SENTIMENTAL EXCURSIONS TO WINDSOR AND OTHER PLACES, WITH NOTES critical, illustrative, and explanatory, by several eminent Persons, male and fe­male, living and dead.

As a MOTTO is a Word to the Wise, or rather a broad Hint to the whole World of a Person's Taste and Principles, VIVE LA BAGATELLE, would be most expressive of your Ladyship's Characteristic.— MACKLIN'S MAN OF THE WORLD.

LONDON: Printed for J. WALKER, Pater-noster-Row. MDCCLXXXI.

TO MR. CHARLES MACKLIN.

DEAR SIR,

YOU are to consider this Dedication as a grateful return to the warmth of your friendship, a just tribute to the integrity of your heart.—Seven years intimacy have con­vinced me of both—

Exclusive of these motives, I have another—

The author of Sir CALLAGHAN O'BRAL­LAGHAN, merits respect from every Irishman. —That character has been of national ser­vice, by being a means of removing, in a great measure, illiberal prejudices which had too long promoted enmity between sister-king­doms, but are now happily diminished.

I am, most sincerely your's, THE AUTHOR.

ADVERTISEMENT.

THIS Bagatelle appeared originally in the PUBLIC LEDGER, in detached pieces, most of which were copied from that paper into the MORNING HERALD.—And they having received the approbation of the Public, the writer was induced to collect them into a volume; and as he will pursue the subject in the Ledger, should this volume have success, he will shortly publish another.

SENTIMENTAL EXCURSIONS.

I Read and read, but could not retain a word of what I read.—So many friends flowed in upon me daily to breakfast, and so many friends to carry me out to dine, that to understand the doctrine of descents, the point I was studying, was impossible. I must cut off, said I, the entail of these engagements, and become master of my own time.

Returning from the Grecian at one in the morning, I ordered my servants to pack up my cloaths, with a few books; and at six, he, with my portmanteau on his shoulders, and I, with Lord Coke under one arm, (with whom I in­tended to comment upon old law) and Sir James Burrow (from whom I expected in­struction [Page 2] in new law) under the other (1), set off for the Windsor stage.

The coach was empty, so ordering my man to mount the outside, and going inside my­self, after musing a few minutes on the great progress I should make in the art and science of jurisprudence, during the vacation, be­tween Easter and Trinity term, I folded my arms within each other, having first wrapped myself in a large cloak, threw myself along the seat, and wishing farewel to London, to all the pleasures of London and to all its temp­tations, fell into a profound slumber.

THE HIGHWAYMAN.

THIS was in the merry month of May, when the whole animal creation, from the minutest insect the microscope discovers upon the leaf, to the largest beast which grazes in the field, or preys in the forest; when the fowls of the air, from the diminutive hum­ming bird to the eagle of the sun; when the fishes of the sea, from the little sprat to the un­wieldy leviathan, pay implicit obedience to that divine ordinance of heaven, increase and multi­ply. I say, it was in the month of May, so justly stiled "the mother of love," when na­ture wears an universal smile, when every plant and tree sprouts forth in bud and blossom, and the whole earth is cloathed in variegated green: being fast asleep in a stage-coach on the road to Windsor, and my imagination having taken an excursion in a dream to visit, [Page 4] to converse with, and to embrace, some dear friends in Ireland, I was disturbed from my sweet vision about five miles from London, by a tremendous voice, from the side of the road, which with reiterated vociferation, roar­ed out, Stop! stop!

My hands instinctively slipped into my breeches pocket, and with a motion equally involuntary, drew forth a small purse, con­taining the small sum of one guinea and a few shillings, to give the highwayman. The coachman at the same instant drew up his horses.

If any hero wishes to be informed why I did not rather apply to my pistols—I had none with me, or if I had, I should not have applied to them.

Indeed, instead of charging my pistols, which I left hanging up in my chambers, where may they long hang for ornaments, I had prepared the small sum I have before men­tioned, and put it into the little purse afore­said, in case of being stopped; for it has long been my opinion, that if a man considers his [Page 5] own interest, in which undoubtedly his peace of mind has an intimate and large share—to part with what he can spare from his absolute necessities, will appear preferable to risquing rise for a trifle. It requires no great portion of humanity to conclude, that to deprive a fellow-creature of life, and dispatch his soul in the very act of sin, to ‘that country from whose bourne no traveller re­turns,’ though compatible with earthly justice, must be offensive to eternal mercy. If this assertion be erroneous, how comes it that the act of sacrificing a wretch's life in de­fence of a paltry sum, always impresses upon the mind of the avenger, a horror which amounts to punishment?

As the coach-door opened I put out my hand—here, my honest friend, said I, ad­dressing myself to the highwayman, here, take my money.

I received a shot in return for my cour­tesy—

I say a shot—but not a shot from a pistol, nor a shot from a blunderbuss—it was a chain-shot, [Page 6] or a double-headed shot, which you please, discharged from a pair of as bright eyes as ever wounded the heart of an unwary traveller.

The lady mistaking the offer of my hand, which intended to convey my purse to the supposed highwayman, for an offer to assist her into the carriage, seized it with the most good humoured familiarity, and fixing her right foot firm upon the coach-step, raised her body up with a spring of agility, which clear­ly proved, elasticity was not the least property in her composition.

Thus she stood in equilibrium, nodding and smiling a farewel over her left shoulder, to a male friend, the person who had ordered the coach to stop: and taking her seat exactly opposite to me, she waved her hand out of the coach window, to her parting companion —the coachman, with a hoi, hoi, and a crack of his whip, informed his horses of their duty, the horses obeyed, and we drove on.

THE POCKET HOOP.

IT is astonishing, that women will encum­ber their persons so as to alter the elegant symmetry of the human frame!—The person of a fine woman is the most beautiful edifice in nature!—True beauty consists in simplicity, and the figure of a well-made female always shews to the best advantage when its orna­ments are simple—it should never be embel­lished in the composite order.—From the days of fig-leaves, to the present time, art has only laboured to disguise nature.—

History informs us, that Queen Elizabeth was remarkable for the protuberance of the rotunda; and this, say the antiquarians in dress, first introduced the fashion of hoops. But whether this rotunda was a permanent rotunda behind, natural to the make of her Majesty, or a temporary rotunda before, [Page 8] arising from a natural cause, authors are silent (1).

[Page 9]A hoop, says an old writer, is an airy cool dress.—That may be, answers a modern wri­ter, arguing upon the same subject—but how comes it to pass that Queen Elizabeth, who was a virgin Queen, and her maids of honour, who were virgins by virtue of their office, should require more cooling than their grand­mothers? Now the question is very easily an­swered—Queen Elizabeth and her maids of honour were virgins—their grandmothers cer­tainly were not.

I suppose, Sir, said my fellow-traveller, we shall breakfast here, as the coach stopped at the Star and Garter at Kew-bridge.—I leap­ed out, and gave the lady my hand:—she sprung forward, but the treacherous hoop crossing the door of the coach, gave so sud­den a jerk to the lady, that as she sprung she fell, and as she fell, of course the hoop became inversed, as you may have seen an umbrella, or parasol, on a windy day—she slipped from under her garments.—Heaven preserve us!

I fixed my eyes upon the sign.—It is the Star and Garter, said I to myself, in an un­der [Page 10] voice, and in the same tone I read the motto—

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE.

I kept my eyes fixed upon the sign, without once attempting to extricate the lady. Had it been the sign of the Gorgon's head, I could not have been more petrified;—but my man, who had now descended from the roof of the coach, having more presence of mind, en­tered the coach at the opposite door, and tak­ing the lady by the shoulders, gently pulled her backwards, while I smoothed her cloaths, and brought the villainous hoop to its primi­tive situation.

The lady, having adjusted her drapery, came out sideways—

I led her into the house, and being shewn into a room—she cursed her hoop in a tone of bitterness infinitely more vindictive than the curse itself—but how could I say Amen?— I considered myself under some obligations to [Page 11] the object of her curses, "so amen stuck in my throat (1)."

[Page 12]It was all my own fault, said the lady;— I should have come out sideways at first.—But the way you attempted to come, Madam, said I, was the most natural.—True, she replied but not the most fortunate; our natural move­ments seldom are, said I—till this instant I considered hoops as protections from such ac­cidents, replied the lady, but I now perceive they render one's motions very unnatural—so saying, she retired. Breakfast was served in: —the lady returned, divested of her hoop— her dimity jacket fitted her shape exactly— her petticoat hung in folds—an elegant negle­gee appearance marked her person—the con­scious tint upon her cheek indexed the con­tinuance of her confusion.—We breakfasted, and having ascended the carriage with cau­tion, and taken our seats, without further accident, pursued our journey.

Though the air in the month of May is more congenial to the blood, and more in­vigorating to the constitution of all animals, than the air of any other month in the year; [Page 13] yet man, or woman, after long residence in the metropolis, the pores being open, and the mus­cles being relaxed, by the heat of full theatres, balls, routs, masquerades, ridottos, close rooms, and sea-coal fires, will find the morn­ing breeze of the country too sharp for their unbraced nerves and debilitated joints.

This was my case—I perceived my fair companion also shrunk from the acuteness of the biting air, and sought comfortable warmth in closely wrapping round her a pale pink sat­tin cloak, lined with sable fur.

I don't know a more pleasing contrast than pink faced with black—and the lining of the lady's cloak formed such a contrast, the black fur with which it was lined, turning over the edge of the pink sattin like a facing or la­pel (1).

[Page 14]Perceiving, then, that the lady not only in­dicated an aguish tremor, but that sleep had shed his drowsy influence upon her lids, which repeatedly dropped their "fringed curtains" over her eyes;—I proposed drawing up the coach-blinds — the lady complied.—

We both benefited by the precaution.—

The lady soon involuntarily resigned herself to the soft folding arms of sleep, who fixed his leaden seal upon her eyes.—I exercised my mind in meditation.

It has been said, that sleep is the emblem of death. The object I looked upon, so far from raising this gloomy idea in me, produced a quite contrary effect.—I thought of nothing but life, and prolongation of life—my thoughts arose from my feelings, my feelings from what I saw—but my feelings were not merely lo­cal—life trembled through the current of my blood—dilated my heart — inspired my soul— expanded my thoughts—warmed my imagi­nation to extasy—and, I answer for it, spoke at my eyes.

[Page 15]How easy would it have been at that in­stant to have tickled me to death—I should have shrunk from the touch like a sensitive plant.—

The lady slept on—

A MEDITATION.

THE scene at the inn-door, when I inno­cently gazed up on the Star and Garter, was fresh in my memory. Not an astronomer of them all, from Ptolemy the Egyptian, down to Copernicus the German, and from Co­pernicus the German, down to Newton the Englishman, had ever so strong a conception of the hirsute constellation, called by star-gaz­ers Berenice's locks, as I had of the sign at Kew-bridge.—Every object was painted upon my imagination in the most lively colours.

I recollected the lady's confusion on the un­fortunate event of her pocket-hoop—and this recollection produced in my mind an investi­gation of modesty.—When an Indian was ask­ed how he could go naked, and expose his body to the cold air, he answered, ‘because I am all face. Now the same answer would [Page 17] have been as pertinent had it related to mo­desty, instead of feeling; for in those coun­tries, where the inhabitants go perfectly na­ked, they look upon each other as undisturb­ed, with as chaste an eye, and unflushed coun­tenance, as if they were all face. With them every part is equally indifferent as to sight: the less modesty the less feeling;—the less feel­ing, the less incontinence, in thought, in word, and in deed.

The Lacedaemonians were remarkable for vir­tue, yet possessed very little modesty; and when we compare their customs with the customs of the chearful, happy inhabitants of the south­ern isles, discovered by Captain Cooke, it ap­pears the Lacedaemonians were perfect masters, and mistresses too, of the celebrated Timiradi dance, practised by the people of both sexes in Otaheite (1). It must be left to the judgment [Page 18] of the ladies, whether the daughter of Cato was right in her opinion, that women should take off and reassume their modesty with their garments. It is certain the Roman matron was a patriot, not however of that class of pa­triots who ornament the present times; she was not influenced by self—but from a regard to posterity.—And where is the woman who has not a regard to posterity? I answer—the wo­man who is not solely attached to one man, has neither regard for posterity nor for herself, and cannot be a patriot.

Thus did I mentally philosophize, till after long meditation, I concluded with a modern voyager (1), who from the contemplation of unpolished people, has drawn this opinion, [Page 19]that modesty and chastity, which have long been supposed to be inherent in the human mind, are local ideas, unknown in the state of nature, and modified according to the various degrees of civilization.’

Yet when Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, plucked from the tree of know­ledge, they saw they were naked, and were ashamed.

Oh chastity! thou art a great and shining virtue in civilized states! Thy utility is suf­ficiently known—but to govern and prevail with thee according to nature, is as difficult as it is easy to do it according to custom. Thou hast nothing, let me tell thee, pure and fair maid, to support thy precepts, but the hoary head, and shrivelled face, of ancient use.

And what is to be deduced from this? Why that the fair fabrick of chastity, was erected upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. But is not chastity in women the same as courage is in men? Is not chastity the very centre of a woman's point of honour? Is not female chastity a castle defended by religion, mora­lity, [Page 20] reason, custom, pride, apprehension, and shame? True, but when nature mutinies within, and love attacks the out-works, this well-defended castle, is no more than—a castle in the air.

THE EXAMINATION.

THE lady slept on.—

I could not get a wink of sleep.—

The devil take that sign, said I to myself, cursing the Star and Garter at Kew-bridge. Yet why should I curse the Star and Garter! Is it not an insignia, which our most gracious sovereign respects—which the first of our no­bility are continually in pursuit of.—And has not the learned Pettingall, who was a master of arts, thus delivered his opinion, after quot­ing some hundred authorities, in all languages, that the Star and Garter are amulets or charms, allegorical symbols of unity; or as Camden and Heylin have it, ‘a bond of the most in­ward society, and a badge of unity and con­cord, to inspire courage and vigour in men;’ —and does he not say, what every true man [Page 22] will join with him in saying, honi soit qui mal y pense, should be rendered, ‘shame and con­fusion to him that designs any evil against the wearer, (that is the wearer of the Star and Garter) may all his designs be retorted on the author.’ But why are the Bench of Bishops excluded from wearing this amu­let? Because they have mitres annexed to their Bishopricks, and that amounts to the same thing —and as to the lawyers, why, they have their black patches upon their wigs—and their scar­let patches upon their doctors gowns—and their furs for their judges robes, delectable to the touch.

To banish the idea of the sign at Kew-bridge, I examined the lady's face.—Her eyes were shut—here could I ramble through half a dozen pages, expatiating on the beauty of the eye—whether black, hazel, grey, or blue —whether open or closed, whether shaded by a full grown dark brow, or arched over with the smoothness of a mouse-skin.—I never gave a determined preference to any particular co­lour, only let it not be a jaundiced eye—nor [Page 23] a basilisk's eye—I hate both—but I have long thought, that the eye of a woman looks best when on the twinkle; that is, when it is nei­ther open, nor shut, but like the setting sun skirted by a shading cloud, emanates a lam­bient fire, through the medium of bordering fringe, with which nature has wisely provided it, for the purposes of ornament and pro­tection.—

Give me an eye with quivering beams, dancing with irregularity like the reflection of the moon upon agitated water (1)!

I was eighteen years of age, when I first dis­covered, that the perfection of beauty in the eye, or rather the perfect force of the opera­tions of the eye upon the heart, is not to be found, either when the eye is open, or when [Page 24] the eye is shut, but when the eye is upon the twinkle.—The impression I then received was deep, and I shall die in the opinion which was the result of it.

The manner in which I received this im­pression may appear hereafter.

A DESCRIPTION.

THE lady slept on—smiled as she slept, and as she smiled she sighed—

Health sported upon her cheek, while love, with a most inticing grace, diffused a non-re­sisting, if not inviting complacency over every feature, and wantoned on her neck.—Her lips smooth, and red as coral, pouted with ful­ness, and with a glowing ripeness equal to the blush of the wild strawberry, smooth as the sattin'd softness of the nectarine's coat, di­vided to give emission to her breath, discover­ing a set of teeth vying with orient pearl.—

Her breath!—

I sat opposite to her—Her breath fanned me with a fragrance, infinitely more inspiring, not less odoriferous, than the evening zephyr of June, agitating a rose-thicket, stealing its [Page 26] sweets If Mrs. DAWSON looks in her glass she will see an original resembling this picture.—.—The effect, however, was dif­ferent; the fanning zephyr would have cool­ed, but the southern blast that gathers con­suming heat from the burning desert of Ara­bia, could not scorch with more violence than the breath of my fellow-traveller.—

All appeared quiet within the peaceful ha­bitation of her bosom, which, gently heav­ing, preserved uninterrupted calmness, ex­cept when a half-suppressed sigh, or short breathing, broke in upon the regular serenity of its motion.

She sighed!—but her sighs were not the sighs of sorrow—neither were they the sighs of pain—they were the sighs of sensibility—and I discovered the nature of her sighs, by the gentle agitations of pleasure, which ever pre­ceded their risings, as tender harbingers, or fol­lowed them as affectionate attendants.—

It is probable the lady was in a dream, if she was, it was a dream of such sensibility, [Page 27] she might be said to wake sleeping (1). I drew a divination from her dream.—

THE WAGGON RUT.

THE road was smooth—the coach rolled on—the lady slept—but as she slept, she slipt.—

The cushion on which she sat gently gave way—perceiving her in danger of falling, and anxious to prevent it, I placed my feet close to her's.—This precaution immediately trans­ferred the point of gravity from the feet to the knee, and the coach continuing to com­municate its motion to the lady, no sooner were her feet stopped, than her knees natu­rally bent forward.—

Determined to support her, I gently slipt forward till our knees met.—

For above a mile we rolled along the road foot to foot, knee to knee—the coach conti­nuing to communicate motion to the lady, the lady communicating motion to me—till, [Page 29] unfortunately, the road growing rough, the motion increased, and became irregular—I lost my situation—the lady lost her situation of consequence.

Still the lady slept—and smiled—and sigh­ed—and slipped, unconscious of her danger; but the coach-wheel slipping into a waggon-rut, I slipt forward, the lady slipt downward, and my Lord Coke, who had lain unnoticed upon the seat, ever since I came into the coach in the morning, slipt down at the same in­stant with the lady; but luckily reaching the bottom of the carriage first, his lordship broke her fall.

I did all in my power to support her, but in vain—though the lady did every thing she could to support herself, and my Lord Coke lent his assistance.—

The accident appeared beyond remedy,— So being on my knees, I offered up a hasty, yet warm, sincere ejaculation to the great God of Love, who lending an ear auspicious to my prayer, in about two minutes I was extricated from—no—not extricated from my confusion, [Page 30] but extricated from my aukward position, and found myself able to replace the lady in her seat—

Having settled the lady, I took up my Lord Coke, and placed his lordship close by her.

A REFLECTION.

HAVING got out of the rut, and having passed the rough road, which caused the foregoing accident, the coach rolled on smoothly again.—

Now there are many travellers who would rail for an hour without intermission against these rough spots, which every man must some­times meet upon his journey, let him travel what road he will.—Some men meet them on high roads, some men meet them on bye roads.—Some men meet them on mountains. —Some men meet them in vallies.—They in­terrupt the rich man in his chariot, and the poor man on the humble foot-path way. —Philosophers have met these rough spots upon the summit of the Alps, the virtuosi have met them in the streets of Rome.—Nay, it has been said, that very wise and grave philo­sophers have met them on the very carpets of [Page 32] their libraries. For my part, I meet them here and there, and every where, and where­ever I meet them, whether on high road, or on bye road, on mountain, on valley, or on plain, I make the most of them. Wherever I travel, or in whatever manner I travel, whe­ther I travel in a carriage, on horse-back, or on foot, I never abuse them.—

Thank Heaven! there is a complacency in my disposition, which bids defiance to trifling casualties; and whether the road be rough, or whether the road be smooth, my temper is still the same, and I never quarrel with the road, nor with myself, nor with any thing I meet, but go whistling on—I only wish I may never meet these rough spots on Mount Aetna, on Mount Vesuvius, or on any other burn­ing mount.—I care not how warm the climate is—but Heaven preserve me from volcanos! —I have an implacable aversion to fire!

