Qui Studiis annos Septem dedit, Insenuitque
Libris et Curis, Statuâ taciturnius Exit
Plerumque, et Risu populum Quatit.

LONDON: Printed for the AUTHOR, And sold by H. GARDNER, opposite St. Cle­ment's Church in the Strand; and J. BEW, Paternoster-Row.



HAVING now finished my first Volume, for I consider it as a great Piece of Folly, or Presumption, or perhaps both, to prepare an elaborate Preface for a Work absolutely Non-existent; inasmuch as it implies a Man's being perfectly satisfied with his own Capability of Writing some­thing worth Publishing, (for if it should not be worth publishing, a [Page 2] Preface to it would certainly be needless,) and likewise as it is contrary to the received and esta­blished Custom of Mankind in most other Matters; which, if I thought fit, I could prove by a Variety of Instances. Having finish­ed my first Volume I say then; and if Horace's Doctrine of "Dimidium facti qui Cepit habet;" that is, "He who has begun has half done," be true; I, who have actually got through the Dimidium or half of my Work, may, by a Parity of Reasoning, and according to the Rule of Proportions, be very fairly said to have completed it entirely: I begin to think fit that it should be embellished with some Sort of Prefatory, Introductory, Dedica­tory Discourse; and not having [Page 3] much Time to spare at present, I design the following Pages shall answer any or all of these several Ends, according as I shall find it convenient. As for the Dedicatees, or People to be dedicated to, hav­ing maturely deliberated on that Matter, I deem it most proper to address myself with the utmost Gratitude to my very generous Friends and Benefactors, as I hope they will be, the Circulating Li­brarians of this Kingdom, paying them in advance (which I think ought to weigh something with them,) my unfeigned Thanks for their very vigorous and spirited Exertions in promoting the exten­sive Sale of this little Production; and at the same Time humbly in­treating them, if they should find [Page 4] no farther mention of their very respectable Selves in the Course of this Literary Midwife of mine, which, like other Midwives, has more necessary Matters than Com­pliments to attend to, that they will not give way to the Instiga­tions of a wrathful Effervescence, but will content themselves, like good Tradesmen, with the promis­sory Note of an Author, which I here give them my Honour shall be found payable at Sight in the Conclusion, with all due Ceremo­nies of dedicatory Reverence, the foregoing Sentences no ways im­peding or hindering the same.

And now it may perhaps be ex­pected, that I should give some concise Account of the general Plan and Fable of my Book, toge­ther [Page 5] with the Reasons that first in­duced me to set about it, not for­getting a Variety of pretty Apolo­gies for the Inaccuracy of the Stile, and Infinity of other Defects which it may be supposed to abound with, which, however, it is hoped will be all passed over, as the Author composed it entirely in the Course of three Weeks, "Stans Pede in Uno," or when he was on a Journey, or when he was hardly recovered from a severe Fit of Illness, and the like. And Pleas of this Sort I well know are considered by many Authors as a sufficient Excuse for the utmost Ebullitions of Folly, as if writing Nonsense with Faci­lity was any great Merit: nay, so perfectly are their Minds satisfied with this Salvo, that should the [Page 6] discriminating Stomach of the Public find any accidental Nausea in swallowing the Bolus, after it has been daubed with this apologe­tical Gilding, they do not scruple to anathematize them altogether, as the most illiterate, illiberal, undis­cerning Blockheads that ever existed. Now, in my Opinion, all this ag­gravates the Fault instead of pal­liating it; nor can I possibly con­ceive more than one Case or Situa­tion where these Arguments can be valid or admissible, and that is, the Compulsio ex Paupertate. Anglicè, when a Man is a good deal behind Hand in the World, and is afraid of being troubled by his Landlord. And this not happening to be my Case at present, for I paid up to the End of my Quarter but Thurs­day [Page 7] was Se'nnight last past, I entirely lose the Benefit of the Exception, and am absolutely under an Obli­gation to write both Sense and Grammar according to my own Dogma. "Well, but as to the Plot and Characters of the Novel; some Sketch of these will be very proper and necessary, and will doubtless be generally expected." I shall certainly be thought a very rude Fellow, when I declare, that if this is the Case, I am heartily sorry for it, inasmuch as all this general Expectation will doubtless be disappointed. Any Thing that bears the Appearance of a Chapter of Contents I utterly explode, and for very substantial Reasons too: which Reasons are not substantial merely because I chuse to think them so, [Page 8] but are really, and in themselves, Seipsis, Reasons good and substan­tial; as I will presently prove, all the Rules of Aristotle and the An­cients, with their Prologusses and Chorusses, and Protasisses, &c. &c. notwithstanding.

In their Dramatic Exhibitions and Theatres-Royal indeed, (pre­supposing that their Regulations concerning Box-keepers, and no Money to be returned after the Curtain is drawn up, were the same as ours,) all these Pieces of Infor­mation might do well enough per­haps; for the Five Shillings being once paid, it signified little to the Author or Manager, though it might contribute somewhat to in­crease the Ennui of the Auditor; whether one was let into the Plot [Page 9] of something exceedingly stupid, plump—all at once, or was left to fish it out by Degrees, as the Play proceeded, Gradatim et Pede­tentim. But in the Case of a mo­dern Novel, it is widely different. For, supposing that is explained in the Preface; Miss sends for it after Breakfast, skims the six or eight first Pages without cutting open the Leaves, and if, from Want of Taste or Discernment, (for we can­not suppose the Author in fault,) she happens to dislike either all the Characters, or any one of them; the general Plan of the Whole; the Beginning, the Middle, or the Catastrophe; it is returned imme­diately to her Bookseller with the verbal Satisfaction arising from her informing him, that ‘She was [Page 10] very sorry for the Trouble she had given him, but that her Ser­vant had made a Mistake, that it was the wrong Book, 'twas not the Book she wanted,’ or the like futile Apology; and there is so much clear Loss out of the Author's and Bookseller's Pocket. Now, if on the other Hand, she is obliged to read the Book through to come at the Contents of it, she must cut open the Leaves; if she cuts open the Leaves, she is obliged to pay for the Book; and if she is obliged to pay for the Book, there is so much clear gain into the Author's and Bookseller's Pocket. Besides, she will then find Entertainment in it; for the Goad of Curiosity, (which in the other Case is entirely taken away,) now acting upon her, every [Page 11] Thing is seen through a different Medium: Dense Sayings become rare; dull, brilliant; and she now gets thro' with the utmost Satis­faction, what would otherwise have seemed as tiresome and fatiguing, had she been condemned to read it, as lulling her Father to sleep with the Psalms and Lessons on a Sunday Evening.

All I shall say therefore, is, that I take Characters as I find them; so that if there are any Objections made on that Score, as that they are unnatural, disagreeable, or the like; the Charge will all lie at their own Doors, and I, being but an humble Copier, wash my Hands of it. Thus much, however, I freely declare, to avoid the Grumb­lings and Ill-will of such as esti­mate [Page 12] the Value of a Novel by the Number of Peers and Countesses it contains; that from the Begin­ning to the End of my Book, they will find neither a Duke of B—, nor a Marquis of C—, nor D—, nor any one Member of the Upper-house whatsoever; no, not even in Disguise. A mere sim­ple Baronet or two, and those but odd ones, are my most dignified Male Characters; and as to my Females, they are all—Common. Neither do I think I have any Thing exactly adapted to the Pa­lates of those blood-thirsty Gentle­women who delight in Duels be­tween Lovers, and shooting High­waymen, and the like Sorts of En­tertainment: for though we have one Military Man amongst us, he [Page 13] is not particularly attached to such barbarous Pastimes, owing perhaps to the Scenes of Slaughter he has been present at in America, which he has quitted but just Time enough to give me a little Assist­ance. I feel indeed, (and surely I may be permitted to flatter myself that in this Affair at least I can see as far into Futurity as any other blind Tiresias,) a certain unac­countable Presentiment that some of my Characters, being naturally turbulent, will fall out and quar­rel amongst themselves before I have done with them, in spite of all my Endeavours to the contrary. Lest this should be the Case how­ever, I here beg Leave to premise, as before in the Article of Dis­agreeableness, that it is all their [Page 14] own doing; and if the Conse­quences by any Accident should be sanguinary, it will be entirely for their own Amusement and Satis­faction. For my Part, I am too much of a Christian not to join in the Litany with the utmost Fervour and Sincerity, for Deliverance ‘from all Battle and Murder, and from sudden Death.’

As to my Sentimental Readers, if any such there should be; for them indeed I have procured a very va­luable, curious, and interesting Manuscript. It was given me by an intimate Friend of mine, who met with it by Accident; and though it is written by no higher Character than a Lady's Maid, I think I may venture to pronounce it very far from contemptible. I [Page 15] declare, moreover, as an additional Gratification, that if any Person or Persons of this Stamp should perceive their Patience fail them in coming at it in the regular Course of Read­ing; I will save such the Trouble of spitting on their Thumbs to turn the Leaves over, by informing them that it is to be found some­where towards the latter End of this first Volume, I forget exactly the Number of the Page. And now, having given People in gene­ral, as much Satisfaction as I think proper, I mean to fill the Re­mainder of my Preface with a Dissertation on a Greek Verb and a Compound Pronoun.

