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their freeholds, they would be able to carry most of the elections in England.
The body of the law is no less incumbered with superfluous members, that are like Virgil's army, which he tells us, was fc crowded, many of them had not room to use their weapons.
This prodigious fociety of men may be divid d into the litigious and peaceable. Under tlie first are compreh nded ali those who are carried down in 'coach-fulls to Westminster-hall, every morning in termtime. Martial's description of this species of lawyers is full of humour:
Iras & verba locant.
“ Men that hire out their words and anger;" that are more or less passionate according as they are paid for it, and allow their client a quantity of wrath proportionable to the fee which they receive from him. I must however observe to the reader, that above three parts of those whom I reckon among the litigious, are such as are only quarrelsome in their hearts, and have no opportunity of fhewing their passion at the bar: nevertheless, as they do not know what strifes may arise, they appear at the hall every day, that they may shew themfelves in readiness to enter the lists whenever there shall be occasion for them.
The peaceable lawyers are, in the first place, many of the benchers of the several inns of court, who seem to be the dignitaries of the law; and are endowed with those qualifications of mind that accomplish a man rather for a ruler than a pleader. These men live peaceably in their habitations, eating once a day, and dancing once a year, for the honour of their respective societies.
Another numberless branch of peaceable lawyers are those young men who, being placed at the inns of court in order to study the laws of their country, frequent the play-house more than Westminster-hall, and are seen in all public assemblies, except in a court of justice. I shall say nothing of those filent and busy multitudes that are employed within doors in the drawing up of writings
and conveyances; nor of those greater numbers that palliate their want of business with a pretence to such cham, ber-practice.
If, in the third place, we look into the profession of physic, we shall find a most formidable body of men; ihe fight of them is enough to make a man serious; for we may lay it down as a maxim, that when a nation abounds in physicians, it grows thin of people. Sir William Temple is very much puzzled to find out a rea. fon why the northern hive, as he calls it, does not send out such prodigious swarms, and overrun the world with Goths and Vandals, as it did formerly; but had that excellent author observed that there were no students in physic among the subjects of Thor and Woden, and that this science very much flourishes in the north at present, he might have found a better solution for this difficulty than any of those he has made use of. This body of men in our own country may be described like the British army in Cæsar's time, some of them slay in chariots, and some on foot. If the infantry do less execution than the charioteers, it is because they cannot be carried so soon into all quarters of the town, and dispatch fo much business in so fhort a time. Befides this body of regular troops there are stragglers, who, without being duly listed and enrolled, do infinite mifchief to those who are so unlucky as to fall into their hands.
There are, besides the abovementioned, innumerable retainers to physic, who, for want of other patients, amuse themselves with the stilling of cats in an air-pump, cutting up dogs alive, or impaling of insects upon the point of a needle for microscopical observations; besides those that are employed in the gathering of weeds, and the chace of butterflies; not to mention the cockleshellmerchants and spider-catchers,
When I consider how each of these professions are crowded with multitudes that seek their livelihood in them, and how many men of merit there are in each of them, who may be rather said to be of the science than the profeflion, I very much wonder at the humour of
parents, who will not rather choose to place their sons in a way of life where an honest industry cannot but thrive, than in stations where the greatest probity, learning, and good fenfe may miscarry. How many men are country-curates, that might have made themselves aldermen of London, by a right improvement of a finaller fun of money than what is usually laid out upon a learned education! A sober frugal person, of Nender parts and a Now apprehension, might have thrived in trade, though he starves upon physic; as a man would be well enough pleafed to buy silks of one whom he would not venture to feel his pulse. Vagellius is careful, studious, and obliging, but withal a little thick skull’d: he has not a single client but might have had abundance of custom
The misfortune is, that parents take a liking to a particular profession, and therefore desire their fons may be of it; whereas, in so great an affair of life, they should consider the genius and abilities of their children more than their own inclinations.
It is the great advantage of a trading nation that there are very few in it fo dull and heavy who may not be placed in ftations of life which may give them an opportunity of making their fortunes. A well-regulated coinmerce is not like law, physic, or divinity, to be overstocked with hands; but, on the contrary, Aourishes by multitudes, and gives employment to all its professors. Fleets of merchantmen are so many squadrons of floating Thops, that vend our wares and manufactures in all the markets of the world, and find out chapmen under both the tropics.
No. XXII. MONDAY, MARCH 26.
Quodcunque ostendis mihi fic, incredulus odi. Hor.
Whatever contradicts my sense
one of the audience at public representations in our theatres, I seldom fail of many letters relating to plays
But indeed there are such monstrous things done in both, that if one had not been an eye-witness of them, one could not believe that such matters had been realiy exbibited. There is very little which concerns human life, or is a picture of nature, that is regarded by the greater part of the company. The understanding is dismissed from our entertainments: our mirth is the laughter of fools, and our admiration the wonder of idiots; elfe, such improbable, monstrous, and incoherent dreams could not go off as they do, not only without the utmost fcorn and contempt, but even with the loudest applause and approbation. But the letters of my correspondents will represent this affair in a more lively manner than any discourse of my own; I shall therefore give them to my reader with only this preparation, that they all come from players, and that the business of playing is now so managed, that you are not to be surprised when I say one or two of them are rational, others sensitive and vegetative actors, and others wholly inanimate. I shall not place these as I have named them, but as they have precedence in the opinion of their audience.
• Mr. Spe&tator, • YOUR having been so humble as to take notice of ' the epistles of other animals, emboldens me, who
am the wild boar that was killed by Mrs. Tofts, to represent to you that I think I was hardly used in not having the part of the lion-in Hydaspes given to me.
• It would have been but a natural step for me to have • performed that noble creature, after having behaved
myself to satisfaction in the part above-mentioned; but . that of a lion is too great a character for one that never • trod the stage before but upon two legs. As for the • little resistance which I made, I hope it may be excused, 6 when it is considered that the dart was thrown at me
by so fair an hand. I must confess I had but just put
on my brutality; and Camilla's charms were such, • that beholding her erect mien, hearing her charming
voice, and astonished with her graceful motion, I could not keep up to my assumed fierceness, but died like a
• I am, Şir,
Mr. Spe&tator, " THIS is to let you understand, that the play-house is a representation of the world in nothing to much
as in this particular, that no one rises in it according to • his merit. I have acted several parts of houshold-stuff
with great applaufe for many years: I am one of the • men in the hangings in the Emperor of the Moon; I • have twice performed the third chair in an English
opera ; and have rehearsed the pump in the Fortune• Hunters. I ain now grown old, and hope you will re• commend me so effectually, as that I may say fome
thing before I go off the stage: in which you will do a great act of charity to
• Your most humble servant,
• Mr. Spectator, 6 UNDERSTANDING that Mr. Screne has writ to you,
and desired to be raised from dumb and still