THE CONNOISSEUR.

BY MR. TOWN, CRITIC, and CENSOR-GENERAL.

VOL. II.

—Non de villis domibusve alienis,
Nec male necne Lepos saltet; sed quod magis ad nos
Pertinet, et nescire malum est, agitamus.
HOR.

LONDON: Printed for R. BALDWIN, at the Rose in Pater-noster-Row. MDCCLVI.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXI. THURSDAY, June 5, 1755.

Est brevitate opus, ut currat sententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassas onerantibus aures:
Et sermone opus est modò tristi, saepe jocoso.
HOR.

AMONG the several degrees of authors, there are none perhaps, who have more obstacles to surmount at their setting out, than the writers of periodical essays. Talk with a modern critic, and he will tell you, that to set up a new paper is a vain attempt after the inimitable SPECTATORS and others; that the subjects are already pre­occupied, and that it is equally impossible to find out a new field for observation, as to discover a new world. With these prejudices the public are prepared to receive us; and while they expect to be cloyed with the stale repetition of the same fare, though tossed up in a different manner, they have but little relish for the entertainment.

[Page 422]THAT the SPECTATOR first led the way, must undoubt­edly be acknowledged: but that his followers must for that reason be always supposed to tread in his steps, can by no means be allowed. In the high road of life there are several extensive walks, as well as bye-paths, which we may strike into, without the necessity of keeping the same beaten track with those that have gone before us. New objects for ridicule will continually present themselves; and even the same characters will appear different by being differently disposed, as in the same pack of cards, though ever so often shuffled, there will never be two hands exactly alike.

AFTER this introduction I hope to be pardoned, if I in­dulge myself in speaking a word or two concerning my own endeavours to entertain the public; which I imagine I could never do with so good a grace, as at the beginning of my second volume. And first, whatever objections the reader may have had to the subjects of my papers, I shall make no apology for the manner in which I have chose to treat them. The dread of falling into (what they are pleased to call) colloquial barbarisms has induced some unskilful writers to swell their bloated diction with uncouth phrases and the affected jargon of pedants. For my own part, I never go out of the common way of expression, merely for the sake of introducing a more sounding word with a Latin termination. The English language is sufficiently co­pious and expressive without any further adoption of new terms; and the native words seem to me to have far more force than any foreign auxiliaries, however pompously ushered in: as British soldiers fight our battles better than the troops taken into our pay.

[Page 423]THE subjects of my essays have been chiefly such, as I thought might recommend themselves to the public notice by being new and uncommon. For this reason I purposely avoided the worn out practice of retailing scraps of mora­lity, and affecting to dogmatize on the common duties of life. In this point, indeed, the SPECTATOR is inimitable; nor could I hope to say any thing new upon these topics after so many excellent moral and religious essays, which, are the principal ornament of his work. I have therefore contented myself with exposing vice and folly by painting the actors in their natural colours, without assuming the rigidness of a preacher, or the moroseness of a philosopher. I have oftener chose to undermine our fashionable excesses by secret sapping, than to storm them by open assaults. In a word, upon all occasions I have endeavoured to laugh peo­ple into a better behaviour; as I am convinced, that the sting of reproof is not less sharp for being concealed; and advice never comes with a better face, than when it comes with a laughing one.

THERE are some points in the course of this work, which perhaps might have been treated of with a more serious air. I have thought it my duty to take every opportunity of ex­posing the absurd tenets of our modern free-thinkers and enthusiasts. The enthusiast is, indeed, much more difficult to cure than the free-thinker; because the latter, with all his bravery, cannot but be conscious that he is wrong; whereas the former has perhaps deceived himself into a be­lief, that he is certainly in the right, and the more he is op­posed, the more he considers himself as ‘"patiently suffer­ing for the truth's sake."’ Ignorance is too stubborn to yield to conviction; and on the other hand those, whom [Page 424] ‘"a little learning has made mad,"’ are too proud and self­sufficient to hearken to the sober voice of reason. The only way left us, therefore, is to root out superstition, by making its followers ashamed of themselves: and as for our free-thinkers, it is but right to turn their boasted weapons of ridicule against them; and as they them­selves endeavour to banter all others out of their serious and virtuous notions, we too (in the language of the Psalmist) should ‘"laugh them to scorn, and have them in derision."’

BUT whatever merit I may assume to myself from my writings, I must at the same time confess myself indebted to several correspondents for many excellent pieces; and more particularly to the gentlemen, who have signed themselves A. B. and G. K. As I know not the real names of any of my correspondents, I am not without some hopes, that I have been honoured by an Earl or a Right Honourable at least: for to say the truth, I cannot at present apply to myself the known boast of Terence,

—Homines nobiles
Eum adjutare, assiduèque unà scribere.

IT is with infinite pleasure, that I find myself so much encouraged to continue my labours, by the kind reception which they have hitherto met with from the public: and Mr. Baldwin with no less pleasure informs me, that as there are but few numbers left of the present edition, he intends to collect them into Two Pocket Volumes. The reader cannot conceive, how much I already pride myself on the charming figure, which my works will make in this new [Page 425] form: and I shall endeavour to render these volumes as complete as I possibly can, by several considerable additions and amendments. Though contracted into the small space of a twelves volume, I still hope to maintain my former dignity; like the Devils in Milton's Pandaemonium, who,

—To smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large.

THE SPECTATOR has very elegantly compared his single papers, as they came out, to ‘"cherries on a stick,"’ of the dearness of which the purchasers cannot complain, who are willing to gratify their taste with choice fruit at its earliest production. I have considered my own papers as so many flowers, which joined together would make up a pretty nosegay; and though each of them, singly taken, may not be equally admired for their odours, they may receive an additional fragrance by an happy union of their sweets.

CUSTOM hath lately introduced a new fashion among essay-writers, of giving translations of the mottos for the benefit of the ladies. But (as Denham has remarked of translation in general) ‘"the spirit of the original is evapo­rated in the transfusion, and nothing is left behind but a mere caput mortuum."’ Translations, however, must be given; and it has been the usual way to copy them pro­miscuously from Dryden or Francis: though they are gene­rally very wide of the intended sense of the original, and not unfrequently nothing to the purpose. For this reason I de­sign to give new translations, or rather imitations, of all the mottos and quotations, adapted to the present times. Some of these will admit of epigrammatic turns; and many of [Page 426] them will afford room for lively and picturesque allu­sions to modern manners. In this dress they will at least appear more of a piece with the essays themselves; and not like the patch-work of random translations.

IN the mean time, I shall only add, that if any Noble­man, Gentleman, or Rich Citizen, is ambitious to have his name prefixed to either of these volumes, he is desired to send in proposals, together with a list of his virtues and good qualities, to the publisher; and the Dedications shall be disposed of to the best bidder.

*⁎*None but principals will be treated with.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXII. THURSDAY, June 12, 1755.

—Versus inopes rerum, nugaeque canorae.
HOR.

THE managers of our Public Gardens, willing to make their summer diversions as com­plete as possible, are not content with laying out beautiful walks, and providing an excel­lent band of music, but are also at much expence to amuse us with the old English entertainment of Ballad-singing. For this end they not only retain the best voices that can be procured, but each of them also has a poet in ordinary, who is allowed a stated salary, and the run of the Gardens. The productions of these petty lau­reats naturally come within my notice as CRITIC; and, indeed, whether I am at Vauxhall, Ranelagh, Marybone, or even Sadler's Wells, I indulge myself in many remarks on the poetry of the place; and am as attentive to the songs as to the Cascade, the Fireworks, or Miss Isabella Wilkinson.

[Page 428]BALLADS seem peculiarly adapted to the genius of our people; and are a species of composition, in which we are superior to all other nations. Many of our old English Songs have in them an affecting simplicity; and it is re­markable, that our best writers have not been ashamed to cultivate this branch of poetry. Cowley, Waller; Rofcommon, Rowe, Gay, Prior, and many others, have left behind them very elegant Ballads; but it must be confessed, to the honour of the present age, that it was reserved for our modern writers to bring this kind of poetry to perfection. Song-writing is now reduced to certain rules of art, and the Ballad-maker goes to work by a method as regular and me­chanical, as a carpenter or a blacksmith.

SWIFT, in his "Voyage to Laputa," describes a ma­chine to write books in all arts and sciences: I have also read of a mill to make verses; and remember to have seen a curious table, by the assistance of which the most illiterate might amuse themselves in composing hexameters and pentameters in Latin: Inventions wonderfully calculated for the promotion of literature. Whatever gentlemen of Grub-street or others are ambitious to inlist themselves as hackney sonetteers, are desired to attend to the following rules, drawn from the practice of our modern song-writers: a set of geniusses excellent in their manner, and who will probably be hereafter as much known and admired as Garden-Poets, as the celebrated Taylor is now famous under the denomination of Water-Poet.

I MUST beg leave possitively to contradict any reports, insinuating that our Ballad-makers are in possession of such a machine, mill, or table as above-mentioned; and believe [Page 429] it to be equally false, that it is their practice to hustle certain quaint terms and phrases together in a hat, and take them out at random. It has, indeed, been asserted on some just ground, that their productions are totally void of sense and expression, that they have little rhyme and less reason, and that they are from beginning to end nothing more than nonsensical rhapsodies to a new tune. This charge I do not mean to deny: though I cannot but lament the deplorable want of taste, that mentions it as a fault. For it is this very circumstance, which I, who am professedly a CONNOISSEUR, particularly admire. It is a received maxim with all composers of music, that nothing is so melodious as nonsense. Manly sense is too harsh and stubborn to go through the numberless divisions and sub­divisions of modern music, and to be trilled forth in crotchets and demiquavers. For this reason, thought is so cautiously sprinkled over a modern song; which it is the business of the singer to warble into harmony and sentiment.

OUR Ballad-makers for the most part slide into the familiar stile, and affect that easy manner of writing, which (accord­ing to Wycherley) is easily written. Seeing the dangerous consequence of meaning, in words adapted to music, they are very frugal of sentiment: and indeed they husband it so well, that the same thoughts are adapted to every song. The only variation requisite in twenty ballads is, that the last line of the stanza be different. In this ingenious line the wit of the whole song consists; and the author, whether he shall die if he has not the lass of the mill, or deserves to be reckon'd an ass, turns over his dictionary of rhymes for words of a similar sound, and every verse jingles to the same word [Page 430] with all the agreeable variety of a set of bells eternally ring­ing the same peal.

THE authors of love-songs formerly wasted a great deal of poetry in illustrating their own passion and the beauty of their mistress; but our modern poets content themselves with falling in love with her name. There cannot be a greater misfortune to one of these rhymers than a mistress with a hard name; such a misfortune sends them all over the world and makes them run through all arts, sciences, and languages for correspondent terms: and after all per­haps the name is so harsh and untractable, that our poet has as much difficulty to bring it into verse, as the cele­braters of the Duke of Marlborough were puzzled to reduce to rhyme the uncouth names of the Dutch Towns taken in Queen Anne's wars. Valentine in Love for Love, when he talks of turning poet, orders Jeremy to get the maids together of an evening to Crambo: no contemptible hint to our Ballad­makers, and which, if properly made use of, would be of as much service to them as Byshe's Art of Poetry.

FEARING lest this method of song-writing should one day grow obsolete, in order to preserve to posterity some idea of it, I have put together the following dialogue as a specimen of the modern manner. I must, however, be in­genuous enough to confess, that I can claim no farther me­rit in this elegant piece than that of a compiler. It is a Canto from our most celebrated new songs; from which I have carefully culled all the sweetest flowers of poetry, and bound them up together for the delight and wonder of the world. As all the lines are taken from different songs set to different tunes, I would humbly propose that this curious [Page 431] performance should be sung jointly by all the best voices, in the manner of a Dutch concert, where every man sings his own tune. I had once some thoughts of affixing mar­ginal references to each line, to inform the reader by note at what place the song whence it is taken was first sung. But I shall spare myself that trouble by desiring the reader to look on the whole piece as arising from a coalition of our most eminent song-writers at Vauxhall, Ranelagh, Mary­bone, and Sadler's Wells: assuring him, that this short dia­logue contains the pith and marrow, or rather (to borrow an expression from the Fine Lady in Lethe) the Quinsetence and Emptity of all our modern songs.

A PASTORAL DIALOGUE, BETWEEN CORYDON and SARAH.

Sar. AH! whither so fast wou'd my Corydon go?
Step in, you've nothing else to do.
Cor. They say I'm in love, but I answer no, no,
So I wish I may die if I do.
Once my heart play'd a tune that went pitty pattie,
And I sigh'd, but I could not tell why.
Now let what will happen, by Jove I'll be free.
Sar. O fye, Shepherd, fye, Shepherd, fye.
Cor. Tho' you bid me begone back again,
Yet, Sally, no matter for that.
The Women love kissing as well as the men.
Sar. Why what a pox would you be at?
You told me a tale of a cock and a bull,
Upon my word he did.
Cor. I swear I meant nothing but playing the fool.
Sar. Very fine! very pretty indeed!
Cor. Come, come, my dear Sally, to church let us go,
No more let your answer be no.
Sar. The duce sure; is in you to plague a maid so.
I cannot deny you, you know.
CHORUS by BOTH.
No courtiers can be so happy as we,
Who bill like the sparrow and dove.
I love Sue, and Sue loves me,
Sure this is mutual love

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXIII. THURSDAY, June 19, 1755.

—Secernere sacra profanis.
HOR.

WALKING the other, day in Westminster Abbey, among the many oftentatious monu­ments erected to kings and warriors, I could not help observing a little stone, on which was this pompous inscription—Aeternae Memoriae Sacrum—Sacred to the Eternal Memory of —. The name of the person, to whom immortality was thus secured, is almost obliterated; and perhaps, when alive, he was little known, and as soon forgot by the small circle of his friends and acquaintance.

I HAVE been used to look upon epitaphs as a kind of flattering dedications to the dead; in which is set down a long catalogue of virtues, (that nobody knew they were [Page 434] possessed of while living) and not a word of their vices or follies. The veracity of these posthumous encomiums may, indeed, be fairly suspected, as we are generally told, that the disconsolate widow, or weeping son, erected the monu­ment in testimony of their affliction for the loss of the kind­est husband, or most affectionate father. But what dowager, who gets a comfortable jointure by her good man's decease, would refuse to set her hand to it on his tomb-stone, that he was the best of husbands; though perhaps they had parted beds? or what heir would be so base and ungrateful, as not to give a few good words to a crabbed parent after his death, in return, for his estate?

BY the extravagant praises, which are indiscriminately lavished on the ashes of every person alike, we entirely pervert the original intent of epitaphs, which were contrived to do honour and justice to the virtuous and the good: But by the present practice the reputations of men are equally con­founded with their dust in the grave, where there is no dis­tinction between the good and the bad. The law has ap­pointed searchers to enquire, when any one dies, into the cause of his death: in the same manner I could wish, that searchers were appointed to examine into his way of living, before a character be given of him upon the tomb-stone.

THE flatteries, that are paid to the deceased, are un­doubtedly owing to the pride of their survivors, which is the same among the lowest as the highest set of people. When an obscure grocer or tallow-chandler dies at his lodg­ings at Islington, the news-papers are stuffed with the same parade of his virtues and good qualities, as when a duke, goes out of the world: and the petty overseer of a little [Page 435] hamlet has a painted board with the initials of his name stuck up at the end of his wicker'd turf, while the noblemen reposes under a grand mausoleum erected to his memory, with a long list of his titles and heroic deeds.

THE Great, indeed, have found means to separate them­selves even in their graves from the vulgar, by having their ashes deposited in churches and cathedrals, and covered by the most superb monuments. In my late visit to Westminster Abby, I could not but remark the difference of Taste, which has prevailed in setting up these edifices for the dead. In former times, we find, that they were content to clap up the bust or statue of the deceased, set round perhaps with the emblems of his merits, his employment, or station of life. If any person was remarkable for his virtue and piety, it was pointed out by two or three little chubby-faced che­rubims, who were crying for his death, or holding a crown over his head. The warriour was spread along at full length in a complete suit of armour, with the trophies of war hung round about him; and the bishop was laid flat upon his back, with his coifed head resting on a stone bible, and his hands joined together in the posture of praying.

IF Socrates, or any other of the ancient Philosophers could revive again, and be admitted into Westminster Abby, he would be induced to fancy himself in a Pantheon of the Heathen Gods. The Modern Taste, (not content with introducing Roman temples into our Churches, and repre­senting the Virtues under allegorical images) has ransacked all the fabulous accounts of the Heathen Theology to strike out new embellishments for our Christian monuments. We are not in the least surprised to see Mercury attending [Page 336] the tomb of an orator, and Pallas or Hercules supporting that of a warriour. Milton has been blamed for his frequent allusions to the Heathen Theology in his Sacred Poem: but surely we are more to be condemned, for admitting the whole class of their fictitious deities into the House of God itself.

IF there is not a stop put to this Taste, we may soon expect to see our churches, instead of being dedicated to the service of religion, set apart for the reception of the Heathen Gods. A deceased admiral will be represented like Neptune, with a trident in his hand, drawn in a shell by dolphins, preceded by Tritons, and followed by Nereids lashing the marble waves with their tails. A general will be habited like Mars, bearing an helmet and spear in polished stone; and a celebrated toast will be stuck up naked, like the Ve­nus de Medicis, cut in alabaster.

IT has been proposed (on a different account) to have a separate place distinct from our churches, for the reception of our monuments. I could wish to see such a scheme put in execution: for the present absurd mixture of the several objects of Pagan and Christian belief, as represented on the tombs lately set up in compliance of the modern taste, must be shocking to every serious beholder. Our pious fore­fathers were content with exhibiting to us the usual em­blems of death, the hour-glass, the skull, and the cross-marrow-bones: but these are not sufficient for our present more refined age: The Three Fatal Sisters, mentioned in the Heathen Mythology, must be introduced spinning, draw­ing, and cutting the thread of life. Could one of the last century see a winged figure blowing a trumpet on the top [Page 337] of a modern monument, he would be apt to mistake it for an arch-angel, and be naturally put in mind of that awful time, ‘"when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise."’ But the design, we are told, is very different; and this winged messenger is no other than the ancient personage of Fame, who is proclaiming the virtues of the defunct round the world.

SHOULD any one propose to take down from St. Paul's Ca­thedral those paintings of Sir James Thornhill representing the transactions of St. Paul, and in their place to set up Titian's pictures of the amours of the Heathen Gods and Goddesses, every one would be shocked at the impiety of the proposal. Nor is the fashion of introducing Heathen Deities into our monuments much less absurd: for while any of those are suffered to remain in our Churches, the reproof of our Sa­viour concerning the Temple at Jerusalem may perhaps be­come applicable to the present times— ‘"My House is an House of Prayer; but ye have made it a DEN OF THIEVES."’

I HOPE I shall not be thought too grave or whimsical, if I earnestly recommend it to the consideration of those whom it may concern, whether a reformation is not necessary in our Churches, to purge them from these prophane images; which, though not the objects of our idolatry, have no more pretence to be set up in the Temple of the Living Lord, than those of the canonized Saints of the Roman Catholics.

MODERN Taste is continually striking out new improve­ments. We may therefore conclude, that when our statu­aries [Page 338] have travelled through the ancient Pantheon, and ex­hausted all the subjects of the Grecian and Roman Mytho­logy, we shall have recourse to the superstitions of other nations for the designs of our monuments. They will then probably be adorned with Aegyptian Hieroglyphics, and the tomb of some future hero may be built according to the model of the Prophet's tomb at Mecca. It is not to be doubted, but that the Chinese Taste, which has been already introduced into our gardens, our buildings, and our furni­ture, will also soon find its way into our Churches; and how elegant must a monument appear, which is erected in the Chinese Taste, and embellished with dragons, bells, Pagods, and Mandarins!

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXIV. THURSDAY, June 26, 1755.

—Non ita Romuli
Praescriptum, et intonsi Catonis
Auspiciis, veterumque norma.
HOR.

THERE is no method of reproof more in vogue, than the drawing invidious parallels between the present times and the past. The grumbling politician rails over his coffee at the present ministry, and reminds you with a sigh of the golden Days of Queen Bess: while, in mat­ters of less consequence, the critic shakes his head at Mr. TOWN, and mentions BICKERSTAFF. But the mo­ralists are above all others devoted to this practice. These wise gentlemen are continually looking backwards, and con­demning what lays immediately before them by retrospect. They are for ever harping on this jarring chord, and have [Page 440] scarce more words in their mouths than the solemn sentences said to be delivered by Fryar Bacon's Brazen Head, Time is—Time was—Time is past.

NO comparisons of this sort are so frequently repeated, and so much insisted on, as those drawn between the An­cients and Moderns. If an eloquent member of the House of Commons is cruelly suspected of bellowing for a place, no­thing rings in his ears but Tully and Demosthenes. If a gen­tleman or perhaps a nobleman, with a heavy mortgage on his estate, disencumbers it by selling his interest at a county election, he is immediately upbraided with one Roman that was not ashamed to follow the plough-tail, and another who could refuse large bribes, and content himself with a cottage and turnips. If a lady makes an unfortunate slip, she is told again and again of Lucretia, and fifty other school-boy tales of honour and chastity. In a word, there is not one fashiona­ble frailty but has some stubborn antiquated virtue set in oppo­sition to it; and our unhappy metropolis is every day threaten­ed with destruction for its degeneracy from the rigid maxims of Rome or Sparta.

IN the midst of all these severe reflections, it gives me infinite pleasure, that I can with justice take notice of the incontestable superiority of the Moderns in point of Modesty. The arrogance of the Ancients was so remarkable, that, in their idea of a perfect character, they included every public and private virtue. They aimed at a strict observance of all the duties of life: and if some old Romans had been stiled Gods while living, it would not have been such gross flattery as was afterwards practised, in honouring the Emperors with an Apotheosis. Their inflexible honesty was their perpetual [Page 441] boast, and their virtue was their pride. This high idea of a Perfect Character among the Ancients naturally urged them to lift themselves to an invidious superiority above the rest of the world: while the modest Moderns, by taking all the vices instead of the virtues into their notion of a Fine Gentle­man, endeavour to let themselves down to a level with the lowest of their species, and have laid the surest foundation for humility. Fine Gentlemen are so far from being proud, that they are never guilty of any thing which gives them the least reason to be so: and our Fine Ladies have none of the disgusting haughtiness of virtue, though indeed they are sel­dom known to be ashamed.

IT is impossible to devise one method of lowering the good opinion a man might possibly conceive of himself, that has not been put in practice. No Fine Gentleman ever aimed at acquiring any excellence, and if any natural perfections might give some little occasion for pride, the greatest pains have been taken to destroy them. Good parts have been often drowned in drunkenness, and a strong constitution sweated away in bagnios: and in the mean time learning has been totally neglected, lest improvement should bring on pedantry and literary pride. The most shining parts in the character of a Fine Gentleman are, that he drinks deep, dresses gen­teelly, rides well, can shoe his own horse, and is possessed of some few other qualifications, which nobody can ever sus­pect a mind the least given to ambition would ever labour to acquire. For my part I am so far from agreeing with our famous satirist that love of fame is the universal passion, that when I observe the behaviour of our Fine Gentlemen, I am apt to think it proceeds from the lowest and humblest turn of mind: indeed their singular modesty appears to me the [Page 442] only means of accounting for their actions, which commonly tend to place them in the meanest and most contemp­tible light.

NOTHING but this invincible Modesty, and fear of seeming to aim at excellence, could ever give rise to certain habits, not only ridiculous, but ungraceful. Good eyes, for instance, are universally acknowledged to give lustre to the whole coun­tenance, yet fashion and humility have blinded the whole town. The beau draws his eyes out of his pocket, and the beauties kill us through spying-glasses. It has been known to be the vogue for persons of fashion to lose the use of their legs, and limp along as if they were crippled: this practice I daily expect to be revived, for I take it for granted that the tall staves now carried about must naturally dwindle into crutches. An inarticulate lisp even now infects the delivery in polite conversation. It is not at all unfashionable to pre­tend deafness; and unless the ladies object to it, I do not despair of seeing the time when the whole modish world shall affect to be dumb.

THIS humble way of thinking has been carried so far, that it has even introduced a new species of hypocrisy. Fine Gen­tlemen, fearing lest their good qualities should in their own despite overbalance their bad ones, claim several vices to which they have no title. There is something very admirable and ingenuous in this disposition among our young people, who not only candidly discover all their frailties, but accuse them­selves of faults, which they never intended to commit. I know a young fellow who is almost every morning complain­ing of the head-ache, and cursing the last night's champagne at the St. Alban's, when I am well assured he passed his evening [Page 441] very soberly with his maiden aunts in Cheapside. I am also acquainted with another gentleman, who is very fond of con­fessing his intrigues, and often modestly takes shame to him­self for the great mischief he does among the women; though I well know he is too bashful even to make love to his laun­dress. He sometimes laments publickly the unlucky conse­quences of an amour, and has more than once been discover­ed to send pill-boxes and gallipots directed for himself, to be left at the bar of neighbouring coffee-houses. The same humble turn of mind induces the frugal to appear extravagant: and makes many a religious young fellow deny his principles, brave his conscience, and affect the character and conversation of an Atheist. To say the truth, the generality of the gay world are arrant hypocrites in their vices, and appear to be worse than they really are. Many of our pretended Bloods are, in fact, no more drunkards, whoremasters, or infidels, than a bully is a man of courage: and are as sincere in their boasts of vice, as statesmen or beauties in their mutual pro­fessions of friendship.

THAT part of the female world, which composes the order of Fine Ladies, have as much humility as their counterparts, the Fine Gentlemen. There is something so charming in the fair sex that we should almost adore them, if they did not lay aside all the pride of reputation, and by some good-natured familiarities reduce themselves to an equality with us. It is indeed wonderful to see with what diligence our polite ladies pare off the excellencies from their characters. When we see them almost as naked as the Graces, it is natural to suppose them as warmly devoted to Venus; and when we hear them talk loosely, and encourage double meanings in conversation, we are apt to imagine their notions of honour not very strict [Page 444] or severe. But after all this is frequently mere hypocrisy, and the effect of humility. Many a lady very wanton in appear­ance, is in reality very modest; and many a coquet has lost her reputation, without losing her virtue. I make no doubt but that several ladies of suspicious characters are not so bad as they seem, and that there are honourable persons among the gayest of our women of quality.

TO return whence I see set out, the extraordinary Modesty of the Moderns, so averse to the arrogant pride of the Ancients claiming all virtues and good qualities whatsoever, is the only key to their behaviour. Thus vice, or at least the appear­ance of vice, becomes absolutely requisite to pass through the world with tolerable decency, and the character of a man of spirit. As Sir John Brute says, ‘"they were sneaking dogs, and afraid of being damned in those days,"’ but we are better informed, and fear nothing but the appearance of too much virtue. To secure the nobility, gentry, and others from so shocking an imputation, I shall speedily present the world with a curious piece, compiled from the practice and principles of the present times, entitled A New Treatise on Ethicks; or, a System of Immoral Philosophy. In this treatise I have treated at large of Modern Modesty, shewn the excel­lence and utility of Immorality, and considered Drinking, Whoring, Fighting, and Gaming, as the four Cardinal Vices, or in other words, the principal constituents of Bucks, Bloods and Fine Gentlemen.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXV. THURSDAY, July 3, 1755.

Non tu corpus eras sine pectore.—
HOR.

GOOD-NATURE is to the mind, what beauty is to the body; and an agreeable dis­position creates a love and esteem for us in the rest of mankind, as an handsome person recommends us to the good graces of the fair-sex. To say the truth, any little defect in point of figure is sooner overlooked than a sourness in the temper; and we conceive a more lasting disgust at a morose chur­lishness of manners than at a hump-back or a pair of bandy legs. Good-Nature is, indeed, so amiable a qualification, that every man would be thought to possess it: and the ladies themselves would no more like to be accused of a perverse turn of mind than of an unhappy cast of features. Hence it proceeds, that those unfortunate stale virgins, usually call'd Old Maids, have both these heavy censures [Page 446] thrown upon them; and are at once condemned, as ugly and ill-natured.

SOME persons are (according to the strict import of the phrase itself) born Good-Natured. These fortunate people are easy in themselves, and agreeable to all about them. They are, as it were, constitutionally pleasing, and can no more fail of being affable and engaging in conversation, than a Hamilton or a Coventry can be otherwise than beautiful and charming. Yet it is the duty even of these, who are naturally endowed ‘"with the soft parts of conversation."’ to be careful not to deprave or abuse them. They must not rely too confidently on their native agreeableness of temper: for we should no more esteem a man, who discovered a negligence of pleasing, than we should admire a beauty, who was an intolerable slattern. Nor on the other hand, should they let their Good-Nature run to an excess of com­pliment and extravagant civility: for an engaging temper has been as often spoiled by this troublesome politeness, as a fine shape has been squeezed into frightful distortions by bad stays, and a fine complexion entirely ruined by paint.

BUT if this care is requisite even in those few, who are blest with this native complacency and good humour, how necessary is it for the generality of mankind to labour at rectifying the irregularities in their temper. For this pur­pose it would be fully sufficient, if they would employ half the art to cultivate their minds, that is daily made use of to set off their persons. To this important end not only the female delicacies of paint and essence are called in as auxi­liaries to the embroidered suits and French perukes, but this anxiety to supply any personal defect has set the invention of [Page 447] artificers to work with so much earnestness, that there is scarce any external blemish, which may not be removed or con­cealed: and however unkindly nature may have dealt with you, you may by their assistance be made a model for a statuary, or a pattern for a painter to study. If you want an inch in height, your shoemaker can supply it, and your hosier can furnish you with a pair of calves that may put an Irishman to the blush. An irregularity in your shape can be made invisible by your taylor, or at least by the artist near the Hay-market, who daily gives notice, that he makes steel stays for all those who are INCLINED to be crooked. There are various compounds and cosmetics that will cure spots and freckles in the complexion, and combs and oint­ments that will change red hair to the finest brown. Do you want an eye? Taylor will fill the vacant socket with as bright a piercer as the family of the Pentweazles can boast: or is your mouth deficient for want of teeth, Paul Jullion (to use his own phrase) will rectify your head, and fix a set in your gums as even and beautiful as ever adorned the mouth of a chimney-sweeper. These and many other inven­tions as curious and extraordinary have been devised; and there are no operations, however painful, which have not been submitted to with patience to conquer personal defor­mities. I know a gentleman who went through the agony of having his leg broke a second time, because it had been set awry; and I remember a lady, who died of a cancer in her breast, occasioned by the application of repelling plaisters to keep back her milk, that the beauty of her neck might not be destroyed. I most heartily wish the same resolution was discovered in improving the disposition. Half the care that is taken of the body would have happy effects upon the [Page 448] temper. Tully in that part of his Offices, where he speaks of Grace, tells us, ‘"that it is destroyed by any violent per­turbations either of the body or mind."’ It is a pity that mankind cannot be reconciled to this opinion; since it is likely, they would spare no pains in cultivating their minds if it tended to adorn their persons. Yet it is certain that a man makes a worse figure with an ignorant pate than an un­powdered peruke, and that knowledge is a greater ornament to the head than a bag or a smart cocked hat; that anger sets like a blood-shot in the eyes, while good-nature lights them up with smiles, and makes every feature in the face charming and agreeable. There is a certain sweetness of dis­position, which is sure to procure to those who possess it the good-will of their acquaintance; but it is as ridiculous for a man to hope to be beloved, while he neglects to be amiable, as it would be in a lady, who expects a multitude of admi­rers, to appear always in a dirty dishabille.

THE difficulty of being convinced that we want this social turn, is the grand reason that so little pains are taken to acquire and perfect it. Would a man once be persuaded of any irregularity in his temper, he would find the blemishes of the mind more easily corrected and amended than the de­fects and deformities of the body; but alas! every man is in his own opinion sensible and good-humour'd. It is, indeed, possible to convince us, that we have a bad complexion or an aukward deportment, which we endeavour to amend by washes and a dancing-master; but when the mind is in fault, self-adulation, the most fatal species of flattery, makes us cajole ourselves into a belief, that the fault is not in our own disposition, but in that of our companions: as the mad [Page 449] inhabitants of Moor-fields conclude all, that come to visit them, out of their senses. A whimsical person complains of the perverseness of his acquaintance, and constantly ac­cuses them of fancy and caprice: and there never was an instance of a positive untoward man, that did not continu­ally rail at the stubbornness and obstinacy of the rest of the world. A modern Buck damns you for a sullen fellow, if you refuse a pint bumper, and looks upon you as a sneaking scoundrel if you decline entering into any of his wild pranks, and do not chuse to lay all night in the round-house. It was the saying of an old philosopher, that ‘"the eye sees not itself:"’ but when this blind partiality is carried so far, as to make us think those guilty of the folly who make us sensible of it, it is surely as absurd as to imagine, that the hair-lip or carbuncled nose, a man sees in the glass, belongs to the figure in the mirror, and not to his own face. This foolish flattery it is, that makes us think ourselves inflexibly right, while we are obstinately wrong, and prevents our receiving or communicating, any pleasure in society. The untractable humourist, while he disgusts all that are about him, conceives himself to be the person affronted, and la­ments that there is no harmony in the conversation, though he is himself the only one out of tune.

PERFECTION is no more to be expected in the minds of men than in their persons: Natural defects and irregularities in both must be overlooked and excused. All I desire at present is, that they would endeavour with equal earnestness to cultivate their minds, as they do to adorn their persons. To this end we should examine ourselves impartially, and not erect ourselves into judges, and treat all the rest; of man­kind like criminals. Would it not be mighty ridiculous in [Page 450] a person of quality to go to court in a ruff, a cloak, a pair of trunk breeches, and the habit worn in the days of Queen Elizabeth, and while he strutted about in this antiquated garb, to accuse all the rest of the world of being out of the fashion? As we are composed of a body and mind, equal attention should be paid to both; and we should not be anxious to cloath the person, and at the same time let the mind go naked. We should be equally assiduous to obtain knowledge and virtue as to put on lace and velvet: and when our minds are completely dressed, we should take care that good-nature and complacency influence and direct the whole; which will throw the same grace over our virtues and good qualities, as fine cloaths receive from being cut according to the fashion.

I CANNOT conclude better than with a passage from Swift's Tale of a Tub, where the strict analogy between the cloathing of the mind and the body is humourously pointed out. ‘"Man (says he) is a Micro-coat. As to his body there can be no doubt; but examine even the acquirements of his mind, you will find them all contribute in their order towards furnishing out an exact dress. To instance no more; is not religion a cloak, honesty a pair of shoes worn out in the dirt, self-love a surtout, vanity a shirt, and conscience a pair of breeches, which though a cover for lewdness as well as nastiness, is easily slipt down for the service of both."’

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXVI. THURSDAY, July 10, 1755.

Vomeris huc & falcis honos, huc omnis aratri
Cessit amor: recoquunt patrios fornacibus enses:
Classica jamque sonant: it bello tessera signum.
VIRG.

THE British Lion, who has for a long time past been a passive couchant beast, or at most been heard to growl and grumble, now be­gins to roar again. His tremendous voice has roused the whole nation, and the mean­est of the people breathe nothing but war and revenge. The encroachments of the French on our colonies are the ge­neral topic of conversation, and the popular cry now runs NEW England for ever! Peace or War has been the sub­ject of bets at White's as well as debates at the Robin Hood; and ‘"a Fleet roasting, new world's new dress, the colonies in a rope, &c."’ were, last Sunday, the subjects of a [Page 452] prayer and lecture at the Oratory in Clare Market. The theatres also, before they closed the season, entertained us with several warlike Dramas: The Press Gang was exhibi­ted at Covent Garden; and at Drury Lane, the same sea that rolled its canvas billows in pantomime at the beginning of the season, to carry Harlequin to China, was again put in motion to transport our sailors to North America. At present the streets ring with the martial strains of our ballad singers, who are endeavouring, like Tyrtaeus of old, to rouse their fellow countrymen to battle: while all the polite world are hurrying to Portsmouth to see mock-fights, and be regaled on board the Admiral.

THIS posture of affairs has occasioned politics, which have been long neglected as studies useless and impertinent, to become once more fashionable. Religion and politics, though they naturally demand our constant attention, are only cultivated in England by fits. Christianity sleeps among us, unless roused by the apprehensions of a plague, an earthquake, or a Jew-bill: and we are alarmed for a while at the sudden news of an invasion or a rebellion, but as soon as the danger is over, the Englishman, like the soldier recovered from his fright occasioned by Queen Mab's drumming in his ear, ‘"swears a prayer or two, and sleeps again."’ To preach up public spirit, is at some seasons only blowing a dead coal; but at others, an accidental blast kindles the embers, and they mount into flame in an instant. The reign of politics seems at present to be re-commencing. Our news­papers contain dark hints and shrewd conjectures from the Hague, Paris, and Madrid; and spirited orations from Nova-Scotia: and the lye of the day is artfully contrived to influence the rise and fall of the money-barometer in [Page 453] Change-Alley. This is the present state of politics within the bills of mortality, of which I shall now take no further notice, but submit to the perusal of my readers the fol­lowing letter from my Cousin VILLAGE on the same important subject.

To Mr. TOWN.

DEAR COUSIN!

WAR, though it has not laid our fields waste or made our cities desolate, engrosses almost all the at­tention of this place. Every farm-house swarms with poli­ticians, who lay their wise heads together for the good of the nation, and at every petty chandler's shop in town, while the half quarterns of tea are weighed out, the balance of Europe is adjusted. The preparations now making by sea and land are as popular subjects as the price of hay or the Broad-Wheel-Act. Success to our noble admirals, and a speedy war, are also as common toasts over a mug of ale as a good harvest: though it must be owned, that some sel­fish farmers, who have not an equal share of public spirit and love of their country with their fellow rustics, are somewhat apprehensive of the influence, which a war may have upon the Land-tax.

I AM at present on a visit to Sir Politic Hearty, who is one of those country gentlemen, that are continually athirst for news, and are more anxious about the affairs of the nation, than the care of their own estates. Sir Politic is miserable three days in the week for want of fresh in­telligence; but his spirits revive at the sound of the post­horn, [Page 454] when the mail brings him the Lomdon Evening Post, and a long letter of news from his nephew at the Temple. These Sir Politic himself reads after dinner to me, the cu­rate of the parish, and the town-apothecary, whom he indulges with the run of his table for their deep insight into the proceedings of the government. He makes many shrewd remarks on every paragraph, and frequently takes the opinion of the two Doctors (for he honours both the curate and apothecary with that title) on the asterisks, dashes, and italics. He has also discovered several mysteries in his Majesty's visit to Hanover, has elected a king of the Romans, and laid a better plan for discharging the national debt, than has ever yet been proposed by Jacob Henriques. Many of his reflections have given me great entertainment but I was never more diverted than at the following droll incident at one of our late privy councils. Sir Politic's nephew, who, it seems, has made as great a proficiency in the study of the Humbug as of the law, sent him down, as a serious prophecy, a new pamphlet humourously foretelling the des­truction of the French from Ezekiel. This the unsuspicious Baronet read very gravely over, and then turning to the cu­rate, cried out, ‘"Rare news, doctor!—Come fill a bumper to Old England—We have the bible of our side, you see, and hark ye, Doctor, I'd advise you as a friend to preach a sermon upon Thou shalt be desolate, O MOUNT SEIR!"’

NOTHING at first puzzled the honest baronet, and the rest of our country politicians so much as the new seat of war. They were pretty tollerably acquainted with Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and the other scenes of action in Flanders, but Virginia, the Ohio, the Lake Ontario, &c. (to use a common phrase) were quite out of their latitude. This [Page 455] difficulty was however at length surmounted by the tem­plar's transmitting to his uncle one of D' Anville's maps, which has enabled the baronet sometimes to delineate the progress of the French up the Ohio in meanders of port winding along the table, and sometimes to demolish the forts lately raised by the enemy behind Pensylvania and at Crown Point. Sir Politic has indeed studied Monsieur D' Anville very thoroughly, and I dare say is better ac­quainted with his plan of North America, than with the map of his own estate.

WAR never fails of producing several groundless and contradictory reports; but if Fame is a lying jade in town, she is the idlest gossip that ever spoke in the country. It is impossible for you, Cousin, or any of your readers, who reside constantly in London, to form any tolerable idea of a country news-paper. There is in this town a petty printer who sets his press to work once a week by publishing a journal, which contains advices more extraordinary, if not authentic, than the gazette. It has been his custom for some years past to raise apparitions in country churches, to give accounts of battles fought in the air, comets, and several other preternatural phoenomena: but since the rumour of a war, he has dealt in nothing but skirmishes and engage­ments. He gave the French fleet several furious broadsides before it sailed from Brest, and has gained us several vic­tories in Virginia; though in his last journal he shot off both Boscawen's legs, and made him fight, like Wither­ington, on his stumps; and it was but yesterday that Sir Politic, on the authority of a letter from his nephew, confuted this intelligence, and set the Admiral on his legs again.

[Page 456]THIS, Cousin, is the present state of politics at —, which I think, in the stile of our news-papers, might cause you much speculation. You would be of great service, if you could persuade our country statesmen that they would be better employed at their rustic occupations than in mana­ging the affairs of the nation, and that many a man would make a scurvy figure at the helm of the state, who is of great use at the plough-tail. As to my friend Sir Politic, I should be very glad if he would leave the conduct of the war, and the destination of our fleets and armies to the mi­nistry, who will, I doubt not, adjust matters as prudently as himself, the curate, and apothecary: and I think his thoughts might be more properly exercised in contriving some method of redeeming two heavy mortgages that in­cumber his estate, than in laying plans for the discharge of the national debt.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXVII. THURSDAY, July 17, 1755.

Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia et spes.
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

I READ your late paper, shewing the close analogy which cloathing the body bears to adorning the mind, with great attention: and am thoroughly persuaded, that the generality of mankind would be as glad to embellish their minds as to set off their persons, if they could procure knowledge, virtue, and good-nature, with the same ease that they can furnish themselves with the ornaments of the body. The clown in rug or duffel can, at a moment's warning, be furnished with a complete suit of lace or embroidery [Page 458] from Monmouth-street: his long lank greasy hair may be exchanged in Middle Row for a smart bag or a jemmy scratch; and his clouted shoes, with the rough hobnails in the heel and sole clumping at every step, may be transformed into a pair of dancing pumps at the Yorkshire Warehouse, or the Old Crispin in Cranbourn Alley. The draggled street walker can rig herself with a clean smock, a linen gown, and a hat smartly cocked up behind and before, in Broad St. Giles's; or if she can afford it, every pawn-broker will let out a gold watch with coronets, a tissue or brocaded sack, and all the paraphernalia of a countess. But where, Mr. TOWN, can these people go to cloath their minds, or at what shops are retailed sense and virtue? Honour and honesty are not to be purchased in Monmouth-street: Know­ledge is not infused into the head through the powder-puff; and, as good wine needs no bush, sense is not derived from the full-bottomed periwig. The woman of the town, vamped up for show with paint, patches, plumpers, and every external ornament that art can suggest, knows no me­thod to beautify her mind. She cannot for any price buy chastity in Broad St. Giles's, or hire honesty from the pawn­broker's.

SEEING therefore at one view the difficulty in obtaining the accomplishments of the mind, and the exact analogy they bear to dress, I have been labouring this week past to remedy that inconvenience, and have at length devised a scheme which will fully answer that purpose. In a word then, I shall next winter open a shop or warehouse in the most public part of the town, under the name of a MIND-AND BODY-CLOTHIER: two trades which, though never yet united, are so far from being incompatible, that they are in [Page 459] their nature inseparable. I shall not only supply my friends with a suit or a single virtue, but furnish them with com­plete habits of mind and body from head to foot: and by a certain secret art in the form and texture of the things sold, the required virtues shall be as inherent in them, as the materials of which they are composed. That such virtues may be transfused by cloaths is evident from experience. In the narrow extent of my reading, Mr. TOWN, I remem­ber to have met with an account of Fortunatus's Wishing-Cap, by which he could transport himself in an instant from one place to another: It is also well known, that the famous Jack the Giant-killer possessed a sword of sharpness, shoes of swiftness, and a coat of invisibility. Why then may not I sell a suit of patriotism, a sword of honour, and retail modesty and chastity to fine ladies in tuckers and aprons. My scheme is already in great forwardness; and I shall be able to accommodate my customers by the next birth-day: wherefore, as Messieurs Paris and others daily advertise in the news-papers, I also chuse to give the world public notice of my scheme, and shall be proud to see them first apprised of it by means of your paper.

NO one, who duly considers the natural influence, which cloaths commonly have upon their wearers, will object to my scheme as utterly impracticable. That a person can put on or throw off the internal habits of his mind together with his coat or his perriwig, is plain in very numerous instances. The young counsellor, who every morning in term time takes the measure of Westminster-Hall with the importance of a judge upon the circuit, at once divests himself of his gravity with the starched band and long robe, and resumes the spirit of a buck together with the [Page 460] sword and bag-wig. In the same manner the orthodox vicar once a week wraps himself up in piety and virtue with his canonicals; which qualities are as easily cast off again as his surplice; and for the rest of the week he wears the dress as well as the manners of his fox-hunting patron. We may learn the disposition of a man by his apparel, as we know the trade of a carpenter by his leathern apron, or a soldier by his red coat. When we see a snuff-coloured suit of ditto with the bolus buttons, a metal headed cane, and an enormous bushy grizzle, we as readily know the wearer to be a dispenser of life and death, as if we had seen him pounding a mortar or brandishing a clyster-pipe. The different affections of the mind have been distinguished by different colours; as scarlet has been made to represent valour, yellow to denote jealousy, and true blue to signify integrity: but we may likewise discover all the virtues and vices lurking in the different parts of the apparel. When at a city feast I see the guests tucking their napkins into their shirt-collars, as if they were all of them going to be shaved, I very well know that their thoughts wear a different dress than in the Alley: and when the antiquated toast is laying on her complexion at the toilette, and repairing the ruins of beauty, what is she doing but patching her mind with pride and conceit? In a word, I can discover impudence staring from the bold cock of a Kevenhuller, frugality skulk­ing in a darned stocking, coquetry spread out in a hoop­petticoat, and soppery dangling from a shoulder-knot. I often please myself with thus remarking the various dresses of the mind; and by the clue you have already given us I have been able to unfold the inmost linings of the heart, and discover ‘"the very stuff of the thoughts."’

[Page 461]IT must, however, be owned, that in these matters the nicest penetration may be imposed on; since in the present random method of dressing, many persons appear in mas­querade. This inconvenience, among many others, will be remedied by my project; for, as whoever deals with me will at once cloath his mind and his body, the whole town will be dressed in character. Thus if a chimney-sweeper or a plough-boy put on a suit of embroidery, a sword, bag-wig, &c. they will at the same time invest themselves with the inter­nal dignity of a person of quality: my lady's youngest son may buy courage with his regimentals, and orthodoxy may be purchased at the same time with a gown and cassock by the young smarts from the universities. My scheme also further recommends itself, by laying open the only path to virtue and knowledge, that the world will chuse to follow: and as my cloaths will always be cut according to the newest and most elegant manner, these qualifications of the mind, inherent in them, must necessarily come into fashion. Thus our fine gentlemen will learn morality under their valet de chambre; and a young lady of fashion will acquire new ac­complishments with every new ribband, and become virtu­ous as well as beautiful at her toilette. I depend on your readiness to promote my scheme; but what I most earnestly intreat of you, Mr. TOWN, is to use your utmost interest with the polite world, but especially with the ladies, not to discard cloaths entirely; as by such a resolution my scheme must be defeated: and indeed it will not be in the power of man to give them virtue, if they determine to go naked.

AS knowledge and virtue can never be sufficiently dif­fused, my warehouse will be calculated for general use, and stored with large assortments of all kinds of virtues and dresses, that I may suit persons of whatever denomination. Physicians may be furnished from my shop with gravity and learning in the tyes of a perriwig; serjeants at law may be fitted with a competent knowledge of reports under a coif; [Page 460] and young counsellors may be endued with a sufficient fund of eloquence for the circuits, in a smart tye between a bob and a flow, contrived to cover a toupee. I shall sell religion to country parsons in pudding-sleeves, and to young town curates just come from the university, in doctors scarfs and cut grizzles: I shall have some pious ejaculations, whi­nings, and groans, ready cut out in leathern aprons and blue frocks, for the preaching fraternity of carpenters, brick­layers, tallow-chandlers, and butchers, at the Tabernacle and Foundery in Moor-fields. For our military gentlemen de­signed to go abroad, I shall have several parcels of true Bri­tish courage woven in a variety of cockades and sword-knots: and for our fine gentlemen, who stay at home, I have pro­vided a proper quantity of French Bagatelle, in cut velvet, lace and embroidery, neat as imported.

AS the ladies, I suppose, will all of them to a woman be desirous of purchasing beauty with every branch of the fe­male apparel, I am afraid I shall not be able to answer their demands: but I shall have several dresses, which will make up for the want of it. I shall have neatness done up in a great variety of plain linnen; decency and discretion in several patterns for mobs, hoods, and nightgowns; together with modesty disposed into tuckers, kerchiefs for the neck, stays that almost meet the chin, and petticoats that touch the ground. I shall also have a small portion of chastity knit into garters, and laces for the stays, very proper to be worn at masquerades and assemblies.

I HAD almost forgot to mention, that authors, who are often in equal want of sense and cloaths, shall be fitted out by me with both at once on very reasonable rates. As for yourself, Mr. TOWN, I shall beg leave to present you with an entire suit of superfine wit and humour, warranted to wear well, and appear creditable, and in which no author would be ashamed to be seen.

I am, Sir, your humble servant EUTRAPELUS TRIM.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXVIII. THURSDAY, July 24, 1755.

[A very uncommon though just vein of thought, runs through the following letter. I shall add nothing more in recommendation of it, but only assure my correspon­dent that I shall be very glad to hear from him again.]

Aetatis cujusque notandi sunt tibi mores.
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

NOTHING appears to me to be more neces­sary in order to wear off any particularities in our behaviour, or to root out any per­verseness in our opinions, than mixing with persons of ages and occupations different from our own. Whosoever confines himself entirely to the society of those who are engaged in the same persuits, [Page 464] and whose thoughts naturally take the same turn with his own, acquires a certain stiffness and pedantry of behaviour, which is sure; to make him disagreeable, except in one particular set of company. Instead of cramping the mind by keeping it within so narrow a circle, we should endeavour to enlarge it by every worthy notion and accomplishment; and temper each qualification with its opposite, as the four elements are compounded in our natural frame.

THE necessity of this free conversation, to open and im­prove the mind, is evident from the consequences, which always follow a neglect of it. The employment each man follows, wholly engrosses his attention, and tinges the mind with a peculiar die, which shews itself in all the operations of it, unless prevented by natural good sense and liberal education. The physician, the lawyer, and the tradesman will appear in company, though none of those occupations are the subject of discourse; and the clergyman will grow morose and severe, who seldom or never converses with the laity. But if no particular profession has this influence over us, some darling passion or amusement gives a colour to our thoughts and actions, and makes us odious, or at least ridiculous. Fine ladies for instance, by despising the con­versation of sensible men, can talk of nothing but routes, balls, assemblies, birth-day suits, and intrigues; and fine gentlemen, for the same reason, of almost nothing at all. In like manner, the furious partizan, who has not been weaned from a mad attachment to particular principles, is weak enough to imagine every man of a different way of thinking a fool and a scoundrel; and the sectary or zealot devotes to eternal damnation all those, who will not go to heaven in the same road with himself, under the guidance [Page 465] of Whitefield, Wesley, or Count Zinzendorff. To the same cause we owe the rough country squire, whose ideas are wholly bent on guns, dogs, horses, and game; and who has every thing about him of a piece with his diversions. His hall must be adorned with stags heads instead of busts and statues, and in the room of family pictures, you will see prints of the most famous stallions and race-horses: all his doors open and shut with foxes feet, and even the buttons of his cloaths are impressed with the figures of dogs, foxes, stags, and horses. To this absurd practice of culti­vating only one set of ideas, and shutting ourselves out from any intercourse with the rest of the world, is owing that narrowness of mind which has infected the conversations of the polite world with insipidity, made roughness and bruta­lity the characteristics of a mere country gentleman, and pro­duced the most fatal consequences in politics and religion.

BUT if this commerce with the generality of mankind is so necessary to remove any impressions, which we may be liable to receive from any particular employment or darling amusement, what precautions ought to be used, in order to remedy the inconveniences naturally brought on us by the different ages of life! It is not certain that a person will be engaged in any profession, or given up to any peculiar kind of pleasure, but the mind of every man is subject to the inclinations arising from the several stages of his existence, as well as his body to chronical distempers. This indeed, Mr. TOWN, is the principal cause of my writing to you, for it has often given me great concern to see the present division between the young and the old; to observe elderly men forming themselves into clubs and societies, that they may be more securely separated from youth; and to see [Page 466] young men running into dissipation and debauchery, rather than associate with age. If each party would labour to conform to the other, from such a coalition many advanta­ges would accrue to both. Our youth would be instructed by the experience of age, and lose much of that severity, which they retain too long: while at the same time the wrinkled brow of the aged would be smoothed by the sprightly chearfulness of youth; by which they might supply the want of spirits, forget the loss of old friends, and bear with ease all their worldly misfortunes. It is re­markable, that those young men are the most worthy and sensible, who have kept up any intercourse with the old; and that those old men are of the most chearful and amiable disposition, who have not been ashamed to con­verse with the young.

I WILL not pretend to decide which party is most blame­able in neglecting this necessary commerce between each other, which, if properly managed, would be at once so beneficial and delightful: but it undoubtedly arises from a certain selfishness and obstinacy in both, which will not suffer them to make a mutual allowance for the natural difference of their dispositions. Their inclinations are indeed as diffe­rent as their years; yet each expects the other to comply, though neither will make any advances. How rarely do we see the least degree of society preserved between a father and son! a shocking reflection, when we consider that na­ture has endeavoured to unite them by parental affection on one side, and filial gratitude on the other. Yet a father and son as seldom live together with any tolerable harmony as a husband and wife; and chiefly for the same reason: for though they are both joined under the same yoke, yet they [Page 467] are each tugging different ways. A father might as well expect his son to be as gouty and infirm as himself, as to have the disposition which he has contracted from age: and a son might as reasonably desire the vigour and vivacity of five and twenty, as his own love of gaiety and diversions in his father. It is therefore plainly evident, that a mutual endeavour of conforming to each other is absolutely requi­site to keep together the cement of natural affection, which the want of it so frequently dissolves: or at at least, if it does not disturb the affection, it constantly destroys the society between father and son.

THIS unhappy and unnatural division is often the subject of complaint in persons of both ages, but is still unremedied because they neither reflect on the cause whence it proceeds. Old men are perpetually commenting on the extreme levity of the times, and blaming the young, because they do not admire and court their company: which indeed is no wonder, since they generally treat their youthful companions as mere children, and expect such a slavish deference to their years, as destoys that equality by which chearfulness and society subsists. Young men do not like to be chid by an ill-natur'd proverb, or reproved by a wrinkle: but though they do not chuse to be corrected by their grave seniors, like school-boys, they would be proud to consult them as friends; which the injudicious severity of old age seldom will permit, not deigning to indulge them with so great a degree of freedom and familiarity. Youth, on the other hand, shun the company of age, complaining of the small regard and respect paid to them, though they often act with so little reserve and such unbecoming confidence as not to deserve it. Suppose the old were pleased with the natu­ral [Page 468] flow of spirits and lively conversation of youth, still some respect may be challenged as due to them: nor should the decency and sobriety of their characters ever be insulted by any improper or immodest conversation.

I AM an old man myself, Mr. TOWN, and I have an only boy, whose behaviour to me is unexceptionable: per­mit me therefore to dwell a moment longer on my favourite subject, and I will conclude. With what harmony might all parents and children live together, if the father would strive to soften the rigour of age, and remember that his son must naturally possess those qualities, which ever ac­company youth; and if the son would in return endeavour to suit himself to those infirmities which his Father received from old age! If they would reciprocally study to be agree­able to each other, the father would insensibly substitute affection in the room of authority, and lose the churlish severity and peevishness incident to his years: while the son would curb the unbecoming impetuosity of his youth, change his reluctance to obey into a constant attention to please, and remit much of his extreme gaiety in conformity to the gra­vity of his father. Wherever such a turn of mind is en­couraged there must be happiness and agreeable society; and the contrary qualities of youth and age, thus com­pounded, compose the surest cement of affection, as colours of the most opposite tints by a skilful mixture, each giving and receiving certain shades, will form a picture, the most heightened and exquisite in it's colouring.

I am, Sir, Your most humble Servant, JOHN BEVILL.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXIX. THURSDAY, July 31, 1755.

—O te, Bollane, cerebri
Felicem! aiebam tacitus, dum quidlibet ille
Garriret, vicos, urbem laudaret.—
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

I HAVE been very much diverted with your observations on our honest tradesmen, who make weekly excursions into the neigh­bouring villages; and I agree with you, that the generality of our citizens seldom dare trust themselves out of the sight of London smoke, or extend their travels further than with their wives and chil­dren in the Wandsworth double post-chaise, or the Hampton long coach. But we may now and then pick up a stray citizen, whom business has dragged beyond the bills of [Page 470] mortality, as it happened to myself the other day about twenty miles from London: and as I was mightily pleased with his behaviour and conversation, I have taken the liberty to send you an account of it.

BEING caught in a shower upon the road, I was glad to take shelter at the first inn I came to; which, if it had been called the NEW INN, I should have thought, from its antique appearance, that it had been an house of entertain­ment in the time of our great grandfathers. I had scarce alighted, when a strange figure (driven thither, as I supposed, on the same account with myself,) came soberly jogging into the yard, dripping wet. As he waited for the steps, before he would venture to get off his horse, I had the opportu­nity of surveying his whole appearance. He was wrapped up in an old thread-bare weather-beaten surtout, which I believe had once been scarlet; the cape was pulled over his head, and buttoned up close round his face; and his hat was flapped down on each side, and fastened about his ears with a list garter tyed under his chin. He wore upon his legs something that resembled splatterdashes, which (as I afterwards learned) were cut out of an old pair of boots; but his right shoe was considerably larger than the other, and had several slits in the upper leather. He had spurs on, indeed, but without rowels; and by way of whip a worm-eaten cane, with a bone head studded with brass pins, hung from his wrist by a string of greasy black leather.

I SOON found I was nobody: for the GENTLEMAN, it seems, took up the whole attention of the maid, mistress, and ostler, who all of them got round him, and with much difficulty, by the assistance of the steps, helped him down. [Page 471] My landlady, (after the usual welcome) before it was pos­sible for her to see any part of him but his nose, told him ‘"he looked brave and jolly;"’ and when she had led him into the kitchen, she fetched a large glass of what she called ‘"her own water,"’ which (she said) would keep the cold out of his stomach. All hands were now busied in drawing off his surtout, which discovered underneath a full-trimmed white coat, and a black velvet waistcoat with a broad gold lace very much tarnished. The surtout was hung to dry by the fire as well as his coat, the place of which was sup­plied by a long riding-hood of my landlady; and as the gentleman complained of having suffered by a loss of leather, the maid was dispatched to the doctor's for some diachylon. The usual question now succeeded, concern­ing dinner; and as he observed I was all alone, he very courteously offered me to join company, which I as rea­dily accepted.

THE important business of dinner being settled, we ad­journed into a private room; when my fellow-guest told me of his own accord, that he lived in London; that for these twenty years he had always come to the town we were now in, once a year, to receive money, and take orders for goods; and that he had always put up at this house. He then run on in the praises of the landlady; and tipping me a wink, ‘"ay, says he, she has been a clever woman in her time, before she bore children."’ He added, that for his part he did not like your great inns; for that they never looked upon any thing under a coach and six. He fur­ther informed me, that he was married to his present wife in the first mayoralty of Alderman Parsons, and in the very waistcoat he had on: ‘"but, says he, I now wear it only [Page 472] on a journey; because, you know, a bit of lace com­mands respect upon the road."’ Upon enquiring about his family, I found he had three boys; one of whom was bound prentice to himself; the other was sent to sea, be­cause he was a wild one; and the third he designed to make a parson of, because he was grave, and his play-fellows at Poule's school used to call him ‘"bishop."’

ALL this while he had sat in my landlady's riding-hood, with a linen nightcap on his head tyed on the top with a piece of black ribband, which (he told me) he always rode in, because it was cooler than a wig. But the saddle-bags were now ordered in; and out of one of them he drew a large flowing grizzle carefully buckled, which he combed out himself, borrowing some flour from the kitchen drudger. His splatterdashes were next taken off, his shoes wiped with a wisp of hay; and being assured by the landlady herself, that his coat was dry enough to put on, he completely equipped himself, in order to wait on several tradesmen, with whom he had dealings, after dinner. As this was not quite ready, we took a walk to the stables to see his mare: and though the beast seemed as lean and harmless as Sancho's ass, he assured me he had much ado to ride her, she was so frisky; ‘"for she had not run in the chaise these two sundays past."’

