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now and then in Dyer's Letter, and I read that more for the style than the news. The man has a clever pen, it must be owned. But is it not strange that we should be making war upon Church of England men, with Dutch and Swiss soldiers, men of antimonarchical principles? these foreigners will never be loved in England, sir; they have not that wit and good-breeding that we have." I must confess I did not expect to hear my new acquaintance value himself upon these qualifications, but finding him such a critic upon foreigners, I asked him if he had ever travelled; he told me, he did not know what travelling was good
for, but to teach a man to ride the great horse, to jabber French, and to talk against passive obedience: to which he added, that he scarce ever knew a traveller in his life who had not forsook his principles, and lost his hunting-seat. “For my part,” says he, “I
I and my father before me have always been for passive obedience, and shall be always for opposing a prince who makes use of ministers that are of another opinion. But where do you intend to inn to-night? (for we were now come in sight of the next town;) I can help you to a very good landlord if you will go along with me. He is a lusty, jolly fellow, that lives well
, at least three yards in the girt, and the best Church of England man upon the road.” I had a curiosity to see this high-church inn-keeeper, as well as to enjoy more of the conversation of my fellow-traveller, and therefore readily consented to set our horses together for that night. As we rode side by side through the town, I was let into the characters of all the principal inhabitants whom we met in our way. One was a dog, another a whelp, another a cur, and another the son of a bitch, under which several denominations were comprehended all that voted on the Whig side, in the last election of burgesses. As for those of his own party, he distinguished them by a nod of his head, and asking them how they did by their Christian names. Upon our arrival at the inn, my companion fetched out the jolly landlord, who knew him by his whistle. Many endearments and private whispers passed between them; though it was easy to see by the landlord's scratching his head that things did not go to their wishes. The landlord had swelled his body to a prodigious size, and worked up his complexion to a standing crimson by his zeal for the prosperity of the church, which he expressed every hour of the day, as his
cry up the
customers dropt in, by repeated bumpers. He had not time
to church himself, but, as my friend told me in my ear, had headed a mob at the pulling down of two or three meeting-houses. While supper was preparing, he enlarged upon the happiness of the neighbouring shire; “ For," says he, “ there is scarce a Presbyterian in the whole county, except the bishop.”
In short, I found by his discourse that he had learned a great deal of politics, but not one word of religion, from the parson of his parish; and, indeed, that he had scarce any other notion of religion, but that it consisted in hating Presbyterians. I had a remarkable instance of his notions in this particular. Upon seeing a poor decrepit old woman pass under the window where we sat, he desired me to take notice of her; and afterwards informed me, that she was generally reputed a witch by the country people, but that, for his part, he was apt to believe she was a Presbyterian.
Supper was no sooner served in, than he took occasion from a shoulder of mutton that lay before us,
to plenty of England, which would be the happiest country in the world, provided we would live within ourselves. Upon which, he expatiated on the inconveniences of trade, that carried from us the commodities of our country, and made a parcel of upstarts as rich as men of the most ancient families of England. He then declared frankly, that he had always been against all treaties and alliances with foreigners : “ Our wooden walls,” says he,“ are our security, and we may bid defiance to the whole world, especially if they should attack us when the militia is out.” I ventured to reply, that I had as great an opinion of the English fleet as he had; but I could not see how they could be paid, and manned, and fitted out, unless we encouraged trade and navigation. He replied, with some vehemence, that he would undertake to prove trade would be the ruin of the English nation. I would fain have put him upon it; but he contented himself with affirming it more eagerly, to which he added two or three curses upon the London merchants, not forgetting the directors of the bank. After supper be asked me if I was an admirer of punch ; and immediately called for a sneaker. I took this occasion to insinuate the advantages of trade, by observing to him, that water was the only native of England that could be made use of on this occasion : but that the lemons, the brandy, the sugar, and the nutmeg, were all foreigners. This
put him into some confusion; but the landlord, who overheard me, brought him off, by affirming, that for constant use, there was no liquor like a cup of English water, provided it had malt enough in it. My squire laughed heartily at the conceit, and made the landlord sit down with us. We sat pretty late over our punch; and, amidst a great deal of improving discourse, drank the healths of several persons in the country, 'whom I had never heard of, that, they both assured me, were the ablest statesmen in the nation; and of some Londoners, whom they extolled to the skies for their wit, and who, I knew, passed in town for silly fellows. It being now midnight, and my friend perceiving by his almanack that the moon was up, he called for his horses, and took a sudden resolution to go to his house, which was at three miles' distance from the town, after baving bethought himself that he never slept well out of his own bed. He shook me very heartily by the hand at parting, and discovered a great air of satisfaction in his looks, that he had met with an opportunity of showing his parts, and left me a much wiser man than he found me.
