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Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon by Henry Fielding

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by Henry Fielding





When it was determined to extend the present edition of Fielding,
not merely by the addition of Jonathan Wild to the three
universally popular novels, but by two volumes of Miscellanies,
there could be no doubt about at least one of the contents of
these latter. The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon, if it does not
rank in my estimation anywhere near to Jonathan Wild as an
example of our author's genius, is an invaluable and delightful
document for his character and memory. It is indeed, as has been
pointed out in the General Introduction to this series, our main
source of indisputable information as to Fielding dans son
naturel, and its value, so far as it goes, is of the very
highest. The gentle and unaffected stoicism which the author
displays under a disease which he knew well was probably, if not
certainly, mortal, and which, whether mortal or not, must cause
him much actual pain and discomfort of a kind more intolerable
than pain itself; his affectionate care for his family; even
little personal touches, less admirable, but hardly less pleasant
than these, showing an Englishman's dislike to be "done" and an
Englishman's determination to be treated with proper respect, are
scarcely less noticeable and important on the biographical side
than the unimpaired brilliancy of his satiric and yet kindly
observation of life and character is on the side of literature.

There is, as is now well known since Mr. Dobson's separate
edition of the Voyage, a little bibliographical problem about the
first appearance of this Journal in 1755. The best known issue
of that year is much shorter than the version inserted by Murphy
and reprinted here, the passages omitted being chiefly those
reflecting on the captain, etc., and so likely to seem invidious
in a book published just after the author's death, and for the
benefit, as was expressly announced, of his family. But the
curious thing is that there is ANOTHER edition, of date so early
that some argument is necessary to determine the priority, which
does give these passages and is identical with the later or
standard version. For satisfaction on this point, however, I
must refer readers to Mr. Dobson himself.

There might have been a little, but not much, doubt as to a
companion piece for the Journal; for indeed, after we close this
(with or without its "Fragment on Bolingbroke"), the remainder of
Fielding's work lies on a distinctly lower level of interest. It
is still interesting, or it would not be given here. It still
has--at least that part which here appears seems to its editor to
have--interest intrinsic and "simple of itself." But it is
impossible for anybody who speaks critically to deny that we now
get into the region where work is more interesting because of its
authorship than it would be if its authorship were different or
unknown. To put the same thing in a sharper antithesis, Fielding
is interesting, first of all, because he is the author of Joseph
Andrews, of Tom Jones, of Amelia, of Jonathan Wild, of the
Journal. His plays, his essays, his miscellanies generally are
interesting, first of all, because they were written by Fielding.

Yet of these works, the Journey from this World to the Next
(which, by a grim trick of fortune, might have served as a title
for the more interesting Voyage with which we have yoked it)
stands clearly first both in scale and merit. It is indeed very
unequal, and as the author was to leave it unfinished, it is a
pity that he did not leave it unfinished much sooner than he
actually did. The first ten chapters, if of a kind of satire
which has now grown rather obsolete for the nonce, are of a good
kind and good in their kind; the history of the metempsychoses of
Julian is of a less good kind, and less good in that kind. The
date of composition of the piece is not known, but it appeared in
the Miscellanies of 1743, and may represent almost any period of
its author's development prior to that year. Its form was a very
common form at the time, and continued to be so. I do not know
that it is necessary to assign any very special origin to it,
though Lucian, its chief practitioner, was evidently and almost
avowedly a favorite study of Fielding's. The Spanish romancers,
whether borrowing it from Lucian or not, had been fond of it;
their French followers, of whom the chief were Fontenelle and Le
Sage, had carried it northwards; the English essayists had almost
from the beginning continued the process of acclimatization.
Fielding therefore found it ready to his hand, though the present
condition of this example would lead us to suppose that he did
not find his hand quite ready to it. Still, in the actual
"journey," there are touches enough of the master--not yet quite
in his stage of mastery. It seemed particularly desirable not to
close the series without some representation of the work to which
Fielding gave the prime of his manhood, and from which, had he
not, fortunately for English literature, been driven decidedly
against his will, we had had in all probability no Joseph
Andrews, and pretty certainly no Tom Jones. Fielding's
periodical and dramatic work has been comparatively seldom
reprinted, and has never yet been reprinted as a whole. The
dramas indeed are open to two objections--the first, that they
are not very "proper;" the second, and much more serious, that
they do not redeem this want of propriety by the possession of
any remarkable literary merit. Three (or two and part of a
third) seemed to escape this double censure--the first two acts
of the Author's Farce (practically a piece to themselves, for the
Puppet Show which follows is almost entirely independent); the
famous burlesque of Tom Thumb, which stands between the Rehearsal
and the Critic, but nearer to the former; and Pasquin, the
maturest example of Fielding's satiric work in drama. These
accordingly have been selected; the rest I have read, and he who
likes may read. I have read many worse things than even the
worst of them, but not often worse things by so good a writer as
Henry Fielding. The next question concerned the selection of
writings more miscellaneous still, so as to give in little a
complete idea of Fielding's various powers and experiments. Two
difficulties beset this part of the task--want of space and the
absence of anything so markedly good as absolutely to insist on
inclusion. The Essay on Conversation, however, seemed pretty
peremptorily to challenge a place. It is in a style which
Fielding was very slow to abandon, which indeed has left strong
traces even on his great novels; and if its mannerism is not now
very attractive, the separate traits in it are often sharp and
well-drawn. The book would not have been complete without a
specimen or two of Fielding's journalism. The Champion, his
first attempt of this kind, has not been drawn upon in
consequence of the extreme difficulty of fixing with absolute
certainty on Fielding's part in it. I do not know whether
political prejudice interferes, more than I have usually found it
interfere, with my judgment of the two Hanoverian-partisan papers
of the '45 time. But they certainly seem to me to fail in
redeeming their dose of rancor and misrepresentation by any
sufficient evidence of genius such as, to my taste, saves not
only the party journalism in verse and prose of Swift and Canning
and Praed on one side, but that of Wolcot and Moore and Sydney
Smith on the other. Even the often-quoted journal of events in
London under the Chevalier is overwrought and tedious. The best
thing in the True Patriot seems to me to be Parson Adams' letter
describing his adventure with a young "bowe" of his day; and this
I select, together with one or two numbers of the Covent Garden
Journal. I have not found in this latter anything more
characteristic than Murphy's selection, though Mr. Dobson, with
his unfailing kindness, lent me an original and unusually
complete set of the Journal itself.

It is to the same kindness that I owe the opportunity of
presenting the reader with something indisputably Fielding's and
very characteristic of him, which Murphy did not print, and which
has not, so far as I know, ever appeared either in a collection
or a selection of Fielding's work. After the success of David
Simple, Fielding gave his sister, for whom he had already written
a preface to that novel, another preface for a set of Familiar
Letters between the characters of David Simple and others. This
preface Murphy reprinted; but he either did not notice, or did
not choose to attend to, a note towards the end of the book
attributing certain of the letters to the author of the preface,
the attribution being accompanied by an agreeably warm and
sisterly denunciation of those who ascribed to Fielding matter
unworthy of him. From these the letter which I have chosen,
describing a row on the Thames, seems to me not only
characteristic, but, like all this miscellaneous work,
interesting no less for its weakness than for its strength. In
hardly any other instance known to me can we trace so clearly the
influence of a suitable medium and form on the genius of the
artist. There are some writers--Dryden is perhaps the greatest
of them--to whom form and medium seem almost indifferent, their
all-round craftsmanship being such that they can turn any kind
and every style to their purpose. There are others, of whom I
think our present author is the chief, who are never really at
home but in one kind. In Fielding's case that kind was narrative
of a peculiar sort, half-sentimental, half-satirical, and almost
wholly sympathetic--narrative which has the singular gift of
portraying the liveliest character and yet of admitting the
widest disgression and soliloquy.

Until comparatively late in his too short life, when he found
this special path of his (and it is impossible to say whether the
actual finding was in the case of Jonathan or in the case of
Joseph), he did but flounder and slip. When he had found it, and
was content to walk in it, he strode with as sure and steady a
step as any other, even the greatest, of those who carry and hand
on the torch of literature through the ages. But it is
impossible to derive full satisfaction from his feats in this
part of the race without some notion of his performances
elsewhere; and I believe that such a notion will be supplied to
the readers of his novels by the following volumes, in a very
large number of cases, for the first time.



Your candor is desired on the perusal of the following sheets, as
they are the product of a genius that has long been your delight
and entertainment. It must be acknowledged that a lamp almost
burnt out does not give so steady and uniform a light as when it
blazes in its full vigor; but yet it is well known that by its
wavering, as if struggling against its own dissolution, it
sometimes darts a ray as bright as ever. In like manner, a
strong and lively genius will, in its last struggles, sometimes
mount aloft, and throw forth the most striking marks of its
original luster.

Wherever these are to be found, do you, the genuine patrons of
extraordinary capacities, be as liberal in your applauses of him
who is now no more as you were of him whilst he was yet amongst
you. And, on the other hand, if in this little work there should
appear any traces of a weakened and decayed life, let your own
imaginations place before your eyes a true picture in that of a
hand trembling in almost its latest hour, of a body emaciated
with pains, yet struggling for your entertainment; and let this
affecting picture open each tender heart, and call forth a
melting tear, to blot out whatever failings may be found in a
work begun in pain, and finished almost at the same period with
life. It was thought proper by the friends of the deceased that
this little piece should come into your hands as it came from the
hands of the author, it being judged that you would be better
pleased to have an opportunity of observing the faintest traces
of a genius you have long admired, than have it patched by a
different hand, by which means the marks of its true author might
have been effaced. That the success of the last written, though
first published, volume of the author's posthumous pieces may be
attended with some convenience to those innocents he hath left
behind, will no doubt be a motive to encourage its circulation
through the kingdom, which will engage every future genius to
exert itself for your pleasure. The principles and spirit which
breathe in every line of the small fragment begun in answer to
Lord Bolingbroke will unquestionably be a sufficient apology for
its publication, although vital strength was wanting to finish a
work so happily begun and so well designed. PREFACE THERE would
not, perhaps, be a more pleasant or profitable study, among those
which have their principal end in amusement, than that of travels
or voyages, if they were wrote as they might be and ought to be,
with a joint view to the entertainment and information of
mankind. If the conversation of travelers be so eagerly sought
after as it is, we may believe their books will be still more
agreeable company, as they will in general be more instructive
and more entertaining. But when I say the conversation of
travelers is usually so welcome, I must be understood to mean
that only of such as have had good sense enough to apply their
peregrinations to a proper use, so as to acquire from them a real
and valuable knowledge of men and things, both which are best
known by comparison. If the customs and manners of men were
everywhere the same, there would be no office so dull as that of
a traveler, for the difference of hills, valleys, rivers, in
short, the various views of which we may see the face of the
earth, would scarce afford him a pleasure worthy of his labor;
and surely it would give him very little opportunity of
communicating any kind of entertainment or improvement to others.

