—Sen me tranquilla senectus
Expectat, sen Mors atris circumvolat alis,
Dives, inops, Romae, seu fors ita jusserit, exul,
Quisquis erit vitae, scribam, color.—


Whether Old Age a tranquil evening brings,
Or Death sails round me with his Raven Wings;
Rich, poor; at Rome, or London; well, or ill;
Whate'er my fortunes, write I must and will.



  • Page 1. THE ADVENTURER, NO. XC. SACRIFICE BY THE AUTHORS OF THE EXCEPTIONABLE PARTS OF THEIR WORKS: A VISION. Aristotle and Lon­ginus by Command of Apollo and the Muses, Chief Priests; Horace, Quintilian, and Addison their principal Assistants. Offering of Homer returned by Longinus. Offering of Virgil, rescued by two Romans. Offerings of other Greek and Roman Authors. Offerings of Chaucer and Dryden. Offer­ing of Shakespeare, with the decisions of Longinus and Aristotle on his writings and genius. Offerings of Milton, Beaumont and Fletcher, Otway, Rowe, and other Dramatick Writers, particularly of Sir John Vanbrugh. Pope's Sacrifice to Addison, with his return of the Offering and Answer. Irruption of the Freethinkers, who commit a large Volume to the flames. Triumph of the BIBLE, and defeat of the Freethinkers. Vision concluded.
  • P. 11. THE GENIUS, NO. I. CHARACTER OF A MODERN GENIUS. His progress through the Stages of Childhood, Youth, and Manhood. A Genius in [Page] Life; A Genius in the Professions; and a Genius in Low Life, particularly as an Author.
  • Page 19. THE GENIUS, NO. II. PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR, AND DESCRIPTION OF HIS PERSON. Inconveniencies and mortifications of being remarkably low of stature. Instances of GREAT AND WON­DERFUL MEN OF THAT SIZE.
  • P. 31. THE GENIUS, NO. III. LETTER FROM HUM­PHRY GUBBINS, on the extravagance of his Wife in the article of Dress, particularly her expence in jewels.

    Letter from a Sportsman to engage the GENIUS as a Jockey.

  • P. 43. THE GENIUS, NO. IV. REFLECTIONS ON THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE. Its effects on Dress, on Travel, on Publick Places, and on Publick Prints. Idea of a PATRIOT KING cultivating the ARTS OF PEACE.
  • P. 52. THE GENIUS, NO. V. PRESENT STATE OF A COUNTRY LIFE, owing to the easy intercourse between the most distant parts of the kingdom and the metropolis. Hints to the Country Gentlemen.
  • P. 60. THE GENIUS, NO. VI. ON SLANDER. Modern improvements in that elegant and refined art. Cha­racters of Lady JACYNTHA SCANDAL and JACKY TATTLE.
  • [Page]Page 69. THE GENIUS, NO. VII. ON THE ROYAL WEDDING AND CORONATION. Letter from Thalestris Dymock, the Championess. Ode to a Weather-cock.
  • P. 78. THE GENIUS, NO. VIII. ACCOUNT OF THE READING DESK OF THE GENIUS IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM. Extracts from a curious Manuscript History of the Island of ANEMOLIA, written by Petrus Aegidius, of Antwerp, to whom Sir Thomas More inscribed his History of UTOPIA. Of the Language and Literature of the ANEMOLIANS. Of their love of Liberty and Property.
  • P. 86. THE GENIUS, NO. IX. LETTER FROM PA­TIENCE GREENFIELD, the Lady of a Member of Parliament who has greatly injured his fortune by being brought in for nothing, and is likely to compleat his ruin by the misfortune of having carried his election.
  • P. 96. THE GENIUS, NO. X. LETTER FROM JOHN TROT; short reflections on it, followed by further extracts from the History of ANEMOLIA. Of the Anemolian Women, their uncommon beauty, and the means they use to destroy it. Of their dress, im­ported from Achoria. Of licenced Courtezans, Drunkards, Swearers, and Gamesters. Of suits at law. Of the Anemolian Religion, Sects of Deists, Polytheists, and Atheists, some few Professors of Christianity. The ANEMOLIANS constitutional suicides.
  • [Page]Page 108. THE GENIUS, NO. XI. ON THE FREQUENT AND VIOLENT QUARRELS AMONG AUTHORS, their absurdity and ill consequences. A Poetical Epistle to a Friend.
  • P. 117. THE GENIUS, NO. XII. ON GOOD HUMOUR, One of the first requisites in Society. Constitutional Good Humour. The English in general rather good natured than good-humoured. Good Humour often gradually lost in the progress of life. Character of an Ill-Humoured Man. Good-Humour one of the most captivating qualities in a Woman. Good-Humour particularly recommended to Authors.
  • P. 126. THE GENIUS, NO. XIII. A Conversation on the strange diversities of temper and understanding among mankind. VISION arising from it; in which the Genius of the Elements accounts to the Dreamer for the various dispositions of his fellow-creatures.
  • P. 136. THE GENIUS, NO. XIV. ON THE WATERING PLACES. Reflections on a Trip to Bath. What is the chief difference between Bath and London. In­valids not the greater part of the company. Of Gaming, Courtship, and Intrigue. On female fortune-hunters, and male and female toad-eaters. Proposals for a subscription towards the publication or sup­pression of The Secret History of Bath and Tunbridge.
  • P. 147. THE GENIUS, NO. XV. A CARD FROM MRS. MARCOURT. Her character. Description of her [Page] private Party. Routes described and refined. Re­flections on those Assemblies. Heads of a bill to prevent their further ill consequences. Plan of the ROUT-ACT.
  • Page 161. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. I. THE PUBLICK SPIRIT OF AUTHORS. Their quiet surrender of the PROPERTY of the Press. Their constant zeal for the LIBERTY of the Press. Intentions of the GENTLEMAN. Comments on his motto. Reasons for the name he has assumed, and motives of the present publication.
  • P. 169. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. II. Letters from two Correspondents: the first from a BLACKGUARD, re­probating the modern system of Gentility; the second from a fair INCOGNITA, offering her advice and assistance in all female cases.
  • P. 178. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. III. ON the present STATE OF LEARNING. ON PURITY OF STYLE. On the imitation of Living Authors, and neglect of the works of Deceased Writers. Of false Ornaments. Of Idiom. Proper use of Grammars and Dictionaries.
  • P. 187. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. IV. A second Letter from The BLACKGUARD. ON THE STYLE OF CONVERSATION. Bye words and cant terms, cal­culated to damp and destroy all pleasantry and im­provement. Remonstrance against the use of the words Patch and Bore.
  • [Page]Page 196. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. V. HISTORY OF A VISIT TO SIR JOCELYN HEARTY, DURING THE SUMMER RECESS. His domestick employ­ments. His politicks. A meeting of the Justices. A Turnpike meeting. The Races. The Assizes. The Grand Jury. The Constitution and Estate neces­sary to support the Character of a Country Gentleman.
  • P. 204. THE GENTLEMAN, NO. VI. A third Letter from The BLACKGUARD. On DRAMATICK CRI­TICISM. The inviduous comparison of Moderns with Ancients, and Moderns with Moderns. On reigning words, Low, SENTIMENT, &c. used as weapons of Criticism. Nature the only word that should have currency or authority. Mannerists in Criticism or Composition equally reprehensible.
  • P. 215. Prefatory Letter to the Essays of TERRAE-FILIUS.
  • P. 217. TERRAE-FILIUS, NO. I. Notice of the arrival of TERRAE-FILIUS. Consequences of his adver­tisements announcing himself, in the London and Oxford papers. His Rights and Privileges asserted. His Character as essential to the ENCAENIA, as that of the Publick Orator. Denunciations of punishment against delinquents; but trial and sentence of cri­minals postponed till to-morrow.

    Advertisement of new publications.

  • P. 230. TERRAE-FILIUS, NO. II. SCANDAL THE MOST PROFITABLE COMMODITY FOR A DEALER IN [Page] LITERATURE. Shop opened during the ENCAENIA by TERRAE-FILIUS. Who is TERRAE-FILIUS? Various conjectures referred to time for a discovery. POSTSCRIPT containing an extract from the Univer­sity Statutes, with a translation.
  • P. 242. TERRAE-FILIUS, NO. III. REFLECTIONS ON THE REIGNING PASSION FOR SHEWS AND FESTI­VALS. Particular account of a Trip to Oxford during the ENCAENIA, by Mr. and Mrs. Folio, on a visit to Young Folio. Their remarks on the University, its buildings, its studies, &c.
  • P. 254. TERRAE-FILIUS, NO. IV. THE HARANGUE OF TERRAE-FILIUS ON LAYING DOWN HIS OFFICE. Vindication of his character, and the manner in which he has discharged his duty. POSTSCRIPT, with clauses from the Penal Statutes of the University.



TO offer to You, who are ma­nifestly engaged in the most useful and most respectable studies, a Collection of Fugitive Pieces, may perhaps at first sight appear to the [Page] world as a flagrant impropriety, or at best but an ill-timed compli­ment.

But the truth is, it is not my desire to shelter these Papers under the Patron­age of the PRESIDENT of the ROYAL SOCIETY; but to seise this opportunity of publickly testifying the sincere re­spect and regard I entertain for your Character, and to acknowledge the Obligations that I owe to Sir JOSEPH BANKS.

These considerations will, I trust, be received as an Apology by the Pub­lick, and will, I hope, induce You to pardon the liberty I have taken in [Page] requesting your friendly acceptance of these little volumes, as a faint pledge of the Veneration and Gratitude of,

Dear Sir,
Your most obliged And most faithful Humble servant, GEORGE COLMAN.


DRIVING the other day through the City—driving, for alas! at present wri­ting I cannot very well walk—I observed, in different panes of the extended window of an eminent Linen-Draper, a conspicuous Bill, exhibiting these words in very large Charac­ters: THE GOODS OF THIS SHOP TO BE SOLD CHEAP, THE OWNER LEAVING OFF TRADE.

Though it is not my intention to shut up Shop, and though I shall not probably leave trade till life leaves me, yet meditating at that moment on the few pages necessary to be prefixed to these Miscellaneous Volumes, I could not help comparing my Stock of Essays, Prefaces, Letters, Remarks, Odes, Epistles, Epigrams, Prologues, and Epi­logues, with other Literary Fragments, to [Page vi] the Bales, Pieces, and Remnants, of my frriend the Linen-Draper.

In one respect indeed our situations are exactly similar; we are both obliged to evacuate our several warehouses, and though we may both on this occasion bring forward some stale commodities, yet we both offer all our prime goods much below prime cost.

Nay, says a Critick, but your case and that of your friend are not, as you pretend, exactly similar. He is under a necessity of disencumbering himself of all his wares, good, bad, or indifferent; but from you we have a right to expect and demand a Selection. Alas, my honoured Sir! a Selection is now out of my power. Many of these pieces, since first printed and published, have been reprinted and republished without the pri­vity or consent of the author; and ten to one, if the breath was out of his body, but some other collection of this sort would [Page vii] be offered to the Publick under his name, much less select than the present; swelled with articles, of which in the first instance he was not the retailer or manufacturer, and for which he ought not, dead or alive, to be made or thought responsible.

Of the Contents of these Miscellanies a short Summary is given at the conclusion of each volume; yet it appears necessary to speak more at large, in the style of a Catalogue Raisonnée, of some of the Par­ticulars.

The first volume consists entirely of Essays; a style of writing to which the Au­thor has always betrayed a great propensity. This inclination led him, at a very early period, to offer the paper that opens the vo­lume to the conductors of THE ADVEN­TURER, who honoured it with acceptance and insertion, some time before the dis­stinguished aera when the illustrious Mr. Town introduced himself to the [Page viii] notice of the Publick under the title of THE CONNOISSEUR.

The Series of Papers, under the names of THE GENIUS and THE GENTLEMAN, were chiefly undertaken with a view of promoting the interest of the Publications in which they appeared, and with some thoughts of longer duration; but other avocations intervening, they were discontinued as abruptly as they were begun. For every thing in these papers the Editor is responsible, except for the Epistle to a Friend at the conclusion of No. XI. written by Mr. Lloyd.

The numbers of TERRAE-FILIUS were written and published at the time of their several dates, during a party to Oxford in company with my old friends and school­fellows Thornton and Churchill: neither of whom however took any part in that publication, though Thornton on our re­turn frankly owned his regret at not having joined his old Co-adjutor.

[Page ix]The second volume opens with a string of Letters and other articles, written for the same purpose as the main part of the Essays in the first; acting in concert with men whose names I loved, and whose me­mories I revere. A certain splenetick author, who confessedly dates the dawnings of his Genius from his juvenile effusions in a Weekly Journal, speaks in his usual style of Egotism with great contempt of the writers and sharers in News-Papers. For my part, not conscious of having written any thing in them for which I ought to be ashamed, I am free to confess my having written in them. Nor indeed ought He to blush at his earliest connections; but rather to pride himself, and assume more consequence than he now challenges, if possible, from the reflection of having conveyed his Loose Thoughts and Tritical Essays to the Pub­lick through the same channel with the manly Lucubrations of Pulteney and Boling broke.

[Page x]The two Prefaces to the plays of Massin­ger and Beaumont and Fletcher, though conveying no Literary Doctrines which I do not avow, are not however to be strictly taken as coming from me as the Editor of either of those Publications, for which I do not consider myself as responsible. The Critical Reflections were thrown together at the instance of Mr. Garrick, to serve his old subject Davies; who, converted from an Actor into a Bookseller, had purchased the remaining copies of Coxeter's Edition of the Works of Massinger, to which he added the Critical Reflections as a Preface. Of the Edition of the Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher I never saw a line, to the best of my recollection, till near two volumes were printed. I afterwards revised the proof sheets, and by degrees interested myself still more in the publication; for which I had no other motive than the desire of preventing a probable loss to a person who had hazarded a very considerable sum on the undertaking.

[Page xi]The Appendix to the second Edition of the Translation of Terence is inserted in these volumes, for the reasons assigned in the Postscript to that Appendix, now first published, to which Postscript I beg leave to refer the reader.

In this detail of the several parts of this Compilation, one of the first attempts at Verse that presents itself is an Ode to Obli­livion and an Ode to Obscurity; in speaking of which I may say of this Farrago, as Othello of the story of his life,

I ran it o'er ev'n from my boyish days.

These Odes were indeed a piece of boys' play with my schoolfellow Lloyd, with whom they were written in concert, in those days when we had so little grace as to ridicule our Poetical Masters, joking perhaps too licen­tiously with the Prettynesses of one poet, and the Obscurities of another. We were not however insensible to their real merits and excellencies, nor desirous to depreciate them: and if the time of the publication cannot [Page xii] be admitted as an apology, it should be remembered that there are few writers who have not, in some part of their career, in­dulged themselves in similar liberties, and been guilty of the like transgressions. Re­pentance in these cases, as in most others, comes too late to redeem the offence. Nescit vox missa reverti. The Elegy of ISIS, and the Poem of THE TRIUMPHS OF ISIS, are in vain excluded from the collections of their respective authors. They have been given to the world with the names of the writers, in other Miscellanies; and their native Spirit and Vigour has kept them alive, in spite of the efforts of their unnatural parents to stifle or overlay them.

THE LAW STUDENT has already been twice before the Publick, though not exactly in the same shape as at present; first in Lloyd's Poems, and afterwards in a collection en­titled, The Oxford Sausage, entirely consisting of pieces written by Oxonians. Lloyd was removed to Cambridge, as I was to Oxford; [Page xiii] yet I was concerned in the first of those publications, and a stranger to the second. The truth is that Lloyd wanted materials to fill a volume, undertaken by subscription, and this little Poem contributed, with some variations, to supply the deficiency.

The next article will perhaps at first sight startle the reader, THE ROLLIAD, an Heroick Poem! Familiar, however, as the title may appear to his ear and eye, he may be assured that the present work had a being and a name long before the existence of the popular and political work lately known under that title.

The reader I fear will soon discover that there is no other affinity or similarity between the two poems. What's in a name? and even that name was given to the several works on different principles: for Commen­tators must agree, that the Political ROLLIAD derives its title, like the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and the Henriade, from the name of the [Page xiv] Hero; while our ROLLIAD owes its deno­mination to the greatness of the event or the action, like the Iliad, the Jerusalem, and Paradise Lost!

The Cobbler of Cripplegate's Letter to R. Lloyd was written in concert with Garrick, and with Churchill's knowledge and privity sent to Lloyd for insertion in his monthly publication. Lloyd, on the receipt of it, consulted Churchill on the propriety of printing such an attack upon himself and his friends. In that point, says Churchill drily, you must judge for yourself. He did judge for himself, and published it: and considering the literary squabbles of that period, which this Letter tended to ridicule, I think he judged rightly.

This article reminds me of mentioning what I had nearly forgot; that the Epigram at the end of the Cock-Lane Ghost Intelli­gence was a jeu d'esprit of Garrick.

[Page xv]The recapitulation of some of these cir­cumstances will perhaps be less interesting to the reader than to the writer, whom they affect most sensibly, by recalling to his mind the memory of many pleasant hours never, never, to return!

O Noctes, C [...]n que Deûm!
—sollicitae jucunda oblivia vitae.

The several articles in the second and third volumes, distinguished in the Summary of Con­tents by an asterisk, were written since the work was first committed to the press, and were in­deed the chief amusements of the writer in the intervals of ease and leisure, during a severe and long illness. Two or three of them (but two or three, and those very short) have that illness for their subject; and the thirty-ninth Psalm comes so close to the original, which so naturally resolves itself into Blank Verse, that he is almost afraid of having misnamed it by styling it an Imitation.

[Page xvi]These, and other additions, are now hum­bly offered to his readers, not without hopes of contributing to their entertainment. And indeed many parts of this collection have already been so favourably received, that the writer is unwilling to suppose, that by thus bringing together his detached pieces, he shall be considered as binding twigs to compose a rod for himself, while he is amused with the thoughts of mak­ing up a nosegay for his friends and for the Publick.



Concretam exemit labem, purumque reliquit
Aetherium sensum, atque auraï simplicis ignem.
No speck is left of their habitual stains,
But the pure aether of the soul remains.

NOTHING sooner quells the ridiculous tri­umph of human vanity, than reading those passages of the greatest writers in which they seem deprived of that noble spirit that inspires them in other parts; and where, instead of invention and grandeur, we meet with nothing but flatness and insipidity.

The pain I have felt in observing a lofty genius thus sink beneath itself, has often made me wish [Page 2] that these unworthy stains could be blotted from their works, and leave them perfect and immaculate.

I went to bed a few nights ago full of these thoughts, and closed the evening, as I frequently do, with reading a few lines of Virgil. I acci­dentally opened that part of the sixth book; where Anchises recounts to his son the various methods of purgation which the soul undergoes in the next world, to cleanse it from the filth it has contracted by its connections with the body, and to deliver the pure aetherial essence from the vicious tincture of mortality. This was so much like my evening's speculation, that it insensibly mixed and incorpo­rated with it, and as soon as I fell asleep formed it­self into the following dream.

I found myself in an instant in the midst of a temple, which was built with all that magnificent simplicity, that distinguishes the productions of the ancients. At the East end was raised an altar, on each side of which stood a priest who seemed pre­paring to sacrifice. On the altar was kindled a fire, from which arose the brightest flame I had ever beheld. The light which it dispensed, though re­markably strong and clear, was not quivering and dazzling, but steady and uniform, and diffused a purple radiance through the whole edifice, not un­like the first appearance of the morning.

[Page 3]While I stood fixed in admiration, my attention was awakened by the blast of a trumpet that shook the whole temple; but it carried a certain sweet­ness in its sound, which mellowed and tempered the natural shrillness of that instrument. After it had sounded thrice, the Being who blew it, ha­bited according to the description of Fame by the ancients, issued a proclamation to the following purpose. ‘"By command of Apollo and the Mu­ses, all who have ever made any pretensions to fame by their writings are enjoined to sacrifice upon the altar in this temple those parts of their works, which have hitherto been preserved to their infamy; that their names may descend spotless and unsullied to posterity. For this purpose Aristotle and Longinus are appointed chief priests, who are to see that no improper oblations are made, and no proper ones con­cealed; and, for the more easy performance of this office, they are allowed to chuse as their assistants whomsoever they shall think worthy of the function."’

As soon as this proclamation was made I turned my eyes with inexpressible delight towards the two priests; but was soon robbed of the plea­sure of looking at them by a croud of people [Page 4] running up to offer their service. These I found to be a groupe of French criticks; but their offers were rejected by both priests with the utmost indig­nation, and their whole works were thrown on the altar, and reduced to ashes in an instant. The two priests then looked round, and chose with a few others Horace and Quintilian from among the Romans, and Addison from the English, as their principal assistants.

The first who came forward with his offering, by the loftiness of his demeanor was soon discovered to be Homer. He approached the altar with great majesty, and delivered to Longinus those parts of his Odyssey, which have been censured as improba­ble fictions, and the ridiculous narratives of old age. Longinus was preparing for the sacrifice; but observing that Aristotle did not seem willing to assist him in the office, he returned them to the venerable old bard with great deference, saying that ‘"they were indeed the tales of old age, but it was the old age of Homer."’

Virgil appeared next, and approached the altar with a modest dignity in his gait and counte­nance peculiar to himself, and to the surprise of all committed his whole Aeneid to the flames. But it was immediately rescued by two Romans, who ran [Page 5] with precipitation to the altar, delivered the poem from destruction, and carried off the author between them, repeating that glorious boast of about forty lines at the beginning of the third Georgick.

—Tentanda via est; quâ me quoque possim
Tollere humo, victorque virûm volitare per ora.
Primus ego in patriam mecum &c.

After him most of the Greek and Roman authors proceeded to the altar, and surrendered with great modesty and humility the most faulty part of their works. One circumstance was observable; that the sacrifice always increased, in proportion as the author had ventured to deviate from a judicious imitation of Homer. The latter Roman authors, who seemed almost to have lost sight of him, made so large offerings, that some of their works, which were before very voluminous, shrunk into the compass of a primer.

It gave me the highest satisfaction to see philo­sophy thus cleared from erroneous principles, history purged of falsehood, poetry of fustian, and nothing left in each but genius, sense and truth. I marked with particular attention the several offerings of the most eminent English writers. Chaucer gave up his obscenity, and then delivered [Page 6] his works to Dryden to clear them from the rubbish that encumbered them. Dryden executed his task with great address, and, as Addison says of Virgil in his Georgicks, ‘"tossed about his dung with an air of gracefulness."’ He not only repaired the injuries of time, but threw in a thousand new graces. He then advanced towards the altar himself, and delivered up a large paquet which contained many plays, and some poems. The paquet had a label affixed to it which bore this in­scription, ‘"To Poverty."’

Shakespeare carried to the altar a long string of puns marked ‘"The taste of the age,"’ a small par­cel of bombast, and a pretty large bundle of in­correctness. Notwithstanding the ingenuous air with which he made this offering, some officiates at the altar accused him of concealing certain pieces, and mentioned the London Prodigal, Sir Thomas Cromwell, the Yorkshire Tragedy, &c. The poet replied, that ‘"as those pieces were unworthy to be preserved, he should see them consumed to ashes with great pleasure, but that he was wholly in­nocent of their original."’ The two chief priests interposed in this dispute, and dismissed the poet with many compliments; Longinus observing that the pieces in question could not possibly be his, for [Page 7] that the failings of Shakespeare were like those of Homer, ‘"whose genius, whenever it subsided, might be compared to the ebbing of the ocean, which left a mark upon its shores to shew to what a height it was sometimes carried."’ Aristotle concurred in this opinion, and added ‘"that although Shakespeare was quite ignorant of that exact oeconomy of the stage, which is so remarkable in the Greek writers, yet the meer strength of his genius had in many points car­ried him infinitely beyond them."’

Milton gave up a few errors in his Paradise Lost, and the sacrifice was attended with great de­cency by Addison. Otway and Rowe threw their comedies upon the altar, and Beaumont and Fletcher the two last acts of many of their pieces. They were followed by Tom Durfey, Etherege, Wycherley, and several other dramatic writers, who made such large contributions that they set the altar in a blaze.

Among these I was surprized to see an author, with much politeness in his behaviour and spirit in his countenance, tottering under an unwieldy burden. As he approached I discovered him to be Sir John Vanbrugh, and could not but smile, when [Page 8] on his committing his heavy load to the flames, it proved to be ‘"his skill in architecture."’

Pope advanced towards Addison, and delivered with great humility those lines written expressly against him, so remarkable for their excellence and their cruelty, repeating this couplet;

Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow
That tends to make one worthy man my foe.

The ingenious critick insisted on his taking them again, ‘"for"’ said he ‘"my associates at the altar, particularly Horace, would never permit a line of so excellent a satirist to be consumed. The many compliments paid me in other parts of your works amply compensate for this slight in­dignity; and be assured, that no little pique or misunderstanding shall ever make me a foe to genius."’ Pope bowed in some confusion, and promised to substitute a fictitious name at least, which was all that was left in his power. He then retired, after having made a sacrifice of a little paquet of Antitheses, and some parts of his translation of Homer.

During the course of these oblations, I was charmed with the candour, decency, and judgment, with which all the priests discharged their different functions. They behaved with such dignity that it [Page 9] reminded me of those ages, when the offices of king and priest centered in the same person. Whenever any of the assistants were at a loss in any particular circumstances, they applied to Aristotle, who settled the whole business in an in­stant.

But the reflections, which this pleasing scene produced, were soon interrupted by a tumultuous noise at the gate of the temple; when suddenly a rude illiterate multitude rushed in, led by Tindal, Morgan, Chubb and Bolingbroke. The chiefs, whose countenances were impressed with rage whch art could not conceal, forced their way to the altar, and amidst the joyful acclamations of their followers threw a large volume into the fire. But the triumph was short, and joy and acclamation gave way to silence and astonishment. The Vo­lume lay unhurt in the midst of the fire, and, as the flames played innocently about it, I could dis­cover, written in letters of gold, the words THE BIBLE. At that instant my ears were ravished with the sound of more than mortal musick, accompany­ing a hymn, sung by invisible beings, of which I well remember the following verses:

The words of the Lord are pure words: even as the silver, which in the earth is tried, and purified seven times in the fire.

[Page 10]More to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb.

The united melody of instruments and voices, which formed a concert so exquisite, that as Milton says ‘"it might create a soul under the ribs of death,"’ threw me into such extasies, that I was awakened by their violence.


Lemmata si quaeris cur sint adscripta, docebo:
Ut, si malueris, Lemmata sola legas.
Mottoes! why Mottoes, Sir? you cry:
I'll tell you, Sir, the reason why.
'Tis that, dull prose dull prose succeeding,
You may at least find verse worth reading.

A GENIUS is a character purely modern, and of so late an origin, that it has never yet been described or defined in any treatise, es­say, lexicon, or dictionary. It is now, however, become almost universal. The originals are, in­deed, so numerous, and the features so strong, that it requires but little skill to take an exact like­ness. I am myself an acknowledged GENIUS; and since it is no more than drawing my own picture, I cannot better introduce myself to the reader, than by giving at one stroke a rough draught of my own character, and that of the nu­merous fraternity, by way of preliminary paper, or frontispiece, if you please, to the ensuing spe­culations.

[Page 12]The ancients, according to their wonted nar­rowness of soul, honoured a very small portion of the human race with this appellation. He, who to extraordinary talents had added extraordinary application, after the most arduous efforts to­wards excellence in some one art or science, was perhaps at last fortunate enough to extort this dis­tinction. The more generous moderns demand only the first requisites; and even those, like the places of men ballotted into the militia, may be supplied by substitutes. Vanity or assurance may pass, in the modern muster, for superior faculties. The GENIUS, endowed with them, needs neither diligence nor assiduity. Supported by confidence, he disdains to halt along on the crutches of application. So far from being versed merely in one science, he runs round the whole circle at his pleasure. Knowledge is rained down on his head like manna from heaven, and he has no care but to gather it as it falls. Almost every man is an adept in every art; acquires learning without study; improves his good sense without meditation; writes without reading; and, being full as well acquainted with one thing as another, is an un­questionable GENIUS; or, what is more extraordi­nary, maintains his right to that title without know­ing, or even pretending to know, any thing at all.

[Page 13]There is a certain reverend and affecting biogra­pher in this town, who pens, almost every six weeks, the memoirs of several unfortunate great men, and among them of many a GENIUS. In order to shew the characters of his heroes at full length, he takes up their adventures, e'en from their boyish days, and fairly sets down a plain account of their life, character, and behaviour, beginning with their birth, parentage, and education; so that the reader may see at one glance, by what steps they have gained the top-most round of the ladder. In imitation of so great an example, I will endeavour to trace the GENIUS almost from his birth to his sublimest stage of excellence. GENIUS is, indeed, universally allowed to be the gift of nature: we cannot therefore be surprised to find it, like Hercules, exerting its strength in the cradle.

The cradle, indeed, may be considered as a mere hot-bed for the raising of GENIUS; which is a plant of so delicate a nature, that it is often nipt in the bud. There never was a child, as its pa­rents will tell you, who did not soon give evident tokens of the brightest parts, by doing and saying ten thousand witty things, which were never done or said before since the infancy of Cain and Abel. [Page 14] The wit of a child, like that of a monkey, (which is a very wise animal, and, we are told, could speak if it would) consists in mischief; and the more spirit little master possesses, the more enter­taining he is to the company. I remember, that I was once taken so much notice of for my wit and humour in pulling off a grave gentleman's wig, that it afterwards betrayed me into several scrapes, by playing the same tricks over again upon dull fellows, who had not such strong ideas of pleasantry. It may not be amiss to observe here, that practical strokes of humour are those, in which a GENIUS takes the most delight.

At school the young GENIUS will begin to heighten our expectations of his future abilities. His parts, indeed, will be too brilliant to attend the instruc­tions he might receive there; but his spirit will have more room to display itself. He may be at the bottom of his class, but he will be at the head of every scrape. He may be deficient in Greek and Latin, make false concord in his prose, and be guilty of false quantities in his verse; yet, before he leaves school, he will not be unacquainted with the world, will walk familiarly into a tavern, know the best songs at Comus's court, and the names and persons of the kindest ladies upon town. But, [Page 15] when once relieved from scholastick restraints, as his sphere will be more noble, his fame will be­come more eminent. If he is entered at either of our universities, the tameness of an academical life being ill adapted to the vivacity of his dispo­sition, he will spend all his time in Covent Garden by way of being in genteel company. If he is sent abroad, because, forsooth, his wise parents or guardians imagine that the discipline of our own universities is not strict enough, he will soon convince them that the government of foreign academies is infinitely more lax. He will speedily distinguish himself by his uncommon spirit; and after shooting a waiter, killing his friend in a duel, or perhaps contaminating the sixty descents in the house of a German baron by decoying his daughter, he may ride post out of the continent, and be glad to embark in a storm in order to get safe footing in Old England.

Old England is, indeed, the noblest theatre in the universe for a GENIUS. Here he may go through all the changes and diversities of his character at plea­sure. Here he may send his mistress to parade through the streets in a gilt chariot, drawn by pye­bald horses; he may at the same time be so deeply engaged at play, that his own chariot may [Page 16] stand at the door of Arthur's till eight in the morn­ing. He may ride his own matches at Newmarket, and perform new miracles against time and weight, and number of horses, every season. In a word, he may indulge his vivacity in every ebullition of GE­NIUS, from tossing off his quarts of champagne, to shooting himself through the head.

With this spirit and vivacity may a GENIUS of quality and estate employ himself: but as talents are the gift of nature, and riches the mere favours of fortune, it happens unluckily, that many a GENIUS is reduced to the mean resources of trade or profession to support himself. In these cases, if the warmth of a GENIUS is not abated, it involves him in many difficulties. The spirit of the clerk in a compting-house may perhaps betray him into a for­gery; and the evil GENIUS of the apprentice may tempt him to commit depredations on the till.

The young physician of GENIUS, instead of throwing that solemnity into his countenance, which would make him look as if he had himself taken the potion he should prescribe, adopts a whimsical air, and soon loses his credit with the old practitioners, the apothecaries, and his bro­ther-attendants at the hospital, by laughing at the farce of physick, and swearing that water-gruel is [Page 17] of infinitely more service than the whole Materia Medica. A GENIUS of this species sometimes re­trieves himself by recurring irregularly to physick, and hawking a nostrum.

The lively student at the inns of court has too sublime a turn of mind to follow his profession. He gives the attornies a contempt for him by en­deavouring to converse with them facetiously; and is seen walking the streets in an illegal bag-wig, instead of prudently wearing the business-following bob. He may be found oftener behind the scenes at the play-house, than in the courts of justice; and if he is a prodigious GENIUS indeed, he even writes for the stage.

The exploits of a modern GENIUS in high life are indeed no where to be equalled, except by the pro­ductions of a modern GENIUS in low life, as an author. His works are not to be estimated accord­ing to the quality, but the quantity of them; and they are sold, wholesale and retail, to one set of booksellers, as another set of booksellers in Moorfields sell those of his predecessors—by the pound. He is not only capable of writing in any science, but he will undertake to write in all sciences at once. He will publish in one day detached parcels of biography, architecture, [Page 18] husbandry, gardening, and cookery. He will be, at one and the same time, the author of a long history, the translator of a voluminous foreign writer, the inventor of a novel, the conductor of a review, the Doer of a magazine, and the manager of a news-paper. In comparison to him, Tully shall appear to have written a volume no bigger than the primer, and the Iliad shall shrink into a nutshell. Longinus, from his great learn­ing, was denominated a walking musaeum; and our GENIUS, from the number and quality of his pro­ductions, may be more familiarly stiled a cir­culating library.

