The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 2

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 2

Author: George Augustus Sala

Release date: September 19, 2008 [eBook #26668]
Most recently updated: January 4, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Robert Cicconetti, Emmy and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
book was produced from scanned images of public domain
material from the Google Print project.)








Died at last in his own House in Hanover Square.







[The right of Translation is reserved.]

















A Narrative in Old fashioned English.



A Strange Nursing-mother—rather a Stepmother of the Stoniest sort—was this Sir Basil Hopwood, Knight and Alderman of London, that contracted with the Government to take us Transports abroad. Sure there never was a man, on this side the land of Horseleeches, that was so Hungry after money. Yet was his avarice not of the kind practised by old Audley, the money-scrivener[2] of the Commonwealth's time; or Hopkins, the wretch that saved candles' ends and yet had a thousand wax-lights blazing at his Funeral; or Guy the Bookseller, that founded the Hospital in Southwark; or even old John Elwes, Esquire, the admired Miser of these latter days. Sir Basil Hopwood was the rather of the same complexion of Entrails with that Signor Volpone whom we have all seen—at least such of us as be old Boys—in Ben Jonson's play of the Fox. He Money-grubbed, and Money-clutched, and Money-wrung, ay, and in a manner Money-stole, that he might live largely, and ruffle it among his brother Cits in surpassing state and splendour. He had been Lord Mayor; and on his Show-day the Equipments of chivalry had been more Sumptuous, the Banners more varied, the Entertainment at Saddlers' Hall,—where the Lord Mayor was wont to hold his Feast before the present Mansion House was built, the ancient Guildhall in King Street being then but in an ill condition for banquet,—Hopwood's Entertainment, I say, had been more[3] plentifully provided with Marrowbones, Custards, Ruffs and Reeves, Baked Cygnets, Malmsey, Canary, and Hippocras, than had ever been known since the days of the Merry Mayor, who swore that King Charles the Second should take t'other bottle. He was a Parliament man, too, and had a Borough in his Pocket, for the which he kept a Warming-Pan member,—more's the shame,—besides one to serve him as a cushion to sit on.

This enormously rich man had a fine House in Bishopsgate Street, with as many rogues in blue liveries as a Rotterdam Syndic that has made three good ventures in Java. When we poor wretches, chained together, had been brought up in Carts from Aylesbury to London, on our way to be Embarked, nothing would serve this Haughty and Purse-proud Citizen but that our ragged Regiment must halt before his peddling Palace; and there the varlets in blue that attended upon him brought us out Loaves and Cheese, and Blackjacks full of two-thread Beer, which, with many disdainful gestures and uncivil words, they offered to our[4] famished lips. And my Lady Hopwood, and the fine Madams her daughters,—all laced and furbelowed, and with widows' and orphans' tears, and the blood-drops of crimped seamen and kidnapped children, twinkling in their Stomachers for gems,—were all set at their Bowery window, a pudding-fed Chaplain standing bowing and smirking behind them, and glozing in their ears no doubt Praises of their exceeding Charity and Humanity to wretches such as we were. But this Charity, Jack, says I to myself, is not of the Shapcott sort, and is but base metal after all. My troth, but we wanted the Bread and Cheese and Swipes; for we had had neither Bite nor Sup since we left Aylesbury Gaol seven-and-twenty hours agone. So, after a while, and the mob hallooing at us for Gallows-birds, and some Ruffians about the South-Sea House pelting us with stones,—for Luck, as they said,—we were had over London Bridge,—where with dreadful admiration I viewed the Heads and Quarters of Traitors, all shimmering in the coat of pitch i' the Sun over the North[5] Turret,—and were bestowed for the night in the Borough Clink. And hither we were pursued by the Alderman's Agents, who straightway began to drive Unholy Bargains with those among us that had Money. Now 'twas selling them Necessaries for the voyage at exorbitant rates; or promising them, for cash in hand, to deliver them Luxuries, such as Tobacco, playing-cards, and strong waters, at the Port of Embarkation. Now 'twas substituting Light for Heavy Fetters, if the Heaviness could be Assuaged by Gold; and sometimes even negotiations were carried so far as for the convicted persons to give Drafts of Exchange, to be honoured by their Agents in London, so soon as word came from the Plantations that they had been placed in Tolerable Servitude, instead of Agonising Slavery. For although there was then, as there is now, a convenient Fiction that a Felon's goods became at once forfeit to the Crown, I never yet knew a Felon (and I have known many) that felt ever so little difficulty in keeping his property, if he had any, and[6] disposing of it according to his own Good Will and Pleasure.

The Head Gaoler of the Borough Clink—I know not how his Proper official title ran—was a colonel in the Foot Guards, who lived in Jermyn Street, St. James's, and transacted most of his High and Mighty business either at Poingdestre's Ordinary in St. Alban's Place, or at White's Chocolate House, to say naught of the Rose, or the Key in Chandos Street. Much, truly, did he concern himself about his unhappy Captives. His place was a Patent one, and was worth to him about Fifteen Hundred a year, at which sum it was farmed by Sir Basil Hopwood; who, in his turn, on the principle that "'tis scurvy money that won't stick to your fingers," underlet the place to a Company of Four Rogues, who gave him Two Thousand for that, which they managed to swell into at least Three for themselves by squeezing of Poor Prisoners, and the like crying Injustices. 'Twas Aylesbury Gaol over again, with the newest improvements and the Humours of the Town added to it.[7] So, when Sir Basil Hopwood took up a cargo of cast persons for Transportation, his underlings of the Borough Clink were only too glad to harbour them for a night or two, making a pretty profit out of the poor creatures. For all which, I doubt it not, Sir Basil Hopwood and his scoundrelly Myrmidons are, at this instant moment, Howling.

This place was a prison for Debtors as well as Criminals, and was to the full as Foul as the Tophet-pit at Aylesbury yonder. I had not been there half an hour before a Lively companion of a Gentleman Cutpurse, with a wrench at my kerchief, a twist at my arm (which nearly Broke it in twain), and a smart Blow under my Lower Jaw, robs me of the packet of comforts (clothing, pressed beef, sugar, comfits, and the like) which my kind friends at Aylesbury had given me. The Rascal comes to me a few minutes afterwards with a packet of Soap and a Testament, which he had taken from my Bundle, and returns them to me with a Grin, telling me that it was long[8] since his Body had felt need of the one or his Soul of the other. And yet I think they would have profited considerably (pending a Right Cord) by the application of Both. So I in a corner, to moan and whimper at my Distressed condition.

A sad Sunday I spent in the Clink,—'twas on the Monday we were to start,—although, to some other of my companions, the Time passed jovially enough. For very many of the Relations and Friends of the Detained Persons came to visit them, bringing them money, victuals, clothing, and other Refreshments. 'Twas on this day I heard that one of us, who was cast for Forgery, had been offered a Free Pardon if he could lodge Five Hundred Pounds in the hands of a Person who had Great Influence near a Great Man.

Late on the Sunday afternoon, Sir Basil Hopwood came down in his coach, and with his chaplain attendant on him. We Convicts were all had to the Grate, for the Knight and Alderman would not venture further in, for fear of the Gaol Fever; and[9] he makes us a Fine Speech about the King's Mercy,—which I deny not,—and his own Infinite Goodness in providing for us in a Foreign Land. The which I question. Then he told us how we were to be very civil and obedient on the voyage to those who were set over us, refraining from cursing, swearing, gaming, or singing of profane songs, on pain of immediate and smart chastisement; and having said this, and the chaplain having given us his Benediction, he gat him gone, and we were rid of so much Rapacious and Luxurious Hypocrisy. We lay in the yard that night, wrapped in such extra Garments as some of us were Fortunate enough to have; and I sobbed myself to sleep, wishing, I well remember, that it might never be Day again, but that my Sorrows might all be closed in by the Merciful Curtain of Eternal Night.

So on the Monday morning we were driven down—a body of Sir Basil Hopwood's own company of the Trainbands guarding us—to Shayler's Stairs, near unto the church of St. Mary Overy; and there—we were in[10] number about a hundred—put on board a Hoy, which straightway, the tide being toward, bore down the river for Gravesend.

By this time I found that, almost insensibly, as it were, I had become separated from my old companions the Blacks, and that I was more than ever Alone. The greatest likelihood is, that Authority deemed it advisable to break up, for good and all, the Formidable Confederacy they had laid hold of, and to prevent those Dangerous Men from ever again making Head together. But my whole Life was but a kind of Shifting and uncertain Vision, and I took little note of the personages with whom I came in contact, till looking around me, in a dull listlessness about the Hoy, I found myself, cheek by jowl, with a motley crew, seemingly picked up hap-hazard from all the gaols in England. But 'twas all one to me, and I did not much care. Such a Stupor of Misery came over me, that for a time I almost forgot my good Quaker Friends, and the lessons they had taught me; that I felt myself once more drifting into being a dangerous[11] little brute; and that seeing the Master of the Hoy, a thirsty-looking man, lifting a great stone-bottle to his lips, I longed to serve him as I had served Corporal Foss with the demijohn of Brandy in the upper chamber of the Stag o' Tyne.

We landed not at Gravesend, but were forthwith removed to a bark called The Humane Hopwood, in compliment, I suppose, to Sir Basil, and which, after lying three days in the Downs, put into Deal to complete her complement of Unfortunate Persons. And I remember that, before making Deal, we saw a stranded Brig on the Goodwins, which was said to be a Leghorner, very rich with oils and silks; round which were gathered—just as you may see obscene Birds of Prey gathered round a dead carcass, and picking the Flesh from its bones—at least a score of luggers belonging to the Deal Boatmen. These worthies had knocked holes in the hull of the wreck, and were busily hauling out packages and casks into their craft, coming to blows sometimes with axes and marlin-spikes as to who should[12] have the Biggest Booty. And it was said on Board that they would not unfrequently decoy by false signals, or positively haul, a vessel in distress on to those same Goodwins,—in whose fatal depths so many tall Ships lie Engulfed,—in order to have the Plunder of her, which was more profitable than the Salvage, that being in the long-run mostly swallowed up by the Crimps and Longshore Lawyers of Deal and other Ports, who were wont to buy the Boatmen's rights at a Ruinous Discount. Salvage Men, indeed, these Boatmen might well be called; for when I was young it was their manner to act with an extreme of Savage Barbarity, thinking far less of saving Human Life than of clutching at the waifs and strays of a Rich Cargo. And then up would sheer a Custom-House cutter or a Revenue Pink, the skipper and his crew fierce in their Defence of the Laws of the Land, the Admiralty Droits, and their own twentieths; and from Hard blows with fists and spikes, matters would often come to the arbitrament of cutlasses and firearms; so that naval Engagements[13] of a Miniature kind have often raged between the Deal Boatmen and the King's Officers. Surely the world was a Hard and a Cruel and a Brutal one, when I was young—bating the Poor-Laws, which were more merciful than at present; for now that I am old the Gazettes are full of the Tender Valour and Merciful Devotion of the Deal Boatmen, who, in the most tempestuous weather, will leave their warm beds, their wives and bairns, and put off, with the Sea running mountains high, to rescue Distraught Vessels and the Precious Lives that are within them. The Salvage Men of my time were brave enough, but they were likewise unconscionable rogues.

The wind proved false to us at Deal, and we had to wait a weary ten days there. Captain Handsell was our commander. He was a man who knew but one course of proceeding. 'Twas always a word and a blow with him. By the same token the blow generally came first, and the word that followed was sure to be a bad one. The Captain of a Ship, from a Fishing Smack to a[14] Three-Decker, was in those days a cruel and merciless Despot. 'Twas only the size of his ship and the number of his Equipage that decided the question whether he was to be a Petty Tyrant or a Tremendous One. His Empire was as undisputed as that of a Schoolmaster. Who was to gainsay him? To whom, at Sea, could his victims appeal? To the Sharks and Grampuses, the Dolphins and the Bonettas? He was privileged to beat, to fetter, to starve, to kick, to curse his Seamen. Even his Passengers trembled at the sight of this Bashaw of Bluewater; for he had Irons and Rations of Mouldy Biscuit for them too, if they offended him; and many a Beautiful and Haughty Lady paying full cabin-passage has bowed down before the wrath of a vulgar Skipper, who, at home, she would have thought unworthy to Black her Shoes, and who would be seething in the revelry of a Tavern in Rotherhithe, while she would be footing it in the Saloons of St. James's. Yet for a little time, at the outset of his voyage, the Skipper had his superior; the Bashaw had[15] a Vizier who was bigger than he. There was a Terrible Man called the Pilot. He cared no more for the Captain than the Archbishop of Canterbury cares for a Charity-Boy. He gave him a piece of his mind whenever he chose, and he would have his own Way, and had it. It was the delight of the Seamen to see their Tyrant and Bully degraded for a time under the supreme authority of the Pilot, who drank the Skipper's rum; who had the best Beef and Burgoo at the Skipper's table; who wore, if he was so minded, the Skipper's tarpaulin; who used the Skipper's telescope, and thumbed his charts, and kicked his Cabin-boy, and swore his oaths, till, but for the fear of the Trinity House, I think the Skipper would have been mighty glad to fling him over the taffrail. But the reign of this Great Mogul of Lights and Points and Creeks soon came to an end. A River Pilot was the lesser evil, a Channel Pilot was the greater one; but both were got rid of at last. Then the Skipper was himself again. He would drink himself blind with Punch[16] in the forenoon, or cob his cabin-boy to Death's door after dinner for a frolic. He could play the very Devil among the Hands, and they perforce bore with his capricious cruelty; for there is no running away from a Ship at Sea. Jack Shark is Gaoler, and keeps the door tight. There is but one way out of it, and that is to Mutiny, and hey for the Black Flag and a Pirate's Free and Jovial Life![A] But Mutiny is Hanging, and Piracy is Hanging, and Gibbeting too; and how seldom it is that you find Bold Hearts who have Stuff enough in them to Run the Great Risk! As on sea, so it is on land. That Ugly Halter dances before a man's eyes, and dazes him away from the Firmest Resolve. For how long will Schoolboys endure the hideous enormities of a Gnawbit before they come to the Supreme Revolt of a Barring-out! And for how long will a People suffer the mad tyranny of a Ruler, who outrages their Laws, who strangles their Liberties, who fleeces and[17] squeezes and tramples upon them, before they take Heart of Grace, and up Pike and Musket, and down-derry-down with your Ruler, who is ordinarily the basest of Poltroons, and runs away in a fright so soon as the first Goose is bold enough to cry out that the Capitol shall be saved!

Nothing of this did I think aboard The Humane Hopwood. I was too young to have any thought at all, save of rage and anguish when it pleased Captain Handsell, being in a cheerful mood, to belabour me, till I was black and blue, with a rope's end. At the beginning of the voyage I was put into the hold, ironed, with the rest of the convicts, who were only permitted to come on deck twice a day, morning and evening, for a few Mouthfuls of Fresh air; who were fed on the vilest biscuit and the most putrid water, getting but a scrap of fat pork and a dram of Rum that was like Fire twice a week, and who were treated, generally, much like Negroes on the Middle Passage. But by and by,—say after ten days; but I took little account of Time in this floating Purgatory,—Captain[18] Handsell had me unironed; and his cabin-boy, a poor weakly little lad, that could not stand much beating, being dead of that and a flux, and so thrown overboard without any more words being said about it—(he was but a little Scottish castaway from Edinburgh, who had been kidnapped late one night in the Grass Market, and sold to a Greenock skipper trading in that line for a hundred pound Scots—not above eight pounds of our currency)—and there is no Crowner's Quest at sea, I was promoted to the Vacant Post. I was Strong enough now, and the Wound in my side gave me no more pain; and I think I grew daily stronger and more hardened under the shower of blows which the Skipper very liberally dealt out to me; I hardly know with more plenitude when he was vexed, or when he was pleased. But I was not the same bleating little Lamb that the Wolfish Gnawbit used to torture. No, no; John Dangerous's apprenticeship had been useful to him. Even as college-lads graduate in[19] their Latin and Greek, so I had graduated upon braining the Grenadier with the demijohn. I could take kicks and cuffs, but I could likewise give them. And so, as this Roaring Skipper made me a Block to vent his spite upon, I would struggle with, and bite, and kick his shins till sometimes we managed to fall together on the cabin-floor and tumble about there,—pull he, pull I, and a kick together!—till the Watch would look down the skylight upon us, grinning, and chuckle hoarsely that old Belzey, as they called their commander (being a diminutive for Beelzebub), and his young Imp were having a tussle. Thus it came about that among these unthinking Seamen I grew to be called Pug (who, I have heard, is the Lesser Fiend), or Little Brimstone, or young Pitchladle. And then I, in my Impish way, would offer to fight them too, resenting their scurril nicknames, and telling them that I had but one name, which was Jack Dangerous.

The oddest thing in the world was that[20] the Skipper, Ungovernable Brute as he was, seemed to take a kind of liking for me through my Resistance to him.

"What a young Tiger-cub it is!" he would say sometimes, swaying about his Rope's End, as if undecided whether to hit me or not. "Lie down, Rawbones! Lie down, Tearem!"

"You go to hit me again," I would cry, all hot and flurried; "I'll mark you, I will, you Tarpaulin Hedgehog!"

Then in a Rage he would make a Rush at me, and Welt me sorely; but oftener he would Relent, and opening his Locker would give me a slice of Sausage, or a white Biscuit, or a nip of curious Nantz.

At last he gave up maltreating me altogether. "If you'd been of the same kidney as Sawney M'Gillicuddy," he said, speaking of the poor little Scottish lad who Died, "I'd have made you food for fishes long ago. 'Slid, my younker, but they should 'a had their meat tender enough, or there's no vartue in hackled hemp for a lacing! But you've got a Heart, my lad; and if you're[21] not hanged before you're out of your Teens, you'll show the World that you can Bite as well as Bark some of these days."

So I became a prime Favourite with Captain Handsell; and, in the Expansion of his Liking towards me, he began to give me instruction in the vocation in which a portion of my life has since (with no small Distinction, though I say it that should not) been passed. Of scientific Navigation this very Rude and Boorish person knew little, if any thing; but as a Practical Seaman he had much skill and experience. Indeed, if the Hands had not enjoyed a lively Faith in the solid sea-going Qualities of "Foul-Weather Bob," as they called him when they did not choose to give him his demoniacal appellation, they would have Mutinied, and sent him, Lashed to a grating, on a voyage of Discovery at least twice in every Twenty-Four Hours. For he led them a most Fearful Life.

I had imparted to him that I was somewhat of a scholar, and that Captain Night had taught me something besides stealing[22] the King's Deer. There was a Bible on Board, which the Skipper never read,—and read, indeed, he was scarcely able to do,—but which he turned to the unseemly use, when he had been over-cruel to his crew, of swearing them upon it, that they would not inform against him when they got into port. For this was an odd medley of a man, and had his moments of Remorse for evil-doing, or else of Fear as to what might be the Consequences when he reached a Land where some degree of Law and Justice were recognised. At some times he would propitiate his crew with donatives of Rum, or even of Money; but the next day he would have his Cruelty Fit on again, and use his men with ten times more Fierceness and Arbitrary Barbarity. But to this Bible and a volume of Nautical Tables our Library was confined; and as he troubled himself very little about the latter, I was set to read to him sometimes after dinner from the Good Book. But he was ever coarse and ungovernable, and would have no Righteous Doctrine or Tender Precepts, but only took[23] delight when I read to him from the Old Scriptures the stories of the Jews, their bloody wars, and how their captains and men of war slew their Thousands and their Tens of Thousands in Battle. And with shame I own that 'twas these Furious Narratives that I liked also; and with exceeding pleasure read of Joshua his victories, and Samson his achievements, and Gideon how he battled, and Agag how they hewed him in pieces. Little cockering books I see now put forth, with pretty decoying pictures, which little children are bidden to read. Stories from the Old Testament are dressed up in pretty sugared language. Oh, you makers of these little books! oh, you fond mothers who place them so deftly in your children's hands! bethink you whether this strong meat is fit for Babes. An old man, whose life has been passed in Storms and Stratagems and Violence, not innocent of blood-spilling, bids you beware! Let the children read that other Book, its Sweet and Tender Counsels, its examples of Mercy and Love to all Mankind. But if I had a child five or six years old,[24] would I let him fill himself with the horrible chronicles of Lust, and Spoliation, and Hatred, and Murder, and Revenge? "Why shouldn't I torture the cat?" asks little Tommy. "Didn't the man in the Good Book tie blazing Torches to the foxes' tails?" And little Tommy has some show of reason on his side. Let the children grow up; wait till their stomachs are strong enough to digest this potent victual. It is hard indeed for one who has been a Protestant alway to have to confess that when such indiscreet reading is placed in children's hands, those crafty Romish ecclesiastics speak not altogether foolishly when they tell us that the mere Word slayeth. But on this point I am agreed to consult Doctor Dubiety, and to be bound by his decision.

In so reading to the Skipper every day, I did not forget to exercise myself in that other art of Writing, and was in time serviceable enough to be able to keep, in something like a rational and legible form the Log of The Humane Hopwood, which[25] heretofore had been a kind of cabalistic Register, full of blots, crosses, half-moons, and zigzags, like the chalk score of an unlettered Ale-wife. And the more I read (of surely the grandest and simplest language in the world), the more I discovered how ignorant I was of that essential art of Spelling, and blushed at the vile manner in which the Petition I had written to the King of England was set down. And before we came to our voyage's end, I had made a noticeable improvement in the Curious Mystery of writing Plain English.

One day as the Skipper was taking Tobacco (for he was a great Smoker), he said to me, "Jack, do you know what you are, lad?"

"Your cabin-boy," I answered; "bound to fetch and carry: hempen wages, and not much better treated than a dog."

"You lie, you scum," Captain Handsell answered pleasantly. "You go snacks with me in the very best, and your beef is boiled in my own copper. But 'tisn't that I mean.[26] Do you know how you hail on the World's books? what the number of your mess in Life is?"

"Yes," I replied; "I'm a Transport. Was to have been hanged; but I wrote out a Petition, and the Gentlemen in London gave it to the King, God bless him!"

"Vastly well, mate!" continued the Captain. "Do you know what a Transport is?"

"No; something very bad, I suppose; though I don't see that he can be much worse off than a cabin-boy that's been cast for Death, and lain in gaol with a bayonet-wound he got from a Grenadier,—let alone having been among the Blacks, and paid anigh to Death by Gnawbit,—when he was born a Gentleman."

"You lie again. To be a Transport is worse than aught you've had. Why a cat in an oven without claws is an Angel of bliss along of a Transport! You're living in a land of beans and bacon now, in a land of milk and honey and new rum. Wait till you get to Jamaica. The hundred and odd[27] vagabonds that I've got aboard will be given over to the Sheriff at Port Royal, and he'll sell 'em by auction; and for as long as they're sent across the herring-pond they'll be slaves, and worse than slaves, to the planters; for the black Niggers themselves, rot 'em! make a mock of a Newgate bird. Hard work in the blazing sun, scarce enough to eat to keep body and soul together, the cat-o'-nine-tails every day, with the cow-hide for a change; and, when your term's out, not a Joe in your pocket to help you to get back to your own country again. That's the life of a Transport, my hearty. Why, it's worse cheer than one of my own hands gets here on shipboard!"

"I think I'd rather be hanged," I said, with something like a Trembling come over me at the Picture the Skipper had drawn.

"I should rather think you would; but such isn't your luck, little Jack Dangerous. What would you say if I was to tell you that you ain't a Transport at all?"

I stammered out something, I know not what, but could make no substantial reply.[28]

"Not a bit of it," continued Captain Handsell, who by this time was getting somewhat Brisk with his afternoon's Punch. "Hang it, who's afraid? I like thee, lad. I'm off my bargain, and don't care a salt herring if I'm a loser by a few broad pieces in not sticking to it. I tell thee, Jack, thou'rt Free, as Free as I am; leastways if we get to Jamaica without going to Davy Jones's Locker; for on blue water no man can say he's Free. No; not the Skipper even."

And then he told me, to my exceeding Amazement and Delight, of what an Iniquitous Transaction I had very nearly been made the victim. It seems that although the Pardon granted me after the Petition I had sent to his Majesty was conditional on my transporting myself to the Plantations, further influence had been made for me in London,—by whom I knew not then, but I have since discovered,—and on the very Day of the arrival of our condemned crew in London, an Entire and Free Pardon had been issued for John Dangerous and lodged[29] in the hands of Sir Basil Hopwood at his House in Bishopsgate Street. Along with this merciful Document there came a letter from one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, in which directions were given that I was to be delivered over to a person who was my Guardian. And that I was in no danger of being again given up to the villains Cadwallader and Talmash, or their Instrument Gnawbit, was clear, I think, from what Captain Handsell told me:—That the Person bringing the letter—the Pardon itself being in the hands of a King's Messenger—had the appearance, although dressed in a lay habit, of being a Foreign Ecclesiastic. The crafty Extortioner of a Knight and Alderman makes answer that I had not come with the other Transports to London, but had been left sick at Brentford, in the care of an agent of his there; but he entreats the Foreign Person to go visit Newgate, where he had another gang of unhappy persons for Transportation, and see if I had arrived. And all this while the wretch knew that I was safely clapped up in the yard of the[30] Borough Clink. And the Foreign Person being met at the Old Bailey by one of Hopwood's creatures, this Thing takes him to walk on the leads of the Sessions House, praying him not to enter the gaol, where many had lately been stricken with the Distemper, and by and by up comes a Messenger all hot as it seemed with express riding,—though his sweat and dust were all Forged,—and says that a gang of Ruffians have broken up the Cage of Brentford, where, for greater safety, the Boy Dangerous had been bestowed; that these Ruffians were supposed to be the remnant of the Blacks of Charlwood Chase who had escaped from capture; and that they had stolen away the Boy Dangerous, and made clear off with him. And, indeed, it was a curious circumstance that Brentford Cage was that day broken into (the Times were very Lawless), and a Strange Boy taken out therefrom. But Hopwood had artfully separated me from the Blacks who were in Newgate, and placed me among a stranger mob of riffraff in the Borough Clink. The Newgate Gang were[31] in due time taken, not to Gravesend, but straight away from the Pool to Richmond in Virginia; whereas I was conveyed to Gravesend and Deal, and shipped off to Jamaica in The Humane Hopwood. And what do you think was the object of this Humane Scoundrel in thus sequestrating the King's Pardon and robbing me of my liberty, and perhaps of the occasion of returning to the state of a Gentleman, in which I was Born? 'Twas simply to kidnap me, and make a wretched profit of twenty or thirty pounds,—the Commander of his Ship going him half in the adventure,—by selling me in the West Indies, where white boys not being Transports were then much in demand, to be brought up as clerks and cash-keepers to the Planters. Sure there was never such a Diabolical Plot for so sorry an end; but a vast number of paltry conspiracies, carried out with Infernal Cunning and Ingenuity, had made, in the course of years, Sir Basil Hopwood rich and mighty, a Knight and Alderman, Parliament man and ex-Lord Mayor. To carry out these designs was[32] just part of the ordinary calling of a Shipmaster in those days. 'Twas looked upon as the simplest matter of business in the world. To kidnap a child was such an everyday deed of devilry, that the slightest amount of pains was deemed sufficing to conceal the abominable thing. And thus the Foreign Person saw with dolorous Eyes the convoy of convicts take their departure from Newgate to ship on board the Virginian vessel at St. Katherine's Stairs, while poor little Jack Dangerous was being smuggled away from Gravesend to Jamaica.

And to Jamaica I should have gone to be sold as a Slave, but for the strange occurrence of the Captain taking a liking to me. He dared not have kept me among the convicts, as the Sheriff at Port Royal would have had a List in Duplicate of their names sent out by a fast-sailing King's Ship; for the Government at Home had some faint Suspicion of the prevailing custom of Kidnapping, and made some Feeble Attempts to stop it. But he would have kept me on board as a ship-boy till the Auction of the[33] Transports was over, and then he would have coolly sold me, for as much as I would fetch, to some Merchant of Kingston or Port Royal, who was used to deal in flesh and blood, and who, in due course, would have transferred me, at a profit, to some up-country planter.

"But that shall never be, Jack my hearty," Captain Handsell exclaimed, when, after many more pipes of Tobacco and rummers of Punch, he had explained these wonderful things to me. "I shall lose my half share in the venture, and shall have to tell a rare lie to yonder old Skin-a-flea-for-the-hide-and-fat in London; but what o' that? I tell thee I won't have the sale of thy flesh and blood on my conscience. No slave shall you be, forsooth. I have an aunt at Kingston, as honest a woman as ever broke biscuit, although she has got a dash of the tar-brush on her mug, and she shall take charge of thee; and if thou were a gentleman born, I'll be hanged if thou sha'n't be a gentleman bred."

It would have been more fitted to the[34] performance of this Honourable and Upright Action towards one that he had no motive at all in serving (in Fact, his Interest lay right the other way), that I should be able to chronicle a sensible Reformation in my Commander's bearing and conduct towards others; but, alas, that I am unable to do; the truth being that he continued, unto the very end of our voyage, to be towards the Hands the same brutal and merciless Tyrant that he had once, in the days of his Rope's-End Discipline, been towards me. 'Twas Punch and Cobbing, Tobacco and Ugly Words, from the rising of the Sun until the setting of the same. And for this reason it is (having seen so many Contradictions in Human character) that I am never surprised to hear of a Good Action on the part of a very Bad Man, or of a Bad Action done by him who is ordinarily accounted a very Good one.

The Humane Hopwood was a very shy Sailer,—being, in truth, as Leaky an old Tub as ever escaped breaking up for Fire-Wood at Lumberers' Wharfs,—and we were[35] seven weeks at Sea before we fell in with a trade-wind, and then setting every Rag we could hoist, went gaily before that Favourable breeze, and so cast anchor at Port Royal in the island of Jamaica.

Captain Handsell was as good as his word. Not a syllable did he say to the Sheriff of Kingston about my not being a Transport, or being, indeed, in the Flesh at all in those parts; for he argued that the Sheriff might have some foregatherings with the Knight and Alderman of Bishopsgate Street by correspondence, and that the Wealthy Extortioner might make use of his credit in the Sugar Islands to do me, some day or another, an ill turn. But he had me privily on shore when the Transports had all been assigned to different task-masters; and in due time he introduced me to his Aunt, his Brother's Wife indeed (and I believe he had come out to the Island with an Old-Bailey Passport; but Rum and the climate had been too strong for him, and he had so Died and left her a Widow).

She was by right and title, then, Mistress[36] Handsell, with the Christian name of Sarah; but among the coloured people of Kingston she went by the name of Maum Buckey, and, among her more immediate intimates, as "Yaller Sally." And, although she passed for being very Wealthy, I declare that she was nothing but a Washerwoman. This Washing Trade of hers, however, which she carried on for the King and Merchants' ships that were in Harbour, and for nearly all the rich Merchants and Traders of Kingston, brought Maum Buckey in a very pretty penny; and not only was her tub commerce a brisk ready-money business, but she had two flourishing plantations—one for the growing of Coffee, and the other of Sugar—near the town of Savannah de la Mar. Moreover, she had a distillery of Rum and Arrack in Kingston itself, and everybody agreed that she must be very well to do in the world. She was an immensely fat old Mulotter woman, on the wrong side of Fifty when I knew her, and her Mother had been a slave that had been the Favourite Housekeeper to the English Governor, who,[37] dying, left her her Freedom, and enough Money to carry on that Trade of cleansing clothes which her Daughter afterwards made so profitable.

Maum Buckey and I soon became very good friends. She was proud of her relationship with a white Englishman—"a right go-down Buckra" as she called him—who commanded a ship, and besides recommended her to other gentlemen in his way for a Washerwoman; and although she took care to inform me, before we had been twenty-four hours acquainted, that her Husband, Sam Handsell, has been a sad Rascal, who would have drunk all her Money away, had he not Timeously drunk himself to death, she made me the friendliest welcome, and promised that she would do all she could for me, "the little piccaninny buckra," who was set down by Mr. Handsell as being the son of an old Shipmate of his that had met with misfortunes. After a six weeks' stay in the island, and The Humane Hopwood getting Freight in the way of Sugar, Captain Handsell bade me good by, and set sail with a fair[38] wind for Bristol, England. I never set Eyes upon him again. You see, my Friends, that this is no cunningly-spun Romance, in which a character disappears for a Season, and turns up again, as pat as you please, at the end of the Fourth Volume; but a plain Narrative of Facts, in which the Personages introduced must needs Come and Go precisely as they Came and Went to me in Real Life. I have often wished, when I had Power and Riches, to meet with and show my Gratitude to the rough old Sea-Porpoise that used to Rope's-End me so, and was so tearing a Tyrant to his Hands, and yet in a mere fit of kind-heartedness played the Honest Man to me, when All Things seemed against me, and rescued John Dangerous from a Foul and Wicked Trap.

