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, who was of the party, the family received no hurt, they were was always fond of seeing some innocent extremely glad ; but being informed that amusement going forward, and set the we were almost killed by the fright, they boys and girls to blind man's buff. My were vastly sorry ; but hearing that wife, too, was persuaded to join in the we had a very good night, they were diversion, and it gave me pleasure to think extremely glad again. Nothing could she was not yet too old. In the meantime, exceed their complaisance to my daughmy neighbour and I looked ori, laughed ters : their professions the last evening at every feat, and praised our own dexterity were warm, but now they were ardent. when we were young.
Hot cockles suc- They protested a desire of having a more ceeded next, questions and commands fol. lasting acquaintance. Lady Blarney was lowed that, and, last of all, they sat down particularly attached to Olivia; Miss Caroto hunt the slipper. As every person may | lina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs (I love to not be acquainted with this primeval pas- give the whole name) took a greater fancy time, it may be necessary to observe, that to her sister. They supported the conthe company in this play plant themselves versation between themselves, while my in a ring upon the ground, all except one, daughters sat silent, admiring their exalted who stands in the middle, whose business breeding. But as every reader, however it is to catch a shoe, which the company beggarly himself, is fond of high-lived shove about under their hams from one to dialogues, with anecdotes of lords, ladies, another, something like a weaver's shuttle. and knights of the Garter, I must beg As it is impossible, in this case, for the leave to give him the concluding part of lady who is up to face all the company at the present conversation. once, the great beauty of the play lies in “ All that I know of the matter," cried hitting her a thump with the heel of the Miss Skeggs, “is this, that it may be true shoe on that side least capable of making or may not be true ; but this I can assure a defence. It was in this manner that your Ladyship, that the whole rout was my eldest daughter was hemmed in, and in
his Lordship turned all thumped about, all blowzed, in spirits, and manner of colours, my Lady fell into a bawling for "fair play” with a voice that sound, but Sir Tomkyn drawing his sword, might deafen a ballad-singer ; when, con- swore he was hers to the last drop of his fusion on confusion! who should enter blood.” the room but our two great acquaint- Well,” replied our Peeress, “ this I ances from town, Lady Blarney and Miss can say, that the Duchess never told me Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs! a syllable of the matter, and I believe her Description would but beggar, therefore Grace would keep nothing a secret from it is unnecessary to describe, this new This you may depend upon as fact,
mortification. Death! To be seen by ladies that the next morning my Lord Duke of such high breeding in such vulgar atti- cried out three times to his valet-de
tudes ! Nothing better could ensue from chambre, Jernigan ! Jernigan ! Jernigan ! such a vulgar play of Mr. Flamborough's bring me my garters. proposing. We seemed stuck to the But previously I should have mentioned ground for some time, as if actually the very impolite behaviour of Mr. Burpetrified with amazement.
chell, who, during this discourse, sat with The two ladies had been at our house his face turned to the fire, and, at the conto see us, and finding us from home, came clusion of every sentence, would cry out after us hither, as they were uneasy to “Fudge !” an expression which displeased know what accident could have kept us us all, and, in some measure, damped the from church the day before. Olivia rising spirit of the conversation. undertook to be our prolocutor, and de- Besides, dear Skeggs,” continued livered the whole in a summary way, only our Peeress, “there is nothing of this in saying, “ We were thrown' from our the copy of verses that Dr. Burdock made horses.' At which account the ladies upon the occasion.”—“Fudge !". were greatly concerned, but being told “I am surprised at that,” cried Miss
Skeggs; “for he seldom leaves anything own a truth, I was of opinion, that two out, as he writes only for his own amuse- such places would fit our two daughters ment. But can your Ladyship favour me exactly. Besides, if the Squire had any with a sight of them ?"- 'Fudge !”
real affection for my eldest daughter, this "My dear creature," replied our Peeress, would be the way to make her every way “ do you think I carry such things about qualified for her fortune. My wife, there. me? Though they are very fine, to be fore, was resolved that we should not be sure, and I think myself something of a deprived of such advantages for want of judge—at least I know what pleases my- assurance, and undertook to harangue for self. Indeed, I was ever an admirer of the family. “I hope," cried she, “your
Burdock's little pieces; for, except ladyships will pardon my present presumpwhat he does, and our dear Countess at tion. It is true, we have no right to preHanover Square, there's nothing comes tend to such favours ; but yet it is natural out but the most lowest stuff in nature; for me to wish putting my children forward not a bit of high life among them.”- in the world. And, I will be bold to say, Fudge !”
