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“ I have given myself some time to find out how distinguishing the frays in a lot of muslins, or drawing up a regiment of thread laces, or making a panegyric on pieces of sagathy or Scotch plad, should entitle a man to a laced hat or sword, a wig tied up with ribbands, or an embroidered coat. The college say, this enormity proceeds from a sort of delirium in the brain, which makes it break out first about the head, and, for want of timely remedies, fall upon the left thigh, and from thence, in little mazes and windings, run over the whole body, as appears by pretty ornaments on the buttons, buttonholes, garterings, sides of the breeches, and the like. I beg the favour of you to give us a discourse wliolly upon the subject of habits, which will contribute to the better government of conversation among us, and in particular oblige, Sir,
Your affectionate cousin.
“ To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of
GREAT BRITAIN. « The humble Petition of RALPH NAB, 'Haberdasher of Hats, and many other
Sufferers of the same Trade,
Sheweth. “ That for some years last past the use of gold and silver galloon upon hats has been almost universal; being undistinguishably worn by soldiers, esquires, lords, footmen, beaux, sportsmen, traders, clerks, prigs, smarts, cullies, pretty fellows, and sharpers.
“ That the said use and custom has been two ways very prejudicial to your petitioners. First, in that it has induced men, to the great damage of your petitioners, to wear their hats
heads; by which means the said hats last much longer whole, than they would do if worn under their arms. Secondly, in that very often a new dressing and a new lace supply the place of a new hat, which grievance we are chiefly sensible of in the spring-time, when the company is leaving the town; it so happening commonly, that a hat shall frequent, all winter, the finest and best assemblies without any ornament at all, and in May shall be tricked up with gold or silver, to keep company with rustics, and ride in the rain. All which premises your petitioners humbly pray you to take into your consideration, and either to appoint a day in your Court of Honour, when all pretenders to the galloon may enter their claims, and have them approved or rejected, or to give us such other relief as to your great wisdomn shall seem meet.
And your petitioners, &c.” Order my friend near Temple-bar, the author of the hunting-cock, to assist the court when the petition is read, of which Mr. Lillie to give him notice.
" To ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esquire, Censor of
GREAT BRITAIN. « The humble Petition of ELIZABETH SLENDER,
Spinster, e Sheweih, “ That on the twentieth of this instant December, her friend, Rebecca Hive, and your petitioner, walking in the Strand, saw a gentleman before us in a gown, whose periwig was so long, and so much powdered, that your petitioner took notice of it, and said, she wondered that lawyer would so spoil a new gown with powder.' To which it was an
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swered, that he was no lawyer, but a clergyman.' Upon a wager of a pot of coffee we overtook him, and your petitioner was soon convinced she had lost.
“ Your petitioner, therefore, desires your worship to cite the clergyman before you, and to settle and adjust the length of canonical periwigs, and the quantity of powder to be made use of in them, and to give such other directions you
shall think fit.
And your petitioner, &c."
Query, Whether this gentleman be not chaplain to a regiment, and, in such case, allow powder accordingly?
After all that can be thought on these subjects, I must confess that the men who
ress with a certain ambition to appear more than they are, are much more excusable than those who betray, in the adorning their persons, a secret vanity and inclina. tion to shine in things, wherein, if they did succeed, it wonld rather lessen than advance their character. For this reason I am more provoked at the allegations relating to the clergyman than any other hinted at in these complaints. I have indeed a long time, with much concern, observed abundance of pretty fellows in sacred orders, and shall in due time let them know, that I pretend to give ecclesiastical as well as civil censures.
A man well-bred and well-dressed in that habit, adds to the sacredness of his function an agreeableness not to be met with among the laity. I own I have spent some evenings among the men of wit of that profession with an inexpressible delight. Their habitual care of their character give such a chastisement to their fancy, that all which they utter
in company is as much above what you meet with in other conversation, as the charms of a modest, are superior to those of a light, woman. I therefore earnestly desire our young missionaries from the universities to consider where they are, and not dress, and look, and move like young officers. It is no disadvantage to have a very handsome white hand; but, were I to preach repentance to a gallery of ladies, I would, methinks, keep my gloves on. I have an unfeigned affection to the class of mankind appointed to serve at the altar, therefore am in danger of running out of my way, and growing too serious on this occasion; for which reason I shall end with the following epistle, which, interest in Tom Trot, the penny-post, I pro
of. " To the Rev. Mr. RALPH INCENSE, Chaplain
to the Countess Dowager of BRUMPTON.
“ I heard and saw you preach last Sunday. I am an ignorant young woman, and understood not half you said: but ah! your manner, when you held up both your hands towards our pew! Did you design to win me to Heaven or yourself?
Your humble servant,
Mr. Procterstaff, of Clare-hall, in Cambrige, is received as a kinsman, according to his request, bearing date the 20th instant.
The distressed son of Æsculapius is desired to be more particular.
x. 271. TUESDAY, JANUARY 2, 1710-11.
The printer having informed me, that there are as many of these Papers printed as will make four volumes, I am come to the end of my ambition in this matter, and have nothing further to say to the world under the character of Isaac Bickerstaff. This work bas indeed for some time been disagreeable to me, and the purpose of it wholly lost by my being so long understood as the author. I never designed in it to give any man any secret wound by my concealment, but spoke in the character of an old man, a philosopher, an humourist, an astrologer, and a Censor, to allure my reader with the variety of my subjects, and insinuate, if I could, the weight of reason with the agreeableness of wit. The genera! purpose
of the linole has been to recommend truth, innocence, honour, and virtue, as the chief ornaments of life; but I considered, that severity of
was absolutely necessary to him who would ceasure others, and for that reason, and that only, close to talk in a mask. I shall not carry my fiumility so far as to call myself a vicious man, but at ue same time must confess, my life is at best but pardonable. And, with no greater character than this, a man would make but an indifferent progress in attacking prevailing and fashionable vices, which Mr. Bickerstaff has done with a freedom of spirit, that would have lost both its beauty and efficacy, had it been pretended to by Mr. Steele.