A road may be considered as an emblem of life, and much instruction may be picked up in very few miles travelling; yet some there are, and men of great name, who have tra­velled [Page 33] to Egypt, and have attained nothing but the height of the Pyramids, or a sketch of the Sphynx, though they have written whole volumes upon what they have seen, and have not seen;—while others have been able to dis­cover a thousand objects, in a space not lon­ger than from London to Highgate, upon which they have exercised all the benignity of philanthrophy.—

A road, I say, may be considered as an em­blem of life.—How various the prospect on the right and on the left!—Sometimes a se­rene, sometimes a cloudy sky.—How diffe­rent are the passengers in their size, in their complexion, and in the manner of pursuing their journey?—What innumerable stops from turnpikes!—What a number of cross roads! —How many arrests from accidents!—And how few make for the same resting-place, or pursue one certain constant gait.

This now is philosophizing—that is, if to philosophize, be, as has been defined by some philosophers, according to Montaigne, to write at random, and play the fool, as the es­sayist [Page 34] did, and which I shall never blush at doing, let my subject be what it may, pro­viding only, that when I do write at random, or play the fool, my writing and my folly may be marked with some of his features.

THE CONFUSION.

THE sun had now risen considerably above the horizon—the kine had returned to their pastures, having paid their milky tribute to the dairy—and the honest hind, whose la­bour enables the luxuriant and the lazy, to indulge in pleasures, in sensuality and sloth, while he experienced the effects of the first judgment, announced by the divine wisdom against our primitive parents, by earning his bread with the sweat of his brow, softened its rigour with a chearful song, expressive of content.

Every object looked sprightly—every ob­ject appeared gay—every object wore the ju­venile dress of summer—every object, ani­mate and inanimate, contributed a share of chearfulness to the scene.

[Page 36]The situation in which the lady had disco­vered herself on waking, had overwhelmed her with confusion. A blush of the deep­est dye, far beyond the boasted Tyrian, diffused its colour through her veins, sometimes de­scending, it spread over her fair bosom, and then, as if exhaled by the fire of her bright eyes, rose to her face, and revelled in a rubid glow.

The deep colour did not continue long— it faded by degrees to a rosy tint, but not to a fixed complexion—it sported during the course of our journey, in delicate shades. It was not difficult to discover what the lady felt —it was evident, from the revulsion of her blood, that the soul laboured, and the body languished.

If my confusion was not equal to the lady's, nor lasting as the confusion which distressed her, I felt an equal share of irrita­tion. It was my ardent wish to relieve her, if possible, though I stood in need of relief myself. I would have roused my spirits, but they had been so lately dispersed, it was im­possible [Page 37] to recruit them suddenly—I did all I could to rally them, but in vain. I looked to the lady for assistance—the lady looked from me, as demanding assistance for herself —our nerves thrilled in unison—the vibra­tion was sympathetic—the tremor was reci­procal—so had been the cause.

I looked again towards the lady, taking her at the same instant by the hand—the vital spirits began to revive from the lethargy they had lately sunk into—the lady's hand lay in mine, a gentle mutual compressure gave my spirits the first alarm.

As I looked towards the lady, she turned her head round towards me, just so much as to give the profile of her face. A gentle sigh, with a soliciting cast of the eye informed me, she expected relief at my hands. My heart felt the full force and propriety of the ex­pectation—it almost amounted to reproach. But how should I relieve her? My ideas were astray, my tongue was tied, and could as well have answered calmly from the rack, to the interrogatories of a persecuting Spanish in­quisitor, [Page 38] as commence a conversation with my fair companion.

Neither of us could articulate a word— yet though silent, we conversed—for the lady by degrees looking full in my face, our eyes spoke, and we perfectly understood each other —it was the language of nature, whose de­clarations were sincere, her thoughts are un­disguised, and scorn the deformities of du­plicity.

You should speak to me, said the lady, from charity

Something for the sake of charity, said a young seaman, who had lost an arm and a leg privateering, something for charity, said the seaman, as the coachman pulled up to the door of a small public house to take a dram (1), and receive some parcels.

A moment before I would most willingly have purchased this interruption at any ex­pence, [Page 39] being now relieved from embarrass­ment by the lady's having opened the con­versation, I wished the seaman had lost his head instead of his arm—just as my peevish temper suggested the inhuman thought, the poor fellow, addressing himself to the lady, and turning from me, said, Madam, I have lost my arm in the service of my country— and he held up his stump.

This man, who had faced the horrors of war undaunted, this man who had faced death in a thousand different shapes undismayed, was scared by the inhospitable, the ungracious and forbidding look, vexation had thrown into my countenance.

I was preparing to recompense the injury I intended him, by my wish, which was now retorted with full force upon myself, by giving him the silver I had put into the purse I had prepared for the highwayman—but as I drew the purse from my pocket, AVARICE whispered in my ear, he has Greenwich to support him, or if not, he has his parish to maintain him. Burrow's Settlement Cases [Page 40] lay upon the seat opposite to me, close to Lord Coke.—The law has made a provision for him, said Sir James Burrow.

CHARITY whispered in the opposite ear to that which AVARICE had applied her mouth to—this was the further ear from the poor sailor—but her words sunk deep into my soul.

It is certainly an honour to the law, whis­pered Charity, that it makes a provision for the poor, but it is no great honour to human nature, that the law has need to make such provision

The intention of the law is good, said Sir James Burrow—but the hundreds of decisions upon Charity cases which I have collected, have swallowed up more of the provision allotted the poor, than even the overseers have swallow­ed up—the poor are starved between the ex­penditures of litigation and gormandizing (1).

[Page 41]I had the purse half up, when VANITY stepping in with her advice, and aiding the solicitations of CHARITY, induced me to draw it to the very edge of my pocket.— A few acts of generosity, said VANITY, prudently managed, will give you as much reputation for goodness as most men desire.

Shall I, said I to myself—shall I restrain the stream of charity that overflows my heart? Shall I retain, for the purpose of some selfish gratification, this trash, taking the few shil­lings out of the purse; this trash, which di­vine bounty designed for the common benefit of all mankind.—The opportunities and in­ducements we have to alleviate the miseries, and promote the happiness of our fellow-crea­tures, are innumerable. Our hearts incline us to good, our reason approves the acts of hu­manity.—

All we have is given to us—all we do is but ministering.

A fat prebendary, well-mounted, and at­tended by two servants in livery, came ambling up, all in fine order—no determining which [Page 42] was best fed, the fat prebendary, the fat pre­bendary's servants, or the fat prebendary's horses—sleek and fat—fat and sleek—nothing of a curate, or a curate's man, or a curate's horse, about them—lean and pale—pale and lean.—God bless your Reverence! said the maimed seaman, holding out his hat with his left hand, at the same time shewing the stump of his right arm to the fat prebendary.

The fat prebendary returned the blessing with the voice of meekness—God bless you! said the fat prebendary—joining his hands to­gether, with his eyes elevated religiously to­wards heaven, God bless you, said his reve­rence, turning down his eyes, and looking on the seaman's stump, the prebendary gently spurred his horse and rode on—

Your honours will remember me, said the seaman, addressing himself to the prebendary's servants.—The prebendary's servants looked as if they said Amen to their master's prayers. —The horses neighed—but they were brutes.—What was the fat prebendary!— [Page 43] What were the fat prebendary's servants!— Christians! Christians!

A serjeant of the guards, with his knapsack flung at his shoulders, holding a child by the one hand, and his wife following, carrying another child, succeeded.

Brother soldier, can you spare a trifle to a poor seaman? said the mutilated tar.

D—n your eyes, answered the serjeant, here's all I can spare; and he threw six-pence into the seaman's hat.—The wife followed the example of her husband—she dropped her mite, and passed on; O may that mite be layed up in Heaven! and may the scanty pit­tance in the corner of your husband's knap­sack, increase like the widow's cruse!—

The serjeant's curse cut me to the heart— I reproached myself, blessed him, and curs­ing the fat prebendary, the fat prebendary's fat servants, and the fat prebendary's fat horses (though sure I wronged the beasts) slipped the shillings I had held clinched in my hand, into the hand of the seaman—I slipped them into his hand, unknown to any one— [Page 44] almost unknown to myself—in truth, VA­NITY had nothing to say to the gift, it was the gift of an impulse, involuntarily spring­ing from the noble motive of compassion, which the example set me by the serjeant, had instantaneously kindled in my breast.—

The lady also felt the force of the serjeant's damn, and contributed under its impulse to the seaman's wants.

I insert this damn of the serjeant, as a pre­cept for the edification of a certain bench, and all those who derive authority under them —but they want not precept—it is in prac­tice they are deficient.—Do as I say, is the great foundation of their preaching.—Why can they not preach, do as I do?

Come forth your Grace with your Dutchess —come forth each Marquis with his Mar­chioness—come forth each Earl with his Countess—come forth each Baron with his Baroness—step forth ye Knights with your Ladies—and hear how the serjeant d—n'd the seman's eyes.—He had experienced himself what suffering is, and could not overlook it [Page 45] in another.—O come forth, look to his good works, and cover the multitude of your sins; for, be assured, your enormous subscriptions to a dancing, skipping tribe of buffoons, will avail you nought hereafter (1).

THE PROPOSAL.

THE human mind should ever be employed, mental exercise and industry being as es­sential to the health of the soul, as corporeal exercise and labour is to the health of the body. Idleness in the mind produces vice, idleness in the body produces disease. The vacant hours of dulness are the most dangerous hours of life, for when ever the tempter of mankind, who is always on the watch, finds the mind out of employment, he never fails to step in, with one or other vicious incite­ment to seduce the soul from virtue.

For this reason I have established as a rule in the mental code by which I govern myself, that when ever I find my mind inadequate to the exercises of study or rational contempla­tion, which is too often the case, to seek im­mediate employment for my ideas in some innocent amusement.

[Page 47]It is certainly the most probable way of avoiding the devil and all his works.

I never stood in greater necessity for the ap­plication of my rule than at the present in­stant.—Was my life to pay the forfeit, I could not enter into a serious conversation with the lady, or a proper conversation with myself; so finding it impossible to speak, and dreading the consequence of thinking, I resolved to dis­appoint Old Nick by proposing an amusement.

I asked the lady to play travelling piquet.

TRAVELLING PICQUET.

THE lady declared she was totally ignorant of the game.—

I once played the game, said I, when For­tune being in a good-natured mood, as she was this day, introduced me to a tete à tete party with a young widow whom I met at Holy-head, and travelled with in a post coach to Chester.

Then, said the lady, you are but a novice at the game yourself?

No, Madam, answered I, the young widow was experienced in it, and by her instructions, and playing it repeatedly since, I am now a perfect adept at the game,—and if you give permission, will instruct you.—

The lady, bowing, smiled assent to play, and I commenced my lesson.

THE LESSON.

SUPPOSE, Madam, said I, addressing myself to the lady, suppose, Madam, you and I,—or suppose, Madam, you and any other companion, were travelling in a coach, post-chaise, or vis à vis.—A vis à vis! ex­claimed the lady, to ride in a vis à vis, is the height of my ambition.—

A vis à vis, Madam said I, is the most convenient carriage for playing travelling picquet in, twenty to one.—I proceeded in my instructions.

Suppose, Madam, you and I travel together in a carriage.—We are travelling together, observed the lady.—Well, Madam, you and I travelling together in a carriage, I reckon two for every gate I see on the right hand side of the road, you reckon two for every gate you see on the left hand side of the road, and [Page 50] so according to agreement, a certain number is reckoned for every object seen by you, on your side of the road, or seen by me, on my side of the road, whether man or woman, horse or mare, bull or cow, ram or ewe, cock or hen, &c.—

You understand me, Madam? said I,—

Perfectly, answered the lady.—

But observe, Madam—A man and woman —a horse and mare—a bull and cow—a ram and ewe—a cock and hen,—Et caetera, said the lady, interrupting my recapitulation—I went on—A man and woman, & caetera, Madam, may chance to present themselves on your side of the road, or on my side of the road, so as to entitle you, Madam, or to entitle me, Madam, to a repique.

You must explain that, said the lady—

Remember, Madam, said I—I don't say man or woman, horse or mare, &c.—but man and woman, horse and mare, &c.

Your reason, Sir, for the distinction? said the lady—

[Page 51]Doctor Lowth, Madam, now bishop of London, and all learned Grammarians, in­form us, that or is a conjunction disjunctive—

I have been taught so myself, said the lady.—

The same learned bishop, Madam, and other learned authorities—you don't except to the bishop for being a living authority (1)?

No, Sir—

Well, Madam, they have all laid it down that AND is a conjunctive-copulative.

The lady hummed a tune.

You now understand the game, Madam? The lady hummed on.—

If you don't understand it, Madam, the fault is not with you, nor with me, nor with the bishop of London, nor with the other [Page 52] learned grammarians; and I swear by Moses' rod, which rod was greater than all the rods of all the Egyptian Magi, or by the scepter with which the great Mogul attempts to rule the beauties in his seraglio, the fault should not be imputed to nature—she has given us un­derstanding sufficient to understand all things that should be understood.

And pray, where does the fault lie, Sir, said the lady—

We will find out the place presently, Madam.

THE GAME.

THE lady had reckoned on several gates—

So had I—

The lady had reckoned on several passengers, male and female—

So had I—

The lady had reckoned on horses, kine, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, and poultry of various kinds.

So had I—

The lady had reckoned on waggons, carts, coaches, chaises, whiskeys, and caprioles—

So had I—

The lady had reckoned on one gigg

So had I—

The lady had reckoned up to fifty, I had only reckoned up to thirty. The eagerness of expecting conquest sparkled in her eye, and marked every feature of her face, when a young woman who desired to be taken up as an outside passenger, stopped the coach.—

THE REPIQUE.

THE prospect on my side being beautiful, naturally drew the lady's eyes that way to view it. We were admiring the landscape, when a country lad and lass, who appeared fatigued with the labour of the morning, for the lass walked leaning upon the lad's arm, having arrived at the shady side of a hillock, sat down—

I reckoned four to my game.—

The lad gave the lass a kiss—by the rule of the game I was entitled to reckon two more.—

He kissed her again—again—and again— I foresaw the game would be my own—En­core, said I—

Devil take the impudent fellow, said the lady, peevishly, at the same time suppressing a half smile, I shall certainly lose.—But the lass, Madam, said I, appears as much my friend as the lad.

[Page 55]She is a Methodist, perhaps, answered the lady, and has been instructed in the doctrine of non resistance

And he is probably of the same profession, replied I, for if I am not mistaken, there will be a love feast presently.—The lad gave the lass another kiss, to illustrate my supposi­tion—I reckoned two more—The lady bit her under lip.—

That, Madam, said I, is a point—The lady hummed and looked down—

And ***** that, Madam, continued I, pointing with my fore-finger thus ☞—is a quint—The lady looked up—looked forward, then looked up again, as if to look for some­thing in the sky, and overlook every thing on the ground—she then looked down and played with her apron string.

The lass on the hillock side, was also look­ing at the sky.

You will certainly lose. Madam—I believe I shall lose, said the lady, tying and untying her apron string.—

[Page 56]There is no doubt now, Madam—see, see, —point—quinte, and quatorze—A repique by the feathered arrow of Cupid, and by his favourite quiver.

The lady took a serious look at the lad and lass to be convinced of her loss, and being convinced, turning her head aside, tacitly acknowledged I had won.—

The young country woman, who stopped the coach, had by this time agreed with the coachman—had ascended the box, and ad­justed herself in her seat—

You may now drive on, said the young country woman to the coachman—

So—we drove on.

And may every man I esteem on earth, drive thro' the journey of this life, with as much pleasure, content, and innocence of heart as I drove on to Windsor.

I had no reason however to triumph in my victory—for tho' I won the first, I lost the second and third game before I reached the town.

A DIGRESSION.

AS I was sitting in my chambers at the conclusion of the last division of my Excursions, a loud knocking brought my ser­vant to the outer door (1)—knock—knock— knock—

Who's there? said I—

The Devil, Sir, answered my servant—

Bid the Devil enter—said I—

[Page 58] Enter DEVIL (bows.)
DEVIL.

My master, Sir, desires me to inform you, that he has shewn your excursions to some cri­tics, who all agree that it will never sell with­out an introduction.

AUTHOR.

My respects to our master, good Mr. Devil, and assure him he shall have an in­troduction, preliminary discourse, prologue or preface, by to-morrow morning at ten o'clock.—

Exit Devil.

So now Mr. Devil for—a devilish good— INTRODUCTION.—

INTRODUCTION As the Reviewers, from the quantity of literary drudgery they are forced to go through every month, cannot possibly have time to read the whole of every book they give an opinion on; it is probable our au­thor introduced his introduction in this place, in hopes the reviewers would not read so far.—Next month will shew whether the reviewers have reached his introduction; indeed the probability is, that they will not peep farther than into the title page.— ANONYMOUS..

IN which introduction, if there should ap­pear any malice, envy, detraction, revenge, indecency, &c. the courteous reader will recollect, that this same introduction was written at the instigation of the Devil, at a time when I had not the fear of heaven before my eyes.

It will be said I have imitated STERNE. I have heard of an author who wrote a play in imitation of Shakespear, the play was a good play enough, and had one line strongly [Page 60] imitative of Shakespear's manner, which line was "good morrow, good master lieutenant." —It will be said I imitate STERNE—It is true like STERNE, my pen guides me, I don't guide my pen. I write my thoughts liberally, unstudied, and unarranged, as they spontane­ously arise to my imagination, without culti­vation or pruning,—of consequence they will be deficient in ornament, in profit, and in strength—but if they are natural I am satisfied.

I have always read STERNE with delight, and never read him but I felt him in my heart more than in my head; yet I hope his precepts have improved my understanding in the same proportion they have expanded my humanity. His precepts affect me like wine, they make my heart glad,—they affect me like love, or rather they affect me like a conjunction of love and wine, for they make me generous and gay. Imbibing his opinions has sweetened whatever portion of acidity, Nature, Mis­fortune, and Disappointment have mixed in my composition; and having grafted them upon my heart, it is probable their emana­tions [Page 61] may produce some pleasing blossoms, some good fruit—Good fruit may be produced by ingrafting upon a crabThis is a palpable plagiary from my DUENNA. The author of the DUENNA, whoever he is.—.

If I should exhibit any feature bearing likeness to STERNE, I shall be proud of the similarity; but for this happiness I can scarcely hope. The stile of STERNE is peculiar to him­self, his art is to please the imagination and improve the mind, with natural, yet elegant simplicity. He is master of that charming enthusiasm inspired by heaven itself for the instruction of its creatures: and in his com­position there is a certain incommunicable art of making one part rise gracefully out of another, which is felt by all, though seen only by the critic See a Student's letter to John Dunning, Esq in defence of the Rev. H. Bate. Printed by Bladon, Pater-noster-row.. His life, his opinions, his sermons, his journey, his letters, and every thing he has written, will be read with admira­tion, [Page 62] will be read with pleasure, and with pro­fit, when the laboured works of labouring philosophers, travellers, historians, politici­ans, and other mouse ingendering compilers (1), shall lie sleeping in dust upon the upper shelves of shops and libraries (2). The works of STERNE will be in the hands, in the heads, and in the hearts of every man, ay, and every woman too, of feeling; when the works of the Smell-fungusses and the Mun­dungusses of the age, will be lining trunks and band boxes I have cut up several of the best modern au­thors at my shop, the corner of St. Paul's church­yard, as any person may see who will take the trouble of looking into my trunks.—DEPUTY CLEMENTS..

