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fheets: fo manifest a contradiction in terminis, that I wonder no fophifter ever thought of it. But the other is a cavil. I remember, when I was a boy at school, I have often dreamed out the whole passages of a day ; that I rode a journey, baited, supped, went to bed, and rose next morning and I have known young ladies, who could dream a whole contexture of adventures in one night large enough to make a novel.

In youth the imagination is strong, not mixed with cares, nor tinged with thofe paffions that most disturb and confound it; such as avarice, ambition, and many others. Now, as old men are said to grow children again, fo in this article of dreaming I am returned to my childhood. My imagination is at full ease, without care, avarice, or ambition to clog it; by which, among many others, I have this advantage of doubling the small remain. der of my time, and living four and twenty hours in the day. However, the dream I am going now to relate is as wild as can well he imagined, and adapted to please these res finers upon fleep, without any moral that I can discover.

" It happened that my maid left on the “ table in my bed-chamber one of her story« books (as the calls them) which I took up, 56 and found full of strange impertinence, “ fitted to her taste and condition ; of poor “ seryants who came to be ladies, and serv

ing-men of law degree who married kings

• daugh

“ daughters. Among other things, I met “ this fage observation, That a lion would

never hurt a true virgin. With this med. " ley of nonsense in my fancy I went to bed, er and dreamed that a friend waked me in " the morning, and proposed for pastime to “ {pend a few hours in seeing the parish “ lions, which he had not done since he

came to town; and, because they shewed « but once a week, he would not miss the " opportunity. I faid, I would humour hiin; " although, to speak the truth, I was not « fond of those cruel spectacles; and, if it

were not so ancient a custom, founded as “ I had heard upon the wisest maxims, I “ should be apt to censure the inhumanity of « those who introduced it.” All this will be a riddle to the waking reader, until I discover the scene my imagination had formed upon the maxim, That a lion would never hurt a true virgin. " I dreamed, that, “ by a law of immemorial time, a he-lion " was kept in every parish at the common * charge, and in a place provided adjoining " to the church-yard ; that, before any one “ of the fair sex was married, if the affirmed “ herself to be a virgin, she must, on her " wedding-day, and in her wedding cloaths, " perform the ceremony of going alone into “ the den, and stay an hour with the lion " let loose and kept fasting four and twenty “ hours on purpose. At a proper heighth " above the den, were convenient galleries

" for

« for the relations and friends of the young

couple, and open to all spectators. No

maiden was forced to offer herself to the & lion; but, if the refused, it was a disgrace

to marry her, and every one might have « liberty of calling her a whore. And, me, “ thought, it was as usual a diversion to see “ tlie parish lions, as with us to go to a “ play or an opera. And was reckoned << convenient to be near the church, either for marrying the virgin, if she escaped the “ trial, or for burying her bones when the « lion had devoured the rest, as he constantly 66 did.” : To go on therefore with the dream : “We

called first (as I remember) to fee Sț. Dune fan's lion; but we were told, they did

'not thew to-day. From thence we went ď to that of Covent-garden, which, to my

great surprize, we found as lean as a skele

ton, when I expected quite the contrary : (6 but the keeper said, was no wonder at " all, because the


beast had not got an lounce of woman's flesh, since he came into the parish.

This amazed me more than o the other, and I was forming to myself a

mighty veneration for the ladies in that « quarter of the towns

when the keeper " went on, and said he wondered the parish

would be at the charge of maintaining a

lion for nothing. Friend, said I, do you “ call it nothing to justify the virtue of lo many ladies; or hath your lion lost his

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a distinguishing faculty ? Can there be any “thing more for the honour of

your parish, " than that all the ladies married in your “ church were pnre virgins ? That is true " (said he) and the doctor knows it to his “ forrow; for there hath not been a couple " married in our church fince his worship

came amongst us. The virgins hereabouts

are too wife to venture the claws of the “ lion; and, because nobody will marry “ them, have all entered into a vow of vira “ ginity; so that in proportion we have “ much the largest nunnery, in the whole

This manner of ladies entering “ into a vow of virginity, because they were

not virgins, I easily conceived; and my « dream told me, that the whole kingdom

was full of nunneries plentifully stocked “ from the same reason.

“ We went to see another lion, where we “ found much company met in the gallery. “ The keeper told us, we thould see Sport « enough, as he called it; and in a little “ time we saw a young beautiful lady put “ into the den, who walked up towards the “ lion with all imaginable security in her

countenance, and looked smiling upon her « lover and friends in the gallery, which I " thought nothing extraordinary, because it " was never known that any lion had been 's mistaken. But, however, we were all

disappointed; for the lion lifted up his

right paw, which was the fatal lign and, “ advancing forward, seized her by the VOL. XI.


ir aiin,

6 arm, and began to tear it. The poor lady

gave a terrible Thriek, and cried out, The os lion is just, I am no virgin! Oh! Sappbo, Sappbo! she could say no more, for the “ lion gave her the coup de grace by a squeeze “ in the throat, and the expired at his feet. “ The keeper dragged away her body to « feed the animal, after the company Nould “ be gone: for the parish lions never-used “ to eat in publick. After a little pause, “ another lady came on towards to the lion " in the same manner as the former. We « observed the beast smell her with diligence. “ He scratched both her hands with lifting " them to his nose, and laying one of his “ claws on her bofom drew blood ; how

ever, he let her go, and at the same time « turr.ed from lier with a sort of contempt,

at which she was not a little mortified, " and retired with some confusion to her " friends in the gallery. Methought the whole company immediately understood “ the meaning of this; that the easiness of “ the lady had suffered her to admit certain “ imprudent and dangerous familiarities, “ bordering too much upon what is crimi“ nal; neither was it sure, whether the lover " then present had not some farers with him “ in those freedoms, of which a lady can

never be too sparing.

This happened to be an extraordinary “ day; for a third lady came into the den, " laughing loud, playing with her fan, tos“ fing her head, and smiling round on the


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