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this unaccountable inchantment, or, by some proper animadversions, to civilize the behaviour of this agreeable rustic.

I am, Sir,

Your most humble servant,

EBENEZER."

you in

6 MR. BICKERSTAFI,
« I now take leave to address

your

character of Censor, and complain to you, that among the various errors in conversation which you have corrected, there is one which, though it has not escaped a general reproof, yet seems to deserve a more particular severity. It is an humour of jesting on disagreeable subjects, and insisting on the jest, the more it creates uneasiness; and this some men think they have a title to do as friends. Is the design of jesting to provoke? or does friendship give a privilege to say things with a design to shock? How can that be called a jest which has nothing in it but bitterness? It is generally allowed necessary, for the peace

of

company, that men should a little study the tempers of each other; but certainly that must be in order to shun what is offensive, not to make it a constant entertainment. The frequent repetition of what appears harsh, will unavoidably. leave a rancour that atal to friendship; and I doubt much whether it would be an argumeut of a man's good-humour, if he should be rouzed by perpetual teazing, to treat those who 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 troublesome to society, and as unfit for it, as wags, men of figure, 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, yours,

PATIENT FRIENDLY."

1

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, supported by a perverted taste in ours. I must publish 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 displease 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 insolent to his love, will make her submissive to his indifference.

I cannot wholly ascribe the faults mentioned in the second letter, to the same 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 inability 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

• Congreve, see “The Way of the World," act i. sc. s. VOL. V.

B B

sharp 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.

ADVERTISEMENT. *** Whereas Plagius has been told again and again, both in public and in 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 published, is not to be construed publishing their copy?

Mr. Dogood is desired to consider, that his story is severe upon a weakness, and not a folly,

N° 270. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30, 1710.

Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia et spes.

HOR. 1 Ep. xviii. 33.

In gay attire when the rain coxcomb's drest,
Strange hopes and projects fill his labouring breast.

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 there appear all round me very great offenders in the point of dress. An armed taylor had the impudence yesterday 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 censure, 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 ny Lucubrations are to the public.

Jack's Coffee-house, near Guildhall, Dec. 27.

« COUSIN BICKERSTAFF, “It has been the peculiar blessing of our family to be always above the smiles or frowns of fortune, and, by a certain greatness of mind, to restrain all irregular fondnesses or passions. From hence it is, that though a long decay, and a numerous descent,

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 unsatisfied 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 profession or quality among men that gives us honour or esteem, but the well or ill behaving ourselves in those characters. It is, therefore, with no small concern, that I behold in coffee-houses and public places my brethren, the tradesmen of this city, put off the smooth, even, and antient decorum of thriving citizeus for a fantastical dress and figure improper for their persons and characters, to the ulter destruction of that order and distinction, which of right ought to be between St. James's aud Milk-street, the Camp and Cheapside.

have obliged many

“ I have given myself some time to find out how distinguishing 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 plad, 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 proceeds 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, sides 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, Sir,

Your affectionate cousin.

Felix TRANQUILLUS."

“ To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of

GREAT BRITAIN.

« The humble Petition of RALPH NAB, Haberdasher of Hats, and many other

poor Sufferers of the same Trade,

“ Sheweth. “ That for some years last past the use of gold and silver galloon upon bats has been almost universal; being undistinguishably worn by soldiers, esquires, lords, footmen, beaux, 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

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