[...], Nosce Teipsum, or Know Thyself, as it has been differently rendered in the different [Page 16] Languages, was the Saying of an old Grecian Philosopher, whose Name I know nothing about. Now, though that Maxim might be a very good one, and highly serviceable in those Days, when it was the Fashion for Men to run away from their Relations, lose themselves in some great Wood, (of Science I mean,) and letting their Beards grow, commence Brutes or Philosophers, or some­times both, just as it happened; yet I cannot help entertaining a very different Opinion of its Ex­cellency when applied to our pre­sent System of Things. I presume it is granted, that nothing is more fickle than Fashion, or more subject to an infinite Variety of Changes. That at one Time we [Page 17] see every Body with Waists as high as their Arm-pits, and Skirts hang­ing as long and as aukwardly from the Shoulder, "as an old Lady's loose Gown." By and by, the Waist is dropt to the Kneeband, and the Skirts and Pockets look like those of a Town Footman's Powdering Jacket, or the Remains of a tall Rogue's Thieving Coat, that had left eight or ten Inches of its length in a Nursery-Man's Steel-Trap. One Minute, nobody can appear with a Button bigger than a drop Ear-ring, or the End of a young Toadstool; the next, nothing but Plates and Pot-lids go down; and if some odd Fellow by Accident appears in a Suit of Cloaths fifty Years behind hand, he is considered as absolutely Antediluvian and Hot­tentottish. [Page 18] And is there not then a Fashion in quaint Sayings and pithy Apopthegms as well as in Dress? Would not that be looked upon as gross Bawdry, and an Affront to the Company where it was spoken, in these chaste Days of original Purity, which would have been considered as a very good Joke in Charles the Second's Time, even for a Maid of Honour to have laughed at? And this being the Case, can any thing be more absurd and ridiculous than to see Men now-a-days (fol­lowing that old Piece of Advice of two or three Thousand Years stand­ing,) lock themselves up in their Libraries, (for in the Woods they would probably be exposed to the Exercise of being hunted at pre­sent, or might be passed to their [Page 19] Parishes, or sent to the House of Correction as Vagrants, or sentenced to Ballast-heaving as Thieves, or to Bedlam as Mad-men, or to Brooks's in the Hay-Market as Porcupine-Men; or fifty other Ac­cidents might happen, which would burst the Barriers of my Parenthesis, if I attempted to insert them,) and taking the Nosce Teipsum in an ex­clusive Sense, determine to know nobody but themselves; so that if their Ceiling happens to fall in, or they are burnt out of their Labo­ratory, or any extraordinary Event of that Sort drives them into the World; they stare about them, and start, and run to hide themselves in the first Hole they can meet with, like a Spider that's poked out of his Cobweb. Besides, if [Page 20] they are so obstinately bigotted to this old Saying, let them follow it according to the new Translation, which is still highly fashionable, and is now generally believed to be the right one. All the Grammars that I ever read, conjugate the first Per­son singular of Verbs Active in the following Manner. Let us suppose, for Instance, the Verb, KNOW, and let us suppose the old Grecian delivering his Precept to me with a grave Face and dirty Beard, in English, (for I will not make any farther Display of my Greek and Latin Knowledge, for fear of Puz­zling my Readers,) "Know Thy­self." I begin to conjugate, (hav­ing first turned my Eyes inwards a little, to see whether his Advice was necessary,) Indicative Mood, [Page 21] first Person singular, I know, am knowing, or — and the Thing is done. For add the Compound Pronoun, Myself, addendo; I am knowing myself; then transpose, transponendo, I myself am knowing; id est, I am keen, I am deep, I am a damned clever Fellow, &c. &c. and here you have all the Advan­tage of the old Grecian's Advice, and keep Company with People of Fashion into the Bargain.

In those ancient Times, indeed, when Men never felt themselves Easy without two or three hundred Weight of Iron or Brass upon their Shoulders; when their Fingers were always itching to cut one another's Throats for Diversion; when their Kings and Generals were for ever vapouring and flourishing their [Page 22] Swords about, like a Parcel of Children, insomuch that if we may believe Homer, they would sometimes kill their own Butchers-meat to keep their Hands in: When all this was the Case I say, a quiet peaceable Man, who would at any Time rather fall to sleep than to fighting, might be much in the Right, taking the Saying in its old Acceptation, to run away and hide himself. But in these Days of Tranquillity and Civilization, when nothing of this Kind is to be feared; when People generally take off their Swords before they sit down to Dinner; when the Excellency of our Police is such, that a Man may walk for a Fortnight together about the Streets and Roads of the Metropolis, as safely as in his own [Page 23] Bedchamber; when our very Duels are all amicably adjusted, and after a Flash in the Pan, (praise be to the Monk who first invented Gun­powder!) terminate to the Satis­faction of all Parties: Surely, when Things are in this Situation — The best Way to avoid Ill-will and Censure is, to let every Reader form his own Judgment upon it.

O Learning! thou fair maturing Sun of Genius! without whose fostering Influence it shoots and flourishes indeed, but brings no Fruit to Perfection: How is thy Cause injured by the churlish Bi­gotry of thy Professors! How [Page 24] much unmerited Contempt hath that Gloom of Literary Superstition brought on thee and on thy Doctrines! How many promising Hopes and Expectations hath it suppressed and sunk for ever! Like Religion thou art lovely and amiable! Like Religion thou hast been perverted and Abused! Thy Ways are Ways of Pleasantness, and all thy Paths are Peace! Thou comest as a Fa­ther to his Child, not as a Tyrant to his Slave. But thy Teachers have cloathed thee with Pride, they have armed thee with all the Ter­rors of Persecution! By thine Enemies thou never could'st be injured: For the Pedantry of thine own Children thou art too often undeservedly despised.

[Page 25]
I am, Gentlemen, With the utmost Sincerity of Submission, Your most accidentally Biographical Caricature—istical Dat—Dicat—Dedicat—orial Humble Servant, Slave, and Blackamoor, To the Tune of as much Money As you think proper to give me for my Compli­ments, The AUTHOR.

Learning at a Loss, &c.


ONCE more, my Dear Friend, I am seated in my Chambers [...]t the Temple; surrounded as usual, with a ridiculous Confusion of Litter and Literature; my Chairs and Tables covered with Pamphlets and Powder, and Dust and Law-books, [Page 28] and in short every Thing exactly as I left it six Weeks ago. Well, thought I, as I cast my Eye round my Apartments, a Temple Laundress is nothing but a new Edition of an University Bedmaker! However, there is some Satisfaction and Advantage in being able to leave one's Papers in what Corner of the Room one pleases, without running the Risque of their being turned over and methodized with a Broom or a Duster.

In the mean Time my Servant had shut up the Windows, lighted the Fire and two half Candles that remained in the Sconces, and re­tired; and I, throwing myself upon my Sopha, tried I believe for near an hour to persuade myself that I had never been from Home. But [Page 29] finding Reality too strong for Ima­gination, I began seriously to ru­minate upon what had passed dur­ing the Interval. My last Letter I think was written just before I set out on my Expedition to that Centre of Gaiety, Bath; and I have not heard from you these two Months. Since then, what Changes and Vicissitudes have I experienced! In short, that Day which like Death, must sooner or later come upon all Men, has overtaken me. I am desperately in Love! Not so bad indeed as to prevent or suspend the common Animal Operations of Eating Drinking and Sleeping, nor yet so bad as to make me prefer a hard flinty Pavement to a good Featherbed. No—"My Wound," (for you know People in Love are [Page 30] always supposed to be wounded) ‘is not so deep as a Well, nor so wide as a Church Door, but 'tis enough, 'twill serve: Ask for me to-morrow, and you shall find me a Grave Man.’ And now for the Manner in which I received it. I had hardly been at Bath three Days, when, as I was drop­ping into the Pump-room accord­ing to my Morning custom, I saw a tall elegant Girl about eighteen or twenty, supporting a miserable old Lump of Chalkstones, who was drinking the Waters. I will not attempt a Description of her, as every Man is apt to deal in Hy­perbole on these Occasions, and talk of Orange-flower Breath, and Pearls and Rubies, (as if he was thinking of the Trinkets that must [Page 31] be bought if he married her,) till he turns his Mistress into a Green­house or a Jeweller's Shop with his Compliments. However, if you are very desirous of seeing her Pic­ture drawn, you may find one ready cut and dried and fit for use in most Novels. In short, she was

Fairer far than Painters form
Or youthful Poets fancy when they love.

that is, she pleased me, and entirely came up to my Idea of Female Per­fection. As soon as the old Fellow was drenched sufficiently, and had taken himself out of the Pump-room, I enquired his Home, &c. of the Naiad that attends there; and in the Course of five Minute's Conversation, was informed that he was a Mr. Hartley, that he had been at Bath about a Fortnight, [Page 32] that the young Lady was his Daughter and only Child, that she was said to have a very large For­tune, and finally, was to be at the Ball next Evening. A lucky Gleam of Recollection at this Instant re­minded me that I had often heard my Father talk of him, and that, when a Child, I had seen him at our House. Upon the Strength of this paternal Acquaintance, I de­termined to introduce myself, and accordingly made my Appearance at his Door the next Morning about Breakfast Time. I found the old Gentleman in his Night-cap and Slippers, pothering over the News­paper, and his Charmante fille on the opposite Side of the Table, pouring out the Tea. Having seated myself by him, both that I [Page 33] might have a more advantageous View of my Goddess, and that I might appear to pay him the greater Respect, I began to explain who I was; and having mentioned some Circumstances which I luckily re­membered to have heard from my Father concerning their Acquain­tance together, the old Gentleman whipt off his Spectacles in an In­stant, and laying down his Paper, first shook me heartily by the Hand, and immediately afterwards resuming the former Part of his Apparatus, stared me full in the Face for near a Minute to discover whether there was any Family Likeness. He was fortunate enough to perceive a very strong one, which was more than ever I have been able to do in my Life, However, [Page 34] it served to increase his Civility to me, and we soon became very inti­mate. His Wife it seems has been dead several Years, and he calls his own Age between Sixty and Seven­ty, tho' the frequent Gouty At­tacks he has undergone, make him look older. He talked over a vast Heap of Family Matters, and seemed to consider me as an Ac­quaintance of twenty Years stand­ing. Thanks to my Father for it! In the mean Time his Daughter was not idle. I burnt my Mouth horribly with a scalding Dish of Tea she presented me, from paying greater Attention to the Giver than the Gift. She frequently joined in our Discourse, and was full of Life and Vivacity. You may sup­pose I exerted myself, and as a [Page 35] Reward for my Labour, was happy enough before I left the House, to obtain her own and her Father's Permission to dance with her that Evening. Adieu, my Servant has just brought in Supper, which obliges me to defer the Sequel of my Adventures till another Post.

Yours, sincerely, W. Easy.


Dear Charles,

MY last I think concluded with a Promise of some far­ther Account of my amatorial Pro­ceedings. I now sit down to fulfil that Promise, and at the same Time to ask your Advice in regard to my future Measures. Really, I am very much in love with this Girl. The more I think of her, the more I admire her good Sense and Viva­city; and though in Case of a Refusal, I should neither shoot nor [Page 37] drown, yet if I ever am to marry, most fervently do I pray that she may be the Person. Books now are become quite a Bore to me.— And not merely Legal ones, which you know I never received much Entertainment from, but History, Geography, and even my Favour­ites the Poets, seem insipid and fatiguing, unless they treat of Love. To return to my History. According to Appointment, I was made happy with Miss Hartley's Hand at the Ball, and before she quitted Bath, became perfectly intimate with her Father, and I flatter myself, not utterly disagree­able to herself. He is really a very honest good sort of Being, but like every body else has his Foible, [Page 38] which however is an innocent one, and in some Degree hereditary. His Father was a Man, who to good natural Parts, had added a considerable Fund of acquired Knowledge: He, seeing with the Eyes of a Parent, unluckily sup­poses this Son possessed of the same Degree of the one, and consequent­ly determines he shall not be defi­cient in the other. With this View he is sent to the University, and both his Terms and Vacations employed in all the Perplexities of Science either with his Tutor, or at Home. By and by, the old Man dies; and the Son, having always been taught to suppose himself clever, takes his Father's Word for the Truth of it, and [Page 39] invitâ Minervâ, continues to this Day wandering in the self same Labyrinths, and paying the most obsequious Respect to every Man he hears spoken of for Literary Eminence. You may be assured I humoured this ridiculous Passion, and routed out all my Stock of University Learning upon the Oc­casion. Upon my Honour, when I had rubbed it up a little, I was surprized to find how it shone, like a Piece of old Family Plate; tho' the more refined and subtle Parts of it were in some Degree evapo­rated. Miss Hartley, if I may credit the Language of the Eyes, which I consider as ocular Demon­stration, has declared she does not absolutely hate me, and has half [Page 40] promised to take the first Oppor­tunity of Writing. I wish I knew how to believe her! They are now at a Relation's near Reading, on a Visit, but will soon be in Town, when I shall not omit the Renewal of my Acquaintance.

Adieu, W. Easy.

Miss HARTLEY to Miss RUGG.

My Dear Girl,

HOW many thousand fine Speeches and Apologies have I to make for your Goodness in writing so often whilst I was at Bath, and my own Neglect in never once answering you. Really my Dear, if you are unmerciful in your Demands upon me, I must take out a Statute of Bankruptcy at once, and oblige you to be satisfied with so much in the Pound. Be­sides, I have very good Reasons for my long Silence. An incessant [Page 42] Round of Dressing and Undressing, Plays, Balls, and Diversions of one Sort or other, hardly left me a Moment to myself; and when this was the Case, I dare say you would not have wished me to stu­pify myself with Scribbling.

Heigh ho! Do you know any Gentleman by the Name of Easy? I danced with him one Night at the Rooms. He introduced him­self to my Father under pretence of an old Family Connection, and we hardly ever stirred without him afterwards. An old Family Con­nection! Do you think my Vanity would suffer me to believe that, my Dear? Is it likely that a hand­some young Fellow of six or seven and Twenty, should hunt out a Man old enough to be his Grand­father, [Page 43] for the Sake of a Family Connection? No, no; if there is any Truth in that Part of the Story, I fancy he thinks the Traces of it are so nearly worn out, that it is Time to strengthen them with a new one. Let me hear your pretty serious Sentiments upon this, and quickly too, if you mean to write at all; for in a Fortnight I hope to be in London, and then—who knows what may happen to,

Yours, most affectionately, Catharine Hartley.
[Page 44]

I had almost forgot to tell you that we are now at Staples, with that wretched Antique Sir Anthony Artichoke, a second Cousin of my Uncle's Wife's Brother-in-law, whom my Father chuses to call a Relation, because he puzzles him in the dead Languages when­ever they meet.


AND so my very good Friend and Companion, William Easy, Esquire, is at last professedly in Love; and willing to exchange the Indolence of a Law Student for the laborious Operations of regu­lating a Family, and chewing Pap for his Children. Really I think he is very much in the Right. For my own Part, though I have now been married above a Twelve-month, which according to the present Way of Thinking, is a little Eternity, and have been in [Page 46] the Country almost ever since; I do not yet find my Wife's Company at all Ennuyeuse or fatiguing, nor have I once wished for a Repetition of the Gallantries I was engaged in during my Travels. I think I may now venture to intrust you with thus much of my Mind, without fear of being laughed at as an uxorious Rustic, which I know would have been the Case half a Year ago. The Amusements of the Field, the Company of my Friends, some of whom have been in the House ever since you left us; and now and then that miserable Dernier ressort to all People of Ton, one's own Wife; have really been to me a very sufficient Source of Happiness and Satisfaction. Besides, I have been engaged with a continued [Page 47] Series of Alterations both in House and Grounds, under the Auspices of those two great Luminaries, Wyatt and Brown. Upon my Ho­nour that same Wyatt is a Fellow of very superior Talents. There is something so majestically Simple in his Ideas, so contrary to the minute Frippery of the Generality, that I am really in Raptures with him. The Metamorphoses he has made in my House are the Effect of Magic. He has digested and me­thodized that rude Chaos of Anti-chambers, and Closets, and "Pas­sages that lead to nothing," which our ridiculous Ancestors were so fond of, and for which you may remember my Habitation was par­ticularly eminent. There is now a very excellent Suite of Apartments [Page 48] in Embrio; and the haunted Par­lour with marble-coloured Wains­cot will make an incomparable Drawing-Room. And all this since you was down with me last Summer. By the Bye, I desire that from this Time forth for evermore, you direct your Letters to Charles Mel­moth, Esq Melmoth-Place; as I, being determined the Name of my Seat shall not survive the Barbarism that authorized it, have, without Act of Parliament, and relying upon my own Authority as Justice of the Peace, issued Orders to all Constables, Headboroughs, &c. in the County of Norfolk, to wit, that they do by all legal Methods suppress and destroy the original Appellation of Holly-hock Hall, and [Page 49] in its stead substitute Melmoth-Place aforesaid.

But perhaps you begin to think this very little to the Purpose of your Amour; and as every body is most fond of talking and writing about their own Affairs, I must confess I had almost forgot myself. However, I wish you may succeed with all my Heart, and in regard to Advice or Consultation, will de­fer it for about a Fortnight, when I design visiting London for a few Weeks, and entering for the Time being into all the Vanity of Metro­politan Diversions. So Farewell.

Yours ever, Charles Melmoth.

Miss HARTLEY to Miss RUGG.

HOW very unlucky and per­verse our Motions are! One would think the cross-grained Fel­low your Uncle contrived it on purpose. Thursday Evening I once more set Foot in London, having escaped from a miserable State of Bond-Slavery at Staples, where we had dragged on near six Weeks of passive Existence without seeing a Soul but that old Apple-woman Sir Anthony, who is as disagreeable as the Place he lives in; and two or three Country Neighbours, who are still worse. I thought my Fa­ther would never have quitted the [Page 51] dull Place! We really seem, my Dear, for these last two Years to have been running away from each other. Always like Buckets, one up and the other down. And now, poor Soul, you are stationed at Woodstock, are you? (for I called on you Friday Morning, and find­ing you flown, enquired all Parti­culars of the Servant,) and enjoy the agreeable Society of your maiden Aunts and your Rookery, do you? or if you wish for Solitude, you are at full Liberty to sit under a Tree in the Garden by the Hour toge­ther, thinking of Rosamond and her Bower, and the Nunnery at Godstow. What a Taste your Uncle has! I was at Romeo and Juliet last Night, and who does your great Penetration imagine I saw [Page 52] there? No less a Person than Mr. Easy I can assure you. He seemed somewhat surprized, for he did not know I was in London. Entre nous, I had promised to write to him from Staples, but was cruel enough, or as you would say, suffi­ciently prudent to disappoint him; so that our Meeting was entirely unexpected on his Part. He was in an Undress, and looked killingly Negligent, I can assure you. There was another Gentleman with him, whom he left and came up to us immediately. My Father was quite rejoiced to see him, and for myself, filial Duty you know obliged me to experience a similar Sensation. He talked a good Deal, and looked much more. Undoubtedly he is a very agreeable Man, and there is [Page 53] such an ingenuous Naiveté in his Behaviour, that I am sure he must be an honest one. He humoured my Father in his literary Quixot­ism; and drew Comparisons be­tween Shakespeare and the Ancients, 'till he got himself invited to dine to-morrow with us. (Nota Bene. His Eyes upbraided me horridly for not writing.) What a happy Thing it is, that one Pair of young Eyes are quicker than two of old ones. As for my Father, he never sees at all without his Spectacles, and they are seldom made use of for the Contemplation of living Objects. So farewell, my Dear, write soon to one who will always consider herself,

Your most affectionate Friend, Catharine Hartley.
[Page 54]

P. S. Do you know any thing of your Brother Sir Thorobred, or when he returns to England? I hope we shall find him a little more humanized, and beginning to prefer the Society of his Fellow Creatures to that of his Horses.

Miss RUGG to Miss HARTLEY.

AS you know where I am my Dear Hartley, you will not be unreasonable enough to expect News from me. Indeed if I thought you did, I would not attempt writ­ing. As you very truly suppose, I see little Company beside Rooks and maiden Aunts, and for Con­versation, I have none but what my Books afford me, from which, however, though you may laugh, I receive great Entertainment, and I hope some Instruction. But come, I'll not fatigue you with Matters of this Sort; and yet I have nothing [Page 56] else to say for myself, unless you chuse a Panegyric upon the Charm­ing Mr. Easy. By the Bye, he is an intimate Acquaintance of my Brother's. I have seen him often, and could almost find in my Heart to pull Caps for him, if I was ever disposed to be so furious.

The Post is just come in, with a Letter for me. Perhaps it may assist my Dearth of News, so ex­cuse my reading it. And now it is read, take it as a Substitute for any farther Nonsense of my own. And it is from a young Man too, though that will now I suppose be no particular Recom­mendation. However, as you ask after him in your Postcript, I will send it. It is from my Brother, who is at the Hague, and talks of [Page 57] returning to England very speedily. He writes in his usual metaphori­cal Stile, and seems as fond of Rough-riding as ever. But I shall leave you to judge for yourself, and conclude,

My Dear Kitty,
Yours, most sincerely, Maria Rugg.
[Page 58]

The Inclosed Letter from Sir THO­BRED RUGG to his Sister.

YOU and I, Sister, are cer­tainly as different Animals as ever boasted the Privilege of Chris­tianity, and yet I believe we love one another. Whether I long to see you or old England again, I do not know, but I certainly am tho­roughly tired of these damn'd Dutchmen. Besides I have not stirred out of Stable except now and then to Exercise, for this Month past, with the Gout; and my near Leg is devilishly puff'd still about the Fetlock. Is not this a sad Misfortune for a young [Page 59] Fellow as I am, just coming four and twenty? And as to the Far­riers, or Apothecaries as they call them, I never knew such a Pack of Blockheads in my Life. Their Remedies may do very well for a Dutch Constitution, but I am sure they are enough to ruin an English one. The People too seem dread­fully stupid in general, and there is scarce a rational Riding-School or Turf Coffee-House in the Place. Apropos, I bought a restiff Dutch Coach-Horse about six Weeks ago for four Pound ten, to amuse my Mornings with; and worked him up and down the Streets, to the great Annoyance of the Burgo­masters. I very near broke my Neck last Night. Coming Home late, with two young Fellows that I [Page 60] scraped Acquaintance with about three Days before; I fell over a Sow that lay snoring in the Middle of the Street. She turned round immediately to bite me, but before she had Time to get up, we tied her Neck and Heels with an Handkerchief, dragged her to a purblind Apothecary's Door, and swore there was a Woman in La­bour. Down he came in his Night­cap, and we took to our Heels, leaving him to deliver her as well as he could. Adieu, I hope to see England next Month, or perhaps sooner.

Yours, ever, Thorobred Rugg.


