking over his shoulder at a young man who was casting up accounts;
“hey, Allen--you remember the old saw?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the young man, “if you mean, ‘Out of debt out of
danger:’ I hope I shall never forget it.”

“I hope so too; as you have your fortune to make, it is very proper for
you: but for one that has a fortune ready made to spend, I am free to
confess I think my principle worth a million of it: and my maxim is,
‘Spend to-day, and spare to-morrow:’ hey, ladies?” concluded Leonard,
appealing with an air secure of approbation to his fair mistress and her
young companion.

“Why that suits my notions, I must own candidly,” said Belle; “but
here’s one beside me, or behind me--Where are you, Lucy?” pursued the
young lady, addressing herself to her humble companion: “here’s one, who
is more of your shop-man’s way of thinking than yours, I fancy. ‘Out of
debt out of danger’ is just a sober saying to your mind, an’t it, Lucy?”

Lucy did not deny the charge. “Well, child,” said Miss Perkins, “it’s
very proper, for you have no fortune of your own to spend.”

“It is, indeed,” said Lucy, with modest firmness; “for as I have none
of my own, if it were my maxim to spend to-day and spare to-morrow, I
should be obliged to spend other people’s money, which I never will do
as long as I can maintain myself independently.”

“How proud we are!” cried Miss Perkins, sarcastically. Leonard assented
to the sarcasm by his looks; but Allen declared he liked proper pride,
and seemed to think that Lucy’s was of this species.

An argument might have ensued, if a collation, as Mr. Ludgate called it,
had not appeared at this critical moment. Of what it consisted, and how
genteelly and gallantly our hero did the honours of his collation, we
forbear to relate; but one material circumstance we must not omit, as
on this, perhaps more than even on his gentility and gallantry, depended
the fortune of the day. In rummaging over a desk to find a corkscrew,
young Ludgate took occasion to open and shake a pocket-book, from which
fell a shower of bank notes. What effect they produced upon his fair
one, and on her mother, can be best judged of by the event. Miss Belle
Perkins, after this domiciliary visit, consented to go with our hero on
Sunday to Kensington Gardens, Monday to Sadler’s Wells, Tuesday on the
water, Wednesday to the play, Thursday the Lord knows to what ball,
Friday to Vauxhall, and on Saturday to--the altar!

Some people thought the young lady and gentleman rather precipitate; but
these were persons who, as the bride justly observed, did not understand
any thing in nature of a love match. Those who have more liberal
notions, and a more extensive knowledge of the human heart, can readily
comprehend how a lady may think a man so odious at one minute, that she
could not touch him with a pair of tongs, and so charming the next,
that she would die a thousand deaths for him, and him alone. Immediately
after the ceremony was performed, Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate went down in
the hoy to Margate, to spend their honeymoon in style. Their honeymoon,
alas! could not be prolonged beyond the usual bounds. Even the joys of
Margate could not be eternal, and the day came too soon when our happy
pair were obliged to think of returning home. Home! With what different
sensations different people pronounce and hear that word pronounced!
Mrs. Leonard Ludgate’s home in Cranbourne-alley appeared to her, as she
scrupled not to declare, an intolerable low place, after Margate. The
stipulated alterations, her husband observed, had been made in the
house, but none of them had been executed to her satisfaction. The
expedient of the dark passage was not found to succeed: a thorough wind,
from the front and back doors, ran along it when either or both were
left open to admit light; and this wicked wind, not content with running
along the passage, forced its way up and down stairs, made the kitchen
chimney smoke, and rendered even the _more creditabler_ apartments
scarcely habitable. Chimney doctors were in vain consulted: the
favourite dark passage was at length abandoned, and the lady, to her
utter discomfiture, was obliged to pass through the shop.

To make herself amends for this mortification, she insisted upon
throwing down the partition between the dining-room and her own
bedchamber, that she might have one decent apartment at least fit for
a rout. It was to no purpose that her friend Lucy, who was called in to
assist in making up furniture, represented that this scheme of throwing
bedchamber and dining-room into one would be attended with some
inconveniences; for instance, that Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate would be
obliged, in consequence of this improvement, to sleep in half of the
maid’s garret, or to sit up all night. This objection was overruled
by Mrs. Ludgate, whose genius, fertile in expedients, made every thing
easy, by the introduction of a bed in the dining-room, in the shape of a
sofa. The newly-enlarged apartment, she observed, would thus answer the
double purposes of show and utility; and, as soon as the supper and card
tables should be removed, the sofa-bed might be let down. She asserted
that the first people in London manage in this way. Leonard could not
contradict his lady, because she had a ready method of silencing him,
by asking how he could possibly know any thing of life who had lived all
his days, except Sundays, in Cranbourne-alley? Then, if any one of his
father’s old notions of economy by chance twinged his conscience, Belle
very judiciously asked how he ever came to think of her for a wife?
“Since you have got a genteel wife,” said she, “it becomes you to live
up to her notions, and to treat her as she and her friends have a right
to expect. Before I married you, sir, none of the Perkins’s were in
trade themselves, either directly or indirectly; and many’s the
slights and reproaches I’ve met with from my own relations and former
acquaintances, since my marriage, on account of the Ludgates being all
tradesfolks; to which I always answer, that my Leonard is going to
wash his hands of trade himself, and to make over all concern in the
haberdashery line and shop to the young man below stairs, who is much
better suited to such things.”

By such speeches as these, alternately piquing and soothing the vanity
of her Leonard, our accomplished wife worked him to her purposes. She
had a rout once a week; and her room was so crowded, that there was
scarcely a possibility of breathing. Yet, notwithstanding all this, she
one morning declared, with a burst of tears, she was the most miserable
woman in the world. And why? Because her friend, Mrs. Pimlico, Miss
Coxeater that was, had a house in Weymouth-street; whilst she was forced
to keep on being buried in Cranbourne-alley. Mr. Ludgate was moved
by his wife’s tears, and by his own ambition, and took a house in
Weymouth-street. But before they had been there six weeks, the fair
one was again found bathed in tears. And why? “Because,” said Belle,
“because, Mr. Ludgate, the furniture of this house is as old as
Methusalem’s; and my friend, Mrs. Pimlico, said yesterday that it was a
shame to be seen: and so to be sure it is, compared with her own, which
is spick and span new. Yet why should she pretend to look down upon
me in point of furniture, or any thing? Who was she, before she was
married? Little Kitty Coxeater, as we always called her at the dancing
school; and nobody ever thought of comparing her, in point of gentility,
with Belle Perkins! Why, she is as ugly as sin! though she is my friend,
I must acknowledge _that_; and, if she had all the clothes in the world,
she would never know how to put any of them on; that’s one comfort. And,
as every body says, to be sure she never would have got a husband but
for her money. And, after all, what sort of a husband has she got? A
perfumer, indeed! a man with a face like one of his own wash-balls, all
manner of colours. I declare, I would rather have gone without to the
end of my days than have married Mr. Pimlico.”

“I cannot blame you there, my dear,” said Mr. Ludgate; “for to be sure
Mr. Pimlico, much as he thinks of himself and his country house, has as
little the air of--the air of fashion as can be well conceived.”

Leonard Ludgate made an emphatic pause in this speech; and surveyed
himself in a looking-glass with much complacency, whilst he pronounced
the word fashion. He, indeed, approved so much of his wife’s taste and
discernment, in preferring him to Mr. Pimlico, that he could not at this
moment help inclining to follow her judgment respecting the furniture.
He acceded to her position, that the Ludgates ought to appear at least
no shabbier than the Pimlicos. The conclusion was inevitable: Leonard,
according to his favourite maxim of “Spend to-day, and spare to-morrow,”
 agreed that they might new furnish the house this year, and pay for it
the next. This was immediately done; and the same principle was extended
through all their household affairs, as far as the tradesmen concerned
would admit of its being carried into practice.

By this means, Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate were not for some time sensible of
the difficulties they were preparing for themselves. They went on vying
with the Pimlicos, and with all their new acquaintance, who were many of
them much richer than themselves; and of this vain competition there
was no end. Those who estimate happiness not by the real comforts or
luxuries which they enjoy, but by comparison between themselves and
their neighbours, must be subject to continual mortification and
discontent. Far from being happier than they were formerly, Mr. and Mrs.
Ludgate were much more miserable after their removal to Weymouth-street.
Was it not better to be the first person in Cranbourne-alley than the
last in Weymouth-street? New wants and wishes continually arose in their
new situation. They must live like other people. Everybody, that is,
everybody in Weymouth-street, did so and so; and, therefore, they must
do the same. They must go to such a place, or they must have such a
thing, not because it was in itself necessary or desirable, but because
everybody, that is, everybody of their acquaintance, did or had the
same. Even to be upon a footing with their new neighbours was a matter
of some difficulty; and then merely to be upon an equality, merely to
be admitted and suffered at parties, is awkward and humiliating. Noble
ambition prompted them continually to aim at distinction. The desire
to attain _il poco piu--the little more_, stimulates to excellence, or
betrays to ruin, according to the objects of our ambition. No artist
ever took more pains to surpass Raphael or Correggio than was taken by
Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate to outshine Mr. and Mrs. Pimlico. And still what
they had done seemed nothing: what they were to do occupied all their
thoughts. No timid economical fears could stop or even startle them
in the road to ruin. Faithful to his maxim, our hero denied himself
nothing. If, for a moment, the idea that any thing was too expensive
suggested itself, his wife banished care by observing, “We need not pay
for it now. What signifies it, since we need not think of paying for
it till next year?” She had abundance of arguments of similar solidity,
adapted to all occasions. Sometimes the thing in question was such a
trifle it could not ruin anybody. “‘Tis but a guinea! ‘_Tis but_ a
few shillings!” Sometimes it was a sort of thing that could not ruin
anybody, because “‘Tis but for once and away!” ‘_Tis but_ is a most
dangerous thing! How many guineas may be spent upon ‘_tis but_, in the
course of one year, in such a city as London!

Bargains! excellent bargains! were also with our heroine admirable pleas
for expense. “We positively must buy this, my dear; for it would be a
sin to let such a bargain slip through one’s fingers. Mrs. Pimlico paid
twice as much for what is not half as good. ‘Twould be quite a shame to
one’s good sense to miss such a bargain!” Mrs. Ludgate was one of those
ladies who think it is more reasonable to buy a thing because it is a
bargain than because they want it: she farther argued, “If we don’t want
it, we may want it:” and this was a satisfactory plea.

Under the head bargains we must not forget _cheap days_. Messrs. Run
and Raffle advertised a sale of old shop goods, with the catching
words--_cheap days_! Everybody crowded to throw away their money on
cheap days; and, amongst the rest, Mrs. Ludgate.

One circumstance was rather disagreeable in these cheap days: ready
money was required; and this did not suit those who lived by
the favourite maxim of the family. Yet there was a reason that
counterbalanced their objection in Mrs. Ludgate’s mind: “Mrs. Pimlico
was going to Messrs. Run and Raffle’s and what would she think, if I
wasn’t to be there? She’d think, to be sure, that we were as poor as
Job.” So, to demonstrate that she had ready money to throw away, Mrs.
Ludgate must go on the cheap days.

“Belle,” said her husband, “ready money’s a serious thing.”

“Yes, Leonard, but, when nothing else will be taken, you know, one can’t
do without it.”

“But, if one has not it, I tell you, one must do without it,” said
Leonard peevishly.

“Lord, Mr. Ludgate, if you have not it about you, can’t you send to
Cranbourne-alley, to Mr. Allen, for some for me? ‘Tis but a few guineas
I want; and ‘twould be a shame to miss such bargains as are to be had
for nothing, at Run and Raffle’s. And these cheap days are extraordinary
things. It can’t ruin any body to spend a guinea or two, once and away,
like other people.”

At the conclusion of her eloquent speech, Mrs. Ludgate rang the bell;
and, without waiting for any assent from her husband but silence, bade
the footman run to _the shop_, and desire Allen to send her ten guineas

Mr. Ludgate looked sullen, whistled, and then posted himself at the
parlour window to watch for the ambassador’s return. “I wonder,”
 continued Mrs. Ludgate, “I wonder, Leonard, that you let Allen leave you
so bare of cash of late! It is very disagreeable to be always sending
out of the house, this way, for odd guineas. Allen, I think, uses you
very ill; but I am sure I would not let him cheat me, if I was you.
Pray, when you gave up the business of the shop to him, was not you to
have half the profits for your good-will, and name, and all that!”


“And little enough! But why don’t you look after Allen, then, and make
him pay us what he owes us?”

“I’ll see about it to-morrow, child.”

“About how much do you think is owing to us?” pursued Mrs. Ludgate.

“I can’t tell, ma’am.”

“I wish then you’d settle accounts to-morrow, that I might have some
ready money.”

The lady seemed to take it for granted that her having ready money would
be the necessary and immediate consequence of settling accounts with
Allen; her husband could have set her right in this particular, and
could have informed her that not a farthing was due to him; that, on
the contrary, he had taken up money in advance, on the next half year’s
expected profits; but Mr. Ludgate was ashamed to let his wife know the
real state of his affairs: indeed, he was afraid to look them in the
face himself. “Here’s the boy coming back!” cried he, after watching for
some time in silence at the window.

Leonard went to the street-door to meet him; and Belle followed close,
crying, “Well! I hope Allen has sent me the money?”

“I don’t know,” said the breathless boy. “I have a letter for my master,
here, that was written ready, by good luck, afore I got there.”

Leonard snatched the letter; and his wife waited to see whether the
money was enclosed.

“The rascal has sent me no money, I see, but a letter, and an account as
long as my arm.”

“No money!” cried Belle; “that’s using us very oddly and ill, indeed;
and I wonder you submit to such conduct! I declare I won’t bear it! Go
back, I say, Jack; go, run this minute, and tell Allen he must come up
himself; for _I, Mrs. Ludgate, wants_ to speak with him.”

“No, my dear, no; nonsense! don’t go, Jack. What signifies your sending
to speak with Allen? What can you do? How can you settle accounts with
him? What should women know of business? I wish women would never meddle
with things they don’t understand.”

“Women can understand well enough when they want money,” cried the sharp
lady; “and the short and the long of it is, Mr. Ludgate, that I will see
and settle accounts with Allen myself; and bring him to reason, if you
won’t; and this minute, too.”

“Bless me! upon my faith, Allen’s better than we thought: here’s
bank-notes within the account,” said Mr. Ludgate.

“Ay, I thought he could not be so very impertinent as to refuse when
_I_ sent to him myself. But this is only one five pound note: I sent for
ten. Where is the other?”

“I want the other myself,” said her husband.

The tone was so peremptory, that she dared not tempt him further; and
away she went to Messrs. Run and Raffle’s, where she had the pleasure of
buying a bargain of things that were of no manner of use to her, and for
which she paid twice as much as they were worth. These cheap days proved
dear days to many.

Whilst Mrs. Ludgate spent the morning at Messrs. Run and Raffle’s, her
husband was with Tom Lewis, lounging up and down Bond-street. Tom Lewis
being just one step above him in gentility, was invited to parties where
Ludgate could not gain admittance, was bowed to by people who never
bowed to Leonard Ludgate, could tell to whom this livery or that
carriage belonged, knew who everybody was, and could point out my lord
this, and my lady that, in the park or at the play. All these things
made him a personage of prodigious consequence in the eyes of our hero,
who looked upon him as the mirror of fashion. Tom knew how to take
advantage of this admiration, and borrowed many a guinea from him in
their morning walks: in return, he introduced Mr. Ludgate to some of his
friends, and to his club.

New occasions, or rather new necessities, for expense occurred every
day, in consequence of his connexion with Lewis. Whilst he aimed at
being thought a young man of spirit, he could not avoid doing as other
people did. He could not think of economy! That would be shabby! On his
fortune rested his claims to respect from his present associates; and,
therefore, it was his constant aim to raise their opinion of his riches.
For some time, extravagance was not immediately checked by the want of
money, because he put off the evil day of payment. At last, when bills
poured in upon him, and the frequent calls of tradesmen began to be
troublesome, he got rid of the present difficulty by referring them to
Allen. “Go to Allen; he must settle with you: he does all my business.”

Allen sent him account after account, stating the sums he paid by his
order. Ludgate thrust the unread accounts into his escritoire, and
thought no more of the matter. Allen called upon him, to beg he would
come to some settlement, as he was getting more and more, every day,
into his debt. Leonard desired to have an account, stated in full, and
promised to look over it on Monday: but Monday came, and then it was put
off till Tuesday; and so on, day after day.

The more reason he had to know that his affairs were deranged, the
more carefully he concealed all knowledge of them from his wife. Her
ignorance of the truth not only led her daily into fresh extravagance,
but was, at last, the cause of bringing things to a premature
explanation. After spending the morning at Messrs. Run and Raffle’s, she
returned home with a hackney-coach full of bargains. As she came into
the parlour, loaded with things that she did not want, she was surprised
by the sight of an old friend, whom she had lately treated entirely as
a stranger. It was Lucy, who had in former days been her favourite
companion. But Lucy had chosen to work, to support herself
independently, rather than to be a burden to her friends; and Mrs.
Ludgate could not take notice of a person who had degraded herself so
far as to become a workwoman at an upholsterer’s. She had consequently
never seen Lucy since this event took place, except when she went to
Mr. Beech the upholsterer’s, to order her new furniture. She then was
in company with Mrs. Pimlico: and, when she saw Lucy at work in a back
parlour with two or three other young women, she pretended not to know
her. Lucy could scarcely believe that this was done on purpose; and,
at all events, she was not mortified by the insult. She was now come to
speak to Mrs. Ludgate about the upholsterer’s bill.

“Ha! Lucy, is it you?” said Mrs. Ludgate, as soon as she entered. “I’ve
never seen you in Weymouth-street before! How comes it you never called,
if it was only to see our new house? I’m sure I should always be very
happy to have you here--when we’ve nobody with us; and I’m quite sorry
_as_ I can’t ask you to stay and take a bit of mutton with us to-day,
because I’m engaged to dine in Bond-street, with Mrs. Pimlico’s cousin,
pretty Mrs. Paget, the bride whom you’ve heard talk of, no doubt. So
you’ll excuse me if I run away from you, to make myself a little decent;
for it’s horrid late!”

After running off this speech, with an air and a volubility worthy of
her betters, she set before Lucy some of her bargains, and was then
retreating to make herself decent; but Lucy stopped her, by saying,
“My dear Mrs. Ludgate, I am sorry to detain you, but Mr. Beech, the
upholsterer, knowing I have been acquainted with you, has sent me to
speak to you about his bill. He is in immediate want of money, because
he is fitting out one of his sons for the East Indies.”

“Well! but his son’s nothing to me! I sha’n’t think of paying the bill
yet, I can assure him; and you may take it back, and tell him so.”

“But,” said Lucy, “if I take back such an answer, I am afraid Mr. Beech
will send the bill to Mr. Ludgate; and that was what you particularly
desired should not be done.”

“Why, no; that’s what I can’t say I should particularly wish, just at
present,” said Mrs. Ludgate, lowering her tone “because, to tell you a
bit of a secret, Lucy, I’ve run up rather an _unconsciable_ bill, this
year, with my milliner and mantua-maker; and I would not have all
_them_ bills come upon him all in a lump, and on a sudden, as it were;
especially as I laid out more on the furniture than he counts. So, my
dear Lucy, I’ll tell you what you must do: you must use your influence
with Beech to make him wait a little longer. I’m sure he may wait well
enough; and he shall be paid next month.”

Lucy declared that her influence, on the present occasion, would be of
no avail; but she had the good-nature to add, “If you are sure the bill
can be paid next month, I will leave my two years’ salary in Mr. Beech’s
hands till then; and this will perhaps satisfy him, if he can get bills
from other people paid, to make up the money for his son. He said thirty
guineas from you on account would do, for the present; and that sum is
due to me.”

“Then, my dearest Lucy, for Heaven’s sake, do leave it in his hands!
You were a good creature to think of it; but you always were a good

“Your mother used to be kind to me, when I was a child; and I am sure
I ought not to forget it,” said Lucy, the tears starting into her eyes:
“and you were once kind to me; I do not forget that,” continued Lucy,
wiping the tears from her cheeks.--“But do not let me detain you; you
are in a hurry to dress to go to Mrs. Pimlico’s.”

“No--pray--I am not in a hurry now,” said Mrs. Ludgate, who had the
grace to blush at this instant. “But, if you must go, do take this
hat along with you. I assure you it’s quite _the rage_: I got it this
morning at Run and Raffle’s, and Mrs. Pimlico and Mrs. Paget have got
the same.”

Lucy declined accepting the hat, notwithstanding this strong and, as
Mrs. Ludgate would have thought it, irresistible recommendation. “Now
you must have it: it will become you a thousand times better than that
you have on,” cried Mrs. Ludgate, insisting the more the more Lucy
withdrew; “and, besides, you must wear it for my sake. You won’t? Then
I take it very ill of you that you are so positive; for I assure you,
whatever you may think, I wish to be as kind to you now as ever. Only,
you know, one can’t always, when one lives in another style, be at home
as often as one wishes.”

Lucy relieved her _ci-devant_ friend from the necessity of making any
more awkward apologies, by moving quickly towards the door. “Then you
won’t forget,” continued Mrs. Ludgate, following her into the passage,
“you won’t forget the job you are to do for me with Beech?”

“Certainly I shall not. I will do what I have promised: but I hope you
will be punctual about the payment next month,” said Lucy, “because I
believe I shall be in want of my money at that time. It is best to tell
you exactly the truth.”

“Certainly! certainly! you shall have your money before you want it,
long and long; and my only reason for borrowing it from you at all is,
that I don’t like to trouble Mr. Ludgate, till he has settled accounts
with Allen, who keeps all our money from us in a strange way; and, in my
opinion, uses Leonard exceedingly ill and unfairly.”

“Allen!” cried Lucy, stopping short. “Oh, Belle! how can you say so?
How can you think so? But you know nothing of him, else you could not
suspect him of using any one ill, or unfairly; much less your husband,
the son of his old friend.”

“Bless me! how she runs on! and how she colours! I am sure I didn’t
know I was upon such tender ground! I did not know Allen was such a
prodigious favourite!”

“I only do him justice in saying that I am certain he could not do an
unfair or unhandsome action.”

“I know nothing of the matter, I protest; only this--that short
accounts, they say, make long friends; and I hope I sha’n’t affront any
body by saying, it would be very convenient if he could be got to settle
with Mr. Ludgate, who, I am sure, is too much the gentleman to ask any
thing from him but his own; which, indeed, if it was not for me, he’d be
too genteel to mention. But, as I said before, short accounts make long
friends; and, as you are so much Allen’s friend, you can hint that to

“I shall not hint, but say it to him as plainly as possible,” replied
Lucy; “and you may be certain that he will come to settle accounts with
Mr. Ludgate before night.” “I am sure I shall be mighty glad of it; and
so will Mr. Ludgate,” said Belle; and thus they parted.

Mrs. Ludgate with triumph announced to her husband, upon his return
home, that she had brought affairs to a crisis with Allen; and that
he would come to settle his accounts this evening. The surprise and
consternation which appeared in Mr. Ludgate’s countenance, convinced the
lady that her interference was highly disagreeable.


Allen came punctually in the evening to settle his accounts. When he
and Leonard were by themselves, he could not help expressing some
astonishment, mixed with indignation, at the hints which had been thrown
out by Mrs. Ludgate.

“Why, she knows nothing of the matter,” said Ludgate. “I’ve no notion of
talking of such things to one’s wife; it would only make her uneasy;
and we shall be able to go on some way or other. So let us have another
bottle of wine, and talk no more of business for this night.”

Allen would by no means consent to put off the settlement of accounts,
after what had passed. “Short accounts,” said he, “as Mrs. Ludgate
observed, make long friends.”

It appeared, when the statement of affairs was completed, that Allen had
advanced above three hundred pounds for Leonard; and bills to a large
amount still remained unpaid.

Now it happened that Jack, the footboy, contrived to go in and out of
the room several times, whilst Mr. Ludgate and Allen were talking; and
he, finding it more for his interest to serve his master’s tradesmen
than his master, sent immediate notice to all whom it might concern,
that Mr. Ludgate’s affairs were in a bad way, and that now or never must
be the word with his creditors. The next morning bills came showering
in upon Leonard whilst he was at breakfast, and amongst them came sundry
bills of Mrs. Ludgate’s. They could not possibly have come at a
more inauspicious moment. People bespeak goods with one species of
enthusiasm, and look over their bills with another. We should rather
have said people spend with one enthusiasm, and pay with another; but
this observation would not apply to our present purpose, for Mr. and
Mrs. Ludgate had never yet experienced the pleasure or the pain of
paying their debts; they had hitherto been faithful to their maxim of
“Spend to-day, and pay to-morrow.”

They agreed well in the beginning of their career of extravagance; but
the very similarity of their tastes and habits proved ultimately
the cause of the most violent quarrels. As they both were expensive,
selfish, and self-willed, neither would, from regard to the other,
forbear. Comparisons between their different degrees of extravagance
commenced; and, once begun, they never ended. It was impossible to
settle, to the satisfaction of either party, which of them was most to
blame. Recrimination and reproaches were hourly and daily repeated;
and the lady usually ended by bursting into tears, and the gentleman by
taking his hat and walking out of the house.

In the meantime, the bills must be paid. Mr. Ludgate was obliged to sell
the whole of his interest in the shop in Cranbourne-alley; and the ready
money he received from Allen was to clear him from all difficulties.
Allen came to pay him this sum. “Do not think me impertinent, Mr.
Ludgate,” said he, “but I cannot for the soul of me help fearing for
you. What _will_ you do, when this money is gone? and go it must, at the
rate you live, in a very short time.”

“You are very good, sir,” replied Leonard, coldly, “to interest yourself
so much in my concerns; but I shall live at what rate I please. Every
man is the best judge of his own affairs.”

After this repulse Allen could interfere no further. But when two months
had elapsed from the date of Mrs. Ludgate’s promised payment of the
upholsterer’s bill, Lucy resolved to call again upon Mrs. Ludgate. Lucy
had now a particular occasion for the money: she was going to be married
to Allen, and she wished to put into her husband’s hands the little
fortune which she had so hardly earned by her own industry. From the
time that Allen heard her conversation, when Belle came to view the
house in Cranbourne-alley, he had been of opinion that she would make
an excellent wife: and the circumstances which sunk Lucy below Mrs.
Ludgate’s notice raised her in the esteem and affection of this prudent
and sensible young man. He did not despise--he admired her for going
into a creditable business, to make herself independent, instead of
living as an humble companion with Mrs. Ludgate, of whose conduct and
character she could not approve.

When Lucy called again upon Mrs. Ludgate to remind her of her promise,
she was received with evident confusion. She was employed in directing
Mr. Green, a builder, to throw out a bow in her dining-room, and to add
a balcony to the windows; for Mrs. Pimlico had a bow and a balcony, and
how could Mrs. Ludgate live without them?

“Surely, my dear Mrs. Ludgate,” said Lucy, drawing her aside, so that
the man who was measuring the windows could not hear what she said,
“surely you will think of paying Mr. Beech’s bill, as you promised,
before you go into any new expense?”

“Hush! hush! don’t speak so loud. Leonard is in the next room; and I
would not have him hear any thing of Beech’s bill, just when the man’s
here about the balcony, for any thing in the world!”

Lucy, though she was good-natured, was not so weak as to yield to airs
and capricious extravagance; and Mrs. Ludgate at last, though with a bad
grace, paid her the money which she had intended to lay out in a
very different manner. But no sooner had she paid this debt than she
considered how she could prevail upon Mr. Green to throw out the bow,
and finish the balcony, without paying him for certain alterations he
had made in the house in Cranbourne-alley, for which he had never yet
received one farthing. It was rather a difficult business, for Mr.
Green was a sturdy man, and used to regular payments. He resisted all
persuasion, and Mrs. Ludgate was forced again to have recourse to Lucy.

“Do, my dear girl,” said she, “lend me only twenty guineas for this
positive man; else, you see, I cannot have my balcony.” This did not
appear to Lucy the greatest of all misfortunes. “But is it not much more
disagreeable to be always in debt and danger, than to live in a room
without a balcony?” said Lucy.

“Why it is disagreeable, certainly, to be in debt, because of being
dunned continually; but the reason I’m so anxious about the balcony, is
that Mrs. Pimlico has one, and that’s the only thing in which her house
is better than mine. Look just over the way: do you see Mrs. Pimlico’s
beautiful balcony?”

Mrs. Ludgate who had thrust her head far out of the window, pulling Lucy
along with her, now suddenly drew back, exclaiming, “Lord, if here is
not that odious woman; I hope Jack won’t let her in.”--She shut the
window hastily, ran to the top of the stairs, and called out, “Jack! I
say, Jack; don’t let nurse in for your life.”

“Not if she has the child with her, ma’am?” said Jack.

“No, no, I say!”

“Then that’s a sin and a shame,” muttered Jack, “to shut the door upon
your own child.”

Mrs. Ludgate did not hear this reflection, because she had gone back to
the man who was waiting for directions about the balcony; but Lucy heard
it distinctly. “Ma’am, nurse would come in, for she says she saw you at
the window; and here she is, coming up the stairs,” cried the footboy.

The nurse came in, with Mrs. Ludgate’s child in her arms.

“Indeed, madam,” said she, “the truth of the matter is, I can’t and
won’t be denied my own any longer: and it is not for my own sake I speak
up so bold, but for the dear babe that I have here in my arms, that
can’t speak for itself, but only smile in your face, and stretch out its
arms to you. I, that am only its nurse, can’t bear it; but I have little
ones of my own, and can’t see them want. I can’t do for them all: if I’m
not paid my lawful due, how can I? And is it not fit I should think of
my own flesh and blood first? So I must give up this one. I must!--I
must!”--cried the nurse, kissing the child repeatedly, “I must leave her
to her mother.”

The poor woman laid the child down on the sofa, then turned her back
upon it, and, hiding her face in her apron, sobbed as if her heart would
break. Lucy was touched with compassion; the mother stood abashed; shame
struggled for a few instants with pride; pride got the victory. “The
woman’s out of her wits, I believe,” cried Mrs. Ludgate. “Mr. Green,
if you’ll please to call again to-morrow, we’ll talk about the balcony.
Lucy, give me the child, and don’t you fall a crying without knowing why
or wherefore. Nurse, I’m surprised at you! Did not I tell you I’d send
you your money next week?”

“Oh! yes, madam; but you have said so this many a week; and things are
come to such a pass now, that husband says I shall not bring back the
child without the money.”

“What can I do?” said Mrs. Ludgate.

Lucy immediately took her purse out of her pocket, and whispered, “I
will lend you whatever you want to pay the nurse, upon condition that
you will give up the scheme of the balcony.”

Mrs. Ludgate submitted to this condition; but she was not half so much
obliged to Lucy for doing her this real service as she would have been
if her friend had assisted in gratifying her vanity and extravagance.
Lucy saw what passed in Mrs. Ludgate’s mind, and nothing but the sense
of the obligations she lay under to Belle’s mother could have prevented
her from breaking off all connexion with her.

But Mrs. Ludgate was now much inclined to court Lucy’s acquaintance, as
her approaching marriage with Mr. Allen, who was in good circumstances,
made her appear quite a different person. Mrs. Allen would be able, and
she hoped willing, to assist her from time to time with money. With this
view, Belle showed Lucy a degree of attention and civility which she
had disdained to bestow upon her friend whilst she was in an inferior
situation. It was in vain, however, that this would-be fine lady
endeavoured to draw the prudent Lucy out of her own sphere of life:
though Lucy was extremely pretty, she had no desire to be admired; she
was perfectly satisfied and happy at home, and she and her husband lived
according to old Ludgate’s excellent maxim, “Out of debt out of danger.”

We shall not weary our readers with the history of all the petty
difficulties into which Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate’s foolish extravagance
led them. The life of the _shabby genteel_ is most miserable. Servants’
wages unpaid, duns continually besieging the door, perpetual excuses,
falsehoods to be invented, melancholy at home, and forced gaiety abroad!
Who would live such a life? Yet all this Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate endured,
for the sake of outshining Mr. and Mrs. Pimlico.

It happened that one night, at a party, Mrs. Ludgate caught a violent
cold, and her face became inflamed and disfigured by red spots. Being
to go to a ball in a few days, she was very impatient to get rid of the
eruption; and in this exigency she applied to Mr. Pimlico, the perfumer,
who had often supplied her with cosmetics, and who now recommended a
beautifying lotion. This quickly cleared her complexion; but she soon
felt the effects of her imprudence: she was taken dangerously ill, and
the physician who was consulted attributed her disease entirely to
the preparation she had applied to her face. Whilst she was ill, an
execution was brought against Mr. Ludgate’s goods. Threatened with a
jail, and incapable of taking any vigorous measures to avoid distress,
he went to consult his friend, Tom Lewis. How this Mr. Lewis lived was
matter of astonishment to all his acquaintance: he had neither estate,
business, or any obvious means of supporting the expense in which he

“What a happy dog you are, Lewis!” said our hero: “how is it that you
live better than I do?”

“You might live as well as I, if you were inclined,” said Lewis.

Our hero was all curiosity; and Lewis exacted from him an oath of
secrecy. A long pause ensued.

“Have you the courage,” said Lewis, “to extricate yourself from all your
difficulties at once?”

“To be sure I have; since I must either go to jail this night, or raise
two hundred guineas for these cursed fellows!”

“You shall have it in half an hour,” said Lewis, “if you will follow my

“Tell me at once what I am to do, and I will do it,” cried Leonard. “I
will do any thing to save myself from disgrace, and from a jail.”

Lewis, who now perceived his friend was worked up to the pitch he
wanted, revealed the whole mystery. He was connected with a set of
gentlemen, ingenious in the arts of forgery, from whom he purchased
counterfeit bank-notes at a very cheap rate. The difficulty and risk
of passing them was extreme; therefore the confederates were anxious to
throw this part of the business off their hands. Struck with horror at
the idea of becoming an accomplice in such a scheme of villany, Leonard
stood pale and silent, incapable of even thinking distinctly. Lewis
was sorry that he had opened his mind so fully. “Remember your oath of
secrecy!” said he.

“I do,” replied Ludgate.

“And remember that you must become one of us before night, or go to

Ludgate said he would take an hour to consider of the business, and here
they parted; Lewis promising to call at his house before evening, to
learn his final decision.

“And am I come to this?” thought the wretched man. “Would to Heaven I
had followed my poor father’s maxim! but it is now too late.”

Mr. Ludgate, when he arrived at home, shut himself up in his own room,
and continued walking backwards and forwards, for nearly an hour, in a
state of mind more dreadful than can be described. Whilst he was in this
situation, some one knocked at the door. He thought it was Lewis, and
trembled from head to foot. It was only a servant with a parcel of
bills, which several tradesmen, hearing that an execution was in the
house, had hastened to present for payment. Among them were those of Mr.
Beech, the upholsterer, and Mrs. Ludgate’s milliner and mantua-maker,
which having been let to run on for above two years and a half, now
amounted to a sum that astonished and shocked Mr. Ludgate. He could not
remonstrate with his wife, or even vent his anger in reproaches, for she
was lying senseless in her bed.

Before he had recovered from this shock, and whilst the tradesmen who
brought the bills were still waiting for their money, Lewis and one of
his companions arrived. He came to the point immediately. He produced
bank-notes sufficient to discharge all his debts, and proposed to lend
him this money on condition that he would enter into the confederacy as
he had proposed. “All that we ask of you is to pass a certain number of
notes for us every week. You will find this to your advantage; for we
will allow you a considerable percentage, besides freeing you from your
present embarrassments.”

The sight of the bank-notes, the pressure of immediate distress, and the
hopes of being able to support the style of life in which he had of late
appeared, all conspired to tempt Ludgate. When he had, early in life,
vaunted to his young companions that he despised his father’s old maxim,
while he repeated his own, they applauded his spirit. They were not
present, at this instant, to pity the wretched state into which that
spirit had betrayed him. But our hero has yet much greater misery to
endure. It is true his debts were now paid, and he was able to support
an external appearance of affluence; but not one day, not one night,
could he pass without suffering the horrors of a guilty conscience, and
all the terrors which haunt the man who sees himself in hourly danger of
detection. He determined to keep his secret cautiously from his wife: he
was glad that she was confined to her bed at this time, lest her
prying curiosity should discover what was going forward. The species of
affection which he had once felt for her had not survived the first
six months of their marriage; and their late disputes had rendered this
husband and wife absolutely odious to each other. Each believed, and
indeed pretty plainly asserted, that they could live more handsomely
asunder: but, alas! they were united for better and for worse.

Mrs. Ludgate’s illness terminated in another eruption on her face. She
was extremely mortified by the loss of her beauty, especially as Mrs.
Pimlico frequently contrasted her face with that of Mrs. Paget, who
was now acknowledged to be the handsomest woman of Mrs. Pimlico’s
acquaintance. She endeavoured to make herself of consequence by fresh
expense. Mr. Ludgate, to account for the sudden payment of his debts,
and the affluence in which he now appeared to live, spread a report of
his having had a considerable legacy left to him by a relation, who
had died in a distant part of England. The truth of the report was not
questioned; and for some time Mr. and Mrs. Ludgate were the envy of
their acquaintance. How little the world, as it is called, can judge, by
external appearances, of the happiness of those who excite admiration or

“What lucky people the Ludgates are!” cried Mrs. Pimlico. The
exclamation was echoed by a crowded card party, assembled at her house.
“But then,” continued Mrs. Pimlico, “it is a pity poor Belle is so
disfigured by that scurvy, or whatever it is, in her face. I remember
the time when she was as pretty a woman as you could see: nay, would you
believe it, she had once as fine a complexion as young Mrs. Paget!”

These observations circulated quickly, and did not escape Mrs. Ludgate’s
ear. Her vanity was deeply wounded; and her health appeared to her but a
secondary consideration, in comparison with the chance of recovering her
lost complexion. Mr. Pimlico, who was an eloquent perfumer, persuaded
her that her former illness had nothing to do with the beautifying
lotion she had purchased at his shop; and to support his assertions,
he quoted examples of innumerable ladies, of high rank and fashion, who
were in the constant habit of using this admirable preparation. The vain
and foolish woman, notwithstanding the warnings which she had received
from the physician who attended her during her illness, listened to the
oratory of the perfumer, and bought half a dozen bottles of another kind
of beautifying lotion. The eruption vanished from her face, after
she had used the cosmetic; and, as she did not feel any immediate bad
effects upon her health, she persisted in the practice for some
months. The consequence was at last dreadful. She was found one
morning speechless in her bed, with one side of her face distorted
and motionless. During the night, she had been seized with a paralytic
stroke: in a few days she recovered her speech; but her face continued
totally disfigured.

This was the severest punishment that could have been inflicted on a
woman of her character. She was now ashamed to show herself abroad, and
incapable of being contented at home. She had not the friendship of a
husband, or the affection of children, to afford her consolation
and support. Her eldest child was a boy of about five years old, her
youngest four. They were as fretful and troublesome as children usually
are, whose education has been totally neglected; and the quarrels
between them and Jack the footboy were endless, for Jack was alternately
their tutor and their playfellow.

Beside the disorder created in this family by mischievous children,
the servants were daily plagues. Nothing was ever done by them well or
regularly; and though the master and mistress scolded without mercy, and
perpetually threatened to turn Jack or Sukey away, yet no reformation
in their manners was produced; for Jack and Sukey’s wages were not paid,
and they felt that they had the power in their own hands; so that they
were rather the tyrants than the servants of the house.


Mrs. Ludgate’s temper, which never was sweet, was soured to such a
degree, by these accumulated evils, that she was insufferable. Her
husband kept out of the way as much as possible: he dined and supped at
his club, or at the tavern: and, during the evenings and mornings, he
was visible at home but for a few minutes. Yet, though his time was
passed entirely away from his wife, his children, and his home, he was
not happy. His life was a life of perpetual fraud and fear. He was bound
by his engagements with Lewis to pass for the confederates a certain
number of forged notes every day. This was a perilous task! His utmost
exertions and ingenuity were continually necessary to escape detection;
and, after all, he was barely able to wrest from the hard hands of his
_friends_ a sufficient profit upon his labour to maintain himself. How
often did he look back, with regret, to the days when he stood behind
the counter, in his father’s shop! Then he had in Allen a real friend;
but now he had in Lewis only a profligate and unfeeling associate.
Lewis cared for no one but himself; and he was as avaricious as he was
extravagant; “greedy of what belonged to others, prodigal of his own.”

One night, Leonard went to the house where the confederates met, to
settle with them for the last parcel of notes that he had passed. Lewis
insisted upon being paid for his services before Ludgate should touch a
farthing. Words ran high between them: Lewis, having the most influence
with his associates, carried his point; and Leonard, who was in want of
ready money, could supply himself only by engaging to pass double the
usual quantity of forged notes during the ensuing month. Upon this
condition, he obtained the supply for which he solicited. Upon his
return home, he locked up the forged notes as usual in his escritoir. It
happened the very next morning that Mrs. la Mode, the milliner, called
upon Mrs. Ludgate. The ruling passion still prevailed, notwithstanding
the miserable state to which this lady was reduced. Even palsy could not
deaden her personal vanity: her love of dress survived the total loss
of her beauty; she became accustomed to the sight of her distorted
features, and was still anxious to wear what was most genteel and
becoming. Mrs. la Mode had not a more constant visitor.

“How are you, Mrs. Ludgate, this morning?” said she. “But I need not
ask, for you look _surprising_ well. I just called to tell you a bit of
a secret, that I have told to nobody else; but you being such a friend
and a favourite, have a right to know it. You must know, I am going
next week to bring out a new spring hat; and I have made one of my girls
bring it up, to consult with you before any body else, having a great
opinion of your taste and judgment: though it is a thing that must not
be mentioned, because it would ruin me with Mrs. Pimlico, who made me
swear she should have the first sight.”

Flattered by having the first sight of the spring hat, Mrs. Ludgate was
prepossessed in its favour; and, when she tried it on, she thought it
made her look ten years younger. In short, it was impossible not to take
one of the hats, though it cost three guineas, and was not worth ten

“Positively, ma’am, you must _patronize_ my spring hat,” said the

Mrs. Ludgate was decided by the word patronize: she took the hat, and
desired that it should be set down in her bill: but Mrs. la Mode was
extremely concerned that she had made a rule, nay a vow, not to take any
thing but ready money for the spring hats; and she could not break her
vow, even for her favourite Mrs. Ludgate. This was at least a prudent
resolution in the milliner, who had lately received notice, from Mr.
Ludgate, not to give his wife any goods upon credit, for that he was
determined to refuse payment of her bills. The wife, who was now in a
weak state of health, was not able as formerly to fight her battles with
her husband upon equal terms. To cunning, the refuge of weakness,
she had recourse; and she considered that, though she could no longer
outscold, she could still outwit her adversary. She could not have the
pleasure and honour of patronizing the spring hat, without ready money
to pay for it; her husband, she knew, had always bank-notes in his
escritoir; and she argued with herself that it was better to act without
his consent than against it. She went and tried, with certain keys of
her own, to open Leonard’s desk; and open it came. She seized from a
parcel of bank-notes as many as she wanted, and paid Mrs. la Mode with
three of them for the spring hat. When her husband came home the next
day, he did not observe that he had lost any of the notes; and, as he
went out of the house again without once coming into the parlour where
his wife was sitting, she excused herself to her conscience, for not
telling him of the freedom she had taken, by thinking--It will do as
well to tell him of it to-morrow: a few notes, out of such a parcel
as he has in his desk locked up from me, can’t signify; and he’ll only
bluster and bully when I do tell him of it; so let him find it out when
he pleases.

The scheme of acting without her husband’s consent in all cases, where
she was morally certain that if she asked she could not obtain it, Mrs.
Ludgate had often pursued with much success. A few days after she had
bought the spring hat, she invited Mrs. Pimlico, Mrs. Paget, and all her
genteel friends, to tea and cards. Her husband, she knew, would be out
of the way, at his club, or at the tavern. Mrs. Pimlico, and Mrs. Paget,
and all their genteel friends, did Mrs. Ludgate the honour to wait upon
her on the appointed evening, and she had the satisfaction to appear
upon this occasion in the new spring hat; while her friend, Mrs.
Pimlico, whispered to young Mrs. Paget, “She patronize the new spring
hat! What a fool Mrs. la Mode makes of her! A death’s head in a wreath
of roses! How frightfully ridiculous!”

Unconscious that she was an object of ridicule to the whole company,
Mrs. Ludgate sat down to cards in unusually good spirits, firmly
believing Mrs. la Mode’s comfortable assertion, “that the spring hat
made her look ten years younger.” She was in the midst of a panegyric
upon Mrs. la Mode’s taste, when Jack, the footboy, came behind her
chair, and whispered that three men were below, who desired to speak to
her immediately.

“Men! gentlemen, do you mean?” said Mrs. Ludgate.

“No, ma’am, not gentlemen.” “Then send them away about their business,
dunce,” said the lady. “Some tradesfolk, I suppose; tell them I’m
engaged with company.”

“But, ma’am, they will not leave the house without seeing you, or Mr.

“Let them wait, then, till Mr. Ludgate comes in. I have nothing to say
to them. What’s their business, pray?”

“It is something about a note, ma’am, that you gave to Mrs. la Mode, the
other day.”

“What about it?” said Mrs. Ludgate, putting down her cards.

“They say it is a bad note.”

“Well, I’ll change it; bid them send it up.”

“They won’t part with it, ma’am: they would not let it out of their
hands, even to let me look at it for an instant.”

“What a riot about a pound note,” said Mrs. Ludgate, rising from the
card-table: “I’ll speak to the fellows myself.”

She had recourse again to her husband’s desk; and, armed with a whole
handful of fresh bank-notes, she went to the strangers. They told her
that they did not want, and would not receive, any note in exchange
for that which they produced; but that, as it was a forgery, they must
insist upon knowing from whom she had it. There was an air of mystery
and authority about the strangers which alarmed Mrs. Ludgate; and,
without attempting any evasion, she said that she took the note from her
husband’s desk, and that she could not tell from whom he received it.
The strangers declared that they must wait till Mr. Ludgate should
return home. She offered to give them a guinea to drink, if they would
go away quietly; but this they refused. Jack, the footboy, whispered
that they had pistols, and that he believed they were Bow-street

They went into the back parlour to wait for Mr. Ludgate; and the lady,
in extreme perturbation, returned to her company and her cards. In vain
she attempted to resume her conversation about the spring hat, and
to conceal the agitation of her spirits. It was observed by all her
_friends_, and especially by Mrs. Pimlico, whose curiosity was strongly
excited, to know the cause of her alarm. Mrs. Ludgate looked frequently
at her watch, and even yawned without ceremony, more than once, to
manifest her desire that the company should depart; but no hints
availed. The card players resolutely kept their seats, and even the
smell of extinguishing candles had no effect upon their callous senses.

The time appeared insupportably long to the wretched mistress of
the house; and the contrast between her fantastic headdress and her
agonizing countenance every minute became more striking.

Twelve o’clock struck. “It is growing very late,” said Mrs. Ludgate.

“But we must have another rubber,” said Mrs. Pimlico.

She began to deal; a knock was heard at the door. “There’s Mr. Ludgate,
I do suppose,” said Mrs. Pimlico, continuing her deal. Mrs. Ludgate left
her cards, and went out of the room without speaking. She stopped at the
head of the staircase, for she heard a scuffle and loud voices below.
Presently all was silent, and she ventured down when she heard the
parlour door shut. The footman met her in the passage.

“What is the matter?” said she.

“I don’t know; but I must be paid my wages,” said he, “or must pay

He passed on rudely. She half opened the parlour door, and looked in:
her husband was lying back on the sofa, seemingly stupefied by despair:
one of the Bow-street officers was chafing his temples, another was
rummaging his desk, and the third was closely examining certain notes,
which he had just taken from the prisoner’s pockets.

“What is the matter?” cried Mrs. Ludgate, advancing. Her husband lifted
up his eyes, saw her, started up, and, stamping furiously, exclaimed,
“Cursed, cursed woman! you have brought me to the gallows, and all for
this trumpery!” cried he, snatching her gaudy hat from her head, and
trampling it under his feet. “For this--for this! you vain, you ugly
creature, you have brought your husband to the gallows!”

One of the Bow-street officers caught hold of his uplifted arm, which
trembled with rage. His wife sank to the ground; a second paralytic
stroke deprived her of the power of speech. As they were carrying her
up stairs, Mrs. Pimlico and the rest of the company came out of the
dining-room, some of them with cards in their hands, all eagerly asking
what was the matter? When they learnt that the Bow-street officers were
in the house, and that Mr. Ludgate was taken into custody for uttering
forged bank-notes, there was a general uproar. Some declared it was
shocking! others protested it was no more than might have been expected!
The Ludgates lived so much above their circumstances! Then he was such a
coxcomb; and she such a poor vain creature! Better for people to do like
their neighbours--to make no show, and live honestly!

In the midst of these effusions of long suppressed envy, some few of
the company attempted a slight word or two of apology for their host and
hostess; and the most humane went up to the wretched woman’s bedchamber,
to offer assistance and advice. But the greater number were occupied
in tucking up their white gowns, finding their clogs, or calling for
hackney coaches. In less than a quarter of an hour the house was clear
of all Mrs. Ludgate’s _friends_. And it is to please such friends that
whole families ruin themselves by unsuitable expense.

Lucy and Allen were not, however, of this class of friends. A confused
report of what had passed the preceding night was spread the next
morning in Cranbourne-alley, by a young lady, who had been at Mrs.
Ludgate’s rout. The moment the news reached Allen’s shop, he and Lucy
set out immediately to offer their assistance to the unfortunate family.
When they got to Weymouth-street, they gave only a single knock at the
door, that they might not create any alarm. They were kept waiting
a considerable time, and at last the door was opened by a slip-shod
cook-maid, who seemed to be just up, though it was near eleven o’clock.
She showed them into the parlour, which was quite dark; and, whilst
she was opening the shutters, told them that the house had been up all
night, what with the Bow-street officers and her mistress’s fits. Her
master, she added, was carried off to prison, she believed. Lucy asked
who was with Mrs. Ludgate, and whether she could go up to her room?

“There’s nobody with her, ma’am, but nurse, that called by chance, early
this morning, to see the children, and had the good-nature to stay to
help, and has been sitting in mistress’s room, whilst I went to my bed.
I’ll step up and see if you can go in, ma’am.”

They waited for some time in the parlour, where every thing looked
desolate and in disorder. The ashes covered the hearth; the poker lay
upon the table, near Mr. Ludgate’s desk, the lock of which had been
broken open; a brass flat candlestick, covered with tallow, was upon the
window-seat, and beside it a broken cruet of vinegar; a cravat, and red
silk handkerchief, which had been taken from Mr. Ludgate’s neck when he
swooned, lay under the table. Lucy and her husband looked at one another
for some moments without speaking. At last Allen said, “We had better
lock up this press, where there are silver spoons and china, for there
is nobody now left to take care of any thing, and the creditors will be
here soon to seize all they can.” Lucy said that she would go up
into the dining-room, and take an inventory of the furniture. In the
dining-room she found Jack the footboy collecting shillings from beneath
the candlesticks on the card-tables: the two little children were
sitting on the floor, the girl playing with a pack of cards, the boy
drinking the dregs of a decanter of white wine.--“Poor children! Poor
creatures!” said Lucy; “is there nobody to take care of you?”

“No; nobody but Jack,” said the boy, “and he’s going away. Papa’s gone I
don’t know where; and mama’s not up yet, so we have had no breakfast.”

The cook-maid came in to say that Mrs. Ludgate was awake, and sensible
now, and would be glad to see Mrs. Allen, if she’d be so good as to walk
up. Lucy told the children, who clung to her, that she would take
them home with her, and give them some breakfast, and then hastened up
stairs. She found her wretched friend humbled indeed to the lowest
state of imbecile despair. Her speech had returned; but she spoke with
difficulty, and scarcely so as to be intelligible. The good-natured
nurse supported her in the bed, saying repeatedly, “Keep a good heart,
madam; keep a good heart! Don’t let your spirits sink so as this, and
all may be well yet.”

“O Lucy! Lucy! What will become of me now? What a change is here! And
nobody to help or advise me! Nobody upon earth! I am forsaken by all the

“Not forsaken by me,” said Lucy, in a soothing voice.

“What noise is that below?” cried Mrs. Ludgate.

Lucy went downstairs to inquire, and found that, as Allen had foretold,
the creditors were come to seize all they could find. Allen undertook to
remain with them, and to bring them to some settlement, whilst Lucy had
her unfortunate friend and the two children removed immediately to her
own house.

As to Mr. Ludgate, there was no hope for him; the proofs of his guilt
were manifest and incontrovertible. The forged note, which his wife had
taken from his desk and given to the milliner, was one which had not
gone through certain mysterious preparations. It was a bungling forgery.
The plate would doubtless have been retouched, had not this bill
been prematurely circulated by Mrs. Ludgate: thus her vanity led to
a discovery of her husband’s guilt. All the associates in Lewis’s
iniquitous confederacy suffered the just punishment of their crimes.
Many applications were made to obtain a pardon for Leonard Ludgate:
but the executive power preserved that firmness which has not, upon any
similar occasion, ever been relaxed.

Lucy and Allen, those real friends, who would not encourage Mrs. Ludgate
in extravagance, now, in the hour of adversity and repentance, treated
her with the utmost tenderness and generosity. They were economical, and
therefore could afford to be generous. All the wants of this destitute
widow were supplied from the profits of their industry: they nursed her
with daily humanity, bore with the peevishness of disease, and did all
in their power to soothe the anguish of unavailing remorse.

Nothing could be saved from the wreck of Mr. Ludgate’s fortune for the
widow; but Allen, in looking over old Ludgate’s books, had found and
recovered some old debts, which Leonard, after his father’s death,
thought not worth looking after. The sum amounted to about three hundred
and twenty pounds. As the whole concern had been made over to him,
he could lawfully have appropriated this money to his own use, but he
reserved it for his friend’s children. He put it out to interest; and in
the mean time he and Lucy not only clothed and fed, but educated these
orphans, with their own children, in habits of economy and industry.
The orphans repaid, by their affection and gratitude, the care that was
bestowed upon them; and, when they grew up, they retrieved the credit
of their family, by living according to their grandfather’s useful
maxim--“Out of debt out of danger.”

_Nov. 1801._



Near Derby, on the way towards Darley-grove, there is a cottage which
formerly belonged to one Maurice Robinson. The jessamine which now
covers the porch was planted by Ellen, his wife: she was an industrious,
prudent, young woman; liked by all her neighbours, because she was ready
to assist and serve them, and the delight of her husband’s heart; for
she was sweet-tempered, affectionate, constantly clean and neat, and
made his house so cheerful that he was always in haste to come home to
her, after his day’s work. He was one of the manufacturers employed in
the cotton works at Derby; and he was remarkable for his good conduct
and regular attendance at his work.

Things went on very well in every respect, till a relation of his, Mrs.
Dolly Robinson, came to live with him. Mrs. Dolly had been laundry-maid
in a great family, where she learned to love gossiping, and
tea-drinkings, and where she acquired some taste for shawls and
cherry-brandy. She thought that she did her young relations a great
favour by coming to take up her abode with them, because, as she
observed, they were young and inexperienced; and she, knowing a great
deal of the world, was able and willing to advise them; and besides, she
had had a legacy of some hundred pounds left to her, and she had saved
some little matters while in service, which might make it worth her
relations’ while to take her advice with proper respect, and to make her
comfortable for the rest of her days.

Ellen treated her with all due deference, and endeavoured to make her as
comfortable as possible; but Mrs. Dolly could not be comfortable unless,
besides drinking a large spoonful of brandy in every dish of tea, she
could make each person in the house do just what she pleased. She began
by being dissatisfied because she could not persuade Ellen that brandy
was wholesome, in tea, for the nerves; next she was affronted because
Ellen did not admire her shawl; and, above all, she was grievously
offended because Ellen endeavoured to prevent her from spoiling little

George was, at this time, between five and six years old; and his mother
took a great deal of pains to bring him up well: she endeavoured to
teach him to be honest, to speak the truth, to do whatever she and his
father bid him, and to dislike being idle.

Mrs. Dolly, on the contrary, coaxed and flattered him, without caring
whether he was obedient or disobedient, honest or dishonest. She was
continually telling him that he was the finest little fellow in the
world; and that she would do great things for him, some time or another.

What these great things were to be the boy seemed neither to know nor
care; and, except at the moments when she was stuffing gingerbread into
his mouth, he seemed never to desire to be near her: he preferred being
with William Deane, his father’s friend, who was a very ingenious man,
and whom he liked to see at work.

William gave him a slate, and a slate pencil; and taught him how to make
figures, and to cast up sums; and made a little wheel-barrow for him,
of which George was very fond, so that George called him in play “_King
Deane_.” All these things tended to make Mrs. Dolly dislike William
Deane, whom she considered as her rival in power.

One day, it was George’s birthday, Mrs. Dolly invited a party, as she
called it, to drink tea with her; and, at tea-time, she was entertaining
the neighbours with stories of what she had seen in the great world.
Amongst others, she had a favourite story of a butler, in the family
where she had lived, who bought a ticket in the lottery when he was
drunk, which ticket came up a ten thousand pound prize when he was
sober; and the butler turned gentleman, and kept his coach directly.

One evening, Maurice Robinson and William came home, after their
day’s work, just in time to hear the end of this story; and Mrs. Dolly
concluded it by turning to Maurice, and assuring him that he must put
into the lottery and try his luck: for why should not he be as lucky as
another? “Here,” said she, “a man is working and drudging all the days
of his life to get a decent coat to put on, and a bit of bread to put
into his child’s mouth; and, after all, may be he can’t do it; though
all the while, for five guineas, or a guinea, or half-a-guinea even, if
he has but the spirit to lay out his money properly, he has the chance
of making a fortune without any trouble. Surely a man should try his
luck, if not for his own, at least for his children’s sake,” continued
Mrs. Dolly, drawing little George towards her, and hugging him in her
arms. “Who knows what might turn up! Make your papa buy a ticket in the
lottery, love; there’s my darling; and I’ll be bound he’ll have good
luck. Tell him, I’ll be bound we shall have a ten thousand pound prize
at least; and all for a few guineas. I’m sure I think none but a miser
would grudge the money, if he had it to give.”

As Mrs. Dolly finished her speech, she looked at William Deane, whose
countenance did not seem to please her. Maurice was whistling, and Ellen
knitting as fast as possible. Little George was counting William Deane’s
buttons. “Pray, Mr. Deane,” cried Mrs. Dolly, turning full upon him,
“what may your advice and opinion be? since nothing’s to be done here
without your leave and word of command, forsooth. Now, as you know so
much and have seen so much of the world, would you be pleased to tell
this good company, and myself into the bargain, what harm it can do
anybody, but a miser, to lay out a small sum to get a good chance of a
round thousand, or five thousand, or ten thousand, or twenty thousand
pounds, without more ado?”

As she pronounced the words five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand
pounds, in a triumphant voice, all the company, except Ellen and
William, seemed to feel the force of her oratory.

William coolly answered that he was no miser, but that he thought money
might be better laid out than in the lottery; for that there was more
chance of a man’s getting nothing for his money than of his getting a
prize; that when a man worked for fair wages every day, he was sure of
getting something for his pains, and with honest industry, and saving,
might get rich enough in time, and have to thank himself for it, which
would be a pleasant thing: but that if a man, as he had known many,
set his heart upon the turning of the lottery wheel, he would leave off
putting his hand to any thing the whole year round, and so grow idle,
and may be, drunken; “and then,” said William, “at the year’s end, if
he have a blank, what is he to do for his rent, or for his wife and
children, that have nothing to depend upon but him and his industry?”

Here Maurice sighed, and so did Ellen, whilst William went on and told
many a true story of honest servants, and tradesmen, whom he had known,
who had ruined themselves by gaming and lotteries.

“But,” said Maurice, who now broke silence, “putting into the lottery,
William, is not gaming, like dice or cards, or such things. Putting into
the lottery is not gaming, as I take it.”

“As I take it, though,” replied William, “it is gaming. For what is
gaming but trusting one’s money, or somewhat, to luck and hap-hazard?
And is there not as much hap-hazard in the turning of the wheel as in
the coming up of the dice, or the dealing of the cards?”

“True enough; but somebody must get a prize,” argued Maurice.

“And somebody must win at dice or cards,” said William, “but a many more
must lose; and a many more, I take it, must lose by the lottery than by
any other game; else how would they that keep the lottery gain by it, as
they do? Put a case. If you and I, Maurice, were this minute to play
at dice, we stake our money down on the table here, and one or t’other
takes all up. But, in the lottery, it is another affair; for the whole
of what is put in does never come out.”

This statement of the case made some impression upon Maurice, who was no
fool; but Mrs. Dolly’s desire that he should buy a lottery ticket, was
not to be conquered by reason: it grew stronger and stronger the more
she was opposed. She was silent and cross during the remainder of the
evening; and the next morning, at breakfast, she was so low that even
her accustomed dose of brandy, in her tea, had no effect.

Now Maurice, besides his confused hopes that Mrs. Dolly would leave
something handsome to him or his family, thought himself obliged to her
for having given a helping hand to his father, when he was in distress;
and therefore he wished to bear with her humours, and to make her happy
in his house. He knew that the lottery ticket was uppermost in her mind,
and the moment he touched upon that subject she brightened up. She told
him she had had a dream; and she had great faith in dreams: and she had
dreamed, three times over, that he had bought number 339 in the lottery,
and that it had come up a ten thousand pound prize!

“Well, Ellen,” said Maurice, “I’ve half a mind to try my luck; and it
can do us no harm, for I’ll only put off buying the cow this year.”

“Nay,” said Mrs. Dolly, “why so? may be you don’t know what I know, that
Ellen’s as rich as a Jew? She has a cunning little cupboard, in the wall
yonder, that I see her putting money into every day of her life, and
none goes out.”

Ellen immediately went and drew back a small sliding oak door in the
wainscot, and took out a glove, in which some money was wrapped; she put
it altogether in her husband’s hand, saying, with a good-humoured smile,
“There is my year’s spinning, Maurice: I only thought to have made more
of it before I gave it you. Do what you please with it.”

Maurice was so much moved by his wife’s kindness, that he at the moment
determined to give up his lottery scheme, of which, he knew, she did
not approve. But, though a good-natured, well-meaning man, he was of an
irresolute character; and even when he saw what was best to be done,
had not courage to persist. As he was coming home from work, a few days
after Ellen had given him the money, he saw, in one of the streets
of Derby, a house with large windows finely illuminated, and read the

“Lottery-office of Fortunatus, Gould, and Co.” At this office was sold
the fortunate ticket, which came up on Monday last a twenty thousand
pound prize. Ready money paid for prizes immediately on demand. The


still in the wheel. None but the brave deserve a prize.”

Whilst Maurice was gazing at this and other similar advertisements,
which were exhibited in various bright colours in this tempting window,
his desire to try his fortune in the lottery returned; and he was just
going into the office to purchase a ticket, when luckily he found that
he had not his leathern purse in his pocket. He walked on, and presently
brushed by some one; it was William Deane, who was looking very eagerly
over some old books, at a bookseller’s stall. “I wish I had but money to
treat myself with some of these,” said William: “but I cannot; they cost
such a deal of money, having all these prints in them.”

“We can lend you,--no, we can’t neither,” cried Maurice, stopping
himself short; for he recollected that he could not both lend his friend
money to buy the books and buy a lottery ticket. He was in great doubt
which he should do; and walked on with William, in silence. “So, then,”
 cried he at last, “you would not advise me to put into the lottery?”

“Nay,” said William laughing, “it is not for me to advise you about it,
now; for I know you are considering whether you had best put it into the
lottery or lend me the money to buy these books. Now, I hope you don’t
think I was looking to my own interest in what I said the other day; for
I can assure you, I had no thoughts of meeting with these books at that
time, and did not know that you had any money to spare.”

“Say no more about it,” replied Maurice. “Don’t I know you are an honest
fellow, and would lend me the money if I wanted it? You shall have it
as soon as ever we get home. Only mind and stand by me stoutly, if Mrs.
Dolly begins any more about the lottery.”

Mrs. Dolly did not fail to renew her attacks; and she was both provoked
and astonished when she found that the contents of the leathern purse
were put into the hands of William Deane.

“Books, indeed! To buy books forsooth! What business had such a one as
he with books?” She had seen a deal of life, she said, and never saw
no good come of bookish bodies; and she was sorry to see that her own
darling, George, was taking to the bookish line, and that his mother
encouraged him in it. She would lay her best shawl, she said, to a gauze
handkerchief, that William Deane would, sooner or later, beggar himself,
and all that belonged to him, by his books and his gimcracks; “and if
George were my son,” continued she, raising her voice, “I’d soon cure
him of prying and poring into that man’s picture-books, and following
him up and down with wheels and mechanic machines, which will never
come to no good, nor never make a gentleman of him, as a ticket in the
lottery might and would.”

All mouths were open at once to defend William. Maurice declared he was
the most industrious man in the parish; that his books never kept him
from his work, but always kept him from the alehouse and bad company;
and that, as to his gimcracks and machines, he never laid out a farthing
upon them but what he got by working on holidays, and odd times, when
other folks were idling or tippling. His master, who understood the like
of those things, said, before all the workmen at the mills, that William
Deane’s machines were main clever, and might come to bring in a deal of
money for him and his.

“Why,” continued Maurice, “there was Mr. Arkwright, the man that first
set a going all our cotton frames here, was no better than William
Deane, and yet came at last to make a power of money. It stands to
reason, any how, that William Deane is hurting nobody, nor himself
neither; and, moreover, he may divert himself his own way, without being
taken to task by man, woman, or child. As to children, he’s very good to
my child; there’s one loves him,” pointing to George, “and I’m glad of
it: for I should be ashamed, so I should, that my flesh and blood should
be in any ways disregardful or ungracious to those that be kind and good
to them.”

Mrs. Dolly, swelling with anger, repeated in a scornful voice,
“Disregardful, ungracious! I wonder folks can talk so to me! But this is
all the gratitude one meets with, in this world, for all one does. Well,
well! I’m an old woman, and shall soon be out of people’s way; and then
they will be sorry they did not use me better; and then they’ll bethink
them that it is not so easy to gain a friend as to lose a friend; and

Here Mrs. Dolly’s voice was stopped by her sobs; and Maurice, who was
a very good-natured man, and much disposed to gratitude, said he begged
her pardon a thousand times, if he had done any thing to offend her; and
declared his only wish was to please and satisfy her, if she would but
tell him how. She continued sobbing, without making any answer, for some
time: but at last she cried, “My ad--my ad--my ad-vice is never taken in
any thing!”

Maurice declared he was ready to take her advice, if that was the only
way to make her easy in her mind. “I know what you mean, now,” added he:
“you are still harping upon the lottery ticket. Well, I’ll buy a ticket
this day week, after I’ve sold the cow I bought at the fair. Will you
have done sobbing, now, cousin Dolly?”

“Indeed, cousin Maurice, it is only for your own sake I speak,” said
she, wiping her eyes. “You know you was always a favourite of mine from
your childhood up; I nursed you, and had you on my knee, and foretold
often and often you would make a fortune, so I did. And will you buy the
ticket I dreamed about, hey?”

Maurice assured her that, if it was to be had, he would. The cow was
accordingly sold the following week, and the ticket in the lottery
was bought. It was not, however, the number about which Mrs. Dolly had
dreamed, for that was already purchased by some other person. The ticket
Maurice bought was number 80; and, after he had got it, his cousin
Dolly continually deplored that it was not the very number of which she
dreamed. It would have been better not to have taken her advice at all
than to have taken it when it was too late.

Maurice was an easy-tempered man, and loved quiet; and when he found
that he was reproached for something or other whenever he came into his
own house, he began to dislike the thought of going home after his day’s
work, and loitered at public-houses sometimes, but more frequently at
the lottery-office. As the lottery was now drawing, his whole
thoughts were fixed upon his ticket; and he neglected his work at the
manufactory. “What signify a few shillings wages, more or less?” said he
to himself. “If my ticket should come up a prize, it makes a rich man of
me at once.”

His ticket at last was drawn a prize of five thousand pounds! He was
almost out of his senses with joy! He ran home to tell the news. “A
prize! a prize, Dolly!” cried he, as soon as he had breath to speak.

“That comes of taking my advice!” said Dolly.

“A five thousand pound prize! my dear Ellen,” cried he, and down he
kicked her spinning-wheel.

“I wish we may be as happy with it as we have been without it, Maurice,”
 said Ellen; and calmly lifted her spinning-wheel up again.

“No more spinning-wheels!” cried Maurice; “no more spinning! no more
work! We have nothing to do now but to be as happy as the day is long.
Wife, I say, put by that wheel.”

“You’re a lady now; and ought to look and behave like a lady,” added
Mrs. Dolly, stretching up her head, “and not stand moping over an old

“I don’t know how to look and behave like a lady,” said Ellen, and
sighed: “but I hopes Maurice won’t love me the less for that.”

Mrs. Dolly was for some time wholly taken up with the pleasure of laying
out money, and “preparing,” as she said, “to look like somebody.” She
had many acquaintances at Paddington, she said, and she knew of a very
snug house there, where they could all live very genteel.

She was impatient to go thither, for two reasons; that she might make
a figure in the eyes of these acquaintances, and that she might get
Maurice and little George away from William Deane, who was now become
more than ever the object of her aversion and contempt; for he actually
advised his friend not to think of living in idleness, though he had
five thousand pounds. William moreover recommended it to him to put his
money out to interest, or to dispose of a good part of it in stocking a
farm, or in fitting out a shop. Ellen, being a farmer’s daughter, knew
well the management of a dairy; and, when a girl, had also assisted in a
haberdasher’s shop, that was kept in Derby by her uncle; so she was able
and willing, she said, to assist her husband in whichever of these ways
of life he should take to.

Maurice, irresolute and desirous of pleasing all parties, at last said,
it would be as well, seeing they were now rich enough not to mind such a
journey, just to go to Paddington and look about ‘em; and if so be they
could not settle there in comfort, why still they might see a bit of
London town, and take their pleasure for a month or so; and he hoped
William Deane would come along with them, and it should not be a
farthing out of his pocket.

Little George said every thing he could think of to persuade his _King
Deane_ to go with them, and almost pulled him to the coach door, when
they were setting off; but William could not leave his master and his
business. The child clung with his legs and arms so fast to him that
they were forced to drag him into the carriage.

“You’ll find plenty of friends at Paddington, who’ll give you many
pretty things. Dry your eyes, and see! you’re in a coach!” said Mrs.

George dried his eyes directly, for he was ashamed of crying; but he
answered, “I don’t care for your pretty things. I shall not find my
good dear King Deane any where;” and, leaning upon his mother’s lap, he
twirled round the wheel of a little cart, which William Deane had given
him, and which he carried under his arm as his greatest treasure.

Ellen was delighted to see signs of such a grateful and affectionate
disposition in her son, and all her thoughts were bent upon him; whilst
Mrs. Dolly chattered on about her acquaintance at Paddington, and her
satisfaction at finding herself in a coach once again. Her satisfaction
was not, however, of long continuance; for she grew so sick that she was
obliged, or thought herself obliged, every quarter of an hour, to have
recourse to her cordial bottle. Her spirits were at last raised so much,
that she became extremely communicative, and she laid open to Maurice
and Ellen all her plans of future pleasure and expense.

“In the first place,” said she, “I am heartily glad now I have got you
away from that cottage that was not fit to live in; and from certain
folks that shall be nameless, that would have one live all one’s
life like scrubs, like themselves. You must know that when we get
to Paddington, the first thing I shall do shall be to buy a handsome
coach.” “A coach!” exclaimed Maurice and Ellen, with extreme

“A coach, to be sure,” said Mrs. Dolly. “I say a coach.”

“I say we shall be ruined, then,” said Maurice; “and laughed at into the

“La! you don’t know what money is,” said Mrs. Dolly. “Why haven’t you
five thousand pounds, man? You don’t know what can be done with five
thousand pounds, cousin Maurice.”

“No, nor you neither, cousin Dolly; or you’d never talk of setting up
your coach.”

“Why not, pray? I know what a coach costs as well as another. I know
we can have a second-hand coach, and we need not tell nobody that it’s
second-hand, for about a hundred pounds. And what’s a hundred pounds out
of five thousand?”

“But if we’ve a coach, we must have horses, must not we?” said Ellen,
“and they’ll cost a hundred more.”

“Oh, we can have job horses, that will cost us little or nothing,” said
Mrs. Dolly.

“Say £150. a-year,” replied Maurice; “for I heard my master’s coachman
telling that the livery-keeper in London declared as how he made nothing
by letting him have job horses for £150. a-year.”

“We are to have our own coach,” said Dolly, “and that will be cheaper,
you know.”

“But the coach won’t last for ever,” said Ellen; “it must be mended, and
that will cost something.”

“It is time enough to think of that when the coach wants mending,” said
Mrs. Dolly; who, without giving herself the trouble of calculating,
seemed to be convinced that every thing might be done for five thousand
pounds. “I must let you know a little secret,” continued she. “I have
written, that is, got a friend to write, to have the house at Paddington
taken for a year; for I know it’s quite the thing for us, and we are
only to give fifty pounds a-year for it: and you know that one thousand
pounds would pay that rent for twenty years to come.”

“But then,” said Ellen, “you will want to do a great many other things
with that thousand pounds. There’s the coach you mentioned; and you said
we must keep a footboy, and must see a deal of company, and must not
grudge to buy clothes, and that we could not follow any trade, nor have
a farm, nor do any thing to make money; so we must live on upon what we
have. Now let us count, and see how we shall do it. You know, Maurice,
that William Deane inquired about what we could get for our five
thousand pounds, if we put it out to interest?”

“Ay; two hundred a-year, he said.”

“Well, we pay fifty pounds a-year for the rent of the house, and a
hundred a-year we three and the boy must have to live upon, and there is
but fifty pounds a-year left.”

Mrs. Dolly, with some reluctance, gave up the notion of the coach; and
Ellen proposed that five hundred pounds should be laid out in furnishing
a haberdasher’s shop, and that the rest of their money should be put
out to interest, till it was wanted. “Maurice and I can take care of the
shop very well; and we can live well enough upon what we make by it,”
 said Ellen.

