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whether it was only to be my masquerade cha- visers were fixed in the pillory. It should be
« that there should be any found, at present,
advocates for slavery? Any who are for meanCHAP. XIX.
Iy giving up the privileges of Britons? Can any,
sir, be so abject?” The Description of a Person discontented with the “ No, sir," replied I, “ I am for liberty, that
present Government, and apprehensive of the attribute of gods! Glorious liberty ! that theme loss of our Liberties.
of modern declamation. I would have all men
kings. I would be a king myself. We have all The house where we were to be entertained, naturally an equal right to the throne; we are lying at a small distance from the village, our all originally equal. This is my opinion, and inviter observed, that as the coach was not ready, was once the opinion of a set of honest men who he would conduct us on foot; and we soon ar- are called levellers. They tried to erect themrived at one of the most magnificent mansions I selves into a community, where all should be had seen in that part of the country. The apart- equally free. But alas ! it would never answer ; ment into which we were shewn was perfectly for there were some among them stronger, and elegant and modern ; he went to give orders for some more cunning than others, and these besupper, while the player, with a wink, observed came masters of the rest; for as sure as your that we were perfectly in luck. Our entertainer groom rides your horses, because he is a cunsoon returned, an elegant supper was brought in, ninger animal than they, so surely will the anitwo or three ladies in an easy dishabille were in- mal that is cunninger or strongeil than he, sit troduced, and the conversation began with some upon his shoulders in turn. Since, then, it is ensprightliness. Politics, however, was the sub- tailed upon humanity to submit, and some are ject on which our entertainer chiefly expatiated ; born to command, and others to obey, the for he asserted that liberty was at once his boast question is, as there must be tyrants, whether and his terror. After the cloth was removed, it is better to have them in the same house with he asked me if I had seen the last Monitor; to us, or in the same village, or, still farther off, in which replying in the negative, “What,snor the the metropolis. Now, sir, for my own part, as Auditor, I suppose ?” cried he.-"Neither, sir,” I naturally hate the face of a tyrant, the farther returned 1.-" That's strange, very strange," off he is removed from me, the better pleased replied my entertainer. “ Now, I read all the am I. The generality of mankind also are of politics that come out. The Daily, the Public, my way of thinking, and have unanimously crethe Ledger, the Chronicle, the London Evené ated one king, whose election at once diminishes ing, the Whitehall Evening, the seventeen Ma- the number of tyrants, and puts tyranny at the gazines, and the two Reviews; and though they greatest distance from the greatest number of hate each other, I love them all. Liberty, sir, people. Now, the great, who were tyrants themliberty is the Briton's boast; and by all my selves, before the election of one tyrant, are nacoal-mines in Cornwall, I reverence its guard- turally averse to a power raised over them, and ians."-" Then it is to be hoped,” cried I, "you whose weight must ever lean heaviest on the reverence the king."-" Yes,” returned my en- subordinate orders. It is the interest of the tertainer, “ when he does what we would have great, therefore, to diminish kingly power as him; but if he goes on as he has done of late, much as possible; because, whatever they take I'll never trouble myself more with his matters. from that, is naturally restored to themselves ; I say nothing. I think only, I could have di- and all they have to do in the state, is to underrected some things better. I don't think there mine the single tyrant, by which they resume has been a sufficient number of advisers; he their primeval authority. Now the state may should advise with every person willing to give be so circumstanced, or its laws may be so dishim advice, and then we should have things posed, or its men of opulence so minded, as all done in another guess manner.'
