"This, young man," said the Chaplain, making a low bow as he spoke to the comical Image before him, "is Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, of Hampstead. Make your reverence, sirrah!"
"Make a reverence to a Rag-doll!" I answered, with a sneer. "He hath left his twin brother beyond sea. I know him, and he is a Barbary Ape."
"The rogue is insolent," says B. Pinchin, Esq., clutching tighter at his tall cane, but turning very white the while. "I must batoon him into better manners."
"WHAT!" I cried in a great voice, making a step towards him, for my blood was up. I would but have tweaked the little creature's Ears; but he, for a surety, thought I had a mind to Murder him. I do aver that he fell upon his knees, and with most piteous Accents and Protestations entreated me, for the sake of his Mamma, to spare his life, and he would give me all I asked.
I was quite bewildered, and turning towards the Parson, asked if his master was Mad; to which he made answer with some Heat, that he was no Master of his, but his Honoured Friend and Gracious Patron; whereupon the little Spark must go up to him, whimpering and cuddling about him, and beseeching him to save him from the Tall Rogue, meaning me.
"Body o' me, man," I exclaimed, scarcely able to keep from laughing, "I mean you no harm. I am a young Englishman, lately come from the Plantations, and seeking employment. I see you struggling yonder, and likely to give up the ghost, and I pull you out; and then you call me Rogue and charge me with striking of you. Was it cramp or cowardice that made you bawl so? Give me something to drink better manners to you, and I will leave you and this reverend gentleman alone."
The Parson bowed his head with a pleased look when I called him Reverend and a Gentleman, and, in an under-tone, told his Patron that I was a civilly behaved youth, after all. But the Poltroon with the white wig was not out of his Pother yet. He had risen to his feet with a patch of sand on each knee, and as the Chaplain wiped it off with a kerchief, he blubbered out that I wanted to rob him.
The Clergyman whispered in his ear—perhaps that I was a Dangerous looking Fellow, and might lose my temper anon to some tune: for my Whippersnapper approaches me, and, in a manner Civil enough, tells me that he is much obliged for what I had done for him. "And you will take this," says he. I will be shot if he did not give me an English groat.
"You can readily get English coin changed in the town," he observed with a smirk, as in sheer bewilderment I gazed upon this paltry doit.
I was desperately minded to Fling it at him, knock him and the Chaplain down, and leave the precious pair to pick themselves up again, but I forebore. "Well," I said, "if that's the value you put upon your life, I can't grumble at your Guerdon. I suppose that shrivelled little carcass of yours isn't worth more than fourpence. I'll e'en change it in town, and buy fourpennyworth of Dutch cheese, and you shall have the parings for nothing to send to your Mamma as a gift from foreign parts. Good morning to you, my noble Captain." And so saying I walked away in a Fume of Wrath and Contempt.
I was idling, that same afternoon, along the Main street of Ostend very much in the Dumps, and thinking of going down to the Port to seek a cook's place from some Ship Master, for I was not yet Qualified to engage as an Able-bodied Mariner, when I met the Chaplain again, this time alone, and coming out of a pastryman's shop. I would have passed him, as holding both him and his master in Disdain, but he Arrested me, and beckoned me into an Entry, there to have some Speech.
"My Patron is somewhat quick and hasty, and was uncommonly flustered by his mischance this morning," quoth the Rev. Mr. Hodge. "Nor perhaps did he use you as liberally as he should have done. Here is a golden guilder for you, honest man."
I thanked him, and as I pouched it told him that I would have taken no Money at all for a service which every man is bound to render to his Fellow-creature, but that I was sorely pressed for Money. On this, he asked my name and belongings. The name I gave him, at the which he winced somewhat; but of my history I did not care to enlighten him further beyond broadly stating that I had come from the Plantations, where I had been used to keep Accompts, and that I was an Orphan, and had no friends in England, even if I possessed the means to return thither.
"I think I can find you a place," the chaplain replied, when I had finished. "'Twill not be a very handsome one, but the work is little and light. Would it meet your purpose, now, to attend on a gentleman?"
"It depends," I replied, "on what kind of a Gentleman he is."
"A Gentleman of landed Estate," quoth the parson, quite pat. "An English gentleman, now travelling for his Diversion, but will, in good time, settle down in England, to live on his Acres in a Handsome manner, and be a justice of peace, and of the Quorum."
"Do you mean your Squire of Hampstead, yonder?" I answered, pointing my thumb over my shoulder, as though in the direction where I had met his Reverence and his Patron that morning.
"I do," responds Mr. Hodge.
"Bartholomew Pinchin, of Hampstead, Esquire, eh?" I continued.
"Then," I went on, raising my voice, and giving a furious glance at my companion, "I'll see Bartholomew Pinchin boiled, and I'll see Bartholomew Pinchin baked, and his Esquireship to boot, before I'll be his servant. He, a mean, skulking, pinchbeck hound! Tell him I'm meat for his master, and that he has no service, body or lip, of mine."
"Tut, tut, you foolish lad," said Mr. Hodge, not in the least offended. "What a wild young colt it is, and how impatient! For all your strapping figure, now, I doubt whether you are twenty years of age."
I answered, with something like a Blush, that I was not yet seventeen.
"There it is,—there it is," the Chaplain took me, chuckling. "As I thought. A mere boy. A very lad. Not come to years of discretion yet, and never will, if he goes on raging in this manner. Hearken to me, youngster. Don't be such a fool as to throw away a good chance."
"I don't see where it is yet," I observed sulkily yet sheepishly; for there was a Good-natured air about the Chaplain that overcame me.
"But I do," he rejoined. "The good chance you have is of getting a comfortable place, with a smart livery—"
"I won't wear a livery," I cried, in a heat. "I'll be no man's lacquey; I'm a gentleman."
"So was Adam," retorted Mr. Hodge, "and the very first of the breed; but he had to wear a livery of fig-leaves for all that, and so had his wife, Eve. Come, 'tis better to don a land-jerkin, and a hat with a ribbon to 't, and be a Gentleman's Gentleman, with regular Wages and Vails, and plenty of good Victuals every day, than to be starving and in rags about the streets of a Flemish town."
"I'm not starving; I'm not in rags," I protested, with my Proud stomach.
"But you will be the day after to-morrow. The two things always go together. Come, my young friend, I'll own that Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, is not generous."
"Generous!" I exclaimed; "why, he's the meanest little hunks that ever lanced a paving stone to find blood for black puddings in it. Didn't he give me fourpence this morning for saving his life?"
"And didn't you tell him that his life wasn't worth more than a groat?" asked the Chaplain, with a sly grin; "besides insulting him on the question of Dutch cheese (to which he has an exquisite aversion), into the bargain?"
"That's true," I replied, vanquished by the Parson's logic.
"There, then," his Reverence went on. "Bartholomew Pinchin Esquire's more easily managed than you think for. Do you prove a good servant, and it shall be my duty to make him show himself a good master to you. But I must have no further parley with you here, else these Papistical Ostenders will think that you are some Flemish lad (for indeed you have somewhat of a foreign air), and I a Lutheran Minister striving to convert you. Get you back to your Inn, good youth. Pay your score, if you have one, and if you have not, e'en spend your guilder in treating of your companions, and come to me at nine of the clock this evening at the Inn of the Three Archduchesses. Till then, fare you well."
It must be owned that his Reverence's proposals were fair, and that his conversation was very civil. As I watched him trotting up the Main Street, his Cassock bulging out behind, I agreed with myself that perhaps the most prudent thing I could do just at present would be to put my gentility in my pocket till better times came round. There was a Spanish Don, I believe, once upon a time, who did very nearly the same thing with his sword.
At the appointed time I duly found myself at the sign of the Three Archduchesses, which was the bravest Hostelry in all Ostend, and the one where all the Quality put up. I asked for Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, in the best French that I could muster; whereupon the drawer, who was a Fleming, and, I think, spoke even worse French than I did, asked me if I meant the English Lord who had the grand suite of apartments looking on the courtyard. I was fit to die of laughing at first to hear the trumpery little Hampstead squire spoken of as a lord; but Prudence came to my aid again, and I answered that such was the personage I came to seek; and, after not much delay, I was ushered into the presence of Mr. Pinchin, whose Esquiredom—and proud enough he was of it—I may now as well Drop. I found him in a very handsome apartment, richly furnished, drinking Burgundy with his chaplain, and with a pack of cards alongside the bottles, and two great wax candles in sconces on either side. But, as he drank his Burgundy, he ceased not to scream and whimper at the expense he was being put to in having such a costly liquor at his table, and scolded Mr. Hodge very sorely because he had not ordered some thin Bordeaux, or light Rhine wine. "I'm drinking guineas," he moaned, as he gulped down his Goblets; "it'll be the ruin of me. A dozen of this is as bad as a Mortgage upon my Titmouse Farm. What'll my mamma say? I shall die in the poor-house." But all this time he kept on drinking; and it was not glass and glass about with him, I promise you, for he took at least three bumpers full to his Chaplain's one, and eyed that reverend personage grudgingly as he seized his opportunity, and brimmed up the generous Red Liquor in his tall-stemmed glass. Yet the Chaplain seemed in no way discountenanced by his scanty allowance, and I thought that, perchance, his Reverence liked not wine of Burgundy.
They were playing a hand of piquet when I was introduced; and they being Gentlefolks, and I a poor humble Serving Man that was to be, I was bidden to wait, which I did very patiently in the embrasure of a window, admiring the great dark tapestried curtains as they loomed in indistinct gorgeousness among the shadows. The hand of piquet was over at last, and Mr. Pinchin found that he had lost three shillings and sixpence.
"I can't pay it, I can't pay it," he said, making a most rueful countenance. "I'm eaten out of house and home, and sharped at cards besides. It's a shame for a Parson to play foul,—I say foul, Mr. Hodge. It's a disgrace to the cloth to bring your wicked card-cheating practices to devalise an English gentleman who is travelling for his diversion."
"We'll play the game over again, if you choose, Worthy Sir," the Chaplain answers quite quietly.