Such an author am I, the GENIUS. History shall stand still for events, and I will transcribe the news-papers, as the annals of politicks and lite­rature, 'ere my pen shall cease to go on. Loose papers, such as these, will scarce engage the atten­tion of a moment, and will be hastily scribbled over at the tea-table, just when the whim shall sieze me, or any amusing thoughts come uppermost in the whirl of my imagination. The reader there­fore must not expect me at certain periods, since I shall always pop abruptly in upon him. Some­times he may see me once, sometimes twice, in a week; and sometimes perhaps not above once in a [Page 19] fortnight. I hope to wait on him again very soon; and, as I have here said something of my disposition and situation, I propose in my next to give an exact description of my person.


TYDEUS, of person small! what then?
Great heroes may be little men.

NOTWITHSTANDING the eminent advan­tages resulting from the many rare talents and qualities necessarily included in that illustrious character described in my first paper, under the title of a GENIUS, I am, I must confess, neither the most completely happy, nor most universally ac­complished man in the creation. Nature, who has in some instances been lavish in her bounties to me, has in others been rather too unkind, and indeed remarkably niggard of her favours. Vanity, for example, she has so exuberantly poured upon me, that my portion, to say no more of it, is at least sufficient to embolden me to venture forth as an author; and yet my sensibility is, at the same time, unfortunately so nice and exquisite, that it [Page 20] becomes a perpetual thorn in the sides of that very vanity, laying it open to every slight attack, and rendering it too easily wounded by the petulance of folly, the slanders of envy, the gross jests of buf­foonery, or the malice of a review.

But the greatest drawback, which nature has, in my case, made on that vanity and self-applause, which contributes more or less to the happiness of every man and woman in the world, is most unfor­tunately external; visible to all eyes, open to ge­neral observation, and liable to ridicule from the dullest fellow, that casts a look upon my person. Peculiarities of figure, whether in make, size, or complection, have always been deemed an inex­haustible source of ridicule to the associates of the man who possesses them. He, whose person is re­markable, seems to be considered as a butt, planted by nature, for all other men to shoot their wit at. The coarse humour of our own vulgar, however blind to mental blemishes, is sharp-sighted as a lynx to external defects, and exerts itself as li­berally on genteeler passers-by, as on their own hump-backed companion, whom they jocularly en­title, my lord. Homer represents the gods themselves as laughing at the ugly, aukward, blacksmith divi­nity of Vulcan. Tully in his Dialogues de Oratore, [Page 21] recommends it to an orator to be pleasant and face­tious on personal defects; though perhaps rather unadvisedly, and unsuitably to the grave dignity of that profession: and, now we are got so deep in learned quotations, I defy the scholar to find in Lucian, Aristophanes, Theophrastus, or any other author, ancient or modern, a greater profusion of wit and humour bestowed on any one subject, than Shakespeare has lavished, in his several descripti­ons of Falstaff, Shallow, and Bardolph, on a fat man, a lean man, and a man with a red nose. Happy indeed would it be for any other man, (es­pecially if he be a wit and a Genius) who bears about in his person this native fund of pleasantry: if he could say with Falstaff, and with equal justice too, ‘"I am not only witty myself, but also the cause of wit in other men."’

Let not, however, the partial reader con­clude too hastily from what has been said, that I pretend to the honour of the deformity of Scarron, the crookedness of Pope, the blindness of Milton or Homer, or even the long nose, or no nose of Tristram Shandy. Not to make any further de­lay of introduction, after having so long announced myself to the good company, the truth, and the whole truth, is, that I am of a remarkable low [Page 22] stature; a sort of diminutive plaything of Madam Nature, that seems to have been made, like a girl's doll, to divert the good lady in her infancy; a little [...] without a tittle o'top; an human figure in miniature; a make-weight in the scale of morta­lity; a minim of nature; a mannikin, not to say minnikin; and indeed rather an abstract or brief chronicle of man's fair proportions, than a man at large. My person, indeed, is not formed in that excellent mould of littleness, which, as in some insects and animals, becomes beautiful from the nice texture and curious composition of its parts. I may be seen, it is true, without the help of a microscope; and am not even qualified to ri­val the dwarf Coan, by being exhibited to my wor­thy countrymen at six-pence a-piece. I am, however, so low in stature, that my name is hardly ever mentioned without the epithet little being prefixed to it: the moment that my person presents itself among strange company, the first idea that strikes the beholders is the minuteness of the figure, and a whisper instantly buzzes round the room, lord! what a little creature! As I walk along the street, I hear the men and women say to one another, there goes a little man!—In a word, it is my irreparable misfortune to be, with­out [Page 23] out my shoes, little more than five feet in height. Eating of daisy-roots, we are told, will retard a man's growth: if the French alimentary powder, or any other new-invented diet, would at once elevate me, and surprise my friends, I would go through a long regimen to be raised ever so little nearer heaven. I think I could not endure to have my limbs stretched to a nobler length in the bed of Procrustes; but, if I could be rolled out like dough or paste, or extended by relaxation, like a rope or an eel's skin in dry weather, I believe I should readily assent to it: for there is no impos­sibility existing in nature, or recorded in scripture, at the truth of which I am more apt to repine, than that no man is able to add a cubit to his stature.

When the camel applied to heaven for some amendment in his figure, Jupiter (says the fabulist) cropt his ears for his impertinence. I should be very loth, like some of my cotemporaries of the quill, by any means to endanger my ears; and yet nothing but the back of the camel being placed on my little body, could make me wish more ardently, than I do at present, for an happy al­teration in it. For not to mention the natural in­conveniencies of being trampled on and run over in a croud, almost prest to death by huge [Page 24] fellows and fat old women in machines and stage­coaches, deprived of all pleasure at sights and shews by taller persons taking their places before me;—not to dwell, I say, on these and several other circumstances of the same nature, it provokes me to find, that though I can sometimes as ab­solutely forget my littleness, as if I was as big as Goliah, yet my friends and acquaintance cannot, for one moment, lose the consideration of it. The minuteness of my person so entirely governs their idea of my character, that they are not able to detach the contemplation of one from the other; and from the mere credit of having a larger quantity of clay and dirt put together in their huge frames than myself, they become (as Beatrice terms it) such valiant pieces of dust, that a man who has room enough in his bosom for more gall than a pigeon, must be moved with indig­nation. If they think of my marriage, they set themselves to consider, what fairy they shall find for me, or whether it would not be better to cross the breed by providing me an amazon: they would have my chariot, like queen Mab's, made out of an hazel-nut: and as to an house, the case of a tre­ble hautboy were a mansion for me.

[Page 25]A very intimate friend of mine one day inad­vertently betrayed to me, that his wife always spoke of me by the name of the baby; but after­wards, in order to mend the matter, he added, that she had no contemptible opinion of my per­son, for that she always said, ‘"she never saw such a little man that was so strait."’ In families, where I visit, growing lads of thirteen or fourteen years of age are called out to stand back to back with me, and measure whether there is any differ­ence between their height and mine: and once, I remember, on my visit to an acquaintance newly-married, being introduced to the bride, who was a fine tall woman, (but a prude or a wit, I cannot tell which) she held her head so high, without making the least inclination of her body, that I could as easily have scaled the monument, as have come at the tip of her chin without the help of a pair of steps. One day, just after the passing of the broad-wheel act, being on the road on a little poney, the man of the turnpike seeing me and my nag approach, cried out, ‘"Nay, nay, this must be above weight, I am sure."’ and, closing the gate, left me to go over the place appointed for weighing the waggons. Another time, after hav­ing dined at a nobleman's house, I was honoured [Page 26] with the use of his lordship's chariot to carry me home, but was desired first to set down another of the company at St. James's coffee-house. My fel­low traveller, if I may so call him, was one of the biggest and tallest men in the kingdom, and was at least four and twenty stone in weight. Thus ridiculously coupled, like a lean rabbit and a fat one, we engaged the attention of the whole street, particularly of the company at Arthur's, who stood laughing, as we passed by, to see the body of the chariot inclined all one way, as if we were driving on the slope of a hill, though the wheels ran on as smoothly and evenly as Madam Catha­rina's clockwork equipage on a parlour floor. But I must declare, that the most ridiculous distress I ever underwent, was, when my unfortunate cu­riosity carried me to see that wonderful phaenome­non of nature, the Italian Giant, scarce less than eight feet high! While the rest of the company were walking under his arm, he seemed to ex­pect that I should have crept between his legs; and, when I offered to present him with the usual gratuity, he absolutely refused to accept it, saying, ‘"that he thought it full as great a curiosity to see me, as I could possibly think it to see him."—’In short, my situation is almost as ridiculous as [Page 27] that of Gulliver in Brobdignag; and though I cannot, like him, be carried to the ridge of a house­top by a monkey, or be stuck upright by an un­lucky lad in a marrowbone, yet every day brings with it fresh instances of mortification.

But there is no circumstance moves my spleen more forcibly than the insolence of those, whose stature very little exceeds my own, and who seem to look down on such urchins as myself with a con­sciousness of their happy superiority. One of these always affects to call me the little man; and another small gentleman (a great actor I mean, whom in some future histrio-mastix, some nescio quid majus ROSCIADE, I may possibly take a peg or two lower) is fond of sidling up to me in all publick places, as second-rate beauties commonly contrive to take a dowdy abroad with them for a foil. For my own part, though I could wish to be taller, I never made use of any undue arts to appear so. I am content to submit my littleness, fairly to the world. I never suffered my hat to rise into the air with a staring Kevenhuller, and I would as soon ap­pear in stilts, as be lifted from the ground by dou­ble soles or high heels to my shoes. I rather endeavour to console myself by looking abroad into the world for great men of another order than [Page 28] those described by serjeant Kite: and so success­ful have been my researches of this kind, that I could set down a long catalogue of persons eminent in the state, in the professions, in arts and sciences, (not to mention authors and actors) who are scarce taller than myself; so that in this respect, we may fairly pronounce in favour of the present period, as Lord Clarendon has declared of his own, that ‘"it was an age in which there were many GREAT and WONDERFUL MEN of THAT SIZE."’ I do not know whether in this extremity of war, any new raised regiment offers bounty-money for volunteers five feet high; but we flatter ourselves that, in case an invasion should take place, we could form a corps infinitely more formidable than the late king of Prussia's useless tall regiment.

I cannot close this paper without returning my thanks to the learned university of Oxford, and to the illustrious Queensbury family, for having published the above-mentioned papers of Lord Cla­rendon, in which there is much matter of conso­lation to gentlemen of the like height and dimen­sions with myself. It there appears, that most of his lordship's intimate friends were great and won­derful men of low stature. Mr. Hales, he tells us, was one of the least men in the kingdom, and one [Page 29] of the greatest scholars in Europe. Mr. Chilling­worth was of a stature little superior to Mr. Hales. Of his friend Sidney Godolphin he says, that there never was so great a mind and spirit contained in so little room; so large an understanding, and so unrestrained a fancy, in so very small a body. Of Sir Lucius Carey, afterwards lord Falkland, who was but little taller than Sidney Godolphin, he speaks so highly, that I cannot resist the tempta­tion of gratifying myself and all other little men by transcribing the description of his person, hoping it may serve to recommend us to the favour of the world, and particularly to the good graces of the ladies, who are desired to take notice, that Sir Lucius married for love, and made a most ex­cellent husband. Lord Clarendon speaks thus of him—‘"with these advantages he had one great disadvantage (which in the first entrance into the world is attended with too much prejudice) in his person and presence, which was in no degree attractive or promising. His stature was low, and smaller than most men; his motion not graceful; and his aspect so far from inviting, that it bad somewhat in it of simplicity: and his voice the worst of the three, and so untuned, that instead of reconciling, it offended the ears, so that no body [Page 30] would have expected musick from that tongue. And sure no man was less beholden to nature for it's recommendation into the world: but then no man sooner, or more, disappointed this general and customary prejudice. That little person and small stature was quickly found to contain a great heart, a courage so keen, and a nature so fearless, that no composition of the strongest limbs, and most harmonious and proportioned presence and strength, ever more disposed any man to the greatest en­terprise; it being his greatest weakness to be too solicitous for such adventures: and that untuned tongue and voice, easily discovered itself to be sup­plied, and governed, by a mind and understand­ing so excellent, that the wit and weight of all he said, carried another kind of lustre, and admiration in it, and even another kind of acceptation from the persons present, than any ornament of delivery could reasonably promise itself, or is usually at­tended with; and his disposition and nature was so gentle and obliging, so much delighted in courtesy, kindness, and generosity, that all man­kind could not but admire and love him."’

After this extract from Lord Chancellor Claren­don, I beg leave to address myself to all little men, who are desirous to become great and wonderful, [Page 31] like Sir Lucius, intreating them to meditate atten­tively for that end on the following maxim of that other great chancellor, Lord Bacon; which maxim may also serve as a sort of moral to this long paper on a short man: whosoever hath any thing fixt in his person that doth induce contempt, hath also a perpetual spur in himself to rescue and deliver himself from scorn.


Sardonychas, smaragdos, adamantas, iaspidas, uno
Versat in articulo Stella.
Stella's bespankled o'er at every point:
Diamonds, pearls, rubies, on each single joint.

AFTER having kept the discourse entirely to myself, and made myself the delightful sub­ject of that discourse for two whole papers, I am glad of an opportunity to relieve my readers by publishing the two following letters.

To the GENIUS.


I AM a plain man, but I can see how this world goes for all that; and, indeed, to find out where the shoe pinches, requires no very fine [Page 32] feelings in him that wears it. My grievance is no small one I assure you. Give me leave, therefore, to submit my case to you and the publick; a case which affects not myself alone, but, more or less, many thousands also of honest peaceable married men in his majesty's dominions.

The family matter which I have to lay before you, is relative to dress; an article which you periodical speculatists have always made a particu­lar object of your animadversion. Do not ima­gine, sir, that I trouble you merely to vent my spleen against some new fashion, that I have dis­covered some unforeseen inconveniences in the leaving off hoops, or mean to declaim against the immodesty of going without stays. I do not care one farthing whether petticoats are long or short, stomachers high or low, or whether the innume­rable yards of rich stuff are employed in trimming or flouncing, or in sweeping the ground. I have no quarrel or concern with the vagaries of the fashion; all I complain of is the exorbitant ex­pence of a woman's dress, let the fashion be what it will; an expence so enormous, that I can clothe myself and four boys from top to toe, for less than one third of the money, that goes to deck out my wife, who protests after all, to every other [Page 33] woman she sees, that she has not a gown to her back.

You must know, sir, that the greater part of my life has been spent in mercantile business, in which I got together a very considerable fortune, and which I was at last prevailed on to quit by my wife's continued remonstrances, that my applica­tion to it injured my health; though I must con­fess, I have scarce known a happy hour since I quitted my compting-house. Still, however, I consider, as every man ought, that a shilling is a serious thing, and keep a regular account of my family expences. Instead of allowing my wife pin-money, as it is called, I pay all her bills, milli­ners, mercers, &c. and carry them to the bad side of my accounts with my own hand; and it grieves me to the heart to see so much good money lavished away upon gew-gaws and frippery, things ten times worse than canvas, stay-tape, and buck­ram in a tailor's bill. Such a cloud of ruffles, double-ruffles, treble-ruffles, caps, aprons, and handkerchiefs! Such a deluge of gauze, muslin, blond, and Brussels lace! and then from Ludgate-Hill rich silks at so high a price! at the rate of—I blush to own it—even of twenty shillings per yard! though, indeed, I remember when I [Page 34] could have purchased whole bales of the same sor [...] for no more than three or four, till the coxcombs of my own sex enhanced the price, by making them up into fools-coats and birthday suits for themselves.

This, Sir, you will allow to be a heavy expence; yet, all this is nothing, absolutely nothing, in com­parison to the grand object of my present appli­cation. After my wife's efforts at finery and magnificence had taken, as I supposed, their full swing, she made another stroke, which my folly and compliance has suffered her, by little and little, to carry to such an immoderate length, that this new piece of extravagance has cost me several thousand pounds in hard money. Unfortunately for me, a little scrub Jew, who called himself a merchant, because he carried on a sort of pedlar's traffick in jewels among his tribe, used to dine sometimes at my house, and soon contrived to talk my good woman into a taste for diamonds; a scriv­ener's wife too in the neighbourhood happened at that time to have jewels in her ears; so that, to humour my wife, little Tubal was ordered to furnish. her with a pair of diamond tops, for so I think they called them. These, however, were scarce purchased, and the tops well fixt in her ears, [Page 35] before it was found indispensibly requisite to have bobs or drops to them, which also the insinuating Smouse soon provided for her. The good humour which these occasioned, was but of short dura­tion; for, alas, Sir, my wife soon told me, that these were but poor trumpery baubles, and at best only fit for her dishabille; and, as a lady of quality had promised to take her to court, it was abso­lutely necessary that she should have a pair of large handsome ear-rings; which by the help of our friend, she soon had, and which were so very brilliant, and set in such a fine transparent fashion, that the countess, who was to accompany her, turned pale with envy at the fight of them. Since then, Sir, I am ashamed to confess to you, that I have been teazed and wheedled into giving her a diamond necklace, with an appurtenance dangling to it, which the charge in the bill has taught me to call Esclavage; and since that again, a diamond girdle-buckle, a pair of diamond shoe-buckles, a sprig made up of garnets and diamonds, and what provokes me worse than all the rest, a diamond nosegay or bouquet (as she christens it) which comes to more than a younger child's for­tune. Her affection for me has also induced her to wear my picture in miniature, set round with [Page 36] diamonds, for a bracelet; besides which, her fingers are perfectly cramped with rings, single brilliants, hoop-rings, topazes and amethysts without num­ber. She has scarcely the free motion of her knuckles and joints: they are placed five, six, seven, or eight deep below one another, and it is absolutely impossible for her to wear more, unless, like the Indian women, she was also to bore her nose.

This, Sir, is the groaning evil of my wife's dress: and my case, which might once have been reckoned singular, now becomes every day less and less uncommon. Formerly, indeed, rich jewels, as they shine in the crown of monarchs, seemed also to be appropriated to those illustrious characters, which approached nearest to that rank and dignity: but now they are worn indiscriminately by the wife of a duke or a city-deputy, by a princess of the blood or a lady of pleasure. I can remember the time when women of an ordinary rank never dreamt of such extravagance, when they were con­tented with pebbles and paste instead of diamonds, wore French beads for pearls, and coloured glass for precious stones. At present every woman seems as familiar with diamonds as Cleopatra was of old; and to hear them boast how cheap and plentiful they are grown of late years in England, one [Page 37] would almost imagine, that they were inhabitants of Voltaire's good country of Eldorado, where (as I read lately in a translation of his Candide) the soil consisted of gold, and diamonds lay, like stones and pebbles, in the streets and highways.

My good wife is pleased at times to expatiate on the oeconomy and good management of laying out money on these trinkets. They are, says she, the only parts of dress, whose value remains undiminished, and on which the cost is not entirely thrown away. They have an intrinsick worth; and they, as well as plate, may be regarded as so much riches in bank, which, like a note, may be converted into cash, whenever one pleases. This is fine talking truly! It is well known, that the setting, and the fashion, and the like, come to above half the money that is paid for them; though indeed the expence is so great, taken altogether, that the buyer is often obliged to try the real value of his purchases by setting his jewels up to auction, and coining his plate, like the bankrupt Frenchman, into specie. For my part I never see my wife in all her finery, without being immediately led to a contemplation of the immense sums, which she carries about her. When I consider the common rate of interest, I cannot help calculating, her [Page 38] ears, her neck, her hands, and her feet, each at so much per annum, and when I further reflect how much more per cent. I could have made of my money in the fair way of trade, she seems to lie, like some cruel excise, upon my goods. A merchant can scarce ever afford to make a purchase even of Land, his whole principal being wanted to answer the demands of his business. How then can he support the loss of so much money lying dead on his wife's toilet? What profit can arise from her ear-rings or shoe-buckles? and where are his quick returns from her sprig or her bouquet? should he suffer a bill of exchange to be protested, in order to pay his lady's jeweller? or should he run the risk of seeing the precious stones themselves in the hands of his assignees? An estate in land indeed will afford some profit to the owner of it: but the barren brilliants produce neither corn nor grass, yield neither rent nor habitation, and serve no one end (on this side of Temple-Bar at least) except that of making the husband poor, and the wife proud.

The bad effect which these ornaments have on the minds of the wearers, might furnish no weak arguments against the use of them. So much finery must be shewn, and for what end does a woman [Page 39] dress, unless it be in order to be seen? With what transport did my wife attend to the city scheme of an assembly at Haberdasher's-Hall! where, I dare say, her magnificence has since created no small disquiet in the family of many an alderman. I have already been reproached by more than one of the common council on this occasion, who have themselves shewn no more power to check this do­mestick evil than I exerted. They talk, however, very loudly of the imprudence of trusting a wife with such valuables: they tell me, it is absolutely putting an independent fortune into her hands. I have heard twenty stories of diamond-necklaces and aigrets being sent by distressed ladies to the pawnbroker's; and my attorney assures me, that he has the jewels of a lady of quality lying in his strong box, as a pledge for a thousand pounds lost at play, for which she had too much tenderness to trouble her husband. I have also heard another story of a lady who robbed herself, and prevailed on her kind husband to purchase for her a second time her own diamonds, new-set, of the jeweller, who had received the stolen goods at her hands.

You, Mr. Genius, seem to me to be something of a wag, and so perhaps you may laugh at my remonstrances; but in my mind it is a very serious [Page 40] affair, and deserves much consideration. To bring in a bill for some wise sumptuary law would perhaps not be quite unworthy the attention of the legislature. I consulted a serjeant at law some time ago on this head. He informed me, that, in the uncommon extent of his reading, he had met with a recital of one or two laws of this nature, but that they had been obsolete time out of mind. In one of these it was declared how many rows of lace a man might wear on his coat, according to his degree, from a duke to an esquire: and in another it was solemnly enacted, that no person, beneath the rank of a peer, should wear a coat so short as to shew his posteriors.

This, Sir, was the sum of the grave gentle­man's counsel: hoping also some wholesome ad­vice from you, or at least that my case may induce you to draw up a table of sumptuary laws for the benefit of the ladies, or, more properly speaking, for the benefit of their husbands, I remain,

Your well-wisher and humble servant, HUMPHRY GUBBINS.

I Have read your description of yourself with a deal of glee, and would give a thousand pounds to-morrow to be just such another tight little thing as you are. A fine sporting figure I warrant. How much do you weigh? Why did not you tell us that?—But no matter—I'll hold six to one, you don't ride above nine stone, saddle and bridle, and all together.

But hark ye, my little buck, the reason of my writing to you at present is this. You must know that I have laid Lord — a thousand guineas, play or pay, with a good many bets depending on the same lay, that I get a man to ride a little Yorkshire galloway of mine, not thirteen hands and a half by Jupiter, five and twenty miles within the hour. I intended to ride myself, and have been in training for that end these six weeks. But it won't do. I can't bring myself to less than twelve stone three pounds and five ounces, do what I will. I have used exercise without measure, eat scarce any thing, and wore five flannel waist­coats all the hot weather, and yet I am over weight after all. Now I'll tell you what, my little GENIUS; if you will ride for me, it is a dead [Page 42] affair. The minute you appear on the course, the odds I am sure, will run ten to one in my fa­vour: so if you'll ride, you shall go halves in the wager. I'll bear you harmless from all losses; and if you have a mind for the job, and it is in your way, I'll recommend you to the jockey club as a proper man to make up the sportsman's calendar.

Your's, J. F.

P. S. I have just read an account in the news­paper of the surprising little horse from Guadalupe, but two feet ten inches high, that is, just eight hands and an half. If you win my match for me, I will buy you this Guadalupe tit for your own, riding.

*⁎* The original dates of the three first numbers of this paper having been inadvertently omitted, are inserted in this place, and are indeed a necessary part of periodical essays, in which many touches occur bearing particular reference to the time of their first publication. The Tatler and Spectator would often be obscure, and sometimes scarce intelligible, without this easy and familiar illustration.

  • THE GENIUS. No I. DATE. Thursday, June 11, 1761.
  • Ditto. No II. DATE, Saturday, June 20, 1761.
  • Ditto. No III. DATE. Tuesday, June 30, 1761.


—Pacisgue imponere morem
Receive, as War is like to cease,
Preliminary Thoughts on peace.

‘"WAR, saith Vincent Wing in his almanack, begets poverty, poverty peace."’ Now as some, at least, of the parties engaged in the present contest, seem to be nearly whirled round to that part of the circle of events, described by the learned Philomath in the lines above-mentioned, all considerate persons begin to look forward to the consequences of such a revolution. The sagacious gentlemen at the Smyrna have already deliberated what part of our conquests we shall sorego, and what we shall retain. It was but the other day, that I saw a political junto in a corner of the room, with a map of America lying before them, and heard their final resolution not to restore an acre of Canada; though they were a little [Page 44] disconcerted by a sugar-merchant from the city, who happened to drop in at the time, and declared with an oath, that the nation was undone, if we agreed to give up Guadalupe. The dealers in the stocks at Garraway's and Jonathan's are locking up all their ready money in the funds, and calculating at how much per cent. advance they shall be able to sell out on the proclamation of peace; and, in the mean time, some of the gentlemen at Arthur's, with many other persons at both ends of the town, are attentively considering the consequences of a peace in diminishing or increasing the emoluments of their several places, employments, or professions. A friend of mine, a very honest gentleman, who is an agent in the city, told me last week, that, if he was but so happy as to see the war continue for only four years more, he should make an estate, and ride in his coach and six: and it was but the next day that another intimate acquaintance, who has an employment in the war-office, declared to me, that he should lay down his chariot immediately upon a peace. For my own part, none of the va­rious considerations, just enumerated, take hold on me. I have, I am sorry to say it, no money in the funds, and no employment under the government; and, as to politicks, since these are not times [Page 45] when author-incendiaries are hired to take up the bellows to kindle the embers of sedition, or paid for laying them down again, what has a GENIUS to do with such considerations on the war or the peace? Libels, publick or private, are, alas! attended only with fines, imprisonment, and the pillory. Waving, therefore, all other reflections, I shall consider this important event, come when it may, as a mere moralist; and endeavour to trace out the most probable effects of a peace, on the manners and principles of the good people of Great Britain.

I think, I may venture to prognosticate, that its first visible effects will be manifest in our dress, so that every lady and gentleman may be said to carry about them a kind of badge of peace and reconci­liation, by adopting that foreign air, of which we are so great admirers. I have no apprehension that our home manufactures will stand still, and that the industrious artists of Spital-fields, whom publick spirit has of late so much encouraged, will be left to starve for want of due employment; but I think I foresee a whole pacquet of tailors, hair-cutters, and milliners, coming over in every vessel, and new patterns for caps and handkerchiefs, with the true Paris cut for cloaths, sent by every mail. There [Page 46] seems to have been much decency and chaste reserve in the habit of both sexes during the war; but, as we are allowed to be a very imitative, though not an inventive nation, I have some dread of the new fashions to be introduced after the peace. Then, perhaps, we may again see, among the ladies, uncovered shoulders, naked breasts, and legs revealed above the ancle; and among the men, short jerkins, white hats, and red-heeled shoes. In order to prevent these and other irregularities, I would humbly propose that, before the treaty is concluded, a congress of dressers, friseurs, and tyrewomen, plenipotentiary, be appointed to meet in some neutral country; and that, in the mean time, wooden dolls, dressed, a la mode de Païs, be reciprocally sent over between the cities of London and Paris, the better to adjust the preliminaries.

The large cargoes of tailors, &c. which the peace will waft over, will, however, be very ina­dequate to the number of English gentlemen, and Milors Angloises, that will immediately set sail for France, not for the sake of interest, but dissipa­tion. A bridge from Dover to Calais would per­haps hardly render the emigrations of our people more frequent. Paris will then be considered as an addition to the number of our places of publick [Page 47] resort, and visited with as much readiness as Tun­bridge, Bath, or Scarborough. This is a field which affords so much room for observation, that perhaps I may think it worth while to collect my materials on the spot, and may date some of my future papers from a Hotel at Paris. In the mean time, as our ministry and parliament will un­doubtedly turn their thoughts towards the reduc­tion of the national debt, necessarily increased by an expensive, though glorious war, my skill in politicks cannot suggest a better measure or more equitable tax to their consideration, than an heavy duty on the exportation of fools.

The ladies, who have justly complained of the dearth of men during the war, will, I dare say, concur with me in the propriety of this new tax, and to oblige them I would propose that all importations of volunteers from abroad, and other recruits, may be permitted duty-free. At the same time I cannot but congratulate my fair countrywomen on the great plenty of males, which the peace must produce. We shall no longer see a row of disconso­late females, sitting, like superannuated maidens, unsollicited at a ball, or a lady of fashion reduced to the necessity of figuring in with the butler. The officers of disbanded regiments will be glad to [Page 48] supply the deficiencies of half pay by the accession of a large portion with a wife; and the brave gentlemen of the militia, no longer embodied or traversing the country to distant encampments, will add to the publick meetings and assemblies of their own counties the brilliancy of a red coat and cockade, without the terror that such a dress com­monly brings with it, and as much harmlessness as a sword in the scabbard. These new-commis­sioned soldiers may rejoice at the thought of having wiped off the contempt, that once cleaved to the name of MILITIA, and the ladies may be happy to take an hero to their arms, who can fight for his country, without being sent out of it. In a word, this is one of the most jocund ideas, that peace affords. Bath, Bristol, Margate, Brighthelmstone, &c. will again become the scenes of pleasure and delight; and the gallant warriors, who have de­served so well of Mars, now devoted to Venus in her turn, have nothing to do but to recommend themselves to the favour of the fair sex, and en­deavour to repair the ravages of war by determining, with captain Plume, ‘"To raise recruits the matrimo­nial way."’

But the joy, which the gaiety of these contem­plations inspires, is much allayed by considering [Page 49] the unhappy situation of the daily, weekly, morning, and evening retailers of news. During the time of war, a battle in Germany, a fort stormed in the West-Indies, or a Nabob created in the East, is worth forty shillings to every paper, that reprints the particulars from the Gazette Extraordinary: nay a town taken or a town lost is equally to the advantage of these half-sheet historians; and the perpetual curiosity kept alive by the publick anxiety, sells off whole quires of uninteresting details of births, deaths, marriages, and bankruptcies. How great then must be the dread of the conse­quences of peace to the proprietors of the swarm of Advertisers, Gazetteers, Ledgers, Journals, Chro­nicles, and Evening Posts? A peace, which will lie heavier on their papers than the double duty on the stamps! My good friend Mr. H. BALDWIN of White Friars has already exprest to me his fears on this occasion. He fairly tells me to my face, that though the GENIUS were to stand in the front of his paper three times a week, the pub­lick attention would flag without great incidents and alarming paragraphs. He further acquaints me that, in order to recommend the St. James's Chronicle, he has engaged an ingenious gentleman, who, besides translating the mails, touching up [Page 50] collectors' paragraphs, and writing occasional let­ters from the Hague, has also a sufficient portion of invention and philosophy, (having finished his education at St. John's college, Cambridge) to draw up accounts of earthquakes, meteors, and eruptions of Aetna and Vesuvius. Notwithstand­ing all this, he requires my further assistance. These, I protest, are matters with which I am very little acquainted; yet, I will strive (to use the news-paper phrase) to establish correspondences of another sort. I will use my interest to oblige the publick, like Boccalini, with the freshest advices from Parnassus; or, if my intelligence from that quarter should fail, I hope at least to be able, as well as some of my cotemporaries, to produce a dialogue from among the dead.

Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.

The happiest circumstance which I can recollect in favour of these persons employed in the eternal continuation of modern history, is, that a peace gives consequence and dignity to several events, which would be sunk and neglected during the tu­mult of a war. We all remember to have seen the whole nation, at such a period, split into parties concerning the possibility of a servant girl's subsist­ing for a month on a few crusts of bread and a [Page 51] pitcher of water, while the wits of the age drew their pens, and were ready to spill their last drop of ink on each side of the question. At such a period a rabbit-woman, or a fortune-teller, a quack, or a bottle conjurer, engages the attention and engrosses the conversation of the whole town: and a quarrel between a dancer and his mistress, or a dispute between a couple of opera-singers, is of as much importance as the dissention between two generals. The violence of the British spirit of party will always create fuel for its own flame to feed upon: when it can no longer rage abroad, it will commit devastations at home; when it has no occasion to exert itself in vindication of liberty and property, it will vent itself on trifles; and the politicians of Britain, like the patriots of Lilliput, will divide concerning the height of shoe-heels, or the manner of breaking of eggs.

