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The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett

Part 9 out of 10

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"Well, then," said he, "write another fair copy with the alterations
I have proposed, and bring it to me as soon as possible; for I am
resolved to have it brought on the stage this winter." You may be
sure I set about this task with alacrity; and although I found his
lordship's remarks much more numerous and of less importance than
I expected, I thought it was not my interest to dispute upon trifles
with my patron; therefore new modelled it according to his desire
in less than a month.

"When I waited upon him with the manuscript, I found one of the
actors at breakfast with his lordship, who immediately introduced
him to my acquaintance, and desired him to read a scene of my play.
This task he performed very much to my satisfaction, with regard to
emphasis and pronunciation; but he signified his disgust at several
words in every page, which I presuming to defend, Lord Rattle told
me, with a peremptory look, I must not pretend to dispute with
him, who had been a player these twenty years, and understood the
economy of the stage better than any man living. I was forced to
submit; and his lordship proposed the same actor should read the
whole play in the evening, before some gentlemen of his acquaintance,
whom he would convene to his lodgings for that purpose.

"I was present at the reading; and I protest to you, my dear
friend, I never underwent such a severe trial in the whole course
of my life at that juncture; for although the player might be a
very honest man and a good performer, he was excessively illiterate
and assuming, and made a thousand frivolous objections, which I was
not permitted to answer. However, the piece was very much applauded
on the whole; the gentlemen present, who, I understood, were men
of fortune, promised to countenance and support it as much as they
could; and Lord Rattle, assuring me that he would act the part of
a careful nurse to it, desired me to carry it home, and alter it
immediately according to their remarks. I was fain to acquiesce
in his determination, and fulfilled his injunctions with all the
expedition in my power; but, before I could present the new copy,
my good friend Mr. Supple had disposed of his property and patent
to one Mr. Brayer; so that fresh interest was to be made with
the new manager. This task Lord Rattle undertook, having some
acquaintance with him, and recommended my performance so strongly
that it was received.

"I looked upon myself now as upon the eve of reaping the fruits
of all my labour. I waited a few days in expectation of its being
put in rehearsal, and wondering at the delay, applied to my worthy
patron, who excused Mr. Brayer on account of the multiplicity of
business in which he was involved, and bade me beware of teasing
the patentee. I treasured up this caution, and exerted my particular
three weeks longer; at the end of which his lordship gave me
to understand that Mr. Brayer had read my play, and owned it had
indubitable merit; but, as he had long been pre-engaged to another
author, he could not possibly represent it that season; though,
if I would reserve it for the next, and in the interim make such
alterations as he had proposed by observations on the margin, I
might depend upon his compliance.

"Thunderstruck at this disappointment, I could not, for some minutes,
utter one syllable. At length, however, I complained bitterly of the
manager's insincerity in amusing me so long, when he knew from the
beginning that he could not gratify my desire. But his lordship
reprimanded me for my freedom, said Mr. Brayer was a man of
honour, and imputed his behaviour with respect to me nothing else
but forgetfulness. And indeed I have had some reason, since that
time, to be convinced of his bad memory; for, in spite of appearances,
I will not allow myself to interpret his conduct in any other way.
Lord Rattle observing me very much affected with my disappointment,
offered his interest to bring on my play at the other house, which
I eagerly accepting, he forthwith wrote a letter of recommendation
to Mr. Bellower, actor and prime minister to Mr. Vandal, proprietor
of that theatre, and desired me to deliver it with my tragedy,
without loss of time. Accordingly, I hastened to his house, where
after having waited a whole hour in the lobby, I was admitted
to his presence, and my performance received with great state. He
told me he was extremely busy at present, but he would peruse it
as soon as possible, and bade me to call again in a week. I took
my leave, not a little astonished at the pert and supercilious
behaviour of this stage player, who had not treated me with good
manners; and began to think the dignity of a poet greatly impaired
since the days of Euripides and Sophocles; but all this was nothing
in comparison of what I have since observed.

"Well, Mr. Random, I went back at the appointed time, and was told
that Mr. Bellower was engaged, and could not see me, I repeated my
visit a few days after, and having waited a considerable time was
favoured with an audience, during which, he said, he had not as
yet read my play. Nettled at this usage, I could contain myself
no longer, but, telling him, I imagined he would have paid more
deference to Lord Rattle's recommendation, demanded my manuscript
with some expression of resentment. "Ay," said he in a theatrical
tone, "with all my heart." Then pulling out the drawer of the
bureau at which he sat, he took out a bundle, and threw it upon a
table that was near him, pronouncing the word, "There!" with great
disdain. I took it up, and perceiving with some surprise, that it
was a comedy, told him it did not belong to me; upon which he offered
another which I also disclaimed. A third was produced, and rejected
for the same reason. At length he pulled out a whole bundle, and
spread them before me, saying, "There are seven--take which you
please--or take them all." I singled out my own, and went away,
struck dumb with admiration at what I had seen--not so much on
account of his insolence, as of the number of new plays which from
this circumstance I concluded were yearly offered to the stage.
You may be sure, I did not fail to carry my complaint to my patron,
who did not receive it with all the indignation I expected; but
taxed me with precipitation, and told me I must lay my account with
bearing with the humours of the players, if I intended to write
for the stage. "There is now no other remedy," he said, "but to
keep it till the next season for Mr. Brayer, and alter it at your
leisure, in the summer, according to his directions." I was now
reduced to a terrible alternative, either to quit all hopes of my
tragedy, from which I had all along promised myself a large share
of fortune and reputation, or to encounter eight long months of
adversity in preparing for and expecting its appearance. This last
penance, painful as it was, seemed most eligible to my reflection
at that time, and therefore I resolved to undergo it.

"Why should I tire you with particulars of my consequence? I wrestled
with extreme poverty until the time of my probation was expired;
and went to my Lord Rattle in order to remind him of my affair,
when I understood, to my great concern, that his lordship was just
on the point of going abroad, and which was still more unfortunate
for me, Mr. Brayer had gone into the country; so that my generous
patron had it not in his power to introduce me personally, as he
intended: however, he wrote a very strong letter to the manager in
my favour, and put him in mind of the promise he had made in behalf
of my play.

"As soon as I was certified of Brayer's return, I went to his house
with this letter, but was told he was gone out. I called again
next day early in the morning, received the same answer, and was
desired to leave my name and business: I did so, and returned the
day after, when the servant still affirmed that his master was gone
abroad; though I perceived him, as I retired, observing me through
a window. Incensed at this discovery, I went to a coffee-house
hard by, and, inclosing his lordship's letter in one from myself,
demanded a categorical answer. I sent it to his house by a porter,
who returned in a few minutes, and told me Mr. Brayer would be glad
to see me at that instant. I obeyed the summons, and was received
with such profusion of compliments and apologies, that my resentment
immediately subsided, and I was even in pain for the concern which
this holiest man showed at the mistake of his servant, who, it seems,
had been ordered to deny him to everybody but me. He expressed the
utmost veneration for his good and noble friend, Lord Rattle, whom
he should always be proud to serve; promised to peruse the play with
all dispatch, and give me a meeting upon it: and, as a testimony
of his esteem, made me a present of a general order for the season,
by which I should be admitted to any part of the theatre. This was
a very agreeable compliment to ma, whose greatest pleasure consisted
in seeing dramatic performances, and you need not doubt that I
often availed myself of my privilege. As I had an opportunity of
being behind the scenes when I pleased, I frequently conversed with
Mr. Brayer about my play, and asked when he meant to put it into
rehearsal; but he had always so much business upon his hands, that
it remained with him unopened a considerable while; and I became
very uneasy about the season, that wasted apace, when I saw in the
papers another new play advertised, which had been written, offered,
accepted, and rehearsed, in the compass of three months. You may
easily guess how much I was confounded at this event! I own to you
that, in the first transports of my anger, I suspected Mr. Brayer
of having acted towards me in the most pitiful perfidious manner;
and was actually glad at his disappointment in the success of his
favourite piece, which, by the strength of art, lingered till the
third night, and then died in a deplorable manner. But now that
passion has no share in my reflection, I am willing to ascribe his
behaviour to his want of memory or want of judgment, which, you
know, are natural defects, that are more worthy of compassion than

"About this time I happened to be in company with a gentlewoman,
who, having heard of my tragedy, told me, she was well acquainted
with the wife of a gentleman who was very well known to a lady,
who had great interest with a person who was intimate with Earl
Sheerwit: and that, if I pleased, she would use her influence
in my behalf. As this nobleman had the character of a Maecenas
in the nation, and could stamp a value upon any work by his sole
countenance and approbation, I accepted her offer with eagerness,
in full confidence of seeing my reputation established, and my
wishes fulfilled in a very short time, provided that I should have
the good fortune to please his lordship's taste. I withdrew the
manuscript from the hands of Mr. Brayer, and committed it to the
care of this gentlewoman, who laboured so effectually in my interest,
that in less than a month it was conveyed to the earl, and in a few
weeks after, I had the satisfaction to hear that he had read and
approved it very much. Transported with this piece of intelligence,
I flattered myself with the hopes of his interesting himself in its
favour, but, hearing no more of this matter in three whole months,
I began (God forgive me!) to suspect the veracity of the person
who brought me the good tidings; for I thought it impossible that
a man of his rank and character, who knew the difficulty of writing
a good tragedy, and understood the dignity of the work, should read
and applaud an essay of this kind, without feeling an inclination
to befriend the author, whom his countenance alone could raise above
dependence. But it was not long before I found my friend very much
wronged by my opinion.

"You must know, that the civilities I had received from Lord
Rattle, and the desire he manifested to promote the success of my
play, encouraged me to write an account of my bad fortune to his
lordship, who condescended so far as to desire, by letter, a young
squire of a great estate, with whom he was intimate, to espouse my
cause, and, in particular, make me acquainted with one Mr. Marmozet,
a celebrated player, who had lately appeared on the stage with
astonishing eclat, and bore such sway in the house where he acted,
that the managers durst not refuse anything he recommended. The
young gentleman, whom Lord Rattle had employed for this purpose,
being diffident of his own interest with Mr. Marmozet, had recourse
to a nobleman of his acquaintance, who, at his solicitation, was so
good as to introduce me to him; and the conversation turning upon
my performance, I was not a little surprised, as well as pleased,
to hear that Earl Sheerwit had spoken very much in its praise,
and even sent Mr. Marmozet the copy, with a message, expressing a
desire that he would act in it next season. Nor was this favourite
actor backward in commending the piece, which he mentioned with such
expressions of regard, that I do not choose to repeat: assuring me
that he would appear in it, provided he should be engaged to play
at all during the ensuing season. In the meantime, he desired I would
give him leave to peruse it in the country, whither he intended to
remove next day, that he might have leisure to consider and point
out such alterations as might, perhaps, be necessary for its
representation; and took my direction, that he might communicate
by letter the observations he should make. Trusting to these
assurances, and the interest which had been made in my behalf, I
hugged myself in the expectation of seeing it not only acted, but
acted to the greatest advantage, and this I thought could not fail
of recompensing me in ample manner for the anxiety and affliction
I had undergone; but six weeks being elapsed, I did not know how
to reconcile Mr. Marmozet's silence with his promise of writing
to me in ten days after he set out for the country; however, I was
at last favoured with a letter, importing that he had made some
remarks on my tragedy, which he would freely impart at meeting,
and advised me to put it, without loss of time, into the hands of
that manager, who had the best company; as he himself was quite
uncertain whether or not he should be engaged that winter. I was
a good deal alarmed at this last part of his letter, and advised
about it with a friend, who told me, it was a plain indication of
Mr. Marmozet's desire to get rid of his promise; that his pretended
uncertainty about acting next winter was no other than a scandalous
evasion; for, to his certain knowledge, he was already engaged,
or at least in terms, with Mr. Vandal; and that his design was to
disappoint me, in favour of a new comedy, which he had purchased
of the author, and intended to bring upon the stage for his own

"In short, my dear sir, this person, who, I must own, is if a
sanguine complexion, handled the moral character of Mr. Marmozet
with such severity, that I began to suspect him of some particular
prejudice, and put myself upon my guard against his insinuations.
I ought to crave pardon for this tedious narration of trivial
circumstances, which, however interesting they may be to me, must
certainly be very dry and insipid to the ear of one unconcerned in
the affair. But I understand the meaning of your looks, and will

"Well, sir, Mr. Marmozet, upon his return to town, treated me with
uncommon complaisance, and invited me to his lodgings, where he
proposed to communicate his remarks, which, I confess, were more
unfavourable than I expected; but I answered his objections, and,
as I thought, brought him over to my opinion; for, on the whole,
he signified the highest approbation of the performance. In the
course of our dispute, I was not a little surprised to find this
poor gentleman's memory so treacherous, as to let him forget what
he had said to me, before he went out of town, in regard to Earl
Sheerwit's opinion of my play, which he now professed himself
ignorant of; and I was extremely mortified at hearing from his own
mouth, that his interest with Mr. Vandal was so very low as to be
insufficient of itself to bring a new piece upon the stage. I then
begged his advice, and he counselled me to apply to Earl Sheerwit,
for a message in my favour to the manager, who would not presume
to refuse anything recommended by so great man; and he was so kind
as to promise to second this message with all his power. I had
immediate recourse to the worthy gentlewoman my friend, already
mentioned, who opened the channels of her conveyance with such
expedition, that in a few days I had a promise of the message,
provided I could assure myself of Mr. Vandal's being unengaged to
any other writer; for his lordship did not choose to condescend so
far, until he should understand that there was a probability (at
least) of succeeding; at the same time that blessed me with this
piece of news, I was startled at another, by the same channel
of communication; which was, that Mr. Marmozet, before he advised
me to this application, had informed the earl that he had read my
play, and found it altogether unfit for the stage. Though I could
not doubt the certainty of this intelligence, I believed there was
some inapprehension in the case; and, without taking any notice of
it, told Mr. Marmozet the answer I had been favoured with; and he
promised to ask Mr. Vandal the question proposed. I waited upon
him in a day or two, when he gave me to understand, that Mr. Vandal
having professed himself free of all engagements, he had put my play
into his hands, and represented it as a piece strongly recommended
by Earl Sheerwit, who (he assured him) would honour him with a
message in its favour; and he desired me to call for an answer at
Mr. Vandal's house in three days. I followed his directions, and
found the manager, who being made acquainted with my business, owned
that Mr. Marmozet had given him a manuscript play, but denied that
he had mentioned Earl Sheerwit's name. When I informed him of the
circumstances of the affair, he said, he had no engagement with
any author; that he would read my tragedy forthwith; and did not
believe he should venture to reject it in contradiction to his
lordship's opinion, for which he had the utmost veneration, but put
it into rehearsal without loss of time. I was so much intoxicated
with this encouragement, that I overlooked the mysterious conduct
of Mr. Marmozet, and attended the manager at the time appointed,
when, to my infinite confusion, he pronounced my play improper for
the stage, and rejected it accordingly. As soon as I could recollect
myself from the disorder into which this unexpected refusal had
thrown me, I expressed a desire of hearing his objections, which
were so groundless, indistinct, and unintelligible, that I persuaded
myself he had not at all perused the piece, but had been prompted
by somebody whose lessons he had not rightly retained. However, I
have been since informed that the poor man's head, which was not
naturally very clear, had been disordered with superstition, and
that he laboured under the tyranny of a wife, and the terrors of
hellfire at the same time.

"Precipitated in this manner from the highest pinnacle of hope
to the abyss of despondence, I was ready to sink under the burden
of my affliction, and, in the bitterness of my anguish, could not
help entertaining some doubts of Mr. Marmozet's integrity, when I
recollected and compared the circumstances of his conduct towards
me. I was encouraged in this suspicion by being told that my Lord
Sheerwit had spoken of his character with great contempt: and, in
particular, resented his insolence in opposing his own taste to that
of his lordship, concerning my tragedy. While I hesitated between
different opinions of the matter, that friend, who (as I told you
before) was a little hot-headed, favoured me with a visit, and,
having heard a circumstantial account of the whole affair, could
not contain his indignation, but affirmed without ceremony that
Mr. Marmozet was the sole occasion of my disappointment; that he
acted from first to last with the most perfidious dissimulation,
cajoling me with insinuating civilities, while he underhand employed
all his art and influence to prejudice the ignorant manager against
my performance; that nothing could equal his hypocrisy but his
avarice, which engrossed the faculties of his soul so much, that
he scrupled not to be guilty of the meanest practices to gratify
that sordid appetite; that, in consequence of this disposition,
he had prostituted his honour in betraying my inexperience, and in
undermining the interest of another author of established reputation,
who had also offered a tragedy to the stage, which he thought
would interfere with the success of the comedy he had bought, and
determined to bring on at all events.

"I was shocked at the description of such a monster, which I could
not believe existed in the world, bad as it is, and argued against
the asseverations of my friend, by demonstrating the bad policy of
such behaviour, which could not fail of entailing infamy upon the
author; and the small temptation that a man of Mr. Marmozet's figure
and success could have to consult his interest in such a grovelling
manner, which must create contempt and abhorrence of him in his
patrons, and effectually deprive him of the countenance and protection
he now enjoys in such an eminent degree. He pretended to laugh at
my simplicity, and asked, if I knew for which of his virtues he
was so much caressed by the people of fashion. "It is not," said
he, "for the qualities of his heart, that this little parasite is
invited to the tables of dukes and lords, who hire extraordinary
cooks for his entertainment. His avarice they see not, his ingratitude
they feel not, his hypocrisy accommodates itself to their humours,
and is of consequence pleasing; but he is chiefly courted for
his buffoonery, and will be admitted into the choicest parties of
quality for his talent of mimicking Punch and his wife Joan, when
a poet of the most excellent genius is not able to attract the least
regard." God forbid, Mr. Random, that I should credit assertions
that degrade the dignity of our superiors so much, and represent
the poor man as the most abject of all beings! No, I looked upon
them as the hyperboles of passion; and though that comedy of which
he spoke did actually appear, I dare not doubt the innocence of
Mr. Marmozet, who, I am told, is as much as ever in favour with
the earl; a circumstance that, surely, could not be, unless he had
vindicated his character to the satisfaction of his lordship. Pray
forgive this long digression, and give me the hearing a little
longer; for, thank heaven! I am now near the goal.

"Baffled in all my attempts, I despaired of seeing my play acted;
and bethought myself of choosing some employment that might afford
a sure, though mean subsistence; but my landlord, to whom I was by
this time considerably indebted, and who had laid his account with
having his money paid all in a heap from the profits of my third
night, could not brook his disappointment, therefore made another
effort in my behalf, and, by dint of interest, procured a message
from a lady of fashion to Mr. Brayer, who had always professed
a great veneration for her, desiring that he would set up my play
forthwith, and assuring him that she and all her friends would support
it in the performance. To strengthen my interest, she engaged his
best actors in my cause; and, in short, exerted herself so much,
that it was again received, and my hopes began to revive. But
Mr. Brayer, honest man, was so much engrossed by business of vast
consequence, though to appearance he had nothing at all to do,
that he could not find time to read it until the season was pretty
far advanced; and read it he must, for notwithstanding his having
perused it before, his memory did not retain one circumstance of
the matter.

"At length he favoured it with his attention, and having proposed
certain alterations, sent his duty to the lady who patronised it,
and promised, on his honour, to bring it on next winter, provided
these alterations should be made, and the copy delivered to him
before the end of April. With an aching heart, I submitted to these
conditions, and performed them accordingly: but fortune owed me
another unforeseen mortification; Mr. Marmozet, during the summer,
became joint patentee with Mr. Brayer, so that when I claimed
performance of articles, I was told he could do nothing without
the consent of his partner, who was pre-engaged to another author.

"My condition was rendered desperate by the death of my good friend and
landlord, whose executors obtained a judgment against my effects,
which they seized, turned me out into the streets naked, friendless,
and forlorn: there I was arrested at the suit of my tailor, and
thrown into the prison, where I have made shift to live these five
weeks on the bounty of my fellow prisoners, who, I hope, are not
the worse for the instruction and good offices by which I manifest
my gratitude; but in spite of all their charitable endeavours, my
life was scarce tolerable, until your uncommon benevolence enabled
me to enjoy it with comfort."


I am seized with a deep Melancholy, and become a Sloven--am relieved
by my Uncle--he prevails upon me to engage with his Owners, as a
Surgeon of the Ship which he commands--he makes me a considerable
Present--entertain Strap as his steward--I take leave of my Friends,
and go on Board--the Ship arrives in the Downs

I shall not make any reflection on this story, in the course of
which the reader must perceive how egregiously the simplicity and
milky disposition of this worthy man had been duped and abused
by a set of scoundrels, who were so habituated to falsehood and
equivocation, that I verily believed they would have found the
utmost difficulty in uttering one syllable of truth, though their
lives had depended upon their sincerity. Notwithstanding all I had
suffered from the knavery and selfishness of mankind, I was amazed
and incensed by the base indifference which suffered such uncommon
merit as he possessed to languish in obscurity, and struggle with
all the miseries of a loathsome gaol; and should have blessed the
occasion that secluded me from such a perfidious world, had not the
remembrance of my amiable Narcissa preserved my attachment to a
society of which she constituted a part. The picture of that lovely
creature was the constant companion of my solitude. How often did
I contemplate the resemblance of those enchanting features that
first captivated my heart! how often did I weep over those endearing
scenes which her image recalled! and how often did I curse my
perfidious fate for having robbed me of the fair original! In vain
did my imagination flatter me with schemes of future happiness:
surly reason always interposed, and in a moment overthrew the
unsubstantial fabric, by chastising the extravagance of my hope,
and representing my unhappy situation in the right point of view.
In vain did I fly for refuge to the amusements of the place, and
engage in the parties of Jackson at cards, billiards, nine-pins,
and fives; a train of melancholy thoughts took possession of my
soul, which even the conversation of Melopoyn could not divert.
I ordered Strap to inquire every day at Banter's lodgings, in
expectation of hearing again from my charmer; and my disappointment
considerably, augmented my chagrin. My affectionate valet was
infected with my sorrow, and often sat with me whole hours without
speaking, uttering sigh for sigh, and shedding tear for tear. This
fellowship increased our distemper; he became incapable of business,
and was discarded by his master; while I, seeing my money melt away
without any certainty of deliverance, and, in short, all my hopes
frustrated, grew negligent of life, lost all appetite, and degenerated
into such a sloven. that during the space of three months I was
neither washed, shifted, nor shaved; so that my face, rendered
meagre with abstinence, was obscured with dirt, and overshadowed
with hair, and my whole appearance squalid and even frightful;
when, one day, Strap brought me notice, that there was a man below
who wanted to speak with me. Roused at this intelligence, and in
full hopes of receiving a letter from the dear object of my love,
I ran downstairs with the utmost precipitation. And found to my
infinite surprise my generous uncle, Mr. Bowling! Transported at
the sight, I sprang forward to embrace him. Upon which he started
aside with great agility, drew his hanger, and put himself upon
his guard, crying, "Avast, brother, avast! Sheer off. Yo ho! you
turnkey, why don't you keep a better look out? Here's one of your
crazy prisoners broke from his lashings, I suppose." I could not
help laughing heartily at his mistake; but this I soon rectified
by my voice, which he instantly recollected, and shook me by the
hand with great affection, testifying his concern at seeing me in
such a miserable condition.

I conducted him to my apartment, where, in presence of Strap,
whom I introduced to him as one of my best friends, he gave me
to understand, that he was just arrived from the Coast Of Guinea,
after having made a pretty successful voyage, in which he had acted
as mate, until the ship was attacked by a French privateer, that
the captain being killed during the engagement, he had taken the
command, and was so fortunate as to sink the enemy; after which
exploit he fell in with a merchant ship from Martinico, laden
with sugar, indigo and some silver and by virtue of his letter of
marque, attacked, took, and carried her safe into Kinsale in Ireland,
where she was condemned as a lawful prize; by which means he had
not only got a pretty sum of money, but also acquired the favour
of his owners, who had already conferred upon him the command of a
large ship, mounted with twenty nine-pounders, ready to sail upon
a very advantageous voyage, which he was not at liberty to discover.
And he assured me that it was with the greatest difficulty he found
me, in consequence of a direction left for him at his lodgings at

I was rejoiced beyond measure at this account of his good fortune;
and, at his desire, recounted all the adventures that had happened
to me since we parted. When he understood the particulars of Strap's
attachment to me, he squeezed his hand very cordially, and promised
to make a man of him; then, giving me ten guineas for my present
occasion, took a direction for the tailor who arrested me, and went
away in order to discharge the debt. telling me at parting, that
he would soon fetch up all my leeway with a wet sail.

