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The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett

Part 5 out of 10

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not present, would certainly have cooled myself to some purpose,
had I not perceived a moisture upon my thigh, as I endeavoured to
get out of my hammock: the appearance of this revived my hopes,
and I had reflection and resolution enough to take the advantage
of this favourable symptom, by tearing the shirt from my body, and
the sheets from my bed, and wrapping myself in a thick blanket,
in which inclosure, for about a quarter of an hour, felt all the
pains of hell: but it was not long before I was recompensed for
my suffering by a profuse sweat, that, bursting from the whole
surface of my skin, in less than two hours, relieved me from all
my complaints except that of weakness; and left me as hungry as a
kite. I enjoyed a very comfortable nap, after which I was regaling
myself with the agreeable reverie of future happiness, when I heard
Morgan, on the outside of the curtain, ask the sergeant if I was
alive still? "Alive!" cried the other, "God forbid he should be
otherwise! he has lain quiet these five hours, and I do not choose
to disturb him, for sleep will do him great service." "Ay," said
my fellow-mate, "he sleeps so sound (look you), that he will not
waken till the great trump plows--Cot be merciful to his soul. He
has paid his debt like an honest man--ay, and moreover, he is at
rest from all persecutions, and troubles, and afflictions, of which,
Cot knows, and I know, he had his own share--Ochree! Ochree! he
was a promising youth indeed!" So saying he groaned grievously,
and began to whine in such a manner, as persuaded me he had a real
friendship for me. The sergeant, alarmed at his words, came into
the berth, and, while he looked upon me, I smiled, and tipped him
the wink: he immediately guessed my meaning and remaining silent,
Morgan was confirmed in his opinion of my being dead; whereupon he
approached, with tears in his eyes, in order to indulge his grief
with a sight of the object: and I counterfeited death so well, by
fixing my eyes and dropping my under-jaw, that he said, "There he
lies, no petter than a lump of clay, Cot help me!" and observed,
by the distortion of my face, that I must have had a strong struggle.

I should not have been able to contain myself much longer, when
he began to perform the last duty of a friend, in closing my eyes
and my mouth, upon which I suddenly snapped at his fingers and
discomposed him so much that he started back, turned pale as ashes,
and stared like the picture of horror; although I could not help
laughing at his appearance, I was concerned for his situation, and
stretched out my hand, telling him I hoped to live and eat some
salmagundy of his making in England. It was some time before he
could recollect himself so far as to feel my pulse, and inquire
into the particulars of my disease; but when he found I had enjoyed
a favourable crisis, he congratulated me upon my good fortune; not
failing to ascribe it, under Cot, to the blister he had applied to
my back, at his last visit; which, by the bye, said he, must now
be removed and dressed; he was actually going to fetch dressings,
when I, feigning astonishment, said, "Bless me! sure you never
applied a blister to me--there is nothing on my back, I assure
you." But he could not be convinced till he had examined it, and
then endeavoured to conceal his confusion, by expressing his surprise
in finding the skin untouched and the plaster missing. In order
to excuse myself for paying so little regard to his prescription,
I pretended to have been insensible when it was put on, and to
have pulled it off afterwards in a fit of delirium. This apology
satisfied my friend, who, on this occasion, abated a good deal of
his stiffness in regard to punctilio; and as we were now safely
arrived at Jamaica, where I had the benefit of fresh provisions
and other refreshments, I recovered strength every day, and, in a
short time, my health and vigour were perfectly re-established.

When I got up at first, and was just able to crawl about the deck
with a staff in my hand, I met Doctor Mackshane, who passed by me
with a disdainful look, and did not vouchsafe to honour me with
one word. After him came Crampley, who, strutting up to me with a
fierce countenance, pronounced, "Here's fine discipline on-board,
when such lazy, skulking sons of bitches as you are allowed, on
pretence of sickness, to lollop at your ease, while your betters
are kept to hard duty!" The sight and behaviour of this malicious
scoundrel enraged me so much that I could scarce refrain from
laying my cudgel across his pate; but when I considered my present
feebleness, and the enemies I had in the ship, who wanted only a
pretence to ruin me, I restrained my passion, and contented myself
with telling him, I had not forgot his insolence and malice, and
that I hoped we should meet one day on shore. At this declaration
he grinned, shook his fist, and swore he longed for nothing more
than such an opportunity. Meanwhile our ship was ordered to be heaved
down, victualled, and watered, for her return to England; and our
captain, for some reason or other, not thinking it convenient for
him to revisit his native country at this time, exchanged with a
gentleman, who, on the other hand, wished for nothing so much as to
be safe without the tropic: all his care and tenderness of himself
being insufficient to preserve his complexion from the injuries of
the sun and weather.

Our tyrant having left the ship, and carried his favourite Mackshane
along with him, to my inexpressible satisfaction, our new commander
came on board in a ten-oared barge, overshadowed with a vast
umbrella, and appeared in everything the reverse of Oakum, being a
tall, thin young man, dressed in this manner: a white hat, garnished
with a red feather, adorned his head, from whence his hair flowed
upon his shoulders, in ringlets tied behind with a ribbon. His coat,
consisting of pink-coloured silk, lined with white, by the elegance
of the cut retired backward, as it were, to discover a white satin
waistcoat embroidered with gold, unbuttoned at the upper part to
display a brooch set with garnets, that glittered in the breast
of his shirt, which was of the finest cambric, edged with right
Mechlin: the knees of his crimson velvet breeches scarce descended
so low as to meet his silk stockings, which rose without spot or
wrinkle on his meagre legs, from shoes of blue Meroquin, studded with
diamond buckles that flamed forth rivals to the sun! A steel-hilted
sword, inlaid with gold, and decked with a knot of ribbon which
fell down in a rich tassel, equipped his side; and an amber-headed
cane hung dangling from his wrist. But the most remarkable parts
of his furniture were, a mask on his face, and white gloves on his
hands, which did not seem to be put on with an intention to be
pulled off occasionally, but were fixed with a curious ring on the
little finger of each hand.

In this garb, Captain Whiffle, for that was his name, took possession
of the ship, surrounded with a crowd of attendants, all of whom, in
their different degrees, seemed to be of their patron's disposition;
and the air was so impregnated with perfumes, that one may venture
to affirm the climate of Arabia Felix was not half so sweet-scented.
My fellow-mate, observing no surgeon among his train, thought he
had found an occasion too favourable for himself to be neglected;
and, remembering the old proverb, "Spare to speak, and spare to
speed," resolved to solicit the new captain's interest immediately,
before any other surgeon could be appointed for the ship. With this
view he repaired to the cabin in his ordinary dress, consisting of
a check shirt and trousers, a brown linen waistcoat, and a nightcap
of the same (neither of them very clean,) which, for his further
misfortune, happened to smell strong of tobacco. Entering without
any ceremony into this sacred place, he found Captain Whiffle
reposing upon a couch, with a wrapper of fine chintz about his
body, and a muslin cap bordered with lace about his head; and after
several low congees began in this manner: "Sir, I hope you will
forgive, and excuse, and pardon, the presumption of one who has
not the honour of being known to you, but who is, nevertheless
a shentleman porn and pred, and moreover has had misfortunes, Cot
help me, in the world."

Here he was interrupted by the captain, who, on seeing him, had
started up with great amazement, at the novelty of the apparition;
and, having recollected himself, pronounced with a look and tone
signifying disdain, curiosity and surprise, "Zauns! who art thou?"
"I am surgeon's first mate on board of this ship," replied Morgan:
"and I most vehemently desire and beseech you, with all submission,
to be pleased to condescend and vouchsafe to inquire into my
character, and my pehaviour, and my deserts, which, under Cot, I
hope, will entitle me to the vacancy of surgeon." As he proceeded
in his speech, he continued advancing towards the captain, whose
nostrils were no sooner saluted with the aromatic flavour that
exhaled from him, than he cried with great emotion, "Heaven preserve
me! I am suffocated! Fellow, fellow, away with thee! Curse thee,
fellow! Get thee gone! I shall be stunk to death!" At the noise of
his outcries, his servants ran into his apartment, and he accosted
them thus: "Villains! cut-throats! traitors! I am betrayed! I
am sacrificed! Will you not carry that monster away? or must I be
stifled with the stench of him? oh, oh!" With these interjections
he sank down upon his settee in a fit: his valet-de-chambre plied
him with a smelling-bottle, one footman chafed his temples with
Hungary water, another sprinkled the floor with spirits of lavender,
a third pushed Morgan out of the cabin; who coming to the place
where I was, sat down with a demure countenance and, according
to his custom, when he received any indignity which he durst not
revenge, began to sing a Welsh ditty.

I guessed he was under some agitation of spirits and desired to
know the cause; but, instead of answering me directly, he asked
with great emotion, if I thought him a monster and a stinkard? "A
monster and a stinkard!" said I, with some surprise: "did anybody
call you so?" "Cot is my judge," replied be, "Captain Fifle did
call me both; ay, and all the waters in the Tawy will not wash it
out of my remembrance. I do affirm and avouch, and maintain, with
my soul, and my pody, and my plood, look you, that I have no smells
apout me, but such as a Christian ought to have, except the effluvia
of tobacco, which is a cephalic, odoriferous, aromatic herb; and he
is a son of a mountain goat who says otherwise. As for my being a
minister, let that be as it is: I am as Cot was pleased to create
me, which, peradventure, is more than I shall ever aver of him
who gave me that title; for I will proclaim it before the world,
that he is disguised, and transfigured, and transmogrified, with
affectation and whimseys; and that he is more like a papoon than
of the human race."


Captain Whiffle sends for me--his situation described--his surgeon
arrives, prescribes for him, and puts him to bed--a bed is put
up for Mr. Simper contiguous to the state room, which, with other
parts of the captains behaviour, gives the ship's company a very
unfavourable idea of their commander--I am detained in the West
Indies by the admiral, and go on board of the Lizard sloop of war
in quality of surgeon's mate, where I make myself known to the
surgeon, who treats me very kindly--I go on shore, sell my ticket,
purchase necessaries, and, at my return on board, am surprised at
the sight of Crampley, who is appointed lieutenant of the sloop--we
sail on a cruise-take a prize in which I arrive at Port Morant
under the command of my messmate, with whom I live in great harmony

He was going on with an eulogium upon the captain, when I received
a message to clean myself, and go up to the great cabin: and with
this command I instantly complied, sweetening myself with rosewater
from the medicine chest. When I entered the room, I was ordered
to stand by the door, until Captain Whiffle had reconnoitered me
at a distance with a spy-glass. He, having consulted one sense in
this manner, bade me advance gradually, that his nose might have
intelligence before it could be much offended: I therefore approached
with great caution and success, and he was pleased to say, "Ay,
this creature is tolerable." I found him lolling on his couch with
a languishing air, his head supported by his valet-de-chambre, who
from time to time applied a smelling-bottle to his nose. "Vergette,"
said he in a squeaking tone, "dost think this wretch (meaning me)
will do me no injury? May I venture to submit my arm to him?" "Pon
my word," replied the valet, "I do tink dat dere be great occasion
for your honour losing a small quantite of blodt; and the young
man ave quelque chose of de bonne mine." "Well, then," said his
master, "I think I must venture." Then, addressing himself to me,
"Hast thou ever blooded anybody but brutes? But I need not ask thee,
for thou wilt tell me a most d--able lie," "Brutes, sir!" answered
I, pulling down his glove, in order to feel his pulse, "I never
meddle with brutes." "What the devil art thou about?" cried he,
"dost thou intend to twist off my hand? Gad's curse! my arm is
benumbed up to the very shoulder! Heaven have mercy upon me! must
I perish under the hands of savages? What an unfortunate dog was
I to come on board without my own surgeon, Mr. Simper." I craved
pardon for having handled him so roughly, and, with the utmost
care, and tenderness, tied up his arm with a fillet of silk. While
I was feeling for the vein, he desired to know how much blood I
intended to take from him, and, when I answered, "not above twelve
ounces," started up with a look full of horror, and bade me be gone,
swearing I had a design upon his life. Vergette appeased him with
difficulty, and, opening a bureau, took out a pair of scales, in
one of which was placed a small cup; and putting them into my hand,
told me, the captain never lost above an ounce and three drams at
one time.