Maum Buckey had a great rambling house—it had but one Storey, with a Piazza running round, but a huge number of Rooms and Yards—in the suburbs of Kingston. There did I take up my abode. She had at least twenty Negro and Mulotter Women and Girls that worked for her at the Washing,[39] and at Starching and Ironing, for the Mill was always going with her. 'Twas wash, wash, wash, and wring, wring, wring, and scrub, scrub, scrub, all day and all night too, when the harbour was full of ships. Not that she ever touched Soapsuds or Flat-iron or Goffering-stick herself. She was vastly too much of a Fine Lady for that, and would loll about in a great chair,—one Negro child fanning her with a great Palmetto, and another tickling the soles of her feet,—sipping her Sangaree as daintily as you please. She was the most ignorant old creature that ever was known, could neither read nor write, and made a sad jumble of the King's English when she spoke; yet, by mere natural quickness and rule-of-thumb, she could calculate to a Joe how much a Shipmaster's Washing-Bill came to. And when she had settled that according to her Scale of Charges, which were of the most Exorbitant Kind, she would Grin and say, "He dam ship, good consignee;" or, "He dam ship, dam rich owner; stick him on 'nother dam fi' poun' English, my chile;" and for some[40] curious reason or another, 'twas seldom that a shipmaster cared to quarrel with Maum Buckey's Washing-Bills. She, being so unlettered, had been compelled to engage all manner of Whites who could write and read—now Transports, now Free—to keep her accounts, and draw her necessary writings; but it was hard to tell which were the greatest Rogues, the Convicts whose term was out, or the Free Gentlemen who had come out without a pair of iron garters to their hose. In those days all our plantations, and Jamaica most notably, were full of the very Scum and Riffraff of our English towns. 'Twas as though you had let Fleet Ditch, dead dogs and all, loose on a West-India Island. That Ragged Regiment which Falstaff in the Play would not march through Coventry with were at free quarters in Jamaica, leave alone the regular garrison of King's Troops, of which the private men were mostly pickpockets, poachers, and runaway serving-men, who had enlisted to save themselves from a merry-go-round at Rope Fair; and the officers the worst and most[41] abandoned Gentlemen that ever wore his Majesty's cockade, and gave themselves airs because they had three-quarters of a yard of black ribbon crinked up in their hats. Captain This, who had been kicked out of a Charing-Cross coffee-house for pocketing a Punch-ladle while the drawer was not looking; Lieutenant That, who had been caned on the Mall for cheating at cards; and Ensign T'other, who had been my lord's valet, and married his Madam for enough cash to buy a pair of colours withal—Military gentlemen of this feather used to serve in the West Indies in those days, and swagger about Kingston as proud as peacocks, when every one of them had done that at home they should be cashiered for. Maum Buckey would not have to do with these light-come-light-go gallants. "Me wash for Gem'n Ship-Cap'n, Gem'n Marchants, Gem'n Keep-store," she would observe; "me not wash for dam Soger-officer."

Her Sugar Plantation was in charge of a shrewd North-countryman, against whom, save that he was a runaway bankrupt from[42] Hull in England, there was nothing to say. Her Coffee Estate was managed by an Irishman that had married, as he thought, a great Fortune, but found the day after his wedding that she but a fortune-hunter like himself, and had at least three husbands living in divers parts of the world. And finally, the Distillery had for overseer one, an Englishman, that had been a Horse Couper, and a runner for the Crimps at Wapping, and a supercargo that was not too honest,—albeit he had to keep his accounts pretty square with Maum Buckey, than whom there never was a woman who had a keener Eye for business or a finer Scent for a Rogue.

She made me her Bookkeeper for the Washing Department. 'Twas not a very dignified Employment for one that had been a young Gentleman, but 'twas vastly better than the Fate of one who, but for a mere Accident, might have been a young Slave. So I kept Maum Buckey's Books, teaching myself how to do so featly from a Ready Reckoner and Accomptant's Assistant (Mr. Cocker's), which I bought at a Bookstore[43] in Kingston. The work was pretty hard, and the old Dame of the Tub kept me tightly enough at it; but when the work was over she was very kind to me, and we had the very best of living: ducks and geese and turkeys and pork (of which the Mulotter women are inordinately fond, although I never could reconcile to myself how their stomachs, in so hot a climate, could endure so Luscious a Food); fish of the primest from the Harbour of Port Royal, lobsters and crabs and turtle (which last is as cheap as Tripe with us, and so plentiful, that the Niggers will sometimes disdain to eat it, though 'tis excellent served as soup in the creature's own shell, and a most digestible Viand); to say nothing of bananas, shaddock, mango, plantains, and the many delicious fruits and vegetables of that Fertile Colony; where, if the land-breeze in the morning did not half choke you with harsh dust, and the sea-breeze in the afternoon pierce you to the marrow with deadly chills, and if one could abstain from surfeits of fruits and over-drinking of the too abundant[44] ardent spirits of the country, a man might live a very jovial kind of life. However, I was young and healthy, and, though never a shirker of my glass in after-days, prudently moderate in my Potations. During four years that I passed in the Island of Jamaica (one of the brightest jewels in the British Crown, and as Loyal, I delight to say, as I am myself), I don't think I had the Yellow Fever more than three times, and at last grew as tough as leather, and could say Bo to a land-crab (how many a White Man's carcass have those crabs picked clean at the Palisadoes!), as though I feared him no more than a Green Goose.

It may be fitting here that I should say something about that Abominable Curse of Negro Slavery, which was then so Familiar and Unquestioned a Thing in all our Colonies, that its innate and Detestable Wickedness was scarcely taken into account in men's minds. Speaking only by the Card, and of that which I saw with my own eyes, I don't think that Maum Buckey was any crueller than other slave-owners of her class: for 'tis[45] well known that the Mulotter women are far more severe task-mistresses than the Whites. But, Lord! Whites and coloured people, who in the West Indies are permitted, when free, to own their fellow-creatures who are only a shade darker in colour than they, left little to choose betwixt on the score of cruelty. When I tell you that I have seen Slave Women and Girls chained to the washing-tub, their naked bodies all one gore of blood from the lashes of the whip; that on the public wharf at Kingston I have seen a Negro man drawn up by his hands to a crane used for lifting merchandise, while his toes, that barely touched the ground, were ballasted with a thirty-pound weight, and, in that Trim, beaten with the Raw Hide or with Tamarind-Bushes till you could lay your two fingers in the furrows made by the whip (with which expert Scourgineers boast they can lay deep ruts in a Deal Board), or else I have seen the poor Miserable Wretch the next day lying on his face on the Beach, and a Comrade taking the prickles of the Tamarind-Stubs, which are tempered in the[46] Fire, and far worse than English Thornbushes, out of his back;—you may imagine that 'twas no milk-and-water Regimen that the slaves in the West Indies had to undergo at the hands of their Hard masters and mistresses. Also, I have known slaves taken to the Sick-House, or Hospital, so dreadfully mangled with unmerciful correction as for their wounds to be one mass of putrefaction, and they shortly do give up the Ghost; while, at other times, I have seen unfortunate creatures that had been so lacerated, both back and front, as to be obliged to crawl about on All Fours. Likewise have I seen Negro men, Negro women, yea, and Negro children, with iron collars and prongs about their necks; with logs riveted to their legs, with their Ears torn off, their Nostrils slit, their Cheeks branded, and otherwise most frightfully Mutilated. Item, I have known at the dinner-table of a Planter of wealth and repute, the Jumper, or Public Flogger, to come in and ask if Master and Missee had any commands for him; and, by the order of the Lady of the House, take out two Decent[47] Women that had been waiting at the table, and give them fifty lashes apiece on the public parade, every stroke drawing Blood and bringing Flesh with it, and they, when all was over, embracing and thanking him for their Punishment, as was the custom of the Colony.[B] Item, within my own knowledge have I been made familiar with many acts of the Deepest Barbarity. Mistresses, for Jealousy or Caprice, pouring boiling-water or hot melted Sealing-Wax on their slave girls' flesh after they had suffered the worst Tortures of the whip; and white Ladies of Education rubbing Cayenne-pepper into the eyes of Negroes who had offended them, or singeing the tenderest parts of their limbs with sticks of fire. And of one horrid instance have I heard of Malignant and Hellish revenge in Two Ladies who were Sisters (and bred at a Fine Boarding-School in England),[48] who, having a spite against a yellow woman that attended on them, did tie her hands and feet, and so beat her nearly to death with the heels of their slippers; and not satisfied with that, or with laving her gashed body with Vinegar and Chillies, did send for a Negro man, and bid him, under threats of punishment, strike out two of the Victim's teeth with a punch, which, to the shame of Human Womanhood, was done.

But enough of these Horrors:—not the worst that I have seen, though, in the course of my Adventures; only I will not further sicken you with the Recital of the Sufferings inflicted on the Wretched Creatures by Ladies and Gentlemen, who had had the first breeding, and went to Church every Sunday. I have merely set down these dreadful things to work out the theory of my Belief, that the World is growing Milder and more Merciful every day; and that the Barbarities which were once openly practised in the broad sunshine, and without e'er a one lifting finger or wagging tongue against them, are becoming rarer and rarer, and will[49] soon be Impossible of Commission. The unspeakable Miseries of the Middle Passage (of which I have been an eye-witness) exist no more; really Humane and Charitable Gentlemen, not such False Rogues and Kidnappers as your Hopwoods, are bestirring themselves in Parliament and elsewhere to better the Dolorous Condition of the Negro; and although it may be a Decree of Providence that the children of Ham are to continue always slaves and servants to their white brethren, I see every day that men's hearts are being more and more benevolently turned towards them, and that laws, ere long, will be made to forbid their being treated worse than the beasts that perish.




Thus in a sultry colony, among Black Negroes and their cruel Task-masters, and I the clerk to a Mulotter Washerwoman, did I come to be full sixteen years of age, and a stalwart Lad of my inches. But for that Fate, which from the first irrevocably decreed that mine was to be a Roving Life, almost to its end, I might have continued in the employ of Maum Buckey until Manhood overtook me. The Dame was not unfavourable towards me; and, without vanity, may I say that, had I waited my occasion, 'tis not unlikely but that I might have married her, and become the possessor of her plump Money-Bags, full of Moidores, pilar Dollars, and pieces of Eight. Happily I was not[51] permitted so to disparage my lineage, and put a coffee-coloured blot on my escutcheon. No, my Lilias is no Mulotter Quartercaste. 'Twas my roving propensity that made me set but little store by the sugar-eyes and Molasses-speech which Madam Soapsuds was not loth to bestow on me, a tall and likely Lad. I valued her sweetness just as though it had been so much cane-trash. With much impatience I had waited for the coming back of my friendly skipper, that he might advise me as to my future career. But, as I have already warned the Reader, it was fated that I was to see that kindly shipmaster no more. Once, indeed, the old ship came into Port Royal, and right eagerly did I take boat and board her. But her name had been changed from The Humane Hopwood to The Protestant Pledge. She was in the Guinea trade now, and brought Negroes, poor souls! to slave in our Plantations. The Mariner that was her commander had but dismal news to tell me of my friendly Handsell. He, returning to the old country, had it seems a Mighty Quarrel with his[52] Patron—and my Patron too, forsooth!—Villain Hopwood. Whether he had reproached him with his treachery to me or not, I know not; but it is certain that both parted full of Wrath and High Disdain, and each swearing to be the Ruin of the other. But Gold had, as it has always in a Mammon-ridden world, the longest, strongest pull. Devil Hopwood found it easy to get the better of a poor unlettered tarpaulin, that knew well enough the way into a Wapping Alehouse, but quite lost himself in threading the mazes of a great man's Antechamber. 'Tis inconceivable how much dirty work there was done in my young days between Corinthian columns and over Turkey carpets, and under ceilings painted by Verrio and Laguerre. Sir Basil, I believe, went to a great man, and puts a hundred guineas into the hands of his Gentleman—by the which I mean his Menial Servant, save that he wore no Livery; but there's many a Base wretch hath his soul in plush, and the Devil's aigulets on his heart. How much out of the Hundred my Lord took, and how much his[53] Gentleman kept, it serves not to inquire. They struck a Bargain, and short was the Time before Ruin came swooping down on Captain Handsell. He had gone into the Channel trade; and they must needs have him exchequered for smuggling brandies and lace from St. Malo's. Quick on this follows a criminal Indictment, from which, as a Fool, he flies; for he might at least have threatened to say damaging things of Brute Basil in the dock, and have made terms with him before trial came on. And then he must needs take command of a miserable lugger that fetched and carried between Deal and Dunquerque—the old, old, sorry tinpot business of kegs of strong waters, and worse contraband in the guise of Jacobite despatches. To think of brave men's lives being risked in these twopenny errands, and a heart of Oak brought to the gallows, that clowns may get drunk the cheaper, or traitors—for your Jacobite conspirators were but handy-dandy Judases, now to King James and now to King George—exchange their rubbishing ciphers the easier! It[54] drives me wild to think of these pinchbeck enterprises. If a Man's tastes lead him towards the Open, the Bold, and the Free, e'en let him ship himself off to a far climate, the hotter the better, where Prizes are rich, and the King's writ in Assault and Battery runneth not,—nor for a great many other things ayont Assault and Battery,—and where, up a snug creek, of which he knows the pilotage well, he may give a good account of a King's ship when he finds her. He who does any thing contrair to English law within five hundred leagues of an English lawyer or an English law-court is a very Ass and Dolt. Fees and costs will have their cravings; and from the process-server to the Hangman all will have their due. Give me an offing, where there is no law but that of the strong hand and the bold Heart. Any sharks but land-sharks for John Dangerous. I never see a parchment-visaged, fee-clutching limb of the law but I long to beat him, and, if I had him on blue water, to trice him up higher than ever he went before. But for a keg of brandy! But for a packet of[55] treason-papers! Shame! 'tis base, 'tis idiotic. And this did the unlucky Handsell find to his cost. I believe he was slain in a midnight affray with some Riding Officers of the Customs close unto Deal, about two years after his going into a trade that was as mean as it was perilous.

So no more Hope for me from that quarter. The skipper of The Protestant Pledge would have retained me on board for a Carouse; but I had too much care for my Head and my Liver for such pranks, and went back, as dolefully as might be, to keep Maum Buckey's washing-books. I chafed at the thought that I could do no more. I told her the grim news I had heard of her brother-in-law, whereat she wept somewhat; for where Whites were concerned she was not a hard-hearted woman. But she cheered up speedily, saying that Sam had come to as sorry an end, and that she supposed there was but one way with the Handsells, Rum and Riot being generally their Ruin.

As it is one of the failings of youth not to know when it is well off, and to grow[56] A-weary even of continued prosperity, I admit that the life I led palled upon me, and that I longed to change it. But it was not, all things considered, so very unpleasant a one. True, the employment was a sorry one, and utterly beneath the dignity of a Gentleman, such as bearing fardels in the streets or unloading casks and bales at the wharf, for instance. But it is in man's nature never to be satisfied, and when he is well to long to be better, and so, by force of striving, to tumble into a Hole, where indeed he is at the Best, for he is Dead. At this distance of time, though I have many comforts around me,—Worldly Goods, a Reputable name, my Child, and her Husband,—I still look back on my old life in Jamaica, and confess that Providence dealt very mercifully with me in those bygone days. For I had enough to eat and to drink, and a Mistress who, although Passionate and Quarrelsome enough by times, was not unkind. If she would swear, she would also tender gentle Language upon occasion; and if she would throw things, she was not backward in giving one[57] a dollar to heal one's pate. An odd life it was, truly. There was very little of that magnificence about the town of Port Royal in my days which I have heard the Creoles to boast about. It may have been handsome enough in the Spaniard's Reign, or in King Charles the Second's; but I have heard that its most comely parts had been swallowed up by an Earthquake, and, when I remember it, the Main thoroughfare was like nothing half so much as the Fag End of Kent Street in the Borough, where the Broom-men live. As for public scavengers—humane at least—there were none; for that salutary practice of putting rebellious Blacks into chain-gangs, and making them sweep the streets,—which might be well done in London with Pickpockets and the like trash, to their souls' health and the benefit of the Body politic,—did not then obtain. The only way of clearing the offal was by the obscene birds that flew down from the hills; Messieurs the landcrabs, who were assuredly the best scavengers of all, not stirring beyond the Palisadoes. Some things were very cheap, but[58] others inordinately dear. Veal was at a prodigious price; and 'twas a common saying, that you could buy Four children in England cheaper than you could one calf in Jamaica. But for the products and dishes of the colony, which I have elsewhere hinted at, all was as low-priced as it was abundant. What droll names did they give, too, unto their fish and flesh and fowl! How often have you in England heard of Crampos, Bonettas, Ringrays, Albacoras, and Sea-adders, among fish; of Noddies and Boobies and Pitternells and Sheerwaters among birds? And Calialou Soup, and Pepperpot to break your Fast withal in the morning, and make you feel, ere you get accustomed to that Fiery victual, like a Salamander for some hours afterwards!

Now and then also, with some other young white folks with whom I had stricken up acquaintance,—clerks, storekeepers, and the like,—would we seek out the dusky beauties of the town in their own quarters, and shake a leg at their Dignity Routs, Blackamoor Drums, and Pumpkin-Faced Assemblies, or by what other name the poor Black wretches[59] might choose to call their uproarious merrymakings. There, in some shed, all hustled together as a Moorfields Sweetener does luck in a bag, would be a mob of men and women Negroes, all dressed in their bravest finery, although little of it was to be seen either on their Backs or their Feet; the Head being the part of their Bodies which they chiefly delight to ornament. Such ribbons and owches, such gay-coloured rags and blazing tatters, would they assume, and to the Trips and Rounds played to them by some Varlet of a black fiddler, with his hat at a prodigious cock, and mounted on a Tub, like unto the sign of the Indian Bacchus at the Tobacconist's, would they dance and stamp and foot it merrily—with plenty of fruit, salt fish, pork, roasted plantain, and so forth, to regale themselves withal, not forgetting punch and sangaree—quite forgetful, poor mercurial wretches, for the time being of Fetters and the Scourge and the Driver that would hurry them to their dire labour the morrow morn. Surely there never did exist so volatile, light-spirited, feather-brained a[60] race as these same Negro Blacks. They will whistle and crack nuts, ay and dance and sing to the music of the Fiddle or the Banjar an hour after the skin has been half flayed off their backs. They seem to bear no particular Malice to their Tormentors, so long as their weekly rations of plantain, yam, or salt fish, be not denied them, and that they have Osnaburgs enow to make them shirts and petticoats to cover themselves. Give them but these, and their dance at Christmas time, with a kind word thrown to them now and again, just as you would fling a marrow-bone to a dog, and they will get along well enough in slavery, almost grinning at its Horrors and making light of its unutterable Woes. I never saw so droll a people in my life. Nor is it the less astonishing thing about them that, beneath all this seeming lightheartedness and jollity, there often lies smouldering a Fire of the Fiercest passion and blackest revenge. The dark-skinned fellow who may be flapping the flies away from you in the morning, and bearing your kicks and cuffs[61] as though they were so many cates and caresses, may, in the evening, make one in a circle of Heathen monsters joined together to listen to the Devilish Incantations of the Obeah man,—to mingle in ceremonies most hideous and abominable, and of which perhaps that of swearing eternal Hatred to the White Race over a calabash that is made out of the skull of a new-born Babe, and filled with Dirt, Rum, and Blood mixed together, is perchance the least horrid. And yet I don't think the unhappy creatures are by nature either treacherous, malicious, or cruel. 'Tis only when the fit seizes them. Like the Elephants, the idea suddenly comes over them that they are wronged—that 'tis the White Man who has wrought them all these evils, and that they are bound to Trample him to bleeding mud without more ado. But 'tis all done in a capricious cobweb-headed manner; and on the morrow they are as quiet and good-tempered as may be. Then, just as suddenly, will come over them a fit of despondency, or dark, dull, brooding Melancholy. If they are at sea, they will cast[62] themselves into the waves and swim right toward the sharks, whose jaws are yawning to devour them. If they are on dry land, they will, for days together, refuse all food, or worse still, go dirt-eating, stuffing themselves with clay till they have the mal d'estomac, and so die: this mal, of which our English stomach-ache gives no valid translation (which must prove my excuse for placing here a foreign word), being, with the Yaws, their most frequent and fatal complaint. Of a less perplexing nature also are their fits of the Sulks, when, for more than a week at a time, they will remain wholly mute and intractably obstinate, folding their arms or squatting on their hams, and refusing either to move or speak, whatsoever threats may be uttered or enforced against them, and setting no more store by the deep furrowing cuts of the Cowhide whip (that will make marks in a deal board, if well laid on, the which I have often seen) than by the buzzings of a Shambles Fly. They had many ways of treating these fits of the sulks, in my time all of them cruel, and none of them[63] successful. One was, to set the poor wretches in the stocks, or the bilboes, rubbing chillies into the eyes to keep them from going to sleep. Another was a dose of the Fire-cane, as it was called, which was just a long paddle, or slender oar, pierced with holes at the broadest part, with the which the patient being belaboured, a blister on the fish rose to each hole of the Paddle. A curious method, and one much followed; but the Negroes sulked all the more for it. There was a Dutch woman from Surinam, who had brought with her from that plantation of the Hollanders that highly Ingenious Mode of Torment known as the "Spanso Bocko."[C] The manner of it was this. You took your Negro and tied him wrists and ankles, so bending him into a neat curve. Then, if his spine did not crack the while, you thrust a stake between his legs, and having thus comfortably Trussed him, pullet fashion, you laid him on the ground one side upwards, and at your leisure scarified him from one[64] cheek to one heel with any instrument of Torture that came handy. Then he (or she, it did not at all matter in the Dutchwoman's esteem), being one gore of welts and gashes, was thought to be Done enough on one side, and consequently required Doing t'other. So one that stood by to help just took hold of the stake and turned the Human Pullet over, and then he was so thoroughly basted as sometimes to be Done a little too much, often dying on the spot from that Rib wasting. Oh, it was rare sport! I wonder whereabouts in the nethermost Hell the cunning Dutchman is now who first devised this torment; also the Dutchwoman who practised it? I can fancy Signor Beelzebub and his Imps taking a keen delight in their application of the Spanso Bocko. The which I never knew it cure a Negro of the sulks. They would force back their tongues into their gullets while the torment was going on, determined not so much as to utter a moan, and, having a peculiar Art that way, brought by them from their own country, would often contrive to suffocate[65] themselves and Expire. Their own country! That is what one of the miserable beings said when, being threatened with torment of a peculiar, outrageous nature, he flung himself into a cauldron of boiling sugar, and was scalded to death on the instant. Let me not omit to mention while I am on this chapter of Brutality—wreaked by Christian men upon poor Heathen savages, for many of them were not many weeks from Guinea and Old Calabar, where they had been worshiping Mumbo Jumbo, and making war upon one another in their own Pagan fashion—that I have known Planters even more refined in their cruelty. They would make their slaves drink salt water, and then set them out in the hot sun tied to the outside posts of the Piazza. The end of that was, that they went Raving Mad, gnawing their Tongues and poor blubberous Lips to pieces[D] before they died. Another genius, who was a proficient in his Humanities, and quite of a classic frame of mind in his cruelties,[66] bethought himself of a mode of Torture much practised among the Ancient Persians, and so must needs smear the body of an unhappy Negro all over with molasses. Then, binding him fast to a stake in the open, the flies and mosquitoes got at him,—for he was kept there from one morning until the next,—and he presently gave up the Ghost. But nothing that I ever saw or heard of during the time of my living in the Western Indies, could equal the Romantic Torture, not so much invented as imported, by a Gentleman Merchant who had lived among the islands of the Grecian Archipelago, and whose jocose humour it was to imprison his women slaves in loose garments of leather, very tightly secured, however, at the wrists, neck, and ankles. In the same garments, before fastening round the limbs of the victim, one or more Infuriated cats were introduced; the which ferocious animals, playfully disporting themselves in their attempt to find a point of egress, would so up and tear, and mangle, and lacerate, with their Terrible claws, the flesh of the sufferers, that not all the Brine-washing[67] or pepper-pod-rubbing in the world, afterwards humanely resorted to on their release from their leathern sepulchre, would save them from mortification. There was a completeness and gusto about this Performance that always made me think my Gentleman Merchant from the Greek Islands a very Great Mind. The mere vulgar imitations of his Process which, in times more Modern, I have heard of—such as taking an angry cat by the tail and drawing its claws all abroad down the back of a Negro strapped on to a plank, so making a map of all the rivers in Tartarus from his neck to his loins—are, in my holding, beneath contempt. There is positive Genius in that idea of shutting up the cats in a hide-bound prison, and so letting them work their own wills on the inner walls; and I hope my Gentleman Merchant has as warm a niche in Signor Beelzebub's Temple of Fame, as the Great Dutch Philosopher who first dreamt of the Spanso Bocko.

Before I left the island of Jamaica, there befell me an adventure which I may briefly[68] narrate. It being the sickly season and very few ships in port, Maum Buckey's business was somewhat at a stand-still, and with little difficulty I obtained from her a fortnight's holiday. I might have spent it with no small pleasure, and even profit, at one of her up-country plantations, or at the Estate of some other Planter; for I had friends and to spare among the white Overseers and Bookkeepers; and although the Gentry—that is to say, the Enriched Adventurers, who deemed themselves such—were of course too High and Mighty to associate with one of my Mean Station, I was at no loss for companions among those of my own degree. So bent upon a frolic, and being by this time a good Rider and a capital shot, I joined a band of wild young Slips like myself, to go up the country hunting the miserable Negroes that had Marooned, as it was called. These Maroons were runaway slaves who had bid a sudden good-by to bolts and shackles, whips and rods, and shown their Tyrants a clean pair of heels, finding their covert in the dense jungles[69] that covered the mountain slopes, where they lived on the wild animals and birds they could shoot or snare, and sometimes making descents to the nearest plantations, thence to carry off cattle, ponies, or pigs, or whatever else they could lay their felonious hands upon. These were the Blacks again, you will say, with a vengeance, and at many Thousand Miles' distance from Charlwood Chase: but those poor varlets of Deerstealers in England never dreamt of taking Human Life, save when defending their own, in a fair stand-up Fight; whereas the Maroons had no such scruples, and spared neither age, nor sex, nor Degree—that had a white skin—in their bloodthirsty frenzy. The Savage Indians in the American plantations, who will swoop down on some peaceful English settlement, slaying, scalping, and Burning up men, women, and children,—with other Horrors and Outrages not to be described in decent terms,—are just on a par with these black Maroons. Now and again would be found among them some Household Runaways, or Field Hands born[70] into slavery on the Plantations,—and these were most useful in acting as spies or scouts; but as a rule the Head Men and Boldest Villains among the Maroons were Savage Negroes, just fresh from Africa, on whom the bonds of servitude had sate but for a short time, and who in the jungle were as much at Home as though they were in their native wilds again. Of great stature, of prodigious strength, amazing Agility, and astounding natural cunning, these creatures were as ferocious as Wild Baboons that had lived among civilized mankind just long enough to learn the Art of firing off a Gun and wielding a cutlass, instead of brandishing a Tree-branch or heaving a Cocoa-nut. They were without Pity; they were without knowledge that theirs was a cut-throat, nay, a cannibal trade. The white man had made war on them, and torn them from their Homes, where they were happy enough in their Dirt and Grease, their War-paint, and their idolatrous worship of Obeah and Bungey. 'Twas these Men-monsters that we went to hunt. The Planters themselves[71] were somewhat chary of dealing with them; for the cruelty which the Maroons inflicted on those who fell into their power were Awful alone to contemplate, much more so to Endure; but they were glad enough when any gang of young Desperadoes of the meaner white sort—which, speaking not for myself, I am inclined to believe the Meanest and most Despicable of any sort or condition of Humanity—would volunteer to go on a Maroon Hunt. We were to have a Handsome Recompense, whether our enterprise succeeded or failed; but were likewise stimulated to increased exertion by the covenanted promise of so many dollars—I forget how many now—for every head of a Maroon that we brought at our saddlebows to the place of Rendezvous. And so we started one summer morning, some twenty strong, all young, valiant, and not overscrupulous, armed, I need scarcely say, to the teeth, and mounted on the rough but fleet ponies of the country.

A train of Negroes on whom we could Depend—that is, by the strict application[72] of the law of Fear, not Kindness, and who stood in such Terror of us, and of our ever-ready Thongs, Halters, Pistols, and Cutlasses, as scarcely to dare call their souls their own—followed us with Sumpter mules well laden with provisions, kegs of drink, both of water and ardent, and additional ammunition. I was full of glee at the prospects of this Foray, vowed that it was a hundred times pleasanter than making out Maum Buckey's washing-books, and hearing her scold her laundry-wenches; and longed to prove to my companions that the Prowess I had shown at twelve—ay, and before that age, when I brained the Grenadier with the Demijohn—had not degenerated now that I was turned sixteen, and far away from my own country. So we rode and rode, who but we, and dined gaily under spreading trees, boasting of the brave deeds we would do when we had tracked the black Marooning vagabonds to their lair. At which those Negro servants upon whom we could depend grinned from ear to ear, and told us in their lingo that they "oped we would soon[73] Dam black negar tief out, and burn his Fader like canebrake." "'Tis strange," I thought, "that these creatures have not more compassion for their fellows whom we are hunting." To be sure, they were mostly of the Household breed, between whom and the fresh-imported Negroes held to field-service there is little sympathy. It escaped me to tell you that we had with us yet more powerful and Trustworthy auxiliaries than either our arms, our Horses, or our servants; being none other than nine couples of ferocious Bloodhounds, of a breed now extinct in Jamaica, and to be found only at this present moment, I believe, in the island of Cuba. These animals, which were of a terrible Ferocity and exquisitely keen scent, were kept specially for the purpose of hunting Maroons,—such are the Engines which Tyrannical Slavery is compelled to have recourse to,—and were purposely deprived of food beyond that necessary for their bare sustenance, that they might more fully relish the Recompense that awaited them when they had hunted down their prey.[74]

Gaily we went on our Road rejoicing, now by mere bridle-paths, and now plunging our hardy little steeds right through the bristling underwood, when there burst upon us one of those terrible Tornadoes, or Tempests of wind and rain, so common in the Western Indies. The water came down in great solid sheets, drenching us to the skin in a moment; the sky was lit up for hundreds of miles round by huge blasts of lurid fire; the wind tore great branches off trees, and hurled them across the bows of our saddles, or battered our faces with their soaked leaves or sharp prickles. The very Dogs were blinded and baffled by this tremendous protest of nature; and in the very midst of the storm there broke from an ambuscade a band of Maroons, three times as strong as our own, who fell upon us like incarnate Demons as they were. Our hounds had found their scent long before,—just after dinner, indeed,—and we had been following it for some two hours;—even now it was Reeking close upon us, but we little deemed how Near. I suppose that those Negro[75] Rascals, whom we had trusted so implicitly, and on whom we thought that we could Depend so thoroughly, had Betrayed us. This was the second time in my short Life that I fallen into an Ambuscade; and Lo! each time the "Blacks" had been mixed up with my misadventure.

These naked Maroons cared nothing about the Storm, whose torrents ran off their well-oiled carcasses like water off a Duck's back. There was a very Devil of a fight. 'Twas every one for himself, and the Tempest for us all. The Runaways were well armed, and besides could use their teeth and nails to better advantage than many a doughty Fighting man can use his weapons, and clawed and tore at us like Wild Beasts. I doubt not we should have got the worst of it, but that we were Mounted,—and a Man on horseback is three times a Footman in a Hand-to-Hand encounter; and again, that our good friends the bloodhounds, that had been scared somewhat at the outset, recovered their self-possession, and proceeded each to pin his Maroon, and to rend him to pieces with[76] great deliberation. In the end, that is to say, after about twenty-seven minutes' sharp tussling, Dogs, Horses, and Men were victorious; and, as we surveyed the scene of our Triumph, the storm had spent its fury. The black clouds cleared away as suddenly as they had darkled upon us; the Golden Sun came out, and the dreadful scene was lit up in Splendour. Above, indeed, it was all Beauty and Peace for Nature cannot be long Angry. The trees all seemed stemmed and sprayed with glistering jewels; the moisture that rose had the tints of an hundred Rainbows; the long grass flashed and waved; the many birds in the boughs began to sing Hymns of Thankfulness and Joy. But below, ah, me! what a Dreadful scene of blood and Carnage, and Demoniac revenge, there was shown! Of our band we had lost three Killed; five more were badly Wounded; and there was not one of us but had some Hurt of greater or lesser seriousness. We had killed a many of the Maroons; and the two or three that had escaped with Life, albeit most grievously[77] gashed, were speedily put out of their misery. Had we been seeking for Runaway house-servants, we might have taken prisoners; but with a wild African Maroon this is not serviceable. The only thing that you can do with him, when you catch him, is to kill him.

The Dead Bodies of our unfortunate companions were laid across the sumpter mule's back; but when we came to look for our train of dependable Negroes, we found that all save three had fled. These did so very strongly protest their Innocence, and plead their abiding by us as a proof thereof, that I felt half inclined to hold them blameless. There were those among us, however, who were of a far different opinion, and were for lighting a fire of branches and Roasting them into confession. But there was a Scotch gentleman among us by the name of MacSawby, who, being of a Practical turn (as most of his countrymen are, and, indeed, Edinborough in Scotland is about the most Practical town that ever I was in), pointed out that we were all very Tired, and needed[78] Refreshment and Repose; that the task of Torturing Negroes gave much trouble and consumed more time ("Aiblins it's douce wark," quoth the Scotch gentleman); that all the wood about was sopped with wet (and a "Dry Roast's best," said the Scotch Gentleman); and finally, that the thing could be much better done at home, where we had proper Engines and Instruments for inflicting Exquisite Agony, and proper Slaves to administer the same. So that for the nonce, and for our own Convenience, we were Merciful, and promised to defer making necessary Inquisition, by means of Cowhide, Tamarind-bush, and Fire-cane, until our return to the Rendezvous.