Among these domestick considerations, there is one in particular, which presses on my mind; but though I feel its force, I am quite at a loss to ex­press my sensations: the idea is indeed too big and lofty, and so far above the pitch of these mean essays, that I seem, like the poet of old, to receive an admonition from some superior, to have re­course to more familiar subjects. I shall, there­fore, [Page 52] leave to some greater matter the endeavour to give to posterity the portrait of a KING, happy in the love and admiration of his subjects, proud of calling every Briton his fellow-countryman, and employed in cultivating THE ARTS of PEACE.


Ergo ubi me in montes et in arcem ex urbe removi,
Quid prius illustrem—
Far from the town, reviv'd by country air,
What country matters first demand my care?

AT this season of annual migration, (as a great writer solemnly stiles it) when the noble lord and the knight of the shire go down to their several seats, to support their interest in the county; when the lawyer takes his circuit; when the right reverend diocesan appoints his visitation; and when the humble out-rider, astride his saddle-bags, goes his rounds for fresh orders to dealers and chapmen in the country;—in a word, when business or pleasure carry thousands out of town, it is no wonder that one [Page 53] or the other should have transported the GENIUS almost two hundred miles beyond the limits of the bills of mortality. I could oblige the reader with a curious detail of my journey and adventures: I could tell him, that my publisher furnished me with one horse, and my printer with another, together with his devil in livery, for an attendant: but these and many other curious particulars must be deferred to some future opportunity, that in the mean time I may have leisure to communi­cate some few observations made, en passant, on my fellow-subjects resident in the country.

Notwithstanding the encomiums on a rural life, sown so thick in the writings of poets and philosophers, we do not, in this degenerate age, think ourselves sure to breathe the pure air of in­nocence and ancient simplicity, the minute we have got out of the smoke of London; we do not perceive a gradual declension of vice at every mile-stone, or discover morality upon every hay­cock. The clown who works at plough and cart, nay even the tender of sheep, for whom we have so much respect in pastoral and romance, excite our veneration little more than a linkboy or a hackney-coachman. The very milkmaid, with her pail on her head, engages our esteem no more [Page 54] than her fellow-labourers, who carry the yoke, about our streets: and so little do we expect to find the manners of the golden age prevail among our rusticks, that we see, without remorse or sur­prise, some bumkin Phillis condemned to the gallows for the murder of her bastard child, or a refractory Damon committed to the house of cor­rection, set in the stocks, or sent abroad for a soldier.

But though we have surmounted these preju­dices, perhaps we still retain some antiquated ideas of the manners of the country, scarce less re­mote from those which at present reign there, than even the manners of Arcadia. We are apt to take it for granted, that there yet remains among them, a strong leaven of that roughness and rusticity, which was so long considered as their distinguishing characteristick. It is scarce half a century ago, since the inhabitants of the distant counties were regarded as a species, almost as dif­ferent from those of the metropolis, as the na­tives of the Cape of Good Hope. Their man­ners, as well as dialect, were entirely provincial; and their dress no more resembling the habit of the town, than the Turkish or Chinese. But time, which has inclosed commons, and ploughed up heaths, has likewise cultivated the minds, and [Page 55] improved the behaviour of the ladies and gentlemen of the country. We are no longer encountered with hearty slaps on the back, or prest to make a breakfast on cold meat and strong beer; and in the course of a tour of Great Britain, you will not meet with a high-crowned hat, or a pair of red stockings. Politeness and taste seem to have driven away the horrid spectres of rudeness and barbarity, that haunted the old mansion-house and its purlieus, and to have established their seats in the country.

It is certainly to the intercourse between the town and country, of late so much more frequent, that this extraordinary change must be imputed. Every traveller, that goes down to Cumberland or Cornwall, carries in some sort the town along with him, and inevitably leaves some tincture of it behind him: and every visit, which an honest rustick pays to London, insensibly files off some of the rust of the country. Formerly indeed, when that the roads were dark, and ways were mire, as Milton expresses it in one of his sonnets, a journey into the country was considered as almost as great an undertaking as a voyage to the In­dies. The old family coach was sure to be stowed, according to Vanburgh's admirable description of [Page 56] it, with all sorts of luggage and provisions; and perhaps in the course of the journey, a whole vil­lage, together with their teams, were called in aid to dig the heavy vehicle out of the clay, and to drag it to the next place of wretched accom­modation, which the road afforded. Thus they travelled, like the caravan over the deserts of Ara­bia, with every disagreeable circumstance of te­diousness and inconvenience. But now, the amendment of the roads, with the many other im­provements of travelling, have in a manner opened a new communication between the several parts of our island. The people venture forth, and find themselves enabled to traverse the country with ease and expedition. Stage-coaches, machines, flys, and post-chaises are ready to transport passen­gers to and fro between the metropolis and the most distant parts of the kingdom. The lover now can almost literally annihilate time and space, and be with his mistress, before she dreams of his arrival. Even a troop of geese and turkies may be driven from the country to town in a shorter time, than a nobleman and his family could have taken the journey heretofore, and the game­ster offers to bet, that he can go from London to Edinburgh in twelve hours. In short, the manners, [Page 57] fashions, amusements, vices, and follies of the me­tropolis, now make their way to the remotest corners of the land, as readily and speedily along the turn­pike road, as, of old, Milton's SIN and DEATH, by means of their marvellous bridge over the Chaos, from the infernal regions to our world.

The effects of this easy communication, have almost daily grown more and more visible. The several great cities, and we might add many poor country towns, seem to be universally inspired with an ambition of becoming the little Londons of the part of the kingdom wherein they are situated: the notions of splendor, luxury, and amusement, that prevail in town, are eagerly adopted; the various changes of the fashion ex­actly copied; and the whole manner of life studi­ously imitated. The country ladies are as much devoted to the card-table, as the rest of the sex in London; and being equally tired of making puddings and tarts, or working screens and car­pets, they too have their routes, and croud as many of their neighbours as they can get together, into their apartments: they too, have their balls and concerts by subscription; their theatres, their mall, and sometimes their rural Ranelagh, or Vauxhall. The reading female hires her novels [Page 58] from some country circulating library, which consists of about an hundred volumes, or, is trundled from the next market town in a wheelbarrow; and the merchant, or opulent hardware-man, has his villa three or four miles distant from the great town where he carries on his business. The nobleman and country squire, no longer affect an old-fashioned hospitality, or suffer the locusts of the country to eat them up, while they keep open house, and dispense victuals and horns of beer, like the anci­ent convents, to all comers; but more fashion­ably display the elegance of their taste, by making genteel entertainments: the same French cooks are employed, the same wines are drank, the same gaming practised, the same hours kept, and the same course of life pursued in the country as in town. The force of this illustrious example in­fluences the whole country; and every male and female wishes to think and speak, to eat and drink, and dress, and live, after the manner of people of quality in London.

There is no popular subject of satire, on which the modern common places of wit and ridicule have been exhausted with more success, than on that of a mere cockney affecting the pleasures of the country. The dusty house close to the road side, [Page 59] the half-acre of garden, the canal no bigger than a wash-hand bason, &c. have all been marked out with much humour and justice; but after all, it is not unnatural for a tradesman, who is continu­ally pent up in the close streets and alleys of a po­pulous city, to wish for fresh air, or to attempt to indulge a leisure hour in some rural occupation; and he who prevails on himself to give up the en­joyments which nature has thrown into our laps in the country, for a poor imitation of the follies of the town, is infinitely more ridiculous. Ly­curgus passed a law in Sparta to prevent the impor­tation of foreign vanities, and not only expressly forbad the continuance of strangers in the city, for fear of their corrupting the people, but for the same reasons would not permit his own people to travel. Frequent intercourse will undoubtedly pro­duce similarity of manners; but the present com­munication between the various quarters of our islands, are so far from being to be lamented, that it is only to be wished and recommended, that they may produce real refinements and improvements of a valuable nature. At the same time let it be considered by our country gentlemen and la­dies that no benefit can arise from changing one set of follies for another; and that the vices of the town never appear so truly ridiculous, or so [Page 60] thoroughly contemptible, as when they are auk­wardly practised in the country.


Alque ita mentitur', sic veris falsa remiscet,
Primo ne medium, medio ne discrepet imum.
Slander and seeming, in the tale so mixt,
A thousand lies, and some small truths betwixt,
From end to end so cunning and compact,
'Tis hard to part the falshood from the fact,

SLANDER is an elegant and refined art, which has been brought to such a wonderful perfec­tion, that it is not only universally practised and thoroughly understood, but is become the soul of polite conversation, and one of the most agree­able amusements of private life. Formerly, an infant lye, fearful of detection, and almost ashamed to shew itself in publick, made its way but slowly in the world; but now, the grossest false­hood comes abroad with the utmost confidence, and peremptorily challenges our notice and atten­tion. Not content with a general assertion of [Page 61] any fact, it delights to be minute and circumstan­tial; enters into particulars, tells you the man­ner how, the time when, the place where, and gives the names of all the parties concerned. Such a report having gone round to every coffee-house, and got into every private family, having been uni­versally told, and almost as universally credited, comes at last to the ears of the persons, who have been the unconscious subjects of it. Then the whole story proves entirely groundless; but they, whose reputation has been thus sported with, have no remedy except the consciousness of their own integrity, unless they chuse to make a genteel retaliation on their next neighbour, or to encoun­ter with the air. It might be deemed too severe an act of censorial authority, to discountenance so polite an entertainment, and might, perhaps, put some of the best company to silence. Yet, since it is but of late that slander has, at its very birth, come forth (like Pallas from the head of Jupiter) armed at all points, hedged round with circumstance, and lackered over with probability, it may not be incurious to enquire, who are these active ministers of falshood, that set it so firmly on its legs, and bring it so early to maturity: I shall therefore dedicate the present paper to the [Page 62] description of two of these ingenious characters, each of which rough draughts, the reader, who is at all conversant with the world, will, I am sure, be able to apply to more than one original.

LADY JACYNTHA SCANDAL is a woman of the first fashion, and her house is the daily resort of the first company. Her reputation, it is true, is not quite unstained; but the blemishes of her character, like the spots in the sun, are overcome by the splendor of her quality. By the force of a genteel malice and pleasant ill-nature, together with an happy assurance that enables her to throw off the reserve of her sex, she is universally ac­knowledged to be a wit. The smartness of her re­partees bespeaks uncommon vivacity, and her ex­quisite turn for the double Entendre denotes an ad­mirable pruriency of imagination. She will tell a story to a room full of mixt company, almost rich enough in its circumstances for the high-wrought memoirs of a woman of pleasure, with­out using one indelicate expression, without offend­ing the chastest ear, or betraying the least con­sciousness that she is all the while on the very brink of indecorum. She receives all her visitors with the most perfect good breeding; but the in­stant that any one of them departs, he becomes [Page 63] the subject of her pleasantry and ridicule to those that stay behind. She cannot raise our idea of her own character, but she can lessen our opinion of another's. In a word, her ladyship is the fear and delight, the envy and scorn, the honey and gall, of the great world: nobody thinks well of her, but nobody speaks ill of her, and every body visits her.

Neither love, nor honours, nor riches, nor any other worldly pleasure, can give half so much de­light to LADY JACYNTHA SCANDAL, as the gratification of her dear passion for mischief: and there are likewise certain other female geniusses, who love a little witty malice better than their prayers. Several of these are frequently assembled at LADY JACYNTHA's, and it is to the ingenuity of this petticoat junto that the strange reports, which alarm the whole town, are often owing. They are not contented with the more than usual poig­nancy of their chit-chat over the tea-table, but set themselves to invent important slanders, and to devise the surest means to give them colour. If some pale-faced London coquette, some hagged member of the cabal, worn to the bone with paint and late hours, is offended with the ruddy bloom of some new toast from the country, it is here [Page 64] that she meditates revenge, and it is suddenly proclaimed, or, as the phrase is, reported, that the innocent young lady has been detected in the grossest familiarities with one of her father's foot­men; or if a dutchess has piqued some of the junto, by excluding them from her route, or leaving them uninvited to a ball, her rank will so little avail to exempt her from the like treatment, that the slander will rather be aggravated in pro­portion to the dignity of its object.

Never did statesman study more attentively the art of political lying, or stockjobber use more stra­tagems to raise or sink the value of the funds, than are used by the ingenious junto, to send forth an injurious report with secrecy. Nobody knows on what authority the story is founded which every body repeats; and it is as impossible to trace the slander up to its source, as to dis­cover the head of the Nile. I have observed, indeed, that it commonly takes its rise in the most dis­tant quarter, from that where the parties reside whom it is intended to affect. When a person of high rank is destined for the victim, an emissary is dispatched to set the story abroach at some ob­scure coffee-house in the city, whence it speedily marches to its head quarters near the court: or, [Page 65] if perhaps some rich banker and his family are to be made a sacrifice, it is whispered about the politer part of the town, that a certain great house near the Royal Exchange has stopt payment. Some­times the curious tale seems to have travelled out of the country, and sometimes, like the great fire of London, it breaks out in several quarters of the town at once. However, come whence it may, true or false, probable or improbable, down it goes; and the dear, witty, sweet, mischievous crea­tures, who invented it, practise ten thousand additional little arts to give it credit. ‘"They do not believe, indeed, that the thing happened, just as it is related; but then there must be some­thing in it, say what they will, or else how could there be such a number of particulars? They have heard too, (good souls!) nay, they know, that the parties themselves are very uneasy at the story, and have taken a great deal of pains to discredit it, which looks very suspicious; for why should they be so concerned, if, (in part at least) it were not true, or suffer their peace to be broken by a mere idle report?"’ With such candour and humanity do LADY JACYNTHA, and the rest of these good sort of people express their sentiments; and at the same [Page 66] time many of the most intimate friends of the per­sons reviled repeat the slander, or at least make no efforts to contradict it: yet where is the offence or injury? it was not their invention, you know, and they only joined in the common talk of the town.

Lord Bacon somewhere remarks that great inqui­sitiveness and curiosity concerning the affairs of others, is one of the chief characteristicks of envy. It would be unpardonable to attribute so black a passion to a fine lady; and yet it is certain, that no mortal was ever more strongly possessed of that inquiring spirit than LADY JACYNTHA SCANDAL. She will hold long conferences, for the sake of intelligence, with her mantua-maker or milliner, and has an admirable knack at draw­ing the secrets of families from servants and chil­dren. By these, and the like means, she is ac­quainted with the private business and private plea­sures of the whole town. Nobody knows so well as her ladyship, what lady's diamonds are in pawn, what duke's estate was lately mortgaged, what lord's sister's fortunes are not paid off, what poet keeps a mistress, what young man and woman are clandestinely married, or what grave judge has been caught, in a frolicksome vein, at [Page 67] a game of romps with his cook-maid. Such are the anecdotes which she is eager to learn; and her assiduity in collecting them is only to be equalled by her industry in making them publick.

Equally attached to slander, but of the other sex, and of a lower rank, is the pert, volatile, prating, scribbling, JACKY TATTLE. JACKY is the son of an attorney of Furnival's-Inn, and was originally intended for his father's profession; but the strength of his Genius soon drew him from the desk, and carried him amongst under-actors, un­der-authors, and women of the town: in which company he soon converted his pertness into assu­rance, and wonderfully improved his natural ta­lents for lying and defamation. Slander may, indeed, be said to be his passion, and to spread it his daily employment; and as birds are observed to peck the finest fruit, so this fluttering tom-tit always aims his petulant attacks at the fairest cha­racters. The company with which he associates, naturally deal in detraction, his folly induces him to give credit to the slander, and his vanity often urges him publickly to interfere in it. He is also a great writer of anonymous epistles from unknown friends, as well as incendiary letters from secret enemies. He sometimes amuses himself [Page 68] with sending letters and paragraphs to the news­papers, in which he sometimes appears as a six-lined epigrammatist, and is confidently said to be the author of several articles in The New Review. If ever you observe an imper­tinent fellow, in the next box at a coffee­house, listening to your private conversation with a friend, or casting his eye over a letter, which you are reading or writing, that is JACKY TATTLE.—Or if you see a strange town-fly fluttering at the play-house, staring every body out of countenance, and buzzing about the theatre, now in the orchestra, now in the green-boxes, and by-and-by behind the scenes, that is JACKY TATTLE.—Poor JACKY's courage is unhappily not quite adequate to his malignity, so that his indiscretions have sometimes betrayed him into punishment for his slanders; yet his appetite for detraction must be gratified; he considers himself as a formidable adversary to several characters of merit, and is thoroughly persuaded that the ladies all believe him to be a wit and a fine gentleman.


Hic Vir, hic est! tibi quem promitti saepius audis,
Augustus Caesar! Divûm Genus! aurea condet
Saecula qui rursus Latio.—
This, this is HE, whom rolling years shou'd bring,
Augustus Caesar, sprung from Gods, our King;
Doom'd to waft blessings to this happy shore,
And in our times the Golden Age restore!

NOTWITHSTANDING the rigour of some criticks, which would entirely preclude the choice of temporary subjects, there are no parts of periodical publications, which have been more favourably received at their first appearance, or afforded more entertainment afterwards, than such as were founded on matters merely fugi­tive, and peculiar to the time in which they were written. Such pieces become a kind of supplement to history: they furnish the curious with anec­dotes; and it is from these materials, that the lite­rary virtuoso collects the manners, fashions, and [Page 70] customs of his ancestors. The Tatlers and Spec­tators, for instance, serve almost as effectually as a gallery of pictures, to shew the habits in vogue at that period; and are, at the same time, a kind of historical register of the prevailing plea­sures, and the objects of publick attention. In the perusal of these papers we seem to be endued, like Janus, with a sort of backward face that enables us to take a clear, retrospective view of times past. We spend evenings at the clubs of our fathers, some of whom may perhaps have been Mohocks, and gain admittance to the toilets of our mothers and grandmothers. We read, not without satisfaction, comments on the performances of actors, whom we never saw: we look upon the celebrated trunk-maker with a veneration equal to that of his cotemporaries; and are hugely entertained at Powell's puppet-shew.

It is to be considered, that periodical writers converse more familiarly with the publick than any other authors; they are allowed, nay ex­pected, to chat of themselves, the play, the opera, and are even in danger of being neglected, if they omit to discourse on the popular topicks of conversation. Our good advice (for we are all sagacious monitors of the publick) must not be [Page 71] obtruded on our readers, but must seem to be ushered in by the occasion, and to take its colour from the times. The present complection of the people is such, that I find it absolutely vain and ridi­culous to attempt writing to them on any other subject than that of the Royal Wedding and Coronation. My printer too has most earnestly re­quested me to give what he calls a touch on the times, and to say something on these great occasions. He tells me, that there is scarce one of his cus­tomers, who would not sooner give a guinea for a night's lodging on the floor at Greenwich, or five for the sake of sitting eight and forty hours in Westminster Abby, than part with two-pence half­penny for the GENIUS, unless it treats of those solemnities. Scarce a paragraph of news, relat­ing to any other matters, will go down. The proceedings of the Court of Claims, the ladies coronation robes, and the aldermens' coronation wigs, furnish out the most interesting articles of intelligence. The master of an ale-house in the next lane to my apartments has hung out a pa­per lanthorn to advertise the neighbourhood, that he sells the best Mecklenburg purl and Coronation porter. The theatres are, I doubt not, both employed in the preparation of entertainments [Page 72] suitable to the splendor and joy of these happy cele­brities; and a famous field-preacher has, to my knowledge, already anticipated the Archbishop in a Coronation Sermon.

I have also lately been honoured with a pacquet of letters from several correspondents, not one of which but relates to these two grand occasions of festivity. Many, I find, are sollicitous to know what will become of the GENIUS, and into what corner he will squeeze his little body at the corona­tion. A gentleman, who signs himself Timothy Cautious, tells me, that in case I have no ticket, I may easily be conveyed into the hall undiscovered in some old countess's pocket, or be rolled up and overshadowed by the full bottom of a noble­man's periwig. A lady gives herself the trouble to recapitulate the advantages and disadvantages of my person on this occasion; and informs me that, indeed, I may be put any where, but that unfor­tunately, I shall be able to see no where. Ano­ther correspondent, who subscribes himself COKE junior, and dates from the Inner Temple, says, that he hopes I have secured a place in Westminster­hall, and adds (but I do not know what he means by it) that he should be glad to see me appear there oftener than I used to do. The two following [Page 73] letters are, I think, the most proper of any I have received, to submit to my reader at full length: to them therefore I shall devote the rest of this paper.

The first comes from a lady, and is as follows.



I Have often lamented that I did not live in those illustrious ages of the world, when our sex was allowed to distinguish itself by acts of prowess and chivalry. I should have delighted to have traversed the desarts, and to have rescued innocent virgins in distress. The degeneracy of the present times has often been the cause of my sore af­fliction; and there is no circumstance from which I have ever in my life reaped so much consolation, as from the thoughts of the approaching Coro­nation, which solemnity still retains some leaven of the ancient manners of this kingdom; of which I can vouch no stronger testimony than the well-known ceremony of the CHAMPION in West­minster-hall. But there is, however, even in this some deficiency, which I am ready and willing to supply. Since the King has graciously thought fit [Page 74] to adorn this high festival with the presence of a Queen, it is surely a dishonour to her merits, and an indignity to the whole sex, that one should be wanting to vindicate her beauty, when a cham­pion appears to assert the rights of his majesty. Tilts, and jousts, and tournaments, were originally instituted almost entirely in honour of the la­dies; and a total neglect of them in such cere­monies reflects disgrace on our national gallan­try. A noble Spaniard would be shocked to think of it. To prevent this dishonour, and to pre­serve the glory of the nation, I do most humbly propose myself as a LADY CHAMPIONESS, and in­tend to enter the hall, properly accoutred, and properly attended, immediately after the depar­ture of the Champion. I have already trained and disciplined a milk-white palfrey for this purpose, and mean to be attended with none other than the GENIUS for my DWARF: of which I hereby give you notice, that you invest yourself with suitable habiliments, and otherwise prepare your­self for this awful occasion.


[Page 75]The other letter comes from a gentleman, who, I can assure the publick, is no less a GENIUS than MYSELF.


AT this critical conjuncture I cannot think, or talk, or write, of any thing but the wind. I gape at every weather-cock, and if there are none in fight, am perpetually throwing up my hand­kerchief to see, if there be a fair wind for the passage of Her Intended Majesty. I am a good deal of a valetudinarian, and would, in general, almost as soon wish for a plague as an Easterly wind; but now I pray for it every hour in the day. In short, Sir, these thoughts have filled my brains so long, and possest themselves so entirely of my imagination, that the wind has got up into my head, and is attended with all the symptoms of a poetical vertigo. Modern odes are, you must al­allow, the most flatulent of all compositions: you will not be surprised, therefore, that the West Wind, which impregnated Virgil's mares, should also make me teem with an ode, and here it is at your service.

O Thou, whom all the Zephyrs court,
Who lov'st with every breeze to play,
Changing, Ranging, Whirling, Twirling,
Veering a thousand times a day,
Why with a nation's wishes wilt thou sport?
Observe, while here and there you fly,
Where anxious GEORGE, with wishful eye,
Watches each varying motion!
Then summon from the secret cell,
Where Eastern breezes dwell,
Prosp'rous gales to fan the ocean!
Once, saith the Muse, great Aeolus, who binds
In chains the subject winds,
Who rideth on their wings in storm,
When hurricanes the deep deform;
Or hushes them to peace, and bids them sleep
On the calm bosom of the deep,
When the winds and waves are laid:—
This mighty God once lov'd a Northern maid.
While faithful to his Northern fair,
North winds alone possest the boundless air:
Pregnant with rage and storms no more,
Soft sighs and zephyrs in each gale they bore;
While Love did in his bosom reign,
Fixt, as the needle to the pole,
True to the wishes of his soul,
Still Northward pointed each obedient vane.
Now then, when George and England call,
May he, the God that rules thee, deign to smile!
And, his own love remembring, for a while,
Each envious wind enthrall!
And now, as Circe for Ulysses once, chain'd fast
Each adverse blast!
EAST turn thy point! due EAST! that brings
Its richest treasure on its wings,
The Best of Blessings to the Best of Kings!


—Ordine gentis
Mores, et studia, et populos, et praelia dicam.
The politicks, and morals, of the state,
The people's various manners I'll relate.

THE learned and honourable trustees of The Bri­tish Museum, well knowing and duly consider­ing the great work in which I am engaged, and thoroughly weighing the infinite importance of it to the morals of the people of Great Britain, have graciously resolved to afford me every assistance in their power, and given orders to the proper offi­cers for my constant admission to the reading-room, with free leave to peruse such old papers and scarce manuscripts, as my curiosity may lead me to look into. They have also further shewn themselves so favourably inclined to me and my undertakings, that they have set a-part a certain angle of the [Page 79] room for my particular use; wherein there is erected an elegant machine, curiously contrived by Mr. Burnet, cabinet-maker in the Strand, and known by the name of the GENIUS's reading-desk. This machine, in consideration of my diminutiveness, is constructed somewhat on the principles of that used by Gulliver in Brobdignag, and has often enabled me to manage the most unwieldy volumes with ease, as well as, by means of its steps, to climb up to the top of the page of many a tall folio. The modern artificers of furniture have cultivate no taste in moveables with more success, than that which they call the BOOK FASHION; which is an ingenious method of reducing tea-chests to the shape and semblance of octavos and duodecimos, as well as Bedes and other necessary utensils, of a larger size, to the figure of quartos and folios. These goods may be had, neatly gilt and lettered, at the warehouse of any fashionable upholsterer; but where could such a mode be followed with such strict propriety as in the construction of the implements of Literature? On your first entrance into the room, you would take the GENIUS's read­ing desk for an irregular heap of books of different sizes, thrown carelessly one upon another: and, as it is usual to preserve some analogy between the [Page 80] mock volumes and the moveable which takes their form, commonly appropriating Pope's Letters, the Spectators, &c. to the tea-table, and waste paper histories, &c. to the closet; in like manner the artist has ingeniously raised the steps of my desk upon STATIUS, and SCALIGER, and UP-ton, and STEP-ney, and MOUNT-eny, &c. with many other curious conceits of the like nature, not unworthy the genius of an upholsterer. A waggish Cantab, who popt into the room the other day, after having examined the desk with great attention, told me, that he sound the GENIUS, like Bayes, had certain mechanical helps for wit, and christened it (after the university stile of punning) my Gradus ad Parnassum.

A few days ago, as I was studiously employed at this desk, and preparing to say a word or two to the publick, as it were, ex cathedrâ, a sagacious friend of mine, belonging to the Museum, (who is for ever peering with his pur-blind eyes into some curiosity, or brushing with his learned nose the dust from some rare manuscript) threw a bun­dle of papers before me. This choice pacquet appeared, upon examination, to have been formerly in the possession of Sir Thomas More, our great chancellor, of worthy and facetious memory, to [Page 81] whom it was addressed by Petrus Aegidius (or, as some translators call him, Peter Giles) of Antwerp, the very person to whom the chancellor inscribed his History of UTOPIA. This manuscript contains a full detail of the laws, manners, customs, &c. of the inhabitants of the island of ANEMOLIA, taken from memory by Petrus Aegidius, like Sir Thomas More's own narrative, from the relation of Ra­phael. This country, as well as several others mentioned in these papers, is, I find, taken notice of in the Utopia; and Sir Thomas, speaking cur­sorily of the people, calls them superbi magis quam sapientes, a proud rather than a wise nation. My veneration for manuscripts is not so implicit as to think, with some antiquarians, that every old paper is worthy to be printed, which has not yet been in print: but as I look upon this to be of an extremely curious nature, I shall put it to the press with all convenient speed; and my friend above­mentioned has, for the benefit of the illiterate, chearfully submitted to the labour of a translation. This valuable narrative is written originally, like the Utopia, in very elegant Latin; and the genuine papers, for the satisfaction of the Vir­tuosi, shall lie, till the time of publication, at Mr. Becket's, bookseller, in the Strand. In the [Page 82] mean time, I have thought proper to amuse my readers with the following extracts made here and there from different parts of this valuable work, and I believe that most persons will readily concur with me, merely from this specimen, that ANEMO­LIA, must be the most extraordinary country un­der the sun.

‘Anemoliorum lingua, suavior auditu, verbis abundantior, fidelior animi interpres, mutila: ipsi autem, &c. Apud M. S.

THERE is no language in the world more sweet, more copious, and better adapted to express the meaning of the speaker, than that of the ANE­MOLIANS: and yet, what is very wonderful, the ANEMOLIANS themselves never make use of it in conversation; but having discarded their own native tongue, just after it had arrived to its highest pitch of perfection, they have, by a kind of general infatuation, adopted the harsher dialect of their neighbours and natural enemies, the ACHO­RIANS. The children of the lowest artificers are early instructed in the Achorian language, and are much ashamed, if they happen, by chance, to ex­press themselves in their mother-tongue. From this strange national folly the ACHORIANS have [Page 83] assumed an air of great superiority, and affect to regard the ANEMOLIANS as little better than bar­barians. So very unaccountable, and yet so deeply rooted, is this contempt for their native lan­guage, that during the short time I sojourned among them, a grammar of its rudiments and principles was burnt by the common hang-man; and a very ingenious author was condemned to be starved to death for having compiled an Anemo­lian Dictionary.

Their passion for literature, such as it is, is so violent, that the number of their publications is incredible. They have, indeed, among their an­cient authors, several excellent writers on almost every subject, but these, like their language, are grown obsolete: for the ANEMOLIANS are such wonderful lovers of novelty, that they indulge a desire for literary trash, almost as intemperate and irregular as the longings of pregnant women, or rather like the false appetite of green-sickness girls for chalk, oatmeal, and unripe fruit. Several thousand printed sheets of paper are published every morning, as many at noon, and as many more every evening; besides which, a vast variety of thin volumes, containing certain sippets of philosophy, morality, and the arts, make their appearance [Page 84] with every new moon. But most of these hourly, daily, and monthly publications are calculated merely for the amusement of the hour in which they come forth, and grow immediately afterwards as dull, useless, and unentertaining, as a last year's almanack. Hence these publications are, in the phrase of that country, very properly stiled Periodical. The art of writing is, indeed, nearly fallen into utter contempt among them, and be­come a mean handicraft business, and wretched ma­nufacture. So venal a profession is exercised by few or none of any reputation; whence it happens, that though their new books are almost innumera­ble, the number of their writers is exceedingly small, four or five persons being the sole authors of every work in every science; in each of which they acquit themselves with equal dexterity.

The ANEMOLIANS affect an uncommon love for natural freedom; but their aim in this, as in most other particulars, appears to be mercenary, endeavouring to gain pecuniary advantages to them­selves by converting their liberty into property. According to these principles, the common inha­bitants of every town and district within the kingdom set themselves to publick sale by auction, once in seven years: two or three, and sometimes [Page 85] four or five, or six or seven, of superior rank, appear as purchasers at the same place, on which occasions the highest bidder is the buyer. By these means the venal commonalty often extort large sums, being paid for, like cattle, at so much per head, and yet they have frequent cause to repent of their bargain; though it is but common justice to add, that the purchasers also frequently pay more for them than they are worth.

P. S. Having proceeded thus far in trans­lating the passages I have selected from the M.S. I find that my extracts are too large to come within the compass of one paper. I am therefore obliged to reserve the rest, among which are many curious particulars relating to the ladies, for my next, with whch I shall present the reader as soon as possible.


Quod te per Genium, Dextram (que) Deos (que) Penates
Obs [...]ro & ob [...]estor, Vitae me redde priori:
Qui simul aspexit, quantum dimissa petitis
Praestent, maturè repetat (que) relicta.
By heav'n, by all the love you pledged your wife,
Give, I conjure thee, give my former life!
Compare the present ills with comforts past,
And be with your first fortunes blest as last!

AS the following letter is the first of any con­sequence, with which I have been favoured from a female hand, the preference due to a lady must be my apology for deferring the rest of the manuscript, relating to the Anemolians, to my next paper.



WHEN I inform you, that I am just raised from the humble condition of plain Mrs. Greenfield to the honour of being the lady of a member of parliament; when I tell you, that my husband was, at the last general election, chosen by a great majority of voters for one of the most eminent county-towns in the kingdom; when I further add, on good authority, that the petition intended to have been preferred against him is withdrawn, and that he seems likely to sit out his seven years in the honourable House of Commons; when I send you, Sir, all this seeming good news, it only serves to acquaint you, in other words, that I am one of the most unhappy women upon earth; that my husband is an undone man, and that my dear children, though born to some estate, are in danger of being thrown upon the wide world to earn their uncertain bread.