While I prepared for this important evacuation, there came into
the cabin a young man gaily dressed, of a very delicate complexion
with a kind of languid smile on his face: which seemed to have been
rendered habitual by a long course of affectation. The captain no
sooner perceived him, than, rising hastily, he flew into his arms,
crying, "O, my dear Simper, I am excessively disordered! I have
been betrayed, frighted, murdered, by the negligence of my servants,
who suffered a beast, a mule, a bear, to surprise me, and stink
me into convulsions with the fumes of tobacco." Simper, who by
this time, I found, was obliged to act for the clearness of his
complexion, assumed an air of softness and sympathy, and lamented
with many tender expressions of sorrow, the sad accident that had
thrown him into that condition; then, feeling his patient's pulse
on the outside of his glove, gave it as his opinion, that his
disorder was entirely nervous, and that some drops of tincture of
castor, and liquid laudanum, would be of more service to him than
bleeding, by bridling the inordinate sallies of his spirits, and
composing the fermentation of his bile. I was therefore sent to
prepare this prescription, which was administered in a glass of sack
posset, after the captain had been put to bed, and orders sent to
the officers on the quarter-deck, to let nobody walk on that side
under which he lay.

While the captain enjoyed his repose the doctor watched over him,
and indeed became so necessary, that a cabin was made for him
contiguous to the state room where Whiffle slept, that he might be
at hand in case of accidents in the night. Next day, our commander
being happily recovered, gave orders that none of the lieutenants
should appear upon deck without a wig, sword, and ruffles; nor any
midshipman, or other petty officer, he seen with a check shirt or
dirty linen. He also prohibited any person whatever, except Simper
and his own servants, from coming into the great cabin without
first sending in to obtain leave. These singular regulations did not
prepossess the ship's company in his favour: but, on the contrary,
gave scandal an opportunity to be very busy with his character,
and accuse him of maintaining a correspondence with his surgeon
not fit to be named.

In a few weeks, our ship being under sailing orders, I was in hope
of revisiting my native country, in a very short time, when the
admiral's surgeon came on board, and, sending for Morgan and me to
the quarter-deck, gave us to understand there was a great scarcity
of surgeons in the West Indies; that he was commanded to detain
one mate out of every great ship that was bound for England; and
desired us to agree between ourselves, before the next day at that
hour, which of us should stay behind. We were thunderstruck at this
proposal, and stared at one another some time without speaking; at
length the Welshman broke silence, and offered to remain in the
West Indies, provided the admiral would give him a surgeon's warrant
immediately; but he was told there was no want of chief surgeons,
and that he must be contented with the station of mate, till
he should be further provided for in due course. Whereupon Morgan
flatly refused to quit the ship for which the commissioners of the
navy had appointed him; and the other told him as plainly, that
if we could not determine the affair by ourselves before to-morrow
morning, he must cast lots, and abide by his chance.

When I recalled to my remembrance the miseries I had undergone
in England, where I had not one friend to promote my interest,
or favour my advancement in the navy, and the same time reflected
on the present dearth of surgeons in the West Indies, and the
unhealthiness of the climate, which every day almost reduced the
number, I could not help thinking my success would be much more
certain and expeditious by my staying where I was, than by returning
to Europe. I therefore resolved to comply with a good grace, and next
day, when we were ordered to throw dice, told Morgan he needed not
trouble himself, for I would voluntarily submit to the admiral's
pleasure. This frank declaration was commended by the gentleman, who
assured me, it should not fare the worse with me for my resignation.
Indeed he was as good as his word, and that very afternoon procured
a warrant, appointing me surgeon's mate of the Lizard sloop-of-war,
which put me on a footing with every first mate in the service.

My ticket being made out, I put my chest and bedding on board a
canoe that lay alongside, and, having shook hands with my trusty
friend the sergeant, and honest Jack Rattlin, who was bound for
Greenwich Hospital, I took my leave of Morgan with many tears,
after we had exchanged our sleeve buttons as remembrances of each
other. Having presented my new warrant to the captain of the Lizard,
I inquired for the doctor, whom I no sooner saw than I recollected
him to be one of those young fellows with whom I had been committed
to the round-house, during our frolic with Jackson, as I have
related before. He received me with a good deal of courtesy, and,
when I put him in mind of our former acquaintance, expressed great
joy at seeing me again, and recommended me to an exceeding good
mess, composed of the gunner and master's mate. As there was not
one sick person in the ship, I got leave to go ashore next day with
the gunner, who recommended me to a Jew, that bought my ticket at
the rate of forty per cent discount; and, having furnished myself
with the necessaries I wanted, returned on board in the evening,
and, to my surprise, found my old antagonist Crampley walking
upon deck. Though I did not fear his enmity, I was shocked at his
appearance, and communicated my sentiments on that subject to Mr.
Tomlins the surgeon, who told me that Crampley, by dint of some
friends about the admiral, had procured a commission, constituting
him lieutenant on board the Lizard; and advised me, now he was my
superior officer, to behave with some respect towards him, or else
he would find a thousand opportunities of using me ill. This advice
was a bitter potion to me, whom pride and resentment had rendered
utterly incapable of the least submission to, or even of a
reconciliation with, the wretch who had, on many occasions, treated
me so inhumanly: however, I resolved to have as little connection
as possible with him, and to ingratiate myself as much as I could
with the rest of the officers, whose friendship might be a bulwark
to defend me from the attempts of his malice.

In less than a week we sailed on a cruise, and having weathered
the east end of the island, had the good fortune to take a Spanish
barcolongo, with her prize, which was an English ship bound
for Bristol, that sailed from Jamaica a fortnight before, without
convoy. All the prisoners who were well, we put onshore on the
north side of the island; the prizes were manned with Englishmen,
and the command of the barcolongo given to my friend the master's
mate, with orders to carry them into Port Morant, and there to
remain until the Lizard's cruise should be ended, at which time she
would touch at the same place in her way to Port Royal. With him
I was sent to attend the wounded Spaniards as well as Englishmen,
who amounted to sixteen, and to take care of them on shore in a
house that was to be hired as an hospital. This destination gave
me a great deal of pleasure, as I should, for some time, be freed
from the arrogance of Crampley, whose inveteracy against me had
already broken out on two or three occasions since he was become
a lieutenant. My messmate, who very much resembled my uncle, both
in figure and disposition, treated me on board of the prize with the
utmost civility and confidence: and, among other favours, made me
a present of a silver-hilted hanger, and a pair of pistols mounted
with the same metal, which fell to his share in plundering the
enemy. We arrived safely at Morant, and, going on shore, pitched
upon an empty storehouse; which we hired for the reception of
the wounded, who were brought to it next day, with beds and other
necessaries; and four of the ship's company appointed to attend
them and obey me.


A strange adventure--in consequence of which I am extremely
happy--Crampley does me in offices with the Captain; but his malice
is defeated by the good-nature and friendship of the surgeon--we
return to Port Royal--our Captain gets the command of a larger ship,
and is succeeded by an old man--Brayl is provided for--we receive
orders to sail for England

When my patients were all in a fair way, my companion and commander,
whose name was Brayl, carried me up the country to the house of a
rich planter, with whom he was acquainted, where we were sumptuously
entertained, and in the evening set out on our return to the ship.
When we had walked about a mile by moonlight, we perceived a
horseman behind us, who coming up, wished us good even, and asked
which way we went? His voice, which was quite familiar to me,
no sooner struck my ear, than in spite of all my resolution and
reflection, my hair bristled up, and I was seized with a violent
fit of trembling, which Brayl misinterpreting, bade me be under no
concern. I told him he was mistaken in the cause of my disorder;
and, addressing myself to the person on horseback said, "I could
have sworn by your voice, that you were a dear friend of mine, if
I had not been certain of his death." To this address, after some
pause, he replied, "There are many voices as well as faces that
resemble one another; but, pray, what was your friend's name." I
satisfied him in that particular, and gave a short detail of the
melancholy fate of Thompson, not without many sighs and some tears.
A silence ensued, which lasted some minutes, and then the conversation
turned on different subjects, till we arrived at a house on the road,
where the horseman alighted, and begged with so much earnestness
that we would go in and drink a bowl of punch with him, that we
could not resist. But, if I was alarmed at his voice, what must my
amazement be, when I discovered by the light the very person of my
lamented friend! Perceiving my confusion, which was extreme, he
clasped me in his arms, and bedewed my face with tears. It was
some time ere I recovered the use of my reason, overpowered with
this event, and longer still before I could speak. So that all
I was capable of was to return his embraces, and to mingle the
overflowings of my joy with his; whilst honest Brayl, affected
with the scene, wept as fast as either of us, and signified his
participation of our happiness by hugging us both, and capering
about the room like a madman. At length, I retrieved the use of my
tongue, and cried, "Is it possible! you can be my friend Thompson?
No certainly, alas! he was drowned; and I am now under the deception
of a dream!" He was at great pains to convince me of his being the
individual person whom I regretted, and bidding me sit down and
compose myself, promised to explain his sudden disappearance from
the Thunder, and to account for his being at present in the land
of the living. This task he acquitted himself of, after I had drunk
a glass of punch, and recollected my spirits, by informing us, that
with a determination to rid himself of a miserable existence, he
bad gone in the night-time to the head, while the ship was on her
way, from whence he slipped down as softly as he could, by the
bows into the sea, where, after he was heartily ducked, he began
to repent of his precipitation; and, as he could swim very well,
kept himself above water, in hopes of being taken up by some of the
ships astern; that, in this situation, he hailed a large vessel,
and begged to be taken in, but was answered that she was a heavy
sailer, and therefore they did not choose to lose time by bringing
to; however, they threw an old chest overboard for his convenience,
and told him, that some of the ships astern would certainly save
him; that no other vessel came within sight or cry of him for the
space of three hours, during which time he had the mortification
to find himself in the middle of the ocean alone, without other
support or resting-place, but what a few crazy boards afforded;
till at last be discerned a small sloop steering towards him, upon
which he set up his throat, and had the good fortune to be heard
and rescued from the dreary waste by their boat, which was hoisted
out on purpose.

"I was no sooner brought on board," continued he, "than I fainted,
and, when I recovered my senses, found myself in bed, regaled with
a most noisome smell of onions and cheese, which made me think at
first that I was in my own hammock, alongside of honest Morgan, and
that all which had passed was no more than a dream. Upon inquiry,
I understood that I was on board of a schooner belonging to Rhode
Island, bound for Jamaica, with a cargo of geese, pigs, onions,
and cheese, and that the master's name was Robertson, by birth a
North Briton, whom I knew at first sight to be an old sohoolfellow
of mine. When I discovered myself to him, he was transported with
surprise and joy, and begged to know the occasion of my misfortune,
which I did not think fit to disclose, because I knew his notions
with regard to religion were very severe and confined; therefore
contented myself with telling him I fell overboard by accident;
but made no scruple of explaining the nature of my disagreeable
station, and of acquainting him with my determined purpose never
to return to the Thunder man-of-war. Although he was not of my
opinion in that particular, knowing that I must lose my clothes and
what pay was due to me, unless I went back to my duty; yet, when
I described the circumstances of the hellish life I led under the
tyrannic sway of Oakum and Mackshane; and, among other grievances,
hinted a dissatisfaction at the irreligious deportment of my
shipmates, and the want of the true presbyterian gospel doctrine;
he changed his sentiments, and conjured me with great vehemence
and zeal to lay aside all thought of rising in the navy; and, that
he might show how much he had my interest at heart, undertook to
provide for me in some shape or other, before he should leave Jamaica.
This promise he performed to my heart's desire, by recommending me
to a gentleman of fortune, with whom I have lived ever since in
quality of surgeon and overseer to his plantations. He and his lady
are now at Kingston, so that I am, for the present, master of this
house, to which, from my soul, I bid you welcome, and hope you will
favour me with your company during the remaining part of the night."

