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The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett

Part 2 out of 10

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opposition. They were carrying him in triumph, amidst the acclamations
of the country people, to a justice of peace in a neighbouring
village, but stopped at our inn to join their companions and take

When Rifle was dismounted and placed in the yard, within a circle
of peasants, armed with pitchforks, I was amazed to see what a
pitiful dejected fellow he now appeared, who had but a few hours
before filled me with such terror and confusion. My companion was
so much encouraged by this alteration in his appearance that, going
up to the thief, he presented his clenched fists to his nose, and
declared he would either cudgel or box with the prisoner for a
guinea, which he immediately produced, and began to strip, but was
dissuaded from this adventure by me, who represented to him the
folly of the undertaking, as Rifle was now in the hands of justice,
which would, no doubt, give us all satisfaction enough.

But what made me repent of our impertinent curiosity was our being
detained by the captors, as evidence against him, when we were
just going to set forward. However, there was no remedy; we were
obliged to comply, and accordingly joined in the cavalcade, which
luckily took the same road that we had proposed to follow. Abort
the twilight we arrived at the place of our destination, but as the
justice was gone to visit a gentleman in the country. with whom
(we understood) he would probably stay all night, the robber was
confined in an empty garret, three stories high, from which it
seemed impossible for him to escape; this, nevertheless, was the
case; for next morning when they went up stairs to bring him before
the justice, the bird was flown, having got out at the window upon
the roof from whence he continued his route along the tops of the
adjoining houses, and entered another garret where he skulked until
the family were asleep. at which time he ventured down stairs, and
let himself out by the street-door, which was open.

This event was a great disappointment to those that apprehended
him, who were flushed with the hopes of the reward; but gave me
great joy, as I was permitted now to continue my journey, without
any further molestation. Resolving to make up for the small progress
we had hitherto made, we this day travelled with great vigour and
before night reached a market town. twenty miles from the place
from whence we set out in the morning, without meeting any adventure
worth notice. Here having taken up our lodging at an in, I found
myself so fatigued that I began to despair of performing our journey
on foot, and desired Strap to inquire if there were any waggon,
return horses, or any cheap carriage in this place, to depart for
London next day. He was informed that the waggon from Newcastle
to London had halted there two nights ago, and that it would be an
easy matter to overtake it, if not the next day, at farthest, the
day after the next. This piece of news gave us some satisfaction;
and, after having made a hearty supper on hashed mutton, we were
shown to our room, which contained two beds, the one allotted for
us, and the other for a very honest gentleman, who, we were told,
was then drinking below. Though we could have very well dispensed
with his company, we were glad to submit to this disposition, as
there was not another bed empty in the house; and accordingly went
to rest, after having secured our baggage under the bolster. About
two or three o'clock in the morning I was awaked out of a very
profound sleep by a dreadful noise in the chamber, which did not
fail to throw me into an agony of consternation, when I heard these
words pronounced with a terrible voice: "Blood and wounds! run the
halbert into the guts of him that's next you, and I'll blow the
other's brains out presently."

This dreadful salutation had no sooner reached the ears of Strap
than, starting out of bed, he ran against somebody in the dark, and
overturned him in an instant; at the same time bawling out, "Fire!
murder! fire!" a cry which in a moment alarmed the whole house, and
filled our chamber with a crowd of naked people. When lights were
brought, the occasion of all this disturbance soon appeared; which
was no other than a fellow lodger, whom we found lying on the floor,
scratching his head, with a look testifying the utmost astonishment
at the concourse of apparitions that surrounded him.

This honest gentleman was, it seems, a recruiting sergeant, who,
having listed two country fellows over night, dreaded they had
mutinied, and threatened to murder him and the drummer who was
along with him. This made such an impression on his imagination,
that he got up in his sleep and expressed himself as above. When
our apprehension of danger vanished, the company beheld one another
with great surprise and mirth; but what attracted the notice of
everyone was our landlady, with nothing on her but her shift and
a large pair of buckskin breeches, with the backside before, which
she had slipped on in the hurry, and her husband with her petticoat
about his shoulders; one had wrapped himself in a blanket, another
was covered with a sheet, and the drummer, who had given his only
shirt to be washed, appeared in cuerpo with a bolster rolled about
his middle.

When this affair was discussed, everybody retired to his own apartment,
the sergeant slipped into bed, and my companion and I slept without
any further disturbance till morning, when we got up, went to
breakfast, paid our reckoning, and set forward in expectation of
overtaking the waggon; in which hope, however, we were disappointed
for that day. As we exerted ourselves more than usual, I found
myself quite spent with fatigue, when we entered a small village
in the twilight. We inquired for a public-house, and were directed
to one of a very sorry appearance. At our entrance the landlord,
who seemed to be a venerable old man, with long gray hair, rose
from a table placed by a large fire in a very neat paved kitchen,
and with a cheerful countenance accosted us in these words: "Salvete,
pueri. Ingredimini." I was not a little pleased to hear our host
speak Latin, because I was in hope of recommending myself to him
by my knowledge in that language; I therefore answered, without
hesitation, "Dissolve frigus, ligna super foco--large reponens." I
had no sooner pronounced these words, than the old gentleman, running
towards me, shook me by the hand, crying, "Fili mi dilectissime!
unde venis?--a superis, ni fallor?" In short, finding we were both
read in the classics, he did not know how to testify his regard
enough; but ordered his daughter, a jolly rosy-cheeked damsel
who was his sole domestic, to bring us a bottle of his quadrimum,
repeating from Horace at the same time, "Deprome quadrimum sabina,
O Tholiarche, merum diota." This was excellent ale of his own
brewing, of which he told us he had always an amphora four years
old, for the use of himself and friends.

In the course of our conversation, which was interlarded with
scraps of Latin, we understood that this facetious person was
a schoolmaster, whose income being small, he was fain to keep a
glass of good liquor for the entertainment of passengers by which
he made shift to make the two ends of the year meet. "I am this
day," said he, "the happiest old fellow in his majesty's dominions.
My wife, rest her soul, is in heaven. My daughter is to be married
next week; but the two chief pleasures of my life are these
(pointing to the bottle and a large edition of Horace that lay on
the table). I am old, 'tis true--what then? the more reason I should
enjoy the small share of life that remains, as my friend Flaccus
advises: 'Tu ne quaesieris (scire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi finem
dii dederint. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.'"

As he was very inquisitive about our affairs, we made no scruple
of acquainting him with our situation, which when he had learned,
he enriched us with advices how to behave in the world, telling us
that he was no stranger to the deceits of mankind. In the meantime
he ordered his daughter to lay a fowl to the fire for supper, for
he was resolved this night to regale his friends--permittens divis
caetera. While our entertainment was preparing, our host recounted
the adventures of his own life, which, as they contained nothing
remarkable, I forbear to rehearse. When we had fared sumptuously,
and drunk several bottles of his I expressed a desire of going to
rest, which was with some difficulty complied with, after he had
informed us that we should overtake the waggon by noon next day;
and that there was room enough in it for half-a-dozen, for there
were only four passengers as yet in that convenience.

Before my comrade and I fell asleep, we had some conversation about
the good humour of our landlord, which gave Strap such an idea of
his benevolence, that he positively believed we should pay nothing
for our lodging and entertainment. "Don't you observe," said he,
"that he has conceived a particular affection for us--nay, even
treated us at supper with extraordinary fare, which, to be sure,
we should not of ourselves have called for?"

I was partly of Strap's opinion; but the experience I had of the
world made me suspend my belief till the morning, when, getting up
betimes, we breakfasted with our host and his daughter on hasty-pudding
and ale, and desired to know what we had to pay. "Biddy will let you
know, gentlemen," said he; "for I never mind these matters. Money
matters are beneath the concern of one who lives upon the Horatian
plan--Crescentum sequitur cura pecuniam." Meanwhile, Biddy, having
consulted a slate that hung in the corner, told us our reckoning
came to 8s. 7d. "Eight shillings and seven pence!" cried Strap,
"'tis impossible! you must be mistaken, young woman." "Reckon
again, child," says her father, very deliberately; "perhaps you
have miscounted." "No, indeed," replied she, "I know my business
better." I could contain my indignation no longer, but said it
was an unconscionable bill, and demanded to know the particulars;
upon which the old man got up, muttering, "Ay, ay, let us see the
particulars--that's but reasonable." And, taking pen, ink, and
paper, wrote the following items:

To bread and beer 0 6
To a fowl and sausages 2 6
To four bottles of quadrim. 2 0
To fire and tobacco 0 7
To lodging 2 0
To breakfast 1 0
8 7

As he had not the appearance of a common publican, and had raised
a sort of veneration in me by his demeanour the preceding night,
it was not in my power to upbraid him as he deserved; therefore, I
contented myself with saying I was sure he did not learn to be an
extortioner from Horace. He answered, I was but a young man and
did not know the world, or I would not tax him with extortion,
whose only aim was to live contentus parvo, and keep off importuna
pauperies. My fellow traveller could not so easily put up with this
imposition; but swore he should either take one-third of the money
or go without. While we were engaged in this dispute, I perceived
the daughter go out, and, conjecturing the occasion, immediately
paid the exorbitant demand, which was no sooner done than Biddy
returned with two stout fellows, who came in on pretence of taking
their morning draught, but in reality to frighten us into compliance.
Just as we departed, Strap, who was half-distracted on account of
this piece of expense, went up to the schoolmaster, and, grinning
in his face, pronounced with great emphasis--"Semper avarus eget."
To which the pedant replied, with a malicious smile--"Animum rege,
qui, nisi paret, imperat."


We descry the Waggon--get into it--arrive at an inn--our Fellow
Travellers described--a Mistake is committed by Strap, which produces
strange things

We travelled half-a-mile without exchanging one word; my thoughts
being engrossed by the knavery of the world, to which I must be
daily exposed, and the contemplation of my finances, which began
sensibly to diminish. At length, Strap, who could hold no longer,
addressed me thus: "Well, fools and their money are soon parted.
If my advice had been taken, that old skin-flint should have been
d--n'd before he had got more than the third of his demand. 'Tis a
sure sign you came easily by your money, when you squander it away
in this manner. Ah! God help you, how many bristly beards must I
have mowed before I earned four shillings and threepence-halfpenny,
which is all thrown to the dogs! How many days have I sat weaving
hair till my toes were numbed by the cold, my fingers cramped,
and my nose as blue as the sign of the periwig that hung over the
door! What the devil was you afraid of? I would have engaged to
box with any one of those fellows who came in for a guinea--I'm
sure--I have beat stouter men than either of them." And, indeed,
my companion would have fought anybody when his life was in no
danger; but he had a mortal aversion to fire-arms and all instruments
of death. In order to appease him, I assured him no part of this
extraordinary expense should fall upon his shoulders; at which
declaration he was affronted, and told me he would have me to know
that, although he was a poor barber's boy, yet he had a soul to
spend big money with the best squire of the land.

Having walked all day at a great pace, without halting for a
refreshment, we descried, toward the evening, to our inexpressible
joy, the waggon about a quarter of a mile before us; and, by that
time we reached it, were both of us so weary that I verily believe
it would have been impracticable for us to have walked one mile
farther. We, therefore, bargained with the driver, whose name was
Joey, to give us a cast to the next stage for a shilling; at which
place we should meet the master of the waggon, with whom we might
agree for the rest of the journey.

Accordingly the convenience stopped, and Joey having placed the
ladder, Strap (being loaded with our baggage) mounted first; but,
just as he was getting in, a tremendous voice assailed his ears
in these words: "God's fury! there shall no passengers come here."
The poor shaver was so disconcerted at this exclamation, which
both he and I imagined proceeded from the mouth of a giant, that he
descended with great velocity and a countenance as white as paper.
Joey, perceiving our astonishment, called, with an arch sneer,
"Waunds, coptain, whay woant yau sooffer the poor waggoneer to meake
a penny? Coom, coom, young man, get oop, get oop, never moind the
coptain; I'se not afeard of the coptain."