The imatators of STERNE, it must be al­lowed, have as much wit as they have judg­ment, and there are plenty of them heaven [Page 63] knows (1). Whether I have wit or judg­ment must be left to my readers, and among [Page 64] these I hope I shall be honoured with the judgment of the reviewers.

[Page 65]REVIEWERS (1). I have mentioned your title Gentlemen, and cannot pass you by un­noticed; [Page 66] —tho' like Yahoes I expect you will mount among the branches of my laurel (1), and bemute my fair production. What say the critical sons of sapience (2). They lift up their voices and cry as one man, these sentimental excursions are a servile imitation in thought, in word, and in deed. Suppose they are imitations, they are imitations of a great master, who had his jerkin, as he says himself, cut and slashed by these reviewers to very shreds: and well might he say cut and slashed, for be it known to all whom it may [Page 67] concern, in the REPUBLIC OF LETTERS, that these kings of shreds and patches, the re­viewers, do literally cut and slash,—they having almost given up the use of pen and ink in composing their works, and substituted scissars and paste.

The PEOPLE of the LITERARY WORLD, that is, the PEOPLE OF PATER-NOSTER­ROW, can vouch the truth of this assertion, not only as it relates to the reviewers, but to the various tribes of modern mathematicians, politicians, biographists, historians, essayists, voy­agers, ay, and divines too, who all cut and paste—paste and cut. It is the author who can cut and paste well, and not the author who can conceive and write well, who makes money; for the former will cut down and paste up half a dozen volumes, before the latter can invent and arrange a single page.— Yet these form the modern LITERATI (1).

[Page 68]Now IMITATION is quite a different thing from scissars and paste (1).—Every man who possesses a nice and critical eye, must see, that notwithstanding the present flourishing state of the elegant arts, little more than imi­tation can be attributed to the artists of the day in any department. From Homer down to the lowest of the lowest poets, all are imi­tators; but the modern majority are pilferers (2), many of them open literary robbers (3), wretched scribblers, who by inserting among their laborious nothings, whole paragraphs [Page 69] from books of genius, stock the shops with heterogenous monsters. Now literary pilferers and robbers are not to be classed with imitators, for imitators may possess what these dull rogues never can possess,—they may possess genius and invention.

The works of STERNE have at least a stronger claim to originality, than any other modern production; and yet, even STERNE has his imitations; he can laugh out in the tone of Rabellais, and skip from his subject, or smile with the chearfulness of Montaigne; or he can assume the sober sensations of delight of heart-felt complacency, and seer with the pointed grave Cervantes.—Now if I imi­tate STERNE, have I not as just a right to imitate him, as he had to imitate Rabellais, Montaigne, and Cervantes; or as Virgil had to imitate Homer (1)? The right I have, but where is the ability? STERNE could throw every thing into a new light, but who can threw a new light upon STERNE?

[Page 70]As to the thoughts which may appear in my WORKS, say what you will gentlemen re­viewers, my thoughts are my own, wherever I collect them: Whether they are ferae natura, caught by me flying in the atmosphere of fancy—or sporting in the fields of imagina­tion—or whether they are rendered tame and profitable by the industry of another's study; whether they vegetate in my own brain, or are transplanted there ready cultivated from the brain of another person, my thoughts are my own wherever I get them; for I can­not part with them, when once I get possession of them.—They become annexed to the soil— I have a common law right to them (1).

[Page 71]Every author will be stealing, and every author will cry stop thief!

Shakespear was a thief—I do not mean in deer stealing, but Shakespear stole from na­ture.

Pope was a thief—Pope stole propriety of thought, delicacy of sentiment, justness of method—and elegance of composition.

But this is an honest age, we have no such thieves in these days, if we had, they could not live, the reviewers are such excellent thief-takers.

[Page 72]The SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, like Peachum's lock, is a collection of goods stolen.—An in­former declared to Charles the Second, that Dryden had stolen the play of the Spanish Friar—God's fish! exclaimed the facetious monarch, has he? I wish you could steal such another.

The Man of the World is a drama without an original thought, every sentiment it con­tains is to be met with in the conversation of the times; the manners exhibited are as fami­liar as the manners of common life, and the incidents are merely such as happen every day: Nay, the characters are nothing better than copies from Nature.—As to the general plan of the piece, its unities, its fable, and its moral, are so strongly similar to the founda­tion upon which the drama of the antients has been built, that the plagiary is evident (1). [Page 73] —This comedy wants novelty, it being acted every hour, in every great house, in every great square, and every great street in this great metropolis; and therefore as human nature is invariable, the merit of the author of the MAN OF THE WORLD, consists in nothing more, than exhibiting in dramatic form and dialogue, the customs and habits, which have unavoidably taken place, and characterize the history of the day.

Having touched a little upon imitation and literary thieving, I will now state a few un­arranged thoughts on similarity of thinking.—

The variety we see in the persons, in the faces, and in the modes of thinking, which distinguish the individuals who compose the human animal, are astonishing! But variety and contrast in the appearance and manners of man, are necessary to the purposes of his be­ing, and shew the infinite wisdom and infinite power of his Creator.

From variety and contrast of person we judge of proportion, and the elegance of symmetry.

[Page 74]From variety and contrast of face, we judge of beauty and of ornament.

And from variety and contrast of thinking, we judge of intellectual capacity, as it ope­rates in the progress of its study upon sciences, and its invention and improvement in the arts.

So that it may be said, that the knowledge of all arts, and the knowledge of all sciences, which include the knowledge of all things, is the consequence of variety in our modes of thinking, and contrast in our opinions; which variety and contrast, stimulate us to controversy and experiment. And as virtue would not have been known but for the con­trast of vice, nor colours but for the variety of their shades, neither would arts nor sciences have been known, had the organs of mankind been so formed that every individual should think alike.

Yet notwithstanding the versatile sportings of nature in forming her creatures, we often find a strong similitude of person, a strong similitude of face, and a strong similitude in [Page 75] the mode of acting and of thinking between persons totally unallied—totally unacquainted with each other; and perhaps there never were such strong instances of SIMILARITY IN THINKING, as have arisen within these few years.

I shall pursue one line of illustration to support this assertion, and that line shall be the line of the drama.

Mr. SHERIDAN has been so happy as to think like Congreve, to think like Buckingham, to think like Farquhar, to think like Wycherly; and RUMOUR says, that Mr. Sheridan has been so happy as to think like many living authors (1). Yet it is certain, that on the [Page 76] merit of new pieces, unhappily living authors do not think like Mr. Sheridan. Some critics say, that Mr. Sheridan in his late prologue to Lady Craven's piece (1) thought like Mr. Colman in his late prelude.

Mr. COLMAN in this same prelude, has thought like Mr. Foote; and in many of his other writings it is said, Mr. Colman has been so lucky as to think not only like those authors who have reached Parnassus, but like other authors who have attempted to gain the mount through the medium of Mr. Colman's theatre.

Mr. SHERIDAN and Mr. COLMAN being both managers and authors, may not only think like other authors, but may think for other authors, and crush their merit with im­punity.

Mr. CUMBERLAND in his West Indian, has thought exactly like Mr. Macklin in his Love [Page 77] à la Mode. In the Widow of Delphi, Mr. Cumberland has thought like himself (1).

Mr. MACKLIN has never been charged with thinking like any other author (2).

Mr. DIBDIN it is true, has thought, but how he has thought is not worth thinking about, and the same may be said of several others.

Mr. MURPHY never troubles his head with thinking—he translates.

Mrs. COWLEY has attacked Miss Moore for thinking like her; and a Templer asserts, [Page 78] that Mrs. Cowley, in her Belle's Stratagem, has thought exactly as he—thought in a comedy and an opera, both rejected by Mr. Harris.

CAPTAIN JEPHSON in his tragedies, though he has thought like many people, yet he has also thought much upon the similarity of things. His Law of Lombardy is a tragedy of the massacre of similies; he has told us in it what every thing is like, but he has not told us what any one thing is.

Mr. ANDREWS in his Dissipation, has very fortunately thought like a gentlemen who some time since wrote an entertainment on Lord Darbey's Fete Champetre.

The AUTHOR of the Lord of the Manor has thought exactly as General Burgoyne thought in the House of Commons.—But of all the authors or authoresses who have lately thought like their contemporaries, no author or authoress stands so distinguished as Miss LEE; and of all the accidents in the Chapter of Accidents, the happiest accidents are these, where Miss Lee thinks like another author; [Page 79] wherever that happens, Miss Lee certainly thinks well.—

But surely it is now full time I should think of continuing my excursions, in the pursuit of which, heaven send that I may think like STERNE.

WINDSOR. THE INN.

HAVING arrived at WINDSOR, and handed the lady out of the coach into the inn, we were shewed into a parlour by the landlord, in his proper person. Here a very serious difficulty started, which never occurred, at least to me, during the whole course of the journey.—How am I to part with my fellow-traveller, thought I—Ay, "there is the rub," and a severe rub it was —I was totally ignorant of the lady's name —the lady was totally ignorant of my name. —It is true, I knew something about her, but a motive, in which curiosity had the smallest share, made me wish most ardently to know every thing about her.—No sooner had I per­ceived [Page 81] this inclination, for gaining an inti­mate knowledge of the lady, and the lady's af­fairs, than I flattered myself, that the lady felt as ardent an inclination, to be intimately acquainted with me, with every thing about me, and with my affairs.—I not only wished to know her, but to know all her connec­tions.—I asked myself a thousand questions about her, without putting one question to her.—

Who is she?

Whence came she?

Who is her father?

Who is her mother?

Who are her brothers?

Who are her sisters?

Has she any brothers and sisters, un­cles, aunts, or cousins?

These questions I put deliberately to my­self, stringing them together in succession, as the facetious Sancho Panza, the laugh-and-be-fat-sub-hero of Don Quixote's adventures, strung his proverbs.— But no sooner had I finished my interrogatories upon her relations, [Page 82] than a multitude of other interrogatories rushed in upon my mind impetuously—

Is she a maid?

Find that out, would have been the proper answer.—

Is she a wife?

Is she a widow?

Is she neither maid, wife, nor widow?—

Is she a mistress?

Is she rich?

That is no business of mine.—

Is she poor?

Not in spirit, for to me she has been most liberal; and if she wants assistance, to reple­nish her purse, or to right her wrongs, by Heaven my purse, (I was master of forty-eight guineas, which was within two guineas of my quarter's allowance) and my sword, (which, though of old mourning-mounting, had an excellent blade, of genuine Toledo temper) are both at her service.—

LOVE.

WE stood in a parlour of the inn, our hands locked within each other.—It would be hard, Madam, said I, sighing, after the pleasant journey we have experienced, to part as ignorant of each other as we met.— It shall not be my fault, said the lady, if we are not longer acquainted; I am come to spend a few weeks at Windsor, and if you wish to continue an intimacy, which acci­dent produced, and, added I, interrupting her, which love assisted.—Love! alas, said the lady, shaking her head, there was no love in the case, our meeting, and every thing that has happened since we met, were the effects of accident—assisted by nature; then, Madam, said I, bowing, and laying my hand upon my heart—and what is love, but nature?

[Page 84]Thelady blushed, but silently assented to my opinion, which she illustrated by a sentimental gentle squeeze of the hand —I thanked her for the compliment, by returning the squeeze in the same sentimental gentle manner I had received it; and raising her hand to my lips, "she nothing loath," kissed it with the ge­nuine fervour of affection and sincerity.— The lady recovered her spirits, and the whole force of those spirits starting into her eyes, her bosom heaving with a heart-easing sigh; alas! said she, with an amiable frankness, I must acknowledge the propriety of your ob­servation.—LOVE IS THE CHILD OF NA­TURE! But I must sincerely regret, that mere accident has convinced me of this truth. —How happy should I have been, if a long acquaintance, matured into friendship and a series of reciprocal obligations, had been the means of my conviction—how happy should I have been, if it had been my fortune to have loved from the result of judgment, not from the effect of contingency, and she wept.—

[Page 85]Now the lady's tears were natural, but it was unnatural to suppose, that love could re­sult from judgment.

I acknowledge, continued the lady, wip­ing her eyes, I acknowledge we are some­times excuseable for yielding to the simple authority of nature: but what have I done? I have suffered myself to be hurried away, to be transported by her tyrannical dictates; whereas reason alone, should have authority over the conduct of our inclinations,—She wept again.—I felt the full force of her tears —they were a dew, which nourished my in­fant passion.—

Falling upon one knee, with faultering speech, I swore never to part from her. —Her countenance brightened, on hearing my vow—she appeared happy—her looks touched my very soul, our happiness was mu­tual—and surely the pleasure which the be­nevolent mind feels in the happiness of others, is one of the most delightful sensations with which the human soul is blest.

A QUESTION ANSWERED.

QUESTION—What is LOVE?—

ANSWER.—Love is a desire of con­tracting friendship, of uniting with, and com­municating happiness to a beautiful object; every eye making its own beauty.—Love is active, eager, sharp, precipitate.—Love is fickle, moving, and inconstant; love is a fe­ver, subject to intermissions and paroxysms— But give me that love, which when the pa­roxysms have subsided, retains an universal fire (1), but temperate and equal, a constant established heat, all easy and smooth, without poignancy or roughness.

[Page 87]Yet love is a tyrant!—All passions are ty­rants, but love is the greatest tyrant of all the passions; for love holds all the other passions under arbitrary subjection—love leads every man by the nose (1)—love makes the miser soften the rigour of his avarice (2)—lessens the appetite of the glutton (3)—slakes the thirst of the drunkard (4)—sooths the anger of the revengeful (5)—inspires the coward with courage (6) and—subdues the pride of the haughty (7).

A WARNING.

TAKE care ladies, whether maids or wi­dows, we will put wives out of the ques­tion, because wives are under coverture.— Take care ladies how you fall in love, for the highest crested dame of you all, the tyrant will bring—

DOWN,
UP and DOWN,
UP and DOWN,
DERRY, DERRY, DERRY, DERRY,
UP and DOWN—(here is a rest)
DOWN,
DERRY DOWN.
Oh!—(here is a quiver.)

Prick this burthen down ladies, and play it upon your piana fortes, it is a soft tune, and sounds best upon an instrument with buffed keys.—

[Page 89]This burthen to an old song is the only re­quiem for your dying lover.—

Nay, ladies, be you ever so young, ever so handsome, or ever so ugly, ever so grave or gay, good-humoured or ill-humoured, the ty­rant love will rule you.—So beware, ladies, of the tyrant's rule.

But, above all, beware of the tyrant's rule, ye antiquated virgins with large fortunes, who combating with the spirit against the flesh, have out-lived every desire—except the desire of possessing a young husband.

A WISH.

O! May I never experience that love where the flame rises to a frantic passion to en­joy an object who flies me! Save me from coquets, good heaven! curse me not with jilts! and bless me with the possession of that true love, which looks to me alone for happiness —that true love, which, being founded on sincerity, is a stranger to arts and gallantry— that true love which flourishes only amongst its own natural sweets, complacency, mutual esteem, and constancy (1)—give me a wo­man [Page 91] whose mind is without stain, whose man­ners are without art, and whose person is free from every embellishment, but those embellish­ments it has acquired from the hand of na­ture (1).

THE DEPARTURE.

I Must leave you, said the lady, drawing away her hand from mine, but drawing it away reluctantly—my hand pressing her hand tenderly—I must leave you, said she, or my friends, who are now impatiently expecting me, will be surprized at my delay; and know­ing this to be the usual hour for the stage's arrival, will come to seek me—so permit­ting me to take the liberty of a kiss, and pro­mising I should hear from her in the course of the evening, she departed from the inn. —I led her to the outward door—she insisted I should go no farther—and not knowing, but she had private reasons for refusing an escorte, I permitted her to depart unattended, my eyes following her down the street, till coming to a corner, she nodded a farewel, and disap­peared.—

A REFLECTION.

I Directly returned to the inn—and going into the parlour, looked out of the window towards the royal palace—this is WINDSOR, said I to myself, Windsor, so renowned in an­cient story! —Windsor, so celebrated in an­cient song.

And here our Edward's and our Henry's have resided, have sported in the chace, and exercised at the tournament.—

This is Windsor, rendered immortal by immortal Pope, and now the residence of the most numerous progeny, that ever royalty produced.—Priam, it is true, had sixty sons, but how many wives had Priam?—

The prospect, I was informed, from the castle-terrace, was truly beautiful, but the town is cursed straggling, and cursed incon­venient.—I took out my watch to see the [Page 94] hour—mercy preserve me! exclaimed I, it is but a few hours since I left London, and what a number of incidents have marked that short space of time.—Every circumstance rushed upon my memory—I found myself un­easy—something was wanting—I sighed, and my sighing told me it was my fair companion —but she was gone.—

THE OVERSIGHT.

WAS there ever such an oversight!— was there ever such a fool as I have been, to let her depart without enquiring her name—perhaps I may never see—perhaps I may never hear of her more—prudence, on reflection, may induce her to conceal her­self.—

I rung for my servant, asked him the lady's name, but to enquire the lady's name had ne­ver entered into his head, no more than it had entered into mine.—I eased my chagrin, by severely reproving his negligence, though my uneasiness was the result of my own stu­pidity.—

My servant had spirit, and I had always indulged him in a free exercise of it—he re­taliated my reproof, by telling me he had no orders to enquire after the name of the lady; [Page 96] but, said he, with an arch significant smile, I know the name of the country girl, who rode with me upon the outside of the coach. —I felt the sarcasm, I saw the fellow triumph, and could have knocked him down.

Raging with vexation and disappointment, I had the coachman called—the coachman knew nothing about her—I had the waiters called, —the waiters knew nothing about her—I al­most stormed, and snatching up my hat, was proceeding to sally out upon an expedition of reconoitering and enquiry, when my servant gave a half smack with his mouth, and in­formed me I had not ordered any thing for dinner.—

I left him to indulge his own palate in the orders, but meeting the landlord in the entry, he presented a long bill of fare—you may have, Sir, said the landlord, and he run thro' his bill of fare, throwing his eyes up for my command as he repeated each article—you may have venison, fowls, ducks, roast leg of lamb, pigeon-pie, mackarel, &c. &c.—Do you take me, said I, for an overseer of the [Page 97] poor, or the bencher of an inn of court? Let me have a beef-steak—and I passed by the landlord.—

Getting into the street, I was as much at a loss as ever, to find out the lady, so enquir­ing my way to the castle, I soon found my­self upon the terrace.—

THE TERRACE.

LOOKING round me, as I stood upon the terrace, I was astonished at the beauty of the prospect. The air was serene, the landscape inchanting, the sky clear, except a few clouds towards the horizon, which set off the brilliancy of its azure, as moles do the fairness of the human skin.—Some villas lay open to the view, others were in part con­cealed, and the sun darted his mid-day beams to gild the various turrets and spires, which glistened through the scene.

The Thames rolled his silvered flood in silent majesty towards the sea, enriching his bordering banks with verdure and the bright­est tints, and woods and forests, some planted by nature, time immemorial, others raised by the assisting hand of industry, waved their graceful pliant branches, and shook their leafy [Page 99] honours—obedient to every gale. Between these woods, meadows, pastures, and gardens, at different distances, opening interminable, gave a luxuriant diversity to the whole.

Here gurgling brooks, gently meandering along their pebbly channels, pour their tribu­tary urns into the sovereign river—and there a rich profusion of hillocks, tufted with va­rious trees, among which groups of animals grazed, slept or play'd in peace and happiness, though different in their kinds.

