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dissuaded her with great ardour; and I versation with me, sir,” replied my daughstood neuter. His present dissuasions ter, has ever been sensible, modest, and seemed but the second part of those which pleasing. As to aught else-no, never. were received with so ill a grace in the Once, indeed, I remember to have heard morning. The dispute grew high; while him say, he never knew a woman who poor Deborah, instead of reasoning could find merit in a man that seemed stronger, talked louder, and at last was poor.”—“Such, my dear,” cried I, “is the obliged to take shelter from a defeat in common cant of all the unfortunate or idle. clamour. The conclusion of her harangue, But I hope you have been taught to judge however, was highly displeasing to us all: properly of such men, and that it would be she knew, she said, of some who had their even madness to expect happiness from one own secret reasons for what they advised; who has been so very bad an economist of but, for her part, she wished such to his own. Your mother and I have now stay away from her house for the future. better prospects for you. The next winter, “Madam," cried Burchell, with looks of which you will probably spend in town, great composure, which tended to inflame will give you opportunities of making a her the more, “as for secret reasons you more prudent choice.” are right: I have secret reasons, which I Wnat Sophia's reflections were upon forbear to mention, because you are not this occasion I cannot pretend to deterable to answer those of which I make no mine; but I was not displeased at the secret: but I find my visits here are become bottom that we were rid of a guest from troublesome; I'll take my leave therefore whom I had much to fear. Our breach now, and perhaps come once more to take of hospitality went to my conscience a a final farewell when I am quitting the little; but I quickly silenced that monitor country.” Thus saying, he took up his by two or three specious reasons, which hat, nor could the attempts of Sophia, served to satisfy and reconcile me to mywhose looks seemed to upbraid his pre- self.' The pain which conscience gives cipitancy, prevent his going.
the man who has already done wrong is When gone, we all regarded each other soon got over. Conscience is a coward ; for some minutes with confusion. My and those faults it has not strength enough wife, who knew herself to be the cause, to prevent, it seldom has justice enough strove to hide her concern with a forced to accuse. smile, and an air of assurance, which I was willing to reprove: “How, woman,” cried
CHAPTER XIV. I to her, “is it thus we treat strangers ? Fresh Mortifications, or a Demonstration that Is it thus we return their kindness? Be seeming Calamities may be real Blessings. assured, my dear, that these were the The journey of my daughters to town harshest words, and to me the most un- was now resolved upon, Mr. Thornhill pleasing, that ever escaped your lips !”- having kindly promised to inspect their
'Why would he provoke me then?” re- conduct himself, and inform us by letter plied she; “but I know the motives of his of their behaviour. But it was thought advice perfectly well. He would prevent indispensably necessary that their appearmy girls from going to town, that he may ance should equal the greatness of their have the pleasure of my youngest daughter's expectations, which could not be done company here at home. But, whatever without expense. We debated therefore happens, she shall choose better company in full council what were the easiest than such low-lived fellows as he.”. methods of raising money, or, more “Low-lived, my dear, do you call him?" properly speaking, what we could most cric I; “it i
very possible we may mis- conveniently sell. The deliberation was take this man's character, for he seems, soon finished: it was found that our reupon some occasions, the most finished maining horse was utterly useless for the gentleman I ever knew. Tell me, Sophia, plough without his companion, and my girl, has he ever given you any secret. equally unfit for the road, as wanting an instances of his attachment?”—“His con- ! eye: it was therefore determined that we
should dispose of him for the purpose possessed me more favourably. His locks above mentioned, at the neighbouring of silver grey venerably shaded his temples, fair; and, to prevent imposition, that I and his green old age seemed to be the should go with him myself. Though this result of health and benevolence. Howwas one of the first mercantile transactions ever, his presence did not interrupt our of my life, yet I had no doubt about ac- conversation : my friend and I discoursed quitting myself with reputation. The on the various turns of fortune we had opinion a man forms of his own prudence met ; the Whistonian controversy, my last is measured by that of the company he pamphlet, the archdeacon's reply, and the keeps : and as mine was most in the hard measure that was dealt me. But family way, I had conceived no unfavour- our attention was in a short time taken able sentiments of my worldly wisdom. off, by the appearance of a youth, who, My wife, however, next morning, at entering the room, respectfully said someparting, after I had got some paces from thing softly to the old stranger. the door, called me back to advise me, in no apologies, my child,” said the old a whisper, to have all my eyes about me. man; to do good is a duty we owe to
