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The Adventures of Roderick Random

Tobias Smollett Jr.

Publication Year: 2012

This is the definitive scholarly edition of Tobias Smollett’s first novel, widely regarded as one of his two masterpieces, the other being The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. Roderick Random was also, in its time, the chief rival to Henry Fielding’s comic novel Tom Jones.

Surging with verbal, sexual, and martial energy, The Adventures of Roderick Random opens a window on life, love, and war in the eighteenth century. The hero battles his way from poverty and neglect to make his mark as a doctor, writer, fighter, and lover. His adventures take us across the world, from England and France to the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America. One of the first truly global novels, it casts light on nearly every aspect of its time—imperialism, gender relations, slavery, urban life, colonial warfare, commerce, politics, the professions, high society, and the Hogarthian underworld.

Complete with illustrations and comprehensive annotations, this is the first edition to include Smollett’s long-forgotten antiwar pamphlet, An Account of the Expedition against Carthagene in the West Indies, which was drawn from his own war experience and on which key sections of the novel are based. The editors also provide a detailed biographical and historical introduction, based on the most recent scholarship, mapping the novel’s enormous impact in its own time and its influence on the history of litera­ture over the centuries since.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: The Works of Tobias Smollett

Title Page, Copyright, Frontispiece, Dedication

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pp. ix

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xiii

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pp. xv-xvii

This is the most elaborate scholarly edition of Roderick Random yet undertaken, though the novel has had a long and rich publishing history. The introduction and notes incorporate new findings about the publication and reception of the novel and about the relationship of the novel to...

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pp. xix-xx

This edition of Roderick Random has been in preparation for several years, and the editors have benefited from the assistance of many individuals and institutions. We are indebted to the following libraries and archives: the Beinecke Library, Yale University; Bobst...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xxi-xxii

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pp. xxiii-lix

When The Adventures of Roderick Random was published on 21 January 1748, this raucous novel by the Scotsman Tobias Smollett marked a major breakthrough in its author’s career and in the history of fiction. Still only twenty- six years old, the Glasgow- trained surgeon had been trying...

The Adventures of Roderick Random

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pp. 1

Volume One

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pp. 1-178

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The Preface

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pp. 3-5

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...

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pp. 7

A young painter indulging a vein of pleasantry, sketched a kind of conversation- piece,1 representing a bear, an owl, a monkey, and an ass;2 and to render it more striking, humorous and moral, distinguished every figure by some emblem of human...

The Contents of the First Volume

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pp. 9-15

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Chapter I: Of my birth and parentage.

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pp. 17-19

I was born in the northern part of this united kingdom,1 in the house of my grandfather, a gentleman of considerable fortune and influence, who had on many occasions signalized himself in behalf of his country; and was remarkable for his abilities in the law, which he exercised with great success...

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Chapter II: I grow up——am hated by my relations——sent to school——neglected by my grandfather——maltreated by my master——seasoned to adversity——I form cabals against the pedant——am debarred access to my grandfather——hunted by his heir——I demolish the teeth

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pp. 20-22

There were not wanting some, who suspected my uncles of being concerned in my father’s fate, on the supposition that they would all share in the patrimony destined for him: and this conjecture was strengthened by reflecting, that in all his calamities they never discovered the least inclination...

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Chapter III: My mother’s brother arrives——relieves me——a description of him——he goes along with me to the house of my grandfather——is encountered by his dogs——defeats them, after a bloody engagement——is admitted to the old gentleman——a dialogue between th

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pp. 22-26

About this time my mother’s only brother, who had been long abroad, lieutenant of a man of war,1 arrived in his own country; where, being informed of my condition, he came to see me, and out of his slender finances not only supplied me with what necessaries I wanted for the present, but resolved...

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Chapter IV: My grandfather makes his will——our second visit——he dies——his will is read in presence of all his living descendents——the disappointment of my female cousins——my uncle’s behaviour.

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pp. 26-28

A few weeks after our first visit, we were informed that the old judge, at the end of a fit of thoughtfulness, which lasted three days, had sent for a notary and made his will; that the distemper1 had mounted from his legs to his stomach, and being conscious of his approaching end, he had desired to see all...

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Chapter V: The schoolmaster uses me barbarously——I form a project of revenge, in which I am assisted by my uncle——I leave the village——am settled at an university by his generosity.

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pp. 28-31

On our way back to the village, my uncle spoke not a word during the space of a whole hour, but whistled with great vehemence, the tune of, Why should we quarrel for riches, &c1 his visage being contracted all the while into a most formidable frown. At length his pace increased to such...

