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first time, was foremost now; but the Dwarf was not far behind. The battle was stout and long. Wherever the Giant came all fell before him; but the Dwarf had like to have been killed more than once. At last the victory declared for the two adventurers; but the Dwarf lost his leg. The Dwarf was now without an arm, a leg, and an eye, while the Giant was without a single wound. Upon which he cried out to his little companion : “My little hero, this is glorious sport; let us get one victory more, and then we shall have honor forever!' _No,' cries the Dwarf, who was by this time grown wiser, 'no, I declare off. I'll fight no more; for I find in every battle that you get all the honor and rewards, but all the blows fall upon me.
I was going to moralize this fable, when our attention was called off to a warm dispute between my wife and Mr. Burchell, upon my daughters' intended expedition to town. My wife very strenuously insisted upon the advantages that would result from it. Mr. Burchell, on the contrary dissuaded her with great ardor, and I stood neuter. His present dissuasions seemed but the second part of those which were received with so ill a grace in the morning. The dispute grew high, while poor Deborah, instead of reasoning stronger, talked louder, and at last was obliged to take shelter from a defeat in clamor. The conclusion of her harangue, however, was highly displeasing to us all. She knew, she said, of some who had their own secret reasons for what they advised; but, for her part, she wished such to stay away from her house for the future. “Madam,” cried Burchell, with looks of great composure, which tended to inflame her the more, “as for secret reasons, you are right. I have secret reasons, which I forbear to mention, because you are not able to answer those of which I make no secret; but I find my visits here are become troublesome. I'll take my leave therefore now, and perhaps come once more to take a final farewell when I am quitting the country.” Thus saying, he took up his hat, nor could the attempts of Sophia, whose looks seemed to upbraid his precipitancy, prevent his going.
When gone, we all regarded each other for some minutes with confusion. My wife, who knew herself to be the cause, strove hard to hide her concern with a forced smile and an air of assurance, which I was willing to reprove.
“How, woman !” cried I to her, “is it thus we treat strangers ? Is it thus we return their kindness? Be assured, my dear, that these were the harshest words, and to me the most unpleasing, that ever escaped your lips !” — “Why should he provoke me then?” replied she; “but I know the motives of his advice perfectly well. He would prevent my girls from going to town, that he may have the pleasure of my youngest daughter's company here at home. But whatever happens, she shall choose better company than such low-lived fellows as he.”
- “Low-lived, my dear, do you call him ?"cried I; “it is very possible we may mistake this man's character; for he seems upon some occasions the most finished gentleman I ever knew. Tell me, Sophia, my girl, has he ever given you any secret instances of his attachment?" -"His conversation with me, sir," replied my daughter, “ has ever been sensible, modest, and pleasing. As to aught else, no, never. Once indeed, I remember to have heard him say he never knew a woman who could find merit in a man that seemed poor.”—“Such, my dear,” cried I, “is the common cant of all the unfortunate or idle. But I hope you have been taught to judge properly of such men, and that it would be even madness to expect happiness from one who has been so very bad an economist of his own. Your mother and I have now better prospects for you. The next winter, which you will probably spend in town, will give you opportunities of making a more prudent choice."
What Sophia's reflections were upon this occasion I can't pretend to determine; but I was not displeased at the bottom that we were rid of a guest from whom I had much to fear. Our breach of hospitality went to my conscience a little; but I quickly silenced that monitor by two or three specious reasons, which served to satisfy and reconcile me to myself. The pain which conscience gives the man who has already done wrong, is soon got over. Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent, it seldom has justice enough to
FRESH MORTIFICATIONS, OR A DEMONSTRATION THAT
SEEMING CALAMITIES MAY BE REAL BLESSINGS. THE journey of my daughters to town was now resolved upon, Mr. Thornhill having kindly promised to inspect their conduct himself, and inform us by letter of their behavior. But it was thought indispensably necessary that their appearance should equal the greatness of their expectations, which could
not be done without expense. We debated, therefore, in full council what were the easiest methods of raising money ; or, more properly speaking, what we could most conveniently sell. The deliberation was soon finished. It was found that our remaining horse was utterly useless for the plow, without his companion, and equally unfit for the road, as wanting an eye; it was therefore determined that we should dispose of him for the purpose above-mentioned, at the neighboring fair, and, to prevent imposition, that I should go with him myself. Though this was one of the first mercantile transactions of my life, yet I had no doubt about acquitting myself with reputation. The opinion a man forms of his own prudence is measured by that of the company he keeps; and as mine was mostly in the family way, I had conceived no unfavorable sentiments of my worldly wisdom. My wife, however, next morning at parting, after I had gone some paces from the door, called me back to advise me, in a whisper, to have all my eyes about me.
