« PreviousContinue »
ANDREW FLETCHER OF SALTOUN.
inventions to keep people from sitting still, that Westminster; or that humility is so ponderous a frugality would never think of; and as this must virtue, that it requires six horses to draw it. consume a prodigious wealth, so avarice again knows innumerable tricks to rake it together, which frugality would scorn to make use of.
Authors are always allowed to compare small things ANDREW FLETCHER, born in 1653, the son of a to great ones, especially if they ask leave first ; but to Scottish knight, succeeded early to the family estate compare great things to mean trivial ones is unsuffer- of Saltoun, and represented the shire of Lothian in able, unless it be in burlesque ; otherwise, I would the Scottish parliament in the reign of Charles II. compare the body politic (I confess the simile is very He opposed the arbitrary designs of the Duke of low) to a bowl of punch. Avarice should be the York, afterwards James II., and retired to Holland. souring, and prodigality the sweetening of it. The His estate was confiscated; but he returned to Engwater I would call the ignorance, folly, and credulity land with the Duke of Monmouth in 1685. Hapof the floating insipid multitude; whilst wisdom, pening, in a personal scuffle, to kill the mayor of honour, fortitude, and the rest of the sublime qualities Lynn, Fletcher again went abroad, and travelled in of men, which, separated by art from the dregs of Spain. He returned at the period of the Revolution, nature, the fire of glory has exalted and refined into and took an active part in Scottish affairs. His a spiritual essence, should be an equivalent to brandy. opinions were republican, and he was of a haughty I don't doubt but a Westphalian, Laplander, or any unbending temper ; brave as the sword he wore,' other dull stranger that is unacquainted with the according to a contemporary, ‘and bold as a lion: a wholesome composition, if he was to taste the several sure friend, and an irreconcilable enemy: would lose ingredients apart, would think it impossible they his life readily to serve his country, and would not should make any tolerable liquor. The lemons would do a base thing to save it.' Fletcher opposed the be too sour, the sugar too luscious, the brandy, he union of Scotland with England in 1707, believing, will
say, is too strong ever to be drunk in any quan- with many zealous but narrow-sighted patriots of tity, and the water he will call a tasteless liquor, only that day, that it would eclipse the glory of ancient fit for cows and horses ; yet experience teaches us that Caledonia. He died in 1716. Fletcher wrote several the ingredients I named, judiciously mixed, will
political discourses. One of these, entitled An Ac. make an excellent liquor, liked of and admired by | count of a Conversation concerning a Right Regulation men of exquisite palates.*
of Governments for the Common Good of Mankind, in a
Letter to the Marquis of Montrose, the Earls of Rothes, [Pomp and Superfluity.]
Roxburgh, and Hladdington, from London, the first of If the great ones of the clergy, as well as the laity, December, 1703, is forcibly written, and contains of any country whatever, had no value for earthly some strong appeals in favour of Scottish independpleasures, and did not endeavour to gratify their ence, as well as some just and manly sentiments. In appetites, why are envy and revenge, so raging among this letter occurs a saying often quoted, and which them, and all the other passions, improved and refined has been (by Lord Brougham and others) erroneously upon in courts of princes more than anywhere else ; ascribed to the Earl of Chatham: I knew a very and why are their repasts, their recreations, and whole wise man that believed that if a man were permitted to manner of living, always such as are approved of, make all the ballads, he need not care who should make coveted, and imitated by the most sensual people of the laws of a nation.' The newspaper may now be the same country! If, despising all visible decora- said to have supplanted the ballad ; yet, during the tions, they were only in love with the embellishments late war, the naval songs of Dibdin fanned the flame of the mind, why should they borrow so many of the of national courage and patriotism. An excessive implements, and make use of the most darling toys, admiration of the Grecian and Roman republics led of the luxurious ? Why should a lord treasurer, or a Fletcher to eulogise even the slavery that prevailed bishop, or even the Grand Signior, or the Pope of in those states. He represents their condition as Rome, to be good and virtuous, and endeavour the happy and useful; and, as a contrast to it, he paints conquest of his passions, have occasion for greater the state of the lowest class in Scotland in colours revenues, richer furniture, or a more numerous attend that, if true, show how frightfully disorganised the ance as to personal service, than a private man! country was at that period. In his Second Discourse What virtue is it the exercise of which requires so on the Affairs of Scotland, 1698, there occurs the folmuch pomp and superfluity as are to be seen by all lowing sketch :men in power ? A man has as much opportunity to • There are at this day in Scotland (besides a practise temperance that has but one dish at a meal, great many poor families very meanly provided for as he that is constantly served with three courses and by the church boxes, with others who, by living on a dozen dishes in each. One may exercise as much bad food, fall into various diseases) two hundred thoupatience and be as full of self-denial on a few flocks, sand people begging from