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“I am very happy to hear it,” said get an office under government; we are Targe.
then told, with some stale gibe, that the “ Indeed,” added Buchanan, “it has person is Scotchman: or, which hapbeen in a state of rapid improvement ever pens still more rarely, when any of them since the Union."
are condemned to die at Tyburn, parti. “Confound the Union !" cried Targe ; cular care is taken to inform the public “it would have improved much faster that the criminal is originally from Scotwithout it."
land ! But if fifty Englishmen get places, “I am not quite clear on that point, or are hanged, in one year, no remarks Mr. Targe,” said Buchanan.
are made." Depend upon it,” replied Targe, “the “No,” said Buchanan; "in that case Union was the worst treaty that Scotland it is passed over as a thing of course." ever made."
The conversation then taking another “ I shall admit,” said Buchanan, “that turn, Targe, who was a great genealogist, she might have made a better ; but, bad descanted on the antiquity of certain as it is, our country reaps some advantage gentlemen's families in the Highlands; from it."
which, he asserted, were far more honour“ All the advantages are on the side of able than most of the noble families England.”
either in Scotland or England. "Is it " What do you think, Mr. Targe,” not shameful,” added he, “ that a parcel said Buchanan, “of the increase of trade of mushroom lords, mere sprouts from since the Union, and the riches which the dunghills of law or commerce, the have flowed into the Lowlands of Scot- grandsons of grocers and attorneys, should land from that quarter ?”
take the pass of gentlemen of the oldest “ Think,” cried Targe ; "why, I think families in Europe ?” they have done a great deal of mischief to “Why, as for that matter,” replied the Lowlands of Scotland.”
Buchanan, “provided the grandsons of “How so, my good friend?” said grocers or attorneys are deserving citizens, Buchanan.
I do not perceive why they should be “By spreading luxury among the in- excluded from the king's favour more habitants, the never failing forerunner of than other men. effeminacy of manners. Why, I was as- “But some of them never drew a sured,” continued Targe, “by Sergeant sword in defence of either their king or Lewis Macneil, a Highland gentleman in country,” rejoined Targe. the Prussian service, that the Lowlanders, Assuredly,” said Buchanan, “men in some parts of Scotland, are now very may deserve honour and pre-eminence little better than so many English.” by other means than by drawing their
"O fie!" cried Buchanan ; "things swords.” are not come to that pass as yet, Mr. Targe : your friend, the sergeant, as
[The conversation next turned on the personal
character and honesty of George Buchanan, the suredly exaggerates.
historian.] “I hope he does,” replied Targe; “ but you must acknowledge,” continued he, “In what did he ever show any want of “ that by the Union, Scotland has lost honesty ?” said Buchanan. her existence as an independent state ; “ In calumniating and endeavouring to her name is swallowed up in that of blacken the reputation of his rightful England. Only read the English news- sovereign, Mary Queen of Scots," replied papers; they mention England, as if it Targe, the most beautiful and accomwere the name of the whole island. plished princess that ever They talk of the English army, the throne.” English fleet, the English everything. “ I have nothing to say either against They never mention Scotland, except her beauty or her accomplishments,” re. when one of our countrymen happens to sumed Buchanan; "but surely, Mr. Targe,
you must acknowledge that she was a tion, or retracting what you have said ?"
against the beautiful Queen of Scotland!” “Have a care what you say, sir ! ” cried Targe. interrupted Targe; “I'll permit no man “ As for retracting what I have said,”. that ever wore breeches to speak dis- replied Buchanan, " that is no habit of respectfully of that unfortunate queen!” mine ; but with regard to giving you
"No man that ever wore either breeches satisfaction, I am ready for that to the or philabeg, replied Buchanan, “shall best of my ability; for let me tell you, prevent me from speaking the truth when sir, though I am not a Highlandman, I I see occasion!”
am & Scotchman as well as yourself, and “Speak as much truth as you please, not entirely ignorant of the use of the sir,” rejoined Targe ; " but I declare that claymore; so name your hour, and I will no man shall calumniate the memory of meet you to-morrow morning. that beautiful and unfortunate princess in Why not directly?” cried Targe ; my presence while I can wield a clay- “there is nobody in the garden to inter.
rupt us. “If you should wield fifty claymores, " I should have chosen to have settled you cannot deny that she was a Papist!” some things first; but since you are in said Buchanan.
such a hurry, I will not balk you. I will Well, sir,” cried Targe, “what then? step home for my sword and be with you She was, like other people, of the religion directly,” said Buchanan. in which she was bred."