My Dear Mother,

YOU desire me in your last to to give you some Account of what is going forward in this gay World, what public Diversions are chiefly frequented, and, in one Word, what is the Ton. The Newspapers you complain, give such strange Accounts of Depra­vity of Morals, Extravagance of Dress, and epidemical Folly on all Sides, that you cannot credit it; and indeed I was almost as faithless as yourself, till my own Eye-sight [Page 62] converted, or at least convinced me. For, without ocular Demonstration, "Who," (as Gonzalez says in the Tempest,)

Would believe that there were Mountaineers
Dewlapt like Bulls, whose Throats had hang­ing at them
Wallets of Flesh? Or that there were such Women
Whose Heads stood in their Breasts? But now
I'll believe both: — and what does else want credit, come to me
And I'll be sworn 'tis true. Travellers ne'er lied
Tho' Fools at Home condemn them.—

Really, the whole seems like a Dream to me, and I shall not be thoroughly awake again, till I get back into the Country. To begin with our own Sex, as we certainly claim the Preference in every Thing, "The human Face divine," which was wont to possess some Share of Pre-eminence, and with its natural [Page 63] Appendage of Hair, and a few ar­tificial Ornaments, formed the Capital of the Pillar: — "The human Face divine" appears now, according to the exact fashionable Proportion, in the Middle of the Figure; and a Lady of the Ton, groaning under her enormous Su­perstructure of Hair, Wool, Pins, Powder and Pomatum; decorated and tricked out with her Flower Garden, her Kitchen Garden, and her Orchard; her Cabbages, her Radishes, and her Apples: looks as if she had ran away with some Milkmaid's May Garland, or was sinking under the complicated Ruin of a Green-Grocer's Stall. Mr. Melmoth, for to call him Husband, would be utterly Gothic, keeps a Chair for me to visit in, but I fear [Page 64] I must soon put him to the Expence of another, as I find it morally im­possible to move about in the same Vehicle with my Head-dress, which I design to be preceded by in future, as the Knights were by their Hel­met, in Days of Chivalry. Nor are the Men one whit behind us in Point of Extravagance and Absur­dity. I never see one of them on Horseback when the Sun shines, but I think of the Knight of the Looking Glasses in Don Quixote, with Buttons as large and as beau­tiful as the Brass-plates on a Street-door. To compensate however for this Extravagance, their Waistcoats are generally laced, like a Woman's Stays, and without any Buttons at all. Then nobody can stir without two Watches, (so that a Man need [Page 65] never be at a Loss to know how much Time he wastes,) and these decorated with enormous Gold Chains, and as many Seals and Trinkets as would furnish a Jew Pedlar's Travelling-Box. As for the Article of Buckles, their Size may perhaps render them extremely ser­viceable as Bridges in crossing over a Kennel, but for their Beauty I must beg to be excused. A few Nights since I went to Stevens's Lecture upon Heads, and was not a little entertained. He ridicules all the fashionable Absurdities most excellently. A Head he defines to be a Kind of Wen, or Fungus, or in the Language of Botanists, a Sort of Bulbous Excrescence, grow­ing out between the Shoulders; whose chief Use is, to hang a Hat [Page 66] upon, have one's Hair drest upon, and the like. And so much for the Vanities of this Wicked World. Next Week I believe we shall re­turn to the Country, as Mr. Mel­moth begins to think his Presence necessary amongst his Workmen, and I poor vulgar Creature, find myself almost tired with this per­petual Round of Confusion. So very luckily both Husband and Wife are agreed in this Matter. As I shall see you soon, I will not pro­long my Scrawl, but conclude with an Ode I received lately from a Lady of my Acquaintance, exceedingly applicable to the pre­sent Subject. It was sent her from America by her Nephew, who protests it is founded on Facts, [Page 67] however you may believe the Ve­rity of it or not, as you feel most disposed.—


Twas near a lofty Mansion's Side,
Where big with Continental Pride,
Met Boston's Patriot Race;
Sublimest of the feather'd Kind,
Belinda, British Dame, reclined,
Gaz'd Pensive in her Glass.
The varying Glories of her Vest,
Her tow'r-crown'd Head, denote her Drest
By Coteriean Laws;
Her Plumes that might with Ostrich vie,
Or buskin'd Chief in Tragedy,
She sees, and nods Applause.
Still had she gaz'd: when with rude Throng
An uncouth Vase borne swift along,
Broke short each pleasing Dream:
The feather'd Covering's Silver Hue,
Thro' richest Plumage to the View
Betray'd a Sable Gleam.
The hapless Nymph with Wonder view'd;
With smother'd Laugh th' inhuman Croud
In Expectation gathers:
She stretch'd her Hand to reach the Prize;
What Female loves not Novelties!
What British Female, Feathers!
Presumptuous Maid! with Looks intent,
Again she stretch'd, again she bent
Some clust'ring Plume to win;
The slippery Verge her Grasp beguil'd,
(Whilst Blackguard Boys stood by and smil'd,)
She tumbled headlong in.
Full swift emerging from the Tub,
Her Eyes obscur'd she strove to rub,
And shriek'd for Drops and Pity;
No feather-headed Friend appear'd,
Nor Devonshire nor Derby heard
Her melancholy Ditty.
From hence, ye Beauties, undeceiv'd;
Know one false Step is ne'er retriev'd,
Belinda's Fate beware!
From Levity Misfortune grows;
Thorns often lurk beneath the Rose,
Beneath the Feathers, Tar.

[Page 69] Adieu, my Dear Mother, believe me,

Yours, with the utmost Affection, Eliza Melmoth.


My dear old Friend Sir Anthony,

HAVING now been in London for some Weeks, for you know I have been here ever since I left Staples, I begin to think of writing to you, to inquire after your Health, and to mention such Circumstances as may have be­fallen me since our last Meeting. It has always been my earnest Wish and Desire, as you certainly must well remember, I having frequently [Page 71] opened myself on this Subject to you, to procure for my Daughter a Man of deep Literature, of pro­found and scientific Erudition, as an Husband. Learning, says the Proverb, is better than House and Land,

For when House and Land are gone and spent,
Then Learning is most excellent.

and indeed I do not know how I should have weathered my Way through so many Years as I have done, without it. My Daughter is fond of gadding about and rack­etting at Public Places at present 'tis true, but I don't doubt, if I can meet with such an Husband for her, she will be quite another Thing, and then she may learn Logic and Mathematics and Greek; [Page 72] and that will be an everlasting Fund of Amusement, even though they should live all the Year in the Country. I do not much care about the Matter of Fortune in my Choice. That will be no Object with me. She is my only Child, and I have enough for both of them. But to come to the Point. Do you know, my good old Friend, I really think I have found the Man I could wish for. This very Evening I was drinking Tea at Mrs. Cypher's, when, amongst other Questions, enquiring after her Son who is of the University; she told that he was gone upon a Visit to her Brother for a few Days, that he was but just come up from Oxford, and had with much Diffi­culty brought his Tutor Mr. Pedant [Page 73] with him, a Gentleman of about thirty Years of Age, and who was reputed one of the cleverest, most learned, most agreeable Men in the University: but added she with a Sneer, he has kept it all to him­self as yet; for though he has been here three Days, he has not ad­vanced farther than Negatives and Affirmatives in his Discourse: However, you will see him pre­sently. These Words were scarce out of her Mouth, before the Door opened softly, and in came Mr. Pedant. I rose from my Chair as he approached, in which he im­mediately seated himself, without uttering a Word. I must own I thought this a little odd; but learned Men will have their Oddi­ties: So I drew another, and began [Page 74] entering into a Discourse with him. Whilst I confined myself to the Politics and Public Amusements of our Country, I cannot say that I found him very Communicative. This is certainly a Mark of Wisdom and Erudition! But when at last I touched upon the Manners of the Ancients, and the Difference between the Policy of those Times and our own, I perceived his Chair sliding gradually nearer and nearer to me, bringing himself along with it, with his Eyes fixed earnestly on the Fender. Presently he turned his Face towards me, and in a half Whisper, that the Rest of the Company might not hear our Dis­course, began with the Wrath of Achilles in a dozen Lines from Homer, and before we parted, which [Page 75] was not till near ten o'Clock, had given me a very compleat Epitome of the Grecian History, interspersed with excellent Remarks and Greek Quotations from Herodotus, Thucy­dides, &c. which, though I did not understand all of them, and cannot say I absolutely remember any, yet nevertheless gave me an infinite Degree of Pleasure and Satisfaction. In short, my old Friend, you may suppose I was quite enraptured, and immediately invited him to Breakfast with me the next Morning, to which he at first appeared to assent very readily, but when I mentioned my having a Daughter at Home who was young and handsome, he seemed much disturbed, and would fain have pretended an absolute Obligation [Page 76] to return directly to Oxford. I suppose he began to suspect my Intentions upon him, and thought his Time too precious to be wasted in the Company of Women. In­deed I in some Degree intimated my Wishes for such a Son-in-law, which might give him sufficient Reason for his Distrust. However, I would not let him off. So I hur­ried Home, and having acquainted my Daughter with the happy Pros­pect she had of such a Husband, and ordered her to prepare to re­ceive him, I could not help sitting down instantly to inform you of it, and, as I fear the Post is gone out, will send it by the early Stage to­morrow tied up like a Parcel, that you may receive this happy Intelli­gence as speedily as possible. My [Page 77] dear old Friend, good by'e to you. I shall not sleep a Wink to-night.

Your most true Friend, Christopher Hartley.

P. S. Mr. Pedant said he should certainly go to Oxford in a Day or two.

Miss HARTLEY to Miss RUGG.

O My dear Girl, what strange Things I have to tell you! Such a Creature, such a Lump of Learning has my Father picked out for my Husband! You know his absurd Bigotry that way. But I will scribble down the whole Trans­action. Last Night, my Dear, as I was just returned from two Routs, and going to Dress for the Pantheon Masquerade; half awake, half asleep, sitting on a Sopha; in twenty Minds whether I should go, or send an Excuse to my Party; half eat up with the Spleen, the Vapours, [Page 79] and that Kind of Ennuyant No­thing-to-do-ishness which is worse than all the Rest:—The Door flew open, and in hurried my Father, as fast as ever two Sticks and a Pair of gouty Legs could carry him. "My Dear Child," says he, "make yourself happy! Your utmost Wishes will be satisfied!" So, thought I, what the Deuce is in the Wind now. "My Dear Sir," says I, turning round to him, "what have you done? Have you got me a Ticket for Lady Racket's Private Concert." "Concert," quoth he, "No, my Dear, I have at last found out an Husband for you. I met him this Night at Mrs. Cypher's, and have prevailed on him to Break­fast here to-morrow and pay you a Visit." Well, thought I, this must [Page 80] be a curious Creature indeed, if it is of your chusing. "He is rather silent to be sure," added he, "but you must talk to him. I'm sure he is very learned."

After a little more Discourse of this Sort, and five hundred Enco­miums passed upon Mr. Pedant, for that is his Name; off he went to Bed; and for myself, my Mind was too much engaged with the Drollery of the Adventure, to suf­fer my going out that Night. So I rang my Bell, and went to Bed also; dreamt all Night of nothing but Bookworms and Conjurers, and at last waked in an horrible Fright with the Idea that I was almost squeezed to death by a great Dictionary, that had fallen upon me from the Top of a Cupboard.

