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coach or dinner, and for that day you may see him in every part of the town, except the very place where he had appointed to be upon a business of importance. You would often take him for everything that he is not; for a fellow quite stupid, for he hears nothing ; for a fool, for he talks to himself, and has a hundred grimaces and motions with his head, which are altogether involuntary; for a proud man, for he looks full upon you, and takes no notice of your saluting him. The truth of it is, his eyes are open, but he makes no use of them, and neither sees you, nor any man, nor anything else. He came once from his country house, and his own footmen undertook to rob him, and succeeded. They held a flambeau to his throat, and bid him deliver his
purse; he did so, and coming home told his friends he had been robbed; they desired to know the particulars, “Ask my servants,' says Menalcas, ‘for they were with me.''
SIR ANDREW FREEPORT AND JACK
--Caput doninâ venale sub hastá.
Juv., Sat. ii. 33.
His fortunes ruined, and himself a slave.
OUR gentry are, generally speaking, in debt; and many families have put it into a kind of method of being so from generation to generation. The father mortgages when his son is very young; and the boy is to marry, as soon as he is at age, to redeem it and find portions for his sisters. This, forsooth, is no great inconvenience to him ; for he may wench, keep a public tabie, or feed dogs, like a worthy English gentleman, till he has outrun half his estate, and leave the same encumbrance upon his firstborn, and so on; till one man of more vigour than ordinary goes quite through the estate: or some man of sense comes into it, and scorns to have an estate in partnership, that is to say,
liable to the demand or insult of any man living. There is my friend Sir Andrew, though for many years a great and general trader, was never the defendant in a law suit; in all the perplexity of business, and the iniquity of mankind at present, no one had any
colour for the least complaint against his dealings with him. This is certainly as uncommon, and in its proportion as laudable, in a citizen as it is in a general never to have suffered a disadvantage in fight. How different from this gentleman is Jack Truepenny, who has been an old acquaintance of Sir Andrew and myself from boys, but could never learn our caution. Jack has a whorish unresisting good-nature, which makes him incapable of having a property in anything. His fortune, his reputation, his time, and his capacity are at any man's service that comes first. When he was at school, he was whipped thrice a week for faults he took upon him to excuse others; since he came into the business of the world, he has been arrested twice or thrice a year for debts he had nothing to do with, but as surety for others; and I remember, when a friend of his had suffered in the vice of the town, all the physic his friend took was conveyed to him by Jack, and inscribed, “a bolus or an electuary for Mr. Truepenny.” Jack had a good estate left him, which came to nothing, because he believed all who pretended to demands upon it. This easiness and credulity destroy all the other merit he has; and he has all his life been a sacrifice to others, without ever receiving thanks, or doing one good action.
I will end this discourse with a speech which I heard Jack make to one of his creditors, of whom he deserved
gentler usage, after lying a whole night in custody at his suit:
Sir, your ingratitude for the many kindnesses I have done you shall not make me unthankful for the good you have done me, in letting me see there is such
as you in the world. I am obliged to you for the diffidence I shall have all the rest of my life. I shall hereafter trust no man so far as to be in his debt.”
HOR., Ars. l'oet. 240.
Such all might hope to imitate with ease;
My friend the divine having been used with words of complaisance, which he thinks could be properly applied to no one living, and I think could be only spoken of hin, and that in his absence, was so extremely offended with the excessive way of speaking civilities among us that he made a discourse against it at the club, which he concluded with this remark, “ that he had not heard one compliment made in our society since its commencement.” Every one was pleased with his conclusion; and, as each knew his good-will to the rest, he was convinced that the many professions of kindness and service, which we ordinarily meet with, are not natural where the heart is well inclined; but are a prostitution of speech, seldom intended to mean any part of what they express, never to mean all they express. Our reverend friend, upon this topic, pointed to us two or three paragraphs on this subject in the first sermon of the first volume of the late archbishop's posthumous works. I do not know that I ever read anything that pleased me more; and as it is the praise of Longinus that he speaks of the sublime in a style suitable to it, so one may say of this author upon sin. cerity, that he abhors any pomp of rhetoric on this occasion, and treats it with a more than ordinary simplicity, at once to be a preacher and an example. With what command of himself does he lay before us, in the language and temper of his profession, a fault which, by the least liberty and warmth of expression, would be the most lively wit and satire. But his heart was better disposed, and the good man chastised the great wit in such a manner that he was able to speak as follows: