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To invent good stories, and to tell them

Of those who lawfully may, and of those who may well, are, possibly, very rare talents, and

not, write such histories as this.

AMONG other good uses for which I have thought proper to institute these several introductory chapters, I have considered them as a kind of mark or stamp, which may hereafter enable a very indifferent reader to distinguish what is true and genuine in this historic kind of writing, from what is false and counterfeit. Indeed, it seems likely that some such mark may shortly become necessary, since the favourable reception which two or three authors have lately procured for their works of this nature from the public, will probably serve as an encouragement to many others to undertake the like. Thus a swarm of foolish novels and monstrous romances will be produced, either to the great impoverishing of booksellers, or to the great loss of time and depravation of morals in the reader; nay, often to the spreading of scandal and calumny, and to the prejudice of the characters of many worthy and honest people.

I question not but the ingenious author of the Spectator was principally induced to prefix Greek and Latin mottos to every paper, from the same consideration of guarding against the pursuit of those scribblers, who, having no talents of a writer, but what is taught by the writing-master, are yet not more afraid nor ashamed to assume the same titles with the greatest genius, than their good brother in the fable was of braying in the lion's skin.

yet I have observed few persons who have scrupled to aim at both; and if we examine the romances and novels with which the world abounds, I think we may fairly conclude, that most of the authors would not have attempted to show their teeth, (if the expression may be allowed me,) in any other way of writing; nor could, indeed, have strung together a dozen sentences on any other subject whatever. Scribimus indocti doctique passim, may be more truly said of the historian and biographer, than of any other species of writing; for all the arts and sciences, (even criticism itself,) require some little degree of learning and knowledge. Poetry, indeed, may perhaps be thought an exception; but then it demands numbers, or something like numbers; whereas, to the composition of novels and romances, nothing is necessary but paper, pens, and ink, with the manual capacity of using them. This, I conceive, their productions show to be the opinion of the authors themselves; and this must be the opinion of their readers, if, indeed, there be any such.

Hence we are to derive that universal

contempt, which the world, who always denominate the whole from the majority, have cast on all historical writers, who do not draw their materials from records. And it is the apprehension of this contempt that hath made us so cautiously avoid the term romance, a name with which we might otherwise have been well enough contented. By the device, therefore, of his motto, it our characters, no less indeed than the vast Though, as we have good authority for all became impracticable for any man to pre-authentic doomsday-book of nature, as is sume to imitate the Spectators, without understanding at least one sentence in the learned languages. In the same manner I have now secured myself from the imitation of those who are utterly incapable of any degree of reflection, and whose learning is not equal to an essay.

I would not be here understood to insinuate, that the greatest merit of such historical productions can ever lie in these introductory chapters; but, in fact, those parts which contain mere narrative only, afford much more encouragement to the pen of an imitator, than those which are composed of

observation and reflection. Here I mean such imitators as Rowe was of Shakspeare, or as Horace hints some of the Romans were of Cato, by bare feet and sour faces.

cient title to the name of history. Cerelsewhere hinted, our labours have suffitainly they deserve some distinction from those works, which one of the wittiest of men regarded only as proceeding from a pruritus, or, indeed, rather from a looseness

of the brain.

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able members of society; for the dullest | them in it, and, lastly, must contribute writers, no more than the dullest compa-part, at least, of the materials. A compenions, are always inoffensive. They have tent knowledge of history and of the belles both enough of language to be indecent and lettres is here absolutely necessary; and abusive. And surely, if the opinion just without this share of knowledge at least, above cited be true, we cannot wonder that to affect the character of an historian is as works so nastily derived should be nasty vain as to endeavour at building a house, themselves, or have a tendency to make without timber or mortar, or brick or stone. others so. Homer and Milton, though they added the ornament of numbers to their works, were both historians of our order, and masters of all the learning of their times.