I was utterly confounded at this sudden transition, which affected
me more than any reverse I had formerly felt; and a crowd of
incoherent ideas rushed so impetuously upon my imagination, that my
reason could neither separate nor connect them; when Strap, whose
joy had manifested itself in a thousand fool-cries, came into my
room with his shaving utensils, and without any previous intimation,
began to lather my beard, whistling with great emotion all the
while. I started from my reverie, and, being too well acquainted
with Strap to trust myself in his hands while he was under such
agitation, desired to be excused, sent for another barber, and
suffered myself to be trimmed. Having performed the ceremony of
ablution, I shifted, and dressing in my gayest apparel, waited for
the return of my uncle, who was agreeably surprised at my sudden

This beneficent kinsman had satisfied my creditor, and obtained
an order for my discharge, so that I was no longer a prisoner;
but, as I had some reluctance to part with my friends and fellows
in distress, I prevailed upon Mr. Bowling to favour us with his
company, and invited Mr. Melopoyn and Jackson to spend the evening
at my apartment, where I regaled them with a supper, good wine,
and the news of my release, on which they heartily congratulated
me, notwithstanding the loss of my company, which, they were pleased
to say, they should severely feel. As for Jackson, his misfortune
made so little impression on himself, and he was altogether so
loose, indifferent, and indiscreet, that I could scarce pity his
situation: but I had conceived a veneration and friendship for
the poet, who was, in all respects, an object much more worthy of
compassion and regard. When our guests withdrew, and my uncle had
retired, with an intention of visiting me next morning, I made up
a bundle of some linen and other necessaries; and, bidding Strap
carry them to Mr. Melopoyn's lodgings, went thither myself, and
pressed it upon his acceptance, with five guineas, which, with
much difficulty, he received, assuring me at the same time, that
he should never have it in his power to make satisfaction. I then
asked if I could serve him in any other way; to which be answered,
"You have already done too much;" and, unable to contain the
emotions of his soul any longer, burst into tears, and wept aloud.
Moved at this spectacle, I left him to his repose, and, when
my uncle returned in the morning, represented his character in
such a favourable light, that the honest seaman was affected with
his distress, and determined to follow my example, in presenting
him with five pieces more; upon which, that I might save him some
confusion, I advised Mr. Bowling to inclose it in a letter to be
delivered by Strap, after we should be gone.

This was accordingly done. I took a formal leave of all my
acquaintance in the gaol; and, just as I was about to step into a
hackney coach at the gate, Jackson calling me, I returned, and he
asked me in a whisper, if I could lend him a shilling! His demand
being so moderate, and in all likelihood the last he would make upon
me, I slipped a guinea into his hand, which he no sooner perceived,
than he cried, "O Jesus, a guinea!" then laying hold of a button
of my coat, broke out into laughter; and when his immoderate fit
of convulsion was ended, told me I was an honest fellow, and let me
go. The coachman was ordered to drive to Mr. Bowling's lodgings,
where, when we arrived, he entered into a serious discourse with
me, on the subject of my situation, and proposed that I should sail
with him in quality of his surgeon; in which case he would put me
in a method of getting a fortune in a few years by my own industry;
and assured me, that I might expect to inherit all that he should
die possessed of, provided I should survive him. Though I was penetrated
with a sense of his generosity, l was startled at a proposal that
offered violence to my love, and signified my sentiments on that
head, which he did not seem to relish; but observed that love
was the fruit of idleness, that when once I should be employed in
business, and my mind engaged in making money, I should be no more
troubled with these silly notions, which none but your fair-weathered
Jacks, who have nothing but their pleasure to mind, ought to
entertain. I was piqued at this insinuation, which I looked upon as
a reproach, and, without giving myself time to deliberate, accepted
his offer. He was overjoyed at my compliance, carried me immediately
to his chief owner, with whom a bargain was struck; so that then
I could not retract with honour, had I been ever so much averse to
the agreement. That I might not have time to cool, he bade me draw
out a list of medicines for a complement of five hundred men, adapted
to the distempers of hot climates. and sufficient for a voyage of
eighteen months; and carry it to a certain wholesale apothecary, who
would also provide me in two well-qualified mates. While I was thus
employed Strap came in, and looked very blank, when he understood
my resolution: however, after a pause of some minutes, he insisted
upon going along with me; and at my desire was made ship's steward
by Captain Bowling, who promised to be at the expense of fitting
him out, and to lend him two hundred pounds to purchase an adventure.

When I had delivered my list of medicines, chosen a couple of my own
countrymen for mates, and bespoke a set of chirurgical instruments,
my uncle told me, that by his last voyage he had cleared almost
three thousand pounds, one-third of which he would immediately make
over and put into my hands; that he would procure for me credit
to the value of as much wore in such goods as would turn to best
account in the country to which we were bound; and that, although
he looked upon my interest as his own, he would keep the remaining
part of his fortune in his own disposal, with a view of preserving
his independence, and the power of punishing me, in case I should
not make a good use of what he had already bestowed.

Without troubling the reader with an account of the effect which
this surprising generosity had upon my mind, I shall only say, that
his promises were instantly performed, and an invoice of merchandise
proper for the voyage presented to me, that I might purchase the
goods, and ship them with all expedition. In the midst of this
hurry, the remembrance of my charming Narcissa often interposed,
and made me the most miserable of all mortals. I was distracted with
the thought of being torn from her, perhaps for ever; and though
the hope of seeing her again might have supported me under the
torments of separation, I could not reflect upon the anguish she
must feel at parting with me, and the incessant sorrows to which
her tender bosom would be exposed during my absence, without being
pierced with the deepest affliction! As my imagination was daily
and nightly upon the rack to invent some method of mitigating
this cruel stroke, or at least of acquitting my love and honour in
the opinion of this gentle creature, I at length stumbled upon an
expedient, with which the reader will be made acquainted in due
time; and, in consequence of my determination, became less uneasy
and disturbed.

My business being finished, and the ship really to sail, I resolved
to make my last appearance among my acquaintance at the other end
of the town, where I had not been since my imprisonment; and as I
had, by the advice of my uncle, taken off some very rich clothes
for sale, I put on the gayest suit in my possession, and went in
a chair to the coffee-house I used to frequent, where I found my
friend Banter so confounded at the magnificence of my dress, that,
when I made up to him, he gazed at me with a look of astonishment,
without being able, for some minutes, to open his lips; then pulling
me aside by the sleeve, and fixing his eyes on mine, accosted
me thus: "Random, where the devil have you been! eh? What is the
meaning of all this finery? Oho! I understand you. You are just
arrived from the country! what, the roads are good, eh? Well,
Random, you are a bold fellow, and a lucky fellow! but take care,
the pitcher goes often to the well, but is broke at last." So
saying, he pointed to his collar; by which gesture, and the broken
hints he had ejaculated, I found he suspected me of having robbed
on the highway; and I laughed very heartily at his supposition.
Without explaining myself any further, I told him be was mistaken
in his conjecture; that I had been for some time past with the
relation of whom he had frequently heard me speak; and that, as
I should set out next day upon my travels, I had come to take my
leave of my friends, and to receive of him the money he had borrowed
from me, which, now that I was going abroad, I should certainly
have occasion for. He was a little disconcerted at this demand;
but, recollecting himself in a moment, swore in an affected passion,
that I had used him extremely ill, and he would never forgive me
for having, by this short warning, put it out of his power to free
himself of an obligation he could no longer bear. I could not help
smiling at this pretended delicacy, which I commended highly, telling
him he needed not to be uneasy on that score, for I would give him
a direction to a merchant in the city, with whom I would leave a
discharge on the sum, to be delivered upon payment. He professed
much joy at this expedient, and with great eagerness asked the
person's name and place of abode, which he forthwith wrote in his
pocket-book, assuring me, that he should not be long in my debt.
This affair, which I knew he should never after think of, being
settled to his satisfaction, I sent cards to all my friends, desiring
the favour of their company at a tavern in the evening, when they
honoured my invitation, and I had the pleasure of treating them in
a very elegant manner, at which they expressed equal admiration as
applause. Having enjoyed ourselves till midnight, I took my leave
of them, and was well nigh stifled with caresses: next day, I set
out with Strap in a postchaise for Gravesend, where we went on
beard; and the wind serving, weighed anchor in less than twelve
hours. Without meeting with any accident, we reached the Downs,
where we were obliged to come to an anchor, and wait for an easterly
wind to carry us out of the Channel.


I set out for Sussex--consult Mrs. Sagely--achieve an Interview
with Narcissa--return to the Ship--we get clear of the Channel--I
learn our Destination--we are chased by a large Ship--the company
are dismayed, and encouraged by the Captain's speech--our pursuer
happens to be an English Man of War--we arrive at the Coast of
Guinea, purchase four hundred Negroes--sail for Paraguay, get safe
into the River of Plate, and sell our Cargo to great Advantage