This was not encouragement sufficient to Strap, who could not be
prevailed upon to venture up again; upon which I attempted, though
not without a quaking heart, when I heard the same voice muttering,
like distant thunder--"Hell and the devil confound me, if I don't
make you smart for this!" However, I crept in, and by accident got
an empty place in the straw, which I immediately took possession
of, without being able to discern the faces of my fellow-travellers
in the dark. Strap following, with the knapsack on his back, chanced
to take the other side, and, by a jolt of the carriage, pitched
directly upon the stomach of the captain, who bellowed out, in
a most dreadful manner, "Blood and thunder! where's my sword?" At
these words my frighted comrade started up, and, at one spring,
bounced against me with such force that I thought he was the supposed
son of Anak, who intended to press me to death. In the meantime a
female voice cried, "Bless me! what is the matter, my dear?" "The
matter," replied the captain, "d--n my blood! my guts are squeezed
into a pancake by that Scotchman's hump." Strap, trembling all the
while at my back, asked him pardon, and laid the blame of what had
happened upon the jolting of the waggon; and the woman who spoke
before went on: "Ay, ay, my dear, it is our own fault; we may thank
ourselves for all the inconveniences we meet with. I thank God I
never travelled so before. I am sure if my lady or Sir John were
to know where we are they would not sleep this night for vexation.
I wish to God we had writ for the chariot; I know we shall never
be forgiven." "Come, come, my dear," replied the captain, "it don't
signify fretting now; we shall laugh it over as a frolic; I hope
you will not suffer in your health. I shall make my lord very merry
with our adventures in this diligence."

The discourse gave me such a high notion of the captain and his
lady that I durst not venture to join in the conversation; but
immediately after another female voice began: "Some people give
themselves a great many needless airs; better folks than any here
have travelled in waggons before now. Some of us have rode in
coaches and chariots, with three footmen behind them, without making
so much fuss about it. What then? We are now all upon a footing;
therefore let us be sociable and merry. What do you say, Isaac? Is
not this a good motion, you doting rogue? Speak, you old cent per
cent fornicator? What desperate debt are you thinking of? What
mortgage are you planning? Well, Isaac, positively you shall never
gain my favour till you turn over a new leaf, grow honest, and
live like a gentleman. In the meantime give me a kiss, you old
fumbler." These words, accompanied with a hearty smack, enlivened
the person to whom they were addressed to such a degree that he
cried, in transport, though with a faltering voice, "Ah! you wanton
baggage--upon my credit, you are a waggish girl--he, he, he!" This
laugh introduced a fit of coughing, which almost suffocated the
poor usurer (such we afterwards found was the profession of this
our fellow-traveller).

About this time I fell asleep, and enjoyed a comfortable nap till
such time as we arrived at the inn where we put up. Here, having
alighted from the waggon, I had an opportunity of viewing the
passengers in order as they entered. The first who appeared was a
brisk, airy girl, about twenty years old, with a silver-laced hat
on her head instead of a cap, a blue stuff riding-suit, trimmed
with silver very much tarnished, and a whip in her hand. After her
came, limping, an old man, with a worsted nightcap buttoned under
his chin, and a broad-brimmed hat slouched over it, an old rusty blue
cloak tied about his neck, under which appeared a brown surtout,
that covered a threadbare coat and waistcoat, and, as he afterwards
discerned, a dirty flannel jacket. His eyes were hollow, bleared,
and gummy; his face was shrivelled into a thousand wrinkles, his
gums were destitute of teeth, his nose sharp and drooping, his
chin peaked and prominent, so that, when he mumped or spoke, they
approached one another like a pair of nutcrackers: he supported
himself on an ivory-headed cane and his whole figure was a just
emblem of winter, famine, and avarice. But how was I surprised,
when I beheld the formidable captain in the shape of a little thin
creature, about the age of forty, with a long withered visage, very
much resembling that of a baboon, through the upper part of which
two little gray eyes peeped: he wore his own hair in a queue that
reached to his rump, which immoderate length, I suppose. was the
occasion of a baldness that appeared on the crown of his head when
he deigned to take off his hat, which was very much of the size
and cock of Pistol's.

Having laid aside his great-coat, I could not help admiring the
extraordinary make of this man of war: he was about five feet and
three inches high, sixteen inches of which went to his face and
long scraggy neck: his thighs were about six inches in length, his
legs resembling spindles or drumsticks, five feet and a half, and
his body, which put me in mind of extension without substance,
engrossed the remainder: so that on the whole, he appeared like
a spider or grasshopper erect, and was almost a vox et praeterea
nihil. His dress consisted of a frock of what is called bearskin,
the skirts of which were about half a foot long, an hussar waistcoat,
scarlet breeches reaching half way down his thighs, worsted stockings
rolled up almost to his groin, and shoes with wooden heels at least
two inches high; he carried a sword very near as long as himself
in one hand, and with the other conducted his lady, who seemed to
be a woman of his own age, and still retained some remains of an
agreeable person, but so ridiculously affected, that, had I not
been a novice in the world, I might have easily perceived in her
the deplorable vanity and second-hand airs of a lady's woman.

We were all assembled in the kitchen, when Captain Weazel (for that
was his name) desired a room with a fire for himself and spouse,
and told the landlord they would up by themselves. The innkeeper
replied that he could not afford them a room by themselves; and
as for supping, he had prepared victuals for the passengers in the
waggon, without respect of persons, but if he could prevail on the
rest to let him have his choice in a separate manner, he should be
very well pleased. This was no sooner said than all of us declared
against the proposal, and Miss Jenny (our other female passenger),
observed that, if Captain Weazel and his lady had a mind to sup
by themselves, they might wait until we should have done. At this
hint the captain put on a martial frown, and looked very big,
without speaking; while his yokefellow, with a disdainful toss of
her nose, muttered something about "Creature!" which Miss Jenny
overhearing, stepped up to her, saying, "None of your names, good
Mrs. Abigail. Creature, quotha--I'll assure you no such creature
as you neither--no ten-pound sneaker--no quality-coupler." Here
the captain interposed, with a "D--e, madam, what do you mean by
that?" "D--n you sir, who are you?" replied Miss Jenny, "who made
you a captain, you pitiful, trencher-scraping, pimping curler?
"Sdeath! the army is come to a fine pass, when such fellows as
you get commissions. What, I suppose you think I don't know you?
Egad, you and your helpmate are well met--a cast-off mistress and
a bald valet-de-chambre are well yoked together." "Blood and wounds!
cried Weazel, "d'ye question the honour of my wife, madam? Hell
and d-ion! No man in England durst say so much--I would flay him,
carbonado him! Fury and destruction! I would have his liver for my
supper." So saying, he drew his sword and flourished with it, to
the great terror of Strap; while Miss Jenny, snapping her fingers,
told him she did not value his resentment a louse.

In the midst of this quarrel the master of the waggon alighted,
who, understanding the cause of the disturbance, and fearing the
captain and his lady would take umbrage and leave his carriage,
was at great pains to have everything made up, which he at last
accomplished, and we sat down to supper altogether. At bedtime
we were shown to our apartments; the old usurer, Strap, and I, to
one room; the captain, his wife, and Miss Jenny, to another. About
midnight, my companion's bowels being disordered, he got up, in order
to go backward, but in his return, mistaking one door for another,
entered Weazel's chamber, and without any hesitation went to bed
to his wife, who was fast asleep, the captain being at another
end of the room groping for some empty vessel, in lieu of his own
chamberpot, which was leaky: as he did not perceive Strap coming
in, he went towards his own bed, after having found a convenience;
but no sooner did he feel a rough head, covered with a cotton
nightcap, than it carne into his mind that he had mistaken Miss
Jenny's bed instead of his own, and that the head he felt was that
of some gallant, with whom she had made an assignation. Full of his
conjecture, and scandalised at the prostitution of his apartment,
he snatched up the vessel he had just before filled, and emptied
it at once on the astonished barber and his own wife, who waking
at that instant, broke forth into lamentable cries, which not only
alarmed the husband beyond measure, but frighted poor Strap almost
out of his senses; for he verily believed himself bewitched, especially
when the incensed captain seized him by the throat, with a volley
of oaths, asking him how he durst have the presumption to attempt
the chastity of his wife. Poor Strap was so amazed and confounded,
that he could say nothing but--"I take God to witness she's a virgin
for me."

Mrs. Weazel, enraged to find herself in such a pickle through the
precipitation of her husband, arose in her shift, and with the
heel of her shoe which she found by the bedside, belaboured the
captain's bald pate till he roared "Murder." "I'll teach you to
empty your stinkpots on me," cried she, "you pitiful hop-o'-my-thumb
coxcomb. What, I warrant you're jealous, you man of lath. Was it
for this I condescended to take you to my bed, you poor, withered,
sapless twig?"

The noise occasioned by this adventure had brought the master of
the waggon and me to the door, where we overheard all that passed
with great satisfaction. In the meantime we were alarmed with the
cry of "Rape! Murder! Rape!" which Jenny pronounced with great
vociferation. "Oh! You vile abominable old villain," said she,
"would you rob me of my virtue? But I'll be revenged of you, you old
goat! I will! Help! for heaven's sake! help! I shall be ravished!
ruined! help!" Some servants of the inn, hearing this cry, came
running upstairs with lights, and such weapons as chance afforded;
when we beheld a very diverting scene. In one corner stood the poor
captain shivering in his shirt, which was all torn to rags: with
a woeful visage, scratched all over by his wife, who had by this
time wrapped the counterpane about her, and sat sobbing on the
side of her bed. At the other end lay tile old usurer, sprawling
on Miss Jenny's bed, with his flannel jacket over his shirt, and
his tawny meagre limbs exposed to the air; while she held him fast
by the two ears, and loaded him with execrations. When he asked
what was the matter, she affected to weep, told us she was afraid
that wicked rogue had ruined her in her sleep, and bade us take
notice of what we saw, for she intended to make use of our evidence
against him. The poor wretch looked like one more dead than alive,
and begged to be released; a favour which he had no sooner obtained
than he protested she was no woman, but a devil incarnate--that
she had first seduced his flesh to rebel, and then betrayed him.
"Yes, cockatrice," continued he, "you know you laid this snare
fur me--but you shan't succeed--for I will hang myself before you
shall get a farthing of me." So saying, he crawled to his own bed,
groaning all the way. We then advanced to the Captain, who told
us, "Gentlemen, here has been a d--d mistake; but I'll be revenged
on him who was the cause of it. That Scotchman who carries the
knapsack shall not breathe this vital air another day, if my name
be Weazel. My dear, I ask you ten thousand pardons; you are sensible,
I could mean no harm to you." "I know not what you meant," replied
she, sighing, "but I know I have got enough to send me to my
grave." At length they were reconciled. The wife was complimented
with a share of Miss Jenny's bed (her own being overflowed), and
the master of the waggon invited Weazel to sleep the remaining
part of the night with him. I retired to mine, where I found Strap
mortally afraid, he having stolen away in the dark while the captain
and his lady were at loggerheads.


Captain Weazel challenges Strap, who declines the Combat--an Affair
between the Captain and me--the Usurer is fain to give Miss Jenny
five Guineas for a Release--we are in Danger of losing a Meal--the
Behaviour of Weazel, Jenny, and Joey, on that Occasion--an Account
of Captain Weazel and his Lady--the Captain's Courage tried--Isaac's
mirth at the Captain's Expense

