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old age seemed to be the result of health and benevo-| lowed human speculations too much.-"Ay sir,“ lence. However, his presence did not interrupt our replied be, as if he had reserved all his learning to conversation: my friend and I discoursed on the va- that moinent, "ay, sir, the world is in its dotage, rious turns of fortune we had met; the Whistonian and yet the cosmogony or creation of the world has controversy, my last pamphlet, the archdeacon's puzzled philosophers of all ages. What a medley reply, and the hard measure that was dealt me.of opinions have they not broached upon the creaBut our attention was in a short time taken off by tion of the world! Sanchoniathon, Manetho, Bothe appearance of a youth, who entering the room, rosus, and Ocellus Lucanus have all attempted it respectfully said something softly to the old stranger. in vain. The latter has these words, Anarchon “Make no apologies, my child,” said the old man, ara kai atelutaion to pan, which imply that all "to do good is a duty we owe to all our fellow- things have neither beginning nor end Manetho creatures; take this, I wish it were more; but five also, who lived about the time of Nebuchadonpounds will relieve your distress, and you are wel- Asser, Asser being a Syriac word usually appli come.” The modest youth shed tears of gratitude, ed as a surname to the kings of that country, as and yet his gratitude was scarcely equal to mine. Teglat Phael-Asser, Nabon-Asser,-he, I say, I could have hugged the good old man in my arms, formed a conjecture equally absurd; for as we usuhis benevolence pleased me so. He continued to ally say, ek to biblion kubernetes, which implies read, and we resumed our conversation, until my that books will never teach the world; so he at. companion, after some time, recollecting that he tempted to investigateBut, sir, I ask pardon, I had business to transact in the fair, promised to be am straying from the question.”—That he actualsoon back, adding, that he always desired to have ly was; nor could I for my life see how the crcaas much of Dr. Primrose's company as possible. tion of the world had any thing to do with the The old gentleman hearing my name mentioned, business I was talking of; but it was sufficient to seemed to look at me with attention for some time, show me that he was a man of letters, and I now and when my friend was gone, most respectfully reverenced him the more. I was resolved therefore demanded if I was any way related to the great to bring him to the touchstone; but he was too Primrose, that courageous monogamist, who had mild and too gentle to contend for victory. Whenbeen the bulwark of the church. Never did my ever I made an observation that looked like a heart feel sincerer rapture than at that moment. challenge to controversy, he would smile, shake " Sir,” cried 1, "the applause of soʻgood a man, as his head, and say nothing; by which I understood I am sure you are, adds to that happiness in my he could say much, if he thought proper. The breast which your benevolence has already excited. subject therefore insensibly changed from the You behold before you, sir, that Dr. Primrose, the business of antiquity to that which brought us monogamist, whom you have been pleased to call both to the fair: mine, I told him, was to sell a great. You here see that unfortunate divine, who horse, and very luckily indeed, his was to buy one has so long, and it would ill become me to say suc- for one of his tenants. My horse was soon processfully, fought against the deuterogomy of the duced, and in fine we struck a bargain. Nothing age.”—“Sir,” cried the stranger, struck with awe, now remained but to pay me, and, he accordingly " I fear I have been too familiar; but you'll forgive pulled out a thirty pound note, and bid me change my curiosity, sir: I beg pardon.”—“Sir," cried 1, it
. Not being in a capacity of complying with this grasping his hand, "you are se far from displeas- demand, he ordered his footman to be called up ing me by your familiarity, that I must beg you'll who made his appearance in a very gentcel livery. accept my friendship, as you alreadly have my es-“ Here, Abrahan," cried he, "go and get gold fos teem."-"
