The Seven Poor Travellers - Charles Dickens - Страница 1 из 37


Transcribed from the 1894 Chapman and Hall edition of "Christmas Stories"
by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk
THE SEVEN POOR TRAVELLERS--IN THREE CHAPTERS
CHAPTER I--IN THE OLD CITY OF ROCHESTER
Strictly speaking, there were only six Poor Travellers; but, being a
Traveller myself, though an idle one, and being withal as poor as I hope
to be, I brought the number up to seven. This word of explanation is due
at once, for what says the inscription over the quaint old door?
RICHARD WATTS, Esq.
by his Will, dated 22 Aug. 1579,
founded this Charity
for Six poor Travellers,
who not being ROGUES, or PROCTORS,
May receive gratis for one Night,
Lodging, Entertainment,
and Fourpence each.
It was in the ancient little city of Rochester in Kent, of all the good
days in the year upon a Christmas-eve, that I stood reading this
inscription over the quaint old door in question. I had been wandering
about the neighbouring Cathedral, and had seen the tomb of Richard Watts,
with the effigy of worthy Master Richard starting out of it like a ship's
figure-head; and I had felt that I could do no less, as I gave the Verger
his fee, than inquire the way to Watts's Charity. The way being very
short and very plain, I had come prosperously to the inscription and the
quaint old door.
"Now," said I to myself, as I looked at the knocker, "I know I am not a
Proctor; I wonder whether I am a Rogue!"
Upon the whole, though Conscience reproduced two or three pretty faces
which might have had smaller attraction for a moral Goliath than they had


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