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friendship; and I doubt much, whether it would be an argument of a man's good humour, if he should be rouled by perpetual tealing to treat those that do it as his enemies. In a word, whereas it is a common practice to let a story die, merely because it does not touch, I think such as mention one they find does, are as troublefame to society, and as unfit for it, as wags, men of fire, good talkers, or any other apes in conversation; and therefore, for the public benefit, I hope you will cause them to be branded with such a name as they deserve.
I am, Sir,
The case of Ebenezer is a very common one, and is always cured by neglect. These fantastical returns of affection proceed from a certain vanity in the other sex, fupported by a perverted taste in ours. , I must publith it as a rule, That no faults which proceed from the will, either in a mistress or a friend, are to be tolerated : but we should be so complaisant to ladies, as to let them difplease when they aim at doing it. Pluck up a spirit, Ebenezer ; recover the use of your judgment, and her faults will appear, or her beauties vanish. Her faults begin - to please. me as well as my own,' is a sentence very prettily put into the mouth of a lover by the comic poet; but he never designed it for a maxim of life, but the picture of an imperfection. If Ebenezer takes my advice, the same temper which made her infolent to his love, will make her fubmiffive to his indifference.
I cannot wholly aferibe the faults, mentioned in the second letter, to the fame vanity or pride in companions who secretly triumph over their friends, in being sharp upon them in things where they are most tender. But · when this sort of behaviour does not proceed from that source, it does from barrenness of invention, and an ina3
bility to support a conversation in a way less offensive. It is the same poverty which makes men speak or write smuttily, that forces them to talk vexingly. As obscene language is an address to the lewd for applause, so are Tharp allusions an appeal to the ill-natured. But mean and illiterate is that conversation, where one man exercises his wit to make another exercise his patience.
!! WHEREAS Plagius has been told again and again, both in public and private, that he preaches excellently well, and still goes on to preach as well as ever, and all this to a polite and learned audience: this is to desire, that he would not hereafter be so eloquent, except to a country congregation; the proprietors of Tillotson's works having consulted the learned in the law, whether preaching a sermon they have purchased, is not to be conItrued publishing their copy?'
Mr. Dogood is desired to consider, that his story is severe upon a weakness, and not a folly.'
NO. 270. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1710.
Cum pulchris tunicis Jumet nova consilia & fpes.
HOR. Ep. 18. lib. 1. ver. 33.
In gay attire when the vain coxcomb's dreft,
From my own Apartment, December 29. ACCORDING to my late resolution, I take the holidays to be no improper season to entertain the town with the addresses of my correspondents. In my walks every day, Vol. IV.
there appear all around me very great offenders in the point of dress. An armed taylor had the impudence yerterday in the Park to smile in my face, and pull off a laced hat to me, as it were in contempt of my authority and cenfure. However, it is a very great satisfaction, that other people as well as myself are offended with these improprieties. The following notices, from persons of different sexes and qualities, are a sufficient instance how useful my Lucubrations are to the public.
Jack's Coffee-house near Guildhall, Dec. 27. Cousin BICKERSTAFF,
• It has been the peculiar blessing of our famiJy to be always above the smiles or frowns of fortune, and by a certain greatness of mind to restrain all irregular fondnesles or passions. From hence it is, that though a long decay, and a numerous descent, have obliged many of our house to fall into the arts of trade and business, no one person of us has ever made an appearance that betrayed our being unfatisfied with our own station of life, or has ever affected a mien or gesture unsuitable to it.
- You have up and down in your writings very justly remarked, that it is not this or the other profeffion or quality among men that gives us honour and efteem, but the well or ill behaving ourselves in those characters. It is therefore with no small concern that I behold in coffeehouses and public places my brethren, the tradesmen of this city, put off the smooth, even, and ancient decorum of thriving citizens, for a fantastical dress and figure, improper for their persons and characters, to the utter deitruction of that order and distinction which of right ought to be between St. James's and Milk-street, the camp and Cheapfide.
• I have given myself some time to find out, how diltinguishing the frays in a lot of muslins, or drawing up a regiment of thread laces, or making a panegyric on pieces of sagathy or Scotch plaid, should entitle a man to a laced hat or sword, a wig tied up with ribbands, or an embroidered coat. The college say, this enormity pro
ceeds from a sort of delirium in the brain, which makes it break out first about the head, and, for want of timely remedies, fall upon the left thigh, and from thence in little mazes and windings run over the whole body, as appears by pretty ornaments on the buttons, button-holes, garterings, fides of the breeches, and the like. 'I beg the favour of you to give us a discourse wholly upon the subject of habits, which will contribute to the better government of conversation among us, and in particular oblige,
Your affectionate Cousin,
To Isaac BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of Great
The humble petition of Ralph Nab, haberdasher of hats, and
many other poor sufferers of the same trade,
"That for some years last past the use of gold and filver galloon upon hats has been almost universal; being undistinguishably worn by soldiers, esquires, lords, footmen, beaus, sportsmen, traders, clerks, prigs, smarts, cullies, pretty fellows, and sharpers.
« That the said use and custom has been two ways very prejudicial to your petitioners : first, in that it has induced men, to the great damage of your petitioners, to wear their hats upon their heads; by which means the said hats last much longer whole, than they would do if worn under their arms. Secondly, in that very often a new dressing and a new lace supply the place of a new hat, which grievance we are chiefly sensible of in the spring-time, when the company is leaving the town; it so happening commonly, that a hat fhall frequent, all winter, the fineit and best assemblies without any ornament at all, and in
May shall be tricked up with gold or filver to keep company with rustics, and ride in the rain.
i All which premises your petitioners humbly pray you to take into your consideration, and either to appoint a day in your Court of Honour, when all pretenders to the galloon may enter their claims, and have them approved or rejected, or to give us such other relief as to your great wisdom thall seem meet.
And your petitioners, &c.' Order my friend near Temple-bar, the author of the Hunting-cock, to affist the court when this petition is read, of which Mr. Lillie to give him notice.
To Isaac BICKEKSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of Great
"That on the twentieth of this instant De. cember, 'her friend Rebecca 'Hide and your petitioner walking in the Strand, saw a gentleman' before us in a gown, whose periwig was so long, and so much powdered, that your petitioner took notice of it, and said, the wondered that'lawyer would so spoil a new gown with powder: To which it was answered, that he was no lawyer, but a clergyman. Upon a wager-of a pot of coffee we overtook him, and your petitioner was foon convinced the had lost.
Your petitioner therefore defires your worthip to cite the clergyman before you, and to settle and adjust the length of canonical periwigs, and the quantity of powder to be made use of in them, and to give such other directions as you shall think fit.
And your petitioner, &c.' Query. Whether this gentleman be not a chaplain to a regiment, and in such case allow powder accordingly. 8