!_" Then with gratitude I accept the offer," this; you'll do it at neighbour Jackson's or any cried he, squeezing me by the hand," thou glorious where." While the fellow was gone, he enterpillar of unshaken orthodoxy! and do I behold—"tained me with a pathetic. harangue on the great í here interrupted what he was going to say; for scarcity of silver, which I undertook to improve, by though, as an author, I could digest no small share deploring also the great scarcity of gold; so that hy of flattery, yet now my molesly would permit no the time Abraham returned, we had both agreed more. However, no lovers in romance ever ce- that money was never so hard to be come at as mented a more instantaneous friendship. We now. Abraham returned to inform us, that he had wolked upon several subjects: at first I thought he been over the whole fair, and could not get change, seemed rather devout than learned, and began to though he had offered half a crown for doing it think he despised all human doctrines as dross. This was a very great disappointment to us all; Yet this no way lessened him in my esteem; for 1 but the old gentleman, having paused a little, askhad for some time begun privately to harbour such cd me if I knew one Solomon Flamborough in my an opinion myself. I therofore took occasion to part of the country? Upon replying that he was observe, that the world in general began to be my next-door neighbour; "If that be the case plamably indifferent as to doctrinal matters, and fol-'then,” returned he, “I believe we shall deal. You
shall have a draft upon him, payable at sight; and to excite envy, and too inoffensive to create dis let me tell you, he is as warm a man as any within gust. five miles round him. Ilonest Solomon and I have been acquainted for many years together. I remember I always beat him at three jumps; but he could
CHAPTER XV. hop on one leg farther than I." A draft upon my neighbour was to me the same as money; for I was All Mr. Burchell's villany at once detected. The folly of being sufficiently con 'inced of his ability. The draft was
over-wise. signed, and put into my hands, and Mr. Jenkin
That evening, and a part of the following day, son, the old ge.itleman, his man Abraham, and was employed in fruitless attempts to discover our my horse, old Blackberry, trotted off very well enemies : scarcely a family in the neighbourhood pleased with each other.
but incurred our suspicions, and each of us had After a short interval, being left to reflection, I reasons for our opinion best known to ourselves. began to recollect that I had done wrong in taking As we were in this perplexity, one of our little boys, a draft from a stranger, and so prudently resolveal who had been playing abroad, brought in a letterupon following the purchaser, and having back my case, which he found on the green. It was quickly borse. But this was now too late : I therefore known to belong to Mr. Burchell
, with whom it made directly homewards, resolving to get the draft had been seen, and, upon examination, contained changed into money at my friend's as fast as pos- some hints upon different subjects; but what parsible. I found my honest neighbour smoking his ticularly engaged our attention was a sealed note pipe at his own door, and informing him that I had superscribed, The copy of a letter lo be sent to the a small bill upon him, he read it twice over. "You two ladies at Thornhill-castle. It instantly occurcan read the name, I suppose," cried I, “Ephraim red that he was the base informer, and we delibeJenkinson.” “Yes," returned he, "the name is rated whether the note should not be broke open. written plain enough, and I know the gentleman I was against it; but Sophia, who said she was too, the greatest rascal under the canopy of heaven. sure that of all men he would be the last to be This is the very same rogue who sold us the spec- guilty of so much baseness, insisted upon its being tacles. Was he not a venerable looking man, with read. In this she was seconded by the rest of the gray hair, and no flaps to his pocket-holes? And family, and at their joint solicitation I read as foldid he not talk a long string of learning about lows : Greek, and cosmogony, and the world ? To this · I replied with a groan.
* Ay,” continued he, “he "LADIES, has but that one piece of learning in the world, and “The bearer will sufficiently satisfy you as to he always talks it away whenever he finds a scho- the person from whom this comes: one at least the lar in company; but I know the rogue, and will friend of innocence, and ready to prevent its bei:g catch him yet."
seduced. I am informed for a truth that you have Though I was already sufficiently mortified, my some intention of bringing two young ladies to greatest struggle was to come, in facing my wife town, whom I have some knowledge of, under the and daughters. No truant was ever more afraid character of companions. As I would neither have of returning to school, there to behold the master's simplicity imposed upon, nor virtue contaminated, visage, than I was of going home. I was deter- I must offer it as my opinion, that the impropriety mined, however, to anticipate their fury, 'by first of such a step will be attended with dangerous falling into a passion myself.
