Слике страница

Mr. Nash pro


benefit of the waters. His wife laboured had the proper effect. under a lingering disorder, which it was cured them a subscription, and gave ten thought nothing but the Hot-wells could guineas towards it himself. The weavers

The expenses of living there alsô shared his bounty at that season. soon lessened the poor man's finances ; They came begging in a body into Bath, his clothes were sold, piece by piece, to and he provided a plentiful dinner for provide a temporary relief for his little their entertainment, and gave each a family, and his appearance was at last so week's subsistence at going away. shabby, that, from the number of holes There are few public charities to which in his coat and stockings, Nash gave him he was not a subscriber, and many he printhe name of Doctor Cullender. Our cipally contributed to support. Among beau, it seems, was rude enough to make others, Mr. Annesley, that strange ex• a jest of poverty, though he had sen- ample of the mutability of fortune, and sibility enough to relieve it. The poor the inefficacy of our laws, shared his inclergyman combated his distresses with terest and bounty. I have now before fortitude ; and, instead of attempting to me a well-written letter, addressed to solicit relief, endeavoured to conceal them. Mr. Nash, in order to obtain his interest Upon a living of thirty pounds a year he for that unhappy gentleman : it comes endeavoured to maintain his wife and six from Mr. Henderson, a Quaker, who was children; but all his resources at last Mr. Annesley's father's agent. This failed him, and nothing but famine was gentleman warmly espoused the young seen in the wretched family. The poor adventurer's interest, and, I am told, fell man's circumstances were at last com- with him. municated to Nash; who, with his usual

"London, October 23, 1756. cheerfulness, undertook to relieve him. On a Sunday evening, at a public tea- “My GOOD FRIEND,—When I had drinking at Harrison's, he went about to the honour of conversing with thee at collect a subscription, and began it him. Tunbridge, in September last, concerning self by giving five guineas. By this that most singular striking case of Mr. means two hundred guineas were collected Annesley, whom I have known since he in less than two hours, and the poor was about six years old, I being then family raised from the lowest despondence employed by the late Lord Baron of into affluence and felicity. A bounty so Altham, his father, as his agent. From unexpected had a better influence even what I know of the affairs of that family, upon the woman's constitution than all I am well assured, that Mr. Annesley is that either the physicians or the waters of the legitimate son of the late Lord Baron Bath could produce, and she recovered. of Altham, and in consequence thereof is But his good offices did not rest here. entitled to the honours and estates of He prevailed upon a nobleman of his Anglesey. Were I not well assured of his acquaintance to present the doctor with a right to those honours and estates, I living of 1601. a year, which made that would not give countenance to his claim. happiness he had before produced, in I well remember, that thou then madest some measure permanent.

me a promise to assist him in soliciting In the severe winter of the year 1739 a subscription, that was then begun at his charity was great, useful, and extensive. Tunbridge ; but as that place was not He frequently, at that season of calamity, within the limits of thy province, thou entered the houses of the poor, whom he couldst not promise to do much there. thought too proud to beg, and generously But thou saidst, that in case he would go relieved them. The colliers were at this to Bath in the season, thou wouldst then time peculiarly distressed ; and in order and there show him how much thou to excite compassion, a number of them wouldst be his friend. yoked themselves to a waggon loaded “And now, my good friend, as the with coals, and drew it into Bath, and season is come on, and Mr. Annesley now presented it to Mr. Nash. Their scheme at Bath, I beg leave to remind thee of that promise ; and that thou wilt keep' reproach to his own mercenary disposition, in full view the honour, the everlasting and took his daughter once more into honour, that will naturally redound to favour. I wish, for the dignity of history, thee from thy benevolence, and crown all that the sequel could be concealed ; but the good actions of thy life. I say, now the young lady ran away with her footman, in the vale of life, to relieve a distressed before half a year was expired, and her young nobleman, to extricate so immense husband died of grief. an estate from the hands of oppression ; In general; the benefactions of a geto do this, will fix such a ray of glory on nerous man are but ill bestowed. His thy memory, as will speak forth thy praise heart seldom gives him leave to examine to future ages. This, with great respect, the real distress of the object which sues is the needful, from thy assured Friend, for pity ; his good-nature takes the alarm

