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on the bufinefs of the play, thefe gentlemen behind the scenes ferve only to hinder and disturb it. There is no part of the houfe, from which a play can be feen to fo little advantage, as from the flage; yet this fituation is very convenient on many other confiderations, of more confequence to a fine gentleman. It looks particular: it is the best place to fhew a handfome perfon, or an elegant fuit of cloaths: a bow from the stage to a beauty in the box is most likely to attract our notice; and a pretty fellow may perhaps with tolerable management get the credit of an intrigue with fome of the actreffes. But notwithstanding all these advantages accruing to our fine gentlemen, I could heartily with they would leave a clear ftage to the performers; or at least that none fhould be admitted behind the fcenes, but fuch as would fubmit to be of fome ufe there. As these gentlemen are ready dreft, they might help to fwell the retinue of a monarch, join the engagement in a tragedy battle, or do any other little office that might occur in the play, which requires but little fenfe and no memory. But if they have not any genius for ating, and are till defirous of retaining their ports by the fide-fcenes, they should be obliged to take a mufket, bayonet, pouch, and the rest of the accoutrements, and stand on guard quietly and decently with the foldiers.

The boxes are often filled with perfons, who do not come to the theatre out of any regard to Shakespeare or Garrick, but, like the Fine Lady in Lethe, ⚫ because every body is there.' As these people cannot be expected to mind the play themselves, we can only defire them not to call off the attention of others; nor interrupt the dialogue on the ftage by a louder converfation of their own. The filent courtship of the eyes, ogles, Dods, glances, and curtfies from one box to another, may be allowed them the fame as at church; but nothing more, except at coronations, funeral proceffions and pantomimes. Here I cannot help recommending it to the gentlemen, who draw the pen from under their right ears about feven o'clock, clap on a bag-wig and fword, and drop into the boxes at the end of the third act, to take their half-crown's worth with much decency as poffible; as well he Bloods, who reel from the tavern ab ut Covent Garden near that time,


tumble drunk into the boxes. Before I quit this part of the house, I must take notice of that divifion of the upperboxes, properly diftinguished by the name of the Fiefh Market. There is frequently as much art used to make the flesh exhibited here look wholefome, and (as Tim fays in the farce) all over red and white like the infide of a 'fhoulder of mutton,' as there is by the butchers to make their veal look white; and it is as often rank carrion and flyblown. If thefe ladies would appear in any other quarter of the houle, I would only beg of them, and thofe who come to market, to drive their bargains with as little noife as poffible: but I have lately obferved with fome concern, that thefe women begin to appear in the lower boxes, to the deftruction of all order, and great confufion of all modeft ladies. It is to be hoped, that fome of their friends will advife them not to pretend to appear there, any more than at court: for it is as abfurd to endeavour the removal of their market into the front and fide boxes, as it would be in the butchers of St. James's Market to attempt fixing the fhambles in St. James's Square.

I must now defire the reader to defcend with me, among laced hats and capuchins, into the pit. The pit is the grand court of criticifin; and in the center of it is collected that awful body diftinguifhed by the title of The Town. Hence are iffed the irrevocable decrees; and here final fentence is pronounced on plays and players. This court has often been very fevere in it's decifions, and has been known to declare many old plays barbaroudly murdered, and most of our modern' ones felo de fe: but it must not be diffembled, that many a caufe of great confequence has been denied a fair hearing. Parties and private cabals have often been formed to thwart the progress of merit, or to efpoufe ignorance and dulnefs: for it is not wonderful, that the parliament of criticifin, like all others, should be liable to corruption. In this affembly Mr. Town was filt nominated Critic and Cenfor-General: but confi dering the notorious bribery now prevailing, I think proper to declare, (in imitation of Tom in the Conscious Lovers) that I never took a single order for my vote in all my life.

Those who pay their two fhillings at



the door of the Middle Gallery, feem to frequent the theatre purely for the fake of feeing the play: though thefe peaceful regions are fometimes difturbed by the incurfions of rattling ladies of pleasure, fometimes contain perfons of fashion in difguife, and fometimes critics in ambush. The greatest fault I have to object to those who fill this quarter of the theatre, is their frequent and injudicious interruption of the bufinefs of the play by their applaufe. I have feen a bad actor clapt two minutes together for ranting, or perhaps fhrugging his fhoulders, and making wry faces; and I have feen the natural courfe of the paffions checked in a good one, by thefe ill-judged teftimonies of their approbation. It is recorded of Betterton to his honour, that he thought a deep filence through the whole houfe, and a strict attention to his playing, the ftrongest and fureft figns of his being well received.

