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nary, I was equipped (together with some of the bestlooking tenants) in a tye-wig, full-trimmed coat and laced waistcoat, in order to swell the retinue of his servants out of livery. I bore my slavery with the greatest degree of patience: as my lord would often hint to me, that I was provided for in his will: however, I had the mortification to find myself supplanted in his good graces by the chaplain, who had always looked upon me as his rival, and contrived at length to outwheedle, out-fawn, and out-cringe me. In a word, my lord died: and while the chaplain (who constantly prayed by him during his last illness) had the consolation of having a good benefice secured to him in the will, my name was huddled among those of the common servants, with no higher legacy than twenty guineas to buy mourning.
With this small pittance (besides what I had made a shift to squeeze out of the tenants and tradesmen, as fees for my good word, when I had his lordship's ear) I came up to town: and embarked all I was worth in fitting myself out as a gentleman. Soon after, as good luck would have it, the nephew and heir of my old lord came from abroad; when I contrived to get into his favour by abusing his deceased uncle, and fastened myself upon him. It is true, he supported me; admitted me into an equal share of his purse; but considering the dangers to which I was constantly exposed on his account, I regarded his bounties as only plaisters to my sores. My head, back, and ribs have received many a payment, which should have been placed to his lordship's account: and I once narrowly escaped being hanged for murdering a poor fellow, whom my lord in a frolic had run through the body. My patron, among other marks of his taste, kept a mistress; and I as his particular crony, and a man of honour, was allowed to visit her. It happened one evening he unluckily sur
prised us in some unguarded familiarities together: but my lord was so far from being enraged at it, that he only turned madam down stairs, and very coolly kicked me down after her.
I was thrown now upon the wide world again: but as I never wanted assurance, I soon made myself very familiarly acquainted with a young gentleman from Ireland, who was just come over to England to spend his estate here. I must own, I had some difficulty in keeping on good terms with this new friend; as I had so many of his own countrymen to contend with, who all claimed a right of acquaintance with him, and some of them even pretended to be related to him. Besides, they all persuaded the young squire, that they had fortunes in different parts of Ireland; though not one of them had any real estate more than myself: and, indeed, I also had a nominal 15001. per annum in the West-Indies. These furious fellows (for, Sir, they would all fight) gave me much trouble: however I found out my young friend's foible, and in spite of his countrymen became his inseparable companion. He was not only very fond of women, but had a particular passion for new faces: and to humour this inclination, I was perpetually on the look out to discover fresh pieces for him. I brought him mantua-makers, milliners, and servant maids in abundance; and at length grew so great a favourite, by having prevailed on one of my own cousins to comply with his proposals, that I verily believe he would soon have made me easy for life in an handsome annuity, if he had not been unfortunately run through the body in a duel by one of his own countrymen.
I next got in favour with an old colonel of the guards who happened to take a fancy to me one evening at the Tilt-yard coffee-house, for having carried off a pint bumper more than a lieutenant of a man of
war, that had challenged my toast. As his sole delight was centered in the bottle, all he required of me was to drink glass for glass with him; which I readily complied with, as he always paid my reckoning. When sober, he was the best-humoured man in the world: but he was very apt to be quarrelsome and extremely mischievous when in liquor. He has more than once flung a bottle at my head, and emptied the contents of a bowl of punch in my face: sometimes he has diverted himself by setting fire to my ruffles, shaking the ashes of his pipe over my periwig, or making a thrust at me with the red-hot poker: and I remember he once soused me all over with the urine of the whole company, by clapping a large pewter jordan topsy-turvy upon my head. All these indignities I very patiently put up with, as he was sure to make me double amends for them the next morning: and I was very near procuring a commission in the army through his interest, when to my great disappointment, he was suddenly carried off by an apo plexy.
You will be surprised when I tell you, that I next contrived to squeeze myself into the good opinion of a rich old curmudgeon, a city-merchant, and one of the circumcised. He could have no objection to my religion, as I used to spend every Sunday with him at his country house, where I preferred playing at cards to going to church. Nor could I, indeed, get any thing out of him beyond a dinner: but I had higher points in view. As he had nobody to inherit his fortune but an only daughter, (who was kept always in the country) I became so desperately in love with her, that I would even have turned Jew to obtain her: but instead of that, I very foolishly made a Christian of her; and we were privately married at the Fleet. When I came to break the matter to the father, and to make an apology for having converted her, he received
me with a loud laugh, "Sir, says he, if my child had "married the devil, he should have had every penny "that was her due; but as she is only my bastard, the "law cannot oblige me to give her a farthing."
This I found to be too true: and very happily for me my Christian wife had so little regard for her new religion, that she again became an apostate, and was taken into keeping, (to which I readily gave my consent) by one of her own tribe and complexion. I shall not tire you with a particular detail of what has happened to me since: I shall only acquaint you, that I have exactly followed the precept of "becoming all "things to all men." I was once supported very splendidly by a young rake of quality for my wit in talking blasphemy, and ridiculing the Bible, till my patron shot himself through the head; and I lived at bed and board with an old methodist lady for near a twelvemonth, on account of my zeal for the new doctrine, until one of the maid servants wickedly laid a child to me. At present, Mr. Town, I am quite out of employ; have just lost a very profitable place which I held under a great man, in quality of his pimp. My disgrace was owing to the baseness of an old Covent Garden acquaintance, whom I palmed upon his honour for an innocent creature just come out of the country but the hussy was so ungrateful, as to bestow on both of us convincing marks of her thorough knowledge of the town.
I am, Sir,
Your very humble servant,
To Mr. Town.
I HAVE a little God-daughter in the country, to whom every year I send some diverting and instructive book for a New-Year's Gift: I would therefore
beg you to recommend to me one for the purpose; which will oblige
Your humble servant,
To Mr. T....... W.......
I KNOW no book so fit for your purpose as the Connoisseur, lately published in four pocket volumes: which I would further recommend to all fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles and aunts, god-fathers and god-mothers, to give their sons and daughters, grand-sons and grand-daughters, nephews and nieces, god-sons and god-daughters; as being undoubtedly the best present at this season of the year, that can possibly be thought of.
N. B. Large allowance to those who buy quantities to give away. T
No. CI. THURSDAY, JANUARY 1.
...Janique bifrontis imago.
In two-fac'd Janus we this mortal find;
AS the appointed time of our publication, now happens to fall on New-Year's Day, I cannot open the business of the year with better grace, than by taking the present hour for the subject of this paper: a subject which pleases me the more, as it also gives me an opportunity of paying my readers the compliments