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to the houses of the great; but it had frequently been her misfortune to be turned out of doors, at a time when she was promising herself an elegant entertainment, or a bed of down to rest upon.
Modesty had been excluded from all such houses, and compelled to take shelter in the cottages of the poor; where, though she had leave to continue as long as she pleased, a truss of straw had been her usual bed, and roots or the coarsest provision her constant repast. But as both, by this accidental meeting, were become friends and fellow travellers, they entertained hopes of assisting each other, and of shortening the way by dividing the cares of it.
Assurance, who was dressed lightly in a summer silk and short petticoats, and who had something commanding in her voice and presence, found the same easy access as before to the castles and palaces upon the way; while Modesty, who followed her in a russet gown, speaking low, and casting her eyes upon the ground, was as usual pushed back by the porter at the gate, till introduced by her companion; whose fashionable appearance and familiar address got admission for both.
And now, by the endeavours of each to support the other, their difficulties vanished, and they saw themselves the favourites of all companies, and the parties of their pleasures, festivals and amusements. The sallies of Assurance were continually checked by the delicacy of Modesty, and the blushes of Modesty were frequently relieved by the vivacity of Assurance; who, though she was sometimes detected at her old pranks, which always put ber companion out of countenance, was yet so awed by her presence, as to stop short of offence.
Thus in the company of Modesty, Assurance gained that reception and esteem which she had vainly hoped for in her absence; while Modesty,
by means of her new acquaintance, kept the best company, feasted upon delicacies, and slept in the chambers of state. “Assurance, indeed, had in one particular the ascendancy over her companion; for if any one asked Modesty whose daughter she was, she blushed and made no answer; while Assurance took the advantage of her silence, and imposed herself upon the world as the offspring of Knowledge.
In this manner did the travellers pursue their journey ; Assurance taking the lead through the great towns and cities, and apologizing for the rusticity of her companion; while Modesty went foremost through the villages and hamlets, and excused the odd behaviour of Assurance, by presenting her as a courtier.
It happened one day, after having measured a tedious length of road, that they came to a narrow river, which by a hasty swell had washed away the bridge that was built over it. As they stood upon the bank, casting their eyes upon the opposite shore, they saw at a little distance a magnificent castle, and a crowd of people inviting them to come
Assurance, who stopt at nothing, throwing aside the covering from her limbs, plunged almost naked into the stream, and swam safely to the other side. Modesty, offended at the indecency of her companion, and diffident of her own strength, would have declined the danger ; but being urged by Assurance, and derided for her cowardice
by the people on the other side, she unfortunately ventured beyond her depth, and oppressed by her fears, as well as entangled by her clothes, which were bound tightly about her, immediately disappeared, and was driven by the current none knows whither. It is said, indeed, that she was afterwards taken up alive by a fisherman upon the English coast, and
that shortly she will be brought to the metropolis, and shown to the curious of both sexes with the surprising Oronuto Savage, and the wonderful Panther-Mare.
Assurance, not in the least daunted, pursued her journey alone ; and though not altogether as successfully as with her companion, yet having learnt in particular companies, and upon particular occasions, to assume the air and manner of Modesty, she was received kindly at every house; and at last arriving at the end of her travels, she became a very great lady, and rose to be first maid of honour to the queen of the country.
No. 3. THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 1753.
TO MR. FITZ-ADAM.
SIR, " IF I had inclination and ability to do the cruelest thing upon earth to the man I hated, I would lay him under the necessity of borrowing money of a friend.
“ You are to know, Sir, that I am curate of a parish within ten miles of town, at forty pounds per annum; that I am five-and-thirty years old, and that I have a wife and two children. My father, who was a clergyman of some note in the country, unfortunately died soon after I came from college, and left me master of seventeen hundred pounds. With this sum, which I thought a very great one, I came up to town, took lodgings in Leicester Fields, put a narrow lace upon my frock, learnt to dance of Denoyer, bought my shoes of Tull, my sword of Becket, my hat of Wagner, and my snuffbox of Deard. In short I entered into the spirit of taste, and was looked upon as a fashionable young fellow. I do not mean that I was really so, according to the town-acceptation of the term; for I had as great an aversion to infidelity, libertinism, gaming, and drunkenness, as the most unfashionable man alive. All that my enemies, or what is more, all that
my friends can say against me, is, that in my dress I rather imitated the coxcomb than the sloven; that I preferred good company to reading the fathers; that I liked a dinner at the tavern better than one at a private house; that I was oftener at the play than at evening prayers; that I usually went from the play to the tavern again ; and that in five years time I spent every shilling of my fortune. They may also add, if they please, as the climax of my follies, that when I was worth nothing myself, I married the most amiable woman in the world, without a penny to her fortune, only because we loved each other to distraction, and were miserable asunder.
“ To the whole of this charge I plead guilty; and have most heartly repented of every article of it except the last: I am indeed a little apprehensive that my wife is my predominant passion, and that I shall carry it with me to the grave.
“ I had contracted an intimacy at college with a young fellow, whose taste, age, and inclinations were exactly suited to my own. Nor did this in. timacy end with our studies; we renewed it in town; and as our fortunes were pretty equal, and both of us our own masters, we lodged in the same house, dressed in the same manner,
followed the same diversions, spent all we had, and were ruined together. My friend, whose genius was more enterprizing than mine, steered his course to the West Indies, while I entered into holy orders at home, and was ordained to the curacy abovementioned.
“ At the end of two years I married, as I told you before; and being a wit as well as a parson, I made a shift by pamphlets, poems, sermons, and surplice fees, to increase my income to about a hundred a year,
“ I think I shall pay a compliment to my wife's economy, when I assure you, that notwithstanding the narrowness of our fortune, we did not run out above ten pounds a year : for if it be considered that we had both been used to company and good living; that the largest part of our income was precarious, and consequently if we starved ourselves we were not sure of laying up; that as an author I was vain, and as a parson ambitious; always imagining that my wit would introduce me to the minister, or my orthodoxy to the bishop; and exclusive of these circumstances, if it be also considered that we were generous in our natures, and charitable to the poor, it will be rather a wonder that we spent so little.
“ It is now five years and a quarter since our marriage; in all which time I have been running in debt without a possibility of helping it. Last Christmas I took a survey of my circumstances, and had the mortification to find that I was fifty-one pounds fifteen shillings worse than nothing. The uneasiness I felt upon this discovery determined me to sit down and write a tragedy. I soon found a fable to my mind, and was making a considerable progress in the work, when I received intelligence that my old friend and companion was just returned from Jamaica, where he had married a planter's widow of immense fortune, buried her, and farmed out the estate she had left him for two