I had, in the usual forms, when I came all our fellow-creatures : take this, I wish to the fair, put my horse through all his it were more ; but five pounds will relieve paces, but for some time had no bidders. your distress, and you are welcome." At last a chapman approached, and after The modest youth shed tears of gratitude, he had for a good while examined the and yet his gratitude was scarce equal horse round, finding him blind of one to mine. I could have hugged the good eye, he would have nothing to say to old man in my arms, his benevolence him; a second came up, but observing he pleased me so. He continued to read, had a spavin, declared he would not take and we resumed our conversation, until him for the driving home; a third per- my companion, after some time, recollect. ceived he had a windgall, and would ing that he had business to transact in the bid no money; a fourth knew by his eye fair, promised to be soon back; adding, that he had the botts; a fifth wondered that he always desired to have as much what a plague I could do at the fair with of Dr. Primrose's company as possible. a blind, spavines, galled hack, that was The old gentleman, hearing my name only fit to be cut up for a dog kennel. mentioned, seemed to look at me with By this time, I began to have a most attention for some time; and when my hearty contempt for the poor animal my friend was gone, most respectfully deself, and was almost ashamed at the manded if I was any way related to the approach of every customer: for though great Primrose, that courageous monogaI did not entirely believe all the fellows mist, who had been the bulwark of the told me, yet I reflected that the number Church. Never did my heart feel sincerer of witnesses was a strong presumption rapture than at that moment. Sir," they were right; and St. Gregory, upon cried I, “ the applause of so good a man Good Works, professes himself to be of as I am sure you are, adds to that happithe same opinion.
ness in my breast which your benevolence I was in this mortifying situation, when has already excited. You behold before a brother clergyman, an old acquaintance, you, sir, that Dr. Primrose, the monoga. who had also business at the fair, came mist, whom you have been pleased to call up, and, shaking me by the hand, pro- great. You here see that unfortunate posed adjourning to a public-house, and divine, who has so long, and it would ill taking a glass of whatever we could get. become me to say, successfully, fought I readily closed with the offer, and enter. against the deuterogamy of the age. ing an alehouse, we were shown into a “Sir,” cried the stranger, struck with little back room, where there was only a awe, “I fear I have been too familiar, venerable old man, who sat wholly intent but you'll forgive my curiosity, sir : I beg over a large book, which he was reading. pardon.”—“Sir,” cried I, grasping his I never in my life saw a figure that pre-4 hand, “you are so far from displeasing
me by your familiarity, that I must beg too mild and too gentle to contend for you'll accept my friendship, as you already victory. - Whenever I made an observahave my esteem. “ Then with gratitude tion that looked like a challenge to con. I accept the offer,” cried he, squeezing troversy, he would smile, shake his head, me by the hand,“ thou glorious pillar and say nothing ; by which I understood of unshaken orthodoxy! and do I behold he could say much, if he thought proper.
I here interrupted what he was The subject, therefore, insensibly changed going to say; for though, as an author, I from the business of antiquity, to that could digest no small share of flattery, which brought us both to the fair : mine, yet now my modesty would permit no I told him, was to sell a horse, and very
Ilowever, no lovers in romance luckily, indeed, his was to buy one for
ce:nented a more instantaneous one of his tenants. My horse was soon friendship. We talked upon several sub- produced ; and, in fine, we struck a barjects: at first I thought he seemed rather gain. Nothing now remained but to pay devout than learned, and began to think me, and he accordingly pulled out a he despised all human doctrines as dross. thirty pound note, and bid me change it. Yet this no way lessened him in my Not being in a capacity of complying with esteem, for I had for some time begun this demand, he ordered his footman to privately to harbour such an opinion my be called up, who made his appearance in self. I therefore took occasion to observe, a very genteel livery. “Here, Abraham, that the world in general began to be cried he, “ go and get gold for this; you'll blameably indifferent as to doctrinal do it at neighbour Jackson's, or anymatters, and followed human speculations where.” While the fellow was gone, he too much. Ay, sir,” replied he, as if entertained me with a pathetic harangue he had reserved all his learning to that on the great scarcity of silver, which I moment, “Ay, sir, the world is in its undertook to improve, by deploring also dotage ; and yet the cosmogony, or crea- the great scarcity of gold; so that, by the tion of the world, has puzzled philo- | time Abraham returned, we had both sophers of all ages. What a medley of agreed that money was never