I should tell you that I got a Hurt in my hand from a kind of short Chopper or Tommyhawk that one of the Savages carried. 'Twas fortunately my left hand, and seeming but a mere scratch, I thought little or nothing about it. But at the end of the second day it began to swell and swell to a most alarming size and tumorous discoloration, the inflammation extending right up[79] my arm, even to my shoulder. Then it was agreed on all sides that the blade of the Tommyhawk with which I had been stricken must have been anointed with some subtle and deadly Poison, of the which not only the Maroons but the common Household and Town Negroes have many, preparing them themselves, and obstinately refusing, whether by hope of Reward or fear of punishment, to reveal the secret of their components to the Whites. I had to rest at the nearest Plantation to our battle-field; and the Planter—who had been a captain in the Chevalier de St. George's service (the old one), that had come out here, after the troubles of 1715, a Banished man, but had since been pardoned, and had taken to Planting, and grown Rich—was kind enough to permit me to be taken into his house and laid in one of his own Guest-chambers, where I was not only tended by his own Domestics, but was sometimes favoured with the Attention and sympathy of his angelic Wife, a young woman of most charming countenance and lively manners, most cheerful, pious,[80] and Humane, taking great care of her slaves, physicking them frequently, reading to them little books written by persons of the Nonconforming persuasion,—a kind of doctrine that I never could abide,—and never suffering them to be whipped upon a Sunday. However, I grew worse; whereupon one Mr. Sprague, that set up for surgeon, but was more like a Boatswain turned landsman than that, or than a Horse, came to me, and was for cutting off my arm, to prevent mortification. There were two obstacles in the way of this operation's performance; the first being that Mr. Sprague had no proper instruments by him beyond a fleam and a syringe, with which, and with however good a will, you can scarcely sever a Man's limb from his Body; and the next that Mr. Sprague was not sober. Love for a young widow had driven him to drinking, it was said; but I think that it was more the Love of Liquor to which his bibulous backslidings were owing. 'Twas lucky for me that he had nor saw nor tourniquet with him. It is true that he departed in quest[81] of some Carpenter's Tools, which he declared would do the job quite as well; but, again to my good luck, the carpenter was as Rare a pottlepot as he; and they two took to boiling rum in a calabash and drinking of it, and smoking of Tobacco, and playing at Skimming Dish Hob, Spie the Market, Shove-halfpenny, Brag, Put, and Dilly Dally, and other games that reminded them of the old country, for days and nights together so that the old Negro woman that belonged to the carpenter, seeing them gambling and drinking in the morning just as she had left them drinking and gambling the overnight, stared with amazement like a Mouse in a Throwster's mill. And by the time they had finished their Rouse I was, through Heaven's kindness and the segacity of a Negro nurse named Cubjack, cured. This woman, it is probable knew the secret of the Poison from the bitter effects of which I was suffering. At all events, she took me in hand, and by warm fomentations and bathings, and some outward applications of herbs and anointed[82] bandages, reduced the swelling and restored my hand to its proper Form and Hue. At the end of the week I was quite cured, and able to resume my journey back to Kingston. I did not fail to express my gratitude to the hospitable Planter and his Lady, and I gave the Nurse Cubjack half a dollar and a silver tobacco-stopper that had been presented to me by Maum Buckey.

As a perverse destiny would have it, this Tobacco-stopper, this harmless trinket, was the very means of my losing my situation, and parting in anger from my Pumpkin-faced Patroness. Although I was, even at the present dating, but a raw lad, she took it into her head to be jealous of me, and all about this silver pipe-stopper. She vowed I had given it away to some Quadroon lass up country; she would not hearken to my protests of having bestowed it upon the nurse who had saved my life; and indeed when, at my instance, inquiries were made, Cubjack's replies did not in any way bear out my statement. The unhappy creature, who had probably sold my Tobacco-stopper[83] for a few joes, or been deluded out of it by the Obeah Man, and was afraid of being flogged if discovery were made thereof, positively denied that I had given her anything beyond the half-dollar. You see that these Negroes have no more idea of the pernicious quality of the Sin of Lying, than has a white European shopkeeper deluding a Lady into buying of a lustring or a paduasoy; and see what similar vices there are engendered among savages and Christian folks by opposite causes.

We had a fearful war of words together, Maum Buckey and myself. She was a bitter woman when vexed, and called me "beggar buckra," "poor white trash," "tam lily thief," and the like. Whereat I told her plainly that I had no liking for her lackered countenance, and that she was a mahogany-coloured, slave-driving, old curmudgeon, that in England would be shown about at the fairs for a penny a peep. At the which she screamed with rage, and threw at me a jug of sangaree. Heavy enough it was; but the old lady had not so good an[84] Aim as I had when I brained the Grenadier with the demijohn.

We had little converse after that. There were some wages due, and these she paid me, telling me that I might "go to de Debble," and that if she ever saw me again, she hoped it would be to see me hanged. I could have got Employment, I doubt not, in Jamaica, or in some other of the islands; but I was for the time sick of the Western Indies, and was resolved, come what might, to tempt my fortune in Europe. A desire to return to England first came over me; nor am I ashamed to confess that, mingled with my wish to see my own country once more, was a Hope that I might meet the Traitorous Villain Hopwood, and tell him to his teeth what a false Deceiver I took him to be. You see how bold a lad can be when he has turned the corner of sixteen; but it was always so with John Dangerous.

Some difficulty, nay, considerable obstacles, I encountered in obtaining a ship to carry me to Europe. The vindictive yellow woman, with whom (through no fault of my[85] own, I declare) I was in disfavour, did so pursue me with her Animosity as to prejudice one Sea Captain after another against me; and it was long ere any would consent to treat with me, even as a Passenger. To those of my own nation did she in particular speak against me with such virulence, that in sheer despite I abandoned for the time my intention of going to England, and determined upon making for some other part of Europe, where I might push my fortune. And there being in port early in the winter a Holland ship, named the Gebrüder, which was bound for Ostend, I struck a bargain with the skipper of her, a decent man, whose name was Van Ganderdrom, and prepared to leave the colony in which I had passed over four years of my Eventful Life. Some friends who took an interest in me,—the "bright English lad," as they called me,—and who thought I had been treated by Maum Buckey with some unnecessary degree of Harshness, made up a purse of money for me, by which I was enabled to pay my Passage Money in advance, and lay in a stock of Provisions for[86] the voyage; for, save in the way of Schnapps, Cheeses, and Herrings, the Holland ships were at that time but indifferently well Found. When every thing was paid, I found that I had indeed but a very small Surplus remaining; but there was no other way, and I bade adieu to the island of Jamaica, as I thought, for ever.




I landed, after a long and tedious voyage, at the town of Ostend, it being the Spring time of the year 1729, with Youth, Health, a strong Frame, and a comely Countenance (as they told me), indeed, but with just two Guineas in my pouch for all my Fortune. Many a Lord Mayor of London has begun the World, 'tis said, with a yet more slender Provision (I wonder what Harpy Hopwood had to begin with?) and Eighteenpence would seem to be the average of Capital Stock for an Adventurer that is to heap up Riches. Still I seemed to have made my Start in Life's Voyage a great many times, and to have been very near ending with it more than once—witness the Aylesbury[88] Assizes. Thus I felt rather Despondency than Hope at being come almost to manhood, and but to a beggarly Estate of Two-and-forty shillings. "But," said I, "courage, Jack Dangerous; thou hast strong legs and a valorous Stomach; at least thou needst not starve (bar cutpurses) for two-and-forty days; thou hast a knowledge of the French tongue," (which I picked up from a Huguenot emigrant from Languedoc, who was a Barber at Kingston, and taught me for well-nigh nothing), "and art cunning of Fence. Be the world thine Oyster, as the Playactor has it, and e'en open it with a Spadapoint." In this not unwholesome frame of mind I came out of the ship Gebrüder, and set foot on the Port with something like a Defiance of Fortune's scurvy tricks fermenting within me.

The Shipmaster recommended me to a very cleanly Tavern, by the sign of the Red Goose, kept in the Ganz-Straet by a widow-woman named Giessens. 'Twas Goose here, Goose there, and Goose every where, so it seemed with this good Frau; for she served Schiedam at the sign of the Goose, and she[89] lived in Goose Street. She had herself a long neck and a round body and flat feet, going waddling and hissing about the house, a-scolding of her maids, like any Michaelmas matron among the stubble; not to forget her children, of whom she had a flock, waddling and hissing in their little way too, and who were all as like goslings as Sherris is like Sack. Little would have lacked for her to give me hot roast goose to my dinner, and goose-pie for supper, and some unguent of goose-grease to anoint my Pate with, had it chanced to be broken; and truly if I had lived under the sign of the Goose for many days, I might have taken to waddling and hissing too in my own Generation, and have been in time as brave a goose as any of them. Here there was a civil enough company of Seafaring men, Mates, Pilots, Supercargoes, and the like, with some Holland traders, and, if I mistake not, a few Smugglers that had contraband dealings in Cambrics, Steenkirks, Strong waters, and Point of Bruxelles. These last worthies did I carefully avoid; for since my Boyish Mischances[90] I had imbibed a wholesome fear of hurting the King's Revenue, or meddling in any way with his Prerogative. "Well out of it, Jack Dangerous," I said. "Touch not His Majesty's Deer, nor His Majesty's Customs, and there shall be no sense of a tickling in thy windpipe when thou passest a post that is like unto the sign of the Tyburn Tavern." 'Tis astonishing how gingerly a man will walk who has once been within an ace of dancing upon nothing.

There is a mighty quantity of Sand and good store of Mud at Ostend, and a very comforting smell of fish; and so the High Dutch gentry, who, poor souls, know very little about the sea, and see no more salt water from Life's beginning unto its end than is contained within the compass of a pickling-tub, do use the place much for Bathing, and brag about their Dips and Flounderings, crying out, Die Zee ist mein Lust, in their plat Deutsch, as though they had all been born so many Porpoises. I would walk upon a morning much upon the Ramping-Parts, or Fortifications of the Town, watching[91] whole caravans of Bathers, both of High and Low Dutch Gentry, coming to be dipped, borne into the Sea by sturdy Fellows that carried them like so many Sacks of Coals, and who would Discharge them into shallows with little more Ceremony than they would use in shooting such a cargo of Fuel into a cellar. "When my Money is gone," thought I, "I may earn a crust by the like labour." But then I bethought me that I was a Stranger among them; that they might be Jealous of me; and, indeed, when I imparted my design to the Widow-woman Giessens, who was beholden to me, she said, for that I had warned her how poor a guest I was growing, she told me that much interest was needed to obtain one of these Bather's places—almost as much, forsooth, as is wanted to get the berth of a Tide-waiter in England,—and these rascals were always waiting for the tide. Something like a Patent had to be humbly sued for, and fat fees paid to Syndics and Burgomasters, for the fine Privilege of sousing the gentry in the Brine. The good woman offered me Credit till I should find[92] employment, and did so vehemently press a couple of Guilders upon me to defray my present charges, that I had not the heart to refuse, although I took care to avise her that my prospects of being able to repay her were as far off as the Cape of Good Hope.

It chanced one morning that I was walking out of the Town by the side of the Sea below the fortified parts to the Norrard. 'Twas fine and calm enough, and there was not so much Swell as to take a Puppy off his swimming legs; but suddenly I heard a great Outcry and Hubbub, and perceived, some ten feet from me in the Water the head of a Man convulsed with Terror, and who was crying out with all his might that he was Drowning, that he should never see his dear Mamma again, and that all his Estate would go to the Heir-at-Law, whom, as well as he could, for screeching and spluttering, he Cursed heartily in the English tongue. I wondered how he could be in such a Pother, seeing that he was so close to shore, and that moreover there were those nigh unto him who could have helped him if they had had a[93] Mind to it. Close upon him was a Fat gentleman in a clergyman's cassock and a prodigious Fluster, who kept crying out, "Save him! Save him!" but budged not a foot to come to his assistance himself; and, but a dozen yards or so, was a Flemish Fellow, one of the Bathers, who, so far as I could make out from his shaking his head and crying out, "nicht" and "Geld,"—the rest of his lingo was Greek to me,—did refuse to save the Gentleman unless he had more Money given him. For these Bathing-men were a most Mercenary Pack. In a much shorter time than it has taken me to put this on Paper I had off coat and vest, kicked off my shoes, and struck into the water. 'Twas of the shallowest, and I had but to wade towards him who struggled. When I came anigh him, he must even catch hold of me, clinging like Grim Death or a Barnacle to the bottom of a Barge, very nearly dragging me down. But I was happily strong; and so, giving him with my disengaged arm a sound Cuff under the ear, the better to Preserve his Life, I seized him by the waist with[94] the other, and so dragged him up high, if not dry, unto the Sandy Shore. And a pretty sight he looked there, dripping and Shivering, although the sun shone Brightly, and he well nigh Blue with Fright.

What do you think the first words were that my Gentleman uttered so soon as he had got his tongue clear of Salt and Seaweed?

"You villain!" he cries to me, "you have assaulted me. Take witness, Gentlemen, he hath stricken me under the Ear. I will have him in the King's Bench for Battery. Mr. Hodge, you saw it; and you leave me this day week for allowing your Patron to be within an inch of Drowning."

I was always of a Hot Temper, and this cavalier treatment of me after my Services threw me into a Rage.

"Why, you little half-boiled Shrimp," I bawled out, "I have a mind to clout your under t'other Ear, that Brothers may not complain of Favour, and e'en carry you to where I found you."

The Gentleman in the cassock began to[95] break out in excuses, saying that his Patron would reward me, and that he was glad that an Englishman had been by to rescue a Person of Quality from such great Peril, when that Flanders Oaf younger—the extortionate villain—would not stir a finger to help him unless he had half a guilder over and above his fee.

"Let him dry and dress himself," I said, in Dudgeon; "and if he be not civil to a Countryman, who is as good as he, I will kick him back to his Inn, and you too."

"A desperate youth!" murmured the Clergyman, as he handed his Patron a great bundle of towels; "and very meanly clad."

I walked away a few paces while the gentleman dried and dressed himself. Had I obeyed the Promptings of Pride, I should have gone on my ways and left him to his likings; but I was exceedingly Poor, and thought it Foolish to throw away the chance of receiving what his Generosity might bestow upon me. The Bathing-Man, who had been already paid his Fee, had the impudence to come up and ask for more "Geld,"—for[96] minding the gentleman's clothes, as I gathered from the speech of the clergyman, who understood Flemish. He was, however, indignantly refused, and, not relishing, perchance, the likelihood of a scuffle with three Englishmen, straightway decamped.

By and by the Gentleman was dressed, and a very smart appearance he made in a blue shag frock laced with silver, a yellow waistcoat bound with black velvet, green paduasoy breeches, red stockings, gold buckles, an ivory hilt to his sword, and a white feather in his hat. I have no mind to write out Taylor's accompts, but I do declare this to be the exact Schedule of his Equipment. Under the hat, which had a kind of Sunday Marylabonne cock to it, there bulged forth a mighty White Periwig of fleecy curls, for all the world like the coat of a Bologna Poodle Dog, and in the middle of his Wig there peeped out a little hatchet face with lantern jaws, and blue gills, and a pair of great black eyebrows, under which glistened a pair of inflamed eyes. He was[97] not above five feet three inches, and his fingers, very long and skinny, went to and fro under his Point ruffles like a Lobster's Feelers. The Chaplain, who waited upon him as a Maid would on a lardy-dardy woman of Fashion, handed my Gentleman a very tall stick with a golden knob at the end on't, and with this, and a laced handkerchief and a long cravat, which he had likely bought at Mechlin, and a Snuff-box in the lean little Paw that held not the cane, he looked for all the world like one of my Grandmother's Footmen who had run away and turned Dancing Master.

"This, young man," said the Chaplain, making a low bow as he spoke to the comical Image before him, "is Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, of Hampstead. Make your reverence, sirrah!"

"Make a reverence to a Rag-doll!" I answered, with a sneer. "He hath left his twin brother beyond sea. I know him, and he is a Barbary Ape."

"The rogue is insolent," says B. Pinchin,[98] Esq., clutching tighter at his tall cane, but turning very white the while. "I must batoon him into better manners."

"What!" I cried in a great voice, making a step towards him, for my blood was up. I would but have tweaked the little creature's Ears; but he, for a surety, thought I had a mind to Murder him. I do aver that he fell upon his knees, and with most piteous Accents and Protestations entreated me, for the sake of his Mamma, to spare his life, and he would give me all I asked.

I was quite bewildered, and turning towards the Parson, asked if his master was Mad; to which he made answer with some Heat, that he was no Master of his, but his Honoured Friend and Gracious Patron; whereupon the little Spark must go up to him, whimpering and cuddling about him, and beseeching him to save him from the Tall Rogue, meaning me.

"Body o' me, man," I exclaimed, scarcely able to keep from laughing, "I mean you no harm. I am a young Englishman, lately come from the Plantations, and seeking employment.[99] I see you struggling yonder, and likely to give up the ghost, and I pull you out; and then you call me Rogue and charge me with striking of you. Was it cramp or cowardice that made you bawl so? Give me something to drink better manners to you, and I will leave you and this reverend gentleman alone."

The Parson bowed his head with a pleased look when I called him Reverend and a Gentleman, and, in an under-tone, told his Patron that I was a civilly behaved youth, after all. But the Poltroon with the white wig was not out of his Pother yet. He had risen to his feet with a patch of sand on each knee, and as the Chaplain wiped it off with a kerchief, he blubbered out that I wanted to rob him.

The Clergyman whispered in his ear—perhaps that I was a Dangerous looking Fellow, and might lose my temper anon to some tune: for my Whippersnapper approaches me, and, in a manner Civil enough, tells me that he is much obliged for what I had done for him. "And you will take[100] this," says he. I will be shot if he did not give me an English groat.

"You can readily get English coin changed in the town," he observed with a smirk, as in sheer bewilderment I gazed upon this paltry doit.

I was desperately minded to Fling it at him, knock him and the Chaplain down, and leave the precious pair to pick themselves up again, but I forebore. "Well," I said, "if that's the value you put upon your life, I can't grumble at your Guerdon. I suppose that shrivelled little carcass of yours isn't worth more than fourpence. I'll e'en change it in town, and buy fourpennyworth of Dutch cheese, and you shall have the parings for nothing to send to your Mamma as a gift from foreign parts. Good morning to you, my noble Captain." And so saying I walked away in a Fume of Wrath and Contempt.

I was idling, that same afternoon, along the Main street of Ostend very much in the Dumps, and thinking of going down to the Port to seek a cook's place from some Ship[101] Master, for I was not yet Qualified to engage as an Able-bodied Mariner, when I met the Chaplain again, this time alone, and coming out of a pastryman's shop. I would have passed him, as holding both him and his master in Disdain, but he Arrested me, and beckoned me into an Entry, there to have some Speech.

"My Patron is somewhat quick and hasty, and was uncommonly flustered by his mischance this morning," quoth the Rev. Mr. Hodge. "Nor perhaps did he use you as liberally as he should have done. Here is a golden guilder for you, honest man."

I thanked him, and as I pouched it told him that I would have taken no Money at all for a service which every man is bound to render to his Fellow-creature, but that I was sorely pressed for Money. On this, he asked my name and belongings. The name I gave him, at the which he winced somewhat; but of my history I did not care to enlighten him further beyond broadly stating that I had come from the Plantations, where I had been used to keep Accompts,[102] and that I was an Orphan, and had no friends in England, even if I possessed the means to return thither.

"I think I can find you a place," the chaplain replied, when I had finished. "'Twill not be a very handsome one, but the work is little and light. Would it meet your purpose, now, to attend on a gentleman?"

"It depends," I replied, "on what kind of a Gentleman he is."

"A Gentleman of landed Estate," quoth the parson, quite pat. "An English gentleman, now travelling for his Diversion, but will, in good time, settle down in England, to live on his Acres in a Handsome manner, and be a justice of peace, and of the Quorum."

"Do you mean your Squire of Hampstead, yonder?" I answered, pointing my thumb over my shoulder, as though in the direction where I had met his Reverence and his Patron that morning.

"I do," responds Mr. Hodge.[103]

"Bartholomew Pinchin, of Hampstead, Esquire, eh?" I continued.

"Exactly so."

"Then," I went on, raising my voice, and giving a furious glance at my companion, "I'll see Bartholomew Pinchin boiled, and I'll see Bartholomew Pinchin baked, and his Esquireship to boot, before I'll be his servant. He, a mean, skulking, pinchbeck hound! Tell him I'm meat for his master, and that he has no service, body or lip, of mine."

"Tut, tut, you foolish lad," said Mr. Hodge, not in the least offended. "What a wild young colt it is, and how impatient! For all your strapping figure, now, I doubt whether you are twenty years of age."

I answered, with something like a Blush, that I was not yet seventeen.

"There it is,—there it is," the Chaplain took me, chuckling. "As I thought. A mere boy. A very lad. Not come to years of discretion yet, and never will, if he goes on raging in this manner. Hearken to me,[104] youngster. Don't be such a fool as to throw away a good chance."

"I don't see where it is yet," I observed sulkily yet sheepishly; for there was a Good-natured air about the Chaplain that overcame me.

"But I do," he rejoined. "The good chance you have is of getting a comfortable place, with a smart livery—"

"I won't wear a livery," I cried, in a heat. "I'll be no man's lacquey; I'm a gentleman."

"So was Adam," retorted Mr. Hodge, "and the very first of the breed; but he had to wear a livery of fig-leaves for all that, and so had his wife, Eve. Come, 'tis better to don a land-jerkin, and a hat with a ribbon to 't, and be a Gentleman's Gentleman, with regular Wages and Vails, and plenty of good Victuals every day, than to be starving and in rags about the streets of a Flemish town."

"I'm not starving; I'm not in rags," I protested, with my Proud stomach.

"But you will be the day after to-morrow.[105] The two things always go together. Come, my young friend, I'll own that Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, is not generous."

"Generous!" I exclaimed; "why, he's the meanest little hunks that ever lanced a paving stone to find blood for black puddings in it. Didn't he give me fourpence this morning for saving his life?"

"And didn't you tell him that his life wasn't worth more than a groat?" asked the Chaplain, with a sly grin; "besides insulting him on the question of Dutch cheese (to which he has an exquisite aversion), into the bargain?"

"That's true," I replied, vanquished by the Parson's logic.

"There, then," his Reverence went on. "Bartholomew Pinchin Esquire's more easily managed than you think for. Do you prove a good servant, and it shall be my duty to make him show himself a good master to you. But I must have no further parley with you here, else these Papistical Ostenders will think that you are some Flemish lad (for indeed you have somewhat[106] of a foreign air), and I a Lutheran Minister striving to convert you. Get you back to your Inn, good youth. Pay your score, if you have one, and if you have not, e'en spend your guilder in treating of your companions, and come to me at nine of the clock this evening at the Inn of the Three Archduchesses. Till then, fare you well."

It must be owned that his Reverence's proposals were fair, and that his conversation was very civil. As I watched him trotting up the Main Street, his Cassock bulging out behind, I agreed with myself that perhaps the most prudent thing I could do just at present would be to put my gentility in my pocket till better times came round. There was a Spanish Don, I believe, once upon a time, who did very nearly the same thing with his sword.

At the appointed time I duly found myself at the sign of the Three Archduchesses, which was the bravest Hostelry in all Ostend, and the one where all the Quality put up. I asked for Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, in the best French that I could[107] muster; whereupon the drawer, who was a Fleming, and, I think, spoke even worse French than I did, asked me if I meant the English Lord who had the grand suite of apartments looking on the courtyard. I was fit to die of laughing at first to hear the trumpery little Hampstead squire spoken of as a lord; but Prudence came to my aid again, and I answered that such was the personage I came to seek; and, after not much delay, I was ushered into the presence of Mr. Pinchin, whose Esquiredom—and proud enough he was of it—I may now as well Drop. I found him in a very handsome apartment, richly furnished, drinking Burgundy with his chaplain, and with a pack of cards alongside the bottles, and two great wax candles in sconces on either side. But, as he drank his Burgundy, he ceased not to scream and whimper at the expense he was being put to in having such a costly liquor at his table, and scolded Mr. Hodge very sorely because he had not ordered some thin Bordeaux, or light Rhine wine. "I'm drinking guineas," he moaned,[108] as he gulped down his Goblets; "it'll be the ruin of me. A dozen of this is as bad as a Mortgage upon my Titmouse Farm. What'll my mamma say? I shall die in the poor-house." But all this time he kept on drinking; and it was not glass and glass about with him, I promise you, for he took at least three bumpers full to his Chaplain's one, and eyed that reverend personage grudgingly as he seized his opportunity, and brimmed up the generous Red Liquor in his tall-stemmed glass. Yet the Chaplain seemed in no way discountenanced by his scanty allowance, and I thought that, perchance, his Reverence liked not wine of Burgundy.

They were playing a hand of piquet when I was introduced; and they being Gentlefolks, and I a poor humble Serving Man that was to be, I was bidden to wait, which I did very patiently in the embrasure of a window, admiring the great dark tapestried curtains as they loomed in indistinct gorgeousness among the shadows. The hand of piquet[109] was over at last, and Mr. Pinchin found that he had lost three shillings and sixpence.

"I can't pay it, I can't pay it," he said, making a most rueful countenance. "I'm eaten out of house and home, and sharped at cards besides. It's a shame for a Parson to play foul,—I say foul, Mr. Hodge. It's a disgrace to the cloth to bring your wicked card-cheating practices to devalise an English gentleman who is travelling for his diversion."

"We'll play the game over again, if you choose, Worthy Sir," the Chaplain answers quite quietly.

"Yes, and then you'll win seven shillings of me. You've sworn to bring me to beggary and ruin. I know you swore it when my mamma sent you abroad with me. Oh, why did I come to foreign parts with a wicked, guzzling, gambling, chambering Chaplain, that's in league with the very host and the drawers of this thieving inn against me—that burns me a guinea a night in wax candles, and has had a freehold farm out of me in Burgundy wine."[110]

"I've have had but two glasses the entire evening," the Chaplain pleaded, in a voice truly that was meek; but I thought that, even at the distance I stood from him, I could see the colour rising in his cheek.

"Oh, you have, you have," went on Squire Bartholomew, who, if not half Mad, was certainly more than three parts Muzzy; "you've ruined me, Mr. Hodge, with your cards and your candles and your Burgundy, and Goodness only knows what else besides."

The Chaplain could stand it no longer; and rose in a Rage.

"I wish all the candles and the cards were down your throat," he cried; "nearly all the wine is there already. I wish they'd choke you. I wish they were all in the pit of your stomach, and turned to hot burning coals. What shall I do with you, you cadaverous little jackanapes? The Lout did well this morning—"(I was the Lout, by your leave) "to—to liken thee to one, for thou art more monkey than man. But for fear of staining my cassock, I'd—I'd—"[111]

He advanced towards him with a vengeful air, clenching his fist, as well as I could see, as he approached. Surely there never was such a comical character as this Bartholomew Pinchin. 'Tis the bare truth, that, as the enraged parson came at him, this Gentleman of broad acres drops down again on his marrowbones, just as I had seen him on the sands in the morning; and lifting up his little skinny hands towards the ceiling, begins yelling and bawling out louder than ever.

"Spare my life! spare my life!" he cried, "Take my watch and trinkets. Take my Gold Medal of the Pearl of Brunswick Club. Take the diamond solitaire I wear in my great Steenkirk on Sundays. Go to my Bankers, and draw every penny I've got in the world. Turn me out a naked, naked Pauper; but oh, Mr. Hodge spare my life. I'm young. I've been a sinner. I want to give a hundred Pounds to Lady Wackerbarth's charity school. I want to do every body good. Take my gold, but spare my life. Oh, you tall young man in the corner[112] there, come and help an English gentleman out of the hands of a murtherous Chaplain."

"Why, you craven cur, you," puts in the Chaplain, bending over him with half-poised fist, yet with a kind of half-amusement in his features, "don't you know that the Tall young Man, as you call him, is the poor English lad who saved your worthless little carcass from drowning this morning, and whom you offered to recompense with a Scurvy Groat."

"I'll give him forty pound, I will," blubbered Mr. Pinchin, still on his knees. "I'll give him fifty pound when my Midsummer rents come in, only let him rescue me from the jaws of the roaring lion. Oh, my Mamma! my mamma!"

"Come forward, then, young man," cried the Chaplain, with a smile of disdain on his good-humoured countenance, "and help this worthy and courageous gentleman to his legs. Don't be afraid, Squire Barty. He won't murder you."

I advanced in obedience to the summons, and putting a hand under either armpit of[113] the Squire, helped him on to his feet. Then, at a nod of approval, I set him in the great arm-chair of Utrecht velvet. Then I pointed to the bottle on the table, and looked at Mr. Hodge, as though to ask whether he thought a glass of Burgundy would do the patient good.

"No," said the Chaplain. "He's had enough Burgundy. He'd better have a flask of champagne to give him some spirits. Will you drink a flask of champagne, Squire?" he continued, addressing his patron in a strangely authoritative voice.

"Yes," quoth the little man, whose periwig was all Awry, and who looked, on the whole, a most doleful figure,—"yes, if you please, Mr. Hodge."

"Vastly pretty! And what am I to have? I think I should like some Burgundy."

"Any thing," murmured the discomfited Squire; "only spare my—"

"Tush! your life's in no danger. We'll take good care of it. And this most obliging English youth,—will your Honour offer him no refreshment? What is he to have?"[114]

"Can he drink beer?" asked the Squire, in a faint voice, and averting his head, as though the having to treat me was too much for him.

"Can you drink beer?" echoed the Chaplain, looking at me, but shaking his head meanwhile, as if to warn me not to consent to partake of so cheap a beverage.

"It's very cheap," added Mr. Pinchin, very plaintively. "It isn't a farthing a glass; and when you get used to it, it's better for the inwards than burnt brandy. Have a glass of beer, good youth. Kind Mr. Hodge, let them bring him a glass of Faro."

"Hang your faro! I don't like it," I said, bluntly.

"What will you have, then?" asked the Squire, with a gasp of agony, and his head still buried in the chair-cushion.

It seemed that the Chaplain's lips, as he looked at me, were mutely forming the letters W I N E. So I put a bold front upon it, and said,

"Why, I should like, master, to drink[115] your health in a bumper of right Burgundy with this good Gentleman here."

"He will have Burgundy," whimpered Mr. Pinchin, half to the chair-cushion, and half to his periwig. "He will have Burgundy. The ragged, tall young man will have Burgundy at eight livres ten sols the flask. Oh, let him have it, and let me die! for he and the Parson have sworn to my Mamma to murder me and have my blood, and leave me among Smugglers, and Papistry, and Landlords who have sworn to ruin me in waxen candles."

There was something at once so ludicrous, and yet so Pathetic, in the little man's lamentations, that I scarcely knew whether to laugh or to cry. His feelings seemed so very acute, and he himself so perfectly sincere in his moanings and groanings, that it was almost Barbarity to jeer at him. The Chaplain, however, was, to all appearance, accustomed to these little Comedies; for, whispering to me that it was all Mr. Pinchin's manner, and that the young Gentleman[116] meant no harm, he bade me bestir myself and hurry up the servants of the House to serve supper. So not only were the champagne and the Burgundy put on table,—and of the which there was put behind a screen a demiflask of the same true vintage for my own private drinking. ("And the Squire will be pleased, when he comes to Audit the score, to find that you have been content with Half a bottle. 'Twill seem like something saved out of the Fire," whispers the Chaplain to me, as I helped to lay the cloth),—not only were Strong Waters and sweet Liquors and cordials provided, especially that renowned stomachic the Maraschyno, of which the Hollanders and Flemings are so outrageously fond, and which is made to such perfection in the Batavian settlements in Asia, but a substantial Repast likewise made its appearance, comprising Fowl, both wild and tame, and hot and cold, a mighty pasty of veal and eggs, baked in a Standing Crust, some curious fresh sallets, and one of potatoes and salted herrings flavoured with garlic—to[117] me most villanously nasty, but much affected in these amphibious Low Countries. So, the little Squire being brought to with a copious draught of champagne,—and he was the most weazened little Bacchus I ever knew, moistening his ever-dry throttle from morn until night,—he and the chaplain sate down to supper, and remained feasting until long past midnight. So far as the Parson's part went, it might have been called a Carouse as well as a Feast, for his Reverence took his Liquor, and plenty of it, with a joviality of Countenance the which it would have done your Heart good to see, drinking "Church and King," and then "King and Church," so that neither Institution should have cause to grumble, and then giving the Army, the Navy, the Courts of Quarter Sessions throughout England, Newmarket and the horses, not forgetting the Jockeys, the pious memory of Dr. Sacheverell, at which the Squire winced somewhat, for he was a bitter Whig, with many other elegant and appropriate sentiments. In fact, it was easy to see that his reverence had known the[118] very best of company, and when at one of the clock he called for a Bowl of Punch, which he had taught the Woman of the House very well how to brew, I put him down as one who had sate with Lords,—ay and of the Council too, over their Potations. But the Behaviour of Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, was, from the beginning unto the end of the Regale, of a piece with his former extraordinary and Grotesque conduct. After the champagne, he essayed to sing a song to the tune of "Cold and Raw," but, failing therein, he began to cry. Then did he accuse me of having secreted the Liver Wing of a Capon, which, I declare, I had seen him devour not Five Minutes before. Then he had more Drink, and proposed successively as Toasts his Cousin Lady Betty Heeltap, daughter to my Lord Poddle; a certain Madame Van Foorst, whom I afterwards discovered to be the keeper of a dancing Ridotto on the Port at Antwerp; then the Jungfrau, or serving wench that waited upon us, who had for name Babette; and lastly his Mamma, whom, ten minutes afterwards,[119] he began to load with Abuse, declaring that she wished to have her Barty shut up in a madhouse, in order that she might enjoy his Lands and Revenues. And then he fell to computing the cost of the supper, swearing that it would Ruin him, and making his old complaints about those eternal wax candles. Then, espying me out, he asks who I am, challenges me to fight with him for a Crown, vows that he will delate me to the English Resident at Brussels for a Jacobite spy, tells me that I am an Honest Fellow, and, next to Mr. Hodge, the best friend he ever had in the world, and falls down at last stupefied. Whereupon, with the assistance of the Flemish Drawer, I carried my new master up to bed.




