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that there was then in that place one Vain-Hope, a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over; so he, as the other, I saw, did ascend the hill, to come up to the gate, only he came alone; neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was coming up to the gate, he looked up to the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him: but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, Whence come you, and what would you have? He answered, "I have eat and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets." Then they asked for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King; so he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, You have none! but the man answered never a word. So they told the King, but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two shining ones that conducted Christian and Hopeful to the city to go out and take Ignorance, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw on the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the City of Destruction. "So I awoke, and behold it was a dream."-The Pilgrim's Progress.
[DANIEL DEFOE. 1661-1731.]
THE GREAT PLAGUE IN
MUCH about the same time I walked out into the fields towards Bow, for I had a great mind to see how things were managed in the river, and among the ships; and as I had some concern in shipping, I had a notion that it had been one of the best ways of securing one's self from the infection, to have retired into a ship; and musing how to satisfy my curiosity on that point, I turned away over
the fields, from Bow to Bromley, and down to Blackwall, to the stairs that are there for landing or taking water.
Here I saw a poor man walking on the bank or sea-wall, as they call it, by himself. I walked a while also about, seeing the houses all shut up; at last Í fell into some talk, at a distance, with this poor man. First I asked him how people did thereabouts? Alas! sir, says he, almost desolate; all dead or sick Here are very few families in this part, or in that village, pointing at Poplar, where half of them are not dead already, and the rest sick. Then he, pointing to one house, There they are all dead, said he, and the house stands open; nobody dares go into it. A poor thief, says he, ventured in to steal something, but he paid dear for his theft, for he was carried to the churchyard, too, last night. Then he pointed to several other houses. There, says he, they are all dead, the man and his wife and five children. There, says he, they are shut up; you see a watchman at the door; and so of other houses. Why, says I, what do you here all alone? Why, says he, I am a poor desolate man: it hath pleased God I am not yet visited, though my family is, and one of my children dead. How do you mean, then, said I, that you are not visited? Why, says he, that is my house, pointing to a very little low boarded house, and there my poor wife and two children live, said he, if they may be said to live; for my wife and one of the children are visited, but I do not come at them. And with that word I saw the tears run very plentifully down his face; and so they did down mine too, I assure
But, said I, why do you not come at them? How can you abandon your own flesh and blood? Oh, sir, says he, the Lord forbid; I do not abandon them; I work for them as much as I am able; and, blessed be the Lord, I keep them from want. And with that I observed he lifted up his eyes to heaven with a countenance that presently told me I had happened on a man that was no hypocrite, but a serious, religious, good man; and
his ejaculation was an expression of thankfulness, that, in such a condition as he was in, he should be able to say his family did not want. Well, says I, honest man, that is a great mercy, as things go now with the poor. But how do you live then, and how are you kept from the dreadful calamity that is now upon us all? Why, sir, says he, I am a waterman, and there is my boat, says he, and the boat serves me for a house; I work in it in the day, and sleep in it in the night, and what I get I lay it down upon that stone, says he, showing me a broad stone on the other side of the street, a good way from his house; and then, says he, I halloo and call to them till I make them hear, and they come and fetch it.
Well, friend, says I, but how can you get money as a waterman? Does anybody go by water these times? Yes, sir, says he, in the way I am employed there does. Do you see there, says he, five ships lie at anchor? pointing down the river a good way below the town; and do you see, says he, eight or ten ships lie at the chain there, and at anchor yonder? pointing above the town. All those ships have families on board, of their merchants and owners, and such like, who have locked themselves up, and live on board, close shut in, for fear of the infection; and I tend on them to fetch things for them, carry letters, and do what is absolutely necessary, that they may not be obliged to come on shore; and every night I fasten my boat on board one of the ship's boats, and there I sleep by myself; and blessed be God, I am preserved hitherto.
Well, said I, friend, but will they let you come on board after you have been on shore here, when this has been such a terrible place, and so infected as it is?
Why, as to that, said he, I very seldom go up the ship-side, but deliver what I bring to their boat, or lie by the side, and they hoist it on board; if I did, I think they are in no danger from me, for I never go into any house on shore, or touch anybody, no, not of my own family; but I fetch provisions for them.
Nay, says I, but that may be worse, for you must have those provisions of somebody or other; and since all this part of the town is so infected, it is dangerous so much as to speak with anybody; for the village, said I, is, as it were, the beginning of London, though it be at some distance from it.