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Chapter VI: I make great progress in my studies——am caressed by every body——my female cousins take notice of me——I reject their invitation——they are incensed and conspire against me——I am left destitute by a misfortune that befals my uncle——Gawky’s treach

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pp. 32-36

As I was now capable of reflection, I began to consider my precarious situation; that I was utterly abandoned by those whose duty it was to protect me; and that my sole dependance was on the generosity of one man, who was not only exposed by his profession to continual dangers, which might one day...

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Chapter VII: I am entertained by Mr. Crab——a description of him——I acquire the art of surgery——consult Crab’s disposition——become necessary to him——an accident happens——he advises me to launch out into the world——assists me with money——I set out for Londo

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pp. 36-40

The fumes of my resentment being dissipated, as well as the vanity of my success, I found myself deserted to all the horrors of extreme want, and avoided by mankind as a creature of a different species, or rather as a solitary being, no ways comprehended within the scheme or protection of providence. My despair had rendered me almost quite stupified...

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Chapter VIII: I arrive at Newcastle——meet with my old school- fellow Strap——we determine to walk together to London——set out on our journey—— put up at a solitary ale- house——are disturbed by a strange adventure in the night.

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pp. 40-44

There is no such convenience as a waggon1 in this country, and my finances were too weak to support the expence of hiring a horse; I determined therefore to set out with the carriers, who transport goods from one place to another on horse- back; and this scheme I accordingly put in execution...

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Chapter IX: We proceed on our journey——are overtaken by an highwayman who fi res at Strap, is prevented from shooting me by a company of horsemen, who ride in pursuit of him.——Strap is put to bed at an inn.——Adventures at that inn.

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pp. 45-48

After having paid our score, and taking leave of our hostess, who embraced me tenderly at parting, we proceeded on our journey, blessing ourselves that we had come off so well. We had not walked above five miles, when we observed a man on horseback galloping after us, whom we in a short...

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Chapter X: The highwayman is taken——we are detained as evidence against him——proceed to the next village——he escapes——we arrive at another inn, where we go to bed——in the night we are awaked by a dreadful adventure——next night we lodge at the house of a s

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pp. 48-52

Strap and I were about to depart on our journey, when we perceived a croud on the road, coming towards us shouting and hallooing all the way. As it approached, we could discern a man on horse- back in the middle, with his hands tied behind him, whom we soon knew to be Rifle.—This highwayman not being so well mounted...

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Chapter XI: We descry the waggon——get into it——arrive at an inn——our fellow travellers described——a mistake is committed by Strap, which produces strange things.

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pp. 52-58

We travelled half a mile without exchanging one word; my thoughts being engrossed by the knavery of the world, to which I must be daily exposed; and the contemplation of my finances, which began sensibly to diminish.—At length Strap, who could hold no longer, addressed me...

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Chapter XII: Captain Weazel challenges Strap, who declines the combat——an affair between the captain and me——the usurer is fain to give miss Jenny five guineas for a release——we are in danger of losing a meal——the behaviour of Weazel, Jenny and Joey on th

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pp. 58-64

Next morning, I agreed to give the master of the waggon ten shillings for my passage to London, provided Strap should be allowed to take my place when I should be disposed to walk.—At the same time I desired him to appease the incensed captain, who had entered the kitchen, with a drawn sword...

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Chapter XIII: Strap and I are terrifi ed by an apparition——Strap’s conjecture——the mystery explained by Joey——we arrived at London——our dress and appearance described——we are insulted in the street——an adventure in an ale- house——we are imposed upon by a

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pp. 64-71

We arrived at our inn, supped and went to bed; but Strap’s distemper continuing, he was obliged to rise in the middle of the night, and taking the candle in his hand, which he had left burning for the purpose, he went down to the house of office,1 whence in a short time he returned in a great...

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Chapter XIV: We visit Strap’s friend——a description of him——his advice——we go to Mr. Cringer’s house——are denied admittance——an accident befals Strap——his behaviour thereupon——an extraordinary adventure occurs, in the course of which I lose all my money.

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pp. 72-75

In the afternoon, my companion proposed to call at his friend’s house, which, we were informed, was in the neighbourhood, whither we accordingly went, and were so lucky as to find him at home. This gentleman, who had come from Scotland three or four years before, kept a school in town, where he taught the Latin, French and...

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Chapter XV: Strap moralizes——presents his purse to me——we inform our landlord of my misfortune; he unravels the mystery——I present myself to Cringer——he recommends and turns me over to Mr. Staytape——I become acquainted with a fellow- dependant, who explai

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pp. 76-79

In our way to our lodging, after a profound silence on both sides, Strap with a hideous groan observed, that we had brought our pigs to a fine market.1 To this observation I made no reply, and he went on: “God send us well out of this place, we have not been in London eight and forty...