Mrs. Dolly opposed the idea of keeping a shop; and observed that they
should not, in that case, be gentlefolks. Besides, she said, she was
sure the people of the house she had taken would never let it be turned
into a shop.

What Mrs. Dolly had said was indeed true. When they got to Paddington,
they found that the house was by no means fit for a shop; and as the
bargain was made for a year, and they could not get it off their hands
without considerable loss, Ellen was forced to put off her prudent
scheme. In the mean time she determined to learn how to keep accounts

There was a small garden belonging to the house, in which George set
to work; and though he could do little more than pull up the weeds,
yet this kept him out of mischief and idleness; and she sent him to a
day-school, where he would learn to read, write, and cast accounts. When
he came home in the evenings, he used to show her his copy-book, and
read his lesson, and say his spelling to her, while she was at work. His
master said it was a pleasure to teach him, he was so eager to learn;
and Ellen was glad that she had money enough to pay for having her
boy well taught. Mrs. Dolly, all this time, was sitting and gossiping
amongst her acquaintance in Paddington. These acquaintance were people
whom she had seen when they visited the housekeeper in the great family
where she was laundry-maid; and she was very proud to show them that she
was now a finer person than even the housekeeper, who was formerly the
object of her envy. She had tea-drinking parties, and sometimes dinner
parties, two or three in a week; and hired a footboy, and laughed at
Ellen for her low notions, and dissuaded Maurice from all industrious
schemes; still saying to him, “Oh, you’ll have time enough to think of
going to work when you have spent all your money.”

Maurice, who had been accustomed to be at work for several hours in the
day, at first thought it would be a fine thing to walk about, as Mrs.
Dolly said, like a gentleman, without having any thing to do; but when
he came to try it, he found himself more tired by this way of life than
he had ever felt himself in the cotton-mills at Derby. He gaped and
gaped, and lounged about every morning, and looked a hundred times at
his new watch, and put it to his ear to listen whether it was going, the
time seemed to him to pass so slowly. Sometimes he sauntered through
the town, came back again, and stood at his own door looking at dogs
fighting for a bone; at others, he went into the kitchen, to learn what
there was to be for dinner, and to watch the maid cooking, or the boy
cleaning knives. It was a great relief for him to go into the room where
his wife was at work: but he never would have been able to get through a
year in this way without the assistance of a pretty little black horse,
for which he paid thirty guineas. During a month he was very happy in
riding backwards and forwards on the Edgeware-road: but presently
the horse fell lame; it was discovered that he was spavined and
broken-winded; and the jockey from whom Maurice bought him was no where
to be found. Maurice sold the horse for five guineas, and bought a fine
bay for forty, which he was certain would turn out well, seeing he paid
such a good price for him; but the bay scarcely proved better than the
black. How he managed it we do not know, but it seems he was not so
skilful in horses as in cotton-weaving; for at the end of the year he
had no horse, and had lost fifty guineas by his bargains.

Another hundred guineas were gone, nobody in the family but himself knew
how: but he resolved to waste no more money and began the new year well,
by opening a haberdasher’s shop in Paddington. The fitting up this shop
cost them five hundred pounds; it was tolerably stocked, and Ellen was
so active, and so attentive to all customers, that she brought numbers
to Maurice Robinson’s new shop. They made full twelve per cent, upon all
they sold; and, in six months, had turned three hundred pounds twice,
and had gained the profit of seventy-two pounds. Maurice, however, had
got such a habit of lounging, during his year of idleness, that he could
not relish steady attendance in the shop: he was often out, frequently
came home late at night, and Ellen observed that he sometimes looked
extremely melancholy; but when she asked him whether he was ill, or what
ailed him, he always turned away, answering, “Nothing--nothing ails me.
Why do ye fancy any thing ails me?”

Alas! it was no fancy. Ellen saw too plainly, that something was going
wrong: but as her husband persisted in silence, she could not tell how
to assist or comfort him.

Mrs. Dolly in the mean time was going on spending her money in
junketing. She was, besides, no longer satisfied with taking
her spoonful of brandy in every dish of tea; she found herself
uncomfortable, she said, unless she took every morning fasting a
full glass of the good cordial recommended to her by her friend,
Mrs. Joddrell, the apothecary’s wife. Now this good cordial, in plain
English, was a strong dram. Ellen, in the gentlest manner she could,
represented to Mrs. Dolly that she was hurting her health, and was
exposing herself, by this increasing habit of drinking; but she replied
with anger, that what she _took_ was for the good of her health; that
everybody knew best what agreed with them; that she should trust to her
own feelings; and that nobody need talk, when all she took came out of
the apothecary’s shop, and was paid for honestly with her own money.

Besides what came out of the apothecary’s shop, Mrs. Dolly found it
agreed with her constantly to drink a pot of porter at dinner, and
another at supper; and always when she had a cold, and she had often a
cold, she drank large basins full of white wine whey, “to throw off her
cold,” as she said.

Then by degrees, she lost her appetite, and found she could eat nothing,
unless she had a glass of brandy at dinner. Small beer, she discovered,
did not agree with her; so at luncheon time she always had a tumbler
full of brandy and water. This she carefully mixed herself, and put less
and less water in every day, because brandy, she was convinced, was more
wholesome for some constitutions than water; and brandy and peppermint,
taken together, was an infallible remedy for all complaints, low spirits


Mrs. Dolly never found herself comfortable, moreover, unless she
dined abroad two or three days in the week, at a public-house, near
Paddington, where she said she was more at home than she was any where
else. There was a bowling-green at this public-house, and it was a place
to which tea-drinking parties resorted. Now Mrs. Dolly often wanted to
take little George out with her to these parties, and said, “It is a
pity and shame to keep the poor thing always mewed up at home, without
ever letting him have any pleasure! Would not you like to go with me,
George dear, in the one-horse chaise? and would not you be glad to have
cakes, and tea, and all the good things that are to be had?”

“I should like to go in the one-horse chaise, to be sure, and to have
cakes and tea; but I should not like to go with you, because mother does
not choose it,” answered George, in his usual plain way of speaking.
Ellen, who had often seen Mrs. Dolly offer him wine and punch to
drink, by way of a treat, was afraid he might gradually learn to love
spirituous liquors; and that if he acquired a habit of drinking such
when he was a boy, he would become a drunkard when he should grow to be
a man. George was now almost nine years old; and he could understand
the reason why his mother desired that he would not drink spirituous
liquors. She once pointed out to him a drunken man, who was reeling
along the street, and bawling ridiculous nonsense: he had quite lost his
senses, and as he did not attend to the noise of a carriage coming
fast behind him, he could not get out of the way time enough, and the
coachman could not stop his horses; so the drunken man was thrown down,
and the wheel of the carriage went over his leg, and broke it in a
shocking manner. George saw him carried towards his home, writhing and
groaning with pain.

“See what comes of drunkenness!” said Ellen.

She stopped the people, who were carrying the hurt man past her door,
and had him brought in and laid upon a bed, whilst a surgeon was sent
for. George stood beside the bed in silence; and the words “See what
comes of drunkenness!” sounded in his ears.

Another time, his mother pointed out to him a man with terribly swollen
legs, and a red face blotched all over, lifted out of a fine coach by
two footmen in fine liveries. The man leaned upon a gold-headed cane,
after he was lifted from his carriage, and tried with his other hand to
take off his hat to a lady, who asked him how he did; but his hand shook
so much that, when he had got his hat off, he could not put it rightly
upon his head, and his footman put it on for him. The boys in the street
laughed at him. “Poor man!” said Ellen; “that is Squire L----, who, as
you heard the apothecary say, has drunk harder in his day than any
man that ever he knew; and this is what he has brought himself to by
drinking! All the physic in the apothecary’s shop cannot make him well
again! No; nor can his fine coach and fine footmen any more make him
easy or happy, poor man!”

George exclaimed, “I wonder how people can be such fools as to be
drunkards! I will never be a drunkard, mother; and now I know the reason
why you desired me not to drink the wine, when Mrs. Dolly used to say to
me, ‘Down with it, George dear, it will do ye no harm.’”

These circumstances made such an impression upon George that there was
no further occasion to watch him; he always pushed away the glass when
Mrs. Dolly filled it for him.

One day his mother said to him, “Now I can trust you to take care
of yourself, George, I shall not watch you. Mrs. Dolly is going to a
bowling-green tea-party this evening, and has asked you to go with her;
and I have told her you shall.”

George accordingly went with Mrs. Dolly to the bowling-green. The
company drank tea out of doors, in summer-houses. After tea, Mrs. Dolly
bid George go and look at the bowling-green; and George was very well
entertained with seeing the people playing at bowls; but when it grew
late in the evening, and when the company began to go away, George
looked about for Mrs. Dolly. She was not in the summer-house, where
they had drunk tea, nor was she any where upon the terrace round the
bowling-green; so he went to the public-house in search of her, and at
last found her standing at the bar with the landlady. Her face was very
red, and she had a large glass of brandy in her hand, into which the
landlady was pouring some drops, which she said were excellent for the

Mrs. Dolly started so when she saw George, that she threw down half
her glass of brandy. “Bless us, child! I thought you were safe at the
bowling-green,” said she.

“I saw every body going away,” answered George; “so I thought it was
time to look for you, and to go home.”

“But before you go, my dear little gentleman,” said the landlady, “you
must eat one of these tarts, for my sake.” As she spoke, she gave George
a little tart: “and here,” added she, “you must drink my health too in
something good. Don’t be afraid, love; it’s nothing that will hurt you:
it’s very sweet and nice.”

“It is wine, or spirits of some sort or other, I know by the smell,”
 said George; “and I will not drink it, thank you, ma’am.”

“The boy’s a fool!” said Mrs. Dolly; “but it’s his mother’s fault. She
won’t let him taste any thing stronger than water. But now your mother’s
not by, you know,” said Mrs. Dolly, winking at the landlady; “now your
mother’s not by--”

“Yes, and nobody will tell of you,” added the landlady; “so do what you
like: drink it down, love.”

“No!” cried George, pushing away the glass which Mrs. Dolly held to his
lips. “No! no! no! I say. I will not do any thing now my mother’s not
by, that I would not do if she was here in this room.”

“Well; hush, hush; and don’t bawl so loud though,” said Mrs. Dolly, who
saw, what George did not see, a gentleman that was standing at the door
of the parlour opposite to them, and who could hear every thing that was
saying at the bar.

“I say,” continued George, in a loud voice, “mother told me she could
trust me to take care of myself; and so I will take care of myself; and
I am not a fool, no more is mother, I know; for she told me the reasons
why it is not good to drink spirituous--.” Mrs. Dolly pushed him away,
without giving him time to finish his sentence, bidding him go and see
whether the gig was ready; for it was time to be going home.

As George was standing in the yard, looking at the mechanism of the
one-horse chaise and observing how the horse was put to, somebody tapped
him upon the shoulder, and looking up, he saw a gentleman with a very
good-natured countenance, who smiled upon him, and asked him whether he
was the little boy who had just been talking so loud in the bar?

“Yes, sir,” says George. “You seem to be a good little boy,” added he;
“and I liked what I heard you say very much. So you will not do any
thing when your mother is not by, that you would not do if she was
here--was not that what you said?”

“Yes, sir; as well as I remember.”

“And who is your mother?” continued the gentleman. “Where does she

George told him his mother’s name, and where she lived; and the
gentleman said, “I will call at your mother’s house as I go home, and
tell her what I heard you say; and I will ask her to let you come to my
house, where you will see a little boy of your own age, whom I should be
very glad to have seen behave as well as you did just now.”

Mr. Belton, for that was the name of the gentleman who took notice of
George, was a rich carpet manufacturer. He had a country-house near
Paddington; and the acquaintance which was thus begun became a source
of great happiness to George. Mr. Belton lent him several entertaining
books, and took him to see many curious things in London. Ellen was
rejoiced to hear from him the praises of her son. All the pleasure of
Ellen’s life had, for some months past, depended upon this boy; for
her husband was seldom at home, and the gloom that was spread over his
countenance alarmed her, whenever she saw him. As for Mrs. Dolly, she
was no companion for Ellen: her love of drinking had increased to such
a degree that she could love nothing else; and when she was not half
intoxicated, she was in such low spirits that she sat (either on the
side of her bed, or in her arm-chair, wrapped in a shawl) sighing and
crying, and see-sawing herself; and sometimes she complained to Maurice
that Ellen did not care whether she was dead or alive; and at others
that George had always something or other to do, and never liked to
sit in her room and keep her company. Besides all this, she got into
a hundred petty quarrels with the neighbours, who had a knack of
remembering what she said when she was drunk, and appealing to her for
satisfaction when she was sober. Mrs. Dolly regularly expected that
Ellen should, as she called it, stand her friend in these altercations;
to which Ellen could not always in justice consent. Ah! said Ellen to
herself one night, as she was sitting up late waiting for her husband’s
return home, it is not the having five thousand pounds that makes people
happy! When Maurice loved to come home after his day’s work to our
little cottage, and when our George was his delight, as he is mine, then
I was light of heart; but now it is quite otherwise. However, there
is no use in complaining, nor in sitting down to think upon melancholy
things; and Ellen started up and went to work, to mend one of her
husband’s waistcoats.

Whilst she was at this employment, she listened continually for the
return of Maurice. The clock struck twelve, and one, and no husband
came! She heard no noise in the street when she opened her window, for
every body but herself was in bed and asleep. At last she heard the
sound of footsteps; but it was so dark that she could not see who
the person was, who continued walking backwards and forwards, just
underneath the window.

“Is it you, Maurice? Are you there, Maurice?” said Ellen. The noise of
the footsteps ceased, and Ellen again said, “Is it you, Maurice? Are you

“Yes,” answered Maurice; “it is I. Why are you not abed and asleep, at
this time of night?”

“I am waiting for you,” replied Ellen. “You need not wait for me; I have
the key of the house door in my pocket, and can let myself in whenever I
choose it.”

“And don’t you choose it now?” said Ellen.

“No. Shut down the window.”

Ellen shut the window, and went and sat down upon the side of her boy’s
bed. He was sleeping. Ellen, who could not sleep, took up her work
again, and resolved to wait till her husband should come in. At last,
the key turned in the house door, and presently she heard her husband’s
steps coming softly towards the room where she was sitting. He opened
the door gently, as if he expected to find her asleep, and was afraid
of awakening her. He started when he saw her; and slouching his hat over
his face, threw himself into a chair without speaking a single word.
Something terrible has happened to him, surely! thought Ellen; and her
hand trembled so that she could scarcely hold her needle, when she tried
to go on working.

“What are you doing there, Ellen?” said he, suddenly pushing back his

“I’m only mending your waistcoat, love,” said Ellen, in a faltering

“I am a wretch! a fool! a miserable wretch!” exclaimed Maurice, starting
up and striking his forehead with violence as he walked up and down the

“What can be the matter?” said Ellen. “It is worse to me to see you in
this way, than to hear whatever misfortune has befallen you. Don’t turn
away from me, husband! Who in the world loves you so well as I do?”

“Oh, Ellen,” said he, letting her take his hand, but still turning away,
“you will hate me when you know what I have done.”

“I cannot hate you, I believe,” said Ellen.

“We have not sixpence left in the world!” continued Maurice, vehemently.
“We must leave this house to-morrow; we must sell all we have; I must go
to jail, Ellen! You must work all the rest of your days harder than ever
you did; and so must that poor boy, who lies sleeping yonder. He little
thinks that his father has made a beggar of him; and that, whilst his
mother was the best of mothers to him, his father was ruining him, her,
and himself, with a pack of rascals at the gaming-table. Ellen, I have
lost every shilling of our money!”

“Is that all?” said Ellen. “That’s bad; but I am glad that you have done
nothing wicked. We can work hard, and be happy again. Only promise me
now, dear husband, that you will never game any more.”

Maurice threw himself upon his knees, and swore that he never, to the
last hour of his life, would go to any gaming-table again, or play at
any game of chance. Ellen then said all she could to soothe and console
him; she persuaded him to take some rest, of which he was much in need,
for his looks were haggard, and he seemed quite exhausted. He declared
that he had not had a night’s good sleep for many months, since he
had got into these difficulties by gaming. His mind had been kept in
a continual flurry, and he seemed as if he had been living in a fever.
“The worst of it was, Ellen,” said he, “I could not bear to see you or
the boy when I had been losing; so I went on, gaming deeper and deeper,
in hopes of winning back what I had lost; and I now and then won, and
they coaxed me and told me I was getting a run of luck, and it would be
a sin to turn my back on good fortune. This way I was ‘ticed to go on
playing, till, when I betted higher and higher, my luck left me; or, as
I shrewdly suspect, the rascals did not play fair, and they won stake
after stake, till they made me half mad, and I risked all I had left
upon one throw, and lost it! And when I found I had lost all, and
thought of coming home to you and our boy, I was ready to hang myself.
Oh, Ellen, if you knew all I have felt! I would not live over again the
last two years for this room full of gold!”

Such are the miserable feelings, and such the life, of a gamester!

Maurice slept for a few hours, or rather dozed, starting now and then,
and talking of cards and dice, and sometimes grinding his teeth and
clenching his hand, till he wakened himself by the violence with which
he struck the side of the bed.

“I have had a terrible dream, wife,” said he, when he opened his
eyes, and saw Ellen sitting beside him on the bed. At first he did not
recollect what had really happened; but as Ellen looked at him with
sorrow and compassion in her countenance, he gradually remembered all
the truth; and, hiding his head under the bed-clothes, he said he wished
he could sleep again, if it could be without dreaming such dreadful

It was in vain that he tried to sleep; so he got up, resolving to try
whether he could borrow twenty guineas from any of his friends, to pay
the most pressing of his gaming companions. The first person he asked
was Mrs. Dolly: she fell into an hysteric fit when she heard of his
losses; and it was not till after she had swallowed a double dram of
brandy that she was able to speak, and to tell him that she was the
worst person in the world he could have applied to; for that she was in
the greatest distress herself, and all her dependance in this world was
upon him.

Maurice stood in silent astonishment. “Why, cousin,” said he, “I
thought, and always believed, that you had a power of money! You know,
when you came to live with us, you told me so.”

“No matter what I told you,” said Mrs. Dolly. “Folks can’t live upon
air. Yesterday the landlady of the public-house at the bowling-green,
whom I’m sure I looked upon as my friend,--but there’s no knowing one’s
friends,--sent me in a bill as long as my arm; and the apothecary here
has another against me worse again; and the man at the livery-stables,
for one-horse chays, and jobs that I’m sure I forgot ever having, comes
and charges me the Lord knows what! and then the grocer for tea and
sugar, which I have been giving to folks from whom I have got no thanks.
And then I have an account with the linen-draper of I don’t know how
much! hut he has over-charged me, I know, scandalously, for my last
three shawls. And then I have never paid for my set of tea china; and
half of the cups are broke, and the silver spoons, and I can’t tell what

In short, Mrs. Dolly, who had never kept any account of what she spent,
had no idea how far she was getting into a tradesman’s debt till his
bill was brought home: and was in great astonishment to find, when all
her bills were sent in, that she had spent four hundred and fifty pounds
in her private expenses, drinking included, in the course of three years
and eight months. She had now nothing left to live upon but one hundred
pounds, so that she was more likely to be a burden to Maurice than
any assistance. He, however, was determined to go to a friend, who had
frequently offered to lend him any sum of money he might want, and who
had often been his partner at the gaming-table.

In his absence, Ellen and George began to take a list of all the
furniture in the house, that it might be ready for a sale, and Mrs.
Dolly sat in her arm-chair, weeping and wailing.

“Oh! laud! laud! that I should live to see all this!” cried she. “Ah,
lack-a-daisy! lack-a-daisy! lack-a-day! what will become of me? Oh, la!
la! la! la!” Her lamentations were interrupted by a knock at the door.
“Hark! a knock, a double knock at the door,” cried Mrs. Dolly. “Who is
it? Ah, lack-a-day, when people come to know what has happened, it will
be long enough before we have any more visitors; long enough before we
hear any more double knocks at the door. Oh, laud! laud! See who it is,

It was Mr. Belton, who was come to ask George to go with him and his
little nephew to see some wild beasts at Exeter-’change: he was much
surprised at the sorrowful faces of George and Ellen, whom he had always
been used to see so cheerful, and inquired what misfortune had befallen
them? Mrs. Dolly thought she could tell the story best, so she detailed
the whole, with many piteous ejaculations; but the silent resignation of
Ellen’s countenance had much more effect upon Mr. Belton. “George,” said
he, “must stay to finish the inventory he is writing for his mother.”

Mr. Belton was inquiring more particularly into the amount of Maurice’s
debts, and the names of the persons to whom he had lost his money at
the gaming-table, when the unfortunate man himself came home. “No hope,
Ellen!” cried he. “No hope from any of those rascals that I thought my
friends. No hope!”

He stopped short, seeing a stranger in the room, for Mr. Belton was a
stranger to him. “My husband can tell you the names of all the people,”
 said Ellen, “who have been the ruin of us.” Mr. Belton then wrote them
down from Maurice’s information; and learned from him that he had lost
to these sharpers upwards of three thousand eight hundred pounds in the
course of three years; that the last night he played, he had staked the
goods in his shop, valued at 350_l_, and lost them; that afterwards he
staked the furniture of his house, valued at 160_l_.; this also he lost;
and so left the gaming-table without a farthing in the world.

“It is not my intention,” said Mr. Belton, “to add to your present
suffering, Mr. Robinson, by pointing out that it has arisen entirely
from your own imprudence. Nor yet can I say that I feel much compassion
for you; for I have always considered a gamester as a most selfish
being, who should be suffered to feel the terrible consequences of his
own avaricious folly, as a warning to others.”

“Oh, sir! Oh, Mr. Belton!” cried Ellen, bursting now, for the first
time, into tears, “do not speak so harshly to Maurice.”

“To you I shall not speak harshly,” said Mr. Belton, his voice and looks
changing; “for I have the greatest compassion for such an excellent wife
and mother. And I shall take care that neither you nor your son, whom
you have taken such successful pains to educate, shall suffer by the
folly and imprudence in which you had no share. As to the ready money
which your husband has lost and paid to these sharpers, it is, I fear,
irrecoverable; but the goods in your shop, and the furniture in your
house, I will take care shall not be touched. I will go immediately to
my attorney, and direct him to inquire into the truth of all I have been
told, and to prosecute these villains for keeping a gaming-table, and
playing at unlawful games. Finish that inventory which you are making
out, George, and give it to me; I will have the furniture in your house,
Ellen, valued by an appraiser, and will advance you money to the amount,
on which you may continue to live in comfort and credit, trusting to
your industry and integrity to repay me in small sums, as you find it
convenient, out of the profits of your shop.”

“Oh, sir!” cried Maurice, clasping his hands with a strong expression
of joy, “thank you! thank you from the bottom of my soul! Save her from
misery, save the boy, and let me suffer as I ought for my folly.”

Mr. Belton, in spite of his contempt for gamesters, was touched by
Maurice’s repentance; but, keeping a steady countenance, replied in a
firm tone, “Suffering for folly does nobody any good, unless it makes
them wiser in future.”


Mrs. Dolly, who had been unaccountably awed to silence by Mr. Belton’s
manner of speaking and looking, broke forth the moment he had left the
house. “Very genteel, indeed; though he might have taken more notice
of me. See what, it is, George, to have the luck of meeting with good

“See what it is to deserve good friends, George,” said Ellen.

“You’ll all remember, I hope,” said Mrs. Dolly, raising her voice, “that
it was I who was the first and foremost cause of all this, by taking
George along with me to the tea-drinking at the bowling-green, where he
first got acquainted with Mr. Belton.”

“Mr. Belton would never have troubled his head about such a little boy
as George,” said Ellen, “if it had not been for--you know what I mean,
Mrs. Dolly. All I wish to say is, that George’s own good behaviour was
the cause of our getting acquainted with this good friend.”

“And I am sure you were the cause, mother,” said George, “of what you
call my good behaviour.”

Mrs. Dolly, somewhat vexed at this turn, changed the conversation
saying, “Well, ‘tis no matter how we made such a good acquaintance;
let us make the most of him, and drink his health, as becomes us,
after dinner. And now, I suppose, all will go on as usual: none of our
acquaintance in Paddington need know any thing of what has happened.”

Ellen, who was very little solicitous about what Mrs. Dolly’s
acquaintance in Paddington might think, observed that, so far from going
on as usual, now they were living on borrowed money, it was fit they
should retrench all their expenses, and give up the drawing-room and
parlour of the house to lodgers.

“So, then, we are to live like shabby wretches for the rest of our
days!” cried Mrs. Dolly. “Better live like what we are, poor but
industrious people,” replied Ellen, “and then we shall never be forced
to do any thing shabby.”

“Ay, Ellen, you are, as you always are, in the right; and all I desire
now, in this world, is to make up for the past, and to fall to work
in some way or other; for idleness was what first led me to the

Mrs. Dolly opposed these good resolutions, and urged Maurice to send
George to Mr. Belton, to beg him to lend them some more money. “Since he
is in the humour to be generous, and since he has taken a fancy to
us,” said she, “why not take him at his word, and make punch whilst the
water’s hot?”

But all that Mrs. Dolly said was lost upon Ellen, who declared that she
would never be so mean as to encroach upon such a generous friend; and
Maurice protested that nothing that man, woman, or devil, could say,
should persuade him to live in idleness another year. He sent George
the next morning to Mr. Belton with a letter, requesting that he would
procure employment for him, and stating what he thought himself fit for.
Amongst other things, he mentioned that he could keep accounts. That
he could write a good hand was evident, from his letter. Mr. Belton,
at this time, wanted a clerk in his manufactory; and, upon Maurice’s
repeating his promise never more to frequent the gaming-table, Mr.
Belton, after a trial, engaged him as his clerk, at a salary of 50_1_.
per annum.

Every thing now went on well for some months. Maurice, on whom his
wife’s kindness had made a deep impression, became thoroughly intent
upon his business, and anxious to make her some amends for his past
follies. His heart was now at ease: he came home, after his day’s work
at the counting-house, with an open, cheerful countenance; and Ellen was
perfectly happy. They sold all the furniture that was too fine for their
present way of life to the new lodgers, who took the drawing-room and
front parlour of their house; and lived on the profits of their shop,
which, being well attended, was never in want of customers.

One night, at about ten o’clock, as little George was sitting, reading
the history of Sandford and Merton, in which he was much interested, he
was roused by a loud knocking at the house door. He ran to open it: but
how much was he shocked at the sight he beheld! It was Mrs. Dolly! her
leg broken, and her skull fractured!

Ellen had her brought in, and laid upon a bed, and a surgeon was
immediately sent for. When Maurice inquired how this terrible accident
befel Mrs. Dolly, the account he received was, that she was riding home
from the bowling-green public-house, much intoxicated; that she insisted
upon stopping to get a glass of peppermint and brandy for her stomach;
that, seeing she had drunk too much already, every thing possible was
done to prevent her from taking any more; but she would not be advised:
she said she knew best what agreed with her constitution; so she
alighted and took the brandy and peppermint; and when she was to get
upon her horse again, not being in her right senses, she insisted upon
climbing up by a gate that was on the road-side, instead of going, as
she was advised, to a bank that was a little further on. The gate was
not steady, the horse being pushed moved, she fell, broke her leg, and
fractured her skull.

She was a most shocking spectacle when she was brought home. At first
she was in great agony; but she afterwards fell into a sort of stupor,
and lay speechless.

The surgeon arrived: he set her leg; and during this operation, she came
to her senses, but it was only the sensibility of pain. She was then
trepanned; but all was to no purpose--she died that night; and of
all the friends, as she called them, who used to partake in her
tea-drinkings and merry-makings, not one said more when they heard
of her death than “Ah, poor Mrs. Dolly! she was always fond of a
comfortable glass: ‘twas a pity it was the death of her at last.”

Several tradesmen, to whom she died in debt, were very loud in their
complaints; and the landlady at the bowling-green did not spare her
memory. She went so far as to say, that _it was a shame such a drunken
quean should have a Christian burial._ What little clothes Mrs. Dolly
left at her death were given up to her creditors. She had owed Maurice
ten guineas ever since the first month of their coming to Paddington;
and when she was on her death-bed, during one of the intervals that she
was in her senses, she beckoned to Maurice, and told him, in a voice
scarcely intelligible, he would find in her left-hand pocket what she
hoped would pay him the ten guineas he had lent to her. However, upon
searching this pocket, no money was to be found, except sixpence in
halfpence; nor was there any thing of value about her. They turned the
pocket inside out, and shook it; they opened every paper that came out
of it, but these were all old bills. Ellen at last examined a new shawl
which had been thrust into this pocket, and which was all crumpled up:
she observed that one of the corners was doubled down, and pinned; and
upon taking out the yellow crooked pin, she discovered, under the corner
of the shawl, a bit of paper, much soiled with snuff, and stained with
liquor. “How it smells of brandy!” said Ellen, as she opened it. “What
is it, Maurice?”

“It is not a bank note. It is a lottery ticket, I do believe!” cried
Maurice. “Ay, that it is! She put into the lottery without letting us
know any thing of the matter. Well, as she said, perhaps this may pay me
my ten guineas, and overpay me, who knows? We were lucky with our last
ticket; and why should not we be as lucky with this, or luckier, hey,
Ellen? We might have ten thousand pounds or twenty thousand pounds this
time, instead of five, why not, hey, Ellen?” But Maurice observing that
Ellen looked grave, and was not much charmed with the lottery ticket,
suddenly changed his tone, and said, “Now don’t you, Ellen, go to think
that my head will run on nothing but this here lottery ticket. It will
make no difference on earth in me: I shall mind my business just as well
as if there was no such thing, I promise you. If it come up a prize,
well and good: and if it come up a blank, why well and good too. So do
you keep the ticket, and I shall never think more about it, Ellen. Only,
before you put it by, just let me look at the number. What makes you

“I smiled only because I think I know you better than you, know
yourself. But, perhaps, that should not make me smile,” said Ellen: and
she gave a deep sigh.

“Now, wife, why will you sigh? I can’t bear to hear you sigh,” said
Maurice, angrily. “I tell you I know myself, and have a right to know
myself, I say, a great deal better than you do; and so none of your
sighs, wife.”

Ellen rejoiced to see that his pride worked upon him in this manner; and
mildly told him she was very glad to find he thought so much about her
sighs. “Why,” said Maurice, “you are not one of those wives that are
always taunting and scolding their husbands; and that’s the reason, I
take it, why a look or a word from you goes so far with me.” He paused
for a few moments, keeping his eyes fixed upon the lottery ticket; then,
snatching it up, he continued: “This lottery ticket may tempt me to game
again: for, as William Deane said, putting into the lottery is gaming,
and the worst sort of gaming. So, Ellen, I’ll show you that though I
was a fool once, I’ll never be a fool again. All your goodness was not
thrown away upon me. I’ll go and sell this lottery ticket immediately at
the office, for whatever it is worth: and you’ll give me a kiss when I
come home again, I know, Ellen.”

Maurice, pleased with his own resolution, went directly to the lottery
office to sell his ticket. He was obliged to wait some time, for the
place was crowded with persons who came to inquire after tickets which
they had insured.

Many of these ignorant imprudent poor people had hazarded guinea after
guinea, till they found themselves overwhelmed with debt; and their
liberty, character, and existence, depending on the turning of the
wheel. What anxious faces did Maurice behold! How many he heard, as
they went out of the office, curse their folly for having put into the

He pressed forward to sell his ticket. How rejoiced he was when he
had parted with this dangerous temptation, and when he had received
seventeen guineas in hand, instead of anxious hopes! How different were
his feelings at this instant from those of many that were near him! He
stood to contemplate the scene. Here he saw a poor maid-servant, with
scarcely clothes to cover her, who was stretching her thin neck across
the counter, and asking the clerk, in a voice of agony, whether _her_
ticket, number 45, was come up yet.

“Number 45?” answered the clerk, with the most careless air imaginable.
“Yes” (turning over the leaves of his book): “Number 45, you say--Yes:
it was drawn yesterday--a blank.” The wretched woman clasped her hands,
and burst into tears, exclaiming, “Then I’m undone!”

Nobody seemed to have time to attend to her. A man servant, in livery,
pushed her away, saying, “You have your answer, and have no more
business here, stopping the way. Pray, sir, is number 336, the ticket
I’ve insured {Footnote: This was written before the act of parliament
against insuring in lotteries.} so high, come up to-day?”

“Yes, sir--blank.” At the word blank, the disappointed footman poured
forth a volley of oaths, declaring that he should be in jail before
night; to all which the lottery-office keeper only answered, “I can’t
help it, sir; I can’t help it. It is not my fault. Nobody is forced to
put into the lottery, sir. Nobody’s obliged to insure, sir. ‘Twas your
own choice, sir. Don’t blame me.”

Meanwhile, a person behind the footman, repeating the words he had
addressed to the poor woman, cried, “You have your answer, sir; don’t
stop the way.”

Maurice was particularly struck with the agitated countenance of one
man, who seemed as if the suspense of his mind had entirely bereaved him
of all recollection. When he was pressed forward by the crowd, and
found himself opposite to the clerk, he was asked twice, “What’s your
business, sir?” before he could speak; and then could only utter the
words--number 7? “Still in the wheel,” was the answer. “Our messenger is
not yet returned from Guildhall, with news of what has been drawn this
last hour. If you will call again at three, we can answer you.” The man
seemed to feel this as a reprieve; but as he was retiring, there came
one with a slip of paper in his hand. This was the messenger from
Guildhall, who handed the paper to the clerk. He read aloud, “Number 7.
Were you not inquiring for 7, sir?”

“Yes,” said the pale trembling man.

“Number 7 is just come up, sir,--a blank.”

At the fatal word blank, the man fell flat upon his face in a swoon.
Those near him lifted him out into the street, for air.

“Here, sir; you are going without your change, after waiting for it so
long,” cried the clerk to Maurice; who, touched with compassion for the
man who had just fallen, was following those who were carrying him out.
When he got into the street, Maurice saw the poor creature sitting on
a stone, supported by a hackney-coachman, who held some vinegar to his
nose, at the same time asking him if he did not want a coach?

“A coach! Oh, no,” said the man, as he opened his eyes. “I have not a
farthing of money in the world.” The hackney-coachman swore that was
a sad case, and ran across the street to offer his services where they
could be paid for: “A coach, if you want one, sir. Heavy rain coming
on,” said he, looking at the silver which he saw through the half-closed
fingers of Maurice’s hand.

“Yes, I want a coach,” said Maurice: and bade the coachman draw up to
the stone, where the poor man who had swooned was sitting. Maurice was
really a good-natured fellow; and he had peculiar pity for the anguish
this man seemed to feel, because he recollected what he had suffered
himself, when he had been ruined at the gaming-table.

“You are not able to walk: here is a coach; I will go your way and set
you down, sir,” said Maurice.

The unfortunate man accepted this offer. As they went along he sighed
bitterly, and once said, with great vehemence, “Curse these lotteries!
Curse these lotteries!” Maurice now rejoiced, more than ever, at having
conquered his propensity to gaming, and at having sold his ticket.

When they came opposite to a hosier’s shop, in Oxford-street, the
stranger thanked him, and desired to be set down. “This is my home,”
 said he; “or this was my home, I ought to say,” pointing to his shop
as he let down the coach-glass. “A sad warning example I am! But I am
troubling you, sir, with what no way concerns you. I thank you, sir, for
your civility,” added he, turning away from Maurice, to hide the tears
which stood in his eyes: “good day to you.”

He then prepared to get out of the coach; but whilst the coachman was
letting down the step, a gentleman came out of the hosier’s shop to the
door, and cried, “Mr. Fulham, I am glad you are come at last. I have
been waiting for you this half-hour, and was just going away.” Maurice
pulled aside the flap of the hosier’s coat, as he was getting out, that
he might peep at the gentleman who spoke; the voice was so like William
Deane’s, that he was quite astonished.--“It is--it is William Deane,”
 cried Maurice, jumping out of the coach and shaking hands with his

William Deane, though now higher in the world than Robinson, was
heartily glad to see him again, and to renew their old intimacy. “Mr.
Fulham,” said he, turning to the hosier, “excuse me to-day; I’ll come
and settle accounts with you to-morrow.”

On their way to Paddington, Maurice related to his friend all that had
passed since they parted; how his good luck in the lottery tempted him
to try his fortune at the gaming-table; how he was cheated by sharpers,
and reduced to the brink of utter ruin; how kind Ellen was towards him
in this distress; how he was relieved by Mr. Belton, who was induced to
assist him from regard to Ellen and little George; how Mrs. Dolly drank
herself into ill health, which would soon have killed her if she had
not, in a drunken fit, shortened the business by fracturing her skull;
and, lastly, how she left him a lottery ticket, which he had just
sold, lest it should be the cause of fresh imprudence. “You see,” added
Maurice, “I do not forget all you said to me about lotteries.--Better
take good advice late than never. But now, tell me your history.”

“No,” replied William Deane; “that I shall keep till we are all at
dinner; Ellen and you, I and my friend George, who, I hope, has not
forgotten me.” He was soon convinced that George had not forgotten him,
by the joy he showed at seeing him again.

At dinner, William Deane informed them that he was become a rich man, by
having made an improvement in the machinery of the cotton-mills,
which, after a great deal of perseverance, he had brought to succeed
in practice. “When I say that I am a rich man,” continued he, “I mean
richer than ever I expected to be. I have a share in the cotton-mill,
and am worth about two thousand pounds.”

“Ay,” said Maurice, “you have trusted to your own sense and industry,
and not to gaming and lotteries.”

“I am heartily rejoiced you have nothing more to do with them,” said
William Deane: “but all this time you forget that I am your debtor. You
lent me five guineas at a season when I had nothing. The books I bought
with your money helped me to knowledge, without which I should never
have got forward. Now I have a scheme for my little friend George, that
will, I hope, turn out to your liking. You say he is an intelligent,
honest, industrious lad; and that he understands book-keeping, and
writes a good hand: I am sure he is much obliged to you for giving him a
good education.”

“To his mother, there, he’s obliged for it all,” said Maurice.

“Without it,” continued William Deane, “I might wish him very well; but
I could do little or nothing for him. But, as I was going to tell
you, that unfortunate man whom you brought to his own door in the
hackney-coach to-day, Maurice, is a hosier, who had as good a business
as most in the city; but he has ruined himself entirely by gaming. He
is considerably in our debt for cotton, and I am to settle accounts with
him to-morrow, when he is to give up all his concerns into my hands, in
behalf of his brother, who has commissioned me to manage the business,
and dissolve the partnership; as he cannot hazard himself, even out
of friendship for a brother, with one that has taken to gaming. Now my
friend, the elder Fulham, is a steady man, and is in want of a good lad
for an apprentice. With your leave, I will speak to him, and get him
to take George; and as to the fee, I will take care and settle that
for you. I am glad I have found you all out at last. No thanks, pray.
Recollect, I am only paying my old debts.”

As William Deane desired to have no thanks, we shall omit the recital of
those which he received, both in words and looks. We have only to inform
our readers, further, that George was bound apprentice to the hosier;
that he behaved as well as might be expected from his excellent
education; that Maurice continued, in Mr. Belton’s service, to conduct
himself so as to secure the confidence and esteem of his master; and
that he grew fonder and fonder of home, and of Ellen, who enjoyed the
delightful reflection that she had effected the happiness of her husband
and her son.

May equal happiness attend every such good wife and mother! And may
every man, who, like Maurice, is tempted to be a gamester, reflect that
a good character, and domestic happiness, which cannot be won in any
lottery, are worth more than the five thousand, or even the ten thousand
pounds prize, let any Mrs. Dolly in Christendom say what she will to the

_Sept. 1799._



There are two sorts of content: one is connected with exertion, the
other with habits of indolence; the first is a virtue, the second a
vice. Examples of both may be found in abundance in Ireland. There you
may sometimes see a man in sound health submitting day after day to
evils which a few hours’ labour would remedy; and you are provoked to
hear him say, “It will do well enough for me. Didn’t it do for my father
before me? I can make a shift with things for my time: any how, I’m

This kind of content is indeed the bane of industry. But instances of a
different sort may be found, in various of the Irish peasantry. Amongst
them we may behold men struggling with adversity with all the strongest
powers of mind and body; and supporting irremediable evils with a degree
of cheerful fortitude which must excite at once our pity and admiration.

In a pleasant village in the province of Leinster there lives a family
of the name of Gray. Whether or not they are any way related to Old
Robin Gray, history does not determine; but it is very possible that
they are, because they came, it is said, originally from the north of
Ireland, and one of the sons is actually called Robin. Leaving this
point, however, in the obscurity which involves the early history of the
most ancient and illustrious families, we proceed to less disputable
and perhaps more useful facts. It is well known, that is, by all
his neighbours, that farmer Gray began life with no very encouraging
prospects: he was the youngest of a large family, and the portion of
his father’s property that fell to his share was but just sufficient to
maintain his wife and three children. At his father’s death, he had but
100_l_. in ready money, and he was obliged to go into a poor mud-walled
cabin, facing the door of which there was a green pool of stagnant
water; and before the window, of one pane, a dunghill that, reaching to
the thatch of the roof, shut out the light, and filled the house with
the most noisome smell. The ground sloped towards the house door;
so that in rainy weather, when the pond was full, the kitchen was
overflowed; and at all times the floor was so damp and soft, that the
print of the nails of brogues was left in it wherever the wearer set
down his foot. To be sure these nail-marks could scarcely be seen,
except just near the door or where the light of the fire immediately
shone; because, elsewhere, the smoke was so thick, that the pig might
have been within a foot of you without your seeing him. The former
inhabitants of this mansion had, it seems, been content without a
chimney: and, indeed, almost without a roof; the couples and purlins
of the roof having once given way, had never been repaired, and swagged
down by the weight of the thatch, so that the ends threatened the wigs
of the unwary.

The prospect without doors was scarcely more encouraging to our hero
than the scene within: the farm consisted of about forty acres; and the
fences of the grazing-land were so bad, that the neighbours’ cattle
took possession of it frequently by day, and always by night. The
tillage-ground had been so ill managed by his predecessor, that the land
was what is called quite out of heart.

If farmer Gray had also been out of heart, he and his family might at
this hour have been beggars. His situation was thought desperate by many
of his neighbours; and a few days after his father’s decease, many came
to condole with him. Amongst the rest was “easy Simon;” or, as some
called him, “soft Simon,” on account of his unresisting disposition, and
contented, or, as we should rather name it, reckless temper. He was a
sort of a half or a half quarter gentleman, had a small patrimony of
a hundred or a hundred and fifty pounds a year, a place in the excise
worth fifty more, and a mill, which might have been worth another
hundred annually, had it not been suffered to stand still for many a

“Wheugh! Wheugh! What a bustle we are in! and what a world of trouble is
here!” cried Simon, when he came to Gray’s house, and found him on the
ladder taking off the decayed thatch; whilst one of his sons, a lad of
about fourteen, was hard at work filling a cart from the dunghill, which
blockaded the window. His youngest son, a boy of twelve, with a face and
neck red with heat, was making a drain to carry off the water from
the green pond; and Rose, the sister, a girl of ten years old, was
collecting the ducks, which her mother was going to carry to her
landlord’s to sell.

“Wheugh! Wheugh! Wheugh! Why what a world of bustle and trouble is here!
Troth, Jemmy Gray, you’re in a bad way, sure enough! Poor cratur! Poor

“No man,” replied Gray, “deserves to be called poor, that has his
health, and the use of his limbs. Besides,” continued he, “have not I
a good wife and good children: and, with those blessings, has not a man
sufficient reason to be content?”

“Ay, to be sure: that’s the only way to get through this world,” said
Simon; “whatever comes, just to take it easy, and be content. Content
and a warm chimney corner is all in all, according to my notion.”

“Yes, Simon,” said Gray, laughing; “but your kind of content would
never do for me. Content, that sits down in the chimney corner, and does
nothing but smoke his pipe, will soon have the house about his ears; and
then what will become of Content?”

“Time enough to think of that when it comes,” said Simon: “fretting
never propped a house yet; and if it did, I would rather see it fall
than fret.”

“But could not you prop the house,” said Gray, “without fretting?”

“Is it by putting my shoulders to it?” said Simon. “My shoulders have
never been used to hard work, and don’t like it any way. As long as I
can eat, drink, and sleep, and have a coat to my back, what matter for
the rest? Let the world go as it will, I’m content. Shoo! Shoo! The
button is off the neck of this great coat of mine, and how _will_ I keep
it on? A pin sure will do as well as a button, and better. Mrs. Gray, or
Miss Rose, I’ll thank you kindly for a pin.”

He stuck the pin in the place of the button, to fasten the great coat
round his throat, and walked off: it pricked his chin about a dozen
times before the day was over; but he forgot the next day, and the next,
and the next, to have the button sewed on. He was content to make shift,
as he called it, with the pin. This is precisely the species of content
which leads to beggary.

Not such the temper of our friend Gray. Not an inconvenience that he
could remedy, by industry or ingenuity, was he content to endure; but
necessary evils he bore with unshaken patience and fortitude. His house
was soon new roofed and new thatched; the dunghill was removed,
and spread over that part of his land which most wanted manure; the
putrescent water of the standing pool was drained off, and fertilized
a meadow; and the kitchen was never again overflowed in rainy weather,
because the labour of half a day made a narrow trench which carried off
the water. The prints of the shoe-nails were no longer visible in the
floor; for the two boys trod dry mill seeds into the clay, and beat the
floor well, till they rendered it quite hard and even. The rooms also
were cleared of smoke, for Gray built a chimney; and the kitchen window,
which had formerly been stuffed up, when the wind blew too hard, with an
old or new hat, was glazed. There was now light in the house. Light! the
great friend of cleanliness and order. The pig could now no longer walk
in and out, unseen and unreproved; he ceased to be an inmate of the

The kitchen was indeed so altered from what it had been during the reign
of the last master, that he did not know it again. It was not in the
least like a pig-sty. The walls were whitewashed; and shelves were put
up, on which clean wooden and pewter utensils were ranged. There were
no heaps of forlorn rubbish in the corners of the room; nor even an old
basket, or a blanket, or a cloak, or a great coat thrown down, just
for a minute, out of the girl’s way. No: Rose was a girl who always
put every thing in its place; and she found it almost as easy to hang
a coat, or a cloak, upon a peg, as to throw it down on the floor. She
thought it as convenient to put the basket and turf-kish out of her way,
when her brothers had brought in the potatoes and fuel, as to let them
lie in the middle of the kitchen, to be stumbled over by herself and
her mother, or to be gnawed and clawed by a cat and dog. These may seem
trifles unworthy the notice of the historian; but trifles such as these
contribute much to the comfort of a poor family, and therefore deserve a
place in their simple annals.

It was a matter of surprise and censure to some of farmer Gray’s
neighbours, that he began by laying out it could not be less than ten
pounds (a great sum for him!) on his house and garden at the first
setting out; when, to be sure, the land would have paid him better if
the money had been laid out there. And why could not he make a shift
to live on in the old cabin, for a while, as others had done before his
time well enough? A poor man should be _contented_ with a poor house.
Where was the use, said they, of laying out the good ready penny in a
way that would bring nothing in?

Farmer Gray calculated that he could not have laid out his money to
better advantage; for by these ten pounds he had probably saved his
wife, his children, and himself, from a putrid fever, or from the
rheumatism. The former inhabitants of this house, who had been content
to live with the dunghill close to the window, and the green pool
overflowing the kitchen, and the sharp wind blowing in through the
broken panes, had in the course of a few years lost their health. The
father of the family had been crippled by the rheumatism, two children
died of the fever, and the mother had such an inflammation in her eyes
that she could not see to work, spin, or do anything. Now the whole that
was lost by the family sickness, the doctor’s bill, and the burying
of the two children, all together, came in three years to nearly three
times ten pounds. Therefore Mr. Gray was, if we only consider money, a
very prudent man. What could he or any body do without health? Money is
not the first thing to be thought of in this world; for there are many
things that money cannot buy, and health is one of them. “Health can
make money, but money cannot make health,” said our wise farmer. “And
then, for the value of a few shillings, say pounds, we have light to see
what we are doing, and shelves, and a press to hold our clothes in. Why
now, this will be all so much saved to us, by and by; for the clothes
will last the longer, and the things about us will not go to wreck; and
when I and the boys can come home after our day’s work to a house like
this, we may be content.”

Having thus ensured, as far as it was in his power, health, cleanliness,
and comfort in his house, our hero and his sons turned their attention
to the farm. They set about to repair all the fences; for the boys,
though they were young, were able to help their father in the farm: they
were willing to work, and happy to work with him. John, the eldest lad,
could set potatoes, and Robin was able to hold the plough: so that Gray
did not hire any servant-boy to help him; nor did Mrs. Gray hire a maid.
“Rose and I,” said she, “can manage very well to look after the two
cows, and milk them, and make the butter, and get something too by our
spinning. We must do without servants, and may be happy and content to
serve ourselves.”

“Times will grow better; that is, we shall make them better every year:
we must have the roughest first,” said Gray.

The first year, to be sure, it was rough enough; and, do what they
could, they could not do more than make the rent of the farm, which rent
amounted to forty pounds. The landlord was a Mr. Hopkins, agent to a
gentleman who resided in England. Mr. Hopkins insisted upon having
the rent paid up to the day, and so it was. Gray contented himself by
thinking that this was perhaps for the best. “When the rent is once
paid,” said he, “it cannot be called for again, and I am in no man’s
power; that’s a great comfort. To be sure, if the half year’s rent was
left in my hands for a few months, it might have been of service: but
it is better not to be under an obligation to such a man as Mr. Hopkins,
who would make us pay for it in some shape or other, when we least
expected it.”

Mr. Hopkins was what is called in Ireland a middle-man; one that takes
land from great proprietors, to set it again at an advanced, and often
an exorbitant, price, to the poor. Gray had his land at a fair rent,
because it was not from Mr. Hopkins his father had taken the lease, but
from the gentleman to whom this man was agent. Mr. Hopkins designed
to buy the land which Gray farmed, and he therefore wished to make
it appear as unprofitable as possible to his landlord, who, living in
England, knew but little of his own estate. “If these Grays don’t pay
the rent,” said he to his _driver_, “pound their cattle, and sell at
the end of eight days. If they break and run away, I shall have the land
clear, and may make a compliment of it to tenants and friends of my own,
after it comes into my hands.” He was rather disappointed, when the rent
was paid to the day. “But,” said he, “it won’t be so next year; the man
is laying out his money on the ground, on draining and fencing, and that
won’t pay suddenly. We’ll leave the rent in his hands for a year or so,
and bring down an ejectment upon him, if he once gets into our power, as
he surely will. Then, all that he has done to the house will be so much
in my way. What a fool he was to lay out his money so!”

It happened, however, that the money which Gray had laid out in making
his house comfortable and neat was of the greatest advantage to him, and
at a time and in a way which he least expected. His cottage was within
sight of the high road, that led to a town from which it was about a
mile distant. A regiment of English arrived, to be quartered in the
town; and the wives of some of the soldiers came a few hours after their
husbands. One of these women, a sergeant’s wife, was taken suddenly in
labour, before they reached the town; and the soldier who conducted the
baggage-cart in which she was, drew up to the first amongst a row of
miserable cabins that were by the road-side, to ask the people if they
would give her lodging: but the sick woman was shocked at the sight of
the smoke and dirt of this cabin, and begged to be carried on to the
neat whitewashed cottage that she saw at a little distance. This was
Gray’s house.

His wife received the stranger with the greatest kindness and
hospitality; she was able to offer her a neat bed, and a room that was
perfectly dry and clean. The sergeant’s wife was brought to bed soon
after her arrival, and remained with Mrs. Gray till she recovered her
strength. She was grateful for the kindness that was shown to her by
Mrs. Gray; and so was her husband, the sergeant. He came one evening to
the cottage, and in his blunt English fashion said, “Mr. Gray, you know
I, or my wife, which is the same thing, have cause to be obliged to
you, or your wife, which comes also to the same thing: now one good turn
deserves another. Our colonel has ordered me, I being quarter-master, to
sell off by auction some of the cast horses belonging to the regiment:
now I have bought in the best for a trifle, and have brought him here,
with me, to beg you’ll accept of him, by way some sort of a return for
the civilities you and your wife, that being, as I said, the same thing,
showed me and mine.”

Gray replied he was obliged to him for this offer of the horse, but that
he could not think of accepting it; that he was very glad his wife had
been able to show any kindness or hospitality to a stranger; but that,
as they did not keep a public-house, they could not take any thing in
the way of payment.

The sergeant was more and more pleased by farmer Gray’s generosity.
“Well,” said he, “I heard, before I came to Ireland, that the Irish were
the most hospitable people on the face of the earth; and so I find it
come true, and I shall always say so, wherever I’m quartered hereafter.
And now do pray answer me, is there any the least thing I can ever do to
oblige you? for, if the truth must be told of me, I don’t like to lie.
under an obligation, any more than another, where I can help it.”

“To show you that I do not want to lay you under one,” said Gray, “I’ll
tell you how you can do as much for me, and ten times as much, as I have
done for you; and this without hurting yourself or any of your employers
a penny.”

“Say how, and it shall be done.”

“By letting me have the dung of the barracks, which will make my land
and me rich, without making you poorer; for I’ll give you the fair
price, whatever it is. I don’t ask you to wrong your employers of a

The sergeant promised this should be done, and rejoiced that he had
found some means of serving his friend. Gray covered ten acres with the
manure brought from the barracks; and the next year these acres were in
excellent heart. This was sufficient for the grazing of ten cows: he had
three, and he bought seven more; and with what remained of his hundred
pounds, after paying for the cows, he built a shed and a cow-house.
His wife, and daughter Rose, who was now about fourteen, were excellent
managers of the dairy. They made, by butter and butter-milk, about four
pounds each cow within the year. The butter they salted and took to
market, at the neighbouring town; the butter-milk they sold to the
country people, who, according to the custom of the neighbourhood, came
to the house for it. Besides this, they reared five calves, which, at a
year old, they sold for fifteen guineas and a half. The dairy did not,
however, employ all the time of this industrious mother and daughter;
they had time for spinning, and by this cleared six guineas. They also
made some little matter by poultry; but that was only during the first
year: afterwards Mr. Hopkins sent notice that they must pay all the
_duty-fowl_, and _duty-geese_, and _turkeys_, {Footnote: See a very
curious anecdote in the Statistical Survey of the Queen’s County.}
charged in the lease, or compound with him by paying two guineas a year.
This gentleman had many methods of squeezing money out of poor tenants;
and he was not inclined to spare the Grays, whose farm he now more
than ever wished to possess, because its value had been considerably
increased, by the judicious industry of the farmer and his sons.

Young as they were, both farmer Gray’s sons had a share in these
improvements. The eldest had drained a small field, which used to be
called the rushy field, from its having been quite covered with rushes.
Now there was not a rush to be found upon it, and his father gave him
the profits of the field, and said that it should be called by his name.
Robin, the youngest son, had, by his father’s advice, tried a little
experiment, which many of his neighbours ridiculed at first, and admired
at last. The spring, which used to supply the duck-pond, that often
flooded the house, was at the head of a meadow, that sloped with a fall
sufficient to let the water run off. Robin flooded the meadow at the
proper season of the year, and it produced afterwards a crop such as
never had been seen there before. His father called this meadow Robin’s
meadow, and gave him the value of the hay that was made upon it.

“Now, my dear boys,” said this good father, “you have made a few guineas
for yourselves; and here are a few more for you, all that I can spare:
let us see what you can do with this money. I shall take a pride in
seeing you get forward by your own industry and cleverness; I don’t want
you to slave for me all your best days; but shall always be ready, as a
father should be, to give you a helping hand.”

The sons had scarcely a word in answer to this, for their hearts were
full; but that night, when they were by themselves, one said to the
other, “Brother, did you see Jack Reel’s letter to his father? They say
he has sent home ten guineas to him. Is there any truth in it, think

“Yes; I saw the letter, and a kinder never was written from son to
father. {Footnote: This is fact.} The ten guineas I saw paid into the
old man’s hand; and, at that same minute, I wished it was I that was
doing the same by my own father.”

“That was just what I was thinking of, when I asked you if you saw the
letter. Why, Jack Reel had nothing, when he went abroad with the army to
Egypt, last year. Well, I never had a liking myself to follow the drum:
but it’s almost enough to tempt one to it. If I thought I could send
home ten guineas to my father, I would ‘list to-morrow.”

“That would not be well done of you, Robin,” said John; “for my father
would rather have _you_, a great deal, than the ten guineas, I am sure:
to say nothing of my poor mother, and Rose, and myself, who would be
sorry enough to hear of your being knocked on the head, as is the fate,
sooner or later, of them that follow the army. I would rather be any of
the trades that hurt nobody, and do good to a many along with myself, as
father said t’other day. Then, what a man makes so, he makes with a safe
conscience, and he can enjoy it.”

“You are right, John, and I was wrong to talk of _‘listing_,” said
Robin; “but it was only Jack Reel’s letter, and the ten guineas sent to
his father, that put it into my head. I may make as much for my father
by staying at home, and minding my business. So now, good night to you;
I’ll go to sleep, and we can talk more about it all to-morrow.”

The next morning, as these two youths were setting potatoes for the
family, and considering to what they should turn their hands when the
potatoes were all set, they were interrupted by a little _gossoon_,
who came running up as hard as he could, crying, “Murder! murder! Simon
O’Dougherty wants you. For the love of God, cross the bog in all haste,
to help pull out his horse, that has tumbled into the old tan-pit,
there beyond, in the night!”

The two brothers immediately followed the boy, carrying with them a rope
and a halter, as they guessed that _soft Simon_ would not have either.
They found him wringing his hands beside the tan-pit, in which his horse
lay smothering. A little ragged boy was tugging at the horse’s head,
with a short bit of hay-rope. “Oh, murder! murder! What _will_ I do for
a halter? Sure the horse will be lost, for want of a halter; and where
in the wide world _will_ I look for one?” cried Simon, without stirring
one inch from the spot. “Oh, the blessing of Heaven be with you, lads,”
 continued he, turning at the sight of the Grays; “you’ve brought us a
halter. But see! it’s just over with the poor beast. All the world put
together will not get him alive out of that. I must put up with the
loss, and be content. He cost me fifteen good guineas, and he could
leap better than any horse in the county. Oh, what a pity on him! what
a pity! But, take it easy; that’s all we have for it! _Poor cratur! Poor

Without listening to Simon’s lamentations, the active lads, by the help
of Simon and the two boys, pulled the horse out of the pit. The poor
animal was nearly exhausted by struggling: but, after some time, he
stretched himself, and, by degrees, recovered sufficiently to stand. One
of his legs, however, was so much hurt that he could scarcely walk; and
Simon said he would surely go lame for life.

“Who now would ever have thought of his straying into such an ugly place
of all others?” continued he. “I know, for my share, the spot is so
overgrown with grass and rubbish, of one kind or other, and it’s so
long since any of the tanning business was going on here, in my uncle
O’Haggarty’s time, that I quite forgot there were such things as
tan-pits, or any manner of pits, in my possession; and I wish these had
been far enough off before my own little famous Sir Hyacinth O’Brien had
strayed into them, laming himself for life, like a blockhead. For the
case was this: I came home late last night, not as sober as a judge,
and, finding no one up but the girl, I gave her the horse to put into
the stable, and she forgot the door after her, which wants a lock; and
there being but a scanty feed of oats, owing to the boy’s negligence,
and no halter to secure the beast, my poor Sir Hyacinth strayed out
here, as ill luck would have it, into the tan-pit. Bad luck to my uncle
O’Haggarty, that had the tan-yard here at all! He might have lived as
became him, without dirtying his hands with the tanning of dirty hides.”

“I was just going,” said John Gray, “to comfort you, Simon, for the
laming of your horse, by observing that, if you had your tan-yard in
order again, you could soon make up the price of another horse.”

“Ohoo! I would not be bothered with anything of the kind. There’s
the mill of Rosanna there, beyond, was the plague of my life, till it
stopped; and I was glad to have fairly done with it. Them that come
after me may set it a-going again, and welcome. I have enough just to
serve my time, and am content any way.”

“But, if you could get a fair rent for the tan-yard, would you let it?”
 said John.

“To that I should make no objection in life; provided I had no trouble
with it,” replied Simon.

“And if you could get somebody to keep the mill of Rosanna going,
without giving you any trouble, you would not object to that, would
you?” said Robin.

“Not I, to be sure,” replied Simon, laughing. “Whatever God sends, be
it more or less, I am content. But I would not have you think me a fool,
for all I talk so easy about the matter; I know very well what I might
have got for the mill some years ago, when first it stopped, if I
would have let it to the man that proposed for it; but though he was as
substantial a tenant as you could see, yet he affronted me once, at the
last election, by calling a freeholder of mine over the coals; and so I
was proud of an opportunity to show him I did not forget. So I refused
to let him the mill on any terms; and I made him a speech for his pride
to digest at the same time. ‘Mr. Hopkins,’ said I, ‘the lands of Rosanna
have been in my family these two hundred years and upwards; and though,
now-a-days, many men think that every thing is to be done for money, and
though you, Mr. Hopkins, have made as much money as most men could in
the same time,--all which I don’t envy you,--yet I must make bold to
tell you, that the lands of Rosanna, or any part or parcel thereof,
is what you’ll never have whilst I’m alive, Mr. Hopkins, for love or
money.’ The spirit of the O’Doughertys was up within me; and though all
the world calls me easy Simon, I have my own share of proper spirit.
These mushroom money-makers, that start up from the very dirt under
one’s feet, I can’t for my part swallow them. Now I should be happy to
give you a lease of the mill of Rosanna, after refusing Hopkins; for you
and your father before you, lads, have been always very civil to me.
My tan-pits and all I am ready to talk to you about, and thank you for
pulling my horse out for me this morning. Will you walk up and look at
the mill? I would attend you myself, but must go to the farrier about
Sir Hyacinth’s leg, instead of standing talking here any longer. Good
morning to you kindly. The girl will give you the key of the mill, and
show you everything, the same as myself.”

Simon gathered his great coat about him, and walked away to the farrier,
whilst the two brothers rejoiced that they should see the mill without
hearing him talk the whole time. Simon, having nothing to do all day
long but to talk, was an indefatigable gossip. When the lands of Rosanna
were in question, or when his pride was touched, he was terribly fluent.

       *       *       *       *       *


Upon examining the mill, which was a common oat-mill, John Gray found
that the upper mill-stone was lodged upon the lower; and that this was
all which prevented the mill from going. No other part of it was damaged
or out of repair. As to the tan-yard, it was in great disorder; but it
was very conveniently situated; was abundantly supplied with water on
one side, and had an oak copse at the back, so that tan could readily
be procured. It is true that the bark of these oak trees, which had been
planted by his careful uncle O’Haggarty, had been much damaged since
Simon came into possession; for he had, with his customary negligence,
suffered cattle to get amongst them. He had also, to supply himself
with ready money, occasionally cut down a great deal of the best timber
before it arrived at its full growth; and at this time the Grays found
every tree of tolerable size marked for destruction with the initials of
Simon O’Dougherty’s name.

Before they said anything more about the mill or the tan-yard to Simon,
these prudent brothers consulted their father: he advised them to begin
cautiously, by offering to manage the mill and the tan-yard, during the
ensuing season, for Simon, for a certain share in the profits; and then,
if they should find the business likely to succeed, they might take a
lease of the whole. Simon willingly made this agreement; and there was
no danger in dealing with him, because, though careless and indolent, he
was honest, and would keep his engagements. It was settled that John and
Robin should have the power, at the end of the year, either to hold or
give up all concern in the mill and tan-yard; and, in the mean time,
they were to manage the business for Simon, and to have such a share in
the profits as would pay them reasonably for their time and labour.

They succeeded beyond their expectations in the management of the mill
and tan-yard during their year of probation; and Simon, at the end of
that time, was extremely glad to give them a long lease of the premises,
upon their paying him down, by way of fine, the sum of 150l. This sum
their father, who had good credit, and who could give excellent security
upon his farm, which was now in a flourishing condition, raised for
them; and they determined to repay him the money by regular yearly
portions out of their profits.

Success did not render these young men presumptuous or negligent: they
went on steadily with business, were contented to live frugally and
work hard for some years. Many of the sons of neighbouring tradesmen
and farmers, who were able perhaps to buy a horse or two, or three good
coats in a year, and who set up for gentlemen, and spent their days
in hunting, shooting, or cock-fighting, thought that the Grays were
poor-spirited fellows for sticking so close to business. They prophesied
that, even when these brothers should have made a fortune, they would
not have the liberality to spend or enjoy it; but this prediction was
not verified. The Grays had not been brought up to place their happiness
merely in the scraping together pounds, shillings, and pence; they
valued money for money’s worth, not for money’s sake; and, amongst the
pleasures it could purchase, they thought that of contributing to the
happiness of their parents and friends the greatest. When they had paid
their father the hundred and fifty pounds he had advanced, their next
object was to build a neat cottage for him, near the wood and mill of
Rosanna, on a beautiful spot, upon which they had once heard him say
that he should like to have a house.

We mentioned that Mr. Hopkins, the agent, had a view to this farm; and
that he was desirous of getting rid of the Grays: but this he found no
easy matter to accomplish, because the rent was always punctually paid.
There was no pretence for _driving_, even for the duty-fowls; Mrs.
Gray always had them ready at the proper time. Mr. Hopkins was farther
provoked by seeing the rich improvements which our farmer made every
year on his land: his envy, which could be moved by the meanest objects
of gain, was continually excited by his neighbour’s successful industry.
To-day he envied him his green meadows, and to-morrow the crocks of
butter, packed on the car for Dublin. Farmer Gray’s ten cows, which
regularly passed by Mr. Hopkins’s window morning and evening, were
a sight that often spoiled his breakfast and supper: but that which
grieved this envious man the most was the barrack manure; he would stand
at his window, and, with a heavy heart, count the car loads that went by
to Gray’s farm.

Once he made an attempt to ruin Gray’s friend, the sergeant, by accusing
him secretly of being bribed to sell the barrack manure to Gray for less
than he had been offered for it by others: but the officer to whom
Mr. Hopkins made this complaint was fortunately a man who did not like
secret informations: he publicly inquired into the truth of the matter,
and the sergeant’s honesty and Mr. Hopkins’s meanness were clearly
proved and contrasted. The consequence of this malicious interference
was beneficial to Gray; for the officer told the story to the colonel of
the regiment which was next quartered in the town, and he to the officer
who succeeded him; so that year after year Mr. Hopkins applied in vain
for the barrack manure. Farmer Gray had always the preference, and the
hatred of Mr. Hopkins knew no bounds; that is, no bounds but the
letter of the law, of which he was ever mindful, because lawsuits are

At length, however, he devised a legal mode of _annoying_ his enemy.
Some land belonging to Mr. Hopkins lay between Gray’s farm and the only
bog in the neighbourhood: now he would not permit Mr. Gray, or any body
belonging to him, to draw turf upon his bog-road; and he absolutely
forbade his own wretched tenants to sell turf to the object of his envy.
By these means, he flattered himself he should literally starve the
enemy out of house and home.

Things were in this situation when John and Robin Gray determined to
build a house for their father at Rosanna. They made no secret to him of
their intentions; for they did not want to surprise but to please him,
and to do every thing in the manner that would be most convenient to him
and their mother. Their sister, Rose, was in all their counsels; and it
had been for the last three years one of her chief delights to go, after
her day’s work was done, to the mill at Rosanna, to see how her brothers
were going on. How happy are those families where there is no envy
or jealousy; but in which each individual takes an interest in the
prosperity of the whole! Farmer Gray was heartily pleased with the
gratitude and generosity of his boys, as he still continued to call
them; though, by-the-bye, John was now three-and-twenty, and his brother
only two years younger.

“My dear boys,” said he, “nothing could be more agreeable to me and your
mother than to have a snug cottage near you both, on the very spot which
you say I pitched upon two years ago. This cabin that we now live in,
after all I have tried to do to prop it up, and notwithstanding all
Rose does to keep it neat and clean withinside, is but a crazy sort of a
place. We are able now to have a better house, and I shall be glad to
be out of the reach of Mr. Hopkins’s persecution. Therefore, let us set
about and build the new house. You shall contribute your share, my boys;
but only a share: mind, I say only a share. And I hope next year to
contribute my share towards building a house for each of you: it is time
you should think of marrying, and settling: it is no bad thing to have a
house ready for a bride. We shall have quite a little colony of our own
at Rosanna. Who knows but I may live to see my grand-children, ay, and
my great-grand-children, settled there all round me, industrious and

Good-will is almost as expeditious and effectual as Aladdin’s lamp:--the
new cottage for farmer Gray was built at Rosanna, and he took possession
of it the ensuing spring. They next made a garden, and furnished it with
all sorts of useful vegetables and some pretty flowers. Rose had great
pleasure in taking care of this garden. Her brothers also laid out
a small green lawn before the door; and planted the boundaries with
white-thorn, crab-trees, lilacs, and laburnums. The lawn sloped down
to the water-side; and the mill and copse behind it were seen from the
parlour windows. A prettier cottage, indeed so pretty a one, was never
before seen in this county.

But what was better far than the pretty cottage, or the neat garden, or
the green lawn, or the white-thorn, the crab-trees, the lilacs, and the
laburnums, was the content that smiled amongst them.

Many who have hundreds and thousands are miserable, because they still
desire more; or rather because they know not what they would have. For
instance, Mr. Hopkins, the rich Mr. Hopkins, who had scraped together
in about fifteen years above twenty thousand, some said thirty thousand
pounds, had never been happy for a single day, either whilst he was
making this fortune or when he had made it; for he was of an avaricious,
discontented temper. The more he had, the more he desired. He could
not bear the prosperity of his neighbours; and if his envy made him
industrious, yet it at the same time rendered him miserable. Though he
was what the world calls a remarkably fortunate man, yet the feelings of
his own mind prevented him from enjoying his success. He had no wife,
no children, to share his wealth. He would not marry, because a wife
is expensive; and children are worse than taxes. His whole soul was
absorbed in the love of gain. He denied himself not only the comforts
but the common necessaries of life. He was alone in the world. He was
conscious that no human being loved him. He read his history in the eyes
of all his neighbours.

It was known that he had risen upon the ruin of others; and the higher
he had risen, the more conspicuous became the faults of his character.
Whenever any man grew negligent of his affairs, or by misfortune was
reduced to distress, Hopkins was at hand to take advantage of his
necessities. His first approaches were always made under the semblance
of friendship; but his victims soon repented their imprudent confidence
when they felt themselves in his power. Unrestrained by a sense of
honour or the feelings of humanity, he felt no scruple in pursuing his
interest to the very verge of what the law would call fraud. Even his
own relations complained that he duped them without scruple; and none
but strangers to his character, or persons compelled by necessity, would
have any dealings with this man. Of what advantage to him, or to any one
else, were the thousands he had accumulated?

It may be said that such beings are necessary in society; that their
industry is productive; and that, therefore, they ought to be preferred
to the idle, unproductive members of the community: but wealth and
happiness are not the same things. Perhaps, at some future period,
enlightened politicians may think the happiness of nations more
important than their wealth. In this point of view, they would consider
all the members of society, who are productive of happiness, as neither
useless nor despicable; and, on the contrary, they would contemn and
discourage those who merely accumulate money, without enjoying or
dispensing happiness. But some centuries must probably elapse before
such a philosophic race of politicians can arise. In the mean time, let
us go on with our story.


Mr. Hopkins was enraged when he found that his expected victim escaped
his snares. He saw the pretty cottage rise, and the mill of Rosanna
work, in despite of his malevolence. He long brooded over his malice
in silence. As he stood one day on the top of a high mount on his own
estate, from which he had a view of the surrounding country, his eyes
fixed upon the little paradise in the possession of his enemies. He
always called those his enemies of whom he was the enemy: this is no
uncommon mistake, in the language of the passions.

“The Rosanna mill shall be stopped before this day twelvemonth, or
my name is not Hopkins,” said he to himself. “I have sworn vengeance
against those Grays; but I will humble them to the dust, before I have
done with them. I shall never sleep in peace till I have driven those
people from the country.”

It was, however, no easy matter to drive from the country such
inoffensive inhabitants. The first thing Mr. Hopkins resolved upon was
to purchase from Simon O’Dougherty the field adjoining to that in which
the mill stood. The brook flowed through this field, and Mr. Hopkins
saw, with malicious satisfaction, that he could at a small expense turn
the course of the stream, and cut off the water from the mill.

Poor Simon by this time had reduced himself to a situation in which his
pride was compelled to yield to pecuniary considerations. Within the
last three years, his circumstances had been materially changed. Whilst
he was a bachelor, his income had been sufficient to maintain him in
idleness. Soft Simon, however, at last, took it into his head to marry;
or rather a cunning damsel, who had been his mistress for some years,
took it into her head to make him marry. She was skilled in the arts
both of wheedling and scolding: to resist these united powers was too
much to be expected from a man of Simon’s easy temper.

He argued thus with himself:--“She has cost me more as she is than if
she had been my wife twice over; for she has no interest in looking
after any thing belonging to me, but only just living on from day to
day, and making the most for herself and her children. And the children,
too, all in the same way, snatching what they could make sure of for
themselves. Now, if I make her my lawful wife, as she desires, the
property will be hers, as well as mine; and it will be her interest to
look after all. She is a stirring, notable woman, and will save me a
world of trouble, and make the best of every thing for her children’s
sake; and they, being then all acknowledged by me, will make my interest
their own, as she says; and, besides, this is the only way left me to
have peace.”

To avoid the cares and plagues of matrimony, and that worst of plagues
a wife’s tongue, Simon first was induced to keep a mistress, and now to
silence his mistress, he made her his wife. She assured him, that, till
she was his lawful lady, she never should have peace or quietness; nor
could she, in conscience, suffer him to have a moment’s rest.

Simon married her, to use his own phrase, out of hand: but the marriage
was only the beginning of new troubles. The bride had hordes and
clans of relations, who came pouring in from all quarters to pay their
respects to Mrs. O’Dougherty. Her good easy man could not shut his doors
against any one: the O’Doughertys were above a hundred years, ay, two
hundred years ago, famous for hospitality; and it was incumbent upon
Simon O’Dougherty to keep up the honour of the family. His four children
were now to be maintained in idleness; for they, like their father,
had an insurmountable aversion to business. The public opinion of Simon
suddenly changed. Those who were any way related to the O’Doughertys,
and who dreaded that he and his children should apply to them for
pecuniary assistance, began the cry against him of, “What a shame it is
{Footnote: Essay on Charity Schools.} that the man does not do something
for himself and his family! How can those expect to be helped who won’t
help themselves? He is contented, indeed! Yes, and he must soon be
contented to sell the lands that have been in the family so long; and
then, by and by, he must be content, if he does not bestir himself, to
be carried to jail. It is a sin for any one to be content to eat the
bread of idleness!”

