Слике страница

times before: however, we were kind enough to ters sat silent, admiring their exalted breeding. laugh at them once more.

But as every reader, however beggarly himself, is Mr. Burchell, who was of the party, was always fond of high-lived dialogues, with anecdotes of fond of seeing some innocent amusement going Lords, Ladies, and Knights of the Garter, I must forward, and set the boys and girls to blind man's beg leave to give him the concluding part of the buff. My wife too was persuaded to join in the present conversation. diversion, and it give me pleasure to think she was “All that I know of the matter," cried Miss not yet too old. In the mean time, my neighbour Skeggs, “is this, that it may be true, or it may not and I looked on, laughed at every feat, and praised be true: but this I can assure your ladyship, that our own dexterity when we were young. Hot the whole rout was in amaze: his lordship turned cockles succeeded next, questions and commands all manner of colours, my lady fell into a sound, followed that, and last of all, they sat down to hunt but Sir Tomkyn, drawing his sword, swore he was the slipper. As every person may not be acquaint-hers to the last drop of his blood.” ed with this primeval pastime, it may be necessa- “Well,” replied our peeress, “this I can say, ry to observe, that the company at this play plant that the dutchess never told me a syllable of the themeslves in a ring upon the ground, all, except matter, and I believe her grace would keep nothing one who stands in the middle, whose business it is a secret from me. This you may depend upon as to catch a shoe, which the company shove about fact, that the next morning my lord duke cried out under their hams from one to another, something three times to his valet de chambre, Jernigan, Jerlike a weaver's shuttle. As it is impossible, in nigan, Jernigan, bring me my garters." this case, for the lady who is up to face all the But previously I should have mentioned the very company at once, the great beauty of the play lies impolite behaviour of Mr. Burchell, who, during in hitting her a thump with the heel of the shoe on this discourse, sat with his face turned to the fire, that side least capable of making a defence. It and at the conclusion of every sentence would was in this manner that my eldest daughter was cry out fudge! an expression which displeased us hemmed in, and thumped about, all blowzed, in all, and in some measure damped the rising spirit spirits, and bawling for fair play, with a voice that of the conversation. might deafen a ballad-singer, when, confusion on “Besides, my dear Skeggs,” continued our confusion! who should enter the room but our peeress, "there is nothing of this in the copy of two great acquaintances from town, Lady Blarney verses that Dr. Burdock made upon the occasion." and Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs! Fudge! -Description would but beggar, therefore it is “I am surprised at that,” cried Miss Skeggs; unnecessary to describe this new mortification. " for he seldom leaves any thing out, as he writes Death! to be seen by ladies of such high breeding only for his own amusement. But can your lady. in such vulgar attitudes! Nothing better could en-ship favour me with a sight of them?" Fudge! sue from such a vulgar play of Mr. Flamborough’s “My dear creature,” replied our peeress, "do proposing. We seemed struck to the ground for you think I carry such things about me? Though some time, as if actually petrified with amazement. they are very fine to be sure, and I think myself

The two ladies had been at our house to see us, something of a judge; at least I know what pleases and finding us from home, came after us hither, as myself. Indeed I was ever an admirer of all Dr. they were uneasy to know what accident could Burdock's little pieces ; for, except what he does, have kept us from church the day before. Olivia and our dear countess at Hanover-Square, there's undertook to be our prolocutor, and delivered the nothing comes out but the most lowest stuff in na. whole in a summary way, only saying, "We were ture; not a bit of high life among them.” Fudge! thrown from our horses.". At which account the “Your ladyship should except," says t'other, lalies were greatly concerned; but being told the “your own things in the Lauly's Magazine. I family received no hurt, they were extremely glad : hope you'll say there's nothing low-lived there? but being informed that we were almost killed by But I suppose we are to have no more from that the fright, they were vastly sorry; but hearing that quarter?" Fudge! we had a very good night

, they were extremely "Why, my dear,” says the lady, "you know my glad again. Nothing could exceed their complais- reader and companion has left me, to be married to ance to my daughters; their professions the last Captain Roach, and as my poor eyes won't suffer evening were warm, but now they wore ardent. me to write myself, I have been for some time They protested a desire of having a more lasting looking out for another. A proper person is no acquaintance. Lady Blarney was particularly at- easy matter to find, and to be sure thirty pounds bached to Olivia ; Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Ame- a-ycar is a small stipend for a well-bred girl of tia Skeggs (I love to give the whole name) took a character, that can read, write, and behave in com greater fancy to her sister. They supported the pany: as for the chits about town, there is no bear conversation between themselves, while my daugh- ing them about one.” Fudge!

