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demand the execution of persons dead in law; so this was held to give the last orders relating to those who are dead in reason. The solicitor of the new company of upholders near the Haymarket appeared in behalf of that useful society, and brought in an accusation of a young woman, who herself stood at the bar before me. Mr. Lillie read her indictment, which was in substance, that whereas Mrs. Rebecca Pindust, of the parish of Saint Martin in the Fields, had, by the use of one instrument called a looking-glass, and by the further use of certain attire, made either of cambric, muslin, or other linen wares, upon her head, attained 'to such an evil art and magical force in the motion of her eyes and turn of her countenance, that she the said Rebecca had put to death several young men of the said parish ; and that the said young men had acknowledged in certain papers, commonly called loveletters, which were produced in court, gilded on the edges, and sealed with a particular wax, with certain amorous and enchanting words wrought upon the said seals, that they died for the said Rebecca : and whereas the said Rebecca persisted in the said evil practice; this way of life the said society construed to be, according to former edicts, a state of death, and demanded an order for the interment of the said Rebecca.
I looked upon the maid with great humanity, and desired her to make answer to what was said against her. She said it was indeed true, that she had practised all the arts and means she could to dispose of herself happily in marriage, but thought she did not come under the censure expressed in my writings for the same; and humbly hoped, I would not condemn her for the ignorance of her accusers, who, according to their own words, had rather represented her killing
than dead. She further alledged that the expressions mentioned in the papers written to her were become mere words, and that she had been always ready to marry any of those who said they died for her; but that they made their escape as soon as they found themselves pitied or believed. She ended her discourse by desiring I would for the future settle the meaning of the words ' I die,' in letters of love.
Mrs. Pindust behaved herself with such an air of innocence, that she easily gained credit, and was acquitted. Upon which occasion I gave it as a standing rule, that any person, who in any letter, billet, or discourse, should tell a woman he died for her, should, if she pleased, be obliged to live with her, or be immediately interred upon such their own confession, without bail or mainprize.. I
It happened, that the very nexi-who was brought before me was one of her admirers, who was indicted upon that very head. A letter which he acknowledged to be his own hand was read, in which were the following words, · Cruel creature, I die for you.' It was obfervable that he took snuff all the time his accusation was reading. I asked him how he came to use these words, if he were not a dead man? He told me, he was in love with the lady, and did not know any other way of telling her so; and that all his acquaintance took the same method. Though I was moved with compassion towards him by reason of the weakness of his parts, yet for example-sake I was forced to answer, Your sentence shall be a warning to all the rest of your companions, not to tell lies for want of wit. Upon this he began to beat his snuff-box with a very saucy air, and opening it again, 'Faith, Isaac, said he, thou art a very unaccountable old fellow P r’ythee, who
gave thee power of life and death? What a-pox hast: thou to do with ladies and lovers ? I suppose thou : wouldst have a man be in company with his mistress, and say nothing to her. Dost thou call breaking a jest, telling a lie? Ha! is that thy wisdom, : old stiffrump, ha? He was going on with this insipid common-place i mirth, sometimes opening his box, sometimes shutting it, then viewing the picture on the lid,' and then: 1 the workmanship of the hinge; when in the midst of the eloquence I ordered his box to be taken from him;; upon which he was immediately struck speechless, and, carried off stone-dead.
The next who appeared was a hale old fellow of sixty.. He was brought in by his relations, who desired leave to bury him. Upon requiring a distinct account of the prisoner, a credible witness deposed that he always rose at ten of the clock, played with his cat until t'velve, smoked tobacco until one, was at dinner until two, then took another pipe, played at back-gammon until six, talked of one madam Frances, an old mistress of his, until eight, repeated the same account at the tavern until ten, then returned home; took the other pipe, and then to bed. I asked him; what he had to say for himself? As to what, said he, they mention concerning madam Frances I did not care for hearing a Canterbury tale, and therefore thought myself seasonably interrupted by a young gentleman, who appeared in the behalf of the old manj and prayed an arrest of judgment, for that he the said young man held certain lands by his the said old man's life. Upon this, the solicitor of the upholders took an occasion to demand him also, and thereupon produced several evidences that witnessed to his life and conversation. It appeared, that each of them divided their hours in
matters of equal moment and importance to themselves and to the public. They rose at the same hour ; while the old man was playing with his cat, the young one was looking 'ut of his window; while the old man was smoking his pipe, the young man was rubbing his teeth ; while one was at dinner, the other was dressing; while one was at back-gammon, the other was at dinner; while the old fellow was talking of madam Frances, the young one was either at play, or toasting women whom he never conversed with. The only difference was, that the young man had never been good for any thing; the old man, a man of worth before he knew madam Frances. Upon the whole, I ordered them to be both interred together, with inscriptions proper to their characters, signifying that the old man died in the year 1689, and was buried in the year 1709. And over the young one it was said, that he departed this world in the twenty-fifth year of his death.
The next class of criminals were authors in prose and verse. Those of them who had produced any stillborn work were immediately dismissed to their burial, and were followed by others, who, notwithstanding some sprightly issue in their life-time, had given proofs of their death by some posthumous children that bore no resemblance to their elder brethren. As for those who were the fathers of a mixed progeny, provided always they could prove the last to be a live child, they escaped with life, but not without loss of limbs; for in this case I was satisfied with amputation of the parts which were mortified.
These were followed by a great crowd of superannuated benchers of the inns of court, senior fellows of colleges, and defunct statesmen; all whom I ordered
to be decimated indifferently, allowing the rest a reprieve for one year, with a promise of a free pardon in case of resuscitation.
There were still great multitudes to be examined, but, finding it very late, I adjourned the court; not without the secret pleasure that I had done my duty, and furnished out an handsome execution.
ADDISON AND STEELE.
HUMANITY TO ANIMALS. No. 112. As I was looking over my letters this morning, I chanced to cast my eye upon the following one, which may be looked upon as a specimen of right country letters.
“This sets out to you from my summer-house upon the terrace, where I am enjoying a few hours sunshine, the scanty sweet remains of a fine autumn. The year is almost at the lowest; so that in all appearance the rest of my letters, between this and spring, will be dated from my parlour fire, where the little fond prattle of a wife and children will so often break in upon the connection of my thoughts, that you will easily discover it in my style. If this winter should prove as severe as the last, I can tell you beforekandynthat I am likely to be a very miserable man, through the perverse temper of my eldest boy. When the frost was in its extremity, you must know, that most of the blackbirds, robins, and finches of the parish, whose music had entertained me in the summer, took refuge under my, roof. Upon this, my care was, to rise every morning before day, to set open my windows for the