It was now I put in execution the scheme I had projected at London;
and asking leave of the captain for Strap and me to stay on shore
till the wind should become favourable, my request was granted,
because he had orders to remain in the Downs until he should receive
some dispatches from London, which he did not expect in less than
a week. Having imparted my resolution to my trusty valet, who (though
he endeavoured to dissuade me from such a rash undertaking) would
not quit me in the enterprise, I hired horses, and set out immediately
for that part of Sussex where my charmer was confined, which was
not above thirty miles distant from Deal, where we mounted. As I
was perfectly well acquainted with the extent of the squire's estate
and influence, I halted within five miles of his house, where we
remained till the twilight, at which time we set forward, and, by
the favour of a dark night, reached a copse about half-a-mile from
the village where Mrs. Sagely lived. Here we left our horses tied
to a tree, and went directly to the house of my old benefactress,
Strap trembling all the way, and venting ejaculatory petitions to
heaven for our safety. Her habitation being quite solitary, we arrived
at the door without being observed, when I ordered my companion.
to enter by himself; and, in case there should be company with her,
deliver a letter which I had writ for that purpose, and say that a
friend of hers in London, understanding that he intended to travel
this road, had committed it to his care. He rapped at the door,
to which the good old matron coming, told him that, being a lone
woman, he must excuse her, if she did not open it, until he had
declared his name and business. He answered, that his name was
unknown to her, and that his business was to deliver a letter,
which (to free her from all apprehension) he would convey to her
through the space between the door and threshold. This he instantly
performed: and she no sooner read the contents, which specified my
being present, than she cried, "If the person who wrote this letter
be at hand, let him speak, that I may be assured by his voice whether
or not I may safely admit him." I forthwith applied my mouth to the
keyhole, and pronounced, "Dear mother, you need not be afraid, it
is I, so much indebted to your goodness, who now crave admittance."
She knew my voice, and opening the door immediately, received me
with a truly maternal affection, manifesting, by the tears she let
fall, her concern lest I should be discovered, for she had been
informed of everything that had happened between Narcissa and me
from the dear captive's own mouth. When I explained the motive of
my journey, which was no other than a desire of seeing the object
of my love before I should quit the kingdom, that I might in person
convince her of the necessity I was under to leave her, reconcile
her to that event, by describing the advantages that in all
probability would attend it, repeat my vows of eternal constancy,
and enjoy the melancholy pleasure of a tender embrace at parting.
I say, when I had thus signified my intention, Mrs. Sagely told
me, that Narcissa, upon her return from Bath, had been so strictly
watched that nobody but one or two of the servants devoted to her
brother, was admitted to her presence, that afterwards she had been
a little enlarged, and was permitted to see company; during which
indulgence, she had been several times at the cottage; but of late
she had been betrayed by one of the servants, who discovered to the
squire, that he had once carried a letter from her to the post-house
directed to me; upon which information she was now more confined
than ever, and that I could have no chance of seeing her, unless
I would run the risk of getting into the garden, where she and her
maid were every day allowed to take the air, and lie hid until I
should have an opportunity of speaking to them--an adventure attended
with such danger, that no man in his right wits would attempt it.
This enterprise, hazardous as it was, I resolved to perform, in
spite of all the arguments of Mrs. Sagely, who reasoned, chid, and
entreated by turns; and the tears and prayers of Strap, who conjured
me on his knees, to have more regard to myself as well as to him,
than to attempt my own destruction in such a precipitate manner.
I was deaf to but the suggestions of my love; and ordering him to
return immediately with the horses to the inn from whence we set
out, and wait for my coming in that place, he at first peremptorily
refused to leave me, until I persuaded him, that if our horses
should remain where they were till daylight, they would certainly
be discovered, and the whole country alarmed. On this consideration,
he took his leave in a sorrowful plight, kissed my hand, and,
weeping, cried "God knows if ever I shall see you again." My kind
landlady, finding me obstinate, gave me her best advice how to
behave in the execution of my project: and after having persuaded
me to take a little refreshment, accommodated me with a bed, and
left me to my repose. Early in the morning I arose, and armed with
a couple of loaded pistols and a hanger, went to the back part
of the squire's garden, climbed over the wall, and, according to
Mrs. Sagely's direction, concealed myself in a thicket, hard by
an alcove that terminated a walk at a good distance from the house,
which (I was told) my mistress mostly frequented. Here I absconded
from five o'clock in the morning to six in the evening, without
seeing a human creature; at last I perceived two women approaching,
whom, by my throbbing heart, I soon recognised to be the adorable
Narcissa and Miss Williams. I felt the strongest agitation of soul
at the sight; and guessing, that they would repose themselves in the
alcove, stopped into it unperceived, and hid upon the stone table
a picture of myself in miniature, for which I had sat in London,
purposing to leave it with Narcissa before I should go abroad. I
exposed it in this manner, as an introduction to my own appearance,
which, without some previous intimation, I was afraid might have
an unlucky effect upon the delicate nerves of my fair enslaver; and
then withdrew into the thicket, where I could hear their discourse,
and suit myself to the circumstance of the occasion. As they
advanced, I observed an air of melancholy in the countenance of
Narcissa, blended with such unspeakable sweetness, that I could
scarce refrain from flying into her arms, and kissing away the
pearly drop that stood collected in each bewitching eye. According
to my expectation, she entered the alcove, and perceiving something
on the table, took it up. No sooner did she cast her eye upon the
features, than, startled at the resemblance, she cried, "Good God!"
and the roses instantly vanished from her cheeks. Her confidante,
alarmed at this exclamation, looked at the picture; and, struck with
the likeness, exclaimed, "Jesus! the very features of Mr. Random!"
Narcissa, having recollected herself a little, said, "Whatever
angel brought it hither as a comfort to me in my affliction, I am
thankful for the benefit, and will preserve it as the dearest object
of my care." So saying, she kissed it with surprising ardour, shed
a flood of tears, and then deposited the lifeless image in her lovely
bosom. Transported at these symptoms of her unaltered affection, I
was about to throw myself at her feet, when. Miss Williams, whose
reflection was less engaged than that of her mistress, observed
that the picture could not transport itself hither, and that she
could not help thinking I was not far off. The gentle Narcissa,
starting at this conjecture, answered, "Heaven forbid! for although
nothing in the universe could yield me satisfaction equal to that
of his presence for one poor moment, in a proper place, I would
rather forfeit his company--almost for ever, than see him here,
where his life would be exposed to so much danger." I could no
longer restrain the impulse of my passion, but, breaking from my
concealment, stood before her, when she uttered a fearful shriek,
and fainted in the arms of her companion. I flew towards the treasure
of my soul, clasped her in my embrace, and with the warmth of my
kisses, brought her again to life. Oh that I were endowed with the
expression of a Raphael, the graces of a Guido, the magic touches
of a Titian, that I might represent the fond concern, the chastened
rapture and ingenuous blush, that mingled on her beauteous face,
when she opened her eyes upon me, and pronounced, "O heavens! is
it you?" I am afraid I have already encroached upon the reader's
patience with the particulars of this amour, of which (I own) I
cannot help being impertinently circumstantial. I shall therefore
omit the less material passages of this interview, during which I
convinced her reason, though I could not appease the sad presages
of her love, with regard to the long voyage and dangers I must
undergo. When we had spent an hour (which was all she could spare
from the barbarity of her brother's vigilance) in lamenting over
our hard fate, and in repeating our reciprocal vows, Miss Williams
reminded us of the necessity there was for our immediate parting;
and, sure, lovers never parted with such sorrow and reluctance as
we. But because my words are incapable of doing. justice to this
affecting circumstance, I am obliged to draw a veil over it, and
observe, that I returned in the dark to the house of Mrs. Sagely,
who was overjoyed to hear of my success, and opposed the tumults
of my grief with such strength of reason, that my mind regained, in
some measure, its tranquillity; and that very night, after having
forced upon the good gentlewoman a purse of twenty guineas, as a
token of my gratitude and esteem, I took my leave of her, and set
out on foot for the inn, where my arrival freed honest Strap from
the horrors of unutterable dread.

We took horse immediately, and alighted early next morning at Deal,
where I found my uncle in great concern on account of my absence,
because he had received his despatches, and must have weighed with
the first fair wind, whether I had been on board or not. Next day,
a brisk easterly gale springing up, we set sail, and in eight and
forty hours got clear of the Channel.

When we were about two hundred leagues to westward of the Land's
End, the captain, taking me apart into the cabin, told me that, now
he was permitted by his instructions, he would disclose the intent
and destination of our voyage. "The ship," said he, "which has been
fitted out at a great expense, is bound for the coast of Guinea,
where we shall exchange part of our cargo for slaves and gold dust,
from whence we will transport our negroes to Buenos Ayres in New
Spain, where (by virtue of passports, obtained from our own court,
and that of Madrid) we will dispose of them and the goods that remain
on board for silver, by means of our supercargo, who is perfectly
well acquainted with the coast, the lingo, and inhabitants." Being
thus let into the secret of our expedition, I borrowed of the
supercargo a Spanish grammar, dictionary, and some other books
of the same language, which I studied with such application that,
before we arrived in New Spain, I could maintain a conversation
with him in that tongue. Being arrived in the warm latitudes, I
ordered (with the captain's consent) the whole ship's company to be
blooded and purged, myself undergoing the same evacuation, in order
to prevent those dangerous fevers to which northern constitutions
are subject in hot climates; and I have reason to believe, that
this precaution was not unserviceable, for we lost but one sailor
during our whole passage to the coast.

One day, when we had been about five weeks at sea, we descried to
windward a large ship bearing down upon us with all the sail she
could carry. Upon which, my uncle ordered the studding-sails to be
hoisted and the ship to be cleared for engaging; but, finding that
(to use the seaman's phrase) we were very much wronged by the ship
which had us in chase, and by this time had hoisted French colours,
he commanded the studding-sails to be taken in, the courses to be
clowed up, the main topsail to be backed, the tompions to be taken
out of the guns, and every man to repair to his quarters. While
every body was busied in the performance of these orders, Strap came
upon the quarter-deck, trembling and looking aghast, and, with a
voice half-suppressed by fear, asked if I thought we were a match
for the vessel in pursuit of us. Observing his consternation, I
said, "What! are you afraid, Strap." "Afraid! (he replied); n-n-no;
what should I be afraid of? I thank God I have a clear conscience;
but I believe it will be a bloody battle, and I wish you may not
have occasion for another hand to assist you in the cockpit." I
immediately perceived his drift, and making the captain acquainted
with his situation, desired he might be stationed below with me and
my mates. My uncle, incensed at his pusillanimity, bade me send him
down instantly, that his fear might not infect the ship's company;
whereupon I told the poor steward that I had begged him for
my assistant, and desired him to go down and help my mates to get
ready the instruments and dressings. Notwithstanding the satisfaction
he must have felt at those tidings, he affected a shyness of quitting
the upper deck; and said, he hoped I did not imagine he was afraid
to do his duty above board; for he believed himself as well prepared
for death as any man in the ship, no disparagement to me or the
captain. I was disgusted at this affectation; and, in order to
punish his hypocrisy, assured him he might take his choice, either
of going down to the cockpit with me, or staying upon deck during
the engagement. Alarmed at this indifference, he replied, "Well,
to oblige you, I'll go down, but remember it is more for your sake
than my own." So saying, he disappeared in a twinkling, without
waiting for an answer.

By this time, we could observe two tier of guns in the ship which
pursued us, and which was now but two short miles astern. This
discovery had an evident effect upon the sailors, who did not
scruple to say, that we should be torn to pieces, and blown out
of the water, and that, if in case any of them should lose their
precious limbs, they must go a begging for life, for there was
no provision made by the merchants for those poor souls who are
maimed in their service. The captain, understanding this, ordered
the crew abaft, and spoke to them thus: "My lads, I am told you
hang an a--se. I have gone to sea thirty years, a man and a boy,
and never saw English sailors afraid before. Mayhap you may think
I want to expose you for the lucre of gain. Whosoever thinks so,
thinks a d--ned lie, for my whole cargo is insured; so that, in
case I should be taken, my loss would not be great. The enemy is
stronger than we, to be sure. What then? have we not a chance for
carrying away one of her masts, and so get clear of her? If we find
her too hard for us, 'tis but striking at last. If any man is hurt
in the engagement, I promise on the word of an honest seaman, to
make him a recompense according to his loss. So now, you that are
lazy, lubberly, cowardly dogs, get away and skulk in the hold and
bread-room; and you, that are jolly boys, stand by me, and let us
give one broadside for the honour of Old England." This eloquent
harangue was so well adapted to the disposition of his hearers,
that one and all of them, pulling off their hats, waved them over
their heads, and saluted him with three cheers; upon which he
sent his boy for two large case-bottles of brandy: having treated
every man with a dram, they repaired to their quarters, and waited
impatiently for the word of command. I must do my uncle the justice
to say, that in the whole of his disposition, he behaved with the
utmost intrepidity, conduct, and deliberation. The enemy being
very near, he ordered me to my station, and was just going to give
the word for hoisting the colours, and firing, when the supposed
Frenchman hauled down his white pennant, jack, and ensign, hoisted
English ones, and fired a gun a-head of us. This was a joyful event
to Captain Bowling, who immediately showed his colours, and fired
a gun to leeward; upon which the other ship ran alongside of us,
hailed him, and, giving him to know that she was an English man-of-war
of forty guns, ordered him to hoist out his boat and come on board.
This command he obeyed with the more alacrity, because, upon inquiry,
he found that she was commanded by an old messmate of his, who was
overjoyed to see him, detained him to dinner, and sent his barge for
the supercargo and me, who were very much caressed on his account.
As this commander was destined to cruise upon the French in the
latitude of Martinico, his stem and quarters were adorned with white
fleurs-de-lis, and the whole shell of the ship so much disguised
for a decoy to the enemy, that it was no wonder my uncle did not
know her, although he had sailed on board of her many years. We
kept company with her four days, during which time the captains
were never asunder, and then parted, our course lying different
from hers.

In less than fortnight after our separation, we made the land of
Guinea, near the mouth of the River Gambia; and trading along the
coast as far to the southward of the Line as Angola and Bengula,
in less than six months disposed of the greatest part of our cargo,
and purchased four hundred negroes, my adventure having been laid
out in gold dust.

Our complement being made up, we took our departure from Cape Negroe,
and arrived in the Rio de la Plata in six weeks, having met with
nothing remarkable in our voyage, except an epidemic fever, not
unlike the jail distemper, which broke out among our slaves and
carried off a good many of the ship's company; among whom I lost
one of my mates, and poor Strap had well nigh given up the ghost.
Having produced our passport to the Spanish governor, we were
received with great courtesy, sold our slaves in a very few days,
and could have put off five times the number at our own price; though
we were obliged to smuggle the rest of our merchandise, consisting
of European bale-goods, which however we made shift to dispose of
at a great advantage.


