The Wayfarer’s Song, Installment 7

November 10, 2014

An Experiment in point of view.

This, I believe is still true, be not deceived. There are humbugs here of every profession, the creed of mankind go on in dealing with one another, if that half the world was made well to swindle the other. Like a babe, the wayfarer must be a likable sort of humbug to survive: there is no titbit at Fortuna’s teat for an infantile curmudgeon. Unmanly modern Adams like to attribute their own personal downfalls along with those of their children to weakness in their wives or mothers.

William Moraley (1699-1762) lived as at a time of ambivalent populist religious conversations; he was a man who felt cruelly scratched by Fortuna. Moraley traveled to the North American colonies as an indentured servant to be purchased in the Mid-Atlantic region during the 1720s. Poor Moraley tried his hand at verse without much success (his meter is not much worse than mine). Throughout his life, Dame Fortune appeared to oppress. A financial failure in his homeland, he was mired in poverty. Despite attaining an education in the law, Latin, history, theology, math, and science, he could not find employment as a watchmaker – at least in a pinch I can cobble my own boots. Sadly, mass production transformed skilled industries making many artisans redundant to machinery. Moraley was imprisoned for debts and thrown into a metaphorical pit, signing a contract of indenture to gain passage to colonial North America became his means to climb up out of the pit.

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