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Journal of A Voyage to Lisbon by Henry Fielding

Part 2 out of 3

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few minutes for our dinner; an observation so very just, that it
is impossible to find any objection in it; but, indeed, it was
not altogether so proper at this time, for we had given the most
absolute orders to have them ready at four, and had been
ourselves, not without much care and difficulty, most exactly
punctual in keeping to the very minute of our appointment. But
tradesmen, inn-keepers, and servants, never care to indulge us in
matters contrary to our true interest, which they always know
better than ourselves; nor can any bribes corrupt them to go out
of their way while they are consulting our good in our own despite.

Our disappointment in the other particular, in defiance of our
humility, as it was more extraordinary, was more provoking. In
short, Mrs. Francis (for that was the name of the good woman of
the house) no sooner received the news of our intended arrival
than she considered more the gentility than the humanity of her
guests, and applied herself not to that which kindles but to that
which extinguishes fire, and, forgetting to put on her pot, fell
to washing her house.

As the messenger who had brought my venison was impatient to be
dispatched, I ordered it to be brought and laid on the table in
the room where I was seated; and the table not being large
enough, one side, and that a very bloody one, was laid on the
brick floor. I then ordered Mrs. Francis to be called in, in
order to give her instructions concerning it; in particular, what
I would have roasted and what baked; concluding that she would be
highly pleased with the prospect of so much money being spent in
her house as she might have now reason to expect, if the wind
continued only a few days longer to blow from the same points
whence it had blown for several weeks past.

I soon saw good cause, I must confess, to despise my own
sagacity. Mrs. Francis, having received her orders, without
making any answer, snatched the side from the floor, which
remained stained with blood, and, bidding a servant to take up
that on the table, left the room with no pleasant countenance,
muttering to herself that, "had she known the litter which was to
have been made, she would not have taken such pains to wash her
house that morning. If this was gentility, much good may it do
such gentlefolks; for her part she had no notion of it." From
these murmurs I received two hints. The one, that it was not
from a mistake of our inclination that the good woman had starved
us, but from wisely consulting her own dignity, or rather perhaps
her vanity, to which our hunger was offered up as a sacrifice.
The other, that I was now sitting in a damp room, a circumstance,
though it had hitherto escaped my notice from the color of the
bricks, which was by no means to be neglected in a valetudinary state.

My wife, who, besides discharging excellently well her own and
all the tender offices becoming the female character; who,
besides being a faithful friend, an amiable companion, and a
tender nurse, could likewise supply the wants of a decrepit
husband, and occasionally perform his part, had, before this,
discovered the immoderate attention to neatness in Mrs. Francis,
and provided against its ill consequences. She had found, though
not under the same roof, a very snug apartment belonging to Mr.
Francis, and which had escaped the mop by his wife's being
satisfied it could not possibly be visited by gentle-folks. This
was a dry, warm, oaken-floored barn, lined on both sides with
wheaten straw, and opening at one end into a green field and a
beautiful prospect. Here, without hesitation, she ordered the
cloth to be laid, and came hastily to snatch me from worse perils
by water than the common dangers of the sea.

Mrs. Francis, who could not trust her own ears, or could not
believe a footman in so extraordinary a phenomenon, followed my
wife, and asked her if she had indeed ordered the cloth to be
laid in the barn? She answered in the affirmative; upon which
Mrs. Francis declared she would not dispute her pleasure, but it
was the first time she believed that quality had ever preferred a
barn to a house. She showed at the same time the most pregnant
marks of contempt, and again lamented the labor she had undergone,
through her ignorance of the absurd taste of her guests.

At length we were seated in one of the most pleasant spots I
believe in the kingdom, and were regaled with our beans and
bacon, in which there was nothing deficient but the quantity.
This defect was however so deplorable that we had consumed our
whole dish before we had visibly lessened our hunger. We now
waited with impatience the arrival of our second course, which
necessity, and not luxury, had dictated. This was a joint of
mutton which Mrs. Francis had been ordered to provide; but when,
being tired with expectation, we ordered our servants TO SEE FOR
SOMETHING ELSE, we were informed that there was nothing else; on
which Mrs. Francis, being summoned, declared there was no such
thing as mutton to be had at Ryde. When I expressed some
astonishment at their having no butcher in a village so situated,
she answered they had a very good one, and one that killed all
sorts of meat in season, beef two or three times a year, and
mutton the whole year round; but that, it being then beans and
peas time, he killed no meat, by reason he was not sure of
selling it. This she had not thought worthy of communication,
any more than that there lived a fisherman at next door, who was
then provided with plenty of soles, and whitings, and lobsters,
far superior to those which adorn a city feast. This discovery
being made by accident, we completed the best, the pleasantest,
and the merriest meal, with more appetite, more real solid
luxury, and more festivity, than was ever seen in an
entertainment at White's.

It may be wondered at, perhaps, that Mrs. Francis should be so
negligent of providing for her guests, as she may seem to be thus
inattentive to her own interest; but this was not the case; for,
having clapped a poll-tax on our heads at our arrival, and
determined at what price to discharge our bodies from her house,
the less she suffered any other to share in the levy the clearer
it came into her own pocket; and that it was better to get twelve
pence in a shilling than ten pence, which latter would be the
case if she afforded us fish at any rate.

Thus we passed a most agreeable day owing to good appetites and
good humor; two hearty feeders which will devour with
satisfaction whatever food you place before them; whereas,
without these, the elegance of St. James's, the charde, the
perigord-pie, or the ortolan, the venison, the turtle, or the
custard, may titillate the throat, but will never convey
happiness to the heart or cheerfulness to the countenance.

As the wind appeared still immovable, my wife proposed my lying
on shore. I presently agreed, though in defiance of an act of
parliament, by which persons wandering abroad and lodging in
ale-houses are decreed to be rogues and vagabonds; and this too
after having been very singularly officious in putting that law
in execution. My wife, having reconnoitered the house, reported
that there was one room in which were two beds. It was
concluded, therefore, that she and Harriot should occupy one and
myself take possession of the other. She added likewise an
ingenious recommendation of this room to one who had so long been
in a cabin, which it exactly resembled, as it was sunk down with
age on one side, and was in the form of a ship with gunwales too.

For my own part, I make little doubt but this apartment was an
ancient temple, built with the materials of a wreck, and probably
dedicated to Neptune in honor of THE BLESSING sent by him to the
inhabitants; such blessings having in all ages been very common
to them. The timber employed in it confirms this opinion, being
such as is seldom used by ally but ship-builders. I do not find
indeed any mention of this matter in Hearn; but perhaps its
antiquity was too modern to deserve his notice. Certain it is
that this island of Wight was not an early convert to
Christianity; nay, there is some reason to doubt whether it was
ever entirely converted. But I have only time to touch slightly
on things of this kind, which, luckily for us, we have a society
whose peculiar profession it is to discuss and develop.

Sunday, July 19.--This morning early I summoned Mrs. Francis, in
order to pay her the preceding day's account. As I could
recollect only two or three articles I thought there was no
necessity of pen and ink. In a single instance only we had
exceeded what the law allows gratis to a foot-soldier on his
march, viz., vinegar, salt, etc., and dressing his meat. I
found, however, I was mistaken in my calculation; for when the
good woman attended with her bill it contained as follows:--
L. s. d.

Bread and beer 0 2 4

Wind 0 2 0

Rum 0 2 0

Dressing dinner 0 3 0

Tea 0 1 6

Firing 0 1 0

Lodging 0 1 6
Servants' lodging 0 0 6


L 0 13 10

Now that five people and two servants should live a day and night
at a public-house for so small a sum will appear incredible to
any person in London above the degree of a chimney-sweeper; but
more astonishing will it seem that these people should remain so
long at such a house without tasting any other delicacy than
bread, small beer, a teacupful of milk called cream, a glass of
rum converted into punch by their own materials, and one bottle
of wind, of which we only tasted a single glass though possibly,
indeed, our servants drank the remainder of the bottle.

This wind is a liquor of English manufacture, and its flavor is
thought very delicious by the generality of the English, who
drink it in great quantities. Every seventh year is thought to
produce as much as the other six. It is then drank so
plentifully that the whole nation are in a manner intoxicated by
it; and consequently very little business is carried on at that
season. It resembles in color the red wine which is imported
from Portugal, as it doth in its intoxicating quality; hence, and
from this agreement in the orthography, the one is often
confounded with the other, though both are seldom esteemed by the
same person. It is to be had in every parish of the kingdom, and
a pretty large quantity is consumed in the metropolis, where
several taverns are set apart solely for the vendition of this
liquor, the masters never dealing in any other. The disagreement
in our computation produced some small remonstrance to Mrs.
Francis on my side; but this received an immediate answer: "She
scorned to overcharge gentlemen; her house had been always
frequented by the very best gentry of the island; and she had
never had a bill found fault with in her life, though she had
lived upwards of forty years in the house, and within that time
the greatest gentry in Hampshire had been at it; and that lawyer
Willis never went to any other when he came to those parts. That
for her part she did not get her livelihood by travelers, who
were gone and away, and she never expected to see them more, but
that her neighbors might come again; wherefore, to be sure, they
had the only right to complain."

She was proceeding thus, and from her volubility of tongue seemed
likely to stretch the discourse to an immoderate length, when I
suddenly cut all short by paying the bill.

This morning our ladies went to church, more, I fear, from
curiosity than religion; they were attended by the captain in a
most military attire, with his cockade in his hat and his sword
by his side. So unusual an appearance in this little chapel drew
the attention of all present, and probably disconcerted the
women, who were in dishabille, and wished themselves dressed, for
the sake of the curate, who was the greatest of their beholders.
While I was left alone I received a visit from Mr. Francis
himself, who was much more considerable as a farmer than as an
inn-holder. Indeed, he left the latter entirely to the care of
his wife, and he acted wisely, I believe, in so doing. As
nothing more remarkable passed on this day I will close it with
the account of these two characters, as far as a few days'
residence could inform me of them. If they should appear as new
to the reader as they did to me, he will not be displeased at
finding them here. This amiable couple seemed to border hard on
their grand climacteric; nor indeed were they shy of owning
enough to fix their ages within a year or two of that time. They
appeared to be rather proud of having employed their time well
than ashamed of having lived so long; the only reason which I
could ever assign why some fine ladies, and fine gentlemen too,
should desire to be thought younger than they really are by the
contemporaries of their grandchildren. Some, indeed, who too
hastily credit appearances, might doubt whether they had made so
good a use of their time as I would insinuate, since there was no
appearance of anything but poverty, want, and wretchedness, about
their house; nor could they produce anything to a customer in
exchange for his money but a few bottles of wind, and spirituous
liquors, and some very bad ale, to drink; with rusty bacon and
worse cheese to eat. But then it should be considered, on the
other side, that whatever they received was almost as entirely
clear profit as the blessing of a wreck itself; such an inn being
the very reverse of a coffee-house; for here you can neither sit
for nothing nor have anything for your money.

Again, as many marks of want abounded everywhere, so were the
marks of antiquity visible. Scarce anything was to be seen which
had not some scar upon it, made by the hand of Time; not an
utensil, it was manifest, had been purchased within a dozen years
last past; so that whatever money had come into the house during
that period at least must have remained in it, unless it had been
sent abroad for food, or other perishable commodities; but these
were supplied by a small portion of the fruits of the farm, in
which the farmer allowed he had a very good bargain. In fact, it
is inconceivable what sums may be collected by starving only, and
how easy it is for a man to die rich if he will but be contented
to live miserable.