For I had decided that he was to be my Master. "I can bear with his strange ways," I said to myself. "John Dangerous has seen stranger, young as he is; and it will go hard if this droll creature does not furnish forth some sport, ay and some Profit too, before long." For now that I had put my Gentility in my pocket, I began to remember that Hay is a very pleasant and toothsome thing for Fodder, to say nothing of its having a most pleasant odour, and that the best time to make hay was while the sun did shine.

After I had assisted in conveying the Little Man to bed, I came down again to[121] the Saloon, finding there Mr. Hodge, who was comforting himself with a last bumper of punch before seeking bed.

"Well, Youth," he accosts me, "have you thought better of your surly, huffing manner of this morning and this afternoon?"

I told him that I had, and that I desired nothing better than to enter forthwith into the service of Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, of Hampstead.

"That's well," said his Reverence, nodding at me over his punch. "You've had your supper behind yon screen, haven't you?"

I answered, "Yes, and my Burgundy likewise."

"That you mustn't expect every day," he continues, "but only on extraordinary occasions such as that of to-night. What the living is like, you have seen. The best of fish, flesh, and fowl, and plenty of it. As to your Clothes and your Wages, we will hold discourse of that in the morning; for 'twill take your Master half the morning to beat you down a penny a Month, and quarrel with the Tailor about the cheapest kind of[122] serge for your Livery. Leave it to me, however, and I'll engage that you have no reason to complain either of one or the other. What did you say your name was, friend? As for Recommendations, you have none to Give, and I seek not any from you. I will be content to take your character from your Face and Speech."

I began to stammer and bow and thank his Honour's Reverence for his good opinion.

"Don't thank me before you're asked," answers Mr. Hodge, with a grin. "The academy of compliments is not held here. By your speech you have given every sign of being a very Saucy Fellow, and, to judge from your face, you have all the elements in you of a complete Scoundrel."

I bowed, and was silent.

"But your name," he pursued, "that has escaped me."

I answered Respectfully that I had used to be called John Dangerous.

"Tut, tut!" Mr. Hodge cried out hastily. "Fie upon the name! John is all very well; but Dangerous will never do. Why,[123] our Patron would think directly he heard it that you were bent on cutting his throat, or running away with his valise."

I submitted, again with much respect, that it was the only name I had.

"Well, thou art a straightforward youth," said the Chaplain good-humouredly, "and I will not press thee to take up an alias. John will serve excellently well for the present; and, if more be wanted, thou shalt be John D. But understand that the name of Dangerous is to remain a secret between me and thee and the Post."

"With all my heart," I cried, "so long as the Post be not a gallows."

"Well said, John D.," murmured Mr. Hodge, upon whom by this time the punch had taken some little effect. "A good Lad, John. And now thou mayst help me up to bed."

And so I did, for his Reverence had begun to stagger. Then a pallet was found for me high up in the Roof of the Inn of the Three Archduchesses. I forbore to grumble, for I had been used from my first going out[124] into the world to Hard Lodging. And that night I slept very soundly, and dreamt that I was in the Great Four-post Bed at my Grandmother's in Hanover Square.

Never had a Man, I suppose, in this Mortal World, ever so droll a master as this Bartholomew Pinchin, of Hampstead, Esquire. 'Tis Tame, and may be Offensive, for me to be so continually telling that he wrote himself down Armiger, after my Promise to forego for the future such recapitulation of his Title; but Mr. Pinchin was himself never tired of dubbing himself Esquire, and you could scarcely be five Minutes in his company without hearing of his Estate, and his Mamma, and his Right to bear Arms. I, who was by birth a Gentleman of Long Descent, could not forbear Smiling from time to time (in my Sleeve, be it understood, since I was a Servant at Wages to him) at his ridiculous Assumptions. And there are few things more Contemptible, I take it, than for a Man of really good Belongings, and whose Lineage is as old as Stonehenge (albeit, for Reasons[125] best known to Himself, he permits his Pedigree to lie Perdu), to hear an Upstart of Yesterday Bragging and Swelling that he is come from this or from that, when we, who are of the true Good Stock, know very well, but that we are not so ill-mannered as to say so, that he is sprung from Nothing at all. I think that if the Heralds were to make their Journeys now, as of Yore, among the Country Churchyards, and hack out from the Headstones the sculptured cognizances of those having no manner of Right to them, the Stone-Masons about Hyde Park Corner would all make Fortunes from the orders that would be given to them for fresh Tombs. Not a mealy-mouthed Burgess now, whose great-grandfather sold stocking hose to my Lord Duke of Northumberland, but sets himself up for a Percy; not a supercilious Cit, whose Uncle married a cast-off waiting-woman from Arundel Castle, but vaunts himself on his alliance with the noble house of Howard; not a starveling Scrivener, whose ancestor, as the playwright has it, got his Skull cracked by John of[126] Gaunt for crowding among the Marshalmen in the Tilt Yard, but must pertly Wink and Snigger, and say that the Dukedom of Lancaster would not be found extinct if the Right Heir chose to come Forward. Since that poor young Lord of the Lakes was attainted for his part in the Troubles of the 'Fifteen, and lost his head on Tower Hill (his vast Estates going to Greenwich Hospital), I am given to understand that every man in Cumberland or Westmoreland whose name happens to be Ratcliffe (I knew the late Mr. Charles Ratcliffe, that Suffered with a Red Feather in his Hat, very well), must give himself out to be titular Earl of Derwentwater, and Importune the Government to reverse the Attainder, and restore him the Lands of which the Greenwich Commissioners have gotten such a tight Hold; and as for Grandchildren of the by-blows of King Charles II., good lack! to hear them talk of the "Merry Monarch," and to see them draw up their Eyebrows into the Stuart Frown, one would think that every Player-Woman at the King's or the[127] Duke's House had been as favoured in her time as Madam Eleanour Gwyn.

Thus do I no more believe that Mr. Bartholomew Pinchin was cousin to Lady Betty Heeltap, or in any manner connected with the family of my Lord Poddle (and he was only one of the Revolution Peers, that got his coronet for Ratting at the right moment to King William III.), than that he was the Great Mogul's Grandmother. His gentlemanly extraction was with him all a Vain Pretence and silly outward show. It did no very great Harm, however. When the French adventurer Poirier asked King Augustus the Strong to make him a Count, what said his Majesty of Warsaw and Luneville? "That I cannot do," quoth he; "but there is nothing under the sun to prevent thee from calling thyself a Count, if the humour so please thee." And Count Poirier, by Self-Creation, he straightway became, and as Count Poirier was knouted to Death at Moscow for Forging of Rubles Assignats. Pinchin was palpably a Plebeian; but it suited him to be called and to call himself[128] an Esquire; and who should gainsay him? At the Three Archduchesses at Ostend, indeed, they had an exceeding sensible Plan regarding Titles and Precedence for Strangers, which was found to answer admirably well. He who took the Grand Suite, looking upon the courtyard, was always held to be an English Lord. The tenant of the floor above him was duly esteemed by the Drawers and Chamberlains to be a Count of the Holy Roman Empire; a quiet gentleman, who would pay a Louis a day for his charges, but was content to dine at the Public Table, was put down as a Baron or a Chevalier; those who occupied the rooms running round the galleries were saluted Merchants, or if they chose it, Captains; but, in the gardens behind the Inn, there stood a separate Building, called a Pavilion, most sumptuously appointed, and the Great Room hung with the Story of Susannah and the Elders in Arras Tapestry; and he who would pay enough for this Pavilion might have been hailed as an Ambassador Plenipotentiary, as a Duke and Peer of France, or even as a[129] Sovereign Prince travelling incognito, had he been so minded. For what will not Money do? Take our English Army, for instance, which is surely the Bravest and the Worst Managed in the whole World. My Lord buys a pair of colours for the Valet that has married his Leman, and forthwith Mr. Jackanapes struts forth an Ensign. But for his own Son and Heir my Lord will purchase a whole troop of Horse: and a Beardless Boy, that a month agone was Birched at Eton for flaws in his Grammar, will Vapour it about on the Mall with a Queue à la Rosbach, and a Long Sword trailing behind him as a full-blown Captain of Dragoons.

I believe Pinchin's father to have been a Tailor. There is no harm in the Craft, honestly exercised; but since the world first Began nine Tailors have made a Man; and you cannot well see a knight of the shears without asking in your own mind where he has left his Eight brethren. Bartholomew Pinchin looked like a Tailor, talked like a Tailor, and thought like a Tailor. Let it[130] not, however, be surmised that I have any mind to Malign the Useful Churls who make our Clothes. Many a time have I been beholden to the strong Faith and Generous Belief of a Tailor when I have stood in need of new Apparel, and have been under momentary Famine of Funds for the Payment thereof. Those who are so ready to sneer at a Snip, and to cast Cabbage in his teeth, would do well to remember that there are Seasons in Life when the Goose (or rather he that wields it) may save, not only the Capitol, but the Soldier who stands on Guard within. How doubly Agonising is Death when you are in doubt as to whence that Full Suit of Black needed on the Funeral Night will arrive! What a tremor comes over you when you remember that this Day Week you are to be Married, and that your Wedding Garment is by no means a certainty! What a dreadful Shipwreck to your Fortune menaces you when you are bidden to wait on a Great Man who has Places to give away, and you find that your Velvet Coat shows the Cord! 'Tis in these[131] Emergencies that the brave Confidence of the Tailor is distilled over us like the Blessed Dew from Heaven; for Trust, when it is really needed, and opportunely comes, is Real Mercy and a Holy Thing.

About my master's Wealth there was no doubt. Lord Poddle, although a questionable cousin of his, would have been glad to possess his spurious kinsman's acres. I should put down the young Esquire's income as at least Twenty Hundred Pounds a year. His Father had been, it cannot be questioned, a Warm Man; but I should like to know, if he was veritably, as his Son essayed to make out, a Gentleman, how he came to live in Honey-Lane Market, hard by Cheapside. Gentlemen don't live in Honey-Lane Market. 'Tis in Bloomsbury, or Soho, or Lincoln's Inn, or in the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, that the real Quality have their habitations. I shall be told next that Gentlefolks should have their mansions by the Bun-House at Pimlico, or in the Purlieus of Tyburn Turnpike. No; 'twas at the sign of the Sleeveboard, in Honey-Lane[132] Market, that our Patrician Squire made his money. The estate at Hampstead was a very fair one, lying on the North side, Highgate way. Mr. Pinchin's Mamma, a Rare City Dame, had a Life Interest in the property, and, under the old Gentleman's will, had a Right to a Whole Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds if she married again. Thus it was that young Bartholomew was always in an agony of Terror to learn that his mamma had been seen walking on a Sunday afternoon in Gray's-Inn Gardens, or taking Powdered Beef and Ratafia at the tavern in Flask Walk, or drinking of Syllabubs at Bellasise; and by every post he expected to hear the dreadful intelligence that Madam Pinchin had been picked up as a City Fortune by some ruffling Student of the Inns of Court, some Irish Captain, or some smart Draper that, on the strength of a new Periwig and a lacquered hilt to his Sword, passes for a Macarony. 'Tis not very romantic to relate, but 'tis no less a fact, that the Son and the Mother hated one another. You who have gone through the World and watched it, know that these sad unnatural loathings between[133] Parents and Children, after the latter are grown up, are by no means uncommon. To me it seems almost impossible that Estrangement and Dislike—nay, absolute Aversion—should ever engender between the Mother and the Daughter, that as a Babe hath hung on her Paps (or should have been so Nurtured, for too many of our Fashionable Fine Dames are given to the cruelly Pernicious Practice of sending their Infants to Nurse almost the very next Week after they are Born, thus Divorcing themselves from the Joys of Tender Affection, and drying up the very Source and Fontinel of Natural Endearments; from which I draw the cause of many of the harsh cold Humours and Uncivil Vapours that do reign between the Great and their children). You may cry Haro upon me for a Cynic or Doggish Philosopher; but I relate my Experiences, and the Things that have stricken my Mind and Sense. I do know Ladies of Quality that hate their Daughters, and would willingly Whip them, did they dare do so, Grown Women as they are, for Spite. I do know Fathers, Men of Parts and Rank, forsooth, jealous of their Sons, and that have[134] kept the Youngsters in the Background, and even striven to Obscure their Minds that they might not cross the Paternal Orbit. And has it not almost passed into a proverb, that my Lord Duke's Natural and most Inveterate Enemy is my Lord Marquis, who is his Heir? But not to the World of Gold and Purple are these Jealousies and Evil Feelings confined. You shall find them to the full as Venomous in hovels, where pewter Platters are on the shelves, and where Fustian and Homespun are the only wear. Down in the West of England, where a worthy Friend of mine has an Estate, I know a Shepherd tending his flocks from sunrise—ay, and before the Sun gets up—until sundown. The honest man has but half-a-dozen shillings a week, and has begotten Fourteen Children. He is old now, and feeble, and is despised by his Progeny. He leads at Home the sorriest of Lives. They take his wages from him, and, were it not for a lump of fat Bacon which my friend's Servants give him now and again for Charity's sake, he would have nothing better to eat from Week's End[135] to Week's End than the hunch of Bread and the morsel of Cheese that are doled forth to him every morning when he goes to his labour. Only the other day, his sixth daughter, a comely Piece enough, was Married. The poor old Shepherd begs a Holiday, granted to him easily enough, and goes home at Midday instead of Even, thinking to have some part in the Wedding Rejoicings, the which his last week's wages have gone some way to furnish forth. I promise you that 'tis a fine Family Feast that he comes across. What but ribs of Beef and Strong Ale—none of your Harvest Clink—and old Cyder and Plum-pudding galore! But his Family will have none of his company, and set the poor old Shepherd apart, giving him but an extra lump of Bread and Cheese to regale himself withal. 'Twas he who told the Story to my Friend, from whom I heard it. What, think you, was his simple complaint, his sole Protest against so much Cruelty and Injustice? He did not rush into the Feasting Room and curse these Ingrates; he did not trample on this Brood that he had nurtured,[136] and that had turned out worse in their Unthankfulness than Vipers; no, he just sat apart, wringing of his Hands, and meekly wailing, "What, a weddin', and narrer a bit o' puddin'—narrer a bit, a bit o' puddin'!" The poor soul had set his head on a slice of dough with raisins in it, and even this crumb from their Table was denied him by his Cubs. 'Tis a brave thing, is it not, Neighbour, to be come to Threescore Years, and to have had Fruitful Loins, and to be Mocked and Misused by those thou hast begotten? How infinitely better do we deem ourselves than the Cat and Dog, and yet how often do we imitate those Dumb Beasts in our own degree! fondling them indeed when they are Kittens and Puppies, but fighting Tooth and Nail with them when they be full grown. But there is as much to be said on the one side as on the other; and for every poor old Lear wandering up and down, pursued by the spite of Goneril and Regan, shall you find a Cordelia whose heart is broken by her Sire's Cruelty.

We did not long abide in Ostend. Presently[137] my master grew tired of the Town, as he did of most Things, and longed for change. He had no better words for the Innkeepers, Merchants, and others who attended him, than to call them a parcel of Extortionate Thieves, and to vow that they were all in a conspiracy for robbing and bringing him to the Poor House. He often did us the honour to accuse us of being in the Plot; and many a time I felt inclined to resent his Impertinence, and to cudgel the abusive little man soundly; but I was wise, and held my Tongue and my Hand as well. Following the Chaplain's advice, and humouring this little Man-monkey in all his caprices, I found that he was not so bad a master after all, and that when he was Drunk, which was almost always, he could be generous enough. When he was sober and bewailed his excessive Expenditure, our policy was to be Mum, or else to Flatter him; and so no bones were broken, and I was well clad and fed, and always had a piece of gold in my pouch, and so began to Feel my Feet.

We visited most of the towns in the Low[138] Countries, then under the Austrian rule, enjoying ourselves with but little occasion for repining. Now our travelling was done on Horseback, and now, when there was a Canal Route, by one of those heavy, lumbering, jovial old boats called Treyckshuyts. I know not whether I spell the word correctly, for in the Languages, albeit fluent enough, I could never be accurate; but of the pleasant old vessels themselves I shall ever preserve a lively recollection. You made a bargain with the Master before starting, giving him so many guilders for a journey, say between Ghent and Bruges, the charge amounting generally to about a Guinea a day for each Gentleman passenger, and half the sum for a servant. And the Domestic's place on the fore-deck and in the fore-cabin was by no means an unpleasant one; for there he was sure to meet good store of comely Fraus, and Jungfraus comelier still, with their clean white caps, Linsey-woolsey petticoats, wooden shoes, and little gold crosses about their necks. Farmers and labouring men and pedlars, with now and then a fat, smirking[139] Priest or two, who tried Hard to Convert you, if by any means he discovered you to be a Heretic, made up the complement of passengers forward; but I, as a servant, was often called aft, and had the pick of both companies, with but light duties, and faring always like a Fighting Cock. For no sooner was our Passage-Money paid than it became my Duty to lay in a Great Stock of Provisions for the voyage, my master disdaining to put up with the ordinary country Fare of dried fish, salted beef, pickled cabbage, hard-boiled eggs, faro-Beer, Schiedam, and so forth, and instructing me, under Mr. Hodge's direction, to purchase Game, Venison, Fruit, Vegetables, Preserves, Cheeses, and other condiments, with a sufficient number of flasks of choice wine, and a little keg of strong cordial, for fear of Accidents. And aboard the Treyckshuyt it was all Singing and Dancing and Carding and drinking of Toasts. The quantity of Tobacco that the country people took was alarming, and the fumes thereof at first highly displeasing to Mr. Pinchin; but I, from my sea education, and[140] the Time I had passed in the Western Indies, was a seasoned vessel as to tobacco; and often when my Master had gone to his cabin for the night was permitted to partake of a Puff on deck with the Reverend Mr. Hodge, who dearly loved his Pipe of Virginia. The Chaplain always called me John D.; and indeed by this time I seemed to be fast losing the character as well as the name of Dangerous. My life was passed in the Plenitude of Fatness; and I may say almost that I was at Grass with Nebuchadnezzar, and had one Life with the beasts of the field; for my days were given up to earthly indulgences, and I was no better than a stalled ox. But the old perils and troubles of my career were only Dormant, and ere long I was to become Jack Dangerous again.

A year passed away in this eating and drinking, dozy, lazy kind of life. I was past seventeen years of age, and it was the autumn of the year '29. We were resting for a time—not that Master, Chaplain, or Man ever did much to entitle them to repose—at the famous watering-place of Spa, close to the[141] German Frontier. We put up at the Silver Stag, where we were entertained in very Handsome Style. Spa, or the Spaw, as it was sometimes called, was then one of the most Renowned Baths in Europe, and was attended by the very Grandest company. Here, when we arrived, was my Lord Duke of Tantivy, an English nobleman of the very Highest Figure, accompanied by my Lady Duchess, the Lord Marquis of Newmarket, his Grace's Son and Heir, who made Rare Work at the gaming tables, with which the place abounded; the Ladies Kitty and Bell Jockeymore, his daughters; and attended by a Numerous and sumptuous suite. Here also did I see the famous French Prince de Noisy-Gevres, then somewhat out of favour at the French Court, for writing of a Lampoon on one of his Eminence the Cardinal Minister's Lady Favourites; the Great Muscovite Boyard Stchigakoff, who had been here ever since the Czar Peter his master had honoured the Spaw with his presence; and any number of Foreign Notabilities, of the most Illustrious Rank, and of either sex.[142] Money was the great Master of the Ceremonies, however, and he who had the Longest Purse was bidden to the Bravest Entertainments. The English of Quality, indeed (as is their custom, which makes 'em so Hated by Foreigners), kept themselves very much to themselves, and my Lord Duke of Tantivy's party, with the exception of the Marquis of Newmarket, who was good enough to Borrow a score of gold pieces from us, and to Rook us at cards now and then, took not the slightest notice of my poor little Master, who was dying to be introduced into Polite Society, and spread abroad those fictions of his cousinage to Lady Betty Heeltap and my Lord Poddle everywhere he went; but the French and German Magnificoes were less Haughty, and were glad to receive an English Traveller who, when his Vanity was concerned, would spend his cash without stint. We drank a great deal of the Water of the Spaw, and uncommonly nasty it was, making it a Thing of vital necessity to take the Taste of it out of our Mouths as soon as might be with Wine and Strong Waters.[143]

From the Spaw we went by easy Stages to Cologne, a dirty, foul-smelling place, but very Handsome in Buildings, and saw all that was to be seen, that is to say, the churches, which Abound Greatly. The Jesuits' Church is the neatest, and this was shown us in a very complaisant manner, although 'tis not the custom to allow Protestants to enter it. Our Cicerone was a bouncing young Jesuit, with a Face as Rosy as the sunny side of a Katherine Pear; but it shocked me to hear how he indulged in Drolleries and Raileries in the very edifice itself. He quizzed both the Magnificence and Tawdriness of the Altars, the Images of the Saints, the Rich Framing of the Relics, and all he came across, seeming no more impressed by their solemnity than the Verger Fellow in Westminster Abbey when he shows the Waxwork to a knot of Yokels at sixpence a head. "Surely," I thought, "there must be something wrong in a Faith whose Professors make so light of its ceremonies, and turn Buffoons in the very Temples;" nor could I help murmuring inwardly[144] at that profusion of Pearls, Diamonds, and Rubies bestowed on the adornment of a parcel of old Bones, decayed Teeth, and dirty Rags. A Fine English Lady, all paint and Furbelows, who was in the church with us, honestly owned that she coveted St. Ursula's great Pearl Necklace, and, says she, "'Tis no sin, and not coveting one's neighbour's goods, for neither St. Ursula nor the Jesuits are any Neighbours of mine;" and as for my Master, he stared at a Great St. Christopher, mighty fine in Silver, and said that it would have looked very well as an Ornament for a Cistern in his garden at Hampstead.

From Cologne to Nuremberg was five days, travelling post from Frankfort; and here we observed the difference between the Free Towns of Germany and those under the government of petty Absolute Princes. The streets of Nuremberg are well built, and full of People; the shops are loaded with Merchandise, and commonly Clean and Cheerful. In Cologne and Wurtsburg there was but a sort of shabby finery: a number[145] of dirty People of Quality sauntered out: narrow nasty streets out of repair; and above half of the common Sort asking Alms. Mr. Hodge, who would have his jest, compared a Free Town to a handsome, clean Dutch Burgher's wife, and a Petty Prince's capital to a poor Town Lady of Pleasure, painted and ribboned out in her Head-dress, with tarnished Silver-lace shoes, and a ragged Under Petticoat—a miserable mixture of Vice and Poverty.

Here at Nuremberg they had Sumptuary Laws, each man and woman being compelled to dress according to his Degree, and the Better sort only being licensed to wear Rich suits of clothes. And, to my thinking (though the Putting it in Practice might prove somewhat inconvenient), we should be much better off in England if some such laws were made for the moderation and restraining of Excess and Extravagance in Apparel. As folks dress nowadays, it is impossible to tell Base Raff from the Highest Quality. What with the cheapness of Manufactured goods, and the pernicious introduction[146] of imitation Gold and Silver-lace, you shall find Drapers' apprentices, Tavern drawers, and Cook wenches, making as brave a Figure on Sundays as their masters and mistresses; and many a young Spark has been brought to the Gallows, and many a poor Lass to Bridewell or the 'Spital, through an over Fondness for cheap Finery, and a crazy conceit for dressing like their betters.

Nuremberg hath its store of Churches and Relics, and the like; and even the Lutherans, who are usually thought to be so strict and severe in the adornment of their Temples, have in one of 'em a large Cross fairly set with jewels. But this is nothing to the Popish High Church, where they have at least a score of Saints, all dressed out in laced clothes, and fair Full-bottomed Wigs, plentifully powdered. Here did we come across a Prince Bishop of one of the Electoral German Towns, travelling with a Mighty Retinue of Canons and Priests, and Assessors and Secretaries, and a long train of Mules most richly caparisoned, with a guard of a hundred Musketeers,[147] with violet liveries and Mitres broidered on their cartouch-boxes, to keep the Prince Bishop from coming to harm. My Master dined with this Reverend Personage, although Mr. Hodge, to maintain the purity of his cloth, kept aloof from any such Papistical entertainment; but I was of the party, it being my duty to wait behind the Squire's chair. We dined at two of the clock on very rich meats, high spiced, as I have usually found Princes and Bishops to like their victuals (for the Plainer sort soon Pall on their Palates), and after dinner there was a Carousal, which lasted well nigh till bed-time. His Episcopal Highness's Master of the Horse (though the title of Master of the Mules, on which beasts the company mostly rode, would have better served him) got somewhat too Merry on Rhenish about Dusk, and was carried out to the stable, where the Palefreneers littered him down with straw, as though he had been a Horse or a Mule himself; and then a little fat Canon, who was the Buffoon or Jack Pudding of the party, sang songs over his drink[148] which were not in the least like unto Hymns or Canticles, but rather of a most Mundane, not to say Loose, order of Chant. His Highness (who wore the Biggest Emerald ring on his right Forefinger, over his glove, that ever I saw) took a great fancy to my Master, and at Parting pledged him in choice Rhenish in the handsomest fashion, using for that purpose a Silver Bell holding at least a Pint and a half English. Out of this Bell he takes the clapper, and holding it mouth upwards, drains it to the health of my Master, then fixes the clapper in again, Topsy-turvies his goblet, and rings a peal on the bell to show that he is a right Skinker. My Master does the same, as in Duty Bound, and mighty Flustered he got before the ringing-time came; and then the little Fat Canon that sang the songs essayed to do the same, but was in such a Quandary of Liquor, that he spills a pint over Mr. Secretary's lace bands, and the two would have fallen to Fisticuffs but for his Episcopal Highness (who laughed till his Sides Shook again) commanding that they should be[149] separated by the Lacqueys. This was the most jovial Bishop that I did meet with; and I have heard that he was a good kind of man enough to the Poor, and not a harsh Sovereign to his subjects, especially to the Female Part who were fortunate enough to be pretty; but young as I was, and given to Pleasures, I could not help lifting up my Hands in shocked Amazement to see this Roystering kind of life held by a Christian Prelate. And it is certain that many of the High Dutch Church Dignitaries were at this time addicted to a most riotous mode of living. 'Twas thought no scandal in a Bishop to Drink, or to Dice, or to gallivant after Damosels: but woe be to him if he Dared to Dance, for the Shaking of a Leg (that had a cassock over it) was held to be a most Heinous and Unpardonable Sin.

Next to Ratisbon, where Mr. Pinchin was Laid up with a Fever brought on by High Living, and for more than Five Weeks remained between Life and Death, causing both to Mr. Hodge and myself the Greatest Anxiety; for, with all his Faults and absurd[150] Humours, there was something about the Little Man that made us Bear with him. And to be in his Service, for all his capricious and passing Meannesses, was to be in very Good Quarters indeed. He was dreadfully frightened at the prospect of Slipping his Cable in a Foreign Land, and was accustomed, during the Delirium that accompanied the Fever, to call most piteously on his Mamma, sometimes fancying himself at Hampstead, and sometimes battling with the Waves in the Agonies of the cramp, as I first came across him at Ostend. When he grew better, to our Infinite Relief, the old fit of Economy came upon him, and he must needs make up his mind to Diet himself upon Panada and Mint Tea, taking no other nourishment, until his Doctor tells him that if he did not fall to with a Roast chicken and a flask of White Wine, he would sink and Die from pure Exhaustion. After this he began to Pick up a bit, and to Relish his Victuals; but it was woful to see the countenance he pulled when the Doctor's Bill was brought him, and he found that he[151] had something like Eighty Pounds sterling to pay for a Sickness of Forty Days. Of course he swore that he had not had a tithe of the Draughts and Mixtures that were set down to him,—and he had not indeed consumed them bodily, for the poor little Wretch would have assuredly Died had he swallowed a Twentieth Part of the Vile Messes that the Pill-blistering Gentleman sent in; but Draughts and Mixtures had all duly arrived, and we in our Discretion had uncorked them, and thrown the major part of their contents out of window. We were in league forsooth (so he said) with the Doctor to Eat and Ruin him, and 'twas not till the latter had threatened to appeal to the Burgomaster, and to have us all clapped up in the Town Gaol for roving adventurers (for they manage things with a High Hand at Ratisbon), that the convalescent would consent to Discharge the Pill-blisterer's demands; and, granting even that all this Muckwash had been supplied, the Doctor must have been after all an Extortioner, and have made a Smart Profit out of that said[152] Fever; for he presses a compliment of a silver snuff-box on the Chaplain, giving me also privately a couple of Golden Ducats; nor have I any doubt that the Innkeeper had also his commission to receive for recommending a Doctor to the sick Englishman, and was duly satisfied by Meinheer Bolus.

There was the Innkeeper's bill itself to be unpouched, and a mighty Pother there was over each item, Mr. Pinchin seeming to think that because he had been sick it was our Duty to have laid abed too, swallowing nought but Draughts and Slops. Truth was, that we should not have been Equal to the task of Nursing and Tending so difficult a Patient had we not taken Fortifying and Substantial Nourishment and a sufficiency of Wholesome Liquor; not making merry it is true, with indecent revelry, but Bearing up with a Grave and Reverent countenance, and taking our Four Meals a day, with Refreshing Soups between whiles. And I have always found that the vicinage of a Sick Room is apt to make one exceeding[153] Hungry and Thirsty, and that a Moribund, albeit he can take neither Bite nor Sup himself, is, in his surroundings, the cook's best Friend, and the Vintner's most bountiful Patron.

Coming to his health again, Mr. Pinchin falls nevertheless into a state of Dark Melancholy and Despondency, talking now of returning to England and ending his days there, and now entertaining an even Stranger Fancy that had come over his capricious mind. We had nursed him during his sickness according to the best of our Capacity, but felt nevertheless the want of some Woman's hand to help us. Now all the Maids in the House were mortally afraid of the Fever, and would not so much as enter the Sick Man's apartment, much less make his bed; while, if we had not taken it at our own Risk to promise the Innkeeper Double Fees for lodging, the cowardly knave would have turned us out, Neck and Crop, and we should have been forced to convey our poor Sufferer to a common Hospital. But there was in this City of Ratisbon a[154] convent of Pious Ladies who devoted themselves wholly (and without Fee or Reward for the most part) to works of Mercy and Charity; and Mr. Hodge happening to mention my Master's State to the English Banker—one Mr. Sturt, who was a Romanist, but a very civil kind of man—he sends to the convent, and there comes down forthwith to our Inn a dear Good Nun that turned out to be the most zealous and patient Nurse that I have ever met with in my Travels. She sat up night and day with the Patient, and could scarcely be persuaded to take ever so little needful Rest and Refreshment. When she was not ministering to the sufferer's wants, she was Praying, although it did scandalise Mr. Hodge a little to see her tell her Beads; and when Mr. Pinchin was well enough to eat his first slice of chicken, and sip his first beaker of white wine, she Clapped her Hands for joy, and sang a little Latin Hymn. When it came to her dismissal, this Excellent Nun (the whole of whose Behaviour was most touchingly Edifying) at first stoutly refused[155] to accept of any Recompense for her services (which, truly, no Gold, Silver, or Jewels could have fitly rewarded); and I am ashamed to say that my Master, who had then his Parsimonious Nightcap on, was at first inclined to take the Good Sister at her Word. Mr. Hodge, however, showed him the Gross Ingratitude and Indecorum of such a proceeding, and, as was usual with him, he gave way, bellowing, however, like a Calf when the Chaplain told him that he could not in Decency do less than present a sum of Fifty Ducats (making about Forty Pounds of our Money) to the convent; for personal or private Guerdon the Nun positively refused to take. So the Money was given, to the great delectation of the Sisterhood, who, I believe, made up their minds to Sing Masses for the bountiful English Lord as they called him, whether he desired it or not.

