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I fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.
As I pronounced the words great claims, he gave a slight glance with his eye downwards upon the sleeve of his tunick-I felt the full force of the appeal-I acknowledge it, said I—a coarse habit, and that but once in three years, with meagre diet-are no great matters: and the true point of pity is, as they can be carred in the world with so little industry, that your order should wish to procure them by pressing upon a fund which is the property of the lame, the blind, the aged, and the infirm-the captive who lies down counting over and over again the days of his afflictions, languishes also for his share of it; and had you been of the order of Mercy instead of the order of St. Francis, poor as I am continued I, pointing at my portmanteau, full cheerfully should it have been opened to you for the ransom of the unfortunate-The monk made me a bow-but of all others, resumed I, the unfortunate of our own country surely have the first rights; and I have left thousands in distress upon our own shore-The monk gave a cordial wave with his head-as much as to say, No doubt, there is misery enough in every corner of the world as well as within our convent. But we distinguish, said I, laying my hand upon the sleeve of his tunick, in return for his appeal— we distinguish, my good father! betwixt those who wish only to eat the bread of their own labour-and those who cat the bread of other people's, and have no other plan of life, but to get through it in sloth and ignorance, for the love of God.
The poor Franciscan made no reply: a hectic of a moment passed across his cheek, but could not tarry — nature seemed to have had done with her resentments in him; he shewed none-but letting his staff fall within his arm, he pressed both his hands with resignation upon his breast, and retired.
My heart smote me the moment he shut the door.Psha! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times-but it would not do; every ungracious syllable I had uttered, crowded back into my imagination: I reflected I had no right over the poor Franciscan, but to deny him; and that the punishment of that was enough to be disappointed, without the addition of unkind language I considered his grey hair-his courteous figure seemed to re-enter and gently ask me what injury he had done me?-and why I could use him thus?—I would have given twenty livres for an advocate-I have behaved very ill, said I within myself; but I have only just set out upon my travels, and shall learn better manners as I get along.
When a man is discontented with himself, it has one advantage however, that it puts him into an excellent frame of mind for making a bargain. Now there being no travelling through France and Italy without a chaise→→→→ and nature generally prompting us to the thing we are fittest for, I walked out into the coach-yard, to buy or hire something of that kind to my purpose: an old dé¬ sobligeante in the furthest corner of the court, hit my fancy at first sight. so I instantly got into it, and finding it in tolerable good harmony with my feelings, I ordered the waiter to call Monsieur Dessein, the master of the hotel-but Monsieur Dessein being gone to vespers; and not caring to face the Franciscan, whom I saw on the
A chaise so called in France, from its holding but one person.
opposite side of the court, in conference with a lady just arrived at the inn-I drew the taffeta curtain betwixt us, and being determined to write my journey, I took out my pen and ink, and wrote the preface to it in the desobligeante.
IN THE DÉSUBligeante.
It must have been observed by many a peripatetic philosopher, that nature has set up by her own unquestionable authority certain boundaries and fences to circumscribe the discontent of man: she has effected her purpose in the quietest and easiest manner, by laying him under almost insuperable obligations to work out his ease, and to sustain his sufferings at home. It is there only that she has provided him with the most suitable objects to partake of his happiness, and bear a part of that burden which, in all countries and ages, has ever been too heavy for one pair of shoulders. 'Tis true, we are endued with an imperfect power of spreading our happiness sometimes beyond her limits; but 'tis so ordered, that from the want of languages, connections, and dependencies, and from the difference in education, customs and habits, we lie under so many impediments in communicating our sensations out of our own sphere, as often amount to a total impossibility.
It will always follow from hence, that the balance of sentimental commerce is always against the expatriated adventurer: he must buy what he has little occasion for, at their own price-his conversation will seldom be taken in exchange for theirs, without a large discount-and this, by the bye, eternally driving him into the hands of more equitable brokers for such conversation as he can find, it requires no great spirit of divination to guess at his party
This brings me to my point, and naturally leads me (if the see-saw of this desobligeante will but let me get on) into the efficient as well as the final causes of travelling
Your idle people that leave their native country and go abroad for some reason or reasons which may be derived from one of these general causes
Infirmity of body,
Imbecility of mind, or
The first two include all those who travel by land or Ly water, labouring with pride, curiosity, vanity, or spleen subdivided and combined in infinitum.
The third class include the whole army of peregrine martyrs, more especially those travellers who set out upon their travels with the benefit of the clergy, either as delinquents travelling under the direction of governors recommended by the magistrate or young gentlemen transported by the cruelty of parents and guardians, and travelling under the direction of governors recommended by Oxford, Aberdeen, and Glasgow.
There is a fourth class; but their number is so small that they would not deserve a distinction, was it not necessary in a work of this nature to observe the greatest precision and nicety, to avoid a confusion of character. And these men I speak of, are such as cross the seas and sojourn in a land of strangers with a view of saving money for various reasons, and upon various pretences: but as they might also save themselves and others a great deal of necessary trouble, by saving their money at homeand as their reasons for travelling are the least complex of any other species of emigrants, I shall distinguish these gentlemen by the name of
Thus the whole circle of travellers may be reduced to the following Heads :
The Travellers of necessity,
The delinquent and felonious Traveller,
And last of all (if you please)
The Sentimental Traveller
(meaning thereby myself) who have travelled, and of which I am now sitting down to give an account-as much out of necessity and the besoin de voyager, as any one in the class.
I am well aware, at the same time, as both my travels and observations will be altogether of a different cas! from any of my fore-runners, that I might have insisted upon a whole nitch entirely to myself;-but I should break in upon the confines of the vain traveller, in wishing to draw attention towards me, till I have some better grounds for it, than the mere novelty of my vehicle.
It is sufficient for my reader, if he has been a traveller himself, that, with study and reflection hereupon, he may be able to determine his own place and rank in the catalogue-it will be one step towards knowing himself; as it is great odds, Lut he retains some tincture and resemblance of what he imbibed or carried out to the present hour.
The man who first transplanted the grape of Burgundy to the cape of Good Hope (observe he was a Dutchman), never dreamt of drinking the same wine at the cape that the same grape produced upon the French mountains-he was too phlegmatic for that-but undoubtedly he expected to drink some sort of vinous liquor; but whether good, bad, or indifferent he knew enough of this world, to know that it did not depend upon his choice, but that what is generally called chance was to decide his success: however, he hoped for the best; and in these hopes, by an intemperate confidence in the fortitude of his head, and the depth of his discretion, Mynheer might possibly overset both in his new vineyard, and, by discovering his nakedness, become a laughing-stock of his people.
Even so it fares with the poor travelier, sailing and posting through the politer kingdoms of the globe, in pursuit fo knowledge and improvements.