I needed not a second invitation; but Mr. Brayl, who was a diligent
and excellent officer, could not be persuaded to sleep out of
the ship; however, he supped with us, and, after having drank a,
cheerful glass, set out for the vessel, which was not above three
miles from the place, escorted by a couple of stout negroes, whom.
Mr. Thompson ordered to conduct him. Never were two friends more
happy in the conversation of each other than we, for the time
it lasted. I related to him the particulars of our attempt upon
Carthagena, of which he bad heard but an imperfect account; and he
gratified me with a narration of every little incident of his life
since we parted. He assured me, it was with the utmost difficulty
he could resist his inclination of coming down to Port Royal, to
see Morgan and me, of whom he had heard no tidings since the day
of our separation: but that he was restrained by the fear of being
detained as a deserter. He told me that, when he heard my voice
in the dark, he was almost as much surprised as I was at seeing
him afterwards: and, in the confidence of friendship, disclosed a
passion he entertained for the only daughter of the gentleman with
whom he lived, who, by his description, was a very amiable young
lady, and did not disdain his addresses; that he was very much
favoured by her parents; and did not despair of obtaining their
consent to the match, which would at once render him independent
of the world. I congratulated him on his good fortune, which he
protested should never make him forget his friends; and, towards
morning, we betook ourselves to rest.

Next day he accompanied me to the ship, where Mr. Brayl entertained
him at dinner, and we having spent the afternoon together, he took
his leave of us in the evening, after he had forced upon me ten
pistoles, as a small token of his affection. In short, while he
stayed here, we saw one another every day, and generally ate at the
same table, which was plentifully supplied by him with all kinds
of poultry, butcher's meat, oranges, limes, lemons, pine-apples,
Madeira wine, and excellent rum; so that this small interval of
ten days was by far the most agreeable period of my life.

At length the Lizard arrived; and my patients being all fit for
duty, they and I were ordered on board of her, where I understood
from Mr. Tomlins that there was a shyness between the lieutenant
and him on my account; the rancorous villain having taken the
opportunity of my absence to fill the captain's ears with a thousand
scandalous stories to my prejudice; among other things affirming,
that I had been once transported for theft, and that when I was
in the Thunder man-of-war, I had been whipped for the same crime.
The surgeon, on the other hand, having heard my whole story from
my own mouth, defended me strenuously, and in the course of that
good-natured office recounted all the instances of Crampley's
malice against me while I remained on board of that ship. Which
declaration, while it satisfied the captain of my innocence, made
the lieutenant as much my defender's enemy as mine. The infernal
behaviour of Crampley, with regard to me, added such fuel to his
former resentment, that, at certain times, I was quite beside myself
with the desire of revenge, and was even tempted to pistol him on
the quarter-deck, though an infamous death must inevitably have been
my reward. But the surgeon, who was my confidant, argued against
such a desperate action so effectually, that I stifled the flame
which consumed me for the present, and resolved to wait for a more
convenient opportunity. In the meantime, that Mr. Tomlins might
be the more convinced of the wrongs I suffered by this fellow's
slander, I begged he would go and visit Mr. Thompson, whose wonderful
escape I had made him acquainted with, and inquire of him into the
particulars of my conduct, while he was my fellow-mate.

This request the surgeon complied with, more through curiosity to
see a person whose fate had been so extraordinary, than to confirm
his good opinion of me, which he assured me was already firmly
established. He therefore set out for the dwelling-place of my
friend, with a letter of introduction from me; and being received
with all the civility and kindness I expected, returned to the ship,
not only satisfied with my character beyond the power of doubt or
insinuation, but also charmed with the affability and conversation
of Thompson, who loaded him and me with presents of fresh stock,
liquors, and fruit. As he would not venture to come and see us
on board, lest Cramplay should know and detain him; when the time
of our departure approached, I obtained leave to go and bid him
farewell. After we had vowed an everlasting friendship, he pressed
upon me a purse, with four doubloons, which I refused as long
as I could without giving umbrage; and, having cordially embraced
each other, I returned on board, where I found a small box, with
a letter directed for me, to the care of Mr. Tomlins. Knowing the
superscription to be of Thompson's handwriting, I opened it with
some surprise, and learned that this generous friend, not content
with loading me with the presents already mentioned, had sent, for
my use and acceptance, half a dozen fine shirts, and as many linen
waistcoats and caps, with twelve pair of new thread stockings.
Being thus provided with money and all necessaries for the comfort
of life, I began to look upon myself as a gentleman of some
consequence, and felt my pride dilate a pace.

Next day we sailed for Port Royal, where we arrived safely with our
prizes; and, as there was nothing to do on board, I went ashore,
and having purchased a laced waistcoat, with some other clothes, at
a sale, made a swaggering figure for some days among the taverns,
where I ventured to play a little at hazard, and came off with
fifty pistoles in my pocket. Meanwhile our captain was promoted
to a ship of twenty guns, and the command of the Lizard given to
a man turned of fourscore, who had been lieutenant since the reign
of King William, and, notwithstanding his long service, would have
probably died in that station, had he not applied some prize-money
he had lately received, to make interest with his superiors. My
friend Brayl was also made an officer about the same time, after he
had served in quality of a midshipman and mate for five and twenty
years. Soon after these alterations, the admiral pitched upon our
ship to carry home dispatches for the ministry; and we set sail for
England, having first scrubbed her bottom, and taken in provision
and water for the occasion.


We depart for Europe--a misunderstanding arises between the Captain
and the Surgeon, through the scandalous aspersions of Crampley--the
Captain dies--Crampley tyrannises over the surgeon, who falls a
Victim for his Cruelty--I am also ill-used--the Ship strikes--the
behaviour of Crampley and the Seamen on that occasion---I get on
shore, challenge the Captain to single combat--am treacherously
knocked down, wounded, and robbed

Now that I could return to my native country in a creditable way,
I felt excessive pleasure in finding myself out of sight of that
fatal island, which has been the grave of so many Europeans: and,
as I was accommodated with everything to make the passage agreeable,
I resolved to enjoy myself as much as the insolence of Crampley would
permit. This insidious slanderer had found means already to cause
a misunderstanding between the surgeon and captain, who, by his age
and infirmities, was rendered intolerably peevish, his disposition
having also been soured by a long course of disappointments. He
had a particular aversion to all young men, especially to surgeons,
whom he considered unnecessary animals on board of a ship; and,
in consequence of these sentiments, never consulted the doctor,
notwithstanding his being seized with a violent fit of the gout
and gravel, but applied to a cask of Holland gin, which was his
sovereign prescription against all distempers: whether he was at
this time too sparing, or took an overdose of his cordial, certain
it is, he departed in the night, without any ceremony, which indeed
was a thing he always despised, and was found stiff next morning,
to the no small satisfaction of Crampley, who succeeded to the
command of the vessel. For that very reason, Mr. Tomlins and I had
no cause to rejoice at this event, fearing that the tyranny of our
new commander would now be as unlimited as his power. The first day
of his command justified our apprehensions: for, on pretence that
the decks were too much crowded, he ordered the surgeon's hencoops,
with all his fowls, to be thrown overboard; and at the same time
prohibited him and me from walking on the quarter-deck.

Mr. Tomlins could not help complaining of these injuries, and in
the course of his expostulation dropped some hasty words, of which
Crampley taking hold, confined him to his cabin, where, in a few
days, for want of air he was attacked by a fever, which soon put an
end to his life, after he had made his will, by which he bequeathed
all his estate, personal and real, to his sister, and left to me
his watch and instruments as memorials of his friendship. I was
penetrated with grief on this melancholy occasion; the more because
there was nobody on board to whom I could communicate my sorrows,
or of whom I could receive the least consolation or advice. Crampley
was so far from discovering the least remorse for his barbarity,
at the news of the surgeon's death, that he insulted his memory in
the most abusive manner, and affirmed he had poisoned himself out
of pure fear, dreading to be brought to a court-martial for mutiny;
for which reason he would not suffer the service of the dead to be
read over his body before it was thrown overboard.

Nothing but a speedy deliverance could have supported me under the
brutal sway of this bashaw, who, to render my life more irksome,
signified to my messmates a desire that I should be expelled from
their society. This was no sooner hinted, than they granted his
request; and I was fain to eat in a solitary manner by myself during
the rest of the passage, which, however, soon drew to a period.

We had been seven weeks at sea, when the gunner told the captain
that, by his reckoning, we must be in soundings, and desired he
would order the lead to be heaved. Crampley swore he did not know
how to keep the ship's way, for we were not within a hundred leagues
of soundings, and therefore he would not give himself the trouble
to cast the lead. Accordingly we continued our course all that
afternoon and night, without shortening sail, although the gunner
pretended to discover Scilly light; and next morning protested
in form against the captain's conduct, for which he was put in
confinement, We discovered no land all that day, and Crampley was
still so infatuated as to neglect sounding; but at three o'clock
in the morning the ship struck, and remained fast on a sand-bank.
This accident alarmed the whole crew; the boat was immediately
hoisted out, but as we could not discern which way the shore lay,
we were obliged to wait for daylight. In the meantime, the wind
increased, and the waves beat against the sloop with such violence,
that we expected she would have gone to pieces. The gunner was
released and consulted: he advised the captain to cut away the
mast, in order to lighten her; this expedient was performed without
success: the sailors, seeing things in a desperate situation,
according to custom, broke up the chests belonging to the officers,
dressed themselves in their clothes, drank their liquors without
ceremony, and drunkenness, tumult, and confusion ensued.

In the midst of this uproar, I went below to secure my own effects,
and found the carpenter's mate hewing down the purser's cabin with
his hatchet, whistling all the while with great composure. When I
asked his intention in so doing, he replied, very calmly, "I only
want to taste the purser's rum, that's all, master." At that instant
the purser coming down, and seeing his effects going to wreck,
complained bitterly of the injustice done to him, and asked the
fellow what occasion he had for liquor when, in all likelihood, he
would be in eternity in a few minutes. "All's one for that," said
plunderer, "let us live while we can." "Miserable wretch that thou
art!" cried the purser, "what must be thy lot in another world, if
thou diest in the commission of robbery?" "Why, hell, I suppose,"
replied the other, with great deliberation, while the purser fell
on his knees, and begged of Heaven that we might not all perish
for the sake of Jonas.

During this dialogue I clothed myself in my bed apparel, girded on
my hanger, stuck my pistols, loaded, in my belt, disposed of all
my valuable moveables about my person, and came upon deck with a
resolution of taking the first opportunity to get on shore, which,
when the day broke, appeared at the distance of three miles ahead.
Crampley, finding his efforts to get the ship off ineffectual,
determined to consult his own safety, by going into the boat, which
he had no sooner done, than the ship's company followed so fast,
that she would have sunk alongside, had not some one wiser than the
rest cut the rope and put off. But before this happened, I had made
several attempts to get in, and was always balked by the captain,
who was so eager in excluding me, that he did not mind the endeavours
of any other body. Enraged at this inhuman partiality, and seeing
the rope cut, I pulled one of my pistols from my belt, and cocking
it, swore I would shoot any man who would presume to obstruct my
entrance. So saying, I leaped with my full exertion, and got on
board of the boat with the loss of the skin of my shins. I chanced
in my descent to overturn Crampley, who no sooner got up than he
struck at me several times with a cutlass, and ordered the men to
throw me overboard; but they were too anxious about their own safety
to mind what he said. Though the boat was very deeply loaded, and
the sea terribly high, we made shift to get upon dry land in less
than an hour after we parted from the sloop. As soon as I set my
foot on terra firma, my indignation, which bad boiled so long within
me, broke out against Crampley, whom I immediately challenged to
single combat, presenting my pistols, that he might take his choice:
he took one without hesitation, and, before I could cock the other,
fired in my face, throwing the pistol after the shot. I felt myself
stunned, and imagining the bullet had entered my brain, discharged
mine as quick as possible, that I might not die unrevenged: then
flying upon my antagonist, knocked out several of his fore-teeth
with the butt-end of the piece, and would certainly have made an
end of him with that instrument, had he not disengaged himself,
and seized his cutlass, which he had given to his servant when he
received the pistol. Seeing him armed in this manner, I drew my
hanger, and, having flung my pistol at his head, closed with him
in a transport of fury, and thrust my weapon into his mouth, which
it enlarged on one side to his ear. Whether the smart of this wound
disconcerted him, or the unevenness of the ground made him reel, I
know not, but he staggered some paces back: I followed close, and
with one stroke cut the tendons of the back of his hand, Upon which
his cutlass dropped, and he remained defenceless. I know not with
what cruelty my rage might have inspired me, if I had not at that
instant been felled to the ground by a blow on the back part of
my head, which deprived me of all sensation. In this deplorable
situation, exposed to the rage of an incensed barbarian, and the
rapine of an inhuman crew, I remained for some time; and whether
any disputes arose among them during the state of my annihilation,
I cannot pretend to determine; but in one particular they seemed to
have been unanimous, and acted with equal dexterity and dispatch;
for when I recovered the use of my understanding, I found myself
alone in a desolate place, stripped of my clothes, money, watch,
buckles, and everything but my shoes, stockings, breeches and
shirt. What a discovery must this have been to me, who, but an
hour before, was worth sixty guineas in cash! I cursed the hour
of my birth, the parents that gave me being, the sea that did not
swallow me up, the poniard of the enemy, which could not find the
way to my heart, the villainy of those who had left me in that
miserable condition; and in the ecstacy of despair resolved to be
still where I was, and perish.


