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ing to Adams,) abused either by man or beast; and having so said, both he and Adams brandished their wooden weapons, and put themselves into such a posture, that the squire and his company thought proper to preponderate, before they offered to revenge the cause of their four-footed allies. At this instant Fanny, whom the apprehension of Joseph's danger had alarmed so much, that, forgetting her own, she had made the utmost expedition, came up. The squire and all the horsemen were so surprised with her beauty, that they immediately fixed both their eyes and thoughts solely on her, every one declaring he had never seen so charming a creature. Neither mirth nor anger engaged them a moment longer, but all sat in silent amaze. The huntsman only was free from her attraction, who was busy in cutting the ears of the dogs, and endeavouring to recover them to life; in which he succeeded so well, that only two of no great note remained slaughtered on the field of action. Upon this the huntsman declared, ‘’Twas well it was no worse; for his part he could not blame the gentleman, and wondered his master would encourage the dogs to hunt Christians; that it was the surest way to spoil them, to make them follow vermin instead of sticking to a hare.” The squire being informed of the little mischief that had been done, and perhaps having more mischief of another kind in his head, accosted Mr. Adams with a more favourable aspect than before : he told him he was sorry for what had happened; that he had endeavoured all he could to prevent it the moment he was acquainted with his cloth, and greatly commended the courage of his servant, for so he imagined Joseph to be. He then invited Mr. Adams to dinner, and desired the young woman might come with him. Adams refused a long while ; but the invitation was repeated with so much earnestness and courtesy, that at length he was forced to accept it. His wig and hat, and other spoils of the field, being gathered together by Joseph, (for otherwise, probably, they would have been forgotten,) he put himself into the best order he could ; and then the horse and foot moved forward in the same pace towards the squire's house, which stood at a very little distance. Whilst they were on the road, the lovely Fanny attracted the eyes of all; they endeavoured to outvie one another in encomiums on her beauty: which the reader will pardon my not relating, as they had not any thius' new or uncommon in them : so must he likewise my not setting down the many curious jests which were made on Adams; some of them declaring that parson-hunting was the best sport in the world: others commending his standing at bay,
which they said he had done as well as any badger; with such like merriment, which though it would ill become the dignity of this Thistory, afforded much laughter and diversion to the squire and his facetious companions.
..? scene of roasting very nicely adapted to the present taste and times. They arrived at the squire's house just as his dinner was ready. A little dispute arose on the account of Fanny, whom the squire, who was a bachelor, was desirous to place at his own table; but she would not consent, nor would Mr. Adams permit her to be parted from Joseph ; so that she was at length with him consigned over to the kitchen, where the servants were ordered to make him drunk; a favour which was likewise intended for Adams; which desi being executed, the squire thought he . easily accomplish what he had, when he first saw her, intended to perpetrate with Fanny. It may not be improper, before we proceed farther, to open a little the character of this gentleman, and that of his friends. The master of this house, then, was a man of a very considerable fortune; a bachelor, as we have said, and about forty years of age: he had been educated, (if we may use the expression,) in the country, and at his own home, under the care of his mother and a tutor, who had orders never to correct him, nor to compel him to learn more than he liked, which it seems was very little, and that only in his childhood: for from the age of fifteen he addicted himself entirely to hunting and other rural amusements, for which his mother took care to equip him with horses, hounds, and all other necessaries; and his tutor, endeavouring to ingratiate himself with his young pupil, who would, he knew, be able handsomely to provide for him, became his companion, not only at these exercises, but likewise over a bottle, which the young squire had a very early relish for. At the age of twenty, his mother began to think she had not fulfilled the duty of a parent; she therefore resolved to persuade her son, if possible, to that which she imagined would well supply all that he might have learned at a public school or university,+this is what they commonly call travelling; which, with the help of the tutor, who was fixed on to attend him, she easily succeeded in. He made in three years the tour of Furope, as they term it, and returned home well furnished with French clothes, phrases, and servants, with a hearty contempt for his own country: especially what had any savour of the plain spirit and