BEING summoned in to dinner, we sat down to a repast of mutton chops and sheeps hearts, which last he declared to be the wholsomest eating in the world. He objected to wine, because there was not a drop good for any thing to be got upon the road; but he vastly recommended my landlady's home-brewed, which he affirmed to be better [Page 473] than Hogsden ale, or the thatch beer at Islington. Our meal being ended, my companion took his pipe; and we laid our heads together for the good of the nation, when we mauled the French terribly both by land and sea. At last, among other talk, he happened to ask me, if I lived in the City? As I was desirous of hearing his remarks, I answered, that I had never seen London. ‘"Never seen it? (says he) Then you have never seen one of the finest sights in the whole world. Paris is but a dog-hole to it."’ There luckily hung a large Map of London over the chimney-piece, which he immediately made me get from my chair to look at. ‘"There, says he, there's London for you.—You see it is bigger than the Map of all England. He then led me about, with the end of his pipe, through all the principal streets from Hyde-Park to White-Chapel.‘"That, says he, is the River Thames;—There's London Bridge—There my Lord Mayor lives—That's Poule's—There the Mo­nument stands: And now, if you was but on the top of it, you might see all the houses and churches in London."’ I expressed my astonishment at every particular: but I could hardly refrain laughing, when pointing out to me Lincoln's Inn Fields‘"There, said he, there all the noblemen live."’ At last, after having transported me all over the town, he set me down in Cheapside, ‘"which (he said) was the big­gest street in the City."—’ ‘"And now, says he, I'll show you where I live.—’ ‘"That's Bow-Church—and there­abouts—where my pipe is—there—just there my shop stands."’ He concluded with a kind invitation to me to come and see him; and pulling out a book of patterns from his coat-pocket, assured me, that if I wanted any thing in his way, he could afford to let me have a bargain.

[Page 474]I PROMISED to call upon him; and the weather now clearing up, after settling the ballance of our reckoning with the landlady, we took leave of each other: but just as I had mounted my horse, and was going to set forward, my new acquaintance came up to me, and shaking me by the hand,— ‘"Hearkye, says he, if you will be in town by the twenty fifth of this instant July, I will intro­duce you to the Cockney's Feast; where, I assure you, you'll be mighty merry, and hear a great many good songs."’

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXX. THURSDAY, August 7, 1755.

Nulla viri cura intereà, nec mentio fiet
Damnorum.—
JUV.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

IF polygamy was allowed in this country, I am sure I might maintain a seraglio of wives at less expence than I have brought upon myself by marrying one woman. One did I say? Alas! I find it to my cost, that a wife, like a polypus, has the power of dividing and multi­plying herself into as many bodies as she pleases. You must know, Mr. TOWN, I took a woman of small fortune and made her my own flesh and blood: but I never thought that all her relations would likewise fasten on me with as little ceremony as a colony of fleas. I had scarce brought [Page 476] her home, before I was obliged to marry her mother: then I was prevailed on to marry her two maiden sisters; after that I married her aunts; then her cousins—In short, I am now married to the whole generation of them. I do not exaggerate matters, when I say that I am married to them all: for they claim as much right to every thing that is mine, as the person whom the world calls my wife. They eat, drink, and sleep with me: Every room in my house is at their command, except my bedchamber: They bor­row money of me:—and since I have the whole family quartered upon me, what signifies which of them takes upon her my name,—my wife, her sister, or her twen­tieth cousin?

O Mr. TOWN! I never sit down to table without the lamentable prospect of seeing as much victuals consumed, as would dine a whole vestry. So many mouths constantly going at my expence! And then there is such variety of provi­sions! for cousin Biddy likes one dish; my aunt Rachel is fond of another; sister Molly cannot abide this; and mother could never touch that:—though I find they are all of them unanimous in liking the best of every thing in season. Besides, I could entertain a set of jolly topers at a less rate than it costs me in light wines for the women. One of them drinks nothing but Lisbon; with another nothing goes down but Rhenish and Spa; a third swallows me an ocean of Bristol Milk, with as little remorse as she would so much small beer: my eldest aunt likes a glass of dry Mountain, while the other thinks nothing helps digestion so well as Madeira. 'Twas but the other day, that my wife expressed a desire of tasting some Claret, when im­mediately all my good-natured relations had a mighty [Page 477] longing for it: but with much ado I at last prevailed on them to compound with me for a chest of Florence.

YOU may imagine, that my house cannot be a very small one: and I assure you there are as many beds in it, as in a country inn. Yet I have scarce room to turn myself about in it; for one apartment is taken up by this relation, another by that; and the most distant cousin must have more respect shewn her than to be clapped up in a garret with the maid-servants: so that poor I have no more liberty in my own house than a lodger. Once, indeed, I in vain endeavoured to shake them off, and took a little box in the neighbourhood of town, scarce big enough to hold my own family. But alas! they stuck as close to it, as a snail to her shell: and rather than not lie under the same roof with their relation, they contrived to litter together like so many pigs in a stye. At another time, thinking to clear my house at once of these vermin, I packed up my wife and mother, and sent them to her uncle's in the country for a month. But what could I do? there was no getting rid of those left behind: my wife had made over to them the care of the household, allotting to each of them her particular employment during her absence. One was to pickle walnuts, another to preserve sweetmeats, another to make Morella brandy; all which they executed with the notableness peculiar to good housewives, who spoil and waste more than they save, for the satisfaction of making these things at home. At last my wife returned; and all that I got by her journey, was the importation of two new cousins fresh out of the country, who she never knew before were the least related to her:—but they have been so kind as to claim kindred with me by hanging upon me ever since.

[Page 478]ONE would imagine, that it were sufficient for these loving relations to have the run of my table, and to make my house in every respect their own: but not content with this, they have the cunning to oblige me in a manner to find them in cloaths likewise. I should not repine, if any of my worthy relations were humble enough to put up with a cast-off suit of my wife's; but that would be robbing the maid of her just dues, and would look more like a dependant than a relation: Not but that they will con­descend now and then to take a gown, before it is half worn out, (when they have talked my wife into a dislike of it)—because it is too good for a common servant. They have more spirit than to beg any thing: but—if my wife has a fancy to part with it—they will wear it, purely for her sake. A cap, an apron, or an handkerchief, which looks hideous upon her, I always find is very becoming on any other of the family: and I remember, soon after we were married, happening to find fault with the pattern of a silk brocade my wife had just bought, one of her sisters took it from her, and told me she would have it made up for herself, and wear it on purpose to spite me.

YOU must know, Mr. TOWN, that upon my marriage I was indiscreet enough to set up my chariot: and since my family has increased so prodigiously, this has given them a handle to have a coach likewise, and another pair of horses, for them to take an airing in. This also furnishes them with a pretence for running about to public diversions, where I am forced to treat them all: for they are so very fond of each others company, that one will hardly ever stir out without the other. Thus, at home or abroad, they con­stantly herd together: and what is still more provoking, [Page 479] though I had rather have a route every week at my house, my wife makes a merit of it, that she keeps little or no company.

SUCH is the state of my family within doors: and though you would think this sufficient for one man, I can assure you that I have other calls on me from relations no less dear to me, though I have never yet had the happiness to see them. A third cousin by my wife's father's side was set up in the country in a very good way of business; but by mis­fortunes in trade must have gone to jail, if my wife had not teized me into being bound for him, and for which I was soon after arrested, and obliged to pay the money. Ano­ther, a very promising youth, was just out of his time, and only wanted a little sum to set him up; which as soon as I had lent him, he run away, and is gone to sea. One of the aunts, who is now with me, (a widow lady) has an only daughter, a sober discreet body, who lived as a com­panion with an old gentlewoman in the country: but the poor innocent girl being drawn aside by a vile fellow that ruined her, I have been forced to support the unhappy mother and child ever since, to prevent any reproach falling on our family. I shall say nothing of the various presents, which have travelled down to my wife's uncle, in return for one turkey and chine received at Christmas; nor shall I put to account the charge I have been at, in the gossips fees, and in buying corals, &c. for half a dozen little ne­phews, neices, and cousins, to which I had the honour of standing godfather.

AND now, Mr. TOWN, the mention of this last circum­stance makes me reflect with an heavy heart on a new ca­lamity, [Page 480] which will shortly befal me. My wife, you must know, is very near her time: and they have provided as great a store of caps, clouts, biggens, belly-bands, whittles, and all kinds of childbed-linnen, as would set up a Lying-in Hospital. You will conclude that my family wants no fur­ther increase: Yet, would you believe it? I have just re­ceived a letter, that another aunt, and another cousin, are coming up in the stage coach to see their relation, and are resolved to stay with her the month. Indeed I am afraid, when they have once got footing in my house, they will resolve to stay with her till she has another and another child.

I am, sir, Your humble servant, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXI. THURSDAY, August 14, 1755.

—Genus humanum multò fuit illud in arvis
Durius.—
JUV.

Mr. VILLAGE to Mr. TOWN.

DEAR COUSIN!

A MERE Country Squire, who passes all his time among dogs and horses, is now become an uncommon character; and the most aukward loobily inheritor of an old mansion-house is a fine gentleman in comparison to his forefathers. The principles of a town education for­merly scarce spread themselves beyond the narrow limits of the bills of mortality: but now every London refinement travels to the remotest corner of the kingdom, and the polite families from the town duly import to their distant seats the customs and manners of Pall-mall and Grosvenor-Square.

[Page 482]I HAVE been for this fortnight past at Lord Courtley's, who for about four months in every year leads a town life at the distance of above two hundred miles from London. He never rises till twelve or one o'clock; though indeed he often sees the sun rise; but then that only happens, when, as the old song says, he has ‘"drank down the moon."’ Drinking is the only rural amusement he persues, but even that part of his diversions is conducted entirely in the Lon­don fashion. He does not swill country ale, but gets drunk with Champagne and Burgundy; and every dish at his table is served up with as much elegance as at White's or Ryan's. He has an excellent pack of hounds: but, I believe, was never in at the death of a fox in his life: yet strangers never want a chace, for the hounds are out three times a week with a younger brother of Lord Courtley's, who never saw London in his life; and who, if he was not indulged with a place at his lordship's table, might naturally be considered as his whipper-in, or his game-keeper.

THE evening-walk is a thing unknown and unheard of at Lord Courtley's: for, though situated in a very fine country, he knows no more of the charms of purling streams and shady groves, than if they never existed but in poetry or romance. As soon as the daily debauch after dinner, and the ceremonies of coffee and tea are over, the company is conducted into a magnificent apartment illuminated with wax-candles, and set but with as many card-tables, as the route of a foreign ambassador's lady. Here Faro, Whist, Brag, Lansquenet, and every other fashionable game make up the evening's entertainment. This piece of politeness has sometimes fallen heavy on some honest country gentlemen, who have found dining with his lordship turn out a very dear ordinary; and many a good lady has had occasion to [Page 483] curse the cards, and her ill-starred connections with per­sons of quality: though his lordship is never at a loss for a party, for as several people of fashion have seats near him, he often sits down with some of his friends of the club at White's. I had almost forgot to mention that her ladyship keeps a day, which is Sunday.

THIS, Dear Cousin, is the genteel manner of living in the country; and I cannot help observing, that persons polite enough to be fond of such exquisite refinements, are partly in the same case with the mechanic at his dusty villa. They both, indeed, change their situation; but neither find the least alteration in their ideas. The tradesman, when at his box, has all the notions that employ him in his compting-house: and the nobleman, though in the far­thest part of England, may still be said to breath the air of St. James's.

I WAS chiefly induced to send you this short account of the refined manner, in which persons of fashion pass their time at Lord Courtley's, because I think it a very striking contrast to the character described in the inclosed paper. I hope your readers will not do either you or me the honour to think this natural description a mere creature of the ima­gination. The picture of the extraordinary gentleman here described is now at the seat of Lord Shaftsbury at St. Giles's near Cranborn in Dorsetshire, and this lively character of him was really and truly drawn by Anthony Ashly Cowper, first Earl of Shaftsbury, and is inscribed on the picture. I doubt not but you will be glad of being able to communicate it to the public, and that they will receive it with their usual candour.

I am, dear Cousin, yours, &c.
[Page 304]

The Character of the Honourable W. HASTINGS of Woodlands in Hampshire; Second Son of FRANCIS Earl of Huntingdon.

IN the Year 1638 lived Mr. Hastings; by his Quality Son, Brother, and Uncle to the Earls of Huntingdon. He was peradventure an original in our Age; or rather the Copy of our ancient Nobility, in hunting, not in warlike times.

He was low, very strong and very active; of a reddish flaxen Hair. His Cloaths always green Cloth, and never all worth (when new) five Pounds.

His House was perfectly of the old Fashion, in the midst of a large Park well stocked with Deer; and near the House Rabits to serve his Kitchen; many Fishponds; great store of Wood and Timber; a Bowling Green in it, long but narrow, full of high Ridges, it being never levell'd since it was plough'd. They used round Sand Bowls; and it had a Banquetting House like a Stand, built in a Tree.

He kept all Manner of Sport Hounds, that ran Buck, Fox, Hare, Otter, and Badger. And Hawks, long and short winged. He had all Sorts of Nets for Fish. He had a Walk in the New Forest, and the Manor of Christ-Church. This last supply'd him with Red Deer, Sea and River Fish. And indeed all his Neighbours Grounds and Royalties were free to him, who bestow'd all his Time on these Sports, but what he borrow'd to caress his Neighbours Wives and Daughters; there being not a Woman in all his Walks, of the Degree of a Yeoman's Wife or under, and under the Age of forty, but it was extremely her Fault, if he was not intimately acquainted with her. This made him very po­pular; always speaking kindly to the Husband, Brother or Father: who was to boat, very welcome to his House, whenever he came. There he found Beef, Pudding, and [Page 485] small Beer in great plenty. A House not so neatly kept as to shame Him or his dirty shoes: the great Hall strow'd with Marrow-bones, full of Hawks-Perches, Hounds, Spaniels and Terriers: the upper Side of the Hall hung with Fox-skins of this and the last Year's kiiling; here and there a Pole-Cat intermixt; Game-keepers and Hunter's Poles in great Abundance.

The Parlour was a large Room as properly furnished. On a great Hearth paved with Brick lay some Terriers, and the choicest Hounds and Spaniels. Seldom but two of the great Chairs had litters of young Cats in them; which were not to be disturbed; he having always three or four attend­ing him at Dinner; and a little white round Stick of fourteen Inches lying by his Trencher, that he might defend such Meat as he had no mind to part with to them. The Win­dows (which were very large) served for Places to lay his Arrows, Cross-Bows, Stone-Bows, and other such like Ac­coutrements. The Corners of the Room full of the best-chose Hunting and Hawking Poles. An Oyster Table at the lower End, which was of constant Use twice a Day all the Year round. For he never failed to eat Oysters, before Dinner and Supper, through all Seasons; the neighb'ring Town of Pool supply'd him with them.

The upper part of the Room had two small Tables and a Desk, on the one side of which was a Church Bible, and on the other the Book of Martyrs. On the Table were Hawks-Hoods, Bells, and such like; two or three old green Hats, with their Crowns thrust in so as to hold ten or a dozen Eggs, which were of a Pheasant kind of Poultry he took much care of and fed himself. Tables, Dice, Cards, and Boxes were not wanting. In the Hole of the Desk were store of Tobacco Pipes that had been used.

[Page 486]On one Side of this End of the Room was the Door of a Closet wherein stood the Strong Beer and the Wine, which never came thence but in single Glasses; that being the Rule of the House exactly observ'd. For he never exceeded in Drink or permitted it.

On the other Side was the Door into an old Chapel, not used for Devotion. The Pulpit, as the safest Place, was never wanting of a cold Chine of Beef, Venison Pasty, Gammon of Bacon, or great Apple-pye with thick Crust, extremely baked.

His Table cost him not much; though it was good to eat at. His Sports supplied all but Beef and Mutton, except Fridays, when he had the best Saltfish (as well as other Fish) he could get; and was the Day his Neighbours of best Quality most visited him. He never wanted a London Pudding, and always sung it in with My Part lies therein-a. He drank a Glass or two of Wine at Meals; very often Sy­rup of Gilly-flower in his Sack; and had always a Tun Glass, without Feet, stood by him, holding a Pint of Small-Beer which he often stirr'd with Rosemary.

He was well natured but soon angry, calling his Servants, Bastards and cuckoldy Knaves, in one of which he often spoke Truth to his own Knowledge; and sometimes in both, though of the same Man. He lived to be an hundred; never lost his Eye-sight, but always wrote and read without Spectacles; and got on Horseback without Help. Until past fourscore he rode to the Death of a Stag as well as any.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXII. THURSDAY, August, 21 1755.

Nosse omnia haec, salus est adolescentulis.
TER.

THOUGH the following letter was origi­nally written for the instruction of a Young Gentleman going to the University, yet as it contains several just and sensible reflections, (which may be of use to many of my rea­ders,) I have willingly complied with the request of my correspondent in making it the entertainment of to-day.

DEAR SIR,

AS you are now going to the University, I would not be thought to pay so ill a compliment to your own natural good sense, as to suppose, that you will not (like many young gentlemen of fortune) in some measure apply yourself to study: otherwise the time you spend there [Page 494] will be entirely lost; for (as the SPECTATOR very justly remarks) ‘"all ornamental parts of education are better taught in other places."’ At the same time I do not mean, that you should commence Pedant, and be continu­ally poring on a book; since that will rather puzzle than inform the understanding. Though I know many sprightly young gentlemen of lively and quick parts affect to despise it altogether, it will be necessary to learn something of Lo­gic; I mean in the same manner one would learn Fencing—not to attack others, but to defend one's self. In a word, you will find it a great unhappiness, when you return hither, if you do not bring with you some taste for reading: for a mere Country Gentleman, who can find no society in books, will have little else to do, (besides following his sports,) but to sit (as squire of the company) tippling among a parcel of idle wretches, whose understandings are nearly on a level with his dogs and horses.

IT has been an established maxim, that the world will always form an opinion of persons according to the company they are known to keep. In the University, as well as in other places, there are people, whom we ought to avoid, as we would the plague: and as it is of the utmost conse­quence, whether you plunge at once into extravagance and debauchery, or sink gradually into indolence and stupidity, I shall point out some of these pests of society in as few words as possible.

THE first person I would caution you against, is the wretch that takes a delight to turn religion into ridicule: one that employs that speech, which was given him by God to celebrate his praise, in questioning his very being. This, as it is impious in itself, is likewise the height of [Page 495] ill-manners. It is hoped there are but few of them to be met with in a place of sound doctrine and religious education: but wherever they are, they ought as much as possible to be avoided: and if they will force themselves into our com­pany, they should be used with the same contempt, with which they have the hardiness to treat their Maker. And this, I can assure you, may be done safely: for I never knew any body, who pretended to be above the fear of God, but was under the most terrible apprehensions, whenever attacked by man.

THE next character whom I would advise you to shun, is the GAMESTER, in some respects not unlike the former. The gaming-table is his shrine, and fortune his deity; nor does he ever speak or think of any other, unless by way of blasphemy, oaths and curses, when he has had a bad run at cards or dice, He has not the least notion of friend­ship; but would ruin his own brother, if it might be of any advantage to himself. He, indeed, professes himself your friend; but that is only with a design to draw you in: for his trade is inconsistent with the principles of honour or justice, without which there can be no real friendship. It should therefore be the care of every gentleman not to hold any commerce with such people, whose acquaintance he cannot enjoy, without giving up his estate.

THE next person, whom you ought to beware of, is a DRUNKARD; one that takes an unaccountable pleasure in sapping his constitution, and drowning his understanding. He constantly goes senseless to bed, and rises maukish in the morning: nor can he be easy in body or mind, 'till he has renewed his dose, and again put himself beyond the reach of reflection. I would therefore entreat you by all [Page 142] means to avoid an habit, which will at once ruin your health, and impair your intellects. It is a misfortune, that society should be esteemed dull and insipid without the assistance of the bottle to enliven it; so that a man cannot entirely refrain from his glass, if he keeps any company at all. But let it be remembered, that in drinking, as well as in talking, we ought always to keep a ‘"watch over the doors of our lips."’

A LOWNGER is a creature, that you will often see lolling in a coffee-house, or sauntering about the streets, with great calmness, and a most inflexible stupidity in his coun­tenance. He takes as much pains as the Sot, to fly from his own thoughts, and is at length happily arrived at the highest pitch of indolence both in mind and body. He would be as inoffensive, as he is dull, if it were not that his idleness is contagious; for, like the torpedo, he is sure to benumb and take away all sense of feeling from every one, with whom he happens to come in contact.

IT were also best to forbear the company of a WRANG­LER, or a person of a litigious temper. This sometimes arises, not from any great share of ill-nature, but from a vain pride of showing one's parts, or skill in argumentation. It is frequently observed of young Academics in particular, that they are very apt impertinently to engage people in a dispute whether they will or not. But this is contrary to all the rules of good-breeding, and is never practised by any man of sense, that has seen much of the world. I have some­times known a person of great sauciness, and volubility of expression, confuted by the Argumentum Baculinum, and both his head and his syllogism broken at the same time.

[Page 497]I NEED not point out to you the profligate RAKE or the affected COXCOMB, as persons from whose company you can reap no sort of benefit. From the first the good principles, already instilled into you, will doubtless preserve you; and I am sure you have too much real sense, not to despise the absurd fopperies of the latter. Noted LYARS are no less to be avoided, as the common pests of society. They are often of a mischievous disposition, and by their calumnies and false suggestions take a pleasure in setting the most intimate friends at variance. But if they only deal in harmless and improbable lies, their acquaintance must fre­quently be out of countenance for them: and if we should venture to repeat after them, I am sure it is the way to be out of countenance for ourselves.

BUT above all I must advise you never to engage, at least not with any degree of violence, in any PARTY. Be not transported by the clamorous jollity of talking patriots be­yond the sober dictates of reason and justice; nor let the insinuating voice of corruption tempt you to barter your integrity and peace of mind for the paultry satisfaction of improving your fortune. If you behave with honour and prudence, you will be regarded and courted by all parties; but if otherwise, you will certainly be despised by all. Per­haps indeed, if you should hereafter engage in elections, and spend your own money to support another's cause, the person, in whose interest you are, may shake you by the hand, and swear you are a very honest gentleman:—just as butchers treat their bull-dogs, who spit in their mouths, clap them on the back, and then halloo them on to be tossed and torn by the horns of their antagonist.

AFTER having guarded you against the evil influence of your own sex, I cannot conclude without throwing in a [Page 198] word or two concerning the Ladies. But that I may not be thought unmannerly to the fair, I shall pass over their faults; only hoping, that their excellencies will not tempt you to precipitate a match with one much your inferior in birth and fortune, though ‘"endowed with every accom­plishment requisite to make the marriage state happy."’ In these hasty and unequal matches it sometimes happens, that mutual love gives way to mutual reproaches. We may per­haps too late repent of our bargain: and though Repentance be an excellent visiting friend, when she reminds us of our past miscarriages, and prescribes rules how to avoid them for the future, yet she is a most troublesome companion, when fixed upon us for life.

I am, dear sir, your sincere friend, &c. H. A.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXIII. THURSDAY, August 28, 1755.

—Me LITERULAS stulti docuere parentes.
MART.

SINCE genius is the chief requisite in all kinds of poetry, nothing can be more con­trary to the very essence of it, than the adopting, as beauties, certain arts, which are merely mechanical. There are daily arising many whimsical excellencies which have no foun­dation in nature, but are only countenanced by the present mode of writing: with these it is as easy to fill our compo­sitions as to dress ourselves in the fashion; but the writer, who puts his work together in this manner, is no more a poet than his taylor. Such productions often betray great labour and exactness, but shew no genius: for those who sit down to write by rule, and follow ‘"dry receipts how [Page 500] poems should be made,"’ may compose their pieces with­out the least assistance from the imagination; as an apothe­cary's prentice; though unable to cure any disease, can make up medicines from the physician's prescription, with no more knowledge of physic than the names of the drugs. Thus the Muse that ought to fly, and ‘"ascend the brightest heaven of invention,"’ walks in leading-strings, or is sup­ported by a go-cart.

AMONG the many poetical tricks of this sort, none has been more successfully practised, or had more advocates and admirers, than a certain fantastical conceit called ALLITERA­TION: which is nothing more than beginning two, three, or perhaps every word in a line with the same letter. This method of running divisions upon the alphabet, and pressing particular letters into the service, has been accounted one of the first excellencies in versification, and has indeed received the sanction of some of our best poets; but wherein the beauty of it consists, is something difficult to discover: since Quarles or Withers might practise it with as much adroit­ness as Dryden or Spenser. It is one of those modern arts in poetry which require no fancy, judgment, or learning in the execution: for an author may huddle the same letters on each other again and again, as mechanically as the printer selects his types, and ranges them in whatsoever order he pleases.

THIS partial attachment to particular letters is a kind of contrast to the famous Odyssey of Tryphiodorus, where every letter in the alphabet was in its turn excluded: and the Al­literator must be as busily employed to introduce his favou­rite vowel or consonant, as the Greek poet to shut out the let­ter he had proscribed. Nothing is esteemed a greater beauty [Page 501] in poetry than a happy choice of epithets; but Alliteration reduces all the elegancies of expression to a very narrow com­pass. Epithets are culled indeed with great exactness, but the closest relation they are intended to bear to the word to which they are joined, is that the initials are the same. Thus the fields must be flowry, beauty must be beaming, ladies must be lovely, and in the same manner must the ‘"waves wind their watry way,"’ the ‘"blustring blasts blow,"’ and ‘"locks all loosely lay,"’ not for the sake of the poetry, but the elegance of the Alliteration. This beauty has also taken possession of many of our tragedies, and I have seen ladies wooed and heroes killed in it: though I must own I never hear an actor dying with deadly darts and fiery flames &c. but it always puts me in mind of the celebrated pippin-woman in Gay's Trivia, whose head, when it was severed from her body, rolled along the ice crying pip, pip, pip, and expired in Alliteration.

THE same false taste in writing that ‘"wings display'd and altars rais'd,"’ also introduced Alliteration; and Acros­tics in particular are the same kind of spelling-book poetry. It is therefore somewhat extraordinary that those sublime writers, who have disgraced their pages with it, did not leave this as well as the other barbarous parts of literature to the Goths in poetry: since it is a whimsical beauty, below the practice of any writer, superior to him who turned the Aencid into Monkish verses. Shakespeare, who was more indebted to nature than art, has ridiculed this low trick with great humour in his burlesque tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe. Besides that noted passage of

—With blade, with bloody, blameful blade
He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast,

[Page 502] He before introduces a mock rant, which Bottom calls Ercles' vein, which is not only rank fustian, but is also remarkable for its Alliteration. To make all split the raging rocks, and shivering shocks shall break the locks of prison gates—and Phibbus car shall shine from far, and make and mar the foolish fates. In this strange stile have whole poems been written, and every learned reader will recollect on this occasion the Pugna Porcorum per P. Porcium Poetam, which I wish some of our poetasters would translate, in the true spirit of the original, and praise pigs and pork with all the beauties of Alliteration.

THE advocates and admirers of this practice have assert­ed, that it adds significance and strength of expression to their verses, but I fear this boasted energy seldom appears to the reader. The Alliteration either remains unregarded, or, if it is very striking, disgusts those who perceive it, and is often in itself, from such a disagreeable cluster of the same letters, harsh and uncouth. There are very many instances where Alliteration, though studiously introduced, renders the versification rough and inharmonious; and I will appeal to the greatest lovers of it, whether the following line, where the repetition was scarce intended, is one of the most pleasing in all Virgil's works.

Neu patriae Validas in Viscera Vertite Vires.

IT must be acknowledged, that there is something very mechanical in the whole construction of the numbers in most of our modern poetry. Sound is more attended to than sense, and the words are expected to express more than the sentiment. There are set rules to make verses run off glibly, or drawl slowly on, &c. and I have read many a [Page 502] poem with scarce one tolerable thought in it, that has con­tained all these excellencies of versification: for which reason I must confess myself no friend to those critics, who analyse words and syllables, and discover latent beauties in every letter, when the author intended that the whole should be taken together. Poetry should seem at least to flow freely from the imagination, and not to be squeezed from the droppings of the brain. If we would endeavour to acquire a full idea of what we mean to describe, we should then of course express ourselves with force, elegance, and perspi­cuity: and this native strength of expression would have more true energy than elaborate phrases, and a quaint and studied combination of words and letters. Fine numbers are undoubtedly one of the chief beauties in poetry; but to make the sound echo to the sense, we should make the sense our chief object. This appears to me to have been the manly practice of the Ancients, and of our own Shake­speare, Milton, &c. who breathed the true spirit of poetry, without having recourse to little tricks and mean artifices, which only serve to disgrace it. A good writer, who would be above triffling even with a thought, would never persue words, and play with letters, but leave such a childish em­ployment for the small fry of rhimers who amuse them­selves with anagrams and crambo. The true poet trusts to his natural ear and strong conception, and knows that the versification is adapted to the sentiment without culling particular letters, and stringing them on his lines; as he is sure that his verses are just measure, without scanning them on his fingers.

THERE are almost daily published certain Lilliputian volumes, entitled Pretty Books for Children. A friend of mine [Page 503] who considers the little rhimers of the age as only ‘"children of a larger growth,"’ who amuse themselves with rhimes instead of rattles, proposes to publish a small pocket volume for the use of our Poetasters. It will be a treatise on the art of poetry adapted to the meanest capacities, for which sub­scriptions will be taken, and specimens may be seen, at George's and the Bedford coffee-houses. It will contain full directions how to modulate the numbers on every occa­sion, and will instruct the young scribbler in all the modern arts of versification. He will here meet with infallible rules how to soften a line and lull us to sleep with liquids and dipthongs; to roughen the verse and make it roar again with reiteration of the letter R; to set it hissing with semi­vowels; to make it pant and breathe short with a hun­dred heavy aspirates; or clog it up with the thickest double consonants and monosyllables: with a particular table of Al­literation, containing the choicest epithets for any words that can be wanted. To be illustrated with examples from the modern poets. The whole to be published about the mid­dle of the winter under the title of The Rhimer's Play-thing, or, Poetaster's Horn-book; since there is nothing necessary to form such a poet, except teaching him his letters.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXIV. THURSDAY, September 4, 1755.

—Tu, dum tua navis in alto est,
Hoc age.—
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

YOU obliged the world some time ago with a few reflections on the Gentlemen of the Army: at the present juncture, a word or two on our Sea-Officers would not be un­seasonable. I do not mean that you should presume to direct them how to behave in their several stations, but rather to remark on their conduct and conver­sation in private life, as far as they are influenced by their maritime characters. There is a certain unfashionable dye, which their manners often take from the salt-water, that tinctures their whole behaviour on shore. If you could [Page 506] assist in blotting out these stains, and give a new colour to their conduct, you would add grace and politeness to their ordinary conversation, and would be of as much service to our naval commanders in this point, as he was to navigation in general, who first invented the compass.

AS the conversation of those fair-weather foplings, many of whom may be met with in the three regiments of guards, is usually flat and insipid, that of our sea-officers is turbulent and boisterous: and as a trip to Paris has perhaps over-refined the coxcomb in red, a voyage round the world fre­quently brutalizes the seaman, who comes home so rough and unpolished, that one would imagine he had not visited any nation in the world except the Savages, the Chinese, or the Hottentots. The many advantages he has received from having seen the customs and manners of so many different people, it is natural to suppose, would render his conver­sation very desirable, as being in itself particularly instructive and entertaining: but this roughness, which clings to the seaman's behaviour like tar to his trowsers, makes him un­fit for all civil and polite society. He behaves at an assembly as if he was upon deck; and his whole deportment mani­festly betrays, that he is, according to the common phrase, quite out of his element. Nor can you collect any more from him concerning the several nations he has visited, than if he had been during the whole time confined to his cabin: and he seems to know as little of them, as the fine gentleman of his travels after the polite tour, when he has, for the sake of improvement, rid post through all Europe.

THAT our ordinary seamen, who are, many of them draughted from the very lowest of the populace, should be thus uncivilized, is no wonder. The common sailor's [Page 507] education in Broad St. Giles's, Tottenham Court, or at Hock­ley in the Hole, has not qualified him to improve by just reflections on what he sees during his voyage; and going on board a man of war is a kind of university education, suitably adapted to the principles imbibed in the polite semi­naries, which he came from. A common sailor too is full as polite as a common soldier; and behaves as genteely to a Wapping landlady as the gentleman soldier at a suttling-house. But surely there ought to be as much difference in the behaviour of the commander and his crew, as there is in their situation: and it is beneath the dignity of the British Flag to have an Admiral behave as rudely as a Swabber, or a Commodore as foul-mouthed as a Boatswain.

IT may perhaps be alledged in excuse, that the being placed among such a boisterous set of people, as our com­mon sailors, must unavoidably wear off all politeness and good-manners: as it is remarkable, that all those who are employed in the care of horses, grow as mere brutes as the animals they attend; and as we may often observe those justices, whose chief business is the examination of high­waymen, house-breakers, and street-walkers, grow at least as vulgar and foul-mouthed as a pick-pocket. As there may be some truth in this, the commander should therefore be still more on his guard to preserve the gentleman in his behaviour, and like the sea itself, when the storm is over, grow smooth and calm. It is accounted a piece of humour on the Thames to abuse the other passengers on the water; and there are certain set terms of abuse, which fly to and fro from one boat to another on this occasion. A wag might perhaps amuse himself with this water-language in his voyage to Vaux-Hall, but must be a very silly fellow indeed, to think of carrying the joke on shore with him. In [Page 508] the same manner some roughness may perhaps be necessary to keep the crew in order; but it is absurd for an officer to retain his harshness in polite company: and is in a manner tying his friends up to the yard-arm, and disciplining all his acquaintance with the cat-of-nine-tails.

BUT the worst part of this maritime character is a certain invincible contempt, which they often contract for all man­kind, except their fellow-seamen. They look on the rest of the world as a set of fresh-water wretches, who could be of no service in a storm or an engagement; and from an unaccountable obstinacy are particularly deaf to any proposals of new improvements in navigation: though experience daily teaches them the great use of the discoveries already made, and how much room there is for more. They have no notion, how studious men can sit in their closets, and devise charts and instruments to direct them in their course; and despise those ingenious persons, who would assist them in their undertakings; while they consider them with the utmost contempt, as going round the world in their closets, and sailing at sea in their elbow-chairs. It is no less shameful than true, that the Ventilator, one of the most beneficial inventions that ever was devised, was first offered to the service of our men of war, and rejected. It was first used in foreign ships, then by our merchantmen, and last of all among our men of war, to whose use it was first recom­mended. This is a strong proof of that fatal obstinacy, which our Sea-Commanders are too apt to contract; and as a further instance of it, I have been told of an Admiral's indignation on this subject, venting itself in the following manner. ‘"A pack of blockheads, (said he,) sit poring, and pretend to make improvements for our use. They [Page 509] tell you that they discover this, and discover that; but I tell you they are all fools.—For instance now, they say the world is round; every one of them says the world is round;—but I have been all round the world, and it is as flat as this table."’

THE chief reason of their unpolished behaviour is owing to their being often sent to sea very young with little or no education, beyond what they have received perhaps at the academy of Woolwich or Portsmouth. A lad of good family, but untoward parts, or mischievous disposition, who has been flogged for a while at the grammar-school, or snubbed by his parents and friends at home, is frequently clapped on board a ship in order to tame him, and to teach him better manners. Here perhaps he at first messes with the lowest of the seamen: and all that the young gentle­man can learn from his jolly mesmates in the course of two or three voyages, is to drink flip, sing a bawdy catch, and dance an horn-pipe. These genteel accomplishments he is sure to retain, as he grows old in the service; and if he has the good fortune to rise to a command, he is as surly and brutal when advanced to the cabin, as when he was tugging before the mast.

AFTER all it is but justice to confess, that there are many among our Sea-Officers, who deservedly bear the character of gentlemen and scholars; and it is easy to perceive, with how much better grace they appear in the world than the rest of their brethren, who (when laid up and taken out of service) are as mere logs as the main-mast. An officer, who has any relish for reading, will employ the many vacant hours (in which he is relieved from duty) much more to his improve­ment [Page 510] and satisfaction, than in sauntering between the decks, or muddling over a bowl of punch. I would therefore seri­ously recommend it to those young sailors, who have the hap­piness to launch forth with a genteel and liberal education, not to suffer every trace of it to be washed away, like words written on the sands; but that, when they return from sea, they may be fit to be admitted at St. James's, as well as at Wapping or Rotherhithe.

BEFORE I conclude, I must beg leave to say a word or two concerning our Sea-Chaplains. The common sailors are known to have, when on board, a very serious regard for religion; and their decent behaviour at prayers, and sedate attention to the sermon upon quarter-deck, might shame a more polite audience at St. James's Church. For this rea­son a truly religious Chaplain of good morals and sober con­versation will necessarily have as much influence on their be­haviour, as a mild and prudent Commander: Nor can a clergyman be too circumspect in this point; since, if he does not act in every respect conformable to his function, his place for ought I know might be as well supplied by any one of the unbeneficed Doctors of the Fleet. In a word, if a Chaplain will so far divest himself of his sacred character, as to drink, swear, and behave in every respect like a com­mon sailor, he should be obliged to work in the gang-way all the rest of the week, and on sundays be invested with a jacket and trowsers instead of his canonicals.

I am, sir, your humble servant, T. FORE-CASTLE.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXV. THURSDAY, September 11, 1754.

—Nos animorum
Impulsu, et caecâ magnáque cupidine ducti.
HOR.

SO long ago as my fourth number (the reader perhaps may not remember) I made men­tion of a FEMALE THERMOMETER, constructed by my ingenious friend Mr. James Ayscough, Optician, on Ludgate-Hill; and I then informed the public, that ‘"the liquor contained within the tube was a chymical mixture, which being acted upon by the circulation of the blood and animal spirits, would rise and fall according to the desires and affections of the wearer."’ But I have now the further satisfaction to acquaint my fair readers, that after several repeated trials and improvements we have at length brought [Page 512] the instrument to so great a degree of perfection, that any common by-stander may, by a proper application of it, know the exact temperature of any lady's passions. The liquor, among other secret ingredients, is distilled secundúm artem from the herbs lady's love, and maiden-hair, the wax of virgin-bees, and the five greater hot and cold seeds: and the properties of it are so subtle and penetrating, that immediately on its coming within the atmosphere of a lady's affections, it is actuated by them in the same manner, as the spirits are by the impulse of the air in the common Ther­mometer.

IT was not without some difficulty, that we could settle the different degrees of heat and cold in a lady's desires, which it would be proper to delineate on our Thermometer: but at last we found, that the whole scale of female characters might be reduced to one or other of the fol­lowing; viz.

  • Abandoned IMPUDENCE.
  • — GALLANTRY.
  • — LOOSE BEHAVIOUR.
  • — INNOCENT FREEDOMS.
  • — INDISCRETIONS.
  • Inviolable MODESTY.

FROM these degrees, which we have accurately marked on the side of the tube, we have been able to judge of the characters of several ladies, on whom we have made the experiment. In some of these we have found the grada­tions very sudden; and that the liquor has risen very fast from the lowest point to the highest. We could likewise discover, that it was differently affected according to the [Page 513] different station and quality of the subject: so that the same actions, which in a lady of fashion scarce raised the liquor beyond INDISCRETIONS, in another caused it to mount almost to IMPUDENCE. Much also depended upon the air and temperature of the place, where we made our trials: and even the dress had some influence on our Thermo­meter; as we frequently observed, that the rise and fall of the liquor in the tube bore an exact proportion to the rise and fall of the stays and petticoat.

I SHALL now proceed to give a succinct account of the many repeated experiments, which we have made on differ­ent subjects in different places. During the winter season we had frequent opportunities of trying the effects, which the play-house, the opera, and other places of diversion, might have on the Thermometer. At the play-house we always found the liquor rise in proportion, as the drama was more or less indecent or immoral: at some comedies, and particularly the Chances, its elevation kept pace exactly with the lusciousness of the dialogue and the ripening of the plot; so that it has often happened, that with some subjects, at the opening of the play, the liquor has struggled a-while, and rose and sunk about the degrees just above MODESTY; but before the third act it has stood suspended at the middle point between MODESTY and IMPUDENCE; in the fourth act it has advanced as far as LOOSE BEHA­VIOUR; and at the conclusion of the play it has settled at downright IMPUDENCE. At public concerts, and the opera especially, we observed that the Thermometer constantly kept time (if I may say so) with the music and singing: and both at the opera and the play-house, it always regulated its motions by the dancer's heels. We have frequently [Page 514] made trials of our instrument at the masquerades in the Hay-Market: but the temperature of that climate has proved so exceeding hot, that on the moment of our coming into the room the liquor has boiled up with a surprising effer­vescence to ABANDONED IMPUDENCE.

DURING the summer season we have not failed to make our observations on the company at the public gardens. Here we found, indeed, that with some raw unpolished females, who came only to eat cheese-cakes and see the fire-works, the liquor did not stir beyond MODESTY; with many it has crept up to INDISCRETIONS; and with some it has advanced to LOOSE BEHAVIOUR. We had no opportunity to try our Thermometer in the dark walks: but with some subjects we have plainly perceived the liquor hastening up towards INNOCENT FREEDOMS, as they were retiring to these walks from the rest of the company; whilst with others, who have gone the same way, it has only con­tinued to point (as it did at the beginning of our obser­vations) at GALLANTRY. One young lady in particular we could not help remarking, whom we followed into Vaux-Hall, gallanted by an officer; we were glad to see, at her first going in, that the liquor, though it now and then faintly aspired towards INDISCRETIONS, still gravitated back again to MODESTY: after a turn or two in the walks we perceived it fluctuating between INNOCENT FREEDOMS and LOOSE BEHAVIOUR: after this we lost sight of them for some time; and at the conclusion of the entertainment (as we followed them out) we could not without concern observe, that the liquor was hastily bubbling up to a degree next to IMPUDENCE.

[Page 515]BESIDES the experiments on those ladies, who frequent the public places of diversion, we have been no less careful in making remarks at several private routs and assemblies. We were here at first very much surprised at the extreme degree of Cold which our Thermometer seemed to indicate in several ladies, who were seated round the card-tables; as we found not the least alteration in it either from the young or old: but we at last concluded, that this was owing to their love of play, which had totally absorbed all their other passions. We have, indeed, more than once perceived, that when a lady has risen from cards after so much ill luck as to have involved herself in a debt of honour to a gentle­man, the Thermometer has been surprisingly effected; and as she has been handed to her chair, we have known the liquor, which before was quite stagnate, run up instantane­ously to the degree of GALLANTRY. We have also been at the trouble to try its efficacy in the long rooms at Bath, Tun­bridge, Cheltenham &c. as it is well known, that these places have brought about surprising changes in the constitutions of those SICK ladies, who go thither for the benefit of the waters.

HAVING thus sufficiently proved the perfection of our Thermometer, it only remains to acquaint my readers, that Mr, Ayscough will be ready to supply the public with these useful instruments, as soon as the town fills. In the mean time I would advise those ladies, who have the least regard for their characters, to reflect that the gradations, as marked on our Thermometer, naturally lead to each other; that the transitions from the lowest to the highest are quick and obvious; and that though it is very easy to advance, it is impossible to recede back again, Let them, therefore, be [Page 516] careful to regulate their passions in such manner, as that their conduct may be always consistent with decency and honour; and (as Shakespeare says) ‘"not stepping o'er the bounds of MODESTY."’ I shall conclude with observing, that these Thermometers are designed only for the ladies: for though we imagined at first, that they might serve equally for the men, we have found reason to alter our opinion; since, in the course of several fruitless experiments on our own sex, there has scarce appeared any medium in them between MODESTY and IMPUDENCE.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXVI. THURSDAY, September 18, 1755.

—Viâ sacrâ, sicut meus est mos,
Nescio quid meditans nugarum, et totus in illis.
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

IT has been generally imagined, that learn­ing is only to be acquired in the closet, and by turning over a great number of pages; for which reason men have been assiduous to heap together a parcel of dusty volumes, and our youth have been sent to study at the universities: as if knowledge was shut up in a library, and chained to the shelves together with the folios. This prejudice has made every one overlook the most obvious and ready means of coming at literature; while (as the wise man has re­marked) [Page 518] ‘"Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words,"’ and no man regardeth her. Every lane teems with instruction, and every alley is big with erudition: though the ignorant or incurious passer-by shuts his eyes against that universal volume of arts and sciences, which constantly lies open before him in the highways and bye-places; like the laws of the Romans, which were hung up in the public streets.

YOU must know, Mr. TOWN, that I am a very hard student, and have perhaps gleaned more knowledge from my reading, than any of your poring fellows of colleges, though I was never possessed of so much as an horn-book. In the course of my studies I have followed the example of of the ancient Peripatetics, who used to study walking: and as I had not the advantage to be brought up a scholar, I have been obliged, like the Lacedaemonian children, to the public for my education. My first relish for letters I got by conning over those elegant monosyllables, which are chalked out upon walls and gates, and which (as pretty books for children are adorned with cuts) are generally en­forced and explained by curious hieroglyphics in caricatura. I soon made a further progress in the alphabet by staring up at the large letters upon play-bills, &c. 'till at length I was enabled to make out the inscriptions upon signs, bills on empty houses, and the titles on rubric-posts. From these I proceeded gradually to higher branches of literature, and went through a complete course of physic by perusing the learned treatises of Dr. Rock and other eminent practi­tioners. Having thus laid in the rudiments of literature, my [Page 519] method has since been to visit the Philobiblian libraries, and other learned stalls, and the noble collections at Moor-fields; in which choice repositories I have with infinite pleasure and advantage ran over the elaborate systems of ancient divines, politicians, and philosophers, which have escaped the fury of pastry-cooks and trunk-makers. As for the modern writings of pamphletteers and magazine-compilers, I make it my business to take my rounds every morning at the open shops about the Royal Exchange; where I never fail to run through every thing, fresh as it comes out. Thus, for example, I make a shift to squint over the first page of the Connoisseur, as it lies before me, at Mrs. Cooke's; at the next shop I steal a peep at the middle pages, at another proceed on to the fourth or fifth, and perhaps return again to conclude it at Mrs. Cooke's. By the same means I am myself become a Connoisseur likewise; and you will be sur­prised when I assure you, that I have a great variety of the finest prints and paintings, and am master of a more curious set of nicknacks, than are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Collection: for, as I constantly survey the windows of every printshop, and attend every auction, I look upon every curiosity as actually in my possession; and you will agree with me, that while I have the opportunity of seeing them, the real owners cannot have more satisfaction in locking them up in cabinets and musaeums.

YOU will conclude, that the knowledge, which I have thus picked out of the streets, has been very extensive: I have learned at every corner, that the scurvy is a popular disease,—that the bloody flux cannot be cured by any of the faculty, except the gentlewoman at the blue posts in Haydon Yard,—that nervous diseases were never so frequent, [Page 520] —and that the royal family and most of our nobility are troubled with corns;—and many other curious particulars of the same kind: I have also got a smattering of the French language from the advertisements of taylors and staymakers, and of Mrs. Dubois's portable soop, in French and English. I was completely grounded in politics by stopping at Temple Bar every morning to read the Gazzetteer, which used to be pasted up there to the great emolument of the hackney-coachmen upon their stands. But above all, I have acquired the most sublime notions of religion by listening attentively to the spirited harangues of our most eminent field-preach­ers: and I confess myself highly obliged to the itinerant missionaries of Weslley, Whitefield, and Zinzendorf, who have instructed us in the New Light from empty barrels and joint-stools. Next to these, I have received great im­provements from the vociferous retailers of poetry; as I constantly used to thrust myself into the circle gathered round them, and listen to their ditties, till I could carry away both words and tune. I have likewise got some notion of the drama by attending the theatres; though my finances were too scanty for me ever to get admittance into them. I therefore had recourse to the following practice: I would contrive to hear one act at the outside of one of the pit-doors; the next act I took my stand at the other; and as the author generally rises in the middle, I could catch the most tearing parts during the third act in the passage to the two-shilling gallery: in the fourth act the rants came tole­ably loud to my ear at the entrance of the upper gallery; and I very attentively listened to the pathetic at the con­clusion of the play with the footmen in the lobby.

[Page 521]ENDOWED with so much learning, you will doubtless be curious to know to what purposes I have turned it. Al­most before I could read at all, I got into the service of a very eminent doctor of physick, who employed me in stick­ing up his bills, and slipping them slily into the hands of spindle-shanked young fellows, as they passed by. After this, by closely studying these elegant compositions, I got together a sufficient set of medical phrases, which (by the help of Bayley's dictionary) enabled me to draw up bills and affidavits for those doctors, who were not so happy as to be able to write or read. I was next promoted to the gar­ret of a printer of bloody murders, where my business was to invent terrible stories, write Yorkshire tragedies, or Christ­mas carrols, and occasionally to put the Ordinary of New­gate's Account of Dying Speeches into lamentable rhyme. I was afterwards concerned in works, that required a greater fund of erudition, such as bog-house miscellanies, and little books for children; and I was once engaged as the principal compiler of a two-penny magazine. Since that I followed the occupation of an Eves-dropper, or Collector of News for the daily papers; in which I turned a good penny by hunting after marriages and deaths, and inventing lyes for the day. Once indeed, being out of other business, I de­scended to the mean office of a ballad-singer, and hawked my own verses; but not having a good ear for music, and the tone of my voice being rather inclined to whining, I con­verted my ballads into penitential hymns, and took up the vocation of Methodist Preacher. In this station I made new converts every day among the old women by my sighs and groans, who in return contributed their half-pence, which I disposed of in charity—to myself: but I was at last beat off the field by a journeyman shoe-maker, who fairly out-whined [Page 522] me; and finding myself deserted by my usual audi­ence, I became Setter to a Fleet-parson.

MY employment now was to take my stand at the end of Fleet-Market, and whenever I saw any gaping young couple staring about them, to whisper them softly in the ear, and ask them whether they wanted to be married; assuring them withal, that ours was the only marriage-booth in the fair. Whenever the ceremony was performed, I officiated as clerk: and when my master the doctor died, I made a shift to purchase his entire stock in trade, (consisting of a rusty cassock, an old grizzle wig, and one lappet of a band) and succeeded him in his benefice of the Hand-and-Pen Chapel. I now got a more comfortable subsistance than many regularly ordained curates in the country: but the marriage-act soon after taking place, I was flung out of employ; and as the Primate of May-Fair, the reverend Dr. Keith, is forced to sell snuff in the Fleet-prison, I have been obliged to re­tail gin in a night-cellar.

THUS, Mr. TOWN, have I set before you the progress I have made in literature, as well as the particular circumstances of my life, in hopes they will induce you to the notice of the public. As the parliament has not thought fit to make any provision for the poor distrest Clergy of the Fleet, I in­tend to open a New Oratory-Chapel in Fleet-market, to be conducted on the same principles with that established in Clare-market; and for which, I flatter myself, I shall appear no less qualified by my education, than the renowned Henley or any of his butchers. I shall therefore beg leave to subscribe myself, hoping for your countenance and protection,

Your very humble servant, ORATOR HIGGINS.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXVII. THURSDAY, September 25, 1755.

Quid dignum tanto tibi ventre gulâque precabor?
MART.

EATING and drinking being absolutely requisite to keep our crazy frames together, we are obliged to attend to the calls of na­ture, and satisfy the regular cravings of the appetite: Though it is, in truth, but a very small part of the world, that eat because they are hungry, or drink because they are dry. The common day-labourer may, indeed, be glad to snatch an hasty meal with his wife and children, that he may have strength to return to his work; and the porter finds it necessary to refresh himself with a full pot of entire butt, while he rests his load upon the bulk at the ale-house door: but those, who have more leisure to study what they shall eat and drink, require some­thing [Page 524] more in their food, than what is barely wholsome or necessary; their palates must be gratified with rich sauces and high-seasoned delicacies; and they frequently have re­course to whetters and provocatives, to anticipate the call of hunger, and to enable their stomachs to bear the load they lay on it. There are a sort of men, whose chief pride is a good taste (as they call it) and a great stomach: and the whole business of their lives is included in their breakfast, dinner and supper. These people, of whatever rank and denomination, whether they regale with turtle, or devour shoulders of mutton and peck-loaves for wagers, whether a duke at White's, or a chairman at the Blue-Posts, are cer­tainly of the number of those, ‘"whom nature, (as Sallust tells us,) has made like the brutes, obedient to their bellies;"’ and, indeed, partake in some measure of the sentence passed on the Serpent, ‘"to be cursed above all cattle, and to go for ever on their bellies."’

THERE are many follies and vices, which men endeavour to hide from the rest of the world: but this, above all others, they take a pride in proclaiming; and seem to run about with the cap and bells, as if they were ambitious to be ranked among the Sons of Folly. Indeed, as the politeness of the French language has distinguished every glutton by the title of Bon Vivant, and the courtesy of our own has honoured their beastly gluttony by the name of Good Living, the epi­cure thinks to eat and drink himself into your good opinion, and recommend himself to your esteem by an exquisite bill of fare. However this may be, it is remarkable, that as the fox-hunter takes delight in relating the incidents of the chace, and kills the fox again over a bowl of punch at night, so the Bon Vivant enjoys giving an account of a de­licious [Page 525] dinner, and chews the cud of reflection on such ex­quisite entertainment.

I HAVE been led into these thoughts by an acquaintance which I have lately made with a person, whose whole con­versation is, litterally speaking, Table-Talk. His brain seems to be stuffed with an hodge-podge of ideas, consisting of several dishes, which he is perpetually serving up for the en­terainment of the company. As it was said of Longinus, that he was a Walking Library, in the same manner I con­sider this gentleman as a Walking Larder: and as the ora­tions of Demosthenes were said to smell of the lamp, so my friend's whole conversation savours of the kitchen. He even makes use of his stomach as an artificial memory; and recol­lects every place he has been at, and every person he has seen, by some circumstances relating to the entertainment he met with. If he calls to mind any inn, he adds, ‘"for there the cook spoiled a fine turbot:"’ another house is recollected, ‘"because the parson took all the fat of the haunch of venison:"’ he remembers a gentleman you mention, ‘"because he had the smallest stomach he ever knew;"’ or one lady, ‘"because she drank a great deal of wine at supper;"’ and another, ‘"because she has the best receipt for making her pickled cu­cumbers look green."’

HIS passion for eating also influences all his actions, diversions, and studies. He is fond of hare-hunting, as he says his persuit is animated by the hopes of seeing puss smoking on the table; but he wonders how any man can venture his neck in a chace after a fox, which, when it is got, is not worth eating. He has had occasion to visit the [Page 526] several Wells in this kingdom, which he considers, not as places where persons go to drink the waters, but where they go to eat; and in this light he gives a character of them all. ‘"Bath, says he, is one of the best markets in the world: At Tunbridge you have fine mutton, and most exquisite wheat-ears: But at Cheltenham, pox take the place, you have nothing but cow-beef, red veal, and white bacon."’ He looks upon every part of England in the same light; and would as soon go to Cheshire for butter, and Suffolk for cheese, as miss eating what each particular town or county is famous for having the most excellent in its kind. He does not grudge to ride twenty miles to dine on a favourite dish; and it was but last week, that he appointed a friend in Buckinghamshire to meet him at Uxbridge, ‘"which (says he in his letter) is the best place we can settle our business at, on account of those excellent rolls we may have for breakfast, and the delicious trout we are sure to have at dinner."’

MR. CRAMWELL (for that is his name) is so unfortunate as to want a purse adequate to his taste; so that he is put to several shifts, and obliged to have recourse to several arti­fices, to gratify his appetite. For this purpose he has with great pains constituted a Club, consisting of persons most likely to promote Good Living. This Society is composed of members, who are all of them of some trade that can furnish it with provisions, (except one country squire, who supplies it with game,) and they are obliged to send in the best of whatever their trade deals in, at prime cost: by which wise management the Club is supplied with every delicacy the seasons affords, at the most reasonable rates. Upon any vacancy much care and deliberation is used in [Page 527] electing a new member. A candidate's being able to de­vour a whole turkey with an equal proportion of chine, or eat one haunch of venison with the fat of another as sauce to it, would be no recommendation: On the contrary; there was never more caution used, at the death of a Pope, to elect a successor who appears the most likely to be short-lived, than by this Society of Epicurean Hogs to admit nobody of a stomach superior to their own. Mr. CRAMWELL, on account of his extraordinary profici­ency in the Science of Eating, is honoured with the office of Caterer; and has arrived to such a pitch of accuracy in the calculation of what is sufficient, that he seems to gage the stomachs of the Club, as an Exciseman does a cask: and when all the members are present, they seldom send away three ounces of meat from the table. A Captain of a ship trading to the West-Indies has been admitted an hono­rary member, having contracted to bring over as a present to them a sufficient cargo of turtle every voyage; and a few days ago I met CRAMWELL in prodigious high spirits, when he told me, that he was the happiest man in the world: ‘"for now, says he, we shall have Ortolans as plenty as pidgeons; for it was but yesterday, that we balloted into our society one of the Flanderkin-Bird-Merchants."’ This association for the preservation of elegant fare gratifies my friend CRAMWELL's luxury at a cheap rate: and that he may make as many good meals as possible, he often con­trives to introduce himself to the tables of persons of quality. This he effects by sending my lord or her ladyship a present of a Bath Cheese, a Ruff or Land-Rail from his friends in Lincolnshire or Somersetshire, which seldom fails to procure him an invitation to dinner. It once happened, that dining [Page 528] with an Alderman his appetite got the better of his good-breeding, when he shaved off all the outside of a plumb-pudding; and he has ever since been talked of in the city by the name of SKIN-PUDDING.

AS all his joy and misery constantly arises from his belly, he thinks it is the same with others; and I heard him ask a perfect stranger to him, who complained that he was sick, whether he had over-eat himself. It is no wonder, that CRAMWELL should be sometimes troubled with the gout: I called upon him the other morning, and found him with his legs wrapped up in flannel, and a book lying open before him upon the table. On asking him what he was reading, he told me he was taking physic; and on enquiring whose advice he had, ‘"Oh, says he, nobody can do me so much good as Mrs. Hannah Glasse. I am here going through a course of her Art of Cookery, in hopes to get a stomach: for indeed, my dear friend, (added he, with tears in his eyes) my appetite is quite gone; and I am sure I shall die, if I do not find something in this book, which I think I can eat."’

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXVIII. THURSDAY, October 2, 1755.

—Fuit haud ignobilis Argis,
Qui se credebat miros audire tragoedos,
In vacuo laetus sessor plausorque theatro.
Hic ubi cognatorum opibus curisque refectus
Expulit helleboro morbum bilemque meraco,
Et redit ad sese; pol me occidistis, amici,
Non servâstis, ait; cui sic extorta voluptas,
Et demptus per vim mentis gratissimus error.
HOR.

HORACE, in the passage quoted at the head of my paper, tells us (after Aristotle) of a man, who used to sit in the empty theatre, and fancy that he saw real exhi­bitions on the stage. We have the like account in another ancient author, of a person that used to wait with great sollicitude the coming in of ships into [Page 530] the harbour, believing them to be his own property. The end of these madmen was also similar: they were both cured; and both complained, that they were deprived of the satisfaction which they before enjoyed from a pleasing error of their minds.

THAT the happiness and misery of the far greatest part of mankind depends upon the fancy, need not be insisted on: Crede quòd habes et babes, Think that you have and you have, is a maxim not confined to those only within the walls of Bedlam. I remember an humourist, who would fre­quently divert himself in the same manner with the mad­men above-mentioned, and supply his real wants by the force of his imagination. He would go round the markets, and suppose himself to be cheapening the most dainty provisions; and when he came home to his scanty meal, by the same ideal contrivance he would convert his trotters into turbot, and his small beer into the most delicious Burgundy. As he was a barber by trade, he would put on the air and manners of his customers, while he combed out their wigs: with every bag he would conceive himself going to court or a ridotto; and once, when he was sick, he got together three or four of the largest tyes, placed them upon blocks round his bed-side, and called them a consultation of physicians.

BUT of all others, there are none perhaps, who are more obliged to the imagination for their ideal happiness, than the fraternity of which I am an unworthy member. There is no set of people, who are more ambitious to appear grand in the world, and yet have less means, than those gentlemen whom the world has stiled Authors. Wit and pride as often [Page 531] go hand in hand together as wit and poverty: but though the generality of writers are by the frowns of fortune de­barred from possessing a profuse share of the good things of this world, they are abundantly recompenced by enjoying them in speculation. They indulge in golden dreams, at the time that they have not sixpence in their pockets, and conjure up all the luxuries of Pontac's before them, though they are at a loss perhaps where to get a dinner. Thus a Critic by a kind of magic will transport himself to the thea­tres in an imaginary gilt chariot, and be seated at once in the front-boxes; when in reality he has waited for two hours in Vinegar-Yard before the opening of the doors, to secure to himself a corner in the twelve-penny gallery. Hence it also happens to most Authors, that though their way of life be ever so mean, their writings favour of the most unbounded magnificence; and as they have nothing to bestow, a most surprising generosity always accompanies every action of the quill. Thus a Novellist, for example, is remarkably lavish of his cash on all occasions; and spares no expence in carrying on the designs of his personages through ever so many volumes. Nothing, indeed, is more easy than to be very profuse upon paper: An author, when he is about it, may erect his airy castles to what height he pleases, and with a wave of his pen may command the mines of Peru: and as he deals about his money without once untying his purse-strings, it will cost him the same whether he throws away a mite or a million; and another dip of ink, by the addition of two or three gratis cyphers, may in an instant convert a single ten into as many thou­sands. We must not therefore be surprised, that the heroes of our modern novels seem to possess the Purse of Fortu­natus, [Page 532] as their writers have all of them the power of his Wishing-cap.

