صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

cried Ned ; amongst the articles I stipulate for in the advertisement, which Mr. Sparkle has been reading, I believe you will not find that money is put down for one. Upon this Mr. Abrahams made a proper compliment to my friend, and addressing himself to the company began to apologize for having taking up so much of our attention by his long discourse ; this naturally produced a return of acknowledgments on our parts, with many and just commendations of his benevolence. The honest man's features brightened with joy upon receiving this welcome testimony, which he so well deserved, and I remarked with pleasure that our reverend friend, the curate, now began to regard Abrahams with an eye of complacency, and having set him. self in order, like one who was about to harangue his audience with a prepared oration, he turned a gracious countenance upon the humble adversary of his faith, and delivered himself as follows

Charity, Mr. Abrahams, is by our church es. teemed the first of Christian virtues, and as we are commanded to pray even for. our enemies, in obedience to that blessed mandate i devoutly pray, that in your instance it may avail to cover and blot out the multitude of sins. Your reaching forth the hand of mercy to these poor Christians in their pitiable distress, proves you to be a man snperior to those shameful prejudices, which make a false plea of religion for shutting up the heart against all, but those of its own faith and persuasion. I have lis. tened to your narrative with attention, and it is but' justice to you to confess, that your forbearing to retort upon the scurrilous fellow in the lodginghouse, who insulted you on the score of your national physiognomy, is a circumstance very highly to your credit, and what would have done honour to any one of the professors of that religion, whick

B B %

teaches us, when we are reviled, to revile not again. I also remarked the modest manner of your speak. ing, when you unavoidably reported of your own good deeds: you sounded no trumpet before you, and thereby convinced me you are not of that pha. risaical leaven, which seeketh the praise of men; and let me tell you, Sir, it is the very test of true charity, that it vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Humility, Mr. Abrahams, in a peculiar degree is expected of you, as of one of the children of wrath, scattered over the face of the earth without an abid. ing place, which you may call your own: charity also is in you a duty of more than ordinary obli. gation, for you and yours subsist no otherwise than on the charity of the nations who give you shelter: the alms of others may be termed a free gift of love, but your alms are in fact a legal tribute for protection. To concludeI cxhort you to take in good part what I have now been saying ; you are the first of your nation I ever communed with, and if hereafter in the execution of my duty I am led to speak with rigour of your stiff-necked generation, I shall make a mental exception in your favour, and recommend you in my prayers for all Jews, Turks, infidels and heretics, by a separate ejacula. tion in your behalf.

Whether Abrahams in his heart thanked the ho. nest curate for his zeal is hard to say, but there was nothing to be observed in his countenance, which bespoke any other emotions than those of benevolence and good-nature. My friend Drowsy was not quite so placid at certain periods of the discourse, and when he found that the humble Israelite made no other return, but by a civil inclination of the head to the speaker at the conclusion of the ha. rangue, he said to Abrahams,in a qualifying tone of voice, Mr. Beetle, Sir, means well; to which the

other instantly replied, that he did not doubt it, and then with a design, as it should seem, to turn the discourse, informed Ned, that he had taken the liberty of going in person to the father of Mrs. Goodison, in hopes he would have allowed him to speak of the situation, in which he had found his daughter and her child: but alas ! added he, I had no sooner began to open the business upon which I came, than he instantly stopt my mouth by de. manding, if I came into his house to affront him ! that he was astonished at my assurance for daring to name his daughter in his hearing, and in the same breath in a very haughty tone cried out, Harkye, Sir ! are not you a Jew? to which I had no sooner replied in the affirmative, than ringing his bell very violently, he called out to his footman, to put that Jew out of his doors.

Here Abrahams paused ; Ned started up from his chair, drank a glass of wine, shook the Jew by the hand, flounced down upon his scat again, whistled part of a tune, and turning to me said in a half-whisper, What a world is this we live in!

NUMBER XLII.

AFTER the conversation related in the preceding chapter, Drowsy and his guests passed a social evening, and honest Abrahams was prevailed upon to take a bed at Poppy Hall. The next morning carly, as I was walking in the garden, I was much surprised to find Ned there before me--I dare say you wonder, said he, what could provoke my lazi. ness to quit my pillow thus early, but I am resolved

to shake off a slothful habit, which till our discourse last night I never considered as criminal. I have been thinking over all that Mr. Abrahams told us about the distressed widow and her daugh. ter, and I must own to you I have a longing desire to obtain a sight of this Constantia, whom he describes to be so charming in mind and person. Now I don't know with what face I can invite her hither; besides I consider, though I might prevail upon Mr. Abrahams to bring her, yet I should be confoundedly hampered how to get handsomely off, if upon acquaintance it did not suit me to propose for her.

You judge rightly, said I, your dilemma would be embarrassing.

Well then, quoth he, there is no alternative but for me to go to her, and though I am aware of the trouble it will give me to take a journey to London, where I have never been, and shall probably make a very awkward figure, yet if you will encourage me so far as to say you will take a corner in my coach thither, and Mr. Abrahams does not object to the scheme, I will even pluck up a good courage and set out to-morrow.

Be it so ! answered I, if Mr. Abrahams approves of it, I have no objection to the party.

On the morrow we set off; Abrahams and my. self with Ned, and his old servant in his coach for London, and in the evening of the second day our post-boys delivered us safe at Blossom's Inn in Lawrence-lane. Abrahams procured us lodgings at the house of his apothecary in the Poultry, where he first sheltered Mrs. Goodison and Constantia; and having settled this affair, the good man hastened home to present himself to his family, and prepare .for our supping at his house that night.

My friend Ned had been in a broad stare of

amazement ever since his entry into London ; he seemed anxious to know what all the people were about, and why they posted up and down in such a hurry; he frequently asked me when they would go home and be quiet ; for his own part he doubted if he should get a wink of sleep till he was fairly out of this noisy town.

As he was feasting his curiosity from the window of our lodgings, the Lord Mayor passed by in his state coach towards the Mansion House-God bless his Majesty ! cried Ned, he is a portly man. Ile was rather disappointed when I set himn right in his mistake; but nevertheless the spectacle pleased him, and he commented very gravely upon the commo. dious size of the coach and the slow pace of the procession, which he said shewed the good sense and discretion of the city magistrate, and observing him to be a very corpulent man, added, with an air of some conscquence, that he would venture to pronounce my Lord Mayor of London was a wise man and consulted his own ease.

We now were to set ourselves in order for our visit to honest Abrahams, and Ned began to shew some anxiety about certain articles of his dress and appearance, which did not exactly tally with the spruce air of the city sparks, whom he had recon. noitred in the streets ; the whole was confessedly of the rustic order, but I encouraged him to put his trust in broad-cloth and comtry bloom, and seri. ously exhorted him not to trust his head to the sheers of a London hair dresser. I now ordered a coach to be called, which was no sooner announced than Ned observed it was speedily got ready ; but they do every thing in a hurry in this place, added he, and I wish to my heart the fat gentleman in the fine coach may order all the people to bed before

« السابقةمتابعة »