honesty of our ancestors. His mother greatly applauded herself at his return. And now being master of his own fortune, he soon procured himself a seat in parliament, and was in the common opinion one of the finest gentlemen of his age: but what disti iš. him chiefly, was a strange delight which he took in everything which is ridiculous, odious, and absurd in his own species; so that he never chose a companion without one or more of these ingredients, and those who were marked by nature in the most eminent degree with them, were most his favourites. If he ever found a man who either had not, or endeavoured to conceal, these impersections, he took great F. in inventing methods of forcing im into absurdities which were not natural to him, or in drawing forth and exposing those that were; for which purpose he was always provided with a set of fellows, whom we have before called curs, and who did, indeed, no great honour to the canine kind; their business was to hunt out and display every thing that had any savour of the above-mentioned qualities, and especially in the gravest and best characters; but if they failed in their search, they were to turn even virtue and wisdom themselves into ridicule, for the diversion of their master and feeder. The gentlemen of curlike disposition who were now at his house, and whom he had brought with him from London, were, an old half-pay officer, a player, a dull poet, a quack doctor, a scraping fiddler, and a lame German dancing-master. As soon as dinner was served, while Mr. Adams was saying grace, the captain conveyed his chair from behind him: so that when he endeavoured to seat himself, he fell down on the ground; and thus completed joke the first, to the great entertainment of the whole company. The second joke was performed by the poet, who sat next him on the other side, and took an oprtunity while poor Adams was respectully drinking to the master of the house, to overturn a plate of soup into his breeches; which, with the many apologies he made, and the parson's gentle answers, caused much mirth to the company. Joke the third was served up by one of the waiting-men, who had been ordered to convey a quantity of gin into Mr. Adams's ale, which he declaring to be the best liquor he ever drank, but rather too rich of the malt, contributed ". to their laughter. Mr. Adams, from whom we had most of this relation, could not recollect all the jests of this kind practised on him, which the inoffensive disposition of his own heart made him slow in discovering; and indeed, had it not been for the information which we received from a servant of the family, this part of our history, which we take to be none of the least
curious, must have been deplorably imperfect; though we must own it probable, that some more jokes were, (as they call it.) cracked during their dinner; but we have by no means been able to come at the knowledge of them. When dinner was removed, the poet began to repeat some verses, which, he said, were made extempore. The following is a copy of them, procured with the greatest difficulty.
An extempore Poem on Parson Adams.
Did ever mortal such a parson view "
At which words the bard whipt off the player's wig, and received the approbation of the company, rather perhaps for the dexterity of his hand than his head. The player, instead of restoring the jest on the poet, began to display his talents on the same . He repeated many scraps of wit out of plays, reflecting on the whole bod of the clergy, which were received wit great acclamations by all present. It was now the dancing-master's turn to exhibit his talents: he therefore, addressing himself to Adams in broken English, told him, “He was a man ver well made for de dance, and he suppose by his walk, dat he had learn of some great master.” He said, “It was ver pretty quality in clergyman to dance;’ and concluded with desiring him to dance a minuet, telling him, “his cassock would serve for petticoats; and that he would himself be his partner.” At which words, without waiting for an answer, he pulled out his gloves, and the fiddler was preparing his fiddle. The company all offered the dancing-master wagers that the parson out-danced him, which he refused, saying, “He believed so too; for he had never seen any man in his life who looked de dance so well as degentleman: he then stepped forwards to take Adams by the hand, which the latter hastily withdrew, and at the same time clenching his fist, advised him not to carry the jest too far, for he would not endure being put upon. The dancing-master no sooner saw the fist, than he prudently retired out of its reach, and st aloof, mimicking Adams, whose eyes were fixed on him, not guessing what he was at, but to avoid his laying hold on on him, which he had once attempted. In the mean while, the captain, perceiving an opportunity, pinned a cracker or devil to the cassock, and then lighted it with their little smoking-candle. Adams being a stranger
* All hounds that will hunt fox or other vermin, will hunt a piece of rusty bacon trailed on the ground.
