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present at a very important dispute, when a Moemaker (a very honest fellow) affirmed to the general satisfaction of his audience, that the world was eternal from the beginning, and would be fo to the end of it. At another time the discourse turning upon politics, a mercer, (no small man, I can assure you) wonder'd what a duce we would have. I'm fure, says he, there's not a happier island in England than Great-Britain ; and a man may chuse his own Religion, that he may, whether it be Mahometism or Infidelity. · A little while ago I lent my Smith's Harmonics to my Musick-master, who has since return'd it, assuring me, that it is not worth a farthing; for 'twould teach me the Thievery may hap, but as for the Practicks, he'll put me into a betterer method. I could produce many more such instances which I have glean'd from their conversations ; but these will be sufficient to convince the world that no subject is too high, no point too intricate for their exalted capacities.
Nor is the thirst of knowledge lefs prevalent among the lower order of college fervants. Tother day I caught my bedmaker, a grave old matron, poring very seriously over a Folio, that lay open upon my table. I ask'd her what she was reading? Lord bless you, master, fays she, who I reading? I never could read in my life, blessed be God; and yet I loves to look into a book too. My scout indeed is a very learned fellow, and has an excellent knack at using hard words. One morning he told me, the gentleman in the next room contagious to mine desired to speak to me. I once overheard him give a fellow servant very sober advice, not to go astray but be true to his own wife; for Idolatry would furely bring a man to Instruction at last.
I cannot conclude better than by giving a specimen of an Oxford tradesman's poetical genius, in an extract of a letter from my taylor, who (in the college phrase) put the dun upon me. In my answer I advised him to peruse PHILIPS's defcription of a dun in his fplendid shilling; to which he made me this reply,
* * * * * * * * * * But now to that which, you say, breaks all friendship, a dun, horrible monster! I have bruis'd PHILIPS, tho’ in some places too hard. As to the appellation, I cannot think it rightly apply'dz
N. B. I have paid himi
Thus have I taken some pains to do justice to that prom found erudition and extensive knowledge, which elevates all OXFORD above the common rout of mankind; and which evidently proves the necessity and advantage of an University education. For if townsmen by our influence are' fa enlighten’d, what must we gownsmen be ourfelves ?
À MODERN HISTORY Communicated in a Letter from a Gentleman in London,
To the STUDEN T. SIR, DERMIT me to take up a few pages of your succeeding I number with the relation of an incident I was a witness to last night. Let it not fright the gravity of the STUDENT, when I tell him it happen'd at the Masquerade : were Mafquerades and Students things incompatible; it would not have happen’d at all.
I have many reasons for wishing it particularly to appear to the world in your work: I only think it worthy the notice of the publick as the act of a Studeni : I would plead in favour of a Student against a too rigid father : and I would alarm other Students by example against the first steps of an ill thing, the utmost consequences of which may not appear till much too late to be remedied.
I need not give you the initial letters of the name of the hero of this story, when I tell you, he is the gayest and belts natured fellow among you ; the delight of every body that knows him ; and that he is unlucky enough to be the son of an old French Debauchee, who sent him two years ago to your University, with the pious resolution of making atone ment for the fins of a generation of pick-pockets, by breeding him a clergyman.
None are fo apt to fufpect the actions of others as those who have been blameable themselves. The cautious father, who persuaded himself that his own happiness depended upon his son's virtue, was upon the watch, while he liv'd with him; on every the flightest occasion ; and when he parted with him to your community, consign'd him to the care of the most rigid man he could find in it.
If the Roman method of giving children an aversion to vicious habits, by exposing flaves made infamous by, them to their view, had any reason in it, my friend CHARLES (for I shall not spare his Christian name) has had an example al-, ways before him of such a kind, as ought to make virtue Very amiable. ...
The best measures however don't always succeed. One of the first people I made out at last night's Masquerade was CHARLES. He acknowledged the bold venture he had made to get to it, and frankly gave me for the reason of it, that he had hitherto known no pleasures but those of study, and was determin’d for once to try, by way of experiment, what there was in those of the other kind, which he saw most people of his age fo absolutely devoted to. · My young friend knew so little of the world, that he had persuaded himself every woman, who came to a place of this kind, was to be had; and he had determined to single out the best that he could meet with, and either under the character of an absolute rake, or that of an humbler lover, to carry her off. Determin'd not to be disappointed in this scheme, he had enter'd the room in two dresses, that of a sportsman underneath, but cover'd with a common Domino, and ornamented with an hat render'd very singular by a glittering button.
As I did not chuse the honourable office of pointing out a mistress to my friend, I no sooner heard his intentions than I left him. CHARLES hunted the room in vain two hours : at length a female figure coming up to a person just by him, and saying some very lively things in broken English, he enquired, as foon as the person fpoken to was left alone, who. she was. On being informed that it was the eminent Mademoiselle Brilliant the principal woman of the late French Comedly, he determined within himself that an actress could not be overburthen'd with virtue, and resolv'd upon making her the business of the night.
He singled her out, attack'd her, and as he was well acquainted with the spirit and genius of the nation the belong'd to, he threw so much familiarity (not to say impudence) into his address, that the Lady grew displeas’d, and when he press'd her to go out with him, whisper'd him in the ear, that he was by far the fauciest fellow she had ever convers’d with. She broke from him with this reprimand, which was deliver'd very seriously, and avoided him for half an hour. 'Twas in vain that she told him with a severity he could at that time by no means comprehend, that she was satisfied about him: he kept up his pretensions, and in fine, when Comebody, that had join'd them, press’d a familiarity with the Lady, he very modestly told him, that he had engag’d her for that evening
It was not till his delivering this civil speech, that he found the person he was addressing was in good earnest angry with him. He very narrowly escap'd the heaviest blow, that ever was given by a female hand, in return for it, by getting out of the way ; and now perfectly convinced, to his great astonishment, that his Lady was not to be carry'd that way, he threw off his Domino, lent his hat to the first man he met, and told him the button in it would be his credential to Madame Brilliant, whom he pointed out at a distance, for any thing he should chuse to demand of her : then putting on a cap he had in his pocket to compleat his new figure as a sportsman, he watch'd his opportunity for a new attack.
As little of the world in general as CHARLES knew, he was not so absolute a Student, but that he was sensible a man never could come in so good a time to a lady in the character of a lover, as when she had just discarded an old one; and if he could assume a character contrary to that of the late dishonour'd favourite, his contrariety to him would be construed into a sort of merit. Full of this well conducted scheme the lover waited at a distance, while the young fellow, to whom he had lent his hat, and who had observed the wearer of it to have been before in great familiarity with