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“ The man who by his labour gets
His bread in independent state,
“ If you will use the little that you have,
DEAR FRIEND, I had not long resided a second time with my good Bristol friends, before I renewed my correspondence with my old sweetheart Nancy Smith. I informed her that my attachment to books, together with travelling from place to place, and also my
total disregard for money, had prevented me from saving any ; and that while I remained in a single unsettled state, I was never likely to accumulate it. I also pressed her very much to come to Bristol to be married, which she soon complied with : and married we were, at St Peter's church, towards the end of the year 1770; near seven years after my first making love to her.
“ When join'd in hand and heart, to church we went,
In her soft breast a modest struggle rose,
A. Hill. We kept our wedding at the house of my friends the Messrs Jones's, and at bed-time retired to readyfurnished lodgings, which we had before provided, at half-a-crown per week. Our finances were but just sufficient to pay the expenses of the day, for the next morning, in searching our pockets (which we did not do in a careless manner) we discovered that we had but one halfpenny to begin the world with. But,
“ The hearth was clean, the fire clear, .
The kettle on for tea :
As bless'd as man could be.
And was his new-made bride,
Sat toying by his side.
Pray'd to Almighty Jove,
Just so to live and love." It is true, we had laid in eatables sufficient for a day or two, in which time we knew we could by our work procure more, which we very cheerfully set about, singing together the following lines of Dr Cotton :
“ Our portion is not large indeed,
For Nature's calls are few;
And make that little do."
The above, and the following ode by Mr Fitzgerald,
Ambition is nothing to me:
Is, a mind independent and free.
By reason my life let me square ;
And the rest are but folly and care.
I'll justly and gratefully prize;
Shall make me both healthy and wise.
Unenvied I'll challenge my part ;
Contributes to gladden my heart.
The many their labours employ ;
Is what all, if they will, may enjoy.”. After having worked on stuff-work in the country, I could not bear the idea of returning to the leather branch, so that I attempted and obtained a seat of stuff in Bristol. But better work being required there than in Kingsbridge, &c., I was obliged to take so much care to please my master, that at first I could not get more than nine shillings a-week, and my wife could get but very little, as she was learning to bind stuff-shoes, and had never been much used to her
needle; so that what with the expense of ready furnished lodging, fire, candles, &c., we had but little left for purchasing provisions.
To increase our straits, my old friend being somewhat displeased at our leaving him and his relations, took an early opportunity to tell me that I was indebted to him near forty shillings, of two years standing. It is more dishonourable (says Rochefoucault) to distrust our friends, than to be deceived by them. I was not convinced of the justice of the claim, but to avoid dispute I paid him in about two months. “But if friends prove unfaithful, and fortune's a wStill may I be virtuous, although I am poor.”
A. Bou RNE. During nearly the whole of which time it was extremely severe weather, and yet we made four shil. lings and sixpence per week pay for the whole of what we consumed in eating and drinking. Strong beer we had none, nor any other liquor, (the pure element excepted), and instead of tea, or rather coffee, we toasted a piece of bread; at other times we fried some wheat, which when boiled in water made a tolerable substitute for coffee ; and as to animal food we made use of but little, and that little we boiled and made broth of. “ The recollection of past toils is sweet.” EURIPIDES.
During the whole of this time we never once wished for anything that we had not got, but were quite contented, and with a good grace, in reality made a virtue of necessity. We
“ Trembled not with vain desires, Few the things which life requires." Francis's Horace.
And the subject of our prayer was,
“ This day be bread and peace our lot,
All else beneath the sun,
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
I am, dear friend, yours.
To temper thus the stronger fires
Of youth he strove, for well he knew,
“ In adverse hours an equal mind maintain.”
DEAR FRIEND, In a few days after we had paid the last five shillings of the debt claimed by my friend Mr Jones, we were both together taken so ill as to be confined to our bed, but the good woman of the house, our landlady, came to our room and did a few trifles for
She seemed very much alarmed at our situation, or rather for her own, I suppose, as thinking we might in some measure become burthensome to her. We had in cash two shillings and nine-pence, half-a-crown of which we had carefully locked up in a box, to be saved as a resource on any extraordinary emergence. This money supported us two or three days, in which time I recovered without the help of medicine : but my wife continued ill near six months, and was confined to her bed the greatest part of the time; which illness may very easily be accounted for.
Before she came to Bristol, she had ever been used to a very active life, and had always lived in the country, so that in coming to dwell in a populous