To make a traveler an agreeable companion to a man of sense, it
is necessary, not only that he should have seen much, but that he
should have overlooked much of what he hath seen. Nature is not,
any more than a great genius, always admirable in her
productions, and therefore the traveler, who may be called her
commentator, should not expect to find everywhere subjects worthy
of his notice. It is certain, indeed, that one may be guilty of
omission, as well as of the opposite extreme; but a fault on that
side will be more easily pardoned, as it is better to be hungry
than surfeited; and to miss your dessert at the table of a man
whose gardens abound with the choicest fruits, than to have your
taste affronted with every sort of trash that can be picked up at
the green-stall or the wheel-barrow. If we should carry on the
analogy between the traveler and the commentator, it is
impossible to keep one's eye a moment off from the laborious
much-read doctor Zachary Gray, of whose redundant notes on
Hudibras I shall only say that it is, I am confident, the single
book extant in which above five hundred authors are quoted, not
one of which could be found in the collection of the late doctor Mead.

As there are few things which a traveler is to record, there are
fewer on which he is to offer his observations: this is the
office of the reader; and it is so pleasant a one, that he seldom
chooses to have it taken from him, under the pretense of lending
him assistance. Some occasions, indeed, there are, when proper
observations are pertinent, and others when they are necessary;
but good sense alone must point them out. I shall lay down only
one general rule; which I believe to be of universal truth
between relator and hearer, as it is between author and reader;
this is, that the latter never forgive any observation of the
former which doth not convey some knowledge that they are
sensible they could not possibly have attained of themselves.

But all his pains in collecting knowledge, all his judgment in
selecting, and all his art in communicating it, will not suffice,
unless he can make himself, in some degree, an agreeable as well
as an instructive companion. The highest instruction we can
derive from the tedious tale of a dull fellow scarce ever pays us
for our attention. There is nothing, I think, half so valuable
as knowledge, and yet there is nothing which men will give
themselves so little trouble to attain; unless it be, perhaps,
that lowest degree of it which is the object of curiosity, and
which hath therefore that active passion constantly employed in
its service. This, indeed, it is in the power of every traveler
to gratify; but it is the leading principle in weak minds only.

To render his relation agreeable to the man of sense, it is
therefore necessary that the voyager should possess several
eminent and rare talents; so rare indeed, that it is almost
wonderful to see them ever united in the same person. And if all
these talents must concur in the relator, they are certainly in a
more eminent degree necessary to the writer; for here the
narration admits of higher ornaments of style, and every fact and
sentiment offers itself to the fullest and most deliberate
examination. It would appear, therefore, I think, somewhat
strange if such writers as these should be found extremely
common; since nature hath been a most parsimonious distributor of
her richest talents, and hath seldom bestowed many on the same
person. But, on the other hand, why there should scarce exist a
single writer of this kind worthy our regard; and, whilst there
is no other branch of history (for this is history) which hath
not exercised the greatest pens, why this alone should be
overlooked by all men of great genius and erudition, and
delivered up to the Goths and Vandals as their lawful property,
is altogether as difficult to determine. And yet that this is
the case, with some very few exceptions, is most manifest. Of
these I shall willingly admit Burnet and Addison; if the former
was not, perhaps, to be considered as a political essayist, and
the latter as a commentator on the classics, rather than as a
writer of travels; which last title, perhaps, they would both of
them have been least ambitious to affect. Indeed, if these two
and two or three more should be removed from the mass, there
would remain such a heap of dullness behind, that the appellation
of voyage-writer would not appear very desirable. I am not here
unapprised that old Homer himself is by some considered as a
voyage-writer; and, indeed, the beginning of his Odyssey may be
urged to countenance that opinion, which I shall not controvert.
But, whatever species of writing the Odyssey is of, it is surely
at the head of that species, as much as the Iliad is of another;
and so far the excellent Longinus would allow, I believe, at this day.

But, in reality, the Odyssey, the Telemachus, and all of that
kind, are to the voyage-writing I here intend, what romance is to
true history, the former being the confounder and corrupter of
the latter. I am far from supposing that Homer, Hesiod, and the
other ancient poets and mythologists, had any settled design to
pervert and confuse the records of antiquity; but it is certain
they have effected it; and for my part I must confess I should
have honored and loved Homer more had he written a true history
of his own times in humble prose, than those noble poems that
have so justly collected the praise of all ages; for, though I
read these with more admiration and astonishment, I still read
Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon with more amusement and more
satisfaction. The original poets were not, however, without
excuse. They found the limits of nature too straight for the
immensity of their genius, which they had not room to exert
without extending fact by fiction: and that especially at a time
when the manners of men were too simple to afford that variety
which they have since offered in vain to the choice of the
meanest writers. In doing this they are again excusable for the
manner in which they have done it.

Ut speciosa dehine miracula promant.

They are not, indeed, so properly said to turn reality into
fiction, as fiction into reality. Their paintings are so bold,
their colors so strong, that everything they touch seems to exist
in the very manner they represent it; their portraits are so
just, and their landscapes so beautiful, that we acknowledge the
strokes of nature in both, without inquiring whether Nature
herself, or her journeyman the poet, formed the first pattern of
the piece. But other writers (I will put Pliny at their head)
have no such pretensions to indulgence; they lie for lying sake,
or in order insolently to impose the most monstrous
improbabilities and absurdities upon their readers on their own
authority; treating them as some fathers treat children, and as
other fathers do laymen, exacting their belief of whatever they
relate, on no other foundation than their own authority, without
ever taking the pains or adapting their lies to human credulity,
and of calculating them for the meridian of a common
understanding; but, with as much weakness as wickedness, and with
more impudence often than either, they assert facts contrary to
the honor of God, to the visible order of the creation, to the
known laws of nature, to the histories of former ages, and to the
experience of our own, and which no man can at once understand
and believe. If it should be objected (and it can nowhere be
objected better than where I now write,[12] as there is nowhere
more pomp of bigotry) that whole nations have been firm believers
in such most absurd suppositions, I reply, the fact is not true.
They have known nothing of the matter, and have believed they
knew not what. It is, indeed, with me no matter of doubt but
that the pope and his clergy might teach any of those Christian
heterodoxies, the tenets of which are the most diametrically
opposite to their own; nay, all the doctrines of Zoroaster,
Confucius, and Mahomet, not only with certain and immediate
success, but without one Catholic in a thousand knowing he had
changed his religion.

[12] At Lisbon.

What motive a man can have to sit down, and to draw forth a list
of stupid, senseless, incredible lies upon paper, would be
difficult to determine, did not Vanity present herself so
immediately as the adequate cause. The vanity of knowing more
than other men is, perhaps, besides hunger, the only inducement
to writing, at least to publishing, at all. Why then should not
the voyage-writer be inflamed with the glory of having seen what
no man ever did or will see but himself? This is the true source
of the wonderful in the discourse and writings, and sometimes, I
believe, in the actions of men. There is another fault, of a
kind directly opposite to this, to which these writers are
sometimes liable, when, instead of filling their pages with
monsters which nobody hath ever seen, and with adventures which
never have, nor could possibly have, happened to them, waste
their time and paper with recording things and facts of so common
a kind, that they challenge no other right of being remembered
than as they had the honor of having happened to the author, to
whom nothing seems trivial that in any manner happens to himself.

Of such consequence do his own actions appear to one of this
kind, that he would probably think himself guilty of infidelity
should he omit the minutest thing in the detail of his journal.
That the fact is true is sufficient to give it a place there,
without any consideration whether it is capable of pleasing or
surprising, of diverting or informing, the reader. I have seen a
play (if I mistake not it is one of Mrs. Behn's or of Mrs.
Centlivre's) where this vice in a voyage-writer is finely
ridiculed. An ignorant pedant, to whose government, for I know
not what reason, the conduct of a young nobleman in his travels
is committed, and who is sent abroad to show my lord the world,
of which he knows nothing himself, before his departure from a
town, calls for his Journal to record the goodness of the wine
and tobacco, with other articles of the same importance, which
are to furnish the materials of a voyage at his return home. The
humor, it is true, is here carried very far; and yet, perhaps,
very little beyond what is to be found in writers who profess no
intention of dealing in humor at all. Of one or other, or both
of these kinds, are, I conceive, all that vast pile of books
which pass under the names of voyages, travels, adventures,
lives, memoirs, histories, etc., some of which a single traveler
sends into the world in many volumes, and others are, by
judicious booksellers, collected into vast bodies in folio, and
inscribed with their own names, as if they were indeed their own
travels: thus unjustly attributing to themselves the merit of others.

Now, from both these faults we have endeavored to steer clear in
the following narrative; which, however the contrary may be
insinuated by ignorant, unlearned, and fresh-water critics, who
have never traveled either in books or ships, I do solemnly
declare doth, in my own impartial opinion, deviate less from
truth than any other voyage extant; my lord Anson's alone being,
perhaps, excepted. Some few embellishments must be allowed to
every historian; for we are not to conceive that the speeches in
Livy, Sallust, or Thucydides, were literally spoken in the very
words in which we now read them. It is sufficient that every
fact hath its foundation in truth, as I do seriously aver is the
ease in the ensuing pages; and when it is so, a good critic will
be so far from denying all kind of ornament of style or diction,
or even of circumstance, to his author, that he would be rather
sorry if he omitted it; for he could hence derive no other
advantage than the loss of an additional pleasure in the perusal.

Again, if any merely common incident should appear in this
journal, which will seldom I apprehend be the case, the candid
reader will easily perceive it is not introduced for its own
sake, but for some observations and reflections naturally
resulting from it; and which, if but little to his amusement,
tend directly to the instruction of the reader or to the
information of the public; to whom if I choose to convey such
instruction or information with an air of joke and laughter, none
but the dullest of fellows will, I believe, censure it; but if
they should, I have the authority of more than one passage in
Horace to allege in my defense. Having thus endeavored to
obviate some censures, to which a man without the gift of
foresight, or any fear of the imputation of being a conjurer,
might conceive this work would be liable, I might now undertake a
more pleasing task, and fall at once to the direct and positive
praises of the work itself; of which indeed, I could say a
thousand good things; but the task is so very pleasant that I
shall leave it wholly to the reader, and it is all the task that
I impose on him. A moderation for which he may think himself
obliged to me when he compares it with the conduct of authors,
who often fill a whole sheet with their own praises, to which
they sometimes set their own real names, and sometimes a
fictitious one. One hint, however, I must give the kind reader;
which is, that if he should be able to find no sort of amusement
in the book, he will be pleased to remember the public utility
which will arise from it. If entertainment, as Mr. Richardson
observes, be but a secondary consideration in a romance; with
which Mr. Addison, I think, agrees, affirming the use of the
pastry cook to be the first; if this, I say, be true of a mere
work of invention, sure it may well be so considered in a work
founded, like this, on truth; and where the political reflections
form so distinguishing a part. But perhaps I may hear, from some
critic of the most saturnine complexion, that my vanity must have
made a horrid dupe of my judgment, if it hath flattered me with
an expectation of having anything here seen in a grave light, or
of conveying any useful instruction to the public, or to their
guardians. I answer, with the great man whom I just now quoted,
that my purpose is to convey instruction in the vehicle of
entertainment; and so to bring about at once, like the revolution
in the Rehearsal, a perfect reformation of the laws relating to
our maritime affairs: an undertaking, I will not say more
modest, but surely more feasible, than that of reforming a whole
people, by making use of a vehicular story, to wheel in among
them worse manners than their own.


