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being bit by a baker's dog. In short, whether I was guilty or unfortunate, the correction and sympathy of this arbitrary pedagogue were the same.-" Roderick Random."
Captain Weazel and the Highwayman
I FOUND that Joey the driver and I had the same sentiments with regard to Captain Weazel's courage, which we resolved to put to the trial by alarming the passengers with the cry of "A highwayman!" as soon as an horseman should appear.
This scheme we put in practice toward the dusk, when we descried a man on horseback approaching us. Joey had no sooner intimated to the people in the waggon that he was afraid we should all be robbed than a general consternation arose. Strap jumped out of the waggon and hid himself behind a hedge. The usurer Isaac put forth ejaculations, and made a rustling among the straw, which made us conjecture he had hid something under it. Mrs. Weazel, wringing her hands, uttered lamentable cries; and the captain, to our great amazement, began to snore. But this artifice did not succeed; for Miss Jenny, shaking him by the shoulder, bawled out, "'Sdeath! captain, is this time to snore, when we are going to be robbed? Get up, for shame, and behave like a soldier and a man of honour!" Weazel pretended to be in a great passion for being disturbed, and swore he would have his nap out if all the highwaymen in England surrounded him. "Damn my blood! what are you afraid of?" continued he, at the same time trembling with such agitation that the whole carriage shook. This singular piece of behaviour incensed Miss Ramper so much that she cried, "Damn
your pitiful soul! you are as arrant a poltroon as ever was drummed out of a regiment! Stop the waggon, Joey. Let me get out, and, by God, if I have rhetoric enough, the thief shall not only take your purse, but your skin also!" So saying, she leaped out with great agility.
By this time the horseman came up with us, and happened to be a gentleman's servant well known to Joey, who communicated the scheme, and desired him to carry it on a little further, by going up to the waggon and questioning those within. The stranger, consenting for the sake of diversion, approached it, and in a terrible tone demanded, "Who have we got here?" Isaac replied, with a lamentable voice, "Here's a poor miserable sinner, who has got a small family to maintain, and nothing in the world wherewithal but these fifteen shillings, which if you rob me of we must all starve together." "Who's that sobbing in the other corner?" said the supposed highwayman. "A poor unfortunate woman," answered Mrs. Weazel, "upon whom I beg you for Christ's sake to have compassion." "Are you maid or wife?" said he. "Wife, to my sorrow," cried she. "Who or where is your husband?" continued he. "My husband," replied Mrs. Weazel, “is an officer in the army, and was left sick at the last inn where we dined." "You must be mistaken, madam," said he, "for I myself saw him get into the waggon this afternoon. But pray, what odour is that? Smells like a dog." Here he laid hold of one of Weazel's legs, and pulled him out from under his wife's petticoats, where he had concealed himself. The poor, trembling captain, being detected in this inglorious situation, rubbed his eyes, and affecting to wake out of sleep cried, "What's the matter? What's the matter?" "The matter is not much," answered the horseman. "I only called in to inquire after
your health; and so, adieu, most noble captain." So saying, he clapped spurs to his horse, and was out of sight in a moment.
It was some time before Weazel could recollect himself, but at length reassuming the big look, he said, "Damn the fellow! why did he ride away before I had time to ask him how his lord and lady were? Don't you remember Tom, my dear?" addressing himself to his wife. "Yes," replied she, "I think I do remember something of the fellow; but you know I seldom converse with people of his station. "Heyday," cried Joey, "do yaw knaw the young mon, coptain?" "Know him?" said Weazel. Many a time has he filled a glass of Burgundy for me at my lord Trippet's table." "And what may his neame be, coptain?" said Joey. "His name? His name," replied Weazel, "is Tom Rinser." "Waunds!" cried Joey, "a has changed his own neame, then! I'se lay a wager he was christened John Trotter." This observation raised a laugh against the captain, who seemed very much disconcerted, when Isaac broke silence, and said, "It was no matter who or what he was, since he has not proved the robber we suspected. And we ought to bless God for our narrow escape." "Bless God?" said Weazel. "Bless the devil! For had he been a highwayman, I should have eaten his blood, body, and guts before he had robbed me or any one in this diligence."
"Ha, ha, ha!" cried Miss Jenny, "I believe you will eat all you kill indeed, captain."
The usurer was so well pleased at the event of this adventure, that he could not refrain from being severe, and took notice that Captain Weazel seemed to be a good Christian, for he had armed himself with patience and resignation, instead of carnal weapons, and worked out his salvation with fear and trembling.-" Roderick Random."
Tabitha on Domestic Economy
TABITHA BRAMBLE TO MRS. GWYLLIM, HOUSEKEEPER:
I AM astonished that Dr. Lewis should take upon him to give away Alderney, without my privity and concurrants. What signifies my brother's order? My brother is little more than noncompush. He would give away the shirt off his back, and the teeth out of his head. Nay, as for that matter, he would have ruinated the family with his ridiculous charities, if it had not been for my four quarters. What between his wilfulness and his waste, his trumps and his frenzy, I lead the life of an indented slave. Alderney gave four gallons a day ever since the calf was sent to market. There is so much milk out of my dairy, and the press must stand still; but I won't lose a cheese-paring; and the milk shall be made good if the sarvents should go without butter. If they must needs have butter, let them make it of sheep's milk; but then my wool will suffer for want of grace; so that I must be a loser on all sides. Well, patience is like a stout Welsh poney: it bears a great deal, and trots a great way, but it will tire at the long run. Before it's long, perhaps I may show Matt that I was not born to be the household drudge to my dying day. Gwyn writes from Crickhowell, that the price of flannel has fallen three farthings an ell; and that's another good penny out of my pocket. When I go to market to sell, my commodity stinks; but when I want to buy the commonest thing, the owner pricks it up under my nose, and it can't be had for love nor money. I think everything runs cross at Brambleton Hall. You say the gander has broke the eggs; which is a phinumenon I don't under
stand; for when the fox carried off the old goose last year, he took her place, and hatched the eggs, and partected the goslings like a tender parent. Then you tell me the thunder has soured two barrels of beer in the seller. But how the thunder should get there, when the seller was double-locked, I can't comprehend. Howsomever, I won't have the beer thrown out till I see it with my own eyes. Perhaps it will recover; at least it will serve for vinegar to the sarvents. You may leave off the fires in my brother's chamber and mine, as it is unsartin when we return. I hope, Gwyllim, you'll take care there is no waste; and have an eye to the maids, and keep them to their spinning. I think they may go very well without beer in hot weather; it serves only to inflame the blood, and set them agog after the men. Water will make them fair, and keep them cool and tamperit. Don't forget to put up in the port-mantel, that cums with Williams, along with my riding-habit, hat, and feather, the viol of purlwater, and the tincktur for my stomach, being as how I am much troubled with flutterencies.-" Humphrey Clinker."
Bramble and Barton at Court
MEDFORD TO PHILLIPS:
Two days ago Barton persuaded my uncle and me to accompany him to St. James's, where he undertook to make us acquainted with the persons of all the great men in the kingdom. And, indeed, there was a great assemblage of distinguished characters, for it was a high festival at court. Our conductor performed his promise with great punctuality. He pointed out almost every individual of both sexes, and