consequences. It has never been my way to treat But, alas! upon entering, I found the family no the infamous or the lewd with severity ; nor should way disposed for battle. My wife and girls were 1 now have taken this method of explaining myself, all in tears, Mr. Thornhill having been there that or reproving folly, did it not aim at guilt. Take day to inform them, that their journey to town was therefore the admonition of a friend, and seriously entirely over. The two ladies having heard re- reflect on the consequences of introducing infamy ports of us from some malicious person about us, and vice into retreats, where peace and innocence were that day set out for London. He could nci- have hitherto resided." ther discover the tendency, nor the author of these; but whatever th y might be, or whoever might have Our doubts were now at an end. There seemed broached them, lie continued to assure our family indeed something applicable to both sides in this of his friendship and protection. I found, there- letter, and its censures might as well be referred to fore, that they bore my disappointment with great those to whom it was written, as to us; but the resignation, as it was eclipsed in the greatness of malicious meaning was obvious, and we went no their own. But what perplexed us most, was to farther. My wife had scarcely patience to hear think who could be so base as to asperse the cha- me to the end, but railed at the writer with unrelacter of a family so harmless as ours, too humble'strained resentment. Olivia was equally severa
and Sophia seemed perfectly amazed at his base- their freedom from defect, but the greatness of their ness. As for my part, it appeared to me one of the beauties ; so should that of men be prized, not for vilest instances of unprovoked ingratitude I had met their exemption from fault, but the size of those with; nor could I account for it in any other man-, virtues they are possessed of. The scholar may ner, than by imputing it to his desire of detaining want prudence, the statesman may have pride, and my youngest daughter in the country, to have the the champion ferocity; but shall we prefer to these more frequent opportunities of an interview. In the low mechanic, who laboriously plods through this manner we all sat ruminating upon schemes life without censure or applause? We might as of vengeance, when our other little boy came run- well prefer the tame correct paintings of the Flemning in to tell us that Mr. Burchell was approach- ish school to the erroneous but sublime animations ing at the other end of the field. It is easier to of the Roman pencil.” conceive than describe the complicated sensations "Sir," replied I, "your present observation is which are felt from the pain of a recent injury, and just, when there are shining virtues and minute the pleasure of approaching vengeance. Though defects ; but when it appears that great vices are our intentions were only to upbraid him with his opposed in the same mind to as extraordinary viringratitude, yet it was resolved to do it in a man- tues, such a character deserves contempt." ner that would be perfectly cutting. For this pur- "Perhaps,” cried he, "there may be some such pose we agreed to meet him with our usual smiles; monsters as you describe, of great vices joined to to chat in the beginning with more than ordinary great virtues; yet in my progress through life, I kindness; to amuse him a little ; and then, in the never yet found one instance of their existence : on midst of the flattering calm, to burst upon him like the contrary, I have ever perceived, that where the an earthquake, and overwhelm him with a sense mind was capacious, the affections were good. And of his own baseness. This being resolved upon, indeed Providence seems kindly our friend in this my wife undertook to manage the business herself, particular, thus to debilitate the understanding as she really had soine talents for such an under- where the heart is corrupt, and diminish the power, taking. We saw him approach; he entered, drew where there is the will to do mischief. This rule a chair, and sat down.-—"A fine day, Mr. Burch- seems to extend even to other animals: the little ell.”—“A very fine day, doctor; though I fancy vermin race are ever treacherous, cruel, and cow. we shall have some rain by the shooting of my ardly, whilst those endowed with strength and corns.”_"The shooting of your horns !" cried my power are generous, brave, and gentle." wife in a loud fit of laughter, and then asked par- “These observations sound well,” returned I, don for being fond of a joke.—“Dear madam,” “and yet it would be easy this moment to point replied he, “I pardon you with all my heart, for I out a man,” and I fixed my eye steadfastly upon protest I should not have thought it a joke had you him, “whose head and heart form a most detestanot told me.”—"Perhaps not, sir,” cried my wife, ble contrast. Ay, sir,” continued I, raising my winking at us; "and yet I dare say you can tell us voice, "and I am glad to have this opportunity of how many jokes go to an ounce."-"I fancy, ma- detecting him in the midst of his fancied security. dam," returned Burchell, "you have been reading Do you know this, sir, this pocket-book?"