These and similar reproaches were uttered often, in our idle hero’s
presence. They would perhaps have excited him to some sort of exertion,
if his friend, Sir Hyacinth O’Brien, had not, in consequence of certain
electioneering services, and in consideration of his being one of the
best sportsmen in the county, and of Simon’s having named a horse
after him, procured for him a place of about fifty pounds a year in the
revenue. Upon the profits of this place Simon contrived to live, in a
shambling sort of way.

How long he might have shuffled on is a problem which must now for ever
remain unsolved; for his indolence was not permitted to take its natural
course; his ruin was accelerated by the secret operation of an active
and malignant power. Mr. Hopkins, who had determined to get that field
which joined to Gray’s mill, and who well knew that the pride of the
O’Doughertys would resist the idea of selling to him any part or parcel
of the lands of Rosanna, devised a scheme to reduce Simon to immediate
and inextricable distress. Simon was, as it might have been foreseen,
negligent in discharging the duties of his office, which was that of a

He either did not know, or connived at the practices, of sundry illegal
distillers in his neighbourhood. Malicious tongues did not scruple to
say that he took money, upon some occasions, from the delinquents; but
this he positively denied. Possibly his wife and sons knew more of
this matter than he did. They sold certain scraps of paper, called
protections, to several petty distillers, whose safest protection would
have been Simon’s indolence. One of the scraps of paper, to which there
was O’Dougherty’s signature, fell into the hands of Mr. Hopkins.

That nothing might be omitted to ensure his disgrace, Hopkins sent a
person, on whom he could depend, to give Simon notice that there was an
illegal still at such a house, naming the house for which the protection
was granted. Soft Simon received the information with his customary
carelessness, said it was too late to think of going to seize the still
that evening, and declared he would have it seized the next day: but the
next day he put it off, and the day afterwards he forgot it, and the day
after that, he received a letter from the collector of excise, summoning
him to answer to an information which had been laid against him for
misconduct. In this emergency, he resolved to have recourse to his
friend Sir Hyacinth O’Brien, who, he thought, could make interest
to screen him from justice. Sir Hyacinth gave him a letter to the
collector, who happened to be in the country. Away he went with the
letter: he was met on the road by a friend, who advised him to ride as
hard after the collector as he could, to overtake him before he should
reach Counsellor Quin’s, where he was engaged to dine. Counsellor Quin
was candidate for the county in opposition to Sir Hyacinth O’Brien; and
it was well understood that whomsoever the one favoured the other hated.
It behoved Simon, therefore, to overtake the collector before he should
be within the enemy’s gates. Simon whipped and spurred, and puffed and
fretted, but all in vain, for he was mounted upon the horse which, as
the reader may remember, fell into the tan-pit. The collector reached
Counsellor Quin’s long before Simon arrived; and, when he presented Sir
Hyacinth’s letter, it was received in a manner that showed it came too
late. Simon lost his place and his fifty pounds a year: but what he
found most trying to his temper were the reproaches of his wife, which
were loud, bitter, and unceasing. He knew, from experience, that nothing
could silence her but letting her “have all the plea;” so he suffered
her to rail till she was quite out of breath, and he very nearly asleep,
and then said, “What you have been observing is all very just, no doubt;
but since a thing past can’t be recalled, and those that are upon the
ground, as our proverb says, can go no lower, that’s a great comfort; so
we may be content.”

“Content, in truth! Is it content to live upon potatoes and salt? I,
that am your lawful wife! And you, that are an O’Dougherty too, to let
your lady be demeaned and looked down upon, as she will be now, even by
them that are sprung up from nothing since yesterday. There’s Mrs. Gray,
over yonder at Rosanna, living on your own land: look at her and look at
me! and see what a difference there is!”

“Some difference there surely is,” said Simon.

“Some difference there surely is,” repeated Mrs. O’Dougherty, raising
her voice to the shrillest note of objurgation; for she was provoked
by a sigh that escaped Simon, as he pronounced his reply, or rather his
acceding sentence. Nothing, in some cases, provokes a female so much as
agreeing with her.

“And if there is some difference betwixt me and Mrs. Gray, should be
glad to know whose fault that is?”

“So should I, Mrs. O’Dougherty.”

“Then I’ll tell you, instantly, whose fault it is, Mr. O’Dougherty:
the fault is your own, Mr. O’Dougherty. No, the fault is mine, Mr.
O’Dougherty, for marrying you, or consorting with you at all. If I had
been matched to an active, industrious man, like Mr. Gray, I might have
been as well in the world and better than Mrs. Gray; for I should become
a fortune better than she, or any of her seed, breed, or generation; and
it’s a scandal in the face of the world, and all the world says so, it’s
a scandal to see them Grays flourishing and settling a colony, there at
Rosanna, at our expense!”

“Not at our expense, my dear, for you know we made nothing of either
tan-yard or mill; and now they pay us 30_l_. a year, and that punctually
too. What should we do without it, now we have lost the place in the
revenue? I am sure, I think we were very lucky to get such tenants as
the Grays.”

“In truth, I think no such thing; for if you had been blessed with the
sense of a midge, you might have done all they have done yourself: and
then what a different way your lawful wife and family would have been
in! I am sure I wish it had pleased the saints above to have married me,
when they were about it, to such a man as farmer Gray or his sons.”

“As for the sons,” said Simon, “they are a little out of the way in
point of age, but to farmer Gray I see no objection in life: and if he
sees none, and will change wives, I’m sure, Ally, I shall be content.”

The sort of composure and dry humour with which Simon made this last
speech overcame the small remains of Mrs. O’Dougherty’s patience: she
burst into a passion of tears; and from this hour, it being now past
eleven o’clock at night, from this hour till six in the morning she
never ceased weeping, wailing, and upbraiding.

Simon rose from his sleepless bed, saying, “The saints above, as you
call them, must take care of you now, Ally, any how; for I’m fairly
tired out: so I must go a-hunting or a-shooting with my friend, Sir
Hyacinth O’Brien, to recruit my spirits.”

The unfortunate Simon found, to his mortification, that his horse was
so lame he could scarcely walk. Whilst he was considering where he could
borrow a horse, just for the day’s hunt, Mr. Hopkins rode into his
yard, mounted upon a fine hunter. Though naturally supercilious, this
gentleman could stoop to conquer: he was well aware of Simon’s dislike
to him, but he also knew that Simon was in distress for money. Even
the strongest passions of those who involve themselves in pecuniary
difficulties must yield to the exigencies of the moment. Easy Simon’s
indolence had now reduced him to a situation in which his pride was
obliged to bend to his interest. Mr. Hopkins had once been repulsed with
haughtiness by the representative of the O’Dougherty family, when he
offered to purchase some of the family estate; but his proposal was now
better timed, and was made with all the address of which he was master.
He began by begging Simon to give him his opinion of the horse on which
he was mounted, as he knew Mr. O’Dougherty was a particularly good judge
of a hunter; and he would not buy it, from Counsellor Quin’s groom,
without having a skilful friend’s advice. Then he asked whether it was
true that Simon and the collector had quarrelled, exclaimed against
the malice and officiousness of the informer, whoever he might be, and
finished by observing that, if the loss of his place put Simon to any
inconvenience, there was a ready way of supplying himself with money, by
the sale of any of the lands of Rosanna. The immediate want of a horse,
and the comparison he made, at this moment, between the lame animal on
which he was leaning and the fine hunter upon which Hopkins was mounted,
had more effect upon Simon than all the rest. Before they parted, Mr.
Hopkins concluded a bargain for the field on which he had set his heart:
he obtained it for less than its value by three years’ purchase. The
hunter was part of the valuable consideration he gave to Simon.

The moment that Hopkins was in possession of this field adjoining to
Gray’s mill, he began to execute a malignant project which he had long
been contriving.

We shall leave him to his operations; matters of higher import claim our
attention. One morning, as Rose was on the little lawn before the house
door, gathering the first snowdrops of the year, a servant in a handsome
livery rode up, and asked if Mr. Gray or any of the family were at home.
Her father and brothers were out in the fields, at some distance; but
she said she would run and call them. “There is no occasion, Miss,”
 said the servant; “for the business is only to leave these cards for the
ladies of the family.”

He put two cards into Rose’s hand, and galloped off with the air of a
man who had a vast deal of business of importance to transact. The cards
contained an invitation to an election ball, which Sir Hyacinth O’Brien
was going to give to the secondary class of gentry in the county. Rose
took the cards to her mother; and whilst they were reading them over for
the second time, in came farmer Gray to breakfast. “What have we here,
child?” said he, taking up one of the cards. He looked at his wife and
daughter with some anxiety for a moment; and then, as if he did not
wish to restrain them, turned the conversation to another subject, and
nothing was said of the ball till breakfast was over.

Mrs. Gray then bade Rose go and put her flowers into water; and as soon
as she was out of the room, said, “My dear, I see you don’t like that we
should go to this ball; so I am glad I did not say what I thought of it
to Rose before you came in: for you must know, I had a mother’s foolish
vanity about me; and the minute I saw the card, I pictured to myself our
Rose dressed like any of the best of the ladies, and looking handsomer
than most of them, and every body admiring her! But perhaps the girl is
better as she is, having not been bred to be a lady. And yet, now we
are as well in the world as many that set up for and are reckoned
gentlefolks, why should not our girl take this opportunity of rising a
step in life?”

Mrs. Gray spoke with some confusion and hesitation. “My dear,” replied
farmer Gray, in a gentle yet firm tone, “it is very natural that you,
being the mother of such a girl as our Rose, should be proud of her, and
eager to show her to the best advantage; but the main point is to
make her happy, not to do just what will please our own vanity for the
minute. Now I am not at all sure that raising her a step in life,
even if we could do it by sending her to this ball, would be for her
happiness. Are not we happy as we are--Come in, Rose, love; come in;
I should be glad for you to hear what we are saying, and judge for
yourself; you are old enough, and wise enough, I am sure. I was going to
ask, are not we all happy in the way we live together now?”

“Yes! Oh yes! That we are, indeed,” said both the wife and daughter.

“Then should not we be content, and not wish to alter our condition?”

“But to go to only one ball, father, would not alter our condition,
would it?” said Rose, timidly.

“If we begin once to set up for gentry, we shall not like to go back
again to be what we are now: so, before we begin, we had best consider
what we have to gain by a change. We have meat, drink, clothes, and
fire: what more could we have, if we were gentry? We have enough to do,
and not too much; we are all well pleased with ourselves, and with one
another; we have health and good consciences: what more could we have,
if we were to set up to be gentry? Or rather, to put the question
closer, could we in that case have all these comforts? No, I think not:
for, in the first place, we should be straitened for want of money;
because a world of baubles, that we don’t feel the want of now, would
become as necessary to us as our daily bread. We should be ashamed not
to have all the things that gentlefolks have; though these don’t signify
a straw, nor half a straw, in point of any real pleasure they give,
still they must be had. Then we should be ashamed of the work by which
we must make money to pay for all these nicknacks. John and Robin would
blush up to the eyes, then, if they were to be caught by the genteel
folks in their mill, heaving up sacks of flour, and covered all over
with meal; or if they were to be found, with their arms bare beyond the
elbows, in the tan-yard. And you, Rose, would hurry your spinning-wheel
out of sight, and be afraid to be caught cooking my dinner. Yet there
is no shame in any of these things, and now we are all proud of doing

“And long may we be so!” cried Mrs. Gray. “You are right, and I spoke
like a foolish woman. Rose, my child, throw these cards into the fire.
We are happy, and contented: and if we change, we shall be discontented
and unhappy, as so many of what they call our betters are. There! the
cards are burnt; now let us think no more about them.”

“Rose, I hope, is not disappointed about this ball; are you, my little
Rose?” said her father, drawing her towards him, and seating her on his

“There was one reason, father,” said Rose, blushing, “there was one
reason, and only one, why I wished to have gone to this ball.”

“Well, let us hear it. You shall do as you please, I promise you
beforehand. But tell us the reason. I believe you have found it
somewhere at the bottom of that snow-drop, which you have been examining
this last quarter of an hour. Come, let me have a peep,” added he,

“The only reason, papa, _is--was_, I mean,” said Rose.--“But look! Oh, I
can’t tell you now. See who is coming.”

It was Sir Hyacinth O’Brien, in his gig; and with him his English
servant, Stafford, whose staid and sober demeanour was a perfect
contrast to the dash and bustle of his master’s appearance. This was an
electioneering visit. Sir Hyacinth was canvassing the county--a business
in which he took great delight, and in which he was said to excel. He
possessed all the requisite qualifications, and was certainly excited
by a sufficiently strong motive; for he knew that, if he should lose his
election, he should at the same time lose his liberty, as the privilege
of a member of parliament was necessary to protect him from being
arrested. He had a large estate, yet he was one of the poorest men in
the county; for no matter what a person’s fortune may be, if he spend
more than his income, he must be poor. Sir Hyacinth O’Brien not only
spent more than his income, but desired that his rent-roll should be
thought to be at least double what it really was: of course he was
obliged to live up to the fortune which he affected to possess; and this
idle vanity early in life entangled him in difficulties from which
he had never sufficient strength of mind to extricate himself. He was
ambitious to be the leading man in his county, studied all the arts of
popularity, and found them extremely expensive, and stood a contested
election. He succeeded; but his success cost him several thousands. All
was to be set to rights by his talents as a public speaker, and these
were considerable. He had eloquence, wit, humour, and sufficient
assurance to place them all in the fullest light. His speeches in
parliament were much admired, and the passion of ambition was now
kindled in his mind: he determined to be a leading man in the senate;
and whilst he pursued this object with enthusiasm, his private affairs
were entirely neglected. Ambition and economy never can agree. Sir
Hyacinth, however, found it necessary to the happiness, that is, to the
splendour, of his existence, to supply, by some means or other, the
want of what he called the paltry, selfish, counterfeit virtue--economy.
Nothing less would do than the sacrifice of that which had been
once in his estimation the most noble and generous of human
virtues,--patriotism. The sacrifice was painful, but he could not avoid
making it; because, after living upon five thousand a-year, he could
not live upon five hundred. So, from a flaming patriot, he sunk into a
pensioned placeman.

He then employed all his powers of wit and sophistry to ridicule the
principles which he had abandoned. In short, he affected to glory in
a species of political profligacy; and laughed or sneered at public
virtue, as if it could only be the madness of enthusiasm, or the
meanness of hypocrisy. By the brilliancy of his conversation, and the
gaiety of his manners, Sir Hyacinth sometimes succeeded in persuading
others that he was in the right; but, alas! there was one person whom
he could never deceive, and that was himself. He despised himself, and
nothing could make him amends for the self-complacency that he had lost.
Without self-approbation, all the luxuries of life are tasteless.

Sir Hyacinth O’Brien, however, was for some years thought, by those who
could see only the outward man, to be happy; and it was not till the
derangement of his affairs became public that the world began at once
to pity and blame him. He had a lucrative place, but he was, or thought
himself, obliged to live in a style suited to it; and he was not
one shilling the richer for his place. He endeavoured to repair his
shattered fortunes by marrying a rich heiress, but the heiress was, or
thought herself, obliged to live up to her fortune; and, of course,
her husband was not one shilling the richer for his marriage. When Sir
Hyacinth was occasionally distressed for money, his agent, who managed
all affairs in his absence, borrowed money with as much expedition as
possible; and expedition, in matters of business, must, as every body
knows, be paid for exorbitantly. There are men who, upon such terms,
will be as expeditious in lending money as extravagance and ambition
united can desire. Mr. Hopkins was one of these: and he was the
money-lender who supplied the baronet’s real and imaginary wants. Sir
Hyacinth did not know the extreme disorder of his own affairs, till a
sudden dissolution of parliament obliged him to prepare for the expense
of a new election. When he went into the country, he was at once beset
with duns and constituents who claimed from him favours and promises.
Miserable is the man who courts popularity, if he be not rich enough to
purchase what he covets.

Our baronet endeavoured to laugh off with a good grace his apostasy from
the popular party; and whilst he could laugh at the head of a plentiful
table, he could not fail to find many who would laugh with him; but
there was a strong party formed against him in the county. Two other
candidates were his competitors; one of them was Counsellor Quin, a man
of vulgar manners and mean abilities, but yet one who could drink and
cajole electors full as well as Sir Hyacinth, with all his wit and
elegance. The other candidate, Mr. Molyneux, was still more formidable;
not as an electioneerer, but as a man of talents and unimpeached
integrity, which had been successfully exerted in the service of his
country. He was no demagogue, but the friend of justice and of the
poor, whom he would not suffer to be oppressed by the hand of power,
or persecuted by the malice of party spirit. A large number of grateful
independent constituents united to support this gentleman. Sir Hyacinth
O’Brien had reason to tremble for his fate; it was to him a desperate
game. He canvassed the county with the most keen activity; and took
care to engage in his interest all those _underlings_ who delight in
galloping round the country to electioneer, and who think themselves
paid by the momentary consequence they enjoy, and the bustle they

Amongst these busy-bodies was Simon O’Dougherty: indolent in all his own
concerns, he was remarkably active in managing the affairs of others.
His home being now insufferable to him, he was glad to stroll about the
country; and to him Sir Hyacinth O’Brien left all the dirty work of
the canvass. Soft Simon had reduced himself to the lowest class of
_stalkoes_ or _walking gentlemen_, as they are termed; men who have
nothing to do, and no fortune to support them, but who style themselves
esquire; and who, to use their own mode of expression, are jealous
of that title, and of their claims to family antiquity. Sir Hyacinth
O’Brien knew at once how to flatter Simon’s pride, and to lure him on
by promises. Soft Simon believed that the baronet, if he gained his
election, would procure him some place equivalent to that of which he
had been lately deprived. Upon the faith of this promise, Simon worked
harder for his patron than he ever was known to do upon any previous
occasion; and he was not deficient in that essential characteristic of
an electioneerer, boasting. He carried this habit sometimes rather too
far, for he not only boasted so as to bully the opposite party, but
so as to deceive his friends: over his bottle, he often persuaded his
patron that he could command voters, with whom he had no manner of
influence. For instance: he told Sir Hyacinth O’Brien that he was
certain all the Grays would vote for him; and it was in consequence of
this assurance that the cards of invitation to the ball had been sent to
Rose and her mother, and that the baronet was now come in person to pay
his respects at Rosanna.

We have kept him waiting an unconscionable time at the cottage door; we
must now show him in.


The beauty of Rose was the first thing that struck him upon his
entrance. The impression was so sudden, and so lively, that, for a few
minutes, the election, and all that belonged to it, vanished from his
memory. The politeness of a county candidate made him appear, in other
houses, charmed with father, mother, son, and daughter; but in this
cottage there was no occasion for dissimulation; he was really pleased
with each individual of the family. The natural feelings of the heart
were touched. The ambitious man forgot all his schemes, and all his
cares, in the contemplation of this humble picture of happiness and
content; and the baronet conversed a full quarter of an hour with farmer
Gray, before he relapsed into himself.

“How much happier,” thought he, “are these people than I am, or than I
ever have been! They are contented in obscurity; I was discontented even
in the full blaze of celebrity. But my fate is fixed. I embarked on
the sea of politics as thoughtlessly as if it were only on a party of
pleasure: now I am chained to the oar, and a galley-slave cannot be more

Perhaps the beauty of Rose had some share in exciting Sir Hyacinth’s
sudden taste for rural felicity. It is certain he at first expressed
more disappointment at hearing she would not go to the ball, than at
being told her father and brothers could not vote for him. Farmer
Gray, who was as independent in his principles as in his circumstances,
honestly answered the baronet, that he thought Mr. Molyneux the fittest
man to represent the county; and that it was for him he should therefore
vote. Sir Hyacinth tried all his powers of persuasion in vain, and he
left the cottage mortified and melancholy.

He met Simon O’Dougherty when he had driven a few miles from the door;
and, in a tone of much pique and displeasure, reproached him for having
deceived him into a belief that the Grays were his friends. Simon
was rather embarrassed; but the genius of gossiping had luckily just
supplied him with a hint, by which he could extricate himself from this

“The fault is all your own, if I may make so free as to tell you so.
Sir Hyacinth O’Brien,” said he, “as capital an electioneerer as you
are, I’ll engage I’ll find one that shall outdo you here. Send me and
Stafford back again this minute to Rosanna, and we’ll bring you the
three votes as dead as crows in an hour’s time, or my name is not
O’Dougherty now.”

“I protest, Mr. O’Dougherty, I do not understand you.”

“Then let me whisper half a word in your ear, Sir Hyacinth, and I’ll
make you sensible I’m right.” Simon winked most significantly, and
looked wondrous wise; then stretching himself half off his horse into
the gig to gain Sir Hyacinth’s ear, he whispered that he knew, from the
best authority, Stafford was in love with Gray’s pretty daughter, Rose,
and that Rose had no dislike to him; that she was all in all to her
father and brothers, and of course could and would secure their votes,
if properly spoken to.

This intelligence did not immediately produce the pleasing change of
countenance which might have been expected. Sir Hyacinth coldly replied,
he could not spare Stafford at present, and drove on. The genius of
gossiping, according to her usual custom, had exaggerated considerably
in her report. Stafford was attached to Rose, but had never yet told
her so; and as to Rose, we might perhaps have known all her mind, if Sir
Hyacinth’s gig had not appeared just as she was seated on her father’s
knee, and going to tell him her reasons for wishing to go to the ball.

Stafford acted in the capacity of house-steward to the baronet; and had
the management of all his master’s unmanageable servants. He had brought
with him, from England, ideas of order and punctuality, which
were somewhat new, and extremely troublesome to the domestics at
Hyacinth-hall: consequently he was much disliked by them; and not only
by them but by most of the country people in the neighbourhood, who
imagined he had a strong predilection in favour of every thing that
was English, and an undisguised contempt for all that was Irish. They,
however, perceived that this prejudice against the Irish admitted of
exceptions: the family of the Grays, Stafford acknowledged, were almost
as orderly, punctual, industrious, and agreeable, as if they had been
born in England. This was matter of so much surprise to him, that he
could not forbear going at every leisure hour to the mill or the cottage
of Rosanna, to convince himself that such things could actually be in
Ireland. He bought all the flour for the hall at Rosanna-mill; and Rose
supplied the housekeeper constantly with poultry; so that his master’s
business continually obliged Stafford to repeat his visits; and every
time he went to Gray’s cottage, he thought it more and more like an
English farm-house, and imagined Rose every day looked more like an
Englishwoman than any thing else. What a pity she was not born the other
side of the water; for then his mother and friends, in Warwickshire,
could never have made any objection to her. But, she being an
Irishwoman, they would for certain never fancy her. He had oftentimes
heard them as good as say, that it would break their hearts if he was to
marry and settle amongst the bogs and the wild Irish.

This recollection of his friends’ prejudices at first deterred Stafford
from thinking of marrying Rose; but it sometimes happens that reflection
upon the prejudices of others shows us the folly of our own, and so it
was in the present instance. Stafford wrote frequently to his friends
in Warwickshire, to assure them that they had quite wrong notions
of Ireland; that all Ireland was not a bog; that there were several
well-grown trees in the parts he had visited; that there were some
as pretty villages as you could wish to see any where, only that they
called them towns; that the men, though some of them still wear brogues,
were more hospitable to strangers than the English; and that the
women, when not smoke-dried, were some of the handsomest he had seen,
especially one Rose or Rosamond Gray, who was also the best and most
agreeable girl he had ever known; though it was almost a sin to say so
much of one who was not an Englishwoman born.

Much more in the same strain Stafford wrote to his mother; who, in reply
to these letters, “besought him to consider well what he was about,
before he suffered himself to begin falling desperately in love with
this Rose or Rosamond Gray, or any Irishwoman whatsoever; who, having
been bred in a mud-walled cabin, could never be expected to turn out at
the long run equal to a true-born Englishwoman, bred in a slated house.”

Stafford’s notions had been so much enlarged by his travel, that he
could not avoid smiling at some passages in his mother’s epistle; yet
he so far agreed with her in opinion as to think it prudent not to begin
falling desperately in love with any woman, whether Irish or English,
till he was thoroughly acquainted with her temper and disposition.
He therefore prudently forbore, that is to say, as much as he could
forbear, to show any signs of his attachment to Rose, till he had full
opportunity of forming a decisive judgment of her character.

This he had now in his power. He saw that his master was struck with the
fair Rosamond’s charms; and he knew that Sir Hyacinth would pursue his
purpose with no common perseverance. His heart beat with joy, when the
card which brought her refusal arrived. He read it over and over again;
and at last put it into his bosom, close to his heart. “Rose is a good
daughter,” said he to himself; “and that is a sign that she will make a
good wife. She is too innocent to see or suspect that master has taken a
fancy to her, but she is right to do as her prudent, affectionate father
advises. I never loved that farmer Gray so well, in all my whole life,
as at this instant.”

Stafford was interrupted in his reverie by his master; who, in an
angry voice, called for him to inquire why he had not, according to his
orders, served out some oats for his horses the preceding day. The truth
was, that anxiety about Rose and the ball had made him totally forget
the oats. Stafford coloured a good deal, confessed that he had done
very wrong to forget the oats, but that he would go to the granary
immediately, and serve them out to the groom. Perhaps Stafford’s usual
exactness might have rendered his omission pardonable to any less
irritable and peremptory master than Sir H. O’Brien.

When Sterne once heard a master severely reprimanding a servant for some
trifling fault, he said to the gentleman, “My dear sir, we should not
expect to have every virtue under the sun for 20_l_. a-year.”

Sir Hyacinth O’Brien expected to have them for merely the promise of
20_l_. a-year. Though he never punctually paid his servants’ wages,
he abused them most insolently whenever he was in a passion. Upon the
present occasion, his ill-humour was heightened by jealousy.

“I wish, sir,” cried he to Stafford, after pouring forth a volley of
oaths, “you would mind your business, and not run after objects that
are not fit for you. You are become good for nothing of late; careless,
insolent, and not fit to be trusted.”

Stafford bore all that his master said till he came to the words not
fit to be trusted; but the moment those were uttered, he could no longer
command himself; he threw down the great key of the granary, which he
held in his hand, and exclaimed, “Not fit to be trusted! Is this
the reward of all my services? Not fit to be trusted! Then I have no
business here.”

“The sooner you go the better, sir,” cried the angry baronet, who, at
this instant, desired nothing more than to get him out of his way. “You
had best set off for England directly: I have no farther occasion for
your services.”

Stafford said not a word more, but retired from his master’s presence to
conceal his emotion; and, when he was alone, burst into tears, repeating
to himself, “So this is the reward of all my services!”

When Sir Hyacinth’s passion cooled, he reflected that seven years’
wages were due to Stafford; and as it was not convenient to him at
this election time to part with so much ready money, he resolved to
compromise. It was not from any sense of justice; therefore it must be
said he had the meanness to apologize to his steward, and to hint that
he was welcome to remain, if he pleased, in his service.

Satisfied by this explanation, and by the condescension with which it
was given, Stafford’s affection for his master returned with all its
wonted force: and he resumed his former occupations about the house with
redoubled activity. He waited only till he could be spared for a day to
go to Rosanna, and make his proposal for Rose. Her behaviour concerning
the ball convinced him that his mother’s prejudices against Irishwomen
were ill-founded. Whilst his mind was in this state, his master one
morning sent for him, and told him that it was absolutely necessary
he should go to a neighbouring county, to some persons who were
freeholders, and whose votes might turn the election. The business
would only occupy a few days, Sir Hyacinth said; and Stafford willingly
undertook it.

The gentlemen to whom Stafford had letters were not at home, and he was
detained above a fortnight. When he returned, he took a road which led
by Rosanna, that he might at least have the pleasure of seeing Rose for
a few minutes; but when he called at the cottage, to his utter surprise,
he was refused admittance. Being naturally of a warm temper, and not
deficient in pride, his first impulse was to turn his horse’s head, and
gallop off: but, checking his emotion, he determined not to leave the
place till he should discover the cause of this change of conduct.
He considered that none of this family had formerly treated him with
caprice or duplicity; it was therefore improbable they should suddenly
alter their conduct towards him, unless they had reason to believe that
they had some sufficient cause. He rode immediately to a field where he
saw some labourers at work. Farmer Gray was with them. Stafford leaped
from his horse, and, with an air of friendly honesty, held out his hand,
saying, “I can’t believe you mean to affront me: tell me what is the
reason I am not to be let into your house, my good friend?”

Gray leaned upon his stick, and, after looking at him for a moment,
replied, “We have been too hasty, I see: we have had no cause of
quarrel with you, Stafford: you could never look at me with that honest
countenance, if you had any hand in this business.”

“What business?” cried Stafford.

“Walk home with me, out of the hearing of these people, and you shall

As they walked towards his cottage, Gray took out his great leather
pocket-book, and searched for a letter. “Pray, Stafford,” said he, “did
you, about ten days ago, send my girl a melon?”

“Yes; one of my own raising. I left it with the gardener, to be sent to
her with my best respects and services; and a message intimating to say
that I was sorry my master’s business required I should take a journey,
and could not see her for a few days, or something that way.”

“No such message came; only your services, the melon, and this note. I
declare,” continued Gray, looking at Stafford whilst he read the letter,
“he turns as pale as my wife herself did when I showed it to her!”

Stafford, indeed, grew pale with anger. It was a billet-doux from his
master to Rose, which Sir Hyacinth entreated might be kept secret,
promising to make her fortune and marry her well, if she would only have
compassion upon a man who adored and was dying for her, &c.

“I will never see my master again,” exclaimed Stafford. “I could not
see him without the danger of doing something that I might not forgive
myself. He a gentleman! He a gentleman! I’ll gallop off and leave his
letters, and his horse, with some of his people. I’ll never see him
again. If he does not pay me a farthing of my seven years’ wages,
I don’t care; I will not sleep in his house another night. He a

Farmer Gray was delighted by Stafford’s generous indignation; which
appeared the more striking, as his manner was usually sober, and
remarkably civil.

All this happened at two o’clock in the afternoon; and the evening of
the same day he returned to Rosanna. Rose was sitting at work, in the
seat of the cottage window. When she saw him at the little white gate,
her colour gave notice to her brothers who was coming, and they ran out
to meet him.

“You ought to shut your doors against me now, instead of running out
to meet me,” said he; “for I am not clear that I have a farthing in the
world, except what is in this portmanteau. I have been fool enough to
leave all I have earned in the hands of _a gentleman_, who can give me
only his bond for my wages. But I am glad I am out of his house, at any

“And I am glad you are in mine,” said farmer Gray, receiving him with a
warmth of hospitality which brought tears of gratitude into Stafford’s
eyes. Rose smiled upon her father, and said nothing; but set him his
arm-chair, and was very busy arranging the tea-table. Mrs. Gray beckoned
to her guest, and made him sit down beside her; telling him he should
have as good tea at Rosanna as ever he had in Warwickshire; “and out of
Staffordshire ware, too,” said she, taking her best Wedgwood teacups and
saucers out of a cupboard.

Robin, who was naturally gay and fond of rallying his friends, could not
forbear affecting to express his surprise at Stafford’s preferring an
Irishwoman, of all women in the world. “Are you quite sure, Stafford,”
 said he, “that you are not mistaken? Are you sure my sister has not
wings on her shoulders?”

“Have you done now, Robin?” said his mother; who saw that Stafford was
a good deal abashed, and had no answer ready. “If Mr. Stafford had a
prejudice against us Irish, so much the more honourable for my Rose to
have conquered it; and, as to wings, they would have been no shame to
us natives, supposing we had them; and of course it was no affront to
attribute them to us. Have not the angels themselves wings?”

A timely joke is sometimes a real blessing; and so Stafford felt it at
this instant: his bashfulness vanished by degrees, and Robin rallied him
no more. “I had no idea,” said he, “how easy it is to put an Englishman
out of countenance in the company of his mistress.”

This was a most happy evening at Rosanna. After Rose retired, which she
soon did, to see after the household affairs, her father spoke in the
kindest manner to Stafford. “Mr. Stafford,” said he, “if you tell me
that you are able to maintain my girl in the way of life she is in now,
you shall have her: this, in my opinion and in hers, is the happiest
life for those who have been bred to it. I would rather see Rose matched
to an honest, industrious, good-humoured man, like yourself, whom
she can love, than see her the wife of a man as grand as Sir Hyacinth
O’Brien. For, to the best of my opinion, it is not the being born to a
great estate that can make a man content or even rich: I think myself a
richer man this minute than Sir Hyacinth; for I owe no man any thing, am
my own master, and can give a little matter both to child and stranger.
But your head is very naturally running upon Rose, and not upon my
moralizing. All I have to say is, win her and wear her; and, as to the
rest, even if Sir Hyacinth never pays you your own, that shall not stop
your wedding. My sons are good lads, and you and Rose shall never want,
whilst the mill of Rosanna is going.”

This generosity quite overpowered Stafford. Generosity is one of the
characteristics of the Irish. It not only touched but surprised the
Englishman; who, amongst the same rank of his own countrymen, had been
accustomed to strict honesty in their dealings, but seldom to this
warmth of friendship and forgetfulness of all selfish considerations.
It was some minutes before he could articulate a syllable; but, after
shaking his intended father-in-law’s hand with that violence which
expresses so much to English feelings, he said, “I thank you heartily;
and, if I live to the age of Methusalem, shall never forget this. A
friend in need is a friend indeed. But I will not live upon yours or
your good sons’ earnings; that would not be fair dealing, or like what
I’ve been bred up to think handsome. It is a sad thing for me that this
master of mine can give me nothing, for my seven years’ service,
but this scrap of paper (taking out of his pocket-book a bond of Sir
Hyacinth’s). But my mother, though she has her prejudices, and is
very stiff about them, being an elderly woman, and never going out of
England, or even beyond the parish in which she was born, yet she is
kind-hearted; and I cannot think will refuse to help me, or that she
will cross me in marriage, when she knows the thing is determined; so I
shall write to her before I sleep, and wish I could but enclose in the
cover of my letter the picture of Rose, which would be better than all
I could say. But no picture would do her justice. I don’t mean a
compliment, like those Sir Hyacinth paid to her face, but only the plain
truth. I mean that a picture could never make my mother understand how
good, and sweet-tempered, and modest, Rose is. Mother has a world of
prejudices; but she is a good woman, and will prove herself so to me, I
make no doubt.”

Stafford wrote to his mother a long letter, and received, in a fortnight
afterwards, this short answer:

“Son George, I warned you not to fall in love with an Irishwoman, to
which I told you I could never give my consent.

“As you bake, so you must brew. Your sister Dolly is marrying too, and
setting up a shop in Warwick, by my advice and consent: all the money I
can spare I must give, as in reason, to her who is a dutiful child;
and mean, with her and grand-children, if God please, to pass my latter
days, as fitting, in this parish of Little Sonchy, in Old England, where
I was born and bred. Wishing you may not repent, or starve, or so forth,
which please to let me know,

“I am your affectionate mother,


All Stafford’s hopes were confounded by this letter: he put it into
farmer Gray’s hands, without saying a word; then drew his chair away
from Rose, hid his face in his hands, and never spoke or heard one word
that was saying round about him for full half an hour; till, at last,
he was roused by his friend Robin, who, clapping him on his back, said,
“Come, Stafford, English pride won’t do with us; this is all to punish
you for refusing to share and share alike with us in the mill of
Rosanna, which is what you must and shall do now, for Rose’s sake, if
not for ours or your own. Come, say done.”

Stafford could not help being moved. All the family, except Rose, joined
in these generous entreaties; and her silence said even more than their
words. Dinner was on the table before this amicable contest was settled,
and Robin insisted upon his drinking a toast with him, in Irish ale;
which was, “Rose Gray, and Rosanna-mill.”

The glass was just filled and the toast pronounced, when in came one of
Gray’s workmen, in an indescribable perspiration and rage.

“Master Robin, master John! Master,” cried he, “we are all ruined! The
mill and all--”

“The mill!” exclaimed every body starting up.

“Ay, the mill: it’s all over with it, and with us: not a turn more will
Rosanna-mill ever take for me or you; not a turn,” continued he, wiping
his forehead with his arm, and hiding by the same motion his eyes, which
ran over with tears.

“It’s all that thief Hopkins’s doing. May every guinea he touches, and
every shilling, and tester, and penny itself, blister his fingers, from
this day forward and for evermore!”

“But what has he done to the mill?”

“May every guinea, shilling, tester, and penny he looks upon, from this
day forth for evermore, be a blight to his eyes, and a canker to his
heart! But I can’t wish him a worse canker than what he has there
already. Yes, he has a canker at heart! Is not he eaten up with envy? as
all who look at him may read in that evil eye. Bad luck to the hour when
it fixed on the mill of Rosanna!”

“But what has he done to the mill? Take it patiently, and tell us
quietly,” said farmer Gray, “and do not curse the man any more.”

“Not curse the man! Take it quietly, master! Is it the time to take it
quietly, when he is at the present minute carrying off every drop of
water from our mill-course? so he is the villain!”

At these words, Stafford seized his oak stick, and sprang towards the
door. Robin and John eagerly followed: but, as they passed their father,
he laid a hand on each, and called to Stafford to stop. At his respected
voice they all paused. “My children,” said he, “what are you going to
do? No violence. No violence. You shall have justice, boys, depend upon
it; we will not let ourselves be oppressed. If Mr. Hopkins were ten
times as great, and twenty times as tyrannical as he is, we shall have
justice; the law will reach him: but we must take care and do nothing
in anger. Therefore, I charge you, let me speak to him, and do you
keep your tempers whatever passes. May be, all this is only a mistake:
perhaps Mr. Hopkins is only making drains for his own meadow; or, may
be, is going to flood it, and does not know, till we tell him, that he
is emptying our water-course.”

“He can’t but know it! He can’t but know it! He’s’ cute enough, and too
‘cute,” muttered Paddy, as he led the way to the mill. Stafford and
the two brothers followed their father respectfully; admiring his
moderation, and resolving to imitate it if they possibly could.

Mr. Hopkins was stationed cautiously on the boundary of his own land.
“There he is, mounted on the back of the ditch, enjoying the mischief
all he can!” cried Paddy. “And hark! He is whistling, whilst our stream
is running away from us. May I never cross myself again, if I would not,
rather than the best shirt ever I had to my back, push him into the mud,
as he deserves, this very minute! And, if it wasn’t for my master here,
it’s what I’d do, before I drew breath again.”

Farmer Gray restrained Paddy’s indignation with some difficulty; and
advancing calmly towards Mr. Hopkins, he remonstrated with him in a mild
tone. “Surely, Mr. Hopkins,” said he, “you cannot mean to do us such an
injury as to stop our mill?”

“I have not laid a finger on your mill,” replied Hopkins, with a
malicious smile. “If your man there,” pointing to Paddy, “could prove
my having laid a finger upon it, you might have your action of trespass;
but I am no trespasser; I stand on my own land, and have a right to
water my own meadow; and moreover have witnesses to prove that, for ten
years last past, while the mill of Rosanna was in Simon O’Dougherty’s
hands, the water-course was never full, and the mill was in disuse. The
stream runs against you now, and so does the law, gentlemen. I have the
best counsel’s opinion in Ireland to back me. Take your remedy, when and
where you can find it. Good morning to you.”

Without listening to one word more, Mr. Hopkins hastily withdrew: for he
had no small apprehensions that Paddy, whose threats he had overheard,
and whose eyes sparkled with rage, might execute upon him that species
of prompt justice which no quibbling can evade.

“Do not be disheartened, my dear boys,” said farmer Gray to his sons,
who were watching with mournful earnestness the slackened motion of
their water-wheel. “Saddle my horse for me, John; and get yourselves
ready, both of you, to come with me to Counsellor Molyneux.”

“Oh! father,” said John, “there is no use in going to him; for he is one
of the candidates, you know, and Mr. Hopkins has a great many votes.”

“No matter for that,” said Gray: “Mr. Molyneux will do justice; that is
my opinion of him. If he was another sort of man, I would not trouble
myself to go near him, nor stoop to ask his advice: but my opinion of
him is, that he is above doing a dirty action, for votes or any thing
else; and I am convinced his own interest will not weigh a grain of dust
in the balance against justice. Saddle the horses, boy.”

His sons saddled the horses; and all the way the farmer was riding he
continued trying to keep up the spirits of his sons, by assurances that
if Counsellor Molyneux would take their affair in hand, there would be
an end of all difficulty.

“He is not one of those justices of the peace,” continued he, “who will
huddle half a dozen poor fellows into jail without law or equity. He is
not a man who goes into parliament, saying one thing, and who comes out
saying another. He is not, like, our friend Sir Hyacinth O’Brien, forced
to sell tongue, and brains, and conscience, to keep his head above
water. In short, he is a man who dares to be the same, and can moreover
afford to be the same, at election time as at any other time; for which
reason, I dare to go to him now in this our distress, although, I have
to complain of a man who has forty-six votes, which is the number, they
say, Mr. Hopkins can command.”

Whilst farmer Gray was thus pronouncing a panegyric on Counsellor
Molyneux, for the comfort of John and Robin, Stafford was trying to
console Rose and her mother, who were struck with sorrow and dismay,
at the news of the mill’s being stopped. Stafford had himself almost as
much need of consolation as they; for he foresaw it was impossible he
should at present be united to his dear Rose. All that her generous
brothers had to offer was a share in the mill. The father had his farm,
but this must serve for the support of the whole family; and how could
Stafford become a burden to them, now that they would be poor, when he
could not bring himself to be dependent upon them, even when they were,
comparatively speaking, rich?


With anxious hearts the little party at the cottage expected the return
of the father and his sons. Rose sat at the window watching for them:
her mother laid down her knitting, and sighed: and Stafford was silent,
for he had exhausted all his consolatory eloquence, and saw and felt it
had no effect.

“Here they come! But they ride so slow, that I am sure they bring us no
good news.”

No: there was not any good news. Counsellor Molyneux had indeed behaved
as well as man could do: he had declared that he would undertake to
manage and plead their cause in any court of justice on earth; and had
expressed the strongest indignation against the villany of Hopkins; but,
at the same time, he had fairly told the Grays that this litigious man,
if they commenced a suit, might ruin them, by law, before they could
recover their rights.

“So we may go to bed this night melancholy enough,” said Robin; “with
the certainty that our mill is stopped, and that we have a long lawsuit
to go through, before we can see it going again--if ever we do.”

Rose and Stafford looked at one another, and sighed.

“We had better not go to law, to lose the little we have left, at any
rate,” said Mrs. Gray.

“Wife, I am determined my boys shall have justice,” said the father,
firmly. “_I_ am not fond of law, God knows! I never had a lawsuit in my
life; nobody dreads such things more than I do; but I dread nothing in
defence of my sons and justice. Whilst I have a penny left in the world,
I’ll spend it to obtain them justice. The labour of their lives shall
not be in vain; they shall not be robbed of all they have: they shall
not be trampled upon by any one living, let him be ever so rich, or
ever so litigious. I fear neither his money nor his quirks of law. Plain
sense is the same for him and for me; and justice my boys shall have.
Mr. Molyneux will plead our cause himself--desire no more. If we fail
and are ruined, our ruin be upon the head of him who works it! I
shall die content, when I have done all I can to obtain justice for my

As soon as these facts were known, every body in the neighbourhood felt
extreme indignation against Hopkins; and all joined in pitying the two
brothers, and applauding the spirit of their father. There was not an
individual who did not wish that Hopkins might be punished; but he
had been engaged in so many lawsuits, and had been so successful in
screening himself from justice, and in ruining his opponents, that every
body feared the Grays, though they were so much in the right, would
never be able to make this appear, according to the forms of law: many,
therefore, advised that it might not be brought to trial. But farmer
Gray persisted, and Counsellor Molyneux steadily abided by his word, and
declared he would plead the cause himself.

Mr. Hopkins sent the counsellor a private hint, that if he directly
or indirectly protected the Grays, he must give up all hopes of the
forty-six votes which, as the county was now nearly balanced, must turn
the election. Mr. Molyneux paid no attention to this hint; but, the very
day on which he received it, visited farmer Gray in his cottage, walked
with him to Rosanna-mill, and settled how the suit should be carried on.

Hopkins swore he would spare no expense to humble the pride both of
the Grays and their protector: an unexpected circumstance, however,
occurred. It had often been prophesied by Mr. Molyneux, who knew the
species of bargains which Hopkins drove with all manner of people by
whose distresses he could make money, that he would sooner or later
overshoot his mark, as cunning persons often do. Mr. Molyneux predicted
that, amongst the medley of his fraudulent purchases, he would at length
be the dupe of some unsound title; and that, amongst the multitudes whom
he ruined, he would at last meet with some one who would ruin him. The
person who was the means of accomplishing this prophecy was indeed the
last that would have been guessed--soft Simon O’Dougherty! In dealing
with him, Mr. Hopkins, who thoroughly despised indolent honesty, was
quite off his guard; and, in truth, poor Simon had no design to cheat
him: but it happened that the lease, which he made over to Hopkins, as
his title to the field that he sold, was a lease renewable for ever;
with a strict clause, binding the lessee to renew, within a certain time
after the failure of each life, under penalty of forfeiting the lease.
From the natural laziness of easy Simon, he had neglected to renew, and
had even forgotten that the life was dropped: he assigned his lease over
a bottle to Mr. Hopkins, who seized it with avidity, lest he should lose
the lucky moment to conclude a bargain in which, he thought, he had
at once over-reached Simon, and had secured to himself the means of
wreaking his vengeance upon the Grays. This lease was of the field
adjoining to Rosanna-mill; and by the testimony of some old people
in the neighbourhood, he fancied he could prove that this meadow was
anciently flooded, and that the mill-course had gone into disuse. In all
his subsequent operations, he had carefully kept himself, as he thought,
upon his own lands; but, now that a suit against him was instituted, it
was necessary to look to his own title, into which he knew Mr. Molyneux
would examine.

Upon reading over the lease assigned to him by Simon, he noticed the
strict clause, binding the tenant to renew within a certain time. A
qualm came over him! He was astonished at himself for not having more
carefully perused the lease before he concluded the bargain. Had it been
with any one but soft Simon, this could not have happened. He hastened
in search of Simon with the utmost anxiety, to inquire whether all the
lives were in being. Simon at first said he had such a mist over his
memory that he could not exactly recollect who the lives were; but at
last he made out that one of them had been dead beyond the time for
renewal. The gentleman, his landlord, he said, was in Dublin; and he had
neglected, sure enough, to write to him from post to post.

The rage of Mr. Hopkins was excessive: he grew white with anger! Easy
Simon yawned, and begged him not to take the thing so to heart: “for,
after all,” said he, “you know the loss must be mine. I can’t make good
the sale of this field to you, as I have lost it by my own carelessness:
but that’s nothing to you; for you know, as well as I do, that to make
good the deficiency, you will, somehow or other, get a better piece of
ground out of the small remains of patrimony I have left, God help me!”

“God help _you_, indeed!” cried Hopkins, with a look and accent of
mingled rage and contempt. “I tell you, man, the loss is mine; and no
other land you have, to sell or give, can make me any amends. I shall
lose my lawsuit.”

“Wheugh! wheugh! Why, so much the better. Where’s the use of having
lawsuits? The loss of such bad things can never be great.”

“No trifling, pray,” said Hopkins, with impatience, as he walked up and
down the room, and repeatedly struck his forehead.

“Ho! ho! ho! I begin to comprehend. I know whereabouts you are now,”
 cried Simon. “Is not it the Grays you are thinking of? Ah, that’s the
suit you are talking about. But now, Mr. Hopkins, you ought to rejoice,
as I do, instead of grieving, that it is out of your power to ruin that
family; for, in truth, they are good people, and have the voice of the
country with them against you; and if you were to win your suit twenty
times over, that would still be the same. You would never be able to
show your face; and, for my own part, my conscience would never forgive
me for being instrumental, unknown to myself, in giving you the power
to do this mischief. And, after all, what put it into your head to stop
Rosanna-mill, when its going gave you no trouble in life?”

Hopkins, who had not listened to one syllable Simon was saying, at this
instant suddenly stopped walking; and, in a soft insinuating voice,
addressed him in these words:

“Mr. O’Dougherty, you know I have a great regard for you.”

“May be so,” said Simon; “though that is more than I ever knew you to
have for any body.”

“Pray be serious. I tell you I have, and will prove it.”

“That is more and more surprising, Mr. Hopkins.”

“And which is more surprising still, I will make your fortune, if you
will do a trifling kindness for me.”

“Any thing in nature, that won’t give me an unreasonable deal of

“Oh, this will give you no sort of trouble,” said Hopkins. “I will get
you, before this day se’nnight, that place in the revenue that you have
been wishing for so long, and that Sir Hyacinth O’Brien will never get
for you. I say I will insure it to you under my hand, this minute, if
you will do what I want of you.”

“To be sure I will, if it’s no trouble. What is it?”

“Only just,” said Hopkins, hesitating; “only just--You must
remember--you cannot but recollect that you wrote to your landlord, to
offer to renew?”

“I remember to recollect no such thing,” said Simon, surprised.

“Yes, yes,” said Hopkins; “but he gave you no answer, you know.”

“But, I tell you, I never wrote to him at all.”

“Pshaw! You have a bad memory, Simon; and your letter might have
miscarried. There’s nothing simpler than that; nothing more easily

“If it were but true,” said Simon.

“True or not, it may be said, you know.”

“Not by Simon O’Dougherty, Mr. Hopkins.”,

“Look you, Mr. O’Dougherty, I have a great regard for you,” continued
Hopkins, holding him fast, and producing a pocket-book full of bank
notes. I must, thought he, come up to this scoundrel’s price, for he
has me now. He is more knave than fool, I see. “Let us understand one
another, my good friend Simon. Name your sum, and make me but a short
affidavit, purporting that you did apply for this renewal, and you have
your place in the revenue snug besides.”

“You don’t know whom you are speaking to, Mr. Hopkins,” said
Simon, looking over his shoulder, with cool and easy contempt. “The
O’Doughertys are not accustomed to perjuring themselves; and it’s a
trouble I would not take for any man, if he were my own father even; no,
not for all the places in the revenue that ever were created, nor for
all the bank notes ever you cheated mankind out of, Mr. Hopkins, into
the bargain. No offence. I never talked of cheating, till you named
perjury to me; for which I do not kick you down stairs, in the first
place, because there are no stairs, I believe, to my house; next,
because, if there were ever so many, it would be beneath me to make use
of them upon any such occasion; and, lastly, it would be quite too much
trouble. Now we comprehend one another perfectly, I hope, Mr. Hopkins.”

Cursing himself, and overwhelmed with confusion, Mr. Hopkins withdrew.
Proud of himself, and having a story to tell, Simon O’Dougherty hastened
to Rosanna, to relate all that had happened to the Grays, and to
congratulate them, as he said, upon his own carelessness.

The joy with which they listened to Simon’s story was great, and in
proportion to the anxiety they had suffered. In less than half an hour’s
time, they received a mean, supplicating letter from Hopkins, entreating
they would not ruin his reputation, and all his prospects in life, by
divulging what had passed; and promising that the mill-stream of Rosanna
should be returned to its proper channel, without any expense to them,
and that he would make a suitable compensation in money, if they would
bind themselves to secrecy.

It will easily be guessed that they rejected all his offers with
disdain: the whole affair was told by them to Mr. Molyneux, and the next
day all the neighbourhood knew it, and triumphed in the detection of a
villain, who had long been the oppressor of the poor. The neighbours all
joined in restoring the water to the mill-course; and when Rosanna-mill
was once more at work, the village houses were illuminated, and even
the children showed their sympathy for the family of the Grays, by huge
bonfires and loud huzzas.

Simon O’Dougherty’s landlord was so much pleased by the honesty he had
shown in this affair, that he renewed the lease of the meadow, instead
of insisting upon the forfeiture; and farmer Gray delighted poor Simon
still more, by promising to overlook for him the management of the land,
which still remained in his possession.

In the mean time, Mr. Hopkins, who could not go out of his own house
without being insulted, or without fearing to be insulted, prepared to
quit the country. “But before I go,” said he, “I shall have the pleasure
and triumph, at least, of making Mr. Molyneux lose his election.”

The Grays feared Mr. Molyneux would indeed be a sufferer for the
generous protection he had afforded them in their distress. The votes
were nearly balanced in the county, and the forty-six votes which
Hopkins could command would decide the contest. There are often in real
life instances of what is called poetical justice. The day before the
election, Sir Hyacinth was arrested at the suit of Stafford, who chose
his opportunity so well, that the sheriff, though he was a fast friend
of the baronet’s, could not refuse to do his duty. The sheriff had such
a number of writs immediately put into his hands, that bail could not be
found; and Mr. Molyneux was elected without opposition.

But, let us return, from the misery of arrests and elections, to peace,
industry, family union, and love, in the happy cottage of Rosanna.
No obstacles now prevented the marriage of Stafford and Rose; it was
celebrated with every simple demonstration of rural felicity. The bride
had the blessings of her fond father and mother, the congratulations of
her beloved brothers, and the applause of her own heart. Are not
these better things than even forty fine wedding gowns, or a coach of
Hatchett’s best workmanship? Rose thought so, and her future life proved
she was not much mistaken. Stafford some time after his marriage took
his wife to England, to see his mother, who was soon reconciled to
him and her Irish daughter-in-law, whose gentle manners and willing
obedience overcame her unreasonable dislike. Old Mrs. Stafford declared
to her son, when he was returning, that she had so far got the better of
what he called her prejudices, that, if she could but travel to Ireland,
without crossing the sea, she verily believed she would go and spend a
year with him and the Grays at Rosanna.

{Footnote: Having heard, from good judges, that the language used by
_Farmer Gray_ in this story appears superior to his condition, we
insert a letter which we lately received from him; matter, manner, and
orthography _his own_.



“I have read your valuable present with care, so has also the whole
family; its design is excellent, it breathes forth a spirit of virtue
and industry and in a word all the social virtues which constitute human
happiness--Its other characters are admirably adapted to expose vice in
all its hideous forms, and gives us a view of those baneful principles
which terminate in certain misery and proves beyond a doubt that many of
mankind are the authors of their own calamities and frequently involve
others in the same or similar unhappy circumstances--

“Thrice happy are they who in affluence endeavour thus to amend the
morals of mankind; it’s they only who enjoy true felicity--their example
and their precepts have a powerful influence on all around them, and
never fail to excite a virtuous emulation, except, among the utterly
abandoned and profligate--

“On the contrary, families in elevated situations of life who devote
their time to dissipation and its sensual allurements are the pest of
society--the vices and crimes of the great are frequently imitated by
the lower ranks--they all die, and no memorial is left behind but that
of folly and an ill-spent life.

“May that life of virtue so strongly recommended be long the shining
ornament of you and your family, and its end be rewarded with a crown of
eternal happiness, which is the joint wish of the family of--


“_July 1st, 1804._“}



It is well known that the grand seignior amuses himself by going at
night, in disguise, through the streets of Constantinople; as the
caliph, Haroun Alraschid, used formerly to do in Bagdad.

One moonlight night, accompanied by his grand vizier, he traversed
several of the principal streets of the city, without seeing any thing
remarkable. At length, as they were passing a rope-maker’s, the sultan
recollected the Arabian story of Cogia-Hassan Alhabal, the rope-maker,
and his two friends, Saad and Saadi, who differed so much in their
opinion concerning the influence of fortune over human affairs.

“What is your opinion on this subject?” said the grand seignior to his

“I am inclined, please your majesty,” replied the vizier, “to think that
success in the world depends more upon prudence than upon what is called
luck, or fortune.”

“And I,” said the sultan, “am persuaded that fortune does more for men
than prudence. Do you not every day hear of persons who are said to be
fortunate or unfortunate? How comes it that this opinion should prevail
amongst men, if it be not justified by experience?”

“It is not for me to dispute with your majesty,” replied the prudent

“Speak your mind freely; I desire and command it,” said the sultan.

“Then I am of opinion,” answered the vizier, “that people are often led
to believe others fortunate, or unfortunate, merely because they only
know the general outline of their histories; and are ignorant of the
incidents and events in which they have shown prudence or imprudence. I
have heard, for instance, that there are at present, in this city, two
men, who are remarkable for their good and bad fortune: one is called
_Murad the Unlucky_, and the other _Saladin the Lucky_. Now I am
inclined to think, if we could hear their stories, we should find that
one is a prudent and the other an imprudent character.”

“Where do these men live?” interrupted the sultan. “I will hear their
histories from their own lips, before I sleep.”

“Murad the Unlucky lives in the next square,” said the vizier.

The sultan desired to go thither immediately. Scarcely had they entered
the square, when they heard the cry of loud lamentations. They followed
the sound till they came to a house of which the door was open, and
where there was a man tearing his turban, and weeping bitterly. They
asked the cause of his distress, and he pointed to the fragments of a
china vase, which lay on the pavement at his door.

“This seems undoubtedly to be beautiful china,” said the sultan, taking
up one of the broken pieces; “but can the loss of a china vase be the
cause of such violent grief and despair?”

“Ah, gentlemen,” said the owner of the vase, suspending his
lamentations, and looking at the dress of the pretended merchants, “I
see that you are strangers: you do not know how much cause I have for
grief and despair! You do not know that you are speaking to Murad
the Unlucky! Were you to hear all the unfortunate accidents that have
happened to me, from the time I was born till this instant, you would
perhaps pity me, and acknowledge I have just cause for despair.”

Curiosity was strongly expressed by the sultan; and the hope of
obtaining sympathy inclined Murad to gratify it, by the recital of his
adventures. “Gentlemen,” said he, “I scarcely dare invite you into the
house of such an unlucky being as I am; but, if you will venture to
take a night’s lodging under my roof, you shall hear at your leisure the
story of my misfortunes.”

The sultan and the vizier excused themselves from spending the night
with Murad; saying that they were obliged to proceed to their khan,
where they should be expected by their companions: but they begged
permission to repose themselves for half an hour in his house, and
besought him to relate the history of his life, if it would not renew
his grief too much to recollect his misfortunes.

Few men are so miserable as not to like to talk of their misfortunes,
where they have, or where they think they have, any chance of obtaining
compassion. As soon as the pretended merchants were seated, Murad began
his story in the following manner:

“My father was a merchant of this city. The night before I was born, he
dreamed that I came into the world with the head of a dog, and the tail
of a dragon; and that, in haste to conceal my deformity, he rolled me up
in a piece of linen, which unluckily proved to be the grand seignior’s
turban; who, enraged at his insolence in touching his turban, commanded
that his head should be struck off.

“My father awaked before he lost his head, but not before he had lost
half his wits from the terror of his dream. He considered it as a
warning sent from above, and consequently determined to avoid the sight
of me. He would not stay to see whether I should really be born with
the head of a dog, and the tail of a dragon; but he set out, the next
morning, on a voyage to Aleppo.

“He was absent for upwards of seven years; and during that time, my
education was totally neglected. One day I inquired from my mother why
I had been named Murad the Unlucky? She told me that this name was given
to me in consequence of my father’s dream; but she added that, perhaps,
it might be forgotten, if I proved fortunate in my future life. My
nurse, a very old woman, who was present, shook her head, with a look
which I shall never forget, and whispered to my mother loud enough for
me to hear, ‘Unlucky he was, and is, and ever will be. Those that are
born to ill luck cannot help themselves; nor can any, but the great
prophet, Mahomet himself, do anything for them. It is a folly for an
unlucky person to strive with their fate: it is better to yield to it at

“This speech made a terrible impression upon me, young as I then was;
and every accident that happened to me afterwards confirmed my belief in
my nurse’s prognostic. I was in my eighth year when my father returned
from abroad. The year after he came home my brother Saladin was born,
who was named Saladin the Lucky, because the day he was born, a vessel
freighted with rich merchandise for my father arrived safely in port.

“I will not weary you with a relation of all the little instances of
good fortune by which my brother Saladin was distinguished, even during
his childhood. As he grew up, his success in everything he undertook was
as remarkable as my ill luck in all that I attempted. From the time the
rich vessel arrived, we lived in splendour; and the supposed prosperous
state of my father’s affairs was of course attributed to the influence
of my brother Saladin’s happy destiny.

“When Saladin was about twenty, my father was taken dangerously ill;
and as he felt that he should not recover, he sent for my brother to
the side of his bed, and, to his great surprise, informed him that the
magnificence in which we had lived had exhausted all his wealth; that
his affairs were in the greatest disorder; for, having trusted to
the hope of continual success, he had embarked in projects beyond his

“The sequel was he had nothing remaining to leave to his children but
two large china vases, remarkable for their beauty, but still more
valuable on account of certain verses inscribed upon them in an unknown
character, which were supposed to operate as a talisman or charm in
favour of their possessors.

“Both these vases my father bequeathed to my brother Saladin; declaring
he could not venture to leave either of them to me, because I was so
unlucky that I should inevitably break it. After his death, however,
my brother Saladin, who was blessed with a generous temper, gave me
my choice of the two vases; and endeavoured to raise my spirits, by
repeating frequently that he had no faith either in good fortune or ill

“I could not be of his opinion, though I felt and acknowledged his
kindness in trying to persuade me out of my settled melancholy. I knew
it was in vain for me to exert myself, because I was sure that, do
what I would, I should still be Murad the Unlucky. My brother, on the
contrary, was nowise cast down, even by the poverty in which my father
left us: he said he was sure he should find some means of maintaining
himself, and so he did. On examining our china vases, he found in them a
powder of a bright scarlet colour; and it occurred to him that it would
make a fine dye. He tried it, and after some trouble, it succeeded to

“During my father’s lifetime, my mother had been supplied with rich
dresses, by one of the merchants who was employed by the ladies of
the grand seignior’s seraglio. My brother had done this merchant some
trifling favours; and, upon application to him, he readily engaged to
recommend the new scarlet dye. Indeed it was so beautiful, that, the
moment it was seen, it was preferred to every other colour. Saladin’s
shop was soon crowded with customers; and his winning manners and
pleasant conversation were almost as advantageous to him as his scarlet
dye. On the contrary, I observed that the first glance at my melancholy
countenance was sufficient to disgust every one who saw me. I perceived
this plainly; and it only confirmed me the more in my belief in my own
evil destiny.

“It happened one day that a lady, richly appareled and attended by two
female slaves, came to my brother’s house to make some purchases. He was
out, and I alone was left to attend to the shop. After she had looked
over some goods, she chanced to see my china vase, which was in the
room. She took a prodigious fancy to it, and offered me any price if I
would part with it; but this I declined doing, because I believed that
I should draw down upon my head some dreadful calamity, if I voluntarily
relinquished the talisman. Irritated by my refusal, the lady, according
to the custom of her sex, became more resolute in her purpose; but
neither entreaties nor money could change my determination. Provoked
beyond measure at my obstinacy, as she called it, she left the house.

“On my brother’s return, I related to him what had happened, and
expected that he would have praised me for my prudence; but, on the
contrary, he blamed me for the superstitious value I set upon the verses
on my vase; and observed that it would be the height of folly to lose a
certain means of advancing my fortune, for the uncertain hope of magical
protection. I could not bring myself to be of his opinion; I had not the
courage to follow the advice he gave. The next day the lady returned,
and my brother sold his vase to her for ten thousand pieces of gold.
This money he laid out in the most advantageous manner, by purchasing
a new stock of merchandise. I repented, when it was too late; but I
believe it is part of the fatality attending certain persons, that they
cannot decide rightly at the proper moment. When the opportunity
has been lost, I have always regretted that I did not do exactly the
contrary to what I had previously determined upon. Often, whilst I was
hesitating, the favourable moment passed. {Footnote: “Whom the gods wish
to destroy, they first deprive of understanding.”} Now this is what I
call being unlucky. But to proceed with my story.

“The lady, who bought my brother Saladin’s vase, was the favourite of
the sultan, and all-powerful in the seraglio. Her dislike to me, in
consequence of my opposition to her wishes, was so violent, that she
refused to return to my brother’s house, while I remained there. He was
unwilling to part with me; but I could not bear to be the ruin of
so good a brother. Without telling him my design, I left his house,
careless of what should become of me. Hunger, however, soon compelled me
to think of some immediate mode of obtaining relief. I sat down upon a
stone, before the door of a baker’s shop: the smell of hot bread tempted
me in, and with a feeble voice I demanded charity.

“The master baker gave me as much bread as I could eat, upon condition
that I should change dresses with him, and carry the rolls for him
through the city this day. To this I readily consented; but I had soon
reason to repent of my compliance. Indeed, if my ill luck had not, as
usual, deprived me at this critical moment of memory and judgment, I
should never have complied with the baker’s treacherous proposal.
For some time before, the people of Constantinople had been much
dissatisfied with the weight and quality of the bread furnished by the
bakers. This species of discontent has often been the sure forerunner
of an insurrection; and, in these disturbances, the master bakers
frequently lose their lives. All these circumstances I knew; but they
did not occur to my memory, when they might have been useful.

“I changed dresses with the baker; but scarcely had I proceeded through
the adjoining streets with my rolls, before the mob began to gather
round me, with reproaches and execrations. The crowd pursued me even to
the gates of the grand seignior’s palace; and the grand vizier, alarmed
at their violence, sent out an order to have my head struck off; the
usual remedy, in such cases, being to strike off the baker’s head.

“I now fell upon my knees, and protested I was not the baker for whom
they took me; that I had no connexion with him; and that I had never
furnished the people of Constantinople with bread that was not weight. I
declared I had merely changed clothes with a master baker, for this
day; and that I should not have done so, but for the evil destiny which
governs all my actions. Some of the mob exclaimed that I deserved to
lose my head for my folly; but others took pity on me, and whilst the
officer, who was sent to execute the vizier’s order, turned to speak
to some of the noisy rioters, those who were touched by my misfortune
opened a passage for me through the crowd, and thus favoured, I effected
my escape.

“I quitted Constantinople: my vase I had left in the care of my brother.
At some miles distance from the city, I overtook a party of soldiers. I
joined them; and learning that they were going to embark with the rest
of the grand seignior’s army for Egypt, I resolved to accompany them. If
it be, thought I, the will of Mahomet that I should perish, the sooner
I meet my fate the better. The despondency into which I was sunk was
attended by so great a degree of indolence, that I scarcely would take
the necessary means to preserve my existence. During our passage to
Egypt, I sat all day long upon the deck of the vessel, smoking my pipe;
and I am convinced that if a storm had risen, as I expected, I should
not have taken my pipe from my mouth, nor should I have handled a rope,
to save myself from destruction. Such is the effect of that species
of resignation or torpor, whichever you please to call it, to which my
strong belief in _fatality_ had reduced my mind.

“We landed, however, safely, contrary to my melancholy forebodings. By a
trifling accident, not worth relating, I was detained longer than any of
my companions in the vessel when we disembarked; and I did not arrive at
the camp till late at night. It was moonlight, and I could see the whole
scene distinctly. There was a vast number of small tents scattered over
a desert of white sand; a few date trees were visible at a distance;
all was gloomy, and all still; no sound was to be heard but that of the
camels, feeding near the tents; and, as I walked on, I met with no human

“My pipe was now out, and I quickened my pace a little towards a fire,
which I saw near one of the tents. As I proceeded, my eye was caught by
something sparkling in the sand: it was a ring. I picked it up, and
put it on my finger, resolving to give it to the public crier the next
morning, who might find out its rightful owner: but by ill luck, I
put it on my little finger, for which it was much too large; and as
I hastened towards the fire to light my pipe, I dropped the ring. I
stooped to search for it amongst the provender on which a mule was
feeding; and the cursed animal gave me so violent a kick on the head,
that I could not help roaring aloud.

“My cries awakened those who slept in the tent, near which the mule was
feeding. Provoked at being disturbed, the soldiers were ready enough to
think ill of me; and they took it for granted that I was a thief, who
had stolen the ring I pretended to have just found. The ring was taken
from me by force; and the next day I was bastinadoed for having found
it: the officer persisting in the belief that stripes would make me
confess where I had concealed certain other articles of value, which had
lately been missed in the camp. All this was the consequence of my being
in a hurry to light my pipe, and of my having put the ring on a finger
that was too little for it; which no one but Murad the Unlucky would
have done.

“When I was able to walk again after my wounds were healed, I went into
one of the tents distinguished by a red flag, having been told that
these were coffee-houses. Whilst I was drinking coffee, I heard a
stranger near me complaining that he had not been able to recover
a valuable ring he had lost; although he had caused his loss to be
published for three days by the public crier, offering a reward of two
hundred sequins to whoever should restore it. I guessed that this was
the very ring which I had unfortunately found. I addressed myself to the
stranger, and promised to point out to him the person who had forced it
from me. The stranger recovered his ring; and, being convinced that I
had acted honestly, he made me a present of two hundred sequins, as some
amends for the punishment which I had unjustly suffered on his account.

“Now you would imagine that this purse of gold was advantageous to me:
far the contrary; it was the cause of new misfortunes.

“One night, when I thought that the soldiers who were in the same tent
with me were all fast asleep, I indulged myself in the pleasure of
counting my treasure. The next day, I was invited by my companions to
drink sherbet with them. What they mixed with the sherbet which I drank,
I know not; but I could not resist the drowsiness it brought on. I fell
into a profound slumber; and, when I awoke, I found myself lying under a
date tree, at some distance from the camp.

“The first thing I thought of, when I came to my recollection, was my
purse of sequins. The purse I found still safe in my girdle; but, on
opening it, I perceived that it was filled with pebbles, and not a
single sequin was left. I had no doubt that I had been robbed by the
soldiers with whom I had drunk sherbet; and I am certain that some of
them must have been awake the night I counted my money; otherwise, as
I had never trusted the secret of my riches to any one, they could not
have suspected me of possessing any property; for, ever since I kept
company with them, I had appeared to be in great indigence.

“I applied in vain to the superior officers for redress: the soldiers
protested they were innocent; no positive proof appeared against them,
and I gained nothing by my complaint but ridicule and ill-will. I called
myself, in the first transport of my grief, by that name which, since my
arrival in Egypt, I had avoided to pronounce: I called myself Murad the
Unlucky! The name and the story ran through the camp; and I was accosted
afterwards, very frequently, by this appellation. Some indeed varied
their wit, by calling me Murad with the purse of pebbles.

“All that I had yet suffered is nothing compared to my succeeding

“It was the custom at this time, in the Turkish camp, for the soldiers
to amuse themselves with firing at a mark. The superior officers
remonstrated against this dangerous practice {Footnote: Antia’s
Observations on the Manners and Customs of the Egyptians.}, but
ineffectually. Sometimes a party of soldiers would stop firing for a
few minutes, after a message was brought them from their commanders;
and then they would begin again, in defiance of all orders. Such was the
want of discipline in our army, that this disobedience went unpunished.
In the mean time, the frequency of the danger made most men totally
regardless of it. I have seen tents pierced with bullets, in which
parties were quietly seated smoking their pipes, whilst those without
were preparing to take fresh aim at the red flag on the top.

“This apathy proceeded, in some, from unconquerable indolence of body;
in others, from the intoxication produced by the fumes of tobacco and
of opium; but in most of my brother Turks it arose from the confidence
which the belief in predestination inspired. When a bullet killed one
of their companions, they only observed, scarcely taking the pipes from
their mouths, ‘Our hour is not yet come: it is not the will of Mahomet
that we should fall.’

“I own that this rash security appeared to me, at first, surprising; but
it soon ceased to strike me with wonder; and it even tended to confirm
my favourite opinion, that some were born to good and some to evil
fortune. I became almost as careless as my companions, from following
the same course of reasoning. It is not, thought I, in the power of
human prudence to avert the stroke of destiny. I shall perhaps die
to-morrow; let me therefore enjoy to-day.

“I now made it my study, every day, to procure as much amusement as
possible. My poverty, as you will imagine, restricted me from indulgence
and excess; but I soon found means to spend what did not actually belong
to me. There were certain Jews who were followers of the camp, and who,
calculating on the probability of victory for our troops, advanced money
to the soldiers; for which they engaged to pay these usurers exorbitant
interest. The Jew to whom I applied traded with me also upon the belief
that my brother Saladin, with whose character and circumstances he
was acquainted, would pay my debts, if I should fall. With the money I
raised from the Jew I continually bought coffee and opium, of which
I grew immoderately fond. In the delirium it created, I forgot all my
misfortunes, all fear of the future.

“One day, when I had raised my spirits by an unusual quantity of opium,
I was strolling through the camp, sometimes singing, sometimes dancing,
like a madman, and repeating that I was not now Murad the Unlucky.
Whilst these words were on my lips, a friendly spectator, who was in
possession of his sober senses, caught me by the arm, and attempted to
drag me from the place where I was exposing myself. ‘Do you not see,’
said he, ‘those soldiers, who are firing at a mark? I saw one of them,
just now, deliberately taking aim at your turban; and, observe, he is
now reloading his piece.’ My ill luck prevailed even at this instant,
the only instant in my life when I defied its power. I struggled with my
adviser, repeating, ‘I am not the wretch you take me for; I am not Murad
the Unlucky.’ He fled from the danger himself: I remained, and in a few
seconds afterwards a ball reached me, and I fell senseless on the sand.

“The ball was cut out of my body by an awkward surgeon, who gave me ten
times more pain than was necessary. He was particularly hurried, at this
time, because the army had just received orders to march in a few hours,
and all was confusion in the camp. My wound was excessively painful, and
the fear of being left behind with those who were deemed incurable
added to my torments. Perhaps, if I had kept myself quiet, I might
have escaped some of the evils I afterwards endured; but, as I have
repeatedly told you, gentlemen, it was my ill fortune never to be able
to judge what was best to be done, till the time for prudence was past.

“During that day, when my fever was at the height, and when my orders
were to keep my bed, contrary to my natural habits of indolence, I rose
a hundred times, and went out of my tent in the very heat of the day,
to satisfy my curiosity as to the number of the tents which had not been
struck, and of the soldiers who had not yet marched. The orders to march
were tardily obeyed, and many hours elapsed before our encampment was
raised. Had I submitted to my surgeon’s orders, I might have been in
a state to accompany the most dilatory of the stragglers; I could have
borne, perhaps, the slow motion of a litter, on which some of the sick
were transported; but in the evening, when the surgeon came to dress my
wounds, he found me in such a situation that it was scarcely possible to
remove me.

