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me by your familiarity, that I must beg too mild and too gentle to contend for you'll accept my friendship, as you already victory. Whenever I made an observa. have my esteem.”-“ Then with gratitude tion that looked like a challenge to conI accept the offer,” cried he, squeezing troversy, he would smile, shake his head, me by the hand, thou glorious pillar and say nothing ;, by which I understood of unshaken orthodoxy! and do I behold he could say much, if he thought proper.
--" I here interrupted what he was The subject, therefore, insensibly changed going to say; for though, as an author, I from the business of antiquity, to that could digest no small share of Nattery, which brought us both to the fair : mine, yet now my modesty would permit no I told him, was to sell a horse, and very
However, no lovers in romance luckily, indeed, his was to buy one for
cemented a more instantaneous one of his tenants. My horse was soon friendship. We talked upon several sub- produced ; and, in fine, we struck a barjects: at first I thought he seemed rather gain. Nothing now remained but to pay devout than learned, and began to think me, and he accordingly, pulled out a he despised all human doctrines as dross. thirty pound note, and bid me change it. Yet this no way lessened him in my Not being in a capacity of complying with esteem, for I had for some time begun this demand, he ordered his footman to privately to harbour such an opinion my be called up, who made his appearance in self. I therefore took occasion to observe, a very genteel livery. “Here, Abraham," that the world in general began to be cried he, “ go and get gold for this ; you'll blameably indifferent as to doctrinal do it at neighbour Jackson's, or any. matters, and followed human speculations where.” While the fellow was gone, he too much.
Ay, sir,” replied he, as if entertained me with a pathetic harangue he had reserved all his learning to that on the great scarcity of silver, which I moment, Ay, sir, the world is in its undertook to improve, by deploring also dotage ; and yet the cosmogony, or crea- the great scarcity of gold; so that, by the tion of the world, has puzzled philo- time Abraham returned, we had both sophers of all ages. What a medley of agreed that money was never so hard to opinions have they not broached upon the be come at as now. Abraham returned creation of the world! Sanchoniathon, to inform us, that he had been over the Manetho, Berosus, and Ocellus Lucanus, whole fair, and could not get change, have all attempted it in vain. The latter though he had offered hall-a-crown for has these words, Anarchon ara kai atelu- doing it. This was a very great disap. taion to pan, which imply that all things pointment to us all; but the old gentle have neither beginning nor end. Manetho man, having paused a little, asked me if also, who lived about the time of Nebu- I knew one Solomon Flamborough in my chadon-Asser Asser being a Syriac part of the country. Upon replying that word, usually applied as a surname to the he was my next door neighbour : “ If kings of that country, as Teglat Pháel. that be the case, then," returned he, “I Asser, Nabon-Asser-he, I say, formed a believe we shall deal. You shall have a conjecture equally absurd ; for, as we draft upon him, payable at sight; and, usually say, ck to biblion kubernetes, which let me tell you, he is as warm a man as implies that books will never teach the any within five miles round him. Honest world; so he attempted to investigate- Solomon and I have been acquainted for But, sir, I ask pardon, I am straying from many years together. I remember 1 the question." —That he actually was ; always beat him at three jumps ; but he nor could I, for my life, see how the could hop on one leg farther than I.” A creation of the world had anything to do drast upon my neighbour was to me the with the business I was talking of ; but same as money ; for I was sufficiently it was sufficient to show me that he was a convinced of his ability. The draft was man of letters, and I now reverenced him signed, and put into my hands, and Mr. the more. I was resolved, therefore, to Jenkinson, the old gentleman, his man
ing him to the touchstone ; but he was Abraham, and my horse, old Blackberry,
trotted off very well pleased with each eclipsed in the greatness of their own. other.