But that which adds the greater acuteness to my misery, is the sad and sudden revolution of our for­tune; for we are not only hurried to certain de­struction, but drawn from a state of the most perfect [Page 88] tranquillity. I have now been married almost fourteen years. My husband always behaved to me with the truest tenderness and affection; the whole study of my life has been to promote his hap­piness; and our little family has, all that while, lived comfortably in a cheap country upon a very moderate fortune. But, alas! the late general election has entirely reversed our situation. You must know, Sir, that our county, like many others, is unhappily split into little parties and sactions, and a perpetual contest is kept alive by the two most opulent persons in it, which of them shall have the credit with the great folks above, as the phrase is, of managing the rest. A noble peer in our neighbourhood, who is the person that car­ries on this important dispute with a wealthy baronet, did us the honour of a visit about a year ago, earnestly intreating my husband to appear with another gentleman, in his lordship's interest, as a joint candidate for the county-town, in opposition to two others supported by the baronet. My hus­band's vanity and ambition took the alarm in an instant, and he was all on fire for the honour of representing so respectable a place in parliament. Only two small objections presented themselves: the first was, that his property lying chiefly in the [Page 89] funds, his landed estate did not quite amount to the yearly value, which, it seems, is required as a necessary qualification: and the second was, that his property, taken all together, would by no means enable him to defray the numerous and heavy expences of a contested election. Both these objections were, however, without much difficulty, surmounted. My husband had, indeed, at first, some scruples of conscience on the first article, as neither he nor I could think it possible for him to take the oath of qualification with his seat, without the requisite addition to his estate. An eminent lawyer, fetched from the inns of court in London on purpose, soon solved this difficulty, and made out a qualification in form, by means of an hocus­pocus conveyance from my lord to my husband, by which, they tell me, that my husband has en­larged his estate, though I know too well that he has not added to his income. As to the second objection, that was immediately got over by his lordship's declaration, that he meant to defray the whole expence of the election himself. My husband therefore chearfully presented himself as a candidate; but I must not forget to mention, that though he was brought in by the noble lord, as the whole country will tell you, for nothing, it [Page 90] cost us very near a thousand pounds. There were several unforeseen incident expences, created chiefly by the zeal of my husband's best friends, and those who were most warm in his interest; of which ex­pences, as he seemed to be the immediate cause, though incurred without his direction, he was ashamed to carry in the bills to his lordship at the close of the contest, which had cost the parties, both together, above thirty times that sum.

But this loss, as it was the first, so it would have been the least, and most easily to be put up with, if my husband had been so fortunate as to have lost his election. I must repeat to you, Sir, that he was chosen by an indisputable majority; and I repeat it to you, not without sorrow; as I now too late discover the wisdom of the legislature, in demanding such a qualification in property, since I see that a large estate is necessary to keep up the consequence even of a dependent member, as well as to support the real dignity of independence. The change in my husband's situation is much less extraordinary than the alteration in his ideas. He is no longer contented with being a plain country gentleman, as heretofore, but considers himself as a kind of publick character. Our house is now thrown open to all comers and goers, and all the [Page 91] honest freemen must be indulged with the run of our cellar and kitchen. We have treated the wor­shipful corporation more than once, and every private gentleman must be loaded with civilities in proportion to his influence and interest. My husband was formerly of some use to the country, merely by acting in the commission of the peace; but he has now, on the death of his lordship's brother, been appointed colonel of our militia; at our last assizes, he was unanimously chosen to be foreman of the Grand Jury; and now that his pre­sence is become of so much consequence in the county, I know that he will think it indispensibly requisite for him always to fill the chair at the Sessions. These, and several other county-dig­nities, with which I plainly foresee he will be ho­noured, will not be maintained without extraor­dinary expences, besides those which must inevi­tably attend the necessary journies between town and country.

From my mention of Journies, you will imme­diately conclude that we have an house in town. To take one was, indeed, the first resolution which my husband made after his election; and that we are already in possession of a very handsome house in one of the most fashionable parts of [Page 92] the town, is no inconsiderable circumstance of my unhappiness. We came to London time enough, you may be sure, to attend the Coronation; and several of the electors being drawn up to town by the same great occasion, my husband hired a room, at the price of an hundred guineas, for our own and their accommodation to see the procession. ‘"These little acts of kindness, my dear, (says he to me) done for a small expence at a time when they appear disinterested, go as far as twenty-fold that sum in seasons of commotion and distress."’ Indeed nothing seems to terrify him so much as the apprehensions of being thought niggardly in his notions, and narrow in his oeconomy. He has of late frequently reprehended me for the plainness of my dress, and tells me, that the lady of a mem­ber of parliament, especially the representative of a place of so much consequence, ought to make a genteel appearance. I am in great fear of his presenting me with some jewels. He has already provided a splendid equipage, and has put the servants into laced liveries; and moreover insists on our having a man-cook: ‘"for, (says he) I shall often bring home some of my brother members to dinner; and, you know, my dear, they are used to good living, and must have their things well done."’

[Page 93]As my husband has hitherto always behaved in a prudent and reasonable manner, this strange ex­travagance would almost persuade me that he was out of his senses, if I did not see that a foolish in­fatuation, and I know not what idea of being in parliament, has seised his mind. This, he tells me, is the crisis of his fortune, and that his success in his election will prove the making of his fa­mily. A seat in parliament he looks upon as a mere earnest of the honours which he is hereafter to enjoy. He assures me again and again, that the most eminent persons in the kingdom have risen to their present dignities by the sole force of parliamentary talents; and that for his own part he has no doubt of making his way, now he has once got into the road of preferment. He seems so sure to carry his point, that he even threatens to take no notice of any of his relations, but such as shall shew him due attention and respect; and he has just determined to send our eldest boy, who is about nine years of age, to Westminster School, because he thinks he has discovered in the lad some­thing of an oratorical turn. I am very well assured, from all his conversation and behaviour, that his va­nity prompts him to believe that he shall make himself of consequence in parliament; and I am [Page 94] very much afraid that he will open his mouth, almost immediately after he has taken his seat, and expose himself in publick; for I, who am partial to him, yet know him too well to imagine that any success can attend his efforts to shine in eloquence or politicks. You may smile, perhaps, Sir, and think that I consider the matter too minutely; but I am fully persuaded, that he often means to try the strength of his talents as a speaker, on me and the little circle of familiar friends that drop in to visit us. He takes up every thing in a stile of ar­gument and authority, runs the easy chat of con­versation into politicks, and talks with much ve­hemence for a long time together upon subjects which neither I, nor any of my female acquaintance, can at all comprehend. He tells me over and over, alone and in company, that there is a great scene opening upon us, that the commencement of a new reign, and a new parliament, must of course produce great events; and that those who have the ablest talents for the business of the house, will be the most certain to distinguish themselves and reap the greatest share of honour and profit.

For my part, Sir, I am no Mrs. Western, and pretend to no skill in politicks; neither am I of opinion, that a candidate's being possessed of wealth [Page 95] enough to bribe his constituents, ought to re­commend him to their choice; but I am fully sa­tisfied, that a considerable degree of poperty is necessary to his integrity, since, without it, the greatest talents will not avail to preserve his in­dependence. My husband, for example, publickly declares, and seems to affect a consequence from it, that he shall always go with His Lordship: he seems, indeed, to be so involved in his parliamentary system, that he has quite lost sight of his domestick oeconomy. While he is bringing his vast schemes to bear, he will be every day hastening his ruin. The success, with which he is so elevated, is a piece of good fortune that brings destruction along with it; for what advantage can be derived from any preferment, which requires a man to make his expences amount to above double the value of his receipts? I can account easily enough for the man­ner in which we are to support our way of liv­ing during the present year; and the same foresight convinces me, that it will be absolutely impossible for us to go through another. The follies of most married men are charged on their wives; but this, I am sure, has, from first to last, been pursued, as well as undertaken, much against my consent. It was with a heavy heart that I saw my husband [Page 96] enter into this project; and it was with still greater uneasiness I saw him persist in his town-scheme, since I am well convinced, that our jour­ney to London must end, like Sir Francis Wrong­head's, in a journey into the country again.

I am, Sir, Your humble servant, PATIENCE GREENFIELD.


Urbem quam dicunt Romam, Meliboee, putavi
Stultus ego huic nostrae similem.—
Fool that I was, I thought at Rome,
They did the same we do at home;
And by another name, tho' known,
Believ'd that city like our own.

I Have received the following note in consequence of the extract from the Latin Manuscript, with which I presented my readers a few days ago.


PLAGUE on your ANEMOLIANS, and non­sense, and stuff! If you have any faults to find with us honest Britons, why don't you tell us so in plain English?

Your's. JOHN TROT.

I am sorry to have excited master John Trot's indignation; but if his objections to my pursuing the subject are insuperable, I hereby give him fair warning not to peruse the present paper. I shall only observe, that travellers, writing chiefly for the instruction and entertainment of their own coun­trymen, while they describe the manners of fo­reign nations, and exhibit remote scenes, are apt, like other scene-painters, to work in distemper, and draw things and persons, larger than the life, that they may strike at a distance. This perhaps is in some measure, the case with our present author. The remaining extracts are as follow:

[Page 98]
‘Mulieres quidem, &c.’apud M.S.

THE Anemolian Women are equal in beauty even to the Circassians, and have also learned from some Europeans, who were cast away on their coast, the same method of preserving that beauty from the ravages of the most cruel of dis­tempers. This uncommon beauty would give them almost an absolute power over the men, if they did not themselves use their utmost efforts to dim its lustre, and to nip their growing charms in the bud, or to destroy them in their full bloom: for, as the indelicate females among the Hottentots twine the fat and entrails of animals round their arms and legs, and rub their bodies with filth, thinking thereby to heighten their charms, and render their figures more agreeable; so the women of Anemolia, not content with that portion of charms which heaven has allotted them, are perpe­tually retouching by art the beautiful originals of nature, till they become the most execrable daubs that ever were beheld. If a prince had a palace built of handsome stone, or perhaps the finest mar­ble, beautifully variegated by the hand of na­ture in the quarry, should you not esteem him a madman to cover it with plaister and rough cast? [Page 99] What then shall we say of the women of A nemolia, who pollute the sacred temples of their persons by encrusting them with a coat of Ceruss, and dead­ening the native vivacity of their features with an artificial enamel? A practice so unnatural has, I find, betrayed me into metaphor and allusion; but the fact, as heaven shall prosper me, is literally true. First, they varnish their faces, necks, and arms, like a whitened wall; and then they lay fan­tastick colourings, red, brown, or black, according to their various imaginations, upon that ground. Some females have the art of blanching their necks with a curious preparation, which hard­ens on their bosoms, like mortar in a building; and, like that too, will abide all the changes of the seasons for an whole year. But this process re­quires time, and confines the lady that submits to it, for some weeks. During the time that I was in ANEMOLIA, I remember it was once the darling piece of scandal among the ladies of quality in NIROE, the capital of that country, that a noble­man's daughter (who, for a few days, ceased to ap­pear at publick places) had absconded, in order to be delivered of an illegitimate child: but the real truth was, that the young lady lay in bed a month merely to bring the crust on her neck [Page 100] to a proper consistency, and bake it, as it were in an oven; and at the end of that period, she en­tirely defeated the malice of her enemies, and con­futed their slander, by coming forth with a ghostly bosom, and as dead a white as alabaster. The greatest misfortune attending this, and every other practise of the like nature, is, that it soon utterly destroys that exquisite beauty which at first it serves but to eclipse. The mixtures used for these pur­poses are, it seems, composed of poison, so that few retain any of their original charms after they are three or four and twenty years of age; and many of them, even before that period, become horrible to look upon. One of the prevailing beauties at court, at my arrival in ANEMOLIA, was, in a few weeks afterwards, struck blind; another object of publick admiration soon after lost all her teeth at once; and a third was suddenly deprived of the use of her limbs, as it were by a stroke of the palsy, and became bed-ridden. Such dreadful occurrences happened daily, and yet the rising ge­neration of females continued the practice. This, among many other follies, was originally imported from ACHORIA, where it is not quite so wonder­ful that it should prevail; for the women of that country, being naturally of a dark and dingy [Page 101] complexion, and destitute of the delicacy peculiar to those of ANEMOLIA, more readily recur to the re­sources of art to mend the imperfection of nature.

I have presented the reader with the above passage, because I think it extremely curious; but I cannot help fancying, that our author has transgressed the bounds of credibility in this part of his narrative. It is impossible that any females should be guilty of such detestable wick­edness, or give into such gross absurdity. The accurate reader will easily conjecture, from some peculiarities of expression in the above extract, that I have rendered the original with great ex­actness. The translation is indeed very literal, ex­cept that I have here and there taken the liberty to soften some phrases of indignation and reproach which would be esteemed vulgar in our tongue, tho' they have a certain dignity in the learned languages. But to proceed from our M.S.

The women of Anemolia, conscious of the attraction of their form, and vain of the ele­gance with which they flatter themselves they have embellished it, are fond of displaying all its va­rious excellencies. Their arms are uncovered up to the elbow, their necks and bosoms are laid bare, or thinly shaded with transparent veils of the most [Page 102] delicate texture. The same vanity induces them to lavish on their persons a profusion of ornaments of gold and silver, and precious stones, and as many ribbands as an heifer of old going to the altar as a sacrife. They long ago discarded the simple national habit of ANEMOLIA to adopt the fantastick dresses of the ACHORIANS; and so fearful are they of failing to keep pace with that nation in the va­rious changes and revolutions of their garb, that may I perish, if it be not truth!—the cloaths of the chief people in the kingdom, men as well as women, are manufactured and made up in ACHORIA, and transported thence by the first fair wind to ANEMOLIA.

‘Porro autem apud Anemolios meretricum quaestus, &c.’apud M.S.

Moreover, among the ANEMOLIANS the trade of courtezans, excessive drunkenness, the open exercise of profane swearing, and all manner of gaming, are, undoubtedly, licensed by the laws of the land. I had not time indeed to make a very nice scrutiny into their constitution, and go regu­larly through the three hundred thousand volumes in which their laws are enrolled; but am never­theless assured that I cannot be deceived in this, [Page 103] circumstance, because the vices above-mentioned are so openly practised, even under the nose of the magistrates, that I am very confident they must have obtained the sanction of publick au­thority. As soon as the evening comes on, a large number of loose women are ordered to issue forth into the streets, and to use their utmost efforts to decoy passengers into certain houses appointed for their reception. Stated quarters of the metro­polis are particularly dedicated to the purposes of riot and debauchery, where lust, drunkenness, and blasphemy, hold their constant reign; while, in other districts of the capital, some of the first dig­nitaries of the state, principally concerned in the legislature, have instituted societies of gaming: and, indeed, there are few polite families, which have not their meetings of this nature.

The open practice of so many exorbitant vices, I must confess, created in me much astonishment at my first arrival in the kingdom; but I was, on fur­ther reflection, inclined to consider this extraordi­nary licence, not to say licentiousness, as the effect of deep policy. The promiscuous commerce with loose women is perhaps encouraged in order to turn the minds of the young men from any attempt at adultery, which, it seems, was formerly too [Page 104] prevalent in ANEMOLIA. But the trade of cour­tezans is not only thus authorized, but the benevo­lence of the publick has also instituted nurseries for their education, appointed noble provisions for them in their pregnancy, as well as receptacles for their children, and a comfortable retreat for them­selves.—It were also to be wished, on account of some small inconveniencies at present subsisting, that the courtezans were obliged to wear a num­bered ticket, like the porters and hackney coaches among you in England, and made responsible to certain commissioners for their behaviour in their profession.—Drunkards, and profane swearers, as well as common beggars, are, I suppose, suffered to infest the publick streets, like the intoxicated slaves which the Lacedaemonians exhibited to their children, in order to deter others from those odious practices and scandalous ways of life: but why every mode of gaming is pursued among them with so much zeal and vehemence, unless it be a part of their religion, I am quite at a loss to de­termine or comprehend. On the same principles with those above-mentioned, suits at law are em­barrassed with a thousand perplexities, prolonged by the most tedious delays, and loaded with most heavy expences. The wise cause of all these [Page 105] troubles attending legal disputes, is, merely to deter the citizens from idle litigations which is evident from their proceedings in matters of a cri­minal nature. There the offender is brought to an immediate trial, his offence is immedately exa­mined with the utmost expedition, and the sentence of the law put into immediate execution; upwards of three hundred criminals being publickly hanged every new moon.

—I was particularly desirous of laying the above paragraph before the reader, though it contains little else than mere matter of reflection, because I think nothing so much illus­trates a book of voyages, and tends so much to the improvement of the reader, as the sagacious and just observations with which the traveller is com­monly so kind as to oblige him.—But to proceed from our author.

‘Quod ad Religionem attinet, &c.’apud M.S.

As to the religion of the country, as I hinted above, I am not able to give a very clear account of it. I was, indeed, in doubt, for some time, whe­ther the ANEMOLIANS had any system of worship established among them; but observing that there was one day, which the commonalty devoted to pleasure and dissoluteness, I found, upon enquiry, [Page 106] that it was their usual manner of celebrating the sabbath. So far from being destitute of a religion, they may be said to be over run with religions; as a different persuasion prevails in every street, nay, almost in every house. They have many wise teachers, learned in matters of divinity, among their artizans and mechanicks; and there are also several sagacious elderly females who take upon them the care of instructing their own and the other sex in all points of religious faith. Some of them maintain Polytheism, others are given to Deism, and a great number of them are reli­giously devoted, if I may use the phrase on this oc­casion, to Atheism. The Europeans, who were thrown on the coast, introduced Christianity among them; but, I am sorry to say it, the true Faith has not taken deep root in ANEMOLIA. Some in­deed among them, persons of the purest lives, were struck with the force and dignity of its precepts, and readily embraced the tenets of Christianity: but scoffers at its doctrines soon arose without number; and several authors of the most eminent abilities, and elevated rank, have made it their particular study to write against its doctrines, mi­racles, &c. though it must be owned, that there [Page 107] have not been wanting full as able advocates on the other side of the question.

‘Vereor hercle ne, &c.’apud M.S.

I am almost afraid that what I am now going to relate will hardly obtain credit, as it is so diametri­cally opposite to the course of things in every other part of the globe. Few, if any, of the ANEMO­LIANS die a natural death. Such as are not put to death by the hands of justice, or accidents, or sud­denly taken off by apoplexies, palsies, or the like, fall by self-murder. The rage of suicide comes on regularly, like the moulting-time of birds, at a particular season of the year, which commences at the fall of the leaf. Mechanicks, and other people of mean condition, commonly hang or drown themselves; statesmen generally die by poison; and most of the nobility fall on their swords, or shoot themselves through the head. About the middle of November every pond is filled with carcases, and dead bodies hang on every tree. I was extremely shocked at this impious prodigality of their lives; but the survivors among the natives are not at all affected by it, and behold the daily suicides, committed by their nearest relations, without the least emotion. They told me, that it was con­stitutional, either originally in their natures, or [Page 108] generated in them by the climate. They further assured me, that if I remained long among them, the fogs, which are so thick and frequent in that country, would by degrees oppress my spirits, and fill me with a horror of life, and all its attendant vexations.—Other reasons might, indeed, be as­signed.—However, I was so shocked and alarmed at this information, that I departed from their country the first opportunity.


Multa fero, ut placem genus irritabile vatum,
Cum scribo, & supplex populi suffragia capto.
The spleen of testy authors to subdue,
To bribe the publick voice by flattery too,
An humble author, much I learn to bear,
That when I write, my writings they may spare.

SWIFT, by way of describing a reigning controversy of those times, has left us a most droll and humourous account of a battle of the books in St. James's Library; and Boileau in his [Page 109] Lutrin has, with equal pleasantry, brought the two adverse parties in his Poem together in a book­seller's shop, where they break out into open war, and convert the books into weapons of offence. Many harmless volumes are torn from their shelves, and fly through the air as thick as hail; and many a French divine lies sprawling beneath the weight of hard-bound poetry, heavy systems of philosophy, and huge bodies of the law,

Such a description, as that of the French writer, would, I think, be peculiarly applicable to the frequent and violent quarrels among authors. The Republick of letters is in a kind of perpetual civil war, and the beginning of every winter may be considered as the opening of a new literary cam­paign. The short summer truce, hardly kept with good faith, is soon violated; and, while heroes suspend the shedding of blood in war, au­thors contend which shall spill most ink in contro­versy. One discharges the blunderbuss of his wit, and out comes an ode: a second, after whetting the rusty sword of his Genius, cuts you with a sa­tire: a third—but it is endless to go through all the weapons of elegy, song, epigram, &c. and recite the whole artillery of wit—to it they go péle-méle, and, instead of making a general attack on vice [Page 110] and folly, confine themselves to individual knaves and fools, and fall on one another. It is fortunate enough for all new adventurers in these literary en­gagements, that they do not make war exactly after the manner described by Boileau; but that every author throws his work, like a bomb, into the town, leaving it to do what mischief it may, without immediately levelling the volume itself at the head of his antagonist. If that were the case, as at the bookseller's in the Lutrin, we have among us many authors, that would be most for­midable adversaries even to Homer himself; writers, who could overwhelm all the poets and philoso­phers of antiquity with a deluge of literature, and carry all before them in a torrent of folios, quartos, and duodecimos, of their own composition.

One would imagine, that every author is a na­tural enemy to every other author; and that the pursuit of letters, which should refine and huma­nize the mind, serves only to embitter it. No princes can be more jealous of a neighbour's growing power, than some authors of a cotempo­rary's infant fame. In their own reputation too they are tender even to soreness, and do not con­sider, that all, who court applause, may, at the same time, be said to solicit censure. Accordingly, [Page 111] each writer has his flatterers and his enemies; and, if he is vain enough to listen to the adulation of one set of men, and weak enough to feel the malice of the other, he becomes the most unhappy being upon earth. The very nature of his employ­ment betrays him and his quarrels to publick ridicule. Other men differ, and are reconciled in secret; but the contention of authors is studi­ously carried on in the most open manner, and they cut each other to pieces, like prize-fighters, for the diversion of the rest of the world.

The great success of one or two giant satyrists, of transcendant abilities, has tempted almost every puny witling to imagine that same and infamy are at his disposal. He gives you to understand, that, unless you pay due homage to his extraordinary Genius, your name shall be registered in the black scroll of disgrace; and he stands, like a fretful porcupine, ready to dart his quills at all that make him angry. There are, however, a few conside­rations, not unworthy the attention of a writer so subject to irritability. He may, undoubtedly, be of infinite consequence to himseif: every man, especially every author, is so: but it is ten to one if he is of equal consequence to the publick: his works indeed, if they are the result of Genius, may [Page 112] engage their attention; but his private differences will most probably be thought impertinent. I do not know a more ridiculous circumstance than a couple of scribblers, both big with vanity, calling each other fool and blockhead. It is exactly the scene of Vadius and Trissotin in Moliere; which I am surprised that no one, in this age of authors, has translated for the English stage.—Another re­flection,, which might curb their head-strong Pegasus, if he runs riot on the high road of satire, is, that, after all, let him write ever so bitterly, and ever so well, the publick are candid and impartial, and will give him credit no farther than he confirms their own sentiments, and echoes back their own opinion. Pope himself has not been able to rob the eternal butt of his invective, Colley Cibber, of one grain of applause that is due to him; and the united efforts of both him and Swift, powerful as they were, were levelled in vain against Dryden, Vanburgh, Steele, and I will not add Addison. The best answer that an author can make to another who calls him dull (that dreadful sentence!) is to write as well as he can; and if he is not able to confute him that way, he becomes his own satirist. But the chief consideration, which should abate the severity of irritated writers, is, [Page 113] the danger of failing in their attempt. To maim and murder reputations, to hack and hew, and gash at random, is, indeed, what any butcherly scribbler may attempt; but to keep up the fine edge of true satire, requires a very masterly hand: and if his satire proves uncouth, and his execution coarse, it turns back with ten-fold force upon himself, and fastens on him the odious imputation of malice without wit, and envy without abi­lities.

But the worst consequence flowing from this ill blood between the writers of our times, is, that it discourages many men, possest of noble talents, from exerting them in the cause of literature. Fearful of being engaged in this illiberal war­fare, they will not venture to commit their pieces to the press. They would patiently abide the cor­rection of fair critieism, but do not care to provoke unmannerly censures.—In this temper of mind the following lines seem to have been written: at least, it was the perusal of them which threw me into the above vein of reflection. Having read them several times over with pleasure, I was inclined to try their effect upon my readers, especially as I cannot discover in them a line that appears to be personal.

[Page 114]
" DO, study more—discard that Siren, Ease,
" Whose fatal charms are murd'rous while they please.
" Wit's scanty streams will fret their channel dry,
" If learning's spring withhold the fresh supply.
" Turn leaf by leaf gigantick volumes o'er,
" Nor blush to know how antients wrote before.
" Why not, sometimes, regale admiring friends
" With Greek and Latin sprinklings, odds and ends?
" Exert your talents; read, and read to write!
" As Horace says, mix profit with delight."
'Tis rare advice: but I am slow to mend,
Tho' ever thankful to my partial friend:
Full of strange fears—for hopes are banis'd all—
I list' no more to Phoebus' sacred call,
Smit with the Muse, 'tis true, I sought her charms;
But came no champion, clad in cumb'rous arms,
To pull each rival monarch from his throne,
And swear no lady Clio like my own.
All unambitious of superior praise,
My fond amusement ask'd a sprig of bays,
Some little fame for stringing harmless verse,
And e'en that little fame has prov'd a curse;
Hitc'd into rhime, and dragg'd through muddy prose.
By butcher criticks, worth's confed'rate foes,
If then the Muse no more shall strive to please,
Lull'd in the happy lethargy of ease;
If, unadvent'rous, she forbear to sing,
Nor take one thought to plume her ruffled wing;
'Tis that she hates, howe'er by nature vain,
The scurril nonsense of a venal train.
When desp'rate robbers, issuing from the waste.
Make such rude inroads on the land of taste,
Genius grows sick beneath the Gothick rage,
Or seeks her laurels from some worthier age.
As for Myself, I own the present charge;
Lazy and lounging, I confess at large:
Yet Ease, perhaps, may loose her silken chains,
And the next hour become an hour of pains.
We write, we read, we act, we think, by fits,
And follow all things as the humour hits;
For of all pleasures, which the world can bring,
Variety—O! dear variety's the thing!
Our learned Coke, from whom we scribblers draw
All the wise Dictums of poetick law,
Lays down this truth, from whence my maxim follows,
(See Horace, Ode Dec. Sext.—the case Apollo's)
The God of Verse disclaims a plodding wretch,
" Nor keeps his bow for ever on the stretch."
However great my thirst of honest fame,
I bow with rev'rence to each letter'd name;
To worth, where'er it be, with joy submit,
But own no curst monopolies of wit.
Nor think, my friend, if I but rarely quote,
And little reading shines through what I've wrote,
That I bid peace to ev'ry learned shelf,
Because I dare form judgments for myself.
—Oh! were it mine, with happy skill to look
Up to the ONE, the UNIVERSAL BOOK!
Open to all—to him, to me, to you,
—For NATURE's open to the general view—
Then would I scorn the ancients' vaunted store,
And boast my thefts, where they but robb'd before.
Mean while with them, while Graecian sounds impart
Th'eternal passions of the human heart,
Bursting the bonds of ease and lazy rest,
I feel the flame mount active in my breast;
Or when, with joy, I turn the Roman page,
I live, in fancy, in th' AUGUSTAN age!
Till some dull Bavius' or a Maevius' name,
Damn'd by the MUSE to everlasting fame,
Forbids the mind in foreign climes to roam,
And brings me back to our own fools at home.


—Qui vitae servaret mania recto
More; bonus sane vicinus, amabilis hospes,
Comis in uxorem, posset qui ignoscere servis,
Et signo laeso non insanire lagenae.
In ev'ry walk of life his conduct scan,
Good Humour, frank and honest, marks the man:
Good neighbour, good companion, husband kind,
And to a servant's failings often blind;
Ne'er paying, by a sottish phrenzy led,
A broken bottle with a broken head.

OF all the qualifications of the mind, which are not positive virtues, I do not know any that is more desirable than Good Humour. No quality renders the possessor more easy and happy in himself, or recommends him more forcibly to other people. Virtue itself receives additional lustre, abates the rigid severity of its character, and takes its most ravishing graces and embellishments from such a disposition; a disposition so amiable in its nature, [Page 118] that even a man of loose principles, when of so agreeable a turn, often conciliates to himself many friends and well-wishers. The men at least allow that he is a pleasant fellow, court his company, and account him no-body's enemy but his own; while the women call him a dear agreeable creature, and declare that though, to be sure, he is a wild devil, it is quite impossible to be angry with him.

It is hardly saying too much in favour of this quality, to assert that it is one of the first requisites in society: for though strict honour and integrity are of more essential value in the grand purposes of human life; yet Good Humour, like small money, is of more immediate use in the common com­merce of the world. There is no situation in life, no engagement in business, or party of pleasure, wherein it will not contribute to mitigate disap­pointments, or heighten enjoyment. A husband, friend, acquaintance, master, or even servant, however faithful or affectionate, will occasion many miserable hours to himself, as well as to those with whom he is connected, if his virtues are not seasoned with Good Humour; and whether he is a partner for life, or a partner in a country-dance, an associate in great and mighty undertak­ings, or a companion in a post-chaise, he should, [Page 119] on every occasion, cherish and keep alive this agreeable disposition.

Some persons may almost be said to be of a good-humoured complexion, and seem to be constituti­onally endued with this amiable turn of mind: a blessing, for which they may thank heaven with the same kind of gratitude that he ought to feel, who experiences the comforts of being born in a de­lightful and temperate climate. My fellow-coun­try-men, I think, are many of them deficient in that airy pleasantness, and chearful temper, that distinguishes this quality: and as our climate, while it answers all the purposes of use and plenty, yet seldom affords us blue skies, or tempts us to cool grots and purling streams, to lie down on the damp grass, or to those other rural delights so often mentioned by the poets; so the English themselves, though overflowing with humanity and benevo­lence, suffer clouds of gloomy thoughts to come over their minds, and, however they must be al­lowed to be good-natured, are seldom remarkable for being good-humoured. Yet this half-virtue is worth cultivation, as it bestows new charms on that real one. Good Humour is the fair-weather of the soul, that calms the turbulent gusts of passion, and diffuses a perpetual gladness and serenity over [Page 120] the heart; and he that finds his temper naturally inclined to break out into sudden bursts of fret­fulness and ill-humour, should be as much upon his guard to repress the storm, that is for ever beating in his mind, as to fence against the incle­mencies of the season. We are naturally attached even to animals that betray a softness of disposition. We are pleased with the aukward fondness and fi­delity of a dog: Montaigne could discover agree­able musick in the good-humoured purring of his cat; and, though our modern grooms and jockies bestow all their attention on make, colour, eyes, and feet, yet the best writers on horsemanship con­sider a good temper as one of the best qualities in a horse.

We should be the more attentive to encourage and preserve this pleasing quality, because many people lose it by little and little in the progress of their lives. The thoughts of interest frequently proves a growing rust and canker in the mind; and the many troubles and embarrassments at­tending worldly pursuits often sour the temper, and entirely destroy the spirit of chearfulness and Good Humour that prevailed in the artless and un­designing season of our youth. I do not know a more disagreeable companion, than a man, who, [Page 121] having set out in life with vast and vain hopes of advancement, together with a mighty consciousness of his own merit, has not been able to sustain the shock of disappointment, but has permitted his misfortunes to embitter his disposition. Such a man overflows with gall on every occasion, and discharges the spleen, that rises within him, on all his fellow-creatures. He disturbs the peace of the family to which he belongs, and poisons the hap­piness of every company to which he is admitted. But the disquiet that he brings with him, where­ever he comes, is nothing but an evidence of his own misery and weakness of soul. How much more is he to be imitated, who meets the strokes of fortune with an even temper, who suffers neither reproach nor distress to ruffle his Good Humour, and is, as Hamlet describes his friend, ‘"As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing!"’ Life is like a game at backgammon; and if an unlucky throw comes, we must make the best of it, and play on without grumbling at our ill luck: but who would venture to sit down to the table with a man who could not bear an adverse cast without turning over the board in a fury, and throwing the dice-box at the head of his companion? The character of Sir Thomas More, though peculiarly illustrious for [Page 122] unshaken integrity, was in no instance more winning and amiable than in true pleasantry and Good Hu­mour. His chearful behaviour on the scaffold, and in every particular relative to his death, is fa­miliar to all; but there is no circumstance in which the evenness of his mind is more truly delineated, than in his behaviour to his family on his resigna­tion of the Chancellorship. The way in which he discovered it to his wife bespoke the most genuine Good Humour. When he went out of church, it was always usual for some of his officers to go to his lady and acquaint her of his departure: but the Sunday after his resignation, he went himself up to her pew, and, bowing, gravely said, ‘"Madam, My Lord is gone."’ She, who was accustomed to the facetiousness of his manner, did not immedi­ately comprehend his meaning; but on his ex­plaining the matter to her, as they went home, she began to upbraid him for his shameful inattention to his interest; upon which, without being at all disconcerted by this conjugal lecture, he took oc­casion to turn the discourse, by finding fault with some part of her dress.—This absolute command of temper, and pleasant vein, is surely to be envied; and he who sees the goods of fortune fall from him, not only without shaking his fortitude, but also [Page 123] without abating the gaiety of his heart, may fairly be said to possess an uncommon share of Good Humour.

SURLY is a man of an easy fortune, humane and benevolent in his nature, and, as Dogberry says, ‘"honest as the skin between his brows;"’ but he has contracted a kind of habitual peevishness, and every common occasion of life affords him matter of offence. The instant he rises in the morning, he is disquieted with the appearance of the weather, and pours forth execrations on the climate; and when he sits down to breakfast, the water is smoaked, the butter rank, the bread heavy, the news-paper dull and insipid, and his servant sulky or imper­tinent: yet all the while, he has no malice in his mind, and means no harm to any creature in the world. He has a thousand good qualities, which the quickness of his temper converts into petulance and ill humour. He is a great lover of wit, but cannot bear the least piece of pleasantry on himself; and the most innocent jest touches him to the quick. He will bestow twenty pounds in an act of charity, or do the kindest offices to serve an acquaintance in distress, and the next mo­ment quarrel with his friend for disturbing his reflection by humming an opera-tune. Thus [Page 124] SURLY lives, much esteemed, and little beloved; and though every body thinks well of him, there are very few that care to cultivate his acquaintance.