"Yes, and then you'll win seven shillings of me. You've sworn to bring me to beggary and ruin. I know you swore it when my mamma sent you abroad with me. Oh, why did I come to foreign parts with a wicked, guzzling, gambling, chambering Chaplain, that's in league with the very host and the drawers of this thieving inn against me—that burns me a guinea a night in wax candles, and has had a freehold farm out of me in Burgundy wine."
"I've have had but two glasses the entire evening," the Chaplain pleaded, in a voice truly that was meek; but I thought that, even at the distance I stood from him, I could see the colour rising in his cheek.
"Oh, you have, you have," went on Squire Bartholomew, who, if not half Mad, was certainly more than three parts Muzzy; "you've ruined me, Mr. Hodge, with your cards and your candles and your Burgundy, and Goodness only knows what else besides."
The Chaplain could stand it no longer; and rose in a Rage.
"I wish all the candles and the cards were down your throat," he cried; "nearly all the wine is there already. I wish they'd choke you. I wish they were all in the pit of your stomach, and turned to hot burning coals. What shall I do with you, you cadaverous little jackanapes? The Lout did well this morning—" (I was the Lout, by your leave) "to—to liken thee to one, for thou art more monkey than man. But for fear of staining my cassock, I'd—I'd—"
He advanced towards him with a vengeful air, clenching his fist, as well as I could see, as he approached. Surely there never was such a comical character as this Bartholomew Pinchin. 'Tis the bare truth, that, as the enraged parson came at him, this Gentleman of broad acres drops down again on his marrowbones, just as I had seen him on the sands in the morning; and lifting up his little skinny hands towards the ceiling, begins yelling and bawling out louder than ever.
"Spare my life! spare my life!" he cried, "Take my watch and trinkets. Take my Gold Medal of the Pearl of Brunswick Club. Take the diamond solitaire I wear in my great Steenkirk on Sundays. Go to my Bankers, and draw every penny I've got in the world. Turn me out a naked, naked Pauper; but oh, Mr. Hodge spare my life. I'm young. I've been a sinner. I want to give a hundred Pounds to Lady Wackerbarth's charity school. I want to do every body good. Take my gold, but spare my life. Oh, you tall young man in the corner there, come and help an English gentleman out of the hands of a murtherous Chaplain."
"Why, you craven cur, you," puts in the Chaplain, bending over him with half-poised fist, yet with a kind of half-amusement in his features, "don't you know that the Tall young Man, as you call him, is the poor English lad who saved your worthless little carcass from drowning this morning, and whom you offered to recompense with a Scurvy Groat."
"I'll give him forty pound, I will," blubbered Mr. Pinchin, still on his knees. "I'll give him fifty pound when my Midsummer rents come in, only let him rescue me from the jaws of the roaring lion. Oh, my Mamma! my mamma!"
"Come forward, then, young man," cried the Chaplain, with a smile of disdain on his good-humoured countenance, "and help this worthy and courageous gentleman to his legs. Don't be afraid, Squire Barty. He won't murder you."
I advanced in obedience to the summons, and putting a hand under either armpit of the Squire, helped him on to his feet. Then, at a nod of approval, I set him in the great arm-chair of Utrecht velvet. Then I pointed to the bottle on the table, and looked at Mr. Hodge, as though to ask whether he thought a glass of Burgundy would do the patient good.
"No," said the Chaplain. "He's had enough Burgundy. He'd better have a flask of champagne to give him some spirits. Will you drink a flask of champagne, Squire?" he continued, addressing his patron in a strangely authoritative voice.
"Yes," quoth the little man, whose periwig was all Awry, and who looked, on the whole, a most doleful figure,—"yes, if you please, Mr. Hodge."
"Vastly pretty! And what am I to have? I think I should like some Burgundy."
"Any thing," murmured the discomfited Squire; "only spare my—"
"Tush! your life's in no danger. We'll take good care of it. And this most obliging English youth,—will your Honour offer him no refreshment? What is he to have?"
"Can he drink beer?" asked the Squire, in a faint voice, and averting his head, as though the having to treat me was too much for him.
"Can you drink beer?" echoed the Chaplain, looking at me, but shaking his head meanwhile, as if to warn me not to consent to partake of so cheap a beverage.
"It's very cheap," added Mr. Pinchin, very plaintively. "It isn't a farthing a glass; and when you get used to it, it's better for the inwards than burnt brandy. Have a glass of beer, good youth. Kind Mr. Hodge, let them bring him a glass of Faro."
"Hang your faro! I don't like it," I said, bluntly.
"What will you have, then?" asked the Squire, with a gasp of agony, and his head still buried in the chair-cushion.
It seemed that the Chaplain's lips, as he looked at me, were mutely forming the letters W I N E. So I put a bold front upon it, and said,
"Why, I should like, master, to drink your health in a bumper of right Burgundy with this good Gentleman here."
"He will have Burgundy," whimpered Mr. Pinchin, half to the chair-cushion, and half to his periwig. "He will have Burgundy. The ragged, tall young man will have Burgundy at eight livres ten sols the flask. Oh, let him have it, and let me die! for he and the Parson have sworn to my Mamma to murder me and have my blood, and leave me among Smugglers, and Papistry, and Landlords who have sworn to ruin me in waxen candles."
There was something at once so ludicrous, and yet so Pathetic, in the little man's lamentations, that I scarcely knew whether to laugh or to cry. His feelings seemed so very acute, and he himself so perfectly sincere in his moanings and groanings, that it was almost Barbarity to jeer at him. The Chaplain, however, was, to all appearance, accustomed to these little Comedies; for, whispering to me that it was all Mr. Pinchin's manner, and that the young Gentleman meant no harm, he bade me bestir myself and hurry up the servants of the House to serve supper. So not only were the champagne and the Burgundy put on table,—and of the which there was put behind a screen a demiflask of the same true vintage for my own private drinking. ("And the Squire will be pleased, when he comes to Audit the score, to find that you have been content with Half a bottle. 'Twill seem like something saved out of the Fire," whispers the Chaplain to me, as I helped to lay the cloth),—not only were Strong Waters and sweet Liquors and cordials provided, especially that renowned stomachic the Maraschyno, of which the Hollanders and Flemings are so outrageously fond, and which is made to such perfection in the Batavian settlements in Asia, but a substantial Repast likewise made its appearance, comprising Fowl, both wild and tame, and hot and cold, a mighty pasty of veal and eggs, baked in a Standing Crust, some curious fresh sallets, and one of potatoes and salted herrings flavoured with garlic—to me most villanously nasty, but much affected in these amphibious Low Countries. So, the little Squire being brought to with a copious draught of champagne,—and he was the most weazened little Bacchus I ever knew, moistening his ever-dry throttle from morn until night,—he and the chaplain sate down to supper, and remained feasting until long past midnight. So far as the Parson's part went, it might have been called a Carouse as well as a Feast, for his Reverence took his Liquor, and plenty of it, with a joviality of Countenance the which it would have done your Heart good to see, drinking "Church and King," and then "King and Church," so that neither Institution should have cause to grumble, and then giving the Army, the Navy, the Courts of Quarter Sessions throughout England, Newmarket and the horses, not forgetting the Jockeys, the pious memory of Dr. Sacheverell, at which the Squire winced somewhat, for he was a bitter Whig, with many other elegant and appropriate sentiments. In fact, it was easy to see that his reverence had known the very best of company, and when at one of the clock he called for a Bowl of Punch, which he had taught the Woman of the House very well how to brew, I put him down as one who had sate with Lords,—ay and of the Council too, over their Potations. But the Behaviour of Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, was, from the beginning unto the end of the Regale, of a piece with his former extraordinary and Grotesque conduct. After the champagne, he essayed to sing a song to the tune of "Cold and Raw," but, failing therein, he began to cry. Then did he accuse me of having secreted the Liver Wing of a Capon, which, I declare, I had seen him devour not Five Minutes before. Then he had more Drink, and proposed successively as Toasts his Cousin Lady Betty Heeltap, daughter to my Lord Poddle; a certain Madame Van Foorst, whom I afterwards discovered to be the keeper of a dancing Ridotto on the Port at Antwerp; then the Jungfrau, or serving wench that waited upon us, who had for name Babette; and lastly his Mamma, whom, ten minutes afterwards, he began to load with Abuse, declaring that she wished to have her Barty shut up in a madhouse, in order that she might enjoy his Lands and Revenues. And then he fell to computing the cost of the supper, swearing that it would Ruin him, and making his old complaints about those eternal wax candles. Then, espying me out, he asks who I am, challenges me to fight with him for a Crown, vows that he will delate me to the English Resident at Brussels for a Jacobite spy, tells me that I am an Honest Fellow, and, next to Mr. Hodge, the best friend he ever had in the world, and falls down at last stupefied. Whereupon, with the assistance of the Flemish Drawer, I carried my new master up to bed.
CHAPTER THE FOURTH.
I MAKE THE GRAND TOUR, AND ACQUIRE SOME KNOWLEDGE OF THE POLITE WORLD.
FOR I had decided that he was to be my Master. "I can bear with his strange ways," I said to myself. "John Dangerous has seen stranger, young as he is; and it will go hard if this droll creature does not furnish forth some sport, ay and some Profit too, before long." For now that I had put my Gentility in my pocket, I began to remember that Hay is a very pleasant and toothsome thing for Fodder, to say nothing of its having a most pleasant odour, and that the best time to make hay was while the sun did shine.
After I had assisted in conveying the Little Man to bed, I came down again to the Saloon, finding there Mr. Hodge, who was comforting himself with a last bumper of punch before seeking bed.
"Well, Youth," he accosts me, "have you thought better of your surly, huffing manner of this morning and this afternoon?"
I told him that I had, and that I desired nothing better than to enter forthwith into the service of Bartholomew Pinchin, Esquire, of Hampstead.
"That's well," said his Reverence, nodding at me over his punch. "You've had your supper behind yon screen, haven't you?"
I answered, "Yes, and my Burgundy likewise."
