Abbildungen der Seite

Second. Let the same salutary operation of police be made use of, to prevent our burning candles, that inclined us last winter to be more economical in burning wood; that is, let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers, and no family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per week. Third. Let guards also be posted to stop all the coaches, &c. that would pass the streets after sun-set, except those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives. Fourth. Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest. All the difficulty will be in the first two or three days; after which the reformation will be as natural and easy as the present irregularity; for, ce n'est que le premier pas qui coitte. Oblige a man to rise at four in the morning, and it is more than probable he will go willingly to bed at eight in the evening; and, having had eight hours sleep, he will rise more willingly at four in the morning following. But this sum of ninety-six millions and seventy-five thousand livres is not the whole of what may be saved by my economical project. You may observe, that I have calculated upon only one half of the year, and much may be saved in the other, though the days are shorter. Besides, the immense stock of wax and tallow left unconsumed during the summer, will probably make candles much cheaper for the ensuing winter, and continue them cheaper as long as the proposed reformation shall be supported. For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honor of it. And yet I know there are little, envious minds, who will, as usual, deny me this, and say, that my invention was known to the ancients, and perhaps they may bring passages out of the old books in proof of it. I will not dispute with these people, that the ancients knew not the sun would rise at certain hours ; they possibly had, as we have, almanacs that predicted it; but it does not follow thence, that they knew he gave light as soon as he rose. This is what I claim as my discovery. If the ancients knew it, it might have been long since forgotten; for it certainly was unknown to the moderns, at least to the Parisians, which to prove, I need use but one plain simple argument. They are as well instructed, judicious, and prudent a people as exist anywhere in the world, all professing, like myself, to be lovers of economy; and, from the many heavy taxes required from them by the necessities of the state, have surely an abundant reason to be economical. I say it is impossible that so sensible a people, under such circumstances, should have lived so long by the smoky, unwholesome, and enormously expensive light of candles, if they had really known, that they might have had as much pure light of the sun for nothing. I am, &c.



While the author resided in London he lived for the most part in the family of Mrs. Stevenson in Craven Street. The following humorous journal pretends to have been kept during a few days' absence of that lady from home. - EDITOR.

Saturday, September 22, 1770. This morning Queen Margaret, accompanied by her first maid of honor, Miss Franklin, set out for Rochester. Immediately on their departure, the whole street was in tears — from a heavy shower of rain. It is whispered, that the new family administration, which took place on her Majesty's departure, promises, like all other new administrations, to govern much better than the old one.

We hear, that the great person (so called from his enormous size), of a certain family in a certain street, is grievously affected at the late changes, and could hardly be comforted this morning, though the new ministry promised him a roasted shoulder of mutton and potatoes for his dinner.

It is said, that the same great person intended to pay his respects to another great personage this day, at St. James's, it being coronation-day; hoping thereby a little to amuse his grief; but was prevented by an accident, Queen Margaret, or her maid of honor, having carried off the key of the drawers, so that the lady of the bedchamber could not come at a laced shirt for his Highness. Great clamors were made on this occasion against her Majesty.

Other accounts say, that the shirts were afterwards VOL. II.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

found, though too late, in another place. And some suspect, that the wanting a shirt from those drawers was only a ministerial pretence to excuse picking the locks, that the new administration might have every thing at command. We hear that the lady chamberlain of the household went to market this morning by her own self, gave the butcher whatever he asked for the mutton, and had no dispute with the potato-woman, to their great amazement at the change of times. It is confidently asserted, that this afternoon, the weather being wet, the great person a little chilly, and nobody at home to find fault with the expense of fuel, he was indulged with a fire in his chamber. It seems the design is, to make him contented by degrees with the absence of the Queen. A project has been under consideration of government, to take the opportunity of her Majesty's absence for doing a thing she was always averse to, namely, fixing a new lock on the street door, or getting a key made to the old one; it being found extremely inconvenient, that one or other of the great officers of state should, whenever the maid goes out for a ha'penny worth of sand, or a pint of porter, be obliged to attend the door to let her in again. But opinions being divided, which of the two expedients to adopt, the project is, for the present, laid aside. We have good authority to assure our readers, that a Cabinet Council was held this afternoon at tea; the subject of which was a proposal for the reformation of manners, and a more strict observation of the Lord's day. The result was a unanimous resolution, that no meat should be dressed to-morrow; whereby the cook and the first minister will both be at liberty to go to church, the one having nothing to do, and the other no roast to rule. It seems the cold shoulder of mutton, and the apple-pie, were thought sufficient for Sunday's dinner. All pious people applaud this measure, and it is thought the new ministry will soon become popular. · We hear that Mr. Wilkes was at a certain house in Craven Street this day, and inquired after the absent Queen. His good lady and the children are well.

The report, that Mr. Wilkes, the patriot, made the above visit, is without foundation, it being his brother, the courtier.

Sunday, September 23. It is now found by sad experience, that good resolutions are easier made than executed. Notwithstanding yesterday's solemn order of Council, nobody went to church to-day. It seems the great person's broadbuilt bulk lay so long abed, that the breakfast was not over till it was too late to dress. At least this is the excuse. In fine, it seems a vain thing to hope reformation from the example of our great folks.

The cook and the minister, however, both took advantage of the order so far, as to save themselves all trouble, and the clause of cold dinner was enforced, though the going to church was dispensed with; just as common working folks observe the commandment. The seventh day thou shalt rest, they think a sacred injunction ; but the other six days thou shalt labor is deemed a mere piece of advice, which they may practise when they want bread and are out of credit at the ale-house, and may neglect whenever they have money in their pockets.

It must, nevertheless, be said, in justice to our court, that, whatever inclination they had to gaming, no cards were brought out to-day. Lord and Lady Hewson walked after dinner to Kensington, to pay their duty to the Dowager, and Dr. Fatsides made four hundred and

« ZurückWeiter »