The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  171

CHAP. XXVI.

Now mark a spot or two,
That so much beauty would do well to purge;
And shew this queen of cities, that so fair,
May yet be foul, so witty, yet not wise.

COWPER.
ARGUMENT.

London.

THE ship being sold, and an|other purchased, while the latter was fit|ting out, at Plymouth, for her voyage to Africa. I was ordered, by the captain, to London, to procure our medicine chest, and case of surgical instruments. Here a field of boundless remark opened itself to me.

Men of unbounded affluence, in plain attire, living within the rules of the most rigid economy; crowds of no substance, strutting in embroidery and lace; peo|ple, Page  172 whose little smoky fire, of coals was rendered cheerless by excise, and their daily draught of beer embittered by tax|es; who administer to the luxury of pen|sioners and place men, in every comfort, convenience, or even necessary of life they partake; who are entangled by innu|merable penal laws, to the breach of which, banishment and the gallows are almost universally annexed; a motley race, in whose mongrel veins runs the blood of all nations, speaking with point|ed contempt of the fat burgo master of Amsterdam, the cheerful French peasant, the hardy tiller of the Swiss cantons, and the independent farmer of America; rot|ting in dungeons, languishing wretched lives in soetid jails, and boasting of the GLORIOUS FREEDOM OF ENGLISHMEN: hereditary senators, ignorant and inat|tentive to the welfare of their country, and unacquainted with the geography of its foreign possessions; and politicians, Page  173 in coffee houses, without one foot of soil, or one guinea in their pockets, vaunting, with national pride, of our victories, our colonies, our minister, our magna charta, and our constitution! I could not re|frain from adopting the language of Doc|tor Young, and exclaiming in parody,

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful are Britons!
How passing wonder they who made them such,
Who center'd in their make such strange extremes
Of different nations, marvelously mix'd,
Connexion exquisite of distant climes,
As men, trod worms, as Englishmen, high gods.