mytwo girls have had a pretty good educa“Your Ladyship should except,” says tion and capacity; at least the country the other, “ your own things in the Lady's can't show better. They can read, write, Magazine. I hope you'll say there's and cast accompts ;, they understand nothing low-lived there? But I suppose their needle, broadstitch, cross and change, we are to have no more from that quar- and all manner of plain work ; they can ter?”-“Fudge !
pink, point, and frill, and know something Why, my dear,” says the lady, "you of music; they can do up small clothes, know my reader and companion has left and work upon catgut ; my eldest can cut me, to be married to Captain Roach, and paper, and my youngest has a very pretty as my poor eyes won't suffer me to write manner of telling fortunes upon the cards.” myself, I have been for some time looking Fudge !” out for another. A proper person is no
When she had delivered this pretty piece easy matter to find; and, to be sure, thirty of eloquence, the two ladies looked at each pounds a year is a small stipend for a well other a few minutes in silence, with an air bred girl of character, that can read, write, of doubt and importance. At last Miss and behave in company : as for the chits Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs conabout town, there is no bearing them about descended to observe, that the young ladies, one.”—“Fudge !”
from the opinion she could form of them That I know,” cried Miss Skeggs, from so slight an acquaintance, seemed " by experience. For of the three com- very fit for such employments. panions I had this last half year, one of thing of this kind, madam,” cried she, them refused to do plain work an hour in addressing my spouse, “ requires a thothe day; another thought twenty-five rough examination into characters, and a guineas a year too small a salary; and I more perfect knowledge of each other. was obliged to send away the third, be. Not, madam," continued she," that I in cause I suspected an intrigue with the the least suspect the young ladies' virtue, chaplain. Virtue, my dear Lady Blar- prudence, and discretion; but there is a ney, virtue is worth any price; but where form in these things, madam—there is a is that to be found ?". Fudge !”
form." My wife had been, for a long time, all My wife approved her suspicions very attention to this discourse, but was par- much, observing that she was very apt to ticularly struck with the latter part of it. be suspicious herself, but referred her to Thirty pounds and twenty-five guineas a all the neighbours for a character ; but year, made fifty-six pounds five shillings this our Peeress declined as unnecessary, English money, all which was in a manner alleging that our cousin Thornhill's recomgoing a begging, and might easily be mendation would be sufficient ; and upon secured in the family. She for a moment this we rested our petition, studied my looks for approbation; and, to
that would carry a single or double upon CHAPTER XII.
an occasion, and make a pretty appearFortune seems resolved to humble the Family of ance at church, or upon a visit. This at
Wakefield. Mortifications are often more first I opposed stoutly; but it was stoutly painful than real Calamities.
defended. However, as I weakened, my WHEN we were returned home, the antagonist gained strength, till at last it night was dedicated to schemes of future was resolved to part with him. conquest. Deborah exerted much sagacity As the fair happened on the following in conjecturing which of the two girls was day, I had intentions of going myself ; likely to have the best place, and most but my wife persuaded me that I had got opportunities of seeing good company. a cold, and nothing could prevail upon The only obstacle to our preferment was her to permit me from home.
