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apparel, and had him instructed as far as was necessary for an ordinary tradesman; then sent him to London to a pewterer, of whom he had some knowledge; and soon after, coming up himself to Parliament, bound him apprentice.

The charity was not thrown away: the young man was extremely ingenious at his business, very honest and obliging, and had no other fault than an insatiable curiosity of seeing every thing he found others eager to be spectators of; but his master overlooked this in him, in consideration of his good qualities, and they agreed extremely well the whole time they were together. His apprenticeship being expired, he mar ried a young woman, to whom he had the good fortune to be agreeable: she had a better portion than his circumstances could have given room to hope for; and his patron making a considerable addition to the sum she brought, set him up in a handsome manner; and being so, his honesty, industry, and frugality, soon împroved his stock, and in a very few years he became a man of consequence among those of his trade.


Finding himself perfectly at ease, and having a good journeyman whom he could entrust with his business, he began to have a desire of seeing his old father, and the place which had



given him birth, and to take his wife with him on this visit. She was a good sort of woman, and perhaps, like most of her sex, fond of a jaunt into the country, did not oppose his inclination in the least; and the matter being soon agreed upon between them, he hired a horse, mounted her behind him, and set out for Devonshire. I shall pass over the particulars of their journey, as having nothing in it material to my purpose; and only tell you, that when they came within a few miles of the village to which they were going, they saw a great number of people, some riding, others running, towards a road which turned out of that they were in; and on asking the occasion of this unusual concourse, he was told they were going to see the execution of a man who was to be hanged for sheep-stealing.

His natural curiosity for such spectacles would not suffer him to pursue his journey, without gratifying that prevailing passion; and, in spite of all his wife, who would not go with him, could say to hinder him, he left her at the first inn they came to, and following the crowd he saw before him with all the speed he could, till he came to the gallows (which he very well remembered, having, when a boy, seen many a one brought to it), he got thither

almost at the same time with the condemned person: but what was his astonishment, when, no sooner casting his eyes upon him, than he knew him to be his own father! He flung himself off his horse, and, without regarding what became of him, flew to those who had the care of conducting the malefactor, and begged the liberty of speaking to him; which being granted, he made himself known to him, and there passed between them all that could be expected on so mournful an occasion. The son expressed the utmost concern that his father had not acquainted him, by letter, with his misfortune, that he might have come sooner down, in or der to endeavour to save him from so shameful an end, if all he had in the world could have done it; and his father answered, that he did not repent his not having done so, because, as he had never any thing to give him, he should not have had any comfort in life, if prolonged by the ruin of so dutiful a child; and that he was only grieved at the disgrace which the crime he suffered for must entail on him. He told him, that it was extreme poverty, and the unwillingness he had of being burdensome to him, as he had a wife and chil dren, which had made him do that in his old age, which in his youth he should have trembled at

the thoughts of; and uttered many other expressions of grief and tenderness, which drew tears from all who were near enough to hear them; till the officers of justice obliging them to break off any further discourse, they em. braced and parted. The old man was dragged to his fate; and the young one, struck with horror, fell that instant into violent convulsion fits. The people about him had charity enough to give him what assistance was in their power; and hearing that, in his intervals of reason, he desired to be carried to that inn where he had left his wife, some of them took him up and bore him on their shoulders.

The poor woman was extremely affrighted,, as you may suppose, to see her husband in this condition; but on inquiring where, and in what manner they found him, and being informed of the dreadful occasion, fell into agonies little inferior to his. A physician was immediately sent for to them both: the wife was soon upon her legs, but the man lay a long time ill. At length, however, he returned to London, which was all that could be done for him: the sad success of his journey had such an effect upon him that it turned his brain, and he died soon after in a mad-house, leaving a wife and three children, in circumstances very much impaired by

the expenses this misfortune had rendered unavoidable.

How dreadful was the consequence that attended this man's unhappy propensity to make one among the crowd at such spectacles! But though this was an incident which perhaps the generality of those who hurry to see executions have no reason to apprehend, yet there are many others, such as breaking legs or arms, &c. which frequently happen at such times, and are sufficient, one would think, to deter the reasonable part of mankind from going to such places, if, as I said before, human compassion wanted the power to stifle any desire of it.

But, as no considerations of any kind are of weight enough to keep the generality of the common people at least in their own houses, when any of those sights are exhibited to the public, frequent as they are, it cannot be wondered at that foreigners are so apt to accuse this nation of a certain coldness and indifference, if no more, for whatever misfortunes fall to the share of one another.

They take notice that, except the English, there is scarce any nation in the habitable world, who, if they happen to meet one of the same country abroad, will not rejoice at seeing

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