Next morning I agreed to give the master of the waggon ten shillings
for my passage to London, provided Strap should be allowed to
take my place when I should be disposed to walk. At the same time
I desired him to appease the incensed captain, who had entered the
kitchen with a drawn sword in his hand, and threatened with many
oaths to sacrifice the villain who attempted to violate his bed;
but it was to no purpose for the master to explain the mistake, and
assure him of the poor lad's innocence, who stood trembling behind
me all the while: the more submission that appeared in Strap, the
more implacable seemed the resentment of Weazel, who swore he must
either fight him or he would instantly put him to death. I was
extremely provoked at this insolence, and told him, it could not
be supposed that a poor barber lad would engage a man of the sword
at his own weapon; but I was persuaded he would wrestle or box with
him. To which proposal Strap immediately gave assent, by saying,
"he would box with him for a guinea." Weazel replied with a look
of disdain, that it was beneath any gentleman of his character
to fight like a porter, or even to put himself on a footing, in
any respect, with such a fellow as Strap. "Odds bodikins!" cries
Joey, "sure, coptain, yaw would not commit moorder! Here's a poor
lad that is willing to make atonement for his offence; and an that
woan't satisfie yaw, offers to fight yaw fairly. And yaw woan't
box, I dare say, he will coodgel with yaw. Woan't yaw, my lad?"
Strap, after some hesitation, answered, "Yes, yes, I'll cudgel
with him." But this expedient being also rejected by the captain,
I began to smell his character, and, tipping Strap the wink, told
the captain that I had always heard it said, the person who receives
a challenge should have the choice of the weapons; this therefore
being the rule in point of honour, I would venture to promise on
the head of my companion, that he would even fight Captain Weazel
at sharps; but it should be with such sharps as Strap was best
acquainted with, namely, razors. At my mentioning razors: I could
perceive the captain's colour change while Strap, pulling me by the
sleeve, whispered with great eagerness: "No, no, no; for the love
of God, don't make any such bargain." At length, Weazel, recovering
himself, turned towards me, and with a ferocious countenance asked,
"Who the devil are you? Will you fight me?" With these words,
putting himself in a posture, I was grievously alarmed at seeing
the point of a sword within half a foot of my breast; and, springing
to one side, snatched up a spit that stood in the chimney-corner,
with which I kept my formidable adversary at bay, who made a great
many half-longes, skipping backward at every push, till at last I
pinned him up in a corner, to the no small diversion of the company.
While he was in this situation his wife entered, and, seeing
her husband in these dangerous circumstances, uttered a dreadful
scream: in this emergency, Weazel demanded a cessation, which was
immediately granted; and at last was contented with the submission
of Strap, who, falling on his knees before him, protested the
innocence of his intention, and asked pardon for the mistake he
had committed. This affair being ended without bloodshed, we went
to breakfast, but missed two of our company, namely, Miss Jenny
and the usurer. As for the first, Mrs. Weazel informed us, that
she had kept her awake all night with her groans; and that when
she rose in the morning, Miss Jenny was so much indisposed that she
could not proceed on her journey. At that instant, a message came
from her to the master of the waggon, who immediately went into her
chamber, followed by us all. She told him in a lamentable tone, that
she was afraid of a miscarriage, owing to the fright she received
last night from the brutality of Isaac; and, as the event was
uncertain, desired the usurer might be detained to answer for the
consequence. Accordingly, this ancient Tarquin was found in the
waggon, whither he had retired to avoid the shame of last night's
disgrace, and brought by force into her presence. He no sooner
appeared than she began to weep and sigh most piteously, and told
us, if she died, she would leave her blood upon the head of that
ravisher. Poor Isaac turned up his eyes and hands to heaven, prayed
that God would deliver him from the machinations of that Jezebel;
and assured us, with tears in his eyes, that his being found in
bed with her was the result of her own invitation. The waggoner,
understanding the case, advised Isaac to make it up, by giving her
a sum of money: to which advice he replied with great vehemence, "A
sum of money!--a halter for the cockatrice!" "Oh! 'tis very well,"
said Miss Jenny; "I see it is in vain to attempt that flinty heart
of his by fair means. Joey, be so good as to go to the justice,
and tell him there is a sick person here, who wants to see him on
an affair of consequence." At the name of justice Isaac trembled,
and bidding Joey stay, asked with a quavering voice, "What she
would have? She told him that, as he had not perpetrated his wicked
purpose, she would be satisfied with a small matter. And though
the damage she might sustain in her health might be irreparable,
she would give him a release for a hundred guineas." "A hundred
guineas!" cried he in an ecstacy, "a hundred furies! Where should
a poor old wretch like me have a hundred guineas? If I had so
much money, d'ya think I should be found travelling in a waggon,
at this season of the year?" "Come, come" replied Jenny, "none of
your miserly artifice here. You think I don't know Isaac Rapine,
the money-broker, in the Minories. Ah! you old rogue! many a pawn
have you had of me and my acquaintance, which was never redeemed."
Isaac, finding it was in vain to disguise himself, offered twenty
shillings for a discharge, which she absolutely refused under fifty
pounds: at last, however, she was brought down to five, which he
paid with great reluctancy, rather than be prosecuted for a rape.
After which accommodation, the sick person made a shift to get into
the waggon, and we set forward in great tranquillity; Strap being
accommodated with Joey's horse, the driver himself choosing to
walk. The morning and forenoon we were entertained with an account
of the valour of Captain Weazel, who told us he had once knocked
down a soldier that made game of him; tweaked a drawer by the nose,
who found fault with his picking his teeth with a fork, at another
time; and that he had moreover challenged a cheesemonger, who had
the presumption to be his rival: for the truth of which exploits he
appealed to his wife. She confirmed whatever he said, and observed,
"The last affair happened that very day on which I received a
love-letter from Squire Gobble, and don't you remember, my dear,
I was prodigiously sick that very night with eating ortolans, when
my Lord Diddle took notice of my complexion's being altered, and
my lady was so alarmed that she had well nigh fainted?" "Yes, my
dear," replied the captain, "you know my lord said to me, with a
sneer, "Billy, Mrs. Weazel is certainly breeding. "And I answered
cavalierly, "My lord, I wish I could return the compliment. "Upon
which the whole company broke out into an immoderate fit of laughter;
and my lord, who loves a repartee dearly, came round and bussed
me." We travelled in this manner five days, without interruption
or meeting anything worth notice: Miss Jenny, who soon recovered
her spirits, entertaining us every day with diverting songs, of
which she could sing a great number; and rallying her own gallant,
who, notwithstanding, would never be reconciled to her. On the sixth
day, while we were about to sit down to dinner, the innkeeper came
and told us, that three gentlemen, just arrived, had ordered the
victuals to be carried to their apartment, although he had informed
them that they were bespoke by the passengers in the waggon. To
which information they had replied, "the passengers in the waggon
might be d--d, their betters must be served before them; they
supposed it would be no hardship on such travellers to dine upon
bread and cheese for one day." This was a terrible disappointment
to us all; and we laid our heads together how to remedy it; when
Miss Jenny observed that Captain Weazel, being by profession a
soldier, ought in this case to protect and prevent us from being
insulted. But the Captain excused himself, saying, he would not for
all the world be known to have travelled in a waggon! swearing at
the same time, that could he appear with honour, they should eat
his sword sooner than his provision. Upon this declaration, Miss
Jenny, snatching his weapon, drew it, and ran immediately into
the kitchen, where she threatened to put the cook to death if be
did not send the victuals into our chamber immediately. The noise
she made brought the three strangers down, one of whom no sooner
perceived her than he cried, "Ha! Jenny Ramper! what the devil
brought thee hither?" "My dear Jack Rattle!" replied she, running
into his arms, "is it you? Then Weazel may go to hell for a dinner--I
shall dine with you."

They consented to this proposal with a great deal of joy; and we
were on the point of being reduced to a very uncomfortable meal,
when Joey, understanding the whole affair, entered the kitchen
with a pitchfork in his hand, and swore he would be the death of
any man who should pretend to seize the victuals prepared for the
waggon. The menace had like to have produced fatal consequences;
the three strangers drawing their swords, and being joined by their
servants, and we ranging ourselves on the side of Joey; when the
landlord, interposing, offered to part with his own dinner to keep
the peace, which was accepted by the strangers; and we sat down at
table without any further molestation. In the afternoon, I chose
to walk along with Joey, and Strap took my place. Having entered
into a conversation with this driver, I soon found him to be a merry,
facetious, good-natured fellow, and withal very arch; he informed
me, that Miss Jenny was a common girl upon the town, who, falling
into company with a recruiting officer, he carried her down in the
stage coach from London to Newcastle, where he bad been arrested
for debt, and was now in prison; upon which she was fain to return
to her former way of life, by this conveyance. He told me likewise,
that one of the gentleman's servants, who were left at the inn,
having accidentally seen Weazel, immediately knew him, and acquainted
Joey with some particulars of his character. That he had served my
Lord Frizzle in quality of valet-de-chambre many years, while be
lived separate from his lady; but, upon their reconciliation, she
expressly insisted upon Weazel's being turned off, as well as the
woman he kept: when his lordship, to get rid of them both with
a good grace, proposed that he should marry his Mistress, and he
would procure a commission for him in the army: this expedient was
agreed to, and Weazel is now, by his lordship's interest, ensigned
in --'s regiment. I found he and I had the same sentiments with
regard to Weazel's courage, which he resolved to put to the trial,
by alarming the passengers with the cry of a 'highwayman!' as soon
as a horseman should appear.

This scheme we put in practice, towards the dusk, when we descried
a man on horseback approaching us. Joey had no sooner intimated
to the people in the waggon, that he was afraid we should be all
robbed than a general consternation arose: Strap jumped out of
the waggon, and hid himself behind a hedge. The usurer put forth
ejaculations, and made a rustling among the straw, which made us
conjecture he had hid something under it. Mrs. Weazel, wringing
her hands uttered lamentable cries: and the captain, to our great
amazement, began to snore; but this artifice did not succeed;
for Miss Jenny, shaking him by the shoulder, bawled out, "Sdeath!
captain, is this a time to snore, when we are going to be robbed?
Get up for shame, and behave like a soldier and man of honour!"
Weazel pretended to be in a great passion for being disturbed, and
swore he would have his nap out if all the highwaymen in England
surrounded him. "D--n my blood! what are you afraid of?" continued
he; at the same time trembling with such agitation that the whole
carriage shook. This singular piece of behaviour incensed Miss
Ramper so much that she cried, "D--n your pitiful soul, you are
as arrant a poltroon, as ever was drummed out of a regiment. Stop
the waggon, Joey--let me out, and by G--d, if I have rhetoric enough,
the thief shall not only take your purse, but your skin also." So
saying she leaped out with great agility. By this time the horseman
came up and happened to be a gentleman's servant well known to
Joey, who communicated the scheme, and desired him to carry it on
a little further, by going into the waggon, and questioning those
within. The stranger, consenting for the sake of diversion, approached
it, and in a terrible tone demanded, "Who have we got here?" Isaac
replied, with a lamentable voice, "Here's a poor miserable sinner,
who has got a small family to maintain, and nothing in the world
wherewithal, but these fifteen shillings which if you rob me
of we must all starve together." "Who's that sobbing in the other
corner?" said the supposed highwayman. "A poor unfortunate woman,"
answered Mrs. Weazle, upon whom I beg you, for Christ's sake, to
have compassion." "Are you maid or wife," said he. "Wife, to my
sorrow," said she. "Who, or where is your husband?" continued he.
"My husband," replied Mrs. Weazel, is an officer in the army and was
left sick at the last inn where we dined." "You must be mistaken,
madam," said he, "for I myself saw him get into the waggon this
afternoon. But pray what smell is that? Sure your lapdog has befouled
himself; let me catch hold of the nasty cur, I'll teach him better
manners." Here he laid hold of one of Weazel's legs, and pulled
him out from under his wife's petticoat, where he had concealed
himself. The poor trembling captain, being detected in his inglorious
situation, rubbed his eyes, and affecting to wake out of sleep,
cried, "What's the matter? What's the matter?" "The matter is not
much," answered the horseman; "I only called in to inquire after
your health, and so adieu, most noble captain." He clapped spurs to
his horse, and was out of sight in a moment.

It was some time before Weazel could recollect himself, but at
length reassuming the big look, he said, "D--n the fellow! why did
he ride away before I had time to ask him how his lord and lady
do I? Don't you remember Tom, my dear?" addressing himself to his
wife. "Yes," replied she, "I think I do remember something of the
fellow, but you know I seldom converse with people of his station."
"Hey-day!" cried Joey, "do yaw knaw the young mon, coptain?" "Know
him," said Weazel, "many a time has he filled a glass of Burgundy
for me, at my Lord Trippett's table." "And what may his name be,
coptain?" said Joey. "His name!--his name," replied Weazel, "is
Tom Rinser." "Waunds," cried Joey, "a has changed his own neame
then! for I'se lay a wager he was christened John Trotter." This
observation raised a laugh against the captain, who seemed very much
disconcerted; when Isaac broke silence, and said, "It is no matter
who or what he was, since he has not proved the robber we suspected,
and we ought to bless God for our narrow escape." "Bless God,"
said Weazel, "bless the devil! for what? Had he been a highwayman,
I should have eaten his blood, body, and guts, before he had robbed
me, or any one in this diligence." "Ha, ha, ha," cried Miss Jenny,
"I believe you will eat all you kill, indeed, captain." The usurer
was so well pleased at the event of this adventure, that he could
not refrain from being severe, and took notice that Captain Weazel
seemed to be a good Christian, for he had armed himself with
patience and resignation, instead of carnal weapons; and worked
out his salvation with fear and trembling. This piece of satire
occasioned a great deal of mirth at Weazel's expense, who muttered
a great many oaths, and threatened to cut Isaac's throat. The
usurer, taking hold of this menace, said, "Gentlemen and ladies,
I take you all to witness, that in my life is in danger from this
bloody-minded officer; I'll have him bound over to the peace." This
second sneer produced another laugh against him, and he remained
crestfallen during the remaining part of our journey.


