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to philosophy, he tells you, p. 136, Cicero pro- mercenary, yet the great man is no more in duces this as an instance of a probable opinion, reason obliged to thank him for his picture in a that they who study philosophy do not believe dedication, than to thank a painter for that on a there are any Gods;' and then, from considera-sign-post; except it be a less injury to touch tion of various notions, he affirms Tully concludes, that there can be nothing after death.' As to what he misrepresents of Tully, the short sentence on the head of this paper is enough to oppose; but who can have patience to reflect upon the assemblage of impostures, among which our author places the religion of his country? As for my part, I cannot see any possible interpretation to give this work, but a design to subvert and ridicule the authority of scripture. The peace and tranquillity of the nation, and regards even above those, are so much concerned in this matter, that it is difficult to express sufficient sorrow for the offender, or indignation against him. But if ever man deserved to be denied the common benefits of air and water, it is the author of A Discourse of Free-thinking.

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THOUGH most things which are wrong in their own nature are at once confessed and absolved in that single word Custom; yet there are some, which as they have a dangerous tendency, a thinking man will the less excuse on that very account. Among these I cannot but reckon the common practice of dedications, which is of so much the worse consequence, as it is generally used by the people of politeness, and whom a learned education for the most part ought to have inspired with nobler and juster sentiments. This prostitution of praise is not only a deceit upon the gross of mankind, who take their notion of characters from the learned; but also the better sort must by this means lose some part at least of that desire of fame which is the incentive to generous actions, when they find it promiscuously bestowed on the meritoriDus and undeserving; nay, the author himself, let him be supposed to have ever so true a value for the patron, can find no terms to express it, but what have been already used, and rendered suspected by flatterers. Even truth itself in a dedication is like an honest man in a disguise or vizor-mask, and will appear a cheat by being dressed so like one. Though the merit of the person is beyond dispute, I see no reason that because one man is eminent, therefore another has a right to be impertinent, and throw praises in his face. 'Tis just the reverse of the practice of the ancient Romans, when a person was advanced to triumph for his services. As they hired people to rail at him in that circumstance to make him as humble as they could, we have fellows to flatter him, and make him as proud as they can. Supposing the writer not to be

the most sacred part of him, his character, than to make free with his countenance only. I should think nothing justified me in this point, but the patron's permission beforehand, that I should draw him, as like as I could; whereas most authors proceed in this affair just as a dauber I have heard of, who, not being able to draw portraits after the life, was used to paint faces at random, and look out afterwards for people whom he might persuade to be like them. To express my notion of the thing in a word: to say more to a man than one thinks, with a prospect of interest, is dishonest; and without it, foolish. And whoever has had success in such an undertaking, must of necessity, at once think himself in his heart a knave for having done it, and his patron a fool for having believed it.

I have sometimes been entertained with con. sidering dedications in no very common light. By observing what qualities our writers think it will be most pleasing to others to compli ment them with, one may form some judgment which are most so to themselves; and in consequence, what sort of people they are. Without this view one can read very few dedications but will give us cause to wonder how such things came to be said at all, or how they were said to such persons? I have known a hero complimented upon the decent majesty and state he assumed after victory, and a nobleman of a different character applauded for his condescension to inferiors. This would have seemed very strange to me, but that I happened to know the authors. He who made the first compliment was a lofty gentleman, whose air and gait discovered when he had published a new book; and the other tippled every night with the fel lows who laboured at the press while his own writings were working off. It is observable of the female poets, and ladies dedicatory, that here (as elsewhere) they far exceed us in any strain or rant. As beauty is the thing that sex are piqued upon, they speak of it generally in a more elevated style than is used by the men. They adore in the same manner as they would be adored. So when the authoress of a famous modern romance* begs a young nobleman's permission to pay him her kneeling adorations,' I am far from censuring the expression, as some critics would do, as deficient in grammar or sense; but I reflect, that adorations paid in that posture are what a lady might expect herself, and my wonder immediately ceases. These, when they flatter most, do but as they would be done unto: for, as none are so much concerned at being injured by calumnies as they who are readiest to cast them upon their neighbours, so it is certain none are so guilty of flattery to others as those who most ardently desire it themselves.

