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THE ENTERTAINING

Story-Teller,

CONTAINING

I. A Remarkable and Curious Story of a Lead Mine in Derbyshire, England.
II. The Story of the Benevolent Sailor and a blind Man in Edinburgh.
III. The Story of a Beggar and his dog.
IV. A Curious Story of the late Benjamin Pope Esq; a Tanner and Usurer in the City of London.

V. The Humorous Story of John Mannfrey Esq; commonly called, The King of Patterdale, in the County of Westmoreland, England.
VI. A Diverting Story of Henry the Eighth, King of England, and the Abbot of Reading. Shewing how the King cured the Abbot of a bad appetite.





TO WHICH ARE ADDED,

A Receipt for Lowness of Spirits:—Description of the
different kinds of Drunkenness. And the Irishman's
new method of challanging a jury.

FALKIRK:

PRINTED AND SOLD BY T JOHNSTON.

1801:

A

DESCRIPTION

OF

A CURIOUS LEAD MINE,

in Derbyshire

A Gentleman of Norwich, who lately returned from a tour Into Derbyshire, gives the following account of his visit to a Lead Mine near Castleton.

On our return from seeing Peak’s Hole, our guide told us, that if we were fond of sights of the kind, there was a Lead Mine not far off, which was well worth our notice. We assented to his proposal, and returned to the inn to get our dinners, and in the mean time the guide went and brought one of the miners to conduct us. The miner told us, it was usual to take brandy, on account of the cold; we took some therefore in a bottle, and set forward to the mouth of the Mine, where we saw great quantities of lead ore ready prepared for smelting, and the people at work in their various departments. It was four o’clock, the time the miners came out from the mine. The women we observed wore breeches. Here another miner joined who was to be companion of our excursion. He was one of the stoutest men I ever saw; the very picture of health, and well proportioned, and his muscles seemed of Herculeian strength. It does not seem from what we saw, that working in the mines is, as has been said, prejudicial to the health of either man or woman. They offered us miners' dresses but as we had our plaids on, we thought ourselves proof against wet, dirt, or cold, and therefore declined them. The two miners then put on their dresses, and my friend and I set forward with them.

We entered a hut at the side of the hill, where our guides provided themselves with lights, which they carried in their hands by sticking several in a lump of clay, and then proceeded down steps for near fifty yards till we came to a canal. Here they told us we were to get into a boat, and go along the navigation for one thousand yards. This navigation is through a cavern cut in the rock seven feet high, and four wide, the water about three feet. The miners have five guineas for every two yards, which they work by blasting the rock with gunpowder. We entered the boat, and my friend and I had each a chair to sit upon, our guides fitting one at the head, the other at the stern of the boat. When we had gone six hundred yards, we came to a large natural cavern in the rock, where there was a most dreadful roar of waters; we stopped here to see a water fall from an artificial dam made to keep up the level of water through the navigation. One of the men pulled up the sluice and the roar added to the solemnity of the scene, was dread and awful. Hence, we went two hundred and fifty yards to another fall nothing to be compared to the former: This joins the other after running some little way, and the joint stream runs under ground till it finds its way into Peak’s Hole. The whole course of this stream is wonderful; it loses itself under ground about four miles front Castleton, on the Manchester road, runs through the mine, and afterwards through Peak’s Hole, whence it again emerges to light, and takes its course through Castleton, Hopedale, &c. By means of this stream there is a constant current of air through the mine, which keeps it free from any noxious vapours, which would otherwise be dangerous to the miners. One hundred and fifty yards farther brought us to the end of the navigation, when we chained our boat to a rail; and, with each of us a light, proceeded upon planks, and upon rafters over the (illegible text) yards farther, stooping almost all the way. At the end of this board-way, we got to a small cavern, and there stood upright to rest ourselves. The miners told us, if we went farther, we must climb up the rock by rails fixed into the sides: That many went no farther than this place, but if we were not afraid we might proceed. We told them to lead on. We climbed for ten yards up the rock, by rail sometimes a yard asunder, and at length got into a large cavern dimly to be seen by our candle light: The dashing noise of a water-fall, to be heard and not seen,added to the terror of the place. Here our guides again asked us if we would proceed, telling us it was forty yards, climbing up the same manner we got hither, to the shaft they worked at. They looked in our faces, to see if we were frightened, but we were determined to go on, and with much labour and difficulty got to the end of our scrambling, which was sometimes through holes in the rock just big enough to admit the body. Here we saw the water-fall, which dashes with a large stream from the top to the bottom of the cavern.