“He desired a party of soldiers, who were left to bring up the rear,
to call for me the next morning. They did so; but they wanted to put me
upon the mule which I recollected, by a white streak on its back, to be
the cursed animal that had kicked me, whilst I was looking for the ring.
I could not be prevailed upon to go upon this unlucky animal. I tried to
persuade the soldiers to carry me, and they took me a little way; but,
soon growing weary of their burden, they laid me down on the sand,
pretending that they were going to fill a skin with water at a spring
they had discovered, and bade me lie still, and wait for their return.

“I waited and waited, longing for the water to moisten my parched lips;
but, no water came--no soldiers returned; and there I lay, for several
hours, expecting every moment to breathe my last. I made no effort to
move, for I was now convinced my hour was come; and that it was the
will of Mahomet that I should perish in this miserable manner, and lie
unburied like a dog; a death, thought I, worthy of Murad the Unlucky.

“My forebodings were not this time just; a detachment of English
soldiers passed near the place where I lay: my groans were heard by
them, and they humanely came to my assistance. They carried me with
them, dressed my wound, and treated me with the utmost tenderness.
Christians though they were, I must acknowledge that I had reason to
love them better than any of the followers of Mahomet, my good brother
only excepted.

“Under their care I recovered; but scarcely had I regained my strength
before I fell into new disasters. It was hot weather, and my thirst
was excessive. I went out with a party, in hopes of finding a spring of
water. The English soldiers began to dig for a well, in a place pointed
out to them by one of their men of science. I was not inclined to such
hard labour, but preferred sauntering on in search of a spring. I saw at
a distance something that looked like a pool of water; and I pointed it
out to my companions. Their man of science warned me by his interpreter,
not to trust to this deceitful appearance; for that such were common in
this country, and that, when I came close to the spot, I should find
no water there. He added, that it was at a greater distance than I
imagined; and that I should, in all probability, be lost in the desert,
if I attempted to follow this phantom.

“I was so unfortunate as not to attend to his advice: I set out in
pursuit of this accursed delusion, which assuredly was the work of evil
spirits, who clouded my reason, and allured me into their dominion. I
went on, hour after hour, in expectation continually of reaching the
object of my wishes; but it fled faster than I pursued, and I discovered
at last that the Englishman, who had doubtless gained his information
from the people of the country, was right; and that the shining
appearance, which I had taken for water, was a mere deception.

“I was now exhausted with fatigue: I looked back in vain after the
companions I had left; I could see neither men, animals, nor any trace
of vegetation in the sandy desert. I had no resource but, weary as I
was, to measure back my footsteps, which were imprinted in the sand.

“I slowly and sorrowfully traced them as my guides in this unknown land.
Instead of yielding to my indolent inclinations, I ought, however, to
have made the best of my way back, before the evening breeze sprung up.
I felt the breeze rising, and unconscious of my danger, I rejoiced, and
opened my bosom to meet it; but what was my dismay when I saw that the
wind swept before it all trace of my footsteps in the sand. I knew not
which way to proceed; I was struck with despair, tore my garments,
threw off my turban, and cried aloud; but neither human voice nor echo
answered me. The silence was dreadful. I had tasted no food for many
hours, and I now became sick and faint. I recollected that I had put a
supply of opium into the folds of my turban; but, alas! when I took my
turban up, I found that, the opium had fallen out. I searched for it in
vain on the sand, where I had thrown the turban.

“I stretched myself out upon the ground, and yielded without further
struggle to my evil destiny. What I suffered from thirst, hunger, and
heat, cannot be described! At last I fell into a sort of trance, during
which images of various kinds seemed to flit before my eyes. How long I
remained in this state I know not; but I remember that I was brought
to my senses by a loud shout, which came from persons belonging to a
caravan returning from Mecca. This was a shout of joy for their safe
arrival at a certain spring, well known to them in this part of the

“The spring was not a hundred yards from the spot where I lay; yet,
such had been the fate of Murad the Unlucky, that he missed the
reality, whilst he had been hours in pursuit of the phantom. Feeble and
spiritless as I was, I sent forth as loud a cry as I could, in hopes of
obtaining assistance; and I endeavoured to crawl to the place from which
the voices appeared to come. The caravan rested for a considerable time
whilst the slaves filled the skins with water, and whilst the
camels took in their supply. I worked myself on towards them; yet,
notwithstanding my efforts, I was persuaded that, according to my usual
ill fortune, I should never be able to make them hear my voice. I saw
them mount their camels! I took off my turban, unrolled it, and waved it
in the air. My signal was seen! The caravan came towards me!

“I had scarcely strength to speak: a slave gave me some water; and,
after I had drunk, I explained to them who I was, and how I came into
this situation.

“Whilst I was speaking, one of the travellers observed the purse which
hung to my girdle: it was the same the merchant, for whom I recovered
the ring, had given to me; I had carefully preserved it, because the
initials of my benefactor’s name, and a passage from the Koran, were
worked upon it. When he gave it to me, he said that, perhaps, we should
meet again in some other part of the world, and he should recognize
me by this token. The person who now took notice of the purse was his
brother; and when I related to him how I had obtained it, he had the
goodness to take me under his protection. He was a merchant, who was now
going with the caravan to Grand Cairo: he offered to take me with
him, and I willingly accepted the proposal, promising to serve him
as faithfully as any of his slaves. The caravan proceeded, and I was
carried with it.”


“The merchant, who was become my master, treated me with great kindness;
but, on hearing me relate the whole series of my unfortunate adventures,
he exacted a promise from me, that would do nothing without first
consulting him. ‘Since you are so unlucky, Murad,’ said he, ‘that you
always choose for the worst when you choose for yourself, you should
trust entirely to the judgment of a wiser or a more fortunate friend.’

“I fared well in the service of this merchant, who was a man of a mild
disposition, and who was so rich that he could afford to be generous
to all his dependants. It was my business to see his camels loaded and
unloaded at proper places, to count his bales of merchandise, and to
take care that they were not mixed with those of his companions. This I
carefully did, till the day we arrived at Alexandria; when, unluckily,
I neglected to count the bales, taking it for granted that they were all
right, as I had found them so the preceding day. However, when we were
to go on board the vessel that was to take us to Cairo, I perceived that
three bales of cotton were missing.

“I ran to inform my master, who, though a good deal provoked at my
negligence, did not reproach me as I deserved. The public crier was
immediately sent round the city, to offer a reward for the recovery of
the merchandise; and it was restored by one of the merchants’ slaves,
with whom we had travelled. The vessel was now under sail; my master and
I and the bales of cotton were obliged to follow in a boat; and when we
were taken on board, the captain declared he was so loaded that he could
not tell where to stow the bales of cotton. After much difficulty, he
consented to let them remain upon deck; and I promised my master to
watch them night and day.

“We had a prosperous voyage, and were actually in sight of shore, which
the captain said we could not fail to reach early the next morning. I
stayed, as usual, this night upon deck; and solaced myself by smoking
my pipe. Ever since I had indulged in this practice at the camp at El
Arish, I could not exist without opium and tobacco. I suppose that
my reason was this night a little clouded with the dose I took; but,
towards midnight, I was sobered by terror. I started up from the deck
on which I had stretched myself; my turban was in flames; the bale of
cotton on which I had rested was all on fire. I awakened two sailors,
who were fast asleep on deck. The consternation became general, and the
confusion increased the danger. The captain and my master were the most
active, and suffered the most in extinguishing the flames: my master was
terribly scorched.

“For my part, I was not suffered to do any thing; the captain ordered
that I should be bound to the mast; and, when at last the flames were
extinguished, the passengers, with one accord, besought him to keep me
bound hand and foot, lest I should be the cause of some new disaster.
All that had happened was, indeed, occasioned by my ill luck. I had laid
my pipe down, when I was falling asleep, upon the bale of cotton that
was beside me. The fire from my pipe fell out, and set the cotton
in flames. Such was the mixture of rage and terror with which I had
inspired the whole crew, that I am sure they would have set me ashore
on a desert island, rather than have had me on board for a week longer.
Even my humane master, I could perceive, was secretly impatient to get
rid of Murad the Unlucky, and his evil fortune.

“You may believe that I was heartily glad when we landed, and when I was
unbound. My master put a purse containing fifty sequins into my hand,
and bade me farewell. ‘Use this money prudently, Murad, if you can,’
said he, ‘and perhaps your fortune may change.’ Of this I had little
hopes, but determined to lay out my money as prudently as possible.

“As I was walking through the streets of Grand Cairo, considering how I
should lay out my fifty sequins to the greatest advantage, I was stopped
by one who called me by my name, and asked me if I could pretend to
have forgotten his face. I looked steadily at him, and recollected to my
sorrow that he was the Jew Rachub, from whom I had borrowed certain
sums of money at the camp at El Arish. What brought him to Grand Cairo,
except it was my evil destiny, I cannot tell. He would not quit me; he
would take no excuses; he said he knew that I had deserted twice,
once from the Turkish and once from the English array; that I was not
entitled to any pay; and that he could not imagine it possible that my
brother Saladin would own me, or pay my debts.

“I replied, for I was vexed by the insolence of this Jewish dog, that I
was not, as he imagined, a beggar; that I had the means of paying him
my just debt, but that I hoped he would not extort from me all that
exorbitant interest which none but a Jew could exact. He smiled, and
answered that, if a Turk loved opium better than money, this was no
fault of his; that he had supplied me with what I loved best in the
world; and that I ought not to complain, when he expected I should
return the favour.

“I will not weary you, gentlemen, with all the arguments that passed
between me and Rachub. At last we compromised matters; he would take
nothing less than the whole debt: but he let me have at a very cheap
rate a chest of second-hand clothes, by which he assured me I might make
my fortune. He brought them to Grand Cairo, he said, for the purpose of
selling them to slave merchants, who, at this time of the year, were in
want of them to supply their slaves; but he was in haste to get home to
his wife and family, at Constantinople, and therefore he was willing
to make over to a friend the profits of this speculation. I should
have distrusted Rachub’s professions of friendship, and especially of
disinterestedness; but he took me with him to the khan, where his goods
were, and unlocked the chest of clothes to show them to me. They were of
the richest and finest materials, and had been but little worn. I could
not doubt the evidence of my senses; the bargain was concluded, and the
Jew sent porters to my inn with the chest.

“The next day I repaired to the public market-place; and, when my
business was known, I had choice of customers before night: my chest was
empty--and my purse was full. The profit I made, upon the sale of these
clothes, was so considerable, that I could not help feeling astonishment
at Rachub’s having brought himself so readily to relinquish them.

“A few days after I had disposed of the contents of my chest, a
Damascene merchant, who had bought two suits of apparel from me, told
me, with a very melancholy face, that both the female slaves who had put
on these clothes were sick. I could not conceive that the clothes were
the cause of their I sickness; but soon afterwards, as I was crossing
the market, I was attacked by at least a dozen merchants, who made
similar complaints. They insisted upon knowing how I came by the
garments, and demanded whether I had worn any of them myself. This day
I had for the first time indulged myself with wearing a pair of yellow
slippers, the only finery I had reserved for myself out of all the
tempting goods. Convinced by my wearing these slippers that I could have
had no insidious designs, since I shared the danger, whatever it might
be, the merchants were a little pacified; but what was my terror
and remorse the next day, when one of them came to inform me that
plague-boils had broken out tinder the arms of all the slaves who had
worn this pestilential apparel! On looking carefully into the chest, we
found the word Smyrna written, and half effaced, upon the lid. Now,
the plague had for some time raged at Smyrna; and, as the merchants
suspected, these clothes had certainly belonged to persons who had died
of that distemper. This was the reason why the Jew was willing to sell
them to me so cheap; and it was for this reason that he would not stay
at Grand Cairo himself to reap _the profits of his speculation_. Indeed,
if I had paid attention to it at the proper time, a slight circumstance
might have revealed the truth to me. Whilst I was bargaining with the
Jew, before he opened the chest, he swallowed a large dram of brandy,
and stuffed his nostrils with sponge dipped in vinegar: this he told me
he did to prevent his perceiving the smell of musk, which always threw
him into convulsions.

“The horror I felt, when I discovered that I had spread the infection
of the plague, and that I had probably caught it myself, overpowered my
senses; a cold dew spread over all my limbs, and I fell upon the lid of
the fatal chest in a swoon. It is said that fear disposes people to take
the infection; however this may be, I sickened that evening, and soon
was in a raging fever. It was worse for me whenever the delirium left
me, and I could reflect upon the miseries my ill fortune had occasioned.
In my first lucid interval, I looked round and saw that I had been
removed from the khan to a wretched hut. An old woman, who was smoking
her pipe in the farthest corner of my room, informed me that I had been
sent out of the town of Grand Cairo by order of the cadi, to whom the
merchants had made their complaint. The fatal chest was burnt, and the
house in which I had lodged razed to the ground. ‘And if it had not been
for me,’ continued the old woman, ‘you would have been dead, probably,
at this instant; but I have made a vow to our great prophet, that I
would never neglect an opportunity of doing a good action: therefore,
when you were deserted by all the world, I took care of you. Here,
too, is your purse, which I saved from the rabble; and, what is more
difficult, from the officers of justice: I will account to you for every
para that I have expended; and will moreover tell you the reason of my
making such an extraordinary vow.’

“As I believed that this benevolent old woman took great pleasure in
talking, I made an inclination of my head to thank her for her promised
history, and she proceeded; but I must confess I did not listen with
all the attention her narrative doubtless deserved. Even curiosity,
the strongest passion of us Turks, was dead within me. I have no
recollection of the old woman’s story. It is as much as I can do to
finish my own.

“The weather became excessively hot: it was affirmed, by some of
the physicians, that this heat would prove fatal to their patients;
{Footnote: Antis’s Observations on the Manners and Customs of the
Egyptians} but, contrary to the prognostics of the physicians, it
stopped the progress of the plague. I recovered, and found my purse much
lightened by my illness. I divided the remainder of my money with my
humane nurse, and sent her out into the city, to inquire how matters
were going on.

“She brought me word that the fury of the plague had much abated; but
that she had met several funerals, and that she had heard many of the
merchants cursing the folly of Murad the Unlucky, who, as they said,
had brought all this calamity upon the inhabitants of Cairo. Even fools,
they say, learn by experience. I took care to burn the bed on which I
had lain, and the clothes I had worn: I concealed my real name, which I
knew would inspire detestation, and gained admittance, with a crowd of
other poor wretches, into a lazaretto, where I performed quarantine, and
offered up prayers daily for the sick.

“When I thought it was impossible I could spread the infection, I took
my passage home. I was eager to get away from Grand Cairo, where I knew
I was an object of execration. I had a strange fancy haunting my mind;
I imagined that all my misfortunes, since I left Constantinople, had
arisen from my neglect of the talisman upon the beautiful china vase.
I dreamed three times, when I was recovering from the plague, that a
genius appeared to me, and said, in a reproachful tone, ‘Murad, where is
the vase that was intrusted to thy care?’

“This dream operated strongly upon my imagination. As soon as we arrived
at Constantinople, which we did, to my great surprise, without meeting
with any untoward accidents, I went in search of my brother Saladin,
to inquire for my vase. He no longer lived in the house in which I left
him, and I began to be apprehensive that he was dead; but a porter,
hearing my inquiries, exclaimed, ‘Who is there in Constantinople that is
ignorant of the dwelling of Saladin the Lucky? Come with me, and I will
show it to you.’

“The mansion to which he conducted me looked so magnificent, that I was
almost afraid to enter lest there should be some mistake. But, whilst
I was hesitating, the doors opened, and I heard my brother Saladin’s
voice. He saw me almost at the same instant that I fixed my eyes upon
him, and immediately sprang forward to embrace me. He was the same good
brother as ever, and I rejoiced in his prosperity with all my heart.
‘Brother Saladin,’ said I, ‘can you now doubt that some men are born
to be fortunate, and others to be unfortunate? How often you used to
dispute this point with me!’

“‘Let us not dispute it now in the public street,” said he, smiling;
‘but come in and refresh yourself, and we will consider the question
afterwards at leisure.’

“‘No, my dear brother,’ said I, drawing back, ‘you are too good:
Murad the Unlucky shall not enter your house, lest he should draw down
misfortunes upon you and yours. I come only to ask for my vase.’

“‘It is safe,’ cried he; ‘come in, and you shall see it: but I will
not give it up till I have you in my house. I have none of these
superstitious fears: pardon me the expression, but I have none of these
superstitious fears.’

“I yielded, entered his house, and was astonished at all I saw! My
brother did not triumph in his prosperity; but, on the contrary, seemed
intent only upon making me forget my misfortunes: he listened to the
account of them with kindness, and obliged me by the recital of his
history; which was, I must acknowledge, far less wonderful than my own.
He seemed, by his own account, to have grown rich in the common course
of things; or rather, by his own prudence. I allowed for his prejudices,
and, unwilling to dispute farther with him, said, ‘You must remain of
your opinion, brother; and I of mine: you are Saladin the Lucky, and I
Murad the Unlucky; and so we shall remain to the end of our lives.’

“I had not been in his house four days when an accident happened, which
showed how much I was in the right. The favourite of the sultan, to whom
he had formerly sold his china vase, though her charms were now somewhat
faded by time, still retained her power, and her taste for magnificence.
She commissioned my brother to bespeak for her, at Venice, the most
splendid looking-glass that money could purchase. The mirror, after many
delays and disappointments, at length arrived at my brother’s house. He
unpacked it, and sent to let the lady know it was in perfect safety. It
was late in the evening, and she ordered it should remain where it
was that night; and that it should be brought to the seraglio the next
morning. It stood in a sort of ante-chamber to the room in which I
slept; and with it were left some packages, containing glass chandeliers
for an unfinished saloon in my brother’s house. Saladin charged all his
domestics to be vigilant this night, because he had money to a
great amount by him, and there had been frequent robberies in our
neighbourhood. Hearing these orders, I resolved to be in readiness at a
moment’s warning. I laid my scimitar beside me upon a cushion; and
left my door half open, that I might hear the slightest noise in the
ante-chamber, or the great staircase. About midnight, I was suddenly
awakened by a noise in the ante-chamber. I started up, seized my
scimitar, and the instant I got to the door, saw, by the light of the
lamp which was burning in the room, a man standing opposite to me, with
a drawn sword in his hand. I rushed forward, demanding what he wanted,
and received no answer; but, seeing him aim at me with his scimitar, I
gave him, as I thought, a deadly blow. At this instant, I heard a great
crash; and the fragments of the looking-glass, which I had shivered,
fell at my feet. At the same moment, something black brushed by my
shoulder: I pursued it, stumbled over the packages of glass, and rolled
over them down the stairs.

“My brother came out of his room, to inquire the cause of all this
disturbance; and when he saw the fine mirror broken, and me lying
amongst the glass chandeliers at the bottom of the stairs, he could not
forbear exclaiming, ‘Well, brother! you are indeed Murad the Unlucky.’

“When the first emotion was over, he could not, however, forbear
laughing at my situation. With a degree of goodness, which made me a
thousand times more sorry for the accident, he came down stairs to help
me up, gave me his hand, and said, ‘Forgive me, if I was angry with you
at first. I am sure you did not mean to do me any injury; but tell me
how all this has happened?’

“Whilst Saladin was speaking, I heard the same kind of noise which had
alarmed me in the ante-chamber; but, on looking back, I saw only a black
pigeon, which flew swiftly by me, unconscious of the mischief he had
occasioned. This pigeon I had unluckily brought into the house the
preceding day; and had been feeding and trying to tame it for my young
nephews. I little thought it would be the cause of such disasters. My
brother, though he endeavoured to conceal his anxiety from me, was much
disturbed at the idea of meeting the favourite’s displeasure, who
would certainly be grievously disappointed by the loss of her splendid
looking-glass. I saw that I should inevitably be his ruin, if I
continued in his house; and no persuasions could prevail upon me to
prolong my stay. My generous brother, seeing me determined to go,
said to me, ‘A factor, whom I have employed for some years to sell
merchandise for me, died a few days ago. Will you take his place? I
am rich enough to bear any little mistakes you may fall into, from
ignorance of business; and you will have a partner who is able and
willing to assist you.’

“I was touched to the heart by this kindness, especially at such a time
as this. He sent one of his slaves with me to the shop in which you now
see me, gentlemen. The slave, by my brother’s directions, brought with
us my china vase, and delivered it safely to me, with this message:
‘The scarlet dye that was found in this vase, and in its fellow, was the
first cause of Saladin’s making the fortune he now enjoys: he therefore
does no more than justice, in sharing that fortune with his brother

“I was now placed in as advantageous a situation as possible; but my
mind was ill at ease, when I reflected that the broken mirror might be
my brother’s ruin. The lady by whom it had been bespoken was, I well
knew, of a violent temper; and this disappointment was sufficient to
provoke her to vengeance. My brother sent me word this morning, however,
that though her displeasure was excessive, it was in my power to prevent
any ill consequences that might ensue. ‘In my power!’ I exclaimed;
‘then, indeed, I am happy! Tell my brother there is nothing I will not
do to show him my gratitude, and to save him from the consequences of my

“The slave who was sent by my brother seemed unwilling to name what was
required of me, saying that his master was afraid I should not like to
grant the request. I urged him to speak freely, and he then told me the
favourite declared nothing would make her amends for the loss of the
mirror but the fellow vase to that which she had bought from Saladin. It
was impossible for me to hesitate; gratitude for my brother’s generous
kindness overcame my superstitious obstinacy; and I sent him word I
would carry the vase to him myself.

“I took it down this evening from the shelf on which it stood; it was
covered with dust, and I washed it, but unluckily, in endeavouring to
clean the inside from the remains of the scarlet powder, I poured hot
water into it, and immediately I heard a simmering noise, and my vase,
in a few instants, burst asunder with a loud explosion. These fragments,
alas! are all that remain. The measure of my misfortunes is now
completed! Can you wonder, gentlemen, that I bewail my evil destiny?
Am I not justly called Murad the Unlucky? Here end all my hopes in this
world! Better would it have been if I had died long ago! Better that
I had never been born! Nothing I ever have done or attempted has
prospered. Murad the Unlucky is my name, and ill-fate has marked me for
her own.”


The lamentations of Murad were interrupted by the entrance of Saladin.
Having waited in vain for some hours, he now came to see if any disaster
had happened to his brother Murad. He was surprised at the sight of
the two pretended merchants, and could not refrain from exclamations
on beholding the broken vase. However, with his usual equanimity and
good-nature, he began to console Murad; and, taking up the fragments,
examined them carefully, one by one joined them together again, found
that none of the edges of the china were damaged, and declared he could
have it mended so as to look as well as ever.

Murad recovered his spirits upon this. “Brother,” said he, “I comfort
myself for being Murad the Unlucky, when I reflect that you are Saladin
the Lucky. See, gentlemen,” continued he, turning to the pretended
merchants, “scarcely has this most fortunate of men been five minutes in
company before he gives a happy turn to affairs. His presence inspires
joy: I observe your countenances, which had been saddened by my dismal
history, have brightened up since he has made his appearance. Brother,
I wish you would make these gentlemen some amends for the time they have
wasted in listening to my catalogue of misfortunes, by relating your
history, which, I am sure, they will find rather more exhilarating.”

Saladin consented, on condition that the strangers would accompany him
home, and partake of a social banquet. They at first repeated the former
excuse of their being obliged to return to their inn; but at length
the sultan’s curiosity prevailed, and he and his vizier went home
with Saladin the Lucky, who, after supper, related his history in the
following manner:--

“My being called Saladin the Lucky first inspired me with confidence in
myself; though I own that I cannot remember any extraordinary instances
of good luck in my childhood. An old nurse of my mother’s, indeed,
repeated to me twenty times a day, that nothing I undertook could fail
to succeed, because I was Saladin the Lucky. I became presumptuous and
rash: and my nurse’s prognostics might have effectually prevented their
accomplishment, had I not, when I was about fifteen, been roused to
reflection during a long confinement, which was the consequence of my
youthful conceit and imprudence.

“At this time there was at the Porte a Frenchman, an ingenious engineer,
who was employed and favoured by the sultan, to the great astonishment
of many of my prejudiced countrymen. On the grand seignior’s birth-day
he exhibited some extraordinarily fine fireworks; and I, with numbers
of the inhabitants of Constantinople, crowded to see them. I happened
to stand near the place where the Frenchman was stationed; the crowd
pressed upon him, and I amongst the rest; he begged we would, for our
own sakes, keep at a greater distance, and warned us that we might be
much hurt by the combustibles which he was using. I, relying upon my
good fortune, disregarded all these cautions; and the consequence was,
that as I touched some of the materials prepared for the fireworks,
they exploded, dashed me upon the ground with great violence, and I was
terribly burnt.

“This accident, gentlemen, I consider as one of the most fortunate
circumstances of my life; for it checked and corrected the presumption
of my temper. During the time I was confined to my bed, the French
gentleman came frequently to see me. He was a very sensible man; and
the conversations he had with me enlarged my mind, and cured me of
many foolish prejudices, especially of that which I had been taught
to entertain, concerning the predominance of what is called luck, or
fortune, in human affairs. ‘Though you are called Saladin the Lucky,’
said he, ‘you find that your neglect of prudence has nearly brought
you to the grave even in the bloom of youth. Take my advice, and
henceforward trust more to prudence than to fortune. Let the multitude,
if they will, call you Saladin the Lucky; but call yourself, and make
yourself, Saladin the Prudent.’

“These words left an indelible impression on my mind, and gave a new
turn to my thoughts and character. My brother, Murad, has doubtless told
you that our difference of opinion, on the subject of predestination,
produced between us frequent arguments; but we could never convince one
another, and we each have acted, through life, in consequence of our
different beliefs. To this I attribute my success and his misfortunes.

“The first rise of my fortune, as you have probably heard from Murad,
was owing to the scarlet dye, which I brought to perfection with
infinite difficulty. The powder, it is true, was accidentally found by
me in our china vases; but there it might have remained to this instant,
useless, if I had not taken the pains to make it useful. I grant that we
can only partially foresee and command events; yet on the use we make of
our own powers, I think, depends our destiny. But, gentlemen, you would
rather hear my adventures, perhaps, than my reflections; and I am truly
concerned, for your sakes, that I have no wonderful events to relate. I
am sorry I cannot tell you of my having been lost in a sandy desert. I
have never had the plague, nor even been shipwrecked: I have been all my
life an inhabitant of Constantinople, and have passed my time in a very
quiet and uniform manner.

“The money I received from the sultan’s favourite for my china vase, as
my brother may have told you, enabled me to trade on a more extensive
scale. I went on steadily with my business; and made it my whole study
to please my employers, by all fair and honourable means. This industry
and civility succeeded beyond my expectations: in a few years, I was
rich for a man in my way of business.

“I will not proceed to trouble you with the journal of a petty
merchant’s life; I pass on to the incident which made a considerable
change in my affairs.

“A terrible fire broke out near the walls of the grand seignior’s
seraglio: {Footnote: _Vide_ Baron de Tott’s Memoirs.} as you are
strangers, gentlemen, you may not have heard of this event, though it
produced so great a sensation in Constantinople. The vizier’s superb
palace was utterly consumed; and the melted lead poured down from the
roof of the mosque of St. Sophia. Various were the opinions formed by my
neighbours, respecting the cause of the conflagration. Some supposed
it to be a punishment for the sultan’s having neglected, one Friday, to
appear at the mosque of St. Sophia; others considered it as a warning
sent by Mahomet, to dissuade the Porte from persisting in a war in
which we were just engaged. The generality, however, of the coffee-house
politicians contented themselves with observing that it was the will
of Mahomet that the palace should be consumed. Satisfied by this
supposition, they took no precaution to prevent similar accidents in
their own houses. Never were fires so common in the city as at this
period; scarcely a night passed without our being wakened by the cry of

“These frequent fires were rendered still more dreadful by villains, who
were continually on the watch to increase the confusion by which they
profited, and to pillage the houses of the sufferers. It was discovered
that these incendiaries frequently skulked, towards evening, in the
neighbourhood of the bezestein, where the richest merchants store their
goods; some of these wretches were detected in throwing _coundaks_,
{Footnote: “A _coundak_ is a sort of combustible that consists only of
a piece of tinder wrapped in brimstone matches, in the midst of a
small bundle of pine shavings. This is the method usually employed by
incendiaries--they lay this match by stealth behind a door, which they
find open, or on a window; and after setting it on fire, they make their
escape. This is sufficient often to produce the most terrible ravages in
a town where the houses, built with wood and painted with oil of spike,
afford the easiest opportunity to the miscreant who is disposed to
reduce them to ashes. The method employed by the incendiaries, and which
often escapes the vigilance of the masters of the houses, added to
the common causes of fires, gave for some time very frequent causes of
alarm.”--_Translation of Memoirs of Baron de Tott_, vol. I.} or matches,
into the windows; and if these combustibles remained a sufficient time,
they could not fail to set the house on fire.

“Notwithstanding all these circumstances, many even of those who had
property to preserve continued to repeat, ‘It is the will of Mahomet,’
and consequently to neglect all means of preservation. I, on the
contrary, recollecting the lesson I had learned from the sensible
foreigner, neither suffered my spirits to sink with superstitious fears
of ill luck, nor did I trust presumptuously to my good fortune. I took
every possible means to secure myself. I never went to bed without
having seen that all the lights and fires in the house were
extinguished, and that I had a supply of water in the cistern. I
had likewise learned from my Frenchman that wet mortar was the most
effectual thing for stopping the progress of flames: I therefore had a
quantity of mortar made up in one of my outhouses, which I could use
at a moment’s warning. These precautions were all useful to me: my own
house, indeed, was never actually on fire, but the houses of my next
door neighbours were no less than five times in flames, in the course of
one winter. By my exertions, or rather by my precautions, they suffered
but little damage; and all my neighbours looked upon me as their
deliverer and friend: they loaded me with presents, and offered more
indeed than I would accept. All repeated that I was Saladin the Lucky.
This compliment I disclaimed, feeling more ambitious of being called
Saladin the Prudent. It is thus that what we call modesty is often only
a more refined species of pride. But to proceed with my story.

“One night I had been later than usual at supper, at a friend’s house:
none but the watch were in the streets, and even they, I believe, were

“As I passed one of the conduits, which convey water to the city, I
heard a trickling noise; and, upon examination, I found that the cock
of the water-spout was half turned, so that the water was running out. I
turned it back to its proper place, thought it had been left unturned
by accident, and walked on; but I had not proceeded far before I came
to another spout and another, which were in the same condition. I was
convinced that this could not be the effect merely of accident, and
suspected that some ill-intentioned persons designed to let out and
waste the water of the city, that there might be none to extinguish any
fire that should break out in the course of the night.

“I stood still for a few moments, to consider how it would be most
prudent to act. It would be impossible for me to run to all parts of the
city, that I might stop the pipes that were running to waste. I first
thought of wakening the watch and the firemen, who were most of them
slumbering at their stations; but I reflected that they were perhaps
not to be trusted, and that they were in a confederacy with the
incendiaries; otherwise, they would certainly, before this hour, have
observed and stopped the running of the sewers in their neighbourhood.
I determined to waken a rich merchant, called Damat Zade, who lived
near me, and who had a number of slaves, whom he could send to
different parts of the city, to prevent mischief, and give notice to the
inhabitants of their danger.

“He was a very sensible, active man, and one that could easily be
wakened: he was not, like some Turks, an hour in recovering their
lethargic senses. He was quick in decision and action; and his slaves
resembled their master. He despatched a messenger immediately to the
grand vizier, that the sultan’s safety might be secured; and sent others
to the magistrates, in each quarter of Constantinople. The large drums
in the janissary aga’s tower beat to rouse the inhabitants; and scarcely
had this been heard to beat half an hour before the fire broke out in
the lower apartments of Damat Zade’s house, owing to a _coundak_, which
had been left behind one of the doors.

“The wretches who had prepared the mischief, came to enjoy it, and to
pillage; but they were disappointed. Astonished to find themselves
taken into custody, they could not comprehend hew their designs had
been frustrated. By timely exertions, the fire in my friend’s house
was extinguished; and though fires broke out, during the night, in many
parts of the city, but little damage was sustained, because there was
time for precautions; and by the stopping of the spouts, sufficient
water was preserved. People were awakened, and warned of the danger, and
they consequently escaped unhurt.

“The next day, as soon as I made my appearance at the bezestein, the
merchants crowded round, called me their benefactor, and the preserver
of their lives and fortunes. Damat Zade, the merchant whom I had
awakened the preceding night, presented to me a heavy purse of gold,
and put upon my finger a diamond ring of considerable value; each of
the merchants followed his example, in making me rich presents: the
magistrates also sent me tokens of their approbation; and the grand
vizier sent me a diamond of the first water, with a line written by
his own hand: ‘To the man who has saved Constantinople.’ Excuse
me, gentlemen, for the vanity I seem to show in mentioning these
circumstances. You desired to hear my history, and I cannot therefore
omit the principal circumstance of my life. In the course of
four-and-twenty hours, I found myself raised, by the munificent
gratitude of the inhabitants of this city, to a state of affluence far
beyond what I had ever dreamed of attaining.

“I now took a house suited to my circumstances, and bought a few slaves.
As I was carrying my slaves home, I was met by a Jew, who stopped me,
saying, in his language, ‘My lord, I see, has been purchasing slaves: I
could clothe them cheaply.’ There was something mysterious in the manner
of this Jew, and I did not like his countenance; but I considered that
I ought not to be governed by caprice in my dealings, and that, if this
man could really clothe my slaves more cheaply than another, I ought not
to neglect his offer merely because I took a dislike to the cut of his
beard, the turn of his eye, or the tone of his voice. I therefore bade
the Jew follow me home, saying that I would consider of his proposal.

“When we came to talk over the matter, I was surprised to find him so
reasonable in his demands. On one point, indeed, he appeared unwilling
to comply. I required not only to see the clothes I was offered, but
also to know how they came into his possession. On this subject he
equivocated; I therefore suspected there must be something wrong. I
reflected what it could be, and judged that the goods had been stolen,
or that they had been the apparel of persons who had died of some
contagious distemper. The Jew showed me a chest, from which he said I
might choose whatever suited me best. I observed, that as he was going
to unlock the chest, he stuffed his nose with some aromatic herbs. He
told me that he did so to prevent his smelling the musk with which the
chest was perfumed: musk, he said, had an extraordinary effect upon
his nerves. I begged to have some of the herbs which he used himself;
declaring that musk was likewise offensive to me.

“The Jew, either struck by his own conscience, or observing my
suspicions, turned as pale as death. He pretended he had not the right
key, and could not unlock the chest; said he must go in search of it,
and that he would call on me again.

“After he had left me, I examined some writing upon the lid of the chest
that had been nearly effaced. I made out the word Smyrna, and this was
sufficient to confirm all my suspicions. The Jew returned no more: he
sent some porters to carry away the chest, and I heard nothing of him
for some time, till one day when I was at the house of Damat Zade, I saw
a glimpse of the Jew passing hastily through one of the courts, as if he
wished to avoid me. ‘My friend,’ said I to Damat Zade, ‘do not attribute
my question to impertinent curiosity, or to a desire to intermeddle with
your affairs, if I venture to ask the nature of your business with the
Jew, who has just now crossed your court?’

“‘He has engaged to supply me with clothing for my slaves,’ replied my
friend, ‘cheaper than I can purchase it elsewhere. I have a design to
surprise my daughter, Fatima, on her birthday, with an entertainment in
the pavilion in the garden; and all her female slaves shall appear in
new dresses on the occasion.”

“I interrupted my friend, to tell him what I suspected relative to this
Jew and his chest of clothes. It is certain that the infection of the
plague can be communicated by clothes, not only after months but after
years have elapsed. The merchant resolved to have nothing more to do
with this wretch, who could thus hazard the lives of thousands of
his fellow-creatures for a few pieces of gold: we sent notice of the
circumstance to the cadi, but the cadi was slow in his operations;
and, before he could take the Jew into custody, the cunning fellow had
effected his escape. When his house was searched, he and his chest had
disappeared: we discovered that he sailed for Egypt, and rejoiced that
we had driven him from Constantinople.

“My friend, Damat Zade, expressed the warmest gratitude to me. ‘You
formerly saved my fortune: you have now saved my life; and a life yet
dearer than my own, that of my daughter Fatima.’

“At the sound of that name I could not, I believe, avoid showing some
emotion. I had accidentally seen this lady; and I had been captivated by
her beauty, and by the sweetness of her countenance; but as I knew she
was destined to be the wife of another, I suppressed my feeling, and
determined to banish the recollection of the fair Fatima for ever from
my imagination. Her father, however, at this instant, threw into my way
a temptation, which it required all my fortitude to resist. ‘Saladin,
continued he, ‘it is but just that you, who have saved our lives, should
share our festivity. Come here on the birthday of my Fatima: I will
place you in a balcony, which overlooks the garden, and you shall see
the whole spectacle. We shall have a _feast of tulips_, in imitation
of that which, as you know, is held in the grand seignior’s gardens. I
assure you, the sight will be worth seeing; and besides, you will have a
chance of beholding my Fatima, for a moment, without her veil.’

“‘That,’ interrupted I, ‘is the thing I most wish to avoid. I dare not
indulge myself in a pleasure which might cost me the happiness of
my life. I will conceal nothing from you, who treat me with so much
confidence. I have already beheld the charming countenance of your
Fatima, but I know that she is destined to be the wife of a happier

“Damat Zade seemed much pleased by the frankness with which I explained
myself; but he would not give up the idea of my sitting with him, in the
balcony, on the day of the feast of tulips; and I, on my part, could
not consent to expose myself to another view of the charming Fatima. My
friend used every argument, or rather every sort of persuasion, he
could imagine to prevail upon me: he then tried to laugh me out of my
resolution; and, when all failed, he said, in a voice of anger, ‘Go,
then, Saladin; I am sure you are deceiving me: you have a passion for
some other woman, and you would conceal it from me, and persuade me you
refuse the favour I offer you from prudence, when, in fact, it is from
indifference and contempt. Why could you not speak the truth of your
heart to me with that frankness with which one friend should treat

“Astonished at this unexpected charge, and at the anger which flashed
from the eyes of Damat Zade, who till this moment had always appeared to
me a man of a mild and reasonable temper, I was for an instant tempted
to fly into a passion and leave him: but friends, once lost, are not
easily regained. This consideration had power sufficient to make me
command my temper. ‘My friend,’ replied I, ‘we will talk over this
affair to-morrow: you are now angry, and cannot do me justice; but
to-morrow you will be cool: you will then be convinced that I have not
deceived you; and that I have no design but to secure my own happiness,
by the most prudent means in my power, by avoiding the sight of the
dangerous Fatima. I have no passion for any other woman.’

“‘Then,’ said my friend, embracing me, and quitting the tone of anger
which he had assumed only to try my resolution to the utmost, ‘then,
Saladin, Fatima is yours.’

“I scarcely dared to believe my senses! I could not express my joy!
‘Yes, my friend,’ continued the merchant, ‘I have tried your prudence
to the utmost; it has been victorious, and I resign my Fatima to you,
certain that you will make her happy. It is true, I had a greater
alliance in view for her: the pacha of Maksoud has demanded her from
me; but I have found, upon private inquiry, he is addicted to the
intemperate use of opium: and my daughter shall never be the wife of one
who is a violent madman one half the day, and a melancholy idiot during
the remainder. I have nothing to apprehend from the pacha’s resentment,
because I have powerful friends with the grand vizier who will oblige
him to listen to reason, and to submit quietly to a disappointment he
so justly merits. And now, Saladin, have you any objection to seeing the
feast of tulips?’

“I replied only by falling at the merchant’s feet, and embracing his
knees. The feast of tulips came, and on that day I was married to the
charming Fatima! The charming Fatima I continue still to think her,
though she has now been my wife some years. She is the joy and pride
of my heart; and, from our mutual affection, I have experienced more
felicity than from all the other circumstances of my life, which are
called so fortunate. Her father gave me the house in which I now live,
and joined his possessions to ours; so that I have more wealth even than
I desire. My riches, however, give me continually the means of relieving
the wants of others; and therefore I cannot affect to despise them. I
must persuade my brother Murad to share them with me, and to forget
his misfortunes: I shall then think myself completely happy. As to
the sultana’s looking-glass, and your broken vase, my dear brother,”
 continued Saladin, “we must think of some means----”

“Think no more of the sultana’s looking-glass, or of the broken vase,”
 exclaimed the sultan, throwing aside his merchant’s habit, and showing
beneath it his own imperial vest. “Saladin, I rejoice to have heard,
from your own lips, the history of your life. I acknowledge, vizier, I
have been in the wrong, in our argument,” continued the sultan, turning
to his vizier. “I acknowledge that the histories of Saladin the Lucky,
and Murad the Unlucky, favour your opinion, that prudence has more
influence than chance in human affairs. The success and happiness of
Saladin seem to me to have arisen from his prudence: by that prudence,
Constantinople has been saved from flames, and from the plague. Had
Murad possessed his brother’s discretion, he would not have been on the
point of losing his head, for selling rolls which he did not bake: he
would not have been kicked by a mule, or bastinadoed for finding a
ring: he would not have been robbed by one party of soldiers, or shot by
another: he would not have been lost in a desert, or cheated by a Jew:
he would not have set a ship on fire; nor would he have caught the
plague, and spread it through Grand Cairo: he would not have run my
sultana’s looking-glass through the body, instead of a robber: he would
not have believed that the fate of his life depended on certain verses
on a china vase: nor would he, at last, have broken this precious
talisman, by washing it with hot water. Henceforward, let Murad the
Unlucky be named Murad the Imprudent: let Saladin preserve the surname
he merits, and be henceforth called Saladin the Prudent.”

So spake the sultan, who, unlike the generality of monarchs, could bear
to find himself in the wrong; and could discover his vizier to be in the
right, without cutting off his head. History farther informs us that
the sultan offered to make Saladin a pacha, and to commit to him the
government of a province; but Saladin the Prudent declined this honour,
saying he had no ambition, was perfectly happy in his present situation,
and that, when this was the case, it would be folly to change, because
no one can be more than happy. What farther adventures befel Murad the
Imprudent are not recorded; it is known only that he became a daily
visitor to the _Teriaky_; and that he died a martyr to the immoderate
use of opium. {Footnote: Those among the Turks who give themselves up to
an immoderate use of opium are easily to be distinguished by a sort
of rickety complaint, which this poison produces in course of time.
Destined to live agreeably only when in a sort of drunkenness, these
men present a curious spectacle, when they are assembled in a part of
Constantinople called Teriaky or Tcharkissy, the market of opium-eaters.
It is there that, towards the evening, you may see the lovers of opium
arrive by the different streets which terminate at the Solymania
(the greatest mosque in Constantinople): their pale and melancholy
countenances would inspire only compassion, did not their stretched
necks, their heads twisted to the right or left, their back-bones
crooked, one shoulder up to their ears, and a number of other whimsical
attitudes, which are the consequences of the disorder, present the most
ludicrous and the most laughable picture.--_Vide_ De Tott’s Memoirs.}



By patient persevering attention to business, Mr. John Darford succeeded
in establishing a considerable cotton manufactory, by means of which he
secured to himself in his old age what is called, or what he called, a
competent fortune. His ideas of a competent fortune were, indeed, rather
unfashionable; for they included, as he confessed, only the comforts and
conveniences, without any of the vanities of life. He went farther still
in his unfashionable singularities of opinion, for he was often heard
to declare that he thought a busy manufacturer might be as happy as any
idle gentleman.

Mr. Darford had taken his two nephews, Charles and William, into
partnership with him: William, who had been educated by him, resembled
him in character, habits, and opinions. Always active and cheerful, he
seemed to take pride and pleasure in the daily exertions and care which
his situation, and the trust reposed in him, required. Far from being
ashamed of his occupations, he gloried in them; and the sense of duty
was associated in his mind with the idea of happiness. His cousin
Charles, on the contrary, felt his duty and his ideas of happiness
continually at variance: he had been brought up in an extravagant
family, who considered tradesmen and manufacturers as a _caste_
disgraceful to polite society. Nothing but the utter ruin of his
father’s fortune could have determined him to go into business.

He never applied to the affairs of the manufactory; he affected to think
his understanding above such vulgar concerns, and spent his days in
regretting that his brilliant merit was buried in obscurity.

He was sensible that he hazarded the loss of his uncle’s favour by the
avowal of his prejudices; yet such was his habitual conceit, that he
could not suppress frequent expressions of contempt for Mr. Darford’s
liberal notions. Whenever his uncle’s opinion differed from his own,
he settled the argument, as he fancied, by saying to himself or to his
clerk, “My uncle Darford knows nothing of the world: how should he, poor
man! shut up as he has been all his life in a counting-house?”

Nearly sixty years’ experience, which his uncle sometimes pleaded as an
apology for trusting to his own judgment, availed nothing in the opinion
of our prejudiced youth. Prejudiced youth, did we presume to say?
Charles would have thought this a very improper expression; for he had
no idea that any but old men could be prejudiced. Uncles, and fathers,
and grandfathers, were, as he thought, the race of beings peculiarly
subject to this mental malady; from which all young men, especially
those who have their boots made by a fashionable bootmaker, are of
course exempt.

At length the time came when Charles was at liberty to follow his own
opinions: Mr. Darford died, and his fortune and manufactory were equally
divided between his two nephews. “Now,” said Charles, “I am no longer
chained to the oar. I will leave you, William, to do as you please, and
drudge on, day after day, in the manufactory, since that is your taste:
for my part, I have no genius for business. I shall take my pleasure;
and all I have to do is to pay some poor devil for doing my business for

“I am afraid the poor devil will not do your business as well as you
would do it yourself,” said William: “you know the proverb of the
master’s eye.”

“True! true! Very likely,” cried Charles, going to the window to look
at a regiment of dragoons galloping through the town; “but I have other
employment for my eyes. Do look at those fine fellows who are galloping
by! Did you ever see a handsomer uniform than the colonel’s? And what
a fine horse! ‘Gad! I wish I had a commission in the army: I should so
like to be in his place this minute.”

“This minute? Yes, perhaps, you would; because he has, as you say, a
handsome uniform and a fine horse: but all his minutes may not be like
this minute.”

“Faith, William, that is almost as soberly said as my old uncle himself
could have spoken. See what it is to live shut up with old folks! You
catch all their ways, and grow old and wise before your time.”

“The danger of growing wise before my time does not alarm me much: but
perhaps, cousin, you feel that danger more than I do?”

“Not I,” said Charles, stretching himself still farther out of the
window to watch the dragoons, as they were forming on the parade in the
market-place. “I can only say, as I said before, that I wish I had been
put into the army instead of into this cursed cotton manufactory. Now
the army is a genteel profession, and I own I have spirit enough to make
it my first object to look and live like a gentleman.”

“And I have spirit enough,” replied William, “to make it my first object
to look and live like an independent man; and I think a manufacturer,
whom you despise so much, may be perfectly independent. I am sure,
for my part, I am heartily obliged to my uncle for breeding me up to
business; for now I am at no man’s orders; no one can say to me, ‘Go to
the east, or go to the west; march here, or march there; fire upon
this man, or run your bayonet into that.’ I do not think the honour and
pleasure of wearing a red coat, or of having what is called a genteel
profession, would make me amends for all that a soldier must suffer,
if he does his duty. Unless it were for the defence of my country, for
which I hope and believe I should fight as well as another, I cannot
say that I should like to be hurried away from my wife and children,
to fight a battle against people with whom I have no quarrel, and in a
cause which perhaps I might not approve of.”

“Well, as you say, William, you that have a wife and children are quite
in a different situation from me. You cannot leave them, of course.
Thank my stars, I am still at liberty, and I shall take care and keep
myself so: my plan is to live for myself, and to have as much pleasure
as I possibly can.”

Whether this plan of living for himself was compatible with the hopes of
having as much pleasure as possible, we leave it to the heads and hearts
of our readers to decide. In the mean time we must proceed with his

Soon after this conversation had passed between the two partners,
another opportunity occurred of showing their characters still more

A party of ladies and gentlemen, travellers, came to the town,
and wished to see the manufactories there. They had letters of
recommendation to the Mr. Darfords; and William, with great good-nature,
took them to see their works. He pointed out to them, with honest pride,
the healthy countenances of the children whom they employed.

“You see,” said he, “that we cannot be reproached with sacrificing the
health and happiness of our fellow-creatures to our own selfish and
mercenary views. My good uncle took all the means in his power to make
every person concerned in this manufactory as happy as possible; and
I hope we shall follow his example. I am sure the riches of both the
Indies could not satisfy me, if my conscience reproached me with
having gained wealth by unjustifiable means. If these children were
over-worked, or if they had not fresh air and wholesome food, it would
be the greatest misery to me to come into this room and look at them. I
could not do it. But, on the contrary, knowing, as I do, that they are
well treated and well provided for in every respect, I feel joy and
pride in coming amongst them, and in bringing my friends here.”

William’s eyes sparkled, as he thus spoke the generous sentiments of his
heart; but Charles, who had thought himself obliged to attend the ladies
of the party to see the manufactory, evidently showed he was ashamed of
being considered as a partner. William, with perfect simplicity, went
on to explain every part of the machinery, and the whole process of the
manufacture; whilst his cousin Charles, who thought he should that
way show his superior liberality and politeness, every now and then
interposed with, “Cousin, I’m afraid we are keeping the ladies too long
standing. Cousin, this noise must certainly annoy the ladies horridly.
Cousin, all this sort of thing cannot be very interesting, I apprehend,
to the ladies. Besides, they won’t have time, at this rate, to see the
china-works; which is a style of thing more to their taste, I presume.”

The fidgeting impatience of our hero was extreme; till at last he gained
his point, and hurried the ladies away to the china-works. Amongst
these ladies there was one who claimed particular attention, Miss Maude
Germaine, an _elderly young lady_, who, being descended from a high
family, thought herself entitled to be proud. She was yet more vain than
proud, and found her vanity in some degree gratified by the officious
attention of her new acquaintance, though she affected to ridicule him
to her companions, when she could do so unobserved. She asked them, in
a whisper, how they liked her new cicerone; and whether he did not show
the lions very prettily, considering who and what he was?

It has been well observed “that people are never ridiculous by what they
are, but by what they pretend to be.” {Footnote: Rochefoucault} These
ladies, with the best dispositions imaginable for sarcasm, could find
nothing to laugh at in Mr. William Darford’s plain unassuming manners;
as he did not pretend to be a fine gentleman, there was no absurd
contrast between his circumstances and his conversation; while almost
every word, look, or motion of his cousin was an object of ridicule,
because it was affected. His being utterly unconscious of his foibles,
and perfectly secure in the belief of his own gentility, increased the
amusement of the company. Miss Maude Germaine undertook to play him off,
but she took sufficient care to prevent his suspecting her design. As
they were examining the beautiful china, she continually appealed to Mr.
Charles Darford, as a man of taste; and he, with awkward gallantry, and
still more awkward modesty, always began his answers by protesting he
was sure Miss Maude Germaine was infinitely better qualified to decide
in such matters than he was: he had not the smallest pretensions to
taste; but that, in his humble opinion, the articles she pitched upon
were evidently the most superior in elegance, and certainly of the
newest fashion. “Fashion, you know, ladies, is all in all in these
things, as in every thing else.”

Miss Germaine, with a degree of address which afforded much amusement to
herself and her companions, led him to extol or reprobate whatever she
pleased; and she made him pronounce an absurd eulogium on the ugliest
thing in the room, by observing it was vastly like what her friend, Lady
Mary Crawley, had just bought for her chimney-piece.

Not content with showing she could make our man of taste decide as she
thought proper, she was determined to prove that she could make him
reverse his own decisions, and contradict himself, as often as she
pleased. They were at this instant standing opposite to two vases of
beautiful workmanship.

“Now,” whispered she to one of her companions, “I will lay you any wager
I first make him say that both those vases are frightful; then that they
are charming; afterward that he does not know which he likes best; next,
that no person of any taste can hesitate betwixt them; and at last,
when he has pronounced his decided humble opinion, he shall reverse his
judgment, and protest he meant to say quite the contrary.”

All this the lady accomplished much to her satisfaction and to that of
her friends; and so blind and deaf is self-love, our hero neither heard
nor saw that he was the object of derision. William, however, was rather
more clear-sighted; and as he could not bear to see his cousin make
himself the butt of the company, he interrupted the conversation, by
begging the ladies would come into another room to look at the manner
in which the china was painted. Charles, with a contemptuous smile,
observed that the ladies would probably find the odour of the paint
rather too much for their nerves. Full of the sense of his own superior
politeness, he followed; since it was determined that they must go, as
he said, _nolens volens._ He did not hear Miss Germaine whisper to
her companions as they passed, “Can any thing in nature be much
more ridiculous than a vulgar manufacturer, who sets up for a fine

Amongst the persons who were occupied in painting a set of china with
flowers, there was one who attracted particular attention, by the
ease and quickness with which she worked. An iris of her painting was
produced, which won the admiration of all the spectators; and whilst
Charles was falling into ecstasies about the merit of the painting, and
the perfection to which the arts are now carried in England, William was
observing the flushed and unhealthy countenance of the young artist. He
stopped to advise her not to overwork herself, to beg she would not sit
in a draught of wind where she was placed, and to ask her, with much
humanity, several questions concerning her health and her circumstances.
Whilst he was speaking to her, he did not perceive that he had set his
foot by accident on Miss Germaine’s gown; and, as she walked hastily on,
it was torn in a deplorable manner. Charles apologized for his cousin’s
extreme absence of mind and rudeness; and with a candid condescension
added, “Ladies, you must not think ill of my cousin William, because he
is not quite so much your humble servant as I am: notwithstanding his
little rusticities, want of polish, gallantry, and so forth, things that
are not in every man’s power, I can assure you there is not a better man
in the world; except that he is so entirely given up to business, which
indeed ruins a man for every thing else.”

The apologist little imagined he was at this moment infinitely more
awkward and ill-bred than the person whom he affected to pity and to
honour with his protection. Our hero continued to be upon the best terms
possible with himself and with Miss Maude Germaine, during the remainder
of this day. He discovered that this lady intended to pass a fortnight
with a relation of hers in the town of ----. He waited upon her the next
day, to give her an account of the manner in which he had executed some
commissions about the choice of china with which she had honoured him.

One visit led to another, and Charles Darford was delighted to find
himself admitted into the society of such very genteel persons. At
first, he was merely proud of being acquainted with a lady of Miss Maude
Germaine’s importance, and contented himself with boasting of it to
all his acquaintance; by degrees, he became more audacious; he began
to fancy himself in love with her, and to flatter himself she would not
prove inexorable. The raillery of some of his companions piqued him to
make good his boast; and he determined to pay his addresses to a lady,
who, they all agreed, could never think of a man in business.

Our hero was not entirely deluded by his vanity: the lady’s coquetry
contributed to encourage his hopes. Though she always spoke of him to
her friends as a person whom it was impossible she could ever think of
for a moment, yet as soon as he made a declaration of his love to her,
she began to consider that a manufacturer might have common sense, and
even some judgment and taste. Her horror of people in business continued
in full force; but she began to allow there was no general rule that did
not admit of an exception. When her female friends laughed, following
the example she had set them, at Charles Darford, her laughter became
fainter than theirs; and she was one evening heard to ask a stranger,
who saw him for the first time, whether that young gentleman looked as
if he was in business?

Sundry matters began to operate in our hero’s favour, precedents,
opportunely produced by her waiting-maid, of ladies of the first
families in England, ladies even of the first fashion, who had married
into mercantile houses; a present, too, from her admirer of the
beautiful china vase, of which she had so often made him change his
opinion, had its due effect; but the preponderating motive was the dread
of dying an old maid, if she did not accept of this offer.

After various airs, and graces, and doubts, and disdains, this, fair
lady consented to make her lover happy, on the express condition that he
should change his name from Darford to Germaine, that he should give up
all share in the odious cotton manufactory, and that he should purchase
the estate of Germaine-park, in Northamptonshire, to part with which, as
it luckily happened, some of her great relations were compelled.

In the folly of his joy, at the prospect of an alliance with the great
Germaine family, he promised every thing that was required of him,
notwithstanding the remonstrances of his friend William, who represented
to him, in the forcible language of common sense, the inconveniences of
marrying into a family that would despise him; and of uniting himself
to such an old coquette as Miss Germaine, who would make him not only a
disagreeable but a most extravagant wife.

“Do you not see,” said he, “that she has not the least affection for
you? she marries you only because she despairs of getting any other
match; and because you are rich, and she is poor. She is seven years
older than you, by her own confession, and consequently will be an
old woman whilst you are a young man. She is, as you see--I mean as
I see--vain and proud in the extreme; and if she honours you with her
hand, she will think you can never do enough to make her amends for
having married beneath her pretensions. Instead of finding in her, as
I find in my wife, the best and most affectionate of friends, you will
find her your torment through life; and consider, this is a torment
likely to last these thirty or forty years. Is it not worth while to
pause--to reflect for as many minutes, or even days?”

Charles paused double the number of seconds, perhaps, and then replied,
“You have married to please yourself, cousin William, and I shall marry
to please myself. As I don’t mean to spend my days in the same style
in which you do, the same sort of wife that makes you happy could never
content me. I mean to make some figure in the world; I know no other use
of fortune; and an alliance with the Germaines brings me at once into
fashionable society. Miss Maude Germaine is very proud, I confess; but
she has some reason to be proud of her family; and then, you see, her
love for me conquers her pride, great as it is.”

William sighed when he saw the extent of his cousin’s folly. The
partnership between the two Darfords was dissolved.

It cost our hero much money but no great trouble to get his name changed
from Darford to Germaine; and it was certainly very disadvantageous to
his pecuniary interest to purchase Germaine-park, which was sold to
him for at least three years’ purchase more than its value: but, in
the height of his impatience to get into the fashionable world, all
prudential motives appeared beneath his consideration. It was, as he
fancied, part of the character of a man of spirit, the character he was
now to assume and support for life, to treat pecuniary matters as
below his notice. He bought Germaine-park, married Miss Germaine, and
determined no mortal should ever find out, by his equipages or style of
life, that he had not been born the possessor of this estate.

In this laudable resolution, it cannot possibly be doubted but that his
bride encouraged him to the utmost of her power. She was eager to leave
the county where his former friends and acquaintance resided; for they
were people with whom, of course, it could not be expected that she
should keep up any manner of intercourse. Charles, in whose mind vanity
at this moment smothered every better feeling, was in reality glad of a
pretext for breaking off all connexion with those whom he had formerly
loved. He went to take leave of William in a fine chariot, on which the
Germaine arms were ostentatiously blazoned. That real dignity, which
arises from a sense of independence of mind, appeared in William’s
manners; and quite overawed and abashed our hero, in the midst of all
his finery and airs. “I hope, cousin William,” said Charles, “when
you can spare time, though, to be sure, that is a thing hardly to be
expected, as you are situated; but, in case you should be able any ways
to make it convenient, I hope you will come and take a look at what we
are doing at Germaine-park.”

There was much awkward embarrassment in the enunciation of this feeble
invitation: for Charles was conscious he did not desire it should be
accepted, and that it was made in direct opposition to the wishes of his
bride. He was at once relieved from his perplexity, and at the same time
mortified, by the calm simplicity with which William replied, “I
thank you, cousin, for this invitation; but you know I should be an
encumbrance to you at Germaine-park: and I make it a rule neither to go
into any company that would be ashamed of me, or of which I should be

“Ashamed of you! But--What an idea, my dear William! Surely you don’t
think--you can’t imagine--I should ever consider you as any sort of
encumbrance?--I protest----”

“Save yourself the trouble of protesting, my dear Charles,” cried
William, smiling with much good-nature: “I know why you are so much
embarrassed at this instant; and I do not attribute this to any want of
affection for me. We are going to lead quite different lives. I wish you
all manner of satisfaction. Perhaps the time may come when I shall be
able to contribute to your happiness more than I can at present.”

Charles uttered some unmeaning phrases, and hurried to his carriage. At
the sight of its varnished panels he recovered his self-complacency and
courage, and began to talk fluently about chariots and horses, whilst
the children of the family followed to take leave of him, saying, “Are
you going quite away, Charles? Will you never come back to play with
us, as you used to do?” Charles stepped into his carriage with as much
dignity as he could assume; which, indeed, was very little. William,
who judged of his friends always with the most benevolent indulgence,
excused the want of feeling which Charles betrayed during this visit.
“My dear,” said he to his wife, who expressed some indignation at the
slight shown to their children, “we must forgive him; for, you know,
a man cannot well think of more than one thing at a time; and the one
thing that he is thinking of is his fine chariot. The day will come when
he will think more of fine children; at least I hope so, for his own

And now, behold our hero in all his glory; shining upon the
Northamptonshire world in the splendour of his new situation! The dress,
the equipage, the entertainments, and, above all, the airs of the bride
and bridegroom, were the general subject of conversation in the county
for ten days. Our hero, not precisely knowing what degree of importance
Mr. Germaine, of Germaine-park, was entitled to assume, out-Germained

The country gentlemen first stared, then laughed, and at last
unanimously agreed, over their bottle, that this new neighbour of
theirs was an upstart, who ought to be kept down: and that a vulgar
manufacturer should not be allowed to give himself airs merely because
he had married a proud lady of good family. It was obvious, they
said, he was not born for the situation in which he now appeared. They
remarked and ridiculed the ostentation with which he displayed every
luxury in his house; his habit of naming the price of every thing, to
enforce its claim to admiration; his affected contempt for economy; his
anxiety to connect himself with persons of rank, joined to his ignorance
of the genealogy of nobility, and the strange mistakes he made between
old and new titles.

Certain little defects in his manners, and some habitual vulgarisms
in his conversation, exposed him also to the derision of his well-bred
neighbours. Mr. Germaine saw that the gentlemen of the county were
leagued against him; but he had neither temper nor knowledge of the
world sufficient to wage this unequal war. The meanness with which he
alternately attempted to court and to bully his adversaries, shewed
them, at once, the full extent of their power and of his weakness.
Things were in this position when our hero unluckily affronted Mr. Cole,
one of the proudest gentlemen in the county, by mistaking him for a
merchant of the same name; and, under this mistake, neglecting to return
his visit. A few days afterwards at a public dinner, Mr. Cole and Mr.
Germaine had some high words, which were repeated by the persons present
in various manners; and this dispute became the subject of conversation
in the county, particularly amongst the ladies. Each related, according
to her fancy, what her husband had told her; and as these husbands had
drunk a good deal, they had not a perfectly clear recollection of what
had passed, so that the whole and every part of the conversation was
exaggerated. The fair judges, averse as they avowed their feelings were
to duelling, were clearly of opinion, among themselves, that a real
gentleman would certainly have called Mr. Cole to account for the words
he uttered, though none of them could agree what those words were.

Mrs. Germaine’s female friends, in their coteries, were the first to
deplore, with becoming sensibility, that she should be married to a man
who had so little the spirit as well as the manners of a man of birth.
Their pity became progressively vehement the more they thought of, or at
least the more they talked of, the business; till at last one old lady,
the declared and intimate friend of Mrs. Germaine, unintentionally, and
in the heat of tattle, made use of one phrase that led to another,
and another, till she betrayed, in conversation with that lady, the
gossiping scandal of these female circles.

Mrs. Germaine, piqued as her pride was, and though she had little
affection for her husband, would have shuddered with horror to have
imagined him in the act of fighting a duel, and especially at her
instigation; yet of this very act she became the cause. In their
domestic quarrels, her tongue was ungovernable: and at such moments, the
malice of husbands and wives often appears to exceed the hatred of
the worst of foes; and, in the ebullition of her vengeance, when his
reproaches had stung her beyond the power of her temper to support,
unable to stop her tongue, she vehemently told him he was a coward,
who durst not so talk to a man! He had proved himself a coward; and was
become the by-word and contempt of the whole county! Even women despised
his cowardice!

However astonishing it may appear to those who are unacquainted with the
nature of quarrels between man and wife, it is but too certain that
such quarrels have frequently led to the most fatal consequences. The
agitation of mind which Mrs. Germaine suffered the moment she could
recollect what she had so rashly said, her vain endeavours to prove to
herself that, so provoked, she could not say less, and the sudden effect
which she plainly saw her words had produced upon her husband, were but
a part of the punishment that always follows conduct and contentions so

Mr. Germaine gazed at her a few moments with wildness in his eyes; his
countenance expressed the stupefaction of rage: he spoke not a word; but
started at length, and snatched up his hat. She was struck with panic
terror, gave a scream, sprang after him, caught him by the coat, and,
with the most violent protestations, denied the truth of all she had
said. The look he gave her cannot be described; he rudely plucked the
skirt from her grasp, and rushed out of the house.

All day and all night she neither saw nor heard of him: in the morning
he was brought home, accompanied by a surgeon, in the carriage of a
gentleman who had been his second, dangerously wounded.

He was six weeks confined to his bed; and, in the first moment of doubt
expressed by the surgeon for his life, she expressed contrition which
was really sincere: but, as he recovered, former bickerings were
renewed; and the terms on which they lived gradually became what they
had been.

Neither did his duel regain that absurd reputation for which he fought;
it was malignantly said he had neither the courage to face a man, nor
the understanding to govern a wife.

Still, however, Mrs. Germaine consoled herself with the belief that the
most shocking circumstance of his having been partner in a manufactory
was a profound secret. Alas! the fatal moment arrived when she was to be
undeceived in this her last hope. Soon after Mr. Germaine recovered from
his wounds she gave a splendid bail, to which the neighbouring nobility
and gentry were invited. She made it a point, with all her acquaintance,
to come on this grand night.

The more importance the Germaines set upon success, and the more anxiety
they betrayed, the more their enemies enjoyed the prospect of their
mortification. All the young belles, who had detested Miss Maude
Germaine for the airs she used to give herself at county assemblies, now
leagued to prevent their admirers from accepting her invitation. All the
married ladies whom she had outshone in dress and equipage, protested
they were not equal to keep up an acquaintance with such prodigiously
fine people; and that, for their part, they must make a rule not to
accept of such expensive entertainments, as it was not in their power to
return them.

Some persons of consequence in the county kept their determination in
doubt, suffered themselves to be besieged daily with notes and messages,
and hopes that their imaginary coughs, head-aches, and influenzas, were
better, and that they would find themselves able to venture out on the
15th. When the coughs, head-aches, and influenzas, could hold out no
longer, these ingenious tormentors devised new pretexts for supposing
it would be impossible to do themselves the honour of accepting Mr. and
Mrs. Germaine’s obliging invitation on the 15th. Some had recourse to
the roads, and others to the moon.

Mrs. Germaine, whose pride was now compelled to make all manner of
concessions, changed her night from the 15th to the 20th, to insure a
full moon to those timorous damsels whom she had known to go home nine
miles from a ball the darkest night imaginable, without scruple or
complaint. Mr. Germaine, at his own expense, mended some spots in the
roads, which were obstacles to the delicacy of other travellers; and
when all this was accomplished, the haughty leaders of the county
fashions condescended to promise they would do themselves the pleasure
to wait upon Mr. and Mrs. Germaine on the 20th.

Their cards of acceptation were shown with triumph by the Germaines; but
it was a triumph of short duration. With all the refinement of cruelty,
they gave hopes which they never meant to fulfil. On the morning, noon,
and night, of the 20th, notes poured in with apologies, or rather with
excuses, for not keeping their engagements. Scarcely one was burnt,
before another arrived. Mrs. Germaine could not command her temper; and
she did not spare her husband in this trying moment.

The arrival of some company for the ball interrupted a warm dispute
between the happy pair. The ball was very thinly attended; the guests
looked as if they were more inclined to yawn than to dance. The supper
table was not half filled; and the profusion with which it was laid out
was forlorn and melancholy: every thing was on too grand a scale for
the occasion; wreaths of flowers, and pyramids, and triumphal arches,
sufficient for ten times as many guests! Even the most inconsiderate
could not help comparing the trouble and expense incurred by the
entertainment with the small quantity of pleasure it produced. Most of
the guests rose from table, whispering to one another, as they looked
at the scarcely-tasted dishes, “What a waste! What a pity! Poor Mrs.
Germaine! What a melancholy sight this must be to her!”

The next day, a mock heroic epistle, in verse, in the character of Mrs.
Germaine, to one of her noble relations, giving an account of her ball
and disappointment, was handed about, and innumerable copies were taken.
It was written with some humour and great ill-nature. The good old lady
who occasioned the duel, thought it but friendly to show Mrs. Germaine
a copy of it; and to beg she would keep it out of her husband’s way: it
might be the cause of another duel! Mrs. Germaine, in spite of all her
endeavours to conceal her vexation, was obviously so much hurt by this
mock heroic epistle, that the laughers were encouraged to proceed; and
the next week a ballad, entitled, “THE MANUFACTURER TURNED GENTLEMAN,”
 was circulated with the same injunctions to secresy, and the same
success. Mr. and Mrs. Germaine, perceiving themselves to be the objects
of continual enmity and derision, determined to leave the county.
Germaine-park was forsaken; a house in London was bought; and, for a
season or two, our hero was amused with the gaieties of the town, and
gratified by finding himself actually moving in that sphere of life
to which he had always aspired. But he soon perceived that the persons
whom, at a distance, he had regarded as objects of admiration and envy,
upon a nearer view were capable of exciting only contempt or pity. Even
in the company of honourable and right honourable men, he was frequently
overpowered with _ennui_; and, amongst all the fine acquaintances with
which his fine wife crowded his fine house, he looked in vain for a
friend: he looked in vain for a William Darford.

One evening, at Ranelagh, Charles happened to hear the name of Mr.
William Darford pronounced by a lady who was walking behind him:
he turned eagerly to look at her; but, though he had a confused
recollection of having seen her face before, he could not remember when
or where he had met with her. He felt a wish to speak to her, that he
might hear something of those friends whom he had neglected, but not
forgotten. He was not, however, acquainted with any of the persons with
whom she was walking, and was obliged to give up his purpose. When she
left the room, he followed her, in hopes of learning, from her servants,
who she was; but she had no servants--no carriage!

Mrs. Germaine, who clearly inferred she was a person of no consequence,
besought her husband not to make any further inquiries. “I beg, Mr.
Germaine, you will not gratify your curiosity about the Darfords at my
expense. I shall have a whole tribe of vulgar people upon my hands, if
you do not take care. The Darfords, you know, are quite out of our line
of life; especially in town.”

This remonstrance had a momentary effect upon Mr. Germaine’s vanity; but
a few days afterwards he met the same lady in the park, attended by Mr.
William Darford’s old servant. Regardless of his lady’s representations,
he followed the suggestions of his own heart, and eagerly stopped the
man to inquire after his friends in the most affectionate manner. The
servant, who was pleased to see that Charles was not grown quite so much
a fine gentleman as to forget all his friends in the country, became
very communicative; he told Mr. Germaine that the lady, whom he
was attending, was a Miss Locke, governess to Mr. William Darford’s
children; and that she was now come to town to spend a few days with a
relation, who had been very anxious to see her. This relation was not
either rich or genteel; and though our hero used every persuasion to
prevail upon his lady to show Miss Locke some civility whilst she was
in town, he could not succeed. Mrs. Germaine repeated her former phrase,
again and again, “The Darfords are quite out of our line of life;” and
this was the only reason she would give.

Charles was disgusted by the obstinacy of his wife’s pride, and indulged
his better feelings by going frequently to visit Miss Locke. She stayed,
however, but a fortnight in town; and the idea of his friends, which had
been strongly recalled by his conversations with her, gradually faded
away. He continued the course of life into which he had been forced,
rather from inability to stop than from inclination to proceed. Their
winters were spent in dissipation in town; their summers wasted at
watering-places, or in visits to fine relations, who were tired of their
company, and who took but little pains to conceal this sentiment. Those
who do not live happily at home can seldom contrive to live respectably
abroad. Mr. and Mrs. Germaine could not purchase esteem, and never
earned it from the world or from one another. Their mutual contempt
increased every day. Only those who have lived with bosom friends whom
they despise can fully comprehend the extent and intensity of the evil.

We spare our readers the painful detail of domestic grievances and the
petty mortifications of vanity: from the specimens we have already
given they may form some idea, but certainly not a competent one, of
the manner in which this ill-matched pair continued to live together for
twelve long years. Twelve long years! The imagination cannot distinctly
represent such a period of domestic suffering; though, to the fancy of
lovers, the eternal felicity to be ensured by their union is an idea
perfectly familiar and intelligible. Perhaps, if we could bring
our minds to dwell more upon the hours, and less upon the years of
existence, we should make fewer erroneous judgments. Our hero and
heroine would never have chained themselves together for life, if they
could have formed an adequate picture of the hours contained in the
everlasting period of twelve years of wrangling. During this time,
scarcely an hour, certainly not a day, passed in which they did not,
directly or indirectly, reproach one another; and tacitly form, or
explicitly express, the wish that they had never been joined in holy

They, however, had a family. Children are either the surest bonds of
union between parents, or the most dangerous causes of discord. If
parents agree in opinion as to the management of their children, they
must be a continually increasing source of pleasure; but where the
father counteracts the mother, and the mother the father--where
the children cannot obey or caress either of their parents without
displeasing the other, what can they become but wretched little
hypocrites, or detestable little tyrants?

Mr. and Mrs. Germaine had two children, a boy and a girl. From the
moment of their birth, they became subjects of altercation and jealousy.
The nurses were obliged to decide whether the infants were most like the
father or the mother: two nurses lost their places, by giving what was,
in Mr. Germaine’s opinion, an erroneous decision upon this important
question. Every stranger who came to pay a visit was obliged to submit
to a course of interrogations on this subject; and afterwards, to their
utter confusion, saw biting of lips, and tossing of heads, either on the
paternal or maternal side. At last, it was established that Miss Maude
was the most like her mamma, and master Charles the most like his papa.
Miss Maude, of course, became the faultless darling of her mother,
and master Charles the mutinous favourite of his father. A comparison
between their features, gestures, and manners, was daily instituted, and
always ended in words of scorn, from one party or the other. Even whilst
they were pampering these children with sweetmeats, or inflaming them
with wine, the parents had always the same mean and selfish views. The
mother, before she would let her Maude taste the sweetmeats, insisted
upon the child’s lisping out that she loved mamma best; and before the
little Charles was permitted to carry the bumper of wine to his lips, he
was compelled to say he loved papa best. In all their childish quarrels,
Maude ran roaring to her mamma, and Charles sneaked up to his papa.