to this sport, and believing he had been blown up in reality, sta from his chair, and jumped about the room to the infinite joy of the beholders, who declared he was the best dancer in the universe. As soon as the devil had done o him, and he had a little recovered his confusion, he returned to the table, standing up in a posture of one who intended to make a speech. They all cried out, hear him, hear him; and he then spoke in the following manner: “Sir, I am sorry to see one to whom Providence hath been so bountiful in bestowing his favours, make so ill and ungrateful return for them; for though you have not insulted me yourself, it is visible you have delighted in those that do it, nor have once discouraged the many rudenesses which have been shown towards me, indeed, towards yourself if you rightly understood them; for I am your guest, and by the laws of hospitality entitled to your protection. One gentleman hath thought proper to produce some poetry upon me, of which I shall only say, ...'. rather be the subject than the composer. He hath been pleased to treat me with disrespect as a parson. I apprehend my order is not the : of scorn, nor that I can become so, ess by being a disgrace to it, which I hope poverty will never be called. Another gentleman, indeed, hath repeated some sentences, where the order itself is mentioned with contempt. He says, they are taken from plays. I am sure such plays are a scandal to the government which permits them, and cursed will be the nation where they are represented. How others have treated me, I need not observe; they themselves, when they reflect, must allow the behaviour to be as improper to my years as to my cloth, You found me, sir, travelling with two of my parishioners, (I omit your hounds falling on me; for I have quite forgiven it, whether it proceeded from the wantonness or negligence of the huntsman;) my appearance might very well persuade you, that your invitation was an act of charity, though in reality we were well provided; yes, sir, if we had had an hundred miles to travel, we had sufficient to bear our expenses in a noble manner.” (At which words he produced the half-guinea which was found in the basket.) “I do not show you this out of ostentation of riches, but to convince you I speak truth. Your seating me at your table was an honour which I did not ambitiously affect. When I was here, I endeavoured to behave towards you with the utmost respect; if I have failed, it was not with design; nor could I, certainly, so far be ilty as to deserve the insults I have suf. If they were meant, therefore, either to my order or my poverty, (and you see I am not very poor,) the shame doth not lie
at my door, and I heartily pray that the sin may be averted from yours. He thus finished, and received a general clap from the whole company. Then the gentleman of the house told him, ‘He was sorry for what had happened; that he could not accuse him of any share in it; that the verses were, as himself had well observed, so bad, that he might easily answer them; and for the serpent, it was undoubtedly a very great affront done him by the dancing-master, for which, if he well thrashed him, as he deserved, he should be very much pleased to see it,” (in which probably he spoke the truth.) Adams answered, “Whoever had done it, it was not his profession to punish him that way; but for the person whom he had accused, I am a witness,’ says he, ‘of his innocence; for I had my eye on him all the while. Whoever he was, God forgive him, and bestow on him a little more sense as well as humanity.’ The captain answered with a surly look and accent, ‘That he hoped he did not mean to reflect upon him; d—n him, he had as much imanity as another, and if any man said he had not, he would convince him of his mistake by cutting his throat.” Adams smiling said, “He believed he had spoke right by accident.” To which the captain returned, “What do you mean by my speaking right? if you was not a parson, I would not take these words; but your gown protects you. If any man who wears a sword had said so much, I had pulled him by the nose before this.” Adams replied, “If he attempted any rudeness to his person, he would not find any protection for himselfin his gown;' and clenching his fist, declared “he had thrashed many a stouter man.’ The gentleman did all he could to encourage this warlike disposition in Adams, and was in hopes to have produced a battle; but he was disappointed; for the captain made no other answer than, ‘It is very well you are a parson;' and so drinking off a bumper to old mother Church, ended the dispute. Then the doctor, who had hitherto been silent, and who was the gravest but most mischievous dog of all, in a ...} mpous speech highly applauded what Adams had said, and as much discommended the behaviour to him. He proceeded to encomiums on the church and poverty; and lastly recommended forgiveness of what had passed to Adams; who immediately answered, “That every thing was forgiven;' and in the warmth of his goodness he filled a bumper of strong beer, (a liquor he preferred to wine,) and drank a health to the whole company, shaking the captain and the t heartily by the hand, and addressing imself with great respect to the doctor; who, indeed, had not laughed outwardly at anything that passed, as he had a perfect command of his muscles, and could laugh inwardly without lo least symptoms in his countenance. The doctor now began a second formal speech, in which he declaimed against all levity of conversation, and what is usually called mirth. He said, “There