door to door. These are not without curtains or tester, as in a velvet bed that is only no way advantageous, but a very grievous sixteen foot high. The virtuous possessions of the burden to so poor a country. And though the nummind are neither charge nor burden: a man may ber of them be perhaps double to what it was forbear misfortunes with fortitude in a garret, forgive merly, by reason of this present great distress, yet injuries a-foot, and be chaste, though he has not a in all times there have been about one hundred thoushirt to his back ; and therefore I shall never believe sand of those vagabonds, who have lived without but that an indifferent skuller, if he was intrusted any regard or subjection either to the laws of the with it, might carry all the learning and religion that land, or even those of God and nature. No magisone man can contain, as well as a barge with six oars, trate could ever be informed, or discover, which especially if it was but to cross from Lambeth to way one in a hundred of these wretches died, * This simile of Mandeville may have suggested the very have been discovered among them; and they are
or that ever they were baptised. Many murders humorous one in the • Rejected Addresses,' where Cobbett is made to say— England is a large earthenware pipkin. John not only & most unspeakable oppression to poor Bull is the beef thrown into it. Taxes are the hot water he tenants (who, if they give not bread, or some kind boils in. Rotten boroughs are the fuel that blazes under this of provision, to perhaps forty such villains in one same pipkin. Parliament is the ladle that stirs the hodge day, are sure to be insulted by them), but they podge.'
rob many poor people who live in houses distant
from any neighbourhood. In years of plenty, many and Government, his Letters on the Sacramental Test, thousands of them meet together in the mountains, Argument against the Abolition of Christianity, and where they feast and riot for many days; and at Predictions for the Year 1708, by Isaac Bickerstaff, country weddings, markets, burials, and the like Esq. Various political tracts followed, the most public occasions, they are to be seen, both men and conspicuous of which are, The Conduct of the Allies, women, perpetually drunk, cursing, blaspheming, and published in 1712, and The Public Spirit of the Whigs, fighting together. These are such outrageous dis- in 1714. The latter incensed the Duke of Argyle orders, that it were better for the nation they were and other peers so much, that a proclamation offer. sold to the galleys or West Indies, than that they ing a reward of £300 was issued for the discovery of should continue any longer to be a burden and curse the author. In 1713, Swift was rewarded with the
deanery of St Patrick's in Dublin; but the destruc. tion of all his hopes of further preferment followed soon after, on the accession of the House of Hanover
to the throne, and the return of the Whig party The most powerful and original prose writer of to power. He withdrew to Ireland, a disappointed this period was DR SWIFT, the celebrated dean of man, full of bitterness against many of the men and St Patrick's. We have already noticed his poetry, things of his age. His feelings partly found vent which formed only a sort of interlude in the strangely, in several works which he published on national mingled drama of his life. None of his works were subjects, and which rendered him exceedingly powritten for mere fame or solitary gratification. His pular-A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish restless and insatiate ambition prompted him to Manufactures, and Letters by M. B. Drapier against wield his pen as a means of advancing his interests, Wood's patent for supplying Ireland with a copper or expressing his personal feelings, caprices, or re- coinage. His talents were in full vigour, and his sentment. În a letter to Bolingbroke, he says— mind, ever active, poured forth a vast number of * All my endeavours, from a boy, to distinguish my- slight pieces on the topics of the day. In 1726 apself, were only for want of a great title and fortune, peared Gulliver's Travels, the most original and that I might be used like a lord by those who have extraordinary of all his productions. A few of his an opinion of my parts—whether right or wrong, it friends-Pope, Bolingbroke, Gay, and Arbuthnotis no great matter; and so the reputation of wit or were in the secret as to the authorship of this satigreat learning does the office of a blue ribbon, or of rical romance ; but it puzzled the world in no ordia coach and six horses.' This was but a poor and nary degree, and this uncertainty tended to increase sordid ambition, and it is surprising that it bore the interest and attraction of the work. While such fruit. The first work of any importance by courtiers and politicians recognised in the adventures Swift was a political tract, written in 1701, to vin- of Gulliver many satirical allusions to the court and dicate the Whig patriots, Somers, Halifax, and politics of England-to Walpole, Bolingbroke, the Portland, who had been impeached by the House of Prince of Wales, the two contending parties in the Commons. The author was then of the ripe age of state, and various matters of secret history-the thirty-four; for Swift, unlike his friend Pope, came great mass of ordinary readers saw and felt only the but slowly to the maturity of his powers. The wonder and fascination of the narrative. The aptreatise was entitled A Discourse of the Contests and pearance, occupations, wars, and pursuits of the tiny Dissensions between the Nobles and Commons of Athens Lilliputians - the gigantic Brobdingnagians- the