In the beginning of August, 1753, when I had taken the duke of
Portland's medicine, as it is called, near a year, the effects of
which had been the carrying off the symptoms of a lingering
imperfect gout, I was persuaded by Mr. Ranby, the king's premier
sergeant-surgeon, and the ablest advice, I believe, in all
branches of the physical profession, to go immediately to Bath.
I accordingly wrote that very night to Mrs. Bowden, who, by the
next post, informed me she had taken me a lodging for a month
certain. Within a few days after this, whilst I was preparing
for my journey, and when I was almost fatigued to death with
several long examinations, relating to five different murders,
all committed within the space of a week, by different gangs of
street-robbers, I received a message from his grace the duke of
Newcastle, by Mr. Carrington, the king's messenger, to attend his
grace the next morning, in Lincoln's-inn-fields, upon some
business of importance; but I excused myself from complying with
the message, as, besides being lame, I was very ill with the
great fatigues I had lately undergone added to my distemper.

His grace, however, sent Mr. Carrington, the very next morning,
with another summons; with which, though in the utmost distress,
I immediately complied; but the duke, happening, unfortunately
for me, to be then particularly engaged, after I had waited some
time, sent a gentleman to discourse with me on the best plan
which could be invented for putting an immediate end to those
murders and robberies which were every day committed in the
streets; upon which I promised to transmit my opinion, in
writing, to his grace, who, as the gentleman informed me,
intended to lay it before the privy council.

Though this visit cost me a severe cold, I, notwithstanding, set
myself down to work; and in about four days sent the duke as
regular a plan as I could form, with all the reasons and
arguments I could bring to support it, drawn out in several
sheets of paper; and soon received a message from the duke by Mr.
Carrington, acquainting me that my plan was highly approved of,
and that all the terms of it would be complied with. The
principal and most material of those terms was the immediately
depositing six hundred pound in my hands; at which small charge I
undertook to demolish the then reigning gangs, and to put the
civil policy into such order, that no such gangs should ever be
able, for the future, to form themselves into bodies, or at least
to remain any time formidable to the public.

I had delayed my Bath journey for some time, contrary to the
repeated advice of my physical acquaintance, and to the ardent
desire of my warmest friends, though my distemper was now turned
to a deep jaundice; in which case the Bath waters are generally
reputed to be almost infallible. But I had the most eager desire
of demolishing this gang of villains and cut-throats, which I was
sure of accomplishing the moment I was enabled to pay a fellow
who had undertaken, for a small sum, to betray them into the
hands of a set of thief-takers whom I had enlisted into the
service, all men of known and approved fidelity and intrepidity.

After some weeks the money was paid at the treasury, and within a
few days after two hundred pounds of it had come to my hands, the
whole gang of cut-throats was entirely dispersed, seven of them
were in actual custody, and the rest driven, some out of the
town, and others out of the kingdom. Though my health was now
reduced to the last extremity, I continued to act with the utmost
vigor against these villains; in examining whom, and in taking
the depositions against them, I have often spent whole days, nay,
sometimes whole nights, especially when there was any difficulty
in procuring sufficient evidence to convict them; which is a very
common case in street-robberies, even when the guilt of the party
is sufficiently apparent to satisfy the most tender conscience.
But courts of justice know nothing of a cause more than what is
told them on oath by a witness; and the most flagitious villain
upon earth is tried in the same manner as a man of the best
character who is accused of the same crime. Meanwhile, amidst
all my fatigues and distresses, I had the satisfaction to find my
endeavors had been attended with such success that this hellish
society were almost utterly extirpated, and that, instead of
reading of murders and street-robberies in the news almost every
morning, there was, in the remaining part of the month of
November, and in all December, not only no such thing as a
murder, but not even a street-robbery committed. Some such,
indeed, were mentioned in the public papers; but they were all
found on the strictest inquiry, to be false. In this entire
freedom from street-robberies, during the dark months, no man
will, I believe, scruple to acknowledge that the winter of 1753
stands unrivaled, during a course of many years; and this may
possibly appear the more extraordinary to those who recollect the
outrages with which it began. Having thus fully accomplished my
undertaking, I went into the country, in a very weak and
deplorable condition, with no fewer or less diseases than a
jaundice, a dropsy, and an asthma, altogether uniting their
forces in the destruction of a body so entirely emaciated that it
had lost all its muscular flesh. Mine was now no longer what was
called a Bath case; nor, if it had been so, had I strength
remaining sufficient to go thither, a ride of six miles only
being attended with an intolerable fatigue. I now discharged my
lodgings at Bath, which I had hitherto kept. I began in earnest
to look on my case as desperate, and I had vanity enough to rank
myself with those heroes who, of old times, became voluntary
sacrifices to the good of the public. But, lest the reader
should be too eager to catch at the word VANITY, and should be
unwilling to indulge me with so sublime a gratification, for I
think he is not too apt to gratify me, I will take my key a pitch
lower, and will frankly own that I had a stronger motive than the
love of the public to push me on: I will therefore confess to
him that my private affairs at the beginning of the winter had
but a gloomy aspect; for I had not plundered the public or the
poor of those sums which men, who are always ready to plunder
both as much as they can, have been pleased to suspect me of
taking: on the contrary, by composing, instead of inflaming the
quarrels of porters and beggars (which I blush when I say hath
not been universally practiced), and by refusing to take a
shilling from a man who most undoubtedly would not have had
another left, I had reduced an income of about five hundred
pounds[13] a-year of the dirtiest money upon earth to little more
than three hundred pounds; a considerable proportion of which
remained with my clerk; and, indeed, if the whole had done so, as
it ought, he would be but ill paid for sitting almost sixteen
hours in the twenty-four in the most unwholesome, as well as
nauseous air in the universe, and which hath in his case
corrupted a good constitution without contaminating his morals.

[13] A predecessor of mine used to boast that he made one
thousand pounds a-year in his office; but how he did this (if
indeed he did it) is to me a secret. His clerk, now mine, told
me I had more business than he had ever known there; I am sure I
had as much as any man could do. The truth is, the fees are so
very low, when any are due, and so much is done for nothing,
that, if a single justice of peace had business enough to employ
twenty clerks, neither he nor they would get much by their labor.

The public will not, therefore, I hope, think I betray a secret
when I inform them that I received from the Government a yearly
pension out of the public service money; which, I believe,
indeed, would have been larger had my great patron been
convinced of an error, which I have heard him utter more than
once, that he could not indeed say that the acting as a principal
justice of peace in Westminster was on all accounts very
desirable, but that all the world knew it was a very lucrative
office. Now, to have shown him plainly that a man must be a
rogue to make a very little this way, and that he could not make
much by being as great a rogue as he could be, would have
required more confidence than, I believe, he had in me, and more
of his conversation than he chose to allow me; I therefore
resigned the office and the farther execution of my plan to my
brother, who had long been myassistant. And now, lest the case
between me and the reader should be the same in both instances as
it was between me and the great man, I will not add another word
on the subject.

But, not to trouble the reader with anecdotes, contrary to my own
rule laid down in my preface, I assure him I thought my family
was very slenderly provided for; and that my health began to
decline so fast that I had very little more of life left to
accomplish what I had thought of too late. I rejoiced therefore
greatly in seeing an opportunity, as I apprehended, of gaining
such merit in the eve of the public, that, if my life were the
sacrifice to it, my friends might think they did a popular act in
putting my family at least beyond the reach of necessity, which I
myself began to despair of doing. And though I disclaim all
pretense to that Spartan or Roman patriotism which loved the
public so well that it was always ready to become a voluntary
sacrifice to the public good, I do solemnly declare I have that
love for my family.

After this confession therefore, that the public was not the
principal deity to which my life was offered a sacrifice, and
when it is farther considered what a poor sacrifice this was,
being indeed no other than the giving up what I saw little
likelihood of being able to hold much longer, and which, upon the
terms I held it, nothing but the weakness of human nature could
represent to me as worth holding at all; the world may, I
believe, without envy, allow me all the praise to which I have
any title. My aim, in fact, was not praise, which is the last
gift they care to bestow; at least, this was not my aim as an
end, but rather as a means of purchasing some moderate provision
for my family, which, though it should exceed my merit, must fall
infinitely short of my service, if I succeeded in my attempt. To
say the truth, the public never act more wisely than when they
act most liberally in the distribution of their rewards; and here
the good they receive is often more to be considered than the
motive from which they receive it. Example alone is the end of
all public punishments and rewards. Laws never inflict disgrace
in resentment, nor confer honor from gratitude. "For it is very
hard, my lord," said a convicted felon at the bar to the late
excellent judge Burnet, "to hang a poor man for stealing a
horse." "You are not to be hanged sir," answered my ever-honored
and beloved friend, "for stealing a horse, but you are to be
hanged that horses may not be stolen." In like manner it might
have been said to the late duke of Marlborough, when the
parliament was so deservedly liberal to him, after the battle of
Blenheim, "You receive not these honors and bounties on account
of a victory past, but that other victories may be obtained."

I was now, in the opinion of all men, dying of a complication of
disorders; and, were I desirous of playing the advocate, I have
an occasion fair enough; but I disdain such an attempt. I relate
facts plainly and simply as they are; and let the world draw from
them what conclusions they please, taking with them the following
facts for their instruction: the one is, that the proclamation
offering one hundred pounds for the apprehending felons for
certain felonies committed in certain places, which I prevented
from being revived, had formerly cost the government several
thousand pounds within a single year. Secondly, that all such
proclamations, instead of curing the evil, had actually increased
it; had multiplied the number of robberies; had propagated the
worst and wickedest of perjuries; had laid snares for youth and
ignorance, which, by the temptation of these rewards, had been
sometimes drawn into guilt; and sometimes, which cannot be
thought on without the highest horror, had destroyed them without
it. Thirdly, that my plan had not put the government to more
than three hundred pound expense, and had produced none of the
ill consequences above mentioned; but, lastly, had actually
suppressed the evil for a time, and had plainly pointed out the
means of suppressing it for ever. This I would myself have
undertaken, had my health permitted, at the annual expense of the
above-mentioned sum.

After having stood the terrible six weeks which succeeded last
Christmas, and put a lucky end, if they had known their own
interests, to such numbers of aged and infirm valetudinarians,
who might have gasped through two or three mild winters more, I
returned to town in February, in a condition less despaired of by
myself than by any of my friends. I now became the patient of
Dr. Ward, who wished I had taken his advice earlier. By his
advice I was tapped, and fourteen quarts of water drawn from my
belly. The sudden relaxation which this caused, added to my
enervate, emaciated habit of body, so weakened me that within two
days I was thought to be falling into the agonies of death. I
was at the worst on that memorable day when the public lost Mr.
Pelham. From that day I began slowly, as it were, to draw my
feet out of the grave; till in two months' time I had again
acquired some little degree of strength, but was again full of
water. During this whole time I took Mr. Ward's medicines, which
had seldom any perceptible operation. Those in particular of the
diaphoretic kind, the working of which is thought to require a
great strength of constitution to support, had so little effect
on me, that Mr. Ward declared it was as vain to attempt sweating
me as a deal board. In this situation I was tapped a second
time. I had one quart of water less taken from me now than
before; but I bore all the consequences of the operation much
better. This I attributed greatly to a dose of laudanum
prescribed by my surgeon. It first gave me the most delicious
flow of spirits, and afterwards as comfortable a nap.