The groom interposed, and endea“I do not know where you may have voured to reconcile the two enraged Scots, been bred, Mr. Targe,” said Buchanan; but without success. Buchanan soon ar“ for aught I know, you may be an ad- rived with his sword, and they retired to herent to the worship of the scarlet lady a private spot in the garden. The groom yourself. Unless that is the case, you next tried to persuade them to decide ought not to interest yourself in the repu- their difference by fair boxing. This was tation of Mary Queen of Scots."
rejected by both the champions as a mode “I fear you are too nearly related to of fighting unbecoming gentlemen. The the false slanderer whose name you bear!” groom asserted that the best gentlemen said Targe.
in England sometimes fought in that “I glory in the name; and should manner, and gave, as an instance, a boxthink myself greatly obliged to any man ing-match, of which he himself had been who could prove my relation to the great a witness, between Lord G.'s gentleman George Buchanan !" cried the other. and a gentleman farmer at York races
“He was nothing but a disloyal calum- about the price of a mare. niator,” cried Targe; who attempted “ But our quarrel,” said Targe, “is to support falsehoods by forgeries, which, about the reputation of a queen.' I thank Heaven, are now fully detected !” That, for certain,” replied the groom,
“ You are thankful for a very small 'makes a difference." mercy,” resumed Buchanan; but since Buchanan unsheathed his sword. you provoke me to it, I will tell you, in “Are you ready, sir?” cried Targe. plain English, that your bonny Queen
" That I am.
Come on, sir,” said Mary was the murderer of her hus- Buchanan ; "and the Lord be with the band!”
righteous. No sooner had he uttered the last sen- " Amen !” cried Targe; and the contence, than Targe flew at him like a tiger, Alict began. and they were separated with difficulty Both the combatants understood the by Mr. N. —'s groom, who was in the weapon they fought with; and each paradjoining chamber, and had heard the ried' his adversary's blows with such altercation.
dexterity, that no blood was shed for “I insist on your giving me satisfac- some time. At length Targe, making a
feint at Buchanan's head, gave him sud- with their distress, and have at once the denly a severe wound in the thigh. comfort of admiration and pity. “I hope you are now sensible of
There is nothing magnanimous in bearyour error?” said Targe, dropping his ing misfortunes with fortitude when the point.
whole world is looking on : men in such “I am of the same opinion I was!” circumstances will act bravely, even from cried Buchanan; so keep your guard.” motives of vanity; but he who, in the So saying, he advanced more briskly vale of obscurity, can brave adversity, than ever upon Targe, who, after ward- who, without friends to encourage, acing off several strokes, wounded his quaintances to pity, or even without hope antagonist a second time. Buchanan, to alleviate his misfortunes, can behave however, showed no disposition to re- with tranquillity and indifference, is truly linquish the combat. But this second great : whether peasant or courtier, he wound being in the forehead, and the deserves admiration, and should be held blood flowing with profusion into his up for our imitation and respect.. eyes, he could no longer see distinctly, While the slightest inconveniences of but was obliged to flourish his sword at the great are magnified into calamities, random, without being able to perceive while tragedy mouths out their sufferings the movements of his adversary, who, in all the strains of eloquence, the miseries closing with him, became master of his of the poor are entirely disregarded ; and sword, and with the same effort threw yet some of the lower ranks of people him to the ground; and, standing over undergo more real hardships in one day, him he said, “This may convince you, than those of a more exalted station suffer Mr. Buchanan, that yours is not the in their whole lives. It is inconceivable righteous cause ! You are in my power ; what difficulties the meanest of our combut I will act as the queen whose cha- mon sailors and soldiers endure without racter I defend would order were she murmuring or regret; without passionalive. I hope you will live to repent of ately declaiming against Providence, or the injustice you have done to that calling their fellows to be gazers on their amiable and unfortunate princess." He intrepidity. Every day is to them a day then assisted Buchanan to rise. Buchanan of misery, and yet they entertain their made no immediate answer; but when hard fate without repining. he saw Targe assisting the groom to stop With what indignation do I hear an the blood which flowed from his wounds, Ovid, a Cicero, a Rabutin, complain of he said, “I must acknowledge, Mr. their misfortunes and hardships, whose Targe, that you behaved like a gentle- greatest calamity was that of being unman.”—Zeluco.