_“Yes, a jest book this morning, that ounce of jokes is so sir, returned he, with a face of impenetrable asvery good a conceit; and yet, madam, I had rather surance, “that pocket-book is mine, and I am glad see halfanounce of understanding."-"I believe you you have found it.”—"And do you know," cried might,” cried my wife, still smiling at us, though I, “this letter? Nay, never falter, man; but look the laugh was against her ; "and yet I have seen me full in the face: I say, do you know this letter?" some men pretend to understanding that have very " That letter,” returned he: "yes, it was I that little.”—“And no doubt,” returned her antagonist, wrote that letter.”_"And how could you," said "you have known ladies set up for wit that had I, “so basely, so ungratefully presume to write none." I quickly began to find that my wife was this letter?”—“And how came you,” replied he likely to gain but little at this business ; so I re- with looks of unparalleled effrontery, "so basely to solved to treat him in a style of more severity my- presume to break open this letter? Don't you know, self. “Both wit and understanding,” cried I, “are now, I could hang you all for this? All that I trifles without integrity; it is that which gives value have to do is to swear at the next justice's, that to every character. The ignorant peasant without you have been guilty of breaking open the jock of fault, is greater than the philosopher with many; my pocket-book, and so hang you all up at this for what is genius or courage without a heart ? door.” This piece of unexpected insolence raised An honest man is the noblest work of God." me to such a pitch, that I could scarce govern my
"I always held that hackneyed maxim of Pope,” passion. “Ungrateful wretch! begone, and no returned Mr. Burchell, was very unworthy a man longer pollute my dwelling with thy baseness! beof genius, and a base desertion of his own superi- gone, and never let me see thee again! Go from ority. As the reputation of books is raised, not by my door, and the only punishment I wish thee is an alarmed conscience, which will be a sufficient entrap him; or, to speak more tenderly, used every tormentor!" So saying, I threw him his pocket- art to magnify the merit of her daughter. If the dook, which he took up with a smile, and shutting cakes at tea ate short and crisp, they were made by she clasps with the utmost composure, left us quite Olivia; if the gooseberry-wine was well knit, the astonished at the serenity of his assurance. My gooseberries were of her gathering: it was her wife was particularly enraged that nothing could fingers which gave the pickles their peculiar green ; 'make him angry, or make him seem ashamed of and in the composition of a pudding, it was her his villanies. “My dear,” cried I, willing to calm judgment that mixed the ingredients. Then the those passions that had been raised too high among poor woman would sometimes tell the 'Squire, that us, "we are not to be surprised that bad men want she thought him and Olivia extremely of a size, shame; they only blush at being detected in doing and would bid both stand up to see which was gool, but glory in their vices.”
tallest. These instances of cunning, which she "Guilt and Shame, says the allegory, were at thought impenetrable, yet which every body saw first companions, and in the beginning of their through, were very pleasing to our benefactor, who journey, inseparably kept together. But their gave every day some new proofs of his passion, union was soon found to be disagreeable and in- which, though they had not arisen to proposals of convenient to both: Guilt gave Shame frequent un- marriage, yet we thought fell but little short of it; easiness, and Shame often betrayed the secret con- and his slowness was attributed sometimes to na. spiracies of Guilt. After long disagreement there- tive bashfulness, and sometimes to his fear of offend. fure, they at length consented to part for ever. ing his uncle. An occurrence, however, which Guilt holdly walked forward alone, to overtake happened soon after, put it beyond a doubt that he Fate, that went before in the shape of an execu- designed to become one of our family; my wife tioner; but Shame being naturally timorous, re- even regarded it as an absolute promise. turned back to keep company with Virtue, which My wise and daughters happening to return a in the beginning of their journey they had left visit to neighbour Flamborough's, found that family behind. Thus, my children, after men have tra- had lately got their pictures drawn by a limner, velled through a few stages in vice, shame forsakes who travelled the country, and took likenesses for them, and returns back to wait upon the few vir- fifteen shillings a-head. As this family and ours tues they have still remaining."
had long a sort of rivalry in point of taste, our
spirit took the alarm at this stolen march upon us, and notwithstanding all I could say, and I said much,
it was resolved that we should have our pictures CHAPTER XVI.
done too. Having, therefore, engaged the limner,The family use Art, which is opposed with still greater.