Strap and I are terrified by an Apparition--Strap's Conjecture--the
Mystery explained by Joey--we arrive in London-our Dress and
Appearance described--we are insulted in the Street--an Adventure
in an Alehouse--we are imposed upon by a waggish Footman--set
to rights by a Tobacconist--take Lodgings--dive for a Dinner--an
Accident at our Ordinary

We arrived at our inn, supped, and went to bed; but Strap's distemper
continuing, he was obliged to rise in the middle of the night, and
taking the candle in his hand, which he had left burning for the
purpose, he went down to the house of office, whence in a short
time he returned in a great hurry, with his hair standing on end,
and a look betokening horror and astonishment. Without speaking a
word, he set down the light and jumped into bed behind me, where
he lay and trembled with great violence. When I asked him what
was the matter, he replied, with a broken accent, "God have mercy
on us! I have seen the devil!" Though my prejudice was not quite
so strong as his, I was not a little alarmed at this exclamation,
and much more so when I heard the sound of bells approaching our
chamber, and felt my bedfellow cling close to me, uttering these
words, "Christ have mercy upon us; there he comes!" At that instance
a monstrous overgrown raven entered our chamber, with bells at
his feet, and made directly towards our bed. As this creature is
reckoned in our country a common vehicle for the devil and witches
to play their pranks in, I verily believed we were haunted; and,
in a violent fright, shrank under the bedclothes. This terrible
apparition leaped upon the bed, and after giving us several severe
dabs with its beak. through the blankets, hopped away, and vanished.
Strap and I recommended ourselves to the protection of heaven with
great devotion, and, when we no longer heard the noise, ventured to
peep up and take breath. But we had not been long freed from this
phantom, when another appeared, that had well nigh deprived us both
of our senses. We perceived an old man enter the room, with a long
white beard that reached to his middle; there was a certain wild
peculiarity in his eyes and countenance that did not savour of
this world; and his dress consisted of a brown stuff coat, buttoned
behind and at the wrists, with an odd-fashioned cap of the same
stuff upon his head. I was so amazed that I had not power to move
my eyes from such a ghastly object, but lay motionless. and saw
him come straight up to me: when he reached the bed, he wrung his
hands, and cried, with a voice that did not seem to belong to a
human creature, "Where is Ralph?" I made no reply: upon which he
repeated, in an accent still more preternatural, "Where is Ralpho?"
He had no sooner pronounced these words than I heard the sound of
the bells at a distance; which the apparition, having listened to,
tripped away, and left me almost petrified with fear. It was a good
while before I could recover myself so far as to speak; and, when
at length I turned to Strap, I found him in a fit, which, however,
did not last long. When he came to himself, I asked his opinion of
what had happened; and he assured me that the first must certainly
be the soul of some person damned, which appeared by the chain about
his legs (for his fears had magnified the creature to the bigness
of a horse, and the sound of small morice-bells to the clanking of
massy chains). As for the old man, he took it to be the spirit of
somebody murdered long ago in this place, which had power granted
to forment the assassin in the shape of a raven, and that Ralpho
was the name of the said murderer. Although I had not much faith
in this interpretation, I was too much troubled to enjoy any sleep:
and in all my future adventures never passed a night so ill.

In the morning Strap imparted the whole affair to Joey, who, after
an immoderate fit of laughter, explained the matter, by telling him
that the old man was the landlord's father, who had been an idiot
some years, and diverted himself with a tame raven, which, it seems,
had hopped away from his apartment in the night, and induced him
to follow it to our chamber, where he had inquired after it under
the name of Ralpho.

Nothing remarkable happened during the remaining part of our journey,
which continued six or seven days longer: at length we entered the
great city, and lodged all night at the inn where the waggon put
up. Next morning all the passengers parted different ways, while my
companion and I sallied out to inquire for the member of parliament,
to whom I had a letter of recommendation from Mr. Crab. As we had
discharged our lodging at the inn, Strap took up our baggage and,
marched behind me in the street with the knapsack on his back, as
usual, so that we made a very whimsical appearance. I had dressed
myself to the greatest advantage; that is, put on a clean ruffled
shirt, and my best thread stockings: my hair (which was of the
deepest red) hung down upon my shoulders, as lank and straight as
a pound of candles; and the skirts of my coat reached to the middle
of my leg; my waistcoat and breeches were of the same piece, and
cut in the same taste; and my hat very much resembled a barber's
basin, in the shallowness of the crown and narrowness of the
brim. Strap was habited in a much less awkward manner: but a short
crop-eared wig, that very much resembled Scrub's in the play, and
the knapsack on his back, added to what is called a queer phiz,
occasioned by a long chin, a hook nose, and high cheek bones, rendered
him, on the whole, a very fit subject of mirth and pleasantry. As
he walked along, Strap, at my desire, inquired of a carman, whom
we met, whereabouts Mr. Cringer lived: and was answered by a stare,
accompanied with the word "Anan!" Upon which I came up, in order to
explain the question, but had the misfortune to be unintelligible
likewise, the carman damning us for a lousy Scotch guard, whipping
his horses with a "Gee ho!" which nettled me to the quick, and
roused the indignation of Strap so far that, after the fellow was
gone a good way, he told me he would fight him for a farthing.

While we were deliberating upon what was to be done, a hackney
coachman, driving softly along, and perceiving us standing by the
kennel, came up close to us, and calling, "A coach, master!" by a
dexterous management of the reins made his horses stumble in the
wet, and bedaub us all over with mud. After which exploit he drove
on, applauding himself with a hearty laugh, in which several people
joined, to my great mortification; but one, more compassionate than
the rest, seeing us strangers, advised me to go into an alehouse,
and dry myself. I thanked him for his advice, which I immediately
complied with; and, going into the house he pointed out, called
for a pot of beer, and sat down by a fire in the public room. where
we cleaned ourselves as well as we could. In the meantime, a wag,
who sat in a box, smoking his pipe, understanding, by our dialect,
that we were from Scotland, came up to me. and, with a grave
countenance asked how long I had been caught. As I did not know the
meaning of this question, I made no answer; and he went on, saying
it could not be a great while, for my tail was not yet cut; at
the same time taking hold of my hair, and tipping the wink to the
rest of the company, who seemed highly entertained with his wit.
I was incensed at this usage, but afraid of resenting it, because
I happened to be in a strange place, and perceived the person who
spoke to me was a brawny fellow, for whom I thought myself by no
means a match. However, Strap, having either more courage or less
caution, could not put up with the insults I suffered, but told him
in a peremptory tone, "He was an uncivil fellow for making so free
with his betters." Then the wit going toward him, asked him what
he had got in his knapsack? "Is it oatmeal or brimstone, Sawney?"
said he, seizing him by the chin, which he shook, to the inexpressible
diversion of all present. My companion, feeling himself assaulted
in such an opprobrious manner, disengaged himself in a trice, and
lent his antagonist such a box on the ear as made him stagger to
the other side of the room; and, in a moment, a ring was formed
for the combatants. Seeing Strap beginning to strip, and my blood
being heated with indignation, which banished all other thoughts,
I undressed myself to the skin in an instant, and declared, that
as the affront that occasioned the quarrel was offered to me, I
would fight it out myself; upon which one or two cried out, "That's
a brave Scotch boy; you shall have fair play." His assurance gave
me fresh spirits, and, going up to my adversary, who by his pale
countenance did not seem much inclined to the battle, I struck him
so hard on the stomach, that he reeled over a bench, and fell to
the ground. Then I attempted to keep him down, in order to improve
my success, according to the manner of my own country, but was
restrained by the spectators, one of whom endeavoured to raise
up my opponent, but in vain; for he protested he would not fight,
for he was not quite recovered of a late illness. I was very well
pleased with this excuse, and immediately dressed myself, having
acquired the good opinion of the company for my bravery, as well
as of my comrade Strap, who shook me by the hand, and wished me
joy of the victory.

After having drunk our pot, and dried our clothes, we inquired
of the landlord if he knew Mr. Cringer, the member of parliament,
and were amazed at his replying in the negative; for we imagined
he must be altogether as conspicuous here as in the borough he
represented; but he told us we might possibly hear of him as we
passed along. We betook ourselves therefore to the street, where
seeing a footman standing at the door, we made up to him, and asked
if he knew where our patron lived? This member of the particoloured
fraternity, surveying us both very minutely, said he knew Mr.
Cringer very well, and bade us turn down the first street on our
left, then turn to the right, and then to the left again, after
which perambulation we would observe a lane, through which we must
pass, and at the other end we should find an alley that leads to
another street, where we should see the sign of the Thistle and Three
Pedlars, and there he lodged. We thanked him for his information,
and went forwards, Strap telling me, that he knew this person to
be an honest friendly man by his countenance, before he opened his
mouth; in which opinion I acquiesced, ascribing his good manners
to the company he daily saw in the house where he served.

We followed his directions punctually, in turning to the left, and
to the right, and to the left again; but instead of seeing a lane
before us, found ourselves at the side of the river, a circumstance
that perplexed us not a little; and my fellow-traveller ventured
to pronounce, that we bad certainly missed our way. By this time
we were pretty much fatigued with our walk, and not knowing how
to proceed, I went into a small snuff-shop hard by, encouraged
by the sign of the Highlander, where I found, to my inexpressible
satisfaction, the shopkeeper was my countryman. He was no sooner
informed of our peregrination, and the directions we had received
from the footman, than he informed us we had been imposed upon,
telling us, Mr. Cringer lived in the other end of the town and that
it would be to no purpose for us to go thither to-day, for by that
time he was gone to the House. I then asked, if he could recommend
us a lodging. He really gave us a line to one of his acquaintance
who kept a chandler's shop not far from St. Martin's Lane; there
we hired a bed-room, up two pair of stairs, at the rate of two
shillings per week, so very small, that when the bed was let down,
we were obliged to carry out every other piece of furniture that
belonged to the apartment, and use the bedstead by way of chairs.
About dinner-time, our landlord asked how we proposed to live? to
which interrogation we answered, that we would be directed by him.
"Well, then," says he, "there are two ways of eating in this town
for people of your condition--the one more creditable and expensive
than the other: the first is to dine at an eating-house frequented
by well-dressed people only; and the other is called diving, practised
by those who are either obliged or inclined to live frugally." I
gave him to understand that, provided the last was not infamous,
it would suit much better with our circumstances than the other.
"Infamous!" cried he, "not at all; there are many creditable people,
rich people, ay, and fine people, that dive every day. I have seen
many a pretty gentleman with a laced waistcoat dine in that manner
very comfortably for three pence halfpenny, and go afterwards to
the coffee-house, where he made a figure with the best lord in the
land; but your own eyes shall bear witness--I will go along with
you to-day and introduce you."

He accordingly conducted us to a certain lane, where stopping, he
bade us observe him, and do as he did, and, walking a few paces,
dived into a cellar and disappeared in an instant. I followed his
example, and descending very successfully, found myself in the
middle of a cook's shop, almost suffocated with the steams of boiled
beef, and surrounded by a company of hackney coachmen, chairmen,
draymen, and a few footmen out of place or on board-wages; who
sat eating shin of beef, tripe, cow-heel, or sausages, at separate
boards, covered with cloths which turned my stomach. While I stood
in amaze, undetermined whether to sit down or walk upwards again,
Strap, in his descent, missing one of the stops, tumbled headlong
into this infernal ordinary, and overturned the cook as she carried
a porringer of soup to one of the guests. In her fall, she dashed
the whole mess against the legs of a drummer belonging to the
foot-guards, who happened to be in her way, and scalded him so
miserably, that he started up, and danced up and down, uttering a
volley of execrations that made my hair stand on end.

While he entertained the company in this manner, with an eloquence
peculiar to himself, the cook got up, and after a hearty curse on
the poor author of this mischance, who lay under the table with a
woful countenance, emptied a salt-cellar in her hand, and, stripping
down the patient's stocking, which brought the skin along with it,
applied the contents to the sore. This poultice was scarce laid
on, when the drummer, who had begun to abate of his exclamations,
broke forth into such a hideous yell as made the whole company
tremble, then, seizing a pewter pint pot that stood by him, squeezed
the sides of it together, as if it had been made of pliant leather,
grinding his teeth at the same time with a most horrible grin.
Guessing the cause of this violent transport, I bade the woman
wash off the salt, and bathe the part with oil, which she did, and
procured him immediate ease. But here another difficulty occurred,
which was no other than the landlady's insisting on his paying for
the pot he had rendered useless. He said, he would pay for nothing
but what he had eaten, and bade her be thankful for his moderation,
or else he would prosecute her for damages. Strap, foreseeing the
whole affair would lie at his door, promised to satisfy the cook,
and called for a dram of gin to treat the drummer, which entirely
appeased him, and composed all animosities. After this accommodation,
our landlord and we sat down at a board, and dined upon shin of
beef most deliciously; our reckoning amounting to twopence halfpenny
each, bread and small beer included.