Nor is there in this kind of starving anything so terrible as
some apprehend. It neither wastes a man's flesh nor robs him of
his cheerfulness. The famous Cornaro's case well proves the
contrary; and so did farmer Francis, who was of a round stature,
had a plump, round face, with a kind of smile on it, and seemed
to borrow an air of wretchedness rather from his coat's age than
from his own.

The truth is, there is a certain diet which emaciates men more
than any possible degree of abstinence; though I do not remember
to have seen any caution against it, either in Cheney, Arbuthnot,
or in any other modern writer or regimen.

Nay, the very name is not, I believe, in the learned Dr. James's
Dictionary; all which is the more extraordinary as it is a very
common food in this kingdom, and the college themselves were not
long since very liberally entertained with it by the present
attorney and other eminent lawyers in Lincoln's-inn-hall, and
were all made horribly sick by it.

But though it should not be found among our English physical
writers, we may be assured of meeting with it among the Greeks;
for nothing considerable in nature escapes their notice, though
many things considerable in them, it is to be feared, have
escaped the notice of their readers. The Greeks, then, to all
such as feed too voraciously on this diet, give the name of
HEAUTOFAGI, which our physicians will, I suppose, translate MEN

As nothing is so destructive to the body as this kind of food,
so nothing is so plentiful and cheap; but it was perhaps the only
cheap thing the farmer disliked. Probably living much on fish
might produce this disgust; for Diodorus Siculus attributes the
same aversion in a people of Ethiopia to the same cause; he calls
them the fish-eaters, and asserts that they cannot be brought to
eat a single meal with the Heautofagi by any persuasion, threat,
or violence whatever, not even though they should kill their
children before their faces.

What hath puzzled our physicians, and prevented them from setting
this matter in the clearest light, is possibly one simple
mistake, arising from a very excusable ignorance; that the
passions of men are capable of swallowing food as well as their
appetites; that the former, in feeding, resemble the state of
those animals who chew the cud; and therefore, such men, in some
sense, may be said to prey on themselves, and as it were to
devour their own entrails. And hence ensues a meager aspect and
thin habit of body, as surely as from what is called a
consumption. Our farmer was one of these. He had no more
passion than an Ichthuofagus or Ethiopian fisher. He wished not
for anything, thought not of anything; indeed, he scarce did
anything or said anything. Here I cannot be understood strictly;
for then I must describe a nonentity, whereas I would rob him of
nothing but that free agency which is the cause of all the
corruption and of all the misery of human nature. No man,
indeed, ever did more than the farmer, for he was an absolute
slave to labor all the week; but in truth, as my sagacious reader
must have at first apprehended, when I said he resigned the care
of the house to his wife, I meant more than I then expressed,
even the house and all that belonged to it; for he was really a
farmer only under the direction of his wife. In a word, so
composed, so serene, so placid a countenance, I never saw; and he
satisfied himself by answering to every question he was asked, "I
don't know anything about it, sir; I leaves all that to my wife."

Now, as a couple of this kind would, like two vessels of oil,
have made no composition in life, and for want of all savor must
have palled every taste; nature or fortune, or both of them, took
care to provide a proper quantity of acid in the materials that
formed the wife, and to render her a perfect helpmate for so
tranquil a husband. She abounded in whatsoever he was defective;
that is to say, in almost everything. She was indeed as vinegar
to oil, or a brisk wind to a standing-pool, and preserved all
from stagnation and corruption.

Quin the player, on taking a nice and severe survey of a
fellow-comedian, burst forth into this exclamation:--"If that
fellow be not a rogue, God Almighty doth not write a legible hand."

Whether he guessed right or no is not worth my while to examine;
certain it is that the latter, having wrought his features into a
proper harmony to become the characters of Iago, Shylock, and
others of the same cast, gave us a semblance of truth to the
observation that was sufficient to confirm the wit of it.
Indeed, we may remark, in favor of the physiognomist, though the
law has made him a rogue and vagabond, that Nature is seldom
curious in her works within, without employing some little pains
on the outside; and this more particularly in mischievous
characters, in forming which, as Mr. Derham observes, in venomous
insects, as the sting or saw of a wasp, she is sometimes
wonderfully industrious. Now, when she hath thus completely
armed our hero to carry on a war with man, she never fails of
furnishing that innocent lambkin with some means of knowing his
enemy, and foreseeing his designs. Thus she hath been observed
to act in the case of a rattlesnake, which never meditates a
human prey without giving warning of his approach. This
observation will, I am convinced, hold most true, if applied to
the most venomous individuals of human insects. A tyrant, a
trickster, and a bully, generally wear the marks of their several
dispositions in their countenances; so do the vixen, the shrew,
the scold, and all other females of the like kind. But, perhaps,
nature hath never afforded a stronger example of all this than in
the case of Mrs. Francis. She was a short, squat woman; her head
was closely joined to her shoulders, where it was fixed somewhat
awry; every feature of her countenance was sharp and pointed; her
face was furrowed with the smallpox; and her complexion, which
seemed to be able to turn milk to curds, not a little resembled
in color such milk as had already undergone that operation. She
appeared, indeed, to have many symptoms of a deep jaundice in her
look; but the strength and firmness of her voice overbalanced
them all; the tone of this was a sharp treble at a distance, for
I seldom heard it on the same floor, but was usually waked with
it in the morning, and entertained with it almost continually
through the whole day.

Though vocal be usually put in opposition to instrumental music,
I question whether this might not be thought to partake of the
nature of both; for she played on two instruments, which she
seemed to keep for no other use from morning till night; these
were two maids, or rather scolding-stocks, who, I suppose, by
some means or other, earned their board, and she gave them their
lodging gratis, or for no other service than to keep her lungs in
constant exercise.

She differed, as I have said, in every particular from her
husband; but very remarkably in this, that, as it was impossible
to displease him, so it was as impossible to please her; and as
no art could remove a smile from his countenance, so could no art
carry it into hers. If her bills were remonstrated against she
was offended with the tacit censure of her fair-dealing; if they
were not, she seemed to regard it as a tacit sarcasm on her
folly, which might have set down larger prices with the same
success. On this lather hint she did indeed improve, for she
daily raised some of her articles. A pennyworth of fire was
to-day rated at a shilling, to-morrow at eighteen-pence; and if
she dressed us two dishes for two shillings on the Saturday, we
paid half-a-crown for the cookery of one on the Sunday; and,
whenever she was paid, she never left the room without lamenting
the small amount of her bill, saying, "she knew not how it was
that others got their money by gentle-folks, but for her part she
had not the art of it." When she was asked why she complained,
when she was paid all she demanded, she answered, "she could not
deny that, nor did she know she had omitted anything; but that it
was but a poor bill for gentle-folks to pay." I accounted for
all this by her having heard, that it is a maxim with the
principal inn-holders on the continent, to levy considerable
sums on their guests, who travel with many horses and servants,
though such guests should eat little or nothing in their houses;
the method being, I believe, in such cases, to lay a capitation
on the horses, and not on their masters. But she did not
consider that in most of these inns a very great degree of
hunger, without any degree of delicacy, may be satisfied; and
that in all such inns there is some appearance, at least, of
provision, as well as of a man-cook to dress it, one of the
hostlers being always furnished with a cook's cap, waistcoat, and
apron, ready to attend gentlemen and ladies on their summons;
that the case therefore of such inns differed from hers, where
there was nothing to eat or to drink, and in reality no house to
inhabit, no chair to sit upon, nor any bed to lie in; that one
third or fourth part therefore of the levy imposed at inns was,
in truth, a higher tax than the whole was when laid on in the
other, where, in order to raise a small sum, a man is obliged to
submit to pay as many various ways for the same thing as he doth
to the government for the light which enters through his own
window into his own house, from his own estate; such are the
articles of bread and beer, firing, eating and dressing dinner.

The foregoing is a very imperfect sketch of this extraordinary
couple; for everything is here lowered instead of being
heightened. Those who would see them set forth in more lively
colors, and with the proper ornaments, may read the descriptions
of the Furies in some of the classical poets, or of the Stoic
philosophers in the works of Lucian.

Monday, July 20.--This day nothing remarkable passed; Mrs.
Francis levied a tax of fourteen shillings for the Sunday. We
regaled ourselves at dinner with venison and good claret of our
own; and in the afternoon, the women, attended by the captain,
walked to see a delightful scene two miles distant, with the
beauties of which they declared themselves most highly charmed at
their return, as well as with the goodness of the lady of the
mansion, who had slipped out of the way that my wife and their
company might refresh themselves with the flowers and fruits with
which her garden abounded.

Tuesday, July 21.--This day, having paid our taxes of yesterday,
we were permitted to regale ourselves with more venison. Some of
this we would willingly have exchanged for mutton; but no such
flesh was to be had nearer than Portsmouth, from whence it would
have cost more to convey a joint to us than the freight of a
Portugal ham from Lisbon to London amounts to; for though the
water-carriage be somewhat cheaper here than at Deal, yet can you
find no waterman who will go on board his boat, unless by two or
three hours' rowing he can get drunk for the residue of the week.

And here I have an opportunity, which possibly may not offer
again, of publishing some observations on that political economy
of this nation, which, as it concerns only the regulation of the
mob, is below the notice of our great men; though on the due
regulation of this order depend many emoluments, which the great
men themselves, or at least many who tread close on their heels,
may enjoy, as well as some dangers which may some time or other
arise from introducing a pure state of anarchy among them. I
will represent the case, as it appears to me, very fairly and
impartially between the mob and their betters. The whole
mischief which infects this part of our economy arises from the
vague and uncertain use of a word called liberty, of which, as
scarce any two men with whom I have ever conversed seem to have
one and the same idea, I am inclined to doubt whether there be
any simple universal notion represented by this word, or whether
it conveys any clearer or more determinate idea than some of
those old Punic compositions of syllables preserved in one of the
comedies of Plautus, but at present, as I conceive, not supposed
to be understood by any one.

By liberty, however, I apprehend, is commonly understood the
power of doing what we please; not absolutely, for then it would
be inconsistent with law, by whose control the liberty of the
freest people, except only the Hottentots and wild Indians, must
always be restrained.

But, indeed, however largely we extend, or however moderately we
confine, the sense of the word, no politician will, I presume,
contend that it is to pervade in an equal degree, and be, with
the same extent, enjoyed by, every member of society; no such
polity having been ever found, unless among those vile people
just before commemorated. Among the Greeks and Romans the
servile and free conditions were opposed to each other; and no
man who had the misfortune to be enrolled under the former could
lay any claim to liberty till the right was conveyed to him by
that master whose slave he was, either by the means of conquest,
of purchase, or of birth.

This was the state of all the free nations in the world; and
this, till very lately, was understood to be the case of our own.

I will not indeed say this is the case at present, the lowest
class of our people having shaken off all the shackles of their
superiors, and become not only as free, but even freer, than most
of their superiors. I believe it cannot be doubted, though
perhaps we have no recent instance of it, that the personal
attendance of every man who hath three hundred pounds per annum,
in parliament, is indispensably his duty; and that, if the
citizens and burgesses of any city or borough shall choose such a
one, however reluctant he appear, he may be obliged to attend,
and be forcibly brought to his duty by the sergeant-at-arms.