The month of May, which was now begun, it seemed reasonable to
expect would introduce the spring, and drive of that winter which
yet maintained its footing on the stage. I resolved therefore to
visit a little house of mine in the country, which stands at
Ealing, in the county of Middlesex, in the best air, I believe,
in the whole kingdom, and far superior to that of Kensington
Gravel-pits; for the gravel is here much wider and deeper, the
place higher and more open towards the south, whilst it is
guarded from the north wind by a ridge of hills, and from the
smells and smoke of London by its distance; which last is not the
fate of Kensington, when the wind blows from any corner of the east.

Obligations to Mr. Ward I shall always confess; for I am
convinced that he omitted no care in endeavoring to serve me,
without any expectation or desire of fee or reward.

The powers of Mr. Ward's remedies want indeed no unfair puffs of
mine to give them credit; and though this distemper of the dropsy
stands, I believe, first in the list of those over which he is
always certain of triumphing, yet, possibly, there might be
something particular in my case capable of eluding that radical
force which had healed so many thousands. The same distemper, in
different constitutions, may possibly be attended with such
different symptoms, that to find an infallible nostrum for the
curing any one distemper in every patient may be almost as
difficult as to find a panacea for the cure of all.

But even such a panacea one of the greatest scholars and best of
men did lately apprehend he had discovered. It is true, indeed,
he was no physician; that is, he had not by the forms of his
education acquired a right of applying his skill in the art of
physic to his own private advantage; and yet, perhaps, it may be
truly asserted that no other modern hath contributed so much to
make his physical skill useful to the public; at least, that none
hath undergone the pains of communicating this discovery in
writing to the world. The reader, I think, will scarce need to
be informed that the writer I mean is the late bishop of Cloyne,
in Ireland, and the discovery that of the virtues of tar-water.

I then happened to recollect, upon a hint given me by the
inimitable and shamefully-distressed author of the Female
Quixote, that I had many years before, from curiosity only, taken
a cursory view of bishop Berkeley's treatise on the virtues of
tar-water, which I had formerly observed he strongly contends to
be that real panacea which Sydenham supposes to have an existence
in nature, though it yet remains undiscovered, and perhaps will
always remain so.

Upon the reperusal of this book I found the bishop only asserting
his opinion that tar-water might be useful in the dropsy, since
he had known it to have a surprising success in the cure of a
most stubborn anasarca, which is indeed no other than, as the
word implies, the dropsy of the flesh; and this was, at that
time, a large part of my complaint.

After a short trial, therefore, of a milk diet, which I presently
found did not suit with my case, I betook myself to the bishop's
prescription, and dosed myself every morning and evening with
half a pint of tar-water.

It was no more than three weeks since my last tapping, and my
belly and limbs were distended with water. This did not give me
the worse opinion of tar-water; for I never supposed there could
be any such virtue in tar-water as immediately to carry off a
quantity of water already collected. For my delivery from this I
well knew I must be again obliged to the trochar; and that if the
tar-water did me any good at all it must be only by the slowest
degrees; and that if it should ever get the better of my
distemper it must be by the tedious operation of undermining, and
not by a sudden attack and storm.

Some visible effects, however, and far beyond what my most
sanguine hopes could with any modesty expect, I very soon
experienced; the tar-water having, from the very first, lessened
my illness, increased my appetite, and added, though in a very
slow proportion, to my bodily strength. But if my strength had
increased a little my water daily increased much more. So that,
by the end of May, my belly became again ripe for the trochar,
and I was a third time tapped; upon which, two very favorable
symptoms appeared. I had three quarts of water taken from me
less than had been taken the last time; and I bore the relaxation
with much less (indeed with scarce any) faintness.

Those of my physical friends on whose judgment I chiefly depended
seemed to think my only chance of life consisted in having the
whole summer before me; in which I might hope to gather
sufficient strength to encounter the inclemencies of the ensuing
winter. But this chance began daily to lessen. I saw the summer
mouldering away, or rather, indeed, the year passing away without
intending to bring on any summer at all. In the whole month of
May the sun scarce appeared three times. So that the early
fruits came to the fullness of their growth, and to some
appearance of ripeness, without acquiring any real maturity;
having wanted the heat of the sun to soften and meliorate their
juices. I saw the dropsy gaining rather than losing ground; the
distance growing still shorter between the tappings. I saw the
asthma likewise beginning again to become more troublesome. I
saw the midsummer quarter drawing towards a close. So that I
conceived, if the Michaelmas quarter should steal off in the same
manner, as it was, in my opinion, very much to be apprehended it
would, I should be delivered up to the attacks of winter before I
recruited my forces, so as to be anywise able to withstand them.

I now began to recall an intention, which from the first dawnings
of my recovery I had conceived, of removing to a warmer climate;
and, finding this to be approved of by a very eminent physician,
I resolved to put it into immediate execution. Aix in Provence
was the place first thought on; but the difficulties of getting
thither were insuperable. The Journey by land, beside the
expense of it, was infinitely too long and fatiguing; and I could
hear of no ship that was likely to set out from London, within
any reasonable time, for Marseilles, or any other port in that
part of the Mediterranean.

Lisbon was presently fixed on in its room. The air here, as it
was near four degrees to the south of Aix, must be more mild and
warm, and the winter shorter and less piercing.

It was not difficult to find a ship bound to a place with which
we carry on so immense a trade. Accordingly, my brother soon
informed me of the excellent accommodations for passengers which
were to be found on board a ship that was obliged to sail for
Lisbon in three days. I eagerly embraced the offer,
notwithstanding the shortness of the time; and, having given my
brother full power to contract for our passage, I began to
prepare my family for the voyage with the utmost expedition.

But our great haste was needless; for the captain having twice
put off his sailing, I at length invited him to dinner with me at
Fordhook, a full week after the time on which he had declared,
and that with many asseverations, he must and would weigh anchor.

He dined with me according to his appointment; and when all
matters were settled between us, left me with positive orders to
be on board the Wednesday following, when he declared he would
fall down the river to Gravesend, and would not stay a moment for
the greatest man in the world. He advised me to go to Gravesend
by land, and there wait the arrival of his ship, assigning many
reasons for this, every one of which was, as I well remember,
among those that had before determined me to go on board near the Tower.


WEDNESDAY, June 26, 1754.--On this day the most melancholy sun I
had ever beheld arose, and found me awake at my house at
Fordhook. By the light of this sun I was, in my own opinion,
last to behold and take leave of some of those creatures on whom
I doted with a mother-like fondness, guided by nature and
passion, and uncured and unhardened by all the doctrine of that
philosophical school where I had learned to bear pains and to
despise death. In this situation, as I could not conquer Nature,
I submitted entirely to her, and she made as great a fool of me
as she had ever done of any woman whatsoever; under pretense of
giving me leave to enjoy, she drew me in to suffer, the company
of my little ones during eight hours; and I doubt not whether, in
that time, I did not undergo more than in all my distemper.

At twelve precisely my coach was at the door, which was no sooner
told me than I kissed my children round, and went into it with
some little resolution. My wife, who behaved more like a heroine
and philosopher, though at the same time the tenderest mother in
the world, and my eldest daughter, followed me; some friends went
with us, and others here took their leave; and I heard my
behavior applauded, with many murmurs and praises to which I well
knew I had no title; as all other such philosophers may, if they
have any modesty, confess on the like occasions.

In two hours we arrived in Rotherhithe, and immediately went on
board, and were to have sailed the next morning; but, as this was
the king's proclamation-day, and consequently a holiday at the
custom-house, the captain could not clear his vessel till the
Thursday; for these holidays are as strictly observed as those in
the popish calendar, and are almost as numerous. I might add
that both are opposite to the genius of trade, and consequently
contra bonum publicum.

To go on board the ship it was necessary first to go into a boat;
a matter of no small difficulty, as I had no use of my limbs, and
was to be carried by men who, though sufficiently strong for
their burden, were, like Archimedes, puzzled to find a steady
footing. Of this, as few of my readers have not gone into
wherries on the Thames, they will easily be able to form to
themselves an idea. However, by the assistance of my friend, Mr.
Welch, whom I never think or speak of but with love and esteem, I
conquered this difficulty, as I did afterwards that of ascending
the ship, into which I was hoisted with more ease by a chair
lifted with pulleys. I was soon seated in a great chair in the
cabin, to refresh myself after a fatigue which had been more
intolerable, in a quarter of a mile's passage from my coach to
the ship, than I had before undergone in a land-journey of twelve
miles, which I had traveled with the utmost expedition.

This latter fatigue was, perhaps, somewhat heightened by an
indignation which I could not prevent arising in my mind. I
think, upon my entrance into the boat, I presented a spectacle of
the highest horror. The total loss of limbs was apparent to all
who saw me, and my face contained marks of a most diseased state,
if not of death itself. Indeed, so ghastly was my countenance,
that timorous women with child had abstained from my house, for
fear of the ill consequences of looking at me. In this condition
I ran the gauntlope (so I think I may justly call it) through
rows of sailors and watermen, few of whom failed of paying their
compliments to me by all manner of insults and jests on my
misery. No man who knew me will think I conceived any personal
resentment at this behavior; but it was a lively picture of that
cruelty and inhumanity in the nature of men which I have often
contemplated with concern, and which leads the mind into a train
of very uncomfortable and melancholy thoughts. It may be said
that this barbarous custom is peculiar to the English, and of
them only to the lowest degree; that it is an excrescence of an
uncontrolled licentiousness mistaken for liberty, and never shows
itself in men who are polished and refined in such manner as
human nature requires to produce that perfection of which it is
susceptible, and to purge away that malevolence of disposition of
which, at our birth, we partake in common with the savage
creation. This may be said, and this is all that can be said;
and it is, I am afraid, but little satisfactory to account for
the inhumanity of those who, while they boast of being made after
God's own image, seem to bear in their minds a resemblance of the
vilest species of brutes; or rather, indeed, of our idea of
devils; for I don't know that any brutes can be taxed with such
malevolence. A sirloin of beef was now placed on the table, for
which, though little better than carrion, as much was charged by
the master of the little paltry ale-house who dressed it as would
have been demanded for all the elegance of the King's Arms, or
any other polite tavern or eating-house! for, indeed, the
difference between the best house and the worst is, that at the
former you pay largely for luxury, at the latter for nothing.

Thursday, June 27.--This morning the captain, who lay on shore at
his own house, paid us a visit in the cabin, and behaved like an
angry bashaw, declaring that, had he known we were not to be
pleased, he would not have carried us for five hundred pounds.
He added many asseverations that he was a gentleman, and despised
money; not forgetting several hints of the presents which had
been made him for his cabin, of twenty, thirty, and forty
guineas, by several gentlemen, over and above the sum for which
they had contracted. This behavior greatly surprised me, as I
knew not how to account for it, nothing having happened since we
parted from the captain the evening before in perfect good humor;
and all this broke forth on the first moment of his arrival this
morning. He did not, however, suffer my amazement to have any
long continuance before he clearly showed me that all this was
meant only as an apology to introduce another procrastination
(being the fifth) of his weighing anchor, which was now postponed
till Saturday, for such was his will and pleasure.

