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'mons, are the properest to lose by printing them: for 'my part, the copy that sells best will be always the 'best copy in my opinion; I am no enemy to sermons, 'but because they don't sell: for I would as soon print 'one of Whitefield's, as any farce whatever.'
'Whoever prints such heterodox stuff ought to be 'hang'd,' says Barnabas. 'Sir,' said he, turning to Adams, 'this fellow's writings (I know not whether 'you have seen them) are levelled at the clergy. He 'would reduce us to the example of the primitive ages, 'forsooth! and would insinuate to the people, that a 'clergyman ought to be always preaching and praying. 'He pretends to understand the Scripture literally; and 'would make mankind believe, that the poverty and 'low estate which was recommended to the church in 'its infancy, and was only temporary doctrine adapted 'to her under persecution, was to be preserved in her 'flourishing and established state. Sir, the principles 'of Toland, Woolston, and all the freethinkers, are not 'calculated to do half the mischief, as those professed 'by this fellow and his followers.'
'Sir,' answered Adams, 'if Mr. Whitefield had carried 'his doctrine no farther than you mention, I should 'have remained, as I once was, his well-wisher. I am, 'myself, as great an enemy to the luxury and splendour 'of the clergy as he can be. I do not, more than he, 'by the flourishing estate of the church, understand 'the palaces, equipages, dress, furniture, rich dainties, 'and vast fortunes, of her ministers. Surely those things, 'which savour so strongly of this world, become not 'the servants of one who professed his kingdom was 'not of it; but when he began to call nonsense and 'enthusiasm to his aid, and set up the detestable doc'trine of faith against good works, I was his friend no 'longer; for surely that doctrine was coined in hell; and one would think none but the devil himself could have the confidence to preach it. For can any thing be more derogatory to the honour of God, than for men to imagine that the all-wise Being will hereafter say to the good and virtuous, "Notwithstanding the "purity of thy life, notwithstanding- that constant rule "of virtue and goodness, in which thou walkest upon '' earth, still, as thou didst not believe every thing in "the true orthodox manner, thy want of faith shall "condemn thee?" Or, on the other side, can any doctrine have a more pernicious influence on society, than a persuasion, that it will be a good plea for the villain, at the last day;—" Lord, it is true, I never "obeyed one of thy commandments, yet punish me "not, for I believe them all?"—'I suppose, Sir,' said the bookseller, 'your sermons are of a different kind.'—' Ay, Sir,' said Adams; 'the contrary, I thank Heaven, is inculcated in almost every page, or I should belie my own opinion, which hath always been, that a virtuous and good Turk, or Heathen, are more acceptable in the sight of their Creator, than a vicious and wicked Christian, though his faith was as perfectly orthodox as St. Paul himself.' -' I wish you success,' says the bookseller, 'but must beg to be excused, as my hands are so very full at present; and, indeed, I am afraid you will find a backwardness in the trade to engage in a book which the clergy would be certain to cry down.—' God forbid,' says Adams, ' any books should be propagated which the clergy would cry down; but if you mean by the clergy, some few designing factious men, who have it at heart to establish some favourite schemes at the price of the liberty of mankind, and the very essence of religion, it is not in the power of such persons to decry any book they please; witness that excellent book
'called, "A Plain Account of the Nature and End of
'"the Sacrament; " a book written (if I may venture on
'the expression) with the pen of an angel, and calculated
'to restore the true use of Christianity, and of that
'sacred institution; for what could tend more to the noble
'purposes of religion, than frequent cheerful meetings
'among the members of a society, in which they should,
'in the presence of one another, and in the service of the
'Supreme Being, make promises of being good, friendly,
'and benevolent to each other? Now, this excellent
'book was attacked by a party, but unsuccessfully.' At
these words Barnabas fell a ringing with all the violence
imaginable; upon which a servant attending, he bid him
bring a bill immediately; for that he was in company,
for aught he knew, with the devil himself; and he
expected to hear the Alcoran, the Leviathan, or
Woolston commended, if he staid a few minutes longer.'