To prevent, therefore, for the future, such intemperate abuses of leisure, of letters, and of the liberty of the press, especially as the world seems at present to be more than Again, there is another sort of knowusually threatened with them, I shall here ledge, beyond the power of learning to beventure to mention some qualifications, stow, and this is to be had by conversaevery one of which are in a pretty high tions. So necessary is this to the underdegree necessary to this order of historians. standing the characters of men, that none The first is, genius, without a full vein are more ignorant of them than those of which, no study, says Horace, can avail | learned pedants, whose lives have been enus. By genius I would understand that tirely consumed in colleges, and among power, or rather those powers of the mind, which are capable of penetrating into all things within our reach and knowledge, and of distinguishing their essential differences. These are no other than invention and judgment; and they are both called by the collective name of genius, as they are of those gifts of nature which we bring with us into the world. Concerning each of which, many seem to have fallen into very great errors; for by invention, I believe, is generally understood a creative faculty, which would indeed prove most romance writers to have the highest pretensions to it; whereas by invention is really meant no more, (and so the word signifies,) than discovery, or finding out; or, to explain it at large, a quick and sagacious penetration into the true essence of all the objects of our contemplation. This, I think, can rarely exist without the concomitancy of judgment; for how we can be said to have discovered the true essence of two things, without discerning their difference, seems to me hard to conceive. Now, this last is the undisputed province of judgment; and yet some few men of wit have agreed with all the dull fellows in the world, in representing these two to have been seldom or never the property of one and the same person.

books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers, the true practical system can be learned only in the world. Indeed, the like happens in every other kind of knowledge. Neither physic nor law are to be practically known from books. Nay, the farmer, the planter, the gardener, must perfect by experience what he hath acquired the rudiments of by reading. How accurately soever the ingenious Mr. Miller may have described the plant, he himself would advise his disciple to see it in the garden. As we must perceive, that after the nicest strokes of a Shakspeare or a Jonson, of a Wycherly or an Otway, some touches of nature will escape the reader, which the judicious action of a Garrick, of a Cibber, or a Clive,* can convey to him; so, on the real stage, the character shows himself in a stronger and bolder light than he can be described. And if this be the case in those fine and nervous descriptions, which great authors themselves have taken from life, how much more strongly will it hold when the writer himself takes his lines not from nature, but from books? Such characters are only the faint copy of a copy, and can have neither the justness nor spirit of an original.

Now this conversation in our historian must be universal, that is, with all ranks and degrees of men; for the knowledge of what is called high life will not instruct him in low; nor, e converso, will his being acquainted with the inferior part of mankind teach him the manners of the superior.

But though they should be so, they are not sufficient for our purpose, without a good share of learning; for which I could again cite the authority of Horace, and of many others, if any was necessary, to prove that tools are of no service to a workman, when they are not sharpened by art, or when he wants rules to direct him in his work, or hath no matter to work great actor, and these two most justly celebrated ac*There is a peculiar propriety in mentioning this upon. All these uses are supplied by tresses, in this place, as they have all formed themlearning; for nature can only furnish us selves on the study of nature only, and not on the with capacity, or, as I have chose to illus-imitation of their predecessors. Hence they have been able to excel all who have gone before them; a trate it, with the tools of our profession: degree of merit which the servile herd of imitators learning must fit them for use, must direct can never possibly arrive at.

And though it may be thought that the knowledge of either may sufficiently enable him to describe at least that in which he hath been conversant, yet he will even here fall greatly short of perfection; for the follies of either rank do in reality illustrate each other. For instance, the affectation of high life appears more glaring and ridiculous from the simplicity of the low; and again, the rudeness and barbarity of this latter strikes with much stronger ideas of absurdity, when contrasted with, and opposed to, the politeness which controls the former. Besides, to say the truth, the manners of our historian will be improved by both these conversations; for in the one he will easily find examples of plainness, honesty, and sincerity; in the other, of refinement, elegance, and a liberality of spirit; which last quality I myself have scarce ever seen in men of low birth and education.