BUT it must be confessed, that we Essay-writers, as we are the greatest Egotists, are consequently most vain and ostentatious. As we frequently find occasion to prate about ourselves, we take abundant care to put the reader con­stantly in mind of our importance. It is very well known, that we keep the best company, are present at the most expensive places of diversion, and can talk as familiarly of White's, as if we had been admitted to the honour of lo­sing an estate there. Though the necessaries as well as the luxuries of life may perhaps be denied us, we readily make up for the want of them by the creative power of the imagination. Thus, for instance, I remember a bro­ther Essayist, who took a particular pride in dating his lu­cubrations, From my own Apartment; which he represented as abounding with every convenience: though at the same time he was working three stories from the ground, and was often forced to scribble upon wrappers of tobacco for want of other paper. As to myself, I make no doubt but the reader has long ago discovered without my telling him, that I loll at my ease in a crimson velvet chair, rest my elbow on the polished surface of a mahogany table, write my essays upon gilt paper, and dip my pen into a silver standish.

Indeed, though I have taken upon me the Title of a CONNOISSEUR, I shall not presume to boast, that I am pos­sessed of a Musaeum like Sloane's, or a Library equal to Mead's. But as Pliny, and after him our countryman Mr. Pope, have left us a description of their elegant Villa, I hope [Page 533] it will not be thought arrogance in me (after what I have said,) if I set before the reader an account of my own STUDY. This is a little edifice situated at a small distance from the rest of the house, for the sake of privacy and re­tirement. It is an ancient pile of building, and hangs over a small rivulet, which runs underneath it; and as the entrance into it is shaded by a thick hedge of ever-greens, which cast a kind of awful gloom about it, some learned antiquarians have been led to conjecture, that it was formerly a Temple (or rather Chapel of Ease,) dedicated to one of the heathen Goddesses. This Goddess, they inform me, was worshipped by the Romans, and was probably held in no less veneration by the Aegyptians, Chaldees, Syrians, and other nations. However this be, the walls on the inside are deco­rated with various inscriptions alluding to the religious rites performed there, and hung round with the rude rhymes of ancient bards.

TO this STUDY I retire constantly every morning after breakfast, and at other parts of the day, as occasions call. Here I am at liberty to indulge my meditations unin­terrupted, as I suffer no one to break in upon my privacy; and (what will perhaps surprise my readers) I find in myself the greatest inclination to visit it after an hearty meal. In this place I have made a very rapid progress in literature, and have gone through several very learned volumes, which otherwise I should never have looked into. I have here travelled leaf by leaf through the works of many worthy, but neglected ancient divines, critics, and politicians; and have turned over many a modern pamphlet or poem with equal satisfaction. I must not forget to mention, that (like the scrupulous Mahometans) I have often picked up the [Page 534] fragments of several learned writers, which have come from the chandlers, and lodged them, among others no less valu­able, in my STUDY.

I MAY safely boast, that I am indebted for many of my best thoughts in the course of these papers to the reflections I have had the leisure to make in this STUDY; which pro­bably has the same influence on my mind, as the stew'd prunes, which Bayes tells us he always took when he wrote. But if my STUDY serves to inspire me sometimes with agre­eable ideas, it never fails on the other hand to remind me of the mortality of writers; as it affords repeated proofs, that we may justly say of our works, as well as of ourselves,

Seriùs aut citiùs SEDEM proper amus ad unam.

ADVERTISEMENT.

WHereas a pirated Edition of the CONNOISSEUR is advertised to be published by Mr. Faulkner in Dublin; and as this can be no other than a mere Copy of the Folio Edition; the Proprietors think it necessary
To give NOTICE,
That a NEW EDITION of this WORK will be published next Month, in Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound.

N. B. The Papers are revised and corrected, with several considerable Additions, and the Mottos and Quotations trans­lated and adapted to modern Manners, in a New Taste, by the AUTHORS. A copious Table of Contents is also pre­fixed to each Volume.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER LXXXIX. THURSDAY, October 8, 1754.

Lugete, O Veneres, Cupidinesque,
Et quantum est hominum venustiorum!
Passer mortuus est meae puellae,
Passer deliciae meae puellae;
Quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
CATULL.

GOING the other day to visit Mrs. Penelope Doat, after I had waited some time in the parlour, the maid returned with her mistress's compliments, and informed me, that as she was extremely busy, she begged to be excu­sed coming down to me, but that she would be very glad to see me in the Nursery. As I knew she was a maiden lady, I was a good deal startled at the message; but how­ever I followed the servant up stairs to her mistress; whom I [Page 536] found combing a little white dog that lay in her lap, with a grey parrot perched on one arm of the settee where she sat, a monkey on the back, and a tabby cat with half a dozen kittens in the other corner. The whole room, which was a very large one, was indeed a Nursery for all kinds of animals, except those of the human species: It was hung every where with cages, containing parrots, mackaws, ca­nary birds, nightingales, linnets, goldfinches, &c. on the chairs were several cats reposing on soft cushions; and there were little kennels, in the Chinese taste, in almost every corner of the room, filled with Pugs, Fidos, and King Charles's breed. As soon as the chattering of the birds, the barking of the dogs, and the mewing of the cats, which my entrance oc­casioned, began to cease, ‘"You find me here, Sir, (said the lady) tending my little family, the only joy of my life: Here's a dear pretty creature (holding up the dog she was combing) a beauty! sir, a fine long-eared snub-nosed beauty! Lady Faddle advertised three quarters of a year, and cold not get the fellow to it. Ah, bless it, and love it, sweet soul!"’—And then she stroaked it, and kissed it for near two minutes, uttering the whole time all those inarticulate sounds, which cannot be committed to paper, and which are only addressed to Dogs, Cats, and Children, and may be stiled the language of the Nursery. Upon ob­serving me smile, at the embraces she bestowed on her little motley darling, ‘"I am afraid (said she) you don't love these pretty creatures. How can you be so cruel? Poor dumb things! I would not have them hurt for all the world: nor do I see why a lady should not indulge herself in having such sweet little company about her, as well as you men run out estates in keeping a pack of filthy [Page 357] hounds."’ Then she laid Pompey on his cushion by the fire-side, and railed at the barbarity of the human species to the rest of the creation, and entered into a long dissertation on tenderness and humanity.

A HUMANE disposition is, indeed so amiable either in man or woman, that it ought always to be cherished and kept alive in our bosoms; but at the same time we should be cautious not to render the first virtue of our nature ridi­culous. The most compassionate temper may be sufficiently gratified by relieving the wretches of our own species: but who would ever boast of their generosity to a lap-dog, and their conferring eternal obligations on a monkey? or would any person deserve to be celebrated for their charity, who should deny support to a relation or a friend, because he maintains a litter of kittens? For my part, before I would treat a Dutch puppy with such absurd fondness, I must be brought to worship dogs, as the Aegyptians did of old; and e'er I would so extravagantly doat upon a monkey, I would (as Iago says on a different occasion) ‘"change my huma­nity with a baboon."’

YET there have been many instances, besides my female friend, of this fondness for the brute creation being carried to very ridiculous lengths. The grave doctors of the faculty have been called in to feel the pulse of a lap-dog, and inspect the urine of a squirrel: nay, I am myself acquainted with a lady, who carried this matter so far, as to discharge her chaplain, because he refused to bury her monkey. But the most solemn piece of mummery on these occasions is the making provisions for these animals by will; which absurd legacies as little deserve the title of humanity, as those people [Page 538] merit being called charitable, who in a death-bed fright starve their relations, by leaving their estates to found an hos­pital. It were indeed to be wished, that money left in trust for such uses were subject to some statute of Mortmain; or at least that the gentlemen of the long robe, would contrive some scheme to cut off the entail from Monkeys, Mackaws, Italian Greyhounds, and Tabby Cats.

THAT a stage coachman should love his cattle better than his wife and children, or a country squire be fond of his hounds and hunters, is not so surprising, because the reason of their regard for them is easily accounted for; and a sea­captain has, upon the same principles, been known to con­tract an affection for his ship: but no coachman would, like Caligula, tye his horses to a golden rack, but thinks he shews sufficient kindness by filling them with good wholesome provender; and the country sportsman takes care to provide his hounds with a good kennel and horse­flesh, but would never think of placing them on cushions before the fire, and feeding them with fricasees, or breed them with as much care as the heir to his estate. This irre­gular passion (if I may so call it) is most frequently to be met with among the ladies. How often has the slighted gallant envied the caresses given to a lap-dog, or kisses be­stowed on a squirrel! and ‘"I would I were thy bird!"’ has been the fond exclamation of many a Romeo. But it is remarkable, that this affection for birds and beasts generally wears off after marriage, and that the ladies discard their four-footed darlings and feathered favourites, when they can bestow their endearments on an husband. Wherefore, these dry nurses to Puggs and Grimalkins are mostly to be met with among those females, who have been disappointed [Page 539] in the affairs of love, and have against their will retained the flower of virginity till it has withered in their possession. It often happens, that there is some kind of analogy between the gallant they once loved, and the animal on which they afterwards fix their affections: and I myself remember an instance of a lady's passion for a lawyer being converted into dotage on a parrot; and have an old maiden aunt, who once languished for a beau, whose heart is now devoted to a monkey.

BUT I should not so much quarrel with these humane ladies, who chuse to settle their affections on the brute spe­cies, if they were not troublesome to others, who are not so sensible of the charms of a snub nose, or can discover any beauty in the grey eyes of a cat. A doating mother would never forgive you, if you did not call her brat a fine child, and dangle it about, and prattle with it, with as much seeming rapture as herself: and in like manner, a lady would take it as an affront to her own person, if you did not pay your adresses equally to her pug or her parroquet. I know a young fellow, that was cut off with a shilling by an old maiden aunt, because he gave poor Veny a kick only for lifting up his leg against the gentleman's stocking: and I have heard of another, who might have carried off a very rich widow, but that he could not prevail upon himself to extend his caresses to her dormouse. Indeed, I cannot help thinking, that the embraces and endearments bestowed on these rivals of the human species should be as private as the most secret intrigues; and I would have lap-dogs, like fretful and squalling children, confined to bark and growl only in the Nursery. We may often see a footman following his lady to church with a common prayer-book under one arm [Page 540] a dog under the other: I have also known a grave divine forced to stop short in the middle of a prayer, while the whole congregation has been raised from their knees to attend to the howling of a lap-dog: and I once saw a tragedy monarch disturbed in his last moments, as he lay expiring on the car­pet, by a little black dog of king Charles's breed, who jumped out of the stage-box, and seizing upon the hero's perriwig, brought it off in his mouth, and lodged it in his lady's lap.

IT will not appear strange, after what has been said, that these ladies (or lady-like gentlemen) should be as sollicitous to preserve the breed of their favourite animals, as a sports­man of his hounds and horses. I have known a gentleman in St. James's street send his little Cupid in a sedan chair as far as Grosvenor square to wait upon a lady's Veny for this very purpose: and I shall never forget a Card, which was sent to another lady on a like occasion, expressed in the fol­lowing terms.— ‘"Mr. —'s compliments to Lady Betty —, is glad to hear Miss Chloe is safely delivered, and begs it as a particular favour, that her ladyship would be pleased to SET HIM DOWN FOR A PUPPY."’

THE CONNOISSEUR, By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XC. THURSDAY, October 15, 1755.

—Ego nec studium sine divite venâ,
Nec rude quid prosit, video, ingenium.—
HOR.

IF we consider that part of our acquaintance, whom we remember from their infancy, we shall find, that the expectations we once en­tertained of their future abilities are in many instances disappointed. Those, who were accounted heavy dull boys, have by diligence and application made their way to the first honours, and become eminent for their learning and knowledge of the world; while others who were regarded as bright lads, and imagined to possess parts equal to any scheme of life, have turned out dissolute and ignorant; and quite unworthy the title of a Genius, except in the modern acceptation of the word, by which [Page 542] it signifies a very silly young fellow, who from his extrava­gance and debauchery has obtained the name of a Genius, (like lucus a non lucendo) because he has no Genius at all.

IT is a shocking draw-back from a father's happiness, when he sees his son blessed with strong natural parts and quick conception, to reflect that these very talents may be his ruin. If vanity once gets into his head and gives it a wrong turn, the young coxcomb will neglect the means of improvement, trust entirely to his native abilities, and be as ridiculously proud of his parts, as the brats of quality are taught to be of their family. In the mean time those, whom nature threw far behind him, are by application enabled to leave him at a distance in their turn; and he continues boasting of his Genius, till it subsists no longer, but dies for want of cultivation. Thus vanity and indolence prevents his improvement, and if he is to rise in the world by his merit, takes away the means of success, and perhaps reduces him to very miserable distresses. I know one of these early Geniuses, who scarce supports himself by writing for a bookseller; and another, who is at leisure to contem­plate his extraordinary parts in the Fleet-prison.

IF we look into the world, we shall find that the mere Genius will never raise himself to any degree of eminence without a close and unwearied application to his respective business or profession. The Inns of Court are full of these men of parts, who cannot bear the drudgery of turning over dry Cases and Reports; but, though they appear ever so eloquent in taverns and coffee-houses, not the nearest relation will trust them with a Brief: And many a sprightly physician has walked on foot all his life, with no more [Page 543] knowledge of his profession than what lies in his perriwig. For whatever opinion they themselves may have of their own parts, other persons do not chuse to be bantered out of their estates, or joked out of their lives: And even in trade, the plodding men of the Alley would foretell the bankruptcy of any wit among them, who should laugh at the labour of Accounts, or despise the Italian Method of Book-keeping. Thus we see, that parts alone are not suf­ficient to recommend us to the good opinion of the world: and even these, if not roused and called forth by study and application, would become torpid and useless: as the race­horse, though not put to drag a dray or carry a pack, must yet be kept in exercise. But I shall enlarge no further on this subject, as I would not anticipate the thoughts con­tained in the following elegant little Fable; which (as my correspondent informs me) is written by the same ingenious hand, that obliged the public with the Verses on Imitation, inserted in my sixty-seventh number.

The HARE and the TORTOISE.
GENIUS, blest term of meaning wide!
(For sure no term so misapply'd,)
How many bear the sacred name,
That never felt a real flame!
Proud of the specious appellation,
Thus fools have christned Inclination.
But yet suppose a Genius true,
Exempli gratiâ, me or you.
Whate'er he tries with due intention,
Rarely escapes his apprehension;
[Page 544]Surmounting ev'ry opposition,
You'd swear he learnt by intuition.
Should he presume alone on parts,
And study therefore but by starts?
Sure of success whene'er he tries,
Should he forego the means to rise?
Suppose your watch, a Graham make,
Gold if you will for value sake,
It's springs within in order due,
No watch, when going, goes so true:
If ne'er wound up with proper care,
What service is it in the wear?
Some genial spark of Phoebus' rays
Perhaps within our bosom plays.
O how the purer rays aspire,
If Application fans the fire!
Without it Genius vainly tries,
Howe'er sometimes it seems to rise:
Nay, Application will prevail,
When braggart parts and Genius fail.
And now, to lay my proof before ye,
I here present you with a story.
In days of yore, when Time was young,
When birds convers'd as well as sung,
And use of speech was not confin'd
Merely to brutes of human kind;
A forward Hare of swiftness vain,
The Genius of the neighbouring plain,
Would oft deride the drudging croud:
For Geniuses are ever proud.
[Page 545]His flight, he'd boast, 'twere vain to follow
For horse and dog, he'd beat them hollow;
Nay, if he put forth all his strength,
Outstrip his brethren half a length.
A Tortoise heard his vain oration,
And vented thus his indignation.
O Puss! it bodes thee dire disgrace,
When I defy thee to the race.
Come, 'tis a match,—nay no denial,
I lay my shell upon the trial.
'Twas done and done, all fair, a bet,
Judges prepar'd, and distance set.
The scamp'ring Hare outstrip'd the wind,
The creeping Tortoise lagg'd behind,
And scarce had pass'd a single pole,
When Puss had almost reach'd the goal.
Friend Tortoise, cries the jeering Hare,
Your burthen's more than you can bear:
To help your speed, it were as well
That I should ease you of your shell:
Jog on a little faster prithee,
I'll take a nap, and then be with thee.
So said so done, and safely sure;
For say, what conquest more secure?
Whene'er he wak'd (that's all that's in it)
He could o'ertake him in a minute.
The Tortoise heard the taunting jeer,
But still resolv'd to persevere;
[Page 546]Still drawl'd along, as who should say
I win, like Fabius, by delay;
On to the goal securely crept,
While Puss unknowing soundly slept.
The betts are won, the Hare awake,
When thus the victor Tortoise spake:
Puss, though I own thy quicker parts,
Things are not always won by starts:
You may deride my aukward pace,
But slow and steady wins the race.

*⁎*It is necessary to acquaint the Public, that the Twelves Edition of the CONNOISSEUR, in Two neat Pocket Volumes, will be published here at the Meeting of the Parlia­ment; that Mr. Faulkner's Irish Edition is without the Knowledge or Consent of the Authors and Proprietors; but for the Satisfaction of the Gentlemen in Ireland, Mr. WILSON, Bookseller in Dublin, (and no other) will be furnished with a GENUINE COPY of the English Edition of this Work in Twelves, to reprint with the Consent and Approbation of the Authors.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCI. THURSDAY, October 23, 1755.

—Utrumne
Divitiis homines, an sint virtute beati;
Et quae sit natura BONI.—
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

THE explanation which you gave us some time ago of GOOD COMPANY, has led me to consider the import and extent of the epithet GOOD; which, in the modern sense of the word, is indiscrimi­nately applied to things very bad in their nature, and is sometimes used only as a term of reproach.

[Page 548]To begin, first, with what is called a GOOD MAN. By this, one would imagine, should be understood an honest, virtuous, and religious person: but to look for a GOOD MAN, in this strict acceptation of the phrase, among the men of fashion, would be as vain a search as that of Diogenes with his lanthorn in open day-light. This appellation is, indeed, very familiarly used among the gentlemen of 'Change Alley: but there it is meant only to signify a Rich man. He is there called a GOOD MAN, who is able to answer a bill at sight, though he is known to be ever so great a cheat. So by the same unaccountable phraseology, a scoundrel with a large estate is entitled a Man of Worth: as among rakes the HONEST fellow may be the most abandoned debauchee and great­est villain upon earth.

BY the same figure, the GOOD FELLOW is he, who at a Country Wake can soil the best wrestler, break most heads, and challenge the ring; take Broughton by the nose; bid defiance to the Clare-Market butchers; knock down the constables and watch, in beating the rounds in Covent-Garden; bilk the waiter, and kick the bully out of doors in the hundreds of Drury; carry off his six bottles of port at a sitting; or drink October, till he leaves the country squire and the parson on the floor.

AS to the other sex, the term GOOD WOMAN is applied, as a mere expletive without any meaning, to the poor only, or perhaps to get rid of the importunity of a beggar. In the country, indeed, a GOOD LADY is sometimes mentioned with a sneer or as a term of reproach; and means one, who is so old-fashioned, as to go to church, say her prayers, [Page 549] and convert her dressing room into an apothecary's shop. But I would ask any well-bred lady, if she would be content to banish herself from the delights of the theatre, opera­house, masquerades, routs, drums, assemblies, and the dear card-table, to be confined to the country, have prayers in her own house twice a day, and do charitable offices to her poor neighbours, merely to acquire the ridiculous reputation of a GOOD LADY.

I SHALL proceed next to consider what is generally under­stood by a GOOD EDUCATION. This is not to be found in either of our Universities: nor is any learning or know­ledge implied in it, except what is called the Knowledge of the World, which cannot be attained among pedants, or gathered from musty books. Common lads may be lashed through a grammar-school, and afterwards locked up in colleges: but young fellows of taste and spirit have better opportunities of improving themselves by mixing with the town and the beau monde. For this reason they are intro­duced very early into those excellent Seminaries of GOOD EDUCATION about Covent Garden, and placed under the tuition of Haddock, Douglass, Harris, &c. It is also neces­sary, to ground them in the genteel principles of infidelity and free-thinking, that they should attend the disputations at the Robin Hood and the lectures of the Clare-market Orator: and it would not be amiss, if they were to get a little notion of the modern Art of Criticism by frequenting the Bedford and George's coffee-houses. After this it is proper, to compleat their education, that they should make the tour of France and Italy; which will not fail to inspire them with the laudable love of every thing that is foreign, and a thorough contempt for their own country. [Page 550] Nothing now remains but to instruct them in the noble Science of Gaming; for which purpose it has been found expedient to constitute an Academy at White's; where it is taught in all it's branches. The consequences of such a GOOD EDUCATION, as is here set down, may be seen in many instances: Some have been enabled by it to ruin their constitutions, and others to run out their estates. Some have received the finishing stroke of a GOOD EDU­CATION at Tyburn, while others have given sufficient proofs of it by being gallantly run through the body in a duel, or genteelly shooting themselves through the head.

LET us now take a view of the GOOD EDUCATION, which is at present in vogue among the fair sex. As the GOOD LADIES of former days were desirous, that their daughters should make GOOD WIVES, they thought the first step towards it was to make them GOOD HOUSE­WIVES. They therefore bred them up in the domestic arts of pickling, preserving, distilling simple waters, and the like: they also taught them to work at their needle, write, cast accounts, and read a chapter in the Bible or some other Good BOOK, as they are ridiculously oalled. But this method of education has been found to be fit only for low girls designed to go to service, or poor parsons daugh­ters that must come to be milliners, or something worse. As to ladies of fashion, to learn English would only obstruct their advancement in the French language, which they are taught to speak from their infancy, but never to read: besides, they will get a better knowledge of their mother tongue from the peculiar dialects used at routes and assem­blies, and the spirited conversations carried on at masquerades and other public places, than they could possibly do from [Page 551] books. All the writing required is to be able to scrawl out a billet-doux; for which we must also own, that spelling-books are of no service: and working we know would hurt their eyes no less than reading: As to religion, honour, virtue, charity, and the like old-fashioned cant, nobody would think of stuffing any girl's head with it, above the degree of a chambermaid.

THE present notion of a GOOD Education was, there­fore, unknown to the females of former ages; as, besides the usual accomplishments of dancing, or the like, it will be found to consist in the knowledge of Intriguing, Dress, and (I may add too) the Card-table. In the first of these particulars they constantly receive lessons from the milli­ners, mantua-makers, and maid-servants; and by being carried about to all public places of diversion, they soon become proficients in the sciences. The same tutors like­wise take care to instruct their young pupils in the Art of Dress; and I have known a little miss, by the time she was arrived at her teens, so nice an adept in face-painting, as to apply the rouge to her pretty cheeks with as much elegance and propriety as her mamma. To conclude, when a young lady has got Hoyle's rules by heart, and is qua­lified to play a rubbers at a Sunday route, it is a sure mark of her having had a compleat GOOD EDUCATION.

THERE are many other instances, in which this word GOOD is perverted to a very preposterous sense. Thus GOOD LIVING is made to signify the practice of no other excellence, but what consists in Good Eating and Drinking: but as you have formerly given us the character of one of these GOOD LIVERS, I shall only take notice, that the ill [Page 552] humours consequent of their luxury and intemperance, which shew themselves in blotches and breakings out on their faces, are emphatically called their Goodness. In like manner, by GOOD BLOOD we are taught to understand a gentility of birth: and though a nobleman be ever so noto­rious for his vices, or though his ancestors have been raised by the vilest means, his posterity always pride themselves on the GOOD BLOOD of the family. I would not be thought to quibble about words, when I observe, that the most shocking and blasphemous ridicule on the sacred tenets of our religion (though without the least shadow of wit) is by the present shallow race of free-thinkers applauded as a GOOD JOKE. The most cruel and unmanly actions are by our Bucks and Bloods set down under the same denomination: and if blasphemy and profaneness is a GOOD JOKE, a rape or a murder is upon the same pinciples esteemed a very GOOD THING.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant, PHILAGATHUS.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCII. THURSDAY, October 30, 1755.

O nata mecum Consule Manlio,
Seu tu querelas, sive geris jocos,
Seu rixam, et insanos amores,
Seu facilem, pia testa, somnum;
Descende.—
HOR.

DRINKING is one of those popular vices, which most people reckon among their venial failings, and it is thought no great blot on a man's character, to say he takes his glass rather too freely. But as those vices are most dangerous and likely to prevail, which if not approved are at least excused by most people, I have been tempted to examine, whether Drinking really deserves that quarter it receives from the generality of mankind: and I [Page 554] must own, that after a strict attention to the principal mo­tives that induce men to become hard-drinkers, as well as to the consequences which such excesses produce, I am at a loss to account for the received maxim that ‘"in good wine there is truth;"’ and should no more expect happiness in a full bowl, than chastity in the bar of a tavern.

THE incentives to this practice are some of them very shocking, and some very ridiculous; as will perhaps appear from the following characters. Poor Heartly was blest with every noble qualification of the head and heart, and bade fair for the love and admiration of the world, but was unfortunately bound in a very large sum for a friend, who disappeared, and left him to the mercy of the law. The distresses, thus brought upon him by the treachery of another, threw him into the deepest despair, and he had at last re­course to drinking, to benumb (if possible) the very sense of reflection. He is miserable when sober, and when drunk stupified and muddled: His misfortunes have robbed him of all the joys of life, and he is now endeavouring wilfully to put an end to them by a slow death.

TOM BUCK, from the first day that he was put into breeches, was always accounted a boy of spirit: and before he reached the top of Westminster school, knew the names and faces of the most noted girls upon town, tossed off his claret with a smack, and had a long tick at the ta­vern. When he went to Oxford, he espoused the Tory party, because they drank deepest; and he has for some years been accounted a four-bottle man. He drank for fame, and has so well established his character, that he was never known to send a man from his chambers sober, but gene­rally laid his whole company under the table. Since his [Page 555] leaving the university, nobody ever acquired more reputa­tion by Electioneering; for he can see out the stoutest free­holder in England: He has, indeed, swallowed many a tun in the service of his country, and is now a sounder pa­triot by two bottles than any man in the county.

POOR Wou'd-be became a debauchée through mere bash­fulness, and a foolish sort of modesty, that has made many a man drunk in spite of his teeth. He contracted an acquaintance with a set of hard drinkers, and though he would as soon chuse to swallow a dose of physic, has not courage to refuse his bumper. He is drunk every night, and always sick to death the next morning, when he con­stantly resolves, to drink nothing stronger than small beer for the future; but at night the poor fellow gets drunk again through downright modesty. Thus Wou'd-be suffers himself to be prest into the service; and since he has com­menced a jolly fellow is become one of the most miserable wretches upon earth.

HONEST Ned Brimmer is at present the most dismal object that ever fell a sacrifice to liquor. It was unluckily his first ambition to promote what is usually called Good Fellowship: In this undertaking he has in a very few years entirely ruined his constitution, and now stalks up and down in so piteous a condition, as might inspire his companions with more melan­choly reflections than an empty bottle. He has quite lost all appetite; and he is now obliged to keep up a weak arti­ficial heat in his body, by the same means that destroyed the natural warmth of his constitution. Rum, brandy, and us­quebaugh are his diet-drinks, and he may perhaps linger a few months, before he falls a martyr to Good Fellowship.

[Page 556]HAVING thus taken a short view of the unhappy mo­tives, that induce men to become hard-drinkers, few perhaps will think such reasons any recommendation to Drunkenness: nor can I imagine they will grow more fond of it, by ob­serving what strange creatures they are during their intoxi­cation. Shakespeare calls it ‘"putting a devil into their mouths to steal away their brains;"’ and indeed a cup too much turns a man the wrong side out; and wine, at the same time it takes away the power of standing from the legs, de­prives the mind of all sense and reflection. It is whimsical enough to consider the different effects, which wine produces on different tempers. Sometimes, like love, it makes a fool sensible, and a wise man an ass; and seems to imbibe a new quality from every different body, as water takes a tincture from the ground it runs through.

HORACE has with great pleasantry recapitulated the various effects of wine in a stanza, which I have placed at the head of this paper. One man grows maudlin and weeps; ano­ther becomes merry and facetious; a third quarrels, throws a bottle at his companion's head, and could run his dearest friend through the body; a fourth is mad for a girl, and falls in love with a street-walker, or an old woman roasting chesnuts; while to a fifth, the liquor serves as an opiate, and lulls him to sleep. Shakespeare has also shewn this vari­ety of characters with great humour. Cassio crys, ‘"let's to business,"’ and immediately begins to hiccup out his prayers, and belches out his hopes of salvation: Justice Silence, who does not speak a word while he is sober, has no sooner swal­lowed the rouzing cup, than he roars out a catch, and grows the noisiest man in the company. It is reported to have been one of the most exquisite entertainments to the [Page 557] choice spirits in the beginning of this century, to get Addison and Steele together in company for the evening. Steele enter­tained them till he was tipsy; when the same wine that stu­pified him, only served to elevate Addison, who took up the ball just as Steele dropt it, and kept it up for the rest of the evening. They who have never been present at a scene of this kind may see the whole group of drunken characters, displayed at one view with infinite humour, in Hogarth's Modern Midnight Conversation.

THUS excess of drinking verifies all the transformations recorded in the fable of Circe's cup; and perhaps the true reason why Bacchus is always painted with horns, is to in­timate that wine turns men into beasts. Indeed, if none were to indulge themselves in drinking, except those who, like Steele and Addison, could be witty and agreeable in their cups, the number of hard-drinkers would be very hap­pily diminished. Most men have so little right to plead an excuse of this sort in vindication of their drunkenness, that wine either makes them very rude, very stupid, or very mad. It is a vulgar error to suppose that liquor only shews ill qualities, since it also frequently creates them; and engen­ders notions in the mind quite foreign to its natural disposi­tion, which are the mere effects of wine, and break out, like blotches and carbuncles on the face. The disgustful appearance, which most people make when they are drunk, was what induced the Spartans to intoxicate their slaves, and shew them to their children, in order to deter them from so odious a vice: In like manner let the Choice Spirit, who is often seen hanging his head over the pot, or snoring in an armed-chair in a tavern, reflect what a shocking figure he must have made, when he sees the drunken beggar sleeping on a bulk, or rolling in the kennel.

[Page 558]WHOEVER thus considers the motives that generally in­duce men to give into these excesses, and how ridiculous and unhappy they are often rendered by the effects, will hardly be tempted by the charms of a bottle: and, indeed, Hard-Drinking is frequently one, among the many evils, that arise from want of education. The dull squire, settled in the country, who has no taste for literary amusements, has nothing, except his dogs and horses, but his bumper to divert him: and the town squire fits soaking for the same reasons in a tavern. These are the common herd of Bacchus's swine: but nothing is more shocking, than to see a man of sense thus destroying his parts and constitution. It not only makes a terrible innovation in his whole frame and intellects; but also robs him of the society of those like himself, with whom he should associate, and reduces him to the level of a set of wretches; since all may be admitted to his com­pany and conversation, who are able to toss off a bumper.

THESE considerations are sufficient to convince us of the evils which result from hard-drinking: but it will shock us still more, if we reflect how much it will influence our life and conduct. Whoever is engaged in a profession will never apply to it with success, while he sticks so close to his bottle; and the tradesman, who endeavours to make business and plea­sure compatible, will never be able to make both ends meet. Thus whether health, fame, or interest is regarded, Drunken­ness should be avoided; and we may say with Cassio, ‘"Every inordinate cup is unblest, and the ingredient is a Devil."’

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCIII. THURSDAY, November 6, 1755.

Fortuna saevo laeta negotio, et
Ludum insolentem ludere pertinax.
HOR.

I CANNOT but admire the ingenious device prefixed to the advertisements of Hazard's Lottery-Office, in which Fortune is repre­sented hovering over the heads of a number of people, and scattering down all kinds of Prizes among them. What Mr. Hazard has here delineated, every adventurer in the late Lottery had pictured to himself: the ten thousand constantly floated before his eyes, and each person had already possessed it in imagination. But alas! all our expectations are now at an end; the golden dream is at length vanished; and those, who were kept giddy all the while that the wheel of For­tune [Page 560] was turning round, have now leisure soberly to reflect on their disappointment. How many unhappy tradesmen must now trudge on foot all their lives, who designed to loll in their chariots! how many poor maidens, of good family but no fortune, must languish all their days with­out the comforts of an husband and a coach and fix! Every loser thinks himself ill used by Fortune: and even Mrs. Betty, the possessor of a single sixteenth, flies to the Office, pays her penny, and receives the tidings of her ill luck with surprize; goes to another Office, pays her penny, hears the same disagreeable information, and can hardly, very hardly persuade herself, that Fortune should have doom­ed her still to wash the dishes and scrub down the stairs.

THUS the views of every adventurer are directed to the same point, though their motives for engaging in the Lot­tery may be different. One man puts in, because he is willing to be in Fortune's way; another, because he had good luck in the last; and another, because he never got any thing before. This indulges in the prospect of making a fortune, and that buoys himself up with the hopes of retrieving his desperate circumstances. Every one, however, thinks himself as sure of the ten thousand, as if he had it in his pocket; and his only concern is, how to dispose of it. In this light we may consider every adventurer, as having been in actual possession of this treasure; and out of fifty thousand people, who have been blest within this fortnight with such ideal good fortune, I shall select the fol­lowing instances, which fell within my own notice.

JOSEPH WILKINS of Thames Street Esquire, Oilman and Cheesemonger, got the 10,000 l. He could not bear [Page 561] the foggy air and dingy situation of the City: he therefore resolved to take an house at the St. James's end of the town, and intended to fit up a snug box at Hampstead in the Chinese taste, for his retirement on Sundays. A Chariot was absolutely necessary, to carry him to and from 'Change every morning: but he designed to have it made accord­ing to the modern fashion, that it might occasionally be con­verted into a Post-Chaise, to wheel him on a Saturday night to his Country-seat, and back again on the Monday morning. Nothing was now wanting but a careful plod­ding partner, who should take upon himself the whole drudgery of the shop; so that the Squire might have no farther trouble than to receive his dividend of the profits. But while he was considering on whom this important favour should be conferred, his ticket was drawn—blank: and Squire Wilkins is contented with his greasy employment of measuring out lamp-oil, and cutting out penny-worths of Cheshire Cheese.

JOHN JONES of Ludlow in the county of Salop Esquire, Dealer and Chapman, got the 10,000 l. This gentleman was fore-warned of his success by several undeniable to­kens. His lady had dreamt of a particular Number four nights together; and while the bells were ringing upon his being chose Bailiff of the Corporation, they spoke in as plain words, as ever Whittington heard, ‘"Mr. John Jones will get ten thousand pound—Mr. John Jones will get ten thousand pound."’ He and his lady therefore came up to London: and not being able to meet with the particular Number at Hazard's or Wilson's or any other Office always remarkable for selling the ten thousands, they advertized it [Page 562] in the papers, and got the great Prize, for only paying a guinea more for their ticket than the market-price. As Mrs. Jones knew a good deal of the world, (having lived for some years in quality of an upper servant in a great house,) she was determined that Mr. Jones should take the opportunity, now they were in town, of learning how to behave himself as he should do, when he came to his fortune. She therefore introduced him into the best com­pany in all the house-keepers and stewards rooms in the best families, where she was acquainted: and as Mr. Jones was so deficient in politeness, as not even to know how to make a bow in coming into a room, he had private lessons from Mr. Dukes, who undertakes to teach Grown Gentle­men to dance. Mrs. Jones herself was very busy in con­sulting with the milliner and mantua-maker about the newest fashions, when the long looked-for ten thousand came up: and directly after the Hey-Ge-Ho carried them down again to Salop with this only consolation, that their ticket was within one of the fortunate Number.

JONATHAN WILDGOOSE of Cheapside, Silk Mercer, had too much taste to be confined to dirty business, which he neglected for the more agreeable persuits of pleasure. Having therefore met with great losses in trade, he was obliged to embark the remains of his shattered fortune in the Lottery, and by purchasing a number of tickets secured to himself the 10,000 l. He had determined to keep his success secret, bilk his creditors by becoming bankrupt, turn the whole into an annuity for his life, and live abroad like a gentleman upon the income. But unluckily his creditors came upon him too quickly; and before he could know that he had not got the ten thousand, hurried him [Page 563] to jail, where he now lies, lamenting that the Act of Insol­vency was not postponed 'till after the Lottery.

SIR HUMPHRY OLDCASTLE, having greatly dipt his estate by being chosen into Parliament on the Tory interest, mortgaged all he had left, to put himself in the way of the the 10,000l. for the good of his country. This seasonable recruit fixed him a staunch patriot: and he declared he would stand another election against all oppositions. But, however it happened, the finishing of the lottery has induced him to change his sentiments; and Sir Humphry in lieu of the 10,000 l. has accepted a place.

JEMMY LISTER, an Attorney's Clerk, was carried into the Lottery by pure disinterested love. He had conceived a violent passion for his master's daughter; but the prudent old gentleman could not be prevailed on to give her away to an handsome young fellow without a penny. This enra­ged him so much, that he was in doubt whether he should bestow his 10,000 l. on the young lady, or employ it more fashionably in keeping a girl. However, his hopes soon sunk to one of the 5,000 l. prizes, which he at once deter­mined to settle upon her together with his person. But in this too he was disappointed, as also of the other inferior prizes; and having received a positive refusal from his mistress, out of mere spite he directly married the maid.

CAPTAIN MAC MULLEN, a decayed Gamester, made a shift to purchase the Chance of a Ticket, which came up 10,000l. He immediately flew to Arthur's (late White's,) risked it all at Hazard, set the whole table, and stript the company of their last shilling. After this he bought running-horses, made matches, carried off the best plates, and took in all the Knowing-Ones on the Turf. But so fluctuating is the situation of a Gamester, that at the end of the Lottery [Page 564] he found that Fortune had left him in the lurch, without so much as a groat to buy an halter.

Et frustrà mortis cupidum, cùm deerit egenti
As, laquei pretium,—
HOR.

I NEED not point out any particular instances among the other sex, with respect to their disposal of the 10,000 l. which every lady had secured by chusing the ticket herself, taking particular care that the number be an odd one. The married ladies have sufficient calls for even double this sum, to supply them with the necessaries of dress, and to answer the expences of frequenting public diversions: and as to the unmarried ladies, they very well know the truth of that maxim in the ballad, that ‘"in ten thousand pounds ten thousand charms are center'd."’ Some ancient maiden ladies, who could never be brought to think of an husband, or to give into the vanities of the world, were resolved to live retired upon their Prize in the country, and leave proofs of their good dispositions behind them, by swelling out their Wills with a long list of Items to this or that charity or hospital.

BEFORE I conclude, I cannot but take notice of the great generosity of my own PUBLISHER upon getting the 10,000 l. As his success was owing to his laying out in the Lottery all the profits, which had already risen from the publication of this Paper, he had determined to circulate my future numbers gratis; and had even designed to keep open house for the re­ception of poor authors. Unhappily for the public, as well as my brother-writers, Fortune has frustrated his disinterested scheme: Even I myself am admitted to eat his mutton but once a week; and (instead of giving away my papers) he has advertised, that the Twelves edition of the CONNOISSEUR will be published on Tuesday the 25th of this instant No­vember, in Two Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCIV. THURSDAY, November 13, 1755.

—Militavi non sine gloriâ.
HOR.

AS I was going through Smithfield the other day, I observed an old fellow with a wooden leg, drest in a sailor's habit, who courte­ously invited the passer-by to peep into his raree-show, for the small price of an half­penny. His exhibitions, I found, were very well suited to the times, and quite in character for himself: for among other particulars, with which he amused the little audience of children that surrounded his box, I was mightily pleased to hear the following, ‘"—there you see the British fleet persuing the French ships, which are running away—there you see Major-General Johnson beating the French soldiers in America, and taking Count Dieskau pri­soner—there you see the Grand Monarque, upon his [Page 566] knees before King George, begging his life."’ As the thoughts of the public are now wholly turned upon war, it is no wonder that every method is taken to inspire us with a love of our country, and an abhorrence of the French king: and not only the old seaman with his raree-show, but the public theatres have likewise had a view to the same point. At Drury-Lane we have already been enter­tained with the Humours of the Navy; and I am assured, that at Covent-Garden Mr. Barry will make an entire con­quest of France in the person of that renowned hero Henry the fifth. And as the English are naturally fond of bloody exhibitions on the stage, I am told that a new Pantomime, entitled the Ohio, is preparing at this last house, more terrible than any of it's Hells, Devils, and fiery Dragons; in which will be introduced the Indian Manner of Fighting, to conclude with a representation of the Grand Scalping Dance with all its Horrors.

WHILE this warlike disposition prevails in the nation, I am under some apprehensions, lest the attention of the public should be called off from the weighty concerns of these papers. I already perceive, that the common news­papers are more eagerly snatched up in the public coffee-houses than my essays; and the Gazette is much oftener called for than the Connoisseur. For these reasons I find it necessary to lay open my own importance before the public, to shew that I myself am acting (as it were) in a military capacity, and that Censor-General TOWN has done his country no less service as a valiant and skilful com­mander at home, than Major-General Johnson in America. Authors may very properly be said to be engaged in a state of literary warfare; many of whom are taken into [Page 567] pay by those great and mighty potentates the booksellers: and it will be allowed, that they undergo no less hardships in the service, than the common soldiers who are contented to be shot at for a groat a day.

IT has been my province to repell the daily inroads and encroachments made by vice and folly, and to guard the nation from an invasion of foreign fopperies and French fashions. The town has been principally the scene of action; where I have found enemies to encounter with, no less formidable than the Tquattotquaws or the Chickchimuckchis of North-America. But as the curiosity of the public is so much engaged in attending to the enterprizes of Old Hendrick the Sachem, and the incursions of Indians who have taken up the hatchet against our Colonies, I am afraid that my exploits against the Savages, which infest this metropolis, will be wholly over-looked. I have therefore resolved to give my readers fresh advices from time to time of what passes here, drawn up in the same warlike stile and manner as those very alarming articles of news, which are commonly to be met with in our public papers.

WE hear from White's, that the forces under Major General Hoyle, which used to encamp at that place, are removed from thence, and have fixed their winter quarters at Arthur's. The same letters say, that an obstinate engage­ment was fought there a few nights ago, in which one party gained a great booty, and the other suffered a consi­derable loss. We are also informed, that an epidemical distemper rages among them, and that several of the chiefs have been carried off by a sudden death.

[Page 568]THEY write from Covent-Garden, that last week a Body of Irregulars sallied out at midnight, stormed several forts in that neighbourhood, and committed great outrages; but being attacked by a detachment from the allied army of watchmen, constables, and justices, they were put to flight, and several of them taken prisoners. The plague still rages there with great violence, as well as in the neigh­bouring territories of Drury.

WE hear from the same place, that the Company com­manded by Brigadier Rich has been reinforced with several new-raised recruits to supply the place of some deserters, who had gone over to the enemy: but his chief dependance is on the light-armed troops, which are very active, and are distinguished, like the Highlanders, by their party-coloured dress. The enemy, on the other hand, have taken several Swiss and Germans into pay; though they were at first under terrible apprehensions of their being set upon by the Critics. These are a rude, ignorant, savage people, who are always at war with the nation of Authors. Their constant manner of fighting is to begin the onset with strange hissings and noises, accompanied with an horrid instrument, named the Cat-call; which, like the War-hoop of the Indians, has struck a panic into the hearts of the stoutest heroes.

WE have advice from the Butcher Row, that on monday night last the Infidels held a grand Council of war at their head quarters in the Robin Hood, at which their good friend and ally, the Mufti of Clare-market, assisted in person. After many debates, they resolved to declare war against the Christians, and never to make peace, till they had pulled [Page 569] down all the Churches in Christendom, and established the Alcoran of Bolingbroke in lieu of the Bible.

ALL our advices from the City of London agree in their accounts of the great havock and slaughter made there on the Festival, commonly called My Lord Mayor's Day. All the Companies in their black uniform, and the trained bands in their regimentals, made a general forage. They carried off vast quantities of chickens, geese, ducks, and all kinds of provisions. Major Guzzledown of Bassishaw distinguished himself greatly, having with sword in hand gallantly attacked the out-works, scaled the walls, mounted the ramparts, and forced through the covert-way of a large fortified Custard, which seemed impregnable.

THE Inhabitants of Sussex have lately been alarmed with the apprehensions of an Invasion; as the French have been very busy in fitting out several small vessels laden with stores of wine and brandy, with which it is thought they will attempt to make a descent somewhere on our coasts. The Independant Companies of Smugglers in the service of France are to be sent on this expedition: but if the fleet of Custom-house smacks, &c. do not intercept them at sea, we are preparing to receive them as soon as they are landed.

FROM divers parts of the country we have advice, that the roads are every where crowded with Ladies, who (not­withstanding the severity of the weather) are hurrying up to London, to be present at the meeting of the Female Parli­ament. At this critical juncture the fate of the nation de­pends entirely on the deliberations of this wise and august Assembly: and as there are known to be many disinterested [Page 570] patriots in the House, it is not to be doubted but that proper measures will be persued for the good of their country. Many salutary laws are already talked of, which we could wish to see put in execution; such as—A Bill for prohibiting the importation of French Milliners, Hair­cutters, and Mantua-makers.—A Bill for the exportation of French Cooks and French Valets de Chambres.—A Bill to restrain Ladies from wearing French Dresses.—And lastly, a Bill to restrain them from wearing French Faces.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCV. THURSDAY, November 20, 1755.

Melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam
Objicit.—
VIRG.

AS every marriage is a kind of family festival, the wedding-day is honoured with various celebrities, and distinguished like the fifth of November, the birth-days of the Royal Family, or any other public day, with many demonstrations of joy: The happy couple are drest in their richest suits, the bells ring all day, and the evening is con­cluded with the merry ceremony of throwing the Stocking. But these festivities are not always so religiously observed in Town, where many a pair of quality are tacked together with the utmost privacy, and immediately after sneak out of town, as if they were ashamed to shew their faces after what they had done. In the Country, when the squire, or [Page 572] any other person of distinction is married, the Honey-Moon is almost a continued Carnival: and every marriage is ac­counted more or less likely to be prosperous, in proportion to the number of deer, oxen, and sheep, that are killed on the occasion, and the hogsheads of wine and tuns of ale, with which they are washed down. By the last post I received an account from my Cousin VILLAGE, of the wedding of a near relation, with a particular detail of the magnificence of the entertainment, the splendor of the ball, and the uni­versal joy of the whole manour. At the same time I received compliments from the new-married couple, with a large slice of the BRIDE-CAKE; the virtues of which are well known to every girl of thirteen. I was never in pos­session of this nuptial charm before: but I was so much delighted with this matrimonial token, and it excited in my mind so many reflections on conjugal happiness, that (though I did not lay it under my pillow,) it gave oc­casion to the following Dream.

I FOUND myself in the middle of a spacious building, which was crouded with a variety of persons of both sexes; and upon enquiry was told, that it was the Temple of the God of Marriage; and that every one who had an incli­nation to sacrifice to that Deity, was invited to approach a large altar which was covered with a great number of CAKES of different shapes and appearance. Some of these were moulded into the form of hearts; and others were woven into true-lovers-knots: some were strewed with sugar, and stuck about with sweet-meats; some were covered with gold; some were stamped with coronets; and others had their tops embellished with glittering toys, that represented a fine house, a set of jewels, a coach and [Page 573] six or the like. Plutus and Cupid were busily employed in distributing these Cakes (which were all of them marked with the word MATRIMONY, and called BRIDE-CAKES) to different persons, who were allowed to chuse for them­selves, according to their different views and inclinations.

I OBSERVED several hasten to the altar, who all appeared to be differently affected by their choice. To some the Cakes seemed of so delicious a flavour, that they imagined they should never be surfeited; while others who found the taste very agreeable at first, in a short time declared it to be flat and insipid: However, I could not help remark­ing, that many more (particularly among the quality) ad­dressed themselves to Plutus, than to Cupid.

BEING desirous to take a nearer view of the company, I pushed through the croud, and placed myself close by the altar. A young couple now advanced, and applying to Cupid, desired him to reach them one of the Cakes, in the shape of a double heart pearced through with darts; but just as they were going to share it betwixt them, a crabbed old fellow, whom I found to be the girl's father, stepped up, broke the cake in two, and obliged the young lady to fix upon another which Plutus picked out for her, and which represented the figure of a fine gentleman in gilt ginger-bread.

AN old fellow of sixty-two, who had stolen one day from the business of the 'Change and the Alley, next came towards the altar, and seemed to express a strong desire for a Cake. Plutus, who recollected him at first sight, immedi­ately offered him one, which, though very mouldy and [Page 574] coarse, was gilt all over; but he was astonished at the old gentleman's refusing it, and petitioning Cupid for a Cake of the most elegant form and sweetest ingredients of any on the altar. The little God at first repulsed him with indig­nation, but afterwards sold it to him for a large sum of money; a circumstance which amazed me beyond expres­sion, but which I soon found was very commonly practised in this Temple. The old fellow retired with his purchased prize: and though I imagined he might still have a colt's tooth remaining, after having for some time mumbled it be­tween his old gums in vain, it lay by him untouched and unenjoyed.

I WAS afterwards very much disgusted with the many instances that occurred, of these delicate morsels being set up to sale: and I found, that their price rose and fell, like that of beef or mutton, according to the glut or scarcity of the market. I was particularly affected with the disposal of the two following. A young gentleman and lady were ap­proaching the altar, and had agreed to take between them a Cake of a plain form but delicious flavour, marked Love and Competence; but a person of quality stepping forward persuaded the false female to join with him, and receive from Plutus a glittering dainty, marked Indifference and a large Settlement. Another lady was coming up with a Knight of the Bath, being tempted by a Cake with a red ribbon streaming from it, like the flags on a Twelfth-Cake; but was prevailed on by a person of greater rank and dis­tinction to accept a more showy Cake, adorned with a blue ribbon and a coronet.

A BUXOM dame of an amourous complexion came next, and begged very hard for a Cake. She had before received [Page 575] several which suited her tooth, and pleased her palate so excessively, that as soon as she had dispatched one, she constantly came to Cupid for another. She now seized her Cake with great transport, and retiring to a corner with it, I could discern her greedily mumbling the delicious morsel, though she had fairly worn out six and twenty of her teeth in the service. After this an ancient lady came tottering up to the altar, supported by a young fellow in a red coat with a shoulder-knot. Plutus gave him a stale Cake marked with the word JOINTURE in large golden capitals, which he received with some reluctance, while the old lady eagerly snatched another from Cupid, (who turned his head aside from her,) on which I could plainly discover the word DOTAGE.

A RICH rusty batchelor of the last century then came bustling through the croud. He brought with him a red­cheeked country girl of nineteen. As he approached the altar, he met several coming from it with Cakes, which he had refused: some of which were marked Riches, some Family, some Beauty, and one or two Affection. The girl he brought with him proved to be his dairy-maid, whom he had for some time past been in vain attempting to bring over to his wishes; but at last finding his design impracticable, he came with her to the altar. He seemed, indeed, a little ashamed of his undertaking, and betrayed a good deal of aukwardness in his manner and deportment. However, as soon as he had taken his Cake, he retired; and determined to spend the rest of his days with his milch-cow in the country.

TO satisfy a modest longing, there now advanced a mai­den lady in the bloom of threescore. She had, it seems, heretofore refused several offers from Cupid and Plutus; but [Page 576] being enraged to find, that they had now given over all thoughts of her, she seized by the hand a young Ensign of the Guards, and carried him to the altar, whence she her­self snatched up a Cake, and divided it with her gallant. She was highly delighted with the taste of it at first, but her partner being very soon cloyed, she too late discovered that the half which she held in her hand was signed Folly, and that which she had forced upon her paramour was marked Aversion.

A LITTLE, pert, forward Miss in a frock and hanging sleeves briskly ran up to Cupid, and begged for a Cake: what it was she did not care; but a Cake she must and would have, of one kind or another. She had just stretched out her hand to receive one from Cupid, when her mamma interposed, sent the child back again blubbering to the boarding-school, and carried off the Cake herself.

AN old woman, fantastically drest, then burst into the Temple, and run raving up to the altar, crying out that her name was MARY SINGLETON, and she would have an hus­band. But the poor lady seemed likely to be disappointed; for as she could prevail on no one to join hands with her, both Cupid and Plutus refused to favour her with a Cake. Furious with rage and despair, she snatched one off the altar; and seizing on the first man that came in her way, (which unfortunately happened to be myself,) she would have crammed it forcibly down my throat. As the least crumb of it was as disagreeable as a drench to an horse, I began to spawl and sputter and keck; and though the flurry of spirits, which it occasioned, awaked me, I thought I had the nauseous taste of it still in my mouth.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCVI. THURSDAY, November 27, 1755.

—Sex paratur aut decem sophos nummis.
Secreta quaere carmina, et rudes curas,
Quas novit unus, scrinioque signatas
Custodit ipse virginis pater chartae.
Mercare tales ab eo, nec sciet quisquam.
MART.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

AMONG the many Register Offices erected within these few years past, I am surprized that no scheme of the like nature has been thought of for the service of literature; and that no place has been set apart, where Literary Commodities of every sort might be disposed of; where men of learning might meet with employment, and where others, who want their assistance, might be sure to [Page 578] meet with men of learning. There is nothing of this kind in being at present, except among the booksellers; who have made a monopoly of the trade, and engrossed the whole market to themselves. To remedy this inconvenience, my design is to set up a LITERARY REGISTER OFFICE: for which purpose I intend to hire the now useless theatre in Lincolns Inn Fields, and convert it into a mart for the staple commodities of the literary commonwealth. I shall here fit up apartments for the reception of my authors, who will be employed from time to time in supplying the public with the requisite manufactures. This scheme, will, I doubt not, meet with great encouragement, as it is of general utility: and I do not remember any design of the same nature, except at a barber's on the other side the water, who has hung out a board over his shop with the following in­scription—Letters read and written for Servants and others.

I SHALL always have a fresh assortment of goods in the best taste and newest fashion: as of Novels for example, while the humour of reading them is prevalent among all ranks of people. For this branch I shall retain a very emi­nent master-novellist, to cut out adventures and intrigues; and shall employ a proper number of hands to finish the work with all possible care and expedition: and if any ladies of quality, or others, chuse to furnish their own materials for Memoirs and Apologies, they may have them done up, and be fitted exactly, at my Office. Besides several others, which my men shall get up with the greatest dispatch, I can assure you I have myself worked night and day, and have already finished six and thirty sheets of the History of Miss Sukey Sapling, Written by Herself.

[Page 579]PAMPHLETS of all sorts shall be composed, whenever any popular subject starts up, that is likely to engage the attention of the public. Every new play shall be followed by an Examen or Remarks: all riots at either play-house will afford scope for Letters to the Managers; and every new actor or actress produce theatrical criticisms. Poetry, you know, Mr. TOWN, is a mere drug; but I shall always have a number of ready-made Odes by me, which may be suited to any Great Man, dead or alive, in place or out of place. I shall also have a large bundle of Poems on several Occasions, very proper for any gentleman or lady, who chuses to publish by subscription; besides a more ordinary sort of Hymns to the Morning, Verses on the Death of —, Odes to Miss A. B. C. Acrostics and Re­busses, for the use of the Magazines: to be sold a penny­worth, with allowance to those who take a great quantity.

WITH regard to Law matters, as they have no sort of connexion with wit or learning, I shall not concern myself with their unintelligible jargon; nor presume to interfere with those authors in parchment, who measure their words by the foot-rule, and sell their writings at so much per line. How­ever, I shall furnish young Students of the several Inns of Court with complete Canons of Criticism, and Opinions on any new theatrical Cases; on which they may argue very learnedly at a tavern, or plead at the bar of a coffee-house. For Medical subjects, I shall procure a learned Graduate by Diploma from abroad, whose practice will not so much take up his time as to prevent his being at leisure to write oc­casional treatises, setting forth the virtues of any newly-invented Powder, or newly-discovered Water. He shall also draw up the advertisements for medicines, that remove [Page 580] all diseases, and are never known to fail; he shall compile the wonderful accounts of their surprising cures; and fur­nish cases that never happened, and affidavits that were never made. With respect to Divinity, as I have reason to believe that controversial writings will be often called for, I intend to bargain with the Robin Hood Society to undertake in the lump to furnish my Office with Defences of Lord Bo­lingbroke, &c. and till I can procure some poor curate out of the country, or servitor from the university, to write the Manuscript Sermons of eminent Divines lately deceased, war­ranted originals, I must make shift with the Fleet Parsons now out of business.

THOUGH I shall not keep any dramatic works ready made by me, (as these commodities are apt to grow stale and out of fashion,) yet either of the theatres may be served with tragedy, comedy, farce, or the like, by bespeaking them, and giving but three days notice. For the comic pieces I shall employ a poet, who has long worked for the drolls at Bar­tholomew and Southwark fairs, and has printed a comedy as it was half acted at Drury-Lane. My tragedies will be furnished by a North Briton, who walked up to London from his native country last winter with a most sublime tragedy in his coat-pocket, and which is now to be disposed of to the best bidder. Any old play of Shakespeare or Ben Johnson shall be pieced with modern ones according to the present taste, or cut out in airs and recitative for an English Opera. Rhymes for Pantomimes may be had, to be set to the clack of a mill, the tinkling of a tin cascade, or the slaps of Harlequin's wooden sword. The proprietors of our public Gardens, during the summer season, may be also [Page 581] supplied from my Office with Love-Songs to a new burthen, or comic Dialogues in Crambo; and words shall, at any time be fitted to the music, after the tunes are composed.

AS I propose to make my Office of general utility, every thing that bears the least affinity to literature will be natu­rally comprehended in my Scheme. Members of Parliament may be supplied with Speeches on any political subject; and Country Justices may, on directing a letter to the Office post paid, have Charges to the Jury at the Quarter Sessions sent down to them by the first coach or waggon. Addresses on particular occasions shall be drawn up for the worshipful mayor and aldermen of any city or corporation: Laws, Rules, Regulations, or Orders, shall be formed for the Anti-Gallicans, Ubiquarians, Gregorians, or any private clubs and societies. N. B. The Free Masons may depend upon secresy.

MANY advantages may likewise accrue to the polite world from the establishment of my Office. Gentlemen and ladies may have Billet-doaux written for them with the most soft and languishing expressions: Message Cards, and Invitations to Routs, shall be filled up and cir­culated at so much per hundred, or undertaken in the gross at a fixed price all the year round. Beaux may be accommodated with letters of gallantry to send to their laundresses, or have them copied out in a fashionable female scrawl, and directed to themselves; which they may shew about as coming from ladies of quality in love with them. Gentlemen who love fighting, but cannot write, may have challenges pen'd for them in the true stile and spirit of a modern Blood.

[Page 582]THERE are many other conveniencies arising from such an Office, which it would be too tedious to enume­rate: and it will be found to be no less beneficial to you authors, Mr. TOWN, than those other Register Offices are to men and maid-servants. If an author (for example) wants employment, or is out of place, he has nothing to do but to enter his name with me, and I shall presently get him work: or if a bookseller wants an hand for any particular job, (as a translation-spinner, a novel-weaver, a play-wright, a verse-turner, or the like) upon searching my books he will be sure to meet with a man fit for the business. In short, any composition, in prose or rhyme, and on any subject, may be procured at a minute's warning, by ap­plying to my Office: and I dare say, you yourself, Mr. TOWN, will be very glad now and then to purchase a Con­noisseur of me, whenever the idle fit seizes you. If that should happen to come upon you this week, and you have nothing better, you will oblige me by laying the scheme here sent before your readers; and in return, you shall have the credit of publishing your papers at my Office, as soon as it is opened, and welcome.

I am, Sir, Your humble Servant, J. WITSELL.

*⁎*On Tuesday last was published The CONNOISSEUR (revised end corrected, with a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations) in Two neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCVII. THURSDAY, December 4, 1755.

De te pendentis, te respicientis amici.
HOR.

I REMEMBER to have heard a cousin of mine, who was formerly at Cambridge, often men­tion a sect of Philosophers distinguished by the rest of the collegians by the appellation of Tuft-Hunters. These were not the disciples of the Stoics or Epicureans, or the advocates for the old or new philosophy, but the followers, literally speaking, of the fellow-commoners, noblemen, and other rich students, whom, it seems, the courtesy of the Univer­sity has honoured with a cap adorned with a gold tossel. These few gold threads have almost as much influence in the University as a red or blue ribband at court, and always draw after the wearer a train of humble companions, who [Page 584] will be at his call to breakfast, dine, or sup with him whenever he pleases, will go with him any where, drink with him, wench with him, borrow his money, or let him pay their reckoning. They are, I am told, a sort of disease of the place, which a man of fortune is sure to catch as soon as he arrives there: and these fast friends stick so close to him, that he can never shake them off, while he keeps his gown on his back.

THE University of London is not without its Tuft-Hunters, who fasten, like leeches, on a young man of fortune at his first coming to town. They beset him as soon as he arrives, and when they have once surrounded him, seldom fail of se­curing him to themselves; for no persons of character care to have any connections with him, when he has been fre­quently seen in such bad company. It is a great misfortune for any young gentleman to fall into their hands: though indeed, as a fool is the natural prey of knaves, the wealthy maintainers of this fraternity are generally none of the wi­sest: And as at the University, ‘"where the learned pate ducks to the golden fool,"’ the gentleman-student is distinguished by a cap with a gold tuft, I always consider these sons of folly in town as adorned with a showy cap hung with bells, which serve at once to denote the depth of their parts, and to call their train about them.

