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wilder than the Campagna of Rome, or the uncultivated 6. vales of the Alps and Apennines.' And now the Arcadian spirit comes strong upon him, and we find him in excellent trim for a fancy-flight,
To Thebes, or Athens, or the Lord knows where, • Warm,' says he, with a classical enthusiasm, I journied on, and with fancy's eye beheld the rural divinities, in those
sacred woods and groves, which fhade the sides of many K the vast surrounding fells, and the shores and promontories • of many lovely lakes, and bright running streams. For se<veral hours I travelled over mountains tremendous to behold, ' and through vales the finest in the world. Not a man or • house could I see in eight hours time, but towards five in (the afternoon, there appeared at the foot of a hill, a sweetly
situated cottage, that was half covered with trees, and stood by the side of a large falling stream: a vale extended to the south from the door, that was terminated with rocks, and precipices on precipices, in an amazing point of view, and through the flowery ground, the water was beautifully seen, as it winded to a deeper flood at the bottom of the vale. Half a dozen cows were grazing in view, and a few flocks of feeding feep added to the beauties of the scene.
" To this house I sent my boy, to enquire who lived there, • and to know, if for the night I could be entertained, as I 6 knew not where else to go. O’Fin very quickly returned, 6 and informed me, that one Farmer Price was the owner of 6
the place, but had gone in the morning to the next town;
and that his wife said, I was welcome to what her house « afforded. In then I went, and was most civilly received
by an exceeding pretty woman, who told me her husband would soon be at home, and be glad, she was sure, to see me at their lone place; for he was no stranger to gentlemen and the world, though at present he rarely converied with
While our Knight of the hills and Jales was regaling himfelf with a cruit, and a cup of extraordinary malt-drink*, in came Mr. Price,
* It is observable, that wherever our Author goes, he has always the good fortune to meet with good cheer; and the extraordinary eating, and the extraordinary drinking, are as duly celebrated, as the extraordinary beauty, and the extraordinary genius and learning of the extraordinary ladies he meets with ; whence it may not, perhaps, be altoge her unreasonable to conclude, that this gentleman is not one of those rigid mortals, who reckon a fine girl, and a botile, ämongit the number of mortal fins.
.. The man,' says Mr. Buncle, seemed greatly astonished
at entering the room, and after he had looked with great to earnestness at me for a little while, he cried out, Good Hea
ven! what do I see! Falstaff, my class-fellow, and my fecond self! My dear Friend, you are welcome, thrice welcome to this part of the world! All this surprized me not a little, for I could not recollect at once a face that had been greatly altered by the small-pox: and it was not till I re• Hected on the name Price, that I knew I was then in the « house of one of my school-fellows, with whom I had been s most intimate, and had played the part of Plump Jack, in:
Henry the Fourth, when he did Prince Henry. This was
an unexpected meeting, indeed: and considering the place, 5. and all the circumstances belonging to the scene, a thing
more strange and affecting never came in my way. Our s pleasure at this meeting was very great, and when the most
affectionate falutations were over, my friend Price pro“ ceeded in the following manner,
• Often have I remembered you since we parted, and exclu& five of the Greek and English plays we have acted together
at Sheridan's school, in which you acquired no small ap• plaule, I have frequently thought of our frolicksome rambles
in vacation time, and the merry dancings we have had at • Mother Red-cap's, in Back-lane; the hurling matches we < have played at Dolphin's barn, and the cakes and ale we
used to have at the Organ-house, on Arbor-hill. These
things have often occurred to my mind; but little did I ç think we should ever meet again on Stanmore hills. What
strange things does time produce! It has taken me from a & town-life, to live on the most folitary part of the globe:
And it has brought you to journey where never man, I believe, ever thought of travelling before. So it is (I replied) and stranger things, dear Jack, may happen yet, before our
eyes are closed : why I journey this untravelled way, I wil! « inform you by and by; when you have told me by what
strange means you came to dwell in this remote and filent
vale. That you shall know (Mr. Price said) very soon, as • soon as we have eaten a morsel of something or other which
my dear Martha has prepared, against my return. Here it
comes, a fowl, bacon, and greens, and as fine, I will an! swer, as London market could yield. Let us fit down, my ☆ friend, and God bless us and our meat,
• Down then we fat immediately to our dish, and most excellent every thing was. The social goodness of this fond couple added greatly to the pleasure of the meal, and with
( mirth and friendship we eat up our capan, our bacon, and our greens.
When we had done, Price brought in pipes and tobacco, and a fresto tankard of his admirable ale: "Liften now (he said) to my story, and then I will hearken to yours.
Here we have the short history of Jack Price; who had been' a moft extravagant debauchee; had spent an immenfe fortune in the diffipations of the gay world; and being reduced to the latt five hundred, had at last married Patty, a Westmorlandfarmer's daughter; who made the best ufe of the above-mentioned remains of her husband's fortune, in the fuccessful cultivation of the fnug farm, where Mr. Buncle now found the
happiest of wedded mortals.?
And now, the rare accomplifhments and virtues of Mrs. Martha Price come in for their fhare of praise and celebration; for, think not, Reader, that thefe were confined to the brew-' ing of extraordinary fine ale, or the furnifhing her husband's table with extraordinary fine capons, and bacon, and greens; no, Sir, thefe, though valuable qualifications, especially for a farmer's wife, were but trifles, compared with the endowments of her mind; in the enumeration of which, the happy Price thus gratefully expresses himself.
