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fuddenly conveyed away, and either ftuffed behind the looking-glafs, or toffed from one to the other fo dextroufly and with fuch velocity, that, after many a fruitless attempt to recover it, I am obliged to fit down bare-headed, to the great diverfion of the fpectators. The Taft time I found myself in these diftrefsful circumstances, the eldeft girl, a fprightly mischievous jade, ftepped brifkly up to me, and promised to restore my wig, if I would play her a tune on a fmall flute fhe held in her hand. I inftantly applied it to my lips, and blowing luftily into it, to my inconceivable furprife, was immediately choaked and blinded with a cloud of foot, that iffued from every hole in the inftrument. The younger part of the company declared I had not executed the conditions, and refused to surrender my wig; but the father, who has a rough kind of facetioufness about him, infisted on it's being delivered up; and protetted that he never knew the Black Joke better performed in his life.

I am naturally a quiet inoffenfive animal, and not easily ruffled; yet I fhall never fubmit to thefe indignities with patience, till I am fatisfied I deferve them. Even the old maids of my acquaintance, who, one would think, might have a fellow-feeling for a brother in diftrefs, confpire with their nieces to harraf's and torment me: and it is not many nights fince Mifs Diana Grizzle utterly fpoiled the only fuperfine fuit I have in the world, by pinning the skirts of it together with a red-hot poker. I own, my refentment of this injury was fo ftrong, that I determined to punish it by kifling the offender, which in cool blood I fhould never have attempted. The fatisfaction, however, which I obtained by this imprudent revenge, was much like what a man of honour feels on finding himself run through the body by the scoundrel who had offended him. My upper lip was transfix with a large corkin pin which in thfcuffle the had conveyed into her mouth; and I doubt not, that I fhall carry the memorem labris notam (the mark of this Judaskifs) from an old maid to the grave with


Thefe misfortunes, or others of the fame kind, I encounter daily but at thefe feafons of the year, which give a Tanction to this kind of practical wit, and when every man thinks he has a

right to entertain himself at his friend's expence, I live in hourly apprehensions of more mortifying, adventures. No miferable dunghill cock, devoted a victim to the wanton cruelty of the mob, would be more terrified at the approach of a Shrove Tuesday, were he endued with human reafon and forecast, than I am at the approach of a merry Chriftmas or the First of April. No longer ago than laft Thurfday, which was the latter of these festivals, I was pestered with mortifying prefents from the ladies; obliged to pay the carriage of half a dozen oyster-barrels ftuffed with brickbats, and ten packets by the post containing nothing but old news-papers. But what vexed me the most, was the being fent fifty miles out of town on that day, by a counterfeit exprefs from a dying relation.

I could not help reflecting, with a figh, on the resemblance between the imaginary grievance of poor Tom in the tragedy of Lear, and those which I really experienced. I, like him, was led through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; and though knives were not laid under my pillow, minced horse-hair was strewed upon my sheets: like him, I was made to ride on an hard-trotting horfe through the most dangerous ways, and found, at the end of my journey, that I had only been courfing my own shadow.

As much a fufferer as I am by the behaviour of the women in general, I must not forget to remark, that the pertnefs and faucinefs of an old maid is particularly offenfive to me. I cannot help thinking, that the virginity of these ancient mifles is at least as ridiculous as my own celibacy. If I am to be condemned for having never made an offer, they are as much to blame for having never accepted one: if I am to be derided for having never married, who never attempted to make a conqueft; they are more properly the objects of derifion who are ftill unmarried,' after having made fo many. Numberlefs are the proposals they have rejected, according to their own account: and they are eternally boafting of the havock they have formerly made among the knights, baronets, and 'fquires, at Bath, Tunbridge, and Eplom; while a tattered madrigal perhaps, a fnip of hair, or the portrait of a cherry-cheeked gentleman in a milk white periwig, are the only re


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maining proofs of those beauties, which are now withered like the fhort-lived rofe, and have only left the virgin thorn remaining.

Believe me, Mr. Town, I am almoft afraid to truft you with the publication of this epiftle: the ladies, whom I laft mentioned, will be so exasperated on reading it, that I muft expect no quarter at their hands for the future; fince they are generally as little inclined to forgiveness in their old age, as they were to pity and compaffion in their youth. One expedient, however, is left me, which, if put in execution, will effectually screen me from their refentment.

I shall be happy, therefore, if by your means I may be permitted to inform the ladies, that as fufty an animal as they think me, it is not impoffible but by a little gentler treatment than I have hitherto met with, I may be humanized into an husband. As an inducement to them to relieve me from my prefent uneafy circumstances, you may affure them, that I am rendered fo exceeding tractable by the very fevere difcipline I have undergone, that they may mould and fashion me to their minds with ease; and confequently, that by marrying me,

a woman will fave herself all that trouble, which a wife of any fpirit is obliged to take with an unruly husband, who is abfurd enough to expect from her a strict performance of the marriage vow, even in the very minute article of obedience: that, fo far from contradicting a lady, I fhall be mighty well fatisfied if the contents herself with contradicting me: that, if I happen at any time inadvertently to thwart her inclina tions, I shall think myfelf rightly ferved, if the boxes my ears, fpits in my face, or treads upon my corns: that if I approach her lips, when he is not in a kiffing humour, I fhall expect the will bite me by the nofe; or, if I take her by the hand in an improper feafon, that fhe will inftantly begin to pinch, scratch, and claw, and apply her fingers to thofe purposes which they were certainly intended by nature to fulfil. Add to thefe accomplishments, fo requifite to make the married ftate happy, that I am not much turned of fifty, can tie on my cravat, faften a button, or mend an hole in my ftocking without any affittance. I am, Sir,