I am invited to the Villa of a Spanish Don, where we went with an
English Gentleman, and make a very interesting discovery--we leave
Buenos Ayres, and arrive at Jamaica

Our ship being freed from the disagreeable lading of negroes,
to whom, indeed, I had been a miserable slave since our leaving
the coast of Guinea, I began to enjoy myself, and breathe with
pleasure the pure air of Paraguay, this part of which is reckoned
the Montpelier of South America, and has obtained, on account of
its climate, the name of Buenos Ayres. It was in this delicious
place that I gave myself entirely up to the thoughts of my dear
Narcissa, whose image still kept possession of my breast, and
whose charms, enhanced by absence, appeared to my imagination, if
possible, more engaging than ever! I calculated the profits of my
voyage, which even exceeded my expectation; resolved to purchase
sinecure upon my arrival in England, and if I should find the squire
as averse to me as ever, marry his sister by stealth; and in case
our family should increase, rely on the generosity of my uncle,
who was by this time worth a considerable sum.

While I amused myself with these agreeable projects, and
the transporting thoughts of enjoying Narcissa, we were very much
caressed by the Spanish gentlemen, who frequently formed parties
of pleasure for our entertainment, in which we made excursions a
good way into the country. Among those who signalised themselves by
their civility to us, was one Don Antonio de Ribera, a very polite
young gentleman, with whom I had contracted an intimate friendship,
who invited us one day to his country house, and, as a further
inducement to our compliance, promised to procure for us the
company of an English Signor, who had been settled in those parts
many years. and acquired the love and esteem of the whole province
by his affability, good sense, and honourable behaviour.

We accepted his invitation, and set out for his villa, where we
had not been longer than an hour, when the person arrived in whose
favour I had been so much prepossessed. He was a tall man, remarkably
well shaped, of a fine mieu and appearance, commanding respect,
and seemed to be turned of forty; the features of his face were
saddened with a reserve and gravity, which in other countries would
have been thought the effect of melancholy; but here appeared to
have been contracted by his commerce with the Spaniards, who are
remarkable for that severity of countenance. Understanding from Don
Antonio that we were his countrymen, he saluted us all round very
complacently, and fixing his eyes attentively on me, uttered a deep
sigh. I had been struck with a profound veneration for him at his
first coming into the room; and no sooner observed this expression
of his sorrow, directed, as it were, in a particular manner to me,
that my heart took part in his grief; I sympathised involuntarily
and sighed in my turn. Having asked leave of our entertainer, he
accosted us in English, professed his satisfaction at seeing so many
of his countrymen in such a remote place, and asked the captain,
who went by the name of Signor Thoma, from what part of Britain
he had sailed and whither he was bound. My uncle told him that we
had sailed from the River Thames, and were bound for the same plane
by the way of Jamaica, where we intended to take in a lading of

Having satisfied himself in these and other particulars about the
state of the war, he gave us to understand, that he had a longing
desire to revisit his native country, in consequence of which he
had already transmitted to Europe the greatest part of his fortune
in neutral bottoms, and would willingly embark the rest of it with
himself in our ship, provided the captain had no objection to such
a passenger. My uncle very prudently replied, that for his part he
should be glad of his company, if he could procure the consent of
the governor, without which he durst not take him on board, whatever
inclination he had to oblige him. The gentleman approved of his
discretion, and telling him that there would be no difficulty in
obtaining the connivance of the governor, who was his good friend,
shifted the conversation to another subject.

I was overjoyed to hear his intention, and already interested myself
so much in his favour that, had he been disappointed, I should have
been very unhappy. In the course of our entertainment, he eyed me
with uncommon attachment, I felt a surprising attraction towards
him; when he spoke, I listened with attention and reverence; the
dignity of his deportment filled me with affection and awe; and,
in short, the emotions of my soul, in presence of this stranger,
were strong and unaccountable.

Having spent the best part of the day with us, he took his leave,
telling Captain Thoma, that he should hear from him in a short time.
He was no sooner gone than I asked a thousand questions about him
of Don Antonio, who could give me no other satisfaction than that
his name was Don Rodrigo, that be had lived fifteen or sixteen
years in these parts, was reputed rich, and supposed to have been
unfortunate in his younger years, because he was observed to nourish
a pensive melancholy, even from the time of his first settlement
among them; but that nobody had ventured to inquire into the cause
of his sorrow, in consideration of his peace, which might suffer
in the recapitulation of his misfortunes.

I was seized with an irresistible desire of knowing the particulars
of his fate, and enjoyed not an hour of repose during the whole
night, by reason of the eager conceptions that inspired me with
regard to his story, which I resolved (if possible) to learn. Next
morning, while we were at breakfast, three mules, richly caparisoned,
arrived with a message from Don Rodrigo, desiring our company,
and that of Don Antonio, at his house, which was situated about ten
miles further up in the country. I was pleased with this invitation,
in consequence of which we mounted the mules which he had provided for
us, and alighted at his house before noon. Here we were splendidly
entertained by the generous stranger, who still seemed to show a
particular regard for me, and after dinner made me a present of a
ring, set with a beautiful amethyst, the production of that country,
saying, at the same time, that he was once blessed with a son, who,
had he lived, would have been nearly of my age. This observation,
delivered with a profound sigh, made my heart throb with violence:
a crowd of confused ideas rushed upon my imagination, which, while
I endeavoured to unravel, my uncle perceived my absence of thought,
and tapping me on the shoulder, said, "Oons, are you asleep, Rory?"
Before I had time to reply, Don Rodrigo, with uncommon eagerness
of voice and look, pronounced, "Pray, captain, what is the
young gentleman's name?" "His name," said my uncle, "is Roderick
Random." "Gracious Powers! " cried the stranger, starting up-"And
his mother's?" "His mother," answered the captain, amazed, "was
called Charlotte Bowling." "O bounteous Heaven!" exclaimed Don
Rodrigo, springing across the table, and clasping me in his arms,
"my son! my son! have I found thee again? do I hold thee in my
embrace, after having lost and despaired of seeing thee so long?"
So saying, he fell upon my neck, and wept aloud with joy; while
the power of nature operating strongly in my breast. I was lost in
rapture, and while he pressed me to his heart, let fall a shower
of tears in his bosom. His utterance was choked up a good while by
the agitation of his soul; at length he broke out into "Mysterious
Providence!--O my dear Charlotte, there yet remains a pledge of
our love! and such a pledge!--so found! O infinite Goodness, let
me adore thy all-wise decrees!" Having thus expressed himself, he
kneeled upon the floor, lifted up his eyes and hands to heaven, and
remained some minutes in silent ecstacy of devotion. I put myself
in the same posture, adored the all-good Dispenser in a prayer of
mental thanksgiving: and when his ejaculation was ended, did homage
to my father, and craved his paternal blessing. He hugged me again
with unutterable fondness, and having implored the protection of
Heaven upon my head, raised me from the ground, and presented me
as his son to the company, who wept in concert over this affecting
scene. Among the rest, my uncle did not fail to discover the
goodness and joy of his heart. Albeit unused to the melting mood,
he blubbered with great tenderness, and wringing my father's hand,
cried, "Brother Random, I'm rejoiced to see you--God be praised
for this happy meeting!" Don Rodrigo, understanding that he was
his brother-in-law, embraced him affectionately, saying, "Are you
my Charlotte's brother? Alas! unhappy Charlotte! but why should I
repine? we shall meet again, never more to part! Brother, you are
truly welcome. Dear son, I am transported with unspeakable joy! This
day is a jubilee--my friends and servants shall share my satisfaction."

While he dispatched messengers to the gentlemen in the neighbourhood,
to announce this event, and gave orders for a grand entertainment,
I was so much affected with the tumults of passion, which assailed
me on this great, sudden, and unexpected occasion, that I fell sick,
fevered, and in less than three hours became quite delirious: so
that the preparations were countermanded, and the joy of the family
converted into grief and despair. Physicians were instantly called,
I was plentifully blooded in the foot, my lower extremities were
bathed in a decoction of salutiferous herbs: in ten hours after
I was taken ill I enjoyed a critical sweat, and next day felt the
remains of the distemper, but an agreeable lassitude, which did
not hinder me from getting up. During the progress of this fever,
which, from the term or its duration, is called ephemera, my father
never once quitted my bedside, but administered the prescriptions
of the physicians with the most pious care; while Captain Bowling
manifested his concern by the like attendance. I no sooner found
myself delivered from this disease, than I bethought myself of my
honest friend Strap; and resolving to make him happy forthwith in
the knowledge of my good fortune, told my father in general, that
I had been infinitely obliged to this faithful adherent, and begged
he would indulge me so far as to send for him, without letting him
know my happiness, until he could receive an account of it from my
own mouth.

My request was instantly complied with, and a messenger with a spare
mule despatched to the ship, carrying orders from the captain to
the mate, to send the steward by the bearer. My health being, in the
meantime, re-established, and my mind composed I began to relish
this important turn of my fortune, in reflecting upon the advantages
with which it must be attended; and, as the idea of my lovely
Narcissa always joined itself to every scene of happiness I could
imagine, I entertained myself now with the prospect of possessing
her in that distinguished sphere to which she was entitled by her
birth and qualifications. Having often mentioned her name while
I was deprived of my senses, my father guessed that there was an
intimate connection between us, and discovering the picture which
hung in my bosom by ribbon, did not doubt that it was the resemblance
of my amiable mistress. In this belief he was confirmed by my uncle,
who told him that it was the picture of a young woman, to whom I
was under promise of marriage. Alarmed at this piece of information,
Don Rodrigo took the first opportunity of questioning me about the
particulars of this affair, which when I had candidly recounted,
he approved of my passion, and promised to contribute all in his
power towards its success. Though I never doubted his generosity,
I was transported on this occasion, and throwing myself at his
feet, told him, he had now completed my happiness, for, without
the possession or Narcissa I should be miserable among all the
pleasures of life. He raised me with a smile of paternal fondness;
said he knew what it was to be in love; and observed that, if he had
been as tenderly beloved by his father as I was by mine, he should
not now perhaps have cause--Here he was interrupted by a sigh, the
tear rushed into his eye, suppressed the dictates of his grief, and
the time being opportune, desired me to relate the passages of my
life, which my uncle had told him were manifold and surprising. I
recounted the most material circumstances of my fortune, to which
he listened with wonder and attention, manifesting from time to
time the different emotions which my different situations may be
supposed to have raised in a parent's breast; and, when my detail
was ended, blessed God for the adversity I had undergone, which,
he said, enlarged the understanding, improved the heart, steeled
the constitution, and qualified a young man for all the duties and
enjoyments of life much better than any education which affluence
could bestow.

When I had thus satisfied his curiosity, I discovered an inclination
to hear the particulars of his story, which he gratified by beginning
with his marriage, and proceeded to the day of his disappearing,
as I have related in the first part of my memoirs. "Careless of
life," continued he, " and unable to live in a place where every
object recalled the memory of my dear Charlotte, whom I had lost
through the barbarity of an unnatural parent, I took my leave of
you, my child, then an infant, with a heart full of unutterable
woe, but little suspecting that my father's unkindness would have
descended to my innocent orphan; and setting out alone at midnight
for the nearest seaport, early next morning got on board a ship,
bound, as I had heard, for France; and, bargaining with the master
for my passage, bade a long adieu to my native country, and put
to sea with the first fair wind. The place of our destination was
Granville, but we had the misfortune to run upon a ridge of rocks
near the Island of Alderney, called the Caskets, where the sea
running high, the ship went to pieces, the boat sunk alongside, and
every soul on board perished, except myself, who, by the assistance
of a grating got ashore on the coast of Normandy. I went directly
to Caen, where I was so lucky as to meet with a count, whom I had
formerly known in my travels; with this gentleman I set out for
Paris, where I was recommended by him and other friends, as tutor
to a young nobleman, whom I accompanied to the court of Spain.
There we remained a whole year, at the end of which my pupil being
recalled by his father, I quitted my office, and stayed behind,
by the advice of a certain Spanish grandee, who took me into his
protection, and introduced me to another nobleman, who was afterwards
created viceroy of Peru. He insisted on my attending, him to his
government of the Indies, where, however, by reason of my religion,
it was not in his power to make my fortune any other way than by
encouraging me to trade, which I had not long prosecuted when my
patron died, and I found myself in the midst of strangers, without
one friend to support or protect me. Urged by this consideration,
I sold my effects, and removed to this country, the governor
of which, having been appointed by the viceroy, was my intimate
acquaintance. Here has heaven prospered my endeavours, during
a residence of sixteen years, in which my tranquillity was never
invaded but by the remembrance of your mother, whose death I have
in secret mourned without ceasing, and the reflection of you, whose
fate I could never learn notwithstanding all my inquiries by means
of my friends in France, who, after the most strict examination,
could give me no other account than that you went abroad six years
ago, and was never after heard of. I could not rest satisfied with
this imperfect information, and, though my hope of finding you was
but languid, resolved to go in quest of you in person; for which
purpose, I have remitted to Holland the value of twenty thousand
pounds, and am in possession of fifteen thousand more, with which
I intended to embark myself on board of Captain Bowling, before
I discovered this amazing stroke of Providence, which, you may be
sure, has not altered my intention."