Sorry am I to have to relate that so Pleasant and Moving an Incident should have had anything like a Dark side. But 'tis always thus in the World, and there is[156] no Rose without a Thorn. My master, thanks to his Chaplain, and, it may be, likewise to my own Humble and Respectful Representations while I was a-dressing of him in the Morning, had come out of this convent and sick-nurse affair with Infinite credit to himself and to the English nation in general. Everywhere in Ratisbon was his Liberality applauded; but, alas! the publicity that was given to his Donation speedily brought upon us a Plague and Swarm of Ravenous Locusts and Bloodsuckers. There were as many convents in Ratisbon as plums in a Christmas porridge; there were Nuns of all kinds of orders, many of whom, I am afraid, no better than they should be; there were Black Monks and Gray Monks and Brown Monks and White Monks, Monks of all the colours of the Rainbow, for aught I can tell. There were Canons and Chapters and Priories and Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods and Ecclesiastical Hospitals and Priors' Almonries and Saints' Guilds without end. Never did I see a larger fry of holy men and women,[157] professing to live only for the next world, but making the very best of this one while they were in it. A greasy, lazy, worthless Rabble-Rout they were, making their Religion a mere Pretext for Mendicancy and the worst of crimes. For the most part they were as Ignorant as Irish Hedge Schoolmasters; but there were those among them of the Jesuit, Capuchin, and Benedictine orders; men very subtle and dangerous, well acquainted with the Languages, and able to twist you round their Little Fingers with False Rhetoric and Lying Persuasions. These Snakes in the grass got about my poor weak-minded Master, although we, as True Protestants and Faithful Servants, did our utmost to keep them out; but if you closed the Door against 'em, they would come in at the Keyhole, and if you made the Window fast, they would slip down the Chimney; and, with their Pernicious Doctrines, Begging Petitions, and Fraudulent Representations, did so Badger, Bait, Beleaguer, and Bully him, that the poor Man knew not which Way to Turn. They too[158] did much differ in their Theology, and each order of Friars seemed to hold the strong opinion that all who wore cowls cut in another shape than theirs, or shaved their pates differently, must Infallibly Burn; but they were of one Mind in tugging at Mr. Pinchin's Purse-strings, and their cry was ever that of the Horse-Leech's Three Daughters—"Give, give!"

Thus they did extract from him Forty Crowns in gold for Redeeming out of Slavery among the Sallee Rovers ten Citizens of Ratisbon fallen into that doleful captivity; although I do on my conscience believe that there were not five native-born men in the whole city who had ever seen the Salt Sea, much less a Sallee Rover. Next was a donation for a petticoat for this Saint, and a wig for that one; a score of Ducats for a School, another for an Hospital for Lepers; until it was Ducats here and Ducats there all day long. Nor was this the worst; for my Master began to be Troubled in the Spirit, and to cry out against the Vanities of the World, and to sigh after the Blessedness[159] of a Life passed in Seclusion and Contemplation.

"I'll turn Monk, I will," he cried out one day; "my Lord Duke of Wharton did it, and why should not I?"

"Monk, and a Murrain to them and Mercy to us all!" says Mr. Hodge, quite aghast. "What new Bee will you put under your Bonnet next, sir?"

"You're a Heretic," answered Mr. Pinchin. "An Anglican Heretic, and so is my knave John here. There's nothing like the old Faith. There's nothing like Relics. Didn't I see a prodigious claw set in gold only yesterday in the Barnabite Church, and wasn't that the true and undoubted relic of a Griffin?"

"Was the Griffin a Saint?" asks the Chaplain humbly.

"What's that to you?" retorts my Master. "You're a Heretic, you're a Scoffer, an Infidel! I tell you that I mean to become a Monk."

"What, and wear peas in your shoes! nay, go without shoes at all, and leave off[160] cutting your toe-nails?" quoth the Chaplain, much irate. "Forsake washing and the Thirty-nine Articles! Shave your head and forswear the Act of Settlement! Wear a rope girdle and a rosary instead of a handsome sword with a silver hilt at your side! Go about begging and bawling of paternosters! Was it for this that I, a Clergyman of the Church of England, came abroad with you to keep you in the True Faith and a Proper respect for the Protestant Succession?" Mr. Hodge had quite forgotten the value of his Patron's favour, and was growing really angry. In those days men would really make sacrifices for conscience' sake.

"Hang the Protestant Succession, and you too!" screams Mr. Pinchin.

"Jacobite, Papist, Warming Pan!" roars the Chaplain, "I will delate you to the English Envoy here, and you shall be laid by the heels as soon as ever you set foot in England. You shall swing for this, sir!"

"Leave the Room!" yells Mr. Pinchin, starting up, but trembling in every limb, for he was hardly yet convalescent of his Fever.[161]

"I won't," answers the sturdy Chaplain. "You wretched rebellious little Ape, I arrest you in the King's name and Convocation's. I'll teach you to malign the Act of Settlement, I will!"

Whenever Mr. Hodge assumed a certain threatening tone, and began to pluck at his cassock in a certain manner, Mr. Pinchin was sure to grow frightened. He was beginning to look scared, when I, who remembering my place as a servant had hitherto said nothing, ventured to interpose.

"Oh, Mr. Pinchin!" I pleaded, "think of your Mamma in England. Why, it will break the good lady's heart if you go Romewards, Sir. Think of your Estate. Think of your tenants and the Commission of the Peace, and the duties of a Liveryman of the City of London."

I knew that I had touched my Master in a tender part, and anon he began to whimper, and cry about his Mamma, who, he shrewdly enough remarked, might cause his Estate to be sequestrated under the Act against Alienation of Lands by Popish Recusants, and so[162] rob the Monks of their prey. And then, being soothingly addressed by Mr. Hodge, he admitted that the Friars were for the greater part Beggars and Thieves; and before supper-time we obtained an easy permission from him to drive those Pestilent Gentry from the doors, and deny him on every occasion when they should be impudent enough to seek admission to his presence.

We were no such high Favourites in Ratisbon after this; and I believe that the Jesuits denounced us to the Inquisition at Rome,—in case we should ever go that way,—that the Capuchins cursed us, and the Benedictines preached against us. The Town Authorities began also to look upon us with a cold eye of suspicion; and but for the sojourn of an English Envoy in Ratisbon (we had diplomatic agents then all over the Continent, and very little they did for their Money save Dance and Intrigue) the Burgomaster and his Councillors might have gotten up against us what the French do call une querelle d'Allemand, which may be a Quarrel about Any thing, and is a Fashion of Disagreeing[163] peculiar to the Germans, who may take offence at the cock of your Hat or the cut of your Coat, and make either of them a State affair. Indeed, I believe that some Imprudent Expressions, made use of by my Master on seeing the Horrible Engines of Torture shown to the curious in the vaults of the castle, were very nearly being construed into High Treason by the unfriendly clerical party, and that an Information by the Stadt-Assessor was being actually drawn up against him, when, by much Persuasion coupled with some degree of gentle Violence, we got him away from Ratisbon altogether.




From Ratisbon we travelled down the River Danube, in a very pleasant and agreeable manner, in a kind of Wooden House mounted on a flat-bottomed Barge, and not unlike a Noah's Ark. 'Twas most convenient, and even handsomely laid out, with Parlours, and with Drawing-Rooms, and Kitchens and Stoves, and a broad planked Promenade over all railed in, and with Flowering Plants in pots by the sides, quite like a garden. They are rowed by twelve men each, and move with an almost Incredible Celerity, so that in the same day one can Delight one's Eye with a vast Variety of Prospects; and within a short space of[165] time the Traveller has the diversion of seeing a populous City adorned with magnificent Palaces, and the most Romantic Solitudes, which appear quite Apart from the commerce of Mankind, the banks of the Danube being exquisitely disposed into Forests, Mountains, Vineyards rising in Terraces one above the other, Fields of Corn and Rye, great Towns, and Ruins of Ancient Castles. Now for the first time did I see the Cities of Passau and of Lintz, famous for the retreat of the Imperial Court when Vienna was besieged by the Great Turk, the same that John Sobieski, King of Poland, timeously Defeated and put to Rout, to the great shame of the Osmanlis, and the Everlasting Glory of the Christian arms.

And now for Vienna. This is the capital of the German Emperor Kaiser, or Cæsar as he calls himself, and a mighty mob of under-Cæsars or Archdukes he has about him. In my young days the Holy Roman Empire was a Flourishing concern, and made a great noise in the world; but now people do begin to speak somewhat scornfully of it, and to[166] hold it in no very great Account, principally, I am told, owing to the levelling Principles of the Emperor Joseph the Second, who, instead of keeping up the proper State of Despotic Rule, and filling his Subjects' minds with a due impression of the Dreadful Awe of Imperial Majesty, has taken to occupying himself with the affairs of Mean and common persons,—such as Paupers, Debtors, Criminals, Orphans, Mechanics, and the like,—quite turning his back on the Exalted Tradition of undisputed power, and saying sneeringly, that he only bore Crown and Sceptre because Royalty was his Trade. This they call a Reforming Sovereign; but I cannot see what good comes out of such wild Humours and Fancies. It is as though my Lord Duke were to ask his Running Footmen to sit down at table with him; beg the Coachman not to trouble himself about stable-work, but go wash the carriage-wheels and currycomb the Horses himself; bid my Lady Duchess and his Daughters dress themselves in Dimity Gowns and Mob caps, while Sukey Mobs and Dorothy Draggletail went off to[167] the drawing-room in Satin sacks and High-heeled shoes; and, to cap his Absurdities, called up all his Tenants to tell them that henceforth they were to pay no Rent or Manor Dues at the Court Leet, but to have their Farms in freehold for ever. No; it is certain the World cannot go on without Authority, and that, too, of the Smartest. What would you think of a ship where the Master Mariner had no power over his crew, and no license to put 'em in the Bilboes, or have 'em up at the gangway to be Drubbed soundly when they deserved it? And these Reforming Sovereigns, as they call 'em, are only making, to my mind, Rods for their own Backs, and Halters for their own Necks. Where would the Crown and Majesty be now, I wonder, if His Blessed Majesty had given way to the Impudent Demands of Mr. Washington and the American Rebels?[E]

The Streets of Vienna, when I first visited[168] that capital, were very close and narrow—so narrow, indeed, that the fine fronts of the Palaces (which are very Grand) can scarcely be seen. Many of 'em deserve close observation, being truly Superb, all built of Fine White Stone, and excessive high, the town being much too little for the number of its inhabitants. But the Builders seem to have repaired that Misfortune by clapping one town on the top of another, most of the Houses being of Five and some of Six Stories. The Streets being so narrow, the rooms are all exceeding Dark, and never so humble a mansion but has half a dozen families living in it. In the Handsomest even all Ranks and Conditions are Mingled together pellmell. You shall find Field-Marshals, Lieutenants, Aulic Councillors, and Great Court Ladies divided but by a thin partition from the cabins of Tailors and Shoemakers; and few even of the Quality could afford a House to themselves, or had more than Two Floors in a House—one for their own use, and another for their Domestics. It was the Dead Season of the[169] year when we came to this City, and so, at not so very enormous a rate, we got a suite of six or eight large rooms all inlaid, the Doors and Windows richly carved and gilt, and the Furniture such as is rarely seen but in the Palaces of Sovereign Princes in other countries; the Hangings in finest tapestry of Brussels, prodigious large looking-glasses in silver frames (in making which they are exceeding Expert); fine Japan Tables, Beds, Chairs, Canopies, and Curtains of the richest Genoa Damask or Velvet, almost covered with gold lace or embroidery. The whole made Gay by Pictures, or Great Jars of Porcelain; in almost every room large lustres of pure Crystal; and every thing as dirty as a Secondhand Clothes dealer's booth in Rag Fair.

We were not much invited out at Vienna, the very Highest Quality only being admitted to their company by the Austrians, who are the very Haughtiest and most exclusive among the High Dutch, and look upon a mere untitled Englishman as Nobody (although he may be of Ten Times better blood[170] than their most noble Raggednesses). A mean sort, for all their finely furnished palaces, and wearing mighty foul Body Linen. The first question they ask, when they Hear that a Stranger desires to be Presented to them, is, "Is he Born?" The query having nothing to do with the fact of his nativity, but meaning (so I have been told), "Has he five-and-thirty Quarterings in his Coat-of-Arms?" And if he has but four-and-thirty (though some of their greatest nobles have not above Four or Five Hundred Pounds a year to live on), the Stranger is held to be no more Born than if he were an embryo; and the Quality of Vienna takes no more notice of him than of the Babe which is unborn.

Truly, it was the Dead Season, and we could not have gone to many Dinners and Assemblies, even if the Aristocracy had been minded to show hospitality towards us. There were Theatres and Operas, however, open, which much delighted my Master and myself (who was privileged to attend him), although the Reverend Mr. Hodge stayed[171] away for conscience' sake from such Profane amusements, comforting himself at home over a merry Book and a Bottle of Erlauer, which is an Hungarian wine, very dark and Rough, but as strong as a Bullock, and an excellent Stomachic. Nothing more magnificent than the Operas then performed at the Gardens of the Favorite, throwing the Paris and London houses utterly into the shade, and I have heard that the Habits, Decorations, and Scene Paintings, cost the Emperor Thirty Thousand Pound Sterling. And to think of the millions of poor ragged wretches that must have been taxed, and starved, and beaten, and robbed, and skinned alive, so to speak, before His Majesty's pleasures would be paid for.[F] The Stage in this Favorite Garden was built over a large canal, and at the beginning of the Second Act divided (as in our own Theatre hard by Sadler's Wells) into Two Parts, discovering the water, on which there immediately came[172] from different parts two little Fleets of gilded vessels, that gave the impression (though ludicrously incorrect in their Riggings and Manœuvres) of a Sea-fight. The story of the Opera was, if I remember right, the Enchantments of Alcina, an entertainment which gave opportunity for a great Variety of Machines and changes of the Scene, which were performed with surprising swiftness. No House could hold such large Decorations. But the Ladies all sitting in the open air, exposed them to much inconvenience; for there was but one Canopy for the Imperial Family; and the first night we were there, a shower of Rain coming on, the Opera was broken off, and the Company crowded away in such confusion that we were almost squeezed to Death.

If their Operas were thus productive of such Delectable Entertainment (abating the Rain and crowding), I cannot say much for their Comedies and Drolls, which were highly Ridiculous. We went to the German Playhouse, and saw the Story of Amphytrion very scurvily represented. Jupiter falls in[173] love out of a peep-hole in the clouds in the beginning, and the end of it was the Birth of Hercules. It was very pitiful to see Jove, under the figure of Amphytrion, cheating a Tailor of a laced coat, and a Banker of a bag of Money, and a Jew of a Diamond Ring, with the like rascally Subterfuges; and Mercury's usage of Sosia was little more dignified. And the play was interlarded with very gross expressions and unseemly gestures, such as in England would not be tolerated by the Master of the Revels, or even in France by the Gentleman of the Chamber having charge over the Theatres, but at which the Viennese Quality, both Male and Female, did laugh Heartily and with much Gusto.

Memorandum. As some of the Manners then existing have passed away (in this sad changeful age, when every thing seems melting away like Cowheel Jelly at a Wedding Feast), I have set down for those curious in such matters that the Vienna Dames were squeezed up in my time in gowns and gorgets, and had built fabrics of[174] gauze on their Heads about a yard high, consisting of Three or Four Stories, fortified with numberless yards of heavy Ribbon. The foundation of this alarming structure was a thing they called a Bourle, which was exactly of the same shape and kind—only four times Bigger—as those Rolls which our Milkmaids make use of to fix their Pails upon. This machine they covered with their own hair, with which they mixed a great deal of False; it being a particular and Especial Grace with them to have their Heads too large to go into a moderate-sized Tub. Their Hair was prodigiously powdered to conceal the mixture, and so set out with numerous rows of Bodkins, sticking out three or four Inches on each side, made of Diamonds, Pearls, Green, Red, and Yellow Stones, that it certainly required as much Art and Experience to carry the load upright as to dance on May-day with the Garland that the Dairy Wenches borrow (under good security) from the Silversmiths in Cranbourne Alley. Also they had Whalebone Petticoats, outdoing ours by several yards in[175] circumference. Vastly Ridiculous were these Fashions—think you not so, good Sir or Madam, as the case may be? and yet, may I be shot, but much later in the present century I have seen such things as hoops, bourles, tours, and toupees, not one whit less Ridiculous.

The Empress, a sweet pretty lady, was perforce obliged to wear this Habit; but with the other Female Grandees it only served to increase their natural Ugliness. Memorandum: that at Court (whither we went not, being "unborn," but heard a great deal of it from hearsay) a Game called Quinze was the Carding most in vogue. Their drawing-rooms are different from those in England, no Man Creature entering it but the old Grand-Master, who comes to announce to the Empress the arrival of His Imperial Majesty the Cæsar. Much gravity and Ceremony at these Receptions, and all very Formal, but decent. The Empress sits in a great easy-chair! but the Archduchesses are ranged on chairs with tall, straight Backs, but without arms; whilst the other[176] Ladies of the Court (poor things) may stand on one Leg, or lean against sideboards, to rest themselves as they choose; but Sit Down they Dare not. This is the same Discipline, I believe, that still prevails, and so I speak of it in the present tense. The Table is entirely set out, and served by the Empress's Maids of Honour (who put on the very dishes and sauces), Twelve young Ladies of the First Quality, having no Salary, but their chamber at court (like our Maids at the Montpelier by Twitnam), where they live in a kind of Honourable Captivity, not being suffered to go to the Assemblies of Public Places in Town, except in compliment to the wedding of a Sister Maid, whom the Empress always presents with her picture set in Diamonds. And yet, for all their Strict confinement, I have heard fine Accounts of the goings-on of these noble Ladies. The first three of them are called "Ladies of the Key," and wear little golden keys at their sides. The Dressers are not at all the figures they pretend to in England,[177] being looked upon no otherwise than as downright Chambermaids.

So much of the State and Grandeur of Vienna, then the most considerable city in Germany; though now Berlin, thanks to the Genius of its Puissant Monarch, has Reared its head very high. It was, however, my cruel Fate to see something more of the Capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and that too in a form that was of the unpleasantest. You must know that my Master and the Chaplain and I (when we had been some Weeks in town, and through the interest of the English Bankers had gotten admission into some Society not quite so exclusive as the People who wanted to know whether you were "born") went one afternoon to an Archery Festival that was held in the garden of the Archchancellor's Villa, at Schönbrunn (now Imperial property). 'Twas necessary to have some kind of Introduction; but that, if you stood well in the Banker's Books, was not very Difficult; and, invited or not, you had to pay a golden Ducat to the Usher[178] of Ceremonies (a preposterous creature, like the Jack of Diamonds in his dress), that brought your ticket to your lodgings. So away we went to Schönbrunn, and at a Respectful distance were privileged to behold two of the young Archduchesses all dressed, their Hair full of jewels, and with bows and arrows in their hands; while a little way off were placed three oval pictures, which were the marks to be shot at. The first was a Cupid, filling a bottle of Burgundy, with the motto "Cowards may be brave here." The second Fortune, holding a garland, with the motto "Venture and Win." The third a Sword with a Laurel Wreath at the point, and for legend, "I can be vanquished without shame." At t'other end was a Fine Gilded Trophy all wreathed with flowers, and made of little crooks, on which were hung rich Moorish Kerchiefs (which were much affected by the Viennese, a people very fond of gay and lively colours), tippets, ribbons, laces, &c., for the small prizes. The Empress, who sat under a splendid canopy fenced about by musketeers of the Life Guard, gave away the[179] first prize with her own hand, which was a brave Ruby Ring set with Diamonds in a gold snuff-box. For the Second prize there was a little Cupid, very nicely done out of amethysts, and besides these a set of fine Porcelain, of the kind they call Eggshell (for its exceeding Tenderness and Brittleness), with some Japan trunks, feather-fans, and Whimwams of that order. All the men of quality in Vienna were spectators; but only the ladies had permission to shoot. There was a good background of burghers and strangers, and in the rear of all a Mob that drank beer and scrambled for Kreutzers, which the officers of the Guard who were keeping the Barriers would now and then throw among them for their Diversion's sake. And all behind it was like a Fair, set out with Booths, where there was shooting and drinking and Gaming, just at one's ease; for I have ever found that in the most Despotic countries the Mobile have a kind of Rude License accorded them; whereas in States where there is Freedom Authority gives a man leave to Think, but[180] very carefully ties his hands and feet whenever he has a mind to a Frisk. My Master was in very good spirits that day (having quite recovered his health), and for a time wanders about the Tents, now treating the common people, and now having a bumper with Mr. Hodge. We had tickets for the second ring, but not for the Inner one, where the Quality were standing; but just before the shooting of the great Match for the Empress's ruby ring, Mr. Pinchin, into whose head some of the bubbles from the white Hungarian had begun to mount, begins to brag about his gentle extraction, and his cousinage to Lady Betty Heeltap and my Lord Poddle. He vows that he is as well "born" as any of the rascaille German Sausage-gorgers (as he calls them), and is as fit to stand about Royalty as any of them. The Chaplain, who was always a discreet man, tried hard to persuade him against thrusting himself forward where his company was not desired; but Mr. Pinchin was in that state in which arguing with a man makes him more obstinate. Away he goes,[181] the Chaplain prudently withdrawing into a Booth; but I, as in Duty bound, followed my Master, to see that he got into no mischief. But, alas, the Mischief that unhappy little Man speedily contrived to entangle himself within!

By dint of a Florin here and a Florin there, the adventurous Squire succeeded in slipping through the row of Guards who separated the outer from the inner Ring, who, from the richness of his Apparel (for he was dressed in his very Best), may perhaps have mistaken him for some Court Nobleman who had arrived late. He had got within the charmed circle indeed (I being a few paces behind him), and was standing on Tiptoe to take a full stare at one of the young Archduchesses who was bending her bow to shoot at Cupid, when up comes an old Lord with a very long white face like a Sheep, with a Crimson Ribbon across his breast, and a long white staff in his hand atop of which was a Golden Key. He first asks my Master in German what he wants there, at least so far as I could understand; to which the[182] Squire, not being versed in the Tongues of Almaine (and, indeed, High Dutch and Low Dutch are both very Base Parlance, and I never could master 'em), answers, "Non comprenny," which was his general reply when he was puzzled in the Foreign Lingos. Then the old Lord, with a very sharp voice and in French, tells him that he has no Business there, and bids him begone. Mr. Pinchin could understand French, though he spoke it but indifferently; but he, being fairly Primed, and in one of his Obstinate Moods, musters up his best parleyvoo, and tells the Ancient with the Golden Key (and I saw that he had another one hung round his neck by a parcel chain, and conjectured him to be a High Chamberlain at least) to go to the Devil. (I ask pardon for this word.) Hereupon my Lord with the Sheep's countenance collars him, runs his white stick into his visage, so that the key nearly puts his eye out, and roars for the Guard. Then Mr. Pinchin, according to his custom when he has gotten himself into a pother, begins to squeal for Me, and the Chaplain, and his[183] Mamma, to help him out of it. My blood was up in a moment; I had not had a Tussle with any one for a long time. "Shall I who have brained an English Grenadier sneak off before a rabble-rout of Sauerkraut Soldiers?" I asked myself, remembering how much Stronger and Older I had grown since that night. "Here goes, Jack Dangerous!" and away I went into the throng, wrenched the white staff from the old Lord's hand, made him unhand my Master, and drawing his Sword for him (he being too terrified to draw it himself), grasped him firmly by the arm, and was preparing to cut a way back for both of us through the crowd. But 'twas a mad attempt. Up came the Guard, every man of them Six Foot high, and for all they were Sauerkraut Soldiers, pestilent Veterans who knew what Fighting meant. When I saw their fixed Bayonets, and their Mustachios curling with rage, I remembered a certain Scar I had left on me after a memorable night in Charlwood Chase. We were far from our own country, and there was no Demijohn of Brandy by; so, though it went[184] sore against my Stomach, there was no help for it but to surrender ourselves at once Prisoners of War. Prisoners of War, forsooth! They treated us worse than Galley Slaves. Our hands were bound behind us with cords, Halters were put about our necks, and, the Grenadiers prodding us behind with their bayonets,—the Dastards, so to prick Unarmed Men!—we were conducted in ignominy through the rascal Crowd, which made a Grinning, Jeering, Hooting lane for us to pass to the Guardhouse at the Entrance of the Gardens. The Officer of the Guard was at first for having both of us strapped down to a Bench as a preliminary measure to receive two hundred Blows apiece with Willow Rods in the small of our backs, which is their usual way of commencing Judicial proceedings, when up comes the old Lord in a Monstrous Puff and Flurry, and says that by the Empress's command no present Harm is to be done us; but that we are to be removed to the Town Gaol till the Cæsar's pleasure respecting us shall be known. Her Majesty, however, forgot to enjoin that[185] we were not to be fettered; so the Captain of the Guard he claps on us the heaviest Irons that ever Mutineers howled in; and we, being flung into a kind of Brewer's Dray, and accompanied by a Strong Guard of Horse and Foot, were conveyed to Vienna, and locked up in the Town Gaol.

Luckily Mr. Hodge speedily got wind of our misfortune, and hied him to the British Ambassador, who, being fond of a Pleasant Story, laughed heartily at the recital. He promised to get my Master off on payment of a Fine or something of that sort; and as for me, he was good enough to opine that I might think myself Lucky if I escaped with a sound dose of the Bastinado once a week for three months, and a couple of years or so in Irons. The Chaplain pleaded for me as well as for my Master as hard as he could; and his Excellency frowned and said, that the Diversions of a Gentleman might run a little wild sometimes and no harm done, but that the Insolence of Servants (which was a growing evil) must be restrained. "At all events, I'll see what I can do," he condescended[186] to explain. "Come what may, the Fellow can't fare very badly for a sound Beating, and perhaps they will let him off when he has had cudgelling enough." So he calls for his Coach, and goes off to Court.




The Fox in the Fable, so my Grannum (who had a ready Memory for those Tales) used to tell me, when he first saw the Lion was half dead with Fright. The Second View only a little Dashed him with Tremour; at the Third he durst salute him Boldly; and at the Fourth Rencounter Monsieur Reynard steals a Shin Bone of Beef from under the old Roarer's Nose, and laughs at his Beard. This Fable came back to me, as with a Shrug and a Grin (somewhat of the ruefullest) I found myself again (and for no Base Action I aver) in a Prison Hold. I remembered what a dreadful Sickness[188] and Soul-sinking I had felt when doors of Oak clamped with Iron had first clanged upon me; when I first saw the Blessed Sun made into a Quince Tart by the cross-bars over his Golden face; when I first heard that clashing of Gyves together which is the Death Rattle of a man's Liberty. But now! Gaols and I were old Acquaintances. Had I not lain long in the dismal Dungeon at Aylesbury? Had I not sweltered in the Hold of a Transport Ship? I was but a Youth; but I felt myself by this time a Parcel Philosopher. The first thing a man should do when he gets into Gaol, is to ask himself whether there is any chance of his being Hanged. If he have no Sand Blindness, or Gossamer dancing of Threepenny cord before his eyes, why then he had e'en better eat and drink, and Thank God, and hope for the Best. "They won't Hang me," I said cheerfully enough to myself, when I was well laid up in Limbo. The Empress is well known to be a merciful Lady, and will cast the ermine of Mercy over the Scarlet Robe of Stern Authority.[189] Perhaps I shall get my Ribs basted. What of that? Flesh is flesh, and will Heal. They cannot beat me so sorely as I have seen done (but never of myself Ordered but when I was compelled) to Negro Slaves. If they fine me, my Master must Pay. Here I am by the Heels, and until I get out again what use is there in Fretting? Lady Fortune has played me a scurvy trick; but may she not to-morrow play as roguish a one to the Sheepfaced old Chamber Lord with the golden Key, or any other smart Pink-an-eye Dandiprat that hangs about the Court? The Spoke which now is highest in her Wheel may, when she gives it the next good Twist, be undermost as Nock. So I took Courage, and bade Despair go Swing for a dried Yeoman Sprat as he is.

I being a Servant, and so unjustly accounted of Base Degree by these Sour-Cabbage gorging and Sourer-Beer swilling High Dutch Bed-Pressers, was put into the Common Ward with the Raff; while my Master was suffered, on Payment of Fees, to have better lodgings. Gaolers are Gaolers[190] all over the world, and Golden Fetters are always the lightsomest. We were some Sixty Rascals (that is to say, Fifty-nine scoundrels, with one Honest Youth, your Humble Servant) in the Common Room, with but one Bed between us; this being, indeed, but a Raised Wooden Platform, like that you see in a Soldiers' Guard Room. They brought us some Straw every day, and littered us down Dog Fashion, and that was all we had for Lodging Gear. It mattered little. There was a Roof to the Gaol that was weather-tight, and what more could a Man want?—until things got better at least.

Which they speedily did; and neither Master nor Man came to any very great harm. 'Twas a near touch, though; and the safety of Jack Dangerous's bones hung for days, so I was afterwards told, by the merest thread. They deliberated long and earnestly about my case among themselves. It was even, I believe, brought before the Aulic Council; but, after about a week's confinement, and much going to and fro[191] between the English Embassador and the Great ones of the Court, Mr. Pinchin had signified to him that he might procure his Enlargement by paying a Fine of Eight Hundred Florins, which was reckoned remarkably cheap, considering his outrageous behaviour at the Shooting match. Some days longer they thought fit to detain Me; but My Master, after he regained his liberty, came to see me once and sometimes twice a day; and through his and Mr. Hodge's kindness, I was supplied with as good Victuals and Drink as I had heretofore been accustomed to. Indeed, such abundant fare was there provided for me, that I had always a superfluity, and I was enabled to relieve the necessities and fill the bellies of many poor Miserable Hungry creatures who otherwise must have starved; for 'twas the custom of the Crown only to allow their Captives a few Kreutzers, amounting to some twopence-farthing a day English, for their subsistence. The Oldest Prisoner in the Ward, whom they called Father of the Room, would on this Bare Pittance take[192] tithe and toll, often in a most Extortionate manner. Then these Gaol birds would fall to thieving from one another, even as they slept; and if a man was weak of Arm and Feeble of Heart, he might go for a week without touching a doit of his allowance, and so might Die of Famine, unless he could manage to beg a little filthy Cabbage Soup, or a lump of Black Bread, from some one not wholly without Bowels of Compassion.

But I had not been here more than a month when the instances of my master at length prevailed, and I too was Enlarged; only some Fifty Florins being laid upon me by way of fine. This mulct was paid perforce by Mr. Pinchin; for as 'twas through his mad folly, and no fault of my own, that I had come to Sorrow, he was in all Justice and Equity bound to bear me harmless in the Consequences. He was fain, however, to make some Demur, and to Complain, in his usual piteous manner, of being so amerced.

"Suppose you had been sentenced to Five[193] Hundred Blows of a Stick, sirrah,"—'twas thus he put the case to me, logically enough,—"would you have expected me to pay for thee in carcase, as now I am paying for thee in Purse?"

"Circumstances alter cases," interposes Mr. Hodge in my behalf. "Here is luckily no question of Stripes at all. John may bless his Stars that he hath gotten off without a Rib-Roasting; and to your Worship, after the Tune they have made you dance to, and the Piper you have paid, what is this miserable little Fine of Fifty Florins?" So my Master paid; and Leaving another Ten Florins for the poor Losels in the Gaol to drink his health in, we departed from that place of Durance, thinking ourselves, and with reason, very well out of it.

Servants are not always so lucky when they too implicitly obey the behests of their Masters, or, in a hot fever of Fidelity, stand up for them in Times of Danger or Desperate Affrays. Has there not ever been brought under your notice that famous French Law Case, of the Court Lady,—the[194] Dame de Liancourt, I think she was called,—against whom another Dame had a Spite, either for her Beauty, or her Wit, or her Riches' sake? She, riding one day in her Coach-and-Six by a cross-road, comes upon the Dame de Liancourt, likewise in her Coach-and-Six, both ladies having the ordinary complement of Running Footmen. My Lady who had a Spite against her of Liancourt whispers to her Lacqueys; and these poor Faithful Rogues, too eager to obey their Mistress's commands, ran to the other coach-door, pulled out that unlucky Dame de Liancourt, and then and there inflicted on her that shameful chastisement which jealous Venus, as the Poetry books say, did, once upon a time, order to poor Psyche; and which, even in our own times, so I have heard, Madame du Barry, the last French King's Favourite, did cause Four Chambermaids to inflict on some Lady about Versailles with whom she had cause of Anger. At any rate, the cruel and Disgraceful thing was done, the Dame sitting in her coach meanwhile clapping her hands.[195] O! 'twas a scandalous thing. The poor Dame de Liancourt goes, Burning with Rage and Shame, to the Chief Town of the Province, to lodge her complaint. The matter is brought before the Parliament, and in due time it goes to Paris, and is heard and re-heard, the Judges all making a Mighty to-do about it; and at last, after some two years and a half's litigation, is settled in this wise. My Lady pays a Fine and the Costs, and begs the Dame de Liancourt's pardon. But what, think you, becomes of the two poor Lacqueys that had been rash enough to execute her Revengeful Orders? Why, at first they are haled about from one gaol to another for Thirty Months in succession, and then they are subjected to the question, Ordinary and Extraordinary—that is to say, to the Torture; and at last, when my Lady is paying her fine of 10,000 livres, I think, or about Four Hundred Pounds of our Money, the Judges at Paris pronounce against these two poor Devils of Footmen,—that were as innocent of any Malice in the Matter as the Babe that is unborn, and only[196] Did what they were Told,—that one is to be Hanged in the Place de Grève, and the other banished to the Galleys, there to be chained to the Oar for life. A fine Encouragement truly for those who think that, for good Victuals and a Fine Livery, they are bound to obey all the Humours and Caprices, even to the most Unreasonable and most Arbitrary, of their Masters and Mistresses.