But what perplexed us most, was to think After a short interval, being left to who could be so base as to asperse the chareflection, I began to recollect that I had racter of a family so harmless as ours; too done wrong, in taking a draft from a humble to excite envy, and too inoffensive stranger, and so prudently resolved upon to create disgust. following the purchaser, and having back my horse. But this was now too late; I
CHAPTER XV. therefore made directly homewards, re- All Mr. Burchell's Villany at once detected. The solving to get the draft changed into
Folly of being overwise. money at my friend's as fast as possible. That evening, and a part of the followI found my honest neighbour smoking his ing day, was employed in fruitless attempts pipe at his own door, and informing him to discover our enemies: scarcely a family I that I had a small bill upon him, he read in the neighbourhood but incurred our it twice over. “You can read the name, suspicions, and each of us had reasons for I suppose,” cried I, -" Ephraim Jenkin- our opinions best known to ourselves. As 5012"-—“Yes," returned he, “the name we were in this perplexity, one of our little is written plain enough, and I know the boys, who had been playing abroad, gentleman too,--the greatest rascal under brought in a letter-case, which he found the canopy of heaven. This is the very on the green. It was quickly known to same rogue who sold us the spectacles. belong to Mr. Burchell, with whom it had Was he not a venerable-looking man, been seen, and, upon examination, conwith grey hair, and no flaps to his pocket- tained some hints upon different subjects; holes? And did he not talk a long string but what particularly engaged our attenof learning about Greek, and cosmogony, tion was a sealed note, superscribed, “The and the world?” To this I replied with copy of a letter to be sent to the ladies a groan. “Ay,” continued he,“ he has at Thornhill Castle." It instantly occurred but that one piece of learning in the that he was the base informer
, and we world, and he always talks it away when deliberated whether the note should not ever he finds a scholar in company; but I be broken open. I was against it; but know the rogue, and will catch him yet.” Sophia, who said she was sure that of all
Though I was already sufficiently mor- men he would be the last to be guilty of so tified, my greatest struggle was to come, much baseness, insisted upon its being
wife and daughters. No read. In this she was seconded by the truant was ever more afraid of returning rest of the family, and at their joint soliciito school, there to behold the master's tation I read as follows: visage, than I was of going home. I was “ Ladies,—The bearer will sufficiently determined, however, to anticipate their satisfy you as to the person from whom fury , by first falling into a passion myself
. this comes: one at least the friend of innoBut, alas! upon entering, I found the cence, and ready to prevent its being sefamily no way disposed for battle. My duced. I am informed for a truth, that wile and girls were all in tears, Mr. Thorn- you have some intention of bringing two hill having been there that day to inform young ladies to town, whom I have some them that their journey to town was en- knowledge of, under the character of tirely over. The two ladies, having heard companions. "As I would neither have reports of us from some malicious person simplicity imposed upon, nor virtue conabout us, were that day set out for London. taminated, I must offer it as my opinion, He could neither discover the tendency that the impropriety of such a step will be nor the author of these; but whatever they attended with dangerous consequences. might be, or whoever might have broached It has never been my way to treat the them, he continued to assure our family of infamous or the lewd with severity; nor his friendship and protection. I found, should I now have taken this method of therefore, that they bore my disappoint- explaining myself, or reproving folly, did meut with great resignation, as it was it not aim at guilt. Take, therefore, the
admonition of a friend, and seriously re- should not have thought it a joke had you flect on the consequences of introducing not told me."-"Perhaps not, sir,” cried infamy and vice into retreats where peace my wife, winking at us; and yet I dare and innocence have hitherto resided." say you can tell us how many jokes go to
Our doubts were now at an end. There an ounce.”—“I fancy, madam,” returned seemed, indeed, something applicable to Burchell,“; you have been reading a jest both sides in this letter, and its censures book this morning, that ounce of jokes is might as well be referred to those to whom so very good a conceit; and yet, madam, it was written, as to us; but the malicious I had rather see half an ounce of undermeaning was obvious, and we went no standing.”—“I believe you might,” cried farther. My wife had scarcely patience to my wise, still smiling at us, though the hear me to the end, but railed at the writer laugh was against her; "and yet I have with unrestrained resentment. Olivia was seen some men pretend to understanding equally severe, and Sophia seemed per- that have very little.”—“And no doubt, fectly amazed at his baseness. As for my returned her antagonist, “ you have known part, it appeared to me one of the vilest ladies set up for wit that had none.” I instances of unprovoked ingratitude I had quickly began to find that my wife was ever met with ; nor could I account for it likely to gain but little at this business; in any other manner, than by imputing it so I resolved to treat him in a style of to his desire of detaining my youngest more severity myself. “Both wit and daughter in the country, to have the more understanding,” cried I, “are trifles, with. frequent opportunities of an interview. out integrity; it is that which gives value In this manner we all sat ruminating upon to every character. The ignorant peasant schemes of vengeance, when our other without fault, is greater than the philosolittle boy came running in to tell us that pher with many ; for what is genius or Mr. Burchell was approaching at the other courage without an heart ? end of the field. It is easier to conceive