What led me into these thoughts was a dedication I happened upon this morning. The

* Mrs. Manley, authoress of the Memoirs from the New Atalantis."

reader must understand that I treat the least instances or remains of ingenuity with respect, in what places soever found, or under whatever circumstances of disadvantage. From this love to letters I have been so happy in my searches after knowledge, that I have found invalued repositories of learning in the lining of bandboxes. I look upon these pasteboard edifices, adorned with the fragments of the ingenious, with the same veneration as antiquaries upon ruined buildings, whose walls preserve divers inscriptions and names, which are no where else to be found in the world. This morning, when one of the lady Lizard's daughters was looking over some hoods and ribands, brought by her tire-woman, with great care and diligence, I employed no less in examining the box which contained them; it was lined with certain scenes of a tragedy, written (as appeared by part of the title there extant) by one of the fair sex. What was most legible was the dedication; which, by reason of the largeness of the characters, was least defaced by those gothic ornaments of flourishes and foliage, wherewith the compilers of these sort of structures do often industriously obscure the works of the learned. As much of it as I could read with any ease, I shall communicate to the reader, as follows.

**** Though it is a kind of profanation to approach your grace with so poor an offering, yet when I reflect how acceptable a sacrifice of first-fruits was to Heaven, in the earliest and purest ages of religion, that they were honoured with solemn feasts, and consecrated to altars by a divine command, *** upon that consideration, as an argument of particular zeal, I dedicate***. It is impossible to behold you without adoring; yet dazzled and awed by the glory that surrounds you, men feel a sacred power, that refines their flames, and renders them pure as those we ought to offer to the Deity. ***The shrine is worthy the divinity that inhabits it. In your grace we see what woman was before she fell, how nearly allied to the purity and perfection of angels. And WE ADORE AND BLESS THE GLORIOUS WORK!'

Undoubtedly these and other periods of this most pious dedication, could not but convince the duchess of what the eloquent authoress assures her at the end, that she was her servant with most ardent devotion. I think this a pattern of a new sort of style, not yet taken notice of by the critics, which is above the sublime, and may be called the celestial; that is, when the most sacred phrases appropriated to the honour of the Deity are applied to a mortal of good quality. As I am naturally emulous, I cannot but endeavour, in imitation of this lady, to be the inventor, or, at least, the first producer of a kind of dedication, very different from hers and most others, since it has not a word but what the author religiously thinks in it. It may serve for almost any book, either prose or verse, that has been, is, or shall be published, and might run in this manner.

The Author to himself.

MOST HONOURED SIR,-These labours, upon many considerations, so properly belong to none

as to you. First, as it was your most earnest desire alone that could prevail upon me to make them public. Then as I am secure (from that constant indulgence you have ever shown to all which is mine) that no man will so readily take them into protection, or so zealously defend them. Moreover, there is none can so soon discover the beauties; and there are some parts which it is possible, few besides yourself are ca pable of understanding. Sir, the honour, affection, and value I have for you are beyond expression; as great, I am sure, or greater, than any man else can bear you. As for any defects which others may pretend to discover in you, I do faithfully declare I was never able to per ceive them; and doubt not but those persons are actuated purely by a spirit of malice or envy, the inseparable attendants on shining merit and parts, such as I have always esteemed yours to be. It may perhaps be looked upon as a kind of violence to modesty, to say this to you in public; but you may believe me, it is no more than have a thousand times thought of you in private. Might I follow the impulse of my soul, there is no subject I could launch into with more plea sure than your panegyric. But since something is due to modesty, let me conclude by telling you, that there is nothing so much I desire as to know you more thoroughly than I have yet the happiness of doing. I may then hope to be capable to do you some real service; but till then can only assure you, that I shall continue to be, as I am more than any man alive, dearest sir, your affectionate friend, and the greatest of your admirers.