“No, my in obtaining the Squire's recommendation; dear,” said she, our son Moses is a disbut he had already shown us too many creet boy, and can buy and sell to a very instances of his friendship to doubt of it good advantage : you know all our great
Even in bed, my wife kept up the bargains are of his purchasing. He always usual theme : “Well, faith, my dear stands out and higgles, and actually tires Charles, between ourselves, I think we them till he gets a bargain.” have made an excellent day's work of it." As I had some opinion of my son's pru-“Pretty well!” cried I, not knowing dence, I was willing enough to entrust him what to say. “What, only pretty well !” with this commission : and the next mornreturned she: “I think it is very well. ing I perceived his sisters mighty busy in Suppose the girls should come to make fitting out Moses for the fair; trimming acquaintances of taste in town! This I his hair, brushing his buckles, and cockam assured of, that London is the only ing his hat with pins. The business of place in the world for all manner of hus- the toilet being over, we had at last the bands. Besides, my dear, stranger things satisfaction of seeing him mounted upon happen every day: and as ladies of quality the colt, with a deal box before him to are so taken with my daughters, what will bring home groceries in. He had on a not men of quality be? Entre nous, I coat made of that cloth they call thunderprotest I like my Lady Blarney vastly - so and-lightning, which, though grown too very obliging. However, Miss Carolina short, was much too good to be thrown Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs has my warm away. His waistcoat was of gosling green, heart. But yet, when they came to talk and his sisters had tied his hair with a of places in town, you saw at once how broad black riband. We all followed him I nailed them. Tell me, my dear, don't several paces from the door, bawling after you think I did for my children there ?” him, “Good luck! good luck!” till we
Ay,” returned I, not knowing well could see him no longer. what to think of the matter; “ Heaven
He was scarce gone, when Mr. Thorngrant they may be both the better for it hill's butler came to congratulate us upon this day three months !” This was one of our good fortune, saying that he overheard those observations I usually made to im- his young master mention our names with press my wife with an opinion of my sa- great commendation. gacity : for if the girls succeeded, then it Good fortune seemed resolved not to was a pious wish fulfilled; but if any come alone. Another footman from the thing unfortunate ensued, then it might be same family followed, with a card for my looked upon as a prophecy. All this con- daughters, importing that the two ladies versation, however, was only preparatory had received such pleasing accounts from to another scheme ; and indeed I'dreaded Mr. Thornhill of us all, that after a few as much. This was nothing less than that, previous inquiries they hoped to be peras we were now to hold up our heads a fectly satisfied. “Ay,” cried my wife, “I little higher in the world, it would be pro- now see it is no easy matter to get into the per to sell the colt, which was grown old, families of the great; but when one once at a neighbouring fair, and buy us a horse gets in, then, as Moses says, one may go
to sleep.” To this piece of humour, for yonder comes Moses, without a horse, she intended it for wit, my daughters and the box at his back.” assented with a loud laugh of pleasure. As she spoke, Moses came slowly on In short, such was her satisfaction at this foot, and sweating under the deal box, message, that she actually put her hand in which he had strapt round his shoulders her pocket, and gave the messenger seven- like a pedlar. Welcome, welcome, pence halfpenny.
Moses ! well, my boy, what have you This was to be our visiting day. The brought us from the fair?”_"I have next that came was Mr. Burchell, who brought you myself,” cried Moses, with had been at the fair. He brought my little sly look, and resting the box on the ones a pennyworth of gingerbread each, dresser. Ay, Moses,” cried my wife, which my wife undertook to keep for " that we know; but where is the horse ?” them, and give them by letters at a time. _“I have sold him,” cried Moses, “for He brought my daughters also a couple three pounds five shillings and two; of boxes, in which they might keep wafers, pence.' “Well done, my good boy, snuff, patches, or even money, when they returned she; “I knew you would touch got it. My wife was usually fond of a them off. Between ourselves, three weasel-skin purse, as being the most lucky; pounds five shillings and twopence is no but this by the by. We had still a regard bad day's work. Come, let us have for Mr. Burchell, though his late rude be- then.”—“I have brought back no money, haviour was in some measure displeasing; cried Moses again. I have laid it all nor could we now avoid communicating out in a bargain, and here it is,” pulling our happiness to him, and asking his ad- out a bundle from his breast : “here they vice: although we seldom followed advice, are ; a gross of green spectacles, with we were all ready enough to ask it. silver rims and shagreen cases.”—“A gross When he read the note from the two ladies, of green spectacles !” repeated my wife, he shook his head, and observed, that an in a faint voice. And
have parted affair of this sort demanded the utmost cir- with the colt, and brought us back cumspection. This air of diffidence highly nothing but a gross of green paltry specdispleased my wife. “I never doubted, tacles !”—“ Dear mother,” cried the boy, sir,” cried she, “ your readiness to be why won't you listen to reason ? I had against my daughters and me. You have them a dead bargain, or I should not more circumspection than is wanted. have brought them. The silver rims However, I fancy when we come to ask alone will sell for double the money.”advice, we will apply to persons who seem A fig for the silver rims,” cried my to have made use of it themselves.” wife, in a passion : "I dare swear they
Whatever my own conduct may have won't sell for above half the money at the been, madam,” replied he, “is not the rate of broken silver, five shillings an present question: though, as I have made "_“You need be under no uneasino use of advice myself, I should in con- ness,” cried I, “about selling the rims, science give it to those that will.” As I for they are not worth sixpence ; for I was apprehensive this answer might draw perceive they are only copper varnished on a repartee, making up by abuse what over.”- -“ What !” cried my wife, “not it wanted in wit, I changed the subject, silver ! the rims not silver?”—“No," by seeming to wonder what could keep cried I, no more silver than your sauceour son so long at the fair, as it was now pan. -“ And so," returned she, almost nightfall.