THE dialect of the town has very expressively charac­terised these humble dependants on men of fortune by the name of Hangers-on. They will, indeed, take such sure hold, and hang on a man so constantly, that it is almost im­possible to drop them. Whenever the gentleman appears, the Hanger-on is sure to be at his elbow. They will squeeze [Page 585] themselves into every party that is formed; and I have known instances of their thrusting themselves into strange families, by sticking to their patron's skirts, and impu­dently introducing themselves where he has been invited to dinner: which, indeed, I think would not be an im­proper custom, provided they would submit to stand behind his chair. They will stick so closely, that all the adhesive quality of burs, pitch, &c. seem to be collected in them; and the line in Pope's Odyssey, so often ridiculed, may rather be considered as emphasis than tautology in speaking of Them. The Hanger-on clings to his fool, as Ulysses did to the rock, and in Pope's words,

They STICK ADHERENT, and SUSPENDED HANG.

THE tenaciousness of a Hanger-on is so very strong, that whoever is drawn into their snares, is so firmly limed he can hardly ever loose himself from them. For as nothing but the lowest meanness of spirit could ever prevail on a man to submit to such dependance on another, it is in vain to think of getting rid of such abject wretches by treating them with contempt. They will take as much beating, provided you will allow them an equal degree of familiarity, as a spaniel. They will also submit to do any little offices, and are glad to make themselves useful, whenever they have an opportunity. They will go among the brokers to borrow money for you, pimp for you, or submit to any other such gentleman-like employment to serve their friend.

IT must here be noted, that every Hanger-on is a person of strict honour and a gentleman; for though his fortune is (to be sure) somewhat inferior to yours, and he submits to [Page 586] make himself convenient on several occasions, yet on that account you are indebted to his infinite good-nature; and all his endeavours to serve you proceed from his great friend­ship and regard for you. I remember one of these friendly gentlemen, who carried his esteem so far, that in a quarrel with his rich companion, in which he was favoured with several tweaks by the nose and kicks on the breech, he received all these injuries with patience, and only said with tears in his eyes, ‘"Dear Jack, I never expected this usage from you. You know I don't mind fighting; but I should never have a moment's peace, if I was to do you the least injury. Come, Jack, let us buss and be friends."’ Their gentility is unquestionable, for they are seldom of any trade, though they are sometimes (being younger-brothers perhaps) of a profession. I know one, who is a nominal lawyer; but though his friend has often fee'd him, our Counsellor could never with any propriety con­sider him as a client; and I know another, who (like Gibbet in the play) is called Captain, whose elegant manner of living must be supported by his being on full pay with his patron, since he does not receive even the common soldier's groat a day from his commission. However, con­sidering at one view the gentility of their profession, and the shortness of their finances, I often look on them as a band of decayed gentlemen, the honourable pensioners of those they follow. The great men among the Romans had a number of these Hangers-on, which attended them where-ever they went, and were emphatically called Umbrae, or Shadows; and, indeed, this appellation conveys a very full idea of the nature of these humble retainers to the wealthy, since they not only follow them like their shadows, but ‘"like a shadow prove the substance true:"’ for whenever [Page 587] you observe one or more of these Umbrae perpetually at the heels of any gentleman, you may fairly conclude him to be a man of fortune.

THESE faithful friends are so careful of every thing that concerns you, that they always enquire with the greatest exactness into your affairs, and know almost as well as your steward the income of your estate. They are also so fond of your company, and so desirous of preserving your good opi­nion, that a Hanger-on will take as much pains to keep you entirely to himself, and to prevent a rival in your af­fections, as a mistress: and as a convenient female is a very necessary part of the equipage of a person of fashion, these male companions must be a very agreeable part of the retinue of those high-spirited young gentlemen, who are fond of being the head of their company. It is only a more refined taste in expence to pay a man for laughing at your wit, and in­dulging your humour: and who will either drink his bottle with you at the tavern, or run to the end of the town for you on an errand.

I MIGHT also take notice of an humbler sort of Hangers-on, who fix themselves to no one particular, but fasten upon all their friends in their turns. Their views, indeed, are seldom extended beyond a present subsistence, and their utmost aim perhaps is to get a dinner. For this purpose they keep a register of the hours of dining of all their acquaintance; and though they contrive to call in upon you just as you are sitting down to table, they are always with much difficulty prevailed upon to take a chair. If you dine abroad, or are gone into the country, they will eat with your family to prevent their being melancholy on account [Page 588] of your absence; or if your family is out, they will break­fast, dine, and sup with you out of charity, because you should not be alone. Every house is haunted with these disturbers of our meals: and perhaps the best way to get rid of them, would be to put them, with the rest of your servants, upon board-wages.

BUT besides these danglers after men of fortune, and in­truders on your table in town, the country breeds a race of lowly retainers, which may properly be ranked among the same species. Almost every family supports a poor kinsman, who happening to be no way related to the estate, was too proud of his blood to apply himself in his youth to any profession, and rather chose to be supported in laziness at the family-seat. They are, indeed, known perhaps to be cou­sins to the squire, but do not appear in a more creditable light than his servants out of livery; and sometimes actually submit to as mean offices of drudgery as the groom or whipper-in. The whole fraternity of Hangers-on, whether in town or country, or under whatever denomination, are the sons of idleness: for it will be found upon examina­tion, that whenever a man, whose bread depends on his industry, gives himself up to indolence, he becomes capable of any meanness whatever: and if they cannot dig, yet like our Hangers-on, to beg they are not ashamed.

This Day is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCVIII. THURSDAY, December 11, 1755.

Ut id ostenderem, quòd te isti facilem putant,
Id non fieri ex verâ vitâ, neque adeò ex aequo et bono,
Sed ex assentando, indulgendo, et largiendo.—
TER.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

I HAVE been some years married to one of the best women in the world. She possesses all the virtues that can be named: but alas! she possesses some of them to excess. Those which I wish to particularize, and which are infinitely pernicious to me, and my fortunes, are her superabundant Good-nature, and her boundless Generosity.

IT is a little difficult perhaps to ascertain what are, or ought to be, the exact bounds of Good-nature; which, of all virtues, seems to me most necessary to be confined, or at least mitigated in such a manner, as to hinder it from de­stroying [Page 590] its own excellence and utility. On the one hand, if it is restrained too close, the world will say, that it must entirely lose its essence: But fatal experience has convinced me, that if it is permitted to enjoy a full unlimited sway, this amiable virtue becomes a ridiculous vice; and brings with it, as in my wife's case, fruitless expences, ill-judged concessions, and a kind of blind folly, that is always liable to contempt.

GENEROSITY is the daughter of Good-nature. She is very fair and lovely when under the tuition of Judgment and Reason; but when she escapes from her tutors, and acts in­discriminately, according as her fancy allures her, she subjects herself, like her mother, to the blasts of sneer, ridicule, and disdain.

TO illustrate these assertions by some examples, from among the many mishaps, losses, and embarassments, which have accrued to us in the course of our domestic affairs, give me leave to tell you, that some years ago, we had a footboy who acted as butler, and had the custody of all the little plate which our small fortune could afford us. The fellow was aukward, and unfit for the station; but my wife very good-naturedly was determined to keep him in our ser­vice, because he intended to marry the nursery-maid, and would undoubtedly make an excellent husband. The rascal was a thief; but as it is ill-natured to suspect people, before we have full proof of their knavery, several of his tricks, and petty larcenies, were attributed to the itinerant Jews and higlers (we then living at Newington) who frequently called at our door. Flushed with success, and relying on my wife's credulity and Good-nature, he began to form deeper designs; and (as he lay in the kitchen) pretended to have seen a man breaking in at the window, and to have hid himself with a chopping knife in his hand, so as to have felled the villain to the ground as soon as he had put his body through the case­ment. [Page 591] A noise from without was said to have given an alarm to the housebreaker, and to have interrupted him in his at­tempt; but some whole panes of glass being dislocated from their lead, and some hacks and scratches of a chisel (marks all made by our own servant) being visible next morning, my wife very generously rewarded her Jemmy, whom she jocularly called Scrub, for his diligence and courage in defending us from having our throats cut. This terrible tale was doubtless formed in order to remove all suspicions, when he should pillage the house himself; but precautions being taken by us, in consequence of this alarm, to fortify our bed-chamber, where he knew our current treasure was reposited, Jemmy thought it time to decamp; so that in about a week after he had received the reward, I hinted at, of a crown piece from his lady, he stole her gold repeating watch, and a pair of our best silver candlesticks, with which he voluntarily tran­sported himself, as we have been since told, to the West-In­dies, leaving his mistress the nursery-maid, big with child, and thereby giving great licence to the neighbourhood to animadvert upon my wife's amazing prescience in foreseeing his excellencies as an husband.

YOU must further be told, Sir, that my dear consort, in the full glow of her goodness, is never contented unless her servants marry each other. All I can urge against so impo­litic a custom has been to no purpose: Marriage (she says) prevents vice, and saves souls from destruction. Perhaps it may; but are no unmarried servants to be found in Mr. Fielding's Register Office, or elsewhere, but what are vicious? At least I am sure, that this piece of sanctity is very expensive in its effects, and is attended with many inconve­niences. One of her maids about two years ago was disco­vered to be very intimate with my footman; my wife, to prevent ill consequences, hastened to have them married, and was present herself at the ceremony. She admired the mo­desty of the woman and the decent gravity of the man during [Page 592] the holy rites, and she was entirely convinced that no harm could have happened from so decent a couple. In little more than three months after the marriage, Patty brought forth a swinging girl; but as it was born almost six months before its time, my wife advised them to keep it the remain­ing half year in cotton. She did this purely from a motive of good-nature, to try to shield the new married woman's re­putation; but finding our neighbours fleer at the incident, and smile contemptuously at the prescription of cotton, she contented herself in believing Patty's own account, that ‘"in truth she had been married eight months before by a Fleet-parson, but was afraid to own it."’

BUT if my wife's indulging her domestics in matrimony was productive of no other ill consequence than merely their being married, it might indeed sometimes rather prove a bene­fit than a detriment: but the chaster and more sober they have been before marriage, the greater number of children are pro­duced in matrimony; and my wife looks upon herself as in duty obliged to take care of the poor helpless offspring, that have been begotten under her own roof; so that I assure you, Sir, my house is so well filled with children, that it would put you immediately in mind of the Foundling Hos­pital; with this difference however, that in my Hospital not only the children are provided for, whether bastards or legi­timate, but also the fathers and mothers.

YOUR high office, Mr. CENSOR, requires and leads you to hear domestic occurrences, otherwise I should scarce have troubled you with the records of a private family, almost ruined by excrescencies of virtue. The same overflowing humanity runs through the whole conduct of the dear wo­man whom I have mentioned. Even in trifles she is full of works of supererogation. Our doors are perpetually sur­rounded with beggars, where the halt, the maimed and the blind assemble in as great numbers, as at the door of the [Page 593] Roman Catholic Chapel in Lincoln's Inn-Fields. She not only gives them money, but sends them out great quantities of bread, beer, and cold victuals; and she has her different pensioners (as she herself calls them) for every day in the week. But the expence attending these out-door petitioners (many of whom have from time to time been discovered to be im­postors) is nothing in comparison to the sums that are almost daily drawn from her by begging letters. It is impossible to imagine a calamity, by which she has not been a sufferer, in relieving those who have extorted money from her, by pretended misfortunes. The poor lady has been much hurt by losses in trade, has been a great sufferer by fire, under­gone many hardships from sickness and other unforeseen ac­cidents, and it was but yesterday that she paid a long apothe­cary's bill brought on by a violent fever. Thus, Sir, though my wife goes into but little company, and the family-expences are to all appearance very small, yet my wife's superabundant Good-nature is such perpetual drawback on her oeconomy, that we run out considerably. This extravagant and ill-judged Generosity renders all her numerous excellencies of none effect: and I have often known her almost destitute of cloaths, because she had distributed her whole wardrobe among lyars, sycophants, and hypocrites.

THUS, Sir, as briefly as I can I have set before you my un­happy case. I am perishing by degrees, not by any real extravagance, any designed ruin, or any indulgence of luxury and riot in the person who destroys me. On the contrary, no woman can exceed my wife in the simplicity of her dress, the humility of her desires, or the contented easiness of her nature. What name, Sir, shall I give to my misfortunes? They proceed not from vice, nor even from folly: they proceed from too tender a heart; a heart that hurries away, or absorbs all judgment and reflection. To call these errors the fruits of Good-nature is too mild a definition: [Page 594] and yet to give them an harsher appellation, is unkind. Let me suffer what I will, I must kiss the dear hand that ruins me.

IN my tender hours of speculation I would willingly im­pute my wife's faults to our climate, and the natural dis­position of our natives. When the English are Good-natured, they are generally so to excess: and as I have not seen this particular character delineated in any of your papers, I have endeavoured to paint it myself: and shall draw to the conclusion of my letter by one piece of ad­vice, Not to be GENEROUS overmuch. The highest acts of Generosity are seldom repaid in any other coin, but base­ness and ingratitude: and we ought ever to remember, that out of ten lepers cleaned, one only came back to return thanks; the rest were made whole, and went their way.

I am, Sir, your most humble servant, TIMON of LONDON.

*⁎*A Letter directed for G. K. is left at the Publisher's.

This Day is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER XCIX. THURSDAY, December 18, 1755.

Da veniam, servire tuis quòd nolo Calendis.
MART.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

AT this season of the year, while the streets resound with the cry of New Almanacks, and every stall is covered with News from the Stars, Diaries, Predictions, Complete Ephemeris, &c. drawn up by Partridge, Parker, Vincent Wing, and the rest of the sagacious body of Philomaths and Astrologers, give me leave to acquaint you of my intentions of appearing annually in a like capacity. You must know, Sir, that having observed, that among the great variety of Almanacks now published, there is not one contrived for the use of people of fashion, I have resolved to remedy this defect by publishing one every year [Page 596] under the title of the Court Calendar, calculated for the Meridian of St. James's.

THE plan, which has been hitherto followed by our Almanack-makers, can be of no use whatever to the polite world, who are as widely separated in their manner of living from the common herd of people as the inhabitants of the Antipodes. To know the exact Rising and Setting of the Sun may serve to direct the vulgar tradesman and mechanic when to open shop or go to work: but persons of fashion, whose hours are not marked by the course of that planet, are indifferent about its motions; and like those who live under the Equinoctial Line, have their days and nights of an equal degree of length all the year round. The Red-letter days pointed out in our common Almanacks may perhaps be observed by some formal ladies, who regulate their going to church by them: but people of quality percieve no difference between the Moveable or Immoveable Feasts and Fasts, and know no use of Sunday, but as it serves to call them to the card-table. What advantage can a beau reap from Rider's List of the Fairs, which can only be of service to his groom? or what use can any gentleman or lady make of those Diaries now inscribed to them; which are filled with Algebra and the Mathematics? In a word, the present uncouth way of dividing the months into Saints Days, Sundays, and the like, is no more adapted to the present modes of polite life, than the Roman division into Ides, Nones, and Calends.

INSTEAD of supposing, with the vulgar tribe of astro­nomers, that the day begins at sunrise, my day, which will commence at the time that it usually breaks in fashion­able [Page 597] apartments, will be determined by the Rising of people of quality. Thus the morning dawns with early risers be­tween eleven and twelve; and noon commences at four, when, at this time of the year, the dinner and wax-lights come in together. For want of a thorough knowledge of the distribution of the day, all who have any connection with the polite world might be guilty of many mistakes: and when an honest man from Cornhill intended a nobleman a visit after dinner, he would perhaps find him sipping his morning chocolate. The inconveniences of the old style in our manner of reckoning the days were so manifest, that it was thought proper to amend them by act of parli­ament. I am resolved in like manner, to introduce the new style of dividing the hours also into my Almanack: for can any thing be more absurd than to fix the name of morning, noon, and evening, &c. at present on the same hours, which bore them in the reign of Queen Elizabeth? A Dutchess is so far from dining at eleven, that it often happens that Her Grace has not then opened her eyes on the tea-table; and a Maid of Honour would no more rise at five or six in the morning, as it was called by the early dames of Queen Bess's court, than she would, in imitation of those dames, breakfast upon strong beer and beef-steaks. Indeed in those houses, where the hours of quality are observed by only one part of the family, the impolite irre­gularity of the other, in adhering to the old style, occa­sions great disturbance, for as Lady Townly says, ‘"such a house is worse than an inn with ten stage coaches. What between the impertinent people of business in a morning, and the intolerable thick shoes of footmen at noon, one has not a wink of sleep all night."’

[Page 598]THE reformation which I have also made in respect to the Red-letter-days is no less considerable. I have not only wiped away that immense catalogue of Saints which croud the Popish Calendar, but have also blotted out all the other Saints that still retain their places in our common Alma­macks: well-knowing that persons of fashion pay as little attention to the Apostles and Evangelists, as to St. Mildred, St. Bridget, or St. Winifred. Indeed I retain the old name of St. John, because I am sure, that people of quality will not think of any body's being designed under that title, except the late Lord Bolingbroke. Having thus discarded the Saints, people whom nobody knows, I have taken care to introduce my readers into the best company: for the Red-Letters in my Calendar will serve to distinguish those days on which the ladies of the first fashion keep their routes and visiting days: a work of infinite use as well to the persons of distinction themselves, as to all those who have any occa­sional intercourse with the polite world. That season of the year commonly distinguished by the appellation of Lent, which implies a time of fasting, I shall consider, according to its real signification in the Beau Monde, as a yearly festi­val; and shall therefore mention it under the denomination of The Carnival. The propriety of this will be evident at first sight, since nothing is so plain, as that at this season all kinds of diversion and jollity are at the height in this metro­polis. Instead of the Man in the Almanack, I at first in­tended (in imitation of Mr. Dodsley's Memorandum Book) to delineate the figure of a fine gentleman drest à la mode: but I was at length determined, by the advice of some inge­nious friends, to suffer the old picture to remain there; since as it appears to be run through the body in several places, it may not improperly represent that fashionable character a Duellist.

IN the place which is allotted in other Almanacks for the change of weather, (as hail, frost, snow, cloudy, and [Page 599] the like) I shall set down the change of dress, adapted to different seasons, and ranged under the titles of hats, capu­chins, cardinals, sacks, negligees, gause handkerchiefs, ermine tippets, muffs, &c. and in a parallel column (according to the custom of other Almanacks) I shall point out the several parts of the body, affected by these changes; such as head, neck, breast, shoulders, face, hands, feet, legs, &c. And as Mr. Rider accompanies every month with seasonable cau­tions about sowing turnips, raising cabbages, blood-letting, and such other important articles, I shall give such direc­tions, as are most suitable to the beau-monde: as a specimen of which I shall beg leave to lay before you the following Observations on the month of May.

IF the season proves favourable, it will be proper at the beginning of this month to attend to the cultivation of your public gardens. Trim your trees, put your walks in order, look after your lamps, have ballads written, and set to music, for the ensuing summer. Ladies and gentlemen must be careful not to catch cold in crossing the water, or by expo­sing themselves to the damp air in the dark walk at Vaux-hall.

Towards the middle of this month the air at both play­houses will begin to be too close and sultry for ladies, that paint, to risk the loss of their complexion in them.

About the end of this month it will be expedient for those ladies, who are apt to be hysterical when the town empties, to prepare for their removal to Tunbridge, Cheltenham, and Scarborough, for the benefit of the waters.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant, TYCHO COURTLY.

*⁎*I did not think of ever mentioning the old woman who calls herself MARY SINGLETON again; but having just received the following letter by the penny-post, I cannot so far affront the young lady, by whom it is written, as not to publish it. But though I shall always be glad to hear from one who writes with so much spirit, yet I must beg that for the future she would chuse some other subject, since to use the expression of that well-bred lady her aunt, ‘"it is not perfectly civil to entertain the town with her private affairs."’

[Page 600]

SIR!

AS my Aunt Singleton has publickly given her honour, that she will never read any of your future papers, I think I may venture to send you a letter without fear of her discovery: an incident, which might per­haps be of cruel consequence to me, as I know she can never forgive. I am not under any apprehensions of being betrayed by her friends. She has but few, and those are a sort that rather chuse to sooth her weaknesses than to raise her choler; not knowing whether, in her hours of peevishness, some of her bile may not fall upon themselves.

I OWN I was much surprised to find my name in print, and to see my picture drawn at full length. I observe that my guardian Aunt, like all painters whether male or female, has dipped her pencil in the colours of flattery: and accordingly she has drawn me, if not entirely perfect, at least only with such faults, as are rather commendable, than otherwise. ‘"A si­lence in company, and too much submission to judgments not so good as my own,"’ are failings natural to my youth and want of experience, which time, and an introduction into proper company, very different from such as I see at my Aunt's tea-table, will soon cure: but I am still con­scious that neither the progress of time, the gifts of fortune, nor the success of improvement, can render me, what she has already painted me,

A faultless monster whom the world ne'er saw.

SHE affirms, ‘"that I sing and play to great perfection."’ Upon my word, Sir, I have no voice. She teizes me sometimes to squall forth a Solo, and I obey, because as she justly tells you, ‘"I tremble at her look,"’ which, if it had the family power of one of her antient ancestors, must long since have turned me into stone. But what is the effect of my song? Alas it generally proves, only an incantation to rouse the lapd-og out of a sound sleep upon his cushion, or to set the parrot and the mackaw into a chorus of screaming, that would if possible, awaken our neighbours the dead, in St. Giles's Church Yard.

SHE hints, that ‘"I am in love with a certain military Gentleman of no fortune,"’ and she adds that ‘"he is modest, brave, studious, and polite."’ That an officer comes often to our house is strictly true. That he has no fortune is no less so. But that I am in love with him is absolutely false, nor are his visits to me. They are to my Aunt, whom he certainly ‘"would prefer to any dowager whatever without a jointure;"’ and who, to my knowledge, would be highly pleased, notwithstanding her family pride, to change the name of Singleton into O-Kelly.

THIS leads me to let you into the real cause, why she prefers The WORLD to all other weekly essays whatever. The partiality does not arise from the merit of the performance in general, but from the subject of one parti­cular paper, (No. 28.) which constantly lies upon her table, hid under the work-basket, and which strongly recommends by various precepts and ex­amples the admiration and love of OLD WOMEN.

I am watched too close to write to you a longer letter, and am therefore obliged to conclude abruptly, but am

Your humble Servant, JULIA.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER C. THURSDAY, December 25, 1755.

Ilicet Parasiticae arti maximam in malam crucem!
Abeo ab illis, postquám video me sic ludificarier.
Pergo ad alios: venio ad alios: deinde ad alios: una res.
PLAUT.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

I AM one of those idle people, (of whom you have lately given an account) who not being bred to any business, or able to get a livelihood by work, have taken up the more servile trade of an Hanger-on.

I FIRST served my time with an old nobleman in the country; and as I was a distant relation of his lordship's, I was [Page 602] admitted to the honour of attending him in the double ca­pacity of valet, and apothecary. My business in a morn­ing was to wait on him at dressing time; to hold the bason while he washed his hands, buckle his shoes, and tye on his neck-cloth. Besides this, his lordship had such a regard for me, that nobody but myself was ever trusted with cut­ting his corns, or paring his toe-nails: and whenever he was sick, it was always my office to hold his head during the operation of an emetic, to attend him in the water-closet when he took a cathartic, and sometimes to administer a clyster. If his lordship had no company, I was, indeed, permitted to sit at table with him: but when he received any visiters more grand than ordinary, I was equipped (toge­ther with some of the best-looking tenants) in a tye-wig, full-trimmed coat and laced-waistcoat, in order to swell the retinue of his servants out of livery. I bore my slavery with the greatest degree of patience; as my lord would often hint to me, that I was provided for in his will. However, I had the mortification to find myself supplanted in his good graces by the Chaplain, who had always looked upon me as his rival, and contrived at length to out-wheedle, out-fawn, and out-cringe me. In a word, my lord died:—and while the Chaplain (who constantly prayed by him du­ring his last illness) had the consolation of having a good benefice secured to him in the will, my name was huddled among those of the common servants, with no higher le­gacy than twenty guineas to buy mourning.

WITH this small pittance (besides what I had made a shift to squeeze out of the tenants and tradesmen, as fees for my good word, when I had his lordship's ear) I came up to town; and embarked all I was worth in fitting my­self [Page 603] out as a gentleman. Soon after, as good luck would have it, the nephew and heir of my old lord came from abroad: when I contrived to wind me into his favour by abusing his deceased uncle, and fattened my­self upon him. It is true, he supported me; admitted me into an equal share of his purse: but considering the dan­gers to which I was constantly exposed on his account, I regarded his bounties as only plaisters to my sores. My head, back and ribs have received many a payment, which should have been placed to his lordship's account: and I once narrowly escaped being hanged for murdering a poor fellow, whom my lord in a frolick had run through the body. My patron, among other marks of his taste, kept a mis­tress; and I, as his particular crony and a man of honour, was allowed to visit her. It happened one evening he un­luckily surprised us in some unguarded familiarities together. But my lord was so far from being enraged at it, that he only turned madam out of the room, and very coolly kicked me down stairs after her.

I WAS now thrown upon the wide world again: but as I never wanted assurance, I soon made myself very familiarly acquainted with a young gentleman from Ireland, who was just come over to England to spend his estate here. I must own, I had some difficulty in keeping on good terms with this new friend; as I had so many of his own countrymen to contend with, who all claimed a right of acquaintance with him, and some of them even pretended to be related to him. Besides, they all persuaded the young squire, that they had fortunes in different parts of Ireland; though not one of them had any real estate any more than myself: though, indeed, I also had a nominal 1500l. per Ann. in [Page 604] the West-Indies. These furious fellows (for, Sir, they would all fight) gave me much trouble: however, I found out my young friend's foible, and in spite of his countrymen became his inseparable companion. He was not only very fond of women, but had a particular passion for new faces; and to humour this inclination, I was perpetually on the look-out to discover fresh pieces for him. I brought him mantua-makers, milliners, and servant-maids in abundance; and at length grew so great a favourite by having prevailed on one of my own cousins to comply with his proposals, that I verily believe he would soon have made me easy for life in an handsome annuity, if he had not been unfortunately run through the body in a duel by one of his own countrymen.

I NEXT got into favour with an old colonel of the guards, who happened to take a fancy to me one evening at the Tilt Yard coffee-house, for having carried off a pint bumper more than a lieutenant of a man of war, that had challenged my toast. As his sole delight was centered in the bottle, all he required of me was to drink glass for glass with him; which I readily complied with, as he always paid my reckon­ing. When sober he was the best-humoured man in the world: but he was very apt to be quarrelsome and extremely mischievous when in liquor. He has more than once flung a bottle at my head, and emptied the contents of a bowl of punch in my face: sometimes he has diverted himself by setting fire to my ruffles, shaking the ashes of his pipe over my perriwig, or making a thrust at me with the red-hot poker: and I remember he once soused me all over with the urine of the whole company, by clapping a large pewter Jordan topsy-turvy upon my head. All these indignities [Page 605] I very patiently put up with, as he was sure to make me double amends for them the next morning: and I was very near procuring a commission in the army through his interest, when to my great disappointment he was suddenly carried off by an apoplexy.

YOU will be surprised when I tell you, that I next con­trived to squeeze myself into the good opinion of a rich old curmudgeon, a city-merchant, and one of the circumcised. He could have no objection to my religion, as I used to spend every Sunday with him at his country-house, where I pre­ferred playing at cards to going to church. Nor could I, indeed, get any thing out of him beyond a dinner: but I had higher points in view. As he had nobody to inherit his fortune but an only daughter, (who was kept always in the country) I became so desperately in love with her, that I would even have turned Jew to obtain her. Instead of that, I very foolishly made a Christian of her, and we were privately married at the Fleet. When I came to break the matter to the father, and to make an apology for having converted her, he received me with a loud laugh. ‘"Sir, says he, if my child had married the DEVIL, he should have had every penny that was her due. But—as she is only my Bastard, the law cannot oblige me to give her a farthing."’

THIS I found to be too true: and very happily for me my Christian wife had so little regard for her new religion, that she again became an apostate, and was taken into keep­ing (to which I readily gave my consent) by one of her own tribe and complexion. I shall not tire you with a particular detail of what has happened to me since: I shall only ac­quaint [Page 606] you, that I have exactly followed the precept of ‘"becoming all things to all men."’ I was once supported very splendidly by a young rake of quality for my wit in talking blasphemy and ridiculing the bible, till my patron shot himself through the head: and I lived at bed and board with an old Methodist lady for near a twelve-month on ac­count of my zeal for the New Doctrine, till one of the maid-servants wickedly laid a child to me. At present, Mr. TOWN, I am quite out of employ; having just lost a very profitable place, which I held under a great man in quality of his Pimp. My disgrace was owing to the baseness of an old Covent-Garden acquaintance, whom I palmed upon his honour for an innocent creature just come out of the coun­try: but the hussy was so ungrateful, as to bestow on both of us convincing marks of her thorough knowledge of the town.

I am, Sir, Your very humble Servant, PETER SUPPLE.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

I Have a little God-Daughter in the Country, to whom I every Year send some diverting and instructive Book for a New-Year's-Gift: I would therefore beg you to recommend to me one fit for the Purpose; which will oblige

Your Humble Servant, T— W—

To Mr. T— W—

SIR,

I Know no Book so fit for your Purpose as the CONNOISSEUR, lately published in Two Pocket Volumes; which I would further recommend to all Fathers and Mothers, Grand-Fathers and Grand-Mothers, Uncles and Aunts, God-Fathers and God-Mothers, to give to their Sons and Daugh­ters, Grand-Sons and Grand-Daughters, Nephews and Nieces, God-Sons and God-Daughters;—as being undoubtedly the best Present at this Season of the Year, that can possibly be thought of.

TOWN, CONNOISSEUR.

N. B. Large Allowance to those who buy Quantities to give away.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN. CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CI. THURSDAY, January 1, 1756.

—Janique bifrontis imago.
Virg.

AS the appointed time of our publication now happens to fall on New-year's-day, I cannot open the business of the year with a better grace, than by taking the present hour for the subject of this paper: a subject, which pleases me the more, as it also gives me an opportunity of paying my readers the compliments of the season, and most sincerely wishing them all a happy new year, and a great many of them. But in order to make these civilities of more consequence than a bare compliment, I will also endeavour to give them a little [Page 608] wholesome advice, by which they may be most likely to ensure to themselves that happiness, and to go through the ensuing year with ease and tranquility.

No God in the heathen Pantheon was expressed by properer emblems, or more significantly represented, than Janus, whom we may fairly stile, in our language, the God of the New Year. The medals on which the image of this Deity was engraved bore two faces, not ogling each other like those on the shillings of Philip and Mary, nor cheek by jowl like the double visage on the coin of William and Mary, but turned from each other, one looking forwards, as it were, into futurity, and the other taking a retrospective view of what was past. There can­not surely be devised a stronger, or more sensible lesson of moral instruction, than this figure teaches us. This double view comprehends in itself the sum of human prudence; for the most perfect reason can go no higher than wisely to guess at the future, by reflecting on the past; and morality is never so likely to persevere in a steady and uniform course, as when it sets out with a fix'd determination of mutually regulating the New Year by a recollection of the Old, and at the same time making the succeeding a critique on the last.

Most of the faults in the general conduct of mankind, and their frequent miscarriages in their most favourite en­terprizes, will be found, upon examination, to result from an imperfect and partial view of what relates to their duty or undertakings. Some regulate their actions by blind guess, and rashly presuming on the future, without the least attention to the past. With these the impe­tuosity of the passions gives their reason no scope to exert itself, but, neglecting the premises, they jump to a con­clusion. Others, who are often taken for men of deep [Page 609] reflection and marvellous understanding, meditate so profoundly on the past, that they scarce take any notice either of the present or the future. To these two cha­racters, whose misconduct arises from two such contrary sources, may indeed be added a third, whose wild irre­gular behaviour is founded on no fix'd principles, but proceeds from a total absence of thought and reflection. These easy creatures act entirely at random, neither troubling themselves with what has been, what is, or what will be; and, as the image of Janus seems to bear two heads, these thoughtless vacant animals may almost be said to have no head at all.

But that the necessity of taking this comprehensive view of our affairs may appear in the stronger light, let us consider the many difficulties in which men of any of the above characters are involved from a total neglect or partial survey of matters that should influence their conduct. The first sort of men, who nourish great expectations from the future, and suffer hope to lay their prudence to sleep, are very common: Indeed almost every man, like the dairy-maid with her pail of milk, pleases himself with calculating the advantages he shall reap from his undertakings. There is scarce a servitor at either university, who, when he takes orders, does not think it more than possible he may one day be a bishop, or at least head of a college, though perhaps at first he is glad to snap at a curacy. Every walking attendant on our hospitals flatters himself that a few years will settle him in high practice and a chariot: and among those few gentlemen of the inns of court, who really deserve the name of students, there is hardly one who sits down to Lord Coke without imagining that he may himself, some time or other, be Lord Chancellor. At this early period [Page 610] of life these vain hopes may perhaps serve as spurs to dili­gence and virtue; but what shall we say to those people, who in spite of experience and repeated disappointments, still place their chief dependance on groundless expecta­tions from their future fortune? This Town swarms with people who rely almost solely on contingencies: and our goals are often filled with wretches who brought on their own poverty and misfortunes, by promising themselves great profit from some darling scheme, which has at last been attended with bankruptcy. The present extra­vagance of many of our spend-thrifts is built on some ideal riches of which they are soon to be in pos­session; and which they are laying out as freely, as the girl in the farce squanders the ten thousand pounds she was to get in the lottery. I am myself acquainted with a young fellow who had great expectations from an old uncle. He had ten thousand pounds of his own in ready money; and as the old gentleman was a good deal turned of sixty, the nephew very considerately computed, that his uncle could hardly last above five years, during which time he might go on very genteely at the rate of 2000l. per ann. However the old gentleman held toge­ther above seven years, the two last of which our young spark had no consolation but the daily hopes of his uncle's death. The happy hour at length arrived; the will was tore open with rapture; when, alas! the fond youth discovered, that he had never once reflected, that though he had a ticket in the wheel, it might possibly come up a blank, and had the mortification to find himself disin­herited.

I shall not dwell so particularly on the ridiculous folly of those profound speculatists, who fix their attention en­tirely on what is past, without making their reflections of service either for the present or the future, because it is not a very common or tempting species of absurdity: [Page 611] but shall rather advise the reader to consider the time past, as the school of experience, from which he may draw the most useful lessons for his future conduct. This kind of retrospect would teach us to provide with fore­sight against the calamities to which our inexperience has hitherto exposed us, though at the same time it would not throw us so far back, as to keep us lagging, like the Old Stile, behind the rest of the world. To say the truth, those sage persons who are given to such deep re­flection, as to let to-day and to-morrow pass unregarded by meditating on yesterday, are as ridiculous in their con­duct, as country beaux in their dress, who adopt the town modes, just after they are become unfashionable in London.

But there is no task so difficult as to infuse ideas into a brain hitherto entirely unaccustomed to thinking: for how can we warn a man to avoid the misfortunes which may hereafter befal him, or to improve by the calamities he has already suffered, whose actions are not the result of thought, or guided by experience? These persons are, indeed, of all others, the most to be pitied. They are prodigal and abandoned in their conduct, and by vi­cious excesses ruin their constitution, till at length poverty and death stare them in the face together; or if, unfortu­nately, their crazy frame holds together after the utter destruction of their fortune, they finish a thoughtless life by an act of desperation, and a pistol puts an end to their miseries.

Since then good fortune cannot be expected to fall into our laps, and it requires some thought to ensure to our­selves a likelihood of success in our undertakings, let us look back with attention on the old year, and gather instruc­tions from it in what manner to conduct ourselves through [Page 612] the New. Let us also endeavour to draw from it a lesson of morality: and I hope it will not be thought too solemn a conclusion of this paper, if I advise my readers to carry this reflection even into religion. This train of thought, that teaches us at once to reflect on the past, and look forward to the future, will also naturally lead us to look up with awe and admiration towards that Being who has existed from all eternity, and shall exist world with­out end. No idea can give us a more exalted idea of the Power who first created us, and whose providence is always over us. Let us then consider with attention this pagan image, by which we may add force to our morality, and prudence to our ordinary conduct; nor let us blush to receive a lesson from Heathens, which may animate our zeal and reverence for the Author of Christianity.

G. K. is desired to send to the Publisher's, where a Letter is left for him.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CII. THURSDAY, January 8, 1756.

Longumque pulchrâ stemma repetit a Ledâ.
MART.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

IT has been my good fortune to be born of a family, that is recorded in the Herald's Dictionary, as one of the most antient in the kingdom: We are supposed to have come into England with William the Con­queror. Upon my accession some years ago to my elder brother's estate and title of a Baronet, I received a visit from Rouge Dragon, Esq Pursuivant at Arms, to congratulate me upon my new rank of a Vavasour, and to know whether I should chuse to bear the dexter base points of the Lady Isa­bel's Saltire in chief, or only her Sinister corners; she being one of the seventeen coheiresses of my great great great [Page 614] great great grandfather's fourth wife Dorothy, the daughter and sole heiress of Simon de la Frogpool of Croakham in Suf­folk. This unexpected visit must have disconcerted me to an invincible degree, if upon recollection I had not only re­membered Mr. Rouge Dragon as a constant companion to my late brother, but as a kind of tutor in initiating him into the Science of Heraldy, and the Civil and Military Atchievements, to which our nobility and gentry are entitled. As soon, therefore, as I could recover myself from my first surprise in hearing an unknown English language, I hum­bly thanked Mr. Dragon for the pains he had taken in con­sidering my Coat of Arms so minutely, but hoped he would give himself no farther trouble upon my account: because I was fully determined to bear the plain Shield of my grand­father Sir Peter, without taking the least notice of Lady Isabel's Saltire in chief, or even of her Sinister corners.

BE it to my shame or not, I must confess that Heraldry is a science, which I have never much cultivated: nor do I find it very prevalent among the fashionable studies of the age. Arms, and Armorial tokens, may, I suppose, be regu­larly distinguished, and properly emblazoned, upon the family plate to which they belong: but I have observed of late, that these honorable ensigns are not confined entirely to their proper owners, but are usurped by every body, who thinks fit to take them; insomuch that there is scarce an hackney coach in London, which is not in possession of a Ducal Crest, an Earl's Coronet, or a Baronet's Bloody Hand. This has often given me great offence, as it reflects a scandal on our nobility and gentry: and I cannot but think it very indecent for a Duke's coach to be seen waiting at a night-cellar while the coach­man [Page 615] is tipping off a glass of gin, or for a Countess's landau to set down ladies at the door of a common bawdy-house. I remember I was one morning disturbed at my breakfast by a fashionable rap at my door; when looking out of my window I saw the coach of the lady dowager — drawn up before it. I was extremely surprised at so early and un­expected a visit from her ladyship; and while I was pre­paring to receive her, I over-heard her ladyship at high words with her coachman in my entry; when stepping to the stair-case I found that they were squabbling together about sixpence, and soon perceived that her ladyship was dwindled into one of my house-maids. This badge of nobility, assu­med at random according to the fancy of the coach-painter, I have found inconvenient on other occasions: for I once travelled from London to Derby in an hired chariot finely or­namented with a Viscount's cypher and coronet; by which noble circumstance I was compelled in every inn to pay as a Lord, though I was not at that time even a simple Baronet, or (in the language of my friend Mr. Dragon) arrived to the dignity of a Vavasour.

I HAVE, indeed, sometimes doubted, whether nobility and high rank are of that real advantage, which they are generally esteemed to be: and I am almost inclined to think, that they answer no other desirable end, than as far as they indulge our vanity and ostentation. A long roll of ennobled ancestors makes, I confess, a very alluring appearance: To see coronet after coronet passing before our view in an uninterrupted succession, is the most soothing prospect, that perhaps can present itself to the eye of human pride: The exaltation that we feel upon such a review takes rise in a visionary and secret piece of flattery, that as glorious, and as [Page 616] long, or even a longer line of future coronets may spring from ourselves, as have depended from our ancestors. We read in Virgil, that Anchises, to inspire his son with the properest incitement to virtue, shews him a long race of kings, emperors, and heroes, whom Aeneas is fore-doomed to give rise to: and the misery of Macbeth is made by Shakespeare to proceed, less from the consciousness of guilt, than from the disappointed pride, that none of his own race shall succeed him in the throne.

THE pride of ancestry, and the desire of continuing our lineage, when they tend to an incitement of virtuous and noble actions, are undoubtedly laudable; and I should per­haps have indulged myself in the pleasing reflection, had not a particular story in a French Novel, which I lately met with, put a stop to all vain glories, that can possibly be deduced from a long race of progenitors.

‘"A NOBLEMAN of an antient house, of very high rank and great fortune,"’ says the Novellist, ‘"died suddenly, and without being permitted to stop at Purgatory, was sent down immediately into Hell. He had not been long there, before he met with his coachman Thomas, who like his noble master was gnashing his teeth among the damned. Thomas, surprised to behold his lordship amidst the sharpers, thieves, pickpockets, and all the Canaille of Hell, started and cried out in a tone of admiration, Is it possible that I see my late master among Lucifer's tribe of beggars, rogues, and pilferers? How much am I astonished to find your lordship in this place? Your lordship! whose generosity was so great, whose affluent housekeeping drew such crowds of nobility, gentry, and [Page 617] friends to your table, and within your gates, and whose fine taste employed such numbers of poor in your gardens, by building temples and obelisks, and by forming lakes of water, that seemed to vye with the largest oceans of the creation. Pray, my lord, if I may be so bold, what crime has brought your lordship into this cursed assembly?—Ah, Thomas, replied his lordship with his usual con­descension, I have been sent hither for having defrauded my royal master, and cheating the widows and fatherless, solely to enrich, and purchase titles, honours, and estates for that ungrateful rascal my only son. But prithee, Tho­mas, tell me, as thou didst always seem to be an honest, careful, sober servant, what brought thee hither? Alas! my noble lord, replied Thomas, I was sent hither for be­getting that Son."’

I am, Sir, your most humble Servant, REGINALD FITZWORM.

I MUST agree with my correspondent, that the study of Heraldry is at present in very little repute among us; and our nobility are more anxious about preserving the genealogy of their horses, than of their own family. Whatever value their progenitors may have formerly set upon their Blood, it is now found to be of no value, when put into the scale and weighed against solid plebeian gold: Nor would the most illustrious descendant from Cadwallader, or the Irish Kings, scruple to debase his lineage by an alliance with the daughter of a city-plumb, though all her ancestors were yeomen, and none of her family ever bore arms. Titles of quality, when the owners have no other merit to recommend them, are of no more estimation, than those which the courtesy of the vulgar have bestowed on the deformed: and when I look over a long Tree of Descent, I sometimes fancy I can discover the real characters of Sharpers, Repro­bates, and Plunderers of their Country, concealed under the titles of Dukes, Earls, and Viscounts.

IT is well known, that the very servants, in the absence of their master, assume the same titles; and Tom or Harry, the butler or groom of his Grace, is always my Lord Duke [Page 618] in the kitchen or stables. For this reason I have thought proper to present my reader with the Pedigree of a Footman, drawn up in the same sounding titles, as are so pompously displayed on these occasions: and I dare say it will appear no less illustrious, than the pedigrees of many families, which are neither celebrated for their actions, nor distinguished by their virtues.

THE Family of the SKIPS, or SKIP-KENNELS, is very antient and noble. The founder of it Maitre Jaques came into England with the Dutchess of Mazarine. He was son of a Prince of the Blood, his mother one of the Mesdames of France: This family is therefore related to the most illus­trious Maitres d' Hotèl and Valets de Chambre of that kindgom. Jaques had issue two Sons, viz. Robert and Paul; of whom Paul the youngest was invested with the purple before he was eighteen, and made a Bishop, and soon after became an Archbishop. Robert, the elder, came to be a Duke, but died without issue: Paul, the Archbishop, left behind him an only daughter, Barbara, base-born, who was afterwards Maid of Honour; and inter-marrying with a Lord of the Bed-chamber, had a very numerous issue by him; viz. Re­becca, born a week after their marriage, and died young; Joseph, first a Squire, afterwards Knighted, High Sheriff of a County, and Colonel of the Militia; Peter, raised from a Cabin-Boy to a Lord of the Admiralty; William, a Faggot in the First Regiment of the Guards, and a Brigadier; Tho­mas, at first an Earl's Eldest Son, and afterwards Lord Mayor of the City of London. The several branches of this family were no less distinguished for their illustrious progeny. Jaques the founder, first quartered lace on his coat, and Robert added the shoulder-knot. Some of them, indeed, met with great trouble: Archbishop Paul lost his See for getting a cook-maid with child; Barbara, the Maid of Honour, was dismissed with a big belly; Brigadier William was killed by a Chairman in a pitched battle at an ale-house; the Lord of the Admi­ralty was transported for seven years; and Duke Robert had the misfortune to be hanged at Tyburn.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CIII. THURSDAY, January 15, 1756.

—Nihil videtur mundius.
TER.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

IT is my fortune to be married to a lady, who is an extraordinary good housewife, and is cried up by all the good women of her acquaintance, for being the neatest body in her house they ever knew. This, Sir, is my grievance: This superabundant Neatness is so very troublesome and disgusting to me, that I protest I had rather lodge in a carrier's inn, or take up my abode with the horses in the stables.

IT must be confessed, that a due regard to Neatness and Cleanliness is as necessary to be observed in our habitations [Page 620] as our persons: But though I should not chuse to have my hands begrimed like a chimney-sweeper's, I would not, as among the superstitious Mahometans, wash them six times a day: And though I should be loth to roll in a pig-stye, yet I do not like to have my house rendered useless to me under the pretence of keeping it clean.

FOR my own part, I cannot see the difference between having an house that is always dirty, and an house that is always to be cleaned. I could very willingly compound to be washed out of my home, with other masters of families, every Saturday night: But my wife is so very notable, that the same cleansing work must be repeated every day in the week. All the morning long I am sure to be entertained with the domestic concert of scrubbing the floors, scouring the irons, and beating the carpets; and I am constantly hunted from room to room, while one is to be dusted, ano­ther dry-rubbed, another washed, and another run over with a dry mop. Thus, indeed, I may be said to live in continual dirtiness, that my house may be clean: For during these nice operations every apartment is stowed with soap, brickdust, sand, scrubbing-brushes, hair-brooms, rag-mops, and dishclouts.

YOU may suppose, that the greatest care is taken to pre­vent the least speck of dirt from soiling the floors: For this reason all that come to our house, (besides the ceremony of scraping at the door,) are obliged to rub their shoes for half an hour on a large ragged mat at the entrance; and then they must straddle their way along several lesser mats, ranged at due distances from each other in the passage, and (like boys at play) come into the room with a hop, a step, and a [Page 621] jump. The like caution is used by all the family: I my­self am scarce allowed to stir a step without slippers: my wife creeps on tip-toe up and down stairs: the maid-servants are continually stumping below in clogs or pattens; and the footman is obliged to sneak about the house bare-footed, as if he came with a sly design to steal something.

AFTER what has been said you will naturally conclude, that my wife must be no less nice in other particulars. In­deed, she cannot conceive that any thing, which is done by so neat a woman, can possibly give offence: I have there­fore been in pain for her several times, when I have seen her, before company, dust the tea-cups with a foul apron or a washing-gown; and I have more than once blushed for her, when through her extreme cleanliness she has not been con­tented without breathing into our drinking-glasses, and after­wards wiping them with her pocket handkerchief. People, Mr. TOWN, who are very intimate with families, seldom see them (especially the female part) but in disguise: and it will be readily allowed, that a lady wears a very different aspect, when she comes before company, than when she first sets down to her toilette. My wife appears decent enough in her apparel, to those who visit us in the after­noon: but in the morning she is quite another figure. Her usual dishabille then is, an ordinary stuff jacket and petticoat, a double clout thrown over her head and pinned under her chin, a black greasy bonnet, and a coarse dowlas apron; so that you would rather take her for a chair-woman. Nor, indeed does she scruple to stoop to the meanest drudgery of one: for such is her love of Cleanliness, that I have often seen her on her knees whitening an hearth, or spreading dabs of vinegar and fullers earth over the boards.

[Page 622]IT is observed by Swift, that ‘"a nice man is a man of nasty ideas:"’ In like manner we may affirm, that your very neat people are the most slovenly on many occasions. I have told you my wife's morning trim: but besides this, she has another custom, which creates the greatest disgust in me. You must know, Sir, that among other charms she prides herself vastly in a fine set of teeth: and somebody has told her, that nothing is so good for them as to rub them every morning with Scotch snuff and fasting spittle. As an hus­band is no stranger, this recipe is constantly administered in my presence before breakfast; and after this delicate appli­cation, her pretty mouth, (which is afterwards wiped for me to kiss,) in order to preserve her gums from the scurvy, must be rinced—would you believe it?—with her own water.

I SHALL dwell no longer on this subject, as I fear it may prove surfeiting both to you and your readers: I shall there­fore conclude with telling you, that this scrupulous delicacy of my wife in the Neatness of her house was the means of our losing a very good fortune. A rich old uncle, on whom we had great dependance, came up to town last summer on purpose to pay us a visit: but though he had rode above sixty miles that day, he was obliged to stand in the passage till his boots were pulled off, for fear of soiling the Turkey carpet. After supper the old gentleman, as was his constant practice, desired to have his pipe: but this you may be sure could by no means be allowed, as the filthy stench of the to­bacco would never be got out of the furniture again; and it was with much ado, that my wife would even suffer him to go down and smoke in the kitchen. We had no room [Page 623] lodge him in except a garret with nothing but bare walls; because the Chints bed-chamber was, indeed, too nice for a dirty country squire. These slights very much chagrined my good uncle: but he had not been with us above a day or two, before my wife and he came to an open quarrel; and the occasion of it was this. It happened, that he had brought a favourite pointer with him, who at his first co­ming was immediately locked up in the coal-hole: but the dog having found means to escape, had crept slily up stairs, and (besides other marks of his want of delicacy) had very calmly stretched himself out upon a crimson damask settee. My wife not only sentenced him to the discipline of the whip, but insisted upon having the criminal hanged up after­wards; when the master interposing in his behalf, it pro­duced such high words between them, that my uncle or­dered his horse, and swore he would never darken our doors again as long as he breathed. He went home, and about two months after died: but as he could not forgive the ill treatment, which both he and his dog had met with at our house, he had altered his will, which before he had made entirely in our favour.

I am, Sir, Your humble Servant, PETER MUCKLOVE.

IT may not be improper, as my correspondent has but slightly touched upon this topic, to add a word or two, by way of postcript to his letter, on the extraordinary sollici­tude of many notable housewives in the care and preserva­tion of their furniture. In middling genteel families it is not uncommon to have things more for shew than use: [Page 624] and I cannot but applaud the ingenious thought of a friend of mine, who has contrived to furnish his house in the most elegant taste at a very small expence. He is pleased, it is true, to eat off your common stone ware, because it looks so clean; but you see his beaufet crowded with a variety of curious enamelled China plates, which are ranged in such manner as to conceal the streaks of white paint that cement the broken pieces together: he likes to drink his porter out of the original ale-house pewter pot; but a large silver tan­kard always stands upon the side-board, which the most curious eye cannot at that distance discover to be French plate. The whole range of rooms in his middle story is most grandly fitted up: but as it would be pity to soil such good furniture, his curtains, which we must suppose to be made of the richest damask, are carefully pinned up in paper-bags; and the chairs, of which the seats and backs are undoubtedly of the same stuff, are no less cautiously skreened with ordinary-checked linnen. Thus does he an­swer, by the appearance of finery, all the purposes of pride and ostentation:—Like many families, who being really possessed of ornamental and useful furniture, make no more use of it than the beau blockhead does of his library; which, though it contains many books finely bound and gilt, is designed merely for shew, and it would spoil the backs or rumple the leaves to look into the contents of them.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CIV. THURSDAY, January 22, 1756.

Actum est: Ilicet: Perîsti.
TER.

THE use of language is the ready communi­cation of our thoughts to one another. As we cannot produce the objects which raise ideas in our minds, we use words which are made signs of those objects themselves. No man could convey to another the idea of a table or chair, without pointing to those pieces of furniture: as children are taught to remember the names of things by looking at their pictures. Thus if I wanted to mention King Charles on horse-back, I must carry my companion to Charing-Cross; and would I next tell him of the statue of Sir John Barnard, we must trudge back again, and he must wait for my mean­ing 'till we got to the Royal Exchange. We should be like the sages of Laputa, who (as Gulliver tells us) having substituted things for words, used to carry about them [Page 626] such things as were necessary to express the particular business they were to discourse on. ‘"I have often beheld (says he) two of those sages almost sinking under the weight of their packs, like pedlars among us: who, when they met in the streets, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements, help each other to resume their burthens, and take their leave."’ In these circumstances a man of the fewest words could not, indeed, talk without carrying about him a much larger apparatus of conversation, than is contained in the bag of the noted Yeates, or any other slight-of-hand artist: he could not speak of a chicken or an owl, but it must be ready in his pocket to be produ­ced. In such a case we could not say we heard, but we saw the conversation of a friend; as in the epistolary correspond­ence carried on by those pretty hieroglyphic letters (as they are called), where the picture of a deer and a woman finely drest is made to stand for the expression of dear lady.

BUT the invention of words has removed these difficulties; and we may talk not only of any thing we have seen, but what neither we, nor the persons to whom we speak, ever saw. Thus we can convey to another the idea of a battle, without being reduced to the disagreeable necessity of learn­ing it ‘"from the cannon's mouth:"’ and we can talk of the people in the world of the moon, without being obliged to make use of Bishop Wilkins's artificial wings to fly thither. Words, therefore, in the ordinary course of life, are like the paper-money among merchants; invented as a more ready conveyance, by which the largest sum can be trans­mitted to the most distant places with as much ease as a let­ter; while the same in specie would require bags and chests, and even carts or ships to transport it. But, however great these advantages are, the use of language has brought along with it several inconveniences, as well as paper-money: for as this latter is more liable to miscarry, more easily concealed, [Page 627] carried off, or counterfeited than bullion, merchants have frequent cause to complain, that the convenience of this sort of cash is not without some alloy of evil; and we find, that in the use of language there is so much room for deceit and mistake, that though it does not render it useless, it is much to be wished some remedy could be contrived.

MEN are so apt to use the same words in different senses, and to call the same thing by different names, that they can­not oftentimes understand or be understood. If one calls that thing black which another calls green, or that prodigality which another calls generosity, they mistake each other's meaning; and can never come to agree, 'till they explain the words. It is to this we owe so much wrangling in dis­course, and so many volumes of controversy on almost every part of literature. I have known a dispute carried on with great warmth, and when the disputants have come to explain what each meant, it has been discovered they were both of a side: like the men in the Play, who met and fought first, and after each had been heartily beat found themselves to be friends. What should we say, if this practice of calling things by their wrong names was to obtain among tradesmen? If you was to send to your haberdasher for an hat, you might receive a pair of stockings; or instead of a cordial julep from your apothecary, be furnished with a cathartic or a clyster.

IT would be needless to insist on the inconveniences ari­sing from the misuse or misapprehension of terms in all ver­bal combats; whether they be fought on the spot by word of mouth, or (like a game of Chess) maintained, even tho' lands and seas interpose, by the assistance of the press. In our ordinary conversation it is notorious, that no less confu­sion has arisen from the wrong application or perversion of the original and most natural import of words. Thus, for instance, the word Devil, is used at present only as a bug­bear for children; nor will it raise in the most vulgar minds [Page 628] the idea even of a cloven foot or the smell of brimstone: and all we can understand by it are, the errand-boy of a printing-house, the name of a tavern, and the broiled giz­zard of a turkey. The no less tremendous words, damned and hellish, are usurped equally to signify any thing superla­tively good, as well as bad: and I am almost ashamed to mention, that we cannot wonder a particular liquor should be distinguished by the name of bishop, when the title of the highest dignitary of our church has been prostituted to a more scandalous purpose. A mere country put might be startled (at this juncture especially) at the warlike sound of a route, a drum, or a drum-major; which, we know, have been long adopted by the fashionable world without any de­sign to alarm us with the notion of a campaign or a battle, but only to call us (without a pun) to more peaceful engage­ments: and he would be very much surprised to receive a card from a lady of quality inviting him to an Hurricane, or perhaps an EARTHQUAKE.

I REMEMBER, when I commenced author, I published a little pamphlet, which I flattered myself had some merit, though I must confess it did not sell. Conscious of my grow­ing fame, I resolved to send the first fruits of it to an aunt in the country, that my relations might judge of the great ho­nour I was likely to prove to the family: but how was I mortified, when the good lady sent me word, ‘"that she was sorry to find I had ruined myself, and had wrote a book; for the parson of the parish had assured her, that authors were never worth a farthing, and always died in a goal."’ Notwithstanding this remonstrance I have still persisted in my ruin; which at present I cannot say is quite compleated, as I can make three meals a day, have yet a coat to my back, with a clean shirt for Sundays at least, and am lodged somewhat below a garret. However, this pre­diction of my aunt has often led me to consider, in how many senses different from its general acceptation the word [Page 629] RUINED is frequently made use of. When we hear this ap­plied to another, we should naturally imagine the person is reduced to a state worse than he was in before, and so low that it is scarce possible for him to rise again: but we shall often find, instead of his being undone, that he has rather met with some extraordinary good fortune; and that those who pronounce him ruined, either mean you should understand it in some other light, or else call him undone, because he differs from them in his way of life, or because they wish him to be in that situation. I need not point out the extreme cruelty, as well as injustice, in the misapplica­tion of this term; as it may litterally ruin a man, by de­stroying his character: according to the old English proverb, give a dog an ill name, and hang him.

MOST people are, indeed, so entirely taken up with their own narrow views, that, like the jaundiced eye, every thing appears to them of the same colour; and it is no wonder, that they should see ruin staring every man in the face, who happens not to think as they do. From this selfish preju­dice we are led to make a wrong judgment of the motives and actions of others: I shall, therefore, here set down a catalogue of some of my own acquaintance, whom the cha­rity and good-nature of the world have not scrupled to pro­nounce absolutely ruined.

A young clergyman of Cambridge might have had a good college living in about thirty years time, or have been head of the house: but he chose to quit his fellowship for a small cure in town with a view of recommending himself by his preaching—Ruined.

A fellow of another college refused to quit his books and his retirement, to live as chaplain with a smoking, drinking, swearing, fox-hunting country squire, who would have pro­vided for him—Ruined.

Dr. Classic, a young physician from Oxford, might have had more practice than Radcliffe or Mead: but having studied [Page 630] Aristotle's Poetics, and read the Greek Tragedies as well as Galen and Hippocrates, he was tempted to write a play, which was universally applauded—Ruined.

A Student of the Temple might have made sure of a Judge's Robes or the Chancellor's Seals: but being tired of saunter­ing in Westminster Hall without even getting half a guinea for a motion, he has accepted of a commission in one of the new-raised regiments, and is—Ruined.

A younger brother of a good family threw himself away upon an obscure widow with a jointure of 500l. per annum by which he is—Ruined.—Another, a man of fortune, fell in love with, and married a genteel girl without a farthing; and though she makes him an excellent wife, he is universally allowed to have—Ruined himself.

BEFORE I conclude I cannot but take notice of the strange sense, in which a friend of mine once heard this word used by a girl of the town. The young creature, being all life and spirits, engrossed all the conversation to herself; and her­self indeed was the subject of all the conversation: But what most surprised him, was the manner, in which she used this word Ruined; which occurred frequently in her discourse, though never intended by her to convey the meaning gene­rally affixed to it. It served her sometimes as an aera to determine the date of every occurrence—she bought such a gown just after she was ruined—the first time she saw Garrick in Ranger, she was in doubt whether it was before or after she was ruined.—Having occasion to mention a young gen­tleman, she burst into raptures—O he is a dear creature!—He it was that ruined me.—O he is a dear soul!—He car­ried me to an inn ten miles from my father's house in the country, where he ruined me.—If he had not ruined me, I should have been as miserable and as moping as my sisters. But the dear soul was forced to go to sea, and I was obliged to come upon the town, three weeks after I was ruined—no, not so much as three weeks after I was ruined—yes, it was full three weeks after I was ruined.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CV. THURSDAY, January 29, 1756.

Gaudet equis, canibusque, et aprici gramine campi.
HOR.

MY Cousin VILLAGE, from whom I had not heard for some time, has lately sent me an account of a Country Parson; which I dare say will prove entertaining to my town readers, who can have no other idea of our Clergy than what they have collected from the spruce and genteel figures, which they have been used to contemplate here in doctors scarfs, pudding-sleeves, starched bands, and feather-topp'd grizzles. It will be found from my Cousin's de­scription, that these reverent ensigns of orthodoxy are not so necessary to be displayed among rustics; and that when they are out of the pulpit or surplice, the good pastors may without censure put on the manners as well as dress of a groom or whipper-in.

Mr. VILLAGE to Mr. TOWN.

DEAR COUSIN!

I AM just arrived here, after having paid a visit to our old acquaintance Jack Quickset, who is now become the Reverend Mr. Quickset, Rector of — parish in the North-Riding of this county, a living worth upwards of three hundred pounds per annum. As the ceremonies of ordination have occasioned no alteration in Jack's morals or behaviour, the Figure he makes in the church is some­what remarkable; but as there are many other incumbents of country livings, whose clerical characters will be found to tally with his, perhaps a slight sketch, or, as I may say, rough draught of him, with some account of my visit, will not be unentertaining to your readers.