Nor will all the qualities I have hitherto given my historian avail him, unless he have what is generally meant by a good heart, and be capable of feeling. The author who will make me weep, says Horace, must first weep himself. In reality, no man can paint a distress well, which he doth not feel while he is painting it; nor do I doubt, but that the most pathetic and affecting scenes have been writ with tears. In the same manner it is with the ridiculous. I am convinced I never make my reader laugh heartily, but where I have laughed before him; unless it should happen at any time, that instead of laughing with me, he should be inclined to laugh at me. Perhaps this may have been the case at some passages in this chapter, from which apprehension I will here put an end to it.


Containing a very surprising adventure indeed, which Mr. Jones met with in his walk with the Man of the Hill.

AURORA now first opened her casement, Anglice the day began to break, when Jones walked forth in company with the stranger, and mounted Mazard Hill; of which they had no sooner gained the summit, than one of the most noble prospects in the world presented itself to their view, and which we would likewise present to the reader, but for two reasons: First, we despair of making those who have seen this prospect admire our description. Secondly, we very much doubt, whether those, who have not seen it, would understand it. Jones stood for some minutes fixed in one posture, and directing his eyes towards the south; upon which the old gentleman asked, 'what he was looking at with so

much attention?' Alas! sir,' answered he with a sigh, 'I was endeavouring to trace out my own journey hither. Good Heavens! what a distance is Gloucester from us? What a vast tract of land must be between me and my own home!'-Ay, ay, young gentleman,' cries the other, 'and by your sighing, from what you love better than your own home, or I am mistaken. I perceive now the object of your contemplation is not within your sight, and yet I fancy you have a pleasure in looking that way.' Jones answered, with a smile, 'I find, old friend, you have not yet forgot the sensations of your youth. Iown my thoughts were employed as you have guessed.'

They now walked to that part of the hill which looks to the north-west, and which hangs over a vast and extensive wood. Here they were no sooner arrived, than they heard at a distance the most violent screams of a woman, proceeding from the wood below them. Jones listened a moment, and then, without saying a word to his companion, (for, indeed, the occasion seemed sufficiently pressing,) ran, or rather slid, down the hill, and, without the least apprehension or concern for his own safety, made directly to the thicket whence the sound had issued.

He had not entered far into the wood before he beheld a most shocking sight indeed, a woman stripped half naked, under the hands of a ruffian, who had put his garter round her neck, and was endeavouring to draw her up to a tree. Jones asked no questions at this interval; but fell instantly upon the villain, and made such good use of his trusty oaken stick, that he laid him sprawling on the ground before he could defend himself; indeed, almost before he knew he was attacked; nor did he cease the prosecution of his blows, till the woman herself begged him to forbear, saying, she believed he had sufficiently done his business.

The poor wretch then fell upon her knees to Jones, and gave him a thousand thanks for her deliverance. He presently lifted her up, and told her he was highly pleased with the extraordinary accident which had sent him thither for her relief, where it was so improbable she should find any; adding, that Heaven seemed to have designed him as the happy instrument of her protection.


Nay,' answered she, 'I could almost conceive you to be some good angel; and, to say the truth, you look more like an angel than a man in my eye.' Indeed, he was a charming figure; and, if a very fine person, and a most comely set of features, adorned with youth, health, strength, freshness, spirit, and good-nature, can make a man resemble an angel, he certainly had that resemblance.

The old man advised him to carry the woman to Upton, which he said, was the nearest town, and there he would be sure of furnishing her with all manner of conveniences. Jones having received his direction to the place, took his leave of the Man of the Hill, and desiring him to direct Partridge the same way, returned hastily to the wood.

