« AnteriorContinuar »
“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 that many parsons have it nēither.”
5. “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.”
6. “Sure,' sir,” replied Adams, “hunger and thirst, cold and nakednèss, and other distresses which attend the poor, can never be said to be imaginary evils.” “How can any man complain of hunger,” said Pounce, “in a country where such excellent salads are to be găthered in almost every field ?-or of thirst, where every stream and river produce such delicious 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—”
7. “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 myself to come to the parish in the end."
8. To which Adams giving a dissenting smile, Peter thus proceeded :- cy, 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 bank bills ; but, I assure you, you are all mistaken : I am 1 Sure, (shồr), see Rule 4, p. 32. Some of them practiced medicine.
Gým nos' o phists, philosophers They believed in the transmigration of India, so called because they went of souls, and placed the chief happiwith bare feet and little clothing. ness of man in the contempt of pleasThey never drank wine, nor married. ures of sense and goods of fortune.
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 neighbor, where should I have that quantity of money the world is so liberal to bestow on me? Where could I possibly, without I had stole it, acquire such a treasure ?"
9. “Why truly,” said 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 öften heard you say it, that your wealth is of your own acquisition; and can it be credible that in
should have amassed such a heap of treasure as these people will have you are worth ? Indeed, had you inherited an estate like Sir Thomas Booby, wbich had descended in your family through many generations, they might have had a color for their assertions.” “Why, what do they say I am worth ?” cries Peter, with a malicious sneer.
10. “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.'
11. “However, Mr. Adams,” said he, squeezing him by the band, “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. I am not poor, because you think me so, nor because you attempt to undervalue 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 hath 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 törn 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.”
· Căs' sock, a kind of long frock- 2 Cū' ra cy, the office of a curate, coat worn by a priest ; close garment who performs the duties in the place or gown.
of the vicar, parson, or incumbent.
12. “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 leaped out into the highway, forgetting to take his hat along with him ; which, however, Mr. Pounce threw after him with great violence.
HENRY FIELDING. HENRY FIELDING was born at Sharpham, Somersetshire, England, April 22, 1707. He was educated at Eton, and afterward studied law at Leyden. He was the author of "Joseph Andrews,” “A Journey from this world to the Next," “ Jonathan Wild," “ Tom Jones,” and “ Amelia,” He received £600 for the copyright of “Tom Jones," and such was its success, that Miller, the publisher, presented £100 more to the author. For “Amelia.” he received £1000. In 1749 Fielding was appointed one of the justices of Westminster and Middlesex, and was a zealous and active magistrate. He was a kind-hearted man; but improvident, and in early life dissipated. He ranks as one of the first among English novelists. His style is marked for light humor, lively description, and keen, yet sportive satire. Endowed with little of the poetical or imaginative faculty, his study lay in real life and every-day scenes, which he depicted with a truth and freshness, a buoyancy and vigor, and such an exuberance of practical knowledge, easy raillery, and lively fancy, that in his own department he stands unrivaled. He died at Lisbon, on the 8th of October, 1754.
Enter LADY TEAZLE and SIR PETER. VIR PETER. Lady Teazle, Lady Teazle, I'll not bear it!
Lady Teazle. (Right.] Sir Peter, Sir Peter, you may bear it or not, as you please ; but I ought to have
my way thing; and what's more, I will too. What! though I was educated in the country, I know very well that women of fashion in London are accountable to nobody after they are married.
Sir P. [Left.] Věry well, ma'am, very well—50 a husband is to have no influence, no authority?
Lady T. Authority! No, to be sure if you wanted authority over me, you should have adopted me, and not married me ; I am sure you were old enough.
*From "The School for Scandal.”
Sir P. Old enough !—ay—there it is. Well, well, Lady Teazle, though my life may be made unhappy by your temper, , I'll not be ruined by your extravagance.
Lady T. My extravagance! I'm sure I'm not more extrava gant than a woman ought to be.
Sir P. No, no, madam, you shall throw ăwāy no more sums on such unmeaning luxury. 'Slife! to spend as much to furnish your dressing-room with flowers in winter as would suffice to turn the Panthéon'into a green-house.
Lady T. Lord, Sir Peter, am I to blame, because flowers are dear in cold weather? You should find fault with the climate, and not with me. For my part, I'm sure, I wish it was spring all the year round, and that roses grew under our feet!
Sir P. Zounds! madam—if you had been born to this, I shouldn't wonder at your talking thus; but you forgět what your situation was when I married you.
Lady T. No, no, I don't ; 'twas a věry disagreeable one, or I should never have married you.
Sir P. Yes, yes, madam, you were then in somewhat a humbler style,—the daughter of a plain country squire. Recollect, Lady Teazle, when I saw you first sitting at your tambor, in a pretty figured linen gown, with a bunch of keys at your side; your
hair combed smooth over a roll, and your apartment hung round with fruits in worsted of your own working.
Lady T. Oh yěs ! I remember it very well, and a curious life I led,-my daily occupation to inspect the dairy, superintend the poultry, make extracts from the family receipt-book, and comb my aunt Deborah's lap dog.
Sir P. Yěs, yes, ma'am, 'twas so indeed.
Lady T. And then, you know, my evening amusements ;-to draw patterns for ruffles, which I had not materials to make up ; to play Pope Joan' with the curate; to read a novel to my aunt; or to be stuck down to an old spinet to strum my father to sleep after a fox-chase.
[Crosses, L. Pan thē' on, a magnificent tem- pa, is of a round or cylindrical form, ple at Rome, dedicated to all the gods. with a spherical dome, and one hun. It is now converted into a church. dred and forty-four feet in diameter. It was built or embellished by Agrip ? Põpe Joan, a game at cards,
Sir P. (R.] I am glad you have so good a memory. Yěs, madam, these were the recreätions I took you from ; but now you must have your coach-vis-à-vis '—and three powdered footmen before your chair; and, in the summer, a pair of white cats to draw you to Kensington Gardens. No recollection, I suppose, when you were content to ride double, behind the butler, on a docked coach-horse.
Lady T. [L.] No—I never did that: I deny the butler and the coach-horse.
Sir P. This, madam, was your situation; and what have I done for you? I have made you a woman of fashion, of fortune, of rank; in short, I have made you my wife.
Lady T. Well, then ; and there is but one thing more you can make.me add to the obligation, and that is
Sir P. My widow, I suppose ?
Sir P. I thank you, madam ; but don't flatter yourself; for though your ill conduct may disturb my peace of mind, it shall never break my heart, I promise you : however, I am equally obliged to you for the hint.
[Crosses, L. Lady T. Then why will you endeavor to make yourself so disagreeable to me, and thwart me in every little elegant expense?
Sir P. [L.] 'Slife, madam, I say, had you any of these little elegant expenses when you married me?
Lady T. Lud, Sir Peter! would you have me be out of the fashion ?
Sir P. The fashion, indeed! What had you to do with the fashion before you married me ?
Lady T. For my part, I should think you would like to have your wife thought a woman of taste.
Sir P. Ay; there again-taste. Zounds ! madam, you had no taste when you married me!
Lady T. That's very true indeed, Sir Peter; and after having married
I should never pretend to taste again, I allow. But now, Sir Peter, since we have finished our daily jangle, I presume I may go to my engagement at Lady Sneerwell's.
Sir P. Ay, there's another precious circumstance-a charming set of acquaintance you have made there.
* Vis-a-vis, (zly'i vè'), a carriage in which two persons sit face to face.