JACK, hearing that I was in this part of the world, sent me a very hearty letter, informing me that he had been double-japanned (as he called it) about a year ago, and was the present incummbent of —; where if I would favour him with my company, he would give me a cup of the best Yorkshire Stingo, and would engage to shew me a noble day's sport, as he was in a fine open country with plenty of foxes. I rejoiced to hear he was so comfortably settled, and set out immediately for his living. When I arrived within the gate, my ears were alarmed with such a loud chorus of No mortals on earth are so happy as we, that I began to think I had made a mistake; till observing its close neighbourhood to the church convinced me, that this could be no other than the Parsonage-House. On my entrance my friend (whom [Page 633] I found in the midst of a room-full of fox-hunters in boots and bob wigs) got up to welcome me to —, and em­bracing me, gave me the full flavour of his Stingo by belching in my face, as he did me the honour of saluting me. He then introduced me to his friends, and placing me at the right hand of his own elbow chair, assured them that I was a very honest Cock, and loved a chace of five and twenty miles an end as well as any of them: to preserve the credit of which character, I immediately complied, with an injunction (though I must confess with less real rapture than a staunch foxhunter) to toss off a pint bumper of Port, with the foot of the fox dipped and squeezed into it to give a zest to the liquor.

BUT the whole oeconomy of Jack's life is very different from that of his brethren. Instead of having a wife and a house-full of children, (the most common family of a country clergyman,) he is single, unless we credit some idle whispers in the parish that he is married to his housekeeper. The calm amusement of piquet, chess, and back-gammon have no charms for Jack, who sees ‘"his dearest action in the field,"’ and boasts that he has a brace of as good hunters in his stable, as ever leg was laid over. Hunting and shoot­ing are the only business of his life, foxhounds and pointers lay about in every parlour, and he is himself like Pistol, al­ways in boots. The estimation in which he holds his friends is rated according to their excellence as sportsmen; and to be able to make a good shot or hunt a pack of hounds well, are admirable qualities. His parishioners often earn a shil­ling and a cup of ale at his house, by coming to acquaint him, that they have found a hare sitting, or a fox in cover. One day, while I was alone with my friend, the servant [Page 634] came in to tell him that the Clerk wanted to speak with him. He was ordered in; but I could not help smiling when (instead of giving notice of a burying, christening, or some other church business, as I expected) I found the ho­nest clerk only come to acquaint his reverend superior, that there was a covey of partridges, of a dozen brace at least, not above three fields from the house.

JACK's elder brother Sir Thomas Quickset, who presented him with the benefice he now enjoys, is lord of the manor: so that Jack has full power to beat up the game unmolested. He goes out three times a week with his brother's hounds, whether Sir Thomas hunts or not; and has besides a deputation from him as lord of the manor, consigning the game to his care, and empowering him to take away all guns, nets, and dogs from persons not duly qualified. Jack is more proud of this office than many other country clergymen are of being in the commission for the peace. Poaching is in his eye the most heinous crime in the two tables; nor does the cure of souls appear to him half so important a duty as the preservation of the Game.

SUNDAY, you may suppose, is as dull and tedious to this ordained sportsman, as to any fine lady in town: not that he makes the duties of his function any fatigue to him but as this day is necessarily a day of rest from the usual toils of the chase. It happened, that the first Sunday after I was with him he had engaged to take care of a Church, in the absence of a neighbouring clergyman, which was about twenty miles off. I engaged to accompany him: and the more to encourage me, he had assured me, that we should ride over as fine a champaign open country as any in the [Page 635] North. Accordingly I was rouzed by him in the morning before day-break by a loud hollowing of hark to Merriman, and the repeated smacks of his half-hunter; and after we had fortified our stomachs with several slices of hung beef and a horn or two of stingo, we sallied forth. Jack was mounted upon a hunter, which he assured me was never yet thrown out: and as we rode along, he could not help lament­ing that so fine a soft morning should be thrown away upon a Sunday; at the same time remarking, that the dogs might run breast high.

THOUGH we made the best of our way over hedge and ditch, and took every thing, we were often delayed by trying if we could prick a hare; or by leaving the road to examine a piece of cover; and he frequently made me stop, not to look at the prospect, but while he pointed out the particular course that Reynard took, or the spot where he had earth'd. At length we arrived on full gallop at the Church, where we found the congregation waiting for us: but as Jack had no­thing to do but to alight, pull his band out of the sermon­case, give his brown scratch bob a shake, and clap on the surplice, he was presently equipped for the service. In short he behaved himself both in the desk and pulpit to the entire satisfaction of all the parish as well as the squire of it, who after thanking Jack for his excellent discourse, very cor­dially took us home to dinner with him.

I SHALL not trouble you with an account of our enter­tainment at the squire's, who being himself as keen a sports­man as ever followed a pack of dogs, was hugely delighted with Jack's conversation. Church and King, and another particular toast, were (in compliment I suppose to my friend's [Page 636] clerical character) the first drank after dinner; but these were directly followed by a pint bumper to Horses sound, Dogs hearty. Earth stopt, and Foxes plenty. When we had run over again, with great joy and vociferation, as many chaces as the time would permit, the bell called us to even­ing prayers: after which, (though the squire would fain have had us stay and take an hunt with him) we mounted our horses at the church-door, and rode home in the dark; because Jack had engaged to meet several of his brother-sportsmen, who were to lie all night at his own house, to be in readiness to make up for the loss of Sunday, by going out a cock-shooting very early the next morning.

I MUST leave it to you, Cousin, to make what reflec­tions you please on this character; only observing, that the country can furnish many instances of these ordained sports­men, whose thoughts are more taken up with the stable or the dog-kennel than the church: and indeed, it will be found that our friend Jack and all of his stamp are regarded by their parishioners, not as Parsons of the Parish, but rather as Squires in Orders.

I am, dear Cousin, yours &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CVI. THURSDAY, February 5, 1756.

—Non haec solennia nobis
Vana superstitio, veterumve ignara Deorum,
Imposuit. Saevis, hospes Trojane, periclis
Servati facimus.—
VIRG.

IT is with the utmost pleasure that I have observed an article in the news-papers, sig­nifying that the magistrates of this city will oblige all taverns, ale-houses, &c. to be shut up to-morrow, which is appointed to be set apart as a day of solemn fast and humiliation, on account of those dreadful Earthquakes from which we have been so providentially preserved. Without such a restriction it is to be feared, that too many of the vulgar will observe this day in the same manner as they are wont to observe the or­dinary [Page 638] Sundays; which they have been long accustomed to look upon as dedicated to Idleness and Intemperance; to which deities they very devoutly pour their libations (accord­ing to their own phrase) in a church with a chimney in it.

BUT if the common herd are to be thus compelled to their duty, persons of fashion, who are above the law, will I doubt pay as little regard to this nominal fast-day, as to Ash-Wednesday, Good-Friday, or the long-exploded 30th of January. Nor can we expect, that it will work any greater reformation of manners in them, than the absurd panic oc­casioned formerly by the ridiculous predictions of a Swiss madman. Therefore, as they are not to be frightened into a sense of virtue and religion, we should rather try to wean them gradually from their darling vices; which may be kept under by softening methods, though we cannot hope wholly to eradicate them. For this purpose, the first step to be previously taken, as it appears to me, should be to decoy people of quality into coming to church, by making it as fashionable to be seen there, as it was some time ago to meet at Ranelagh on a Sunday. They must, therefore, be al­lowed to curtesy, bow, nod, smile, ogle, whisper, or even bawl to one another, before the service is begun; and that churches may resemble other public places of diversion, ladies and gentlemen may be permitted to send their servants to keep places in the pews: but it shall on no consideration be lawful for them (as is their custom at the opera or play-house) to disturb the congregation by dropping in while the prayers are reading or to, interrupt the parson by talking loud in the middle of the sermon.

[Page 639]THIS point being once gained, it might be possible to bring about some other reformations in the polite amuse­ments. Perhaps to banish all such moral plays as the Chances for ever from our theatres, would be in effect to shut them up, or condemn them to empty boxes: the polite world may, therefore, be sometimes indulged with them at the particular desire of several persons of quality; or for the be­nefit of some hospital, when their appearance may be attri­buted to a motive of charity. Nor would I be so scrupu­lous as to abolish Masquerades entirely; though I would have them put under new regulations: and no lady should be suffered to go there half-naked under the pretence of being better disguised; nor should any one be allowed to personate Eve, though with a fig-leaf. As to the darling amusement of Gaming, I fear it would be a vain attempt to think of restraining it within any bounds at present: nor is it possible to expell the card-table from the routes of persons of fashion, even upon a Sunday. I would therefore pro­pose, that since they must play, the winnings on that day should be given to the poor of the parish; and that they should use a particular sort of cards (like those contrived for the amusement and instruction of children) strewed with texts of scripture and other religious and moral sentences.

GALLANTRY and intrigue may be likewise reckoned among the fashionable amusements of the present age: and I confess I am at a loss to know under what restrictions to confine them. Married people may perhaps be allowed to indulge themselves in any freedoms, by the mutual consent of each party; provided always, that they are persons of distinction, and that the match between them was made merely on account of family or fortune, in conformity to [Page 640] the true sense and spirit of the late Marriage Act. With respect to those, who take a pleasure in debauching raw country girls and common tradesmens daughters, I had once a thought, that a clause should be added to the above­mentioned Act, to oblige the offenders to do penance in a white sheet; but I have since considered, that our modern bucks and bloods would probably take as much pride in this badge of honour, as a young officer in his scarf and cockade. As to the genteel practice of keeping mistresses, no one should be allowed to take a girl into keeping, but those who are already past their grand climacteric, and may be supposed to want a nurse: except it should be thought expedient to extend this privilege to those spirited young fellows, who at the age of five and twenty have worn down their constitutions to threescore.

WE cannot but admire the extreme courage and sense of honour, which characterises our modern heroes, and inspires them sometimes with a desire of killing their friends, and sometimes of killing themselves. But as this noble spirit should be only exerted against the common enemy, the honour of the Duellist might be satisfied, I should think, by a mock-combat without bloodshed; and the courage of the Suicide might be confined to a bare attempt on his own life, without the loss of it. Duels, therefore, should be fought with guarded soils, as in tragedy-rencounters; and any gentleman (or even mechanic) who finds an inclination to make away with himself, may be allowed to try the expe­riment, by drawing a knife or razor across his throat so as not to cut the wind-pipe, or by running a sword through the skin without piercing the ribs; or he may flash a pistol in his face charged with powder only, or be tucked up in his [Page 641] own garters with a wad of cotton about his neck, and his nearest relation standing by, ready to cut him down (if he pleases) before he be quite dead.

I am prevented from persuing this subject any farther, in order to make room for the following letter.

Mr. TOWN,

AS the day appointed, for a General Fast in these king­doms is now at hand, I shall beg leave to touch upon some laxities in the usual manner of observing a Fast; which though they are not of sufficient dignity to be taken notice of from the pulpit, should yet be pointed out, as the vio­lation of the Fast in these particulars is almost universal.

THE very name of a Fast implies a day of abstinence, of mortification and self-denial; which has always been in­joined as a necessary means of subduing irregular desires, and fitting us for holy meditations. For this reason, in former days, when people of quality rose earlier than even mecha­nics now open their shops, when the Court itself dined at eleven, that meal was deferred till four o'clock in compliance with this religious exercise, which was in those times a real abstinence, a true piece of mortification and self-denial. But if the observance of a Fast consists in not dining till four o'clock, our persons of fashion may be said to fast every day of their lives. In truth, the several hours of the day are adapted to such very different employments to what they were formerly, that our four o'clock stands in the place of their eleven: and nothing can be more absurd (to use no harsher term) than to adhere to the form in the performance of a religious act, when by the alteration of circumstances, [Page 642] that form flatly contradicts the very meaning of its original institution. I would also ask those rigid devotees, who ob­serve this day in all the strictness of the letter, and would be shocked at sight of a leg of mutton or beef-steak on their tables, whether the dining upon salt or other fish, may not be considered rather as feasting than fasting, if (as is often the case) it should happen to be a dish they are remarkably fond of. All these methods of keeping a Fast without absti­nence, mortification, or self-denial, are mere quibbles to evade the performance of our duty, and entirely frustrate the design of appointing this solemnity. There is some­thing of this nature very commonly practised in France: where there are many families who keep the whole Lent with great strictness; but the last night of it invite a great deal of company to supper. The moment the clock strikes twelve, a magnificent entertainment, consisting of all sorts of rich fare, is served up, and these most Christian debauchees sit down to indulge in luxury, without sinning against the Canon.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CVII. THURSDAY, February 12, 1756.

Cedunt Grammatici, vincuntur Rhetores—
JUV.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

I HAVE just now, with near an hundred more, taken the first degree, which this University confers on her sons; and begin to consider within myself, in what manner we have spent our time for these four years past, and what profit we are likely to receive hereafter from these our academical studies: But upon retrospection I find that instead of having laid up a store of learning, which might have been of service to us in our future connections and intercourse with mankind, we have been confounding our heads with a miscellaneous heap of nonsense, which most of us, I am certain, are endeavouring to unlearn as [Page 644] fast as possible we can: instead of having acquired such a share of common sense, as might have been of service to ourselves and acquaintance, we must entirely sell off our old stock, and begin the world of literature anew. This re­flection cannot be very pleasing to those, who I must say have squandered away so very precious a time of life; a time of life, when, though judgment perhaps is not come to maturity, yet imagination and invention, those noble off­springs of a promising mind, are in the very flower and bloom of perfection.

THIS seat of learning (for it undoubtedly deserves that name) has drawn and kept us together for some years; our manners, conversation, and studies bear a great similitude: but now either chance or choice is going to disperse us over the whole kingdom; and our places of abode will scarcely be more widely different, than our schemes of life. Notwithstanding this, the same plan of study has been im­posed on all: Whether agreeable, or contrary to the bent of inclination, has never been regarded. Mathematics is the standard, to which all merit is referred; and all the excellencies, without these, are quite overlooked and neg­lected: the solid learning of Greece and Rome is a trifling acquisition; and much more so, every polite accomplishment: in short, if you will not get all Euclid and his diagrams by heart, and pore over Saunderson 'till you are as blind as he was himself, they will say of you, as in the motto to one of your late papers, actum est, ilicet, peristi. Not that I would depreciate this kind of learning; it is certainly a most noble science, and reflects the greatest honour on human wit and invention: all that I complain of, is the unreason­able stress that is laid upon it; nay even the more abstruse [Page 645] parts of it: which is still more absurd, as there are so very few heads able to perceive and retain the nice chain of reasoning and deduction, which must necessarily be made use of, and as a small number of mathematical geniusses would be sufficient for the service of his Majesty's dominions.

I TAKE it for granted, that your sagacity has by this time discovered, that you have been addressed by a young man, whose too-overweening conceit of himself has, perhaps, in­duced him to imagine, that the University has not suffi­ciently rewarded his deserts. If so, you are not deceived: but though this disappointment may at present set a little uneasy upon me, yet I think I can foresee, that it will be the most fortunate mortification that could possibly have befallen me. For, in the first place, it has sufficiently abated that upstart pride, which most young men are apt to take in their own abilities; than which nothing can be more insufferable to all their acquaintance, or a greater impediment to their own real improvement. A pert scholar, whenever he enters a room of company, immediately assumes a superiority in discourse, and thinks himself obliged to correct all impro­prieties in thought or expression. You must ‘"speak by the card,"’ as Hamlet says, or expect the censure of this super­ficial coxcomb. If, according to the common form of speech, you say that there is either heat in fire, or coldness in ice, he will inform you, that you deliver yourself very inaccurately, as Mr. Locke has fully demonstrated; he will tell you, you cannot prove, that two and two make four, or that you are alive yourself. These, and a thousand other equally impertinent observations, he is continually making, to the no small uneasiness and perplexity of the ladies, and honest country gentlemen.

[Page 646]WHAT is still a greater misfortune, is that a man of this cast is never likely to know any better: for having raked together a few metaphysical distinctions and scholastic re­finements, he thinks, he has laid up a sufficient fund of knowledge for his whole life: he despises all common sense (which is the best sense) through an ambition of appearing particular; and as for the advice or opinion of others, those he thinks himself indispensably bound to disregard; inas­much as such submission implies some inferiority, which he would by no means be thought to labour under. Such a disposition as this, I take to be the sure and infallible token of confirmed ignorance: a melancholy instance of the de­pravity of human nature, that the less we know, the more we presume; and the fewer advances we have made to­wards true knowledge, the less occasion we think we have of any further improvement.

IN the second place, if I may be allowed to judge of what I cannot possibly have experienced, I take it to be the greatest benefit to a young person to meet with early disap­pointments in life: for sooner or later every one must have his share of them; and the sooner we meet with some of them, the better: for by this means the mind is easily made familiar with crosses and vexations, and is not thrown off its balance by every thwarting and wayward accident. By this means, we submit to ills and troubles, as the necessary attendants on mankind; just as on a rainy day we make ourselves quiet and contented, but hope for sunshine on the morrow. And, indeed, there seems to be a strong analogy between the inclemency of the weather attacking our bo­dies, and the storms of afflictions which batter our minds. [Page 647] The rain will beat, and the wind will roar, let us use our utmost endeavours to the contrary; but by enuring our per­sons to the vicissitudes of the seasons, and using other pro­per methods, we shall feel no very sensible inconvenience from them: In like manner all our skill and art cannot prevent or elude the rubs and disasters to which we are lia­ble; but if by degrees, and early in life, we are hardened and accustomed to them, and if by the help of reason and sound philosophy we arm and fortify ourselves against them, they may still perhaps reach us; but their shocks will be quite weak and languid, and we may say of Fortune, as Virgil says of Priam when he hurled a javelin at Pyrrhus,

—Telum imbelle sine ictu
Conjecit—

THUS you see, Mr. TOWN, that out of a seeming evil, I have discovered a real good: and I am certain, if this me­thod of reasoning could be made universal, we should find much fewer murmurers against the present distribution and order of things.

I am Sir, Your's &c. B. A.
Mr. TOWN,

I Am so great an admirer of the fair sex, that I never let a tittle of their vendible writings escape me. I bought this year the Lady's Diary, merely because it was adver­tised as the Woman's Almanack, which I construed, the Al­manack composed by a Woman: but I find I have been mistaken in my supposition. It is not the work of a female. The Christian name of the author, I have reason to believe, is Marmaduke; unless I misunderstand a most curious copy of verses, describing a most superb entertainment, of fish, flesh, pies, and tarts, exhibited upon New Year's Day 1755. His Sirname remains as great an Aenigma as any in his book. His coadjutors, contributers, or assistants are Messieurs Walter Trott, Timothy Nabb, Patrick Ocavannah, John Honey, [Page 648] Henry Season, and others. I honour these gentlemen, and their works; but I own my chief delight is in reading over the Riddles, and Unriddles, the Questions, and the Answers of Miss Sally West, Caelia, Miss Nancy Evelyn, Miss E. S. Miss Atkinson, Enira, and other choice little feminine spirits of the age. Riddles are so becoming, and appear so pretty, when dandled about by ladies, that they may be compared to soft, smooth, painted waxen babbies, dressed up in a pro­per manner for Misses to play with, from eighteen to four­score. But above all I must take this opportunity of congra­tulating dear Miss Fanny Harris, who, I find, ‘"has given an elegant Solution to a Prize Problem by a Fluxionary Cal­culus founded on the Properties of Tangents,"’ and by that means has run away with no less than twelve Diaries for this important year 1756. As this young lady is justly called the ‘"honour of her sex,"’ and deals entirely in the Properties of Tangents, I fear she will never descend so low as Riddleme Riddlemeree, and therefore I must humbly offer, by the vehi­cle of your paper, Mr. TOWN, a small Riddle, invented with much pains and thought by myself, to the solution of those three ingenious Spinsters, Miss Polly Walker, Miss Grace Tetlow, and Miss Ann Rickaby, to appear in the Lady's Diary of 1757, and to receive upon appearance, as a pre­mium, one complete set of the CONNOISSEURS in Pocket Volumes, to be the property of one or more of these three ladies, who shall explain my Aenigma:

Fire and Water mixt together,
Add to this some Salt and Tin;
Tell me, Ladies, tell me whether
In this Mixture there is Sin.

THE Solution itself, if not truly explained by the Three Graces to whom I now address it, shall appear, by your per­mission, in the first Thursday's CONNOISSEUR after next New Year's Day.

I am, Sir, your humble Servant, MICHAEL KRAWBIDGE.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CVIII. THURSDAY, February 19, 1756.

—Veniet manus, auxilio quae
Sit mihi.—
HOR.

MY correspondents, whose letters are not of sufficient length to make up a whole Paper, must be contented to wait 'till I can find convenient room to introduce them. I shall for the present fling together the two fol­lowing, from a number now lying before me, though their subjects have no connection with each other.

Mr. TOWN!

YOU must know, Sir, in my younger days I was very susceptible of the passion of love: my heart was al­ways fluttering, jumping, and skipping, when a female object was in view: and being a pretty good master of that [Page 650] kind of romantic nonsense, with which the fair are too often captivated; being fond of dancing, frisking, capering, and fidgeting to all public places; I gained the affections of many, but could settle to none: and my heart constantly returned to its owner with the wound healed.

IN this manner I lived till I grew past forty; and think­ing such kind of life not so agreeable, but rather fatiguing, I came to a resolution to marry, and settle quietly in the world the remainder of my days. You may guess from my general acquaintance, I could not be a great while before I had an opportunity offered of meeting something suitable to my inclinations: accordingly I fixed my mind on a widow lady about ten years younger than myself; to whom I made known my intentions as soon as I could. I was received in such a manner as all happy lovers would wish to be: and at last got her promise for the completion: but when I pres­sed the day, was told it could not be so soon as I desired; for to surrender on so short a courtship, the world might impute as an indecorum in her character.

I MUST tell you, I soon found (like Malvolio in the play) that she had a great passion for white silk stockings; and you may be sure I always dressed my legs in that colour: but as ill luck would have it, some little time since, having stayed with her pretty late, and not being able to get either coach or chair, I was forced to trudge home in the rain, my cursed white stockings were wet from top to bottom; the next morning the rheumatism took possession of one of my knees, which not only caused an hobble in my gait, but obliged me to cloath my legs with thick ribb'd worsted for the sake of warmth.

[Page 651]THUS hobbling and cloathed, I went to visit my charmer, who as I entered the room was sitting in her chair more grave than usual; which I imputed to her attention to do­mestic affairs, and sat down by her. I took hold of her hand, and was going to intrude on her lips for a kiss—But would you think it, Mr. TOWN! instead of suffering my sa­lute, she reclined her head on the chair; drew her hand from mine; held it up as a bar between us; arose; and told me I must take no such liberties in future. I expostulated; and was for attempting again, imagining it was only a whim, (for you well know they all have their whims) but to my great misfortune found it was real. She resumed her place; and in a grave manner told me, I must think no more of what had passed between us; that she should al­ways have a regard for me, but was determined not to marry; and therefore expected I should from that time for­bear all further pretension. I earnestly (as you can make no doubt) pressed for reasons, but could get none except broken hints; such as—I would not have you marry—It may hurt your constitution, which seems to be very delicate—I cannot turn Nurse—We shall not answer each others expectations—and without any further or other ceremony, she quitted the room with all the haughty airs of a fine lady, who knows she has the man totally in her power.

OH Mr. TOWN! imagine what a confused situation I was in: I was thunder-struck: I was over-whelmed with horror and astonishment: I stood like the Soldier when he beheld the shocking condition of his General Bellisarius. After being a long time in that condition, I a little recovered my senses; and with much difficulty prevailed on her maid, to [Page 652] follow her to her retreat; and to beg the favour only to speak to her. That was denied me; I was told her determination was fixed; she expected I would obey it; and that she should be absent when I came again.

I AM at present uncertain what to do: I shall therefore be obliged to you, if you will advise me, (as I can prove a promise of marriage) whether I shall put the affair into the hands of my attorney: or whether I shall stay till the warm weather comes (which I imagine will carry off my rheu­matism) and attack her again: or whether I shall pocket the disappointment, and think no more of matrimony. Give me some consolation if you can: but if you have none, I desire, for the good of young batchelors like myself, you would ad­vise them all between forty and fifty not to wear white stock­ings in winter.

I am, Sir, your constant reader, &c. TIMOTHY DOUBT.
Mr. TOWN!

AS there are some vices, which the vulgar have pre­sumed to copy from the great, so there are others, which the great have condescended to borrow from the vul­gar. Among these I cannot but set down the black-guard practice (for so I must call it) of Cursing and Swearing: a practice, which (to say nothing at present of its profaneness) is low and indelicate, and places a man of quality on the same level with the chairman at his door. For my own part I cannot see the difference between a By Gad or a Dem-me minced and softened by a gentle pronunciation from well-bred lips, and the same expression bluntly bolted out from the broad mouth of a carman or an oyster-wench.

[Page 653]YOUR predecessor the SPECTATOR has given us an account of a select party of Swearers, who were extremely surprised at their own common talk, which was taken down in short­hand, and afterwards repeated to them. In like manner, if we were to draw out a catalogue of fashionable Oaths and Curses in present use at Arthur's or any other polite assembly, would not the company themselves be led to imagine, that the conversation had been carried on between the lowest of the mob? Would they not blush to find, that they had gleaned their choicest phrases from streets and allies, and en­riched their discourse by the elegant dialect of Wapping or Broad Saint Giles's?

I SHALL purposely wave making any reflections on the im­piety of this practice, as I am satisfied they would have but little weight either with the beau-monde or the canaille. The Swearer of either station devotes himself piece-meal (as it were) to destruction; pours out anathemas against his eyes, his heart, his soul, and every part of his body; and extends the same good wishes to the limbs and joints of his friends and acquaintance. This they both do with the same fearless unconcern; but with this difference only, that the Gentle­man-Swearer damns himself and others with the greatest ci­vility and good-breeding imaginable.

I KNOW it will be pleaded in excuse for this practice, that Oaths and Curses are intended only as mere expletives, to fill up and give a grace to conversation: but as there are still some old-fashioned creatures, who adhere to their common acceptation, it would be proper to substitute some other un­meaning terms in their room, and at the same time remote from the vulgar Cursing and Swearing. A worthy clergy­man [Page 654] (whose name I cannot recollect) being chaplain of a regiment, is said to have reclaimed the officers, who were much addicted to the vulgar idiom of swearing, by taking occasion to tell them a story, in which he introduced the words bottle and glass, instead of the usual expletives of God, Devil, and damn, which he did not think quite so becoming for one of his cloth to make free with. The same method might, I imagine, be followed by our people of fashion, whenever they are obliged to have recourse to the like substi­tutes for thought. Bottle and glass might be used with great energy in the table-talk at the King's Arms or Saint Alban's ta­verns: the gamester might be indulged in swearing by the Knave of Clubs, or the Curse of Scotland; or he might with some propriety retain the old execration of the Deuce take it: the beau should be allowed to ‘"swear by his gracious self, which is the god of his idolatry;"’ and the common ex­pletives of conversation should consist only of upon my word, or upon my honour; which, whatever sense they might for­merly bear, are at present understood only as words of course without meaning.

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CIX. THURSDAY, February 26, 1756.

Prudens futuri temporis exitum
Caliginosâ nocte premit Deus,
Ridetque, si mortalis ultra
Fas trepidat.
HOR.

IT is not easy for the mind of man to recover itself from any extraordinary panic which has once seized it: for this reason we can­not be surprised, that many well-meaning people, who have not yet shook off the ap­prehensions occasioned by the late dreadful earthquakes, should be led to conjure up new terrors, and alarm them­selves with imaginary dangers. Their fears interpret every common incident, and even the change of weather, as signs of approaching destruction: if the day be calm and serene, such (they say) is the usual fore-runner of a shock; or if the [Page 656] night prove tempestuous, they can hardly persuade them­selves that it is only the wind which rocks their houses. With this propensity to entertain any unreasonable dread about future events, it is no wonder, that weak minds should be further worked upon by little dablers in philoso­phy; who having gleaned a few barren scraps from the Magazines, presume even to foretell the dissolution of the world by the Comet which will appear in 1758. Swift, in his Voyage to Laputa, has a passage so very apposite to these idle pretenders to science, that I shall beg leave to transcribe it.

THESE people (says he) are under continual disqui­etudes, never enjoying a minute's peace of mind; and their disturbances proceed from causes, which very little affect the rest of mortals. Their apprehensions arise from several changes they dread in the celestial bodies. For instance, that the earth by the continual approaches of the sun towards it must in course of time be absorbed, or swallowed up. That the face of the sun will by degrees be encrusted with its own effluvia, and give no more light to the world. That the earth very narrowly escaped a brush from the last comet, which would have infallibly reduced it to ashes; and that the next, which they have calculated for one and thirty years hence, will probably de­stroy us. For, if in its perihelion it should approach with­in a certain degree of the sun (as by their calculations they have reasons to dread) it will receive a degree of heat ten thousand times more intense, than that of red hot glowing iron; and, in its absence from the sun carry a blazing tail ten hundred thousand and fourteen miles long; through which if the earth should pass at the distance of one hun­dred thousand miles from the nucleus, or main body of [Page 657] the comet, it must in its passage be set on fire, and re­duced to ashes. That the sun, daily spending its rays without any nutriment to supply them, will at last be wholly consumed and annihilated; which must be attend­ed with the destruction of this earth and of all the planets that receive their light from it.

THEY are so perpetually alarmed with the apprehensions of these, and the like impending dangers, that they can neither sleep quietly in their beds, nor have any relish for the common pleasures or amusements of life. When they meet an acquaintance in the morning, the first question is about the sun's health, how he looked at his setting and rising, and what hopes they have to avoid the stroke of an approaching comet. This conversation they are apt to run into with the same temper, that boys discover to hear terrible stories of spirits and hobgoblins, which they greedily listen to, and dare not go to bed for fear.

LET us therefore banish from our thoughts all such vain notions, and let us fortify our minds with a true sense of religion, which will teach us to rely on the protection of that providence, which has hitherto preserved us. It is with great pleasure, that I remarked the unanimous concur­rence of all ranks of people, in observing the late solemn Fast, as a necessary act of humiliation, to avert the wrath and vengeance of heaven, and to call down its mercies upon us: nor do I doubt, but the approaching Season will awaken in us the same serious attention to our duty; that we may not seem to have barely complied with a stated form, or to have been affected with the short-lived piety of a single day.

[Page 658]IT is true, indeed, that no persons do more prejudice to the cause of religion, than they who cloud its genuine chearfulness with the gloom of superstition, and are apt to consider every common accident that befalls us, as a judg­ment. They cloath religion in the most terrifying habit, and (as it were, dress it up in all the horrors of the Inquisition. These people are much to be pitied; and it is to be wished, that their mistaken piety could be better regulated. But there is another set of men of a different turn, more nume­rous and much more dangerous to the community, who treat every act of religion as a jest, and hold its most sacred ordinances in contempt. Set forms and ceremonies, though they have no essential virtue in themselves, are yet indispen­sably requisite to keep alive in us a quick sense of our duty. It must be allowed, indeed, that if a man could constantly employ his mind in holy meditations, exercise the virtues, and believe the mysteries of our religion, he would be a true Christian, though he never complied with any outward forms, or so much as repeated a single prayer. But it is manifest from experience, that those who neglect the ordi­nances, neglect also the duties of a Christian; and the least reflection on the human mind will convince us, that some external rites are necessary to settle the wandering ideas, and to fix the attention on its proper object. The fervent re­petition of a prayer is apt to inspire us with love and gra­titude towards the DEITY, and kindles the sparks of devo­tion within us: and it is easy to conceive, that if the cele­bration of public worship was neglected among us only for one year, it would be a more fatal blow to religion than all the weak attacks of infidels and free-thinkers. No argu­ments, therefore, could be more ill-grounded than the ob­jections [Page 659] of those people, who considered the appointment of the late solemn fast as useless and unnecessary.

BUT though forms may be said to compose the body, a good life is the soul of religion, without which the rest is but a dead mass. The most rigid compliance with every ordinance of the Church, if it has no influence on our con­duct, is rather a solemn mockery than an attonement for our offences: as they, who receive the bread and wine without a firm resolution to lead a new life, are said to eat and drink their own damnation: Wherefore, a strict observance of this or that particular day is not a sufficient discharge of our duty, except it serve to rouze us from the lethargy of sin, to awaken in us a desire of becoming worthy the protection of the ALMIGHTY, by animating our faith, amending our lives, and working in us a repentance of our transgressions. Thus the Lord's Day is not merely set apart for devotion, with an unlimited licence to wickedness all the rest of the week; but our being particularly exercised in acts of piety for one day, is calculated to strengthen our virtue, and to give a tincture of religion to our whole conduct through the other six.

THESE considerations I have thought fit to lay before the reader, as preparatory to another solemn Fast ordained by the Church: and if the observance of this should be neg­lected or slightly passed over, may we not conclude, that our sense of religion is only in proportion to our sense of danger? As for those, who require constantly to be fright­ened into their duty, I will for once venture to commence prophet: and let them be assured that my predictions will in­fallibly come to pass. There is a danger, more certain than an [Page 660] Earthquake or a Comet, which will inevitably overwhelm us; from which we cannot possibly guard ourselves, and which perhaps is even now at our doors. This danger I cannot better set forth, than in the alarming words of a ce­lebrated French preacher. ‘"I know a man (and I will point him out presently) who is now in this church; a man, in perfect health; a man, in the flower of his age: And yet this man, perhaps before next Sunday, perhaps by to-morrow, will be in his grave. This man, my dear brethren, is Myself who speak to you, it is You who hear me."’

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CX. THURSDAY, March 4, 1756.

Hoc opus, hoc studium parvi properemus et ampli,
Si volumus patriae, si nobis vivere chart.
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

EVERY Englishman, who has the good of his country at heart, must lament the per­plexity which our ministers labour under, in contriving ways and means to raise money for the present exigence of affairs. I have with pleasure hearkened to the several projects proposed in the debates of patriots in our coffee-houses and private clubs: but though I find they are unanimous in allowing the neces­sity of levying new taxes, every one is willing to shift off the burthen from himself.

[Page 662]I WAS introduced the other night into a set of worthy citi­zens, who very zealously took this subject into consideration over their evening pipe. One of them a grave gentleman, pulling the Evening Post out of his pocket, and putting on his spectacles, read aloud to us the several methods already proposed; to which many wise objections were immediately started by the company. ‘"What's that? says an old don, (who I afterwards found had a small estate in houses) An additional duty upon bricks, and pan-tiles, and plain-tiles, I suppose they will lay a tax upon plain-tile-pegs by and bye?"’ This speech was received with an hearty chuckle of applause from the rest of the company; when another took occasion to observe, ‘"that he very much approved the scheme for laying a larger tax upon cards and dice; one of which he called the devil's books, and the other his bones."’ The duty upon plate might perhaps have passed into a law in this assembly, if it had not been vehe­mently opposed by one member, (whom I discovered to be a silver-smith,) in which he was seconded by the landlord of the house, who had a seat in this meeting, and told us, ‘"that it would lye very hard upon publicans, as nobody would now drink their porter out of a pewter-pot."’ These and the like arguments induced us to set aside all the pro­jects, that had been offered hitherto and to consult together in order to find new ones in their room; among which I could not but smile at the proposal of an honest peruke-ma­ker, who advised the levying of a poll-tax upon all that wore their own hair, ‘"For, says he, we have never had good times, since wigs were out of fashion. What rare days were those in Queen Anne's reign, when the nobility and gentry wore large flaxen flows of thirty guineas price! And [Page 663] as you may see in my lord Godolphin's monument in West­minster Abby, a prime minister's wig, could not be made, I am sure, under fifty guineas."’

THE discourse that passed at this society of politicians has led me to turn my thoughts on devising some method, that might answer the present demands for a supply, with the least injury to the community. On this account I am of Opinion that private vices (according to the favourite tenet of Maun­derville) may in some measure be converted into public benefits, by laying a certain tax or duty on the fashionable amusements of the gay and polite world. For this purpose I have with great pains and labour contrived a plan, a few heads of which, without further preface, I shall (with your leave) submit to the consideration of those whom it may concern.

FIRST then, I would propose, that no persons of quality, or others, should be allowed to keep any route, drum, as­sembly, visiting-day, (or whatever other name it may here­after be called by,) at which more than one hundred persons shall be found assembled, without paying a certain rate for every such route, drum, &c. The number of these meet­ings, which are held in this town, (including the city of London and the suburbs thereof) I have computed, upon an exact calculation, to amount annually to eight thousand three hundred and upwards; so that if a duty, at only six-pence per head, were to be levied upon the company, it would bring in a prodigious income to the government; deducting for the decrease consequent of this tax, as also for those which we may expect will be smuggled or carried on clandes­tinely. And as gaming is an essential diversion at all these meetings, I would further advise, that every card-table be [Page 664] marked and numbered, in the same manner as waggons and coaches, and a proportionable rate fixed on them according to the degree and quality of the owners. Be it enacted moreover, that extraordinary licences shall be taken out for playing at cards on the Sabbath-day; but that these be granted only to persons of the highest rank and fashion.

AT the present juncture of affairs every one will agree with me, that if an absolute prohibition be impracticable, an heavy duty should be laid on the importation of French fashions and fopperies into this kingdom. It is therefore but reasonable, that all French cooks, valets de chambre, mil­liners, mantua-makers, hair-cutters, &c. should be at least doubly taxed, as it is notorious that they exact from the dupes, who employ them, more than double the wages or price for their labours, that our own modest countrymen would re­quire. This tax I make no doubt, would produce no incon­siderable sum for the public use: and as our ladies, though I would not suspect that they have French hearts, are ambi­tious of wearing French complexions, a further sum might also be raised by fixing an high duty upon rouge and carmine.

I SHALL not dwell on other particulars, which might be turned in the same manner to the public good; such as a tax on kept mistresses, for example, which practice is now become so generally fashionable, that I question not but a duty properly levied on them would be sufficient to maintain all the widows of our soldiers and sailors, who shall happen to be killed in the service. But as it is incumbent on every Englishman to expose his life in defence of his country against the common enemy, I must particularly re­commend, that some means may be devised, that the gallant [Page 665] feats of those men of honour, who rather chuse to risk their lives in the modish way of duelling, may be attended with some advantage to their countrymen. I would therefore ad­vise, that swords and pistols of a settled length and bore, with the Tower-stamp, be provided by the government for the use of Duellists, and that they shall not presume to make use of any other, under pain of incurring the guilt of murder. These weapons may be let out at a certain price; and if one of the parties happen to kill the other, the sur­vivor shall be subject to a fine according to his rank and station, and a jury shall be directed to bring in the ver­dict, Self-Defence. In like manner, persons of quality may have leave granted them to put an end to their own lives, after an ill luck at cards, or the like emergent occa­sions; when, upon paying a certain rate, they may be in­dulged in a private execution from the hands of Jack Ketch, and the Coroner's inquest shall be directed to bring in their verdict, Lunacy.

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant, &c.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

AS you are a CONNOISSEUR, I shall make no apology for desiring you to give the following Advertisement (which has already appeared in the Daily Advertiser) a place in some corner of your paper. By doing this you will greatly oblige the Virtuosos in Flowers, as well as

Your humble Servant, &c.

To be Sold by SUBSCRIPTION,

At Half a Guinea each Plant,
AN Auricula raised by Mr. William Redmond, at Islington, named the TRIUMPH; having fine Grass, a strong Stem, a certain Blower, a large Trusser, the Fingers a just Length, a good Pip for Size and Shape, the Eye extremely white, the Thrum full, the Margin a beautiful Purple Black, finely variegated with Silver and Green, continues long in Bloom, and dies in Co­lour. No Plant to be sold for less than one Guinea after the Subscription is closed, until the Bloom is over.

This Day is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXI. THURSDAY, March 11, 1756.

Tandem define matrem.
HOR.

THE generality of the young unmarried ladies of the present age dislike no company so much as the elderly persons of their own sex, whether married or unmarried. Go­ing with an old maiden aunt, a mamma, or grand-mamma to the play, or to Ranelagh, is so insipid an amusement, that it robs their entertainment of the very name of a party of pleasure. To be handed into a box, walk in the public gardens, or make one at a card-table at a route, with a sprightly young nobleman, or gallant colonel of the guards, has some life in it; but to be kept perpetually under the wing of an old lady, can have no charms for a woman of spirit. The presence of these antiquated females imposes a constraint on their behaviour: they are, indeed, like the [Page 668] Duennas in Spain, spies on the conduct of the gay and young; and a good old gentlewoman with a young beauty by her side watches her every motion, and is as much frighted, if the pretty creature makes any advances to a man, as a hen, who has been foster-mother to a brood of duck­lings, is alarmed at their taking to the water.

BUT though a loose coquet behaviour is so much in vogue, a modest deportment is most natural and becoming in the fair sex; and I am always glad to see a young lady of sufficient sense and discretion, to behave with an innocent chearfulness, instead of apparent uneasiness and constraint, before her more aged female friends and relations. But though a daughter should prefer no company to her mother, a son would appear as ridiculous, if he always dangled at the side of his mamma, as if he wore his sister's petticoats: and however amiable this maidenly demeanor might seem in a young girl, I cannot view it with equal approbation in the character of a Male-Virgin;—a character, with which I shall here present the reader, as drawn by one of my cor­respondents.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

YOU have already given us several instances of those am­biguous creatures among the men, who are both male and female: permit me to add to them an account of those lady-like gentlemen, whom we may distinguish by the title of their mother's own sons; who have in vain changed the bib and leading-strings for the breeches, and stick as close to their mammas, as a great calf to the side of an old cow. I am intimately acquainted with one of these over-grown ba­bies; [Page 669] who is indeed too big to be dandled in lap, or fed with a pap-spoon, though he is no more weaned from his mother, than if he had not yet quitted the nursery.

THE delicate BILLY SUCKLING is the contempt of the men, the jest of the women, and the darling of his mamma. She doats on him to distraction; and is in perpetual admi­ration of his wit, and anxiety for his health. The good young gentleman, for his part, is neither undutiful nor un­grateful: she is the only woman, that he does not look on with indifference; and she is his tutoress, his physician, and his nurse. She provides his broth every evening, will not suffer him to look into a book by candle-light, lest he should hurt his eyes; and takes care to have his bed warmed: nay, I have known him sit with his mamma's white hand­kerchief round his neck through a whole visit, to guard him from the wind of that ugly door, or that terrible chink in the wainscot.

BUT however familiarly he may behave in his addresses to his mother, and whatever little acts of gallantry may pass between them, no encouragement can prevail on him to treat other women with the same freedom. Being once de­sired at a ball to dance a minuet, instead of taking out any of the young ladies, he could pitch upon no partner so agree­able, to whom he might offer the compliment of his hand, as his mother; and I remember, when he was once called upon in a large company at a tavern to give a lady in his turn, he plainly shewed who was the sole mistress of his affections, by toasting his mother. The gallant custom of challenging a lady to drink a bumper, by leaving it to her option whether she will have hob or nob, frequently gives a [Page 670] delicious flavour to the liquor, especially when, as I have known it happen, joining the lips of the glasses has made the prelude to a meeting between the lips of the parties: but he could not be prevailed on to accept a glass of claret from the fairest hand, though a kiss were sure to follow it. I have known him so very nice, as to refuse a glass of sack filled with walnuts, which had been peeled by the snowy fingers of a beautiful young lady; though I have seen him smack his lips after a glass of raisin wine, in which his prudent mother had been dabbling with her snuffy finger, in order to fish out the small particles of cork, which might possibly have choaked him. If a lady drops her fan, he sits without any emotion, and suffers her to stoop for it herself; or if she strikes her tea-cup against the saucer to give notice that it is empty, he pays no regard to the signal, but sees her walk up to the tea-table, without stirring from his chair. He would rather leave the most celebrated beauty, in crossing the street, to the mercy of a drayman, than trust her with his little finger: though at the same time should his mother be so distressed, he would not scruple to bear as much of her weight as he could stand under, and to redeem her silk stockings from jeopardy would even expose his own.

ONE would imagine, that this extreme coyness and re­serve, in which he so remarkably differs from the generality of his own sex, would in another respect as effectually distin­guish him from the generality of women: I mean, that being less polite in his address than a footman, we should hardly ex­pect to find him more loquacious than a chambermaid. But this is really the case. Suffer him to take the lead in conver­sation, and there are certain topicks, in which the most [Page 671] prating gossip at a christening would find it difficult to cope with him. The strength of his constitution is his favourite theme: he is constantly attempting to prove, that he is not susceptible of the least injury from cold; though a hoarse­ness in his voice, and the continual interruptions of a con­sumptive cough, give him the lye in his throat at the end of every sentence. The instances, indeed, by which he endeavours to prove his hardiness, unluckily rather tend to convince us of the delicacy of his frame, as they seldom amount to more, than his having kicked off the bed-choaths in his sleep, laid aside one of his flannel waistcoats in a hot day, or tried on a new pair of pumps before they had been sufficiently aired. For the truth of these facts he always appeals to his mamma, who vouches for him with a sigh, and protests that his carelessness would ruin the constitution of a horse.

I AM now coming to the most extraordinary part of his character. This pusillanimous creature thinks himself, and would be thought, a Buck. The noble fraternity of that order find, that their reputation can be no otherwise main­tained, than by prevailing on an Irish chairman now and then to favour them with a broken head, or by conferring the same token of their esteem on the unarmed and defence­less waiters at a tavern. But these exploits are by no means suited to the disposition of our hero: and yet he always looks upon his harmless exploits as the bold frolicks of a Buck. If he escapes a nervous fever a month, he is quite a Buck: if he walks home after it is dark, without his mamma's maid to attend him, he is quite a Buck: if he sits up an hour later than his usual time, or drinks a glass or two of wine without water, he calls it a debauch; and because his [Page 672] head does not ache the next morning, he is quite a Buck. In short, a woman of the least spirit within the precincts of St. James's would demolish him in a week, should be pretend to keep pace with her in her irregularities: and yet he is ever dignifying himself with the appellation of a Buck.

NOW might it not be giving this gentleman a useful hint, Mr. TOWN, to assure him, that while milk and water is his darling liquor, a Bamboo cane his Club, and his mother the sole object of his affections, the world will never join in denominating him a Buck: That if he fails in this attempt, he is absolutely excluded from every order in society; for whatever his deserts may be, no assembly of antiquated virgins can ever acknowledge him for a sister, nature having as deplorably disqualified him for that rank in the commu­nity, as he has disqualified himself for every other: And that, though he never can arrive at the dignity of leading apes in hell, he may possibly be condemn'd to dangle in that capacity, at the apron-string of an old maid in the next world, for having so abominably resembled one in this.

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXII. THURSDAY, March 18, 1756.

Aureus axis erat, temo aureus, aurea summae
Curvatura rotae, radiorum argenteus ordo:
Per juga chrysolithi, positaeque ex ordine gemmae.
OVID.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

IT has for a long time been observable that the ladies heads have run much upon wheels, but of late there has appeared a strange kind of inversion, for the wheels now run upon the ladies heads. As this assertion may probably puzzle many readers, who pay no attention to the rapid and whimsical revolutions of modern taste, it will be necessary to inform them that instead of a cap, the present mode is for every female of fashion to load her head [Page 674] with some kind of carriage; whether they are made with broad wheels or not I cannot determine, however, as they are undoubtedly excluded the Turnpike Act, it is by no means material. Those heads which are not able to bear a coach and six (for vehicles of this sort are very apt to crack the brain) so far act consistently with prudence as to make use of a post chariot, or a single horse chaise with a beau perching in the middle.

THE curiosity I had of knowing the purport of this inven­tion, and the general name of these machines led me to make enquiry about them of a fashionable milliner at the court end of the town. She obliged me with the sight of one of these equipages, designed for the head of a lady of quality, which I surveyed with much admiration; and pla­cing it on the palm of my hand, could not help fancying myself like Gulliver taking up the Empress of Lilliput in her state-coach. The vehicle itself was constructed of gold threads, and was drawn by six dapple greys of blown glass, with a coachman, postilion, and gentleman within, of the same brittle manufacture. Upon further enquiry, the milli­ner told me with a smile, that it was difficult to give a reason for inventions so full of whim, but that the name of this ornament (if it may be called such) was a Capriole or Ca­briole; which we may trace from the same original with our English word Caprice, both being derived from the French word cabrer, which signifies to prance like an horse.

IT is not to be doubted, but that this fashion took its rise among the ladies from their fondness for equipage; and I dare say, that every fair one, who carries a coach and six upon her head, would be glad to be carried with equal splen­dor [Page 675] in a coach of her own. I would, therefore propose a scheme, which might render this whimsical mode of some kind of service to both sexes; by which the ladies may give a tacit hint of their inclinations without the least breach of modesty, the men may prevent the danger and inconvenience attending the present method of advertising for wives, and the whole course of a modern courtship may be carried on by means of this new head-dress.

INSTEAD of a Capriole suppose this capital decoration was called a Scutcheon of Pretence, which must not here be un­derstood as a Term of Heraldry, but as an invitation to ma­trimony. Thus if a lady presumes that she has a right either from her wit, beauty, merit, or fortune, to pretend to a set of horses, let six bright bays, blacks, or greys prance down one side of her head, and according to the rank she insists upon, let a ducal, or an earl's coronet, or a bloody hand be distinguished upon her Capriole. The females of less ambition may likewise express their inclinations by a post­chariot and pair; and even those who, from a due consi­deration of the low condition of the funds, are so con­descending as to stoop to a plain cit, have nothing to do but to fix upon their heads a single horse chaise, filled with a loving couple, sticking as close together as two dried figs. As to those who have rashly vowed virginity, if their great proneness to censure the rest of their sex, and the fretfulness of their aspect, be not sufficient indications to keep the men at a distance, they may erect upon their noddles a formal female seated in a Sulky, foolishly pleased with having the whole vehicle to herself, and awkwardly exercising the imaginary power of having the sole command of the reins.

[Page 676]AS a farther means of facilitating this new method of courtship, I must beg leave to propose, that every lady's bosom should, instead of a pendent cross, which savours of popery, be ornamented with a chain and locket, something like those bottle-tickets which direct us to port, claret, or burgundy, upon which might be curiously engraved the numbers two hundred, five hundred, or a thousand, accord­ing to the settlement expected. But to those female Quixotes who scorn the Capriole, and erect Windmills upon their heads instead of it, I shall offer a word of advice worthy their atten­tion; which is, that they would provide a pipe of commu­nication, to be conveyed from these machines to the brain, and constituted upon the model of the ingenious Dr. Hale's ventilators, that, whenever the sails of the Windmill are put into motion by the external air, they may draw off all pernicious vapours which may occasion a vertigo in the inside, as well as on the outside of their heads.

I am, Sir, your humble servant, H.

I AM much pleased with the proposal of my ingenious correspondent, and think it particularly well adapted to the present disposition of the ladies. A fondness for showy equipages is now become one of their darling passions; and the splendor in which they are to be maintained seems to be one of the chief considerations in modern matches. If a fine lady can be carried to court in a chair richly ornamented, or roll to the opera in a gilt chariot, she little considers with how disagreeable a companion she goes through the journey of life: and a polite female would no more fix her affections on a man, who drives but a beggarly pair, than she could be content to be tumbled down to his country seat, like Punch's wife to Rumford, in a wheel-borrow.

[Page 677]BUT as the ladies have strongly manifested this passion for equipage, the gentlemen, I suppose out of mere gal­lantry, and in order to further the gratification of their de­sires, have taken great pains to convert themselves into coachmen, grooms, and jockies. The flapped hat, the jemmy frock with plate buttons and a leathern belt, and the pride which some young men of quality take in driving, are all calculated the better to qualify them for being the ladies humble servants. I am therefore for extending my corre­spondent's scheme: and as the ladies now adorn their heads with the sign of a coach and six, like the door of a Meuse alehouse, I would have the gentlemen also bear these emble­matical vehicles; by which the other sex may, by a single glance at a lover's head, see in what state they will be sup­ported; as we know a clergyman by his rose, or an officer by his cockade.

THE pretty fellows, who study dress, might shew a great deal of invention in suiting their Caprioles to their circum­stances. Any nobleman or gentleman, who has the honour to be a Knowing one, might shew his affection for the turf by carrying the horse and jockey; another, who is an excellent driver, might bear his own figure exalted in a Phaeton; and a third, who thinks of picking up a partner for life, that can be pleased with a tête-a-tête or sober picpuet party with her husband, may bear a vis-à-vis. In a word, all the different proposals of various suitors might be made by means of these ornaments, which might be worn over the foreheads of the beaux, like the white horse in the grenadiers caps; and the ladies might be as much smitten with a promising Capriole on the head of a lover, as heretofore with an elegant perriwig.

[Page 678]IF this mode should prevail, the concluding a treaty of marriage between two persons of quality might be considered in the same light, and expressed in the same terms as making a match at New-market; and instead of the hackneyed phrases at present used by our news-writers, we might perhaps see the important articles in the public papers, concerning mar­riages drawn up after the following manner.

We hear that a match will be shortly made between the mourning coach and six of a merchant's widow with a great jointure, and an hunter, in fine order, belonging to a younger brother of a noble family.

A running horse, highly valued for his blood, is expected to start soon with a young filly from Yorkshire. Many thousand pounds are depending on this match.

A few days ago a young fellow from Ireland, mounted on a single horse, attacked an heiress in her coach and six. The lady made little or no resistance, and suffered herself to be taken out of the coach, and carried off behind him.

A gay coach and six, belonging to a young heir just of age, came to town last week in great splendor, and was in­tended to be matched with an equipage of the same kind: but having unfortunately run against Arthur's chocolate-house, it broke down, and the owner was very much hurt.

We hear from Bath, that the post-chaise of a young lady of great beauty lately made its appearance in the long room, and soon after went off with the landau of a neighbouring country squire.

We are also informed from the same place, that an old­fashioned two-wheel chaise with a single horse, contrived to hold only one person, had drove about the walks for some time; but having jostled against the Sulky of an old batchelor in his grand climacteric, it was judged expedient to join them together; when they formed a most agreeable vis-a-vis, for the mutual accommodation of both parties.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXIII. THURSDAY, March 25, 1756.

O sanctas gentes, quibus haec nascuntur in hortis
Numina!—
JUV.

VIRTU is almost the only instance, in which the appearance of literary knowledge is affected in the present age; and our per­sons of rank acquire just enough scholarship to qualify themselves for Connoisseurs. These sort of students become sufficiently acquainted with the cus­toms of the ancients, to learn the least interesting par­ticulars concerning them. They can distinguish a Tiberius from a Trajan, know the Pantheon from the Amphitheatre, and can explain the difference between the praetexta and the tunica: which (only supposing the present times to have elapsed some hundred years) is just as deep knowledge as if [Page 680] some future antiquarian should discover the difference between a Carolus and an Anna, or St. Paul's church and Drury-Lane playhouse, or a full-trimmed suit and a French frock.

BUT the full display of modern polite learning is exhi­bited in the decorations of parks, gardens, &c. and centered in that important monosyllable, Taste. Taste comprehends the whole circle of the polite arts, and sheds its influence on every lawn, avenue, grass-plat, and parterre. Taste has peopled the walks and gardens of the great with more nu­merous inhabitants than the ancient Satyrs, Fauns and Dry­ads. While infidelity has expunged the Christian Theology from our creed, Taste has introduced the heathen Mytho­logy into our gardens. If a pond is dug, Neptune, at the command of Taste, emerges from the bason, and presides in the middle; or if a vista is cut through a grove, it must be terminated by a Flora or an Apollo. As the ancients held that every spot of ground had its guardian Genius, and that woodland deities were pegged in the knotty entrails of every tree, so in the gardens laid out by modern Taste every walk is peopled with gods and goddesses, and every corner of it has its tutelar-deity. Temples are erected to all the train of gods and goddesses mentioned in Homer or Ovid, which edifices as well as their several statues are adorned with Latin or Greek inscriptions; while the learned owner won­ders at his own surprising stock of literature, which he sees drawn out at large before him, like the whole knowledge of an apothecary inscribed upon his gallipots.

THESE persons of Taste may be considered as a sort of learned idolaters, since they may be almost said to adore these graven images, and are quite enthusiastic in their veneration [Page 681] of them. The following letter may possibly give them some offence; but as I have myself no extravagant fondness for a Jupiter Tonans or a Belvidere Apollo, I heartily wish the scheme proposed by my correspondent may take place, though it should reduce the price of heathen godheads.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

AT a time when all wise heads are considering of ways and means to raise taxes, that may prove the least oppressive to indigence, and most effectually restrictive of luxury, permit me to propose (as a supplement to the thoughts of one of your correspondents on this subject) a national tax upon Gods.

IT is a strange but an undeniable truth, Mr. TOWN, that if you and I were to travel through England, and to visit the citizen in his country box, the nobleman at his seat, the esquire at the hall-house, and even the divine at his parsonage, we should find the gardens, avenues, and groves, belonging to each mansion, stuffed and ornamented with Heathen Gods.

IN the present declining state of our established religion, I almost tremble to consider what may be the consequences of these ready-made deities. Far be it from me to suppose that the great and the rich will worship any God what­soever, but still I am induced to fear that the poor and the vulgar, when they find all other worship ridiculed and laid aside, may foolishly take to these molten images, and adore every leaden godhead they can find. If a tax on wheels has put down some hundreds of coaches, by a parity of reason, a tax upon gods may pull down an equal, if not a greater [Page 682] number of statues. I would also offer another proposal; which is this: That an oak be immediately planted, where-ever a statue has been taken away, by which means those vast woods, which of late years have been cut down in England, to supply the immediate necessities of the illustrious Arthurites in St. James's-street, may be in some measure supplied to future generations.

AMONG our present taxes some of them fall upon branches of splendor not totally luxurious. Wheel carriages may be necessary: want of health or lameness of limbs may require them: but what necessities can we pretend for statues in our gardens, Penates in our libraries, and Lares on every chimney-piece? I have remarked many wild whims of this kind, that have appeared submissions, if not attachments, to idolatry. A gentleman of my acquaintance has destroyed his chapel, merely because he could not put up statues in it, and has filled his garden with every god, that can be found in Spence's Polymetis: Another of my friends, after having placed a Belvidere Apollo very conspicuously and na­ked upon the top of a mount, has erected an Obelisk to the Sun: and this expence he has not put himself to for the beauty of the Obelisk, for it is not beautiful, nor again for the splendor of the planet, which is of pewter double gilt, but only because being in possession of copies or originals of every deity that Greece or Italy could boast, he was resolved to have the God of Persia to compleat his collection. A poll-tax therefore upon gods and goddesses, be their repre­sentation what it will, Suns, Dogs, Moons, or Monkies, is absolutely necessary, and would infallibly bring in a large re­venue to the state.

[Page 683]HAPPENING to be the other day at Slaughter's coffee­house in St. Martin's Lane, I saw two very fine statues of Fame and Fortune, brought out of Mr. Roubilliac's gate, and exposed to view before they were nailed up, and carted. The boy of the house told us, they were to be placed upon the top of Sir Thomas —'s chapel in Hampshire. ‘"Is it for such as these, observed a sneering papist who stood near me, that crucifixes have been removed, and that re­verend saints and martyrs have been destroyed, and pounded into dust? Is it for these, that St. Peter has been broken to pieces, and St. Paul melted down into water pipes? Must Our Lady make room for Proserpine? And the holy giant St. Christopher fall a victim to the Farnesian Hercules? Will you not agree with me, Sir, continued he, that as men are induced and almost constrained to judge of others by their own manners and inclinations, we who are sup­posed to worship the images of christians, must naturally conclude that the protestants of the Church of England worship the images of heathens?"’ I confess I was at a loss how to answer the acuteness of his questions; and must own that I cannot help thinking St. Anthony preaching to the fishes, or St. Dunstan taking the Devil by the nose, as pro­per ornaments for a chapel, as any Pagan deities whatever.

HITHERTO I have kept you entirely among the molten images without doors, but were we to enter the several mansions whose avenues and demesnes are adorned in the manner I describe, we should find every chamber a pagod, filled with all the monstrous images that the idolatry of India can produce. I will not presume to infer that the ladies address Kitoos (prayers which the Japanese make use of in [Page 684] time of public distress) to their Ingens, but I am apt to sur­mise, that in times of danger and invasion, some of your fair readers would be more alarmed at the French approach to their china than to their chapels, and would sooner give up a favourite lap-dog, than a grotesque chimney-piece figure of a Chinese saint with numberless heads and arms. I have not yet digested my thoughts in what manner the fair sex ought to be taxed. It is a tender point, and requires consi­deration. At present, I am of opinion, they ought to be spared, and the whole burthen entirely laid upon those Bramins and Imams, whose idolatrous temples lie publickly open to our streets.

I am, SIR, Your most humble Servant MOSES ORTHODOX.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXIV. THURSDAY, April 1, 1756.

Vesanum tetigisse timent fugiuntque poetam.
HOR.

I REMEMBER when I was very young, a re­lation carried me to visit a gentleman who had wrote some pieces that had been very well received, and made me very happy by promising to introduce me to an Author. As soon as I came, I surveyed his whole person from top to toe with the strictest attention, sat open-mouthed to catch every syllable that he uttered, and noticed his voice, manner, and every word and gesture with the minutest observation. I could not help whispering to myself the whole evening, ‘"I am in company with an Author,"’ and waited with the most anxious impatience to hear him deliver something that [Page 686] might distinguish him from the rest of mankind. The gentleman behaved with great chearfulness and politeness; but he did not at all answer the idea which I had conceived of an Author, and I went away exceedingly disappointed, because I could not find any striking difference between him and the rest of my acquaintance.