As the interests of the children were so deeply concerned in the
question, it was quickly discovered who ruled in the house with the
strongest hand. Mr. Germaine’s influence over his son diminished, as
soon as the boy was clearly convinced that his sister, by adhering to
her mamma, enjoyed a larger share of the good things. He was wearied
out by the incessant rebuffs of the nursery-maids, who were all in their
lady’s interests; and he endeavoured to find grace in their sight, by
recanting all the declarations he had made in his father’s favour. “I
don’t like papa best now: I love mamma best to-day.”

“Yes, master, but you must love mamma best every day, or it won’t do, I
promise you.”

By such a course of nursery precepts, these unfortunate children were
taught equivocation, falsehood, envy, jealousy, and every fault of
temper which could render them insupportable to themselves, and odious
to others. Those who have lived in the house with spoiled children must
have a lively recollection of the degree of torment they can inflict
upon all who are within sight or hearing. These domestic plagues became
more and more obnoxious; and Mrs. Germaine, in the bitterness of her
heart, was heard to protest she wished she had never had a child!
Children were pretty things at three years old, but began to be great
plagues at six, and were quite intolerable at ten.

Schools, and tutors, and governesses, were tried without number; but
those capricious changes served only to render the pupils still more
unmanageable. At length Mr. and Mrs. Germaine’s children became so
notoriously troublesome, that every body dreaded the sight of them.

One summer, when Mrs. Germaine was just setting out on a visit to my
Lady Mary Crawley, when the carriage was actually at the door, and the
trunks tied on, an express arrived from her ladyship with a letter,
stipulating that neither Miss Maude nor Master Charles should be of the
party. Lady Mary declared she had suffered so much from their noise,
quarrelling, and refractory tempers when they were with her the
preceding summer, that she could not undergo such a trial again; that
their mother’s nerves might support such things, but that hers really
could not: besides, she could not, in justice and politeness to the
other friends who were to be in her house, suffer them to be exposed
to such torments. Lady Mary Crawlev did not give herself any trouble to
soften her expressions, because she would have been really glad if they
had given offence, and if Mrs. Germaine had resented her conduct, by
declining to pay that annual visit which was now become, in the worst
sense of the word, visitation. To what meanness proud people are often
forced to submit! Rather than break her resolution never to spend
another summer at her own country seat, Mrs. Germaine submitted to
all the haughtiness of her Leicestershire relations, and continued
absolutely to force upon them visits which she knew to be unwelcome.

But what was to be done about her children! The first thing, of course,
was to reproach her husband. “You see, Mr. Germaine, the effect of the
pretty education you have given that boy of yours. I am sure, if he had
not gone with us last summer into Leicestershire, my Maude would not
have been in the least troublesome to Lady Mary.”

“On the contrary, my dear, I have heard Lady Mary herself say, twenty
times, that Charles was the best of the two; and I am persuaded, if
Maude had been away, the boy would have become quite a favourite.”

“There you are utterly mistaken, I can assure you, my dear; for you know
you are no great favourite of Lady Mary’s yourself; and I have often
heard her say that Charles is your image.”

“It is very extraordinary that all your great relations show us so
little civility, my dear. They do not seem to have much regard for you.”

“They have regard enough for me, and showed it formerly; but of late, to
be sure, I confess, things are altered. They never have been so cordial
since my marriage, and, all things considered, I scarcely know how to
blame them.”

Mr. Germaine bowed, by way of thanking his lady for this compliment.
She besought him not to bow so like a man behind a counter, if he could
possibly help it. He replied, it became him to submit to be schooled
by a wife, who was often taken for his mother. At length, when every
species of reproach, mental and personal, which conjugal antipathy could
suggest, had been exhausted, the orators recurred to the business of the
day, and to the question, “What is to be done with the children whilst
we are at Lady Mary Crawley’s?”


In this embarrassment we must leave the Germaines for the present,
and refresh ourselves with a look at a happy circle--the family of Mr.
Darford, where there is no discordance of opinions, of tastes, or
of tempers; none of those evils which arise sometimes from the
disappointment and sometimes from the gratification of vanity and pride.

Mr. Darford succeeded beyond his most sanguine expectations in the
management of his business. Wealth poured in upon him; but he considered
wealth, like a true philosopher, only as one of the means of happiness:
he did not become prodigal or avaricious; neither did he ever feel
the slightest ambition to quit his own station in society. He never
attempted to purchase from people of superior rank admission into
their circles, by giving luxurious and ostentatious entertainments. He
possessed a sturdy sense of his own value, and commanded a species of
respect very different from that which is paid to the laced livery or
the varnished equipage.

The firmness of his character was, however, free from all severity: he
knew how to pardon in others the weakness and follies from which he was
himself exempt. Though his cousin was of such a different character, and
though, since his marriage, Mr. Germaine had neglected his old friends,
William felt more compassion for his unhappiness than resentment for his
faults. In the midst of his own family, William would often say, “I wish
poor Charles may ever be as happy as we are!” Frequently, in his letters
to London correspondents, he desired them to inquire, privately, how Mr.
Germaine went on.

For some time he heard of nothing but his extravagance, and of the
entertainments given to the fine world by Mrs. Germaine; but in the
course of a few years, his correspondents hinted that Mr. Germaine began
to be distressed for money, and that this was a secret which had been
scrupulously kept from his lady, as scrupulously as she concealed from
him her losses at play. Mr. Darford also learned from a correspondent
who was intimately acquainted with one of Mrs. Germaine’s friends,
that this lady lived upon very bad terms with her husband; and that her
children were terribly spoiled by the wretched education they received.

These accounts gave William sincere concern: far from triumphing in
the accomplishing of his prophecies, he never once recalled them to the
memory even of his own family; all his thoughts were intent upon saving
his friend from future pain.

One day, as he was sitting with his family round their cheerful
tea-table, his youngest boy, who had climbed upon his knees, exclaimed,
“Papa! what makes you so very grave to-night? You are not at all like
yourself! What can make you sorry?”

“My dear little boy,” said his father, “I was thinking of a letter I
received to-day from London.”

“I wish those letters would never come, for they always make you look
sad, and make you sigh! Mamma, why do you not desire the servants not to
bring papa any more such letters? What did this letter say to you, papa,
to make you so grave?”

“My dear,” said his father, smiling at the child’s simplicity, “this
letter told me that your little cousin Charles is not quite so good a
boy as you are.”

“Then, papa, I will tell you what to do: send our Miss Locke to cousin
Charles, and she will soon make him very good.”

“I dare say she would,” replied the father, laughing: “but, my dear
boy, I cannot send Miss Locke; and I am afraid she would not like to go:
besides, we should be rather sorry to part with her.”

“Then, papa, suppose you were to send for my cousin; and Miss Locke
could take care of him here, without leaving us?”

“Could take care of him--true; but would she? If you can prevail upon
her to do so, I will send for your cousin.”

The proposal, though playfully made, was seriously accepted by Miss
Locke: and the more willingly, as she remembered, with gratitude, the
attention Mr. Germaine had paid to her some years before, when with poor
relations in London.

Mr. Darford wrote immediately, to invite his cousin’s children to his
house; and the invitation was most gladly accepted, for it was received
the very day when Mr. and Mrs. Germaine were so much embarrassed by Lady
Mary Crawley’s absolute refusal to admit these children into her house.
Mrs. Germaine was not too proud to accept of favours from those whom
she had treated as beneath her acquaintance, “quite out of her line of
life!” She despatched her children directly to Mr. Darford’s; and Miss
Locke undertook the care of them. It was not an easy or agreeable task;
but she had great obligations to Mrs. Darford, and was rejoiced at
finding an opportunity of showing her gratitude.

Miss Locke was the young woman whose painting of an iris had been
admired by Charles and by Miss Maude Germaine when they visited the
china works, thirteen or fourteen years before this time. She was at
that period very ill, and in great distress: her father had been a
bankrupt, and to earn bread for herself and her sisters she was obliged
to work harder than her health and strength allowed. Probably she would
have fallen a sacrifice to her exertions, if she had not been saved by
the humanity of Mr. Darford; and, fortunately for him, he was married to
a woman who sympathized in all his generous feelings, and who assisted
him in every benevolent action.

Mrs. Darford, after making sufficient inquiries as to the truth of the
story, and the character of the girl, was so much pleased with all she
heard of her merit, and so much touched by her misfortunes, that she
took Miss Locke into her family to teach her daughters to draw. She well
knew that a sense of dependence is one of the greatest evils; and she
was careful to relieve the person whom she obliged from this painful
feeling, by giving her an opportunity of being daily useful to her
benefactress. Miss Locke soon recovered her health: she perceived she
might be serviceable in teaching the children of the family many things
besides drawing; and, with unremitting perseverance, she informed her
own mind, that she might be able to instruct her pupils. Year after year
she pursued this plan; and was rewarded by the esteem and affection of
the happy family in which she lived.

But though Miss Locke was a woman of great abilities, she had not the
magical powers attributed to some characters in romance; she could not
instantaneously produce a total reformation of manners. The habits of
spoiled children are not to be changed by the most skilful preceptress,
without the aid of time. Miss Maude Germaine and her brother had tempers
which tried Miss Locke’s patience to the utmost; but, gradually, she
acquired some influence over these wayward spirits. She endeavoured with
her utmost skill to eradicate the jealousy which had been implanted
in the minds of the brother and sister. They found that they were now
treated with strict impartiality, and they began to live together more

Time was willingly allowed to Miss Locke by their parents, who were glad
to be disencumbered of their children. Eighteen months passed away, and
no news were heard of Mr. and Mrs. Germaine, except that they continued
the same extravagant, dissipated course of life, and that they began to
be much embarrassed in their circumstances. At last Mr. Darford received
a letter which informed him that an execution was laid on Mr. Germaine’s
fine house in town; and that he and his family were all in the greatest
distress and affliction.

William hastened immediately to London. He was denied admittance at Mr.
Germaine’s: the porter, with an air of mystery, said that his master was
ill, and did not choose to see any body. William, however, forced his
way up stairs.

Charles, at the sight of him, stepped back, exclaiming, “May I believe
my eyes? William! Is it you?”

“Yes, it is William; your old friend William,” said Mr. Darford,
embracing him affectionately. Pride and shame struggled in the mind of
Charles; and, turning aside to repress the tears, which in the first
instance of emotion had started into his eyes, he went to the farthest
end of the room for an arm-chair for his cousin, placed it with awkward
ceremony, and said, “Won’t you be seated, cousin Darford? I am sure
Mrs. Germaine and I are much indebted to you and Mrs. Darford, for your
goodness to our children. I was just thinking of writing to you about
them;--but we are in sad confusion here, just at this moment. I am quite
ashamed--I did not expect--Why did you never honour us with a visit
before? I am sure you could not possibly have hit upon a more unlucky
moment for a visit--for yourself, I mean.” “If it proves lucky to you,
my dear Charles,” replied William mildly, “I shall think it the most
fortunate moment I could possibly have chosen.”

Vanquished by the tone of this reply, our hero burst into tears: he
squeezed his friend’s hand, but could not speak. Recovering himself,
after a few minutes, he said, “You are too good, cousin William, and
always were! I thought you called in by accident; I had no
supposition that you came on purpose to assist me in this moment of
distress--embarrassment, I ought to say; for, in fact, it is only a mere
temporary embarrassment.”

“I am heartily glad to hear it. But, speak to me freely, Charles: do
not conceal the real state of your affairs from your best friend. What
tendency could this have but to plunge you into irretrievable ruin?”

Charles paused for a minute. “The truth of the matter is, my dear
William,” continued he, “that there are circumstances in this business
which I should be sorry reached Mrs. Germaine’s ear, or any of her
cursed proud relations; for if once they heard of it, I should have no
peace for the rest of my life. Indeed, as to peace, I cannot boast of
much as it is: but it might be worse, much worse, if the whole truth
came out. To you, however, I can trust it; though in your line of
life, it would be counted a shocking thing: but still you are so

William listened without being able to guess where this preamble would

“In the first place,” continued Charles, “you know--Mrs. Germaine is
almost ten years older than I am.”

“Six years, I thought you formerly told me?”

“I beg your pardon, ten--ten--within a few months. If I said six, it was
before our marriage, when I knew no better. She owns to seven: her own
relations say eight; her nurse said nine; and I say ten.”

“Well, ten let it be, since you will have it so.”

“I should be very glad to have it otherwise, I promise you, if I could:
for it is not very pleasant to a man like me, to be _quizzed_ by half
the young men of fashion in town, for having married a woman old enough
to be my mother.”

“Not quite old enough to be your mother,” said his cousin, in a
conciliatory tone; “these young men of fashion are not the best
calculators. Mrs. Germaine could not well have been your mother, since
at the worst, by your own account, there is only ten years difference
between you.”

“Oh, but that is not all; for, what is still worse, Mrs. Germaine,
thanks to the raking hours she keeps, and gaming and fretting, looks
full ten years older than she is: so that you see, in fact, there are
twenty years between us.”

“I do not see it, indeed,” replied William, smiling; “but I am bound to
believe what you assert. Let me ask you, to what does this discussion,
concerning poor Mrs. Germaine’s age, tend?”

“To justify, or at least to excuse, poor Mr. Germaine for keeping a
mistress, who is something younger, something prettier, and, above all,
something more good-humoured, than his wife.”

“Perhaps the wife would be as good-humoured as the mistress, if she were
as happy in possessing her husband’s affections.”

“Affections! Oh, Lord! Affections are out of the question, Mrs. Germaine
does not care a straw about my affections.”

“And yet you dread that she should have the least hint of your having a

“Of course. You don’t see my jet. You don’t consider what a devil of a
handle that would give her against me. She has no more love for me than
this table; but she is jealous beyond all credibility, and she knows
right well how to turn her jealousy to account. She would go caballing
amongst her tribes of relations, and get all the women and all the world
on her side, with this hue and cry of a mistress; and then I should be
branded as the worst husband upon earth. That indeed I should laugh at,
because all the young men in town would keep me in countenance; but Mrs.
Germaine would rummage out the history of the sums of money I have given
this girl, and then would set those against her play-debts, and I should
have no more hold over her; for, you know, if I should begin to reproach
her with the one, she would recriminate. She is a devil of a hand at
that work! Neither you nor any man on earth, except myself, can form any
idea of the temper of Mrs. Germaine! She is--to you, my dear friend, I
may have the relief of saying so--she is, without exception, the
most proud, peevish, selfish, unreasonable, extravagant, tyrannical,
unfeeling woman in Christendom!”

“In Christendom! Oh, you exaggerate, Charles!”

“Exaggerate! Upon my soul, I do not: she is all I have said, and more.”

“More! Impossible. Come, I see how it is; she has been unlucky at the
card-table; you are angry, and therefore you speak, as angry people
always do, {Footnote: Swift.} worse than you think.”

“No, not at all, I promise you. I am as perfectly cool as you are. You
do not know Mrs. Germaine as well as I do.”

“But I know that she is much to be pitied, if her husband has a worse
opinion of her than any body else expresses.”

“That is precisely because I am her husband, and know her better than
other people do. Will not you give me leave to be the best judge in what
relates to my own wife? I never, indeed, expected to hear you, of all
people upon earth, cousin William, undertake her defence. I think I
remember that she was no great favourite of yours before I married, and
you dissuaded me as much as possible from the match: yet now you are
quite become her advocate, and take her part to my face against me.”

“It is not taking her part against you, my dear Charles,” replied his
cousin, “to endeavour to make you better satisfied with your wife. I
am not so obstinate in self-opinion as to wish, at the expense of your
domestic happiness, to prove that I was right in dissuading you from the
match; on the contrary, I would do all in my power to make the best of
it; and so should you.”

“Ah, cousin William, it is easy for you to talk of making the best of a
bad match; you who are married to one of the best tempered women alive!
I wish you were to live with Mrs. Germaine for one month.”

William smiled, as much as to say, “I cannot join in that wish.”

“Besides,” continued Charles, “if I were to open my whole heart to you,
you would pity me on another account. My wife is not my only plague: my
mistress is almost as great a torment as my wife.”

“What! this mistress of whom you are so fond?”

“Ay! there is the curse! I cannot help being fond of her: and that she
knows, and plays me off as she pleases. But I believe the little jilt
loves me all the time: because she has offers enough, and from men of
the first fashion, if she would leave me. She is certainly a good girl;
but then so passionate!”

“I thought you told me she was good-humoured,” interrupted his cousin.

“Well, so she is, at times, the best humoured creature in nature; and
then she is charming: but when she falls into a passion, she is a little
fury! absolutely a little devil! There is nothing she would not do. Now,
do you know, all this terrible business, this execution against me, is
her doing?”

“A singular proof of love!” said Mr. William Darford.

“Oh, the fool loves me, notwithstanding; I must do her that justice:
but she is quite a child. I put her into a passion, by going down to
Leicestershire when she wanted me to stay with her in town. She told
me she would be revenged; but I could not believe she would go such
lengths. She gave a note of mine, for two hundred guineas, to her uncle;
and he got a writ. Now she is in despair about it; I saw her two hours
ago all in tears, and tearing her hair, because her uncle won’t consent
to withdraw the execution. I am sure she is really and truly sorry; and
would give her eyes to get me out of this scrape.”

“Whether she would give her eyes or not, I will not pretend to
determine; but it is plain she would not pay two hundred guineas ‘to get
you out of this scrape.’ Now, where do you intend to get the money?”

“Ah, there’s the rub! I have not a farthing, till our next rents come
in; and you see these heaps of bills. Then the agent, who manages every
thing, Heaven knows how! at Germaine-park, says tenants are breaking;
that we are, I do not know how much, in his debt, and that we must sell;
but that, if we sell in a hurry, and if our distress be talked of, we
shall get nothing for the land, and so shall be ruined outright. Now,
this all originates in Mrs. Germaine’s pride and positiveness: she never
could be prevailed upon to go down to Germaine-park, these ten years
past, because some of the Northamptonshire people affronted her: so our
affairs have gone on just as the agent pleases; and he is a rascal, I
am convinced, for he is always writing to say we are in his debt. But,
indeed, my dear William, you are too good to take any interest in this
history of my affairs: I am conscious that I have not treated you well.”

“Do not talk of that now: do not think of it, Charles,” interrupted Mr.
Darford. “I am come to town on purpose to be of all the service to you I
can. I will discharge this writ upon one, and only upon one, condition.”

“Upon any condition you please,” cried Charles. “I will give you my
bond. I will give you security upon the Germaine estate, if you require

“I require no security; I require no bond, Charles; I require only a
condition which I believe to be absolutely necessary for your happiness.
Promise me you will break off all connexion with this treacherous
mistress of yours.”

“Treacherous! No, no! I assure you, you mistake the girl.”

“Mistake her or not, Charles, without arguing the matter farther, on
this one point I must be peremptory; and, positively, the only condition
on which I will pay this money is your promise never to see her again.”

Charles hesitated. “Upon my soul,” cried he, “I believe the girl will
break her heart. But then she is so cursedly extravagant, she ruins
me! I would have broken with her long ago, if I could have summoned up
courage enough. After all, I believe it was more habit, idleness, and
fashion, than any thing else, that made me go to see her so often. When
I did not know what to do with myself, or when I was put out of humour
at home, I went to this girl. Well, let us say no more about it: she is
not worth thinking of; I give her up. You may depend upon it, my dear
William, I will have nothing more to do with her. I will, since you make
that your ultimatum, never see her again.”

“Will you write to her then immediately, to let her know your

“Certainly; immediately.”

Charles wrote, to bid adieu to this mistress; to whom, by his own
account, habit, idleness, fashion, and the want of a happy home, had
attached him; and William gave him a draft for the amount of his debt,
by which the execution was taken off.

Mr. Darford seized the moment when his cousin’s mind was warmed with
gratitude to say a few words, as little in the form of advice as
possible, in praise of economy.

“You know, my dear Charles,” said he, “that I am, and always was, a
very plain man, in my way of living; and I dare say my ideas will appear
quite absurd to you, who are used to live with men of taste and fashion;
but really these rooms, this furniture, and this house, appear to me
fitter for a nobleman than for a man of your fortune.”

“It is so. Mrs. Germaine would insist upon my taking it. But I will
part with it before next winter. I will advertise it immediately. I will
begin a course of economy.”

Mr. Germaine’s projects of economy were at this moment interrupted
by the sudden entrance of his wife. Her eyes flashing with anger, she
walked with the proud air of an enraged tragedy queen across the
room, seated herself upon a sofa, and, in a voice which trembled with
ill-suppressed rage, said, “I am to thank you, Mr. Germaine, for the
many obliging things you have said of me this last hour! I have heard
them all! You are under a mistake, sir, if you imagine I have been
hitherto your dupe. You have never imposed upon me for a moment. I have
suspected, this twelvemonth, that you kept a mistress: and now I am
happy to have the truth confirmed from your own lips. But I deserve all
that has happened! I am justly treated! Weak woman, to marry as I did!
No gentleman, sir, would have behaved or would have spoken as you have
done! Could not you have been content with ruining yourself and your
family, Mr. Germaine, by your profligate low tastes, without insulting
me by base reflections upon my temper, and downright falsehoods about my
age? No gentleman, sir, would have treated me as you have done. I am the
most miserable of women!”

Passion choked her utterance, and she fell back in a violent fit of
hysterics. Mr. William Darford was much shocked at this matrimonial
scene. The lady had caught hold of his arm, in one of her convulsive
motions; and she held it so fast that he could not withdraw. Charles
stood in silent dismay. His conscience smote him; and though he could
not love his wife, he blamed himself for having rendered her “the most
miserable of women.” “Leave her to me, Charles,” said Mr. Darford, “and
I will endeavour to set matters to rights.”

Charles shook his head, and left the room. Mrs. Germaine by degrees
recovered herself; for a hysteric fit cannot last for ever. She cast her
eyes round the room, and exclaimed, “He has done well to leave me! Oh,
that it were for ever! Oh, that we had never met! But may I ask why Mr.
William Darford is here? My own servant--my own maid, should have been
summoned to attend me. We have servants still, sir; and, humbled as I
am, I see no necessity for submitting to have cool spectators of our
family distresses and family quarrels.”

“Believe me, madam,” said Mr. Darford, “I am not a cool spectator of
either. I do not wish to recal {sic} disagreeable things, but to obtain
the right of speaking to you of your affairs as a friend. Permit me to
remind you that, when I could not guess you heard me, I defended your

“Really, sir, you spoke so low that I did not distinctly hear what
you said; and my feelings were so much hurt, by all I heard from Mr.
Germaine, who spoke loud enough, that I attended to nothing else. Upon
recollection, I do, however, remember you made some offer to get Mr.
Germaine out of his present embarrassments, upon condition that he would
break off all connexion with this girl, whom nobody knows; or rather
whom every body knows _too_ well.”

“And was not this offer of mine some proof, Mrs. Germaine, that I wish
your happiness?”

“Why, really, Mr. Darford, having lived in the world as I have done
from my childhood, I am not apt to expect much friendship from any one,
especially from people in the habits of calculation; and I have been
so much deceived where I have unguardedly trusted to the friendship and
love of a man brought up in that sort of way, that you must forgive
me if I could not bring my mind to think you had any concern for my
happiness in the offer you made. I did indeed suppose it would be a
mortifying circumstance to you, to see your cousin quite ruined by this
infamous creature. I say, I did imagine you would be shocked at seeing
your cousin sent to jail. That, you know, is a thing discreditable to a
whole family, let it be of what sort it may. From your kindness to our
children, I see you consider us as relations. Every human being, I do
suppose, has some family pride in their own way.”

“I own I have a great deal of family pride, in my own way, madam,”
 replied Mr. Darford, with a calm smile; “I am proud, for instance, of
having, and of being able to maintain in perfect independence, a number
of good and affectionate children, and a wife, whose good sense and
sweetness of temper constitute the happiness of my existence!”

Mrs. Germaine coloured, threw back her head, and strove to conceal the
anguish of her conscience. William was sorry he had inflicted pain,
but he saw that the only way to make himself understood in this
conversation, was to assert that real superiority of character to which,
in certain situations, the factitious pretensions of rank or fashion
never fail to yield.

“You are at liberty, Mrs. Germaine,” continued William, “to interpret
my offers and my actions as you think proper; but you will, when you are
cool, observe that neither I nor any of my family have any thing to gain
from you or yours; not even a curtsy or a bow, in public places; for we
do not frequent them. We live retired, and have no connexion with fine
people; we preserve our own independence by confining ourselves to our
own station in life; and by never desiring to quit it, nor to ape those
who are called our betters. From what I have just heard you say, I think
it possible you may have formed the idea that we invited your children
to our house with the selfish supposition that the connexion, I believe
that is the fashionable phrase, might be advantageous to our own. But
this is quite a mistake. Our children will live as we do: they have no
idea of forming high connexions, because they have been taught not to
think them necessary to happiness. I assure you it is not my habit to
talk so much of myself and of mine; but I thought it best to explain the
truth to you at once, as this was the only way to gain your confidence,
and as we have neither of us time to spare.”

“Very true,” said Mrs. Germaine.

“And now, madam, I have a proposal to make to you, which I hope you will
take as it is meant. I understand, from Mr. Germaine, you have some play

“Mr. Germaine does not know their amount,” said Mrs. Germaine, lowering
her voice, as if she apprehended she might be overheard.

“If you will trust me with that secret, I will not make a bad use of

Mrs. Germaine in a whisper named the sum. It was certainly considerable,
for the naming of it made Mr. Darford step back with surprise. After a
few minutes’ thought, he recovered himself, and said, “This is a larger
debt than I was aware of, but we will see what can be done. From the
time that Charles and I dissolved our partnership, I have never remitted
my attention to business; and that very circumstance, for which you must
despise me, puts it now in my power to assist you without injuring my
own family. I am a man who speak my mind freely, perhaps bluntly.
You must solemnly promise me you will never again play at any game of
hazard. Upon this condition, I will pay your present debts immediately.”

With all the eagerness of a person who wishes to seize an offer which
appears too generous to be repeated, Mrs. Germaine promised all that was
required. Her debts were paid.

And now her benefactor had hopes that she and her husband would live
more prudently; and that they might still enjoy some portion of domestic
happiness. Vain hopes! Charles really wished to retrench his expenses;
but Mrs. Germaine’s pride was an insuperable obstacle to all his plans
of economy. She had always been accustomed to such and such things.
There was no possibility of living without them. Her relations would be
perfectly astonished if she did not appear in the style in which she had
always lived before her marriage. Provoked by the insolent absurdity of
such arguments, Mr. Germaine insisted with the authoritative voice of a
husband who was conscious that he had both reason and power on his
side. Hence arose daily altercations, more bitter even than those which
jealousy had formerly occasioned. Some wives acknowledge they can more
easily forgive a husband’s infidelity than his interference in the
regulation of their household expenses. Of this class of amiable females
was Mrs. Germaine. Though her husband strictly adhered to his promise,
never to have any farther connexion with his mistress, yet he was not
rewarded by any increase of affection or kindness from his wife; on the
contrary, she seemed to be rather vexed that she was deprived of this
legitimate subject of complaint. She could not, with so much tragic
effect, bewail that her husband would ruin himself and her by his

To loud altercations, silent hatred succeeded. Mrs. Germaine grew
sullen, low-spirited, nervous, and hysterical. Among fashionable medical
dowagers, she became an interesting personage: but this species of
consequence was by no means sufficient to support her self-complacency,
and, as she declared, she felt herself incapable of supporting the
intolerable burden of _ennui_.

In various situations, the conduct of many individuals may be predicted
with certainty, by those who are acquainted with their previous habits.
Habit is, to weak minds, a species of moral predestination, from which
they have no power to escape. Their common language expresses their
sense of their own inability to struggle against that destiny which
their previous folly has prepared. They usually say, “For my part, I
cannot help doing so and so. I know it is very wrong. I know it is my
ruin; but I own I cannot resist. It is in vain to argue with me: it is
my way; it is my fate.”

Mrs. Germaine found herself led, “by an irresistible impulse,” to the
card-table, notwithstanding her solemn promise never more to play at any
game of hazard. It was in vain to argue with her. “It was her way; it
was her fate; she knew it was very wrong; she knew it was her ruin; but
she could not resist!”

In the course of a few months, she was again involved in debt; and she
had the meanness and the assurance again to apply to the generosity of
Mr. William Darford. Her letter was written in the most abject strain,
and was full of all the flattering expressions which she imagined must,
from a woman of her birth and consequence in the world, have a magical
effect upon one in Mr. William Darford’s station. She was surprised when
she received a decided refusal. He declined all farther interference, as
he perceived it was impossible that he could be of any real utility.
He forbore to reproach the lady with her breach of promise: “She will,”
 said he to himself, “be sufficiently punished by the consequences of her
own conduct: I would not increase her distress.”

A separation from her husband was the immediate consequence. Perhaps it
may be thought that, to Mrs. Germaine, this would be no punishment: but
the loss of all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of married life, was
deeply felt. She was thrown absolutely upon the charity of relations;
who had very little charity in any sense of the word. She was
disregarded by all her fine acquaintance; she had no friend upon earth
to pity her; even her favourite maid gave warning, because she was tired
of her mistress’s temper, and of receiving no wages.

The detail of poor Mrs. Germaine’s mortifications and sufferings cannot
be interesting. She was a prey to low spirits, or in other words, to
mortified vanity, for some time; and at last died of a nervous fever.

Her husband wrote the following letter to Mr. William Darford, soon
after her death:


“You have heard of poor Mrs. Germaine’s death, and of the manner of it;
no more need be said upon that subject. Whatever were her faults,
she has suffered for them; and so have I for mine. Believe me, I am
effectually cured of all desire to be a fine gentleman. I shall quit the
name of Germaine immediately, and resume that of Darford. You know the
state of my affairs. There is yet hope I may set things to rights by my
own industry; and I am determined to go into business, and to apply to
it in good earnest, for my own sake, and for the sake of my children,
whom I have hitherto shamefully neglected. But I had it not always in my
power, after my marriage, to do as I wished. No more of that. The blame
be upon me for the past; for the future I shall, I hope, be a different
man. I dare not ask you to trust so far to these good resolutions as to
take me into partnership with you, in your manufactory; but perhaps
your good-nature can direct me to some employment suited to my views and
capacity. I ask only a fair trial; I think I shall not do as I used to
do, and leave all the letters to be written by my partner.

“Give my love to my dear little boy and girl. How can I thank you and
Mrs. Darford enough for all you have done for them? There is another
person whom I should wish to thank, but scarcely dare to name; feeling,
as I do, so unworthy of her goodness.

“Adieu, yours sincerely,

“CHARLES DARFORD, again, thank God.”

It is scarcely necessary to inform our readers, that Mr. William Darford
received his penitent friend with open arms, took him into partnership,
and assisted him in the most kind and judicious manner to re-establish
his fortune and his credit. He became remarkable for his steady
attention to business; to the great astonishment of those who had seen
him only in the character of a dissipated fine gentleman. Few have
sufficient strength of mind thus to stop short in the career of folly,
and few have the resolution to bear the ridicule thrown upon them even
by those whom they despise. Our hero was ridiculed most unmercifully by
all his former companions,--by all the Bond-street loungers. But of what
consequence was this to him? He did not live among them; he did not hear
their witticisms; and well knew that, in less than a twelvemonth, they
would forget such a person as Charles Germaine had ever existed. His
knowledge of what is called high life had sufficiently convinced him
that happiness is not in the gift or in the possession of those who are
often, to ignorant mortals, objects of supreme admiration and envy.

Charles Darford looked for happiness, and found it in domestic life.

Belief, founded upon our own experience, is more firm than that which
we grant to the hearsay evidence of moralists; but happy those who,
according to the ancient proverb, can profit by the experience of their

_Feb_. 1803.



“What a blessing it is to be the father of such a family of children!”
 said farmer Frankland, as he looked round at the honest affectionate
faces of his sons and daughters, who were dining with him on his
birthday. “What a blessing it is to have a large family of children!”

“A blessing you may call it, if you will, neighbour,” said farmer
Bettesworth; “but if I were to speak my mind, I should be apt to call it
a curse.”

“Why, as to that, we may both be right and both be wrong,” replied
Frankland; “for children are either a blessing or a curse according
as they turn out; and they turn out according as they are brought up.
‘Bring up a child in the way it should go;’ that has ever been my maxim:
show me a better, show me a happier family than my own; and show me a
happier father than myself,” continued the good old man, with
pleasure sparkling in his eyes. Observing, however, that his neighbour
Bettesworth looked blank and sighed deeply, he checked himself, and
said, in a more humble tone, “To be sure, it is not so mannerly for a
man to be praising his own, except it just come from the heart unawares,
amongst friends who will excuse it, especially upon such a day as this.
This day I am seventy years of age, and never was heartier or happier!
So, Fanny, love, fill neighbour Bettesworth a glass of your sister’s
cider. ‘Tis my Patty’s making, sir; and better never was drunk. Nay,
nay, sit ye still, neighbour; as you happened to call in just as we were
all dining, and making merry together, why you cannot do better than
to stay and make one of us, seeing that you are heartily welcome.” Mr.
Bettesworth excused himself, by saying that he was in haste to get home.

No happy home had he, no affectionate children to welcome his return.
Yet he had as numerous a family as Mr. Frankland; three sons and two
daughters: Idle Isaac, Wild Will, Bullying Bob, Saucy Sally, and Jilting
Jessy. Such were the names by which they were called by all who knew
them in the town of Monmouth, where they lived. Alliteration had “lent
its artful aid” in giving these nicknames; but they were not misapplied.

Mr. Bettesworth was an indolent man, fond of his pipe, and fonder of
building castles in the air by his fireside. Mrs. Bettesworth was a
vain, foolish vixen; fond of dress, and fonder of her own will. Neither
of them took the least care to breed up their children. Whilst they were
young, the mother humoured them: when they grew up, she contradicted
them in every thing, and then wondered how they could he so ungrateful
as not to love her.

The father was also surprised to find that his boys and girls were not
as well-mannered, nor as well-tempered, nor as clever, nor as steady,
nor as dutiful and affectionate, as his neighbour Frankland’s; and he
said to himself, “Some folks have the luck of having good children. To
be sure, some children are born better than others.”

He should rather have said, “To be sure, some children are bred better
than others.”

Mr. Frankland’s wife was a prudent, sensible woman, and had united with
him in constant endeavours to educate their family. Whilst they were yet
infants, prattling at their mother’s knee, she taught them to love and
help one another, to conquer their little froward humours, and to be
obedient and tractable. This saved both them and herself a great deal
of trouble afterward; and their father often said, both to the boys and
girls, “You may thank your mother, and so may I, for the good tempers
you have.”

The girls had the misfortune to lose this excellent mother, when one
was about seventeen, and the other eighteen; but she was always alive
in their memory. Patty, the eldest sister, was homely in her person;
but she was so neat in her dress, and she had such a cheerful agreeable
temper, that people forgot she was not handsome; particularly as it was
observed that she was very fond of her sister Fanny, who was remarkably

Fanny was neither prudish nor censorious; neither a romp nor a flirt:
she was so unaffected and unassuming, that most of her neighbours loved
her; and this is saying a great deal in favour of one who had so much
the power to excite envy.

Mr. Frankland’s eldest son, George, was bred to be a farmer; and he
understood country business uncommonly well for a young man of his age.
He constantly assisted his father in the management of the farm; and, by
this means, acquired much experience with little waste of time or money.
His father had always treated him so much as his friend, and had talked
to him so openly of his affairs, that he ever looked upon his father’s
business as his own; and he had no idea of having any separate interest.

James, the second son, was bred to trade. He had been taught whatever
was necessary and useful for a man in business; he had habits of
punctuality, civil manners, and a thorough love of fair dealing.

Frank, the youngest son, was of a more lively disposition than his
brothers; and his father used often to tell him, when he was a boy,
that, if he did not take care, his hasty temper would get him into
scrapes; and that the brightest parts, as they are called, will be of
little use to a man, unless he has also steadiness to go through with
whatever he begins. These hints, from a father whom he heartily loved,
made so strong an impression upon Frank, that he took great pains to
correct the natural violence of his temper, and to learn patience and
industry. The three brothers were attached to one another; and their
friendship was a source of improvement, as well as of pleasure.

The evening of Mr. Frankland’s birthday the whole family retired to an
arbour in their garden, and began to talk over their affairs with open

“Well, Frank, my boy,” said the happy father, who was the confidant
of his children, “I am sure, if your heart is set upon this match with
Jessy Bettesworth, I will do my best to like the girl; and her not being
rich shall be no objection to me; we can make that up amongst us, some
way or other. But, Frank, it is fair to tell you my opinion of the
girl, plainly and fully, beforehand, as I have done. She that has jilted
others, I think, would be apt to jilt you, if she met with a better

“Why then, father, I’ll not be in a hurry: I’ll take time to consider,
before I speak to her any more; and I thank you for being so kind, which
I hope I shall not forget.”

The morning after this conversation passed, Jilting Jessy, accompanied
by her sister, Saucy Sally, came to pay Patty and Fanny Frankland a
visit. They were full of some piece of news, which they were eager to

“Well, to be sure, I dreamed I had a diamond ring put on my finger by a
great lord, not a week ago,” cried Jessy; “and who knows but it may come
true? You have not heard the news, Fanny Frankland? Hey, Patty?”

“Not they: they never hear any news!” said Sally.

“Well, then, I’ll tell you,” cried Jessy. “Rich Captain Bettesworth, our
relation, who made the great _fortin_ abroad, over seas, has just broken
his neck out a-hunting; and the _fortin_ all comes to us.”

“We shall now see whether Mrs. Craddock will push by me again, as she
did yesterday in the street! We’ll see whether I shan’t make as good a
fine lady as herself, I warrant it, that’s all. It’s my turn to push by
folk now,” said Saucy Sally.

Fanny and Patty Frankland, with sincere good-nature, congratulated their
neighbours on this increase of fortune; but they did not think that
pushing by Mrs. Craddock could be one of the most useful or agreeable
consequences of an increase in fortune.

“Lord, Patty! how you sit moping yourself there at your work,” continued
Sally; “but some people must work, to be sure, that can’t afford to be
idle. How you must envy us, Patty!”

Patty assured her she did not in the least envy those who were idle.

“Fine talking! Fine airs, truly, Miss Patty! This is by way of calling
me over the coals for being idle, I suppose!” said Sally: “but I’ve
no notion of being taken to task this way. You think you’ve had a
fine _education_, I suppose, and so are to get a pattern for all
Monmouthshire, indeed: but you’ll find some people will be as much
thought of now as other people, and may hold their heads as high.
_Edication_‘s a fine thing, no doubt; but _fortin_‘s a better, as the
world goes, I’ve a notion: so you may go moping on here as long as you
please, being a good child all the days of your life!

  ‘Come when you’re call’d;
  And do as you’re bid;
  Shut the door after you;
  And you’ll never be chid.’

I’m sure, I would not let my nose be kept to the grindstone, as yours
is, for any one living. I’ve too much spirit, for my part to be made
a fool of as some people are; and all for the sake of being called a
vastly good daughter, or a vastly good sister, forsooth!”

Nothing but the absolute want of breath could have suspended the
remainder of this speech; for she was so provoked to see Patty did not
envy her, that she was determined to say every thing she could invent to
try her. Patty’s temper, however, was proof against the trial; and Saucy
Sally, despairing of success against one sister, turned to the other.

“Miss Fanny, I presume,” said she, “won’t give herself such high and
mighty airs, as she used to do, to one of her sweethearts, who shall be

Fanny blushed, for she knew this speech alluded to Wild Will, who was an
admirer of hers, but whom she had never encouraged.

“I hope,” said she, “I never gave myself airs to anybody: but, if you
mean to speak of your brother William, I assure you that my opinion of
him will not be changed by his becoming richer; nor will my father’s.”

Here the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of Frank, who had
just heard, from one of the Bettesworths, of their good fortune. He was
impatient to see how Jessy would behave in prosperity. “Now,” said he
to himself, “I shall judge whether my father’s opinion of her or mine is

Jilting Jessy had certainly given Frank reason to believe she was very
fond of him; but the sudden change in her fortune quite altered her
views and opinions. As soon as Frank came in, she pretended to be in
great haste to be gone; and, by various petty manoeuvres, avoided giving
him an opportunity of speaking to her; though she plainly saw he was
anxious to say something to her in private. At length, when she was
looking out of the window, to see whether a shower was over, he went
behind her and whispered, “Why are you in such haste? Cannot you stay a
few minutes with us? You were not always in such a hurry to run away!”

“Lord, nonsense! Mr. Frank. Why will you always plague me with nonsense,
Mr. Frank?”

She opened the lattice window as she spoke, put out her beautiful neck
as far as possible, and looked up eagerly to the clouds.

“How sweet this jasmine smells!” said Frank, pulling a bit of it which
hung over the casement. “This is the jasmine you used to like so much.
See, I’ve nailed it up, and it’s finer than ever it was. Won’t you have
a sprig of it?” offering to put some in her hat, as he had done before;
but she now drew back disdainfully, saying:

“Lord! Mr. Frank, it’s all wet, and will spoil my new lilac ribbons. How
awkward and disagreeable you are always!”

“Always! you did not always think so; at least, you did not say so.”

“Well, I think so, and say so now; and that’s enough.”

“And too much, if you are in earnest; but that I can hardly believe.”

“That’s your business, and not mine. If you don’t choose to believe what
I say, how can I help it? But this you’ll remember, if you please, sir.”

“Sir!!! Oh, Jessy! is it come to this?”.

“To what, sir? For I vow and declare I don’t understand you!”

“I have never understood you till now, I am afraid.”

“Perhaps not: it’s well we understand one another at last. Better late
than never.”

The scornful lady walked off to a looking-glass, to wipe away the insult
which her new lilac ribbons had received from Frank’s sprig of jasmine.

“One word more, and I have done,” said Frank, hastily following her.
“Have I done anything to displease you? Or does this change in you
proceed from the change in your fortune, Jessy?”

“I’m not obliged, sir, to account for my proceedings to any body; and
don’t know what right you have to question me, as if you were my lord
and judge: which you are not, nor ever will be, thank God!”

Frank’s passion struggled with his reason for a few instants. He stood
motionless; then, in an altered voice, repeated, “Thank God!” and turned
from her with proud composure. From this time forward he paid no more
court to Jessy.

“Ah, father!” said he, “you knew her better than I did. I am glad I did
not marry her last year, when she would have accepted of me, and when
she seemed to love me. I thought you were rather hard upon her then. But
you were not in love with her as I was, and now I find you were right.”

“My dear Frank,” said the good old man, “I hope you will not think me
hard another time, when I do not think just the same as you do. I would,
as I told you, have done every thing in my power to settle you well in
the world, if you had married this girl. I should never have been angry
with you; but I should have been bitterly grieved if you had, for the
whim of the minute, made yourself unhappy for life. And was it not best
to put you upon your guard? What better use can an old man make of his
experience than to give it to his children?”

Frank was touched by the kind manner in which his father spoke to him;
and Fanny, who was present, immediately put a letter into her father’s
hand, saying, “I have just received this from Will Bettesworth: what
answer do you think I had best give him?”

Now, Fanny, though she did not quite approve of Wild Will’s character,
felt a little partiality for him, for he seemed to be of a generous
temper, and his manners were engaging. She hoped his wildness was
only the effect of good spirits, and that he would soon settle to some
business. However, she had kept these hopes and this partiality a secret
from all but her father, and she had never given Will Bettesworth any
encouragement. Her father had not a good opinion of this young man; and
she had followed his advice, in keeping him at a distance. His letter
was written in so vile a hand, that it was not easy to decipher the


“Notwithstanding your cruelty, I ham more in love with you than hever;
and now I ham come in for a share in a great fortin; and shall ask no
questions from father nor mother, if you will marry me, having no reason
to love or care for either. Mother’s as cross as hever, and will never,
I am shure, agre to my doing any thing I like myself; which makes me
more set upon having my own whay, and I ham more and more in love with
you than hever, and would go through fire and water to get you.

“Your true love (in haste),


At first reading the letter, Fanny was pleased to find that her lover
did not, like Jilting Jessy, change his mind the moment that his
situation was altered; but, upon looking over it again, she could not
help considering that such an undutiful son was not likely to make a
very good husband; and she thought even that Wild Will seemed to be more
and more in love with her than ever, from the spirit of opposition; for
he had not been much attached to her, till his mother, as he said, set
herself against the match. At the end of this letter were the words
_turn over_; but they were so scrawled and blotted, that Fanny thought
they were only one of the strange flourishes which he usually made at
the end of his name; and consequently she had never turned over, or read
the postscript, when she put the epistle into her father’s hands. He
deciphered the flourish, and read the following addition:

“I know your feather does not like me; but never mind his not being
agreuble. As shure as my name’s Will, I’d carry you hoff, night or day;
and Bob would fight your brothers along with me, if they said a word:
for Bob loves fun. I will be at your windor this night, if you are
agreuble, like a gurl of spirit.”

Fanny was shocked so much that she turned quite pale, and would have
sunk to the ground, if she had not been supported by her father. As soon
as she recovered herself sufficiently to be able to think, she declared
that all the liking she had ever felt for William Bettesworth was
completely conquered; and she thanked her father for having early warned
her of his character. “Ah! father,” said she, “what a happiness it has
been to me that you never made me afraid of you! Else, I never should
have dared to tell you my mind; and in what a sad snare might I have
been at this instant! If it had not been for you, I should perhaps have
encouraged this man; I might not then, may be, have been able to draw
back; and what would have become of me?”

It is scarcely necessary to say that Fanny wrote a decided refusal to
Wild Will. All connexion between the Bettesworths and Franklands was now
broken off. Will was enraged at being rejected by Fanny; and Jessy was
equally incensed at finding she was no longer admired by Frank. They,
however, affected to despise the Franklands, and to treat them as people
beneath their notice. The fortune left by Captain Bettesworth to his
relations, was said to be about twenty thousand pounds: with this sum
they thought, to use their own expression, they were entitled to live in
as great style, and cut as grand a dash, as any of the first families in
Monmouthshire. For the present we shall leave them to the enjoyment of
their new grandeur, and continue the humble history of farmer Frankland
and his family.

By many years of persevering industry, Mr. Frankland had so improved
the farm upon which he lived, that he was now affluent, for a man in his
station of life. His house, garden, farm-yard, every thing about him,
were so neat and comfortable, that travellers, as they passed by, never
failed to ask, “Who lives there?” Travellers, however, only saw the
outside; and that was not, in this instance, the best part. They would
have seen happiness, if they had looked within these farm-house walls:
happiness which may be enjoyed as well in the cottage as in the palace;
that which arises from family union.

Mr. Frankland was now anxious to settle his sons in the world. George
had business enough at home, in taking care of the farm; and James
proposed to set up a haberdasher’s shop in Monmouth: accordingly, the
goods were ordered, and the shop was taken.

There was a part in the roof of the house which let in the wet, and
James would not go into it till this was completely repaired; so his
packages of goods were sent from London to his father’s house, which
was only a mile distant from Monmouth. His sisters unpacked them by his
desire, to set shop-marks upon each article. Late at night, after all
the rest of the family were asleep, Patty was sitting up to finish
setting the marks on a box full of ribbons; the only thing that remained
to be done. Her candle was just burnt out; and as she was going for
another, she went by a passage window that faced the farm-yard, and
suddenly saw a great light without. She looked out, and beheld the large
hay-rick all in flames. She ran immediately to awaken her brothers and
her father. They used every possible exertion to extinguish the fire,
and to prevent it from communicating to the dwelling-house; but the wind
was high; it blew directly towards the house. George poured buckets
of water over the thatch, to prevent its catching fire; but all was
in vain: thick flakes of fire fell upon it faster than they could be
extinguished, and in an hour’s time the dwelling-house was in a blaze.

The first care of the sons had been to get their father and sisters out
of danger; then, with great presence of mind, they collected every thing
that was most valuable and portable, and laboured hard to save poor
James’s stock of haberdashery. They were all night hard at work:
towards three o’clock the fire was got under, and darkness and silence
succeeded. There was one roof of the house saved, under which the whole
family rested for a few hours, till the return of daylight renewed the
melancholy spectacle of their ruin. Hay, oats, straw, corn-ricks, barn,
every thing that the farm-yard contained, was utterly consumed: the
walls and some half-burnt beams remained of the dwelling-house, but it
was no longer habitable. It was calculated that six hundred pounds would
not repair the loss occasioned by this unfortunate accident. How the
hay-rick had caught fire nobody knew.

George, who had made up the hay-stack, was most inclined to think that
the hay had not been sufficiently dried, and that the rick had heated
from this cause. He blamed himself extremely; but his father declared he
had seen, felt, and smelt the hay, when the rick was making, and that
it was as well saved hay as ever was brought into a farm-yard. This,
in some measure, quieted poor George’s conscience: and he was yet more
comforted by Patty’s good-nature, who showed him a bucket of ashes
which had been left very near the spot where the hay-rick stood.
The servant-girl, who, though careless, was honest, confessed she
recollected having accidentally left this bucket in that dangerous place
the preceding evening; that she was going with it across the yard to the
ash-hole, but she heard her lover whistle to her from the lane, and she
set down the bucket in a hurry, ran to meet him, and forgot the ashes.
All she could say in her own defence was, that she did not think there
was any fire in the bucket.

Her good master forgave her carelessness; he said he was sure she
reproached herself enough for it, as indeed she did, and the more so
when her master spoke to her so kindly; she cried as if her heart would
break; and all that could be done to comfort her, was to set her to work
as hard as possible for the family.

They did not, any of them, spend their time in vain lamentations: ready
money was wanting to rebuild the house and barns, and James sold to a
haberdasher in Monmouth all of his stock which had been saved out of the
fire, and brought the money to his father.

“Father,” said he, “you gave this to me when you were able to afford
it; you want it now, and I can do very well without it. I will go and
be shopman in some good shop in Monmouth; and by degrees I shall get on,
and do very well in the world. It would be strange if I did not, after
the education you have given me.”

The father took the money from his son with tears of pleasure. “It is
odd enough.” said he, “that I should feel pleasure at such a time; but
this is the blessing of having good children. As long as we all
are ready to help one another in this manner, we can never be very
miserable, happen what may. Now let us think of rebuilding our house,”
 continued the active old man. “Frank, reach me down my hat. I’ve a
twinge of the rheumatism in this arm: I caught a little cold the night
of the fire, I believe; but stirring about will do me good, and I must
not be lazy: I should be ashamed to be lazy amongst so many active young
men.” The father and sons were very busy at work, when an ill-looking
man rode up to them; and, after asking if their name was Frankland, put
a paper into each of their hands. These papers were copies of a notice
to quit their farm, before the ensuing first of September, under pain of
paying double rent for the same.

“This is some mistake, sir,” said old Frankland, mildly.

“No mistake, sir,” replied the stranger. “You will find the notice is a
good notice, and duly served. Your lease I have seen myself within these
few days: it expired last May; and you have held over, contrary to law
and justice, eleven months, this being April.”

“My father never did anything contrary to law and justice in his whole
life,” interrupted Frank; whose eyes flashed with indignation.

“Softly, Frank,” said his father, putting his hand on his son’s
shoulder; “softly, my dear boy: let this gentleman and I come to an
understanding quietly.--Here is some mistake, sir. It is very true that
my lease expired last May; but I had a promise of a renewal from my good

“I don’t know, sir, anything of that,” replied the stranger, as he
looked over a memorandum-book. “I do not know whom you denominate your
_good landlord_; that being no way of describing a man in the eye of
the law: but if you refer to the original grantor, or lessor, Francis
Folingsby, of Folingsby-place, Monmouthshire, Esq., I am to inform you
that he died at Bath the 17th instant.”

“Died! My poor landlord dead! I am very sorry for it.”

“And his nephew, Philip Folingsby, Esq., came into possession as heir at
law,” continued the stranger, in an unvaried tone; “and under his orders
I act, having a power of attorney for that purpose.”

“But, sir, I am sure Mr. Philip Folingsby cannot know of the promise of
renewal, which I had from his uncle.”

“Verbal promises, you know, are nothing, sir; mere air, without
witnesses: and, if gratuitous on the part of the deceased, are no ways
binding, either in common law or equity, on the survivor or heir. In
case the promise had been in writing, and on a proper stamp, it would
have been something.” “It was not in writing, to be sure, sir,” said
Frankland, “but I thought my good landlord’s word was as good as his
bond; and I said so.”

“Yes,” cried Frank; “and I remember when you said so to him, I was by;
and he answered, ‘You shall have my promise in writing. Such things are
of little use between honest men: but who knows what may happen, and who
may come after me? Everything about business should be put into writing.
I would never let a tenant of mine be at an uncertainty. You have
improved your farm, and deserve to enjoy the fruits of your own
industry, Mr. Frankland.’ Just then company came in, and our landlord
put off writing the promise. He next day left the country in a hurry;
and I am sure thought, afterwards, he had given us the promise in

“Very clear evidence, no doubt, sir; but not at all to the point at
present,” said the stranger. “As an agent, I am to know nothing but what
is my employer’s intent. When we see the writing and stamp, I shall be
a better judge,” added he with a sneer. “In the mean time, gentlemen,
I wish you a good morning: and you will please to observe that you have
been duly served with notice to quit, or pay double rent.”

“There can be no doubt, however,” said Frank, “that Mr. Folingsby will
believe you, father. He is a gentleman, I suppose, and not like this new
agent, who talks like an attorney. I hate all attorneys.”

“All dishonest attorneys, I suppose you mean, Frank,” said the
benevolent old man; who, even when his temper was most tried, never
spoke, or even felt with acrimony.

The new landlord came into the country; and a few days after his
arrival, old Frankland went to wait upon him. There was little hope of
seeing young Mr. Folingsby; he was a man whose head was at this time
entirely full of gigs, and tandems, and unicorns: business was his
aversion; pleasure was his business. Money he considered only as the
means of pleasure; and tenants only as machines, who make money. He was
neither avaricious nor cruel; but thoughtless and extravagant.

Whilst he appeared merely in the character of a young man of fashion,
these faults were no offence to his equals, to whom they did no injury:
but when he came into possession of a large estate, and when numbers
were dependent upon him, they were severely felt by his inferiors.

Mr. Folingsby had just gathered up the reins in hand, and was seated in
his unicorn, when farmer Frankland, who had been waiting some hours to
see him, came to the side of the carriage. As he took off his hat, the
wind blew his grey hair over his face.

“Put on your hat, pray, my good friend; and don’t come near these
horses, for I can’t answer for them. Have you any commands with me?”

“I have been waiting some hours to speak to you, sir; but, if you
are not at leisure, I will come again to-morrow morning,” said old

“Ay, do so; call to-morrow morning; for now I have not one moment to
spare,” said young Folingsby, as he whipped his horses, and drove off,
as if the safety of the nation had depended upon twelve miles an hour.

The next day, and the next, and the next, the old tenant called upon his
young landlord, but without obtaining an audience; still he was desired
to call to-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow. He wrote several
letters to him, but received no answer: at last, after giving half a
guinea to his landlord’s gentleman, he gained admittance. Mr. Folingsby
was drawing on his boots, and his horses were coming to the door.
Frankland saw it was necessary to be concise in his story: he slightly
touched on the principal circumstances, the length of time he had
occupied his farm, the improvements he had made upon the land, and the
misfortune which had lately befallen him. The boots were on by the time
that he got to the promise of renewal, and the notice to quit.

“Promise of renewal: I know of no such thing. Notice to quit: that’s my
agent’s business; speak to him; he’ll do you justice. I really am sorry
for you, Mr. Frankland; very sorry, extremely sorry. Damn the rascal who
made these boots!--but you see how I’m circumstanced; haven’t a
moment to myself; only came to the country for a few days; set out for
Ascot-races to-morrow; really have not a moment to think of any thing.
But speak to Mr. Deal, my agent. He’ll do you justice, I’m sure. I leave
all these things to him. Jack, that bay horse is coming on----”

“I have spoken to your agent, sir,” said the old tenant, following his
thoughtless young landlord; “but he said that verbal promises, without a
witness present, were nothing but air; and I have nothing to rely on but
your justice. I assure you, sir, I have not been an idle tenant: my land
will show that I have not.”

“Tell Mr. Deal so; make him understand it in this light. I leave every
thing of this sort to Mr. Deal. I really have not time for business, but
I’m sure Mr. Deal will do you justice.”

This was all that could be obtained from the young landlord. His
confidence in his agent’s sense of justice was somewhat misplaced. Mr.
Deal had received a proposal from another tenant for Frankland’s farm;
and with this proposal a bank note was sent, which spoke more forcibly
than all that poor Frankland could urge. The agent took the farm
from him; and declared he could not, in justice to his employer, do
otherwise; because the new tenant had promised to build upon the land a
lodge fit for any gentleman to inhabit, instead of a farm-house.

The transaction was concluded without Mr. Folingsby’s knowing any thing
more of the matter, except signing the leases, which he did without
reading them; and receiving half a year’s rent in hand, as a fine, which
he did with great satisfaction. He was often distressed for ready money,
though he had a large estate; and his agent well knew how to humour
him in his hatred of business. No interest could have persuaded Mr.
Folingsby deliberately to commit so base an action as that of cheating
a deserving old tenant out of a promised renewal; but, in fact, long
before the leases were sent to him, he had totally forgotten every
syllable that poor Frankland had said to him on the subject.


The day on which they left their farm was a melancholy day to this
unfortunate family. Mr. Frankland’s father and grandfather had been
tenants, and excellent tenants, to the Folingsby family: all of them had
occupied, and not only occupied, but highly improved, this farm. All
the neighbours were struck with compassion, and cried shame upon Mr.
Folingsby! But Mr. Folingsby was at Ascot, and did not hear them. He was
on the race ground, betting hundreds upon a favourite horse, whilst this
old man and his family were slowly passing in their covered cart down
the lane which led from their farm, taking a last farewell of the fields
they had cultivated, and the harvest they had sown, but which they were
never to reap.

Hannah, the servant-girl, who had reproached herself so bitterly for
leaving the bucket of ashes near the hay-rick, was extremely active in
assisting her poor master. Upon this occasion she seemed to be endowed
with double strength; and a degree of cleverness and presence of mind,
of which she had never shown any symptoms in her former life: but
gratitude awakened all her faculties.

Before she came to this family, she had lived some years with a farmer
who, as she now recollected, had a small farm, with a snug cottage upon
it, which was to be this very year out of lease. Without saying a word
of her intentions, she got up early one morning, walked fifteen miles
to her old master’s, and offered to pay out of her wages, which she
had laid by for six or seven years, the year’s rent of this farm
before-hand, if the farmer would let it to Mr. Frankland. The farmer
would not take the girl’s money, for he said he wanted no security from
Mr. Frankland, or his son George: they bore the best of characters, he
observed, and no people in Monmouthshire could understand the management
of land better. He willingly agreed to let him the farm; but it
contained only a few acres, and the house was so small that it could
scarcely lodge above three people.

Here old Frankland and his eldest son, George, settled. James went to
Monmouth, where he became shopman to Mr. Cleghorn, a haberdasher, who
took him in preference to three other young men, who applied on the same
day. “Shall I tell you the reason why I fixed upon you, James?” said Mr.
Cleghorn. “It was not whim; I had my reasons.”

“I suppose,” said James, “you thought I had been honestly and well
brought up; as, I believe, in former times, sir, you knew something of
my mother.”

“Yes, sir; and in former times I knew something of yourself. You may
forget, but I do not, that, when you were a child, not more than nine
years old, {Footnote: This circumstance is a fact.} you came to this
shop to pay a bill of your mother’s: the bill was cast up a pound too
little: you found out the mistake, and paid me the money. I dare say you
are as good an accountant, and as honest a fellow, still. I have just
been terribly tricked by a lad to whom I trusted foolishly; but this
will not make me suspicious towards you, because I know how you have
been brought up; and that is the best security a man can have.”

Thus, even in childhood, the foundation of a good character may be
laid; and thus children inherit the good name of their parents. A rich
inheritance! of which they cannot be deprived by the utmost malice of

The good characters of Fanny and Patty Frankland were well known in the
neighbourhood; and when they could no longer afford to live at home,
they found no difficulty in getting places. On the contrary, several of
the best families in Monmouth were anxious to engage them. Fanny went to
live with Mrs. Hungerford, a lady of an ancient family, who was proud,
but not insolent, and generous, but not what is commonly called
affable. She had several children, and she hired Fanny Frankland for the
particular purpose of attending them.

“Pray let me see that you exactly obey my orders, young woman, with
respect to my children,” said Mrs. Hungerford, “and you shall have no
reason to complain of the manner in which you are treated in this house.
It is my wish to make every body happy in it, from the highest to the
lowest. You have, I understand, received an education above your present
station in life; and I hope and trust that you will deserve the high
opinion I am, from that circumstance, inclined to form of you.”

Fanny was rather intimidated by the haughtiness of Mrs. Hungerford’s
manner; yet she felt a steady though modest confidence in herself, which
was not displeasing to her mistress.

About this time Patty also went into service. Her mistress was a Mrs.
Crumpe, a very old rich lady, who was often sick and peevish, and who
confessed that she required an uncommonly good-humoured person to
wait upon her. She lived a few miles from Monmouth, where she had many
relations; but on account of her great age and infirmities, she led an
extremely retired life.

Frank was now the only person in the family who was not settled in
the world. He determined to apply to a Mr. Barlow, an attorney of an
excellent character. He had been much pleased with the candour and
generosity Frank showed in a quarrel with the Bettesworths; and he had
promised to befriend him, if ever it should be in his power. It happened
that, at this time, Mr. Barlow was in want of a clerk; and as he knew
Frank’s abilities, and had reason to feel confidence in his integrity,
he determined to employ him in his office. Frank had once a prejudice
against attorneys: he thought that they could not be honest men; but he
was convinced of his mistake when he became acquainted with Mr. Barlow.
This gentleman never practised any mean pettyfogging arts; on the
contrary, he always dissuaded those who consulted him from commencing
vexatious suits. Instead of fomenting quarrels, it was his pleasure and
pride to bring about reconciliations. It was said of Mr. Barlow that
he had lost more suits out of the court, and fewer in them, than any
attorney of his standing in England. His reputation was now so great
that he was consulted more as a lawyer than as an attorney. With such a
master, Frank had a prospect of being extremely happy; and he determined
that nothing should be wanting, on his part, to ensure Mr. Barlow’s
esteem and regard.

James Frankland, in the mean time, went on happily with Mr. Cleghorn,
the haberdasher; whose customers all agreed that his shop had never
been so well attended as since this young man had been his foreman. His
accounts were kept in the most exact manner; and his bills were made out
with unrivalled neatness and expedition. His attendance on the shop
was so constant that his master began to fear it might hurt his health;
especially as he had never, till of late, been used to so confined a

“You should go abroad, James, these fine evenings,” said Mr. Cleghorn.
“Take a walk in the country now and then, in the fresh air. Don’t think
I want to nail you always to the counter. Come, this is as fine an
evening as you can wish: take your hat, and away; I’ll mind the shop
myself, till you come back. He must be a hard master, indeed, that does
not know when he is well served; and that never will be my case, I hope.
Good servants make good masters, and good masters good servants. Not
that I mean to call you, Mr. James, a servant; that was only a slip of
the tongue; and no matter for the tongue, where the heart means well, as
mine does towards you.”

Towards all the world Mr. Cleghorn was not disposed to be indulgent: he
was not a selfish man; but he had a high idea of subordination in life.
Having risen himself by slow degrees, he thought that every man in trade
should have what he called “the rough as well as the smooth.” He saw
that his new foreman bore the rough well; and therefore he was now
inclined to give him some of the smooth.

James, who was extremely fond of his brother Frank, called upon him and
took him to Mrs. Hungerford’s, to ask Fanny to accompany them in this
walk. They had seldom seen her since they had quitted their father’s
house and lived in Monmouth; and they were disappointed when they were
told, by Mrs. Hungerford’s footman, that Fanny was not at home; she was
gone to walk out with the children. The man did not know which road
they went, so they had no hopes of meeting her; and they took their way
through one of the shady lanes near Monmouth. It was late before they
thought of returning; for, after several weeks’ confinement in close
houses, the fresh air, green fields, and sweet-smelling wild flowers in
the hedges, were delightful novelties. “Those who see these things every
day,” said James, “scarcely notice them; I remember I did not when I
lived at our farm. So things, as my father used to say, are made equal
to people in this world. We, who are hard at work in a close room all
day long, have more relish for an evening walk, a hundred to one, than
those who saunter about from morning till night.”

The philosophic reflections of James were interrupted by the merry
voices of a troop of children, who were getting over a stile into the
lane, where he and Frank were walking. The children had huge nosegays of
honeysuckles, dog-roses, and blue-bells, in their little hands; and they
gave their flowers to a young woman who attended them, begging she would
hold them whilst they got over the stile. James and Frank went to offer
their services to help the children; and then they saw that the young
woman, who held the flowers, was their sister Fanny.

“Our own Fanny!” said Frank. “How lucky this is! It seems almost a year
since I saw you. We have been all the way to Mrs. Hungerford’s to look
for you, and have been forced to take half our walk without you; but the
other half will make amends. I’ve a hundred things to say to you: which
is your way home? Take the longest way, I entreat you. Here is my arm.
What a delightful fine evening it is! But what’s the matter?”

“It is a very fine evening,” said Fanny, hesitating a little; “and I
hope to-morrow will be as fine. I’ll ask my mistress to let me walk out
with you to-morrow; but this evening I cannot stay with you, because
I have the children under my care; and I have promised her that I will
never walk with any one when they are with me.”

“But your own brother,” said Frank, a little angry at this refusal.

“I promised I would not walk with any one; and surely you are somebody:
so good night; good bye,” replied Fanny, endeavouring to turn off his
displeasure with a laugh.

“But what harm, I say, can I do the children, by walking with you?”
 cried Frank, catching hold of her gown.

“I don’t know; but I know what the orders of my mistress are; and you
know, dear Frank, that whilst I live with her, I am bound to obey them.”

“Oh, Frank, she must obey them,” said James.

Frank loosened his hold of Fanny’s gown immediately. “You are right,
dear Fanny,” said he; “you are right, and I was wrong: so good night;
good bye. Only remember to ask leave to walk with us to-morrow evening;
for I have had a letter from father and brother George, and I want to
show it you. Wait five minutes, and I can read it to you now, Fanny.”

Fanny, though she was anxious to hear her father’s letter, would not
wait, but hurried away with the children that were under her care;
saying she must keep her promise to her mistress exactly. Frank followed
her, and put the letter into her hands. “You are a dear good girl, and
deserve all the fine things father says of you in this letter. Take it,
child: your mistress does not forbid you receiving a letter from your
father, I suppose. I shall wish her hanged, if she does not let you walk
with us to-morrow,” whispered he.

The children frequently interrupted Fanny, as she was reading her
father’s letter. “Pray pull that high dog-rose for me, Fanny,” said
one. “Pray hold me up to that large honeysuckle,” said another. “And do,
Fanny,” said the youngest boy, “let us go home by the common, that I may
see the glowworms. Mamma said I might; and whilst we are looking for the
glowworms, you can sit on a stone, or a bank, and read your letter in

Fanny, who was always very ready to indulge the children in any thing
which her mistress had not forbidden, agreed to this proposal; and when
they came to the common, little Gustavus, for that was the name of the
eldest boy, found a charming seat for her; and she sat down to read her
letter whilst the children ran to hunt for glowworms.

Fanny read her father’s letter over three times; and yet few people,
except those who have the happiness to love a father as well, and to
have a father as deserving to be loved, would think it at all worth
reading even once.


“It is a strange thing to me to be without you; but, with me or from me,
I am sure you are doing well; and that is a great comfort; ay, the best
a father can have, especially at my age. I am heartily glad to hear
that my Frank has, by his own deserts, got so good a place with that
excellent man, Mr. Barlow. He does not hate attorneys now, I am sure.
Indeed, it is my belief, he could not hate any body for half an hour
together, if he were to do his worst. Thank God, none of my children
have been brought up to be revengeful or envious; and they are not
fighting with one another, as I hear the poor Bettesworths now all are
for the fortune. ‘Better is a dinner of herbs, where love is, than a
stalled ox, and hatred therewith.’ I need not have troubled myself
to write this text to any of you; but old men will be talkative. My
rheumatism, however, prevents me from being as talkative as I could
wish. It has been rather severe or so, owing to the great cold I caught
the day that I was obliged to wait so long at squire Folingsby’s in my
wet clothes. But I hope soon to be stirring again, and to be able to
take share of the work about our little farm, with your dear brother
George. Poor fellow! he has so much to do, and does so much, that I fear
he will overwork himself. He is at this present time out in the little
field, opposite my window, digging up the docks, which are very hard to
conquer; he has made a brave large heap of them, but I wish to my heart
he would not toil so desperately.

“I desire, my dear James and Frank, you will not confine yourselves
too much in your shop and at your desk: this is all I have to dread for
either of you. Give my love and blessing to my sweet girls. If Fanny was
not as prudent as she is pretty, I should be in fear for her; hearing as
I do, that Mrs. Hungerford keeps so much fine company. A waiting-maid in
such a house is in a dangerous place: but my Fanny, I am sure, will
ever keep in mind her mother’s precepts and example. I am told that Mrs.
Crumpe, Patty’s mistress, is (owing, I suppose, to her great age and
infirmities) difficult in her humour; but my Patty has so even and
pleasant a temper that I defy any one living, that knows her, not to
love her. My hand is now quite tired of writing, this being penned with
my left, as my right arm is not yet free from rheumatism: I have
not James with me to write. God bless and preserve you all, my dear
children. With such comforts, I can have nothing to complain of in
this world. This I know, I would not exchange any one of you for all my
neighbour Bettesworth’s fine fortune. Write soon to

“Your affectionate father,

“B. Frankland.”

“Look! look at the glowworms!” cried the children, gathering round
Fanny, just as she had finished reading her letter. There were
prodigious numbers of them on this common; and they shone over the whole
ground, in clusters, or singly, like little stars.

Whilst the children were looking with admiration and delight at this
spectacle, their attention was suddenly diverted from the glowworms by
the sound of a French-horn. They looked round and perceived that it came
from the balcony of a house, which was but a few yards distant from the
spot where they were standing.

“Oh! let us go nearer to the balcony!” said the children, “that we may
hear the music better.” A violin, and a clarinet, at this moment began
to play.

“Oh! let us go nearer!” said the children, drawing Fanny with all their
little force towards the balcony.

“My dears, it is growing late,” said she, “and we must make haste home.
There is a crowd of company, you see, at the door and at the windows of
that house; and if we go near to it, some of them will certainly speak
to you, and that, you know, your mamma would not like.”

The children paused and looked at one another, as if inclined to submit;
but, at this moment, a kettle-drum was heard, and little Gustavus could
not resist his curiosity to hear and see more of this instrument: he
broke loose from Fanny’s hands, and escaped to the house, exclaiming, “I
must and will hear it, and see it too!”

Fanny was obliged to pursue him into the midst of the crowd: he made his
way up to a young gentleman in regimentals, who took him up in his arms,
saying, “By Jove, a fine little fellow! A soldier, every inch of him! By
Jove, he shall see the drum, and beat it too; let us see who dares say
to the contrary.”

As the gallant ensign spoke, he carried Gustavus up a flight of stairs
that led to the balcony. Fanny in great anxiety called after him to beg
that he would not detain the child, who was trusted to her care: her
mistress, she said, would be extremely displeased with her, if she
disobeyed her orders.

She was here interrupted in her remonstrance by the shrill voice of
a female, who stood on the same stair with the ensign, and whom,
notwithstanding the great alteration in her dress, Fanny recognized to
be Sally Bettesworth. Jilting Jessy stood beside her.

“Fanny Frankland, I protest! What a pother she keeps about nothing,”
 cried Saucy Sally. “Know your betters, and keep your distance, young
woman. Who cares whether your mistress is displeased or not? She can’t
turn us away, can she, pray? She can’t call ensign Bloomington to
account, can she, hey?”

An insolent laugh closed this speech; a laugh in which several of the
crowd joined: but some gentlemen were interested by Fanny’s beautiful
and modest countenance, as she looked up to the balcony, and, with tears
in her eyes, entreated to be heard. “Oh, for shame, Bloomington! Give
her back the boy. It is not fair that she should lose her place,” cried

Bloomington would have yielded; but Saucy Sally stood before him crying
in a threatening tone, “I’ll never speak to you again, I promise you,
Bloomington, if you give up. A fine thing indeed for a man and a
soldier to give up to a woman and a servant-girl! and an impertinent
servant-girl! Who cares for her or her place either?”

“I do! I do!” exclaimed little Gustavus, springing from the ensign’s
arms. “I care for her! She is not an impertinent girl; and I’ll give
up seeing the kettle-drum, and go home with her directly, with all my

In vain Sally attempted to withhold him; the boy ran down the stairs to
Fanny, and marched off with her in all the conscious pride of a hero,
whose generosity has fairly vanquished his passions. Little Gustavus was
indeed a truly generous child: the first thing he did, when he got home,
was to tell his mother all that had passed this evening. Mrs. Hungerford
was delighted with her son, and said to him, “I cannot, I am sure,
reward you better, my dear, than by rewarding this good young woman. The
fidelity with which she has fulfilled my orders, in all that regards
my children, places her, in my opinion, above the rank in which she was
born. Henceforward she shall hold in my house a station to which her
habits of truth, gentleness, and good sense, entitle her.”

From this time forward, Fanny, by Mrs. Hungerford’s desire, was always
present when the children took their lessons from their several masters.
Mrs. Hungerford advised her to apply herself to learn all those things
which were necessary for a governess to young ladies. “When you speak,
your language in general is good, and correct; and no pains shall be
wanting, on my part,” said this haughty but benevolent lady, “to form
your manners, and to develop your talents. This I partly owe you for
your care of my children; and I am happy to reward my son Gustavus in a
manner which I am certain will be most agreeable to him.”

“And, mamma,” said the little boy, “may she walk out sometimes with her
brothers? for I do believe she loves them as well as I love my sisters.”

Mrs. Hungerford permitted Fanny to walk out for an hour, every morning,
during the time that her children were with their dancing-master; and at
this hour sometimes her brother James, and sometimes her brother Frank,
could be spared; and they had many pleasant walks together. What a
happiness it was to them to have been thus bred up, from their earliest
years, in friendship with one another! This friendship was now the
sweetest pleasure of their lives.

