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HE was alive laft Whitfuntide, faid the coachman. Whitfuntide !-alas! (cried Trim, extending his right arm, and falling inftantly into the fame attitude in which he read the fermon) what is Whitfuntide, Jonathan (for that was the coachman's name) or Shrovetide, or any tide or time past, to this? Are we not here now (continued the corporal, ftriking the end of his ftick perpendicularly upon the floor, fo as to give an idea of health and stability) and are we not (dropping his hat upon the ground) gone! in a moment? It was infinitely ftriking !-Sufannah burst into a flood of tears. We are not stocks and ftones.-Jonathan, Obadiah, the cook-maid, all melted. The foolish fat fcullion herfelf, who was fcouring a fish-kettle upon her knees, was roufed with it. The whole kitchen crowded about the corporal.

"ARE we not here now-and gone, in a moment ?"-There was nothing in the fentence-it was one of your felf-evident truths we have the advantage of hearing every day; and, if Trim had not trusted more to his hat than his head, he had made nothing at all of it.

"ARE we not here now;" continued the corporal," and are we not" (dropping his hat plump upon the ground, and paufing, before he pronounced the word)" gone! in a moment ?"-The defcent of the hat was as if a heavy lump of clay had been kneaded into the crown of it. Nothing could have expreffed the fentiment of mortality, of which it was the type and fore-runner, like it. His hand feemed to vanish from under it-it fell dead the corporal's eye fixed upon it, as upon a corpfe-and Sufannah, burft into a flood of tears.



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HAT an infult upon us is this! If we are not fo rich as the Patricians, are we not citizens of Rome, as well as they? inhabitants of the fame country? members of the fame community? The nations bordering upon Rome, and even ftrangers more remote, are admitted, not only to marriages with us, but to, what is of much greater importance, the freedom of the city. Are we, because we are commoners, to be worse treated than ftrangers ?-And, when we demand that the people may be free to beftow their offices and dignities on whom they please, do we ask any thing unreasonable or new? Do we claim more than their original inherit right? What occafion, then, for all this uproar, as if the universe were falling to ruin ? They were juft going to lay violent hands upon me, in the fenate-houfe. What! muft this empire, then, be unavoidably overturned? Muft Rome, of neceffity, fink at once, if a Plebeian, worthy of the office, fhould be raised to the confulfhip? The Patricians, I am perfuaded, if they could, would deprive you of the common light. It certainly offends them, that you breathe, that you speak, that you have the fhapes of men. Nay, but to make a commoner a conful, would be, fay they, a moft enormous thing. Numa Pompilius, however, without being fo much as a Roman citizen, was made king of Rome. The elder Tarquin, by birth not even an Italian, was nevertheless placed upon the throne.


Servius Tullius, the son of a captive woman (nobody knows who his father was) obtained the kingdom, as the reward of his wifdom and virtue. In those days, no man, in whom virtue fhone confpicuous, was rejected or defpifed, on account of his race and defcent. And, did the ftate profper the lefs for that? Were not these strangers, the very best of all our kings? And, fuppofing now, that a Plebian fhould have their talents and merit, must not he be suffered to govern us? But, "we find, that, upon the aboli"tion of the regal power, no commoner was chofen "to the confulate." And what of that? Before Numa's time, there were no pontiffs in Rome. Before Servius Tullius's days, there was no Cenfus, no divifion of the people into claffes and centuries. Who ever heard of confuls, before the expulfion of Tarquin the Proud? Dictators, we all know, are of modern invention; and fo are the offices of tribunes, adiles, quæftors. Within these ten years, we have made decemvirs, and we have unmade them. Is nothing to be done but what has been done before? That very law, forbidding marriages of Patricians with Plebeians; is not that a new thing? Was there any fuch law before the decemvirs enacted it? and a moft fhameful one it is in a free ftate. Such marriages, it seems, will taint the pure blood of the nobility! Why, if they think fo, let them take care to match their fifters and daughters with men of their own fort. No Plebeian will do violence to the daughter of a Patrician. Those are exploits for our prime nobles. There is no need to fear, that we shall force any body into a contract of marriage. But, to make an exprefs law, to prohibit marriages of Patricians with Plebeians, what is this, but to fhew the utmoft contempt of us, and to declare one part of the community to be impure and unclean? Why don't they lay their wife heads


together, to hinder rich folks from matching with poor? They talk to us, of the confufion there will be in families, if this ftatute should be repealed. I wonder they don't make a law against a commoner's living near a nobleman, or going the fame road that he is going, or being present at the same feast, or appearing in the fame market-place. They might as well pretend, that these things make confufion in families, as that intermarriages will do it. Does not every one know, that the children will be ranked according to the quality of his father, let him be a Patrician or a Plebeian? In fhort, it is manifeft enough, that we have nothing in view, but to be treated as men and citizens; nor can they who oppose our demand, have any motive to do it, but the love of domineering. I would fain know of you, Confuls and Patricians, is the fovereign power in the people of Rome, or in you? I hope you will allow, that the people can, at their pleasure, either make a law, or repeal one. And will you, then, as foon as any law is propofed to them, pretend to lift them immediately for the war, and hinder them from giving their fuffrages, by leading them into the field ?—Here me, Confuls: whether the news of the war you talk of, be true, or whether it be only a false rumour, fpread abroad for nothing but a colour to fend the people out of the city, I declare, as tribune, that this people, who have already fo often spilt their blood in our country's caufe, are again ready to arm for its defence and its glory, if they may be restored to their natural rights, and you will no longer treat us like ftrangers in our own country but, if you account us unworthy of your alliance by intermarriages; if you will not fuffer the entrance to the chief offices in the state, to be open to all perfons of merit, indifferently; but will confine your choice of magiftrates, to the


fenate alone; talk of wars as much as ever you please; paint, in your ordinary discourses, the league and power of our enemies, ten times more dreadful than you do now; I declare, that this people, whom you fo much defpife, and to whom you are, nevertheless, indebted for all your victories, fhall never more inlift themselves; not a man of them fhall take arms; not a man of them fhall expose his life for imperious lords, with whom he can neither share the dignities of the ftate, nor, in private life, have any alliance by marriage.

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RUST me, this unwary pleafantry of thine, will, fooner or later, bring thee into fcrapes and difficulties, which no after-wit can extricate thee out of. In thefe fallies, too oft, I fee it happens, that the perfon laughed at, confiders himself in the light of a perfon injured, with all the rights of fuch a fituation belonging to him and, when thou reckon'ft upon his friends, his family, his kindred and allies; and muftereft up, with them, the many recruits, who will lift under him, from a fense of common danger; 'tis no extravagant arithmetic to say, that for every ten jokes, thou haft got an hundred enemies; but, till thou haft gone on, and raised a swarm of wafps about thine



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