"That I know,” cried Miss Skeggs, "by expe- commendation would be sufficient; and upon this Dence. For of the three companions I had this we rested our petition. last half-year, one of them refused to do plain-work an hour in a day; another thought twenty-five guineas a-year too small a salary, and I was obliged to send away the third, because I suspected an

CHAPTER XII. intrigue with the chaplain. Virtue, my dear La Fortune seems resolvel to humble the family of Wakefielddy Blarney, virtue is worth any price; but where Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities. is that to be found?” Fudge!

My wife had been for a long time all attention When we were returned home, the night was to this discourse; but was particularly struck with dedicated to schemes of future conquest. Debothe latter part of it. Thirty pounds and twenty-five rah exerted much sagacity in conjecturing which guineas a-year, made fifty-six pounds five shillings of the two girls was likely to have the best place, English money, all which was in a manner going and most opportunities of sceing good company, a-begging, and might easily be secured in the fami- The only obstacle to our preferment was in obly. She for a moment studied my looks for appro- taining the 'Squire's recommendation: but he had bation; and, to own a truth, I was of opinion, that alreadly shown us too many instances of his friendtwo such places would fit our two daughters ex- ship to doubt of it now. Even in bed my wife actly. Besides, if the 'Squire had any real aflec- kept up the usual theme: “Well, faith, my dear tion for my eldest daughter, this would be the way Charles, between ourselves, I think we have made to make her every way qualified for her fortune. an excellent day's work of it.”—“Pretty well,”' My wife therefore was resolved that we should not cried I, not knowing what to say.--"What! only be deprived of such advantages for want of assur- pretty well!" returned she. “I think it is very ance, and undertook to harangue for the family. well. Suppose the girls should come to make ac" I hope,” cried she, “ your ladyships will pardon quaintances of taste in town! This I am as. iny present presumption. It is true, we have no sured of, that London is the only place in the world right to pretend to such favours: but yet it is natu- for all manner of husbanıls. Besides, my dear, ral for me to wish putting my children forward in stranger things happen every day: and as ladies of the world. And I will be bold to say my two girls quality are so taken with my daughters, what will have had a pretty good education and capacity, at not men of quality be?- Entre nous, I protest I least the country can't show better. They can like my Laily Blarney vastly, so very obliging. read, write, and cast accounts; they understand However, Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia their needle, broadstitch, cross and change, and all Skeggs has my warın heart. But yet, when they manner of plain-work; they can pink, point, and came to talk of places in town, you saw at once frill, and know something of music; they can do how I nailed them. Tell me, my dear, don't you up small clothes; work upon catgut: my eldst can think I did for my children there?”—“Ay," recut paper, and my youngest has a very pretty man- turned I, not knowing well what to think of the ner of telling fortunes upon the cards." Fudge! matter, “Ileaven grant they may be both the bet

When she had delivered this pretty piece of elo ter for it this day three months!" This was one quence, the two ladies looked at each other a few of those observations I usually made to impress my minutes in silence, with an air of doubt and import- wife with an opinion of my sagacity: for if the ance. At last Miss Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia girls succeeded, then it was a pious wish fulfilled; Skeggs condescended to observe, that the young but if any thing unfortunate ensueil, then it might ladies, from the opinion she could form of them be looked upon as a prophecy. All this conversafrom so slight an acquaintance, seemed very fit for tion, however, was only preparatory to another such employments: “But a thing of this kind, scheme, and indeed I dreaded as much. This was madam,” cried she, addressing my spouse, “re nothing less than that, as we were now to hold up quires a thorough examination into characters, and our heads a little higher in the world, it would be a more perfect knowledge of each other. Not, proper to sell the colt, which was grown old, at a madam," continued she, “that I in the least sus- neighbouring fair, and buy us a horse that would pect the young ladies' virtue, prudence and discre- carry single or double upon an occasion, and make a tion; but there is a form in these things, madam, pretty appearance at church, or upon a visit. Tlus there is a form."

at first I opposed stoutly; but it was as stoutly do My wife approved her suspicions very much, ob- fended. However, as I weakened, my antagonist serving that she was very apt to be suspicious her- gained strength, till at last it was resolved to part self; but referred her to all the neighbours for a with him. character: but this our peeress declined as unne. As the fair happened on the following day, I had cessary, alleging that her cousin Thornhill's re-lintentions of going myself; but my wife persuad me that I had got a cold, and nothing could prevail circumspection. This air of diffidence highly dis upon her to permit me from home. “No, my pleased my wife. "I never doubted, sir,” cried she, dear," said she, "our son Moses is a discreet boy, "Your readiness to be agair.st my daughters and and can buy and sell to very good advantage: you me. You have more circumspection than is wantknow all our great bargains are of his purchasing. ed. However, I fancy when we come to ask adHe always stands out and higgles, and actually vice, we will apply to persons who seem to have tires them till he gets a bargain."

