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to give it in orders to his whole army, that every one, who did not surrender himself up to be disposed of by the upholders, should use the same method to keep himself sweet during his present state of putrefac. tion.

I finished my session with great content of mind, reflecting upon the good I had done; for, however slightly men may regard these particularities and liule follies in dress and behaviour, they lead to greater evils. The bearing to be laughed at for such singularitics teaches us insensibly an impertinent fortitude, and enables us to bear public censure for things which more substantially deserve it. By this means they open a gate to folly, and oftentimes render a man so ridiculous, as to discredit his virtues and capacities, and unqualify them from doing any good in the world. Beliden, the giving into uncommon habits of this nature is a want of that humble deference which is due to mankind, and, what is worst of all, the certain indication of some secret flaw in the mind of the person that commits them. When I was a young man, I remember a gentleman of great integrity and worth was very remarkable for wearing a broad belt and a hanger, instead of a fashionable sword, though in all other points a very well-bred man. I suspected him at first night to have something wrong in him, but was not able for a long while to discover any collateral proofs of it. I watched him narrowly for six-and-thirty years; when at last, to the surprise of every body but myself, who had long expected to see the folly break out, he married his own cuokinaid.



VISITING DAYS. No. 109. THERE has not some years been such a tumult in our neighbourhood as this evening about six. At the lower end of the lane the word was given, that there was a great funeral coming by. The next moment came forward, and in a very hasty instead of solemn manner, a long train of lights; when at last a footman, in very high youth and health, with all his force ran through the whole art of beating the door of the house next to me, and ended his rattle with the true finishing rap. This did not only bring one to the door at which he knocked, but to that of every one in the lane in an instant. Among the rest, my country maid took the alarm, and, immediately running to me, told me there was a fine, fine lady, who had three men with burial torches making way before her, carried by two men upon poles, with looking-glasses on each side of her, and one glass also before, she herself appearing the prettiest that ever was. The girl was going on in her story, when the lady was come to my door in her chair, having mistaken the house. As soon as she entered, I saw she was Mr. Isaac's scholar, by her speaking air, and the becoming stop she made when she began her apology. You will be surprised, sir, said she, that I take this liberty, who am utterly a stranger · to you ; besides that it may be thought an indecorum that I visit a man. She made here a pretty hesitation, and held her fan to her face- Then, as if recovering her resolution, she proceeded — But I think you have said that men of your age are of no sex; therefore I may be as free with you as one of my own. The lady did me the honour to consult me on some particular matters, which I am not at liberty to report. But be



fore she took her leave, she produced a long list of names, which she looked upon to know whither she was to go next. I must confess, I could hardly forbear discovering to her immediately, that I secretly laughed at the fantastical regularity she observed in throwing away her time; but I seemed to indulge her in it, out of a curiosity to hear her own sense of her way of life. Mr. Bickerstaff, said she, you cannot imagine how much you are obliged to me in staying thus long with you, having so many visits to make; and indeed, if I had not hopes that a third part of those I am going to will be abroad, I should be unable to dispatch them this evening. Madam, said I, are you in all this haste and perplexity, and only going to such as you have not a mind to see? Yes, sir, said she, I have several now with whom I keep a constant correspondence, and return visit for visit punctually every week, and yet we have not seen each other since last November was twelvemonth.

She went on with a very good air, and, fixing her eyes on her list, told me, she was obliged to ride about tþree miles and a half before she arrived at her own house. I asked after what manner this list was taken, whether the persons writ their names to her, and desired that favour, or how she knew she was not cheated in her muster-roll? The method we take, says she, is, that the porter or servant who comes to the door writes down all the names who come to see us, and all such are entitled to a return of their visit. But, said I, madam, I presume those who are searching for each other, and know one another by messages, may be understood as candidates only for each other's favour; and that after so many how-do-ye-does, you proceed 10 visit or not, as you like the run of each other's reputation or fortune. You understand it aright, said


she; and we become friends as soon as we are convinced that our dislike to each other may be of any consequence : for to tell you truly, said she, for it is in vain to hide any thing from a man of your penetration, general visits are not made out of good-will, but for fear of ill-will. Punctuality in this case is often a suspicious circumstance; and there is nothing so common as to have a lady say, I hope she has heard nothing of what I said of her, that she grows so great with me. But indeed my porter is so dull and negligent, that I fear he has not put down half the people I owe visits to. Madam, said I, methinks it would be very proper if your gentleman usher or groom of the chamber were always to keep an account by way of debtor and creditor. I know a city lady who uses that method, which I think very laudable; for though you may possibly at the court end of the town receive at the door, and light up better than within Temple Bar, yet I must do that justice to my friends the ladies within the walls, to own, that they are much more exact in their correspondence. The lady I was going to men-, tion as an example, has always the second apprentice out of the counting-house for her own use on her vi. siting days, and he sets down very methodically all the visits which are made her. I remember very well, that on the first of January last, when she made up her account for the year 1708, it stood thus: Mrs. Courtwood Debtor. | Per Contram- Creditor. To seventeen

| By eleven hun-2 hundred and

dred and nine 1199 four visits re-? . 1704

paid. ceivel.

Due to balance .595


This gentlewoman is a woman of great oeconomy, and was not afraid to go to the bottom of her affairs; and therefore ordered her apprentice to give her credit for my lady Easy's impertinent visits upon wrong days, and deduct only twelve per cent. He had orders also to subtract one and a half from the whole of such as she had denied herself to before she kept a day; and, after taking those proper articles of credit on her side, she was in arrear but five hundred. She ordered her husband to buy in a couple of fresh coach-horses; and with no other loss than the death of two footmen, and a church-yard cough brought upon her coachman, she was clear in the world on the tenth of February last, and keeps so beforehand, that she pays every body their own, and yet makes daily new acquaintances.I know not whether this agreeable visitant was fired with the example of the lady I told her of, but she immediately vanished out of my sight, it being, it seems; as necessary a point of good breeding to go off as if • you stole something out of the house, as it is to enter as if you came to fire it. I do not know one thing that contributes so much to the lessening the esteem men of sense have to the fair sex, as this article of visits.



As soon as I had placed myself in my chair of judicature, I ordered my clerk, Mr. Lillie, to read to the assembly, who were gathered together according to notice, a certain declaration, by way of charge, to open the purpose of my session, which tended only to this explanation, that as other courts were often called to


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