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mitted, without one or other of these qualifications, viz. either birth or fortune; or what is equivalent to both, the honourable profession of a gamester. And very unluckily for the world, persons so qualified, very seldom care to take upon themselves the bad trade of writing; which is generally entered upon by the lower and poorer sort, as it is a trade which many think requires no kind of stock to set up with.

Hence those strange monsters in lace and embroidery, in silks and brocades, with vast wigs and hoops; which, under the name of lords and ladies, strut the stage, to the great delight of attornies and their clerks in the pit, and of citizens and their apprentices in the galleries; and which are no more to be found in real life, than the cen-' taur, the chimera, or any other creature of mere fiction. But to let my reader into a secret, this knowledge of upper life, though very necessary for the preventing mistakes, is no very great resource to a writer whose province is comedy, or that kind of novels, which, like this I am writing, is of the comic class.

What Mr. Pope says of women is very applicable to most in this station, who are indeed so entirely made up of form and affectation, that they have no character at all, at least, none which appears. I will venture to say the highest life is much the dullest, and affords very little - humour or entertainment. The various callings in lower spheres produce the great variety of humorous characters; whereas here, except among the few who are engaged in the pursuit of ambition, and the fewer still who have a relish for pleasure, all is vanity and servile imitation. Dressing and cards, eating and drinking, bowing and curtesying, make up the business of their lives.

Some there are however of this rank, upon whom pas

sion exercises its tyranny, and hurries them far beyond the bounds which decorum prescribes; of these, the ladies are as much distinguished by their noble intrepidity, and a certain superior contempt of reputation, from the frail ones of meaner degree, as a virtuous woman of quality is by the elegance and delicacy of her sentiments from the honest wife of a yeoman or shopkeeper. Lady Bellaston was of this intrepid character; but let not my country readers conclude from her, that this is the general conduct of women of fashion, or that we mean to represent them as such. They might as well suppose, that every clergyman was represented by Thwackum, or every soldier by ensign Northerton.

There is not indeed a greater error than that which universally prevails among the vulgar, who borrowing their opinion from some ignorant satyrists, have affixed the character of lewdness to these times. On the contrary, I am convinced there never was less of love intrigue carried on among persons of condition, than now. Our present women have been taught by their mothers to fix their thoughts only on ambition and vanity, and to despise the pleasures of love as unworthy their regard; and being afterwards, by the care of such mothers, married without having husbands, they seem pretty well confirmed in the justness of those sentiments; whence they content themselves, for the dull remainder of life, with the pursuit of more innocent, but I am afraid more childish amusements, the bare mention of which would ill suit with the dignity of this history. In my humble opinion, the true characteristick of the present beau monde, is rather folly than vice, and the only epithet which it deserves is that of frivolous.


Containing letters and other matters which attend amours. ONES had not long been at home, before he received the following letter.



WAS never more surprized than when I found you was gone. When you left the room, I little imagined you intended to have left the house without seeing me again. Your behaviour is all of a piece, and convinces me how much I ought to despise a heart which can doat upon an idiot; though I know not whether I should not admire her cunning more than her simplicity: wonderful both! For though she understood not a word of what passed between us, she yet had the skill, the assurance, thewhat shall I call it? to deny to my face, that she knows you, or ever saw you before.-Was this a scheme laid between you, and have you been base enough to betray me?O how I despise her, you, and all the world, but chiefly myself, for-I dare not write what I should afterwards run mad to read; but remember, I can detest as violently as I have loved.

Jones had but little time given him to reflect on this letter, before a second was brought him from the same hand; and this, likewise, we shall set down in the precise words.


W you consider the hurry of spirits in which

I must have writ, you cannot be surprized at any expressions in my former note.-Yet, perhaps, on reflection, they were rather too warm. At least I would, if possible, think all owing to the odious playhouse, and to the impertinence of a fool, which detained me beyond my


appointment. How easy is it to think well of those we love? Perhaps you desire I should think so. I have resolved to see you to-night, so come to me immediately. P. S. I have ordered to be at home to none but yourself. P.S. Mr. Jones will imagine I shall assist him in his defence; for, I believe, he cannot desire to impose

on me more than I desire to impose on myself. P. S. Come immediately.

To the men of intrigue I refer the determination, whether the angry or the tender letter gave the greatest uneasiness to Jones. Certain it is, he had no violent inclination to pay any more visits that evening, unless to one single person. However, he thought his honour engaged, and had not this been motive sufficient, he would not have ventured to blow the temper of Lady Bellaston into that flame of which he had reason to think it susceptible, and of which he feared the consequence might be a discovery to Sophia, which he dreaded. After some discontented walks therefore about the room, he was preparing to depart, when the lady kindly prevented him, not by another letter, but by her own presence. She entered the room very disordered in her dress, and very discomposed in her looks, and threw herself into a chair, where having recovered her breath, she said,— "You see, sir, when women have gone one length too far, they will stop at none. If any person would have sworn this to me a week ago, I would not have believed it of myself." "I hope, madam," said Jones "my charming Lady Bellaston will be as difficult to believe any thing against one who is so sensible of the many obligations she hath conferred upon him." "Indeed!" says she,

"sensible of obligations! Did I expect to hear such cold language from Mr. Jones?" "Pardon me, my dear angel," said he, "if after the letters I have received, the terrors of your anger, though I know not how I have deserved it.” "And have I then," says she with a smile, "so angry a countenance?-Have I really brought a chiding face with me?"-"If there be honour in man," said he, "I have done nothing to merit your anger. You remember the appointment you sent me I went in pursuance" -"I beseech you," cry'd she, "do not run through the odious recital-answer me but one question, and I shall be easy-have you not betrayed my honour to her?" -Jones fell upon his knees, and began to utter the most violent protestations, when Partridge came dancing and capering into the room, like one drunk with joy, crying out, "She's found! she's found!-Here, sir, here, she's here,-Mrs. Honour is upon the stairs." "Stop her a moment," cries Jones.-"Here, madam, step behind the bed, I have no other room nor closet, nor place on earth to hide you in; sure never was so damn'd an accident."-"D-n'd indeed!" said the lady as she went to her place of concealment; and presently afterwards in came Mrs. Honour. "Hey day!," says she, "Mr. Jones, what's the matter?-That impudent rascal, your servant, would scarce let me come up stairs. I hope he hath not the same reason now to keep me from you as he had at Upton.-I suppose you hardly expected to see me; but you have certainly bewitched my lady. Poor dear young lady! To be sure, I loves her as tenderly as if she was my own sister. Lord have mercy upon you, if you don't make her a good husband; and to be sure, if you do not, nothing can be bad enough for you." Jones begged her only to whisper, "for that there was a lady dying in the

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