able to visit a certain spot of earth, to which they had foolishly attached an idea of happiness! Their distresses were plea
sures compared to what many of the ad(OLIVER GOLDSMITH. 1728-1744.] venturing poor every day endure without THE OLD SOLDIER.
murmuring. They ate, drank, and slept;
they had slaves to attend them; and were No observation is more common, and sure of subsistence for life : while many at the same time more true, than that of their fellow-creatures are obliged to one half of the world are ignorant how wander without a friend to comfort or the other half lives. The misfortunes of assist them, and even without shelter the great are held up to engage our atten- from the severity of the season. tion ; are enlarged upon in tones of de- I have been led into these reflections clamation ; and the world is called upon from accidently meeting, some days ago, to gaze at the noble sufferers ; the great, a poor fellow, whom I knew when a boy, under the pressure of calamity, are con- dressed in a sailor's jacket, and begging scious of several others sympathising at one of the outlets of the town with a wooden leg. I knew him to have enough till he died, when I was obliged been honest and industrious when in to provide for myself ; so I was resolved the country, and was curious to learn to go seek my fortune. what had reduced him to his present “In this manner I went from town to situation. Wherefore, after having given town, worked when I could get employhim what I thought proper, I desired to ment, and starved when I could get none: know the history of his life and misfor- when happening one day to go through a tunes, and the manner in which he was field belonging to a justice of peace, I reduced to his present distress. The dis- spied a hare crossing the path just before abled soldier (for such he was, though me; and I believe the devil put it in my head dressed in a sailor’s habit), scratching his to fling my stick at it ;-well, what will head, and leaning on his crutch, put him- you have on't? I killed the hare, and self in an attitude to comply with my was bringing it away, when the justice request, and gave me his history as himself met me; he called me poacher follows:
and a villain ; and, collaring me, desired " As for my misfortunes, master, II would give an account of myself. I fell can't pretend to have gone through any upon my knees, begged his worship’s more than other folks ; for, except the pardon, and began to give a full account loss of my limb, and my being obliged to of all that I knew of my breed, seed, and beg, I don't know any reason, thank generation; but, though I gave a very Heaven! that I have to complain : there true account, the justice said I could give is Bill Tibbs, of our regiment, he has lost no account ; and so I was indicted at the both his legs, and an eye to boot ; but, sessions, found guilty of being poor, and thank Heaven, it is not so bad with me sent up to London to Newgate, in order yet.
to be transported as a vagabond. “I was born in Shropshire; my father “People may say this and that of being was a labourer, and died when I was five in jail; but, for my part, I found Newyears old ; so I was put upon the parish. gate as agreeable a place as ever I was in As he had been a wandering sort of a all my life. I had my belly full to eat man, the parishioners were not able to and drink, and did no work at all. This tell to what parish I belonged or where I kind of life was too good to last for ever ; was born, so they sent me to another so I was taken out of prison, after five parish, and that parish sent me to a third. months; put on board a ship, and sent I thought in my heart, they kept sending off, with two hundred more, to the planme about so long, that they would not let tations. We had but an indifferent pasme be born in any parish at all ; but at sage; for, being all confined in the hold, last, however, they fixed me. I had some more than a hundred of our people died disposition to be a scholar, and was re- for want of sweet air ; and those that resolved at least to know my letters ; but mained were sickly enough, God knows. the master of the workhouse put me to When we came ashore, we were sold to business as soon as I was able to handle a the planters, and I was bound for seven mallet ; and here I lived an easy kind of years more. As I was no scholar (for I life for five years. I only wrought ten did not know my letters), I was obliged to hours in the day, and had my meat and work among the negroes; and I served drink provided for my labour. It is true, out my time, as in duty bound to do. I was not suffered to stir out of the house, “When my time was expired, I worked for fear, as they said, I should run away; my passage home, and glad I was to see but what of that? I had the liberty of the old England again, because I loved my whole house, and the yard before the country. I was afraid, however, that Í door, and that was enough for me. I should be indicted for a vagabond once was then bound out to a farmer, where I more, so I did not much care to go down was up both early and late ; but I ate and into the country, but kept about the town, <lrank well, and liked my business well and did little jobs when I could get them.