But if the want of Good Humour is so conspi­cuous in a man, of how many charms does it deprive one of the other sex! softness is their dis­tinguishing characteristick; but though, like milk, they are naturally smooth, yet, like milk, they create particular disgust when they turn sour. No female character is more offensive than a Shrew; and the impolite spirit of the English law has provided very rough treatment for termagants, and pre­pared the severest discipline for the cure of a scold. The greatest reproach on an old maid, that cha­racter so much dreaded and ridiculed in the female world, is her ill humour; and crossness is the worst part of a prude. On the contrary, Good Humour, like the Cestus, encircles the fair one with new beauties, and is an antidote to the ravages of age and the small-pox. It is the best part of the portion with a virtuous wife, and a most amiable feature in the face of a Queen.

Among our own sex, there is no race of men more apt to indulge a spirit of acrimony, and to remit their natural Good Humour, than authors. They come abroad, indeed, with a consummate self-satisfaction [Page 125] and delight; but the least shock given to their vanity taints the mind, and converts all their pleasantry to rancour. The flame of emu­lation often kindles into envy; and these met­tlesome gentlemen press so furiously onward to the goal of fame, that they are sometimes driven to the necessity of jostling one onother in the course. For my part, I would rather chuse to consider myself on a journey than in a race; and surely it is better and pleasanter to jog on in an easy trot, regardless who is left behind, or who is gone before, than to whip and spur a jaded Genius, and, in the heat of furious spleen and blind rage, to be carried perhaps on the wrong side of the post.

Good Humour is the happiest state of mind for a writer, as well as for every other man. Why should an author suffer every hornet of the press to ruffle his temper, or dip his pen in gall, and prepare wormwood draughts to sweeten the ill blood of a cotemporary? He that causelesly and malignantly traduces another, writes a libel on himself; as the highwayman, who makes an attack upon the road, is, in fact, a greater enemy to himself than to the harmless traveller: such a poor wretch, we know, as well as the rest of the gang, will be [Page 126] brought to justice sooner or later; but no body cares to have their deaths lie at his own door. As for the GENIUS, though he ventures to become a Censor, he will never descend to the office of Ex­ecutioner. Even the Muse of Satire should possess her graces; and her productions, like the Sweet­brier, should delight and refresh the senses by their fragrance, while they are armed for our annoyance. If we cannot exercise the instruments of wit, we can at least lay by the weapons of offence and ill nature; and the candour of the British Publick will always countenance the faintest efforts to railly the reigning vices and foibles of the age with chearfulness, pleasantry, and GOOD HUMOUR.


—Corpore in uno
Frigida pugnabant calidis, humentia siccis,
Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia pondus.
Hanc Deus et melior litem nature diremit.
In the same mass did hot, cold, moist and dry,
The soft and hard, the light and heavy vie;
Till all these jarring elements at strife
Nature and Heav'n compos'd, and call'd to life.

TALKING the other evening with a friend, who is somewhat of a philosophical turn, and loves to deal in abstruse speculations, he fell by degrees into a whimsical vein, and endeavoured to amuse himself and me by considering physically, not to say metaphisically, the probable causes to which the strange diversities of temper and under­standing among mankind are owing. At one time he supposed, that several fortuitous circumstances [Page 128] at our birth might produce this variety; and that such an accident as the dilation or compression of the head by the hand of the nurse or the midwife, might determine the infant's future qualities, and mould a hero out of a coward; or squeeze a poet, or a philosopher, into a fool. He had also some conceits about the Homunculus, which, however, I shall not presume to explain at present, as a re­verend friend of mine, who is deeply versed in those studies, has promised to oblige me with a distinct paper on that subject. He then considered the notions of planetary influence; according to which, all the various actions and dispositions of the human species are governed solely by the stars. On this occasion, he assured me, that an eminent astronomer of his acquaintance was very fatal at casting nativities; and, moreover, that the late re­volution in the ministry was absolutely foretold last year in Partridge's Almanack. He dwelt a little on the supposition of the stubborn race of mortals being formed from the stones thrown, as is related by Ovid, over the heads of Deucalion and Pyrrha. From thence he made a quick transition to that kindred Hypothesis, which supposes, that our frames are kneaded out of clay; in pursuance of which, he thought, it was natural to imagine, that the [Page 129] affections of the mind take their tincture from the vessel in which they are inclosed, and are impreg­nated, like water, with the qualities of the purer, or baser earth through which they make their way.

With these reflections, the bottle and the cover­sation, as is usual among Englishmen, ended to­gether, and I retired to my rest. Yet I found it impossible to shake off at once the vein of thought which we had been indulging for three or four hours together; and sleep itself, instead of to­tally dispossessing my mind of those ideas, rather opened and enlarged my imagination to pursue them still further.—The gentle reader is seldom averse to accompanying the gentle writer in his slumbers; wherefore I shall venture to relate my dream.

I was scarce asleep, when I fancied myself to be transported on a sudden to the verge of the Gulph of Chaos; where, by the transient glimmering of an interrupted light, which now and then flashed upon me, I saw the Four Elements lying in confusion on the boundless deep, wherein, as Milton has described it,

—Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, Four Champions fierce,
S [...]rive for the Mast'ry, and to Battle bring
Their embryon Atoms.

[Page 130]I was much affected with the horror of my situ­ation, and expected every moment to be plunged ten thousand fathom deep into the gulph that lay before me, when there emerged from the waves, if I may so call them, of this elemental ocean, a Being of a mild and benevolent aspect, who, after landing on an eminence at some distance, beckoned me towards him with a sort of Caduceus, which he held in his hand, and which was formed in the shape of a Lizard, to signify that he was a friend to Mankind. My fear had deprived me of all power of motion; but the power of his rod drew me insensibly to his side, as it were by a charm. His person was manly and noble: a serene chearfulness was diffused over his countenance: his garment was thrown loosely over him, somewhat after the fashion of a Herald's Coat; and on the four quarters of it were delineated the figures of the Mole, the Whale, the Salamander, and the Camelion, as symbols of the Four Elements, over which, as it appeared, he presided.

My son! saith he, I am the Genius of the Elements. In the vast abyss now before us lie all the future race of Mankind, as it were, in em­brio. It is the business of certain spirits, over which I preside, to select from thence the crude [Page 131] materials, of which all Human Beings are com­posed. You, I know, are curious not only to en­quire into the various dispositions of your fellow-creatures, but to investigate the causes, to which their different manners and principles are owing. These causes I am now going to declare to you; wherefore attend!

Every Mortal is composed of the Four Elements, but not in equal proportions, nor each mortal in the same degrees with another. On the contrary, men are, severally, more or less agitated with this or that passion, or animated with a greater or smaller proportion of Genius, according to the nature of the particular Element that predominates in their frame; which prevailing Element, whether it be Earth, Water, Air, or Fire, creates the Ruling Passion, and influences every circumstance of their lives.

In yonder quarter, continued the GENIUS, are formed the sons and daughters of Earth; those mortals, I mean, who take their existence chiefly from that Element. These are, for the most part, of a heavy and inanimate disposition, of groveling souls and dull minds, and may be rather said to vegetate than to live. A few, and very few of the Female Sex are composed of this Element; [Page 132] and these are sluttish in their houses, slatternly in their persons, and churlish to their friends, rela­tions, and husbands. Those of the Male Sex, that owe their origin principally to Earth, are those miserly muckworms, who place their sole happiness in amassing vast sums of money; those locusts and caterpillars, who eat out the substance of others by extortion and usury. From this Element also are fabricated the race of stupid criticks, and heavy commentators, half-philosophers, entire logicians, dry metaphysicians, and muddling politicians; together with the whole tribe of wretched scrib­blers, whom your countrymen have so properly distinguished by the denomination of Grubs. The particles of which these mortals are formed, weigh down their minds, and prevent their soaring to any thing lofty or sublime; for the same reason that fathers, according to the principle of that fa­mous chancellor Lord Coke, cannot take an estate by inheritance from their sons, viz. because Land, or Earth, being of a heavy nature, cannot ascend. There are, however, among mortals of this terrene com­position, some who possess solid parts and sound un­derstandings; and many, whose minds are not barren or unfruitful, if they labour to improve them by due cultivation.

[Page 133]On the banks of that Lake, said the GENIUS, pointing to another quarter, are created that part of the human species, who draw their life and being from Water. These are commonly found to be cold and phlegmatick in their disposition; men, who shelter their native dulness and inactivity under the names of caution and prudence; who damp the generous warmth of youth, repress the ardour of enterprize, and quench the flame of Genius; women, who can cry when they please; soaking sots, who are far ever moistening their clay, till they grow maudlin in their liquor, and weep; lovers, who whine away their days in despair, till at last they take the Lovers'-Leap into their kindred sea, or drown like blind puppies, in Rosamond's Pond; tragick authors and actors, who want fire, and draw tears from no eyes but their own: all these owe their origin to Water. Among these watry souls, there are indeed some few, that may be considered as salutiferous springs, that are bene­ficial to their fellow-creatures; or, like noble rivers, which are an ornament, as well as blessing, to the country through which they pass.

Now, said the GENIUS, raising his head, turn your eyes upward, and behold the region from whence they take their being, who are composed [Page 134] chiefly of Air. These are in general of a light and volatile disposition; often fed with vain hopes, and pleased with empty trifles. Hence are derived the gay race of beaux and fops, who flutter, like but­terflies, about the polite world; and in this airy sphere are formed coquettes, jilts, and those females, who are enraptured with romance, or eternally dying with the vapours. Hence descend poets, pro­jectors, and castle-builders without number, who seem to be perpetually endeavouring to climb up to the region from whence they came; and the long train of dependants, who seem to have almost learnt to live, like the Camelion, on their native element, the Air. Hence come the light troop of Essayists, Pamphleteers, Sonneteers, Epigrammatists, &c. whose productions have their beginning in Air, and end in Fire. Of this Element too are com­posed some daring souls, who take their bold flight, like eagles, and soar to the noblest heights; though never without being followed for a time with a multitude of crows, choughs, and ravens, who pursue them with hoarse and dissonant cawings, and disturb earth and heaven with their clamour.

Lastly, continued the GENIUS, behold the bright district where those mortals are formed, who are composed principally of Fire. These are, for the [Page 155] most part, of a warm and passionate nature; amongst whom the virtues and vices are to be found in their extremes. Here too you may find men of hot heads, and ladies of warm constitutions. Hence comes the termagant, who is all rage and fury, and the hero, who is all glory and gunpowder. Hence also comes the spirited race of bucks, bloods, libertines, and freethinkers. Hence too are derived many of those glorious and sublime sages, heroes, princes, poets, and philosophers, whose Genius throws a lustre all around them, and who seem to be placed, like beacons, amidst the human species, to hold forth lights to the rest of the world.

Happy, said the GENIUS, is he, who has learnt to temper the irregularities of his frame, so as to prevent the evil effects of the Element that prevails in his composition! Happier still is that man, in whom the Elements are mixed in the nearest pro­portion to each other.

At these words, whether from sudden noise, suf­ficient rest, a desire to reply, or from what other cause I know not—I awoke.


Vester, Camaenae, vester in arduos
Tollor Sabinos: Seu mihi frigidum
Praeneste, seu Tibur supinum,
Seu liquidae placuere BAIAE.
Sweet Muses, yours', all yours' in town,
Yours' to the Country, I go down;
Whither Thames, Dee, or rocky Tweed,
Or BATH's warm Springs my fancy lead.

BATH, and Tunbridge, and Cheltenham, and Scarborough, and the other Watering Places of this kingdom, although many miles distant from the metropolis, and some of them scarce to be brought within the compass of a day's journey, even in this age of expedition, when [Page 137] the flying waggon is no extraordinary Phaenomenom, may yet be justly considered as places of publick diversion belonging to the town. The Rooms in no wise resemble other country assemblies, where the squire commands respect, and derives additional authority from being in the commission of the peace; and the balls are quite in a different stile from a dance at the assizes, where the alder­mens' wives and daughters set off with the newest patterns, from London, are admitted to drop a curtsy to the ladies of the representatives for the town or country, or, perhaps, even to the Lady Lieutenant. On the contrary, the company of these places make up the same fantastical medley, nay, consists of the very same persons as occasionally compose the groupe in the places of entertain­ment in and about London; and while we are sure to encounter the well-known faces that haunt every house and garden whose doors are thrown open to receive them, notwithstanding the real distance, we can scarce suppose ourselves beyond the limits of the bills of mortality, any more than we are apt to fancy ourselves out of town, when we have just got off the stones towards Vauxhall or Ranelagh.

[Page 138]In this light, at least, I was tempted to con­sider this matter in a late trip to Bath—with this only difference: in town, the company is brought together for a few hours only; and though some may have repaired thither on foot, some in equipages decorated with bloody hands and co­ronets, and others in coaches distinguished by square plates of painted tin, yet, on their separa­tion, who can tell what becomes of his late asso­ciates, any more than where they came from? At Bath, and the like places, each person may be said not only to exhibit himself for a time, but even to live in publick. He resides in a house of glass, and all his words, actions, pleasures, and at­tachments, are known to the whole circle of the little world he inhabits. Neither my lord, nor my lady, who disdain to sin in private, nor the petty trespasser, who loves to be snug in his offences, are exempt from observation. Almost every body descants on the characters of others, and almost every body exposes his own. It is a kind of ge­neral hob or nob, or give and take, as Shakespeare explains the phrase, between all the good com­pany. The old, the young, the rich, the poor, the sick, the well, English, French, Germans, Swiss, and Italians, all live here together, as it were, in [Page 139] one family; and with as little emotion of mutual concern or regard, as those who are really of one family, commonly have for each other.

Bath no more owes its entire support to mere in­valids, than the universities are filled with real stu­dents; or than the Temple coffee houses are totally maintained by lawyers that have business, or Child's and Batson's by physicians that have practice. If every saunterer in the Pump-Room was to be strictly interrogated concerning the motive of his coming thither, or the manner of his passing his time there, dissipation, play, and intrigue, would appear to have drawn after them a larger retinue than the gout or the cholick. A person, who is fond of taking an estimate of manners and prin­ciples, might find here much matter of specula­tion. For my own part, being too poor to game, too well to drink the waters, too dull, or too brisk, too wise, or too foolish, too insensible, or too what you will, to fall in love, I remained an idle spec­tator of the busy scene before me; and like a dull geographer, without pretending to account for the nature of the soil, or to discover the several springs and mines that lay underneath, I contented myself with taking a cursory survey of the place, [Page 140] and drawing out a map from what appeared on the face of the country.

It affords abundant matter of congratulation to this kingdom, that notorious games of hazard, such as the E. O. Tables, and the like, are at length banished from these places, as well as from the mas­querade and ridotto. There are still, it is true, to be found several hungry cormorants, eager to feed on the ignorant or unwary; and studious to make use of the opportunities arising from the pro­miscuous mixture of the cheat and the dupe, the gentleman and the sharper. They, however, who are weak enough to fall a prey to these sharks of society, are the less to be pitied, as they seem to devote themselves to destruction with their eyes open. The characters of these vagrant gamblers are generally notorious. He, therefore, who ven­tures his hundreds against the last stake of a fellow, whom he would not admit into his house, or speak to, but across the card-table, surely suffers himself to be robbed, while he feels the hand of the cut-purse in his pocket; and has no more right to complain of ill treatment, than if he had descended to play with link-boys, and pick pockets in a night cellar.

[Page 141]Far be it from me to endeavour, with rude hand, to force open the cabinet of love, or to unlock the secrets of the Temple of Cupid! Love, how­ever determined on secrecy, is apt to break out and betray itself unawares, to make itself known by a thousand little inadvertencies and absurdities in our conduct, the involuntrary emotions of ten­derness. Rather, therefore, would I admonish these sweet triflers, in the supposed words of Cassio to Desdemona, ‘"let us be wary! let us bide our loves!"’ in order to which, let them abstain from billing and cooing in publick, from rolling of eyes, and squeezing of hands, and joining of knees under the table! Idleness and curiosity are ever on the watch; and Scandal, like Virgil's Fame, has as many eyes as tongues. It is a maxim at Bath, and all other publick places, that when a young couple have been partners at a ball for two nights to­gether, every other point is settled between them; whereon the banns of marriage are published in the Rooms, long before the time for their declaration any where else. Making love may be, and no doubt is, a very engaging entertainment to the parties concerned; but there is no scene of courtship, which does not appear exttemely ridi­culous in the eyes of an indifferent spectator.

[Page 142]But if the sparks of honourable love are, in these common haunts of men, to be thus cautiously repressed from bursting into a blaze, what shall we say to the unwarrantable ebullitions of the spirit of intrigue? If a fine lady, just broke loose from her husband, or a warm widow lately relieved from the yoke of matrimony, have a mind to give their passions full play, why need they advertise their in­tentions to the whole world? Or, if a sprightly young fellow has subdued some frail piece of fe­male virtue, is it not cruel to make his conquest publick? In a word, why should both parties prefer an open scorn of virtue and decorum to the concealment of their vices? It would be too rigid and unreasonable to debar persons of spirit en­tirely from their pleasures. I would only advise them to be temperate and discreet in the use of them. The cuckoldly husband might put his horns quietly into his pocket, if he was not industriously pointed out for a monster; and the world might wink hard at female frailties, if they did not provoke atten­tion, and peremptorily challenge observation. Open gallantries are sure to become the subject of town-talk; and the rumour of Bath and Tunbridge intrigues is as quickly calculated through the [Page 143] best company, as a box on the ear indiscreetly dealt at Ranelagh.

There is no part of these mixt assemblies, which I am apt to consider with more compassion, than those unfortunate young females, whose wise rela­tions are fond of carrying them to and fro, from one publick place to another, by way of introducing them early to the knowledge of the world, or as the means of getting them a husband. There is, indeed, no situation, where a decent and amiable be­haviour in a young lady would be more conspi­cuous: but those, who have been formed on the above-mentioned system of education, have com­monly lost all their domestick graces, without having acquired any allurements in exchange for them. They know the rules and customs of publick places, without being in the least acquainted with the manners of the world, which are not to be collected in a giddy life of perpetual dissipation, or learnt with the graces of a minuet, and the figure of a country dance, or picked up by chance at the lottery table; as a proof of which, it seldom hap­pens, that these female pupils of Flirtation con­tract an advantageous match, though they often fall a prey to the professed rake or libertine. Or, if that is not the case, they are hawked about [Page 144] from place to place, till the bloom is off the plum, when, (to pursue the allusion) many nauseate the fruit, so soon is grown dead and stale in the market, which perhaps they would have gathered with pleasure, if it had been left to hang its due time upon the tree.

If there are any characters of this motley drama that move our mirthful indignation more power­fully than all the others, it is the swarm of humble retainers to the Great, that are for ever buzzing in the ear of nobility. The easy intercourse be­tween persons of different ranks, which this place affords, is particularly grateful to these spunges, as Hamlet terms them, who delight to soak up the countenances of people of fashion. This nu­merous tribe is made up of both sexes; and happy is he or she who can be occasionally called in to fill up a vacant corner in her Grace's party at Qua­drille; and how woeful is the mortification, if they should fail to edge themselves into his Lordship's tea-drinking! Such self-made depen­dants, who are engendered by the smiles of the Great, like flies or maggots out of carrion by the rays of the sun, have no idea of any distinction between persons, except that which title bestows on them. They seem indeed to suppose themselves [Page 145] noble and genteel by reflection, though they sink in the estimation of others, in proportion as they rise in their own. They are considereed in ge­neral as runners to the great, that fetch and carry, come and go, as they are bid. Though they flatter themselves that they mix in the polite world, they live but in the suburbs and out-skirts of gen­tility. They are, in truth, but a mean appendage to the great, a higher, but yet more infamous degree, of pages and lacquies to hold up the tail of nobi­lity, or rather a contemptible part of the train itself; a narrow edging or border, a kind of beggar's tape that binds the hem of quality.

The late and ever-memorable Richard Nash, Esq. whose name is almost as much revered at Bath, as that of the great Bladud himself, for some few years before his death published proposals for printing, by subscription, The History of BATH and TUNBRIDGE. Many, who subscribed largely to this work, contrary to the case of all other sub­scriptions, would have been much disappointed and offended, if it had ever made its appearance; so that the price of subscription might be considered as hush-money, to keep the intrigues and gal­lantries of the nobility in silence. The original papers, containing many curious anecdotes, are [Page 146] fallen into my hands; and, unless the dukes and dutchesses, peers and peeresses, in general, and others the gentry of this realm, will subscribe their five guineas to me, The GENIUS, as nobly as they did to the first author, the work shall certainly come out. In the mean time, the manuscripts are lodged in the hands of an eminent counsel, as it is said was the case with some of Pope's Epistles and Satires, that we may be enabled to go just upon the edge of libel and scandalum magnatum. Those who would not have their adventures and amours recorded in this secret history, may take the gentle hint I now give them, and send in their subscrip­tions to the printer of this paper. In the mean time, I would recommend it to Messrs. Wiltshire and Simson at Bath, as well as to the proprietors of the pump-room, and masters of the coffee-houses, to hang the rooms with the ST. JAMES's CHRO­NICLE.


—Ubi quid datur otí,
Illudo chartis.—
When I've nothing else to do
I play at Whist, Quadrille, or Lu.

ON my return home a few evenings ago, I found lying on my table a soiled knave of diamonds, bearing evident marks of having served in several campaigns, which I found, on exa­mination, to come from my old acquaintance, Mrs. Marrcourt, and to contain an invitation, written in her own old English black letter, to a private party at cards, on Monday the fourth of January.

Mrs. Marrcourt is the widow of a gentleman who had a place in the household, and at her hus­band's death obtained, by the interest and sollici­tation of some powerful friends, an annual pension [Page 148] of a hundred and fifty pounds. Having had, as she often says herself, a very genteel education, and always lived in a polite sphere, she entertains the most profound respect for all persons of fashion, as well as an implicit veneration for all the manners, appurtenances, and dependences, of quality. Wherefore, notwithstanding the nar­rowness of her income, she never could endure the thoughts of being exiled from the great world, but has been reduced to several shifts to maintain the appearance of a tolerable footing in it. Being now grown aged and infirm, she cannot well crawl through the park in fair weather, or along the best paved streets to pay her morning visits. She is, however, in possession of the cast sedan of a countess of her acquaintance, by whom she was honoured with it as a present seven years ago; but being un­able to pay her chairmen the usual rates for weekly attendance, she drives a hard bargain, and retains them at an under price; whence it often happens, that her two chairmen are not only in liveries of two different colours, but she is obliged to be car­ried by all the raw-boned, unpractised fellows, who jumble along in a rough trot, as uneasy as a stage-coach over the stones; and no sooner have they learnt to pace along in the true human amble, and [Page 149] become capable of better business, than they desert the good old lady, and their places are supplied by a fresh pair of hackney novices; so that she has 'the breaking-in of most of the two-legged colts in town. She has apartments in one of the old palaces, gratis; and during the summer-months, because she would not, for the world, be so ungenteel as to stay in London, she takes a two-penny lodging at Greenwich or Richmond. She constantly visits at several great houses, and though often shut out, by perseverance and the utmost good-breeding, she is sometimes let in, and perhaps, if there is no particular company, asked to stay dinner. The ladies treat her with a haughty familiarity, and stile her plain Marrcourt: and the facetious men of fashion make mock love to her, compliment her, in the strain of well­bred raillery, on her person, beauty, taste, and other qualifications; freely indulging themselves in all those liberties, which young fellows, con­scious and vain of their rank, are apt to take with their inferiors.—Yet, even from this kind of con­nection with people of distinction, does Mrs. Marr­court derive no small degree of consequence. She remembers the day she bought her last pound of tea, by recollecting it was the same on which she [Page 150] dined at his lordship's; she talks familiarly of Lady Harriot and Lady Mary; and is reckoned, by all the lower gentry of her acquaintance, to be a mighty genteel sort of body, and to keep none but the very best of company.

I waited on Mrs. Marrcourt on the evening appointed, but perceived, immediately on my entrance into her apartments, that although she had given her assembly the modest appellation of a private party, she had in fact collected all the company she was able, with a particular view to bring together some persons of rank and dignity. Her two rooms, the largest of which is scarce bigger than a cabin, and the least a mere closet, were so crouded, that it was with the utmost difficulty that I could squeeze my little person sideways between the backs of the chairs belonging to the several card tables, in order to make my way from one end of the place to the other. The tables were, many of them, placed diagonally, by which means she had been able to edge in one or two extraordinary; and most of the company, who were not put down to cards, stood in a huddle by the fire-side, and the remaining few had disposed themselves in the seats of the windows. The room was lighted up with the ends of wax-candles, [Page 151] bought of the duke of —'s butler, and the company regaled with a small liquor, made by Mrs. Marrcourt herself, in the present scarcity of lemons, of the best Cream o'Tartar. The com­pany itself was as miscellaneous as a pack of cards, or any hand that can be formed from different combinations of them; but the most distinguished members of it, and to which I observed Mrs. Marr­court paid particular attention, were, an old Irish peer, of a disputed title, a Creolian colonel, a dis­tressed baronet, a city knight and his lady, a French gentlewoman from the neighbourhood of Soho, an old general officer on half-pay, and a yellow ad­miral.

Such is the faithful picture of the good old lady's assembly; and without pretending to more than ordinary penetration, we may venture to pronounce that there are many Mrs. Marrcourts in this great metropolis. Nor is it any matter of surprise; for if ladies of distinction will delight to throw open their great gates, and court the whole tide of no­bility to flow in upon them, there will ever exist these minor dames of second-hand gentry, fond of aping the vices and follies of their superiors. But though the imitation of bad things, like the cor­ruption of the best, renders them most odious and [Page 152] contemptible, it may not be amiss to carry our re­flections still further, and to consider the nature of the politest of these assemblies, set off with every circumstance of elegance and splendor.

These genteel meetings, like Milton's Pandaemo­nium, frequent and full, are, in the dialect of the fashionable world, denominated ROUTS; the signi­fication of which word, according to dictionaries of the best authority, is as follows, Johnson defines a ROUT to be a clamorous multitude; a rabble; a tumultuous croud: and Giles Jacob, in his Law Dictionary, declares the word ROUT to signify an ASSEMBLY of persons, gathered together, and going to execute, or indeed executing, an unlawful act. If we examine the thing itself as it appears in high life, we shall be convinced of the propriety of the term, and cannot but allow that all these ROUTS, from that of a dutchess down to Mrs. Marrcourt's, come within the meaning of both these descriptions. For what is a ROUT but a tu­multuous croud; a rabble; that is, a genteel mob, or the rabble of quality, drawn together, as Jacob says, and going to execute, or indeed executing, an un­lawful act?

But the prevailing idea is, undoubtedly, the Croud; and the lady, who is mistress of the ROUT, [Page 153] is happy in proportion to the numbers she has been able to assemble. If the publick way is interrupted for three streets together, and the company can scarce get to and fro between the house and their coaches and chairs; if the boxes at the play or the opera are robbed of their company, because those, who are left uninvited, are ashamed to betray the contempt or neglect they are doomed to sustain; if in the most spacious apartments in London, the company are crouded together, as close as at Mrs. Marrcourt's, or as the poor pri­soners in the black-hole at Calcutta; the triumph is more ample and complete. I remember a dutchess and a countess, who for a time entertained the most mortal aversion for each other, from having both appointed their Routs on the same day of the week. The whole town, at least the polite part of it, was divided into parties; and ranking them­selves, as under a banner, beneath the colours of the cards, were severally called the Reds and the Blacks. The parties being equally powerful, and the Routs of each being of course rendered less numerous, who can say to what extremities matters might have been carried, if a man of fashion, who, like a blank card, had yet received no impression either from Red or Black, had not [Page 154] fortunately compromised the affair, and pre­vailed on the ladies to be content with taking the day alternately, each holding a Rout only once in a fortnight?

It is remarkable, that this rage for a Croud has produced a most extraordinary revolution in dress. A friend of mine has composed a most ela­borate treatise, in the manner of Montesquieu, on the causes of the rise and fall of the hoop-petticoat. In the learned section on the subject of ROUTS, which is as curious as any chapter in Tristram Shandy, the author has plainly demonstrated, that these assemblies have produced a total revolution in architecture and dress. Every house is built as if it was intended to receive the whole town; and every lady is drest as if she was going into apart­ments where she would not have room to turn herself round. The hoop, which had stood the shocks of ridicule for forty years together, which dilated itself wider and wider on every new attack, which incumbered whole apartments, spread itself all over the Mall, eclipsed beaux, and oversha­dowed side-boxes, shrunk in an instant, like a flower shut up at sunset, or a closed umbrella. No Hoops became the common Nota Bene to all cards of invitation; and the ladies came abroad, [Page 155] suddenly freed of all their tumours and incum­brances, like a new mother just delivered of her burthen, or like the fallen angels in Milton, as on a signal given,

—to smallest Forms
Reduced their Shapes immense; and were at large,
Though without Number still.

It may almost be asserted, without a quibble, that the system of life, now established in the polite world, seems calculated to destroy society for the sake of company. A Lady's Journal is a mere calendar of visits and routs; visits often paid by the footmen, with a slip of card and a flam­beau; and Routs, where, instead of a few select friends, she meets with a croud of half acquaintance and strangers. ROUTS are the modern schools of education for the female sex; and as cards seem to be destined for their sole amusement and employ­ment, I would advise my good friend Mr. Newberry, the annual publisher of the Ladies Me­morandum Book, to dispose his next into the po­pular form of a pack of cards, the two and fifty cards, of which the pack consists, naturally adapting themselves to the use of the two and fifty weeks, into which the year is distributed. The [Page 156] several Sundays might be distinguished as the first, second, third, or fourth Sundays of the dutchess of A's, the countess of B's, lady Van D's, or Mrs. E's Rout; and the little spaces allotted for ap­pointments, might be filled with secret assigna­tions, if it be true, (as the Chronicle of Scandal relates) that such assignations are sometimes made at these assemblies.

I have been the more earnest to throw together my reflections on this subject at present, because the female passion for ROUTS grows every day more and more predominant, and I am credibly in­formed that the contagion has actually spread even to our colonies, and been carried by our country-women into other parts of the world. General Assemblies, of no parliamentary nature, I am told, are frequently held in New England; the clerks of our East-India Company and their wives have, it is said, been known to lose a lack of rupees at a sitting at Bengal; and I am confidently assured, that a lady of quality, on her travels, has so far broke in upon the simplicity of the Cantons, as to have absolutely established an evening assembly for halfpenny Lu in Switzerland.

In order, therefore, to prevent the further evil consequences resulting from these private publick [Page 157] gaming-houses, and at the same time not entirely to deprive persons of distinction of their favourite amusement, and yet to render it of some small utility and advantage, I would humbly submit to the attention of the legislature the following plan of a ROUT-ACT. No lady, of whatsoever rank, should be allowed to hold in one night more than three card-tables for Whist, Cribbage, or Quadrille; which, with a fourth for the use of the more promiscuous games, such as Lansquenet, Lu, Lottery, &c. may fairly be supposed to comprehend all the persons that can meet at once for the sake of society. But, for the entertainment of those, who delight in larger assemblies, two publick ROUTS should be instituted, with authority to open their doors every night, like the theatres: one to be held, for the use of the court end of the town, at Carlisle House, Soho Square; and the other, for the ladies of the merchants, aldermen, and common-council men, at Haberdasher's-Hall in the city. The card-money, as well as the sums subscribed for admission, (instead of being lavished on butlers, valets, and maitres d'hotel) should be laid apart, in order to create a fund for the support of decayed gamesters, whose necessities might be supplied by their successors at the gaming-table, as the stage [Page 158] now and then gives a benefit for distrest and super­annuated actors. By these means a lord, who has exhausted his fortune by deep play, need not degrade himself by application for a pension; and a merchant who has, by the like conduct, involved himself and family in the miseries of bankruptcy, need not do the world and his creditors a further injury by going into business again.




Fac periclum in literis,
Fac in palaestrâ, in musicis: quoae liberum
Scire aequum est, solertem dabo.
Try him in Letters, Exercises, Musick!
In all the Arts A GENTLEMAN shou'd know,
I'll warrant him accomplish'd.

OF all bodies of men, Authors may justly claim the largest share of publick spirit. Stre­nuous advocates for the rights of the people, they have not only even shewn themselves vigilant guardians of the liberty of the press, but have also recently manifested a noble contempt for what appeared to be their own more immediate concern, [Page 162] the property of the press; a property which they have lately seen voted away with a true stoical apathy and indifference. They have silently be­held, like unconcerned spectators, its very existence denied, and have acquiesced in the sublime doctrine of disinterestedness to the greatest extreme. Phy­sicians and lawyers avowedly plead and prescribe for a fee, soldiers fight for pay, and even divines preach and pray for a benefice. The labourer, in other stations, is reckoned worthy of his hire. Authors alone are content to have little other re­compense than fame for their labours, and quietly allow that a general imprimatur converts their works into general property. The industrious commonwealth of literature has been plundered of the wax and honey, without one of the exhaustless hive endeavouring to fix his sting into his spoilers: but in vindication of the liberty of the press, not a drone but would join in instant commotion.