The whole closed with an extended ho­rizon, and charmed the soul with delightful grandeur—

Alas, said I, looking round, my soul elevated to enthusiasm—it was here our greatest English bards invoked and received the inspi­ration of their muse.—

So taking out my pencil, I wrote in my pocket-book—the first lines of poetry I ever attempted.—

REFLECTIONS ON WINDSOR FOREST.

HERE GENIUS learn'd to pour th' enlighten'd ray,
Here DULNESS shut her leaden eye from day;
The youthful poet who'd to same aspire,
Here caught from thee my SHAKESPEARE living fire!
'Twas here the TRAGIC MUSE aloft did sing,
Here ARNE and HANDEL, tun'd the dulcet string,
Here laughing COMEDY, with sprightly tread,
The gaudy feather tore from FOLLY's head,
Expos'd base vice, and cry'd vile passions down;
Reform'd our manners, and improv'd the town.
Here poignant SWIFT, with barbed arrow stung,
Here POPE immortal, golden numbers sung,
Here stream'd the tears of melancholy YOUNG;
Here WALLER pip'd the lover's melting lay,
Here gently blaz'd the lambient slame of GAY;
Here ADDISON improv'd the classic page,
Here MILTON burn'd with fiere poetic rage;
Here FARQUHAR laugh'd, and witty CONGREVE warm'd,
DRYDEN divine the soften'd soul alarm'd,
Here GOLDSMITH smil'd and magic SPENSER charm'd
[Page 101]Here OTWAY, ROWE, and THOMPSON, chose their rhyme,
Names which defiance bid to mouldring time!

I wrote the above enchanting (1) descrip­tion with a pen made of a goose-quill.

Heigh ho!—I asked myself, why that in­voluntary sigh? I answered with another heigh ho! Alas! what is all this without dear woman, "heaven's last best gift."—

I will describe the excellencies of woman —but where shall I get a pen, adequate to such a description.—

The goose-quill is not worthy—the swan-quill is too stiff—and the crow-quill, though used by ladies, is too black, and too often em­ployed in the poisoning works of defamation.

I will therefore leave the goose-quill to philosophers—the swan-quill to mathematicians, and the crow-quill to lawyers, old maids, and news-paper-paragraph-gatherers—but for my­self, I will pluck a quill from THE BIRD OF PARADISE!

[Page 102]Well, I have plucked my quill, and my pen is in order, in gratitude then, I cannot but say something of the pretty bird from whose tail I have plucked my quill.

THE BIRD OF PARADISE (1).

THE subject is extensive. The subject is so deep, I know not where to begin— and if I do begin, I fear I shall never reach the bottom.

Shall I begin at the head, or shall I begin at the tail? I write on the bird of paradise, therefore the tail must have the preference to the head, for of all the birds in the air, the bird of paradise has the most beautiful tail.

The tail of the bird of Paradise is the most lovely to the eye—the tail of the bird of Paradise [Page 104] is the most exquisite to the touch—the tail of the bird of Paradise is the longest feathered, and the flushest feathered tail of all the tails of all the birds which sport in the gardens of plea­sure (1).

Not the horse-tail worn by the great cham of Tartary—not the cow's-tail that dangles from the head of the Indian bramin—not the tail worn by the bashaw of Turkey—not the pig-tails which hang pendulent from the wigs of the city train'd-bands—not the triple-tails, which evince the wisdom of the learned apprentices of the law and grave ser­jeants of jurisprudence—not the tails of the learned judges of meum and tuum—not the enormous tail of the Lord Chancellor—not the Ramillie-tail of our old generals—nay, nor the mighty tail of the famous ram of Derby, can be compared to, or stand in competition with the tail of the bird of Paradise (2).

[Page 105]The tail of the bird of Paradise is not to be matched in the British Museum—the tail of the bird of Paradise out-does all the tails of all the birds in Sir Ashton Lever's oly­phusum.—There is not such a tail in the col­lection of Doctor Hunter, and the doctor has tails from all countries, and of all sizes.— Nay, not a doctor nor antiquarian in Europe, possesses such a tail as the tail of the bird of Paradise.

We may say of the tail of the bird of Pa­radise, as Yorick said of the white-bear (1).

The tail of the bird of Paradise, very well have I ever seen one? might I ever have seen one? am I ever to see one? ought I ever to have seen one? or can I ever see one?

Would I had seen the tail of the bird of Paradise — (for how can I imagine it?)

If I should see the tail of the bird of Pa­radise, what should I say?

If I should never see the tail of the bird of Paradise, what then?

[Page 106]If I never have, can, must, or shall see the tail of the bird of Paradise, have I ever seen the feather of one? did I ever see one painted? —described? have I never dreamed of one? did my father, mother, uncle, aunt, bro­thers, or sisters, ever see the tail of the bird of Paradise? what would they give? how would they behave? how would the bird of Paradise have behaved? is the tail of the bird of Paradise rough or smooth?—

Is the tail of the bird of Paradise worth seeing?—is there no sin in it?—is it better than any other tail?

Such a tail as the tail of the bird of Para­dise, does not appear once in a hundred years; it glows refulgent as the tail of a burning co­met, yet the tail of the bird of Paradise is not a fiery tail; but then the tail of the bird of Paradise is not eccentrical in its motions as the tail of a comet is—it moves to and fro, up and down, like the tail of the fan-tailed pigeon.

The tail of the bird of Paradise has down upon, like the tail of a teal.

[Page 107]The tail of the bird of Paradise, in every thing—but motion—is unlike the tail of a wa­ter wagtail.

Here now could I disclose a tale upon tails, but I might incur the displeasure of the ladies, for of all tails the ladies hate tell-tales.

But if I do not give my tale itself, I will give the dimensions and properties of my tale. My tale exceeds in length the Canterbury tales of CHAUCER—my tale exceeds in profundity and acuteness the Irish tales of USSIN—my tale is as merry a tale as any of the CRAZY TALES—my tale is as natural as ADAM's tale (1), and my tale is as unfathomable as SWIFT's tale of a tub.

But had I the fire of HOMER — the judg­ment of VIRGIL—the salt of HORACE—the persuasion of OVID—the imagination of DRY­DEN—the sublimity of MILTON—the every [Page 108] thing of SHAKESPEARE, joined to the experi­ence of ROCHESTER, and the abilities of DOCTOR MADAN, I should be unequal to the task of telling the tale of the tail of the bird of Paradise(1).

What is all this, said I to myself, sighing, what is all this, without woman!

WOMAN.

WOMAN! Heaven's last best gift!— that inestimable pearl in the bitter cup of life!—Not all the spring—the summer— the autumn of nature can communicate real pleasure without woman—and when we de­cline into the frigid arms of winter, it is woman only can make frigid life desirable.— O that I may descend into the vale of death, hand in hand, with a silver-haired companion, after travelling many a day with her through the mazy paths of life.—A companion who has soothed me, and whom I have soothed at every thorny obstruction—a companion who has fed with me equally chearful, whether upon sour or palatable fruit—A companion with whom I have strewed roses and gathered thistles.—

[Page 110]Lovely woman! When thou art used kindly, how ductile is thy disposition, how easy thy belief, how forgiving thy temper!

I have lost, said I, by inattention, an op­portunity of enjoying the sweetest commerce of life—I have lost the conversation of a beautiful and well-bred woman.—With her my soul should have experienced every mortal pleasure, and my senses have participated in the possession even to extasy!—

Here my Lord Coke came across me, but his black letter made no impression upon my ideas—(1).

O woman! Beauty is thy peculiar prero­gative—Why art thou so severely censured for indiscretions, why should "one false step for ever damn thy fame," when all your errors are of nature and education.—

[Page 111]Formed for love, moulded for pleasure, with a soul warm, and a heart melting with sensibility.—

Then ye mothers do ye not train up your daughters from their very infancy in the business of Love?—Does not their grace, their dress­ing, and their studies soften and prepare them for tender impressions!

Then your virtues, how they have been traduced—But I will defend them, if not by argument, by paraphrase.

A PARAPHRASE.

WHO, when Bethulia's city was be­sieged, preserved her fellow-citizen from utter ruin?—Woman—(1).

Who, from a state of servitude and bondage, delivered Israel's children?—Wo­man—(2).

Who, with religious filial zeal, unheard before, offered up her life a sacrifice to heaven to save a father's vow?—Woman—(3).

[Page 113]Who, in the midst of flying arrows, headed a beauteous female troop of Romans, mounted on palfreys, and in gay array, crossed without dread, old Tiber's silver flood, and left Porsenna wondering at the action?—Woman—(1).

Who, in heroic grief, eat burning coals, resolving with a brave intrepid spirit not to servive her lord?—Woman—(2).

Who, when her husband, brave Macroni­us, died, fighting for freedem against Pal­myra's tyrant, roused to the war the sons of liberty, and conquer'd all the East?—Wo­man—(3).

So much for courage, now for CHASTITY—

Did not Lucretia stab herself to vindicate her honour?—Did not Portia accept death from the hands of Octavius the tribune, in preference to adultery.—Sophronia, illustrious [Page 114] Roman, stabbed herself to avoid the brutal passion of Maxentius.—Then there is Susan­nah, whose virtue repelled the amorous solici­tations of two—old men.—

But the catologue I have collected of brave, virtuous, learned, generous women, of all countries and of all complexions, were I to give it here, would swell my book to such enormous magnitude, as would frighten even those few friends who have promised to read it.—

On returning to my inn from the terrace, I found the cloth laid, and the apparatus for eating prepared and laid out with that neat­ness and regularity, which by indicating a cleanliness in the cookery, gives a kind of invitation to eat heartily—but I had no ap­petite for eating, and dinner not being quite ready, I took a file of news-papers that lay upon the window, and throwing myself up­on a couch, read what follows—

The Public Ledger. AQUATIC SPORTS.

OF all sports, whether by land or by water, there never was a sport, nor there never will be a sport, equal to the delightful sport of SWAN-HOPPING.

I have been on a party with my Lord Praetor—sat near my Lady Praetor, and had the honour of tipping a hob-nob with Miss Praetor.

Every thing glided on smooth as the Thames, which bore us upon his unruffled bosom till we got to Staines—We drank copi­ously without danger of suffocation—we eat plentifully without danger of choaking—we sung, we danced, and cracked bon mots with­out [Page 116] interruption till we got near Staines—few of us were half-seas over.

We were near Staines, when Miss Praetor in an evil minute, thursting her head through the barge window, and suddenly drawing it back, exclaimed—Mamma!—beg pardon— my Lady I mean—an' please your Ladyship, I see two swans

My operar glass, my Lord, said my Lady Praetor to Lord Praetor—My Lord lugged out his opera glass and presented it with a grace.—They are not swans, my dear, said her Ladyship, having fixed her glass to her eye, for they have no necks—Indeed, Mamma, said Miss, they must be swans, for see how white they are, and I protest I saw their necks this instant.—Then I can't see them, answered my Lady; perhaps they have plunged their necks under water, my dear, remarked my Lord.—

I will take a peep said Mrs. Alderman Haileye—I see no nothing, said Mrs. Alderman Haileye—but I see something, said Lady Praetor—and I believe they are monsters too— [Page 117] and I perceive them now, exclaimed Mrs. Alderman Haileye—but as I am a true woman, I see nothing monstrous about them.—It is a natural appearance, said Johnny.

I am now convinced they must be swans, said Miss, taking another peep, and young ones too, for see, Mamma, they have not moulted off their black down.

If they be cygnets, said my Lord Praetor, we must mark them—his Lordship looked out—

I am surprized, said my Lord Praetor, assum­ing a wise and consequential grin,—I am surprized, that ladies, who are no chickens, and have experience, should make such mis­takes—I thought you knew things better, my dear—I can't blame the child (1), but in [Page 118] truth, do you see me, my Lady, your Lady­ship's swans are two naked men.—None of your innuendors to me, my Lord Praetor, said my Lady Praetor, as she waxed wrath, or I will make your Lordship know as how, that when you attempt to bambozel or fun me, you take the wrong sow by the ear.

His Lordship was struck dumb, and numbed as a torpedo—Miss blushed as red as porte—taking a third peep she had seen her mistake—and Mrs. Alderman Haileye, who had not made any mistake, smiled at her triumph, and looked frumpish.

This is undoubtedly a predetermined scheme to affront magistracy, said my Lord Praetor —bring the rascals before me—what! as they are, exclaimed her Ladyship—yes, as they are—as they are, replied my Lord.—

Your Lordship is right, observed Mrs. Alderman Haileye, by bringing them as they are we shall come at the naked truth—I wish they had fig-leaves, said Johnny—A fig for your fig-leaves, retorted Lord Praetor—there are two figs for them, rebutted Johnny that [Page 119] is, two figs for each fig-leaf, sur-rebutted Mrs. Alderman Haileye.—The men were ordered to be taken into custody.—

All the ladies pulled out their fans, spread them before their fair foreheads, holding the sticks before their eyes.—

THE BATTLE OF STAINES.

WERE I a poet, I would now invoke a muse of fire to describe a battle upon the water—The battle of all battles should be the BATTLE OF STAINES.

A boat, with men attendants, was dis­patched by my Lord Praetor, to take into custody the two naked delinquents—but no sooner was the boat dispatched, than a doubt arose about the possibility of griping them.— The doubt was started by Lady Praetor, who said, addressing herself to Mrs. Alderman Haileye, if they overtake these naked wretches, how will they hold them?—Hold them, said Mrs. Alderman Haileye, they must hold them by the hair, it was the only means Adam had [Page 121] to hold Eve, or Eve had to hold Adam, be­fore their fall in Paradise, said Johnny.

But that cannot be done here, said Lady Praetor, for their heads are both shaved as bald as coots.—Their heads are shaved said Miss.—There is no more hair upon their heads, than upon my daughter's upper lip, said Lord Praetor.

Miss Praetor hummed, and stroaked her upper lip with her fore-finger.

They must hold them where and how they can, said Mrs. Alderman Haileye; for my part, it is What I would do, were I on the party.—Pray, Mamma, said Miss, pointing with her finger, as if to illustrate her interro­gatory—what part would you take hold of?—

A dead pause ensued—

The boat pursued the men—the men swam from the boat—but the boat could not over­take the men—so the women were disappointed.

The men took refuge under the bridge of Staines.

The people of Staines saw the pursuit— they considered the matter as a common [Page 122] cause.—The women of Staines were melted into compassion by the danger in which they saw the naked men—they saw every thing, and they felt for every thing they saw—In short, the men, women, and children of Staines, let fly all kinds of missive weapons upon the deputies of my Lord Praetor.

Alderman Swindle (1) standing upon the poop of the city barge, saw the danger which threatened Lord Praetor's delegates—shall I! exclaimed Alderman Swindle, shall I, who saw prisons burned, and houses consumed, stand an idle spectator, while defiance is thrown in the teeth of Lord Praetor's orders? —I will fly to the bridge of Staines, vociferated Alderman Swindle, and seizing a punt that [Page 123] lay close to the barge, he paddled towards the bridge.—

The peasantry of Staines, not distinguish­ing the Alderman's dignity by his person, did not know that his person was a legal object of magisterial worship, so seizing upon the stones which lay scattered on the beach and bridge, attacked him in his punt from the shore and from the battlements.

With his right arm the Alderman wielded a mop—he levelled his mop at the mob on the bridge, but the erring weapon falling short of the intended mark, was seized by one of the enemy.—

Oh for the pen of Homer!

The villain peasant poizing the mop-stick with true rustic skill, like Jove's lightning flying from his hand, it cut the liquid air, and striking upon the cranium of the magis­trate, must inevitably have dispatched his soul to Erebus, if Nature, from a pre-know­ledge of this fight, had not formed the head of her favourite son of genuine Aldermanic mould, hard and impenetrable as that which [Page 124] composed the caput mortuum of the Styx-dipped Achilles.—The mop rebounding from the sconce of Alderman Swindle, fell into the water.—

The barge coming up, the parties landed, and now hostilities commenced on shore.— The mob of Staines surrounded the Alder­manic body, and if Peace, in likeness to a magistrate of the county, had not seasonably appeared and interposed, a general massacre might have ensued, and the city have been left to mourn her murdered magistrates, and their myrmidons.—

SQUIB (1).

DINNER.

I Had scarce finished Mr. Squib's account of the battle of Staines, when dinner was served in.—I sat down to eat, but had no appetite—and without appetite, the best meat, with the most poignant sauces, are insipid.— In truth, I had no sauce, not even hunger.— I always eat my meat plain, but now, I could not eat my plain meat.—

Not being able to eat, I called for drink— I tasted the beer—the beer was stale. I tasted the cyder—the cyder was sour. "Wine," says the Prophet, "makes the heart of man glad;" the text came across me like a cheering ray— —I rung the bell, and ordered a bottle of port.—

While the waiter was gone for the wine, I recollected, that though he and the rest [Page 126] of the family were ignorant of the Lady's name and residence, yet it was probable the Landlord might have some knowledge of her; determining to enquire, I rung again to order him in, but he saved me the trouble of giving orders, by appearing with a bottle of port in his hand.—

THE LANDLORD.

MINE host was one of those geniuses, who, like MACKLIN's Sir Pertinax Mac Sycophant, depended more upon bowing than on education and natural abilities, ‘he could ne­ver stand straight in the presence of a guest;’ and to the pliability of Sir Pertinax, he ad­ded the complaisance of SHAKESPEARE's Po­lonius, being ever of the same opinion with the person he conversed with, unless that person was his wife, or one of his servants; and these he eternally contradicted, whe­ther they were right, or whether they were wrong.—

Mine host having made half a dozen ob­sequious bows, and eyed me from head to foot with the circumspection of a serjeant eying a young recruit, cautiously wiped the dust from the bottle, viewing it at the same time [Page 128] with an expressive look, which fully evinc­ed he would have me understand the wine was old.—

It will bear the decanter, said I—I pledge my life upon it, Sir, said mine host, draw­ing forth the cork with a jerk, attended by a smack from his mouth, accompanied by a smack from the bottle, which not only ad­vertised me of the length of the cork, but of the good opinion which the landlord enter­tained of his liquor.—

There is not better port in the king's cellar, said my landlord, winking (1), filling out a glass and presenting it to me—it is all fla­vour, like an olive, and is bright as a ruby, said he, holding the glass between his eye and the window.

I tasted the port—it was tart—it would not do—the landlord bowed, moving his head in [Page 129] a manner that I might take either as a polite assent or humble contradiction of my opinion, but at the same time laying his hand upon his breast, swore it was two years in in bottle.—I tasted the port again as a complimentary re­turn to his bow, but before I could take the glass from my lips, he assured my honour, that the Prince of Wales had drank of, and ap­proved this very wine.—

I felt the full force of the compliment and of the recommendation; the compliment de­served a return, and the recommendation it was not in my power to controvert; so returning "your honour," with a nod of approbation, and giving up my taste to the palate of the Prince of Wales, I swallowed what remained in the glass—

FLATTERY.

THE manner in which my landlord had re­commended his port, was irresistible, and perhaps had I changed the bottle for another, I should have got worse wine with more bows, and an assurance, that his majesty had drank a bottle from the same bin—there would have been no withstanding the force of royal au­thority (1); but growing impatient to enquire after my fair fellow-traveller, my honour con­descended to ask my landlord to take a glass, which, after half a dozen bows, he ac­cepted [Page 131] —Yet, by heaven, the wine was sour, but FLATTERY took off its tartness—and no won­der flattery should vitiate the taste, when we know its baneful effects upon all the other senses.—Where is there a philosopher, how­ever cynical, who cannot, through some me­dium, be approached by flattery's honied in­fluence? Flattery is the touch that proves the value and purity of the understanding—

Gold tries the integrity of the heart—flat­tery the strength of the brain

Where is the king who can withstand, or when was there a king who could withstand, unmoved, the adulating baseness of the flatter­ing vermin tribe? The best monarchs have been undone by such miscreants, they have converted the worst into devils—

DETRACTION.