made use of it themselves.”_"Whatever my own As I had some opinion of my son's prudence, I conduct may have been, madam,” replied he, "is was willing enough to intrust him with this com- not the present question; though as I have made mission; and the next morning I perceived his sis- no use of advice myself, I should in conscience ters mighty busy in fitting out Moses for the fair; give it to those that will."—As I was apprehensive trimming his hair, brushing his buckles, and cocking this answer might draw on a repartee, making up his hat with pins. The business of the toilet be- by abuse what it wanted in wit, I changed the subing over, we had at last the satisfaction of seeingject, by seeming to wonder what could keep our him mounted upon the colt, with a deal box before son so long at the fair, as it was now almost nighthim to bring home groceries in. He had on a coat fall.-—“Never mind our son,” cried my wife, "de. made of that cloth they call thunder and lightning, pend upon it he knows what he is about. I'll warwhich, though grown too short, was much too good rant we'll never see him sell his hen of a rainy day. to be thrown away. His waistcoat was of gosling I have seen him buy such bargains as would amaze green, and his sisters had tied his hair with a broad one. I'll tell you a good story about that, that will black riband. We all followed him several paces make you split your sides with laughing.–But as from the door, bawling after him good luck, good I live, yonder cumes Moses, without a horse, and luck, till we could see him no longer.

the box at his back." He was scarcely gone, when Mr. Thornhill's As she spoke, Moses came slowly on foot, and butler came to congratulate us upon our good for- sweating under the deal box, which he had strapped tune, saying, that he overheard his young master roun 1 his shoulders like a pedler.—"Welcome, mention our names with great commendation. welcome, Moses: well, my boy, what have you

Good fortune seemed resolved not to come alone. brought us from the fair?"_"I have brought you Another footman from the same family followed, myself,” cried Moses, with a sly look, and resting with a card for my daughters, importing, that the the box on the dresser.—"A Moses," cried my two ladies had received such pleasing accounts from wife," that we know; but where is the horse ?" "I Mr. Thornhill of us all, that, after a few previous have sold him," cried Moses, “for three pounds inquiries, they hoped to be perfectly satisfied. five shillings and two pence.”—“Well donc, my “Ay," cried my wife, “I now sce it is no easy mat- good boy," returned she; “I knew you would ter to get into the families of the great; but when touch them off. Between ourselves, three pounds one once gets in, then, as Moses says, one may go five shillings and two pence is no bad day's work. to sleep.” To this piece of humour, for she intend- Come let us have it then.”—“I have brought back ed it for wit, my daughters assented with a loud no money,” cried Moses again. “I have laid it all laugh of pleasure. In short, such was her satis- out in a bargain, and here it is,” pulling out a Sunfaction at this message, that she actually put her dle from his breast: "here they are; a gross of green hand in her pocket, and gave the messenger seven- spectacles, with silver rims and shagreen cases."pence halfpenny.

" A gross of green spectacles!" repeated my wife in This was to be our visiting day. The next that a faint voice. “And you have parted with the came was Mr. Burchell, who had been at the fair. colt, and brought us back nothing but a gross of He brought my little ones a pennyworth of ginger- green paltry spectacles!"-"Dear mother,” cried bread each, which my wife undertook to keep for the boy, “why won't you listen to reason? I hail them, and give them by letters at a time. He brought them a dead bargain, or I should not have bought my daughters also a couple of boxes, in which they them. The silver rims alone will sell for double might keep wafers, snuff, patches, or even monoy, the money."-"A fig for the silver rims," cried when they got it. My wife was usuallyfond of a wea- my wife in a passion : “I dare swear they won't sel-skin purse, as being the most lucky; but this by sell for above half the money at the rate of brokeri the by. We had still a regard for Mr. Burchell

, silver, five shillings an ounce.”_"You need be though his late rude behaviour was in some mea- under no uneasiness,” cried I, "about selling tho sure displeasing; nor could we now avoid commu- rims, for they are not worth sixpence; for I per. nicating our happiness to him, and asking his ad- ceive they are only copper varnished over.”vice: although we seldom followed advice, we were “What,” cried my wife, “not silver! the rims not all ready enough to ask it. When he read the note sitver!” “No," cried I, “no more silver than your from the two ladies, he shook his head, and observ- saucepan.”—“And so," returned she, "we have ed, that an affair of this sort demanded the utmost (parted with the colt