Poor Patty! She regretted that she could not join in these pleasant
meetings; but, alas! she was so useful, so agreeable, and so necessary
to her infirm mistress, that she could never be spared from home.
“Where’s Patty? why does not Patty do this?” were Mrs. Crumpe’s constant
questions whenever she was absent. Patty had all the business of the
house upon her hands, because nobody could do any thing so well as
Patty. Mrs. Crumpe found that no one could dress her but Patty; nobody
could make her bed, so that she could sleep on it, but Patty; no one
could make jelly, or broth, or whey, that she could taste, but Patty;
no one could roast, or boil, or bake, but Patty. Of course, all these
things must be done by nobody else. The ironing of Mrs. Crumpe’s caps,
which had exquisitely nice plaited borders, at last fell to Patty’s
share; because once, when the laundry-maid was sick, she plaited one
so charmingly, that her lady would never afterwards wear any but of
her plaiting. Now Mrs. Crumpe changed her cap, or rather had her cap
changed, three times a day; and never wore the same cap twice.

The labours of washing, ironing, plaiting, roasting, boiling, baking,
making jelly, broth, and whey, were not sufficient: Mrs. Crumpe took it
into her head that she could eat no butter but of Patty’s churning. But,
what was worse than all, not a night passed without Patty’s being called
up to see “what could be the matter with the dog that was barking, or
the cat that was mewing?” And when she was just sinking to sleep again,
at daybreak, her lady, in whose room she slept, would call out, “Patty!
Patty! There’s a dreadful noise in the chicken-yard.”

“Oh, ma’am, it is only the cocks crowing.”

“Well, do step out, and hinder them from crowing at this terrible rate.”

“But, ma’am, I cannot hinder them indeed.”

“Oh yes, you could, if you were up. Get up and whip ‘em, child. Whip
‘em all round, or I shall not sleep a wink more this night.” {Footnote:
Taken from life.}

How little poor Patty slept, her lady never considered: not that she
was in reality an ill-natured woman, but sickness inclined her to be
peevish; and she had so long been used to be humoured and waited upon by
relations and servants, who expected she would leave them rich legacies,
that she considered herself as a sort of golden idol, to whom all that
approached should and would bow as low as she pleased. Perceiving that
almost all around her were interested, she became completely selfish.
She was from morning till night, from night till morning, nay, from
year’s end to year’s end, so much in the habit of seeing others employed
for her, that she absolutely considered this to be the natural and
necessary course of things; and she quite forgot to think of the
comfort, or even of the well-being, of those creatures who were “born
for her use, and live but to oblige her.”

From time to time she was so far awakened to feeling, by Patty’s
exertions and good-humour, that she would say, to quiet her own
conscience, “Well! well! I’ll make it all up to her in my will! I’ll
make it all up to her in my will!”

She took it for granted that Patty, like the rest of her dependents,
was governed entirely by mercenary considerations; and she was persuaded
that the hopes of this legacy would secure Patty her slave for life. In
this she was mistaken.

One morning Patty came into her room with a face full of sorrow; a face
so unlike her usual countenance, that even her mistress, unaccustomed as
she was to attend to the feelings of others, could not help noticing the

“Well! What’s the matter, child?” said she.

“Oh! sad news, madam!” said Patty, turning aside to hide her tears.

“But what’s the matter, child, I say? Can’t you speak, whatever it is,
hey? What, have you burnt my best cap in the ironing, hey? Is that it?”

“Oh! worse, worse, ma’am!”

“Worse! What can be worse?”

“My brother, ma’am, my brother George, is ill, very ill of a fever; and
they don’t think he’ll live! Here is my father’s letter, ma’am!”

“Lord! how can I read it without spectacles? and why should I read it,
when you’ve told me all that’s in it? How the child cries!” continued
Mrs. Crumpe, raising herself a little on her pillow, and looking at
Patty with a sort of astonished curiosity. “Heigho! But I can’t stay in
bed this way till dinnertime. Get me my cap, child, and dry your eyes;
for crying won’t do your brother any good.”

Patty dried her eyes. “No, crying will not do him any good,” said she,

“But where is my cap? I don’t see it on the dressing-table.”

“No, ma’am: Martha will bring it in a minute or two: she is plaiting

“I will not have it plaited by Martha. Go and do it yourself.”

“But, ma’am,” said Patty, who, to her mistress’s surprise, stood still,
notwithstanding she heard this order, “I hope you will be so good as
to give me leave to go to my poor brother to-day. All the rest of my
brothers and sisters are with him, and he wants to see me; and they have
sent a horse for me.”

“No matter what they have sent, you sha’n’t go; I can’t spare you. If
you choose to serve me, serve me. If you choose to serve your brother,
serve your brother, and leave me.”

“Then, madam,” said Patty, “I must leave you; for I cannot but choose to
serve my brother at such a time as this, if I can serve him; which God
grant I mayn’t be too late to do!”

“What! You will leave me! Leave me contrary to my orders! Take notice,
then: these doors you shall never enter again, if you leave me now,”
 cried Mrs. Crumpe, who, by this unexpected opposition to her orders, was
actually worked up to a state unlike her usual peevishness. She started
up in her bed, and growing quite red in the face, cried, “Leave me now,
and you leave me for ever. Remember that! Remember that!”

“Then, madam, I must leave you for ever,” said Patty, moving towards the
door. “I wish you your health and happiness, and am sorry to break so

“The girl’s an idiot!” cried Mrs. Crumpe. “After this you cannot expect
that I should remember you in my will.”

“No, indeed, madam; I expect no such thing,” said Patty. (Her hand was
on the lock of the door as she spoke.)

“Then,” said Mrs. Crumpe, “perhaps you will think it worth your while to
stay with me, when I tell you I have not forgot you in my will? Consider
that, child, before you turn the handle of the door. Consider that; and
don’t disoblige me for ever.”

“Oh, madam, consider my poor brother. I am sorry to disoblige you for
ever; but I can consider nothing but my poor brother,” said Patty. The
lock of the door turned quickly in her hand.

“Why! Is your brother rich? What upon earth do you expect from this
brother, that can make it worth your while to behave to me in this
strange way?” said Mrs. Crumpe.

Patty was silent with astonishment for a few moments, and then answered,
“I expect nothing from him, madam; he is as poor as myself; but that
does not make me love him the less.”

Before Mrs. Crumpe could understand this last speech, Patty had left
the room. Her mistress sat up in her bed, in the same attitude, for some
minutes after she was gone, looking fixedly at the place where Patty had
stood: she could scarcely recover from her surprise; and a multitude of
painful thoughts crowded upon her mind.

“If I were dying, and poor, who would come to me? Not a relation I have
in the world would come near me! Not a creature on earth loves me as
this poor girl loves her brother, who is as poor as herself.”

Here her reflections were interrupted by hearing the galloping of
Patty’s horse, as it passed by the windows. Mrs. Crumpe tried to compose
herself again to sleep, but she could not; and in half an hour’s time
she rang the bell violently, took her purse out of her pocket, counted
out twenty bright guineas, and desired that a horse should be saddled
immediately, and that her steward should gallop after Patty, and offer
her that _whole sum in hand_, if she would return. “Begin with one
guinea, and bid on till you come up to her price,” said Mrs. Crumpe.
“Have her back again I will, if it were only to convince myself that she
is to be had for money as well as other people.”

The steward, as he counted the gold in his hand, thought it was a great
sum to throw away for such a whim: he had never seen his lady take
the whim of giving away ready money before; but it was in vain to
remonstrate; she was peremptory, and he obeyed.

In two hours’ time he returned, and Mrs. Crumpe saw her gold again with
extreme astonishment. The steward said he could not prevail upon
Patty even to look at the guineas. Mrs. Crumpe now flew into a violent
passion, in which none of our readers will probably sympathize: we shall
therefore forbear to describe it.


When Patty came within half a mile of the cottage in which her father
lived, she met Hannah, the faithful servant, who had never deserted the
family in their misfortunes; she had been watching all the morning on
the road for the first sight of Patty, but when she saw her, and came
quite close up to her, she had no power to speak; and Patty was so much
terrified that she could not ask her a single question. She walked her
horse a slow pace, and kept silence.

“Won’t you go on, ma’am?” said Hannah at last, forcing herself to speak.
“Won’t you go on a bit faster? He’s almost wild to see you.”

“He is alive then!” cried Patty. The horse was in full gallop directly,
and she was soon at her father’s door. James and Frank were there
watching for her: they lifted her from the horse; and feeling that
she trembled so much as to be scarcely able to stand, they would have
detained her a little while in the air; but she passed or rather rushed
into the room where her brother lay. He took no notice of her when she
came in, for he was insensible. Fanny was supporting his head; she held
out her hand to Patty, who went on tiptoe to the side of the bed. “Is he
asleep?” whispered she.

“Not asleep, but--He’ll come to himself presently,” continued Fanny,
“and he will be very, very glad you are come; and so will my father.”

“Where is my father?” said Patty; “I don’t see him.”

Fanny pointed to the farthest end of the room, where he was kneeling at
his devotion. The shutters being half closed, she could but just see
the faint beam which shone upon his grey hairs. He rose, came to his
daughter Patty, with an air of resigned grief, and taking her hand
between both of his, said, “My love--we must lose him--God’s will be

“Oh! there is hope, there is hope still!” said Patty. “See! the colour
is coming back to his lips again; his eyes open! Oh! George, dear
George, dear brother! It is your own sister Patty: don’t you know

“Patty!--Yes. Why does she not come to me? I would go to her if I
could,” said the sufferer, without knowing what he talked of. “Is not
she come yet? Send another horse, Frank. Why, it is only six miles. Six
miles in three hours, that is--how many miles an hour? ten miles, is it?
Don’t hurry her--don’t tell her I’m so bad; nor my father--don’t let him
see me, nor James, nor Frank, nor pretty Fanny, nor any body--they are
all too good to me: I only wished to see poor Patty once before I die;
but don’t frighten her--I shall be very well, tell her--quite well, by
the time she comes.”

After running on in this manner for some time, his eyes closed again,
and he lay in a state of stupor. He continued in this condition for some
time: at last his sisters, who were watching beside the bed, heard
a knocking at the door. It was Frank and James: they had gone for a
clergyman, whom George, before he became delirious, had desired to
see. The clergyman was come, and with him a benevolent physician, who
happened to be at his house, and who insisted upon accompanying him.
As soon as the physician saw the poor young man, and felt his pulse, he
perceived that the ignorant apothecary, who had been first employed, had
entirely mistaken George’s disease, and had treated him improperly. His
disease was a putrid fever, and the apothecary had bled him repeatedly.
The physician thought he could certainly have saved his life, if he had
seen him two days sooner; but now it was a hopeless case. All that could
be done for him he tried.

Towards evening, the disease seemed to take a favourable turn. George
came to his senses, knew his father, his brothers, and Fanny, and spoke
to each with his customary kindness, as they stood round his bed: he
then asked whether poor Patty was come? When he saw her, he thanked her
tenderly for coming to him, but could not recollect he had any thing
particular to say to her.

“I only wished to see you all together, to thank you for your
good-nature to me ever since I was born, and to take leave of you before
I die; for I feel that I am dying. Nay, do not cry so! My father! Oh! my
father is most to be pitied; but he will have James and Frank left.”

Seeing his father’s affliction, which the good old man struggled in vain
to subdue, George broke off here: he put his hand to his head, as if
fearing it was again growing confused.

“Let me see our good clergyman, now that I am well enough to see him,”
 said he. He then took a hand of each of his brothers and sisters, joined
them together, and pressed them to his lips, looking from them to
his father, whose back was now turned. “You understand me,” whispered
George: “he can never come to want, while you are left to work and
comfort him. If I should not see you again in this world, farewell! Ask
my father to give me his blessing!”

“God bless you, my son! God bless you, my dear good son! God will surely
bless so good a son!” said the agonized father, laying his hand upon his
son’s forehead, which even now was cold with the damp of death.

“What a comfort it is to have a father’s blessing!” said George. “May
you all have it when you are as I am now!”

“I shall be out of this world long, long before that time, I hope,” said
the poor old man, as he left the room. “But God’s will be done! Send the
clergyman to my boy!”

The clergyman remained in the room but a short time: when he returned to
the family, they saw by his looks that all was over!

There was a solemn silence.

“Be comforted,” said the good clergyman. “Never man left this world
with a clearer conscience, or had happier hope of a life to come. Be
comforted. Alas! at such a time as this you cannot be comforted by any
thing that the tongue of man can say.”

All the family attended the funeral. It was on a Sunday, just before
morning prayers; and as soon as George was interred, his father,
brothers, and sisters, left the churchyard, to avoid being seen by the
gay people who were coming to their devotion. As they went home, they
passed through the field in which George used to work: there they saw
his heap of docks, and his spade upright in the ground beside it, just
as he had left it, the last time that he had ever worked.

The whole family stayed for a few days with their poor father. Late one
evening, as they were all walking out together in the fields, a heavy
dew began to fall; and James urged his father to make haste home, lest
he should catch cold, and should have another fit of the rheumatism.
They were then at some distance from their cottage; and Frank, who
thought he knew a short way home, took them by a new road, which
unluckily led them far out of their way; it brought them unexpectedly
within sight of their old farm, and of the new house which Mr.
Bettesworth had built upon it.

“Oh! my dear father, I am sorry I brought you this way,” cried Frank.
“Let us turn back.”

“No, my son, why should we turn back?” said his father mildly; “we
can pass by these fields, and this house, I hope, without coveting our
neighbour’s goods.”

As they came near the house, he stopped at the gate to look at it. “It
is a good house,” said he; “but I have no need to envy any man a good
house; I, that have so much better things--good children!”

Just as he uttered these words, Mr. Bettesworth’s house door opened, and
three or four men appeared on the stone steps, quarrelling and fighting.
The loud voices of Bullying Bob and Wild Will were heard too plainly.

“We have no business here,” said old Frankland, turning to his children:
“let us go.”

The combatants pursued each other with such furious rapidity that they
were near to the gate in a few instants.

“Lock the gate, you without there, whoever you are! Lock the gate! or
I’ll knock you down when I come up, whoever you are;” cried Bullying
Bob, who was hindmost in the race.

Wild Will was foremost; he kicked open the gate, but his foot slipped as
he was going through: his brother overtook him, and, seizing him by the
collar, cried, “Give me back the bank-notes, you rascal! they are mine,
and I’ll have ‘em in spite of you.”

“They are mine, and I’ll keep ‘em in spite of you,” retorted Will, who
was much intoxicated.

“Oh! what a sight! brothers fighting! Oh! part them, part them! Hold!
hold! for Heaven’s sake!” cried old Frankland to them.

Frank and James held them asunder, though they continued to abuse one
another in the grossest terms. Their father, by this time, came up: he
wrung his hands, and wept bitterly.

“Oh! shame, shame to me in my old age!” cried he, “can’t you two let me
live the few years I have to live in peace? Ah, neighbour Frankland, you
are better off! My heart will break soon! These children of mine will be
the ruin and the death of me!”

At these words the sons interrupted their father with loud complaints
of the manner in which he had treated them. They had quarrelled with
one another, and with their father, about money. The father charged them
with profligate extravagance; and they accused him of sordid avarice.
Mr. Frankland, much shocked at this scene, besought them at least to
return to their house, and not to expose themselves in this manner,
especially now that they were in _the station of gentlemen_. Their
passions were too loud and brutal to listen to this appeal to their
pride; their being raised to the rank of gentlemen could not give them
principles or manners; that can only be done by education. Despairing
to effect any good, Mr. Frankland retired from this scene, and made the
best of his way home to his peaceful cottage.

“My children,” said he to his family, as they sat down to their frugal
meal, “we are poor, but we are happy in one another. Was not I right
to say I need not envy neighbour Bettesworth his fine house? Whatever
misfortunes befall me, I have the blessing of good children. It is a
blessing I would not exchange for any this world affords. God preserve
them in health!”

He sighed, and soon added, “It is a bitter thing to think of a good son,
who is dead; but it is worse, perhaps, to think of a bad son, who is
alive. That is a misfortune I can never know. But, my dear boys and
girls,” continued he, changing his tone, “this idle way of life of ours
must not last for ever. You are too poor to be idle; and so much the
better for you. To-morrow you must all away to your own business.”

“But, father,” cried they all at once, “which of us may stay with you?”

“None of you, my good children. You are all going on well in the world;
and I will not take you from your good masters and mistresses.”

Patty now urged that she had the strongest right to remain with her
father, because Mrs. Crumpe would certainly refuse to receive her into
her service again, after what had passed at their parting: but nothing
could prevail upon Frankland; he positively refused to let any of his
children stay with him. At last Frank cried, “How can you possibly
manage this farm without help? You must let either James or me stay
with you, father. Suppose you should be seized with another fit of the

Frankland paused for a moment, and then answered, “Poor Hannah will
nurse me if I fall sick. I am able still to pay her just wages. I will
not be a burden to my children. As to this farm, I am going to give it
up; for, indeed,” said the old man, smiling, “I should not be well able
to manage it with the rheumatism in my spade-arm. My landlord, farmer
Hewit, is a good-natured friendly man; and he will give me my own time
for the rent: nay, he tells me he would let me live in this cottage for
nothing: but I cannot do that.” “Then what will you do, dear father?”
 said his sons.

“The clergyman, who was here yesterday, has made interest for a house
for me which will cost me nothing, nor him either; and I shall be very
near you both, boys.”

“But, father,” interrupted Frank, “I know, by your way of speaking,
there is something about this house which you do not like.”

“That is true,” said old Frankland: “but that is the fault of my pride,
and of my old prejudices; which are hard to conquer at my time of
life. It is certain, I do not much like the thoughts of going into an

“An almshouse!” cried all his children at once, in a tone of horror.
“Oh! father, you must not, indeed you must not, go into an almshouse!”

The pride which renders the English yeoman averse to live upon public
charity is highly advantageous to the industry and virtue of the nation.
Even where it is instilled early into families as a prejudice, it is
useful, and ought to be respected.

Frankland’s children, shocked at the idea of their father’s going
into an almshouse, eagerly offered to join together the money they had
earned, and to pay the rent of the cottage in which he now lived;
but Frankland knew that, if he took this money, his children would
themselves be in distress. He answered with tears in his eyes,

“My dear children, I thank you all for your goodness; but I cannot
accept of your offer. Since I am no longer able to support myself, I
will not, from false pride, be the ruin of my children. I will not be a
burden to them; and I prefer living upon public charity to accepting
of the ostentatious liberality of any one rich man. I am come to a
resolution, which nothing shall induce me to break. I am determined to
live in the Monmouth almshouse--nay, hear me, my children, patiently--to
live in the Monmouth almshouse for one year; and during that time I will
not see any of you, unless I am sick. I lay my commands upon you not to
attempt to see me till this day twelvemonth. If at that time you are all
together able to maintain me, without hurting yourselves, I will most
willingly accept of your bounty for the rest of my days.”

His children assured him they should be able to earn money sufficient to
maintain him, without injury to themselves, long before the end of the
year; and they besought him to permit them to do so as soon as it was
in their power; but he continued firm in his resolution, and made them
solemnly promise they would obey his commands, and not even attempt to
see him during the ensuing year. He then took leave of them in a most
affectionate manner, saying, “I know, my dearest children, I have now
given you the strongest possible motive for industry and good conduct.
This day twelvemonth we shall meet again; and I hope it will be as
joyful a meeting as this is a sorrowful parting.” His children, with
some difficulty, obtained permission to accompany him to his new abode.

The almshouses at Monmouth are far superior to common institutions of
this kind; they are remarkably neat and comfortable little dwellings,
and form a row of pretty cottages, behind each of which there is
a garden full of gooseberries, currants, and a variety of useful
vegetables. These the old men cultivate themselves. The houses are
fitted up conveniently; and each individual is provided with every thing
that he wants in his own habitation: so that there is no opportunity or
temptation for those petty disputes about property which often occur in
charitable institutions that are not prudently conducted. Poor people
who have their goods in common must necessarily become quarrelsome.

“You see,” said old Frankland, pointing to the shining row of pewter on
the clean shelf over the fire-place in his little kitchen; “you see I
want for nothing here. I am not much to be pitied.”

His children stood silent and dejected, whilst he dressed himself in the
uniform belonging to the almshouse. Before they parted, they all agreed
to meet at this place that day twelvemonth, and to bring with them the
earnings of the year; they had hopes that thus, by their united efforts,
a sum might be obtained sufficient to place their father once more in a
state of independence. With these hopes they separated, and returned to
their masters and mistresses.


Patty went to Mrs. Crumpe’s to get her clothes which she had left
there, and to receive some months’ wages, which were still due for her
services. After what had passed, she had no idea that Mrs. Crumpe would
wish she should stay with her; and she had heard of another place in
Monmouth, which she believed would suit her in every respect.

The first person she saw, when she arrived at the house of her late
mistress, was Martha, who, with a hypocritical length of face, said to
her, “Sad news! sad news, Mrs. Patty! The passion my lady was thrown
into, by your going away so sudden, was of terrible detriment to her.
That very night she had a stroke of the palsy, and has scarce spoke

“Don’t take it to heart, it is none of your fault: don’t take it to
heart, dear Patty,” said Betty, the housemaid, who was fond of Patty.
“What could you do but go to your brother? Here, drink this water, and
don’t blame yourself at all about the matter. Mistress had a stroke
sixteen months ago, afore ever you came into the house; and I dare say
she’d have had this last whether you had stayed or gone.”

Here they were interrupted by the violent ringing of Mrs. Crumpe’s bell.
They were in the room next to her; and, as she heard voices louder than
usual, she was impatient to know what was going on. Patty heard
Mrs. Martha answer, as she opened her lady’s door, “‘Tis only Patty
Frankland, ma’am, who is come for her clothes and her wages.”

“And she is very sorry to hear you have been so ill; very sorry,” said
Betty, following to the door.

“Bid her come in,” said Mrs. Crumpe, in a voice more distinct than she
had ever been heard to speak in since the day of her illness.

“What! are you sorry for me, child?” said Mrs. Crumpe, fixing her eyes
upon Patty’s. Patty made no answer; but it was plain how much she was

“Ay, I see you _are_ sorry for me,” said her mistress. “And so am I for
you,” added she, stretching out her hand, and taking hold of Patty’s
black gown. “You shall have a finer stuff than this for mourning for me.
But I know that is not what you are thinking of; and that’s the reason I
have more value for you than for all the rest of them put together. Stay
with me, stay with me, to nurse me; you nurse me to my mind. You cannot
leave me in the way I am in now, when I ask you to stay.”

Patty could not without inhumanity refuse; she stayed with Mrs. Crumpe,
who grew so dotingly fond of her, that she could scarcely bear to have
her a moment out of sight. She would take neither food nor medicines but
from Patty’s hand; and she would not speak, except in answer to Patty’s
questions. The fatigue and confinement she was now forced to undergo
were enough to hurt the constitution of any one who had not very strong
health. Patty bore them with the greatest patience and good humour;
indeed, the consciousness that she was doing right supported her in
exertions which would otherwise have been beyond her power.

She had still more difficult trials to go through: Mrs. Martha was
jealous of her favour with her lady, and often threw out hints that some
people had much more luck, and more cunning too, than other people; but
that some people might perhaps be disappointed at last in their ends.

Patty went on her own straight way, without minding these insinuations
at first; but she was soon forced to attend to them. Mrs. Crumpe’s
relations received intelligence from Mrs. Martha, that her lady was
growing worse and worse every hour; and that she was quite shut up under
the dominion of an artful servant-girl, who had gained such power
over her that there was no knowing what the consequence might be. Mrs.
Crumpe’s relations were much alarmed by this story: they knew she
had made a will in their favour some years before this time, and they
dreaded that Patty should prevail upon her to alter it, and should get
possession herself of the fortune. They were particularly struck with
this idea, because an instance of undue power, acquired by a favourite
servant-maid over her doting mistress, happened about this period to be
mentioned in an account of a trial in the newspapers of the day. Mrs.
Crumpe’s nearest relations were two grand-nephews. The eldest was Mr.
Josiah Crumpe, a merchant who was settled at Liverpool; the youngest
was that ensign Bloomington, whom we formerly mentioned. He had been
intended for a merchant, but he would never settle to business; and at
last ran away from the counting-house where he had been placed, and went
into the army. He was an idle, extravagant young man: his great-aunt was
by fits very angry with him, or very fond of him. Sometimes she would
supply him with money; at others, she would forbid him her presence, and
declare he should never see another shilling of hers. This had been her
latest determination; but ensign Bloomington thought he could easily get
into favour again, and he resolved to force himself into the house.
Mrs. Crumpe positively refused to see him: the day after this refusal
he returned with a reinforcement, for which Patty was not in the least
prepared: he was accompanied by Miss Sally Bettesworth, in a regimental
riding-habit. Jessy had been the original object of this gentleman’s
gallantry; but she met with a new and richer lover, and of course jilted
him. Sally, who was in haste to be married, took undisguised pains to
fix the ensign; and she thought she was sure of him. But to proceed with
our story.

Patty was told that a lady and gentleman desired to see her in the
parlour: she was scarcely in the room when Sally began in a voice
capable of intimidating the most courageous of scolds, “Fine doings!
Fine doings, here! You think you have the game in your own hands, I
warrant, my Lady Paramount; but I’m not one to be bullied, you know of

“Nor am I one to be bullied, I hope,” replied Patty, in a modest but
firm voice. “Will you be pleased to let me know, in a quiet way, what
are your commands with me, or my lady?”

“This gentleman here must see your lady, as you call her. To let you
into a bit of a secret, this gentleman and I _is_ soon to be one; so no
wonder I stir in this affair, and I never stir for nothing; so it is as
well for you to do it with fair words as foul. Without more preambling,
please to show this gentleman into his aunt’s room, which sure he has
the best right to see of any one in this world; and if you prevent it
in any species, I’ll have the law of you; and I take this respectable
woman,” looking at Mrs. Martha, who came in with a salver of cakes and
wine, “I take this here respectable gentlewoman to be my witness, if you
choose to refuse my husband (that is to be) admittance to his true and
lawful nearest relation upon earth. Only say the doors are locked,
and that you won’t let him in; that’s all we ask of you, Mrs. Patty
Paramount. Only say that afore this here witness.”

“Indeed, I shall say no such thing, ma’am,” replied Patty; “for it
is not in the least my wish to prevent the gentleman from seeing my
mistress. It was she herself who refused to let him in; and I think,
if he forces himself into the room, she will be apt to be very much
displeased: but I shall not hinder him, if he chooses to try. There are
the stairs, and my lady’s room is the first on the right hand. Only,
sir, before you go up, let me caution you, lest you should startle her
so as to be the death of her. The least surprise or fright might bring
on another stroke in an instant.”

Ensign Bloomington and Saucy Sally now looked at one another, as if at
a loss how to proceed: they retired to a window to consult; and whilst
they were whispering, a coach drove up to the door. It was full of Mrs.
Crumpe’s relations, who came post-haste from Monmouth, in consequence of
the alarm given by Mrs. Martha. Mr. Josiah Crumpe was not in the coach:
he had been written for, but was not yet arrived from Liverpool.

Now, it must be observed, this coach-full of relations were all enemies
to ensign Bloomington; and the moment they put their heads out of the
carriage-window, and saw him standing in the parlour, their surprise and
indignation were too great for coherent utterance. With all the rashness
of prejudice, they decided that he had bribed Patty to let him in and to
exclude them. Possessed with this idea, they hurried out of the coach,
passed by poor Patty who was standing in the hall, and beckoned to Mrs.
Martha, who showed them into the drawing-room, and remained shut up
with them there for some minutes. “She is playing us false,” cried Saucy
Sally, rushing out of the parlour. “I told you not to depend on that
Martha; nor on nobody but me: I said I’d force a way for you up to
the room, and so I have; and now you have not the spirit to take your
advantage. They’ll get in all of them before you; and then where will
you be, and what will you be?”

Mrs. Crumpe’s bell rang violently, and Patty ran up stairs to her room.
“I have been ringing for you, Patty, this quarter of an hour! What is
all the disturbance I hear below?”

“Your relations, ma’am, who wish to see you. I hope you won’t refuse to
see them, for they are very anxious.”

“Very anxious to have me dead and buried. Not one of them cares a groat
for me. I have made my will, tell them; and they will see that in time.
I will not see one of them.”

By this time, they were all at the bedchamber door, struggling
which party should enter first. Saucy Sally’s loud voice was heard,
maintaining her right to be there, as wife elect to ensign Bloomington.

“Tell them the first who enters this room shall never see a shilling of
my money,” cried Mrs. Crumpe.

Patty opened the door; the disputants were instantly silent. “Be
pleased, before you come in, to hearken to what my mistress says. Ma’am,
will you say whatever you think proper yourself,” said Patty; “for it
is too hard for me to be suspected of putting words into your mouth, and
keeping your friends from the sight of you.”

“The first of them who comes into this room,” cried Mrs. Crumpe, raising
her feeble voice to the highest pitch she was able, “the first who
enters this room shall never see a shilling of my money; and so on to
the next, and the next, and the next. I’ll see none of you.”

No one ventured to enter. Their infinite solicitude to see how poor Mrs.
Crumpe found herself to-day suddenly vanished. The two parties adjourned
to the parlour and the drawing-room; and there was nothing in which they
agreed, except in abusing Patty. They called for pen, ink, and paper,
and each wrote what they wished to say. Their notes were carried up by
Patty herself; for Mrs. Martha would not run the risk of losing her own
legacy to oblige any of them, though she had been bribed by all. With
much difficulty, Mrs. Crumpe was prevailed upon to look at the notes; at
last she exclaimed, “Let them all come up! all; this moment tell them,

They were in the room instantly; all, except Saucy Sally: ensign
Bloomington persuaded her it was for the best that she should not
appear. Patty was retiring, as soon as she had shown them in; but her
mistress called to her, and bade her take a key, which she held in her
hand, and unlock an escritoir that was in the room. She did so.

“Give me that parcel, which is tied up with red tape, and sealed with
three seals,” said Mrs. Crumpe.

All eyes were immediately fixed upon it, for it was her will.

She broke the seals deliberately, untied the red string, opened the huge
sheet of parchment, and without saying one syllable tore it down the
middle; then tore the pieces again, and again, till they were so small
that the writing could not be read. The spectators looked upon one
another in dismay.

“Ay! you may all look as you please,” cried Mrs. Crumpe. “I’m alive, and
in my sound senses still; my money’s my own; my property’s my own; I’ll
do what I please with it. You were all handsomely provided for in this
will; but you could not wait for your legacies till I was under ground.
No! you must come hovering over me, like so many ravens. It is not time
yet! It is not time yet! The breath is not yet out of my body; and when
it is, you shall none of you be the better for it, I promise you. My
money’s my own; my property’s my own; I’ll make a new will to-morrow.
Good bye to you all. I’ve told you my mind.”

Not the most abject humiliations, not the most artful caresses, not the
most taunting reproaches, from any of the company, could extort another
word from Mrs. Crumpe. Her disappointed and incensed relations were at
last obliged to leave the house; though not without venting their rage
upon Patty, whom they believed to be the secret cause of all that had
happened. After they had left the house, she went up to a garret,
where she thought no one would see her or hear her, sat down on an old
bedstead, and burst into tears. She had been much shocked by the scenes
that had just passed, and her heart wanted this relief.

“Oh!” thought she, “it is plain enough that it is not riches which
make people happy. Here is this poor lady, with heaps of money and fine
clothes, without any one in this whole world to love or care for her,
but all wishing her dead; worried by her own relations, and abused by
them, almost in her hearing, upon her death-bed! Oh! my poor brother!
How different it was with you!”

Patty’s reflections were here interrupted by the entrance of Martha, who
came and sat down on the bedstead beside her, and, with a great deal of
hypocritical kindness in her manner, began to talk of what had
passed; blaming Mrs. Crumpe’s relations for being so hard-hearted and
inconsiderate as to force business upon her when she was in such a
state. “Indeed, they have no one to thank but themselves, for the new
turn things have taken. I hear my mistress has torn her will to atoms,
and is going to make a new one! To be sure, you, Mrs. Patty, will be
handsomely provided for in this, as is, I am sure, becoming; and I hope,
if you have an opportunity, as for certain you will, you won’t forget to
speak a good word for me!”

Patty, who was disgusted by this interested and deceitful address,
answered, she had nothing to do with her mistress’s will; and that her
mistress was the best judge of what should be done with her own money,
which she did not covet.

Mrs. Martha was not mistaken in her opinion that Patty would be
handsomely remembered in this new will. Mrs. Crumpe the next morning
said to Patty, as she was giving her some medicine, “It is for your
interest, child, that I should get through this day, at least; for if
I live a few hours longer, you will be the richest single woman in
Monmouthshire. I’ll show them that all my money’s my own; and that I can
do what I please with my own. Go yourself to Monmouth, child (as soon as
you have plaited my cap), and bring me the attorney your brother lives
with, to draw my new will. Don’t say one word of your errand to any
of my relations, I charge you, for your own sake as well as mine. The
harpies would tear you to pieces; but I’ll show them that I can do what
I please with my own. That’s the least satisfaction I can have for my
money before I die. God knows, it has been plague enough to me all my
life long! But now, before I die--”

“Oh! ma’am,” interrupted Patty, “there is no need to talk of your dying
now; for I have not heard you speak so strong, or so clear, nor seem so
much yourself this long time. You may live yet, and I hope you will, to
see many a good day; and to make it up, if I may be so bold to say it,
with all your relations: which, I am sure, would be a great ease to your
heart; and I am sure they are very sorry to have offended you.”

“The girl’s a fool!” cried Mrs. Crumpe. “Why, child, don’t you
understand me yet? I tell you, as plain as I can speak, I mean to leave
the whole fortune to you. Well! what makes you look so blank!”

“Because, ma’am, indeed I have no wish to stand in any body’s way; and
would not for all the world do such an unjust thing as to take advantage
of your being a little angry or so with your relations, to get the
fortune for myself: for I can do, having done all my life, without
fortune well enough; but I could not do without my own good opinion, and
that of my father, and brothers, and sister; all which I should lose, if
I was to be guilty of a mean thing. So, ma’am,” said Patty, “I have made
bold to speak the whole truth of my mind to you; and I hope you will not
do me an injury, by way of doing me a favour. I am sure I thank you with
all my heart for your goodness to me.”

Patty turned away as she finished speaking, for she was greatly moved.

“You are a strange girl!” said Mrs. Crumpe. “I would not have believed
this, if any one had sworn it to me. Go for the attorney, as I bid you,
this minute. I will have my own way.”

When Patty arrived at Mr. Barlow’s, she asked immediately for her
brother Frank, whom she wished to consult; but he was out, and she then
desired to speak to Mr. Barlow himself. She was shown into his office,
and she told him her business, without any circumlocution, with the
plain language and ingenuous countenance of truth.

“Indeed, sir,” said she, “I should be glad you would come directly to my
mistress and speak to her yourself; for she will mind what you say, and
I only hope she may do the just thing by her relations. I don’t want
her fortune, nor any part of it, but a just recompense for my service.
Knowing this, in my own heart, I forgive them for all the ill-will they
bear me: it being all founded in a mistaken notion.”

There was a gentleman in Mr. Barlow’s office who was sitting at a
desk writing a letter, when Patty came in: she took him for one of the
clerks. Whilst she was speaking, he turned about several times, and
looked at her very earnestly. At last he went to a clerk, who was
folding up some parchments, and asked who she was? He then sat down
again to his writing, without saying a-single word. This gentleman was
Mr. Josiah Crumpe, the Liverpool merchant, Mrs. Crumpe’s eldest nephew,
who had come to Monmouth, in consequence of the account he had heard
of his aunt’s situation. Mr. Barlow had lately amicably settled a suit
between him and one of his relations at Monmouth; and Mr. Crumpe had
just been signing the deed relative to this affair. He was struck with
the disinterestedness of Patty’s conduct; but he kept silence that she
might not find out who he was, and that he might have full opportunity
of doing her justice hereafter. He was not one of the ravens, as Mrs.
Crumpe emphatically called those who were hovering over her, impatient
for her death: he had, by his own skill and industry, made himself
not only independent, but rich. After Patty was gone, he with the true
spirit of a British merchant declared, that he was as independent in his
sentiments as in his fortune; that he would not crouch or fawn to man or
woman, peer or prince, in his majesty’s dominions; no, not even to his
own aunt. He wished his old aunt Crumpe, he said, to live and enjoy all
she had as long as she could; and if she chose to leave it to him after
her death, well and good; he should be much obliged to her: if she did
not, why well and good; he should not _be obliged_ to be obliged to her:
and that, to his humour, would perhaps be better still.

With these sentiments Mr. Josiah Crumpe found no difficulty in
refraining from going to see, or, as he called it, from paying his court
to his aunt. “I have some choice West India sweetmeats here for the
poor soul,” said he to Mr. Barlow: “she gave me sweetmeats when I was a
schoolboy; which I don’t forget. I know she has a sweet tooth still in
her head; for she wrote to me last year, to desire I would get her some:
but I did not relish the style of her letter, and I never complied with
the order; however, I was to blame: she is an infirm poor creature,
and should be humoured now, let her be ever so cross. Take her the
sweetmeats; but mind, do not let her have a taste or a sight of them
till she has made her will. I do not want to bribe her to leave me her
money-bags; I thank my God and myself, I want them not.”

Mr. Barlow immediately went to Mrs. Crumpe’s. As she had land to dispose
of, three witnesses were necessary to the will. Patty said she had two
men-servants who could write; but to make sure of a third, Mr. Barlow
desired that one of his clerks should accompany him. Frank was out; so
the eldest clerk went in his stead.

This clerk’s name was Mason; he was Frank’s chief friend, and a young
man of excellent character. He had never seen Patty till this day; but
he had often heard her brother speak of her with so much affection, that
he was prepossessed in her favour, even before he saw her. The manner
in which she spoke on the subject of Mrs. Crumpe’s fortune quite charmed
him; for he was of an open and generous temper, and said to himself, “I
would rather have this girl for my wife, without sixpence in the world,
than any woman I ever saw in my life--if I could but afford it--and if
she was but a little prettier. As it is, however, there is no danger
of my falling in love with her; so I may just indulge myself in the
pleasure of talking to her: besides, it is but civil to lead my horse
and walk a part of the way with Frank’s sister.”

Accordingly, Mason set off to walk a part of the way to Mrs. Crumpe’s
with Patty; and they fell into conversation, in which they were both so
earnestly engaged that they did not perceive how time passed. Instead,
however, of part of the way, Mason walked the whole way; and he and
Patty were both rather surprised when they found themselves within sight
of Mrs. Crumpe’s house.

What a fine healthy colour this walking has brought into her face,
thought Mason, as he stood looking at her, whilst they were waiting
for some one to open the door. Though she has not a single beautiful
feature, and though nobody could call her handsome, yet there is so much
good-nature in her countenance, that, plain as she certainly is, her
looks are more pleasing to my fancy than those of many a beauty I have
heard admired.

The door was now opened; and Mr. Barlow, who had arrived some time,
summoned Mason to business. They went up to Mrs. Crumpe’s room to take
her instructions for her new will. Patty showed them in.

“Don’t go, child, I will not have you stir,” said Mrs. Crumpe. “Now
stand there at the foot of my bed, and, without hypocrisy, tell me
truly, child, your mind. This gentleman, who understands the law, can
assure you that, in spite of all the relations upon earth, I can leave
my fortune to whom I please, so do not let fear of my relations prevent
you from being happy.”

“No, madam,” interrupted Patty, “it was not fear that made me say what
I did to you this morning; and it is not fear that keeps me in the same
mind still. I would not do what I thought wrong myself if nobody else in
the whole world was to know it. But, since you desire me to say what
I really wish, I have a father, who is in great distress, and I should
wish you would leave fifty pounds to him.”

“With such principles and feelings,” cried Mr. Barlow, “you are happier
than ten thousand a year could make you!”

Mason said nothing; but his looks said a great deal: and his master
forgave him the innumerable blunders he made in drawing Mrs. Crumpe’s
will. “Come, Mason, give me up the pen,” whispered he at last; “you are
not your own man, I see; and I like you the better for being touched
with good and generous conduct. But a truce with sentiment, now; I must
be a mere man of law. Go you and take a walk, to recover your _legal_

The contents of Mrs. Crumpe’s new will were kept secret: Patty did not
in the least know how she had disposed of her fortune; nor did Mason,
for he had written only the preamble, when his master compassionately
took the pen from his hand. Contrary to expectation, Mrs. Crumpe
continued to linger on for some months; and during this time, Patty
attended her with the most patient care and humanity. Though long habits
of selfishness had rendered this lady in general indifferent to the
feelings of her servants and dependants, yet Patty was an exception:
she often said to her, “Child, it goes against my conscience to keep
you prisoner here the best days of your life, in a sick room: go out and
take a walk with your brothers and sister, I desire, whenever they call
for you.”

These walks with her brothers and sister were very refreshing to Patty,
especially when Mason was of the party, as he almost always contrived to
be. Every day he grew more and more attached to Patty; for every day he
became more and more convinced of the goodness of her disposition and
the sweetness of her temper. The affection which he saw her brothers
and sister bore her, spoke to his mind most strongly in her favour. They
have known her from her childhood, thought he, and cannot be deceived
in her character. Tis a good sign that those who know her best love her
most; and her loving her pretty sister, Fanny, as she does, is a proof
that she is incapable of envy and jealousy.

In consequence of these reflections, Mason determined he would apply
diligently to his business, that he might in due time be able to marry
and support Patty. She ingenuously told him she had never seen the man
she could love so well as himself; but that her first object was to earn
some money, to release her father from the almshouse, where she could
not bear to see him living upon charity. “When, amongst us all, we have
accomplished this,” said she, “it will be time enough for me to think of
marrying. Duty first and love afterwards.”

Mason loved her the better, when he found her so steady in her gratitude
to her father; for he was a man of sense, and knew that so good a
daughter and sister would, in all probability, make a good wife.

We must now give some account of what Fanny has been doing all this
time. Upon her return to Mrs. Hungerford’s, after the death of her
brother, she was received with the greatest kindness by her mistress,
and by all the children, who were really fond of her; though she had
never indulged them in anything that was contrary to their mother’s

Mrs. Hungerford had not forgotten the affair of the kettle-drum. One
morning she said to her little son, “Gustavus, your curiosity about the
kettle-drum and the clarionet shall be satisfied: your cousin Philip
will come here in a few days, and he is well acquainted with the colonel
of the regiment which is quartered in Monmouth: he shall ask the colonel
to let us have the band here, some day. We may have them at the farthest
end of the garden; and you and your brothers and sisters shall dine in
the arbour, with Fanny, who upon this occasion particularly deserves to
have a share in your amusement.”

The cousin Philip, of whom Mrs. Hungerford spoke, was no other than
Frankland’s landlord, young Mr. Folingsby. Besides liking fine horses
and fine curricles, this gentleman was a great admirer of fine women.

He was struck with Fanny’s beauty the first day he came to Mrs.
Hungerford’s: every succeeding day he thought her handsomer and
handsomer; and every day grew fonder and fonder of playing with
his little cousins. Upon some pretence or other, he contrived to be
constantly in the room with them when Fanny was there: the modest
propriety of her manners, however, kept him at that distance at which it
was no easy matter for a pretty girl, in her situation, to keep such a
gallant gentleman. His intention, when he came to Mrs. Hungerford’s, was
to stay but a week; but when that week was at an end, he determined to
stay another: he found his aunt Hungerford’s house uncommonly agreeable.
The moment she mentioned to him her wish of having the band of music in
the garden, he was charmed with the scheme, and longed to dine out in
the arbour with the children; but he dared not press this point, lest he
should excite suspicion.

Amongst other company who dined this day with Mrs. Hungerford was a Mrs.
Cheviott, a blind lady, who took the liberty, as she said, to bring with
her a young person, who was just come to live with her as a companion.
This young person was Jessy Bettesworth; or, as she is henceforth to
be called, Miss Jessy Bettesworth. Since her father had “come in for
Captain Bettesworth’s fortin,” her mother had spared no pains to push
Jessy forward in the world; having no doubt that “her beauty, when well
dressed, would charm some great gentleman; or, may be, some great lord!”
 Accordingly, Jessy was dizened out in all sorts of finery: her thoughts
were wholly bent on fashions and flirting; and her mother’s vanity,
joined to her own, nearly turned her brain.

Just as this fermentation of folly was gaining force, she happened to
meet with Ensign Bloomington at a ball at Monmouth: he fell, or she
thought he fell, desperately in love with her; she of course coquetted
with him: indeed, she gave him so much encouragement, that every
body concluded they were to be married. She and her sister Sally were
continually seen walking arm in arm with him in the streets of Monmouth;
and morning, noon, and night, she wore the drop-earrings, of which he
had made her a present. It chanced, however, that Jilting Jessy heard an
officer, in her ensign’s regiment, swear she was pretty enough to be
the captain’s lady instead of the ensign’s; and, from that moment, she
thought no more of the ensign.

He was enraged to find himself jilted thus by a country girl, and
determined to have his revenge: consequently he immediately transferred
all his attentions to her sister Sally; judiciously calculating that,
from the envy and jealousy he had seen between the sisters, this would
be the most effectual mode of mortifying his perfidious fair. Jilting
Jessy said her sister was welcome to her cast-off sweethearts: and Saucy
Sally replied, her sister was welcome to be her bridemaid; since, with
all her beauty, and all her airs, she was not likely to be a bride.

Mrs. Bettesworth had always confessed that Jessy was her favourite: like
a wise and kind mother, she took part in all these disputes; and set
these amiable sisters yet more at variance, by prophesying that “her
Jessy would make the grandest match.”

To put her into fortune’s way, Mrs. Bettesworth determined to get
her into some genteel family, as companion to a lady. Mrs. Cheviott’s
housekeeper was nearly related to the Bettesworths, and to her Mrs.
Bettesworth applied. “But I’m afraid Jessy is something too much of a
flirt,” said the housekeeper, “for my mistress, who is a very strict,
staid lady. You know, or at least we in Monmouth know, that Jessy was
greatly talked of about a young officer here in town. I used myself to
see her go trailing about, with her muslin and pink, and fine coloured
shoes, in the dirt.”

“Oh! that’s all over now,” said Mrs. Bettesworth: “the man was quite
beneath her notice--that’s all over now: he will do well enough for
Sally; but, ma’am, my daughter Jessy has quite laid herself out for
goodness now, and only wants to get into some house where she may learn
to be a little genteel.”

The housekeeper, though she had not the highest possible opinion of the
young lady, was in hopes that, since Jessy had now laid herself out for
goodness, she might yet turn out well; and, considering that she was
her relation, she thought it her duty to speak in favour of Miss
Bettesworth. In consequence of her recommendation, Mrs. Cheviott
took Jessy into her family; and Jessy was particularly glad to be the
companion of a blind lady.

She discovered, the first day she spent with Mrs. Cheviott, that,
besides the misfortune of being blind, she had the still greater
misfortune of being inordinately fond of flattery. Jessy took advantage
of this foible, and imposed so far on the understanding of her
patroness, that she persuaded Mrs. Cheviott into a high opinion of her
judgment and prudence.

Things were in this situation when Jessy, for the first time,
accompanied the blind lady to Mrs. Hungerford’s. Without having the
appearance or manners of a gentlewoman, Miss Jessy Bettesworth was,
notwithstanding, such a pretty, showy girl, that she generally contrived
to attract notice. She caught Mr. Folingsby’s eye at dinner, as she was
playing off her best airs at the side-table; and it was with infinite
satisfaction that she heard him ask one of the officers, as they were
going out to walk in the garden, “Who is that girl? She has fine eyes,
and a most beautiful long neck!” Upon the strength of this whisper,
Jessy flattered herself she had made a conquest of Mr. Folingsby; by
which idea she was so much intoxicated, that she could scarcely restrain
her vanity within decent bounds.

“Lord! Fanny Frankland, is it you? Who expected to meet you sitting
here?” said she, when, to her great surprise, she saw Fanny in the
arbour with the children. To her yet greater surprise, she soon
perceived that Mr. Folingsby’s attention was entirely fixed upon Fanny;
and that he became so absent he did not know he was walking upon the

Jessy could scarcely believe her senses when she saw that her rival, for
as such she now considered her, gave her lover no encouragement. “Is
it possible that the girl is such a fool as not to see that this here
gentleman is in love with her? No; that is out of the nature of things.
Oh! it’s all artifice; and I will find out her drift, I warrant, before

Having formed this laudable resolution, she took her measures well for
carrying it into effect. Mrs. Cheviott, being blind, had few amusements:
she was extremely fond of music, and one of Mrs. Hungerford’s daughters
played remarkably well on the piano-forte. This evening, as Mrs.
Cheviott was listening to the young lady’s singing, Jessy exclaimed,
“Oh! ma’am, how happy it would make you to hear such singing and music
every day.”

“If she would come every day, when my sister is practising with the
music-master, she might hear enough of it,” said little Gustavus. “I’ll
run and desire mamma to ask her; because,” added he, in a low voice, “if
I was blind, may be I should like it myself.”

Mrs. Hungerford, who was good-natured as well as polite, pressed Mrs.
Cheviott to come, whenever it should be agreeable to her. The poor blind
lady was delighted with the invitation, and went regularly every morning
to Mrs. Hungerford’s at the time the music-master attended. Jessy
Bettesworth always accompanied her, for she could not go any where
without a guide. Jessy had now ample opportunities of gratifying her
malicious curiosity; she saw, or thought she saw, that Mr. Folingsby was
displeased by the reserve of Fanny’s manners; and she renewed all
her own coquettish efforts to engage his attention. He amused himself
sometimes with her, in hopes of rousing Fanny’s jealousy; but he found
that this expedient, though an infallible one in ordinary cases, was
here totally unavailing. His passion for Fanny was increased so much, by
her unaffected modesty, and by the daily proofs he saw of the sweetness
of her disposition, that he was no longer master of himself: he plainly
told her that he could not live without her.

“That’s a pity, sir,” said Fanny laughing, and trying to turn off what
he said, as if it were only a jest. “It is a great pity, sir, that you
cannot live without me; for, you know, I cannot serve my mistress, do my
duty, and live with you.”

Mr. Folingsby endeavoured to convince, or rather to persuade her, that
she was mistaken; and swore that nothing within the power of his fortune
should be wanting to make her happy.

“Ah! sir,” said she, “your fortune could not make me happy, if I were to
do what I know is wrong, what would disgrace me for ever, and what would
break my poor father’s heart!”

“But your father shall never know any thing of the matter. I will keep
your secret from the whole world: trust to my honour.”

“Honour! Oh! sir, how can you talk to me of honour! Do you think I do
not know what honour is, because I am poor? Or do you think I do not set
any value on mine, though you do on yours? Would you not kill any man,
if you could, in a duel, for doubting of your honour? And yet you
expect me to love you, at the very moment you show me, most plainly, how
desirous you are to rob me of mine!”

Mr. Folingsby was silent for some moments; but, when he saw that Fanny
was leaving him, he hastily stopped her, and said, laughing, “You have
made me a most charming speech about honour; and, what is better still,
you looked most charmingly when you spoke it; but now take time to
consider what I I have said to you. Let me have your answer to-morrow;
and consult this book before you answer me, I conjure you.”

Fanny took up the book as soon as Mr Folingsby had left the room; and,
without opening it, determined to return it immediately. She instantly
wrote a letter to Mr. Folingsby, which she was just wrapping up with the
book in a sheet of paper, when Miss Jessy Bettesworth, the blind lady,
and the music-master, came into the room. Fanny went to set a chair for
the blind lady; and, whilst she was doing so, Miss Jessy Bettesworth,
who had observed that Fanny blushed when they came in, slily peeped into
the book, which lay on the table. Between the first pages she opened
there was a five-pound bank-note; she turned the leaf, and found
another, and another, and another at every leaf! Of these notes she
counted one-and-twenty! whilst Fanny, unsuspicious of what was doing
behind her back, was looking for the children’s music-books.

“Philip Folingsby! So, so! Did he give you this book, Fanny Frankland?”
 said Jessy, in a scornful tone: “it seems truly to be a very valuable
performance; and, no doubt, he had good reasons for giving it to you.”

Fanny coloured deeply at this unexpected speech; and hesitated, from the
fear of betraying Mr. Folingsby. “He did not give me the book: he only
lent it to me,” said she, “and I am going to return it to him directly.”

“Oh! no; pray lend it to me first,” replied Jessy, in an ironical tone;
“Mr. Folingsby, to be sure, would lend it to me as soon as to you.
I’m growing as fond of reading as other folks, lately,” continued she,
holding the book fast.

“I dare say, Mr. Folingsby would--Mr. Folingsby would lend it to you,
I suppose,” said Fanny, colouring more and more deeply; “but, as it is
trusted to me now, I must return it safe. Pray let me have it, Jessy.”

“Oh! yes; return it, madam, safe! I make no manner of doubt you will! I
make no manner of doubt you will!” replied Jessy, several times, as she
shook the book; whilst the bank-notes fell from between the leaves, and
were scattered upon the floor. “It is a thousand pities, Mrs. Cheviott,
you can’t see what a fine book we have got, full of bank-notes! But Mrs.
Hungerford is not blind at any rate, it is to be hoped,” continued she,
turning to Mrs. Hungerford, who at this instant opened the door.

She stood in dignified amazement. Jessy had an air of malignant triumph.
Fanny was covered with blushes; but she looked with all the tranquillity
of innocence. The children gathered round her; and blind Mrs. Cheviott
cried, “What is going on? What is going on? Will nobody tell me what is
going on? Jessy! What is it you are talking about, Jessy?”

“About a very valuable book, ma’am; containing more than I can easily
count, in bank-notes, ma’am, that Mr. Folingsby has lent, only lent,
ma’am, she says, to Miss Fanny Frankland, ma’am, who was just going to
return them to him, ma’am, when I unluckily took up the book, and shook
them all out upon the floor, ma’am.”

“Pick them up, Gustavus, my dear,” said Mrs. Hungerford, coolly. “From
what I know of Fanny Frankland, I am inclined to believe that whatever
she says is truth. Since she has lived with me, I have never, in the
slightest instance, found her deviate from the truth; therefore I must
entirely depend upon what she says.”

“Oh! yes, mamma,” cried the children, all together, “that I am sure you

“Come with me, Fanny,” resumed Mrs. Hungerford; “it is not necessary
that your explanation should be public, though I am persuaded it will be

Fanny was glad to escape from the envious eye of Miss Jessy Bettesworth,
and felt much gratitude to Mrs. Hungerford for this kindness and
confidence; but, when she was to make her explanation, Fanny was in
great confusion. She dreaded to occasion a quarrel between Mr. Folingsby
and his aunt; yet she knew not how to exculpate herself, without
accusing him.

“Why these blushes and tears, and why this silence, Fanny?” said Mrs.
Hungerford, after she had waited some minutes, in expectation she would
begin to speak. “Are not you sure of justice from me; and of protection,
both from slander and insult? I am fond of my nephew, it is true; but I
think myself obliged to you, for the manner in which you have conducted
yourself towards my children, since you have had them under your care.
Tell me then, freely, if you have any reason to complain of young Mr.

“Oh! madam,” said Fanny, “thank you a thousand times for your goodness
to me. I do not, indeed, I do not wish to complain of any body; and I
would not for the world make mischief between you and your nephew. I
would rather leave your family at once; and that,” continued the poor
girl, sobbing, “that is what I believe I had best; nay, is what I must
and will do.”

“No, Fanny, do not leave my house, without giving me an explanation of
what has passed this morning; for, if you do, your reputation is at the
mercy of Miss Jessy Bettesworth’s malice.”

“Heaven forbid!” said Fanny, with a look of real terror. “I must beg,
madam, that you will have the kindness to return this book, and these
bank-notes, to Mr. Folingsby; and that you will give him this letter,
which I was just going to wrap up in the paper, with the book, when
Jessy Bettesworth came in and found the bank-notes, which I had never
seen. These can make no difference in my answer to Mr. Folingsby:
therefore I shall leave my letter just as it was first written, if you
please, madam.”

Fanny’s letter was as follows:


“I return the book, which you left with me, as nothing it contains
can ever alter my opinion on the subject of which you spoke to me this
morning. I hope you will never speak to me again, sir, in the same
manner. Consider, sir, that I am a poor unprotected girl. If you go
on as you have done lately, I shall be obliged to leave good Mrs.
Hungerford, who is my only friend. Oh! where shall I find so good a
friend? My poor old father is in the almshouse! and there he must remain
till his children can earn money sufficient to support him. Do not
fancy, sir, that I say this by way of begging from you; I would not, nor
would he, accept of any thing that you could offer him, whilst in your
present way of thinking. Pray, sir, have some compassion, and do not
injure those whom you cannot serve.

“I am, sir,

“Your humble servant,


       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Folingsby was surprised and confounded, when this letter, and the
book containing his bank-notes, were put into his hand by his aunt. Mrs.
Hungerford told him by what means the book had been seen by Miss Jessy
Bettesworth, and to what imputations it must have exposed Fanny.
“Fanny is afraid of making mischief between you and me,” continued Mrs.
Hungerford “and I cannot prevail upon her to give me an explanation,
which I am persuaded would be much to her honour.”

“Then you have not seen this letter! Then she has decided without
consulting you! She is a charming girl!” cried Mr. Folingsby; “and
whatever you may think of me, I am bound, in justice to her, to show
you what she has written: that will sufficiently explain how much I have
been to blame, and how well she deserves the confidence you place in

As he spoke, Mr. Folingsby rang the bell to order his horses. “I will
return to town immediately,” continued he; “so Fanny need not leave the
house of her only friend to avoid me. As to these bank-notes, keep them,
dear aunt. She says her father is in great distress. Perhaps, now that
I am come ‘to a right way of thinking,’ she will not disdain my
assistance. Give her the money when and how you think proper. I am sure
I cannot make a better use of a hundred guineas; and wish I had never
thought of making a worse.”

Mr. Folingsby returned directly to town; and his aunt thought he had in
some measure atoned for his fault by his candour and generosity. Miss
Jessy Bettesworth waited all this time, with malicious impatience,
to hear the result of Fanny’s explanation with Mrs. Hungerford. How
painfully was she surprised and disappointed, when Mrs. Hungerford
returned to the company, to hear her speak in the highest terms of
Fanny! “Oh, mamma,” cried little Gustavus, clapping his hands, “I am
glad you think her good, because we all think so; and I should be very
sorry indeed if she was to go away, especially in disgrace.”

“There is no danger of that, my dear,” said Mrs. Hungerford. “She shall
never leave my house, as long as she desires to stay in it. I do not
give, or withdraw, my protection, without good reasons.”

Miss Jessy Bettesworth bit her lips. Her face, which nature intended
to be beautiful, became almost ugly; envy and malice distorted her
features; and, when she departed with Mrs. Cheviott, her humiliated
appearance was a strong contrast to the air of triumph with which she
had entered.

       *       *       *       *       *


After Jessy and Mrs. Cheviott had left the room, one of the little girls
exclaimed, “I don’t like that Miss Bettesworth; for she asked me whether
I did not wish that Fanny was gone, because she refused to let me have a
peach that was not ripe. I am sure I wish Fanny may always stay here.”

There was a person in the room who seemed to join most fervently in
this wish: this was Mr. Reynolds, the drawing-master. For some time his
thoughts had been greatly occupied by Fanny. At first, he was struck
with her beauty; but he had discovered that Mr. Folingsby was in love
with her, and had carefully attended to her conduct, resolving not to
offer himself till he was sure on a point so serious. Her modesty and
prudence fixed his affections; and he now became impatient to declare
his passion. He was a man of excellent temper and character; and his
activity and talents were such as to ensure independence to a wife and

Mrs. Hungerford, though a proud, was not a selfish woman: she was glad
that Mr. Reynolds was desirous to obtain Fanny, though she was sorry to
part with one who was so useful in her family. Fanny had now lived
with her nearly two years; and she was much attached to her. A distant
relation, about this time, left her five children a small legacy of ten
guineas each. Gustavus, though he had some ambition to be master of
a watch, was the first to propose that this legacy should be given to
Fanny. His brothers and sisters applauded the idea; and Mrs. Hungerford
added fifty guineas to their fifty. “I had put by this money,” said she,
“to purchase a looking-glass for my drawing-room; but it will be much
better applied in rewarding one who has been of real service to my

Fanny was now mistress of two hundred guineas; a hundred given to her by
Mr. Folingsby, fifty by Mrs. Hungerford, and fifty by the children. Her
joy and gratitude were extreme: for with this money she knew she could
relieve her father; this was the first wish of her heart; and it was a
wish in which her lover so eagerly joined that she smiled on him, and
said, “Now I am sure you really love me.”

“Let us go to your father directly,” said Mr. Reynolds. “Let me be
present when you give him this money.”

“You shall,” said Fanny; “but first I must consult my sister Patty and
my brothers; for we must all go together; that is our agreement. The
first day of next month is my father’s birthday; and, on that day, we
are all to meet at the almshouse. What a happy day it will be!”

But what has James been about all this time? How has he gone on with his
master, Mr. Cleghorn, the haberdasher?

During the eighteen months that James had spent in Mr. Cleghorn’s shop,
he never gave his master the slightest reason to complain of him; on
the contrary, this young man made his employer’s interests his own; and,
consequently, completely deserved his confidence. It was not, however,
always easy to deal with Mr. Cleghorn; for he dreaded to be flattered,
yet could not bear to be contradicted. James was very near losing his
favour for ever, upon the following occasion.

One evening, when it was nearly dusk, and James was just shutting up
shop, a strange-looking man, prodigiously corpulent, and with huge
pockets to his coat, came in. He leaned his elbows on the counter,
opposite to James, and stared him full in the face without speaking.
James swept some loose money off the counter into the till. The stranger
smiled, as if purposely to show him this did not escape his quick eye.
There was in his countenance an expression of roguery and humour: the
humour seemed to be affected, the roguery natural. “What are you pleased
to want, sir?” said James.

“A glass of brandy, and your master.”

“My master is not at home, sir; and we have no brandy. You will find
brandy, I believe, at the house over the way.”

“I believe I know where to find brandy a little better than you do; and
better brandy than you ever tasted, or the devil’s in it,” replied the
stranger. “I want none of your brandy. I only asked for it to try what
sort of a chap you were. So you don’t know who I am?”

“No, sir; not in the least.”

“No! Never heard of Admiral Tipsey! Where do you come from? Never heard
of Admiral Tipsey! whose noble paunch is worth more than a Laplander
could reckon,” cried he, striking the huge rotundity he praised. “Let me
into this back parlour; I’ll wait there till your master comes home.”

“Sir, you cannot possibly go into that parlour; there is a young lady,
Mr. Cleghorn’s daughter, sir, at tea in that room: she must not be
disturbed,” said James, holding the lock of the parlour door. He thought
the stranger was either drunk or pretending to be drunk; and contended,
with all his force, to prevent him from getting into the parlour.

Whilst they were struggling, Mr. Cleghorn came home. “Heyday! what’s
the matter? O admiral, is it you?” said Mr. Cleghorn in a voice of
familiarity that astonished James. “Let us by, James; you don’t know the

Admiral Tipsey was a smuggler: he had the command of two or three
smuggling vessels, and thereupon created himself an admiral: a dignity
which few dared to dispute with him, whilst he held his oak stick in his
hand. As to the name of Tipsey, no one could be so unjust as to question
his claim to it; for he was never known to be perfectly sober, during
a whole day, from one year’s end to another. To James’s great surprise,
the admiral, after he had drunk one dish of tea, unbuttoned his
waist-coat from top to bottom, and deliberately began to unpack his huge
false corpulence! Round him were wound innumerable pieces of lace, and
fold after fold of fine cambric. When he was completely unpacked, it was
difficult to believe that he was the same person, he looked so thin and

He then called for some clean straw, and began to stuff himself out
again to what he called a passable size. “Did not I tell you, young man,
I carried that under my waistcoat which would make a fool stare? The
lace that’s on the floor, to say nothing of the cambric, is worth full
twice the sum for which you shall have it, Cleghorn. Good night. I’ll
call again to-morrow, to settle our affairs; but don’t let your young
man here shut the door, as he did to-day, in the admiral’s face. Here is
a cravat for you, notwithstanding,” continued he, turning to James, and
throwing him a piece of very fine cambric. “I must ‘list you in Admiral
Tipsey’s service.”

James followed him to the door, and returned the cambric in despite of
all his entreaties that he would “wear it, or sell it, for the admiral’s

“So, James,” said Mr. Cleghorn, when the smuggler was gone, “you do not
seem to like our admiral.”

“I know nothing of him, sir, except that he is a smuggler; and for that
reason I do not wish to have any thing to do with him.”

“I am sorry for that,” said Mr. Cleghorn, with a mixture of shame and
anger in his countenance: “my conscience is as nice as other people’s;
and yet I have a notion I shall have something to do with him, though he
is a smuggler; and, if I am not mistaken, shall make a deal of money by
him. I have not had any thing to do with smugglers yet; but I see many
in Monmouth who are making large fortunes by their assistance. There is
our neighbour, Mr. Raikes; what a rich man he is become! And why should
I, or why should you, be more scrupulous than others? Many gentlemen,
ay, gentlemen, in the country are connected with them; and why should
a shopkeeper be more conscientious than they? Speak; I must have your

With all the respect due to his master, James gave it as his opinion
that it would be best to have nothing to do with Admiral Tipsey, or with
any of the smugglers. He observed that men who carried on an illicit
trade, and who were in the daily habit of cheating, or of taking false
oaths, could not be safe partners. Even putting morality out of the
question, he remarked that the smuggling trade was a sort of gaming, by
which one year a man might make a deal of money, and another might be

“Upon my word!” said Mr. Cleghorn, in an ironical tone, “you talk very
wisely, for so young a man! Pray, where did you learn all this wisdom?”

“From my father, sir; from whom I learned every thing that I know; every
thing that is good, I mean. I had an uncle once, who was ruined by his
dealings with smugglers; and who would have died in jail, if it had not
been for my father. I was but a young lad at the time this happened; but
I remember my father saying to me, the day my uncle was arrested, when
my aunt and all the children were crying, ‘Take warning by this, my dear
James: you are to be in trade, some day or other, yourself: never forget
that honesty is the best policy. The fair trader will always have the
advantage, at the long run.’”

“Well, well, no more of this,” interrupted Mr. Cleghorn. “Good night
to you. You may finish the rest of your sermon against smugglers to my
daughter there, whom it seems to suit better than it pleases me.”

The next day, when Mr. Cleghorn went into the shop, he scarcely spoke
to James, except to find fault with him. This he bore with patience,
knowing that he meant well, and that his master would recover his temper
in time.

“So the parcels were all sent, and the bills made out, as I desired,”
 said Mr. Cleghorn. “You are not in the wrong there. You know what you
are about, James, very well; but why should not you deal openly by me,
according to your father’s maxim, that ‘honesty is the best policy?’ Why
should not you fairly tell me what were your secret views, in the advice
you gave me about Admiral Tipsey and the smugglers?”

“I have no secret views, sir,” said James, with a look of such sincerity
that his master could not help believing him: “nor can I guess what
you mean by _secret views_. If I consulted my own advantage instead of
yours, I should certainly use all my influence with you in favour of
this smuggler: for here is a letter, which I received from him this
morning, ‘hoping for my friendship,’ and enclosing a ten pound note,
which I returned to him.”

Mr. Cleghorn was pleased by the openness and simplicity with which James
told him all this; and immediately throwing aside the reserve of his
manner, said, “James, I beg your pardon; I see I have misunderstood you.
I am convinced you were not acting like a double dealer, in the advice
you gave me last night. It was my daughter’s colouring so much that led
me astray. I did, to be sure, think you had an eye to her more than to
me, in what you said: but if you had, I am sure you would tell me so

James was at a loss to comprehend how the advice that he gave concerning
Admiral Tipsey and the smugglers could relate to Miss Cleghorn, except
so far as it related to her father. He waited in silence for a farther

“You don’t know, then,” continued Mr. Cleghorn, “that Admiral Tipsey, as
he calls himself, is able to leave his nephew, young Raikes, more than
I can leave my daughter? It is his whim to go about dressed in that
strange way in which you saw him yesterday; and it is his diversion to
carry on the smuggling trade, by which he has made so much; but he is
in reality a rich old fellow, and has proposed that I should marry my
daughter to his nephew. Now you begin to understand me, I see. The lad
is a smart lad: he is to come here this evening. Don’t prejudice my girl
against him. Not a word more against smugglers, before her, I beg.”

“You shall be obeyed, sir,” said James. His voice altered, and he turned
pale as he spoke; circumstances which did not escape Mr. Cleghorn’s

Young Raikes, and his uncle, the rich smuggler, paid their visit. Miss
Cleghorn expressed a decided dislike to both uncle and nephew. Her
father was extremely provoked; and in the height of his anger, declared
he believed she was in love with James Frankland; that he was a
treacherous rascal; and that he should leave the house within three
days, if his daughter did not, before that time, consent to marry the
man he had chosen for her husband. It was in vain that his daughter
endeavoured to soften her father’s rage, and to exculpate poor James, by
protesting he had never directly or indirectly attempted to engage her
affections; neither had he ever said one syllable that could prejudice
her against the man whom her father recommended. Mr. Cleghorn’s high
notions of subordination applied, on this occasion, equally to his
daughter and to his foreman: he considered them both as presumptuous and
ungrateful; and said to himself, as he walked up and down the room in
a rage, “My foreman to preach to me indeed! I thought what he was about
all the time! But it sha’n’t do--it sha’n’t do! My daughter shall do
as I bid her, or I’ll know why! Have not I been all my life making a
fortune for her? and now she won’t do as I bid her! She would, if this
fellow were out of the house; and out he shall go, in three days, if she
does not come to her senses. I was cheated by my last shopman out of my
money: I won’t be duped by this fellow out of my daughter. No! no! Off
he shall trudge! A shopman, indeed, to think of his master’s daughter
without his consent! What insolence! What the times are come to! Such
a thing could not have been done in my days! I never thought of my
master’s daughter, I’ll take my oath! And then the treachery of the
rascal! To carry it all on so slily! I could forgive him anything but
that: for that he shall go out of this house in three days, as sure as
he and I are alive, if this young lady does not give him up before that

Passion so completely deafened Mr. Cleghorn that he would not listen
to James, who assured him he had never, for one moment, aspired to the
honour of marrying his daughter. “Can you deny that you love her? Can
you deny,” cried Mr. Cleghorn, “that you turned pale yesterday, when you
said I should be obeyed?”

James could not deny either of these charges; but he firmly persisted
in asserting that he had been guilty of no treachery; that he had never
attempted secretly to engage the young lady’s affections; and that, on
the contrary, he was sure she had no suspicion of his attachment. “It is
easy to prove all this to me, by persuading my girl to do as I bid her.
Prevail on her to marry Mr. Raikes, and all is well.”

“That is out of my power, sir,” replied James. “I have no right to
interfere, and will not. Indeed, I am sure I should betray myself, if I
were to attempt to say a word to Miss Cleghorn in favour of another man:
that is a task I could not undertake, even if I had the highest opinion
of this Mr. Raikes; but I know nothing concerning him, and therefore
should do wrong to speak in his favour merely to please you. I am sorry,
very sorry, sir, that you have not the confidence in me which I hoped
I had deserved; but the time will come when you will do me justice. The
sooner I leave you now, I believe, the better you will be satisfied;
and far from wishing to stay three days, I do not desire to stay three
minutes in your house, sir, against your will.”

Mr. Cleghorn was touched by the feeling and honest pride with which
James spoke.

“Do as I bid you, sir,” said he; “and neither more nor less,--Stay out
your three days; and may be, in that time, this saucy girl may come
to reason. If she does not know you love her, you are not _so much_ to

The three days passed away, and the morning came on which James was
to leave his master. The young lady persisted in her resolution not to
marry Mr. Raikes; and expressed much concern at the injustice with which
James was treated on her account. She offered to leave home, and spend
some time with an aunt, who lived in the north of England. She did not
deny that James appeared to her the most agreeable young man she had
seen; but added, she could not possibly have any thoughts of marrying
him, because he had never given her the least reason to believe that he
was attached to her.

Mr. Cleghorn was agitated, yet positive in his determination that James
should quit the house. James went into his master’s room to take leave
of him. “So then you are really going?” said Mr. Cleghorn. “You have
buckled that portmanteau of yours like a blockhead; I’ll do it better:
stand aside. So you are positively going? Why, this is a sad thing!
But then it is a thing, as your own sense and honour tell you--it is a
thing--” (Mr. Cleghorn took snuff at every pause of his speech; but even
this could not carry him through it;) when he pronounced the words, “It
is a thing that must be done,” the tears fairly started from his eyes.
“Now this is ridiculous!” resumed he. “In my days, in my younger days,
I mean, a man could part with his foreman as easily as he could take
off his glove. I am sure my master would as soon have thought of turning
bankrupt as of shedding a tear at parting with me; and yet I was as good
a foreman, in my day, as another. Not so good a one as you are, to be
sure. But it is no time now to think of your goodness. Well! what do we
stand here for? When a thing is to be done, the sooner it is done the
better. Shake hands before you go.”

Mr. Cleghorn put into James’s hand a fifty pound note, and a letter of
recommendation to a Liverpool merchant. James left the house without
taking leave of Miss Cleghorn, who did not think the worse of him for
his want of gallantry. His master had taken care to recommend him to an
excellent house in Liverpool, where his salary would be nearly double
that which he had hitherto received; but James was notwithstanding very
sorry to leave Monmouth, where his dear brother, sister, and father
lived,--to say nothing of Miss Cleghorn.

Late at night, James was going to the inn at which the Liverpool stage
set up, where he was to sleep: as he passed through a street that
leads down to the river Wye, he heard a great noise of men quarrelling
violently. The moon shone bright, and he saw a party of men who appeared
to be fighting in a boat that was just come to shore. He asked a person
who came out of the public-house, and who seemed to have nothing to
do with the fray, what was the matter? “Only some smugglers, who are
quarrelling with one another about the division of their booty,” said
the passenger, who walked on, eager to get out of their way. James also
quickened his pace, but presently heard the cry of “Murder! murder!
Help! help!” and then all was silence.