The Liberty of the Press is indeed a most glorious privilege. When it is but mentioned every En­glishman swells with a conscious superiority, and seems to feel himself half an inch taller; if on the Continent, the thought almost adds a cubit to his stature; yet this liberty, invaluable as it is, like all other liberty, has been shamefully abused; and has [Page 163] oftentimes been exercised with the barbarity of sa­vages, rather than the gallant spirit of freemen; by monsters wielding the pen, not as the sword of publick justice or defence, but using it as the in­strument of ruffian violence and private rancour. In political discussions, indeed, freedom of senti­ment and speech should be almost boundless: and a great and enterprising genius, best able to go all lengths, might perhaps with great propriety try, ‘"how far the Liberty of the Press could legally be carried:"’ but in writings of a private nature, that doctrine becomes shameful and scandalous, and the practice almost diabolical. He who exercises the Liberty of the Press, with no farther idea of restraint, than what the law imposes, may escape a partial prosecution, but will incur universal contempt: for the rogue within the law, as any attorney can testify, is the most dangerous and des­picable of all rogues. In a moral as well as a civil sense, every man's house should in some measure be his castle; and the miscreant who wantonly disturbs the repose, or breaks into the harmless secrets, of a private family, commits a kind of literary bur­glary, and is almost as culpable as the minister or king's messenger who should now attempt the seisure of papers, or dare to enter a mansion by a [Page 164] General Warrant. The English are a remarkably good-natured, as well as generous people; but were a stranger to form a character of them from a perusal of their daily publications, they would ap­pear to require a constant evening sacrifice to their ill-nature, and a hecatomb of reputations for their breakfast.

Seeing the colour of many other publications, and those, alas, too generally popular, I mean oc­casionally to hazard an essay in this paper, of a complection totally different, and now and then to rescue at least one column, in one news-paper, from scandal and politicks. The recess of parliament, when the minds of men are less heated by con­tention, is a proper season to commence such an undertaking. For my own part, I am at present writing inclined to trust the interests of my country, on both sides of the Atlantick, to the three great branches of the legislature; but if I find them in­adequate or unfaithful, I shall be happy with other authors to embody, like the constitutional militia, in times of danger, and to change the Gentleman into the Politician, as Steele converted the Guardian into the Englishman. Even Quakers perhaps might, on such an occasion, suspend the pacifick tenets of their persuasion; and even some of our Clergy [Page 165] would, in such circumstances, exhibit a new idea of Church Militant, change their gowns for coats of mail, and like a boiled lobster, turn from black to red.

It is however at present my wish and my intention to suffer my patriotick powers of writing to sleep, like the sword in the scabbard. Every Gentleman chuses to wear one both for ornament and defence, but when he puts it on, says to himself with Mercutio, ‘"Heaven send me no need of thee!"’ I will not, like the court-fool of old times, run a muck against the King and his Nobles; I will not draw my wit upon the Minister; much less (as I have already professed) will I wound the bosom of domestick tranquillity. I send these fu­gitive papers smiling into the world, wishing them, like Swedes' Tea, to sweaten the blood and juices of my Countrymen, and to correct their ill hu­mours; but tho' intended for an antidote to black bile and acrimony, it is hoped they will not appear, like Magnesia, a cure for the heart-burn indeed, but in themselves a drug tasteless and insipid. The rose and sweet-briar are not the less fragrant for the thorn that makes a part of them; and the powers of satire and ridicule, while pointed at ge­neral vices and enormities, are not only innocent [Page 166] but salutary. Bungling quacks cannot attack the disease, without injuring or perhaps killing the patient: but the true moralist sees the drama of so­ciety performed before him, like the skilful natu­ralist contemplating bees through a glass hive, marking their operations, and turning them to account, without offering the busy insects the least injury. The present age swarms with follies, and teems with characters worthy of observation. Such will be frequently exhibited; but as they are in­tended, like those of the New Comedy of Me­nander, to be general, it is hoped that none of them will be challenged by any individual.

The Motto prefixed to this Indroductory Essay may perhaps be thought arrogant; but it is only meant to imply such subjects as are fit for discussion on a plan of this liberal nature, and such a cha­racter as the writer would wish to exhibit in the person of The Gentleman: not that he presumes to hint that he shall himself be found equal to it. He means to derive his chief importance from the merits of others. As to himself, whether really a Gentleman, or the meanest Plebeian; a student at his ease, or a scribbler in the Fleet; sitting by a silver standish in his own apartment, or with a broken ink-bottle in a garret or cellar; are matters [Page 167] of no importance to the reader, so long as the author shall sustain the part he has assumed. Though appearing in a publick character, he means to be nameless and unknown. He has drawn up the curtain, like other managers, without ad­mittance behind the scenes, an indulgence which might gratify the curiosity of a few, but tends to destroy the publick entertainment. In his bills the director can at present announce no more than The Gentleman, to which the wags (if they please) may subjoin, being the first time of his appearing in that character. I must beg leave, however, once for all to declare, that with whatever notice they may honour me, to their wit or their dulness I shall never make any reply; not from the spirit of silent contempt, but rather on the principle of Fielding, who when he was told in the Green Room that the audience were damning his Comedy, acquiesced in the badness of it, and cried, What! have they found it out!

It has heen suggested to me, that it would be more consonant to the character of a Gentleman, to send forth my speculations, like some of my predecessors, uncontaminated by paragraphs and advertisements, beautifully printed on a sheet and half of fine writing paper: but many of my [Page 168] superiors, several excellent essayists, moral and political, have written in news-papers. As to that, in which The Gentleman has chosen to insert his Productions, he has distinguished it on a prin­ciple of publick spirit; having observed it for some time past to have been the deadest, dullest, most unentertaining and insipid of the many Journals and Chronicles which the press groans under at present; a circumstance the more extraordinary, as it is, he is informed, the property of a junto of the sprightliest, wittiest, politest, and most learned spirits of the age; capable of instructing and enli­vening it with every species of composition, from History down to a Pun or an Epigram. The very Printer, Mr. William Woodfall, if Fame say true, is able, like the silkworm, to weave his own rich materials, and, after the example of the Stevens's and Elzevirs, to be himself the editor of any produc­tions that might issue from his press. To stimulate therefore these capable but indolent geniusses, to rouse them from their lethargy, to set all hands to work on board the London Pacquet, is the design and ambition of The Gentleman; happy, if like Falstaff, he should at any time be found to be witty himself, but content if he can at least, like Falstaff, be the cause of wit in other men.


Alterius sic
Altera poscit opem res, & conjurat amicè.
Allied, as sister close to brother,
One thing still asks the help of t'other;
And thus allied, both He, or She,
From love, or int'rest, will agree.

IT is usual with those who exhibit their perfor­mances to the Publick, to follow up their first effort with an account of the great and un­common applause that has been bestowed on it. As I have always imagined such accounts to be re­ligiously true, I cannot help considering myself as deplorably unpopular, or peculiarly unfortunate. I have not heard a syllable uttered in favour of the first Number of The Gentleman, and almost all the readers I expected to interest or engage, have been occupied with the Sessions Paper or the [Page 170] London Gazette. I have not seen a single copy of verses in praise of my style, and I have even been assured by my friends, that the people of this country will not at present read any article in a news­paper longer than a paragraph. I have however been honoured with the notice of two corre­spondents; and as they seem inclined, on certain conditions, to become assistants in my present un­dertaking, I shall introduce them to my readers by making their Letters publick, before I proceed in my own speculations.

To the Author of The GENTLEMAN.


I HAVE the honour to be a BLACKGUARD, and if it had not been for a few touches in your paper, that shewed you to be no enemy to Vulgar Manners, as well as no mean proficient in the Vulgar Tongue, I should have beheld your Essays with silent con­tempt, and would not have condescended to cor­respond with you. But is this a time, Sir, for a writer who means to amend the morals, or correct the behaviour, of the idle things, and puppies of the present age, to usher a work into the world under the title of The Gentleman? Do not false [Page 171] refinements, affected politeness, and in a word, Gentility (as they term it) threaten to undermine our morals, pervert our good sense, and infect our be­haviour? Formerly it was the boast of this country, that every man might, in things indif­ferent, vary from his neighbour. Private Liberty was as essential a mark of our manners, as Publick Liberty was the characteristick of our constitution: no principles of politeness, no system of beha­viour, no rules for raising a French or Italian su­perstructure on a Gothick foundation, but every man built his reputation on the basis of good sense and good nature. At present we begin to refine, and file, and polish, 'till our manners, as Sterne said of those of our neighbours, are growing as smooth and undistinguishable as an old King Wil­liam's halfpenny; and fashionable principles, like the legs of fashionable furniture, have scarce strength enough to support the frame that belongs to them.

Gentility, Sir, (give me leave to repeat and insist on it) is the great bane of our lives, the nurse of vice, dissipation and extravagance; the parent of bankruptcy, and source of corruption. Fo­reign manners will not thrive under our meridian. There is a kind of Magna Charta in our good [Page 172] fellowship, as well as in our laws, that will not brook the controul of an honest-hearty laugh, or endure to be fettered by Dissertations on Left Legs.

In opposition to the contemptible animal, the new-fangled being, that now commonly distin­guishes itself by the appellation of The Gentleman, I am proud to stile myself A Blackguard; a name, Sir, that would do you more credit both as a writer, and a man, than the title you have assumed. Hu­mour, that genuine English production, is not the growth of a frippery age, nor founded on polished manners. It can only be cultivated by bold manly wits, such as Cervantes, Rabelais, Moliere, Swift, Gay, Arbuthnot, Fielding, Sterne, &c. &c. These, and such as these, are the Classicks of the School of Blackguard. In that school I have been bred, and have learnt to despise a delicacy of manners that produces effeminacy, and a nicety of taste that proves the weakness of the stomach. If these are models you disapprove, I here take my leave of you; but if English Virtue, English Sense, and English Humour, are meant to be recommended and encouraged by the Author of The Gentleman, he shall now and then, if he pleases, hear farther from one who is proud to own himself a friend to those qualities, and to subscribe himself


[Page 173]According to my Correspondent's definition, my idea of a Gentleman, and his idea of a Blackguard, constitute pretty nearly the same character. I think, indeed, he bears rather hard upon the FINE Gentleman of our age, and handles him with more roughness than so tender an animal provokes; yet it must be confessed that the writer's rusticity, becomes him, and (as Addison says of Virgil in his Georgicks) that ‘"he tosses about his dung with an air of gracefulness."’ I cannot therefore dismiss his epistle without assuring him, that I wish for a continuance of his correspondence, as well as that of the Lady, who has favoured me with the fol­lowing Letter.



DOES your total silence, concerning the female world, in your first number, proceed from contempt of the Sex? Do you think, with Ma­homet, that Women are void of souls to be made happy in the next world; or, with a late Lord, that they are incapable of reason and common sense in the present? During the female reigns of Anne and Elizabeth, such doctrines would [Page 174] have been considered as moral and political he­resies, no less than religious: and they deserve, I think, as little encouragement in our times, when we see a Queen Consort on the throne, at least equally amiable, and perhaps as wise in declining politicks, as the illustrious regents above-menti­oned were glorious in administring them.

Familiar Essays, Sir, have hitherto been pecu­liarly devoted to the service of the Ladies. Steele and Addison stept forth, like literary knights-errant, to rescue the fair from the daemons of vice, and spells of ignorance, endeavouring to render the toilet the altar of the Muses, as well as the place of sacrifice to the Graces. They thought the manners and principles of Women not unimportant to the happiness of Men, and did not esteem it a disgrace to their parts or learning, to write down to the understandings of female readers. Essays in ge­neral are, indeed, a kind of whipt-sillabub lite­rature, not above the pitch of a mere housewifely comprehension, and as becoming a part of the par­lour-window furniture, as a tambour or a thread paper.

I do not mean, Sir, by what I have said, to accuse you of an elevation of style and manner that throws us at a distance, but rather to hint to you that [Page 175] a seeming neglect of the Ladies is not consistent with a writer, who stiles himself A Gentleman. Are you afraid that the distinguished propriety, ele­gance, and decent modesty of the females of the present age will afford you no room for animad­version? Or do you think them totally incorri­gible? For my part, Sir, I believe them to be formed of the very same materials, as their mothers were before them, equally prone to err, and equally capable of amendment and instruction.

Female virtues are certainly of consequence to the order of the moral world, and foibles ought not to be suffered to spring up neglected, and to over-run the mind like thorns and idle weeds: yet their delicacy is not to be wounded. Their follies must be tenderly probed, and the Essayist, like the Surgeon, should have the hand of a Lady. Shake­speare's Characters of Women, like the portraits of women by the President of our Royal Academy, are almost the only good ones drawn by men. There is a coarseness of outline, colour, and design, in most other artists, that make their Ladies appear not in the simple style of Caelia, Rosalind, Imo­gen, Desdemona, &c. but rather like men drest in women's cloaths. On these considerations there­fore, while you, Sir, are engaged in painting the [Page 176] Men, the Females shall, if you please, sit to Me: or if you will suppose yourself alone equal to finishing the main parts of the figure, you will at least allow that a Female hand is most likely to be correct in the drapery,

You will, I doubt not, be extremely curious to be informed from whom this Letter proceeds, and vanity may perhaps incline you to suppose, that it is occasioned by some partiality to you or your writings. Your person, Sir, I do not know, nor at present desire to know, any more than I mean to discover my own. Whether I shall ever unveil myself, must appear hereafter. In the mean time, let your imagination draw as flattering a likeness of me, as Gentlemen-Quixotes picture to themselves of their several Dulcineas. Fancy me as young, handsome, rich, and agreeably accomplished, as your complexion, avarice, or vanity may require, and it is no matter how old, ugly, poor, and disa­greeable I may really be, while I remain your assistant and humble servant,


Till the Lady becomes acquainted with my name, character, and qualifications, she is desired to take it for granted that I am very tall, very well [Page 177] made, exactly of the complection she likes best, and just in my prime. In the mean time I most thankfully accept her kind offer, and do not doubt but it will be agreeable to my fair readers. The ladies have indeed betrayed some partiality for male hair-dressers, stay-makers, mantua-makers, and even men-midwives: yet I think they will un­bosom their failings more freely to one of their own sex; and any lady, labouring with spleen, malice, envy, ambition, avarice, or secret disorders of the mind, will be glad to be laid by a woman: especially as an able and experienced practitioner (meaning myself) will always attend, ready to assist in any very nice case or an accident.


Obscurata diu populo bonus eruet, atque
Proferet in lucem speciosa vocabula rerum,
Quae priscis memorata Catonibus atque Cethegis,
Nunc situs informis premit, et deserta vetustas.
Adsciscet nova, quae genitor produxerit usus:
Vehemens, et liquidus, puroque simillimus amni,
Fundet opes, Latiumque heabit divite linguâ.
Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears,
Bright thro' the rubbish of a thousand years;
Command old words that long have slept, to wake,
Words, that wise Bacon, or brave Raleigh, spake;
Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
(For use will foster what's begot by sense;)
Pour the rich tide of Eloquence along,
Lucid and pure, yet vehement and strong,
With all the treasures of the Mother Tongue.*

LEARNING, like beaten gold, in proportion to its being more extended, becomes more superficial. Gross ignorance and profound eru­dition are now equally uncommon. Literature, [Page 179] no longer confined to colleges and cloisters, mixes itself in some measure with the commerce of the exchange, the exercises of the camp, and the graces of the court: but the deep-read scholar is a rarer character than ever. The main stream of science, branching into numberless rivulets, grows shallow, as well as clear. The stores of learning are parcelled out by retail, and what was sarcastically said of the reputed knowledge of our northern neighbours, is nearly applicable to that of the whole island. Every man has a mouthfull, but no man has a bellyfull.

This observation, on the state of learning in ge­neral, is almost equally true in respect to the lesser [Page 180] graces of Style and composition. That happy me­diocrity, denied by Gods and Men to the writers of former ages, has been reserved for our own period. Few writers are barbarous and ungram­matical, or even unmusical, in their language; but very few are truly simple, nervous, or elegant. Some styles, like handsome faces, are spoilt by affectation, or ruined by varnish and extrinsick or­nament; some are bloated with false pomp; some darkened by metaphysical abstract phraseology; and some enervated by dapper familiarities, and the cant jargon of drawing-rooms, horse-courses, and gaming-tables.

Purity of Style, like purity of manners, is not wholly practicable: languages, like men by whom they are framed, will be imperfect: yet every en­deavour to trace the sources of corruption, tends to stop its progress. Living authors, as well as living manners, are at once the chief objects of our censure and imitation. The works of deceased writers, which we have been taught by tradition to applaud, are too seldom turned over; while the productions of our cotemporaries present them­selves to our notice, oftener than their persons. He, who has talents to distinguish himself from [Page 181] the crowd, has more followers than an ancient phi­losopher. A popular writer sets the fashion of Style, and the very herd of criticks, that wish to depre­ciate the value of his works, run after him. If an author arises, whose deep learning, and large imagination struggling for expression equal to his conceptions, tempt him to lengthen his periods, and swell his phraseology; if an intimate famili­arity with the combinations of a dead language now and then betray him into too wide a deviation from the vernacular idiom; such a writer will have the mortification to see the beauties of his Style distorted by aukward imitation, and his errors (if in him they are errors) made ridiculous by ag­gravation. The language that, in his master hand, like a well-tuned instrument, ‘"discourses most eloquent musick,"’ under their management utters nothing but discord. The rattling of their periods and tumidity of their phrases, like the noise of a drum or swell of a bladder, are but symptoms of their wind and emptiness.

Ornament of diction, says Quintilian, tho' the greatest of beauties, is only graceful, when it follows as it were of itself, not when it is pursued. Of all ornaments, a foreign structure of period, as it is the most prejudicial to the genius of our language, [Page 182] appears the most studied and unnatural. An adopted word is but a partial and trifling innovation, and is often happily incorporated, when care is taken to naturalize the foreigner, by giving a na­tional air to the turn of the phrase. Every lan­guage, more especially the English, has its idioms, which we should not register, with Grammarians and Lexicographers, among its irregularities, but with Poets and Orators, number among its beauties. To extirpate idiom from our tongue, would be like rooting up the old oaks, that are the glory and ornament of our country; or, to vary the allusion, to square the language of our ancient writers to the rigid rules of Roman or even French Syntax, would extinguish the genius of our Tongue, and give the whole a foreign air, like the labours of a tasteless improver, exchanging the luxuriance of nature, in our gardens, for clipt yews, strait walks, and formal parterres.

Perspicuity without meanness is pronounced by Aristotle to be the perfection of language, or, as he more nervously expresses it, the virtue of Style; to attain which, he recommends, as a principal instrument, the use of the most common words and phrases in a figurative signification; the familiarity of the terms rendering them clear, and the novelty [Page 183] of their application giving them an air of elegance or dignity. The works of our old writers, pro­saick as well as poetical, abound with these home­spun metaphors, by which the lowest words in­crease their consequence, or at least, like cyphers, raise the value of their neighbours. Sometimes, indeed, these popular tropes are carried to excess, or used too licentiously; yet they commonly breathe a magnificent simplicity, and the whole construction is purely English; a circumstance, like that which induced Cicero to recommend the study of the an­cient Roman authors to his pupils in oratory, urging, that whoever was well read in their pro­ductions, could not, were he even inclined to it, speak other than genuine Latin.

It will not, I hope, be imagined from what I have said, that I think too lightly of the labours and genius of those learned philologists, who, by compiling Grammars and Dictionaries, have en­deavoured to give precision and stability to our Tongue. Their works, if properly consulted, are useful both to the learner and proficient; but if made the objects of their study, rather than occa­sional assistants, they will certainly be pernicious. The Grammars of living and dead languages are too often framed on different principles: in the [Page 184] latter, all irregularities, for which an authority can be pleaded, are sanctified by a rule; while the other brands every idiom, or bold combination, as a licentious barbarism. No man ever learnt a lan­guage, living or dead, from a Grammar or Dicti­onary; but by reading the best authors, and par­taking of the best conversation. He, who habi­tuates himself to such studies and such society, without proposing to himself a particular model, will insensibly form a Style of his own; as in the mechanical part of writing, every man abandoning himself to his own fancy or powers, almost every man writes a different hand. A certain freedom of Style, a manly flow of language, will distinguish the authors of such a school; whose periods will not be divided into formal compartments, like the squares of a Mosaick pavement, exactly answering each other; but the members of a sentence, like the members of the human body, will seem to be put together with ease as well as symmetry, and equally framed for the purposes of elegance and strength.

As to Grammars and Dictionaries, though not administering to the foundation of our tongue, they may certainly be of great use to contribute to its preservation. They are a kind of scaffold erected [Page 185] by skilful workmen, after our language has been completely built, to repair the ruins of time, and to keep the venerable structure from further decay. The last great English Dictionary will remain, as long as the English Tongue shall remain, a mo­nument of the learning and genius of its author; and I cannot better enforce the utility of the studies recommended in this paper, than by concluding it with an extract from the admirable Preface to that work; a Preface, which at once delivers the precepts, and affords the example, of a pure and eloquent Style.

—I have studiously endeavoured to collect examples and authorities from the writers before the Restoration, whose works I regard as the wells of English undefiled, as the pure sources of genuine diction. Our language, for almost a century, has, by the concurrence of many causes, been gradually departing from its original Teutonick character, and deviating towards a Gallick structure and phraseology, from which it ought to be our en­deavour to recall it, by making our ancient volumes the groundwork of Style, admitting among the ad­ditions of later times, only such as may supply real deficiencies, such as are readily adopted by the [Page 186] genius of our tongue, and incorporate easily with our native idioms.

—From the authors which rose in the time of Elizabeth, a speech might be formed adequate to all the purposes of use and elegance. If the language of theology were extracted from Hooker and the translation of the Bible; the terms of natural knowledge from Bacon; the phrases of policy, war, and navigation from Raleigh; the dialect of poetry and fiction from Spenser and Sidney; and the diction of common life from Shakespeare, few ideas would be lost to mankind, for want of English words in which they might be expressed.


‘Age verò, ne semper forum, subsellia, rostra, curiamque mediatere, quid esse potest in otio aut jucundius, aut magis proprium humanitatis, quàm sermo facetus, ac nullâ in re dutis? Hoc enim uno praestamus vel maxime feris, quòd colliquimur inter nos, & quòd exprimere di­cendo sensa passumus. CICERO.‘Well then, not to dwell on the Bar, the Bench, the Pulpit, or the Parliament, what can, in our hours of relaxation, be more agreeable, or better suited to our nature, than chearful, and elegant Con­versation? For in this consists our chief pre-eminence over the brute creation, that we can converse with each other, and communicate our sentiments by Speech.’

To the Author of The GENTLEMAN.

ECCE ITERUM! the Blackguard again! your last paper has roused me, and while you are learnedly commenting on the Style of Writing, give me leave, Sir, to throw in a word or two on a [Page 188] matter of more immediate consequence to the comfort and happiness of life—the Style of Conver­sation. I don't mean the rounding of sentences, or saying pretty things prettily, or fine things finely, or backing your horses, like Mrs. Flourigig, in the midst of a speech, for the sake of turning the corner of a period; but the downright commu­nication of our thoughts to each other, the life and soul of all social intercourse, the first purpose of meeting and company, and the great distinction between our species and the rest of the animal creation.

‘"Speak, that I may know thee."’ said the wise man of old; but according to the prescribed use of speech in polite company, it is impossible for us to come at the least knowledge of each other; not on account of our using speech for the purpose of dissimulation, but because it is ungenteel forsooth, to discover, in company, that you have any knowledge at all; or for any one person to speak above five seconds at a time, or above five words in a breath.

Tediousness and Prosing in Conversation, is an abominable practice, I allow; but no man ever dealt half so disagreeably in that figure of rheto­rick, which, I think, Swift calls the Circumbendibus, [Page 189] as the fops and flirts of the present age now deal in the abrupt, snip-snap manner of abandoning a subject before three syllables have been said upon it; flying from one question to another, as if each had been started for the sake of quitting it immediately, or as if the very ghost of good sense was to be laid in all good company. Conversation was in­tended as a kind of traffick of mental commo­dities, but nobody now dare open their budget: and lest nature should set some tongues a going, the puppies of the world have, from time to time, contrived to put a kind of gag in our mouths, by inventing certain terms calculated to turn every man to ridicule, who will venture to deliver his sentiments, or disclose his mind for the information or entertainment of the company. If you at­tempt to tell a story, one puppy puts his hand to his cheek, and cries Patch! implying, it seems, that the tale is old, and smells of Joe Miller; and if you continue your narration a minute and half, another puppy turns to a monkey next him, and whispers ‘"what a bore! or boar!"’ for I don't know how they spell their nonsense; but (take it which way you will) it is intended to convey an idea of tediousness, and to compare the speaker to a hog or a gimlet: but sure, Sir, such wretches are [Page 190] themselves the greatest enemies to good company; mere dampers to the mind, wet blankets to the imagination, and extinguishers of good sense and good humour. Taciturnity is the great vice of Englishmen, and it would be more expedient to devise methods to prevail on them to throw off that reserve that freezes their conversation, than to study these poor meagre inventions to shut up every man's light, like a dark lanthorn, within his own bosom. A bold free spirit, it is true, will leap these fences; but it is hard, methinks, that a plain modest man should be stopt in the high road of conversation, and not suffered to go on without interruption.

I love humour and pleasantry, Sir, as well as the merriest man in the kingdom; but give me leave to inform these fine gentlemen, that it is a me­lancholy symptom, when they cannot bear the se­rious pursuit of any subject for two minutes to­gether. Humour itself, if good for any thing, is serious at the bottom; but what provokes me, is, that these cuckows are as grave as stoicks, and hold it a kind of treason to laugh; for the old folly is revived, which almost began to grow obsolete in our ancient comedies, of being gentleman-like and melancholy. Conversation being a kind of [Page 191] short extempore composition, all severe censure of what falls from us, prophaneness and indecency excepted, is ridiculous: not only sense, but for the sake of sense, even nonsense, should be to­lerated; for a man who is always afraid of uttering what may be interpreted to be nonsense, will not give his understanding fair play; and he will often let the immediate occasion, that would have given grace and force to his observations, pass by. He will seem, like an aukward militia-man, discharging his solitary blunderbuss, long after the rest of the corps; or at best, supposing his words to have real weight and sterling value, they will come upon us untowardly, like distant thunder, which does not reach our ears, till long after the flash has taught us to expect it.

By attending and observing Modern Conversation, one would be tempted to imagine that it was one of the first principles of politeness, to drive all sen­timent and science out of society. Every thing re­lative to a man's peculiar concerns, in which he might suppose his friends and acquaintance to take some little interest, is deemed impertinent; and every thing relative to knowledge is deemed pedantick. Formerly the honest bottle forced some rational and spirited sallies, even from the [Page 192] most riotous company; but the milksops of our age keep themselves sober, till the cards or dice re­lieve them from the cruel necessity of endeavouring to amuse each other by Conversation. In the mean time, to put a curb on the fancy, lest the little ge­nius they have should grow restive, and run away with them, they devise these miserable mecha­nical pieces of ridicule, as restraints on the freedom of society. I am rather an old fellow, perhaps somewhat peevish, and I confess it often puts me quite out of patience; when a man cries Patch! at one of my stories, I am almost provoked to give him a slap on the face; and when a puppy seems to measure my words with a stop watch, and at the end of a few seconds cries, Bore! I am almost ready to call him out for his rudeness and im­pertinence.

We have lost the noble art of antiquity of writing elegant compositions in the form of Dia­logue. No wonder: for what dialogue can ap­pear natural, when supposed to proceed from the mouths of men who will discourse on no subject, who preclude all pleasantries, as vulgar, and su­persede all knowledge as pedantick? As to sen­timent, it might find as much quarter in a modern comedy from a modern critick, as from our puny [Page 193] establishers of the laws of Conversation. The heart and the head are equally unconcerned, and to seem to know any thing, or to feel any thing, are alike breaches of politeness. But surely, Sir, all this is directly opposite to the warmth and plainness of our old national character: we were wont, like Shakespeare's Claudio, to speak home and to the purpose. If a man's mind is full of ideas, why not let them run over, and water the barren understandings, or refresh the fruitful wits, of the company? And indeed, a man himself scarce knows what stuff he has in his thoughts, till he has drawn them out into discourse, and often forms his own opinion according to the impressions that his words seem to make on his hearers. Answers too are produced, frequently given with more shrewdness on the spot, than on further con­sideration; and truth, as well as wit, is struck out by collision. I don't mean to consider every company as a tinder-box, and to set argument and repartee, like flint and steel, perpetually striking against each other; yet if a spark is now and then lighted up, why should the officious hand of dulness be autho­rized, by supposed politeness, to extinguish it? Conversation is mentioned by Lord Bacon, (as wise a man, Sir, as the wisest of our macaronies,) [Page 194] among the chief benefits of friendship, ‘"making day-light in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts;"’ and as you adorned your last paper by an extract from a learned Modern, give me leave to wind up the bottom of my loose thoughts on Conversation, with a passage transcribed from that great Chancellor and Philosopher.

Whoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wit and understanding do clarifie and break up in the communicating and discoursing with another; he tosseth his thoughts more easily, he marshalleth them more orderly, he seeth how they look when they are turned into words: finally, he waxeth wiser than himself, and that more by an hour's discourse, than by a day's meditation. It was well said by Themistocles to the King of Persia, That speech was like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad; whereby the imagery doth appear in figure, whereas in thought they lie but as in packs. Neither is the fruit of friendship, of opening the understanding, restrained only to such friends as are able to give a man counsel; (they indeed are best) but even without that a man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, a man were better relate [Page 195] himself to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.

‘"Conference, says Lord Coke also, is the life of study: Conference, says Lord Bacon again, makes a ready man, and if he confer little, he had need have a present wit."—’In short, Sir, Con­versation is the great source of pleasure and infor­mation in society, and whoever contributes to dam it up, should be strenuously opposed by the rest of mankind. But to suffer a bye word, a low cant term, to deprive us of the means of entertainment and intelligence, is the meanest pusillanimity, and sacrificing good sense at the shrine of folly and nonsense.

I must beg leave, therefore, by an index expur­gatorius, to banish Patch and Bore from the modern vocabulary; not merely on account of the barbarity of the terms, but for the evil tendency of the ridiculous something, or less than nothing, im­plied by them; for they are not only framed by blockheads destitute of meaning in themselves, but calculated to kill the seeds of good sense and hu­manity in other people. I am,

Your's as before, A BLACKGUARD.


Proximus huic, longo sed proximus intervallo.
The next 'tis true; and yet 'tis clear,
Altho' the next, it is not near.

THOUGH I did not on the commencement of this undertaking engage to appear before the Publick at any certain stated periods, yet it might not unreasonably be presumed by the occa­sional reader, that I should at least adhere in some degree to the usual practice of an Occasional Writer. In the small circle of those, who did me the honour to peruse the foregoing numbers, my long silence has, I find, given rise to various conjectures. Some [Page 197] have not scrupled to pronounce me really & bonâ fide deceased; while others have contented them­selves with lamenting my metaphorical departure from the literary world, saying, that my small kilderkin of wit was entirely exhausted. Others again have asserted, that during the summer months, I was, like my betters, retired into the country. Many concurring in this opinion, have however attributed my silence to some accident attending my retirement or peregrinations. Some have repre­sented me on horseback, like the Taylor riding to Brentford, and have cruelly dislocated my collar­bone by a fall; some have shot me with a spring­gun, or stuck me in a man-trap, like Gulliver in a marrowbone; some have cast me away on an inland-navigation; and some have buried me alive in a cavern of the Peak.

I have now the pleasure to inform my friends that I am alive, and hope they will find me alive and merry. The truth is, I have been in the country; and though I cannot, like the inimitable Spectator, indulge myself in a series of rural lucubrations; though I cannot extract entertainment from the history of an henroost, or pen an agreeable disser­tation upon haycocks; yet before I meet the Par­liament in London, and set up my rest in town for [Page 198] the winter, I will give a short account of my first visit during the summer recess. This publication however is not without the privity and good liking of mine host. Let me not be blamed therefore for a breach of the laws of hospitality!

My old schoolfellow and college acquaintance, Sir Jocelyn Hearty, having long importuned me to pass two or three weeks with him in the country, about the beginning of August I set out for his seat, and towards the conclusion of the second day, found myself nearly at the end of my journey. Within two or three miles of the mansion-house, I encountered several horse-men whose seat appeared uncommonly loose and unsteady; some in small parties, hanging over their horses, and seeming in earnest conversation with each other; some galloping furiously after, dropping whips, and hats, and wigs, by the way, and shouting as they past, to denote their good fellowship, and hail their acquaintance. Upon turning into the grounds, which lead directly to the house, my ears were sa­luted with a loud vocal chorus, which however quickly subsided, but was almost as quickly re­newed, and thus rose and fell by turns, till I was arrived at the gate. Entering the hall, I found it strewed with honest rusticks, fast asleep, in their [Page 199] boots and great coats. A saloon on each side of the hall was filled with benches and long ta­bles, at which a jovial company still kept their places, drinking, toasting, and singing.

