« VorigeDoorgaan »
battles in Flanders, and received but one wound through the breast, which is troublesome to this day.
"When the peace came on, I was discharged: and as I could not work, because my wound was fometimes painful, I lifted for a landman in the Eaft India company's fervice. I here fought the French in fix pitched battles; and verily believe, that if I could read or write, our cap. tain would have given me promotion, and made me a corporal. But that was not my good fortune, I foon fell fick, and when I became good for nothing, got leave to return home again with forty pounds in my pocket, which I faved in the service. This was at the beginning of the present war, so I hoped to be fet on shore, and to have the pleasure of spending my money; but the government wanted men, and I was preffed again before ever I could fet foot on fhore.
"The boatswain found me, as he said, an obftinate fellow he fwore that I understood my business perfectly well, but that I pretended sickness merely to be idle: God knows, I knew nothing of fea bufinefs! He beat me without confidering what he was about. But ftill my forty pounds was fome comfort to me under every beating; the money was my comfort, and the money I might have had to this day; but that our ship was taken by the French, and fo I loft it all!
"Our crew was carried into a French prison, and many of them died, because they were not used to live in jail; but for my part it was nothing to me, for I was feafoned. One night however, as I was fleeping on the bed of boards, with a warm blanket about me, (for I always loved to lie well) I was awaked by the boatswain, who had a dark lanthorn in his hand. 66 Jack, fays he
to me, will you knock out the French centry's brains?” -"I don't care fays I, ftriving to keep myself awake, if I lend a hand. Then follow me, fays he, and I hope we fhall do his bufinefs." So up I got, and tied my blanket, which was all the clothes I had, about my middle, and went with him to fight the Frenchmen: we had no arms; but one Englishman is able to beat five French at any time; fo we went down to the door, where both the centries were pofted, and rufhing upon them, feized their arms in a moment, and knocked them down. From thence nine of us ran together to the quay, and feizing the first boat we met, got out of the harbour, and put to fea; we had not been here three days, before we were taken up by an English privateer, who was glad of fo many good hands, and we consented to run our chance. However, we had not fo much luck as we expected. In three days we fell in with a French man of war of forty guns, while we had but twenty-three; fo to it we went. The fight lasted for three hours, and I ́verily believe we fhould have taken the Frenchman, but unfortunately we loft almost all our men, just as we were going to get the victory. I was once more in the power of the French, and I believe it would have gone hard with me, had I been brought back to my old jail in Breft: but by good fortune we were re-taken, and carried to England once
"I had almost forgot to tell you, that in this laft engagement I was wounded in two places; I loft four fingers of the left hand, and my leg was cut off. Had I had the good fortune to have loft my leg and the use of my hand on board a king's ship, and not a privateer, I should have been entitled to cloathing and mainte
nance during the rest of my life, but that was not my chance; one man is born with a filver fpoon in his mouth and another with a wooden ladle. However, blessed be God, I enjoy good health, and have no enemy in this world that I know of, but the French and the justice of peace.”
Thus faying, he limped off, leaving my friend and me in admiration of his intrepidity and content; nor could we avoid acknowledging, that an habitual acquaintance with misery is the trueft fchool of fortitude and philofophy. Adieu.
FROM THE SAME.
HE titles of European princes are rather more numerous than ours of Afia, but by no means fo fublime. The king Vifapour or Pegu, not satisfied with claiming the globe and all its appurtenances to him and his heirs, afferts a property even in the firmament, and extends his orders to the milky way. The monarchs of Europe, with more modefty, confine their titles to earth, but make up by number what is wanting in their fublimity. Such is their paffion, for a long lift of thefe fplendid trifles, that I have known a German prince with more titles than fubjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than fhirts.
Contrary to this, "The English monarchs, (fays a writer of the last century,) difdain to accept of fuch tiVOL. II.
tles, which tend only to increase their pride without improving their glory; they are above depending on the feeble helps of heraldry for respect, perfectly satisfied with the confcioufnefs of acknowledged power." At prefent, however, thefe maxims are laid afide; the English monarchs have of late affumed new titles, and have impreffed their coins with the names and arms of obfcure dukedoms, petty ftates, and fubordinate employments. Their defign in this, I make no doubt, was laudably to add new luftre to the British throne, but in reality; paltry claims only ferve to diminish that refpect they are defigned to fecure.
There is, in the honours affumed by kings, as in the decorations of architecture, a majestic fimplicity, which beft conduces to infpire our reverence and refpect; numerous and trifling ornaments in either are strong indications of meannefs in the defigner, or of concealed deformity: fhould, for instance, the Emperor of China, among other titles, affume that of Deputy Mandarine of Maccau: or the Monarch of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, defire to be acknowledged as Duke of Brentford, Lunenburgh, or Lincoln, the obferver revolts at this mixture of important and paltry claims, and forgets the emperor in his familiarity with the duke or the deputy.
I remember a fimilar inftance of this inverted ambition, in the illuftrious King of Manacabo, upon his first treaty with the Portuguefe. Among the presents that were made him by the ambassador of that nation, was a fword with a brafs hilt, which he feemed to fet a peculiar value upon. This he thought too great an acquifition to his glory, to be forgotten among the number of his titles. He therefore gave orders, that his subjects should style him for
the future, Talipot, the immortal potentate of Manacabo, Meffenger of Morning, Enlightener of the Sun, Poffessor of the whole Earth, and mighty Monarch of the Brafs-handled fword.
This method of mixing majestic and paltry titles, of quartering the arms of a great empire and an obscure province, upon the fame medal here, had its rife in the virtuous partiality of their late monarchs. Willing to testify an affection to their native country, they gave its name and enfigns a place upon their coins, and thus, in fome measure, ennobled its obfcurity. It was, indeed, but juft, that a people which had given England up their king, should receive fome honorary equivalent in re. turn but at present these motives are no more; England has now a monarch wholly British, and it has some reafon to hope for British titles upon British coins.
However, were the money of England designed to circulate in Germany, there would be no flagrant impropriety in impreffing it with German names and arms; but though this might have been fo upon former occafions, I am told there is no danger of it for the future; as England, therefore, designs to keep back its gold, I candidly think Lunenburgh, Oldenburgh, and the rest of them may very well keep back their titles.
It is a mistaken prejudice in princes, to think that a number of loud-founding names can give new claims to refpect. The truly great have ever difdained them. When Timur the Lame had conquered Afia, an orator by profeffion came to compliment him on the occasion. He began his harangue, by ftyling him the moft omnipotent, and the most glorious object of the creation; the emperor seemed displeased with his paltry adulation, yet