That is true, added he, but you do not understand me right. I do not buy provisions for them here; I row up to Greenwich, and buy fresh meat there, and sometimes I row down the river to Woolwich, and buy there; then I go to single farmhouses on the Kentish side, where I am known, and buy fowls and eggs and butter, and bring to the ships, as they direct me, sometimes one, sometimes the other. I seldom come on shore here; and I came only now to call my wife, and hear how my little family do, and give them a little money which I received last night.
Poor man said I, and how much hast thou gotten for them?
I have gotten four shillings, said he, which is a great sum, as things go now with poor men; but they have given me a bag of bread too, and a salt fish, and some flesh; so all helps out.
Well, said I, and have you given it them yet?
No, said he, but I have called, and my wife has answered that she cannot come out yet; but in half an hour she hopes to come, and I am waiting for her. Poor woman! says he, she is brought sadly down she has had a swelling, and it is broke, and I hope she will recover, but I fear the child will die; but it is the Lord! Here he stopt, and wept very much.
Well, honest friend, said I, thou hast a sure comforter, if thou has brought thyself to be resigned to the will of God; he is dealing with us all in judgment.
Oh, sir, says he, it is infinite mercy if any of us are spared; and who am I to repine!
Say'st thou so, said I; and how much less is my faith than thine! And here my heart smote me, suggesting how much better this poor man's foundation was, on which he staid in the danger, than
mine; that he had nowhere to fly; that he had a family to bind him to attendance, which I had not; and mine was mere presumption, his a true dependence and a courage resting on God; and yet, that he used all possible caution for his safety.
I turned a little way from the man while these thoughts engaged me; for, indeed, I could no more refrain from tears than he.
At length, after some farther talk, the poor woman opened the door, and called Robert, Robert; he answered, and bid her stay a few moments and he would come; so he ran down the common stairs to his boat, and fetched up a sack in which was the provisions he had brought from the ships; and when he returned, he hallooed again; then he went to the great stone which he showed me, and emptied the sack, and laid all out, everything by themselves, and then retired; and his wife came with a little boy to fetch them away; and he called, and said, such a captain had sent such a thing, and such a captain such a thing; and at the end adds, God has sent it all, give thanks to Him. When the poor woman had taken up all, she was so weak, she could not carry it at once in, though the weight was not much neither; so she left the biscuit, which was in a little bag, and left a little boy to watch it till she came again.
was in my pocket before, Here, says I, go and call thy Rachel once more, and give her a little more comfort from me; God will never forsake a family that trust in him as thou dost so I gave him four other shillings, and bid him go lay them on the stone, and call his wife.
I have not words to express the poor man's thankfulness, neither could he express it himself, but by tears running down his face. He called his wife, and told her God had moved the heart of a stranger, upon hearing their condition, to give them all that money; and a great deal more such as that he said to her. The woman, too, made signs of the like thankfulness, as well to Heaven as to me, and joyfully picked it up; and I parted with no money all that year that I thought better bestowed.—History of the Plague.
Well, but, says I to him, did you leave her the four shillings too, which you said was your week's pay?
Yes, yes, says he, you shall hear her own it. So he calls again, Rachel, Rachel, which, it seems, was her name, did you take up the money? Yes, said she. How much was it? said he. shillings and a groat, said she. Well, well, says he, the Lord keep you all; and so he turned to go away.
As I could not refrain from contributing tears to this man's story, so neither could I refrain my charity for his assistance; so I called him, Hark thee, friend, said I, come hither, for I believe thou art in health, that I may venture thee; so I pulled out my hand, which
ADVICE TO A ROVING YOUTH.
