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hand; which being afterwards repeated fashioned creatures, who adhere to their
a regiinent, he reclained the oficers,
bis cloth to make free with. - I would proportion in the punithinent : since the recommend it to our people of fathion genileman would escape by depoliting to make use of the like innocent phiales, his crown; while the poor wretch, who whenever they are obliged to have re cannot raise a shilling, must be clapped course to these substitutes for thought in the Stocks, or tent to Bridewell. But and expression. Bottle and glass might as the offence is exactly the same, I be introduced with great energy in the would also have no distinction made in tabletalk at the King's Arms or St. the treatment of the offenders : and it Alban's taverns. The gamester might would be a inost ridiculous, but a due be indulged, without offence, in swear. mortification to a man of quality, to being by the Knave of Clubs, or the obligerl to thrust his leg through the Curse of Scotland; or he might, with fame Stocks with a carman or a coal. some propriety, retain the old execration heaver ; since the firit degraded himself, of The Deuce take it. The beau Mould and qualified himself for their company, be allowed to fwear by his gracious by talking in the same mean diależt. • felf, which is the god of his idolatry:'
I am aware, that it will be pleaded and the common explerives should conin excuse for this practise, that Oaths fift only of. upon my word,' and ' upon and Curses are intended only as mere my honour;' which terms, whatever expletives, which serve to round a pe- sense they might formerly bear, are at riod, and give a grace and spirit to con- prefent understood only as words of verfation. But there are ftill fome old course without meaning.
N° CIX. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1756.
INTERDUM VULGUS RECTUM TIDLT; EST, UBI PECCAT.
HE world is indebted to that in- nets, which were then thought indisput,
famous Sir Thomas Brown, for an ex- are now proved to be erroneous and cellent treatise, in which he has refuted are only credited by the uninformed vul. several idle and ridiculous opinions that gar. A work of this nature it is my prevailed in his time; to which work intention shortly to publish: in the mean he has very properly given the title of time, I shall content inytelf with laying Vulgar Errors. Among others, of no the following specimen of the perform. less importance, he has taken great pains ance before my readers. to explode the common notion, that a The ignorance of the multitude bag witch can make a voyage to the East hitherto pronounced it to be absolutely Indies in an egg-shell, or take a journey impoffible that a Maid can he with of two or three hundred miles across the I child.' But it is well known to the country on a broom-stick : an assertion, learned, that in these later times there maintained by that wise monarch, King have been many intances of maiden, James the First, who even condescended mothers: though, whether they are in, to commence author in fupport of it. pregnated by the welt- wind, like Vire He has also refuted the generally reç' gil's mares, or, as it was said of Juno, ceived opinion, that the Devil is black, by eating a fallad; whether they bring has horns upon his head, wears a long forth, as Dutch ladies do, Sooterkinsj curling tail, and a cloven (tump; nay, whether they conceive by intuition, or has even denied, that wheresoever he the operation of the fancy; or by what goes, he always leaves a smell of brim- other cause, has not been ascertained, Itone behind him; and has no less seri. Several initances have been recorded, ously endeavoured to thew the absurdity among the Roman Catholicks, of Nuas of the supposition, that Adam and Eve and Lady-abbeiles, who have miracu. were born into the world without navels. lously proved with child: and here in But all these mistaken notions, though England we have more than once heard they might possibly obtain belief in for- of the pregnancy of a Maid of Honour, mer times of fuperftition and ignorance, I mylelf know a lady, almost approach could never have been countenanced in ing to the verge of an old maid, who this more enlightened age. So far from was very much bloated and puffed up acknowledging the power of witchcraft, with the wind-cholic; for relief of which we even doubt ihe existence of the Witch the went into the country for a month, of Endor : thatilluftrious personage the and was unexpectedly seized with the Devil is only looked upon as a mere pangs of child-birth, I have been told bugbear; and the lowest inechanics have of another, a virgin of the most unspois been taught at the Robin Hood Society, ted character, who very unaccountably that the whole account of our firkt pa. fell into labour, just as they were guing rents is nothing but a fi&tion and an to tap her for the droply. An eminent old woman's ftory.