“ WILLIAM HENDERSON. too soon, and he bestows his fortune on Be pleased to give my respects to only apparent wretchedness. The man Mr. Annesley and his spouse."

naturally frugal, on the other hand, seldom

relieves; but when he does, his reason, Mr. Nash punctually kept his word with and not his sensations, generally find out this gentleman. He began the subscrip- the object. Every instance of his bounty tion himself with the utmost liberality, is therefore permanent, and bears witness and procured such a list of encouragers, to his benevolence. as at once did honour to Mr. Annesley's Of all the immense sums which Nash cause and their own generosity. What lavished upon real or apparent wretched. a pity it was that this money, which was ness, the effects, after a few years, seemed given for the relief of indigence only, ' to disappear. His money was generally went to feed a set of reptiles, who batten given to support immediate want, or to upon our weakness, miseries, and vice ! relieve improvident indolence, and there.

It may not be known to the generality fore it vanished in an hour. Perhaps, of my readers, that the last act of the towards the close of life, were he to look comedy called “Æsop,” which was added round on the thousand he had relieved, to the French plot of Boursault by Mr. ' he would find but few made happy, or Vanbrugh, was taken from a story told of fixed by his bounty in a state of thriving Mr. Nash upon a similar occasion. He industry : it was enough for him, that he had in the early part of life made proposals gave to those that wanted ; he never of marriage to Miss V---, of D--: reflected that charity to some might imhis affluence at that time, and the favour poverish himself without relieving them : which he was in with the nobility, readily he seldom considered the merit or the induced the young lady's father to favour industry of the petitioner; or he rather his addresses. However, upon opening fancied, that misery was an excuse for the affair to herself, she candidly told him indolence and guilt. It was a usual say. her affections were placed upon another, ing of his, when he went to beg for any and that she could not possibly comply person in distress, that they who could Though this answer satisfied Mr. Nash, stoop to the meanness of solicitation must it was by no means sufficient to appease certainly want the favour for which they the father; and he peremptorily insisted petitioned. upon her obedience. Things were carried | In this manner, therefore, he gave away to the last extremity, when Mr. Nash immense sums of his own, and still greater undertook to settle the affair; and desiring which he procured from others. His his favoured rival to be sent for, with his way was, when any person was proposed own hand presented his mistress to him, to him as an object of charity, to go together with a fortune equal to what her round with his hat first among the nofather intended to give her. Such an bility, according to their rank, and so on, uncommon instance of generosity had an till he left scarce a single person unsoinstant effect upon the severe parent : he licited. They who go thus about to beg considered such disinterestedness as a just for others, generally find a pleasure in the

task. They consider, in some measure, ordinary sums then subscribed, and they every benefaction they procure as given soon raised above two thousand pounds by themselves, and have at once the plea for the purpose. sure of being liberal, without the self- Thus, chiefly by the means of Dr. reproach of being profuse.

Oliver and Mr. Nash, but not without the But of all the instances of Nash's bounty, . assistance of the good Mr. Allen, who none does him more real honour than the gave them the stone for building and other pains he took in establishing an hospital benefactions, this hospital was erected; at Bath, in which benefaction, however, and it is at present fitted up for the recepDr. Oliver had a great share. This was tion of one hundred and ten patients, the one of those well-guided charities, dictated cases mostly paralytic or leprous. by reason, and supported by prudence. The following conditions are observed, By this institution, the diseased poor previous to admittance :might recover health, when incapable of " I. The case of the patient must be receiving it in any other part of the king- described by some physician or person of dom. As the disorders of the poor who skill in the neighbourhood of the place could expect to find relief at Bath were where the patient has resided for some mostly chronical, the expense of maintain time; and this description, together with ing them there was found more than their a certificate of the poverty of the patient, parishes thought proper to afford. They attested by some persons of credit, must therefore chose to support them in a con- be sent in a letter, post paid, directed to tinual state of infirmity, by a small allow the registrar of the General Hospital of ance at home, rather than be at the charge Bath. of an expensive cure. An hospital there “II. After the patient's case has been fore at Bath, it was thought, would be an thus described, and sent, he must remain asylum to those disabled creatures, and in his usual place or residence till he has would, at the same time, give the physi- notice of a vacancy, signified by a letter cian a more thorough insight into the from the registrar. efficacy of the waters, from the regularity “III. Upon the receipt of such a letter with which such patients would be obliged the patient must set forward for Bath, to take them. These inducements, there bringing with him this letter, the parish fore, influenced Dr. Oliver and Nash to certificate, duly executed, and allowed by promote a subscription towards such a two justices, and three pounds cautionbenefaction. The design was set on foot money, if from any part of England or so early as the year 1711, but was not Wales; but if the patient comes from completed till the year 1742. This delay, Scotland or Ireland, then the cautionwhich seems surprising, was in fact owing money to be deposited before admission to the want of a proper fund for carrying is the sum of five pounds. the work into execution. What I said “IV. Soldiers may, instead of parish above, of charity being the characteristic certificates, bring a certificate from their virtue of the present age, will be more commanding officers, signifying to what fully evinced by comparing the old and corps they belong, and that they shall be new subscriptions for this hospital. These received into the same corps, when diswill show the difference between ancient charged from the Hospital, in whatever and modern benevolence. When I run condition they are.