were amusements fitted for persons of all ages and degrees, from the rattle to the discussing a point of philosophy; and that men discovered themselves in nothing more than in the choice of their amusements: for,” says he, “as it must greatly raise our expectation of the future conduct in life of boys whom in their tender years we perceive, instead of taw or balls, or other childish play-things, to choose, at their leisure hours, to exercise their genius in contentions of wit, learning, and such like: so must it inspire one with equal contempt of a man, if we should discover him playing attaw, or other childish play.” Adams highly commended the doctor's opinion, and said, “He had often wondered at some pasin ancient authors, where Scipio, Lælius, and other great men, were represented to have passed many hours in amusements of the most trifling kind.” The doctor replied, “He had by him an old Greek manuscript where a favourite diversion of Socrates was recorded.”—‘Ay,’ says the parson eagerly: “I should be most infinitely obliged to you for the favour of rusing it.’ The doctor promised to send it him, and farther said, “That he believed he could describe it. I think,’ says he, “as near as I can remember, it was this; there was a throne erected, on one side of which sat a king, and on the other a queen, with their guards and attendants ranged on both sides; to them was introduced an ambassador, which part Socrates always used to perform himself; and when he was led up to the footsteps of the throne, he addressed himself to the monarchs in some grave speech, full of virtue, and goodness, and morality, and such like. After which, he was seated between the king an queen, and royally entertained. This I think was the chief part. Perhaps I may have forgot some particulars: for it is long since I read it. Adams said, ‘It was, indeed, a diversion worthy the relaxation of so great a man; and thought something resembling it should be instituted among our great men, instead of cards and other idle pastime, in which, he was informed, they trifled away too much of their lives.” He added, “The christian religion was a nobler subject for these speeches than any Socrates could have invented.” The gentleman of the house approved what Mr. Adams said, and declared, “He resolved to perform the ceremony this very evening.” To which the doctor objected, as no one was prepared with a speech, “unless,’ said he, (turning to fast as they could, not so much from any apprehension of being pursued, as that Mr. Adams might by exercise prevent any harm from the water. The gentleman, who had given such orders to his servants concerning Fanny that he did not in the least fear her getting away, no sooner heard that she was gone, than he began to rave, and immediately despatched several with orders, either to bring her back or never return. The poet, the player, and all but the dancing-master and doctor, went on this errand. The night was very dark in which our friends began their journey; however, they made such expedition, that they soon arrived at an inn which was at seven miles distance. Here they unanimously consented to pass the evening, Mr. Adams being now as dry as he was before he had set out on his embassy. This inn, which indeed we might call an alehouse, had not the words The New Inn, been writ on the sign, afforded them no better provisions than bread and cheese and ale: on which, however, they made a very comfortable meal; for hunger is better than a French cook. They had no sooner supped, than Adams, returning thanks to the Almighty for his food, declared he had ate his homely commons with much greater satisfaction than his splendid dinner; and expressed great contempt for the folly of mankind, who sacrificed their hopes of heaven to the acquisition of vast wealth, since so much comfort was to be found in the humblest state and the lowest provisions. ‘Very true, sir,’ says a grave man who sat smoking his pipe by the fire, and who was a traveller as well as himself. “I have often been as much surprised as you are, when I consider the value which mankind in general set on riches; since every day's experience shows us how little is in their power; for what, indeed, truly desirable, can they bestow on us? Can they give beauty to the deformed, strength to the weak, or health to the infirm Surely if they could, we should not see so many ill-favoured faces haunting the assemblies of the great, nor would such numbers of feeble wretches languish in their coaches and palaces. No, not the wealth of a kingdom can purchase any paint to dress pale ugliness in the bloom of that young maiden, nor any drugs to equip disease with the vigour of that young man. Do not riches bring us solicitude instead of rest, envy instead of affection, and danger instead of safety? Can they prolong their own possession, or lengthen his days who enjoys them? So far otherwise, that the sloth, the luxury, the care which attend them, shorten the lives of millions, and bring them with pain and misery to an
Adams with a gravity of countenance which would have deceived a more knowing man,) “you have a sermon about you, doctor.”— 'Sir,’ says Adams, ‘I never travel without one, for fear of what may happen.”—He was easily prevailed on by his worthy friend, as he now called the doctor, to undertake the part of the ambassador; so that the gentleman sent immediate orders to have the throne erected; which was performed before they had drank two bottles: and perhaps the reader will hereafter have no great reason to admire the nimbleness of the serVants.