for what could I do? our next deliberation was, to
show the superiority of our taste in the attitudes. WHATEVER might have been Sophia's sensa- As for our neighbour's family, there were seven tions, the rest of the family was easily consoled for of them, and they were drawn with seven oranges, Mr. Burchell's absence by the company of our a thing quite out of taste, no variety in life, no landlord, whose visits now became more frequent, composition in the world. We desired to have and longer. Though he had been disappointed in something in a brighter style, and, after many deprocuring my daughters the amusements of the bates, at length came to an unanimous resolution town as he designed, he took every opportunity of of being drawn together in one large historical supplying them with those little recreations which family piece. This would be cheaper, since one our retirement would admit of. He usually came frame would serve for all, and it would be infinitely in the morning, and while my son and I followed more genteel; for all families of any taste were our occupations abrou, he sat with the family at now drawn in the same manner. As we did not home, and amused them by describing the town, immediately recollect an historical subject to hit us, with every part of which he was particularly ac- we were contented each with being drawn as indequainted. He could repeat all the observations pendent historical figures. My wife Jesired to be that were retailed in the atmosphere of the play- represented as Venus, and the painter was desired houses, and had all the good things of the high wits not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomachby rots, long before they made their way into the er and hair. Her two little ones were to be as jest-books. The intervals between conversation Cupids by her side, while I, in my gown and band, were employed in teaching my daughters piquet, or was to present her with my books on the Whissometimes in setting my two little onos to box, to tonian controversy. Olivia would be drawn as an make them sharp, as he called it: but the hopes Amazon sitting upon a bank of flowers, dressed in of having him for a son-in-law, in some measure a green joseph, richly laced with gold, and a whip blinded us to all his imperfections. It must be in her hand. Sophia was to be a shepherdese, owned, that my wife laid a thousand schemes tol with as many sheep as the painter could put in
for nothing; and Moses was to be dressed out with came to see us, my girls took care to be out of the
, can't you rereel in a bottle : some wondered how it could be commend me a proper husband for her? she is now got out, but still more were amazed how it ever got nineteen years old, well grown and well educated, in.
and, in my humble opinion, does not want for But though it excited the ridicule of some, it ef. parts." fectually raised more malicious suggestions in ma- “Madam," replied he, “if I were to choose, I ny. The 'Squire's portrait being found united with would find out a person possessed of every accomours, was an honour too great to escape envy. plishment that can make an angel happy. One Scandalous whispers began to circulate at our ex- with prudence, fortune, taste, and sincerity; such, pense, and our tranquillity was continually dis- madam, would be, in my opinion, the proper hus. turbed by persons who came as friends to tell us band.” “Ay, sir,” said she, “but do you know what was said of us by enemies. These reports of any such person?""No, madam," returned we always resented with becoming spirit; but scan- he, “it is impossible to know any person that dedal ever improves by opposition.
serves to be her husband: she's too great a treasure We once again therefore entered into a consul- for one man's possession; she's a goldess! Upon tation upon obviating the malice of our enemies, my soul, I speak what I think, she's an angel." and at last came to a resolution which had too " Ah, Mr. Thornhill, you only flatter my poor much cunning to give me entire satisfaction. It girl: but we have been thinking of marrying her was this: as our principal object was to discover to one of your tenants, whose mother is lately dead, the honour of Mr. Thornhill's addresses, my wife and who wants a manager: you know whom I undertook to sound him, by pretending to ask his mean, Farmer Williams; a warm man, Mr. Thornadvice in the choice of a husband for her eldest hill, able to give her good bread; and who has sedaughter. If this was not found sufficient to in- veral times made her proposals (which was actually duce him to a declaration, it was then resolved to the case): but, sir,” concluded she, “I should be terrify him with a rival. To this last step, how- glad to have your approbation of our choice."ever, I would by no means give my consent, till “How! madam,” replied he, “my approbation! Olivia gave me the most solemn assurances that My approbation of such a choice! Never. What! she would marry the person provided to rival him sacrifice so much beauty, and sense, and goodness, upon this occasion, if he did not prevent it, by to a creature insensible of the blessing! Excuse me, taking her himself. Such was the scheme laid, I can never approve of such a piece of injustice! which, though I did not strenuously oppose, I did And I have my reasons.”—“Indeed, sir,” cried not entirely approve.
Deborah, "if you have your reasons, that's anoThe next time, therefore, that Mr. Thornhill lther affair; but I should be glad to know those