We were in no great Mood, after this Affair was over, to remain in Vienna. Mr. Pinchin did at first purpose journeying through the Province of Styria by Gratz, to a little town on the sea-coast, called Trieste,—that has much grown in importance during these latter days,—and so crossing the Gulf to Venice; but he abandoned this Scheme. His health was visibly breaking; his Funds, he said, were running low; he was more anxious about his Mamma than ever; and 'twas easy to see that he was half-weary and half-afraid of the Chaplain and Myself, and that he desired nothing Half so Much as to get Rid of us Both. So we packed up, and resumed our Wanderings, but in Retreat[197] instead of Advance. We passed, coming back, through Dresden, where there are some fine History Pictures, and close to which the Saxon Elector had set up a great Factory for the making of painted Pottery Ware: not after the monstrous Chinese Fashion, but rather after the Mode practised with great Success at our own Chelsea. The manner of making this Pottery was, however, kept a high State Secret by the government of the then Saxon Elector; and no strangers were, on any pretence, admitted to the place where the Works were carried on; so of this we saw nothing: and not Sorry was I of the privation, being utterly Wearied and palled with much gadding about and Sight-seeing. So post to Frankfort, where there were a many Jews; and thence to Mayence; and from thence down the grand old River Rhine to the City of Cologne; whence, by the most lagging stages I did ever know, to Bruxelles. But we stayed not here to see the sights—not even the droll little statue of the Mannikin (at the corner of a street, in a most improper[198] attitude; and there is a Group quite as unseemly in one of the Markets, so I was told, although at that time we were fain to pass them by), which Mannikin the burgesses of Bruxelles regard as a kind of tutelary Divinity, and set much greater store by than do we by our London Stone, or Little Naked Boy in Panyer Alley. But it is curious to mark what strange fanteagues these Foreigners run mad after.

At Bruxelles my Master buys an old Post Carriage—cost him Two Hundred and Fifty Livres, which was not dear; and the wretched horses of the country being harnessed thereto, we made Paris in about a week afterwards. We alighted at a decent enough kind of Inn, in the Place named after Lewis the Great (an eight-sided space, and the houses handsome, though not so large as Golden Square). There was a great sight the day after our coming, which we could not well avoid seeing. This was the Burial of a certain great nobleman, a Duke and Marshal of France, and at the time of his Decease Governor of the City of Paris. I have forgotten his[199] name; but it does not so much matter at this time of day, his Grace and Governorship being as dead as Queen Anne. It began (the Burial), on foot, from his house, which was next door but one to our Inn, and went first to his Parish Church, and thence, in coaches, right to the other end of Paris, to a Monastery where his Lordship's Family Vault was. There was a prodigious long procession of Flambeaux; Friars, white, black, and gray, very trumpery, and marvellous foul-looking; no plumes, banners, scutcheons, led horses, or open chariots,—altogether most mean obsequies. The march began at eight in the evening, and did not end till four o'clock the next morning, for at each church they passed they stopped for a Hymn and Holy Water. And, by the way, we were told that one of these same choice Friars, who had been set to watching the body while it lay in state, fell asleep one night, and let the Tapers catch fire of the rich Velvet Mantle, lined with Ermine and powdered over with gold Flower-de-Luces, which melted all the candles, and burnt off[200] one of the feet of the Departed, before it wakened the watcher.

It was afterwards my fortune to know Paris very well; but I cannot say that I thought much of the place on first coming to it. Dirt there was everywhere, and the most villanous smells that could be imagined. A great deal of Show, but a vein of Rascal manners running through it all. Nothing neat or handsomely ordered. Where my Master stood to see the Burial Procession, the balcony was hung with Crimson Damask and Gold; but the windows behind him were patched in half-a-dozen places with oiled paper. At Dinner they gave you at least Three Courses; but a third of the Repast was patched up with Sallets, Butter, Puff-paste, or some such miscarriages of Dishes. Nothing like good, wholesome, substantial Belly-Timber. None but Germans, and other Strangers, wore fine clothes; the French people mainly in rags, but powdered up to their eyebrows. Their coaches miserably horsed, and rope-harnessed; yet, in the way of Allegories on the panels, all[201] tawdry enough for the Wedding of Cupid and Psyche. Their shop-signs extremely laughable. Here some living at the Y Gue; some at Venus's Toilette; and others at the Sucking Cat. Their notions of Honour most preposterous. It was thought mighty dishonourable for any that was a Born Gentleman not to be in the Army, or in the King's Service, but no dishonour at all to keep Public Gaming Houses; there being at least five hundred persons of the first Quality in Paris living by it. You might go to their Houses at all Hours of the Night, and find Hazard, Pharaoh, &c. The men who kept the gaming-tables at the Duke of Gesvres' paid him twelve guineas a night for the privilege. Even the Princesses of the Blood were mean enough to go snacks in the profits of the banks kept in their palaces. I will say nothing more of Paris in this place, save that it was the fashion of the Ladies to wear Red Hair of a very deep hue; these said Princesses of the Blood being consumedly carroty. And I do think that if a Princess of the Blood was born with a Tail,[202] and chose to show it, tied up with Pea-Green Ribbon, through the Placket-hole of her Gown, the Ladies, not only in France, but all over the World, would be proud to sport Tails with Pea-Green Ribbons,—or any other colour that was the mode,—whether they were Born with 'em or not.

Nothing more that is worthy of Mention took place until our leaving Paris. We came away in a calash, that is, my Master and the Chaplain, riding at their Ease in that vehicle, while I trotted behind on a little Bidet, and posted it through St. Denis to Beauvais. So on to Abbeville, where they had the Impudence to charge us Ten Livres for three Dishes of Coffee, and some of the nastiest Eau de Vie that ever I tasted; excusing themselves, the Rogues, on the score that Englishmen were scarce nowadays. And to our great Relief, we at last arrived at Calais, where we had comfortable Lodgings, and good fare, at a not too exorbitant rate. Here we had to wait four days for a favourable Wind; and even then we found the Packet Boat all taken up for Passengers, and not a[203] place on board to be had either for Love or Money. As Mr. Pinchin was desperately pressed to reach his Native Land, to wait for the next boat seemed utterly intolerable to him; so, all in a Hurry, and being cheated, as folks when they are in a Hurry must needs be, we bargained for a Private Yatch to take us to Dover. The Master would hear of nothing less than five-and-twenty guineas for the voyage, which, with many Sighs and almost Weeping, my poor Little Master agrees to give. He might have recouped himself ten guineas of the money; for there was a Great Italian Singing Woman, with her Chambermaid, her Valet de Chambre, a Black Boy, and a Monkey, bound for the King's Opera House in the Haymarket, very anxious to reach England, and willing to pay Handsomely—out of English pockets in the long-run—for the accommodation we had to give; but my capricious Master flies into a Tiff, and vows that he will have no Foreign Squallers on board his Yatch with him. So the poor Signora—who was not at all a Bad-looking woman, although mighty[204] Brown of visage—was fain to wait for the next Packet; and we went off in very great state, but still having to Pay with needless heaviness for our Whistle. And, of course, all the way there was nothing but whining and grumbling on his Worship's part, that so short a trip should have cost him Twenty-five Guineas. The little Brute was never satisfied; and when I remembered the Life I had led with him, despite abundant Victuals, good Clothes, and decent Wages, I confess that I felt half-inclined to pitch him over the Taffrail, and make an End of him, for good and all.

The villanous Tub which the Rascals who manned it called a Yatch was not Seaworthy, wouldn't answer her Helm, and floundered about in the Trough of the Sea for a day and a half; and even then we did not make Dover, but were obliged to beat up for Ramsgate. We had been fools enough to pay the Fare beforehand; and these Channel Pirates were unconscionable enough to demand Ten Guineas more, swearing that they would have us up before the Mayor—who,[205] I believe, was in league with 'em—if we did not disburse. Then the Master of the Port came upon us for Dues and Light Tolls; and a Revenue Pink boarded us, the Crew getting Half-drunk at our Expense, under pretence of searching for contraband, and sticking to us till we had given the Midshipman a guinea, and another guinea to the Crew, to drink our Healths.




The best of Friends, says the Proverb, must part, and so must the worst, or the most indifferent of companions. By this time, I apprehend,—that is to say, the year 1728, Messieurs Pinchin, Hodge, and Dangerous had had quite enough of each other's company, and 'twas ripe Time for 'em to Part. Not but what there were some difficulties in the way. 'Twas not to be denied that my little Master was a parcel curmudgeon, very vain and conceited, very difficult of management in his Everlasting Tempers, and a trifle Mad, besides; but his service—apart from the inconvenience of bearing with a tetchy, half Lunatic Ape of Quality, was light and easy; the victuals were abundant[207] and the Wages were comfortable. There must be two parties to make a quarrel, and when Master and servant propose to part, there should be a perfect agreement between them as to the manner of their going asunder. A Hundred times, vexed by the follies and exactions of the little man, I had sworn that I would doff his livery, and have nothing more to do with him; but then came the Reflection of the certain Bite and Sup, and I withheld my abandonment of Service. It may be that the Chaplain, Mr. Hodge, was very much of the same mind as your Humble. He said often, that he had been bearleader quite long enough to this young Cub, and was sick alike of his savage hugs, and uncouth gestures, when he had a mind to dance. Yet was he wise enough in his generation to acknowledge the commodity of a fat Pasty and a full Flask every day in the year, and of a neverfailing crown piece in the pouch in the morning for a draught to cool one's throat, when the bottle had been pushed about pretty briskly overnight. Parson Hodge was a philosopher.[208] "I don't like the kicks," quoth he; "but when halfpence come along with 'em, they cease to be intolerable."

However, all our nice weighings of Pros and Cons were brought to a very abrupt standstill upon our arrival at Dover (having taken a post chariot from Ramsgate) by the Inconceivable Behaviour of Mr. Pinchin. This young Gentleman, utterly forgetting the claims of Duty, of Honour, of Honesty, and of Gratitude, fairly Ran away from us, his faithful and Attached Domestics. Without with your leave or by your leave he showed us a clean pair of Heels. He left a very cool Letter for the Chaplain in the hands of the master of the Inn where we put up, in which he repeated his old uncivil Accusation, that we had eaten him out of House and Home, that we were Leeches, Pirates, bloodsucking vampires, and the like—myself he even did the honour to call a Designing Cockatrice—and that he had fled from us to save the small remains of his Fortune from being Devoured, and intended to rejoin his long-neglected Mamma. Mr.[209] Hodge read me this letter with a very long face, and asked me what I intended to do. I answered that I should be better able to tell him when he had read me the Postscript to the letter, for that I hardly fancied that Squire Pinchin would behave in so Base and Mean a manner as to run away without paying his Body Servant's wages. Upon this the Reverend Gentleman hems and ha's somewhat, and gave me to understand that Mr. Pinchin had enclosed a draft upon a Goldsmith in Change Alley in part disbursement of his debt to him, Mr. Hodge, and that out of that—although no special provision had been made for me by Mr. Pinchin—he thought he could spare me a matter of Ten Pound. Now as he kept the letter very tight in his hand, and was, withal, a Strong Man, who would have resisted any attempt of mine to wrest it from him, I was fain to take his statement for granted, and in a very Sulky manner agreed to accept the Ten Pound in full of all demands, stipulating only that my Travelling charges to London should be defrayed. This Mr. Hodge[210] boggled at for awhile; but, seeing me Resolute he gave way, and at last said that there was no need for me to trouble with going to the Goldsmith in London to get the Draft changed—"If, indeed," says he, "the unhappy young spendthrift be not proclaimed a Bankrupt before I get this slip of paper cashed;" and that having a small store of Gold by him, he would give me the Ten Pound down, together with a couple of Pieces to bear my Expenses to the Town. To this I agreed; and his Reverence handing me over the ready, we cried Quits.

"And now, Sir," says I, "as you are no longer a Led-Parson, and I am no longer a Lacquey, we are both, till we get Fresh Places, Gentlemen at large, and Jack is as good as his Master, I shall be happy to crack a bottle of Lisbon with you, and whether you pay or I pay shall be decided by the flinging up of a Jacobus."

He declared that I was an Impudent young Fellow, with more Wickednesses in my Heart than I had hairs in my Head; but he accepted my Invitation to crack the[211] bottle of Lisbon very readily, and won the Toss of me with much Affability. So, after a joyous Rouse (which my young Head could then stand, but I am a sad Skinker at the bottle now), the Landlord standing in, we drank Mr. Pinchin's health and better manners to him; and his Reverence dismissed me with a Buss and his Benediction.

"When you reach London, which is a wicked place," says he; "I prithee get you to Highgate, and without more ado cause yourself to be sworn upon the Horns there, never to drink Small Ale when you can get Strong, and never to Kiss the Maid when you can Kiss the Mistress. After that, with your Face, and your Figure, and your Foreign Travel, to say nothing of your Amazing Impudence, and your Incorrigible habit of Lying, I think you will do pretty well. Go thy ways, my son, and if ever you come to be hanged, send for Parson Hodge, and he will (with the Ordinary's permission) do everything for you in the cart that a True Blue Church and State Man can wish. Vale: that is to say, get off, you vagabond," with[212] which in his merry way he half pushes me out of the room at the Inn, and I dare say that he had given a sufficiently liberal construction to Mr. Pinchin's postscript as to cheat me out of Twenty Pound.

And now on this worthy I must bestow a brace of Paragraphs ere I dismiss him for good and all, premising that the knowledge of what I am about to set down did not come upon me at this period of my History, but was gathered up, in Odds and Ends in subsequent epochs of my career:—some of it, indeed, many years afterwards. Parson Hodge had managed—all losses allowed for—to feather his nest pretty well out of his attendance on Squire Bartholomew Pinchin, and the ten or twelve pound he doled out to me (whether the story about the draft on the Goldsmith was a Cock and Bull one or not) must have been but a mere fleabite to him. I heard that he went down to the Bath, and dropping his Clerical Dignity for awhile, set up for a fashionable Physician of High Dutch extraction that was to cure all ailments. Doctor Von[213] Hoogius I think he called himself; and his travelling about with my little Master had given him just such a smattering of Tongues as to enable him to speak Broken English with just so much of a foreign accent as to make it unlike a Brogue or a Burr. The guineas came in pretty quickly, and I believe that he cured several people of the Quinsy with pills made of dough, hogslard, cinnamon, and turmeric, and that he was highly successful in ridding ladies of fashion of the vapours by means of his Royal Arabian Electuary, which was nothing more than white Jamaica Rum coloured pink and with a flavouring of Almonds. The regular Practitioners, however, grew jealous of him, and beginning to ask him impertinent questions about his Diploma, he was fain to give up Legitimate practice, and to pick up a dirty Living as a mere Quack, and Vendor of Pills, Potions, Salves, Balsams, and Elixirs of Life. Then he came down in the world, owing to a Waiting Gentlewoman whose fortune he must needs tell, and whom, 'tis said, he cozened out of three quarters'[214] wages; so, for fear of being committed by the justices as a Rogue and Vagabond, he then kept a Herb Shop for some time, with great success, until he got into trouble about a Horse, and being clearly Tart of that crime, very wisely shifted his quarters to the Kingdom of Ireland. I have heard that by turns he was, in his New Sphere, a Player at the Dublin Theatre, a Drawer at a Usquebaugh Shop in Cork, a hedge-schoolmaster among the Bogtrotters—a wild, savage kind of People, that infest the Southern parts of that fertile but distracted kingdom—a teacher of the Mathematics in Belfast, and a fiddler going about to wakes and weddings in the county of Galway. 'Twas whilst pursuing this last and jovial vocation that he was fortunate enough to run away with an Heiress of considerable Fortune. He managed it by a sort of Rough and Ready process they call over there an Abduction, two or three of the Wild Irishes being killed while he was getting the young lady on the car to take her away to be married; and she, happening to be a Ward in Chancery, he fell[215] into Contempt, and was committed to Newgate in the City of Dublin, where he might have lain till his heels rotted off, but for the Favourable Renown into which he grew by his Bold and Gallant Feat of Abduction, and which brought him into such sympathetic notice, that interest was made with the Chancellor to purge him of his contempt, and he was honourably Discharged therefrom by means of escaping from Newgate at night by means of a Silver Key agreed upon betwixt him and the Warden. By the way, he had the sagacity at this time to conceal his being an Englishman, and passed very easily by the name of O'Hagan. A subscription was made for him among the Quality after his Enlargement, and he was charitably advised to push his fortune among the Saxons in England, his good friends little suspecting that he had already pushed his Fortune there, at different times, to a very pretty tune. But for his unfortunate—or rather fortunate, for him—collision with justice, he might have obtained employment as a Tithe Proctor with some of the[216] dignified and non-resident Established Clergy in Ireland, who were very anxious to have able and Unscrupulous Men to collect their Dues for 'em; but the Sister Isle being, on several accounts, too hot for Mr. Hodge, Von Hoogius, O'Hagan, he took shipping with a purse full of guineas, collected for him by his kind friends, for Liverpool in Lancashire. Here he prospered indifferently for a time, now as a Schoolmaster, now as a Quack Doctor, under his old High Dutch alias, and now as an Agent for the crimping of children for the West India plantations, which last traffic I have ever held, for reasons personal, to be utterly Indefensible and Abominable. A Bill of Indictment before the Grand Jury speedily, however, put an end to the chaplain's dealings in flesh and blood; so he made what haste he could to town, where squandering what means he had with him in Riot and Unthrift, and being unluckily recognised by an old acquaintance in the Tailoring line, he was arrested on civil process, and clapped into the Fleet Prison. But here his ever-soaring[217] genius took a new Flight. Those half surreptitious and wholly scandalous Nuptials known as Fleet Marriages, were then very rife, and the adventurer had wit enough to discover that it was to his interest to resume his cassock and bands, and to become the Reverend Mr. Hodge once more. Not much was wanted to set him up in business. Canonicals were to be had cheap enough in Rag Fair for the sending for 'em; a greasy Common Prayer Book and a chandler's-shop ledger to serve as a Register, did not cost much; so with these, and an inimitably Brazen face, behold our worthy equipped as a perfect Fleet Parson. He had to maintain at first a ragged regiment of cads and Runners to tout for him and bring him customers, but he soon became notorious, and formed a very fine connexion. Judgements by the score had been obtained, and Detainers lodged against him at the gate, since his incarceration at the suit of his acquaintance, the Tailor; but 'twas not long ere he contrived, by the easy process of joining people's hands, to gain enough to[218] pay all the claims against him, and by permission of the Warden of the Fleet, to set up a Chapel and Liquor Shop within the rules of the prison. Punch, Geneva, poisonous wine, brandy, bitters, Rum, and Tobacco, were sold below stairs, and the Order for the Solemnization of Matrimony was performed on the first floor. It became quite a fashionable thing to go and be married by Parson Hodge, and at last it would be said of him, that if he extorted money from you beforehand, he did not pick your pocket afterwards, as too many of the Fleet Parsons in those shameful days were in the habit of doing. He continued at this merry game for many years, being in his way quite as popular as Orator Henley, and coining a great deal more money than that crack-brained Fanatic—for I have always been at pains to discover whether Henley was more Rogue or Fool—till at last his lucrative but unholy trade was put an end to by an Act of Parliament, called for by the righteous indignation of all peaceable and loyal subjects of the King, who did not desire to be[219] married in haste and to repent at leisure. I believe that Parson Hodge retired with a comfortable fortune, and, going down into Somersetshire, purchased a small estate there, and died, much respected, in the odour of many pigs, and in the Commission of the Peace.

As for poor little Bartholomew Pinchin, his career was not nearly so prosperous, nor his end so happy. You will learn, a little further on, what scurvy tricks Fortune played him, and how at last his poor little brains succumbed to the rough toasting of that graceless jade. I had always thought him Mad, and Mad, indeed, as a March hare he proved to be in the long run.

And now as to Myself, for it is surely fitting that a proper young Fellow, such as I was now, stout and vigorous, and going for nineteen years of age, should no longer remain in the Background. First I hied me to London by the waggon, where, after four days' journey—for it was ill travelling in those days, between London and Dover—I arrived without any misadventure. I was my own Master, I had Ten Pound in my[220] pocket (the two additional Pieces being now spent), and I did not know one single soul in a city of eight hundred thousand inhabitants. Is it to be wondered at, under these premises, that before I fixed upon any decided line of life, I went, first of all, to the Deuce. It took me but a woundily short time to reach that Goal. For ten pounds you may reckon, we will say—if you put up at a small alehouse in the Borough—upon about ten friends who shall be very fond of you for a couple of days. I think, at the beginning of the third, I had just three and sixpence left wherewith to buy a razor to cut my throat withal. "Stuff and nonsense!" cried the last of the fleeting friends who had abided with me. "Three and sixpence for a razor, forsooth! why, a yard of good new cord, quite strong enough to bear your weight, can be bought in any shop in Tooley-street for a penny. You have just three and fivepence left, brother, to make yourself merry for the day, and, please the pigs, we will be merry as grigs upon it until Sundown (for I took a fancy to you the first[221] minute I set eyes upon you), and even then there are two ways out of the hobble, without twisting your weasand. I have a pair of pistols, and as I love you like a brother, will share anything with you; and we will pad the hoof betwixt this and Deptford, and see whether we can meet any fat Kentish hop-grower on his way to the Borough Market with more money than wit—a capital plan, any way, seeing that if you fail, the Sheriff will hang you for nothing, and you can keep your penny for drink, or else you can list for a soldier, as many a tall and pretty fellow in the like straits has done before."

I civilly declined this amicable and philosophical advice, for it had suddenly become apparent to me that my new friend was a confirmed Rogue. For opening of the Eyes there is nothing like having spent all your money. I gave him a shilling, however, out of my three and sixpence, and crossed London Bridge to see if I could find better luck on the Middlesex side, determined, if nothing offered itself during the day, to ask[222] my way to the Barracks at the Savoy and list for a Soldier. I amused myself as I walked, with the thought that chance might so bring it about for the Sergeant who would give me the King's shilling to be the selfsame grenadier whose sconce I had broken years agone in Charlwood Chase with the Demijohn of Brandy.

I had heard, as most Ignoramuses have done, I suppose, that London Streets are paved with Gold; and I found 'em as Muddy, as Stony, and as Hardhearted as I dare say they have been discovered by ten thousand Ignoramuses before my time to be. I was quite dazed and stupified with the noise and uproar of the Great City, the more perplexing to me as I was not only a Stranger, but almost a Foreigner and Outlandish Man in Great Britain. I could speak my own tongue well enough with Parson Hodge and Mr. Pinchin, but when it came to be clamoured all around me by innumerable voices, I a'most lost heart, and gave up the notion that I was an Englishman at all. It must be confessed, that half a century[223] since we English were a very Blackguard People, and that London was about the most disreputable city in all Europe. There were few public buildings of any great note or of Majestic Proportions, save St. Paul's Cathedral, the Monument, and the Banqueting House at Whitehall. The Mansion House and the Bank of England were not yet built, and between them and the Royal Exchange (the which, noble enough in itself, was girt about, and choked up with Shops and Tenements exceeding mean and shabby), was a nasty, rubbishing, faint-smelling place, full of fruiterers and herbalists, called the Stocks Market. The crazy and rotten City Gates blocked up the chief thoroughfares, and across the bottom of Ludgate Hill yawned a marvellous foul and filthy open sewer, rich in dead dogs and cats, called the Fleet Ditch. This street was fair enough, and full of commodious houses and wealthy shops, but all about Temple Bar was a vile and horrid labyrinth of lanes and alleys, the chief and the most villanous of which was a place full of tripe shops and low taverns,[224] called Butcher Row, leading from the Bar down to the Churchyard of St. Clement's Danes. The Strand was broad and fair enough to view as far as the New Exchange; but in lieu of that magnificent structure which Sir William Chambers, the Swedish architect, has built for Government offices, and where the Royal Academy of Arts and the Learned Societies have their apartments (when I first came to town there was no Royal Academy at all, only a Mean School for painting from the Life and drawing from Bustos in St. Martin's Lane; the Royal Society held their sittings in a court off Fleet Street; the College of Physicians was chock-a-block among the butchers in Warwick Lane, Newgate Market, where it still, to the scandal of Science, remains; and Surgeon's Hall, where malefactors were anatomised after execution—a Sanguinary but Salutary custom—was in the Old Bailey, over against the leads of the Sessions House)—in place, then, of what we now call Somerset House, albeit it has lost all connexion with the proud Duke of that name, there stood the Old[225] Palace of the Queens of England, a remarkable tumbledown barn of a place, hideous in its ugliness towards the Strand, but having some stately edifices at the back, built by that Famous Engineer, Mr. Inigo Jones. Here sometimes Queens were lodged, and sometimes Embassadors—'twas the Venetian Envoy, I think, that had his rooms in Somerset House when I first knew it,—and sometimes Masquerades were given. A company of Soldiers was kept on guard in the precincts, not so much for ornament as for use, for they had hard work every night in the week in quelling the pottle-pot brawls and brabbling among the Rogues, Thieves, Besognosos, Beggars, Ribbibes, Bidstands, and Clapper-dudgeons, male and female, who infested the outskirts of the Old Palace, or had Impudently Squatted within its very walls, and had made of the Place a very Alsatia, now that Scamp's Paradise in Whitefriars had been put down by Act of Parliament. Here they burrowed like so many Grice, till the shoulder-tapping Pilchers of the Compter came a badger-drawing[226] with their bludgeons. 'Twas a perfect chaos of clap-dishes, skeldering, cranion-legged Impostors, fittous cripples, and gambling bullies, for ever roaring over Post and Pair, or Dust Point, or throwing their Highmen, or barbing gold, or yelling profane songs and catches. A man was killed here about every other day in some Callet and Cockoloch squabble, and there was a broil about twice in every hour. Of course there were Patricos here, who only wanted Fashionable Encouragement to rival the Feet Parsons in the trade of faggot-weddings. There were philosophers who devised schemes for paying off the National Debt, or for making roast ribs of beef out of brickbats. Here were swept the last pillings and frayings of the South Sea Bubble, in the shape of divers Speculators and Directors who had absconded from their Creditors, and were here pretty safe from arrest, for although not legally a sanctuary, it was as chancy to cop a man here on a capias as to put one's naked hand into a bag full of rats.[227]

I dined this day at a sixpenny ordinary in the New Exchange, and after that asked my way to the Savoy, which I found to be close by. So I walked down to the old Tower, and passed the time of day to the Sergeant of the Guard, who was for having me empty a can of ale with him on the spot, but I would not then, and concealed my intention, being minded to defer the execution of it till sunset. I don't know what Vain and Foolish Hope possessed me that something might yet turn up which might save me from the sad necessity of listing for a soldier, to the which vocation, mindful of my early experiences among the Blacks in Charlwood Chase, I entertained a very sincere Abhorrence. So I wandered up and down the Streets, asking from time to time where I was, and being (as is usual with the People of England in their intercourse with strangers) cursed or laughed at for a fool or a bumpkin. Half a dozen times I felt that some rogue was trying my pocket; but I knew I had no money to be robbed of, and kept my kerchief in my hat; only the bare endeavour made[228] me mad, and the next time one of my gentleman nick-skins made a dive into my pouch, I turned round and hit him a crack over the head with a short knobbed-stick I carried, which, I warrant, made him repent of his Temerity.

I had gotten into St. James's Park about four o'clock in the afternoon, and was walking very moodily by the side of the long water trench called Rosamond's Pond, when at once a desire seized hold of me to behold the Tower of London. Whether in my fantastic Imagination I deemed that I might find Tower Hill paved with gold, or pick up some Profitable Acquaintance there, it is fruitless as this distance of time to inquire. But I must needs see the Tower, and was as eager for a view of that famous Fortress as though I had been the veriest holiday-making and sight-seeing Country Cousin. I made my way into the Birdcage walk, and so through Palace-yard down to the stairs at the foot of where they were driving the first piles of that great structure which is now called Westminster Bridge. Here a[229] Waterman agreed to take me to the Tower stairs for a shilling, which was not above thrice his legal fare, but yokels and simpletons are common prey in this great village of London. I observed more than once as he rowed me down stream that we were followed by a heavy wherry, manned by stout, smart fellows in frocks of blue duck, who kept stroke remarkably well together, and whose coxswain eyed me very narrowly. As we were shooting one of the narrow arches of London Bridge—(then covered with shops and houses, with barbicans, and traitors' heads spiked upon 'em at each end, and I have heard old people say that many a time they have fished for perch and grayling standing on the starlings of the Bridge)—this wherry fouled our craft, and my waterman burst into a volley of horrible ribald abuse, till he who was coxswain among the blue-frocked gentry spake some words to him in a low voice, at which he touched his cap, and became quite Meek and Humble. I caught him eyeing me, quite as narrowly as the steersman of the[230] wherry had done, and when I asked him what ailed him, he stuck his Tongue in his cheek and grinned audaciously.

"Who were those rough fellows in the wherry, yonder, that fouled us?" I asked.

"Bluebottles," says he, with another grin.

"What d'ye mean, fellow?" I continued.

"Well, fresh-water fishermen, if you like," he went on, "that bait their hooks with salt worms. Will you please pay me my fare now, Master, since I am a Fellow forsooth, and Murphy's Murrain to you?"

What Murphy's Murrain was—except some term of waterside sculduddrey I did not know—but I paid the knave his shilling, whereupon he very importunately craved another sixpence to drink my health, saying that it might be a very long time before he saw me again. Now I happened only to have one and fourpence left in the world, and suspecting that I had already overpaid him, I resisted further extortion, upon which he became more and more clamorous for money, and finding that I was as obstinate as he, rested on his oars[231] and declared that, burn him—with many other execrations too unseemly to transcribe—he would not pull a stroke further. This it seems was by no means an uncommon occurrence among the dishonest waterside knaves of those days, and it afforded vast sport to a mob of small craft that gathered round, and the people in which covered me with ridicule and abuse, calling me a Thames Bilk, and advising the waterman to hold me over the side of the boat by the scruff of the neck and give me a Ducking. I was in a great Quandary, and knew not what to do.

Meanwhile the heavy wherry, which had kept close in our offing, pulled almost on board of us, and the coxswain hailed us to know what was the matter.

"Here's a Holiday Tailor that would seek to stump a poor waterman of his fare," quoth the false scoundrel who was striving to rob me.

"'Tis a base lie!" I cried out; "I gave him a shilling at Westminster stairs to row me to the Tower wharf."[232]

"Fare's only fourpence. Shame! shame!" cried one part of the people in the small craft.

"He's a Bilk," yelled another part of 'em. "Duck him, Goodman Crabs, duck him."

"Stop," cries the coxswain of the wherry, standing up. "It is a shame. The poor fellow shan't be put upon. Here, young man, step on board this, and we'll land you at the Tower wharf for nothing; and here, waterman, take this shilling and be d—d to you, and sheer off before you can cry Poor John."

The wherry by this time had got so close on our quarter that, thanking the blue-frocked gentlemen for their politeness, I was able to step on board the wherry without any difficulty. My thief of a waterman took the shilling which was flung to him, and again sticking his tongue in his cheek, and grinning in a more unblushing manner than before, pulled away. The crowd in the small craft set up a cheer, that had more of derision than approbation in it, and[233] I once more heard the cry of "Blue Bottles."

These Blue Bottles, however, were as good as their word, for five minutes afterwards I was landed safe and sound at the Tower wharf. I thanked them all very heartily; but, as I had not enough money to treat them all, made bold to confess the narrowness of my means to the coxswain, begging that he, at least, would do me the honour to take a mug of flip—which could be had, double allowance, for fourpence. He clapped me, in reply, on the shoulder in the most friendly manner, and said, roast him, that he would not see me put upon; that I was evidently a lad of mettle and spirit, and that I should go with him to the "Admiral Benbow," on Little Tower Hill, close by, where he would himself stand treat for as many mugs of flip or Punch as ever I liked.

He would take no denial to his hospitable proposal, so that I accompanied him to the "Admiral Benbow," a snuggish little hostelry, about which some half a score more[234] stout fellows in blue frocks were lounging. But these I noticed had broad leather belts round their waists, in which were stuck pistols, and to which hung cutlasses.

When we had made ourselves comfortable in the little back parlour of the "Admiral Benbow" over a steaming jug and a Pipe of Tobacco, my companion began to ask me a few questions, to which, with the ingenuous candour of youth, I made full replies. I told him that I was a young man seeking my fortune, but had as yet come only on very scurvy luck; that I had spent all my money; that I had but recently come from foreign parts, and that, in despite of finding honest employment, I had made up my mind to list for a soldier that very night.

"Don't do that, boy?" cried my friend the coxswain. "Curse pipeclay and red blanketing, and the life of a swaddy. The sea, the blue glorious sea's the place for a bold heart like you."

I answered that I knew not enough of seamanship to take the place of an officer, and that I considered the condition of a[235] common sailor as too base for one of my bringing up.

"Ay, ay! you shall be an officer in time, my hearty," answered the Coxswain—"Lord High Admiral, for a certainty; but you must creep through the hawse-holes first. There's nothing like half-a-dozen cruises before the mast for taking the conceit out of a maple-faced hobbledehoy."

Whether I was maple-faced or not, I did not stay to argue; but there was something about the mahogany face of the coxswain that misliked me much. Now that I inspected him closely I recognised in him something of that mangonising or slave-dealing expression which is burnt in as with a Red-hot Iron upon the countenances of all those whose trade is kidnapping and man-stealing. So without more ado I rose to go, thanking him for his treat, and saying that if I went to sea it should be at my own pleasure and in my own way.

"Stop abit," he answered, rising with me, and putting his back against the door—"not so fast, my hearty! King George doesn't[236] allow likely young blades to slip through his fingers in this fashion. As you're in such a deuce of a hurry, I think we'd better see the Midshipmite."