Again, there are numbers of subordinate offices, some of which
are of burden, and others of expense, in the civil
government--all of which persons who are qualified are liable to
have imposed on them, may be obliged to undertake and properly
execute, notwithstanding any bodily labor, or even danger, to
which they may subject themselves, under the penalty of fines and
imprisonment; nay, and what may appear somewhat hard, may be
compelled to satisfy the losses which are eventually incident, to
that of sheriff in particular, out of their own private fortunes;
and though this should prove the ruin of a family, yet the
public, to whom the price is due, incurs no debt or obligation to
preserve its officer harmless, let his innocence appear ever so
clearly. I purposely omit the mention of those military or
military duties which our old constitution laid upon its greatest
members. These might, indeed, supply their posts with some other
able-bodied men; but if no such could have been found, the
obligation nevertheless remained, and they were compellable to
serve in their own proper persons. The only one, therefore, who
is possessed of absolute liberty is the lowest member of the
society, who, if he prefers hunger, or the wild product of the
fields, hedges, lanes, and rivers, with the indulgence of ease
and laziness, to a food a little more delicate, but purchased at
the expense of labor, may lay himself under a shade; nor can be
forced to take the other alternative from that which he hath, I
will not affirm whether wisely or foolishly, chosen.

Here I may, perhaps, be reminded of the last Vagrant Act, where
all such persons are compellable to work for the usual and
accustomed wages allowed in the place; but this is a clause
little known to the justices of the peace, and least likely to be
executed by those who do know it, as they know likewise that it
is formed on the ancient power of the justices to fix and settle
these wages every year, making proper allowances for the scarcity
and plenty of the times, the cheapness and dearness of the place;
and that THE USUAL AND ACCUSTOMED WAGES are words without any
force or meaning, when there are no such; but every man spunges
and raps whatever he can get; and will haggle as long and
struggle as hard to cheat his employer of twopence in a day's
labor as an honest tradesman will to cheat his customers of the
same sum in a yard of cloth or silk.

It is a great pity then that this power, or rather this practice,
was not revived; but, this having been so long omitted that it is
become obsolete, will be best done by a new law, in which this
power, as well as the consequent power of forcing the poor to
labor at a moderate and reasonable rate, should be well
considered and their execution facilitated; for gentlemen who
give their time and labor gratis, and even voluntarily, to the
public, have a right to expect that all their business be made as
easy as possible; and to enact laws without doing this is to fill
our statute-books, much too full already, still fuller with dead
letter, of no use but to the printer of the acts of parliament.
That the evil which I have here pointed at is of itself worth
redressing, is, I apprehend, no subject of dispute; for why
should any persons in distress be deprived of the assistance of
their fellow-subjects, when they are willing amply to reward them
for their labor? or, why should the lowest of the people be
permitted to exact ten times the value of their work? For those
exactions increase with the degrees of necessity in their object,
insomuch that on the former side many are horribly imposed upon,
and that often in no trifling matters. I was very well assured
that at Deal no less than ten guineas was required, and paid by
the supercargo of an Indiaman, for carrying him on board two
miles from the shore when she was just ready to sail; so that his
necessity, as his pillager well understood, was absolute. Again,
many others, whose indignation will not submit to such plunder,
are forced to refuse the assistance, though they are often great
sufferers by so doing. On the latter side, the lowest of the
people are encouraged in laziness and idleness; while they live
by a twentieth part of the labor that ought to maintain them,
which is diametrically opposite to the interest of the public;
for that requires a great deal to be done, not to be paid, for a
little. And moreover, they are confirmed in habits of exaction,
and are taught to consider the distresses of their superiors as
their own fair emolument. But enough of this matter, of which I
at first intended only to convey a hint to those who are alone
capable of applying the remedy, though they are the last to whom
the notice of those evils would occur, without some such monitor
as myself, who am forced to travel about the world in the form of
a passenger. I cannot but say I heartily wish our governors
would attentively consider this method of fixing the price of
labor, and by that means of compelling the poor to work, since
the due execution of such powers will, I apprehend, be found the
true and only means of making them useful, and of advancing trade
from its present visibly declining state to the height to which
Sir William Petty, in his Political Arithmetic, thinks it capable
of being carried.

In the afternoon the lady of the above-mentioned mansion called
at our inn, and left her compliments to us with Mrs. Francis,
with an assurance that while we continued wind-bound in that
place, where she feared we could be but indifferently
accommodated, we were extremely welcome to the use of anything
which her garden or her house afforded. So polite a message
convinced us, in spite of some arguments to the contrary, that we
were not on the coast of Africa, or on some island where the few
savage inhabitants have little of human in them besides their
form. And here I mean nothing less than to derogate from the
merit of this lady, who is not only extremely polite in her
behavior to strangers of her own rank, but so extremely good and
charitable to all her poor neighbors who stand in need of her
assistance, that she hath the universal love and praises of all
who live near her. But, in reality, how little doth the
acquisition of so valuable a character, and the full indulgence
of so worthy a disposition, cost those who possess it! Both are
accomplished by the very offals which fall from a table
moderately plentiful. That they are enjoyed therefore by so few
arises truly from there being so few who have any such
disposition to gratify, or who aim at any such character.

Wednesday, July 22.--This morning, after having been mulcted as
usual, we dispatched a servant with proper acknowledgments of the
lady's goodness; but confined our wants entirely to the
productions of her garden. He soon returned, in company with the
gardener, both richly laden with almost every particular which a
garden at this most fruitful season of the year produces. While
we were regaling ourselves with these, towards the close of our
dinner, we received orders from our commander, who had dined that
day with some inferior officers on board a man-of-war, to return
instantly to the ship; for that the wind was become favorable and
he should weigh that evening. These orders were soon followed by
the captain himself, who was still in the utmost hurry, though
the occasion of it had long since ceased; for the wind had,
indeed, a little shifted that afternoon, but was before this very
quietly set down in its old quarters.

This last was a lucky hit for me; for, as the captain, to whose
orders we resolved to pay no obedience, unless delivered by
himself, did not return till past six, so much time seemed
requisite to put up the furniture of our bed-chamber or
dining-room, for almost every article, even to some of the
chairs, were either our own or the captain's property; so much
more in conveying it as well as myself, as dead a luggage as any,
to the shore, and thence to the ship, that the night threatened
first to overtake us. A terrible circumstance to me, in my
decayed condition; especially as very heavy showers of rain,
attended with a high wind, continued to fall incessantly; the
being carried through which two miles in the dark, in a wet and
open boat, seemed little less than certain death. However, as my
commander was absolute, his orders peremptory, and my obedience
necessary, I resolved to avail myself of a philosophy which hath
been of notable use to me in the latter part of my life, and
which is contained in this hemistich of Virgil:--

----Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.

The meaning of which, if Virgil had any, I think I rightly
understood, and rightly applied. As I was therefore to be
entirely passive in my motion, I resolved to abandon myself to
the conduct of those who were to carry me into a cart when it
returned from unloading the goods.

But before this, the captain, perceiving what had happened in the
clouds, and that the wind remained as much his enemy as ever,
came upstairs to me with a reprieve till the morning. This was,
I own, very agreeable news, and I little regretted the trouble of
refurnishing my apartment, by sending back for the goods.

Mrs. Francis was not well pleased with this.

As she understood the reprieve to be only till the morning, she
saw nothing but lodging to be possibly added, out of which she
was to deduct fire and candle, and the remainder, she thought,
would scarce pay her for her trouble. She exerted therefore all
the ill-humor of which she was mistress, and did all she could to
thwart and perplex everything during the whole evening.

Thursday, July 23.--Early in the morning the captain, who had
remained on shore all night, came to visit us, and to press us to
make haste on board. "I am resolved," says he, "not to lose a
moment now the wind is coming about fair: for my own part, I
never was surer of a wind in all my life." I use his very words;
nor will I presume to interpret or comment upon them farther than
by observing that they were spoke in the utmost hurry.

We promised to be ready as soon as breakfast was over, but this
was not so soon as was expected; for, in removing our goods the
evening before, the tea-chest was unhappily lost. Every place
was immediately searched, and many where it was impossible for it
to be; for this was a loss of much greater consequence than it
may at first seem to many of my readers. Ladies and
valetudinarians do not easily dispense with the use of this
sovereign cordial in a single instance; but to undertake a long
voyage, without any probability of being supplied with it the
whole way, was above the reach of patience. And yet, dreadful as
this calamity was, it seemed unavoidable. The whole town of Ryde
could not supply a single leaf; for, as to what Mrs. Francis and
the shop called by that name, it was not of Chinese growth. It
did not indeed in the least resemble tea, either in smell or
taste, or in any particular, unless in being a leaf; for it was
in truth no other than a tobacco of the mundungus species. And
as for the hopes of relief in any other port, they were not to be
depended upon, for the captain had positively declared he was
sure of a wind, and would let go his anchor no more till he
arrived in the Tajo.

When a good deal of time had been spent, most of it indeed wasted
on this occasion, a thought occurred which every one wondered at
its not having presented itself the first moment. This was to
apply to the good lady, who could not fail of pitying and
relieving such distress. A messenger was immediately despatched
with an account of our misfortune, till whose return we employed
ourselves in preparatives for our departure, that we might have
nothing to do but to swallow our breakfast when it arrived. The
tea-chest, though of no less consequence to us than the
military-chest to a general, was given up as lost, or rather as
stolen, for though I would not, for the world, mention any
particular name, it is certain we had suspicions, and all, I am
afraid, fell on the same person.

The man returned from the worthy lady with much expedition, and
brought with him a canister of tea, despatched with so true a
generosity, as well as politeness, that if our voyage had been as
long again we should have incurred no danger of being brought to
a short allowance in this most important article. At the very
same instant likewise arrived William the footman with our own
tea-chest. It had been, indeed, left in the hoy, when the other
goods were re-landed, as William, when he first heard it was
missing, had suspected; and whence, had not the owner of the hoy
been unluckily out of the way, he had retrieved it soon enough to
have prevented our giving the lady an opportunity of displaying
some part of her goodness. To search the hoy was, indeed, too
natural a suggestion to have escaped any one, nor did it escape
being mentioned by many of us; but we were dissuaded from it by
my wife's maid, who perfectly well remembered she had left the
chest in the bed-chamber; for that she had never given it out of
her hand in her way to or from the hoy; but William perhaps knew
the maid better, and best understood how far she was to be
believed; for otherwise he would hardly of his own accord, after
hearing her declaration, have hunted out the hoy-man, with much
pains and difficulty. Thus ended this scene, which began with
such appearance of distress, and ended with becoming the subject
of mirth and laughter. Nothing now remained but to pay our
taxes, which were indeed laid with inconceivable severity.
Lodging was raised sixpence, fire in the same proportion, and
even candles, which had hitherto escaped, were charged with a
wantonness of imposition, from the beginning, and placed under
the style of oversight. We were raised a whole pound, whereas we
had only burned ten, in five nights, and the pound consisted of

Lastly, an attempt was made which almost as far exceeds human
credulity to believe as it did human patience to submit to. This
was to make us pay as much for existing an hour or two as for
existing a whole day; and dressing dinner was introduced as an
article, though we left the house before either pot or spit had
approached the fire. Here I own my patience failed me, and I
became an example of the truth of the observation, "That all
tyranny and oppression may be carried too far, and that a yoke
may be made too intolerable for the neck of the tamest slave."
When I remonstrated, with some warmth, against this grievance,
Mrs. Francis gave me a look, and left the room without making any
answer. She returned in a minute, running to me with pen, ink,
and paper, in her hand, and desired me to make my own bill; "for
she hoped," she said "I did not expect that her house was to be
dirtied, and her goods spoiled and consumed for nothing. The
whole is but thirteen shillings. Can gentlefolks lie a whole
night at a public-house for less? If they can I am sure it is
time to give off being a landlady: but pay me what you please; I
would have people know that I value money as little as other
folks. But I was always a fool, as I says to my husband, and
never knows which side my bread is buttered of. And yet, to be
sure, your honor shall be my warning not to be bit so again.
Some folks knows better than other some how to make their bills.
Candles! why yes, to be sure; why should not travelers pay for
candles? I am sure I pays for my candles, and the chandler pays
the king's majesty for them; and if he did not I must, so as it
comes to the same thing in the end. To be sure I am out of
sixteens at present, but these burn as white and as clear, though
not quite so large. I expects my chandler here soon, or I would
send to Portsmouth, if your honor was to stay any time longer.
But when folks stays only for a wind, you knows there can be no
dependence on such!" Here she put on a little slyness of
aspect, and seemed willing to submit to interruption. I
interrupted her accordingly by throwing down half a guinea, and
declared I had no more English money, which was indeed true; and,
as she could not immediately change the thirty-six shilling
pieces, it put a final end to the dispute. Mrs. Francis soon
left the room, and we soon after left the house; nor would this
good woman see us or wish us a good voyage. I must not, however,
quit this place, where we had been so ill-treated, without doing
it impartial justice, and recording what may, with the strictest
truth, be said in its favor.