Besides the disagreeable situation in which we then lay, in the
confines of Wapping and Rotherhithe, tasting a delicious mixture
of the air of both these sweet places, and enjoying the concord
of sweet sounds of seamen, watermen, fish-women, oyster-women,
and of all the vociferous inhabitants of both shores, composing
altogether a greater variety of harmony than Hogarth's
imagination hath brought together in that print of his, which is
enough to make a man deaf to look at--I had a more urgent cause
to press our departure, which was, that the dropsy, for which I
had undergone three tappings, seemed to threaten me with a fourth
discharge before I should reach Lisbon, and when I should have
nobody on board capable of performing the operation; but I was
obliged to hearken to the voice of reason, if I may use the
captain's own words, and to rest myself contented. Indeed, there
was no alternative within my reach but what would have cost me
much too dear. There are many evils in society from which people
of the highest rank are so entirely exempt, that they have not
the least knowledge or idea of them; nor indeed of the characters
which are formed by them. Such, for instance, is the conveyance
of goods and passengers from one place to another. Now there is
no such thing as any kind of knowledge contemptible in itself;
and, as the particular knowledge I here mean is entirely
necessary to the well understanding and well enjoying this
journal; and, lastly, as in this case the most ignorant will be
those very readers whose amusement we chiefly consult, and to
whom we wish to be supposed principally to write, we will here
enter somewhat largely into the discussion of this matter; the
rather, for that no ancient or modern author (if we can trust the
catalogue of doctor Mead's library) hath ever undertaken it, but
that it seems (in the style of Don Quixote) a task reserved for
my pen alone.

When I first conceived this intention I began to entertain
thoughts of inquiring into the antiquity of traveling; and, as
many persons have performed in this way (I mean have traveled) at
the expense of the public, I flattered myself that the spirit of
improving arts and sciences, and of advancing useful and
substantial learning, which so eminently distinguishes this age,
and hath given rise to more speculative societies in Europe than
I at present can recollect the names of--perhaps, indeed, than I
or any other, besides their very near neighbors, ever heard
mentioned--would assist in promoting so curious a work; a work
begun with the same views, calculated for the same purposes, and
fitted for the same uses, with the labors which those right
honorable societies have so cheerfully undertaken themselves, and
encouraged in others; sometimes with the highest honors, even
with admission into their colleges, and with enrollment among
their members.

From these societies I promised myself all assistance in their
power, particularly the communication of such valuable
manuscripts and records as they must be supposed to have
collected from those obscure ages of antiquity when history
yields us such imperfect accounts of the residence, and much more
imperfect of the travels, of the human race; unless, perhaps, as
a curious and learned member of the young Society of Antiquarians
is said to have hinted his conjectures, that their residence and
their travels were one and the same; and this discovery (for such
it seems to be) he is said to have owed to the lighting by accident
on a book, which we shall have occasion to mention presently,
the contents of which were then little known to the society.

The king of Prussia, moreover, who, from a degree of benevolence
and taste which in either case is a rare production in so
northern a climate, is the great encourager of art and science, I
was well assured would promote so useful a design, and order his
archives to be searched on my behalf. But after well weighing
all these advantages, and much meditation on the order of my
work, my whole design was subverted in a moment by hearing of the
discovery just mentioned to have been made by the young
antiquarian, who, from the most ancient record in the world
(though I don't find the society are all agreed on this point),
one long preceding the date of the earliest modern collections,
either of books or butterflies, none of which pretend to go
beyond the flood, shows us that the first man was a traveler, and
that he and his family were scarce settled in Paradise before
they disliked their own home, and became passengers to another
place. Hence it appears that the humor of traveling is as old as
the human race, and that it was their curse from the beginning.
By this discovery my plan became much shortened, and I found it
only necessary to treat of the conveyance of goods and passengers
from place to place; which, not being universally known, seemed
proper to be explained before we examined into its original.
There are indeed two different ways of tracing all things used by
the historian and the antiquary; these are upwards and downwards.

The former shows you how things are, and leaves to others to
discover when they began to be so. The latter shows you how
things were, and leaves their present existence to be examined by
others. Hence the former is more useful, the latter more
curious. The former receives the thanks of mankind; the latter
of that valuable part, the virtuosi.

In explaining, therefore, this mystery of carrying goods and
passengers from one place to another, hitherto so profound a
secret to the very best of our readers, we shall pursue the
historical method, and endeavor to show by what means it is at
present performed, referring the more curious inquiry either to
some other pen or to some other opportunity.

Now there are two general ways of performing (if God permit) this
conveyance, viz., by land and water, both of which have much
variety; that by land being performed in different vehicles, such
as coaches, caravans, wagons, etc.; and that by water in ships,
barges, and boats, of various sizes and denominations. But, as
all these methods of conveyance are formed on the same
principles, they agree so well together, that it is fully
sufficient to comprehend them all in the general view, without
descending to such minute particulars as would distinguish one
method from another.

Common to all of these is one general principle that, as the
goods to be conveyed are usually the larger, so they are to be
chiefly considered in the conveyance; the owner being indeed
little more than an appendage to his trunk, or box, or bale, or
at best a small part of his own baggage, very little care is to
be taken in stowing or packing them up with convenience to
himself; for the conveyance is not of passengers and goods, but
of goods and passengers.

Secondly, from this conveyance arises a new kind of relation, or
rather of subjection, in the society, by which the passenger
becomes bound in allegiance to his conveyer. This allegiance is
indeed only temporary and local, but the most absolute during its
continuance of any known in Great Britain, and, to say truth,
scarce consistent with the liberties of a free people, nor could
it be reconciled with them, did it not move downwards; a
circumstance universally apprehended to be incompatible to all
kinds of slavery; for Aristotle in his Politics hath proved
abundantly to my satisfaction that no men are born to be slaves,
except barbarians; and these only to such as are not themselves
barbarians; and indeed Mr. Montesquieu hath carried it very
little farther in the case of the Africans; the real truth being
that no man is born to be a slave, unless to him who is able to
make him so.

Thirdly, this subjection is absolute, and consists of a perfect
resignation both of body and soul to the disposal of another;
after which resignation, during a certain time, his subject
retains no more power over his own will than an Asiatic slave, or
an English wife, by the laws of both countries, and by the
customs of one of them. If I should mention the instance of a
stage-coachman, many of my readers would recognize the truth of
what I have here observed; all, indeed, that ever have been under
the dominion of that tyrant, who in this free country is as
absolute as a Turkish bashaw. In two particulars only his power
is defective; he cannot press you into his service, and if you
enter yourself at one place, on condition of being discharged at
a certain time at another, he is obliged to perform his
agreement, if God permit, but all the intermediate time you are
absolutely under his government; he carries you how he will, when
he will, and whither he will, provided it be not much out of the
road; you have nothing to eat or to drink, but what, and when,
and where he pleases. Nay, you cannot sleep unless he pleases
you should; for he will order you sometimes out of bed at
midnight and hurry you away at a moment's warning: indeed, if
you can sleep in his vehicle he cannot prevent it; nay, indeed,
to give him his due, this he is ordinarily disposed to encourage:
for the earlier he forces yon to rise in the morning, the more
time he will give you in the heat of the day, sometimes even six
hours at an ale-house, or at their doors, where he always gives
you the same indulgence which he allows himself; and for this he
is generally very moderate in his demands. I have known a whole
bundle of passengers charged no more than half-a-crown for being
suffered to remain quiet at an ale-house door for above a whole
hour, and that even in the hottest day in summer. But as this
kind of tyranny, though it hath escaped our political writers,
hath been I think touched by our dramatic, and is more trite
among the generality of readers; and as this and all other kinds
of such subjection are alike unknown to my friends, I will quit
the passengers by land, and treat of those who travel by water;
for whatever is said on this subject is applicable to both alike,
and we may bring them together as closely as they are brought in
the liturgy, when they are recommended to the prayers of all
Christian congregations; and (which I have often thought very
remarkable) where they are joined with other miserable wretches,
such as women in labor, people in sickness, infants just born,
prisoners and captives. Goods and passengers are conveyed by
water in divers vehicles, the principal of which being a ship, it
shall suffice to mention that alone. Here the tyrant doth not
derive his title, as the stage-coachman doth, from the vehicle
itself in which he stows his goods and passengers, but he is
called the captain--a word of such various use and uncertain
signification, that it seems very difficult to fix any positive
idea to it: if, indeed, there be any general meaning which may
comprehend all its different uses, that of the head or chief of
any body of men seems to be most capable of this comprehension;
for whether they be a company of soldiers, a crew of sailors, or
a gang of rogues, he who is at the head of them is always styled
the captain.

The particular tyrant whose fortune it was to stow us aboard laid
a farther claim to this appellation than the bare command of a
vehicle of conveyance. He had been the captain of a privateer,
which he chose to call being in the king's service, and thence
derived a right of hoisting the military ornament of a cockade
over the button of his hat. He likewise wore a sword of no
ordinary length by his side, with which he swaggered in his
cabin, among the wretches his passengers, whom he had stowed in
cupboards on each side. He was a person of a very singular
character. He had taken it into his head that he was a
gentleman, from those very reasons that proved he was not one;
and to show himself a fine gentleman, by a behavior which seemed
to insinuate he had never seen one. He was, moreover, a man of
gallantry; at the age of seventy he had the finicalness of Sir
Courtly Nice, with the roughness of Surly; and, while he was deaf
himself, had a voice capable of deafening all others.

Now, as I saw myself in danger by the delays of the captain, who
was, in reality, waiting for more freight, and as the wind had
been long nested, as it were, in the southwest, where it
constantly blew hurricanes, I began with great reason to
apprehend that our voyage might be long, and that my belly, which
began already to be much extended, would require the water to be
let out at a time when no assistance was at hand; though, indeed,
the captain comforted me with assurances that he had a pretty
young fellow on board who acted as his surgeon, as I found he
likewise did as steward, cook, butler, sailor. In short, he had
as many offices as Scrub in the play, and went through them all
with great dexterity; this of surgeon was, perhaps, the only one
in which his skill was somewhat deficient, at least that branch
of tapping for the dropsy; for he very ingenuously and modestly
confessed he had never seen the operation performed, nor was
possessed of that chirurgical instrument with which it is performed.

Friday, June 28.--By way of prevention, therefore, I this day
sent for my friend, Mr. Hunter, the great surgeon and anatomist
of Covent-garden; and, though my belly was not yet very full and
tight, let out ten quarts of water; the young sea-surgeon
attended the operation, not as a performer, but as a student.

I was now eased of the greatest apprehension which I had from the
length of the passage; and I told the captain I was become
indifferent as to the time of his sailing. He expressed much
satisfaction in this declaration, and at hearing from me that I
found myself, since my tapping, much lighter and better. In
this, I believe, he was sincere; for he was, as we shall have
occasion to observe more than once, a very good-natured man; and,
as he was a very brave one too, I found that the heroic constancy
with which I had borne an operation that is attended with scarce
any degree of pain had not a little raised me in his esteem.
That he might adhere, therefore, in the most religious and
rigorous manner to his word, when he had no longer any temptation
from interest to break it, as he had no longer any hopes of more
goods or passengers, he ordered his ship to fall down to
Gravesend on Sunday morning, and there to wait his arrival.

