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people will have you are worth? Indeed, had you inherited an estate like Sir Thomas Booby, which had descended in your family through many generations, they might have had a color for their assertions."
“Why, what do they say I am worth ?” cries Peter, with a malicious sneer.
Sir," answered Adams, “ I have heard some aver you are not worth less than twenty thousand pounds.” At which Peter frowned.
“ Nay, sir," said Adams, “ you ask me only the opinion of others; for my own part, I have always denied it, nor did I ever believe you could possibly be worth half that sum."
“ However, Mr. Adams,” said he, squeezing him by the hand, “I would not sell them all I am worth for double that sum; and as to what you believe, or they believe, I care not a fig. I am not poor,
me so, nor because you attempt to undervalue me in the country. I know the envy of mankind
very well; but I thank heaven I am above them. It is true, my wealth is of my own acquisition. I have not an estate like Sir Thomas Booby, that hath descended in my family through many generations; but I know heirs of such estates, who are forced to travel about the country, like some people in torn cassocks, and might be glad to accept of a pitiful curacy, for what I know; yes, sir, as shabby fellows as yourself, whom no man of my figure, without that vice of good-nature about him, would suffer to ride in a chariot with him.”
Sir," said Adamıs, “ I value not your chariot of a rush; and if I had known you had intended to affront me, I would have walked to the world's end on foot, ere I would have accepted a place in it. However, sir, I will soon rid you of that inconvenience !" And so saying, he opened the chariot
door, without calling to the coachman, and leaped out into the highway, forgetting to take his hat along with him ; which, however, Mr. Pounce threw after him with great violence.
Verses written at au Sun at Braley.
“SHALL I not take,” said Falstaff, with an exquisite duplication of the personal pronoun,"mine EASE at mine INN ?"
The question might induce us to fancy, that he had another abode; that it was as much as to say, "Must I go and encounter my difficulty at my lodgings ?" But he meant it as an appeal to the expectations of everybody. Everybody, the moment he entered an inn, looked to being thoroughly at his ease; to possess comfort and security as surely as he did the things he paid for.
And this is the feeling we all have of an inn. It is not comparable with home, on the very gravest or the very gayest occasions ; much less as a place to reside in; but as a place to visit, there is nothing like it. It is like being abroad and at home at the same time; abroad, in respect to the novelty; and at home, as regards doing what we please. We are not sufficiently used to it, to feel a thankless indifference; neither do we entertain such affection for it, as converts interest into anxiety.-But we do it injustice in writing sentences about it. There is nothing sententious at an inn (except on the window-panes); it is only free and easy. If you are wise, it is with mirth : if you run the whole round of philosophy with some "learned Theban" of a friend, it is after dinner, when the blood is running the finer round of cheerfulness, to which you feel that the other round is only subordinate. The top things throughout are the dinner, and the inn, and the reciprocity; and you only wish that all the world were as happy as yourselves, wondering that they are not so, and that everybody does
not do as he pleases upon the strength of the "Rose and Crown" and universal benevolence.
By an inn, however, we do not mean any inn; no, not even with companions who can make us forget everything else; for on their account also we desire an inn perfect of its kind; and this, we take it, is an old inn that has been a country-house, with at least a bit of the old garden to it, parterres of flowers, lavender, &c., and good sized oldfashioned rooms, with smaller ones in corners, to choose according as you are few or many, or wish to be roomy or snug. Hazlitt, who loved to escape from his irritabilities into an inn, has noticed such a one in a charming passage. He is speaking of the delight of reading favorite authors.
“The last time,” he says, " I tasted this luxury in its full perfection, was one day after a sultry day's walk between Farnham and Alton. I was fairly tired out; I walked into an inn-yard (I think at the latter place); I was shown by the waiter to what looked at first like common out-houses at the other end of it, but they turned out to be a suite of rooms, probably a hundred years old—the one I entered opened into an old-fashioned garden, embellished with beds of larkspur and a leaden Mercury; it was wainscoted, and there was a gravelooking dark-colored portrait of Charles II. hanging up over the tiled chimney-piece. I bad Love for Love in my pocket, and began to read; coffee was brought in, in a silver coffee-pot; the cream, the bread and butter, everything was excellent, and the flavor of Congreve's style prevailed over all. I prolonged the entertainment till a late hour, and relished this divine comedy better even than when I used to see it played by Miss Mellon, as Miss Prue; Bob Palmer, as Tattle ; and Bannister as honest Ben. This circumstance happened just five years ago, and it seems like yesterday. If I count my life so, by lustres, it will soon glide away; yet I shall not have to repine, if, while it lasts, it is enriched by a few such recollections.”*
The Henley at which Shenstone wrote his lines on an inn was the Henley on the road to Stratford-on-Avon. Johnson slept at it one night with Boswell, and had quoted a stanza from the lines in the course of the day, when they were dining at an excellent inn at Chapelhouse."
"We dined,” Boswell says, "at an excellent inn at Chapelhouse, where he (Johnson) expatiated on the felicity of England in its taverns
* Plain Speaker, vol. i. p. 302.
and inns, and triumphed over the French for not having, in any perfection, the tavern life. There is no private house,' said he,' in which people can enjoy themselves so well, as at a capital tavern. Let there be ever so great plenty of good things, ever so much grandeur, ever so much elegance, ever so much desire that everybody should be . easy, in the nature of things it cannot be; there must always be some degree of care and anxiety. The master of the house is anxious to entertain his guests; the guests are anxious to be agreeable to him; and no man, but a very impudent dog indeed, can as freely command what is in another man's house, as if it were his own. Whereas, at a tavern, there is a general freedom from anxiety. You are sure you are welcome; and the more noise you make, the more trouble you give, the more good things you call for, the welcomer you are. No servants will attend you with the alacrity which waiters do, who are incited by the prospect of an immediate reward in proportion as they please. No, sir; there is nothing which has yet been contrived by men, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.' He then repeated with great emotion Shenstone's lines :
16. Whoe'er has travellid life's dull round,
Where'er his stages may have been,
His warmest welcome at an inn.' "* Johnson was so fond of this little poem, that Miss Reynolds (sister of Sir Joshua) said she had learnt it by heart from hearing him repeat it. Some exclusive admirers of great poetry would see nothing in it; but let them try to write as good a one, and they would discover that some portion of the poetical facility was necessary to express and modulate even thoughts like these.
To thee, fair Freedom! I retire,
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din ;
Than the low cot or humble Inn.
'Tis here with boundless power I reign;
And every health which I begin
* Boswell, Murray's Edition, vol. vi. p. 81.