BOOK XVIII. CONTAINING ABOUT SIX DAYS.
1. Chapter i. A farewel to the reader.
A farewel to the reader.
We are now, reader, arrived at the last stage of our long journey. As
we have, therefore, travelled together through so many pages, let us
behave to one another like fellow-travellers in a stage coach, who
have passed several days in the company of each other; and who,
notwithstanding any bickerings or little animosities which may have
occurred on the road, generally make all up at last, and mount, for
the last time, into their vehicle with chearfulness and good humour;
since after this one stage, it may possibly happen to us, as it
commonly happens to them, never to meet more.
As I have here taken up this simile, give me leave to carry it a
little farther. I intend, then, in this last book, to imitate the good
company I have mentioned in their last journey. Now, it is well known
that all jokes and raillery are at this time laid aside; whatever
characters any of the passengers have for the jest-sake personated on
the road are now thrown off, and the conversation is usually plain and
In the same manner, if I have now and then, in the course of this
work, indulged any pleasantry for thy entertainment, I shall here lay
it down. The variety of matter, indeed, which I shall be obliged to
cram into this book, will afford no room for any of those ludicrous
observations which I have elsewhere made, and which may sometimes,
perhaps, have prevented thee from taking a nap when it was beginning
to steal upon thee. In this last book thou wilt find nothing (or at
most very little) of that nature. All will be plain narrative only;
and, indeed, when thou hast perused the many great events which this
book will produce, thou wilt think the number of pages contained in it
scarce sufficient to tell the story.