"* An honest man's the noblest work of God.'* than describe the complicated sensations which are felt from the pain of a recent “I always held that hackneyed maxim injury, and the pleasure of approaching of Pope,” returned Mr. Burchell, “as very vengeance. Though our intentions were unworthy a man of genius, and a base only to upbraid him with his ingratitude, desertion of his own superiority. As the yet it was resolved to do it in a manner reputation of books is raised, not by their that would be perfectly cutting. For this freedom from defect, but the greatness of purpose we agreed to meet him with our their beauties; so should that of men be usual smiles; to chat in the beginning prized, not for their exception from fault, with more than ordinary kindness. to
but the size of those virtues they are posamuse hin a little ; and then, in the midst sessed of. The scholar may want prudence, of the flattering calm, to burst upon him the statesman may have pride, and the like an earthquake, and overwhelm him champion ferocity ; but shall we prefer to with a sense of his own baseness. This these the low mechanic, who laboriously being resolved upon, my wife undertook plods through life without censure to manage the business herself, as she applause? We might as well prefer the really had some talents for such an under tame correct paintings of the Flemish taking. We saw him approach : he en- school to the erroneous but sublime ani. tered, drew a chair, and sat down. “Amations of the Roman pencil.” fine day, Mr. Burchell.”—“A very fine Sir," replied I, “ your present obserday, Doctor ; though I fancy we shall have vation is just, when there are shining vir. some rain by the shooting of my corns. tues and minute defects ; but when it
-“ The shooting of your horns ! cried appears that great vices are opposed in my wife, in a loud fit of laughter, and then the same mind to as extraordinary virtues, asked pardon for being fond of a joke. such a character deserves contempt." “Dear madam,” replied he, “I pardon "Perhaps," cried he," there may be you with all my heart, for I protest I some such monsters as you describe, of
great vices joined to great virtues; yet, in ting the clasps with the utmost composure, my progress through life, I never yet found left us, quite astonished at the serenity of one instance of their existence : on the his assurance. My wife was particularly contrary, I have ever perceived, that where enraged that nothing could make him the mind was capacious, the affections angry, or make him seem ashamed of his were good. And indeed Providence seems villanies. “My dear," cried I, willing kindly our friend in this particular, thus to calm those passions that had been raised to debilitate the understanding where the too high among us, we are not to be heart is corrupt, and diminish the power surprised that bad men want shame : they where there is the will to do mischief. only blush at being detected in doing good, This rule seems to extend even to other but glory in their vices. amus: the little vermin race are ever “Guilt and Shame, says the allegory, treacherous, cruel, and cowardly, whilst were at first companions, and, in the bethose endowed with strength and power ginning of their journey, inseparably kept are generous, brave, and gentle.”
together. But their union was soon found "These observations sound well,” re- to be disagreeable and inconvenient to turned I, “and yet it would be easy this both. Guilt gave Shame frequent unmunent to point out a man,” and I fixed easiness, and Shame often betrayed the Dy eye stedfastly upon him, whose secret conspiracies of Guilt.
After long head and heart form a most detestable disagreement, therefore, they at length coatrast. Ay, sir,” continued I, raising consented to part for ever. Guilt boldly my voice, “and I am glad to have this walked forward alone, to overtake Fate, portunity of detecting him in the midst that went before in the shape of an exeof bis fancied security. Do you know cutioner ; but Shame, being naturally this, sir, this pocket-book ?”—“ Yes, sir,” timorous, returned back to keep company retumed he, with a face of impenetrable with Virtue, which in the beginning of
"that pocket-book is mine, their journey they had left behind. Thus, and I am glad you have found it.”—“And my children, after men have travelled do you know," cried I, " this letter? Nay, through a few stages in vice, Shame forneser falter, man; but look me full in the sakes them, and returns back to wait upon face: I say, do you know this letter ?”- the few virtues they have still remaining." “That letter?” returned he; "yes, it 728 I that wrote that letter." __“And how
CHAPTER XVI. could you,” said I, “ so basely, so ungrate. The Family use Art, which is opposed with still fally presume to write this letter?”.