to conspire in carrying on this business of un“ I wish,” cried I, “ that such intruding ad- dermining monarchy. For, in the first place, if the circumstances of our state be such, as to troduced into the political system, and they, favour the accumulation of wealth, and make ever moving in the vortex of the great, will folthe opulent still more rich, this will increase low where greatness shall direct. In such a their ambition. An accumulation of wealth, state, therefore, all that the middle order has however, must necessarily be the consequence, left, is to preserve the prerogative and privileges when, as at present, more riches flow in from of the one principal governor with the most saexternal commerce than arise from internal in- cred circumspection. For he divides the power dustry; for external commerce can only be ma- of the rich, and calls off the great from falling naged to advantage by the rich, and they have with tenfold weight on the middle order placed also at the same time all the emoluments arising beneath them. The middle order may be comfrom internal industry; so that the rich, with pared to a town, of which the opulent are forma us, have two sources of wealth, whereas the poor ing the siege, and of which the governor from have but one. For this reason, wealth, in all without is hastening the relief. While the becommercial states, is found to accumulate ; and siegers are in dread of an enemy over them, it all such have hitherto in time become aristo. is but natural to offer the townsmen the most cratical. Again, the very laws also of the coun- specious terms; to flatter them with sounds, and try may contribute to the accumulation of wealth: amuse them with privileges ; but if they once as when, by their means, the natural ties that defeat the governor from behind, the walls of bind the rich and poor together are broken; and the town will be but a small defence to its init is ordained that the rich shall only marry with habitants. What they may then expect, may the rich; or when the learned are held unqua- be seen by turning our eyes to Holland, Genoa, lified to serve their country as counsellors, mere- or Venice, where the laws govern the poor, and ly from a defect of opulence; and wealth is thus the rich govern the laws. I am then for, and made the object of a wise man's ambition ; by would die for, monarchy, sacred monarchy; for these means, I say, and such means as these, if there be any thing sacred amongst men, it riches will accumulate. Now the possessor of must be the anointed sovereign of his people ; accumulated wealth, when furnished with the and every diminution of his power, in war or necessaries and pleasures of life, has no other peace, is an infringement upon the real libermethod to employ the superfluity of his fortune, ties of the subject. The sounds of liberty, pabut in purchasing power ; that is, differently triotism, and Britons, have already done much ; speaking, in making dependants, by purchasing it is to be hoped, that the true sons of freedom the liberty of the needy, or the venal, of men will prevent their ever doing more. I have who are willing to bear the mortification of con- known many of those pretended champions for tiguous tyratiny for bread. Thus each very opu- liberty in my time, yet do I not remember one lent man generally gathers round him a circle of that was not, in his heart and in his family, a the poorest of the people ; and the polity abound- tyrant." ing in accumulated wealth may be compared to My warmth, I found, had lengthened this a Cartesian system, each orb with a vortex of harangue beyond the rules of good- breeding ; its own. Those, however, who are willing to but the impatience of my entertainer, who ofien move in a great man's vortex, are only such as strove to interrupt it, could be restrained no must be slaves, the rabble of mankind, whose longer. “What!" cried he, “ then I have been souls and whose education are adapted to ser- all this while entertaining a jesuit in parson's vitude, and who know nothing of liberty except clothes ? But by all the coal-mines of Cornwall, the name. But there must still be a large num- out he shall pack, if my name be Wilkinson.' ber of the people without the sphere of the opu- - I now found I had gone too far, and asked lent man's intiuence, namely, that order of men pardon for the warmth with which I had spoken. which subsists between the very rich and the —“Pardon !" returned he in a fury; “I think very rabble ; those men who are possessed of too such principles demand ten thousand pardons. large fortunes to submit to the neighbouring What! give up liberty, property, and, as the man in power, and yet are too poor to set up for Gazetteer says, lie down to be saddled with tyranny themselves. In this middle order of wooden shoes! Sir, I insist upon your marching mankind, are generally to be found all the arts, out of this house immediately, to prevent worse wisdom, and virtues of society. This order consequences. Sir, I insist upon it.” I was goalone is known to be the true preserver of free- ing to repeat my remonstrances; but just then dom, and may be called, the people. Now it we heard a footman's rap at the door, and the may happen, that this middle order of mankind two ladies cried out, “ As sure as death, there may lose all its influence in a state, and its voice is our master and mistress come home !"-It be in a manner drowned in that of the rabble; seems my entertainer was all this while only for if the fortune sufficient for qualifying a per- the butler, who, in his master's absence, had a son at present to give his voice in state affairs, mind to cut a figure, and be for a while the genbe ten times less than was judged sufficient up- tleman himself; and, to say the truth, he talkon forming the constitution, it is evident, that ed politics as well as most country gentlemen greater numbers of the rabble will thus be in- do. But nothing could now exceed my confu
sion upon seeing the gentleman and his lady en- new question relative to my son.