From this place we went on slanting up the rock ten yards, to the place they worked at. We stopped to rest and take some of our brandy, which we now found refreshing to us, and the miners explained the whole process of their work. We each worked out a piece of ore, as a memento of out expedition. The air here was unpleafant, the smell of smoaking and of gunpowder, used in blasting the rock, being not yet gone off. There was another way out, by climbing one hundred and fifty yards farther to the top of the hill; but, as the way lay through another proprietor’s mine, the miners never go to it, unless insisted on by strangers and, as we were someewhat fatigued with the exertions of the day (having come from Buxton, by Elden Hole and Mam Tor) we judged it best to go back as we came. At the top of the cavern, the place we left off climbing, one of the men left a piece of candle alight, which he had brought for that purpose, and we went down, a miner accompanying each to direct our steps in the retrogade motion. We soon got to the bottom of the cavern, and our guides desired us to look up: The sight was dreadful; the candle, forty yards above us, appeared like a star, and afforded a dim light, juft sufficient to give an idea of the danger we had braved. The cavern was sloped like a bee-hive; the way to the to the top was by the stakes fixed into the sides sloping in wards, sometimes by ladders, many of the steps of which were nearly worn through, and only a slight ballustrade, so that one false step, or the breaking of a rail, would have dashed us lifeless to the bottom: But all danger was now passed, and we were thankful that we had escaped it. The miners frequently go up this way without lights. They told us there never was but one accident happened in this mine, when a man was drowned owing to his own groundless fears. We returned to the boat, and set forward for day-light in high spirits, singing “Long live the king,” "Rule Britannia," and a variety of songs, in which all joined; the miners (one of them in particular) having very fine voices.

At the large cavern I first mentioned we left another light, which when we got the end (600 yards) had a most beautiful effect, appearing like a star with the beams playing upon the waters. We at length, after two hours absence from it, got to day-light again, highly satisfied and pleased with our excursion, and returned to Castleton, with the mixed emotions of terror and admiration.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

STORY OF
A BENEVOLENT SAILOR.

A few mornings ago (I remember it was a rainy one) as I was walking along one of the back streets in Edinburgh, I was very much struck with a melancholy figure of a blind man, who was singing a song of love. Misery could not have found, among the number of distressed mortals, a form more suited to her nature. While I was contemplating the wretchedness of the object, and comparing it with the strain which necessity compelled him to chaunt, a sailor, who came whistling along the street, with a stick under his arm, stopped and purchased a ballad of him. “Bless you," cried the blind man, "for I have not tasted bread this blessed day.’’ When the sailor, looking around him, on a sudden sprung up four steps into a baker’s shop, near which he stood, and returning immediately thrust a small loaf, silently, into the poor man’s hand, and went off whistling as he came.

I was much affected with the noble act of the generous tar; and a gentleman passing by, and witnessing the scene, called the honest seaman back, and taking the little silver he had about him, which I think was about four shillings, said, “Thy nobleness of soul, and the goodness of thy generous nature deserve a greater reward; 'this is all I have about me, I wish it were more." "God bless your noble honour, said the sailor, and thank you; but we will divide the prize-money fairly." So, stepping back to the blind man, he gave him half of it; and clapping him upon the shoulder at the same time, he added withal, "Here are two shillings for thee, my blind Cupid, for which you are not obliged to me, but to a noble gentleman who stands within five yards of you. So get into harbour, and make thyself warm, and keep thy humstrum for fairer weather." Then giving his hat a quick wave over his head, he thanked me again, and went nimbly down the street.


STORY OF
THE BEGGAR AND HIS DOG.

One evening, when I was sitting at the foot of a bridge, a man of the lower order of the people, with grey hairs and a lame leg, and hardly able to get on with the help of a stick, passed before us, followed by a young water-spaniel; who said to the women, in whose company I was, “Ladies, will you buy my dog"—-As each of them had her own, and as his was not of the kind women are fond of, they answered they did not want one.