The inhabitants of the Upper Gallery demand our notice as well as the reft of the theatre. The Trunk-maker of immortal memory, was the most celebrated hero of thefe regions: but fince he is departed, and no able-bodied critic appointed in his room, I cannot help giving the fame caution to the Upper Gallery, as to the gentry a pair of stairs lower. Some of the under-comedians will perhaps be difpleafed at this order, who are proud of thefe applaufes, and rejoice to hear the lufty bangs from the oaken towels of their friends against the wainscot of the Upper Gallery: but I think they fhould not be allowed to fhatter the pannels without amending our tafte; fince their thwacks, however vehement, are feldom laid on with fufficient judgment to ratify our applause. It were better, therefore, if all the prefent twelve-penny critics of this town, who prefide over our diverfions in the

Upper Gallery, would content themfelves with the inferior duties of their office; viz. to take care that the play begins at the proper time, that the mufic between the acts is of a due length, and that the candles are fnuffed in tune.

After thefe brief admonitions concerning our behaviour at the play, which are intended as a kind of vademecum for the frequenters of the theatre, I cannot conclude my paper more properly than with an extract from the Tale of a Tub, fhewing the judicious distribution of our play-houfes into Pit, Boxes, and Galleries.

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I confefs, that there is fomething very refined in the contrivance and ftructure of our modern theatres. For, first, the Pit is funk below the stage, that whatever weighty matter fhall be delivered thence, (whether it be lead or gold) may fall plum into the jaws of certain critics, (as I think they are called) which stand ready opened to devour them. Then the Boxes are built round, and raised to a level with the fcene, in deference to the ladies; because that large portion of wit, laid out in raifing pruriences and protuberances, is obferved to run much upon a line, and ever in a circle. The whining paffions, and little ftarved 'conceits, are gently wafted up, by their own extreme levity, to the middle region, and there fix and are frozen by the frigid understandings of the inhabitants. Bombaftry and buffoonry, by nature lofty and light, foar highest of all, and would be loft in the roof, if the prudent architect had not with much forefight contrived for them a fourth place, called the Twelvepenny Gallery, and there planted a fuitable colony, who greedily intercept them in their paffage.'

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the Female World, as Cenfor General; and upon a strict review was very much furprised to find that there is fearce one woman to be met with, except among the lowest


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ftantly filled with Ladies-At Bartholomew Fair there is always an hop for the Ladies And if the Ladies in the drawing room are employed at Whift, their laft night's cards are made ufe of in a rubber by the Ladies in the fteward's room; while the other Ladies of the family are taking their halfpence at Put or All-fours in the kitchen. In a word, whenever there is occasion to speak of the Female World, honourable mention is always made of them by the refpectful appellation of The LADIES: as the young and the old, the black and the brown, the homely and the handfome, are all complaifantly included under the general title of The FAIR.

Since therefore the Ladies of Great Britain make up fo numerous a body, I fhould be loth to difoblige fo confiderable a fifterhood, and fhall devote this paper entirely to their fervice. I propofe at prefent to marshal them into their refpective ranks; and upon a review I find that they may be juftly diftributed under thefe five divifions; viz. Married Ladies, Maiden or Young Ladies, Ladies of Quality, Fine Ladies, and laftly (without affront to the good company) Ladies of Pleasure.

I fhall begin with the Married Ladies, as this order will be found to be far the moft numerous, and includes all the married women in town or country above the degree of a chair-woman or the trundier of a wheel-barrow. The plain old English word Wife has long been difcarded in our converfation, as being only fit for the broad mouths of the vulgar. A well-bred ear is ftartled at the very found of Wife, as at a coarfe and indelicate expreffion; and I appeal to any fashionable couple, whether they would not be as much afhamed to be mentioned together as man and wife, as they would be to appear together at court in a fardingale and trunk-breeches. From Hyde Park Corner to Temple Bar this monster of a Wife has not been heard of fince the antiquated times of Dame and Your Worship; and in the city every good houfe-wife is at least a Lady of the other end of the town.


