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but that our ship was taken by the French, and so I lost all.
Our crew was carried into Brest, and many of them died, because they were not used to live in a jail; but, for my part, it was nothing to me, for I was seasoned. One night, as I was sleeping on the bed of boards, with a warm blanket about me, for I always loved to lie well, I was awakened by the boatswain, who had a dark lantern in his hand. Jack, says he to me, will you knock out the French sentries' brains. I don't care, says I, striving to keep myself awake, if I lend a hand. Then follow me, says he, and I hope we shall do business. So
I got, and tied my blanket, which was all the clothes I had, about my middle, and went with him to fight the Frenchmev. I hate the French because they are all slaves, and wear wooden shoes.
Though we had no arms, one Englishman is able to beat five French at any time; so we went down to the door, where both the sentries were posted, and rushing upon them, seized their arms in a moment, and knocked them down. From thence, nine of us ran together to the quay, and, seizing the first boat we met, got out of the harbour and put to sea. We had not been here three days before we were taken up by the Dorset privateer, who were glad of so many good hands; and we consented to run our chance. However, we had not as much good luck as we expected. In three days we fell in with the Pompadour privateer, of forty guns, while we had but twenty-three; so to it we went, yard-arm and yard-arm. The fight lasted for three hours, and I verily believe we should have taken the Frenchmad, had we but had some more men left behind; but no. fortunately we lost all our men just as we were going to get the victory.
• I was once more in the power of the French, and I believe it would have gone hard with me had I been brought back to Brest: but, by good fortune,
We were retaken by the Viper. I had almost forgot to tell you, that, in that engagement, I was wounded in two places ; I lost four fingers of the left hand, and my leg was shot off. If I had had the good fortune to have lost my leg and use of my hand on board a king's ship, and not aboard a privateer, I should have been entitled to clothing and mainten. ance during the rest of my life; but that was not my chance; one man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and another with a wooden ladle. How. ever, blessed be God! Fenjoy good health, and will for ever love liberty and Old England. Liberty, property, and Old England, for ever, huzza!'
Thus saying, he limped off; leaving me in admiration at his intrepidity and content; nor could I avoid acknowledging, that au habitual acquaintance with misery serves better than philosophy ta teach us to despise it.
ON TIIE FRAILTY OF MAN:
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY THE ORDINARY
MAN is a most frail being, incapable of directing
his steps, unacquainted with what is to happen in this life; and perhaps no man is a more manifest instance of the truth of this maxim, than Mr. The. Cibber, just now gone out of the world. Such a variety of curus of fortune, yet such a persevering uniformity of conduct, appears in all that happened in his short span, that the whole may be looked upou as one regular coafusion : every action of his life was matter of wonder and surprise, and his death was an astonishment.
This gentleman was born of creditable parents, who gave him a very good education, and a great deal of good learning, so that he could read and write before he was sixteen. However, he early dis. covered an incliuation to follow lewd courses ; he refused to take the advice of his parents, and pursued the bent of his inclination; he played at cards on the Sundays, called himself a gentleman, fell out with his mother and laundress; and, eveu in these early days, his father was frequently heard to observe, that young The.-would be hanged.
As he advanced in years, he grew more fond of pleasure; would eat an ortolan for dinner, though he begged the guinea that bought it; and was once known to give three pounds for a plate of green peas, which he had collected over night as charity for a friend in distress; he ran into debt with every. body that would trust him, and none could build a sconce better than he: so that, at last, his creditors swore with one accord that The.-would be hauged.
Butpas getting into debt by a man who had no visible means but impudence for subsistence, is a thing that every reader is not acquainted with, I must explain that point a little, and that to his satisfaction :
There are three ways of getting into debt; first, by pushing a face; as thus,' You, Mr. Lustring, send me bome six yards of that paduasoy, damme; -but, hark’ye, don't think I ever intend to pay you for it,--damme.' At this the mercer laughs heartily, cuts off the paduasoy, and sends it home;. nor is he, till too late, surprised to find the gentleman had said nothing but truth, and kept his word.
The second method of running into debt is called fineering; which is getting goods made up in such a fashion as to be unfit for every other purchaser ; and, if the tradesman refuses to give them upon credit, then threaten to leave them upon his hands.
But the third and best method is called, “ Being the good customer.' The gentleman first buys some trifie, and pays for it in ready money; he comes a few days after with nothing about him but bank bills, and buys, we will suppose, a sixpenny tweezer. case; the bills are too great to be changed, so he promises to return punctually the day after, and pay for what he has bought. In this promise he is punctual; and this is repeated for eight or ten times, till his face is well known, and lie has got, at last, the character of a good customer. By this means he gets credit for something considerable, and then never pays for it.
In all this the young man, who is the unhappy subject of our present reflections, was very expert; and could face, fineer, and bring custom to a shop, with any man in England: none of his companions could exceed him in this; and his companions at last said, that The.-would be hanged.
As ne grew old, he grew never the better; he: loved ortolans and green peas, as before; he drank grary soup when he could get it, and always thought his oysters tasted best when he got them for nothing, or, wbich was just the same, when he bought them upon tick; thus the old mau kept up the vices of the youth, and what he wanted in power he made up by inclination; so that all the world thought that old The-would be hanged.
And now, reader, I have brought him to his last scene; a scene where, perhaps, my duty should have obliged me to assist. You expect, perhaps, his dying words, and the tender farewel he look of his wife and children; you expect an account of his coffin and white gloves, his pious ejaculations, and the papers he left behind him. Ju this I cannot in. dulge your curiosity; for, oh, the mysteries of fate! The.-was drowned!
• Reader,' as Tervey saith, pause and ponder, and ponder and pause;' who knows what thy own end may be!
THERE are few subjects which have been more
written upon, and less understood, than that of friendship. To follow the dietates of some, this virtue, instead of being the assuager of pain, be. comes the source of every inconvenience. Such speculatists, by expecting too much from friendship, dissolve the conuexion, and, by drawing the bands too closely, at length break them. Almost all our romance and novel writers are of this kind; they persuade us to friendships, which we find it impose sible to sustain to the last; so that this sweetener of life, under proper regulations, is, by their means, rendered inaccessible or uneasy. It is certain, the best method to cultivate this virtue is by letting it, in some measure, make itself; a similitude of minds or studies, and even sometimes a diversity of
pur. suits, will produce all the pleasures that arise from it. The current of tenderness widens as it pro. ceeds; and two men imperceptibly find their hearts filled with good nature for each other, when they were at first only in pursuit of mirth or relaxation.
Friendship is like a deht of honour ; the moment it is talked of, it loses its real name, and assumes the more ungrateful form of obligation. From hence we find, that those who regularly undertake to cultivate friendship find ingratitude generally repays their en. deavours. That circle of beings, which dependence gathers round us, is almost ever unfriendly; they secretly wish the terms of their connexions more úearly equal; and, where they even have the most virtue, are prepared to reserve all their affections for their patron only in the hour of his decline. In. creasing the obligations which are laid upon such minds, only increases their burden; they feel thema.