"That you mustn't expect every day," he continues, "but only on extraordinary occasions such as that of to-night. What the living is like, you have seen. The best of fish, flesh, and fowl, and plenty of it. As to your Clothes and your Wages, we will hold discourse of that in the morning; for 'twill take your Master half the morning to beat you down a penny a Month, and quarrel with the Tailor about the cheapest kind of serge for your Livery. Leave it to me, however, and I'll engage that you have no reason to complain either of one or the other. What did you say your name was, friend? As for Recommendations, you have none to Give, and I seek not any from you. I will be content to take your character from your Face and Speech."
I began to stammer and bow and thank his Honour's Reverence for his good opinion.
"Don't thank me before you're asked," answers Mr. Hodge, with a grin. "The academy of compliments is not held here. By your speech you have given every sign of being a very Saucy Fellow, and, to judge from your face, you have all the elements in you of a complete Scoundrel."
I bowed, and was silent.
"But your name," he pursued, "that has escaped me."
I answered Respectfully that I had used to be called John Dangerous.
"Tut, tut!" Mr. Hodge cried out hastily. "Fie upon the name! John is all very well; but Dangerous will never do. Why, our Patron would think directly he heard it that you were bent on cutting his throat, or running away with his valise."
I submitted, again with much respect, that it was the only name I had.
"Well, thou art a straightforward youth," said the Chaplain good-humouredly, "and I will not press thee to take up an alias. John will serve excellently well for the present; and, if more be wanted, thou shalt be John D. But understand that the name of Dangerous is to remain a secret between me and thee and the Post."
"With all my heart," I cried, "so long as the Post be not a gallows."
"Well said, John D.," murmured Mr. Hodge, upon whom by this time the punch had taken some little effect. "A good Lad, John. And now thou mayst help me up to bed."
And so I did, for his Reverence had begun to stagger. Then a pallet was found for me high up in the Roof of the Inn of the Three Archduchesses. I forbore to grumble, for I had been used from my first going out into the world to Hard Lodging. And that night I slept very soundly, and dreamt that I was in the Great Four-post Bed at my Grandmother's in Hanover Square.
Never had a Man, I suppose, in this Mortal World, ever so droll a master as this Bartholomew Pinchin, of Hampstead, Esquire. 'Tis Tame, and may be Offensive, for me to be so continually telling that he wrote himself down Armiger, after my Promise to forego for the future such recapitulation of his Title; but Mr. Pinchin was himself never tired of dubbing himself Esquire, and you could scarcely be five Minutes in his company without hearing of his Estate, and his Mamma, and his Right to bear Arms. I, who was by birth a Gentleman of Long Descent, could not forbear Smiling from time to time (in my Sleeve, be it understood, since I was a Servant at Wages to him) at his ridiculous Assumptions. And there are few things more Contemptible, I take it, than for a Man of really good Belongings, and whose Lineage is as old as Stonehenge (albeit, for Reasons best known to Himself, he permits his Pedigree to lie Perdu), to hear an Upstart of Yesterday Bragging and Swelling that he is come from this or from that, when we, who are of the true Good Stock, know very well, but that we are not so ill-mannered as to say so, that he is sprung from Nothing at all. I think that if the Heralds were to make their Journeys now, as of Yore, among the Country Churchyards, and hack out from the Headstones the sculptured cognizances of those having no manner of Right to them, the Stone-Masons about Hyde Park Corner would all make Fortunes from the orders that would be given to them for fresh Tombs. Not a mealy-mouthed Burgess now, whose great-grandfather sold stocking hose to my Lord Duke of Northumberland, but sets himself up for a Percy; not a supercilious Cit, whose Uncle married a cast-off waiting-woman from Arundel Castle, but vaunts himself on his alliance with the noble house of Howard; not a starveling Scrivener, whose ancestor, as the playwright has it, got his Skull cracked by John of Gaunt for crowding among the Marshalmen in the Tilt Yard, but must pertly Wink and Snigger, and say that the Dukedom of Lancaster would not be found extinct if the Right Heir chose to come Forward. Since that poor young Lord of the Lakes was attainted for his part in the Troubles of the 'Fifteen, and lost his head on Tower Hill (his vast Estates going to Greenwich Hospital), I am given to understand that every man in Cumberland or Westmoreland whose name happens to be Ratcliffe (I knew the late Mr. Charles Ratcliffe, that Suffered with a Red Feather in his Hat, very well), must give himself out to be titular Earl of Derwentwater, and Importune the Government to reverse the Attainder, and restore him the Lands of which the Greenwich Commissioners have gotten such a tight Hold; and as for Grandchildren of the by-blows of King Charles II., good lack! to hear them talk of the "Merry Monarch," and to see them draw up their Eyebrows into the Stuart Frown, one would think that every Player-Woman at the King's or the Duke's House had been as favoured in her time as Madam Eleanour Gwyn.
Thus do I no more believe that Mr. Bartholomew Pinchin was cousin to Lady Betty Heeltap, or in any manner connected with the family of my Lord Poddle (and he was only one of the Revolution Peers, that got his coronet for Ratting at the right moment to King William III.), than that he was the Great Mogul's Grandmother. His gentlemanly extraction was with him all a Vain Pretence and silly outward show. It did no very great Harm, however. When the French adventurer Poirier asked King Augustus the Strong to make him a Count, what said his Majesty of Warsaw and Luneville? "That I cannot do," quoth he; "but there is nothing under the sun to prevent thee from calling thyself a Count, if the humour so please thee." And Count Poirier, by Self-Creation, he straightway became, and as Count Poirier was knouted to Death at Moscow for Forging of Rubles Assignats. Pinchin was palpably a Plebeian; but it suited him to be called and to call himself an Esquire; and who should gainsay him? At the Three Archduchesses at Ostend, indeed, they had an exceeding sensible Plan regarding Titles and Precedence for Strangers, which was found to answer admirably well. He who took the Grand Suite, looking upon the courtyard, was always held to be an English Lord. The tenant of the floor above him was duly esteemed by the Drawers and Chamberlains to be a Count of the Holy Roman Empire; a quiet gentleman, who would pay a Louis a day for his charges, but was content to dine at the Public Table, was put down as a Baron or a Chevalier; those who occupied the rooms running round the galleries were saluted Merchants, or if they chose it, Captains; but, in the gardens behind the Inn, there stood a separate Building, called a Pavilion, most sumptuously appointed, and the Great Room hung with the Story of Susannah and the Elders in Arras Tapestry; and he who would pay enough for this Pavilion might have been hailed as an Ambassador Plenipotentiary, as a Duke and Peer of France, or even as a Sovereign Prince travelling incognito, had he been so minded. For what will not Money do? Take our English Army, for instance, which is surely the Bravest and the Worst Managed in the whole World. My Lord buys a pair of colours for the Valet that has married his Leman, and forthwith Mr. Jackanapes struts forth an Ensign. But for his own Son and Heir my Lord will purchase a whole troop of Horse: and a Beardless Boy, that a month agone was Birched at Eton for flaws in his Grammar, will Vapour it about on the Mall with a Queue a la Rosbach, and a Long Sword trailing behind him as a full-blown Captain of Dragoons.
I believe Pinchin's father to have been a Tailor. There is no harm in the Craft, honestly exercised; but since the world first Began nine Tailors have made a Man; and you cannot well see a knight of the shears without asking in your own mind where he has left his Eight brethren. Bartholomew Pinchin looked like a Tailor, talked like a Tailor, and thought like a Tailor. Let it not, however, be surmised that I have any mind to Malign the Useful Churls who make our Clothes. Many a time have I been beholden to the strong Faith and Generous Belief of a Tailor when I have stood in need of new Apparel, and have been under momentary Famine of Funds for the Payment thereof. Those who are so ready to sneer at a Snip, and to cast Cabbage in his teeth, would do well to remember that there are Seasons in Life when the Goose (or rather he that wields it) may save, not only the Capitol, but the Soldier who stands on Guard within. How doubly Agonising is Death when you are in doubt as to whence that Full Suit of Black needed on the Funeral Night will arrive! What a tremor comes over you when you remember that this Day Week you are to be Married, and that your Wedding Garment is by no means a certainty! What a dreadful Shipwreck to your Fortune menaces you when you are bidden to wait on a Great Man who has Places to give away, and you find that your Velvet Coat shows the Cord! 'Tis in these Emergencies that the brave Confidence of the Tailor is distilled over us like the Blessed Dew from Heaven; for Trust, when it is really needed, and opportunely comes, is Real Mercy and a Holy Thing.