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Chapter XVI: My new acquaintance breaks an appointment——I proceed, by myself, to the Navy- office——address myself to a person there, who assists me with his advice——write to the board——they grant me a letter to the Surgeons at the Hall——I am informed of t

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pp. 80-85

In the morning I rose and went to the place of rendezvous, where I waited two hours in vain; and was so exasperated against him for breaking his appointment, that I set out for the city by myself, in hope of finding the villain, and being revenged on him for his breach of promise.—At length I found...

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Chapter XVII: go to Surgeon’s- hall, where I meet with Mr. Jackson——am examined——a fierce dispute arises between two of the examiners—— Jackson disguises himself to attract respect——is detected——in hazard of being sent to Bridewell——he treats us at a tave

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pp. 85-91

With the assistance of this faithful adherent, who gave me almost all the money he earned, I preserved my half guinea entire, till the day of examination, when I went with a quaking heart to Surgeon’s- hall, in order to undergo that ceremony.— Among a croud of young fellows who walked in the outward hall...

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Chapter XVIII: I carry my qualification to the Navy- office——the nature of it——the behaviour of the S——t——y——Strap’s concern for my absence——a battle betwixt him and a blacksmith——the troublesome consequences of it——his harrangue to me——his friend the sch

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pp. 92-95

I would willingly have gone home to sleep, but was told by my companions, that we must deliver our letters of qualification at the Navy- office before one a- clock; accordingly we went thither, and gave them to the S——t——y, who opened and read them, and I was mightily pleased to find myself qualified...

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Chapter XIX: The characters of Mr. Lavement, his wife and daughter——some anecdotes of the family——the mother and daughter rivals——I am guilty of a mistake that gives me present satisfaction, but is attended with troublesome consequences.

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pp. 96-100

Next day while I was at work in the shop, a bouncing damsel well- dressed came in, on pretence of finding a vial for some use or other; and taking an opportunity when she thought I did not mind her, of observing me narrowly, went away with a silent look of disdain.—I easily guessed her sentiments...

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Chapter XX: I am assaulted and dangerously wounded——suspect Odonnell, and am confirmed in my opinion——concert a scheme of revenge, and put it in execution——Odonnell robs his own servant, and disappears——I make my addresses to a lady, and am miraculously d

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pp. 100-103

One night about twelve o’ clock, as I return’d from visiting a patient at Chelsea,1 I received a blow on my head from an unseen hand, that stretch’d me senseless on the ground; and was left for dead with three stabs of a sword in my body. The groans I utter’d when I recover’d the use of my reason, alarm’d the people...

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Chapter XXI: Squire Gawky comes to lodge with my master——is involved in a troublesome affair, out of which he is extricated by me——he marries my master’s daughter——they conspire against me——I am found guilty of theft——discharged——deserted by my friends——I

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pp. 104-111

While I enjoyed myself at large in this temper of mind, Mr. Lavement let his first floor to my countryman and acquaintance Squire Gawky, who by this time had got a lieutenancy in the army, and such a martial ferocity in his appearance, that I was afraid he would remember what had happened between...

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Chapter XXII: The History of Miss Williams

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pp. 112-119

My father was an eminent merchant in the city, who having, in the course of trade, suffered very considerable losses, retired in his old age with his wife to a small estate in the country, which he had purchased with the remains of his fortune.—At that time I being but eight years of age, was left in town...

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Chapter XXIII: She is interrupted by a bailiff, who arrests, and carries her to the Marshalsea——I accompany her——bring witnesses to prove she is not the person named in the writ——the bailiff is fain to give her a present and discharge her——we shift our lo

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pp. 119-126

Her story was here interrupted by a rap at the door, which I no sooner opened, than three or four terrible fellows rushed in, one of whom accosted my fellow- lodger thus:—“Madam, your servant—you must do me the favour to come along with me—I have got a writ against you.”—While the bailiff...

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Chapter XXIV: I am reduced to great misery——assaulted on Tower- hill by a press- gang, who put me on board a tender——my usage there——my arrival on board of the Thunder man of war, where I am put in irons, and afterwards released by the good offices of Mr.

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pp. 127-132

I applauded the resolution of Miss Williams, who a few days after, was hired in quality of bar- keeper, by one of the ladies who had witnessed in her behalf at the Marshalsea; and who since that time had got credit with a wine merchant, whose favourite she was, to set up a convenient house of her...

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Chapter XXV: The behaviour of Mr. Morgan——his pride, displeasure and generosity——the oeconomy of our mess described——Thomson’s further friendship——the nature of my duty explained——the situation of the sick.