MY landlord being seated, and I having described my fellow-traveller to him as minutely as possible, expatiating upon her perfections as I touched upon them, that is, such of her perfections as distinguished her from the rest of her sex, for there are perfections common to them all—I say, having minutely described my fellow-traveller to my landlord, he run over a catalogue of the beauties of Windsor and the adjacent country; which he had at his tongue's end, with a most sur­prizing flow of volubility, accuracy of de­scription, point of sarcasm, and now and then, the sweetness of eulogium.—

If it was not for her black hair, said my landlord, I should be positive she was Miss A—.

[Page 133]Miss B— is too proud to travel in a stage-coach—therefore it cannot be Miss B—.

The widow C—has not been in London since her husband's death, he was buried on Monday; besides, I know she had a private card-party last night, so it is impossible, your honour, that this lady should be the widow C—

There is a young lady in the neighbour­hood who answers your description, but she is continually practising smiles before the glass, to insnare the prince—no—no—it is not Miss D—.

You say, Sir, the lady is well-shaped and witty—now, if her back was broke, from her wit, I should really think she was Mrs. E—.

Miss F—has a roguish eye—but your lady's eyes are blue, and Miss F.'s are black; and she squints with her left eye, and is ever speaking scandal, so it cannot be Miss F—.

If Miss G—had not slipped her ancle, as many ladies have since the hunting-season commenced—you understand me—green gowns [Page 134] have been very fashionable in the neighbour­hood of Windsor since hunting became the sport of the great—

In short, my host took great pains to inform me, that the lady I enquired after, was neither Mrs. nor Miss, nor the widow, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, &c. &c. &c. and this he did wherever he had opportunity, with a malig­nant stroke of detraction—

The fellow had a tongue of charcoal, with which he burned or blackened the reputation of every person she spoke of.—Wherever he gave credit for a virtue or good action, he never failed to balance the account at the debit side of the book—with an insiduous hint or charge of defamation.

I changed the subject of conversation—

POLITICKS.

I Suppose, said I, pointing to the Ledger, which I had thrown aside, when dinner was served in, I suppose, my friend, that since the court has honoured Windsor with the light of its countenance, the inhabitants have become profound politicians?

I am of no party, answered my landlord— though to be sure, what with excise, and what with quartering of soldiers, a publican can scarce live—

But as taxes rise, you charge in propor­tion, said I—

True, Sir, replied my landlord, we charge in proportion, but then our guests eat and drink in proportion; they order as little as possible, and eat as much as possible; that is, when they are charged for each article—but, Sir—if they dine at the ordinary, or agree [Page 136] for so much a head, they eat as if it was the last meal they had to devour, and scarcely drink sufficient to wash the food down their throats.—Alas, Sir, I have had very few good companies in the drinking way, since the last general election; and those who drank then, drank at the expence of the candidates—

And what was your opinion, on that elec­tion, said I—

Opinion—O, your honour, I never form­ed any opinion on it—a man who depends upon the custom of the public, should ne­ver have an opinion of his own.—I am not one of those public-spirited publicans who neglect their own business, to look after the affairs of the state—it is true, I hear a great deal of talk among my guests about the king's friends and opposition—now your king's friends, I take to be those who are friends to themselves—with success—and op­position, I take to be those who have been friends to themselves—without success—there ever was, and there ever will be parties, your honour—

[Page 137]
THOSE IN
WILL GRIN,
and THOSE OUT,
WILL POUT—

and as to our great speechifiers, the more they say, whether in or out of place, the less I be­lieve them (1)—but let who will be in, or who will be out, it is all the same to me; and if your honour wishes to know how the elec­tion was carried on in Windsor, here your honour, look to that there LEDGER, and it will inform you—

[Page 138]So saying, he took up the LEDGER and laid it before me on the table, and after half a dozen of bows, told me, he would go and make every possible enquiry to find out the lady—

A SOLILOQUY.

THOSE in will grin—those out will pout —well said, landlord!

I have read Machiavel, Sidney, Locke, Swift, Hume, Johnson, and a hundred other authors, and arguers in politicks, on both sides of the question, and after all my reading, my landlord, who probably has not read a hundred pages since he left school, is as sound a judge of politicks and politi­cians as I am—his adage includes the whole system—

THOSE IN
WILL GRIN,
THOSE OUT
WILL POUT.

It should be engraven in brass, and hung up over the entrance of the temple of cor­ruption (1).—

[Page 140]O, blessed liberty, let me here pay a tribute at thy shrine.

HYMN TO LIBERTY (1).

SISTER of JOVE, aethereal flame!
Who bid'st the livid lightnings roll,
Mov'st to soft harps the sphery frame,
And wak'st to extacy the soul!
O parent—source of every good,
Arrang'd thro' ev'ry nice degree,
How few have justly understood
Those laws of order fram'd by thee?
For thee the Poet's strain shall flow,
Inspirer of the vocal strings!
And Philomel forget her woe,
To praise thee by whose aid she sings!
[Page 141]For thee gay Zephyr waves his plume!
Thine are the od'rous gifts he bears;
Thy hours unlock each varying bloom,
And wake to life the laughing years!
Thy mail of old did Greece invest,
What time the haughty Persian fled,
Thy terrors no ded from her crest,
When Rome rais'd high her awful head!
O who are now the chosen race
For whom thou leav'st thy lucid sphere?
To whom thou giv'st thy radiant face
To see, thy gorgeous crown to wear?
In what fair isle dost thou prolong,
To make a favour'd nation blest,
The high resolve, the Poet's song,
The raptures of th' extatic breast?
'Tis BRITAIN thy best influence owns,
And dumb respect and slavish fear,
Bids the mind waft to eastern thrones!
She happier far, while thou art near (1).

THE SOLILOQY CONTINUED.

WHY should I be so anxious? why so dull? continued I, reasoning with my­self, heaviness of spirit is an evidence of folly, and the most manifest sign of wisdom is a chear­ful mind.—This landlord of mine, without the aid of literature, knows the very depth and main spring of politicks, and without the aid of philosophick study, has discovered the very perfection of all it can teach—that the per­fection of wisdom is, to be merry and con­tent, for the seat of wisdom is always clear and serene—

Give me then that philosophy, and let me ever study those precepts, and those precepts alone, which teach me to live with chearful­ness, [Page 143] and shew me how to die without con­cern! —Save me from subtilties which only distract the understanding, without improv­ing the heart (1)!

Make me honest, kind heaven! and you make me equal to any situation in life—and having made me honest, I have no objection to your making me great—for honesty can en­joy [Page 144] riches, power, authority, and honours, with as much integrity as she can suffer po­verty, oppression, slavery, and disgrace—She can sleep upon a bed of down as soundly as she can sleep upon a truss of straw—she can be innocent in a palace, as in a cottage, and shew as much humility in a glorious equipage, as when she walks barefoot upon the highway— but when honesty finds herself elevated in life, then her peculiar office is, to know the use, and how to use the good things she possesses, and her peculiar virtue to part with them without murmuring (1).

Having eased my mind by a few minutes reflection—I took up the Ledger and read—

ELECTIONEERING INTELLIGENCE EXTRAORDINARY.

LORD PRAETOR, Lady Praetor, and Miss Praetor, were sitting at table enjoy­ing the sweets of domestic tranquillity, over the remnant of a pint bottle of port, having just swallowed the second-hand fragments of a re-cooked mutton hash, when an attendant entered, and delivered a letter into Lord Praetor's hand.

His Lordship looking eagerly upon the seal, gave a sudden start—his eyes stood fixed in their orbits, and those masticators, which but the moment before had co-operated in assaulting the mutton hash, regardless of their natural alliance, assaulted each other with reiterated violence. His Lordship broke open the letter, and fixing his eyes upon the super­scription, [Page 146] an universal ague instantly took possession of his nervous system, each cold fit being succeeded with a most violent paroxysm of heat.—

Lady Praetor and Miss, were all attention— his Lordship read on.—

Papa's all in a muck, my dear, whispered Lady Praetor to Miss—Yes, my Lady, an­swered Miss, in the same tone.—There is something in the wind, replied Miss—there is something in the wind, rejoined my Lady, taking a pinch of snuff, I—smell a rat.

Odd rat it, exclaimed my Lord, I have been alarmed, my dear, into a pispiration— never was I in such a quandary before.—Lady Praetor took up the letter, and read.—

Now my Lord Praetor's face, during his confusion, neither blushed red like the de­clining sun, nor grew pale like the rising moon, yet his Lordship's face had a coelestial appearance—it reflected a thousand colours like an Aurora Borealis; or in more homely phrase, my Lord Praetor's phiz, while he perused this mandatory letter, for such it was, [Page 147] looked like the welkin, when the merry dancers prance and caper upon her bosom, till after exhibiting a variety of dyes, it settled in a colour something between madder red and Coventry blue.—

This letter must be obeyed, said Lady Praetor, throwing the letter upon the ta­ble (1).

This letter must be obeyed, echoed my Lord Praetor, pushing the letter towards Miss.—

This letter must be obeyed, re-echoed Miss Praetor, who had read it over her Mamma's shoulder.

But how can it be obeyed, said my Lord Praetor—I cannot be in two places at once.— But your Lordship, Papa, may get into three places by obeying it, said Miss.—I am to preside in the city upon Friday, said my Lord.—Then I will go to Vindsor myself, offered my Lady—I can manage a poll as [Page 148] well as your Lordship.—I know your Lady­ship can, my love, said Lord Praetor.

What coloured ribbands shall we wear, enquired Miss—none of their city colours I hope, one Alderman has already mounted blue cockades.

Then I will go to Vindsor myself, said my Lord.—Since there are blue cockades in the city I will go to Vindsor, for I would rather face the Devil than a blue cockade (1); I will appoint a locum trimmings to fill the city chair—I wish he may trim the plebeians well, said Lady Praetor.

This election business will make us up if we succeed, said Lady Praetor—and get a star and garter, at least for Papa, observed Miss.—No man could become the star and garter better, said my Lady (2).

[Page 149]Miss pursued the subject.

I wish, said Miss Praetor—I wish there was an order of knights for ladies, good lud, Mamma, we might be knighted—O gemini, Papa! how the gentlemen would admire at seeing our stars and garters as we walked.— Humph, said my Lord, with a grin, but you are innocent, my dear, and as the French mottor has it—HONEY, SWEAT, KEY MEAL WITH PENCE.—But as this is to be a gratus business, we shall have no occasion for our own carriage and horses. We will have a post-coach from the Swan with two necks. I will have nothing that has any thing to do with a swan, said my Lady.—We have had enough of swan-hopping already, added Miss.—

Then, my dear, said Lord Praetor, we will have a carriage from the Bell and Savage, [Page 150] and the Landlord's four bob-tail bays to draw us.—Bob me, none of your bob-tails, my Lord, exclaimed Lady Praetor, I am not to be bobbed out of my dignity in that manner neither—I will have my own carriage and long tails.

Well now! Mamma, said Miss Praetor, joining in the conversation, with a smile in­effable —well now! though I acknowledge long-tails carry the belle in the city, yet for a country excursion give me cock-tails against the globe.—Cock-tails are the very thing, Mamma—indeed they are all the ton, nothing but cock-tails go down in the vis à vis line at the west end of the town.—

I will yet have a phiz à vee, said Lady Praetor—but consider, my dear, continued her Ladyship, we are going on business that requires solemnity and procession, and the long-tails are best at slow going.—

True, Mamma, replied Miss, but then the present business requires expedition, and in a quick trot or canter, the cock-tails have every advantage.—But, my dear, the flowing manes [Page 151] on the necks of the long-tails look so grand, said my Lady—True, Mamma, but the cock-tails carry their heads so prettily.

Come, come, my love, said Lord Praetor, venturing to put in a word, you are the best judge of the subject—What say you, my dear—long-tails or cock-tails for the journey? —I wish to oblige the child, answered Lady Praetor, but this time I must have my own way, the next bout I will indulge her taste for cock-tails, but this bout, I will indulge my own taste, and drive with long-tails.

My Lord Praetor and Miss acquiesced.—

Things being thus adjusted, and the coach at the door, ready to drive for Windsor, not according to the old saying, cock-tail every yard, but long-tail every inch; her Ladyship as she stepped into the carriage, called out to the coachman, Vindsor a hoi, John!—My dear, said Lord Praetor, we are not going in the city barge.

Plague on the city barge, ejaculated Lady Praetor—ever since our last unfortunate voy­age [Page 152] in it to Staines, I can never get the ad­ventures of the day out of my head.—Nor can I get any thing else into my head, said Miss.—Poor Alderman Swindle got a mop­stick on his head, said my Lord.—

Rattle, rattle, rattle, over the stones to Hyde-park corner.—

Kensington—Hammersmith, in a long trot.—

Kew-bridge, in a canter.—

Windsor, in full gallop.—

Huzza! huzza! huzza! Windsor, Wind­sor.—

No Keppel! No Keppel! roared my Lord, from the right side of the coach.—

No Keppel! No Keppel! roared my Lady, from the left side.—

Miss sat ruminating on the necks of the Windsor swans.

The coach having stopped, my Lord went to the hustings be-ribbanded and cockaded; my Lady went canvassing—and Miss, whose mind was pregnant with the idea of the swans she had seen on the expedition to Staines, [Page 153] took a solitary walk by the Thames side, to speculate upon the beautiful productions of nature.

Every stable and out-house that could be procured in Windsor, was divided, and sub­divided to create votes against Admiral Kep­pel —Admiral Keppel was ousted from repre­senting the borough of Windsor—so he went into Surry, and was elected by the free suffrages of the independent freeholders, to represent the COUNTY.—

THE MESSAGE.

I HAD scarcely laid down the LEDGER, when my servant entered the room—his mouth extended to the dimension of a coun­tertenor choirister's mouth, when vociferating "O thou that bringeth glad tidings to Sion." —He bounced in sans ceremony, and rubbing the palms of his hand together with a quick­ness and zeal that intimated good news and satisfaction, told me he had found the Lady.—

And where is she, and what is her name? said I, leaping from my chair with the utmost eagerness.—I cannot say, Sir, answered my ser­vant, where the Lady is, or who the Lady is, but a boy waits to deliver a letter to the Gen­tleman who came down in the stage, he says it is from a Lady—and as I came down an outside passenger, it cannot be for me—and as [Page 155] you, Sir, were the only gentlemen, inside passenger, I conclude it must be for you.—

I ordered the boy to be called in.—

He was a lad about fourteen, in a neat frock livery.—I have a letter, Sir, said the boy, without a direction, but my Mistress has ordered me to deliver it to the Gentleman who came to Windsor this day in the stage.— I held out my hand for the letter, tore it open, and read—

‘I impute your omitting to enquire after my name, to emotions similar to those which agitated my bosom at the minute of our departure, and I suppose you have been travelling over the whole town to find me out.’ —It is what I should have been doing, said I, stamping and cursing my remissness and stupidity— ‘if a more serious engagement does not call for your at­tendance, I shall hope for your company as soon after you receive this as conveni­ent; and you must conduct yourself before those you will see with me, as an old ac­quaintance.’ —MARIA.

[Page 156]My respects, said I, to your Mistress, slipping a trifle into the boy's hand—I shall wait upon her immediately.—The boy re­tired.

In about ten minutes I was dressed.— These ten minutes appeared an hour.—In twenty minutes was at the house.—Never did necessitous tradesman, going humbly to petition a privileged great man, to pay a small debt of long standing, feel a more general agitation of nerves, or knock with a more trembling hand, than I felt, and than I knocked with, at the door of Maria's lodg­ings.

THE MEETING.

TURNING my head aside accidentally, as I knocked at the door, I saw Maria peep over the window-blind; but when shewed into, the parlour, I found her sitting with her back turned towards the door, a book in her hand, supporting herself by her elbow, which rested on the arm of the chair. She was seemingly so lost in meditation, that had I not seen her peep over the parlour-blind, I should have thought she had neither heard me coming in, nor had seen me when I was in.—I gave a loud hem—the boy an­nounced my entrance—"the Gentleman, Madam," and he withdrew.—

Maria started from her seat as roused from a reverie.—I should have suspected her of duplicity, but the crimson glow that flushed in her cheek, convinced me that the pre­tended [Page 158] reverie was not a manoeuvre of ex­perience or practised art, but an immediate consequence of amiable confusion.—

The moment our eyes met, I perceived and felt for Maria's situation.—Suspicion fled, and the ardour of passion which suc­ceeded, was instantly checked by the inter­position of sentiment.—My eyes bent down­wards —the confusion which revelled in her cheek had raised a tumult within her bosom. —Our feelings were mutual—our hands, guided by instinctive attraction, joined im­perceptibly, till a reciprocal gentle pressure convinced us of their junction.—Passion stepped in again, but sentiment still kept her post—we sighed at one instant, as with one breath—at one instant we received relief—yet to speak was impossible—though Maria's eyes expressed unutterable things—mine per­haps were not without expression—at least Maria has since told me so.—

I had always an aversion to punctilio—no man in the world understands less, or pays less attention to those who practise ettiquette [Page 159] than I do—but ceremony in the present in­stance was out of the question. Nature pre­dominated, and under her sweet influence I led the Lady to her chair, placed her on it, and placing myself upon another chair close by her, without uttering a single compli­ment, or a single bow or courtsey being passed on my part or her's.—

I led her to her chair, "Grace was in all her steps." Grace, which the VESTRIS could never teach, nor nobility could never learn— for it is neither to be taught nor learned—it was the grace of Nature (1).—It was such grace as her Grace the Dutchess of D— nor her Grace the Dutchess of R—never [Page 160] exhibited in public; no, not even when led out by the first dancers of the court to walk the minuet de la cour.—But when his Grace the Duke of D— or his Grace the Duke of R— lead forth the partners of their love in private, to practise the minuet de la coeur, no doubt their graces then may shew as graceful a deportment, as now gracefully marked the person and steps of my Maria (1).

Two minuets passed without a word being uttered—they were golden minuets, worth a whole iron age.—

Maria had dropped her book from her hand, as it approached mine—the book lay upon the ground, I took it up—it was TRISTRAM SHANDY.—

TRISTRAM SHANDY.

HAD Sterne, Madam, said I, as I opened the book—Had Sterne experienced such a tender meeting as the present, he could have written a whole volume upon the text.—

I was considering, answered Maria, when you came in, what a pity it was that Sterne lest the description of the Widow Wadman's person and beauty to the imagination of his reader, and had not drawn the Lady's picture himself.—Alas! Madam, said I, had Sterne drawn the widow's picture, it would only have increased his enemies, and heaven knows, the benignity of his heart and sim­plicity of his manners, had raised enough of them.—His description, Madam, would have pleased few but himself; the critics would have fallen foul upon it, would have dissected it to a hair, have tortured it limb by limb, [Page 162] bedaubed it and besmutted it, for in the arti­cle of beauty, we seldom find two men who think alike; some admire slender, some ad­mire full waists (1); a tint in the com­plexion, or a shade in the colour of the eye, settles the admiration, and gives birth to passion.

It is the same with women, answered Maria, they are equally capricious in their likings and affections.—Some women like tall men—others like middle-sized, and some like short men.—

Being short myself, I made a low bow—

Your observation, Madam, said I, is just, an inch this way —or an inch that way)— may gain or lose the affections of a woman— and as to the affections of men, they are not [Page 163] confined to beauty, to figure, or mental ac­plishments; I have often remarked old men fond of green girls, and young fellows giving preference to full-blown beauty—but these are false appetites.—

False appetites? exclaimed Maria, start­ing and looking towards heaven.—Alas! Sir, it is too true, that the devastation in the gar­dens of beauty and innocence, are generally made by old wretches.—Her bosom heaved as if bursting—her whole frame was in agitation— I finished the sentence for her—old wretches who lay waste, but cannot enjoy the soil (1).

