페이지 이미지

tular in my Address to the young Elisa, I know not ; but Cards were propos'd; and the Mother and elder Sister chusing to fit by, I was matchwi' the gentle Elisa. She won all; for I was incapable of attending to the Cards. After Supper the Company was entertained with Mr Bonifacio's Humour; my Attention was otherwise engag'd, I did not sleep all Night, and in the Morning my Passion was confirm’d. In Nort, tho' always repuls’d, I courted this Lady by Intervals for two Years. But she had fix'd her Affections on a comely young Man, tho' much her Inferior in Fortune.

InRead of returning home with my friend, I still resided near the Bath, and strove, as I was repuls'd, to supplant my Passion for the fair Elija by raising another; and, what looks like a Paradox, had I met with less Success, perhaps I had succeeded.

But I shan't trouble you with an Account of how many I made my Addresses to, for I don't well remember.

In the House where I lodg’d, there was at the same Time a Widow of Fashion, who had two Daughters very well bred. The youngest was about fixteen, and, tho' no perfect Beauty, yet in the Bloom of Youch, and had a Humor so jocular, disengag'd and artless, that I could not help indulging a rising Passion for her. I was ever contriving to be of their Party, tho' the Mother chose to be retired, notwithstanding her Wit and Breeding, which, with an agreeable Person, never fail'd of gaining her the Respect of all the convers’d with. The Landlady of the House perceiving my Inclination, was so charitable as to flatter it. To the Mother the represented me as a Person of Fortune ; to the young Lady, that I was careless, generous, and passionately fond of her. Parties to go abroad were form'd, the Moiher consented, to our common Satisfaction, and things proceeded to that Degree, that I wrote Billet-doux, and sent 'em, tho’ we were separated by only one Pair of Stairs, A Night was pitch'd upon for me to declare my Passion to the young Lady; but the Mother, a Person of the greateit Prudence interpoled, before I could have Time to declare my Sentiments, and cali’d her Daughter away, Tho' my Intentions were honourable, the Surprize confounded me, and renderd me unable to speak; but waiting on her next Morning, I excus’d myself to her Satisfaction; I told her my Circumstances fairly, and det her know that I would not pleasure myself at the Expence of her Quiet. She delir'd ine, if I had any Regard for her, to promise to defift; I gave her my Word accordingly, and the represented to many Inconveniences chat would attend our Union, as shew'd at once her Generosity and Prudence.

An accidental Meeting with Bonifacio, and a Visit that I was always inclin'd to pay him, or any one of his Neighbourhood, reviv'd my Passion for Elifa, and I immediately forgot my new Amour, no Trace of it remained in my Mind; but this renew'd Affection was unsuccesful, and honest Bonifacio did all he could to efface it. He said Elisa was otherwise engag’d;

but all he said was to no Purpose, since it was oppolite to my current Inclination. Quite disiatisfy'd, I was half inclin'd to be folitary and forlorn. I ofien walk'd in the Abbey, to footh Me. lancholy ;—An old Lady and her Daughter often pals'd bý ine to Prayers; the Daughter was low and something aside, but Nature had made up this Disadvantage, by giving her a molt winning Face ; lhe had the finest blue Eyes imaginable, they had a Lustre that bespoke Vivacity, and a fincere Temper ; and as there is nothing more capricious than an amorous Imagination, I believed I read in her. Looks such a Temper of Mind as actually made me in Love with her, before one Word of Conversation pass'd between us : Not to tell you how often I ogled her in publick.


I happen'd to be engag'd with a large Party, to see a fine Seat in the Neighbourhood, she being one of the Company; but we were all so huddled together, that I had no Opportunity of speaking on any but indifferent Subjects. In an Apartment of this House, one of the young Ladies accidentally pick'd up a Song-Book, and diverted us all for some Time with her wirty Remarks on the Songs. She put the Book in my Hand, for I stood next her, and as they were going I call'd to the fair Sminthia, for so I chuse to call this new and last Favourite, and ask'd her what she thought of those Verses, which I pointed to her,

My Eyes have oft told you their Wishes, ,

And can't you their Meaning explain? She look'd at 'em, and took no Notice, but walk'd away, for which I admired and lov'd her ftill more ; for when a Man is really in Love, the flightest and most infignificant Circumstance fans the Flame.

At last I found means to get acquainted in the Family of this young Lady, the fair Sminthia. They kept a handsome Equipage, my Mistress won upon my Heart every Hour, and one Day as we were taking an Airing I offer'd to marry her. She told me that she would do nothing without her Parents Consent ; on which I consulted a Relation of the Fa. Inily, who told me that her father designed examining my Affairs, and as he had ieveral other Children, tho' all provided for, yet he was sure I should have a hard Bargain, little or nothing while he lived, and that he thought me extravagant. And why then does he suffer us to meet fo often, return'd I?..-No doubt, says he, you may have the young Lady. I understand you, he'll connive at our Marrying, return'd I, and then take Offence. ---May be so-- and give her Nothing. ---From all Appcarances this seeming to be the Cale, I avoided the fair Sminthia's Company, who had something to sincere and domestic in her Temper, that she took it very much to Heart.

