it was below him to inspect his books, he committed all that to his clerks and book-keepers; and while he found money in cash to pay the maltman and the excise, and put some in his pocket, he was perfectly easy and indolent, let the main chance go how it would.
I foresaw the consequence of this, and attempted several times to persuade him to apply himself to his business; I put him in mind how his customers complained of the neglect of his servants on one hand, and how abundance broke in his debt, on the other hand, for want of the clerk's care to secure him, and the like; but he thrust me by, eitherwith hard words, or fraudulently, with representing the cases otherwise than they were.
However, to cut short a dull story, which ought not to be long, he began to find his trade sunk, his stock declined, and that, in short, he could not carry on his business, and once or twice his brewing utensils were extended for the excise; and, the last time, he was put to great extremities to clear them.
This alarmed him, and he resolved to lay down his trade; which, indeed, I was not sorry for; foreseeing that if he did not lay it down in time, he would be forced to do it another way, namely, as a bankrupt. Also I was willing he should draw out while he had something left, lest I should come to be stripped at home, and be turned out of doors with my children; for I had now five children by him, the only work (perhaps) that fools are good for.
I thought myself happy when he got another man to take his brewhouse clear off his hands; for, paying down a large sum of money, my husband found himself a clear man, all his debts paid, and with between two and three thousand pounds in his pocket; and being now obliged to remove from the brewhouse, we took a house at ——, a village about two miles out of town; and happy I thought myself, all things considered, that I was got off clear, upon so good terms; and had my handsome fellow had but one capful of wit, I had been still well enough.
I proposed to him either to buy some place with the money, or with part of it, and offered to join my part to it, which was then in being, and might have been secured; so we might have lived tolerably at least during his life. But, as it is the part of a fool to be void of counsel, so he neglected it, lived on as he did before, kept his horses and men, rid every day out to the forest a-hunting, and nothing was done all this while; but the money decreased apace, and I thought I saw my ruin hastening on without any possible way to prevent it.
I was not wanting with all that persuasions and entreaties could perform, but it was all fruitless; representing to him how fast our money wasted, and what would be our condition when it was gone, made no impression on him; but like one stupid, he went on, not valuing all that tears and lamentations could be supposed to do; nor did he abate his figure or equipage, his horses or servants, e v en to the last, till he had not a hundred pounds left in the whole world.
It was not above three years that all the ready money was thus spending off; yet he spent it, as I may say, foolishly too, for he kept no valuable company neither, but generally with huntsmen and horse-coursers, and men meaner than himself, which is another consequence of a man's being a fool; such can never take delight in men more wise and capable than themselves, and that makes them converse with scoundrels, drink belch with porters, and keep company always below themselves.