A shower of tears burst from Maria's eyes, and stole down her cheek, I wiped them off— but not with a handkerchief.—

A SHANDEAN CONVERSATION.

PERCEIVING the distress of my fair friend, though unable to account for the cause (1), I changed the subject, by taking up Tristram Shandy, which I had laid upon the parlour-window, and accidentally open­ing the page where the author promises a chapter upon button-holes; it is a pity, said I, turning to Maria, and affecting a sprightli­ness to relieve her spirits—it is a pity, said I, that Tristram never filled this chapter—do you mean the black leaf, said Maria?

I answered, no—

[Page 165]I could never penetrate into the moral of that dark page, said Maria

I do believe, said I, it is an emblem of the black ingratitude of the world.

Then continued Maria, since you do not mean the black, you must mean the marble page; and that page is to me as inexplicable as the other—

I do not think, answered I, that there is any great difficulty to unravel the truths which lie mystically hid under the veil of the marble page—I consider it as a true picture of the hard marble heads and hard marble hearts of those envious dull ones, who persecuted him while living; and pray add, said Maria, of those unfeeling dull ones who could not understand or benefit by reading the dictates of his philanthropy—

I resumed the subject of the button-hole

Had he filled his chapter upon button-holes, said I, it would have been delec­table!—

He would have filled it in all probability, observed Maria, but poor fellow, you should [Page 166] recollect his misfortune—you should recol­lect he was grievously afflicted with a con­suming asthma, the whole time he was com­posing his works—

I see the force of your observation, said I, a man debilitated as he must have been, with death pursuing him at every step, and shak­ing his dart at him upon every turn, had something more material to employ his mind, and of course employ his pen, than such trif­ling subjects as button-holes.

True, said Maria, but come, you appear in perfect health and spirits, so let me see what you can say upon the subject—here— is a blank page, continued Maria, taking Tristram Shandy out of my hand—here is a white blank page, turning over to chapter XXXVIII. in the IVth VOLUME; come, I will have an immediate proof of your literary abilities—

So saying, she brought pen and ink, and placing the blank chapter in Shandy before me on a table—write, write, said Maria, while I go order tea—

THE BUTTON-HOLE.
A BUTTON-HOLE!

WHAT could Sterne possibly have said upon a button-hole?

Would he have entered into its origin?

Would he have described it with all its appendages and ornaments?

Would he have explained its uses, its shape, and its component parts?

Would he have given us all those ideas, which must consequently have arisen before his mind's eye in the course of considering and discussing the subject?

Heaven only knows whether he would have done all which these interrogatories enquire, but clear I am, that had he once taken the subject in hand, he would have done his best, [Page 168] and the best can do no more, though the sub­ject to be handled was the best in Christen­dom (1)

But as I am not endowed with powers na­tural nor acquired, corporeal nor intellectual, sufficient to support me, should I rashly at­tempt to enter into so deep and profound a sub­ject, a subject which would baffle the pens of the Royal Society or Sorbonne—a subject, which has exhausted whole folios of learning, and employed the leisure hours of the most learn­ed men.—I will not presume, Madam, to in­form you what a button-hole is, though hav­ing seen many, and felt more, I will venture to tell you what a button-hole is like.

The button-hole of a pocket being vertical, is like a parenthesis closed thus—☞()—

The button-hole of the breast being hori­zontal, is also like a parenthesis, but inversed thus—☞

[figure]

[Page 169]View a button-hole which way you will— change its position ever so often—take it in whatever manner you please—it is a paren­thesis still—

Split the word parenthesis in twain, and by the addition of one letter t, you have a dou­ble illustration of this dark subject—

The first syllable will be parent; now a button-hole is a parent, for by a proper use of it in conjunction with a button, it nourishes a man, by keeping him warm in cold weather.

The second syllable will be thesis; now the button-hole is a thesis, which has produced much dispute in the world, nam fuit ante He­lenam —cunnus causa deterrima bellis; for my part, I know nothing of the theory, but be­ing naturally of an aguish constitution, am liable to hot-fits and cold-fits, which cause me to button or unbutton, as I am hot or cold; I have had my share of button-hole-practics

And pray, Sir, who first made use of button-holes?

With submission to their reverences, who are bound ex officio, to understand these things [Page 170] better than laymen, I suppose that the but­ton and button-hole, is as ancient as Adam and Eve, and were first used by them in joining their fig-leaves together; for as our first pa­rents had neither needle nor thread, is it possible the use of something like a button and button-hole was discovered by them—

And why not a needle and thread, Sir? Might not Adam procure a thorn for Eve, to serve as a needle, and might not Eve give a lock of her hair, to serve as a thread; and this needle and thread being thus procured, it is not possible, or at least probable, that Adam and Eve stitched their fig-leaves together?

Whether they buttoned or stitched their fig-leaves together, in my opinion does not signify a farthing—but the learned Hebraists think otherwise (1)

[Page 171]Put in the button xxxxxxxxxxxxxxs (1)— here having filled the blank-leaf, I could pro­ceed no further, so turned it down, that Maria might peruse it at her leisure.

TWO CHARACTERS.

MARIA returned just as I had closed the book, and desired me to follow her, re­peating her caution, that I should conduct myself as an old acquaintance—she ushered me into a drawing-room, neatly furnished in the old stile, the chair-bottoms, the curtains, and even the pictures, were of needle-work.

The floor, which was of old oak, glistered with a burnished lustre, and every article of the furniture had, from frequent friction, ac­quired a shining polish. In one corner stood a tambour-frame, in another corner an apa­ratus for painting—a grey parrot occupied a window on the right, a breeding-cage of Ca­nary-birds occupied a window on the left, and on a large marble slab-table, which stood under a long old-fashioned pier-glass, two turtles billed and cooed in amorous dalliance—

[Page 173]There were also two tabby-cats, their fur unsullied as ermine, purring by the sire-side; and a little French lap-dog, with his compa­nion, big with pup, slumbered upon a cushion.

The lady of the mansion exhibited as evi­dent marks of female industry as her furni­ture. Every article of her dress, at least every thing that appeared, was ornamented with needle-work, and though in dishabille, all was neat, and pinned on with a systematic accuracy—

This lady was tall and slender, her waist scarce a span, her face forming an accute angle at the chin, her nose prominent, and her skin tight to her cheek-bones, as if braced out of those wrinkles, which a few trea­cherous gray hairs peeping from under a black wig, informed the beholder it was intitled to—she had but one eye, but then that eye projected so far from out its socket, and had such a convenient power of turning on its swivel (1), that it kept constant guard upon [Page 174] her blind side, and was mistress of a perpe­tual motion, which gave it all the qualities of the hundred eyes of Argus; for it took within its pupil, (which was ornamented with a small pearl, contrasting a coral circle that embraced the ball) not only every object in front, but every object on each side.

Having sketched out this virgin's person, (for she was unmarried, had preserved an un­tainted fame, and was not one of those hypo­crites who have no pretence to chastity them­selves, but by their severity to the impure)— I must say something of her mind, with which I soon became intimately acquainted. She was a wit, a satyrist, a critic, and a writer, [Page 175] with a tongue ever pretending service to her neighbours, but in its qualities contrary to that of the fox, which heals; whereas the tongue of Miss Verjuce operated upon a cha­racter, as the medicine of a pretending quack, operates upon the body; and never parted it, till, as the devil left Job, the tor­tured character became a sore all over—

With this damsel sat a military gentleman, not less than sixty, whose regimentals of scar­let, faced with green velvet, exhibited the fashionable cut of twenty years past—His stature was tall, his shoulders broad, his ap­pearance dignified, his eye penetrating, and his face, though furrowed by time, wore a smile of pleasantry, that shewed he had grown old with good humour, and could support age with a good grace. A verna­cular broad pronunciation declared him an Irishman, and his attentive politeness soon convinced me he had held a commission of rank in a foreign service. He bore a deep scar upon his forehead, in testimony of his cou­rage, and the croix de St. Louis pending [Page 176] from his button-hole by a ribband, evinced his having received, at least, an honorary re­ward from the prince under whose standard he had fought—

On this object the eye of Miss Verjuce kept continual play, which was returned by an assiduous attention to please on the part of the man of war.—She was his admirer, he pre­tended to be her's, and she believed him, from the favourable opinion she entertained of her merits—O Vanity! thou art a fault of the first magnitude in woman!—the cause of her greatest misfortunes—even Poverty is not a greater enemy to her honour—and never had woman a greater share of vanity than the woman I have described—she was vain of her understanding, but that was excusable, her glass could not shew its deformity—she was vain of her person, that was astonishing, for the sight of it must have reproved and humbled her, every time she sat at her toilet

TEA-TABLE-CHAT.

THE Captain soon discovered I was his countryman, and no sooner made the discovery, than he discharged a volley of in­terrogatories at me in succession, as quick as a feu de joy

Merciful heaven! Captain, exclaimed Miss Verjuice, a cessation of questions, and let the conversation be general.—Pray, Sir, conti­nued she, turning full upon me, is there any likelihood that the present unnatural war will have a speedy termination—

In addition to other qualifications, Miss Verjuice was a politician

Unnatural war, said the Captain, repeating the word unnatural with marked emphasis— Madam, it is not possible that a war by which so many men get their livelihood, can be un­natural

[Page 178]Nor the instruments of the war neither, I suppose, replied Miss Verjuice—you, Cap­tain, took a very natural part in the last war —sighting against you king, and against your country.—This was the shot of an in­venomed arrow, but integrity, which sat upon the Captain's heart, repelled it—he saw the malignity of the intention, and warmed with an honest ardour, not to resent the in­jury, but to defend his honour—

I fought for bread and for reputation, Ma­dam, answered the Captain—the laws of my country deprived me of my inheritance, but they could not humble my spirit—born a gentleman, I scorned to degenerate into any other character.—A passion for same, said Ma­ria, is the instinct of all great souls—I bowed to Maria, she construed my bow into an ap­probation of her sentiment, but it was in fact, a bow of gratitude for the compliment she paid my countryman—

The Captain went on—I sought for bread, I fought for reputation, and the instant I [Page 179] could acquire bread and reputation under the government of my own country, I returned to her bosom; returned with as ardent affec­tion, heaven knows! as ever lover returned with to the bosom of his mistress!—Miss Verjuice for an instant relaxed her muscles— But while government precluded me from go­ing to heaven by the road which the souls of my ancestors had travelled, I could not fight for that government with zeal, even if she had accepted my service.—Miss Verjuice again braced up her muscles—and you thought purgatory, said Miss Verjuice, the high road to heaven, and gave up your estate in this world, sooner than you would subscribe to the geography of the other world, as laid down by the law.—Do you not think it strange, Sir, continued this amiable virgin, turning her eye upon me, that a man bred to the sword, and who has been spreading desolation over the face of the earth, should have so tender a conscience?

I would have answered the lady—but there was no stopping the tide of the Captain's [Page 180] volubility; his face glowed scarlet—his eyes darted lightning—he rose from his chair, and throwing himself into the attitude of a Cicero, addressed Miss Verjuice—You are a woman, Madam—and do not understand the duty of a soldier, nor the honourable purposes of war. —The duty of a soldier, Madam, is to sup­port justice, and do injury to no man—to maintain truth, and aid virtue—and let me tell you, Madam, that to repress the wild fury of lawless invaders, and by force to extirpate wickedness and oppression from the face of the earth, has never been account­ed violence or spreading desolation in any country or language—Robbers may be sub­dued by force or death, if other means fail. Those who invade private property, may be compelled to restitution at the bar of justice. But if independant states have injured us, to what bar shall we cite them? who shall con­strain them to appear at our summons? or if they should appear, who shall oblige them to abide by our sentence—open force then must be the dernier resort; and who will be [Page 181] base, or mean enough to say, that under such circumstances war is not just.

You are so eloquent and energetic in your eloquence, Captain, said Miss Verjuice, that it is really a pity you are not in the house, to aid the phalanx of speaking admirals and ge­nerals—

The Captain had spent many years in France, he took the compliment literally, bowed in return, and laying his hand upon his heart, swore he would prefer serving his country in the field—

Miss Verjuice would have replied, but the Captain had not exhausted his oratory—

The enemies of Great-Britain and Ireland, vociferated the Captain, have in the present war acted with treachery, and should be pu­nished —let every soldier, raising his hand as if to stimulate the ranks—let every soldier raise in himself a noble manly enthusiasm— you fight in the cause of virtue, justice, and freedom; no one is going to fight, said Miss Verjuice, but the Captain was not to be in­terrupted —he galloped on—animated by this [Page 182] divine principle, what wonders have not Bri­tons performed, how have they risen terrors of the earth, the protectors of the oppressed, the avengers of justice, and scourge of ty­rants —how have the sons of rapine sunk be­fore them, confounded and overthrown— Witness ye Danube and Sombre, crimsoned with blood—let France, let Spain, Germany, and both the Indies bear witness.—What was it fired British kings and generals—Alfred— William—Henry—George —Marlborough Granby—Cumberland—Wolfe, and Ligo­nier? —I will tell you, said Miss Verjuice, it was the justice of their cause, and an un­conquerable passion for liberty!—

This unexpected stroke of anticipation cut down the Captain—he suddenly fell back in his chair—

Miss Verjuice could not bear to lose the ad­vantage of her cut—she followed her blow— there was a loud explosion in your fire, Cap­tain, said Miss Verjuice—but the charge was government powder

[Page 183]I felt for the Captain, so changed the sub­ject —There are but few of our countrymen now, said I, in foreign service—I know but of two, answered the Captain—O'Ricly, who is in the service of Spain, and O'Dunn, who is in the service of France

Do you mean the Sieur O'Ricly, said Miss Verjuice, who went ambassador from Madrid to Paris?—I do, Madam, answered the Cap­tain; and Count O'Dunn, who was dispatch­ed from Paris, to negociate with the Queen of Portugal on the armed neutrality—

There were accounts of those negotiations, I believe, said Maria, published in the prints —True, Madam, said the Captain, I was present at O'Riely's interview with the French king, and went with O'Dunn into Portugal, from whence I came to London.—It was I wrote and sent the accounts to the Public Ledger, under the head, Extract of a Letter from Paris: I have both (1) about me, [Page 184] and if you please ladies to hear them, the young gentleman, pointing to me, will be kind enough to read for your amusement—

The ladies thanked the Captain—he took the papers from his pockets, and handing them to me, I read—

THE SIEUR O'RIELY'S NEGOTIATION.

THE most extraordinary intelligence that ever was published within the walls of Paris, or ever set the spirits of Frenchmen upon the wing, has been published within these few days.

The victories of Edward and Henry of England, did not astonish the French nation so much, nor did the conquests of Lewis the XIVth, give the French people half the satisfaction, as they received from the cap­ture of the English merchant-men. It was as novel as it was unexpected.

Half the people in France will be ruined by the expence of rejoicings—every house was [Page 186] open, all the bells were ringing—men, women, and children, of all denominations, trades, and professions, danc'd, caper'd, jigg'd it, and skip'd about with the agility of Benivento's devils. —What with fire-works and illuminations, bon-fires and transparent paintings, rockets, squibs, and crackers, discharges from the artillery, feus de joye from the small arms, and huzzaing from the mob, not only the city of Paris, but the whole country round, looked and sounded like hell itself.—All was fire and clatter—te Deums in every church!—

The court was met upon the occasion of the glad tidings, when a Grandee of Spain, whiskered up to the eye-brows—gloved up to the elbows—cuffed up to the arms, booted up to the hips, with a coat which fell short of his hams, a waistcoat that reached to his knees, and spurred upon each heel like a game-cock, arrived express from Madrid, with a letter congratulatory from his most Catholic Majesty.—

The Grandee wore a thundering black perriwig, bushy at the sides, with a ramillie [Page 187] tail down to his crupper, and had belted round his waist a basket toledo, in the hilt of which was deposited his handkerchief.—

The Grandee of Spain was announced to the court, by the Gentleman Usher, as the Sieur O'Riely.—The Sieur O'Riely entered the instant his name was announced, the most Christian King having just time to take his throne—the Queen seating herself by him.— The most Christian King arose to receive the Sieur—the Queen turned to her favourite maid of honour Lucetta.

This Grandee must be Irish, observed the Queen, by the great O' he carries before his name. It is true, said Lucetta, for your Majesty may remember most of the brigade officers who are returned to Ireland, had great O' before their names (1).

I remember it well, answered the Queen, blushing.—

[Page 188]Her Majesty laying the back of her right hand convexed into the palm of her left, which she had concaved for the purpose, and resting her elbows upon her hips, with great ease dropped both hands upon—the Queen's hands fell just over that spot, where, in the picture of Venus, the golden clasp unites the argent zone of the Goddess.—The Queen courtesying to the ground, with the most amiable humility, while her eyes darted beams more penetrating than the rays of Apollo— her hands still keeping their position—said to the Sieur O'Riely—"Noble Sir, your are welcome to these parts."

The whole court was astonished at her Majesty's condescension.—

The Sieur O'Riely was overwhelmed with her goodness, even to confusion.—

Bowing to the ground with profound re­spect, and drawing back his right leg, he thurst his spur into that part of the Gentle­man-usher's ancle where the articulation unites the leg to the foot.—The electrified Gentleman-usher sprung from the ground [Page 189] with a sacra Dieu! and forgetting the presence he was in, laid his hand upon his sword. The Sieur O'Riely turning round his head, looked the Gentleman-usher full in the face, and curling up his mustachios over his nos­trils, muttered something in a language nei­ther English, Irish, French, nor Spanish— it partook of each language—"he grinned horribly a ghastly smile."—The Gentleman-usher felt the full force of the Gorgon grin, he stood petrified—The whole court laughed. —The Sieur O'Riely took a pinch of snuff— he took it from his coat-pocket, where he always kept it loose.

The Sieur O'Riely falling upon his left knee, rivetted his eyes upon the eyes of the Queen of France.—I have got it here, said O'Riely, thursting his hand into his breeches pockets—I have got that here, to present to your Majesty, the like of which was never seen in France, in Spain, nor in any other country on the continent.—The Queen of France, Lucetta her favourite, the maids of honour, and all the other ladies of the court, [Page 190] smiled, while their eyes followed the hand of the Sieur into his breeches-pocket—a thou­sand ideas struck their imagination.—

I have it here, exclaimed the Sieur, with an exulting voice, as he drew from his breeches pocket a long roll.—It was a roll of parchment, on which was written "a list of the English merchantmen taken by the fleets of France and Spain."

The Sieur O'Riely was right—France nor Spain, nor no country in the universe ever before saw such a sight.

The French King had read about one quarter of the list, when a nobleman rushed in, out of breath—Eagerness and astonish­ment were in his countenance.—The Belle Poule, said the nobleman, is taken!—Eng­land must become bankrupt! exclaimed the French King.—The captain, officers, and one half of the seamen, said the nobleman, are killed.—Lord have mercy on their souls! ejaculated the French King—but we have taken the English convoy.—Amen, added a bishop, nodding half a sleep in a chair—we [Page 191] have taken the English convoy.—Let masses be said for the killed, said the Queen—we have taken the English convoy—not till thanksgiving is sung for the victory, said Monsieur Sartine —we have taken the English convoy.—

The Belle Poule, the captain, the officers, and the seamen, were immediately forgotten by the court of France—they had taken the English convoy.

The French King had read through half the list, when another nobleman came in.— The Duke d'Artois is gone, said the noble­man, with a melancholy voice.—Then we have lost the patron of fashion, said the Gen­tlemen-usher, looking down upon his enor­mous buckles, with a sigh.—You must con­ceal the Duke's death, said the French King, till the rejoicings are over—we have taken the English convoy.—If half the princes of the blood were dead, I would not mourn, nor wear mourning, this month—for we have taken the English convoy.

