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and a half-penny, telling her the gentleman threw hiin three half-pence, and laughed at bis impudence. She gave her Mercury the money, broke the bread into a wash-hand-bason which stood near, poured the Tokay over it, and devoured the whole with eagerness. After this, some active well-wishers procured her a benefit; she gained, 'tis said, about three hundred and fifty pounds, and she laid out about two hundred of the money in a shell-cap, an extravagant article of finery, which was then worn.
BRITTON ABBOT.* From the despicable squanderer Cuzzoni, let us now turn to an object of a more pleasing nature. "Two miles from Tadcaster, on the left hand side of the road to York,” says Mr. Bernard, “ stands a beautiful little cottage, with a garden that has long attracted the eye of the traveller. The slip of land is exactly a rood, inclosed by a cut quick hedge; and containing the cottage, fifteen apple-trees, one green-gage, and three winesour plum-trees, two apricot-trees, several gooseberry and current bushes, abundance of common vegetables, and three hives of bees, being all the apparent wealth of the possessor. The singular neatness and good order that marked every part of this little domain, and some circumstances respecting the owner, which had been mentioned to me by Dr. Burgh, of York, made me anxious to obtain the history of the cottager and his family. In the end of May, 1797, I called there in my way from York; but found the house and the gite of the garden locked. In the road to Tadcaster, however, I met his wife, laden with a basket of provisions from the market, and engaged her to find her husband, who was at work about a mile off, and to send him to me to the inn at Tadcaster. When he arrived, he very willingly gave me his history.
* To the subject of the situation of the poor, it is high time that the most serious attention should be paid ; and, therefore, the Editor does not think that any apology is necessary for inserting the narrative of Britton Abbot. That narrative affords, among other things, a striking proof of the beneficial effects of giving to the labourer a small portion of land. See No. 13, p. 41.
** His name is Britton Abbot, his age sixty-seven, and his wife's nearly the same. At nine years old he went out to work with a farmer; and being a steady careful lad, and a good labourer, particularly in what is called task-work, he managed so well, that, before he was twenty-two years of age, he had accumulated near forty pounds. He then married, and took a little farm at thirty pounds a year; but before the end of the second year he found it prudent, or rather necessary, to quit it; having already 'exhausted, in his attempt to thrive upon it, almost all the little property that he had heaped together. He then fixed in a cot. tage at Poppleton; where, with two acres of land, and his common rigbt, he kept two cows. He had resided very comfortably as a labourer for nine years, and had six children living, and his wife preparing to lie in of a seventh, when an inclosure of Poppleton took place; and the arrangements made in consequence of it, obliged him to seek for a new habitation, and other means of subsistence for his family.
“ He applied to Squire Fairfax, and told him that if he would let him have a little bit of ground by the road side, he would show him the fashions upon it.' After enquiry into his character, he obtained from Mr. Fairfax, the ground he now occupies; and, with a little assistance from the neighbours, in the carriage of his materials, he built his present house; and planted the garden, and the hedge round it, which is a single row of quick, thirty-five years old, and without a flaw or defect. He says he cut it down six times successively when it was young. Mr. Fairfax was so much pleased with the progress of his work, and the extreme neatness of his place, that he told him he should be rent-free. His answer deserves to be remembered: “Now, sir, you have a pleasure in seeing my cottage and garden neat; and why should not other squires have the same pleasure in seeing the cottages and gardens as nice about them. The poor would then be happy, and would love them, and the place where they lived: but now every little nook of land is to be let to the great farmers, and nothing left for the poor but to go to the parish.'
66 He has had seven children; six of whom attained to the age of maturity; and five are now living, and thriving in the world. One is the wife of a carpenter at York; another occupies a little farm at Kelfield; a third is the wife of a labourer, who has built a cota tage for himself at Tadcaster, and wants nothing (as the father observed) but a bit of ground for a garden. Britton Abbot says he now earps twelve shillings, and sometimes fifteen and eighteen shillings a week, by hoeing turnips by the piece, setting quick, and other task-work: 'but to be sure,' added he, I have a grand character in all this country. He gets from his garden, annually, about forty bushels of potatoes, besides other vegetables; and his fruit is worth, in a good year, from three to four pounds. His wife occasionally goes out to work; she also spins at home, and takes care of his house and his garden. He says they have lived very happy together for forty-five years. To the account that I have given, it may be needless to add, that neither he, nor any part of his family has ever had occasion to apply for parochial relief.