We visit Strap's friend--a description of him--his advice--we go
to Mr. Cringer's house--are denied admittance--an Accident befalls
Strap--his behaviour thereupon--an extraordinary adventure occurs,
in the course of which I lose all my money

In the afternoon my companion proposed to call at his friend's
house, which, we were informed, was in the neighbourhood, whither
we accordingly went, and were so lucky as to find him at home. This
gentleman, who had come from Scotland three or four years before,
kept a school in town, where he taught the Latin, French, and Italian
languages; but what he chiefly professed was the pronunciation of
the English tongue, after a method more speedy and uncommon than
any practised heretofore, and, indeed, if his scholars spoke like
their master, the latter part of his undertaking was certainly
performed to a tittle: for although I could easily understand every
word of what I had heard hitherto since I entered England, three
parts in four of his dialect were as unintelligible to me as if
he had spoken in Arabic or Irish. He was a middle-sized man, and
stooped very much, though not above the age of forty; his face was
frightfully pitted with the small-pox, and his mouth extended from
ear to ear. He was dressed in a night-gown of plaid, fastened about
his middle with a sergeant's old sash, and a tie-periwig with
a foretop three inches high, in the fashion of King Charles the
Second's reign.

After he had received Strap, who was related to him, very
courteously, he inquired of him who I was; and being informed, he
took me by the hand, telling me he was at school with my father.
When he understood my situation, he assured me that he would do
me all the service in his power, both by his advice and otherwise,
and while he spoke these words eyed me with great attention, walking
round me several times, and muttering, "Oh, dear! Oh, dear! fat a
saight is here!" I soon guessed the reason of his ejaculation, and
said, "I suppose, sir, you are not pleased with my dress." "Dress,"
answered he, "you may caal it fat you please in your country, but
I vow to Gad 'tis a masquerade here. No Christian will admit such
a figure into his house. Upon my conscience, I wonder the dogs
did not hunt you. Did you pass through St. James's market? Bless
my eyesaight! you are like a cousin-german of an ourangoutang." I
began to be a little serious at this discourse, and asked him, if
he thought I should obtain entrance to-morrow at the house of Mr.
Cringer, on whom I chiefly depended for an introduction into business?
"Mr. Cringer, Mr. Cringer," replied he, scratching his cheek, "may
be a very honest gentleman--I know nothing to the contrary; but
is your sole dependence upon him? Who recommended you to him?"
I pulled out Mr. Crab's letter, and told him the foundation of my
hopes, at which he stared at me, and repeated "Oh dear! Oh dear!"
I began to conceive bad omens from this behaviour of his, and begged
he would assist me with his advice, which he promised to give very
frankly; and as a specimen, directed us to a periwig warehouse
in the neighbourhood, in order to be accommodated; laying strong
injunctions on me not to appear before Mr. Cringer till I had parted
with my carroty locks, which, he said, were sufficient to beget an
antipathy against me in all mankind. And as we were going to pursue
this advice, he called me back and bade me be sure to deliver my
letter into Mr. Cringer's own hand.

As we walked along, Strap triumphed greatly in our reception with
his friend, who, it seems, had assured him he would in a day or
two provide for him with some good master; I and now," says he, "I
you will see how I will fit you with a wig. There's ne'er a barber
in London (and that's a bold word) can palm a rotten caul, or
a pennyweight of dead hair, upon me." And, indeed, this zealous
adherent did wrangle so long with the merchant, that he was desired
twenty times to leave the shop, and see if lie could get one cheaper
elsewhere. At "length I made choice (if a good handsome bob), for
which I paid ten shillings, and returned to our lodging, where Strap
in a moment rid me of that hair which had given the schoolmaster
so much offence.

We got up next day betimes, having been informed that Mr. Cringer
gave audience by candle-light to all his dependents, he himself
being obliged to attend the levee of my Lord Terrier at break of
day, because his lordship made one at the minister's between eight
and nine o'clock. When we came to Mr. Cringer's door, Strap, to
give me all instance of his politeness. ran to the knocker, which
he employed so loud and so long, that he alarmed the whole street;
and a window opening in the second story of the next house, a vessel
was discharged upon him so successfully, that the poor barber was
wet to the skin, while I, being luckily at some distance, escaped
the unsavoury deluge. In the meantime, a footman opening the
door, and seeing nobody in the street but us, asked, with a stern
countenance, if it was I who made such a noise, and what I wanted.
I told him I had business with his master, whom I desired to see.
Upon which he slapped the door in my face, telling me I must learn
better manners before I could have access to his master. Vexed at
this disappointment, I turned my resentment against Strap, whom I
sharply reprimanded for his presumption; but he, not in the least
regarding what I said, wrung the wet out of his periwig, and lifting
up a large stone, flung it with such force against the street door
of that house from whence he had been bedewed, that the lock giving
way, it flew wide open, and he took to his heels, leaving me to
follow him as I could. Indeed, there was no time for deliberation;
I therefore pursued him with all the speed I could exert, until we
found ourselves about the dawn in a street we did not know. Here,
as we wandered along gaping about, a very decent sort of a man,
passing by me, stopped of a sudden and took up something, which
having examined, he turned and presented to me with these words:
"Sir, you have dropped half-a-crown." I was not a little surprised
at this instance of honesty, and told him it did not belong to me;
but he bade me recollect, and see if all my money was safe; upon
which I pulled out my purse, for I had bought one since I came to
town, and, reckoning my money in my hand, which was now reduced to
five guineas seven shillings and twopence, assured him I had lost
nothing. "Well, then, says he, so much the better; this is a
godsend, and as you two were present when I picked it up, you are
entitled to equal shares with me." I was astonished at these words,
and looked upon this person to be a prodigy of integrity, but
absolutely refused to take any part of the sum. "Come, gentlemen,"
said he, "you are too modest--I see you are strangers, but you shall
give me leave to treat you with a whet this cold raw morning." I
would have declined the invitation, but Strap whispered to me that
the gentleman would be affronted, and I complied. "Where shall we
go?" said the stranger; "I am quite ignorant of this part of the
town." I informed him that we were in the same situation; upon
which he proposed to go into the first public-house we should find
open; and as we walked together, he began in this manner: "I find
by your tongues you are from Scotland, gentlemen; my grandmother
by the father's side was of your country, and I am so prepossessed
in its favour, that I never meet a Scotchman but my heart warms.
The Scots are very brave people. There is scarce a great family
in the kingdom that cannot boast of some exploits performed by its
ancestors many hundred years ago. There's your Douglasses, Gordons,
Campbells, Hamiltons. We have no such ancient families here
in England. Then you are all very well educated. I have known
a pedlar talk in Greek and Hebrew as well as if they had been his
mother-tongue. And for honesty--I once had a servant, his name was
Gregor Macgregor, I would have trusted him with untold gold."

This eulogium of my native country gained my affections so strongly,
that I believe I could have gone to death to serve the author;
and Strap's eyes swam in tears. At length, as we passed through a
dark narrow lane, we perceived a public-house, which we entered,
and found a man sitting by the fire, smoking a pipe, with a pint
of purl before him. Our new acquaintance asked us if ever we had
drunk egg-flip? To which question we answering in the negative, he
assured us of a regale, and ordered a quart to be prepared, calling
for pipes and tobacco at the same time. We found this composition
very palateable, and drank heartily; the conversation, which was
introduced by the gentleman, turning upon the snares that young
inexperienced people are exposed to in this metropolis. He described
a thousand cheats that are daily practised upon the ignorant and
unwary, and warned us of them with so much good nature and concern,
that we blessed the opportunity which threw us in his way. After
we had put the can about for some time, our new friend began to
yawn, telling us he had been up all night with a sick person; and
proposed we should have recourse to some diversion to keep him
awake. "Suppose," said he, "we should take a hand at whist for
pastime. But let me see: that won't do, there's only three of us;
and I cannot play at any other game. The truth is, I seldom or never
play, but out of complaisance, or at such a time as this, when I
am in danger of falling asleep,"

Although I was not much inclined to gaming, I felt no aversion to
pass an hour or two at cards with a friend; and knowing that Strap
understood as much of the matter as I, made no scruple of saying, "I
wish we could find a fourth hand." While we were in this perplexity
the person whom we found in the house at our entrance, overhearing
our discourse, took the pipe from his mouth very gravely, and
accosted us thus: "Gentlemen, my pipe is out, you see," shaking
the ashes into the fire, "and rather than you should be balked, I
don't care if I take a hand with you for a trifle--but remember I
won't play for anything of consequence." We accepted his proffer
with pleasure. Having cut for partners, it fell to my lot to play
with him against our friend and Strap, for threepence a game. We
were so successful, that in a short time I was half-a-crown gainer;
when the gentleman whom we had met in the street observing he had
no luck to-day, proposed to leave off, or change partners. By this
time I was inflamed with my good fortune and the expectation of
improving it, as I perceived the two strangers played but indifferently;
therefore I voted for giving him his revenge: and cutting again,
Strap and I, to our mutual satisfaction, happened to be partners.
My good fortune attended me still, and in less than an hour we had
got thirty shillings of their money, for as they lost they grew
the keener, and doubled stakes every time. At last the inconstant
goddess began to veer about, and we were very soon stripped of all
our gains, and about forty shillings of our own money. This loss
mortified me extremely, and had a visible effect on the muscles of
Strap's face, which lengthened apace; but our antagonists perceiving
our condition, kindly permitted us to retrieve our loss, and
console ourselves with a new acquisition. Then my companion wisely
suggested. it was time to be gone; upon which the person who bad
joined us in the house began to curse the cards, and muttered that
we were indebted to fortune only for what we had got, no part of
our success being owing to our good play. This insinuation nettled
me so much that I challenged him to a game at piquet for a crown:
and he was with difficulty persuaded to accept the invitation. This
contest ended in less than an hour to my inexpressible affliction,
who lost every shilling of my own money, Strip absolutely refusing
to supply me with a sixpence.

The gentleman at whose request we bad come in, perceiving by my
disconsolate looks the situation of my heart. which well nigh burst
with grief and resentment, when the other stranger got up, and went
away with my money, began in this manner:--"I am truly afflicted at
your bad luck. and would willingly repair it, were it in my power.
But what in the name of goodness could provoke you to tempt your
fate so long? It is always a maxim with gamesters to pursue success
as far us it will go, and to stop whenever fortune shifts about.
You are a young man, and your passions are too impetuous; you must
learn to govern them better. However, there is no experience like
that which is bought; you will be the better for this the longest
day you have to live. As for the fellow who has got your money, I
don't half like him. Did not you see me tip you the wink to leave
off in time?" I answered, "No." "No," continued he; "you was too
eager to mind anything but the game. But, harkee," said he in a
whisper, "are you satisfied of that young man's honesty? His looks
are a little suspicious--but I may be mistaken; he made a great many
grimaces while he stood behind you, this is a very wicked town." I
told him I was very well convinced of my comrade's integrity and,
that the grimaces he mentioned were doubtless owing to his anxiety
of my loss. "Oh ho! if that be the case, I ask his pardon. Landlord,
see what's to pay." The reckoning amounted to eighteenpence, which,
having discharged, the gentleman shook us both by the hand, and,
saying he should be very glad to see us again, departed.