Then coming up to me, he said in a most pressing tone of entreaty, “Do, Sir, buy my dog”—"What do you ask for your dog?” said I. “What you please," said he. A piece of six livres was all I had about me at the time. I gave it him, and he accepted it without any marks of repugnance, and said, when he received it, “The dog is yours.”—“But," said I, “he will get away; I have no string to lead him by.”—“It is, however, necessary to have one,” said he, “for otherwise he would follow me.” Then undoing his garter, he called his dog, took it in his arms, and set it upon the ballustrade of the bridge. I perceived that while tying it, the old man's hands trembled; this I attributed to age, for his countenance, which I observed attentively, did not change: But when he had tied the knot, I saw him let his head fall upon his dog, and hiding his forehead in its rough hair, and with his mouth close to its body, he hung over it for some minutes mute and motionless.

I stepped up to him.—“What is the matter, friend?” said I. “Nothing,” said he, lifting up his head; “it will soon be over.” I observed his face all bathed in tears. “You feem to feel a great deal of uneasiness at parting with your dog,” said I. “Alas! yes,” said he: "He is the only friend I had in the world: We never were asunder. It was he who guarded me when I was asleep on the road; and when he saw me suffering and forsaken, the poor beast pitied me, and comforted me with his caresses. He loved me so much, that I can do no less than love him. But all this signifies nothing Sir, the dog is yours." And then he gave me the end of his garter he had tied tound its neck. “You must suppose me to be very cruel, if you think me capable of depriving you of a faithful friend, and of the only one you have in the world,” said I. He did not insist any longer; but he wanted to return me the miserable crown. I told him to keep the crown and the dog, and at last got the better of his resistance. Then he cried out, “Oh! Sir, I owe you my life. It is hunger that has reduced me to this (illegible text)".

STORY Of BENJAMIN POPE, ESQ.

THE USURER.

Mr. Pope died in the Fleet Prison, London, on the 2d of August 1794 in the 67th year of his age, after suffering imprisonment eleven years and three months.

He was originally a tanner in Southwark, by London; and dealt so largely and extensively in this branch, that his stock in trade was for many years supposed to be worth sixty or seventy thousand pounds.

In the latter part of his time in this trade, and when he was well known to be worth so much money as to be called Plumb Pope, he took to the lending of money, discounting, buying annuities, mortgages, &c.

In this branch of business it appears Mr. Pope was not so successful as in his former trade; for the name of Pope the Usurer every now and then appears in the proceedings of our courts of law when our sages in the law commonly differed widely from Mr. Pope, in their opinion of his practices in this branch of business.

The most remarkable, and the last instance of this sort, was, when he was cast in Ten thousand Pounds damages for some usurious or illegal practices in some money-transactions with Sir Alexander Leith. This was generally thought a smart sentence, and perhaps the well known and well scouted character of the man contributed not a little towards it. Mr. Pope himself thought it so oppressive and unjust, that he never in his life, afterwards left off complaining loudly of it, and even printed a case, setting forth the great hardship and loss he suffered.

At first Mr Pope, to be up with his plaintiff, went abroad to France with all his effects and property, where a man of his advanced years, ample fortune, and without any family but his wife, a most worthy and respected woman, might certainly have lived very comfortably: But Mr. Pope abroad was removed from his friends and customers; and his money being idle, which (illegible text) considered by him as a great misfortune (illegible text) come home; and, to shew his (illegible text) to all this oppression, submitted to imprisonment rather than pay the damages. This he did most heroically, and has suffered the long imprisonment of eleven years and three months.

In the course of this period, Mr. Pope's affairs wore very different complexions; and at one time he might have got his liberty for a thousand pounds, but he remained inflexible, and sent them word, that this would be acknowledging the justness of their debt, which he would die sooner than do. And he kept his word.

Mr. Pope, in prison, had many opportunities of indulging those propensities he had all his life been remarkable for. He looked always at the pint pot of small beer before he paid for it, to see that it was full; a measure that in him was somewhat excusable, as the pint lasted him generally two days, water being his common drink; and as to strong beer, it used to be a note of admiration among his fellow-prisoners, when he drank any with them at their apartments; but as for his sending for any for himself, of that he never was guiity.

