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MR. SAMUEL SARCASM, THE STEWARD,
WAITED now only for the ap
proach of the next Spring (which was advancing) to people my new village. The workmen were all paid off and discharged, except John Sawe, the worthy exception made by Henry Hewit, and some few others, who were retained as traders in the service of The Green. But the most delicate and embarrassing part of the business yet remained; this was, to announce my intentions to the neceffitous and unhappy, in such a manner, as might : offer protection :unaccompanied by insult.
Here was a
nice point. I was effectually puzzled. The steward' advised, that I should distribute a printed hand-bill, in the
“ Walk in, gentlemen, walk “ in, to give way—The Green.” At another time, he recommended me to place over the doors some large signs, either of wood or metal, with the following inscription for the use of travellers : « Entertainment and an “ annuity, for man and horse, here, 66 GRATIS.
.” But these sarcasms, you may
be sure, I avoided. They were amongst the waggeries woven into that honest man's constitution; and so, in consideration of his other good qualities, I forgave him. Matilda was of opinion, that being for public utility, the advertisement could not be too general; and, therefore, advised the mode of the News-papers. But this did not feem to me sufficiently delicate. After much deliberation, I resolved upon the following method, out of many others which seemed to be less plausible, viz. That Samuel should be sent with circular letters from me to all my friends, in capital situations, to recommend such of their humble or unhappy acquaintance, as might, upon their experience, deserve a protection in Shenstone-Green; and also, that the like project should be seconded by Matilda in the letters which she should send over town and country at the same time.
Samuel Sarcasm clapped the saddlebags across his favourite pad, and was as well laden with letters as any mail whatsoever. But, he had not been absent three days before we received from him the following epistle :
To Sir B. BEAUCHAMP.
SIR, “ LOOKING upon it that I am charged with such a commiffion as
no steward had ever before in trust, “I am willing it should be so done « as to hand down my name to pof
terity in a way to do it honour. “ Being now, as I take it, on the “ road of immortality, it behoveth
me not to stumble. It is to this send that I am baiting my horse at
" a hedge “ a hedge ale-house, in my way to “ London, where most of
letters “ are directed. The horse, I say, fir, " eateth while I write to know the . full extent of my commision. I for
got to ask certain particulars before " I set out; so pray tell me if I am “ to go to London right on; or, “ whether I may make such excur“ fions as seem to promise me, in
the vagabond way, any success? “. Am I to take notice of any ragged “ tatterdemallions that I may meet, “ overtake, or follow upon the road“ such as beggars, gypsies, &c._or “ am I to let them alone? I have al. " ready passed several very ill-looking “ fellows, and as many dirty husseys,
who, I verily believe, would not “ refuse to become our pensioners.