A few seconds afterwards he thought that he heard groans. He could not
forbear going to the spot whence the groans proceeded, in hopes of being
of some service to a fellow-creature. By the time he got thither, the
groans had ceased: he looked about, but could only see the men in the
boat, who were rowing fast down the river. As he stood on the shore
listening, he for some minutes heard no sound but that of their oars;
but afterwards a man in the boat exclaimed, with a terrible oath, “There
he is! There he is! All alive again! We have not done him business! D--n
it, he’ll do ours!” The boatmen rowed faster away, and James again heard
the groans, though they were now much feebler than before. He searched
and found the wounded man; who, having been thrown overboard, had with
great difficulty swam to shore, and fainted with the exertion as soon
as he reached the land. When he came to his senses, he begged James, for
mercy’s sake, to carry him into the next public-house, and to send for
a surgeon to dress his wounds. The surgeon came, examined them, and
declared his fears that the poor man could not live four-and-twenty
hours. As soon as he was able to speak intelligibly, he said he had been
drinking with a party of smugglers, who had just brought in some fresh
brandy, and that they had quarrelled violently about a keg of contraband
liquor: he said that he could swear to the man who gave him the mortal

The smugglers were pursued immediately, and taken. When they were
brought into the sick man’s room, James beheld amongst them three
persons whom he little expected to meet in such a situation: Idle Isaac,
Wild Will, and Bullying Bob. The wounded man swore positively to their
persons. Bullying Bob was the person who gave him the fatal blow; but
Wild Will began the assault, and Idle Isaac shoved him overboard;
they were all implicated in the guilt; and, instead of expressing any
contrition for their crime, began to dispute about which was most to
blame: they appealed to James; and, as he would be subpoenaed on their
trial, each endeavoured to engage him in his favour. Idle Isaac took him
aside, and said to him, “You have no reason to befriend my brothers. I
can tell you a secret: they are the greatest enemies your family ever
had. It was they who set fire to your father’s hay-rick. Will was
provoked by your sister Fanny’s refusing him; so he determined, as
he told me, to carry her off; and he meant to have done so, in the
confusion that was caused by the fire; but Bob and he quarrelled the
very hour that she was to have been carried off; so that part of the
scheme failed. Now I had no hand in all this, being fast asleep in
my bed; so I have more claim to your good word, at any rate, than my
brothers can have: and so, when we come to trial, I hope you’ll speak to
my character.”

Wild Will next tried his eloquence. As soon as he found that his brother
Isaac had betrayed the secret, he went to James, and assured him the
mischief that had been done was a mere accident; that it was true he
had intended, for the frolic’s sake, to raise a cry of fire, in order to
draw Fanny out of the house; but that he was shocked when he found how
the jest ended.

As to Bullying Bob, he brazened the matter out; declaring he had been
affronted by the Franklands, and that he was glad he had taken his
revenge of them; that, if the thing was to be done over again, he would
do it; that James might give him what character he pleased upon trial,
for that a man could be hanged but once.

Such were the absurd, bravadoing speeches he made, while he had an
alehouse audience round him, to admire his spirit; but a few hours
changed his tone. He and his brothers were taken before a magistrate.
Till the committal was actually made out, they had hopes of being
bailed: they had despatched a messenger to Admiral Tipsey, whose men
they called themselves, and expected he would offer bail for them to
any amount; but the bail of their friend Admiral Tipsey was not deemed
sufficient by the magistrate.

“In the first place, I could not bail these men; and if I could, do you
think it possible,” said the magistrate, “I could take the bail of such
a man as that?”

“I understood that he was worth a deal of money,” whispered James.

“You are mistaken, sir,” said the magistrate: “he is what he deserves to
be, a ruined man. I have good reasons for knowing this. He has a nephew,
a Mr. Raikes, who is a gamester: whilst the uncle has been carrying on
the smuggling trade here, at the hazard of his life, the nephew, who was
bred up at Oxford to be a fine gentleman, has gamed away all the money
his uncle has made during twenty years, by his contraband traffic. At
the long run, these fellows never thrive. Tipsey is not worth a groat.”

James was much surprised by this information, and resolved to return
immediately to Mr. Cleghorn, to tell him what he had heard, and put him
on his guard.

Early in the morning he went to his house--“You look as if you were not
pleased to see me again,” said he to Mr. Cleghorn; “and perhaps you will
impute what I am going to say to bad motives; but my regard to you, sir,
determines me to acquaint you with what I have heard: you will make what
use of the information you please.”

James then related what had passed at the magistrate’s; and when
Mr. Cleghorn had heard all that he had to say, he thanked him in the
strongest manner for this instance of his regard; and begged he would
remain in Monmouth a few days longer.

Alarmed by the information he received from James, Mr. Cleghorn
privately made inquiries concerning young Raikes and his uncle. The
distress into which the young man had plunged himself by gambling had
been kept a profound secret from his relations. It was easy to deceive
them as to his conduct, because his time had been spent at a distance
from them: he had but just returned home, after _completing his

The magistrate from whom James first heard of his extravagance happened
to have a son at Oxford, who gave him this intelligence: he confirmed
all he had said to Mr. Cleghorn, who trembled at the danger to which he
had exposed his daughter. The match with young Raikes was immediately
broken off; and all connexion with Admiral Tipsey and the smugglers was
for ever dissolved by Mr. Cleghorn.

His gratitude to James was expressed with all the natural warmth of his
character. “Come back and live with me,” said he. “You have saved me and
my daughter from ruin. You shall not be my shopman any longer, you shall
be my partner: and, you know, when you are my partner, there can be
nothing said against your thinking of my daughter. But all in good time.
I would not have seen the girl again if she had married my shopman; but
my partner will be quite another thing. You have worked your way up in
the world by your own deserts, and I give you joy. I believe, now it’s
over, it would have gone nigh to break my heart to part with you; but
you must be sensible I was right to keep up my authority in my own
family. Now things are changed: I give my consent: nobody has a right to
say a word. When I am pleased with my daughter’s choice, that is enough.
There’s only one thing that goes against my pride: your father--”

“Oh! sir,” interrupted James, “if you are going to say any thing
disrespectful of my father, do not say it to me; I beseech you, do not;
for I cannot bear it. Indeed I cannot, and will not. He is the best of

“I am sure he has the best of children; and a greater blessing there
cannot be in this world. I was not going to say any thing disrespectful
of him: I was only going to lament that he should be in an almshouse,”
 said Mr. Cleghorn.

“He has determined to remain there,” said James, “till his children have
earned money enough to support him without hurting themselves. I, my
brother, and both my sisters, are to meet at the almshouse on the first
day of next month, which is my father’s birthday; then we shall join all
our earnings together, and see what can be done.”

“Remember, you are my partner,” said Mr. Cleghorn. “On that day you must
take me along with you. My good-will is part of your earnings, and my
good-will shall never be shown merely in words.”


It is now time to give some account of the Bettesworth family. The
history of their indolence, extravagance, quarrels, and ruin, shall be
given as shortly as possible.

The fortune left to them by Captain Bettesworth was nearly twenty
thousand pounds. When they got possession of this sum, they thought it
could never be spent; and each individual of the family had separate
plans of extravagance, for which they required separate supplies. Old
Bettesworth, in his youth, had seen a house of Squire Somebody, which
had struck his imagination, and he resolved he would build just such
another. This was his favourite scheme, and he was delighted with the
thoughts that it would be realized. His wife and his sons opposed
the plan, merely because it was his; and consequently he became more
obstinately bent upon having his own way, as he said, for once in his
life. He was totally ignorant of building; and no less incapable, from
his habitual indolence, of managing workmen: the house might have been
finished for one thousand five hundred pounds; it cost him two thousand
pounds: and when it was done, the roof let in the rain in sundry places,
the new ceilings and cornices were damaged, so that repairs and a new
roof, with leaden gutters, and leaden statues, cost him some additional
hundreds. The furnishing of the house Mrs. Bettesworth took upon
herself; and Sally _took upon herself_ to find fault with every article
that her mother bought. The quarrels were loud, bitter, and at last
irreconcilable. There was a looking-glass which the mother wanted
to have in one room, and the daughter insisted upon putting it into
another: the looking-glass was broken between them in the heat of
battle. The blame was laid on Sally, who, in a rage, declared she would
not and could not live in the house with her mother. Her mother was
rejoiced to get rid of her, and she went to live with a lieutenant’s
lady in the neighbourhood, with whom she had been acquainted three
weeks and two days. Half by scolding, half by cajoling her father, she
prevailed upon him to give her two thousand pounds for her fortune;
promising never to trouble him any more for any thing.

As soon as she was gone, Mrs. Bettesworth gave a house-warming, as she
called it, to all her acquaintance; a dinner, a ball, and a supper, in
her new house. The house was not half dry, and all the company caught
cold. Mrs. Bettesworth’s cold was the most severe. It happened at this
time to be the fashion to go almost without clothes; and as this lady
was extremely vain and fond of dress, she would absolutely appear in the
height of fashion. The Sunday after her ball, whilst she had still the
remains of a bad cold, she positively would go to church, equipped in
one petticoat, and a thin muslin gown, that she might look as young as
her daughter Jessy. Every body laughed, and Jessy laughed more than any
one else; but, in the end, it was no laughing matter; Mrs. Bettesworth
“caught her death of cold.” She was confined to her bed on Monday, and
was buried the next Sunday.

Jessy, who had a great notion that she should marry a lord, if she
could but once get into company with one, went to live with blind Mrs.
Cheviott; where, according to her mother’s instructions, “she laid
herself out for goodness.” She also took two thousand pounds with
her, upon her promise never to trouble her father more. Her brothers
perceived how much was to be gained by tormenting a father, who
gave from weakness, and not from a sense of justice, or a feeling of
kindness; and they soon rendered themselves so troublesome that he was
obliged to buy off their reproaches. Idle Isaac was a sportsman, and
would needs have a pack of hounds: they cost him two hundred a year.
Then he would have race-horses; and by them he soon lost some thousands.
He was arrested for the money, and his father was forced to pay it.

Bob and Will soon afterwards began to think, “it was very hard that so
much was to be done for Isaac, and nothing for them!”

Wild Will kept a mistress; and Bullying Bob was a cock-fighter: their
demands for money were frequent and unconscionable; and their continual
plea was, “Why, Isaac lost a thousand by his race-horses, and why should
not we have our share?”

The mistress and the cockpit had their share; and the poor old father,
at last, had only one thousand left. He told his sons this, with tears
in his eyes: “I shall die in a jail, after all!” said he. They listened
not to what he said, for they were intent upon the bank-notes of this
last thousand, which were spread upon the table before him. Will, half
in jest, half in earnest, snatched up a parcel of the notes; and Bob
insisted on dividing the treasure. Will fled out of the house; Bob
pursued him, and they fought at the end of their own avenue.

This was on the day that Frankland and his family were returning from
poor George’s funeral, and saw the battle betwixt the brothers. They
were shamed into a temporary reconciliation, and soon afterwards united
against their father, whom they represented to all the neighbours as
the most cruel and the most avaricious of men, because he would not part
with the very means of subsistence to supply their profligacy.

Whilst their minds were in this state, Will happened to become
acquainted with a set of smugglers, whose disorderly life struck his
fancy. He persuaded his brothers to leave home with him, and to list in
the service of Admiral Tipsey. Their manners then became more brutal;
and they thought, felt, and lived like men of desperate fortunes. The
consequence we have seen. In a quarrel about a keg of brandy, at an
alehouse, their passions got the better of them, and, on entering their
boat, they committed the offence for which they were now imprisoned.

Mr. Barlow was the attorney to whom they applied, and they endeavoured
to engage him to manage their cause on their trial; but he absolutely
refused. From the moment he heard from James that Will and Bob
Bettesworth were the persons who set fire to Frankland’s hay-stack, he
urged Frank to prosecute them for this crime. “When you only suspected
them, my dear Frank, I strongly dissuaded you from going to law: but now
you cannot fail to succeed, and you will recover ample damages.”

“That is impossible, my dear sir,” replied Frank; “for the Bettesworths,
I understand, are ruined.”

“I am sorry for that, on your account; but I still think you ought to
carry on this prosecution, for the sake of public justice. Such pests of
society should not go unpunished.”

“They will probably be punished sufficiently for this unfortunate
assault, for which they are now to stand their trial. I cannot, in their
distress, revenge either my own or my father’s wrongs. I am sure he
would be sorry if I did; for I have often and often heard him say,
‘Never trample upon the fallen.’”

“You are a good, generous young man,” cried Mr. Barlow, “and no wonder
you love the father who inspired you with such sentiments, and taught
you such principles. But what a shame it is that such a father should
be in an almshouse! You say he will not consent to be dependent upon
any one; and that he will not accept of relief from any but his own
children. This is pride; but it is an honourable species of pride; fit
for an English yeoman. I cannot blame it. But, my dear Frank, tell your
father he must accept of your friend’s credit, as well as of yours.
Your credit with me is such, that you may draw upon me for five hundred
pounds whenever you please. No thanks, my boy. Half the money I owe you
for your services as my clerk; and the other half is well secured to me,
by the certainty of your future diligence and success in business.
You will be able to pay me in a year or two; so I put you under no
obligation, remember. I will take your bond for half the money, if that
will satisfy you and your proud father.”

The manner in which this favour was conferred touched Frank to the
heart. He had a heart which could be strongly moved by kindness. He
was beginning to express his gratitude, when Mr. Barlow interrupted him
with, “Come, come! Why do we waste our time here, talking sentiment,
when we ought to be writing law? Here is work to be done, which requires
some expedition: a marriage settlement to be drawn. Guess for whom.”

Frank guessed all the probable matches amongst his Monmouth
acquaintance; but he was rather surprised when told that the bridegroom
was to be young Mr. Folingsby; as it was scarcely two months since this
gentleman was in love with Fanny Frankland. Frank proceeded to draw the

Whilst he and Mr. Barlow were writing, they were interrupted by the
entrance of Mr. Josiah Crumpe. He came to announce Mrs. Crumpe’s death,
and to request Mr. Barlow’s attendance at the opening of her will. This
poor lady had lingered out many months longer than it was thought
she could possibly live; and during all her sufferings, Patty, with
indefatigable goodness and temper, bore with the caprice and peevishness
of disease. Those who thought she acted merely from interested motives
expected to find she had used her power over her mistress’s mind
entirely for her own advantage: they were certain a great part of the
fortune would be left to her. Mrs. Crumpe’s relations were so persuaded
of this, that, when they were assembled to hear her will read by Mr.
Barlow, they began to say to one another in whispers, “We’ll set the
will aside; we’ll bring her into the courts: Mrs. Crumpe was not in her
right senses when she made this will: she had received two paralytic
strokes; we can prove that: we can set aside the will.”

Mr. Josiah Crumpe was not one of these whisperers; he set apart from
them, leaning on his oaken stick in silence.

Mr. Barlow broke the seals of the will, opened it, and read it to the
eager company. They were much astonished when they found that the whole
fortune was left to Mr. Josiah Crumpe. The reason for this bequest was
given in these words:

“Mr. Josiah Crumpe, being the only one of my relations who did not
torment me for my money, even upon my death-bed, I trust that he will
provide suitably for that excellent girl, Patty Frankland. On this head
he knows my wishes. By her own desire, I have not myself left her any
thing; I have only bequeathed fifty pounds for the use of her father.”

Mr. Josiah Crumpe was the only person who heard unmoved the bequest
that was made to him; the rest of the relations were clamorous in their
reproaches, or hypocritical in their congratulations. All thoughts of
setting aside the will were, however, abandoned; every legal form had
been observed, and with a technical nicety that precluded all hopes of
successful litigation.

Mr. Crumpe arose, as soon as the tumult of disappointment had somewhat
subsided, and counted with his oaken stick the numbers that were
present. “Here are ten of you, I think. Well! you, every soul of you,
hate me; but that is nothing to the purpose. I shall keep up to the
notion I have of the character of a true British merchant, for my own
sake--not for yours. I don’t want this woman’s money; I have enough of
my own, and of my own honest making, without legacy hunting. Why did
you torment the dying woman? You would have been better off, if you had
behaved better; but that’s over now. A thousand pounds a-piece you shall
have from me, deducting fifty pounds, which you must each of you give to
that excellent girl, Patty Frankland. I am sure you must be all sensible
of your injustice to her.”

Fully aware that it was their interest to oblige Mr. Crumpe, they now
vied with each other in doing justice to Patty. Some even declared they
had never had any suspicions of her; and others laid the blame on the
false representations and information which they said they had had
from the mischief-making Mrs. Martha. They very willingly accepted of
a thousand pounds a-piece; and the fifty pounds deduction was paid as a
tax by each to Patty’s merit.

Mistress now of five hundred pounds, she exclaimed, “Oh! my dear father!
You shall no longer live in an almshouse! To-morrow will be the
happiest day of my life! I don’t know how to thank you as I ought, sir,”
 continued she, turning to her benefactor.

“You have thanked me as you ought, and as I like best,” said this
plain-spoken merchant, “and now let us say no more about it.”

In obedience to Mr. Crumpe’s commands, Patty said no more to him; but
she was impatient to tell her brother Frank, and her lover, Mr. Mason,
of her good fortune: she therefore returned to Monmouth with Mr. Barlow,
in hopes of seeing them immediately; but Frank was not at work at the
marriage settlement. Soon after Mr. Barlow left him, he was summoned to
attend the trial of the Bettesworths.

These unfortunate young men, depending on Frank’s good nature, well
knowing he had refused to prosecute them for setting fire to his
father’s hay-rick, thought they might venture to call upon him to give
them a good character. “Consider, dear Frank,” said Will Bettesworth, “a
good word from one of your character might do a great deal for us. You
were so many years our neighbour. If you would only just say that we
were never counted wild, idle, quarrelsome fellows, to your knowledge.
Will you?”

“How can I do that?” said Frank: “or how could I be believed, if I did,
when it is so well known in the country--forgive me; at such a time as
this I cannot mean to taunt you: but it is well known in the country
that you were called Wild Will, Bullying Bob, and Idle Isaac.”

“There’s the rub!” said the attorney who was employed for the
Bettesworths. “This will come out in open court; and the judge and jury
will think a great deal of it.”

“Oh! Mr. Frank, Mr. Frank,” cried old Bettesworth, “have pity upon us!
Speak in favour of these boys of mine! Think what a disgrace it is to me
in my old age, to have my sons brought this way to a public trial! And
if they should be transported! Oh! Mr. Frank, say what you can for them!
You were always a good young man, and a good-natured young man.”

Frank was moved by the entreaties and tears of the unhappy father; but
his good-nature could not make him consent to say what he knew to be
false. “Do not call me to speak to their characters upon this trial,”
 said he; “I cannot say any thing that would serve them: I shall do them
more harm than good.”

Still they had hopes his good-nature would, at the last moment, prevail
over his sense of justice, and they summoned him.

“Well, sir,” said Bettesworths’ counsel, “you appear in favour of the
prisoners. You have known them, I understand, from their childhood; and
your own character is such that whatever you say in their favour will
doubtless make a weighty impression upon the jury.”

The court was silent in expectation of what Frank should say. He was
so much embarrassed betwixt his wish to serve his old neighbours and
playfellows, and his dread of saying what he knew to be false, that
he could not utter a syllable. He burst into tears. {Footnote: This is
drawn from real life.}

“This evidence is most strongly against the prisoners,” whispered a
juryman to his fellows.

The verdict was brought in at last--Guilty!--Sentence--transportation.

As the judge was pronouncing this sentence, old Bettesworth was carried
out of the court: he had dropped senseless. Ill as his sons had behaved
to him, he could not sustain the sight of their utter disgrace and ruin.

When he recovered his senses, he found himself sitting on the
stone bench before the court-house, supported by Frank. Many of the
town’s-people had gathered round; but regardless of every thing but his
own feelings, the wretched father exclaimed, in a voice of despair, “I
have no children left me in my old age! My sons are gone! And where are
my daughters? At such a time as this, why are not they near their poor
old father? Have they no touch of natural affection in them? No! they
have none. And why should they have any for me? I took no care of them
when they were young; no wonder they take none of me now I am old. Ay!
Neighbour Frankland was right: he brought up his children ‘in the way
they should go.’ Now he has the credit and the comfort of them; and see
what mine are come to! They bring their father’s grey hairs with sorrow
to the grave!”

The old man wept bitterly: then looking round him, he again asked for
his daughters. “Surely they are in the town, and it cannot be much
trouble to them to come to me! Even these strangers, who have never
seen me before, pity me. But _my own_ have no feeling; no, not for one
another! Do these girls know the sentence that has been passed upon
their brothers! Where are they? Where are they? Jessy, at least, might
be near me at such a time as this! I was always an indulgent father to

There were people present who knew what was become of Jessy; but they
would not tell the news to her father at this terrible moment. Two of
Mrs. Cheviott’s servants were in the crowd; and one of them whispered
to Frank, “You had best, sir, prevail on this poor old man to go to his
home, and not to ask for his daughter: he will hear the bad news soon

Frank persuaded the father to go home to his lodgings, and did every
thing in his power to comfort him. But, alas! the old man said, too
truly, “There is no happiness left for me in this world! What a curse it
is to have bad children! My children have broken my heart! And it is all
my own fault: I took no care of them when they were young; and they take
no care of me now I am old. But, tell me, have you found out what is
become of my daughter?”

Frank evaded the question, and begged the old man to rest in peace this
night. He seemed quite exhausted by grief, and at last sunk into a sort
of stupefaction: it could hardly be called sleep. Frank was obliged to
return home, to proceed with his business for Mr. Barlow; and he was
glad to escape from the sight of misery, which, however he might pity,
he could not relieve.

It was happy indeed for Frank that he had taken his father’s advice,
and had early broken off all connexion with Jilting Jessy. After duping
others, she at length had become a greater dupe. She had this morning
gone off with a common serjeant, with whom she had fallen suddenly and
desperately in love. He cared for nothing but her two thousand pounds;
and, to complete her misfortune, was a man of bad character, whose
extravagance and profligacy had reduced him to the sad alternative of
either marrying for money, or going to jail.

As for Sally, she was at this instant far from all thoughts either of
her father or her brothers; she was in the heat of a scolding match,
which terminated rather unfortunately for her matrimonial schemes.
Ensign Bloomington had reproached her with having forced him into his
aunt’s room, when she had absolutely refused to see him, and thus being
the cause of his losing a handsome legacy. Irritated by this charge,
the lady replied in no very gentle terms. Words ran high; and so high at
last, that the gentleman finished by swearing that he would sooner marry
the devil than such a vixen!

The match was thus broken off, to the great amusement of all Saucy
Sally’s acquaintance. Her ill-humour had made her hated by all the
neighbours; so that her disappointment at the loss of the ensign was
embittered by their malicious raillery, and by the prophecy which she
heard more than whispered from all sides, that she would never have
another admirer, either for “love or money.”

Ensign Bloomington was deaf to all overtures of peace: he was rejoiced
to escape from this virago; and, as we presume that none of our readers
are much interested in her fate, we shall leave her to wear the willow,
without following her history farther.

Let us return to Mr. Barlow, whom we left looking over Mr. Folingsby’s
marriage settlements. When he had seen that they were rightly drawn, he
sent Frank with them to Folingsby-hall.

Mr. Folingsby was alone when Frank arrived. “Sit down, if you please,
sir,” said he. “Though I have never had the pleasure of seeing you
before, your name is well known to me. You are a brother of Fanny
Frankland’s. She is a charming and excellent young woman! You have
reason to be proud of your sister, and I have reason to be obliged to

He then adverted to what had formerly passed between them at
Mrs. Hungerford’s; and concluded by saying it would give him real
satisfaction to do any service to him or his family. “Speak, and tell me
what I can do for you.”

Frank looked down, and was silent; for he thought Mr. Folingsby must
recollect the injustice that he, or his agent, had shown in turning old
Frankland out of his farm. He was too proud to ask favours, where he
felt he had a claim to justice.

In fact, Mr. Folingsby had, as he said, “left every thing to his agent;”
 and so little did he know either of the affairs of his tenants, their
persons, or even their names, that he had not at this moment the
slightest idea that Frank was the son of one of the oldest and the best
of them. He did not know that old Frankland had been reduced to take
refuge in an almshouse, in consequence of his agent’s injustice.
Surprised by Frank’s cold silence, he questioned him more closely, and
it was with astonishment and shame that he heard the truth.

“Good heavens!” cried he, “has my negligence been the cause of all this
misery to your father--to the father of Fanny Frankland? I remember, now
that you recall it to my mind, something of an old man, with fine grey
hair, coming to speak to me about some business, just as I was setting
off for Ascot races. Was that your father? I recollect I told him I was
in a great hurry; and that Mr. Deal, my agent, would certainly do him
justice. In this I was grossly mistaken; and I have suffered severely
for the confidence I had in that fellow. Thank God, I shall now have my
affairs in my own hands. I am determined to look into them immediately.
My head is no longer full of horses, and gigs, and curricles. There is
a time for every thing: my giddy days are over. I only wish that my
thoughtlessness had never hurt any one but myself.

“All I now can do,” continued Mr. Folingsby, “is to make amends, as fast
as possible, for the past. To begin with your father: most fortunately,
I have the means in my power. His farm is come back into my hands; and
it shall, to-morrow, be restored to him. Old Bettesworth was with
me scarcely an hour ago, to surrender the farm, on which there is a
prodigious arrear of rent; but I understand that he has built a good
house on the farm; and I am extremely glad of it, for your father’s
sake. Tell him it shall be his. Tell him I am ready, I am eager, to put
him in possession of it; and to repair the injustice I have done, or
which, at least, I have permitted to be done, in my name.”

Frank was so overjoyed that he could scarcely utter one word of thanks.
In his way home he called at Mrs. Hungerford’s, to tell the good news to
his sister Fanny. This was the eve of their father’s birthday; and they
agreed to meet at the almshouse in the morning.

The happy morning came. Old Frankland was busy in his little garden,
when he heard the voices of his children, who were coming towards him.
“Fanny! Patty! James! Frank! Welcome, my children! Welcome! I knew you
would be so kind as to come to see your old father on this day; so I was
picking some of my currants for you, to make you as welcome as I can.
But I wonder you are not ashamed to come to see me in an almshouse. Such
gay lads and lasses! I well know I have reason to be proud of you all.
Why, I think, I never saw you, one and all, look so well in my whole

“Perhaps, father,” said Frank, “because you never saw us, one and all,
so happy! Will you sit down, dear father, here in your arbour; and we
will all sit upon the grass, at your feet, and each tell you stories,
and all the good news.”

“My children,” said he, “do what you will with me! It makes my old heart
swim with joy to see you all again around me looking so happy.”

The father sat down in his arbour, and his children placed themselves
at his feet. First his daughter Patty spoke; and then Fanny; then James;
and at last Frank. When they had all told their little histories, they
offered to their father in one purse their common riches: the rewards of
their own good conduct.

“My beloved children!” said Frankland, overpowered with his tears, “this
is too much joy for me! this is the happiest moment of my life! None but
the father of such children can know what I feel! Your success in the
world delights me ten times the more, because I know it is all owing to

“Oh! no, dear father!” cried they with one accord; “no, dear, dear
father, our success is all owing to you! Every thing we have is owing to
you; to the care you took of us, from our infancy upward. If you had not
watched for our welfare, and taught us so well, we should not now all be
so happy!--Poor Bettesworth!”

Here they were interrupted by Hannah, the faithful maid-servant, who
had always lived with old Frankland. She came running down the garden so
fast, that, when she reached the arbour, she was so much out of breath
she could not speak. “Dear heart! God bless you all!” cried she, as soon
as she recovered breath. “But it is no time to be sitting here. Come in,
sir, for mercy’s sake,” said she, addressing herself to her old master.
“Come in to be ready; come in all of you to be ready!” “Ready! ready for

“Oh! ready for fine things! Fine doings! Only come in, and I’ll tell you
as we go along. How I have torn all my hand with this gooseberry-bush!
But no matter for that. So then you have not heard a word of what is
going on? No, how could you? And you did not miss me, when you first
came into the house?”

“Forgive us for that, good Hannah: we were in such a hurry to see my
father, we thought of nothing and nobody else.”

“Very natural. Well, Miss Fanny, I’ve been up at the great house, with
your lady, Mrs. Hungerford. A better lady cannot be! Do you know she
sent for me, on purpose to speak to me; and I know things that you are
not to know yet. But this much I may tell you, there’s a carriage coming
here, to carry my master away to his new house; and there’s horses,
and side-saddles beside, for you, and you, and you, and I. And Mrs.
Hungerford is coming in her own coach; and young Mr. Folingsby is coming
in his carriage; and Mr. Barlow in Mr. Jos. Crumpe’s carriage; and Mr.
Cleghorn, and his pretty daughter, in the gig; and--and--and heaps of
carriages besides! friends of Mrs. Hungerford: and there’s such crowds
gathering in the streets; and I’m going on to get breakfast.”

“Oh! my dear father,” cried Frank, “make haste, and take off this
badge-coat before they come! We have brought proper clothes for you.”

Frank pulled off the badge-coat, as he called it, and flung it from him,
saying, “My father shall never wear you more.”

Fanny had just tied on her father’s clean neckcloth, and Patty had
smoothed his reverend grey locks, when the sound of the carriages was
heard. All that Hannah had told them was true. Mrs. Hungerford had
engaged all her friends, and all who were acquainted with the good
conduct of the Franklands, to attend her on this joyful occasion.

“Triumphal cavalcades and processions,” said she, “are in general
foolish things--mere gratifications of vanity; but this is not in honour
of vanity, but in honour of virtue. We shall do good in the country, by
showing that we respect and admire it, in whatever station it is to be
found. Here is a whole family who have conducted themselves uncommonly
well; who have exerted themselves to relieve their aged father from a
situation to which he was reduced without any fault or imprudence of his
own. Their exertions have succeeded. Let us give them, what they will
value more than money, SYMPATHY.”

Convinced or persuaded by what Mrs. Hungerford said, all her friends
and acquaintance attended her this morning to the almshouse. Crowds
of people followed; and old Frankland was carried in triumph by his
children to his new habitation.

The happy father lived many years to enjoy the increasing prosperity of
his family. {Footnote: It may be necessary to inform some readers, that
Patty and Fanny were soon united to their lovers; that James, with Mr.
Cleghorn’s consent, married Miss Cleghorn; and that Frank did not become
an old bachelor: he married an amiable girl, who was ten times prettier
than Jilting Jessy, and of whom he was twenty times as fond. Those who
wish to know the history of all the wedding-clothes of the parties
may have their curiosity gratified by directing a line of inquiry,
post-paid, to the editor hereof.}

May every good father have as grateful children!

_May, 1801_.


In the island of Jamaica there lived two planters, whose methods of
managing their slaves were as different as possible. Mr. Jefferies
considered the negroes as an inferior species, incapable of gratitude,
disposed to treachery, and to be roused from their natural indolence
only by force; he treated his slaves, or rather suffered his overseer to
treat them, with the greatest severity.

Jefferies was not a man of a cruel, but of a thoughtless and extravagant
temper. He was of such a sanguine disposition, that he always calculated
upon having a fine season, and fine crops on his plantation; and
never had the prudence to make allowance for unfortunate accidents: he
required, as he said, from his overseer produce and not excuses.

Durant, the overseer, did not scruple to use the most cruel and
barbarous methods of forcing the slaves to exertions beyond their
strength. {Footnote: THE NEGRO SLAVES--a fine drama, by Kotzebue. It is
to be hoped that such horrible instances of cruelty are not now to be
found in nature. Bryan Edwards, in his History of Jamaica, says that
most of the planters are humane; but he allows that some facts can be
cited in contradiction of this assertion.} Complaints of his brutality,
from time to time, reached his master’s ears; but though Mr. Jefferies
was moved to momentary compassion, he shut his heart against conviction:
he hurried away to the jovial banquet, and drowned all painful
reflections in wine.

He was this year much in debt; and, therefore, being more than usually
anxious about his crop, he pressed his overseer to exert himself to the

The wretched slaves upon his plantation thought themselves still more
unfortunate when they compared their condition with that of the negroes
on the estate of Mr. Edwards. This gentleman treated his slaves with all
possible humanity and kindness. He wished that there was no such thing
as slavery in the world, but he was convinced, by the arguments of
those who have the best means of obtaining information, that the sudden
emancipation of the negroes would rather increase than diminish their
miseries. His benevolence, therefore, confined itself within the bounds
of reason. He adopted those plans for the amelioration of the state
of the slaves which appeared to him the most likely to succeed without
producing any violent agitation or revolution. {Footnote: History of
the West Indies, from which these ideas are adopted--not stolen.} For
instance, his negroes had reasonable and fixed daily tasks; and when
these were finished, they were permitted to employ their time for their
own advantage or amusement. If they chose to employ themselves longer
for their master, they were paid regular wages for their extra work.
This reward, for as such it was considered, operated most powerfully
upon the slaves. Those who are animated by hope can perform what would
seem impossibilities to those who are under the depressing influence
of fear. The wages which Mr. Edwards promised, he took care to see
punctually paid.

He had an excellent overseer, of the name of Abraham Bayley, a man of
a mild but steady temper, who was attached not only to his master’s
interests but to his virtues; and who, therefore, was more intent upon
seconding his humane views than upon squeezing from the labour of the
negroes the utmost produce. Each negro had, near his cottage, a portion
of land, called his provision-ground; and one day in the week was
allowed for its cultivation.

It is common in Jamaica for the slaves to have provision-grounds, which
they cultivate for their own advantage; but it too often happens, that,
when a good negro has successfully improved his little spot of ground,
when he has built himself a house, and begins to enjoy the fruits of his
industry, his acquired property is seized upon by the sheriff’s officer
for the payment of his master’s debts; he is forcibly separated from his
wife and children, dragged to public auction, purchased by a stranger,
and perhaps sent to terminate his miserable existence in the mines of
Mexico; excluded for ever from the light of heaven; and all this without
any crime or imprudence on his part, real or pretended. He is punished
because his master is unfortunate!

To this barbarous injustice the negroes on Mr. Edwards’ plantation
were never exposed. He never exceeded his income; he engaged in no wild
speculations; he contracted no debts; and his slaves, therefore, were
in no danger of being seized by a sheriff’s officer: their property was
secured to them by the prudence as well as by the generosity of their

One morning, as Mr. Edwards was walking in that part of his plantation
which joined to Mr. Jefferies’ estate, he thought he heard the voice of
distress at some distance. The lamentations grew louder and louder as
he approached a cottage, which stood upon the borders of Jefferies’

This cottage belonged to a slave of the name of Caesar, the best negro
in Mr. Jefferies’ possession. Such had been his industry and exertion,
that, notwithstanding the severe tasks imposed by Durant, the overseer,
Caesar found means to cultivate his provision-ground to a degree of
perfection no where else to be seen on this estate. Mr. Edwards had
often admired this poor fellow’s industry, and now hastened to inquire
what misfortune had befallen him.

When he came to the cottage, he found Caesar standing with his arms
folded, and his eyes fixed upon the ground. A young and beautiful female
negro was weeping bitterly, as she knelt at the feet of Durant, the
overseer, who, regarding her with a sullen aspect, repeated, “He must
go. I tell you, woman, he must go. What signifies all this nonsense?”

At the sight of Mr. Edwards, the overseer’s countenance suddenly
changed, and assumed an air of obsequious civility. The poor woman
retired to the farther corner of the cottage, and continued to weep.
Caesar never moved. “Nothing is the matter, sir,” said Durant, “but that
Caesar is going to be sold. That is what the woman is crying for. They
were to be married; but we’ll find Clara another husband, I tell her;
and she’ll get the better of her grief, you know, sir, as I tell her, in
time.” “Never! never!” said Clara.

“To whom is Caesar going to be sold? and for what sum?”

“For what can be got for him,” replied Durant, laughing; “and to whoever
will buy him. The sheriff’s officer is here, who has seized him for
debt, and must make the most of him at market.”

“Poor fellow!” said Mr. Edwards; “and must he leave this cottage which
he has built, and these bananas which he has planted?”

Caesar now for the first time looked up, and fixing his eyes upon Mr.
Edwards for a moment, advanced with an intrepid rather than an imploring
countenance, and said, “Will you be my master? Will you be her master?
Buy both of us. You shall not repent of it. Caesar will serve you

On hearing these words Clara sprang forward, and clasping her hands
together, repeated, “Caesar will serve you faithfully.”

Mr. Edwards was moved by their entreaties, but he left them without
declaring his intentions. He went immediately to Mr. Jefferies, whom
he found stretched on a sofa, drinking coffee. As soon as Mr. Edwards
mentioned the occasion of his visit, and expressed his sorrow for
Caesar, Jefferies exclaimed, “Yes, poor devil! I pity him from the
bottom of my soul. But what can I do? I leave all those things to
Durant. He says the sheriff’s officer has seized him; and there’s an end
of the matter. You know, money must be had. Besides, Caesar is not worse
off than any other slave sold for debt. What signifies talking about the
matter, as if it were something that never happened before! Is not it a
case that occurs every day in Jamaica?”

“So much the worse,” replied Mr. Edwards.

“The worse for them, to be sure,” said Jefferies. “But, after all, they
are slaves, and are used to be treated as such; and they tell me the
negroes are a thousand times happier here, with us, than they ever were
in their own country.”

“Did the negroes tell you so themselves?”

“No; but people better informed than negroes have told me so; and,
after all, slaves there must be; for indigo, and rum, and sugar, we must

“Granting it to be physically impossible that the world should exist
without rum, sugar, and indigo, why could they not be produced by
freemen as well as by slaves? If we hired negroes for labourers, instead
of purchasing them for slaves, do you think they would not work as well
as they do now? Does any negro, under the fear of the overseer, work
harder than a Birmingham journeyman, or a Newcastle collier, who toil
for themselves and their families?”

“Of that I don’t pretend to judge. All I know is, that the West India
planters would be ruined if they had no slaves; and I am a West India

“So am I; yet I do not think they are the only people whose interests
ought to be considered in this business.”

“Their interests, luckily, are protected by the laws of the land; and
though they are rich men, and white men, and freemen, they have as
good a claim to their rights as the poorest black slave on any of our

“The law, in our case, seems to make the right; and the very reverse
ought to be done--the right should make the law.”

“Fortunately for us planters, we need not enter into such nice
distinctions. You could not, if you would, abolish the trade. Slaves
would be smuggled into the islands.”

“What! if nobody would buy them? You know that you cannot smuggle slaves
into England. The instant a slave touches English ground he becomes
free. Glorious privilege! Why should it not be extended to all her
dominions? If the future importation of slaves into these islands
were forbidden by law, the trade must cease. No man can either sell or
possess slaves without its being known: they cannot be smuggled like
lace or brandy.”

“Well, well!” retorted Jefferies, a little impatiently, “as yet the law
is on our side. I can do nothing in this business, nor can you.”

“Yes, we can do something; we can endeavour to make our negroes as happy
as possible.”

“I leave the management of these people to Durant.”

“That is the very thing of which they complain; forgive me for speaking
to you with the frankness of an old acquaintance.”

“Oh! you can’t oblige me more: I love frankness of all things! To tell
you the truth, I have heard complaints of Durant’s severity; but I make
it a principle to turn a deaf ear to them, for I know nothing can be
done with these fellows without it. You are partial to negroes; but even
you must allow they are a race of beings naturally inferior to us. You
may in vain think of managing a black as you would a white. Do what you
please for a negro, he will cheat you the first opportunity he finds.
You know what their maxim is: ‘God gives black men what white men

To these common-place desultory observations Mr. Edwards made no reply;
but recurred to poor Caesar, and offered to purchase both him and Clara,
at the highest price the sheriff’s officer could obtain for them at
market. Mr. Jefferies, with the utmost politeness to his neighbour, but
with the most perfect indifference to the happiness of those whom
he considered of a different species from himself, acceded to this
proposal. Nothing could be more reasonable, he said; and he was happy to
have it in his power to oblige a gentleman for whom he had such a high

The bargain was quickly concluded with the sheriff’s officer; for Mr.
Edwards willingly paid several dollars more than the market price for
the two slaves. When Caesar and Clara heard that they were not to be
separated, their joy and gratitude were expressed with all the ardour
and tenderness peculiar to their different characters. Clara was an
Eboe, Caesar a Koromantyn negro: the Eboes are soft, languishing, and
timid; the Koromantyns are frank, fearless, martial, and heroic.

Mr. Edwards took his new slaves home with him, desired Bayley, his
overseer, to mark out a provision-ground for Caesar, and to give him a
cottage, which happened at this time to be vacant.

“Now, my good friend,” said he to Caesar, “you may work for yourself,
without fear that what you earn may be taken from you; or that you
should ever be sold, to pay your master’s debts. If he does not
understand what I am saying,” continued Mr. Edwards, turning to his
overseer, “you will explain it to him.”

Caesar perfectly understood all that Mr. Edwards said; but his feelings
were at this instant so strong that he could not find expression for
his gratitude: he stood like one stupefied! Kindness was new to him; it
overpowered his manly heart; and at hearing the words “my good friend,”
 the tears gushed from his eyes: tears which no torture could have
extorted! Gratitude swelled in his bosom; and he longed to be alone,
that he might freely yield to his emotions.

He was glad when the conch-shell sounded to call the negroes to their
daily labour, that he might relieve the sensations of his soul by bodily
exertion, He performed his task in silence; and an inattentive observer
might have thought him sullen.

In fact, he was impatient for the day to be over, that he might get rid
of a heavy load which weighed upon his mind.

The cruelties practised by Durant, the overseer of Jefferies’
plantation, had exasperated the slaves under his dominion.

They were all leagued together in a conspiracy, which was kept
profoundly secret. Their object was to extirpate every white man, woman,
and child, in the island. Their plans were laid with consummate art; and
the negroes were urged to execute them by all the courage of despair.

The confederacy extended to all the negroes in the island of Jamaica,
excepting those on the plantation of Mr. Edwards. To them no hint of
the dreadful secret had yet been given; their countrymen, knowing the
attachment they felt to their master, dared not trust them with these
projects of vengeance. Hector, the negro who was at the head of the
conspirators, was the particular friend of Caesar, and had imparted
to him all his designs. These friends were bound to each other by the
strongest ties. Their slavery and their sufferings began in the same
hour; they were both brought from their own country in the same ship.
This circumstance alone forms, amongst the negroes, a bond of connexion
not easily to be dissolved. But the friendship of Caesar and Hector
commenced even before they were united by the sympathy of misfortune;
they were both of the same nation, both Koromantyns. In Africa they had
both been accustomed to command; for they had signalized themselves by
superior fortitude and courage. They respected each other for excelling
in all which they had been taught to consider as virtuous; and with them
revenge was a virtue!

Revenge was the ruling passion of Hector: in Caesar’s mind it was rather
a principle instilled by education. The one considered it as a duty, the
other felt it as a pleasure. Hector’s sense of injury was acute in the
extreme; he knew not how to forgive. Caesar’s sensibility was yet more
alive to kindness than to insult. Hector would sacrifice his life to
extirpate an enemy. Caesar would devote himself for the defence of a
friend; and Caesar now considered a white man as his friend.

He was now placed in a painful situation. All his former friendships,
all the solemn promises by which he was bound to his companions in
misfortune, forbade him to indulge that delightful feeling of gratitude
and affection, which, for the first time, he experienced for one of
that race of beings whom he had hitherto considered as detestable
tyrants--objects of implacable and just revenge!

Caesar was most impatient to have an interview with Hector, that he
might communicate his new sentiments, and dissuade him from those
schemes of destruction which he meditated. At midnight, when all the
slaves except himself were asleep, he left his cottage, and went to
Jefferies’ plantation, to the hut in which Hector slept. Even in his
dreams Hector breathed vengeance. “Spare none! Sons of Africa, spare
none!” were the words he uttered in his sleep, as Caesar approached the
mat on which he lay. The moon shone full upon him. Caesar contemplated
the countenance of his friend, fierce even in sleep. “Spare none! Oh,
yes! There is one that must be spared. There is one for whose sake all
must be spared.”

He wakened Hector by this exclamation. “Of what were you dreaming?” said

“Of that which, sleeping or waking, fills my soul--revenge! Why did you
waken me from my dream? It was delightful. The whites were weltering in
their blood! But silence! we may be overheard.”

“No; every one sleeps but ourselves,” replied Caesar. “I could not sleep
without speaking to you on--a subject that weighs upon my mind. You have
seen Mr. Edwards?” “Yes. He that is now your master.”

“He that is now my benefactor--my friend!”

“Friend! Can you call a white man friend?” cried Hector, starting up
with a look of astonishment and indignation.

“Yes,” replied Caesar, with firmness. “And you would speak, ay, and
would feel, as I do, Hector, if you knew this white man. Oh, how unlike
he is to all of his race, that we have ever seen! Do not turn from me
with so much disdain. Hear me with patience, my friend.”

“I cannot,” replied Hector, “listen with patience to one who between
the rising and the setting sun can forget all his resolutions, all his
promises; who by a few soft words can be so wrought upon as to forget
all the insults, all the injuries he has received from this accursed
race; and can even call a white man friend!”

Caesar, unmoved by Hector’s anger, continued to speak of Mr. Edwards
with the warmest expressions of gratitude; and finished by declaring
he would sooner forfeit his life than rebel against such a master. He
conjured Hector to desist from executing his designs; but all was in
vain. Hector sat with his elbows fixed upon his knees, leaning his head
upon his hands, in gloomy silence.

Caesar’s mind was divided between love for his friend and gratitude
to his master: the conflict was violent and painful. Gratitude at last
prevailed: he repeated his declaration, that he would rather die than
continue in a conspiracy against his benefactor!

Hector refused to except him from the general doom. “Betray us if
you will!” cried he. “Betray our secrets to him whom you call your
benefactor! to him whom a few hours have made your friend! To him
sacrifice the friend of your youth, the companion of your better days,
of your better self! Yes, Caesar, deliver me over to the tormentors: I
can endure more than they can inflict. I shall expire without a sigh,
without a groan. Why do you linger here, Caesar? Why do you hesitate?
Hasten this moment to your master; claim your reward for delivering into
his power hundreds of your countrymen! Why do you hesitate? Away! The
coward’s friendship can be of use to none. Who can value his gratitude?
Who can fear his revenge?” Hector raised his voice so high, as he
pronounced these words, that he wakened Durant, the overseer, who slept
in the next house. They heard him call out suddenly, to inquire who was
there: and Caesar had but just time to make his escape, before Durant
appeared. He searched Hector’s cottage; but finding no one, again
retired to rest. This man’s tyranny made him constantly suspicious; he
dreaded that the slaves should combine against him; and he endeavoured
to prevent them, by every threat and every stratagem he could devise,
from conversing with each other.

They had, however, taken their measures, hitherto, so secretly, that he
had not the slightest idea of the conspiracy which was forming in the
island. Their schemes were not yet ripe for execution; but the appointed
time approached. Hector, when he coolly reflected on what had passed
between him and Caesar, could not help admiring the frankness and
courage with which he had avowed his change of sentiments. By this
avowal, Caesar had in fact exposed his own life to the most imminent
danger, from the vengeance of the conspirators, who might be tempted to
assassinate him who had their lives in his power. Notwithstanding the
contempt with which, in the first moment of passion, he had treated
his friend, he was extremely anxious that he should not break off all
connexion with the conspirators. He knew that Caesar possessed both
intrepidity and eloquence, and that his opposition to their schemes
would perhaps entirely frustrate their whole design. He therefore
determined to use every possible means to bend him to their purposes.

The enlightened inhabitants of Europe may, perhaps, smile at the
superstitious credulity of the negroes, who regard those ignorant beings
called _Obeah_ people with the most profound respect and dread; who
believe that they hold in their hands the power of good and evil
fortune, of health and sickness, of life and death. The instances which
are related of their power over the minds of their countrymen are so
wonderful, that none but the most unquestionable authority could make us
think them credible. The following passage, from Edwards’ History of the
West Indies, is inserted, to give an idea of this strange infatuation:

“In the year 1760, when a very formidable insurrection of the Koromantyn
or Gold Coast negroes broke out, in the parish of St. Mary, and spread
through almost every other district of the island, an old Koromantyn
negro, the chief instigator and oracle of the insurgents in that parish,
who had administered the fetish, or solemn oath, to the conspirators,
and furnished them with a magical preparation, which was to render them
invulnerable, was fortunately apprehended, convicted, and hung up with
all his feathers and trumperies about him; and his execution struck
the insurgents with a general panic, from which they never afterwards
recovered. The examinations, which were taken at that period, first
opened the eyes of the public to the very dangerous tendency of the
_Obeah_ practices; and gave birth to the law, which was then enacted,
for their suppression and punishment; but neither the terror of this
law, the strict investigation which has since been made after the
professors of _Obi_, nor the many examples of those who, from time
to time, have been hanged or transported, have hitherto produced the
desired effect. A gentleman, on his returning to Jamaica, in the
year 1775, found that a great many of his negroes had died during his
absence; and that, of such as remained alive, at least one half were
debilitated, bloated, and in a very deplorable condition. The mortality
continued after his arrival; and two or three were frequently buried
in one day; others were taken ill, and began to decline under the same
symptoms. Every means were tried, by medicine and the most careful
nursing, to preserve the lives of the feeblest; but in spite of all his
endeavours, this depopulation went on for a twelvemonth longer, with
more or less intermission, and without his being able to ascertain the
real cause, though the _Obeah_ practice was strongly suspected, as
well by himself as by the doctor, and other white persons upon the
plantation; as it was known to have been very common in that part of
the island, and particularly among the negroes of the _Popaw_ or _Popo_
country. Still he was unable to verify his suspicions; because the
patients constantly denied their having any thing to do with persons of
that order, or any knowledge of them. At length, a negress, who had
been ill for some time, came and informed him, that, feeling it was
impossible for her to live much longer, she thought herself bound in
duty, before she died, to impart a very great secret, and acquaint him
with the true cause of her disorder, in hopes that the disclosure might
prove the means of stopping that mischief which had already swept
away such a number of her fellow slaves. She proceeded to say that her
step-mother, a woman of the _Popo_ country, above eighty years old, but
still hale and active, had _put Obi upon her_, as she had upon those who
had lately died; and that the old woman had practised _Obi_ for as many
years past as she could remember. The other negroes of the plantation
no sooner heard of this impeachment than they ran in a body to their
master, and confirmed the truth, of it.--Upon this he repaired directly,
with six white servants, to the old woman’s house; and, forcing open the
door, observed the whole inside of the roof, which was of thatch, and
every crevice of the wall, stuck with the implements of her trade,
consisting of rags, feathers, bones of cats, and a thousand other
articles.--The house was instantly pulled down; and, with the whole of
its contents, committed to the flames, amidst the general acclamations
of all his other negroes.--From the moment of her departure, his negroes
seemed all to be animated with new spirits; and the malady spread no
farther among them. The total of his losses, in the course of about
fifteen years preceding the discovery, and imputable solely to the
_Obeah practice_, he estimates at least, at one hundred negroes.”

Esther, an old Koromantyn negress, had obtained by her skill in
poisonous herbs, and her knowledge of venomous reptiles, a high
reputation amongst her countrymen. She soon taught them to believe
her to be possessed of supernatural powers; and she then worked their
imagination to what pitch and purpose she pleased.

She was the chief instigator of this intended rebellion. It was she who
had stimulated the revengeful temper of Hector almost to frenzy. She now
promised him that her arts should be exerted over his friend; and it
was not long before he felt their influence. Caesar soon perceived an
extraordinary change in the countenance and manner of his beloved Clara.
A melancholy hung over her, and she refused to impart to him the cause
of her dejection. Caesar was indefatigable in his exertions to cultivate
and embellish the ground near his cottage, in hopes of making it an
agreeable habitation for her; but she seemed to take no interest in any
thing. She would stand beside him immoveable, in a deep reverie; but
when he inquired whether she was ill, she would answer no, and endeavour
to assume an air of gaiety: but this cheerfulness was transient; she
soon relapsed into despondency. At length, she endeavoured to avoid her
lover, as if she feared his farther inquiries.

Unable to endure this state of suspense, he one evening resolved to
bring her to an explanation. “Clara,” said he, “you once loved me: I
have done nothing, have I, to forfeit your confidence?”

“I once loved you!” said she, raising her languid eyes, and looking at
him with reproachful tenderness; “and can you doubt my constancy? Oh,
Caesar, you little know what is passing in my heart! You are the cause
of my melancholy!”

She paused and hesitated, as if afraid that she had said too much; but
Caesar urged her with so much vehemence, and so much tenderness, to
open to him her whole soul, that, at last, she could not resist his
eloquence. She reluctantly revealed to him that secret of which she
could not think without horror. She informed him, that unless he
complied with what was required of him by the sorceress Esther, he was
devoted to die. What it was that Esther required of him, Clara knew not:
she knew nothing of the conspiracy. The timidity of her character was
ill suited to such a project; and every thing relating to it had been
concealed from her with the utmost care.

When she explained to Caesar the cause of her dejection, his natural
courage resisted these superstitious fears; and he endeavoured to raise
Clara’s spirits. He endeavoured in vain: she fell at his feet; and with
tears, and the most tender supplications, conjured him to avert the
wrath of the sorceress, by obeying her commands, whatever they might be!

“Clara,” replied he, “you know not what you ask!”

“I ask you to save your life!” said she. “I ask you, for my sake, to
save your life, while yet it is in your power!”

“But would you, to save my life, Clara, make me the worst of criminals?
Would you make me the murderer of my benefactor?”

Clara started with horror.

“Do you recollect the day, the moment, when we were on the point of
being separated for ever, Clara? Do you remember the white man’s coming
to my cottage? Do you remember his look of benevolence--his voice of
compassion? Do you remember his generosity? Oh! Clara, would you make me
the murderer of this man?”

“Heaven forbid!” said Clara. “This cannot be the will of the sorceress!”

“It is,” said Caesar. “But she shall not succeed, even though she speaks
with the voice of Clara. Urge me no further; my resolution is fixed.
I should be unworthy of your love if I were capable of treachery and

“But is there no means of averting the wrath of Esther?” said Clara.
“Your life--”

“Think, first, of my honour,” interrupted Caesar. “Your fears deprive
you of reason. Return to this sorceress, and tell her that I dread
not her wrath. My hands shall never be imbrued in the blood of my
benefactor. Clara! can you forget his look when he told us that we
should never more be separated?”

“It went to my heart,” said Clara, bursting into tears “Cruel, cruel
Esther! Why do you command us to destroy such a generous master?”

The conch sounded to summon the negroes to their morning’s work. It
happened this day, that Mr. Edwards, who was continually intent upon
increasing the comforts and happiness of his slaves, sent his carpenter,
while Caesar was absent, to fit up the inside of his cottage; and when
Caesar returned from work, he found his master pruning the branches of
a tamarind tree that over-hung the thatch. “How comes it, Caesar,” said
he, “that you have not pruned these branches?”

Caesar had no knife. “Here is mine for you,” said Mr. Edwards. “It is
very sharp,” added he, smiling; “but I am not one of those masters who
are afraid to trust their negroes with sharp knives.”

These words were spoken with perfect simplicity: Mr. Edwards had no
suspicion, at this time, of what was passing in the negro’s mind. Caesar
received the knife without uttering a syllable; but no sooner was
Mr. Edwards out of sight than he knelt down, and, in a transport of
gratitude, swore that, with this knife, he would stab himself to the
heart sooner than betray his master!

The principle of gratitude conquered every other sensation. The mind of
Caesar was not insensible to the charms of freedom: he knew the negro
conspirators had so taken their measures that there was the greatest
probability of their success. His heart beat high at the idea of
recovering his liberty: but he was not to be seduced from his duty,
not even by this delightful hope; nor was he to be intimidated by the
dreadful certainty that his former friends and countrymen, considering
him as a deserter from their cause, would become his bitterest enemies.
The loss of Hector’s esteem and affection was deeply felt by Caesar.
Since the night that the decisive conversation relative to Mr. Edwards
passed, Hector and he had never exchanged a syllable.

This visit proved the cause of much suffering to Hector, and to several
of the slaves on Jefferies’ plantation. We mentioned that Durant had
been awakened by the raised voice of Hector. Though he could not find
any one in the cottage, yet his suspicions were not dissipated; and
an accident nearly brought the whole conspiracy to light. Durant had
ordered one of the negroes to watch a boiler of sugar: the slave was
overcome by the heat, and fainted. He had scarcely recovered his senses
when the overseer came up, and found that the sugar had fermented, by
having remained a few minutes too long in the boiler. He flew into a
violent passion, and ordered that the negro should receive fifty lashes.
His victim bore them without uttering a groan; but, when his punishment
was over, and when he thought the overseer was gone, he exclaimed, “It
will soon be our turn!”

Durant was not out of hearing. He turned suddenly, and observed that
the negro looked at Hector when he pronounced these words, and this
confirmed the suspicion that Hector was carrying on some conspiracy. He
immediately had recourse to that brutality which he considered as the
only means of governing black men: Hector and three other negroes were
lashed unmercifully; but no confessions could be extorted.

Mr. Jefferies might perhaps have forbidden such violence to be used,
if he had not been at the time carousing with a party of jovial West
Indians, who thought of nothing but indulging their appetites in all the
luxuries that art and nature could supply. The sufferings which had been
endured by many of the wretched negroes to furnish out this magnificent
entertainment were never once thought of by these selfish epicures.
Yet so false are the general estimates of character, that all these
gentlemen passed for men of great feeling and generosity! The human
mind, in certain situations, becomes so accustomed to ideas of tyranny
and cruelty, that they no longer appear extraordinary or detestable:
they rather seem part of the necessary and immutable order of things.

Mr. Jefferies was stopped, as he passed from his dining-room into his
drawing-room, by a little negro child, of about five years old, who was
crying bitterly. He was the son of one of the slaves who were at
this moment under the torturer’s hand. “Poor little devil!” said Mr.
Jefferies, who was more than half intoxicated. “Take him away; and tell
Durant, some of ye, to pardon his father--if he can.”

The child ran, eagerly, to announce his father’s pardon; but he soon
returned, crying more violently than before. Durant would not hear the
boy; and it was now no longer possible to appeal to Mr. Jefferies,
for he was in the midst of an assembly of fair ladies, and no servant
belonging to the house dared to interrupt the festivities of the
evening. The three men, who were so severely flogged to extort from
them confessions, were perfectly innocent: they knew nothing of the
confederacy; but the rebels seized the moment when their minds were
exasperated by this cruelty and injustice, and they easily persuaded
them to join the league. The hope of revenging themselves upon the
overseer was a motive sufficient to make them brave death in any shape.

Another incident, which happened a few days before the time destined
for the revolt of the slaves, determined numbers who had been undecided.
Mrs. Jefferies was a languid beauty, or rather a languid fine lady who
had been a beauty, and who spent all that part of the day which was not
devoted to the pleasures of the table, or to reclining on a couch, in
dress. She was one day extended on a sofa, fanned by four slaves, two at
her head and two at her feet, when news was brought that a large chest,
directed to her, was just arrived from London.

This chest contained various articles of dress of the newest fashions.
The Jamaica ladies carry their ideas of magnificence to a high pitch:
they willingly give a hundred guineas for a gown, which they perhaps
wear but once or twice. In the elegance and variety of her ornaments,
Mrs. Jefferies was not exceeded by any lady in the island, except by
one who had lately received a cargo from England. She now expected to
outshine her competitor, and desired that the chest should be unpacked
in her presence.

In taking out one of the gowns, it caught on a nail in the lid, and was
torn. The lady, roused from her natural indolence by this disappointment
to her vanity, instantly ordered that the unfortunate female slave
should be severely chastised. The woman was the wife of Hector; and this
fresh injury worked up his temper, naturally vindictive, to the highest
point. He ardently longed for the moment when he might satiate his

The plan the negroes had laid was to set fire to the canes, at one and
the same time, on every plantation; and when the white inhabitants of
the island should run to put out the fire, the blacks were to seize
this moment of confusion and consternation to fall upon them, and make
a general massacre. The time when this scheme was to be carried into
execution was not known to Caesar; for the conspirators had changed
their day, as soon as Hector told them that his friend was no longer
one of the confederacy. They dreaded he should betray them; and it was
determined that he and Clara should both be destroyed, unless they could
be prevailed upon to join the conspiracy.

Hector wished to save his friend, but the desire of vengeance overcame
every other feeling. He resolved, however, to make an attempt, for the
last time, to change Caesar’s resolution.

For this purpose, Esther was the person he employed: she was to work
upon his mind by means of Clara. On returning to her cottage one night,
she found suspended from the thatch one of those strange fantastic
charms with which the Indian sorceresses terrify those whom they have
proscribed. Clara, unable to conquer her terror, repaired again to
Esther, who received her first in mysterious silence; but, after she had
implored her forgiveness for the past, and with all possible humility
conjured her to grant her future protection, the sorceress deigned to
speak. Her commands were that Clara should prevail upon her lover to
meet her, on this awful spot, the ensuing night.

Little suspecting what was going forward on the plantation of Jefferies,
Mr. Edwards that evening gave his slaves a holiday. He and his family
came out at sunset, when the fresh breeze had sprung up, and seated
themselves under a spreading palm-tree, to enjoy the pleasing spectacle
of this negro festival. His negroes were all well clad, and in the
gayest colours, and their merry countenances suited the gaiety of their
dress. While some were dancing, and some playing on the tambourine,
others appeared amongst the distant trees, bringing baskets of
avocado pears, grapes, and pine-apples, the produce of their own
provision-grounds; and others were employed in spreading their clean
trenchers, or the calabashes, which served for plates and dishes. The
negroes continued to dance and divert themselves till late in, the
evening. When they separated and retired to rest, Caesar, recollecting
his promise to Clara, repaired secretly to the habitation of this
sorceress. It was situated in the recess of a thick wood. When he
arrived there, he found the door fastened; and he was obliged to wait
some time before it was opened by Esther.

The first object he beheld was his beloved Clara, stretched on the
ground, apparently a corpse! The sorceress had thrown her into a trance
by a preparation of deadly nightshade. The hag burst into an infernal
laugh, when she beheld the despair that was painted in Caesar’s
countenance. “Wretch!” cried she, “you have defied my power: behold its

Caesar, in a transport of rage, seized her by the throat: but his fury
was soon checked.

“Destroy me,” said the fiend, “and you destroy your Clara. She is not
dead: but she lies in the sleep of death, into which she has been thrown
by magic art, and from which no power but mine can restore her to the
light of life. Yes! look at her, pale and motionless! Never will she
rise from the earth, unless, within one hour, you obey my commands. I
have administered to Hector and his companions the solemn fetish oath,
at the sound of which every negro in Africa trembles! You know my

“Fiend, I do!” replied Caesar, eyeing her sternly; “but, while I have
life, it shall never be accomplished.”

“Look yonder!” cried she, pointing to the moon; “in a few minutes that
moon will set: at that hour Hector and his friends will appear. They
come armed--armed with weapons which I shall steep in poison for their
enemies. Themselves I will render invulnerable. Look again!” continued
she; “if my dim eyes mistake not, yonder they come. Rash man, you die if
they cross my threshold.”

“I wish for death,” said Caesar. “Clara is dead!”

“But you can restore her to life by a single word.” Caesar, at this
moment, seemed to hesitate. “Consider! Your heroism is vain,” continued
Esther. “You will have the knives of fifty of the conspirators in your
bosom, if you do not join them; and, after you have fallen, the death
of your master is inevitable. Here is the bowl of poison, in which the
negro knives are to be steeped. Your friends, your former friends, your
countrymen, will be in arms in a few minutes; and they will bear down
every thing before them--Victory, Wealth, Freedom, and Revenge, will be

Caesar appeared to be more and more agitated. His eyes were fixed upon
Clara. The conflict in his mind was violent: but his sense of gratitude
and duty could not be shaken by hope, fear, or ambition; nor could it
be vanquished by love. He determined, however, to appear to yield. As
if struck with panic, at the approach of the confederate negroes,
he suddenly turned to the sorceress, and said, in a tone of feigned
submission, “It is in vain to struggle with fate. Let my knife, too, be
dipped in your magic poison.”

The sorceress clapped her hands with infernal joy in her countenance.
She bade him instantly give her his knife, that she might plunge it
to the hilt in the bowl of poison, to which she turned with savage
impatience. His knife was left in his cottage, and, under pretence of
going in search of it, he escaped. Esther promised to prepare Hector and
all his companions to receive him with their ancient cordiality on his
return. Caesar ran with the utmost speed along a bye-path out of the
wood, met none of the rebels, reached his master’s house, scaled
the wall of his bedchamber, got in at the window, and wakened him,
exclaiming, “Arm--arm yourself, my dear master! Arm all your slaves!
They will fight for you, and die for you; as I will the first. The
Koromantyn yell of war will be heard in Jefferies plantation this night!
Arm--arm yourself, my dear master, and let us surround the rebel leaders
while it is yet time. I will lead you to the place where they are all
assembled, on condition that their chief, who is my friend, shall be

Mr. Edwards armed himself and the negroes on his plantation, as well as
the whites; they were all equally attached to him. He followed Caesar
into the recesses of the wood.

They proceeded with all possible rapidity, but in perfect silence, till
they reached Esther’s habitation: which they surrounded completely,
before they were perceived by the conspirators.

Mr. Edwards looked through a hole in the wall; and, by the blue flame
of a cauldron, over which the sorceress was stretching her shrivelled
hands, he saw Hector and five stout negroes standing, intent upon her
incantations. These negroes held their knives in their hands, ready to
dip them into the bowl of poison. It was proposed, by one of the whites,
to set fire immediately to the hut, and thus to force the rebels to
surrender. The advice was followed; but Mr. Edwards charged his people
to spare their prisoners. The moment the rebels saw that the thatch
of the hut was in flames, they set up the Koromantyn yell of war, and
rushed out with frantic desperation.

“Yield! You are pardoned, Hector,” cried Mr. Edwards, in a loud voice.

“You are pardoned, my friend!” repeated Cæsar.

Hector, incapable at this instant of listening to anything but revenge,
sprang forwards, and plunged his knife into the bosom of Cæsar. The
faithful servant staggered back a few paces: his master caught him in
his arms. “I die content,” said he. “Bury me with Clara.”

He swooned from loss of blood as they were carrying him home; but when
his wound was examined, it was found not to be mortal. As he recovered
from his swoon, he stared wildly round him, trying to recollect where
he was, and what had happened. He thought that he was still in a dream,
when he saw his beloved Clara standing beside him. The opiate, which the
pretended sorceress had administered to her, had ceased to operate; she
wakened from her trance just at the time the Koromantyn yell commenced.
Cæsar’s joy!--we must leave that to the imagination.

In the mean time, what became of the rebel negroes, and Mr. Edwards?

The taking the chief conspirators prisoners did not prevent the negroes
upon Jefferies’ plantation from insurrection. The moment they heard the
war-whoop, the signal agreed upon, they rose in a body; and, before
they could be prevented, either by the whites on the estate, or by Mr.
Edwards’ adherents, they had set fire to the overseer’s house, and to
the canes. The overseer was the principal object of their vengeance--he
died in tortures, inflicted by the hands of those who had suffered most
by his cruelties. Mr. Edwards, however, quelled the insurgents before
rebellion spread to any other estates in the island. The influence of
his character, and the effect of his eloquence upon the minds of the
people, were astonishing: nothing but his interference could have
prevented the total destruction of Mr. Jefferies and his family, who,
as it was computed, lost this night upwards of fifty thousand pounds.
He was never afterwards able to recover his losses, or to shake off his
constant fear of a fresh insurrection among his slaves. At length, he
and his lady returned to England, where they were obliged to live in
obscurity and indigence. They had no consolation in their misfortunes
but that of railing at the treachery of the whole race of slaves. Our
readers, we hope, will think that at least one exception may be made, in
favour of THE GRATEFUL NEGRO. {Empty page}


“Oh this detestable _To-morrow!_--a thing always expected, yet never


It has long been my intention to write my own history, and I am
determined to begin it to-day; for half the good intentions of my life
have been frustrated by my unfortunate habit of putting things off till

When I was a young man, I used to be told that this was my only fault; I
believed it, and my vanity or laziness persuaded me that this fault was
but small, and that I should easily cure myself of it in time.

That time, however, has not yet arrived, and at my advanced age I
must give up all thoughts of amendment, hoping, however, that sincere
repentance may stand instead of reformation.

My father was an eminent London bookseller: he happened to be looking
over a new biographical dictionary on the day when I was brought into
the world; and at the moment when my birth was announced to him, he had
his finger upon the name _Basil_; he read aloud--“_Basil_, canonized
bishop of Caesarea, a theological, controversial, and moral writer.”

“My boy,” continued my father, “shall be named after this great man,
and I hope and believe that I shall live to see him either a celebrated
theological, controversial, and moral author, or a bishop. I am not so
sanguine as to expect that he should be both these good things.”

I was christened Basil according to my father’s wishes, and his hopes of
my future celebrity and fortune were confirmed, during my childhood, by
instances of wit and memory, which were not perhaps greater than what
could have been found in my little contemporaries, but which appeared to
the vanity of parental fondness extraordinary, if not supernatural.
My father declared that it would be a sin not to give me a learned
education, and he went even beyond his means to procure for me all the
advantages of the best modes of instruction. I was stimulated, even when
a boy, by the idea that I should become a great man, and my masters
had for some time reason to be satisfied; but what they called the
_quickness of my parts_ continually retarded my progress. The facility
with which I learned my lessons encouraged me to put off learning them
till the last moment; and this habit of procrastinating, which was begun
in presumption, ended in disgrace.

When I was sent to a public school, I found among my companions so many
temptations to idleness, that notwithstanding the quickness of my parts,
I was generally flogged twice a week. As I grew older, my reason might
perhaps have taught me to correct myself, but my vanity was excited to
persist in idleness by certain imprudent sayings or whisperings of my

When I came home from school at the holidays, and when complaints were
preferred against me in letters from my school-master, my father, even
while he affected to scold me for my negligence, flattered me in
the most dangerous manner by adding--_aside_ to some friend of the
family--“My Basil is a strange fellow!--can do any thing he pleases--all
his masters say so--but he is a sad idle dog--all your men of genius are
so--puts off business always to the last moment--all your men of genius
do so. For instance, there is ----, whose third edition of odes I have
just published--what an idle dog he is! Yet who makes such a noise in
the world as he does?--put every thing off till _to-morrow_, like my
Basil--but can do more at the last moment than any man in England--that
is, if the fit seizes him--for he does nothing but by fits--has no
application--none--says it would ‘petrify him to a dunce.’ I never knew
a man of genius who was not an idle dog.”

Not a syllable of such speeches was lost upon me: the idea of a man
of genius and of an idle dog were soon so firmly joined together in my
imagination, that it was impossible to separate them, either by my own
reason or by that of my preceptors. I gloried in the very habits which
my tutors laboured to correct; and I never was seriously mortified by
the consequences of my own folly till, at a public examination at Eton,
I lost a premium by putting off till it was too late the finishing a
copy of verses. The lines which I had written were said by all my young
and old friends to be beautiful. The prize was gained by one Johnson, a
heavy lad, of no sort of genius, but of great perseverance. His verses
were finished, however, at the stated time.

  “For dulness ever must be regular!”

My fragment, charming as it was, was useless, except to hand about
afterward among my friends, to prove what I might have done if I had
thought it worth while.

My father was extremely vexed by my missing an opportunity of
distinguishing myself at this public exhibition, especially as the king
had honoured the assembly with his presence; and as those who had gained
premiums were presented to his majesty, it was supposed that their being
thus early _marked_ as lads of talents would be highly advantageous to
their advancement in life. All this my father felt, and, blaming himself
for having encouraged me in _the indolence of genius_, he determined to
counteract his former imprudence, and was resolved, he said, to cure me
at once of my habit of procrastination. For this purpose he took down
from his shelves Young’s Night Thoughts; from which he remembered a
line, which has become a _stock_ line among writing-masters’ copies:

  “_Procrastination_ is the thief of time.”

He hunted the book for the words _Procrastination, Time, To-day,_ and
_To-morrow_, and made an extract of seven long pages on the dangers of

“Now, my dear Basil,” said he, “this is what will cure you for life,
and this you must get perfectly by heart, before I give you one shilling
more pocket-money.”

The motive was all powerful, and with pains, iteration, and curses, I
fixed the heterogeneous quotations so well in my memory that some of
them have remained there to this day. For instance--

  “_Time_ destroyed
  Is _suicide_, where more than blood is spilt.
  _Time_ flies, death urges, knells call, Heav’n invites,
  Hell threatens.

  We push _Time_ from us, and we wish him back.

  Man flies from _Time_, and Time from man too soon;
  In sad divorce this double flight must end;
  And then where are we?

  Be wise _to-day_, ‘tis madness to defer, &c.
  Next day the fatal precedent will plead, &c.

  Lorenzo--O for _yesterdays_ to come!
  _To-day_ is _yesterday_ return’d; return’d,
  Full powered to cancel, expiate, raise, adorn,
  And reinstate us on the rock of peace.
  Let it not share its predecessor’s fate,
  Nor, like its elder sisters, die a fool.

  Where shall I find him? Angels! tell me where:
  _You_ know him; he is near you; point him out;
  Shall I see glories beaming from his brow?
  Or trace his footsteps by the rising flow’rs?
  Your golden wings _now_ hov’ring o’er him shed
  Protection: now are wav’ring in applause
  To that blest son of foresight! Lord of fate!
  That awful independent on _to-morrow!_
  Whose _work is done_; who triumphs in the past;
  Whose _yesterdays_ look backward with a smile.”

I spare you the rest of my task, and I earnestly hope, my dear reader,
that these citations may have a better effect upon you than they
had upon me. With shame I confess, that even with the addition of
Shakspeare’s eloquent

  “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,” &c.

which I learnt by heart gratis, not a bit the better was I for all this
poetical morality. What I wanted was, not conviction of my folly, but
resolution to amend.

When I say that I was not a bit the better for these documentings, I
must not omit to observe to you that I was very near four hundred pounds
a year the better for them.

