If God delights so much in variety, as all things animate and inanimate sufficiently prove, no wonder that man should do so too: and I have now been so accustomed to move, though slowly, that I intend to creep on to my journey’s end, by which means I may live to have been an inhabitant of every town almost in Europe, and die, as I have lately (and wish I had always) lived, a free citizen of the whole world, slave to no sect, nor subject to any King. Yet, I would not be considered as one wishing to promote that disposition in others; for I must confess, that it is in England alone, where an innocent and virtuous man can sit down and enjoy the blessings of liberty and his own chearful hearth, in full confidence that no earthly power can disturb it; and the best reason which can be offered in favour of Englishmen visiting other kingdoms, is, to enable them, upon their return, to know how to enjoy the inestimable blessings of their own.
For what should I cross the streight which divides us, though it were but half seven leagues? we should only meet to part again, and purchase pleasure, as most pleasures are purchased, too dearly; I have dropt some heavy tears, (ideally at least) over poor BUCKLE’S[J] grave, and it is all one to a man, now with GOD! on what King’s soil such a tribute as that is paid: had some men of all nations known the goodness of his heart as we did, some men of all nations would grieve as we do. When I frequented Morgan’s[K] I used him as a touch-stone, to try the hearts of other men upon; for, as he was not rich, he was out of the walk of knaves and flatterers, and such men, who were moot prejudiced in his favour at first sight, and coveted not his company after a little acquaintance, I always avoided as beings made of base metal. It was for this reason I despised that ****** ****, (you know who I mean) for you too have seen him snarl, and bite, and play the dog, even to BUCKLE!
[J] WILLIAM BUCKLE, Esq.
[K] MORGAN’S Coffee-House, Grove, BATH.
Our Sunday night’s tea club, round his chearful hearth, is now for ever dissolved, and SHARPE and RYE have administered their last friendly offices with a potion of sorrow.
Were I the hermit of St. Catharine, I would chissel his name as deeply into one of my pine-heads, as his virtues are impressed on my memory. Though I have lost his guinea, I will not lose his name; he looked down with pity upon me when here; who can say he may not do so still? I should be an infidel, did not a few such men as he keep me back.
And now, my dear Sir, after the many trifling subjects in this very long correspondence with you, I will avail myself of this good one, to close it, on the noblest work of GOD, AN HONEST MAN. The loss of such a friend, is sufficient to induce one to lay aside all pursuits, but that of following his example, and to prepare to follow him.