the country you might as well difpute the pretenfions of every foxhunter to the title of Efquire, as of his helpmate to that of Lady; and in every corporation town, whoever matches with a burgefs, becomes a Lady by right of charter. My coufin Village (from whom

I have all my rural intelligence) informs
me, that upon the strictest enquiry there
is but one Wife in the town where he
now lives, and that is the parfon's wife,
who is never mentioned by the country
Ladies but as a dowdy, and an old-
fashioned creature.
Such is the great

privilege of matrimony, that every fe-
male is ennobled by changing her fir-
name: for as every unmarried woman
is a Mifs, every married one by the fame
courtesy is a Lady.

The next order of dignified females is compofed of Maiden or Young Ladies; which terms are fynonymous, and are differently applied to females of the age of fourteen or threefcore. We muft not, therefore, be furprised to hear of Maiden Ladies, who are known to have had feveral children, or to meet with Young Ladies, that look like old dowagers. At the houfe of an acquaintance where I lately vifited, I was told that we were to expect Mrs. Jackfon and the two Mifs Wrinkles. But what was my furprife! when I faw on their arrival a blooming female of twenty-five accosted under the first denomination, and the two nymphs, as I expected, come tottering into the room, the youngest of them to all appearance on the verge of threefcore. I could not help wishing on this occafion, that fome middle term was invented between Miss and Mrs. to be adopted, at a certain age, by all females not inclined to matrimony. For furely nothing can be more ridiculous, than to hear a greyhaired lady paft her grand climacteric, mentioned in terms that convey the idea of youth and beauty, and perhaps of a bib and hanging-fleeves. This indifcriminate appellation unavoidably creates much confufion: I know an eminent tradefman, who loft a very good customer for innocently writing Mrs. the head of her bill; and I was lately at a ball, where trufting to a friend for a partner, I was obliged to do penance with an old withered beldam, who hobbled through feveral country-dances with me, though fhe was ancient enough to have been my grandmother. Excluding thefe Young Ladies of fifty and fixty, this order of females is very numerous; for there is fcarce a girl in town or country, fuperior to a milkmaid or cinder-wench, but is comprehended in it. The daughters are indisputably Young Ladies, though their

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papas may be tradefmen or mechanics. For the prefent race of thopkeepers, &c. have wildly provided that their gentility fhall be preferved in the female part of the family. Thus, although the fon is called plain Jack, and perhaps bound apprentice to his father, the daughter is taught to hold up her head, make tea in the little parlour behind the fhop, and inherits the title of Lady from her mamma. To make thefe claims to dignity more fure, thofe excellent feminaries of genteel education, called BoardingSchools, have been contrived; where, inftead of teazing a fampler, or conning a chapter of the Bible, the Young Ladies are inftructed to hold up their heads, make a curtfey, and to behave themfelves in every refpe&t like pretty little Ladies. Hence it happens, that we may often obferve feveral of thefe polite damfels in the skirts of Whitechapel, and in every petty country town; nay, it is common to meet with Young Ladies born and bred, who have fubmitted to keep a chandler's fhop, or had humility enough even to go to fervice.

I proceed next to take into confideration what is generally understood by Ladies of Quality. Thefe in other words may be more properly called Ladies of Fashion; for, in the modifh acceptation of the phrafe, not fo much regard is had to their birth or ftation, or even to their coronet, as to their way of life. The duchefs, who has not tafte enough to a&t up to the character of a Perfon of Quality, is no more refpected in the polite world than a city knight's Lady; nor does the derive any greater honour from her title than the hump-backed woman receives from the vulgar. But what is more immediately expected from a Lady of Quality, will be feen under the next article: for, to their praife be it spoken, moft of our modern Ladies of Quality affect to be Fine Ladies.

To defcribe the life of a Fine Lady would be only to let down a perpetual

round of vifiting, gaming, dreffing, and intriguing. She has been bred up in the notion of making a figure, and of recommending herself as a woman of fpirit: for which end fhe is always foremoft in the fashion, and never fails gracing with her appearance every public affembly, and every party of pleafure. Though fingle, fhe may coquet with every fine gentleman; or if married, the may admit of gallantries without reproach, and even receive vifits from the men in her bed-chamber. To compleat the character, and to make her a Very Fine Lady, the should be celebrated for her wit and beauty, and be parted from her husband: for as matrimony itself is not meant as a restraint upon pleafure, a feparate maintenance is understood as a licence to throw off even the appearance of virtue.