In this manter; nor was their surprise, at finding such com- ner we spent the forenoon, till the bell summonpany and good cheer, less than ours.—" Gen- ed us to dinner, where we found the manager ilemen,” cried the real master of the house to of the strolling company that I mentioned beme and my companion, my wife and I are fore, who was come to dispose of tickets for the your most humble servants; but I protest this Fair Penitent, which was to be acted that evenis so unexpected a favour, that we almost sink ing; the part of Horatio by a young gentleman under the obligation.” However unexpected who had never appeared on any stage. He seemour company might be to them, theirs, I am ed to be very warm in the praise of the new persure, was still more so to us, and I was struck former, and averred, that he never saw any one dumb with the apprehensions of my own ab- who bid so fair for excellence. Acting, he obsurdity ; when, whom should I next see enter served, was not learned in a day. “ But this the room but my dear Miss Arabella Wilmot, gentleman,” continued he,“ seems born to tread who was formerly designed to be married to my the stage. His voice, his figure, and attitudes, son George ; but whose match was broken off, are all admirable. We caught him up accidentas already related. As soon as she saw me, shé ally, in our journey down.” This account, in flew to my arms with the utmost joy. My some measure, excited our curiosity; and, at dear sir," cried she, “ to what happy accident the entreaty of the ladies, I was prevailed upon is it that we owe so unexpected a visit? I am to accompany them to the play-house, which sure my uncle and aunt will be in raptures was no other than a barn. As the company with when they find they have got the good Doctor which I went was incontestably the chief of the Primrose for their guest." Upon hearing my place, we were received with the greatest rename, the old gentleman and lady very politely spect, and placed in the front seat of the theastepped up, and welcomed me with most cordial tre; where we sat for some time with no small hospitality. Nor could they forbear smiling on impatience to see Horatio make his appearance. being informed of the nature of iny present vi- The new performer advanced at last : and let sit ; but the unfortunate butler, whom they at parents think of my sensations by their own, first seemed disposed to turn away, was, at my when I found it was my unfortunate son! He intercession, forgiven.
was going to begin ; when, turning his eyes upon Mr Arnold and his lady, to whom the house the audience, he perceived Miss Wilmot and me, belonged, now insisted upon having the pleasure and stood at once speechless and immoveable. of my stay for some days; and as their niece, The actors behind the scenes, who ascribed my charming pupil, whose mind, in some mea- this pause to his natural timidity, attempted to sure, had been formed under my own instruc- encourage him; but instead of going on, he burst tions, joined in their intreaties, I complied. into a flood of tears, and retired off the stage. That night I was shewn to a magnificent cham. I don't know what were my feelings on this ocber, and the next morning, early, Miss Wilmot casion ; for they succeeded with too much radesired to walk with me in the garden, which pidity for description ; but I was soon awaked was decorated in the modern manner. After from this disagreeable reverie by Miss Wilmot ; some time spent in pointing out the beauties of who, pale and with a trembling voice, desired the place, she inquired, with seeming uncon- me to conduct her back to her uncle's. When cern, when last I had heard from my son George. got home, Mr Arnold, who was as yet a stranger “ Alas! madam,” cried I,“ he has now been to our extraordinary behaviour, being informed near three years absent, without ever writing to that the new performer was my son, sent his his friends or me. Where he is, I know not; coach, and an invitation for him; and, as he perhaps I shall never see him or happiness more. persisted in his refusal to appear again upon the No, my dear madam, we shall never more see stage, the players put another in his place, and such pleasing hours as were once spent by our we soon had him with us. Mr Arnold gave him fire-side at Wakefield. My little family are now the kindest reception, and I received him with dispersing very fast, and poverty has brought my usual transport, for I could never counternot only want, but infamy upon us.” The good- feit a false resentment. Miss Wilmot's reception natured girl let fall a tear at this account; but, was mixed with seeming neglect, and yet I could as I saw her possessed of too much sensibility, perceive she acted a studied part. The tumult I forbore a more minute detail of our sufferings. in her mind seemed not yet abated ; she said It was, however, some consolation to me to find twenty giddy things that looked like joy, and that time had made no alteration in her affec- then laughed aloud at her own want of meaning. tions, and that she had rejected several offers At intervals she would take a sly peep at the that had been made her since our leaving her glass, as if happy in the consciousness of irrepart of the country. She led me round all the sistible beauty; and often would ask questions, extensive improvements of the place, pointing to without giving any manner of attention to the the several walks and arbours, and at the same answers. time catching from every object a hint for some
little. Have you been bred apprentice to the
business ?'-No.- Then you wont do for a CHAP. XX.
school. Can you dress the boys' hair ?'-No.
—Then you won't do for a school. Have you The History of a Philosophic Vagabond, pursu- had the small-pox ?'—No.- Then you won t ing Novelty, but losing Content. do for a school. Can you lie three in a bed ?