THERE is no character in human life, which is the sub­ject of more frequent speculation among the vulgar, than an Author. Some look on him with contempt, and others with admiration; but they all agree in believing him to be something different from all other people: and it is re­markable with what greediness they attend to any little an­ecdotes, which they can pick up concerning his life and con­versation. He is, indeed, a kind of an ideal being, of which people conceive very different notions. By some he is supposed never to stir out of a garret, to wear a rusty black coat, dirty shirt, and darned stockings, and to want all the necessaries as well as conveniences of life; while others regard him as a creature superior to the rest of mortals, and endowed with something more than reason. One part therefore is surprised to see him walk abroad, and appear as well dressed as other people; and another is disappointed, when they find him talk and act, and fill the offices of life, no better than any other common man.

NOR is it less curious to consider the different ideas they conceive of the manner in which the business of writing is executed. The novice in literature, smit with the love of sacred song, but not yet dipt in ink, supposes it all rapture and enthusiasm, and in imagination sees the Author running wildly about his room, talking poetry to the chairs and ta­bles; [Page 687] while the mechanick considers him as working at his trade, and thinks he can set down to write whenever he pleases, as easily as the smith can labour at his forge, or a carpenter plane a board. Indeed he regards the Author with some veneration as a scholar; but writing appears to him a mighty easy business, and he smiles whenever he hears any body mention the labour of it; nor has he the least concep­tion of the mind's being fatigued with thinking, and the fancy harrassed with persuing a long train of ideas.

AS people are led frequently to judge of a man from his ordinary conversation, so it is common for them to form an idea of the author's disposition from the peculiar turn and colour of his writings: they expect a gloom to be spread over the face of a mathematician; a controversial writer must be given to wrangling and dispute; and they imagine that a satirist must be made up of spleen, envy, and ill-nature. But this criterion is by no means certain and determinate: I know an author of a tragedy, who is the merriest man living; and one who has wrote a very witty comedy, though he will sit an hour in company without speaking a word. Lord Buckhurst is celebrated for being ‘"the best good man with the worst-natured muse;"’ and Mr. Addison was remarkably shy and reserved in conversation. I remember I once fell into company with a painter, a poet, a divine, and a physician, who were no less famous for their wit and humour, than for their excellence in their several professi­ons. After the usual common topics were discussed, the physician and the poet fell into a dispute concerning pre­destination, the divine smoked his pipe quietly without put­ting in a word, while the painter and myself formed a privy [Page 688] council for the good of the nation. Thus were it possible to conjure up the spirits of the most eminent wits in former ages, and put them together, they would perhaps appear to be very dull company. Virgil and Addison would probably sit staring at each other without opening their mouths; Horace and Steele would perhaps join in commendation of the liquor; and Swift would in all likelihood divert him­self with sucking his cheeks, drawing figures in the wine spilt upon the table, or twirling the cork-screw round his finger.

THE strange prejudices which some persons conceive against Authors, deter many a youth from drawing his pen in the service of literature: or if he ventures to commit a favourite work to the press, he steals to the printer's with as much caution and privacy, as he would perhaps, on ano­ther occasion, to a surgeon. He is afraid that he shall in­jure his character by being known to have written any thing, and that the genteel part of his acquaintance will despise him as a low wretch, as soon as they discover him to be an Author: as if merely the appearing in print was a dis­grace to a gentleman, and the imprimatur to his works was no more than a stamp of shame and ignominy. These are the terrors, which at first disturb the peace of almost every Au­thor, and have often put me in mind of the exclamation of that writer, who cried out, ‘"O, that mine enemy had writ­ten a book!"’

THESE fearful apprehensions are perhaps no unlucky drawback on the vanity natural to all Authors, which un­doubtedly they often conceal or suppress, out of deference to the world: but if this false modesty is too much che­rished, [Page 689] it must of course damp all genius, and discourage every literary undertaking. Why should it be disgraceful to exert the noblest faculties given us by nature? and why should any man blush at acquitting himself well in a work, which there is scarce one in five hundred has a capacity to perform? Even supposing an Author to support himself by the profit arising from his works, there is nothing more dis­honest, scandalous or mean in it, than an officer in the army (the politest of all professions) living on his commission. Sense and genius are as proper commodities to traffick in as courage, and an Author is no more to be condemned as an hackney scribbler, though he writes at the rate of so much per sheet, than a Colonel should be despised as a mercenary and a bravo, for exposing himself to be slashed, stuck, and shot at for so much per day. The truth is, that Authors themselves often create the evils they complain of, and bring a disgrace on the service of literature, by being ashamed to wear the badge of it. Voltaire, in his letters on the English, relates a remarkable instance of this kind of false pride in our own Congreve. Voltaire, when he was in England, waited on Congreve, and told him that he was glad of an opportunity of paying his respects to a writer so much cele­brated for his wit and humour. Congreve received him po­litely enough, but told him that he should be glad to see him as a common gentleman, but would not be considered or conversed with as an Author. The French writer was a good deal surprised at such a ridiculous piece of delicacy, and could not help telling him, that he thought this nicety some­thing extraordinary, for that if he had been no more than a common gentleman, he should never have had any desire of seeing him.

I HAVE often pleased myself with reflecting on the differ­ent opinions, which my readers must have formed of me, since my first appearance as an Author. As poverty is one of the general characteristics of our brotherhood, those who indulge themselves in a contempt of writers, have, I doubt [Page 690] not, often painted me to their own imagination in a very grotesque taste. Their ideal caricatures have perhaps often re­presented me lodged at least three stories from the ground, composing dissertations on the modern taste in architecture: at another time I may have been delineated sitting in a tat­tered night-gown and the breeches of a heathen philosopher, writing satires on the present modes in dress: and sometimes perhaps they have figured me half starved for want of a hearty meal, penning invectives against luxury and de­bauchery.

BUT while these have reduced me to this low condition, and ‘"steeped me in poverty to the very lips,"’ I flatter my­self that some few have bestowed on me an extraordinary share of virtue and understanding. After so many grave les­sons against the vices and luxury of the present age, they will naturally suppose, that I never risked a farthing at the gaming-table, never kept a mistress, would decline an invitation to a turtle-feast, and rather than be provoked to fight a duel, would take a kick on the breech, or tweak by the nose, with all the calmness and resignation imaginable. As to my wit and humour, I should blush to set down the many com­pliments I have had from several unknown correspon­dents on that head: and I once received a note from a very honest gentleman, who desired to spend an evening with me, promising himself great diversion in cracking a bottle with the facetious Mr. TOWN.

THESE various opinions of me as an Author, I shall never labour to reconcile, but shall be equally contented with in­structing or amusing the gentle reader, whether he considers my papers as favours showered down upon him from a book­seller's garret in Grub Street, or issuing from my own apart­ment. However this may be, I shall never think it a disgrace to have written, or be ashamed to be considered as an Au­thor; and if ever Mr. Voltaire should think proper to visit England again, I shall be very glad of a literary chat with him, and will give him a very gracious reception.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXV. THURSDAY, April 8, 1756.

Caelebs quid agam?
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

NO man is a sincerer friend to innocent plea­santry, or more desirous of promoting it, than myself. Raillery of every kind, pro­vided it be confined within due bounds, is in my opinion an excellent ingredient in conversation; and I am never displeased if I can contribute to the harmless mirth of the company, by being myself the subject of it; but in good truth, I have neither a fortune, a constitution, nor a temper that will enable me to chuckle and skake my sides, while I suffer more from the festivity of my friends, than the spleen or malice of my enemies could possibly inflict upon me: nor do I see any reason why [Page 692] I should so far move the mirthful indignation of the ladies, as to be teized and worried to death in mere sport, for no earthly reason, but that I am what the world calls, an Old Bachelor.

THE female part of my acquaintance entertain an odd opinion, that a Bachelor is not in fact a rational creature, at least that he has not the sense of feeling in common with the rest of mankind; that a Bachelor may be beat like a stock-fish, that you may thrust pins into his legs, and wring him by the nose; in short that you cannot take too many liberties with a Bachelor. I am at a loss to conceive on what foundation these romping philosophers have grounded their hypothesis, though at the same time I am a melancholy proof of it's existence, as well as of it's absurdity.

A FRIEND of mine whom I frequently visit, has a wife and three daughters, the youngest of which has persecuted me these ten years. These ingenious young ladies have not only found out the sole end and purpose of my being them­selves, but have likewise communicated their discovery to all the girls in the neighbourhood. So that if they happen at any time to be apprized of my coming (which I take all possible care to prevent) they immediately dispatch half a dozen cards to their faithful allies, to beg the favour of their company to drink coffee, and help teaze Mr. Ironside. Upon these occasions, my entry into the room is sometimes obstructed by a cord fastened across the bottom of the door­case, which as I am a little near-sighted, I seldom discover till it has brought me upon my knees before them. While I am employed in brushing the dust from my black rollers, or chasing my broken shins, my wig is suddenly conveyed [Page 693] away, and either stuffed behind the looking-glass, or tossed from one to the other so dextrously and with such velocity, that after many a fruitless attempt to recover it, I am obliged to sit down bare-headed, to the great diversion of the spec­tators. The last time I found myself in these distressful circumstances, the eldest girl, a sprightly mischievous jade, stepped briskly up to me, and promised to restore my wig, if I would play her a tune on a small flute she held in her hand. I instantly applied it to my lips, and blowing lustily into it, to my inconceiveable surprise, was immediately choked and blinded with a cloud of soot that issued from every hole in the instrument. The younger part of the company declared I had not executed the conditions, and refused to surrender my wig; but the father who had a rough kind of facetiousness about him, insisted on it's being delivered up, and protested that he never knew the Black Joke better performed in his life.

I AM naturally a quiet inoffensive animal, and not easily ruf­fled, yet I shall never submit to these indignities with patience, 'till I am satisfied I deserve them. Even the old maids of my acquaintance, who one would think might have a fellow-feeling for a brother in distress, conspire with their nieces to harrass and torment me. And it is not many nights since Miss Diana Grizzle utterly spoiled the only superfine suit I have in the world, by pinning the skirts of it together with a red-hot poker. I own my resentment of this injury was so strong, that I determined to punish it by kissing the offender, which in cool blood I should never have attempted. The satisfac­tion however which I obtained by this imprudent revenge, was much like what a man of honour feels on finding him­self [Page 694] run through the body by the scoundrel who had offended him. My upper lip was transfixed with a large corkin pin, which in the scuffle she had conveyed into her mouth, and I doubt not that I shall carry the memorem labris natam from an old maid to the grave with me.

THESE misfortunes, or others of the same kind, I en­counter daily; but at these seasons of the year which give a sanction to this kind of practical wit, and when every man thinks he has a right to entertain himself at his friend's ex­pence, I live in hourly apprehensions of more mortifying adventures. No miserable dunghill-cock, devoted a victim to the wanton cruelty of the mob, would be more terrified at the approach of a Shrove-Tuesday, were he endued with human reason and forecast, than I am at the approach of a merry Christmas or the First of April. No longer ago than last Thursday, which was the latter of these festivals, I was pestered with mortifying presents from the ladies; obliged to pay the carriage of half a dozen oyster-barrels stuffed with brick-bats, and ten pacquets by the post containing nothing but old news-papers. But what vexed me the most was the being sent fifty miles out of town on that day by a counter­feit express from a dying relation.

I COULD not help reflecting with a sigh, on the resem­blance between the imaginary grievance of poor Tom in the tragedy of Lear, and those which I really experienced. I, like him, was led through ford and whirlpool, o'er bog and quagmire; and though knives were not laid under my pil­low, minced horse-hair was strewed upon my sheets; like him I was made to ride on a hard trotting horse, through the most dangerous ways, and found at the end of my jour­ney, that I had only been coursing my own shadow.

[Page 695]AS much a sufferer as I am by the behaviour of the women in general, I must not forget to remark, that the pertness and sauciness of an old maid, is particularly offen­sive to me. I cannot help thinking that the virginity of these ancient misses, is at least as ridiculous as my own celibacy. If I am to be condemned for having never made an offer, they are as much to blame for having never accepted one. If I am to be derided for having never married, who never attempted to make a conquest; they are more properly the objects of derision, who are still unmarried after having made so many. Numberless are the proposals they have rejected according to their own account; and they are eter­nally boasting of the havock they have formerly made among the knights, baronets, and squires, at Bath, Tun­bridge and Epsom; while a tattered madrigal perhaps, a snip of hair, or the portrait of a cherry-cheeked gentleman in a milk-white periwig, are the only remaining proofs of those beauties which are now withered like the short-lived rose, and have only left the virgin thorn remaining.

BELIEVE me, Mr. TOWN, I am almost afraid to trust you with the publication of this epistle; the ladies whom I last mentioned will be so exasperated on reading it, that I must expect no quarter at their hands for the future, since they are generally as little inclined to forgiveness in their old age, as they were to pity and compassion in their youth. One expedient however is left me, and which, if put in execution, will effectually screen me from their resentment.

I SHALL be happy therefore, if by your means I may be permitted to inform the ladies, that as fusty an animal as they think me, it is not impossible but by a little gentler [Page 696] treatment than I have hitherto met with, I may be huma­nized into a husband. As an inducement to them to relieve me from my present uneasy circumstances, you may assure them I am rendered so exceeding tractable by the very se­vere discipline I have undergone, that they may mould and fashion me to their minds with ease; and consequently that by marrying me, a woman will save herself all that trouble which a wife of any spirit is obliged to take with an unruly husband, who is absurd enough to expect from her a strict performance of the marriage vow, even in the very minute article of obedience: that so far from contradicting a lady, I shall be mighty well satisfied if she contents herself with contradicting me: that if I happen at any time inadvertently to thwart her inclinations, I shall think myself rightly served if she boxes my ears, spits in my face, or treads upon my corns. That if I approach her lips when she is not in a kissing humour, I shall expect she will bite me by the nose; or if I take her by the hand at an improper season, that she will instantly begin to pinch, scratch, and claw, and apply her fingers to those purposes which they were certainly in­tended by nature to fulfil. Add to these accomplishments, so requisite to make the married state happy, that I am not much turned of fifty, can tie on my cravat, fasten a button, or mend a hole in my stocking without any assistance.

I am, SIR, Your very humble Servant CHRISTOPHER IRONSIDE.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXVI. THURSDAY, April 15, 1756.

Despicere unde queas alios, passimque videre
Errare, atque viam palantes quaerere vitae.
LUCRET.

THOSE parents, who are unable to give their sons an estate, regard the educating them to one of the three great professions of Law, Physic, and Divinity, as putting them in the high road to acquire one. Hence it happens, that nineteen parts out of twenty of our young men are brought up with a view to Lambeth, the Seals, or Warwick-Lane. But alas! their hopes and ex­pectations of rising by their professions are often frustrated, and the surprizing numbers engaged in running the same race necessarily jostle one another. For though the courts of justice are tolerably supplied with matters of litigation; [Page 698] though there are many invalids and valetudinarians; and though great part of England is laid out into church pre­ferments; yet there is not in all the kingdom sufficient matter for legal contention to employ a tenth part of those who have been trained to engross deeds in their chambers, or to harangue at the bar: the number of patients bears no proportion to the swarms of the Faculty, nor would it, though a consultation were to sit on every sick man, like carrion-flies upon a carcase: and the prodigious number of reverend Divines infinitely exceeds that of those bishopricks, deaneries, prebends, rectories, vicarages, &c. which, when they are ordained, they conceive it to be part of their holy office to fill. From these frequent failures in each of the professions, the younger sons of great men often wish they had been permitted to disgrace the family by some mer­cantile, or more plebeian occupation; while the son of the mechanic curses the pride of his father, who instead of securing him a livelihood in his own business, has con­demned him to starve in pudding-sleeves, that he might do honour to his relations by being a gentleman.

THE Three Professions being thus crouded with more candidates for business and preferment, than can possibly be employed or promoted, has occasioned several irregula­rities in the conduct of the followers of each of them. The utter impossibility of supporting themselves in the usual method of practising Law, Physic, or Divinity, without clients, patients, or parishioners, has induced the labourers in each of those vocations to seek out new veins and branches. The young Solicitor, who finds he has nothing to do, now he is out of his clerkship, offers his assistance, in the transaction of all law affairs, by the public papers, and [Page 699] like the advertising taylors promises to work cheaper than any of his brethren: while the young Barrister, after having exhibited his tye-wig in Westminster-Hall, during several terms, to no purpose, is obliged to forego the hope of ri­valling Murray and Coke, and content himself with being the oracle of the courts of Jamaica. The graduate in me­dicine, finding himself unsolicited for prescription or advice, and likely to starve by practising Physic secundùm artem, flies in the face of the college, and professes to cure all dis­eases by nostrums unmentioned in the dispensatory. He com­mences a thriving quack, and soon makes his way through the important medical degrees of walking on foot, riding on horseback, dispensing his drugs from an one-horse-chaise, and lastly lolling in a chariot. The Divine, without living, cure, or lectureship, may perhaps incur transportation for illegal marriages, set up a theatrical-oratorical-Billingsgate-chapel under the shelter of the toleration-act and the but­chers of Clare-Market, or kindle the inward light in the bosoms of the Saints of Moor-Fields, and the Magdalens of Broad St. Giles's.

BUT notwithstanding these shoots ingrafted, as it were, into the main body of the professions, it is still impossible for the vast multitude of Divines, Lawyers, and Physicians to maintain themselves at any rate within the pale of their respective employments. They have often been compelled, at least to call in adventitious ones, and have sometimes to­tally abandoned their original undertakings. They have frequently made mutual transitions into the occupations of each other, or have perhaps embraced other employments; which, though distinct from all three, and not usually dig­nified with the title of Professions, may fairly be considered [Page 700] in that light: since they are the sole means of support to many thousands, who toiled in vain for a subsistance in the three Capital Ones. On these Professions, and their various followers, I shall here make some observations.

THE first of these Professions is an Author. The mart of literature is indeed one of the chief resorts of unbeneficed Divines, and Lawyers and Physicians without practice. There are at present in the world of Authors, Doctors of Physic who (to use the phrase of one of them) have no great fatigue from the business of their profession: many Clergymen, whose sermons are the most inconsiderable part of their compositions: and several Gentlemen of the Inns of Court who, instead of driving the quill over skins of parch­ment, lead it through all the mazes of modern novels, cri­tiques, and pamphlets. Many also have embraced this Pro­fession, who were never bred to any other: and I might also mention the many bankrupt tradesmen and broken artificers, who daily enter into this new way of business, if by persuing it in the same mechanical manner as their former occupati­ons, they might not rather be regarded as following a trade than a Profession.

THE second of these Professions is a Player. The inge­nious gentlemen, who assume the persons of the Drama, are composed of as great a variety of characters as those they represent. The history of the stage might afford many in­stances of those who in the trade of death might have slain men, who have condescended to deal counterfeit slaughter from their right hands, and administer harmless phials and bowls of poison. We might read also of persons whose fists were intended to beat the ‘"drum ecclesiastic,"’ who have [Page 701] themselves become theatrical voluntiers. In regard to the Law, many who were originally designed to manifest their talents for elocution in Westminster-Hall, have displayed them in Drury-Lane; and it may be added on theatrical authority, that

Not even Attorneys have this rage withstood,
But chang'd their pens for truncheons, ink for blood,
And, strange reverse!—died for their country's good.

I will not so far affront those gentlemen, who were at any time engaged in the study of the three honourable profes­sions of Law, Physic, and Divinity, as to suppose that any of them, have ever taken up the more fashionable employment of a Pimp. Yet it is certain, that this is a very common and lucrative Profession, and that very many provide themselves with the necessaries of life, by administering to the pleasures of others. A convenient cousin, sister, or wife, has some­times proved the chief means of making a fortune; and the tongue of slander has often ventured to affirm, that the price of procuration has been paid with a place or a bishoprick.

THE most advantageous and genteel of all Professions is Gaming. Whoever will make this science his study will find it the readiest way to riches, and most certain passport to the best company: for the polite world will always admit any one to their society, who will condescend to win their money. The followers of this Profession are very nume­rous; which is indeed no wonder, when we reflect on the numbers it supports in ease and affluence, at no greater pains than packing the cards or cogging the dice, and no more risk than being sometimes tweaked by the nose, or kicked out of company: besides which, this Profession daily re­ceives [Page 702] new lustre from the many persons of quality that follow it, and croud into it with as much eagerness, as into the army. Among Gamesters may also be found Lawyers, who get more by being masters of all the Cases in Hoyle, than by their knowledge of those, recorded in the report­books; Physicians, the chief object of whose attention is the circulation of the E. O. table; and Divines, who, we may suppose, were hinted at by a famous wit in a certain assembly, when among the other benefits resulting from a double tax upon dice, he thought fit to enumerate, that it might possibly prevent the Clergy from playing at back-gammon.

BUT the more danger the more honour: and therefore no Profession is more honourable than that of a Highwayman. Who the followers of this Profession are, and with what suc­cess they practise it, I will not pretend to relate; as the memoirs of several of them have been already penned by the Ordinary of Newgate, and as it is to be hoped that the lives of all the present practitioners will be written here­after by that faithful historian. I shall therefore only say, that the present spirit of dissoluteness and freethinking must unavoidably bring this honourable Profession more and more into vogue, and that every Sessions may soon be expected to afford an instance of a Gentleman-Highwayman.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXVII. THURSDAY, April 22, 1756.

Ergo haud difficile est perituram arcessere summam
Lancibus oppositis, vel matris imagine fractâ.
JUV.

I Have often amused myself with consi­dering the mean and ridiculous shifts, to which the extravagant are sometimes re­duced. When the certain supplies of a regular income are exhausted, they are obliged to cast about for ready cash, and set the invention to work in order to devise the means of repairing their finances. Such attempts to enlarge their revenue have frequently driven those, whose great souls would not be curbed by the straitness of their circumstances, into very uncommon undertakings: they have sent lords to Arthur's, and ladies to assemblies, or sometimes worse places. We may safely conclude, that whoever breaks through all oeconomy, will soon discard honesty; though perhaps it might be deemed Scandalum Magnatum to aver, that prodigal men of quality have often sold their [Page 704] country to redeem their estates, and that extravagant ladies have been known to make up the deficiencies of their pin-money by pilfering and larceny.

But one of the first and chief resources of extravagance, both in high and low life, is the Pawnbroker's. I never pass by one of these shops without considering them as the repositories of half the jewels, plate, &c. in town. It is true, indeed, that the honest and industrious are sometimes forced to supply their necessities by this method: but if we were to enquire, to whom the several articles in these miscellaneous warehouses belong, we should find the greatest part of them to be the pro­perty of the idle and infamous among the vulgar, or the prodigal and luxurious among the great: and if, in imi­tation of the antients, who placed the Temple of Honour behind the Temple of Virtue, propriety should be at­tempted in the situation of Pawnbrokers' shops, they would be placed contiguous to a gin-shop, as in the in­genious print of Hogarth, or behind a tavern, gaming-house, or bagnio.

Going home late last Saturday night, I was witness to a curious dialogue at the door of one of these houses. An honest journeyman carpenter, whose wife, it seems, had pawned his best cloaths, having just received his week's pay, was come to redeem them, that he might appear as fine as he usually did on Sunday: but it being past twelve o'clock, the man of the house, who kept up the conversation by means of a little grate in the door, re­fused to deliver them; though the poor carpenter begged hard for his holiday cloaths, as the morrow was Easter Sunday. This accident led me to reflect on the various persons in town, who carry on this kind of commerce with the Pawnbrokers, and gave occasion to the fol­lowing Dream.

I was scarce asleep, before I found myself at the entrance of a blind alley, which was terminated by a little hatch; where I saw a vast concourse of people, of different ages, sex, and condition, going in and coming out. Some of these, I observed, as they went up, very [Page 705] richly drest; and others were adorned with jewels and costly trinkets: but I could not help remarking, that at their return they were all divested of their finery; and several had even their gowns and coats stript off their backs. A lady, who strutted up in a rich brocaded suit, sneaked back again in an ordinary stuff night-gown; a second retreated with the loss of a diamond solitaire and pearl necklace; and a third, who had bundled up her whole stock of linen, scarce escaped with what she had upon her back. I observed several gentlemen, who brought their sideboards of plate, to be melted down, as it were, into current specie: many had their pockets dis­burthened of their watches; and some, even among the military gentlemen, were obliged to deliver up their swords. Others of the company marched up, heavy laden with pictures, household goods, and domestic utensils: one carried a spit; another brandished a gridiron; a third flourished a frying-pan; while a fourth brought to my remembrance the old sign of the Dog's Head in the Porridge-pot. I saw several trot up merrily with their chairs, tables, and other furniture: but I could not help pitying one poor creature among the rest, who, after having stript his whole house, even to his feather-bed, stalked along like a Lock-Patient, wrapt up in the blankets, while his wife accompanied him, doing pe­nance in the sheets.

As I was naturally curious to see the inside of the re­ceptacle, where all these various spoils were deposited, I stept up to the hatch; and meeting a grave old gentleman at the threshold, I desired him to inform me what place it was, and what business was transacted there. He very courteously took me by the hand, and, leading me through a dark passage, brought me into a spacious hall, which he told me was the Temple of Usury, and that he himself was the chief priest of it. One part of this building was hung round with all kinds of apparel, like the sale-shops in Monmouth Street; another was strew'd with a variety of goods, and resembled the brokers' shops in Harp Alley; and another part was furnished with such an immense quantity of jewels and rich plate, that I should rather have fancied myself in the Church of the [Page 706] Lady of Loretto. All these, my guide informed me, were the offerings of that croud, which I had seen re­sorting to this Temple. The Churches in Roman-Catholic countries have commonly a cross fixed upon them; the Chinese erect dragons and hang bells about their Pagods; and the Turkish Mosques have their peculiar hieroglyphics: but I could not help taking particular notice, that this Temple of Usury had its vestibule adorned with three wooden balls painted blue; the mystery of which, I was told, was as dark and unfathomable as the Pythagorean number, or the secret doctrines of Trismegist.

When I had in some measure satisfied my curiosity in taking a general survey of the Temple, my instructor led me to an interior corner of it, where the most splendid offerings were spread upon a large altar. This bauble, said he, shewing me an elegant sprig of diamonds, is an aigret, sent in last week by a lady of quality, who has ever since kept home with her head muffled up in a double clout for a pretended fit of the tooth-ache. She has at different times made an offering of all her jewels: and besides these, her whole wardrobe was very lately lodged here, which threw her into an hysteric fever, and con­fined her to her bed-gown for upwards of a month. Those ear-rings and other jewels are the parapher­nalia of a young bride; who was so constant a votary to this place, that, when nothing else remained for an offering, she even brought in her wedding-ring. You may be surprised, perhaps, to behold such a variety of necklaces, girdle-buckles, solitaires, and other female ornaments, as are here collected: but it is observable, that their devotions in the Temple of Usury have been chiefly encouraged and kept alive by their assisting at the midnight orgies of Avarice.

Nor are the gentlemen, continued he, less encouragers of our rites. That gold watch laid snug, for a consi­derable time, in the fob of a young man of quality; but it was one night jerked out by a single throw of the dice at a gaming-table, and made its way into the pocket of a stranger, who placed it here, to keep company with several others, which have been brought hither on a [Page 707] similar occasion. Those brilliant buckles once glittered on the shoes of a very pretty fellow, who set out last winter on his travels into foreign parts, but never got further than Boulogne: and that sword with the rich fillagree hilt, and elegantly-fancied sword-knot with gold tassels, once dangled at the side of a spirited Buck, who left it here two years ago, when he went off in a great hurry to take possession of a large estate in his native country, Ireland, whence he is not yet returned. You may see many others of these instruments of death, which rust peacefully in their scabbards, as being of no use whatever to their owners: that, which commonly hangs upon the vacant peg there, belongs, you must know, to a noble captain: it is called upon duty once a month, and is at this instant mounting guard at St. James's.

Not far from these rich ornaments hung several em­broidered coats, laced waistcoats, Point d'Espagne hats, &c. This suit, said my venerable instructor, pointing to one richly embroidered, was made up for a noble lord on the last Birth-day, and was conveyed hither the very next morning after it had appeared at court. That jemmy waistcoat with the gold-worked button-holes, on the next peg, was the property of a smart templar, who, having spent a night out of his chambers, sent his waist­coat hither in the morning, as a penitential offering, by his landlady. As to that heap of camblet gowns, checked aprons, and coloured handkerchiefs, which you see strung together a little further off, they are oblations made here by a sect of maudlin votaries, who resort to this Temple to pay their devotions to a Goddess, whom they have christened Madam Gin, but whom they sometimes honour with the more proper appellation of Strip me Naked.

While my conductor was thus relating the history of the various offerings, and the persons who had made them, he was suddenly called aside to a dark closet, se­veral of which were erected near the entrance, and ap­peared not unlike the confessionals of the Romish priests. These little boxes, I found, were appointed to receive the votaries, who came to pay their devotions, and make their offerings: but the necessary rites and ceremonies [Page 708] were commonly solemnized with as much caution and privacy, as the mysteries of the Bona Dea among the Romans. At present, however, there was a greater noise and hubbub than usual. A person of the first rank in the kingdom, who had made some very considerable oblations of gold and silver plate, was now about to celebrate a feast in honour of Bacchus, in which these rich utensils would be requisite, on which occasion he prayed to have the use of them. The chief priest, after having received the customary fee, granted a dispen­sation for this purpose, and loaded the messengers with a number of wrought ewers, vases, and chargers, at the same time commissioning two or three of the inferior officials of the Temple to attend the celebration of the feast, and to take care that the plate was duly returned, and safely lodged again in the Temple.

These matters were scarce adjusted, before an unex­pected incident filled the whole Temple with confusion and disturbance. A rude tribe of officers broke in upon us, put a stop to the rites, and seized the chief priest himself, charging him with having prophaned the place by a crime almost as infamous as sacrilege. He was accused of having encouraged robbers to strip the citizens of their most valuable effects, and for a small reward to deposit them as offerings. The clamour on this occasion was very great, and at last one of the officers, methought, seized me, as a party concerned; when endeavouring to clear myself, and struggling to get out of his clutches, I awoke.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXVIII. THURSDAY, April 29, 1756.

Communi sensu planè caret.—
HOR.

THERE is no race of people, that has been more conspicuous in almost every relation of life, than the illustrious fa­mily of NONSENSE. In every age of the world they have shone forth with uncommon lustre, and have made a wonderful progress in all the Arts and Sciences. They have at different seasons delivered speeches from the throne, harangued at the bar, debated in parlia­ment, and gone amazing lengths in philosophical enqui­ries and metaphysical disquisitions. In a word, the whole history of the world, moral and political, is but a Cyclo­paedia of NONSENSE. For which reason, considering the dignity and importance of the family, and the infinite service it has been of to me and many of my cotemporaries, [Page 710] I have resolved to oblige the public with a kind of abstract of the History of NONSENSE.

NONSENSE was the daughter of IGNORANCE, begot on FALSEHOOD many ages ago in a dark cavern in BOEOTIA. As she grew up, she inherited all the qualities of her parents: she discovered too warm a genius to re­quire being sent to school; but while other dull brats were poring over an horn-book, she amused herself with spreading fantastical lies, taught her by her mamma, and which have in later ages been familiarly known to us under the names of Sham, Banter, and Humbug. When she grew up, she received the addresses, and soon became the wife, of IMPUDENCE. Who he was, or of what profession, is uncertain: Some say he was the son of IGNORANCE by another venter, and was suffered to become the husband of NONSENSE in those dark ages of the world, as the Ptolemies of Aegypt married their own sisters. Some record, that he was in the army; others, that he was an interpreter of the laws; and others, a divine. However this was, NONSENSE and IM­PUDENCE were soon inseparably united to each other, and became the founders of a more noble and nume­rous family, than any yet preserved on any tree of descent whatsoever; of which ingenious device they were said to have been the first inventors.

It is my chief intent at present to record the great exploits of that branch of the family, who have made themselves remarkable in England; though they began to signalize themselves very early, and are still very flourishing in most parts of the world. Many of them were Aegyptian Priests four thousand years ago, and told the people, that it was religion to wor­ship dogs, monkeys, and green leeks: and their descen­dants prevailed on the Greeks and Romans to build tem­ples in honour of supposed deities, who were, in their [Page 711] own estimation of them, whores and whore-mongers, pickpockets and drunkards. Others rose up some ages after in Turky, and persuaded the people to embrace the doctrine of bloodshed and the sword, in the name of the most merciful God: and others have manifested their lineal descent from NONSENSE and IMPU­DENCE, by affirming that there is no God at all. There were also among them many shrewd philosophers; some of whom, though they were racked with a fit of the stone, or laid up with a gouty toe, declared that they felt not the least degree of pain; and others would not trust their own eyes, but when they saw an horse or a dog, could not tell whether it was not a chair or a table, and even made a doubt of their own existence.

We have no certain account of the progress of NON­SENSE here in England, till after the Reformation. All we hear of her and her progeny before that period of time is, that they led a lazy life among the monks in cloysters and convents, dreaming over old legends of saints, drawing up breviaries and mass-books, and string­ing together some barbarous Latin verses in rhyme. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, so little encouragement was given to her family, that it seemed to have been almost extinct: but in the succeeding reign it flourished again, and filled the most considerable offices in the nation. NONSENSE became a great favourite at court, where she was highly caressed on account of her wit, which consisted in puns and quibbles; and the bonny monarch himself was thought to take a more than or­dinary delight in her conversation. At this time, many of her progeny took orders, and got themselves preferred to the best livings, by turning the Evangelists into pun­sters, and making St. Paul quibble from the pulpit. Among the rest, there was a bishop, a favourite son of NONSENSE, of whom it is particularly recorded, that he used to tickle his courtly audience, by telling them that [Page 712] matrimony was become a matter of money, with many other right reverend jests recorded in Joe Miller. Several bro­thers of this family were likewise bred to the bar, and very gravely harangued against old women sucked by devils in the shape of ram-cats, &c. As an instance of their profound wisdom and sagacity, I need only men­tion that just and truly pious act of parliament made against the crying sin of witchcraft. 1 Jac. I. chap. 12. Such as shall use invocation or conjuration of any evil spirit, or shall consult, covenant with, entertain, employ, feed or reward any evil spirit to any intent, or take up any dead person, or part thereof, to be used in witchcraft, or have used any of the said arts, whereby any person shall be killed, consumed, or lamed in his or her body, they, together with their ac­cessories before the fact, shall suffer as felons, without benefit of clergy.

In the troublesome times of King Charles the first, NONSENSE and her family sided with the Parliament. These set up new sects in religion: some of them cropt their hair short, and called themselves the enlightened; some fell into trances, and pretended to see holy visions; while others got into tubs, and held forth, with many whinings, and groans, and snuffling through the nose. In the merry days of King Charles the second, NONSENSE assumed a more gay and libertine air; and her progeny, from fana­tics, became downright infidels. Several courtiers of the family wrote lewd plays, as well as luscious love-songs, and other loose verses, which were collected together, and greedily bought up in miscellanies. In the succeeding reign, some of the kindred, who had received their edu­cation at St. Omers, thought themselves on the point of establishing NONSENSE in church and state, and were preparing to make bonfires on the occasion in Smithfield, when they were obliged to leave the kingdom.

Since the Revolution, the field of Politics has afforded large scope for NONSENSE and her family to make [Page 713] themselves remarkable. Hence arose the various sects in party, distinguished by the names of Whig and Tory, Ministerial and Jacobite, Sunderlandians, Oxfordians, Go­dolphinians, Bolingbrokians, Walpolians, Pelhamians, &c. &c. &c. names, which have kindled as hot a war in pamphlets and journals, as the Guelphs and Gibilines in Italy, or the Big and Little-Endians in the kingdom of Lilliput.

I have here endeavoured to give a short abridgement of the History of NONSENSE; though a very small part of the exploits of the family can be included in so com­pendious a chronicle. Some of them were very deep scho­lars, and filled the Professors' Chairs at the Universities. They composed many elaborate dissertations to convince the world, that two and two make four; and discovered by dint of syllogism, that white is not black. Their enquiries in Natural Philosophy were no less extraordi­nary: many spent their lives and their fortunes in at­tempting to discover a wonderful Stone, that should turn every baser metal into gold; and others employed them­selves in making artificial wings, by the help of which they should fly up into the world of the moon. Another branch of the family took to the Belles Lettres, and were the original founders of the learned Society of Grub-Street.

Never was any aera in the annals of NONSENSE more illustrious than the present; nor did that noble family ever more signally distinguish itself in every occupation. In Oratory, who are greater proficients than the progeny of NONSENSE? Witness many long and eloquent speeches delivered in St. Stephen's Chapel, in Westminster Hall, at Assizes and Quarter-Sessions, at Clare-Market, and the Robin-Hood.—In Philosophy, what marvellous things have not been proved by NONSENSE? The sometime Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College shewed Sir Isaac Newton to be a mere ass, and wire­drawed [Page 714] the books of Moses into a complete system of Natural Philosophy: Life-guard-men have with the ut­most certainty of NONSENSE foretold Earthquakes; and others have penned curious essays on Air-quakes, Water­quakes, and Comets.—In Politics, how successfully have the sons of NONSENSE bandied about the terms of Court and Country? How wisely have they debated upon Taxes; and with what amazing penetration did they but lately foresee an Invasion?—In Religion, their domain is particularly extensive: for, though NONSENSE is ex­cluded at least from the first part of the service in all regular churches, yet she often occupies the whole cere­mony at the Tabernacle and Foundery in Moorfields, and the Chapel in Long-Acre. But for the credit of so po­lite an age, be it known, that the children of NON­SENSE, who are many of them people of fashion, are as often seen at the Play-house as at Church: and it is something strange, that the family of NONSENSE is now divided against itself, and in high contest about the management of their favourite amusement—the OPERA.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXIX. THURSDAY, May 6, 1756.

Plenus Rimarum sum, huc et illuc perfluo.
TER.

THERE is no mark of our confidence taken more kindly by a friend, than the intrusting him with a secret; nor any which he is so likely to abuse. Confidantes in general are like crazy fire-locks, which are no sooner charged and cocked, than the spring gives way, and the report immediately follows. Happy to have been thought worthy the confidence of one friend, they are impatient to manifest their importance to another; 'till between them and their friend, and their friend's friend, the whole matter is presently known to all our friends round the Wrekin. The secret catches as it were by contact, and like electrical matter breaks forth from every link in the chain, almost at the [Page 716] same instant. Thus the whole Exchange may be thrown into a buz to morrow, by what was whispered in the middle of Marlborough Downs this morning; and in a week's time the streets may ring with the intrigue of a woman of fashion, bellowed out from the foul mouths of the hawkers, though at present it is known to no creature living but her gallant and her waiting-maid.

AS the talent of secrecy is of so great importance to society, and the necessary commerce between individuals cannot be securely carried on without it, that this deplorable weakness should be so general is much to be lamented. You may as well pour water into a funnel, or a sieve, and expect it to be retained there, as commit any of your concerns to so slippery a companion. It is remarkable, that in those men who have thus lost the faculty of retention, the desire of being communicative is always most prevalent where it is least to be justified. If they are intrusted with a matter of no great moment, affairs of more consequence will perhaps in a few hours shuffle it entirely out of their thoughts: but if any thing be delivered to them with an air of earnestness, a low voice, and the gesture of a man in terror for the con­sequence of it's being known; if the door is bolted, and every precaution taken to prevent a surprise; however they may promise secrecy, and however they may intend it, the weight upon their minds will be so extremely oppressive, that it will certainly put their tongues in motion.

THIS breach of trust so universal amongst us, is perhaps in great measure owing to our education. The first lesson our little masters and misses are taught, is to become blabs and tell-tales; they are bribed to divulge the petty intrigues [Page 717] of the family below stairs to pappa and mamma in the parlour, and a doll or a hobby-horse is generally the encou­ragement of a propensity which could scarcely be attoned for by a whipping. As soon as children can lisp out the little intelligence they have picked up in the hall or the kit­chen, they are admired for their wit: if the butler has been caught kissing the housekeeper in his pantry, or the foot­man detected in romping with the chambermaid, away flies little Tommy or Betsy with the news; the parents are lost in admiration of the pretty rogue's understanding, and reward such uncommon ingenuity with a kiss and a sugar-plumb.

NOR does an inclination to secrecy meet with less encou­ragement at school. The governantes at the boarding-school teach miss to be a good girl, and tell them every thing she knows: thus, if any young lady is unfortunately discovered eating a green apple in a corner, if she is heard to pronounce a naughty word, or is caught picking the letters out of another miss's sampler, away runs the chit who is so happy as to get the start of the rest, screams out her information as she goes, and the prudent matron chucks her under the chin, and tells her that she is a good girl, and every body will love her.

THE management of our young gentlemen is equally absurd: In most of our schools if a lad is discovered in a scrape, the impeachment of an accomplice, as at the Old Bailey, is made the condition of a pardon. I remember a boy, engaged in robbing an orchard, who was unfortunately taken prisoner in an apple-tree, and conducted under a strong guard of the farmer and his dairy-maid, to the master's house. Upon his absolute refusal to discover his associates, [Page 718] the pedagogue undertook to lash him out of his fidelity, but finding it impossible to scourge the secret out of him, he at last gave him up for an obstinate villain, and sent him to his father, who told him he was ruined, and was going to dis­inherit him for not betraying his school-fellows. I must own I am not fond of thus drubbing our youth into treachery, and am much more pleased with the request of Ulysses when he went to Troy, who begged of those who were to have the charge of Telemachus, that they would above all things teach him to be just, sincere, faithful, and to keep a secret.

EVERY man's experience must have furnished him with instances of confidantes who are not to be relied on, and friends who are not to be trusted; but few perhaps have thought it a character so well worth their attention, as to have marked out the different degrees into which it may be di­vided, and the different methods by which secrets are communicated.

NED TRUSTY is a tell-tale of a very singular kind. Ha­ving some sense of his duty, he hesitates a little at the breach of it. If he engages never to utter a syllable, he most punctually performs his promise; but then he has the knack of insinuating by a nod and a shrug well-timed, or a sea­sonable leer, as much as others can convey in express terms. It is difficult, in short, to determine, whether he is more to be admired for his resolution in not mentioning, or his in­genuity in disclosing a secret. He is also excellent at a ‘"doubtful phrase"’ as Hamlet calls it, or an ‘"ambiguous giving out,"’ and his conversation consists chiefly of such broken innuendos

[Page 719]
As, well, I know—or, I could—an if I would—
Or, if I list to speak—or, there be, an if there might &c.

Here he generally stops; and leaves it to his hearers to draw proper inferences from these piece-meal premises. With due encouragement however, he may be prevailed on to slip the padlock from his lips, and immediately overwhelms you with a torrent of secret history, which rushes forth with more violence for having been so long confined.

POOR MEANWELL, though he never fails to transgress, is rather to be pitied than condemned. To trust him with a secret, is to spoil his appetite, to break his rest, and to deprive him for a time of every earthly enjoyment. Like a man who travels with his whole fortune in his pocket, he is terrified if you approach him, and immediately suspects that you come with a felonious intent to rob him of his charge. If he ventures abroad, it is to walk in some unfre­quented place, where he is least in danger of an attack. At home, he shuts himself up from his family, paces it to and fro' in his chamber, and has no relief but from muttering over to himself, what he longs to publish to the world; and would gladly submit to the office of town cryer, for the li­berty of proclaiming it in the market place. At length however, weary of his burthen, and resolved to bear it no longer, he consigns it to the custody of the first friend he meets, and returns to his wife with a cheerful aspect, and wonderfully altered for the better.

CARELESS is perhaps equally undesigning, though not equally excusable. Intrust him with an affair of the utmost importance, on the concealment of which your fortune and happiness depend: he hears you with a kind of half-atten­tion; [Page 720] whistles a favourite air, and accompanies it with the drumming of his fingers upon the table. As soon as your narration is ended, or perhaps in the middle of it, he asks your opinion of his sword-knot, damns his taylor for having dressed him in a snuff-colour'd coat instead of a pompadour, and leaves you in haste to attend an auction; where, as if he meant to dispose of his intelligence to the best bidder, he divulges it with a voice as loud as the auctioneer's; and when you tax him with having played you false, he is hear­tily sorry for it, but never knew that it was to be a secret.

TO these I might add the character of the open and un­reserved, who thinks it a breach of friendship to conceal any thing from his intimates; and the impertinent, who ha­ving by dint of observation made himself master of your secret, imagines he may lawfully publish the knowledge it has cost him so much labour to obtain, and considers that privilege, as the reward due to his industry. But I shall leave these with many other characters, which my reader's own experience may suggest to him, and conclude with pre­scribing, as a short remedy for this evil,—That no man may betray the counsel of his friend, let every man keep his own.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXX. THURSDAY, May 13, 1756.

Judicium subtile videndis artibus
HOR.

TASTE is at present the darling idol of the polite world, and the world of letters; and, indeed, seems to be considered as the quin­tessence of almost all the arts and sciences. The fine ladies and gentlemen dress with Taste; the architects, whether Gothic or Chinese, build with Taste; the painters paint with Taste; the poets write with Taste; critics read with Taste; and in short, fidlers, players, singers, dancers, and mechanics themselves, are all the sons and daughters of Taste. Yet in this amazing super­abundancy of Taste few can say what it really is, or what the word itself signifies. Should I attempt to define it in the stile of a Connoisseur, I must run over the names of all the famous poets, painters, and sculptors, ancient and mo­dern; [Page 722] and after having pompously harangued on the excel­lencies of Apelles, Phidias, Praxiteles, Angela, Rubens, Poussin, and Dominichino, with a word or two on all taste­ful compositions, such as those of Homer, Virgil, Tasso, Dante, and Ariosto, I should leave the reader in wonder of my profound erudition, and as little informed as before. But as deep learning, though more flaming and pompous, is perhaps not always so useful as common sense, I shall endeavour to get at the true meaning of the word Taste, by considering what it usually imports in familiar writings and ordinary conversation.

IT is supposed by Locke and other close reasoners, that words are intended as signs of our ideas: but daily expe­rience will convince us, that words are often used to express no ideas at all. Thus many persons, who talk perpetually of Taste, throw it out as a mere expletive, without any meaning annexed to it. Bardolph, when demanded the meaning of the word accommodated, wisely explains it by say­ing that ‘"accommodated, sir, is—a—a—a—accommodated, sir, is as if one should say—a—accommodated:"’ and if in like manner, you ask one of these people What is Taste? they will tell you that "Taste is a kind of a sort of a—a—a—, in short ‘"Taste is Taste."’ These talkers must be con­sidered as absolute blanks in conversation, since it is im­possible to learn the explanation of a term from them, as they affix no determinate meaning to any expression.

AMONG men of sense, whose words carry meaning in their sound, Taste is commonly used in one of these two significations. First, when they give any person the ap­pellation of a Man of Taste, they would intimate that he [Page 723] has a turn for the polite arts, as well as the lesser elegancies of life; and that from his natural bent to those studies, and his acquired knowledge in them, he is capable of distin­guishing what is good or bad in any thing of that kind submitted to his judgment. The meaning at other times implied by a Man of Taste is, that he is not only so far an adept in those matters as to be able to judge of them ac­curately, but is also possessed of the faculty of executing them gracefully. These two significations will perhaps be more easily conceived, and clearly illustrated, when applied to our Sensual Taste. The Man of Taste, according to the first, may be considered as a Bon Vivant, who is fond of the dishes before him, and distinguishes nicely what is savoury and delicious, or flat and insipid in the ingredients of each: according to the second, he may be regarded as the Cook, who from knowing what things will mix well together, and distinguishing by a nice taste when he has arrived at that happy mixture, is able to compose such exquisite dishes.

BOTH these significations of the word will be found agree­able to the following definition of it, which I have some­where seen, and is the only just description of the term, that I ever remember to have met with. ‘"Taste consists in a nice harmony between the Fancy and the Judgment."’ The most chastised judgment, without genius, can never constitute a Man of Taste; and the most luxuriant Imagina­tion, unregulated by Judgment, will only carry us into wild and extravagant deviations from it. To mix oil, vinegar, butter, milk, eggs, &c. incoherently together, would make an Olio not to be relished by any palate; and the man who has no goût for delicacies himself will never compose a good [Page 724] dish, though he should ever so strictly adhere to the rules of La Chapelle, Hannah Glasse, and Martha Bradley. I con­fine myself at present chiefly to that signification of the word, which implies the capacity of exerting our own facul­ties in the several branches of Taste, because That always includes the other.

HAVING thus settled what Taste is, it may not be unen­tertaining to examine modern Taste by these rules: and perhaps it will appear, that on the one hand its most pleasing flights and ravishing elegancies are extravagant and absurd, and that on the other hand those who affect a correct Taste in all their undertakings, proceed mechanically without ge­nius. The first species of Taste, which gives a loose to the imagination, indulges itself in caprice, and is perpetually striking new strokes, is the chief regulator of the fashion. In dress, it has put hunting-poles into the hands of our gentlemen, and erected coaches and windmills on the heads of our ladies. In equipage, it has built chariots of papier maché, and by putting spotted Danish horses into the harness, has made our beaux look like Bacchus in his car drawn by leopards. The ornaments, both on the outside and inside of our houses, are all Gothic or Chinese; and whoever makes a pagod of his parlour, throws a plank or two with an irre­gular cross-barred paling over a dirty ditch, or places battle­ments on a root-house or a stable, fits up his house and garden entirely in Taste.

THE second sort of Men of Taste are to be found chiefly among the Literati, and are those, who despising the mo­dern whims to which fashion has given the name of Taste, pretend to follow with the most scrupulous exactness the [Page 725] chaste models of the antients. These are the poets who favour us with correct, epithetical, and tasteful compositions; whose works are without blemish, and conformable to the precise rules of Quintilian, Horace, and Aristotle: and as they are intended merely for the perusal of persons of the most refined Taste, it is no wonder that they are above the level of common understandings. These too are the Critics, who in their comments upon authors, embarrass us with repeated allusions to the study of Virtù: And these too are the Connoisseurs in Architecture, who build ruins after Vi­truvius, and necessaries according to Palladio. One gentle­man of this cast has built his villa upon a bleak hill, with four spacious porticos, open on each side to court the four winds; because, in the sultry regions of Italy, this model has been thought most convenient; and another has, in great measure, shut out the light from his apartments, and cut off all prospect from his windows, by erecting an high wall be­fore his house, which in Italy has been judged necessary to screen them from the sun.

ARCHITECTURE seems indeed to be the main article, in which the efforts of Taste are now displayed. Among those who are fond of exerting their fancies in capricious innova­tions, I might instance the many pretty whims, of which an infinite variety may be seen within ten miles of London. But us a proof of the noble and judicious Taste among us, I shall beg leave to describe, in the stile of a Connoisseur, a most amazing curiosity, erected in a very polite quarter of this town.

IN the midst of a noble and spacious area stands a grand Obelisk. The Base forms a perfect square with right [Page 726] angles; the Body of it is cylindrical; but the Capital is an Heptagon, and has several curious lines and figures described on each of its seven flat sides or superfices, which serve to terminate as many most magnificent and striking Vistas. This superb Column, no less remarkable than the famous Pillar of Trajan, seems (from the several Gnomons and other Hieroglyphics stuck about it) to have been originally dedicated to the Sun; but is now known among the vulgar by the more common name of The Seven Dials.

This Day is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXI. THURSDAY, May 20, 1756.

—Placet impares
Formas atque animos sub juga ahenea
Saevo mittere cum joco.
HOR.

THOUGH I shall not as yet vouchsafe to let the reader so far into my secrets, as to inform him whether I am married or single, it may not be amiss to ac­quaint him, that supposing I still remain a batchelor, it has not been the fault of my friends or relations. On the contrary, as soon as I was what they call settled in the world, they were so assiduous in looking out for a wife for me, that nothing [Page 728] was required on my part, but immediately to fall in love with the lady they had pitched upon: and could I have complied with their several choices, I should have been married at the same time to a tall and a short, a plump and a slender, a young and an old woman; one with a great deal of money, and another with none at all: each of whom were separately recommended by them as the properest person in the world for me.

I know not how it happens, but it is notorious, that most people take a pleasure in making matches; either thinking matrimony a state of bliss, into which they would charitably call all their friends and acquaintance; or perhaps struggling in the toils, they are desirous of catching others in the net that ensnared them. Many matches have been brought about between two persons absolute strangers to each other, through this kind mediation of our friends, who are always ready to take upon them the office of an honourable go-between. Some have come together merely from having been talked of by their acquaintance as likely to make a match; and I have known a couple, who have met by accident at an horse-race, or danced together at an assembly, that in less than a fortnight have been driven into matrimony in their own defence, by having been first paired in private conversations, and afterwards in the common news-papers.

As we cannot insure happiness to our friends, at the same time that we help them to husbands or wives, one would imagine that few would care to run the ha­zard [Page 729] of bestowing misery, where they meant a kindness. I know a good-natured lady, who has officiously brought upon herself the ill-will and the curses of many of her dearest and most intimate friends on this very account. She has a sister, for whom she provided a most excellent husband, who has shewn his affection for her by spend­ing her whole fortune upon his mistresses: she con­trived, that another near relation should snap up a rich widow, who was arrested for her debts within a week after marriage; and it cost her a whole twelvemonth to bring two doating lovers of her acquaintance together, who parted beds before the honey-moon was expired.

But if our friends will thus condescend to be Match-makers from a spirit of benevolence, and for our own ad­vantage only, there are others who have taken up the pro­fession from less disinterested motives; who bring beauty and fortune to market, and traffick in all the accomplish­ments that can make the marriage state happy. These traders dispose of all sorts of rich heirs and heiresses, ba­ronets, lords, ladies of fashion, and daughters of country squires with as much coolness as drovers sell bullocks. They keep complete registers of the condition and quali­fications of all the marriageable persons within the king­dom; and it is as common to apply to them for an husband or wife, as to the register-offices for a man or maid-servant. They may, indeed, be considered as fa­thers and guardians for the greatest part of our youth of both sexes, since in marriage they may be most properly said to give them away.

[Page 730]It is something comical to consider the various persons, to whom men of this profession are useful. We may naturally suppose, that a young fellow, who has no estate, but what, like Tinsel's in the Drummer, is merely personal, would be glad to come down handsomely after consummation with a woman of fortune; and a smart girl, who has more charms than wealth, would give round poundage on being taken for better for worse by a rich heir. Many a tradesman also wants a wife to manage his family, while he looks after the shop; and thinks it better to recommend himself by this convenient friend, than by means of the Daily Advertiser. There are also several young people, who are indifferent as to any person in particular, and have no passion for the state itself, yet want to be married, because it will deliver them from the restraint of parents. But the most unnatural, though very common applications of this sort are from the rich and the noble; who having immense estates to bestow on their children, will make use of the meanest instruments to couple them to another of the same over­grown fortune.

I have known many droll accidents happen from the mistakes of these mercenary Match-makers, and remem­ber one in particular, which I shall here set down for the entertainment of my readers. A careful old gen­tleman came up from the North on purpose to marry his son, and was recommended by one of these couplers to a twenty thousand pounder. He accordingly put on his best wig, best beaver, and gold-buttoned coat, and went to pay his respects to the lady's mamma: He told her, [Page 731] that he had not the pleasure of being known to her; but as his son's quiet depended on it, he had taken the liberty of waiting on her: in short, he at length broke the matter to her, and informed her, that his boy had seen her daughter at church, and was violently in love with her; concluding, that he would do very hand­somely for the lad, and would make it worth her while to have him. The old lady thanked him for the ho­nour he intended her family; but she supposed, to be sure, as he appeared to be a prudent and sensible gentle­tleman he would expect a fortune answerable. ‘"Say nothing of that, madam, say nothing of that",’ inter­rupted the Don;— ‘"I have heard—but if it was less, it should not break any squares between us."—’ ‘"Pray, sir, how much does the world say?"’ replied the lady.— ‘"Why, madam, I suppose she has not less than twenty thousand pounds.—"’ ‘"Not so much, sir;"’ said the old lady, very gravely.— ‘"Well, madam, I suppose then it may be nineteen, or—or—only eighteen thousand pounds".—’ ‘"Not so much, sir.;"—’ ‘"Well, well, per­haps not: but—if it was only seventeen thousand."—’ ‘"No, sir."—’ ‘"Or sixteen".—’ ‘"No."—’ ‘"Or (we must make allowances) perhaps but fifteen thousand".—’ ‘"Not so much, sir."—’Here ensued a profound silence for near a minute; when the old gentleman, rubbing his fore-head— ‘"Well, madam, we must come to some con­clusion—Pray is it less than fourteen thousand? How much more is it than twelve thousand?"—’ ‘"Less, sir."—’ ‘"Less, madam?—"’ ‘"Less."—’ ‘"But is it more than ten thousand?"—’ ‘"Not so much, sir."—’ ‘"Not so much, madam?"—’ ‘"Not so much."—’ ‘"Why, [Page 732] if it is lodged in the funds, consider, madam, interest is low, very low—but as the boy loves her, trifles shall not part us. Has she got eight thousand Pounds?"—’ ‘"Not so much, sir."—’ ‘"Why then, madam, perhaps the young lady's fortune may not be above six—or five thousand pounds."—’ ‘"NOTHING LIKE IT, SIR."—’At these words the old gentleman started from his chair, and running out of the room— ‘"Your servant, your servant—my son is a fool; and the fellow who recommended me to you is a blockhead, and knows nothing of business."’

Just is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXII. THURSDAY, May 27, 1756.

—Nullâ virtute redemptum—
A vitiis.
HOR.

I MENTIONED in a former paper, that a friend of mine was writing A New Treatise on Ethics, or, A System of Immoral Philosophy, compiled from the principles and practice of the present age; in which the extraordinary modesty of the Mo­derns would be enlarged on, which has induced them to comprehend all the vices, instead of virtues, in their idea of a Fine Gentleman. The work is now finished; and the Author has sent me the following letter concerning the Dedication, with leave to submit it to the public.

DEAR TOWN,

THE flatness and fulsom insipidity of Dedications has often been the subject of our conversation; and we have always agreed, that Authors have miscarried in these pieces of flattery, by injudiciously affronting, when they meant to compliment their patrons. The humble Dedicator loads his Great Man with virtues totally foreign to his nature and disposition, which sit as aukwardly upon him, as lace or embroidery on a chimney-sweeper: and so overwhelms him with the huge mass of learning, with which he graciously dubs him a scholar, that he makes as ridiculous a figure as the Ass in the Dunciad. After having thus bepraised his patron, till the new Maecenas is heartily ashamed of himself, he wonders that no notice is taken of so pompous an eulogium, and that a Dedi­cation should be as mere a drug as a sermon.

Lory in the Relapse advises Fashion to get into the good graces of Lord Foppington by falling in love with his coat, being in raptures with his peruke, ravished with the gen­teel dangle of his sword-knot; and, in short, to recom­mend himself to his noble elder brother, by seeming to be captivated with his favourites. In like manner, the au­thor, who would make his Dedication really valuable, should not talk to his patron of his honour, and virtue, and integrity, and a pack of unfashionable qualities, which only serve to disgrace a Fine Gentleman, but boldly paint him what he really is, and at the same time convince him of his merit in being a fool, and his glory in being a scoundrel. This mode of Dedication, though proper at all times, will appear with a particular good grace, before a System of Immoral Philosophy: where­fore, [Page 735] as my book is now finished, I have here sent you a rough draught of the Epistle Dedicatory, and shall be glad to hear your opinion of it.

May it please your Grace! or, My Lord! or, Sir!

YOU are in every point so complete a Fine Gentle­man, that the following treatise is but a faint transcript of your accomplishments. There is not one qualification, requisite in the character of a man of spirit, which you do not possess. Give me leave therefore, on the present occasion, to point forth your inestimable qualities to the world, and hold up to the public view so glorious an example.

YOU distinguished yourself so early in life, and exalted yourself so far above the common pitch of vulgar Bucks, that you was distinguished, before the age of twenty, with the noble appellation of STAG. And when I con­sider the many gallant exploits you have performed, the number of rascally poltroons you have sent out of the world, the number of pretty little foundlings you have brought into it, how many girls you have debauched, how many women of quality you have intrigued with, and how many hogsheads of French wine have run through your body, I cannot help contemplating you as a STAG of the first head.

WHAT great reason have you to value yourself on your noble Atchievements at Arthur's! the sums you formerly lost, and those you have lately won, are amazing instances of your spirit and address; first, in venturing so deeply before you was let into the secret, and then, in manag­ing it with so much adroitness and dexterity, since you [Page 736] have been acquainted with it. Nobody cogs the dice, or packs the cards half so skilfully; you hedge a bet with uncommon nicety; and are a most incomparably shrewd judge of the odds.

NOR have your exploits on the Turf rendered you less famous. Let the annals of Pond and Heber deliver down to posterity the glorious account of what plates you have won, what matches you made, and how often the Knowing Ones have been taken in, when, for private reasons, you have found it necessary that your horse should run on the wrong side of the post, or be di­stanced, after winning the first heat. I need not mention your own skill in Horsemanship, and in how many matches you have condescended to ride yourself; for in this particular it must be acknowledged that you cannot be outdone even by your groom or jockey.

