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been held to be in the law. In reality, I apprehend every amorous widow on the stage would run the hazard of being condemned as a servile imitation of Dido, but that happily very few of our playhouse critics understand enough of Latin to read Virgil.

In the next place, we must admonish thee, my. worthy friend (for, perhaps, thy heart may be better than thy head,) not to condemn a character as a bad one, because it is not perfectly a good one. If thou dost delightin these models of perfection, there are books enow written to gratify thy taste ; but as we have not, in the course of our conversation, ever happened to meet with any such person, we have not chosen to introduce any such here. To say the truth, I a little question whether mere man ever arrived at this consummate degree of excellence, as well as whether there hath ever existed a monster bad enough to verify that

nulla virtute redemptum A vitiis

in Juvenal; nor do I, indeed, conceive the good purposes served by inserting characters of such angelic perfection, orsuch diabolical depravity, in any work of invention; since, from contemplating either, the mind of man is more likely to be overwhelmed with sorrow and shame, than to draw any good uses from such patterns; for in the former instance he may be both concerned and ashamed to see a pattern of excellence in his nature, which he may reasonably despair of ever arriving at ; and in contemplating the latter, he may be no less affected with those uneasy sensations, at seeing the nature of which he is a partaker, degraded into so odious and detestable a creature.

In fact, if there be enough of goodness in a cha

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* Whose vices are not allayed with a single virtue.

racter to engage the admiration and affection of a well-disposed mind, though there should appear some of those little blemishes, quas humana parum cavit natura, they will raise our compassion rather than our abhorrence. Indeed, nothing can be of more moral use than the imperfections which are seen in examples of this kind; since such form a kind of surprise, more apt to affect and dwell upon our minds, than the faults of very vicious and wicked persons. The foibles and vices of men, in whom there is great mixture of good, become more glaring objects from the virtues which contrast them and shew their deformity; and when we find such vices attended with their evil consequence to our favourite characters, we are not only taught to shun them for our own sake, but to hate them for the mischiefs they have already brought on those we love.

And now, my friend, having given you these few admonitions, we will, if you please, once more set forward with our history.

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CHAP. II.
Containing the arrival of an Irish Gentleman, with

very extraordinary Adventures which ensued at

the Inn. Now the little trembling hare, which the dread of all her numerous enemies, and chiefly of that cunning, cruel, carnivorous animal man, had confined all the day to her lurking-place, sports wantonly o'er the lawns; now on soine hollow tree the owl, shrill chorister of the night, hoots forth notes which might charm the ears of some modern connoisseurs in music; now in the imagination of the half-drunk clown, as he staggers through the churchyard, or rather charnelyard, to his home, fear paints the bloody hobgoblin; now thieves and ruffians areawake, and honest watchmen fast asleep;

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in plain English, it was now midnight; and the company at the inn, as well those who have been already mentioned in this history, as some others who arrived in the evening, were all in bed. Only Susan Chambermaid was now stirring, she being obliged to wash the kitchen, before she retired to the arms of the fond expecting hostler.

In this posture were affairs at the inn, when a gentleman arrived there post. He immediately alighted from his horse, and coming up to Susan, inquired of her, in a very abrupt and confused manner, being almost out of breath with eagerness, Whether there was any lady in the house? The hour of night, and the behaviour of the man, who stared very wildly all the time, a little surprised Susan, so that she hesitated before she made any answer; upon which the gentleman, with redoubled eagerness, begged her to give him a true information, saying, He had lost his wife, and was come in pursuitof her. Upon my shoul,' cries he, “I have been near catching her already in two or three places, if I • had not found her gone just as I came up

with her. • If she be in the house, do carry me up in the dark

and shew her to me; and if she be gone away be'fore me, do tell me which way I shall go after her to meet her, and upon my shoul, I will make you

the richest poor woman in the nation. He then pulled out a handful of guineas, a sight which would have bribed persons of much greater consequence than this poor wench, to much worse purposes.

Susan, from the account she had received of Mrs. Waters, made not the least doubt but that she was the very identical stray whom the right owner pursued. As she concluded, therefore, with great appearance of reason, that she never could get money in an honester way than by restoring a wife to her husband, she made no scruple of assuring the gentleman, that the lady he wanted was then in the

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house; and was presently afterwards prevailed upon (by very liberal promises, and some earnest paid into her hands) to conduct him to the bedchamber of Mrs. Waters.

It hath been a custom long established in the polite world, and that upon very solid and substantial reasons, that a husband shall never enter his wife’s apartment without first knocking at the door. The many excellent uses of this custom need scarce be hinted to a reader who hath any knowledge of the world; for by this means the lady hath time to adjust herself, or to remove any disagreeable object out of the way ; for there are some situations, in which nice and delicate women would not be discovered by their husbands.

To say the truth, there are several ceremonies instituted among the polished part of mankind, which, though they may, to coarser judgements, appear as matters of mere form, are found to have much of substance in them, by the more discerning; and lucky would it have been, had the custom above mentioned been observed by our gentleman in the present instance. Knock, indeed, he did at the door, but not with one of those gentle raps which is usual on such occasions. On the contrary, when he found the door locked, he flew at it with such violence, that the lock immediately gave way, the door burst open, and he fell headlong into the room.

He had no sooner recovered his legs, than forth from the bed, upon his legs likewise appeared with shame and sorrow are we obliged to proceed our hero himself, who, with a menacing voice, demanded of the gentleman who he was, and what he meant by daring to burst open his chamber in that outrageous manner.

The gentleman at first thought he had committed a mistake, and was going to ask pardon and retreat, when, on a sudden, as the moon shone very bright,

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he cast his eyes on stays, gowns, petticoats, caps, ribbons, stockings, garters, shoes, clogs, &c. all. which lay in a disordered manner on the floor. All these operating on the natural jealousy of his temper, so enraged him, that he lost all power of speech; and, without returning any answer to Jones, he endeavoured to approach the bed.

Jones immediately interposing, a fierce contention arose, which soon proceeded to blows on both sides. And now Mrs. Waters (for we must confess she was in the same bed) being, I suppose, awa

I kened from her sleep, and seeing two men fighting in her, bedchamber, began to scream in the most violent manner, crying out murder ! robbery! and more frequently rape ! which last, some, perhaps, may wonder she should mention, who do not consider that these words of exclamation are used by ladies in a fright, as fa, la, la, ra, da, &c. are in music, only as the vehicles of sound, and without any fixed ideas.

Next to the lady's chamber was deposited the body of an Irish gentleman, who arrived too late at the inn to have been mentioned before. This

gentleman was one of those whom the Irish call a calabalaro, or cavalier. He was a younger brother of a good family, and having no fortune at home, was obliged to look abroad in order to get one; for which purpose he was proceeding to the Bath, to try his luck with cards and the women.

This young fellow lay in bed reading one of Mrs. Behn's novels; for he had been instructed by a friend, that he would find no more effectual method of recommending himself to the ladies than the improving his understanding, and filling his mind with good literature. He no sooner, therefore, heard the violent uproar in the next room, than he leapt from his bolster, and taking his sword in one hand, and the candle which burnt by him in the other, he went directly to Mrs. Waters's chamber.

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