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him in a transport of fury, and thrust my sagacity than Crampley, observing that it weapon into his mouth, which enlarged it on was flood when he left her, and that she one side to his ear. Whether the smart of would possibly float at high water, made no this wound disconcerted him, or the uneven- noise about getting on shore, but continued ness of the ground made him reel, I know on deck, in hopes of bringing her safe into not, but he staggered some paces back: I some harbour, after the commander should followed close, and with one stroke cut the have deserted her; for which piece of service tendons of the back of his hand, upon which he expected, no doubt, to be handsomely his cutlass dropt, and he remained defence- rewarded. This scheme he accordingly less. I know not with what cruelty my rage executed, and was promised great things by might have inspired me, if I had not at that the admiralty for saving his majesty's ship; instant been felled to the ground by a blow but I never heard he reaped the fruits of his on the back part of my head, which deprived expectation. As for my own part, I directed me of all sensation. In this deplorable my course towards a small cottage I persituation, exposed to the rage of an incensed ceived, and, in the road, picked up a seaman's barbarian, and the rapine of an inhuman old jacket, which, I suppose, the thief who crew, I remained for some time; and whether dressed himself in my clothes had thrown any dispute arose among them during the away: this was a very comfortable acquisition state of my annihilation, I cannot pretend to to me, who was almost stiff with cold; I determine ; but in one particular they seem therefore put it on, and as my natural heat to have been unanimous, and acted with revived, my wounds, which had left off equal dexterity and dispatch ; for when I bleeding, burst out afresh; so that, finding recovered the use of understanding, I found myself excessively exhausted, I was about myself alone in a desolate place, stripped of to lie down in the fields, when I discovered my clothes, money, watch, buckles, and every a barn on my left hand, within a few yards thing but my shoes, stockings, breeches, of me; thither I made shift to stagger, and and shirt. What a discovery must this have finding the door open, went in, but saw nobeen to me, who but an hour before was body; however I threw myself upon a truss worth sixty guineas in cash! I cursed the of straw, hoping to be soon relieved by some hour of my birth, the parents that gave me person or other. I had not lain here many being, the sea that did not swallow me up,, minutes, when I saw a countryman coming the poniard of the enemy, which could not in with a pitch-fork in his hand, which he find the way to my heart, the villainy of was upon the point of thrusting into the those who had left me in that miserable con- straw that concealed me, and, in all proba. dition; and, in the ecstasy of despair, re-bility, would have done my business, had I solved to lie still where I was, and perish. not uttered a dreadful groan, after having
essayed in vain to speak. This melancholy
note alarmed the clown, who started back, CHAPTER XXXVIII.
and discovering a body all besmeared with
blood, stood trembling with the pitch-fork I get up, and crawl into a barn, where I am extended before him, his hair bristling up,
in danger of perishing through the fear his eyes staring, his nostrils dilated, and his of the country people—their inhumanity mouth wide open. At another time I should ---I am succoured by a reputed witch have been much diverted by this figure, her story—her advice—she recommends which preserved the same attitude very near me as a valet to a single lady, whose ten minutes, during which time I made many character she explains.
unsuccessful efforts to implore his compassion
and assistance; but my tongue failed me, But as I lay ruminating, my passion insen- and my language was only a repetition of sibly abated; I considered my situation in groans; at length an old man arrived, who, quite another light from that in which it seeing the other in such a posture, cried,appeared to me at first, and the result of my “ Mercy upon un ! the leaad's bewitched; deliberation was to rise, if I could, and why, Dick, beest thou besayed thyself!" crawl to the next inhabited place for assist. Dick, without moving his eyes from the ance. With some difficulty I got upon my object that terrified him, replied, “O valegs, and having examined my body, found 1 ther! vather! here be either the devil or a had received no other injury than two large dead mon: I doan't know which o’en, but a contused wounds, one on the fore, and groans woundily." The father, whose eyeanother on the hinder part of my head: which sight was none of the best, pulled out his seemed to be occasioned by the same wea- spectacles, and having applied them to his pon, namely, the butt-end of a pistol. Inose, reconnoitred me over his son's shoul. looked towards the sea, but could discern no der; but no sooner did he behold me, than remains of the ship; so that I concluded she he was seized with a fit of shaking, even was gone to pieces, and that those who re- more violent than Dick's, and, with a broken mained in her had perished: but, as I after- accent, addressed me thus :—"In the name wards learned, the gunner, who had more of the Vather, Zun, and Holy Ghost, I charge
