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No. LXXI. Tuesday, July 1o, 1753.

-Hominem pagina nofra fapit.


We strive to paint the manners and the mind,

Letters written from the heart and on real occasions, though not always decorated with the flowers of alo. quence, must be far more useful and interesting than the ftudied paragraphs of Pliny, or the pompous declamations of Balsac ; as they contain just pictures of life and manners, and are the genuine emanations of nature. Of this kind I fhall select a few from the heap I have received from my correspondents, each of which exhi. bits a different character, not exaggerated and Leightened by circumstances that pass the bounds of reality.




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Sombre-Hall, June 18. I Am arrived with Sir Nicholas at this melancholy moated mansion. Would I could be annihilated during the insupportable tediousness of fummer! We are to sup this evening, after having fished the whole after. noon, by day-light, think of that, in the new arbour. My uncle, poor man, imagines he has a finer and richer profpect from thence, than the illuminated viftas at Vauxhall afford, only because he fees a parcel of woods and meadows, and blue hills, and corn-fields. We have been visited by our only neighbour, Mrs. Thrifty, who entertained us with a dull history of the children she has educated, at a little school of her own founding, and who values herself for not having been in town these ten years, and for not knowing what a drum means. My sister and I have laid a scheme to plague her, for we have sent her a card, entreating her to make one at Brag next Sunday. For heaven's fake send us your paper weekly, but do not give us so many grave ones; for we want to be diverted after studying Hoyle, which we do for three hours every afternoon with great attention, that 'the time may not pass away totally useless, and that we may be a match for Lady Shuffle next winter, Let us know what is done at the next Jubilee Masquerade. How shall I have patience to fupport my absence from it! And if Madam de Pompadour comes over, as was reported when I left town, impart to us a minute account of the complexion she now wears, and of every article of her dress; any milliner will explain the terms to you. I don't see that you have yet publiked the

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little novel I sent you; I assure you it was written by a right honourable : but you, I suppose think the style colloquial as you call it, and the moral trite or trifling. Colonel Caper's pindaric ode on the E O table, must absolutely be inserted in your very next paper, or else never expect to hear again from




APPLY to you, as a person of prudence and knowledge of the world, for directions how to extricate myself out of a great and uncommon difficulty. To enable myself to breed up a numerous family on a small preferment, I have been advised to indulge my natural propensity. for poetry, and to write a tragedy: my design is to apprentice my eldest son to a reputable tradesman, with the profits I shall acquire by the representation of my play, being deterred by the inordinate expences of an University education, from making him a scholar. An old gentlewoman in my parish, a great reader of religious controversy, whom celibacy and the reduction of interest have made morosely devout, accidentally hearing of my performance, undertook to censure me in all companies with acrimony and zeal, es acting inconfiftently with the dignity of my public character, and as a promoter of debauchery and lewdness. She has informed my church-wardens, that the playhouse is the temple of Satan, and that the first Christians were strictly forbidden to enter the theatres, as places impure and contagious. My congregations grow thin; my clerk

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