First, then, as to its situation, it is, I think, most
delightful, and in the most pleasant spot in the whole island.
It is true it wants the advantage of that beautiful river which
leads from Newport to Cowes; but the prospect here extending to
the sea, and taking in Portsmouth, Spithead, and St. Helen's,
would be more than a recompense for the loss of the Thames
itself, even in the most delightful part of Berkshire or
Buckinghamshire, though another Denham, or another Pope, should
unite in celebrating it. For my own part, I confess myself so
entirely fond of a sea prospect, that I think nothing on the land
can equal it; and if it be set off with shipping, I desire to
borrow no ornament from the terra firma. A fleet of ships is, in
my opinion, the noblest object which the art of man hath ever
produced; and far beyond the power of those architects who deal
in brick, in stone, or in marble.

When the late Sir Robert Walpole, one of the best of men and of
ministers, used to equip us a yearly fleet at Spithead, his
enemies of taste must have allowed that he, at least, treated the
nation with a fine sight for their money. A much finer, indeed,
than the same expense in an encampment could have produced. For
what indeed is the best idea which the prospect of a number of
huts can furnish to the mind, but of a number of men forming
themselves into a society before the art of building more
substantial houses was known? This, perhaps, would be agreeable
enough; but, in truth, there is a much worse idea ready to step
in before it, and that is of a body of cut-throats, the supports
of tyranny, the invaders of the just liberties and properties of
mankind, the plunderers of the industrious, the ravishers of the
chaste, the murderers of the innocent, and, in a word, the
destroyers of the plenty, the peace, and the safety, of their

And what, it may be said, are these men-of-war which seem so
delightful an object to our eyes? Are they not alike the support
of tyranny and oppression of innocence, carrying with them
desolation and ruin wherever their masters please to send them?
This is indeed too true; and however the ship of war may, in its
bulk and equipment, exceed the honest merchantman, I heartily
wish there was no necessity for it; for, though I must own the
superior beauty of the object on one side, I am more pleased with
the superior excellence of the idea which I can raise in my mind
on the other, while I reflect on the art and industry of mankind
engaged in the daily improvements of commerce to the mutual
benefit of all countries, and to the establishment and happiness
of social life. This pleasant village is situated on a gentle
ascent from the water, whence it affords that charming prospect I
have above described. Its soil is a gravel, which, assisted with
its declivity, preserves it always so dry that immediately after
the most violent rain a fine lady may walk without wetting her
silken shoes. The fertility of the place is apparent from its
extraordinary verdure, and it is so shaded with large and
flourishing elms, that its narrow lanes are a natural grove or
walk, which, in the regularity of its plantation, vies with the
power of art, and in its wanton exuberancy greatly exceeds it.

In a field in the ascent of this hill, about a quarter of a mile
from the sea, stands a neat little chapel. It is very small, but
adequate to the number of inhabitants; for the parish doth not
seem to contain above thirty houses.

At about two miles distant from this parish lives that polite and
good lady to whose kindness we were so much obliged. It is
placed on a hill whose bottom is washed by the sea, and which
from its eminence at top, commands a view of great part of the
island as well as it does that of the opposite shore. This house
was formerly built by one Boyce, who, from a blacksmith at
Gosport, became possessed, by great success in smuggling, of
forty thousand pound. With part of this he purchased an estate
here, and, by chance probably, fixed on this spot for building a
large house. Perhaps the convenience of carrying on his
business, to which it is so well adapted, might dictate the
situation to him. We can hardly, at least, attribute it to the
same taste with which he furnished his house, or at least his
library, by sending an order to a bookseller in London to pack
him up five hundred pounds' worth of his handsomest books. They
tell here several almost incredible stories of the ignorance, the
folly, and the pride, which this poor man and his wife discovered
during the short continuance of his prosperity; for he did not
long escape the sharp eyes of the revenue solicitors, and was, by
extents from the court of Exchequer, soon reduced below his
original state to that of confinement in the Fleet. All his
effects were sold, and among the rest his books, by an auction at
Portsmouth, for a very small price; for the bookseller was now
discovered to have been perfectly a master of his trade, and,
relying on Mr. Boyce's finding little time to read, had sent him
not only the most lasting wares of his shop, but duplicates of
the same, under different titles.

His estate and house were purchased by a gentleman of these
parts, whose widow now enjoys them, and who hath improved them,
particularly her gardens, with so elegant a taste, that the
painter who would assist his imagination in the composition of a
most exquisite landscape, or the poet who would describe an earthly
paradise, could nowhere furnish themselves with a richer pattern.

We left this place about eleven in the morning, and were again
conveyed, with more sunshine than wind, aboard our ship.

Whence our captain had acquired his power of prophecy, when he
promised us and himself a prosperous wind, I will not determine;
it is sufficient to observe that he was a false prophet, and that
the weathercocks continued to point as before. He would not,
however, so easily give up his skill in prediction. He
persevered in asserting that the wind was changed, and, having
weighed his anchor, fell down that afternoon to St. Helen's,
which was at about the distance of five miles; and whither his
friend the tide, in defiance of the wind, which was most
manifestly against him, softly wafted him in as many hours.

Here, about seven in the evening, before which time we could not
procure it, we sat down to regale ourselves with some roasted
venison, which was much better dressed than we imagined it would
be, and an excellent cold pasty which my wife had made at Ryde,
and which we had reserved uncut to eat on board our ship, whither
we all cheerfully exulted in being returned from the presence of
Mrs. Francis, who, by the exact resemblance she bore to a fury,
seemed to have been with no great propriety settled in paradise.

Friday, July 24.--As we passed by Spithead on the preceding
evening we saw the two regiments of soldiers who were just
returned from Gibraltar and Minorca; and this day a lieutenant
belonging to one of them, who was the captain's nephew, came to
pay a visit to his uncle. He was what is called by some a very
pretty fellow; indeed, much too pretty a fellow at his years; for
he was turned of thirty-four, though his address and conversation
would have become him more before he had reached twenty. In his
conversation, it is true, there was something military enough, as
it consisted chiefly of oaths, and of the great actions and wise
sayings of Jack, and Will, and Tom of our regiment, a phrase
eternally in his mouth; and he seemed to conclude that it
conveyed to all the officers such a degree of public notoriety
and importance that it entitled him like the head of a
profession, or a first minister, to be the subject of
conversation among those who had not the least personal
acquaintance with him. This did not much surprise me, as I have
seen several examples of the same; but the defects in his
address, especially to the women, were so great that they seemed
absolutely inconsistent with the behavior of a pretty fellow,
much less of one in a red coat; and yet, besides having been
eleven years in the army, he had had, as his uncle informed me,
an education in France. This, I own, would have appeared to have
been absolutely thrown away had not his animal spirits, which
were likewise thrown away upon him in great abundance, borne the
visible stamp of the growth of that country. The character to
which he had an indisputable title was that of a merry fellow; so
very merry was he that he laughed at everything he said, and
always before he spoke. Possibly, indeed, he often laughed at
what he did not utter, for every speech begun with a laugh,
though it did not always end with a jest. There was no great
analogy between the characters of the uncle and the nephew, and
yet they seemed entirely to agree in enjoying the honor which the
red-coat did to his family. This the uncle expressed with great
pleasure in his countenance, and seemed desirous of showing all
present the honor which he had for his nephew, who, on his side,
was at some pains to convince us of his concurring in this
opinion, and at the same time of displaying the contempt he had
for the parts, as well as the occupation of his uncle, which he
seemed to think reflected some disgrace on himself, who was a
member of that profession which makes every man a gentleman.
Not that I would be understood to insinuate that the nephew
endeavored to shake off or disown his uncle, or indeed to keep
him at any distance. On the contrary, he treated him with the
utmost familiarity, often calling him Dick, and dear Dick, and
old Dick, and frequently beginning an oration with D--n me, Dick.

All this condescension on the part of the young man was received
with suitable marks of complaisance and obligation by the old
one; especially when it was attended with evidences of the same
familiarity with general officers and other persons of rank; one
of whom, in particular, I know to have the pride and insolence of
the devil himself, and who, without some strong bias of interest,
is no more liable to converse familiarly with a lieutenant than
of being mistaken in his judgment of a fool; which was not,
perhaps, so certainly the case of the worthy lieutenant, who, in
declaring to us the qualifications which recommended men to his
countenance and conversation, as well as what effectually set a
bar to all hopes of that honor, exclaimed, "No, sir, by the d-- I
hate all fools-- No, d--n me, excuse me for that. That's a
little too much, old Dick. There are two or three officers of
our regiment whom I know to be fools; but d--n me if I am ever
seen in their company. If a man hath a fool of a relation, Dick,
you know he can't help that, old boy." Such jokes as these the
old man not only tools in good part, but glibly gulped down the
whole narrative of his nephew; nor did he, I am convinced, in the
least doubt of our as readily swallowing the same. This made him
so charmed with the lieutenant, that it is probable we should
have been pestered with him the whole evening, had not the north
wind, dearer to our sea-captain even than this glory of his
family, sprung suddenly up, and called aloud to him to weigh his
anchor. While this ceremony was performing, the sea-captain
ordered out his boat to row the land-captain to shore; not indeed
on an uninhabited island, but one which, in this part, looked but
little better, not presenting us the view of a single house.
Indeed, our old friend, when his boat returned on shore, perhaps
being no longer able to stifle his envy of the superiority of his
nephew, told us with a smile that the young man had a good five
mile to walk before he could be accommodated with a passage to

It appeared now that the captain had been only mistaken in the
date of his prediction, by placing the event a day earlier than
it happened; for the wind which now arose was not only favorable
but brisk, and was no sooner in reach of our sails than it swept
us away by the back of the Isle of Wight, and, having in the
night carried us by Christchurch and Peveral-point, brought us
the next noon, Saturday, July 25, oft the island of Portland, so
famous for the smallness and sweetness of its mutton, of which a
leg seldom weighs four pounds. We would have bought a sheep, but
our captain would not permit it; though he needed not have been
in such a hurry, for presently the wind, I will not positively
assert in resentment of his surliness, showed him a dog's trick,
and slyly slipped back again to his summer-house in the

The captain now grew outrageous, and, declaring open war with the
wind, took a resolution, rather more bold than wise, of sailing
in defiance of it, and in its teeth. He swore he would let go
his anchor no more, but would beat the sea while he had either
yard or sail left. He accordingly stood from the shore, and made
so large a tack that before night, though he seemed to advance
but little on his way, he was got out of sight of land.