I get up and crawl into a barn, where I am in danger of perishing,
through the fear of the country people--their inhumanity--I am
succoured by a reputed witch--her story--her advice--she recommends
me as a valet to a single lady, whose character she explains

But as I lay ruminating, my passion insensibly abated; I considered
my situation in quite another light, from that in which it appeared
to me at first, and the result of my deliberation was to rise if I
could, and crawl to the next inhabited place for assistance. With
some difficulty I got upon my legs, and having examined my body,
found I had received no other injury than two large contused wounds,
one on the fore and another on the hinder part of my head, which
seemed to be occasioned by the same weapon, namely, the butt-end
of a pistol. I looked towards the sea, but could discern no remains
of the ship; so that I concluded she was gone to pieces, and that
those who remained in her had perished: but, as I afterwards learned,
the gunner, who had more sagacity than Crampley, observing that it
was flood when he left her, and that she would probably float at
high water, made no noise about getting on shore, but continued on
deck, in hopes of bringing her safe into some harbour, after her
commander should have deserted her, for which piece of service
he expected, no doubt, to be handsomely rewarded. This scheme he
accordingly executed, and was promised great things by the Admiralty
for saving his Majesty's ship: but I never heard he reaped the
fruits of his expectation. As for my own part, I directed my course
towards a small cottage I perceived, and in the road picked up a
seaman's old jacket, which I suppose the thief who dressed himself
in my clothes had thrown away: this was a very comfortable acquisition
to me, who was almost stiff with cold: I therefore put it on; and,
as my natural heat revived, my wounds, which had left off bleeding,
burst out afresh; so that, finding myself excessively exhausted,
I was about to lie down in the fields, when I discovered a barn on
my left hand, within a few yards of me; thither I made shift to
stagger, and finding the door open, went in, but saw nobody; however,
I threw myself upon a truss of straw, hoping to be soon relieved
by some person or other. I had not lain here many minutes, when I
saw a countryman come in with a pitchfork in his hand, which he was
upon the point of thrusting into the straw that concealed me, and
in all probability would have done my business, had I not uttered
a dreadful groan, after having essayed in vain to speak. This
melancholy note alarmed the clown, who started back, and discovering
a body all besmeared with blood, stood trembling, with the pitchfork
extended before him, his hair bristling up, his eyes staring, his
nostrils dilated, and his mouth wide open. At another time I should
have been much diverted by this figure, which preserved the same
attitude very near ten minutes, during which time I made many
unsuccessful efforts to implore his compassion and assistance; but my
tongue failed me, and my language was only a repetition of groans.
At length an old man arrived, who, seeing the other in such a
posture, cried, "Mercy upon en! the leaad's bewitched! why, Dick,
beest thou besayd thyself!" Dick, without moving his eyes from the
object that terrified him, replied, "O vather! vatber! here be
either the devil or a dead mon: I doant know which o'en, but a groans
woundily." The father, whose eyesight was none of the best, pulled
out his spectacles, and, having applied them to his nose reconnoitered
me over his son's shoulder: but no sooner did he behold me, than
he was seized with a fit of shaking, even more violent than Dick's,
and, with a broken accent, addressed me thus: "In the name of the
Vather, Zun, and Holy Ghost, I charge you, an you been Satan, to
be gone to the Red Zen; but an you be a moordered mon, speak, that
you may have a Christom burial."

As I was not in a condition to satisfy him in this particular, he
repeated his conjuration to no purpose, and they continued a good
while in the agonies of fear. At length the father proposed that
the son should draw nearer, and take a more distinct view of the
apparition; but Dick was of opinion that his father should advance
first, he being an old man past his labour and, if he received any
mischief, the loss would be the smaller; whereas he himself might
escape, and be useful, in his generation. This prudential reason
had no effect upon the senior, who still kept Dick between me and
him. In the meantime I endeavoured to raise one hand as a signal
of distress, but had only strength sufficient to produce a rustling
among the straw, which discomposed the young peasant so much, that
he sprang out at the door, and overthrew his father in his flight.
The old gentleman would not spend time in getting up, but crawled
backwards like a crab, with great speed, till he had got over
the threshold, mumbling exorcisms all the way. I was exceedingly
mortified to find myself in danger of perishing through the ignorance
and cowardice of these clowns; and felt my spirits decay apace,
when an old woman entered the barn, followed by the two fugitives
and with great intrepidity advanced to the place where I lay,
saying, "If it be the devil I fearen not, and for a dead mon a can
do us no harm." When she saw my condition, she cried, "Here be no
devil, but in your en fool's head. Here be a poor miserable wretch
bleeding to death, and if a dies, we must be at the charge of burying
him; therefore, Dick, go vetch the old wheelbarrow and put en in,
and carry en to goodman Hodge's backdoor; he is more able than we
to pay out money upon poor vagrants." Her advice was taken, and
immediately put in execution; I was rolled to the other farmer's door,
where I was tumbled out like a heap of dung; and should certainly
have fallen a prey to the hogs, if my groans had not disturbed
the family, and brought some of them out to view my situation. But
Hodge resembled the Jew more than the good Samaritan, and ordered
me to be carried to the house of the parson, whose business it was
to practise as well as to preach charity; observing that it was
sufficient for him to pay his quota towards the maintenance of
the poor belonging to his own parish. When I was set down at the
vicar's gate, he fell into a mighty passion, and threatened to
excommunicate him who sent, as well as those who brought me, unless
they would move me immediately to another place. About this time
I fainted with the fatigue I had undergone, and afterwards understood
that I was bandied from door to door through a whole village, nobody
having humanity enough to administer the least relief to me, Until
an old woman, who was suspected of witchcraft by the neighbourhood,
hearing of my distress, received me into her house, and, having
dressed my wounds, brought me to myself with cordials of her own
preparing. I was treated with great care and tenderness by this
grave matron, who, after I had recovered some strength, desired to
know the particulars of my last disaster. This piece of satisfaction
I could not refuse to one who had saved my life, therefore related
all my adventures without exaggeration or reserve. She seemed
surprised at the vicissitudes I had undergone, and drew a happy
presage of my future life from my past suffering, then launched out
into the praise of adversity, with so much ardour and good sense,
that I concluded she was a person who had seen better days, and
conceived a longing desire to hear her story. She perceived my drift
by some words I dropped, and smiling told me, there was nothing
either entertaining or extraordinary in the course of her fortune;
but, however, she would communicate it to me, in consideration of
the confidence I had reposed in her. "It is of little consequence,"
said she, "to tell the names of my parents, who are dead many
years ago; let it suffice to assure you, they were wealthy, and
had no other child than me; so that I was looked upon as heiress to
a considerable estate, and teased with addresses on that account.
Among the number of my admirers, there was a young gentleman of no
fortune, whose sole dependence was on his promotion in the army, in
which, at that time, he bore a lieutenant's commission. I conceived
an affection for this amiable officer, which, in a short time,
increased to a violent passion. and without entering into minute
circumstances, married him privately. We had not enjoyed one another
long in stolen interviews, when he was ordered with his regiment
to Flanders; but, before he set out, it was agreed between us, that
we should declare our marriage to my father by letter, and implore
his pardon for the step we had taken without his approbation. This
discovery was made while I was abroad visiting, and just as I was
about to return home, I received a letter from my father, importing
that, since I had acted so undutifully and meanly as to marry
a beggar, without his privity or consent, to the disgrace of his
family as well as the disappointment of his hopes, he renounced me
to the miserable fate I had entailed upon myself, and charged me
never to set foot within his doors again. This rigid sentence was
confirmed by my mother, who, in a postscript, gave me to understand
that her sentiments were exactly conformable to those of my father,
and that I might save myself the trouble of making any applications,
for her resolutions were unalterable. Thunderstruck with my evil
fortune I called a coach, and drove to my husband's lodgings, where
I found him waiting the event of his letter. Though he could easily
divine by my looks the issue of his declaration, he read with great
steadiness the epistle I had received; and with a smile full of
tenderness, which I shall never forget, embraced me, saying, "I
believe the good lady your mother might have spared herself the
trouble of the last part of her postscript. Well, my dear Betty,
you must lay aside all thoughts of a coach, till I can procure the
command of a regiment." This unconcerned behaviour, while it enabled
me to support my reverse of fortune, at the same time endeared
him to me the more, by convincing me of his disinterested views in
espousing me. I was next day boarded in company with the wife of
another officer, who had long been the friend and confidant of my
husband, at a village not far from London, where they parted with
us in the most melting manner, went to Flanders, and were killed
in sight of one another at the battle of the Wood.

"Why should I tire you with a description of our unutterable
sorrow at the fatal news of this event, the remembrance of which
now fills my aged eyes with tears! When our grief subsided a little,
and reflection came to our aid, we found ourselves deserted by the
whole world, and in danger of perishing by want; whereupon we made
application for the pension, and were put upon the list. Then,
vowing eternal friendship, sold our jewels and superfluous clothes,
retired to this place (which is in the county of Sussex) bought
this little house, where we lived many years in a solitary manner,
indulging our mutual sorrow, till it pleased Heaven to call away
my companion two years ago; since which time I have lingered out
an unhappy being, in hopes of a speedy dissolution, when I promise
myself the eternal reward of all my cares. In the meantime," continued
she, "I must inform you of the character I bear among my neighbours.
My conversation being different from that of the inhabitants of
the village, my recluse way of life, my skill in curing distempers,
which I acquired from books since I settled here, and lastly,
my age having made the common people look upon me as something
preternatural, and I am actually, at this hour, believed to be
a witch. The parson of the parish, whose acquaintance I have not
been at much pains to cultivate, taking umbrage at my supposed
disrespect, has contributed not a little towards the confirmation
of this opinion, by dropping certain hints to my prejudice among
the vulgar, who are also very much scandalised at my entertaining
this poor tabby cat with the collar about her neck, which was a
favourite of my deceased companion."

The whole behaviour of this venerable person was so primitive,
innocent, sensible, and humane, that I contracted a filial respect
for her, and begged her advice with regard to my future conduct,
as soon as I was in a condition to act for myself. She dissuaded
me from a design I had formed of travelling to Louder, in hopes of
retrieving my clothes and pay, by returning to my ship, which by
this time I read in the newspaper was safely arrived in the River
Thames: "because," said she, "you run the hazard of being treated
not only as a deserter in quitting the sloop, but also as a mutineer,
in assaulting your commanding officer, to the malice of whose revenge
you will moreover be exposed." She then promised to recommend me,
as servant to a single lady of her acquaintance, who lived in the
neighbourhood with her nephew, who was a young foxhunter of great
fortune, where I might be very happy, provided I could bear with
the disposition and manners of my mistress, which were somewhat
whimsical and particular. But, above all things, she counselled
me to conceal my story, the knowledge of which would effectually
poison my entertainment; for it was a maxim, among most people of
condition, that no gentleman ought to be admitted into a family
as a domestic, lest he become lazy, and insolent. I was fain to
embrace this humble proposal, because my affairs were desperate;
and in a few days was hired by this lady, to serve in quality of
her footman, having been represented by my hostess as a young man
who was bred up to the sea by his relations against his will, and
had suffered shipwreck, which had increased his disgust to that
way of life so much, that he rather chose to go to service on
shore, than enter himself on board of any other ship. Before I took
possession of my new place, she gave me a sketch of my mistress's
character, that I might know better how to regulate my conduct.