My friend, it seems, was already retired. An old servant, however, took me under his protection, and provided me with every necessary accommo­dation till the next morning. About noon I was introduced to Sir Jocelyn, whom I found in his dressing-room, with a bowl before him, containing a composition of milk, nutmeg, and brandy, which he called a Doctor. This Doctor is, it seems, always called in on the morrow of these joyous fes­tivities, and though not regular, may boast as numerous a set of patients, and a practice as ex­tensive, as any of the Faculty. After a hearty shake by the hand, and a few other civilities, the Baronet informed me, that he and his friends of yesterday had been getting drunk according to act of parliament. Having formerly been a student of the law, I expressed some surprise at not being able to recollect so particular a chapter in the statute book. ‘"It is one of the best of them all, for all that, said Sir Jocelyn: and yet it is but a new law neither, and I had the honour to assist at the passing it. The Grenville Bill, my friend! [Page 200] Since that Bill past into a law, we dare not give a gill of wine, or a tiff of punch, before the election; but it is fit we should entertain our friends handsomely some time after it is over, that the freeholders may see we do not forget them, and remember us hereafter accordingly."’ I could not help smiling at so ingenious an exposi­tion of the statute, telling my friend that the soundness of his law put me in mind of Foigard's logick, ‘"if you receive it before-hand it is a bribe; but if you take it afterwards, is is only a grati­fication."’

A few days after, Sir Jocelyn told me, if it was a matter of indifference to me which way I might ride that morning, he should be very glad of my company to a village at about eight miles distance. ‘"But I must quit you at the town's end, says he, for I am engaged to dinner, and on particular business. We have a Meeting of the Justices."’ The chief business of this meeting, it seems, was to sign Licences for the Publick Houses for the year ensuing. This business was fortunately dis­patched before dinner; fortunately, I say, be­cause their Worships shewed themselves so sincerely well inclined to promote the interest of those, whose callings they met to authorise, that it [Page 201] would not have been prudent to postpone an opera­tion for which their very zeal might disqualify them. In short, after a joyous day, Sir Jocelyn rode home rather quicker than he went, and we saw no more of him till the next morning.

In about a week more however he was again called forth to a Turnpike Meeting. Sir Jocelyn, ever ready to accommodate his friends, and serve the Publick, duly attended; but the road under consideration proved so execrable, and so many difficulties occurred concerning the proposals for repairing it, that the Committee sat till midnight, and did not rise till they had debated the matter, like the antient Germans, both drunk and sober.

The Races and the Assizes, being each a kind of assembly of the whole county, it was impossible for the Baronet and his family to be absent from either. On two different days of the Races were entered two horses belonging to Sir Jocelyn. Both started, but their fortune was as various as their colours. The first day, his bald-faced grey horse, North, won the odds against the field, carried off the King's Plate, and was victorious; but on the second day his brown horse, Orator, took rust, ran out of the course, and was distanced. Sir Jocelyn and his friends, after the example of the Ancients, celebrated [Page 202] one of these events, and lamented the other, exactly in the same manner. The flowing bowls were crowned again and again in honour of the winner, and the cup of affliction ran over in sorrow for the loser.

At the Assizes, Sir Jocelyn was Foreman of the Grand Jury. So many bills were presented, that the several members of the Inquest, exhausted by their uncommon fatigue, required a more than or­dinary recruit. It is no wonder therefore that, having duly dispatched in sober sadness the business of the nation, the honest country gentlemen relaxed their gravity, and converting their solemn assembly to a merry meeting, protracted their sitting after supper till daylight.

An old boon companion of my acquaintance used to say, that getting tipsy was one of the pleasantest things in the world, but that nothing was so irksome and painful than its necessary consequence, getting sober again. This was exactly the case with Sir Jocelyn. The text of every evening was mirth and jollity, but the comment of the mor­row-morning was sorrow and sickness. The hunting season commenced some little time before I departed. Every hare or fox that had been killed in the morning, was revived at night, and again [Page 203] run down in full cry. The exercise of the chase was less laborious than the festivity of the evening. Politicks took their turn also. America was floated with lakes of claret, and the blockade of Boston caused many an head-ach. On one of these oc­casions, seeing my worthy friend in much pain, I could not refrain from a short and affectionate ex­postulation, regretting that an excellent under­standing should be drowned in liquor, and the best of men rendered a martyr to his own hospi­tality and benevolence. ‘"Ah, my dear friend, said Sir Jocelyn, with his hand pressed upon his temples, you Town Gentlemen imagine that we lead very quiet, idle, lives in the Country: but take my word for it, that it requires a very good estate, and a very good constitution, to support, as one ought to do, the character of a Country Gentleman."’


Respicere exemplar vitae morumque jubebo
Doctum imitatorem, et veras hinc ducere voces.
On Nature's pattern too I'll bid him look,
And copy Manners from her living book.
Colman's Art of Poetry.



SINCE you have announced your arrival in town, I hope you intend to demonstrate by some future papers, that you are a frequenter of the Theatre. I love the Playhouse, and am one of those plain folks that dine early enough to attend the rising of the curtain. I do not sit down to table at six, prolong the last course till eight or nine, and then perhaps crack my head with cracking a bottle, or rattling a dice-box, till eight or nine the next morning. I hope therefore, since with the [Page 205] bulk of my countrymen, I take an interest in these entertainments, that you will, like your predecessor-essayists, gratify us with some sound criticisms on the Drama: sound criticisms, I say; no flimsy pa­negyrick, or gross abuse, praising or reviling one writer or performer for the purpose of raising or debasing another; but tracing and enforcing the real principles of the Drama; and if examples, for the sake of illustration, must now and then be given, give them from the Classick Dead! for praise or censure of the Living is commonly nauseous, com­monly suspicious. The Dead too (no offence to the present generation!) are our more intimate ac­quaintance.

I do not mean however to depreciate the talents of the Living. No Sir, you will find that the main scope of this letter is to encourage cotemporary merit, and to repress the petulance, and expose the futility, of common-place criticism. Writers, who endeavour to effect their purpose by methods merely mechanical, are justly denied the Palm of Genius. Ought Criticks then to comment by line and rule, and to decide by a receipt? If Criticism be the handmaid of the Muse, she might surely catch something of her air and spirit, rather than rip up the cast cloaths of her mistress, at once to [Page 206] steal the pattern, and find fault with the fashion. In a word, her labours should be directed to pro­mote the arts, rather than to dishearten the pro­fessors; and though it must naturally fall out that more can see and read than those who write, and paint, &c. yet since they who hazard their obser­vations in publick, in some measure become artists themselves, they should take care to found those observations on the basis of candour, taste, and good sense. At present the press swarms with Criticks. A louse, say the naturalists, is a very lousy animal; and there is not a lousy author in town, especially a Dramatick Author, that has not fifty lousy Criticks on his back. These blood-suckers have no doubt their use, and may serve to correct the too sanguine imagination of an author: But I beg leave to mention a few instances, wherein I think they contribute to weaken and to impoverish genius.

The first canon of Modern Criticism (and indeed it has been a favourite topick ever since the Flood) is the degeneracy of the present age. This is the grand aera of Dulness: Genius, they cry, is extinct. Shakespeare, Jonson, and Fletcher; Wycherly, Congreve, and Vanbrugh, are no more!—True; and the present writers, such as they are, [Page 207] will hereafter at least have that claim to applause. They will be no more.—But a good Play, say the Criticks, is so scarce, so very scarce a commodity!—Granted. When was it otherwise? Allowing for a moment, that every old piece in Dodsley's Collection is excellent, how few are such pieces to those which were then written and exhibited, whose wit and spirit has not been sufficient to keep them sweet, and alive, for the delight and entertainment of the present generation! From the days of Aeschylus to yesterday, few writers have been equal to the hard task of a good Tragedy; to write a Comedy is a serious matter; and even an excellent Farce­monger (says Diderot) is no ordinary character. I have looked upon the Stage for a long, long series of time, and without flattery to the present race of Dramatists, I will venture to pronounce that the last five and twenty years, or thereabouts, have produced more plays likely to descend to posterity, than the five and twenty immediately preceding. I do not mean to pay my court to any particular author; I have thrown the compliment among them, and let each of them take as much of it as he may think falls to his share.

To point out antique merit to the Moderns, as an object of emulation, is wise and laudable; but [Page 208] to set it up, like the gallows, to terrify and gibbet poor culprits, that venture on the high road of letters, is impolitick and ungenerous. Compari­sons are commonly invidious, yet there are a kind of comparisons still more odious than those between the Antients and Moderns—I mean those drawn between Moderns and Moderns. Wits, as well as Beauties, are naturally fond of pulling caps, and mangling the reputations of each other. But shall the sober Critick, who ought to keep down their vanity, and quell their arrogance, shall He, as it were ex cathedrâ, give a sanction to their squabbles, or throw additional weight into that scale, which success and self-conceit have perhaps already made too heavy? Let every successful writer triumph in his turn, yet do not chain his fellow-authors to the wheels of his chariot; but rather let it be the office of a Critick, like the slave of the Antients, to bid him remember that he is mortal.

But the most offensive weapon of Modern Cri­ticism is some reigning word, with which every literary Rifleman arms himself, and does dreadful execution. The two leading monosyllables of the House of Commons are not more powerful than such a word, be it what it may, while it remains [Page 209] formidable by being in fashion. I am old enough to remember when the word Low was this Scare-crow. Genteel Comedy, and the politest Literature, were in universal request; and every writer who attempted to be comick, dreaded the imputation of buffoonery. If a piece had strong humour—Oh, Sir, it's damned low!—was its sentence of condemnation. At length, how­ever, the word Low has been restored to favour, and the term SENTIMENT in its turn has fallen into disgrace. ‘"To anatomise a character, and see what breeds about the heart,"’ had formerly its merit; but now this dissection of the human mind has lost its advocates and admirers: Senti­mental stuff is the phrase; and he who dares to approve a scene, where the course of the story ap­parently leads the author to exhibit Passion rather than Humour, is condemned for an old-fashioned dunce and a coxcomb. Gross drolleries, or dull moralities, (moralities let me call them!) are equally reprehensible: but Humour is not to be censured merely because it is low, nor sentiment to be banished when it seems to exhibit the workings of the heart. With the Ancient Criticks, the Manners and Sentiments, held an equal rank in the [Page 210] Drama: each alike excellent, while they were each alike characteristick.

After such a free censure of the modern coinage of cant terms in the Critical Vocabulary, if I might be allowed to give currency to a word, I would endeavour to renew one, that is as old as the creation—NATURE!—the sterling bullion of NATURE!—Let the Criticks cease to enquire whether the Humour be low, or the piece sentimental; let them examine whether it be natural! But let the admirer and imitator of Nature also be on his guard, not to fall into insipidity, or to indulge the minute touches of a Dutch pencil. Let your outline be bold, tho' simple; and fill it as richly, and colour it as highly, as you please; always taking care to avoid extravaganza, and ‘"to hold, as it were, the Mirror up to Nature!"’ This is no curb upon the imagination. Caliban is as na­tural as Hamlet.

Composition and Criticism are so nearly allied, that in making strictures upon one I have been be­trayed almost unawares into speaking of the other. Narrowness in each, mannerists in writing and mannerists in criticism, are equally my aversion. The wretched fellow, that could paint nothing but a rose, was not in my opinion more contemptible, [Page 211] than the cuckow who can repeat nothing but low or sentimental. The wide field of Nature gives scope for that variety, which ever distinguishes an aera of genius. Never was there a period, wherein excellent authors flourished, but their several manners were as different as their faces; nay, a good author possesses a versatility of talent, not only keeping him above the servile imitation of others, but enabling him in great measure to vary from himself. Yet there is another vice of Criticks, which I forgot to mention before. I mean their perpetually recurring to every writer's first pro­duction, and settling it as the standard of his genius, as if they dreaded his cultivating more than one spot of Parnassus. To compare a man with himself, disadvantageously too, is of all compa­risons the most mortifying: but mortification is no more the main business of the Critick, than torture should be the study of the Surgeon, tho' some pain will of necessity follow both their operations.

To conclude, Sir, while I recommend the Drama to your notice, I mean to warn you from falling into the vulgar errors of ordinary commentators. And I hope you will take warning. But if you go on, gingling the bells of Panegyrick, or wading through the mire of Abuse, in the beaten track of [Page 212] Modern Criticism, I wish that your remarks may perish, as speedily as the lie of the day, with which they appear; and that your Essays may be consigned to oblivion, with the News-papers in which they are printed.

In hopes of better things from your candour and discernment, I remain your old friend, and old correspondent,



☞ The following Letter, though written by another hand, and without the privity of TERRAE-FILIUS, is yet prefixt to his papers now repub­lished, as an Introduction, or short Preface, conveying a just idea of the Design of the Author, and the Nature of the Undertaking.



AS the TERRAE-FILIUS is to be reviv'd at the ENCAENIA now held at Oxford, the follow­ing explanation of that character may be agreeable to some of your readers.

TERRAE-FILIUS is a student who writes a satyr upon the members of the University during the Festival, and taxes them with any faux pas, or irre­gularities, they may have committed; a sort of a licensed Pasquin for the time. He takes his title from the old Roman phrase TERRAE-FILIUS, which among them signified an obscure or unknown per­son; it neither being proper nor adviseable that the author of the censures usually thrown out under this character should be publickly known. It is confidently reported, the celebrated Mr. C. C--ll is gone down to assist therein.

[Page 216]As the word ENCAENIA also may probably puzzle the unlettered part of your readers, it will not be amiss to inform them, that it signifies an ANNIVERSARY FEAST, held by the Primitive Christians in comme­moration of the day on which their Churches were founded, and since used to denote any Annual Festival. The money out of which the expences of the present ENCAENIA at Oxford are to be defrayed, was origi­nally left, if I mistake not, to New College, by their generous benefactor Lord Crew, and was for­merly laid out in what is called a GAUDY, from the Latin word Gaudeo, to rejoice, that is to say, spent in eating and drinking. But for these thirteen years past, the College, with a disinterestedness which does them the highest Honour, have bestowed the Legacy on the University, to be by them laid out in defraying the expences of an Annual Musical Entertainment, or such other Celebrity as shall be likely to render the University famous, and increase the number of its Patrons, by drawing a concourse of Gentry and Nobility there, who are always complimented on these occasions with Academical Honours suitable to their Rank. The Festivities of this year derive additional lustre from the Installation of their Chancellor, the Right Hon. the Earl of Litchfield.

Z. T.


Audire, atque Togam jubeo componere, quisquis
Ambitione malâ, aut argenti pallet amore;
Quisquis luxuriâ, trislive superstitione,
Aut alio mentis morbo calet: huc, propius me,
Dum doceo insanire omnes, v [...] ordine adite!
Hear all, I charge you, of this learned Town,
Hear, and with rev'rence fold your Classick Gown!
Whether a Priest of luscious disposition,
Or, Layman overrun by Superstition,
What'er disease inflames your minds, draw near,
With rev'rence fold your Classick Gowns, and hear!
Ambitious avaricious, gay, or sad,
All to a man, my text is, all stark mad!

TO all whom it may concern, I the great TERRAE-FILIUS, the redoubted Acade­mical Satyrist, the terror of old and young, male and female, graduates and undergraduates, gowns­men and townsmen, matriculated and unmatri­culated, send greeting. I am come, Ladies and [Page 218] Gentlemen, according to ancient custom, to be one of the principal Actors in the Celebrities of the present Term. You have heard, without doubt, of the noble exploits of my predecessors, those bold assertors of the Freedom of Speech, and the Li­berty of the Press. Though the degeneracy of the times, and the numberless innovations in the ancient customs and usages of the University will not permit me, after the manner of my ancestors, to enter the Theatre, and pour forth the torrent of my Family Eloquence from the Rostrum, yet I am resolved, not to be put to silence. My wisdom shall cry aloud in the streets, though no man re­gardeth it. I will erect my temporary Stage, like the itinerant practitioners in physick, in the high­way; I will make a speech without doors. If I am forbid to mount the regular Pulpit, I do not doubt of having as numerous followers as other Field-Preachers. I am determined, at all events, to maintain the Honour, and assert the Privileges of my family; and make no doubt of being able to prove myself a Chip of the Old Block.

The method I have taken of announcing my intentions, by Advertisements in the London Papers, and Oxford Journal has, I find, created the utmost consternation among all ranks and [Page 219] degrees of people in this famous Town and University. The Mayor and Corporation, I am informed were first seised with the pannick fit, and held a council extraordinary on this occasion; when it was taken into consideration, whether they should put me into the Stocks, send me to the House of Correction, or bind me over to appear at the next Quarter Sessions. At length how­ever it was held to be an University-Business, and to fall more properly under the cognisance of the House of Convocation. From the Body Corporate therefore my cause was removed, by a new kind of Certiorari, to the Body Academical. The Right Honourable the Chancellor, I am told, is alarmed, and thinks of issuing a formal prohibition. The Learned and Reverend the Vice-Chancellor, I hear, has declared that he will not grant his Imprimatur to my Works: and the wise heads in Golgotha have laid their Sculls together about me and my paper. That formidable lawyer, and learned gentleman, the VENERIAN Professor, it is confi­dently asserted, is consulting the Archives, to pre­pare a SOLEMN LECTURE on the two tremendous Statutes De Contumeliis Compescendis, and De Famosis Libellis. The Publick Orator, they say, is drawing up an Harangue in the style and spirit of Quousque [Page 220] tandem? and the Poetry Professor is writing a Poem against me. It is further added, that the name of TERRAE-FILIUS himself, as soon as it is certainly known, will be registered in the BLACK BOOK; and he himself, like most of his fore-fathers, will be publickly expelled:—That his poor printer will be trained after a Beadle, as big as Pope Beaver, into the Vice-Chancellor's Court, and in spite of the Statute De Privilegiis Urbis et Univer­sitatis simul non fruendis, have the honour of an Academical Mittimus to the Castle or Bocardo.

Some few, however, who fancy that they see deeper than the surface, and that they have more penetration than their neighbours, affect to know me and my intentions better. The dreadful sound of the name I have assumed, which has alarmed the vulgar, as that of Raw-head-and-bloody-bones serves as a bug-bear for children, these confident gen­tlemen affect to consider as a mere scare-crow set up to fright the few shallow daws and chattering pies of the University, while my words, however big and sonorous, are as innocent as the noise of a cherry-clapper. They affect to laugh at those who have conceived horrible ideas of me, and cry out, when they hear that TERRAE-FILIUS is coming, that there is a lion in the way. TERRAE-FILIUS, [Page 221] they pretend, is not that tremendous animal he was wont to be. Lion as he is, he has filed his teeth, and pared his claws, and though he may venture to lift up his voice, and make the wide forest tremble at his roar, yet like Shakespear's Lion, he will roar as gently as any nightingale.

Be this as it may, whether I shall prove myself a Literary Hornet, a downright Academical Wasp, or merely an innocent Humble-bee, with a small sting by way of defence, or melius non tangere, in my tail; whether my style will be more agreeable to the genius of our modern ENCAENIA, or the old Saturnalia; whether I shall pour forth from my small cruet of wit and humour the oil of Panegyrick, or the vinegar of Invective and Satire; in what­ever manner I may write or speak; still, Gentle­men, I must insist on it, that I have a natural, an uncontrovertible right to appear at these Solemnities, a right established by the ancient forms of the University, and recognised by the Statutes. The celebrities appendant and appurtenant to the Act-Term, every man must acknowledge, would be imperfect without the admission of such a character as that I have undertaken to sustain; a character as necessary to enliven the gravity of solemn convo­cations, formal processions, long harangues, dull [Page 222] disputations, and oratorios most musical, most me­lancholy, as the introduction of the Fool among the personages of the Old Comedy, or that merry gentleman Master Punch among the wooden Kings and Queens at a Puppet-Shew. It is the peculiar nature also of seasons of festivity, to strike out sallies of Wit, and indulge strokes of Satire, which give no more annoyance to the ge­neral merriment, than illuminations and fireworks on a night of rejoicing, though perhaps some queer old gentleman may be alarmed at the crackers bouncing about his ears, the serpents hissing at his tail, or a squib whizzing in his periwig.

In an age less productive of innovations than the present, I should indeed be surprized that when the Celebration of the Peace has cccasioned a kind of Publick Act, no person, properly qualified should be called upon by the Heads of the University to officiate in the capacity of TERRAE-FILIUS in the Theatre; or at least if so essential a Personage as TERRAE-FILIUS should be by our Academical Licensers and Chamberlains silenced and forbid to appear on the scene, I am still more surprized that the character of Publick Orator also should not be wiped out of the Dramatis Personae. His rattling Eloquence and my Sprightliness, (or, if you please [Page 223] to call it so, Impertinence) should accompany one another as naturally as thunder and lightning. To have all praise and no satire, all sweet and no sour, is to make your punch without lemon. The province of Publick Orator, we know by experience, is wholly Panegyrick; that is (the case of the present company always excepted) to say every thing of a man but the truth; whereas the very nature and spirit of my office demands, that al­though the truth should not be told at all times, yet at this particular season, I may tell the truth, the whole truth, and sometimes perhaps, a little more than the truth; and though truth in general is well known to be at the bottom of the well, yet on these occasions, it may be pumped up, be the springs ever so foul and muddy, till it runs clear, and dealt out among you by pails and buckets full.

The Reverend Dr. BROWN, a worthy member and Illustrious ornament of a Sister University, in a dissertation lately published, wherein he has drawn all the rudiments of politeness from savages, and shewn us that the Tree of Knowledge ori­ginally took root in the soil of ignorance; the learned Doctor, I say, Gentlemen, has proved almost to a logical, if not a mathematical demon­stration, that Satire and Comedy, as well as Ode and Tragedy, owe their birth to the solemnization [Page 224] of that elegant Indian celebrity, the savage Song-Feast, where every man had a licence to make free with another, and to throw out jests and gibes upon his neighbour. Since therefore the Publick Orator ad­heres to his imitation of the great Prototypes of sublime Panegyrick, shall not TERRAE-FILIUS be permitted to follow up the Originals of familiar Sarcasm? Shall we, Ladies and Gentlemen, be less liberal and open-hearted in our mirth than the Cherokees and the Catabaws? Shall we be ex­ceeded in politeness by the Six Nations? And shall the savages on the Ohio and Missisippi indulge themselves in more truly-classical festivities, or ele­gant railleries, than the polite scholars on the banks of the Isis?

If we descend to later times, or examine the custom of more polished ages, we shall find that at all seasons of festivity and rejoicing, peculiar freedoms are allowed; nay that even some mixture of terror is often introduced, in order, as may be supposed, to give a higher relish to the other portions of the Celebrity. The Spanish bull-feasts, and old English tilts and tournaments are of this nature; or to confine my illustrations entirely within the limits of our own times and nation, and to shew we love a little horse-radish with our roast-beef, what do you think, Gentlemen and Ladies, [Page 225] of the Champion at a Coronation? Is not a doughty knight, armed cap-a-pee, prancing in upon a milk white palfrey, by found of trumpet and beat of drum, and throwing his gauntlet in defiance, a most tremendous apparition? He makes his entrance too during the peaceful ceremonial of Dinner-time, yet I never heard that he frightened away the stomach of the most delicate Lord or Lady, or infused terror into any of the worshipful Aldermen.—Do not let TERRAE-FILIUS disturb your Gaudies, Gentlemen!

Suffer me, then, Ladies and Gentlemen, in like manner, at this season of general festivity, armed at all points, with all the accoutrements of the Old TERRAE-FILIUS, and mounted on a high-bred Pegasus, to make my usual cavalcade among you. You, who have shewn yourselves willing to afford general encouragement, who have committed your eyes to the care of Chevalier TAYLOR, and your tongues to Professor SHERIDAN; you, who have given a hospitable reception to Drybutter on the Glasses, and Maddox on the Wire; you, who have welcomed the arrival of the Fire-Eater, and the Giant, and the Dwarf, and the Hermaphrodite; you, who have with infinite propriety circulated papers, proposing to honour that accomplished [Page 226] Master of Legerdemain, Highman Palatine, the HIGH-GERMAN ARTIST, with the degree of MASTER of ARTS; receive your old acquaintance TERRAE-FILIUS! invest him with all the dignities, privileges, and immunities of his Office; let the javelin-men in rusty green, and the two cracked trumpets precede him, as they do the Judges of Assize, and let none but acknowledged felons and fore-doomed convicts be afraid of the consequences of our opening our Commission of Oyer and Ter­miner.

Let such delinquents however, and such it seems there are, let such I say, tremble! My arm is raised, the scourge is in my hand, and conscience (which, according to Swift, is a pair of breeches) lays them bare before me. Let all, to whom the lines which stand at the head of this paper, are any way applicable, prepare to be arraigned for their crimes and misdemeanors, and receive sentence foro conscientiae accordingly. I will not now transcribe a translation of my Motto from Francis or Creech, or after the new-fangled fashion of modern wits, give a new one of my own, adapted to modern manners;* but I rather chuse to enforce and illustrate [Page 227] the alarming words of the Roman Satirist, by the following still more tremendous Quotation from Shakespeare.

—Tremble, thou Wretch,
That hast within thee undivulged Crimes,
Unwhipt of Justice! Hide thee, thou bloody Hand;
Thou Perjure, and thou Simular of Virtue,
That art incestuous: Caitiff, shake to Pieces,
That under Covert and convenient seeming,
Hast practis'd on Man's Life! Close pent-up Guilts,
Rive your concealing Continents, and ask
This dreadful Summoner Grace!

The regular dispatch of business, and the solemn administration of justice must however, be deferred till to-morrow. To-day the edge of our Satire, like the ax before the condemnation of a State-Prisoner, shall be turned away from the criminal. In the mean while, for the next twenty-four hours, let the University be at rest! let the tea-giving Belles of this town, who have danglers in square caps and hanging sleeves, who boast the triumphs of a letter'd heart, not put the pit-a-pat-ation of their dear little bosoms into a flutter! Let the rosy Doctors and my good Masters in every Common-Room sleep in peace, till their next neighbour informs them that the bottle is at their elbow! Let them smoke their pipes in security! Let [Page 228] not pale faces turn red, nor red faces turn pale! To-day (such is my respect for the Anniversary of the Commemoration) I will not disturb even the tranquillity of a Pot-house! Let the young Smarts, and Bucks, and Bloods of the University lay aside their apprehensions for to-day! I will not discompose their dress by remarking on an unstatutable Waistcoat or the want of a Band, or attempt to put their Hair out of Kidney. I will not, like an unmannerly Dean or Censor of a College, break in upon them to interrupt the evening's amusement of Cards or Dice, the brisk circulation of Toasts, or the merry merry round of Catches at their rooms; nor attempt to take them, like the Proctor, over a late bottle at the Coffee-house. I will not, like another GREAT TOM, toll them into College with a hundred sober hum-drum Mementoes, that it is past nine o'Clock; nor will I lay open the mysteries of their Scenes of Merriment in London, Woodstock, and Lady-grove: and if I fine them for their irregula­rities, it shall be in a much more moderate sum than Forty Shillings, or any other Sconce imposed by the Proctors. The Price of my Papers, Gen­tlemen, is no more than Sixpence apiece.


IN THE PRESS, And speedily will be published, in Two Volumes Octavo, THE COLLEGE ATALANTIS; OR, SECRET HISTORY of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Heads of Houses, Proctors, Pro-Proctors, Professors, Doctors, Fellows, Students, Scholars, Servitors, Scouts, Bedmakers, &c. &c. &c. of this University:

With explanatory Notes, and a copious Index of Names and Characters.


Siquis erat dignus describi, quód malus, aut fur,
Quòd moechus foret, aut sicarius, aut alioqui
Famosus, multâ cum libertate notabant,

Price HALF-A-GUINEA only.

Printed for James Parker, Sackville Fletcher, Da­niel Clements, R. Prince, and to be had of all the Booksellers in the several Universities of Oxford, Cam­bridge, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

PROPOSALS for Printing by SUBSCRIPTION, In ROYAL QUARTO, THE Proceedings of the House of CONVOCATION, with all the Original Papers respecting the Case of TERRAE-FILIUS, Master of Arts, and Fellow of — College, in Oxford, with Academical Remarks.


Price only One Guinea; the Whole to be paid at the Time of subscribing.

No more Copies will be printed than are subscrbed for, and the Names of the Subscribers will NOT be printed.


Quis novus hic nostris successit sedibus hospes?
Who is he? what's his name? a stranger guest!
Comes he in serious earnest, or in jest!

OF all the Literary Commodities, which are at present brought to market, there is not one which produces half so large a demand, or such a quick sale as SCANDAL. Formerly the sweet flowers of Poetry, like Myrtle or Orange Trees in Pots, were the chief ornaments of a Bookseller's Window, and sold as well as Roses and Hyacinths at Covent-Garden; but now every bud and blossom of Helicon, every fruit and flower of Poetry, every shrub of Parnassus is an unprofitable weed, unless [Page 231] it be as bitter as Wormwood, or Coloquintida. Heavy Treatises, Moral Discourses, and dull Dissertations, were once as greatly in request as beef at Leaden-hall; and Religion and Philosophy were as fixt staple commodities as corn at Bear-Key. Law, in white Calf-skin, while there were any Students in the profession, sold at as high rates in the purlieus of the Temple or Lincoln's Inn, as the Calf itself in Smithfield; and till the poring over musty Parchments was exploded in the Inns of Court, the Sheep-skin was almost as valuable as the Sheep. It was easy also for the Manufacturers of Systems and Paradoxes to drive a kind of con­traband trade in Deism, Infidelity, and such other Hardware; and little Dablers in Ink often made successful cruises in smuggling Prophaneness and Bawdry. In a word, every common Pedlar in a Magazine was thought to have some curious Trinket in his Pack; and the lowest Hawker was sure to make a dinner on a Bloody Murder, or the King's Speech.

These times, wherein the great Mart of Letters was in such a flourishing situation, were indeed glorious! but now, to the unspeakable detriment of Trading Authors of almost every denomination, Literary Property is reduced to a very narrow [Page 232] compass; and the richest Copyholders not only groan under the load of heavy Fines and new Impo­sitions, but see their most valuable Possessions perishing under their hands, or in spite of every fence of Law and Equity, invaded by bold tres­passers from Scotland. For many parcels and whole bales of goods they have now no vent. No performance can promise itself a great run that is not highly seasoned with Abuse; and the nearer a Writer approaches to unquestionable Libel, and the most open Scandalum Magnatûm, the more his Work will be read. If a smart piece of Satire is thought to have occasioned a duel, though it is doubtful whether the pistols of the combatants ever were more than upon half-cock, the paper will run off like wild-fire. An information in the King's-Bench, or a visit from a King's Messenger will carry off a dozen impressions; and if the Author stands in the Pillory, or is committed to Newgate, or sent to the Tower, the fortune of the Bookseller is made for ever.

It is plain therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, from these and many other considerations, which I have duly weighed and deliberated, that SCANDAL is the most profitable commodity which a Writer can deal in, being that to which Readers give [Page 233] the most encouragement. Scandal-mongers, like Fish-mongers, may put what price they please on their goods, and be sure to have them all bought off their hands, provided they will take care to supply their customers fresh and fresh. This therefore is to give Notice, that I, TERRAE-FILIUS, at the University-Scandal-Office in Oxford, have determined to open a shop in the High-Street, during the ENCAENIA; and though all will be accounted fish that comes to my net, yet to avoid creating a glut, which might make my stock too cheap, I shall, like the rest of my honest fraternity, throw away the small Fry, and offer you nothing but the very Prime of the Market; and I can assure you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that I have se­veral odd Fish, and such as were never exhibited to sale before, which are just brought to town BY LAND CARRIAGE.

I have already received, in consequence of my late request by publick advertisement, several very curious and entertaining anecdotes concerning some of the most eminent Personages attending the present Celebrity, aliens and visiters, as well as inhabitants and members of Colleges, with many of which, the names of the parties printed at full length, I propose to oblige my Readers; [Page 234] reserving the rest to enrich the two Volumes of my College Atalantis, Subscriptions to which pour in a-pace, abundantly more than sufficient to defray the expence of any Prosecutions which my Papers may incur, or to carry on such actions as I may think necessary to maintain, in vindication of the Freedom of the Subject, and the Liberty of the Press.

But while I am thus employed in collecting materials for Secret History, and pushing as far as possible my researches into the characters of others, you, I find, Ladies and Gentlemen, are equally assiduous in your enquiries after Me. It is a well known remark of Addison, that Readers never entertain a true relish for a Performance, till they know something of the Author; as whether he is a fair man, or a black man; a short, man, or a tall man; a nobleman, or a gentleman, or a tradesman, or a highwayman; a divine, a lawyer, or a physician; high or low; rich or poor: sorry am I to be obliged to call in question the observation of so fine a writer, but I must beg leave to insist on it, that till the Book is, by some means or other,—by its Whimsicalness, its Scurrility, or no matter what—become the object of general notice, nobody cares a farthing [Page 235] about the Writer. Then, indeed, when the alarm is given, when Merit has made its way, or when Fashion or Caprice have given the nod of approbation, then the Hue and Cry goes abroad after the Author.—Who is he? which is he? where is he? what says he?—This is, and I'll be judged by Mr. Shandy,—this is, as the Laureat terms it, the Honeymoon of Wit.—Now Lords ask him to dinner; Ladies take him to Ranelagh; and Ma­nagers give him the Freedom of the Theatre. His Name is in every News-paper, and his Face in every Print-shop. If the real Author is not known, a substitute, as in the case of Militia-Men, is appointed to serve in his stead, which the world runs after with as much eagerness, as Turnus pursues the airy image of Aeneas, or ra­ther as the Booksellers pursue the phantom of an Author in the Dunciad.

