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And gain his hat again at half-past eight? Now while his fears anticipate a thief, John Mullens whispered, "Take my handkerchief." "Thank you," cries Pat; "but one won't make a line." "Take mine," cried Wilson; and cried Stokes, "Take mine."
A motley cable soon Pat Jennings ties,
Where Spitalfields with real India vies.
Starr'd, striped, and spotted, yellow, red, and blue,
Old calico, torn silk, and muslin new.
George Green below, with palpitating hand,
THE MEMORY OF THE BRAVE.
HOW sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
AN UNEXPECTED RE-UNION.
As we stood at the window of an inn that fronted the public prison, a
person arrived on horseback, genteelly though plainly dressed in a blue frock, with his own hair cut short, and a gold-laced hat upon his head. Alighting, and giving his horse to the landlord, he advanced to an old man who was at work in paving the street, and accosted him in these words:"This is hard work for such an old man as you?" So saying, he took the instrument out of his hand, and began to thump the pavement. After a few strokes, "Have you never a son," said he, "to ease you of this labour?" "Yes, an' please your honour," replied the senior, "I have three hopeful lads, but at present they are out of the way." "Honour not me," cried the stranger; "it more becomes me to honour your gray hairs. Where are those sons you talk of?" The ancient pavier said, his eldest son was a captain in the East Indies, and the youngest had lately enlisted as a soldier, in hopes of prospering like his brother. The gentleman desiring to know what was become of the second, he wiped his eyes, and owned he had taken upon him his old father's debts, for which he was now in the prison hard by.
The traveller made three quick steps towards the jail; then turning short, "Tell me," said he, " has that unnatural captain sent you nothing to relieve your distresses?" "Call him not unnatural," replied the other; "God's blessing be upon him! he sent me a great deal of money, but I made a bad use of it; I lost it by being security for a gentleman that was my landlord, and was stripped of all I had in the world besides." At that instant young man, thrusting out his head and neck between two iron bars in the prison window, exclaimed, "Father! father! if my brother William is in life, that 's he." "I am! I am!" cried the stranger, clasping the old man in his arms, and shedding a flood of tears, "I am your son Willy, sure enough!" Before the father, who was quite confounded, could make any return to this tenderness, a decent old woman, bolting out from the door of a poor habitation, cried, "Where is my bairn? where is my dear Willy?" The captain no sooner beheld her than he quitted his father, and ran into her embrace. Smollett.
SEEMING AND BEING.
WAS lately introduced into a company of the best dressed men I have seen since my arrival. Upon entering the room, I was struck with awe at the grandeur of the different dresses. That personage, thought I, in blue and gold must be some emperor's son; that in green and silver a prince of the blood; he in embroidered scarlet a prime minister, all firstrate noblemen, I suppose, and well-looking noblemen too. I sat for some time with that uneasiness which conscious inferiority produces in the ingenuous mind, all attention to their discourse. However, I found their conversation more vulgar than I could have expected from personages of such distinction if these, thought I to myself, be princes, they are the most stupid princes I have ever conversed with: yet still I continued to venerate their dress; for dress has a kind of mechanical influence on the mind.
My friend in black, indeed, did not behave with the same deference, but contradicted the finest of them all in the most peremptory tones of contempt. But I had scarcely time to wonder at the imprudence of his conduct, when I found occasion to be equally surprised at the absurdity of theirs; for upon the entry of a middle-aged man, dressed in a cap, dirty shirt and boots, the whole circle seemed diminished of their former importance, and contended who should be first to pay their obeisance to the stranger. They somewhat resembled a circle of Kalmucs offering incense to a bear.
Eager to know the cause of so much seeming contradiction, I whispered my friend out of the room, and found that the august company consisted of no other than a dancing-master, two fiddlers, and a third-rate actor, all assembled in order to make a set at country dances, as the middle-aged gentleman whom I saw enter was a squire from the country, desirous of learning the new manner of footing, and smoothing up the rudiments of his rural minuet.
I was no longer surprised at the authority which my friend assumed among them, nay, was even displeased (pardon my Eastern education) that he had not kicked every creature of them down stairs. "What!" said I, "shall a set of such paltry fellows dress themselves up like sons of kings, and claim even the transitory respect of half an hour? There
should be some law to restrain so manifest a breach of privilege; they should go from house to house, as in China, with the instruments of their profession strung round their necks; by this means we might be able to distinguish and treat them in a style becoming contempt." "Hold, my friend," replied my companion, "were your reformation to take place, as dancing-masters and fiddlers now mimic gentlemen in appearance, we should then find our fine gentlemen conforming to theirs. A beau might be introduced to a lady of fashion with a fiddle-case hanging at his neck by a red ribbon, and instead of a cane might carry a fiddle-stick. Though to be as dull as a first-rate dancing master might be used with proverbial justice; yet, dull as he is, many a fine gentleman sets him up as the proper standard of politeness, copies not only the pert vivacity of his air, but the flat insipidity of his conversation. In short, if you make a law against dancing-masters imitating the fine gentleman, you should with as much reason enact that no fine gentleman shall imitate the dancing-master."
After I had left my friend, I made towards home, reflecting as I went upon the difficulty of distinguishing men by their appearance. Invited, however, by the freshness of the evening, I did not return directly, but went to ruminate on what had passed in a public garden belonging to the city. Here, as I sate upon one of the benches, and felt the pleasing sympathy which nature in bloom inspires, a disconsolate figure, who sate on the other end of the seat, seemed no way to enjoy the serenity of the
His dress was miserable beyond description; a threadbare coat of the rudest materials; a shirt, though clean, yet extremely coarse; hair that seemed to have been long unconscious of the comb; and all the rest of his equipage impressed with the marks of genuine poverty.
As he continued to sigh, and testify every symptom of despair, I was naturally led, from a motive of humanity, to offer comfort and assistance. You know my heart; and that all who are miserable may claim a place there. The pensive stranger at first declined my conversation; but at last perceiving a peculiarity in my accent and manner of thinking, he began to unfold himself by degrees.
I now found that he was not so very miserable as he at first appeared; upon my offering him a small piece of money, he refused my favour, yet without appearing displeased at my intended generosity. It is true he