"Your lady," said she, "is a maiden of forty years, not so remarkable
for her beauty as her learning and taste, which is famous all over
the country. Indeed, she is a perfect female virtuoso, and so eager
after the pursuit of knowledge that she neglects her person even
to a degree of sluttishness; this negligence, together with her
contempt of the male part of the creation, gives her nephew no great
concern, as by these means he will probably keep her fortune, which
is considerable. in the family. He therefore permits her to live
in her own way, which is something extraordinary, and gratifies her
in all her whimsical desires. Her apartment is at some distance from
the other inhabited parts of the house; and consists of a dining-room,
bedchamber, and study; she keeps a cook maid, a waiting-woman, and
footman, of her own, and seldom eats or converses with any of the
family but her niece, who is a very lovely creature, and humours
her aunt often to the prejudice of her own health by sitting up
with her whole nights together; for your mistress is too much of
a philosopher to be swayed by the custom of the world, and never
sleeps nor eats like other people. Among other odd notions, she
professes the principles of Rosicrucius, and believes the earth,
air, and sea, are inhabited by invisible beings, with whom it
is possible for the human species to entertain correspondence and
intimacy, on the easy condition of living chaste. As she hopes one
day to be admitted into an acquaintance of this kind, she no sooner
heard of me and my cat, than she paid me a visit, with a view,
as she has since owned, to be introduced to my familiar; and was
greatly mortified to find herself disappointed in her expectation.
Being by this visionary turn of mind abstracted as it were from
the world, she cannot advert to the common occurrences of life;
and therefore is frequently so absent as to commit very strange
mistakes and extravagancies, which you will do well to rectify and
repair, as your prudence shall suggest."


My Reception by that Lady--I become enamoured of Narcissa--recount
the particulars of my last misfortune-acquire the good opinion of
my Mistress--an Account of the young Squire--I am made acquainted with
more particulars of Narcissa's Situation--conceive a mortal hatred
against Sir Timothy--examine my Lady's library and performances--her
extravagant behaviour

Fraught with these useful instructions, I repaired to the place
of her habitation, and was introduced by the waiting-woman to the
presence of my lady, who had not before seen me. She sat in her
study, with one foot on the ground, and the other upon a high stool
at some distance from her seat; her sandy locks hung down, in a
disorder I cannot call beautiful, from her head, which was deprived
of its coif, for the benefit of scratching with one hand, while
she held the stump of a pen in the other. Her forehead was high and
wrinkled; her eyes were large, gray, and prominent; her nose was
long, and aquiline: her mouth of vast capacity, her visage meagre
and freckled, and her chin peaked like a shoemaker's paring knife;
her upper lip contained a large quantity of plain Spanish, which,
by continual falling, had embroidered her neck, that was not
naturally very white, and the breast of her gown, that flowed loose
about her with a negligence that was truly poetic, discovering linen
that was very fine, and, to all appearance, never washed but in
Castalian streams. Around her lay heaps of books, globes, quadrants,
telescopes, and other learned apparatus; her snuff-box stood at
her right hand: at her left hand lay her handkerchief, sufficiently
used, and a convenience to spit in appeared on one side of her
chair. She being in a reverie when we entered, the maid did not think
proper to disturb her; so that we waited some minutes unobserved,
during which time she bit the quill several times, altered
her position, made many wry faces, and, at length, with an air of
triumph, repeated aloud:

"Nor dare th'immortal gods my rage oppose!"

Having committed her success to paper, she turned towards the
door, and perceiving us, cried, "What's the matter?" "Here's the
young man," replied my conductress, "whom Mrs. Sagely recommended
as a footman to your ladyship." On this information she stared in
my face for a considerable time, and then asked my name, which I
thought proper to conceal under that of John Brown. After having
surveyed me with a curious eye, she broke out into, "O! ay, thou
wast shipwrecked, I remember. Whether didst thou come on shore on
the back of a whale or a dolphin?" To this I answered, I had swam
ashore without any assistance. Then she demanded to know if I had
ever been at the Hellespont, and swam from Sestos to Abydos. I
replied in the negative; upon which she bade the maid order a suit
of new livery for me, and instruct me in the articles of my duty:
so she spit in her snuff-box, and wiped her nose with her cap,
which lay on the table, instead of a handkerchief.

We returned to the kitchen, where I was regaled by the maids, who
seemed to vie with each other in expressing their regard for me;
and from them I understood, that my business consisted in cleaning
knives and forks, laying the cloth, waiting at table, carrying
messages, and attending my lady when she went abroad. There was
a very good suit of livery in the house, which had belonged to my
predecessor deceased, and it fitted me exactly; so that there was
no occasion for employing a tailor on my account. I had not been
long equipped in this manner, when my lady's bell rung; upon which, I
ran up stairs, and found her stalking about the room in her shift
and under petticoat only; I would immediately have retired as became
me, but she bade me come in, and air a clean shift for her; which
operation I having performed with some backwardness, she put it on
before me without any ceremony, and I verily believe was ignorant
of my sex all that time, as being quite absorbed in contemplation.
About four o'clock in the afternoon I was ordered to lay the cloth,
and place two covers, which I understood were for my mistress
and her niece, whom I had not as yet seen. Though I was not very
dexterous at this work, I performed it pretty well for a beginner,
and, when dinner was upon the table, saw my mistress approach,
accompanied by the young lady, whose name for the present shall
be Narcissa. So much sweetness appeared in the countenance and
carriage of this amiable apparition, that my heart was captivated
at first sight, and while dinner lasted, I gazed upon her without
intermission. Her age seemed to be seventeen, her stature tall,
her shape unexceptionable, her hair, that fell down upon her ivory
neck in ringlets, black as jet; her arched eyebrows of the same
colour; her eyes piercing, yet tender; her lips of the consistence
and hue of cherries; her complexion clear, delicate and healthy;
her aspect noble, ingenuous, and humane; and the whole person so
ravishingly delightful, that it was impossible for any creature
endued with sensibility, to see without admiring, and admire without
loving her to excess. I began to curse the servile station that
placed me so far beneath the regard of this idol of my adoration!
and yet I blessed my fate, that enabled me to enjoy daily the sight
of so much perfection! When she spoke I listened with pleasure;
but when she spoke to me, my soul was thrilled with an extacy of
tumultuous joy. I was even so happy as to be the subject of their
conversation; for Narcissa, having observed me, said to her aunt,
"I see your new footman is come." Then addressing herself to me,
asked, with ineffable complacency, if I was the person who had been
so cruelly used by robbers? When I had satisfied her in this; she
expressed a desire of knowing the other particulars of my fortune,
both before and since my being shipwrecked: hereupon (as Mrs. Sagely
had counselled me) I told her that I had been bound apprentice
to the master of a ship, contrary to my inclination, which ship
had foundered at sea; that I and four more, who chanced to be on
deck when she went down, made shift to swim to the shore, when my
companions, after having overpowered me, stripped me to the shirt,
and left me, as they imagined, dead of the wounds I received in my
own defence. Then I related the circumstances of being found in a
barn, with the inhuman treatment I met with from the country people
and parson; the description of which, I perceived, drew tears from
the charming creature's eyes. When I had finished my recital, my
mistress, said, "Ma foi! le garcon est bien fait!" To which opinion
Narcissa assented, with a compliment to my understanding, in the
same language, that flattered my vanity extremely.

The conversation, among other subjects, turned upon the young
squire, whom my lady inquired after under the title of the Savage;
and was informed by her niece that he was still in bed, repairing
the fatigue of last night's debauch, and recruiting strength and
spirits to undergo a fox chase to-morrow morning, in company with
Sir Timothy Thicket, Squire Bumper, and a great many other gentlemen
of the same stamp, whom he had invited on that occasion! so that
by daybreak the whole house would be in an uproar. This was a very
disagreeable piece of news to the virtuoso, who protested she would
stuff her ears with cotton when she went to bed, and take a dose
of opium to make her sleep the more sound, that she might not be
disturbed and distracted by the clamour of the brutes.

When their dinner was over, I and my fellow servants sat down to
ours in the kitchen, where I understood that Sir Timothy Thicket was
a wealthy knight in the neighbourhood, between whom and Narcissa a
match had been projected by her brother, who promised at the same
time to espouse Sir Timothy's sister; by which means, as their
fortunes were pretty equal, the young ladies would be provided
for, and their brothers be never the poorer; but that the ladies
did not concur in the scheme, each of them entertaining a hearty
contempt for the person allotted to her for a husband by this
agreement. This information begat in me a mortal aversion to Sir
Timothy, whom I looked upon as my rival, and cursed in my heart
for his presumption.

Next morning, by daybreak, being awakened by the noise of the
hunters and hounds, I rose to view the cavalcade, and had a sight
of my competitor, whose accomplishments (the estate excluded) did
not seem brilliant enough to give me much uneasiness with respect
to Narcissa, who, I flattered myself, was not to be won by such
qualifications as he was master of, either as to person or mind.
My mistress, notwithstanding her precaution, was so much disturbed
by her nephew's company, that she did not rise till five o'clock
in the afternoon; so that I had an opportunity of examining her
study at leisure, to which examination I was strongly prompted by
my curiosity. Here I found a thousand scraps of her own poetry,
consisting of three, four, ten, twelve, and twenty lines, on
an infinity of subjects, which, as whim inspired, she had begun,
without constancy or capacity to bring to any degree of composition:
but, what was very extraordinary in a female poet, there was not
the least mention made of love in any of her performances. I counted
fragments of five tragedies, the titles of which were "The Stern
Philosopher," "The Double," "The Sacrilegious Traitor," "The Fall
of Lucifer," and "The Last Day." From whence I gathered, that her
disposition was gloomy, and her imagination delighted with objects
of horror. Her library was composed of the best English historians,
poets, and philosophers; of all the French critics and poets, and
of a few books in Italian, chiefly poetry, at the head of which were
Tasso and Ariosto, pretty much used. Besides these, translations
of the classics into French, but not one book in Greek or Latin;
a circumstance that discovered her ignorance in these languages.

After having taken a full view of this collection, I retired, and at
the usual time was preparing to lay the cloth, when I was told by
the maid that her mistress was still in bed, and had been so affected
with the notes of the hounds in the morning, that she actually
believed herself a hare beset by the hunters, and begged a few
greens to munch for breakfast. When I expressed my surprise in this
unaccountable imagination she gave me to understand that her lady
was very much subject to whims of this nature; sometimes fancying
herself an animal, sometimes a piece of furniture, during which
conceited transformations it was very dangerous to come near her,
especially when she represented a beast; for that lately, in the
character of a cat, she had flown at her, and scratched her face
in a terrible manner: that some months ago, she prophesied the
general conflagration was at hand, and nothing would be able to
quench it but her water, which therefore she kept so long, that her
life was in danger, and she must needs have died of the retention,
had they not found an expedient to make her evacuate, by kindling
a bonfire under her chamber window and persuading her that the house
was in flames: upon which, with great deliberation, she bade them
bring all the tubs and vessels they could find to be filled for
the preservation of the house, into one of which she immediately
discharged the cause of her distemper. I was also informed that
nothing contributed so much to the recovery of her reason as music,
which was always administered on those occasions by Narcissa, who
played perfectly well on the harpsichord, and to whom she (the maid)
was just then going to intimate her aunt's disorder.