About my master's Wealth there was no doubt. Lord Poddle, although a questionable cousin of his, would have been glad to possess his spurious kinsman's acres. I should put down the young Esquire's income as at least Twenty Hundred Pounds a year. His Father had been, it cannot be questioned, a Warm Man; but I should like to know, if he was veritably, as his Son essayed to make out, a Gentleman, how he came to live in Honey-Lane Market, hard by Cheapside. Gentlemen don't live in Honey-Lane Market. 'Tis in Bloomsbury, or Soho, or Lincoln's Inn, or in the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, that the real Quality have their habitations. I shall be told next that Gentlefolks should have their mansions by the Bun-House at Pimlico, or in the Purlieus of Tyburn Turnpike. No; 'twas at the sign of the Sleeveboard, in Honey-Lane Market, that our Patrician Squire made his money. The estate at Hampstead was a very fair one, lying on the North side, Highgate way. Mr. Pinchin's Mamma, a Rare City Dame, had a Life Interest in the property, and, under the old Gentleman's will, had a Right to a Whole Sum of Ten Thousand Pounds if she married again. Thus it was that young Bartholomew was always in an agony of Terror to learn that his mamma had been seen walking on a Sunday afternoon in Gray's-Inn Gardens, or taking Powdered Beef and Ratafia at the tavern in Flask Walk, or drinking of Syllabubs at Bellasise; and by every post he expected to hear the dreadful intelligence that Madam Pinchin had been picked up as a City Fortune by some ruffling Student of the Inns of Court, some Irish Captain, or some smart Draper that, on the strength of a new Periwig and a lacquered hilt to his Sword, passes for a Macarony. 'Tis not very romantic to relate, but 'tis no less a fact, that the Son and the Mother hated one another. You who have gone through the World and watched it, know that these sad unnatural loathings between Parents and Children, after the latter are grown up, are by no means uncommon. To me it seems almost impossible that Estrangement and Dislike—nay, absolute Aversion—should ever engender between the Mother and the Daughter, that as a Babe hath hung on her Paps (or should have been so Nurtured, for too many of our Fashionable Fine Dames are given to the cruelly Pernicious Practice of sending their Infants to Nurse almost the very next Week after they are Born, thus Divorcing themselves from the Joys of Tender Affection, and drying up the very Source and Fontinel of Natural Endearments; from which I draw the cause of many of the harsh cold Humours and Uncivil Vapours that do reign between the Great and their children). You may cry Haro upon me for a Cynic or Doggish Philosopher; but I relate my Experiences, and the Things that have stricken my Mind and Sense. I do know Ladies of Quality that hate their Daughters, and would willingly Whip them, did they dare do so, Grown Women as they are, for Spite. I do know Fathers, Men of Parts and Rank, forsooth, jealous of their Sons, and that have kept the Youngsters in the Background, and even striven to Obscure their Minds that they might not cross the Paternal Orbit. And has it not almost passed into a proverb, that my Lord Duke's Natural and most Inveterate Enemy is my Lord Marquis, who is his Heir? But not to the World of Gold and Purple are these Jealousies and Evil Feelings confined. You shall find them to the full as Venomous in hovels, where pewter Platters are on the shelves, and where Fustian and Homespun are the only wear. Down in the West of England, where a worthy Friend of mine has an Estate, I know a Shepherd tending his flocks from sunrise—ay, and before the Sun gets up—until sundown. The honest man has but half-a-dozen shillings a week, and has begotten Fourteen Children. He is old now, and feeble, and is despised by his Progeny. He leads at Home the sorriest of Lives. They take his wages from him, and, were it not for a lump of fat Bacon which my friend's Servants give him now and again for Charity's sake, he would have nothing better to eat from Week's End to Week's End than the hunch of Bread and the morsel of Cheese that are doled forth to him every morning when he goes to his labour. Only the other day, his sixth daughter, a comely Piece enough, was Married. The poor old Shepherd begs a Holiday, granted to him easily enough, and goes home at Midday instead of Even, thinking to have some part in the Wedding Rejoicings, the which his last week's wages have gone some way to furnish forth. I promise you that 'tis a fine Family Feast that he comes across. What but ribs of Beef and Strong Ale—none of your Harvest Clink—and old Cyder and Plum-pudding galore! But his Family will have none of his company, and set the poor old Shepherd apart, giving him but an extra lump of Bread and Cheese to regale himself withal. 'Twas he who told the Story to my Friend, from whom I heard it. What, think you, was his simple complaint, his sole Protest against so much Cruelty and Injustice? He did not rush into the Feasting Room and curse these Ingrates; he did not trample on this Brood that he had nurtured, and that had turned out worse in their Unthankfulness than Vipers; no, he just sat apart, wringing of his Hands, and meekly wailing, "What, a weddin', and narrer a bit o' puddin'—narrer a bit, a bit o' puddin'!" The poor soul had set his head on a slice of dough with raisins in it, and even this crumb from their Table was denied him by his Cubs. 'Tis a brave thing, is it not, Neighbour, to be come to Threescore Years, and to have had Fruitful Loins, and to be Mocked and Misused by those thou hast begotten? How infinitely better do we deem ourselves than the Cat and Dog, and yet how often do we imitate those Dumb Beasts in our own degree! fondling them indeed when they are Kittens and Puppies, but fighting Tooth and Nail with them when they be full grown. But there is as much to be said on the one side as on the other; and for every poor old Lear wandering up and down, pursued by the spite of Goneril and Regan, shall you find a Cordelia whose heart is broken by her Sire's Cruelty.
We did not long abide in Ostend. Presently my master grew tired of the Town, as he did of most Things, and longed for change. He had no better words for the Innkeepers, Merchants, and others who attended him, than to call them a parcel of Extortionate Thieves, and to vow that they were all in a conspiracy for robbing and bringing him to the Poor House. He often did us the honour to accuse us of being in the Plot; and many a time I felt inclined to resent his Impertinence, and to cudgel the abusive little man soundly; but I was wise, and held my Tongue and my Hand as well. Following the Chaplain's advice, and humouring this little Man-monkey in all his caprices, I found that he was not so bad a master after all, and that when he was Drunk, which was almost always, he could be generous enough. When he was sober and bewailed his excessive Expenditure, our policy was to be Mum, or else to Flatter him; and so no bones were broken, and I was well clad and fed, and always had a piece of gold in my pouch, and so began to Feel my Feet.
We visited most of the towns in the Low Countries, then under the Austrian rule, enjoying ourselves with but little occasion for repining. Now our travelling was done on Horseback, and now, when there was a Canal Route, by one of those heavy, lumbering, jovial old boats called Treyckshuyts. I know not whether I spell the word correctly, for in the Languages, albeit fluent enough, I could never be accurate; but of the pleasant old vessels themselves I shall ever preserve a lively recollection. You made a bargain with the Master before starting, giving him so many guilders for a journey, say between Ghent and Bruges, the charge amounting generally to about a Guinea a day for each Gentleman passenger, and half the sum for a servant. And the Domestic's place on the fore-deck and in the fore-cabin was by no means an unpleasant one; for there he was sure to meet good store of comely Fraus, and Jungfraus comelier still, with their clean white caps, Linsey-woolsey petticoats, wooden shoes, and little gold crosses about their necks. Farmers and labouring men and pedlars, with now and then a fat, smirking Priest or two, who tried Hard to Convert you, if by any means he discovered you to be a Heretic, made up the complement of passengers forward; but I, as a servant, was often called aft, and had the pick of both companies, with but light duties, and faring always like a Fighting Cock. For no sooner was our Passage-Money paid than it became my Duty to lay in a Great Stock of Provisions for the voyage, my master disdaining to put up with the ordinary country Fare of dried fish, salted beef, pickled cabbage, hard-boiled eggs, faro-Beer, Schiedam, and so forth, and instructing me, under Mr. Hodge's direction, to purchase Game, Venison, Fruit, Vegetables, Preserves, Cheeses, and other condiments, with a sufficient number of flasks of choice wine, and a little keg of strong cordial, for fear of Accidents. And aboard the Treyckshuyt it was all Singing and Dancing and Carding and drinking of Toasts. The quantity of Tobacco that the country people took was alarming, and the fumes thereof at first highly displeasing to Mr. Pinchin; but I, from my sea education, and the Time I had passed in the Western Indies, was a seasoned vessel as to tobacco; and often when my Master had gone to his cabin for the night was permitted to partake of a Puff on deck with the Reverend Mr. Hodge, who dearly loved his Pipe of Virginia. The Chaplain always called me John D.; and indeed by this time I seemed to be fast losing the character as well as the name of Dangerous. My life was passed in the Plenitude of Fatness; and I may say almost that I was at Grass with Nebuchadnezzar, and had one Life with the beasts of the field; for my days were given up to earthly indulgences, and I was no better than a stalled ox. But the old perils and troubles of my career were only Dormant, and ere long I was to become Jack Dangerous again.
A year passed away in this eating and drinking, dozy, lazy kind of life. I was past seventeen years of age, and it was the autumn of the year '29. We were resting for a time—not that Master, Chaplain, or Man ever did much to entitle them to repose—at the famous watering-place of Spa, close to the German Frontier. We put up at the Silver Stag, where we were entertained in very Handsome Style. Spa, or the Spaw, as it was sometimes called, was then one of the most Renowned Baths in Europe, and was attended by the very Grandest company. Here, when we arrived, was my Lord Duke of Tantivy, an English nobleman of the very Highest Figure, accompanied by my Lady Duchess, the Lord Marquis of Newmarket, his Grace's Son and Heir, who made Rare Work at the gaming tables, with which the place abounded; the Ladies Kitty and Bell Jockeymore, his daughters; and attended by a Numerous and sumptuous suite. Here also did I see the famous French Prince de Noisy-Gevres, then somewhat out of favour at the French Court, for writing of a Lampoon on one of his Eminence the Cardinal Minister's Lady Favourites; the Great Muscovite Boyard Stchigakoff, who had been here ever since the Czar Peter his master had honoured the Spaw with his presence; and any number of Foreign Notabilities, of the most Illustrious Rank, and of either sex. Money was the great Master of the Ceremonies, however, and he who had the Longest Purse was bidden to the Bravest Entertainments. The English of Quality, indeed (as is their custom, which makes 'em so Hated by Foreigners), kept themselves very much to themselves, and my Lord Duke of Tantivy's party, with the exception of the Marquis of Newmarket, who was good enough to Borrow a score of gold pieces from us, and to Rook us at cards now and then, took not the slightest notice of my poor little Master, who was dying to be introduced into Polite Society, and spread abroad those fictions of his cousinage to Lady Betty Heeltap and my Lord Poddle everywhere he went; but the French and German Magnificoes were less Haughty, and were glad to receive an English Traveller who, when his Vanity was concerned, would spend his cash without stint. We drank a great deal of the Water of the Spaw, and uncommonly nasty it was, making it a Thing of vital necessity to take the Taste of it out of our Mouths as soon as might be with Wine and Strong Waters.