Strap moralises--presents his purse to me--we inform our landlord
of our misfortune--he unravels the mystery--I present myself to
Cringer--he recommends and turns me over to Mr. Staytape--I become
acquainted with a fellow dependent, who explains the character of
Cringer and Staytape--and informs me of the method to be pursued
at the Navy Office and Surgeons' Hall--Strap is employed

In our way to our lodging, after a profound silence on both sides,
Strap, with a hideous groan, observed that we had brought our
pigs to a fine market. To this observation I made no reply, and he
went on: "God send us well out of this place; we have not been in
London eight and forty hours, and I believe we have met with eight
and forty thousand misfortunes. We have been jeered, reproached,
buffeted, and at last stript of our money; and I suppose by and
bye we shall be stript of our skins. Indeed as to the money part of
it, that was owing to our own folly.--Solomon says, 'Bray a fool
in a mortar, and he will never be wise.' Ah! God help us, an ounce
of prudence is worth a pound of gold." This was no time for him to
tamper with my disposition, already mad with my loss, and inflamed
with resentment against him for having refused me a little money
to attempt to retrieve it. I therefore turned towards him with a
stern countenance, and asked, who he called fool? Being altogether
unaccustomed to such looks from me, he stood still, and stared in
my face for some time; then, with some confusion, uttered, "Fool!
I called nobody fool but myself; I am sure I am the greatest fool
of the two, for being so much concerned at other people's misfortunes;
but 'Nemo omnibus horis sapit'--that's all, that's all." Upon which
a silence ensued, which brought us to our lodging, where I threw
myself upon the bed in an agony of despair, resolved to perish
rather than apply to my companion, or any other body, for relief;
but Strap, who knew my temper, and whose heart bled within him for
my distress, after some pause came to the bedside, and, putting
a leathern purse into my hand, burst into tears, crying, "I know
what you think, but I scorn your thought. There's all I have in
the world, take it, and I'll perhaps get more for you before that
be done. If not, I'll beg for you, steal for you, go through the
wide world with you, and stay with you; for though I be a poor
cobbler's son, I am no scout." I was so much touched with the
generous passion of this poor creature, that I could not refrain
from weeping also, and we mingled our tears together for some
time. Upon examining the purse, I found in it two half-guineas
and half-a-crown, which I would have returned to him, saying, he
knew better than I how to manage it, but he, absolutely refused
my proposal and told me it was more reasonable and decent that he
should depend upon me, who was a gentleman, than that I should be
controlled by him.

After this friendly contest was over, and our minds more at ease,
we informed our landlord of what had happened to us, taking care
to conceal the extremity to which we were reduced. He no sooner
heard the story, than he assured us we had been grievously imposed
upon by a couple of sharpers, who were associates; and that this
polite, honest, friendly, humane person, who had treated us so
civilly, was no other than a rascally money-dropper, we made it
his business to decoy strangers in that manner to one of his own
haunts, where an accomplice or two were always waiting to assist
in pillaging the prey he had run down. Here the good man recounted
a great many stories of people who has been seduced, cheated, pilfered,
beat--nay, even murdered by such villains. I was confounded at the
artifice and wickedness of mankind; and Strap, lifting up his eyes
and hands to heaven, prayed that God would deliver him from such
scenes of iniquity, for surely the devil had set up his throne in
London. Our landlord being curious to know what reception we had
met with at Mr. Cringer's, we acquainted him with the particulars,
at which he shook his head, and told us we had not gone the right
way to work; that there was nothing to be done with a member of
parliament without a bribe; that the servant was commonly infected
with the master's disease, and expected to be paid for his work,
as well as his betters. He therefore advised me to give the footman
a shilling the next time I should desire admittance to my patron,
or else I should scarce find an opportunity to deliver my letter.
Accordingly, next morning, when the door was opened, I slipped a
shilling into his hand, and told him I had a letter for his master.
I found the good effect of my liberality; for the fellow let me in
immediately, and, taking the letter out of my hand, desired me to
wait in a kind of passage for an answer. In this place I continued
standing for three-quarters-of-an-hour, during which time I saw a
great many young fellows whom I formerly knew in Scotland pass and
repass, with an air of familiarity, in their way to and from the
audience-chamber; while I was fain to stand shivering in the cold,
and turn my back to them that they might not perceive the lowness
of my condition, At length, Mr. Cringer came out to see a young
gentleman to the door, who was no other than Squire Gawky, dressed
in a very gay suit of clothes; at parting Mr. Cringer shook him by
the hand and told him he hoped to have the pleasure of his company
at dinner. Then turning about towards me, asked what were my
commands? When he understood I was the person who had brought the
letter from Mr. Crab, he affected to recollect my name, which,
however, he pretended he could not do till he had consulted
the letter again; to save him the trouble, I told him my name was
Random. Upon which he went on, "Ay, ay, Random, Random, Random--I
think I remember the name:" and very well he might, for this very
individual, Mr. Cringer, had many a time rode before my grandfather's
cloak-bag, in quality of a footman. "Well," says he, "you propose
to go on board a man-of-war as surgeon's mate." I replied by a
low bow. "I believe it will be a difficult matter," continued he,
"to procure a warrant, there being already such a swarm of Scotch
surgeons at the Navy Office, in expectation of the next vacancy,
that the commissioners are afraid of being torn to pieces, and
have actually applied for a guard to protect them. However, some
ships will soon be put in commission, and then we shall see what's
to be done." So saying, he left me, exceedingly mortified at the
different reception Mr. Gawky and I had met with from this upstart,
proud, mean member, who, I imagined, would have been glad of an
opportunity to be grateful for the obligations he owed to my family.

At my return, I was surprised with the agreeable news of Strap's
being employed, on the recommendation of his friend, the schoolmaster,
by a periwig-maker in the neighbourhood, who allowed him five
shillings per week besides bed and board. I continued to dance
attendance every other morning at the levee of Mr. Cringer, during
a fortnight; in which time I became acquainted with a young fellow
of my own country and profession, who also depended on the member's
interest, but was treated with much more respect than I, both by
the servants and master, and often admitted into a parlour, where
there was a fire for the convenience of the better sort of those
who waited for him. Thither I was never permitted to penetrate,
on account of my appearance, which was not at all fashionable; but
was obliged to stand blowing my fingers in a cold lobby, and take
the first opportunity of Mr. Cringer's going to the door to speak
with him.

One day, while I enjoyed this occasion a person was introduced, whom
Mr. Cringer no sooner saw, than, running towards him, he saluted
him with a low bow to the very ground, and afterwards shaking him
by the hand with great heartiness and familiarity, called him his
good friend, and asked very kindly after Mrs. Staytape and the
young ladies; then, after a whisper, which continued some minutes,
wherein I overheard the word 'honour' repeated several times with
great emphasis, Mr. Cringer introduced me to this gentleman, as
to a person whose advice and assistance I might depend upon; and
having given me his direction, followed me to the door, where he
told me I need not give myself the trouble to call at his house any
more, for Mr. Staytape would do my business. At that instant. my
fellow-dependent, coming out after me, overheard the discourse of
Mr. Cringer, and, making up to me in the street, accosted me very
civilly: this address I looked upon as no small honour, considering
the figure he made, for he was dressed in a blue frock with a button,
a green silk waistcoat, trimmed with gold, black velvet breeches,
white silk stockings, silver buckles, a gold-laced hat, a spencer-wig,
and a silver-hilted hanger, with a fine clouded can in his hand.
"I perceive," says he, "you are but lately come from Scotland;
pray what may your business with Mr. Cringer be? I suppose it
is no secret and I may possibly give you some advice that will be
serviceable, for I have been surgeon's second mate on board of a
seventy-gun ship, and consequently know a good deal of the world."

I made no scruple to disclose my situation, which, when he had
learned, he shook his head, and told me he had been pretty much,
in the same circumstances about a year ago: that he had relied on
Cringer's promises, until his money (which was considerable) as
well as his credit, was quite exhausted; and when he wrote to his
relations for a fresh supply, instead of money he received nothing
but reproaches, and the epithets of idle, debauched fellow. That
after he had waited at the Navy Office many months for a warrant to
no purpose, he was fain to pawn some of his clothes, which raised
a small sum wherewith he bribed the secretary, who soon procured
a warrant for him, notwithstanding he had affirmed the same day,
that there vas not one vacancy. That he had gone on board, where
he remained nine months, at the end of which the ship was put out
of commission, and he said the company were to be paid off in Broad
Street the very next day. That relations being reconciled to him,
had charged him to pay his devoirs regularly to Mr. Cringer, who
had informed them by letter that his interest alone had procured
the warrant; in obedience to which command he came to his levee
every morning; as I saw, though he looked upon him to be a very
pitiful scoundrel. In conclusion, he asked me if I had yet passed
at Surgeons' Hall? To which question I answered, I did not so much
as know it was necessary. "Necessary:" cried he, "Oh then I find I
must instruct you: come along with me, and I'll give you information
about that matter." So Saying, he carried me into an ale-house,
where I called for some beer, and bread and cheese, on which we
breakfasted. While we sat in this place, he told me I must first
go to the Navy Office, and write to the Board, desiring them to
order a letter for me to Surgeon's Hall, that I might be examined,
touching my skill in surgery. That the surgeons, after having examined
me, would give me my qualification sealed up in form of a letter
directed to the commissioners, which qualification I must deliver
to the secretary of the Board, who would open it in my presence,
and read the contents; after which I must employ my interest
to be provided for as soon as possible. That the expense of his
qualification for second mate of a third-rate, amounted to thirteen
shillings, exclusive of the warrant, which cost him half-a-guinea and
half-a-crown, besides a present to the secretary, which consisted
of a three-pound twelve piece. This calculation was like a thunderbolt
to me, whose whole fortune did not amount to twelve shillings. I
accordingly made him acquainted with this part of my distress, after
having thanked him for his information and advice. He condoled me
on this occasion; but bade me be of good cheer, for he had conceived
a friendship for me, and would make all things easy. He was ran out
at present, but to-morrow or next day, he was certain of receiving a
considerable sum; of which he would lend me what would be sufficient
to answer my exigencies. This frank declaration pleased me so much,
that I pulled out my purse, and emptied it before him, begging him
to take what he pleased for pocket-expense, until he should receive
his own money. With a good deal of pressing, he was prevailed upon
to take five shillings telling me that he might have what money he
wanted at any time for the trouble of going into the city; but as
he had met with me, he would defer his going thither till tomorrow,
when I should go along with him, and he would put me in the way
of acting for myself, without a servile dependence on that rascal
Cringer, much less on the tailor to whom he heard him turn me over.
"How!" cried I, "is Mr. Staytape a tailor." "No less, I assure
you," answered he, "and, I confess, more likely to serve you than
the member; for, provided you can entertain him with politics and
conundrums, you may have credit with him for as many and as rich
clothes as you please." I told him, I was utterly ignorant of both,
and so incensed at Cringer's usage, that I would never set foot
within his door again.

After a good deal more conversation, my new acquaintance and
I parted, having made an appointment to meet next day at the same
place; in order to set out for the city. I went immediately to
Strap and related everything which had happened, but he did not
at all approve of my being so forward to lend money to a stranger,
especially as we had already been so much imposed upon by appearances.
"However," said he, "if you are sure he is a Scotchman, I believe
you are safe."


My new acquaintance breaks an appointment--I proceed, by myself, to
the Navy Office--address me to a person there, who assists me with
advice--write to the Board, they grant me a letter to the Surgeons
at the Hall--am informed of the beau's name and character--find
him--he makes me his confidant in an amour--desires me to pawn
my linen for his occasions--recover what I lent him--some curious
observations on Strap on that occasion--his vanity.

In the morning I rose and went to the place of rendezvous, where
I waited two hours in vain, and was so exasperated against him for
breaking his appointment, that I set out for the city by myself,
in hope of finding the villain, and being revenged on him for his
breach of promise. At length I found myself at the Navy Office,
which I entered, and saw crowds of young fellows walking below,
many of whom made no better appearance than myself. I consulted the
physiognomy of each, and at last made up to one whose countenance
I liked, and asked, if he could instruct me in the form of the
letter which was to be sent to the Board to obtain an order for
examination? He answered me in broad Scotch, that he would show me
the copy of what he had writ for himself, by direction of another
who know the form, and accordingly pulled it out of his pocket for
my perusal; and told me that, if I was expeditious, I might send
it into the Board before dinner, for they did no business in the
afternoon. He then went with me to coffee-house hard by, where I
wrote the letter, which was immediately delivered to the messenger,
who told me I might expect an order to-morrow about the same time.