She was no sooner gone than I was summoned by the bell to my lady's
chamber, where I found her sitting squat on her hands on the floor,
in the manner of puss when she listens to the outcries of her
pursuers. When I appeared, she started up with an alarmed look,
and sprang to the other side of the room to avoid me, whom, without
doubt, she mistook for a beagle thirsting after her life. Perceiving
her extreme confusion, I retired, and on the staircase met the
adorable Narcissa coming up, to whom I imparted the situation of my
mistress; she said not a word, but smiling with unspeakable grace,
went into her aunt's apartment, and in a little time my ears were
ravished with the efforts of her skill. She accompanied the instrument
with a voice so sweet and melodious, that I did not wonder at the
surprising change it produced on the spirits of my mistress which
composed to peace and sober reflection.

About seven o'clock, the hunters arrived with the skins of two foxes
and one badger, carried before them as trophies of their success;
and when they were about to sit down to dinner (or supper) Sir
Timothy Thicket desired that Narcissa would honour the table with
her presence; but this request, notwithstanding her brother's
threats and entreaties, she refused, on pretence of attending her
aunt, who was indisposed; so I enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing
my rival mortified: but this disappointment made no great impression
on him, who consoled himself with the bottle, of which the whole
company became so enamoured that, after a most horrid uproar of
laughing, singing, swearing, and fighting, they were all carried to
bed in a state of utter oblivion. My duty being altogether detached
from the squire and his family, I led a pretty easy and comfortable
life, drinking daily intoxicating draughts of love from the charms
of Narcissa, which brightened on my contemplation every day more
and more. Inglorious as my station was, I became blind to my own
unworthiness, and even conceived hopes of one day enjoying this amiable
creature, whose, affability greatly encouraged these presumptuous


My mistress is surprised at my learning--communicates her performances
to me--I impart some of mine to her--am mortified at her faint
praise--Narcissa approves of my conduct--I gain an involuntary
conquest over the cookwench and dairymaid--their mutual resentment
and insinuations--the jealousy of their lovers

During this season of love and tranquillity, my muse, which had lain
dormant so long, awoke, and produced several small performances on
the subject of my flame. But as it concerned me nearly to remain
undiscovered in my character and sentiments, I was under a necessity
of mortifying my desire of praise, by confining my works to my own
perusal and applause. In the meantime I strove to insinuate myself
into the good opinion of both ladies; and succeeded so well, by
my diligence and dutiful behaviour, that in a little time I was at
least a favourite servant; and frequently enjoyed the satisfaction
of hearing myself mentioned in French and Italian, with some
degree of warmth and surprise by the dear object of all my wishes,
as a person who had so much of the gentleman in my appearance and
discourse, that she could not for her soul treat me like a common
lacquey. My prudence and modesty were not long proof against these
bewitching compliments. One day, while I waited at dinner, the
conversation turned upon a knotty passage of Tasso's Gierusalem, which,
it seems, had puzzled them both: after a great many unsatisfactory
conjectures, my mistress, taking the book out of her pocket, turned
up the place in question, and read the sentence over and over without
success; at length, despairing of finding the author's meaning, she
turned to me, saying, "Come hither, Bruno; let us see what fortune
will do for us: I will interpret to thee what goes before, and what
follows this obscure paragraph, the particular words of which I
will also explain, that thou mayst, by comparing one with another,
guess the sense of that which perplexes us." I was too vain
to let slip this opportunity of displaying my talents; therefore,
without hesitation, read and explained the whole of that which had
disconcerted them, to the utter astonishment of both. Narcissa's
face and lovely neck were overspread with blushes, from which I
drew a favourable opinion, while her aunt, after having stared at
me a good while with a look of amazement, exclaimed, "In the name
of heaven who art thou?" I told her I had picked up a smattering
of Italian, during a voyage up the Straits. At this explanation
she shook her head, and observed that no smatterer could read as
I had done. She then desired to know if I understood French. To
which question I answered in the affirmative. She asked if I was
acquainted with the Latin and Greek? I replied, "A little." "Oho!"
continued she, "and with philosophy and mathematics, I suppose?"
I owned I knew something of each. Then she repeated her stare and
interrogation. I began to repent of my vanity, and in order to
repair the fault I committed, said, it was not to be wondered at
if I had a tolerable education, for learning was so cheap in my
country, that every peasant was a scholar; but, I hoped her Ladyship
would think my understanding no exception to my character. "No,
no, God forbid." But during the rest of the time they sat at table,
they behaved with remarkable reserve.

This alteration gave me great uneasiness; and I passed the night
without sleep, in melancholy reflections on the vanity of young men,
which prompts them to commit so many foolish actions, contrary to
their own sober judgment. Next day, however, instead of profiting
by this self-condemnation, I yielded still more to the dictates
of the principle I had endeavoured to chastise, and if fortune had
not befriended me more than prudence could expect, I should have
been treated with the contempt it deserved. After breakfast my
lady, who was a true author, bade me follow her into the study,
where she expressed herself thus: "Since you are so learned, you
cannot be void of taste; therefore I am to desire your opinion of
a small performance in poetry, which I lately composed. You must
know that I have planned a tragedy, the subject of which shall be,
the murder of a prince before the altar, where he is busy at his
devotions. After the deed is perpetrated, the regicide will harangue
the people with the bloody dagger in his hand; and I have already
composed a speech, which, I think, will suit the character extremely.
Here it is." Then, taking up a scrap of paper, she read, with
violent emphasis and gesture, as follows:--

"Thus have I sent the simple King to hell,
Without or coffin, shroud, or passing bell:
To me what are divine and human laws?
I court no sanction but my own applause!
Rapes, robberies, treasons, yield my soul delight,
And human carnage gratifies my sight:
I drag the parent by the hoary hair,
And toss the sprawling infant on the spear,
While the fond mother's cries regale my ear.
I fight, I vanquish, murder friends and foes;
Nor dare the immortal gods my rage oppose."

Though I did great violence to my understanding in praising this
unnatural rhapsody, I nevertheless extolled it as a production
that of itself deserved immortal fame; and besought her ladyship
to bless the world with the fruits of those uncommon talents Heaven
had bestowed upon her. She smiled with a look of self-complacency,
and encouraged by the incense I had offered, communicated all her
poetical works which I applauded, one by one, with as little candour
as I had shown at first. Satiated with my flattery, which I hope
my situation justified, she could not in conscience refuse me an
opportunity of shining in my turn: and, therefore, after a compliment
to my nice discernment and taste, observed, that doubtless I must
have produced something in that way myself, which she desired to
see. This was temptation I could by no means resist. I owned that
while I was at college I wrote some detached pieces, at the desire
of a friend who was in love; and at her request repeated the
following verses, which indeed my love for Narcissa had inspired:--

On Celia,

Playing on the harpsichord and singing.

When Sappho struck the quivering wire,
The throbbing breast was all on fire:
And when she raised the vocal lay,
The captive soul was charm'd away.

But had the nymph possessed with these
Thy softer, chaster, power to please;
Thy beauteous air of sprightly youth,
Thy native smiles of artless truth;

The worm of grief had never preyed
On the forsaken love-sick maid:
Nor had she mourn'd a hapless flame,
Nor dash'd on rocks her tender frame.

My mistress paid me a cold compliment on the versification, which,
she said, was elegant enough, but, the subject beneath the pen of
a true poet. I was extremely nettled at her indifference, and looked
at Narcissa, who by this time had joined us, for her approbation;
but she declined giving her opinion, protesting she was no judge
of these matters; so that I was forced to retire very much balked
in my expectation, which was generally a little too sanguine. In
the afternoon, however, the waiting-maid assured me that Narcissa
had expressed her approbation of my performance with great warmth,
and desired her to procure a copy of it as for herself, that she
(Narcissa) might have an opportunity to peruse it at pleasure.
I was elated to an extravagant pitch at this intelligence, and
immediately transcribed a fair copy of my Ode, which was carried
to the dear charmer, together with another on the same subject, as

Thy fatal shaft unerring move;
I bow before thine altar, Love!
I feel thou soft resistless flame
Glide swift through all my vital frame!

For while I gaze my bosom glows,
My blood in tides impetuous flows;
Hope, fear, and joy alternate roll,
And floods of transports 'whelm my soul!

My faltering tongue attempts in vain
In soothing murmurs to complain;
My tongue some secret magic ties,
My murmurs sink in broken sighs.

Condemn'd to nurse eternal care,
And ever drop the silent tear,
Unheard I mourn, unknown I sigh,
Unfriended live, unpitied die!

Whether or not Narcissa discovered my passion, I could not learn from
her behaviour, which, though always benevolent to me was henceforth
more reserved and less cheerful. While my thoughts aspired to a
sphere so far above me, I had unwittingly made a conquest of the
cookwench and dairymaid, who became so jealous of each other that,
if their sentiments had been refined by education, it is probable
one or other of them would have had recourse to poison or steel to
be avenged of her rival; but, as their minds were happily adapted
to their humble station, their mutual enmity was confined to scolding
and fistcuffs, in which exercise they were both well skilled. My
good fortune did not long remain a secret; for it was disclosed by
the frequent broils of these heroines, who kept no decorum in their
encounters. The coachman and gardener, who paid their devoirs to
my admirers, each to his respective choice, alarmed at my success,
laid their heads together, in order to concert n plan of revenge;
and the former, having been educated at the academy at Tottenham
Court, undertook to challenge me to single combat. He accordingly,
with many opprobrious invectives, bade me defiance, and offered
to box me for twenty guineas. I told him that, although I believed
myself a match for him even at that work I would not descend so far
below the dignity of a gentleman as to fight like a porter; but if
he had anything to say to me, I was his man at blunderbuss, musket,
pistol, sword, hatchet, spit, cleaver, fork, or needle; nay,
I swore, that should he give his tongue any more saucy liberties
at my expense, I would crop his ears without any ceremony. This
rhodomontade, delivered with a stern countenance and resolute tone,
had the desired effect upon my antagonist, who, with some confusion,
sneaked off, and gave his friend an account of his reception.

The story, taking air among the servants, procured for me the title
of Gentleman John, with which I was sometimes honoured, even by my
mistress and Narcissa, who had been informed of the whole affair
by the chambermaid. In the meantime, the rival queens expressed
their passion by all the ways in their power: the cook entertained
me with choice bits, the dairymaid with strokings: the first would
often encourage me to declare myself, by complimenting me upon my
courage and learning, and observing, that if she had a husband like
me, to maintain order and keep accounts, she could make a great deal
of money, by setting up an eating-house in London for gentlemen's
servants on board wages. The other courted my affection by showing
her own importance, and telling me that many a substantial farmer
in the neighbourhood would be glad to marry her, but she was resolved
to please her eye, if she should plague her heart. Then she would
launch out into the praise of my proper person, and say, she was
sure I would make a good husband, for I was very good-natured. I
began to be uneasy at the importunities of these inamoratas, whom,
at another time perhaps, I might have pleased without the disagreeable
sauce of matrimony, but, at present, my whole soul was engrossed
by Narcissa; and I could not bear the thoughts of doing anything
derogatory to the passion I entertained for her.


Narcissa being in danger from the brutality of Sir Timothy, is
rescued by me, who revenge myself on my rival--I declare my passion,
and retreat to the seaside--am surrounded by smugglers, and carried
to Boulogne--find my Uncle Lieutenant Bowling in great distress,
and relieve him--our conversation

At certain intervals my ambition would revive; I would despise myself
for my tame resignation to my sordid fate, and revolve a hundred
schemes for assuming the character of a gentleman, to which I
thought myself entitled by birth and education. In these fruitless
suggestions time stole away unperceived, and I had already remained
eight months in the station of a footman, when an accident happened
that put an end to my servitude, and, for the present, banished
all hopes of succeeding in my love.