greater. And how came you,” replied he, with WHATEVER might have been Sophia's looks of unparalleled effrontery,“ so basely sensations, the rest of the family was easily to presume to break open this letter? consoled for Mr. Burchell's absence by the Don't you know, now, I could hang you company of our landlord, whose visits all for this? All that I have to do is to now became more frequent, and longer. swear at the next Justice's that you have Though he had been disappointed in probeen guilty of breaking open the lock of curing my daughters the amusements of my pocket-book, and so hang you all up the town, as he designed, he took every 2 his door.” This piece of unexpected opportunity of supplying them with those izsolence raised me to such a pitch, that little recreations which our retirement I could scarcely govern my passion. “Un would admit of. He usually came in the grateful wretch ! begone, and no longe morning; and, while my son and I folpollute my dwelling with thy baseness ! lowed our occupations abroad, he sat with begone, and never let me see thee again! the family at home, and amused them by Go from my door, and the only punishment describing the town, with every part of I wish thee is an alarmed conscience, which he was particularly acquainted. He which will be a sufficient tormentor !" could repeat all the observations that were So saying, I threw him his pocket-book, retailed in the atmosphere of the playwhich he took up with a smile, and shut- houses, and had all the good things of the
high wits by rote, long before they made bour's family, there were seven of them their way into the jest books. The inter- and they were drawn with seven orange vals between conversation were employed thing quite out of taste, no variety in life in teaching my daughters piquet, or some- no composition in the world. We desired times in setting my two little ones to box, to have something in a brighter style; ani to make them sharp, as he called it : but after many debates, at length came to a the hopes of having him for a son-in-law unanimous resolution of being drawn toin some measure blinded us to all his im- gether, in one large historical family piece perfections. It must be owned, that my | This would be cheaper, since one frame wife laid a thousand schemes to entrap would serve for all, and it would be infihim; or, to speak more tenderly, used nitely more genteel; for all families of any every art to magnify the merit of her taste were now drawn in the same manner. daughter. If the cakes at tea eat short As we did not immediately recollect an hisand crisp, they were made by Olivia; if torical subject to hit us, we were contented the gooseberry wine was well knit, the each with being drawn as independent gooseberries were of her gathering: it was historical figures. My wife desired to be her fingers which gave the pickles their represented as Venus, and the painter peculiar green; and, in the composition was desired not to be too frugal" of his of a pudding, it was her judgment that diamonds in her stomacher and hair. Her mixed the ingredients. Then the poor two little ones were to be as Cupids by. woman would sometimes tell the Squire, her side; while I, in my gown and band, that she thought him and Olivia ex- was to present her with my books on the tremely of a size, and would bid both Whistonian controversy. Olivia would be stand up to see which was tallest. These drawn as an Amazon, sitting upon a bank instances of cunning, which she thought of flowers, dressed in a green joseph, richly impenetrable, yet which everybody saw laced with gold, and a whip in her hand. through, were very pleasing to our bene. Sophia was to be a shepherdess, with as factor, who gave every day some new many sheep as the painter could put in for proofs of his passion, which, though they nothing; and Moses was to be dressed out had not arisen to proposals of marriage, with a hat and white feather. Our taste yet we thought fell but little short of it; so much pleased the Squire, that he inand his slowness was attributed sometimes sisted on being put in as one of the family, to native bashfulness, and sometimes to in the character of Alexander the Great, his fear of offending his uncle. An oc- at Olivia's feet. This was considered by currence, however, which happened soon us all as an indication of his desire to be after, put it beyond a doubt that he de introduced into the family, nor could we signed to become one of our family; my refuse his request. The painter was therewife even regarded it as an absolute fore set to work, and, as he wrought with promise.
assiduity and expedition, in less than four My wife and daughters happening to days the whole was completed. The piece return a visit at neighbour Flamborough's, was large, and, it must be owned, he did found that family had lately got their pic- not spare his colours; for which my wise tures drawn by a limner, who travelled the gave him great encomiums. We were all country, and took likenesses for fifteen shil. perfectly satisfied with his performance; lings a head. As this family and ours had but an unfortunate circumstance which had long a sort of rivalry in point of taste, our not occurred till the picture was finished, spirit took the alarm at this stolen march now struck us with dismay. It was so upon us; and, notwithstanding all I could very large, that we had no place in the say, and I said much, it was resolved that house to fix it. How we all came to we should have our pictures done too. disregard so material a point is incon.
Having, therefore, engaged the limner, ceivable; but certain it is, we had been all -for what could I do?--our next delibe- greatly remiss. The picture, therefore, ration was to show the superiority of our instead of gratifying our vanity, as we hoped,
e in the attitudes. As for our neigh- leaned, in a most mortifying manner,