He always bought his three-farthing candle by weight, taking the heaviest of six, eight or ten, for his money.

In all his near twelve years, he never had a joint of meat at his table; his greatest luxury was a groat plate from the cook’s shop, and that served him for two meals generally: but in these points he was not much at a loss, for his family, though living at a great distance, knowing of his penurious disposition, sent to him frequently a very comfortable and proper supply; and on these occasions, he has even been known someetimes to give some leavings to his errand girl, or else to some distressed object.

To do justice to so eccentric a character as Mr Pope, it is proper to state, that, while in trade, he had early begun the benevolent practice of giving away every week, a stone, and better, of meat among his workmen and poor neighbours; and this practice he never left off, (illegible text) when he was every day weighing his candle, (illegible text) after the measure of his final beer.

In many transactions, Mr Pope suffered various frauds and impositions in prison. As he had not that scope of customers in his confined state, and always bent upon making the most of his money, he was more easily imposed upon; so that he is supposed to have lost, by such means, more money than would have paid his debt and costs, large as they were.

When Mr. Pope was told by his apothecary that his dissolution was rapidly approaching—"Well, said he, with a kind of lambent smile, in that case I shall wipe off a debt of ten thousand pounds!” The sum for which he was confined.


STORY OF JOHN MOUNSEY, ESQ.

Commonly called, King of Patterdale.

John Mounsey, Esq; of Patrickdale, in the parish of Barton, county of Westmoreland, commonly called, King of Patterdale, was a very extraordinary character, of whom the following is a short description.

The owners of this place, for time immemorial, have been honoured with this appellation; a distinction which probably arose from some of the property being allodial, as it is independent, and held of no superior. The family have the titles of King, Queen, Prince, Princess, and Dukes. The palace, pleasantly situate at the head of the lake Ulswater, makes but an indifferent appearance; neglect for half a century hath left it almost a ruin.

To get money, with the late owner, was a principle that almost absorbed every other idea. This propensity broke out very early in life, and appeared on every occasion. The wild mountains, which almost surround the the village, afford the beautiful blue Westmoreland slate, and lead-ore in great abundance; and some of them are covered with wood. Of wood and slate he had a large share, most of which was conveyed down the lake by boats; and, when a boy, he could not be restrain (illegible text) the drudgery of the oar.

His brother, the Duke of Stybrow [styled so from Stybrowcraig, a tremendous rocky precipice, bursting out into the lake near the village of Patterdale] was no lover of work; he was a fine jolly fellow; which made the old man, a respectable country gentleman, in his mirth, observe, “He had three children of very different dispositions: the oldest son would be drowned in Ulswater, the other in the mash tub, the daughter — the devil could not beat her for pride."

No change took place in John’s manner of life, at least for the better, at the death of his father, which brought him into the possession of more than three hundred pounds a year. He persevered as if he daily dreaded the want of the common necessaries of life; no work or hardship was too great for him: and he was lucky enough to engage one Dick Pearson, a true and trusty slave, into his service. They loaded the boat, rowed it down the lake, unloaded, and returned at all seasons of the year, and at all times of the night. Sometimes he would sleep in barns, or other out-houses; when a few pence would have afforded him a comfortable bed in a public-house. In dress, he was the figure of misery itself; his stocking-heels were made of strong leather, his cloaths patch upon patch of any colour; and, according to the custom of the country, he were wooden shoes, or clogs, heavily shod with iron.

Nature had formed him for labour, of a strong robust make; he was almost equal to anything. He had another happy recquisite, he wold never flinch any weight he was able to stand under; and anecdotes are not wanting of his extraordinary strength. A storm, however, would set all his powers at defiance; and once, at least, the prediction of his father was nearly fulfilled. He was ferrying a load of wood down the lake, with no other help than his old companion Dick pearson; a violent and unusual hurricane arose, and they were every moment in danger of going to the bottom. To throw the wood overboard was too great a sacrifice, though their lives were in the most imminent danger. They were, however fortunate at to reach an island, a bare rock just rising above the lake. The storm increased; for two days and nights they were exposed to all its violence; a pile of stones, which they industriously raised, was their only shelter; and here, it was said, the King took care to secure what, provision they had for his own use.—No one had courage to attempt their deliverance, notwithstanding the temptation of a considerable reward from the Queen Dowager. The storm at length abated, and they landed safe. This might have furnished him with an useful lesson, but it did not, for he never desisted till old age compelled him to stop.

