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· We sat down to supper ; and, had we not bed, and the candle and fire extinguished, that had more generous wine to it than a little inn Monsieur should not speak one single word the in Savoy could have furnished, our tongues had whole night. been tied up till Necessity herself had set them Granted, provided Monsieur's saying his at liberty ;-but the lady having a few bottles prayers might not be deemed an infraction of of Burgundy in her voiture, sent down her fille the treaty. de chambre for a couple of them ; so that by There was but one point forgot in this treathe time supper was over, and we were left ty, and that was the manner in which the lady alone; we felt ourselves inspired with a strength and myself should be obliged to undress and of mind sufficient to talk, at least, without re- get to bed :—there was one way of doing it, and serve upon our situation. We turned it every that I leave to the reader to devise, protesting as way, and debated and considered it in all kinds I do it, that if it is not the most delicate in naof lights in the course of a two hours' negocia- ture,-'tis the fault of his own imagination, tion; at the end of which the articles were against which this is not my first complaint. settled finally betwixt us, and stipulated for in Now, when we were got to bed, whether it form and manner of a treaty of peace,-and, I was the novelty of the situation, or what it believe, with as much religion and good faith was, I know not, but so it was, I could not on both sides, as in any treaty which has yet shut my eyes; I tried this side and that, and had the honour of being handed down to poste- turned and turned again, till a full hour after rity.
midnight, when Nature and Patience both They were as follows:
wearing out,-0 my God! said I. First, As the right of the bed-chamber is
You have broke the treaty, Monsieur, in Monsieur,--and he thinking the bed next said the lady, who had no more slept than myto the fire to be the warmest, he insists upon self.- I begged a thousand pardons, but insistthe concession on the lady's side of taking up ed it was no more than an ejaculation. She with it.
maintained 'twas an entire infraction of the Granted on the part of Madame; with a treaty.-- I maintained it was provided for in proviso, That, as the curtains of that bed are of the clause of the third article. à flimsy transparent cotton, and appear likewise The lady would by no means give up the too scanty to draw close, that the fille de chambre point, though she weakened her barrier by it; shall fasten up the opening, either by corking- for, in the warmth of the dispute, I could hear pins or needle and thread, in such a manner as two or three corking pins fall out of the curtain shall be deemed a sufficient barrier on the side to the ground. of Monsieur.
Upon my word and honour, Madame, 2dly, It is required on the part of Madame, said I, stretching my arm out of bed by way of that Monsieur shall lie the whole night through asseveration, in his robe de chambre.
(I was going to have added, that I would not Rejected: in as much as Monsieur is not have trespassed against the remotest idea of deworth a robe de chambre; he having nothing corum for the worldin his portmanteau but six shirts and a black - But the fille de chambre hearing there were silk pair of breeches.
words between us, and fearing that hostilities The mentioning the silk pair of breeches would ensue in course, had crept silently out of made an entire change of the article, for the her closet; and it being totally dark, had stobreeches were accepted as an equivalent for the len so close to our beds, that she had got herrobe de chambre; and so it was stipulated and self into the narrow passage which separated agreed upon, that I should lie in my black silk them, and had advanced so far up as to be in a breeches all night.
line betwixt her mistress and me;3dly, It was insisted upon, and stipulated So that, when I stretched out my hand, I for by the lady, that after Monsieur was got to caught hold of the fille de chambre's
END OF THE SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY.
THERE are a hundred faults in this thing, and a hundred things might be said to prove them beauties. But it is needless. A book may be amusing with numerous errors, or it may be very dull without a single absurdity. The hero of this piece unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth ;-he is a priest, a husbandman, and the father of a family. He is drawn as ready to teach, and ready to obey—as simple in affluence, and majestic in adversity. In this age of opulence and refinement, how can such a character please ? Such as are fond of high life, will turn with disdain from the simplicity of his country fire-side ; such as mistake ribaldry for humour, will find no wit in his harmless conversation ; and such as have been taught to deride religion, will laugh at one whose chief stores of comfort are drawn from futurity
VICAR OF WAKEFIELD.
number. However, my wife always insisted that
as they were the same flesh and blood, they should CHAP. I.
sit with us at the same table : so that if we had
not very rich, we generally had very happy, The description of the Family of Wakefield, in friends about us ; for this remark will hold good which a kindred likeness prevails as well of through life, that the poorer the guest, the betminds as of persons.
