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sorting them out. She cries, "Don't thee trouble thyself, neighbor: let them play a little: I'll put all to rights before I go." But things are never so put to rights but that I find a great deal of work to do after they are gone. Thus, Sir, I have all the trouble and pesterment of children, without the pleasure of calling them my own; and they are now so used to being here, that they will be content no where else. If she would have been so kind as to have moderated her visits to ten times a day, and staid but half an hour at a time, I should have been contented, and I believe never have given you this trouble. But this very morning they have so tormented me that I could bear no longer; for, while the mother was asking me twenty impertinent questions, the youngest got to my nails, and with great delight rattled them by handfuls all over the floor; and the other, at the same time, made such a terrible din*npon thecounter with a hammer, that I grew half distracted. Ij was just then about to make myself a new suit of pinners, but in the fret and confusion I cut it quite out of all manner of shape, and utterly spoiled a piece of the first muslin. Pray, sir, tell me what I shall do; and talk a little against such unreasonable visiting in your next paper; though I would not have her affronted with me for a great deal, for sincerely I love her and her children, as well, I think, as a neighbor can, and she buys a great many things in a year a* my shop. But I would beg her to consider, that she uses me unmercifully, though I believe it is only for want of thought. But I have twenty things more to tell you besides all this: there is a handsome gentleman that has a mind (I don't question) to make love to me, but he can't get the opportunity to O dear! here she comes again;I must conclude,
"Yours, &c. Patience."
Indeed, it is well enough, as it happens, that she is come to shorten this complaint, which I think is full long enough already, and probably would otherwise have been as long again. However, I must confess, I cannot help pitying my correspondent's case; and, in her behalf, exhort the visitor to remember and consider the words of the wise man, "Withdraw thy foot from the house of thy neighbor, lest he grow weary of thee, and so hate thee." It is, I believe, a nice thing, and very difficult, to regulate our visits in such a manner as never to give offence by coming too seldom, or too often, or departing too abruptly, or staying too long. However, in my opinion, it is safest for most people in a general way, who are unwilling to disoblige, to visit seldom, and tarry but a little while in a place, notwithstanding pressing invitations, which are many times insincere. And though more of your company should be really desired, yet in this case too much reservedness is a fault more easily excused than the contrary.
Men are subject to various inconveniences merely through lack of a small share of courage, which is a quality very necessary in the common occurrences of life, as well as in a battle. How many impertinences do we daily suffer with great uneasiness, because we have not courage enough to discover our dislike? And why may not a man use the boldness and freedom of telling his friends, that their long visits sometimes incommode him t On this occasion, it may be entertaining to some of my readers, if I acquaint them with the Turkish manner of entertaining visitors, which 1 have from an author of unquestionable veracity; who assures us, that even the Turks are not so ignorant of civility and the arts of endearment, but that they can practise them with as much exactness as any other nation, whenever they have a mind to show themselves obliging.
"When you visit a person of quality, (says he) and have talked over your business, or the compliments, or whatever concern brought you thither, he makes a sign to have things served in for the entertainment, which is generally a little sweetmeat, a dish of sherbet, and another of coffee; all which are immediately brought in by the servants, and tendered to all the guests in order, with the greatest care and awfulness imaginable. At last comes the finishing part of your entertainment, which is, perfuming the beards of the company; a ceremony which is performed in this manner:—They have for the purpose a small silver chafing-dish, covered with a lid full of holes, and fixed upon a handsome plate. In this they put some fresh coals, and upon them a piece of lignum aloes; shutting it up, the smoke immediately ascends with a grateful odor through the holes of the cover. This smoke is held under every one's chin, and offered as it were a sacrifice to his beard. The bristly idol soon receives the reverence done to it, and so greedily takes in and incorporates the gummy steam, that it retains the savor of it, and may serve for a nosegay a good while after..
. • " This ceremony may perhaps seem- ridiculous at first hearing, but it passes among the Turks for a high gratification. And I will say this in its vindication, that its design is very wise and useful. For it is understood to give a civil dismission to the visitants, intimating to them that the master of the house has business to do, or some other avocations, that permits them to go away as soon as they please; and the sooner after this ceremony the better. By this means you may, at any time, without offence, deliver yourself from being detained from your affairs by tedious and unseasonable visits; and from being constrained to use that piece of hypocrisy, so common in the world, o£ pressing those to stay longer with you, whom perhaps in your heart you wish a great way off for having troubled you so long already."
Thus far my author. For my own part, I have taken such a fancy to this Turkish custom, that for the future I shall put something like it in practice. I have provided a bottle of right French brandy for the men, and citron water for the ladies. After I have treated with a dram, and presented a pinch of my best snuff, I expect all company will retire, and leave me to pursue my studies for the good of the public.
1 give notice, that I am now actually compiling, and design to publish in a short time, the true history of the rise, growth, and progress of the renowned Tiff Club. All persons who are acquainted with any facts, circumstances, characters, transactions, &c. which will be requisite to the perfecting and embellishment of the said work, are desired to communicate the same to the author, and direct their letters to be left with the printer hereof.
The letter signed "Would-be-something," is come to hand.