Adams desired, 'As he was so much moved at his
mentioning a book, which he did without apprehending
any possibility of offence, that he would be so kind to
propose any objection he had to it, which he would
endeavour to answer.'—' I propose objections!' said
Barnabas, ' I never read a syllable in any such wicked
'book; I never saw it in my life, I assure you.'—Adams
was going to answer, when a most hideous uproar began in
the inn. Mrs. Tow-wouse, Mr. Tow-wouse, and Betty,
all lifting up their voices together; but Mrs. Tow
wouse's voice, like a bass viol in a concert, was clearly
and distinctly distinguished among the rest, and was
heard to articulate the following sounds:—' O you
'damn'd villain! is this the return to all the care I have
'taken of your family? This the reward of my virtue?
'Is this the manner in which you behave to one who
'brought you a fortune, and preferred you to so many
'matches, all your betters? To abuse my bed, my own
Vol. v. H 'bed, with my own servant! but I'll maul the slut, I'll 'tear her nasty eyes out; was ever such a pitiful dog, to 'take up with such a mean trollop? If she had been a 'gentlewoman, like myself, it had been some excuse; but 'a beggarly, saucy, dirty servant maid. Get you out of 'my house, you whore.' To which she added another name, which we do not care to stain our paper with. It was a monosyllable beginning with a b—, and indeed was the same, as if she had pronounced the words, She dog. Which term we shall, to avoid offence, use on this occasion, though indeed both the mistress and the maid uttered the above-mentioned b—, a word, extremely disgustful to females of the lower sort. Betty had borne all hitherto with patience, and had uttered only lamentations: but the last appellation stung her to the quick. 'I 'am a woman as well as yourself,' she roar'd out,'and no 'she dog; and if I have been a little naughty, I am not 'the first; if I have been no better than I should be,' cries she, sobbing, 'that's no reason you should call me 'out of my name: my be-betters are wo-rse than me.'— 'Huzzy, huzzy,' says Mrs. Tow-wouse, 'have you the 'impudence to answer me? Did I not catch you, you 'saucy'—and then again repeated the terrible word so odious to female ears. 'I can't bear that name,' answered Betty: 'if I have been wicked, I am to answer 'for it myself in the other world; but I have done 'nothing that's unnatural; and I will go out of your 'house this moment; for I will never be called she dog 'by any mistress in England.' Mrs. Tow-wouse then armed herself with the spit, but was prevented from executing any dreadful purpose by Mr. Adams, who confined her arms with the strength of a wrist which Hercules would not have been ashamed of. Mr. Towwouse being caught, as our lawyers express it, with the manner, and having no defence to make, very prudently withdrew himself; and Betty committed herself to the protection of the hostler, who, though she could not conceive him pleased with what had happened, was. in her opinion, rather a gentler beast than her mistress.
Mrs. Tow-wouse, at the intercession of Mr. Adams, and finding the enemy vanished, began to compose herself, and at length recovered the usual serenity of her temper, in which we will leave her, to open to the reader the steps which led to a catastrophe, common enough, and comical enough too perhaps, in modern history, yet often fatal to the repose and well-being of families, and the subject of many tragedies, both in life and on the stage.
The history of Betty the chambermaid, and an account of what occasioned the violent scene in the preceding chapter,
Betty, who was the occasion of all this hurry, had some good qualities. She had good-nature, generosity, and compassion, but unfortunately her constitution was composed of those warm ingredients, which, though the purity of courts or nunneries might have happily controuled them, were by no means able to endure the ticklish situation of a chambermaid at an inn; who is daily liable to the solicitations of lovers of all complexions; to the dangerous addresses of fine gentlemen of the army, who sometimes are obliged to reside with them a whole year together; and, above all, are exposed to the caresses of footmen, stage-coachmen, and drawers;