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I F after this we look on the People of Mode in the Country, we find in them the Manners of the laft Age. They have no sooner fetched themselves up to the Falhion of the Polite World, but the Town has dropped them, and are nearer to the first State of Nature than to those Refinements which formerly reigned in the Court, and till prevail in the Country. One may now know a Man that never conversed in the World, by his Excess of good Breeding. A polite Country 'Squire shall make you as many Bows in half an Hour, as would serve a Courtier for a week. There is infinitely more to do about Place and Precedency in a Meeting of Justices Wives, than in an Assembly of Dutchesses.
THIS Rural Politenefs is very troublesome to a Man of my Temper, who generally take the Chair that is next me, and walk firit or last, in the Front or in the Rear, as Chance directs. I have known my Friend Sir ROGER'S Dinner almost cold before the Company could adjust the Ceremonial, and be prevailed upon to sit down, and have heartily pitied my old Friend, when I have seen him forced to pick and cull his Guests, as they sat at the several Parts of his Table, that he might drink their Healths according to their respective Ranks and Qualities. Honest will. Wimble, who I should have thought had been altogether uninfected with Ceremony, gives me abundance of Trouble in this particular. Tho' he has been fishing all the Morning, he will not help himself at Dinner 'till I am ferved. When we are going out of the Hall, he runs behind me; and last Night, as we were walking in the Fields, stopped short at a Stile 'till I came up to it, and upon my making Signs to him to get over, told me, with a ferious Smile, that sure I believed they no Manners in the Country.
THERE has happened another Revolution in the Point of good Breeding, which relates to the Conversation among Men-of Mode, and which I cannot but look upon as very extraordinary. It was certainly one of the firft Diftinétions of a well-bred Man, to express every thing that had the most remote Appearance of being obscenē, in modest Terms and distant Phrases; whilft the Clown, who had no such Delicacy of Conception and Expression, cloathed his Ideas in those plain homely
Terms that are the moft obvious and natural. This kind of Good Manners was perhaps carried to an Excess, so as to make Conversation too ftiff, formal and precise: for which Reason (as Hypocrisy in one Age is generally succeeded by Atheism in another) Conversation is in a great measure relapsed into the first Extreme; so that at present several of our Men of the Town, and particularly those who have been polished in France, make use of the most coarse uncivilized Words in our Language, and utter themselves often in such a manner as a Clown would blush to hear.
THIS infamous Piece of Good Breeding, which reigns among the Coxcombs of the Town, has not yet made its way into the Country; and as it is impossible for such an irrational way of Conversation to last long among a Peo. ple that make any Profession of Religion, or Show of Modefty, if the Country Gentlemen get into it they will certainly be left in the Lurch. Their Good Breeding will come too late to them, and they will be thought a Parcel of lewd Clowns, while they fancy themselves talking together like Men of Wit and Pleasure.
AS the two Points of Good Breeding, which I have hitherto insifted upon, regard Behaviour and Conversation, there is a third which turns upon Dress. In this too the Country are very much behind-hand. The Rural Beaus are not yet got out of the Fashion that took place at the time of the Revolution, but ride about the Coun. try in red Coats and laced Hats, while the Women in many Parts are still trying to ourvie one another in the Height of their Head-dresses.
BUT a Friend of mine, who is now upon the Western Circuit, having promised to give me an Account of the feveral Modes and Fashions that prevail in the different Parts of the Nation through which he passes, I shall defer the enlarging upon this Taft Topick 'till I have received a Letter from him, which I expect every Poft.
MAY Friend Sir Roger is very often merry with
| me, upon my passing lo much of my Time among
his Poultry. He has caught me twice or thrice looking after a Bird's Nest, and several times sitting an Hour or two together near an Hen and Chicken. He tells me he believes I am personally acquainted with, every Fowl about his House; calls such a particular Çock my favourite, and frequently complains that his Ducks and Geese have more of my Company than himself,
I must confess I am infinitely delighted with those Spe. culations of Nature which are to be made in a CountryLife; and as my Reading has very much lain among Books of natural History, I cannot forbear recollecting upon this Occasion the several Remarks which I havę męt with in Authors, and comparing them with what falls under my own Observation; The Arguineats for Providence drawn from the natural History of Animals being in my Opinion demonstrative.