Vive le Roi! exclaimed the nobleman, but alas! letting his voice fall into a sorrowful [Page 192] piano, it is the Artois ship of war, carrying sixty-four guns and seven hundred men, that is gone.—Good heaven, said the Queen, the Artois was commanded by an Irishman! and was taken by an Irishman, an't please your Majesty, answered the nobleman (1)—When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war! said O'Riely.

These Irishmen, Lucetta, whispered the Queen of France, are always standing in our way—that is our own fault, an't please your Majesty, answered Lucetta.

Was their force equal? interrogated the French King.—Pretty equal, answered the nobleman.—By no means, said O'Riely, turning to an Irish officer who stood behind him—Clonard fought against his king and country—disloyalty weighed him down, and the reproach of being a parracide, weakened his heart.—Merciful heaven! that zeal should so long have blinded England and my [Page 193] native land (1) as to force her subjects to fight against her!

Big tears stood in the eye of the Sieur O'Riely, for an instant—they rolled down the surrows of his sun-burnt cheek—he took his handkerchief, from the hilt of his sword, to wipe those tears away, which his country­man perceiving, he clasped the veteran in his arms, and received the tears upon his faith­ful bosom.—

Here ended the Letter from Paris.—Maria had dropped a sympathetic tear with O'Riely— Miss Verjuice had swelled, but the fountain of humanity was dried within—not a tear fell.—You have taken no small pains, Cap­tain, said Miss Verjuice, to blazon the virtue and courage of your own countrymen, attend to the next letter, said the Captain, and you shall acknowledge I have not been partial.— So saying, the Captain put another paper in my hand, and I read—

O'RIELY AND SARTINE.

THE court having broken up, Monsieur Sartine conducted the Sieur O'Riely from the royal palace to his own house.—

Dinner being ended, and the attendants ordered to retire, Sartine filled a rummer glass with Burgundy, and taking the Sieur by the hand—you Islanders, said Sartine, drink deep—come, you must fill to my toast—I am going to give the land we live in.

The Sieur seizing the decanter in his right hand, and a rummer glass in his left, turned up his eyes to heaven, with a look of ardent zeal, approaching devotion—he heaved a heavy sigh from the bottom of his deep chest, expressive of his feeling, and pouring the libation of Burgundy into his rummer, till it overflowed the brim, and rising from his chair, his eye still turned up to heaven, he [Page 195] articulated in an expression of grief, mingled with pleasure—The British dominions.

Sartine smiled, at what he supposed a mis­take of his guest.—

You are an Irishman, said Sartine, and have privilege to fall into errors without giv­ing offence.—I excuse you, my friend, but I meant by my toast, the dominions of the grand monarque.

Then, answered O'Riely, you should have said—the land we breathe in—there is no living any where, but under a free government.— I have considered myself as dying of a con­sumption ever since I left my native climate, so here she goes! and pouring more wine upon the liquor which already overflowed his rum­mer —here she goes! repeated O'Riely, with an oath.

It is a bumper toast, said Sartine, and should have preceded all others, filling at the same time the rummer he had emptied, to the dominions of the grand monarque.—It is a bumper toast, by heaven! said O'Riely, and the world must give way to her—only half of [Page 196] the world, said Sartine.—She is the mother of the islands, continued O'Riely—she is the sovereign mistress of the sea.—I love her as I love the blood of my heart—my toast is Old England.

Monsieur Sartine was struck dumb—he sipped part of his Burgundy.—

This victory of ours, said Sartine, recover­ing from his surprize, as O'Riely recovered from his agitation, this victory of ours is glorious! What victory, enquired his guest? Have we not taken the English convoy? said Sartine.—We may say with Caesar, Veni! vidi! vici! Yes, you may say that, said O'Riely, you came! you saw! you conquer'd! but I cannot see much honour in the affair, nor much courage, nor any great national ad­vantage. —The devil a sword was drawn— nor the devil a gun was fired; and when the cargoes are divided between France and Spain, where will be the advantage?—

Let me tell you, Monsieur Sartine, this glorious victory, gained without fighting or bloodshed, will cost France and Spain more [Page 197] ships, more men, more money, and more re­putation, than a thousand times the value of the ships they have taken.—

Englishmen are as delicate of the character of their courage, as English women are of the reputation of their chastity.

Take my word for it, Monsieur Sartine, a short time will shew you same of those laconic English Gazette-epistles, that say, "the enemies ships are all taken, sunk, burned, and destroyed, as per margin."—

The times are altered, said Sartine.—I grant such accounts have formerly appeared, but in our late engagements with the English, we have fought like devils incarnate.

You have done wonders no doubt, an­swered the Hibernian; but if your men have fought like devils, how must these men have fought, who cut your devils to pieces—they must have fought like angels at least.—The courage of the English is natural, it is in­herent to the soil—their dogs, their horses, their game cocks, are constitutionally brave; [Page 198] send them to France, and they degenerate.— It is the same with their men (1).

Monsieur Sartine pulled out his watch—it is time, said Sartine, we should attend the drawing-room.—He ordered his carriage, and taking O'Riely with him, drove for the palace.—

O'RIELY AT THE DRAWING-ROOM. THE RUMP OF BEEF.

WHEN O'Riely arrived at the drawing-room, he was joined by his country­man in the French service—description is in­adequate, said O'Riely's countryman, the tongue of man cannot communicate a proper idea of the vanity, the pride, the presumption of this volatile nation—from the meanest pea­sant up to the grand monarque, they are jig­ging it over the whole country—

The court is in an uproar—all the foreign ministers, all the nobles, and all the wives, sons and daughters of the nobles and foreign ministers, have been invited to partake of the English and Irish beef taken on board the Quebec fleet—a large rump has been sent to [Page 200] Paris as a specimen; this rump was intended for the king's table, but not a pot in his majesty's kitchen was large enough to boil it —The chief cook has made his fortune by shewing it at a dernier per head. There ne­ver was such a rump seen in France—

The magnitude of this rump had set all the court ladies of France calculating—they thought of nothing but the rump—the rump was still uppermost in their thoughts, and at their tongues ends.—The queen of France intending to enquire after the king's health, enquired after his majesty's rump—Lucetta missed her little lap-dog—has any one seen it, said Lucetta, there never was so pretty a thing—seen what? asked Monsieur Sartine, my little rump answered Lucetta—a bee stung one of the maids of honour on the cheek— I am stung!—I am stung!—roared the maid of honour—where!—where? enquired the king's physician—here, here, here on my rump, said the maid of honour—then I cannot extract the sting in this place, replied the physician—

[Page 201]The magnitude of this rump had set all the court ladies of France calculating—the height of the great statue of Jupiter, was calculated from his thumb, as bearing a proportion to its other parts. The stature of the antidelu­vian giants was calculated from their hip-bones found in Sicily, and the size of the deer, formerly in Ireland, has been calcu­lated from the dimensions of their horns found in the bogs—The French ladies had better materials for calculating, than a thumb, a hip-bone, or a deer's antler—They calcu­lated from the rump

An English ox, said Lucetta, has, I suppose, a rump as large again as an Englishman—and so by a simple rule of division, she measured the limbs of the English prisoners expected at Paris—Lucetta first measured their rumps in her imagination, and thereby hangs a tailLucetta whispered in the Queen's ear when she had formed her calulation—you are right, said the Queen to Lucetta, that must be the length, for that is just half the length of an English oxe's horn—we have no such horns in [Page 202] France, said Lucetta—true, but many Eng­lish gentlemen have French horns, answer­ed the Queen (1)—but I wish the English prisoners were in Paris—Heavens! what horn­ing and butting would be then—

Now the English rump of beef was such a curiosity in Paris, that the French king had it modelled in cork—I will try how it fits, said the Queen of France to Lucetta—Lu­cetta fixed the cork-rump upon the Queen— the Queen would never part with it, so Lu­cetta, and all the ladies of the French court got cork-rumps, in compliment to her ma­jesty—

A DRAWING-ROOM CONVERSATION.

NEVER was drawing-room in Paris so crowded as this drawing-room—all or­ders of people were admitted, tag, rag, and bob-tail, poured in; and as they poured in, they poured out their congratulations to the French King on capturing the Quebec fleet —Vive le Roi! was the general cry—

There was not half so much rejoicing in England last war, when not only Quebec itself, but all Canada was taken from France by the British arms—

I always give my opinion openly, when it is demanded, said the Sieur O'Riely, bowing [Page 204] respectfully, and answering the King—I was born in a land of liberty, and sucked in free­dom with the first respirations of life. Your majesty commands my opinion, you shall have an honest one—

The English have lost their Quebec fleet, a heavy loss to them no doubt, but no ac­quisition of glory to France or to Spain, they had no convoy to fight for them—not a gun fired—not a sword drawn—

Should the grand fleets of each nation meet, then there will be fighting worth speaking of. These English are a people who will march up as cool to the mouth of a charged canon, as they march up to their bed—

To their bed, said Lucetta to herself— march up coolly to their bed!—the Sieur must be speaking of batchelors, I suppose, whisper­ed Lucetta to the Queen—Heaven preserve me from a husband who would march coolly to bed—

How did they behave against Caesar, against the Danes—How at Cressy—at [Page 205] —at Poictiers—at Agincourt? continued the Sieur O'Riely

They fought at Agincourt without their breeches, said a merry bishop, as he rubbed down his sleek and rubied dewlap (1)

Mercy! preserve us!—ejaculated the Queen—

It must have been a strange sight, said Lu­cetta

And I swear by my bishoprick, continued the reverend father—and there is not a better bishoprick in France, had but one company of Amazons been in the pay of France that day, the unbreeched English would never have carried a standard from the field—

It was a dirty affair, said the King—to France, said O'Riely—but why did you not open the nunneries, the nuns would have done the business as effectually as the Amazons; confinement gives ferocity to passion—the [Page 206] nuns would have played the devil in the ranks —there would have been no standing before them for five minutes—what says your re­verence?

You are mistaken, replied the bishop, the holy mother-church takes special care, that all women under tuition of its members shall be properly disciplined. Though nunneries are hot-beds, yet the nuns who may be said to vegetate in these beds, are cool as cucum­bers

As I am a Christian, ruminated Lucetta to herself—had I known that nuns led such chaste and holy lives—I should have taken the veil long since—I should have flourished in one of these hot-beds like a sensitive plant

The Sieur O'Riely went on—

Let us, continued the Sieur, look to more modern times. The astonishing victories of Marlborough, which exceed any victories an­tiquity can boast—to these succeed Dettin­gen —Minden—hold said Monsieur Sartine, interrupting the Sieur, you have forgotten or [Page 207] slipped over Fountenoy, where the English run—

Not so, by heaven! said O'Riely, stretch­ing forth his hand, and rolling an enthu­siastic eye, I have not forgotten Fountenoy— nor the famous battle of the Spurs, where the French cavalry galloped off in whole squadrons—the English run at Fountenoy! yes, they run up to the muzzles of your mus­quets, while you were intrenched chin-deep in earth, and mowing down whole columns from your masked batteries—but notwith­standing the whole power of France, your gen d'arms, and your select infantry, the Eng­lish would never have stopped running, till they had run into your trenches, and forced you to run out, but for your auxiliaries— they never stood till the Irish brigades ap­peared before them, and then they stood; shocked to see the subjects of their own cli­mate, the children of their own constitution standing armed, to oppose them in the field— the brigades changed the face of the battle, they fought for a point of honour, and would [Page 208] not flinch. The English had the same point of honour to maintain, and each fought, with­out losing an inch of ground, till the slaughter on both sides made it necessary for each side to retreat—the French looking on—

After this, good Monsieur Sartine, con­tinued O'Riely, will you pretend to say, that at Fountenoy, even England retreated before France —

Monsieur Sartine stood dumb—

This too was the day when the late glorious immortal Cumberland, rebellion's curse and freedom's friend, exclaimed against the wretch­ed policy of his country, which forced so many of her subjects to fight against her, for the wretched pay, and precarious sustenance of France—

O! may the hero ever live the blessing and the honour of his country!—

The whole court laughed at the Sieur O'Riley's blunder—they took it for an error of his head, whereas it was an overflowing of his heart—he was grateful to Cumberland for his [Page 209] opinion (1)—the bishop took him up upon it —the Duke of Cumberland, said the bishop, has been dead some years—we have not heard of his resurrection—

O'Riely gave a heavy sigh, and with a smile of ineffable contempt, retorted upon the holy father—not one of all the saints, said O'Riley, that ever Monkish superstition ca­nonized in your rubrick, lives in such glory as the hero—Cumberland the brave, the ge­nerous and good, lives in the hearts of a free people, and will live in their hearts, till me­mory is no more—and history is obliterated —which of the commanders, of your army of martyrs, can you say so much—

The French King, mortified at the spirit and manner in which the brave old Hibernian had delivered his sentiments, left the draw­ing-room [Page 210] in disgust—the bishop followed his majesty, gnawing his under lip, he felt for the army of martyrs—and Monsieur Sartine skipped after with remarkable agility, Mon­sieur Sartine felt for himself—

The Queen remained behind, which O'Riely perceiving, stepped in between her majesty and the gentleman usher, who instantly step­ped aside, and offering his hand, with an ob­sequious bow, her majesty accepted it with an ineffable smile of good humour and conde­scension —Every courtier's heart grew black with envy—

Lucetta and the maids of honour brought up the rear, with their eyes fixed upon O'Riely's back, he is at least half the size of an ox, said Lucetta—what a rump, said the maids of honour—and what a Ramillie-tail, said Lu­cetta —the maids of honour repeated the ob­servation, it flew into the anti-chamber, where it was echoed by the court ladies—the other attendants re-echoed it in the upper stories—it got down stairs, and returned up [Page 211] stairs verberated and re-verberated, from room to room, from the garret to the coal-hole.

Having finished the Sieur O'Riely's inter­view with their French majesties, and return­ed the paper to the Captain, Miss Verjuice opened her mouth, a mouth which never opened, but like Pandora's-box, it emitted a collection of evils—Happily for the Captain in the very instant she was going to give a full discharge of acrimonious sarcasm, the servant brought in a note, which she inform­ed us, required her immediate attendance on a neighbouring lady who was seized with labour—

Miss Verjuice, though a virgin, had the ex­perience of an acoucheur; she had read anatomy, and was often called in to assist, being re­markable for her philosophical conduct, which enabled her to stand unmoved, when even the midwife has been found so weak-hearted, as to leave her patient to nature—But if Miss Verjuice did not possess humanity, she pos­sessed the affectation of humanity in the fullest extent; for as her virtue consisted in her se­verity [Page 212] upon the vicious, so her humanity consisted in a severe abuse upon the unchari­table —She was a theorist in both, but had never entered into the practice of either— Not but Miss Verjuice had passions—but she had never been led into temptation—

Miss Verjuice was punctual to every call of every sick or unfortunate acquaintance, who stood in need of no pecuniary assistance, no lady could mourn with a more deplorable countenance, or sought the house of sorrow with more sedulity than Miss Verjuice, if verbal consolation only was required—yet such was the tenderness of her feelings, that if want attended sickness or misfortune, she could not bear to look upon accumulated distress, and therefore the poor man's door she was never known to enter—

Punctual in attending church, and regu­lar in paying the poor-rates, it might be said that she was religious and bountiful according to law. She practised all the externals of morality, without morals, and [Page 213] performed the rituals of devotions, without piety (1)

Miss Verjuice, notwithstanding an affec­tation of hurry, entered into a dissertation upon the necessity of assisting our fellow-creature in distress; but Maria observing, that perhaps her friend might be impatient to see her—she made an apology, I returned to the parlour with Maria, attended by the Captain, and soon after saw Miss Verjuice sally forth, equipt in her night-dress—

The Captain proposed a walk, to which proposal Maria and I acquiescing, we pro­ceeded to the bank of the Thames, and find­ing [Page 214] a convenient spot, close to a thicket, sat down to enjoy the beauty of the prospect, and the evening-air, which being gently agi­tated by a cooling fragrant breeze, pleased and revived the senses—

THE BIRD'S NEST.

A THRUSH sat perched upon the spray of an old thorn, he kept turning and look­ing to every quarter, with evident anxious expectation; but being soon joined by his mate, who bore food in her mouth, his joy became conspicuous as his anxiety had been, and he expressed it to his companion in a thousand endearing salutations and offices of love—the hen popped into the thicket to feed her young, while the cock turning up his head towards heaven, in grateful thanks to his Creator, for the providential sustenance of his little family, poured forth the joyful thanks of his heart in melodious song—

But happiness is not the lot of mortal be­ings, from the most insignificant insect up to the great lord of the creation, man, every animal has its misfortunes—its miseries—all are the sports of contingencies—

[Page 216]Two boys stole along the thicket—the poor thrush upon the spray, instantly stopt his me­lody —he boys had discovered his nest, and before I could prevent the depredation, for I arose for the purpose, had torn it from the thicket with its infant inhabitants. The hen had escaped, and joined the mate—the boys carried off their prey, the old birds call­ing in notes of distress—the boys disappeared, hope disappeared with them—the unhappy pa­rents sat silent close to each other for a few mi­nutes, when, as if urged by a mutual despair, they took wing together, and flew from the scene of their wretchedness—

There is something, said the Captain, truly distressing, in the exhibition of domestic woe, just presented to us—and should I detect a son of mine in the commission of such a rob­bery, as the two little rascals have committed, I would punish them as severely as for rob­bing the church—

Why, in truth, said Maria, it is a species of sacrilege—children should be taught to abhor it, to impress the precepts of humanity [Page 217] upon the minds of infants is the first, the most essential duty of parents—it prepares the heart for all the tender offices of life, and opens the soul to receive the lights of mora­lity and religion—

I must pay this tribute to your sentiment, said the Captain, seizing Maria's hand—pres­sing it to his breast—he raised it to his lips, and kissed it—but with such chastity of de­votion, as the professed religious kiss the shrines of their patron saints.—A tear had fallen from his eye upon Maria's hand, she would have wiped it away with her handker­chief, but while viewing it with admiration, her heart bleeding with sympathy, a beam darted from the evening-sun, and exhaled the tear to the upper heaven, where it is now preserved upon the altar of grace, an evidence of human benignity.

It is our duty, said the Captain, to use all animals with mercy—they have life, they have sense, they have gratitude—those of a domestic nature, are most of them endowed with affection and tenderness to their protec­tors, [Page 218] while others possess properties, which make us the most beneficial returns—we owe justice to men, but grace and goodness to brutes—

But, said I, adverting to the plunder of the poor thrush, there is a happiness peculiar to subordinate animals of every species, their parental tenderness is but temporary, and their grief on losing their offspring, though it may be severe while it lasts, lasts but a short time; whereas with the human species, such misfortunes produce permanent grief—often terminate in death—

SLAVE TRADE.

MERCIFUL heaven! exclaimed the Captain—when we reflect upon the plunder of the human species, carried on by nations calling themselves christian, profes­sing the divine maxim "do as you would be done by," boasting the benign principles of humanity, and enlightened by the sublime rays of holy revelation, it sinks us, in my opinion, infinitely below the most ferocious beasts of prey, for none of these live by the slaughter and calamities of their own kind.—

I perceive, said I, you are execrating the conduct of Europeans to the unhappy chil­dren of Africa.—I have often reflected upon our cruelty to those people; first, in carrying them from their native country, and then exercising upon them every cruelty that can [Page 220] debase human nature, or render life misera­ble.—

There is but one way of accounting for this cruelty, said Maria, and Sterne has hit upon it, "the poor Negroes have no one to stand up for them."—

They are sacrifices to COMMERCE, said I—

You mean to AVARICE, said the Captain— COMMERCE is a mild deity, and never re­quires human victims to bleed upon her altar.