Sunday, June 30.--Nothing worth notice passed till that morning,
when my poor wife, after passing a night in the utmost torments
of the toothache, resolved to have it drawn. I despatched
therefore a servant into Wapping to bring in haste the best
tooth-drawer he could find. He soon found out a female of great
eminence in the art; but when he brought her to the boat, at the
waterside, they were informed that the ship was gone; for indeed
she had set out a few minutes after his quitting her; nor did the
pilot, who well knew the errand on which I had sent my servant,
think fit to wait a moment for his return, or to give me any
notice of his setting out, though I had very patiently attended
the delays of the captain four days, after many solemn promises
of weighing anchor every one of the three last.
But of all the petty bashaws or turbulent tyrants I ever beheld,
this sour-faced pilot was the worst tempered; for, during the
time that he had the guidance of the ship, which was till we
arrived in the Downs, he complied with no one's desires, nor did
he give a civil word, or indeed a civil look, to any on board.

The tooth-drawer, who, as I said before, was one of great
eminence among her neighbors, refused to follow the ship; so that
my man made himself the best of his way, and with some difficulty
came up with us before we were got under full sail; for after
that, as we had both wind and tide with us, he would have found
it impossible to overtake the ship till she was come to an anchor
at Gravesend.

The morning was fair and bright, and we had a passage thither, I
think, as pleasant as can be conceived: for, take it with all
its advantages, particularly the number of fine ships you are
always sure of seeing by the way, there is nothing to equal it in
all the rivers of the world. The yards of Deptford and of
Woolwich are noble sights, and give us a just idea of the great
perfection to which we are arrived in building those floating
castles, and the figure which we may always make in Europe among
the other maritime powers. That of Woolwich, at least, very
strongly imprinted this idea on my mind; for there was now on the
stocks there the Royal Anne, supposed to be the largest ship ever
built, and which contains ten carriage-guns more than had ever
yet equipped a first-rate.

It is true, perhaps, that there is more of ostentation than of
real utility in ships of this vast and unwieldy burden, which are
rarely capable of acting against an enemy; but if the building
such contributes to preserve, among other nations, the notion of
the British superiority in naval affairs, the expense, though
very great, is well incurred, and the ostentation is laudable and
truly political. Indeed, I should be sorry to allow that
Holland, France, or Spain, possessed a vessel larger and more
beautiful than the largest and most beautiful of ours; for this
honor I would always administer to the pride of our sailors, who
should challenge it from all their neighbors with truth and
success. And sure I am that not our honest tars alone, but every
inhabitant of this island, may exult in the comparison, when he
considers the king of Great Britain as a maritime prince, in
opposition to any other prince in Europe; but I am not so certain
that the same idea of superiority will result from comparing our
land forces with those of many other crowned heads. In numbers
they all far exceed us, and in the goodness and splendor of their
troops many nations, particularly the Germans and French, and
perhaps the Dutch, cast us at a distance; for, however we may
flatter ourselves with the Edwards and Henrys of former ages, the
change of the whole art of war since those days, by which the
advantage of personal strength is in a manner entirely lost, hath
produced a change in military affairs to the advantage of our
enemies. As for our successes in later days, if they were not
entirely owing to the superior genius of our general, they were
not a little due to the superior force of his money. Indeed, if
we should arraign marshal Saxe of ostentation when he showed his
army, drawn up, to our captive general, the day after the battle
of La Val, we cannot say that the ostentation was entirely vain;
since he certainly showed him an army which had not been often
equaled, either in the number or goodness of the troops, and
which, in those respects, so far exceeded ours, that none can
ever cast any reflection on the brave young prince who could not
reap the laurels of conquest in that day; but his retreat will be
always mentioned as an addition to his glory.

In our marine the case is entirely the reverse, and it must be
our own fault if it doth not continue so; for continue so it will
as long as the flourishing state of our trade shall support it,
and this support it can never want till our legislature shall
cease to give sufficient attention to the protection of our
trade, and our magistrates want sufficient power, ability, and
honesty, to execute the laws; a circumstance not to be
apprehended, as it cannot happen till our senates and our benches
shall be filled with the blindest ignorance, or with the blackest

Besides the ships in the docks, we saw many on the water: the
yachts are sights of great parade, and the king's body yacht is,
I believe, unequaled in any country for convenience as well as
magnificence; both which are consulted in building and equipping
her with the most exquisite art and workmanship.

We saw likewise several Indiamen just returned from their voyage.

These are, I believe, the largest and finest vessels which are
anywhere employed in commercial affairs. The colliers, likewise,
which are very numerous, and even assemble in fleets, are ships
of great bulk; and if we descend to those used in the American,
African, and European trades, and pass through those which visit
our own coasts, to the small craft that lie between Chatham and
the Tower, the whole forms a most pleasing object to the eye, as
well as highly warming to the heart of an Englishman who has any
degree of love for his country, or can recognize any effect of
the patriot in his constitution. Lastly, the Royal Hospital at
Greenwich, which presents so delightful a front to the water, and
doth such honor at once to its builder and the nation, to the
great skill and ingenuity of the one, and to the no less sensible
gratitude of the other, very properly closes the account of this
scene; which may well appear romantic to those who have not
themselves seen that, in this one instance, truth and reality are
capable, perhaps, of exceeding the power of fiction. When we had
passed by Greenwich we saw only two or three gentlemen's houses,
all of very moderate account, till we reached Gravesend: these
are all on the Kentish shore, which affords a much dryer,
wholesomer, and pleasanter situation, than doth that of its
opposite, Essex. This circumstance, I own, is somewhat
surprising to me, when I reflect on the numerous villas that
crowd the river from Chelsea upwards as far as Shepperton, where
the narrower channel affords not half so noble a prospect, and
where the continual succession of the small craft, like the
frequent repetition of all things, which have nothing in them
great, beautiful, or admirable, tire the eye, and give us
distaste and aversion, instead of pleasure. With some of these
situations, such as Barnes, Mortlake, etc., even the shore of
Essex might contend, not upon very unequal terms; but on the
Kentish borders there are many spots to be chosen by the builder
which might justly claim the preference over almost the very
finest of those in Middlesex and Surrey.

How shall we account for this depravity in taste? for surely
there are none so very mean and contemptible as to bring the
pleasure of seeing a number of little wherries, gliding along
after one another, in competition with what we enjoy in viewing a
succession of ships, with all their sails expanded to the winds,
bounding over the waves before us.

And here I cannot pass by another observation on the deplorable
want of taste in our enjoyments, which we show by almost totally
neglecting the pursuit of what seems to me the highest degree of
amusement; this is, the sailing ourselves in little vessels of
our own, contrived only for our ease and accommodation, to which
such situations of our villas as I have recommended would be so
convenient, and even necessary.

This amusement, I confess, if enjoyed in any perfection, would be
of the expensive kind; but such expense would not exceed the
reach of a moderate fortune, and would fall very short of the
prices which are daily paid for pleasures of a far inferior rate.

The truth, I believe, is, that sailing in the manner I have just
mentioned is a pleasure rather unknown, or unthought of, than
rejected by those who have experienced it; unless, perhaps, the
apprehension of danger or seasickness may be supposed, by the
timorous and delicate, to make too large deductions--insisting
that all their enjoyments shall come to them pure and unmixed,
and being ever ready to cry out,

----Nocet empta dolore voluptas.

This, however, was my present case; for the ease and lightness
which I felt from my tapping, the gayety of the morning, the
pleasant sailing with wind and tide, and the many agreeable
objects with which I was constantly entertained during the whole
way, were all suppressed and overcome by the single consideration
of my wife's pain, which continued incessantly to torment her
till we came to an anchor, when I dispatched a messenger in great
haste for the best reputed operator in Gravesend. A surgeon of
some eminence now appeared, who did not decline tooth-drawing,
though he certainly would have been offended with the appellation
of tooth-drawer no less than his brethren, the members of that
venerable body, would be with that of barber, since the late
separation between those long-united companies, by which, if the
surgeons have gained much, the barbers are supposed to have lost
very little. This able and careful person (for so I sincerely
believe he is) after examining the guilty tooth, declared that it
was such a rotten shell, and so placed at the very remotest end
of the upper jaw, where it was in a manner covered and secured by
a large fine firm tooth, that he despaired of his power of
drawing it.

He said, indeed, more to my wife, and used more rhetoric to
dissuade her from having it drawn, than is generally employed to
persuade young ladies to prefer a pain of three moments to one of
three months' continuance, especially if those young ladies
happen to be past forty and fifty years of age, when, by
submitting to support a racking torment, the only good
circumstance attending which is, it is so short that scarce one
in a thousand can cry out "I feel it," they are to do a violence
to their charms, and lose one of those beautiful holders with
which alone Sir Courtly Nice declares a lady can ever lay hold of
his heart. He said at last so much, and seemed to reason so
justly, that I came over to his side, and assisted him in
prevailing on my wife (for it was no easy matter) to resolve on
keeping her tooth a little longer, and to apply palliatives only
for relief. These were opium applied to the tooth, and blisters
behind the ears.

Whilst we were at dinner this day in the cabin, on a sudden the
window on one side was beat into the room with a crash as if a
twenty-pounder had been discharged among us. We were all alarmed
at the suddenness of the accident, for which, however, we were
soon able to account, for the sash, which was shivered all to
pieces, was pursued into the middle of the cabin by the bowsprit
of a little ship called a cod-smack, the master of which made us
amends for running (carelessly at best) against us, and injuring
the ship, in the sea-way; that is to say, by damning us all to
hell, and uttering several pious wishes that it had done us much
more mischief. All which were answered in their own kind and
phrase by our men, between whom and the other crew a dialogue of
oaths and scurrility was carried on as long as they continued in
each other's hearing.

It is difficult, I think, to assign a satisfactory reason why
sailors in general should, of all others, think themselves
entirely discharged from the common bands of humanity, and should
seem to glory in the language and behavior of savages! They see
more of the world, and have, most of them, a more erudite
education than is the portion of landmen of their degree. Nor do
I believe that in any country they visit (Holland itself not
excepted) they can ever find a parallel to what daily passes on
the river Thames. Is it that they think true courage (for they
are the bravest fellows upon earth) inconsistent with all the
gentleness of a humane carriage, and that the contempt of civil
order springs up in minds but little cultivated, at the same time
and from the same principles with the contempt of danger and
death? Is it--? in short, it is so; and how it comes to be so I
leave to form a question in the Robin Hood Society, or to he
propounded for solution among the enigmas in the Woman's Almanac
for the next year.