you, an you been Satan, to be gone to the a whole village, nobody having humanity Red Zea ; but an you be a moordered man, enough to administer the least relief to me, speak, that you may have christom burial.” until an old woman, who was suspected of As I was not in a condition to satisfy him witchcraft by the neighbourhood, hearing of in this particular, he repeated his conjuration my distress, received me into her house, and to no purpose : and they continued a good having dressed my wounds, brought me to while in the agonies of fear. At length the myself with cordials of her own preparing. father proposed that the son should draw I was treated with great care and tenderness nearer, and take a more distinct view of the by this grave matron, who, after I had apparition; but Dick was of opinion that recovered some strength, desired to know his father should advance first, as being an the particulars of my last disaster. This old man, past his labour, and if he received piece of satisfaction I could not refuse to any mischief, the loss would be the smaller, one who had saved my life; I therefore whereas he himself might escape, and be related all my adventures without exaggeuseful in his generation. This prudential ration or reserve. She seemed surprised at reason had no effect upon the senior, who the vicissitudes I had undergone, and drew still kept Dick between me and him. In the a happy presage of my future life from my meantime I endeavoured to raise one hand past sufferings; then launched out into the as a signal of distress, but had only strength praise of adversity with so much ardour and sufficient to produce a rustling among the good sense, that I concluded she was a perstraw, which discomposed the young peasant son who had seen better days, and conceived so much, that he sprung out at the door, and a longing desire to hear her story. She overthrew his father in his flight. The old perceived my drift by some words I dropped, gentleman would not spend time in getting and smiling, told me, there was nothing up, but crawled backwards like a crab, with either entertaining or extraordinary in the great speed, till he had got over the threshold, course of her fortune; but, however, she mumbling, exorcisms all the way, I was would communicate it to me in consideration exceedingly mortified to find myself in dan- of the confidence I had reposed in her.—" It ger of perishing through the ignorance and is of little consequence,” said she, “ to tell cowardice of these clowns; and felt my the names of my parents, who are dead spirits decay apace, when an old woman many years ago ; let it suffice to assure you, entered the barn, followed by the two fugi- they were wealthy, and had no other child tives, and, with great intrepidity, advanced than me; so that I was looked upon as to the place where I lay, saying, "if it be heiress to a considerable estate, and teazed the devil, I fear en not, and for a dead mon, with addresses on that account. Among a can do us no harm.” When she saw my the number of my admirers, there was a condition, she cried," Here be no devil, young gentleman of no fortune, whose sole but in youren fool's head. Here be a poor dependence was on his promotion in the miserable wretch, bleeding to death, and if army, in which, at that time, he bore a a dies, we must be at the charge of burying lieutenant's commission. I conceived an him;, therefore, Dick, go vetch the old affection for this amiable officer, which, in a wheel-barrow and put en in, and carry en to short time, increased to a violent passion; goodman Hodge's back door: he is more and, without entering into minute circumable than we to lay out money upon poor stances, married him privately. We had vagrants.” Her advice was taken, and im- not enjoyed one another long in stolen in. mediately put in execution ; I was rolled to terviews, when he was ordered with his the other farmer's door, where I was tumbled regiment to Flanders; but, before he set out, out like a heap of dung: and would certainly it was agreed between us, that he should have fallen a prey to the hogs, if my groans declare our marriage to my father by letter, had not disturbed the family, and brought and implore his pardon for the step we had some of them out to view my situation. But taken without his approbation. This dis. Hodge resembled the Jew more than the covery was made while I was abroad visiting, good Samaritan, and ordered me to be carried and just as I was about to return home, I to the house of the parson, whose business received a letter from my father, importing, it was to practise as well as to preach cha- that since I had acted so undutifully and rity ; observing that it was sufficient for him meanly, as to marry a beggar, without his to pay his quota towards the maintenance of privity or consent, to the disgrace of his the poor belonging to his own parish. When family, as well as the disappointment of his I was set down at the vicar's gate, he fell hopes, he renounced me to the miserable into a mighty passion, and threatened to fate I had entailed upon myself, and charged excommunicate him who sent, as well as me never to set foot within his doors again. those who brought me, unless they would This rigid sentence was confirmed by my
me immediately to another place. mother, who, in a postscript, gave me to About this time I fainted with the fatigue 1 understand, that her sentiments were exactly had undergone, and afterwards understood conformable to those of my father, and that that I was bandied from door to door through I might save myself the trouble of making