—The fruits of industry and the fruits of the earth are her offerings. Commerce is a cure for the most destructive prejudices; where we find agreeable manners, there com­merce flourishes; and wherever there is com­merce, there we meet agreeable manners.— So says Montesquieu.—

Commercical laws, said I, arguing from the same author, improve manners, but they improve manners from the same reason they destroy them—they corrupt the purest morals, polish and refine the most barbarous. The spirit of trade produces in the mind of man a certain sense of exact justice, but does it [Page 221] not produce sanguinary laws and rage of avarice, that overleaps all bound of justice, and tramples upon humanity. The total de­privation of trade produces robbery—but is not hospitality most rare in trading countries, and is it not found in perfection among nations of vagabonds? Among the ancient Germans, to shut a door against a stranger, would be considered as sacrilege.—

I shall not take upon me, said Maria, to determine how far such nations may merit the opprobrious term you have given them, but I should rather live and die among such a people, than among the most refined; and I think this hospitality, which must neces­sarily include in it an assiduity to please, is a convincing proof of the excellency of the human heart in a simple state.—What have we got by our boasted improvements and frivilous politeness, but the loss of manly firmness and independence (1).—

[Page 222]The Captain looked at Maria with astonish­ment, and seizing her hand with a degree of rapture, exclaimed, you are right—you are right, my girl! Avarice, sensuality, and every species of meanness, have succeeded to gene­rosity and honour; and faction and servitude, with bellowing on one side, and adulation on the other, are storming and undermining the asylum of liberty—almost every man wears the mask of hypocrisy—the noble frankness which marked the character of Englishmen, has dwindled into an affectation of sentiment; and in assuming susceptibility of too refined feelings, from feeling like men, we have adopted the manners of women.—Even phi­losophy participates the refinement of mo­dern manners; she forgets her chaste and simple character—she forgets that she once inhabited the lonely cot of Socrates, and shared the frugal fare of Epaminondas.— Then your legislators and generals—Shew me a modern senator or commander, who will descend from the seat of magistracy or [Page 223] car of triumph, and cultivate the land which his voice enacted laws to rule, or which he defended with his blood—

But to advert to the subject we were on, continued the Captain, every man who pos­sesses humanity, can vindicate the rights of humanity in his own breast; but few men, who feel the force of these rights, have abi­lity to defend them.—When a benevolent mind contemplates the ravages, with which avarice has depopulated whole regions of the earth, the soul shudders with horror—But when we see the unhappy NEGRO, seduced by the wiles of European dissimulation, or dragged by trea­chery and force, from his native liberty, re­lations, friends—perhaps the partner of his heart, and pledges of his love—then indeed the soul revolts and execrates the villain, and the infamous policy which protects the vil­lain, who, to indulge his avarice, by pro­viding for the sensuality of others, tramples upon natural rights, and forces into the vile [Page 224] regions of servitude, men born free as him­self (1).

I have served in South America, continued the Captain—I have conversed with the slaves, and have sound among them men as capable of generous sentiment, and of as noble soul, as ever distinguished the character of a white —Good heavens! my heart sinks, when re­collection presents to my imagination, the misery of these unfortunate fellow-creatures, to whom death alone can give enfranchise­ment!—

Here the Captain stopped—he was too full to proceed—

[Page 225]As we are convinced, said Maria, from our own feelings, that our hearts naturally in­cline us to relieve misery, and our reason approves it as right—when we consider that providence has infused humanity into our breasts, and has taught us to look to him as an example of mercy; it is astonishing, that pity, and the divine pleasure which re­sults from doing good, should be so far exter­minated from mankind.

Cruelties, said the Captain, which no tongue can describe, which no heart can conceive, but from the evidence of the eyes, are inflicted upon negroes. The American and West-Indian news­papers, may give a slight idea of the deplor­able situation of these unhappy creatures. In these papers, they are advertised as negro fel­lows, or negro wenches—often described as bearing their tyrannic master's brand upon their cheek—having a padlocked yoke about their neck, or carrying the marks of merciless stripes upon their skin—I have seen them roused by the lash to their labour—drove into stalls in herds like brutes, and fed worse than those [Page 222] [...] [Page 223] [...] [Page 224] [...] [Page 225] [...] [Page 226] dogs which are kept for the purpose of hunt­ing them, when they attempt to escape— then in their old age they are turned out to poverty—and they are denied baptism, from an apprehension it would make them inso­len—

Pray, said Maria, addressing the Captain, are there any clergymen in those countries—

Every parish has its pastor, answered the Captain, and every pastor is a planter, and keeps unbaptized slaves—

Lord have mercy upon their souls! said Maria—

On whose souls? asked the Captain—

On the souls of those planters, answered Maria—

Do you mean, said the Captain, the plan­ters of Christianity, if you do— [...](1), and indeed the planters of tobacco, do not appear in a much better predicament—

[Page 227]The Captain would have proceeded, but perceiving Maria was in tears, he immediately stopt (1)—He had a soul, brave as Achilles —had a heart melting as infant tenderness—

We will change the conversation, said the Captain—Here my lad, said he, handing a paper, here is the account I published of Count O'DUNN.

I took the paper and read—

COUNT O'DUNN'S NEGOTIATION WITH THE QUEEN OF PORTUGAL.
COUNT O'DUNN'S APPOINTMENT.

IF her majesty of Portugal could be pre­vailed upon to join the armed neutrality, said the grand monarque, England must sub­mit —her flag would no longer proudly fly, with usurped authority upon the narrow seas —the thunder of her cannon would no longer, with sovereign arrogance, command the ships of other independent states to lower their top-sails —What is to be done, Sartine?

Nothing can be done, answered Monsieur Sartine, our most able and subtil negotiators have failed in their negotiations with the Queen of Portugal—

[Page 229]Count O'Dunn, who had been employed last war, as plenipotentiary to the court of Lisbon, was standing at the French King's elbow.

Our most able and subtle negotiators have failed, repeated Monsieur Sartine

They were Frenchmen, said Count O'Dunn to himself—

The Queen of Portugal is as impenetrable as flint, said Monsieur Sartine

To French negotiators, said Count O'Dunn to himself—

You have been in Portugal, O'Dunn, said the French King—with a wink, which im­plied, "you have seen Pharsalia;" but mum—what think you of the Queen, is she that soul of marble, Sartine represents her? —Is there no getting at her heart?

She is a woman, may it please your ma­jesty, answered O'Dunn, and I know but of one way by which her heart can be approach­ed—

The Count has been a man of gallantry in his time, observed the French Queen—no [Page 230] man at court has the character of getting nearer a lady's heart than the Count—

Three ladies sighed, in confirmation of what her majesty said—

Then he is the very man to do business, with the Queen of Portugal, said Monsieur Sartine.

The Count O'Dunn was immediately in­vested with full powers to negotiate with the Queen of Portugal.—The Count depended but little, however, upon his paper instructions, though an old man, his chief dependence was upon his abilities—then he had experience, and experience is half the battle —he knew it was a Lady he had to deal with, and no man breathing knew better how to deal with a Lady—

O'DUNN'S ARRIVAL AT LISBON.

SOON as the Count O'Dunn arrived at Lisbon, he dispatched his secretary to court—the Lady in waiting informed the Queen of Portugal—the Count was desired to attend in the anti-chamber—he was an­nounced —he appeared, and the instant he appeared, every woman in the room ejacu­lated the first letter of his name with a note of admiration annexed—O! O! O! O! O! went round the room—O! was the only sound for two minutes—

The Ladies of the court dissected Count O'Dunn, as Ladies of the court always dis­sect strangers on their first appearance—one praised his legs, another praised his shoulders —a third praised his eyes—but the old Dut­chess [Page 232] of B—was actually smitten with him on account of his forefinger

As the Count had crossed one of the private court-yards, unfortunate for the old Dutchess of B— he had occasion to draw—off his glove—the old Dutchess of B—was at that instant peeping at the Count through a lattice with her magnifying glass, and the forefinger of the Count hit exactly upon her grace's focus.

Her grace could not avoid gazing on the Count's forefinger

The Count wore two brilliants on his fore­finger —they were family jewels, the Count's father had given them to his mother, his mo­ther had given them to him—they rivetted the eyes of the old Dutchess of B—with as fascinating a power, as if she had gazed upon a rattle-snake

The old Dutchess was experienced in the value of brilliants, and the instant she per­ceived those on the Count's forefinger, her grace exclaimed, never did I see such a finger! [Page 233] never did I see such brilliants!—they are only fit for a Queen!—

The Dutchess of B— was avaricious, therefore the instant the idea of the Queen came across her grace, she concluded, that if these brilliants, which garnished Count O'Dunn's forefinger, could be procured for her Majesty of Portugal—her own fortune was made—

Little did the Dutchess of B— think, that by this determination she would serve not only the Queen of Portugal, but the armed neutrality of Europe.

Some say that the Count having perceived the old Dutchess of B—speculating through the lattice, and knowing her to be in the Queen's confidence, he drew off his glove on purpose; but whether he did or did not, whe­ther the action was accidental or manoeuvre, it is certain, that the Count O'Dunn got into the Queen's confidence by it—

When the old Dutchess of B— inform­ed the Queen of Portugal of what she had seen, her Portuguese Majesty smiled—you [Page 234] must be mistaken, my dear Dutchess, said the Queen, I never heard of so white, so taper a forefinger, nor of such brilliants as you have described—if they are so large, they must be equal in value to the famous diamond worn by the Great Mogul, and exceed that in the hat of the French King—you have been de­ceived by a false appearance—consider, my dear, dear Dutchess, you were looking thro' a magnifying glass—

The Queen was right, and the Queen was wrong—the Dutchess of B— was right— and the Dutchess of B— was wrong—the old Dutchess was deceived, not in the mag­nitude, but in the quality of what she supposed to be brilliants—they were nothing better than common Irish diamonds, which are plenty in London and Paris—

In Lisbon, they had novelty to recommend them—

We must keep up decorum, said the Queen of Portugal to the Dutchess of B— before we admit Count O'Dunn to our presence; you must enquire into the nature of his bu­siness [Page 235] —The old Dutchess flew to the anti­chamber, and put the question to the Count, she found him incircled by the Ladies of the court—My business, said Count O'Dunn, is with the Queen herself—and to the Queen herself alone, will I impart my business—

Then you will not trust me? said the old Dutchess—

By heaven, I will not trust you, my Lady Dutchess, nor any other Lady in the court— the court Ladies hung down their heads—

I am keeper of the Queen's secrets—said the old Dutchess of B—

But you are not keeper of my secrets, an­swered Count O'Dunn.

The old Dutchess fixing her eye upon the Count's forefinger, took him by the hand, and led him to the Queen's apartment—

THE HEM-SIGNAL.

THE Dutchess had much at stake, she had drawn a picture for the Queen, and she knew the consequence, if the original should fall short of the copy. She had some doubts from what the Queen had started, that her magnifying glass might have deceived her (1). [Page 237] Her fears, however, subsided, upon her in­terview with the Count. She viewed him without her glass, and joy flushed her cheeks. She measured him with her eyes, as a female virtuoso measures the beautiful representa­tions of nature in the galleries of Italy—

The Dutchess of B—had been a wo­man of remarkable sensibility. Sympathy was her weakness. In her youth she had found the highest satisfaction in communicating pleasure to others, and her greatest pleasure now was in procuring it. Yet no woman had ever given more pain than the Dutchess of B— but then no woman had ever gone further than the Dutchess of B— to alleviate the pain she had given. Man never kneeled to her grace in vain, nor petitioned her grace without relief (1)

The Dutchess of B— having approached the door of the royal closet, gave a loud hem. —This hem informed the Queen of Portugal that Count O'Dunn was near—

[Page 238]Her majesty of Portugal was at that instant standing before a great glass, wrapped up in admiration of herself. All Portugal admired the Queen of Portugal, but no subject in Portugal admired the Queen of Portugal more, than the Queen of Portugal admired herself—

Yet the Queen was not vain—she knew the power of her charms, from their effects upon mankind, and the subject of her consideration now was, to muster and draw out in amorous array, their full force armed at all points against Count O'Dunn

But the whole system of the Queen of Portugal's intended operations against the Count, was overturned by the hem-signal of the Dutchess of B—. Every glance, every leer, every smile, every giggle, which art had armed for her assistance and long experience had exercised into discipline, fled at the in­stant the hem-signal was given; nor could the Queen, with all her generalship, rally them into order—nature had taken possession of their post, and defied the powers of art to dislodge her.

THE INTERVIEW.

THE Queen of Portugal, as many able commanders have done, threw herself upon chance—she sat upon a sopha—the door of the closet opened—the eyes of the Queen shut

The complexion of the Queen of Portugal was a bright olive—Count O'Dunn never considered colours—he admired the whole sex —every colour had its attraction for him— he loved woman, because she was woman; and to this generous affection he bore to woman kind, may be imputed a passion, the most ge­nerous and disinterested, which from his youth he had entertained for an individual.

The Count made his obeisance—the Queen opened her eyes—the Count dropped the cur­tains of his eyes—a dead silence ensued—

[Page 240]The Dutchess of B—broke silence— she introduced the Count in form, as pleni-potentiary from the court of France, and re­collecting his declaration, in refusing to com­municate his business to any person but the Queen in private, she retired, as a woman of discretion should—shut the door—fell upon her knees—and applied her eye, close to the key-hole

Had Count O'Dunn been before all the male crowned heads in Europe, he would not have evinced diffidence—had Count O'Dunn been marching up against a battery, he would not have betrayed fear—yet the Count was silent, and trembled before the Queen of Portugal.

Pray, Captain, said Maria, perceiving I rested at the conclusion of the last sentence, what made Count O'Dunn tremble?

If you do not know, Madam, you must ask the naturalists—answered the Captain.

Maria had a quick conception—she found it dangerous to require a more minute ex­planation —so requested I would proceed—

O'DUNN'S NEGOTIATION.

HER majesty of Portugal began the ne­gotiation, whereas it was the duty of the Count to have began—but in truth he had forgot the interest of the neutral powers —there was nothing neutral about him—

Your prudence, Sir, said the Queen, in not communicating your business to any of my ministers, proves you worthy of your em­ployment —the business of politicks should never be carried on through a medium

It is quite contrary in affairs of love, please your Majesty, answered the Count—

You are certainly right, replied the Queen, giving up all thoughts of politicks, a medium in love is to be preferred—and the man who would reach a woman's heart, must first dis­cover the proper medium.—The cool lover is despicable—an over-warm passion is seldom [Page 242] lasting—but I should wish to hear your opinion upon the subject

It is too difficult a subject for me, said the Count, I have attempted to discuss it a thou­sand and a thousand times, but could never reach the end—love is a subject which defies the power of logick, of philosophy, of ma­thematicks. —I have tried love every way, said Count O'Dunn, and I have been told, that those who have tried it scientifically and systematically, have found themselves little better than fools upon the subject

I knew a fool, said the old Dutchess of B— taking her eye from the key-hole— who could handle the subject better than the wisest of them all—

Bless me, exclaimed the Queen, throwing her eye upon the Count's forefinger, how re­miss have I been in keeping you standing so long—

It is my duty, answered the Count, to stand in your Majesty's presence—

But as you are the representative of a King, replied the Queen, I insist upon your sitting—

[Page 243]The Count being seated upon a sopha with the Queen, proceeded upon the business of the neutral powers—he presented his creden­tials —the Queen of Portugal examined them —she spoke of her obligations to England— the Count withdrew his credentials from her hand—the Queen drew them back—examin­ed them again—the Count pushed the point closer—still the Queen objected, but faintly. The Count maintained his point

Your Majesty may perceive, said the Count, turning up his credentials towards the Queen, so as to shew the two brilliants the Dutchess of B—had mentioned, your Majesty may perceive, said he, it is a plain proposition—

The Queen of Portugal answered

The Count O'Dunn replied

The Queen of Portugal rebutted

The Count O'Dunn surrebutted.

I submit, said the Queen—you have pre­vailed —I give England—I give up every thing —I give up the world to your argument, Count O!

[Page 244]Before the Queen could fully pronounce the Count's name, O'Dunn had put the pen in her hand, and her Majesty subscribed to the neutral confederacy—

Oh! ejaculated the Queen of Portugal—

Ah! ejaculated the old Dutchess of B— and she fell upon the floor—such is the power of sympathy, it flew through the key-hole, and hit the old Dutchess full on the brain—

France has carried the day, said the old Dutchess of B—opening the door, and entering the room—

Upon my soul, but you are out now, an­swered Count O'Dunn, as he put up his credentials—it was Ireland that carried the day—so making a bow, he retired, to dispatch a courier to Paris—

Now the Dutchess of B—having writ­ten an account of O'Dunn's negotiation with the Queen of Portugal, to Madam D'C— Lady of the French Queen's Bed-chamber, the French Queen insisted, that the French King should recall Count O'Dunn, from an apprehension, that he might be assassinated—

UN PETIT SOUPER.

THE evening-dew beginning to fall heavy, Maria proposed returning home. When we arrived at the town the Captain took his leave, having previously insisted, that I should accompany him the next morning at six, to see a royal chace.

Maria, as we walked towards her lodgings, corroborated my suspicion, that the Captain was a dying swain to virgin Verjuice; and as­sured me of much entertainment from the history of his amours, the Captain having, for a series of years, been a constant dangler af­ter rich old maids, and endowed widows of various descriptions—

We found the cloth laid, and supper was served in, almost immediately after we enter­ed the parlour—two plates upon the table in­formed me, that my company was expected, [Page 246] and having no inclination to retreat suddenly, I sat down to table with as easy familiarity, as if I had been one of the family—I saw Maria was pleased at the frankness of my conduct—and what can be more pleasing than an unceremonious chearful acquiescence in partaking of the hospitable preparations of a friend.—The supper would have lost half its relish by a formal invitation—

You must help yourself, said Maria, lay­ing the wing of a duck upon her plate, I fol­lowed her example—

Here is wine, said Maria

A dumb-waiter, which stood at my right­hand, answered all the purposes of ostentatious attendance—we sat in the full enjoyment of liberty and social festivity—eat, talked, and laughed, without restraint—

I must fill to the brim, said I, taking up a decanter of Madeira—Maria smiled consent —it is to the continuance of our love, my dear Maria—Maria blushed—she hung her head, but as she hung her head, she turned up her eye—

[Page 247]Let it overflow, said Maria, and she sighed —let it overflow—I will pledge you with all my soul—

And I am all impatience, added I—my heart is thirsty for the toast—

We sipped from our brimmers—touched glasses, and changed glasses—I tasted the nec­tar of Maria's lip upon her glass—the touch had raised the sparkle of the wine, and the wine had given her eyes additional lustre— their power was irresistible—I must quench this flame, thought I, as I swallowed my wine —but wine is oil to the lamp of love—the flame from my heart increased—

I got close to Maria's side, and pressed her hand—we drank again, touched glasses, and touched cheeks—I had thrown my arm neg­ligently across the back of her chair—my head reclined upon her bosom—Maria rung a bell that lay upon the table, the servant appeared, she ordered him to remove the supper-table—

AN ILLUSTRATION, OR THE EXTINGUISHER.

DO you know, said Maria, sighing, as the servant left the room, that I have been thinking continually upon the cruelties, which the Captain told us were inflicted upon the poor negroes, by their merciless task-masters— he says there are noble souls among these people—

Shakespeare was of the same opinion, said I, when he drew the character of Othello

Your speaking of Othello, said Maria, re­minds me of a passage in the play, which I could never understand—I mean that line where Othello says— ‘Put out the light, and then put out the light.’ —I could never re­ceive any satisfaction from the commentators.

There lay upon a couch, close to Maria, a silver chamber-candlestick and extinguisher

I will give you an illustration of the pas­sage, said I, taking up the extinguisher[Page 249] "PUT OUT THE LIGHT"—I pressed the ex­tinguisher upon the candles—AND THEN!!!—

What say the criticks (1) to this illustra­tion (2)? What say their wives (3)?

FINIS.

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