From the Spaw we went by easy Stages to Cologne, a dirty, foul-smelling place, but very Handsome in Buildings, and saw all that was to be seen, that is to say, the churches, which Abound Greatly. The Jesuits' Church is the neatest, and this was shown us in a very complaisant manner, although 'tis not the custom to allow Protestants to enter it. Our Cicerone was a bouncing young Jesuit, with a Face as Rosy as the sunny side of a Katherine Pear; but it shocked me to hear how he indulged in Drolleries and Raileries in the very edifice itself. He quizzed both the Magnificence and Tawdriness of the Altars, the Images of the Saints, the Rich Framing of the Relics, and all he came across, seeming no more impressed by their solemnity than the Verger Fellow in Westminster Abbey when he shows the Waxwork to a knot of Yokels at sixpence a head. "Surely," I thought, "there must be something wrong in a Faith whose Professors make so light of its ceremonies, and turn Buffoons in the very Temples;" nor could I help murmuring inwardly at that profusion of Pearls, Diamonds, and Rubies bestowed on the adornment of a parcel of old Bones, decayed Teeth, and dirty Rags. A Fine English Lady, all paint and Furbelows, who was in the church with us, honestly owned that she coveted St. Ursula's great Pearl Necklace, and, says she, "'Tis no sin, and not coveting one's neighbour's goods, for neither St. Ursula nor the Jesuits are any Neighbours of mine;" and as for my Master, he stared at a Great St. Christopher, mighty fine in Silver, and said that it would have looked very well as an Ornament for a Cistern in his garden at Hampstead.
From Cologne to Nuremberg was five days, travelling post from Frankfort; and here we observed the difference between the Free Towns of Germany and those under the government of petty Absolute Princes. The streets of Nuremberg are well built, and full of People; the shops are loaded with Merchandise, and commonly Clean and Cheerful. In Cologne and Wurtsburg there was but a sort of shabby finery: a number of dirty People of Quality sauntered out: narrow nasty streets out of repair; and above half of the common Sort asking Alms. Mr. Hodge, who would have his jest, compared a Free Town to a handsome, clean Dutch Burgher's wife, and a Petty Prince's capital to a poor Town Lady of Pleasure, painted and ribboned out in her Head-dress, with tarnished Silver-lace shoes, and a ragged Under Petticoat—a miserable mixture of Vice and Poverty.
Here at Nuremberg they had Sumptuary Laws, each man and woman being compelled to dress according to his Degree, and the Better sort only being licensed to wear Rich suits of clothes. And, to my thinking (though the Putting it in Practice might prove somewhat inconvenient), we should be much better off in England if some such laws were made for the moderation and restraining of Excess and Extravagance in Apparel. As folks dress nowadays, it is impossible to tell Base Raff from the Highest Quality. What with the cheapness of Manufactured goods, and the pernicious introduction of imitation Gold and Silver-lace, you shall find Drapers' apprentices, Tavern drawers, and Cook wenches, making as brave a Figure on Sundays as their masters and mistresses; and many a young Spark has been brought to the Gallows, and many a poor Lass to Bridewell or the 'Spital, through an over Fondness for cheap Finery, and a crazy conceit for dressing like their betters.
Nuremberg hath its store of Churches and Relics, and the like; and even the Lutherans, who are usually thought to be so strict and severe in the adornment of their Temples, have in one of 'em a large Cross fairly set with jewels. But this is nothing to the Popish High Church, where they have at least a score of Saints, all dressed out in laced clothes, and fair Full-bottomed Wigs, plentifully powdered. Here did we come across a Prince Bishop of one of the Electoral German Towns, travelling with a Mighty Retinue of Canons and Priests, and Assessors and Secretaries, and a long train of Mules most richly caparisoned, with a guard of a hundred Musketeers, with violet liveries and Mitres broidered on their cartouch-boxes, to keep the Prince Bishop from coming to harm. My Master dined with this Reverend Personage, although Mr. Hodge, to maintain the purity of his cloth, kept aloof from any such Papistical entertainment; but I was of the party, it being my duty to wait behind the Squire's chair. We dined at two of the clock on very rich meats, high spiced, as I have usually found Princes and Bishops to like their victuals (for the Plainer sort soon Pall on their Palates), and after dinner there was a Carousal, which lasted well nigh till bed-time. His Episcopal Highness's Master of the Horse (though the title of Master of the Mules, on which beasts the company mostly rode, would have better served him) got somewhat too Merry on Rhenish about Dusk, and was carried out to the stable, where the Palefreneers littered him down with straw, as though he had been a Horse or a Mule himself; and then a little fat Canon, who was the Buffoon or Jack Pudding of the party, sang songs over his drink which were not in the least like unto Hymns or Canticles, but rather of a most Mundane, not to say Loose, order of Chant. His Highness (who wore the Biggest Emerald ring on his right Forefinger, over his glove, that ever I saw) took a great fancy to my Master, and at Parting pledged him in choice Rhenish in the handsomest fashion, using for that purpose a Silver Bell holding at least a Pint and a half English. Out of this Bell he takes the clapper, and holding it mouth upwards, drains it to the health of my Master, then fixes the clapper in again, Topsy-turvies his goblet, and rings a peal on the bell to show that he is a right Skinker. My Master does the same, as in Duty Bound, and mighty Flustered he got before the ringing-time came; and then the little Fat Canon that sang the songs essayed to do the same, but was in such a Quandary of Liquor, that he spills a pint over Mr. Secretary's lace bands, and the two would have fallen to Fisticuffs but for his Episcopal Highness (who laughed till his Sides Shook again) commanding that they should be separated by the Lacqueys. This was the most jovial Bishop that I did meet with; and I have heard that he was a good kind of man enough to the Poor, and not a harsh Sovereign to his subjects, especially to the Female Part who were fortunate enough to be pretty; but young as I was, and given to Pleasures, I could not help lifting up my Hands in shocked Amazement to see this Roystering kind of life held by a Christian Prelate. And it is certain that many of the High Dutch Church Dignitaries were at this time addicted to a most riotous mode of living. 'Twas thought no scandal in a Bishop to Drink, or to Dice, or to gallivant after Damosels: but woe be to him if he Dared to Dance, for the Shaking of a Leg (that had a cassock over it) was held to be a most Heinous and Unpardonable Sin.
Next to Ratisbon, where Mr. Pinchin was Laid up with a Fever brought on by High Living, and for more than Five Weeks remained between Life and Death, causing both to Mr. Hodge and myself the Greatest Anxiety; for, with all his Faults and absurd Humours, there was something about the Little Man that made us Bear with him. And to be in his Service, for all his capricious and passing Meannesses, was to be in very Good Quarters indeed. He was dreadfully frightened at the prospect of Slipping his Cable in a Foreign Land, and was accustomed, during the Delirium that accompanied the Fever, to call most piteously on his Mamma, sometimes fancying himself at Hampstead, and sometimes battling with the Waves in the Agonies of the cramp, as I first came across him at Ostend. When he grew better, to our Infinite Relief, the old fit of Economy came upon him, and he must needs make up his mind to Diet himself upon Panada and Mint Tea, taking no other nourishment, until his Doctor tells him that if he did not fall to with a Roast chicken and a flask of White Wine, he would sink and Die from pure Exhaustion. After this he began to Pick up a bit, and to Relish his Victuals; but it was woful to see the countenance he pulled when the Doctor's Bill was brought him, and he found that he had something like Eighty Pounds sterling to pay for a Sickness of Forty Days. Of course he swore that he had not had a tithe of the Draughts and Mixtures that were set down to him,—and he had not indeed consumed them bodily, for the poor little Wretch would have assuredly Died had he swallowed a Twentieth Part of the Vile Messes that the Pill-blistering Gentleman sent in; but Draughts and Mixtures had all duly arrived, and we in our Discretion had uncorked them, and thrown the major part of their contents out of window. We were in league forsooth (so he said) with the Doctor to Eat and Ruin him, and 'twas not till the latter had threatened to appeal to the Burgomaster, and to have us all clapped up in the Town Gaol for roving adventurers (for they manage things with a High Hand at Ratisbon), that the convalescent would consent to Discharge the Pill-blisterer's demands; and, granting even that all this Muckwash had been supplied, the Doctor must have been after all an Extortioner, and have made a Smart Profit out of that said Fever; for he presses a compliment of a silver snuff-box on the Chaplain, giving me also privately a couple of Golden Ducats; nor have I any doubt that the Innkeeper had also his commission to receive for recommending a Doctor to the sick Englishman, and was duly satisfied by Meinheer Bolus.
There was the Innkeeper's bill itself to be unpouched, and a mighty Pother there was over each item, Mr. Pinchin seeming to think that because he had been sick it was our Duty to have laid abed too, swallowing nought but Draughts and Slops. Truth was, that we should not have been Equal to the task of Nursing and Tending so difficult a Patient had we not taken Fortifying and Substantial Nourishment and a sufficiency of Wholesome Liquor; not making merry it is true, with indecent revelry, but Bearing up with a Grave and Reverent countenance, and taking our Four Meals a day, with Refreshing Soups between whiles. And I have always found that the vicinage of a Sick Room is apt to make one exceeding Hungry and Thirsty, and that a Moribund, albeit he can take neither Bite nor Sup himself, is, in his surroundings, the cook's best Friend, and the Vintner's most bountiful Patron.
Coming to his health again, Mr. Pinchin falls nevertheless into a state of Dark Melancholy and Despondency, talking now of returning to England and ending his days there, and now entertaining an even Stranger Fancy that had come over his capricious mind. We had nursed him during his sickness according to the best of our Capacity, but felt nevertheless the want of some Woman's hand to help us. Now all the Maids in the House were mortally afraid of the Fever, and would not so much as enter the Sick Man's apartment, much less make his bed; while, if we had not taken it at our own Risk to promise the Innkeeper Double Fees for lodging, the cowardly knave would have turned us out, Neck and Crop, and we should have been forced to convey our poor Sufferer to a common Hospital. But there was in this City of Ratisbon a convent of Pious Ladies who devoted themselves wholly (and without Fee or Reward for the most part) to works of Mercy and Charity; and Mr. Hodge happening to mention my Master's State to the English Banker—one Mr. Sturt, who was a Romanist, but a very civil kind of man—he sends to the convent, and there comes down forthwith to our Inn a dear Good Nun that turned out to be the most zealous and patient Nurse that I have ever met with in my Travels. She sat up night and day with the Patient, and could scarcely be persuaded to take ever so little needful Rest and Refreshment. When she was not ministering to the sufferer's wants, she was Praying, although it did scandalise Mr. Hodge a little to see her tell her Beads; and when Mr. Pinchin was well enough to eat his first slice of chicken, and sip his first beaker of white wine, she Clapped her Hands for joy, and sang a little Latin Hymn. When it came to her dismissal, this Excellent Nun (the whole of whose Behaviour was most touchingly Edifying) at first stoutly refused to accept of any Recompense for her services (which, truly, no Gold, Silver, or Jewels could have fitly rewarded); and I am ashamed to say that my Master, who had then his Parsimonious Nightcap on, was at first inclined to take the Good Sister at her Word. Mr. Hodge, however, showed him the Gross Ingratitude and Indecorum of such a proceeding, and, as was usual with him, he gave way, bellowing, however, like a Calf when the Chaplain told him that he could not in Decency do less than present a sum of Fifty Ducats (making about Forty Pounds of our Money) to the convent; for personal or private Guerdon the Nun positively refused to take. So the Money was given, to the great delectation of the Sisterhood, who, I believe, made up their minds to Sing Masses for the bountiful English Lord as they called him, whether he desired it or not.