“I was very happy in this manner for dark lantern in his hand : ‘Jack,' says some time, till one evening, coming home he to me, 'Will you knock out the from work, two men knocked me down, French sentries' brains ?'---'I don't care,' and then desired me to stand. They says I, striving to keep myself awake, belonged to a press-gang : I was carried | 'if I lend a hand.” Then follow before the justice, and, as I could give no says he, and I hope we shall do their account of myself, I had my choice left, business.'--So up I got, and tied my whether to go on board a man of war, or blanket (which was all the clothes I had) list for a soldier: I chose the latter; and, about my middle, and went with him to in this post of a gentleman, I served two fight the Frenchmen. I hate the French, campaigns in Flanders, was at the battles because they are all slaves, and wear of Val and Fontenoy, and received but wooden shoes. one wound, through the breast here ; but “Though we had no arms, one Engthe doctor of our regiment soon made me lishman is able to beat five French at any well again.
time ; so we went down to the door, “When the peace came on I was dis- where both the sentries were posted, and, charged; and as I could not work, be- rushing upon them, seized their arms in a cause my wound was sometimes trouble moment, and knocked them down. From some, I listed for a landman in the East. thence nine of us ran together to the India Company's service. I have fought quay; and, seizing the first boat we met, the French in six pitched battles ; and I got out of the harbour and put to sea. verily believe, that, if I could read or We had not been here three days before write, our captain would have made me a we were taken up by the Dorset privateer, corporal. But it was not my good for- who were glad of so many good hands, tune to have any promotion, for I soon and we consented to run our chance. fell sick, and so got leave to return home However, we had not as much luck as we again, with forty pounds in my pocket. expected. In three days we fell in with This was at the beginning of the present the Pompadour privateer, of forty guns, war, and I hoped to be set on shore, and while we had but twenty-three ; and so to to have the pleasure of spending my money; it we went, yard-arm and yard-arm. The but the government wanted men, and so I fight lasted for three hours, and I verily was pressed for a sailor before ever I could believe we should have taken the Frenchset foot on shore.
man, had we but had some more men left “The boatswain found me, as he said, behind; but, unfortunately, we lost all our an obstinate fellow : he swore he knew men just as we were going to get the that I understood my business well, but victory. that I shammed Abraham to be idle ; but, “I was once more in the power of the God knows, I knew nothing of sea- French, and I believe it would have gone business, and he beat me without con- hard with me had I been brought back to sidering what he was about. I had still, Brest ; but, by good fortune, we were rehowever, my forty pounds, and that was taken by the Viper. I had almost forgot some comfort to ine under every beating ; to tell you, that, in that engagement, I and the money I might have had to this was wounded in two places : I lost four day, but that our ship was taken by the fingers of the left hand, and my leg was French, and so I lost my money.
shot off. If I had had the good fortune “Our crew was carried into Brest, and to have lost my leg and the use of my many of them died, because they were hand on board a king's ship, and not on not used to live in a jail ; but for my part, board a privateer, I should have been enit was nothing to me, for I was seasoned titled to clothing and maintenance during One night, as I was asleep on the bed of the rest of my life ; but that was not my boards, with a warm blanket about me chance : one man is born with a silver (for I always loved to lie well), I was spoon in his mouth, and another with a awakened by the boatswain, who had a wooden ladle. However, blessed be God!