[Page 81]In Process of Time, as old story Books say, Morning arrived, which I had through mere Curiosity been longing for during the last three Hours, almost as much as if I had been to see—any Body you chuse to guess at. Between ten and eleven, having waited some Time for Mr. Pedant, we sat down to Breakfast; and just as the second Dish was poured out, a double Knock pro­claimed his Arrival. The Room Door opened, and in about half a Minute my Lover appeared. His Method of Approach was to be sure somewhat singular. Whilst the Door served him for a Screen, his Advance was sideways, somewhat in the Stile of a Crab, with his Face close towards it. This was followed by a sudden Evolution [Page 82] upon the Heel to shut it after him; in which Situation he remained near a Minute, exhibiting one of the most ridiculous Back Fronts I ever beheld. At last, having at­chieved this important Business, he suffered us to take a Peep at his Face, through the Medium of a dirty Pocket-Handkerchief, which he had whipt up to his Nose at the Instant he turned towards us; but never was any awkward School-boy, when he comes home for the Holidays, and finds his Mother in a Circle of Company, half so gauche or decontenancé. His Feet seemed fixed to the Ground at the awful Appearance of your humble Ser­vant. Really, I never thought my­self quite so terrible before. By and by he advanced, with the left Hand [Page 83] fumbling in his Pocket, as if he had lost Something, and the other holding fast by the lower Button of his Coat: but as Ill-luck would have it, he had scarce proceeded three Steps, when as he was gap­ing about for a Place to lay his Hat, and a Chair to sit down on, the sublime Majesty of my Pre­sence, assisted by a Corner of the Carpet, (according to the Doctrine of second Causes) which his Foot happened to catch in, so staggered him, that down he prostrated at my Feet, like a Persian before the Sun. Poor Man! I thought he had been in a Fit at first! Should not you, my Dear? So I ran up to him, and dropping upon one Knee, "My dear Mr. Pedant, this is Adoration indeed! Nothing Apoplectic? No­thing [Page 84] of the Dead Palsy sure? You are not hurt, I hope?" "No, he was not," he said with an Air sufficiently inelegant; and at the same Instant rising with all the Hurry of Awkwardness, (not so nimbly however, but that he contrived to tear my Apron and crush my Father's gouty Toe in his Recovery,) he squatted in the first Chair he came to, which happened to be mine, and sliding one Leg softly over the other, fixed his Eyes upon his Shoe with a Look of Contempla­tion, which I believe would have continued till this Time, if nobody had disturbed him. Well, nothing is so odious as to see a Man in a brown Study, or what is still worse, picking his Thumbs, and buttoning and unbuttoning his [Page 85] Waistcoat like a City Taylor trying an ill-made Suit of Cloaths on. In this Attitude, however, did he contrive to drink a Dish of Tea which I carried him, and to eat two or three Pieces of Bread and Butter. As soon as the Breakfast Things were taken away, my Fa­ther, that he might not spoil Courtship, rose to leave the Room. His poor Companion, though he had all the Dread of altering his Position as strong upon him as ever, could not resist the Attraction; but absolutely varied his Attitude, and stealing his Head over his Shoulder by Degrees, like a Boy that is afraid of an Apparition after he has been hearing fright­ful Stories, eyed him wishfully to [Page 86] the Door, and if mauvaise honte had not for once stood his Friend, would I dare say have given up all his Stock of Politeness to have fol­lowed him.

He cast one longing lingering Look behind.

We were now left to ourselves. I, in that odd Kind of dubious Humour which a Woman feels when she is in half a Dozen Minds whether to be cross or not, found myself monstrously disposed for a little ill-natured Raillery; whilst my Swain, so far from languishing with all the Ardour of an expiring Inamorato, or opening his unhap­py Case with a Sigh of Despond­ency, endeavoured to entertain himself as aforesaid, by squeezing [Page 87] and twisting his Fingers, and dis­torting his Countenance, like a starved Frog in a Fit of the Cholic.

True Love, they say, is always accompanied with Fear. It de­prives the most Eloquent of the Powers of Speech, embarrasses the easy and polite Man, and in short turns the whole human System topsy turvey. If this be true, and if it be true likewise, that Mr. Pe­dant is a polite and agreeable Man, as my Father tells me, he must be most desperately smitten indeed, and I fear, poor Fellow, from the little Encouragement he is likely to receive from me, will very soon put an End to himself; or resume his Sciences, which I believe will [Page 88] be much the same Thing to the World in general.

Well, my Dear, for two whole Hours I tormented him with a con­tinued String of Common-place Chit-chat and every day Questions, in which I was much assisted by the two Miss Yaffles, who acci­dentally dropt in upon me. I abused the Cut of his Coat, in­formed him his Waistcoat was too long in the Pockets, and enquired whether his Taylor was a French­man. I asked him how he liked the new Opera, whether he was at the Pantheon last Monday, and told him I heard that he was a Pro­prietor of Ranelagh. When I flag­ged for a Minute, my Companions opened upon him, and kept up an incessant Annoyance, which he en­dured [Page 89] not so much from Patience, I believe, as from the Horrors of making a Bow if he left us. At last a polite Thundering at the Door, like an additional Broadside, deter­mined him; and considering that if he did not depart immediately, the Enemy would receive a Rein­forcement, he jumped up from his Chair in an Instant, and retreated like the American Army in a Ga­zette, with the utmost Confusion.

Alas, poor Easy! thou art igno­rant what a dangerous Rival op­poses thee! But I do not think you will remain long so, if it is in mine or my Father's Power to ac­quaint you with it. Here is the State of the Case. An agreeable young Fellow introduces himself to [Page 90] my Father at Bath, and by the as­sistance of quick Parts, and a long Cock-and-Bull Story, works him­self completely into his good Graces. Soon after it is thought necessary that I should be married, and for this Purpose my wise Pa­rent picks out, as I verily believe, one of the awkwardest Boobies in the whole Kingdom of Great-Bri­tain for his Daughter to pay her Addresses to. However, a Confi­dant is thought requisite to talk Matters over with, and now of all the Birds in the Air, who would you suppose the quick-sighted old Gentleman pitches upon, but this very agreeable young Fellow, this identical Easy, whose Attachment to this very Daughter of his, if he [Page 91] had had the Sight of a Mole, he must have discovered over and over again, before this Time.

This last Business of the Con­fidant, I gathered from some Hints he dropped to-day; for so much is his Mind occupied between his own Plan of Operations, and his Investigation of what perhaps ne­ver happened among the Anci­ents; that no Possibility ever enters his Head of the Enemy's being employed in counteracting him. If I don't see the dear Fel­low in a Day or two, I'll write to him however, that he may be prepared to receive this great Trust and Secret with due Com­posure of Countenance. Adieu, my dear Rugg, expect farther Dis­patches [Page 92] speedily with the freshest Intelligence.

Yours, till Marriage at least, For then I suppose I must belong entirely to my Husband, Catharine Hartley.


O CHARLES! O my Friend! I am ruined! I am undone! I, who last Night about this Time, was the most happy Man breathing, am now the most miserable! I am betrayed, robbed, murdered, and thrown into a Ditch! "Such were," or at least such would be the Sounds of some despairing Bookseller's Prentice, if he caught his favourite Delia in Bed with a Chimney-sweeper. Such Plaints, such miserable Exclamations would [Page 94] he blubber forth from the Abun­dance of his Master's Circulating Library, when he found a Child sworn to him by his Mistress, whose Creation he was conscious of having never assisted in. But I, Charles, whom Difficulty does but encourage; who find my Ardour increase in Proportion to the Ob­stacles I am to encounter; shall tell you in plain English, and in perfect Composure, that I am ri­valled in Miss Hartley's Affections. Perhaps now you think me rather too Easy after such a Discovery. I fancy however, you will not be of that Opinion, when I let you a lit­tle into the Character of my Op­ponent, and the Means by which I became acquainted with the Af­fair. His Name is Pedant; his [Page 95] Profession a College Tutor, his Age I guess at about Thirty, for I remember him well at the Univer­sity about three Years longer stand­ing than myself. He is one of that particular Species of Beings who at School gain the Imputation of something uncommonly clever, from a Kind of solitary Vanity and Affectation of Manliness which they have about them; who never join in any of the Sports of their Schoolfellows, but instead of play­ing at Cricket or Football on an Holiday, pretend to read Greek under a Tree for their Amusement, (in Imitation of the old Pagans I sup­pose in the hallowed Groves of Aca­deme;) and are for ever puzzling their Leisure Hours with Authors that they are not required to look [Page 96] into, and cannot possibly under­stand. With this Stock of Know­ledge they are sent to the Universi­ty, where they probably get a Scholarship, or some little Emolu­ment of that Sort. Their Mind is now bewildered in all the Labyrinths of Science; and having in the Course of about seven Years suffici­ently perplexed themselves with Mathematics, sophisticated them­selves with Logic, and got through all the Farce and methodized Non­sense necessary for taking Degrees, the Generals, Juraments, Wall Lectures, and Examinations: they start up all at once, Masters of Arts, Tutors and Governors of their College; a Set of the most erudite, insolent, awkward, uncivilized Animals that ever honoured an Univer­sity, [Page 97] or disgraced all other Parts of a Kingdom. In Regard to the History of the Day, or how the World goes, as we say; their Ig­norance of present Occurrences is equalled by nothing but their tho­rough Acquaintance with the States­men, Warriours, and Demireps of Antiquity. They are all a thou­sand Years behind Hand; and I dare say would give a much better Account of the Bellum Peloponnesi­acum, the Pestilence that raged among the Athenians, or the Burn­ing of Rome by Nero the Emperor, than they could possibly do of the present Contest with America, the dreadful Effects of the late terrible Influenza, or the firing Portsmouth Dock-yard by John the Painter. Strip their Gowns from their [Page 98] Shoulders, and lock them out of their Library, their magical Pow­ers are at an End; and if they were turned loose in London in this Situ­ation, they would be far more at a Loss in every Respect, than the late imported Specimen of Savages from the Islands of the South. "Remember, (as Caliban says of Prospero)

First to possess his Books, for without them
He's but a Sot as I am; and hath not
One Spirit to command.—Burn but his Books.

