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brought the horse with them which he left behind, he answered-Bless me, and so I did.
Adams was very desirous that Joseph and Fanny should mount this horse, and declared he could very easily walk home. "If I walked alone,' says he, 'I • would wage a shilling, that the pedestrian outstripped
the equestrian travellers; but as I intend to take the • company of a pipe, peradventure I may be an hour • later.' One of the servants whispered Joseph to take him at his word, and suffer the old put to walk if he would : this proposal was answered with an angry look and a peremptory refusal by Joseph, who, catching Fanny up in his arms, averred he would rather carry her home in that manner, than take away Mr. Adams's horse and permit him to walk on foot.
Perhaps, reader, thou hast seen a contest between two gentlemen or two ladies quickly decided, though they have both asserted they would not eat such a nice morsel, and each insisted on the other's accepting it; but in reality both were very desirous to swallow it themselves. Do not therefore conclude hence, that this dispute would have come to a speedy decision : for here both parties were heartily in earnest, and it is very probable they would have remained in the inn yard to this day, had not the good Peter Pounce put a stop to it; for finding he had no longer hopes of satisfying his old appetite with Fanny, and being desirous of having some one to whom he might communicate his grandeur, he told the parson he would convey him home in his chariot. This favour was by Adams, with many bows and acknowledgments, accepted, though he afterwards said, he ascended the chariot rather that he might not offend, than from any desire of riding in it, for that in his heart he preferred the pedestrian even to the vehicular expedition. All matters being now settled, the chariot, in which rode
Adams and Pounce, moved forwards; and Joseph having borrowed a pillion from the host, Fanny had just seated herself thereon, and had laid hold of the girdle which her lover wore for that purpose, when the wise beast, who concluded that one at a time was sufficient, that two to one were odds, &c. discovered much uneasiness at his double load, and began to consider his hinder as his fore legs, moving the direct contrary way to that which is called forwards. Nor could Joseph, with all his horsemanship, persuade him to advance; but without having any regard to the lovely part of the lovely girl which was on his back, he used such agitations, that had not one of the men come immediately to her assistance, she had, in plain English, tumbled backwards on the ground. This inconvenience was presently remedied by an exchange of horses ; and then Fanny, being again placed on her pillion, on a better-natured, and somewhat a better-fed beast, the parson's horse finding he had no longer odds to contend with, agreed to march ; and the whole procession set forwards for Booby-Hall, where they arrived in a few hours without any thing remarkable happening on the road, unless it was a curious dialogue between the parson and the steward; which, to use the language of a late Apologist, a pattern to all biographers, waits for the reader in the next chapter.'
CHAPTER XIII. A curious dialogue which passed between Mr. Abraham
Adams and Mr. Peter Pounce, better worth reading than all the works of Colley Cibber and many others. The chariot had not proceeded far, before Mr. Adams observed it was a very fine day. “Ay, and a very fine
• country too,' answered Pounce.-- I should think so more,' returned Adams, 'if I had not lately travelled
over the Downs, which I take to exceed this and all other prospects in the universe.' – A fig for prospects,' answered Pounce; 'one acre here is worth ten there; • and for my own part, I have no delight in the prospect
of any land but my own.'— Sir,' said Adams, 'you can 'indulge yourself with many fine prospects of that kind.' _' I thank God I have a little,' replied the other, with
which I am content, and envy no man: I have a little, • Mr. Adams, with which I do as much good as I can.' Adams answered, That riches without charity were nothing worth; for that they were a blessing only to him who made them a blessing to others.— You and I,' said Peter, “have different notions of charity. I own, as it is
generally used, I do not like the word, nor do I think it ' becomes one of us gentlemen; it is a mean parson-like " quality; though I would not infer many parsons have it neither.' 'Sir,' said Adams, 'my definition of charity
