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one mould, or cut out all by one pattern, at least the common people in one, and the gentlemen in another. They seem all of a sort in their habits, their customs, and even their talk and conversation, as well as in the application and pursuit of their actions, and their lives. Besides all this, there is another sort of variety amongst us, which arises from our climate, and the dispositions it naturally produces. We are not only more unlike one another, than any nation I know; but we are more unlike ourselves too, at several times, and owe to our very air some ill qualities, as well as many good.'

Ours is the only country, perhaps in the whole world, where every man, rich and poor, dares to have a humour of his own, and to avow it upon all occasions. I make no doubt, but that it is to this great freedom of temper, and this unconstrained manner of living, that we owe in a great measure, the number of shining geniuses, which rise up amongst us from time to time, in the several arts and sciences, for the service and for the ornament of life. This frank and generous disposition in a people, will likewise never fail to keep up in their minds an aversion to slavery, and be, as it were, a standing bulwark of their liberties. So long as ever wit and humour continue, and the generality of us will have their own way of thinking, speaking, and acting, this nation is not like to give any quarter to an invader, and much less to bear with the absurdities of popery, in exchange for an established and a reasonable faith.

N° 145. THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1713.

Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis.

HOR. Ars Poet. ver. 122.

Scorning all judges and all law, but arms.


AMONGST the several challenges and letters which my paper of the twenty-fifth has brought upon me, there happens to be one, which I know not well what to make of. I am doubtful whether it is the archness of some wag, or the serious resentment of a coxcomb that vents his indignation with an insipid pertness. In either of these two lights I think it may divert my readers, for which reason I shall make no scruple to comply with the gentleman's request, and make his letter public.


Tilt-yard Coffee-house.

• YOUR grey hairs for once shall be your protection, and this billet a fair warning to you for your audacious raillery upon the dignity of long swords. Look to it for the future; consider we Brothers of the Blade are men of a long reach: Think betimes,

"How many perils do environ

"The man that meddles with cold iron."

It has always been held dangerous to play with edge-tools. I grant you, we men of valour are but

aukward jesters; we know not how to repay the joke for joke; but then we always make up in point what we want in wit. He that shall rashly attempt to regulate our hilts, or reduce our blades, had need to have a heart of oak, as well as "Sides of Iron." Thus much for the present. In the mean time Bilbo* is the word, remember that, and tremble.

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This jocose manner of bullying an old man, so long as it affords some entertainment to my friends, is what I shall not go about to discourage. However my witty antagonist must give me leave, since he attacks me in proverbs, to exchange a thrust or two with him at the same weapons; and so let me tell Mr. Swagger, There is no catching old birds with chaff;' and that Brag is a good dog, but Hold-fast is a better.' Fore-warned, fore-armed.' Having dispatched this combatant, and given him as good as he brings, I proceed to exhibit the case of a person who is the very reverse of the former: the which he lays before me in the following epistle


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I AM the most unfortunate of men, if you do not speedily interpose with your authority in behalf of a gentleman, who by his own example, has for these six months endeavoured, at the peril of his life, to bring little swords into fashion, in hopes to prevail upon the gentry by that means (winning them over inch by inch) to appear without any swords at all. It was my misfortune to call in at Tom's last night, a little fuddled, where I hap

* Bilbo, a Spanish sword-blade from Bilboa in Spain.

pened only to point towards an odd fellow with a monstrous sword, that made a ring round him, as he turned upon his heel to speak to one or other in the room. Upon this peccadillo, the bloodyminded villain has sent me a challenge this morning. I tremble at the very thought of it, and am sick with the apprehension of seeing that weapon naked, which terrified me in the scabbard. The unconscionable ruffian desires, in the most civil terms, he may have the honour of measuring swords with me. Alas! sir, mine is not (hilt and all) above a foot and a half. I take the liberty of inclosing it to you in my wig-box, and shall be eternally obliged to you, if upon sight of it, your compassion may be so far moved, as to occasion you to write a good word for me to my adversary, or to say any thing that may shame him into reason, and save at once the life and reputation of,

Sir, your most devoted slave,



THE perusal of this paper will give you to understand, that your letter, together with the little implement you sent me in the wig-box, came safe to my hands. From the dimensions of it I perceive your courage lies in a narrow compass. Suppose you should send this bravo the fellow to it, and desire him to meet you in a closet, letting him know at the same time, that you fight all your duels under lock and key, for the sake of privacy. But if this proposal seems a little too rash, I shall send my servant with your sword to the person offended, and give him instructions to tell him you are a little purblind, and dare not for that reason trust to a longer weapon, and that an inch in his


body will do your business as well as an ell. Or, if you would have me proceed yet more cautiously, my servant shall let him know, as from me, that he should meddle with his match; and that alone, if he be a man of honour, will make him reflect; if otherwise, (as I am very inclinable to doubt it) you need give yourself no farther unnecessary fears; but rely upon the truth of remarks upon the Terribles. I have bethought myself of one expedient more for you which seems to be the most likely to succeed. Send your own servant to wait upon the gentleman: let him carry with him your sword and a letter, in which you tell him, that admiring the magnificence and grandeur of his weapon at Tom's, you thought it great pity so gallant a cavalier should not be completely armed; for which reason you humbly request, that you may have the honour of presenting him with a dagger.

I am, Sir,

Your faithful servant,


I received a letter last week from one of my female wards, who subscribes herself Teraminta. She seems to be a lady of great delicacy, by the concern she shews for the loss of a small covering, which the generality of the sex have laid aside. She is in pain, and full of those fears, which are natural in a state of virginity, lest any, the smallest part of her linen, should be in the possession of a man. In compliance therefore with her request, and to gratify her modesty so far as lies in my power, I have given orders to my printer to make room for her advertisement in this day's paper.

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