Слике страница
[ocr errors][merged small]

Fresh mortifications, or a demonstration

that seeming calamities may be real blesings.

[ocr errors]

HE journey of my daughters to

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


paces from the door, called me back, to advise me, in a whisper, to have all my eyes about me.

I had, in the usual forins, when I came to the fair, put my horse, through all his paces; but for some time had no bidders. At last a chapman approached, and, after he had for a good while examined the horse round, finding him blind of one eye, he



would have nothing to say to him: a second came up; but observing he had a spavin, declared he would not take him for the driving home: a third perceived he had a windgall, and would bid no money: a fourth knew by his eye that he had the botts: a fifth wondered what a plague I could do at the fair with the blind, spavined, galled hack, that was only fit to be cut up for a dog kennel. By this time I began to have a most hearty contempt for the poor animal myself, and was almost ashamed at the approach of every customer; for though I did not entirely believe all the fellows told me; yet I reflected that the number of witnesses was a strong presumption they were right, and St. Gregory upon good works, professes himself to be of the fame opinion.

I was in this mortifying situation, when a brother clergyman, an old acquaintance, who had also business to the fair, came up, and shaking me by the hand, proposed adjourning to a public-house and taking

a glass


a glass of whatever we could get. I readily closed with the offer, and entering an ale-house, we were shewn into a little back room, where there was only a venerable old man, who sat wholly intent over a large book, which he was reading. I never in my life saw a figure that preposseffed me more favourably. His locks of silver grey. venerably haded his temples, and his green old age seemed to be the result of health and beneyolence. However his presence did not interrupt our conversation; my friend and I difcoursed on the various turns of fortune we had met: the Whistonian controversy, my last pamphlet, the archdeacon's reply, and the hard measure that was dealt me. But our attention was in a short time taken off by the appearance of a youth, who, entering the room, respectfully said fomething softly to the old stranger. Make ' no apologies, my child,' said the old man; to do good is a duty we owe to all our fellow creatures: take this, I

wish it were more; but five sounds will


< relieve your distress, and you are wel.
o come.' The modest youth shed tears
of gratitude, and yet his gratitude was
scarce equal to mine. I could have hug-
ged the good old man in my arms, his
benevolence pleased me fo. He continued
to read, and we resumed our conversation,
until my companion, after some time,
recollecting that he had business to trans-
act in the fair, promised to be soon back ;
adding, that he always desired to have as
much of Dr. Primrose's company as pof-
sible. The old gentleman, hearing my
name mentioned, feemed to look at me
with attention, for some time, and when
my friend was gone, most respectfully
demanded if I was any way related to the
great Primrose, that courageous monoga-.
mist, who had been the bulwark of the
church. Never did my heart feel sincerer
rapture than at that moment. Sir,
cried I, • the applause of so good a man,
• as I am sure you are, adds to that hap-

piness in my breast which your benevo• lence has already excited You behold

• before

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »