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cafe to the confideration of the gentlemen of the cloth; humbly praying, that they would be pleafed to let us go footfree as well as the clergy. For though a good meal is in truth a very comfortable thing to us, it is enough to blunt the edge of our appetites, to confider that we muft afterwards pay fo dear for our ordinary. I am, Sir, your humble fervant,


By fome of my papers I find I have drawn upon me the cenfure, not only of the Free-thinkers, but of the Moravians, Methodists, and other numerous fectaries, which have lately ftarted up in oppofition to our establified religion. The following letter, occafioned by my fixty-first number, bears about it fo many marks of an original, that it certainly comes from one of their teachers, who (as his ftile finells fo much of the craft) is undoubtedly fome infpired fhoe-maker, or enlightened bricklayer. I have therefore printed it without any alteration, except in the fpelling.



Have taken the pains as ufual to read your paper; and as you receive letters, I thought proper among the reft to fend one alfo, to let you know, that I did not know that a cat was capable of conftituting a religious fociety before. A prieft may, 'tis true; and fo may another rational creature, and perhaps an old woman alfo. But, Sir, you argue, that what a French fool or lunatic fays on this head, is true; but you make more out, I obferve, from the old woman and the leathern apron, than you do of the cat. For, if old women will, or does conftitute a religious fociety, I understand from the foundation you feem to argue, that you are as much an old woman as they. For to argue or reafon from an old woman's ftory, and for all your learning, and policy, and cunningness and judgment, you feem to have, you have but little of yourfelf; and as you feem to ridicule religion, and compare it to atheifm or lunacy, I would beg the favour to know, Sir, what religion You are of: but by your talk I fear you are of none at all.

This New Doctrine, Sir, that you revile, is the real Gofpel, which you will find so, if you hear it, and compare it

with the Scriptures, if you believe any Scripture at all. For you fay, Sir, that the most extraordinary tenets of religion are very fuccefsfully propagated under the fan&tion of leathern aprons inftead of caflocks. Well, and fuppofe it is: you acknowledge it is received by well difpofed people; and if it is, then it is plain, as you ridicule it, you are not one of thefe well difpofed. But, Sir, this New Doctrine, as you call it, is not only propagated under the fanction of leathern aprons, by barbers, bricklayers, and the like, but by many of the clergy now in the established church: and if you often went to hear them, but not as a critic to carp at what is there fpoken, you would underftand more what this New Doctrine meant, and whether it drives men to enthusiasm, and the like, or no.

Sir, what you touch on the Moravians, I will not fay any thing about or againt: for perhaps it is too true. But, Sir, I would advise you to know a little more of religion experimentally for yourfelf, before you pretend to condemn others. And, Sir, if you are informed that there will be a mad-house built on the ground where the Foundery ftands, or the Methodists Meeting-house, as you call it, perhaps there may be as many criticiling lunatics in it as religious ones; and very likely more. Sir, I beg you would take care you don't bother your brains too much about other people's affairs; lett I should have the pain, not the pleafure, of feeing you there.

I have just given you a sketch of the ridiculing the New Doctrine, and wish you could find fome better employ, if fo be it was with a leathern apron before you, for I think it would become you better than this point does. Sir, I hope you will excufe my freedom with you, as others muit your's with them.

Your humble fervant,


The last letter which I hall add comes from an unknown correfpondent, who has already obliged me more than once, if I may judge from the hand-writing.


SOME time ago you archly remarked,

that there was not one Woman left, but that the whole fex was elevated into LADIES. You might at the fame time have taken notice of the wonderful in



creafe among the other fex in the order


Befides those who are univerfally acknowledged of this rank from their birth and fituation in life, the courtesy of England also entitles all perfons who carry arms to that dignity: so that his Majefty's three regiments of guards are compofed entirely of Gentlemen'; and every priggith fellow, who can clap a queue to his peruke, and hang a fword aukwardly dangling by his fide, from thence affumes the importance as well as name of a Gentleman. Idlenefs and ignorance being too often the difgrace of those who are Gentlemen born and bred, many inveft themselves with that dignity, though with no other qualifications. If the pride, poverty, or neglect of parents, has prevented their fon from being bound apprentice, or if the idle rafcal has fhewn his indentures a light pair of heels, in either cafe Tom is of no trade, and confequently a Gentleman. I know at this time a man, who came from Ireland laft fummer with an hayfork, but before winter raifed himself to the rank of a Gentleman; and every day I go to Windmill Street, I fee a very honourable Gentleman betting large fums of money, whom I formerly remember Marker of the Tennis Court. Add to this, that all attorneys clerks, apprentices, and the like, are Gentlemen every evening; and the citizen (who drudges all the rest of the week behind the counter) every Sunday, together with his laced waistcoat and ruffles, puts on the Gentleman. Every author, Mr. Town, is a Gentleman, if not an Efquire, by his profeffion; and all the players, from King Richard to the Lieutenant of the Tower, are Gentlemen.

The body of Gentlemen is ftill more numerous; but I have not leifure at prefent to climb up to garrets, or dive into cellars after them. I thall only obferve, that many of the above-mentioned members of this orde. die with the fame reputation that they lived, and go out of the world, like Squire Maclean, or Gentleman Harry.

Your humble fervant, &c.

Before I difmifs this new edition of my work, I think it my duty to return thanks to my kind readers for their candid reception of thefe Papers, as they

were feparately published: though I cannot but be fenfible, that either through hafte, inadvertence, or other avocations, they unavoidably abounded with many faults; from which I have endeavoured to clear them as much as poffible in their prefent form. Mr. Faulkner of Dublin is very welcome, therefore, to his Irish edition, printed literatim from my Folio; in which, I dare fay, the very errors of the prefs are molt religiously preserved.

I cannot but regret, indeed, that there is ftill wanting one principal ornament to thefe little volumes; I mean the DEDICATION. Not that there are wanting perfons highly deferving of all the praifes which the most obfequious and moft devoted Author could poffibly lavifh on them: for in all ages, and in all nations, thefe have always abounded. Latin Authors, for example, have never failed to pay their compliments to the illuftrious family of the Iffimi; fuch as the laudatiffimi, the eminentiffimi, the commendatiffimi, the famigeratiffimi, the doctiffimi, the nobiliffimi, &c. and among our own writers no lefs refpect has been fhewn to the numerous race of the most famous, the ingenious, the moft learned, the most eminent, &c. It is but juftice, that thofe who offer the incenfe, fhould live by the altar:' yet, notwithstanding I gave notice to any Rich Citizen, Nobleman, or Others, that my dedication fhould be difpofed of to the Bett Bidder, I have received no overtures on that head. In the City, this Courfe of Exchange has not yet been established; and among people of quality, the market has been overftocked, and flattery is become a mere drug; while fome of them, who have taken up the trade themfelves, have, perhaps, considered me as a rival or interloper in the bufinets.

It remains only to give an account of the Authors concerned in this work. I am forry that I do not know the names of any of the Volunteers, to whom I have been greatly indebted: and as to thofe who have engaged for the drudgery of the week, various conjectures have been formed about them. Some are fure that the papers figned T are written by Mr. Such an One-because it is the firth letter of his name; and others, by Another-because it is not: O is the mark of the Honourable


or Lord. ; they know it by the ftile and W must be the work of a certain famous wit, and no other-Aut Erafmus, aut Diabolus. But to put this matter out of all doubt, and to fatiffy the curiofity of my readers, all I am at liberty at present to divulge is, that none of the papers (to my knowledge) were written by the Honourable

or Lord- -, or Efquire; but that thofe which are marked with a T, and those with an O, and those with a W, (as well as those which hereafter may perhaps be figned N) are furnished by the ingenious and learned gentleman, who has fubfcribed his name to this paper.

T, O, W, N.







N° LXXI. THURSDAY, JUNE 5, 1755• ->





MONG the feveral degrees of authors, there are none, perhaps, who have more obstacles to furmount at their fetting out than the writers of periodical effays. Talk with a modern critic, and he will tell you, that a new paper is a vain attempt after the inimitable Spectator and others; that all the proper fubjects are already pre-occupied, and that it is equally impoffible to find out a new field for obfervation, as to difcover a new world. With thefe prejudices, the public are prepared to re ceive us; and while they expect to be cloyed with the tale repetition of the fame fare, though toffed up in a different manner, they fit down with but little relifh for the entertainment,

That the Spectator firft led the way, muft undoubtedly be acknowledged: but that his followers mult for that reafon be always fuppofed to tread in his steps, can by no means be allowed. In the high road of life there are feveral exten. five walks, as well as bye-paths, which we may ftrike into, without the neceffity of keeping the fame beaten track with thofe that have gone before us. New objects for ridicule will continually prefent themselves; and even the fame charafters will appear different by being

differently difpofed, as in the fame pack of cards, though ever fo often fhuffled, there will never be two hands exactly alike.

After this introduction, I hope to be pardoned, if I indulge myself in speaking a word or two concerning my own endeavours to entertain the public. And firft, whatever objections the reader may have had to the fubjects of my papers, I shall make no apology for the manner in which I have chofe to treat them. The dread of falling into (what they are pleafed to call) colloquial barbarisms, has induced fome unfkilful writers to fwell their bloated diction with uncouth phrafes and the affected jargon of pedants. For my own part, I never go out of the common way of expression, merely for the fake of introducing a more founding word with a Latin ter mination. The English language is sufficiently copious and expreflive without any further adoption of new terms; and the native words feem to me to have far more force than any foreign auxiliaries, however pompously ushered in: as Bri tifh foldiers fight our battles better than the alien troops taken into our pay.

The fubjects of my effays have been chiefly fuch, as I thought might recom

mend themselves to the public notice by being new and uncommon. For this reafon I purpofely avoided the worn-out "practice of retailing fcraps of morality, and affecting to dogmatize on the common duties of life. In this point, indeed, the Spectator is inimitable; nor could I hope to fay any thing new upon these topics after fo many excellent moral and religious effiys, which are the principal ornament of that work. I have therefore contented myself with expofing vice and folly by painting mankind in their natural colours, without affuming the rigid air of a preacher, or the morofenefs of a philofopher. I have rather chole to undermine our fashionable exceffes, by fecret fapping, than to ftorm them by open affault. In a word, upon all occafions I have endeavoured to laugh people into a better behaviour': as I am convinced that the fting of reproof is not lefs fharp for being concealed; and advice never comes with a better face than when it comes with a laughing one.

There are fome points in the courfe of this work, which perhaps might have been treated with a more ferious air. I have thought it my duty to take every opportunity of expofing the abfurd tenets of our modern Free-thinkers and Enthufiafts. The Enthusiast is, indeed, much more difficult to cure than the Free-thinker; because the latter, with all his bravery, cannot but be conscious that he is wrong; whereas the former may have deceived himself into a belief, that he is certainly in the right; and the more he is oppofed, the more he confiders himself as patiently fuffering for the truth's fake.' Ignorance is too ftubborn to vield to conviction; and on the other hand, thofe, whom a little • learning has made mad,' are too proud and felf Tufficient to hearken to the fober voice of reafon. The only way left us, therefore, is to root out fuperftition, by making it's followers athamed of themselves and as for our Free-thinkers, it is but right to turn their boafted weapons of ridicule against them; and as they themselves endeavour to banter others out of every ferious and virtuous notion, we too (in the language of the Pfalmift) thould laugh them to fcorn, and have them in derifion.':

It is with infinite pleafure that I find myself fo much encouraged to continue

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my labours, by the kind reception which they have hitherto met with from the public; and Mr. Baldwin with no lefs pleafure informs me, that as there are but few numbers left of the Folio edition, he intends to collect my papers into Two Pocket Volumes. The leader cannot conceive how much I already pride myfelf on the charming figure which my works will make in this new form: and I fhall endeavour to render thefe volumes as compleat as I poffibly can, by feveral confiderable additions and amendments. Though contracted into the fmall space of a twelves volume, I ftill hope to maintain my former dig-` nity; like the Devils in Milton's Pandæmonium, who,

-To fmalleft forms Reduc'd their shapes immenfe, and were at large.

The Spectator has very elegantly compared his fingle papers, as they came out, to cherries on a tick; of the dearness of which the purchafers cannot complain, who are willing to gratify their tafte with choice fruit at it's earli eft production. I have confidered my own papers as fo many flowers, which joined together would make up a pretty nofegay; and though each of them fingly taken, may not be equally admired for their odours, they may receive an additional fragrance by an happy union of their fweets.

The learned decoration in the front of my papers, though perhaps it has fometimes put my scholarship to a ftand, I could by no means difpenfe with: for fuch is the prevalence of custom, that the most finished effay, without a metto, would appear to many people as maimed and imperfect, as a beautiful face without a nofe. But cuftom has impofed upon us a new task, of giving transla tions to thefe mottos; and it has been the ufual method to copy them promif, cuoufly from Dryden or Francis: though (as Denham has remarked of tranflation in general) the fpirit of the original is evaporated in the transfufion, and

nothing is left behind but a mere caput mortuum. A mottó, as it ftands in the original, may be very appofite to the fubject of the effay, though nothing to the purpose in the common tranflation i and it frequently derives all it's elegance


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