Having transacted this piece of business, my mind was a good deal
composed; and as I had met with so much civility from the stranger,
I desired further acquaintance with him, fully resolved, however,
not to be deceived by him so much to my prejudice as I had been
by the beau. He agreed to dine with me at the cook's shop which I
frequented; and on our way thither carried me to 'Change, where I
was in hopes of finding Mr. Jackson (for that was the name of the
person who had broke his appointment), I sought him there to no
purpose, and on our way towards the other end of the town imparted
to my companion his behaviour towards me; upon which he gave me
to understand, that he was no stranger to the name of Bean Jackson
(so he was called at the Navy Office), although he did not know him
personally; that he had the character of a good-natured careless
fellow, who made no scruple of borrowing from any that would lend;
that most people who knew him believed he had a good principle
at bottom, but his extravagance was such, he would probably never
have it in his power to manifest the honesty of his intention. This
made me sweat for my five shillings, which I nevertheless did not
altogether despair of recovering, provided I could find out the

This young man likewise added another circumstance of Squire
Jackson's history, which was, that being destitute of all means to
equip himself for sea, when he received his last warrant, he had
been recommended to a person who lent him a little money, after
he had signed a will entitling that person to lift his wages when
they should become due, as also to inherit his effects in case of
his death. That he was still under the tutorage and direction of
that gentleman, who advanced him small sums from time to time upon
this security, at the rate of fifty per cent. But at present his
credit was very low, because his funds would do little more than
pay what he had already received, this moderate interest included.
After the stranger (whose name was Thompson) had entertained me with
this account of Jackson, he informed me that he himself had passed
for third mate of a third-rate, about four months ago; since which
time he had constantly attended at the Navy Office, in hope of a
warrant, having been assured from the beginning, both by a Scotch
member, and one of the commissioners to whom the member recommended
him, that he should be put into the first vacancy; notwithstanding
which promise, he had the mortification to see six or seven
appointed in the same station almost every week--that now. being
utterly impoverished, his sole hope consisted in the promise of
a friend lately come to town, to lend him a small matter, for a
present to the secretary; without which he was persuaded he might
wait a thousand years to no purpose. I conceived a mighty liking for
this young fellow, which (I believe) proceeded from the similitude
of our fortunes. We spent the whole day together; and as he lived
at Wapping I desired him to take a share of my bed.

Next day we returned to the Navy Office, where, after being called
before the Board, and questioned about the place of my nativity
and education, they ordered a letter to be made out for me, which,
upon paying half-a-crown to the clerk, I received, and delivered into
the hands of the clerk at Surgeons' Hall, together with a shilling
for his trouble in registering my name. By this time my whole stock
was diminished to two shillings, and I saw not the least prospect
of relief, even for present subsistence, much less to enable me
to pay the fees at Surgeons' Hall for my examination, which would
come on in a fortnight. In this state of perplexity, I consulted
Strap, who assured me he would pawn everything he had in the world,
even to his razors, before I should want: but this expedient I
absolutely rejected, telling him, I would a thousand times rather
list for a soldier, of which I had some thoughts, than be any longer
a burden to him. At the word soldier, he grew pale as death, and
begged on his knees I would think no more of that scheme. "God preserve
us all in our right wits!" cried he, "would you turn soldier, and
perhaps be sent abroad against the Spaniards, where you must stand
and be shot at like a woodcock? Heaven keep cold lead out of
my carcase, and let me die in a bed like a Christian, as all my
forefathers have done. What signifies all earthly riches and honour,
if one enjoys not content? and, hereafter, there is no respect of
persons. Better be a poor honest barber with a good conscience, and
time to repent of my sins upon my death-bed, than be cut off (God
bless us!) by a musket-shot, as it were in the very flower of one's
age, in the pursuit of riches and fame. What signify riches, my
dear friend? do they not make unto themselves wings and fly away?
as the wise man saith. I could also mention many other sayings in
contempt of riches, both from the Bible and other good books; but
I know you are not very fond of those things, I shall only assure
you, that if you take on to be a soldier, I will do the same; and
then if we should both be slain, you will not only have your own
blood to answer for, but mine also: and peradventure the lives
of all those whom we shall kill in battle. Therefore I pray you,
consider whether you will sit down contented with small things and
share the fruits of my industry in peace, till Providence shall
send better tidings; or, by your despair, plunge both our souls
and bodies into everlasting perdition, which God of his infinite
mercy forbid!" I could not help smiling at this harangue, which was
delivered with great earnestness, the tears standing in his eyes
all the time, and promised to do nothing of that sort without his
consent and concurrence. He was much comforted with this declaration;
and told me in a few days he should receive a week's wages, which
should be at my service, but advised me in the meantime to go in
quest of Jackson, and recover, if possible, what he had borrowed
of me. I accordingly trudged about from one end of the town to
the other, for several days, without being able to learn anything
certain concerning him: and, one day being extremely hungry,
and allured by the steams that regaled my nostrils from a boiling
cellar, I went down with an intention to gratify my appetite with
a twopennyworth of beef; when to my no small surprise found Mr.
Jackson sitting at dinner with a footman. He no sooner perceived
me than he got up and shook me by the hands saying, he was glad to
see me, for he intended to have called at my lodgings in the afternoon.
I was so well pleased at this rencounter. and the apologies he made
for not keeping his appointment, that I forgot my resentment, and
sat down to dinner, with the happy expectation of not only recovering
my own money before we should part, but also of reaping the benefit
of his promise to lend me wherewithal to pass examination; and this
hope my sanguine complexion suggested, though the account Thompson
gave me of him ought to have moderated my expectation.

When we had feasted sumptuously, he took his leave of the footman,
and adjourned with me to an ale-house hard by, where, after shaking
me by the hand again, he began thus: "I suppose you think me a sad
dog, Mr. Random, and I do confess that appearances are against me.
But I dare say you will forgive me when I tell you, my not coming
at the time appointed was owing to a peremptory message I received
from a certain lady, whom, harkee! (but this is a great secret) I
am to marry very soon. You think this strange, perhaps, but it is
not less true for all that--a five thousand pounder, I'll assure
you, besides expectations. For my own part, devil take me if I know
what any woman can see engaging about me--but a whim, you know--and
then one would not balk one's good fortune. You saw that footman
who dined with us--he's one of the honestest fellows that ever
wore livery. You must know it was by his means I was introduced
to her, for he made me first acquainted with her woman, who is his
mistress--ay, many a crown has he and his sweetheart had of my
money--but what of that? things are now brought to a bearing. I
have--(come a little this way) I have proposed marriage, and the
day is fixed--she's a charming creature, and writes like an angel!
She can repeat all the English tragedies as well as ever a player
in Drury Lane!-and, indeed, is so fond of plays, that to be near
the stage she has taken lodgings in a court hard by the theatre;
but you shall see--you shall see--here's the last letter she sent
me." With these words, he put it into my hand, and I read (to the
best of my remembrance) as follows:

'Dear Creeten--As you are the animable hopjack of my
contemplayshins, your aydear is infernally skimming before
my keymerycal fansee, when Murfy sends his puppies to the heys
of slipping mortals; and when Febus shines from his merry dying
throne; whereupon I shall canseif old time has lost his
pinners, as also cubit his harrows, until thou enjoy sweet
propose in the loafseek harms of thy very faithfool to commend,
Wingar Yard, Drury Lane, January 12th.'

While I was reading, he seemed to be in an ecstasy, rubbing his
hands, and bursting out into fits of laughter; at last he caught
hold of my hand, and squeezing it, cried, "There--a style for you!
What do you think of this billet-doux?" I answered, "It might be
ablime for aught I knew, for it was altogether above my comprehension."
"Oh, ho!" said he, "I believe it is--both tender and sublime; she's
a divine creature! and so doats upon me! Let me see--what shall I
do with this money, when I have once got it into my hands? In the
first place, I shall do for you. I'm a man of few words---but say
no more that's determined; whether would you advise me, to purchase
some post, by which I may rise in the state, or lay out my wife's
fortune in land, and retire to the country at once?" I gave my
opinion without hesitation, that he could not do better than buy
an estate and improve; especially since he had already seen so much
of the world. Then I launched out into the praises of a country
life, as described by the poets whose works I had read. He seemed
to relish my advice, but withal told me, that although he had seen
a great deal of the world both at land and sea, having cruised
three whole months in the Channel, yet he should not be satisfied
until he had visited France, which he proposed to do before he
should settle; and to carry his wife along with him. I had nothing
to object to his proposal; and asked how soon he hoped to be happy.
"As to that," he replied, "nothing obstructs my happiness but the
want of a little ready cash; for you must know, my friend in the
city has gone out of town for a week or two, but I unfortunately
missed my pay at Broad Street, by being detained too long by the dear
charmer--but there will he a recall at Chatham next week, whither
the ship's books are sent, and I have commissioned a friend in that
place to receive the money." "If that be all," said I, "there's
no great harm in deferring your marriage a few days." "Yes, faith.
but there is," said he; "you don't know how many rivals I have, who
would take all advantages against me. I would not balk the impatience
of her passion for the world--the least appearance of coldness
or indifference would ruin all; and such offers don't occur every

I acquiesced in this observation, and inquired how he intended to
proceed. At this question he rubbed his chin, and said, "Why, truly,
I must be obliged to some friend or other--do you know nobody that
would lend me a small sum for a day or two?" I assured him, I was
such an utter stranger in London, that I did not believe I could
borrow a guinea if my life depended upon it. "No!" said he, "that's
hard--that's bard! I wish I had anything to pawn--upon my soul,
you have got excellent linen (feeling the sleeve of my shirt); how
many shirts of that kind have you got?" I answered, "Six ruffled,
and six plain." At which he testified great surprise, and declared
that no gentleman ought to have more than four. "How many d'ye
think I have got?" continued he; "but this and another, as I hope
to be saved! and I dare say we shall be able to raise a good sum out
of your superfluity: let me see--let me see--each of these shirts
is worth sixteen shillings at a moderate computation--now, suppose we
pawn them for half-price--eight times eight is sixty-four, that's
three pounds four; that will do--give me your hand." "Softly,
softly, Mr. Jackson," said I; "don't dispose of my linen without
my consent: first pay me the crown you owe me, and then we shall
talk of other matters." He protested that he had not above one
shilling in his pocket, but that he would pay me out of the first
of the money raised from the shirts. This piece of assurance
incensed me so much that I swore I would not part with him until I
had received satisfaction for what I had lent him; and as for the
shirts, I would not pawn one of them to save him from the gallows.

At this expression he laughed aloud, and then complained it was
very hard that I should refuse him a trifle that would infallibly
enable him not only to make his own fortune but mine also. "You
talk of pawning my shirts," said I; "suppose you should sell this
hanger, Mr. Jackson. I believe it would fetch a good round sum."
"No, hang it!" said he, "I can't appear decently without my hanger,
lest it should go." However, seeing me inflexible with regard to
my linen, he at length unbuckled his hanger, and, showing me the
three blue balls, desired me to carry it thither and pawn it for
two guineas. This office I would by no means have performed, had I
seen any likelihood of having my money otherwise; but not willing,
out of a piece of false delicacy, to neglect the only opportunity
I should perhaps ever have, I ventured into a pawnbroker's shop,
where I demanded two guineas on the pledge, in the name of Thomas
Williams. "Two guineas!" said the pawnbroker, looking at the hanger;
"this piece of goods has been here several times before for thirty
shillings: however, since I believe the gentleman to whom it belongs
will redeem it, he shall have what he wants; and accordingly he
paid me the money, which I carried to the house where I had left
Jackson; and, calling for change, counted out to him seven and thirty
shillings, reserving the other five for myself." After looking at
the money some time, he said, "Well! it don't signify--this won't
do my business; so you may as well take half-a-guinea, or a whole
one, as the five shillings you have kept." I thanked him kindly,
but refused to accept of any more than was my due, because I had
no prospect of repaying it. Upon which declaration, he stared in
my face, and told me, I was excessively raw or I would not talk in
that manner. "Upon my word," cried he, "I have a very bad opinion
of a young fellow who won't borrow of his friend when he is in
want--'tis the sign of a sneaking spirit. Come, come, Random, give
me back the five shillings, and take this half-guinea, and if ever
you are able to pay me, I believe you will: if not, I shall never
ask it."