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Laudantur simili prole puerperæ.

Hor. Lib. 4. Od. v. 23. The mother's virtues in the daughters shine. I HAVE, in my second paper, mentioned the family into which I was retained by the friend of my youth; and given the reader to understand, that my obligations to it are such as might well naturalize me into the interests of it. They have, indeed, had their deserved effect, and if it were possible for a man who has never entered into the state of marriage to know the instincts of a kind father to an honourable and numerous house, I may say I have done it. I do not know but my regards, in some considerations, have been more useful than those of a father, and as I wanted all that tenderness, which is the bias of inclination in men towards their own offspring, I have had a greater command of reason when I was to judge of what concern. ed my wards, and consequently was not prompted, by my partiality and fondness towards their persons, to transgress against their interests.

As the female part of a family is the more constant and immediate object of care and protection, and the more liable to misfortune or dishonour, as being in themselves more sensible of the former, and, from custom and opinion, for less offences more exposed to the latter; I shall begin with the more delicate part of my guar dianship, the women of the family of Lizard.

The ancient and religious lady, the dowager of parent has a mind to continue to be; but it is my friend sir Ambrose, has for some time es- possible I am too observing in this particular, tranged herself from conversation, and admits and this might be overlooked in them both, in only of the visits of her own family. The ob- respect to greater circumstances: for Mrs. Jane servation, that old people remember best those is the right hand of her mother; it is her study things which entered into their thoughts when and constant endeavour to assist her in the matheir memories were in their full strength and nagement of her househould, to keep all idle vigour, is very remarkably exemplified in this whispers from her, and discourage them before good lady and myself when we are in conversa- they can come at her from any other hand; to tion; I choose, indeed, to go thither, to divert inforce every thing that makes for the merit of any anxiety or weariness which at any time I her brothers and sisters towards her, as well as find grow upon me from any present business the diligence and cheerfulness of her servants. or care. It is said, that a little mirth and di- | It is by Mrs. Jane's management that the whole version are what recreate the spirits upon those family is governed, neither by love nor fear, but occasions; but there is a kind of sorrow from a certain reverence which is composed of both. which I draw a consolation that strengthens my Mrs. Jane is what one would call a perfect good faculties and enlarges my mind beyond any young woman; but neither strict piety, dili thing that can flow from merriment. When we gence in domestic affairs, or any other avocameet, we soon get over any occurrence which tion, have preserved her against love, which she passed the day before, and are in a moment hur- bears to a young gentleman of great expectaried back to those days which only we call good tion, but small fortune; at the same time that ones; the passages of the times when we were men of very great estates ask her of her mother. in fashion, with the countenances, behaviour, My lady tells her that prudence must give way and jollity, so much, forsooth, above what any to passion: so that Mrs. Jane, if I cannot acappear in now, are present to our imaginations, commodate the matter, must conquer more than and almost to our very eyes. This conversation one passion, and out of prudence banish the man revives to us the memory of a friend, that was she loves, and marry the man she hates. more than a brother to me; of a husband that was dearer than life to her: discourses about that dear and worthy man generally send her to her closet, and me to the despatch of some necessary business which regards the remains, I would say the numerous descendants of my generous friend. I am got, I know not how, out of what I was going to say of this lady; which was, that she is far gone towards a better world; and I mention her (only with respect to this) as she is the object of veneration to those who are derived from her: whose behaviour towards her may be an example to others, and make the generality of young people apprehend, that when the ancient are past all offices of life, it is then the young are to exert themselves in their most laudable duties towards them.

The widow of sir Marmaduke is to be considered in a very different view. My lady is not in the shining bloom of life, but at those years, wherein the gratifications of an ample fortune, those of pomp and equipage, of being much esteemed, much visited, and generally admired, are usually more strongly pursued than in younger days. In this condition she might very well add the pleasures of courtship, and the grateful persecution of being followed by a crowd of lovers; but she is an excellent mother and great economist; which considerations, joined with the pleasure of living her own way, preserve her against the intrusion of love. I will not say that my lady has not a secret vanity in being still a fine woman, and neglecting those addresses, to which perhaps we in part owe her Constancy in that her neglect.

sex,

The next daughter is Mrs. Annabella, who has a very lively wit, a great deal of good sense, is very pretty, but gives me much trouble for her from a certain dishonest cunning I know in her; she can seem blind and careless, and full of herself only, and entertain with twenty affected vanities; whilst she is observing all the company, laying up store for ridicule, and, in a word, is selfish and interested under all the agreeable qualities in the world. Alas, what shall I do with this girl!

Her daughter Jane, her eldest child of that is in the twenty-third year of her age, a lady who forms herself after the pattern of her mother; but in my judgment, as she happens to be extremely like her, she sometimes makes her court unskilfully, in affecting that likeness in her very mien, which gives the mother an neasy sense, that Mrs. Jane really is what her

Mrs. Cornelia passes away her time very much in reading, and that with so great an attention, that it gives her the air of a student, and has an ill effect upon her, as she is a fine young woman; the giddy part of the sex will have it she is in love; none will allow that she affects so much being alone, but for want of particular company. I have railed at romances before her, for fear of her falling into those deep studies: she has fallen in with my humour that way for the time, but I know not how, my imprudent prohibition has, it seems, only excited her curiosity; and I am afraid she is better read than I know of, for she said of a glass of water in which she was going to wash her hands after dinner, dipping her fingers with a pretty lovely air, 'It is chrystalline." I shall examine farther, and wait for clearer proofs.

Mrs. Betty is (I cannot by what means or methods imagine) grown mightily acquainted with what passes in the town; she knows all that matter of my lord such-a-one's leading my lady such-a-one out from the play; she is prodigiously acquainted, all of a sudden, with the world, and asked her sister Jane the other day in an argument, 'Dear sister, how should you know any thing, that hear nothing but what we do in our own family?' I do not much like her maid.

Mrs. Mary, the youngest daughter, whom they rally and call Mrs. Ironside, because I have named her the sparkler, is the very quintessence

of good-nature and generosity; she is the perfect picture of her grandfather; and if one can imagine all good qualities which adorn human life become feminine, the seeds, nay, the blossom of them, are apparent in Mrs. Mary. It is a weakness I cannot get over, (for how ridiculous is a regard to the bodily perfections of a man who is dead) but I cannot resist my partiality to this child, for being so like her grandfather; how often have I turned from her, to hide the melting of my heart when she has been talking to me! I am sure the child has no skill in it, for artifice could not dwell under that visage; but if I am absent a day from the family, she is sure to be at my lodging the next morning to know what is the matter.

At the head of these children, who have very plentiful fortunes, provided they marry with mine and their mother's consent, is my lady Lizard; who, you cannot doubt, is very well visited. Sir William Oger, and his son almost at age, are frequently at our house on a double consideration. The knight is willing, (for so he very gallantly expresses himself) to marry the mother, or he will consent, whether that be so or not, that his son Oliver shall take any one of the daughters Noll likes best.

Mr. Rigburt, of the same county, who gives in his estate much larger, and his family more ancient, offers to deal with us for two daughters. Sir Harry Pandolf has writ word from his seat in the country, that he also is much inclined to an alliance with the Lizards, which he has declared in the following letter to my lady; she showed it me this morning.