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pp. 132-135

While he was thus discoursing to me, we heard a voice on the cockpit- ladder, pronounce with great vehemence, in a strange dialect,1 “The devil and his dam blow me from the top of Mounchdenny,2 if I go to him before there is something in my pelly;—let his nose be as yellow...

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Chapter XXVI: A disagreeable accident happens to me in the discharge of my office—— Morgan’s nose is offended——a dialogue between him and the ship’s steward——upon examination, I find more causes of complaint than one——my hair is cut off——Morgan’s cookery—

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pp. 135-138

I could not comprehend how it was possible for the attendants to come near those who hung on the inside towards the sides of the ship, in order to assist them, as they seemed barricadoed by those who lay on the outside, and entirely out of the reach of all visitation—Much less could I conceive how...

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Chapter XXVII: I acquire the friendship of the surgeon, who procures a warrant for me, and makes me a present of cloaths——a battle between a midshipman and me——the surgeon leaves the ship——the captain comes on board with another surgeon——a dialogue betwee

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pp. 138-143

While I was busied with my friend in this practice, the doctor chanced to pass by the place where we were, and stopping to observe me, appeared very well satisfied with my method of application; and afterwards sent for me to his cabbin, where, having examined me touching my skill in surgery, and the particulars of my fortune...

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Chapter XXVIII: The captain, enraged, threatens to put the mad man to death with his own hand——is diverted from that resolution by the arguments and persuasion of the first lieutenant and surgeon——we set sail for St. Helens, join the fleet under the comma

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pp. 144-147

The captain was carried into his cabbin, so enraged with the treatment he had received, that he ordered the fellow to be brought before him, that he might have the pleasure of pistoling him with his own hand; and would certainly have satisfied his revenge in this manner, had not the first lieutenant remonstrated...

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Chapter XXIX: Mackshane’s malice——I am taken up and imprisoned for a spy—— Morgan meets with the same fate——Thomson is tampered with to turn evidence against us——disdains the proposal, and is maltreated for his integrity——Morgan is released to assist the

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pp. 147-150

In the mean time, the storm subsided into a brisk gale, that carried us into the warm latitudes, where the weather became intolerable, and the crew very sickly.—The doctor left nothing unattempted towards the completion of his vengeance against the Welchman and me. He went among the sick under pretence...

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Chapter XXX: We lament the fate of our companion——the captain offers Morgan his liberty, which he refuses to accept——We are brought before him and examined——Morgan is sent back into custody, whither also I am remanded, after a curious trial.

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pp. 150-155

The news of this event affected my fellow- prisoner and me extremely, as our unfortunate companion had justly acquired, by his amiable disposition, the love and esteem of us both; and the more we regretted his untimely fate, the greater horror we conceived for the villain who was undoubtedly the occasion of it.—This abandoned...

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Chapter XXXI: I discover a subornation against me, by means of a quarrel between two of the evidences; in consequence of which, I am set at liberty, and prevail upon Morgan to accept of his freedom on the same terms——Mackshane’s malice——we arrive at Jamai

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pp. 155-157

Mean while, a quarrel happening between the two modern Greeks,1 the one to be revenged of the other, came and discovered to us the mystery of Mackshane’s dialogue, as I have explained it above. This detection coming to the ears of the doctor, who was sensible that (now we were in sight of Jamaica) we should have an...

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Chapter XXXII: Our land- forces being disembarked, erect a fascine battery——our ship is ordered, with four more, to batter the fort of Boca Chica——Mackshane’s cowardice——the chaplain’s phrenzy——honest Rattlin loses one hand——his heroism and reflections on

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pp. 158-161

Our forces being landed and stationed as I have already mentioned, set about erecting a fascine battery1 to cannonade the principal fort of the enemy, and in something more than three weeks, it was ready to open. That we might do the Spaniards as much honour as possible, it was determined in a council of war...

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Chapter XXXIII: A breach being made in the walls, our soldiers gave the assault, and take the place without opposition——our sailors at the same time become masters of all the other strengths near Boca Chica, and take possession of the harbour——the good co

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pp. 161-164

Having cannonaded the fort, during the space of four hours, we were all ordered to slip our cables, and sheer off;1 but next day the engagement was renewed, and continued from the morning till the afternoon, when the enemy’s fire from Boca Chica slackened, and towards evening was quite silenced.—A breach being...

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Chapter XXXIV: An epidemic fever rages among us——we abandon our conquests——I am seized with the distemper; write a petition to the captain, which is rejected——I am in danger of suffocation through the malice of Crampley; and relieved by a serjeant——my fev

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pp. 165-171

The change of the atmosphere, occasioned by this phænomenon, conspired with the stench that surrounded us, the heat of the climate, our own constitutions impoverished by bad provision, and our despair, to introduce the bilious fever1 among us, which raged with such violence that three fourths...