-No.-- Then you will never do for a school. After we had supped, Mrs Arnold politely Have you got a good stomach ?'-Yes.-Then offered to send a couple of her footmen for my you will by no means do for a school. No, sir; son's baggage, which he at first seemed to de- if you are for a genteel, easy profession, bind cline ; but upon her pressing the request, he was yourself seven years as an apprentice to turn a obliged to inform her, that a stick and a wallet cutler's wheel; but avoid a school by any means. were all the moveable things upon this earth Yet come,' continued he, ' I see you are a lad which he could boast of. “ Why, ay, my son," of spirit and some learning ; what do you think cried I,“ you left me but poor ; and poor, I of commencing author like me? You have read find, you are come back : and yet, I make no in books, no doubt, of men of genius starving at doubt you have seen a great deal of the world.” the trade; at present I'll shew you forty very -"Yes, sir," replied my son ;“ but travelling dull fellows about town that live by it in opuafter fortune is not the way to secure her; and, lence. All honest jog-trot men, who go on indeed, of late, I have desisted from the pur- smoothly and dully, and write history and posuit.”—“I fancy, sir,” cried Mrs Arnold, that litics, and are praised. Men, sir, who, had they the account of your adventures would be amu- been bred cobblers, would all their lives have sing; the first part of them I have often heard only mended shoes, but never made them.' from my niece; but could the company prevail Finding that there was no great degree of for the rest, it would be an additional obliga- gentility affixed to the character of an usher, I tion.”—“Madam,” replied my son," I promise resolved to accept his proposal ; and having the you the pleasure you have in hearing will not highest respect for literature, hailed the Antiqua be half so great as my vanity in repeating them; Mater of Grub-street with reverence. I thought and yet in the whole narrative I can scarcely it my glory to pursue a track which Dryden and promise you one adventure, as my account is Otway trod before me. I considered the goddess rather of what I saw, than what I did. The first of this region as the parent of excellence; and, misfortune of my life, which you
all know, was however an intercourse with the world might great; but though it distressed, it could not sink give us good sense, the poverty she entailed I me. No person ever had a better knack at ho- supposed to be the nurse of genius. Big with ping than I. The less kind I found Fortune at these reflections, I sat down, and finding that one time, the more I expected from her at an- the best things remained to be said on the wrong other; and being now at the bottom of her side, I resolved to write a book that should be wheel, every new revolution might lift, but wholly new. I therefore dressed up three paracould not depress me. I proceeded, therefore, doxes with some ingenuity. They were false, towards London, in a fine morning, no way indeed, but they were new. The jewels of truth uneasy about to-morrow, but cheerful as the have been so often imported by others, that nobirds that carolled by the road ; and comforted thing was left for me to import but some splenmyself with reflecting that London was the mart did things that at a distance looked every bit as where abilities of every kind were sure of meet- well. Witness, you powers, what fancied iming distinction and reward.
portance sat perched upon my quill while I was « Upon my arrival in town, sir, my first care writing! The whole learned world, I made no was to deliver your letter of recommendation to doubt, would rise to oppose my systems; but our cousin, who was himself in little better cir. then I was prepared to oppose the whole learncumstances than I. My first scheme, you know, ed world. Like the porcupine, I sat self-collectsir, was to be usher at an academy, and I asked ed, with a quill pointed against every opposer." his advice on the affair. Our cousin received the “ Well said, my boy,” cried I; " and what proposal with a true Sardonic grin. 'Ay,' cried subject did you treat upon ? I hope you did not he, this is indeed a very pretty career that pass over the importance of monogamy. But I has been chalked out for you. I have been an interrupt-go on. You published your parausher to a boarding-school myself; and may I doxes ; well, and what did the learned world die by an anodyne necklace, but I had rather be say to your paradoxes ?" an under-turnkey in Newgate! I was up early *« Sir," replied my son,
« tbe learned world and late— I was brow-beat by the master-ha- said nothing to my paradoxes; nothing at all, ted for my ugly face by the mistress-worried sir. Every man of them was employed in praiby the boys within—and never permitted to stir sing his friends and bimself, or condemning his out to meet civility abroad. But are you sure enemies; and unfortunately, as I had neither, you are fit for a school ? Let me examine you a I suffered the cruellest mortification-neglect.