ter pleased he ever is with being treated ; and
as some men gaze with admiration at the coI was ever of opinion that the honest man, who lours of a tulip, or the wing of a butterfly, so I married and brought up a large family, did more was by nature an admirer of happy human faces. service than he who continued single, and only However, when any one of our relations was talked of population. From this motive, I had found to be a person of a very bad character, a scarce taken orders a year, before I began to troublesome guest, or one we desired to get rid think seriously of matrimony, and chose my of, upon his leaving my house, I ever took care wife as she did her wedding gown, not for a to lend him a riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would sometimes an horse of small value, and I always wear well. To do her justice, she was a good. had the satisfaction to find he never came back natured, notable woman; and as for breeding, to return them. By this the house was cleared there were few country ladies who could shew of such as we did not like ; but never was the more. She could read any English book with family of Wakefield known to turn the traveller out much spelling ; but for pickling, preserving, or the poor dependant out of doors. and cookery, none could excel her. She prided Thus we lived several years in a state of much herself also upon being an excellent contriver in happiness; not but that we sometimes had those house-keeping; though I could never find that little rubs which Providence sends to enhance we grew richer with all her contrivances. the value of its favours. My orchard was often
However, we loved each other tenderly, and robbed by school-boys, and my wife's custards our fondness increased as we grew old. There plundered by the cats or the children. The was, in fact, nothing that could make us angry squire would sometimes fall asleep in the most with the world, or each other. We had an ele pathetic parts of my sermon, or his lady return gant house, situate in a fine country, and a good my wife's civilities at church with a mutilated neighbourhood. The year was spent in moral curtsey. But we soon got over the uneasiness or rural amusements, in visiting our rich neigh- caused by such accidents, and usually in three bours, and relieving such as were poor. We had or four days began to wonder how they vexed no revolutions to fear, nor fatigues to undergo; us. all our adventures were by the fire-side, and all My children, the offspring of temperance, as our migrations from the blue bed to the brown. they were educated without softness, so they
As we lived near the road, we often had the were at once well-formed and healthy; my sons traveller or stranger visit us, to taste our goose- hardy and active, my daughters beautiful and berry-wine, for which we had great reputation; blooming. When I stood in the midst of the and I profess, with the veracity of an historian, little circle, which promised to be the supports that I never knew one of them find fault with of my declining age, I could not avoid repeating it. Our cousins too, even to the fortieth remove, the famous story of Count Abensberg, who, in all remembered their affinity, without any help Henry II.'s progress through Germany, while from the heralds' office, and came very frequent- other courtiers came with their treasures, brought ly to see us. Some of them did us no great ho. his thirty-two children, and presented them to nour by these claims of kindred ; as we had the his sovereign as the most valuable offering he blind, the maimed, and the halt, amongst the had to bestow. In this manner, though I had
but six, I considered them as a very valuable ing, they had but one character--that of being present made to my country, and consequently all equally generous, credulous, simple, and inlooked upon it as my debtor. Our eldest son offensive. was named George, after his uncle, who left us ten thousand pounds. Our second child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel ; but
CHAP. II. my wife, who, during her pregnancy, had been reading romances, insisted upon her being call. Family misfortunes—the loss of fortune only serves ed Olivia. In less than another year we had to increase the pride of the worthy. another daughter, and now I was determined that Grissel should be her name ; but a rich re The temporal concerns of our family were lation taking a fancy to stand godmother, the chiefly committed to my wife's management; girl was by her directions called Sophia ; so that as to the spiritual, I took them entirely under we had two romantic names in the family ; but my own direction. The profits of my living, I solemnly protest I had no hand in it. Moses which amounted to about thirty-five pounds awas our next, and, after an interval of twelve year, I made over to the orphans and widows of years, we had two sons more.
the clergy of our diocese ; for, having a suffiIt would be fruitless to deny my exultation cient fortune of my own, I was careless of temwhen I saw my little ones about me; but the poralities, and felt a secret pleasure in doing my vanity and the satisfaction of my wife were even duty without reward. I also set a resolution of greater than mine. When our visitors would keeping no curate, and of being acquainted with say, “ Well, upon my word, Mrs Primrose, you every man in the parish, exhorting the married have the finest children in the whole country," men to temperance, and the bachelors to matri
“Ay, neighbour,” she would answer, “they mony; so that in a few years it was a common are as Heaven made them--handsome enough, saying, that there were three strange wants at if they be good enough; for handsome is, that Wakefield-a parson wanting pride, young men handsome does." And then she would bid the wanting wives, and alehouses wanting cusgirls hold up their heads; who, to conceal no. tomers. thing, were certainly very handsome. Mere out Matrimony was always one of my favourite side is so very trifling a circumstance with me, topics, and I wrote several sermons to prove its that I should scarce have remembered to men- happiness: but there was a peculiar tenet which tion it, had it not been a general topic of con- I made a point of supporting ; for I maintainversation in the country. Olivia, now about ed, with Whiston, that it was unlawful for a eighteen, had that luxuriancy of beauty with priest of the Church of England, after the death which painters generally draw Hebe; open, of his first wife, to take a second ; or, to express sprightly, commanding. Sophia's features were it in one word, I valued myself upon being a not so striking at first; but often did more cere strict monogamist. tain execution ; for they were soft, modest, and I was early initiated into this important disalluring. The one vanquished by a single blow, pute, on which so many laborious volumes have the other by efforts successively repeated. been written. I published some tracts upon the
The temper of a woman is generally formed subject myself, which, as they never sold, I. from the turn of her features ; at least it was so have the consolation of thinking are read only with my daughters. Olivia wished for many by the happy few. Some of my friends called lovers ; Sophia to secure one. Olivia was often this my weak side ; but, alas! they had not, affected, from too great a desire to please ; So- like me, made it a subject of long contemplaphia even repressed excellence, from her fears tion. The more I reflected upon it, the more to offend. The one entertained me with her vi important it appeared. I even went a step bevacity when I was gay, the other with her sense yond Whiston in displaying my principles. As when I was serious. But these qualities were he had engraven upon his wife's tomb that she never carried to excess in either, and I have was the only wife of William Whiston; so I often seen them exchange characters for a whole wrote a similar epitaph for my wife, though still day together. A suit of mourning has trans- living, in which I extolled her prudence, ecoformed my coquet into a prude, and a new set nomy, and obedience, till death; and having of ribbons has given her youngest sister more got it copied fair, with an elegant frame, it was than natural vivacity. My eldest son, George, placed over the chimney-piece, where it answerwas bred at Oxford, as I intended him for one ed several very useful purposes. It admonished of the learned professions. My second boy, my wife of her duty to me, and my fidelity to Moses, whom I designed for business, received her; it inspired her with a passion for fame, a sort of miscellaneous education at home. But and constantly put her in mind of her end. it is needless to attempt describing the particu- It was thus, perhaps, from hearing marriage lar characters of young people that had seen but so often recommended, that my eldest son, just very little of the world. In short, a family like- upon leaving college, fixed his affections upon tiess prevailed through all ; and, properly speak- the daughter of a neighbouring clergyman, who