whom yet they never saw, where shall I find constancy to support it? Should he resemble his 25 mother, I am overthrown. All the letters I have had from him (for I industriously drew him into a correspondence with me) bespeak him of quick and ready understanding. All the reports I ever received give me favorable impressions of his 30 character; wild, perhaps, as the manner of his country is, but, I trust, not frantic or unprincipled.
SERV. Sir, the foreign gentleman is come.
[Enter] another Servant.
[SECOND] SERV. Mr. Belcour.
STOCK. Mr. Belcour, I'm rejoiced to see you; you're welcome to England.
BEL. I thank you heartily, good Mr. Stock- 5 well; you and I have long conversed at a distance; now we are met; and the pleasure this meeting gives me amply compensates for the perils I have run through in accomplishing it.
STOCK. What perils, Mr. Belcour? I could 10 not have thought you would have met a bad passage at this time o'year.
BEL. Nor did we: courier-like, we came posting to your shores, upon the pinions of the swiftest gales that ever blew; 'tis upon English ground all 15 my difficulties have arisen; 'tis the passage from the riverside I complain of.
STOCK. Ay, indeed! What obstructions can you have met between this and the riverside?
BEL. Innumerable! Your town's as full of 20 defiles as the Island of Corsica; and, I believe, they are as obstinately defended: so much hurry, bustle, and confusion, on your quays; so many sugar- casks, porter-butts, and common council-men, in your streets; that, unless a man marched with 25 artillery in his front, 'tis more than the labor of a Hercules can effect to make any tolerable way through your town.
STOCK. I am sorry you have been so incommoded.
BEL. Why, faith, 'twas all my own fault; ac 30 customed to a land of slaves, and out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boatmen, tide-waiters,1 and water-bailiffs,2 that beset me on all sides, worse than a swarm of mosquitoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush 35 them away with my rattan; the sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon, and beginning to rebel, the mob chose different sides, and a furious scuffle ensued; in the course of which, my person and apparel suffered so much, that I was obliged to step into 40 the first tavern to refit, before I could make my approaches in any decent trim.
STOCK. (aside). All without is as I wish; dear Nature add the rest, and I am happy. -- Well, Mr. Belcour, 'tis a rough sample you have had of my 45 countrymen's spirit; but, I trust, you'll not think the worse of them for it.
BEL. Not at all, not at all; I like 'em the better; was I only a visitor, I might, perhaps, wish them a little more tractable; but, as a fellow subject, 50 and a sharer in their freedom, I applaud their spirit, though I feel the effects of it in every bone in my skin.
STOCK. (aside). That's well; I like that well. How gladly I could fall upon his neck, and own 55 myself his father.
BEL. Well, Mr. Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am I in England; at the fountain head of pleasure, in the land of beauty, of arts, and elegancies. My happy stars have given me a good 60 estate, and the conspiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.
STOCK. To use, not to waste it, I should hope; to treat it, Mr. Belcour, not as a vassal, over whom you have a wanton and despotic power, but as 65 a subject, which you are bound to govern with a temperate and restrained authority.
BEL. True, sir; most truly said; mine's a commission, not a right: I am the offspring of distress, and every child of sorrow is my brother; while 70 I have hands to hold, therefore, I will hold them open to mankind: but, sir, my passions are my masters; they take me where they will; and oftentimes they leave to reason and to virtue nothing but my wishes and my sighs. 75
STOCK. Come, come, the man who can accuse corrects himself.
BEL. Ah! that's an office I am weary of: I wish a friend would take it up: I would to heaven you had leisure for the employ; but, did you drive a trade 80 to the four corners of the world, you would not find the task so toilsome as to keep me free from faults.
STOCK. Well, I am not discouraged; this candor tells me I should not have the fault of serf- 85 conceit to combat; that, at least, is not amongst the number.
BEL. No; if I knew that man on earth who thought more humbly of me than I do of myself, I would take up his opinion and forego my own. 90
STOCK. And, was I to choose a pupil, it should be one of your complexion; so if you'll come along____________________