Well, my dear Friend, do you think you should know this Rival from the Description I have given; and do you think there is much to be feared from him, all Circum­stances considered? Miss Hartley [Page 99] laughs at him, and tormented him so completely the last Visit he made her, which by the Bye was the first, and that owing to her Father's pressing Invitation, that I suspect he will soon fly off in a Tangent, and have nothing farther to say to her. But now for the Means by which I gained all this Knowledge. This whole Day has been spent with old Hartley. As soon as we were left to ourselves after Dinner, he began with Mr. Pedant, and in about half an Hour unfolded his Plan of Operations to me as com­pletely as I could have wished▪ concluding with desiring my As­sistance as Confidant. That before he left London, which would not be till the End of July, he meant [Page 100] to visit Oxford, whither he hoped I would accompany him, and that he should if possible, prevail upon Pedant to spend some Time with him in Dorsetshire. During this Discourse, you may guess I was in a most ridiculous Situation. However, I smothered my Aston­ishment tolerably well, and entirely acquiesced in every Thing; pre­tending to approve his Plan highly. After Tea, the old Gentleman took a Nap, and consequently gave me the Opportunity of a charming Tête à Tête with my Kitty, (as I hope she will be.) which I believe did not much promote Mr. Pedant's Interest. On Saturday he departs to Ox­ford, as I shall immediately to [Page 101] Bed, and defer the Conclusion of this Letter till to-morrow. Good Night to you.

W. Easy.

EASY in Continuation.

IF you find any Thing abrupt or unconnected in this second Part of my Letter, you must at­tribute it to the ridiculous Manner in which I was waked this Morn­ing. Between seven and eight o'Clock, an Hour when you know nobody is stirring in London except Dustmen and Chimney-sweepers, with here and there an accidental Milkmaid, or a Carriage returning from the Masquerade; I was roused from a very sound Sleep by a vi­olent and incessant Thundering at my Door. By the Time I had [Page 103] opened my Eyes, and turned about to see what was the Matter; I dis­covered the Author of all this Riot, who had forced his Way in, and was standing by my Bed-side. He was a very shabby looking Fel­low, about the middle Size, with an old rusty Hat flapped over his Face, a threadbare Coat of coarse blue Kersey, close buttoned, and in his Hand a very inimical Oak Staff of at least two Inches diame­ter. For some Time I was in doubt whether to consider him as a Thief, Thief-taker, or Bailiff; three Characters I am exceedingly averse to being connected with; and should probably have laboured much longer under this Uncer­tainty, had I not recognized the Voice of our old Friend and [Page 104] Schoolfellow, Sir Thorobred Rugg, who arrived in England about three Days before, and now made his Appearance with the Intention of breakfasting with me. Whilst I was dressing, he entertained me with the Detail of some of his Holland Exploits. How he had terrified two Jew Merchants into a Fit of Illness, by committing the dark Deed of Nature on their Sab­bath, with a mad Dutchwoman under a Hedge, whom he gave a Schelling for her Trouble, and had his Pocket picked into the Bargain. How he had got drunk about a Week before he left the Hague, and had thrown two Clappermen into one of the Canals, having first packed them up carefully in a Couple of four-dozen Hampers. [Page 105] And finally, how he had been ram­bling half over London last Night. with his two Friends, Jack Surcin­gle and Tom Fetlock, whom he had met by Accident at the Piazza Coffee-house. How they had all been to a great Fire that had hap­pened somewhere or other, though he had forgot where: that he had ran up one of the Ladders, and brought down a Woman and Child from a two pair of Stairs Room that was burning; had drank Purl with the Firemen; and as he was coming home, had got into an empty Watch-box, and made a one-eyed Watchman take to his Heels, and drop his Staff and Lan­tern, by jumping out upon him and crying boh! as he was return­ing to his Stand from the Ale-house; [Page 106] and how he had hung up another to the Hooks of a Butcher's Shambles by the Waistband of his Breeches.

By the Time these Histories were finished, I was dressed and ready for Breakfast; when just as the first Dish of Tea was poured out, he recollected that his Face had not been washed since his Arrival in England, and ran immediately to my washing Stand. This how­ever did not answer his Purpose, as the Bason, which I had just been using, was not emptied. That it was possible to throw its Contents out of the Window, and fill it with clean Water, never once occurred to him, if one may judge from the Method he substituted; which was no other than dipping the Corner [Page 107] of the Breakfast Cloth into his Tea-cup, and wiping himself with his dirty Pocket Handkerchief. My Breakfast and his Ablution be­ing finished, he turned his Face to­wards the Looking-glass, and un­luckily discovered that shaving also was in some Degree proper, as he was engaged out to Dinner. So all necessary Implements being pro­duced for the Purpose, he began his Operation; but had scarcely cleared one Side of his Counte­nance, when the injudicious Mo­tion of the under Jaw, occasioned by some sudden Remark he was about to make, laid the Razor a full half Inch into his Cheek. Blood followed pretty plentifully as you may imagine: This how­ever being staunched by scraping [Page 108] from his Hat the small Quantity of Nap that remained there, and applying to the Wound; he de­termined to avoid risquing a second Incision, by leaving the other Side of his Face untouched; and hav­ing staid with me about an Hour longer, he sallied out to pay a few more Morning Visits, and from thence to the House whither he was engaged to Dinner.

If ever Man had Pretensions to Originality, surely this has! and yet with all his Oddities and Foi­bles, one cannot help liking him. He is, I really think, a very wor­thy Fellow at Bottom, and has a good Heart. Old Thistleberry, the Parson of his Parish in Yorkshire is dead lately, and he means to pre­sent Tom Fetlock, who is in Or­ders, [Page 109] to the Living. In a few Days he goes to Woodstock upon a Visit to his Uncle and Sister, and from thence to Foxhall, his York­shire Seat. His Sister I believe ac­companies him thither, and I am engaged to pay him a Visit when I can find Leisure. This I fancy will soon take place, as I should wish to spend some Time there, and must nevertheless return to London early enough to attend old Hartley on his curious Oxford Ex­pedition. Vive, Vale, farewell.

Your's, W. Easy.


YOUR last Letter my dear Easy, was really a great Treat to me, and I give you Joy of your Rival from the Bottom of my Soul. What a Fund of Entertain­ment must he be to Miss Hartley his intended Wife, if he accepts her Father's Invitation into Dorset­shire; which however I have my Doubts about. How often will his Presence be useful, "Vice Cotis," instead of a Whetstone, to sharp­en her Wit upon, and relieve her [Page 111] Spirits from the dreadful Dejection of a Country Atmosphere. Though I don't think her one of those mad Girls, who can never exist but in the Noise and Dissipation of Lon­don. She likes it very much when she is there 'tis true, as indeed is natural enough; but I really be­lieve her capable of spending her Summer in the Country, with no other Diversions than her Books, her Horse, and her Husband, pro­vided she is fond of him; and now and then the Variety of visiting in a good Neighbourhood. This at least is the Opinion I have been inclined to entertain from what I have heard or seen of her, since the Night you introduced me at Rane­lagh, and you know I pique my­self upon a ready Discernment, [Page 112] even into Women's Characters. The Contrast between Pedant and our Friend, Sir Thorobred, in the first and second Parts of your Letter, is exceedingly ridiculous, and up­on Paper makes no bad Figure. How exquisite must a Meeting be between them! I remember we had many of those walking Libra­ries at Cambridge. I am glad the said Sir Thorobred is returned from the Hague; my Compliments when you go down. As you wisely re­mark, there is something very ori­ginal in the Composition of that Man. Take away his excessive Passion for Horses; (and yet, as every Body has their Hobby-horse, the Object perhaps may as well be real as metaphorical) His Imitation of Charles the Twelfth in all the [Page 113] negative Excellencies of dirty Face and Hands, old blue Coats, and Brass Buttons; and that strange Extravagance and Wildness, which is sometimes the Cause of good, and sometimes of foolish Actions, just as it happens: which as Whim and Humour prompt, will induce him to rescue a Woman out of a Fire, or to throw a Waiter into one: take away all this, I say, and he is a very rational Fellow. As to Sense, he is possessed of very quick natural Parts, though I can­not say much for their Cultivation. Literature he never was particular­ly fond of, and when at the Uni­versity, the illiberal Manners of its Teachers, greatly contribut­ed I believe to make him de­spise the one for the Faults of the [Page 114] other, and throw it up entirely. This was my general Opinion of his Character when I last saw him, and by your Account of his Morn­ing Visit in the Temple, his Tra­vels do not seem to have produced the least Alteration. I may add likewise, as the finishing Stroke to his Picture, and which indeed the utter Neglect of his Person some­what prepares one for; that in Re­gard to all the Minutiae of Life, if I may so call them, such as snuf­fing a Candle without throwing the Snuff about, mending a Pen, tear­ing a Piece of Paper evenly, or sealing a Letter without burning both it and his own Fingers, with five Hundred other little Excellen­cies of this Sort, he has not the least Idea of them. Now whether [Page 115] this proceeds from a natural and innate Awkwardness in such Mat­ters, or a Degree of Absence and Inattention to them, I never yet could determine. For if he want­ed a Pair of clean Stockings, and his Servant should bring a Silk and a Thread one, or a Pair with half a dozen great Holes in them, he would put them on without per­ceiving either the one or the other. All these Peculiarities, Easy, you are full as well acquainted with as myself, but upon mentioning his Name, I could not help falling in­to Remarks, and scribbling my Paper with them.

To return now to the Beginning of your Letter, (for I will not trou­ble you this Time with any Hob­by-horsical Intelligence of my [Page 116] Buildings and Alterations,) I am very sorry to find myself under the disagreeable Necessity of reprobat­ing that profane Ridicule of mo­dern Novels, with which you open your Misfortunes; and at the same Time must take the Liberty of in­forming you, that "What should be great, you turn to Farce," as Prior says; (I will not wish you punished by the Insertion of a La­dle;) or to search farther into Anti­quity for a Quotation, "What is Sport to you is Death to us." Vide Aesop's Fable of the Boys and Frogs. To speak more plainly, though your London Volatility may prompt you to laugh at every Thing that speaks feelingly to the softer Passions; that tells the sad Tale of disappointed Love, or [Page 117] breathes amidst innumerable Stars and Dashes, the Strains of Refine­ment and Sensibility: our Country Swains and Damsels are very diffe­rently affected by them. To pro­mote your Conversion, if that be possible, I desire you will read the inclosed Letter, which was found a few Days since in a Closet in one of the Garrets, and by the Signa­ture appears to have been written by Mrs. Melmoth's last Maid, who quitted her about a Twelvemonth ago. I always thought there was something particular and romantic in the Girl, and suspected a Love Affair at the Bottom. The Argu­ment of the inclosed is as follows. That John o'Nokes and herself felt a mutual Attachment to each other, and that she had almost given her [Page 118] Consent to marry him; but that unluckily Tom O'Stiles becoming acquainted with her about that Time, is likewise desperately smit­ten. Upon this, he declares his Passion; and she, though not ex­periencing any similar Inclination on her Part, and being also previ­ously engaged, is nevertheless worked up to such a Pitch of ge­neral Philanthropy, and Sentiment, and Pathos, &c. &c. &c. as to determine that she will marry nei­ther of them, and by this noble Self-denial, (according to our dull Apprehensions at least) she makes three People unhappy instead of one. Whether she took her Idea from Foote's Primitive Puppet­show, I cannot pretend to say. As to the Letter, it appears to [Page 119] have been written just before she quitted our Place, and whither she went afterwards, nobody knows hereabouts. However I send you the Original, and leave you to de­cipher it at your Leisure.