When he had particular business to transact from home, where he saw the necessity of appearing decent, he would call upon a friend on the road, with whom he could take the liberty, and borrow his cloaths. In two or three days he restored the loan, and returned home in the dress he set out.

Upon the mountains he had an extensive right of common, and four shillings was the price for a beast-gate. When applications for joist were wanting, he would travel the country on foot, beating up for recruits.—In one excursion, it was remarked, he could only collect one solitary heifer, which he drove himself from Alstonmoor, Cumberland, a distance of near forty miles.

From such a strict economy, it is not to be wondered his property was daily accumulating. His house keeping, it is supposed, never exceeded thirty pounds a year, some say not twenty pounds; and his annual income, at the last, was at least eight hundred pounds.—Indeed he seldom ate at home, as he let his lands by stipulation; his tenants to give him so much hard cash and so many meals; some one a week, some more; and he generally took care to have them before due; even cockles, cabbage &c. by measure or count, because sometimes the consideration for a trifling rent. In some things he would indulge himself; he was remarkably fond of sugar, gingerbread, and all kinds of sweetmeats, which he always kept in his pocket; and in one instance he agreed with a tenant to supply him with thirty six pounds of sugar yearly.—To prevent the risk of being robbed, he would frequently hide his money in old stone wails. Something or other created suspicion, and he was watched. An industrious woman privately removed many a stone with little or no success, but would not give it up: she had therefore recourse to stratagem, she tumbled the stones about as he approached,and ran off with the appearance of very great surprise, as if in possession of treasure. He was taken in the snare, and called out he would give her one-half if she would return and deliver it up. This feint had the effect; she was now convinced that near the place money was hid, and took the opportunity, before his Majesty was recovered from his consternation, to make a more diligent search; and by this manoeuvre, which was in the end successful, actually carried off the prize. That he recovered any part of money is not very probable: he had such an excessive dread of law, that his subjects might almost say or do any thing with impunity.

When his Majesty became more advanced in years, his dress was at least decent; he attended markets like a common farmer, and there was nothing in his appearance to attract the notice of a stranger. He nevertheless studied economy in every shape, and to the last had his new stockings lined with leather at the heels.

Once he joined with a neighbour for a horse; but the partnership soon broke up: the poor animal, when upon travel, had a sorry time of it; provender was scarce, and turnpike-gates caused many a tedious journey; but a penny was saved.

Riding one day to Penrith-market, by the side of Ulswater, he made a full stop, stripped, and into the lake he went. From the bottom he picked up an old stocking, which he carefuly examined. “It might very likely have something valuable in it, as it did not swim to the side," was his reply to a clergyman who afterwards joined him upon the road, and whose curiosity, from this odd circumstance, was not a little raised.

Wilson, schoolmaster of Patterdale, acted as his secretary; and tenpence was the price agreed upon for making his will. After the first, alterations, additions and codicils became so frequent, that Wilson became displeased with the price, and got it raised to a shilling. He afterwards made a bolder attempt, he asked half-a-crown: this was too serious, and another person was employed.

Not many years ago, his majefty was so ill, that his recovery was doubtful. His son, the prince, advised him to leave two-hundred pounds to the poor "No, said he, I have lost a great deal by the poor, but I never got any thing by them in my life.—Why leave any thing to them?" But the amiable youth reasoning with him on the awful scene before him, he gave way. “Well, says he to his only child, his heir and executor, I will leave one hundred, if you will be fifty of it." Whether ever in his life, before, he hit upon so curious a method of cheating himself, is unknown. This was not the finishing of his reign; he recovered, and, in his 89th year, lamented the shortness of life: “Could we but, says he to his old friend Wilson, live to the age of Methuselah, we might then have some chance of getting rich; but we no sooner find ourselves in the way of getting a little together, than death comes upon us and spoils all." He did but lately at Patterdale-hall, in the 92d year of his age; and is succeeded in his title and estate by his only child John, who has a numerous family.