so hard to opinions have they not broached upon the be come at as now. Abraham returned creation of the world! Sanchoniathon, to inform us, that he had been over the Manetho, Berosus, and Ocellus Lucanus, whole fair, and could not get change, have all attempted it in vain. The latter though he had offered half-a-crown for has these words, Anarchon ara kai atelu- doing it. This was a very great disaptaion to pan, which imply that all things pointment to us all; but the old gentlehave neither beginning nor end. Manetho man, having paused a little, asked me if also, who lived about the time of Nebu- I knew one Solomon Flamborough in my chadon-Asser Asser being a Syriac part of the country. Upon replying that word, usually applied as a surname to the he was my next door neighbour: “If kings of that country, as Teglat Pháel that be the case, then,” returned he, “I Asser, Nabon-Asser-he, I say, formed a believe we shall deal. You shall have a conjecture equally absurd; for, as we draft upon him, payable at sight; and, usually say, ek to biblion kubernetes, which let me tell you, he is as warm a man as implies that books will never teach the any within five miles round him. Honest world; so he attempted to investigate- Solomon and I have been acquainted for But, sir, I ask pardon, I am straying from many years together. I remember I the question.”—That he actually was ; always beat him at three jumps; but he nor could I, for my life, see how the could hop on one leg farther than I.” A creation of the world had anything to do draft upon my neighbour was to me the with the business I was talking of; but same as money ; for I was sufficiently it was sufficient to show me that he was a convinced of his ability.
The draft was man of letters, and I now reverenced him signed, and put into my hands, and Mr. the more. I was resolved, therefore, to Jenkinson, the old gentleman, his man bring him to the touchstone ; but he was Abraham, and my horse, old Blackberry,
it twice over.
trotted off very well pleased with each eclipsed in the greatness of their own. other.
But what perplexeil us most, was to think After a short interval, being left to who could be so base as to asperse the chareflection, I began to recollect that I had racter of a family so harmless as ours; too done wrong in taking a draft from a humble to excité envy, and too inoffensive stranger, and so prudently resolved upon to create disgust. following the purchaser, and having back my horse. But this was now too late; I
CHAPTER XV. therefore made directly homewards, re
All Mr. Burchell's Villany at once detected. The solving to get the draft changed into
Folly of being overwise. money at my friend's as fast as possible. That evening, and a part of the followI found my honest neighbour smoking his ing day, was employed in fruitless attempts pipe at his own door, and informing him to discover our enemies: scarcely a family that I had a small bill upon him, he read in the neighbourhood but incurred our
“You can read the name, suspicions, and each of us had reasons for I suppose,” cried I, –“ Ephraim Jenkin- our opinions best known to ourselves. As
_“Yes," returned he, “the name we were in this perplexity, one of our little is written plain enough, and I know the boys, who had been playing abroad, gentleman too,—the greatest rascal under brought in a letter-case, which he found the canopy of heaven. This is the very on the green. It was quickly known to same rogue who sold us the spectacles. belong to Mr. Burchell, with whom it had Was he not a venerable-looking man, been seen, and, upon examination, conwith grey hair, and no flaps to his pocket- tained some hints upon different subjects; holes ? And did he not talk a long string but what particularly engaged our atten. of learning about Greek, and cosmogony, tion was a sealed note, superscribed, “The and the world ?” To this I replied with copy of a letter to be sent to the ladies
Ay,” continued he, “ he has at Thornhill Castle.” It instantly occurred but that one piece of learning in the that he was the base informer, and we world, and he always talks it away when- deliberated whether the note should not ever he finds a scholar in company; but I be broken open. I was against it; but know the rogue, and will catch him yet.” Sophia, who said she was sure that of all
Though I was already sufficiently mor- men he would be the last to be guilty of so tified, my greatest struggle was to come, much baseness, insisted upon its being in facing my wife and daughters. No read. In this she was seconded by the truant was ever more afraid of returning rest of the family, and at their joint solici. to school, there to behold the master's tation I read as follows:visage, than I was of going home. I was “ Ladies,—The bearer will sufficiently determined, however, to anticipate their satisfy you as to the person from whom fury, by first falling into a passion myself. this comes : one at least the friend of innoBut, alas! upon entering, I found the cence, and ready to prevent its being se
no way disposed for battle. My duced. I am informed for a truth, that wife and girls were all in tears, Mr. Thorn- you have some intention of bringing two hill having been there that day to inform young ladies to town, whom I have some them that their journey to town was en knowledge of, under the character of tirely over.