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Chapter XXXV: Captain Whiffle sends for me,——his situation described——his surgeon arrives, prescribes for him, and puts him to bed——a bed is put up for Mr. Simper contiguous to the state- room, which, with other parts of the captain’s behaviour, gives the

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pp. 171-174

He was going on with an elogium upon the captain, when I received a message to clean myself and go up to the great cabbin: And with this command I instantly complied, sweetning myself with rose- water from the medicine chest. When I entered the room, I was ordered to stand by the door, until captain Whiffle had reconnoitered...

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Chapter XXXVI: A strange adventure——in consequence of which I am extremely happy——Crampley does me ill offices with the captain: But his malice is defeated by the good- nature and friendship of the surgeon——we return to Port- Royal——our captain gets the c

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pp. 175-178

When my patients were all in a fair way, my companion and commander, whose name was Brayl,1 carried me up the country to the house of a rich planter, with whom he was acquainted; where we were sumptuously entertained, and in the evening set out on our return to the ship. When we had walked about...

Volume Two

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pp. 179-368

The Contents of the Second Volume

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pp. 183-189

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Chapter XXXVII: We depart for Europe——a misunderstanding arises between the captain and surgeon, through the scandalous aspersions of Crampley——the captain dies——Crampley tyrannizes over the surgeon, who falls a victim to his cruelty——I am also ill used——

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pp. 191-194

Now that I could return to my native country in a creditable way, I felt excessive pleasure in finding myself out of sight of that fatal island, which has been the grave of so many Europeans;1 and as I was accommodated with every thing to render the passage agreeable, I resolved to enjoy myself as much...

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Chapter XXXVIII: I get up, and crawl into a barn, where I am in danger of perishing thro’ the fear of the country people——their inhumanity——I am succoured by a reputed witch——her story——her advice——she recommends me as a valet to a young lady, whose chara

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pp. 194-199

But as I lay ruminating, my passion insensibly abated; I considered my situation in quite another light than that in which it appeared to me at first, and the result of my deliberation was to rise if I could, and crawl to the next inhabited place for assistance— With some difficulty I got upon my legs, and having examined my...

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Chapter XXXIX: My reception by that lady——I become enamoured of Narcissa——recount the particulars of my last misfortune——acquire the good opinion of my mistress——an account of the young Squire——I am made acquainted with more particulars of Narcissa’s situ

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pp. 200-203

Fraught with these useful instructions, I repaired to the place of her habitation, and was introduced by the waiting- woman to the presence of my lady, who had not before seen me.—She sat in her study, with one foot on the ground, and the other upon a high stool at some distance from her...

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Chapter XL: My mistress is surprized at my learning——communicates her performances to me——I impart some of mine to her——am mortified at her faint praise——Narcissa approves of my conduct——I gain an involuntary conquest over the cook- wench and dairy- maid—

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pp. 204-208

During this season of love and tranquillity, my muse, which had lain dormant so long, awoke, and produced several small performances1 on the subject of my flame: But as it concerned me nearly to remain undiscovered in my real character and sentiments, I was under a necessity of mortifying...

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Chapter XLI: Narcissa being in danger from the brutality of Sir Timothy, is rescued by me, who revenge myself on my rival——I declare my passion, and retreat to the sea- side——am surrounded by smugglers, and carried to Bulloign——find my uncle lieutenant Bo

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pp. 208-214

At certain intervals, my ambition would revive; I would despise myself for my tame resignation to my sordid fate, and revolve an hundred schemes for assuming the character of a gentleman, to which I thought myself intitled by birth and education.— In these fruitless suggestions time stole away unperceived, and I had already...

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Chapter XLII: He takes his passage in a Cutter for Deal——we are accosted by a priest, who proves to be a Scottishman——his profession of friendship——he is affronted by the lieutenant, who afterwards appeases him by submission—— my uncle embarks——I am intro

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pp. 214-218

When our repast was ended, we walked down to the harbour, where we found a cutter that was to sail for Deal in the evening, and Mr. Bowling agreed for his passage: In the mean time, we sauntred about the town to satisfy our curiosity, our conversation turning on the subject of my designs, which were not as yet...

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Chapter XLIII: We lodge at a house near Amiens, where I am robbed by the capuchin, who escapes while I am asleep——I go to Noyons in search of him, but without success——make my condition known to several people, but find no relief——grow desperate——join a c

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pp. 219-223

The third night of our pilgrimage we passed at a house near Amiens,1 where Balthazar being unknown, we supped upon indifferent fare, and sour wine, and were fain to lie in a garret upon an old mattrass, which, I believe had been in the possession of ten thousand myriads2 of fleas, time out of mind.—We did not invade their...