ALL the world will witness the many instances of your Courage, which has been often tried and exerted in Hyde-Park, and behind Montague-House: nay, you have sometimes been known to draw your sword most heroicly at the opera, the play, and even at private routes and assemblies. How often have you put to flight a whole army of watchmen, constables, and beadles, with the justices at their head! You have cleared a whole bawdy-house before you, and taken many a tavern by storm: you have pinned a waiter to the ground, and have besides proved yourself an ex­cellent marksman, by shooting a post-boy flying. With so much valour and firmness, it is not to be doubted, but that you would behave with the same intrepidity, if occasions called, upon Hounslow-Heath, or in Maiden-head-Thicket: [Page 737] and, if it were necessary, you would as boldly resign yourself up to the hands of Jack Ketch, and swing as genteely as Maclean or Gentleman Harry. The same noble spirit would likewise enable you to aim the pistol at your own head, and go out of the world like a man of honour and a gentleman.

BUT your Courage has not rendered you insusceptible of the softer passions, for which your heart has been ever inclined. To say nothing of your gallantries with women of fashion, your intrigues with milliners and mantua-makers, or your seducing of raw country girls, and innocent tradesmens daughters, you have formerly been so constant in your devoirs to Mrs. Douglass, and the whole sister-hood, that you sacrificed your health and constitution in their service. But above all, witness that sweet delicate creature, whom you have now in keeping; and for whom you entertain such a strong and faithful passion, that for her sake you have tenderly and affectionately deserted your wife and family.

THOUGH from your elegant taste for pleasures you appear made for the gay world, yet these polite Amuse­ments have not called off your attention from the more serious studies of Politics and Religion. In Politics you have made such a wonderful proficiency, both in theory and practice, that you have discovered the good of your country to be a mere joke, and confirmed your own interest, as well as established your conse­quence in the proper place, by securing half a dozen Boroughs. As to Religion, you soon unravelled every mystery of that, and not only know the Bible to be as romantic as the Alcoran, but have also written several [Page 738] volumes to make your discoveries plain to meaner capa­cities. The ridiculous prejudices of a foolish world un­happily prevent your publishing them at present; but you have wisely provided that they shall one day see the light, when I doubt not they will be deemed invaluable, and be as universally admired as the posthumous works of Lord Bolingbroke.

I am, May it please your Grace, or, My Lord, or, Sir, in humble admiration of your excellencies, &c. &c. &c.

Just is Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXIII. THURSDAY, June 3, 1756.

Quo patre sit natus, num ignotâ matre inhonestus?
HOR.

THE notices in the public papers that the Foundling Hospital will be open for the reception of all infants in general under a certain age, have, I find, given uni­versal satisfaction. The consequences of a big belly do not appear so dreadful as heretofore: and it was but yesterday that a young fellow of intrigue told me, he was happy that his children would no longer be thrown out of the Hospital, as he himself was out of Arthur's, by black balls. For my part, though I have no lady in keeping, no child by my house-keeper, nor any other affair of gallantry on my [Page 740] hands, which makes me wish to swell the number of infants maintained by that charity, I must own myself to be exceedingly rejoiced at the extension of so benevo­lent a design. I look upon it as the certain preservation of many hundreds in embryo: nor shall we now hear of so many helpless babes birth-strangled in a necessary, or smothered by the ditch-delivered drab. As a bastard is accounted in law, quasi nullius filius, the child of no­body, and related to nobody, and yet is blest with as fair proportions, and capable of an equal degree of per­fection with ‘"honest madam's issue,"’ it is surely an act of great humanity thus to rescue them from untimely deaths and other miseries, which They do not merit, whatever may be the guilt of their parents.

THOUGH it is obvious, that this Hospital will be made the receptacle of many legitimate children, it is no less certain that the rich, as well as the poor, will often send their base-born bantlings to this general nursery. The wealthy man of quality, or substantial cit, may have their private family-reasons for not owning the fruits of their secret amours, and be glad to put the little living witness of their intrigues out of the way. For this reason, an history of the Foundlings received there would be very curious and entertaining, as it would contain many anec­dotes not to be learned from any Parish Register. The reflections that passed in my mind on this subject, gave occasion the other evening to the following Dream.

Methought, as I was standing at the private door of the Hospital, where a croud of females (each of them with a child in her arms) were pressing to get in, an elderly gentleman, whom from his white staff I took to [Page 741] be a governour of the charity, very courteously invited me to come in. I accepted his offer; and having seated myself next him— ‘"Mr. TOWN, says he, I am con­scious that you look upon most these little infants as the offsprings of so many unmarried fathers, and maiden-mothers, which have been clandestinely smuggled into the world. Know then that I am one of those guar­dian Genii, appointed to superintend the fortunes of Bastards: therefore, as this Hospital is more immedi­ately under my tuition, I have put on this disguise; and, if you please, will let you into the secret history of those babes, who are my wards, and their parents."’

I assured him, his intelligence would be highly agree­able; and several now coming up to offer their children, he resumed his discourse— ‘"Observe, said he, that jolly little rogue, with plump cheeks, a florid com­plexion, blue eyes, and sandy locks. We have here already several of his brethren by the mother's side; some fair, some brown, and some black: and yet they are all supposed to have come by the same father. The mother has for many years been housekeeper to a gentleman who cannot see that her children bear the marks of his own servants, and that this very brat is the exact resemblance of his coachman.’

‘"THAT puling whining infant there, with a pale face, emaciated body, and distorted limbs, is the forced pro­duct of viper-broth and cantharides. It is the offspring of a worn-out buck of quality, who at the same time he debauched the mother, ruined her constitution by a filthy disease; in consequence of which, she with much [Page 742] difficulty brought forth this just picture of himself in miniature.’

‘"THE next that offers is the issue of a careful cit; who, as he keeps an horse for his own riding on sundays, which he lets out all the rest of the week, keeps also a mistress for his recreation on the seventh day, who lets herself out on all the other six. That other babe owes his birth likewise to the city, but is the joint product, as we may say, of two fathers; who being great oeconomists in their pleasures as well as in their business, have set up a whore and an one horse-chaise in partnership together.’

‘"THAT pert young baggage there, who so boldly presses forward with her brat, is not the mother of it, but is maid to a single lady of the strictest honour and unblemished reputation. About a twelve month, ago her mistress went to Bath for the benefit of her health; and ten months after, she travelled into North Wales to see a relation; from whence she is just returned. We may suppose, that she took a fancy to that pretty babe while in the country, and brought it up to town with her, in order to place it here; as she did a few years ago to another charming boy, which being too old to be got into this Hospital, is now at a school in Yorkshire, where young gentlemen are boarded, cloath­ed, and educated, and found in all necessaries, for ten pounds a year.’

‘"THAT chubby little boy, which you see in the arms of yonder strapping wench in a camblet gown and red cloak, is her own son. She is by profession a bed-maker [Page 743] in one of the universities, and of the same college, in which the father (a grave tutor) holds a fellowship under the usual condition of not marrying. Many sober gentlemen of the cloth, who are in the same scrape, are glad to take the benefit of this charity: And if all of the same reverend order, like the priests abroad, were laid under the same restrictions, you might expect to see a particular Hospital, erected for the reception of the Sons of the Clergy.’

‘"THAT next child belongs to a sea-captain's lady, whose husband is expected to return every moment from a long voyage; the fears of which have happily hastened the birth of this infant a full month before its time. That other is the posthumous child of a wealthy old gentleman, who had married a young girl for love, and dyed in the honey-moon. This his son and heir was not born till near a twelve month after his decease, because its birth was retarded by the ex­cessive grief of his widow; who on that account ra­ther chose to lye-in privately, and to lodge their only child here, than to have its legitimacy and her own honour called in question by her husband's relations."’

MY companion pointed out to me several others no less extraordinary; among which I remember he told me, one was the unhallowed brood of a Methodist teacher, and another the premature spawn of a Maid of honour. A poor author eased himself of a very heavy load of two twin-daughters, which in an evil hour he begot on an hawker of pamphlets, after he had been writing a luscious novel: but I could not help smiling at the marks sent in with these new Muses, signifying, that one had been [Page 744] christened Terpsichore, and the other Polyhymnia. Several bantlings were imported from Islington, Hoxton, and other villages within the sound of Bow Bell: many were transplanted hither out of the country; and a whole litter of brats were sent in from two or three parishes in particular, for which it is doubtful whether they were most indebted, to the parson or the squire.

A modest-looking woman now brought a very fine babe to be admitted; but the governors rejected it, as it appeared to be above two months old. The mother on the contrary persisted in affirming, that it was but just born, and addressing herself to me, desired me to look at it. I accordingly took it in my arms; and while I was tossing it up and down, and praising its beauty, the sly hussy contrived to slip away, leaving the precious charge to my care. The efforts which I made to bawl after her, and the squalling of the brat which rung pite­ously in my ears, luckily awaked me; and I was very happy to find, that I had only been dandling my pillow instead of a bantling.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXIV. THURSDAY, June 10, 1756.

Accipe, per longos tibi qui deserviat annos:
Accipe, qui purâ nôrit amare fide.
Est nulli cessura fides; sine crimine mores;
Nudaque simplicitas, purpureusque pudor.
Non mihi mille placent; non sum desultor amoris;
Tu mihi (si qua fides) cura perennis eris.
OVID.

ALMOST every man is or has been, or at least thinks that he is or has been a Lover. One has fought for his mistress, another has drank for her, another wrote for her, and another has done all three: and yet perhaps in spite of their duels, poetry, and bumpers, not one of them ever entertained a sincere passion. I have lately taken a survey of the numerous tribe of Enamoratos, and after having observed the various shapes they wear, think I [Page 746] may safely pronounce, that though all profess to have been in Love, there are very few who are really capable of it.

IT is a maxim of Rochefoucault's, that, ‘"many men would never have been in Love, if they had never heard of Love."’ The justice of this remark is equal to its shrewdness. The ridiculous prate of a family has frequently great influence on young minds, who learn to Love, as they do every thing else, by imitation. Young crea­tures, almost mere children, have been consumed with this second-hand flame lighted up at another's passion; and in consequence of the loves of the footman and chambermaid, I have known little master fancy himself a dying swain at the age of thirteen, and little miss pining away with Love in a bib and hanging sleeves.

THAT vast heap of volumes, filled with Love, and suffi­cient in number to make a library, are great inflamers, and seldom fail to produce that kind of passion described by Rochefoucault. The chief of these literary seducers are the old romances, and their degenerate spawn, the modern no­vels. The young student reads of the emotions of Love, till he imagines that he feels them throbbing and fluttering in his little breast; as valetudinarians study the history of a disease, till they fancy themselves affected with every symp­tom of it. For this reason, I am always sorry to see any of this trash in the hands of young people: I look upon Cassandra and Cleopatra as well as Betty Barnes, Polly Willis, &c. as no better than bawds; and consider Don Bellianis of Greece, and Sir Amadis de Gaul, with George Edwards, Loveill, &c. as arrant pimps. But though romances and novels are both equally stimulatives, yet their operations are very different. [Page 747] The romance-student becomes a fond Corydon of Sicily, or a very Damon of Arcadia, and is in good truth such a dying swain, that he believes he shall hang himself on the next willow, or drown himself in the next pond, if he should lose the object of his wishes: but the young novelist turns out more a man of the world, and after having gained the affections of his mistress, forms a hundred schemes to secure the possession of her, and to bam her relations.

THERE are, among the tribe of Lovers, a sort of luke­warm gentlemen, who can hardly be said, in the language of Love, to entertain a flame for their mistress. These are your men of superlative delicacy and refinement, who loath the gross ideas annexed to the amours of the vulgar, and aim at something more spiritualized and sublime. These philosophers in Love doat on the mind alone of their mistress, and would fain see her naked soul, diverted of its material incumbrances. Gentlemen of this complexion might per­haps not improperly be ranged in the romantic class, but they have assumed to themselves the name of Platonic Lovers.

PLATONISM, however, is in these days very scarce; and there is another class, infinitely more numerous, composed of a sort of Lovers, whom we may justly distinguish by the title of Epicureans. The principles of this sect are diametri­cally opposite to those of the Platonics. They think no more of the soul of their mistress, than a mussulman, but are in raptures with her person. A Lover of this sort is in perpetual extasies: his passion is so violent that he even scorches you with his flame; and he runs over the perfec­tions of his mistress in the same stile that a jockey praises his [Page 748] horse. ‘"Such limbs! such eyes! such a neck and breast! such—oh, she's a rare piece."’ Their ideas go no farther than mere external accomplishments; and as their wounds may be said to be only skin deep, we cannot allow their breasts to be smitten with Love, though perhaps they may rankle with a much grosser passion. Yet it must be owned that nothing is more common, than for gentlemen of this cast to be involved in what is called a Love-match: but then it is owing to the same cause with the marriage of Sir John Brute, who says, ‘"I married my wife, because I wanted to lie with her, and she would not let me."’

OTHER gentlemen of a gay disposition and warm consti­tution, who go in the catalogue for Lovers, are adorers of almost every woman they see. The flame of Love is as easily kindled in them, as the sparks are struck out of a flint, and it also expires as soon. A Lover of this sort dances one day with a lady at a ball, and loses his heart to her in a minuet; the next another carries it off in the mall; and the next day perhaps he goes out of town, and lodges it in the possession of all the country beauties successively, till at last he brings it back to town with him, and presents it to the first woman he meets. This class is very numerous; but ought by no means to hold a place among the tribe of true Lovers, since a gentleman who is thus in Love with every body, may fairly be said not to be in Love at all.

LOVE is universally allowed to be whimsical; and if whim is the essence of Love, none can be accounted truer Lovers, than those who admire their mistress for some particular charm, which enchains them, though it would singly never captivate any body else. Some gentlemen have been won [Page 749] to conjugal embraces by a pair of fine arms; others have been held fast by an even white set of teeth; and I know a very good scholar, who was ensnared by a set of golden tresses, because it was the taste of the antients, and the true classical hair. Those ladies, whose lovers are such piecemeal admirers, are in perpetual danger of losing them. A rash, or a pimple may abate their affection: All those, the object of whose adoration is merely a pretty face or a fine person, are in the power of the like accidents; and the small pox has occasioned many a poor lady the loss of her beauty and her Lover at the same time.

BUT after all these spurious Enamoratos, there are some few, whose passion is sincere and well-founded. True, ge­nuine Love is always built upon esteem: not that I would mean that a man can reason and argue himself into Love; but that a constant intercourse with an amiable woman will lead him into a contemplation of her excellent qualities, which will insensibly win his heart before he is himself aware of it, and beget all those hopes, fears, and other extrava­gances, which are the natural attendants on a true passion. Love has been described ten thousand times: but that I may be sure that the little picture I would draw of it is taken from nature, I will conclude this paper with the story of honest WILL EASY and his amiable wife. WILL EASY and Miss — became very early acquainted, and from being familiarly intimate with the whole family, WILL might be almost said to live there. He dined and supped with them perpetually in town, and spent great part of the summer with them at their seat in the country. WILL and the lady were both universally allowed to have sense, and their fre­quent conversations together gave them undoubted proofs of [Page 750] the goodness of each other's disposition. They delighted in the company, and admired the perfections of each other, and gave a thousand little indications of a growing passion, not unobserved by others, even while it was yet unknown and unsuspected even by themselves. However, after some time WILL, by mutual agreement, demanded the lady of her father in marriage. But alas! ‘"the course of true Love never yet run smooth:"’ the ill-judged ambition of a parent induced the father, out of mere love to his daugh­ter, to refuse her hand to the only man in the world with whom she could live happily, because he imagined that he might in the Smithfield phrase, do better for her. But Love, grounded on just principles, is not easily shaken; and as it appeared that their mutual passion had taken too deep root ever to be extirpated; the father at last reluctantly half-consented to their union. They enjoy a genteel competency, and WILL by his integrity and abilities is an honour to a learned profession, and a blessing to his wife; whose greatest praise is, that her virtues deserve such an husband. She is pleased with having ‘"left dross to duchesses."’ He considers her happiness as his main in­terest, and their example every day gives fresh conviction to the father, that where two persons of strong sense and good hearts, conceive a reciprocal affection for each other, their passion is genuine and lasting, and their union is perhaps the truest state of happiness under the sun.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXV. THURSDAY, June 17, 1756.

Hae sane vires amicitiae, mortis contemptum ingenerare, vitae dulcedinem extinguere, crudelitatem mansuefacere, odium in amorem convertere potuerunt.

VAL. MAX.

NOTHING has given me a more sen­sible pleasure in the course of this un­dertaking, than the having been occa­sionally honoured with the correspon­dence of several ingenious gentlemen of both our Universities. My paper of to day gives me unusual satisfaction on this account, and I cannot help looking on it with a great deal of plea­sure as a sort of a little Cambridge Miscellany. The reader will see, it is composed of two little poems, which I have lately received from two different correspondents in that learned University. The Ode to Friendship has, in my opinion, many beauties, and is infinitely superior [Page 752] to the meagre productions of some celebrated Ode­mongers. The Fable I have some reason to imagine, besides the peculiarity of stile and manner, comes from the same hand, who has already obliged the public with some other pieces of poetry published in this paper.

ODE TO FRIENDSHIP.
I.
COME, Gentle Pow'r! from whom arose
Whate'er life's checquer'd scene adorns;
From whom the living current flows,
Whence science fills her various urns:
Sacred to thee yon marble dome,
O Goddess, rears its awful head,
Fraught with the stores of Greece and Rome,
With gold and glowing gems inlaid;
Where Art, by thy command, has fix'd her seat,
And ev'ry Muse and ev'ry Grace retreat.
II.
For erst mankind, a savage race,
As lawless robbers, rang'd the woods,
And chose, when weary'd with the chace,
'Midst rocks and caves their dark abodes:
Till, FRIENDSHIP, thy persuasive strains,
Pow'rful as Orpheu's magic song,
Re-echo'd through the squalid plains,
And drew the brutish herd along:
Lost in surprize, thy pleasing voice they own'd,
Chose softer arts, and polish'd at the sound.
III.
Then Pity first her sacred flame
Within their frozen bosoms rais'd;
Tho' weak the spark, when FRIENDSHIP came,
When FRIENDSHIP wav'd her wing, it blaz'd.
[Page 753]'Twas then first heav'd the social sigh,
The social tear began to flow;
They felt a sympathetic joy,
And learnt to melt at others woe:
By just degrees humanity refin'd,
And virtue fixt her empire in the mind.
IV.
O Goddess, when thy form appears,
Revenge, and rage, and factions cease;
The soul no fury-passion tears,
But all is harmony and peace.
Aghast The * Purple Tyrant stood,
With awe beheld thy glowing charms;
Forgot the impious thirst of blood,
And wish'd to grasp thee in his arms;
Felt in his bread unusual softness rise,
And, deaf before, heard pity's moving cries.
V.
Is there a wretch, in sorrow's shade,
Who ling'ring wastes life's tedious hours;
Is there, on whose devoted head
Her vengeful curses ATE pours?
See, to their aid kind FRIENDSHIP flies,
Their sorrows sympathetic feels,
With lenient hand her balm applies,
And ev'ry care indulgent heals:
The horrid fiends before her stalk away,
As pallid spectres shun th' approach of day.
VI.
O for a faithful honest friend!
To whom I ev'ry care could trust,
Each weakness of my soul commend,
Nor fear him treach'rous or unjust.
Drive flatt'ry's faithless train away,
Those busy, curious, flutt'ring things,
That, insect-like, in fortune's ray
Bask and expand their gaudy wings;
But ah! when once the transient gleam is o'er,
Behold the change—they die, and are no more!

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

YOUR Essay on the abuse of words was very well received here, but more especially that part of it, which contained the modern definition of the word RUINED. You must know, Sir, that in the language of our old Dons, every young man is ruined, who is not an arrant Tycho Brahe, or Erra Pater. Yet it is re­markable, that though the servants of the Muses meet with more than ordinary discouragement at this place, yet Cambridge has produced many celebrated poets: witness Spenser, Milton, Cowley, Dryden, &c. not to men­tion some admired writers of the present times. I my­self, Sir, am grievously suspected of being better ac­quainted with Homer and Virgil than Euclid or Sander­son; and am universally agreed to be ruined for having concerned myself with Hexameter and Pentameter more than Diameter. The equity of this decision I shall not [Page 755] dispute, but content myself at present with submitting to the publick, by means of your paper, the following lines on the import of another favourite word, occasioned by the essay above mentioned.

WORDS are, so Wollaston defines,
Of our ideas merely signs,
Which have a pow'r at will to vary,
As being vague and arbitrary.
Now damn'd, for instance—All agree
Damn'd's the superlative Degree;
Means that alone, and nothing more,
However taken heretofore.
Damn'd is a word can't stand alone,
Which has no meaning of its own;
But signifies or bad or good,
Just as its neighbour's understood.
Examples we may find enough,
Damn'd high, damn'd low, damn'd fire, damn'd stuff.
So fares it too with its relation,
I mean its substantive damnation.
The wit with metaphors makes bold,
And tells you he's damnation cold:
Perhaps, that metaphor forgot,
The self-same wit's damnation hot.
AND here a fable I remember—
Once in the middle of December,
When ev'ry mead in snow was lost,
And ev'ry river bound with frost,
When families got all together,
And feelingly talk o'er the weather;
When—pox of the descriptive rhime—
In short, it was the winter time.
It was a pedlar's happy lot
To fall into a Satyr's cot:
Shiv'ring with cold and almost froze,
With pearly drop upon his nose,
His fingers ends all pinch'd to death,
He blew upon them with his breath.
[Page 756]Friend, quoth the Satyr, what intends
That blowing on thy fingers ends?
"It is to warm them, thus I blow,
"For they are froze as cold as snow;
"And so inclement has it been,
"I'm like a cake of ice within."
Come, quoth the Satyr, comfort, then!
I'll chear thy inside, if I can;
You're welcome in my homely cottage
To a warm fire and mess of pottage.
THIS said, the Satyr nothing loth
A bowl prepar'd of sav'ry broth,
Which with delight the pedlar view'd,
As smoaking on the board it stood.
But though the very steam arose
With grateful odour to his nose,
One single sip he ventur'd not,
The gruel was so wondrous hot.
What can be done?—with gentle puff
He blows it, till it's cool enough.
WHY how now, pedlar, what's the matter?
Still at thy blowing, quoth the Satyr.
I blow to cool it, cries the clown,
That I may get the liquor down,
For tho' I grant you've made it well,
You've boil'd it, Sir, as hot as hell.
THEN raising high his cloven stump,
The Satyr smote him on the rump.
"Begone, thou double knave or fool,
"With the same breath to warm and cool:
"Friendship with such I never hold
"Who're so damn'd hot, and so damn'd cold."

☞We should be glad to know how a Note may be conveyed to G. K.

Printed for R. BALDWIN, at the Rose in Pater-noster-Row; where Letters to the CONNOISSEUR are received.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXVI. THURSDAY, June 24, 1756.

Proinde tona eloquio, solitum tibi—
VIRG.

I Remember a rector of a parish at the court end of the town, who was gene­rally accounted a very fine preacher, that used to aim at delivering himself in the most bold and animated stile of oratory. The tone of his voice was nicely accommodated to the different branches of his dis­course, and every thing was pronounced with uncommon energy and emphasis; he also indulged himself in equal freedom of action, and abounded in various extraordi­nary gesticulations; his sermons themselves were sown thick with tropes, metaphors, and similies, and every where enriched with apostrophe and prosopopaeia.

[Page 758]AS I knew that this reverend gentleman had been abroad with a young nobleman in the capacity of a tra­velling tutor, I did not wonder at the violent exertion of his voice, and the vehemence of his action; as this is a piece of clerical foppery, which an itinerant clergyman is apt to adopt, while his pupil is gleaning all the other follies of Paris: at which place it is very common to see a capuchine so heated with his subject, that he often seems in danger of throwing himself out of the pulpit. But I was at a loss how to account for the glowing stile of his discourses, till happening to turn over the works of a celebrated French preacher, I found that the oratorical performances of my friend were no other than faithful translations of them.

THIS sort of pulpit plagiarism may perhaps be more adapted to the taste of some of our fashionable de­claimers, than the more hackneyed method of tran­scribing a page from Barrow, Tillotson, or Atterbury: but although such practices may be less liable to de­tection, it is certainly more orthodox to rifle the works of our own Divines, than to ransack the treasures of Romish priests; and their inflamed orations are undoubt­edly less adapted to the genius of our people, than the sober reasonings of our own preachers. It must be owned indeed that some of our clergy are greatly want­ing in that life and spirit, which would render their instructions more affecting as well as more pleasing. Their sermons are frequently drawn out in one continued drawl, without any variation of voice or gesture: so that it is no wonder, if some of the congregation should be caught napping, when the preacher himself hardly [Page 759] seems to be awake. But though this drowsy delivery is not to be commended, yet a serious earnestness is most likely to engage the attention, and convince the reason. This manner, as it is most decent in itself, is best suited to an English audience; though it is no wonder that a different strain of oratory should prevail in France, since a Frenchman accompanies almost every word in ordinary conversation with some fantastic gesture, and even enquires concerning your health, and talks of the weather, with a thousand shrugs and grimaces.

BUT though I do not like to see a preacher lazily lolling on the cushion, or dozing over his sermon-case, and haranguing his audience with an unchristian apathy; yet even this unanimated delivery is perhaps less offensive, than to observe a clergyman less assiduous to instruct his audience, than to be admired by them. A sober divine should not ascend the pulpit with the same passions that a public orator mounts the rostrum: much less should he assume the voice, gesture, and de­portment of a player, and the language of the theatre. He should preserve a temperance in the most earnest parts of his discourse, and go through the whole of it in such a manner, as best agrees with the solemn place in which it is uttered. Pompous nonsense, bellowed out with a thundering accent, comes with a worse grace from the pulpit, than bombast and sustian injudiciously ranted forth by a ‘"periwig-pated fellow"’ on the stage. I can­not better illustrate the absurdity and indecency of this manner, than by a familiar, though shameful, instance of it. Whoever has occasionally joined with the butchers in making up the audience of the Clare-Market [Page 760] Orator will agree with me, that the impropriety of his stile and the extravagance of his action become still more shocking and intolerable by the day which they pro­phane, and the ecclesiastical appearance of the place in which the declaimer harangues. Thus while those who thunder out damnation from parish pulpits, may, from assuming the manners of the theatre, be resembled to ranting players; the Clare-Market Orator, while he turns religion into farce, must be considered as exhibiting shews and interludes of an inferior nature, and himself regarded as a Jack-pudding in a gown and cassock.

A BLOATED stile is perhaps of all others least to be commended. It is more frequently made a shelter for nonsense, than a vehicle of truth: but though improper on all occasions, it more especially deviates from the chaste plainness and simplicity of Pulpit Eloquence. Nor am I less displeased with those who are admired by some as pretty preachers; as I think a clergyman may be a coxcomb in his stile and manner, as well as a prig in his appearance. Flowers of rhetoric injudiciously scattered over a sermon are as disgusting in his discourse, as the snug wig and scented white handkerchief in his dress. The pretty preacher aims also at politeness and good-breeding, takes the ladies to task in a genteel vein of raillery, and handles their modish foibles with the same air that he gallants their fans: but if he has a mind to put his abili­ties to the stretch, and indulge himself in a more than ordinary flow of rhetoric, he fritters away the solemnity of some scriptural subject; and I have heard a flourishing declaimer of this cast take off from the awful idea of the Passion by dwelling principally on the gracefulness of person, sweetness of voice, and elegance of deportment [Page 761] in the Divine Sufferer; and at another time in speaking of the Fall, I have known him enter into a picturesque description of the woods, groves, and rivulets, pansies, pinks, and violets, that threw a perpetual gaiety over the face of nature in the garden of Eden.

AFFECTED oratory and an extravagant delivery were first practised by those who vary from the regular esta­blished church: nor is there any manner so unbecoming and indecent, which has not at one time or another been accounted truly spiritual and graceful. Snuffling through the nose with an harmonious twang has been regarded as a kind of church-music best calculated to raise devo­tion, and a piteous chorus of sighs and groans has been thought the most effectual call to repentance. Irregular tremblings of the voice and contortions of the person have long been the eloquence of Quakers and Presbyterians; and are now the favourite mode of preaching practised by those self-ordained teachers, who strike out new lights in religion, and pour forth their extempore rhapsodies in a torrent of enthusiastical oratory. An inspired cobler will thunder out anathemas, with the tone and gesture of St. Paul, from a joint-stool; and an enlightened brick­layer will work himself up to such a pitch of vehemence, as shall make his audience quake again. I am sorry to see our regular divines rather copying than reforming this hot and extravagant manner of preaching; and have with pain been witness to a wild intemperate delivery in our parish-churches, which I should only have expected at the chapel in Long-Acre, or at the Foundery and Ta­bernacle in Moor-Fields.

[Page 762]AS a serious earnestness in the delivery, and a nervous simplicity in the stile of a discourse, are the most becom­ing ornaments of the pulpit, so an affectation of elo­quence is no where so offensive. The delivery of a preacher as well as his diction should, like his dress, be plain and decent. Inflamed eloquence and wild gestures are unsuitable to the place and his function; and though such vehement heat may perhaps kindle the zeal of a few enthusiastic old beldams in the isle, it has a very dif­ferent effect on the more rational part of the congrega­tion. I would therefore recommend it to our fashion­able divines to aim at being Preachers rather than Orators or Actors, and to endeavour to make their discourses ap­pear like Sermons rather than Orations.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXVII. THURSDAY, July 1, 1756.

Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur.
HOR.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

WE are told, that in Spain it is the custom for husbands never to let their wives go abroad without a watchful old woman to attend them; and in Turkey it is the fashion to lock up their mistresses under the guard of a trusty eunuch: but I never knew, that in any country the men were put under the same restrictions. Alas! Sir, my wife is to me a very Duena; she is as careful of me, as the Keisler Aga, or Chief Eunuch, is of the Grand Signior's favourite Sultana: [Page 764] and whether she believes, that I am in love with every woman, or that every woman is in love with me, she will never trust me out of her sight; but sticks as close to me, as if she really was, without a figure, bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. I am never suffered to stir abroad without her, lest I should go astray; and at home she follows me up and down the house like a child in leading-strings: nay, if I do but step down stairs on any ordinary occasion, she is so afraid I shall give her the slip, that she always screams after me, ‘"my dear, you are not going out;"’ though for better security she generally locks up my hat and cane together with her own gloves and cardinal, that one might not stir out without the other.

I CANNOT flatter myself, that I am handsomer or better made than other men: nor has she, in my eyes at least, fewer charms than other women. Need I add, that my complexion is not over-sanguine, nor my constitution very robust? Besides, we have not been married above a month. And yet she is so very doubtful of my con­stancy, that I cannot speak, or even pay the compliment of my hat, to any young lady, though in public, without giving new alarms to her jealousy. Such an one, she is sure from her flaunting airs, is a kept madam; another is no better than she should be; and she saw another tip me the wink, or give me a nod, as a mark of some private assignation between us. A nun, Sir, might as soon force her way into a convent of monks, as any young woman get admittance into our house: she has therefore affronted all her acquaintance of her own sex, that are not, or might not have been, the grandmothers [Page 765] of many generations; and is at home to nobody, but maiden ladies in the bloom of threescore, and beauties of the last century.

SHE will scarce allow me to mix even with persons of my own sex; and she looks upon batchelors in particular, as no better than pimps and common seducers. One evening she, indeed, vouchsafed to trust me out of doors at a tavern with some of my male-friends: but the first bottle had scarce gone round, before word was brought up, that my boy was come with the lanthorn to light me home. I sent him back with orders to call in an hour; when presently after the maid was dispatched, with no­tice that my dear was gone to bed very ill, and wanted me directly. I was preparing to obey the summons; when to our great surprize the sick lady herself bolted into the room, complained of my cruel heart, and fell into a fit, from which she did not recover, till the coach had set us down at our own house. She then called me the ba­sest of husbands, and said that all taverns were no better than bawdy-houses, and that men only went thither to meet naughty women: at last she declared it to be her firm resolution, that I should never set my foot again in any one of them, except herself be allowed to make one of the company.

YOU will suppose, Sir, that while my wife is thus cautious that I should not be led astray when abroad, she takes particular care that I should not stumble on tempta­tions at home. For this reason, as soon as I had brought her to my house, my two maid-servants were imme­diately turned away at a moment's warning, not with­out [Page 766] out many covert hints and some open accusations of too near an intimacy between us: though I protest to you one was a feeble old wrinkled creature, as haggard and frightful as mother Shipton; and the other, a strapping wench, as coarse and brawny as the Female Samson. Even my man John, who had lived in the family for thir­ty years, was packed off, as being too well acquainted with his master's sly ways. A chair-woman was forced to do our work for some time, before madam could suit herself with maids for her purpose. One was too pert an hussy; another went too fine; another was an impudent forward young baggage. At present our household is made up of such beautiful monsters, as Caliban himself might fall in love with: my lady's own waiting-woman has a most inviting hump-back, and is so charmingly pa­ralytic, that she shakes all over like a Chinese figure; the house-maid squints most delightfully with one soli­tary eye, which weeps continually for the loss of its fel­low; and the cook, besides a most captivating red face and protuberant waist, has a most graceful hobble in her gait, occasioned by one leg being shorter than the other.

I NEED not tell you, that I must never write a letter, but madam must see the contents before it is done up; and that I never durst open one till she has broke the seal, or read it till she has first run it over. Every rap from the post-man at the door makes her tremble; and I have known her ready to burst with spleen at seeing a superscription written in a fair Italian hand, though perhaps it only comes from my aunt in the country. She can pick out an intrigue even from the impression on the wax: and a cupid, or two hearts joined [Page 767] in union, or a wafer pricked with a pin, or stamped with a thimble, she interprets as the certain tokens of a billet­doux. The other week I received a letter from Derby-shire, which awakened all her mistrust. She knew from the scrawl and strange spelling on the outside, that it must come from a woman: she therefore tore it open in a violent rage, in hopes of making a most ma­terial discovery; but to her great disappointment the con­tents were perfectly illegible. She was now convinced that it came from some nasty creature, whom I maintained in the country; and that we corresponded together in cypher. I was obliged to confess the truth; that it was, indeed, drawn up in cypher, and that I had the key to it. At length, with much ado, I explained the whole matter to her; telling her, that it was a letter from my farmer, who not having been bred at a writing-school expressed his meaning by characters of his own invention. However, this assurance did not at all pacify her, till she had dispatched a trusty messenger to be certified of the truth.

THIS loving creature happened to be taken ill lately, when she thought that she was going to die. She called me to her bed-side, and with tears in her eyes told me, that she should not be able to die in peace, except I would promise her one thing. I assured her, I would promise any thing to make her easy— ‘"O my dear, says she, I cannot bear the thought of your being another's; and therefore I shall not rest in my grave, if you do not swear to me, that you will never marry again, or think of another woman, as long as you [Page 768] live."’ My poor dear is, however, recovered, with­out putting my faith to so hard a trial: though I may venture to say, that I have already had so much of matrimony, I could submit to any conditions to part with her.

I am, Sir, Your very humble servant, &c.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXVIII. THURSDAY, July 8, 1756.

Felix convivium, in quod choraules non venit.
MART.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

MY wife is mad, stark mad; and unless you can prescribe some remedy for that strange phrenzy that possesses her, my peace of mind must be for ever broken, and my fortune in­evitably ruined. You must know, sir, that she is afflicted with a disorder exactly opposite to the bite of a Tarantula: for as that is said to admit of no cure but music, there is not a note in the Gamut, but what tends to heighten and inflame my wife's lunacy. I find it is the fashion in this age for singers and fidlers to publish Appeals to the public: wherefore, as you have hitherto listened to the complaints of husbands, I must beg you now to consider [Page 770] mine, and to suffer me also to Appeal to the public by means of your paper.

A FEW years ago business called me over to Italy; where this unfortunate woman received the first, touches of this disorder. She soon conceived a violent passion for Taste in general, which settled at last in an unquenchable rage after musical compositions. Solos, Sonatas, Operas, and Con­certos, became her sole employment and delight, and singers and musicians her only company. At length full of Italian airs she returned to England, where also her whole happiness has been centered in the orchestra, and it has been her whole pride to be thought a Connoisseur in music. If there is an opera, oratorio, or concert, to be performed within the bills of mortality, I do not believe that the riches of the Indies could prevail on her to be absent. Two, and only two good consequences attend this madness, and those are, that she constantly attends St. James's chapel for the sake of the anthem and the rest of the music: and out of the many pounds idly squandered on minums and semi­quavers, some few are dedicated to charities, which are pro­moted by musical performances.

BUT what makes this rage after catgut more irksome and intolerable to me is, that I have not myself the least idea of what they call Taste, and it almost drives me mad to be pestered with it. I am a plain man, and have not the least spice of a Connoisseur in my composition, yet nothing will satisfy my wife unless I appear as fond of such nonsense as herself. About a month ago she prevailed on me to attend her to the Opera, where every dying fall made her expire, as well as Lady Townly. She was ravished with one air, in [Page 771] extasies at another, applauded Ricciarelli, encored Mingotti, and in short acted like an absolute madwoman; while the performance and her behaviour had a quite different effect upon me, who sat dumb with confusion, ‘"most musical, most melancholy,"’ at her elbow. When we came home again, she seemed as happy as harmony could make her, but I must own, that I was all discord, and most heartily vexed at being made a fool in public. ‘"Well, my dear, said she, how do you like the opera?"—’ ‘"Zouns, madam, I would as soon be dragged through a horsepond, as go to an opera with you again."—’ ‘"O fie! but you must be delighted with The Mingotti."—’ ‘"The Mingotti! The Devil."—’ ‘"Well, I am sorry for it, Sir Aaron, but I find you have no Ear."—’ ‘"Ear, madam? I had rather cut off my ears, than suffer them to make me an ideot."’ To this she made me no reply, but began a favourite opera tune, and after taking a tour round the room like one of the singers, left me alone.

IF my wife could be satisfied, like other musical ladies, with attending public performances, and now and then thrumming on her harpsicord the tunes she hears there; I should be content. But she has also a concert of her own constantly once a week. Here she is in still greater raptures than at the opera, as all the music is chosen and appointed by herself. The expence of this whim is monstrous, for not one of these people will open their mouths, or rosin a single string, without being very well paid for it. Then she must have all the best hands and voices, and has almost as large a set of performers in pay as the manager of the opera. It puts me quite out of patience to see these fellows strutting about my house drest up like lords and gentlemen. Not a [Page 772] single fiddler or singer but what appears in lace or embroidery, and I once mistook my wife's chief musi­cian for a foreign ambassador.

IT is impossible to recount the numberless follies to which this ridiculous passion for Music exposes her. Her devotion to the art, makes her almost adore the professors of it. A musician is a greater man in her eye than a duke, and she would sooner oblige an opera-singer than a countess. She is as busy in promoting their benefits as if she was to have the receipts of the house; and quarrels with all her ac­quaintance, who will not permit her to load them with tick­ets. Every fidler in town makes it his business to scrape an acquaintance with her, and an Italian is no sooner imported than she becomes a part of my wife's band of performers. In the late Opera disputes she has been a most furious parti­zan, and it is impossible for any patriot to feel more anxiety for the danger of Blakeney and Minorca, than she has suffered on account of the Opera, and the loss of Mingotti.

I DO not believe my wife has a single idea except recita­tive, airs, counter-tenor, thorough-bass, &c. which are perpetually singing in her head. When we sit together, instead of joining in any agreeable conversation, she is always either humming a tune, or ‘"discoursing most eloquent music."’ Nature has denied her a voice, but as Italy has given her Taste and a graceful manner, she is continually squeaking out strains less melodious, than the harmony of ballad-singing in our streets, or psalm-singing in a country church. To make her still more ridiculous, she learns to play on that masculine instrument the bass-viol; the pleasure of which nothing can prevail on her to forego, as the [Page 773] bass-viol, she daily tells me, contains the whole power and very soul of harmony.

WHAT method, Mr. TOWN, shall I persue to cure my wife of this musical phrenzy? I have some thoughts of holding weekly a burlesque Rorotorio, composed of mock-airs with grand accompanyments of the Jew's Harp, Wooden Spoons, and Marrowbones and Cleavers on the same day with my wife's concert; and have actually sent to two of Mrs. Midnight's hands to teach me the art and mystery of playing on the Broomstick and Hurdy-Gurdy, at the same time that my wife learns on the bass-viol. I have also a strong rough voice, which will enable me to roar out Bumper Squire Jones, Roast Beef, or some other old English ballad, whenever she begins to trill forth her melodious airs in Italian. If this has no effect, I will learn to beat the drum, or wind the post-horn: and if I should still find it impossible for noise and clamour to overcome the sound of her voices and instruments, I have half-resolved peremptorily to shut my doors against singers and fidlers, and even to demolish her harpsichord and bass-viol.

BUT this, alas! is coming to extremities, which I am almost afraid to venture, and would endeavour to avoid. I have no aversion to music, but I would not be a fidler: nor do I dislike company, but I would as soon keep an inn, as convert my house into a theatre for all the idle things of both sexes to assemble at. But my wife's affections are so wedded to the Gamut, that I cannot devise any means to wean her from this folly. If I could make her fond of dress, or teach her to love cards, plays, or any thing but music I should be happy. This method of destroying [Page 774] my peace with harmony, is no better than tickling me to death; and to squander away such sums of money on a parcel of bawling scraping rascals in laced coats and bag-wigs, is absolutely giving away my estate for an old song. You, Mr. TOWN, are a professed Connoisseur, therefore either give me a little Taste, or teach my wife to abandon it: for at present we are but a jangling pair, and there is not the least harmony between us, though, like bass and treble, we are obliged to join in concert.

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant, AARON HUMKIN.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXIX. THURSDAY, July 15, 1756.

—Post cineres gloria sera venit.
MART.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

I AM a rich old bachelor, and like other an­tient gentlemen of that order, and very fond of being indulged in all my odd humours, and always having my own way. This is one reason I never married, for if my wife had been a shrewish termagant, she would have killed me, and if she had been a tame domestic animal I should have killed her: but the way of life I have now fallen into is of all others the best calculated to gratify my fantastical temper. I have no near relation indeed to treat as an humble cousin all my life, in hopes of being happy at my death; yet I abound in sycophants and followers, all whom I delude, [Page 776] like another Volpone, with the expectations of being made my heir. The abject spirit of these wretches flatters me, and amuses me. I am indolent and hate contradiction, and can safely say that not one of my acquaintance has contra­dicted me for these seven years. There is not one of them but would be glad if I would spit in his face, or rejoice at a kick of the breech from me, if they thought I meant it as a token of my familiarity. When I am grave, they appear as dull as mutes at a funeral; when I smile, they grin like monkies; when I tell a silly story, they chuckle over every ridiculous particular, and shake their sides in admiration of my wit. Sometimes I pretend to be short-sighted, and then not one of them sees farther than his nose. They swallow sour wine, eat musty victuals, and are proud to ride in my old boots.

I HAVE been told of a certain prelate, who brought his chaplains to such a degree of servility, that after every deal at whist, they would ask him, what he would chuse to have for trumps next deal? I keep my fellows in equal good order. They all think me a close old hunks, and imagining that winning their money will put me in good humour with them, they practice all the arts of sharping to cheat them­selves. I have known them pack the cards at Whist, that I might hold all the four honours in my own hand; they will load the dice in my favour at Hazard; pocket themselves on purpose at Billiards; and at Bowls if any one is near win­ning the game, he never fails in the next cast to mistake his biass. It is impossible for the most despotic monarch to be more absolute over his subjects, than I am over these slaves and sycophants. Yet in spite of all their endeavours to oblige me, I most heartily despise them, and have al­ready [Page 777] drawn up a will, in which I have bequeathed to each of them a shilling and a dog-collar.

BUT though I have settled in my mind what legacies I shall leave them, I have not thoroughly resolved in what manner I shall dispose of the bulk of my estate. Indeed I am fully determined, like most other wealthy bachelors, either to leave my fortune to some ostentatious pious uses, or to persons, whom I have never seen, and for whose cha­racters I have not the least regard or esteem. To speak sin­cerely, ostentation carries away my whole heart: but then it is a little difficult to find out a new object to indulge my va­nity, whilst I am on this side the grave; by securing to me a certain prospect of posthumous fame, which is always so agreeable to living pride.

THE hospitals are so numerous that my name will be lost among those more known and established of Guy, Morden, Bancroft, and I know not who. Besides in the space of four or five centuries perhaps it may be thought, notwithstanding my whole length picture and statue, that I had assistance from parliament. If I order my money to be laid out in churches, they will never be built. If in temple, gardens, lakes, obelisks, and serpentine rivers; the next generation of the sons of Taste will demolish all my works, turn my rounds into squares, and my squares into rounds, and not leave even my bust, although it were cast a plaister of Paris by Mr. Racstrow, or worked up in wax by Mr. Goupy. Or supposing in imitation of some of my predecessors, I were to bequeath my fortune to my housekeeper, and recommend her in my will as a pattern of virtue, diligence, and every good quality, what will be the effect? In three weeks [Page 778] after my death she will marry an Irishman, and I shall not even enjoy my monument and marble perriwig in Westminster-Abby.

NOTHING perplexes me so much as the disposal of my money by my last will and testament. While I am living, it procures the most servile compliance with all my whims from my sycophants, and several other conveniences: but I would fain buy fame with it after my death. Do but in­struct me, how I may lay it out in the most valuable pur­chases of this sort, only discover some new object of charity, and perhaps I may bequeath you a round sum of money for your advice.

I am, SIR, Your humble Servant, THOMAS VAINALL.

IT is said by an old poet, that no man's life can be called happy or unhappy till his death: in like manner I have often thought that no words or actions are a better comment on a person's temper and disposition, than his last will and testament. This is a true portraiture of himself drawn at full length by his own hand, in which the painting is com­monly very lively, and the features very strongly marked. In the discharge of this solemn act, people sign and seal themselves, either wise and good characters, or villains and sools: and any person that makes a ridiculous will, and be­queaths his money to frivolous uses, only takes a great deal of pains, like Dogberry in the play, ‘"that he may be set down and ass."’

[Page 779]THE love of fame governs our actions more universally than any other passion. All the rest gradually drop off, but this runs through our whole lives. This perhaps is one of the chief inducements that influences wealthy per­sons to bequeath their possessions to ostentatious uses, and they would as willingly lay out a considerable sum in buying a great name (if possible) at their deaths, as they would bestow it on the purchase of a coat of heraldry during their lives. They are pleased with leaving some memorial of their existence behind them, and to perpetuate the remembrance of themselves by the application of their money of some vain-glorious purposes; though the good gentlemen never did one act to make themselves remarkable, laid out a single shilling in a laudable manner, while they lived. If an Apotheosis were to be bought, how many rich scoundrels would be deified after their deaths! not a plumb in the city but would purchase this imaginary godship, as readily as he paid for his freedom at his first setting up; and I doubt not but this fantastical distinction would be more frequent on an escutcheon, than a coronet.

THE disposal of our fortunes by our last will should be considered as the discharge of a sacred trust, which we should endeavour to execute in a just manner; and as we have had the enjoyment of rich possessions, we ought care­fully to provide that they may devolve to those, who have the most natural claim to them. They who may first de­mand our favour, are those who are allied to us by the ties of blood: next to these stand those persons to whom we are connected by friendship: and next to our friends and rela­tions, mankind in general. But the humanity of a tes­tator will not be thought very extensive, though it reaches [Page 780] to posterity, or includes the poor in general, if it neg­lects the objects of charity immediately under his eye, or those individuals who have the best title to his benevolence. Virgil has placed those rich men, who bestowed none of their wealth on their relations, among the chief personages in his Hell. Wherefore I would advise my good correspondent Mr. Vainall first to consider, whether he has not some poor relation, starving perhaps in some distant part of the king­dom: after that let him look round, whether he has not some friends, whom he may possibly relieve from misery and distress. But if he has no relation, nor no person in the world that has any regard for him, before he begins to en­dow a college or found an hospital, I should take it as a par­ticular favour if he would leave his money to me, and will promise to immortalize his memory in the Connoisseur.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXX. THURSDAY, July 22, 1756.

—Lyrae solers et cantor—
HOR.

I HAVE just received the following let­ter from lady Humkin, the musical con­sort of my late correspondent Sir Aaron. I shall not pretend to moderate in family disputes of so important a nature, but leave each party to speak for themselves.

Mr. TOWN,

PRAY hear both sides fairly, before you judge; for (to use a vulgar expression) one story is good, till the other is told. I am, sir, the unfortunate wife of that [Page 782] inelegant (I had almost said insensible) husband, who in your paper of the eighth instant pronounces and pub­lishes me to be mad, stark mad.

I CONFESS and glory in my passion for music: and can there be a nobler or a more generous one? My nerves are naturally strung to harmony, and variously affected by the various combinations of the Gamut. Some stay in Italy added skill and taste in composition to my natural happy disposition to music; and the best judges, as well as the best performers in that country, allowed me to have an uncommon share of virtù. I both compose and per­form, sir: and though I say it, perhaps few even of the profession possess the contra-punto and the cromatic bet­ter; and I have had the unspeakable pleasure, of hearing my compositions and my performances dignified in Italy with the unanimous appellations of squisito, divino, and adorevole.

IS there any madness in this? Does not he better de­serve that imputation, whose breast is insensible and im­penetrable to all charms and powers of harmony? To be plain, I mean my husband; whom I have frequently seen yawn, nay leave the room, in the middle of the most touching pathetic, sung by the most affecting Sig­nora Mingotti, accompanied by the divine Signor di Giar­dino. And yet,—pardon this digressive transport,—how irresistible is the expression, the melody, the cadences, the appogyraturas of that incomparable virtuosa! What energy, what delicacy, and what variety are in the in­imitable [Page 783] compositions and execution of the charming Sig­nor di Giardino! What an arpeggio he has, what a stacca­to, what an andante! In short, I may I am sure with truth assert, that whether in the allegro or the piano, the adagio, the largo, or the forte, he never had his equal. O, Mr. TOWN, what an irretrievable loss has this coun­try sustained! My good man, among his other qualifi­cations, is a politician, you must know; and one of his principal objections against these virtuosi is, that they are foreigners. He flew into a violent passion with me last Sunday night, because I had a concert at my house, when (he said) such bad news were received from abroad. I know not what he, and other muddy-headed politicians may think: but let him talk what he will of THE Blakeney, THE Governor, THE Admiral, I am sure the nation cannot sustain a greater evil than the loss of THE Mingotti; who, as the public prints will inform you, ‘"is gone to Holland, till her affairs in England can be settled."’

BUT however gothic my husband may be, I am fully determined to discharge the duty of a good wife. Ac­cordingly, whenever he comes into my room, I sit down to my harpsichord, and sing and play the most soothing pieces of music, in hopes some time or other of hitting his unison, but hitherto to no purpose; and, to say the truth, I fear he has not one harmonic nerve in his whole system, though otherwise a man of good plain sense. When he interrupts my performances, (as in his letter he owns that he does) with wishing for the men from [Page 784] Mother Midnight's, with their wooden spoons, salt-boxes, jews-harps, and broom-sticks, to play in concert with me; I answer him with all gentleness and calmness ima­ginable.— ‘"Indeed, my dear, you have not the least no­tion of these things. It would be impossible to bring those ridiculous instruments into a concert, and to adapt a thorough bass to them: they have not above three notes at most, and those cannot be softenute."’—I wish ‘"for all that, answers he, that they were here; I should like them better than all your Signors and Signoras; and I am sure they would cost a great deal less."’

THIS article of expence he often dwells upon, and sometimes even with warmth; to which I reply with all the mildness that becomes a good wife, ‘"My dear, you have a good fortune of your own, and I brought you still a better. Of what use is money, if not em­ployed? and how can it be better employed, than in encouraging and rewarding distinguished gusto and merit? These people, that you call ballad-singers and pipers, are people of birth, though for the most part of small fortunes; and they are much more consi­dered, as you know, in Italy, than all the greatest antient Roman heroes, if revived, would now be. Many of them, who would perhaps make a figure in the church or the state, have been considerable losers by devoting themselves to the pleasures of mankind. They leave their own country, where they are infinitely esteemed for their moral as well as their musical characters, and generously sacrifice all [Page 785] these advantages to our diversion. Besides, my dear, what should we do wish our money? would you lavish it away, upon foundling bastards, lying-in women who have either no husbands or too many, importunate beggars, all whose cries and complaints are the most shocking discords? or suppose that we were to save our money, and leave our children better fortunes, who knows but they might, as too many do, squander them away idly? whereas what we give to these virtuosi, we know is given to merit. For my own part, my dear, I have infinite pleasure, when I can get any of them to accept of fifty or an hundred guineas, which by the way cannot always be brought about without some art and contri­vance; for they are most exceedingly nice and de­licate upon the point of honour, especially in the article of money. And I look upon such trifling presents as a debt due to superior talents and merit; and I endeavour to insinuate them in a way that the receiver may not blush."’ —Here my husband breaks out into a violent passion, and says,— ‘"Oons, madam, show me a virtuoso or a virtuosa, (as you call them) who ever blushed in their lives, and I will give them the fee simple of my estate."’ You see, Mr. TOWN, what a strange man he is, that he has no idea of elegance and divertimenti, and when he is so violently in alt, I will leave you to judge who it is that is mad, stark mad.

IN short, sir, my husband is insensible, untuneable, to the most noble, generous, and strongest of all hu­man [Page 786] passions, a passion for music. That divine passion alone engrosses the whole soul, and leaves no room for lesser and vulgar cares; for you must certainly have ob­served, Mr. TOWN, that whoever has a passion for, and a thorough knowledge of music, is fit for no one other thing. Thus truly informed of my case, I am sure you will judge equitably between Sir Aaron and

Your faithful humble servant, MARIA HUMKIN.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXI. THURSDAY, July 29, 1756.

—Inter
Perfectos veteresque referri debet, an inter
Viles atque novos?
HOR.

NO other disposition or turn of mind so totally unfits a man for all the social offices of life as Indolence. An idle man is a mere blank in the creation, he seems made for no end, and lives to no purpose. He can­not engage himself in any employment or profession, be­cause he will never have diligence enough to follow it; he can succeed in no undertaking, for he will never persue it; he must be a bad husband, father, and relation, for he will not take the least pains to preserve his wife, children, and family from starving; and he must be a worthless friend, for he would not draw his hand from his bosom, though to [Page 788] prevent the destruction of the universe. If he is born poor, he will remain so all his life, which he will probably end in a ditch or at the gallows; if he embarks in trade he will be a bankrupt; and if he is a person of fortune, he stew­ards will acquire immense estates, and he himself perhaps will die in the Fleet.

IT should be considered that nature did not bring us into the world in a state of perfection, but has left us in a capacity of improvement: which should seem to intimate that we should labour to render ourselves excellent. Very few are such absolute ideots, as not to be able to become at least decent, if not eminent, in their several stations, by unwearied and keen application: nor are there any possest of such transcendant genius and abilities, as to render all pains and diligence unnecessary. Perseverance will over­come difficulties, which at first appear insuperable; and it is amazing to consider, how great and numerous obstacles may be removed by a continual attention to any particular point. I will not mention here the trite example of De­mosthenes, who got over the greatest natural impediments to oratory, but content myself with a more modern and fami­liar instance. Being at Sadler's Wells a few nights ago, I could not but admire the surprizing feats of activity there exhibited, and at the same time reflected what incredible pains and labour it must have cost the performers, to ar­rive at the art of writhing their bodies into such various and unnatural contortions. But I was most taken with the ingenious artist, who after fixing two bells to each foot, the same number to each hand, and with great propriety placing a cap and bells on his head, played several tunes, and went through as regular triple peals [Page 789] and Bob Majors as the boys at Christ Church Hospital; all which he effected by the due jerking of his arms and legs, and nodding his head backward and forward. If this artist had taken equal pains to employ his head in another way, he might perhaps have been as deep a proficient in numbers as Jedediah Buxton, or at least a tolerable modern rhimer, of which he is now no bad emblem: and if our fine ladies would use equal diligence, they might fashion their minds as successfully as Madam Catharina distorts her body.

THERE is not in the world a more useless idle animal, than he who contents himself with being merely a Gentle­man. He has an estate, therefore he will not endeavour to acquire knowledge: he is not to labour in any vocation, therefore he will do nothing. But the misfortune is that there is no such thing in nature as negative virtue, and that absolute idleness is impracticable. He who does no good, will certainly do mischief; and the mind, if it is not stored with useful knowledge, will necessarily become a magazine of nonsense and trifles. Wherefore a Gentleman, though he is not obliged to rise to open his shop or work at his trade, may always find some ways of employing his time to advantage. If he makes no advances in wisdom, he will become more and more a slave to folly; and he that does nothing because he has nothing to do, will become vicious and abandoned, or at best ridiculous and contemptible.

THERE is not a more melancholy object, than a man of an honest heart and fine natural abilities whose good quali­ties are thus destroyed by Indolence. Such a person is a constant plague to all his friends and acquaintance, with all the means in his power of adding to their happiness; and [Page 790] suffers himself to rank among the lowest characters, when he might render himself conspicuous among the highest. Nobody is more universally beloved, and more universally avoided than my friend Careless. He is a humane man, who never did a beneficent action; and a man of unshaken integrity, on whom it is impossible to depend. With the best head, and the best heart, he regulates his conduct in the most absurd manner, and frequently injures his friends; for whoever neglects to do justice to himself, must in­evitably wrong those with whom he is connected; and it is by no means a true maxim, that an idle man hurts nobody but himself.

VIRTUE then is not to be considered in the light of mere innocence, or abstaining from harm, but as the exertion of our faculties in doing good: as Titus, when he had let a day slip, undistinguished by some act of virtue, cried out, ‘"I have lost a day."’ If we regard our time in this light, how many days shall we look back upon as irretrievably lost? and to how narrow a compass would such a method of cal­culation frequently reduce the longest life? If we were to number our days, according as we have applied them to virtue, it would occasion strange revolutions in the manner of reckoning the ages of men. We should see some few men arrived to a good old age in the prime of their youth, and meet with several young fellows of fourscore.

AGREEABLE to this way of thinking, I remember to have met with the epitaph of an aged man, four years old: dating his existence, from the time of his reformation from evil courses. The inscriptions on most tomb-stones commemo­rate no acts of virtue performed by the persons who lie under [Page 791] them, but only record that they were born one day and died another. But I would fain have those people, whose lives have been useless, rendered of some service after their deaths, by affording lessons of instruction and morality to those they leave behind them. Wherefore I could wish, that in every parish several acres were marked out for a new and spacious Burying-Ground: in which every person, whose remains are there deposited, should have a small stone laid over them, reckon­ing their age according to the manner in which they have improved or abused the time allotted them in their lives. In such circumstances, the plate on a coffin might be the high­est panegyric which the deceased could receive; and a lit­tle square stone, inscribed with Ob. Ann. Aetat. 80. would be a nobler eulogium than all the lapidary adulation of mo­dern epitaphs. In a Burying-Ground of this nature, allow­ing for the partiality of survivors, which would certainly point out the most brilliant actions of their dead friends, we might perhaps see some inscriptions, not much unlike the following.

Here lie the remains of a celebrated Beauty, aged 50, who died in the fifth year of her age. She was born in her eighteenth year, and was untimely killed by the small pox in her twenty third.
Here rests in eternal sleep the mortal part of L. B. a Free­thinker, aged 88, an Infant. He came into the world by chance in the year — and was annihilated in the first year of his age.
Here continue to rot the bones of a noted Buck, an em­bryo, who never shewed any signs of life, and after twenty [Page 792] three years was so totally putrified, that it could not be kept above ground any longer.
Here lies the swoln carcase of a Boon Companion, who was born in a dropsy in the 40th year of his age: He lin­gered in this condition, till he was obliged to be tapped, when he relapsed into his former condition, and died in the second year of his age, and the 23d of his drinking.
Here lies Isaac Da-Costa, a convert from Judaism, aged 64. He was born and christened in his 61st year, and died in the true Faith in the third year of his age.
Here is deposited the body of the celebrated Beau Tawdry, who was born at court in the year — on a Birthnight, and died of grief in his second year upon the court's going into mourning.
Here rots A. B. Still-born, who died of a fright on the twentieth of May, 1756.
Here rests from his labours the Brave General B. who died about the hundredth year of his age, older than Methuselah.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXII. THURSDAY, August 5, 1756.

Odi profanum vulgus, et arceo.
HOR.

I KNOW not any greater misfortune that can happen to a young fellow at his first setting out in life, than his falling into Low Company. He that sinks to a familiarity with persons much below his own level, will be constantly weighed down by his base connections: and though he may easily plunge still lower, he will find it impossible ever to rise again. We cannot give a liberal [Page 794] turn of mind to a vulgar by introducing him to genteel company, any more than we can make a beau of him by dressing him in embroidery: but a gentlemen will as na­turally catch the manners of a blackguard by mixing with blackguards, as he would daub his cloaths with foot by running against a chimney-sweeper.

BY Low Company I would not be supposed to mean the best and most valuable part of mankind, which have been distinguished by the name of Middling sort of people: though I am not ignorant, that these are despised by all, who would be thought to keep the Best Company. The apes of quality affect to look upon all others, who have no relish for the amusements of high life, or do not chuse to pay a guinea for their ordinary, as downright vulgars: and it was with the utmost contempt I once heard a young coxcomb of fashion speak of a most inti­mate friend, ‘"that he should be forced to drop his ac­quaintance, because he kept such low company."’ Nei­ther would I confine this appellation solely to the inferior order of tradesmen and mechanics, or the whole body of the mobility in general: for although this rank of people may be literally said to be in low life, a right honourable, who lets himself down to the manners of a porter or a hackney-coachman, differs from them in nothing but his title.