and Rome. It is plainly written, without irony or fearful, misanthropic picture of the Yahoos—with eloquence. One sentence (the last in the fourth the philosophic researches at Laputa--all possessed chapter) closes with a fine simile. Although,' he novelty and attraction for the mere unlearned reader, says, most revolutions of government in Greece who was alternately agitated with emotions of surand Rome began with the tyranny of the people, prise, delight, astonishment, pity, and reprobation. yet they generally concluded in that of a single per- The charm of Swift's style, so simple, pure, and unson : so that an usurping populace is its own dupe; a affected, and the apparent earnestness and sincerity mere underworker, and a purchaser in trust for with which he dwells on the most improbable cir. some single tyrant, whose state and power may ad- cumstances, are displayed in full perfection in Gul. vance to their own ruin, with as blind an instinct liver, which was the most carefully finished of all as those worms that die with weaving magnificent his works. Some tracts on ecclesiastical questions, habits for beings of a superior nature to their own.' and the best of his poetry, were afterwards produced Swift's next work was his Battle of the Books, written His other prose works were, A History of the Four to support his patron, Sir William Temple, in his Last Years of Queen Anne (not published till longi dispute as to the relative merits of ancient and after his death), Polite Conversation, a happy satire modern learning. The Battle of the Books' exhi- on the frivolities of fashionable life, and Directions bits all the characteristics of Swift's style, its per- for Servants, a fragment which also appeared after sonal satire, and strong racy humour. These qualities luis death, and on which he bestowed considerable were further displayed in his Tale of a Tub, written pains. It exemplifies the habit of minute observaabout the same time, and first published in 1704. tion which distinguished Swift, and which some The object of his powerful satire was here of a times rendered him no very agreeable inmate of a higher cast; it was to ridicule the Roman Catholics house. Various editions of Swift's works have been and Presbyterians, with a view of exalting the High published, but the best and most complete is that by Church of England party. His three heroes, Peter, Sir Walter Scott, in nineteen volumes. His rank as Martin, and Jack, represent Popery, the Church of a writer has long since been established. In origiEngland, and the Protestant dissenters; and their nality and strength he has no superior, and in wit adventures, if not very decorous, are at least irre- and irony—the latter of which sistibly ludicrous. How any clergyman could write
he was born to introduce, and publish in such a strain on religious subjects, must ever remain a marvel. But Swift published
Refined it first, and showed its use anonymously. He soon grew dissatisfied with the he shines equally pre-eminent. He was deficient in Whigs, and his next publications united him with purity of taste and loftiness of imagination. The the Tory party. In 1708 appeared his Sentiments frequency with which he dwells on gross and disof a Church of Englund Man, in Respect to Religion gusting images, betrays a callousness of feeling that
wholly debarred him from the purer regions of at least put the senate to the trouble of another securHe could
ing vote. I desire I may not be misunderstood ; I Laugh and shake in Rabelais' easy chair ;
am far from presuming to afërm or think that the
church is in danger at present, or as things now stand, though it was still, as Coleridge has remarked, but we know not how soon it may be so, when the 'the soul of Rabelais dwelling in a dry place.' Christian religion is repealed. As plausible as this Of the 'serious air' of Cervantes, which Pope has project seems, there may a dangerous design lurk also bestowed on his friend, the traces are less fre- under it. Nothing can be more notorious than that quent and distinct. We can scarcely conceive him the atheists, deists, socinians, anti-trinitarians, and to have ever read the Faery Queen' or ' Midsummer other subdivisions of free-thinkers, are persons of little Night's Dream.' The palpable and familiar objects zeal for the present ecclesiastical establishment. of life were the sources of his inspiration; and in Their declared opinion is for repealing the sacra inenfictitious narrative, he excels, like Richardson and tal test; they are very indiferent with regard to Defoe, by painting and grouping minute particu- ceremonies; nor do they hold the jus dirinum of epislars, that impart to his most extravagant conceptions copacy. Therefore this may be intended as one polian air of sober truth and reality. Always full of tic step towards altering the constitution of the church thought and observation, his clear perspicuous style established, and setting up presbytery in its stead ; never tires in the perusal. When exhausted by the which I leave to be farther considered by those at the works of imaginative writers, or the ornate periods helm. of statesmen and philosophers, the plain, earnest, And therefore if, notwithstanding all I have said, and manly pages of Swift, his strong sense, keen it shall still be thought necessary to have a bili observation, and caustic wit, are felt to be a legacy brought in for repealing Christianity, I would humbly of inestimable value. He was emphatically a master offer an amendment, that, instead of the word Chrisin English literature, and as such, with all his faults, tianity, may be put religion in general; which I conis entitled to our reverence.