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Chapter XLIV: In order to be revenged I learn the science of defence.——We join Marechal Duc de Noailles——are engaged with the allies at Dettingen, and put to fl ight——the behaviour of the French soldiers on that occasion——I industriously seek another comb

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pp. 224-230

He was disconcerted at this declaration, to which he made no reply, but repaired to the dancers, among whom he recounted his victory with many exaggerations and gasconades;2 while I, taking up my sword, went to my quarters, and examined my wound, which I found was of no consequence...

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Chapter XLV: I enquire for my uncle, and understand he is gone to sea——take lodgings at Charing- cross——go to the play, where I meet with an adventure—— dine at an ordinary; the guests described——become acquainted with Medlar and doctor Wagtail.

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pp. 231-239

As soon as we alighted at the inn, I dispatched Strap to enquire for my uncle, at the Union Flag1 in Wapping; and he returned in a little time, with an account of Mr. Bowling’s having gone to sea, mate of a merchant- ship, after a long and unsuccessful application and attendance at the admiralty; where...

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Chapter XLVI: Wagtail introduces me to a set of fine gentlemen, with whom I spend the evening at a tavern——our conversation——the characters of my new companions——the doctor is roasted——the issue of our debauch.

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pp. 240-246

I accepted his offer with pleasure, and we went thither in a hackney- coach,1 where I saw a great number of gay figures fluttering about, most of whom spoke to the doctor with great familiarity. Among the rest stood a groupe of them around the fire, whom I immediately knew to be the very persons...

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Chapter XLVII: Strap communicates to me a conquest he had made of a chandler’s widow——finds himself miserably mistaken——I go to the opera—— admire Melinda——am cautioned by Banter——go to the assembly at Hampstead——dance with that young lady——receive an ins

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pp. 246-251

In the morning before I got up, Strap came into my chamber, and finding me awake, hemmed several times, scratched his head, cast his eyes upon the ground, and with a very foolish kind of simper upon his face, gave me to understand he had something to communicate.—“By your countenance,” said I, “I expect to hear good...

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Chapter XLVIII: We repair to the coffee- house, where we overhear a curious dispute between Wagtail and Medlar, which is referred to our decision——the doctor gives an account of his experiment——Medlar is roasted by Banter, at the ordinary——the old gentlem

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pp. 252-254

Being as willing to drop the theme as he to propose it, I accompanied him thither, where we found Mr. Medlar and doctor Wagtail, disputing upon the word custard, which the physician affirmed should be spelled with a G, because it was derived from the Latin verb gustare, “to taste.”——But Medlar pleaded...

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Chapter XLIX: I receive a challenge——the consequences of it——the quarrel being made up, am put in arrest, by the care and affection of Strap——but immediately released upon explaining my affair——the behaviour of Mr. Oregan and his two friends——I visit Meli

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pp. 255-259

When I was ready to go abroad next day, Strap brought me a letter, To Mr. Random, Esq; Those.1———Which, upon opening, I found contained a challenge contained in these very extraordinary terms...

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Chapter L: I long to be revenged on Melinda——apply to Banter for his assistance—— he contrives a scheme for that purpose, which is put in execution with great success——I make an attempt on the heart of Miss Gripewell, but am disappointed——grow melancholy

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pp. 260-267

In the mean time, my attention was wholly engrossed in search of another mistress, and the desire of being revenged on Melinda, in both which schemes I was very much assisted by Billy Chatter, who was such a necessary creature among the ladies, that in all private dances he engaged the men...

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Chapter LI: I cultivate an acquaintance with two noblemen——am introduced to Earl Strutwell——his kind promise and invitation——the behaviour of his porter and lacquey——he receives me with an appearance of uncommon affection——undertakes to speak in my behalf

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pp. 268-273

Baffled hitherto in my matrimonial schemes, I began to question my talents for the science of fortune- hunting, and to bend my thoughts towards some employment under the government: With the view of procuring which, I cultivated the acquaintance of Lords Straddle and Swillpot, whose fathers...

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Chapter LII: I attempt to recover my watch and jewel, but to no purpose——resolve to revenge myself on Strutwell by my importunity——am reduced to my last guinea——obliged to inform Strap of my necessity, who is almost distracted with the news——but neverthel

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pp. 273-278

I was so confounded that I could make no reply to Banter; who reproached me with great indignation for having thrown away upon rascals, that which, had it been converted into ready money, would have supported the rank of a gentleman for some months, and enabled me at the same time, to oblige...