The two ladies, having heard companions. As I would neither have reports of us from some malicious person simplicity imposed upon, nor virtue conabout us, were that day set out for London. taminated, I must offer it as my opinion, He could neither discover the tendency that the impropriety of such a step will be nor the author of these; but whatever they attended with dangerous consequences. might be, or whoever might have broached It has never been my way to treat the them, he continued to assure our family of infamous or the lewd with severity; nor his friendship and protection. I found, should I now have taken this method of therefore, that they bore my disappoint- explaining myself, or reproving folly, did ment with great resignation, as it was it not aim at guilt. Take, therefore, the
admonition of a friend, and seriously re. should not have thought it a joke had you flect on the consequences of introducing not told me. Perhaps not, sir,” cried infamy and vice into retreats where peace my wife, winking at us; and
yet I dare and innocence have hitherto resided." say you can tell us how many jokes go to
Our doubts were now at an end. There an ounce. "_“I fancy, madam,” returned seemed, indeed, something applicable to Burchell, “ you have been reading a jest both sides in this letter, and its censures book this morning, that ounce of jokes is might as well be referred to those to whom so very good a conceit; and yet, madam, it was written, as to us; but the malicious I had rather see half an ounce of undermeaning was obvious, and we went no standing.”—“I believe you might," cried farther. My wife had scarcely patience to my wife, still smiling at us, though the hear me to the end, but railed at the writer laugh was against her; and yet I have with unrestrained resentment. Olivia was seen some men pretend to understanding equally severe, and Sophia seemed per- that have very little.”—“And no doubt," fectly amazed at his baseness. As for my returned her antagonist, “ you have known part, it appeared to me one of the vilest ladies set up for wit that had none." I instances of unprovoked ingratitude I had quickly began to find that my wife was ever met with ; nor could I account for it likely to gain but little at this business ; in
any other manner, than by imputing it so I resolved to treat him in a style of to his desire of detaining my youngest more severity myself. Both wit and daughter in the country, to have the more understanding,” cried I,"are trifles, withfrequent opportunities of an interview. out integrity; it is that which gives value In this manner we all sat ruminating upon to every character. The ignorant peasant schemes of vengeance, when our other without fault, is greater than the philoso. little boy came running in to tell us that pher with many ; for what is genius or Mr. Burchell was approaching at the other courage without an heart? end of the field. It is easier to conceive
"An honest man's the noblest work of God.'” than describe the complicated sensations which are felt from the pain of a recent “I always held that hackneyed maxim injury, and the pleasure of approaching of Pope," returned Mr. Burchell
, “as very vengeance. Though our intentions were unworthy a man of genius, and a base only to upbraid him with his ingratitude, desertion of his own superiority. As the yet' it was resolved to do it in a manner reputation of books is raised, not by their that would be perfectly cutting. For this freedom from defect, but the greatness of purpose we agreed to meet him with our their beauties; so should that of men be usual smiles ; to chat in the beginning prized, not for their exception from fault, with more than ordinary kindness, to
but the size of those virtues they are posamuse him a little ; and then, in the midst sessed of. The scholar may want prudence, of the flattering calm, to burst upon him the statesman may have pride, and the like an earthquake, and overwhelm him champion ferocity ; but shall we prefer to with a sense of his own baseness. This these the low mechanic, who laboriously being resolved upon, my wife undertook plods through life without censure or to manage the business herself, as she applause? We might as well prefer the really had some talents for such an under. tame correct paintings of the Flemish taking. We saw him approach : he en school to the erroneous but sublime ani. tered, drew a chair, and sat down. A mations of the Roman pencil.” fine day, Mr. Burchell.”—“A very fine “Sir,” replied I, “ your present obserday, Doctor; though I fancy we shall have vation is just, when there are shining vir. some rain by the shooting of my corns. tues and minute defects ; but when it
-“The shooting of your horns!” cried appears that great vices are opposed in my wife, in a loud fit of laughter, and then the same mind to as extraordinary virtues, asked pardon for being fond of a joke. such a character deserves contempt." “Dear madam,” replied he, “I pardon Perhaps,” cried he, “there may be you with all my heart, for I protest I some such monsters as you describe, of