No. 23. FRIDAY, MARCH 9.
Illis ira modum supra est, et sæpe venenum
VIRG. In the wars of Europe which were waged among our forefathers, it was usual for the enemy, when there was a king in the field, to demand by a trumpet in what part of the camp he resided, that they might avoid firing upon the royal pavilion. Our party-contests in England were heretofore managed with the same kind of decency and good-breeding. The person of the prince was always looked upon as sacred; and whatever severe usage his friends or ministers met with, none presumed to direct their hostilities at their sovereign. The enemies of our present settlement are of such a coarse kind of make, and so equally void of loyalty and good manners, that they are grown scurrilous upon the royal family, and treat the most exalted characters with the most opprobrious language.
This petulance in conversation is particularly observed to prevail among some of that sex where it appears the most unbecoming and the most unnatural. Many of these act with the greater licentiousness, because they know they can act with the greater impunity. This consideration, indeed, engages the most generous and well-bred even of our she malecontents, to make no ill use of the indulgence of our law-givers; and to discover in their debates at least the delicacy of the woman, if not the duty of the subject. But it is generally remarked, that every one of them who is a shrew in domestic life, is now become a scold in politics. And as for those of the party, who are of a superior rank and unblemished virtue, it must be a melancholy reflection for them to consider that all the common women of the town are of their side; for which reason they ought to preserve a more than ordinary modesty in their satirical excursions, that their characters may not be liable to suspicion.
If there is not some method found out for allaying these heats and animosities among the fair sex, one does not know to what outrages they may proceed. I remember a hero in Scarron, who finding himself opposed by a mixed multitude of both sexes with a great deal of virulent language, after having brought them to a submission, gave order (to keep them from doing further mischief) that the men should be disarmed of their clubs, and that the women should have their nails pared. We are not yet reduced to the necessity of applying such violent remedies; but as we daily receive accounts of ladies battling it on both sides, and that those who appear against the constitution make war upon their antagonists by many unfair practices and unwarrantable methods, I think it is very convenient there should be a cartel settled between them. If they have not yet agreed upon anything of this nature among themselves, I would propose to them the following plan, in which I have sketched out several rules suited to the politest sex in one of the most civilized nations.
That in every political rencounter between woman and woman, no weapon shall be made use of but the tongue.
That in the course of the engagement, if either of the combatants, finding herself hard pressed by her adversary, shall proceed to personal reflections or discovery of secrets, they shall be parted by the standers-by: That when both sides are drawn up in a full assembly, it
shall not be lawful for above five of them to talk at the same time.
That if any shall detract from a lady's character, (unless she be absent,) the said detractress shall be forthwith ordered to the lowest place of the room.
That none presume to speak disrespectfully of his Majesty, or any of the royal family, on pain of three hours' silence.
That none be permitted to talk spitefully of the court, unless they can produce vouchers that they have been there.
That the making use of news which goes about in whisper, unless the author be produced, or the fact well attested, shall be deemed fighting with white powder, and contrary to the laws of war.
That any one who produces libels or lampoons, shall be regarded in the same manner as one who shoots with poisoned bullets.
That when a lady is thoroughly convinced of the falsehood of any story she has related, she shall give her parole not to tell it for a certain truth that winter.
That when any matter of doubt arises, which cannot otherwise be decided, appeal shall be made to a toast, if there be
such in the company: That no coquette, notwithstanding she can do it with a good air, shall be allowed to sigh for the danger of the church, or to shiver at the apprehensions of fanaticism.
That when a woman has talked an hour and a half, it shall be lawful to call her down to order.
As this civil discord among the sisterhood of Great Britain is likely to engage them in a long and lingering war, consisting altogether of drawn battles, it is the more necessary that there should be a cartel settled among them. Besides, as our English ladies are at present the greatest stateswomen in Europe, they will be in danger of making themselves the most unamiable part of their sex, they continue to give a loose to intemperate language, and to a low kind of ribaldry, which is not used among the women of fashion in any other country.
Discretion and good-nature have been always looked upon as the distinguishing ornaments of female conversation. The woman, “ whose price is above rubies,” has no particular in the character given of her by the wise man,