ceive will much better answer all the good ends proThe satirical vein of Swift is well exemplified in posed by the projectors of it. For as long as we leave his · Argument against Abolishing Christianity,' the in being a God and his Providence, with all the nevery title of which is a specimen of grave irony. It cessary consequences which curious and inquisitive runs as follows:-- An Argument to prove that the
men will be apt to draw from such premises, we do Abolishing of Christianity in England may, as
not strike at the root of the evil, although we should things now stand, be attended with some incon- ever so ettectually annihilate the present scheme of veniences, and perhaps not produce those many good the Gospel. For of what use is freedom of thought, effects proposed thereby.' . Two specimens of this if it will not produce freedom of action, which is the truct are presented.
sole end, how remote soerer in appearance, of all
objections against Christianity? And therefore the [Inconveniences from a Proposed Abolition of
free-thinkers consider it a sort of edifice, wherein all Christianity.]
the parts have such a mutual dependence on each
other, that if you happen to pull out one single nail, I am very sensible how much the gentlemen of wit the whole fabric must fall to the ground. and pleasure are apt to murmur and be shocked at the sight of so many daggle-tail parsons, who happen [Arguments for the Abolition of Christianity Treated.] to fall in their way, and offend their eyes; but, at the same time, those wise reformers do not consider It is likewise urged, that there are by computation what an advantage and felicity it is for great wits to in this kingdom above ten thousand parsons, whose be always provided with objects of scorn and contempt, revenues, added to those of my lords the bishops, in order to exercise and improve their talents, and would suffice to maintain at least two hundred young divert their spleen from falling on each other, or on gentlemen of wit and pleasure, and free-thinking, themselves ; especially when all this may be done enemies to priestcraft, narrow principles, pedantry, without the least imaginable danger to their persons. and prejudices, who might be an ornament to the And to urge another argument of a parallel nature : court and town; and then, again, so great a number if Christianity were once abolished, how could the of able [bodied] divines might be a recruit to our free-thinkers, the strong reasoners, and the men of feet and arınies. This, indeed, appears to be a conprofound learning, be able to find another subject so sideration of some weight; but then, on the other calculated in all points whereon to display their side, several things deserve to be considered likewise : abilities? What wonderful productions of wit should as, first, whether it may not be thought necessary that we be deprived of from those whose genius, by con- in certain tracts of country, like what we call parishes, tinual practice, hath been wholly turned upon raillery there should be one man at least of abilities to read and invectives against religion, and would, therefore, and write. Then it seems a wrong computation, that be never able to shine or distinguish themselves on the revenues of the church throughout this island any other subject! We are daily complaining of the would be large enough maintain two hundred great decline of wit among us, and would we take young gentlemen, or even half that number, after away the greatest, perhaps the only topic we have the present refined way of living, that is, to allow left? Who would ever have suspected Asgill for a each of them such a rent as, in the modern form of wit or Toland for a philosopher, if the inexhaustible speech, would make them easy. stock of Christianity had not been at hand to provide Another advantage proposed by the abolishing of them with materials? What other subject through Christianity, is the clear gain of one day in seven, all art or nature could have produced Tindal for a which is now entirely lost, and consequently the profound author, or furnished him with readers? It kingdom one-seventh less considerable in trade, busiis the wise choice of the subject that alone adorneth ness, and pleasure ; besides the loss to the public of and distinguisheth the writer. For had a hundred so many stately structures now in the hands of the such pens as these been employed on the side of clergy, which might be converted into play-houses, religion, they would immediately have sunk into market-houses, exchanges, common dormitories, and silence and oblivion.