When I reflected upon my present necessity, I suffered myself to
be persuaded, and after making my acknowledgments to Mr. Jackson,
who offered to treat me with a play, I returned to my lodgings with
a much better opinion of this gentleman than I had in the morning;
and at night imparted my day's adventure to Strap, who rejoiced
at my good luck, saying, "I told you if he was a Scotchman you was
safe enough--and who knows but this marriage may make us all. You
have heard, I suppose, as how a countryman of ours, a journeyman
baker, ran away with a great lady of this town, and now keeps
his coach. I say nothing; but yesterday morning as I was shaving
a gentleman at his own house, there was a young lady in the room,
and she threw so many sheep's eyes at a certain person whom I shall
not name, that my heart went knock, knock, knock, like a fulling
mill, and my hand sh-sh-shook so much that I sliced a piece of
skin off the gentleman's nose; whereby he uttered a deadly oath,
and was going to horsewhip me, when she prevented him, and made my
peace. Is not a journeyman barber as good as a journeyman baker?
The only difference is, the baker uses flour for the belly, and
the barber rises it for the head: and as the head is a more noble
member than the belly, so is a barber more noble than a baker--for
what's the belly without the head? Besides, I am told, he could
neither read nor write; now you know I can do both, and moreover,
speak Latin--but I will say no more, for I despise vanity--nothing
is more vain than vanity." With these words, he pulled out of his
pocket a wax-candle`s end, which he applied to his forehead; and
upon examination, I found had combed his own hair over the toupee
of his wig, and was, indeed, in his whole dress, become a very
smart shaver. I congratulated him on his prospect with a satirical
smile, which he understood very well; and, shaking his head, observed,
I had very little faith, but the truth would come to light in spite
of my incredulity.


I go to Surgeons' Hall, when I meet Mr. Jackson-am examined--a
fierce dispute arises between two of the examiners--Jackson disguises
himself to attract respect--irises himself to attract respect--is
detected--in hazard of being sent to Bridewell--he treats us
at a Tavern--carries us to a Night-house--A troublesome adventure
there--we are committed to the Round-house--carried before a
Justice--his behaviour

With the assistance of this faithful adherent, who gave me almost
all the money he earned, I preserved my half-guinea entire till the
day of examination, when I went with a quaking heart to Surgeons'
Hall, in order to undergo that ceremony. Among a crowd of young
fellows who walked in the outward hall, I perceived Mr. Jackson,
to whom I immediately went up; and, inquiring into the state of
his love affair, understood it was still undetermined, by reason
of his friend's absence, and the delay of the recall at Chatham,
which put it out of his power to bring it to a conclusion. I then
asked what his business was in this place; he replied, he was resolved
to have two strings to his bow, that in case the one failed, he
might use the other; and, with this view, he was to pass that night
for a higher qualification. At that instant, a young fellow came
out from the place of examination, with a pale countenance, his
lip quivering, and his looks as wild as if he had seen a ghost. He
no sooner appeared, than we all flocked about him with the utmost
eagerness to know what reception he had met with; which, after some
pause, he described, recounting all the questions they had asked,
with the answers he made. In this manner we obliged no less
than twelve to recapitulate, which, now the danger was past, they
did with pleasure, before it fell to my lot: at length the beadle
called my name, with a voice that made me tremble. However, there
was no remedy. I was conducted into a large hall, where I saw about
a dozen of grim faces sitting at a long table: one of whom bade me
come forward, in such an imperious tone, that I was actually for
a minute or two bereft of my senses. The first question he put to
me was, "Where was you born?" To which I answered, "In Scotland."
"In Scotland," said he; "I know that very well--we have scarce any
other countrymen to examine here--you Scotchmen have overspread us
of late as the locusts did Egypt. I ask you in what part of Scotland
was you born?" I named the place of my nativity, which he had
never heard of; he then proceeded to interrogate me about my age,
the town where I served my time, with the term of my apprenticeship;
and when I informed him that I served three years only, he fell into
a violent passion, swore it was a shame and a scandal to send such
raw boys into the world as surgeons; that it was great presumption
in me, and all affront upon the English, to pretend sufficient
skill in my business, having served so short a time, when every
apprentice in England was bound seven years at least: that my friends
would have done better if they had made me a weaver or shoemaker;
but their pride would have me a gentleman, he supposed, at any
rate, and their poverty could not afford the necessary education.
This exordium did not at all contribute to the recovery of my
spirits; but on the contrary, reduced me to such a situation that
I was scarcely able to stand; which being perceived by a plump
gentleman who sat opposite to me with a skull before him, he said,
Mr. Snarler was too severe upon the young man; and, turning towards
me, told me I need not be afraid, for nobody would do me any harm:
then, bidding me take time to recollect myself, he examined me,
touching the operation of the trepan, and was very well satisfied
with my answers. The next person who questioned me was a wag,
who began by asking if I had ever seen amputation performed; and
I replying in the affirmative, he shook his head and said, "What!
upon a dead subject, I suppose?" "If," continued he, "during an
engagement at sea, a man should be brought to you with his head shot
off, how would you behave?" After some hesitation, I owned such a
case had never come under my observation, neither did I remember
to have seen any method of care proposed for such an accident, in
any of the systems of surgery I had perused.

Whether it was owing to the simplicity of my answer, or the archness
of the question, I know not, but every member at the board deigned
to smile, except Mr. Snarler, who seemed to have very little of
the 'animal risible' in his constitution. The facetious member,
encouraged by the success of his last joke, went on thus: "Suppose
you was called to a patient of a plethoric habit, who has been
bruised by a fall, what would you do?" I answered, "I would bleed
him immediately." "What!" said he, "before you had tied up his arm?"
But this stroke of wit not answering his expectation, he desired
me to advance to the gentleman who sat next him; and who, with a
pert air, asked, what method of cure I would follow in wounds of
the intestines. I repeated the method of care as it is prescribed
by the best chirurgical writers, which he heard to an end, and then
said with a supercilious smile, "So you think with such treatment
the patient might recover?" I told him I saw nothing to make me
think otherwise. "That may be," resumed he; "I won't answer for your
foresight, but did you ever know a case of this kind succeed?" I
acknowledged I did not, and was about to tell him I had never seen
a wounded intestine; but he stopt me, by saying, with some precipitation,
"Nor never will! I affirm that all wounds of the intestines, whether
great or small, are mortal." "Pardon me, brother," says the fat
gentleman, "there is very good authority--" Here he was interrupted
by the other with--"Sir, excuse me, I despise all authority--Nullius
in verbo--I stand on my own bottom." "But sir, sir," replied his
antagonist, "the reason of the thing shows--" "A fig for reason,"
cries this sufficient member; "I laugh at reason; give me ocular
demonstratio." The corpulent gentleman began to wax warm, and
observed, that no man acquainted with the anatomy of the parts
would advance such an extravagant assertion. This inuendo enraged
the other so much, that he started up, and in a furious tone
exclaimed: "What, Sir! do you question my knowledge in anatomy?"

By this time, all the examiners had espoused the opinion of one or
other of the disputants, and raised their voices altogether, when
the chairman commanded silence, and ordered me to withdraw. In
less than a quarter of an hour, I was called in again, received my
qualification scaled up, and was ordered to pay five shillings. I
laid down my half-guinea upon the table, and stood some time, until
one of them bade me begone; to this I replied, "I will when I have
got my change:" upon which another threw me five shillings and
sixpence, saying, I should not be a true Scotchman if I went away
without my change. I was afterwards obliged to give three shillings
and sixpence to the beadles, and a shilling to an old woman who
swept the hall: this disbursement sank my finances to thirteen-pence
halfpenny, with which I was sneaking off, when Jackson, perceiving
it, came up to me, and begged I would tarry for him, and he would
accompany me to the other end of the town, as soon as his examination
should be over. I could not refuse this to a person that was so
much my friend; but I was astonished at the change of his dress
which was varied in half-an-hour from what I have already described
to a very grotesque fashion. His head was covered with an old
smoke tie-wig that did not boast one crooked hair, and a slouched
hat over it, which would have very well become a chimney-sweeper,
or a dustman; his neck was adorned with a black crape, the ends
of which he had twisted, and fixed in the button-hole of a shabby
greatcoat that wrapped up his whole body; his white silk stockings
were converted into black worsted hose: and his countenance was
rendered venerable by wrinkles, and a beard of his own painting.
When I expressed my surprise at this metamorphosis, he laughed,
and told me it was done by the advice and assistance of a friend,
who lived over the way, and would certainly produce something very
much to his advantage; for it gave him the appearance of age, which
never fails of attracting respect. I applauded his sagacity, and
waited with impatience for the effects of it. At length he was called
in; but whether the oddness of his appearance excited a curiosity
more than small in the board, or his behaviour was not suitable to
his figure, I know not, he was discovered to be an imposter, and
put into the hands of the beadle in order to be sent to Bridewell.
So that instead of seeing him come out with a cheerful countenance,
and a surgeon's qualification in his hand, I perceived him led
through the outer hall as a prisoner; and was very much alarmed,
and anxious to know the occasion; when he called with a lamentable
voice, and a piteous aspect to me, and some others who know him,
"For God's sake, gentlemen bear witness that I am the same individual
John Jackson who served as surgeon's second mate on board the
Elizabeth, or else I shall go to Bridewell!"

It would have been impossible for the most austere hermit that ever
lived to have refrained from laughing at his appearance and address:
we therefore indulged ourselves a good while at his expense, and
afterwards pleaded his cause so effectually with the beadle who
was gratified with half-a-crown, that the prisoner was dismissed,
and in a few moments renewed his former gaiety--swearing, since the
board had refused his money, he would spend every shilling before
he went to bed, in treating his friends; at the same time inviting
us all to favour him with our company. It was now ten o'clock at
night, and, as I had a great way to walk through streets that were
utterly unknown to me, I was prevailed on to be of their party, in
hopes he would afterwards accompany me to my lodgings, according
to his promise. He conducted me to his friend's house, who kept a
tavern over the way where we continued drinking punch, until the
liquor mounted up to our heads, and made us all extremely frolicsome.
I, in particular, was so much elevated, that nothing would serve
me but a wench; at which demand Jackson expressed much joy, and
assured me I should have my desire before we parted Accordingly, when
he had paid the reckoning, we sallied out, roaring and singing; and
were conducted by our leader to a place of nocturnal entertainment,
where Mr. Jackson's dress attracted the assiduities of two or three
nymphs, who loaded him with caresses, in return for the arrack
punch with which he treated them, till at length sleep began to
exert his power over us all, and our conductor called "To pay." When
the bill was brought, which amounted to twelve shillings, he put
his hand in his pocket, but might have saved himself the trouble,
for his purse was gone. This accident disconcerted him a good deal
at first; but after some recollection, he seized the two ladies who
sat by him, one in each hand, and swore if they did not immediately
restore his money he would charge a constable with them. The good
lady at the bar, seeing what passed, whispered something to the
drawer, who went out; and then with great composure, asked what
was the matter? Jackson told her he was robbed, and swore if she
refused him satisfaction, he would have her and her female friends
committed to Bridewell. "Robbed!" cried she, "robbed in my house!
Gentlemen and Ladies, I take you all to witness, this person has
scandalised my reputation." At that instant, seeing the constable
and watch enter, she proceeded "What! you must not only endeavour
by your false aspersions to ruin my character, but even commit
an assault upon my family! Mr. Constable, I charge you with this
uncivil person, who has been guilty of a riot here; I shall take
care and bring an action against him for defamation."

While I was reflecting on this melancholy event, which had made me
quite sober, one of the ladies, being piqued at some repartee that
passed between us, cried, "They are all concerned!" and desired
the constable to take us all into custody; an arrest which was
performed instantly, to the utter astonishment and despair of us
all, except Jackson, who having been often in such scrapes, was very
little concerned, and charged the constable, in his turn, with the
landlady and her whole bevy; upon which we were carried altogether
prisoners to the round-house, where Jackson after a word of comfort
to us, informed the constable of his being robbed, to which he said
he would swear next morning before the justice. In a little time
the constable, calling Jackson into another room, spoke to him
thus: "I perceive that you and your company are strangers, and am
very sorry for your being involved in such an ugly business. I have
known this woman a great while; she has kept a notorious house in
the neighbourhood this many years; and although often complained
of as a nuisance, still escapes through her interest with the
justices, to whom she and all of her employment pay contribution
quarterly for protection. As she charged me with you first, her
complaint will have the preference, and she can procure evidence
to swear whatsoever she shall please to desire of them; so that,
unless you can make it up before morning, you and your companions
may think yourselves happily quit for a month's hard labour in
Bridewell. Nay, if she should swear a robbery or an assault against
you, you will be committed to Newgate and tried at the next session
at the Old Bailey for your life." This last piece of information
had such an effect upon Jackson, that he agreed to make it up,
provided his money might be restored. The constable told him, that,
instead of retrieving what he had lost, he was pretty certain it
would cost him some more before they could come to any composition.
But, however, he had compassion on him, and would, if he pleased,
sound them about a mutual release. The unfortunate beau thanked
him for his friendship, and returning to us, acquainted us with the
substance of this dialogue; while the constable, desiring to speak
in private with our adversary, carried her into the next room, and

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