Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

affestation : where other people stood, he fats where they lit, he stood ; when he went to court, he used to kick away the state, and lit down by his prince cheek by jole ; Confound these states, says he, they are a modern invention : when he spoke to his prince, he always turned lis birch upon him : if he was advised to fait for his. health, he would eac roast beef; if he was allowed a more plentiful diet, then he would be sure that day to live upon water-gruel ; he would cry at a wedding, lugha. and make jerts at a funerali.

He was no less fingular in his opinions ; you would have burst your sides to hear him talk of politics * : “All.

government, fays be, is founded upon the right diftri. • bution of panijiments ; decent executions keep ilie “ world in awe ; for that reason the nrajority of mankind " ought to be hanged every year. For example, I fup. “ pole, the magistrate ought to pass an irrevertible fino

tence upon all blue eyed children froin the cradle t: " but that there may be lo ne shew of justice in this proceeding, these children ought to be trained up by ina“ sters, appointed for that purpofe, to all sorts of villai.

ny ; that they may delerve their fate, and the execuo “ tion of them may lerve as an object of terror to the “ rest of mankind.” As to the giving of pardons, lie had this fingul.ır method F, that when these wretches had the rope about their necks, it should be enquired, who believed they should be hanged, and who not? The first were to be pardoned, the last 'hanged out-right. Such as were once pardoned; were never to be hanged afier. wards for any crime whatsoever t. He bad luch fkill in physiognomy, that he would pronounce peremptorily upon a man's face, That fellow, says he, do what he will, cannot avoid hanging ; he has a hanging look. By the fame art he would prognosticate a principality to a scouna drel.

He was no less particular in the choice of his studies; they were generally bent towards exploded chimeras, the perpetuum mobile **, the circular shot, philosopher's

• Absolute predestination. + Reprobation.

Saving faith; a belief that one shall certainly be saved,
+ Election. ** The learning of the Presbyterians.

Itone

T2

ول )،

Itone, Glent gun-powder, making chains for fleas, netsfor flics, and instruments to unravel cobwebs and split hairs.

Thus, I think, I have given a distinct account of the methods he practiled upon Peg. Her brother would now and then aik her, “ What a devil dost thou see in that:

praginarical coxconib to make thee so in love with “ him? he is a fit match for a tailor or a shoemaker's. daughter, but not for

you

that are a gentlewoman. Fancy is free quoth Peg: I will take my own way, you take

yours. I do not care for you flaunting “ beaus, that gang with their breasts open,, and their “ larks over their waistcoats; that accost me with let “ (peeches out of Sidney's Arcadia, or the Academy of. “ Compliments. Jack is a sober, grave, young man;

though he has none of your studied harangues, his

meaning is fincere: he has a great regard to his fa. “ ther's will; and he that shewn himlelf a good son, will: “ make a good husband ; besides, I know he has the O“ riginal deed of conveyance to the fortunate islands ;; o che others are counterfeirs." There is nothing so obftiante as a young lady in heramours; the more you.cross her, the worle she is.

[ocr errors]

CH A P. IV:

How the relations reconciled John and his fifter Peg;

und what return Peg made to John's message *.

[ocr errors]

Ο HN BULL, otherwise a good-natured man, was

very hard-hearted to his lifter Peg, chiefly from an aversion he had conceived in his infancy, While he flourished, kept a warm house, and drove a plentiful trade, poor Peg was forced to go bawking and peddling about the streets, selling kvives, scissars, and shoe-buckles ; now and then carried a basket of fish to the market; fened, spun, and knit for a livelihood, till her fingers. ends were fore; and when she could not get bread for her family, she was forced to hire them out at journey.work

* The treaty of Union between England and Scotland,

to

[ocr errors]

to her neighbours. Yet in these her

poor

circumstances The still preserved the air and mein of a gentlewoman, a certain decent pride, that extorted respect from the haughtiest of her neighbours; when she came into any full afsembly, the would not yield the pas to the best of them. If one asked her, are not you related to John Buli? “ Yes, says she; lie has the honour to be my

brother.” So Peg's affairs went, till all the relations cried out shame upon John for his barbarous usage of his own flesh and blood ; that it was an easy matter for him to put her in a creditable way of living, not only without hurt but with : advantage to himself, being she was an industrious perlon, and might be serviceable to him in his way of business.