My father, having entertained us with this agreeable sketch of
his life, withdrew, in order to relieve Don Antonio, who, in his
absence, had done the honours of his house; and I was just dressed
for my appearance among the guests, when Strap arrived from the

He no sooner entered the grand apartment in which I was, and saw the
magnificence of my apparel, than his speech was lost in amazement,
and he gaped in silence at the objects that surrounded him. I took
him by the hand, observed that I had sent for him to be a witness
and sharer of my happiness, and told him I had found a father. At
these words he started, and, after having continued some minutes
with his mouth and eyes wide open, cried, "Ah!--odd, I know what!
go thy ways, poor Narcissa, and go thy ways somebody else--well--Lord,
what a thing is love! God help us! are all our mad pranks and
protestations come to this? And have you fixed your habitation in
this distant land? God prosper you--I find we must part at last--for
I would not leave my poor carcase so far from my native home, for
all the wealth of the universe!" With these ejaculations, he began
to sob and make wry faces; upon which I assured him of his mistake,
both in regard to my staying in Paraguay, and informed him, as
briefly as I could, of the great event that had happened. Never was
rapture more ludicrously expressed than in the behaviour of this
worthy creature, who cried, laughed, whistled, sung, and danced,
all in a breath. His transport was scarce over, when my father
entered, who no sooner understood that this was Strap, than he took
him by the hand, saying, "Is this the honest man who befriended you
so much in your distress? You are welcome to my house, and I will
soon put it in the power of my son to reward you for your good
offices in his behalf; in the meantime go with us and partake of
the repast that is provided." Strap, wild as he was with joy, would
by no means accept of the proffered honour, crying, "God forbid! I
know my distance--your worship shall excuse me." And Don Rodrigo,
finding his modesty invincible, recommended him to his major-domo,
to be treated with the utmost respect; while he carried me in
a large saloon, where I was presented to a numerous company, who
loaded me with compliments and caresses, and congratulated my father
in terms not proper for me to repeat.

Without specifying the particulars of our entertainment, let it
suffice to say, it was at the same time elegant and sumptuous, and
the rejoicings lasted two days; after which, Don Rodrigo settled
his affairs, converted his effects into silver and gold, visited and
took leave of all his friends, who were grieved at his departure,
and honoured me with considerable presents; and, coming on board
of my uncle's ship, with the first fair wind we sailed from the
Rio de la Plata, and in two months came safe to an anchor in the
harbour of Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica.


I visit my old Friend Thompson--we set sail for Europe--meet with
an odd Adventure--arrive in England--I ride across the Country
from Portsmouth to Sussex--converse with Mrs. Sagely, who informs
me of Narcissa's being in London--in consequence of this Intelligence,
I proceed to Canterbury--meet with my old friend Morgan--arrive in
London--visit Narcissa--introduce my Father to be--he is charmed
with her good sense and beauty--we come to a Determination of
demanding her Brother's Consent to our Marriage

I inquired, as soon as I got ashore, about my generous companion,
Mr. Thompson, and hearing that he lived in a flourishing condition
upon the estate left him by his wife's father, who had been dead some
years, I took horse immediately, with the consent of Don Rodrigo,
who had heard me mention him with great regard, and in a few hours
reached the place of his habitation.

I should much wrong the delicacy of Mr. Thompson's sentiments to
say barely he was glad to see me: he felt all that the most sensible
and disinterested friendship could feel on this occasion, introduced
me to his wife, a very amiable young lady, who had already blessed
him with two fine children, and being as yet ignorant of my
circumstances, frankly offered me the assistance of his purse and
interest. I thanked him for his generous intention, and made him
acquainted with my situation, on which he congratulated me with
great joy, and, after I had stayed with him a whole day and night,
accompanied me back to Kingston, to wait upon my father, whom he
invited to his house. Don Rodrigo complied with his request, and,
having been handsomely entertained during the space of a week,
returned extremely well satisfied with the behaviour of my friend
and his lady, to whom, at parting, he presented a very valuable
diamond ring, as a token of his esteem. During the course of
my conversation with Mr. Thompson, he gave me to understand, that
his old commander Captain Oakum was dead some months, and that,
immediately after his death, a discovery had been made of some
valuable effects that he had feloniously secreted out of a prize
by the assistance of Dr. Mackshane, who was now actually in prison
on that account, and, being destitute of friends, subsisted solely
on the charity of my friend, whose bounty he had implored in the
most abject manner, after having been the barbarous occasion of
driving him to that terrible extremity on board of The Thunder,
which we have formerly related. Whatsoever this wretch had been
guilty of, I applauded Mr. Thompson's generosity towards him in
his distress, which wrought so much upon me also, that I sent him
ten pistoles, in such a private manner that he could never know
his benefactor.

While my father and I were caressed among the gentlemen on shore,
Captain Bowling had written to his owners, by the packet, which
sailed a few days after our arrival, signifying his prosperous voyage
hitherto, and desiring them to insure his ship and cargo homeward
bound: after which precaution he applied himself so heartily to the
task of loading his ship that, with the assistance of Mr. Thompson,
she was full in less than six weeks. This kind gentleman likewise
procured for Don Rodrigo bills upon London for the greatest part
of his gold and silver, by which means it was secured against the
risk of the seas and the enemy; and, before we sailed, supplied
us with such large quantities of all kinds of stock, that not only
we, but the ship's company, fared sumptuously during the voyage.

Everything being ready, we took our leave of our kind entertainers,
and, going on board at Port Royal, set sail for England on the
first day of June. We beat up to windward, with fine easy weather,
and one night believing ourselves near Cape Tiberon, lay to, with
an intention to wood and water next morning in the bay. While we
remained in this situation, a sailor, having drunk more new rum
than he could carry, staggered over board, and, notwithstanding all
the means that could be used to preserve him, went to the bottom,
and disappeared. About two hours after this melancholy accident
happened, as I enjoyed the cool air on the quarter-deck, I heard
a voice rising, as it were, out of the sea and calling, "Ho, the
ship ahoy!" Upon which one of the men upon the forecastle cried,
"I'll be d--n'd if that an't Jack Marlinspike, who went overboard!"
Not a little surprised at this event, I jumped into the boat that
lay alongside, with the second mate and four men, and rowing towards
the place from whence the voice (which repeated the hail) seemed
to proceed, we perceived something floating upon the water. When
we had rowed a little further, we discerned it to be a man riding
upon a hencoop, who, seeing us approach, pronounced with a hoarse
voice, "D--n your bloods! why did you not answer when I hailed?"
Our mate, who was a veritable seaman, hearing his salute, said,
"By G--, my lads, this is none of our man. This is the devil--pull
away for the ship." The fellows obeyed his command without question,
and were already some fathoms on our return, when I when I insisted
on their taking up the poor creature, and prevailed upon them to
go back to the wreck, which when we came near the second time, and
signified our intention, we received an answer of "Avast, avast--what
ship, brother?" Being satisfied in this particular, he cried, "D--n
the ship, I was in hopes it had been my own--where are you bound?"
We satisfied his curiosity in this particular too; upon which
he suffered himself to be taken on board, and, after having been
comforted with a dram, told us, he belonged to the Vesuvio man-of-war,
upon a cruise off the island of Hispaniola; that he had fallen
overboard four-and-twenty hours ago, and the ship being under sail,
they did not choose to bring to, but tossed a hencoop overboard
for his convenience, upon which he was in good hopes of reaching
the Cape next morning: howsomever, he was as well content to be
aboard of us because he did not doubt that we should meet his ship,
and if he had gone ashore in the bay, he might have been taken
prisoner by the French. My uncle and father were very much diverted
with the account of this fellow's unconcerned behaviour; and in two
days, meeting with the Vesuvio, as he expected, sent him on board
of her, according to his desire.

Having beat up successfully the windward passage, we stretched to
the northward, and falling in with a westerly wind, in eight weeks
arrived in the soundings, and in two days after made for the Lizard.
It is impossible to express the joy I felt at the sight of English
ground! Don Rodrigo was not unmoved, and Strap shed tears of
gladness. The sailors profited by our satisfaction, the shoe that
was nailed to the mast being quite filled with our liberality.
My uncle resolved to run up into the Downs at once, but the wind
shifting when we were abreast of the Isle of Wight, he was obliged
to turn into St. Helen's, and come to Spithead, to the great
mortification of the crew, thirty of whom were immediately pressed
on board a man-of-war.

My father and I went ashore immediately at Portsmouth, leaving
Strap with the captain to go round with the ship and take care of
our effects; and I discovered so much impatience to see my charming
Narcissa, that my father permitted me to ride across the country
to her brother's house; while he should hire a post-chaise for
London, where he would wait for me at a place to which I directed

Fired with all the eagerness of passion, I took post that very
night, and in the morning reached an inn about three miles from the
squire's habitation; here I remained till next morning, allaying
the torture of my impatience with the rapturous hope of seeing
that divine creature after an absence of eighteen months, which,
far from impairing, had raised my love to the most exalted pitch!
Neither were my reflections free from apprehensions: that something
intervened in spite of all my hope, and represented her as having
yielded to the importunity of her brother and blessed the arms
of a happy rival. My thoughts were even maddened with the fear of
her death; and, when I arrived in the dark at the house of Mrs.
Sagely, I had not for some time courage to desire admittance, lest
my soul should be shocked with dismal tidings. At length, however,
I knocked, and no sooner certified the good gentlewoman of my voice
than she opened the door, and received me with the most affectionate
embrace, that brought tears into her aged eyes: "For heaven's sake,
dear mother," cried I, "tell me bow is Narcissa? is she the same
that I left her?" She blessed my ears with saying, "She is as
beautiful, in as good health, and as much yours as ever." Transported
at this assurance, I begged to know if I could not see her that
very night, when this sage matron gave me to understand that my
mistress was in London, and that things were strangely altered in
the squire's house since my departure; that he had been married a
whole year to Melinda, who at first found means to wean his attention
so much from Narcissa, that he became quite careless of that lovely
sister, comforting himself with the clause in his father's will,
by which she should forfeit her fortune, by marrying without his
consent: that my mistress, being but indifferently treated by her
sister-in-law, had made use of her freedom some months ago, and gone
to town, where she was lodged with Miss Williams, in expectation
of my arrival; and had been pestered with the addresses of Lord
Quiverwit, who, finding her heart engaged, had fallen upon a great
many shifts to persuade her that I was dead; but, finding all his
artifices unsuccessful, and despairing of gaining her affection,
he had consoled himself for her indifference, by marrying another
lady some weeks ago, who had already left him on account of some
family uneasiness. Besides this interesting information, she told
me there was not a great deal of harmony between Melinda and the
squire, who was so much disgusted at the number of gallants who
continued to hover about her even after her marriage, that he had
hurried her down into the country, much against her own inclination,
where their mutual animosities had risen to such a height, that
they preserved no decency before company or servants, but abused
one another in the grossest terms.

This good old gentlewoman, to give me a convincing proof of my dear
Narcissa's unalterable love, gratified me with a sight of the last
letter she had favoured her with, in which I was mentioned with so
much honour, tenderness, and concern, that my soul was fired with
impatience, and I determined to ride all night, that I might have it
the sooner in my power to make her happy. Mrs. Sagely, perceiving
my eagerness, and her maternal affection being equally divided between
Narcissa and me, begged leave to remind me of the sentiments with
which I went abroad, that would not permit me for any selfish
gratification to prejudice the fortune of that amiable young lady,
who must entirely depend upon me, after having bestowed herself
in marriage. I thanked her for her kind concern, and as briefly as
possible described my flourishing situation, which afforded this
humane person infinite wonder and satisfaction. I told her, that
now I had an opportunity to manifest my gratitude for the many
obligations I owed, I would endeavour to make her old age comfortable
and easy; as a step to which I proposed she should come and live with
Narcissa and me. This venerable gentlewoman was so much affected
with my words, that the tears ran down her ancient cheeks; she
thanked heaven that I had not belied the presages she had made,
on her first acquaintance with me; acknowledging my generosity,
as she called it, in the most elegant and I pathetic expressions;
but declined my proposal, on account of her attachment to the dear
melancholy cottage where she had so peacefully consumed her solitary
widowhood. Finding her immovable on this subject, I insisted on her
accepting a present of thirty guineas, and took my leave, resolving
to accommodate her with the same sum annually, for the more
comfortable support of the infirmities of old age.

