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It was difficult to refrain from laughing aloud; but the speech of the landlord inspired the Doctor with very different emotions; he made an inclination of his head, adjusted his spectacles, and assumed a profound look that assented to the justness of the remark.
Whatgentlemen, said the landlord, would you chuse for your dinner? It is now the hottest part of the day, and if you are walking to Newark, you will find the evening more pleasant. How comes on trade, Doctor, at New-York? I warrant you have got your share.
Why, Mr. Clinch, replied the Doctor, I cannot complain. There have been several cases of fever to which I was called. And the patients were right, said Mr. Clinch, for they could not have called a better Doctor had they sent over the four quarters of the globe for him. Well, it is true, God sends this country fevers, but he also sends us Doctors who are able to cure them. It is like the State I was born in: Virginia is infested with snakes, but it abounds with roots to cure their bite. Come, walk in, gentlemen, walk in. I will get dinner ready directly.
Our dinner was a miserable one; but the landlord seasoned his dishes with flattery, and the Doctor found it very palatable. We went forward in the cool; nor did my friend hesitate to pay his club towards two dollars for our repast: it was high, the Doctor whispered, but, continued he, when a man's consequence is known at a tavern it always inflames the bill.
It was our original design to have gone through Hackinsack, a little village that claimed the honor of my companion's nativity; but it was getting late; the road to it was circuitous, and we wished much that night to travel to Elizabeth Town. The Doctor consoled himself for not visiting his family by observing that no man was a prophet at home.
We did not stop long at Newark, but prosecuted our walk, after taking shelter from a shower of rain in one of its sylvan habitations.* The sun, which had been obscured, again gladdened the plains; and the birds which had ceased awhile singing, again renewed their harmony.
We reached Elizabeth Town a little while after the stage-coach. My companion, being somewhat fatigued, retired early to bed, but I devoted a great part of the night to the refined pleasures of reading and reflection. There is no life so unsettled but a lover of reading will find leisure for the acquisition of knowledge, an acquisition that depends not on either seasons or place. To know the value of time, we must learn to appreciate every particle of it; and remember that moments, however trilling in appearance, form the year by accumulation.
* The houses at Newark are generally shaded by clusters of trees. One of our modern tourists would devote probably a dozen pages to the description of Newark, which is famed for the richest cider, and the largest cobbler's stall in the United States of America. It supplies also an old house on a hill, which, unworthy of repair, is moulding to dust; but which has enough of the walls remaining to furnish an English tourist with an admirable plate. To such Tourists I consign Newark, and other places on the road, which the Traveller beholds and dismisses from his mind with frigid indifference.
When I went to bed there was little sleep to be obtained; for a huge mastiff in the yard, notwithstanding the Doctor put his head out of the window and vociferated to him repeatedly, did not remit barking the whole of the night. We therefore rose without being called, and pursued our journey to Princetown, a place more famous for its College than its learning
The road from Prince-town to Trenton offers little matter for speculation. I know that in some places there were battles fought between the British and their revolted Colonists; but the recollection of it tends to no use, and, I am sure, it cannot be pleasing.
At Trenton, the Doctor, who was afflicted with sore eyes, declined proceeding any further. It was to no purpose that I expostulated with him on the folly of his conduct, and urged that we had not many more miles to travel. The son of Paracelsus was inexorable, and it only remained for me to perform the last office of friendship, which was to tie a bandage over his eyes, and lead him blindfolded to his room; in our way to which, happening to stumble, the Doctor comically enough observed, When the blind leads the blind, they shall both of them fall.
From Trenton I was conveyed over the Delaware in the ferry-boat, with an elderly man, clad in the garb of a Quaker. His looks beamed benignity, and his accents breathed kindness; but, as the great Master of Life observes, there is no art can find the mind's construction in the face.
We had scarce landed on the opposite bank of the river, when a poor cripple in a soldier's jacket, advanced towards the Quaker, holding both his crutches in one hand, and taking half a hat from his head with the other:-Bestow your charity, cried the beggar, on a poor worn-out soldier, who fought for your liberty during a long war, and got wounded by a Hessian at the very place you have just left. Refuse not your charity to an old soldier in distress.
Alas! exclaimed the Quaker, this comes of war.
Shame on our nature. Beasts live in concord, men only disagree. Had thou taken the advice of scripture, thou wouldest have escaped thy wounds!
What, Master, is that?
Why, Friend, if a man smite thee on one cheek, turn to him the other.
And were you to take the advice of scripture, you would not refuse me your alms.
What, Friend, is that?
Why, when a man wants to borrow of thee, turn not thou away.
I remember no such passage, replied the Quaker.
It is in the New Testament, said the beggar.
The text has been corrupted, cried the Quaker, hastening away through a field.
Won't you give me a copper? bawled the beggar, limping after the Quaker.
Charity begins at home, said the Quaker, accelerating his pace.
The Lord help thee, exclaimed the beggar, halting almost breathless on his crutch. But here perhaps is a gentleman who has more of the milk of human kindness.
To become acquainted with human life, the traveller must not mingle only with the sons of opulence and ease; these know no greater fatigue than the hurry of preparation for a ball, and experience no higher mortification than the disappointment of pride. Such beings who pass their days in solemn pomp and plenty, can display no examples of fortitude, of serenity, or patience; their wishes are anticipated, and their mandates obeyed. It is