Narcissa went one day to visit Miss Thicket, who lived with her
brother within less than a mile of our house, and was persuaded to
walk home in the cool of the evening, accompanied by Sir Timothy,
who, having a good deal of the brute in him, was instigated to use
some unbecoming familiarities with her, encouraged by the solitariness
of a field through which they passed. The lovely creature was
incensed at his rude behaviour for which she reproached him in such
a manner that he lost all regard to decency, and actually offered
violence to this pattern of innocence and beauty. But Heaven
would not suffer so much goodness to be violated, and sent me, who,
passing by accident near the place, was alarmed with her cries,
for her succour. What were the emotions of my soul, when I beheld
Narcissa almost sinking beneath the brutal force of this satyr! I
flew like lightning to her rescue, and he, perceiving me, quitted
his prey, and drew his hanger to chastise my presumption. My
indignation was too high to admit one thought of fear, so that,
rushing upon him, I struck his weapon out of his hand, and used my
cudgel so successfully that he fell to the ground, and lay, to all
appearance, without sense. Then I turned to Narcissa, who had swooned,
and sitting down by her, gently raised her head, and supported it
on my bosom, while, with my hand around her waist, I kept her in
that position. My soul was thrilled with tumultuous joy, at feeling
the object of my dearest wishes within my arms; and, while she lay
insensible, I could not refrain from applying my cheeks to hers,
and ravishing a kiss. In a little time the blood began to revisit
her face, she opened her enchanting eyes, and, having recollected
her late situation, said, with a look full of tender acknowledgment,
"Dear John, I am eternally obliged to you!" So saying she made an
effort to rise, in which I assisted her, and she proceeded to the
house, leaning upon me all the way. I was a thousand times tempted
by this opportunity to declare my passion, but the dread of
disobliging her restrained my tongue. We had not moved a hundred
paces from the scene of her distress, when I perceived Sir Timothy
rise and walk homeward--a circumstance which, though it gave me
some satisfaction, inasmuch as I thereby knew I had not killed him,
filled me with just apprehension of his resentment, which I found
myself in no condition to withstand; especially when I considered
his intimacy with our squire, to whom I knew he could justify himself
for what he had done, by imputing it to his love, and desiring his
brother Bruin to take the same liberty with his sister, without
any fear of offence.

When we arrived at the house, Narcissa assured me she would exert
all her influence in protecting me from the revenge of Thicket, and
likewise engage her aunt in my favour, At the same time, pulling
out her purse, offered it as a small consideration for the service
I had done her. But I stood too much upon the punctilios of love
to incur the least suspicion of being mercenary, and refused the
present, by saying I had merited nothing by barely doing my duty.
She seemed astonished at my disinterestedness, and blushed: I felt
the same suffusion, and, with a downcast eye and broken accent,
told her I had one request to make, which, if her generosity would
grant, I should think myself fully recompensed, for an age of misery.
She changed colour at this preamble, and, with great confusion,
replied, she hoped my good sense would hinder me from asking
anything she was bound in honour to refuse, and therefore bade me
signify my desire. Upon which I kneeled, and engaged to kiss her
hand. She immediately, with an averted look, stretched it out:
I imprinted on it an ardent kiss, and, bathing it with my tears,
cried, "Dear Madam, I am an unfortunate gentleman, and love you
to distraction, but would have died a thousand deaths rather than
make this declaration under such a servile appearance, were I not
determined to yield to the rigour of my fate, to fly from your
bewitching presence, and bury my presumptuous passion in eternal
silence." With these words I rose, and went away before she could
recover her spirits so far as to make any reply.

My first care was to go and consult Mrs. Sagely, with whom I had
entertained a friendly correspondence ever since I left her house.
When she understood my situation, the good woman, with real concern,
condoled with me on my unhappy fate, and approved of my resolution
to leave the country, as being perfectly well acquainted with the
barbarous disposition of my rival, "who, by this time," said she,
"has no doubt meditated a scheme of revenge. Indeed, I cannot see
how you will be able to elude his vengeance; being himself in the
commission, he will immediately grant warrants for apprehending
you; and, as almost all the people in this country are dependent
on him or his friend, it will be impossible for you to find shelter
among them. If you should be apprehended, he will commit you to
jail, where you may possibly in great misery languish till the next
assizes, and then be transported for assaulting a magistrate."

While she thus warned me of my danger, we heard a knocking
at the door, which threw us both into great consternation, as in
all probability, it was occasioned by my pursuers; whereupon this
generous old lady, putting two guineas into my hand, with tears in
her eyes, bade me, for God's sake, get out at the back-door and
consult my safety as Providence should direct me. There was no
time for deliberation. I followed her advice, and escaped by the
benefit of a dark night to the seaside, where, while I ruminated on
my next excursion, I was all of a sudden surrounded by armed men,
who, having bound my hands and feet, bade me make no noise on pain
of being shot, and carried me on board of a vessel, which I soon
perceived to be a smuggling cutter. This discovery gave me some
satisfaction at first, because I concluded myself safe from the
resentment of Sir Timothy; but, when I found myself in the hands
of ruffians, who threatened to execute me for a spy, I would have
thought myself happily quit for a year's imprisonment, or even
transportation, It was in vain for me to protest my innocence: I
could not persuade them that I had taken a solitary walk to their
haunt, at such an hour, merely for my own amusement; and I did
not think it my interest to disclose the true cause of my retreat,
because I was afraid they would have made their peace with justice
by surrendering me to the penalty of the law. What confirmed their
suspicion was, the appearance of a custom-house yacht, which gave
them chase, and had well nigh made a prize of their vessel; when they
were delivered from their fears by a thick fog, which effectually
screened them, and favoured their arrival at Boulogne. But, before
they got out of sight of their pursuer, they held a council of
war about me, and some of the most ferocious among them would have
thrown me overboard as a traitor who had betrayed them to their
enemies; but others, more considerate, alleged, that if they put
me to death, and should afterwards be taken, they could expect
no mercy from the legislature, which would never pardon outlawry
aggravated by murder. It was therefore determined by a plurality
of votes, that I should be set on shore in France, and left to
find my way back to England, as I should think proper, this being
punishment sufficient for the bare suspicion of a crime in itself
not capital.

Although this favourable determination gave me great pleasure, the
apprehension of being robbed would not suffer me to be perfectly
at ease. To prevent this calamity, as soon as I was untied, in
consequence of the aforesaid decision, I tore a small hole in one
of my stockings, into which I dropped six guineas, reserving half
a piece and some silver in my pocket, that, finding something, they
might not be tempted to make any further inquiry. This was a very
necessary precaution, for, when we came within sight of the French
shore, one of the smugglers told me, I must pay for my passage.
To this declaration I replied, that my passage was none of my
own seeking; therefore they could not expect a reward from me for
transporting me into a strange country by force. "D-me!" said the
outlaw, "none of your palaver; but let me see what money you have
got." Ss saying, he thrust his hand into my pocket without any
ceremony, and emptied it of the contents; then, casting an eye
at my hat and wig, which captivated his fancy, he took them off,
clapping his own on my head, declared, that a fair exchange was no
robbery. I was fain to put up with this bargain, which was by no
means favourable to me; and a little while after we went all on
shore together.

I resolved to take my leave of those desperadoes without much
ceremony, when one of them cautioned me against appearing to their
prejudice if ever I returned to England, unless I had a mind to be
murdered; for which service, he assured me, the gang never wanted
agents. I promised to observe his advice, and departed for the
Upper Town, where I inquired for a cabaret, or public-house, into
which I went, with an intention of taking some refreshment. In the
kitchen, five Dutch sailors sat at breakfast with a large loaf, a
firkin of butter, and a keg of brandy, the bung of which they often
applied to their mouths with great perseverance and satisfaction.
At some distance from them I perceived another person in the same
garb, sitting in a pensive solitary manner, entertaining himself
with a whiff of tobacco, from the stump of a pipe as black as jet.
The appearance of distress never failed to attract my regard and
compassion. I approached this forlorn tar with a view to offer him
my assistance, and, notwithstanding the alteration of dress and
disguise of a long beard, I discovered in him my long lost and
lamented uncle and benefactor, Lieutenant Bowling! Good Heaven!
what were the agitations of my soul, between the joy of finding
again such a valuable friend, and the sorrow of seeing him in such
a low condition! The tears gushed down my cheeks; I stood motionless
and silent for some time. At length, recovering the use of speech,
I exclaimed, "Gracious God! Mr. Bowling!" My uncle no sooner heard
his name mentioned, than he started up, crying, with some surprise,
"Holla!" and, after having looked at me steadfastly, without being
able to recollect me, said, "Did you call me, brother," I told
him I had something extraordinary to communicate, and desired him
to give me the hearing for a few minutes in another room; but he
would by no means consent to this proposal, saying, "Avast there,
friend: none of your tricks upon travellers;--if you have anything
to say to me, do it above board;--you need not be afraid of being
overheard;--here are none who understand our lingo." Though I was loth
to discover myself before company, I could no longer refrain from
telling him I was his own nephew, Roderick Random. On this information,
he considered me with great earnestness and astonishment, and,
recalling my features, which, though enlarged, were not entirely
altered since he had seen me, came up, and shook me by the hand very
cordially, protesting he was glad to see me well. After some pause,
he went on thus; "And yet, my lad, I am sorry to see you under
such colours; the more so, as it is not in my power, at present, to
change them for the better, times being very hard with me," With
these words I could perceive a tear trickle down his furrowed cheek,
which affected me so munch that I wept bitterly.

Imagining my sorrow was the effect of my own misfortunes, he comforted
me with observing, that life was a voyage in which we must expect
to meet with all weathers; sometimes was calm, sometimes rough; that
a fair gale often succeeded a storm; that the wind did not always
sit one way, and that despair signified nothing; that resolution
and skill were better than a stout vessel: for why? because
they require no carpenter, and grow stronger the more labour they
undergo. I dried up my tears, which I assured him were not shed
for my own distress, but for his, and begged leave to accompany
him into another room, where we could converse more at our ease.
There I recounted to him the ungenerous usage I had met with from
Potion; at which relation he started up, stalked across the room
three or four times in a great hurry, and, grasping his cudgel,
cried, "I would I were alongside of him--that's all--I would I
were alongside of him!" I then gave him a detail of my adventures
and sufferings, which affected him more than I could have imagined;
and concluded with telling him that Captain Oakun was still alive,
and that he might return to England when he would to solicit his
affairs, without danger or molestation. He was wonderfully pleased
with this piece of information, of which, however, he said he
could not at present avail himself, for want of money to pay for
his passage to London. This objection I soon removed, by putting
five guineas into his hand, and telling him I thought myself extremely
happy in having an opportunity of manifesting my gratitude to him
in his necessity. But it was with the utmost difficulty I could
prevail upon him to accept of two, which he affirmed were more than
sufficient to defray the necessary expense.

After this friendly contest was over, he proposed we should have
a mess of something; "For," said he, "it has been banyan day with
me a great while. You must know I was shipwrecked, five days ago,
near a place called Lisieux, in company with those Dutchmen who
are now drinking below; and having but little money when I came
ashore, it was soon spent, because I let them have share and share
while it lasted. Howsomever, I should have remembered the old saying,
every hog his own apple; for when they found my hold unstowed,
they went all hands to shooling and begging; and, because I would
not take a spell at the same duty, refused to give me the least
assistance; so that I have not broke bread these two days." I was
shocked at the extremity of his distress, and ordered some bread,
cheese, and wine, to be brought immediately, to allay his hunger,
until a fricassee of chickens could be prepared. When he had
recruited his spirits with this homely fare, I desired to know
the particulars of his peregrination since the accident at Cape
Tiberoon, which were briefly these: The money he had about him being
all spent at Port Louis, the civility and hospitality of the French
cooled to such a degree, that he was obliged to list on board one
of their king's ships as a common foremast man, to prevent himself
from starving on shore. In this situation he continued two years,
during which time he had acquired some knowledge of their language,
and the reputation of a good seaman; the ship he belonged to was
ordered home to France, where she was laid up as unfit for service,
and he was received on board one of Monsieur D'Antin's squadron,
in quality of quartermaster; which office he performed in a voyage
to the West Indies, where he engaged with our ship, as before related;
but his conscience upbraiding him for serving the one enemies of
his country, he quitted the ship at the same place where he first
listed, and got to Curacoa in a Dutch vessel; there he bargained
with a skipper, bound to Europe, to work for his passage to Holland,
from whence he was in hopes of hearing from his friends in England;
but was cast away, as he mentioned before, on the French coast,
and must have been reduced to the necessity of travelling on foot
to Holland, and begging for his subsistence on the road, or of
entering on board of another French man-of-war, at the hazard of
being treated as a deserter, if Providence had not sent me to his
succour. "And now, my lad," continued he, "I think I shall steer
my course directly to London, where I do not doubt of being replaced,
and of having the R taken off me by the Lords of the Admiralty,
to whom I intend to write a petition, setting forth my case; if
I succeed, I shall have wherewithal to give you some assistance,
because, when I left the ship, I had two years' pay due to me,
therefore I desire to know whither you are bound: and besides,
perhaps, I may have interest enough to procure a warrant appointing
you surgeon's mate of the ship to which I shall belong--for the
beadle of the Admiralty is my good friend: and he and one of the
under clerks are sworn brothers, and that under clerk has a good
deal to say with one of the upper clerks, who is very well known
to the under secretary, who, upon his recommendation, I hope, will
recommend my affair to the first secretary; and he again will speak
to one of the lords in my behalf; so that you see I do not want
friends to assist me on occasion. As for the fellow Craampley, thof
I know him not, I am sure he is neither seaman nor officer, by what
you have told me, or else he could never be so much mistaken in
his reckoning, as to run the ship on shore on the coast of Sussex
before he believed himself in soundings; neither, when that accident
happened, would he have left the ship until she had been stove to
pieces, especially when the tide was making; wherefore, by this time,
I do suppose, he has been tried by a court-martial, and executed
for his cowardice and misconduct."