But it is necessary my eye over the list of those who sub- that their cases be described and sent scribed in the year 1723, I find the sub- previously, and that they bring with them scriptions in general seldom rise above a three pounds caution-money. guinea each person; so that, at that time, “ Note.-The intention of the cautionwith all their efforts, they were unable money is to defray the expenses of return. to raise four hundred pounds; but in ing the patients after they are discharged about twenty years after, each particular from the Hospital, or of their burial in subscription was greatly increased-ten, case they die there. The remainder of twenty, thirty pounds, being the most the caution-money, after these expenses



are defrayed, will be returned to the person one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twentywho made the deposit.”

four, twenty-five.”. “Nash,” says she, I am unwilling to leave this subject of “I protest you frighten me qut of my his benevolence, because it is a virtue in wits. L-d, I shall die!” Madam, his character which must stand almost you will never die with doing good; and single against an hundred fallies; and it if you do, it will be the better for you," deserves the more to be insisted on, be answered Nash, and was about to procause it was large enough to outweigh ceed; but perceiving her grace had lost them all. A man may be an hypocrite all patience, a parley ensued, when he, safely in every other instance but in charity: after much altercaţion, agreed to stop his there are few who will buy the character hand, and compound with her grace for of benevolence at the rate for which it thirty guineas. The duchess, however, must be acquired. In short, the sums he seemed displeased the whole evening, and gave away were immense; and in old when he came to the table where she was age, when at last grown too poor to give playụng, bid him, “ Stand farther, an ugly relief, “ he gave," as the poet has it, “all devil, for she hated the sight of him.' he hada tear:” when incapable of re- But her grace afterwards having a run of lieving the agonies of the wretched, he good luck, called Nash to her. Come,” attempted to relieve his own by a flood of says she, “I will be friends with you,

though you are a fool; and to let you see The sums he gave and collected for the I am not angry, there is ten guineas more Hospital were great, and his manner of for your charity. But this I insist on, doing it was no less admirable. I am that neither my name nor the sum shall told that he was once collecting money in be mentioned.” Wiltshire's

's room for that purpose, when a From the hospital erected for the benefit lady entered, who is more remarkable for of the poor, it is an easy transition to the her wit than her charity, and not being monuments erected by him in honour of able to pass by him unobserved, she gave the great. Upon the recovery of the him a pat with her fan, and said, “You Prince of Orange, by drinking the Bath must put down a trifle for me, Nash, for waters, Nash caused a small obelisk, I have no money in my pocket.” · Yes, thirty feet high, to be erected in a grove madam,” says he, that I will with plea- near the Abbey church, since called sure if your grace will tell me when to Orange Grove. This Prince's arms adorn stop; then taking an handful of guineas the west side of the body of the pedestal. out of his pocket, he began to tell them The inscription is on the opposite side, in into his white hat—“One, two, three, the following words :four, five

Hold, hold !” says the duchess, “consider what you are about."

