The Adventures of Roderick Random

The Adventures of Roderick Random

The Adventures of Roderick Random

The Adventures of Roderick Random

Synopsis

Roderick is the boisterous and unprincipled hero who answers life's many misfortunes with a sledgehammer. Left penniless, he leaves his native Scotland for London and on the way meets Strap, an old schoolfellow. Together they undergo many adventures at the hands of scoundrels and rogues. Roderick qualifies as a surgeon's mate and is pressed as a common soldier on board the man-of-war Thunder. In a tale of romance as well as adventure, Roderick also finds time to fall in love.

Excerpt

Of all kinds of satire, there is none so entertaining, and universally improving, as that which is introduced, as it were, occasionally, in the course of an interesting story, which brings every incident home to life; and by representing familiar scenes in an uncommon and amusing point of view, invests them with all the graces of novelty, while nature is appealed to in every particular.

The reader gratifies his curiosity, in pursuing the adventures of a person in whose favour he is prepossessed; he espouses his cause, he sympathizes with him in distress, his indignation is heated against the authors of his calamity; the humane passions am inflamed; the contrast between dejected virtue, and insulting vice, appears with greater aggravation, and every impression having a double force on the imagination, the memory retains the circumstance, and the heart improves by the example. the attention is not tired with a bare Catalogue of characters, but agreeably diverted with all the variety of invention; and the vicissitudes of life appear in their peculiar circumstances, opening an ample field for wit and humour.

Romance, no doubt, owes its origin to ignorance, vanity and superstition. in the dark ages of the world, when a man had rendered himself famous for wisdom or valour, his family and adherents availed themselves of his superior qualities, magnified his virtues, and represented his character and person as sacred and supernatural. the vulgar easily swallowed the bait, implored his protection, and yielded the tribute of homage and praise even to adoration; his exploits were handed down to posterity with a thousand exaggerations; they were repeated as incitements to virtue; divine honours were paid, and altars erected to his memory, for the encouragement of those who attempted to imitate his example; and hence arose the heathen mythology, which is no other than a collection of extravagant Romances.-----As learning advanced, and genius received cultivation, these stories were embellished with the graces of poetry, that they might the better . . .

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