“ As I was meditating one day, in a coffee buried among the essays upon liberty, eastern house, on the fate of my paradoxes, a little man, tales, and cures for the bite of a mad dog; while happening to enter the room, placed himself in Philautus, Philalethes, Philelutheros, and Phithe box before me; and after some preliminary lanthropos, all wrote better, because they wrote discourse, finding me to be a scholar, drew out faster, than I. a bundle of proposals, begging me to subscribe Now, therefore, I began to associate with to a new edition he was going to give the world none but disappointed authors like myself, who of Propertius, with notes. This demand neces- praised, deplored, and despised each other. The sarily produced a reply, that I had no money; satisfaction we found in every celebrated wriand that concession led him to inquire into the ter's attempts was inversely as their merits. I nature of my expectations. Finding that my found that no genius in another could please expectations were just as great as my purse— me. My unfortunate paradoxes had entirely • I see,' cried he, you are unacquainted with dried up that source of comfort. I could neithe town. I'll teach you a part of it.-Look at ther read nor write with satisfaction; for exthese proposals ; upon these very proposals I cellence in another was my aversion, and wri. have subsisted very comfortably for twelve years. ting was my trade. The moment a nobleman returns from his tra- “In the midst of these gloomy reflections, as vels, a Creolian arrives from Jamaica, or a dow. I was one day sitting on a bench in St James's ager from her country-seat, I strike for a sub- Park, a young gentleman of distinction, who scription. I first besiege their hearts with flat- had been my intimate acquaintance at the unitery, and then pour in my proposals at the versity, approached me. We saluted each other breach. If they subscribe readily the first time, with some hesitation—he almost ashamed of beI renew my request to beg a dedication fee; if ing known to one who made so shabby an apthey let me have that, I smite them once more pearance, and I afraid of a repulse. But my for engraving their coat of arms at the top. suspicions soon vanished; for Ned Thornhill
Thus, continued he, ' I live by vanity, and was at the bottom a very good-natured fellow.” laugh at it. But, between ourselves, I am now “What did you say, George?”. interrupted too well known; I should be glad to borrow 1.-" Thornhill! was not that his name? It your face a bit ; a nobleman of distinction has can certainly be no other than my landlord.”just returned from Italy; my face is familiar to “ Bless me!" cried Mrs Arnold, “ is Mr Thornhis porter ; but if you bring this copy of verses, hill so near a neighbour of yours? He has long my life for it you succeed, and we divide the been a friend in our family, and we expect a spoil.'”
visit from him shortly.” “ Bless us, George,” cried I," and is this the “My friend's first care,” continued my son, employment of poets now? Do men of their ex- was to alter my appearance by a very fine alted talents thus stoop to beggary? Can they suit of his own clothes, and then I was admitso far disgrace their calling, as to make a vile ted to his table upon the footing of half friend, traffic of praise for bread ?”
half underling. My business was to attend him “O no, sir,” returned he ; " a true poet can at auctions, to put him in spirits when he sat never be so base ; for wherever there is genius for his picture, to take the left hand in his chathere is pride. The creatures I now describe are riot when not filled by another, and to assist at only beggars in rhyme. The real poet, as he tattering a kip, as the phrase was, when he had braves every hardship for fame, so is he equally a mind for a frolic. Besides this, I had twenty a coward to contempt ; and none but those who other little employments in the family. I was are unworthy protection, condescend to solicit it. to do many small things without bidding ; to
“ Having a mind too proud to stoop to such carry the cork-screw; to stand godfather to all indignities, and yet a fortune too humble to the butler's children; to sing when I was bid ; hazard a second attempt for fame, I was now to be never out of humour; always to be humobliged to take a middle course, and write for ble; and, if I could, to be very happy. bread. But I was unqualified for a profession “ In this honourable post, however, I was where mere industry alone was to ensure suc- not without a rival. A captain of marines, who cess. I could not suppress my lurking passion was formed for the place by nature, opposed me for applause ; but usually consumed that time in my patron's affections. His mother had been in efforts after excellence which takes up but laundress to a man of quality, and thus he early little room, when it should have been more ad- acquired a taste for pimping and pedigree. As vantageously employed in the diffusive produc- this gentleman made it the study of his life to tions of fruitful mediocrity. My little piece be acquainted with lords, though he was diswould, therefore, come forth in the midst of pe- missed from several for his stupidity, yet he riodical publications, unnoticed and unknown. found many of them, who were as dull as himThe public were more importantly employed self, that permitted his assiduities. As flattery than to observe the easy simplicity of my style, was his trade, he practised it with the easiest or the harmony
of my periods. Sheet after sheet address imaginable ; but it came awkward and was thrown off to oblivion. My essays were stiff from me; and as every day my patron's