any applications, for her resolutions were The whole behaviour of this venerable unalterable. Thunderstruck with my evil person was so primitive, innocent, sensible, fortune, I called a coach, and drove to my and humane, that I contracted a filial respect husband's lodgings, where I found him for her, and begged her advice with regard waiting the event of his letter. Though he to my future conduct as soon as I was in a could easily divine by my looks the issue of condition to act for myself. She dissuaded his declaration, he read with great steadiness me from a design I had formed of travelling the epistle I had received ; and, with a smile to London, in hopes of retrieving my clothes full of tenderness, which I shall never forget, and pay, by returning to my ship, which, by embraced me, saying, “ I believe the good this time, I read in the newspaper, was lady your mother might have spared herself safely arrived in the river Thames ; • be. the trouble of the last part of her postscript. cause,” said she, "you run the hazard of Well, my dear Betty, you must lay aside all being treated, not only as a deserter in quitthoughts of a coach, till I can procure the ting the sloop, but also as a mutineer in command of a regiment.” This uncon-assaulting your commanding officer, to the cerned behaviour, while it enabled me to malice of whose revenge you will moreover support my reverse of fortune, at the same be exposed.” She then promised to recomtime endeared him to me the more, by con- mend me as a servant to a single lady of her vincing me of his disinterested views in acquaintance, who lived in the neighbourespousing me. I was next day boarded in hood with her nephew, who was a young company with the wife of another officer, fox-hunter of great fortune, where I might who had long been the friend and confidant be very happy, provided I could bear the of my husband, at a village not far from disposition and inanners of my mistress, London, where they parted with us in the which were somewhat whimsical and parti. most melting manner, went to Flanders, and cular. But, above all things, she counselled were killed in sight of one another at the me to conceal my story, the knowledge of battle of the Wood. Why should I tire you which would effectually poison my enterwith a description of our unutterable sorrow tainment; for it was a maxim among most at the fatal news of this event, the remem- people of condition, that no gentleman in brance of which now fills my aged eyes distress ought to be admitted into a family with tears! When our grief subsided a as a domestic, least he become proud, lazy, little, and reflection came to our aid, we and insolent. I was fain to embrace this found ourselves deserted by the whole world, humble proposal, because my affairs were and in danger of perishing by want; where- desperate, and in a few days was hired by upon we made application for the pension, this lady to serve in quality of her footman, and were put upon the list. Then vowing having been represented by my hostess as eternal friendship, we sold our jewels and a young man who was bred up to the sea by superfluous clothes, retired to this place his relations against his will, and had suffer. (which is in the county of Sussex), bought ed shipwreck, which had increased his disgust this little house, where we lived many years to that way of life so much, that he rather in a solitary manner, indulging our mutual chose to go to service on shore, than enter sorrow, till it pleased Heaven to call away himself on board of any other ship. Before my companion two years ago, since which I took possession of my new place, she gave time I have lingered out an unhappy being, in me a sketch of my mistress's character, that hopes of a speedy dissolution, when I promise I might know better how to regulate my myself the eternal reward of all my cares. conduct. “ Your lady,” said she, “is a In the mean time," continued she, “ I must maiden of forty years, not so remarkable for inform you of the character I bear among her beauty as her learning and taste, which my neighbours; my conversation being dif- are famous all over the country. Indeed she ferent from that of the inhabitants of the is a perfect female virtuoso; and so eager village, my recluse way of life, my skill in after the pursuit of knowledge, that she neg. curing distempers, which I acquired from lects her person even to a degree of slut. books since I settled here, and, lastly, my age, tishness. This negligence, together with have made the common people look upon me her contempt of the male part of the creaas something preternatural, and I am actu- tion, gives her nephew no great concern, as ally at this hour believed to be a witch. The by these means he will probably keep her parson of the parish, whose acquaintance I fortune, which is considerable, in the family. have not been at much pains to cultivate, He therefore permits her to live in her own taking umbrage at my supposed disrespect, way, which is something extraordinary, and has contributed not a little towards the con- gratifies her in all her whimsical desires. firmation of this opinion, by dropping certain Her apartment is at some distance from hints to my prejudice among the vulgar, who the other inhabited parts of the house, and are also very much scandalized at my enter. consists of a dining-room, bed-room, and taining this poor tabby cat with the collar study. She keeps a cook-maid, waiting-woabout her neck, which was a favourite of my man, and footman of her own; and seldoma deceased companion."