It is true, I was extravagant, and liv'd much above my Income, and if I had marry'd one of her Fashion with little or no Fortune, I must have retrench'd very much; and retrenching at all is disagreeable enough, fo disagreeable that hardly any Thing but Neceffity obliges People to it.

While I was in this Situation, a good Estate fell to me by the Death of a distant Relation: I went to take Poffeffion, and found it much encumber'd. A yourg Lady, who had her Fortune in her own Hands, liv'd in the same Village ; her Eitate was superior to mine : The People of the Village mark'd her out for me: You know, Sir, Country Villages are great Match-makers. I began to be afham'd of abusing so many fair Innocents, especially Miss Jolly, and the true-hearted Smintbia; I thought I had an Opportunity of putting it out of my Power of transgressing that way, and clearing my Fortune at the fame Time. I made my Addresses to the Lady I am now married to; the Village Report had that Success that I met with no Difficulty.


Before the Match was consummated I went to the Bath, to settle my Affairs. Fame had been beforehand with me, as to my Estate and new Amour; the Town pitied poor Sminthia, and censur'd me. I met with no Countenance from any Acquaintance, unless it were the Men of Pleasure and Intrigue; my boon Companions gave me up; your Bottlemen, with all the Professions of Friendship they commonly abound with, have no real Efteem for any who are not Partners in their drunken Revels.

I went into the Country, and married the Lady I courted laft; the Country Report, which brought us together, founded after we were married, as follows : • That I wanted her Money, and She a Husband.' And it was very true on my Part --but I am at the same Time so fortunate, that I have a Wife into the Bargain, (as the Proverb says), and I must do her the Justice to declare, that she behaves so as to merit any Man's Affection.

It might be proper, perhaps, after this Detail of myAmours, to make fome Reflections in the Manner of writing a Moral under a Fable, but it may look too eneroaching, I fear. The Humour of making Reflections prevails fo much, that I have known People do it, without having any Foundation for their Reflections.

But with your Leave, Sir, I'll make one or two; the first on my Brethren, the Men of Pleasure.

This Character of a general Lover, this Male-Coquetry, is running the fame Ring; and they are further from true Pleasure, when they have run themselves out of Breath, than at first setting out; giving themselves up to this loose Humour, is leaving themselves to a Sea of Paflion, without any Steerage. I might add the Immorality of difturbing the Repole of Families ; for a whole Family must be unealy, when a Child or Sister is tormented, and I'll leave it to themselves to judge whether there is greater Torment than loving without Hopes of any Return of Love.

It may be Sport to them, as it is in Children, to pelt Frogs; but as in the Fable, a lage Frog remonftrated, Children, tho' your Pelting is Diversion to you, it is Deach and Loss of Limbs to us.

I know this Humour is fed by a French Norion of Gallantry, and the lewd Morality of our best Plays. I wish the Author of Joseph Andrews and David Simple would, among other falle Sentiments and Manners, expose this; tho' if the Gentlemen of Pleasure confider'd, it would be unnecelfary. The Missortane is, they don't consider the fatal Consequence; if they did, Perjury or a Breach of Contract, where Affection, natural Affe&tion, was the Article of Agreement, mult appear blacker than any Breach of Agreement whatever about any Circumftance of Trade, or simple Interelt.

My next Remarks regard the fair Sex, in abusing whom I have spent some Years, tho' now but twenty-five. I presume to advise that most amiable Part of the Creation, not the Finebred, who live about the Metropolis, and understand the Ceremonies of Gallantry, and their Sterling Value, but those who are most likely to be impos'd upon, that they not only be sure the Man loves them, but consider whether it is proper for them to love him, before they suffer their Imaginations to dwell upon his Person and Accom. plishments, and to ask Advice, if not of their Mothers, at least of such Females as they can't suspect will be Rival'; and to ask it, not as the Manner too ofien is; when it is too late, and they have made their Choice.

I am, Gr. Yours, S. Mr URBAN,

Nov. 1744. I have sent you a copy of a Letter, defign'd by the Writer, as a rough Draught only upon the Subje&t of it, and published with the Hopes of exciting fome more able Hand to undertake a Cafe that so well deferves the serious confideration of the Publick.

To the Reverend the Arcb-deacon of
Reverend Sir,
I ,

Archdeaconry ; but of so little Note, and so deservedly unknown, that I dare not venture to lay my Name before you.