THE Make of every kind of Animal is different from that of every other kind; and yet there is not the least Turn in the Muscles or Twist in the Fibres of any one, which does not render them more proper for that particular Animal's Way of Life than any other Cast or Texture of them would have been,
THE most violent Appetites in all Creatures are Luft and Hunger : The first is a perpetual Call upon thein to propagate their Ķind; the latter to preserve them, selves.
IT is astonishing to consider the different Degrees of Care that descend from the Parent to the Young, so far
as is absolutely necessary for the leaving a Posterity. Some 13 Creatures cast their Eggs as Chance directs them, and think of them no farther, as Insects and several Kinds of Fish; Others of a nicer Frame, find out proper Beds to deposite them in, and there leave them; as the Serpent, the Crocodile, and Ostrich: Others hatch their Eggs and tend the Birth, 'till it is able to shift for it reif.
WHAT can we call the Principle which directs every different kind of Bird to observe a Particular Plan in the Structure of its Neft, and directs all of the fame Species to work after the same Model? It cannot be Imitation ; for though you hatch a Crow under a Hen, and never let it see any of the Works of its own Kind, the Nest it makes shall be the same, to the laying of a Stick, with all the other Nests of the fame Species. It cannot be Reason; for were Animals indued with it to as great a Degree as Man, their Buildings would be as different as ours, according to the different Conveniencies that they would propose to themselves. • Is it not remarkable, that the fame Temper of Weather which raises this genial Warmth in Animals, should cover the Trees with Leaves, and the Fields with Grass, for their Security and Concealment, and produce such infinire Swarms of Insects for the Support and Sustenance of their respective Broods?
Is it not wonderful, that the Love of the Parent should be so violent while it lasts, and that it should last · no longer than is necessary for the Preservation of the Young?
TÉ E violence of this natural Love is exemplified by a very barbarous Experiment; which I shall quote at length, as I find it in an excellent Author, and hope my Readers will pardon the mentioning such an Instance of Cruelty, because there is nothing can so effectually shew the Strength of that Principle in Animals of which I am here speaking. « A Person who was well skilled in “ Dilections opened a Bitch, and as she lay in the most ir exquisite Tortures, offered her one of her young Pup“ pies, which she immediately fell a licking; and for " the Time seemed insensible of her own Pain : On " the Removal, The kept her Eye fixt on it, and
« began a wailing fort of Cry, which feemed rather ta “ proceed from the Loss of her young one, than the « Sense of her own Torments.
BUT notwithstanding this natural Love in Brutes is much more violent and intense than in rational Creatures, Providence has taken Care that it should be no longer troublesome to the Parent than it is useful to the Young; for so soon as the Wants of the latter cease, the Mother withdraws her Fondnefs, and leaves them to provide foc themselves : And what is a very remarkable Circum. ftance in this part of Instinct, we find that the Love of the Parent may be lengthened out beyond its usual Time, it the Preservation of the Species requires it; as we may see in Birds that drive away their Young as soon as they are able to get their Livelihood, but continue to feed them if they are tied to the Neft, or confined within a Cage, or by any other Means appear to be out of a Con dition of supplying their own Necessities.
THIS natural Love is not observed in Animals to af. cend from the Young to the Parent, which is not at all necessary for the Continuance of the Species : Nor indeed in reasonable Creatures does it rise in any Propor. tion, as it spreads it self downwards; for in all Family, Affection, we find Protection granted and Favours be. stowed, are greater Motives to Love and Tenderness; than Safety, Benefits, or Life received.
ONE would wonder to hear Sceptical Men disputing for the Reason of Animals, and telling us it is only our Pride and Prejudices that will not allow them the Use of that Faculty.
REASON News it self in all Occurrences of Life; whereas the Brute makes no Discovery of such a Talent, but in what immediately regards his own Preservation, or the Continuance of his Species. Animals in their Generation are wifer than the Sons of Men; but their Wisdom is. confined to a few Particulars, and lies in a very narrow Compass. Take a Brute out of his Instinct, and you find him wholly deprived of Underftanding. To use an Instance that comes often under Observrtion.
WITH what Caution does the Hen provide her self a Nest in Places unfrequented, and free from Noise and Disturbance ? When the has laid her Eggs in such a Man