'MADAM,-I have heard your daughters very well spoken of: and though I have very great offers in my own neighbourhood, and heard the small-pox is very rife at London, I will send my eldest son to see them, provided, that by your ladyship's answer, and your liking of the rent-roll which I send herewith, your ladyship assures me he shall have one of them, for I do not think to have my son refused by any woman; and so, madam, I conclude, your most humble servant,

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I HAVE despatched my young women, and the town has them among them; it is necessary for the elucidation of my future discourses, which I desire may be denominated, as they are the precepts of a Guardian, Mr. Ironside's Precautions; I say it is, after what has been already declared, in the next place necessary to give an account of the males of this worthy family, whose annals I am writing. The affairs of women being chiefly domestic, and not made up of so many circumstances as the duties of men are, I fear I cannot despatch the account of the males under my care, in so few words as I did the explanation which regarded my women.

Sir Harry Lizard, of the county of Northampton, son and heir of the late sir Marmaduke, is now entered upon the twenty-sixth year of his age, and is now at his seat in the country.

The estate at present in his hands is above three thousand a-year, after payment of taxes and all necessary charges whatsoever. He is a man of good understanding, but not at all what is usually called a man of shining parts. His virtues are much greater than accomplishments, as to his conversation. But when you come to consider his conduct with relation to his manners and fortune, it would be a very great injury not to allow him [to be] a very fine gentleman. It has been carefully provided in his education. that he should be very ready at calculations. This gives him a quick alarm inwardly upon all undertakings; and in a much shorter time than is usual with men who are not versed in business, he is master of the question before him, and can instantly inform himself with great exactness in the matter of profit or loss that shall arise from any thing proposed to him. The same capacity, joined to an honest nature, makes him very just to other men, as well as to himself. His payments are very punctual, and I dare answer he never did, or ever will, undertake any piece of building, or any ornamental improvement of his house, garden, park, or lands, before the money is in his own pocket wherewith he is to pay for such undertaking. He is too good to purchase labourers or artificers (as by this means he certainly could) at an under rate; but he has by this means what I think he deserves from his superior prudence, the choice of all who are most knowing and able to serve him. With his ready money, the builder, mason, and carpenter, are enabled to make their market of gentlemen in his neighbourhood, who inconsiderately employ them; and often pay their undertakers by sale of some of their land; whereas, were the lands on which those improvements are made, sold to the artificers, the buildings would be rated as lumber in the purchase. Sir Harry has for ever a year's income, to extend his charity, serve his pleasures, or regale his friends. His servants, his cattle, his goods, speak their master a rich man. Those about his person, as his bailiff, the groom of his chamber, and his butler, have a cheerful, not a gay air the servants below them seem to live in plenty, but not in wantonness. As sir Henry is a young man, and of an active disposition, his best figure is on horseback. But before I speak of that, I should acquaint you, that during his infancy, all the young gentlemen of the neighbourhood were welcome to a part of the house, which was called the school; where, at the charge of the family, there was a grammar-master, a plain sober man, maintained (with a salary, besides his diet, of fifty pounds a-year) to instruct all such children of gentlemen or lower people, as would partake of his education. As they grew up, they were allowed to ride out with him upon his horses. There were always ten or twelve for the saddle in readiness to attend him and his favourites, in the choice of whom he showed a good disposition, and distributed his kindness among them by turns, with great good-nature. All horses, both for the saddle and swift draught, were very well bitted, and a skilful rider, with a riding-house, wherein he (the riding master) commanded, had it in orders to teach any gentleman's son of the county

that would please to learn that exercise. We found our account in this proceeding, as well in real profit, as in esteem and power in the country; for as the whole shire is now possessed by gentlemen who owe sir Harry a part of education which they all value themselves upon, (their horsemanship) they prefer his horses to all others, and it is ten per cent. in the price of a steed, which appears to come out of his ridinghouse.

By this means it is, that sir Harry, as I was going to say, makes the best figure on horseback; for his usual hours of being in the field are well known; and at those seasons the neigh. bouring gentlemen, his friends and school-fellows, take a pleasure in giving him their company, with their servants well behaved, and horses well commanded.

