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CHAP. I. The Description of the Family of W'akefield, in
which a kindredt Likeness prevails, us well of
Minds as of Persons. I was ever of opinion, that the honest inan,
who married, and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single, and only talked of population. From this motive, I had scarce taken orders a year, before I began to think seriously of inatrimony, and chose my wife, as she did her weddinggown, not for a fine glossy surface, but such qualities as would wear well. To do her justice, she was a good natured notable woman; and as for breeding, there were few country-ladies who could shew more. She could read any English book withont auch spelling; but for pickling, preserving, and ccokery, none could excel her. She prided herself also upor þeing an excellent contriver in house - keeping; though I could never find that we grew richer with all her contrivance's.
However, we loved each other tenderly, and our fondness increased as we grew old. There was in fact nothing that could make us angry with the world or each other. We had an elegant house, situated in a fine country, and a good neighbourhood. The year was spent in moral or rural amusement; in visiting our rich neighbours, and relieving such as were poor. We had no revolutions to fear, nor-fatigues to undergo; all our adventures were by the lire
side, and all our migrations from the blue bed to the brown.
As we lived near the road, we often had the tra. veller or stranger visit us to taste our gooseberry wine, for which we had great reputation; and I profess, with the veracity of an historian, that I never knew one of them find fault with it. Our cousins too, even to the fortieth remove , all remembered their affinity, without any help from the herald's office, and came very frequently to see us. Sonic of then did us no great honour by these claims of kindred; as we had the blind, the mained, and the halt, amongst the number. However, my wife al. ways insisted, that as they were the same flesh and blood, they should sit with us at the same table. So that if we had not very rich, we generally had very happy friends about us; for this remark will hold good through life, that the poorer the guest the better pleased he ever is with being treated; and as some men gaze with admiration at the colours of a tulip, or the wing of a butterfly, so I was by nature an admirer of happy hunian faces. However, when any one of our relations was found to be a person of a very bad character, a troublesome guest, or one we desired to get rid of, upon his leaving my house, I ever took care to lend him a riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or sometimes an horse of small value, and I always had the satisfaction to find he never came back to return them. By this the house was cleared of such as we did not like; but never was the family of Wakefield known to turn the traveller or the poor de dent out of doors.
Thus we lived several years in a state of mucli happiness, not but that we sometinies had those litile rubs which Providence sends to enhance the value of its favours. My orchard was often robbed by school.
boys, and my wife's custards plundered by the cats or the children. The squire would sometimes fall asleep in the most pathetic parts of my sermon, or his lady return my wife's civilities at church with a nutilated curtsey. But we soon gotover the uneasiness caused by such accidents; and usually in three or four days began to wonder how they vext ús.
My children, the offspring of temperance, as they were educated without softness, so they were at once well.formed and healthy; my sons hardy and active, my daughters beautiful and blooming. When ! stood in the midst of the little circle, which promised to be the support of my declining age, I could not avoid repeating the famous story of Count Abensberg, who, in Henry II.'s progress through Germany, while other courtiers came with their treasures, brought his thirty-two children, and presented them to his sovereign as the most valuable offering he had to bestow. In this manner, though I had but six,
I considered them as a very valuable present made to my country, and consequently looked upon it as my debtor. Our eldest son was named George after his uncle, who left us ten thousand pounds. Our second child, a girl, I intended to call after her aunt Grissel; but my wife, who during her pregnancy had been reading romances, insisted upon her being called Olivia. In less than another year we had another daughter, and now I was determined that Grisse! should be her name; but a rich relation taking a fancy to stand godmother, the girl was, by her directions, called Sophia; so that we had two romantic names in the family; but I solemnly put had no hand in it. Moses was our next, and after an interval of twelve years, we had two sons more,
It would be fruitless to deny my exultation when IS saw my little ones about me; but the vanity and