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gambler or a street-loung'er. He was said to have held some office under the Rising Sun, who was himself, only a colonel ; but, suddenly, without any knowledge of military tactics, be becomes aid-de-camp to a general oflicer, whom he offended by his drunkenness and profligacy. He then gets another place (almost a sinecure) of 2,000 livres a year, whilst veterans, covered with wounds and glory, starve in garrets upon half-pay. And Merryman, the father, who so long clamoured against the corrupt profusion of former stewards, occupies a place of twice that sum, besides private pickings which are to be made. In a word, the Merrymans are a sort of manerial paupers, who, like sturdy beggars, tell you :-“Here we are-out of employ. ment and without a fortune-you must either find us work, or maintain us idle;" in plain English, you must either give us places or pensións. Some have compared them to ‘icks; others to leeches, who derive nutriion by sucking the blood of the country, and ever dropping off till they are gorged; but I know of nothing to which they may be so aptly compared as to that insect called the Forest Fly, which, at one time, buzzes in the ear-the next, annoys the nostril-and, in short, there is no part of the body so foul at which it will not seek an entrance in search of its gratification.”
Well, reader, art thou satisfied with these humours of popular elections?
The Reader. I am satiated even to disgust. As Autolicus says:--" I understand the business, I hear it: to have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite also, to smell out work for the other senses; I see, this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.”
Author. True, and knavery is become as much the vogue with our guardians, that the Ins and Outs mutually charge each other with it, and neither disclaims it. Indeed, to be the most adroit knave seems the post of bonour, and to rob the public, the grand trial of skill. A laxity of private manners is the cause of a want of public principle: the former are the trunk, from · which the laiter issues in branches. There never was a more immoral and dangerous maxim propagated than that a man's private has no regard to his public character, or that worthless
ness in domestic was not inconsistent with purity in civil life. According to this mode of reasoning, an unprincipled gamester would make an honest first lord of the treasury, or the keeper of a bagnio an immaculate lord chancellor and keeper of the seals. This pestilential doctrine was broached by men devoid of principle and cash, who wished to live at the expence of the public; by men who, conscious of the notoriety of their vices, were anxious to make the people believe that those very vices were not inconsistent with public integrity; by men who had assumed a masquerade dress, denoting knavery on one side, and honesty on the other. Can such amphibious animals exist, or, ifthey can, arethey 'fit to be trusted ? Is the egomet dixi of a known rogue to be taken for his own honesty? Is a man grossly immoral in all the relations of private life-a treacherous friend, an adulterer, a gamester, an adventurer,-a man whose criminal extravagance and pleasures are the public detestation—is such a man worthy of the public confidence? Is he fit to be placed in any station in which great temptation is to be resisted, and an inflexible integrity to be maintained ?-None but rogues of the same stamp will answer yes.
If Otway had not been the known author of the tragedy of Venice Preserved, we should have been inclined to attribute it to Merryman the elder, were it only for the following lines :
JAFFIER. “ I'm thinking, Pierre, how that damn'd starving
quality Callid honesty, got footing in the world"
PIERRE. .“ Powerful villainy first set it up, " For its own ease and safety; honest men "". Are the soft easy cushions on which knaves " Repose and fatten: Were all mankind villains, They'd starve each other; lawyeis would want prac
tice, “ Cut-throats reward; each man would kill his brother “ Himself: none would be paid or hang'd for nurder.
Honesty; 'Twas a cheat invented first “ To bind the hands of bold deserving rogues, « That fools and cowards might sit safe in pow'r, “ And lord it uncontrolld above their betters. “ Honesty's but a notion.”
Now Mr. Thomas Merryman was a chip of the old block in dishonesty as well as drinking,
as the following little anecdote will tend to prove. His horses had stood for some time at a liverystable-keeper's in the neighbourhood of Cavendish-square. The groom came for them one night, or rather morning, (for the midnight hour was past,) and said the butler wanted them out immediately. The stable-keeper was not an easy fool, and he answered from a window, that neither the butler nor even his master should have any horses out at that time, as he and his people had all retired to rest some time ago. The groom was obliged to retire without the horses, and in the morning the butler caine, and feigned a great rage at being refused the horses. The livery-stable-keeper made the same reply to him as he had before sent by the groom, and added that he would not even let the horses go then until his bill was settled. The butler resented the affront, but the money must be raised. It was produced and the groom then whispered the livery-keeper that he had acted perfectly right; for if he had let the horses out in the night, his master would have been by that ime many miles on his road to Bogland,- The reader must know that his father had procured for him