other public edifices. Nor do I think it wholly groundless, or my fears I hope I shall be forgiven a hard word if I call this altogether imaginary, that the abolishing of Christi-a cavil. I readily own there hath been an old cusanity may, perhaps, bring the church in danger, or tom, time out of mind, for people to assemble in the
churches every Sunday, and that shops are still fre- which are the constant practice of all men alive. quently shut up, in order, as it is conceived, to pre- But this objection is, I think, a little unworthy so serve the memory of that ancient practice ; but how refined an age as ours. Let us argue this matter this can prove a hindrance to business or pleasure, is calmly: [ appeal to the breast of any polite freehard to imagine. What if the men of pleasure are thinker, whether, in the pursuit of gratifying a preforced, one day in the week, to game at home instead dominant passion, he hath not always felt a wonder. of the chocolate house ? are not the taverns and cof- ful incitement by reflecting it was a thing forbidden; feehouses open ? can there be a more convenient sea- and therefore we see, in order to cultivate this taste, son for taking a dose of physic! is not Sunday the the wisdom of the nation hath taken special care that chief day for traders to sum up the accounts of the the ladies should be furnished with prohibited silks, week, and for lawyers to prepare their briefs? But I and the men with prohibited wine. And indeed it would fain know how it can be pretended that the were to be wished that some other prohibitions were churches are misapplied ? where are more appoint- promoted, in order to improve the pleasures of the ments and rendezvouses of gallantry? where more town ; which, for want of such expedients, begin al. care to appear in the foremost box with greater ad. ready, as I am told, to flag and grow languid, giving vantage of dress? where more meetings for business? way daily to cruel inroads from the spleen. where more bargains driven of all sorts ? and where so many conveniences or incitements to sleep?
(Ludicrous Image of Panaticism.) There is one advantage, greater than any of the foregoing, proposed by the abolishing of Christianity:
From a • Discourse on the Operation of the Spirit.] that it will utterly extinguish parties among us, by It is recorded of Mahomet, that upon a visit be was removing those factious distinctions of high and low going to pay in Paradise, he had an offer of several church, of Whig and Tory, Presbyterian and Church vehicles to conduct him upwards; as, fiery chariots, of England, which are now so many grievous clogs winged horses, and celestial sedans ; but be refused upon public proceedings, and are apt to dispose men them all, and would be borne to heaven on nothing to prefer the gratifying themselves, or depressing their but his ass. Now, this inclination of Mahomet, as adversaries, before the most important interest of the singular as it seems, hath since been taken up by a
great number of devout Christians, and doubtless with I confess, if it were certain that so great an advan- good reason. For, since that Arabian is known to tage would redound to the nation by this expedient, I have borrowed a moiety of his religious system from would submit, and be silent ; but will any man say, that the Christian faith, it is but just he should pay reif the words drinking, cheating, lying, stealing, were prisals to such as would challenge them; wherein the by act of parliament ejected out of the English tongue good people of England, to do them all right, hare not and dictionaries, we should all awake next morning been backward. For though there is not any other chaste and temperate, honest and just, and lovers of nation in the world so plentifully provided with car. truth ? Is this a fair consequence? Or if the physicians riages for that journey, either as to safety or ease, would forbid us to pronounce the words gout, rheuma- yet there are abundance of us who will not be satistism, and stone, would that expedient serve like so fied with any other machine besides this of Mahomet. many talismans to destroy the diseases themselves? Are party and faction rooted in men's hearts no deeper A Meditation upon a Broomstick, according to the than phrases borrowed from religion, or founded upon no firmer principles ! and is our own language so poor,
style and manner of the Hon. Robert Boyle's Medita