Haug her, jade, quoth John; I cannot endure her, " as long as she keeps tvat rascal Jack's company. They told him the way to reclaim her was to take her into his house; that by conversation the childish humoursof their younger days might be worn out. ments were intorced by a certain incident. It happened. that John was at ibat time about making his will*, and entailing his estate, the very fame in which Nie, Frog is naned executor. Now, his fister Peg's name being in the entail, he could not make a thorough settlement withoat ber consent. There was, indeed, a malicious fory went about, as if John's wife had fallen in love with Jack as he was eating custard on horseback t; that she persuaded John to take his fifter into the house, the bet. ter to wrive on the intrigue with Jack, coneluding be would follow his mistress Pego - All I can infer from this ftory, is, that when one has got a bad character in the world, people will report and believe any thing of one, true or falle. But to return to my story; when Peg received John's message, the huffed and stormed like the

These argu

>

* The succeslion to the crown having been fettfed by act of : parliament in England, upon the house Hanover, and no such 20 having passed in Scotland, then a separate kingdom, it was thought a proper time to complete the union which had been often attempted, and which was recommended to the Scots by: K. William III. † A Prefbyterian Lord Mayor of London.

miy

[ocr errors]

devil" : “My bro:her Jobo, quotb she, is grown won“ derous kind-hearted all of a sudden, but I mcikle “ doubt, whether it be not meir for his own conveniency “ thin for my good; he draws up his writs and his deeds, « forsooth, and I must fet my hand to them, urfighl ui“ féen. I like the young man he has settled upon well “ enough, but I think lought to have a valuable confi“ deration for my confent. He wants my poor little “ farm, because it makes a nook in his park wall: ye.

e'in tell him, he has mair than he makes good: use of; he gangs up and down drinking, roaring, u and quarrelling, through all the country markets, “ making foolih bargains in bis-cups, wbich he repents «s. when he is sober; like a thriftiess wretch, spending “ the goods and gear that his forefathers won with the «« sweat of their brows; light.come, light go, he cares

not a farthing. But why should I fand furety for his “ contracts ? the little I have is free, and I can call it my

aavn ;. hanie's hame, let it be never fo hamely. I ken « him well enough, he could never abide me, and wben he " has bis-ends, he'll e'n ule me as he did before.

I am “ fure. I shall be treated like a poor drudge; I shall be set:

to tend the bairns, dearn the hose, and mend che linen, 6. Then there's no living with that old carlin bis mother; “ the ruils at Jack, and Jack's an honester man than any “ other kin: I Mall be plagued with her spells aud her Pater nofiers, and Gilly eld: world ceremonies; I mun

never pare my nails on a Friday, nor begin a journey

on Childermas day; and I mun stand becking and « binging, as 1. gang out and into the hall. Tell “ him he may e'en gang his get; I'll have nothing to do 66 with him ; I?ll stay, like ihe poor coupiry mouse, in

my awu habitation.” So Peg talked; but for all that, by the interposition of good friends, and by many a bonny thing that w.is fent, and many more that were promised Pegg the matter was concluded, and leg taken in. to the house upoi certain articles : one of which was, that she might have the freedom of Jack's converfation t, and

* The Scots express.d their fears for the Presbyterian government, and of being burdened with the English national debts. # The act of toleration.

might take him for better and for worse, if the pleased ; provided always, he did not come into the houle at unfeasonable hours, and disturb the relt, or the old woman,John's mother,

CHAP. V..

IT

Of fome quarrels, that happened after Peg was taken in.

to the family *. 1T is an old observation, that the quarrels of relations

are harder to reconcile than any other ; injuries froin friends fret and gall more, and the memory of them is not so easily obliterated. This is cunningly represented by one of your old fages, called Ælop, in the story of the bird, that was grieved extremely at being wounded with an arrow featl:ered with his own wing; as also of the oak, that let many a heavy groan, when he was cleft with a wedge of his own timber.

There was no man in the world less subject to rancour than John Bull, considering how often his good-nature had been abused ; yet I do not know, but he was too apt to hearken to tattling people, that carried tales between him and his lister Peg, on purpose to fow jealousies, and set them together by the ears. They say that there were some hardships put upon Peg, which had been better let alone ; but it was the business of good people to restrain the injuries on one side, and moderate the resentments on the other; a good friend acts boih parts; the oue without the other will not do.

The purchase money of Peg's farm was ill paid ti then Peg loved a little good liquor, and the fervants shut up the wine-cellur ; but for that Peg found a trick, for she made a false key I. Peg's servants complained that

Quarrels about fome of the articles of union, particularly the peerage.

7. By the 15th article of the treaty of union, it was agreed that Scotland should have an equivalent for several customs and excises to which she would become liable, and this equivalent was not paid.. # Run wide.

they

*

« AnteriorContinuar »