Sorry am I to have to relate that so Pleasant and Moving an Incident should have had anything like a Dark side. But 'tis always thus in the World, and there is no Rose without a Thorn. My master, thanks to his Chaplain, and, it may be, likewise to my own Humble and Respectful Representations while I was a-dressing of him in the Morning, had come out of this convent and sick-nurse affair with Infinite credit to himself and to the English nation in general. Everywhere in Ratisbon was his Liberality applauded; but, alas! the publicity that was given to his Donation speedily brought upon us a Plague and Swarm of Ravenous Locusts and Bloodsuckers. There were as many convents in Ratisbon as plums in a Christmas porridge; there were Nuns of all kinds of orders, many of whom, I am afraid, no better than they should be; there were Black Monks and Gray Monks and Brown Monks and White Monks, Monks of all the colours of the Rainbow, for aught I can tell. There were Canons and Chapters and Priories and Brotherhoods and Sisterhoods and Ecclesiastical Hospitals and Priors' Almonries and Saints' Guilds without end. Never did I see a larger fry of holy men and women, professing to live only for the next world, but making the very best of this one while they were in it. A greasy, lazy, worthless Rabble-Rout they were, making their Religion a mere Pretext for Mendicancy and the worst of crimes. For the most part they were as Ignorant as Irish Hedge Schoolmasters; but there were those among them of the Jesuit, Capuchin, and Benedictine orders; men very subtle and dangerous, well acquainted with the Languages, and able to twist you round their Little Fingers with False Rhetoric and Lying Persuasions. These Snakes in the grass got about my poor weak-minded Master, although we, as True Protestants and Faithful Servants, did our utmost to keep them out; but if you closed the Door against 'em, they would come in at the Keyhole, and if you made the Window fast, they would slip down the Chimney; and, with their Pernicious Doctrines, Begging Petitions, and Fraudulent Representations, did so Badger, Bait, Beleaguer, and Bully him, that the poor Man knew not which Way to Turn. They too did much differ in their Theology, and each order of Friars seemed to hold the strong opinion that all who wore cowls cut in another shape than theirs, or shaved their pates differently, must Infallibly Burn; but they were of one Mind in tugging at Mr. Pinchin's Purse-strings, and their cry was ever that of the Horse-Leech's Three Daughters—"Give, give!"
Thus they did extract from him Forty Crowns in gold for Redeeming out of Slavery among the Sallee Rovers ten Citizens of Ratisbon fallen into that doleful captivity; although I do on my conscience believe that there were not five native-born men in the whole city who had ever seen the Salt Sea, much less a Sallee Rover. Next was a donation for a petticoat for this Saint, and a wig for that one; a score of Ducats for a School, another for an Hospital for Lepers; until it was Ducats here and Ducats there all day long. Nor was this the worst; for my Master began to be Troubled in the Spirit, and to cry out against the Vanities of the World, and to sigh after the Blessedness of a Life passed in Seclusion and Contemplation.
"I'll turn Monk, I will," he cried out one day; "my Lord Duke of Wharton did it, and why should not I?"
"Monk, and a Murrain to them and Mercy to us all!" says Mr. Hodge, quite aghast. "What new Bee will you put under your Bonnet next, sir?"
"You're a Heretic," answered Mr. Pinchin. "An Anglican Heretic, and so is my knave John here. There's nothing like the old Faith. There's nothing like Relics. Didn't I see a prodigious claw set in gold only yesterday in the Barnabite Church, and wasn't that the true and undoubted relic of a Griffin?"
"Was the Griffin a Saint?" asks the Chaplain humbly.
"What's that to you?" retorts my Master. "You're a Heretic, you're a Scoffer, an Infidel! I tell you that I mean to become a Monk."
"What, and wear peas in your shoes! nay, go without shoes at all, and leave off cutting your toe-nails?" quoth the Chaplain, much irate. "Forsake washing and the Thirty-nine Articles! Shave your head and forswear the Act of Settlement! Wear a rope girdle and a rosary instead of a handsome sword with a silver hilt at your side! Go about begging and bawling of paternosters! Was it for this that I, a Clergyman of the Church of England, came abroad with you to keep you in the True Faith and a Proper respect for the Protestant Succession?" Mr. Hodge had quite forgotten the value of his Patron's favour, and was growing really angry. In those days men would really make sacrifices for conscience' sake.
"Hang the Protestant Succession, and you too!" screams Mr. Pinchin.
"Jacobite, Papist, Warming Pan!" roars the Chaplain, "I will delate you to the English Envoy here, and you shall be laid by the heels as soon as ever you set foot in England. You shall swing for this, sir!"
"Leave the Room!" yells Mr. Pinchin, starting up, but trembling in every limb, for he was hardly yet convalescent of his Fever.
"I won't," answers the sturdy Chaplain. "You wretched rebellious little Ape, I arrest you in the King's name and Convocation's. I'll teach you to malign the Act of Settlement, I will!"
Whenever Mr. Hodge assumed a certain threatening tone, and began to pluck at his cassock in a certain manner, Mr. Pinchin was sure to grow frightened. He was beginning to look scared, when I, who remembering my place as a servant had hitherto said nothing, ventured to interpose.
"Oh, Mr. Pinchin!" I pleaded, "think of your Mamma in England. Why, it will break the good lady's heart if you go Romewards, Sir. Think of your Estate. Think of your tenants and the Commission of the Peace, and the duties of a Liveryman of the City of London."
I knew that I had touched my Master in a tender part, and anon he began to whimper, and cry about his Mamma, who, he shrewdly enough remarked, might cause his Estate to be sequestrated under the Act against Alienation of Lands by Popish Recusants, and so rob the Monks of their prey. And then, being soothingly addressed by Mr. Hodge, he admitted that the Friars were for the greater part Beggars and Thieves; and before supper-time we obtained an easy permission from him to drive those Pestilent Gentry from the doors, and deny him on every occasion when they should be impudent enough to seek admission to his presence.
We were no such high Favourites in Ratisbon after this; and I believe that the Jesuits denounced us to the Inquisition at Rome,—in case we should ever go that way,—that the Capuchins cursed us, and the Benedictines preached against us. The Town Authorities began also to look upon us with a cold eye of suspicion; and but for the sojourn of an English Envoy in Ratisbon (we had diplomatic agents then all over the Continent, and very little they did for their Money save Dance and Intrigue) the Burgomaster and his Councillors might have gotten up against us what the French do call une querelle d'Allemand, which may be a Quarrel about Any thing, and is a Fashion of Disagreeing peculiar to the Germans, who may take offence at the cock of your Hat or the cut of your Coat, and make either of them a State affair. Indeed, I believe that some Imprudent Expressions, made use of by my Master on seeing the Horrible Engines of Torture shown to the curious in the vaults of the castle, were very nearly being construed into High Treason by the unfriendly clerical party, and that an Information by the Stadt-Assessor was being actually drawn up against him, when, by much Persuasion coupled with some degree of gentle Violence, we got him away from Ratisbon altogether.
CHAPTER THE FIFTH.
OF THE MANNER IN WHICH I CAME TO THE FAMOUS CITY OF PARIS.
FROM Ratisbon we travelled down the River Danube, in a very pleasant and agreeable manner, in a kind of Wooden House mounted on a flat-bottomed Barge, and not unlike a Noah's Ark. 'Twas most convenient, and even handsomely laid out, with Parlours, and with Drawing-Rooms, and Kitchens and Stoves, and a broad planked Promenade over all railed in, and with Flowering Plants in pots by the sides, quite like a garden. They are rowed by twelve men each, and move with an almost Incredible Celerity, so that in the same day one can Delight one's Eye with a vast Variety of Prospects; and within a short space of time the Traveller has the diversion of seeing a populous City adorned with magnificent Palaces, and the most Romantic Solitudes, which appear quite Apart from the commerce of Mankind, the banks of the Danube being exquisitely disposed into Forests, Mountains, Vineyards rising in Terraces one above the other, Fields of Corn and Rye, great Towns, and Ruins of Ancient Castles. Now for the first time did I see the Cities of Passau and of Lintz, famous for the retreat of the Imperial Court when Vienna was besieged by the Great Turk, the same that John Sobieski, King of Poland, timeously Defeated and put to Rout, to the great shame of the Osmanlis, and the Everlasting Glory of the Christian arms.