• It is not only happiness in this world, that I have acquirced by this admirable woman, but life eternal. You remem(ber, my friend, what a wild and wicked one I was.- When < I was courting my wife, she foon difcerned my impiety, and ( that I had very little notion of Heaven and Hell, Death and
Judgment. This she made a principal objection, and told me,
she could not venture into a married state with a man « who had no regard to the Divine laws; and therefore, if «The could not make me a Christian, in the true fenfe of the « word, he would never be Mrs. Price.
This from a plain country girl,' continues Mr. Price, a furprized me not a little, and my astonishment rose very high,
when I heard her talk of religion.-She foon convinced me, ! that religion was the only means by which we can arrive at 4 true happiness; by which we can attain to the last perfec« tion and dignity of our nature; and that the word of God is
the furelt foundation of religion. The fubftance of what « she faid is as follows: I shall never forget the leffon.'
Here Mr. Price recapitulates the sum of Mrs. Patty's documents; and, in truth, her lecture was such, as not only would do honour to any woman, whatever, but was even not unworthy a Tillotson, a Foster, or a Sykes.
Mr. Buncle having, in turn, related his story to Mr Price fome other chat succeeds; and the latter, in merry mood, proposes, that the rest of the evening fhould be gaily spent.
• Here comes my beloved wife,' adds Mr. Price, with a little bowl of punch, and as the sings 'extremely well, and
you have not forgot, I fancy, our old song, we will have it • over our nectar. You shall represent Janus and Momus, • and I will be Chronos and Mars, and my wife Diana and • Venus. Let us take a glass firft--the liberties of the world! "--and then do you begin.' Here that lively interlude,
Chronos, Chronos, inend thỹ pace, &c. is introduced, after which our joyous Adventurer thus proteeds in quick transition, te matters of more ferious import.
. In this happy manner did we pass the night in this wild and frightful part of the world, and for three fucceeding evenings and days, enjoyed as much true fatisfaction as it was possible for mortals to feel. Price was an ingenious, chearful, entertaining man, and his wife had not only sense more than ordinary, but was one of the best of women. I was prodigiously pleased with her conversation. Tho' fhe
was no woman of letters, nor had any books in her house, • except the Bible, Barrow's and Wichcott's fermons, Hoá
well's History of the World, and the History of England, yet from these fow, a great memory, and an extraordinary conception of things, had collected a valuable knowlege,
and she talked with an ease and perspicuity that was won« derful. On religious subjects fhe astonished me.'
Sunday being one of the days of our Author's abode at this place, the afternoon was spent in a very sensible, initructive, and animated conversation, between Mrs. Price, and Mr. Buncle, concerning the nature, end, and design of Christianity; in the courie of which, the latter gives a curious and learned review of the state of religion, from the creation to this time. The whole of this conversation News the genius of this furprizing writer, to vaft advantage; we fhould with pleasure lay it before our Readers, were it not too large to be copied entire : and it were a thousand pities to deftroy its beauty and connection, by any abstract. We refer, therefore, to the book at large; wherein, as to topics of this nature, the Reader will find infinitely more satisfaction than it would be natural to expect, from any character given of so motley
a performance, drawn from the lighter and more extravagant parts of it :-Our Author is, indeed, a most amazing man!
That part of the country, in the north of England, called Stanmore-hills, is fo rude and uncultivated, that it is very little visited by travellers, or even by the inhabitants of the circumjacent parts. Our Author seems to have taken advantage of this circumstance, in his lavish descriptions; as well knowing, that few of his Readers would be able to question, or difprove, their reality. We make no doubt, however, that many things, seemingly very extraordinary, may be as he defcribes them; while others are too improbable, too romantic, for any to believe, but those who have seen very little of the world, have, moreover, an uncommon share of native credulity, and, into the bargain, an imagination tinctured with the marvellous, and the extravagant, by too much reading of fabulous poetry, fictitious travels, and romantic adventures : among the number of which, we must, undoubtedly reckon the greatest part of what Mr. Buncle relates of his journey through Stanmore. Let us accompany him, part of the way at least, and see how the country looks.
« The 13th of June,' says he, I took my leave of my « friend, John Price, and his admirable wife, promising to • visit them again, as foon as it was in my power; and pro
ceeded on my journey, in quest of Mr. Turner. I would (not let Price go with me, on second thoughts, as many fad accidents might happen in this rough and desolate part
of the world, and no relief, in such case, to be found. If I (fell, there was no one belonging to me to shed a tear for me :
but if a mischief should befall Jack Price, his wife would be miserable indeed, and I the maker of a breach in the sweetest system of felicity that love and good senfe had ever formed. This made me refuse his repeated offers to accompany me. All I would have, was a boy and a horse of his, to carry some provisions, wet and dry, as there was no public house to be found in ascending those tremendous hills, or in the deep vales through which I must go ; nor any house, that he knew of, beyond his own.
« With the rising sun, then, I set out, and was charmed • for several hours with the air and views. The mountains,
the rocky precipices, the woods, and the waters, appeared
in various striking situations every mile I travelled on, (and formed the moit aftonishing points of view. Somes times I was above the clouds, and then crept to enchanting • vallies below. Here glins were feen, that looked as if the mountains had been rent afunder, to form the amazing scenes: