« AnteriorContinuar »
one of my own sayings, That a merchant has never enough till he has got a little more, I can now inform you, that there is one in the world who thinks he has enough, and is determined to pass the remainder of his life in the enjoyment of what he has. You know me so well that I need not tell you, I mean, by the enjoyment of 5 my possessions, the making of them useful to the public. As the greatest part of my estate has been hitherto of an unsteady and volatile nature, either tossed upon seas, or fluctuating in funds, it is now fixed and settled in substantial acres and tenements. I have removed it from the uncertainty of stocks, winds, and waves, and dis- 10 posed of it in a considerable purchase. This will give me great opportunity of being charitable in my way, that is, in setting my poor neighbours to work, and giving them a comfortable subsistence out of their own industry. My gardens, my fish-ponds, my arable and pasture grounds, shall be my several hospitals, or rather work- 15 houses, in which I propose to maintain a great many indigent persons, who are now starving in my neighbourhood. I have got a fine spread of improveable lands, and in my own thoughts am already ploughing up some of them, fencing others; planting woods, and draining marshes. In fine, as I have my share in the surface of 20 this island, I am resolved to make it as beautiful a spot as any in her Majesty's dominions; at least there is not an inch of it which shall not be cultivated to the best advantage, and do its utmost for its owner. As in my mercantile employment I so disposed of my affairs, that from whatever corner of the compass the wind blew, it 25 was bringing home one or other of my ships, I hope, as a husbandman, to contrive it so, that not a shower of rain, or a glimpse of sunshine, shall fall upon my estate, without bettering some part of it, and contributing to the products of the season. You know it has been hitherto my opinion of life, that it is thrown away when it is 30 not some way useful to others. But when I am riding out by myself, in the fresh air on the open heath that lies by my house, I find several other thoughts growing up in me. I am now of opinion that a man of my age may find business enough on himself, by setting his mind in order, preparing it for another world, and reconcil- 35 ing it to the thoughts of death. I must therefore acquaint you,
that besides those usual methods of charity, of which I have before spoken, I am at this very instant finding out a convenient place where I may build an alms-house, which I intend to endow very
handsomely, for a dozen superannuated husbandmen. It will be a 5 great pleasure to me to say my prayers twice a-day with men of my
own years, who all of them, as well as myself, may have their thoughts taken up how they shall die, rather than how they shall live. I remember an excellent saying that I learned at school, Finis coronat
opus, you know best whether it be in Virgil or in Horace; it is my Io business to apply it. If your affairs will permit you to take the
country air with me sometimes, you shall find an apartment fitted up for you, and shall be every day entertained with beef or mutton of my own feeding; fish out of my own ponds; and fruit out of my
own gardens. You shall have free egress and regress about my 15 house, without having any questions asked you; and, in a word, such a hearty welcome as you may expect from
“ Your most sincere friend,
“ ANDREW FREEPORT.”
THE VICAR OF BRAY.
In good King Charles's golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant;
And so I got preferment.
Kings were by God appointed,
Or touch the Lord's anointed.
And this is law that I'll maintain
Until my dying day, sir :
I'll still be Vicar of Bray, sir.
When royal James possessed the crown,
And popery came in fashion, The penal laws I hooted down,
And signed the Declaration. The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my constitution; And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
And this is law, etc.
3 When William was our king declared,
To ease the nation's grievance;
And swore to him allegiance.
Passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance. And this is law, etc.
4 When royal Anne became our queen,
The Church of England's glory — Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory.
I blamed their moderation;
By such prevarication.
5 When George in Pudding-time came o'er,
And moderate men looked big, sir, My principles I changed once more,
And thus became a Whig, sir. And so preferment I secured
From our new faith's-defender, And almost every day abjured
The Pope and the Pretender. And this is law, etc.
The illustrious house of Hanover
And Protestant succession,
While they can hold possession.
I never more shall falter;
Until the times do alter.