Towards evening the wind began, in the captain's own language,
and indeed it freshened so much, that before ten it blew a
perfect hurricane. The captain having got, as he supposed, to a
safe distance, tacked again towards the English shore; and now
the wind veered a point only in his favor, and continued to blow
with such violence, that the ship ran above eight knots or miles
an hour during this whole day and tempestuous night till
bed-time. I was obliged to betake myself once more to my
solitude, for my women were again all down in their sea-sickness,
and the captain was busy on deck; for he began to grow uneasy,
chiefly, I believe, because he did not well know where he was,
and would, I am convinced, have been very glad to have been in
Portland-road, eating some sheep's-head broth.

Having contracted no great degree of good-humor by living a whole
day alone, without a single soul to converse with, I took but ill
physic to purge it off, by a bed-conversation with the captain,
who, amongst many bitter lamentations of his fate, and protesting
he had more patience than a Job, frequently intermixed summons to
the commanding officer on the deck, who now happened to be one
Morrison, a carpenter, the only fellow that had either common
sense or common civility in the ship. Of Morrison he inquired
every quarter of an hour concerning the state of affairs: the
wind, the care of the ship, and other matters of navigation. The
frequency of these summons, as well as the solicitude with which
they were made, sufficiently testified the state of the captain's
mind; he endeavored to conceal it, and would have given no small
alarm to a man who had either not learned what it is to die, or
known what it is to be miserable. And my dear wife and child
must pardon me, if what I did not conceive to be any great evil
to myself I was not much terrified with the thoughts of happening
to them; in truth, I have often thought they are both too good
and too gentle to be trusted to the power of any man I know, to
whom they could possibly be so trusted.

Can I say then I had no fear? indeed I cannot. Reader, I was
afraid for thee, lest thou shouldst have been deprived of that
pleasure thou art now enjoying; and that I should not live to
draw out on paper that military character which thou didst peruse
in the journal of yesterday.

From all these fears we were relieved, at six in the morning, by
the arrival of Mr. Morrison, who acquainted us that he was sure
he beheld land very near; for he could not see half a mile, by
reason of the haziness of the weather. This land he said was, he
believed, the Berry-head, which forms one side of Torbay: the
captain declared that it was impossible, and swore, on condition
he was right, he would give him his mother for a maid. A forfeit
which became afterwards strictly due and payable; for the
captain, whipping on his night-gown, ran up without his breeches,
and within half an hour returning into the cabin, wished me joy
of our lying safe at anchor in the bay.

Sunday, July 26.--Things now began to put on an aspect very
different from what they had lately worn; the news that the ship
had almost lost its mizzen, and that we had procured very fine
clouted cream and fresh bread and butter from the shore, restored
health and spirits to our women, and we all sat down to a very
cheerful breakfast. But, however pleasant our stay promised to
be here, we were all desirous it should be short: I resolved
immediately to despatch my man into the country to purchase a
present of cider, for my friends of that which is called Southam,
as well as to take with me a hogshead of it to Lisbon; for it is,
in my opinion, much more delicious than that which is the growth
of Herefordshire. I purchased three hogsheads for five pounds
ten shillings, all which I should have scarce thought worth
mentioning, had I not believed it might be of equal service to
the honest farmer who sold it me, and who is by the neighboring
gentlemen reputed to deal in the very best; and to the reader,
who, from ignorance of the means of providing better for himself,
swallows at a dearer rate the juice of Middlesex turnip, instead
of that Vinum Pomonae which Mr. Giles Leverance of Cheeshurst,
near Dartmouth in Devon, will, at the price of forty shillings
per hogshead, send in double casks to any part of the world. Had
the wind been very sudden in shifting, I had lost my cider by an
attempt of a boatman to exact, according to custom. He required
five shillings for conveying my man a mile and a half to the
shore, and four more if he stayed to bring him back. This I
thought to be such insufferable impudence that I ordered him to
be immediately chased from the ship, without any answer. Indeed,
there are few inconveniences that I would not rather encounter
than encourage the insolent demands of these wretches, at the
expense of my own indignation, of which I own they are not the
only objects, but rather those who purchase a paltry convenience
by encouraging them. But of this I have already spoken very
largely. I shall conclude, therefore, with the leave which this
fellow took of our ship; saying he should know it again, and
would not put off from the shore to relieve it in any distress
whatever. It will, doubtless, surprise many of my readers to
hear that, when we lay at anchor within a mile or two of a town
several days together, and even in the most temperate weather, we
should frequently want fresh provisions and herbage, and other
emoluments of the shore, as much as if we had been a hundred
leagues from land. And this too while numbers of boats were in
our sight, whose owners get their livelihood by rowing people up
and down, and could be at any time summoned by a signal to our
assistance, and while the captain had a little boat of his own,
with men always ready to row it at his command.

This, however, hath been partly accounted for already by the
imposing disposition of the people, who asked so much more than
the proper price of their labor. And as to the usefulness of the
captain's boat, it requires to be a little expatiated upon, as it
will tend to lay open some of the grievances which demand the
utmost regard of our legislature, as they affect the most
valuable part of the king's subjects--those by whom the commerce
of the nation is carried into execution. Our captain then, who
was a very good and experienced seaman, having been above thirty
years the master of a vessel, part of which he had served, so he
phrased it, as commander of a privateer, and had discharged
himself with great courage and conduct, and with as great
success, discovered the utmost aversion to the sending his boat
ashore whenever we lay wind-bound in any of our harbors. This
aversion did not arise from any fear of wearing out his boat by
using it, but was, in truth, the result of experience, that it
was easier to send his men on shore than to recall them. They
acknowledged him to be their master while they remained on
shipboard, but did not allow his power to extend to the shores,
where they had no sooner set their foot than every man became sui
juris, and thought himself at full liberty to return when he
pleased. Now it is not any delight that these fellows have in
the fresh air or verdant fields on the land. Every one of them
would prefer his ship and his hammock to all the sweets of Arabia
the Happy; but, unluckily for them, there are in every seaport in
England certain houses whose chief livelihood depends on
providing entertainment for the gentlemen of the jacket. For
this purpose they are always well furnished with those cordial
liquors which do immediately inspire the heart with gladness,
banishing all careful thoughts, and indeed all others, from the
mind, and opening the mouth with songs of cheerfulness and
thanksgiving for the many wonderful blessings with which a
seafaring life overflows.

For my own part, however whimsical it may appear, I confess I
have thought the strange story of Circe in the Odyssey no other
than an ingenious allegory, in which Homer intended to convey to
his countrymen the same kind of instruction which we intend to
communicate to our own in this digression. As teaching the art
of war to the Greeks was the plain design of the Iliad, so was
teaching them the art of navigation the no less manifest
intention of the Odyssey. For the improvement of this, their
situation was most excellently adapted; and accordingly we find
Thucydides, in the beginning of his history, considers the Greeks
as a set of pirates or privateers, plundering each other by sea.
This being probably the first institution of commerce before the
Ars Cauponaria was invented, and merchants, instead of robbing,
began to cheat and outwit each other, and by degrees changed the
Metabletic, the only kind of traffic allowed by Aristotle in his
Politics, into the Chrematistic.

By this allegory then I suppose Ulysses to have been the captain
of a merchant-ship, and Circe some good ale-wife, who made his
crew drunk with the spirituous liquors of those days. With this
the transformation into swine, as well as all other incidents of
the fable, will notably agree; and thus a key will be found out
for unlocking the whole mystery, and forging at least some meaning
to a story which, at present, appears very strange and absurd.

Hence, moreover, will appear the very near resemblance between
the sea-faring men of all ages and nations; and here perhaps may
be established the truth and justice of that observation, which
will occur oftener than once in this voyage, that all human flesh
is not the same flesh, but that there is one kind of flesh of
landmen, and another of seamen.

Philosophers, divines, and others, who have treated the
gratification of human appetites with contempt, have, among other
instances, insisted very strongly on that satiety which is so apt
to overtake them even in the very act of enjoyment. And here
they more particularly deserve our attention, as most of them may
be supposed to speak from their own experience, and very probably
gave us their lessons with a full stomach. Thus hunger and
thirst, whatever delight they may afford while we are eating and
drinking, pass both away from us with the plate and the cup; and
though we should imitate the Romans, if, indeed, they were such
dull beasts, which I can scarce believe, to unload the belly like
a dung-pot, in order to fill it again with another load, yet
would the pleasure be so considerably lessened that it would
scarce repay us the trouble of purchasing it with swallowing a
basin of camomile tea. A second haunch of venison, or a second
dose of turtle, would hardly allure a city glutton with its
smell. Even the celebrated Jew himself, when well filled with
calipash and calipee, goes contentedly home to tell his money,
and expects no more pleasure from his throat during the next
twenty-four hours. Hence I suppose Dr. South took that elegant
comparison of the joys of a speculative man to the solemn silence
of an Archimedes over a problem, and those of a glutton to the
stillness of a sow at her wash. A simile which, if it became the
pulpit at all, could only become it in the afternoon. Whereas in
those potations which the mind seems to enjoy, rather than the
bodily appetite, there is happily no such satiety; but the more a
man drinks, the more he desires; as if, like Mark Anthony in
Dryden, his appetite increased with feeding, and this to such an
immoderate degree, ut nullus sit desiderio aut pudor aut modus.
Hence, as with the gang of Captain Ulysses, ensues so total a
transformation, that the man no more continues what he was.
Perhaps he ceases for a time to be at all; or, though he may
retain the same outward form and figure he had before, yet is his
nobler part, as we are taught to call it, so changed, that,
instead of being the same man, he scarce remembers what he was a
few hours before. And this transformation, being once obtained,
is so easily preserved by the same potations, which induced no
satiety, that the captain in vain sends or goes in quest of his
crew. They know him no longer; or, if they do, they acknowledge
not his power, having indeed as entirely forgotten themselves as
if they had taken a large draught of the river of Lethe.

Nor is the captain always sure of even finding out the place to
which Circe hath conveyed them. There are many of those houses
in every port-town. Nay, there are some where the sorceress
doth not trust only to her drugs; but hath instruments of a
different kind to execute her purposes, by whose means the tar is
effectually secreted from the knowledge and pursuit of his
captain. This would, indeed, be very fatal, was it not for one
circumstance; that the sailor is seldom provided with the proper
bait for these harpies. However, the contrary sometimes happens,
as these harpies will bite at almost anything, and will snap at a
pair of silver buttons, or buckles, as surely as at the specie
itself. Nay, sometimes they are so voracious, that the very
naked hook will go down, and the jolly young sailor is sacrificed
for his own sake.