Being obliged to learn so much of Young’s Night Thoughts by rote, I was
rather disgusted, and my attention was roused to criticise the lines
which had been forced upon my admiration. Afterward, when I went
to college, I delighted to maintain, in opposition to some of my
companions, who were enthusiastic admirers of Young, that he was no
poet. The more I was ridiculed, the more I persisted. I talked my self
into notice; I became acquainted with several of the literary men at
Cambridge; I wrote in defence of my opinion, or, as some called it, my
heresy. I maintained that what all the world had mistaken for sublimity
was bombast; that the Night Thoughts were fuller of witty conceits than
of poetical images: I drew a parallel between Young and Cowley; and
I finished by pronouncing Young to be the Cowley of the eighteenth
century. To do myself justice, there was much ingenuity and some truth
in my essay, but it was the declamation of a partisan, who can think
only on one side of a question, and who, in the heat of controversy,
says more than he thinks, and more than he originally intended.

It is often the fortune of literary partisans to obtain a share of
temporary celebrity far beyond their deserts, especially if they attack
any writer of established reputation. The success of my essay exceeded
my most sanguine expectations, and I began to think that my father was
right; that I was born to be a great genius, and a great man. The
notice taken of me by a learned prelate, who piqued himself upon being
considered as the patron of young men of talents, confirmed me at once
in my self-conceit and my hopes of preferment.

I mentioned to you that my father, in honour of my namesake Basil,
bishop of Caesarea, and to verify his own _presentiments_, had educated
me for the Church. My present patron, who seemed to like me the better
the oftener I dined with him, gave me reason to hope that he would
provide for me handsomely. I was not yet ordained, when a living of four
hundred per annum fell into his gift: he held it over for some months,
as it was thought, on purpose for me.

In the mean time he employed me to write a charity sermon for him, which
he was to preach, as it was expected, to a crowded congregation. None
but those who are themselves slaves to the habit of procrastination will
believe that I could be so foolish as to put off writing this sermon
till the Saturday evening before it was wanted. Some of my young
companions came unexpectedly to sup with me; we sat late: in the vanity
of a young author, who glories in the rapidity of composition, I said
to myself that I could finish my sermon in an hour’s notice. But, alas!
when my companions at length departed, they left me in no condition to
complete a sermon. I fell fast asleep, and was wakened in the morning
by the bishop’s servant. The dismay I felt is indescribable; I started
up--it was nine o’clock: I began to write; but my hand and my mind
trembled, and my ideas were in such confusion, that I could not, great
genius as I was, produce a beginning sentence in a quarter of an hour.

I kept the bishop’s servant forty minutes by his watch; wrote and
re-wrote two pages, and walked up and down the room; tore my two pages;
and at last, when the footman said he could wait no longer, was obliged
to let him go with an awkward note, pleading sudden sickness for my
apology. It was true that I was sufficiently sick at the time when I
penned this note: my head ached terribly; and I kept my room, reflecting
upon my own folly, the whole of the day. I foresaw the consequences: the
living was given away by my patron the next morning, and all hopes of
future favour were absolutely at an end.

My father overwhelmed me with reproaches; and I might perhaps have
been reformed by this disappointment, but an unexpected piece of good
fortune, or what I then thought good fortune, was my ruin.

Among the multitude of my college-friends was a young gentleman, whose
father was just appointed to go out upon the _famous_ embassy to China;
he came to our shop to buy Du Halde; and upon hearing me express an
enthusiastic desire to visit China, he undertook to apply to his father
to take me in the ambassador’s suite. His representation of me as a
young man of talents and literature, and the view of some botanical
drawings, which I executed upon the spur of the occasion with tolerable
neatness, procured me the favour which I so ardently desired.

My father objected to my making this voyage. He was vexed to see me quit
the profession for which I had been educated; and he could not, without
a severe struggle, relinquish his hopes of seeing me a bishop. But I
argued that, as I had not yet been ordained, there could be no disgrace
or impropriety in my avoiding a mode of life which was not suited to
my _genius_. This word genius had now, as upon all other occasions, a
mighty effect upon my father; and, observing this, I declared farther,
in a high tone of voice, that from the experience I had already had,
I was perfectly certain that the drudgery of sermon-writing would
_paralyze my genius_; and that, to expand and invigorate my intellectual
powers, it was absolutely necessary I should, to use a great author’s
expression, “view in foreign countries varied modes of existence.”

My father’s hopes that one half of his prophecy would at least be
accomplished, and that I should become a great author, revived; and he
consented to my going to China, upon condition that I should promise to
write a history of my voyage and journey, in two volumes octavo, or one
quarto, with a folio of plates. The promise was readily made; for in
the plenitude of confidence in my own powers, octavos and quartos shrunk
before me, and a folio appeared too small for the various information,
and the useful reflections, which a voyage to China must supply.

Full of expectations and projects, I talked from morning till night
of my journey: but notwithstanding my father’s hourly remonstrances,
I deferred my preparations till the last week. Then all was hurry and
confusion; tailors and sempstresses, portmanteaus and trunks, portfolios
and drawing-boxes, water-colours, crayons, and note-books, wet from the
stationer’s, crowded my room. I had a dozen small note-books, and a
huge commonplace-book, which was to be divided and kept in the manner
recommended by the judicious and immortal Locke.

In the midst of the last day’s bustle, I sat down at the corner of a
table with compass, ruler, and red ink, to divide and rule my best of
all possible commonplace-books; but the red ink was too thin, and the
paper was not well sized, and it blotted continually, because I was
obliged to turn over the pages rapidly; and ink will not dry, nor
blotting-paper suck it up, more quickly for _a genius_ than for any
other man. Besides, my attention was much distracted by the fear that
the sempstress would not send home my dozen of new shirts, and that a
vile _procrastinating_ boot-maker would never come with my boots. Every
rap at the door I started up to inquire whether _that_ was the shirts,
or the boots: thrice I overturned the red, and twice the black ink
bottles by these starts; and the execrations which I bestowed upon those
tradespeople, who will put off every thing to the last moment, were
innumerable. I had orders to set off in the mail-coach for Portsmouth,
to join the rest of the ambassador’s suite.

The provoking watchman cried “past eleven o’clock” before I had
half-finished ruling my commonplace-book; my shirts and my boots were
not come: the mail-coach, as you may guess, set off without me. My
poor father was in a terrible tremor, and walked from room to room,
reproaching me and himself; but I persisted in repeating that Lord
M. would not set out the day he had intended: that nobody, since the
creation of the world, ever set out upon a long journey the day he first
appointed: besides, there were at least a hundred chances in my favour
that his lordship would break down on his way to Portsmouth; that the
wind would not be fair when he arrived there; that half the people in
his suite would not be more punctual than myself, &c.

By these arguments, or by mere dint of assertion, I quieted my father’s
apprehensions and my own, and we agreed that, as it was now impossible
to go to-day, it was best to stay till to-morrow.

Upon my arrival at Portsmouth, the first thing I heard was that the Lion
and Hindostan had sailed some hours before, with the embassy for China.
Despair deprived me of utterance. A charitable waiter at the inn,
however, seeing my consternation and absolute inability to think or
act for myself, ran to make farther inquiries, and brought me back
the joyful tidings that the Jackal brig, which was to carry out the
remainder of the ambassador’s suite, was not yet under weigh; that a
gentleman, who was to go in the Jackal, had dined at an hotel in the
next street, and that he had gone to the water-side but ten minutes ago.

I hurried after him: the boat was gone. I paid another exorbitantly to
take me and my goods to the brig, and reached the Jackal just as she was
weighing anchor. Bad education for me! The moment I felt myself safe on
board, having recovered breath to speak, I exclaimed, “Here am I, safe
and sound! just as well as if I had been here yesterday; better indeed.
Oh, after this, I shall always trust to my own good fortune! I knew I
should not be too late.” When I came to reflect coolly, however, I was
rather sorry that I had missed my passage in the Lion, with my friend
and protector, and with most of the learned and ingenious men of the
ambassador’s suite, to whom I had been introduced, and who had seemed
favourably disposed towards me. All the advantage I might have derived
from their conversation, during this long voyage, was lost by my own
negligence. The Jackal lost company of the Lion and Hindostan in the
Channel. As my friends afterwards told me, they waited for us five days
in Praya Bay; but as no Jackal appeared, they sailed again without her.
At length, to our great joy, we descried on the beach of Sumatra a board
nailed to a post, which our friends had set up there, with a written
notice to inform us that the Lion and Hindostan had touched on this
shore on such a day, and to point out to us the course that we should
keep in order to join them.

At the sight of this writing my spirits revived: the wind favoured us;
but, alas! in passing the Straits of Banka, we were damaged so that we
were obliged to return to port to refit, and to take in fresh provision.
Not a soul on board but wished it had been their fate to have had a
berth in the other ships; and I more loudly than any one else expressed
this wish twenty times a-day. When my companions heard that I was to
have sailed in the ambassador’s ship, if I had been time enough at
Spithead, some pitied and some rallied me: but most said I deserved
to be punished for my negligence. At length we joined the Lion and
Hindostan at North Island. Our friends had quite given up all hopes of
ever seeing us again, and had actually bought at Batavia a French brig,
to supply the place of the Jackal. To my great satisfaction, I was now
received on board the Lion, and had an opportunity of conversing with
the men of literature and science, from whom I had been so unluckily
separated during the former part of the voyage. Their conversation soon
revived and increased my regret, when they told me of all that I had
missed seeing at the various places where they had touched: they talked
to me with provoking fluency of the culture of manioc; of the root of
cassada, of which tapioca is made; of the shrub called the cactus,
on which the cochineal insect swarms and feeds; and of the
ipecacuanha-plant; all which they had seen at Rio Janeiro, besides eight
paintings representing the manner in which the diamond and gold mines
in the Brazils are worked. Indeed, upon cross-examination, I found that
these pictures were miserably executed, and scarcely worth seeing.

I regretted more the fine pine-apples, which my companions assured me
were in such abundance that they cleaned their swords in them, as being
the cheapest acid that could be there procured. But, far beyond these
vulgar objects of curiosity, I regretted not having learned any thing
concerning the celebrated upas-tree. I was persuaded that, if I had been
at Batavia, I should have extracted some information more precise than
these gentlemen obtained from the keepers of the medical garden.

I confess that my mortification at this disappointment did not arise
solely from the pure love of natural history: the upas-tree would
have made a conspicuous figure in my quarto volume. I consoled myself,
however, by the determination to omit nothing that the vast empire
of China could afford to render my work entertaining, instructive,
interesting, and sublime. I anticipated the pride with which I should
receive the compliments of my friends and the public upon my _valuable
and incomparable work_; I anticipated the pleasure with which my father
would exult in the celebrity of his son, and in the accomplishment of
his own prophecies; and, with these thoughts full in my mind, we landed
at Mettow, in China.

I sat up late at night writing a sketch of my preface and notes for the
heads of chapters. I was tired, fell into a profound sleep, dreamed I
was teaching the emperor of China to pronounce ‘chrononhotonthologos,’
and in the morning was wakened by the sound of the gong; the signal that
the accommodation junks were ready to sail with the embassy to Pekin.
I hurried on my clothes, and was in the junk before the gong had done
beating. I gloried in my celerity; but before we had gone two leagues up
the country, I found reason to repent of my precipitation: I wanted to
note down my first impressions on entering the Chinese territories; but,
alas! I felt in vain in my pocket for my pencil and note-book: I had
left them both behind me on my bed. Not only one note-book, but my
whole dozen; which, on leaving London, I had stuffed into a bag with
my night-gown. Bag, night-gown, note-books, all were forgotten! However
trifling it may appear, this loss of the little note-books was of
material consequence. To be sure, it was easy to procure paper and make
others; but, because it was so easy, it was delayed from hour to hour,
and from day to day; and I went on writing my most important remarks
on scraps of paper, which were always to be copied to-morrow into a
note-book that was then to be made.

We arrived at Pekin, and were magnificently lodged in a palace in that
city; but here we were so strictly guarded, that we could not stir
beyond the courts of the palace. You will say that in this confinement
I had leisure sufficient to make a note-book, and to copy my notes: so
I had, and it was my firm intention so to have done; but I put it off
because I thought it would take up but a few hours’ time, and it could
be done any day. Besides, the weather was so excessively hot, that for
the first week, I could do nothing but unbutton my waistcoat and drink
sherbet. Visits of ceremony from mandarins took up much of our time:
they spoke and moved like machines; and it was with much difficulty
that our interpreter made us understand the meaning of their formal
sentences, which were seldom worth the trouble of deciphering. We saw
them fan themselves, drink tea, eat sweetmeats and rice, and chew betel;
but it was scarcely worth while to come all the way from Europe to see
this, especially as any common Chinese paper or screen would give an
adequate idea of these figures in their accustomed attitudes.

I spent another week in railing at these abominably stupid or
unnecessarily cautious creatures of ceremony, and made memorandums for
an eloquent chapter in my work.

One morning we were agreeably surprised by a visit from a mandarin of a
very different description. We were astonished to hear a person in the
habit of a Chinese, and bearing the title of a mandarin, address us in
French: he informed us that he was originally a French Jesuit, and came
over to China with several missionaries from Paris; but as they were
prohibited from promulgating their doctrines in this country, most
of them had returned to France; a few remained, assumed the dress and
manners of the country, and had been elevated to the rank of mandarins
as a reward for their learning. The conversation of our Chinese Jesuit
was extremely entertaining and instructive; he was delighted to hear
news from Europe, and we were eager to obtain from him information
respecting China. I paid particular attention to him, and I was so
fortunate as to win his confidence, as far as the confidence of a Jesuit
can be won. He came frequently to visit me, and did me the honour to
spend some hours in my apartment.

As he made it understood that these were literary visits, and as his
character for propriety was well established with the government, he
excited no suspicion, and we spent our time most delightfully between
books and conversation. He gave me, by his anecdotes and descriptions,
an insight into the characters and domestic lives of the inhabitants
of Pekin, which I could not otherwise have obtained: his talent for
description was admirable, and his characters were so new to me that
I was in continual ecstasy. I called him the Chinese La Bruyere; and,
anticipating the figure which his portraits would make in my future
work, thought that I could never sufficiently applaud his eloquence. He
was glad to lay aside the solemn gravity of a Chinese mandarin, and
to indulge the vivacity of a Frenchman; his vanity was gratified by my
praises, and he exerted himself to the utmost to enhance my opinion of
his talents.

At length we had notice that it was the emperor’s pleasure to receive
the embassy at his imperial residence in Tartary, at Jehol; _the seat of
grateful coolness, the garden of innumerable trees._ From the very
name of this place I augured that it would prove favourable to the
inspirations of genius, and determined to date at least one of the
chapters or letters of my future work from this delightful retreat,
the _Sans Souci_ of China. Full of this intention, I set out upon our
expedition into Tartary.

My good friend, the Jesuit, who had a petition to present to the
emperor relative to some Chinese manuscripts, determined, to my infinite
satisfaction, to accompany us to Jehol; and our conducting mandarin,
Van-Tadge, arranged things so upon our journey that I enjoyed as much of
my friend’s conversation as possible. Never European travelling in these
countries had such advantages as mine; I had a companion who was able
and willing to instruct me in every minute particular of the manners,
and every general principle of the government and policy, of the
people. I was in no danger of falling into the ridiculous mistakes of
travellers, who, having but a partial view of things and persons, argue
absurdly, and grossly misrepresent, while they intend to be accurate.
Many people, as my French mandarin observed, reason like Voltaire’s
famous traveller, who happening to have a drunken landlord and a
red-haired landlady at the first inn where he stopped in Alsace, wrote
down among his memorandums--“All the men of Alsace drunkards: all the
women red-haired.”

When we arrived at Jehol, the hurry of preparing for our presentation
to the emperor, the want of a convenient writing-table, and perhaps my
habit of procrastination, prevented my writing the chapter for my future
work, or noting down any of the remarks which the Jesuit had made upon
our journey. One morning when I collected my papers and the scraps of
memorandums with which the pockets of all my clothes were stuffed, I was
quite terrified at the heap of confusion, and thrust all these materials
for my quarto into a canvas bag, purposing to lay them smooth in a
portfolio the next day. But the next day I could do nothing of this
sort, for we had the British presents to unpack, which had arrived from
Pekin; the day after was taken up with our presentation to the emperor,
and the day after that I had a new scheme in my head. The emperor, with
much solemnity, presented with his own hand to our ambassador a casket,
which he said was the most valuable present he could make to the king of
England: it contained the miniature pictures of the emperor’s ancestors,
with a few lines of poetry annexed to each, describing the character,
and recording the principal events, of each monarch’s reign. It occurred
to me that a set of similar portraits and poetical histories of the
kings of England would be a proper and agreeable offering to the emperor
of China: I consulted my friend the French mandarin, and he encouraged
me by assurances that, as far as he could pretend to judge, it would
be at present peculiarly suited to the emperor’s taste; and that in all
probability I should be distinguished by some mark of his approbation,
or some munificent reward. My friend promised to have the miniatures
varnished for me in the Chinese taste; and he undertook to present the
work to the emperor when it should be finished. As it was supposed that
the embassy would spend the whole winter in Pekin, I thought that
I should have time enough to complete the whole series of British
sovereigns. It was not necessary to be very scrupulous as to the
resemblance of my portraits, as the emperor of China could not easily
detect any errors of this nature: fortunately, I had brought from
London with me striking likenesses of all the kings of England, with
the principal events of their reign, in one large sheet of paper, which
belonged to a joining-map of one of my little cousins. In the confusion
of my packing up, I had put it into my trunk instead of a sheet
almanack, which lay on the same table. In the course of my life, many
lucky accidents have happened to me, even in consequence of my own
carelessness; yet that carelessness has afterward prevented my reaping
any permanent advantage from my good fortune.

Upon this occasion I was, however, determined that no laziness of mine
should deprive me of an opportunity of making my fortune: I set to work
immediately, and astonished my friend by the facility with which I made
verses. It was my custom to retire from the noisy apartments of our
palace to a sort of alcove, at the end of a long gallery, in one of the
outer courts, where our corps of artillery used to parade. After their
parade was over, the place was perfectly quiet and solitary for the
remainder of the day and night. I used to sit up late, writing; and one
fine moonlight night, I went out of my alcove to walk in the gallery,
while I composed some lines on our great queen Elizabeth. I could not
finish the last couplet to my fancy: I sat down upon an artificial rock,
which was in the middle of the court, leaned my head upon my hand,
and as I was searching for an appropriate rhyme to _glory_, fell fast
asleep. A noise like that of a most violent clap of thunder awakened me;
I was thrown with my face flat upon the ground.

When I recovered my senses, the court was filled with persons, some
European, some Chinese, seemingly just risen from their beds, with
lanterns and torches in their hands; all of them with faces of
consternation, asking one another what had happened. The ground was
covered with scattered fragments of wooden pillars, mats, and bamboo
cane-work; I looked and saw that one end of the gallery in which I had
been walking, and the alcove, were in ruins. There was a strong smell of
gunpowder. I now recollected that I had borrowed a powder-horn from
one of the soldiers in the morning; and that I had intended to load my
pistols, but I delayed doing so. The horn, full of gunpowder, lay upon
the table in the alcove all day, and the pistols, out of which I had
shaken the old priming. When I went out to walk in the gallery, I left
the candle burning; and I suppose during my sleep a spark fell upon the
loose gunpowder, set fire to that in the horn, and blew up the alcove.
It was built of light wood and cane, and communicated only with a
cane-work gallery; otherwise the mischief would have been more serious.
As it was, the explosion had alarmed not only all the ambassador’s
suite, who lodged in the palace, but many of the Chinese in the
neighbourhood, who could not be made to comprehend how the accident had

Reproaches from all our own people were poured upon me without mercy;
and, in the midst of my contrition, I had not for some time leisure to
lament the loss of all my kings of England: no vestige of them remained;
and all the labour that I had bestowed upon their portraits and their
poetical histories was lost to the emperor of China and to myself. What
was still worse, I could not even utter a syllable of complaint, for
nobody would sympathize with me, all my companions were so much provoked
by my negligence, and so apprehensive of the bad consequences which
might ensue from this accident. The Chinese, who had been alarmed, and
who departed evidently dissatisfied, would certainly mention what had
happened to the mandarins of the city, and they would report it to the

I resolved to apply for advice to my friend, the Jesuit; but he
increased instead of diminished our apprehensions; he said that the
affair was much talked of and misrepresented at Jehol; and that the
Chinese, naturally timid, and suspicious of strangers, could not
believe that no injury was intended to them, and that the explosion was
accidental. A child had been wounded by the fall of some of the ruins
of the alcove, which were thrown with great violence into a neighbouring
house: the butt end of one of my pistols was found in the street, and
had been carried to the magistrate by the enraged populace, as evidence
of our evil designs. My Jesuit observed to me that there was no
possibility of reasoning with the prejudices of any nation; and he
confessed he expected that this unlucky accident would have the most
serious consequences. He had told me in confidence a circumstance that
tended much to confirm this opinion: a few days before, when the emperor
went to examine the British presents of artillery, and when the brass
mortars were tried, though he admired the ingenuity of these instruments
of destruction, yet he said that he deprecated the spirit of the people
who employed them, and could not reconcile their improvements in the
arts of war with the mild precepts of the religion which they professed.

My friend, the mandarin, promised he would do all in his power to
make the exact truth known to the emperor; and to prevent the evil
impressions, which the prejudices of the populace, and perhaps the
designing misrepresentations of the city mandarins, might tend
to create. I must suppose that the good offices of my Jesuit were
ineffectual, and that he either received a positive order to interfere
no more in our affairs, or that he was afraid of being implicated in
our disgrace if he continued his intimacy with me, for this was the last
visit I ever received from him.


In a few days the embassy had orders to return to Pekin. The
ambassador’s palace was fitted up for his winter’s residence; and,
after our arrival, he was arranging his establishment, when, by a fresh
mandate from the emperor, we were required to prepare with all possible
expedition for our departure from the Chinese dominions. On Monday we
received an order to leave Pekin the ensuing Wednesday; and all our
remonstrances could procure only a delay of two days. Various causes
were assigned for this peremptory order, and, among the rest, my unlucky
accident was mentioned. However improbable it might seem that such a
trifle could have had so great an effect, the idea was credited by many
of my companions; and I saw that I was looked upon with an evil eye.

I suffered extremely. I have often observed, that even remorse for
my past negligence has tended to increase the original defect of my
character. During our whole journey from Pekin to Canton, my sorrow for
the late accident was an excuse to myself for neglecting to make either
notes or observations. When we arrived at Canton, my time was taken up
with certain commissions for my friends at home, which I had delayed
to execute while at Pekin, from the idea that we should spend the whole
winter there. The trunks were on board before all my commissions were
ready, and I was obliged to pack up several toys and other articles in
a basket. As to my papers, they still remained in the canvass bag into
which I had stuffed them at Jehol: but I was certain of having leisure,
during our voyage home, to arrange them, and to post my notes into
Locke’s commonplace-book.

At the beginning of the voyage, however, I suffered much from
sea-sickness: toward the middle of the time I grew better, and indulged
myself in the amusement of fishing while the weather was fine; when the
weather was not inviting, in idleness. Innumerable other petty causes of
delay occurred: there was so much eating and drinking, so much singing
and laughing, and such frequent card-playing in the cabin, that,
though I produced my canvass bag above a hundred times, I never could
accomplish sorting its contents: indeed, I seldom proceeded farther than
to untie the strings.

One day I had the state cabin fairly to myself, and had really begun my
work, when the steward came to let me know that my Chinese basket
was just washed overboard. In this basket were all the presents and
commissions which I had bought at Canton for my friends at home. I ran
to the cabin window, and had the mortification to see all my beautiful
scarlet calibash boxes, the fan for my cousin, Lucy, and the variety of
toys, which I had bought for my little cousins, all floating on the sea
far out of my reach. I had been warned before that the basket would
be washed overboard, and had intended to put it into a safe place; but
unluckily I delayed to do so.

I was so much vexed with this accident, that I could not go on with my
writing: if it had not been for this interruption, I do believe I should
that day have accomplished my long postponed task. I will not, indeed
I cannot, record all the minute causes which afterwards prevented my
executing my intentions. The papers were still in the same disorder,
stuffed into the canvass bag, when I arrived in England. I promised
myself that I would sort them the very day after I got home; but visits
of congratulation from my friends upon my return, induced me to
delay doing any thing for the first week. The succeeding week I had a
multiplicity of engagements: all my acquaintance, curious to hear a man
converse who was fresh from China, invited me to dinner and tea parties;
and I could not possibly refuse these kind invitations, and shut myself
up in my room, like a hackney author, to write. My father often urged me
to begin my quarto; for he knew that other gentlemen, who went out with
the embassy, designed to write the history of the voyage; and he,
being a bookseller, and used to the ways of authors, foresaw what would
happen. A fortnight after we came home, the following advertisement
appeared in the papers: “Now in the press, and speedily will be
published, a Narrative of the British Embassy to China, containing the
various Circumstances of the Embassy; with Accounts of the Customs and
Manners of the Chinese; and a Description of the Country, Towns, Cities,

I never saw my poor father turn so pale or look so angry as when he saw
this advertisement: he handed it across the breakfast table to me.

“There, Basil,” cried he, “I told you what would happen, and you would
not believe me. But this is the way you have served me all your life,
and this is the way you will go on to the day of your death, putting
things off till to-morrow. This is the way you have lost every
opportunity of distinguishing yourself; every chance, and you have had
many, of advancing yourself in the world! What signifies all I have done
for you, or all you can do for yourself? Your genius and education are
of no manner of use! Why, there is that heavy dog, as you used to call
him at Eton, Johnson: look how he is getting on in the world, by mere
dint of application and sticking steadily to his profession. He will
beat you at every thing, as he beat you at Eton in writing verses.”

“Only in copying them, sir. My verses, every body said, were far better
than his; only, unluckily, I had not mine finished and copied out in
time.” “Well, sir, and that is the very thing I complain of. I suppose
you will tell me that your voyage to China will be far better than this
which is advertised this morning.”

“To be sure it will, father; for I have had opportunities, and collected
materials, which this man, whoever he is, cannot possibly have obtained.
I have had such assistance, such information from my friend the

“But, what signifies your missionary, your information, your abilities,
and your materials?” cried my father, raising his voice. “Your book is
not out, your book will never be finished; or it will be done too late,
and nobody will read it; and then you may throw it into the fire. Here
you have an opportunity of establishing your fame, and making yourself
a great author at once; and if you throw it away, Basil, I give you fair
notice, I never will pardon you.”

I promised my father that I would set about my work _to-morrow_; and
pacified him by repeating that this hasty publication, which had just
been advertised, must be a catchpenny, and that it would serve only to
stimulate instead of satisfying the public curiosity. My quarto, I said,
would appear afterwards with a much better grace, and would be sought
for by every person of science, taste, and literature.

Soothed by these assurances, my father recovered his good-humour, and
trusted to my promise that I would commence my great work the ensuing
day. I was fully in earnest. I went to my canvass bag to prepare my
materials. Alas! I found them in a terrible condition. The sea-water,
somehow or other, had got to them during the voyage; and many of my
most precious documents were absolutely illegible. The notes, written
in pencil, were almost effaced, and when I had smoothed the crumpled
scraps, I could make nothing of them. It was with the utmost difficulty
I could read even those that were written in ink; they were so
villainously scrawled and so terribly blotted. When I had made out the
words, I was often at a loss for the sense; because I had trusted so
much to the excellence of my memory, that my notes were never either
sufficiently full or accurate. Ideas which I had thought could never
be effaced from my mind were now totally forgotten, and I could not
comprehend my own mysterious elliptical hints and memorandums. I
remember spending two hours in trying to make out what the following
words could mean: _Hoy--alla--hoya;--hoya, hoya--hoy--waudihoya_.

At last, I recollected that they were merely the sounds of the words
used by the Chinese sailors, in towing the junks, and I was much
provoked at having wasted my time in trying to remember what was not
worth recording. Another day I was puzzled by the following memorandum:
“W: C: 30. f. h.--24 b.--120 m--1--mandarin--C. tradition--2000--200
before J. C.--” which, after three quarters of an hour’s study, I
discovered to mean that the wall of China is 30 feet high, 24 feet
broad, and 120 miles long; and that a mandarin told me, that, according
to Chinese tradition, this wall had been built above 2000 years, that
is, 200 before the birth of our Saviour.

On another scrap of paper, at the very bottom of the bag, I found
the words, “Wheazou--Chanchin--Cuaboocow--Caungcimmfoa--Callachottueng,
Quanshanglin--Callachotre shansu,” &c.; all which I found to be a list
of towns and villages through which we had passed, or palaces that we
had seen; but how to distinguish these asunder I knew not, for all
recollection of them was obliterated from my mind, and no farther notes
respecting them were to be found.

After many days’ tiresome attempts, I was obliged to give up all hopes
of deciphering the most important of my notes, those which I had made
from the information of the French missionary. Most of what I
had trusted so securely to my memory was defective in some slight
circumstances, which rendered the whole useless. My materials for my
quarto shrunk into a very small compass. I flattered myself, however,
that the elegance of my composition, and the moral and political
reflections with which I intended to intersperse the work, would
compensate for the paucity of facts in my narrative. That I might devote
my whole attention to the business of writing, I determined to leave
London, where I met with so many temptations to idleness, and set off
to pay a visit to my uncle Lowe, who lived in the country, in a retired
part of England. He was a farmer, a plain, sensible, affectionate man;
and as he had often invited me to come and see him, I made no doubt that
I should be an agreeable guest. I had intended to have written a few
lines the week before I set out, to say that I was coming; but I put it
off till at last I thought that it would be useless, because I should
get there as soon as my letter.

I had soon reason to regret that I had been so negligent; for my
appearance at my uncle’s, instead of creating that general joy which
I had expected, threw the whole house into confusion. It happened that
there was company in the house, and all the beds were occupied: while
I was taking off my boots, I had the mortification to hear my aunt Lowe
say, in a voice of mingled distress and reproach, “Come! is he?--My
goodness! What shall we do for a bed?--How could he think of coming
without writing a line beforehand? My goodness! I wish he was a hundred
miles off, I’m sure.”

My uncle shook hands with me, and welcomed me to old England again,
and to his house; which, he said, should always be open to all his
relations. I saw that he was not pleased; and, as he was a man who,
according to the English phrase, scorned _to keep a thing long upon his
mind_, he let me know, before he had finished his first glass of ale to
my good health, that he was _inclinable to take it very unkind indeed_
that, after all he had said about my writing a letter now and then, just
to say how I did, and how I was going on, I had never put pen to paper
to answer one of his letters since the day I first promised to write,
which was the day I went to Eton school, till this present time of
speaking. I had no good apology to make for myself, but I attempted all
manner of excuses; that I had put off writing from day to day, and from
year to year, till I was ashamed to write at all; that it was not from
want of affection, &c.

My uncle took up his pipe and puffed away, while I spoke: and when I had
said all that I could devise, I sat silent; for I saw by the looks of
all present that I had not mended the matter. My aunt pursed up her
mouth, and “wondered, if she must tell the plain truth, that so great a
scholar as Mr. Basil could not, when it must give him so little trouble
to indite a letter, write a few lines to an uncle who had begged it so
often, and who had ever been a good friend.”

“Say nothing of that,” said my uncle: “I scorn to have that put into
account. I loved the boy, and all I could do was done, of course: that’s
nothing to the purpose; but the longest day I have to live I’ll never
trouble him with begging a letter from him no more. For now I see he
does not care a fig for me; and of course I do not care a fig for he.
Lucy, hold up your head, girl; and don’t look as if you were going to be

My cousin Lucy was the only person present who seemed to have any
compassion for me; and, as I lifted up my eyes to look at her when her
father spoke, she appeared to me quite beautiful. I had always
thought her a pretty girl, but she never struck me as any thing very
extraordinary till this moment. I was very sorry that I had offended my
uncle: I saw he was seriously displeased, and that his pride, of which
he had a large portion, had conquered his affection for me.

“‘Tis easier to lose a friend than gain one, young man,” said he; “and
take my word for it, as this world goes, ‘tis a foolish thing to lose
a friend for want of writing a letter or so. Here’s seven years I have
been begging a letter now and then, and could not get one. Never wrote a
line to me before you went to China; should not have known a word about
it but for my wife, who met you by mere chance in London, and gave you
some little commission for the children, which it seems you forgot till
it was too late. Then, after you came back, never wrote to me.”

“And even not to write a line to give one notice of his coming here
to-night,” added my aunt.

“Oh, as to that,” replied my uncle, “he can never find our larder at a
nonplus; we have no dishes for him dressed Chinese fashion; but as to
roast beef of old England, which, I take it, is worth all the foreign
meats in the world, he is welcome to it, and to as much of it as he
pleases. I shall always be glad to see him as a relation and so forth,
as a good Christian ought, but not as the favourite he used to be--that
is out of the question; for things cannot be both done and undone, and
time that’s past cannot come back again, that is clear; and cold water
thrown on a warm heart puts it out; and there’s an end of the matter.
Lucy, bring me my nightcap.”

Lucy, I think, sighed once; and I am sure I sighed above a dozen times;
but my uncle put on his red nightcap, and heeded us not. I was in hopes
that the next morning he would have been better disposed towards me
after having slept off his anger. The moment that I appeared in the
morning, the children, who had been in bed when I arrived the preceding
night, crowded round me, and one cried, “Cousin Basil, have you brought
me the tumbler you promised me from China?”

“Cousin Basil, where’s my boat?”

“O Basil, did you bring me the calibash box that you promised me?”

“And pray,” cried my aunt, “did you bring my Lucy the fan that she
commissioned you to get?”

“No, I’ll warrant,” said my uncle. “He that cannot bring himself to
write a letter in the course of seven years to his friends, will not be
apt to trouble his head about their foolish commissions, when he is in
foreign parts.”

Though I was abashed and vexed, I summoned sufficient courage to
reply that I had not neglected to execute the commissions of any of my
friends; but that, by an unlucky accident, the basket into which I had
packed all their things was washed overboard.

“Hum!” said my uncle.

“And pray,” said my aunt, “why were they all packed in a basket? Why
were not they put into your trunks, where they might have been safe?”

I was obliged to confess that I had delayed to purchase them till after
we left Pekin; and that the trunks were put on board before they were
all procured at Canton. My vile habit of procrastination! How did I
suffer for it at this moment! Lucy began to make excuses for me, which
made me blame myself the more: she said that, as to her fan, it would
have been of little or no use to her; that she was sure she should
have broken it before it had been a week in her possession; and that,
therefore, she was glad that she had it not. The children were clamorous
in their grief for the loss of the boat, the tumbler, and the calibash
boxes; but Lucy contrived to quiet them in time, and to make my peace
with all the younger part of the family. To reinstate me in my uncle’s
good graces was impossible; he would only repeat to her--“The young man
has lost my good opinion; he will never do any good. From a child upward
he has always put off doing every thing he ought to do. He will never
do any good; he will never be any thing.” My aunt was not my friend,
because she suspected that Lucy liked me; and she thought her daughter
might do much better than marry a man who had quitted the profession to
which he was bred, and was, as it seemed, little likely to settle to any
other. My pretensions to genius and my literary qualifications were
of no advantage to me, either with my uncle or my aunt; the one being
_only_ a good farmer, and the other _only_ a good housewife. They
contented themselves with asking me, coolly, what I had ever made by
being an author? And when I was forced to answer _nothing_, they smiled
upon me in scorn. My pride was roused, and I boasted that I expected
to receive at least 600_l_. for my “Voyage to China,” which I hoped to
complete in a few weeks. My aunt looked at me with astonishment; and, to
prove to her that I was not passing the bounds of truth, I added,
that one of my travelling companions had, as I was credibly informed,
received 1000_l_. for his narrative, to which mine would certainly be
far superior.

“When it is done, and when you have the money in your hand to show us, I
shall believe you,” said my aunt; “and then, and not till then, you may
begin to think of my Lucy.”

“He shall never have her,” said my uncle; “he will never come to good.
He shall never have her.”

The time which I ought to have spent in composing my quarto I now wasted
in fruitless endeavours to recover the good graces of my uncle. Love,
assisted as usual by the spirit of opposition, took possession of my
heart; and how can a man in love write quartos? I became more indolent
than ever, for I persuaded myself that no exertions could overcome my
uncle’s prejudice against me; and, without his approbation, I despaired
of ever obtaining Lucy’s hand.

During my stay at my uncle’s, I received several letters from my father,
inquiring how my work went on, and urging me to proceed as rapidly
as possible, lest another “Voyage to China,” which it was reported a
gentleman of high reputation was now composing, should come out, and
preclude mine for ever. I cannot account for my folly: the power of
habit is imperceptible to those who submit passively to its tyranny.
From day to day I continued procrastinating and sighing, till at last
the fatal news came that Sir George Staunton’s History of the Embassy to
China, in two volumes quarto, was actually published.

There was an end of all my hopes. I left my uncle’s house in despair;
I dreaded to see my father. He overwhelmed me with well-merited
reproaches. All his expectations of my success in life were
disappointed; he was now convinced that I should never make my talents
useful to myself or to my family. A settled melancholy appeared in his
countenance; he soon ceased to urge me to any exertion, and I idled away
my time, deploring that I could not marry my Lucy, and resolving upon
a thousand schemes for advancing myself, but always delaying their
execution till to-morrow.


Two years passed away in this manner, about the end of which time my
poor father died. I cannot describe the mixed sensations of grief
and self-reproach which I felt at his death. I knew that I had never
fulfilled his sanguine prophecies, and that disappointment had long
preyed upon his spirits. This was a severe shock to me: I was roused
from a state of stupefaction by the necessity of acting as my father’s

Among his bequests was one which touched me particularly, because I was
sensible that it was made from kindness to me. “I give and bequeath the
full-length picture of my son Basil, taken when a boy (a very promising
boy) at Eton school, to my brother Lowe--I should say to my sweet niece,
Lucy Lowe, but am afraid of giving offence.”

I sent the picture to my uncle Lowe, with a copy of the words of the
will, and a letter written in the bitterness of grief. My uncle, who
was of an affectionate though positive temper, returned me the following


“Taking it for granted you feel as much as I do, it being natural
you should, and even more, I shall not refuse to let my Lucy have the
picture bequeathed to me by my good brother, who could not offend me
dying, never having done so living. As to you, Basil, this is no time
for reproaches, which would be cruel; but, without meaning to look back
to the past, I must add that I mean nothing by giving the picture to
Lucy but respect for my poor brother’s memory. My opinions remaining
as heretofore, I think it a duty to my girl to be steady in my
determination; convinced that no man (not meaning you in particular) of
what I call a _putting off_ temper could make her happy, she being too
mild to scold and bustle, and do the man’s business in a family. This
is the whole of my mind without malice; for how could I, if I were
malicious, which I am not, bear malice, and at such a time as this,
against my own nephew? and as to anger, that is soon over with me; and
though I said I never would forgive you, Basil, for not writing to me
for seven years, I do now forgive you with all my heart. So let that be
off your conscience. And now I hope we shall be very good friends all
the rest of our lives; that is to say, putting Lucy out of the question;
for, in my opinion, it is a disagreeable thing to have any bickerings
between near relations. So, my dear nephew, wishing you all health and
happiness, I hope you will now settle to business. My wife tells me she
hears you are left in a good way by my poor brother’s care and industry;
and she sends her love to you, in which all the family unite; and hoping
you will write from time to time, I remain,

“My dear nephew Basil,

“Your affectionate uncle,


My aunt Lowe added a postscript, inquiring more particularly into the
state of my affairs. I answered, by return of post, that my good father
had left me much richer than I either expected or deserved: his credit
in the booksellers’ line was extensive and well established; his shop
was well furnished, and he had a considerable sum of money in bank;
beside many _good_ debts due from authors, to whom he had advanced cash.

My aunt Lowe was governed by her interest, as decidedly as my uncle
was swayed by his humour and affection; and, of course, became more
favourable toward me, when she found that my fortune was better than she
had expected. She wrote to exhort me to attend to my business, and to
prove to my uncle that I could cure myself of my negligent habits. She
promised to befriend me, and to do every thing to obtain my uncle’s
consent to my union with Lucy, upon condition that I would for six
months steadily persevere, or, as she expressed herself, _show that I
could come to good_.

The motive was powerful, sufficiently powerful to conquer the force of
inveterate habit. I applied resolutely to business, and supported the
credit which my father’s punctuality had obtained from his customers.
During the course of six entire months, I am not conscious of having
neglected or delayed to do anything of consequence that I ought to have
done except whetting my razor. My aunt Lowe faithfully kept her word
with me, and took every opportunity of representing, in the most
favourable manner to my uncle, the reformation that love had wrought in
my character.

I went to the country, full of hope, at the end of my six probationary
months. My uncle, however, with a mixture of obstinacy and good sense,
replied to my aunt in my presence: “This reformation that you talk of,
wife, won’t last. ‘Twas begun by love, as _you_ say; and will end with
love, as _I_ say. You and I know, my dear, love lasts little longer than
the honeymoon; and Lucy is not, or ought not to be, such a simpleton as
to look only to what a husband will be for one short month of his life,
when she is to live with him for twenty, thirty, may be forty long
years; and no help for it, let him turn out what he will. I beg your
pardon, nephew Basil; but where my Lucy’s happiness is at stake, I must
speak my mind as a father should. My opinion, Lucy, is, that he is not a
whit changed; and so I now let you understand, if you marry the man, it
must be without my consent.”

Lucy turned exceedingly pale, and I grew extremely angry. My uncle had,
as usual, recourse to his pipe; and to all the eloquence which love and
indignation could inspire, he would only answer; between the whiffs of
his smoking, “If my girl marries you, nephew Basil, I say she must do so
without my consent.”

Lucy’s affection for me struggled for some time with her sense of duty
to her father; her mother supported my cause with much warmth; having
once declared in my favour, she considered herself as bound to maintain
her side of the question. It became a trial of power between my uncle
and aunt; and their passions rose so high in the conflict, that Lucy
trembled for the consequences.

One day she took an opportunity of speaking to me in private. “My dear
Basil,” said she, “we must part. You see that I can never be yours with
my father’s consent; and without it I could never be happy, even in
being united to you. I will not be the cause of misery to all those
whom I love best in the world. I will not set my father and mother at
variance. I cannot bear to hear the altercations, which rise higher
and higher between them every day. Let us part, and all will be right

It was in vain that I combated her resolution: I alternately resented
and deplored the weakness which induced Lucy to sacrifice her own
happiness and mine to the obstinate prejudices of a father; yet I could
not avoid respecting her the more for her adhering to what she believed
to be her duty. The sweetness of temper, gentleness of disposition, and
filial piety, which she showed on this trying occasion, endeared her to
me beyond expression.

Her father, notwithstanding his determination to be as immoveable as a
rock, began to manifest symptoms of internal agitation; and one night,
after breaking his pipe, and throwing down the tongs and poker twice,
which Lucy twice replaced, he exclaimed, “Lucy, girl, you are a fool!
and, what is worse, you are grown into a mere shadow. You are breaking
my heart Why, I know this man, this Basil, this cursed nephew of mine,
will never come to good. But cannot you marry him without my consent?”

Upon this hint, Lucy’s scruples vanished; and, a few days afterward, we
were married. Prudence, virtue, pride, love, every strong motive which
can act upon the human mind, stimulated me to exert myself to prove that
I was worthy of this most amiable woman. A year passed away, and my Lucy
said that she had no reason to repent of her choice. She took the most
affectionate pains to convince her father that she was perfectly happy,
and that he had judged of me too harshly. His delight at seeing his
daughter happy, vanquished his reluctance to acknowledge that he had
changed his opinion. I never shall forget the pleasure I felt at hearing
him confess that he had been too positive, and that his Lucy had made a
good match for herself.

Alas! when I had obtained this testimony in my favour, when I had
established a character for exertion and punctuality, I began to relax
in my efforts to deserve it: I indulged myself in my old habits of
procrastination. My customers and country correspondents began to
complain that their letters were unanswered, and that their orders were
neglected. Their remonstrances became more and more urgent in process of
time, and nothing but actually seeing the dates of their letters could
convince me that they were in the right, and that I was in the wrong. An
old friend of my father’s, a rich gentleman, who loved books, and bought
all that were worth buying, sent me, in March, an order for books to
a considerable amount. In April, he wrote to remind me of his first

“MY DEAR SIR, April 3.

“Last month I wrote to request that you would send me the following
books:--I have been much disappointed by not receiving them; and I
request you will be so good as to forward them _immediately_.

“I am, my dear sir,

“Yours sincerely,

“J. C.”

In May he wrote to me again:


“I am much surprised at not having yet received the books I wrote for
last March--beg to know the cause of this delay; and am,

“Dear sir,

“Yours, &c.

“J. C.”

A fortnight afterward, as I was packing up the books for this gentleman,
I received the following:


“As it is now above a quarter of a year since I wrote to you for books,
which you have not yet sent to me, I have been obliged to apply to
another bookseller.

“I am much concerned at being compelled to this: I had a great regard
for your father, and would not willingly break off my connexion with his
son; but really you have tried my patience too far. Last year I never
had from you any one new publication, until it was in the hands of all
my neighbours; and I have often been under the necessity of borrowing
books which I had bespoken from you months before. I hope you will take
this as a warning, and that you will not use any of your other friends
as you have used,


“Your humble servant,

“J. C.”

This reprimand had little effect upon me, because, at the time when I
received it, I was intent upon an object, in comparison with which the
trade of a bookseller appeared absolutely below my consideration. I was
inventing a set of new taxes for the minister, for which I expected to
be liberally rewarded. I was ever searching for some _short cut_ to the
temple of Fame, instead of following the beaten road.

I was much encouraged by persons intimately connected with those high in
power to hope that my new taxes would be adopted; and I spent my time
in attendance upon my patrons, leaving the care of my business to my
foreman, a young man whose head the whole week was intent upon riding
out on Sunday. With such a master and such a foreman affairs could not
go on well.

My Lucy, notwithstanding her great respect for my abilities, and her
confidence in my promises, often hinted that she feared ministers
might not at last make me amends for the time I devoted to my system
of taxation; but I persisted. The file of unanswered letters was filled
even to the top of the wire; the drawer of unsettled accounts made me
sigh profoundly, whenever it was accidentally opened. I soon acquired a
horror of business, and practised all the arts of apology, evasion, and
invisibility, to which procrastinators must sooner or later be
reduced. My conscience gradually became callous; and I could, without
compunction, promise, with a face of truth, to settle an account
_to-morrow_, without having the slightest hope of keeping my word.

I was a publisher as well as a bookseller, and was assailed by a tribe
of rich and poor authors. The rich complained continually of delays that
affected their fame; the poor of delays that concerned their interest,
and sometimes their very existence. I was cursed with a compassionate as
well as with a procrastinating temper; and I frequently advanced
money to my poor authors, to compensate for my neglect to settle their
accounts, and to free myself from the torment of their reproaches.

They soon learned to take a double advantage of my virtues and my
vices. The list of my poor authors increased, for I was an encourager of
genius. I trusted to my own judgment concerning every performance that
was offered to me; and I was often obliged to pay for having neglected
to read, or to send to press, these multifarious manuscripts.
After having kept a poor devil of an author upon the tenterhooks of
expectation for an unconscionable time, I could not say to him, “Sir, I
have never opened your manuscript; there it is, in that heap of rubbish:
take it away, for Heaven’s sake.” No, hardened as I was, I never failed
to make some compliment, or some retribution; and my compliments were
often in the end the most expensive species of retribution.

My rich authors soon deserted me, and hurt my credit in the circles of
literary fashion by their clamours. I had ample experience, yet I have
never been able to decide whether I would rather meet the “desperate
misery” of a famishing pamphleteer, or the exasperated vanity of a rich
_amateur_. Every one of my authors seemed convinced that the fate of
Europe or the salvation of the world depended upon the publication of
their book on some particular day; while I all the time was equally
persuaded that their works were mere trash, in comparison with my new
system of taxation; consequently I postponed their business, and pursued
my favourite tax scheme.

I have the pride and pleasure to say that all my taxes were approved and
adopted, and brought in an immense increase of revenue to the state; but
I have the mortification to be obliged to add, that I never, directly or
indirectly, received the slightest pecuniary reward; and the credit of
all I had proposed was snatched from me by a rogue, who had no other
merit than that of being shaved sooner than I was one frosty morning.
If I had not put off whetting my razor the preceding day, this would not
have happened. To such a trifling instance of my unfortunate habit of
procrastination, must I attribute one of the most severe disappointments
of my life. A rival financier, who laid claim to the prior invention and
suggestion of my principal taxes, was appointed to meet me at the house
of my great man at ten o’clock in the morning. My opponent was punctual;
I was half an hour too late: his claims were established; mine were
rejected, because I was not present to produce my proofs. When I arrived
at my patron’s, the insolent porter shut the door in my face; and so
ended all hopes from my grand system of taxation.

I went home and shut myself up in my room, to give vent to my grief at
leisure; but I was not permitted to indulge my sorrow long in peace.
I was summoned by my foreman to come down stairs to one of my enraged
authors, who positively refused to quit the shop without seeing me. Of
the whole irritable race, the man who was now waiting to see me was
the most violent. He was a man of some genius and learning, with great
pretensions, and a vindictive spirit. He was poor, yet lived among the
rich; and his arrogance could be equalled only by his susceptibility.
He was known in our house by the name of _Thaumaturgos, the retailer of
wonders_, because he had sent me a manuscript with this title; and once
or twice a week we received a letter or message from him, to inquire
when it would be published. I had unfortunately mislaid this precious
manuscript. Under this circumstance, to meet the author was almost
as dreadful as to stand the shot of a pistol. Down stairs I went,
unprovided with any apology.

“Sir,” cried my angry man, suppressing his passion, “as you do not find
it worth your while to publish _Thaumaturges_, you will be so obliging
as to let me have my manuscript.”

“Pardon me, my dear sir,” interrupted I; “it shall certainly appear this
spring.” “Spring! Zounds, sir, don’t talk to me of spring. Why, you told
me it should be out at Christmas; you said it should be out last June;
you promised to send it to press before last Easter. Is this the way I
am to be treated?”

“Pardon me, my dear sir. I confess I have used you and the world very
ill; but the pressure of business must plead my apology.”

“Look you, Mr. Basil Lowe, I am not come here to listen to commonplace
excuses. I have been ill used, and know it; and the world shall know
it. I am not ignorant of the designs of my enemies; but no cabal shall
succeed against me. Thaumaturgos shall not be suppressed! Thaumaturgos
shall see the light! Thaumaturgos shall have justice, in spite of all
the machinations of malice. Sir, I demand my manuscript.”

“Sir, it shall be sent to you to-morrow.”

“To-morrow, sir, will not do for me. I have heard of to-morrow from you
this twelvemonth past. I will have my manuscript to-day. I do not leave
this spot without Thaumaturgos.”

Thus driven to extremities, I was compelled to confess that I could not
immediately lay my hand upon it; but I added that the whole house
should be searched for it instantly. It is impossible to describe the
indignation which my author expressed. I ran away to search the house.
He followed me, and stood by while I rummaged in drawers and boxes full
of papers, and tossed over heaps of manuscripts. No Thaumaturges could
be found. The author declared that he had no copy of the manuscript;
that he had been offered 500_l_. for it by another bookseller; and
that, for his own part, he would not lose it for twice that sum. Lost,
however, it evidently was. He stalked out of my house, bidding me
prepare to abide by the consequences. I racked my memory in vain, to
discover what I had done with this bundle of wonders. I could recollect
only that I carried it a week in my great-coat pocket, resolving every
day to lock it up; and that I went to the Mount Coffee-house in this
coat several times. These recollections were of little use.

A suit was instituted against me for the value of Thaumaturgos; and the
damages were modestly laid by the author at eight hundred guineas. The
cause was highly interesting to all the tribe of London booksellers
and authors. The court was crowded at an early hour; several people of
fashion, who were partisans of the plaintiff, appeared in the gallery;
many more, who were his enemies, attended on purpose to hear my counsel
ridicule and abuse the pompous _Thaumaturgos_. I had great hopes,
myself, that we might win the day, especially as the lawyer on the
opposite side was my old competitor at Eton, that Johnson, whom I had
always considered as a mere laborious drudge, and a very heavy fellow.
How this heavy fellow got up in the world, and how he contrived to
supply, by dint of study, the want of natural talents, I cannot tell;
but this I know, to my cost, that he managed his client’s cause so ably,
and made a speech so full of sound law and clear sense, as effectually
to decide the cause against me. I was condemned to pay 500_l_. damages,
and costs of suit. Five hundred pounds lost, by delaying to lock up a
bundle of papers! Every body pitied me, because the punishment seemed so
disproportioned to the offence. The pity of every body, however, did not
console me for the loss of my money.


The trial was published in the papers: my uncle Lowe read it, and all
my credit with him was lost for ever. Lucy did not utter a syllable of
reproach or complaint; but she used all her gentle influence to prevail
upon me to lay aside the various schemes which I had formed for making a
rapid fortune, and urged me to devote my whole attention to my business.

The loss which I had sustained, though great, was not irremediable. I
was moved more by my wife’s kindness than I could have been by the most
outrageous invective. But what is kindness, what is affection, what are
the best resolutions, opposed to all-powerful habit? I put off settling
my affairs till I had finished a pamphlet against government, which my
friends and the critics assured me would make my fortune, by attaching
to my shop all the opposition members.

My pamphlet succeeded, was highly praised, and loudly abused: answers
appeared, and I was called upon to provide rejoinders. Time thus passed
away, and while I was gaining fame, I every hour lost money. I was
threatened with bankruptcy. I threw aside my pamphlets, and in the
utmost terror and confusion, began, too late, to look into my affairs.
I now attempted too much: I expected to repair by bustle the effects of
procrastination. The nervous anxiety of my mind prevented me from doing
any thing well; whatever I was employed about appeared to me of less
consequence than a hundred other things which ought to be done. The
letter that I was writing, or the account that I was settling, was
but one of a multitude, which had all equal claims to be expedited
immediately. My courage failed; I abandoned my business in despair. A
commission of bankruptcy was taken out against me; all my goods were
seized, and I became a prisoner in the King’s Bench.

My wife’s relations refused to give me any assistance; but her father
offered to receive her and her little boy, on condition that she would
part from me, and spend the remainder of her days with them. This she
positively refused; and I never shall forget the manner of her refusal.
Her character rose in adversity. With the utmost feminine gentleness and
delicacy, she had a degree of courage and fortitude which I have seldom
seen equalled in any of my own sex. She followed me to prison, and
supported my spirits by a thousand daily instances of kindness. During
eighteen months that she passed with me in a prison, which we then
thought must be my abode for life, she never, by word or look, reminded
me that I was the cause of our misfortunes: on the contrary, she drove
this idea from my thoughts with all the address of female affection.
I cannot even, at this distance of time, recall these things to memory
without tears.

What a woman, what a wife had I reduced to distress! I never saw her,
even in the first months of our marriage, so cheerful and so tender as
at this period. She seemed to have no existence but in me and in our
little boy, of whom she was dotingly fond. He was at this time just able
to run about and talk; his playful caresses, his thoughtless gaiety,
and at times a certain tone of compassion for _poor papa_, were very
touching. Alas! he little foresaw.... But let me go on with my history,
if I can, without anticipation.

Among my creditors was a Mr. Nun, a paper-maker, who, from his frequent
dealings with me, had occasion to see something of my character and of
my wife’s; he admired her, and pitied me. He was in easy circumstances,
and delighted in doing all the good in his power. One morning my Lucy
came into my room with a face radiant with joy.

“My love,” said she, “here is Mr. Nun below, waiting to see you; but he
says he will not see you till I have told you the good news. He has
got all our creditors to enter into a compromise, and to set you at

I was transported with joy and gratitude; our benevolent friend was
waiting in a hackney-coach to carry us away from prison. When I began to
thank him, he stopped me with a blunt declaration that I was not a bit
obliged to him; for that, if I had been a man of straw, he would have
done just the same for the sake of my wife, whom he looked upon to be
one or other the best woman he had ever seen, Mrs. Nun always excepted.

He proceeded to inform me how he had settled my affairs, and how he had
obtained from my creditors a small allowance for the immediate support
of myself and family. He had given up the third part of a considerable
sum due to himself. As my own house was shut up, he insisted upon taking
us home with him: “Mrs. Nun,” he said, “had provided a good dinner; and
he must not have her ducks and green peas upon the table, and no friends
to eat them.”

Never were ducks and green peas more acceptable; never was a dinner
eaten with more appetite, or given with more good-will. I have
often thought of this dinner, and compared the hospitality of this
simple-hearted man with the ostentation of great folks, who give
splendid entertainments to those who do not want them. In trifles and
in matters of consequence this Mr. Nun was one of the most liberal and
unaffectedly generous men I ever knew; but the generous actions of men
in middle life are lost in obscurity. No matter: they do not act from a
love of fame; they act from a better motive, and they have their reward
in their own hearts.

As I was passing through Mr. Nun’s warehouse, I was thinking of writing
something on this subject; but whether it should be a poetic effusion,
in the form of “An Ode to him who least expects it,” or a prose work,
under the title of “Modern Parallels,” in the manner of Plutarch, I had
not decided, when I was roused from my reverie by my wife, who, pointing
to a large bale of paper that was directed to “Ezekiel Croft, merchant,
Philadelphia,” asked me if I knew that this gentleman was a very near
relation of her mother? “Is he, indeed?” said Mr. Nun. “Then I can
assure you that you have a relation of whom you have no occasion to be
ashamed: he is one of the most respectable merchants in Philadelphia.”

“He was not very rich when he left this country about six years ago,”
 said Lucy.

“He has a very good fortune now,” answered Mr. Nun.

“And has he made this very good fortune in six years?” cried I. “My dear
Lucy, I did not know that you had any relations in America. I have a
great mind to go over there myself.”

“Away from all our friends!” said Lucy.

“I shall be ashamed,” replied I, “to see them after all that has
happened. A bankrupt cannot have many friends. The best thing that I can
possibly do is to go over to a new world, where I may establish a new
character, and make a new fortune.”

“But we must not forget,” said Mr. Nun, “that in the new world, as in
the old one, a character and a fortune must be made by much the same
means; and forgive me if I add, the same bad habits that are against a
man in one country will be as much against him in another.”

True, thought I, as I recollected at this instant my unfortunate voyage
to China. But now that the idea of going to America had come into my
mind, I saw so many chances of success in my favour, and I felt so much
convinced I should not relapse into my former faults, that I could not
abandon the scheme. My Lucy consented to accompany me. She spent a week
in the country with her father and friends, by my particular desire; and
they did all they could to prevail upon her to stay with them, promising
to take the best possible care of her and her little boy during my
absence; but she steadily persisted in her determination to accompany
her husband. I was not too late in going on ship-board this time; and,
during the whole voyage, I did not lose any of my goods; for, in the
first place, I had very few goods to lose, and, in the next, my wife
took the entire charge of those few.

And now behold me safely landed at Philadelphia, with one hundred pounds
in my pocket--a small sum of money; but many, from yet more trifling
beginnings, had grown rich in America. My wife’s relation, Mr. Croft,
had not so much, as I was told, when he left England. Many passengers,
who came over in the same ship with me, had not half so much. Several of
them were, indeed, wretchedly poor.

Among others, there was an Irishman who was known by the name of Barny,
a contraction, I believe, for Barnaby. As to his surname he could not
undertake to spell it; but he assured me there was no better. This man,
with many of his relatives, had come to England, according to their
custom, during harvest-time, to assist in reaping, because they gain
higher wages than in their own country. Barny heard that he should get
still higher wages for labour in America, and accordingly he and his two
sons, lads of eighteen and twenty, took their passage for Philadelphia.
A merrier mortal I never saw. We used to hear him upon deck, continually
singing or whistling his Irish tunes; and I should never have guessed
that this man’s life had been a series of hardships and misfortunes.

When we were leaving the ship, I saw him, to my great surprise, crying
bitterly; and upon inquiring what was the matter, he answered that it
was not for himself, but for his sons, he was grieving, because they
were to be made _redemption-men_, that is, they were to be bound
to work, during a certain time, for the captain, or for whomever he
pleased, till the money due for their passage should be paid. Though I
was somewhat surprised at any one’s thinking of coming on board a vessel
without having one farthing in his pocket, yet I could not forbear
paying the money for this poor fellow. He dropped down on the deck upon
both his knees as suddenly as if he had been shot, and, holding up
his hands to heaven, prayed, first in Irish, and then in English, with
fervent fluency, that “I and mine might never want; that I might live
long to reign over him; that success might attend my honour wherever
I went; and that I might enjoy for evermore all sorts of blessings and
crowns of glory.”

As I had an English prejudice in favour of silent gratitude, I was
rather disgusted by all this eloquence; I turned away abruptly, and got
into the boat which waited to carry me to shore.

As we rowed away I looked at my wife and child, and reproached myself
with having indulged in the luxury of generosity, perhaps at their

My wife’s relation, Mr. Croft, received us better than she expected, and
worse than I hoped. He had the face of an acute money-making man; his
manners were methodical; caution was in his eye, and prudence in all his
motions. In our first half hour’s conversation he convinced me that he
deserved the character he had obtained, of being upright and exact in
all his dealings. His ideas were just and clear, but confined to the
objects immediately relating to his business; as to his heart, he seemed
to have no notion of general philanthropy, but to have perfectly learned
by rote his duty to his neighbour. He appeared disposed to do charitable
and good-natured actions from reason, and not from feeling; because
they were proper, not merely because they were agreeable. I felt that I
should respect, but never love him; and that he would never either
love or respect me, because the virtue which he held in the highest
veneration was that in which I was most deficient--punctuality. But I
will give, as nearly as I can, my first conversation with him; and from
that a better idea of his character may be formed than I can afford by
any description.

I presented to him Mr. Nun’s letter of introduction, and mentioned that
my wife had the honour of being related to him. He perused Mr. Nun’s
letter very slowly. I was determined not to leave him in any doubt,
respecting who and what I was; and I briefly told him the particulars
of my history. He listened with immoveable attention: and when I had
finished, he said, “You have not yet told me what your views are in
coming to America.”

I replied, “that my plans were not yet fixed.”

“But of course,” said he, “you cannot have left home without forming
some plan for the future. May I ask what line of life you mean to

I answered, “that I was undetermined, and meant to be guided by

“Circumstances!” said he. “May I request you to explain yourself more
fully? for I do not precisely understand to what circumstances you

I was provoked with the man for being so slow of apprehension; but, when
driven to the necessity of explaining, I found that I did not myself
understand what I meant.

I changed my ground; and, lowering my tone of confidence, said, that as
I was totally ignorant of the country, I should wish to be guided by the
advice of better informed persons; and that I begged leave to address
myself to him, as having had the most successful experience.

After a considerable pause, he replied, it was a hazardous thing to give
advice; but that, as my wife was his relation, and as he held it a duty
to assist his relations, he should not decline giving me--all the advice
in his power.

I bowed, and felt chilled all over by his manner.

“And not only my advice,” continued he, “but my assistance--in reason.”

I said, “I was much obliged to him.”

“Not in the least, young man; you are not in the least obliged to me
yet, for I have done nothing for you.”

This was true, and not knowing what to say, I was silent.

“And that which I may be able to do for you in future must depend as
much upon yourself as upon me. In the first place, before I can give any
advice, I must know what you are worth in the world?”

My worth in money, I told him, with a forced smile, was but very
trifling indeed. With some hesitation, I named the sum.

“And you have a wife and child to support!” said he, shaking his head.
“And your child is too young and your wife too delicate to work. They
will be sad burdens upon your hands; these are not the things for
America. Why did you bring them with you? But, as that is done, and
cannot be mended,” continued he, “we must make the best of it, and
support them. You say you are ignorant of the country. I must explain
to you then how money is to be made here, and by whom. The class of
labourers make money readily, if they are industrious, because they
have high wages and constant employment; artificers and mechanics,
carpenters, shipwrights, wheelwrights, smiths, brick-layers, masons,
get rich here, without difficulty, from the same causes; but all these
things are out of the question for you. You have head, not hands, I
perceive. Now mere head, in the line of bookmaking or bookselling,
brings in but poor profit in this country. The sale for imported books
is extensive; and our printers are doing something by subscription here,
in Philadelphia, and in New York, they tell me. But London is the place
for a good bookseller to thrive; and you come from London, where you
tell me you were a bankrupt. I would not advise you to have any thing
more to do with bookselling or bookmaking. Then, as to becoming a
planter: our planters, if they are skilful and laborious, thrive well;
but you have not capital sufficient to clear land and build a house;
or hire servants to do the work, for which you are not yourself
sufficiently robust. Besides, I do not imagine you know much of
agricultural concerns, or country business; and even to oversee and
guide others, experience is necessary. The life of a back settler I do
not advise, because you and your wife are not equal to it. You are
not accustomed to live in a log-house, or to feed upon racoons and
squirrels: not to omit the constant dread, if not imminent danger, of
being burnt in your beds, or scalped, by the Indians with whom you would
be surrounded. Upon the whole, I see no line of life that promises well
for you but that of a merchant; and I see no means of your getting into
this line without property and without credit, except by going into
some established house as a clerk. You are a good penman, and ready
accountant, I think you tell me; and I presume you have a sufficient
knowledge of book-keeping. With sobriety, diligence, and honesty, you
may do well in this way; and may look forward to being a partner, and in
a lucrative situation, some years hence. This is the way I managed, and
I raised myself by degrees to what you see. It is true, I was not at
first encumbered with a wife and young child. In due time I married my
master’s daughter, which was a great furtherance to me; but then, on the
other hand, your wife is my relation; and to be married to the relation
of a rich merchant is next best to not being married at all in your
situation. I told you I thought it my duty to proffer assistance as well
as advice: so take up your abode with me for a fortnight; in that time I
shall be able to judge whether you are capable of being a clerk; and, if
you and I should suit, we will talk farther. You understand that I enter
into no engagement, and make no promise; but shall be glad to lodge you,
and your wife, and little boy, for a fortnight; and it will be your
own fault, and must be your own loss, if the visit turns out waste of
time.--I cannot stay to talk to you any longer at present,” added he,
pulling out his watch, “for I have business, and business waits for no
man. Go back to your inn for my relation, and her little one. We dine at
two precisely.”

I left Mr. Croft’s house with a vague indescribable feeling of
dissatisfaction and disappointment; but when I arrived at my inn, and
repeated all that had passed to my wife, she seemed quite surprised and
delighted by the civil and friendly manner in which this gentleman
had behaved. She tried to reason the matter with me; but there is no
reasoning with imagination.

The fact was, Mr. Croft had destroyed certain vague and visionary ideas,
that I had indulged, of making, by some unknown means, a rapid fortune
in America; and to be reduced to real life, and sink into a clerk in a
merchant’s counting-house, was mortification and misery. Lucy in vain
dwelt upon the advantage of having found, immediately upon my arrival in
Philadelphia, a certain mode of employment, and a probability of rising
to be a partner in one of the first mercantile houses, if I went on
steadily for a few years. I was forced to acknowledge that her relation
was very good; that I was certainly very fortunate; and that I ought
to think myself very much obliged to Mr. Croft. But, after avowing
all this, I walked up and down the room in melancholy reverie for a
considerable length of time. My wife reminded me repeatedly that
Mr. Croft said he dined precisely at two o’clock; that he was a very
punctual man; that it was a long walk, as I had found it, from the inn
to his house; that I had better dress myself for dinner; and that my
clean shirt and cravat were ready for me. I still walked up and down
the room in reverie till my wife was completely ready, had dressed the
child, and held up my watch before my eyes to show me that it wanted
but ten minutes of two. I then began to dress in the greatest hurry
imaginable: and, unluckily, as I was pulling on my silk stocking, I tore
a hole in the leg, or as my wife expressed it, a stitch dropped, and I
was forced to wait while she repaired the evil. Certainly this operation
of _taking up a stitch_, as I am instructed to call it, is one of the
slowest operations in nature; or, rather, one of the most tedious
and teazing manoeuvres of art. Though the most willing and the most
dexterous fingers that ever touched a needle were employed in my
service, I thought the work would never be finished.

At last, I was _hosed_ and shod, and out we set. It struck a quarter
past two as we left the house; we came to Mr. Croft’s in the middle of
dinner. He had a large company at table; every body was disturbed; my
Lucy was a stranger to Mrs. Croft, and was to be introduced; and
nothing could be more awkward and embarrassing than our _entrée_ and
introduction. There were such compliments and apologies, such changing
of places, such shuffling of chairs, and running about of servants, that
I thought we should never be seated.

In the midst of the bustle my little chap began to roar most horribly,
and to struggle to get away from a black servant, who was helping him
up on his chair. The child’s terror at the sudden approach of the negro
could not be conquered, nor could he by any means be quieted. Mrs.
Croft, at last, ordered the negro out of the room, the roaring ceased,
and nothing but the child’s sobs were heard for some instants.

The guests were all silent, and had ceased eating; Mrs. Croft was vexed
because _every thing was cold_; Mr. Croft was much discomfited, and
said not a syllable more than was absolutely necessary, as master of the
house. I never ate, or rather I was never at a more disagreeable dinner.
I was in pain for Lucy, as well as for myself; her colour rose up to her
temples. I cursed myself a hundred times for not having gone to dress in

At length, to my great relief, the cloth was taken away; but even
when we came to the wine after dinner, the cold formality of my
host continued unabated, and I began to fear that he had taken an
insurmountable dislike to me, and that I should lose all the advantages
of his protection and assistance: advantages which rose considerably in
my estimation, when I apprehended I was upon the point of losing them.

Soon after dinner, a young gentleman of the name of Hudson joined the
company; his manners and appearance were prepossessing; he was frank
and well-bred; and the effect of his politeness was soon felt, as if by
magic, for every body became at their ease; his countenance was full
of life and fire; and though he said nothing that showed remarkable
abilities, everything he said pleased. As soon as he found that I was a
stranger, he addressed his conversation principally to me. I recovered
my spirits, exerted myself to entertain him, and succeeded. He was
delighted to hear news from England, and especially from London; a city
which he said he had an ardent desire to visit. When he took leave of
me in the evening, he expressed very warmly the wish to cultivate my
acquaintance, and I was the more flattered and obliged by this
civility, because I was certain that he knew exactly my situation and
circumstances, Mrs. Croft having explained them to him very fully even
in my hearing.


In the course of the ensuing week, young Mr. Hudson and I saw one
another almost every day, and our mutual liking for each other’s company
increased. He introduced me to his father, who had been a planter; and,
having made a large fortune, came to reside at Philadelphia, to enjoy
himself, as he said, for the remainder of his days. He lived in what the
sober Americans called a most luxurious and magnificent style. The best
company in Philadelphia met at his house: and he delighted particularly
in seeing those who had convivial talents, and who would supply him with
wit and gaiety, in which he was naturally rather deficient.

On my first visit, I perceived that his son had boasted of me as one
of the best companions in the world; and I determined to support the
character that had been given of me; I told two or three good stories,
and sang two or three good songs. The company were charmed with me; old
Mr. Hudson was particularly delighted; he gave me a pressing general
invitation to his house, and most of the principal guests followed his
example. I was not a little elated with this success. Mr. Croft was
with me at this entertainment; and I own I was peculiarly gratified by
feeling that I at once became conspicuous, by my talents, in a company
where he was apparently of no consequence, notwithstanding all his
wealth and prudence.

As we went home together, he said to me very gravely, “I would not
advise you, Mr. Basil Lowe, to accept of all these invitations, nor
to connect yourself intimately with young Hudson. The society at Mr.
Hudson’s is very well for those who have made a fortune, and want to
spend it; but for those who have a fortune to make, in my opinion, it is
not only useless but dangerous.”

I was in no humour, at this moment, to profit by this sober advice;
especially as I fancied it might be dictated, in some degree, by envy of
my superior talents and accomplishments. My wife, however, supported
his advice by many excellent and kind arguments. She observed that these
people, who invited me to their houses as a good companion, followed
merely their own pleasure, and would never be of any real advantage to
me; that Mr. Croft, on the contrary, showed, from the first hour when I
applied to him, a desire to serve me; that he had pointed out the means
of establishing myself; and that, in the advice he gave me, he could be
actuated only by a wish to be of use to me; that it was more reasonable
to suspect him of despising than of envying talents which were not
directed to the grand object of gaining money.

Good sense, from the lips of a woman whom a man loves, has a mighty
effect upon his understanding, especially if he sincerely believe that
the woman has no desire to rule. This was my singular case. I promised
Lucy I would refuse all invitations for the ensuing fortnight, and
devote myself to whatever business Mr. Croft might devise. No one could
be more assiduous than I was for ten days; and I perceived that Mr.
Croft, though it was not his custom to praise, was well satisfied with
my diligence. Unluckily, on the eleventh day I put off in the morning
making out an invoice, which he left for me to do, and I was persuaded
in the evening to go out with young Mr. Hudson. I had expressed,
in conversation with him, some curiosity about the American
_frog-concerts_, of which I had read, in modern books of travels,
extraordinary accounts.

Mr. Hudson persuaded me to accompany him to a swamp, at some miles’
distance from Philadelphia, to hear one of these concerts. The
performance lasted some time, and it was late before we returned to
town: I went to bed tired, and waked in the morning with a cold, which
I had caught by standing so long in the swamp. I lay an hour after I was
called, in hopes of getting rid of my cold: when I was at last up and
dressed, I recollected my invoice, and resolved to do it the first thing
after breakfast; but, unluckily, I put it off till I had looked for some
lines in Homer’s “Battle of the Frogs and Mice.” There was no Homer,
as you may guess, in Mr. Croft’s house, and I went to a bookseller’s to
borrow one: he had Pope’s Iliad and Odyssey, but no Battle of the Frogs
and Mice. I walked over half the town in search of it; at length I found
it, and was returning in triumph, with Homer in each pocket, when at the
door of Mr. Croft’s house I found half a dozen porters, with heavy loads
upon their backs.

“Where are you going, my good fellows?” said I.

“To the quay, sir, with the cargo for the Betsy.”

“My God!” cried I. “Stop. Can’t you stop a minute? I thought the Betsy
was not to sail till to-morrow. Stop one minute.”

“No, sir,” said they, “that we can’t; for the captain bade us make what
haste we could to the quay to load her.”

I ran into the house; the captain of the Betsy was bawling in the hall,
with his hat on the back of his head; Mr. Croft on the landing-place of
the warehouse-stairs with open letters in his hand, and two or three of
the under-clerks were running different ways with pens in their mouths.

“Mr. Basil! the invoice!” exclaimed all the clerks at once, the moment I
made my appearance.

“Mr. Basil Lowe, the invoice and the copy, if you please,” repeated Mr.
Croft. “We have sent three messengers after you. Very extraordinary to
go out at this time of day, and not even to leave word where you were
to be foun