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tive soever they may be, do not carry with them
For ever your's,
'P. S. Tom Hammercloth, one of our coachmen, is now pleading at the bar at the other end of the room, but has a little too much vehemence, and throws out his arms too much to take his audience with a good grace.'
* An allusion to the usual and prudent precaution of taking the number of a hackney-coach before entrance.
To my loving and well-beloved John Sly, haberdasher of hats, and tobacconist, between the cities of London and Westminster.
WHEREAS frequent disorders, affronts, indignities, omissions, and trespasses, for which there are no remedies by any form of law, but which apparently disturb and disquiet the minds of men, happen near the place of your residence, and that you are, as well by your commodious situation, as the good parts with which you are endowed, properly qualified for the observation of the said offences; I do hereby authorize and depute you, from the hours of nine in the morning until four in the afternoon, to keep a strict eye upon all persons and things that are conveyed in coaches, carried in carts, or walk on foot, from the city of London to the city of Westminster, or from the city of Westminster to the city of London, within the said hours. You are therefore not to depart from your observatory at the end of Devereuxcourt during the said space of each day, but to observe the behaviour of all persons who are suddenly transported from stamping on pebbles to sit at ease in chariots, what notice they take of their foot acquaintance, and send me the speediest advice, when they are guilty of overlooking, turning from, or appearing grave and distant to, their old friends. When man and wife are in the same coach, you are to see whether they appear pleased or tired with each other, and whether they carry the due mean in the eye of the world, between fondness and coldness. You are carefully to behold all such as shall have addition of honour and riches, and report whether they preserve the countenance they had before such addition. As to persons on foot, you are to be at
tentive whether they are pleased with their condition, and are dressed suitably to it; but especially to distinguish such as appear discreet, by a low heel shoe, with the decent ornament of a leather garter ;* to write down the names of such country gentlemen as, upon the approach of peace, have left the hunting for the military cock of the hat; of all who strut, make a noise, and swear at the drivers of coaches to make haste, when they see it is impossible they should pass ; of all young gentlemen in coach boxes, who labour at a perfection in what they are sure to be excelled by the meanest of the people. You are to do all that in you lies that coaches and passengers give way according to the course of business, all the morning in term time towards Westminster, the rest of the year towards the Exchange. Upon these directions, together with other secret articles herein enclosed, you are to govern yourself, and give advertisement thereof to me, at all convenient and spectatorial hours, when men of business are to be seen. Hereof you are not to fail. Given under my seal of office.
*It has been said that there is an allusion here to a very worthy gentleman of fortune, bred to the law, who had chambers in Lincoln's-inn. His name was Richard Warner, the younger son of a banker, who, though he always wore leather garters, in no other instance affected singularity. For a more particular account of him, see Anecdotes of W. BOWYER, 4to. p. 409.
No. 527. TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 1712.
Facile invenies et perjorem, et pejus moratam; Meliorem neque tu reperies, neque sol videt. PLAUTUS in Stichor. You will easily find a worse woman; a better the sun never shone upon.
I AM SO tender of my women-readers, that I cannot defer the publication of any thing which concerns their happiness or quiet. The repose of a married woman is consulted in the first of the following letters, and the felicity of a maiden lady in the second. I call it a felicity to have the addresses of an agreeable man; and I think I have not any where seen a prettier application of a poetical story than that of this, in making the tale of Cephalus and Procris the history picture of a fan in so gallant a manner as he addresses it. But see the letters.
'It is now almost three months since I was in town about some business; and the hurry of it being over, I took a coach one afternoon, and drove to see a relation, who married about six years ago a wealthy citizen. I found her at home, but her husband gone to the Exchange, and expected back within an hour at the furthest. After the usual salutations of kindness, and a hundred questions about friends in the country, we sat down to piquet, played two or three games, and drank tea. I should have told you that this was my second time of seeing her since marriage; but before, she lived at the same town where I went to school; so that the plea of a relation,
added to the innocence of my youth, prevailed upon her good humour to indulge me in a freedom of conversation, as often, and oftener, than the strict discipline of the school would allow of. You may easily imagine, after such an acquaintance we might be exceeding merry without any offence; as in calling to mind how many inventions I have been put to in deluding the master, how many hands forged for excuses, how many times been sick in perfect health; for I was then never sick but at school, and only then because out of her company. We had whiled away three hours after this manner, when I found it past five; and, not expecting her husband would return until late, rose up, and told her I should go early next morning for the country. She kindly answered she was afraid it would be long before she saw me again; so, I took my leave, and parted. Now, sir, I had not been got home a fortnight, when I received a letter from a neighbour of theirs, that ever since that fatal afternoon the lady has been most inhumanly treated, and the husband publicly stormed that he was made a member of too numerous a society. He had, it seems, listened most of the time my cousin and I were together. As jealous ears always hear double, so he heard enough to make him mad; and as jealous eyes always see through magnifying glasses, so he was certain it could not be I whom he had seen, a beardless stripling, but fancied he saw a gay gentleman of the Temple, ten years older than myself; and for that reason, I presume, durst not come in, nor take any notice when I went out. He is perpetually asking his wife if she does not think the time long (as she said she should) until she see her cousin again. Pray, sir, what can be done in this case? I have writ to