Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.
all the information I required, I went back to town, took out a hawker’s licence, for which I paid two guineas, and purchasing at a shop, to which they gave me a direction, a pretty fair quantity of articles in the tape and scissor line, off I set once more on my travels.  I took the north road this time, and picked up a very comfortable subsistence, selling my goods for a few halfpence here and a few halfpence there, at the cottages as I passed by; but I soon found out, that without a newspaper, I was not a confirmed hawker, and the more radical the newspaper the better.  A newspaper will pay half the expenses of a hawker, if he can read.  At every house, particularly every small hedge ale-house, he is received, and placed in the best corner of the chimney, and has his board and lodging, with the exception of what he drinks, gratis, if he will pull out the newspaper and read it to those around him who cannot read, particularly if he can explain what is unintelligible.  Now I became a great politician, and, moreover, a great radical, for such were the politics of all the lower classes.  I lived well, slept well, and sold my wares very fast.  I did not take more than three shillings in the day, yet, as two out of the three were clear profit, I did pretty well.  However, a little accident happened which obliged me to change my profession, or at least, the nature of the articles which I dealt in.”

“What was that?”

“A mere trifle.  I had arrived late at a small ale-house, had put up my pack, which was in a painted deal box, on the table in the tap-room, and was very busy, after reading a paragraph in the newspaper, making a fine speech, which I always found was received with great applause, and many shakes of the hand, as a prime good fellow—­a speech about community of rights, agrarian division, and the propriety of an equal distribution of property, proving that, as we were all born alike, no one had a right to have more property than his neighbour.  The people had all gathered round me, applauding violently, when I thought I might as well look after my pack, which had been for some time hidden from my sight by the crowd, when, to my mortification, I found out that my earnest assertions on the propriety of community of property had had such an influence upon some of my listeners, that they had walked off with my pack and its contents.  Unfortunately, I had deposited in my boxes all my money, considering it safer there than in my pockets, and had nothing left but about seventeen shillings in silver, which I had received within the last three days.  Every one was very sorry, but no one knew anything about it; and when I challenged the landlord as answerable, he called me a radical blackguard, and turned me out of the door.”

“If you had looked a little more after your own property, and interfered less with that of other people, you would have done better, Tim,” observed I, laughing.

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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