In vain, at such a season as this, would the vows of a pious
heathen have prevailed over Neptune, Aeolus, or any other marine
deity. In vain would the prayers of a Christian captain be
attended with the like success. The wind may change how it
pleases while all hands are on shore; the anchor would remain
firm in the ground, and the ship would continue in durance,
unless, like other forcible prison-breakers, it forcibly got
loose for no good purpose. Now, as the favor of winds and
courts, and such like, is always to be laid hold on at the very
first motion, for within twenty-four hours all may be changed
again; so, in the former case, the loss of a day may be the loss
of a voyage: for, though it may appear to persons not well
skilled in navigation, who see ships meet and sail by each other,
that the wind blows sometimes east and west, north and south,
backwards and forwards, at the same instant; yet, certain it is
that the land is so contrived, that even the same wind will not,
like the same horse, always bring a man to the end of his
journey; but, that the gale which the mariner prayed heartily for
yesterday, he may as heartily deprecate to-morrow; while all use
and benefit which would have arisen to him from the westerly wind
of to-morrow may be totally lost and thrown away by neglecting
the offer of the easterly blast which blows to-day.

Hence ensues grief and disreputation to the innocent captain,
loss and disappointment to the worthy merchant, and not seldom
great prejudice to the trade of a nation whose manufactures are
thus liable to lie unsold in a foreign warehouse the market being
forestalled by some rival whose sailors are under a better
discipline. To guard against these inconveniences the prudent
captain takes every precaution in his power; he makes the
strongest contracts with his crew, and thereby binds them so
firmly, that none but the greatest or least of men can break
through them with impunity; but for one of these two reasons,
which I will not determine, the sailor, like his brother fish the
eel, is too slippery to be held, and plunges into his element
with perfect impunity. To speak a plain truth, there is no
trusting to any contract with one whom the wise citizens of
London call a bad man; for, with such a one, though your bond be
ever so strong, it will prove in the end good for nothing.

What then is to be done in this case? What, indeed, but to call
in the assistance of that tremendous magistrate, the justice of
peace, who can, and often doth, lay good and bad men in equal
durance; and, though he seldom cares to stretch his bonds to what
is great, never finds anything too minute for their detention,
but will hold the smallest reptile alive so fast in his noose,
that he can never get out till he is let drop through it. Why,
therefore, upon the breach of those contracts, should not an
immediate application be made to the nearest magistrate of this
order, who should be empowered to convey the delinquent either to
ship or to prison, at the election of the captain, to be fettered
by the leg in either place? But, as the case now stands, the
condition of this poor captain without any commission, and of
this absolute commander without any power, is much worse than we
have hitherto shown it to be; for, notwithstanding all the
aforesaid contracts to sail in the good ship the Elizabeth, if
the sailor should, for better wages, find it more his interest to
go on board the better ship the Mary, either before their setting
out or on their speedy meeting in some port, he may prefer the
latter without any other danger than that of "doing what he ought
not to have done," contrary to a rule which he is seldom
Christian enough to have much at heart, while the captain is
generally too good a Christian to punish a man out of revenge
only, when he is to be at a considerable expense for so doing.
There are many other deficiencies in our laws relating to
maritime affairs, and which would probably have been long since
corrected, had we any seamen in the House of Commons. Not that I
would insinuate that the legislature wants a supply of many
gentlemen in the sea-service; but, as these gentlemen are by
their attendance in the house unfortunately prevented from ever
going to sea, and there learning what they might communicate to
their landed brethren, these latter remain as ignorant in that
branch of knowledge as they would be if none but courtiers and
fox-hunters had been elected into parliament, without a single
fish among them. The following seems to me to be an effect of
this kind, and it strikes me the stronger as I remember the case
to have happened, and remember it to have been dispunishable. A
captain of a trading vessel, of which he was part owner, took in
a large freight of oats at Liverpool, consigned to the market at
Bearkey: this he carried to a port in Hampshire, and there sold
it as his own, and, freighting his vessel with wheat for the port
of Cadiz, in Spain, dropped it at Oporto in his way; and there,
selling it for his own use, took in a lading of wine, with which
he sailed again, and, having converted it in the same manner,
together with a large sum of money with which he was intrusted,
for the benefit of certain merchants, sold the ship and cargo in
another port, and then wisely sat down contented with the fortune
he had made, and returned to London to enjoy the remainder of his
days, with the fruits of his former labors and a good conscience.

The sum he brought home with him consisted of near six thousand
pounds, all in specie, and most of it in that coin which Portugal
distributes so liberally over Europe.

He was not yet old enough to be past all sense of pleasure, nor
so puffed up with the pride of his good fortune as to overlook
his old acquaintances the journeymen tailors, from among whom he
had been formerly pressed into the sea-service, and, having there
laid the foundation of his future success by his shares in
prizes, had afterwards become captain of a trading vessel, in
which he purchased an interest, and had soon begun to trade in
the honorable manner above mentioned. The captain now took up
his residence at an ale-house in Drury-lane, where, having all
his money by him in a trunk, he spent about five pounds a day
among his old friends the gentlemen and ladies of those parts.
The merchant of Liverpool, having luckily had notice from a
friend during the blaze of his fortune, did, by the assistance of
a justice of peace, without the assistance of the law, recover
his whole loss. The captain, however, wisely chose to refund no
more; but, perceiving with what hasty strides Envy was pursuing
his fortune, he took speedy means to retire out of her reach, and
to enjoy the rest of his wealth in an inglorious obscurity; nor
could the same justice overtake him time enough to assist a
second merchant as he had done the first.

This was a very extraordinary case, and the more so as the
ingenious gentleman had steered entirely clear of all crimes in
our law. Now, how it comes about that a robbery so very easy to
be committed, and to which there is such immediate temptation
always before the eyes of these fellows, should receive the
encouragement of impunity, is to be accounted for only from the
oversight of the legislature, as that oversight can only be, I
think, derived from the reasons I have assigned for it.

But I will dwell no longer on this subject. If what I have here
said should seem of sufficient consequence to engage the
attention of any man in power, and should thus be the means of
applying any remedy to the most inveterate evils, at least, I
have obtained my whole desire, and shall have lain so long
wind-bound in the ports of this kingdom to some purpose. I
would, indeed, have this work--which, if I should live to finish
it, a matter of no great certainty, if indeed of any great hope
to me, will be probably the last I shall ever undertake--to
produce some better end than the mere diversion of the reader.

Monday.--This day our captain went ashore, to dine with a
gentleman who lives in these parts, and who so exactly resembles
the character given by Homer of Axylus, that the only difference
I can trace between them is, the one, living by the highway,
erected his hospitality chiefly in favor of land-travelers; and
the other, living by the water-side, gratified his humanity by
accommodating the wants of the mariner.

In the evening our commander received a visit from a brother
bashaw, who lay wind-bound in the same harbor. This latter
captain was a Swiss. He was then master of a vessel bound to
Guinea, and had formerly been a privateering, when our own hero
was employed in the same laudable service. The honesty and
freedom of the Switzer, his vivacity, in which he was in no
respect inferior to his near neighbors the French, the awkward
and affected politeness, which was likewise of French extraction,
mixed with the brutal roughness of the English tar--for he had
served under the colors of this nation and his crew had been of
the same--made such an odd variety, such a hotch-potch of
character, that I should have been much diverted with him, had
not his voice, which was as loud as a speaking-trumpet,
unfortunately made my head ache. The noise which he conveyed
into the deaf ears of his brother captain, who sat on one side of
him, the soft addresses with which, mixed with awkward bows, he
saluted the ladies on the other, were so agreeably contrasted,
that a man must not only have been void of all taste of humor,
and insensible of mirth, but duller than Cibber is represented in
the Dunciad, who could be unentertained with him a little while;
for, I confess, such entertainments should always be very short,
as they are very liable to pall. But he suffered not this to
happen at present; for, having given us his company a quarter of
an hour only, he retired, after many apologies for the shortness
of his visit.

Tuesday.--The wind being less boisterous than it had hitherto
been since our arrival here, several fishing-boats, which the
tempestuous weather yesterday had prevented from working, came on
board us with fish. This was so fresh, so good in kind, and so
very cheap, that we supplied ourselves in great numbers, among
which were very large soles at fourpence a pair, and whitings of
almost a preposterous size at ninepence a score. The only fish
which bore any price was a john doree, as it is called. I bought
one of at least four pounds weight for as many shillings. It
resembles a turbot in shape, but exceeds it in firmness and
flavor. The price had the appearance of being considerable when
opposed to the extraordinary cheapness of others of value, but
was, in truth, so very reasonable when estimated by its goodness,
that it left me under no other surprise than how the gentlemen of
this country, not greatly eminent for the delicacy of their
taste, had discovered the preference of the doree to all other
fish: but I was informed that Mr. Quin, whose distinguishing
tooth hath been so justly celebrated, had lately visited
Plymouth, and had done those honors to the doree which are so
justly due to it from that sect of modern philosophers who, with
Sir Epicure Mammon, or Sir Epicure Quin, their head, seem more to
delight in a fish-pond than in a garden, as the old Epicureans
are said to have done.

Unfortunately for the fishmongers of London, the doree resides
only in those seas; for, could any of this company but convey one
to the temple of luxury under the Piazza, where Macklin the
high-priest daily serves up his rich offerings to that goddess,
great would be the reward of that fishmonger, in blessings poured
down upon him from the goddess, as great would his merit be
towards the high-priest, who could never be thought to overrate
such valuable incense.

And here, having mentioned the extreme cheapness of fish in the
Devonshire sea, and given some little hint of the extreme
dearness with which this commodity is dispensed by those who deal
in it in London, I cannot pass on without throwing forth an
observation or two, with the same view with which I have
scattered my several remarks through this voyage, sufficiently
satisfied in having finished my life, as I have probably lost it,
in the service of my country, from the best of motives, though it
should be attended with the worst of success. Means are always
in our power; ends are very seldom so.

Of all the animal foods with which man is furnished, there are
none so plenty as fish. A little rivulet, that glides almost
unperceived through a vast tract of rich land, will support more
hundreds with the flesh of its inhabitants than the meadow will
nourish individuals. But if this be true of rivers, it is much
truer of the sea-shores, which abound with such immense variety
of fish that the curious fisherman, after he hath made his
draught, often culls only the daintiest part and leaves the rest
of his prey to perish on the shore. If this be true it would
appear, I think, that there is nothing which might be had in such
abundance, and consequently so cheap, as fish, of which Nature
seems to have provided such inexhaustible stores with some
peculiar design. In the production of terrestrial animals she
proceeds with such slowness, that in the larger kind a single
female seldom produces more than one a-year, and this again
requires three, for, or five years more to bring it to
perfection. And though the lesser quadrupeds, those of the wild
kind particularly, with the birds, do multiply much faster, yet
can none of these bear any proportion with the aquatic animals,
of whom every female matrix is furnished with an annual offspring
almost exceeding the power of numbers, and which, in many
instances at least, a single year is capable of bringing to some
degree of maturity.

What then ought in general to be so plentiful, what so cheap, as
fish? What then so properly the food of the poor? So in many
places they are, and so might they always be in great cities,
which are always situated near the sea, or on the conflux of
large rivers. How comes it then, to look no farther abroad for
instances, that in our city of London the case is so far
otherwise that, except that of sprats, there is not one poor
palate in a hundred that knows the taste of fish?

It is true indeed that this taste is generally of such excellent
flavor that it exceeds the power of French cookery to treat the
palates of the rich with anything more exquisitely delicate; so
that was fish the common food of the poor it might put them too
much upon an equality with their betters in the great article of
eating, in which, at present, in the opinion of some, the great
difference in happiness between man and man consists. But this
argument I shall treat with the utmost disdain: for if ortolans
were as big as buzzards, and at the same time as plenty as
sparrows, I should hold it yet reasonable to indulge the poor
with the dainty, and that for this cause especially, that the
rich would soon find a sparrow, if as scarce as an ortolan, to be
much the greater, as it would certainly be the rarer, dainty of
the two.