man-midwife of my acquaintance was Since the days of Sir Thomas Brown in the beginning of his practice called such ftrange revolutions have happened to a virgin, who, to his great furprize among us, in the arts and sciences, in brought forth an embryo, in form and religion, in politics, and in cominon appearance exactly resembling a man life, that I cannot but think a work, drake. This he confidered as a moft intended as a supplement to the above- wonderful Lufus Naturs; and had ac mentioned treatise of Vulgar Errors, tually drawn up an account of it (with would be highly acceptable to the pub. a figure of the monster) to be laid be lic; since it is notorious, that many te. fore the Royal Society; but in lefs that l's
a twelve a twelvemonth he delivered the same is to marry. Sir John Brute bluntly lady, who still continued in a state of yir. declares, that, if he was married to an ginity, of another falie conception, like høgshead of claret, the thought of Mathe former; and for many years after, this trimony would make him hate it. Thus, prodigy of a virgin bad leveral other mon- in general, the very names of Wife and frous and prerernatura, births of the fame Husband are fufficient to defroy all afkin. He further allures me, that he fe&tion: and it was but a day or two has fince very frequenily met with these ago that I inet with a sprightly young pbanomenas; and that the only differ- gentleman much of the same opinia ence between maids and married women wish Sir John; who being reproached in this point is, that the former do not for neglecting his lady for a miftrefs, manitelt the signs of pregnancy lo fully and reminded that Man and Wife were in their wailts, nor do they cry out fo one flesh, replied, that it was very true, vehemently in their labour-pains; and it and what pleasure could he have in touc! is remarkable that they never chule to ing his own felh? Modern Wedlock, fuckle their children.
therefore, may be rather faid to divide It is vulgariy fupposed, that the chan unite: at least, if matrimony ever events of Gaming are regulated by brings folks together for a time, it is s blind chance and fortune:' but the wilę only to separate them more effectuallys and police, that is, the Knowing ones, as, according to the principles of action cannot but smile at the absurdity of this and re-action, where iwo bodies are notion; though even the fagacious Hoyle drawn together by a violent attractions and Denoivre themselves, by the nicely they immediately by off, and are driven af their calculations of chances, seem to back again from each other, by the prin, have adopted this ridiculous doctrine, ciples of repulsion. The protessors at Arthur's, and the ex- It may be well called a Vulgar Errori perienced adepts in the mytteries of fince none but the Vulgar think so, that Gaming, kindly condescend to give let the Sabbath is a day of relt.' It is fons, at reasonable rates, to thote no
as experience teaches us, a day of buf. vices who imagine that the events of ness with fome, of pleasure with others, play, like those of war, are uncertain: but of rest with none. It is true, in and fo cogene is their method of in: deed, that a cessation from worldly oca Itruction, that they never fail to con- .cupations, together with roast beef and vince their pupils, that success at dice, plumb pudding, were formerly the chas as well as bowls, depends upon a skil.. racteriftics of the Sabbath in England ful management of the Bials, and that but thele inactive principles are now ena the cards are not hufied by the blind tirely out of fathion; nor do I know any hand of fortune.
