The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by T Smollett Page 1 of 993
An Account of Mr. Gamaliel Pickle - The Disposition of his Sister described - He yields to her Solicitations, and returns to the Country.
In a certain county of England, bounded on one side by the sea, and at the distance of one hundred miles from the metropolis, lived Gamaliel Pickle, esq.; the father of that hero whose fortunes we propose to record.
He was the son of a merchant in London, who, like Rome, from small beginnings had raised himself to the highest honours of the city, and acquired a plentiful fortune, though, to his infinite regret, he died before it amounted to a plum, conjuring his son, as he respected the last injunction of a parent, to imitate his industry, and adhere to his maxims, until he should have made up the deficiency, which was a sum considerably less than fifteen thousand pounds.
This pathetic remonstrance had the desired effect upon his representative, who spared no pains to fulfil the request of the deceased: but exerted all the capacity with which nature had endowed him, in a series of efforts, which, however, did not succeed; for by the time he had been fifteen years in trade, he found himself five thousand pounds worse than he was when he first took possession of his father's effects; a circumstance that affected him so nearly, as to detach his inclinations from business, and induce him to retire from the world to some place where he might at leisure deplore his misfortunes, and, by frugality, secure himself from want, and the apprehensions of a jail, with which his imagination was incessantly haunted.
He was often heard to express his fears of coming upon the parish; and to bless God, that, on account of his having been so long a housekeeper, he was entitled to that provision.