A PROPENSITY to Low Company is either owing to an original meanness of spirit, a want of education, or [Page 795] an ill-placed pride, commonly arising from both the fore-mentioned causes. Those, who are naturally of a grovelling disposition, shew it even at school, by chusing their play-mates from the scum of the class; and are never so happy, as when they can steal down to romp with the servants in the kitchen. But the most frequent cause is the desire of being, as it is called, the head of the company; and a person of this humble ambition will be very well content to pay the reckoning, for the honour of being distinguished by the title of The Gentle­man. It sometimes happens, that a man of genius and learning will stoop to receive the incense of mean and illiterate flatterers in a porter-house or a cyder-cellar: and I remember to have heard of a poet, who was once caught in a bawdy-house in the very fact, of reading his verses to the good old mother and a circle of her daughters.

THERE are some, who have been led into Low Company, merely from an affectation of Humour; and from a notion of seeing life, and a desire of being ac­counted men of humour, have descended to associate with the meanest of the mob, and picked their cronies from White-Chapel and Broad St. Giles's. Of these cha­racters the most remarkable is a young fellow of family and fortune, who was born and bred a gentleman, but has taken great pains to degrade himself; and is now as complete a blackguard as those whom he has chosen for his companions. He will drink purl in a [Page 796] morning, smoke his pipe in a night-cellar, and eat black puddings at Bartholomew Fair, for the Humour of the thing. All the while, he is reckoned by his friends to be a mighty good-natured gentleman, and without the least bit of pride in him.

IN order to qualify himself for the society of the vulgar, Bob has studied and practised all the vulgar arts under the best masters. He has therefore cultivated an intimacy with Buckhorse, and is very proud of being sometimes admitted to the honour of conversing with the great Broughton himself. He is also very well known among the hackney-coachmen, as a brother­whip: but his greatest excellence is cricket-playing, in which he is reckoned as good a bat as either of the Bennets; and is at length arrived at the supreme dig­nity of being distinguished among his brethren of the wicket by the title of Long Robin.

IT is diverting enough to consider the fate of many of Bob's intimate friends and acquaintance. It must be owned, that some of these have come to an untimely end; that some have been sent abroad, and others been set in the pillory, or whipt in Bridewell. One of Bob's favourite amusements is attending the executions at Tyburn: and it once happened, that one of his com­panions was unfortunately brought thither; when Bob carried his regard for his deceased friend so far, as to [Page 797] get himself knocked down in endeavouring to rescue the body from the surgeons.

As Bob constantly affects to mimic the air and man­ners of the vulgar, he takes care to enrich his conver­sation with the emphatical oaths and expressive dialect of Billingsgate and St. Giles's; which never fails to re­commend him as a man of excellent humour among the Choice Spirits and the Sons of sound sense and satis­faction, and frequently promotes him to the chair in these facetious societies. But he is particularly famous for singing those Cant Songs, drawn up in the lingo of sharpers and pick-pockets; the humour of which he greatly sets off and heightens, by screwing up his mouth, and rolling about a large quid of tobacco be­tween his jaws.

BOB has indulged the same notions of humour even in his amours: and he is well known to every street-walker between Charing-Cross and Cheap-Side. This has ruined his constitution, and often involved him in several unluckly scrapes. He has been fre­quently bruised, beat, and kicked by the bullies in Fleet-Ditch and Blood-Bowl Alley; and he was once soundly drubbed by a soldier for engaging with his trull in St. James's Park. The last time I saw him, he was laid up with two black eyes, and a broken pate, which he got in a midnight skirmish about a mistress in a night-cellar. He had carried down a [Page 798] bunter which he had picked up in the streets, in order to treat her with a quartern of gin royal; when a sturdy chairman attempting to take away his doxy, a battle ensued between them, and he was severely handled, amid the universal cry of the whole company, of—kick him up stairs—kick him up stairs.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXIII. THURSDAY, August 12, 1756.

Sex horas sommo, totidem des legibus aequis;
Quatuor orabis, des epulisque duas.
Quod superest, ultrò sacris largire Camaenis.
CO. LITT.

To Mr. TOWN.

SIR!

IF we look into the several inns of court, the profest students of the law compose a very numerous body: but if we afterwards turn our eyes on those few, who are employed in exercising their talents in Westminster-Hall, this prodigious army of lawyers shrinks to a very thin and inconsiderable corps. Thousands, it seems, are disgusted with the unpleasing dryness of the study, as it is now ma­naged, and conceive an unconquerable aversion to the white [Page 800] leaves and the old black letter. This early dislike to legal enquiries certainly proceeds from the fatal mistakes in the plan of study hitherto marked out. According to all systems now extant, it is absolutely impossible to be at once a lawyer and a fine gentleman. Seeing with concern the many evils arising from these erroneous principles, I have at length devised a method to remedy all these inconveniences; a method, now very successfully practised by several young gentlemen. Wherefore I must beg leave to submit my thoughts to the public by means of your paper, and to chalk out the out­lines of a treatise, now ready for the press, intitled The Com­plete Barrister, or, a New Institute of the Laws of England.

MY Lord Coke prescribes to our student to follow the ad­vice given in the ancient verses, prefixed to this letter, for the good spending of the day. ‘"Six hours to sleep, six to the study of the law, four to prayer, two to meals, and the rest to the Muses."’ But what an absurd and un­fashionable distribution of the four and twenty hours! I will venture a thousand pounds to a shilling, that not one student in the kingdom divides his time in this manner. Here is not a single word of Vauxhall, Ranelagh, the theatres, or other public diversions; not to mention that nobody but a methodist would ever think of praying four hours, and that it would be impossible, though we were content with snap­ping up a chop every day at Betty's, to dispatch even dinner in two. How then shall we reconcile these precepts, scarce practicable by a hermit, to the life of a young gentleman who keeps the best company? Or how can these rules for severe application be made consistent with the practice of those, who divide their whole time between eating, drink­ing, sleeping, and amusements? Well knowing that the [Page 801] volatile dispositions of the young gentlemen of the present age can never submit the ordering of their lives to any pre­scribed rules, I have endeavoured to square my precepts to their lives; and have so contrived the matter, that amidst the keenest persuit of their pleasures, they shall be engaged in the most improving course of the law.

AS laws are chiefly nothing else but rules of action, what can be more cruel and absurd, than to coop up a brisk young man to learn in his chambers, what he can so much better teach himself by going abroad into the world? I propose to dose gentlemen with study, as Dr. Rock does with physic, to be taken at home or abroad without loss of time or hindrance of business. This, I am convinced, is not only the best me­thod, but also the only scheme which several inhabitants of the inns of court would ever follow. I shall not at present forestall the contents of my treatise by presenting you with a dry abstract of it, but rather endeavour to give you an idea of the spirit and manner in which it is written, by delineating the plan diligently persued by one of my favourite pupils: and I cannot but congratulate the bar, that so many young men, instead of blinding their eyes and bewildering their under­standings with Coke, Plowden, Salkeld, &c. have sense enough to follow the same course of study.

TOM RIOT, the principal ornament of my class of stu­dents, was sent to the Temple, not with any intention that he should become a great lawyer, but merely because, for a few years, his father did not know how to dispose of him other­wise: but so unwearied has been his application to the new method, that his father and the rest of his friends will, I doubt not, be surprized at his wonderful proficiency. As [Page 802] nothing is of more consequence to those gentlemen, who in­tend to harangue at the bar, than the acquiring a ready elo­cution, and an easy habit of delivering their thoughts in pub­lic, to this I paid particular attention. For this purpose, I advised him to a diligent attendance on the theatres, and I assure you, Mr. TOWN, he never fails to take notes at a new play, and seldom or never misses appearing at one house or the other in the green boxes. He has also gathered many beautiful flowers of rhetorick, unblown upon by all other orators ancient or modern, from the Robin Hood Society; and at the same place he has collected the strongest argu­ments on every subject, and habituated himself to modes of reasoning never hitherto introduced into courts of justice. But what has been of more than ordinary service to him, and is particularly recommended by Lord Coke himself, who calls ‘"conference the life of study,"’ is his so frequent atten­dance at George's and the other coffee-houses about the Tem­ple, where every student has so many opportunities of bene­fiting himself by daily conversation with counsellors, attor­nies, clerks to attornies, and other sages of law.

THE law is intended to take cognisance of all our actions, wherefore my pupil, who is fond of exerting his faculties in polite life, has already digested almost all the grand lead­ing points of the law into a journal of his transactions, which I shall lay before my readers at large in my treatise, as the best method for a common-place-book. Thus for instance, having been frequently employed, after leaving the Shake­speare, in what is called beating the rounds, it has happened to him to be taken into custody by the magistrate of the night, and carried the next morning before a justice, by which means he has attained as full a knowledge of certain parts of the duty of a constable and justice of peace, as could be collected from Dalton, Blackerby, or Burn. Certain impertinences of his taylor and other tradesmen have given him a very clear notion of the laws of arrest, and been of as [Page 803] much service to him as the best treatises on bail and main-prize. Besides which, the several sums of money which he has taken up at different times payable on his father's death, have opened to him some difficult points in conveyancing, by teaching him the nature of bonds, deeds, &c. and have at the same time shewn him what Lord Coke calls, ‘"the ami­able and admirable secrets of the common law,"’ by un­ravelling to him the intricate doctrines of reversion and re­mainder, as well as the general nature of estates. Thus he is continually improving, and whenever he should happen to commit a rape or a genteel murder, it will serve him for matter of instruction as well as any history of the pleas of the crown, and give him an insight into the nature of the prac­tice and extent of the jurisdiction of our courts of justice.

BY this plan of study no time is lost; so that while other students are idling away their vacation in the country, my pupil is daily improving there. As he is a member of the association, he is very conversant in all the laws enacted for the preservation of the game; and he picks up all the learning of the circuit by dancing at the Balls at the assizes. As his father has a place, he is employed in canvassing for votes at the time of an election, which instructs him in all the points of law touching those matters. He was principally concerned in discovering the Customary Tenants, the new species of freeholders unknown to Littleton, Coke, and all the lawyers of antiquity: and he is so intimately acquainted with all the doctrine contained in the several clauses of the bribery act, that I propose publishing in the body of my treatise Les Read­ings Del Mon Seignior RIOT Sur L'Estatute de 2 Geo. 2. &c.

BY this time, Mr. TOWN, you must perceive that the ground of my scheme is in short no more than this, viz. that the student should regard his life as a kind of commentary on the law, as it is recommended to the clergy to become examples of the doctrine they teach. Or to bring my illus­tration more home to these gentlemen, let them learn the law by being occasionally interested in different parts of it, [Page 804] as they become in some measure doctors of physic from fre­quent need of it, and can cure themselves in certain cases as well as Rock himself. Instead of poring over books, a gen­tleman need only observe, how far the law and his actions tally with each other; and as it is said by Lord Coke, ‘"that the knowledge of the law is like a deep well, out of which each man draweth according to the strength of his understanding,"’ so in persuance of my plan, the student will improve according to the eagerness with which he engages in his pleasures: and this, no doubt, was intended by Lord Coke, as it is the most obvious inter­pretation of his words, when he concludes the comparison by saying, that ‘"when the professor of the law can dive into the depth, it is delightful, easy, and without any heavy bur­then, so long as he keep himself in his own proper element."’

WHAT plan, Mr. TOWN, can be more delightful, easy, and without any heavy burthen than Institutes of this nature? I have indeed often looked with concern upon those unhappy gentlemen who have impaired their health by the old me­thod of study, and considered them as martyrs to huge vo­lumes of reports and statutes at large: my pupils will be in no danger of these misfortunes. It is recorded of an emi­nent counsellor of the North family, who being one of the ablest practitioners at the bar, was so overloaded with business, that sometimes chusing to retire awhile from hurry and per­plexity, he would say to his clerk ‘"Tell the people I do not practise this term."’ This proper relaxation I always recommend to my pupils, and have some reason to think they are prudent enough to embrace it; for as I am ac­quainted with several students on the new plan, and do not remember to have seen them doing any business in the courts for some time. I suppose they had given notice to their clerks ‘"to tell the people that they did not practise in those terms."’

I am, sir, your humble servant, IGNORAMUS.

The Letter signed J. C. has been received, and shall be duly regarded.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXIV. THURSDAY, August 19, 1756.

[...]
HOM.

Mr. VILLAGE to Mr. TOWN.

Dear Cousin,

THE country at present, no less than the metropolis, abounding with politicians of every kind, I begun to despair of picking up any intelligence, that might possibly be entertaining to your readers. However, I have made a tour to some of the most distant parts of the kingdom with a clergy­man of my acquaintance; and shall not trouble you with an account of the improvements that have been made in the seats we saw according to the modern taste, but pro­ceed [Page 806] to give you some reflections, which occurred to us on observing several country churches, and the behaviour of their congregations.

THE ruinous condition of some of these churches gave me great offence; and I could not help wishing, that the honest vicar, instead of indulging his genius for im­provements, by inclosing his gooseberry bushes with a Chinese rail, and converting half an acre of his glebe-land into a bowling-green, would have applied part of his in­come to the more laudable purpose of sheltering his pa­rishioners from the weather during their attendance on divine service. It is no uncommon thing to see the par­sonag -house well thatched, and in exceeding good re­pair, while the church perhaps has no better roof than the ivy that grows over it. The noise of owls, bats and magpies makes a principal part of the church musick in many of these ancient edifices; and the walls, like a large map, seem to be portioned out into capes, seas, and pro­montories by the various colours with which the damps have stained them. Sometimes it has happened, that the foundation being too weak to support the steeple any longer, it has been found expedient to pull down that part of the building, and to hang the bells under a wooden shed on the ground beside it. This is the case in a parish in Norfolk, through which I lately passed, and where the clerk and the sexton, like the two figures at St. Dun­stan's, serve the bells in capacity of clappers, by striking them alternately with a hammer.

IN other churches I have observed, that nothing un­seemly or ruinous is to be found, except in the clergyman, and in the appendages of his person. The squire of the pa­rish, [Page 807] or his ancestors perhaps, to testify their devotion, and leave a lasting monument of their magnificence, have adorned the altar-piece with the richest crimson velvet, embroidered with vine-leaves and ears of wheat, and have dressed up the pulpit with the same splendour and expence; while the gentleman who fills it is exalted in the midst of all this finery with a surplice as dirty as a farmer's frock, and a periwig that seems to have trans­ferred its faculty of curling to the band, that appears in full-buckle beneath it,

BUT if I was concerned to see many of our country churches in a tottering condition, I was more offended with the indecency of worship in others. I could wish that the pastors would inform their hearers, that there is no occasion to scream themselves hoarse in making the responses, that the town-cryer is not the only person qualified to pray with due devotion, and that he who bawls the loudest may nevertheless be the wickedest fellow in the parish. The old women too in the ayle might be told that their time would be better employed in attending to the sermon, than in fumbling over their tattered testaments till they have found the text, by which time the discourse is near drawing to a conclu­sion; while a word or two of instruction might not be thrown away upon the younger part of the congregation to teach them, that making posies in summer-time, and cracking nuts in autumn, is no part of the religious ceremony.

THE good old practice of psalm-singing is, indeed, wonderfully improved in many country churches since the days of Sternhold and Hopkins; and there is scarce a [Page 808] parish-clerk, who has so little taste as not to pick his staves out of the New Version. This has occasioned great complaints in some places, where the clerk has been forced to bawl by himself, because the rest of the congregation cannot find the psalm at the end of their prayer-books; while others are highly disgusted at the innovation, and stick as obstinately to the Old Version as to the Old Stile. The tunes themselves have also been new-set to jiggish measures; and the sober drawl, which used to accompany the two first staves of the hundredth psalm with the gloria patri, is now split into as many quavers as an Italian air. For this purpose there is in every county an itinerant band of vocal musicians, who make it their business to go round to all the churches in their turns, and, after a prelude with the pitch-pipe, astonish the audience with hymns set to the new Win­chester measure and anthems of their own composing. As these new-fashioned psalmodists are necessarily made up of young men and maids, we may naturally suppose, that there is a perfect concord and symphony between them: and, indeed, I have known it happen, that these sweet singers have been brought more than once into disgrace, by too close an unison between the thorough-base and the treble.

IT is a difficult matter to decide, which is looked upon to be the greatest man in a country church, the parson or his clerk. The latter is most certainly held in higher veneration, where the former happens to be only a poor curate, who rides post every sabbath from village to village, and mounts and dismounts at the church-door. The clerk's office is not only to tag the prayers with an Amen, or usher in the sermon with a stave; but he is also the universal [Page 809] father to give away the brides, and the standing god­father to all the new-born brats. But in many places there is a still greater man belonging to the church, than either the parson or the clerk himself. The person I mean is the squire; who, like the King, may be stiled Head of the Church in his own parish. If the benefice be in his own gift, the vicar is his creature, and of con­sequence entirely at his devotion: or, if the care of the church is left to a curate, the Sunday fees of roast beef and plumb pudding, and a liberty to shoot in the manor, will bring him as much under the squire's command as his dogs and horses. For this reason the bell is often kept tolling, and the people waiting in the church-yard, an hour longer than the usual time; nor must the service begin, till the squire has strutted up the ayle, and seated himself in the great pew in the chancel. The length of the sermon is also measured by the will of the squire, as formerly by the hour-glass: and I know one parish where the preacher has always the complaisance to break off to a conclusion, the minute that the squire gives the signal by rising up after his nap.

IN a village church, the squire's lady or the vicar's wife are perhaps the only females that are stared at for their finery: but in the larger cities and towns, where the newest fashions are brought down weekly by the stage-coach or waggon, all the wives and daughters of the most topping tradesmen vie with each other every Sunday in the elegance of their apparel. I could even trace the gradations in their dress according to the opu­lence, the extent, and the distance of the place from London. I was at church in a populous city in the north, where the mace-bearer cleared the way for Mrs. Mayoress, [Page 810] who came sidling after him in an enormous fan-hoop, of a pattern which had never been seen before in those parts. At another church in a corporation-town, I saw several Negligeès, with furbelow'd aprons, which had long dis­puted the prize of superiority: but these were most woe­fully eclipsed by a burgess's daughter just come from London, who appeared in a Trolloppeè or Slammerkin, with treble ruffles to the cuffs, pinked and gymped, and the sides of the petticoat drawn up in festoons. In some lesser borough towns the contest, I found, lay between three or four black and green bibs and aprons: at one a grocer's wife attracted our eyes by a new-fashioned cap called a Joan; and at another they were wholly taken up by a mercer's daughter in a Nun's Hood.

I NEED not say any thing of the behaviour of the con­gregations in these more polite places of religious resort; as the same genteel ceremonies are practised there as at the most fashionable churches at the court end of the town. The ladies immediately on their entrance breathe a pious ejaculation through their fan-sticks, and the beaus very gravely address themselves to the Haberdashers' Bills glewed upon the linings of their hats. This pious duty is no sooner performed, than the exercise of bowing and curtsying succeeds; the locking and unlocking of the pews drowns the reader's voice at the beginning of the service, and the rustling of silks, added to the whispering and tittering of so much good company, renders him totally unintelligible to the very end of it.

I am, dear Cousin, yours, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXV. THURSDAY, August 26, 1756.

Vos sapere, et solos aio benè vivere, quorum
Conspicitur nitidis fundata pecunia Villis.
HOR.

I Am sorry to have provoked the resent­ment of many of our present poets by rejecting their compositions; which, as they abounded in high-flown metaphors and compound epithets, were, I feared, too sublime for my humble province of plain prose. I have found, that the same poetical genius, which could soar to an Ode, can be whetted to a most cutting Satire against me and my works: and one in particular has poured forth his whole wrath upon me in an Acrostic. But I need not offer any apology for laying the following [Page 812] Verses before the public, which may be considered as a supplement to a former paper on the like subject. The easy elegance, which runs through the whole, will readily distinguish them to come from the same hand, that has more than once obliged us in the course of this undertaking.

THE wealthy Cit, grown old in trade,
Now wishes for the rural shade;
And buckles to his one-horse chair
Old Dobbin or the founder'd mare;
While wedg'd in closely by his side
Sits Madam, his unwieldy bride,
With Jacky on a stool before 'em;
And out they jog in due decorum.
Scarce past the turnpike half a mile,
How all the country seems to smile!
And as they slowly jog together,
The Cit commends the road and weather;
While Madam doats upon the trees,
And longs for ev'ry house she sees;
Admires its views, its situation,
And thus she opens her oration.
"WHAT signify the loads of wealth,
"Without that richest jewel health?
"Excuse the fondness of a wife,
"Who doats upon your precious life:
"Such ceaseless toil, such constant care
"Is more than human strength can bear.
[Page 813]"One may observe it in your face—
"Indeed, my dear, you break apace:
"And nothing can your health repair,
"But exercise and country air.
"Sir Traffick has a house, you know,
"About a mile from Cheney Row:
"He's a good man, indeed, 'tis true,
"But not so warm, my dear, as you:
"And folks are always apt to sneer—
"One wou'd not be outdone, my dear."
SIR Traffick's name so well apply'd
Awak'd his brother merchant's pride;
And Thrifty, who had all his life
Paid utmost deference to his wife,
Confess'd, her arguments had reason;
And by th' approaching summer season
Draws a few hundreds from the stocks,
And purchases his Country Box.
SOME three or four mile out of town,
(An hour's ride will bring you down,)
He fixes on his choice abode,
Not half a furlong from the road:
And so convenient does it lay,
The stages pass it ev'ry day:
And then so snug, so mighty pretty,
To have a house so near the city:
Take but your places at the Boar,
You're set down at the very door.
WELL then, suppose 'em fix'd at last,
White-washing, painting, scrubbing past;
Hugging themselves in ease and clover,
With all the fuss of moving over:
Lo! a new heap of whims are bred,
And wanton in my lady's head.
"Well, to be sure it must be own'd
"It is a charming spot of ground:
"So sweet a distance for a ride;
"And all about so countryfied!
"'Twould come to but a trifling price
"To make it quite a paradise.
"I cannot bear those nasty rails,
"Those ugly, broken, mouldy pales:
"Suppose, my dear, instead of these,
"We build a railing all Chinese.
"Altho' one hates to be expos'd,
"'Tis dismal to be thus enclos'd.
"Rural retirement d'ye term it?
"Lard, it is living like a hermit.
"One hardly any object sees—
"I wish you'd fell those odious trees:
"'Twould make a much more cheerful sce [...]
"I'm tir'd with everlasting green.
"Objects continual passing by
"Were something to amuse the eye:
"But to be pent within the walls,
"One might as well be at St. Paul's.
[Page 815]"Our house beholders would adore,
"Was there a level lawn before;
"Nothing its views to incommode,
"But quite laid open to the road;
"While ev'ry trav'ler in amaze
"Should on our little mansion gaze,
"And, pointing to the choice retreat,
"Cry, that's Sir Thrifty's Country-Seat."
No doubt her arguments prevail,
For Madam's TASTE can never fail.
BLEST age! when all men may procure
The title of a Connoisseur;
When noble and ignoble herd
Are govern'd by a single word;
Tho', like the royal German dames,
It bears an hundred Christian names;
As Genius, Fancy, Judgment, Goût,
Whim, Caprice, Je ne sçai quoi, Virtù:
Which appellations all describe
TASTE, and the modern tasteful tribe.
NOW bricklayers, carpenters, and joiners,
With Chinese artists and designers,
Produce their schemes of alteration,
To work this wondrous reformation.
The useful dome, which secret stood
Embosom'd in the yew-tree's wood,
The trav'ler with amazement sees
Chang'd to a Temple tout Chinese,
[Page 816]With many a bell and tawdry rag on,
And crested with a sprawling dragon.
A wooden arch is bent astride
A ditch of water four foot wide,
With angles, curves, and zigzag lines,
From Halfpenny's exact designs.
In front a level lawn is seen,
Without a shrub upon the green;
Where Taste would want its first great law.
But for the skulking sly Ha-Ha;
By whose miraculous assistance
You gain a prospect two fields distance.
And now from Hyde-park Corner come
The Gods of Athens and of Rome.
Here squabby Cupids take their places,
With Venus and the clumsy Graces;
Apollo there with aim so clever
Stretches his leaden bow for ever;
And there, without the pow'r to fly,
Stands fix'd a tip-toe Mercury.
THE Villa thus compleatly grac'd,
All own, that Thrifty has a Taste:
And Madam's female friends and cousins,
With Common-Council-Men by dozens,
Flock ev'ry Sunday to the Seat,
To stare about them, and to eat.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXVI. THURSDAY, September 2, 1756.

—Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
MART.

WE, whose business it is to write loose essays, and who never talk above a quarter of an hour together on any one subject, are not expected to enter into philosophical disquisitions, or en­gage in abstract speculations: but it is supposed to be our principal aim to amuse and instruct the reader by a lively representation of what passes round about him. Thus, like those painters who delineate the [Page 818] scenes of familiar life, we sometimes give a sketch of a Marriage à là mode, sometimes draw the outlines of a Modern Midnight conversation, at another time paint the comical distresses of itinerant Tragedians in a barn, and at another give a full draught of the Rake's or Harlot's progress. Sometimes we divert the public by exhibiting single portraits; and when we meet with a subject where the features are strongly marked by nature, and there is something peculiarly characteristic in the whole manner, we employ ourselves in drawing a full length. In a word, we consider all mankind as sitting for their pictures, and endeavour to work up our pieces with lively traits, and embellish them with beautiful colouring: and though perhaps they are not always highly finished, yet they seldom fail of pleasing some few at least of the vast multitude of Critics and Con­noisseurs, if we are so happy as to hit off a striking likeness.

THERE is perhaps no knowledge more requisite, and certainly none at present more ardently sought after, than the Knowledge of the World. In this science we are more particularly expected to be adepts, as well as to ini­tiate, or at least improve our readers in it. And though this knowledge cannot be collected altogether from books, yet (as Pope says) ‘"Men may be read as well as books too much;"’ and it is to be lamented, that many, who have only consulted the volume of life as it lay open be­fore them, have rather become worse than better by their studies. They, who have lived wholly in the world [Page 819] without regarding the comments on it, are generally taint­ed with all its vices; to which the gathering part of their instructions from books would perhaps have proved an antidote. There indeed, though they would have seen the faults and foibles of mankind fairly represented, yet vice would appear in an odious, and virtue in an amiable light; but those, who unwarned go abroad into the world, are often dazzled by the splendor with which wealth gilds vice and infamy, and being accustomed to see bare­foot honesty treated with scorn, are themselves induced to consider it as contemptible. For this reason I am a good deal offended at the ingenious contrivance of our modern novellists and writers of comedy, who often gloss over a villainous character with the same false varnish, that lackers so many scoundrels in real life; and while they are exhibiting a fellow, who debauches your daugh­ter or lies with your wife, represent him as an agreeable creature, a man of gallantry, and a fine gentleman.

THE world, even the gayest part of it, may be paint­ed like itself, and yet become a lesson of instruction. The pieces of Hogarth (to recur to the illustration I first made use of) are faithful delineations of certain scenes of life, and yet vice and folly always appear odious and contem­ptible. I could wish it were possible to learn the know­ledge of the world without being ‘"hackney'd in the ways of men;"’ but as that is impracticable, it is still our duty so to live in it, as to avoid being corrupted by our intercourse with mankind. We should endeavour to guard against fraud, without becoming ourselves deceit­ful; [Page 820] and to see every species of vice and folly practised round about us, without growing knaves and fools. The villainy of others is but a poor excuse for the loss of our own integrity; and though, indeed, if I am attacked on Hounslow-Heath, I may lawfully kill the highwayman in my own defence, yet I should be very deservedly brought to the gallows, if I took a purse from the next person I met, because I had been robbed myself.

THE Knowledge of the World, as it is generally un­derstood, consists not so much in a due reflection on its vices and follies, as in the practice of them; and those, who consider themselves as best acquainted with it, are either the dupes of fashion, or slaves of interest. It is al­so supposed to lie within the narrow compass of every man's own sphere of life, and receives a different interpre­tation in different stations. Thus, for instance, the man of fashion seeks it no-where but in the polite circle of the beau-monde, while the man of business looks no farther for it than the Alley. I shall beg leave to illustrate this by two characters; each of whom, though diametrically op­posite to the other, has acquired a thorough Knowledge of the World.

SIR Harry Flash had the good luck to be born be­fore his brother Richard: consequently the heir to the estate was bred a gentleman, and the other condemned to plod in the dull drudgery of business. The merchant was sent to learn accompts at the Academy upon Tower-Hill, and the baronet had the finishing of his education in [Page 821] France. Sir Harry is now a most accomplished fine gentleman, is an excellent judge of fashions, and can cal­culate the odds at any game as readily as Hoyle or De­moivre: the Alderman is the most knowing man upon 'Change, and understands the rise and fall of Stocks bet­ter than any Jew. Both of them know the world; but with this difference, that one by his consummate know­ledge has run out a large estate, while the other has raised a plumb by it.

BEFORE I conclude, it will be proper to take notice of the great improvements made by our modern ladies in this part of their education. The pretty creatures were formerly kept at home, and employed in the domestic cares of good housewifery: they were taught as much as possible to shun the company of the men, and knew no more of the world than a cloistered Nun. But these restraints are now happily removed by the present mode of education. The little lady, instead of being sent to the boarding-school to learn needle-work, is introduced to the politest routs and assemblies, and taught to make one at the card-table: she is carried about to Vauxhall, Rane­lagh, and other genteel places of amusement; and besides these, if we add a trip to Bath or Cheltenham, there is no doubt but she is completely versed in the Knowledge of the World. This, we must own, is very necessary to be attained by ladies of fashion: but it is with great concern that I have observed the inferior rank of females fre­quenting the same schools, and learning the same lessons. Some have purchased their knowledge very dearly at the [Page 822] expence of their reputation, while others have laid out their whole fortunes to acquire it; and I could not but smile the other day at reading an advertisement in the public papers, begging our charity for a poor distressed gentlewoman, who had formerly lived well, and seen a great deal of the World.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXVII. THURSDAY, September 9, 1756.

Hunc comedendum & deridendum vobis propino.
TER.

TO Mr. TOWN.

SIR,

WHAT cloying meat is love, when ma­trimony is the sauce to it!"’ says Sir John Brute. But if he had been joined to such an Epicurean consort as I, those expressions that favour of the kitchen would have been real, instead of metaphorical. We live in a land really flowing with milk and honey, and keep a house of entertainment for all comers and goers. We [Page 824] hardly ever sit down to table less in number than twenty or thirty, and very often to above double that number of dishes. In short, sir, so much feasting has given me a surfeit.

THERE are, I see, scattered up and down your pa­pers, several accounts of the petty distresses and domestic concerns of private families. As you have listened to many complaints from husbands, I flatter myself you will not refuse your attention to the humble remonstrance of a wife; being assured, that my only reason for thus serv­ing up my dear lord as a new dish to gratify the public taste, is to check (if possible) his violent passion for give­ing his friends entertainments of another kind; which, if indulged much longer, must eat us out of house and home.

THE magnificent feasts of Timon of Athens, or the sto­ries of old English Hospitality, would give you but a faint idea of the perpetual riot and luxury of our family. Our house is always stored with as large a quantity of provisi­ons as a garrison in expectation of a siege, and those too of the dearest and most extravagant kind. Ortolans and woodcocks are as plenty as sparrows, and red mullets are scarce a greater rarity with us than gudgeons or sprats; while turtle and venison are regarded as branches of ci­tizen-luxury, which scarce deserve notice among the ma­ny other delicacies in which we abound. Authors, they say, (you will pardon me, Mr. TOWN,) are seldom ad­mitted to great entertainments; and I can assure you, that it is not easy for any, but those who are present, to conceive the parade and extravagance displayed in our house. I myself am condemned to sit at the head of the [Page 825] table, while my lord is placed at the other end, in pain and uneasiness at my aukward mistakes in doing the ho­nours. You must know, sir, that I was bred up under an housewifely aunt in the country, who taught me to pickle and preserve, and gave me, as I thought, a tole­rable notion of cookery. But, alas! though I under­stand plain boiled and roast, and have a very good notion of a pudding, I am often totally ignorant of the names and compositions of the delicacies before me, and have imagined fish to be fowl, and mistaken a petit pateè for a plebeian mince-pie. In the mean time my lord is dis­playing his exquisite taste by deciding upon every dish, and pronouncing with a critical smack upon the flavour of the wines; all the while not a little solicitous about the exactness of the Removes, and the duly adjusting the entremets. Claret, Burgundy, and Champagne are as common as ale or small-beer; and even Hermitage and Tokay are swallowed with as little remorse as Port of Lis­bon. To add to all this, is most absurdly introduced the French custom of serving in les Liqueurs, which consist of almost as many sorts as are contained in the advertisements from the Rich Cordial Warehouse. In a word, every common dinner with us is a feast; and when we have what my lord calls an entertainment, it is an absolute de­bauch.

BUT there is no part of this monstrous expence af­fects me so much as the vast sums ridiculously lavished on a Desert. This piece of folly and extravagance could be nothing but the joint product of a Frenchman and a con­fectioner. After the gratification of the appetite with more substantial fare, this whipt-syllabub raree-shew is served up chiefly to feed the eye; not but that the mate­rials, [Page 826] of which the Desert is composed, are as expensive as the several ingredients in the dinner: and I will leave you to your own method of rating the rest, after telling you that my lord thinks himself an excellent oecono­mist, by having reduced the expence of the Hot-House to a thousand per ann. which perhaps the admirers of exotic fruits will not think dear, as we have pine-apples as plenty as golden-pippins or nonpareils.

ONE would think, that the first requisite in eating was extravagance, and that in order to have any thing very good, it must be eat at a time that it is out of season. Therefore one of the principal uses of our Hot-House is to invert the order of nature, and to turn winter into summer. We should be ashamed to see peas upon our table, while they are to be had at a common market; but we never spare any cost to provide a good crop by the assistance of our hot-beds at Christmas. We have no relish for cucumbers during the summer months, when they are no rarity; but we take care to have them forced in November. But my lord mostly prides himself on the improvements that he has made in his Mushroom-Beds, which he has at length brought to so great perfection, that by the help of horse-dung, and throwing artificial sun-beams through a burning-glass, we can raise any quantity of Mushrooms of the right Italian kind at two hours warning.

FROM the Hot-House we may make a very natural transition to the Kitchen; and as in the former every thing must be produced out of season, so every thing in the latter must undergo a strange metamorphosis. The ordinary distinctions of fish, flesh, and fowl are quite [Page 827] destroyed; and nothing comes upon table under its proper form and appellation. It is impossible to conceive what vast sums are melted down into sauces! We have a cargo of hams every year from Westphalia, only to ex­tract the Essence of them for our soups; and we kill a brace of bucks every week, to make a Cullis of the haunches. Half a dozen turkies have been killed in one day merely for the sake of the pinions; and I have known a whole pond dragged to furnish a dish of Carps' Palates, and ten legs of mutton mangled raw to make out a dish of Pope's Eyes.

THE concomitant charges of the cellar, you will ima­gine, are no less extravagant; and, indeed, it is not enough that we abound in the best French and Italian wines, (which by the bye are purchased on the spot at an extraordinary price,) but we must have several other kinds of the highest value, and consequently a most delicious flavour. And though but a taste of each has been sipped round by the company, the same bottles must never be brought a second time upon table, but are secured as perquisites by the butler, who fells them to the merchant, who sells them back again to my lord. Besides these, his lordship has lately been at an immense charge in raising a Pinery, in order to try the experiment of making Cyder of Pine-apples; which he hopes to do at little more than treble the expence of Champagne. To this article I might also add the charge of his Ice-Houses: for although these are stored with an home-commodity originally of no value, yet I may [...] to say, that every drop of water comes as dear to us as the most costly of our wines.

[Page 828]AS all our liquors, I have told you, are of foreign growth, and all our dishes distinguished by foreign titles, you will readily conceive, that our houshold is chiefly composed of foreigners. The butler out of livery, and his two under-butlers, are Frenchmen: the clerk of the kitchen is a Frenchman: and Monsieur Fri­cando, the head-cook, to be sure is a Frenchman. This gentleman never soils his fingers in touching the least bit of any thing, but gives his orders (like a general) to four subalterns, who are likewise Frenchmen. The baker, the confectioner, the very scullions, and even the fellow that looks after the poultry, are all of them Frenchmen. These, you may be sure, are maintained at very high salaries: and though Monsieur Fricando had the pay of a captain in a marching regiment, my lord was forced to double his wages at the beginning of the war, and allow him the free exercise of his religion, to prevent his leaving the kingdom.

I AM sorry to add, that this pride of keeping a table has visibly impaired my lord's fortunes: and this very summer he has been obliged to fell all the timber on his estate, as I may say, to keep up his kitchen fire. The only satisfaction he can possibly reap from all this ex­pence is the vanity of having it said, ‘"that no-body treats so elegantly as his lordship,"’ and now and then perhaps reading in the news-papers, ‘"that such a day the right honourable — gave a grand entertainment at his house in —, at which were present the prin­cipal Officers of State and Foreign Ministers."’

I am, SIR, Your humble servant, &c.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXVIII. THURSDAY, September 16, 1756.

—Servatâ semper lege et ratione loquendi.
JUV.

IN the comedy of the Frenchman in Lon­don, which we are told was acted at Paris with universal applause for several nights together, there is a character of a rough Englishman, who is represented as quite unskilled in the graces of conversation; and his dialogue is made up of almost nothing but a repetition of the common salutation of how do you do, how do you do? Our nation has, indeed, been generally supposed to be of a sullen and uncommunicative disposition; while, on [Page 830] the other hand, the loquacious French have been allowed to possess the art of conversing beyond all other people. The Englishman requires to be wound up frequently, and stops as soon as he is down; but the Frenchman runs on in a continued alarum. Yet it must be acknow­ledged, that as the English consist of very different hu­mours, their manner of discourse admits of great variety: but the whole French nation converse alike; and there is no difference in their address between a Marquis and a Valet de Chambre. We may frequently see a couple of French barbers accosting each other in the street, and paying their compliments with the same volubility of speech and grimace of action, as two courtiers in the Thuilleries.

I SHALL not attempt to lay down any particular rules for conversation, but point out such faults in the discourse and behaviour, as render the company of half mankind rather tedious than amusing. It is in vain, indeed, to look for conversation, where we might expect to find it in the greatest perfection, among persons of fashion; where it is almost annihilated by universal card-playing: insomuch that I have heard it given as a reason, why it is impossible for our present writers to succeed in the dialogue of genteel comedy, that our people of quality scarce ever meet but to game. All their discourse turns upon the odd trick and the four honours: and it is no less a maxim with the votaries of Whist than with those of Bacchus, that talking spoils company. Every one endeavours to make himself as agreeable to society as he can: but it often happens, that those, who most aim at shining in conversation, over-shoot their mark: and though a man succeeds, he should not (as is frequently [Page 831] the case) engross the whole talk to himself; for that destroys the very essence of conversation, which is talk­ing together. We should try to keep up conversation like a ball bandied to and fro from one to the other, rather than seize it all to ourselves, and drive it before us like a foot-ball. We should likewise be cautious to adapt the matter of our discourse to our company; and not talk Greek before the ladies, or of the last new furbelow to a meeting of country justices.

THE pests and nuisances of society, which are com­monly to be met with, may be ranged in the following manner. And first, the Attitudinarians and Face-makers. These accompany every word with a peculiar grimace or gesture: they assent with a shrug, and contradict with a twisting of the neck; are angry with a wry mouth, and pleased in a caper or a minuet step. They may be considered as speaking Harlequins; and their rules of eloquence are taken from the posture-master. These should be condemned to converse only in dumb shew with their own persons in the looking-glass; as also the Smirkers and Smilers, who so prettily set off their faces together with their words by a je ne sçai quoi between a grin and a dimple. With these we may likewise rank the affected tribe of Mimics, who are constantly taking off the peculiar tone of voice or gesture of their ac­quaintance: though they ‘"imitate humanity so abomi­nably,"’ that (like bad painters) they are frequently forced to write the name under the picture, before we can discover any likeness.

NEXT to these, whose elocution consists chiefly in the action, we may consider the profest speakers. And first, [Page 832] of the Emphatical; who squeeze, and press, and beat down every syllable with as much vehemence, as a paviour thumps the pebbles with his rammer. These energetic orators are remarkable for the force of expression, with which they utter the particle the and conjunctive and; which they seem to hawk up with much difficulty out of their own throats, and to cram them with no less pain in­to the ears of their auditors. These should be suffered only to syringe (as it were) the ears of a deaf man through an hearing trumpet: and with these we may join the Whisperers or Low Speakers, who come up so close to you, that they may be said to measure noses with you, and have frequently a stinking breath. I would have these oracular gentry obliged to talk at a distance through a speaking trumpet, or apply their lips to the walls of a whispering gallery. The Wits, who will not condescend to utter any thing but a bon mot, and the Whistlers or Tune-hummers, who never articulate at all, may be joined very agreeably together in concert: and to these tinkling cymbals I would also add the sounding brass; the Bawler, who inquires after your health with the bellowing of a town-cryer.

THE Tatlers, whose pliable pipes are admirably adapt­ed to the ‘"soft parts of conversation,"’ and sweetly ‘"prattling out of fashion,"’ make very pretty musick from a beautiful face and a female tongue: but from a rough manly voice and coarse features it is as harsh and dissonant as a jig from a bagpipe. The Half-Swearers, who split, and mince, and fritter their oaths into gad's bud, ad's fish and demmee, and the Humbuggers, and those who nickname God's creatures, who call a man a cab­bage, a crab, a queer cub, an odd fish, and an unac­countable [Page 833] muskin, should never come into company with­out an interpeter. But I shall not tire my reader's pa­tience by pointing out others, no less destructive of so­ciety: such as the Sensibles, who pronounce dogmatical­ly on the most trivial points, and speak in sentences; the Wonderers, who are always wondering what o'clock it is, or wondering whether it will rain or no, or wondering when the moon changes; and lastly, the Silent Men, who seem afraid of opening their mouths for fear of catch­ing cold, and literally observe the precept of the gospel, by letting their conversation be only yea yea, and nay nay.

THE rational intercourse, which is mutually kept up among men by conversing with each other, is one of our principal distinctions from brutes: and it is imagined by some philosophers, that birds and beasts (though with­out the power of articulation) perfectly understand one another by the sounds they utter; and that dogs, cats, &c. have each a particular language to themselves, like different nations. Thus it may be supposed, that the nightingales of Italy have as fine an ear for their own na­tive wood-notes, as any Signor or Signora for an Italian Air; that the boars of Westphalia gruntle as expressively through the nose, as the inhabitants in High-German; and that the frogs in the dykes of Holland croak as intelligibly as the natives jabber their High-Dutch. However this may be, we may consider those, who let their tongues always vibrate as their hearts beat, and do not keep up the proper conversation of human creatures, as imitating the language of different animals. Thus, for instance, the affinity between Chatterers and Monkeys, and Praters and Parrots, is too obvious not to occur at once: Grunters [Page 834] and Growlers may be justly compared to Hogs: Snarlers are Curs, that continually shew their teeth, but never bite; and the Spitfire Passionate are a sort of wild Cats, that will not bear stroaking, but will purr when they are pleased. Complainers are Scriech-Owls; and Story-tel­lers, who are always repeating the same dull note, are Cuckows. Poets, that prick up their ears at their own hideous braying, are no better than Asses: Critics in gene­ral are venomous serpents, that delight in hissing; and some of them, who have got by heart a few technical terms without knowing their meaning, are no other than Magpies. I myself, who have crowed to the whole town for near three years past, may perhaps put my readers in mind of a Dunghill Cock: but as I must acquaint them, that they will hear the last of me on this day fortnight, I hope they will then consider me as a Swan, who is supposed to sing sweetly at his dying moments.

Just Published,

In Two Neat Pocket Volumes, Price Six Shillings bound,
The CONNOISSEUR revised and corrected.

With a new Translation of the Mottos and Quotations.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXXXIX. THURSDAY, September 23, 1756.

—Sume superbiam
Quaesitam meritis.—
HOR.

I WROTE to my Cousin VILLAGE, informing him of my design to finish with the next number; and I have re­ceived the following answer from him, which I shall lay before my readers.

DEAR COUSIN,

IT was not without some regret, that I received advice of your intentions to bid adieu to the public: for as you had been so kind as to introduce me to their notice, I began to indulge all the weakness and vanity of a young author; and had almost persuaded myself, that I was the principal support of your papers. Conscious of my own importance, I expect that you will do me the justice to acknowledge, how much you are indebted to the as­sistance [Page 836] of your very ingenious Cousin; and I care not how many compliments you pay me on my wit and learning: but at the same time I must beg leave to put in a caveat against your disposing of me in what manner you yourself please. Writers of essays think themselves at liberty to do what they will with the characters they have introduced into their works: as writers of tragedy, in order to heighten the plot, have brought their heroes to an untimely end, when they have died quietly many years before in their beds; or as our chroniclers of daily occurrences put a duke to death, give away an heiress in marriage, or shoot off an admiral's legs, whenever they please. Mr. ADDISON, while he was carrying on the SPECTATOR, said ‘"he would kill Sir Roger de Coverly, that nobody else might murder him:"’ In like manner, my dear Cousin, you may perhaps take it into your head to cut me off: you may make an end of me by a cold caught in partridge-shooting, or break my neck in a stag­hunt. Or you may rather chuse to settle me perhaps with a rich old country dowager, or press me into the army, or clap me on board of a man of war. But I desire that you will not get rid of me by any of these means: but permit me to assure your readers, that I am alive and merry; and this is to let them know, that I am in good health at this present writing.

YOUR papers, I assure you, have made a great noise in the country; and the most intelligent among us read you with as much satisfaction as the Evening Posts or the Weekly Journals. I know more than one squire, who who takes them in constantly with the Magazines; and I was told by the post-master of a certain town, that they came down every week under cover to the but­ler of a member of parliament. There is a club of country parsons, who meet every Saturday at a neigh­bouring market-town, to be shaved and exchange ser­mons: they have a subscription for books and pamphlets; and the only periodical works ordered in by them are [Page 837] the Connoisseur, and the Critical and Monthly Reviews. I was lately introduced to this society, when the conver­sation happened to turn upon Mr. TOWN. A young curate, just come from Oxford, said he knew you very well at Christ Church, and that you was a comical dog: but a Cantab. declared no less positively, that you was either a pensioner of Trinity or a commoner of Bennet's. People, indeed, are very much perplexed about the real author: some affirm, that you are a nobleman; and others will have it, that you are an actor: some say you are a young lawyer, some a parson, and some an old woman.

THE subjects of your papers have often been wrested to various interpretations by our penetrating geniusses; and you have hardly drawn a character, that has not been fixed on one or other of the greatest personages in the nation. I once heard a country justice express his won­der, that you was not taken up, and set in the pillory; and I myself, by some of my rural intelligence, have brought upon you the resentment of several honest squires, who long to horse-whip the scoundrel for putting them in print. Others again are quite at a loss how to pick out your meaning, and in vain turn over their Bailey's dictio­nary for an explanation of several fashionable phrases; which, though they have enriched the town-language, have not yet made their way into the dialect of the coun­try. Many exquisite strokes of humour are also lost upon us, on account of our distance from the scene of action; and the wit, which is very brisk and lively upon the spot, loses much of its spirit in the carriage, and sometimes wholly evaporates in the post-bag.

YOU moralists are very apt to flatter yourselves, that you are doing a vast deal of good by your labours: but whatever reformation you may have worked in town, give me leave to tell you, that you have sometimes done us harm in the country, by the bare mention of the vices [Page 838] and follies now in vogue. From your intelligence some of our most polite ladies have learned, that it is highly genteel to have a route; and some have copied the fashion so exactly, as to play at cards on Sundays. Your papers upon dress set all our belles at work in following the mode: you no sooner took notice of the cocked hats, but every hat in the parish was turned up behind and be­fore; and when you told us, that the town-beauties went naked, our rural damsels immediately began to throw off their cloaths. Our gentlemen have been also taught by you all the new arts of betting and gaming: and the only coffee-house in one little town, where the most topping inhabitants are used to meet to play at draughts and back-gammon, has, from the great increase of gamesters who resort to it, been elegantly christened by the name of White's.

AS to the small share, which I myself have had in your work, you may be sure every body here is hugely delighted with it; at least you may be sure, that I will say nothing to the contrary. I have done my best to contribute to the entertainment of your readers: and as the name of Steele is not forgot in the SPECTATOR, though Addison has run away with almost all the honour, I am in hopes that whenever the great Mr. TOWN is mentioned, they may possibly think at the same time on

Your affectionate Cousin and Coadjutor, VILLAGE.

AFTER this account, which my Cousin has sent me, of the reception I have met with in the country, it will be proper to say something of my reception here in town. I shall therefore consider myself in the threefold capacity of CONNOISSEUR, CRITIC, and CENSOR-GENERAL. As a CONNOISSEUR, in the confined sense of the word, I must own I have met with several mortifications. I have neither been made F. R. S. nor even a member of the Academy of Bourdeaux or Petersburgh. They have left [Page 839] me out of the list of Trustees to the British Musaeum; and his Majesty of Naples, though he presented an "Account of the Curiosities found in Herculaneum" to each of the universities, never sent one to me. I have not been celebrated in the Philosophical Transactions, or in any of our Magazines of Arts and Sciences; nor have I been stiled tres-illustre or tres-sçavant in any of the fo­reign Mercures or Journals Literaires. Once indeed, I soothed myself in the vain thought of having been distin­guished by the great Swedish Botanist, Linnaeus, under the title of Eruditissimus Urbanus, which I conceited to be the name of TOWN latinized; but to my great disap­pointment I afterwards discovered, that this was no other than the learned Naturalist, Mr. Silvanus Urban, author of the Gentleman's Magazine. This neglect of me, as a CONNOISSEUR, I can attribute to no other cause, than to my not having made myself known by my Musaeum or Cabinet of Curiosities: and to say the truth, I am not worth a farthing in antique coins; nor have I so much as one single shell or butterfly. All my complaints against the modern innovations of Taste have been therefore disregarded: and with concern I still see the Villas of our citizens fantastically adorned with Chinese palings, and our streets encumbered with superb colonnades, porticos, Gothic arches, and Venetian windows, before the shops of our tradesmen.

NOR have I, as a CRITIC, met with greater success or encouragement in my endeavours to reform the pre­sent Taste in literature. I expected to have the priviledge of eating beef gratis every night at Vauxhall, for advising the garden-poets to put a little meaning into their songs: but though I was there several nights this summer, I could not say (with Cassio) of any of their productions, ‘"this is a more exquisite song than t'other."’ I have not been able to write the operas out of the kingdom: and though I have more than once shewed my contempt for Harlequin, I am assured there are no less than three [Page 840] Pantomimes to be brought on this season. As I set my­self up for supreme judge in theatrical matters, I was in hopes, that my Lord Chamberlain would at least ap­pointed me his Deputy-Licenser; but he has not even consult me on any one new play. I made no doubt, but the managers would pay their court to me: but they have not once sent for me to dinner; and so far from having the freedom of the house, I declare I have not had so much as a single order from any of the under-actors.

IN my office of CENSOR-GENERAL, though I cannot boast of having over-turned the card-tables at routs and assemblies, or broke up the club at Arthur's, I can safely boast, that I have routed the many-headed monster at the Disputant Society at the Robin-hood, and put to silence the great Clare-market Orator. In a word, I have la­boured to prevent the growth of vice and immorality; and with as much effect as the Justices at the Quarter-sessions. For this reason I expected to have been put into commission, and to have had the power of licensing all places of public diversion vested solely in my hands. But as I find my merits have been hitherto overlooked, I am determined to lay down my office; and in my next num­ber I shall take my final leave of the public, when I shall give them an account or my correspondents, together with a full and particular account of MYSELF.

Preparing for the Press,

And will be published with all convenient Expedition,
The THIRD and FOURTH VOLUMES of
The CONNOISSEUR, in Twelves.
Which will complete the Work. Corrected and improved.

With a new Translation of the Mottos, and a copious Table of Con­tents; as in the First and Second Volumes, already published.

THE CONNOISSEUR. By Mr. TOWN, CRITIC and CENSOR-GENERAL.
NUMBER CXL. THURSDAY, September 30, 1756.

Nos DUO turba sumus.—
OVID.
—Pene gemelli,
Fraternis Animis.—
HOR.

PERIODICAL writers, who retail their sense or nonsense to the world sheet by sheet, acquire a sort of familiarity and intimacy with the public peculiar to themselves. Had the Th [...]se Two Volumes in [...] will make Four in Duodecimo; the Two [...] which are already published, and the Third and Fourth preparing for the press.Two Volumes in Folio, which have swelled by degrees to their present bulk, burst forth at once, Mr. TOWN, must have introduced himself to the acquaintance of the public with the aukward air and distance of a stranger; but be now flatters himself, that they will look upon him as an old companion, whose [Page 842] conversation they are pleased with; and, as they will see him no more after this time, will now and then perhaps miss their usual visiter.

HOWEVER this may be, the Authors of the CON­NOISSEUR now think proper to close the undertaking, in which they have been engaged for near three years past: and among their general thanks to the indulgent readers of their papers, they must include in a particular manner their acknowledgments to those, who have been pleased to appear in them as writers. They have, there­fore, at the close of their work brought Mr. TOWN and all his associates on the scene together, like the dra­matis personae at the end of the last act.

OUR earliest and most frequent correspondent is only known to us by the initials G. K. and we are sorry, that he will not put it in our power to mention his name; which (if we are not mistaken in our guess) would reflect as much credit on our work, as we are sure will redound to it from his contributions. To him we are proud to own ourselves indebted for most part of No. 14 and 17; for the letter, signed Goliah English, in No. 19; for a great part of No. 33 and 40; and for the letters, signed Reginald Fitzworm, Michael Krawbidge, Moses Orthodox, and T. Vainall, in No. 102, 107, 113, and 129.

THE next, in priority of time, is a gentleman of Cam­bridge, who signed himself A. B. and we cannot but re­gret that he withdrew his assistance, after having obliged us with the best part of the letters in No. 46, 49, and 52; and of the essays in No. 62 and 64.

THE letters in No. 82, 98, 112, and 130, came from various hands, equally unknown to us. The Imi­tation of Horace, in No. 11, was written (as we are in­formed) by a gentleman of Oxford: the Ode to Friend­ship, in No. 125, was sent to us by a gentleman of Cam­bridge; and from two other gentlemen of that University we received the letter, signed W. Manly, in No. 65, and another, signed B. A. in No. 107.

[Page 843]THESE unexpected marks of favour, conferred on us by strangers, demand our highest gratitude: but we are no less happy in being able to boast of the assistance of some other gentlemen, whom we are proud to call friends, though we are not at liberty to introduce them to the acquaintance of our readers. From a friend, en­gaged in the Law, we had the first sketches and most striking passages in No. 75, 78, 87, and 104; though it may be regretted by the public as well as ourselves, that his leisure would not permit him to put the finishing hand to them. From a friend, a gentleman of the Temple, we received No. 111, 115, and 119. To a friend, a member of Trinity College, Cambridge, we are indebted for the Song in No. 72, and the Verses in No. 67, 90, 125, and 135. The list of contributions from such capable friends would doubtless have been much larger, had they been sooner let into the secret: but as Mr. TOWN, like a great prince, chose to appear incog. in order to avoid the impertinence of others, he did not even make himself known to those about his person, till at last they themselves found him out through his disguise.

THERE are still remaining two correspondents, who must stand by themselves; as they have wrote to us, not in an assumed character, but in propriâ personâ. The first is no less a personage than the great Orator HENLY, who obliged us with that truly original letter, printed in No. 37. The other, who favoured us with a letter no less original in No. 70, we have reason to be­lieve, is a Methodist Teacher and a mechanic; but we do not know either his name or his trade.

WE now come to the most important discovery of Ourselves, and to answer the often-repeated question of; Who is Mr. TOWN? it being the custom for periodical writers, at the same time that they send the hawkers abroad with their last dying speech like the malefactors, like them also to couple it with a confession. The general method of unravelling this mystery is by de­claring, to whom the different signatures affixed to dif­ferent papers are appropriated. For ever since the days of the inimitable SPECTATOR, it has been usual for a [Page 844] bold Capital to stand, like a sentry, at the end of our essays, to guard the author in secresy: and it is com­monly supposed, that the writer, who does not chuse to put his name to his work, has in this manner, like the painters and statuaries of old, at least set his mark. But the Authors of the CONNOISSEUR now confess, that the several letters, at first pitched upon to bring up the rear of their essays, have been annexed to different papers at random, and sometimes omitted, on purpose to put the sagacious reader on a wrong scent. It is particularly the interest of a writer, who prints himself out week by week, to remain unknown during the course of this piece-meal publication. The best method, therefore, to prevent a discovery is to make the road to it as intricate as possible; and, instead of seeming to aim at keeping the reader entirely in the dark, to hang out a kind of wan­dering light, which only serves to lead him astray. The desire of giving each writer his due, according to the signatures, has in the course of this undertaking often confused the curious in their inquiries. Soon after the publication of our first papers, some ingenious gentlemen found out, that T, O, W, N, being the letters that form­ed the name of TOWN, there were four authors, each of whom sheltered himself under a particular letter; but no paper ever appearing with an N affixed to it, they were obliged to give up this notion. But, if they had been more able decypherers, they would have made out, that though T, O, W, will not compose the name of TOWN, yet by a different arrangement of the letters it will form the word TWO; which is the grand mystery of our signatures, and couches under it the true and real number of the Authors of the CONNOISSEUR.

HAVING thus declared Mr. TOWN to consist of two separate individuals, it will perhaps be expected that, like two tradesmen, who have agreed to dissolve their part­nership, we should exactly ballance our accounts, and assign to each his due parcel of the stock. But our ac­counts are of so intricate a nature, that it would be im­possible for us to adjust them in that manner. We have not only joined in the work taken altogether, but almost every single paper is the joint product of both: and, as we have laboured equally in erecting the fabric, we can­not [Page 845] pretend, that any one particular part is the sole work­manship of either. An hint has perhaps been started by one of us, improved by the other, and still further heigh­tened by an happy coalition of sentiment in both; as fire is struck out by a mutual collision of flint and steel. Sometimes, like Strada's lovers conversing with the sym­pathetic needles, we have written papers together at fifty miles distance from each other: the first rough draught or loose minutes of an essay have often travelled in the stage-coach from town to country, and from country to town; and we have frequently waited for the postman (whom we expected to bring us the precious remainder of a CONNOISSEUR) with the same anxiety, as we should wait for the half of a bank note, without which the other half would be of no value. These our joint labours, it may easily be imagined, would have soon broke off ab­ruptly, if either had been too fondly attached to his own little conceits; or if we had conversed together with the jealousy of a rival, or the complaisance of a formal ac­quaintance, who smiles at every word that is said by his companion. Nor could this work have been so long car­ried on, with so much chearfulness and good-humour on both sides, if the Two had not been as closely united, as the two Students, whom the SPECTATOR mentions as recorded by a Terrae Filius at Oxford, ‘"to have had but one mind, one purse, one chamber, and one hat."’

IT has been often remarked, that the reader is very desirous of picking up some little particulars concerning the author of the book, which he is perusing. To gratify this passion, many literary anecdotes have been publish­ed, and an account of their life, character, and behaviour, has been prefixed to the works of our most celebrated writers. Essayists are commonly expected to be their own Biographers: and perhaps our readers may require some further intelligence concerning the Authors of the CONNOISSEUR. But, as they have all along ap­peared as a sort of Sofias in literature, they cannot now describe themselves any otherwise, than as one and the same person; and can only satisfy the curiosity of the pub­lic, by giving a short account of that respectable personage Mr. TOWN, considering him as of the plural, or rather (according to the Grecians) of the dual number.

[Page 846]Mr. TOWN is a fair, black, middle-sized, very short man. He wears his own hair, and a perriwig. He is about thirty years of age, and not more than four and twenty. He is a Student of the Law, and a Batchelor of Physic. He was bred at the University of Oxford; where having taken no less than three degrees, he looks down on many learned Professors, his inferiors: yet having been there but little longer than to take the first degree of Batchelor of Arts, it has more than once happened, that the CEN­SOR-GENERAL of all England has been reprimanded by the Censor of his College, for neglecting to furnish the usual Essay, or (in the collegiate phrase) the Theme of the week.

This joint description of ourselves will, we hope, sa­tisfy the reader without any further information. For our own parts, we cannot but be pleased with having raised this monument of our mutual friendship and esteem: and if these essays shall continue to be read, when they will no longer make their appearance as the fugitive pieces of the week, we shall be happy in con­sidering, that we are mentioned at the same time. We have all the while gone on, as it were, hand in hand together: and white we are both employed in furnishing matter for the paper now before us, we cannot help smiling at our thus making our exit together, like the two Kings of Brentford smelling at one nosegay.

T.W.O.
The End of the Second Volume.

Preparing for the Press, And will be published with all convenient Expedition, The THIRD and FOURTH VOLUMES of The CONNOISSEUR, in Twelves. Which will complete the Work. Corrected and improved. With a new Translation of the Mottos, and a copious Table of Con­tents; as in the First and Second Volumes, already published.

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