I measured him with my eye, but at once gave up all thoughts of mastering him if I attempted violence in leaving the room. He was taller than I, broader across the chest, older, his limbs better knit, and in every way the more powerful. He too, I saw, was taking stock of me, and marking from my Frame and my Mien that, although young, I was likely to prove an Ugly Customer, he outs with a pistol from under his jerkin, and holds it to my head with one hand, while with the other he blows a smart call upon a silver whistle suspended by a lanyard round his neck.

In a moment the room was full of blue-frocked ruffians; a dozen pistols were levelled at my head, a dozen cutlasses drawn menacingly against me. Before I knew where I was I was tripped up, knocked down from behind, a gag forced into my mouth, and a pair of handcuffs slipped on to my wrists.[237]

"No offence, shipmate," said a big fellow with black whiskers, as he knelt on my chest and screwed the manacles on so tightly that I gave a scream of pain. "We always begin in this here way—we crimps our cod before we cooks it. To-morrow morning, when you've had your grog, you'll be as gentle as a lamb, and after your first cruise you'll be as ready as ere a one of us to come cub-hunting."

Upon this there entered the room he whom the coxswain had spoken of as the Midshipmite, and who I rightly conjectured to be in authority over these dare-devils. He was a young man wearing his own hair, which was bright red. His face was all covered with pimples, and his mouth was harelipped from a sword cut. He had canvas bags and grey ribbed hose like a common sailor, but his hat was bound with a scrap of dirty gold lace; he had a hanger at his side, and on his threadbare blue coat I could see the King's button. Withal he was a very precise gentleman, and would listen to nothing but facts. He bade his[238] men remove the gag from my mouth, and then addressed me.

"The fact of the matter is," says he, "that you've been kicking up a devil of a row, and that you'd much better have gone quietly with the coxswain."

"Why am I kidnapped? why have you put these footpad bracelets on me?" I cried out, passionately.

"The fact of the matter is that we always do it to save time and trouble," answered the Midshipmite—"Easy and quiet is the word at the 'Admiral Benbow.'"

"I'll have the law of you!" I exclaimed, in a rage.

"Exactly so," quoth the Midshipmite, quite politely. "May I ask if you're a free-man of the City of London?"

"I am not."

"Precisely so. Are you a waterman, duly entered at your Hall, and all arrears paid up, or an apprentice, carrying your indentures with you?"

"I am not, and I don't know what you mean."[239]

"Then the fact of the matter is," said the Midshipmite, with a chuckle, "that we've got the law of you. The King, God bless him, wants stout and gallant hearts to man his fleet, and you're about the likeliest young fellow I've seen this week; so the best thing you can do is to go willingly on board the Tower Tender, of which I have the honour to be second in command. If you won't, the fact of the matter is that we must make you."

"But why should I go with you?" I urged.

"The fact of the matter is that you're Pressed," coolly answered the Midshipmite, or midshipman, "and if you want to see the warrant, you may ask Davy Jones for it, who keeps it under three seals in his locker to prevent accidents."

Between listing for a soldier and being pressed for a sailor there was not, I take it, much difference. Either way, the chance of a livelihood offered itself. But I did not like this violent way of doing things, and I told the midshipman so. He merely ordered[240] his blue-frocks to take me away. Then I attempted to burst my bonds, and bit, kicked, and struggled, so that it took half-a-dozen men to drag me to the door.

"The fact of the matter is," remarked the midshipman, filling himself a glass of punch, "that there's always this hullabaloo at the first going off, and that you'd better give him One for peace and quietness."

Somebody immediately followed the officer's advice, and gave me One with the butt end of a pistol, which nearly clove my skull in twain, and certainly made me peaceable and quietness, for it stunned me.




It now becomes expedient for me to pass over no less than Fifteen Years of my momentous Career. I am led to do this for divers cogent Reasons, two of which I will forthwith lay before my Reader. For the first, let me urge a Decent Prudence. It is not, Goodness knows, that I have any thing to be ashamed of which should hinder me from giving a Full, True, and Particular Account of all the Adventures that befell me in these same fifteen Years, with the same Minute Particularity which I bestowed upon my Unhappy Childhood, my varied Youth, and stormy Adolescence. I did dwell, perhaps, with a fonder circumspection and more[242] scrupulous niceness upon those early days, inasmuch as the things we have first known and suffered are always more vividly presented to our mind when we strive to recall 'em, sitting as old men in the ingle-nook, than are the events of complete manhood. Yet do I assure those who have been at the pains to scan the chapters that have gone before, that it would be easy for me to sit down with the Fidelity of a Ledger-Keeper all the things that happened unto me from my eighteenth year, when I last bade them leave, and the year 1747, when I had come to be three-and-thirty years of age. I remember all: the Ups and Downs; the Crosses and the Runs of Luck; the Fortunes and Misfortunes; the Good and the Bad Feasts I sat me down to, during an ever-changing and Troublous Period. But, as I have said, I have been moved thus to skip over a vast tract of time through Prudence. There may have been certain items in my life upon which, now that I am respectable and prosperous, I no more care to[243] think of. There may be whole pages, close-written and full of Stirring Matter, which I have chosen to cancel; there may be occurrences treated of which it is best, at this time of Day, to draw a Veil over. Finally, there may be Great Personages still Living who would have just cause to be Offended were I to tell all I know. The dead belong to all the World, and their Bones are oft-times Dug up and made use of by those who in the Flesh knew them not; but Famous Persons live to a very Great Age, and it is sometimes scandalous to recount what adventures one has had with 'em in the days of their hot and rash Youth. Had I permission to publish all I am acquainted with, the very Hair upon your Head might stand up in Amazement at some of the Matters I could relate:—how Mean and Base the Great and Powerful might become; how utterly Despisable some of the most Superb and Arrogant Creatures of this our Commonwealth might appear. But I am prudent and Hold my Tongue.

[244] Again, and for the Second Reason, I am led to pass over these fifteen years through a feeling that is akin to Mercy and Forbearance towards my Reader. For I well know how desperately given is John Dangerous to a wordy Garrulity—how prone he is to make much of little things, and to elevate to the dignity of Important and Commanding Events that which is perchance only of the very slightest moment. By Prosing and Amplifying, by Moralizing and Digressing, by spinning of yarns and wearing of reflections threadbare, I might make a Great Book out of the pettiest and most uneventful career; but even in honestly transcribing my actual adventures, one by one,—the things I have done, and the Men and Women I have known,—I should imperceptibly swell a Narrative, which was at first meant to attain no great volume, to most deplorable dimensions. And the World will no longer tolerate Huge Chronicles in Folio, whether they relate to History, to Love or Adventure, to Voyages and Travels, or even[245] to Philosophy, Mechanics, or the Useful Arts. The world wants smart, dandy little volumes, as thin as a Herring, and just as Salt. For these two reasons, then, do I nerve myself to a sudden leap, and entreat you now to think no longer of John Dangerous as a raw youth of eighteen summers, but as a sturdy, well-set man of thirty-three.

Yet, lest mine Enemies and other vile Rascal Fellows that go about the town taking away the characters of honest people for mere Envy and Spitefulness' sake, lest these petty curmudgeons should, in their own sly saucy manner, Mop and Mow, and Grin and Whisper, that If I am silent as to Fifteen Years of my Sayings and Doings, I have good cause for holding my peace,—lest these scurril Slanderers should insinuate that during this time I lay in divers Gaols for offences which I dare not avow, that I was concerned in Desperate and Unlawful Enterprises which brought upon me many Indictments in the King's Courts, or that I was ever Pilloried, or held to Bail for contemptible[246] misdemeanours,—I do here declare and affirm that for the whole of the time I so pass over I earned my bread in a perfectly Honest, Legal, and Honourable Manner, and that I never once went out of the limits of the United Kingdom. I have heard, indeed, a Ridiculous Tale setting forth that, finding myself Destitute in London after the Chaplain, Mr Pinchin, and I had parted company, and after escaping from the Pressgang, I enlisted in the Foot Guards. The preposterous Fable goes on to say that quickly mastering my Drill, and being a favourite with my officers, whom I much pleased with my Alacrity and Intelligence, although they were much given to laugh at my assumptions of superior Birth, and nicknamed me "Gentleman Jack,"—I was promoted to the rank of Corporal, and might have aspired to the dignity of a Sergeant's Halbert, but that in a Mad Frolic one night I betook myself to the road as a Footpad, and robbed a Gentleman, coming from the King's Arms, Kensington,[247] towards the Weigh House at Knightsbridge, of fourteen spade guineas, a gold watch, and a bottle-screw. And that being taken by the Hue and Cry, and had before Justice de Veil then sitting at the Sun Tavern in Bow Street, I should have been committed to Newgate, tried, and most likely have swung for the robbery, but for the strong intercession of my Captain, who was a friend of the Gentleman robbed. That I was indeed enlarged, but was not suffered to go scot-free, inasmuch as, being tried by court-martial for absence without leave on the night of the gentleman's misfortune, I was sentenced to receive three hundred lashes at the halberts. Infamous and Absurd calumnies!

Behold me, then, in the beginning of the year 1747 in the Service of his Sacred Majesty King George the Second. Behold me, further, installed in no common Barrack, mean Guard-house, or paltry Garrison Town, but in one of the most famous of his Majesty's Royal Fortresses:—a place that had been at[248] once and for centuries (ever since the days of Julius Cæsar, as I am told) a Palace, a Citadel, and a Prison. In good sooth, I was one of the King's Warders, and the place where I was stationed was the Ancient and Honourable Tower of London.

Whether I had ever worn the King's uniform before, either in scarlet as a Soldier in his armies, or of blue and tarpaulin as a Sailor in his Fleets, or of brown as a Riding Officer in his customs,—under which guise a man may often have doughty encounters with smugglers that are trying to run their contraband cargoes, or to hide their goods in farmers' houses,—or of green, as a Keeper in one of the Royal Chases,—I absolutely refuse to say. Here I am, or rather here I was, a Warder and in the Tower.

I was bravely accoutred. A doublet of crimson cloth, with the crown, the Royal Cipher G. R., and a wreath of laurel embroidered in gold, both on its back and front; a linen ruff, well plaited, round my neck, sleeves puffed with black velvet, trunk-hose[249] of scarlet, rosettes in my slashed shoes, and a flat hat with a border of the red and white roses of York and Lancaster in satin ribbon,—these made up my costume. There were forty of us in the Tower, mounting guard with drawn swords at the portcullis gate and at the entrances to the lodgings of such as were in hold, and otherwise attending upon unfortunate noblemen and gentlemen who were in trouble. On state occasions, when taking prisoners by water from the Tower to Westminster, and in preceding the Lieutenant to the outward port, we carried Halberts or Partisans with tassels of gold and crimson thread. But although our dress was identical, as you may see from the prints, with that of the Beef-Eaters, we Tower Warders were of a very different kidney to the lazy hangers-on about St. James's. Those fellows were Anybodies, Parasites of Back-Stairs favourites, and spies and lacqueys, transformed serving-men, butlers past drawing corks, grooms and porters, even. They had nothing to do but[250] loiter about the antechambers and staircases of St. James's, to walk by the side of his Majesty's coach when he went to the Houses of Parliament, or to fight with the Marshalmen at Royal Funerals for petty spoils of wax-candles or shreds of black hangings. The knaves actually wore wigs, and powdered them, as though they had been so many danglers on the Mall. They passed their time, when not in requisition about the Court, smoking and card-playing in the taverns and mug-houses about Scotland Yard and Spring Gardens. They had the run of a few servant-wenches belonging to great people, but we did not envy them their sweethearts. Some of them, I verily believe, were sunk so low as, when they were not masquerading at court, to become tavern-drawers, or ushers and cryers in the courts of law about Westminster. A very mean people were these Beef-eaters, and they toiled not, neither did they spin, for the collops they ate.

But we brave boys of the Tower earned[251] both our Beef and our Bread, and the abundant Beer and Strong Waters with which we washed our victuals down. We were military men, almost all. Some of us had fought at Blenheim or Ramilies—these were the veterans: the very juniors had made the French Maison du Roy scamper, or else crossed bayonets with the Irish Brigade (a brave body of men, but deplorably criminal in carrying arms against a Gracious and Clement Prince) in some of those well-fought German Fields, in which His Royal Highness the Duke and my Lord George Sackville (since Germaine, and my very good friend and Patron) covered themselves with immortal glory. Nay some of us, One of us at least, had fought and bled, to the amazement of his comrades and the admiration of his commanders,—never mind where. 'Tis not the luck of every soldier to have had his hand wrung by the Great Duke of Cumberland, or to have been presented with ten guineas to drink his health withal by Field-Marshal Wade. We would have[252] thought it vile poltroonery and macaronism to have worn wigs—to say nothing of powder—unless, indeed, the peruke was a true Malplaquet club or Dettingen scratch.

Our duties were no trifling ones, let me assure you. The Tower, as a place of military strength, was well looked after by the Regiment of Foot Guards and the Companies of Artillery that did garrison duties on its ramparts and the foot of its drawbridges; but to us was confided a charge much more onerous, and the custody of things much more precious. We had other matters to mind besides seeing that stray dogs did not venture on to the Tower Green, that dust did not get into the cannon's mouths, or that Grand Rounds received proper salutes. Was not the Imperial Crown of England in our keeping? Had we not to look after the Royal diadem, the orb, the sceptre, the Swords of Justice and of Mercy, and the great parcel-gilt Salt Cellar that is moulded in the likeness of the White Tower itself? Did it not behove[253] us to keep up a constant care and watchfulness, lest among the curious strangers and country cousins who trudged to the Jewel House to see all that glittering and golden finery, and who gave us shillings to exhibit them, there might be lurking some Rogue as dishonest and as desperate as that Colonel Blood who so nearly succeeded in getting away with the crown and other valuables in King Charles the Second's time. Oh! I warrant you that we kept sharp eyes on the curious strangers and the country cousins, and allowed them not to go too near the grate behind which were those priceless baubles.

But another charge had we, I trow. Of all times had this famous fortress of the Tower of London been a place of hold for the King's prisoners. Felons, nor cutpurses, nor wantons suffered we indeed in our precincts, nor gave we the hospitality of dungeons to; but of state prisoners, noblemen and gentlemen in durance for High Treason, or for other offences against the Royal State[254] and Prerogative, had we always a plentiful store. Some of the greatest Barons—the proudest names in England—have pined their lives away within the Tower's inexorable walls. Walls! why there were little dungeons and casemates built in the very thickness of those huge mural stones. In ancient days I have heard that foul deeds were common in the fortress—that princes were done to Death here—notably the two poor Royal infants that the wicked Richard of Gloucester bid his hell-hounds smother and bury at the foot of the stairs in that building which has ever since gone by the name of the Bloody Tower. So, too, I am afraid it is a true bill that Torture was in the bad old days indiscriminately used towards both gentle and simple in some gloomy underground places in this said Tower. I have heard of a Sworn Tormentor and his assistants, whose fiendish task it was to torture poor creatures' souls out of their miserable bodies, and of a Chirurgeon who had to watch lest the[255] agonies used upon 'em should be too much for human endurance, and so, putting 'em out of their misery, rob the headsman of his due, the scaffold of its prey, and the vile mobile that congregate at public executions of their raree show. Of "Scavenger's Daughters," Backs, Thumbscrews, iron boots, and wedges, and other horrible engines of pain, I have heard many dismal tales told; but all had long fallen into disuse before my time. The last persons tortured within the Tower walls were, I believe, Colonel Faux (Guido) and his confederates, for their most abominable Gunpowder Plot, which was to put an end to the Protestant Religion and the illustrious House of Stuart at one fell blow; but happily came to nothing, through the prudence of my Lord Monteagle, and the well-nigh superhuman sagacity of his Majesty King James the First. Guy and his accomplices they tortured horribly; and did not even give 'em the honour of being beheaded on Tower Hall,—they being sent away as common[256] traitors to Old Palace Yard (close to the scene of their desperately meditated but fortunately abortive crime), and there half-hanged, cut down while yet warm, disembowelled, their Hearts and Inwards taken out and burnt by Gregory (that was hangman then, and that, as Gregory Brandon, had a coat-of-arms given him as a gentleman, through a fraud practised upon Garter King), and their mangled bodies—their heads severed—cut into quarters, well coated with pitch, and stuck upon spikes over London Bridge, east Portcullis, Ludgate, Temple Bar, and other places of public resort, according to the then bloody-minded custom, and the statute in that case made and provided. But after Colonel Guido Faux, Back, Thumbscrews, boots, and wedges, and Scavenger's daughters fell into a decline, from which, thank God, they have never, in this fair realm of England, recovered. I question even if the Jesuit Garnett and his fellows, albeit most barbarously executed, were tortured in prison;[257] but it is certain that when Felton killed the Duke of Bucks at Portsmouth, and was taken red-handed, the Courtiers, Parasites, and other cruel persons that were about the King, would fain have had him racked; but the public,—which by this time had begun to inquire pretty sharply about Things of State,—cried out that Felton should not be tormented (their not loving the Duke of Bucks too much may have been one reason for their wishing some degree of leniency to be shown to the assassin), and the opinion of the Judges being taken, those learned Persons, in full court of King's Bench assembled, decided that Torture was contrary to the Law of England, and could not legally be used upon any of the King's subjects howsoever guilty he might have been.

But I confess that when I first took up service as a Tower Warder, and gazed upon those horrible implements of Man's cruelty and hard-heartedness collected in the Armoury, I imagined with dismay that, all[258] rusty as they had grown, there might be occasions for them to be used upon the persons of unfortunate captives. For I had lived much abroad, and knew what devilish freaks were often indulged in by arbitrary and unrestrained power. But my comrades soon put my mind at ease, and pointed out to me that few, very few, of these instruments of Anguish were of English use or origin at all; but that the great majority of these wicked things were from among the spoils of the Great Armada, when the proud Spaniards, designing to invade this free and happy country with their monstrous Flotilla of Caravels and Galleons, provided numerous tools of Torture for despitefully using the Heretics (as they called them) who would not obey the unrighteous mandates of a foreign despot, or submit to the domination (usurped) of the Bishop of Rome. And so tender indeed of the bodies of the King's prisoners had the Tower authorities become, that the underground dungeons were now never[259] used, commodious apartments being provided for the noblemen and gentlemen in hold: and a pretty penny they had to pay for their accommodation; five guineas a day, besides warder and gentlemen gaolers' fees, being the ordinary charge for a nobleman, and half that sum for a knight and private esquire. Besides this, the Lieutenant of the Tower had a gratuity of thirty pounds from every peer that came into his custody, and twenty pounds for every gentleman writing himself Armiger, and in default could seize upon their cloaks: whence arose a merry saying—"best go to the Tower like a peeled carrot than come forth like one."

There were even no chains used in this state prison; of fetters and manacles we had indeed a plenitude, all of an antique pattern and covered with rust; but no irons such as are put upon their prisoners by vulgar gaolers in Newgate and elsewhere. I have heard say, that when poor Counsellor Layer, that was afterwards hanged, drawn,[260] and quartered as a Jacobite, and his head stuck atop of Temple Bar hard by his own chambers,—was first brought for safer custody to the Tower, breakings out of Newgate having been common, the Government sent down word that, as a deep-dyed conspirator and desperate rebel, he was to be double-ironed. Upon this Mr. Lieutenant flies into a mighty heat, and taking boat to Whitehall, waits on Mr. Secretary at the Cockpit, and tells him plainly that such an indignity towards his Majesty's prisoners in the Tower was never heard of, that no such base modes of coercion as chains or bilboes had ever been known in use since the reign of King Charles I., and that the King's warders were there to see that the prisoners did not attempt Evasion. To which Mr. Secretary answered, with a grim smile, that notwithstanding all the keenness of the watch and ward, he had often heard of prisoners escaping from durance in the Tower, notably mentioning the case of my Lord Nithesdale, who escaped in his lady's[261] clothes, and without more ado informed the Lieutenant that Counsellor Layer must be chained as directed, even if the chains had to be forged expressly for him. Upon which Mr. Lieutenant took a very surly leave of the Great Man, cursing him as he comes down the steps for a Thief-catcher and Tyburn purveyor, and sped him to Newgate, where he borrowed a set of double-irons from the Peachum or Lockit, or whatever the fellow's name it was that kept that Den of Thieves. And even then, when they had gotten the chains to the Tower, none of the warders knew how to put them on, or cared to sully their fingers with such hangman's work; and so they were fain to have a blacksmith with his anvil, and a couple of turnkeys down from Newgate, to rivet the chains upon the poor gentleman's limbs; he being at the time half dead of a Strangury; but so cruel was justice in those days.

When I first came to the Tower, we had but few prisoners; for it was before the Great Rebellion of the 'Forty-five; and for[262] a few years previous the times had been after a manner quiet. Now and then some notorious Jacobite, Seminarist, or seditious person was taken up; but he was rarely of sufficient importance to be confined in our illustrious Prison; and was either had to Newgate, or else incarcerated in the lodgings of a King's Messenger till his examinations were over, and he was either committed or Enlarged. These Messengers kept, in those days, a kind of Sponging Houses for High Treason, where Gentlemen Traitors who were not in very great peril lived, as it were, at an ordinary, and paid much dearer for their meat and lodging than though they had been at some bailiffs lock-up in Cursitor Street, or Tooke's Court, or at the Pied Bull in the Borough. We had, it is true, for a long time a Romanist Bishop that was suspected of being in correspondence with St. Germain's, and lay for a long time under detention. He was a merry old soul, and most learned man; would dine very gaily with Mr. Lieutenant, or his deputy, or[263] the Fort Major, swig his bottle of claret, and play a game of tric-trac afterwards; and it was something laughable to watch the quiet cunning way in which he would seek to Convert us Warders who had the guarding of him to the Romanist faith. They let him out at last upon something they called a Nolle prosequi of the Attorney-General, or some suchlike dignitary of the law—which nolle prosequi I take to be a kind of habeas corpus for gentlefolks. He was as liberal to us when he departed as his means would allow; for I believe that save his cassock, his breviary, a gold cross round his neck, and episcopal ring, and a portmantel full of linen, the old gentleman had neither goods nor chattels in the wide world: indeed, we heard that the Lieutenant lent him, on leaving, a score of gold pieces, for friendship-sake, to distribute among us. But he went away—to foreign parts, I infer—with flying colours; for every body loved the old Bishop, all Romanist and suspected Jacobite as he was.[264]

Then came that dreadful era of rebellion of which I have spoken, and we Tower Warders found that our holiday time was over. Whilst the war still raged in Scotland, scarcely a day passed without some person of consequence being brought either by water to Traitor's Gate, or by a strong escort of Horse and Foot to the Tower Postern; not for active participation in the Rebellion, but as a measure of safety, and to prevent worse harm being done. And many persons of consequence, trust me, saved their heads by being laid by the heels for a little time while the hue and cry was afoot, and Habeas Corpus suspended. Fast bind, safe find, is a true proverb; and you may thank your stars, even if your enemies have for a time bound you with chains and with links of iron, if, when the stormy season has gone past, you find your head still safe on your shoulders. Now it was a great Lord who was brought to the Tower, and from whom Mr. Lieutenant did not forget to claim his thirty-pound fee on entrance; for "here to-day,[265] gone to-morrow," he reasoned, and so shot his game as soon as he had good parview of the same. Now it was some Cheshire or Lancashire Squire, snatched away from his Inn, at the Hercules' Pillars, or the Catherine Wheel in the Borough, as being vehemently suspected of Jacobitism. These gentlemen mostly took their captivity in a very cheerful and philosophical manner. They would call for a round of spiced beef, a tankard of ale, and a pipe of tobacco, so soon as ever they were fairly bestowed in their lodgings; drank to the King—taking care not to let us know whether his name began with a G or a J, with many jovial ha-has, and were as happy as the day was long, so it seemed to us, if they had but a pack of cards and a volume of the Gentleman's Recreation, or Academy of Field Sports. What bowls of punch, too, they would imbibe o' nights, and what mad carouses they would have! Such roaring Squires as these would have been much better bestowed in the Messengers' Houses;[266] but these were all full, likewise the common gaols; nay, the debtors' prisons and vile sponging-houses were taken up by Government for the temporary incarceration of suspected persons.

How well do I remember the dreadful amazement and consternation which broke over this city when the news came that the Prince—I mean the Pretender—had utterly routed the King's troops commanded by Sir John Cope at Prestonpans; that the Misguided Young Man had entered Edinborough at the head of a furious mob of Highlandmen, whose preposterous style of dress I never could abide, and who in those days we Southrons held as being very little better than painted Savages; that the ladies of the Scottish capital had all mounted the white cockade, and were embroidering scarves for the Pretender and his officers, and that the Castle of Edinborough alone held out 'gainst this monstrous uprising to destroy authority! But how much greater was the Dismay in London[267] when we learnt that the Rebels, not satisfied with their conquests in his Majesty's Scottish Dominions, had been so venturous as to invade England itself, and had actually advanced so far as the trading town of Derby! Then did those who had been long, albeit obscurely, suspected of Jacobitism, come forth from their lurking holes and corners, and almost openly avow their preference for the House of Stuart. Then did very many respectable persons, formerly thought to be excellently well affected towards King George's person and Government, become waverers, or prove themselves the Turncoats they had always, in secret, been, and seditiously prophesy that the days of the Hanoverian dynasty were numbered. Then did spies and traitors abound, together with numbers of alarming rumours, that the Chevalier had advanced as far as Barnet on the Great North Road; that his Majesty was about to convey himself away to Hanover; that the Duke of Cumberland was dead; that barrels of gunpowder had been discovered in the Crypt beneath Guildhall,[268] and in the vaults of the Chapel Royal; that mutiny was rife among the troops; that the Bank of England was about to break, with sundry other distracting reports and noises.

Of course authority did all it could to reassure the public mind, tossed in a most tempestuous manner as it was by conflicting accounts. Authority bestirred itself to put down seditious meetings by proclamation, and to interdict residence in the capital to all known Papists; whereby several most estimable Catholic gentlemen (as many there be of that old Faith) were forced to leave their Town Houses, and betake themselves to mean and inconvenient dwellings in the country. The gates of Temple Bar were now shut, on sudden alarms, two or three times a week; as though the closing of these rotten portals could in any way impede the progress of rebellion, or do any thing more than further to hamper the already choked-up progress of the streets. The Lord Mayor was mighty busy calling out the Train-bands,[269] and having them drilled in Moorfields, for the defence of the City; and a mighty fine show those citizen soldiers would have made no doubt to the bare-legged Highlandmen, had they come that way. The Guards at all the posts at the Court end of the town were doubled, and we at the Tower put ourselves into a perfect state of defence. Cannon were run out; matches kept lighted; whole battalions maintained under arms; munitions and provisions of war laid in, as though to withstand a regular siege; drawbridges pulled up and portcullises lowered, with great clanking of chains and gnashing of old iron teeth;—and rich sport it was to see those old rust-eaten engines once more brought into gear again.

But, as the Wise Man saith that a soft answer turneth away wrath, so do we often find that a merry word spoken in season will do more than all your Flaming Ordinances, and Terrific Denunciations of Fire and Sword. And although at this time (beginning of the year 1746) authority very[270] properly exerted itself to procure obedience to the constitution, by instilling Awe into men's minds, and did breathe nothing in its official documents but heading, hanging, and quartering, with threats of bombardments, free quarters, drum-head courts-martial, chains, gags, fines, imprisonment, and sequestration,—yet I question whether so much good was done by these towards the stability of the cause of the Protestant Religion and King George, or so much harm to that of the Pretender, Popery, brass money, and wooden shoes, as by a little series of Pamphlets put forth by the witty Mr. Henry Fielding, a writer of plays and novels then much in vogue; but a sad loose fish, although he afterwards, as I am told, did good service to the State as one of the justices of peace for Middlesex, and helped to put down many notorious gangs of murderers, highwaymen, and footpads infesting the metropolis. This Mr. Fielding—whom his intimates used to call Harry, and whom I have often seen lounging in the Temple Gardens, or about[271] the gaming-houses in St. James's Street, and whom I have often met, I grieve to say, in the very worst of company under the Piazzas in Covent Garden much overtaken in liquor, and his fine Lace clothes and curled periwig all besmirched and bewrayed after a carouse—took up the Hanoverian cause very hotly,—having perhaps weighty reasons for so doing—and, making the very best use of his natural gifts and natural weapons, namely, a very strong and caustic humour, with most keen and trenchant satire, did infinite harm to the Pretender's side by laughing at him and his adherents. He published, probably at the charges of authority,—for he was a needy gentleman, always in love, in liquor, or in debt,—a paper called the True Patriot, in which the Jacobites were most mercilessly treated. Notably do I recall a sort of sham diary or almanack, purporting to be written by an honest tradesman of the City during the predicted triumph of the Pretender, and in which such occurrences were noted down as London being at the mercy of Highlanders and Friars; Walbrook church[272] and many others being razed to the ground; Father O'Blaze, a Dominican, exulting over it; Queen Anne's statue at Paul's taken away, and a large Crucifix erected in its place; the Bank, South-Sea, India Houses, &c. converted into convents; Father Macdagger, the Royal confessor, preaching at St. James's; three Anabaptists hung at Tyburn, attended by their ordinary, Mr. Machenly (a grotesque name for the ranting fellow who was wont to be known as Orator Henley); Father Poignardini, an Italian Jesuit, made Privy-Seal; four Heretics burnt in Smithfield; the French Ambassador made a Duke, with precedence; Cape Breton given back to the French, with Gibraltar and Port Mahon to the Spaniards; the Pope's nuncio entering London, and the Lord Mayor and Aldermen kissing his feet; an office opened in Drury Lane for the sale of papistical Pardons and Indulgences; with the like prophecies calculated to arouse the bigotry of the lower and middle orders, and to lash them into a religious as well as a political frenzy. For a cry of "No[273] Popery" has ever acted upon a true-born Englishman as a red rag does on a bull. Perhaps the thing that went best down of all Mr. Fielding's drolleries, and tickled the taste of the town most amazingly, was the passage where he made his honest London tradesman enter in his diary to this effect: "My little boy Jacky taken ill of the itch. He had been on the parade with his godfather the day before to see the Life Guards, and had just touched one of their plaids." One of the King's Ministers said long afterwards that this passage touching the itch was worth two regiments of horse to the cause of Government. At this distance of time one doesn't see much wit in a scurrilous lampoon, of which the gist was to taunt one's neighbours with being afflicted with a disease of the skin: and, indeed, the lower ranks of English were, in those days, anything but free from similar ailments, and, in London at least, were in their persons and manners inconceivably filthy. But 'tis astonishing what a mark you can make with[274] a coarse jest, if you only go far enough, and forswear justice and decency.

Strange but true is it to remark that, in the midst of all such tremendous convulsions as wars, battles, sieges, rebellions, and other martial conflagrations, men and women and children do eat and drink, and love and marry, and beget other babes of humanity, and at last Die and turn to dust, precisely as though the world—or rather the concerns of that gross Orb—were all going on in their ordinary jog-trot manner. Although from day to day we people in London knew not whether before the sun set the dreaded pibroch of the Highland Clans might not be heard at Charing Cross, and the barbarian rout of Caterans that formed the Prince,—I mean the Chevalier,—I mean the Pretender's Army, scattered all about the City, plundering our Chattels, and ravaging our fair English homes; although, for aught men knew, another month, nay another week, might see King George the Second toppled from his Throne, and King James the Third installed, with his Royal Highness Charles Edward[275] Prince of Wales as Regent; although it was but a toss-up whether the Archbishop of Canterbury should not be ousted from Lambeth by a Popish Prelate, and the whole country reduced to Slavery and Bankruptcy;—yet to those who lived quiet lives, and kept civil tongues in their heads, all things went on pretty much as usual: and each day had its evil, and sufficient for the day was the evil thereof. That the Highlandmen were at Derby did not prevent the Hostess of the Stone Kitchen—that famous Tavern in the Tower—from bringing in one's reckoning and insisting on payment. That there was consternation at St. James's, with the King meditating flight and the Royal Family in tears and swooning, did not save the little schoolboy a whipping if he knew not his lesson at morning call. It will be so, I suppose, until the end of the world. We must needs eat and drink, and feel heat and cold, and marry or be given in marriage, whatsoever party prevail, and whatsoever King carries crown and sceptre; and however dreadful the crisis, we must have our[276] Dinners, and fleas will bite us, and corns pinch our Feet. So while all the Public were talking about the Rebellion, all the world went nevertheless to the Playhouses, where they played loyal Pieces and sang "God save great George our King" every night; as also to Balls, Ridottos, Clubs, Masquerades, Drums, Routs, Concerts, and Pharaoh parties. They read Novels and flirted their fans, and powdered and patched themselves, and distended their coats with hoops, just as though there were no such persons in the world as the Duke of Cumberland and Charles Edward Stuart. And in like manner we Warders in the Tower, though ready for any martial emergency that might turn up, were by no means unnecessarily afeard or distraught with anxiety; but ate and drank our fill, joked the pretty girls who came to see the shows in the Tower, and trailed our halberts in our usual jovial devil-me-care manner, as true Cavaliers, Warders in the service of his Majesty the King, should do.