The redeemed captive had not altogether perceived the old man sitting as we have so much of the human-angelic species: just described him: he presently exerted she seemed to be at least of the middle age, his utmost agility, and with surprising exnor had her face much appearance of beau-pedition ascended the hill. ty; but her clothes being torn from all the upper part of her body, her breasts, which were well formed and extremely white, attracted the eyes of her deliverer, and for a few moments they stood silent, and gazing at each other; till the ruffian on the ground beginning to move, Jones took the garter which had been intended for another purpose, and bound both his hands behind him. And now, on contemplating his face, he discovered, greatly to his surprise, and, perhaps, not a little to his satisfaction, this very person to be no other than Ensign Northerton. Nor had the ensign forgotten his former antagonist, whom he knew the moment he came to himself. His surprise was equal to that of Jones; but I conceive his pleasure was rather less on this occasion.

Our hero, at his departure to make this inquiry of his friend, had considered, that as the ruffian's hands were tied behind him, he was incapable of executing any wicked purposes on the poor woman. Besides, he knew he should not be beyond the reach of her voice, and could return soon enough to prevent any mischief. He had moreover declared to the villain, that if he attempted the least insult he would be himself immediately the executioner of vengeance on him. But Jones unluckily forgot, that though the hands of Northerton were tied, his legs were at liberty; nor did he lay the least injunction on the prisoner, that he should not make what use of these he pleased. Northerton, therefore, having given no parole of that kind, thought he might without any breach of honour depart; not being obliged, as he 'It is very much like a man of honour, imagined, by any rules, to wait for a formal indeed,' answered Northerton, to take discharge. He, therefore, took up his legs, satisfaction by knocking a man down be- which were at liberty, and walked off hind his back. Neither am I capable of through the wood, which favoured his giving you satisfaction here, as I have no retreat; nor did the woman, whose eyes sword; but if you dare behave like a gen- were, perhaps, rather turned towards her tleman, let us go where I can furnish my-deliverer, once think of his escape, or self with one, and I will do by you as a give herself any concern or trouble to man of honour ought.' prevent it.

Jones helped Northerton upon his legs, and then looking him steadfastly in the face, I fancy, sir,' said he, you did not expect to meet me any more in this world, and I confess I had as little expectation to find you here. However, fortune, I see, hath brought us once more together, and hath given me satisfaction for the injury I have received, even without my own knowledge.'

'Doth it become such a villain as you Jones, therefore, at his return found the are,' cries Jones, 'to contaminate the name woman alone. He would have spent some of honour by assuming it? But I shall time in searching for Northerton, but she waste no time in discourse with you. Jus- would not permit him; earnestly entreattice requires satisfaction of you now, and ing that he would accompany her to the shall have it.' Then turning to the wo- town whither they had been directed. 'As man, he asked her, if she was near her to the fellow's escape,' said she, it gives home; or if not, whether she was ac-me no uneasiness; for philosophy and quainted with any house in the neighbour- christianity both preach up forgiveness of hood, where she might procure herself some injuries. But for you, sir, I am concerned decent clothes, in order to proceed to a justice of the peace.

She answered, she was an entire stranger in that part of the world. Jones then recollecting himself, said, he had a friend near who would direct them; indeed, he wondered at his not following; but, in fact, the good Man of the Hill, when our hero departed, sat himself down on the brow, where, though he had a gun in his hand, he with great patience and unconcern had attended the issue.

Jones then stepping without the wood,

at the trouble I give you; nay, indeed, my nakedness may well make me ashamed to look you in the face; and if it was not for the sake of your protection, I should wish to go alone."

Jones offered her his coat; but, I know not for what reason, she absolutely refused the most earnest solicitations to accept it. He then begged her to forget both the causes of her confusion. With regard to the former,' says he, 'I have done no more than my duty in protecting you; and as for the latter, I will entirely remove it, by

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walking before you all the way; for I would not have my eyes offend you, and I could not answer for my power of resisting the attractive charms of so much beauty." Thus our hero and the redeemed lady walked in the same manner as Orpheus and Eurydice marched heretofore; but though I cannot believe that Jones was designedly tempted by his fair one to look behind him, yet, as she frequently wanted his assistance to help her over stiles, and had, besides, many trips and other accidents, he was often obliged to turn about. However, he had better fortune than what attended poor Orpheus, for he brought his companion, or rather follower, safe into the famous town of Upton.


