Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

gift hath not given himself for the fake of giving the Example to his Readers.

CHA P. II.

Of Mr. Jofeph Andrews his Birth, Parentage, Education, and great Endowments ; with a Word or two concerning Ancestors.

Ming History, was efteemed to be the only

R. Jofeph Andrews, the Hero of our enfu

Son of Gaffar and Gammer Andrews, and Brother to the illuftrious Pamela, whose Virtue is at present so famous. As to his Ancestors, we have fearched with great Diligence, but little Success; being unable to trace them farther than his Great Grandfather, who, as an elderly Perfon in the Parish remembers to have heard his Father fay, was an excellent Cudgel-player. Whether he had any Ancestors before this, we muft leave to the Opinion of our curious Reader, finding nothing of fufficient Certainty to rely on. However, we cannot omit inferting an Epitaph which an ingenious Friend of ours hath communicated:

Stay Traveller, for underneath this Pew
Lies faft afleep that merry Man Andrew;
When the last Day's great Sun fhall gild the Skies,
Then he hall from his Tomb get up and rife.
Be merry while thou canft: For furely thou
Shall fhortly be as fad as he is now.

The Words are almost out of the Stone with Antiquity. But it is needless to obferve, that Andrew here is writ without an s, and is befides a Chri

ftian Name. My Friend moreover conjectures this to have been the Founder of that Sect of laughing Philofophers, fince called Merry Andrews.

To wave therefore a Circumftance, which, tho' mentioned in conformity to the exact Rules of Biography, is not greatly material; I proceed to things of more confequence. Indeed it is fufficiently certain, that he had as many Ancestors as the best Man living; and perhaps, if we look five or fix hundred Years backwards, might be related to fome Perfons of very great Figure at prefent, whofe Anceftors within half the laft Century are buried in as great Obfcurity. But fuppofe for Argument's fake we should admit that he had no Ancestors at all, but had fprung up, according to the modern Phrase, out of a Dunghil, as the Athenians pretended they themselves did from the Earth, would not this* Autokopres have been justly entitled to all the Praise arifing from his own Virtues? Would it not be hard, that a Man who hath no Ancestors, should therefore be rendered incapable of acquiring Honour; when we see so many who have no Virtues, enjoying the Honour of their Forefathers? At ten Years old (by which time his Education was advanced to Writing and Reading) he was bound an Apprentice, according to the Statute, to Sir Thomas Booby an Uncle of Mr. Booby's by the Father's Side. Sir Thomas having then an Estate in his own Hands, the young Andrews was at firft employed in what in the Country they call keeping Birds. His Office was to perform the Part the Antients affigned to the God Priapus, which Deity the Moderns call by the Name of Jack-o? Lent: But his Voice being * In Englife, fprung_from a Dunghil. B 3

fo

fo extremely mufical, that it rather allured the Birds than terrified them, he was foon tranfplanted from the Fields into the Dog-kennel, where he was placed under the Huntsman, and made what Sportsmen term a Whipper-in. For this Place likewife the Sweetnefs of his Voice difqualified him; the Dogs preferring the Melody of his chiding to all the alluring Notes of the Huntfman, who foon became fo incensed at it, that he defired Sir Thomas to provide otherwise for him; and conftantly laid every Fault the Dogs were at, to the Account of the poor Boy, who was now transplanted to the Stable. Here he foon gave Proofs of Strength and Agility, beyond his Years, and conftantly rode the most spirited and vicious Horfes to water with an Intrepidity which furprized every one. While he was in this Station, he rode feveral Races for Sir Thomas, and this with fuch Expertness and Success, that the neighbouring Gentlemen frequently folicited the Knight, to permit little Joey (for fo he was called) to ride their Matches. The beft Gamefters, before they laid their Money, always enquired which Horfe little Joey was to ride; and the Betts were rather portioned by the Rider than by the Horfe himfelf; especially after he had fcornfully refused a confiderable Bribe to play booty on fuch an Occafion. · This extremely raifed his Character, and fo pleafed the Lady Booby, that the defired to have him, (being now feventeen Years of Age) for her own Foot-bay.

pro

Joey was now preferred from the Stable to attend on his Lady, to go on her Errands, ftand behind her Chair, wait at her Tea-table, and carry her Prayer-Book to Church; at which Place, his Voice gave him an Opportunity of distinguish

ing himself by finging Pfalms: he behaved like wife in every other refpect fo well at divine Service, that it recommended him to the Notice of Mr. Abraham Adams the Curate, who took an Opportunity one Day, as he was drinking a Cup of Ale in Sir Thomas's Kitchin, to afk the young Man several Questions concerning Religion; with his Answers to which he was wonderfully pleased.

CHAP. III.

Of Mr. Abraham Adams the Curate, Mrs. Slipflop the Chambermaid, and others.

MR

As

R. Abraham Adams was an excellent Scholar. He was a perfect Master of the Greek and Latin Languages; to which he added a great Share of Knowledge in the Oriental Tongues, and could read and tranflate French, Italian and Spanish. He had applied many Years to the moft fevere Study, and had treafured up a Fund of Learning rarely to be met with in a University. He was befides a Man of good Senfe, good Parts, and good Nature; but was at the fame time as entirely ignorant of the Ways of this World, as an Infant just entered into it could poffibly be. he had never any Intention to deceive, fo he never fufpected fuch a Defign in others. He was generous, friendly and brave to an Excefs; but Simplicity was his Characteristick: he did, no more than Mr. Colley Cibber, apprehend any fuch Paffions as Malice and Envy to exift in Mankind, which was indeed lefs remarkable in a Country Parfon than in a Gentleman who hath past his Life behind the Scenes, a Place which hath been feldom thought the School of Innocence; and where a very little Obfer

B4

Obfervation would have convinced the great Apologist, that thofe Paffions have a real Existence in the human Mind.

His Virtue and his other Qualifications, as they rendered him equal to his Office; fo they made him an agreeable and valuable Companion, and had fo much endeared and well recommended him to a Bishop; that at the Age of Fifty, he was provided with a handfome Income of twenty-three Pounds a Year; which however, he could not make any great Figure with: because he lived in a dear Country, and was a little incumbered with a Wife and fix Children.

It was this Gentleman, who having, as I have faid, obferved the fingular Devotion of young Andrews, had found means to question him concerning feveral Particulars; as how many Books there were in the New Testament? which were they? how many Chapters they contained? and fuch like; to all which Mr. Adams privately faid, he answered much better than Sir Thomas, or two other neighbouring Juftices of the Peace could probably have done.

Mr. Adams was wonderfully folicitous to know at what Time, and by what Opportunity the Youth became acquainted with these Matters: Joey told him, that he had very early learnt to read and write by the Goodness of his Father, who, though he had not Intereft enough to get him into a Charity School, because a Coufin of his Father's Landlord did not vote on the right Side for a Church-warden in a Borough-Town, yet had been himself at the Expence of Sixpence a Week for his Learning. He told him likewise, that ever fince he was in Sir Thomas's Family, he had employed all his Hours of Leifure in reading good

Books;

« AnteriorContinuar »