Having rode all night, I found myself at Canterbury in the morning,
where I alighted to procure fresh horses; and, as I walked into
the inn, perceived an apothecary's on the other side of the street,
with the name of Morgan over the door; alarmed at this discovery,
I could not help thinking that my old messmate had settled in this
place, and upon inquiry found my conjecture true, and that he was
married lately to a widow in that city, by whom he had got three
thousand pounds. Rejoiced at this intelligence, I went to his shop
as soon as it was open, and found my friend behind the counter,
busy in preparing a clyster. I saluted him at entrance, with, "Your
servant, Mr. Morgan." Upon which he looked at me, and replying,
"Your most humble servant, good sir," rubbed his ingredients in the
mortar without any emotion. "What," said I, "Morgan, have you forgot
your old messmate?" At these words he looked up again, and starting,
cried, "As Cot is my--sure it cannot--yes, by my salfation, I pelieve
it is my dear friend Mr. Rantom." He was no sooner convinced of my
identity, than he threw down the pestle, overset the mortar, and
jumping over the board, swept up the contents with his clothes,
flew about my neck, hugged me affectionately, and daubed me all
over with turpentine and the yolks of eggs which he had been mixing
when I came in. Our mutual congratulations being over, he told
me, that he found himself a widower upon his return from the West
Indies; that he had got interest to be appointed surgeon of a
man-of-war, in which capacity he had served some years, until he
married an apothecary's widow, with whom he now enjoyed a pretty
good sum of money, peace, and quiet, and an indifferent good trade.
He was very desirous of hearing my adventures, which I assured him
I had not time to relate, but told him in general, my circumstances
were very good, and that I hoped to see him when I should not be
in such a hurry as at present. He insisted, however, on my staying
breakfast, and introduced me to his wife, who seemed to be a decent
sensible woman, pretty well stricken in years. In the course of
our conversation, he showed the sleeve-buttons I had exchanged with
him at our parting in the West Indies, and was not a little proud
to see that I had preserved his with the same care. When I informed
him of Mackshane's condition, he seemed at first to exult over his
distress; but, after a little recollection, said, "Well, he has paid
for his malice; I forgife him, and may Cot forgife him likewise."
He expressed great concern for the soul of Captain Oakum, which he
believed was now gnashing its teeth; but it was some time before I
could convince him of Thompson's being alive, at whose good fortune,
nevertheless, he was extremely glad.

Having renewed our protestations of friendship, I bade the honest
Welshman and his spouse farewell, and, taking post-horses, arrived
at London that same night, where I found my father in good health,
to whom I imparted what I had learned of Narcissa. This indulgent
parent approved of my intention of marrying her, even without fortune,
provided her brother's consent could not be obtained; promised to
make over to me in a few days a sufficiency to maintain her in a
fashionable manner and expressed a desire of seeing this amiable
creature, who had captivated me so much. As I had not slept the night
before, and was besides fatigued with my journey, I found myself
under a necessity of taking some repose, and went to bed accordingly:
next morning, about ten o'clock, took a chair, and according to Mrs.
Sagely's directions, went to my charmer's lodgings, and inquired
for Miss Williams. I had not waited in the parlour longer than a
minute, when this young woman entered, and no sooner perceived me,
than she shrieked and ran backward: but I got between her and the
door, and clasping her in my arms, brought her to herself with an
embrace. "Good heaven," cried she, "Mr. Random, is it you indeed?
My mistress will run distracted with joy." I told her, it was from
an apprehension that my sudden appearance might have had some bad
effect on my dear Narcissa, that I had desired to see her first, in
order to concert some method of acquainting her mistress gradually
with my arrival. She approved of my conduct, and, after having
yielded to the suggestions of her own friendship, in asking if my
voyage had been successful, charged herself with that office, and
left me glowing with desire of seeing and embracing the object
of my love. In a very little time I heard some body coming down
the stairs in haste, and the voice of my angel pronounce, with an
eager tone, "O heaven! is it possible! where is he?" How were my
faculties aroused at this well known sound! and how was my soul
transported when she broke in upon my view in all the bloom of
ripened beauty! Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye, in
every gesture dignity and love! You, whose souls are susceptible
of the most delicate impressions, whose tender bosoms have felt
the affecting vicissitudes of love, who have suffered an absence of
eighteen long months from the dear object of your hope, and found
at your return the melting fair as kind and constant as your
heart can wish, do me justice on this occasion, and conceive what
unutterable rapture possessed us both, while we flew into each
other's arms! This was no time for speech: locked in a mutual
embrace, we continued some minutes in a silent trance of joy!
When I thus encircled all my soul held dear--while I hung over her
beauties--beheld her eyes sparkle, and. every feature flush with
virtuous fondness--when I saw her enchanting bosom heave with
undissembled rapture, and knew myself the happy cause--heavens! what
was my situation! I am tempted to commit my paper to the flames,
and to renounce my pen for ever, because its most ardent and lucky
expression so poorly describes the emotions of my soul. "O adorable
Narcissa!" cried I, "O miracle of beauty, love and truth! I at
last fold thee in my arms! I at last can call thee mine! No jealous
brother shall thwart our happiness again; fortune hath at length
recompensed me for all my sufferings, and enabled me to do justice
to my love." The dear creature smiled ineffably charmingly, and,
with a look of bewitching tenderness, said, "and shall we never art
again?" "Never," I replied, "thou wondrous pattern of all earthly
perfection! never, until death shall divide us! By this ambrosial
kiss, a thousand times more fragrant than the breeze that sweeps
the orange grove, I never more will leave thee!"

As my first transport abated, my passion grew turbulent and unruly.
I was giddy with standing on the brink of bliss, and all my virtue
and philosophy were scarce sufficient to restrain the inordinate
sallies of desire. Narcissa perceived the conflict within me,
and with her usual dignity of prudence, called off my imagination
from the object in view, and with eager expressions of interested
curiosity, desired to know the particulars of my voyage. In this
I gratified her inclination, bringing my story down to the present
hour. She was infinitely surprised at the circumstance of finding
my father, which brought tears into her lovely eyes. She was transported
at hearing that approved of my flame, discovered a longing desire
of being introduced to him, congratulated herself and me upon my
good fortune, and observed, that this great and unexpected stroke
of fate seemed to have been brought about by the immediate direction
of Providence. Having entertained ourselves some hours with the
genuine effusions of our souls, I obtained her consent to complete
my happiness as soon as my father should judge it proper; and, applying
with my own hands a valuable necklace, composed of diamonds and
amethysts set alternately, which an old Spanish lady at Paraguay
had presented me with, I took my leave, promising to return in the
afternoon with Don Rodrigo. When I went home, this generous parent
inquired very affectionately about the health of my dear Narcissa,
to whom, that I might be the more agreeable, he put into my hand
a deed, by which I found myself in possession of fifteen thousand
pounds, exclusive of the profits of my own merchandise, which
amounted to three thousand more. After dinner I accompanied him to
the lodgings of my mistress, who, being dressed for the occasion,
made a most dazzling appearance. I could perceive him struck with
her figure, which I really think was the most beautiful that ever
was created under the sun. He embraced her tenderly, and told
her he was proud of having a son who had spirit to attempt, and
qualifications to engage the affections of such a fine lady. She
blushed at this compliment, and, with eyes full of the softest
lauguishment turned upon me, said, she should have been unworthy
of Mr. Random's attention, had she been blind to his extraordinary
merit. I made no other answer than a low bow. My father, sighing,
pronounced, "Such was once my Charlotte;" while the tear rushed
into his eye, and the tender heart of Narcissa manifested itself
in two precious drops of sympathy, which, but for his presence,
I would have kissed away. Without repeating the particulars of
our conversation, I shall only observe, that Don Rodrigo was as
much charmed with her good sense as with her appearance, and she
was no less pleased with his understanding and polite address. It
was determined that he should write to the squire, signifying his
approbation of my passion for his sister, and offering a settlement,
which he should have no reason to reject; and that, if he should
refuse the proposal, we would crown our mutual wishes without any
further regard to his will.


My Father makes a present to Narcissa--the Letter is dispatched to
her Brother--I appear among my Acquaintance--Banter's Behaviour--the
Squire refuses his Consent--my Uncle comes to Town--approves of
my Choice--I am married--we meet the Squire and his Lady at the
Play--our Acquaintance is courted

After having spent the evening to the satisfaction of all present,
my father addressed himself thus to Narcissa. "Madam, give me
leave to consider you hereafter as my daughter, in which capacity
I insist upon your accepting this first instance of my paternal
duty and affection." With these words he put into her hand a bank
note of five hundred pounds, which she no sooner examined, than
with a low courtesy she replied. "Dear sir, though I have not the
least occasion for this supply, I have too great a veneration for
you to refuse this proof of your generosity and esteem, which I
the more freely receive, because I already look upon Mr. Random's
interest as inseparably connected with mine." He was extremely well
pleased with her frank and ingenuous reply, upon which we saluted,
and wished her good night. The letter, at my request, was dispatched
to Sussex by an express, and in the meantime, Don Rodrigo, to
grace my nuptials, hired a ready furnished house, and set up a very
handsome equipage.

Though I passed the greatest part of the day with the darling of my
soul, I found leisure sometimes to be among my former acquaintance,
who were astonished at the magnificence of my appearance. Banter
in particular was confounded at the vicissitudes of my fortune,
the causes of which he endeavoured in vain to discover, until I
thought fit to disclose the whole secret of my last voyage, partly
in consideration of our former intimacy, and partly to prevent
unfavourable conjectures, which he and others, in all probability,
would have made in regard to my circumstances. He professed great
satisfaction at this piece of news; and I had no cause to believe
him insincere, when I considered that he would now look upon himself
as acquitted of the debt he owed me, and at the same time flatter
himself with the hopes of borrowing more. I carried him home to dinner
with me, and my father liked his conversation so much, that, upon
hearing his difficulties, he desired me to accommodate him for the
present, and inquire, if he would accept of a commission in the
army, towards the purchase of which he should willingly lend him
money. Accordingly, I gave my friend an opportunity of being alone
with me, when, as I expected, he told me that he was just on the
point of being reconciled to an old rich uncle, whose heir he was,
but wanted a few pieces for immediate expense, which he desired
I would lend him and take my bond for the whole. His demand was
limited to ten guineas; and when I put twenty in his hand, he stared
at me for some moments; then, putting it into his purse, "Ay,--'tis
all one--you shall have the whole in a very short time." When I
had taken his note, to save the expense of a bond, I expressed some
surprise that a fellow of his spirit should loiter away his time
in idleness, and, asked why he did not choose to make his fortune
in the army. "What," said he, "throw away money upon a subaltern's
commission, and be under the command of a parcel of scoundrels,
who have raised themselves above me by the most infamous practices.
No, I love independency too well to sacrifice my life, health, and
pleasure, for such a pitiful consideration." Finding him adverse to
this way of life, I changed the subject, and returned to Don Rodrigo,
who had just received the following epistle from the squire:

"Sir,--Concerning a letter which I received, subscribed R.
Random, this is the answer. As for you, I know nothing of you.
Your son, or pretended son, I have seen; if he marries my
sister, at his peril be it; I do declare that he shall not
have one farthing of her fortune, which becomes my property,
if she takes a husband without my consent. Your settlement,
I do believe, is all a sham, and yourself no better than
you should be; but if you had all the wealth of the Indies,
your son shall never match in our family with the consent of
"Orson Topehall"