I had, in the usual forms, when I came to the fair, put my horse through all his paces, but for some time had no bidders. At last a chapman approached, and, after he had a good while examined the horse round, finding him blind of one eye, he would have nothing to say to him. A second came up, but observing he had a spavin, declared he would not take him for the driving home. A third perceived he had a windgall, and would bid no money; a fourth knew by his eye that he had the botts; a fifth wondered what a plague I could do at the fair with a blind, spavined, galled hack, that was only fit to be cut up for a dog-kennel. By this time I began to have a most hearty contempt for the poor animal myself, and was almost ashamed at the approach of every customer; for although I did not entirely believe all the fellows told me, yet I reflected that the number of witnesses was a strong presumption that they were right; and St. Gregory, upon good works, professes himself to be of the same opinion.
I was in this mortifying situation, when a brother-clergyman, an old acquaintance, who had also business at the fair, came up, and shaking me by the hand, proposed adjourning to a public-house and taking a glass of whatever we could get. I readily closed with the offer, and entering an ale-house, we were shown into a little back room, where there was only a venerable old man, who sat wholly intent over a large book which he was reading. I never in my life saw a figure that prepossessed me more favorably. His locks of silver gray venerably shaded his temples, and his green old age seemed to be the result of health and benevolence. However, his presence did not interrupt our conversation; my friend and I discoursed on the various turns of fortune we had met, the Whistonian controversy, my last pamphlet, the archdeacon's reply, and the hard measure that was dealt me.
But our attention was in a short time taken off by the appearance of a youth who, entering the room, respectfully said something softly to the old stranger. “Make no apologies, my child,” said the old man; “to do good is a duty we owe to all our fellow-creatures; take this; I wish it were more; but five pounds will relieve your distress, and you are welcome.” The modest youth shed tears of gratitude; and yet his gratitude was scarcely equal to mine. I could have hugged the good old man in my arms, his benevolence pleased me so. He continued to read, and we resumed our conversation, until my companion, after some time, recollecting that he had business to transact in the fair, promised to be soon back, adding, that he always desired to have as much of Dr. Primrose's company as possible. The old gentleman, hearing my name mentioned, seemed to look at me with attention for some time, and when my friend was gone, most respectfully demanded if I was any way related to the great Primrose, that courageous monogamist, who had been the bulwark of the Church.
Never did my heart feel sincerer rapture than at that moment. “Sir,” cried I, “the applause of so good a man, as I am sure you are, adds to that happiness in my breast which your benevolence has already excited. You behold before you, sir, that Dr. Primrose, the monogamist, whom you have been pleased to call great. You here see that unfortunate divine, who has so long, and it would ill become me to say, successfully fought against the deuterogamy of the age.”—“Sir,” cried the stranger, struck with awe, “I fear I have been too familiar; but you'll forgive my curiosity, sir; I beg pardon.” — “Sir,” cried I, grasping his hand, "you are so far from displeasing me by your familiarity, that I must beg you'll accept my friendship, as you already have my esteem.”—“ Then with gratitude I accept the offer,” cried he, squeezing me by the hand, “ thou glorious pillar of unshaken orthodoxy; and do I behold ”
I here interrupted what he was going to say; for though, as an author, I could digest no small share of flattery, yet now my modesty would permit no more. However, no lovers in romance ever cemented a more instantaneous friendship. We talked upon several subjects: at first I thought he seemed rather devout than learned, and began to think he despised all human doctrines as dross. Yet this no way lessened him in my esteem; for I had for some time begun privately to harbor such an opinion myself. I therefore took occasion to observe that the world in general began to be blamably indifferent as to doctrinal matters, and followed human speculations too much. “Ay, sir," replied he, - as if he had reserved all his learning to that moment, —“Ay, sir, the world is in its dotage; and yet the cosmogony or creation of the world has puzzled philosophers of all ages. What a medley of opinions have they not broached upon the creation of the world! Sanchoniathon, Manetho, Berosus and Ocellus Lucanus have all attempted it in vain. The latter has these words, "Αναρχον αρά και ατελεύταιον το πάν, which imply that all things have neither beginning nor end. Manetho also, who lived about the time of Nebuchadon-Asser, - Asser being a Syriac word, usually applied as a surname to the kings of that country, as Teglat Phæl-Asser, Nabon-Asser, - he, I say, formed a conjecture equally absurd : for, as we usually say, ék tò Bibliov kußeprons, which implies that books will never teach the world; so he attempted to investigate — but, sir, I ask pardon, I am straying from the question.” That he actually was ; nor could I for my life see how the creation of the world had anything to do with the business I was talking of; but it was sufficient to show me that he was a man of letters, and I now reverenced him the more. I was resolved therefore to bring him to the touch-stone; but he was too mild and too gentle to contend for victory. Whenever I made any observation that looked like a challenge to controversy, he would smile, shake his head, and say nothing ; by which I understood he could say much, if he thought proper. The subject therefore insensibly changed from the business of antiquity to that which brought us both to the fair; mine I told him was to sell a horse, and very luckily indeed his was to buy one for one of his tenants. My horse was soon produced, and in fine we struck a bargain. Nothing now remained but to pay me, and he accordingly pulled out a thirtypound note, and bid me change it. Not being in a capacity of complying with this demand, he ordered his footman to be called up, who made his appearance in a very genteel livery.