is, a generous disposition to relieve the distressed.' — • There is something in that definition,' answered Peter, ' which I like well enough ; it is, as you say, a disposition, and does not so much consist in the act as in the disposition
to do it; but, alas! Mr. Adams, who are meant by the • distressed ? Believe me, the distresses of mankind are • mostly imaginary, and it would be rather folly than goodness to relieve them.' 'Sure, Sir,' replied Adams,
hunger and thirst, cold and nakedness, and other dis• tresses which attend the poor, can never be said to be 'imaginary evils.' 'How can any man complain of
hunger,' said Peter, 'in a country where such excellent • salads are to be gathered in almost every field ? or of "thirst, where every river and stream produces such de'licious potations ? And as for cold and nakedness, they ' are evils introduced by luxury and custom. A man 'naturally wants clothes no more than a horse or any
other animal; and there are whole nations who go without them : but these are things perhaps which you, who do not know the world '- You will pardon me, Sir,' returned Adams; I have read of the Gymnosophists.' -— • A plague of your Jehosaphats, cried Peter; "the greatest fault in our constitution is the provision made for the poor, except that perhaps made for some others. Sir, I have not an estate which doth not contribute almost as much again to the poor as to the land-tax; and I do assure you I expect to come myself to the parish in the
end.' To which Adams giving a dissenting smile, Peter thus proceeded : 'I fancy, Mr. Adams, you are one of
those who imagine I am a lump of money ; for there are many who, I fancy, believe that not only my pockets, but my whole clothes, are lined with bankbills; but I assure you, you are all mistaken; I am not the man the world esteems me. If I can hold my head above water, it is all I can. I have injured myself by
purchasing. I have been too liberal of my money. 'Indeed, I fear my heir will find my affairs in a worse situation than they are reputed to be. Ah! he will have reason to wish I had loved money more, and land less. 'Pray, my good neighbour, where should I have that quantity of riches the world is so liberal to bestow on me? Where could I possibly, without I had stole it, " acquire such a treasure ?' _ Why truly,' says Adams, ' I have been always of your opinion; I have wondered
as well as yourself with what confidence they could report such things of you, which have to me appeared 'as mere impossibilities; for you know, Sir, and I have
often heard you say it, that your wealth is of your own * acquisition; and can it be credible that in your short
time you should have amassed such a heap of treasure 'as these people will have you worth ? Indeed, had you "inherited an estate like Sir Thomas Booby, which had
· descended in your family for many generations, they "might have had a colour for their assertions.'—Why,
what do they say I am worth ?' cries Peter with a malicious sneer. 'Sir,' answered Adams, 'I have heard "some aver you are not worth less than twenty thousand • pounds. At which Peter frowned. 'Nay, Sir,' said Adams, “you ask me only the opinion of others; for my • own part I have always denied it, nor did I ever believe ' you could possibly be worth half that sum.'-'How
ever, Mr. Adams, said he, squeezing him by the hand, "I would not sell them all I am worth for double that • sum; and as to what you believe, or they believe, I
care not a fig, no not a fart. I am not poor because ' you think me so, nor because you attempt to under" value me in the country. I know the envy of mankind - very well; but I thank heaven I am above them. It is
true, my wealth is of my own acquisition. I have not an estate like Sir Thomas Booby, that has descended in 'my family through many generations; but I know heirs of such estates who are forced to travel about the country like some people in torn cassocks, and might be
glad to accept of a pitiful curacy for what I know. Yes, “Sir, as shabby fellows as yourself, whom no man of my ' figure, without that vice of good nature about him, • would suffer to ride in a chariot with him.'-- Sir,' said Adams, 'I value not your chariot of a rush ; and if I • had known you had intended to affront me, I would ' have walked to the world's end on foot ere I would have • accepted a place in it. However, Sir, I will soon rid • you of that inconvenience;' and so saying he opened the chariot-door, without calling to the coachman, and leapt out into the highway, forgetting to take his hat along with him; which, however, Mr. Pounce threw after him with great violence. Joseph and Fanny stopt to bear him company the rest of the way, which was not above a mile.