My father was not much surprised at this polite letter, after having
heard the character of the author; and as for me, I was even pleased
at his refusal, because I had now an opportunity of showing my
disinterested love. By his permission I waited on my charmer: and
having imparted the contents of her brother's letter, at which she
wept bitterly, in spite of all my consolation and caresses, the time
of our marriage was fixed two days. During this interval, in which
my soul was wound up to the last stretch of rapturous expectation,
Narcissa endeavoured to reconcile some of her relations in town to
her marriage with me; but, finding them all deaf to her remonstrances,
either out of envy or prejudice, she told me with the most enchanting
sweetness, while the tears bedewed her lovely cheeks, "Sure the
world will no longer question your generosity when you take a poor
forlorn beggar to your arms?" Affected with her sorrow, I pressed
the fair mourner to my breast, and swore that she was more dear
and welcome on that account, because she had sacrificed her friends
and fortune to her love for me. My uncle, for whose character she
had a great veneration, being by this time come to town, I introduced him
to my bride; and, although he was not very much subject to refined
sensations, he was struck dumb with admiration at her beauty.
After having kissed and gazed at her for some time, he turned to
me, saying. "Odds bobs, Rory! a notable prize indeed, finely built
and gloriously rigged, i'faith! If she an't well manned when you
take the command of her, sirrah, you deserve to go to sea in a
cockle shell. No offence, I hope, niece! you must not mind what
I say, being (as the saying is) a plain seafaring man, thof mayhap
I have as much regard for you as another." She received him with
great civility, told him she had longed a great while to see a
person to whom she was so much indebted for his generosity to Mr.
Random; that she looked upon him as her uncle, by which name she
begged leave to call him for the future; and that she was very
sure he could say nothing that would give her the least offence.
The honest captain was transported at her courteous behaviour, and
insisted upon giving her away at the ceremony, swearing that he
loved her as well as if she was his own child, and that he would
give two thousand guineas to the first fruit of our love, as soon
as it would squeak. Everything being settled for the solemnisation
of our nuptials, which were to be performed privately at my father's
house, the auspicious hour arrived, when Don Rodrigo and my uncle
went in the coach to fetch the bride and Miss Williams: leaving me
with a parson, Banter, and Strap, neither of whom had as yet seen
my charming mistress. My faithful valet, who was on the rack of
impatience to behold a lady of whom he had heard so much, no sooner
understood that the coach was returned, than he placed himself at
a window, to have a peep at her as she alighted; and, when he saw
her, clapped his hands together, turned up the white of his eyes,
and, with his mouth wide open, remained in a sort of ecstacy, which
broke out into "O Dea certe! qualis in Eurotae ripis, aut per juga
Cynthi exercet Diana choros?" The doctor and Banter were surprised
to hear my man speak Latin; but when my father led Narcissa into the
room, the object of their admiration was soon changed, as appeared
in the countenances of both. Indeed, they must have been the most
insensible of all beings, could they have beheld without emotion
the divine creature that approached! She was dressed in a sack of
white satin, embroidered on the breast with gold, the crown of her
head was covered with a small French cap, from whence descended her
beautiful hair in ringlets that waved upon her snowy neck, which
dignified the necklace I bad given her; her looks glowed with modesty
and love; and her bosom, through the veil of gauze that shaded it,
afforded a prospect of Elysium! I received this inestimable gift
of Providence as became me; and in a little time the clergyman did
his office, my uncle, at his own earnest request, acting the part
of a father to my dear Narcissa, who trembled very much, and had
scarce spirits sufficient to support her under this great change of
situation. Soon as she was mine by the laws or heaven and earth,
I printed a burning kiss upon her lips; my father embraced her
tenderly, my uncle hugged her with great affection, and I presented
her to my friend Banter, who saluted her in a very polite manner;
Miss Williams hung round her neck, and went plentifully; while Strap
fell upon his knees, and begged to kiss his lady's hand, which she
presented with great affability. I shall not pretend to describe
my own feelings at this juncture; let it suffice to say that having
supped and entertained ourselves till ten o'clock, I cautioned my
Narcissa against exposing her health by sitting up too late, and
she was prevailed upon to withdraw with her maid to an apartment
destined for us. When she left the room, her face overspread with
a blush that set all my blood in a state of fermentation, and made
every pulse beat with tenfold vigour! She was so cruel as to let
me remain in this condition a full half-hour: when, no longer able
to restrain my impatience, I broke from the company, burst into her
chamber, pushed out her confidante, and locked the door, and found
her--O heaven and earth!--a feast a thousand times more delicious
than my most sanguine hopes presaged! But, let me not profane the
chaste mysteries of Hymen. I was the happiest of men!

In the morning I was awaked by three or four drums, which Banter
had placed under the window; upon which I withdrew the curtain,
and enjoyed the unspeakable satisfaction of contemplating those
angelic charms which were now in my possession! Beauty! which,
whether sleeping or awake, shot forth peculiar graces! The light
darting upon my Narcissa's eyes, she awoke also, and recollecting
her situation, hid her blushes in my bosom. I was distracted with
joy! I could not believe the evidence of my senses, and looked upon
all that had happened as the fictions of a dream! In the meantime
my uncle knocked at the door, and bade me turn out, for I had had
a long spell. I rose accordingly, and sent Miss Williams to her
mistress, myself receiving the congratulation of Captain Bowling,
who rallied me in his sea phrase with great success. In less than
an hour, Don Rodrigo led my wife into breakfast, where she received
the compliments of the company on her looks, which, they said, if
possible, were improved by matrimony. As her delicate ears were
offended with none of those indecent ambiguities which are too
often spoken on such occasions, she behaved with dignity, unaffected
modesty, and ease; and, as a testimony of my affection and esteem,
I presented her, in presence of them all, with a deed, by which I
settled the whole fortune I was possessed of on her and her heirs
for ever. She accepted it with a glance of most tender acknowledgment,
observed, that she could not be surprised at anything of this kind
I should do, and desired my father to take the trouble of keeping
it, saying, "Next to my own Mr. Random, you are the person in whom
I ought to have the greatest confidence." Charmed with her prudent
and ingenuous manner of proceeding, he took the paper, and assured
her that it should not lose its value while in his custody.

As we had not many visits to give and receive, the little time we
stayed in town was spent in going to public diversions, where I
have the vanity to think Narcissa was seldom eclipsed. One night,
in particular, we sent our footman to keep one of the stage boxes,
which we no sooner entered, than we perceived in the opposite
box the squire and his lady, who seemed not a little surprised at
seeing us. I was pleased at this opportunity of confronting them;
the more, because Melinda was robbed of all her admirers by my wife,
who happened that night to outshine her sister both in beauty and
dress. She was piqued at Narcissa's victory, tossed her head a
thousand different ways, flirted her fan, looked at us with disdain,
then whispered to her husband, and broke out into an affected
giggle; but all her arts proved ineffectual, either to discompose
Mrs. Random, or to conceal her own mortification, which at length
forced her away long before the play was done. The news of our
marriage being spread, with many circumstances to our disadvantage,
by the industry of this malignant creature, a certain set of persons
fond of scandal began to inquire into the particulars of my fortune,
which they no sooner understood to be independent, than the tables
were turned, and our acquaintance was courted as much as it had been
despised before: but she had too much dignity of pride to encourage
this change of conduct, especially in her relations, whom she could
never be prevailed upon to see, after the malicious reports they
had raised to her prejudice.


My father intends to revisit the Place of his Nativity--we propose to
accompany him--my Uncle renews his will in my favour, determining to
go to sea again--we set out for Scotland--arrive at Edinburgh--purchase
our paternal Estate--proceed to it--halt at the Town where
I was educated--take up my bond to Crab--the Behaviour of Potion
and his Wife, and one of our Female Cousins--our Reception at the
Estate--Strap marries Miss Williams, and is settled by my Father
to his own satisfaction--I am more and more happy.

My father intending to revisit his native country, and pay the tribute
of a few tears at my mother's grave, Narcissa and I resolved to
accompany him in the execution of his pious office, and accordingly
prepared for the journey, in which, however, my uncle would
not engage, being resolved to try his fortune once more at sea.
In the meantime he renewed his will in favour of my wife and me,
and deposited it in the hands of his brother-in-law: while I (that
I might not be wanting to my own interest) summoned the squire
to produce his father's will at Doctors' Commons, and employed a
proctor to manage the affair in my absence.

Everything being thus settled, we took leave of all our friends
in London, and set out for Scotland, Don Rodrigo, Narcissa, Miss
Williams, and I, in the coach, and Strap, with two men in livery,
on horseback; as we made easy stages, my charmer held it out very
well, till we arrived at Edinburgh, where we proposed to rest
ourselves some weeks.

Here Don Rodrigo having intelligence that the foxhunter had spoilt
his estate, which was to be exposed to sale by public auction, he
determined to make a purchase of the spot where he was born, and
actually bought all the land that belonged to his father.

In a few days after this bargain was made, we left Edinburgh, in
order to go and take possession; and by the way halted one night
in that town where I was educated. Upon inquiry, I found that Mr.
Crab was dead; whereupon I sent for his executor, paid the sum I
owed with interest, and took up my bond. Mr. Potion and his wife,
hearing of my arrival, had the assurance to come to the inn.
where we lodged, and send up their names, with the desire of being
permitted to pay their respects to my father and me: but their
sordid behaviour towards me, when I was an orphan, had made too
deep an impression on my mind to be effaced by this mean mercenary
piece of condescension: I therefore rejected their message with
disdain, and bade Strap tell them, that my father and I desired to
have no communication with such low-minded wretches as they were.

They had not been gone half-an-hour, when a woman, without any
ceremony, opened the door of the room where we sat, and, making
towards my father, accosted him with, "Uncle, your servant--I am
glad to see you." This was no other than one of my female cousins,
mentioned in the first part of my memoirs, to whom Don Rodrigo
replied, "Pray, who are you, madam?" "Oh!" cried she, "my cousin
Rory there knows me very well. Don't you remember me, Rory?" "Yes,
madam," said I; "for my own part, I shall never forget you. Sir,
this is one of the young ladies, who (as I have formerly told you)
treated me so humanely in my childhood!" When I pronounced these
words, my father's resentment glowed in his visage, and he ordered
her to be gone, with such a commanding aspect, that she retired in
a fright, muttering curses as she went downstairs. We afterwards
learned that she was married to an ensign, who had already spent all
her fortune; and that her sister had borne a child to her mother's
footman, who is now her husband, and keeps a petty alehouse in the

The fame of our flourishing condition having arrived at this place
before us, we got notice that the magistrates intended next day to
compliment us with the freedom of their town; upon which my father,
considering their complaisance in the right point of view, ordered
the horses to the coach early in the morning.

We proceeded to our estate, which lay about twenty miles from this
place; and, when we came within half-a-league of the house, were met
by a prodigious number of poor tenants, men, women, and children,
who testified their joy by loud acclamations, and accompanied our
coach to the gate. As there is no part of the world in which the
peasants are more attached to their lords than in Scotland, we were
almost devoured by their affections. My father had always been
their favourite, and now that he appeared their master, after having
been thought dead so long, their joy broke out into a thousand
extravagances. When we entered the court yard, we were surrounded
by a vast number, who crowded together so closely to see us that
several were in danger of being squeezed to death; those who were
near Don Rodrigo fell upon their knees, and kissed his hand, or the
hem of his garment, praying aloud for long life and prosperity to
him; others approached Narcissa and me in the same manner; while
the rest clapped their hands at a distance, and invoked heaven to
shower its choicest blessings on our heads! In short, the whole
scene, though rude, was so affecting, that the gentle partner of
my heart wept over it, and my father himself could not refrain from
a dropping a tear.

Having welcomed his daughter and me to his house, he ordered some
bullocks to be killed, and some hogsheads of ale to be brought
from the neighbouring village, to regale these honest people, who
had not enjoyed such a holiday for many years before.

Next day we were visited by the gentlemen in the neighbourhood,
most of them our relations, one of whom brought along my cousin,
the foxhunter, who had stayed at his house since he was obliged to
leave his own! My father was generous enough to receive him kindly,
and even promised to purchase for him a commission in the army,
for which he expressed great thankfulness and joy.

My charming Narcissa was universally admired and loved for her
beauty, affability, and good sense; and so well pleased with the
situation of the place, and the company round, that she has not as
yet discovered the least desire of changing her habitation.

We had not been many days settled, when I prevailed upon my father

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