Monday, July 1.--This day Mr. Welch took his leave of me after
dinner, as did a young lady of her sister, who was proceeding
with my wife to Lisbon. They both set out together in a
post-chaise for London. Soon after their departure our cabin,
where my wife and I were sitting together, was visited by two
ruffians, whose appearance greatly corresponded with that of the
sheriffs, or rather the knight-marshal's bailiffs. One of
these especially, who seemed to affect a more than ordinary
degree of rudeness and insolence, came in without any kind of
ceremony, with a broad gold lace on his hat, which was cocked
with much military fierceness on his head. An inkhorn at his
buttonhole and some papers in his hand sufficiently assured me
what he was, and I asked him if he and his companion were not
custom-house officers: he answered with sufficient dignity that
they were, as an information which he seemed to conclude would
strike the hearer with awe, and suppress all further inquiry;
but, on the contrary, I proceeded to ask of what rank he was in
the custom-house, and, receiving an answer from his companion, as
I remember, that the gentleman was a riding surveyor, I replied
that he might be a riding surveyor, but could be no gentleman,
for that none who had any title to that denomination would break
into the presence of a lady without an apology or even moving his
hat. He then took his covering from his head and laid it on the
table, saying, he asked pardon, and blamed the mate, who should,
he said, have informed him if any persons of distinction were
below. I told him he might guess by our appearance (which,
perhaps, was rather more than could be said with the strictest
adherence to truth) that he was before a gentleman and lady,
which should teach him to be very civil in his behavior, though
we should not happen to be of that number whom the world calls
people of fashion and distinction. However, I said, that as he
seemed sensible of his error, and had asked pardon, the lady
would permit him to put his hat on again if he chose it. This he
refused with some degree of surliness, and failed not to convince
me that, if I should condescend to become more gentle, he would
soon grow more rude. I now renewed a reflection, which I have
often seen occasion to make, that there is nothing so incongruous
in nature as any kind of power with lowness of mind and of
ability, and that there is nothing more deplorable than the want
of truth in the whimsical notion of Plato, who tells us that
"Saturn, well knowing the state of human affairs, gave us kings
and rulers, not of human but divine original; for, as we make not
shepherds of sheep, nor oxherds of oxen, nor goatherds of goats,
but place some of our own kind over all as being better and
fitter to govern them; in the same manner were demons by the
divine love set over us as a race of beings of a superior order
to men, and who, with great ease to themselves, might regulate
our affairs and establish peace, modesty, freedom, and justice,
and, totally destroying all sedition, might complete the
happiness of the human race. So far, at least, may even now be
said with truth, that in all states which are under the
government of mere man, without any divine assistance, there is
nothing but labor and misery to be found. From what I have said,
therefore, we may at least learn, with our utmost endeavors, to
imitate the Saturnian institution; borrowing all assistance from
our immortal part, while we pay to this the strictest obedience,
we should form both our private economy and public policy from
its dictates. By this dispensation of our immortal minds we are
to establish a law and to call it by that name. But if any
government be in the hands of a single person, of the few, or of
the many, and such governor or governors shall abandon himself or
themselves to the unbridled pursuit of the wildest pleasures or
desires, unable to restrain any passion, but possessed with an
insatiable bad disease; if such shall attempt to govern, and at
the same time to trample on all laws, there can be no means of
preservation left for the wretched people." Plato de Leg., lib.
iv. p. 713, c. 714, edit. Serrani.

It is true that Plato is here treating of the highest or
sovereign power in a state, but it is as true that his
observations are general and may be applied to all inferior
powers; and, indeed, every subordinate degree is immediately
derived from the highest; and, as it is equally protected by the
same force and sanctified by the same authority, is alike
dangerous to the well-being of the subject. Of all powers,
perhaps, there is none so sanctified and protected as this which
is under our present consideration. So numerous, indeed, and
strong, are the sanctions given to it by many acts of parliament,
that, having once established the laws of customs on merchandise,
it seems to have been the sole view of the legislature to
strengthen the hands and to protect the persons of the officers
who became established by those laws, many of whom are so far
from bearing any resemblance to the Saturnian institution, and to
be chosen from a degree of beings superior to the rest of human
race, that they sometimes seem industriously picked out of the
lowest and vilest orders of mankind. There is, indeed, nothing,
so useful to man in general, nor so beneficial to particular
societies and individuals, as trade. This is that alma mater at
whose plentiful breast all mankind are nourished. It is true,
like other parents, she is not always equally indulgent to all
her children, but, though she gives to her favorites a vast
proportion of redundancy and superfluity, there are very few whom
she refuses to supply with the conveniences, and none with the
necessaries, of life.

Such a benefactress as this must naturally be beloved by mankind
in general; it would be wonderful, therefore, if her interest was
not considered by them, and protected from the fraud and violence
of some of her rebellious offspring, who, coveting more than
their share or more than she thinks proper to allow them, are
daily employed in meditating mischief against her, and in
endeavoring to steal from their brethren those shares which this
great alma mater had allowed them.

At length our governor came on board, and about six in the
evening we weighed anchor, and fell down to the Nore, whither our
passage was extremely pleasant, the evening being very
delightful, the moon just past the full, and both wind and tide
favorable to us.

Tuesday, July 2.--This morning we again set sail, under all the
advantages we had enjoyed the evening before. This day we left
the shore of Essex and coasted along Kent, passing by the
pleasant island of Thanet, which is an island, and that of
Sheppy, which is not an island, and about three o 'clock, the
wind being now full in our teeth, we came to an anchor in the
Downs, within two miles of Deal.--My wife, having suffered
intolerable pain from her tooth, again renewed her resolution of
having it drawn, and another surgeon was sent for from Deal, but
with no better success than the former. He likewise declined the
operation, for the same reason which had been assigned by the
former: however, such was her resolution, backed with pain, that
he was obliged to make the attempt, which concluded more in honor
of his judgment than of his operation; for, after having put my
poor wife to inexpressible torment, he was obliged to leave her
tooth in statu quo; and she had now the comfortable prospect of a
long fit of pain, which might have lasted her whole voyage,
without any possibility of relief. In these pleasing sensations,
of which I had my just share, nature, overcome with fatigue,
about eight in the evening resigned her to rest--a circumstance
which would have given me some happiness, could I have known how
to employ those spirits which were raised by it; but,
unfortunately for me, I was left in a disposition of enjoying an
agreeable hour without the assistance of a companion, which has
always appeared to me necessary to such enjoyment; my daughter
and her companion were both retired sea-sick to bed; the other
passengers were a rude school-boy of fourteen years old and an
illiterate Portuguese friar, who understood no language but his
own, in which I had not the least smattering. The captain was
the only person left in whose conversation I might indulge
myself; but unluckily, besides a total ignorance of everything in
the world but a ship, he had the misfortune of being so deaf,
that to make him hear, I will not say understand, my words, I
must run the risk of conveying them to the ears of my wife, who,
though in another room (called, I think, the state-room--being,
indeed, a most stately apartment, capable of containing one human
body in length, if not very tall, and three bodies in breadth),
lay asleep within a yard of me. In this situation necessity and
choice were one and the same thing; the captain and I sat down
together to a small bowl of punch, over which we both soon fell
fast asleep, and so concluded the evening.

Wednesday, July 3.--This morning I awaked at four o'clock for my
distemper seldom suffered me to sleep later. I presently got up,
and had the pleasure of enjoying the sight of a tempestuous sea
for four hours before the captain was stirring; for he loved to
indulge himself in morning slumbers, which were attended with a
wind-music, much more agreeable to the performers than to the
hearers, especially such as have, as I had, the privilege of
sitting in the orchestra. At eight o 'clock the captain rose,
and sent his boat on shore. I ordered my man likewise to go in
it, as my distemper was not of that kind which entirely deprives
us of appetite. Now, though the captain had well victualled his
ship with all manner of salt provisions for the voyage, and had
added great quantities of fresh stores, particularly of
vegetables, at Gravesend, such as beans and peas, which had been
on board only two days, and had possibly not been gathered above
two more, I apprehended I could provide better for myself at Deal
than the ship's ordinary seemed to promise. I accordingly sent
for fresh provisions of all kinds from the shore, in order to put
off the evil day of starving as long as possible. My man
returned with most of the articles I sent for, and I now thought
myself in a condition of living a week on my own provisions. I
therefore ordered my own dinner, which I wanted nothing but a
cook to dress and a proper fire to dress it at; but those were
not to be had, nor indeed any addition to my roast mutton, except
the pleasure of the captain's company, with that of the other
passengers; for my wife continued the whole day in a state of
dozing, and my other females, whose sickness did not abate by the
rolling of the ship at anchor, seemed more inclined to empty
their stomachs than to fill them. Thus I passed the whole day
(except about an hour at dinner) by myself, and the evening
concluded with the captain as the preceding one had done; one
comfortable piece of news he communicated to me, which was, that
he had no doubt of a prosperous wind in the morning; but as he
did not divulge the reasons of this confidence, and as I saw none
myself besides the wind being directly opposite, my faith in this
prophecy was not strong enough to build any great hopes upon.

Thursday, July 4.--This morning, however, the captain seemed
resolved to fulfill his own predictions, whether the wind would
or no; he accordingly weighed anchor, and, taking the advantage
of the tide when the wind was not very boisterous, he hoisted his
sails; and, as if his power had been no less absolute over Aeolus
than it was over Neptune, he forced the wind to blow him on in
its own despite.

But as all men who have ever been at sea well know how weak such
attempts are, and want no authorities of Scripture to prove that
the most absolute power of a captain of a ship is very contemptible
in the wind's eye, so did it befall our noble commander, who,
having struggled with the wind three or four hours, was obliged
to give over, and lost in a few minutes all that he had been
so long a-gaining; in short, we returned to our former station,
and once more cast anchor in the neighborhood of Deal.

Here, though we lay near the shore, that we might promise
ourselves all the emolument which could be derived from it, we
found ourselves deceived; and that we might with as much
conveniency be out of the sight of land; for, except when the
captain launched forth his own boat, which he did always with
great reluctance, we were incapable of procuring anything from
Deal, but at a price too exorbitant, and beyond the reach even of
modern luxury--the fare of a boat from Deal, which lay at two
miles' distance, being at least three half-crowns, and, if we had
been in any distress for it, as many half-guineas; for these good
people consider the sea as a large common appendant to their
manor; in which when they find any of their fellow-creatures
impounded, they conclude that they have a full right of making
them pay at their own discretion for their deliverance: to say
the truth, whether it be that men who live on the sea-shore are
of an amphibious kind, and do not entirely partake of human
nature, or whatever else may be the reason, they are so far from
taking any share in the distresses of mankind, or of being moved
with any compassion for them, that they look upon them as
blessings showered down from above, and which the more they
improve to their own use, the greater is their gratitude and
piety. Thus at Gravesend a sculler requires a shilling for going
less way than he would row in London for threepence; and at Deal
a boat often brings more profit in a day than it can produce in
London in a week, or perhaps in a month; in both places the owner
of the boat founds his demand on the necessity and distress of
one who stands more or less in absolute want of his assistance,
and with the urgency of these always rises in the exorbitancy of
his demand, without ever considering that, from these very
circumstances, the power or ease of gratifying such demand is in
like proportion lessened. Now, as I am unwilling that some
conclusions, which may be, I am aware, too justly drawn from
these observations, should be imputed to human nature in general,
I have endeavored to account for them in a way more consistent
with the goodness and dignity of that nature. However it be, it
seems a little to reflect on the governors of such monsters that
they do not take some means to restrain these impositions, and
prevent them from triumphing any longer in the miseries of those
who are, in many circumstances at least, their fellow-creatures,
and considering the distresses of a wretched seaman, from his
being wrecked to his being barely windbound, as a blessing sent
among them from above, and calling it by that blasphemous name.