And now for Vienna. This is the capital of the German Emperor Kaiser, or Caesar as he calls himself, and a mighty mob of under-Caesars or Archdukes he has about him. In my young days the Holy Roman Empire was a Flourishing concern, and made a great noise in the world; but now people do begin to speak somewhat scornfully of it, and to hold it in no very great Account, principally, I am told, owing to the levelling Principles of the Emperor Joseph the Second, who, instead of keeping up the proper State of Despotic Rule, and filling his Subjects' minds with a due impression of the Dreadful Awe of Imperial Majesty, has taken to occupying himself with the affairs of Mean and common persons,—such as Paupers, Debtors, Criminals, Orphans, Mechanics, and the like,—quite turning his back on the Exalted Tradition of undisputed power, and saying sneeringly, that he only bore Crown and Sceptre because Royalty was his Trade. This they call a Reforming Sovereign; but I cannot see what good comes out of such wild Humours and Fancies. It is as though my Lord Duke were to ask his Running Footmen to sit down at table with him; beg the Coachman not to trouble himself about stable-work, but go wash the carriage-wheels and currycomb the Horses himself; bid my Lady Duchess and his Daughters dress themselves in Dimity Gowns and Mob caps, while Sukey Mobs and Dorothy Draggletail went off to the drawing-room in Satin sacks and High-heeled shoes; and, to cap his Absurdities, called up all his Tenants to tell them that henceforth they were to pay no Rent or Manor Dues at the Court Leet, but to have their Farms in freehold for ever. No; it is certain the World cannot go on without Authority, and that, too, of the Smartest. What would you think of a ship where the Master Mariner had no power over his crew, and no license to put 'em in the Bilboes, or have 'em up at the gangway to be Drubbed soundly when they deserved it? And these Reforming Sovereigns, as they call 'em, are only making, to my mind, Rods for their own Backs, and Halters for their own Necks. Where would the Crown and Majesty be now, I wonder, if His Blessed Majesty had given way to the Impudent Demands of Mr. Washington and the American Rebels?[E]
The Streets of Vienna, when I first visited that capital, were very close and narrow—so narrow, indeed, that the fine fronts of the Palaces (which are very Grand) can scarcely be seen. Many of 'em deserve close observation, being truly Superb, all built of Fine White Stone, and excessive high, the town being much too little for the number of its inhabitants. But the Builders seem to have repaired that Misfortune by clapping one town on the top of another, most of the Houses being of Five and some of Six Stories. The Streets being so narrow, the rooms are all exceeding Dark, and never so humble a mansion but has half a dozen families living in it. In the Handsomest even all Ranks and Conditions are Mingled together pellmell. You shall find Field-Marshals, Lieutenants, Aulic Councillors, and Great Court Ladies divided but by a thin partition from the cabins of Tailors and Shoemakers; and few even of the Quality could afford a House to themselves, or had more than Two Floors in a House—one for their own use, and another for their Domestics. It was the Dead Season of the year when we came to this City, and so, at not so very enormous a rate, we got a suite of six or eight large rooms all inlaid, the Doors and Windows richly carved and gilt, and the Furniture such as is rarely seen but in the Palaces of Sovereign Princes in other countries; the Hangings in finest tapestry of Brussels, prodigious large looking-glasses in silver frames (in making which they are exceeding Expert); fine Japan Tables, Beds, Chairs, Canopies, and Curtains of the richest Genoa Damask or Velvet, almost covered with gold lace or embroidery. The whole made Gay by Pictures, or Great Jars of Porcelain; in almost every room large lustres of pure Crystal; and every thing as dirty as a Secondhand Clothes dealer's booth in Rag Fair.
We were not much invited out at Vienna, the very Highest Quality only being admitted to their company by the Austrians, who are the very Haughtiest and most exclusive among the High Dutch, and look upon a mere untitled Englishman as Nobody (although he may be of Ten Times better blood than their most noble Raggednesses). A mean sort, for all their finely furnished palaces, and wearing mighty foul Body Linen. The first question they ask, when they Hear that a Stranger desires to be Presented to them, is, "Is he Born?" The query having nothing to do with the fact of his nativity, but meaning (so I have been told), "Has he five-and-thirty Quarterings in his Coat-of-Arms?" And if he has but four-and-thirty (though some of their greatest nobles have not above Four or Five Hundred Pounds a year to live on), the Stranger is held to be no more Born than if he were an embryo; and the Quality of Vienna takes no more notice of him than of the Babe which is unborn.
Truly, it was the Dead Season, and we could not have gone to many Dinners and Assemblies, even if the Aristocracy had been minded to show hospitality towards us. There were Theatres and Operas, however, open, which much delighted my Master and myself (who was privileged to attend him), although the Reverend Mr. Hodge stayed away for conscience' sake from such Profane amusements, comforting himself at home over a merry Book and a Bottle of Erlauer, which is an Hungarian wine, very dark and Rough, but as strong as a Bullock, and an excellent Stomachic. Nothing more magnificent than the Operas then performed at the Gardens of the Favorite, throwing the Paris and London houses utterly into the shade, and I have heard that the Habits, Decorations, and Scene Paintings, cost the Emperor Thirty Thousand Pound Sterling. And to think of the millions of poor ragged wretches that must have been taxed, and starved, and beaten, and robbed, and skinned alive, so to speak, before His Majesty's pleasures would be paid for.[F] The Stage in this Favorite Garden was built over a large canal, and at the beginning of the Second Act divided (as in our own Theatre hard by Sadler's Wells) into Two Parts, discovering the water, on which there immediately came from different parts two little Fleets of gilded vessels, that gave the impression (though ludicrously incorrect in their Riggings and Manoeuvres) of a Sea-fight. The story of the Opera was, if I remember right, the Enchantments of Alcina, an entertainment which gave opportunity for a great Variety of Machines and changes of the Scene, which were performed with surprising swiftness. No House could hold such large Decorations. But the Ladies all sitting in the open air, exposed them to much inconvenience; for there was but one Canopy for the Imperial Family; and the first night we were there, a shower of Rain coming on, the Opera was broken off, and the Company crowded away in such confusion that we were almost squeezed to Death.
If their Operas were thus productive of such Delectable Entertainment (abating the Rain and crowding), I cannot say much for their Comedies and Drolls, which were highly Ridiculous. We went to the German Playhouse, and saw the Story of Amphytrion very scurvily represented. Jupiter falls in love out of a peep-hole in the clouds in the beginning, and the end of it was the Birth of Hercules. It was very pitiful to see Jove, under the figure of Amphytrion, cheating a Tailor of a laced coat, and a Banker of a bag of Money, and a Jew of a Diamond Ring, with the like rascally Subterfuges; and Mercury's usage of Sosia was little more dignified. And the play was interlarded with very gross expressions and unseemly gestures, such as in England would not be tolerated by the Master of the Revels, or even in France by the Gentleman of the Chamber having charge over the Theatres, but at which the Viennese Quality, both Male and Female, did laugh Heartily and with much Gusto.
Memorandum. As some of the Manners then existing have passed away (in this sad changeful age, when every thing seems melting away like Cowheel Jelly at a Wedding Feast), I have set down for those curious in such matters that the Vienna Dames were squeezed up in my time in gowns and gorgets, and had built fabrics of gauze on their Heads about a yard high, consisting of Three or Four Stories, fortified with numberless yards of heavy Ribbon. The foundation of this alarming structure was a thing they called a Bourle, which was exactly of the same shape and kind—only four times Bigger—as those Rolls which our Milkmaids make use of to fix their Pails upon. This machine they covered with their own hair, with which they mixed a great deal of False; it being a particular and Especial Grace with them to have their Heads too large to go into a moderate-sized Tub. Their Hair was prodigiously powdered to conceal the mixture, and so set out with numerous rows of Bodkins, sticking out three or four Inches on each side, made of Diamonds, Pearls, Green, Red, and Yellow Stones, that it certainly required as much Art and Experience to carry the load upright as to dance on May-day with the Garland that the Dairy Wenches borrow (under good security) from the Silversmiths in Cranbourne Alley. Also they had Whalebone Petticoats, outdoing ours by several yards in circumference. Vastly Ridiculous were these Fashions—think you not so, good Sir or Madam, as the case may be? and yet, may I be shot, but much later in the present century I have seen such things as hoops, bourles, tours, and toupees, not one whit less Ridiculous.
The Empress, a sweet pretty lady, was perforce obliged to wear this Habit; but with the other Female Grandees it only served to increase their natural Ugliness. Memorandum: that at Court (whither we went not, being "unborn," but heard a great deal of it from hearsay) a Game called Quinze was the Carding most in vogue. Their drawing-rooms are different from those in England, no Man Creature entering it but the old Grand-Master, who comes to announce to the Empress the arrival of His Imperial Majesty the Caesar. Much gravity and Ceremony at these Receptions, and all very Formal, but decent. The Empress sits in a great easy-chair! but the Archduchesses are ranged on chairs with tall, straight Backs, but without arms; whilst the other Ladies of the Court (poor things) may stand on one Leg, or lean against sideboards, to rest themselves as they choose; but Sit Down they Dare not. This is the same Discipline, I believe, that still prevails, and so I speak of it in the present tense. The Table is entirely set out, and served by the Empress's Maids of Honour (who put on the very dishes and sauces), Twelve young Ladies of the First Quality, having no Salary, but their chamber at court (like our Maids at the Montpelier by Twitnam), where they live in a kind of Honourable Captivity, not being suffered to go to the Assemblies of Public Places in Town, except in compliment to the wedding of a Sister Maid, whom the Empress always presents with her picture set in Diamonds. And yet, for all their Strict confinement, I have heard fine Accounts of the goings-on of these noble Ladies. The first three of them are called "Ladies of the Key," and wear little golden keys at their sides. The Dressers are not at all the figures they pretend to in England, being looked upon no otherwise than as downright Chambermaids.