BEING the third son of the family, and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house education and a country free school generally go, and designed me for the law: but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will-nay, the commands-of my father, and against all the intreaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propension of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to befall Four me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving my father's house and my native country, where I might be well
introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure. He told me it was only men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings of a nature out of the common road; that these things were all either too far above me, or too far below me; that mine was the middle state, or what might be called the upper station of low life, which he had found, by long experience, was the best state in the world-the most suited to human happiness; not exposed to the miseries and hardships, the labour and sufferings, of the mechanic part of mankind, and not embarrassed with the pride, luxury, ambition, and envy, of the upper part of mankind. He told me I might judge of the happiness of this state by this one thing, namely, that this was the state of life which all other people envied; that kings have frequently lamented the miserable consequences of being born to great things, and wished they had been placed in the middle of the two extremes, between the mean and the great; that the wise man gave his testimony to this, as the just standard of true felicity, when he prayed to have neither poverty nor riches. He bade me observe it, and I should always find that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that the middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses, either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on one hand, or by hard labour, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues, and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable di
versions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life; that this way men went silently and smoothly through the world, and comfortably out of it; not embarrassed with the labours of the hands or of the head; not sold to a life of slavery for daily bread, or harassed with perplexed circumstances, which rob the soul of peace and the body of rest; not enraged with the passion of envy, or the secret burning lust of ambition for great things-but in easy circumstances, sliding gently through the world, and sensibly tasting the sweets of living without the bitter; feeling that they are happy, and learning, by every day's experience to know it more sensibly.
After this he pressed me earnestly, and in the most affectionate manner, not to play the young man, or to precipitate myself into miseries, which nature, and the station of life I was born in, seem to have provided against; that I was under no necessity of seeking my bread; that he would do well for me, and endeavour to enter me fairly into the station of life which he had been just recommending to me; and that, if I was not very easy and happy in the world, it must be my mere fate, or fault, that must hinder it; and that he should have nothing to answer for, having thus discharged his duty, in warning me against measures which he knew would be to my hurt. In a word, that as he would do very kind things for me, if I would stay and settle at home as he directed, so he would not have so much hand in my misfortunes as to give me any encouragement to go away; and, to close all, he told me I had my elder brother for my example, to whom he had used the same earnest persuasions to keep him from going into the Low Country wars, but could not prevail, his young desires prompting him to run into the army where he was killed; and though he said he would not cease to pray for me, yet he would venture to say to me, that if I did take this foolish step, God would not bless me—and I would have leisure hereafter to reflect upon having neglected his counsel, when there might be none to assist in my recovery.-Robinson Crusoe.
[LAURENCE STERNE. 1713-1768.] THE STORY OF LE FEVRE.
It was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the allies, which was about seven years before my father came into the country, and about as many after the time that my uncle Toby and Trim had privately decamped from my father's house in town, in order to lay some of the finest sieges to some of the finest fortified cities in Europe when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard. I say sitting, for in consideration of the corporal's lame knee, which sometimes gave him exquisite pain, when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone, he would never suffer the corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time, when my uncle Toby supposed the corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect. This bred more little squabbles betwixt them than all other causes for five-and-twenty years together; but this is neither here nor there-why do I mention it? Ask my pen-It governs me-I govern not it.
He was one evening sitting thus at his supper, when the landlord of a little inn in the village came into the parlour with an empty phial in his hand, to beg a glass or two of sack. "'Tis for a poor gentleman-I think of the army, ," said the landlord, "who has been taken ill at my house four days ago, and has never held up his head since, or had a desire to taste anything, till just now, that he has a fancy for a glass of sack and a thin toast. 'I think,' says he, taking his hand from his forehead, it would comfort me.' If I could neither beg, borrow, nor buy such a thing," added the landlord, "I would almost steal it for the poor gentleman, he is so ill. I hope
in God he will still mend," continued
"Thou art a good-natured soul, I will answer for thee," cried my uncle Toby; "and thou shalt drink the poor gentleman's health in a glass of sack thyself; and take a couple of bottles with my service, and tell him he is heartily welcome to them, and to a dozen more if they will do him good.'
Though I am persuaded," said my uncle Toby, as the landlord shut the door, "he is a very compassionate fellow, Trim, yet I cannot help entertaining a high opinion of his guest too: there must be something more than common in him that in so short a time should win so much upon the affections of his host." "And of his whole family," added the corporal; "for they are all concerned for him." Step after him," said my uncle Toby; "do, Trim; ask him if he knows his name."
"I have quite forgot it, truly," said
My uncle Toby laid down his knife and fork, and thrust his plate from before him, as the landlord gave him the account; and Trim, without being ordered, took it away, without saying one word, and in a few minutes after brought him his pipe and tobacco.
'Stay in the room a little," said my uncle Toby. "Trim!" said my uncle Toby, after he lighted his pipe, and smoked about a dozen whiffs. Trim came in front of his master, and made his bow. My uncle Toby smoked on, and said no more. 66 "Corporal!" said my uncle Toby. The corporal made his bow. My uncle Toby went no further, but finished his pipe.