This young man is almost adored in the place; and the writer of this can faithfully testify, that he had the pleasure of hearing the following remark, “That, if it was possible, he was too good."

A gentleman of his acquaintance once said, that if he was inclined to envy any potentate in Europe, it would be the King of Patterdale. If this was the case during the life of the late King, how much more so now, when this Prince has for some time since been looked upon as the tutelar deity of the vale, whose chief study it has been to render the inhabitants more happy, easy and contented! Extracted from the Gentleman’s Magazine, London.

STORY OF HENRY THE VIIIth.
KING OF ENGLAND.

As King Henry VIII. was hunting in Windsor-forest one day, he desired to be left by himrelf. Upon which, he struck down about dinner-time to Reading, where he disguised himself in the habit of a yeoman of the King’s guard; for one of whom, by his stature and figure, he might well pass. He went to the abbey, and was invited to dine at the Abbot’s table. A Sir-Loin of beef was set before him (so knighted, saith tradition, by this King Henry) on which his Majesty laid on lustily, not disgracing the coat of a king's beef-eater, for whom he was taken. “Well-fare thy heart, quoth the Abbot, and here is a cup of sack, I remember the health of his Grace your master. I would give an hundred pounds, upon the condition that I could feed so heartily on beef as you do. Alas! my weak and squeamish stomach will hardly digest the wing of a small rabbit or chicken." The King merely pledged him, and heartily thanking him for his good cheer after dinner departed undiscovered.

Some weeks after, the Abbot was sent for by a king's messenger, brought up to London, clapped in the Tower, kept close prifoner, and fed for several days with bread and water only. The Abbot’s mind was sorely disquieted with thoughts and suspicions how he might have incurred the King’s displeasure. At last the day came on which a Sir-Loin of beef was set before him; on which the Abbot fed like a farmer of his grange, and verified the proverb, that "two hungry meals make the third a glutton.” In bolts King Henry, out of a private lobby, where he had placed himself the invisible spectator of the Aobot's beliaviour. “My Lord, quoth the king, lay down immediately your hundred pounds in gold, or else there shall be no going hence for you for all the days of your life. I have been your physician; I have cured you of your squeamish stomach and here, as I deserve I demand my reward for the same.”

The Abbot, glad to escape so, deposited the cash, and returned to Reading, murmuring, at the severity of the doctor’s regimen, and the exorbitance of his fees.

Recipe for Lowness of Spirits.

Take one ounce of spirit of resolution, properly mixed with the oil of good conscience, infuse into it a spoonful of the salt of patience, distil very carefully a composing plant called, OTHERS WOES, which you will find in every part of the garden of life, growing under the broad leaves of disguise; some drops of this will very much assist the salts of patience in their operation; gather a handful of blossoms of hope, sweeten these properly with the balm of providence, if you can procure any of the genuine cordial of true friendship, you will have the most valuable medicine that can be administered; but take care of a counterfeit kind which is very common, is entirely different in its nature, though very like it in its appearance, and whose proper name is self-interest; a small drop of this poisonous plant is sufficient to spoil the whole composition - Make these ingredients into pills, which you may ca(illegible text)e pill's of comfort; take one every night as you lie down to rest, and when you awake in the morning.


Comparisons of Drunkenness.

As drunk as an Owl -— as drunk as a sow — as drunk as a beggar — as drunk as the Devil — as drunk as a Lord. The explanation of which is as follows.

A man is as drunk as an Owl, when he cannot see: He is as drunk as a Sow, when he tumbles in the dirt: He is as drunk as a Beggar, when he is very impudent: He is as drunk as the Devil, when he is inclined to mischief: And as drunk as a Lord, when he is every thing that is bad.

An Irish gentleman, previous to a trial in which he wass the defendant, was informed by his counsel, that if there were any of the jury to whom he had any personal objections to legally "challenge them;" O yes replied the Irishman, so I will; if they don't bring me off handsomely, I will challenge every man of them.

FINIS.

Falkirk, Printed by T. Johnston; Of whom may be had
variety of Pamphlets & Ballads in wholesale & retail.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.