I had once some thoughts, in order to gratify the reigning passion for Caricature, of having my head cut in wood, and placed at the front of these papers. At another time I had half formed a re­solution of having my face painted by Haggarty, and hung up as a sign, at the door of my Printer. But finding that masked Balls are coming into fashion, I at last determined to mix among the [Page 236] croud in disguise, with the liberty of other Masqueraders, of attacking every person in com­pany, in a seigned voice, with the, witty Interro­gation of Do you know me?

Curiosity, however, is not to be repreft, and there are many that will flatter themselves they see through the disguise. They know your walk, your voice, your air, or some little peculiarity in your manner, or deportment. I have had the honour of being mistaken for several celebrated persons already, and every man is convinced that I am one of his old acquaintance. Some take me for that merry fellow, the facetious Author of The Companion to the Guide, and the Guide to the Companion; that lively spark who shewed early dawnings of a Poetical Genius, and soon proved himself a fine chopping boy, that would do honour to his ALMA MATER, when he sung the Triumphs of Isis: who not only brings up the rear of Epicaedia and Gratulationes with uncommon spirit, but can also descend from the sublimer exercises of his Muse, to celebrate the Maker of Mutton-Pies, or compose Odes on Grizzle-Wigs: who, though now a grave Tutor, cannot surely, nay should not, wholly forget his days of pupilage; and though now

[Page 237]
—the Days are come
When calm he smokes in Common-Room,
And dines, with Breast untroubled, under
The Picture of the pious Founder*,

yet he must remember the days when his ALE first became a rival to Phillips's CYDER; the days when he frequented Christ-Church, and spent his evening at Captain Jolly's.

Some there are, who suppose me to be no other than that grave Antiquarian, that SOUL of AIL SOULS, who obliged the world some years ago with a dissertation on the MALLARD; who has since appeared in the shape of a Decypherer, and wrote an Explanation of the. OXFORD ALMANACK; and about the same time, like an expert Gamester, played my cards most notably at a certain Game of ALL FOURS.

Others take me for that Rattle the STUDENT; and others for that Dapperwit the GENIUS; and some for both these together who have come down expresly from London, like the chairmen with their sedans; or like a pair of oars on the Thames in Whitson-Holydays, have agreed to ply together, during the present Celebrity on the Isis. Should it be the first of these wags, it is [Page 238] pretended that the company may expect a Sign Post Exhibition, or that the solemn Oratorios under the direction of Dr. Hayes, the Professor of Musick will be turned into ridicule by a grand Burlesque Ode, and a masked Band from Ranelagh: and in case it should be the other Little Wit, it is supposed that, besides threatning the University with a TERRAE-FILIUS, he means once more to convert the Tennis-Court into a Playhouse, and, in defiance of the Statute De ludis prohi­bitis, to bring down a company of Comedians (fu­nambulos et histriones) to present us with new JEALOUS WIVES, and new POLLY HONEYCOMBES, of his own composition.

Some few, who indulge this last way of thinking, are half inclined to suppose that TERRAE FILIUS is the Haymarket MOMUS, who formerly gave Tea, and took off his Tutor and the rest of the Fellows at Worcester-College; in which honourable So­ciety he is acknowledged to be a Founder's Kin, of which circumstance perhaps he may one day or other claim the benefit, notwithstanding the objections raised in Dr. Blackstone's learned Treatise on Collateral Consanguinity.

Others again, the ministerial and anti-minis­terial Characters in the University, whose ideas [Page 239] of Wit and Humour are almost entirely absorbed in Port and Politicks, will have it that I am one or other of the supposed Authors of the North-Briton; since it is generally reported that the Reverend Gentleman, having snapped the last cord of poor Hogarth's heart-strings, will come down in his laced hat, like General Churchill, Or Tiddy-Doll, and being a member of the Uni­versity of Cambridge, it is taken for granted that the Convocation will take this publick oppor­tunity of admitting him ad eundem. At the same time too the News-papers having already in­formed us that the Member of Parliament for Aylesbury will be here in his way to Stowe, the Squire is hourly expected with a grand retinue of Compositors, Pressmen, Devils, and his own extempore travelling Press from Great George Street, Westminster.

Such, it seems, and so various, are the sen­timents of different little cabals in this Town and University, concerning the real Person of TERRAE-FILIUS. Whether he be either, or nei­ther, or one, or all of the characters above­mentioned, time alone must discover. He is de­termined, like the Actors among the Antients, to play out his little Comedy in a Mask, and [Page 240] all the notification which he thinks proper to give of himself in his present Bills, is, that at the particular desire of several Persons of Quality, the part of TERRAE-FILIUS is attempted by a GENTLEMAN FOR HIS OWN DIVERSION, being the first time of his appearing in that character.


TERRAE-FILIUS, willing, as much as in him lies, to promote a general obedience to the Pro­gramma issued from the Court of Delegates, ordering That, During the time of this Solemnity, all Persons COMPORT THEMSELVES with such Sobriety and Modesty as may tend to the Reputation and Ho­nour of the University, begs leave to recommend the following faithful Extract from the Statute of Quales Tutores, &c. to the very serious Consi­deration of the grave and learned Tutors in this University.

Tutoris etiam muneri incumbit, quoad ea quae ipsius oculis quotodie sese ingerere necesse est (qualia sunt Vestes, Ocreae, CAPILLITIUM, &c.) pupillos suos intra modum a Statutis praescriptum continere; quem si excesserint Pupilli, Tutor pro primâ, secundâ et tertiâ vice quâ deliquisse Pupillus deprehensus fuerit, sex solidis & octo denariis mulctabitur: [Page 241] quartâ, verò vice Tutoris munere ipse interdicet Vice-Cancellarius.

For the benefit of our Female Readers, and such Gentlemen as have not got, or have forgot their Latin, is subjoined the following Translation.

It belongs also to the office of Tutor, in regard to those things which must necessarily pass daily under his very nose (as Cloaths, Boots, HAIR, PERIWIG, &c.) to keep his Students drest in the Fashion prescribed by the Statutes; which if the Pupils exceed, the TUTOR for the first, second, and third time in which the Pupil shall be found guilty, shall be SCONCED six Shillings and Eight-pence; but the fourth time the Vice-Chancellor shall put him out of the office of Tutor.


Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut—
What is't, by coming here, they mean?
They come to see, and to be seen.

THE reigning passion of this nation, for some few years past, seems to have been the love of Shews, and Spectacles, and Festivals, and Solemnities. During the war, the people betrayed several symp­toms of this rage after fine sights, and many thou­sands followed the Camp, as young ensigns often take to the army, for the sake of its splendor and gaiety. One week all the vehicles in England and from the coach and six, or landau with two postilions, down to the one horse chaise, and sober [Page 243] sulky, were whirling passengers along the road from all quarters towards Portsmouth, to see the Fleet assembled at Spithead; and the next, the same people were transported with the same rapi­dity, by the same passion for a sight and a croud, to behold the evolutions and manoeuvres of the re­giments of Militia embodied and encamped at Winchester. At the Coronation the tide of company from every county in the kingdom flowed, like rivers discharging themselves into the sea, into the metropolis. Last summer one would have imagined that all the famous witches of Lancashire had been at work to draw the whole city of London from its foundations, which seemed, like Birnam wood going to Dunsinane, to be all moving together to Preston Guild. This summer, now that Oxford is become the scene wherein the Grand Shew is exhibited, and the doors of the Sheldonian Theatre are thrown open for almost a whole week, it is no wonder that London once more empties itself into this magnificent reservoir, and that all ranks and degrees of people are assembled to see the doctors in scarlet, and to attend the Lectures of TERRAE-FILIUS.

There is not a man on earth, Ladies and Gen­tlemen, who is a truer lover of mirth and jollity [Page 244] than myself; and I take a most particular delight in the present ENCAENIA. It gives me an un­speakable pleasure to see the new Dunstable-bonnets mixt with square caps, and a gown and petticoat by the side of a gown and cassock. I could stand whole hours to see the white fustian riding-habits and blue sattin-waistcoats make their entry at East-Gate; and am transported to see the boot and the basket of all the stage-coaches filled with rosin and cat-gut, and fiddles, and hautboys, and cla­rionets, and french-horns, and bass-viols, while the inside and outside of every machine is crouded with the performers, English and Italian, vocal and instrumental. Festivals and Solemnities have, I grant, their uses and advantages; and far be it from me to attempt to erase any of the red-letter days from the OXFORD Almanack! It must however, at the same time be confessed, that scenes of grandeur, and seasons of celebrity, which serve merely for relaxation to the studious, and fill the intelligent mind with great ideas, often prove only new occasions of idleness to the holy-day-making tradesmen, and open nothing but the mouth of the ignorant, who stand agape, gazing with a foolish face of pleasure and astonishment. I am not one who lament as a disappointment our not having [Page 245] fireworks on occasion of the present Peace; and think that the 40,000 people, assembled last week in Hyde-park, had sufficient consolation in the review. I am glad indeed to see our CHANCELLOR pre­siding in person, for the first time, at a publick Solemnity among us, yet do I not wish for the in­stallation of another to produce more spectacles, though as magnificent as what we saw at the installation of Lord WESTMORLAND: and for the above reasons, as well as for some others which I do not think it prudent or advisable to mention at present, I hope it will be long, very long, before there is another Coronation!

Going along the High-street last Tuesday morning I was observing, not without a smile, one of those modern tottering crazy vehicles, half-post-chaise, half-chariot, neither one nor the other, and yet something of both, driving towards the Angel Inn-yard; but turning my eyes from the carriage to the persons it contained, whom should I see, but my good friend Mr. FOLIO the book­seller, near St. Paul's, and his wife, Mrs. FOLIO; who at that very instant happening to dart the rays of her bright eyes in right angles upon me, she pulled my Friend FOLIO by the sleeve, who seemed half a-sleep by her side. FOLIO no sooner [Page 246] saw me, than he ran his head and neck a yard and a half out of the chariot window, and bawled out lustily Mr. — but hold, I must not tell my name. I followed the chariot into the Inn-yard, and had the honour of handing out Mrs. FOLIO.

The first ceremonies occasioned by this our un­expected interview being over, and being quietly seated in the parlour, Mr. FOLIO informed me, that having a new edition of a Jest-Book printing at a private press in Oxford, he took this oppor­tunity of visiting the University, and giving Mrs. FOLIO an agreeable airing; after which he enquired very cordially after Mr. Fletcher of the Turle, Mr. Daniel Prince, and the rest of his brother Booksellers in Oxford. I find too, continued he, you have a TERRAE-FILIUS,—a new paper I sup­pose,—pray who is the Author? Does it make a noise? Does it sell? How many do they print? Would you be so kind now, my dear Sir, (taking me by the hand and smiling) as to assist me in making proper extracts, and furnish me with a few occasional paragraphs to send up to the Ledger, and Lloyd's Evening Post? To these various in­terrogations I made no other reply, than enquiring after the younger part of the family,—I hope Miss FOLIO is well, Ma'am,—Very well Sir, I [Page 247] thank you, said Mrs. Folio; we had some thoughts of bringing her down with us, but my spouse had such a quantity of things to put into the chariot, that we could not easily croud three on us into it: so I have left Polly in our lodgings at Islington Spa, and there, you know, she can't be unked for want of company,—and if she pleases, she may go to the Wells every night.—And how does young Mr. FOLIO do?—What! Bonus! says Mr. FOLIO, Bonus is entered in one of the col­leges—He has left St. Paul's School, and is a brother gownsman of your's; at which words he rung the bell, and on the appearance of the waiter, dispatched him to — College for young Master FOLIO, desiring his company with some particular Friends at the Angel.

Till the return of the Messenger Mr. FOLIO, after having dispatched another waiter to the barber's with his wig, amused himself with unpacking some parcels and valizes, which, it seems, were what had filled up Miss FOLIO's place in the chariot. The first he unfolded, he informed me were some sheets of a new work of his own writing, which he proposed to publish early in the ensuing winter. He prest me very hard to read some particular passages, which I evaded, pleading want of time [Page 248] and leisure to give it due attention in the present hurry and dissipation of the place.—Come, come, says he, I know you Gentlemen that write don't approve of us in the trade pretending to publish books of our own—but we have some good hands among us, I can tell you.—Oh, I know that.—Know it! Ay, but you none of you care to own it. For any thing, courtly and airy, for a Dra­matick Satire, or a modern Tragedy, we have Dodsley in Pall-Mall,—Mr. Pope allowed him to be a good Poet—for Divinity and Morality we have Payne that lives in the Row—for Criticism, or any thing in the Belles Lettres way, there is R. Griffiths,—why he writes half the Monthly Review—and then for the whole Circle of Sciences there's our old Friend Mr. Newbery, at the North Door of St. Paul's—and the Author of a late Pamphlet, called The Lives of the present Writers, assures us for a fact that he has wrote two fa­vourite farces.

How much farther his zeal for the honour of the Trade would have carried him is uncertain, if his vehemence had not been broke in upon by the return of the messenger, and the arrival of Young FOLIO. The mother was charmed beyond expression with his appearance in the Academical [Page 249] Habit, and vowed he was grown half a head, or else that dress made him look so much taller. Well, I protest it becomes him vastly? Don't it? (turning to me) you must know, Sir, his father intends making on him a Clergyman.—Ay, ay, the gown by all means! said Folio—But come, Bonus! you must shew your mother and me the University—Mr. — I hope will favour us with his company to make the tower of the Colleges, and return afterwards to eat a bit of mutton with us at dinner. I accepted the invi­tation, and Mr. FOLIO having waited in his gold laced hat with a handkerchief of Mrs. FOLIO's about his ears, till the return of his wig, properly bushed out and powdered, and having in the interim equipped himself with a full suit of pom­padour with gold buttons, which he had brought down carefully packed between pasteboards, we sallied out of the Angel into the High-Street to see the University.

We were no sooner got into the street, than we were carried by a kind of instinct into Mr. Parker's, not only to give Mr. FOLIO an oppor­tunity of shaking his old friend by the hand, but also in order to furnish himself with one of Mr. Prince's Pocket Companions, without which [Page 250] he declared it was impossible to go round the Uni­versity. There, Sir, continued he applying himself to me, there's another instance of a Genius in a Bookseller. The Pocket Companion is all Mr. PRINCE's own,—not only his own property, but his own writing. One of your gownsmen, indeed, has since wrote a New Guide,—but it won't do,—shaking his head,—it won't do,—much inferior to my Friend Daniel's.

We then crossed the way to Queen's College, where Bonus, as FOLIO called him, informed us, that the East side of the square had been lately rebuilt, and that there had been some squabbles among the Fellows. FOLIO said the Chapel was fine, very fine, and quoted two lines out of Milton's Spenseroso, for so he termed it, about a dim religious Light. As to Mrs. FOLIO, she declared that nothing in the College pleased her so much, as the figure over the door of her Majesty in a Cage.—But that she said was very pretty, and she liked it vastly.

We then proceeded to ALL SOULS, and the RADCLIFF LIBRARY, at the first of which places Bonus informed us, that the Common Room there was remarkable for the best port in Oxford. Some of the fellows, says he, have tost off four [Page 251] bottles of it a day, for several years together, without doing them any manner of harm. FOLIO observed, that neither the College Library, nor the Radcliff, were as yet half sufficiently stocked, and it would be a rare job to have the furnishing them with books. Mrs. FOLIO said, that the Radcliff was a good deal like St. Paul's, only not half so large or so handsome. A queer sort of building, Ma'am, said young Bonus,—a mere pepper-box,—and there,—(pointing to the turrets of All Souls) there are the sugar-casters.—This produced an universal laugh, which concluded with an ex­clamation of FOLIO's,—Well said, Bonus! egad, I don't think that would be amiss in the new edition of the Jokes.

We then entered the Schools' Quadrangle, where Mr. FOLIO took upon himself to inform his wife that all the rudiments of learning were taught in that spot. Here, says he, my dear, (pointing) there are Lectures read every morning,—Here the Stu­dents attend the Professor of Divinity,—and here they attend the History Professor,—and here the Poetry Professor,—and here the Professor of Phy­sick,—and here the Professor of Civil Law,—and so on,—all learned men that have large salaries on purpose to lecture their pupils in the [Page 252] sciences.—Ay, says Mrs. FOLIO, it is no won­der that they have all so much Larning.—It is impossible to recount half their observations on the Picture-Gallery, the Bodleian Library, the Arun­del Marbles, the Pomfret Collection, the Cla­rendon Printing House, the Theatre, and the Mu­seum. I can only recollect, that Mr. FOLIO met with an acquaintance among the compositors at the printing-house, with whom he entered into con­versation about the method of printing Baskerville's Bible without wetting the sheets before they were put to press;—and that he supposed a good deal of money might be made of the M.S.S. in the Bodley;—that he compared the Museum to Don Saltero's Coffee-house, and that Mrs. FOLIO at going out asked the person who shew'd the room, If there was no wax-work.—In the rest of our circuit I remember nothing remarkable, except that Mrs. FOLIO was extremely delighted with the Bason and Mercury in the center of the great quadrangle at Christ-church, and told her husband she wished they had just such a one in the middle of their garden at Islington.

We then returned to the angel, and as soon as dinner was ended, and the cloth taken away, Well, Bonus, says FOLIO, and what hast thou learnt [Page 253] here? Tell us some of thy studies,—come give your mother and me a little touch of the Ma­thematicks.—Bonus, being hard pressed, was obliged to comply; and drawing a kind of figure with his finger in the wine that was spilt on the table, uttered very gravely some incoherent jargon about A and B being equal to C and D, and pa­rallel lines, and equilateral triangles. FOLIO and his wife observed him with infinite attention, and the most visible delight; and as soon as he had done, This, says FOLIO,—this my dear, (addressing himself to his wife) is what we call Demonstration. Sir, says Bonus, I did not think you had so good a notion of the Mathematicks.—Child, says Mrs. FOLIO, your father has a general knowledge of every thing.

Not long after I took my leave, and could not help reflecting that to people like FOLIO and his wife, Sights and Shews afford but small entertain­ment and no instruction: and that it would be al­most sufficient for the gratification of such minds, if Grand Solemnities, were to come round, like the year of Jubilee at Rome, or the blowing of the aloe, not above once in a hundred years.


Nunc adeo si ob eam rem vobis mea vita invisa est, Aeschine,
Quia anon justa injusta prorsus omnia, omnino obsequor:
Missa facio, effundite, emite, facite quod vobis lubet.
Sed si id voltis potius, quae vos propter adolescentiam
Minus videtis, magis impense cupitis, consulitis parum,
Haec reprehendere, et corrigere me, obsecundere in loco;
Ecce me, qui id faciam vobis.
Now, therefore, if I'm odious to you, Son,
Because I'm not subservient to your humour,
In all things, right, or wrong; away with care!
Spend, squander, and do what you will!—But if,
In those affairs where youth has made you blind,
Eager, and thoughtless, you will suffer me
To counsell and correct—and in due season
Indulge you—I am at your service.

IT is necessary that TERRAE-FILIUS, like the Senior Proctor and other great officers of this University, should make an harangue at the Time of laying down his office; but it gives me [Page 255] infinite concern, that on this occasion, instead of glorying in so favourable an opportunity to display my merits, I am obliged to make it my chief en­deavour to wipe off a most infamous aspersion that has been thrown on my character, no less than the charge of being a Counterfeit and an Impostor. It is hard for a man on his death-bed to be put upon the proof of the reality of his existence, and though I am alive and merry, of which I hope you are all fully convinced, yet I cannot brook the thought that TERRAE-FILIUS, should be ac­counted a kind of Bastard Production, (or as the lawyers term it) NULLIUS FILIUS; and that it should be in the power of Envy or Malice to make a blot in my escutcheon. I do not doubt, how­ever, of being able to blazon my title, and to prove that I am neither an Usurper nor a Pretender.

It is true, indeed, that most of my ancestors were the most noted manufacturers of Scandal, and great wholesale dealers in Libel and Scandalum Magnatûm; and that in this glorious occupation they nobly sustained all the pains and inconve­niences of martyrdom and persecution. I must con­fess that my father was expelled the University for villifying the grave and reverend heads of houses, and that my grandfather was expelled the House [Page 256] of Commons for libelling the honourable mem­bers, and reviling the constitution. I cannot deny that most part of my family have, at divers times, had the honour of being pumped, beat, and tost in a blanket; that many of them have lain whole months in Newgate, and stood in the pillory at the Royal Exchange, Temple-Bar, and Charing Cross; and that of some I might even justly boast, that they were hanged for high-trea­son. I must own too that, for my own part, I nave not trod in the steps of my predecessors; and though I am not conscious of any shameful de­generacy, yet I have never been on the brink of expulsion for defamation. I have not so much as been taken up: I never had my house entered at midnight by king's messengers: neither I nor my printer can complain of the illegal seizure of our papers, or bring actions against the secretaries of state for false imprisonment: I never had the plea­sure of having my nose slit; I have as yet both my ears; and have not, according to what I have hitherto been able to discover, any prospect of dying at Tyburn or Kennington-Common.

For these reasons, ladies and gentlemen, as well as for the manner in which I have conducted myself in my office during the present Solemnity [Page 257] I find that some evil-minded persons have been in­duced to consider me and my writings as Spurious. They say, that I have disappointed their expecta­tions. They complain that I have offered no af­front to the Chancellor or any other person of qua­laty; nor turned the senior part of the University into objects of Ridicule for the entertainment of freshmen and under-graduates. They confess that at first they were induced to conceive better hopes of me, but that it may now be said of me, as it is of the month of March, that I came in like a lion, and go out like a lamb.

These and several other circumstances, which I cannot pretend to palliate or refute, I can, however, very easily account for. A Reverend Gentleman of Exeter College, eminent in all parts of Europe for his knowledge in Hebrew, in a late contested elec­tion being accused by the opposite party of time-serving, very shrewdly answered, in vindication of himself and his associates, that they did not make the times, but the times made them. The Univer­sity borrows its complection from its patrons, and the moon her light from the sun, and at a time when there is a general revolution of princi­ples, or to (invert a little the arrangement of the phrase) when Revolution-Principles are general [Page 258] among us, is it any wonder that the honest TERRAE-FILIUS should be as changeable as his Brethren?

I can remember the time, and indeed it is but a very little while ago, when a place was esteemed at Oxford as a badge of corruption, and a green coat the livery of servitude. I can remember too that a certain great patriot informed the House of Com­mons, that Oxford was paved with disaffection and Jacobitism. But now the old true blue is faced, according to the court-fashion, with green; and the red and white roses were not more closely twined together by the union of the houses of York and Lancaster, than the OLD and NEW INTEREST in this county by the coalition and compromise at the late election of Lord Charles Spenser and Sir James Dashwood. We have lived to see the staunch Doctor Blackstone on the point of being sent to Ire­land as a Judge, and honoured with a patent of precedency and a silk gown. We have lived to see Sir Francis Dashwood created Lord Le Despen­ser, and appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Master of the Wardrobe. Sir John Phillips it is well known is a Privy Counsellor, and our Right Honourable Chancellor is Captain of the Band of Pensioners. [Page 259]Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.’ The Tories are all at court, and Oxonians are made Bishops. The Cocoa-Tree is running a race with Arthur's towards the golden goal of St. James's; and, it is said, that at the next meeting of the parliament a bill will be brought in for cleaning, lighting, and NEW-PAVING the streets of Oxford by the Right Honourable Mr, PITT.

I may be believed also when I declare, upon the Word and Honour of an AUTHOR, that it is not for want of information or materials, that I have not made my paper a Chronique Scandaleuse, a Journal of Defamation. I have received letters sufficient to form a volume, anecdotes without number, and satires, sonnets, epigrams, and acrosticks by wholesale. There is not a toast in the city or environs of Oxford, of whom I have not had a particular account; and there has not been a phaeton and four driven out of Oxford this sum­mer, or a single excursion to Wallingford, that has not been faithfully registered in MY black book. One correspondent has sent me a piece, which he calls the Secret History of Ditchley; and another has transmitted an exact detail of all the ceremo­nies on opening the newly-repaired church at West-Wycomb last Sunday, together with the copy [Page 260] of a carol on the occasion, which he tells me was written by Paul Whitehead, and sung over Milk Punch in the Golden Ball. In short, so willing are all to open the sluices of Scandal, that there is not a corner of the country from which I have not been favoured with some curious ar­ticles of intelligence, with an earnest desire of their being communicated to the publick by the channel of my paper, so that had I been disposed to sit in judgment upon them, care has been taken to provide me a handsome calendar of delinquents.

A great number of correspondents have very freely and abundantly communicated their observa­tions on the transactions of the present ENCAENIA: some have sent me criticisms on the verses and orations delivered in the theatre; and others have commented on the voice, gesture, and deportment of the speakers, greatly lamenting that Mr. SHE­RIDAN, as heretofore, was not employed to instruct our young nobility and gentry in the art of elocu­tion. One writer affects to be greatly disgusted at the vehemence and frequency of the plaudits of the upper gallery, bestowed indiscriminately on the Chancellor or a singer, Dr. KING or the first fiddle. Another is much offended that the pieces on this occasion are composed in no other lan­guages [Page 261] than Latin or English. At such a time, as well as in their printed gratulations, the mem­bers of the University might be expected to shew the extent of their learning, and we might not only, with the most modest expectation, have pro­mised ourselves several Greek odes after the man­ner of Pindar, and occasional pieces of Hebrew psalmody, but have flattered ourselves with the certain hopes of seeing the elegant figure of Mr. Swinton delivering an oration in Etruscan or Phoenician.

In this place, as I am settling the account with my correspondents, it is also proper to acknow­ledge the receipt of several remarks on the present state of the University, and hints for its improve­ment. A person who signs himself Londinensis, laments that the arts of politeness, as well as the polite arts, are not taught at Oxford, and proposes that Messieurs HART and DUKES, or at least one of them, should be invited down to instruct our grown gentlemen, thinking that he might be of as much service to the University, and make as bril­liant a figure in that art, as Dr. Hayes in Musick; on which consideration it might be expedient to ap­point him DANCING PROFESSOR. Another per­son, a facetious clergyman of uncommon parts, who [Page 262] dates his letter from Lincoln College, wishes to see the intended scheme of a riding-house, (to which the profits of the last collection of the Clarendon papers were supposed to be appropri­ated) carried into immediate execution. He fore­sees great advantage accruing to the church-mili­tant, from our Doctors in Divinty being taught to ride the Great Horse, and does not doubt but that, from their acknowledged skill in horsemanship, the Rector of his own house, Lincoln College, and the President of Corpus Christi, will instantly be appointed joint masters of the riding-house, and have the sole direction of the Manége.

I have also received several rough draughts and curious portraits of academical characters, with the names, for fear of mistake, at the bottom of the picture. A young buck of Christ Church has sent me a cutting satire on a severe discipli­narian, whose name and additions I do not think proper to mention; and a fellow of Trinity com­plains of being forced, with several more, to lay out an hundred pounds in taking a doctor's degree; and inveighs most bitterly against tuft-hunters, and a person whom he calls Doctor Driver.

These and several other articles of intelligence extraordinary, I have had virtue enough to sup­press, [Page 263] and think I deserve the publick thanks both of the Town and University, together with some more solid and substantial marks of their favour, for my extraordinary moderation. The affairs of the corporation are, I fear, too much perplext to make me any handsome gratuity; but, I hope, in consideration of my clemency towards them and my tenderness to their wives and daugh­ters, at least to have the compliment of my free­dom in a gold box, with a right of common on Port-Meadow. As to the University, I expect on the next publick occasion to be presented to an honorary degree, and that in the mean time, the Bursars of the several colleges will have direc­tions to make up a purse for TERRAE-FILIUS.

Publick writers, it is well known, have often been bought off, silenced with a bribe, or quieted with a pension, when the fears of fine, pillory, and imprisonment have had no influence over their resolutions, and all the terrors of the law have been let loose upon them in vain. Our own Times too will afford examples of writers, who, after having been disappointed of the expected Rewards from the hands of Power and Munificence, have turned from the pleasant path of Panegyrick, and gone upon the highway of Satire. For my own part, [Page 264] being naturally of a benevolent disposition, I had rather it should be made worth my while to pur­sue the smooth Turnpike-Road in which I have set out. At present, being the first of my family who has hot been expelled, I am resolved to take my leave in good humour, and shall conclude my present Course of Lectures with the words in which the late worthy Bishop of Cloyne, who had ev'ry virtue under Heaven, and who spent the last part of his life amongst us, used often to describe this University.

OXFORD is a fair city, situated in a pleasant country; adorned with beautiful gardens and magnificent palaces; and a place where Reli­gion and Learning are kept in countenance.


The worshipful Sir John Fielding, Knight, and Justice of Peace for the liberty of Westminster, having at sundry times not only given occasional Hints and Cautions from the Police, but also pub­lished useful extracts and clauses from the Penal Statutes; TERRAE-FILIUS, in imitation of so great an example, thinks proper to subjoin to this paper the following extract from the statutes of the University, at the same time exhorting [Page 265] the junior part thereof to a serious perusal of the Statute Book, that they may know the rules which at their matriculation they undertake to obey, it being a maxim of the Civil as well as Common Law, that Ignorantia non excusat Legem.

§. 4. De Domibus Oppidanorum non frequentandis.

Statutum est quod Scholares et Graduati cujuscunque Generis à domibus et officinis oppidanorum, de die, et presertim de nocte, abstineant. Praecipue vero ab aedibus infames seu suspectas mulieres vel Meretrices alentibus, aut recipientibus; quarum consortio schola­ribus quibuscunque, sive in privatis cameris, sive in aedibus oppidanorum, prorsus inter­dictum est. Et si quis de die in iisdem, vel earum aliquâ deprehensus fuerit (nisi rationa­bilem accessus sui moraeve causam reddiderit) si non graduatus sit, pro arbitrio Vice-Can­cellarii, vel Procuratorum, qui deprehenderint, castigetur. Si vero Graduatus fuerit, 3s 4d, pro qualibet vice Universitati mulctetur. Quod si quis ibidem de Nocte interesse deprehensus fuerit, poenis noctivagorum omnino subjiciatur. quem in finem (in subsidium Vice-Cancel­larii et Procuratorum) potestas sit Praefectis [Page 266] aedium domos oppidanorum intrandi; ut ex­plorent an aliqui è suis illis versentur de Die vel de Nocte. Si quis vero Magistratui vel Praefecto domûs, de nocte post clausas fores ostium pulsanti, fores sine morâ vel tergiver­satione non recluserit, pro primâ vice mulcte­tur 20s; secundâ vero, commercio cum privi­legiatis (si oppidanus fuerit) aliàs privilegio ipsi interdicatur.



  • I. EVERY SUBSCRIBER shall be allowed the use of one volume, at a time, which he may change on the days appointed for opening the library. For general convenience, however, he must not keep it longer than a week; nor must it, on any pretence, be brought from the sub­scribers desk or locker, at improper seasons, nor must it ever be used, in improper places.
  • II. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, who, on the day appointed for changing the books, comes before his number is called; or who behaves impro­perly, shall give his book into the collection; and will not be allowed another, till the next time of opening the library.
  • III. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, whose book is not covered, when he receives it, when he uses it, or when he returns it, shall not be allowed any book, on the two next days, on which the library is open.
  • IV. EVERY SUBSCRIBER is to be respon­sible for the book lent to him. If it be inked, torn, or in any way injured, he must forfeit ONE SHILLING AND SIX PENCE: If it be l [...]t in school, or in any other place, he must forfeit SIX PENCE; and if it be lost, he must pay such a sum, as will replace it.
  • [Page 2]V. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, who borrows or lends any volume, belonging to the library, shall lose the benefit of his subscription, for three months.
  • VI. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, who reads his book fronting the fire, or leaning on the iron guard, which must inevitably spoil the binding, shall forfeit ONE SHILLING, towards discharging the bookbinder's account.
  • VII. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, who neglects to return his book, when he goes out, provided he stays all night, shall lose his subscription for one week; and, for a fortnight, if he carries his book out with him.
  • VIII. EVERY SUBSCRIBER, who incurs the penalty of a forfeit, if he does not pay it directly, shall have it deducted from his allow­ance; and he will not be considered as a subscriber, until the whole sum is paid, which shall be ap­propriated to the use of the library.
  • IX. All the books shall be returned to the library, in the week preceding the holidays.
  • X. As these REGULATIONS are established, in order to preserve the books, and to render the COLLECTION of real service, it is hoped, if any of them are violated, that EVERY SUB­SCRIBER will make it a point of honour to mention the names of those, who infringe them, to some of the Masters.

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