So much of the State and Grandeur of Vienna, then the most considerable city in Germany; though now Berlin, thanks to the Genius of its Puissant Monarch, has Reared its head very high. It was, however, my cruel Fate to see something more of the Capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and that too in a form that was of the unpleasantest. You must know that my Master and the Chaplain and I (when we had been some Weeks in town, and through the interest of the English Bankers had gotten admission into some Society not quite so exclusive as the People who wanted to know whether you were "born") went one afternoon to an Archery Festival that was held in the garden of the Archchancellor's Villa, at Schoenbrunn (now Imperial property). 'Twas necessary to have some kind of Introduction; but that, if you stood well in the Banker's Books, was not very Difficult; and, invited or not, you had to pay a golden Ducat to the Usher of Ceremonies (a preposterous creature, like the Jack of Diamonds in his dress), that brought your ticket to your lodgings. So away we went to Schoenbrunn, and at a Respectful distance were privileged to behold two of the young Archduchesses all dressed, their Hair full of jewels, and with bows and arrows in their hands; while a little way off were placed three oval pictures, which were the marks to be shot at. The first was a Cupid, filling a bottle of Burgundy, with the motto "Cowards may be brave here." The second Fortune, holding a garland, with the motto "Venture and Win." The third a Sword with a Laurel Wreath at the point, and for legend, "I can be vanquished without shame." At t'other end was a Fine Gilded Trophy all wreathed with flowers, and made of little crooks, on which were hung rich Moorish Kerchiefs (which were much affected by the Viennese, a people very fond of gay and lively colours), tippets, ribbons, laces, &c., for the small prizes. The Empress, who sat under a splendid canopy fenced about by musketeers of the Life Guard, gave away the first prize with her own hand, which was a brave Ruby Ring set with Diamonds in a gold snuff-box. For the Second prize there was a little Cupid, very nicely done out of amethysts, and besides these a set of fine Porcelain, of the kind they call Eggshell (for its exceeding Tenderness and Brittleness), with some Japan trunks, feather-fans, and Whimwams of that order. All the men of quality in Vienna were spectators; but only the ladies had permission to shoot. There was a good background of burghers and strangers, and in the rear of all a Mob that drank beer and scrambled for Kreutzers, which the officers of the Guard who were keeping the Barriers would now and then throw among them for their Diversion's sake. And all behind it was like a Fair, set out with Booths, where there was shooting and drinking and Gaming, just at one's ease; for I have ever found that in the most Despotic countries the Mobile have a kind of Rude License accorded them; whereas in States where there is Freedom Authority gives a man leave to Think, but very carefully ties his hands and feet whenever he has a mind to a Frisk. My Master was in very good spirits that day (having quite recovered his health), and for a time wanders about the Tents, now treating the common people, and now having a bumper with Mr. Hodge. We had tickets for the second ring, but not for the Inner one, where the Quality were standing; but just before the shooting of the great Match for the Empress's ruby ring, Mr. Pinchin, into whose head some of the bubbles from the white Hungarian had begun to mount, begins to brag about his gentle extraction, and his cousinage to Lady Betty Heeltap and my Lord Poddle. He vows that he is as well "born" as any of the rascaille German Sausage-gorgers (as he calls them), and is as fit to stand about Royalty as any of them. The Chaplain, who was always a discreet man, tried hard to persuade him against thrusting himself forward where his company was not desired; but Mr. Pinchin was in that state in which arguing with a man makes him more obstinate. Away he goes, the Chaplain prudently withdrawing into a Booth; but I, as in Duty bound, followed my Master, to see that he got into no mischief. But, alas, the Mischief that unhappy little Man speedily contrived to entangle himself within!
By dint of a Florin here and a Florin there, the adventurous Squire succeeded in slipping through the row of Guards who separated the outer from the inner Ring, who, from the richness of his Apparel (for he was dressed in his very Best), may perhaps have mistaken him for some Court Nobleman who had arrived late. He had got within the charmed circle indeed (I being a few paces behind him), and was standing on Tiptoe to take a full stare at one of the young Archduchesses who was bending her bow to shoot at Cupid, when up comes an old Lord with a very long white face like a Sheep, with a Crimson Ribbon across his breast, and a long white staff in his hand atop of which was a Golden Key. He first asks my Master in German what he wants there, at least so far as I could understand; to which the Squire, not being versed in the Tongues of Almaine (and, indeed, High Dutch and Low Dutch are both very Base Parlance, and I never could master 'em), answers, "Non comprenny," which was his general reply when he was puzzled in the Foreign Lingos. Then the old Lord, with a very sharp voice and in French, tells him that he has no Business there, and bids him begone. Mr. Pinchin could understand French, though he spoke it but indifferently; but he, being fairly Primed, and in one of his Obstinate Moods, musters up his best parleyvoo, and tells the Ancient with the Golden Key (and I saw that he had another one hung round his neck by a parcel chain, and conjectured him to be a High Chamberlain at least) to go to the Devil. (I ask pardon for this word.) Hereupon my Lord with the Sheep's countenance collars him, runs his white stick into his visage, so that the key nearly puts his eye out, and roars for the Guard. Then Mr. Pinchin, according to his custom when he has gotten himself into a pother, begins to squeal for Me, and the Chaplain, and his Mamma, to help him out of it. My blood was up in a moment; I had not had a Tussle with any one for a long time. "Shall I who have brained an English Grenadier sneak off before a rabble-rout of Sauerkraut Soldiers?" I asked myself, remembering how much Stronger and Older I had grown since that night. "Here goes, Jack Dangerous!" and away I went into the throng, wrenched the white staff from the old Lord's hand, made him unhand my Master, and drawing his Sword for him (he being too terrified to draw it himself), grasped him firmly by the arm, and was preparing to cut a way back for both of us through the crowd. But 'twas a mad attempt. Up came the Guard, every man of them Six Foot high, and for all they were Sauerkraut Soldiers, pestilent Veterans who knew what Fighting meant. When I saw their fixed Bayonets, and their Mustachios curling with rage, I remembered a certain Scar I had left on me after a memorable night in Charlwood Chase. We were far from our own country, and there was no Demijohn of Brandy by; so, though it went sore against my Stomach, there was no help for it but to surrender ourselves at once Prisoners of War. Prisoners of War, forsooth! They treated us worse than Galley Slaves. Our hands were bound behind us with cords, Halters were put about our necks, and, the Grenadiers prodding us behind with their bayonets,—the Dastards, so to prick Unarmed Men!—we were conducted in ignominy through the rascal Crowd, which made a Grinning, Jeering, Hooting lane for us to pass to the Guardhouse at the Entrance of the Gardens. The Officer of the Guard was at first for having both of us strapped down to a Bench as a preliminary measure to receive two hundred Blows apiece with Willow Rods in the small of our backs, which is their usual way of commencing Judicial proceedings, when up comes the old Lord in a Monstrous Puff and Flurry, and says that by the Empress's command no present Harm is to be done us; but that we are to be removed to the Town Gaol till the Caesar's pleasure respecting us shall be known. Her Majesty, however, forgot to enjoin that we were not to be fettered; so the Captain of the Guard he claps on us the heaviest Irons that ever Mutineers howled in; and we, being flung into a kind of Brewer's Dray, and accompanied by a Strong Guard of Horse and Foot, were conveyed to Vienna, and locked up in the Town Gaol.
Luckily Mr. Hodge speedily got wind of our misfortune, and hied him to the British Ambassador, who, being fond of a Pleasant Story, laughed heartily at the recital. He promised to get my Master off on payment of a Fine or something of that sort; and as for me, he was good enough to opine that I might think myself Lucky if I escaped with a sound dose of the Bastinado once a week for three months, and a couple of years or so in Irons. The Chaplain pleaded for me as well as for my Master as hard as he could; and his Excellency frowned and said, that the Diversions of a Gentleman might run a little wild sometimes and no harm done, but that the Insolence of Servants (which was a growing evil) must be restrained. "At all events, I'll see what I can do," he condescended to explain. "Come what may, the Fellow can't fare very badly for a sound Beating, and perhaps they will let him off when he has had cudgelling enough." So he calls for his Coach, and goes off to Court.
[E] Had Captain Dangerous written his memoirs a few years later, he might have found cause to alter his opinion respecting the wisdom of George III. in refusing to grant the American demands.
[F] And yet Captain Dangerous is a stanch opponent of Reform.—ED.
CHAPTER THE SIXTH.
OF PARIS (BY THE WAY OF THE PRISON AT VIENNA), AND OF MY COMING BACK FOR A SEASON TO MY OWN COUNTRY, WHERE MY MASTER, THE CHAPLAIN, AND I PART COMPANY.
THE Fox in the Fable, so my Grannum (who had a ready Memory for those Tales) used to tell me, when he first saw the Lion was half dead with Fright. The Second View only a little Dashed him with Tremour; at the Third he durst salute him Boldly; and at the Fourth Rencounter Monsieur Reynard steals a Shin Bone of Beef from under the old Roarer's Nose, and laughs at his Beard. This Fable came back to me, as with a Shrug and a Grin (somewhat of the ruefullest) I found myself again (and for no Base Action I aver) in a Prison Hold. I remembered what a dreadful Sickness and Soul-sinking I had felt when doors of Oak clamped with Iron had first clanged upon me; when I first saw the Blessed Sun made into a Quince Tart by the cross-bars over his Golden face; when I first heard that clashing of Gyves together which is the Death Rattle of a man's Liberty. But now! Gaols and I were old Acquaintances. Had I not lain long in the dismal Dungeon at Aylesbury? Had I not sweltered in the Hold of a Transport Ship? I was but a Youth; but I felt myself by this time a Parcel Philosopher. The first thing a man should do when he gets into Gaol, is to ask himself whether there is any chance of his being Hanged. If he have no Sand Blindness, or Gossamer dancing of Threepenny cord before his eyes, why then he had e'en better eat and drink, and Thank God, and hope for the Best. "They won't Hang me," I said cheerfully enough to myself, when I was well laid up in Limbo. The Empress is well known to be a merciful Lady, and will cast the ermine of Mercy over the Scarlet Robe of Stern Authority. Perhaps I shall get my Ribs basted. What of that? Flesh is flesh, and will Heal. They cannot beat me so sorely as I have seen done (but never of myself Ordered but when I was compelled) to Negro Slaves. If they fine me, my Master must Pay. Here I am by the Heels, and until I get out again what use is there in Fretting? Lady Fortune has played me a scurvy trick; but may she not to-morrow play as roguish a one to the Sheepfaced old Chamber Lord with the golden Key, or any other smart Pink-an-eye Dandiprat that hangs about the Court? The Spoke which now is highest in her Wheel may, when she gives it the next good Twist, be undermost as Nock. So I took Courage, and bade Despair go Swing for a dried Yeoman Sprat as he is.