About ten o'Clock last Night, I was not a little surprised by the Appearance of my Brother George at Melmoth-Place, when I ima­gined him treading the Paths of Slaughter in America. I cannot say his Looks are much improved by the Expedition. Indeed he says that he has hardly enjoyed a Day's good Health since he left England, and as the Climate does not at all agree with his Constitution, he has obtained Leave of Absence, and has some Thoughts of resigning his Commission, and entirely quit­ting [Page 120] the Army, which he menti­oned to General Howe before his Departure. He says he had writ­ten a Letter to me about two Months since, which I suppose must have miscarried. One of his first Enquiries was after Miss Rugg, for whom you know he always pro­fessed a certain Tendre, as far at least as his Nature is capable of; so I dare say, if she goes down to Yorkshire with Sir Thorobred, you will soon see him there. He still retains his Attachment to Morocco Pocket Books, Shagreen Tooth­pick Cases, and Orange Flower Pomade; and continues to read Lord Chesterfield's Letters with much Devotion, though I don't think he imbibes any of the per­nicious Parts of them. A-propos— [Page 121] he talks of writing a long Letter to you soon, on the Presumption of which Event taking Place, I think it high Time to subscribe myself as I really am,

Yours, sincerely, Charles Melmoth.
[Page 122]

The Inclosed Letter.

'TIS past! the fatal Trial is over; and my Resolutions are invincibly fixed. What have been my Sensations, what have been my Sufferings, since I last saw you Roger! But, alas! such is the Unhappiness of my Destiny! why was I born to such a Load of un­merited Misfortune; why was my Life marked out for one continued Scene of Misery and Distress! It is too—too much! my Soul sinks un­der it; and with a weak tremulous Languor, wafts its Prayers incessant to the Throne of Mercy, to put a [Page 123] finite Period to the peculiar Wretch­edness of its Existence.

How happy was our last Meeting, when we passed our Sunday Evening in the Fields of —. The Country seemed to glow with unu­sual Verdure; whilst before us the Prospect wide extending itself, in­corporated its boundless Limits in the blue Distance of Immensity. The May Thorn breathed forth its bitter Fragrance, and every Bush was impregnated with the melliflu­ous Lays of the Thrush and the Nightingale. The very Daisies smiled at our Felicity, whilst the Butterflowers rearing high their yellow Heads, sought to emulate [Page 124] the Tranquillity of the golden Age.

We proceeded to Lord D—'s Park. A fine River winds its Way in serpentine Meandrings through the green Verdure of its Banks. At the Source in a reclining Pos­ture, is a Figure of Neptune in Stone, incomparably executed. His right Arm rests upon an Urn, from whence the Stream disgorging itself, rushes onward with an im­petuous Torrent, forming a most beautiful Cascade. Hark! didn't I hear Betty call me? I'll just step down stairs for a Minute to see what she wants. * * * Oh! 'tis nothing but the Man with Fish! "We don't want any to-day."

We seated ourselves by the Side of it; and gazed at the Multitude [Page 125] of litttle Fishes, which leaping in­cessantly after the Flies that skim­med upon its Surface, dimpled the Water with innumerable Circles. Around us Herds of spotted Deer were roving, or stretched incum­bent on the rushy Banks, fearless of Acteon's fate.—Another Inter­ruption! my Mistress's Bell rings! What can she want with me!— * * * * *. I am just returned from her. I'm quite out of Breath! 'twas only to fetch some Water to wash her Hands with.

On a sudden a dark Cloud, as if envious of our Felicity, and omi­nously portending the sad Reverse that awaited us, obscured the Face of the Sun, which till then had shone upon us with undiminished Lustre. A heavy Storm of Rain [Page 126] succeeded, and we were compelled to take Shelter in a Grotto at the Corner of the Wood, where * * * * * * * *.

[Here several Lines are entirely obliterated. Hiatus valde deflendus.]

I was sitting in my Mistress's Closet; the Family were gone out to pay a Visit. My right Leg, resting its Ancle upon my left Knee, sustained itself horizontally, whilst I mended a Hole in my new Cotton Stockings. Dear Cotton Stockings! ye pure Emblems of my Roger's Love! A gentle Tap at the Door—my Heart palpitated as I heard it. I fancied it might be you! The Tap was repeated, but with a Sound methought ex­pressive [Page 127] of Unhappiness and Sub­mission! I was at that Instant en­deavouring to push a fresh Piece of Thread through the Eye of my Needle. Come in, I cried with a Tone of Surprise and Irresolution! The Door opened! With a Face wan and death-like, he stood be­fore me!—'Twas Humphrey, the poor unhappy Humphrey! On his Countenance had seated itself a fix­ed Melancholy! His Lips quivered with Sorrow, but he remained speechless before me. Judge the Wretchedness of my Situation! The Thread dropt from my Hand, and I stuck the Needle into my * * * * * *. Blood immedi­ately [Page 128] followed the Stroke, and I suffered a considerable Degree of Anguish. But, alas! what was that Pain compared to my mental Affliction. He drew a Chair, and seated himself by me without speaking a Word. On a sudden he caught my Hand, and looking stedfastly on my Face, while the Tears started from his Eye; utter­ed the following Words mingled with his Sighs.

"I come not, Mrs. Susan," (here his Voice faultered, and he wiped his Nose with his Sleeve) "I come not, Mrs. Susan, I say," (here he recovered himself a little, [Page 129] and proceeded in a rather firmer Tone) ‘to displeasure you any more upon the Subject of Ma­trimony, as I did before; know­ing well that you do not like me; and besides that you are already engaged to Roger. So, alas! there's an End of all Hopes on that Head for me! But I hope you wont be angry with me for coming to take my last farewell of you. For indeed, I could not help coming to see you before I went.’ "Went," cried I, with a Voice of the utmost Pity and Sur­prize, ‘and whither art thou go­ing?’ "I'm going", cried he, sniveling, ‘to—to—list for a Soldi­er! I can't bear to see you belong to another Man!—You were the guiding Star of my Destiny, to [Page 130] guide me on my Way; but when you are set in the Arms of ano­ther! I'm sure I can't, no! I never can stand it!’ At these Words he started from his Chair, and with a Look of wild Disorder, slam'd the Door and left me.

Poor Soul! How I pitied him! 'Tis true, I never liked him, and that I am almost engaged to be thy Wife. But shall I, for the Sake of my own Happiness, be so selfish as to make a Fellow Creature mi­serable for ever? What shall I do? how shall I act in this embarrassing Dilemma? Shall I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No—Happiness could never be my Lot. Even in thy Arms I should . . . . . Let us exert our Rea­son, [Page 131] Roger; let us call our Forti­tude to our Assistance. The Fates have decreed us to be unhappy, but it is in our own Power whe­ther we shall make others so. If I am condemned to be wretched, it will at least be some Consolation amidst the Bitterness of my Dis­tresses; some Alleviation of my insuperable Anguish; to reflect that I have not contributed to the Mi­sery of another. If I am excluded from every Ray of Comfort, and compelled to wander in the dark Paths and Labyrinths of Adversity; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ah, Roger! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I conceive . . . . . . his Misery, . . . . . . . . . the [Page 132] Pains of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Labour he must en­dure, what intolerable Hardships!

From the World I seclude my­self for ever! such is my fixed Re­solution. Before this reaches you, I leave my Place, and quit this Part of the Country! Enquire no farther. To find me out you need not endeavour. I go where you will never more hear of the most unfortunate of her Sex! Adieu!— Farewell — for e—ver!

Susannah Sentiment.
The Printer takes this Opportunity of apo­logizing to the Public, for the many Errata and Omissions which may be found in this Letter; it being so rubbed, and torn, and scratched, and blotted with Tears, in several Places, as to ren­der a Discovery of the Meaning impossible.

Miss HARTLEY to Miss RUGG.

MY dear Rugg, how long do you mean to keep that odi­ous Name by you? I protest it gives one the Idea of something uncivilized even in the writing it, and disperses every finer Idea one might have to communicate. Be­sides, 'tis so wholly inconsistent with your Character. Do look out for a young Fellow with something delicate and piano in his Appella­tion, and with a Disposition suited to your own. Shall I recommend one to you? Or will you accept of [Page 134] one of mine? Easy I cannot spare, but you are welcome to my Fa­ther's Friend, Mr. Pedant; at least as soon as I am tired with teasing him. He is returned to Oxford; the fittest Place for him. What think you of the Name? How would the Title of Mrs. Pedant, Wife and Bedmaker to a College Tutor, sound in your Ears?

Not to joke longer, I have real­ly a great Piece of News for you, and something to propose seriously to your Consideration in the Ma­trimonial Way. As for myself, I believe I never shall think seriously of any Thing 'till I am married; and then I suppose I must draw myself up with my Hands before me, talk with a grave Face about the Cares of a Family, and delibe­rate [Page 135] with my Housekeeper for two Hours every Morning, what Piece of salting Beef should be ordered from the Butcher, and whether a Gooseberry or a Currant Pye will be best for Dinner.

Come now for the News. Easy dined with us a Day or two ago, and amongst other Intelligence told us that he had received a Letter from his Friend Charles Melmoth, mentioning the Return of his Bro­ther the Captain from America, on Account of the Climate not agree­ing. What think you of him for a Caro Sposo? If I recollect, he was an old Flame of yours before he went abroad.

O! I beg Leave to congratulate you likewise upon your Brother's Arrival. The Name of Rugg was [Page 136] for him and him only! Pray pre­sent my respectful Compliments, and tell him I rejoice to find he makes his public Entry in the Morning Post with so much Eclat. I have seen him there with some Circumstances in Regard to the Course of his Travels, which were entirely new to me. ‘Such a Day arrived in England, Sir T— R—, commonly known by the Name of the rough riding, or Thorough-bred Baronet, from his Travels to the Country of the Houyhnhnms. He is said to be much improved by this Expedition, and has brought over with him a fine Houyhnhnm Stallion, with two Yahoos to look after it. He is the second European that ever [Page 137] visited those Parts, and is re­ported to have detected many Errors in Captain Lemuel Gulli­ver's Account, which it is hoped he will soon favour the Public with.’