perton, who is strictly debarred from It is a notioni confined wholly to the exercising his employment on that day, Vulgar, that. Matriinony brings people except the Sheriff's Officer. The exact ! together:' but it is notorious, that in citizen, nicely calculating the damages higher life a Marriage is the most effect he would sustain, un an average, by the mal method to keep them afunder. It loss of the seventh part of his time, dea is impolite for a man and his wife ever frauds the Sabbath of it's due right, as to be feen together jo public; and a per- he cheats bis customers, in the way fon of quality had rather enjoy a fête-à. of trade. As to people of quality, pete with any body's wife but his own, they, I suppose, (duly considering how in private. Genieel couples have lepa. prodigal they are of their lives by ad, raie amusements, pay leparate vitits, hering to the police fyftem) are willing keep separate company, lie in separate to husband the little aime allotted them, beds, and (like the man and yyoman in by adding night to day, and Sunday, a weather-house) are never seen toge (to the week." sher: nay more, if they are very gen. If Old Woman was not a term fres teel indeed, the lady has her leparate quently made ufe of by the perverse and maintenance. On the contrary, if a impolite multitude, I houid hardly acman of fashion has a tendre for an un- tempt to prove to clear and obvious a married lady, they rehide in the same proposition, as that there is no fuck house, partake of the fame diverhons, thing in the creation as an Old Wo. and observe every other article of the man. Old Women are, indeed, Bariételt cohabitation. The furest way mentioned by some few Writers: but I of diffolving a connection of thiş fort have always looked upon their existence to be as chimerical, as that of the Broh- ground young again by a mill. This, dignags or the Yohoes; and I do not be. however, is certain; that youth, as well lieve, that there has ever been such an as hexuty, is the perpetual prerogative animal in nature since the Flood. In of the female sex; and that age, though the prefent dittant period we are unable it fits venerable on a man, would no to conceive the leaft idea of such a crea. more become a lady than a beard. ture, as the fame appearance of youth, In an age fo enlightened as the prethe Tame lilies and roses bloom on the sent, when we have thrown off all other faces of the whoie sex. For a proof of mean prejudices of nature and educa. this, it we look round at the opera, the tion, it is no wonder that we should playbon'e; a lady's route, or any other discard the Gospel; and I am almost in allembly, we may obferve, that all our doubt, whether I should mention the girls, whether of a finailer, or of a larger beliet of it as a Vulgar Error, fince it growth, allume the same air of gaiety daily loses it's credit among us. Whereand intrigue, and wear the tune com- fore, if I may not be allowed to set plexions. A limner of great bulness down the belief in a God, a Saviour, a has often declared to me, that though Future State, the Immortality of the he has had everal mothers, and grant- Soul, &c. &c. as prevailing Errors, I mothers, and great grand-mother's sit cannot omit to fair an opportunity of on him, he never yet drew the picture congratulating my cotemporaries on of an Old Woman. Medea is fuid to their having overcome them. Nor can have renewed the youth and vigour of I better conclude this paper, than by her father Ælon by boiling him with an hint to my friends, the Freethinkers, certain magic herbs in a cauldron: but cautioning them to confider, whether, I will not presume to say, that our ladies if we were made by chance, the world are preserved from old-age by itewing was made by chance, and every thing in a copper; or that, according to a elle was made hy chance, there may not more modern notion, Old Women are also be an Hell by chance!
No cx. THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 1756.
VIRTUE SHALL GO SOOT-FRET; OUR NEW EXCISE
TO' MR. TOWN.
putting on his spectacles, read aloud to
us the several methods already proposed; SIR,
to which many wise objections were im| VERY Englishman, who has the mediately started hy the company.
good of his country at heart, must " What's that?' says an old Don, who lament the perplexity which our mini. I zfrerwards found had a imall estate in fters labour under, in contriving ways houtes; "An additional duty upon and means to raile money for the pre
• tricks, and pan-tiles and plain-tiles? fent exigence of affairs. I have with ' I fuppose they will lay a duty upon plaiure bearkened to the several projets 'plain-tile pegs by and by. This propied in the debates of patriots in speech was received with an hearty our cotire.louses and private clubs: but chuckle of applause from the rest of the though I find they are unanimous in al- company; when another took cccalion lowing the necesy of levying new to obleive, That he very much aptaxes, every one is willing to thift off proved the scheme for laying a larger the bruslen fipm himself.
tax upon cards and diec;'onert whichi I was introduced the other night into he called the devil's books, and the other a fut of worthy citizens, who very zea. his bones. Tive duty upon plate night Joully took this lubject into considera. perhaps have parled into a law in this tion over their evening pipe. One of affembly, if it had not been veheinently them, a grave gentlenian, pulling the opposed by one member, (whom I difEvening Post out of his pocket, and covered to be a silverfaith,) in which he
was feconded by the landlord of the expect will be smuggled, or carried 0.7 houfe, who had a seat in this meeting, clandestinelv. And, as gaming is an and told us, that it would lie very hard eficntial divertion at all these meetings,
upon publicans, as nobody would now I would further advise, that every cardes • drink their porter out of a pewter pot.' table be entered, in the fame manner as There and the like arguments induced all wheel-carriages, and a proportionus to set aside all the projects that had able rate fixed on them, according to been offered hicherto, and to consult to the degree and quality of the owners.' gether in order to find new ones in their Be it enacted moreover, that extraordiToom; among which I could not but nary licences thall be taken out for playsmile at the propofal of an honest peruke. ing at cards on the Sabbath day; but maker, who advited the levying of a that these be granted only to persons of poll-tax upon all that wore their own the higheit rank and fathion. hair: • For,' says he, we have never At the present juncture of affairs every 'had good times since wigs were out one will agree with ine, that if an abfo
of fashion.' What rare days were lute prohibition be impracticable, an* those in Queer. Anne's reign, when the heavy duty should be laid on the im
nobility and gentry wore large flaxen portation of French fashions and fop'flows of thirty guineas price! And, as peries into this kingdom. It is there !
you may see by my Lord Godolphin's fore but reasonable that all French cooks, monument in Westminster Abbey, a valets de chambre, milliners, manteauprime minister's wig could not be makers, hair-cutters, &c. should be at made, I am sure, under fifty guineas.' least doubly taxed, as it is notorious
The discourse, that passed at this for that they exact from the dupes, who ciety of politicians, has led me to turn my employ them, more than double the thoughts on devising, some method that wages or price for their labours, that might answer the present deinands for a our own modeft countıymen would refupply, with the least injury to the com- quire. This tax, I make no doubty' munity. On this account I am of opi- would produce no inconsiderable fum nion, that private vices (according to for the public use: and as our ladies, the favourite tenet of Maundeville) may though I would not fufpcét that they in some measure be converted into pub. have French hearts, are ambitious of lic benefits, by laying a certain tax or wearing French complexions, a further duty on the falhionable amusements of fum might also be raisel by fixing an the gay and polite world. For this pur: high duty hipon rouge and carmine. pole I have, with great pains and labour, There are many other particulars in contrived a plan, a few heads of which, the fathionable world, which might be without further preface, I shall (with turned in the same manner to the public your leave) submit to the consideration good. "A tax on kept mistrefies, for of those whoin it may concern.
example; who are now become so very Fiut then, I would propole, that no numerous, that I question not but a perfon of quality, or others, should be duty, properly levied on them, would allowed to keep any route, dram, af- be fulficient to maintain all the widows fembly, visiting-day; (or whatever other of our foldiers and sailors who fall name it may liercafter be called by) at happen to be killed in the service. An woich more than one hundred persons heavy duty might also be laid on all shall be found affeinbled, without pay. Bagnios, French-wine-houses, Covent ing a certain rate for every such route, Garden coffee-houses, &c. and lince, drum, &c. The : umber of these meet. in spite of laws and decency, these places ings which are held in this town, (in. are suffered to be kept open, it is surely cluding the city of London and the equitable that they should pay round suburbs thereof) Ihave computed, upon taxes for the relief of the nation, 19 an exact calculation, to amount annual. well as an annual tribute for the conly to eight thousand three fiundred and nivance of the neighbouring Justices. upwards: so that if á duty, at only fix. To add to this scheme, and to make vice pence per head, were to be levied upon, and folly further contribute to the pubthe company, it would bring in a pro. lic neceffity, I woull also propose, that dizious income to the government; de. Mislieurs Harris, Derry, and the rest dung for the decrease consequent of of the fraternity of Pimps, retained as Sis tex, as also for those which we may caterers to the voluptuous at any tavern