Your humble fervant,






HOSE who are unable to give their fons an eftate, regard the educating them to one of the three great profeffions of Law, Phyfic, and Divinity, as putting them in the high road to acquire one. Hence it happens, that nineteen parts out of twenty of our young men are brought up with a view to Lambeth, the Seals, or Warwick Lane. But, alas! their hopes and expectations of rifing by their profeffions are often fruftrated; and the furprifing numbers engaged in running the fame race, neceffarily joftle one another. For though the courts of justice are tolerably fupplied with matters of litigation; though there are many invalids and valetudinarians; and though great part of England is laid out in church prefer

there is not in all the king

dom fufficient matter for legal contention, to employ a tenth part of thofe who have been trained to engrofs deeds in their chambers, or to harangue at the bar: the number of patients bears no proportion to the fwarms of the Faculty; nor would it, though a confultation were to fit on every fick man, like carrion-flies upon a carcafe: and the prodigious number of Reverend Divines infinitely exceeds that of those bishopricks, deaneries, prebends, rectories, vicarages, &c. which, when they are ordained, they conceive it to be part of their holy office to fill. From these frequent failures in each of the profeffions, the younger fons of great men often wish that they had been permitted to difgrace a Ka


the family by fome mercantile or more plebeian occupation; while the fon of the mechanic curfes the pride of his father, who, instead of fecuring him a livelihood in his own bufinefs, has condemned him to starve in pudding-fleeves, that he may do honour to his relations by being a gentleman.

The Three Profeffions being thus crouded with more candidates for bufiness and preferment than can poffibly be employed or promoted, has occafioned feveral irregularities in the conduct of the followers of each of them. The

utter impoffibility of fupporting them felves in the ufual method of practifing Law, Phyfic, or Divinity, without clients, patients, or parishioners, has induced the labourers in each of thofe vocations to feek out new veins and branches. The young Solicitor, who finds he has nothing to do, now he is eut of his clerk fhip, offers his afliftance, in the tranfaction of all law affairs, by the public papers; and, like the advertifing tailors, promifes to work cheaper than any of his brethren; while the young Barrifter, after having exhibited his tye-wig in Weftminster Hall, during feveral terms, to no purpose, is obliged to forego the hope of rivalling Murray and Coke, and content himfelf with being the oracle of the courts of Carolina or Jamaica. The Graduate in Medicine, finding himself unfolicited for prefcription or advice, and likely to ftarve hy practifing phyfic fecundum artem, flies in the face of the College, and profeffes to cure all difcafes by nof trums unmentioned in the difpenfatory. He commences a thriving quack, and foon makes his way through the important medical degrees of walking on foot, riding on horfeback, difpenfing his drugs from an one-horfe chaife, and laftly lolling in a chariot. The Divine, without living, cure, or lectureship, may perhaps incur tranfportation for illegal marriages, fet up a theatrical-oratorical-Billingfgate chapel under the fhelter of the toleration-act and the butchers of Clare Market, or kindle the inward light in the bofoms of the Saints of Moorfields, and the Magdalens of Broad St. Giles's.

But notwithstanding thefe fhoots, ingrafted, as it were, into the main body of the Profeffions, it is ftill impoffible fór the va multitude of Divines, Lawyers, and Phyficians, to maintain themfelves,

at any rate, within the pale of their re▴ fpective employments. They have often been compelled, at least, to call in adventitious ones, and have fometimes totally abandoned their original undertakings. They have frequently made mutual tranfitions into the occupations of each other, or have perhaps embraced other employments; which, though diftinct from all three, and not ufually dignified with the title of Profeffions, may fairly be confidered in that light; fince they are the fole means of fupport to many thoufands, who toiled in vain for a fubfiftence in the three Capital Ones. On thefe Profeffions, and their various followers, I fhall here make fome obfervations.

The first of thefe profeffions is an author. The mart of literature is, indeed, one of the chief reforts of unbeneficed Divines, and Lawyers and Physicians without practice. There are at prefent in the world of Authors, Doctors of Phyfic, who (to ufe the phrafe of one of them) have no great fatigue from the bufinefs of their profeflion: many Clergymen, whofe fermons are the most inconfiderable part of their compofitions: and feveral Gentlemen of the Inns of Court, who, inftead of driving the quill over fkins of parchment, lead it through all the mazes of modern nowels, critiques, and pamphlets. wife have embraced this profeffion, who were never bred to any other: and I might alfo mention the many bankrupt tradefmen and broken artificers, who daily enter into this new way of bufinefs, if, by purfuing it in the fame mechanical manner as their former accupations, they might not rather be regarded as following a trade than a profeffion.

Many like

The fecond of thefe profeffions is a Player. The ingenious gentlemen who aflume the perfons of the Drama, are compofed of as great a variety of characters as thofe they reprefent. The history of the ftage might afford many inftances of thofe, who in the trade of death might have flain men, have yet condefcended to deal counterfeit flaughters from their right-hands, and admi nifter harmless phials and bowls of poifon. We might read alfo of perfons, whofe fifts were intended to beat the

drum ecclefiaftic,' who have, with unexpected fpirit, become theatrical vofuntcers. In regard to the Law, many,

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