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Chapter LIII: I purchase new cloaths——reprimand Strutwell and Straddle——Banter proposes another matrimonial scheme——I accept of his terms——set out for Bath in a stage- coach, with the young lady and her mother——the behaviour of an officer and lawyer, our

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pp. 279-282

Having finished this affair to my satisfaction, I found myself perfectly at ease, and looking upon the gaming- table as a certain resource for a gentleman in want, became more gay than ever.—Although my cloaths were almost as good as new, I grew ashamed of wearing them, because I thought every...

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Chapter LIV: Day breaking, I have the pleasure of viewing the person of Miss Snapper, whom I had not seen before——the soldier is witty upon me——is offended, talks much of his valour——is reprimanded by a grave gentlewoman—— we are alarmed with the cry of h

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pp. 283-287

In the mean time, day breaking in upon us, discovered to one another, the faces of their fellow- travellers; and I had the good fortune to find my mistress not quite so deformed nor disagreeable as she had been represented to me.—Her head, indeed, bore some resemblance to a hatchet, the edge being represented...

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Chapter LV: I resolve to ingratiate myself with the mother, and am favoured by accident——the precise lady finds her husband, and quits the coach——the captain is disappointed of his dinner——we arrive at Bath——I accompany Miss Snapper to the long room, wher

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pp. 288-293

During this unsocial interval, my pride and interest maintained a severe conflict, on the subject of Miss Snapper, whom the one represented as unworthy of notice, and the other proposed as the object of my whole attention: The advantages and disadvantages attending such a match were opposed to one another by my imagination...

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Chapter LVI: I become acquainted with Narcissa’s brother, who invites me to his house——where I am introduced to that adorable creature——after dinner, the squire retires to take his nap——Freeman, guessing the situation of my thoughts, withdraws likewise on

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pp. 294-299

In the afternoon, I drank tea at the house of Mr. Freeman, to whom I had been recommended by Banter; where I had not sat five minutes, ’till the fox- hunter came in, and by his familiar behaviour appeared to be intimate with my friend—I was, at first, under some concern, lest he should recollect my features; but when I found myself...

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Chapter LVII: Miss Williams informs me of Narcissa’s approbation of my flame——I appease the Squire——write to my mistress, am blessed with an answer——beg leave of her brother to dance with her at a ball; obtain his consent and hers——enjoy a private convers

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pp. 300-305

I was met next morning, at the usual place, by Miss Williams, who gave me joy of the progress I had made in the affection of her mistress, and blessed me with an account of that dear creature’s conversation with her, after she had retired the night before, from our company.——I could scarce believe her information, when she...

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Chapter LVIII: Tortured with jealousy, I go home and abuse Strap——receive a message from Narcissa, in consequence of which I hasten to her apartment, where her endearing assurances banish all my doubts and apprehensions——in my retreat discover somebody in

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pp. 305-308

Having uttered this exclamation, at which she sighed, I went home in the condition of a frantic Bedlamite; and finding the fire in my apartment almost extinguished, vented my fury upon poor Strap, whose ear I pinched with such violence, that he roared hideously with pain, and when I quitted my hold looked...

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Chapter LIX: I receive an extraordinary message at the door of the long- room, which I however enter, and affront the Squire, who threatens to take the law of me——rebuke Melinda for her malice——she weeps with vexation—— Lord Quiverwit is severe upon me——I

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pp. 309-312

I thanked him for his advice, which, however, my pride and resentment would not permit me to follow; for he no sooner left me, in order to do justice to my character among his friends and acquaintance, than I sallied out, and went directly to the long- room.—I was met at the door by a servant, who presented to me a...

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Chapter LX: am visited by Freeman, with whom I appear in public, and am caressed——am sent for by Lord Quiverwit, whose presence I quit in a passion——Narcissa is carried off by her brother——I intend to pursue him, and am dissuaded by my friend——engage in p

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pp. 313-317

While I entertained myself with these reflexions, the news of the duel being communicated by some unknown channel, spread all over the town.—I was visited by Freeman, who testified his surprize at finding me; for, he was told, that Lord Quiverwit being dead of his wounds, I had absconded, in order to avoid the cognizance of the law. I asked if people guessed the occasion...

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Chapter LXI: I am arrested——carried to the Marshalsea——find my old acquaintance beau Jackson in that jail——he informs me of his adventures——Strap arrives, and with difficulty is comforted——Jackson introduces me to a poet——I admire his conversation and cap

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pp. 317-322

But this expedient was in a few weeks attended with a consequence I did not foresee: a player having purchased one of the suits which were exposed to sale, appeared in it on the stage one night, while my taylor unfortunately happened to be present.—He knew it immediately, and enquiring minutely into the affair, discovered...