I am persuaded, that when I have assured you, Sir, that what I offer, proceeds from an honest Heart, and well-meant Intention, nothing else will be wanting to induce you, Sir, to give it the reading, and, if approved of, your Favour and Encouragement.

The Caufe, I hope, will not suffer for having so bad an Advocate. 'Tis the Cause of Charity that I plead, that Branch of it, in particular, that is conversant about Briefs.

The Wisdom of the Nation have endeavour'd to correct fome A. buses that had crept into this Trade of Charity, as it might be called. And undoubtedly their Endeavours have been of Service, by removing some Prejudices and Discouragements that lay in the Way, and obstructed this kind of Charity.

But the same Coldness to Acts of this Nature is again getting Ground amongst us, tho’arising from a different Cause. Its Progrels I have for some Years observed, and 'tis now almost got to its Crisis. So that the Sufferers are but little, if, in some Cases, at all advantaged by those Means which are designed for their Relief.

The Grievance, Sir, is the great Expence that attends the procuring and dispersing of Briefs ; which, according to the Brief annexed, amounts to upwards of five hundred Pounds. But what greater Difcouragement to Charity, Sir, can there be, than what must arise from this single Circumstance only! Surely, Sir, whatever else is, Charity fould not be, taxed, especially at the Rate of almost 300l. per Cent.

Methinks, Sir, I hear you express your Concern for the unhappy Sufferers, but at the sameTime saying, “How can it be redress’d? “ Officers will have their Fees.”

Officers, Sir, may have their Fees, and Fees enough they have. But, for God's sake, if it be possible, let this be an exempted Case.

Where Officers have done any thing, attended with extraordinary Expence or Trouble, there they ought, in Proportion to either, to be contdered, and I hope, in this particular Cafe, no further.

The common Charge of laying a Brief is upwards of four hundred Pounds. This certainly might be done at a much cheaper Rate, if executed even as the Demand supposes. But, Sir, you know, that this is attended with hardly any Trouble at all. The Briefs are delivered to the Church wardens at one Visitation, and received again the next, without any intermediate further Trouble of the Officer, whose Businefs it is to lay them himself. Almost this whole Article, therefore, might be lopp'd off at ance.


As to the remaining Claims, I can't see any necessary Demand, besides Paper and Printing. And both these are of that Sort, that as much, and of equal Goodness, may be bought in the Streets at an Hallpenny a Sheet, and many an honest Livelihood got by it too.

I know it will be said, that the Stamp and the royal Fiat are necessary.

But, how, Sir, does it look to have such a solemn Declaration, that his Majesty, out of his abundant Goodness, has granted his royal Licence for a Brief, under the present Management and Burthen of it? It seems to be a Prostitution of the Name of Majesty, when, under a Shew and real Intention of Charity, it permits a Number of Officers to prey upon the Distresses of the Miserable.

But why should this facred Impression be necessary ? if necessary, why expensive? if expensive, what can so well become the royal Bounty, as to take the Expence upon itself?

As for the Demand for laying the Brief, if that must not be quite removed, suppose the Situation of it were to be a little altered. Suppose, Sir, this Charge was not deducted from the general Produce at last, but laid upon the Receivers of the Brief in every particular Pa. rith, antecedent to what may be collected from it.

This, Sir, I am sensible does not remove the Ground of the Complaint, the Expence of Laying. But thus much will be gained by the Sufferers, that every Parish will at least pay for its own Bries, and the Absenters from the Worship of God will not escape that Share of Burthen, that falls on them who attend it best. And I verily believe the Contributions of those, who are well-dispos'd, will not be much the less for this general Contribution. They would certainly give with the more Cheerfulness, and perhaps Liberality too, were they assured that every Farthing they told out numbered to the Sufferers,

Suppose again, Sir, by way of further Regulation, suppose, if the Burthen of Laying cannot be removed, that the Officers were obliged to lay their Briefs themselves in every Parish, separately, a Month at least to intervene between one Brief and another. This, I am sensible again, will not remove the Ground of the Complaint ; but there will be this good Effect flowing from it, that this iniquitous Trade will not be so gainful. And sure I am, as Things now stand, it deserves every Dircouragement possible.

I am the more induced, Sir, to lay these Thoughts, rough as they are, before you, because there is an evil Brarch shooting out of this Stock, which will in a few Years grow and spread very much to the Prejudice of the Church, which is this---ihat tho' there generally is some small Contribution towards Damages sustained by Fires, Inundacions and the like, yet a Brief for repairing the House of God is heard with no manner of Regard at all.

Undoubtedly, 'tis the Want of a dne Sense of Religion, that gives Rise to so unreasonable a Diltination.

But be the Cause what it will, since it is Fact it should, if possible, be guarded against, and very soon; or, according to the presenProspect of Things, in another Century, half the Churches of the Nation, like the Temple of Jeruja'em forinerly, will hardly have one Stone left pron another.


« 이전계속 »