A few Days afterwards appears the following Paragraph. ‘We are sorry to inform the Public of the Death of one of the Ani­mals called Yahoos, lately im­ported by a certain Rugg—ed Baronet, which happened on Wednesday last.’ ‘It was occa­sioned a Correspondent informs us, by the following Accident. The Animal it seems having some Time before been very re­fractory, and having even killed a Servant who attempted to chas­tise him, was obliged to be [Page 138] closely confined. On Wednesday Morning however, his Keepers unchained him, and having as they thought sufficiently secured him with Ropes, put him into a Cart in Order to remove him; when unluckily the Rope about his Neck having a slip Knot to it, entangled with a Post not far from the Oxford Road Turnpike, and instantly strangled him. Dr. H-nt-r is said to be making Interest for the Body for Dissec­tion, as he proposes mounting the Skeleton upon that of the Queen's Elephant, which he late­ly had the Honour to anato­mize.’

O! the Liberty of the Press, we may well cry out, that glorious Privilege of Englishmen! Pray [Page 139] tell me though, in sober serious Sadness, is all this true? I have a monstrous Mind to write a long Letter to your Brother upon the Subject, and protest that I believe every Word of it. I find he in­tends taking you into Yorkshire with him. I wish he would bring you to London, to keep me Com­pany for a Month, for my Father for Reasons of State, which I can­not dive thoroughly to the Bot­tom of, has determined to continue here till the End of July or Begin­ning of August. Easy tells me that he has an Oxford Jaunt in his Head, and means to transplant Pedant into Dorsetshire. What a charming Country Companion he must make, for a Tête à Tête in an Arbour, to pick up one's Ball of [Page 140] Knotting, or put one's Calash on with mathematical Precision. Ne­ver need I be afraid of my Cap or Handkerchief being pinned awry, when that happy Time arrives. Besides, I dare say, as far at least as Things future may be conjectured from past, my father's great Wis­dom will insist upon Easy's accom­panying us, in his Capacity of Confidant and Confessor to the Party, to forward this intended Match of mine. In Expectation of these blessed Events, I conclude without farther Ceremony, Ma chere Marie,

Your's, Catharine Hartley.
[Page 141]

Remember I shall be very angry with you though, if that demure prudish little Phiz of yours, makes any Attempts upon the Fidelity of my Knight Errant, when I venture him down in the North with you.



WELL, my old Friend, Mat­ters go on swimmingly be­tween Mr. Pedant and Kitty. He came according to his Promise the next Morning to Breakfast, and very glad I was to see him. How­ever he did not seem much in­clined to talk whilst I was there, which I suppose was owing to an Unwillingness to declare himself before a third Person. So as soon as Breakfast was finished, I quitted the Room, that he might feel him­self [Page 143] more free and unembarassed when left alone with my Daugh­ter. And by the Sequel it proved that this Step of mine was very judicious; for I went immediately into my Study, which is next to the Room they sat in, and listen­ing attentively, I soon found they had begun a Conversation together, and though I could not hear what it was about, yet I am sure my Daughter was very well pleased with him, for I heard her laugh hear­tily. Sometime after I could distin­guish two other female Voices, which upon Enquiry I found to appertain to the Miss Yaffles. These seemed join in the Discourse, which now grew louder and louder, mixed with incessant Peals of Merriment. As for Mr. Pedant, nothing could [Page 144] be a stronger Proof of his Satisfacti­on, than that he could hardly prevail upon himself to quit them, for I believe he stayed there near four Hours. So I have no Doubt in my own Mind, but that he is a little hampered in the Charms of the Fair, for even the most learned of us sometimes feel ourselves subject to the Passion of Love. If he should, what a happy Thing it will be for my Daughter! Her Fortune will be made at once, and I can tell her such Husbands are not to be met with every Day. However, I do not say much upon the Sub­ject to her, because I think these Things always turn out best when left to themselves; but I have con­trived such a Plan as must necessa­rily increase the Intimacy between [Page 145] them, insomuch that if I have any Skill in Prophecy, Matters will be brought to a Conclusion before the End of the Summer. I shall not let you any farther into the Secret before the first Part of my Design has actually taken Place, as upon that the Success of the whole in a great Measure depends. Not that I have the least Fear of its failing, for I have a Confidant to assist me in the Business, by whose Dili­gence and Exertions I have no Doubt of all Things being brough [...] to a right Issue. Who he is, I shall not inform you at present, a Secresy you know is the Soul of Conspiracy, and they say Walls have Ears, but shall proceed now with transcribing my Sentiments on a Subject which indeed I should [Page 146] have mentioned much sooner, had not my Proceedings and Consider­ations concerning my Daughter's Marriage, left me hardly a Moment to spare for any other Business. I mean the Nihil or Nothing of the Schoolmen, which, if you recol­lect, we disputed about for three Afternoons at Staples, when nei­ther of us being able to make his Ideas on the Subject at all clear to the Understanding of the other, we left off just where we begun.

Now I am inclined to think that there is a very considerable Dis­tinction and Difference to be made between Nothing as taken in its strict and confined Sense, and No­thing taken in its more general and extensive one. Nothing taken strictly, seems to be that which is impos­sible, [Page 147] and implies an absolute Con­tradiction; whereas Nothing ta­ken more generally, is applied both to what is possible as well as what is impossible. Again, No­thing may be distinguished into a Negative, which is the Absence of Reality in any Subject; and then there is Nothing privative, which is the Absence of Reality in a Sub­ject capable thereof, or wherein it ought to be found. And as to the Possibility or Impossibility of a Thing, we know that to be impossible, which exceeds or is beyond all pos­sible Bounds, and which in short can never happen. And if this be true, it necessarily follows, accord­ing to the Argument deduced from Contraries, that whatsoever does not exceed or go beyond those [Page 148] Bounds, but which, from its not exceeding, is consequently and ne­cessarily contained therein; may be denominated or considered as a Thing possible, or to be done. And of Things possible, there are several Species. First, there is the proba­ble, or what is likely to come to pass; then there is the improbable, or unlikely, which nevertheless is a Species of the possible, inasmuch as many Things may be very possi­ble, though they are very improba­ble. And in Regard to Things probable and improbable, it is often very probable that a Thing should happen contrary to all Probability, as — . . . .

‘O! Fallacem Hominum Spem, fragilemque Fortunam, et inanes nostras Contentiones!’ says Cicero. [Page 149] —I have been this Quarter of an Hour seeking after the Continua­tion of my Treatise, which was written upon an old Letter Cover, and upon enquiring of my Servant if he knew any thing of the Mat­ter, have the Unhappiness to find that before this Time it has been made Use of in cleaning a Grid­iron, or singeing a Fowl, or some such culinary Employment, as he informed me that he had seen the Housemaid bringing a considerable Quantity of Papers down Stairs in the Morning, which she had given to the Cook for the Use of the Kitchen, and which me said, ‘she supposed were of no Signification, as she had looked at them, and cou'd'nt make nothing out of 'em, and they laid about and [Page 150] look'd littering in Master's Room.’—Well, what a pro­voking Circumstance this is, and particularly at present, as my Thoughts are so taken up with Mr. Pedant and my Daughter, that I shall hardly find Time to com­pose it over again. Therefore my dear old Friend and Cousin, God be with you.

Christopher Hartley.


HERE I am, Easy, according to my Intentions, paying a Visit to my Uncle or Sister, and enjoying the Benefit of a Fortnight's Grass in Oxfordshire. In a few Days however I think of being led down to Foxhall, and my Sister has promised to accompany me, by way of arranging my Domestic Matters a little. The Stable I consider as my own Department, so shall not permit her to interfere [Page 152] there. I came down here upon a Hack I bought at Tattersall's, which I meant to have rode to Yorkshire, but a damn'd Brute of my Uncle's, one of the Cart-horses, kicked him plump on the Stifle Yesterday Morning, as they were in the Field together. He is a de­velish clever Gelding. A dark Chesnut, fifteen Hands and an Inch, fine Forehand, rather too much Daylight under him, but gets on hellishly, a remarkable Gift of go­ing, a very good Mouth, and he shall be a sound one however. So I shall be obliged to kick myself down upon Post-horses, (as for a Chaise, I hate it,) and leave him behind me for the present. I met Tom Fetlock the Day I saw you, and desired him to come to Foxhall [Page 153] as soon as he could, that I should be down in ten Days or a Fort­night, and expected to find him ready to receive me. Pray when do I see you there? I hope speed­ily. I have a little grey Poney with a hogg'd Mane, will just suit your sober Stile of riding. It is what you would call as quiet as a Lamb, and I a damn'd Slugg, or a Jackass. At least it was so before I went Abroad. I used sometimes to ride him to cover, but he's got almost too old for Work now. I never regretted any thing so much in my Life, since the Day I strained Black Sloven leaping a Turnpike Gate, as I did losing the last Hunting Season in Holland. Poor Fellow, he never was worth Six­pence [Page 154] afterwards! though I got him tolerably well of that too, but then, and what the Devil was the Meaning of it, I can't con­ceive, there came a Windgall in the near Fetlock behind. So I opened the Swelling about an Inch, and squeezed out the Jelly, and put some white of Egg and Oil of Bays with Tow to it, but I believe it was too much amongst the Si­news, for I was obliged to sell him at last to March at Maidenhead, who fired him and worked him on the Road. Adieu,

Yours, Thorobred Rugg.

Miss RUGG to Miss HARTLEY.

MANY Thanks my Dear, for your two very communica­tive Letters. Upon my Word you have tormented poor Pedant in such a Manner, that I fear your Charms will hardly be able to prevent his running away, not with, but from you. To-morrow my Brother de­parts for Yorkshire, on Horseback as usual, accompanied by your humble Servant in a Chaise. Should nothing material prevent, I shall probably spend great Part of the Summer with him, as he seems to [Page 156] wish much for my Company; be­sides, Easy's Appearance there will certainly be an additional Induce­ment, and we are not without Hopes of seeing Captain Melmoth; at least my Brother designs giving him an Invitation. Somehow or other, I wish he may come down to us. He is such an agreeable convenient Man in the Country, and he is always so ready to ride, or walk, or do just as I please with. Do not imagine from this now; that I have any Thoughts of him in a serious Way, notwithstanding your Recommendation. And yet, if I was obliged to submit to an Husband, I think I might like him well enough, provided that he was not in the Army. But that Cir­cumstance, believe me, would be [Page 157] an invincible Barrier, supposing all other Matters could be brought about, of which however there is not the least Prospect, and there­fore let us drop the Subject.

My Brother returns, you many Thanks for the Honour of your obliging Enquiries, as well as for the Paragraphs relative to his Tra­vels, which you were so kind as to transcribe. What dreadful Fatigues he must have undergone in America, if one half of the Newspaper Ac­counts are true. As to his being improved by his Expedition, he de­sires me to tell you that he is infi­nitely the worse for it I fear, or he would hardly have quitted the Coun­try on Account of his Health; how­ever at all Events I am glad he is re­turned.—Good God! what Non­sense [Page 158] have I written! Well, Kitty, since the Discovery is made, I will not erase my Weakness. Interpret me as you please. That I may not however add to my Folly, I beg Leave instantly to subscribe myself

Your most affectionate Maria Rugg.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.