Vanity or scarcity will be always the favorite of luxury; but
honest hunger will be satisfied with plenty. Not to search
deeper into the cause of the evil, I should think it abundantly
sufficient to propose the remedies of it. And, first, I humbly
submit the absolute necessity of immediately hanging all the
fishmongers within the bills of mortality; and, however it might
have been some time ago the opinion of mild and temporizing men
that the evil complained of might be removed by gentler methods,
I suppose at this day there are none who do not see the
impossibility of using such with any effect. Cuncta prius
tentanda might have been formerly urged with some plausibility,
but cuncta prius tentata may now be replied: for surely, if a
few monopolizing fishmongers could defeat that excellent scheme
of the Westminster market, to the erecting which so many justices
of peace, as well as other wise and learned men, did so
vehemently apply themselves, that they might be truly said not
only to have laid the whole strength of their heads, but of their
shoulders too, to the business, it would be a vain endeavor for
any other body of men to attempt to remove so stubborn a

If it should be doubted whether we can bring this case within the
letter of any capital law now subsisting, I am ashamed to own it
cannot; for surely no crime better deserves such punishment; but
the remedy may, nevertheless, be immediate; and if a law was made
at the beginning of next session, to take place immediately, by
which the starving thousands of poor was declared to be felony,
without benefit of clergy, the fishmongers would be hanged before
the end of the session. A second method of filling the mouths of
the poor, if not with loaves at least with fishes, is to desire
the magistrates to carry into execution one at least out of near
a hundred acts of parliament, for preserving the small fry of the
river of Thames, by which means as few fish would satisfy
thousands as may now be devoured by a small number of
individnals. But while a fisherman can break through the
strongest meshes of an act of parliament, we may be assured he
will learn so to contrive his own meshes that the smallest fry
will not be able to swim through them.

Other methods may, we doubt not, he suggested by those who shall
attentively consider the evil here hinted at; but we have dwelt
too long on it already, and shall conclude with observing that it
is difficult to affirm whether the atrocity of the evil itself,
the facility of curing it, or the shameful neglect of the cure,
be the more scandalous or more astonishing.

After having, however, gloriously regaled myself with this food,
I was washing it down with some good claret with my wife and her
friend, in the cabin, when the captain's valet-de-chambre, head
cook, house and ship steward, footman in livery and out on't,
secretary and fore-mast man, all burst into the cabin at once,
being, indeed, all but one person, and, without saying, by your
leave, began to pack half a hogshead of small beer in bottles,
the necessary consequence of which must have been either a total
stop to conversation at that cheerful season when it is most
agreeable, or the admitting that polyonymous officer aforesaid to
the participation of it. I desired him therefore to delay his
purpose a little longer, but he refused to grant my request; nor
was he prevailed on to quit the room till he was threatened with
having one bottle to pack more than his number, which then
happened to stand empty within my reach. With these menaces he
retired at last, but not without muttering some menaces on his
side, and which, to our great terror, he failed not to put into
immediate execution.

Our captain was gone to dinner this day with his Swiss brother;
and, though he was a very sober man, was a little elevated with
some champagne, which, as it cost the Swiss little or nothing, he
dispensed at his table more liberally than our hospitable English
noblemen put about those bottles, which the ingenious Peter
Taylor teaches a led captain to avoid by distinguishing by the
name of that generous liquor, which all humble companions are
taught to postpone to the flavor of methuen, or honest port.

While our two captains were thus regaling themselves, and
celebrating their own heroic exploits with all the inspiration
which the liquor, at least, of wit could afford them, the
polyonymous officer arrived, and, being saluted by the name of
Honest Tom, was ordered to sit down and take his glass before he
delivered his message; for every sailor is by turns his captain's
mate over a cann, except only that captain bashaw who presides in
a man-of-war, and who upon earth has no other mate, unless it be
another of the same bashaws. Tom had no sooner swallowed his
draught than he hastily began his narrative, and faithfully
related what had happened on board our ship; we say faithfully,
though from what happened it may be suspected that Tom chose to
add perhaps only five or six immaterial circumstances, as is
always I believe the case, and may possibly have been done by me
in relating this very story, though it happened not many hours ago.

No sooner was the captain informed of the interruption which had
been given to his officer, and indeed to his orders, for he
thought no time so convenient as that of his absence for causing
any confusion in the cabin, than he leaped with such haste from
his chair that he had like to have broke his sword, with which he
always begirt himself when he walked out of his ship, and
sometimes when he walked about in it; at the same time, grasping
eagerly that other implement called a cockade, which modern
soldiers wear on their helmets with the same view as the ancients
did their crests--to terrify the enemy he muttered something, but
so inarticulately that the word DAMN was only intelligible; he
then hastily took leave of the Swiss captain, who was too well
bred to press his stay on such an occasion, and leaped first from
the ship to his boat, and then from his boat to his own ship,
with as much fierceness in his looks as he had ever expressed on
boarding his defenseless prey in the honorable calling of a
privateer. Having regained the middle deck, he paused a moment
while Tom and others loaded themselves with bottles, and then
descending into the cabin exclaimed with a thundering voice,
"D--n me, why arn't the bottles stowed in, according to my orders?"

I answered him very mildly that I had prevented his man from
doing it, as it was at an inconvenient time to me, and as in his
absence, at least, I esteemed the cabin to be my own. "Your
cabin!" repeated he many times; "no, d--n me! 'tis my cabin.
Your cabin! d--n me! I have brought my hogs to a fair market. I
suppose indeed you think it your cabin, and your ship, by your
commanding in it; but I will command in it, d--n me! I will show
the world I am the commander, and nobody but I! Did you think I
sold you the command of my ship for that pitiful thirty pounds? I
wish I had not seen you nor your thirty pounds aboard of her."
He then repeated the words thirty pounds often, with great
disdain, and with a contempt which I own the sum did not seem to
deserve in my eye, either in itself or on the present occasion;
being, indeed, paid for the freight of ---- weight of human
flesh, which is above fifty per cent dearer than the freight of
any other luggage, whilst in reality it takes up less room; in
fact, no room at all.

In truth, the sum was paid for nothing more than for a liberty to
six persons (two of them servants) to stay on board a ship while
she sails from one port to another, every shilling of which comes
clear into the captain's pocket. Ignorant people may perhaps
imagine, especially when they are told that the captain is
obliged to sustain them, that their diet at least is worth
something, which may probably be now and then so far the case as
to deduct a tenth part from the net profits on this account; but
it was otherwise at present; for when I had contracted with the
captain at a price which I by no means thought moderate, I had
some content in thinking I should have no more to pay for my
voyage; but I was whispered that it was expected the passengers
should find themselves in several things; such as tea, wine, and
such like; and particularly that gentlemen should stow of the
latter a much larger quantity than they could use, in order to
leave the remainder as a present to the captain at the end of the
voyage; and it was expected likewise that gentlemen should put
aboard some fresh stores, and the more of such things were put
aboard the welcomer they would be to the captain.

I was prevailed with by these hints to follow the advice
proposed; and accordingly, besides tea and a large hamper of
wine, with several hams and tongues, I caused a number of live
chickens and sheep to be conveyed aboard; in truth, treble the
quantity of provisions which would have supported the persons I
took with me, had the voyage continued three weeks, as it was
supposed, with a bare possibility, it might.

Indeed it continued much longer; but as this was occasioned by
our being wind-bound in our own ports, it was by no means of any
ill consequence to the captain, as the additional stores of fish,
fresh meat, butter, bread, &c., which I constantly laid in,
greatly exceeded the consumption, and went some way in
maintaining the ship's crew. It is true I was not obliged to do
this; but it seemed to be expected; for the captain did not think
himself obliged to do it, and I can truly say I soon ceased to
expect it of him. He had, I confess, on board a number of fowls
and ducks sufficient for a West India voyage; all of them, as he
often said, "Very fine birds, and of the largest breed." This I
believe was really the fact, and I can add that they were all
arrived at the full perfection of their size. Nor was there, I
am convinced, any want of provisions of a more substantial kind;
such as dried beef, pork, and fish; so that the captain seemed
ready to perform his contract, and amply to provide for his
passengers. What I did then was not from necessity, but,
perhaps, from a less excusable motive, and was by no means
chargeable to the account of the captain.

But, let the motive have been what it would, the consequence was
still the same; and this was such that I am firmly persuaded the
whole pitiful thirty pounds came pure and neat into the captain's
pocket, and not only so, but attended with the value of ten pound
more in sundries into the bargain. I must confess myself
therefore at a loss how the epithet PITIFUL came to be annexed to
the above sum; for, not being a pitiful price for what it was
given, I cannot conceive it to be pitiful in itself; nor do I
believe it is thought by the greatest men in the kingdom; none of
whom would scruple to search for it in the dirtiest kennel, where
they had only a reasonable hope of success. How, therefore, such
a sum should acquire the idea of pitiful in the eyes of the
master of a ship seems not easy to be accounted for; since it
appears more likely to produce in him ideas of a different kind.
Some men, perhaps, are no more sincere in the contempt for it
which they express than others in their contempt of money in
general; and I am the rather inclined to this persuasion, as I
have seldom heard of either who have refused or refunded this
their despised object. Besides, it is sometimes impossible to
believe these professions, as every action of the man's life is a
contradiction to it. Who can believe a tradesman who says he
would not tell his name for the profit he gets by the selling
such a parcel of goods, when he hath told a thousand lies in
order to get it? Pitiful, indeed, is often applied to an object
not absolutely, but comparatively with our expectations, or with
a greater object: in which sense it is not easy to set any
bounds to the use of the word. Thus, a handful of halfpence
daily appear pitiful to a porter, and a handful of silver to a
drawer. The latter, I am convinced, at a polite tavern, will
not tell his name (for he will not give you any answer) under the
price of gold. And in this sense thirty pound may be accounted
pitiful by the lowest mechanic.

One difficulty only seems to occur, and that is this: how comes
it that, if the profits of the meanest arts are so considerable,
the professors of them are not richer than we generally see them?
One answer to this shall suffice. Men do not become rich by what
they get, but by what they keep. He who is worth no more than
his annual wages or salary, spends the whole; he will be always a
beggar let his income be what it will, and so will be his family
when he dies. This we see daily to be the case of ecclesiastics,
who, during their lives, are extremely well provided for, only
because they desire to maintain the honor of the cloth by living
like gentlemen, which would, perhaps, be better maintained by
living unlike them.

But, to return from so long a digression, to which the use of so
improper an epithet gave occasion, and to which the novelty of
the subject allured, I will make the reader amends by concisely
telling him that the captain poured forth such a torrent of abuse
that I very hastily and very foolishly resolved to quit the ship.

I gave immediate orders to summon a hoy to carry me that evening
to Dartmouth, without considering any consequence. Those orders
I gave in no very low voice, so that those above stairs might
possibly conceive there was more than one master in the cabin.
In the same tone I likewise threatened the captain with that
which, he afterwards said, he feared more than any rock or
quicksand. Nor can we wonder at this when we are told he had
been twice obliged to bring to and cast anchor there before, and
had neither time escaped without the loss of almost his whole cargo.

The most distant sound of law thus frightened a man who had
often, I am convinced, heard numbers of cannon roar round him
with intrepidity. Nor did he sooner see the hoy approaching the
vessel than he ran down again into the cabin, and, his rage being
perfectly subsided, he tumbled on his knees, and a little too
abjectly implored for mercy.