By and by came the news of Stirling and[277] Falkirk, after the disastrous retreat of the Highlandmen back into England. And then happened that short but tremendous fight of Drummossie Moor, commonly called the Battle of Culloden, where claymores and Lochaber axes clashed and glinted for the last time against English broadswords and bayonets. After this was what was called the pacification of the Highlands, meaning that the Duke and his dragoons devastated all before them with fire and sword; and then "retributive justice" had its turn, and the work of the Tower Warders began in earnest.

Poor creatures! theirs was a hard fate. At Carlisle, at Manchester, at Tyburn, and at Kennington Common, London, how many unhappy persons suffered death in its most frightful form, to say nothing of the unspeakable ignominy of being dragged on a hurdle to the place of execution, and mangled in the most horrible manner by the Hangman's butcherly knife, merely because they held that King James, and not King George, was the rightful sovereign of these realms![278] Is there in all History—at least insomuch as it touches our sentiments and feelings—a more lamentable and pathetic narration than the story of Jemmy Dawson? This young man, Mr. James Dawson by name,—for by the endearing aggravative of Jemmy he is only known in Mr. William Shenstone's charming ballad (the gentleman that lived at the Leasowes, and writ the Schoolmistress, among other pleasing pieces, and spent so much money upon Ornamental Gardening),—this Mr. James Dawson, I say, was the son of highly reputable parents, dwelling, by some, 'tis said, in the county of Lancashire, by others, in the county of Middlesex. At all events, his father was a Gentleman of good estate, who strove hard to bring up his son in the ways of piety and virtue. But the youth was wild and froward, and would not listen to the sage Counsels that were continually given him. After the ordinary grammar-school education, during which course he much angered his teachers,—less by his reckless and disobedient conduct than by his perverse flinging away of his opportunities,[279] and manifest ignoring of the parts with which he had been gifted by Heaven,—he was sent to the University of Oxford to complete the curriculum of studies necessary to make him a complete gentleman. And I have heard, indeed, that he was singularly endowed with the properties requisite for the making of that very rare animal:—that he was quick, ready, generous, warm-hearted, skilful, and accomplished,—that he rode, and drove, and shot, and fenced, and swam, and fished in that marvellously finished manner only possible to those who seem to have been destined by a capricious Fate to do so well that which they have never learned to do. And at college, who but Jemmy Dawson—who but he? For a wicked prank, or a mad carouse; for a trick to be played on a proctor, or a kiss to be taken by stealth,—who such a Master of Arts as our young Undergraduate? But at his lectures and chapels and repetitions he was (although always with a vast natural capacity) an inveterate Idler; and he did besides so continually violate and outrage[280] the college rules and discipline, that his Superiors, after repeated admonitions, gatings, impositions, and rustications (which are a kind of temporary banishment), were at last fain solemnly to expel him from the University. Upon which his father discarded him from his house, vowing that he would leave his broad acres (which were not entailed) to his Nephew, and bidding him go to the Devil; whither he accordingly proceeded, but by a very leisurely and circuitous route. But the young Rogue had already made a more perilous journey than this, for he had fallen in Love with a young Madam of exceeding Beauty, and of large Fortune in her own right, the daughter of a neighbouring Baronet. And she, to her sorrow, poor soul, became as desperately enamoured of this young Scapegrace, and would have run away with him, I have no doubt, had he asked her, but for a spark of honour which still remained in that reckless Heart, and forbade his linking the young girl, all good and pure as she was, to so desperate a life as his. And so he went[281] wandering for a time up and down the country, swaggering with his boon companions, and pawning his Father's credit in whatsoever inns and pothouses he came unto, until, in the beginning of that fatal year '46, he must needs find himself at Manchester without a Shilling in his pocket, or the means of raising one. It was then the time that the town of Manchester had been captured, in the Pretender's interest, by a Scots Sergeant and a Wench; and the notorious Colonel Towneley was about raising the Manchester Regiment of Lancashire Lads to fight for Prince Charlie. Desperate Jemmy Dawson enlisted under Towneley; and soon, being a young fellow of good figure and shining talents, was made a Captain. But the ill-fated Manchester Regiment was ere long broken up; and Jemmy Dawson, with Colonel Towneley himself, and many other of the officers, were captured. They were all tried at the Assizes held after the Assizes at St. Margaret's Hill, Southwark; and James Dawson, being convicted of high treason, was sentenced[282] to the usual horrible punishment for that offence. He was drawn on a hurdle to Kennington Common; he was hanged, disembowelled, and quartered; but the young Madam of whom I have spoken was true to him unto the last. For many days following the sentence she vainly solicited his pardon; but finding all useless, she on the fatal morning (having trimmed a shroud for him overnight, in which, poor Soul, his mangled remains were not to rest) followed him in a Mourning Coach to Kennington Common. She saw the Dreadful Tragedy played out to its very last Act; and then she just turned on her Side in the Coach, and with a soft Murmur, breathing Jemmy's Name, she Died. Surely a story so piteous as this needs no comment. And by Heaven it is True!




Memorandum.—About a year before the Rebellion, as the Earl of Kilmarnock was one day walking in his Garden, he was suddenly alarmed with a fearful Shriek, which, while he was reflecting on with Astonishment, was soon after repeated. On this he went into the House, and inquired of his Lady and all the Servants, but could not discover from whom or whence the Cry proceeded; but missing his Lady's Woman, he was informed that she was gone into an Upper Room to inspect some Linen. Whereupon the Earl and his Lady went up and opened the Door, which was only[284] latched. But no sooner did the Gentlewoman within set eyes on his Lordship's face than she fainted away. When, proper aid being given to her, she was brought to herself, they asked her the meaning of what they had heard and seen. She replied, that while she sat sewing some Linen she had taken up to mend, the Door opened of itself, and a Bloody Head entered the Room, and rolled upon the Floor; that this dreadful Sight had made her cry out, and then the Bloody Head disappeared; that in a few Moments she saw the same frightful Apparition again, on which she repeated her Shrieks; and at the third time she fainted away, but was just recovered when she saw his Lordship coming in, which had made the Impression on her they had been witness of.

This Relation given by the affrighted Gentlewoman was only laughed at and ridiculed as the Effect of Spleen-Vapours, or the Frenzy of a deluded Imagination, and was thought no more of, till one Night, when the Earl of Kilmarnock, sitting round[285] a Bowl by the Winter Fire with my Lord Galloway,—and it is at such a Time that men are most prone to fall-to telling of Ghost Stories,—and their Lordships' conversation turning on Spectres and Apparitions, the vulgar notions of which they were deriding, the terrible tale of the Bloody Head was brought up, and then dismissed as the idle fancy of a Hoity-toity Tirewoman. But after Kilmarnock had engaged in the Rebellion, and Lord Galloway was told of it, he instantly recollected this Story, and said, "I will wager a dozen Magnums of Claret, and my best Silver-laced Justaucorps, that my Lord Kilmarnock will lose his Head."

Nobody took his bet, not daring thus to trifle with the lives of the Quality; but that Scots Lord lost his Head, notwithstanding; and I saw it cut off on Tower Hill in the latter summer of the year '46.

This story of the Bloody Head was common Talk among us Warders at the time,—who were full as superstitious as other Folks, you may be sure. Many such[286] Legends are there, too, current of Persons who were to die Violent Deaths at the hands of the Public Executioner, being forewarned many years before of their Impending Fate. And sometimes hath the Monition come nearer to the Catastrophe, as in the case of K. C. the 1st, who, entering Westminster Hall at that Unnatural Assize presided over by Bradshaw, the Gold Head fell off his Walking-Staff, and rolled on the Pavement of the Hall among the Soldiers; nor, when it was restored to him, could any Efforts of his make it remain on. Also it is said of my Lord Derwentwater, that the last time he went a hunting in the north, before he joined the Old Chevalier of St. George, his whippers-in unearthed a litter of Fox-cubs, every one of which Vermin had been born without Heads. And as well authenticated is it, that when my Lord Balmerino (that suffered on Tower Hill with the Earl of Kilmarnock) was coming back condemned to Death from[287] his Trial before his Peers at Westminster, his Lordship being of a merry, Epicurean temper, and caring no more for Death than a Sailor does for a wet Shirt, stopped the coach at a Fruiterer's at Charing Cross, where he must needs ask Mr. Lieutenant's Attendant to buy him some Honey-Blobbs, which is the Scottish name for ripe Gooseberries.

"And King Geordie maun pay for the bit fruitie; for King James's auld soldier has nae siller of his ain save twa guineas for Jock Headsman," quoth he in his jocular manner, meaning that those about him must pay for the Gooseberries; for indeed this Lord was very poor, and I have heard was, when in town, so much driven as to borrow money from the man who keeps the Tennis-court in James Street, Haymarket.

Well, it so happened that the Season was a backward one; and the Fruiterer sends his duty out to his Lordship, saying that he has no ripe Gooseberries, but[288] that of green ones he has a store, to which that unfortunate Nobleman is heartily welcome.

"I'll e'en try one," says my Lord; and from a Punnet they brought him he picks a Green Gooseberry; when, wonderful to relate, it swells in his hand to the bigness at least of an egg-plum, and turns the colour of Blood. "The de'il's in the Honey-Blobb," cries my Lord in a tiff, and flings it out of window, where it made a great red stain on the pavement.

And this the Warder who stood by, and the Messenger who was in the coach itself, told me.

Less need is there to speak of such strange adventures as my Lady Nithisdale's child (that was born soon after her Lord's escape from the Tower, in which, with such a noble valour and self-sacrifice, she aided him) being brought into the World with a broad Axe figured, as though by a Limner, on its Neck; or of the Countess of Cromartie's infant (she likewise Lay-in while the Earl was under[289] sentence) having a thin red line or thread right round its neck. These things are perhaps to be accounted more as Phenomena of nature than as ominous prognostications, and I so dismiss 'em. But it is worth while to note that, for all the good authority we have of Lord Kilmarnock's Waiting-woman being affrighted by the vision of a Bloody Head, the story itself, or at least something germane to it, is as old as the Hills. During my travels in Sweden, I was told of a very strange mischance that had happened to one of their Kings who was named Charles;—but Charles the what, I do confess I know not;—who walking one evening in his garden, saw all at once a Wing of the Palace, that had been shut up and deserted for Twenty years, all blazing with Light from the Windows, as for some great Festival. And his Majesty, half suspecting this might be some Masquerading prank on the part of the Court Ladies, and half afraid that there was mischief in it, drew his Sword, and calling upon a brace of his Gentlemen to follow him, stave in a door and came into a[290] Great Old Hall, that was the principal apartment in the said Wing. And at the upper End, where the ancient Throne of his ancestors was long since gone to Rags and Tatters, and abandoned to Dust and Cobwebs, he saw, sitting on the chair of Estate, and crowned, a little child that was then but a boy—the Duke of Sudermania. And lo! as he gazed upon him a Dreadful Ball, that seemed fashioned in the similitude of his own Head, showed itself under the Throne, rolled down the steps, and so came on to his very Feet, where it stopped, splashing his Boots unto the very ankle with Gore. The tale of the Bloody Boots, as 'tis called, is still quite familiar to every Nurse in Sweden; but I never heard how it ended, or whether King Charles had his Head cut off in the Long-run; but every Swede will swear to the Story; and as for the Boots, I have heard that they are to be seen, with the dark brown stains of the Blood still upon 'em, in a glass case at the House of one Mr. Herdström, who sells Aqua Vitæ over the Milliner's in the Bogbindersgade at Stockholm.[291]

'Twas in the summer of 1747 that I put off my Warder's dress for good and all, the Rebellion being by this time quite Dead and crushed out; but before I laid down my halbert 'twas my duty to assist at the crowning consummation of that disastrous Tragedy. One of the Prime Traitors in the Scottish Risings had been, it is well known, the notorious Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, of Castle Downie, in Scotland, then come to be Eighty years old, and as atrocious an old Villain as ever lived, but so cunning that he cheated the Gallows for three quarters of a century, and died like a Gentleman, by the Axe, at last. He had been mixed up in every plot for the bringing back of King James ever since the Old Chevalier's Father gave up the Ghost at St. Germain's, yet had somehow managed to escape scot-free from Attainder and Confiscation. Even in the '45, when he sent the Clan Fraser to join the Young Chevalier, he tried his best to make his poor Son, the Master of Lovat (a very virtuous and gallant young Gentleman), the scapegoat for his misdeeds, playing Fast[292] and Loose between France and the Jacobites on one side, and the Lord Justice Clerk and the King's Government on the other. But Justice had him on the hip at last, and the old Fox was caught. They brought him to London by Easy Stages, as he was, or pretended to be, mighty Infirm; and while he was resting at an Inn at St. Alban's, Mr. Hogarth the Painter (whom I have seen many a time smoking a pipe and making Caricatures of the Company at the Tavern he used—the Bedford Head, Maiden Lane, Covent Garden: a skilful Draughtsman, this Mr. Hogarth, but very Uppish and Impudent in his Tone; for I remember that he once called me Captain Compound, seeing, as the fellow said, that I was made up of three—Captain Bobadil, Captain Macheath, and Captain Kyd),—this Mr. H. went down to St. Alban's, and took a picture of the old Lord, as he sat in his great chair, counting the strength of the Scottish clans on his fingers. 'Twas afterwards graved on copper, and had a prodigious sale.

Monday, March 9th, began this Lord's[293] Trial, very Grand and Stately, which took place in Westminster Hall, fitted up anew for the occasion, with the Throne, and chairs for the Prince and the Duke, brave in Velvet and Gold, Scarlet benches for the Peers, galleries for Ladies and Foreign Ambassadors, boxes for the Lawyers and the Managers of the House of Commons that preferred the Impeachment, and a great railed platform, that was half like a Scaffold itself, for the Prisoner. So we Warders, and a Strong Guard of Horse Grenadiers and Foot-Soldiers, brought him down from the Tower to Westminster, Mr. Fowler, the Gentleman Gaoler, attending with the Axe; but the Edge thereof turned away from his Lordship. The Crown Lawyers, Sir William Yonge, Sir Dudley Rider, and Sir John Strange, that were of Counsel for the Crown, opened against him in a very bitter manner; at which the Old Sinner grinned, and likened them to hounds fighting for a very tough Morsel which was scarce worth the Tearing. Then he plagues the Lord Steward for permission for Counsel to be[294] granted to him to speak on his behalf, which by law could not be granted, and for a short-hand writer to take minutes, which, after some delay, was allowed. One Schield, that was the first Witness called, deposing that Lord Lovat made one of a company of gentlemen who in 1740 drank healths and sang catches, such as "Confusion to the White Horse" (meaning the heraldic cognizance of Hanover) "and all his generation," and

"When Jemmy comes o'er,
We shall have blood and blows galore,"
my Lord cries out upon him as a False Villain and Perjured Rascal. And was thereupon admonished by the Lord Steward to more decorous behaviour. Item: that he laid all the blame of the Frasers rising upon his Son, saying with Crocodile Tears that he was not the first who had an Undutiful Son; whereupon the young gentleman cries out in natural Resentment that he would put the Saddle on the right Horse. But this and many other charges were brought home to him, and that he had long[295] foregathered with the Pretender, of whom he spoke in a mock-tragedy style as "the young man Thomas Kuli Khan." When upon his defence, he told many Lies, and strove to Butter their Lordships with specious Compliments and strained Eulogies; but 'twould not serve. The Lords being retired into their own chamber, and the question being put whether Simon Lord Lovat was guilty of all the charges of high treason brought against him, every one, laying his hand on his left breast, and beginning with the Junior Baron, answered, "Guilty, upon my honour." And the next day, which was the seventh of the Trial, he was solemnly sentenced to Die as a Traitor; his Grace the Lord Steward making a most affecting Speech, in which he reproached the Lord at the Bar with having unnaturally endeavoured to cast the blame of his malpractices on his son; "which," said his Grace, "if it be true, is an impiety that makes one tremble: for, to quote a wise author of antiquity, the love of our country includes all other social affections, which,"[296] he continued, "shows a perfect knowledge of human nature; for we see, when that is gone, even the tenderest of all affections—the parental—may be extinguished with it." Upon which Admirable Discourse my fellow-Warder, Miles Bandolier, fell a blubbering, and wiping his eyes with his laced sleeve, whimpers that it is something, after all, to be a Lord to be cast for Death in such Sweet Terms; for no Judge at the Old Bailey would think of wasting Sugared words upon the rogue he sent to Tyburn. Which is true.

When all was done, and the Lord Steward had, by breaking his Staff, declared the commission void, the Prisoner with a grimace twinkling about his wicked old mouth, bespoke his Majesty's good consideration, and, turning to the Managers of the Commons, cries out, "I hope, as ye are stout, ye will be merciful!" Upon which one Mr. Polwhedlyan, that sate for a Cornish borough, and was a very Fat Man, thinking himself directly concerned, shook his head with great gravity of countenance. But[297] the old Villain was but Play-acting again, and could but see that the Game was up; for as the Lords were filing back to the House, he calls after them, "God bless you all! I bid you an everlasting farewell, for in this place we shall never meet again." He said "God bless you!" with a kind of fiendish yowl quite horrible to behold; and if ever man's benison sounded like a curse, it was that of bad old Lord Lovat.

A very sad sight at this memorable Trial was the Appearance and Demeanour of J. Murray, of Broughton, Esq., that had been the Chevalier's Secretary,—deepest of all in his Secrets, and most loved and trusted by him. The unhappy man, to save his Life, had betrayed his master and turned King's Evidence, not only against Lord Lovat, but many other unhappy Gentlemen. I never saw such a shrinking, cowering, hang-dog figure as was made by this Person in the Box; and burned with shame within myself to think that this should be a Man of Gentle birth, and that had touched the hand of a King's Son—Grandson, I mean.[298] Accomplished scoundrel as Lovat was, even a deeper abhorrence was excited by this Judas: when he first stood up, the Lords, after gazing at him for a moment with Contempt, turned their Backs upon him. The Crown Lawyers treated him in the manner that an Old Bailey Counsellor would cross-examine an approver in a case of Larceny; and as for the Prisoner, he just shut his eyes while Murray was giving evidence; and when he had finished, turns to the Gentleman Gaoler, and asks, with his eyes still shut, "Is It gone?" meaning Judas. At which there was some merriment.

'Twas just a month after this trial, on April 9th, that Justice was done upon Simon Fraser. He had eaten and drunk heartily, and cracked many scurril Jokes while under sentence, and seemed not to care Twopence whether he was Reprieved or Not. On the fatal day he waked about three in the morning, and prayed, or pretended to pray, with great Devotion. At all events, we Warders heard him; and he made Noise[299] enough. At five he rose, and called for a glass of Wine-and-Water, after drinking which he Read till seven. Then he took some more Wine-and-Water, and at eight desired that his Wig might be sent to the Barber to be combed out genteelly. Also, among some nicknacks that he kept in a casket, he looked out a purse made somewhat in the Scotch fashion, of sealskin, to hold the money which he desired to give to the Executioner. At half after nine he breakfasted very heartily of Minced Veal, which he hoped would not indigest, he facetiously remarked, ordering Chocolate and Coffee for his Friends, whose Health he drank himself in Wine-and-Water. At eleven the Sheriffs sent to demand his Body, when he desired all present, save we who were at the Door, to retire, that he might say a short prayer. Presently he calls 'em again, saying, "I am ready." At the bottom of the first Pair of Stairs from his Chamber, General Williamson, the Commandant of the Garrison, invited him into his room to rest himself. He complied[300] most cheerfully, and in French desired that he might be allowed to take leave of his Lady, and thank her for all the civilities—for she had sent him victuals every day from her own Table, dressed in the French fashion, which he much affected—which she had shown him during his confinement. But the General told him, likewise in French, that she was too much afflicted by his Lordship's Misfortunes to bear the shock of parting with him, and so begged to be excused. Which means, that she did not care about being pawed and mauled by this wicked Old Satyr in his last Moments; though, with the curiosity natural to her Sex, I saw with my own eyes Madame Williamson, in a new Hoop and a grand silk Calash, and with half-a-dozen of her gossips, at a window of the House on Tower Hill hard by the Sheriff's and overlooking the Scaffold.

Now we Warders closed up about him; and preceded and followed by Foot-Soldiers, he was conveyed in the Governor's Coach to the Outward Gate, and so delivered over to[301] the Sheriffs, who, giving a Receipt for his Body, conveyed him in another coach (hired for the two former Lords, Kilmarnock and Balmerino) to the said House close to the Scaffold, in which (the House) was a room lined with Black Cloth and hung with Sconces.

A gentleman of a Pious Mien here beginning to read a Prayer for him, he bade me help him up that he might Kneel. One of the Sheriffs then asked him if he would take a Glass of Wine; but he said that he would prefer Negus. But there was no warm water, unhappily, at hand, and says his Lordship, with his old Grin, "The warm bluid is nae tappit yet;" so they brought him a glass of burnt brandy-and-bitters, which he drank with great Gusto.

He desired that all his Clothes should be given to his friends, together with his Corpse, remarking that for such end he would give the Executioner Ten instead of Five guineas, which is the customary Compliment. To each of the dozen Warders there present he gave a Jacobus; to Miles Bandolier fifty[302] shillings; and on myself, who had specially attended on him ever since he was first brought to the Tower, he bestowed Five gold pieces. As I touched the money, he clapped me on the shoulder, and says in his comical way,

"I warrant, now, that beef and pudding would sit as easy under thy laced jerkin were 'J. R.,' and not 'G. R.,' blazoned on thee, back and breast."

But anon a light cloud passed over his visage, and I heard him mutter to himself in the Scottish dialect, "Beef and pudding! 'tis cauld kail for Fraser the morn."

Then turning to the Sheriffs, he desired that his Head might be received in a Cloth and put into the Coffin, the which they promised him; likewise that (if it could be done without censure) the ceremony of holding up the Head at the Four Corners of the Scaffold should be dispensed with. His Lordship seemed now indeed very weak in his Body, albeit in no way disconcerted as to his Mind; and, as Miles Bandolier and your Humble[303] Servant escorted him up the steps of the Scaffold, he looked around, and gazing upon the immense concourse of people,

"God save us!" says he; "why should there be such a bustle about taking off ane gray head, that cannot get up Three Steps without Three Bodies to support it?"

From which it will be seen that his Lordship had a Merry Humour unto the last.

No sooner was he on the fatal Platform than, seeing me (as he condescended to think) much dejected, he claps me on the shoulder again, saying, "Cheer up thy heart, laddie in scarlet. I am not afraid; why should you?"

Then he asks for the Executioner,—that was none other, indeed, than Jack Ketch, the Common Hangman, dressed up in black, with a Mask on, for the days of Gentlemen Headsmen have long since passed away; though some would have it that this was a Surgeon's Apprentice, that dwelt close to their Hall in the Old Bailey, and turned Executioner for a Frolic; but I am sure it[304] was Ketch, for he came afterwards to the Stone Kitchen, wanting to treat all present to Drink; but the meanest Grenadier there would have none of the Hangman's liquor, for all that the Blood on his jerkin was that of a Lord; and the fellow grew so impertinent at last, that we Warders were constrained to turn him out of the Fortress, and forbid him to return under pain of a Drubbing. "I shall see you no more in the Tower," quoth the impudent rascal; "but, by ——, you shall all of you meet me at Tyburn some day, and I'll sell your laced doublets in Rosemary Lane after that your throttles are twisted." But to resume. Lord Lovat gave this murderous wretch with the Axe Ten Guineas in a Purse. Then he felt the edge of the Instrument itself, and said very quietly that he "thought it would do." Soon after, he rose from an Armchair which had been placed for him, and walks round and round his Coffin, which was covered with Black Velvet, studded with Silver Nails, and this Inscription on it (the which I copied off on my Tablets at the time):[305]

Simon Dominus Fraser de Lovat,
Decollat. April 9, 1747.
Ætat. suæ 80.
Then he sat down again, and recited some Latin words which I did not understand, but was afterwards told they were from Horace, and signified that it is a sweet and proper thing to Die for one's Country; at the which a Wag in one of the Gazettes of the time must needs turn this decorous Sentiment into Ridicule, and compose an Epigram insulting Misfortune, to this Effect:—
"With justice may Lovat this adage apply,
For the good of their country All criminals die."
Then did the unfortunate Nobleman desire all the people to stand off except his two Warders, who again supported him while he prayed; after which he calls up his Solicitor and Agent in Scotland, Mr. Wm. Fraser, and, presenting his Gold-headed Cane to him, said, "I deliver you this cane in token of my sense of your faithful services, and of my committing to you all the power I have upon earth;" which is a Scotch fashion, I believe, when they are Executed. And with this he[306] kissed him upon both cheeks; for this Lord was much given to hugging and slobbering.

He also calls for Mr. James Fraser, likewise a Kinsman (and these Northern Lords seem to have them by Hundreds), and says, "My dear Jamie, I'm gaun to Haiv'n; but ye must e'en crawl a wee langer in this evil Warld." And with this, the old Grin.

Then he took off his Hat, Wig, and Upper Clothes, and delivered them to Mr. W. F., charging him to see that the Executioner did not touch them. He ordered his Nightcap to be put on, and unloosing his Neckcloth and the Collar of his Shirt, he kneeled down at the Block, and pulled the Cloth which was to receive his Head close to him; but he being too near that fatal Billet, the Executioner desired him to remove a little further Back, which, with our assistance, was Immediately done; and his Neck being properly placed, he told the Headsman he would say a short Prayer, and then give the Signal by dropping his Handkerchief. In this posture he remained about Half a Minute. Then, throwing[307] down the Kerchief, the Executioner, at one Blow, severed his Head from his Body. Then was a dreadful Crimson Shower of Gore all around; and many and many a time at the Playhouse have I thought upon that Crimson Cascade on Tower Hill, when, in the tragedy of Macbeth, the wicked Queen talks of "the old man having so much blood in him."

The Corpse was put into the Coffin, and so into the Hearse, and was carried back to the Tower. At four o'clock came an Undertaker from Holborn Hill, very fine, with many mourning coaches full of Scots gentlemen, and fetched away the Body, in order to be sent to Scotland, and deposited in his own Tomb at Kirkhill. But leave not being given by Authority as was expected, it was again brought back to the Tower, and buried by the side of Kilmarnock and Balmerino, close to the Communion-rails in the little church of St. Peter-on-the-Green, where so much Royal and Noble Dust doth moulder away.

Memorandum.—The Block on which this[308] Nobleman suffered was but a common Billet of Oak wood, such as Butchers use, and hollowed out for the purpose of accommodating the neck; but it had not been stowed away in the White Tower for a month before it was shown to the Public for Money, and passed as the Block whereon Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded. So with the Axe, which was declared to be the one used in decapitating K. C. 1st; but there's not a word of truth in the whole story. The Block was hewn and the Axe was forged after the '45, and specially for the doing of justice on the Rebel Lords.

Note also that Lord Lovat left it in a Codicil to his Will that all the Pipers from Jonie Groat's house to Edinburgh were to play before his Corpse, and have a handsome allowance in Meal and Whisky (on which this sort of People mostly live) for so doing. Likewise that all the good old Women of his county were to sing what they call a Coronach over him. And indeed Women, both young and old, are so good when there's any thing pitiful to be done,[309] that I make no doubt that the Coronach would have been sung if the old Rebel had gone back to Scotland; and if there were found those to weep for Nero, I see no reason why some tears should not have been shed for Simon, Lord Lovat.

But there is no denying, after all, that Simon Fraser was a very complete Scoundrel. His whole life, indeed, had been but one series of Crimes, one calendar of Frauds, one tissue of Lies. For at least seventy out of his eighty years of life he had been cheating, cogging, betraying, and doing the Devil's service upon earth; and who shall say that his end was undeserved? A Scots Lord of his acquaintance was heard to say that he deserved to be hung twenty times in twenty places for twenty heinous Crimes that he had committed; and let this be borne in mind, that this was the same Lord Lovat that, as Captain Fraser, and being then a Young Man, was outlawed for a very atrocious Act of Violence that he had committed upon a young Lady of Fashion and Figure, whom he carried away (with the aid[310] of a Band of his brutal Retainers) in the dead of night, married by Force, with the assistance of a hireling Priest of his, cutting the very clothes off her body with his Dirk, and bidding his Pipers strike up to drown her cries. And yet such a Ruffian as he undoubtedly was could maintain an appearance of a facete disposition to the last; and he seems to have taken great pains to quit the Stage, not only with Decency, but with that Dignity which is thought to distinguish the Good Conscience and the Noble Mind. There is only one more thing to be set down, and that is one that I, being the Warder who (with Bandolier) attended him throughout his confinement, can vouch for the truth of. It was falsely said at the time that this Lord sought to defraud the Axe by much drinking of Wine: now I can aver that while in custody he never drank above two pints a day; and the report may have arisen from the considerable quantities of Brandy and Rum which were used, night and morning, to bathe his poor feet and legs.[311]

Now, Tranquillity being happily restored to these Kingdoms, and the Chevalier safely gotten away to France (whither, however, that luckless young Man was expelled, and in a very ignominious manner, at the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle), I do confess that I began to weary somewhat of my fine Red Doublet, and of the Rosettes in my shoes; and although my Loyalty to King George and the Protestant Succession was without stain, I felt that it was somewhat beneath the dignity of a Gentleman Cavalier to dangle all day beneath a Portcullis with a Partisan on one's shoulder, or act as Bear Leader to the Joskins and simpering City Madams that came to see the Curiosities. And I felt my own roaming Fit come upon me as fierce as ever, and longed to be off to Foreign Parts again. I could have taken service under the Duke of Cumberland in the wars of Germany, and could have procured, perhaps, a pair of Colours in his Royal Highness's army; but, odd to relate, ever since my Misadventure at Vienna what time I was in little Squire Pinchin's service, I had[312] conceived a great Distaste for those High Dutch countries, and cared not to go a campaigning there. Then there was fighting going on, and to spare, in Italy, where the Austrians were doing their best to reduce Genoa, the French opposing 'em tooth and nail. But I misliked the Germans as well as their country, and saw not the Profit of getting shot under the command of an Austrian Archduke. There were many other Continental countries open to the enterprise of Gentlemen Adventurers from England, but in most of them only Papists would go down; and to turn Romanist, for whatever reward of Place or Dignity, was against my principles.

Pending, however, my coming to some Determination as to my future mode of life, I resolved to throw up my Post of Tower Warder receiving the gratuity of Twenty Guineas which was granted to those resigning by the bounty of his Majesty the King. Those who state that I left my Employment in any thing like Disgrace are surely the vilest Traducers and Libellers that ever deserved[313] to have their tongues bored through with a Red-hot Iron; but I do not mind myself admitting that my situation had become somewhat unpleasant, and that I was sufficiently anxious to change the scene of my Adventures. There was a certain Waiting-maid belonging to Madam Williamson (that was General Williamson's lady, Military Commandant) who had long cast Sheep's Eyes upon me. I declare that I gave the Lass no encouragement; but what would you have? I was in the prime of life, and she a buxom kind of Wench, about twenty-two years of age. 'Twas following me here, and ogling me there, and leaving love-billets and messages for me at the Guard-Room. I will not deny but that from time to time I may have passed a jest with the girl, nay, given her some few trinkums, and now and then treated her to chocolate or sweet wine at Marylebone Gardens or the Flask at Hampstead. You may be sure that on these occasions I did not wear my Antiquated costume as a Tower Warder, but a blue Culloden frock, gold-corded, and[314] with crown buttons; a scarlet waistcoat and breeches; a hat with a military cock; and a neat hanger by my side. By drawers, masters of the games, and others, I was now always known as Captain.

Had I not been exceedingly wary and circumspect in all my dealings with this Waiting-Woman,—poor thing! her name was Prue,—the affair might have ended badly; and there might have been Rendezvous on the ramparts, moonlight trysts on the Tower Green, and the like Follies. But I saw that our Flirtation must not be permitted to go any further. The Commandant's wife, indeed, had come to hear of it; and, sending for me to her Parlour, must needs ask me what my Intentions were towards her Maid. "Madam," I answered, taking off my hat, and making her a very low bow, "I am a soldier; and I never knew a soldier yet that Intended any thing; all he does is without any Intention at all." Upon which she bade me to go for an Impudent fellow; and I doubt not, had I been under her Husband's orders, would have had me set upon the Picket[315] on the Parade for my free speaking; but we Tower Warders were not amenable to such Slavish Discipline; and, indeed, General Williamson, who stood by, was pleased to laugh heartily at my answer, and gave me a crown to drink the King's health, bidding me, however, take care what I was about, and see that the poor girl came to no Hurt. And I being at that time somewhat chary of imperilling my Independence, and minded to take neither a Wife nor a Mistress, thought the very best thing I could do was to kiss, shake hands, and Part, lest worse should come of it.




[A] Captain Dangerous! Captain Dangerous!—Ed.

[B] That which I have made Captain Dangerous relate in fiction will be found narrated, act for act, and nearly word for word, in the very unromantic evidence given before the first parliamentary committee on slavery and the slave-trade moved for by Mr. Clarkson.—Ed.

[C] Vide Stedman's Surinam.

[D] Dean of Myddelton's Evidence, Clarkson's Committee.

[E] Had Captain Dangerous written his memoirs a few years later, he might have found cause to alter his opinion respecting the wisdom of George III. in refusing to grant the American demands.

[F] And yet Captain Dangerous is a stanch opponent of Reform.—Ed.

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Spelling being fluid in Captain Dangerous' life, only the most obvious typographical errors were repaired.

Varied hyphenation includes: Guard-house and Guardhouse; pottle-pot and pottlepot; stand-still and standstill; and Train-bands and Trainbands.

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.