Though my visit was unexpected, and he was at the latter end of his Saturday's work, his clothes were neat, and sufficiently clean; his countenance was healthy and open; he was a little lame in one leg, the consequence of exposure to wet and weather. He said he had always worked hard and well; but he would not deny but that he had loved a mug of good ale when he could get it. When I told him my object of enquiring after him, that it was in order that other poor persons might have cottages and gardens as neat as his, and that he must tell me all his secret, how it was to be done, he seemed extremely pleased, and very much affected: he said, “ nothing would make poor folks more happy, than finding that great folks thought of them:” that he wished every poor man had as comfortable a home as his own; not but that he believed there might be a few thriftless fellows, who would not do good in it.
I asked him whether he had not had a cow. He said that he had had one, and she had died, and, having no other place but the lane to keep this cow, he had not attempted to get another.-“ Could you get
land, if you had a cow?' He thought he could. "Supposing then,' I added, “a cow could be bought for twelve pounds, and you could rent it on the terms of paying "three pounds ten shillings immediately, and then three pounds ten shillings at the end of each year, during three years; and that the cow was to be yours at the end of three years, if she lived, and you paid your rent regularly, do you think such a bargain would answer for you?' 'Yes, he said, he was sure it would very greatly; and there were few cottagers to whom it would not be a very great advantage, especially where they had a family of children. I told him to enquire whether he could get a little land; and I would have some more talk with him about it, when I came down in August.”
PUNCTILIO. A TRANSACTION between one of the caliphs of Bagdad's ambassadors and the court of Constantinople is related, which well illustrates the then manners both of the ambassador and the court.
As this court was a remnant of the ancient imperial one under the Cæsars, it still retained (as was natural) after its dominions were so much lessened, an attachment to that pomp and those minute ceremonials, which in the zenith of its power it had been able to enforce. It was an affection for this shadow of grandeur, when the substance was in a manner gone, that induced the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus to write no less than a large folio book upon its ceremonial.
It was in consequence of the same principles, that the above anıbassador, though coming from the "caliph, was told to make a bumble obeisance, as he approached the Grecian emperor. This the ambassador (who had his national pride also) absolutely refusing, it was ingeniously contrived, that he should be introduced to the emperor through a door so very low as might oblige him, however unwillingly, to make the obeisance required. The ambassador, when he arrived, no sooner saw the door, than he comprebended the contrivance, and with great readiness turned about, and entered the room backward.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PALAIS ROYAL, DEAR Friend,-Your's of the ult. was duly received, and I am rather surprised that you should imagine me to have been so long in this capital without visiting the Palais Royal; Yes I have seen it, and will endeavour, as well as my feeble pen will permit, to describe to you this perfect Tower of Babel. It was commenced by Cardinal de Richelieu, and, during its building, was given by him to Louis the XIIIth. Louis the XIVth and his mother resided in it during the regency, and this circumstance gave birth to the name it now bears of Palais Royal (or Royal Palace.) It was given by Louis the XIVth to his brother Philip, for his life, and afterwards to Philip, Duke of Orleans. It at length became the property of the infamous Duke of Orleans, by whom it was both considerably enlarged and embellished. This nobleman, during the most dreadful period of the revolution, when every thing relative to nobility was laid aside, 'assumed the appellation of Egalité, and his Palace, the name of which was changed into “Maison d'Egalité" became the repdezvous for all the miscreants of the age, and consequently within its precincts were planned some of those dreadful scenes which took place at that momentous period when“ brothers madly shed each others' blood.”
Notwithstanding the sight of this building must, in the mind of every beholder of sensibility, recal the horror of past events, yet it will be pronounced by him, as a man of taste, one of the most beautiful edi. fices Paris has to boast of. Its shape is that of a parallelogram, three sides of it, (the fourth not having been finished and now merely consisting of wooden galleries,) surround a garden planted with rows of trees, which, by the bye, are only in their infancy, interspersed with flower beds, in the centre of which is a