eats or converses with any of the family but
her niece, who is a very lovely creature, and never washed but in Castalian streams. humours her aunt often to the prejudice of Around her lay heaps of books, globes, quadher own health, by sitting up with her whole rants, telescopes, and other learned appanights together; for your mistress is too much ratus : her snuff-box stood at her right hand; of a philosopher to be swayed by the cus- at her left hand lay her handkerchief, suffitoms of the world, and never sleeps or eats ciently used; and a convenience to spit in like other people. Among other odd no- appeared on one side of her chair. She tions, she professes the principles of Rosi- being in a reverie when we entered, the maid crucius ; and believes the earth, air, and sea, did not think proper to disturb her; so that are inhabited by invisible beings, with whom we waited some minutes unobserved, during it is possible for the human species to enter which time she bit the quill several times, tain correspondence and intimacy, on the altered her position, made many wry faces, easy condition of living chaste. As she and at length, with an air of triumph, rehopes one day to be admitted into an ac- peated aloud, quaintance of this kind, she no sooner heard of me and my cat, than she paid me a visit, “Nor dare th’immortal gods my rage oppose.” with a view, as she has since owned, to be Having committed her success to paper, introduced to my familiar, and was greatly she turned towards the door, and, perceiving mortified to find herself disappointed in her us, cried,—“ What's the matter ?" "Here's expectation. Being, by this visionary turn the young man,” replied my conductress, of mind, abstracted, as it were, from the "whom Mrs Sagely recommended as a footworld, she cannot advert to the common man to your ladyship.” On this information occurrences of life, and therefore is frequently she stared in my face a considerable time, so absent as to commit very strange mis- and then asked my name, which I thought takes and extravagancies, which you will do proper to conceal under that of John Brown. well to rectify and repair as your prudence After having surveyed me with a curious eye, shall suggest.”
she broke out into=“0! ay, thou wast shipwrecked, I remember. Whether didst thou
come on shore on the back of a whale or a CHAPTER XXXIX.
dolphin ?" To this I answered, I had swam
ashore without any assistance. Then she My reception by that lady—I become ena- demanded to know if I had ever been at the
moured of Narcissa-recount the particu- Hellespont, and swam from Cestos to Abydos. lars of my last misfortune-acquire the I replied in the negative; upon which she good opinion of my mistress--an account bade the maid order a suit of new livery for of the young squire,I am made ac- me, and instruct me in the articles of my quainted with more particulars of Narcis- duty: so saying, she spit in her snuff-box, sa's situation-conceive a mortal hatred and wiped her nose with her cap, which lay against Sir Timothy—examine my lady's on the table, instead of a handkerchief. library and performances—her extrava- We returned to the kitchen, where I was regant behaviour.
galed by the maids, who seemed to vie with
each other in expressing their regard for me ; Fraught with these useful instructions, I and from them I understood that my business repaired to the place of her habitation, and consisted in cleaning knives and forks, laywas introduced by the waiting-wonan to the ing the cloth, waiting at table, carrying presence of my lady, who had not before messages, and attending my lady when she
She sat in her study, with one went abroad. There was a very good suit foot on the ground, and the other upon a of livery in the house, which had belonged to high stool at some distance from her seat; my predecessor, deceased, and it fitted me her sandy locks hung down in a disorder I exactly; so that there was no occasion for cannot call beautiful, from her head, which employing a tailor on my account. I had was deprived of its coif, for the benefit of not long been equipped in this manner when scratching with one hand, while she held the my lady's bell rung; upon which I ran up stump of a pen in the other. Her forehead stairs, and found her stalking about the room was high and wrinkled; her eyes were large, in her shift and under petticoat only. I grey, and prominent; her nose was long, would have immediately retired as became sharp, and aquiline ; her mouth of vast capa- me, but she bade me come in, and air a clean city; her visage meagre and freckled, and shift for her; which operation I having perher chin peaked like a shoemaker's paring- formed with some backwardness, she put it knife; her upper-lip contained a large quan- on before me without any ceremony, and I tity of plain Spanish, which, by continual verily believe was ignorant of my sex all that falling, had embroidered her neck, that was time, as being quite absorbed in contemplanot naturally very white; and the breast of tion. About four o'clock in the afternoon, I her gown, that flowed loose about her with was ordered to lay the cloth, and place two a negligence truly poetic, discovering linen covers, which I understood were for my that was very fine, and to all appearance mistress and her niece, whom I had not as