tions. that we cannot find other terms to express them! Are envy, pride, avarice, and ambition, such ill nomen- This single stick, which you now behold ingloclators, that they cannot furnish appellations for their riously lying in that neglected corner, I once knew in owners! Will not heydukes and mamalukes, manda- a flourishing state in a forest ; it was full of sap, full rines and pashaws, or any other words formed at of leaves, and full of boughs; but now in vain does pleasure, serve to distinguish those who are in the the busy art of man pretend to vie with nature, by ministry from others who would be in it if they could ? tying that withered bundle of twigs to its sapless What, for instance, is easier than to vary the form of trunk; it is now at best but the reverse of what it speech, and, instead of the word church, make it a was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on the question in politics, whether the Monument be in earth, and the root in the air; it is now handled by danger! Because religion was nearest at hand to fur- every dirty wench, condemned to do her drudgery, nish a few convenient phrases, is our invention so bar- and, by a capricious kind of fate, destined to make ren we can find no other ? Suppose, for argument sake, her things clean, and be nasty itself; at length, wora that the Tories favoured Margarita, the Whigs Mrs out to the stumps in the service of the maids, it is Tofts, and the Trimmers Valentini,I would not Mar- either thrown out of doors, or condemned to the last garitians, Toftians, and Valentinians be very tolerable use of kindling a fire. When I beheld this, I sighed, marks of distinction? The Prasini and Veniti, two and said within myself, Surely mortal man is a most virulent factions in Italy, began (if I remember broomstick! nature sent him into the world strong right) by a distinction of colours in ribbons; and we and lusty, in a thriving condition, wearing his own might contend with as good a grace about the dignity hair on his head, the proper branches of this reasonof the blue and the green, which would serve as pro- ing vegetable, until the axe of intemperance has perly to divide the court, the parliament, and the lopped off his green boughs, and left him a withered kingdom between them, as any terms of art whatsoever trunk; he then flies to art, and puts on a periwig, borrowed from religion. And therefore I think there valuing himself upon an unnatural bundle of hair, is little force in this objection against Christianity, or all covered with powder, that never grew on his head; prospect of so great an advantage as is proposed in the but now, should this our broomstick pretend to enter abolishing of it.
the scene, proud of those birchen spoils it never bore, It is again objected, as a very absurd ridiculous and all covered with dust, though the sweepings of custom, that a set of men should be suffered, much the finest lady's chamber, we should be apt to ridicale less employed and hired, to bawl one day in seven and despise its vanity. Partial judges that we are of against the lawfulness of those methods most in us our own excellences, and other men's defaults! towards the pursuit of greatness, riches, and pleasure, But a broomstick, perhaps you will say, is an
emblem of a tree standing on its head : and pray, Singers then in vogue what is man but a topsy-turvy creature, his animal
faculties perpetually mounted on his rational, his and had a great kindness for me, was in a terrible head where his heels should be grovelling on the fright; he gently took me up in both his hands, and earth! and yet, with all his faults, he sets up to be a asked me Irow I did; but I was so amazed and out universal reformer and corrector of abuses, a remover of breath, that I could not speak a word. In a few of grievances ; rakes into every slut's corner of nature, minutes I caine to myself, and he carried me safe to bringing hidden corruptions to the light, and raises a my little nurse, who by this time had returned to the mighty dust where there was none before, sharing place where she left me, and was in cruel agonies deeply all the while in the very same pollutions he when I did not appear, nor answer when she called : pretends to sweep away. His last days are spent in she severely reprimanded the gardener on account of slavery to women, and generally the least deserving; his dog. But the thing was hushed up, and never till, worn to the stumps, like his brother besom, he is known at court; for the girl was afraid of the queen's either kicked out of doors, or made use of to kindle anger, and truly, as to myself, I thought it would not flames for others to warm themselves by.
be for my reputation that such a story should go about.
This accident absolutely determined Glumdalclitch [Adventures of Gulliver in Brobdingnag.]
never to trust me abroad for the future out of her
sight. I had been long afraid of this resolution, and [Thrown amongst a people described as about ninety feet therefore concealed from her some little unlucky high, Gulliver is taken in charge by a young lady connected with the court, who had two boxes made in which to keep him left by myself. Once a kite, hovering over the gar
adventures that happened in those times when I was and carry him about.]