The arrival of Mr. Jones with his lady at the inn; with a very full description of the battle of Upton. THOUGH the reader, we doubt not, is very eager to know who this lady was, and how she fell into the hands of Mr. Northerton, we must beg him to suspend his curiosity for a short time, as we are obliged, for some very good reasons, which hereafter, perhaps, he may guess, to delay his satisfaction a little longer.

Mr. Jones and his fair companion no sooner entered the town, than they went directly to that inn which in their eyes presented the fairest appearance to the street. Here Jones, having ordered a servant to show a room above stairs, was ascending, when the dishevelled fair, hastily following, was laid hold on by the master of the house, who cried, Heyday, where is that beggar wench going? stay below stairs, I desire you.' But Jones at that instant thundered from above, 'Let the lady come up,' in so authoritative a voice, that the good man instantly withdrew his hands, and the lady made the best of her way to the chamber.

sort in their way to Bath. The landlady, therefore, would by no means have admitted any conversation of a disreputable kind to pass under her roof. Indeed, so foul and contagious are all such proceedings, that they contaminate the very innocent scenes where they are committed, and give the name of a bad house, or of a house of ill repute, to all those where they are suffered to be carried on.

Not that I would intimate, that such strict chastity as was preserved in the temple of Vesta, can possibly be maintained at a public inn. My good landlady did not hope for such a blessing, nor would any of the ladies I have spoken of, or, indeed, any others of the most rigid note, have expected or insisted on any such thing. But to exclude all vulgar concubinage, and to drive all whores in rags from within the walls, is within the power of every one. This my landlady very strictly adhered to, and this her virtuous guests, who did not travel in rags, would very reasonably have expected of her.

Now it required no very blameable degree of suspicion, to imagine that Mr. Jones and his ragged companion had certain purposes in their intention, which, though tolerated in some christian countries, connived at in others, and practised in all, are however as expressly forbidden as murder, or any other horrid vice, by that religion which is universally believed in those countries. The landlady, therefore, had no sooner received an intimation of the entrance of the abovesaid persons, than she began to meditate the most expeditious means for their expulsion. In order to this, she had provided herself with a long and deadly instrument, with which, in times of peace, the chambermaid was wont to demolish the labours of the industrious spider. In vulgar phrase, she had taken up the broomstick, and was just about to sally from the kitchen, when Jones accosted her with a demand of a gown and other vestments, to cover the half-naked woman above stairs.

Here Jones wished her joy of her safe arrival, and then departed, in order, as he promised, to send the landlady up with: Nothing can be more provoking to the some clothes. The poor woman thanked human temper, nor more dangerous to that him heartily for all his kindness, and said, cardinal virtue, patience, than solicitations she hoped she should see him again soon, of extraordinary offices of kindness on beto thank him a thousand times more. Du-half of those very persons with whom we ring this short conversation, she covered her white bosom as well as she could possibly with her arms; for Jones could not avoid stealing a sly peep or two, though he took all imaginable care to avoid giving any offence.

are highly incensed. For this reason Shakspeare hath artfully introduced his Desdemona soliciting favours for Cassio of her husband, as the means of inflaming not only his jealousy, but his rage, to the highest pitch of madness; and we find the Our travellers had happened to take up unfortunate Moor less able to command their residence at a house of exceeding his passion on this occasion, than even good repute, whither Irish ladies of strict when he beheld his valued present to his virtue, and many Northern lasses of the wife in the hands of his supposed rival. In same predicament, were accustomed to re-fact, we regard these efforts as insults on

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