The Disabled Soldier Part 5

“Theboatswain found me, as he said, an obstinate fellow: he swore he knew that Iunderstood my business well, but that I shammed Abraham, to be idle; but Godknows, I knew nothing of sea-business, and he beat me without considering whathe was about. I had still, however, my forty pounds, and that was some comfortto me under every beating; and the money I might have had to this day, but thatour ship was taken by the French, and so I lost all.

“Ourcrew was carried into Brest, and many of them died, because they were not usedto live in a jail; but for my part, it was nothing to me, for I was seasoned.One night, as I was asleep on the bed of boards, with a warm blanket about me,for I always loved to lie well, I was awakened by the boatswain, who had a darklantern in his hand. `Jack,` says he to me, `will you knock out the Frenchsentry`s brains?` `I don`t care,` says I, striving to keep myself awake, `if Ilend a hand.` `Then, follow me,` s

The Disabled Soldier Part 4

Wehad but an indifferent passage, for being all confined in the hold, more than ahundred of our people died for want of sweet air; and those that remained weresickly enough, God knows. When we came ashore we were sold to the planters, andI was bound for seven years more. As I was no scholar, for I did not know myletters, I was obliged to work among the negroes; and I served out my time, asin duty bound to do.

“Whenmy time was expired, I worked my passage home, and glad I was to see oldEngland again, because I loved my country. I was afraid, however, that I shouldbe indicted for a vagabond once more, so did not much care to go down into thecountry, but kept about the town, and did little jobs when I could get them.

Man of war

“Iwas very happy in this manner for some time till one evening, coming home fromwork, two men knocked me down, and then desired me to stand. They belonged to apress-gang. I was carried before the

The Disabled Soldier Part 3

Ihad some dis-position to be a scholar, and was resolved at least to know my letters:but the master of the workhouse put me to business as soon as I was able tohandle a mallet; and here I lived an easy kind of life for five years. I onlywrought ten hours in the day, and had my meat and drink provided for my labor.It is true, I was not suffered to stir out of the house, for fear, as theysaid, I should run away; but what of that?

Business well enough

Ihad the liberty of the whole house, and the yard before the door, and that wasenough for me. I was then bound out to a farmer, where I was up both early andlate; but I ate and drank well; and liked my business well enough, till hedied, when I was obliged to provide for myself; so I resolved to go seek myfortune.

“Inthis manner I went from town to town, worked when I could get employment, andstarved when I could get none; when, happening one day to go through a fieldbelong

The Disabled Soldier Part 2

Withwhat indignation do I hear an Ovid, a Cicero or a Rabutin complain of theirmisfortunes and hardships, whose greatest calamity was that of being unable tovisit a certain spot of earth, to which they had foolishly attached an idea ofhappiness. Their distresses were pleasures, compared to what many of theadventuring poor every day endure without murmuring. They ate, drank, andslept; they had slaves to attend them, and were sure of subsistence for life;while many of their fellow creatures are obliged to wander without a friend tocomfort- or assist them, and even without shelter from the severity of theseason.

Ihave been led into these reflections from accidentally meeting, some days ago,a poor fellow, whom I knew when a boy, dressed in a sailor`s jacket, andbegging at one of the outlets of the town, with a wooden leg. I knew him tohave been honest and industrious when in the country, and was curious to learnwhat had reduced him to his present situation. Whe

The Disabled Soldier Part 1

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

Goldsmith`sfamily were Irish people of English descent. Oliver Goldsmith was born inCounty Longford, Ireland. He went to Trinity College, Dublin, and after hisgraduation in 1749, began the study of medicine at Edinburgh. After a shortperiod in Scotland he left for the Continent, where he wandered from country tocountry.

Afterhis return to London in 1756 his early essays and verses attracted theattention of Dr. Johnson, and he became a member of the illustrious group thatgathered round that literary monarch. The years between 1759 and 1773 were themost productive of his entire career. The Vicar of Wakefield, which is alandmark in the development of prose fiction, appeared in 1766. Like Addisonand Steele and other of the periodical essayists, Goldsmith wrote several shortstories of high merit. The Disabled Soldier was first printed in the Citizen ofthe World, in 1760.

The Disabled So