From the Fine Ladies it is a very natural tranfition to the Ladies of Pleafure: and, indeed, from what has already been faid concerning Fine Ladies, one might imagine that, as they make pleafure their fole purfuit, they might properly be intitled Ladies of Pleafure. But this gay appellation is referved for the higher rank of Prostitutes, whofeprincipal difference from the Fine Ladies confifts in their openly profeffing a trade, which the others carry on by fimuggling. A Lady of Fashion, who refufes no favours but the laft, or even grants that without being paid for it, is not to be accounted a Lady of Pleasure, but ranks in an order formerly celebrated under the title of DEMI REPS. It is whimfical enough to fee the different complexions affumed by the fame vice, according to the difference of stations. The married Lady of Quality may intrigue with as many as the pleafes, and ftill remain Right Honourable; the draggle-tailed Stret-Walker is a Common Woman, and liable to be sent to Bridewell; but the Whore of High Life is a Lady of Pleafure, and rolls in a gilt chariot.


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WHEN I first refolved on appearing in my prefent character, I had fome thoughts of making my public entry in the front of one or other of our news papers; as I confidered that the domeftic occurrences, which compofe a part of their equipage, would make no bad figure in my own retinue. Some reflections on the modifh methods of gaming would receive an additional confirmation from a paragraph in the news, that laft Tuesday a game at 'Whitt was played at White's for 1000l. a corner,' or that the match between his Grace the Duke of **** and Lord

was decided at Newmarket: and a differtation on the luxury of the prefent age would be very aptly illuftrated by an exact account of the weight of the Turtle, dreffed a few days before for the gentlemen of the above-mentioned chocolate-house.

Indeed, I have always looked upon the works of Mr. Jenour in the Daily Advertifer, as a kind of fupplement to the intelligence of Mr. Town; containing a more minute account of the important tranfactions of that clafs of mankind, which has been figuratively stiled The World. From thefe daily regifters, you may not only learn when any body is married or hanged, but you have immediate notice whenever his Grace goes to Newmarket, or her Ladyfhip fets out for Bath: and but last week, at the fame time that the gentlemen of the law were told, that the Lord Chancellor could not fit in the Court of Chancery, people of fashion had the melancholy news, that Signor Ricciarelli was not able to fing.

Nor is that part of Mr. Jenour's lutubrations, which is allotted to Advertifements, lefs amufing and entertaining: and many of thefe articles might very properly come under my cognizance. It is here debated, whether the


prize of eloquence fhould be given to Orator Macklin or Orator Henley; and whether Mr. Stephen Pitts is not the beft qualified to furnish gentlemen and ladies libraries with tea-chefts in Octavo, and clofe-ftools in Folio. And befides the public notices to perfons of taste, of every rare old japan, and molt curious and inimitable Epargnes for deferts, as also the most rich and elegant fancied filks to be fold by auction; many other advices not lefs interefting to the Town, are here given. We are daily put in mind, that Mrs. Phillips at the Green Canifter ftill hopes for the favours of her former good customers as ufual: that next door to Haddock's is fold an antidote against the poifon imbibed at that bagnio: that Dr. Rock infallibly cures a certain epidemical diftemper by virtue of the King's Patent: that a learned physician and furgeon will privately accommodate any gentleman (as the Doctor modeftly expreffes it in his own Latin) Pro Morbus Veneria curandus: and that Y. Z. a regular bred furgeon and man-midwife, together with fifty others, will accommodate gentlewomen that are under a neceflity of lying-in privately.

But not only the public transactions of auctioneers, brokers, and horfe-dealers, but the most private concerns of pleafure and gallantry, may be also carried on by means of this paper. Aflignations are here made, and the most fecret intrigues formed, at the expence of two fhillings. If a genteel young body, who can do all kinds of work, wants a place, the will be fure to hear of a master by advertifing: any gentleman and lady of unexceptionable character may meet with lodgings to be lett, and no queftions afked. How often has Romeo de clared in print his unfpeakable paffion for the charming Peachy! How many gentlemen have made open profeffions


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