, and have only got a gross of

[ocr errors]


green spectacles, with copper rims and shagreen very little injury, who, lifting up his sword, fairly Cases! A murrain take such trumpery. The struck off the poor dwarf's arm. He was now in blockhead has been imposed upon, and should have a woful plight; but the giant coming to his assistknown his company better.”—“There, my dear," ance, in a short time left the two Saracens dead on cried I, "you are wrong, he should not have known the plain, and the dwarf cut off the dead man's them at all.”—“Marry, hang the idiot,” returned head out of spite. They then travelled on to ano. she, "to bring me such stuff; if I had them I would ther adventure. This was against three bloodythrow them in the fire." “There again you are minded Satyrs, who were carrying away a damsel wrong, my dear,” cried I; " for though they be cop-in distress. The dwarf was not quite so fierce now per, we will keep them by us, as copper spectacles, as before; but for all that struck the first blow, you know, are better than nothing."

which was returned by another, that knocked out By this time the unfortunate Moses was unde- his eye; but the giant was soon up with them, and ceived. He now saw that he had been imposed had they not fled, would certainly have killed them upon by a prowling sharper, who, observing his every one. They were all very joyful for this vicfigure, had marked him for an easy prey. I there-tory, and the damsel who was relieved fell in love fore asked the circumstance of his deception. He with the giant, and married him. They now trasold the horse, it seems, and walked the fair in velled far, and farther than I can tell, till they met search of another. A reverend looking man brought with a company of robbers. The giant, for the him to a tent, under pretence of having one to sell. first time was foremost now; but the dwarf was “Here,” continued Moses, "we met another man, not far behind. The battle was stout and long. very well dressed, who desired to borrow twenty Wherever the giant came, all fell before him; but pounds upon these, saying that he wanted money, the dwarf had like to have been killed more than and would dispose of them for a third of the value. once. At last the victory declared for the two adThe first gentleman, who pretended to be my venturers; but the dwarf lost his leg. The dwarf friend, whispered me to buy them, and cautioned was now without an arm, a leg, and an eye, while me not to let so good an offer pass. I sent for Mr. the giant was without a single wound. Upon Flamborough, and they talked him up as finely as which he cried out to his little companion, “My they did me, and so at last we were persuaded to little hero, this is glorious sport! let us get one vic. buy the two gross between us."

tory more, and then we shall have honour for ever."

No," cries the dwarf, who was by this time grown wiser, “no, I declare off; I'll fight no more: for I

tind in every battle that you get all the honour and CHAPTER XIII.

rewards, but all the blows fall upon me.” Mr. Burchell is found to be an enemy; for he has the confi

"I was going to moralize this fable, when our dence to give disagreeable advice.

attention was called off to a warm dispute between

my wife and Mr. Burchell, upon my daughters' in. Our family had now made several attempts to be tended expedition to town. My wife very strenfine; but some unforeseen disaster demolished each uously insisted upon the advantages that would reas soon as projected. I endeavoured to take the sult from it; Mr. Burchell, on the contrary, disadvantage of every disappointment, to improve their suaded her with great ardour, and I stood neuter. good sense in proportion as they were frustrated in His present dissuasions seemed but the second part ambition. “You see, my children," cried I, “how of those which were received with so ill a grace in little is to be got by attempts to impose upon the the morning. The dispute grew high, while poor world, in coping with our betters. Such as are Deborah, instead of reasoning stronger, talked poor, and will associate with none but the rich, are louder, and at last was obliged to take shelter from hated by those they avoid, and despised by those a defeat in clamour. The conclusion of her hathey follow. Unequal combinations are always ranguc, however, was highly displeasing to us all: disad santageous to the weaker side: the rich having "shie knew,” she said, "of some who had their own the pleasure, and the poor the inconveniencies that secret reasons for what they advised; but, for her result from them. But come, Dick, my boy, and part, she wished such to stay away from her house repeat the fable that you were reading to-day, for for the future."-"Madam,” cried Burchell, with the good of the company."

looks of great composure, which tended to inflame "Once upon a time," cried the child, "a giant her the more, "as for secret reasons, you are right: and a dwarf were friends, and kept together. I have secret reasons, which I forbear to m»ntion, They made a bargain that they would never for- because you are not able to answer those of which sake each other, but go seek adventures. The first I make no secret: but I find my visits here are bebattle they fought was with two Saracens, and the corne troublesome; I'll take my leave therelure now, dwarf, who was very couragrous, clelt one of the and perhaps come once more to take a final fare. champions a most angry blow. It did the Saracen well when I am quitting the country," Thus say

ing, he took up his bat, nor could the attempts of led to inspect their conduct himself, and inform us Sophia, whose looks seemed to upbraid his pre- by letter of their behaviour. But it was thought in. cipitancy, prevent his going.