den, made a stoop at me, and if I had not resolutely I should have lived happy enqugh in that country, drawn my hanger, and run under a thick espalier, he if my littleness had not exposed me to several ridi- would have certainly carried me away in his talons. culous and troublesome accidents, some of which I Another time, walking to the top of a fresh mole-hill, shall venture to relate. Glumdalclitch often carried I fell to my neck in the hole, through which that anime into the gardens of the court in my smaller box, mal had cast up the earth, and coined some lie, not and would sometimes take me out of it, and hold me worth remembering, to excuse myself for spoiling my in her hand, or set me down to walk. I remember, clothes. before the dwarf left the queen, he followed us one I cannot tell whether I were more pleased or morday into those gardens, and my nurse having set me tified to observe in those solitary walks that the down, he and I being close together, near some dwarf smaller birds did not appear to be at all afraid of apple trees, I must need show my wit by a silly allu- me, but would hop about me, within a yard's distance, sion between him and the trees, which happens to looking for worms and other food with as much inhold in their language as it doth in ours. Where difference and security as if no crcature at all were upon the malicious rogue watching his opportunity, near them. I remember, a thrush had the confidence when I was walking under one of them, shook it to snatch out of my hand, with his bill, a piece of directly over my head, by which a dozen apples, each cake that Glumdalclitch had just giren me for my of them near as large as a Bristol barrel, came tumb- breakfast. When I attempted to catch any of these ling about my ears ; one of them hit me on the back birds, they would boldly turn against me, endeavouras I chanced to stoop, and knocked me down flat on ing to peck my fingers, which I durst not venture my face ; but I received no other hurt, and the dwarf within their reach ; and then they would hop back was pardoned at my desire, because I had given the unconcerned to hunt for worms or snails, as they did provocation.
before. But one day I took a thick cudgel, and threw Another day Glumdalclitch left me on a smooth it with all my strength so luckily at a linnet, that I grass-plat to divert myself, while she walked at some knocked him down, and seizing him by the neck with distance with her governess. In the meantime there both my hands, ran with him in triumph to my nurse. suddenly fell such a violent shower of hail, that I was However, the bird, who had only been stunned, reimmediately by the force of it struck to the ground; covering himself, gave me so many boxes with his and when I was down, the hail-stones gave me such wings on both sides of my head and body, though I cruel bangs all over the body, as if I had been pelted held him at arm's length, and was out of the reach of with tennis-balls ; however, I made a shift to creep his claws, that I was twenty times thinking to let him on all fours, and shelter myself by lying flat on my go. But I was soon relieved by one of our servants, face, on the lee-side of a border of lemon thyme, but who wrung off the bird's neck, and I had him next so bruised from head to foot, that I could not go day for dinner by the queen's command. This linnet, abroad in ten days. Neither is this at all to be as near as I can remember, seemed to be somewhat wondered at, because nature in that country observ- larger than an England swan. ing the same proportion through all her operations, a The queen, who often used to hear me talk of my hail-stone is near eighteen hundred times as larve as sea-voyages, and took all occasions to divert me when one in Europe, which I can assert upon experience, I was melancholy, asked me whether I understood how having been so curious to weigh and measure them. to handle a sail or an oar, and whether a little exer
But a more dangerous accident happened to me in rise of rowing might not be convenient for my health? the same garden, when my little nurse, believing she I answered, that I understood both very well; for alhad put me in a secure place, which I often intreated though my proper employment had been to be surgeon her to do, that I might enjoy my own thoughts, and or doctor to the ship, yet often upon a pinch I was forced having left my box at home to avoid the trouble of to work like a common mariner. But I could not see carrying it, went to another part of the garden with how this could be done in their country, where the her governess and some ladies of her acquaintance. smallest wherry was equal to a first-rate man-of-war While she was absent, and out of hearing, a small among us, and such a boat as I could manage would white spaniel belonging to one of the chief gardeners, never live in any of their rivers. Her majesty said if having got by accident into the garden, happened to I would contrive a boat, her own joiner should make range near the place where I lay; the dog, following it, and she would provide a place for me to sail in. the scent, came directly up, and taking me in his The fellow was an ingenious workman, and, by my inmouth ran straight to his master, wagging his tail, structions, in ten days finished a pleasure-boat, with and set me gently on the ground. By good fortune | all its tackling, able conveniently to hold eight Eurohe had been so well taught, that I was carried between peans. When it was finished, the queen was so dehis teeth without the least hurt, or even tearing my lighted, that she ran with it in her lap to the king, clothes. But the poor gardener, who knew me well, I who ordered it to be put in a cistern full of water with