I did not suffer a brave man and an old man to remain a moment in
this posture, but I immediately forgave him.

And here, that I may not be thought the sly trumpeter of my own
praises, I do utterly disclaim all praise on the occasion.
Neither did the greatness of my mind dictate, nor the force of my
Christianity exact, this forgiveness. To speak truth, I forgave
him from a motive which would make men much more forgiving if
they were much wiser than they are, because it was convenient for
me so to do.

Wednesday.--This morning the captain dressed himself in scarlet
in order to pay a visit to a Devonshire squire, to whom a captain
of a ship is a guest of no ordinary consequence, as he is a
stranger and a gentleman, who hath seen a great deal of the world
in foreign parts, and knows all the news of the times.

The squire, therefore, was to send his boat for the captain, but
a most unfortunate accident happened; for, as the wind was
extremely rough and against the hoy, while this was endeavoring
to avail itself of great seamanship in hauling up against the
wind, a sudden squall carried off sail and yard, or at least so
disabled them that they were no longer of any use and unable to
reach the ship; but the captain, from the deck, saw his hopes of
venison disappointed, and was forced either to stay on board his
ship, or to hoist forth his own long-boat, which he could not
prevail with himself to think of, though the smell of the venison
had had twenty times its attraction. He did, indeed, love his
ship as his wife, and his boats as children, and never willingly
trusted the latter, poor things! to the dangers of the sea.

To say truth, notwithstanding the strict rigor with which he
preserved the dignity of his stations and the hasty impatience
with which he resented any affront to his person or orders,
disobedience to which he could in no instance brook in any person
on board. he was one of the best natured fellows alive. He
acted the part of a father to his sailors; he expressed great
tenderness for any of them when ill, and never suffered any the
least work of supererogation to go unrewarded by a glass of gin.
He even extended his humanity, if I may so call it, to animals,
and even his cats and kittens had large shares in his affections.

An instance of which we saw this evening, when the cat, which had
shown it could not be drowned, was found suffocated under a
feather-bed in the cabin. I will not endeavor to describe his
lamentations with more prolixity than barely by saying they were
grievous, and seemed to have some mixture of the Irish howl in
them. Nay, he carried his fondness even to inanimate objects, of
which we have above set down a pregnant example in his
demonstration of love and tenderness towards his boats and ship.
He spoke of a ship which he had commanded formerly, and which was
long since no more, which he had called the Princess of Brazil,
as a widower of a deceased wife. This ship, after having
followed the honest business of carrying goods and passengers for
hire many years, did at last take to evil courses and turn
privateer, in which service, to use his own words, she received
many dreadful wounds, which he himself had felt as if they had
been his own.

Thursday.--As the wind did not yesterday discover any purpose of
shifting, and the water in my belly grew troublesome and rendered
me short-breathed, I began a second time to have apprehensions of
wanting the assistance of a trochar when none was to be found; I
therefore concluded to be tapped again by way of precaution, and
accordingly I this morning summoned on board a surgeon from a
neighboring parish, one whom the captain greatly recommended, and
who did indeed perform his office with much dexterity. He was, I
believe, likewise a man of great judgment and knowledge in the
profession; but of this I cannot speak with perfect certainty,
for, when he was going to open on the dropsy at large and on the
particular degree of the distemper under which I labored, I was
obliged to stop him short, for the wind was changed, and the
captain in the utmost hurry to depart; and to desire him, instead
of his opinion, to assist me with his execution. I was now once
more delivered from my burden, which was not indeed so great as I
had apprehended, wanting two quarts of what was let out at the
last operation.

While the surgeon was drawing away my water the sailors were
drawing up the anchor; both were finished at the same time; we
unfurled our sails and soon passed the Berry-head, which forms
the mouth of the bay.

We had not however sailed far when the wind, which, had though
with a slow pace, kept us company about six miles, suddenly
turned about, and offered to conduct us back again; a favor which,
though sorely against the grain, we were obliged to accept.

Nothing remarkable happened this day; for as to the firm
persuasion of the captain that he was under the spell of
witchcraft, I would not repeat it too often, though indeed he
repeated it an hundred times every day; in truth, he talked of
nothing else, and seemed not only to be satisfied in general of
his being bewitched, but actually to have fixed with good
certainty on the person of the witch, whom, had he lived in the
days of Sir Matthew Hale, he would have infallibly indicted, and
very possibly have hanged, for the detestable sin of witchcraft;
but that law, and the whole doctrine that supported it, are now
out of fashion; and witches, as a learned divine once chose to
express himself, are put down by act of parliament. This witch,
in the captain's opinion, was no other than Mrs. Francis of Ryde,
who, as he insinuated, out of anger to me for not spending more
money in her house than she could produce anything to exchange
for, or ally pretense to charge for, had laid this spell on his ship.

Though we were again got near our harbor by three in the
afternoon, yet it seemed to require a full hour or more before we
could come to our former place of anchoring, or berth, as the
captain called it. On this occasion we exemplified one of the
few advantages which the travelers by water have over the
travelers by land. What would the latter often give for the
sight of one of those hospitable mansions where he is assured
both may consequently promise themselves to assuage that hunger
which exercise is so sure to raise in a healthy constitution.

At their arrival at this mansion how much happier is the state of
the horse than that of the master! The former is immediately led
to his repast, such as it is, and, whatever it is, he falls to it
with appetite. But the latter is in a much worse situation. His
hunger, however violent, is always in some degree delicate, and
his food must have some kind of ornament, or, as the more usual
phrase is, of dressing, to recommend it. Now all dressing
requires time, and therefore, though perhaps the sheep might be
just killed before you came to the inn, yet in cutting him up,
fetching the joint, which the landlord by mistake said he had in
the house, from the butcher at two miles' distance, and
afterwards warming it a little by the fire, two hours at least
must be consumed, while hunger, for want of better food, preys
all the time on the vitals of the man.

How different was the case with us! we carried our provision,
our kitchen, and our cook with us, and we were at one and the
same time traveling on our road, and sitting down to a repast of
fish, with which the greatest table in London can scarce at any
rate be supplied.

Friday.--As we were disappointed of our wind, and obliged to
return back the preceding evening, we resolved to extract all the
good we could out of our misfortune, and to add considerably to
our fresh stores of meat and bread, with which we were very
indifferently provided when we hurried away yesterday. By the
captain's advice we likewise laid in some stores of butter, which
we salted and potted ourselves, for our use at Lisbon, and we had
great reason afterwards to thank him for his advice.

In the afternoon I persuaded my wife whom it was no easy matter
for me to force from my side, to take a walk on shore, whither
the gallant captain declared he was ready to attend her.
Accordingly the ladies set out, and left me to enjoy a sweet and
comfortable nap after the operation of the preceding day.

Thus we enjoyed our separate pleasures full three hours, when we
met again, and my wife gave the foregoing account of the
gentleman whom I have before compared to Axylus, and of his
habitation, to both which she had been introduced by the captain,
in the style of an old friend and acquaintance, though this
foundation of intimacy seemed to her to be no deeper laid than in
an accidental dinner, eaten many years before, at this temple of
hospitality, when the captain lay wind-bound in the same bay.

Saturday.--Early this morning the wind seemed inclined to change
in our favor. Our alert captain snatched its very first motion,
and got under sail with so very gentle a breeze that, as the tide
was against him, he recommended to a fishing boy to bring after
him a vast salmon and some other provisions which lay ready for
him on shore.

Our anchor was up at six, and before nine in the morning we had
doubled the Berry-head, and were arrived off Dartmouth, having
gone full three miles in as many hours, in direct opposition to
the tide, which only befriended us out of our harbor; and though
the wind was perhaps our friend, it was so very silent, and
exerted itself so little in our favor, that, like some cool
partisans, it was difficult to say whether it was with us or
against us. The captain, however, declared the former to be the
case during the whole three hours; but at last he perceived his
error, or rather, perhaps, this friend, which had hitherto
wavered in choosing his side, became now more determined. The
captain then suddenly tacked about, and, asserting that he was
bewitched, submitted to return to the place from whence he came.
Now, though I am as free from superstition as any man breathing,
and never did believe in witches, notwithstanding all the
excellent arguments of my lord chief-justice Hale in their favor,
and long before they were put down by act of parliament, yet by
what power a ship of burden should sail three miles against both
wind and tide, I cannot conceive, unless there was some
supernatural interposition in the case; nay, could we admit that
the wind stood neuter, the difficulty would still remain. So
that we must of necessity conclude that the ship was either
bewinded or bewitched. The captain, perhaps, had another
meaning. He imagined himself, I believe, bewitched, because the
wind, instead of persevering in its change in his favor, for
change it certainly did that morning, should suddenly return to
its favorite station, and blow him back towards the bay. But, if
this was his opinion, he soon saw cause to alter; for he had not
measured half the way back when the wind again declared in his
favor, and so loudly, that there was no possibility of being
mistaken. The orders for the second tack were given, and obeyed
with much more alacrity than those had been for the first. We
were all of us indeed in high spirits on the occasion; though
some of us a little regretted the good things we were likely to
leave behind us by the fisherman's neglect; I might give it a
worse name, for he faithfully promised to execute the commission,
which he had had abundant opportunity to do; but nautica fides
deserves as much to be proverbial as ever Punica fides could
formerly have done. Nay, when we consider that the Carthaginians
came from the Phenicians who are supposed to have produced the
first mariners, we may probably see the true reason of the adage,
and it may open a field of very curious discoveries to the antiquarian.

We were, however, too eager to pursue our voyage to suffer
anything we left behind us to interrupt our happiness, which,
indeed, many agreeable circumstances conspired to advance. The
weather was inexpressibly pleasant, and we were all seated on the
deck, when our canvas began to swell with the wind. We had
likewise in our view above thirty other sail around us, all in
the same situation. Here an observation occurred to me, which,
perhaps, though extremely obvious, did not offer itself to every
individual in our little fleet: when I perceived with what
different success we proceeded under the influence of a superior
power which, while we lay almost idle ourselves, pushed us
forward on our intended voyage, and compared this with the slow
progress which we had made in the morning, of ourselves, and
without any such assistance, I could not help reflecting how
often the greatest abilities lie wind-bound as it were in life;
or, if they venture out and attempt to beat the seas, they
struggle in vain against wind and tide, and, if they have not
sufficient prudence to put back, are most probably cast away on
the rocks and quicksands which are every day ready to devour them.

It was now our fortune to set out melioribus avibus. The wind
freshened so briskly in our poop that the shore appeared to move
from us as fast as we did from the shore. The captain declared
he was sure of a wind, meaning its continuance; but he had
disappointed us so often that he had lost all credit. However,
he kept his word a little better now, and we lost sight of our
native land as joyfully, at least, as it is usual to regain it.

Sunday.--The next morning the captain told me he thought himself
thirty miles to the westward of Plymouth, and before evening
declared that the Lizard Point, which is the extremity of
Cornwall, bore several leagues to leeward. Nothing remarkable
passed this day, except the captain's devotion, who, in his own
phrase, summoned all hands to prayers, which were read by a
common sailor upon deck, with more devout force and address than
they are commonly read by a country curate, and received with
more decency and attention by the sailors than are usually
preserved in city congregations. I am indeed assured, that if
any such affected disregard of the solemn office in which they
were engaged, as I have seen practiced by fine gentlemen and
ladies, expressing a kind of apprehension lest they should be
suspected of being really in earnest in their devotion, had been

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