dispensably necessary that their appearance should When gone, we all regarded each other for some equal the greatness of their expectations; which minutes with confusion. My wife, who knew her could not be done without expense. We debated self to be the cause, strove to hide her concern therefore in full council what were the easiest with a forced smile, and an air of assurance, which methods of raising money, or more properly speak. I was willing to reprove: "How, woman,” cried I ing, what we could most conveniently sell. The to her, “is it thus we treat strangers? Is it thus we deliberation was soon finished; it was found that return their kindness? Be assured, my dear, that our remaining horse was utterly useless for the these were the harshest words, and to me the most plough without his companion, and equally unfit unpleasing that ever escaped your lips!"-"Why for the road, as wanting an eye; it was therefore would he provoke me then?"" replied she; "but 1 determined that we should dispose of him for the know the motives of his advice perfectly well. He purposes above mentioned, at the neighbouring would prevent my girls from going to town, that fair, and to prevent imposition, that I should go he may have the pleasure of my youngest daugh- with him myself

. Though this was one of the ter's company here at home. But whatever hap- first mercantile transactions of my life, yet I had pens, she shall choose better companyahan such no doubt about acquitting myself with reputation. low-lived fellows as he.”_" Low-livell, my dear, do The opinion a man forms of his own prudence is you call him?" cried I; "it is very possible we may measured by that of the company he keeps ; and as mistake this man's character, for he seems upon mine was mostly in the family way, I had conceiv. some occasions the most finished gentleman I ever ed no unfavourable sentiments of my worldly wis. knew.–Tell me, Sophia, my girl, has he ever dom. My wise, however, next morning, at partgiven you any secret instances of his attachment?" ing, after I had got some paces from the door, " His conversation with me, sir,” replied my daugh-called me back, to advise me in a whisper, to have ter, “ has ever been sensible, molest, and pleasing. all my eyes about me. As lo aught else, no, never. Once, indeed, I re- I had, in the usual forms, when I came to the member to have heard him say, he never knew a fair, put my horse through all his paces; but for woman who could find merit in a man that seemod some time had no bidders. At last a chapman appoor.” “Such, my dear,” cried I, “is the com- proached, and after he had for a good while examinmon cant of all the unfortunate or idle. But 1 ed the horse round, finding him blind of one cye, he hope you have been taught to judge properly of would have nothing to say to him: a second came such men, and that it would be even madness to up, but observing he had a spavin, declared he expect happiness from one who has been so very would not take him for the driving home: a third bad an economist of his own. Your mother and 1 perceived he had a windgall, and would bid no have now better prospects for you. The next win-money: a fourth knew by his eye that he had the ter, which you will probably spend in town, will botts : a fifth wondered what a plague 1 could do give you opportunities of making a more prudent at the fair with a blind, spavined, galled hack, that choice.”

was only fit to be cut up for a dog-kennel. By What Sophia's reflections were upon this occa- this time I began to have a most hearty contempt sion I can't pretend to determine; but I was not for the poor animal myself, and was almost ashamdispleased at the bottom, that we were rid of a guest ed at the approach of every customer; for though I from whom I had much to fear. Our breach of did not entirely believe all the fellows told me, yet hospitality went to my conscience a little; but 1 I reflected that the number of witnesses was a quickly silenced that monitor by two or three spe. strong presumption they were right; and St. Gregocious reasons, which served to satisfy and reconcile ry upon Good Works, professes himself to be of me to myself. The pain which conscience gives the same opinion. the man who has already done wrong, is soon got I was in this mortifying situation, when a broover. Conscience is a coward, and those faults it ther clergyman, an old acquaintance, who had also has not strength enough to prevent, it seldom has business at the fair, came up, and shaking me by justice enough to accuse.

the hand, proposed adjourning to a public-house, and taking a glass of whatever we could get. I

readily closed with the offer, and entering an ale CHAPTER XIV.

house we were shown into a little back room,

where there was only a venerable old man, who sat Fresh Mortifications or a demonstration that seeming Calami- wholly intent over a large book, which he was ties may be real Blessings,

reading. I never in my life saw a tigure that preThe journey of my daughters to town was now possessed me more favourably. His locks of silver resolved upon, Mr. Thornhill having kindly promis- gray venerably shaded his temples, and his green

« ПретходнаНастави »