“In memoriam sanitatis Principi Auri“Consider your rank and fortune, madam,” Deo, ovante Britannia, feliciter restitutæ,

aco Aquarum thermalium potu, favente says Nash, and continues telling-“six, seven, eight, nine, ten.” Here the duchess

M.DCC. Xxxiv." In English thus :“ In called again, and seemed angry. Pray

memory of the happy restoration of the compose yourself, madam,” cried Nash, the favour of God, and to the great joy of

health of the Prince of Orange, through and don't interrupt the work of charity Britain, by drinking the Bath waters. --eieven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fif. teen.' Here the duchess stormed, and

1734. caught hold of his hand. “Peace, madam,” I and it a general custom at all baths says Nash, you shall have your name and spas, to erect monuments of this kind written in letters of gold, madam, and to the memory of every prince who has upon the front of the building, madam. received benefit from the waters. Aix, Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, Spa, and Pisa abound with inscriptions of twenty. "I won't pay a farthing more, this nature, apparently doing honour to says the duchess.

Charity hides a mul- the prince, but in reality celebrating the titude of sins,” replies Nash; “twenty- efficacy of their springs. It is wrong,


[ocr errors]


therefore, to call such monuments in. I with some whose office about the P. stances of gratitude, though they may might make them the best judges what wear that appearance.

sort of inscription to set up. Nothing can In the year 1738, the Prince of Wales' be plainer than the enclosed; it is nearly came to Bath, who presented Nash with the common sense of the thing, and I do a large gold enamelled snuff-box; and not know how to flourish upon it; but upon his departure, Nash, as king of this you would do as well or better yourBath, erected an obelisk in honour of this self, and I dare say may mend the expresprince, as he had before done for the sion. I am truly, dear Sir, your affecPrince of Orange. This handsome me. tionate servant, morial in honour of that good-natured

“ A. Pope. prince is erected in Queen Square. It is “I think I need not tell you my name enclosed with a stone balustrade, and in should not be mentioned." the middle of every side there are large iron gates. In the centre is the obelisk, Such a letter as this was what might seventy feet high, and terminating in a naturally be expected from Mr. Pope. point. The expenses of this were eighty Notwithstanding the seeming modesty pounds; and Mr. Nash was determined towards the conclusion, the vanity of an that the inscription should answer the applauded writer bursts through every line magnificence of the pile. With this view of it. The difficulty of concealing his he wrote to Mr. Pope, requesting an hand from the clerks at the post-office, inscription.

I should have been glad to and the solicitude to have his name conhare given Nash's letter upon this occa- cealed, were marks of the consciousness of sior; the reader, however, must be satis- his own importance. It is probable his fied with Pope's reply, which is as fol. hand was not so very well known, nor his lows:

letters so eagerly opened, by the clerks of “ŞIR, I have received yours, and the office, as he seems always to think ; thank your partiality in my favour.' You but in all his letters, as well as in those say words cannot express the gratitude

of Swift, there runs a strain of pride, as if you feel for the favour of his R.H., and the world talked of nothing but themyet you would have me express what

selves. “Alas,” says he, in one of them,

you feel, and in a few words. I own myself

“ the day after I am dead, the sun will unequal to the task ; for even granting it shine as bright as the day before, and the possible to express an inexpressible idea, world will be as merry as usual !" Very I am the worst person you could have strange, that neither an eclipse nor an pitched upon for this purpose, who have earthquake should follow the loss of a received so few favours from the great

poet ! myself, that I am utterly unacquainted

The inscription referred to in this letter

was the same which was afterwards en. with what kinds of thanks they like best. Whether the P. most loves poetry or

graved on the obelisk, and is as follows :: prose, I protest I do not know; but this

In memory of honours bestowed, I dare venture to affirm, that you can give and in gratitude for benefits conferred in him as much satisfaction in either as I can.

this city

by his Royal Highness I am, Sir, your affectionate servant,

Frederick, Prince of Wales, “ A. Pope.

and his Royal Consort,

in the year 1738, What Mr. Nash's answer to this billet

this Obelisk is erected by was I cannot take upon me to ascertain ;

Richard Nash, Esq.” but it was probably a perseverance in his former request. The following is the copy a common councilman in the corporation

I dare venture to say, there was scarce of Mr. Pope's reply to his second letter :

of Bath but could have done this as well. “SIR, – I had sooner answered yours, Nothing can be more frigid, though the but in the hope of procuring a properer subject was worthy of the utmost exertions hand than mine; and then in consulting of genius.

« ПретходнаНастави »