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peculiar to himself, the gentleman took advantage of a high wind, and commanded his servants to burn down the barrier.
The basket maker, who saw himself undone, complained of the oppression in terms more suited to his sense of the injury, than the respect due to the rank of the offender; and the reward which this imprudence procured him, was the additional injustice of blows, and reproaches, and all kinds of insult and indignity.
There was but one way to a remedy, and he took it. For going to the capital, with the marks of this hard usage upon him, he threw himself at the feet of the king, and procured a citation for his oppressor's appearance, who confessing the charge proceeded to justify his behaviour by the poor man's unmindfulness of the submission due from the vulgar to gentlemen of rank and distinction.
But pray, replied the king, what distinction of rank had the grand-father of your father, who being a cleaver of wood, in the palace of my ancestors, he was raised from among those vulgar, you speak of with such contempt, in reward for an instance of his courage and loyalty in defence of his master? Yet his distinction was nobler than yours; it was the distinction of soul, not of birth, the superiority of worth, not of fortune.
I am sorry I have a gentleman in my kingdom, who is base enough to be ignorant, that ease and distinction of fortune were bestowed upon him for this end alone, that being relieved from all cares of providing for himself, he might apply his heart, head, and hand, for the public advantage of others.
Here the king discontinuing his speech, fixed an eye of indignation on a sullen resentment of mien, which he observed in the offender, who muttered out his dislike against the encouragement such sentiments must give to the community. "Where reflection is wanting," added the king, with a smile of disdain, "men must find "their defects in the pain of their sufferings. "Yanhum," said he, turning to a captain of his gallies, "strip the injured and the injurer, and conveying them to one of the most barbarous "and remote islands, set them ashore in the night, "and leave them to their fortune."
The place in which they were landed was a marsh, under cover of whose flags the gentleman was in hopes to conceal himself, and give the slip to a companion, whom he thought it a disgrace to be found with. But the lights in the galley having given an alarm to the savages, a considerable body of them came down, and discovered in the morning the two strangers in
their hiding place. Setting up a dismal yell, they surrounded them, and advancing nearer, with a kind of clubs, seemed determined to dispatch them without sense of hospitality or mercy.
Here the gentleman began to discover, that the superiority of his blood was imaginary, for between a consciousness of shame, and cold under the nakedness he had never been used to; a fear of the events from the fierceness of the savages, and the want of an idea, wherewith to soften, or divert their rage, he fell behind the sharer of his calamity, and with an apprehensive, unmanly, sneaking mien, gave up the post of honour, and made a leader of the very man, whom he had thought it a disgrace to consider as a companion.
The basket maker, on the contrary, to whom the poverty of his condition had made nakedness habitual, to whom a life of pain and mortification represented death as not dreadful, and whose consciousness of his skill in arts, of which these savages are ignorant, gave him hopes of safety, from proving that he could be useful, moved with bolder and more open freedom, and having plucked a handful of the flags, sat down without emotion, and making signs that he would shew them something worthy of their attention, fell to work with smiles and noddings,
while the savages drew near, and gazed in expectation of the consequence.
It was not long before he had wreathed a kind of coronet, of pretty workmanship; and rising with respect and fearlessness, approached the savage, who appeared to be the chief, and placed it gently upon his head. His figure under this new ornament so charmed and struck his followers, that they threw down their clubs, and formed a dance of welcome and congratulation, round the author of so prized a favour. There was not one but shewed marks of his impatience to be as fine as his captain, so the poor basket maker had his hands full of employment; and the savages observing one quite idle while the other was so busy in their service, took up arms in behalf of natural justice, and began to lay on arguments in favour of their purpose.
The basket maker's pity now effaced the remembrance of his sufferings; so he rose and rescued his oppressor, by making signs that he was ignorant of the art; but might, if they thought fit, be usefully employed in waiting upon the work, and fetching flags for his supply as fast as he should want them. This proposition luckily accorded with the desire of the savages to keep themselves at leisure that they might
crowd round, and mark the progress of a work in which they took so much pleasure. They left the gentleman therefore, to his duty, in the basket maker's service; and considered him from that time forward, as one who was and ought to be treated as inferior to their benefactor.
Men, wives, and children, from all corners of the island, came in droves for coronets; and setting the gentleman to gather boughs and poles, made a fine hut to lodge the basket maker, and brought down daily from the country such provision as they lived upon themselves; taking care to offer the supposed servant nothing till his master had done eating.
Three months reflection in this mortified condition gave a new and juster turn to our gentleman's improved ideas; insomuch that lying weeping and awake, one night, he thus confessed his sentiments in favour of the basket maker. “I "have been to blame, and wanted judgment to
distinguish between accident and excellence. "When I should have measured nature, I looked only to vanity. The preference which fortune
gives, is empty and imaginary, and I perceive too "late, that only things of use are naturally honour"able. I am ashamed, when I compare my malice, "to remember your humanity; but if the gods