I cannot enough applaud sir Harry for a particular care in his horses. He not only bits all which are ridden, but also all which are for the coach or swift draught, for grace adds mightily to the price of strength; and he finds his account in it at all markets, more especially for the coach or troop horses, of which that county produces the most strong and ostentatious. To keep up a breed for any use whatever, he gives plates for the best performing horse in every way in which that animal can be serviceable. There is such a prize for him that trots best, such for the best walker, such for the best galloper, such for the best pacer; then for him who draws most in such a time to such a place, then to him that carries best such a load on his back. He delights in this, and has an admirable fancy in the dress of the riders; some admired country girl is to hold the prize, her lovers to trot, and not to mend their pace into a gallop when they are out-trotted by a rival; some known country wit to come upon the best pacer; these, and the like little joyful arts, gain him the love of all who do not know his worth, and the esteem of all who do. Sir Harry is no friend to the race-horse; he is of opinion it is inhuman, that animals should be put upon their utmost strength and mettle for our diversion only. However, not to be particular, he puts in for the queen's plate every year, with orders to his rider never to win or be distanced; and, like a good country gentleman, says, it is a fault in all ministries, that they encourage no kind of horses but those which are swift.

As I write lives, I dwell upon small matters, being of opinion with Plutarch, that little circumstances show the real man better than things of greater moment. But good economy is the characteristic of the Lizards. I remember a circumstance about six years ago, that gave me hopes he would one time or other make a figure in parliament; for he is a landed man, and considers his interest, though he is such, to be impaired or promoted according to the state of trade. When he was but twenty years old, I took an opportunity in his presence, to ask an intelligent woollen-draper, what he gave for his shop [at] the corner of Change-alley? The shop is, I believe, fourteen feet long, and eight broad. I was answered, ninety pounds a-year. I took no notice, but the thought descended into the breast of sir Harry, and I saw on his table the

next morning, a computation of the value of land in an island, consisting of so many miles, with so many good ports; the value of each part of the said island, as it lay to such ports, and produced such commodities. The whole of his working was to know why so few yards near the Change, was so much better than so many acres in Northamptonshire; and what those acres in Northamptonshire would be worth, were there no trade at all in this island.

It makes my heart ache, when I think of this young man, and consider upon what plain maxims, and in what ordinary methods men of estate may do good wherever they are seated, that so many should be what they are! It is certain, that the arts which purchase wealth or fame, will maintain them; and I attribute the splendour and long continuance of this family, to the felicity of having the genius of the founder of it run through all his male line. Old sir Harry, the great grandfather of this gentleman, has written in his own hand upon all the deeds which he ever signed, in the humour of that sententious age, this sentence, 'There are four good mothers, of whom are often born four unhappy daughters; truth begets hatred, happiness pride, security danger, and familiarity contempt.'

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I THIS morning did myself the honour to visit lady Lizard, and took my chair at the tea-table, at the upper end of which that graceful woman, with her daughters about her, appeared to me with greater dignity than ever any figure, either of Venus attended by the graces, Diana with her nymphs, or any other celestial who owes her being to poetry.

The discourse we had there, none being present but our own family, consisted of private matters, which tended to the establishment of these young ladies in the world. My lady, I observed, had a mind to make mention of the proposal to Mrs. Jane, of which she is very fond, and I as much avoided, as being equally against it; but it is by no means proper the young ladies should observe we ever dissent; therefore I turned the discourse, by saying, 'it was time enough to think of marrying a young lady, who was but three-and-twenty, ten years hence.' The whole table was alarmed at the assertion, and the Sparkler scalded her fingers, by learing suddenly forward to look in my face but my business at present was to make my court to the mother; therefore, without regarding the resentment in the looks of the children, Madam,' said I, 'there is a petulant and hasty manner practised in this age, in hurrying away the life of woman, and confining the grace and principal action of it to those years wherein reason and discretion are most feeble, humour and passion most powerful. From the time a young woman of quality has first appeared in the drawing-room, raised a whisper and curiosity of the

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