I could not help smiling at the description of my uncle's ladder,
by which he proposed to climb to the attention of the board
of admiralty; and, though I knew the world too well to confide in
such dependence myself, I would not discourage him with doubts,
but asked if he had no friend in London, who would advance a small
sum of money to enable him to appear as he ought, and make a small
present to the under secretary, who might possibly dispatch his
business the sooner on that account. He scratched his head, and after
some recollection, replied, "Why, yes, I believe Daniel Whipcord,
the ship-chandler in Wapping, would not refuse me such a small
matter. I know I can have what credit I want for lodging, liquor,
and clothes; but as to money, I won't be positive. Had honest Block
been living, I should not have been at loss." I was heartily sorry
to find a worthy man so destitute of friends, when he had such need
of them, and looked upon my own situation as less miserable than
his, because I was better acquainted with the selfishness and roguery
of mankind, consequently less liable to disappointment and imposition.


He takes his passage in a cutter for Deal--we are accosted by a
Priest, who proves to be a Scotchman--his profession on friendship--he
is affronted by the Lieutenant, who afterwards appeases him
by submission--my uncle embarks--I am introduced by a Priest to a
Capuchin, in whose company I set out for Paris--the character of
my fellow traveller--on adventure on the road--I am shocked at his

When our repast was ended, we walked down to the harbour, where we
found a cutter that was to sail for Deal in the evening, and Mr.
Bowling agreed for his passage. In the meantime, we sauntered about
the town to satisfy our curiosity, our conversation turning on the
subject of my designs, which were not as yet fixed: neither can it
be supposed that my mind was at case, when I found myself reduced
almost to extreme poverty, in the midst of foreigners, among whom
I had not one acquaintance to advise or befriend me. My uncle was
sensible of my forlorn condition, and pressed me to accompany him
to England, where he did not doubt of finding some sort of provision
for me; but besides the other reasons I had for avoiding that
kingdom, I looked upon it, at this time, as the worst country in the
universe for a poor honest man to live in; and therefore determined
to remain in France, at all events.

I was confirmed in this resolution by a reverend priest, who, passing
by at this time, and overhearing us speak English, accosted us in
the same language, telling us he was our countryman, and wishing it
might be in his power to do us any service. We thanked this grave
person for his courteous offer, and invited him to drink a glass
with us, which he did not think proper to refuse, and we went
altogether into a tavern of his recommending. After having drunk
to our healths in a bumper of good Burgundy, he began to inquire
into our situation, particularly the place of our nativity, which
we no sooner named than he started up, and, wringing our hands with
great fervour, shed a flood of tears, crying, "I come from the same
part of the country! perhaps you are my own relations." I was on
my guard against his caresses, which I suspected very much, when
I remembered the adventure of the money-dropper; but, without any
appearance of diffidence, observed, that, as he was born in that
part of the country, he must certainly know our families, which
(howsoever mean our present appearance might be) were none of
the most obscure or inconsiderable. Then I discovered our names,
to which I found he was no stranger; he had known my grandfather
personally; and, notwithstanding an absence of fifty years from
Scotland, recounted so many particulars of the families in the
neighbourhood, that my scruples were entirely removed, and I thought
myself happy in his acquaintance. In the course of our conversation,
I disclosed my condition without reserve, and displayed my talents
to such advantage, that the old father looked upon me with admiration,
and assured me, that, if I stayed in France, and listened to reason,
I could not fail of making my fortune, to which he would contribute
all in his power.

My uncle began to be jealous of the Priest's insinuation, and very
abruptly declared, that if ever I should renounce my religion, he
would break off all connection and correspondence with me; for it
was his opinion, that no honest man would swerve from his principles
in which he was bred, whether Turkish, Protestant, or Roman. The
father, affronted at this declaration, with great vehemence began
a long discourse, setting forth the danger of obstinacy, and shutting
one's eyes against the light. He said, that ignorance would be
no plea towards justification, when we had opportunities of being
better informed; and, that, if the minds of people had not been
open to conviction, the Christian religion could not have been
propagated in the world, and we should now be in a state of Pagan
darkness and barbarity: he endeavoured to prove, by some texts of
Scripture and many quotations from the Fathers, that the Pope was
the successor of St. Peter, and vicar of Jesus Christ; that the
church of Rome was the true, holy, catholic church; and that the
Protestant faith was an impious heresy and damnable schism, by
which many millions of souls would suffer everlasting perdition.
When he had finished his sermon, which I thought he pronounced
with more zeal than discretion, he addressed himself to my uncle,
desired to know his objections to what had been said. The lieutenant,
whose attention had been wholly engrossed by his own affairs, took
the pipe out of his mouth, and replied, "As for me, friend, d'ye
see, I have no objection to what you say; it may be either truth
or false, for what I know; I meddle with nobody's affairs but my
own; the gunner to his linstock, and the steersman to the helm, as
the saying is. I trust to no creed but the compass, and do unto
every man as I would be done by; so that I defy the Pope, the
Devil, and the Pretender; and hope to be saved as well as another."
This association of persons gave great offence to the friar, who
protested, in a mighty passion, that if Mr. Bowling had not been
his countryman, he would have caused him to be imprisoned for his
insolence; I ventured to disapprove of my uncle's rashness, and
appeased the old gentleman, by assuring him there was no offence
intended by my kinsman, who, by this time sensible of his error,
shook the injured party by the hand, and asked pardon for the freedom
he had taken. Matters being amicably compromised, he invited us to
come and see him in the afternoon at the convent to which he belonged,
and took his leave for the present; when my uncle recommended
it strongly to me to persevere in the religion of my forefathers,
whatever advantages might propose to myself by a change, which
could not fail of disgracing myself, and dishonouring my family.
I assured him no consideration would induce me to forfeit his
friendship and good opinion on that score; at which assurance he
discovered great satisfaction, and put me in mind of dinner, which
we immediately bespoke, and when it was ready, ate together.

I imagined my acquaintance with the Scottish priest if properly
managed, might turn out to my advantage, and therefore resolved to
cultivate it as much as I could. With this view we visited him at
his convent, according to his invitation, where he treated us with
wine and sweetmeats, and showed us everything that was remarkable
in the monastery. Having been thus entertained, we took our leave,
though not before I had promised to see him next day, and the time
fixed for my uncle's embarking being come, I accompanied him to the
harbour, and saw him on board. We parted not without tears, after
we had embraced and wished one another all manner of prosperity:
and he entreated me to write to him often, directing to Lieutenant
Bowling, at the sign of the Union Flag, near the Hermitage, London.

I returned to the house in which we had met, where I passed the
night in a very solitary manner, reflecting on the severity of my
fate, and endeavouring to project some likely scheme of life for the
future; but my invention failed me; I saw nothing but insurmountable
difficulties in my way, and was ready to despair at the miserable
prospect! That I might not, however, neglect any probable reason,
I got up in the morning, and went directly to the father, whose
advice and assistance I implored. He received me very kindly, and
gave me to understand, that there was one way of life in which
a person of my talents could not fail of making a great figure.
I guessed his meaning, and told him, once for all, I was fully
determined against any alteration in point of religion; therefore
if his proposal regarded the church, he might save himself the
trouble of explaining it. He shook his head and sighed, saying,
"Ah! son, son, what a glorious prospect is here spoiled by your
stubborn prejudice! Suffer yourself to be persuaded by reason, and
consult your temporal welfare, as well as the concerns of your eternal
soul. I can, by my interest procure your admission as a noviciate
to this convent, where I will superintend and direct you with a
truly paternal affection." Then he launched out into the praises
of a monastic life, which no noise disturbs, no cares molest, and
no danger invades--where the heart is weaned from carnal attachments,
the grosser appetite subdued and chastised, and the soul wafted
to divine regions of philosophy and truth, on the wing of studious
contemplation. But his eloquence was lost upon me, whom two
considerations enabled to withstand his temptation; namely, my
promise to my uncle, and my aversion to an ecclesiastical life;
for as to the difference of religion, I looked upon it as a thing
of too small moment to come in competition with a man's fortune.
Finding me immovable on this head, he told me, he was more sorry
than offended at my noncompliance, and still ready to employ his
good offices in my behalf. "The same erroneous maxims," said he, "
that obstruct your promotion in the church, will infallibly prevent
your advancement in the army; but, if you can brook the condition
of a servant, I am acquainted with some people of rank at Versailles,
to whom I can give you letters of recommendation, that you may be
entertained by some one of them in quality of maitre d'hotel; and
I do not doubt that your qualifications will soon entitle you to a
better provision." I embraced his offer with great eagerness, and
he appointed me to come back in the afternoon, when he would not
only give me letters, but likewise introduce me to a capuchin of
his acquaintance, who intended to set out for Paris next morning
in whose company I might travel, without being at the expense of
one livre during the whole journey. This piece of good news gave me
infinite pleasure; I acknowledged my obligation to the benevolent
father in the most grateful expressions; and he performed his promise
to a tittle, in delivering the letters, and making me acquainted
with the capuchin, with whom I departed next morning by break of

It was not long before I discovered my fellow traveller to be
a merry facetious fellow, who, notwithstanding his profession and
appearance of mortification, loved good eating and drinking better
than his rosary, and paid more adoration to a pretty girl than to
the Virgin Mary, or St. Genevieve. He was a thick brawny young man,
with red eyebrows, a hook nose, a face covered with freckles; and
his name was Frere Balthazar. His order did not permit him to wear
linen, so that, having little occasion to undress himself, he was
none of the cleanliest animals in the world; and his constitution
was naturally so strongly scented that I always thought it convenient
to keep to the windward of him in our march. As he was perfectly
well known on the road, we fared sumptuously without any cost, and
the fatigue of our journey was much alleviated by the good humour
of my companion, who sang an infinite number of catches on the
subjects of love and wine. We took up our lodging the first night
at a peasant's house not far from Abbeville, where we were entertained
with an excellent ragout, cooked by our landlord's daughters, one
of whom was very handsome. After having eaten heartily and drank
a sufficient quantity of small wine, we were conducted to a barn,
where we found a couple of carpets spread upon clean straw for our
reception. We had not lain in this situation above half-an-hour, when
we heard somebody knock softly at the door, upon which Balthazar
got up, and let in our host's two daughters, who wanted to have
some private conversation with him in the dark. When they had
whispered together some time, the capuchin came to me, and asked if
I was insensible to love, and so hard-hearted as to refuse a share
of my bed to a pretty maid who had a tendre for me? I must own to
my shame, that I suffered myself to be overcome by my passion, and
with great eagerness seized the occasion, when I understood that
the amiable Nanette was to be my bedfellow. In vain did my reason
suggest the respect that I owed to my dear mistress Narcissa;
the idea of that lovely charmer rather increased than allayed the

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