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who to give them their due, were on all hands encouraging and assisting me in this laudable undertaking; I say, sir, having drove about fifty paces with pretty good success, I must needs be exercising the lash, which the horse resented so ill from my hands, that they gave a sudden start, and thereby-pitched me directly upon my head, as I very well remembered about half an hour afterwards, which not only deprived me of all the knowledge I had gained for fifty yards before, but had like to have broke my neck into the bargain. After such a severe reprimand, you may imagine I was not very easily prevailed with to make a second attempt: and indeed, upon mature deliberation, the whole science seemed, at least to me, to be surrounded with so many difficulties, that notwithstanding the unknown advantages which might have accrued to me thereby, I gave over all hopes of attaining it; and I believe had never thought of it more, but that my memory has been lately refreshed by seeing some of these ingenious gentlemen ply in the open streets; one of which I saw receive so suitable a reward of his labours, that though I know you are no friend to story-telling, yet I must beg leave to trouble’you with this at large.
About a fortnight since, as I was diverting myself with a penny-worth of walnuts at the Temple-gate, a lively young fellow in a fustian jacket shot by me, beckoned a coach, and told the coachman he wanted to go as far as Chelsea: they agreed upon the price, and this young gentleman mounts the coach box; the fellow staring at him, desired to know if he should not drive until they were out of town? No, no, replied
he. He was then going to climb up to him, but received another check, and was then ordered to get into the coach or behind it, for that he wanted noinstructors; "but be sure you dog you,' says. he, don't you bilk me.' The fellow thereupon surrendered his whip, scratched his head, and crept into the coach. Having myself occasion to go into the Strand about the same time, we started both together; but the street being very full of coaches, and he not so ́able a coachman as perhaps he imagined himself, I had soon got a little way before him; often, however, having the curiosity to cast my eye back upon him, to observe how he behaved himself in this high station, which he did with great composure, till' he came to the pass, which is a military term the brothers of the whip have given to the strait at St. Clement's church, when he was, arrived near this place, where are always coaches in waiting, the coachmen began to suck up the muscles of their cheeks, and to tip the wịnk upon each other, as if they had some roguery in their heads, which I was immediately convinced of; for he no sooner came within reach, but the first of them with his whip took the exact dimensions of his shoulders, which he very ingeniously called endorsing; and indeed I must say, that every one of them took due care to endorse him as he came through their hands. He seemed at first a little uneasy under the operation, and was going in all haste to take the numbers of their coaches; but at length by the mediation of the worthy gentleman in the coach, his wrath was assuaged, and he prevailed upon to pursue his journey; though indeed. I thought they had clapt such a spoke in his wheel
as had disabled him from being a coachman for that day at least; for I am much mistaken, Mr. Spec, if some of these endorsements were not writ in so strong a hand that they are still legible. Upon my inquiring the reason of this unusual salutation, they told me that it was a custom among them; whenever they saw a brother tottering or unstable in his post, to lend him a hand, in order to settle him again therein; for my part, I thought their allegations but reasonable, and so marched off. Besides our coachmen, we abound in divers other sorts of ingenious robust youth, who, I hope, will not take it ill if I defer giving you an account of their several recreations to another opportunity. In the mean time, if you would but bestow a little of your wholesome advice upon our coachmen, it might perhaps be a reprieve to some of their necks. As I understand you have several inspectors under you, if you would but send one amongst us here in the temple, I am persuaded he would not want employment. But I leave this to your own considera. tion, and am, sir,
MOSES GREENBAG.' P.S. I have heard our critics in the coffeehouses hereabout talk mightily of the unity of time and place; according to my notion of the matter, I have endeavoured at something like it in the beginning of my epistle. I desire to be informed a little as to that particular. In my next I design to give you some account of excellent watermen who are bred to the law, and far outdo the land students abovementioned.'
No. 499. - THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2..
My friend Will Honeycomb has told me for about this half year, that he had a great mind to try his hand at a Spectator, and that he would fain have one of his writing in my works. This morning I received from him the following letter, which, after having rectified some little orthographical mistakes, I shall make a present of to the public.
• DEAR SPEC,
• I was, about two nights ago, in company with very agreeable young people of both sexes, where, talking of some of your papers which are written on conjugal love, there arose a dispute among us, whether there were not more bad husbands in the world than bad wives. . A gentleman, who was advocate for the ladies, took this occasion to tell us the story of a famous siege in Germany, which I have since found related in my historieal dictionary after the following manner:-When the emperor Conrade the third had besieged Guelphus, duke of Bavaria, in the city of Hensberg, the women, finding that the town could not possibly hold out long, petitioned the emperor that they might départ out of it with so much as each of them could carry. The emperor, knowing they could not convey away many of their effects, granted them their petition; when
the women, to his great surprise, came out of the place with every one her husband upon her back. The emperor was so moyed at the sight that he burst into tears; and after having very much extolled the women for their conjugal affection, gave the men to their wives, and received the duke into his favour.'
• The ladies did not a little triumph at this story, asking us at the same time, whether in our consciences we believed that the men in any town of Great Britain would, upon the same, offer, and at the same conjuncture, have loaden themselves with their wives; or rather, whether they would not have been glad of such an opportunity to get rid of them? To this my very good friend, Tom Dapperwit, who took upon him to be the mouth of our sex, replied, that they would be very much to blame if they would not do the same good office for the women, considering that their strength would be greater, and their burdens lighter. As we were amusing ourselves with discourses of this nature in order to pass away the evening, which now begins to grow tedious, we fell into that laudable and primitive diversion of questions and commands. I was no sooner vested with the regal authority, but I enjoined all the ladies, under pain of my displeasure, so tell the company ingenuously, in case they had been in the siege abovementioned, and had the same offers made them as the good women of that place, what every one of them would have brought off with her, and have thought most worth the saving? There were several merry answers made to my question, which entertained us till bed-time. This filled my mind with such a huddle of ideas,