“ Never mind our son, have parted with the colt, and have only cried my wife; “ depend upon it he knows got a gross of green spectacles, with what he is about. I'll warrant we'll never copper rims and shagreen cases ? A mursee him sell his hen of a rainy day. I rain take such trumpery! The blockhead have seen him buy such bargains as would has been imposed upon, and should have
I'll tell you a good story known his company better.” about that, that will make you split your my dear,” cried I, "you are wrong; he sides with laughing.- But, as I live, should not have known them at all."
“There, Marry, hang the idiot !” returned she, “a Giant and a Dwarf were friends, and “to bring me such stuff: if I had them I kept together. They made a bargain, would throw them in the fire." -“ There that they would never forsake each other, again you are wrong, my dear,” cried I; but go seek adventures. The first battle for though they be copper, we will keep they fought was with two Saracens, and them by us, as copper spectacles, you the Dwarf, who was very courageous, dealt know, are better than nothing.'
one of the champions a most angry blow. By this time the unfortunate Moses was It did the Saracen very little injury, who, undeceived. He now saw that he had been lifting up his sword, fairly struck off the imposed upon by a prowling sharper, who, poor Dwarf's arm. He was now in a observing his figure, had marked him for woful plight; but the Giant, coming to his an easy prey. I therefore asked the cir- assistance, in a short time left the two cumstances of his deception. He sold the Saracens dead on the plain, and the Dwarf horse, it seems, and walked the fair in cut off the dead man's head out of spite. search of another. A reverend-looking They then travelled on another adventure. man brought him to a tent, under pretence. This was against three bloody-minded of having one to sell. “Here,” con- Satyrs, who were carrying away a damsel tinued Moses, “we met another man, very in distress. The Dwarf was not quite so well dressed, who desired to borrow fierce now as before; but for all that struck twenty pounds upon these, saying that he the first blow, which was returned by wanted money, and would dispose of them another that knocked out his eye; but the for a third of the value. The first gentle Giant was soon up with them, and, had man, who pretended to be my friend, they not fled, would certainly have killed whispered me to buy them, and cautioned them every one. They were all very joyme not to let so good an offer pass. I ful for this victory, and the damsel who sent for Mr. Flamborough, and they talked was relieved fell in love with the Giant, him up as finely as they did me; and so and married him. They now travelled far, at last we were persuaded to buy the two and farther than I can tell, till they met gross between us.
with a company of robbers. The Giant,
for the first time, was foremost now; but CHAPTER XIII.
the Dwarf was not far behind. The battle Mr.Burchell is found to be an Enemy, for he has was stout and long. Wherever the Giant the confidence to give disagreeable Advice.
came, all fell before him ; but the Dwarf Our family had now made several attempts had like to have been killed more than to be fine; but some unforeseen disaster once. At last the victory declared for the demolished each as soon as projected. I two adventurers; but the Dwarf lost his leg. endeavoured to take the advantage of The Dwarf had now lost an arm, a leg, every disappointment to improve their and an eye, while the Giant was without good sense, in proportion as they were a single wound. Upon which he cried out frustrated in ambition. “You see, my to his little companion, ‘My little hero,this children,” cried I, “how little is to be got is glorious sport! let us get one victory by attempts to impose upon the world in more, and then we shall have honour for coping with our betters. Such as are ever.'— 'No,' cries the Dwarf, who was by poor, and will associate with none but the this time grown wiser, 'no, I declare off; rich, are hated by those they avoid, and I'll fight no more: for 1 find in every battle despised by those they follow. Unequal that you get all the honours and rewards, combinations are always disadvantageous but all the blows fall upon me. to the weaker side: the rich having the I was going to moralize this fable, when pleasure, and the poor the inconveniences our attention was called off to a warm that result from them. But come, Dick, dispute between my wife and Mr. Burchell, my boy, and repeat the fable that you were upon my daughters’intended expedition to reading to-day, for the good of the com- town. My wife very strenuously insisted pany:
upon the advantages that would result “Once upon a time," cried the child, from it: Mr. Burchell, on the contrary,