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Until this winter I had never found out that I wanted a great coat, but now I made that important discovery “ A winter garment now demands your care,
To guard the body from the inclement air ;
My landlord shewed me one made of a coarse kind of Bath-coating, which he purchased new at a shop in Rosemary lane, for ten shillings and sixpence; so that the next half-guinea I had to spare, away I went to Rosemary lane, and (to my great surprise,) was háuled into a shop by a fellow who was walking
and down before the door of a slopseller, where I was soon fitted with a great-coat of the same sort as that of my landlord. I asked the price; but how great was my astonishment, when the honest shopman told me, that he was so taken with my clean, honest, industrious looks, that he would let me have it cheaper than he would his own brother, so in one word he would oblige me with it for five-andtwenty shillings, which was the very money that it cost him. On hearing this I crossed the shop in a trice, in order to set off home again, but the door had a fastening to it beyond my comprehension, nor would the good man let me out before I had made him an offer. I told him I had so little money about me that I could not offer anything, and again desired that he would let me out. But he persisted, and at last I told him that my landlord had informed me that he had purchased such another coat for ten shillings and sixpence; on which he began to give himself airs, and assured me that, however some people came by their goods, for his part, he always paid for his. I heartily wished myself out of the shop, but in vain, as he seemed determined not to part with me until I had made some offer. I then told him that I had but ten shillings and sixpence, and of course could not offer him any more than I had got. I now expected more abuse from him, but instead of that the patient good man told me, that as he perhaps might get something by me another time, I should have the coat for my half-guinea, although it was worth more than double the money.
About the end of November I received an account of the death of my grandfather.
“ The good old gentleman expir’d,
And decently to heav'n retir'd.” I was also informed that he had left a will in favour of my grandmother-in-law's relations, who became possessed of all his effects, except a small freehold estate, which he left to my youngest brother, because he happened to be called George, (which was the name of my grandfather,) and ten pounds a-piece to each of his other grand-children.
So totally unacquainted was I with the modes of transacting business, that I could not point out any method of having my ten pounds sent up to London, at least, no mode that the executor of the will would approve of; it being such a prodigious sum, that the greatest caution was used on both sides ; so that it cost me about half the money in going down for it and in returning to town again. This was in ex. tremely hard frosty weather, (I think some time in December,) and being on the outside of a stagecoach, I was so very cold, that when I came to the inn where the passengers dined, I went directly to the fire, which struck the cold inward, so that I had but a very narrow escape from instant death. This happened in going down. In returning back to town I had other misfortunes to encounter. The cold weather still continuing, I thought the basket warmer than the roof, and about six miles from Salisbury,
I went back into it. But on getting out of it, in the inn yard at Salisbury, I heard some money jingle, and on searching my pockets, I discovered that I had Jost about sixteen shillings, two or three of which I found in the basket, the rest had fallen through on the road; and no doubt the whole of what I had left of my ten pounds would have gone the same way, had I not (for fear of highwaymen) sewed it up in my clothes. I recollected that Seneca had said, A wise and good man is proof against all accidents of fate; and that a brave man is a match for fortune;" and knowing myself to be both wise, good, and brave, I bore the loss of my silver with the temper of a Stoic; and, like Epictetus, reasoned, that I could not have lost it if I had not first had it; and that as I had lost it, why it was all the same as though it had never been in my possession.
But a more dreadful misfortune befell me the next morning; the extreme severe weather still continuing, in order to keep me from dying with cold, I drank some purl and gin, which (not being used to drink anything strong) made me so drunk, that the coachman put me inside the carriage for fear I should fall off the roof. I there met with some of the jovial sort, who had also drunk to keep out the cold, so that I found them in high glee: being asked to sing them a song, I immediately complied, and, forgetting that I was one of the holy brethren, I sung song for song with the merriest of them; only several times between the acts, I turned up the whites of my eyes, and uttered a few ejaculations, as Lord forgive me!” “Oh Christ! what am I doing ?” and a few more of the same pious sort.
“ The veriest hermit in the nation,
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.” Swift. However, after eating a good dinner, and refraining from liquor, I became nearly sober, and by the time I arrived in town, quite so; though in a terrible agitation of mind, by reflecting on what I had done; and was so ashamed of the affair, that I concealed it from my wife, that I might not grieve her righteous soul with the knowledge of so dreadful a fall : so that she with great pleasure ripped open the places in my clothes, which contained my treasure, and with a heart full of gratitude, piously thanked Providence for affording us such a supply, and hoped that the Lord would enable us to make a good use of it.
“ Whate'er can good or ill befall,
Faithful partner she of all.” Wesley's Melissa. Here perhaps I may with great propriety quote the following lines of Gray:
" Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
I am, dear friend, yours.
16 Thus dwelt poor
of few goods possest,
6 Fixt in an elbow chair at ease,'
DR S. DAVIS.
DEAR FRIEND, With the remainder of the money we purchased household goods; but as we then had not sufficient to furnish a room, we worked hard, and lived still harder, so that in a short time we had a room furnished with our own goods; and I believe that it is not possible for you to imagine with what pleasure and satisfaction we looked round the room and surveyed our property: I believe that Alexander the Great never reflected on his immense acquisitions with half the heartfelt enjoyment which we experienced on this capital attainment.
“ How happy is the man whose early lot,
Hath made him master of a furnish'd cot!" After our room was furnished, as we still enjoyed a better state of health than we did at Bristol and