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Chapter LXII: I read Melopoyn’s tragedy, and conceive a vast opinion of his genius——he recounts his adventures.

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pp. 322-328

While we ate our breakfast together, I made him acquainted with the character and condition of the poet, who came in with his play at that instant, and imagining we were engaged about business, could not be prevailed upon to sit; but leaving his performance, went...

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Chapter LXIII: The continuation and conclusion of Mr. Melopoyn’s story.

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pp. 328-336

“I made shift, notwithstanding, to maintain myself till the beginning of next winter, when I renewed my addresses to my friend Mr. Supple, and was most graciously received.——‘I have been thinking of your affair, Mr. Melopoyn (said he) and am determined to shew how far I have your interest at heart...

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Chapter LXIV: I am seized with a deep melancholy, and become a sloven——am relieved by my uncle——he prevails upon me to engage with his owners, as surgeon of the ship which he commands——he makes me a considerable present—— entertains Strap as his steward——

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pp. 337-342

I shall not make any reflections on this story, in the course of which the reader must perceive how egregiously the simplicity and milky disposition of this worthy man, had been duped and abused by a set of scoundrels, who were so habituated to falshood and equivocation, that I verily believe, they would have found...

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Chapter LXV: I set out for Sussex——consult Mrs. Sagely——atchieve an interview with Narcissa——return to the ship——we get clear of the Channel——I learn our destination——we are chaced by a large ship——the company are dismayed, and encouraged by the captain’s

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pp. 342-348

It was now I put in execution the scheme I had projected at London; and asking leave of the captain, for Strap and me to stay on shore till the wind should become favourable, my request was granted, because he had orders to remain in the Downs until he should receive some dispatches from London, which he did not expect...

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Chapter LXVI: I am invited to the villa of a Spanish Don, where we met with an English gentleman, and make a very interesting discovery——we leave Buenos Ayres, and arrive at Jamaica.

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pp. 349-354

Our ship being freed from the disagreeable lading of Negroes, to whom indeed I had been a miserable slave,1 since our leaving the coast of Guinea, I began to enjoy myself, and breathe with pleasure the pure air of Paraguay, this part of which is reckoned the Montpelier of South...

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Chapter LXVII: I visit my old friend Thomson——we set sail for Europe, meet with an odd adventure——arrive in England——I ride across the country from Portsmouth to Sussex——converse with Mrs. Sagely, who informs me of Narcissa’s being in London——in consequen

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pp. 354-360

I enquired, as soon as I got ashore, about my generous companion Mr. Thomson; and hearing that he lived in a flourishing condition, upon the estate left to him by his wife’s father, who had been dead some years, I took horse immediately, with the consent of Don Rodrigo, who had heard me mention...

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Chapter LXVIII: My father makes a present to Narcissa——the letter is dispatched to her brother——I appear among my acquaintance——Banter’s behaviour—— the Squire refuses his consent——my uncle comes to town——approves of my choice——I am married——we meet with

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pp. 361-365

After having spent the evening to the satisfaction of all present, my father addressed himself thus to Narcissa, “Madam, give me leave to consider you hereafter as my daughter, in which capacity I insist upon your accepting this first instance of my paternal duty and affection.” With these words he put into her hand a...

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Chapter LXIX: My father intends to revisit the place of his nativity——we propose to accompany him——my uncle renews his will in my favour, determining to go to sea again——we set out for Scotland——arrive at Edinburgh—— purchase our paternal estate——proceed

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pp. 366-368

My father intending to revisit his native country, and pay the tribute of a few tears at my mother’s grave, Narcissa and I resolved to accompany him in the execution of this pious office, and accordingly prepared for the journey; in which, however, my uncle would not engage, being resolved to try his fortune once...

Appendix: "An Account of the Expedition against Carthagene"

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pp. 367-387

Notes to the Text

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pp. 389-506

Textual Commentary

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pp. 507-518

List of Emendations

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pp. 519-522


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pp. 523-524

Historical Collation

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pp. 525-598

Bibliographical Descriptions

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pp. 599-605


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pp. 607-620

E-ISBN-13: 9780820341286
E-ISBN-10: 0820341282
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820321653
Print-ISBN-10: 0820321656

Page Count: 640
Illustrations: 27 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: The Works of Tobias Smollett

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Subject Headings

  • Sea stories. -- gsafd.
  • England -- Fiction.
  • Picaresque literature. -- gsafd.
  • Adventure fiction. -- gsafd.
  • Sailors -- Fiction.
  • Rogues and vagabonds -- Fiction.
  • Warships -- Fiction.
  • Impressment -- Fiction.
  • Scots -- England -- Fiction.
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