34 Glimpses of Our Ancestors.
Alas! for the frailty of human nature. Close upon the above is the following:—"Sunday, 28th, went down to Jones, where we drank one bowl of punch and two muggs of bumboo; and I came home again in liquor. Oh! with what horrors does it fill my heart, to think I should be guilty of doing so, and on a Sunday, too ! Let me once more endeavour never, no never, to be guilty of the same again."
Can any reader tell us what " bumboo " is ? But perhaps it is as well they should not know !
It is amusing, but scarcely edifying, to find our diarist perfectly awake to the enormity of his offence, and yet still offending. "In the evening"—so runs one of his entries— " I read part of the fourth volume of the Tatler; the oftener I read it the better I like it. I think I never found the vice of drinking so well exploded in my life as in one of the numbers."
So of his attendance, or rather non-attendance, at church. He plainly saw the right road and he followed the wrong one.
Yet never was a man—who kept a diary—less disposed to screen his weaknesses, or more ready to lay the lash upon his own back! In the making of good resolutions, too, he was decidedly strong. We have had some specimens. Here is another:—"June 20th. This is my birthday, in which I enter the 29th year of my age; and may I, as I grow in years, so continue to increase in goodness; for, as my exit must every day draw nearer, so may I every day become more enamoured with the prospect of the happiness of another world, and more entirely dead to the follies and vanities of this transitory world."
The next entry, June 21, is a curious comment on this:—
" June 21 st. Attended the funeral of Master Goldsmith at Waldron ; this was the merriest funeral that ever I saw, for I can safely say there was no crying."
There is, indeed, throughout Mr. Turner's diary a comical contradiction of precept and action. The writer is a sage