yet seen. Though I was not very dexterous spirits to undergo a fox-chase to-inorrow at this work, I performed it pretty well for a morning, in company with Sir Timothy beginner; and, when dinner was upon the Thicket, Squire Bumper, and a great many table, saw my mistress approach, accompa- other gentlemen of the same stamp, whom nied by the young lady, whose name for the he had invited on that occasion ; so that by present shall be Narcissa. So much sweet- day-break the whole house would be in an ness appeared in the countenance and car- uproar. This was a very disagreeable piece riage of this amiable apparition, that my of news to the virtuoso, who protested she heart was captivated at first sight, and, while would stuff her ears with cotton when she dinner lasted, I gazed upon her without in- went to bed, and take a doze of opium to termission. Her age seemed to be seventeen, make her sleep the more sound, that she her stature tall, her shape unexceptionable; might not be disturbed and distracted by the her hair, that fell down upon her ivory neck clamour of the brutes. in ringlets, black as jet; her arched eye- When their dinner was over, I and my brows of the same colour; her eyes piercing, fellow-servants sat down to ours in the yet tender; her lips of the consistence and kitchen, where I understood that Sir Timothy hue of cherries; her complexion clear, deli- Thicket was a wealthy knight in the neighcate, and healthy; her aspect noble, ingenu-bourhood, between whom and Narcissa a ous, and humane; and the whole person so match had been projected by her brother, who ravishingly delightful, that it was impossible promised at the same time to espouse Sir for any creature endued with sensibility to Timothy's sister ; by which means, as their see without admiring, and admire without fortunes were pretty equal, the young ladies loving her to excess. I began to curse the would be provided for, and their brothers servile station that placed me so far beneath be never the poorer; but that the ladies did the regard of this idol of my adoration; and not concur in the scheme, each of them en. yet I blessed my fate, that enabled me to entertaining a hearty contempt for the person joy daily the sight of so much perfection. allotted to her for a husband by this agree. When she spoke I listened with pleasure ; ment. This information begat in me a but when she spoke to me, my soul was mortal aversion to Sir Timothy, whom I thrilled with an ecstasy of tumultuous joy: looked upon as my rival, and cursed in my I was even so happy as to be the subject of heart for his presumption. Next morning, their conversation; for Narcissa having ob- by day-break, being awakened by the noise served me, said to her aunt," I see your new of the hunters and hounds, I arose to view footman is come.” Then addressing herself the cavalcade, and had a sight of my com. to me, asked, with ineffable complacency, if petitor, whose accomplishments (the estate I was the person who had been so cruelly excluded) did not seem brilliant enough to used by robbers? When I satisfied her in give me much uneasiness with respect to this, she expressed a desire of knowing the Narcissa, who, I flattered myself, was not other particulars of my fortune, both before to be won by such qualifications as he was and since my being shipwrecked. Hereupon master of, either as to person or mind. My (as Mrs Sagely had counselled me) I told mistress, notwithstanding her precaution, her that I had been bound apprentice to the was so much disturbed by her nephew's commaster of a ship, contrary to my inclination, pany, that she did not rise till five o'clock in which ship had foundered at sea; that I and the afternoon; so that I had an opportunity four more, who chanced to be on deck when of examining her study at leisure, to which she went down, made shift to swim to the examination I was strongly prompted by my shore; when my companions, after having curiosity. Here I found a thousand scraps overpowered me, stript me to the shirt, and of her own poetry, consisting of three, four, left me, as they imagined, dead of the wounds ten, twelve, and twenty lines, on an infinity I received in my own defence. Then I re- of subjects, which, as whim inspired, she had lated the circumstances of my being found in begun, without constancy or capacity to bring a barn, with the inhuman treatment I met to any degree of composition; but, what was with from the country people and parson; very extraordinary in a female poet, there the description of which, I perceived, drew was not the least mention made of love in tears from the charming creature's eyes. any of her performances. I counted fragWhen I had finished my recital, my mistress ments of five tragedies, the titles of which said, " Ma foy! le garcon est bien fait !" were—“the Stern Philosopher-the Double To which opinion Narcissa assented with a Murder—the Sacrilegious Traitor—the Fall compliment to my understanding in the same of Lucifer—and the Last Day.” From whence language, that flattered my vanity extremely. I gathered that her disposition was gloomy,
The conversation, among other subjects, and her imagination delighted with objects of turned upon the young squire, whom my lady horror. Her library was composed of the inquired after under the title of the Savage; best English historians, poets, and philosoand was informed by her niece that he was phers; of all the French critics and poets; still in bed, repairing the fatigue of last and of a few books in Italian, chiefly poetry, night's debauch, and recruiting strength and at the head of which were Tasso and Ari