Friday, July 5.--This day I sent a servant on board a man-of-war
that was stationed here, with my compliments to the captain, to
represent to him the distress of the ladies, and to desire the
favor of his long-boat to conduct us to Dover, at about seven
miles' distance; and at the same time presumed to make use of a
great lady's name, the wife of the first lord commissioner of the
admiralty, who would, I told him, be pleased with any kindness
shown by him towards us in our miserable condition. And this I
am convinced was true, from the humanity of the lady, though she
was entirely unknown to me.

The captain returned a verbal answer to a long letter acquainting
me that what I desired could not be complied with, it being a
favor not in his power to grant. This might be, and I suppose
was, true; but it is as true that, if he was able to write, and
had pen, ink, and paper on board, he might have sent a written
answer, and that it was the part of a gentleman so to have done;
but this is a character seldom maintained on the watery element,
especially by those who exercise any power on it. Every
commander of a vessel here seems to think himself entirely free
from all those rules of decency and civility which direct and
restrain the conduct of the members of a society on shore; and
each, claiming absolute dominion in his little wooden world,
rules by his own laws and his own discretion. I do not, indeed,
know so pregnant an instance of the dangerous consequences of
absolute power, and its aptness to intoxicate the mind, as that
of those petty tyrants, who become such in a moment, from very
well-disposed and social members of that communion in which they
affect no superiority, but live in an orderly state of legal
subjection with their fellow-citizens.

Saturday, July 6.--This morning our commander, declaring he was
sure the wind would change, took the advantage of an ebbing tide,
and weighed his anchor. His assurance, however, had the same
completion, and his endeavors the same success, with his formal
trial; and he was soon obliged to return once more to his old
quarters. Just before we let go our anchor, a small sloop,
rather than submit to yield us an inch of way, ran foul of our
ship, and carried off her bowsprit. This obstinate frolic would
have cost those aboard the sloop very dear, if our steersman had
not been too generous to exert his superiority, the certain
consequence of which would have been the immediate sinking of the
other. This contention of the inferior with a might capable of
crushing it in an instant may seem to argue no small share of
folly or madness, as well as of impudence; but I am convinced
there is very little danger in it: contempt is a port to which
the pride of man submits to fly with reluctance, but those who
are within it are always in a place of the most assured security;
for whosoever throws away his sword prefers, indeed, a less
honorable but much safer means of avoiding danger than he who
defends himself with it. And here we shall offer another
distinction, of the truth of which much reading and experience
have well convinced us, that as in the most absolute governments
there is a regular progression of slavery downwards, from the top
to the bottom, the mischief of which is seldom felt with any
great force and bitterness but by the next immediate degree; so
in the most dissolute and anarchical states there is as regular
an ascent of what is called rank or condition, which is always
laying hold of the head of him who is advanced but one step
higher on the ladder, who might, if he did not too much despise
such efforts, kick his pursuer headlong to the bottom. We will
conclude this digression with one general and short observation,
which will, perhaps, set the whole matter in a clearer light than
the longest and most labored harangue. Whereas envy of all
things most exposes us to danger from others, so contempt of all
things best secures us from them. And thus, while the dung-cart
and the sloop are always meditating mischief against the coach
and the ship, and throwing themselves designedly in their way,
the latter consider only their own security, and are not ashamed
to break the road and let the other pass by them.

Monday, July 8.--Having passed our Sunday without anything
remarkable, unless the catching a great number of whitings in the
afternoon may be thought so, we now set sail on Monday at six
o'clock, with a little variation of wind; but this was so very
little, and the breeze itself so small, but the tide was our best
and indeed almost our only friend. This conducted us along the
short remainder of the Kentish shore. Here we passed that cliff
of Dover which makes so tremendous a figure in Shakespeare, and
which whoever reads without being giddy, must, according to Mr.
Addison's observation, have either a very good head or a very
bad, one; but which, whoever contracts any such ideas from the
sight of, must have at least a poetic if not a Shakesperian
genius. In truth, mountains, rivers, heroes, and gods owe great
part of their existence to the poets; and Greece and Italy do so
plentifully abound in the former, because they furnish so
glorious a number of the latter; who, while they bestowed
immortality on every little hillock and blind stream, left the
noblest rivers and mountains in the world to share the same
obscurity with the eastern and western poets, in which they are
celebrated. This evening we beat the sea of Sussex in sight of
Dungeness, with much more pleasure than progress; for the weather
was almost a perfect calm, and the moon, which was almost at the
full, scarce suffered a single cloud to veil her from our sight.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 9, 10.--These two days we had much the
same fine weather, and made much the same way; but in the evening
of the latter day a pretty fresh gale sprung up at N.N.W., which
brought us by the morning in sight of the Isle of Wight.

Thursday, July 11.--This gale continued till towards noon; when
the east end of the island bore but little ahead of us. The
captain swaggered and declared he would keep the sea; but the
wind got the better of him, so that about three he gave up the
victory, and making a sudden tack stood in for the shore, passed
by Spithead and Portsmouth, and came to an anchor at a place
called Ryde on the island.

A most tragical incident fell out this day at sea. While the
ship was under sail, but making as will appear no great way, a
kitten, one of four of the feline inhabitants of the cabin, fell
from the window into the water: an alarm was immediately given
to the captain, who was then upon deck, and received it with the
utmost concern and many bitter oaths. He immediately gave orders
to the steersman in favor of the poor thing, as he called it; the
sails were instantly slackened, and all hands, as the phrase is,
employed to recover the poor animal. I was, I own, extremely
surprised at all this; less indeed at the captain's extreme
tenderness than at his conceiving any possibility of success; for
if puss had had nine thousand instead of nine lives, I concluded
they had been all lost. The boatswain, however, had more
sanguine hopes, for, having stripped himself of his jacket,
breeches, and shirt, he leaped boldly into the water, and to my
great astonishment in a few minutes returned to the ship, bearing
the motionless animal in his mouth. Nor was this, I observed, a
matter of such great difficulty as it appeared to my ignorance,
and possibly may seem to that of my fresh-water reader. The
kitten was now exposed to air and sun on the deck, where its
life, of which it retained no symptoms, was despaired of by all.

The captain's humanity, if I may so call it, did not so totally
destroy his philosophy as to make him yield himself up to
affliction on this melancholy occasion. Having felt his loss
like a man, he resolved to show he could bear it like one; and,
having declared he had rather have lost a cask of rum or brandy,
betook himself to threshing at backgammon with the Portuguese
friar, in which innocent amusement they had passed about
two-thirds of their time.

But as I have, perhaps, a little too wantonly endeavored to raise
the tender passions of my readers in this narrative, I should
think myself unpardonable if I concluded it without giving them
the satisfaction of hearing that the kitten at last recovered, to
the great joy of the good captain, but to the great
disappointment of some of the sailors, who asserted that the
drowning a cat was the very surest way of raising a favorable
wind; a supposition of which, though we have heard several
plausible accounts, we will not presume to assign the true
original reason.

Friday, July 12.--This day our ladies went ashore at Ryde, and
drank their afternoon tea at an ale-house there with great
satisfaction: here they were regaled with fresh cream, to which
they had been strangers since they left the Downs.

Saturday, July 13.--The wind seeming likely to continue in the
same corner where it had been almost constantly for two months
together, I was persuaded by my wife to go ashore and stay at
Ryde till we sailed. I approved the motion much; for though I am
a great lover of the sea, I now fancied there was more pleasure
in breathing the fresh air of the land; but how to get thither
was the question; for, being really that dead luggage which I
considered all passengers to be in the beginning of this
narrative, and incapable of any bodily motion without external
impulse, it was in vain to leave the ship, or to determine to do
it, without the assistance of others. In one instance, perhaps,
the living, luggage is more difficult to be moved or removed than
an equal or much superior weight of dead matter; which, if of the
brittle kind, may indeed be liable to be broken through
negligence; but this, by proper care, may be almost certainly
prevented; whereas the fractures to which the living lumps are
exposed are sometimes by no caution avoidable, and often by no
art to be amended.

I was deliberating on the means of conveyance, not so much out of
the ship to the boat as out of a little tottering boat to the
land; a matter which, as I had already experienced in the Thames,
was not extremely easy, when to be performed by any other limbs
than your own. Whilst I weighed all that could suggest itself on
this head, without strictly examining the merit of the several
schemes which were advanced by the captain and sailors, and,
indeed, giving no very deep attention even to my wife, who, as
well as her friend and my daughter, were exerting their tender
concern for my ease and safety, Fortune, for I am convinced she
had a hand in it, sent me a present of a buck; a present welcome
enough of itself, but more welcome on account of the vessel in
which it came, being a large hoy, which in some places would pass
for a ship, and many people would go some miles to see the sight.

I was pretty easily conveyed on board this hoy; but to get from
hence to the shore was not so easy a task; for, however strange
it may appear, the water itself did not extend so far; an
instance which seems to explain those lines of Ovid,

Omnia pontus erant, deerant quoque littora ponto,

in a less tautological sense than hath generally been imputed to them.

In fact, between the sea and the shore there was, at low water,
an impassable gulf, if I may so call it, of deep mud, which could
neither be traversed by walking nor swimming; so that for near
one half of the twenty-four hours Ryde was inaccessible by friend
or foe. But as the magistrates of this place seemed more to
desire the company of the former than to fear that of the latter,
they had begun to make a small causeway to the low-water mark, so
that foot passengers might land whenever they pleased; but as
this work was of a public kind, and would have cost a large sum
of money, at least ten pounds, and the magistrates, that is to
say, the churchwardens, the overseers, constable, and tithingman,
and the principal inhabitants, had every one of them some
separate scheme of private interest to advance at the expense of
the public, they fell out among themselves; and, after having
thrown away one half of the requisite sum, resolved at least to
save the other half, and rather be contented to sit down losers
themselves than to enjoy any benefit which might bring in a
greater profit to another. Thus that unanimity which is so
necessary in all public affairs became wanting, and every man,
from the fear of being a bubble to another, was, in reality, a
bubble to himself.

However, as there is scarce any difficulty to which the strength
of men, assisted with the cunning of art, is not equal, I was at
last hoisted into a small boat, and being rowed pretty near the
shore, was taken up by two sailors, who waded with me through the
mud, and placed me in a chair on the land, whence they afterwards
conveyed me a quarter of a mile farther, and brought me to a
house which seemed to bid the fairest for hospitality of any in

We brought with us our provisions from the ship, so that we
wanted nothing but a fire to dress our dinner, and a room in
which we might eat it. In neither of these had we any reason to
apprehend a disappointment, our dinner consisting only of beans
and bacon; and the worst apartment in his majesty's dominions,
either at home or abroad, being fully sufficient to answer our
present ideas of delicacy.

Unluckily, however, we were disappointed in both; for when we
arrived about four at our inn, exulting in the hopes of
immediately seeing our beans smoking on the table, we had the
mortification of seeing them on the table indeed, but without
that circumstance which would have made the sight agreeable,
being in the same state in which we had dispatched them from our
ship. In excuse for this delay, though we had exceeded, almost
purposely, the time appointed, and our provision had arrived
three hours before, the mistress of the house acquainted us that
it was not for want of time to dress them that they were not
ready, but for fear of their being cold or over-done before we
should come; which she assured us was much worse than waiting a

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