Indeed, to confess the truth, the throne was no more than this ; there was a great tub of water provided, on each side of which was placed two stools raised ligher than the surface of the tub, and over the whole was laid a blanket; on these stools were placed the king and queen, namely, the master of the house and the captain. And now the ambassador was introduced, between the poet and the doctor, who, having read his sermon, to the great entertainment of all present, was led up to his place, and seated o their majesties. hey immediately rose up, when the blanket wanting its supports at either end, gave way, and soused Adams over head and ears in the water. The captain made his escape, but, unluckily, the gentleman himself not being as nimble as he ought, Adams caught hold of him before he descended from hi throne, and pulled him in with him, to the entire secret satisfaction of all the company. Adams, after ducking the squire twice or thrice, leaped out of the tub, and looked sharp for the doctor, whom he would certainly have conveyed to the same place of honour; but he had wisely withdrawn; he then searched for his crabstick, and having found that, as well as his fellow-traveller's, he declared he would not stay a moment longer in such a house. He then departed, without taking leave of his host; whom he had exacted a more severe revenge on than he intended ; for as he did not use sufficient care to dry himself in time, he caught a cold by the accident, which threw him into a fever that had like to have cost him his life.
untimely grave. Where then is their value, if they can neither embellish nor strengthen our forms, sweeten nor prolong our lives? —Again: Can they adorn the mind more than the body ? Do they not rather swell the heart with vanity, puff up the cheeks with pride, shut our ears to every call of virtue, and our bowels to every motive of compassion ?”—“Give me your hand, brother,’ said Adams in a rapture, ‘for I suppose you are a clergyman.’ ‘No, truly,’ answered the other, (indeed he was a priest of the church of Rome; but those who understand our laws, will not wonder he was not over-ready to own it.)—‘Whatever you are, cries Adams, ‘you have spoken my sentiments: I believe I have preached every syllable of your speech twenty times over; for it hath always appeared to me easier for a cable rope,” (which by the way is the true rendering of that word we have translated camel.), “to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of Heaven.”—“That, sir,’ said the other, “will be easily granted you by divines, and is deplorably true: but as the prospect of our good at a distance doth not so forcibly affect us, it might be of some service to mankind to be made thoroughly sensible, which I think they might be with very little serious attention,-that even the blessings of this world are not to be purchased with riches;–a doctrine, in my opinion, not only metaphysically, but if I may so say, mathematically demonstrable; and which I have been always so perfectly convinced of, that I have a contempt for nothing so much as for gold.” Adams now began a long discourse; but as most which he said, occurs among many authors who have treated this subject, I shall omit inserting it. During its continuance Joseph and Fännv retired to rest, and the host likewise left the room. When the English parson had concluded, the Romish resumed the discourse, which he continued with great bitterness and invective; and at last ended by desiring Adams to lend him eighteen-pence to pay his reckoning; promising, if he never paid him, he might |. assured of his prayers. The good man answered, that eighteenpence would be too little to carry him any very long journey; that he had half a gruinea in his pocket, which he would divide with him. He then sell to searching his pockets, but could find no money; for indeed the company with whom he dined had passed one jest upon him which we did not then enumerate, and had picked his pocket of all that treasure which he had so ostentatiously produced. “Bless me,’ cried Adams, ‘I have certainly lost it: I can never have spent it. Sir, as I am a Christian, I had a whole half-guinea in my pocket this morning, and have not